Saturday, September 29, 2012

I've Been Meaning to, Wes Gordon

Dear Kristin,
I've been meaning to show you Wes Gordon, because he doesn't get enough play and because we both fell in love with him a few seasons ago.

It's maybe not the Wes we fell for two years ago, but he and his clothes were younger then and so were we, and this is a damn decent Wes.  Maybe even the best Wes.  Love a punch-in-the-face red, especially when that red is a jumpsuit, but it's the separate-ness of all four I appreciate most.  These are grab and go pieces, but they have a distinct top and bottom thing going for them.  They look like separates that go together but aren't boring.  (The third look actually is, obviously.)  Anyway, I like that.  I'm easy to please.  Rich separates.

J. Benny

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reem Acra, I got the shivers

Dear Kristin,
I love it so much

I do not hate pink now.  That's a new thing.  It happened a month ago.

Of course I do.  This is why I still look at them as soon as they go up.  Reem Acra is why:

If it ain't broke, do not fix it.  Classic.

Good lord.  That is a dress.

J. Benny

Marc Jacobs

Dear Kristin,
He gave us permission to have fun with it:

Staid color.  Less staid collar.

It is not exactly my brand of fun, or the way I'll be doing it, but it did make me feel bright.   I smiled.  First thing in the morning, a smile and my coffee.

 The 90s could not be more back.  And for some reason that delights me, at least at Marc Jacobs.  Again, though, I will not be doing this.  I will be doing a version of the 90s, but it shan't be this one.

And what I would do, the tops:

And my reaction notes to the whole collection: Pseudo-lady-like, separates, hip-bones at the ready, pantless, mod and modern, jester meets jailbird, that kook, big disorienting prints, and the truly bare midriffs of the 90s.
I realize there are some glaring omissions in the above visuals.  WHERE IS THE PANTLESSNESS?  More hip-bone!  More kook!  Thankfully, is here to answer all your most pressing questions.


Note: I shall forever prefer no pants to wearing skirts over pants. 

J. Benny

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mara Hoffman with Fun Stuff

Dear Kristin,

And then this:

J. Benny

Altuzarra: I tried

Dear Kristin,
I tried, but I couldn't fall in love.  I do, however, like-like the spirit of these three looks:

You too?  We could totally do these.

J. Benny

Alex Wang: Can We?

Dear Kristin,
I had a reaction.  That's always the goal for me with these fashion things.  Do I care?  I cared for Alexander Wang.  The thing is, will this caring do us any favors?  Will this collection?  It's simple of me, but you remember my most recent sartorial resolution--which was maybe more of a revelation than a resolution--I want to wear close that flatter.  That make me look good.  And maybe it would be one thing if I could afford tons of Alexander Wang pieces, or any designer pieces for that matter, but I cannot.  I can only afford the High Street shops they inspire and perhaps one or two of the originals onces they hit the sales.  The point I'm making here is this: I was taken by the show, but I'm not quite sure I like what the success of this little number:

will do to the likes of Zara.  Not least of all because the knockoff will have to look cheap, but because you're made to look as though you're almost drowning in it.  My thighs and bum do not drown.  I'm not sure anyone who's not a size 0 can drown.  The above was my favorite look of those I shouldn't touch.  (And I may go for it anyway.)  There were others that would do worse to me, but this is the only one I really, really want.  And good heavens those shoes.  He's always so great with the accessories:

That picture makes me think I need more shoes and bags.

Lies!  But that's the point, no?

He's also just wonderful at coats.  That might be The Thing I took away from this shows: coats to want.  It's not been as warm here as it is/was there, so I suspect I may be a little more up for it.  Or, rather, it's not a tough mindset for me to get into.  I need me a coat.  Here are my favorites from the entire collection, three of which contain coats and all of which happen to be ones that will flatter and/or hint at a flattering shape beneath.

Click on me so I can get big.

This blogging was a great way to start my day, pre-work blogging.  I am refreshed.  There's a long day of internet ahead of me, but I am refreshed.  That's always the best part about the beginning of Fashion Month--how exciting it all can be.  You're not tired of it yet.  And if you are tired, a glow-in-the-dark finale is just around the corner:

J. Benny

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Heaven knows I don't keep up

Dear Kristin,
It's New York Fashion Week.  I shall do my best.  There's just so much work blog and pinterest and twitter and then all I want is to read a book.  Here's something pretty from the first few days.  Nothing to love yet, though I'm thinking and thinking about Peter Som.  So perhaps he'll grow into a love you'll get one of my collages. 

From the second to last look at Costello Tagliapietra

J. Benny

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Couture Must Sparkle: And Quickly

Dear Kristin,
I had a whole post full of words.  It disappeared.   So now, instead, I give you pictures.  You can fill in the blanks.  Maybe it's better if this peanut gallery shuts up from time to time anyway, yes?

Peanut gallery wants to speak!  Elie Saab always does sparkle.  But is it interesting enough? Love the sleeves and shape of the bodice on the third, but the second is my second favorite dress ever (ever = this season). 

Backs.  At Givenchy.  The fronts were fine, but missing this kind of structured drama.  Or something.

All of it.  Dior took the best pictures, though it wasn't my number one.  Close.  Raf Simons (from Jil Sander) does good.  So good.  Damn.

What's that mask, Margeila? (Har, har.) These are awesome. Some looks were less awesome. These, though, so refreshing.  Like sparkling lemonade & vodka, sipped out of a black licorice straw, amiright?
Armani Prive is a wee bit 90s, no?  It's certainly growing on me.  I might be falling in love.

And this hardly needs growing.  My favorite from every last collection this couture season. Making it my first favorite.


Chanel, the disappointment.  But these are nice.  Too much of it was ho-hum or weirdly difficult (like, highly unflattering in a non-theatrical way) and some of it was just wrong in basic ways (a gown of pink pom-poms is risk that need not be taken).   Still, a handful were right.

Valentino, the tops.  A whole collection.  Wonderful to watch--the pieces move so well--but oddly tricky to collage.

Couldn't help but include a few extra dresses in the background, as they were walking away.

Pleated red cape; bejewelled nighttime peasant gown; satinish sleep pants; black slash like a shadow.
Self-described at Valentino as: "Regal beauty...sensual but severe."


Sumptuous, but also kinda funereal.  Sparkles without sparkling too hard.  Every piece is meant to move and, when moving. every piece shimmers.  Lots of weight games: gowns and capes that floated, sleeves that  seemed to rest just above the skin, and heavy jackets that anchored shit down.  Still, rather somber in photographs.

Also loved: Sashes on capes and ribbons, tied at the neck like 90s chokers.


Okay, you pick your favorites now, pleasethanks.

J. Benny

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Love It

Dear Kristin,
This makes me want to scream I love it so and it hurts:

The fella who did Robyn's "Dancing on My Own" also did this here Icona Pop.  Eeee!

And that video! Come on. That is fun.  Also fun? The Magnetic Sharpe video for "Man on Fire" which, as it happens, some of our friends slapped together.

And by "slapped together" I mean "worked really hard and did something great."  Which delights me.  That our friends are working hard and doing great.  It makes me miss New York more than most things make me miss New York.  Although I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now and a sad man dressed in drag just walked by my window (black mini skirt and black tank, because everyone's like "It's steamy today!" and it's maybe 75 degrees, tops) and that made me feel at home.  I do like Brighton.

I'm gonna do a "So Far This Year, YES" music post soon. Because I just secured a treasure trove of great new stuff last night and even though I've already sent you half of the trove on Spotify, I want to show you more.

J. Benny

P.S.  Also, speaking of DOMO.  Did you?

Because I did.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Met Gala: Costumes (And Then There Was a Party)

Dear Kristin,
It's Met Gala week.

Eee!  Co-hostess Carey Mulligan in Prada

You know how much this means to me.

Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte.  Aren't you so curious about the flowery slip of a thing hiding beneath the jacket?  So curious.

I image the above to be your face and general posture.  Don't make that face!  It's just a fun parade!  A costume party with costumes I want to wear to a fancy grocery store.  Because that's my favorite place to visit right now.  Other good places to visit: a big bash or big bed.

Oversized nightgown?  I'd sleep in it.
Diane Kruger in Prada.  It's a good purple, no? Though it looks to be nearly exposing her.

The idea behind this year's exhibit is Prada and Schiaparelli, hey, what if they met?  It's entitled "Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations," and I believe it's meant to highlight Schiaparelli's inevitable influence on Prada, though Ms. Prada has denied any such influence.  So!  They ran with it anyway.

There was also a simulated "conversation"-- between Prada and Judy Davis, who plays Schiaparelli due to Schiaparelli's death in 1973--that I believe Met patrons were treated to sometime between the ceasar salad and chicken.  That sounds.  Really awkward to me.  You can watch it here!  I'm too embarrassed.  Baz Lurhmen directed.  I just can't image anyone was convinced.  Maybe it all turned out pretty and sweeping and not stilted at all.  I really hope so.

I believe the point, or the reason they've been paired up, is because they're both quite revolutionary.  Known to push boundaries.  Ground-breaking.  I'm not going to talk about that, their ground-breakingness, except to usher us back around to the red-carpet.  If boundaries are not being pushed, than the attendees are not keeping to the theme.  At the Met Gala, as with Charlotte Derby's long awaited Middle School Party, you keep to the theme.  Or you're kicked out (at least at Derby's thing).

Anyway, we have to be surprised by the look.  Because there ought to be some risk involved.

So, fittingly, this year had it's ups:

TRAIN.  Beyonce in Givenchy Couture.

And it's downs:

Visible, flesh-toned leotard and Babie pose. A general lifelessness in the torso.  (But beautiful fresh makeup.)
But despite these disappointments, we--the people streaming the carpet on persevered.  We were committed. 

Committed.  John Krasinski and Emily Blunt (in Calvin Klein).

Watching in anticipation of the dress.  And while there wasn't a lot of cheering on my end, I did cheer.

I HAVE A TOP TEN.  Which, if I'm being truly discriminating, should be a roundup of five.  There were five that felt special.  The rest of the top ten, the first five you'll see, are very nice.  Super.  But not for the Met.  Not this particular event with this particular theme.  At the Oscars, I'd be out of my chair.  Thrilled.  I just expect a great deal more from the Met.

But first, allow me to set the scene:

Rihanna in Tom Ford, with talons on her fingers and stars running down her neck.

This, these two, are the cutest.  Emma in playful Lanvin with a playful Lanvin.  But the shoes are a non-starter.

Camilla Belle in Ralph Lauren.  So beautiful.  But no surprise.

Best dressed fella.

Like yours.  On the ribs and all.

I'm starting to find these brothers attractive.  Fine suits will do that.

Clemence Poesy in Nina Ricci.  So few pictures of her.  This is the only clear one I've found.

And Scarlett Johansson, among others (including Rosario Dawson's brilliant blue earrings), in Dolce and Gabbana

Time for a top ten.  Note, though, we're only talking ten this year, as opposed to twenty.  I wasn't quite as thrilled as I wanted to be.  But.  There were some great looks:

10.  Carey Mulligan in Prada.

The happiness helps.  With Marcus Mumford.  Newlyweds.

Because I love fat spangles (I actually own something called a sequin mermaid top) and the layering in the back.  And because I love the nightlife.

9.  Astrid Berges Frisbey, an actress I've only just heard of, looking perfect in Chanel. 

Because of the structure, the lightness against the form.  Because of the glitter.  We should all be so lucky.

8.  Diane Kruger in Prada. 

What can I say?  I like a loud night(ball)gown. 
Because it was a risk. For the shape and the color and even the dangerous fit/cut in the chest.  And the accessories were so well chosen.  The stand out, but they don't scream.  Even the easy hair.  It all complements. 

 7.  Kate Bosworth in Prada. 

With Michael Polish, headed to the after party.

Because of the topknot and vamp  lip.  The stems on her heels and the feathers.  Not a lazy choice.  Not at all.

6.  Liu Wen in Michael Kors.  Because I love it and her in it.  So red.  But it's hardly daring.  It's Michael Kors for heaven's sake.  If this were the Oscars, this could have been it for me.  I want to be this:

But who wouldn't want to be this?  For an evening?  To be this is striking.

5.  January Jones is Atelier Versace. 

Because you don't wear this to a black tie wedding.  Never.

4.  Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier.  Because of the orange and the detailing around the neck, the tight fit with a built-in super hero belt and a high slit.  All against the severe, close-cut pixie.

But does it dare?  Enough?  And the shoes.  I'm ambivalent toward the shoes.  Maybe?

Ginnifer Goodwin with Josh Dallas

And because she looks fun.

3.  G in Prada

Walkin away, with Cameron Diaz.

Again, nothing about this is lazy.  The stems of her heels.  The paillettes on her pockets.  Pockets!  The weirdness of wearing a short metallic apron dress to the Met Gala.  And the earrings.  Scroll back up and look at those earrings. 

2.  Marion Cotillard in Dior Couture

There were too few pictures of her.

The bangs, choppy, as if cut by a child. Against the hard, almost protruding frame of the bodice.  An elegant see-throughness in the leg has never looked so elegant before.  Black gridded sequins fading into purple.  It's so simple.  It's hardly trying.  I'm not ever sure how this look, such a simple look, happens.  Is it an accident?  Gwyneth's should be better.  It fit's my Met bill more.  Hers is surprising.  This one is captivating.  I can't look away.

1.  Karolina Kurkova in Rachel Zoe.  Because this is a costume. 

And this is the Met Gala.

I have more to show you.

Best Pairings, A Tiny Top 4:

Bow tie and Farida Khelfa in Schiaparelli.  This would be me.  Exactly.
LaLa Anthony in ZacPosen with Carmelo.  So great looking.
Emily and John.  Cause they do.

And then there was a party:

I'd like to chat up Seth Meyers.  Yes, I would.

Good-bye, Met.

J. Benny

Party Pictures from:  WWD,,,,
Many of the red carpet candids from the amazing
Red carpet,, and