Monday, August 23, 2010

Paul Brickman Photography

It’s been a minute, but happy to be back.

Recently, I had the great pleasure of meeting young and upcoming New York photographer Paul Brickman. After scoping out his work, we met for drinks.

Brickman started building his portfolio in editorial, working with some particularly well-known fashion brands and individuals. Personally, I was interested in Brickman’s images due to their simple beauty and engaging quality. Most of all, I was really drawn to his portraits of musicians and performing artists. You can tell that Brickman has put a lot of care into these portraits, and he developed a relationship that allowed him access to his subjects’ most intimate moments. His Man on the Moon (2008) was so beautiful that I stole a business card with the image just to have a copy.

But what really took me aback was his latest project, Like a Lamb to the Slaughter. Dynamic, funny, pop, utterly bizarre, and at times very dark, this series showcases this young talent’s transition from interesting, compelling but rather safe subject matter to something deeper – a more textured and complicated critique of a youthful consumer subculture and lifestyle, tapping into his own experiences in the fashion industry.

Brickman may be critical, but he is no misanthrope – in fact, the use of the lamb masks started at a party as a joke. Brickman noted the mask’s effect on the public and decided to use the mask as a jumping-off point for a much larger endeavor. I think that particular detail serves the overall project quite well: the sense of bacchanal-type revelry is very much present in the series, albeit with a rather disturbing twist.

Unlike previous works with which Brickman seems to capture a quieter, more reflective and personal subject, Brickman’s anonymous lambs are audacious and rambunctious, not giving a shit about what anybody thinks as they perfectly mimic models, celebrities, and socialites. Brickman’s strongest images, I believe, are those that feature his lambs outright engaging with the viewer. Brickman’s photograph of the lamb in the pool, for example, is all at once amusing and sinister and excessive. The unexpected mask highlights the farcical quality of the rest of the surroundings - a scenario which would have otherwise left us more or less desensitized had it been left untampered.

We’ve seen a lot of these uncanny images of animal-people in fashion recently, from the H&M runway to window displays, seemingly without a hint of irony or Donnie Darko-like menace. As the fashion world grapples with itself, from the over-seriousness displayed by the Old Guard to the sensationalized Lindsay Lohan moment and the struggle to find new eyes and voices (Tavi, anyone?), it’s refreshing to see images that so effortlessly mock the absurdities of the industry, production to press.

Images compliments of Paul Brickman .
Image of Brickman compliments of Tatyana Bevz.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seeing Double: Tribal Influences

I came across a Nitrolicious report while perusing the fashion blogs today: H&M will be launching its third Fashion Against AIDS (FAA) campaign on May 20, 2010, donating 25% of sales to relevant projects. Launching just in time for the summer music festivals, the designers at H&M apparently took their cues from the Coachella set. I do not quite understand this H&M quote regarding the FAA collection, but I'll re-post it. Make what you will of it:

"The style of the festival is a global trend that’s all about freedom of expression and shared experiences. For girls, fashion this summer means a mix of rock, bohemia and glamour, with added ethnic touches, such as denim hot pants or patterned leggings matched with embellished tunic tops" [emphasis added].

Huh? Denim hot pants serve as ethnic touches?

Not sure what H&M is trying to say, but that's besides the point. I was struck by the similarity between the H&M flats (pictured on the right, via Nitrolicious) and the House of Harlow heels which I posted last fall. Is it in poor taste to link back to one's own blog? Because I just did.

I'm not sure which pair I prefer. The HOH heels have an undeniable sex appeal, but I think the H&M flats would be incredibly fun to stomp around in all summer - and would be a killer addition to a weekend wardrobe. Thoughts?

Image of House of Harlow heel via
Image of H&M footwear via

Inspired: Ashish, Viral and Vikrant

Ashish, Viral and Vikrant for Virtues has a truly fun and youthful collection of dresses and ensembles that pay homage to their Indian roots. The look this season seemed quite bohemian-chic, cutting delicious fabrics (re: a mixture of Indian textiles pieced together with popular western fabrics, like denim) so that the authentic beauty of the materials remained clearly visible. In fact, I would say the collection is uncommonly well conceived: these pretty and interesting pieces emphasize the fabric choices subtly and chicly. What's particularly nice is that, despite the obvious nod to heritage textiles and prints, the looks are urban and versatile. I imagine women will be loving these pieces from Bombay to LA and everywhere in between.

Images via Vogue India.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Erin Fetherston's Spring 2010 Dresses

I hate to write a blog post about something as mundane as the weather - it's more appropriate conversation for a bad date or a job interview. But I love this time of the year: New York and her locals tend to be in a state of total rhapsody, shedding both woolen layers and surly attitudes. There's nothing I want to do more than drool other delicate dresses in pastel colors - and a gorgeous tan to keep me from looking ridiculous in them.

Less jabber and more fashion. I've been a fan of Erin Fetherston's concoctions for a while, but it's hard to fantasize about her dresses in the middle of a blizzard. Her Spring 2010 collection is incredibly pretty and wearable; very lady-like sans the prissy factor. Last spring, Fetherston's collection was less structured, and it seemed more fitting for a beach vacation, although there were a lot of tiered cloud-like dresses (I preferred the look on shorter hemlines, but that's partly because I'm of a diminutive stature myself, and I don't fare too well in long dresses).

Anyway, old is old. My favorite look this spring is the Rose Bobinette Top with the Rose Bobinette Capelet and the Miniskirt in Floral Cloque. With such a perfect combo of youthfulness and a classic sensibility, it's no wonder that doe-eyed ingenue types like Zooey Deschanel and Kirsten Dunst have modeled her confections.

Images via Erin Fetherston.

Zac Posen for Target

How I love The Cut, particularly for posting images and prices of Zac Posen's entire Target line. The collection drops April 25, and it's bound to be a huge hit. The Snap Tape Dress is unbelievably cool, although I'm inspired to attempt the bikini-top-and-skirt combo. Too much?

A sampling:

-Snap Tape Dress in Blue, $69.99.
-Black Cardigan, $49.99; Ruched Halter Bikini Top, $19.99; Floral Print Brocade Skirt, $49.99; Black Braided Belt, $24.99.
-Halter Dress, $24.99; Black Braided Belt, $24.99.
-Tie-Dye Print Tank Dress, $29.99.
-Red Two-Piece Ruffle Dress, $79.99.
-Brocade Tie Dress, $74.99.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Squishy New York by Dave Ortiz

I had the pleasure of catching up with Dave Ortiz and Squishy (his muse) in the LES this evening. A bit of our conversation:

"Being the international star that Squishy is, she decided to design her own women's line to compete with Juicy Couture, because she feels that 'Juicy' is too racy, and not for real women. After she showed the line to all her Hollywood friends, the Creative Director at Adidas, the Marketing Director at Nike, and Karlito Lagerfeld, she decided she needed to establish her own brand - Squishy New York. You may notice the obscure 'New York' - well, this is because she has no thumbs."

Limited-edition Squishy New York t-shirts and hoodies are available at Epstein's Bar (82 Stanton) and SHUT Skates (158 Orchard Street).

Images via

L*Space Fringe Benefits

With the fringe trend being quite dominant this spring, it feels like a veritable rodeo out there. I've seen images of this L*Space piece, and I'm quite smitten with it. Granted, it is a bathing suit, but it is ripe with styling opportunities, particularly for those who aren't afraid to bare a bit extra in the warmer weather. For the more demure dressers, use it as a base layering piece. Also available in white and, my favorite, purple.

Images via L*Space.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tokyo Fashion Week Highlights

I really enjoyed Somarta's RTW Fall 2010 collection; it was sumptuous, dramatic, and full of sensual textures. I really loved the high boots coupled with the lace stockings - definitely on my radar for the fall. Tamae Hirokawa's brocade skirts really struck a cord with me as well. There was something ultimately dark and moody about this collection, and I would love to see the inspiration boards, since I couldn't quite figure out the connection between the horned hairstyle and the rest of the collection. The metal heels on the shoes were an awesome touch, although the accessorizing did tend to venture into slightly costume-y territory.

All images via

Monday, March 8, 2010

Paris: Peace Out, 80s

Paris was all over the place. But if there is one definitive point to accept, it is that the 80s trend is over, and we can look forward to a 60s and 70s revival.

Giambattista Valli was my personal favorite for the day, with an undeniable early 60s influence in the silhouettes. The coats looked fresh with a nostalgic air; they seemed appropriate for Audrey Hepburn in a chase scene in Charade. The dresses were frothy and fun, and many of these looks seemed to hearken back to a sophisticated time of revelry (again, I'm envisioning Audrey Hepburn, but this time in the unforgettable New York party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's). It wasn't all texturing and panelling though - some looks were paired with structured blazers. This dichotomy only managed to heighten the sex appeal.

Stella McCartney was all business. Nothing was short of sheer and chic modernity, and while some pieces were distinctively mod (largely due to some smart color blocking), there was nothing particularly retro about the collection. The clothes felt grown up and mature, catering less to a runway-frequenter and more to an Upper East Side set.

If Stella McCartney was serious, Yves Saint Laurent was flat-out sedated. Over sized hats flopped over models' faces like poorly-fit habits, and heavy gold chains laid against somber palettes like crucifixes. Stefano Pilati's show wasn't boring, though - the ensembles may have lacked color and vitality, but a real sense of drama was present: the 70s cuts, the unusual suiting accents, the hidden faces, the gloves, the capes.

Kenzo was wonderfully weird. Imagine a boho/hipster Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, artfully mixing hippie prints with men's suiting. A word of caution: be careful when styling this look. On one hand, you may seem free-spirited and quirky, on the other, the style may render you dateless till Spring 2011.

And Ungaro - oh, Ungaro. After the Lindsay Lohan debacle, the fashion house has desperately tried to make up for the poorly conceived and executed publicity stunt. Unfortunately for the gossip-lovers, the heart-shaped pasties were omitted from this season's collection. The pieces were structured better, but the show lacked vision. While other designers started exploring new silhouettes of modernity and maturity, Estrella Archs seemed to still be stuck in the 80s, and the look just seems tired and played out. Uninspiring, to say the least.

All images via

And The Winner Is...Penelope Cruz

I think it's safe to say that style-wise, this year's Academy Awards was a bit of a buzzkill. Jennifer Lopez looked like she was swathed in a bed spread in Armani Prive, Charlize Theron's Vera Wang ensemble was a chesty mess, and even the evening's leading lady - Sandra Bullock in Marchesa - just looked safe, albeit pretty.

Penelope Cruz, however, was a knockout. In all honesty, I am terribly biased: I firmly believe that she is one of the most uncommonly beautiful women in Hollywood, and she has enough attitude and fire in her personality to pull off even the most dramatic looks.

In her crimson Donna Karan dress last night, she was a vision, and out-shined many of the other starlets.

Of course, Penelope Cruz is known for wearing dramatic dream-worthy gowns: Remember the iconic blush Atelier Versace gown at the 2007 Academy Awards?

Top Image Getty via, Bottom image via

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dolce + Gabbana Is Utterly Stunning

I read enough reviews about Dolce & Gabbana's stellar collection, but didn't get much of an opportunity earlier to really check out the images. It is absolutely incredible. I highly recommend checking out the full collection when you get a chance.

I thought I was really over the lingerie-inspired trend, until I saw this.

Images via

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mario Moya Fall 2010 Collection

I got a chance to help out at the Mario Moya show, and I really loved his collection for the fall. The pieces were ultra-feminine and classic silhouettes with sexy accents. It was all film-noir Hollywood glamour, mixed with the definitive Parisian timelessness: perfect coiffures, rouged lips, winged eyeliner. Seeing the collection, I really felt that Moya was tapping into a romantic narrative without endangering his work by getting too costume-y.

I really enjoyed his Noir Powernet Monroe Dress. Moya works well with sheer accents; he knows how to use them to seduce subtly. The Noir Chiffon Femme Fatale Blouse with the Noir Wool Diamond Skirt was another personal favorite - the exposed back really sold me. It had a really great cut, and it looked stunning on the model. I think both this and the Citron Apocalypse Gown with the Citron Blaze Cape would photograph beautifully, and they would make really interesting editorial pieces.

See the full collection at Mario Moya.

Images by Jenna Gang.