Monthly Archives: July 2008

Link Love: 8.1.08

1. Sea of Shoes is my latest blog obsession. Jane, a teen in Texas manages to wear the latest designer offerings in a way that’s completely fresh and unstuffy. And, her shoe collection rivals those of women three times her age.

2. The history of the ampersand. &!

3. What recession?! These magazines are printed for the privileged few that must have money growing on trees.

4. Gilda’s article Coming Out of the Closet is the most inspirational blog post I’ve read all month. She recounts a recent run-in at the Patricia Field store with a guy from Memphis struggling to accept who he was. She literally opened him up to a whole new way of living just by striking up a conversation!

5. Steve Palina asks the question “What If You Have Many Different Interests and Cannot Commit to Any of Them?” Thankfully, he claims that this can be a hugely beneficial issue to have!

6. Darren Rowse offers up 21 ways to make your blog sticky and they’re pretty much what a high-priced consultant would recommend! So good.




Advice #9: Rocking your Style with Confidence!

 




I was looking through your blog & I noticed how you were always dressed in something cute and you wore it with a certain flare & confidence. I’m just wondering how I can acquire some (any) confidence to wear some bold/cute/notice-me-I’m-not-just-a-piece-of-wallpaper ensemble.

As you’ve probably already guessed, feeling confident about your outer appearance comes from not only wearing something that makes you feel good, but also from accepting yourself for who you are. Some people can throw on jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers and still exude an air of confidence because that simplicity suits them. I’m not one of those people; I feel my best when I’m wearing a coordinated outfit.


A tiny sampling of my outfit photos

On the topic of fashion and confidence, I was just reading an interview with Nancy Pelosi (the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives) and though she wears mostly pantsuits, her outlook is right on key. She says:

Fashion and all it implies—hair, makeup—is an art form. If you look organized and well presented, people think you’re organized in your mind and you take pride in yourself. And besides, it’s fun.

If you feel great about what you’re wearing, it will naturally show in your body language and people will take notice. It really is like a chain reaction!

MY PERSONAL MANTRAS

Stylistically, most of us have certain rules and boundaries whether we realize it or not. It’s a good idea to keep these in mind when trying out new looks, but to not let them stop you from branching out. Some of my personal rules regarding style are:

1. If you feel uncomfortable in something, don’t wear it.

Have you impulsively worn shoes that hurt your feet just because they looked great? Have you thrown on a dress that looked perfect on the hanger but shifted and bunched all night? I’ve done these things too many times to recall. I’ve worn skirts that felt too short and subsequently yanked and pulled on them as I walked down the street. I’ve worn stilettos that looked impressive sitting in my closet, but after a night of standing at a club, they weren’t worth the pain.


Pretty in pictures, not for a night of standing!

No matter how beautiful something looks or how much you think it will impress the company you keep, it really isn’t worth it. It’s hard to carry yourself in a self-assured, confident manner if your clothing makes you feel awkward.

2. It’s better to have 10 amazing pieces of clothing than 100 that are mediocre.

The next time you impulsively pick up a piece of clothing, ask yourself if it’s going to last and if it’s worth the investment. Granted, it’s not just about the cost (or whether the item is on sale). Does it deserve to take up space in your closet? Is it overly trendy? Will the material pill and snag after only a few wears? Is the fabric a cheap feeling synthetic?

Confession: some of my most favorite dresses were purchased for under $30.00 at Forever 21, but for every great steal, I have a pile of clothing castoffs that later seemed too gaudy or just felt shoddy and cheaply made. I’d rather pass on the bargains and save up for one quality item that will last me for years.

3. Embrace the concept of ‘everyday luxury.’

Two of the items I use almost daily were astoundingly expensive (to me). My Dries Van Noten boots and Miu Miu purse both made me pause before I handed over my credit card, but months later, I can honestly say that I’ve already gotten my use out of them.

When I was trying to decide whether to splurge on the Dries boots, the shop assistant relayed the brilliant message of ‘everyday luxury.’ If you buy something notable, there’s no reason to hide it away for only special occasions. There’s something really refreshing about a designer purse or shoes that show obvious wear. Everyday luxury is about breaking in the things you love most and enjoying them constantly!

4. Define your style icons and take visual cues from them.

If you’re lacking in confidence, there’s nothing wrong with adopting a handful of icons who have style that you admire. By choosing to embrace their confidence and elements of their style, your level of comfort will begin to grow. Over time, the emulation will start to shed and your own methodology will begin to emerge.

When I was around 16, I admired Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson and Boy George. At that time, I’d show obvious indicators through band shirts, pins, patches and jewelry. Over time though, I learned to take small elements from each of my icons (striped tights from Manson, vintage dresses from Courtney, bright makeup and layers from Boy George) and added in my own. Pretty soon, I didn’t need those distinct signifiers (like shirts with my idol’s name splashed across them) to spell out my alliances. I was just fine being myself and expressing my own identity.

CURRENT STYLE ICONS

A handful of personalities have helped mold my style into what it is today. Here are a few deserving shout outs!

1. Michael Jackson: I have always loved his attention to details and funky yet streamlined looks. He has an amazing flair in the way he takes the basics (white v-neck tees, slim black pants, button-up shirts, tailored blasers and bowler hats) and adds dashes of sequins, armbands and jewelry to make the look completely his own. Stylistically, I can relate to his sleek black hair, very pale skin and unisex clothing elements and I owe my love of vintage marching band jackets and skinny black pants to him!


Emulating MJ, 2003

2. Steve Perry: Growing up, my parents were totally obsessed with this man and it rubbed off on me. It’s true that I went as Steve last Halloween (and it’s the only time I’ve ever impersonated a man)! His unfussy staples of the late 70s that included Levi’s 501 jeans paired with a t-shirt still inspire me today. And, he rocked a white tailcoat like nobody’s business.

3. Mickey Mouse: The original icon of red, black and white, Mickey has always had a hold on me. Putting on Gala’s Mickey ears in NYC a few weeks ago only reminded me of how much I dig Mickey’s classic, unchanging style!


1984 and 2008, respectively.

EMBRACE CHANGE

Feeling confident comes with self-discovery. Experimenting and figuring out what makes you feel great will boost your courage. Not all of us have been blessed with enough funds for a major shopping spree, so why don’t you give the digital equivalent (Polyvore) a try? Now you can try out all the latest designer gear without the guilt!

Never forget to have fun when exploring your style. Nothing is set in stone. Style is something that is impossible to pin down; it is constantly morphing and growing, ebbing and flowing. It’s an adventure based on self-expression.

Do you have any mantras that define your style?




Logo Design: Daedalus Howell

A few months ago, I was contacted by Daedalus Howell, a man of many talents who seamlessly balances careers in writing, radio and producing / directing / acting in films. He was in need of a logo that summed up these various forays yet also managed to symbolize his name (which could be complicated to grasp for some upon the first viewing). 


One of the final logo options for Daedalus
 

As you can guess, this was not an easy challenge, but Daedalus (being a writer) was able to communicate exactly what he has looking for through detailed emails. The consensus we eventually came to was that he wanted a logo that was timeless, open-ended (could easily be used for representation in all of his professions) and also stood for his name.

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete so it made sense to reference it in his logo.

Once the labyrinth piece of the logo puzzle was figured out, I moved onto deciding which shape could hold it yet contribute to the overall message. I decided to use a talk / thought bubble to symbolize Daedalus’ writing and radio careers.

When designing a logo, I try to keep these thoughts in mind:

1. Can the logo be repeated to create a pattern? Focus on symmetry in the design if possible. 

 

2. Are the shapes of the logo simple enough that it’s easy to interchange colors and other small details if necessary? Below, I made subtle changes with dark and light grays and the typefaces: 

 

3. If there’s text accompanying the logo, does it have the potential to look dated really fast? I try to stick with classic Serifs and very basic, clean sans serifs. My favorite sans serif options are Avant Garde, Helvetica Neue and Avenir.

Also, it should be noted that we decided upon a secondary logo option for when Daedalus needs to put more emphasis on his name: 

 

A special thanks to Daedalus for being a dream client and allowing me to feature him!




The Week in Pictures: 7/25/08

week in pictures nubby twiglet typography

Wow, this week has flown by! But, I do have some fun news to report; Apartment Therapy just featured me on their site and we’re scheduling a house tour very soon!

Last Friday at the Nemo Design semi-annual meeting, someone had the brilliant idea to unveil pictures of the new employees in a mug shot format. As you can see, we have quite the cast of characters. The next day, they were posted in the hallway! What do you think my offense would be? Shoplifting? Loitering?!

On Sunday, I took Lee and Smokey to the Nemo picnic in Sellwood. Since Nemo has boats, we were set up near the water. There’s nothing like a catered barbecue! Of course, right when I finally decided that I would go for a boat ride, the engine flooded!

In totally random news, Lee designed a rock poster for Emmylou Harris. I’m not normally into country music, but I was lured in by a comp ticket. We ended up parking on a steep hill about a half mile from the concert and I had to hike through winding trails and other brush in heels to reach the show. This was on the way down, where I have a half walking / half jogging motion going on while I try to keep my balance!

Luckily, all was well once I got ahold of a massive elephant ear. It was at least as big as my head (and sooo tasty)!

Here’s my work computer; as usual, I’m on a total Herb Lubalin kick!

How was your week?