Hufflepuffs are Particularly Good Finders

Two years ago, when you first watched  A Very Potter Musical on youtube, did you expect Darren Criss (otherwise known as Harry Freakin’ Potter) to be the latest breakout sensation on the pages of Teen Vogue?


Yeah, me neither.

But there he is, fresh from the horribly-written plots of Glee to the magazine tear that I’ll stick on my wall next week and plaster with AVPM quotes. There’s something about the I-Knew-Him-When-He-Was-Just-Another-Youtube-Meme of this whole thing that warms the cockles of my heart.

He certainly wears “quirky” well. I’m diggin’ the suspenders, and I’ve always been a sucker for a good plaid shirt with a suit.

Watch out, mainstream entertainment. The internet is here.


What do you want? (Shoes, duh.)

In my world, everything leads back to Babylon 5.

Babylon 5 is one of the best science fiction shows ever created. It was the first (along with SeaQuest in 1993) to use purely digital special effects on television, has great characters (both personality and character design), and broke the “monster of the week” mold to write the story of both the human race and an awesome space station. There’s telepaths, prophecies, romance, time travel and epic battles. Also King Arthur. You should watch it.

I tend to ascribe more influence to B5 than perhaps it merits, especially in non-television realms, but these shoes by Anastasia Radevich are the shoe form of an alien race in the B5-verse: the Shadows.

Alien Shoes

It’s all there–the stars and space, the intricate design, almost spider-like design, the impossible-seeming “organic” technology. There’s even a feeling of anti-gravity since the soles aren’t resting on the ground. These guys would make a great addition to a scifi-inspired outfit.

All 5 season of Babylon 5 are available streaming on Netflix. Go watch–this blog will still be here when you come back.

(via The Shoe Girl via Susie Bubble and Luxirare)

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.

Guess the Influence: Prada Edition

Every once in a while, I feel like I know what influenced a particular designer when they dreamed up a collection. I don’t know what it is (maybe it’s magic!), but there’s some rush in my brain of intuition, prior knowledge and…well, magic, that delivers the formula for clothes.

I’m 100% sure I’m wrong about the Prada Spring/Summer 2011 collection that showed last week. I’m not sure I care, especially because I can’t say I like the clothes. And though I haven’t done any research into Miuccia’s actual influences, here are the ones I dreamed up for her:

  • Baroque Architecture, especially the gold wrought stuff that was everywhere (which is kind of a given)
  • Mexican Art That Includes Monkeys (of which Frida Kahlo was the best example I could find)
  • Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett’s day at the beach
  • Proenza Schouler’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection
  • Leg-o-Mutton sleeves
  • Christopher Walken in a Hawaiian shirt*

Mix it all together, and voila: Prada Spring/Summer 2011! Maybe it really is magic.

*I don’t know where Chris Walken came from, either. He just popped in my head while I was watching the show. If he took a lady friend to the beach, she would probably wear this collection.

Outfitted: 21 September

This is an outfit dance party. I won’t tell you which band I’m listening to for fear of being branded deeply uncool (or even unhip, which is grounds for being exiled from Portland), and because I just read Tavi‘s profile in the New Yorker, I’m not feeling particularly cool or hip. Yay for having friends whose boyfriends buy them subscriptions to classy magazines?

I won’t lie and say Tavi hasn’t been an influence on this blog, because she has (she reminds me that writing on the internet doesn’t have to be perfect–it’s usually better when it’s not), but sometimes I look at the blogging market, and it seems like blogs are tending toward the image side of fashion (bloggers becoming spokesladies and models) instead of the criticism side of fashion (although Tavi has written for legit magazines…but who else? I guess Winona has done pretty well for herself.) I want to keep this blog up, and I sometimes want to put a lot of effort into it, but I’m not really sure why. It plagues me.

What would you like to see on this blog?

Outfit-wise, this is a version of what I’ve been wearing to work lately. Flats, so I can lug files around without killing myself, some sort of skirt because I only own two pairs of pants that fit, and sweaters that can toggle on or off depending on the psychotic air conditioning unit by my desk.

Sweater & Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft. Tee & Necklace: F21. Shoes: Payless. Bag: Lulu.

Bit by the Design Bug

I spent a lot of today watching Sarah’s House on and reading through the archives of The Brass Petal. This was probably preceded at some point by a visit to Design*Sponge (especially the Living In category…swoon) and/or The City Sage. This was probably followed by lamentations on how I cannot afford a Pendleton blanket/crystal chandelier/vintage wingback chair.

But! Design is not dependent on money. That is one of the greatest things about it–if you have an eye and some moxie, it doesn’t matter if you have Jonathan Adler on call to make you some lamps, or if you have the latest version of Photoshop on your computer. As long as you keep in mind the limits of your budget and materials (stretching them is good; pointing them out is not), creativity can flourish. It usually does in tough situations more than easy ones.

I’ve moved since the last design post I made, and my new place is has a lot more style. It was built in the 1930s, instead of the ’80s, and has rockin’ hardwood floors, plaster walls and some cool built-ins instead of creepy industrial carpet and cinderblock walls. So the itch to design isn’t as urgent, but at the same time, I know if I put some effort into my place, it will look really, really neat. The only problem here, of course, is budget. And the fact that I am renting and therefore cannot paint (my sooooul, it perishes).

However, I’m in luck. Emily at Brass Petal posted a link to some awesome-tacular wall ideas at Shop Ruche. Like making flowers out of paper (been there, done that), using books as wallpaper (sacrilege!), or–the best–using fabric as wallpaper. With cornstarch paste, so easy cleanup and no wall damage. HOW COOL IS THAT. Now I am determined to find some ridiculous amazing fabric (or even vintage sheets) to brighten up my place.

I’m obsessed with the idea of plastering this amazing pattern on the walls of my kitchen, but at $9 per yard, I doubt that’ll happen. Bargain bin, plzkthx?

Chaussures de Victoire

When the weather gets hot, I usually take a break from fashion. The last thing I want to be when I’m melting and sweat is sticky on my skin is particular about how I look. A sundress and some cute sandals are fine, with minimal makeup. Maybe a hat or some earrings when I’m feeling fancy.

But every year around this time, I start itching for fall. Even though the thought of wearing a sweater makes my skin crawl, I find myself yearning for crisp autumn air, for my lovely winter coats and sturdy shoes, for the excitement of new school clothes. So I start planning. Since 2007, I’ve been rather enamoured with the idea for a wardrobe based on a hip version of Minerva McGonagall. Kind of tweedy-professor-meets-Daphne-Guiness. For the last couple summers I’ve gotten really excited about it, thinking about how to make the Staid British Professor into someone young and fun. I’ve always loved tweeds and jackets and boots, but I also love bright colors and weird jewelry and architectural detailing. And I always thing “THIS YEAR! This will be the year I will actually carry it out!” It never is. I have enough cold-weather clothes to last me a long time; I don’t (and can’t) buy more. I have to work with what I have, which is a lot of all-American knitwear left over from my undergrad years. I’ve been slowly but surely moving in a more fulfilling direction, but it’s going to take a while.

Except I’ve just gotten a jump start. A few months ago, I walked past this delicious pair of Oxford brogues in the window of a little shoe shop on 23rd. They were laceless and kind of nude colored, and I thought they were the prettiest brogues I had ever seen (and trust me, I’ve been looking). This weekend, I was up on 23rd again with my friend Ch., and I spotted them again–I thought they would be long gone by now–so tried them on. They fit perfectly, and are truly some of the best shoes I’ve ever put on my feet (the brand is Pour la Victoire). They’re also quite expensive.

But I put them on hold anyway and inquired about a layaway plan. Then I went home and researched a little. And I found them for $50 less than I would pay in the store, $95 less than the retail price. So I evaluated my finances, steeled myself, and bought them online. Sorry, little shop. I’m getting new shoes this week!