Monthly Archives: June 2009

The O.G. of Lifetime Movies

Douglas Sirk directed films that modernized melodrama for the suburban housewife in the 1940s and 1950s with a strong burst of creativity at the end of his career.  Now considered a master of mise-en-scene, Sirk’s films were panned by critics at the time of their release for being merely banal exercises in stylishness made for the enjoyment of empty headed female audiences.

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After a reevaluation of his work in the 1970s, especially by figures in the French New Wave like Jean-Luc Godard, his films were seen as subtle, subversive commentaries on post-war America.

Sirk’s women had style dripping off their neckerchiefs and into their picnic baskets.  The domestic fantasy world of Sirk is packed to the rafters with symbolic use of silhouette and color in almost every costume.  Be sure to check out some of his more lavish CinemaScope productions, like All That Heaven Allows and Written on the Wind.

Take a look at our Douglas Sirk Gallery of Stars after the jump, featuring Jane Wyman, Lauren Bacall, Dorothy Malone, Lana Turner & Rock Husdon!

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Kathryn Amberleigh

These sexy little stilettos from Kathryn Amberleigh are a distinctly cocquettish and feminie interpretation of the current cage heel craze.

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Sometimes the hottest shoes can be (moderately) practical and affordable.  Says designer and company co-founder, Kathryn A. Kim,

When I desgin the shoes I want them to be fun, fresh and exclusive, while at the same time comfortable and wearable.

Kathryn Amberleigh mixes classic hollywood glamour (a favorite of ours at L.u.M.) with a whimsical, pop-art edge.  With prices below $500, what more could a gal ask for?

Check out pic the brand spankin’ new store and current collection on Mott Street (R.I.P. Alice and Olivia)

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Always Cut With The Grain

Zeke Leonard is a furniture designer working out of Rhode Island.  He uses only reclaimed materials to form his pieces that range from beautiful and functional tables to art objects such as birdhouses.  This guy really loves wood and each of his pieces remind you that your furniture was formerly a majestic tree in a misty forest.  But, since all his materials are reclaimed, there’s none of the melancholy associated with chopping down The Giving Tree.  (It’s kinda like buying a fur coat at a vintage store.)  We particularly like his wall sconces in both the on and off positions:

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Gabba Gabba Hey!

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At the risk of starting a fight, I’m gonna go ahead and say that punk is dead.  I’m even going to say that it was only truly alive for a few short years in the late 70s and early 80s.  That doesn’t seem to stop a bunch of dirty teenagers from dressing like the Ramones and squatting on St. Mark’s every summer.  It’s come to the point where punk style has become just as timeless as Greta Garbo.  (In fact, if I had a punk band, I think I’d call it Greta Garbage!)

One of my favorite designers for punk rock gear is Tripp NYC.  Their jeans and twill pants have a rock and roll edge and a surprisingly perfect fit.  They come in a mind boggling array of styles and colors.  Bonus, they are inexpensive!  I mean, we’re talking like $50 for denim (Suck it, Gap!)  You can get them at Trash & Vaudeville in NYC or on the web at Karmaloop.  Or, if you’re truly punk, you can steal them.

 

 

 

 

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Dita Von Teese in Interview

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Interview magazine has a conversation in it’s fantastic online archives between Dita Von Teese and YSL’s Stefano Pilati.  They both have some great quotes about glamour, beauty and style.  Dita Von Teese always toes the line between titillating and civilized and this interview is no exception.  Also, she gives a description of her recent wedding to Marilyn Manson (hint: it involves a tricorne).  Check it out for yourself.

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Preen Resort 2010

Layers of shredded chiffon, architectural pleating and rampant asymetry might sound like qualifications for an Avant-garde collection in the vein of Margiella or Gailliano, but Preen’s Resort 2010 collection is as delightfully wearable as it is meticulous and futuristic.

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The often juxtaposed  elements of hard soft in this collection (floaty chiffon blouses violently slashed, stiff, structured dresses in gentle peaches and lavenders) make for peices that are edgy, yet classic and totally sexy.  Yeah, they aren’t exploring new territories or making a socio-political statement, but sometimes clothes that actually function as clothes can be just as fun to look at.

No complaints about the styling of the presentation, either.  I love the simple strappy shoe repeated in each look and the models easy, slightly tousled hair.  

See the full collection at  Style.com

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Arrivederci Lagerfeld

Rumor has it that Karl Lagerfeld is finito after 27 years at Chanel.  Supposedly, Albert Elbaz will take his place and Oliver Theyskens will fill the empty spot at Lanvin.

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While we at LuM do appreciate and encourange change, especially in the world of Haute Couture, we can’t help but lament the loss of the man who used strippers and Italian porn stars as models for Fendi and rescued Chanel when it was on a staid and doomed path to irrelevance. 

And clearly, Mr.Lagerfeld has still got it.  Some shining moments from Chanel’s resort 2010 collection after the jump…

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Ulrika Sandtröm

Spending copious hours playing with high-tech, internet paper dolls might seem like a waste of one’s time, unless you happen to stumble upon a cool new designer while doing so, of course (And especially when that designer motivates you to finally learn how to type an umlaut on a mac)…

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Apparently, Ulrika Sandstrom has had her own line since 2004, but this is the first I have heard of her.  This jacket is from her Autumn/Winter 2008 collection.

 Her current collection is supposed to be inspired by  The Science of Sleep.  Something about dreamy, childlike shapes…I was sort of expecting some dresses made out of cardboard and yarn and tinfoil, and although that could be an interesting design concept, I’m glad her inspiration is referenced subtly

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I love the simple geometric shapes and clean lines of this collection.  It is structured yet feminine and infinitely wearable.

Some other looks from Ulrika Sandtröm’s past and current collections that I wish lived in my closet:

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Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

We already gave a shout out to Lady Gaga a while back, but her new video is just too wild not to mention.  The fashion flies at you so fast in this one that it’s hard to keep up.  On our first viewing we were able to spot inspiration from the following: Balenciaga, Thierry Mugler, Miles Aldridge, Godard’s Contempt, La Dolce Vita, Mickey Mouse, Britney Spears’ ladybits, Slick Rick, and Thomas Dolby.  If you have any suggestions about where else she’s coming up with this craziness, leave a comment. 

The word on the street is that she doesn’t use a stylist.  Until we see evidence otherwise, we’re gonna have to take her word for it.  (Even if she is picking out all her own looks, we’re still a little skeptical that Lady Gaga is steaming her own clothes and organizing a wardrobe rack.)  Also, we have heard that designers are wary to lend her clothes since she invariably winds up on several “worst dressed” lists while wearing them.  Our argument is that her look is truly avant-garde and by definition she should be criticized by people who make their living by reinforcing the mainstream status quo.  

At the risk of using hyperbole, we’re witnessing the birth of a pop-culture messiah.  Something akin to early Madonna or Michael.  (Along those lines, Lady Gaga’s look probably shouldn’t  be emulated as street fashion.  Remember how some wannabes in the 80s tried to dress like the Bad video complete with one glove and like 4,000 studded belts; some stage looks aren’t meant to crossover the klieg lights.)

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A Job Well Done

Dutch design duo Job Smeets and Nynke Tynangel of Studio Job create seemingly functional objects with sarcastic wit and dark undertones.  Their pieces often contain visual and verbal puns that are at once satirical and charming.  They are best known in America for their “Biscuit”  collection, stark white bique porcelain dishes embossed with allegorical icons and images of fantasy, that they designed for Royal Tichelaar Makkum.  

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The “Robber Barons” collection makes household objects out of five landmarks of industrial revolution greed and corruption while linking them to contemporary civilization. 

 

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Studio Job has also collaborated within the fashion industry, creating prints and designing for jewelry production brand, chi ha paura…?

 

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You can check out more of Studio Job’s cool stuff online or in person at Moss in NYC or LA.

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