Monthly Archives: November 2011

Who’s got the Habit? Rhea Seehorn

Posted by The E on November 30, 2011

Whitney star Rhea Seehorn (Roxanne) in the Ascot Trouser

You probably recognize Whitney Cummings as a regular panelist on Chelsea Lately! or from one of her standup routines on latenight TV. Now she’s created a show on NBC called Whitney, a sarcastic take on the challenges of modern day love. In the show, Whitney and her boyfriend Alex (played by Chris D’Elia) have been together for three years. The couple tries to stay true to themselves and enjoy their happily unmarried status amid the scrutiny of two very different best friends. Zoe Lister-Jones plays Lily, the traditional romantic, while Rhea Seehorn plays Roxanne, a recently divorced realist who has been through the ringer with relationships.  The show features a lot of Whitney’s tradmark smart humor sprinkled with low-brow one-liners. We think it’s a nice break from some of the more serious television dominating channels like HBO, Showtime, and AMC. We can all use a bit of comic comfort food.

If you’ve been watching this season, you might have noticed Rhea Seehorn’s Roxanne wearing one of our favorite body styles in a few episodes, the Ascot Trouser in Eventide Redux. Whitney airs Thursdays at 9:30/8:30c on NBC, but you can test the waters with some of Roxanne’s best one-liners here, you know, before making a commitment.

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Required Reading – Black: The History of a Color

Posted by The E on November 29, 2011

Black: The History of a Color, by Michel Pastoureau

Michel Pastoureau begins his book Black: The History of a Color with a Biblical quote:

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep… God said, ‘Let there be light”.

The color black has been a part of our collective pysche since the beginning of time. With a thorough text and a beautifully curated set of images, Pastoureau, a Historian at the Sarbonne, examines how over the centuries, the meaning and influence of the color has fluctuated in relation to culture, art and dress.

Prior to the year 1000, black was easily accepted as clothing. But in the early Christian period, black became less a color for everyday life and took on an association with the devilish and infernal. In medieval times, black was symbolic of wealth, royalty and luxury, before swinging back to the gloom and depression of the Romantic Period (think Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven). In the 20th century, black and white film, photography and print elevated black once again.

As acceptability and perception have shifted over time, today we see black as a dual personality: the proper, businesslike, modern, sleek color of the little black dress and the business suit is the same as the dark, rebellious, dangerous color of the gothic and the undergound. Black reflects the duality of human values in our modern society. Much like Pastoureau looks at broad historical periods to identify how perceptions of black have changed over time, designers are also required to look at trends in society each season and determine how to use the color black in a collection. Keep your eye on the runway during fashion week and you’ll start to see exactly how this translates into fashion.

Pick up a copy from Princeton University Press or Amazon.

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Miami Art Week 2011

Posted by The E on November 28, 2011

Art Basel Miami

It’s the first week of December, and that means it’s time for Miami Art Week, several days of high profile exhibitions, special events, and art sales in South Beach.

At the center of Art Week each year is Art Basel Miami Beach, which is celebrating its 10th year. Art Basel started in Switzerland in 1970 before expanding to the U.S. and quickly establishing itself as the art event of the year. With over 260 galleries showing work by more than 2,000 artists, this is Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, but for the art set. The show is expecting 46,000 curators, private collectors, tourists, and celebs. Previous attendees have included everyone from Brad Pitt to Jay-Z and Beyonce.

If you can’t make the event, Art Basel has put out a mobile app where you can browse galleries and selected works on an interactive map.  You can also follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #artbasel or catch up on the Miami Herald’s Art Basel section.

As Art Basel has continued to increase its profile, so too has Miami itself as one of America’s premiere art cities. Now in addition to Art Basel, more than 15 additional specialty shows come to Miami each year to take part in Art Week. Our good friend Marco Zamora will be showing work in the Mallick Williams booth at Scope, a contemporary art showcase open from November 29th to December 4th.

Marco Zamora

Marco uses a pen and brush technique to create images of urban landscapes and the people who live in them, influenced by Los Angeles, skate culture, and people’s “awkard moments”. Marco has shown work all over the U.S. and also designed advertising for Vans.

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Single Shot: National Geographic Photo Contest 2011

Posted by The E on November 22, 2011

Leopard - Yala National Park, Sri Lanka - Lalith Ekanayake

The Atlantic has put together a gallery of 45 of this year’s submissions to the National Geographic Photo Contest, and they are nothing short of inspiring. You can go here to make your own submission or vote for your favorites. Entry closes November 30th.

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Inspiration: Sage Vaughn

Posted by The E on November 21, 2011

Shark by Sage Vaughn

Artists often inspire design.  You see it everyday as famous paintings and artworks are borrowed for textiles, t-shirts – even iPhone cases. LA-based artist Sage Vaughn is one such painter that ends up on our inspiration board from time to time. Vaughn use natural imagery and a brilliant color palette to present what is sometimes dark subject matter in a hopeful way. Some of our favorite works are part of his mixed media “Envelopes” series, where he uses everyday manila envelopes as canvas.

A Way Out - Sage Vaughn - Mixed Media on Envelope

Birds on a Wire - Sage Vaughn

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How High Are Your Heels?

Posted by The E on November 16, 2011

Christian Louboutin platform pumps and kitten heelsWe don’t usually pick up fashion news from IBM, and this was actually very hard to believe when we read it, but a new study from the business consulting company reports that the median heel height for women has gone WAY down in the span of just two years. Probably thanks to reality stars and their platform pumps, ladies were averaging a sky-high SEVEN inch heel in 2009, which has leveled out to just two inches now in 2011.

The measurement is based on an analysis of tens of thousands of posts from fashion bloggers, shoe insiders, and footwear social media influencers since 2008. More than just a changing trend, we think it reflects the shift in social conciousness, as women have gone in the direction of handmade, authentic and sensible choices, while still getting to feel sexy. We have to say, we welcome the kitten heel!

What’s the word, have you scaled down the height of your heels recently, or was Lady Gaga just throwing off the average?

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The Hunger Games Trailer

Posted by The E on November 15, 2011

As the Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Twilight franchises have started to come to a close, Hollywood studios are looking for the next big series that can appeal to all audiences. Lionsgate is betting big on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult trilogy The Hunger Games, about a post-apocalyptic America that pits teenagers from its twelve districts against one other in a gladiator-style death match. The official trailer for the first installment has just hit the web. Directed by Gary Ross, the film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and… is that Lenny Kravitz?

The movie opens in March 2012, but if you can’t wait, the books are a very quick and entertaining read, perfect for holiday travel.

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Obsession: Audrey Hepburn

Posted by The E on November 11, 2011

The inimitable Audrey Hepburn

“I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and… I believe in miracles.” -Audrey Hepburn

We all have to believe in something, right? We came across this quote and it reminded us of how obsessed we are with Ms. Hepburn as a fashion icon. Just to let you in on a little secret, our Audrey Legging is (at least partially) named after her. We like to think she would wear them if she were around today.

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Happy Veteran's Day!

Posted by The E on

U.S. military servicemen in denim fatigues during training camp

It’s Veteran’s Day. Don’t forget to thank the members of our Armed forces for their service today.

While today’s military uniforms are mostly made of hi-tech synthetic fabrics to maximize durability, breathability, comfort and camouflage, there was a time when denim was the fabric of choice for military garments. Blue denim work clothing was adopted as the standard for the U.S. Army in 1919, and thousands of servicemen in the Army and Navy wore jackets, shirts, coveralls, pants, hats and packs made from the material from the 1920′s up through WWII.

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On Trend: Going Tonal

Posted by The E on November 4, 2011

Chianti Denim

We love to dress tonally, picking one color and taking it from head to toe, but the problem with tonal dressing is that you’re often restricted to the neutral colors in your closet – grey, black and khaki. One of the reasons we are so excited about the colored denim trend is that you can get a tonal look in a new color, while still enjoying the comfort and fit of a jean.  Start with a great pair of colored denim, here we have the Alice Skinny Coated Denim in Chianti, and look for a pair of shoes that pick up the tones of the jean. Up top, we like a comfortable light-colored shirt, covered by a comfortable sweater in the same tone as the jean. While you can definitely do a top, pants and shoes in the same tone, be sure to break up the color a tiny bit where possible. A contrasting shirt collar, patterned purse, textured belt, coat, or even strong jewelry can do the trick.

Tops: Marni Cardigan, Prabal Gurung Collared Shirt, Slubby Knit Sweat from Top Shop, Allsaints Spitalfields Char Coat
Jeans: HABITUAL Alice Skinny Coated Denim in Chianti
Belt: Reversible Skinny Leather belt by Calvin Klein
Bag: Snakeskin Square Messenger Bag from Zara
Isabel Marant Gatsby Pump

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