When the ball drops.

Those who know me will back me in saying my biggest flaw is that I’m horribly, I mean horribly impatient.  I want things to happen immediately, see instant results, everyone to act efficiently, and no Sunday drivers.  In reflecting the past year things haven’t happened overnight, instead it has been a long windy road of ever ending trial and error where today I reflect on my results.  Happily, I have no complaints or regrets.  Through the ups and downs, wins and losses, I keep learning and becoming more psyched about all things out there that I haven’t been able to grope like a stress ball (perverted visual, insert here.)  I toast to 2010 and break glasses to 2011.  Keep it coming.  I like it.  Yes, I’ve had a beer.  Happy New Year’s EVERYONE!

A Christmas Story

Marathon?  YES!!!!!

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Side note:  The costume designer, Mary McLeod also did Resident Evil, Boondock Saints and Halloween.  That’s something I noticed last year when I was doing my movie-a-day, costume designers definitely don’t get pigeon holed into one style.  Most of them are all over the place.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wardrobe styling has killed the joy of holiday shopping.

I hate to say it, but it’s true.  I did 90% of my holiday shopping online because I try to conserve all my shopping energy for my job, especially during the holiday season.  As you could guess, prepping a wardrobe job takes twice as long due to the number of shoppers and the amateur sales clerks that mass retail stores hire during their busy season.  Then there’s the music, the trendy Christmas music CD that every retail establishment plays on repeat that makes me want to swallow a candy cane whole.  The only bonus to this time of year is you don’t look quite as crazy when you’re returning 10 pairs of slippers in 3 different sizes and multiple shades.  Maybe the brandy new sales clerk just assumes that I aim to please my husband and I like to present “options” under the tree.

Is Etsy the new Ebay?

If you love to scour Ebay for vintage clothing and accessories, I recommend turning your online patience in exploration over to Etsy.  I’ve been a long time fan of all their artisan goods, but in never dawned on me to dig through their vintage.  Boy-oh-boy do they have good finds.  It’s edited much better than Ebay where you won’t see as many canvas bags labeled as “brown” when they’re really dyed in coffee stains and god knows what else.  Instead you’ll find vendors with a more critical eye and more gently used goods.  The other plus is that Etsy’s website is just nicer to look at.   Ebay’s homepage makes me want to buy a lawnmower and only a lawnmower.  Ok, maybe a vintage saw too.

A good name for a costume design class. “The psychology of dressing actors.”

I’ve been helping out on and off on a new television series taping in Chicago (more details to come) and I can’t help but compare and contrast the difference between working on wardrobe in advertising, whether it’s print or television and working in film or a television series.  Something I had never had to take into consideration in advertising is, “How would this make the actors feel.”  Especially in print, how the model feels about what they are wearing doesn’t really come into play.   There are some exceptions to this.  For instance, if your subject is someone who is featured in an article in a magazine for something they have done, of course you want them to like what they’re wearing.  But when it comes to advertising, it’s not about them.  They’re there to compliment the product or in television commercials, to sell the product.  In print, it’s not really about looking cute or stylish unless that has to do with the product, it’s about the entire image as a whole making sense.  In television commercials, it’s obviously a little more fluid, but the same rule of thumb goes.

When I shop for advertising assignments, I’m thinking about what I think works, what I think the client will think works, and what I think the photographer/director will think works.  In film and television, you can go right ahead and move all those people aside and put the actor at the top of your list.  You’re caressing their ego with fine cashmere for every item you buy for them.  In the end, if they don’t feel 100% confident in what they’re wearing, even as they’re walking to set, you’re making a frantic run to the stores.

To the actor, how good they look in every scene gets them the next job.  To the costume designer, every detail in their clothing tells you something about their character and sometimes all those details don’t please the actor’s taste.  How do we resolve this? The costume designer becomes really good at the psychology game to make the actors feel comfortable and confident.  Don’t you think it would be a good class?


Another new image with awesome photographer, Thomas Chadwick.  We relied on the talent to bring their own wardrobe and I was there to style their clothes as they fell.    For instance, to get the hood the way we wanted, I used a little toupee tape (Top Stick) and stuck his hood to his head.  You can’t leave home with out Top Stick if you want to be a wardrobe stylist.  It keeps all your bitties in place.

Don’t worry,  no concussions occurred.  They fell into a hug.

Thrift America

I’m pretty excited about this new series on PBS.  Alexa Chung, recently new pop icon and trendsetter, has her hands in Madewell’s designs (new store owned by J.Crew, currently in NYC) and picked as Vogue’s most fashionable woman will be hosting the new show that would be up there in my top 5 dream jobs.

Taken from the NY Times article:

Scheduled to be broadcast on PBS next summer, “Thrift America” might introduce Ms. Chung to a larger segment of the nation. On the show, she and Maya Singer, the series creator and the editor of special projects for Style.com, will comb the country’s consignment shops, garage sales and flea markets for old clothing, furniture, music equipment and other potential treasures to use in various creative endeavors. A few of the places they plan to visit include Orlando, Detroit, Nashville, Alabama and Brooklyn (and, on a less populist note, fashion capitals like Paris and London as well). In the first episode, Ms. Chung helps Pamela Love, a gothic jewelry designer, create a pop-up shop in London during Fashion Week.

Think of it as “Antiques Roadshow” meets the foodie romp “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.” Ms. Singer said viewers hoping to replicate Ms. Chung’s high-low style will see firsthand, “What does Alexa Chung pull out of the crap bin at the yard sale?”

More about Alexa.  I love this:

ON a recent afternoon at the Bowery Hotel, over a burrata caprese salad, green beans and a Coke, the British television host, model and pop-culture phenomenon Alexa Chung was explaining her hair color, which often calls to mind a grown-out dye job. “I said ‘I want to look like Kurt Cobain,’ ” said Ms. Chung, 26. “I said, ‘I’m going to America and they’re going to try and make my hair shiny and I don’t want it. I want to look like Kurt Cobain.’ ”

“All of my beauty icons are men,” she said in her throaty alto. “It’s all about effortlessness. It’s all about looking underdone.”

Ms. Chung’s sartorial flair (when a dress didn’t arrive in the mail recently, she wore black shorts and a white button-down shirt to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards) has earned her a coterie of high-powered admirers. She’s a hipster muse for Karl Lagerfeld; a regular on the pages of fashion and music magazines; and an inspiration for young bloggers, who track her every look as if she were a deer in the crosshairs.

“She’s become the Kate Moss for this new generation,” said Jane Keltner de Valle, the fashion news director for Teen Vogue. There was a time when all the pretty young things wanted was, as Ms. Keltner de Valle put it, “Kate, Kate, Kate. And now they say ‘Alexa!’ ”