Tuesday, November 23, 2010

City Escape... escape

It's exactly a month before I pack up and escape to warmer weather, and it's all I can think about.  So, to alleviate my wanderlust, I've found some (painfully chic and nostalgic) vintage images to distract myself.

Also put together my ideal travel necessities for my Oaxaca trip...

Gurkee Sandals + Emilio Pucci Bikini

Flight001 Suitcase + Illesteva Leonard Glasses + NicoleMarieHandbags (Etsy)

Haute Hippie Top + APC Shorts + Malene Birger Jumper

Doo Ri Dress + Comme des Garcon Shoes

I have to give credit to www.stylebad.com for finding and posting the vintage Turkish Vogue editorial.  Great Find!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Reconstructed Fisherman's Pants

I hardly enter contests, but this one I couldn't resist!  I really need a new serger, as mine is about 13 years old... eek, I can't believe I am saying that.  A friend of mine forwarded me the details for Burda Style's Project Runway ReMake Challenge.  I really want the top prize, but the second place prize isn't too shabby either.  Also, the timing was perfect because I have been altering/reconstructing some of my clothes lately.

I got this linen skirt/dress at a second hand store in Chicago a long time ago.  At first I loved its versatility, but it became annoying to wear.  I've been really wanting a pair of fisherman's pants and thought this skirt/dress would make a great pair.

No dying photos...  It was way to messy to handle a camera.

Oh, I hope I win!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Blue Bicycle by 130701

It's a rainy day today in NYC... here's a rainy tune for you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

East vs. West

This week I've been a little lazy, and watched a lot of free (often bad) movies.  For some reason, grainy American movies that were made in the 80's and 90's are like comfort food to me.  Perhaps the Chevy Chase or Bill Murray movies, that were constantly on TV during my teens, have influenced my reaction towards these flicks.  The feeling is similar to eating a bowl of canned tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese (made from pre-sliced American cheese).  It can be completely satisfying or cause a serious stomachache.

Without even realizing it at the time, I chose to watch two very different (but basically the same) movies made around the same time.  The first one was Smithereens, about the life of an aspiring punk performer chick trying make it in the squalor of Greenwich Village, circa 1982.  The second is 1983's Valley Girl, a pink-pop-gelled version of the typical "girl-meets-guy-from-wrong-side-of-the-hills" scenario.  This called for an east vs. west 80's style comparison.

Smithereens 1982
Not knowing a thing about this flick, I was quite impressed with its no maintenance style but very keenly (yes I said keenly) relevant art direction.  Each character could have been walking down Bedford Ave. today, which is not ironic.  I was also impressed by the fact that NYC subway cars haven't changed since '82.  The orange bucket seat cars look exactly the same now as they do in this movie, no joke.  Another thing that's notable is the second level of the West Side Highway that existed without use during that time.  Supposedly the highway couldn't support heavy traffic such as trucks, and it collapsed near 14th St. in 1973.  Therefore it was closed and unused decaying for about 14 years.  Seeing it in the background of scenes was sort of exciting in a nerdy way... after having biked and walked along the same spots for several years, as a manicured bike and running trail.

Later I found out this is the first movie Susan Seidelman directed and wrote, hence the styling.

Valley Girl 1983
First let me say that as far as plot goes, this movie lacks in a HUGE way.  However, it's pretty funny to see how people dressed and talked back then.  What makes this movie tolerable is the fact it's making fun of itself. Aside from the cheesy story, seeing LA made me miss it, and I did enjoy seeing the polished teeny bop images and the clothes thought to be stylish back then. Also Dottie from Pee Wee's Big Adventure is in it, which caused some excitement.

Having lived on both coasts, I find comparing these two pretty entertaining.  The LA punks look so clean cut and polished while the NY ones have style but are grimy.  And in LA, punks get beat up by Valley Jock Dudes?  Not sure if that would happen in NY...  The fashion in both movies are pretty similar as far as prints, colors, and shapes.  But for some reason, you get a glossy sea-breeze affect in LA's Valley Girl and a Mod one in Smithereens.

Even the colors stories are similar in both movies, but you end up getting totally different moods.

I can't help but compare the plots as well.  Smithereens is about surviving on your own and Valley Girl about fitting in with the crowd.  Could this be some insight about how each coast operates socially?  Very interesting indeed...  or may be I just need to get out more.

Monday, September 6, 2010


With the end of summer nearing and a Monday off from work, I'm feeling nostalgic of the recent past.  I think I can summarize this feeling better with photos...  Here are some of my favorite pics, but feel free to check all of them out here:

Summer 2010
CT 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Texture Envy

With the "hottest summer on record" upon us, It's been awhile since I've felt inspired enough to even THINK about designing, let alone designing sweaters...

Most of the time, I avoid fashion magazines because I think they're often boring.  I usually flip through some to make sure everything looks the same, then slowly scan the zines geared towards music, art, or furniture, with a little fashion mixed in.  But this time, in spite of my instincts, I decided to sift through smelly leaflets in the September issue of Vogue.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a small editorial of beautifully colored textured sweaters.

I also found these moody images in AnOther Magazine... a less conventional, art/fashion zine without the scented pages.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Mr. Z and I took a little bike trip over to Queens this past weekend to eat some Middle Eastern food and check out the Noguchi Museum.  I must admit, I only associated Mr. Noguchi with his famous coffee table (pictured below).  Little did I know that most of his work consisted of stone and metal sculpture.  I did however, see the correlations of his simple geometric aesthetic and perfect function through all of his work.  The museum space was amazing!  It incorporated concrete and wood interiors with an outdoor rock garden.  Hopefully sometime in the near future I can snag one of his tables.... and plant a birch tree.  Hmmm...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In the Club

As much as I like to spend my (hard earned) money on things made by small (ideally local) companies, I can't deny good quality design, even if it's produced by a sizable company. Club Monaco caught my eye 3 years ago when the collection started to resemble a "wearable Helmut Lang" with young professional price points. The collections fits the city lifestyle perfectly with beautiful muted color palettes and up to date silhouettes, that aren't completely out there. Their simple art direction truly inspires me to "redo" everything in my surroundings. The best part being that you can update your wardrobe with a few outfits without feeling too guilty. Here are some of my favorite looks from their Spring 2010 collection.

Eye Candy for Music

I've seen the work of (The Small Stakes) by Jason Munn before, displayed in various apartments in the city. I found his site yesterday and wanted almost all of his posters, even if I didn't care too much for the band. Here are some of my favorites.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Since my recent employment of multiple jobs, it's been too long since my last post. I hardly have time to sleep with my recent obsession of catching up with Lost. Yes, I know, I don't have a life. But with the gloom of the ending winter, lately, all I feel like doing is curling up in front of the TV with Clio and Mr. Z. However, this week there is hope for warmer weather! The days are getting longer, the weather tolerable, and the dreadful puffy coat washed and stored for next year.

Spring cleaning time! This kind of weather inspires me to furnish the old apartment with some new comforts. This project happened several months ago, but I've been procrastinating writing about it because I didn't have decent "before". Unfortunately not much can be done about that, so here goes... I inherited an old faux "Eames" chair and a "Van Gough" table. When I first picked them up, I must admit, they were in sad shape. But somehow Z and I saw the possibilities in them, and figured that infusing something old with new life was sometimes better than buying something new.

(Before photo of disassembled chair)


The chair had major structural issues. The base was constructed in a way that could not support eccentric weight or lateral force and therefore "wabbled" due to undersized/stripped fasteners. Being the engineer, Mr. Z had access to a workshop where he could do some welding and drill industrial sized holes in thick metal objects. He took the base to fix, while I took the cushions to a local Bushwick upholsterer ($175). I found a new respect for upholsterers that day, as the guys at Nassau Reupholstery did an excellent job for a very reasonable price. He even had the perfect light colored wool fabric in stock and re-filled the stuffing of each cushion. But if you plan to go, you should call Andrés at 917-586-4605, because the rest of the guys there don't speak English.

I don't want to leave out the fact that apart from just fixing the base and re-cushioning the chair, Mr. Z spent hours cleaning, sanding the edges, and refinishing the shell of the chair. Not everyone has that kind of patience or the love of refurbishing old goods, so the chair turned out much better than I expected. Oh, I wish I had better before pictures!

The table didn't really cost a lot to re-furbish, but it did take a lot of time. There was a Van Gough Starry Nights-inspired scene painted on the table top. It was sort of a nightmare sanding all of it off, according to Mr. Z. Originally the plan had been to expose and refinish the natural wood underneath, but it turned out to be a plastic veneer that could not be made to look nice. So plan B was to finish the top like the old 50's counter tops - white with gold flakes. I couldn't find gold flakes so I got silver instead, and in the end I think they worked out better than gold would have.

The edges were sanded and finished with a pin-stripe (the ones for cars). The table top must have taken a week to do because Mr. Z insisted that the top have a thick, glossy layer of polycrylic clear coat.

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