Posts tagged ‘fashion’

March 4, 2011

The 100: #5 Ballet Flats

I was on a mission last week. In a dark movie theatre, I accidentally spilled a full bag of buttery popcorn all over my tride-and-true brown suede flats. Fake butter + suede = an absolutely ruined pair of shoes. (And I think Jon was more distraught over the loss of the popcorn.) I tried to wear them a few more times, but they just weren’t the same after that disaster. So armed with Nina Garcia’s The One Hundred, I decided to replace them with a pair of killer ballet flats.

But first, a history lesson: the ballet flat has been around since at least the 16th century. It went out of fashion when Catherine de Medici requested her cobbler add two inches to her wedding shoes…smart woman!

But some of Hollywood’s famous faces brought the shoes back to the masses. When Brigitte Bardot signed on for And God Created Woman in 1956, she asked Rose Repetto, a pointe shoe maker in Paris, to create a pair of flats to wear in the movie. Then, a year later, Audrey Hepburn wore a pair with skinny jeans in Funny Face. Another smart woman. Fifty years later, I’m blogging about them.

After learning about Repetto, the classic French original, I desperately wanted a pair. But $260 price seemed a little steep, and the most affordable pair I could find was at Yoox for $139…but they were sold out. Which is a shame, because look at these!

Repetto ballet flats

And no wonder they’re so pricey–check out this amazing video of how they set up Repetto’s window display in Paris (thanks to Daniella at Dress Design Decor for sharing!).

J. Crew also offers a ton of modern versions in every color imaginable. I love the poms, bows, and detailing on the vamp (aka the part of the shoe where your toes go).

J.Crew ballet flats

And of course, I’d die for a pair of Chanel flats. Can I borrow $700 from you?

Classic Chanel flats

Well, I decided to go for a more affordable version of the ballet flat. I poked around at Nine West and found a pair on clearance for $20. Sold! (And they’re sold out now, but you can buy a similar pair for $44.) They aren’t nearly as unique as the Repetto or Chanel versions, but they get the job done. Dontcha think?

Black ballet flats

What about you? Are you classic black flat girl? Or do you go out in red ones with poms? Or floral prints?

February 5, 2011

Have you seen Downton Abbey yet?


I heard a lot of buzz about this show on NPR and in Entertainment Weekly before I even knew what it was. After a little research, I discovered you could watch all four episodes of the Masterpiece Classic  miniseries on PBS (or even buy the dvd, which we did after watching the online versions). And holy crap, it’s AMAZING. Set in the lead up to World War I, Downton Abbey shows you just how backward the world of English aristocracy was (is?) and the strange dynamic between family and servant (not unlike Gosford Park, but Downton Abbey has done a better job developing the characters). It’s the start of the modern world, although many of the characters try to resist that: while the youngest daughter sneaks out to go to rallies in harem pants and supports women’s suffrage, the family is too scared to use their first telephone, and one of the servants refuses to use the electric lights. I love the way change looms over this life and no one knows quite what to do about it.

But maybe the reason I’ve been obsessed with this show for the past week is the costumes. Yes, I would wear every one of them every day if I could! It’s impossible to not be inspired by the elegance of these ladies’ wardrobes.

1912 fashion: Downton Abbey

Photo By Nick Briggs/Picture Desk

I’m mostly smitten with this one particular dress. No doubt about it, either I’m going to make this myself or hire a seamstress (which might be the best way to go because hemming chiffon scares me):

1912 Edwardian fashion dress: Downton Abbey

Photo By Nick Briggs/Picture Desk

This Edwardian look falls in between corsets with bustles and slanky flapper dresses (which means women with hips can actually wear these dresses!) Are you as enamored with these looks as I am? I wouldn’t mind “dressing for dinner”…I just need more gowns.

October 26, 2010

I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of fashion sketches

Fashion Sketch

New York Magazine loves them too! They’ve posted a slideshow of some famous works of art in the fashion world that will be making an appearance in Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton (coming out next month).  He’s got some of the greats tucked in here; everything from 19th century portraitist Giovanni Boldini to Andy Warhol and even Downton’s own work. How sweet is that?

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September 6, 2010

Beauty is everywhere.

And although we’re barraged  with an obscene amount of catalogs we never requested/wanted/heard of (seriously, it’s out of control), the Anthropologie catalog always puts a smile on my face. Not just because I love the clothes (although lately they’ve looked cheap and scratchy), but because they travel around the world for great photography.

When my little sister and I were kids, we’d stand in front of the mirror in the bathroom (getting ready for school or brushing our teeth, whatever) and shout, “Delia’s!” and strike a pose we’d seen from the Delia’s catalog. I couldn’t find a photo of our favorite pose, but we liked this one too:

Thank goodness catalogs have evolved since then! Now I get to see things like this come out of my mailbox:

Stunning, isn’t it? Sooo much nicer than those Delia’s catalogs of the 90s, which were usually shot in a studio. But the one thing that kills me is Anthro doesn’t print any info on their shooting locations in their magazines. Why not?! So I started googling.

According to, this photo was shot at a ranch just outside Buenos Aires in Argentina. And not just any ranch–the home of Juan Martín Zavaleta, one of the country’s top polo players. “He was kind enough to let us use [his trophies] and to treat them rather irreverently,” creative director Trevor Lunn told StyleList.

Knowing this makes me fall in love with Anthropologie even more. It just adds something to the photos. I think I’ll keep tabs on Anthro photo shoot locations from now on, so check back next time you get a catalog in the mail!

I’ll leave you with one more photo from this month’s Anthropologie catalog, and this one proves that you don’t have to go far from home to get a great shot. This one was taken on the street in Brooklyn:

Beauty really is everywhere.

August 2, 2010

Oh J. Crew…

Why couldn’t you have had this collection of wedding gowns a year ago? I would have snatched this one up in an instant:

Get a sneak peek at the rest of the Fall 2010 collection at J. Crew’s lookbook.