Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fashion Advice from Hindy Weber-Tonoco (c) The Philippine Times

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something butch. That’s how things will be looking on the sidewalks in major cities around the world. What’s a young, fun-loving, style lover to do when the global recession hits hard and your parents cut back on your allowance and tell you to get a job or two? They get on with it, that’s what. And there is no way they’re going to look blah doing it. In fact, they will work the look to the hilt so intensely that the design despots of the world will take notice and make their own amped-up, designer versions worth buckets of cash. The irony would disgust me if I were not so used to it being the way of the fashion world. Chanel did it, Poiret, Galliano, Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Stella McCartney, and the king of street-style, Marc Jacobs. It’s all just one big blender of a fashion world. It is what it is. What separates the brilliant designers from the street-moochers is the ability to create something so good that the kids on the street, in turn, will clamor for it — creating a new trend altogether. The cycle is complete.

You will notice, most of these photos depict real people usually under the age of 25 and they’re using cheap, thrift-store, vintage items they either bought second-hand or from a high-street retailer, dug up from their aunt’s attic or, heaven forbid, stolen from a friend. We are not talking about high fashion trends seen on the runways or music videos, so don’t expect to see any ritzy baubles, six-inch skyscraper heels, fancy body-con dresses or any “It” whatsoever. Most styles exude a used, grungy, ‘80s/’90s aesthetic with a tomboy touch.

1. Style remix

This is a look that’s hard to pin down as there’s usually a heck of a lot going on. It’s all about combining multiple trends and themes from different eras. Hot trends from past seasons are recycled with newer items from the neighborhood mall, eBay, flea market heaps, and DIY accessories. Expect the unexpected. Think ‘70s hippie chick meets ‘20s flapper girl, ‘90s grunge with ‘80s glam and a whole lot of other stuff peppered in between. I think it’s fantastic because these are looks that are very difficult to replicate on magazines or TV or anyone else for that matter. It has to be just you — no editors or stylists to say what’s hot or what’s not.

2. Take out the trash

Highly influenced by the ‘90s grunge era and punk, this is a trend that makes you look like, well, crap. It’s a just-rolled-out-of-bed-still-reeling from-last night’s-narcotics look. Think exposed underwear, literally dirty hair, extremely oversized or extremely undersized clothing, heavy eyeliner or no makeup at all. Somehow some people manage to pull it off — they could actually vie for a spot on the The Sartorialist, although that’s likely going to make them want to hurl. Almost all items are vintage or thrift store-bought. What is Recession Chic? You’re lookin’ at it.

3. Print buffet

What’s on the menu? Uh, everything. Laura Ashley-esque ditsy florals, gypsy patterns, Americana and folkloric prints, Op Art graphic elements, photorealistic images and even holograms. It covers the spectrum from the florals from the early ‘50s all the way into the future of high-tech electronic printing techniques.

4. Color theory

This is a trend that is going to be super strong for next summer. Pair two brightly colored elements together — like a cardigan and sunglasses, a vest and jeans, a shirt and a jacket. It’s finding two contrasting but complementary colors that can give your outfit instant zing. Yellow will be everywhere, as well as various shades of blue, purple, lime and pink.

5. Can I take your coat?

2009 was a strong year for jackets as it ushered in the padded shoulder blazer and the oversized boyfriend jacket. Come to think of it, we should call 2009 the Boyfriend year. Boyfriend jeans, boyfriend jacket, boyfriend sneakers, vampire boyfriends. What you’ll be seeing on the streets will be rehashed styles, not the high-fashion sequined Balmain babies, although for sure there’ll be hordes of knockoffs. For 2010, it’s more like Molly Ringwald meets James Spader meets Miami Vice meets Sheena E. WTF??

6. Crowning glory

Whatever your look, something, anything, must cap it off — literally. Look out for old-school hip-hop or Beastie Boy caps, panama hats, wool fedoras, scarves, headbands, feathers and beads, bowler hats. And if that’s not your cup of tea, there’s always a punked-out ‘do or dark roots to keep things very “now.” You can also channel Nicole Richie and go for a “headlace” or “headlet” — those thingamajigs she wears on her head.

7. Check mate

This checkered fabric originated in Scotland where it is known as tartan. We call it plaid everywhere else. Tartan patterns were used on Scottish kilts to identify the various clans. It went mainstream in the ‘50s and never really left since. It has its down seasons but somehow, this nifty little fabric finds its way back into our hearts. I just got two button-downs at The Gap. Whoopeee! They make me look totally chill and laid-back, but secretly, I know I’m feeding my inner punk.

8. Nouveau denim

Time to store that designer bootcut because there’s a new jean in town. And it’s got cheap and retro written all over it. Boyfriend jeans and the Skinny Brit are the staples for 2010. Thrift-store styles like super-faded Western denim jackets and Daisy Duke hot pants are popular among the under-25s. These are styles you’ll most likely find at your local ukay-ukay, so time to plan that Baguio trip. Just try to get used to the high-waist all over again. High-stretch denim jeans, popularly known as jeggings, will also be a key look — I think I might buy me a pastel pink!

9. Bad-a-sling!

Looks like the season for all things ‘80s and ‘90s. These are bags you might remember during the early ’80s to early ‘90s. Ralph Lauren even had its own preppy version. These are easy-going bags that look better with age so grab those ukay-ukay shovels and dig in, kids. You’ll likely find a lot of good “gently used” versions. Drawstring satchels and bumbags (before they were called sling bags) are the key styles.

10. Lace-ups and huaraches

Ratty-looking men’s oxfords are already hitting the scene, and we’ll be seeing more of these in ‘10. Seventies style huarache leather sandals are also a key look. I predict Marc Jacobs or Chloe will come up with a high-heeled, stacked version.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Get me to the Art Deco in time

We're not in Kansas anymore, we're in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to view the brick St. Paul's United Methodist Church designed by Louis Sullivan. Note the round auditorium. Oklahoma architect Bruce Goff was partially responsible for the Tulsa Methodist which "one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical Art Deco in the United States." It also has a round auditorium. Goff was a correspondent with Sullivan and a friend of Frank Lloyd Wright, but definitely his own person. You will want to purchase photographs of Goff's buildings from this dashing photographer's site.

Here is Bruce Goff and some of his buildings. Let's hope one of his extant buildings makes it into the next Wes Anderson Movie.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Virutal tour of the Nest country

Here you'll find a virtual tour of the aforementioned Nest retreat.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nest Magazine

I have it on good authority that architect Phillip Johnson hated landscaping and plants. You only have to sit in the outdoor plaza of the Sony "Chippendale" Building in New York (formerly the AT&T building) in the uncomfortable, cast-iron-like, ice cream-shoppe-style love seats to feel absolutely unwelcome. Not a plant or tree in sight.

Then, there is his mirrored silo at 101 California in San Francisco's financial district. The building rests on chi-leaking stilts. Its outdoor plaza opens California to Market Street, violating the historical layout of San Francisco, and leaking a buttload of chi. There are ziggurats for brown-baggers to sit on during lunch, but now a series of giant planter pots have been added so there are few spots to enjoy a juicy tuna fish sandwich.

Kevin Killian wrote an article for Nest about the interior of Johnson and his husband's getaway in Big Sur. Only Killian would reference Karen Valentine in an architectural review! I am not worthy. Nest was great not only because of the articles, but every issue featured a new way of dealing with the paper of the magazine itself. Wavy die cuts or in the example here, holes drilled through the mag itself, which upset the advertisers. Spoilsports! I believe Matthew Stadler was the editor and here is an interesting article about Nest's founder's country house. I love double possessives!