Thursday, June 25, 2009

beautiful things

a leaked image from Madonna's new campaign for Louis Vuitton

Lady Gaga's sparkler brassiere

Ruben Toledo's illustration for Pride and Prejudice

Anne Hathaway's White Queen makeup from Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland

a behind the scenes shot of Miranda Kerr for the Terry Richardson photographed 2010 Pirelli Calendar

photo by Miles Aldridge

Emma Watson for Burberry

another Miles Aldridge shot

the new trailer for The September Issue - love the use of the song "Destroy Everything You Touch" by Ladytron


Takashi Murakami + Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton = Friends Forever. Heart.

farewell, farrah

You will always be better at skateboarding than I am. Awesome jeans.

And good-bye sweet Michael. "Man in the Mirror" will always be my favorite song to sing along to while walking home after a couple glasses of wine at Barbette. Je t'aime.

Friday, June 19, 2009

and the winners are...

I’m so excited that Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy took home the CFDA for Womenswear Designers of the Year. I adore these two. They regularly turn out my favorite collections and always have the most entertaining stories about their process. (They famously watched four horror movies a day for a year for inspiration.)

Kirstin Dunst has been wearing Rodarte regularly for the last few years, so it wasn’t surprising to see her wearing the label to the event.

Diane Kruger in a custom Jason Wu mini dress

the always stunning Daphne Guinness in Proenza Schouler

Nicole Phelps arrived in a summery Akris shift.

I was expecting Ashley Olsen to wear something from The Row, but her vintage gown was a pleasant surprise. The color is unexpected and the shoulders are right on trend. Lately I’ve been developing an appreciation of conservative looks on young women. Although the back was pretty daring, Ashley Olsen covered up quite a bit at the Costume Institute Gala this year in her white gown from The Row. And Mischa Barton’s red carpet appearance in a skin-hiding cornflower blue Osman Yousefzada gown is one of my favorite looks of the past year. Whether it’s in response to the recession or just an interesting alternative to showing skin in the same old dresses, I’m pleased to see so many looks that leave something to the imagination without being dumpy or school marmish.

Maggie Grace in Christian Siriano

Zoe Saldana in Calvin Klein Collection with the designer Francisco Costa

one of my very favorite models, Hilary Rhoda, in Calvin Klein

If there were an award for red carpet consistency, I would immediately present it to Kerry Washington. The woman goes from edgy in Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabanna to classic and feminine in Oscar de la Renta and Derek Lam. The actress attended the event in resplendent Doo.Ri.

Lake Bell made a striking silhouette in Louis Vuitton. I don't know where Lake Bell came from (she was in that show Surface, right?), but for the past two years, she's been at practically every major fashion event. Girl's publicist and stylist are working overtime.

Julia Restoin-Roitfeld in her standard uniform of Balmain mini dress, tights, booties, and loose hair. Predictable? Yes. But still gorgeous.

Model of the moment Dree Hemingway (yes, that Hemingway) wore a custom Alexander Wang cut-out mini dress. By all appearances she has replaced the designer's former muse model Erin Wasson. I've been pretty bored of Miss Wasson in general and her jewelry scandal left a bad taste in my mouth. So I certainly don't mind seeing Alexander Wang attending events with someone new.

Three cheers for Blake Lively, who looks amazing in this hot pink Michael Kors cocktail dress. Little Miss Serena, who has such an enviable figure, has quite the reputation for wearing ill-fitting attire on the red carpet. It’s refreshing to see her in something so effortlessly flattering and chic.

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler took home the prize for Accessories Designer of the Year. McCollough celebrated by giving fellow designer Thakoon Panichgul a big lick on the face. Friends forever.

Monday, June 15, 2009

magically delicious

Oh, I hope Splice is good.

bread and butterflies

When I was in high school, I had a lot of crushes. On musicians, actors, imaginary friends, and occasionally on real-life boys. I remember a particular party that I attended, at which I slow danced with one of these real-life boys. First of all, I know. Who slow dances at a house party? It was weird. But wait, it gets weirder. We were dancing to the classic Mariah Carey ballad “Butterfly.” Half a verse in, my crushworthy partner began humming along. As soon as the chorus kicked in, he was softly singing the lyrics into my ear (oh yeah, he knew all the words perfectly). By the end of the song, he was practically flapping his arms in the air as if they were wings and belting out the lyrics. The whole experience was confusing, off-putting, and a little traumatic. Looking back, I think he may have been on something. I don’t know where you are now crushboy, but I have a pretty good guess: musical theater.

Point being, despite this incredibly negative experience, I still really have a thing for butterflies. Not, like, lower back tattoo butterflies, but actual specimens. So I’m appropriately coveting these necklaces from Bona Drag.

When I was recently at the St. Louis Zoo, I spent a ridiculous amount of time taking photos in the butterfly sanctuary. This post gives me an excuse to share a few.

rejoice, recessionistas!

The Kaiser Karl teddy bear has been marked down from $1,500 to a measly $1,000. Thank you, Neiman Marcus.

hello, america! part two

After heading through Wisconsin, manfriend and I stopped to visit friends and family in Chicago. The weather was disturbingly beautiful, so we spent the afternoon at a street fair and then Millenium Park, followed by dinner at Tango Sur, an Argentine steak house. My meal was a delicious glorified chicken fried steak, which sparked Chicago resident friend Michelle to tell everyone about how in elementary school, we were served chicken-fried steak for every Monday hot lunch. I don’t particularly remember this, but according to Michelle, all the other students brought their Monday lunches from home, while I always requested double-orders of hot lunch from the cafeteria. Apparently, I’m gross.

a close up of the pixels on Crown Fountain in Millenium Park

sacre bleu! the bean!

After a great night in Chicago, we drove down to Dollywood, the flagship destination or our roadtrip. Along the way, had lunch in South Bend IN to visit some of my family. You can smoke everywhere in South Bend.

The drive through Kentucky and Tennesse was gorgeous, and luckily we passed through Daniel Boone National Forest before nightfall. We spent two nights in Pigeon Forge, TN, and experienced a full day at Dollywood in between.


Dollywood is nestled in the Smoky Mountains, so in addition to riding roller coasters and listening to bluegrass performances, we were also able to enjoy the incredible scenery. The park is home to the largest group of non-releasable bald eagles in the country, and it was shocking how close we could get to these enormous raptors. We attended a Birds of Prey show, in which I was selected from the audience to have featured vulture Cujo sit on my arm. In retrospect, I think I may have been the only volunteer.

a little carsick after one of the rides

I rode a cat eating a fish.

After a satisfying stay in Pigeon Forge, we were off to St. Louis. But not before we could sample one more traditional Kentucky meal. I present to you, "Kentucky Hot Brown."

Or as I like to call it, "Um, I have to go to the bathroom," or "Now that's what I call a 'hot lunch.'"

hello, america! part one

Earlier this month, manfriend and I embarked on a weeklong roadtrip that took us from Minneapolis to Chicago, to Pigeon Forge, TN, to St. Louis, and back up to the Twin Cities. Friends were visited, attractions were photographed, and the soundtracks to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Once More With Feeling” and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog were played many many times.

First destination: House on the Rock (for any of you Neil Gaiman American Gods fans in the house). While driving toward this classic Wisconsin roadside attraction,we passed Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s estate. Unfortunately the tours of the house were out of our budget and schedule, so we ate lunch outside the visitor’s center and poked around the gift shop. I asked one of the staff whether this was the house in which Frank Lloyd Wright’s mistress, her children, and several servants were murdered. She seemed a little disturbed by the question (though, come on, that has to be on the tour), but confirmed that the tragic events did take place at Taliesin (I always thought the murders occurred at Falling Water, Wright’s famous house in Pennsylvania). After sufficiently gawking at the estate from the highway, Brian and I set off to visit The House on the Rock in Spring Green.

The House on the Rock is the brainchild of Alex Jordan, Jr. and was totally made for crazy people. Seriously. The design of the house was clearly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, echoing the mid-century modern feel for which the architect was famous. Many of the ceilings are very low (kind of a Being John Malkovich experience), and the hallways twist and turn throughout the house, creating a rather intimidating maze. Walking through is a disorienting experience, which is increased by the extremely low lighting.

The house is lit with multiple sunroofs made from wooden slats with Asian-inspired carvings, letting delicate patterns of sunlight spill into the house. Stained glass lamps hang in almost every room, and fountains and wishing wells are regular features, filling the house with the constant sound of running water. The floors are plushly carpeted, and around almost every corner is a sunken sitting room or an upholstered nook overflowing with pillows. Nappers, rejoice!

The highlight of the house is without a doubt the Infinity Room. Much like the Guthrie Theater’s Endless Bridge on crack, the room juts out from the house in a perilous fashion. As the room extends, the hall narrows. The walls eventually meet, creating the illusion that the room extends forever.

After walking through the house, the self-guided tour continues through a series of warehouses. From the outside, the buildings are nondescript, but inside the pathways zig and zag for miles. Multiple levels are accessed through a complex series of ramps and staircases. This section of the House on the Rock is where Jordan featured his eccentric collections from around the world. In addition to phenomenal collections of antique rifles, china dolls, and Fabergé eggs, the interior contains a series of streets and storefronts. The shop windows serve as displays of more of Jordan’s collectibles, from marble eggs to silver serving sets. A barbershop features a red velvet reclining chair and antique mirrors, and hundreds of china dolls gaze out from the storefronts. Scattered throughout are token-operated fortune tellers and old-fashioned love meters (turns out I’m bashful).

Vignettes of self-playing instruments are arranged throughout the house. Also activated by tokens, these rooms are overflowing with instruments that come alive as if being played by ghost musicians.

The piece de resistance is certainly the indoor carousel, which is the largest carousel in the world. Worth $5 million and featuring over 20,000 lights, it features hundreds of griffins, mermaids, unicorns and dragons.

The House on the Rock experience was beyond my wildest dreams. It's truly a madhouse, packed with treasures and secrets. We only spent a few hours there, but it could've eaten days of our time.