Archive for August, 2012

Fashion on Film: Pollock

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Sometimes just switching the channel at the exact right moment can change your life. Or at least alter your wardrobe. Last week I clicked into the middle of the bio-pic Pollock just as its artiest and most stylish sequence played out.

In it, an early 1950s documentary filmmaker had traveled to Jackson’s Long Island country house to capture the abstract artist’s drip painting process on 16mm film.

Visually, the sequence was a mid-century masterpiece; the focal point for me being Ed Harris’s arty farmer-like costumes.

Ink-dark denim jackets, slim and trim T’s in black and white, and up-cuffed jeans in fits you can actually work in.

The sequence begins with Pollock changing out of his tobacco brown loafers into black, battered boots – but as the montage flickers on, he’s shown wearing both pairs of shoes, splattering each of them with the same inspired, uncaring abandon.

It was the juxtaposition of rural and urban in Jackson’s outfits, and of rugged and refined, that caught my eye. Whether a chore coat he’d picked up at some musty mercantile or a pair of spiffy loafers from his days in the big city, he wore everything with anything, and nothing was ever precious or premeditated.

Dressing like that is never easy, is it? But Jackson can show us how.

As Seen On TV: End of Century

Monday, August 27th, 2012

It’s a little too early to tell if the ambitious art tarts on Gallery Girls will finally fill the Lauren Vs. Heidi-shaped holes in our unscripted television-fueled hearts. I mean, The Hills, at its apex, was truly a thing of back-stabby beauty.

One thing Miss Conrad’s show never provided, though, was a store-within-a-show curated by half its cast; offering the opportunity for us boring beings outside the reality TV bubble to cyber-shop ourselves closer to the center of the catty chic action.

Thanks to the End of Century website, I can bring spiky-nippled black cups, and speckled ceramic-spoons, and alien aloe-plant inspired pots into my life.

Their edgy, organic, lower west-or-whatever-side beauty is the real win. Being able to say they came from the shop of those BravoTV mega-bitches is just a merry, meta little perk.

Fall’s First Find

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Usually by mid-August I have all sorts of fuzzy, nubby, woolly goods I swear I’ll need in order to gear up for fall in proper fashion. But this year, for such a long while, I could hardly find a thing.

Having carefully clicked through my desktop folder of the thirty or so online shops that suit my style, the only item to have caught my eye was a pair of overcast blue Tellason x Smith & Butler utility jeans.

With their re-enforced front-leg panels, and decidedly wider cut, I thought they’d be a bold breakaway from all the bone-tight denim we’ve (over-) worked our wardrobes around the past few years.

Double cuffed up, with brown boots, and maybe a Natty Gann’s Dad-style hat, the pants provided my fall outlook some much-needed shape and direction, at last.

Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A while back, a reader asked if I’d compile a list of the grooming products I use on a daily basis, and I basically do anything anyone asks me to do. (Just ask anyone.)

I’ve always loved ink or internet-ish articles about what the semi-famous spritz on their faces, or stash in their briefcases, or would smuggle onto a deserted island. So here it is, a list of the prettifying products I swear by, and my stab at seeming semi-famous.

1. Whole Foods 365 Shampoos & Shower Gels

As this blog can attest to, I don’t mind splurging on…well, just about anything. But I’d rather save my money for overpriced t-shirts or tables – so I buy these 365 shampoos and shower gels partly because each bottle is only $2.99. The more important reason is they are paraben-free and eco-friendly, and I prefer to buy paraben-free products as much as possible cause I’m not super into sneaky diseases and defects.

If you want the real run-down of my daily routine, then you should know that I only wash my hair about once a week, and I take baths instead of showers, cause I’m a stressed-out mom of four at heart. I use the 365 Shower Gel as a non-bubbling bubble bath and then do my power scrubbing with:

2. Dial Bar Soap

Probably not un-paraben-y, and I do use hippie-approved soaps from co-ops often too, but Dial smells strong and guy-like, scenting your whole bathroom like a date with Rob Lowe in 1984. (Rando Tip: I even unwrap unused bars of Dial and stash them in my closet and dresser, before I need them in the bath. It’s like frat boy pot-pourri.)

After my daily bath, I floss, then use a natural-leaning toothpaste. Lately it’s:

3. Weleda Salt Toothpaste

It’s the sunburned color of worms, and tastes a little bit like gum and a lot like olives. (Yum?) But its multi-faceted strangeness is refreshing, and it does leave my teeth feeling smoother than glass.

4. C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream

Although this list is starting to suggest otherwise, I am actually a sucker for cool packaging and new, intriguing scents when it comes to grooming products. And there’s no shortage of cool looking/smelling shave creams out there – Pinecone & Raisin Shave Pudding by Brooklyn Bearded Brothers Ltd. or whatever. But the last eight years or so I haven’t bothered giving any new cream even half a try, because this Bigelow stuff works so supremely. It smells minty, and makes your skin zing a bit when you shave, but….most importantly, it gives you a really smooth, slick, nick-less shave. It costs ten bucks, you can find it at even the dumbest shopping mall near you, usually. If I’ve ever been “Brand Loyal” to anything ever, it’s this shaving cream.

5. Master Spice After Shave

Shaving goes better when I only do it once every six or seven days. When I do, since December, I splash this practically vintage bottle of Master Spice on and pretend I’m Robert Redford or it’s 1974, or both.

6. Up & Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15

Days when I don’t shave, then my face heads Up & Up. The main thing that keeps me loyal to this Target in-house version of an Oil of Olay lotion is I have yet to find any other daily SPF that doesn’t leave my eyelid skin sorta stinging the way that vacation suntan lotion does. I wish this Up & Up stuff had an SPF higher than 15, or was paraben free – but the other brands I’ve tried, at Whole Foods or The Body Shop or other places, always burn my preemie-like eyes and baby ain’t having none of that.

7. Wonderwood Cologne

When I lived in L.A. in 1998, I read in a magazine with Courtney Cox on the cover how anti-perspirants trap toxins inside your body, slowly turning your sweat into an internal enemy who lives inside you every day, wanting you dead and diseased. So since about then, I don’t use anti-perspirant or deodorant. I spritz or dab cologne around there instead, unless I have a scary job interview in the Sahara desert that day or something. I like to have a lot of scents to chose from and favor Comme des Garcons colognes, as they are usually smoky, spiky, and sultry. I ran out of their 2 scent last year, and Wonderwood is almost gone now too. They have a new one, Amazingreen, that I might try next.

8. Redken Rough Paste

I hate my hair, the world must know, and I always have. It’s hard to cut, it’s too straight and too blunt, and eternally poofy on the sides. I have a new wing in my house for all the thick creams and cements I use to try and smash everything into order. One tub of gunk I’m liking lately is this Redken paste, because it smells a little bit like the perfume Debbie Gibson came out with when I was a kid called “Electric Youth”. The cheerleader up the street who my sister and I were friends with had a bottle of it – and I always thought it smelled fun and happy. Exactly like teen girls and my dumb 2012 hair should smell.

9. Now Solutions Apricot Oil

My hair’s become a little dry over the years. I think it’s maybe the alcohol in the hair gunks I use. Hippie conditioner doesn’t seem to help that much, nor did two hot oil home treatments. But this summer I tried Fonze-ing five drops of Apricot Oil through my hair, and it worked wonderfully, so I do that about once a week now.

Besides my long mom-baths, I find it boring spending much time getting ready in the morning, and trying to look remotely alright, when my Hurly seems like he can just roll out of a nightly coma and wander out the door instantly, looking nice like he always does. So most mornings, for all my vanity, I do the bare minimum of dolling-up. When I have someone to invisibly impress though, I go the extra mile. The extra mile being:

10. Chapstick

In classic Strawberry or Cherry, I have three or four lying around my house/car. They’re just pink and dewed enough to be like a dude version of lipstick, without at all seeming like you’re wearing a dudette version of lipstick. The ‘ol Stick makes a whole face turn juicy.

And juicy faces are cool and important a semi-famous person said once, in ink or on the internet. So pay attention, and do as they do.

In Progress

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Real quick, now.

Patterns and textures for the downstairs bedroom by way of a vintage kilim pillow and new O’Brien shams. A little bit butch-ier and more exotic than things had been looking previously.

That’s kinda all I have time to type now, because (the super Christian chick who played) Blair Warner from my third favorite TV show as a child, The Facts of Life, is gonna be on this season of Survivor, I just discovered today!

So I have to go get my jaw off the floor and go make deeply personal predictions as to how long she’ll be able to outwit, outplay, and outlast the lying heathens she’ll be forced to get grody with.

The Clash

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Without thinking about the potential social ramifications, today I put on yesterday’s raisiny/wine colored shorts and carelessly paired a mossy/olive military style shirt with them.

The colors totally should’ve clawed at each other.

But surprisingly, they’re visual frenemies. Wrongly right, and rightly wrong.


Saltwater & Sun

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Sometimes I’ll find something potentially home-worthy somewhere surprising like your mom’s favorite store…

And then I’ll soak it in saltwater for a few hours, then set it out in the sun for a couple of weeks.

So that it fades, and cracks, and looks like it came from someplace a little more surprising than everyone’s moms’ favorite store. My Little Pony-horse Pal’s still got one week left of baking in the sun to do before he’s allowed on the shelves inside our house.

Going Nuts

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Lately I’ve been way too wrapped up with getting two seasons up to speed on the many dirty deeds of Nucky Thompson to be bothered with such underling-ish tasks as shelling my own pistachios.

But the beautiful, Boardwalk-y bag these Bazzinni’s brand nuts come packaged in are worth the extra work.

And makes me hear calliope music and bootleggers being shot almost every time I unfold the pack.

Let There Be Light

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

A month ago the bedroom was an asymmetrical eyesore. Mismatched nightstands, a baby blue Jonathan Adler lamp on one side, a tomato orange ribbed one on the other. Then Kelly Wearstler whipped open her warehouse for One Kings Lane, and I spent nearly an hour feverishly refreshing my internet browser until a set of stone-veneer nightstands slipped out of other members’ online carts, and into my own. (I sorta owe God sixty-seven favors now.)

I had feared it might take another few years to find matching lamps worthy of my Wearstlers, but it took only twelve days ’til I spotted a conical, concrete number at Gabberts that was just about perfect.

The on/off switch was situated on the cord, and the silken shade that came with it was undersized and uninspiring – but what better excuse to at last enter the nouveau-riche-ish worlds of Lamp Rewiring and Custom Shade Ordering?

So the bedroom and I are on a roll, after eons of aesthetic inactivity. A queen-sized bed that doesn’t squeak when anyone breathes is pretty much all we still need.