Wear: Navy Blue
Wear it head to toe, or fit one blazer into your almost-entirely black & white wardrobe like I plan to!
Listen to: Sky Ferreira
I once read somewhere that Sky only models when she needs money, hah. There's something really fucking cool and I don't know...normal about her. She seems like someone who is at once wildly famous and also someone who grew up down the street from me. My favorite song off her new album:
Buy: Dramatic Eyeglasses
Bonus points if you start lamenting the fact that you aren't studying abroad in Paris or Tokyo.
Read: Franny & Zooey
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"Franny, a young college girl, arrives in New Haven (Yale) to be with her preppy and also intellectualizing boyfriend for a football weekend. They go to a cafe to have some food (and drinks and cigarettes). The story is simply the account of their talk. Salinger is one of the greatest masters of frenzied and fast dialogue, and it shows here. Franny is telling her boyfriend about all the phoniness of campus life, about the lunacy and presumptuousness of teachers and classmates. She tells him how she has read a book about a Russian monk who discovers a special Jesus prayer. If you repeat this prayer incessantly, it will become a part of you and repeat itself automatically, bringing you closer to grace and peace."
Create: Hanging vases
There are about one million variations on this phenomenon; if you don't believe me just ask Pinterest
Right around this time of year I start to get straight up angry about how cold and ugly it is outside, so keeping fresh flowers in the house becomes mandatory.
Welcome to 2014.
As much of a fashion history buff as I purport myself to be, I am ashamed to say I didn't know anything about Diana Vreeland (other than her name) before I watched the documentary about her life, The Eye Has to Travel
. I happened upon it while scanning Netflix. And yeah, it IS on Netflix, so you have no excuse not to watch it! I know your old roommate or your mom will let you log into their account if you don't have one yourself...
Diana was a French ex-pat plucked out of New York society by Carmel Snow
to write a fashion column in Harper's Bazaar,
and before long she became the fashion editor. She did some of her best work there
, I mean absolutely incredible stuff. (Follow the link for evidence!) Eventually she made the move to American Vogue
in 1962, and she discovered Edie Sedgwick while there. So top that, Anna!
Diana represents everything I love about the fashion industry; the pure magic of it. The way you can create images that make your heart beat fast, because it just jumpstarted a new idea. Whether it's an idea about a painting you'd like to do, a color of lipstick you'd like to own, or a specific shape of skirt you now have to search every thrift store for until you find it. She understood that fashion was a subtext of culture and art, not just a commercial system of fabric.
Above all, Diana is my kind of woman because she was never afraid to assert herself. She believed in her vision, and she didn't care if other people agreed or disagreed with her. No matter what facet of the fashion industry you find yourself involved in, that sense of confidence and direction is so imperative. It's what separates an assistant designer from someone who helms a heritage brand. It separates Taylor Tomasi Hill from the all of the accessory editors you've never heard of.
“I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.”
Your homework for the week is to watch the documentary, and then tell me what your favorite quote from it is, because there are loads of perfect ones.
Well, it finally happened. Snow is on the roof of my car, turning into rock solid ice as we speak. I've lived in Salt Lake City (or close by) my whole life, so you'd think I'd be used to it by now. Or at least to the point where I'm not totally crippled by anger when I see a fresh layer of powder on the ground. Spoiler alert: I'm not at that point!
There's only one reason I'm able to make it to any of my classes on time in the winter, and that is my collection of beanies. Sorry, but I can't be bothered to put dry shampoo and tousle my hair in that perfect way that looks like "I didn't do anything, but in reality I actually spent 45 minutes with no less than three styling tools" when it's 30 degrees outside and I can choose to stay underneath my blankets for proportionately longer. So, "collection" might be a bit of an overstatement; I only have three beanies. BUT STILL. I wear the shit out of those three beanies. If you're looking to add to your collection like I am, here's a list of the ones you should strongly consider. And by consider, I obviously mean purchase immediately.
These are my current favorites, and it's taking all of my will power to not add that "MEOW" beanie to my shopping cart. Considering its absurdly reasonable price point, I predict that beauty will appear on my Instagram feed
in the not so distant future...
The internet is a gigantic place, so I am bound to have missed a few gems. Link to possibly even BETTER beanies in the comments, please.
Do you know the name of the cobbler who made your shoes? Was it an Italian artisan contracted by one of your favorite labels? Or was it a young girl from Uzbekistan who's being forced into child labor?
We've all been there before. You want new shoes. No, you need new shoes. But you have absolutely no more than $50 to spend on them. I've been a full-time college student for almost five years now. Trust me, I know the struggle. Just because I know a lot about expensive clothing and can spot a Celine bag from forty yards away doesn't mean I can afford one.
I'd be lying to you if I said half my closet wasn't made possible by the outsourced jobs of Forever 21 factories. It's definitely not something I'm advertising, and expensive brands certainly aren't exempt from questionable labor practices.
The fashion industry is a business after all. It's littered with some of the most artistic and creative people who have ever lived, but it's also helmed by CEOs with business degrees who make decisions about how the product you want to buy from them is made.
I am deeply committed to the idea that personal style and clothing choices are an integral part of the way we communicate to people around us. It's the physical manifestation of what we tell ourselves we are. It's so important, and anyone who discounts "fashion" as simply a shallow clique for rich white girls isn't taking even one second to think critically about it.
Luxury is a big part of fashion, and the stereotypical definition of the word "luxury" evokes images of exotic handbags made out of crocodile, or floor-length fur coats. Aesthetically and theoretically, I admire and understand these things. But I'm not shy about the fact that I make every effort to avoid animal exploitation when I purchase things. (I do still have some leather boots and wool coats that I am praying last forever, or at least almost ever.) But I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't make an equal effort to avoid human cruelty as well. Humans are animals too, after all!
Enter shoemaker Stephanie Nicora, founder of the Nicora Johns brand. She used Kickstarter to fund her dream of making stylish shoes that are cruelty-free to both animals and humans while remaining eco-friendly and keeping the labor here in America instead of outsourcing. Pictured on the left it Giisha, one of the master shoemakers working for Nicora Johns and actually being paid a fair wage for his craft. The company runs an Instagram and Tumblr where they post photos of new products, as well as photos of their shoemakers working. They have everything from dainty brogues to platform boots, and the best part is, since every pair is handcrafted, you can customize EVERYTHING. Davey Havok ordered a pair of custom, black lace-up boots and they are fucking cool.
The idea for starting the company began with both nostalgia for an old American craft lost, and a genuine empathy for all the unemployed American artisans, who could be benefiting from having full-time fulfilling work as craftspeople making shoes. Currently only 1% of the shoes Americans buy are made in America, and this number decreases by 7% every year.
Today, the shoe industry is one of the highest polluting industries in the world. Between the chemicals required to treat leather or make synthetic materials, the agricultural destruction caused by overgrazing livestock, shoe materials make the top ten list of world’s most polluting industry every year.
The number one thing on my Christmas wish list this year is a pair of black on black Priscilla wedges. Priced at an absurdly reasonable $198, I'm sure my parents will be stoked to tuck these under the tree for me. (Right, parents?!) When you consider that no humans, animals, or planets were harmed in the production, and that you can email their customer service department for special sizing at no charge, less than $200 for a pair starts to sound cheap!
Bonus: They won't fall apart after two months like the cheap, factory-made shoes you're used to!
STAY UGLY (AND ETHICAL!)//
If you see photos of Nadia Aboulhosn, one thing will become very clear: this pretty lady gives no fucks. There's something specific about the way she poses her face and her ass that demands attention. So you'll look...and then you'll keep looking. Between her personality and her sense of style, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say the fashion world will continue looking at her for quite a while.
I first discovered Nadia via Nicolette Mason's Instagram account
, where she posted about the Mynt 1792
coat collaboration that both women designed for. Not to take anything away from any of the other ladies in the promotional group photo, but my eyes immediately went to Nadia! She had on a black and white striped crop top, black skinny jeans, strappy sandals, and dark red lipstick. Also known as The Best Outfit Ever™
as far as I'm concerned. So obviously, after seeing her I set about following her in all of her various online outlets (Instagram
, and website
So, yeah. Nadia isn't a size 0/2 like most of the models working in the industry today. But to cast her as simply a "plus-size blogger and model" would be to put her into a narrow box that she doesn't deserve. If we want to get real, Nadia is smaller in size than the average American woman. So is calling her plus-size even accurate? I don't know, and honestly I don't care. I'm following her because her outfit choices inspire the hell out of me, and that would be true whether she lost or gained fifty pounds.
I can't even deal with her sunglass game. It's too good. And I never thought I'd look at pair of athletic shorts and think they looked stylish, but she's proved me wrong about that! Apparently you just need a long sleeve white T-shirt, gold jewelry, and heels. (It probably helps that her waist to hip ratio is an 11 on a scale of 1-10. Scientifically attractive!) And Karla Deras circa 2012-inspired hair
is ALWAYS a good idea.
This is totally a promotional photo for a swimsuit line, but I liked it so much I had to include it, and i don't care that it's late October. (I promise to do a more seasonally appropriate post soon. There's no such thing as too many wide-brimmed hat and boot posts, am I right?)
Special thanks to Nadia for letting me use photos from her website
for this story. She's a doll.
If there were a bridge between Louis Vuitton and H&M, it would be lined with fashionable boys and girls wearing Marc by Marc Jacobs. To me, there’s no brand quite like it. There’s quirky luxury, and there are affordable graphic prints, but no brand does the mix of the two as well as the design team behind Marc by Marc. The S/S 2014 collection walked in New York last week, and reaffirmed all my beliefs in the brand!
I’d recognize a Celine bag from 100 yards away, but the only time I’ve seen one in Utah was on the arm of an unbelievably stylish Asian exchange student. They’re a rarity here, to be sure. But Marc by Marc Jacobs bags are everywhere in downtown Salt Lake. With the opening of the Nordstrom at City Creek, they became available for anyone who could save up or spare roughly $500 (or less!) for a bag. That might sound like a lot to some people, but for those of us who have gaped open-mouthed at the Valentino collection, $500 seems downright reasonable.
I’ll never forget the experience of walking into Nordstrom in 2009 and paying for my own Marc by Marc Jacobs bag with money I had saved up. I felt like I finally belonged to the community I had grown so attached to over the internet. I was in tune with the fashion world, and that was my proof. I’m not into buying leather anymore (especially when there are such amazing cruelty-free options
), but I will always value the way that bag made me feel like I was part of something bigger than the small town in Utah I came from.
Fast forward to 2013 and people everywhere are still flocking to the brand for the same reasons I did when I was 17. It’s wearable as hell, but it’s bold. It’s at the perfect price point where it remains exclusive, while staying attainable. If Marc Jacobs is for your museum curator aunt, Marc by Marc is for the cousin who lives in Brooklyn that you’re insanely jealous of.
Every collection always showcases a perfect set of basics that anyone could incorporate into their closet, regardless of their style preferences. In addition, they always throw out a few wild-card themes. This year? Sequins and scarfs! Which admittedly sounds pretty awful when taken out of context, but check this shit out.
What was your favorite look from the show? Hands down, my favorite was the brown coat (Look #19
) because I’m a SUCKER for any kind of oversized outerwear. [All runway photos via style.com
Amidst the raw and elegant croons of Sharon van Etten, Katie and I walked around Pioneer Park looking for people whose style drew us in and left us wanting more of the same.
The Twilight Concert Series as a whole is often labeled as an exercise in social peacocking; too busy with people looking to be seen, instead of looking to see. While it may be true that you have to fight masses of bodies to get close to the bands that play, no one can argue that seeing a group as incredible as The National for a minuscule $5 is an opportunity worth taking -- no matter how far back in the crowd you are or how feisty you have to get!
At worst, the street style scene at Twilight is like a Forever 21 catalog from last year. At best, it's an overwhelming concentration of pure and true personal style. It's easy to look trendy, but it's the people who exude that intangible quality of assuredness in their outfit. It's just who they are, and what they like, and it's obvious by the way they walk, interact and even breathe. Below are some of those people who caught our eye last Thursday! Click on photos to enlarge them.
One of my favorite trends from the show was the abundance of hats. Wide-brimmed, to both keep the sun out and look stylish as hell. I also appreciated the overarching theme of the 90s. There were countless numbers of shirts tied at the waist, tough-looking boots, high-waisted used denim shorts, and girly floral prints. Unique cross-body bags were also a staple. It was amazing to see people's commitment to fashion by how many long pants and boots there were in 90 degree weather. Not that we're complaining, we benefited after all!
See you next week, Salt Lake. Stay Ugly. xx
Writing and reporting by Jamee Dyches, photography by Katie Tingey
Very Traditionally Sexy Shoes by Charlotte Olympia
If there’s only one piece of fashion advice you ever take from me, let it be this: I firmly believe the act of getting dressed should do nothing less than make you feel like a total babe.
It’s this motto that leads me to repeat certain outfits several times in a row, and wear giant platform wedges to the grocery store when I run out of avocados. My girl Mary-Kate knows no coffee trip is complete without an impractical shoe choice. (P.S. Remember when I said
that my style icons are "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, five years ago"? That photo wasn't taken in 2013, people, and I am 100% all about her look.)
Sure, I could throw something on and plead indifference, but it wouldn’t be honest and I wouldn’t feel confident. I know some people take great pride in not giving a shit about what other people think of them and the way they dress, but these people are typically extremely well dressed, so I usually call bullshit.
The point is: there’s no reason not to wear what makes you feel good, what makes you feel sexy, ALL THE TIME.
Maybe there’s someone specific whose eye you’re trying to catch, or maybe you’re just going to see a movie with your sister. (Hey, you never know who could be standing in line behind you at the Broadway movie theater. MAYBE IT'S THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE.) For me, there’s no event too casual for a fancy ass skirt, and no event too formal for scuffed boots. If it’s what I want to wear, it’s happening. And yes, before you ask, the number of times I’ve gotten in trouble for breaking the dress code at work is exactly two times.
Based on how high of a priority feeling and looking “sexy” is to me, you’d think I have racks on racks of stilettos and knock-off Hervé Léger body-con dresses. NOPE.
In fact, my stiletto and body-con dress count is zero. That being said, there are definitely a handful of tight dresses and few pairs of heels that make my heart melt, but for the most part those pieces just feel a little too Cosmopolitan magazine for me. It feels cliché, and even worse, it feels easy. Buying $20 heels at Forever 21 just because they’re high and the Internet suggested them isn’t going to automatically make you look or feel attractive. (But if Charlotte Olympia made them, they’re probably a one-way ticket to Babetown.)
I’ve long used the term “non-traditionally sexy” to describe my sense of style, and I still stand by that description 100%. While my stiletto count may be zero, my completely see-through clothing item count is six. I’m a sucker for a visible black bra. But if you’re going to see my bra through sheer fabric, said fabric is going to be a member of The Top Button Club. Either that or I’m going to be wearing high-waisted shorts
or a skirt, and you’re going to have to hang out with Brooke to see any midriff.
Speaking of Brooke
and her midriff, she demonstrated
a perfect way to dress non-traditionally sexy in her last article about crop tops. If you’ve ever seen a true summer babe in a crop top and a maxi skirt, you’ve seen the definition of “non-traditionally sexy” manifested before your eyes. Lucky you.
For those of you who are already counting down the days until the fall season like I am, you may want to consider the classic sweater + high-waisted jean cut-offs + black tights + boots combo. A chunky knit sweater is functional for two reasons in this case: it keeps you warm, and balances out the sex appeal of tight little shorts. (Be still my heart.)
One pair of high-quality black opaque tights is a closet staple from September to April, in my opinion. I wear mine until they have holes; then I keep that pair for the days I’m feeling extra grungy, and buy a pristine pair to go with my expertly tailored Marc by Marc Jacobs shorts. Those demand a classy counterpart.
Whenever I talk about dressing “non-traditionally sexy” I like to point out that there’s nothing wrong with being into dressing traditionally sexy! If leopard-print dresses that fit like a glove and red stilettos are your jam, go for it. Be all about it. But whenever I catch myself staring at a female babe, it’s always the ones that are managing to exude noticeable sex appeal, but with a lower-case s. (If you don't know what I mean, you need to start at Alexa Chung A LOT harder.)
How about you? What’s your favorite way to collect stares from strangers via your non-traditionally or traditionally sexy clothing items?
Other than Maja Ivarsson’s panicky and powerful vocals, the thing about The Sounds I remember most is their album cover for Dying to Say This to You. You know the one. It features two sultry, black-haired babes. Visible nipple included!
But this article isn’t about the lady who was down with her nipple peering through a wifebeater on an internationally successful album cover. It’s about the beauty on the left, whose bone structure had me swooning for years before I even knew her name.
I’ve never seen a lady who looks so powerful and so delicate all at once. From her piercing grey eyes to her tiny little cat nose, she always strikes the right balance between hard and soft. Especially when you factor in her sense of style, which has been next level since her early days in the New York City music scene. (Leigh makes up 1/3 of the DJ trio The Misshapes.)
The Misshapes: Geordon Nicol, Leigh Lezark, and Greg Krelenstein circa mid 2000s when every alternative male had an emo haircut.
In the last five years Leigh has officially cemented her spot as a fashion and style icon. She has her own profile on models.com, which lists the many editorial spreads, ad campaigns and short films she’s been a part of.
Miss Lezark can brag that she’s Karl Lagerfeld approved. The Kaiser cast her to play a Bianca Jagger look-a-like in his short film, Remember Now. But a fashion icon needs more than just one heavyweight designer backing her. She was also cast in the short film made to promote the 2011 Lanvin for H&M collection as a maid, delivering tea to Alber Elbaz himself.
Leigh was featured in the February 2009 issue of Vogue Italia (alongside Geordon Nicol), and she was on the June 2010 cover of Vogue Turkey. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Vogue Turkey isn’t top tier as far as Vogues are concerned. But she was still on the cover; that shit’s impressive.
I list all the fashion connections she has to establish her credibility, but truthfully it’s her “off-duty” style and attitude that draws me in and makes me want to base my life aesthetic off of hers. She has one of those faces that you can look at and instantly feel like the smirk and bright eyes she’s sporting are thanks to an inside joke the two of you share. The woman knows how to connect with her audience.
And speaking of audience, if you aren’t following @TheMisshapes on Instagram already, you’re seriously missing out on some good grams. Featuring plenty of adorable Throw Back Thursday posts of a young Leigh and behind-the-scenes photos of all the most important parties, it’s a window into the world of one of fashion’s coolest ladies.
Those of you who do follow Leigh via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. will know that she recently dyed her hair back to her natural blonde color. I couldn’t imagine Leigh without her signature inky black long bob, but damn girl. Now I can fully support the choice! (Jessica Stam look-a-like, anyone?)
I can't even write words about how perfect she looks in this Company Magazine editorial from their May issue, which Leigh is on the cover of. Literally, I've typed and deleted too many words and none of them have been sufficient enough to explain my feelings about these images. So you're just going to have to take my word for it on this one! (Or click on the photos, follow the links, and buy the issue for yourself!) The magazine made a behind-the-scenes video of her cover shoot and captured a little bit of that Lezark charm:
Are you as crazy about Queen Leigh as I am? If not, who is your number one lady crush? TELL ME EVERYTHING.