Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walking In L.A.

Today I met my class downtown for an Architectural Walking Tour . I chose the Art Deco tour this time and it was great. My favorite part was the cool bachelor pad from the 1930's atop the Oviatt Building. I wanted to hide under a piece of furniture and live there like Eloise in the Plaza Hotel but unfortunately common sense prevailed. The Penthouse Apartment and sun deck are now rentable for weddings and parties. Here are a couple of pictures from the website:

We were blessed with perfect weather even though it rained last night and a little bit this morning. I'll show what I wore but I'm warning you, this was a 2 hour walk in downtown Los Angeles so comfort trumps style. (especially the shoes-oh well, my feet thanked me) 

Shirt-New York & Co
Off-white Sweater-thrifted (Donna Karan)
Scarf-Forever 21
Sneakers-Big 5 Sportswear
ps-this is another military style jacket

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Measurements And Read-Thru

I'm designing costumes again at Garry Marshall's Falcon Theatre. I didn't realize he directed and produced the new movie, Valentine's Day, until I saw the poster in the lobby. I still have to see that.
Today is one of my favorite kind of days, which is the first time I meet the actors and hear them bring the play to life in their own unique ways. I also show them my sketches and take measurements

Once again the play is well cast and everyone is super sweet. This is my fourth time working with Susan Morgenstern as director and it is always an immense pleasure. I mostly dressed for comfort today since I would be bending up and down to measure. These are stretch jeans and very comfy.
Jeans-Macy's about 4 years ago
That's the shadow of my daughter taking the picture. Thank you, Honey.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Girly Man

I got a spectacular pair of shoes a couple of days ago at Buffalo Exchange and today found a great belt to go with them at Target.

I decided to put an outfit together so I could wear them both. Here's how I put it all together for work.
How cute is that belt?
What we have here is essentially a mannish look, a blue button down shirt with a glen plaid skirt (the fabric is mannish, not the skirt, although glen plaid is originally from Scotland and those guys wore...never mind). So to make it more feminine, I added the leather belt with flowers and to make it more "me" I wore the fabulous leopard pumps. I needed a short necklace to draw attention back to the face. After trying several different things, this vintage necklace won out. It doesn't compete with the other accessories and goes with the blouse. You can tell by my expression that it was really time to leave for work.
Skirt-yard sale (1/2 of a suit for $5)
Shoes-Buffalo Exchange
Thanks to my Mom for helping out in a pinch and taking these photos.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Love Perks!

My wonderful job had a dinner meeting that we got paid to attend. So nice!! The dress code was casual but since I work for a fashon college it doesn't mean "going to the store and not caring who sees you" casual. I chose to go with a trend that has been around for some time and is hanging on for dear life: Military.

The kind of military style popular now is more vintage, like Civil War through WWI. It's mostly identifiable by the buttons and band collar. I wore a plaid vest that has a band collar and some cool military-like hardware. It has a bit of small ruffling on the armseye and yoke which makes it more feminine.
Another trend right now is mixing opposites so  if you want to do military and be super "now" you could put it with something soft and innocent or bohemian. I chose a shirt with puffy sleeves and a 1950's charm bracelet which echoed the copper in the vest buttons and, in a way, resembles medals.

I'll give some more vintage military decorating ideas later. For now, here's where this stuff came from:

Vest- thrifted
Shirt- thrifted
Jeans-Macy's 4 years ago
Necklace-Vintage (Grandma's)
Charm Bracelet-Vintage
Boots- Nine West- gift (Thank you Sandi!!!)
And thanks to Devesa for taking the pic.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Platinum, Mine!

There is an all-over trend of paleness in fashion right now.  Clothes, hair, make-up, it's everywhere. Light skinned people have to be especially careful not to look washed out. The secret is to know if you look better with warm or cool tones.
I look awful with yellow or warm under tones and must go to the cool side. Fortunately, very pale or platinum hair is becoming more popular. Not just the golden California girl tones, but also icey white. This trend may have been influenced by top model, Agyness Deyn.

and how about this?Anne Hathaway in Alice In Wonderland

I say fortunately because as I posted around New Year's, my hair is prematurely white. Yesterday I finally got the dyed parts bleached and toned to match my roots and I can let go of dealing with skunk-like roots every couple of weeks.
And here's what I'm wearing:
Jacket- thrifted
Shirt- Macy's like 3 or 4 years ago
Jeans- thrifted (Juicy Couture)
Belt-? Had it forever
Shoes- Marshall's
Glass Ring- handmade by an artist
Buttons- mine from the '80s

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why Trends Matter

One of the ways a period of time is defined is by what people wore. Even though fashion trends may seem random and arbitrary, they actually are a reflection of the zeitgeist. or "spirit of the times".


1950's (although this came out in 1947)


No matter what the fashion industry puts out on the runway or in the market place, if it doesn't match what is going on socially, politically and economically, it doesn't stick. That's why trend forecasters work so hard to predict what people are going to be into at least a year in advance. Designers and retailers use these predictions to create what they think we'll want.

One of the biggest trends right now is thrift. A lot of us are going back to that Great Depression Era and WWII mentality of reduce, reuse and refashion.
I believe creativity is a great alternative to massive spending. This not only applies to one's wardrobe but also to home decorating, party planning and meals. For now, though, we'll just stick with clothes and accessories. In the meantime, start looking through fashion magazines and see what is being consistently shown. Don't forget about your local library for free magazine browsing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trends? We Don't Need No Stinking Trends...or do we?

Clearly, if you read my blog roll, you know I am all up into vintage and thrift store clothing. I rarely buy clothes new off the rack. And yet, I believe that keeping up with the current trends is important. What? How superficial! How shallow! How utterly gauche!

Well, when I was a punk rocker in the '80s ( Yes, really. It cracks me up that that's how my generation starts their old-timer stories. "When I was a punk rocker in the '80s we didn't have Facebook. We had to poke people in person!") Where was I? Oh yeah. We were all about bucking the trends and you couldn't exactly do that at the mall. That was the whole point. So I began thrift and vintage and yard sale shopping so as not to be "trendy".

Unfortunately I don't have too many photos from that time period. This picture is actually from 1985, post-punk and post-Rockabilly but I was still kind of doing my own thing.

Now I'm normal. I have a kid. And I still like to buy my clothes for $4 instead of $40. Having been a costume designer for theatre for almost 25 years and a teacher on the History of Fashion, I feel I've become an expert shopper and have a unique take on putting pieces together.

No, this is not a job interview. It's leading into a series of posts I'll be writing on how to make used clothing look current and how to use what you already have to enjoy getting dressed and to feel good about yourself. Dressing up should be fun. And affordable.