Sunday, December 5, 2010

Keep Playing With Your Clothes

Valerie says: Last week Jean showed how she took a great pair of clogs and turned them into a FABULOUS pair of clogs by replacing their humdrum soles with sawtooth platform soles of her own design. It turns out there are a lot of us out there playing with our clothes. Here are some more examples.

Valerie’s Stress Ball Necklace

This stress ball necklace is my own most recent effort. I was passing by a sports club one day when they were handing out stress balls as a promotion. I thought they were wonderful – large, polished, round and black, with a very discreet logo. A great presence and design, whether used for the specified purpose or not. [Jean says: When Valerie wore the necklace to dinner at Alias with our friends George and Shawn, they couldn't get over how fabulous it looked. When they found out what it was, they howled out loud!]

All I needed to make it were a huge beading needle (longer than the diameter of the ball), fishing line, a very fine aluminum pipe (to thread the fishing line through and prevent the line from ripping the ball), a magic marker to conceal the logo, and a sturdy scissor to cut the fishing line and the pipe to size. (Oh, and needle nosed pliers to reopen the tip of the pipe after the pressure of the scissors had flattened it shut.) Total cost of supplies (all of which I had on hand): under $10. No clasp - just knot at the back to suit the depth of the neckline. The transparency of the fish line has the extra advantage of making the ball appear (from a distance) to float in suspension.

I wore it to the recent Pier Show and the Philadelphia Craft Show, where it was very well received, although the question most often asked was “Isn’t it heavy?” When I squeezed it to show it wasn’t onyx or celluloid, it got great laughs. [Jean says: Valerie never fails to amuse me. What she comes up with when left to her own devices is always beyond belief, as the photos show.]

Carol Weiss’s Airplane Necklace

In a previous post we wrote of our meeting with Carol Weiss, but what we didn’t tell you then (‘cause we were saving it for Play With Your Clothes) is that Carol was wearing a champion necklace that evening. When I complimented her on her necklace of tiny yellow airplanes, Carol said they were prizes from old Crackerjack boxes. She had bought them on line in the form of a belt, and then converted the belt into three necklaces for herself and her two adult daughters. I ate Crackerjack as a kid, and don’t remember ever getting really cool prizes like that. I assume they predate me. Thank god SOMEthing is older than I am! Carol spray painted them this old fashioned yellow, which really suits them, and they have acquired just enough tiny dings here and there that one could easily imagine the planes were yellow when they came out of the Crackerjack boxes. (Click on the photo for a better view.)

Coincidentally, Carol told us she would be selling at the Pier Show, so we looked her up there, making our first stop at her booth. (See our recent Pier Show post.) There Carol further surprised and delighted us with her home made nail polish design.

Jean says: Although not technically your "clothes", one can change one's look -- and sport the home team's colors -- by simply changing one's manicure! At the recent Stella Pier Antique Show, during the World Series, Carol Weiss was subtly rooting for the Yankees every time she showed her left hand. As you can see from the photo, she cleverly incorporated the NY Yankee logo onto her thumbnail! (Click on this photo too, and you can get a closer look at Carol's nail art, as well as her business card and one of her antique quilts.)

No spa technicians for her. (Of course, this meant she could only decorate one hand, but isn’t that a sign of true devotion? And true ingenuity? And true genius? And a truly steady hand?!)

Deborah’s Edward Gorey Coat Hem

Valerie says: a few weeks after Halloween, I ran into Deborah at a shop on Thirty Fourth Street, wearing this marvelous coat. In this age of mass production, I could see that Deborah’s coat had required more individual labor than most. We almost never see coats with large hemline designs, and the reason is the fabric would have to be printed very exactly to take into account all our different heights. Much easier to make an all-over print than a hem-only print. And the print itself was so wonderful I had to stop Deborah and give her the third degree.

Deborah was very kind and obliging, and told me that she works for a costume shop. (WHERE, DEBORAH?) They planned a Halloween party, and everyone was to wear a costume. On the hem of Deborah’s coat, which was part of the costume she wore to the Halloween party, you can see a copy of an Edward Gorey design. To my wide-eyed fascination, Deborah explained that there are now companies that will make heat transfer prints of the design of your choice. You e mail them the design, they send you the heat transfer print on paper. Deborah e mailed them a copy of an Edward Gorey drawing. If I understood correctly, the transfer paper is placed on the fabric, then a hot iron is applied to the paper. The design comes off the paper and adheres to the fabric by means of the heat from the iron. On her iPhone, Deborah showed me a picture of the complete costume, and it was fabulous. Wish I had more pictures to show you, but the shop manager politely told me I was not allowed to take photographs in her store, even if I was photographing Deborah, and not their merchandise.

Jean is a big Gorey fan, and was able to pinpoint the design in the blink of an eye. The Gashlycrumb Tinies, she said, and she was right (above photo). Deborah took the tall figure out, and reproduced the Tinies.

[Jean says: All of us who have watched MYSTERY on PBS have seen Edward Gorey's work in the opening credits with his stylish black and white cartoon creatures sighing and dying. I collected a number of his books. When Frank Langella appeared on Broadway as Dracula in 1977,the fabulous sets were by Edward Gorey, complete with bats with blinking red eyes adorning the stage. Needless to say, Frank was incredibly sexy. At one point during the performance, one of my friends and I looked around and chuckled at the fact that nearly every woman in the audience had her hand to her throat.

At another, when Frank silently ascended from behind a piece of furniture, and stretched his long arms and incredibly long fingers out to full length along the back of the sofa, his wing-span (so to speak) must have exceeded 6 feet!]

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When Blogs Collide:

Jean says: When we were at MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art) on November 19, after our glass of bubbly in the cafe (where we celebrated our appearance on Style Like U), we stopped in for a peek at the MOMA Store and ran into this adorable couple. Nicole and Pierre Eymard were visiting New York City. Nicole's look was, to say the least, eye-popping. Forget the gold shoes and lavender poof on her head and her Lucille Ball red locks; check out the orange crocheted poodle! Back in the 1950s, my mother's friends had similar knit canines to cover their liquor bottles when transporting them to parties. As soon as we saw the two of them, they saw us. We drew our cameras and fired!

Here, while showing off her needle point rose handbag to Valerie, Nicole told us that her husband, Pierre, is a photographer and that she has a blog called Fashion Forestry. After we shot her and Pierre, she asked to take our pix for her blog, Fashion Forestry.

Needless to say, my fashion A-D-D was in overdrive. My eyes kept darting from her long lashes and Cleopatra-style eyeliner to his black athletic-style footwear to her purple tights to her orange vintage coat. We exchanged cards and more than a few laughs and then headed off in different directions. Like two blogs passing in the night ...

When we later checked out her blog, we loved reading about their exploits in New York City over the next 10 days, the people they met and the stores they visited. Seeing the city (and ourselves) through other people's eyes is always a treat.

Jean is wearing Valerie's Ignatius hat, vintage black and white dotted metal earrings, Moschino motorcycle jacket, Kyodan jacket, Ronen Chen skirt, MOD OATH frames by Revue, Lounge Fly bag and my customized Dansko clogs.

Valerie is wearing a vintage gray velour hat with black feathers, Pleats Please coat, Arche booties, and can't remember what else.

(As before, click on photos to enlarge.)

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In the Not Our Demographic Department:

Just had to show you these bonus videos. They all need sound.

This one is for cat fans. If you’re not a cat fan, that’s fine. Just skip to the next video.

This is Willow Smith’s new video, Whip My Hair. Not our demographic at all, but check out the hair and the clothes and the color. If it doesn’t give you some great ideas to try, let us know. You might be subjected to a commercial ad, for which we apologize in advance.

OK, this one is our demographic. Here Jimmy Fallon does his best Neil Young, accompanied by The Boss, as they both do Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair. As they say in those silly magazines at the check-out counter, WHO DID IT BETTER?

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Greetings to first time visitors from Jamaica, Macau and Mongolia!

Not a single visit yet from Greenland. If you know anyone in Greenland, please send them a link!

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