Thursday, December 28, 2006

rachel comey love letter

Lately I've become interested in clothing designers who are obsessed with prints. The clothes are beautiful, too, but what usually makes them work are the prints. Mociun is one example, in terms of quirky organic prints. The one on the left is a graphic print of little houses, the one on the right is considered "caterpillars". I really love her tie front dresses. I saw it at Bird in Brooklyn with my friend who is lucky enough to live one block from that shop, and it is still for sale on Jumelle's website ( It also comes in black, which I guess is more sensible.

Anyway, I love Rachel Comey. Her stuff is sold at Steven Alan and Creatures of Comfort, but Impulse in Seattle also carries the line. Interestingly enough, Anthropologie also carries her shoes, though they are so very sneaky and won't attribute the designer. This can be a good thing when the design is a bit "interesting" and expensive, because often it'll be marked down considerably. And then those who know can swoop in and snatch them up. Case in point, these Rachel Comey peep-toe purple suede flats that I am considering:

Originally $248, now $80.

Honestly, I didn't even notice these the first time I was browsing Anthropologie's flats selections. But then I had a little 'aha' moment and remembered that they were Rachel Comey's designs. Here's what I consider a more workable and flattering view of the shoes. Granted, they aren't the same color, but that's ok:

Anyway, this got me started on her shoes again. So I pondered whether this cut-out detail derby shoe might work. Runway shot:

Creatures of Comfort purple suede version, $210, originally $300. Impulse also had a black leather version ages and ages ago which I'm sure has sold out. I think with this kind of shoe, which I would consider a bit too trendy and yet oddly timeless if you're into the Annie Hall androgynous dandy look (kind of, sort of), they might work better in a neutral shade like beige or black. But I love suede, it's softer and more forgiving on my poor feet:

I'm not just obsessed with her shoes (remember those boots from a few months back??).

silk graphic yoke top, $196, originally $280, from Creatures of Comfort.

This is a beige version from Impulse, $312. Dunno if it's still in stock, but it's definitely a more versatile piece. That is, if you care about that sort of thing.

Absolutely amazing deep lapel dress $241, originally $345 (only size L left) at Creatures of Comfort. Again, Impulse was carrying this dress back in August. I doubt it's still there. Check out the print detail of the birds. Apparently David Bowie was a fan of her menswear, I can imagine why:

Runway shot. Note how the model is rocking the derby shoes and dress combo. I'm going to discretely ignore the lace leggings, however. I refuse to wear them out, they remind me of phenomenally bad outfits from the 80s. I did, however, just buy a pair of Wolford velvet de luxe leggings to wear under my skinny jeans. They also work well paired with my thick ugly wool socks, which I need for my boots. I hate the feeling of socks over tights, so these leggings seem to be a happy solution.

Now for the Spring 2007 collection. I'm a little iffy right now, the prints aren't as deliriously obsessive as the current collection. I do like this collarless light coat, though:

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something different about this collection. A little more Marni/Dries Van Noten, a little less androgynous punky artsy menswear? Not that there's anything wrong with loose, flowing garments and pseudo ethnic prints, but still. Rachel Comey, what's going on??

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

christmas present

Virginia Johnson camel-print pashmina shawl in brown. This thing is huge, works equally well as scarf or wrap. I saw this at Barneys a few months ago in a bright orange print. Then a week later, I saw this skinny undergrad waiting for the elevator in my department's building. She was wearing a slouchy tunic, black leggings, ballet flats, and the exact same Barneys' shawl, which seemed to envelope her tiny frame. Later, I saw a pale lavender-grey version on a girl featured in The Sartorialist. I must say, it doesn't quite produce the Nicole Richie effect on me, though.

I think Virginia Johnson's prints are amazing. I always see her dresses at Barneys but they're never in my size by the time they've been marked down to $90. Check out her website Click on "Wholesale" and you can look at a pdf of her Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 collections.

Another really lovely website is Even if you don't have small children or know anyone with kids, there are so many lovely things to covet:

John Robshaw midnight flower crib quilt, $125

Or, you can buy his kurtas ($90), which are appropriate even if you aren't in search of maternity wear. Although, I firmly believe that one should spend one's money buying clothing that probably would work while one is pregnant. Even if you don't have children, at least you'll be comfortable wolfing down that In'n'Out burger and chocolate shake.

Beautiful hand-printed pillows, $55 each, for the crib, of course, but would look lovely piled up on one's bed.

Or if all that holiday excess has left you digging around for some cash, these handy wooden bird whistles are only $6 each.

christmas cat v. psychotic devil cat

Friday, December 22, 2006

my modeling stint: Whatever

so my friend karl stevens, who does really beautiful watercolors but is better known for his graphic novel "Guilty" and his comic strip "Whatever" in the Boston Phoenix, used me as a model for a serialized story about a fame-seeking vegan heavy metal guitarist. I would have preferred to portray some fey-Joanna Newsom-type, but maybe some other time. Anyway, that's Karl in the 3rd installment. Great vegan food in Allston, check it out.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

my birthday month

My partner's birthday is dec. 18. my birthday is jan. 19. and so commences my month-long birthday celebration, which i like to call "birthday month". Anyway, this was my celebratory outfit to start off the month of festivities:

By the way, the boots are new. I made a pilgrimage to Hejfina in Chicago. I have been lurking on their website for months, and when I went to the brick and mortar version, everything seemed to be on sale. There was a cute Vanessa Bruno Athe wool miniskirt, but too small. And an awesome A.P.C. peasanty button down shirt with a neat graphic print, but too big. Thank god for that, because I bought my partner this beautiful herringbone charcoal A.P.C. modish jacket that was on sale. We had seen it at Stel's but it was too much. And lo and behold, on sale and in the right size and everything. Anyway, back to the new shoes which officially end my shopping moratorium. I was aiming for Jan. 19 but the flesh and spirit are both too weak, helas.
They're the A.P.C. military style boots in a lovely chestnut brown, shorter in the shaft, very narrow calf opening (I can barely pull them over my skinny denim), with a 1 1/4" heel. I am a little iffy on the size right now. They're a 38, which is technically an 8. And an 8 is supposedly my shoe size. Maybe they're too narrow for my fat birkenstock feet? Well, we're going to ride it out best we can and hope the leather softens.
The dress was a premeditated purchase last April. I actually saw it in Lucky in January and fell in love. Puckered orange silk with beautiful black/navy? trim at the collar and an adorable tie with amberish chunky beads and circle pockets. I found it at LouisBoston ages later and all they had was a size 8. The service there is so awful, I don't know why I keep going back. I had to run around the store to find someone to let me into a dressing room. I think as soon as they see me they beeline for the far opposite corner of the floor. Anyway, I then had to tiptoe in my socks to find someone to call the alterations people. Thankfully alterations are free at Louis for full-priced items. Ugh. You'd think that someone would be waiting near the dressing room considering I was the only person shopping at the time. Oh well. I'm still waiting to hear when their January 50% off everything sale is.

Annelore dress: $430 from Louis Boston
Rebecca Beeson black shirt: $20 from Loehmans (the old workhorse shirt)
Kunert "wool on the outside, cotton on the inside" tights: $36 from Nordstrom
A.P.C. boots: $230 marked down from $480 from Hejfina (they have a website, check it out: Oddly, A.P.C. sells the same boots for $550. Another example of weird pricing.

Total: $716


A video/gift shop on Argyle Street in Uptown Chicago. Sometimes known as Northside or New Chinatown. More often known as Asian Market Place. It isn't considered a Little Saigon even though most of the businesses are Vietnamese-run because they are apparently not enough of a majority in the area to rename it. There are also Chinese, Thai, Laotian, and Cambodian businesses and residents, making it more of a Southeast Asian refugee district, with ties to China.

Cloud Gate, Millennium Park. Me in my fieldwork outfit: Opening Ceremony short sleeve brown coat, Theory cashmere striped sweater, Steven Alan purple crochet aviator hat, Prada Sport equestrian boots, and Harvard GSAS tote bag.

Opening Ceremony coat: $340
Theory sweater: $110 ? on sale at Bloomingdales
Steven Alan hat: $75
Prada Sport boots: $250 from
Harvard tote: free from the GSAS bulletin for correctly identifying the "Where Is It?" contest question.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

depressed cat, unimpressed by mural art

turtle is not impressed by the Vietnamese Buddhist temple mural in South Philly.

two outfits, nothing flashy

utterly bored with myself.
it's been almost 3 weeks since i bought any clothing. i'm bored with everything i own, the days are cold and short, i've now sold 5 things on eBay: that weird Marni top, my Victor and Rolf for H&M black trenchcoat, my Vena Cava Fall 2005 jacket, and a green tweed sleeveless Built By Wendy jacket/vest. sadly, i didn't make much money on them, in fact, didn't come close to breaking even. yet another lesson why i really cannot buy any new things for a long while.

Dace brown v-neck tunic/top with tulip sleeves--$79 on sale from Impulse, bought 2 years ago
Hanii Y cardigan with neat rosette buttons--$340 (?) from Impulse, 1 year ago
Habitual denim--$185 from Impulse, 10 months ago, i think.
Tissot watch--$200 from Little Saigon, Westminster (we bargained them down from $250)

jcrew Clu-wannabe camisole--$20
marc by marc jacobs lavender blouse--$59 from Saks outlet at Wrentham
jcrew navy cashmere cardigan (already pilling like crazy!)--$79 on sale
Habitual denim, grey wash--$185 from Impulse, last June
Mikimoto pink-tone pearl necklace with diamond-encrusted yellow gold ball--$3,500, wedding gift from dad

Total--too lazy to find a calculator.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

another reason why it's best i stay away from nyc

Mayle is having a 35% off sale until Dec. 4 when her holiday collection arrives. And I believe Inhabit is having a sample sale.

Holiday collections are like Resort collections in my estimation, an utter enigma. First of all, I don't "holiday" (i.e. "make merry"). I don't go to parties during the bitterly cold and miserable winter season. I might host a little wine-and-cheese event, but most of my friends will arrive shivering and soggy under bulky parkas and woolly scarves. Second of all, I don't "resort". Going on a trip to a far off, warm place, usually means going home to the OC. Frankly, the beach is pretty cold in December, and you'll usually find me having french onion soup at South Coast Plaza with my mom, discussing whether or not we should buy a sweater from TSE. I have not worn a bikini in about three years, and I shudder to think about all the exercise I'd need to do before buying stuff from a resort collection. No, I don't need smart little white dresses and charming cocktail dresses. What I need are warm yet lightweight mukluks to slosh through the "wintry mix".

Arrow Moccasin Company's Mukluk Sport boot, only 1 pound per shoe, with non-slip crepe sole and pile-lined for warmth, $137 (from

No. wait. What I really really need are these boots:

Society for Rational Dress boots, $428 at I'm usually a size 8, but I could swing an 8 1/2 if you wanted to buy them for me. And, no, I wouldn't fold the top over as seen in countless magazines. That's much too 80s for me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

net-a-porter sale (greatest hits)

For all my art history friends, here is the Vera Wang "Rothko" silk dress, yours for only $1,362 (originally $2,270). I leave you to play an artist biography-fashion object thought exercise with this one.

This is what happens when the Mogwai love you so much they want you to wear them. Antik Batik Valium Mongolian lamb gilet (wow, what the hell did I just type? It's like speaking Klingon), now $351, marked down from $585.

Narcisco Rodriguez cashmere/silk blend dress with bottle-green contrast trim, only $834 from $1,390! The empire waist can be tricky, though, so you might want to sleep on it before buying, if you know what I mean.

This is a Chloe silk shirt-dress for only $1,070, marked down from $1,750. And look, they still have dresses in my size, in case you're still looking for the perfect erica-christmas-birthday present. My mom and I saw this last September at the Chloe store in South Coast Plaza and we both loved it. The black version isn't as nice, for some reason. I would also consider this another bridal option, something offbeat and a little casual (but definitely not a casual price!), if you're engaged. Honestly, wedding planning is one of my favorite past times. I guess when I have kids they'll be my new all-consuming hobby.