Remember my post a few weeks back about subscribing to free catalogs for inspiration? Well, this is one of the issues I’ve received since then. Honestly, you can’t really ignore a catalog that shows up in your mailbox with a blazing deep tangerine cover proclaiming, “NICE TO MEET YOU.” I was smitten from that alone!
J. Crew has a knack for curating the basics into lust-worthy objects of desire and, well, they know what they’re good at. In this latest issue, J. Crew says, “Today, we’re so much more than a catalog — in fact, we hear it from you every day…so really, we’re just catching up with you by calling this book what you’ve been calling it for some time: a style guide.”
The type treatments, photography and layouts feel worthy of a glossy fashion magazine moreso than a catalog so I can see why they’ve elevated it to a ‘style guide.’ Designers, if you’re ever working on any look books, this is a great starting point for inspiration. I especially love the spread featuring a grid of swimwear options (above). They keep it simple with their layouts. Nothing more, nothing less.
J. Crew knows its audience and has fun with the basics without feeling overly trendy. The tone of their style guide matches this aesthetic perfectly and needless to say, though I don’t own much in the way of J. Crew, I’m a big fan of their design aesthetic. Get your copy of the catalog here (because there are a ton more pages that are just as awesome lurking inside).
Yesterday morning, I got quite the surprise when I was digging through my sock drawer and came across this amazing scarf. Long forgotten, I have no idea where it came from or how long I’ve had it! But wow, what a score. The scarf is vintage but reminds me very much of one of my all-time favorite collections. Now, I just need to figure out some new and creative ways to tie a scarf because this one is surely going to get a ton of wear.
Readers: Are there any scarf-tying tutorials out there that you swear by?
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!