I first locked eyes on the Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 book earlier this year because it featured my favorite Avedon photo of all time, Jean Shrimpton from the cover of the April 1965 issue of Bazaar. But beyond that, I couldn’t put this book down. Avedon is considered one of the top fashion photographers of all time but I was curious to know more about the stories behind his most iconic images and how he got his start. I learned that Avedon was a merchant marine in World War II, where he was assigned with taking identity photographs of fellow sailors. This book does a meticulous job of showcasing some of his more rare, early work from the 1940s mixed in alongside his most famous photos and ad campaigns.
Avedon was at Harper’s Bazaar (1944 – 1965), then Vogue (1966 – 1990) and finally, at The New Yorker (1992 – 2004) and this book covers all those stints as well as work he produced for other clients including some of his most memorable Versace campaigns, which he shot for two decades. At over 350 pages long, I had a hard time choosing just a handful of images to share. If you get the chance, check this book out, winking holographic eye cover and all.
Every year, I like to dream up a new style direction as a goal to work towards. Late 2010 and most of 2011 was dedicated to a direction I dubbed Parisian Cyborg and that was super fun. A few months after that post debuted, I did go to Paris and wore a nearly identical look (I was definitely overdressed and the sleek, understated Parisians probably thought I was nuts).
So, what exactly does Ladylike Urban Warrior mean? Even though I love to feel feminine and adore makeup, dresses and sequins, I’m still drawn to the extreme and avant garde when it comes to fashion. The dress I’m wearing above (recently found on sale at Asos) in particular sums up my new direction because it’s a fairly classic silhouette but the neoprene material, laser-cut details and built-in harness add a modern twist.
Images: 1. Vogue, 2. Jessica Stam, 3. Givenchy Fall 2009 Couture, 4. L’Officiel Ukraine, 5. Unknown, 6. Unknown, 7. Vogue.
I find the idea of dreaming up a style direction really motivating and as a way to push ourselves into new sartorial territory. For most of December and January, I was working 10 to 12 hours every single day on an ad campaign and out of exhaustion, defaulted to a uniform of black jeans and sweaters. Mentally, I was completely drained and just couldn’t think beyond the basics in my wardrobe. I’ve since set a few goals, namely to wear more color, to accessorize with jewelry more often and finally, to add in some more color to my makeup routine (a current favorite is the MAC Double Feature 1 palette). To me, clothing is the equivalent of wearable art. It’s one of the most accessible forms of self-expression and occasionally modifying your personal style can be hugely inspiring.
I’m wearing: Asos dress, Mimimarket wedges, H&M tights and an H&M Headband.
Readers: Have you made any modifications to your look this year? How would you sum up your personal style?
I’m starting out the new year working on my third editorial design project in as many months so magazines are on my mind big time. I’m constantly on the lookout for inspiring covers and these are some of my favorites as of late. Enjoy!
These Dries van Noten babies are like an acid trip for your feet. They’re a bit of a departure from my normal style, but I love them so much. Perfect for Spring, they’re super soft and slightly slouchy. I’d watched these boots a solid six months as they languished on the Halo sale rack and finally swooped in when they reached 70% off.
Hailing from Fall 2008, I lusted after every single piece of psychedelic / marbled / splattered clothing in that collection. I never ended up with any of the clothing, but these boots and a pair of pumps I got last year are plenty enough of a compensation. They’re definitely coming with me to Vegas this Spring!
Yellow slip, Forever 21
Avant Garde necklace, plastique
Bow, Forever 21
Boots, Dries van Noten
My new favorite piece of jewelry is this multi-chain cross by Forever 21. It’s a total urbanized version of what my childhood idol, Mr. T would wear and maybe that’s why I love it so much!
I first found out about A.F. Vandevorst back in 2000 when I bought a book featuring Belgian fashion designers. I was immediately captivated by his constant use of red cross imagery as a signature throughout his fashion line. When I came across these silver beauties on the sale rack at Halo, I knew they had to come home with me. And, any shoe box emblazoned with F E T I S H completely seals the deal.
Regarding the back story of how A.F. Vandevorst got its start, Interview Magazine says:
A.F. Vandevorst is really among the last of the Mohicans when it comes to independent European design. An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx were on their first day as fashion students at Antwerp’s Royal Academy when they met in 1987, fell in love, and eventually became husband and wife. 10 years later they opened their own company and have been showing seasonally in Paris ever since. Their style is sleek but somehow countrified, with lots of silk, fur and vintage lingerie bits. The shoes under the Fetish label are particularly great; An Vandevorst cut her creative teeth early on as shoe and accessories designer for fellow Antwerpian Dries Van Noten.
I’ll never tire of the architectural details or medical references ingrained into the A.F. Vandevorst aesthetic.
I’d like to thank Forever 21 for advertising on my blog this month. As I was scanning their site today, I pulled together a few of my current favorite items that I thought I’d share with you: circle accented mesh necklace, abstract art dress, sequin suspender skirt, metallic trim military jacket, lacquered pyramid bangle, belted petal skirt, disco sequin front top, side bow headband, mickey glitter tee, crackle metallic boot and love sculpture ring. Happy shopping!