Gift Guide 2012! - All
Gift Guide 2012!

The holiday season is well under way and with Christmas next week this is sure to be a busy weekend for last-minute shoppers. For all those present-procrastinators out these I have put together a list of my favorite gifts I have found to give and receive this holiday season.

Gift Guide 2012! - 1 to 10

1. These Takashi Murakami pillows liven up any room and always put a smile on my face.
2. I am obsessed with Ray Geary’s Pill Studies that can be found at Grey Area in NYC. In a pair they make the perfect bookends.
3. Somehow I never knew that the trademark aroma of Colette, Paris was sold as a candle. Ironically, I discovered this while shopping at The Webster in Miami two weeks ago. I am typically not a candle lover but it is the perfect year-round scent.
4. I find myself lately using two or three small money pouches as opposed to a full size wallet. Comme des Garçons makes my favorite alternative and this new star pattern is at the top of my wish list.
5. KRINK‘s Steele Tip Paint Markets are fun to play around with and perfect to decorate holiday gifts.
6. I love collecting films to watch over my holiday break. This season a few on my list are Ai Weiwei’s Never Sorry, Marina Abromovic’s The Artist is Present, In the Mood for Love and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.
7. The limited edition Kiehl’s by Kenny Scharf collection is the perfect holiday update of all of my favorite products.
8. I used to love russian dolls as a child and I think these Lanvin ones are the perfect new addition to my collection.
9. As if Eddie Borgo‘s jewelry isn’t already amazing enough, he has outdone himself with his premiere collection of jewelry boxes. They are available online in thirteen different colors and skins, but grey and red croc are my top picks.
10. There is no better time during the year for new books than around the holidays. The Kate Moss book is a must-read as well as Terry Richardson’s Terrywood, and for any art-lover, Taschen’s Art of the 20th Century is a favorite of mine.

Gift Guide 2012! - 11 to 18

11. I am a sucker for patterned scarves, particularly during the cold winter months. Proenza Schouler recently launched a limited edition series of seven patters that are the perfect alternative to my favorite cheetah scarves by Louis Vuitton.
12. I am still obsessing over Olympia Le-Tan’s book-clutches; the pieces in her christmas series are the perfect accessories for the holiday season!
13. I have been longing for a Maison Michel hat or headpiece. Just One Eye has my favorite selection online.
14. Natalia Brilli makes the most amazing leather accessories. I have been eyeing her laptop sleeve and small travel bag.
15. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these t-shirts or totes from Rop Van Mierlo’s collaboration with Marni. The animal portraits originally come from my favorite picture book by the Dutch illustrator, Wild Animals.
16. These motocycle pants by Belstaff have taken the place of my row leather leggings. They are perfect for any occasion, day or night, during the holidays.
17. Lisa Marie Fernandez bathing suits are my go-to for any vacation. I am obsessed with her black one piece and the collection she did in collaboration with Peter Pilotto.
18. Whose fashion team are you on? Les Plus Dorés t-shirts are the perfect present – I live in my Tisci T – and are now available online at V-Files.

The Women - Valérie Belin
Têtes Couronnées 2009, Black Eyed Susan 2010, Untitled 2007 – all work by Valéie Belin

Lately, I have been on an old Hollywood kick and most intrigued and inspired by the film The Women. Not only was an all female cast madly innovative for its time – 1939 – however the fashion was some of costume designer Adrian’s best work while at MGM.

The Women - Adrian Sketches
Adrian Sketches

The Technicolor fashion show sequence in the film highlights his designs better than any other motion picture. His clothing stood alone, not only giving new life to the characters, however propelling the story forward in a way that fashion is no longer used for in films; proving why to this day Adrian’s role in the history of cinema is unmatched. While his legacy merely lives on through his films, his designs have both stood the test of time and serve as a constant source of inspiration for modern day influencers; in fact, a friend once told me that Azzedine Alaia has the largest privately owned collection of Adrian gowns.

The Women - The Cast
From Left: Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell

The storyline of The Women was incredibly provocative for the time with three very empowered female leads – Mary, played by Norma Shearer; Sylvia, played by Rosalind Russell; and Crystal, played by Joan Crawford. Each character’s persona reminds me of a different body of work by female photographer, Valérie Belin.

The Women - Valérie Belin, Têtes Couronnées 2009
Têtes Couronnées 2009, Copyright © Valérie Belin

Belin’s soft, somewhat blurry images in Têtes Couronnées 2009 (pictured above) represent Mary. Mary is a member of the wealthy, aristocratic class who looses her husband in an affair.

The Women - Valérie Belin, Black Eyed Susan 2010
Black Eyed Susan 2010 Copyright © Valérie Belin

Sylvia, Mary’s cousin, is an unrelenting gossip and always the instigator. She is a member of the upper class but has two sides to her, just like the double exposure of Belin’s images in Black Eyed Susan 2010 (pictured above). She hides behind a flowery exterior while causing havoc.

The Women - Valérie Belin, Untitled 2007
Untitled 2007 – Copyright © Valérie Belin

Lastly, Crystal is responsible for destruction. She is out of place amidst high society, while her passive, seductive attitude gets her noticed by men and loathed by women. She is the provocative women who every husband wants, like those photographed in Belin’s series Untitled 2007 (pictured above)

Balloon Blocking
Photo by Nicolas Guevara

I’ve always admired true color blockers in their fearless cobalt blue pants, red jackets, yellow shirts and green shoes. I, myself, have never been successful in my attempts but these J.W.Anderson sweaters – previously featured HERE – are the perfect introduction into a life of color blocking. I decided to give the fall trend a go on a breezy day in NYC.

The balloons in the photo above came about thanks to one of my favorite works by British filmmaker, Runa Islam. Islam was nominated for the 2008 Turner Prize for her style of short films that are often displayed in overlapping layers and on multiple screens. My favorite of her works is a two screen projection titled What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? (stills displayed below). In it, Islam uses the sporadic nature of balloons as a means of exhibiting time and space. In the latter portion of the film, their simplicity and colors contrast all of her attention to formal detail in the museum backdrop. Either that, or… Islam captured a surprise birthday party the surrounding sculptures threw for their buddy the Winged Victory.

Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.
Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.

Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.
Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.

Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.
Runa Islam. What Is A Thought Experiment, Anyhow? 2005-2006.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Blade Runner and Un Chien Andalou

As you may have seen from this week’s tweets, I made the unfortunate mistake of leaving my laptop in East Hampton while I spent the week in the city. Being without a computer for the past few days has freed time for activities – like watching movies – that are usually compromised to allow for my massive internet browsing habit. I decided on two films that I think historically have had the greatest influence on fashion, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Luis Bruñel and Salvador Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou.

Blade Runner has served as inspiration to designers for years, but the character Pris‘ makeup is unquestionably the most replicated aspect of the film. Fashion has seen this trademark black line over the eyes on both men and women every season and FW12 was no exception.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from: Jean Paul Gaultier FW09 Couture, Armani FW12 Couture, Christian Dior FW06 Couture, Alexander McQueen FW04 Ready-to-Wear, and Thom Browne FW12 Menswear

The Balenciaga runway, along with countless others, have been invaded by sic-fi-inspired looks for seasons now. Ghesquière used Blade Runner as a reference most notably in his collections for FW 2007 and FW 2012, pictured below.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Balenciaga FW12 and middle look from Balenciaga FW07

The opening of Impossible Conversations and the relaunch of the House of Schiaparelli have brought surrealism back to the forefront of fashion. I watched Bruñel and Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou this week and got totally inspired. His use of the human face and bugs, while at times gruesome, was equally exciting. His influence outside of the art community was apparent in the days of the surrealists and still holds true today.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Un Chien Andalou

Elsa Schiaparelli was the first to commission Dalí to design jewelry. His fascination with nature and humanistic features, as exhibited in his film, was later incorporated into his designs (pictured below). Who knew Dalií was the originator of grillz?

Fashion's Favorite Films
Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist jewelry

Season after season designers have turned to Dalí and other surrealists for inspiration. It was particularly evident at both the Ready-to-Wear and FW12 Couture shows. Giambattista Valli adorned his models in gold branch necklaces and butterflies while Alber turned Dalí’s delicate pieces into statement costume jewelry at Lanvin.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Giambattista Valli FW12 Couture and Lanvin FW12 Ready-to-Wear

My all-time favorite example of surrealism invading the runway was a product of the always offbeat Rei Kawakubo. Her use of lips as an accessory to the face in addition to the model’s own was striking.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Comme des Garçons FW09 over a Damien Hirst butterfly background.