Tag Archives: kristen joy watts

Beware the “I Wants” of March

I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but today’s Closet Case Study references a different time in March.  Yesterday brought the first whisper of spring weather to Manhattan, and the first inspiring catalog Anthropologie has released in ages to my mailbox. The heady combination left me climbing into bed last night with a serious case of what my sister would diagnose as the “I Wants.”

The catalog still had some of the less-than-special pieces (knit rayon-argh!) that have permeated the store over the last few years, but it also had a bit of that old “Dries for real girls” magic that made me love it years ago in California. I think the “I Wants” started when I saw a floral Brazilian bathing suit, pictured under an oversized white button down shirt.

Anthropologie, March 2010, page 5

Well, I know I’ve got a perfect boyfriend-style white oxford from Steven Alan’s sample sale, and surely I must have a great Brazilian bathing suit in the archives from my time there

Yours truly, happily home in Rio de Janeiro, 2002

I flipped a few more pages, and then I saw this skirt:

Anthropologie March 2010, Page 21

I turned down the corner of the page. And then I thought, don’t I have a plum-colored silk skirt with a bustle, that I bought years ago in St. Louis? I do. If only I could find it. I could wear it with some little vintage Hawaiian print blouse to similar effect. 

Do you see it in here? I don’t.  

Maybe it’s in the “Spring bins” stacked beside my bed. (One of those books, by the way, contains a clue to my next trip’s destination.)

Rather than getting out of bed to look for the purple skirt, I flipped a few more pages, and found this amazing accessory, aptly titled, the “Epic Headband.” 

Anthropologie March 2010, Page 21

But upon further online investigation, I’ve found it’s little more that a shantung scarf, cleverly tied. Surely I’ve got one of those in the archives–many of which came out a couple years ago in celebration of the Prada turban

Indeed, they’re somewhere in there.

So it would seem that shopping, even for cheap accessories–which I previously prescribed this time of year, is not the sustainable solution for my pre-spring “I Wants.” Loathe as I am to admit it, I’m afraid the answer lies in cleaning, so I can see those purple bustle skirts, brilliant Brazilian bathing suits and springtime scarves fit to be tied. (The boyfriend button-down, however, is not missing, as I wear it year-round.) The best way to do this is with a friend–and I have two who balance the needs quite nicely. Some might say my friend Nicolette suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but I say she’s an organizational savant. She made me hang up all my necklaces like this, and it wouldn’t be an understatement to say it changed my life–or at least the way I accessorize. Okay, my life. 

Kristen Joy Watts, on the other hand, who you may remember as a bit of a style savant, and has previously referred to my closet as Narnia (like the shop we love), will help set about unlocking its magic. Ideally, each will sit on my bed on a Saturday, and help me purge and reorganize my bins, drawers, wardrobes, boxes and closets, in exchange for a home-cooked meal and likely a cocktail or two. I can already hear how this will go.

Nicolette: “I can’t believe you ever wore that.” Kristen: “You should wear that tonight. With scrunchy socks.” (That, my dears, will be one hell of a Closet Case Study!)

So I’ve already got spring’s most important accessories–friends to help me mine for inspiration. Now my main “I Want” is centered around one wish: the weather to wear this stuff.

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A Formula for February

It’s getting to that point in Fashion Week, and in February, for that matter, when it’s getting difficult to get dressed. When uninspired, I find it’s good to look to my friends.

One in particular, the photographer Kristen Joy Watts, seems to have a winning formula for days like this, and it was oddly mirrored on the runway Tuesday night at A Détacher. Here’s how it goes: Start with a helping of Japanese minimalism (cocoon-shaped cardigans), stir in some pretty nostalgia for American grunge (maybe a skinniest-strapped printed slipdress), and add just the slightest bit of constructed design (Marni-ish volume at the neckline).

Because I’m not tall like Kristen, or those models, this look can read more “lumpy pile of sweaters” than “touchable tower of texture” on me, but I think I may have found an answer at A Détacher: a boxy Sienna pullover with little silk tap pants over ribbed tights. (I’ll need heels.) The girls at A Détacher got their dose of color with a dash of turquoise across their eyelids, but I think I’ll stick with Kristen’s prescription and get mine from a mimosa.

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All’s Well That Ends Well

As I mentioned this morning, Day 2 of Fashion Week presented a bit of a challenge. It was the footwear, or rather, the combination of snow and footwear, that threw me. On Day 1 I wore my Yeti boots (and even got some love from NBC for it!), but today I planned to work straight through until an event this evening at the New York Public Library, and they just didn’t seem appropriate. 

Aftermath of Day 2 Dressing

My plan was to go straight to CUNY to get the pictures posted from yesterday’s Rachel Comey show, then pop by a panel on Entrepreneurial Journalism, then go to Gotham Hall for the Cynthia Rowley show, then go back to CUNY to write up yesterday’s John Patrick show, then go swim some laps and finally head to the Bryant Park Library around 8 for a party given by the CFDA and the South Korean Ministry of Culture.

Today’s Outfit: Designed for Endurance

But it seems every day needs a bit of drama. Yesterday my iPhone imploded (see new white one in photo above) and today CUNY was closed for Lincoln’s birthday. So, in place of actually attending the Paley Center panel on “Solving the Challenges of the News Frontier,” I set out to solve a few of my own–all of which stemmed from my lack of workplace and computer. 

Bill Blass Reading Room, New York Public Library

As I wrote this morning, I ended up at the library a bit sooner than I expected–not for a party, but to run up to the reading room and request reinforcements via a library laptop. I wasn’t carrying a laptop, but I was, however, carrying my portable hard drive, my camera, my cords, my iPhone, my FlipCam and my swimsuit. But the laptops at the library don’t have Firewire ports, so I was S.O.L., as they say. I broadcasted for help via Twitter, email, Facebook (maybe I forgot about Facebook), and text. Just two blocks west, at The New York Times building, a message landed in Drani Datta’s inbox.

Well, it’s a good thing the grey lady hasn’t succumbed to the “Challenges of the News Frontier,” and that may be due in part to the hard work of interns like Drani. She kindly loaned me her laptop momentarily, so I could publish a post about a calmer moment at Rachel Comey’s show on Dossier, and even brought me up for quick lunch before I had to hit the road for my next show: Cynthia Rowley, one of my very favorites (see notes from last season), at Gotham Hall. I was a little bit early (which is to say, on time) so I was nicely settled in my seat, and gazing happily at the ceiling when the rows began to fill up. 

I’m beginning to realize that I really love those few hushed moments in the dark, after the lights go down, but before the music begins to thump. (Maybe ladies like Rachel Comey and Cynthia Rowley exacerbate this by using terrific bands like Hex Message and Preacher and the Knife.) Of course, I adored what was to come marching down the runway too, but you’ll have to wait to read about that on Dossier

Since I didn’t have anywhere to work after the show, I headed back home to do my post for John Patrick Organic before turning around (without a wardrobe change) and heading back to the Bryant Park Library to cover the Concept Korea event, with Kristen Joy Watts on photography. Wonderful wing-girl that she is, Miss Mega-Watts held the camera to get this little video gem below: a dance number taking place in the very lobby I dashed through this morning in a rush to the reading room. 

And that brings us to this very moment, sitting at my desk, still wearing that dress, tapping away, supremely sleepy. 

If only there weren’t all those clothes on my bed.

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