Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Topsies: a snappy change of pace from the usual flip-flop

by frédérik sisa

Now these look cool!

A hands-on review will have to wait until I can get my hands on a pair of these lovelies (they don’t have my size), but since I’ve had my eyes on these for months now I just couldn’t wait to write up a little sumthin’-sumthin’. They’re called Topsies and they were created by imaginative clothing designer – and long time resident of the sunny Golden State – Franne Goldberg as an alternative to flip-flops.

Consisting of stretchy, breathable fabric fashioned as a thong sandal, Topsies differs from the usual flip-flop by also having material wrap around the ankle. The result is a stylish kind of gladiator sandal or open-toed, cut-out “bootie,” with leather-lined cushioned soles and synthetic rubber bottoms. See for yourself (click to enlarge image):



Faithful Fashionoclast readers won’t be surprised to read that part of Topsies’ appeal to me is that they’re for everyone – men, women, even children. Another plus is that these are hand-made in the US. I especially love their fun carefree attitude, as shown in this really cute ad:



But a few things in particular are noteworthy, beginning with the fact that these provide a solution to two related problems posed by flip-flops. Although we all love our noisy little friends, flip-flops can fall off our feet. Worse, extended wear can cause serious foot, heel, and ankle pain:
The [Auburn University] team videotaped 39 flip-flop-wearing volunteers and noticed how they scrunched their toes to keep the flip-flip on the foot while the heel lifted in the air. This motion stretches the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from heel to toe, causing inflammation, pain along the sole, heel spurs and tired feet in general.

These symptoms were actually what flip-flop wearers at Auburn University had reported upon returning to classes in the fall. An entire summer of flip-flop wearing had taken its toll.

The researchers also found that the volunteers altered their gait, taking shorter strides and turning their ankles inward, likely to keep the flip-flop from falling off. This, the researchers worry, can cause long-term ankle and hip problems.
No one’s saying give up the flip-flops - and not all flip-flops are created equal. Chacos offer, in my experience, the most supporting and robust flip-flop form out there. But Topsies, beyond actually staying on your foot courtesy of the fabric upper and ankle wrap, offer a more foot-friendly option for when you’re going to do more than moseying to the pool. The design is intended to handle substantial activities.

And Topsies look good! They sport a chic, distinctive look that jazzes up the standard flip-flop. The company offers a respectable range of colours and prints, with more on the way (I assume); it’s easy to picture these as versatile elements of any stylish wardrobe. For myself, I’m envisioning these with a nice pair of straight-cut jeans.

Naturally, I’ll report back once I’ve had a chance to try these for myself. If you beat me to it, though, please write in at fsisa[at]thefrontpageonline[dot]com (you know the drill: replace the at and dot with @ and .) and tell me what you think! Or just post a comment below.

To get a pair for yourself, visit www.topsiesonline.com. And here’s a bonus: the fine and friendly folk at Topsies gave me a special coupon code exclusively for Fashionoclast readers to use when ordering. Enter “summer” in the coupon code box at checkout and you’ll receive a 10% discount off your order. That’s right, 10%.

Monday, June 29, 2009

update: topless sandals

Frédérik here with an update on those topless sandals I wrote about over a month ago. I haven't had the chance to take them out for another - spin? - until now. But now that I have, I remain convinced that these are the awesome. Keeping in mind some of the tiny glitches from last time, I made a few corrections that resulted in a more consistently satisfying experience. First, I wore pants with shorter cuffs. By not walking on the edges, thereby getting fabric trapped between my foot and the sandal, I didn't put the sandal in a position to get partially unstuck. Second, I didn't fuss around - once I stuck them on, they stayed on, something helped by actually walking around more. I've been wearing these all day and my feet feel free; I am definitely getting myself another pair in a different colour.

If you try these out, drop me a line and let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One for you, Two for me

By Aqua Catlin

One for Frederik, I offer this Jil Sander sandal:












And for me, two hallowed Prada:












Perforated menswear, (yum yumisimo):

Friday, June 26, 2009

"Thinking Man's Sex Symbol"

By Aqua Catlin

I was having my hair done reading my W Mag recently and found a piece on new fashion lines bravely being launched now. Of the 8 new lines, one especially caught my breath. "Prabal Gurung" named for its designer who considers his line to be, "...for the thinking man's sex symbol. The anti Paris Hilton," as told to W. God love him. He's a thinking man and his pieces are lovely.

He was Design Director at Bill Blass (snore) and thankfully now we can enjoy the beauty of his independent work. So unique. He was raised in Kathmandu, schooled in India and has worked with Donna Karen and Cynthia Rowley.

Perhaps its his background with Donna Karen that's given him the understanding of what to emphasize and what to cover up in his fine Woman's Wear collection.
If you have the body of a real woman or maybe a curvy one who'd typically run from fashion into whatever fits, I believe you will find comfort here. Maybe not your wallet, but don't we all deserve a creamy looking red jacket with a shawl neck to protect us from the harsh So.Cal winter nights at the opera.

Some people meditate, I return to the current Prabal Gurung collection. Liken his pieces to a mountain forest after snow. Soft, strong, mysterious, pristine. His draping and layering, use of using fine fabrics for structured architectural moments... I love it because it seems traditional but its Fashionoclast and necessary over the current trend of mini-dresses that not all can wear. Its not risque showing much skin, yet boldly feminine and femininely bold. He is genius at moving your eye to follow and appreciate female roundness that he knows exactly how to enhance and celebrate with drapes, color, and line, yet with all the construction complexities keeps it simple and clean. All brave, strong pieces, I don't think a timid girl could ever feel timid in one.

My favorite piece is the sheer black party dress with metallic details throughout. But what urban princess wouldn't want to wear one of those feathered numbers to the right philanthropic event? Sorry guys, I've seen no menswear yet. (You'd question my sanity if I didn't say that I don't get his pants at all. They're high-waisted and harem-y. Is he following the trends and so doing a dis-service to his collection? Thoughts?)

His marketing person was
responsive but as of yet, she says there's no showroom in Los Angeles, or I'd have moved in. I hope, when he's retailing here, not just in NY, that I can afford at least one piece per season.

What do you think of his work and what's your fave?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

fashionista profile: Monique Lewis

by frédérik sisa

Here at the Fashionoclast we are dedicated to the idea of “being your own trend.” Fashionoclastic, if you will. In part, this is why we don’t slavishly cover the runway shows, seasonal trends, and that sort of fashion news…there are plenty of other sites that do. We’re far more interested in how people pick and choose what suits them from among all that stuff in the wide world of fashion – we’re interested in the personal, individual experience of fashion. To that end, it’s a pleasure to meet people like the subject of this week’s fashionista profile. So let me introduce you to Monique Lewis, aka MonMon the Fashionistar. The Dreaded Questions Three are on vacation this week at an undisclosed location in the Caribbean – the little fellahs are exhausted – so I brought in some hefty replacements.
Tell me a little about your background in fashion and what your ambitions are for the future.

I have always been interested in fashion, ever since I was a child. First I wanted to design wedding dresses, then to just design anything and everything fashion related. I used to scribble drawings of outfits and cartoons and splatter my name or logo all over them!

As I got older I found out about the many different professions within the industry, including my most favored right now which is Fashion Styling; The fact that you can create your very own stylized image on a model using clothing and accessories is an amazing thing!

In the future I aspire to be fashion entrepreneur involving myself in anything and everything to do with fashion including styling, buying, journalism, design and critique. At present I'm building a styling portfolio and will be launching myself officially as a stylist towards the end of the year with some exciting fashion shots!

How would you describe your own personal style and what do you do to achieve it? Who and what are your inspirations?

My personal style is all about jazzing up an outfit, with statement pieces. I can't sum up my style with a couple of words, it has to be a couple sentences! :) I love colour, I'm forever playing around with it, my outfits always look like big colour palette's and I'm forever wearing patterned items, statement shoes, jewelry or even scarves to jazz an outfit up 'Mon' style. I don't like to look exactly the same each day and I always always wear a big cocktail ring.

A lot of past fashion genre's inspire me, such as the 50's glam look, the 70's and 80's colour's and funky accessories. They're all so significant to their time. Also people such as Lady Gaga and R'n'B singer Kelis inspire me. Simply because they make a mark with each outfit, their looks are unique and they're trendsetters not followers. Also people I see out and about everyday who look significantly different to others, are inspiring. Fellow embracers of style, who aren't afraid to push the boring boundaries of today’s trends!

What’s your advice to budding fashionistas out there looking to develop their own style?

To budding fashionistas, I would definitely say invest in 'statement' pieces. (My two favourite fashion words!) Items that can totally transform an outfit when you add them...A nice scarf, A good hat, a simple long chain with a pendant or even a pair of strappy heels or shoes in a lovely colour! Funky accessories like bangles or rings and floral or patterned items. Just experiment until you've found your own personal image, whether it be 'in' or 'out' of fashion at the time. Vintage pieces are also a must, because they're usually one offs and when people ask you where you've got those fabulous earrings from or that leather jacket...you can just reply 'It's Vintage!' :D

Keep embracing your own personal style guys and don't be afraid to push the boundaries! Think outside of the 'trend' box!
Many thanks to Monique for taking the time to chat. Readers, if you’re on Facebook you can join Monique at her rockin’ fashion and style group, called MonMon the Fashionistar.* presents...It's all about STYLE! Just clickety-click right here.

And I totally dig the idea of “statement pieces.” This week’s profile is actually good lead-in for upcoming posts on creating a signature style. In the meantime, though, I’ll just throw the question out there (again) – what do you fine folk use as statement pieces?

Friday, June 19, 2009

...with a constellation on her face. a tattoo mishap?

The news is aflutter with the strange-but-true. So there’s this 18-year-old who allegedly wanted 3 stars tattooed on her face next to her left eye, fell asleep in the parlour, and woke up looking like this:


(Image borrowed from the article linked to above; it will be taken down upon request.)

Now she’s suing the tattoo artist, who naturally claims that she got what she asked for. At the very least, her story doesn’t quite ring true. Besides, she says “I think he didn’t understand what I wanted. He spoke only fractured English and French. But I explicitly said in my native tongue, French, and also in a little bit of English when he looked confused, that I wanted three little stars only near my left eye.” So she fell asleep while getting a tattoo from someone who possibly didn’t understand what she wanted. Of course the whole thing smells of a pant factory after an unfortunate encounter with a pyromaniac.

But never mind all that. This is a fashion blog, and I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think the star tattoos are rather attractive. Cool, even. The artist did beautiful work, and it looks good on her. Of course, it takes a certain kind of moxie to pull it off. Getting a tattoo is one thing. Tattooing what is arguably the most visible and important part of the body takes a lot more than this young lady has. It’s unfortunate, really. Unfortunate that she’s not in a position, mental or lifestyle-wise, to get away with it. And also unfortunate that this misunderstanding led to complications for everyone. Good-looking or not, a mistake was clearly made.

Still: what do you think? Do you like seeing stars? Or should it be curtains for this constellation?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

FashionOh!clast

By Aqua Catlin

Ok, fine. The threats didn't work and only Trace commented on my questions here. Thanks, Lady! Supportive types who sweetly sent your comments to my email, THANKS to all of you!! The rest of you are now replaced.

This one is for Leopold's "Drrrama" night at the private Purple Lounge, The Standard [hotel] Hollywood. This whole night was Fashionoclast. Nothing was standard and everything was better for it. As expected, it was more awesome than expected. The crowd was a drinking, laughing, dancing, mass of seemingly undergound, fabulous (yes I had to say it), creatives + Alexis Arquette dryly stating, "Controversy!" over the remixed song of the same name. See those little couches in the pic? After our 3rd champagne cocktail experiment we were dancing on them. The DJ's mixes were cooler that The Standard's own DJs and the place, as shown, is ridiculously cool. I felt very in with the even cooler crowd. Low reflective ceilings ensure an intimate, colorful feel, quite like you're on stage and its all about you. Lady Leigh and I felt as tall as super-models.

My girlfriend Leigh, a talented Production Designer and I met performance artists, dancers, 2 token Italian charmers, one of them a famous musician, a talented photographer (click here for pics of the night), drag queens, a corsetted naked from the waist-down NYer, a lot of interesting strangers, the usual 'passed out on our couch girl', straights, gays, ?s and most importantly we had our audiences with Leopold, shown with us here. Isn't he faaabulous.

All those drag-performers trying to bring the most drrrama. I won't go into the actual performances. Let it be said that there was nudity. Is this legal in a private partay? There were no fashion police - one of the best aspects - it was come as and who you are/want to be. There was a void where any LA pretention would normally be at a Hollywood party. yay! Be yourself and have a blast.

Pictured at right is one Brian Getnick, my new friend, who came costumed as being caught in a dream catcher. That makes him the dream. Fantastic.

Leopold and The Bang Bang Bang didn't perform until 1am. And then only 1 song. Goodness, though, it was worth the wait...if you were lucky enough to get a view of it through the hungry crowd and we were. It was quite the finale! He sings, he dances, he trims.

I could do this every week. Well, the excitement was a bit much for every week!! But hope to get back there asap for more events from Drrrama. (Hint Hint, Darling Leopold.)

What do you want me to review next?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

spotlight on Barefoot Bling: toe rings, anklets, and more!

by frédérik sisa

Amy was sitting in a pedicure chair one faithful day when the lady next to her noticed her fitted toe ring. Then came the (friendly) inquisition. Is it comfortable? Where did she get it? And so on. A toe ring wearer par excellence, Amy found herself surprised by just how enthusiastically she was answering the lady’s questions. Out of that surprise came the idea that if she was going to work at selling people on the idea of wearing toe rings, she might as well do more than that and sell the real thing. After much planning and research, Amy launched Barefoot Bling in early 2007.

The result is a webstore that stands out for its refined and varied selection of toe rings, anklets, and barefoot sandals, with a good number of choices ranging from single metal bands and stacked rings to barefoot sandals made of lava beads and mother of pearl. Unlike those wholesalers overstuffed with cheap, mass-produced jewelry, or other, more opportunistic boutiques, Barefoot Bling focuses on a smaller number of distinctive pieces that fit within their philosophy.

“We love handmade, Artisan jewelry,” Amy told me. “And we truly enjoy collaborating on designs with the jewelry makers featured on our site. We are, personally, big indie shoppers. We like things that are not your typical ‘big box’ offerings. Ideally, we'd love it if the answer to the question ‘where did you get that really cool anklet/toe ring, it’s so different,’ is “Barefoot Bling!’”

With collaborators like Michele Roberts of Beach Bride Jewelry and Amy Steinberg of Charming Sam Studios, both of whom create custom pieces for Barefoot Bling, and a great eye for attractive design, the ambition is entirely justified.

If I can wholeheartedly recommend Barefoot Bling, beyond a lovely catalogue, it’s because Amy and her associate Meg obviously know their bling and love what they do. I had the opportunity to play around with samples they’ve considered for their men’s line. It was a fun experience that led, unexpectedly, to a discovery; when the selection is limited to plain bands, a unique option for those who want a bit more spice is to find thinner patterned bands and stack them. This isn’t a new option for women and Barefoot Bling offers a good number of stackable delights for ladies. But for guys, where a single band will most likely look too flimsy or dainty, two stacked rings have presence. In the photo below, I stacked two bands with oxidized black zig-zag patterns that Meg and Amy kindly sent me. (The shoes, incidentally, are Aldo slides from way back when the brand wasn’t stuck in a rut.) I love the result.


But since we’re on the topic, what about guys? While there are websites out there that offer foot bling for men, there aren’t that many – for the obvious reasons that more women wear foot jewelry than men by far and popular fashion etiquette doesn’t find men wearing sandals very often. With a few exceptions, these websites aren’t that satisfying for guys who actually want some quality and imagination and not just plain bands or condescending gimmies. As of yet, Barefoot Bling doesn’t have anything for men owing to a variety of factors. In fact, they had scaled back their plans into a holding pattern until recently inspired to take another look at creating a men’s product line. But things change. “As foot jewelry moves more into the mainstream,” says Amy, “we would like to be on the forefront and grow/evolve with more unique artisan offerings.”

If enough men show an interest, hopefully that will play a part in Barefoot Bling’s exciting evolution. In the meantime, ladies, summer is here and Barefoot Bling has the goods on dressing up – bedazzling! - your feet with all sorts of pretty things.

Barefoot Bling

Note: Many thanks to Meg and Amy for their generous assistance and providing free samples for me to review.

Monday, June 15, 2009

a few thoughts on fashion luminaries Aminaka Wilmont

by frédérik sisa

Before Aqua and I launched The Fashionoclast, I posted on my personal blog a few thoughts on the notorious soleless heels, literally no soles with a strapped-on heel, featured in Aminaka Wilmont’s Spring/Summer ’09 collection. I won’t repeat myself – the original post is a mouse click away – except to say that I’ve always wondered what the models looked like walking in these intriguing contraptions. Would their gait be as clumsy as newborn giraffes? Elegant as stilt walkers? My curiosity, at last, has been satisfied courtesy of video on Aminaka Wilmont’s website. And the answer is: well, they don’t walk all that differently. The have that distinctive runway model gait, which testifies to the soleless heels durability. (As a sidenote, I should clarify that the heels are concept/constructions by Eelko Moorer, a Dutch artist/designer.)

As much as I am still convinced that the soleless heels are sublime, a closer study of Maki Aminaka and Marcus Wilmont’s fashion design reveals a touch of the sublime as well. More than a touch, certainly. While I wouldn’t describe their work – check out both the spring/summer and autumn/winter ‘09/’10 collections – as architectural in a formal sense, there is a definitely a sense of structure at work. Their designs encompass a fluidity of fabrics and a precision of cuts, three dimensions (layers, of course), defined shapes open to the unpredictability of movement, and incredible tactility; the gestalt is both sharp and gentle, complex without being fussy, timeless yet with hint of futurity, unapologetically urban but not unnatural, and possessed of a crystalline beauty and intellect.

It would almost seem pedestrian to ask practical questions. Who, other than flat-chested models, could wear AW’s creations and do justice to the design? And what about the complaint-that-shall-not-be-mentioned-for-fear-of-getting-repetitive? Never mind. Accessible, inaccessible, both or neither; Aminaka Wilmont’s design gives form to a fashion ideal, and the result is something that can co-exist both in imagination and off the catwalk, on the streets. That this ideal consists of the conceptually androgynous clashing with the innovative feminine, as their web bio suggests, is an interesting idea. More important, perhaps, is that as relative "newcomers" to the fashionosphere, AW don’t come burdened with the history that weighs down other design houses. Their formal experimentation has an industry of purpose that doesn’t indulge gimmickry or superficial whimsy because all other experiments have been tried. In other words, AW have a unity of vision and an accuracy of execution that permeates their work.

So how does that translate to us mere mortals? I’m not sure it does. It’s inspiration, but a cold inspiration that can be glimpsed but not touched. Perhaps Aminaka Wilmont’s designs can serve a mythological purpose, however, an iconic function that shows us not so much what is actual (although it does accomplish this to some extent) but what is possible. And what is possible is limitless. I look forward to seeing what is next for these fashion luminaries.

The official website: Aminaka Wilmont.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We need you

By Aqua Catlin

Verrry Much Loved Fans and Readership - just reply to the questions below by clicking "comment".

My post for today is on hold. I'm attending my friend's band performance tonight at The Standard, Hollywood. He is Leopold of "Leopold and the Bang Bang Bang." (The guest star is Alexis Arquette. How fun! And much to review. After you reply to the below, please.)

I met him when I was wardrobe head on a music video. He was gladly modelling the men's wear for me in Cavalli. He was working it, dancing for me and striking poses like the pro he is. Zoolander, eat your superficial heart out. (Photo reprinted without permission). So we hit it off and I can't wait to see his show tonight. In his usual way, his event production company is called Drrrama and I'm sure that there will be much of it. The good kind involving spilled drinks and new friends. Then I will post my completely unbiased, musically expert, neutral review.

While we wait... I have questions for you. ALL of you. We value all 12 of your responses so please send them!
Recently my blog-mate asked a question and heard nothing back. Please respond or be replaced with better fans. We've discussed this and can't compromise on this issue, though we do love you more than life itself. (If you like, you may choose just 1 question.)

His question:
"How do you accessorize?"
This is a valid question at any time and without your answers we'll get nowhere up on here. Response samples:
- "I sometimes like to use a beautiful silk scarfe and tie it around each of my belt loops, demonstrating function, beauty and individuality." (Me.)
- "I like to put on a baseball cap. It keeps the sun out of my eyes and I like the logo even though I don't know what it is." (TD.)
- "I would never leave the house without my Cartier timepiece! Nor do I ever wear the same one twice." (Me dreaming.)

My question:
Which do you enjoy wearing more: Trends or Classics? Why?
- "Classic + trend is fun. But classic is classic." (me.)

How hard was that? We value your thoughts, so please tell us all your secrets and opinions and subscribe and tell your friends and ask us to review things and remember we are only here for YOU. And the freebies.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

i'm lovin' my Rocky Mountain Western bolo tie

by frédérik sisa

A few weeks ago, the dance studio my wife and I go to to take ballroom/latin lessons held a party with the theme of cowboys vs Indians (part of a “this vs that” series of themed parties in which we’re supposed to dress up as one or the other). We did our best to dress up a bit, although I can’t say I approve of “cowboys vs Indians”. You know, history. I wore black jeans, shirt, a leather vest, and the closest I could get to a cowboy hat. All that I was missing, other than cowboy boots that I wouldn’t be caught alive with, was a bolo tie.

And that got me thinking. Bolo tie. Accessory. Apparently invented by silversmith Victor Cedarstaff of Winckenburg, Arizona, in the late 1940s. Hmmm. Why not consider expanding my accessory options?

So I set out to find myself one. I didn’t have much luck. Until, that is, I found Rocky Mountain Western. Although they have some silver concho ties as well as slides with an arrowhead or steer head, the bulk of their inventory consists of a variety a refined settings, stones (cabochons), cords, and tips, all of which can be combined to create a custom tie. They have, of course, ready-made ties, but even these can be customized in a remarkably easy process.

First, I picked out the stone I wanted – hematite. An elegant stone that pairs well with different coloured shirts. Then I chose the setting, a classy filigree my wife thought looked (in a good way) like something Masonic or, better yet, Illuminati. I liked the overall, gently triangular shape and the detail around the edges. Finally, I selected details like the setting colour (silver), cord type (black suedette, which is non-leather), cord length (38”), and tip type (blunt-edge silver). Voila!

A few days later, I received this very lovely box…


…which contained the bolo exactly as I had ordered it.


I love it.

The appeal lies in the fact that it doesn’t feel like a noose as regular neckties do. But more importantly, I’m discovering how the bolo also beautifully fulfills the functions of a good accessory. It’s versatile, without any specific rules on how to wear: the slide can be worn up at the collar or lower down, for example. You can pick slides to suit your particular style; full-on Western if you like, gothabilly, or as part of a contemporary minimalist look. It’s suitable for both casual and formal occasions. You can be as classy or kitschy, humble or bold, as you want. Personally, I have no interest in achieving a Western look. I do like, however, how the bolo adds much-needed flair to my work clothes, which typically consist of simple but nice shirts and pants.

Key to wearing a bolo tie, in terms of pulling an outfit together, is to carefully choose what other accessories to wear. A big ol’ belt buckle, for example, creates two focal points for the eye, which means the style impact of either buckle or bolo is diminished. (So fellahs, decide: do you want people staring at your crotch or your chest? Ha, ha.) Subtle accessories, like rings or bracelets, or accessories that are more like apparel (such as hats) don’t carry the same risk of creating a clash. It’s all a matter of experimentation and personal taste, of course. But really: be careful with the belt buckles.

And Rocky Mountain Western? Highly recommended. Although I didn’t deal with a live human, the website is easy to use, the selection is great, and the end product, delivered on time, is quality.

Monday, June 8, 2009

thank you, Thank You Mart!


Edit 06.10.09: A spiffy discovery by Aqua...just to give credit where credit is due...

Check out all this stuff!

It’s called Thank You Mart. And everything in the store priced at $3.99!

If you live in the LA area, this vintage store located in Westwood is a pretty cool find. Clothes, accessories…I think women will have a better time of it in terms of apparel; lots of cute skirts and blouses, not to mention purses, ballet flats, earrings and the like. But I managed to snag some cool belt buckles, a key chain and a pair of jeans that I plan on working into capris (or clamdiggers, or knickers, or long shorts, however you want to call them if “capris” doesn’t strike your fancy).

My biggest disappointment, however, was my failure to find some shirts. (At the moment, I’m on a mission to find some cool shirts to jazz up my wardrobe. Something retro, perhaps – like 50s bowling shirts.) They had some rather characterless dress and casual shirts, hoodies, and lots of stripy polos that were not so much vintage as hand-me-downs from the 70s. Pretty limited. Thankfully, there are other options available. But, the principle that vintage emporiums can be nifty little treasure troves of goodies still holds. Both my wife and Aqua scored some pretty nice swag too, so that compensates my lack of apparel success. Worth a visit.

Thank You Mart

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Curves for Women" Shoes


By Aqua Catlin

I am sorry I missed last week and this will be super quick too but I will come through and as promised I'm posting my review of Avon's version of the MBT sneakery-shoe-clodhoppery-thingy... (see this post from 2 weeks ago).

Suffice to say - I love them. Well, I wish it would suffice to say but I'm going to have to really over-state it to convince you. Because they are so bloody ugly aren't they.

I'd be negligent if I didn't warn you. You don't want to be wearing them when the tall handsome guy gets on the treadmill next to you. I learned this from personal experience. However, if you can keep your rollin' pace a step faster than his, he can see how great your posture is and how round and cute your buns are [in your weird shoes] for whatever reason [yes, your weird shoes are the reason].


Hills are the real muscle challenge but easier than the walking lunges in them. Down hill is also pretty challenging. Today I did almost 2 miles on flat and its all really effective. I just don't want to take them off. I can definitely feel the toning and my posture and height make me fell very queeny. I've learned a thing or two about walking like a queen in West Hollywood. (urgh that was awful I know, but you know who you are, people. ) Further... I now have a more complete understanding of what my high heels have been doing to my tootsies. Not that I care but sometimes I'll randomly find myself walking on tip-toes even in ballet slips or my flops. This is an involuntary habit from all the heels - the rolling sneakers are the first that actually help relax my foot the other direction. ahh. ouch.

Let's wrap this up: This is the "Perfect Product" although due 'solely' to the vom-inducing appearance there'll be no Fashionoclast Seal. For the price and the results its a must have in every color. Mine are white and purple. Wear them with extra lengthy sweats - Abercrombie & Fitch can oblige - to hide the hideous orthopedic looking sole and you're good to roll with the best posture you've ever had! You're not convinced, I know. But walk a mile in my shoes. Just make sure you do it with your cap pulled low over your oversized aviators.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Amanda's shrink art, accessories, and a question for a readers

by frédérik sisa

You savvy readers don’t need to be reminded about the importance of accessories, those little (or not so little) details that pull an ensemble together. I was prompted to think about these fashion-critical ornaments when I first met Amanda Alizarine, who memorably pulled her style together courtesy of a rather startling pendant. And when I say startling, I don’t mean it in the prudish sense; I mean it statistically in that it’s not everyday you’ll see a woman wearing an image of a bare-chested Bettie Page around her neck. Like this:


Drawn and fabricated by the very talented and artistic Amanda herself, the Bettie Page pendant is one of several she makes with Shrink Art (or Shrinky Dinks), pieces of plastic that can be drawn or printed on then baked. The plastic shrinks and thickens with the heat, thereby creating a durable piece of art.

Curious about what lies behind her Shrink Art efforts, I asked Amanda those three little questions that are certainly dreadful, but in a loveable, familiar sort of way.
In a nutshell, tell us about your work.

Shrink Art is one of my many obsessions. I am an oil painter, but I also enjoy making interesting jewelry to break things up a bit. The consistent thread in all of my work is quality.

What inspires you?

Just about everything inspires me. The inspirations for my shrink art include Tattoo Flash, Pop Culture & Art History, esp Pinups and Art Nouveau.

And your plan for world domination is…?

I plan to take over the world while distracting people with pictures of boobs and vaginas...
If that last answer has you puzzled, consider that part of her collection includes a Sheela na Gig Coloring Book. “Inspired by Sheela sculptures and by similar imagery from around the world, I created 12 modern Sheelas for women to contemplate. Each character bears her yoni/vagina with pride. My purpose was to embrace the full experience of being feminine; pain, pleasure, creation, mystery…” There you go.

It’s not all boobs and vaginas, though. Other pieces include old school tattoo ladies and portraits of Frida Kahlo, including this Frida Skull piece:


And yes, she does sell these and other lovely charms at eclecticCosmos.etsy.com.

The lesson isn’t only that DIY jewelry or accessories can lend a personal touch to your wardrobe, an individuality no designer or brand can match, but that it doesn’t have to involve especially expensive materials. But you knew that. Which is why I’m going to step aside and throw out a question out there for you, dear Readers, to answer: what sort of accessories do you use to pull your outfits together? Leave a comment below (anonymous comments are enabled in case you don’t have an OpenID or other kind of registration), share your tips and ideas, and who knows, maybe YOU will be the subject of a future feature post.

Monday, June 1, 2009

bling for your feet!

Happy Monday! Just a quick post on a new vendor we've linked to:

Barefoot Bling

These friendly folk have a really, really nice selection of toe rings, anklets, and barefoot sandals. I'm hoping to do a feature post on them sometime in the future. In the meantime, though, check em out, dress up your feet for the summer!