Let’s talk fall because I’m so sick of summer already! That said, many of the items on my wish list are with Southern California’s fall weather in mind, and may not be seasonally appropriate for your climate. Below are some of the things I’m on the lookout for, and am already daydreaming of wearing for my mid-October trip to Santa Fe and Taos, or strolling in on breezier afternoons and evenings.
Before you immediately leave this page after seeing the B-word above, just listen to me for a sec. Birkenstocks are seriously making a comeback. Giambattista Valli’s new show featured some cool, black and metallic studded versions and labels like Celine (fur-lined!) and Houghton have partnered with the brand to make hip, modern versions of the hippie staple. Birkenstock themselves are also constantly adding new styles, materials, and colors to their classics to keep up with the times. Hell, these comfy slip ons have even been spotted on the fashion forward feet of celebs like Heidi Klum and Mary Kate Olsen. Besides all that, they’re heaven for your feet and I can’t think of many things less fashionable or sexy than bunions.
Printed Palazzo Pants
WARNING! Do not attempt to combine the aforementioned footwear with this style of pants unless:
-You are a tall, thin supermodel.
-You don’t mind wearing unflattering things.
-You follow the tips below
Okay, now that that’s out of the way let’s talk palazzo pants. If you’re not of Amazonian height, there’s a risk of these making you look shorter and wider. The best way to avoid this is having them tailored to perfection. They should be high-waisted so the smallest part of you is highlighted (if you’re apple-shaped, maybe avoid this pant altogether) and therefore the voluminous leg will be balanced. Also, they should not be longer than just skimming the ground. To get maximum leg length they should fall exactly there: not cropped, and not dragging on the ground. If you only plan to wear them in heels make sure to bring your favorite pair to the tailor with you for an accurate measurement. They should fall just shy of being able to be stepped on. An ideal pair will also be more narrow in the butt and hip area to give a sense of your shape, and be of a thin, flowy material like silk verses something stiff and bulky like polyester, which can add volume.
Vintage Denim Jacket
So much easier said than done. I can’t tell you what I’m looking for or what you should look for in the perfect denim jacket, only that I believe when I put it on, I’ll know. I do know that for my small frame something too oversized won’t work, but I don’t mind a little slouchiness for an easy vibe.
It’s like 90 degrees in Los Angeles and by now I’ve got a tried-and-true list of ways to beat the heat:
1. Cold shower followed by air-drying in front of a fan pointed directly at you. (the poor woman’s A.C.)
2. Gelato. Sorbet. Milk shakes. You get the idea.
3. Going to the movies.
#3 is what I’m gonna focus on. I should have been a film critic because I love movies so damned much and am so damned critical of them. It’s an exciting time of year because the summer blockbusters and throwaway films have nearly subsided and there are some fantastic films out now in theaters and on the horizon. Let’s discuss some of my recent faves and those I can’t wait to get my eyeballs on.
I’m not normally one for a kung fu movie, but I mean, Wong Kar Wai. Do I need to say anything else? The Chinese director of In the Mood For Love (one of my all-time best wardrobe flicks) and Chungking Express releases his first feature since the very mehhhh My Blueberry Nights. The Grandmaster tells the story of Ip Man, the martial artist who mentored Bruce Lee. The American release of this film is also the director’s third cut so far, in this case made significantly shorter. Regardless of the length or changes from its original, I can say firsthand that this film has the stunning cinematography and romantic subtleties that are the director’s trademark when he’s at his best.
Short Term 12
Probably the best movie I’ve seen in months. Brie Larson, in all her “real girl” naturalism, gives a subtle but emotionally driven performance. Everything about this movie is great: casting of fresh faces and exceptional talent, beautiful camera work, raw and real subject matter, and clever storytelling. Go see it like…now.
This documentary examines how the alleged mistreatment of whales (and other marine life) at Sea World may have led to the death of one of their best trainers. Animal lovers (myself included) beware! The trailer has fully hooked me.
Yes, it looks mildly cheesy but any Brian De Palma flick (Scarface, The Untouchables, Carrie) is at least guaranteed to be entertaining, dramatic, and stylish to watch. Passion is the remake of a relatively contemporary French film which gives it another check mark in my “Reasons To See” box.
Not everyone takes the opportunity to do something creative on a regular basis, and certainly I’ve gone through periods where I wasn’t prioritizing it high enough. This is why I’m so thankful to some new friends I’ve made who not only give me such opportunities, but whose own creative endeavors and talents have been keeping me totally inspired. My ladies at Bunch Magazine (for which I write and style) recently introduced me to a group called Inspired Women of LA, founded by local photographer Megan McIssac, which meets up to network and share ideas and creative energies. I have met so many talented ladies through this group who I’ve been lucky enough to work with lately on some really exciting projects! It’s been so fulfilling and I just have to share with you all! Here are some pictures from IWOLA’s second meeting at the newly reopened (and stunning!) new Echo Park Lake where we ate Fonuts, drank rosé wine out of jam jars, shared stories, and took about a zillion photos. The other photos are from two shoots I’ve styled (working alongside some ladies I’ve met through this circle), both of which featured clothing by amazing LA-based designer Jill Aiko Yee. The first was for Bunch (see the final product here) and we worked with badass photographer Shanna Fisher and used energetic model/entrepreneur Jennifer Puno, and the second, for Jill’s own press images, had Lauren Garroni snapping pics and dancer Tiffany Rae Mallari making the garments look extra etherial. Take a moment to investigate all that these inspirational ladies are doing, and remember to make time to pursue your own creative interests! If you live in LA, join us! If you don’t, maybe you can get inspired to start your own group.
In honor of her recent 64th birthday (I know, right?!), I had to celebrate Shelley Duvall’s whimsical, perfectly imperfect babe-ness for the latest Vintage Babe installment. An idol to quirky girls everywhere, Miss Duvall shows us that a wiry body, saucer eyes, and gapped teeth — though not our impossible beauty standard — can be oh-so beautiful. Yay for uniqueness! Yay for Shelley! Happy Birthday, girl.
Lately it seems like this has become a photo blog, but I assure you there are plenty more vintage posts on the way! I’ve been (slowly) working on a new story/collection of stories, lyrically inspired by the local landscape. I swear was never as excited by nature than seeing spring and summer in Los Angeles. I’ve been snapping so many photos to document this inspiration as well and thought it was about time to share with you all, particularly those of you who don’t live around these parts and know the beauty of jacarandas, bougainvillas, lemon and loquat trees. Enjoy my view.
A few weeks ago I got to add another gig to my resume: wedding photographer. You might remember when I photographed/styled the lovely Christina almost two years ago. Well now she’s all grown up and married and offered me the job of photographing her adorable wedding in the backyard of a friend’s house in Silverlake. Just as I did the first time with Miss Christina, I shot both 35mm film and digitals. The wedding was small but totally personalized; Ball jars of homemade margaritas with old fashioned straws, fresh-made tacos in lieu of a traditional buffet or formal dinner, twinkling lights, and periwinkle jacaranda petals everywhere (happenstance but lovely still!). What really struck me in photographing the wedding was the behind the scenes moments, particularly those of Christina and her three sisters. Likely because I myself come from an all girl family, I was drawn to their beauty and dynamic. Here are a few of my favorite shots of the Kurzius women, the stunning bride and her groom, and a few other of my favorite details. For camera nerds, the film is shot with400 speed Kodak Portra (totally unedited) and I used a 28mm Hanimex lens. Congrats, Christina!