26 September 2012

Back To School Shopping

September was a very tame month in terms of spending, mainly because of major job uncertainty and other obligation on my cash. I did pick up a few goodies though, and have had the chance to wear some, if not all. Apologies for the lack of outfit posts this week, I've had a nasty cold and have not been fit for viewing by man nor beast. I've tried to keep posting even if I'm downright scary, though last night I got deterred by a four hour nap.

1.) New York and Co. sheer leopard print blouse thrifted via Krazy Daisy, $8

2.) Pink and Red paisley harem from Woman Shop World, $25 - discount from The Queen City Style = $21

3.) Art Deco barrette from Anthropologie, $30 on sale, bought with a gift card, $0

4.) Poppy print pedal pushers Worthington via J.C. Penny, $25

5.) Itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie yellow polka dot pumps by if carrini, $5.99 thrifted via Goodwill


$8 + $21 + $25 + $6.99 = $61.99 total spending for the month of September

24 September 2012


So everyone in the fashion world (i.e. Joan Rivers) is talking about what was worn and who wore it last night at the Primetime Emmy Awards. I honestly hate most of those fashion wrap up shows because I think they're fixed, for example Heidi Klum(in Alexandre Vauthier) knows everyone in Hollywood and everyone in the fashion industry, invariably she is named best dressed or at least makes the list, in my opinion, she almost never actually is. I prefer to make my judgements on the appropriateness of a dress for the wearer's age, appearance, and the situation. Heidi Klum's dress was none of the above, in fact I thought it made her look saggier in the boobs and wider in the hips than she really is. Most people didn't see much beyond the eight miles of leg she showed. The same goes for Sofia Vergara (in Zuhair Murad), who admittedly is the it girl right now. She just turned 40, she just got engaged, Modern Family is a huge hit. I get all that, and I think her publicists played the Emmy Awards like a fiddle, if I see one more video of her shaking her ass at the HBO after party I might become sea sick from all those gyrations. Yes she has a great figure, and if I were a fourteen year old boy I would probably cherish this dress, but frankly the dress made her look cheap, sort of like something that came off the rack from the Sofia Vergara Collection at K-mart.

Best Dressed Girls 

4.) Ariel Winter in Katherine Kidd, a relatively new and unknown designer who just opened her first boutique in Brentwood. She took a lot of heat last year for her cleavage bearing gown. However I don't think you could find amore appropriate gown for a fourteen year old. In fact it makes her look more mature than last year's revealing gown. I loved the colors, the metallic print, the asymmetrical neckline, even the hair all came together nicely.

3.) Mayim Bialik in a custom burgundy gown by Pamella Roland, I honestly love that this is a choice that is at once stunning,and it reflects her own personal belief systems, she also has a hand that was severely damaged in a car accident that is still splinted, hence the sleeves. She documented her search for an appropriate Emmy dress here. This is a dress that make you look twice to make sure you're really looking at Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory.

2.) Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier Resort Collection, this dress made me jump up out of my seat when I saw it. The color definitely came across as red on television, but red or orange it was fantastic, if you couldn't guess I'm loving the short front, long back trend, mainly because its young, fresh, and unexpected. Secondly I felt this was so fitting to Goodwin's personality and style, feminine, fun, and quirky. She's taken Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina and updated it to the modern day, from the hair to the jewels (by Rona Pfeiffer and Graziela), the the accessories (a Ferragamo clutch and Christian Louboutin 'Bis un Bout' heels), perfection.

 1.) Hayden Panettiere in Marchesa, I heard such mixed things about this dress, and honestly couldn't understand any of them. It is strikingly beautiful with an almost sari-like style, the perfect color combination to flatter her skin and hair. Those who said she looked too 'old' in this dress were way off the mark, I think the best word to describe it is regal. The dress is magnificent on its own but she styled it in such a way that flatters her even more. Now if Sofia Vergara had worn this gown I would have been impressed, and the rest of us would have been spared having to see her wardrobe malfunction.

Best Dressed Boys

2.) I picked his on screen girlfriend, how could I not honor the other half of the dynamic duo of Amy and Sheldon by picking Jim Parsons. Another star who dresses to honor their personality I have to admire any man willing to wear velvet and patent leather at the same time. Then again he could have shown up in a Spock tee-shirt and I still would have picked him so long as he sang 'Soft Kitty'for me.

 1.) Aaron Paul wearing an unconventional brown Prada tuxedo with a bronze bow tie and pocket square. You can see why he won the Emmy, he is one swank guy. GQ posted on him and brought up a good point, he's a pale guy and brown actually washes him out a lot less. Either way I thought it was hip and very striking, his blond fiancee also helps as an accessory.

Worst Dressed

Ashley Judd in Carolina Herrera, there's not much I can say good about this. The fit is bad, the color is worse, and it looks like a bad bridesmaid dress. This hair is also just scary, there are beehives, and then there is this an allergic reaction to bad taste.

Apparently Lena Headey, aka the evil queen Cersei from Game of Thrones forgot to get out of character before showing up last night. That or she got confused and thought she was going to a Halloween party a month early. In fact one of her gowns from Game of Thrones would probably have looked better than the Batmobile Georgio Armani she had on. On the upside it did show off her many tats on her back. Just in case you couldn't tell she was badass and all.

Lena Dunham in Prada. Do I really need to say anything else. I am hard on Lena Dunham, I don't particularly care for girls (okay lets be honest, I hate the show) and I honestly cannot understand why she was chosen as a correspondent for Vogue working directly under Hamish Bowles. I mean look at that dress, it is possibly the ugliest thing I have ever seen and so staggeringly unflattering I have to scroll down the page not to look at it. I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, but seriously this look makes Ma Walton look trendy. The goal is to maintain your individuality while still being modern and embracing trends to a degree, this does none of that. I get that you're a moody intellectual, but any more eyeliner and you'll be cutting into Helena Bonham Carter's corner on the market.

23 September 2012

The Muse: Beyond the Sea

Tropigals were back making magic on Friday night at the Dorrance in downtown Providence to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the Great Hurricane of 1938.  There were mermaids, and oysters, and a sea of champagne, as well as nautically inspired outfits of every shape and kind. There were a few new numbers since the last Tropigal show, including the parasol and parachute numbers pictured below. I brought my friend Alyssa along tonight and we fought fiercely to defend our seats and keep the great view we had, with varying amounts of success. The place was packed to the gills and there were plenty of people decked out in their full vintage glory, including James and Eileen Forster Keck, a 40's obsessed couple who comes to all their shows dressed to the nines in their 1947 Roadster. They gave the crowd a treat when they did some solo swing dancing to "It Don't Mean A Thing (If You Ain't Got That Swing)"

 Blouse: Violet and Claire via Marshall's
Skirt (part of a suit): vintage, Scala of Milan, thrifted via Salvation Army Family Store
Necklace: vintage, yard sale
Hair Clip: Self made
Shoes: Karen Millen
Purse: Old Navy
Coat (next to me in the top photo): Merona via Target

Alyssa also subbed in as my guest photographer, making my life a whole lot easier. You might not believe this but taking outfit photos by yourself on city streets after midnight isn't an easy thing. That's what friends are for.

This man was too awesome not to take a photo of, he actually arrived with two companions wearing life preservers, which I presume will come in handy when the Skipper takes the SS Minnow out for that promised three hour tour.

The Keck's swing like they were born doing it, you can read about them in this article from the Providence Pheonix about one of their past shows. I did a little mild Facebook stalking and found that they also have 2 Siamese cats, which only makes me love them more.

Jen and I, post-performance, but she still found an excuse to wear her sailor's cap (and why not, if I could get away with one at the grocery store I would never take it off)

Photographer extrordinare Alyssa striking a saucy pose

Us posing in front of the 1947 Roadster, possibly the sweetest ride ever, frankly a rather awful and awkward photo of me, but the car was really the focus 
 If you aren't familiar with the Hurricane of '38 perhaps a little back ground is in store. On September 21, 1938 in the middle of the afternoon it made landfall, first on Long Island then in Connecticut before proceeding up the New England coast. Meteorologist never expected the storm, which had been a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic, to make landfall. They also didn't predict that it would move as quickly up the coast as it did. Consequently most people had no idea what hit them when the now Category 3 storm hit bringing with it 125 mph winds and a massive storm surge of more than 16 feet. Because the storm coincided with both the monthly full moon and the autumnal equinox tides were already higher than usual.

  The results were devastating,and no place was hit more severely than Rhode Island. Narragansett Bay the triangle shaped body of water that splits the state acted as a funnel as the hurricane moved up it, and with the rising water trapped with nowhere to go it caused devastating flooding, especially in the capital city of Providence. In some places the city was flooded to a depth of 13 feet, and some buildings, including the Union Trust Bank building that now houses the Dorrance, have plaques on their walls marking the high water mark. In all the storm destroyed 4,500 homes, severely damaging some 25,000 more, 26,000 automobiles, more than 20,000 telephone poles came down, and its estimated that 2 billion trees were killed in the course of the single storm. In today's currency the damage would exceed 39 billion dollars. Rhode Island also suffered the bulk of human casualties, overall death toll estimates range from 680-800, with at least 600 occurring in Rhode Island. The entire beach community of Napatree Point in Westerly was washed away, taking 40 homes and their occupants with it. Whale Rock Lighthouse at the mouth of the bay was washed completely off its foundation killing Walter Eberle the lighthouse keep whose body was never found.
 The devastation by the docks. This location is not far from where the Fox Point Hurricane barrier now stands. After the devastation of the '38 storm, then the repeat pounding Providence received from Hurricane Carol in 1954 where 8 feet of water flooded the city it was decided that preventative measures were necessary since the low lying city (only 8 feet above sea level) was too vulnerable. Construction of the barrier was complete in 1966 and while it has never seen a category 5 storm, it has been closed many times and saved millions in damage.
This picture of the steamer Mohegan was the inspiration for the logo for this show, it was floated up onto land where it stopped in between too factories far from the water.

20 September 2012

The Muse: Curator

Tonight was Gallery Night in Providence, as it is every third thursday of the month, and while Providence is a great, artsy city any night of the week, Gallery Night is special, and as far as I know a unique activity to our city. Across the city more than 25 art galleries, shops, schools, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the historic John Brown House are all open to the public for free from 5-9, and you can even take a tour of several of them by bus, bike, or foot. There are free parking areas provided as well as maps and information at every location. Its a fantastic free activity that is always fun and entertaining, and you could easily make it into a date night or even an educational trip for kids. I've done Gallery Night for years, though I usually take the summer off because its so hot and a lot of the galleries close down. So I bundled up, because the nights are going down into the low 50's and high 40's, and it felt like it was really fall, no matter what the calendar says. While I have never been a real curator (though I'd love to work at a museum) I sometimes feel like a curator when it comes to my wardrobe, after all putting together a good outfit is a lot like curating an exhibit, its all about balance, placement, and juxtaposition.

 Blazer: vintage, Pendleton,  thrifted via Goodwill
Blouse: Worthington via J. C. Penny
Jeans: Elle via Kohl's
Shoes: Leifsdottir via Anthropologie
Brooch: vintage via Pastimes Consign.
Gold ring: vintage, my grandfather's 1949 class ring
Green ring: thrifted via Twice the Diva
Purse: vintage, via RI Antiques Mall

 My first stop was the Krause Gallery at the Moses Brown School, which is a private Quaker school on Lloyd Avenue, this is a bit afield from the rest of the galleries I went to which are all within walking distance of each other. Its a small gallery but I've never been to an exhibit here that isn't fascinating. Tonight's exhibit, Disparate Voices, feature two very different artists Walter Kopec and Bonnie Schultz Platzer. He creates multimedia artistic puns, she very traditional woven tapestries. An added bonus were the student made banners lining the entrance where they defined what peace meant to them.

The Providence Art Club is located in one of the most recognizable block of buildings in Providence, right next to the Fleur de Lis Club on Steeple Street across from the first Baptist Church in America. It has a much more traditional feel than the contemporary Krause Gallery. It featured work from three artists Istvan Brinza, a Hungarian born, Providence based artist who paints beautiful, luminous, Dutch Old Master-like still life and portraits. Joan DeRugeris who paints large abstract landscapes that reminded me very much of the world of Westeros that George R.R. Martin created in his SOng of Fire and Ice. The icy blue ones especially reminded me of the scenes set at the "Wall". There was also a small collection of ink prints based on classical musical pieces by Walter Feldman.

DeRugeris' work is on the left, Brinza's is on the right

Feldman's works

The Dodge gallery is a part of the Providence Art Club but located in a separate space next door, as you can see by the photos I had it all to myself

THe David Winton Bell Gallery is located on the first floor of the List building that houses the fine arts departments. Like the Krause it houses contemporary art.

The lobbyheld work by Therese Ganz, entited Don't Get Out Much, including the full wall mural over the glass entrance.

This full room installation by Jin Shan entitled My Dad is Li Gang! actually moves, and is representative of modern history in China including their space program and the workers in bicycle factories whose handprints cover the walls.

I didn't take any photos of the RISD museum mainly because it was so crowded, that and photo snapping with priceless works of art is often frowned upon. I did stop here for a bathroom break however and took some photos because the RISD museum bathroom is my favorite on the planet, I am always tempted to peel off long strips of the wall paper and spirit them off in my purse. I've also always really wanted to "accidentally" wander into the men's room just to see if its as fabulous.

The Rhode Island State House seen from Prospect Park