Monthly Archives: July 2011

UH-OH! FIVE FASHION FAUX PAS YOU DON’T WANNA FALL VICTIM TO

Welcome to the dog days of summer, when the sweltering heat and the spike in your electric bill force you to face some of the worst wardrobe nightmares imaginable. It may be too hot to rock your favorite pair of jeans, and those springtime booties are definitely causing you more sweat than they’re worth, but all of this does not warrant giving up on fashion sense altogether in order to get through the peak in summer temps. I actually do understand, especially considering I live in a city that’s seen consecutive 100-degree days as of late, but what I don’t understand is why we tend to let our sense of style (and class) fly right out the window just because it’s hot.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a fair list of summer fashion faux pas that we all need to keep in mind when dressing for work, play, or rompin’ around town. Consider it an eye-for-an-eye type of thing where I’m your guardian angel sent from fashion heaven to assist you in achieving a look appropriate enough to survive the hottest days of the year–in style.

What to make sure you avoid before leaving the house this summer:


1. Dark underwear under white garments. MAJOR NO-NO. Ladies, I love white shorts, jeans, skirts, and dresses just as much as you do, but please please please consider what happens when you walk out the door with a bright red panty on underneath those crisp summer whites. Everyone can see right through to your bum, which is hopefully not what you are going for. Nude underwear is the perfect match (and available everywhere—no excuses!) for all those light-colored bottoms–and tops, for that matter. It can provide the ample coverage you need and will help you avoid the dreaded stares of perverts around town. Do yourself a huge favor and invest in some skin-toned skivvies and keep it classy.


2. Flip flops. This may come as a shock, especially to Americans, but flip flops are only appropriate for the beach, pool, public showers, while getting a pedi, or, in jail. Not to mention, you are taking some serious health risks by sporting flip flops around the city running errands. Think about all the nasty junk that gets trapped and tacked on your feet because it’s too hot to wear normal shoes. Consider a sleek sandal instead, like these ($13 from Target). They provide enough protection for your footsies while also allowing them some breathing room so you won’t pass out from walking everywhere this summer. I know, I know, flip flops are so easy to throw on and go, but being fashionable does not mean being lazy. Take a minute to find a sweet pair of sandals, flats, wedges–whatever your heart desires. There are plenty of styles are out there; it’s time to step up to the plate like a big girl and let go of the lazy lady footwear.


3.  Short shorts. Short shorts are not for everyone. Wouldn’t the world be such a wonderful place if we all had the legs for daisy dukes? YES, it would, but sadly, that is not the reality we’re dealing with here. I have seen far too many girls stompin’ around town thinking they are super cute with their butts literally hanging out of their shorts. Have some pride, ladies. If you’re bearing all the goods for everyone to see, you’re going to end up stereotyped as ‘the slutty one.’ Ouch. Give yourself a chance to get checked out for your exuberant fabulousness instead of the way your booty hangs out from ill-fitting clothes. Don’t get me wrong, short shorts are actually a staple of my own summer wardrobe, but I am always cautious to wear styles that are not two sizes too small (so as to avoid the eternally maligned camel toe) or too big (so my bum doesn’t fall out when I walk, sit, or ride my bike). We should feel lucky to have shorts in our lives these days; they are the only thing (aside from dresses) getting us through the heat. So save your risqué fashion for the bedroom, girls–I love you, but your giving the rest of us a bad name.


4.  Lightweight dresses without a slip. Ok, how many of you own a slip? I hope all of you raised your hands. If you don’t already know, slips are the perfect summer undergarment. They are typically made of silk, a light and breezy fabric that prevents the general public from seeing your personal goods through your favorite dress or skirt. Now that we all know what a slip is, lets try one on for size. Your favorite day dress is a lightweight cotton blend in off-white, or maybe pink, or whatever your favorite color is; regardless of how light or dark the color, the point is, we can see right through it when the sun hits your beautiful body. Now, unless you are trying to show the world what you look like without clothes on, I highly recommend trying out one of these slips. You can always find one at your local thrift store, or, you can treat yourself to a modern one from your favorite lingerie shop. Either way, women seem to forget what slips are and what they are used for. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave home without one (unless, of course, you like being tailed by creepers).


5. White socks and sandals. White socks and sandals? I’m not quite sure how this started. Maybe LeBron James was seen after practice in tube socks and Adidas flip flops years ago or something and somehow, both men and women thought it was a rad fashion trend. Errrr–no. Most of us are not NBA athletes coming home from practice. Why one would even consider wearing white socks with sandals baffles the mind. In addition, cotton socks are possibly the hottest choice for your feet in the summer and, when paired with sandals, just make the rest of the world feel uncomfortable. Why would you do this to yourself? Bottom line: If you want to wear socks, put some shoes on. If you want to wear sandals, you don’t need socks. END OF STORY.

Photos provided courtesy of thehollywoodgossip.com, momgrind.com, and pollsb.com
–SARAH MUHL
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NAKED GLAMOUR: LARA STONE


Name a model sexier than Lara Stone.


Let’s be real, a bangin’ (never was this word more appropriate) face + body combo such as Miss Stone’s is a rare and awe-inspiring thing (Cindy Crawford, anyone?) and its translation into fashion pictorial form is just short of magnificent. I have always admired and appreciated Lara’s particular variety of this elusive pairing. To me, she is a picture perfect specimen in that she is hot in addition to being Vogue-worthy beautiful. And that gap? The glorious pièce-de-résistance atop a sweet sundae of editorial delight…


To say Lara Stone photographs well is absurdly obvious–she’s got that look which is at the same time striking and universally appealing. Lara can take Calvin Klein runway collections to the high-fashion summit they must attain, but she also manages to maintain (if not set the bar for) the fashion house’s infamous, supped-up-sex-appeal in lingerie spreads that move the masses. And that’s not as easy as you might think…


My love for LS is no secret, but it was actually the Dutch-born beauty (and her bodacious, 100% natural bust) in the recent CK Naked Glamour lingerie ads that literally made me pause and gawk—for like five minutes. If this doesn’t sell underwear, I don’t know what will. In fact, is there any better pairing of words to describe Lara than naked and glamour? She’s got that duality of the salacious, fleshy bod men want and the glam, show-stopping allure women kill for. Is it any wonder that she was also chosen to be the face of Tom Ford’s new beauty line… alongside Tom Ford himself? Dunno about you, but something tells me Mr. Ford knows how to pick himself a leading lady…


–JEAN CANDIDO
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INSPIRATION FOUND: CY TWOMBLY

On Tuesday, July 5, 2011, the world lost an artist who was anything but typical. While Cy Twombly did have some qualities in common with his counterparts–he was quirky and created work that a lot of people think their kindergartener could make–Twombly mostly set himself apart from the rest, from the very start of his career.

Mr. Twombly’s work has spanned many decades and movements, offering up equal parts inspiration and confusion to those who witness it. He is one of those artists who makes every attempt to stay out of the limelight, unlike many of his famous artist friends (Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns among them), and even went so far as moving to Rome at a time when the art world was centering itself in New York City, not Europe, and that unconventional spirit certainly shines through in his work…

If you’ve ever taken a walk through the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then I hope you’ve happened upon Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam, a 10-part painting interpreting Homer’s Iliad as seen through the words of 18th century poet Alexander Pope. Most people who enter this particular room might shake their heads, as the ‘scribbles’ and elementary school-style phallic symbols might not appear ‘complicated enough’ to be considered art for some. But I would urge these people to take a closer look. What I see, and what I think Twombly intends to put forth, is something much deeper–something that is simultaneously fascinating, grotesque, and beautiful

So let’s pull some sartorial inspiration out from all of this, shall we? If you’re looking to pay some respect to this enigmatic character who has undoubtedly left his mark for years to come, why not don one of these fresh, artful frocks when heading to the closest gallery/ museum that keeps Twombly work in its collection? You’ll fit right in!


D&G Pleated Floral-Print Dress, $199


Alexander Wang Doodle Print Silk Dress, $649


ASOS Full Circle Scribble Print Dress, $61

Images of artwork provided courtesy of cytwombly.com
–AMBER DANESE GRANDFIELD
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PROENZA SCHOULER’S MIXED BAG FOR PRE-SPRING 2012: AN ANALYSIS

Proenza Schouler’s pre-spring 2012 collection is a bit of a mixed bag, to say the least. That’s not to say I don’t love the collection, because I really do. In fact, it has haunted my thoughts for the past month. Why? Let’s examine the silhouettes and do a little analysis, shall we?


Exhibit A: Knitted Sweater with Hood and Pleated Short Skirt

It took me a long time to come around on this outfit. I really had to take all of my deep-seated prejudices regarding hooded flannel shirts from the 90s grunge era—and from the 00s pot-infused jam bands–and throw them out the window. Why? Because just look at how well-crafted these clothes are. The skirt reminds me of a bit of Dries Van Noten Fall ’10, a collection made up of military-inspired trench dresses with those fantastically enormous pockets that could literally function as a purse. And paired with that jaw-dropping yet classic box pleat down the center? Perhaps Sarah Mower said it perfectly in her review,

[What women] want is a casual way of dressing that’s also formal enough, new yet not ridiculously gimmicky, confident yet not egregiously aggressive, traditional in a comfortable way, yet also fresh in such a manner that we feel compelled to buy it. 

We are certainly compelled, Sarah…


Exhibit B: Shirt-Dress vs. Shift Dress

Honestly, is there really a difference? Gasp. Ok, I actually do know the difference between a shirt-dress and a shift dress, but for this collection, is there a difference? Is Proenza Schouler achieving anything unique here other than showing off their obviously amazing sense of tailoring, which we have all already embraced time and again? Not really. However, I do greatly appreciate the color blocking. I once asked a fellow co-worker what a teacher meant by a color-block design (because I thought she meant something other than solid color against solid color), and later, actually scoffed at the thought (Folks, really? Didn’t we do that already?). Anyway, I suppose I’ll embrace it because I love love love you, Proenza Schouler.


Exhibit C: The Pinafore

I realize that right now we’re into long and flowy skirts and dresses, but soon enough, my friends, we will be back to that sweet and dandy mini dress (I kinda miss it already). And though the thought of wearing an Anne of Green Gables-inspired pinafore has me weak in the knees, I think I would rather go for something a little hipper, a little higher than my ankles, and a little more 2012.

–LIZ HOFFMANN
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UNION TRANSFER: PHILADELPHIA’S HOT NEW VENUE


Philadelphia just got a little bit cooler. The weather may still be hot and sweaty, but it’s now official–our fair city’s got itself a brand new concert venue to get excited about. The opening of Union Transfer, on September 21st, will be celebrated with a set by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah–a triumphant debut to Philly’s live music scene. The details are staggering. What’s not surprising is that R5 productions, Philly’s premiere independent music booking company, indeed has its hands in the pot, and then there’s the partnership with Bowery Presents and Four Corners Management. Bowery Presents, if you didn’t know, is one of New York City’s most powerful music venue giants (Music Hall of Williamsburg, Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, etc.), while Four Corners adds a slightly stranger element to this recipe. FC owns Lucy’s Hat Shop as well as the notorious Drinker’s Pub/Tavern empire; needless to say, this new venue is going to be swank because it’s clearly got some money behind it…

The space itself is where the old Spaghetti Warehouse used to be, on 10th and Spring Garden. It will hold as few as 600 and as many as 1,000 people at a time with (seriously advertised) booming central air, 200 parking spots, bike lock-up opportunities, and a strong line-up of fall and winter shows already booked. On top of all this, there’s also talk of a pimped out space with an ultimate sound system. Could this be? In a city full of awkward spaces, crappy or unreliable sound, and over-priced tickets (we’re lookin’ at you, Electric Factory), we’re finally getting what we’ve waited for? Just about every ticket is advertised as under $20. And, as a bonus, you can score these tickets surcharge free at AKA Records, just like all the other R5 shows.


Ok, now let’s talk dates. September sure is starting off strong with the CYHSY show, and then, on the 28th and 29th of the month, you can catch Mogwai with The Soft Moon, then it’s Shellac and Helen Money. October is where UT should really start hitting its stride with dates from: RJD2 (14th), Wild Flag (19th), Gillian Welch (20th), CSS and Men (21st), Dum Dum Girls with the Crocodiles and Royal Baths (23rd), FRIENDLY FIRES (25th!), and finally, Boris with Asobi Seksu (28th). Perhaps most exciting of all is the St. Vincent show on the 2nd of November, and, shortly after, The Sea and Cake on the 9th.


There’s no telling what kind of acts will start showing up in weeks to come to fill in the gaps of an already impressively booked fall. Thank you for answering our non-denominational prayer/chants, Gods of Philadelphia live music. We promise to honor your presence by getting drunk, sweaty, and ecstatic at the Friendly Fires show in earnest.

–BILL CHENEVERT
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AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVES TO THE ROW’S $39,000 BACKPACK


By now we’re sure you’ve all heard of the latest controversy to rattle the fashion world–the debut of The Row’s $39K crocodile skin backpack has bloggers all over the internet hammering away at their keyboards furiously, most of which are taking personal affront to the astronomical price tag attached to MKA’s newly unveiled ‘it’ accessory for fall.


Personally speaking, we at VG can’t help but feel just a tiny bit humored by the entire spectacle and chalk up this sensationalist ploy to none other than smart marketing. (If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the fashion biz, it’s that ya can’t hate on a hustle like MKA’s.) Proof-in-point: Who in the fashion industry isn’t talking about The Row right now? And as if all this free publicity and buzz weren’t enough, it’s been reported that a few heavy-pocketed dingbats out there have already pre-ordered some of these Luxury-with-a-capital-L backpacks.

We don’t know about you, but $39K for a handbag of any sort, for us, is without a doubt eternally out-of-reach and the ‘justification’ that these are multi-seasonal bags doesn’t really cut it in persuading us otherwise. However, golf claps to the twins on this one–we salute you.

From one normie to another, here are a few stylish, fraction-of-the-cost alternatives that’ll keep you ‘off the streets’ and perfectly on-trend for the fast-approaching (at least in Retailsville) fall season.


Clockwise from top-left: Jeffrey Campbell Rizzler-2 Backpack, $268; Tilly’s Cvetzalan Mini Backpack, $16; Shelter Protects You Rolston Backpack, $138; Santoki Vintage Wool and Leather Backpack, $195

Not pictured: Good Style Vintage Leather Backpack, $34; Butterfly Kisses Vintage Leather Tapestry Backpack, $49

Photo of Mary-Kate and Ashley provided courtesy of posh24.com
–STEPHANIE KAO
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WHAT KIND OF SUNGLASSES ARE RIGHT FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE?

I am a sunglasses hoarder.

I love them in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Whenever I travel, I make it a point to purchase a new pair of shades to commemorate my trip. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve perhaps bitten off a little more than I can chew with a vast collection of sunglasses to pair with numerous wardrobe choices. But I make do. But because of this, I am asked by a lot of people how I know which pairs are right for me. It’s no secret that we all love a solid pair of shades that compliment our face–and closet–but I’m here today to help you decide which pairs are ideal for your specific face shape.

First, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, Is my face round, square, oval, or heart-shaped? Sure, there are a million types of shapes and facial features in this world, but these four are the most popular. The trick for finding the perfect pair of shades for any face is simple: Determine your face shape and then go for the opposite shape of glasses–you can’t go wrong. Ready? Let’s do this.


Square faces are angular and feature a strong jaw line. If your face is square-shaped, you probably have a broad forehead and square chin. Your features are most likely proportional and prominent. Because of how angular your facial features are, try any pair that is oval or round to soften your naturally distinct features. Avoid, obviously, square frames and geometric shapes, which can overextended the angles of your face, and I promise, you won’t be dissapointed.
We recommendthese two-toned circle shades from Nasty Gal.


Round faces are proportional in length and width but carry more curvaceous cheeks and chins. Your full cheeks and subtle features make it a little bit trickier to pick out a pair of sunglasses that won’t make your face appear bigger than it really is. Try anything angular to counteract your curvy features. Think wayfarers (which I believe look good on anyone) and any rectangle or square frames, which will make your face look longer and leaner. Steer clean of small frames, widening colors (white, beige), and curved lenses. Again, you can’t go wrong if you just remember to go for the opposite shape of your face.
We recommendthese cool wayfarer-style sunnies from Forever 21.


Heart-Shaped faces are so sweet. With a broad forehead and narrow chin, your features are easy to complement but can sometimes be awkwardly accentuated with the wrong pair of glasses. Strong cheek bones are a bittersweet feature to have when it comes to choosing the right pair of shades; they work with many narrow and round frames, but can be a pain in the butt when you just want to rock your mom’s vintage 70s oversized frames. Never fear, there are plenty of awesome bottom-heavy styles that will complement your forehead and give the appearance of a wider chin. Stay away from styles that are embellished or thicker at the top. They will only exaggerate your widest feature and draw attention away from your lips and chin.
We recommendthese ‘Hibiscus Hottie’ sunglasses from ModCloth.


Oval faces are the type of face shape that everyone wishes they could have. Your features are perfectly proportionate, boasting high cheek bones and a slightly narrow chin. Almost any style of sunglasses works for your face shape; wide, round, small, square–whatever you desire you can probably pull off. My only advice to all you oval-shaped ladies is to avoid supersized shades, which can sometimes overpower your lovely features. True, they may be cool, but we won’t be able to see that stunning face if we’re too busy staring at big, bug-eyed lenses.
We recommend: these Cat Eye Glasses–for less than $10–from Forever 21.

So have at it! The next time you’re out shopping for a new pair of shades, remember these tricks of the trade and you’re guaranteed to find a perfect match to complement your already naturally beautiful face.

–SARAH MUHL
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