Monthly Archives: March 2011

TRENDING: POLKA DOT POLKA


Polka dots, the perennially pleasing print, are popping up more than usual this spring. From the 2011 resort and spring collections of Miu Miu, Giles, and Moschino, and, most recently, Marc Jacobs‘s Fall 2011 collection, it’s plain to see that this is one of the most versatile patterns out there, looking as equally pleasing on a smart suit as on a teeny tiny romper. The sheer simplicity of the print also allows it to be easily mixed and matched with other trends this season, such as stripes à la Moschino (except I would tone it down a bit for every day–think skinny, light, vertical stripes and opt for either the blazer or the pants). Additionally, buying bright basics from your local fast-fashion outpost, or even layering polka dots on different colored backdrops, are both easy ways to instantly up your chic factor.

There is also no shortage of amazing polka-dotted accessories. For those looking to start small, simply add a speckled scarf, 50s style, around your neck, or go pin-up chic by neatly folding said scarf about two inches thick, draping it over your crown, then fastening at the nape of the neck.  Finish off the look with a killer pair of round-frame glasses, and, if you’re feeling frisky, an itsy bitsy teeny weeny polka dot bikini.  For the cash strapped, simply head on out to your favorite vintage or thrift shop, where you’re bound to find a bountiful selection of this classic trend. ♥


1. ASOS Oversized Canvas Shopper, $36
2. ASOS Spot Print Playsuit, $57
3. ASOS Annie Green Spot Jersey Petal Skirt, $23
4. Bebe Lizzie Polka Dot Sandal, $129 (a dead-ringer for the Miu Miu version, $495)
5. Finnstyle Marimekko Jaettu Kukkaro Coin Purse, $29
6. Harajuku Red Polka Dot Bandeau and Boy Short Bikini, $82
7. Kate Spade Pop Art Big Dot Bangle, $42
8. Marc Jacobs Polka Dot Confetti Ring, $32
9. Mink Pink High-Waisted Shorts, $71
10. ModCloth Beach Blanket Bingo Two Piece, $89
11. ModCloth Through the Wire Headband, $14
12. Necessary Objects Katy Dress $64
13. Spots and Dots Sleeveless Dress $37
14. Take It or Leave It Polka Dot Top, $29
15. Topshop Knitted Oatmeal Polka Dot Crop Cardigan, $75

All runway photos courtesy of style.com
–NATALIE OPSITNICK
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ETSY SPOTLIGHT: UNEARTHED


Talk about a conversation piece. The creations of LA-based duo (and sisters) Karen and Gina Koenig, aka Unearthed, are timeless in design yet undeniably unique in material. This is that type of piece created to be coveted. Unearthed offers an array of items ranging from belt buckles to business card holders, but our favorites in the shop are by far the cuffs.

Maybe it’s just us… but the mere thought of sporting some stingray seems mighty exciting. In addition, there are also cuffs (lined in both silver and gold) made of snakeskinostrich, and the eternally classic leather and suede, available for purchase. The Koenig sisters swear by the quality of their materials, never opting for embossed leathers, but for a perfectly pure product, straight from the earth. The whole concept is very exotic and luxurious. Again: mighty exciting. And with most pieces under $100, we are spotting some seriously sweet spring treats–in every color of the rainbow—right around the corner.

1. Metallic Silver and Crimson Genuine Snakeskin Cuff, $60
2. Pumpkin Orange Stingray Silver Capped Cuff, $60
3. Canary Yellow Metallic Lizard Leather Cuff, $70
4. Lime Green Polished Stingray Cuff, $70
5. Metallic Blue Streaked Stingray Cuff, $110
6. Dark Violet Purple Patent Leather Cuff, $50
7. Distressed Winter White Genuine Ostrich Leather Cuff, $95

–JEAN CANDIDO
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GETTING BY ON THE SLY: YOUR NO-FAIL PAJAMA EQUATION

It may be okay for models to look as though they literally just rolled out of bed and decided not to get dressed, but I personally do not support the head-to-toe ‘pajama’ dressing trend that took hold of many a spring 2011 runway. While these styles may be comfy, their slouchy and unpolished nature is not going to be appropriate for most real life situations, despite the long-standing American tradition of touting PJs in public.

However, there is indeed merit in pulling bits and pieces from your sleepwear repertoire and pairing them with more appropriate items. In general, you can follow a simple, no-fail equation to make your sleepy wardrobe choices work to your advantage:

1 Structured Item1 PJ Item0 Bum Factor

1. The Pajama Pants

DKNY Ankle-Length Pleat Front Pant, $225 + ASOS Tuxedo Shirt, $43

2. The Pajama Top

Eighteenth Descending Hem Top, $108 + AllSaints Karin Cigarette Pant, $140

3. The Lingerie Top

ModCloth Diaphanous Darling Top, $42 + Loeffler Randall Combo Short, $158 + Forever 21 Long Sleeve Scoop Neck Tunic, $9

4. The Sleep Dress

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Quilted Corset Dress with Lace Skirt, $155 + Hue Cable Sweater Tights, $18

–AMBER DANESE GRANDFIELD

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FIFTEEN WAYS TO SPRUCE UP YOUR YOUNG LADY LAIR


1. Cantilever and Press Wolf Den Coat Rack, $250
2. Real Butterfly Gifts Purple Gem Beetle Display, $40
3. Amelia Rose Vintage Vintage Copper Teapot Cover and Ceramic Kettle, $39
4. Loyal Luxe Cat Teepee, $36
5. Oryx and Crake Design Red Laser-cut Coasters, $16
6. Proud Mary Guatemalan Folk Art Dog Mask, $35
7. Bizzy Betty Tillandsia Air Plant in Red Sandstone Rock, $20
8. Stitch Happens 7 Bronwyn’s Crochet Covered River Rock, $28
9. Paul Loebach Nesting Side Tables and Step Stools, $400
10. Vintage Ohio 1950‘s Table Lamp Set of Three, $95
11. Earth Sea Warrior Saber 24K Gold Tooth Resin Tiger Skull, $225
12. Teresa Lucky Oak & Linen Twist Tealight Candle Holder, $20
13. Ross Menuez Tatami Kuma Pillow, $48
14. Harry Allen Banana Bowl, $280
15. From The Hip Creations Science Experiment Light Switch Cover, $8

–STEPHANIE KAO
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JANE D’ARENSBOURG’S GLASS MENAGERIE


Jane D’Arensbourg‘s art is the perfect mix of what could be described as minimalistic futurism. Beautiful glass ensembles set against subtle ambiances elevate you into a world where we are as fragile as a work of art, but uncommonly daring as primitive animals. Jane’s installations too, create a significant meaning in inconspicuous space making us realize just how delicate our surroundings truly are.


The jewelry made by D’Arensbourg is composed of some of the most durable materials you could possibly imagine and then are constructed to appear extremely fragile. Each piece of pyrex glass is carved, then curled around porcelain–a pleasing and unexpected combination (and manipulation) of textiles that’s not seen too often in jewelry-making.  The design of D’Arensbourg’s pieces have the ability to seemingly transform us into ‘goddesses from the future,’ while giving us the sense we are also grounded in nature, with the fluid and organic shapes she manipulates, as well as with the earthy materials from with she works .


See more of D’Arensbourg’s work by visiting her online shop and blog here.

Photos provided courtesy of janedarensbourg.com
–SARAH MUHL
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A PEEK INSIDE OUR ETSY FAVORITES


–STEPHANIE KAO
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A GUIDE TO FOUR MUST-SEE FRENCH FLICKS

When you think of Paris in the early part of the twentieth century, you may not immediately think “great films!” Mostly because, well, movies with sound or color weren’t being made at this point in time and, frankly, as a person living in 2011, there must be a great deal of sound and color to accompany my sitting down for two hours to stare at a huge screen. Luckily, brilliant filmmakers have been mining this fertile ground of movie-making for decades since–and the French know how to make an experimental, influential film. As part of PIFA, this April, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute is bringing you four killer tomes for your viewing pleasure. Let’s just go chronologically through them, shall we? 


Tuesday, April 5: Jules and Jim
This one’s widely regarded as one of France’s finest cultural achievements. Released in 1962, it’s the semi-autobiographical tale of Henri-Pierre Roche‘s relationship with the writer Franz Hessel and his wife, Helen Grund. François Truffaut directed this gut-wrenching tale of best friends torn apart by war and a woman, set in several countries throughout Europe, over the course of a few decades. Jules (Oskar Werner) is a writer whose fascinations with an emerging bohemian lifestyle and the world of art are drawn out by the extroverted Jim (Henri Serre). The two become best friends who fall in love with the same woman, the ravishing and free-spirited Catherine (played by the rapturous Jeanne Moreau). The film is a landmark of French New Wave cinema and the entanglements of love, friendship, war, and the human spirit are as potent as they were nearly 50 years ago. 


Tuesday, April 12: The Passion of Joan of Arc
Joan’s story is one of the most fascinating in all of French history. Now, officially, she is Saint Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d’Arc, for those who know) and she was burned at the stake before she could turn 20. She is now widely regarded as one of the patron saints of France, and her life has been depicted in hundreds of mediums and by thousands of artists. This particular film is a silent one, shot in 1928, and directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Renee Jeanna Falconetti stars as Joan, and turns in what is largely considered one of the most powerful female performances in cinematic history. Shot brilliantly and scored dramatically, Falconetti is endlessly expressive with just her face, and those tears are almost certainly real. Dreyer is said to have been a demanding director who made his star kneel on her knees until she was in pain. In her short life, Joan of Arc managed to practically save France from the 100 Years War, lead her country out of the dark ages, and define what is now modern France. Quite a woman. 


Tuesday, April 19: Ballets Russes
Between 1909 and 1929, Les Ballets Russes (The Russian Ballet) defined modern ballet; the company has worked with some of the most prominent choreographers and classical musicians of our time. George Balanchine, essentially the father of contemporary ballet choreography, got his start here before he brought his vision to America. Balanchine has worked with giants such as Debussy and Ravel, but primarily with Igor Stravinsky (39 of his 400 ballets were produced to music by Stravinsky). This 2005 documentary, the winner of numerous awards, chronicles the dancing, politics, bright lights, drama and financial woes of dancers and directors of Les Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. True to form, after the death of The Russian Ballet’s founder, Sergei Diaghilev, conflict erupted, people argued, dancers left, allegiances were established, etc. Some of the company’s finest dancers are still alive and are interviewed by the film’s two directors, Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller. Emotional terrain is traversed with aplomb and panache. 


Tuesday, April 26: All Quiet on the Western Front
Released in 1930, this is one of those classic canonical films that should be on everyone’s must-see list. Simply put, it chronicles the story of World War I and the powerful effect it had on the men and women of Europe. As is the case with many wars, naive and adventurous young men flock to serve their country with the promise of adventure and honor, but the reality of leaving families and trench warfare becomes a grim, dark reminder of life’s darkest crevices. The original novel, written by Erich Maria Remarque, was translated a year later by the film’s director, Lewis Mileston, and earned him an Oscar. Paul Baumer is our protagonist and his story vibrantly illustrates the transformative power of war and how difficult it is to revert back to civilian life after you’ve seen your friends die, men mutilated, and you’ve murdered complete strangers. Not for the faint of heart or weak of will, this is indeed a cultural moment worth investing in.

All shows start at 7:30pm at 824 W. Lancaster Avenue, in Bryn Mawr, and are easily accessible by car and public transport. 

Disclaimer: PIFA, the Philadelphia International Festival of Arts, based in the Kimmel Center, is sponsoring the writing of a series of blog posts. Bill Chenevert will be contributing previews and event spotlights leading up to the actual festival, which will take place all over the city of Philadelphia, in numerous venues.

–BILL CHENEVERT
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