I got a hold of a limited selection of the beautiful waterfall necklace once again! You may have seen these beaded gems on my blog before. They are hand stitched by women of the T'Boli tribe in the Philippines. I've received a few inquiries from people since I last sold a few. Please contact me here if interested. They are $50/each + shipping fees. I can ship globally and accept cash or Paypal. First come, first served. So let me know asap if you'd like to purchase. The total lengths of each colour are as follows:
RED: 25" BLACK (2 in this colour): 21" and 23" YELLOW: 21.75"
An old friend sent me this BBC Series British Style Genius(from 2009) a week or so ago and I've been devouring every episode since. It is fascinating. It's an incredibly well produced, showcasing the most concise documentary on (any) fashion history that I've ever seen. I even love the title sequence design. Some of my favourite segments and episodes are below.
The bit about the 60s Mod movement was of particular interest to me. I was hanging out in high school with a group of kids that revived this whole look/lifestyle in California during the late 80s. I also knew 20-something year old guys in Vancouver into the early 90s that (quite seriously) subscribed to the same look and lifestyle. It all centered around 60s, slim-fitting Mod suits, skinny black ties and creepers. One of my closest friends in high school, Barry, would wear Fred Perry shirts, skinny dress pants or jeans and dress shoes to school everyday. He also had the signature vintage Vespa scooter which I rode with him to school everyday. We listened to a lot of ska, Brit pop and punk. It influenced the way that I dressed then, too. I wore a lot of vintage and homemade 60s miniskirts (some tartan) with preppy sweaters, pointy patent flats — and yes, black TURTLENECKS (that's when the turtleneck love began!). Back then, I wasn't as aware of the whole history of the Mods. I didn't question it, I just enjoyed dressing up in the particular style. I still don't really know why the Mod look was revived then. It's interesting how it was (re)done the same way – but in suburban southern California. Perhaps it was a west coast thing. Does anyone know? We did feel that we stood apart from the popular fashion in high school back then (which at my school was comprised of Hyper Color cropped Tshirts, MC Hammer pants and lots of neon). I wish I had photos to share. So I loved seeing the way this documentary series illustrates and gives context to where/how it all began. It all makes sense to me now!
One conclusion I drew from having watched the series in it's entirety: I believe that the days of such influential and distictive fashion "movements" growing from the streets is gone for the most part. The globalization of fashion trends is likely to blame. There is still a lot of street fashion that influence the styles that end up on the runway, but they don't end up evolving from movements with fiercely loyal followings (not unlike gangs) in quite the same way that it did back in the 60s. It was a time when younger generation made their clothes. New styles were created and evolved more organically on the streets. They weren't simply following what they saw on tv, music, magazines or celebrities (many of whom receive many of their clothes for free from fashion designers). I feel as though retailers like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters are the ones dictating the way young people dress these days. Hoards of young 'hipsters' are merely dressing in uniforms-of-the-minute as dictated by these retailers. That doesn't define edgy to me. I don't believe there is as much actual origination or innovation on the street nowadays — at least not as much as there was between the 60s-80s (and not in north America). So much of what's out there now tends to be an appropriation or remix of everything that has been done before — primarily from the 80s.
If you didn't see this series the first time around and can get a hold of it, I HIGHLY recommend doing so. It's amazing and not to be missed.
If there was a jewelry item that I become very attached to, it's rings. I purchased this ring last year and I've literally worn it to death. I call it my "lady brass knuckles." It's been commented on more than any other ring I've ever worn – particularly by men. I was getting it replated every few weeks at a local jeweler (for not much money) only for the it to fade not long after. This jeweler suggested I get the ring replicated in real gold. He explained that the reason the replating didn't last is because the ring wasn't made of real gold on the inside. He gave me a great price. Apparently, it's done with a rubber mold to precisely match every angle and crevice. It was a simple enough design. It was done in two days and the result is amazing! It looks FANTASTIC. Even the engraving on the inside was replicated. I love the idea of giving a favourite piece of costume jewelry and making it something I'll actually want to hang on to and wear for way longer than a season or two. I think I've outgrown disposable fashion. I just want to try to have less of it and just have more of things that endure.
Eyewear is kind of a big deal for me. My glasses are on my face 365 days a year and all of my waking hours. I've worn them since the age of 13. So it's become part of my identity. Choosing frames can be a time consuming (and expensive) endevour. Back in August of 2010, when I was preparing to move from New York to Toronto, I came across Moscot Vintage Eyewear – I believe it was mentioned in an article in New York magazine. I learned that the company is a New York institution that's been around since 1915. I loved the Originals Collection, all consisting of styles created between 1930-1970. I tried on the Mangito frames before I left and knew I had to have them. They were exactly what I have been looking for. They have that classic/nerd-chic element that made a bold statement but did not completely overwhelm my face. It's a lot but not too much. They have a subtle cat-eye angle on the corners that I love, too. I also couldn't help gravitating toward these purely from a naming standpoint (considering my last name). I learned that these frames were inspired by a Moscot family member, Gladys Moscot, who in the 60s "left New York's Lower East Side and for a life of drinking Cuba Libres and smoking Cohibas in Havana." Mangito is also Cuban slang for sexy, hot and fresh (apparently). Ha!
A month before a trip to New York, I found out via Twitter that these very frames were 30% for the month of April. It was perfectly timed. I knew I had to get them. Happy birthday to me. I placed the order and picked them up when I arrived in NYC earlier this month. They're also the most well-made pair of glasses that I've ever purchased – and I've closely examined many a pair of designer frames. You can see and feel how well constructed they are. They just do not feel mass produced. Not only that, Moscot custom-fitted them for me with nose pads – perfect for noses like mine with small bridges. I haven't come across many eyewear companies that does this. I love these new frames!
One of the highlights of my New York trip was getting to experience the Alexander McQueen| Savage Beauty show at The MET. It was insanely busy as it was the first weekend it opened to the public. But it was so worth it.
The show was, for me, a celebration of McQueen's exquisite craft. It was a celebration of beauty – however melancholy or dark. It's impossible to cast aside the brilliance and complexity of the ideas behind the work. There is no doubt that this falls under the category of high art. Being allowed to see his thinking and his inspiration was eye-opening. I was so thrown by how beautifully executed and tailored everything was. His pieces required undeniably precise detail and quality. He respected and studied the rules and, therefore, knew how to break them. The work is so modern and yet so rooted in tradtion at the same time. Looking at these dresses as I walked through the show, I saw the intensity of McQueen's passion for beauty. He not only put powerful women on a pedestal, he wanted women to be powerful in his clothes. The show itself was billiantly curated...stunning. Possibly the best exhibition of art & fashion I have ever seen. McQueen is awe-inspiring. He was a genius.
If at all possible, go see the show before it closes in July and see where it might be traveling to next. Or at least check out the site. Looks like they're having trouble keeping the book on the shelf (pick one up if you can).
I finally, finally got to see the Bill Cunningham New York documentary yesterday at Village East Cinema. It was such an intimate glimpse into the life and vision of someone who just loves fashion so much. He loves what he does so wholly and purely, it was amazing to see. Bill Cunningham had his own unique way of cutting through everything and everyone in fashion and just seeing it for what it is and what it means to people. The man has an amazing memory for fashion, too. It was also very moving documentary about who this man is – and in many ways, he's still a bit of an enigma. What a character. What an inspiration. I am so glad I finally got to see it. It was appropriate that I see it while in New York City, too.
Toronto/Montreal baed artist Meghan Price found me through social media. Her work is so beautiful and delicate, it had to be shared. There is so much evidence of her background in textile construction in her work. The level of detail and intricacy is amazing. In addition to her fine art work, she is also one third of String Theory, a textile design studio specializing in gorgeous scarves and throws. Go check them out.
The lace pieces (top two images) are made of enameled copper wire and the bottom three images are waterjet cut steel. The waterjet cut piece will be part of a show entitled "Love Lace" at the Powerhouse in Sydney this coming July.
I strolled past the Dr. Martens store on Queen West this week – mostly out of nostalgia. Needless to say, I left with this pair of wedges. I was surprised to learn that the shoe company I wore like a uniform back in the day and loved dearly had evolved (remember the New Wave era?). I used to live in my 8-hole Docs with a POINTY toe in high school, thank you very much. I still remember buying them (on sale for $80!) on Melrose Ave. in LA. This was back when my black turtleneck wearing days began. Back when I made clothes for myself, bought a lot of vintage and rode on the back of my friend Barry's Vespa everyday to school. Docs have had a longer history, of course, especially in the UK. The resurgence in popularity in the past few years is thanks to the return of everything 80s. To me, Docs are synonymous with listening to bands like New Order, Modern English, The Psychedelic Furs and watching Pretty in Pink. They were synonymous with rebelliousness. It wore Docs back when I was crimping my hair. They hold a particular significance to a specific time in my life. It was before I worried about rent and debt and when boys would still call me on a landline.
So I was curious to see whether they might have some new (maybe more refined?) boot silhouettes I might want to consider for the fall. But as soon as I saw these wedges, I stopped looking anything else. And you know what? They're unbelievable comfortable. Just like the boots. And they're a perfect grey. I couldn't help thinking: 'Well, well, well. Dr. Martens look at you now.' They still make the original boot (now called 'vintage' of course) and I might have to buy myself a pair. You know, for old times sake.
The manner in which they brand themselves is so consistent with how I've come to remember them. It's an evolution and at the same time ...not.
There aren't many articles of clothing that I lose my marbles over. But this All-saints Anais trench dress is one of them. I blogged about it back in August, some of you might recall. But a big move and various budgetary constraints prevented me from purchasing it. At the time, the importance of buying a dress paled in comparison to everything else going on around me. Then I realized recently that it was still available (yes, I was still thinking about it) and it is now on sale. I could NOT pass it up.
I have to say, it's probably the best dress purchase I've made in the last year (or two). It's perfect for spring and fall. It's impeccably tailored, it's modern and classic with an edge. And unlike most dresses I buy that require some alterations (specific body-type reasons). This one will only require two buttons above the waist to be re-located, you could say. Otherwise, it fits me like a glove. I have been very impressed with the construction of all the dresses I've ever purchased from All-saints. Their mostly neutral (and black) colour palettes really work for me I'm just really not usually a rainbow-brite kind of woman.
I realize this is only a dress. There are numerous things going on in the world that are far more important. Who cares? Well, it's been a very tough winter, a lot of adjustments to make and a big (HUGE) life shift. The people who know me best understand this. Spring is (arguably) here. New and exciting ventures abound in more ways than one (more on that later). This represents a fresh start. Sometimes, a great dress especially this one carries with it a kind of significance that gives you that extra little bit of flourish. And sometimes, it's all you need to feel good again ...and that's very ok.
Wow. It's been two whole years since I started this blog. I can hardly believe it! I can only hope that you've enjoyed reading it as much as I've enjoyed sharing :)
To celebrate, I am giving away this beautiful scarf necklace designed by my good friend, the talented, Melissa Clemente. It's one of my favourite pieces of hers this season. It's made of a very soft knitted yarn (100% cotton). It's the coziest kind of necklace to have on in the winter.
To qualify to win: check out her website, follow her Tumblr or on Twitter and leave a comment and your email address below. You'll have until Friday, February 4th at 6pm to enter. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!
For those of you in Toronto this Saturday, February 5th: Come by the Drake Hotel between 9am and 4pm for The Guilty Pleasures Designer Sale and you'll be able to see and purchase Melissa Clemente's jewelry. I will be swinging by there, too. So come by and say hello :)
Update on 2011-02-04 23:09 by catherine mangosing
...And we have a winner! Congratulations Bryn aka Paperfinger! Thank you everyone for the well wishes and entering the giveaway!
I am so inspired by The Sartorialist. This is a great documentary. It's great to listen to the man himself talk about what he does. I love seeing the wide range of people, places, ages and styles that he finds inspiring.
Target's Kaleidoscope Fashion Spectacular at the Standard Hotel the other night was AMAZING. This event raised the bar for all fashion/public performance events (anywhere) in the future. To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done in NYC. It was truly impressive and best seen live but this video gives you a taste. It was, indeed, spectacular – a massive undertaking from a production standpoint. I absolutely loved that dancers were involved – 66 of them! The whole thing was definitely a cheeky nod to The Standard Hotel's guests' reputation of exhibitionism. Clever! It was pulled off perfectly. Below are some stills. Photos by my friend Dave Pinter who attended the event with me. This is precisely the type of inspiring stuff that I will miss about New York!
All the discussions with my Twitter gang last night about the 90s music and haircuts inspired the excavation of this hilarious collection of photos. It's actually been a fun process looking back, flipping through all my old photo albums. Admit it, you had a crimping iron too! How did I manage to look old in 1990? It must be the spiral perm! And note the turtleneck I wore back in high school under one of my dad's shiny old suit jackets (that is when the whole turtleneck thing was born). Some of these outfits and eyewear were just as hilarious as the hair. I'm also pretty amazed at how short I cropped my hair in the mid 90s – my college days. Having a sister and (then) boyfriend who were both photographers made it virtually impossible to not be photographed. I'm still scarred by the reaction of my male friends to my new short hair: total disappointment. All in all, this whole thing makes me realize the following:
1) In life, you have to be able to laugh at yourself.
2) I'm old.
3) I appreciate all those years SANS social media.
With that, I'd like to propose to other Gen-X bloggers to post their haircut photos between the years 1988-1998. At least make me feel a little less like an idiot!
1988-1990 crimped to spiral (left: 10th grade school portrait + right: high school graduation portrait)
I've found THE dress purchase I will make this fall. The Anais Trench Dress by Allsaints Spitalfields is the one. It's an even better version than the trench dress from the spring. I'm in love. Can't wait to wear this with a pair of sexy ankle boots.
As a side note: will fashion finally move on from this American Apparel school of cheap jersey and back to a bit more ELEGANCE? Maybe my tastes have just grown up. What do you think of recent trends?
I remember walking into Eponymy a couple of years ago the week that they opened. It's a cute shop right on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights just off Flatbush Ave. on Bergen St. I walked in this past weekend while on an errand run and I must say, I still love their clothes. Owner Andrea Miller has a great eye for a really great mix of clothes with simple, modern cuts, and beautiful fabrics. She also throws in a selection of hand picked vintage pieces that just work nicely with everything else. The shop embodies an understated "new old" aesthetic that is so of the moment. The accessory selection mirrors the beautiful mix of modern and vintage. Go check it out if you haven't already.
I heard a bit of buzz about a new UK clothing store opening up in New York, called All Saints Spitalfields. Last weekend after dance class, I happened upon it quite by accident (in SoHo). I have to say, I have not been this excited about clothes in some time. I was particularly drawn to the dresses. Oh the dresses. They have a beautiful, inventive deconstructed elegance that I have not seen in a long, long time – if ever. It's the opposite of the ugly, cheap jersey of American Apparel school of fashion that seems to proliferate stores everywhere lately. I have been waiting to discover something that isn't a regurgitation of the worst of the 80s (I know the 80s can be done better). I found it, it's new (not cheap but not out of reach). The dresses have a strong, structured/unstructured yet feminine construction and it is not syrupy sweet. The primarily grey/neutral colour palette is right up my alley, very modern and understated. I absolutely love it. How cool and gorgeous is that reconstructed trench coat dress? I cannot wait to try these on. Suffice it to say, my next dress purchase will be from there. I was also very impressed by the store design. I took this photo (directly above) of the huge wall of old sewing machines. The space had a rough-hewn antique industrial feel to it that was very well considered and gorgeous. Go see it for yourself.
I have below, the final waterfall necklaces this spring/summer season. I can't guarantee that I'll be getting more of these in the future. The colors I have available are the only ones shown here (quantities also indicated below). I wasn't able to get other requested colors following my previous post, unfortunately.
8-layer necklace: $50
2 - red
1 - black
3-layer necklace: $35
1 - red
1 - orange
1 - gold
tribal necklace with bells: $35
(I have a few of these)
I accept cash or Paypal only and can ship anywhere. First come, first served.
For those new to my blog, you may not be familiar with these tribal necklaces. I thought it would be a great time to (re)introduce them for spring. They are hand made by the T'boli tribal women in the Philippines – the longer ones take up to two weeks to complete. It's made of tiny beads and stitched together with thread. I'm loving the whole tribal chic trend that is still very hot this year. This is the real deal. Every time I wear mine (esp. the 8-layer version) I get stopped, I get comments. Both my sisters (my models below) will tell you the same thing.
Please let me know if you're interested! I take payments via Paypal and I can ship anywhere (shipping fees vary).
Long (8-layer) $50
Tribal pattern with bells $35
Short (3-layer) $35
The colors shown are what I have at the moment. I may be able to get more but not for at least a month. I also have a chocolate brown one in the long (8-layer) version available as well. I will sell at a first come, first serve basis. Note: since these are handmade, there are slight differences between each necklace. I am taking color requests for my next shipment ASAP. The tribal ladies make what they want to make – I have no say in the matter ;) So hopefully I can get it for you. View some of the colors that I've sold in the past here.
**UPDATE** I'm sold out of the yellow 8-layer necklaces and I have a red one coming. The other colors are still available. First come, first served.
Questions/orders? Email me here: myturtleneck [at] yahoo.com
The arrival of spring brings me endless inspiration. It's sunny outside and New York is looking oh so stylish again after the desire for style took a nap following multiple grey, snowy episodes. For the first time in many months, I'm wearing one of my safari shirt dresses (with worn-in boots –sans tights)! I couldn't be happier. Below are two things to start me off:
How great is this Twosome ring by Erica Anenberg? I scored it via the waitlist on Gilt Groupe on a barely legal discount. It's my new badass-meets-lady ring. I love contradictions.