Monday, August 30, 2010

Sock-sandals! Ankle-sandals! Calf-sandals! Oh my!

I've noticed about every girl on campus has these sandals:

(via here)

Of course, the color varies, but it's basically the same shoe over and over. These shoes look odd. I'm not sure what it is...kind of like someone thought about the horror of wearing socks with sandals (oh yes, the pure terror!) and came up with this. The fabric surrounding the ankle kind of looks like a sock, right? I can't complain too much, because I jumped on the gladiator sandal bandwagon and wear them all the time, much like I used to wear my Old Navy gold sequined flats (which have yet to perish - they never will).

(via here)

Gladiator sandals may be exotic, but I don't think they're exactly sexy. I'm fairly positive they're on the "out," so I suppose the sock sandal mentioned above is replacing the gladiator. I think I'll stick to the gladiator, especially if I owned these Chanel ones from Lagerfeld's 2007 resort collection:


Why half-ass it with the ankle-gladiator? Just go all out and wear the outrageous-but-awesome calf-gladiator. I've always loved these shoes. I rarely like what Lagerfeld designs, but he didn't fail me here. Just looking at the shoes transports me back to Rome during its heyday. Who knows if the Romans wore their sandals up to their knees (I doubt it), but it's a nice dream. And if they did, men were probably the only people wearing them. If I could go back in time with these shoes, I'd cause a ruckus in Rome, take over Caesar (or Augustus, depending when my time machine dropped me off), and change the course of world history - all with a pair of Chanel gladiator sandals.

P.S. I know 2007 is soooooooo long ago in fashion years that it almost makes this post irrelevant. Though I did find these shoes (labeled under 2008, which is suspicious) on ebay. Unfortunately, I've had no luck with this precious Diane von Furstenburg lady-bug dress that I actually tried on at Saks. (The dress felt incredible. The pockets are exactly where pockets on a dress should be.)


I miss that dress. Maybe I'll find it for $50 bucks someday. That's wishful thinking, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The purpose of a fashion magaine is...

What is the purpose of a fashion magazine? Most fashion magazines include beauty advice, "real-life" advice, the extravagant parties of high society, and maybe a profile of someone truly inspirational (i.e. a fashion designer, or a designer of something — not a celebrity) in their pages. But these particular magazines are labeled "fashion" for a reason. Most magazines have all the aforementioned content before the fashion spreads (except for the profile of celebrity/designer/some "important" person, which is included before/after the spreads, depending on the magazine). So, we can use the often used phrase of "save the best for last" here to understand perhaps why the spreads are at the end of the issue. The problem is — and I'm mainly talking about US fashion mags — is that the best is not saved for last.

Here is Chanel Iman (what a name for a model - Coco Chanel and Iman-the-supermodel-married-to-Bowie combined. It's too bad she's not like either) for the September US Allure.
I guess this editorial is titled "The Woman. Other." I'm a bit confused on that. She looks "womanly" in the first picture, and then she looks "other" in the second photo? If by "other," they're implying masculine, then yes, I agree. (In actuality, the first two photos were probably side by side, so it reads "The Other Woman.") The problem with this editorial is that there is hardly any styling. Yes, the stylist had to put shoes with the ensembles and add accessories, but save for the Gucci coat in look 7, there is really no styling here. In fact, there is no styling. Even the 7th look is entirely by Chloé - with a Gucci cardigan thrown on top, a hat by Margiela, and a bag by Hermes. Please, Allure, don't get too crazy with your styling!

Oh, and does this dress look familiar?

This is the same dress in look 4, which comes from Miuccia Prada (Prada fall 2010 ready-to-wear). The differences here are the hair, legs (i.e. absence of socks), and shoes. Oh, but the shoes with this particular look are Miu Miu, which is Miuccia's "less expensive" line. Thanks, Allure, you've been sooooooo inspirational by giving readers essentially the exact looks that were shown on the runway, looks that we can see directly on

Now, let's contrast the Allure spread with this one, which is photographed by Henrik Bülow and modeled by Siri Tollerod.
I do not know where this was published, nor are there photo credits, unfortunately. I highly doubt it was in a US publication. Anyway, the contrast between the two editorials is obvious. Chanel Iman is smiling and jumping in Allure, while Siri Tollerod transforms into art. Siri has a case of sexyface, but her posing and the two photos where she's not opening her mouth are the absolute best (look 4 and 6). The photographer, stylist, and model clearly worked together to create something interesting and beautiful. The shadowing in the last two photos adds mystery, and look 6 is a tad creepy. All together, the way the in which Henrik captured Siri, plus the styling, plus the effects added in afterward make for a terribly beautiful spread.

To answer the age old question, "What is art?" I say, fashion is art. Chanel Iman in Allure is not art. Chanel Iman in Allure is not fashion. Instead, it is merely plagiarism.

To end, the purpose of a fashion magazine is to inspire the reader, not to say "here is what you should buy and exactly how you should wear it." Its function is to show beauty in a variety of ways — by mixing up designs to put together a look, by photographing the shoot somewhere other than the common gray-white-tan backdrops, and so on and so forth.

(Photos of Chanel Iman and Siri Tollerod via

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lara, oh Lara.

I haven't looked through the Vogue US September issue, as I have basically given up on US Vogue. However, I have seen the horrendous wig someone decided to throw on Halle Berry for the cover (and also how photoshopped she looks). Who knows what that person or persons were thinking. "What should we do with Halle? Ah! I have it! We must have her wear a wig that causes her to look like a quirky 5 year old!" I must say I do enjoy the pink font they've chosen, though.

(via here)

What really caught my eye was the editorial Grace styled featuring Lara Stone (which was shot by Mert and Marcus). First of all, Lara looks absolutely stunning — prettier than I've ever seen her before.

Let me backtrack for a minute. I'm used to this kind of Lara (the one with the invisible eyebrows)
Calvin Klein Fall 2010 campaign
LOVE Magazine #4

And THEN she comes out in US Vogue looking like this: (I'm just going to post the whole editorial.)

She's undeniably gorgeous, of course, and the styling isn't half bad - especially for Vogue, who usually creates the most boring editorials that ever existed. But what is up with Lara's same damn expression in every photo? Where is she looking? What's so exciting that she can barely look at the camera? I love the second to last picture. When I look at it, I feel like she's trying to tell me something with her eyes. In all the other photos, she looks like a bored, half-dead housewife.

Maybe even more importantly, why all the "sexyface"? Why can't any female model ever close her mouth? Celebrities do it, too. I just don't get it. I don't understand the deadpanned expressions models wear now. What is fashion trying to convey to us by having models looking so bored? "I'm above all this beauty surrounding me," or "I hate being around all this beauty - I've been around it for so long, it has lost its meaning."

Give us joy, give us sadness, give us anger, give us frustration, give us sex. Just give us an editorial that tells us a real story, one that conveys true emotion.

All photos of Lara via

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Ha-choo!" said the poncho. "Bless you," Erin replied.

The poncho is from Acapulco, and the fan is from Madrid. The pancho came from my grandpa as a gift to my mom, probably sometime in the 70s. Even though it's from Mexico, I get a really Native American vibe from it. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit my shoulders too well. My mum bought the fan in Madrid just last summer. She still talks about that vacation...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Who is a woman?

Is there a certain age at which a girl becomes a woman? Is an 18 year old, a 21 year old, or a 25 year old a woman? I think age matters less than maturity and level of independence. For a while now, I've been asserting that I'm a woman, practically beating my chest and screaming it like a cave-woman: "I am woman, hear me roar!" But a friend recently pointed out to me that if I were in fact a woman, I would have no need to say it or to rebuke anyone who called me a girl. Per usual, he has a valid point. If I am a woman, then what does it matter to me if someone calls me a girl? Furthermore, if "woman" is defined as mature and independent, then I am definitely not a woman. I am not financially independent, which means my decisions are not entirely independent. My maturity level is questionable as well.

What to call a female is so confused now, anyway. Do I use my best friend's name when I talk to her, or do I say, "hey, bitch," "hey, bia," or "hey, whore"? Do I let a male (boy, guy, man - same confusion surrounds the definition of male) call me a bitch or the dreaded "c" word? It perplexes me as to how curse words are now used to replace a person's birth-name. My name is Erin. Please use it. My friends have proper names. I will use them. Why reduce their essence to bitch, whore, or dick when they are so much more than what those particular words imply?

But back to the crux of the matter, I suppose Britney Spears described the in-between stage of girl-dom and womanhood best: "feels like I'm caught in the middle" And despite the horrendous clothing, the scenery is quite beautiful.

This is how defines woman. I especially like "a female person who cleans house, cooks, etc.; housekeeper: The woman will be in to clean today." A male definitely added that one in. "Those women need to stay in the house and clean. It's where they belong!"woman will be in to clean today." A male definitely added that one in. We women have to stay in the house where we belong!

"Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are." Kierkegaard

What is it about self-expression that frightens people? Daphne Guinness has an amazing sense of who she is, and she is not afraid to express it. Clearly, she doesn't give a damn what you think about how she dresses. She might care what her high-society friends think, but I'm sure she doesn't even let the the "sorry people" cross her mind.

(via here)

(via here)

I don't think she does much. She's the daughter of a baron, and she used to be a model. Apparently she occasionally writes as well. But she's most well known as a "muse and fashionista," according to this post on

Anyway, I think the problem with "self-expression" is that people, such as myself, have only a narrow definition of the term. I consider expressive people to be strong, fearless, unafraid of their own person, and honest about who and what they are. Take dancing, for example. People (at least people of my age) will absolutely not dance unless they have a decent buzz flowing or if they're literally dragged onto the dance floor. Oh, and everyone must have a partner with whom to dance, because if a person were to dance alone, she would be "humping the air." I promise that tomorrow no one will remember you danced like a maniac and "humped the air." And if they do, how will you know? And if you do find out that they know, why does it matter? You were the one living in the night, feeling liberated, and free of judgment. And that, too, is self-expression.

Don't stop dancing.


I wrote this in April of 2009

As I was going through the rounds of my daily fashion blogs the other day, I saw the following quote on
“It’s very casual with the whole family and a few friends like Jason Wu, BJ Blum, and the gallery owner John McWinnie. Typically we sit down post swim, so the dress code is bathing suits under a light summer dress like Tracy Feith or Philip Lim. We decorate the table with a mix of roses, hydrangeas, and irises picked from the garden. The table is dressed with a large hand-embroidered tablecloth inherited from my grandmother, a mix of white French linen napkins, and vintage plates found at a local antiques fair. We pull up a wood bench with big cushions to squeeze in more people and protect ourselves from the sun with large parasols and straw hats from Anne Moore. The meal is a colorful, flavorful mix from local farms and purveyors such as Round Swamp Farm for delicious salads and homemade raspberry pie, Lucy’s Whey for cheese, Iacono farm for organic, free-range chicken, and pick-yourself strawberries from the farm down the road.” —Olivia Chantecaille to Vogue on her “casual” holiday weekend lunch. We’re sticking to burgers and dogs on the grill, thank you very much.
A guest commenter on the site noted that “[the quote] is the most pretentious quote I have read in a while. Vogue is doing a great job of rendering itself irrelevant.” Here here! This is sadly true. Each issue I receive causes my heart to sink further with each month. There is no inspiration in the pages of the ostentatious magazine for honest fashion lovers. How is it possible for one to be inspired by complete runway looks thrown on a different model against a white (or black or gray) background?
Oh, and I forgot to mention JUMPING MODELS! HOORAY!
(via here)
(via here)
(via here)

And don’t get me started on their covers. Cameron Diaz was on the June 09 cover; Sienna Miller is the current cover girl.
(via here)

An additional image from the shoot of her in the magazine for your viewing pleasure. This is an example of uninspirational Vogue clothing ensembles. Same necklace, same type of fit = boring.
(via here)

An additional image from the shoot of her in the magazine for your viewing pleasure. This is an example of uncreative Vogue clothing ensembles. Same necklace, same type of fit = boring.
Cameron Diaz doesn’t upset me as much as Sienna Miller. (Diaz is supposedly a huge sci-fi nerd.) What has Sienna done recently? Oh…I forgot. She’s in the new G.I. Joe movie. Enough said.
As everyone who loves fashion moans, what happened to models on the covers of magazines? For example, Sasha Pivovarova on Vogue Italia and Daria Werbowy on British Vogue, respectively:

(via here)

(via here)

Every country besides the United States has models on their magazines. Why is that? Because we have Hollywood, and Hollywood sells. But, celebrities aren’t always exactly relevant to the fashion sphere. I would assume the majority of celebrities knew next to nothing about fashion before they became famous, so why would any person who enjoys fashion want to see a celebrity on the cover?
If I stop thinking of Vogue as a fashion magazine and more of a high-society-life than style magazine, I could easily overlook Vogue and not be bothered by it. But with editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s power and influence over designers, I would like to think that she would (and should) realize how dull her magazine has become and then proceed to fix it.