Thursday, November 29, 2012

Style Icon: Kelly & Lindsay from Freaks and Geeks

If you've spoken to me in the past few days (and possibly even if you haven't) you'll know that my latest TV obsession is Freaks and Geeks. While loafing around my apartment in my standard post-drunken stupor on Sunday, I stumbled upon it on Netflix and decided to check it out. While I consider myself to be a decently avid Judd Apatow fan, I had never seen the show before and all I can say is wow! I am so in love...and not just with how sexy young James Franco is. I can be something of a TV (okay, culture) snob, but I would easily place this show in my top ten. And I haven't even finished it yet. Why is it that all the best shows get cancelled after like two seasons? 

Anyway, I love Kim Kelly and Lindsay Weir's casual, borrowed-from-the-boys style aesthetic. Even though I sometimes feel I get along easier with guys, I have certainly never been able to mimic the cool, casual ease of tomboy style. I'm much more of a full makeup/pretty dress kinda girl, but that doesn't stop me from totally digging the way Kim and Lindsay pull off their oversized flannel shirts and relaxed-fit jeans. 

The other thing I've noticed is that fashion-wise they are both totally defined by their outerwear, which, like most girls, they rock everyday. A friend and I were recently having a conversation about the importance of coats. During the colder months, you will likely be wearing the same one or two coats everyday, to everything, all of the time. There's simply no escaping it. Coats are expensive and bulky, so unless they're like, your "thing" it's unlikely you own a ton of them. So it's important to have a coat (or two) that you like and that fit easily with your personality, lifestyle and wardrobe. 

Lindsay's oversized military jacket, a trend which has been going strong over the past few years, is a defining feature of her newfound rebelliousness - in one of the first episodes her little brother Sam asks her why she has suddenly started wearing her father's old jacket and hanging out with the "freaks", indicating that these two things happened simultaneously. Military jackets are like the equally badass cousin of the leather jacket, but unlike the leather jacket, which kicks everything up a notch, a military jacket adds a casual touch to an ensemble. They are versatile - they can be tomboyish like Lindsay's, badass when worn with black combat boots and leather skinnies, or even preppy when paired with a button down, ballet flats and white jeans. 

Casual chillin' in plaid shirt and military coat.

Kim's jacket, on the other hand, is a little more sporty. The slightly puffy bomber-style jacket screams late 70's in the best way possible. It's one of the nicer looking things she owns (she confesses to having switched the price tag on it with one for a much cheaper item) and provides a nice contrast to her baggy band tee's. Confession time: Kim Kelly is by far and away my favorite character. Maybe it's a blonde thing or maybe it's the fact that she reminds me a little bit of me in high school in that she's a bitch on the outside with a gushy candy center waiting not far below her chilly exterior. I think I'm also just a sucker for any female character that manages to be bold, brash and badass while still remaining hot. Fuck yeah Kim Kelly.

If Kim and My So Called Life's Rayanne Graff are to be trusted, apparently it was imperative to have funky hair braids in order to be a cool, tough girl in the 80's and 90's.

Amen, sistah!

A modern take on Lindsay's style. Combine all these elements and you'll have a look thats casually sexy, in a bit of a Free People catalogue kind of way.

Inspired by Kim's clothing. This look is edgy and carefree - perfect for hanging out in a basement watching your boyfriend's band butcher  Zeppelin.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chris Benz & Affordable Fashion

It's weird how sometimes you hear something about a designer that makes you want to have them in your closet, even if you aren't completely familiar with their clothes beforehand. Whether we like it or not, labels influence our purchases - whether it's Urban Outfitters or Chanel, every brand has an aesthetic and an ideology built around it and when we purchase a piece of clothing, we are buying into that and taking it on as our own.

Anyway, this morning I read this article about Chris Benz and I shit you not, it made me want to go out and buy a piece by him immediately. Maybe it's his description of the kind of girl he imagines wearing his label: “She’s a carefree, artsy girl who likes to have fun and forgets to pay her cellphone bill,” or perhaps it is his multiple references to Margot Tenenbaum (mention any Wes Anderson flick and I'm with you). But I think what really sold me on Benz is his commitment to making a label that is actually affordable to us bohemian goddesses who just so happen to not have huge trust funds lying around waiting to be squandered on designer wares. As the article outlines, he is basically taking his label from high-end "designer" status to the relatively more affordable "upper contemporary" level - meaning instead of pieces that retail in the $3,000 range, clothing will top out at around $1,200. And go as low as $120! Sure, that price is probably for like, a cotton T-shirt, but still. Progress, people. 

Margot, with cigarette

Tub chillin'. Even gorgeous, suicidal rich chicks do it.
Oh, god, that song. Nico + Margot = too amazing
The bottom line is that it's nice to see a designer who gets it that there are girls out there - a lot of girls, in fact - who want the designer look and name but simply cannot in their wildest dreams even imagine spending four figures on a blouse. At least, not today. It's a tricky balance between making art and making something that is wearable. I think a lot of designers don't want every girl walking down the street to be able to afford their pieces, because then it isn't special. But of course, we are living in an ever-evolving age of democratized everything, including fashion. I have to say I am a little tired of the endless H&M/Target collabs, because honestly, they feel overpriced for the quality, but a designer who genuinely wants to market his primary line to the women out there who are dying to wear it? Seems like a no-brainer to me. 

The sequins! Also this model totally reminds me of  Helena Bonham Carter in her Fight Club days.

Look one reminds me of a Scottish Christmas gone wrong. But looks 2 and 3 - count me in! From F/W '12
I'm on the ebay hunt for a pair of gloves exactly like these.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Introductions are awkward. Especially written ones. On the train over the past hour I was trying to play out in my head creative ways to open this blog - to give a sense of context, tone and background. But everything I thought of just sounded cheesy and forced. Which I guess introductions usually are, and that's probably why I hate them. I have something of an unfounded phobia of cheesiness. More on this later.

It's funny how when you meet someone in person, you get a feel for so many things about them before they even have a chance to open their mouths. It's the weird, little things - the way they tilt their head, how they hold their hands and arms, and of course, what they are wearing. I try not to think of clothes as something for someone else, but of course they are. We may dress for ourselves but it's everyone else who looks at us throughout the day.

A lot of people claim they like clothes because it allows them to express their inner selves to the outer world. We don't have a ton of control over what our physical shells look like - yeah, there's makeup, tattoos, hair dye and I guess plastic surgery, but for the most part, you kind of get what you get. Clothes provide a sense of control over our bodies, and thus, ourselves.

The reason I personally like clothes is the same reason I like music. It gives me a sense of control over time, which I often feel is my greatest enemy. Clothes give me something to build my memories around. I went to my first NYC sample sale a few weeks ago and bought a pair of outrageously beautiful Alexander Wang booties. They were a little more than I wanted to spend, but I convinced myself to buy them because I knew that five years from now I would look at them and remember my first few months in New York - along with having my first job, being fresh out of college and finally having my own money (albeit not very much).

So I guess that brings me to me. For some reason I'm very much in the habit of talking about school and being a recent grad whenever someone asks me about myself, which is weird, because it's basically me just fixating on something that happened in the past. I graduated last May with a double major in Art History and Media Studies. Somehow, miraculously, after a long summer of beating myself up for choosing such "impractical" majors, I landed a job as a social media assistant for an NYC-based arts publication. But I guess even though I've physically moved on, I'm still not like, "over" college, in the way that one might say they are over an ex. It's still just so fucking surreal to me that my childhood is gone once and for all and now I exist in this big bad world, along with everyone else.

I grew up in the DC area, so it's not like I had a sheltered upbringing or anything. In fact, if I think about it, it feels like the past seven or eight years of my life have been one long, drawn out rebellious phase. I guess what really gets me about life in the "real world" (barf) is that there is no foreseeable end. There's no graduation date. There's no schedule around which to plan my life that pretty much everyone else around me is also a part of. It's all me, from here on out.

And I think I want to be a fashion writer. I guess I always thought that but never really had the balls to admit it because come on - how many people make it doing that? But at my age, if you don't  at least give your wildest dreams a fair shot then you're cheating yourself. I never imagined anyone would actually pay me to do anything, and that happened, so you never know, right?

Anyway, part of my job is to promote the fashion content that the site I work for produces, so I spend a lot of time looking around at other fashion blogs and websites, not that I wouldn't anyway. And honestly? I'm really annoyed by a lot of what is out there. All these women with their perfect highlights and manicured nails and ridiculous handbags - yeah, they're beautiful and their outfits are fun to look at, but with that kind of money there would have to be something seriously wrong for you to not look good. But that isn't most people and it certainly isn't me. Don't get me wrong, I love fashion and I like looking good, but if it comes between staying home and fixing my stupid chipped nails and going out and raging with my friends, guess which one I would pick?

I'm hoping this blog will end up being a nice little mashup of personal style pictures, fashion articles and probably a lot of brain vom. Hopefully it will be juicy brain vom, though. And now that I've thoroughly disgusted you, keep on reading, please!