Sunday, June 30, 2013

Shop Update: Sweet and Lowdown

... just updated the shop with a few darling dresses (including the most dreamy 30s number) and a few accessories.

Also, this is probably the first update I'm doing without a photographer! I almost feel like the tripod+self timer system works almost better than trying to explain someone else what you want... Or maybe you're just more ready to take your pose and there's less exposure/focus fiddling.

I'm pretty happy with the results and the succulents/shellac decor. What do you think?


Friday, June 28, 2013

Film&Fashion Fridays: Isidore Isou's Traite de bave et d'eternite

I know, I know: first of all, one might argue it's not Friday anymore. And I say ''it's sure Friday somewhere''. It's Friday night, so that still makes it Friday in my book. So why am I blogging this late? Maybe because I've spent the whole day in school and I'm still in work mode. Or maybe this could be a scheduled post, who can tell?

Ok, enough mind games and mysteries.

I must open with my confessed shame that I only managed to see this movie recently, even though I've known about it for years; the more shameful part is that Isidore Isou was Romanian, so this isn't just a staple of experimental cinema (a textbook classic), but also an important piece of my culture. Which unfortunately is widely neglected by our school system. I wish I had more Lettrism and less heavy-handed peasant drama sagas (my compatriots know who I'm talking about; heck, I don't even know as there's so much of it in our syllabus!).

He was a Jewish expat in Paris after all, so no wonder he's being a little neglected. Tristan Tzara is equally unpopular in his home country, as well. But this is a completely different story.

So, back to the movie- Stan Brackhage openly declared that he's been inspired by this movie to do his signature painted on films; they basically invent modern vocal improv and there's a fair amount of killer '50s suits. What more can you ask for?

The entire movie is a long rant/manifesto on cinema,revolution and poetry, but despite this brash, abrasive discourse, it boils down to a series of sad and intense love stories. While trying to shake cinema out of its rules (and cliches), Isou masterfully conceives one of the most vibrant portraits of Saint Germain des Pres in the early '50s, when it was still the stomping ground of writers, jazz lovers and students and not the disgusting rich boutique neighborhood it is today. Oh, and basically invents experimental cinema.

Well, not really, but utilizes some of its techniques that would later on become definiting elements of the movement such as found footage, synchronized sound ( probably the only one picked up in actual cinema by the Nouvelle Vague) and scratched/painted on film.

And, most importantly, emphasizing that cinema should work with the the actual film stock, not the image. It's pellicule in French, so that makes it a little bit clearer. Funny thing is that this will eventually become the core belief of many experimental filmmakers, not actual cinema people. After all, not every innovator ends up revolutionizing its own domain, but rather creating new ones, right?

I know I've been postponing watching this because now I'm spoiled and prefer watching experimental films in a cinema, but RE:voir released a very nice DVD that's totally worth buying/checking out of your library.

And why would I want to sit through the whole two hours again? I won't spoil it for you, but there's an amazing scene of Lettrist poetry reading over abstract squiggly lines and shapes, the most bizarre military footage, a Jean Cocteau cameo and of course all that '50s Paris street style.

And because the title roughly translates as Treaty of Spit and Eternity. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Daily Lounge ep.4 : tattered lace, 30s nightgowns and bartering

The Daily Lounge is a series of anti-outfit posts featuring pajamas and other ''around the house'' wear. You can read how it all started and its ''manifesto'' here.

I know I originally started this column as a sort of critique of all the cutesy over- Photoshopped editorial-looking outfit posts that seem to be the very essence of fashion blogging, in order to propose a funny, less flattering and more down to earth alternative.

In the end I feel like a total cheater, as I just seem to be parading my silk slips and fun vintage pjs. I mean...I was doing it all for the sweatpants and torn leggings after all! And those huge tops that cover your derriere but are still slightly outrageous to wear out of the house.

I think that's one of the reasons everyone likes Girls so much - because it transpires that sense of authenticity. Remember Hannah and her XXL tee at the end of last season? I mean...that's exactly how I look most of the time and especially during exam period! Attempted haircut, ice cream eating and procrastinating included.

Long story short, I do have a soft spot for vintage slips and fancy night things... When it finally started getting warmer (I still sleep with the winter eiderdown comforter), I knew I had to dig this beauty out.

I'm not sure about its' age, but I have a feeling it might be pretty old, like from the 30s old. Given the bias cut, the soft peach silk like texture (probably rayon), the scalloped sleeves and intricate lace inserts, I would very much like to think I'm right.

I got this last year at the Montreuil flea market with my friend Mandana, right at the point where everyone was packing to call it a day. It had a few stains and numerous breaks in the lace but it was just so pretty! The guy was asking 5 euros for it, but we only had a couple of change left, a little under 2 euros. In the end he gave in and let me have it for about 1.70! I knew the ''I only have this much money left'' works most of the time at the flea market, but not to such extent.

My negotiating skills are usually pretty bad, almost as bad as those displayed in that iconic Monty Python scene from Life of Brian.

Conclusion? I need to learn how to haggle from my fierce Iranian friend!

I ended up cutting away all the delicate organdy part of the lace that was shattered and most of the stains went away. It's still a pretty darn decadent piece!

I'm also preparing a little shop update this Sunday, stay tuned!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Seven Year Itch dress is finally in the shop!

... I know it totally took me a while, but this little twirly beauty is finally online. Get it HERE!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Latest inspiration : Willow Knows SS13 Lookbook

There's been a lot of talk around the blogosphere about silk and hand dyed fashions; just think about such collections floating around this season such as Ilana Kohn, Dusen Dusen, Ingrid Starnes, Wren, Collina Strada and even Blooming Leopold's shibori bamboo rayon dresses. Not to mention the daily treats over at the No6 blog.

Silk is such a classic that has enough selling power in itself that you'd think it wouldn't need much promo to get in on it. Frankly, I believe there's been a strong silk revival over the past 2-3 years. Along with the whole sustainable/timeless chic trend, people seem to want to invest more and more in silk basics (Equipment shirts, anyone?), as well as contemporary items in amazing prints and somewhat loose shapes. The rise of geometric patterns and digital printing has also contributed to this renewed interest.

But enough blabber for now; after seeing this image on Pinterest, I knew right away I wanted to see the full collection.

I mean...painted brick NY loft, yoga poses AND hand dyed silk? Did I already mentioned all the models were barefoot? (I totally LOVE this barefoot look books trend this season)

There isn't much info about this collection, other that it's based in Virginia and designer Jessica Lee hand-dyes each piece. It looks pretty amazing for a first collection, don't you think?

And of course all this will send me on another crazed Etsy silk dress search...Have you noticed how all the prices have sky rocketed in that category lately? I need to go thrifting more often.

All images via willow knows.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Film&Fashion Fridays: Female Convict Scorpion Jailhouse 41

...with the crazy rain/shine weather we've been having lately, all i can think about are trench coats and big hats.

And what better inspiration for this look than the iconic revenge-driven Meiko Kaji in the 1970s exploitation trilogy Female Convict Scorpion?

I only saw the second installment of the story, Jailhouse 41, as part of a Toei Studios retrospective at the Cinematheque two years ago.

It was a beautifully restored pristine 35mm print with crazy colors in cinemascope with eerie music. But the musical score is definitely not the most bizarre part of the film : following a jailbreak, a group a women find themselves in an abandoned village populated by ghosts, witches and evil spirits.

It's a horror/pinku/sexploitation flick that's visually stunning and very entertaining; of course, there's a group rape, a crucifixion and a healthy dose of blood as in any other exploitation movie, but this one makes some twisted and brave points for female empowerment and the violence against women.

I'm not the biggest gore/thriller fan and this film is pretty mild, while crude. The surreal imagery and saturated frames make for a stunning visual trip.

And then the clothes! My absolute favorite must be Scorpion's typical 70s badass trench+floppy hat get up at the end of the movie, but I'm also smitten with the inmates' uniforms (I mean navy shift dresses with tie dye stripes?? please and thank you!) and the creative use of grey draping blankets as coats. It almost feels like a distilled cross between Isabel Marant x Gareth Pugh x Hussein Chalayan.

...if all this didn't convince you, might I add that it inspired Tarantino's Kill Bill?  Then again, the same thing could arguably be said about any Japanese exploitation flick...

 Have a great weekend everyone!