Sunday, May 31, 2009

A walk through the park

Yesterday I went up to Harlem to Sylvia's, quite possibly the best soul food outside of the South! I've been dreaming of eating chicken and waffles for about a year now, which is exactly how often I let myself eat that kind of thing. But yesterday, victory was mine. I didn't even finish my food but was still so stuffed that when my friend suggested a long walk through the park to burn some off I gladly obliged! The weather was perfect, and the park was so beautiful that I had to have some pictures.

Shirt: American Apparel
Skirt: Thrifted
Tooled leather bag: Vintage
Gladiators: Dolce Vita via Mini Mini Market

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Fashion, I am bound to you.


Dear Fashion,

I found myself unable to tear my eyes away from the editorial above from French Vogue above today, and it made me think.

We live in a world that despite modernization combined with the dissemination of knowledge and globalization, largely still treats women as property and second-class citizens. Human trafficking and domestic violence are still alive and well in our own country and all over the world.

It is no big secret that advertising in your world is geared primarily towards women. So why is it that the you persist in advertising your products through imagery, subtle or overt, saturated with undertones of bondage, domination, submission and hypersexualization? Are you just hell-bent on subjugating the entire sex?

No, you are just hell-bent on selling, and you would not repeat yourself if it didn’t work. So why does it work, and why I am strangely ok with and attracted to advertisements with underlying themes like the one above?

I feel that when themes of bondage and submission manifest themselves in the form of a glossy and deliberate image in a fashion editorial, they are subversive and transformative in ways we might not consider at first glance. Ultimately, the model takes away power from the gazer because she leaves them in an untenable state of longing or cathexis. A hypersexualized, well-lit fantasy world in which a beautiful woman can be dominated is created and yet it is not. It is artifice, it is deception, and it is perfectly acceptable because as a sane admirer, we ultimately understand that these images have been simulated and that nobody was actually harmed or forced to take these pictures.

I think that images like these let us get lost in our deep-seated, guilty attractions to violence and vanity, and I think that’s why we love them so much. These visually stimulating fantasy worlds allow us to vicariously explore unacceptable desire without actually becoming sadomasochists, and we are so gratified by the transformative experience it provides that it makes us buy unnecessary shoes and handbags.

So cheers to you, fashion for understanding our needs and exploiting them solely for the purpose of getting at my purse. It works so well, and I love you all the better for it.

Yours Always,


Monday, May 25, 2009

Ellis Island

My mom finally came into town and we made the trek over to Ellis Island. My mother's Sicilian family passed through there when coming to America before settling in Brooklyn, so we thought it would be fun to go try and look up names in the registry. I'd been to Ellis Island once before, and was really impressed by the collection of artifacts that once belonged to people from all over the world that passed through.

Most of these items were donated either by the person themselves or by the family. Although a lot of the good linens and photos were away for conservations, I still managed to get some decent photos of some of the beautiful handmade things from the old country. Below are some of my favorites, and also an outfit I put together inspired by all the gorgeous things I saw.




Camisole: Forever 21
Skirt: Vintage
Bag: 1920's vintage
Boots: Boutique 59
Jewelry: Vintage

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Collector's Collection

I have been meaning to talk about the most epic estate sale of all times for the last few weeks. I found myself so overwhelmed with all the good things I found that I have not even done a post! I am actually going to keep adding pictures to this post as I take them because these are just a few snippets of the things I found.

The ad for this sale promised tons of vintage clothes, purses, and jewelry but the sale was really out of the way. Four times a year a local church does a tag sale that usually yields good treasure so I was really excited for that one and decided to go to it first because it was so close. Being carless in Queens is quite a challenge sometimes! After finding absolutely nothing, I decided to get a cab to the other place because I could not get it out of my head. I got the address wrong, and ended up having to walk in the rain for 30 minutes to get there. But when I walked through the doors, I practically had a heart attack.

This house. literally, had not had anything removed from it in at least 40-50 years. The woman must have been the most unapologetic shopaholic on the planet! There were purses with tags still on right out of the 40s and 50s, and a pile of vintage clothing about 6 feet high in the center of the bedroom. Oh, did I mention the eight closets full of it too? Or how about the sewing room filled with boxes to the ceiling stuffed with lace, beads, appliques, trim, feathers, fabric still on the bolt... I just nearly died, and honestly it still haunts me that I could not drag home more than the 60 pound that I filled. Anyways, I kept a few nice things for myself, but the rest must go on Etsy because my boyfriend is ready to throw me and my gazillion purses out on the curb. They are covering nearly every spare flat surface in the house. What he doesn't know is there is a huge stash of stuff under the bed. Well, he does; but I think he would be amazed at just how much I've managed to stuff there!

Here are a few of my favorite things, some are listed and some I have not had the chance yet so check back soon:


Monday, May 18, 2009

Never too sick for an outfit post!

So this morning I woke up with swollen lymph nodes and a sore throat and my I thought I would spare my co-workers my nasty germs so I stayed home. Maybe I have swine flu? Who knows, going in for a few tests later. Well, I already had my coffee which means I will be awake for the rest of the day, so I decided to do an outfit post while getting dressed since I never ever have time in the morning.

Anyways, these are some of my favorite things I own right now and I thought I would share since I don't do enough outfit posts. That's my living room in case you were wondering, with some of my artwork on the walls (not the Pollock though, hah!) I think my favorite thing in the pictures is that cherry red suitcase I got at a Brooklyn junk shop for 15 bucks. It was never even used, and in perfect condition until my chihuahua chewed the front strap. Oh well, I guess you can't tell.

Dress: Vintage, Beacon's Closet
Purse: Vintage, Salvation Army (a really good find, it has lucite handles!)
Bracelet: J. Crew, present from best friend found in movie set shop in LA
Shoes: Nine West

Top: Forever 21
Shorts: Vintage 50's, Salvation Army
Necklace: Vintage, found at an estate sale
Shoes: Nine West

Top: Vintage, had it a million years!
Shorts: Forever 21
Shoes: Nine West
Bangles: Vintage

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm running away to join the circus

It seems that all I ever want to do these days is abandon all illusions of living a normal life and just go join the circus. The circus used to be a grand and lovely thing; but now Vegas and Barnum and Bailey have turned it into a dreadful, talentless gang of schmucks with no class. In a way, I kind of did run away to join the circus when I moved to New York. There are freaks aplenty here, that's for sure!

Here is the kind of circus that I wish still existed:


Images from top: vintage postcard with text edited by me, Merna Kennedy and Charlie Chaplin in "The Circus", a vest from my Etsy store that doesn't fit me, a contortionist found on this awesome Flickr photo stream, the best hat ever from Etsy, and a wonderful picture of a circus horse rider from Shorpy.