Bless You, Jackson Rathbone

Bless you.

You’re keeping the dream of the terrible crack-den velvet suit alive while Rpattz is indisposed. (And of course by “indisposed,” I mean “barred from dressing himself.”)

Feel free to return to your rock-star-wannabe ways as soon as Rpattz is off contract for the Twi-series, when he can return to his former glory as a hobo.

[Source for the Rathbone pic: T&L.]

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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

If you’re in the San Francisco area today, you need to head down to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival at the Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park. There you’ll find the gorgeous model-turned-singer Karen Elson playing a set with my current all-time favorite band of all time, Punch Brothers. They’re on  at 5:45.

It’s guaranteed to be musical heaven, especially since T-Bone Burnett is involved. Actually, the whole weekend is going to be amazing, because of other great musicians (and a couple hip cats) like Emmylou Harris, Conor Oberst, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis and Gillian Welch.

If you don’t go, I’ll punch you. In the face. Through the internet. How’s that for a reason? 😉

If you’re not in the area, feast your ears upon Karen’s “The Ghost Who Walks” and Punch’s “You Are.” That’s what I’ll be doing. Well, that and hoping someone will upload their performance on youtube.

McQueen in the Wild

It’s so cool to see one of my favorite McQueen dresses on a real person (although I think Ashley Olsen is so tiny she actually counts a Sprite or a Fairy–or maybe her sister is the Sprite and she’s the Fairy; I don’t know). She’s stunning. One of my favorite things about McQueen is that as fantastical as his designs get, they’re still wearable, at least on some level. Certainly it would take a woman who could pull off clothes with some level of drama, but McQueen clothes never reach the levels of ridiculosity that are reached by, say, Galliano.

But what’s even cooler is the fact that I recognize this dress. I’ve been tooling around these here fashion parts for about three years now, and can no longer claim newbie ignorance, but I still haven’t been able to grasp how people can look at a photo of a girl in a dress and say “Oh yeah, that’s Prada Spring ’02” or “That’s look 29 from the latest Marc Jacobs collection, duh.” Those people probably pore devoted over style.com during fashion month, and siphon off every detail down to the makeup. Unfortunately (or not), I don’t have the attention span for that. I’m lucky if I make it through a few of my favorites– Prada, McQueen, Rodarte, Zac Posen, Ann Demeulemeester– and a couple of the buzzed-about designers of the season, and I tend to remember the theme and feel of the collection more than the specific details. I know that I’ll never be That Fashion Girl; my brain’s not built like that. But this, the fact that I recognize this dress (from the collection that got me into fashion, no less), means I’ve learned something; that I know, perhaps, more than I think. And that’s pretty neat.

At the very least, I know enough to wonder if Ashley could have pulled off a variation of the antlers that were shown with the dress, rather than the commenters over at Just Jared who are busy criticizing her choice of lipstick.

So, dear reader, when did you first realize you’ve arrived in the fashion world?

Tasteless, Like Cardboard

Talking about some style critics, of course. I recently came across Style.com’s list of Awards Dresses We Liked Even Though The Critics Didn’t. It was really an interesting read, and I think I agree with most of what was written. Take Cameron Diaz’s dress, for example. While I would never wear it, the dress is pretty cool. I love the play with pattern and draping, and the color is fantastic.

I remember back in 2006 coming across photos of Kirsten Dunst in this rather stunning grey dress. A really simple silouette is a great thing, especially when done is such as stunningly clean color. With the unusual shape of the dress, coupled with the bold but restrained bird details, I can see why some people don’t like it. Yes, it is a bit schoolmarm, but in an alluring, and almost subversively sexy, way.

Carey Mulligan did the same kind of idea this year at the Berlin International Film Festival. Super-simple dress, hair up, minimal jewelry…but great color and perfect proportions. I love the austerity; it’s such a refreshing change from various plunging necklines and other decadence.

I suppose the Jane Eyre orphanage look isn’t for everyone, but a softer, more feminine version of the Jil Sander/Calvin Klein aesthetic definitely has its place. Some of us just can’t pull off what Tilda Swinton can, after all.

Also: People didn’t like Marion Cotillard’s Oscars dress? Really? It single-handedly made me want to paint fish scales over everything I own.

» Photo of Carey: ONTD.