Monday, January 30, 2012

Frivolous Fridays: Slips and Underpinnings

by Becky

Well, I can't say that this week's challenge was much of a success...

vintage 1950s cotton slip with lace trim, dangit!

Frivolous Friday participation was at an all-time low. And yeah, I realize that it's a hard sell trying to encourage we hard-working pilgrim progeny to cut loose and show your drillies at the office, I think it's totally possible.

I mean, I do it all the time.

Is this the part of the program when everyone looks at me with one eyebrow cocked, waiting for me to come to the epiphany that I'm a psycho lunatic who should keep her undies under wraps?

Cause it ain't happening.

Frivolity or death!

Frédérik in the house!

Hula join me for this week's challenge?

I'm thinking Hawai'i. I'm thinking Tahiti. I'm thinking Easter Island. And yes, I'm definitely thinking fruity drinks with umbrellas to keep them from getting sunburned. And hula-dancing folk, of course. Yes, indeed, beaches, sun, surf, bare feet and sand...of course, I'm also thinking American Tiki, because who can resist the tiki?

So for this week's Frivolous Friday challenge, the theme is:

tiki style

Hawaiian shirts, polynesia skirts, pareos/sarongs, flowers in your hair, leis around your neck...get your tiki on, snap a picture, and eMail it to me before Monday, February 6th. Aloha!

Friday, January 27, 2012

ugglebo: clogs are a hoot!

by frédérik

Ugglebo's Hoot-enanny MC

All right, friends. It’s time for a brief history lesson. Don't worry; there will be no dry facts and no quiz.

There, will, however, be shoes.

The year is 1965 when Sven Carlsson, a master clog maker whose career until then had been with Sandgrens Clogs, decided to use his knowledge of the craft to take tradition into new, fashionable directions. Naming his clogs Ugglebo Toffeln, Swedish for Owl’s Nest Clogs, he went on to build the company into a leading brand of fashion-forward wooden footwear. Son Christer followed in his father’s footsteps in 1969, and remains the head clog master of this small, family company.

Thus endeth the lesson. That wasn’t so bad, right?

If you’ve never heard of Ugglebo, you might have two questions: how the heck do you pronounce “Ugglebo” and, if the word clogs only brings to mind the traditional style you might find on the feet of nurses and chefs, what do fashion-forward clogs look like?

Answer, from the soon to be defunct FAQ: “Ooo-glee-boo, not ugg-la-boo…more like eeewww---gla-boo”

And from Ugglebo’s main website,, a sampling of gorgeous clogs to covet…

…from their urban collection

Seine, $169

Koltur, $179

…from their boots collection

Philly, $259

…from their shearling collection

Seattle Low, $309

…and from their classics

Milan, $109

All very lovely and chic, with nary a stodgy shoe in sight!

Ah, but you want more? Well, friends, you’ll get it. Becky is working on writing up her experiences with a pair of clogs kindly given to her for review purposes by Ugglebo’s cheerful Marketing and Brand Manager Fredrik Eklund. And me? I’m working up an interview with David Giese, the company president.

To make things really interesting, I’m going to reach out to you for help. What questions do you want to ask David about Ugglebo, clogs, the meaning of life? Send them over to me via eMail, and I’ll add them to my list.

And if you all participate by submitting questions to me or leaving a comment below about your favourite Ugglebo designs – or maybe designs you’d like to see? – then maybe I can persuade Mr. Eklund to do something nice for you. But only if you make some noise and participate.

Of course, subscribing to the Fashionoclast by eMail or "following," in googly parlance, is always appreciated.

As always, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for Becky’s post.

Note: Images used by kind permission of Fredrik Eklund and Ugglebo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Head Poncho

by Becky!!

Okay okay okay. So, I have already written of the insane versitility of the poncho, and Frédérik has described his go-to poncho but I'd already come up with the (admittedly hilarious) name of this post and felt that I had to go with it.

So. More on ponchos. Because I bought one (under duress, I would like to say) and I now am madly in love with it.

A rare sighting of the poncho'd sasquatch

And I love it not only because it's the fastest way to go from "normal person" to "insane reclusive octogenarian," although, let's be honest, that is high on the list.

Ponchos are awesome because you can wear them with/over anything.

Fact: Dogs love ponchos.

Bell sleeves that refuse to squeeze into normally-sleeved coats? Cropped jackets that you can't possibly fit inside another coat but are too flimsy on their own? A-line dresses that looks preposterous mashed into normal outwear?

Put a poncho on it.

02-16 cape
Vintage suede poncho awesome!

Or two.

A brief flirtation with poncho-dom in 2009 with this little number from Free People

Plus, ponchos say a lot about you. Like, "I wear blankets in public and I don't give a damn."

Or: "I am sooo skinny I can wear voluminous outerwear that... No, don't look under there! That is not back fat! YOU'RE LOOKING AT MY BACK FAT. Aghhhhh!"

Here are my favorites for sale that you too can know the joys of ponchos...

Free People

This is from Free People and it's on clearance for only $30!

HOLY MOLY. Do I need another poncho? No, I don't. Step away, Becky. Breathe.

This number from ModCloth has all my favorite colors and just looking at it makes me feel cozy enough to take a nap.


This is from Alpaca Mall. How can you even say no to that?

So.... Poncho thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Frivolous Fridays: Bold Hats

by fez-érik

Can I say we pulled off a hat trick? Check out the chic chapeaus that answered the call of a Frivolous Friday Challenge!

Anne hat

Anne Wolking looked like a super sultry sleuth.

Becky hat 2

...And Becky tried for the mysterious vibe. She imagine's that her loud, TMI-soaked personality ruined that image, but I don't believe it. Frivolity and mystery!

For her part, Indira chimed in with an ever-chic and bold beret.

Away From Blue's Mica, who prefers not to reveal her face online, contributed this image. Says she: "Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in all of Australia. Race goers dress up in their finest clothes and hats or facinators are required, some states have a public holiday just to watch the race. To celebrate at work we had a competition after watching the race - best dressed, best hat, best DIY effort, craziest hat, fashion fail, etc. A previous year I had won best DIY effort for a bow fascinator made out of paper, so I had to do something equally awesome last year. I decided to wear my finest dress, lots of bling, some amazing nude wedges and the craziest hat I own. It's a fuzzy purple and white top hat. It's actually very large and tricky to balance on my tiny head, but I feel it worked well, and of course won me the craziest hat award and a box of yummy chocolates!"

And then there's me, and my new official hat: a fez.

Challenge met! Thanks everyone!

And now, for something completely different...

Becky's Turn!

Frivolous Friday challenge for Jan. 27: Slips, undershirts, unmentionables, and/or underpinnings.

Dress up yer underpants and wear them on the outside of your jeans. Okay, don't do that. But do take underclothing and jazz them up so that your coworkers look at you and wonder, "Is that really a dress or is my lunatic colleague trying to pass off her unmentionables as an actual garment?"

Slip inspiration

Keep 'em guessing. And do it with frivolity!

Email me your photos by Jan. 29 to partake!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fez-O-Rama: The Fez Dispenser

by frédérik

When it comes to fezzes, some people react thusly:

We here at the Fashionoclast agree with the Doctor, however: fezzes are cool.

So yes, I do wear a fez now.

How I got to that fez is a tale that brings together swing music, secret societies, comic books, and a general appreciation for the quirky. It ostensibly begins with LA’s response to San Diego’s Comic-Con; the fledgling Comikaze. Nestled amidst the comic books, vendors, and celebrities selling signed photos was the Fez-O-Rama booth styled like a tiki lounge and overflowing with fezzes bearing all manner of embroidered designs.
Jason Rodgers and the Fez-O-Rama Crew at LA's Comikaze, 2011
I might not have given the booth, attractive as it was, much of a second thought if I hadn’t seen the unmistakable artwork from one of my favourite artists and storytellers, Mike Mignola. To offer some context, while I do enjoy reading comic books – ahem, “graphic novels” – I don’t collect serial comics like the stuff DC and Marvel put out. I will, however, grab hold of anything Mike puts out: Hellboy, BPRD, and other spin-offs and one-shots. His art and writing, along with those of his collaborators, stands apart; I would even go so far to say that I’ve learned a lot about storytelling from reading Mike’s work, and it’s come in useful in my own writing. But I digress. There was a black velvet fez bearing Mike’s iconic skull and crown designs. Violin music played. An angelic choir began to sing. The ceiling parted to let in a single ray of sunshine, gently caressing the fez with a warm glow…Needless to say, I bought the fez and proudly sported it the remainder of day, exchanging nods with other fez-wearers in acknowledgment of our solidarity as members of a not-so-secret brotherhood. And given that Fez-O-Rama has ties to both the Cult of the Eye (“America’s Favorite Secret Society”) and, by extension (if I’m not remembering incorrectly…), the fiery swing band Lee Press-On & The Nails, it seemed like some great mystic web of connections compelled me to that particular moment in time and position in space, to that particular fez.

Or something like that. For some reason, fezzes encourage, even demand, colourful embellishment.
The point is that where I never thought I’d wear a fez, I found a hat that was unique, quirky, and sufficiently off-the-wall to be my ultimate iconoclastic piece of headwear.

 The awesome Mignola Fez, and a killer jacket discovered in the basement of a thrift store. I almost didn't get it, though it was priced at $30, but my wife brought me to my senses. The rest is the stuff of party fashion legend.

The Mignola Fez, in all its close-up glory. Jason adds ventilation perforations on top to help keep heads cool.

The limited edition Mignola Fez - only 75 made - also has Mignola's signature.

As silly and magnificent as the fez can be, there’s more to it than being the signature headwear of iconoclasts and those wacky do-gooding freemasons, the Shriners. Developed and refined by Arabs in Fes, Morroco, with origins in Greece, the fez attained official status when Sultan Mahmud II decreed it the official headgear of the military in 1826, followed by civil officials in 1929. Interestingly, the military fez was wrapped in a turban. The fez has since seen service in the national costume and militaries of several countries, as well as many organizations such as the Shriners.I’ll point you to Wikipedia if you want to know more about the distinguished and cultural aspect of the fez, and move on with an introduction to Fez-O-Rama and the man who makes the fezzes, Jason Rodgers.

As the story goes, Fez-O-Rama was conceived through a combination of laughter and cheese pizza as a semi-serious idea for gifts to friends. That was 1991. In 1996, Jason worked out the fabrication problem but didn’t move forward until two years later, when the acquisition of an embroidery machine, inspiration, and an outright opportunity to dive into turning sketches into reality. Enter the Cult of the Eye, Jason’s Sacrifez, and the now-legendary Tiki Oasis event, and 2005 saw Fez-O-Rama taking off with an ever-increasing catalog of unique and creative graphics embroidered on fine fezzes. To get the full background scoop, feel free to mouse on over to Fez-O-Rama’s About Us page ( then come right back for a short interview I did with Jason via eMail.

How did your perspective change from seeing fezzes as a running gag to something, well, actually cool?
I can't be sure if my perspective changed significantly or not. I may just be too close to it. I have always respected both the history of the fez as well as the more modern ridiculousness of it. I try to balance the running gag vs cool factor to this day. I take the process of designing and making a fez seriously while never taking myself too seriously. 
Do you have any stories of customers who similarly changed their perspective when confronted with all that fezzy goodness at one of your booths?
When we first started showing the fezzes in public it was at Tiki Oasis, a fantastic tiki themed weekend event now located in San Diego. In the early years we would get resistance from random people that did not understand the relationship between the history of American tiki movement and the fez. Over the years we have seen more and more people "get it". That isn't to say we don't still get confused looks and lots of questions, but honestly if I didn't get those looks now and again I'm not doing my job.
How do you make a fez, from getting someone like Mike Mignola to offer a design to actually fabricating it?
The project with Mike Mignola was rather unique. I first approached him about it at the San Diego Comic Con and he seemed entertained by the idea but I didn't pursue it until some time later. When we finally started discussing the fez idea over email, Mr. Mignola asked that I put together a design idea for him to look at. After getting over the initial shock that I was now designing for an artist that I look up too, I spent a good deal of time looking over his work and sketching out ideas. Once I found something I was excited over I went to the embroidery design phase. This is done on the computer and works much like Illustrator except instead of working with fills and strokes it involves stitch types and patterns. From there I will run thread tests, tweaking colors and stitches until I have something that passes for an embroidery. Once I have a design I will sew up a prototype. In the case of the Mignola Fez I made the prototype as a gift. I brought it over for Mike to see and we discussed a limited edition run and royalties and all of that. Ultimately we did 75 fezzes in 2011.

Currently available fezzes. Click image to embiggen!

What has surprised you the most about running Fez-o-rama?
I guess the most significant thing has been that just when I think we have taken this idea as far as it can go, it keeps growing. I would never had thought that after making fezzes for over 10 years I would still be this passionate about it. I have also met an amazing group of creative people through Fez-o-rama whether it's through the internet or at events. Our goal this year is to spend more time bringing the Fez-o-rama booth out to events and meeting even more of them.
What can we look forward to from Fez-O-Rama in the coming years?
There will of course be all sorts of new designs. Our focus has always been on coming up with new ideas and this year will be another example of that. We will have new monkey designs, more SciFi themed pieces as well as our tradition of lots of retro and tiki styles in the Summer. We are going to be introducing some fez accessories this year. Our friend Janelle Badali of Badali Jewelry sculpted an amazing bronze pin that will be posted to our website in the near future. I'm also looking at introducing some variations on the fez hat as well as incorporating more of my fashion design experience into what we do.

Many thanks to Jason for his time. To see more fezzes and other goodies like Tassel pins, and to get prices and the like, visit Fez-O-Rama!

And don't forget this week's Frivolous Friday challenge: bold and crazy hats. I have my fez on - what are YOU wearing on your head?

Disclaimer: All images by me, except for the Fez-O-Rama logo and fez catalog images, which are borrowed from the Fez-O-Rama website with Jason’s kind permission. The Doctor Who belongs to the BBC and is only used for humourous, non-profit purposes...but I will take it down if, for reasons of copyright, I am requested to do so.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

manifesto destiny

It was bound to happen.

You could call it blogging destiny.

Our very own declaration of indepundence.

Yes, that's right, a manifesto. Because we like to keep it revolutionary around here.

So here it is: the official Fashionoclast Manifesto. Ta da!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Frivolous Fridays: Bow Ties

by Becky

Last Friday's challenge in frivolity was bow ties, an accessory so fantastical and fancy, I may have to don one more oft. The only possible accessory more sassy would be a monocle. Must add to my shopping list.

Anne bow tie
Note the subtle glow of bow tie brilliance

Anne Wolking, my most fabulous of coworkers, used a super snazzy bow tie as a cardigan closure.

Bow tie 1
Bow before the bow!

I clipped my bow tie in my hair. It looks like such a perfect hair bow, no one will ever have to know that it was meant to be worn ten inches to the south. I did nothing to it to transform it into a hair accessory. I simply opened up my clip-on bow tie, held it in my tresses, and snapped it shut. It has stayed put perfectly.

Here's Frédérik:

Frédérik says: "To me, bow ties are the beanies of neckwear. For the sake of the challenge, I tried putting on the only bow tie I have - the remains of a Halloween costume past. But I still felt like a cartoon and, consequently, had to bow out before something dreadful happened. Like my head falling off."

Frédérik again: "This dapper gent is my pal Rudy, seen here at the Movember Gala Party sporting his signature mustache and a bow tie. Much as I generally loathe neck beanies, I have to say he pulls off with style and class."

Mica, who blogs at Away From Blue, didn't have a bow tie. She didn't let that stop her from improvising a lovely response to the challenge, however.

See her post for the rest of her outfit and her thoughts on meeting the challenge.


Frédérik, here...

This week's Frivolous Friday challenge asks you to really use your head. Ready? Here it is:

bold and/or crazy hats

Email me your pictures of you wearing a chapeau on your noggin by Monday, Janauary 23rd!

Some people have hats in their belfry...and like to sing about it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

time enough for style

by frédérik

This week we set our eyes on the past and the future as they could have been, should have been, or perhaps actually are whenever we let our imaginations wander. I came across both our past and future artisans at LA Comikaze – well, future anyways. Past may have been at Unique LA; I don’t quite remember exactly. Regardless, this week’s style theme is time travel, and the following two companies show how time, history, and alternate realities can offer fertile design paths. The results are gorgeous.

First up, we set the time machine to the Vintage That Never Was – steampunk, neo-victorian jewelry by Mystic Pieces. Started by Shelley Brooks, who dabbled in jewelry making from age 7 and went full-tilt two years ago after quitting her job in advertising, the collection features an elegant fusion of mechanical contraptions and fine jewelry.Time travelling jewelry, indeed.

Pennyfarthing Steampunk Necklace, Antique Brass with Antique Watch Movement and 17 jewels ($68)

Black and ivory cameo with filigreed setting and black ribbon ($38)

Brass filigree and antique watch movement with two topaz Swarovski crystals  ($56)

To learn more about how Shelley got started with Mystic Pieces, point and click your desk rodent here. To peruse her entire collection, get ye to

Next is a stop to the Future That Will (Alas) Never Be, as imagined by sci-fi dreamers of the 1950s. The company is called Museum of Robots, and yes, they really do love robots. Although the bulk of their design efforts has so far been with houseware products and home accessories, they’ve recently branched out into jewelry. They’re committed to sustainability and “re-interpreting industrial material into products that become useful yet entertaining ‘tools’ for daily life,” strive to be Made in America but, in the event they have to work with foreign manufactures, create partnerships in line with their values.

Faceted Agate Rocket ($50)

"Force Field" Necklace with Res Jasper, Labradorit, Blue Jasper, and Pewter ($75)

For these and more, check out

How do YOU travel through time and other dimensions with your choice of clothes and accessories? I’d love to read about your ideas in the comments below!

Usual disclaimer: All images belong to their respective owners, are used for illustrative purposes only, and will be taken down if asked to do so, etc., etc., etc.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Frivolous Friday: Mismatched Socks

Happy Monday!

Here to knock your socks off are some picks from our Mismatched Socks challenge.

I admit that this was a huge challenge for me because I normally don't wear socks and shoes (I'm a barefoot/sandals kind of guy), so my sock drawer wasn't really up to the task of offering choice socks for mismatching. When I decided to go with monochromatic colours, I figured that dressing all in black (as I initially intended) wouldn't work when the only splash of colour would be the single red sock. So, this:

Wistfully thinking that no one can see my socks when I have my shoes on.

Shirt: Calvin Klein
Pants: United Colors of Benetton
Toe Socks: ToeToe (I think)

Here's Becky, rocking her socks:

Like Becky needs a reason to be mismatched.

Becky took similar sock styles and tweaked the colors.

This is what happens when you buy baseball socks from the thrift store...

Rounding things out is this image from Mica, who blogs at her delightful Away From Blue. She writes in with a charming idea:

I tried to put together an outfit with socks for the Friday challenge but it was just not happening with the heat here this weekend!
So here's what I would wear if I could
Shoes: Acne Pistol boots
Socks: no brand
Skirt: no brand, vintage from my mum
And I'd wear a simple tank on top and a long necklace.
The maxi skirt would allow just a peek of the mismatched socks as I walked :)
And she kindly sent us a pic to demonstrate:

Challenge met!

And now, for next week...
Becky's turn!

Are you ready to adorn yourself in absurdity?

This week's Frivolous Friday Challenge is: Bow ties.

02-26 shoes
Leonard is a fan of reptile prints and flagrant neck wear.

Is there any way to look more dapper than donning a bow tie?

Whether draped around your neck, clipped in your hair, or pinned to your cardigan, bow ties instantly increase your rakishness. And who doesn't need more rakishness?

As always, feel free to post links to pictures of you in your debonair bow ties in the comments section or email 'em directly to me.

Send them before Monday, January 16th to be included in the frivolity...

Frédérik again...If you need motivation, here's a humble suggestion from the Doctor (Matt Smith edition):

Friday, January 6, 2012

I saw design, and it opened up my eyes...

by frédérik

Given this week’s Frivolous Friday Challenge – you ARE wearing mismatched socks as you read this, right? – it seems like a good time to share a recent discovery that’s prompted me to think about the use of asymmetry in fashion styles. While we probably don’t think about it very much, we use asymmetry all the time. This, despite the fact that most of what we wear (shirts, pants, shoes) is very much symmetrical, which in turns results in a symmetrical gestalt that satisfies our relatively inherent association of pleasurable aesthetics with order. Jewelry and accessories like watches are good example. In my case, I wear two earrings in my left ear. I also wear two identical titanium chain anklets, one on each ankle, but break up the symmetry with a toe ring on my right foot. I’ll sometime wear a solid bracelet on my right wrist to create a symmetrical counterbalance to the watch I wear on my left – when I actually do wear a watch – but most of the time it’s just the watch, hence asymmetry. I’m sure you have examples of your own aplenty.

Enter this gorgeous, gorgeous pair of shoes from Jill Sander, once available at Net-A-Porter for $835, then discounted to $334 before finally going out of stock. With 5 inch heels, a 1-inch platform, and made of leather, what distinguished these sandals was the fact that the asymmetry created between each shoe within the pair. See for yourself:

And if you want a plethora of pictures (and then some) of these shoes on a live person, feel free to take a look at Jacqueline over at Fashion Snag.

From a pure design standpoint, the sandals are conceptually brilliant in their use of different but complementary designs. They have a sculptural quality subtly infused with a bit of subversion.
When I told my wife about these, however, her first question was to what extent these would be practical to walk in, which is a concern I’ve seen elsewhere on the ‘net and naturally wondered about as well. Jacqueline is the only person I’ve found who professed to find them comfortable on account of their allegedly similar feel to flip-flops. (!) From a biomechanical standpoint, the concern seems justified, since on one sandal the toe plays a part in lifting the sandal via a toe loop while on the other the toe is left open. If I remember correctly, Jane Aldridge from Sea of Shoes sold her pair precisely because the difference between in each sandal’s individual design made walking awkward.

Perhaps these sandals deserve a place next to Aminaka-Wilmont’s soleless shoes in the gallery of impractical but sublime fashion art. Then again, they aren’t nearly as impractical as A-W’s iconoclastic heels. Whatever the pragmatic considerations, the Jill Sanders do point the way to how asymmetry can work as an organizing design and styling principle: through balance. What both halves of the Jill Sanders share is a common aesthetic and material construction. The difference lies in the particular pattern of the uppers. Similarly, when wearing earrings in one ear or a watch on one hand, it doesn’t look odd because the underlying body part is the same on both sides of the body. It’s like a science experiment in which, ideally, all variables are controlled except for the variable being studied, which is free to change. We can see the same principle in one of Becky’s colourful pair of sandals, which you can see in her Flickr photo stream, in which the upper patterns differ but the colour palette and form are the same.

By comparison, try pairing two shoes that differ in just about every respect – like, say, a Birkenstock and a traditional espadrille, or a strappy gold metallic heel with a chunky high-heeled clog.

The take-away, as I see it, is that asymmetry works best when it’s founded on symmetry, and is a function of design instead of mere happenstance. More importantly, selectively breaking with symmetry may offer a snazzy way to spruce up one’s styling options, as this week’s Frivoulous Friday Challenge has been pushing me to do (even if just with socks, but one has to start somewhere.)

So what about y’all? Do you got out of your way to mismatch? What role does asymmetry play in your personal style? I’d love to read about it in the comments below. And if you have pictures, send ‘em on in for a future follow-up post.

Note: Images of the Jill Sanders sandals from Net-A-Porter and are borrowed for illustrative purposes only.