Saturday, December 12, 2009

Taylor Momsen

She's definitely the girl I love to hate, mostly out of envy. As millions of crazed Gossip Girl fans have tuned in for three seasons, we have all watched her rise to fame. Her metamorphasis from a seemingly sweet and innocent to a bold and blazon has simply been astounding. Each of her eclectic pieces and outfits are like a breath of fresh air. I've been so tired of seeing kids fail at reproducing an edgy look that I've really only seen Momsen pull off.

As much as anyone can try to deny, it's clear that Momsen's on-screen alter ego has most definitely had an impact on the development of her personal style. Moving from sweet and innocent Little J to the rebellious Brooklynite to the new Queen of Constance, Jenny Humphrey has shed many layers to get to where she is now. Although Gossip Girl's costume director Eric Damon does an AMAZING job of putting together these expressive extensions of each character, I must say that up until Season three I didn't think much of Jenny's clothes.

Now, for the Jenny Humphrey Fashion Timeline:

In the early episodes of Gossip Girl, a young, naive, and willing Little J did just about anything to get into Blair's inner circle. Her hair was long and blonde with a center part and most of her outfits were plain and simple.
Moving on up in the ranks, Little J poses as one of Blair's faithful minions as she formulates plans to bring the queen down. Although these outfits screamed 'Blair Wannabe' with the colorful tights and headbands, they definitely had some of J's personal twists added to the mix.
Once J realized the fruitlessness of her endeavors in Constance's inner circle, she got in touch with her rebellious side. Embracing her Brooklyn roots, J turned to a look that was a mix of pop and grunge. Often sporting a color palette of mainly black, white and grey with an occasional dash of bright color, J chased her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Her most notable getup was her Constance uniform outfitted with hot pink tulle under the skirt.
Now, finally taking her rein as Queen of Constance, J traded in her choppy mop for long platinum locks as she takes on a edgy yet polished look. Gravitating towards darker, stronger colors, Queen J has taken her role of resident monarch and made it all her own. I'm not going to lie, I've been obsessed with her new look and especially coveting her Topshop Unique heart print silk mini dress (bottom left corner).
In real life, Taylor Momsen's wardrobe has been a real head-turner. Focusing on her music with her band, The Pretty Reckless, Momsen kept herself busy writing songs and performing throughout the Summer months. Ever since, Taylor's attire has grown to be increasingly risqué. In her band persona, she has emulated Courtney Love in her manner of dress and singing style. Both artistic choices have caused quite a ruckus. In one of her more recent performances she was seen wearing a sheer, oversized shirt with a garter and over-the-knee stockings. At times it's hard to remember she's only 16.

Nevertheless, her unique variety and interpretation of grunge has definitely caught the eyes of many. Taylor's look is effortless and modern which is exciting to see. Most kids who try to get in on the whole grunge bandwagon often fail and end up sporting a much tamer, bland, cliche and commercialized version of the real thing. At that point, the essence of grunge is completely lost because all of those things stand for the exact opposite of what grunge is supposed to be.
A self-proclaimed believer in rock and roll, Momsen stays true to one of her mottos which she told NYLON tv, "be yourself, be true to yourself, be who you are, and don't be afraid to be aggressive about it."

Saturday, November 28, 2009


One of my all time favorite movies is Clueless. In this modern take on Jane Austen's classic romantic comedy Emma, Alicia Silverstone (Cher) is charming and hilarious with impeccable taste. Each of her outfits is put together so perfectly that with all her coordinating headbands, collars, and knee-high socks, some may say that she was the Californian Blair Waldorf of her day.

Young, beautiful and living the life of a privileged, wealthy Beverly Hills teenager in the 90's Cher Horowitz (Silverstone) teams up with her best friend Dione (Stacey Dash) as she administers makeovers and match-makes her way into trouble. Whether it be taking newcomer Tai (Brittany Murphy) under their wings or setting up teachers on dates the two best friends always manage to do so in style, even if that sense of style may be a little over the top at times.

This is my favorite one of Dione's hats and the matching outfits is such a classic and comical way of introducing a pair of best friends.
Although most of the costumes in Clueless were not based off of what teenagers were wearing in 1995, the movie was filled with midriffs, feather boas, top hats, skirt suits, see-through cover-ups, platform sneakers, chokers, scrunchies, baby doll dresses, argyle, animal and plaid prints, mini backpacks, knee highs and pleather jackets and skirts. The list goes on and on. Costume designer Mona May's objective was to set trends not follow them. On the Clueless "Whatever Edition" DVD's "Fashion 101", May said that fashion at the time was very much about grunge and her objective was to bring something new to the table that kids could copy.
Some clothing themes and trends that caught my eye throughout the movie:
Sheer blouses were featured a number of times. One of my favorite outfits was Cher's driver's license test ensemble, featured in the upper right corner here. It was one of the most unique forms of layering I have ever seen. I absolutely loved it. The blouse had ruffles and the way it was worn over Cher's checkered mini skirt was innovative and very feminine. Several of these blouses had girly touches to them such as ruffled cuffs or a small floral print.
No particular trend is featured here but I just wanted to add a few of my other favorite outfits from the movie. I was absolutely in love with Cher's Bill Cosby-esque cardigan which reminded me of those hipster kids I see at school who wear their thrifted "old-man" sweaters. Cher had a way of wearing tweedy looking sweaters and knits while still giving them a feminine quality. Plus I thought the picture with the pager added a nice touch of nostalgia. My other favorite outfit featured here was Cher's dainty, slightly sheer blouse which she paired with a leather mini skirt and jacket. The outfit's simplicity was very chic .
Even as a kid of the 90's one major trend that I never caught on with was the whole layering a tank top over your tee-shirt trend. Even years after the 90's era was over, television show's like Lizzie McGuire had girls everywhere jumping this layering trend bandwagon. But then again, I never really liked the Lizzie McGuire show all that much either. However strong my dislike for this manner of dress, Cher manages to pull it off not just once but close to three times during the movie. This look maintains Cher's girly image of innocence and keeps her looking cute.
One of Cher's most memorable outfits of this movie is her ruby red Azzedine Alaïa dress which she wears to the infamous Valley Party and is later held at gunpoint in. Being a native of the Beverly Hills area, Cher has most definitely wowed us with her impressive collection of designer clothes and has dropped some major fashion names such as Calvin Klein and Fred Segal.
Clueless' fashion didn't just stop at what the girls were wearing, the movie's leading males were equally involved in the fashion scene. Some of the boys' costumes were just as vibrant and colorful and fully matched each of the different personalities. By far, one of the most iconic moments of the movie was when this group of five young men waddled their way through school as the audience listened to Cher rant about boys' greasy hair, backwards caps and saggy pants set to "All The Young Dudes".
In a time of ever present sagging pants, Clueless broke through on the fashion front with knit sweater vests, button-down denim shirts, crushed velvet, suspenders, berets and bucket hats. While baggy was a sign of rebellion, Mona May defied convention and brought about a handful of distinct looks for the young men of Clueless.
Each look was specific to each characters. Four of the leading males of Clueless included Elton a man of mainly button up shirts and vets, Murray with his baggy pants and matching caps, Christian in head-to-toe vintage 1940's attire, and Travis who practically lived in cut off jeans and plaid. Although I don't have all the different looks, I've posted two of my favorites. Starting with Murray, Dione's boyfriend never missed a mark with his color-coordinated outfits. I love that no matter what Murray was wearing he always had on a hat and the perfect pair of shoes on to match.
Travis, another friend of Cher's, on the other hand had a more carefree approach to what he was wearing. Although the intent was for Travis to seem as if he had put no thought into his clothing choice, the end result was a nice twist of 90's nostalgia and a fresh approach to the grunge look.
In the Clueless cast interviews, the movie's creators and participating actors discussed their vision for the movie as something fun and smart that everyone would enjoy. It was a carefree and relatable movie that millions of people have come to love. At the end of the interview, the director and writer, Amy Heckerling said that Clueless was a representation of her kind of "ideal world" where everything was good and everyone got along. After watching this movie, I definitely felt the same way. I wanted to live in this world and be a part of it, and in a way Clueless's cast and story line made me feel that I was.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rated R

I've never really been a big fan of Rihanna. I can't really take her over-the-top outfits or insane concert costumes but it's hard not to love her bold attitude and confidence. I've really been enjoying this subdued color pallet of blues, greys and browns that she's been sporting lately.

What I really can't wrap my head around is that how little scrutiny Rihanna receives for some of her stylistic choices. Quite a few of her pieces may be deemed just as ridiculous and unconventional as Lady Gaga's but I have yet to hear of any major criticisms on how Rihanna chooses to dress.

Nevertheless, I think they're both amazing style icons.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Night Lights

This friday my high school had it's first ever night game. A crew hauled in a herd of rented "night lights" two days before the actual game. It was such a big production, and the football players and cheerleaders gave the lights a good test run before the game by running around the field wildly in the dark. I'd never seen a football game a night before and it was really breathtaking. I got the game kindof late, a situation only made worse by the traffic in front of my school, which was a NIGHTMARE. I had to turn into the next town over and slowly work my way back to the major intersection by my school's senior parking lot. I ended up parking at the very top of a huge hill and having to walk my way down to the game.
Once there, everyone in the Screamin' Scots section, the school's student cheer club, was roaring with excitement. All of their faces were painted blue as people waved banners and clapped their hands. It really felt like being in a tv show about high school.

I tried to get a few somewhat decent shots with my camera at the game but my flash decided to trow a fit and only work selectively. It was my first time using my flash for real and I didn't really take the time to make sure I had complete control over the device before I left for the game.

This is one of the History teachers at my school who is also in charge of Yearbook. He likes to wear a kilt to every football game since our mascot is a Scottish Bagpiper.

After halftime, I left for IHOP with my friend Shanise. I had a plate of these delicious Strawberry and Banana crepes and Shanise had a plate with basically everything on it.

After our "dinner" we set off on a mission to complete an item on my 'Eighty-Six list', a compilation of adventures and exciting tasks. List item: Make a bouquet for a stranger. We cheated a little bit and just bought flowers from Safeway.

We then drove to a colony of townhouses, sat in front of their mailboxes and proceeded to write a friendly note to attach to our flowers. I then spun myself around several times until I was dizzy and pointed at a random mailbox and as a result chose which doorstep to leave the bouquet on.

Here is Shanise's hand wearing one of her amazing rings as we worked on the note together and tried to make it as cheerful and creative as possible despite the fact that we had no colors.

Dear resident of: HOUSE #6
I hope these flowers brighten up your day.
♥ Sincerely,
The both of us
Me & Me

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Phoebe In Wonderland

This amazing film is about Phoebe Litchen (Elle Fanning), a 9 year old girl with Tourettes. Phoebe tries out for her school's production of Alice in Wonderland leading to her hallucinations and obsessive compulsive habbits, which continue to worsen throughout the film.
The set direction and costumes are so amazing. I'm in love with everything that Phoebe, her class mates and her sister wear. Even with the dark story line, the costumes and set brought a whole other dimension to the film.

While I was watching the movie, all I could think about were the amazing visuals it had to offer. I couldn't get enough of the whimsicality and overall theme of innocence. I have been obsessing over this so called "little girl" look which has only been reinforced after seeing the flawless Miu Miu Spring 2010 ready to wear line and hours of watching the British children's show Charlie and Lola.

Phoebe's sense of style is colorful and dynamic but still maintains classic look. Some of her wardrobe's basics include turtlenecks, tights, and jumpers that all come in an array of hues and patterns. Olivia, Phoebe's hilarious little sister, is also pictured in a few wild and spontaneous get-ups that are pretty inspiring too.

This film is a visual gem. The photography is stunning and the sets and costumes kept me drooling throughout.
See it.