Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Street Fashion It-Girl Suzie Kondi October 23, 2008

Suzi Kondi dress, far right, goes iconic in New York magazine slideshow.

Suzi Kondi dress, far right, goes iconic in a New York magazine street fashion history slideshow.

Media-magnet, designer Suzie Kondi is having another it-girl moment with her featured item in a New York magazine 40-year history of street fashion. Get this: the history begins in 1968 with a really, really mini dress and ends 40 years and much fashion meandering later with Suzie’s really, really mini dress. So she’s not just another page in fashion history—she’s the last page.
See the fashion slideshow here.

P.S. Check out Suzie’s adorably, effortlessly hip line here.


 

Bangs?!!! September 23, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Now Looky Here — rebmas03 @ 2:12 am
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I am constantly changing my hair. I view hair as a sort of accessory, a great way to accent a new look. So it’s often that people don’t recognize me from one time to the next—I’m a chameleon that way. Recently, I wrote about entering a new hair dimension by finding a fabulous set of sister salons: Public and Woodley & Bunny.

Well, my mother flew in to see me and get a second haircut with me for my birthday. It just tickles me pink that my 60-something mom loves this hipster salon (the stylists all remind her of her ’70s heyday). My mother has her hair cut by Ginger, and I had finally secured an appointment with the artistic Andy.

When I sat down in the chair, he asked what I wanted. I said that I was up for anything. And he suggested bangs. Bangs!!! I have not had bangs since I was sixteen and wearing braces on my teeth and back. I have this picture that is so completely ridiculous from my high school album. I am wearing a really cute cadet-blue, plaid, bow-tie dress that I wish I still had, and my face is half-braces and half-bangs. Then before that I was five and slightly cuter, but still, I was five. Now I’m in my forties.

I winced at the memories. “Bangs,” I said weakly. “I don’t look so good in bangs. They are just so … irrevocable.” It was hard to turn down an artist’s inspiration, but I just couldn’t see it.

“Really,” he said. “I think that you’ll look like Louise Brooks.”

Well, that was a different story, but …. no. He shrugged and set to patiently cutting my hair just as it has been for the past year.

Since he had been working for Fashion Week, I asked, “Are bangs big on the runway?”

“No, just really, really long hair.”

Well, really long hair was definitely out of the question. But here was a man who created the looks for Fashion Week. Couldn’t I just be a little flexible? I pondered this as he trimmed away. Soon, he would be finished, and my chance for change would be gone. I always say no to change at first, but I always reconsider.

“It’s not too late for the bangs, is it?”

And there you have it. For the third time in my life, I have bangs. But, oh what a difference this time. Where they had once made me squinty-eyed and cute, I’m suddenly youthfully glam. Boys at Starbucks no longer call me ma’am when I order my iced Americanos. I’m a “miss.” People love my new look, or if they can’t figure out what’s new, just say that I looked terrific. (How anyone could miss anything as obvious as bangs is beyond me.)

But the best comment was from a work friend: “Lulu,” he beamed, upon first seeing me. “That is the best look on women over 40. Women in their 20s just don’t look that good in bangs.” Now that definitely put a spring in my step.

And if I put on dark eyeliner and tilt my head just so, to my left profile, and squint, I really do look like Lulu.

 

It’s a mod, mod dress September 21, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files — rebmas03 @ 2:44 am
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I was out in Sag Harbor, L.I., today and while it’s very charming in a seafaring sort of way, it isn’t exactly a fashion mecca. But then I stumbled onto the Lisa Perry store, a mod, mod flower blooming in a style desert. The impeccably-made, ’60s-inspired, knit wool shifts with graphic inserts are some of the freshest dresses I’ve seen around, so I wasn’t at all surprised to find out they also have a store in NYC’s SoHo. At $1000 per, they are a pretty penny indeed, but are they ever pretty. See more dresses here.

 

The Next Big Thing: Luxury Bohemian for Fall ’08/Winter ’09 September 10, 2008

Gucci Style

Gucci Style

As we all know, fashion goes full circle and reinvents

Anna Sui Style

Anna Sui Style

itself in various trends that can be seen right there on the catwalks of London, Paris and Milan and followed vigorously by the fast-fashion boom on our high-streets. This autumn/winter sees a continuation of the Boho look that’s been prevalent for quite a few years now, and made famous by the likes of Sienna Miller and various other celebrities. The “Luxury Bohemian Trend” is a take on this look but with a more ethnic/folksy feel.

Fabrics are luxurious and rich and the colours tend to have a dark base with highlights in red, purple, yellow and pink. Patterns can be found in the shape of hearts, paisley prints, flowers and teardrop shapes. Floaty tunics with bracelet sleeves are teamed with large, statement necklaces, patterned tights, boots and Mary-Jane style shoes which together, makes this a very feminine and easy-to-wear look for all shapes and sizes.

Traditional Sardinian Folk Costume

Traditional Sardinian Folk Costume

Here I’ve shown an example of a folk costume from Sardinia just so you can see how the influence has effected this current trend. There are of course, hundreds and thousands of ethnic costumes to choose from.

Two fashion giants that I think have shown the Luxury Bohemian Trend particularly well are Gucci and Anna Sui. Their runways shows were full of lush fabrics, dropped waists, patterned tights, faux fur gillets and ethnic prints.

Of course, not everyone can afford their designer prices so there’s plenty to choose from on the high street – that’s if you don’t mind wearing clothes that you’ll see on every other girl or women in the land! One of my missions in life (if you didn’t know already!) is to encourage people to look at what’s available in the wonderful world of vintage. Yes of course you can go to any vintage boutique in New York, London or Paris and pay a small fortune for a labelled vintage garment. However, if you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for, I can think of no better way (well almost none!) of spending your evening or Saturday afternoon, searching for that special item that looks as if it’s been taken straight off the latest runway – and that’s the exciting thing about vintage clothing. You just never know what you’re going to find!

Tribal Drop-Waist Dress from Lionheart Vintage

Tribal Drop-Waist Dress from Lionheart Vintage

A great place to start is Etsy because all your sellers are under one roof, so to speak. The sellers there can only list “genuine” vintage clothing, that being a garment or accessory that’s at least twenty years old. It has been known that some would consider vintage as a garment that’s been worn from just the previous season. However, to anyone connected with Etsy, this is not the case and never will be. True vintage fashion has a history; an essence within it that makes it special – it’s unique and beautiful and you’ll be hard-pushed to find another garment anywhere that’s exactly the same.

The only thing I recommend you have on hand whilst shopping for your vintage clothing are your measurements. So, invest in a tape measure and get your vital statistics written down. Make sure you measure yourself regularly as we can all loose or gain a few pounds without even noticing.

Luxurious Mini Dress from Some Like it Vintage

Luxurious Mini Dress from Some Like it Vintage

Shopping for vintage on-line is one of the easiest and best ways to get hold of your vintage. There’s tons of inspiration to be found on Etsy and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to each seller who has kindly agreed to me using their photographs for this piece. Every item shown here is currently available for sale at the time of writing. You can find the names of each Etsy store or website under pictures and at the bottom of this blog.

Now this is just a small example of what’s available in “vintage land”. I think you’ll agree that these pieces really do well in showing how a new look can be achieved quite easily using vintage clothing. After all, it’s not really “new” at all—it’s just fashion that’s gone full circle and reinvented itself with a modern twist.

What’s to look out for

Anything with a folksy/ethnic feel such as: tassels, fringes, feathers, dropped waists, patterned tights, boots, Mary-Jane’s, large statement necklaces, faux fur gillets, Boho coats with embroidery detail, floaty smock tops; luxurious fabrics: velvet, satin, silk; printed fabrics: paisley, tear drop, hearts, flowers, embroidery, braid, embellished belts.

Here’s some more vintage goodies which fit in perfectly with the luxury Bohemian trend. WARNING: Drooling could occur!

Read more by Louise Sleigh, owner of a vintage clothing site at her blog: Catwalk Creative Weblog .

Peasant Blouse with Tassels from Decades Vintage

Peasant Blouse with Tassels from Decades Vintage

Ethnic Kaftan from La Dolce Vita

Ethnic Kaftan from La Dolce VitaEthnic Kaftan from La Dolce Vita

60s Tan Embroidered Coat from What Would Marilyn Wear?
60s Tan Embroidered Coat from What Would Marilyn Wear?
Rose Cropped Jacket from The Spectrum Vintage

Rose Cropped Jacket from The Spectrum Vintage

Vintage Crochet Cape from La Dolce Vita

Vintage Crochet Cape from La Dolce Vita

Folksy Embroidered Dress from Kitsch-y-Cool-Vintage

Folksy Embroidered Dress from Kitsch-y-Cool-Vintage

60s Coat with Faux Fur Trim from Some Like it Vintage

60s Coat with Faux Fur Trim from Some Like it Vintage

Divine Vintage 30s Shoes from Planet Claire Vintage

Divine Vintage 30s Shoes from Planet Claire Vintage

Credits: Decades Vintage, Lionheart Vintage, Some Like it Vintage, The Spectrum Vintage, Planet Claire Vintage, What Would Marilyn Wear? La Dolce Vita Clothing, Kirtsch-y-Cool Vintage (eBay). Folk costume photograph from www.costumepage.org.

 

Street style defined September 4, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Worldly women — rebmas03 @ 2:16 am
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My singlemost favorite magazine feature is the stylish-gal-on-the-street pictorial, whether it’s in Glamour or the New York Times. But Katya at styleddefined.blogspot.com has outdone them all by creating a blog that is exclusively devoted to stalking stylish creatures where they live: art openings, the Lower East Side, and swag-laden parties. Don’t know what to wear today? Get the chic street scoop here.

 

Some like it haute August 30, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Worldly women — rebmas03 @ 2:51 am
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If you crave a website that offers everything from fall’s essentials to how to choose and care for men’s jeans, plus the scoop on beauty and fashion must-reads, Haute Mimi is for you. Self-described as “an online publication for the international habitue and fashion devotee,” Haute Mimi will keep you totally in the fashionista loop. Plus, editor-in-chief Millissa Mathai (a.k.a. Mimi) is not only haute, she’s friendly—just the sort of cool pal you’d want helping you sort through your closet. Visit Haute Mimi here.

 

H&M to feature Commes Des Garcons line August 26, 2008

Who can argue with the spectacular value of H&M? We all head there to get trendy runway knockoffs and wardrobe filler pieces for a fraction of the designer pricetags. In the past, everyone from Karl Lagerfeld to Madonna has designed for H&M, but now we’re takin’ it to a whole new level, when in November, Rei Kawakubo of Commes Des Garcons brings Japanese cult fashion to this pocketbook-friendly store. Read more here.

 

These boots are made for …? August 22, 2008

Filed under: Fashionista Files,Now Looky Here — rebmas03 @ 1:58 am
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I’m not sure why I love shoes so much. Maybe it’s because I can’t make them. I can make my clothes, but I cannot make shoes. So they fascinate me.

It all started innocently enough when I was checking out the Chloe site’s Fall ’08 collection. Every model was wearing these forest-green, peep-toed, wrap-up, super-high boots—with pants, skirts, dresses—and they all looked fabulous. I had to have them. But if you know anything about Chloe boots, unless you luck upon them at Century 21, they are a pretty penny indeed. And if they are in season, they won’t be at Century 21.

I reasoned that certainly such a gorgeous boot as this would be all over e-bay. You know, someone gets a hold of them somehow (we won’t say how, let’s just leave it at “falling off the truck…”), and the next thing you know, it’s for sale on e-bay. I don’t know why I would have such an unrealistic expectation. It’s not like I’d had this experience over and over again, especially with a current item featured on a designer’s web site.

But I was born with this peculiar sort of ESP. I have a positively eerie radar for sales and hard-to-find bargains. This is not the case for me with lottery tickets, ailing friends or tragic incidents—only clothing and accessories. I went on over there to e-bay and wouldn’t you know that there was one pair sitting right there in my size at 60% off. I know that you are gasping in disbelief, but it was true. The problem was that the seller had no history. None. This was the only item that she had ever sold. Oh, the agony. Should I take the risk? I mean, this had to be destiny. I wrote to the seller, and she sent back a very sane note that she was a fashion stylist and these had been purchased for a music video shoot. It all seemed so reasonable and perfect. I bit the bullet, made the bid, and three hours after midnight, they were mine. Our fate together was sealed.

The boots actually arrived, much to my surprise, and I suddenly realized that I was the owner of a bargain pair of very expensive, tall, green elf-boots. The heel has got to be at least 5 inches. And while they fit, what will I wear them with? They require a gazelle to be carried off with any sort of dignity, and it’s definitely not office gear. The outfit below shows the boots in black, and it’s fairly reasonable attire. But in reality, that leather wrap is insanely challenging to tie up the leg, unless you have a stylist dressing you. Throw in the green, and suddenly, as shown on the site, purple tights are de riguer. I’m going to put my best effort into it, and if worst comes to worst, I’ll have a pair of really cool boots that I can pull out of the closet and gaze at passionately once in a while. I still love them, even if I’ll never wear them. I mean, look at them. How could you not love them. I’m going to go pick them up from the Russian shoe guy right now.

By the way, I’m told that there is a class for making shoes at the MAKE Workshop, so maybe that will be my next step, no pun intended. Or the shoe design sequence at FIT. You just may find me there with my cobbler tools.