Alexander McQueen for the First Order

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There was once a time I didn’t have a single black garment in my closet, it was “too harsh”. And red? No way, too bold. White? Absolutely not, what if it gets dirty?

I always knew that when I approached my 30’s my once all over the place vintage style would become more refined. It’s fun to experiment, actually, it’s important, and experimenting knows no age, I just happened to be encouraged to explore my style young. Lately I’ve been feeling a pull towards more simplicity and drama, letting tailoring, texture, and color speak for me instead of prints and period accurate accessories. Black has become my neutral of choice, I find white elegant, and really started taking to red last year after dying my hair back to it’s dark color.

Then, I saw The Last Jedi. Visually stunning, the sets and costumes of the First Order really enchanted me, an unapologetic amount of black and red, with the finial scene on Crait completely taking my breath away. The white and beige landscape exploding with red soil was impossible to take my eyes off of, and from that moment on I knew I needed a lot more red in my wardrobe. I live in the Pacific Northwest, where most people immerse themselves in the earthy surroundings down to wearing gray jackets and living in brown houses. To be that explosion of red in this monotone environment appealed to me very much, I went right from the theater to the store and started my new look.

Today I came across the Holy Grail of lookbooks, the Alexander McQueen pre-fall 2013 collection. Sarah Burton designed these looks for the label, inspired by Anglican worship, which McQueen himself had previously taken inspiration from. But to me? It’s Alexander McQueen for the First Order. And it’s absolute perfection. This collection will continue to inspire my wardrobe choices: the 70’s hemlines, the thick leather belts, the high necks, the capes! Even the slight use of red, though I can see a few pieces switched from neutral to red with ease.

So enjoy, my dream Star Wars wardrobe.

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cold weather layering

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I received a question recently about layering in a stylish way during the cooler months, to sum it up, how to do it?

I’ve lived in Washington state all my life, and layering is pretty much a standard as soon as you can dress yourself, since the weather here can change at the drop of a hat. My neighbors down in California are experiencing the same challenges lately (thank you global warming) and I admit the last time I was down there in January I actually got really cold in the evening!

Now it’s easy to put a big cozy sweater over some leggings and top it with a down coat, but I think a lot of people, especially those inclined towards vintage style, crave something a bit more. Above is a little illustration I did summing up my must have items for the cooler months, read on if you want more detail on my layering choices!

First of all, set those jeans down, just try a few looks without them, I swear you’ll be warmer. You know what I wear in winter? Skirts. People think I’m crazy, but I’m not a bit chilly in below freezing temperatures. The key is not just the skirt itself, but what’s underneath! I have some wool skirts saved up for winter, it’s often so overlooked as a skirt/dress textile, reserved for outerwear. If they’re full, and you like a full skirt look, add a soft nylon petticoat, I get mine from Doris Designs, they’re wonderful insulators. If you like something a bit sleeker, find a nice nylon or silk slip.

Legwear is another chance to layer, I like a bare leg look without the goosebumps, so I’ve found hosiery at 20 denier or higher is opaque enough to keep the chill away with Oroblu fishnets in “sable” over that. They are worth every penny, the quality is superb, and I don’t shave my legs all season and with these two layers you’d never know, it makes you look like you can handle a lot more cold than you can! I mostly wear boots, either knee, or ankle depending on the temperature, and wear wool socks under those, another added layer of warmth!

Having cold wet feet can definitely bring down your mood, and I don’t think comfort and style need to be separated. For something easy, casual, and classic, try a desert boot, they can be worn when it’s warmer, or if you slip them on in autumn/winter, just add some cozy wool socks. Roll or fold thick mid-calf socks over the top of the boots for a nice little cuffed look, with skirts of pants. If you need something more professional for the office, just slip a pair of ballet flats in your handbag or keep some heels at your desk and change into them once you’ve successfully kept your toes warm outside!

If you like wearing pants (and remember, set down the denim!) then cigarette pants are a classic I wear year round. The Martie style from J.Crew is my go to, they come out with various colors all the time, they’re very comfortable, mid-rise, side zipper, and seasonally they make wool styles as well. If you want a true high waist, Vixen by Micheline Pitt makes the style in various colors, for that bombshell look.

If you’re a bit tired of bulky sweaters, or they just become too hot midday, try instead a short sleeved or three quarter length sweater. Something in a finer knit, and if you’re not allergic, in wool or cashmere, they keep your torso warm, and leave your arms a bit more free and cool for when you’re in a heated building. Underneath for extra warmth, a silk or nylon camisole will do the trick.

Coats and jackets are an obvious choice, but have you considered a car coat? A true car coat comes to about mid-thigh, and has a great deal of warmth, with insulation and a style that looks great open or completely buttoned up. I like that they work well with pants or a slim skirt, and are technically casual, but look really polished. You can find them in fine wools, prints, bold colors or neutrals. A quick etsy search is a great place to start browsing.

Silk! It’s the forgotten insulator. Don’t save the luxury for evening-wear or lingerie, use it to stay warm without the bulk of wool. I have a large square silk scarf in my bag at all times, it comes in handy when it rains, or tied around the neck for warmth, and you can find something you really love in colors that suit your wardrobe.

A wool beret and leather gloves are other classics that add to the warmth, and don’t take up a lot of closet or handbag space! I’ve found acrylic knit gloves pretty pointless, and wool can get a bit bulky, so I stick to leather, lined if it’s very cold. A beret is a wonderful accessory that you can also find in such a variety of colors, and can be perched on the head or pulled down over the ears on breezy days. I get all mine from John Helmer, they carry a variety of colors and I prefer the oversized style.

If you still find yourself very cold but don’t want to look like the kid from A Christmas Story, you can get silk long underwear for underneath your wardrobe, these run very large, so size down.

And there you have it! I hope that was helpful and if you have any style questions feel free to ask!

Paolo Sebastian + Disney

No collection has taken by breath away like this one since Dior Spring 2011. I think I could pick three dresses right off the runway and just live in them the rest of my life. I already get stares when I wear a dress of any kind, might as well just go with it.

You can see more of the Disney inspired Paolo Sebastian s/s 2018 show here. Meanwhile, enjoy my ideal wardrobe. Beginning and ending with my absolute favorites.


















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Going down an instagram rabbit hole I came across the account of Alyenwear and immediately fell in love with the latest collection. Alyenwear is an independent line in Finland (and from what I understand a mostly one woman force of designer, maker, model). Aptly described as “deconstructive minimalism” the designs have the influence of physics and mathematics guiding the way for garments that are minimalist, futuristic, cutting edge, and completely wearable all at once.


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