Monthly Archives: October 2010

Decolust

I just received my first subscription issue of Elle Deco and fell in love with the spread they did on designer Jean-Christophe Aumas‘ Parisian apartment. Aumas is the creative eye behind shop window displays for the likes of Galliano, Chloe, Kenzo and Hermes, so it is no surprise that his home is a dischordant symphony of angles, colour and nostalgia. I especially love the geometric light fittings throughout the apartment, the Rolling Stones Andy Warhol inspired cushion, the classic fireplace and the jubilant use of colour!

For more colour inspiration and local love, follow the Elle Deco blog, or subscribe like I do. It’s well worth it!

Girl Friday: Eva Fontanelli

In honour of Halloween weekend and all that is dress up, excess and fun, my Girl Friday for the 29th of October is Eva Fontanelli, Editor of Elle Italia, fashion muse and contessa of irreverence and quirk.

My research turned up absolutely no biographical information on Eva, which is quite fitting, seeing as Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist) didn’t even know who he was shooting when he fell in love with her style on the streets of Milan. The darling of playful, tongue-in-cheek detailing, Eva is easily recognised by her penchant for oversized bows, offbeat additions and gamine-chic style.

With a serious thing for oversized accessories myself, Eva is one of my favourite style muses. She’s a huge fan of both Moschino Cheap & Chic, as well as Italian brand, Vivetta, both of which make me quite emotional. I’ve been dying to blog about Vivetta, but it seemed fitting to wait for the right time so that Eva could play her pretty part.

Founded by designer Vivi Ponti in 2008, Vivetta is one of those labels that does that thing I so often try to explain but struggle to encapsulate: it references moments, stories and eras in a way that is at once ironic, playful and deadly serious. It is that thing that happens when the line of garment tells an entire narrative.

When I first saw this velvet, dropped waist skeleton dress I had tears in my eyes. And that’s not an exaggeration. It, along with the rest of the range, is literally perfect for me. Friends will testify to my taste for skulls and skeletons. I just find them beautiful. And her use of velvet, bows, monotone contrasts, and girlish cuts with exaggerated detailing… it all speaks to my heart.

I have calculated that I could actually afford one of her velvet dresses, having spent a similar amount in rands at Country Road and Mango a couple of times. My father would say: ‘Marry rich, my girl.’ Usually I would retort something about sisters are doin’ it for themselves, girls in power suits etc, but, for the sake of conversation…

Potential suitors email pessimiss@gmail.com
Must understand penchant for skulls and vampires and love loud music / live music. And cheese.

The best things in life are free

At least that’s what they say. I, like many others, love the Flying Lizard’s song that sings the tune of this maxim, but have always had personal reservations about things that are, well, for free. What are these things? Love, kisses, sex, freedom, hugs, happiness? The movies teach us that while these things are technically “free”, they often come at a price, whether it be emotional or ethical. The things that I am talking about, though, are what my friend Gisela calls “kakkies” – the things that no one really wants – lanyards, pens, Tshirts, caps, bookmarks and other, well, kak. For me, while these things are technically free, there is an implied physical cost: how do I dispose of this in a useful way that doesn’t make me feel guilty / ungrateful / like I am a yuppie sap that is contributing to unnecessary landfill usage. Ouch.

I think it has something to do with the fact that these freebies are so profuse – there are simply so many. As with many things in the world, rarity implies worth. Finding someone that really gets you, or understands all your otherwise intolerable ticks; finding a pair of jeans that are not covered in spangles and glitter with stitching all over the arse; finding a parking in Cape Town that doesn’t cost you R 4.50 for 30 minutes; or meeting someone in a truly unusual space and time that surely implies fate. All rare and valuable things.

My brother is a disciple of the freebie and tells me time and time again that the best things in life are free. He practically stockpiles them. If the freebie was a Tshirt with Barbra Streisand’s face on it, he’d find a use for it; if there were free shots of Vim Coco being doled out, he’d be first in line, even though it’s what adolescent nagmerries are made of and he knows it all too well. Whenever I ask him why he loves freebies so much he gets this silly grin on his face, shakes his head and says he doesn’t know, but ‘the best things in life are free’. I find it very amusing. It’s almost as if freebies are an emblem of simplicity to him. I, on the other hand, have this unfortunate middle class affliction where I prefer to pay for things, even if I could probably get them either cheaper or for free. The increase in price implies value, to me. This probably means I am being ripped off left, right and centre, especially when coupled with my natural (often embarrassing) gullibility.

Once again, the phenomenon can be traced back to my dear mom, who has told me since I was a child that she doesn’t like shopping on sale, because “it’s all the crap that gets left behind”. I am subsequently of the same mindset. I generally only buy on sale from places where even I will complain that the sale price doesn’t really make it cheap in any case. It’s a vicious cycle.

It’s the same when I look at the fashion spreads in Elle and Vogue. I subconsciously choose my favourite thing on the page and it is invariably the Nina Roche ballet flats, or the Democratic Republic dress that I have my eye on. Expensive taste. And I don’t like freebies. My saving grace is, well, saving, and vintage, because at least the rarity of each piece implies years of value, but at a lower price. It’s my answer in times of crisis. And it restores my faith in the notion that things can be truly one-off and destined for you, without having been hand stitched by Malcolm Kluk himself. In this sense, I actually can do freebies, because vintage hand-me-downs have a way of representing such rarity and fatefulness that it’s almost mythological. This dress… was meant… for me! Such is the case with my Rolling Stones Tshirt (pictured in the previous post), which my friend Leah found lying in her driveway last Summer. Literally. It had obviously blown off of someone’s clothes line, and with the owner out of sight, she kept it. Through a happy twist of fate and a little bargaining, it became mine. For free!

Maybe it also has something to with the sheer ease of freeness. I think it bothers me that there is no sacrifice involved, no hard work, crafty thought or careful planning done in order to secure that one, spectacular thing. I enjoy the delicious pain of finding a way to get my hands on something that resists me, either because it is way out of my price range, or is only available in Scandinavia. It’s the chase that does it!

Somehow, this makes me feel a little better about myself.

Interpol, Lights

I’m obsessed. It’s not unusual, because I became obsessed with their previous two albums, too. There is simply something so cultish about their sound; it slips into my veins and stays there. And it never gets old.

Every evening since I first got the new album, I have lain on my back, barely comatose and let the ominous, hypnotic sleaze of this song boom into my life.

Best listened to LOUD. Lie down on the floor, close your eyes, and let the darkness sleek into the narrowness of your veins.

And then go out and buy the album. Interpol, by Interpol.

Simple.

The Debut

I spent all day today in my brand spanking new Woolworths ruby lovers… Yeah! And I loved it.

I got reverent sighs from the girls and double takes from the boys, and the little blisters that the day produced were well worth it. I paired the rubies with my old faithful Rolling Stones Tshirt (hated by many, loved by me), a vintage full pleated evening skirt, a black sequinned head piece and a black Country Road mini cardi to keep the chills out. I’ve already started planning their second appearance, this time with Alexa-esque frayed denim shorts and a vintage silk blouse.

Can’t wait.

An aside

I spotted this picture on The Sartorialist and just had to post it, in the wake of my recent sock / heels experiment. Doesn’t she look chic – a great mix of gothic and feminine, hard and soft – with the frayed hemline, subtle lace detailing and edgily cut away sleeve?

Also go and have a look at Scott’s shots of Garance Dore, too. Her shoes! And those creme caramel leather pants!

In other news, I am debuting my ruby red babies today, which have had girls in the office sighing all day. A friend told me that they are ‘so sexy they’re almost pornographic’. Hmmm… mission accomplished? It is, after all, a love or rather, a lust affair.

Pics to follow later.

 

Tuesday’s Muse: Tim Kindler

I really love these images taken by Australian photographer Tim Kindler backstage at Paris fashion week.
How beautiful is this pleated Chanel frock – how perfect the contrast between day-glo prettiness, the delicate peek of tattoo and the pastel pink fingerless gloves? The Balmain studded leather jacket makes me want to lie down in an attic with my cheek against its cool collar and purr contentedly. And the line of those oh-so-low backed Lanvin dresses…
Tuesday’s muse, indeed.

* Images courtesy of Style Me Romy