Archive for April, 2012

Inspired By: Abbey's Zig-Zag Dress

Inspired By: Abbey’s Zig-Zag Dress

April 28, 2012

 chicago street style

Zigzag dresses are all over the streets right now. I prefer the subtle interpretations as opposed to blatant rip-offs, which is why I photographed Abbey’s zigzag dress for this post. Her outfit doesn’t scream “Missoni.” Subtlety often heightens the chicness of any look. It’s the whole “less is more” maxim. The long-sleeves make this dress perfect for cold weather, while the short hem keeps it young. My hunch is that the recent overwhelming popularity of zigzag striped dresses this spring is a legacy of the Missoni x Target craze last year, which brought Italian-style fabrics to the masses. It’s Reaganomics for fashion! Only I guess it’s actually trickling up rather than down… this legendary Miranda Priestly speech explains it more poetically than I ever could.

I thought Abbey’s simply adorable look was so great that I selected four great zigzag dresses inspired by her for my readers. Long sleeves don’t work in the summer so I decided to select the inverse. No sleeves and long hems!

These dresses are all around $200 or less. Maxi dresses are here to stay and are the perfect new summer wardrobe investments. I still believe that the solid colored versions are tough to pull off unless accessorized correctly, preferably with a wide belt at the waist. The long length of a maxi dress looks best broken up with swirling patterns or bold prints. That’s why these zigzag-striped versions are the perfect way to rock the maxi dress without looking like you’ve been swallowed by a fabric amoeba and turned into an amorphous blob.

I especially love Trina Turk’s “Avedis” maxi dress [left] because although it’s clearly inspired by Missoni’s signature zigzag weave, it’s different enough with the asymmetrical design and self-belt to stand on its own. The sparkly River Forest x ASOS tank is covered in sequins for a party-ready look, day or night. Yes, I know it’s not a maxi dress but it’s cute and very similar to Abbey’s actual dress. Wear this long tank with leggings (it covers the ass, so you’re good) for a harder-edged take on the zigzag dress trend.

Both of these zigzag striped maxi dresses exude a boho-chic vibe perfect for leisurely strolls through one of Chicago’s gorgeous parks. The Karina Grimaldi “Florence” wrap dress [left] lends a sexier touch with its V-neck design and figure-flattering wrap silhouette. In contrast, the tiered bodice and looser fit makes the Blu Moon “Summer Lovin” maxi dress [right] perfect for girls who want to bring a rock-and-roll edge to their summer wardrobes.

Simon, Hermés Visual Merchandiser

Simon, Hermés Visual Merchandiser

April 26, 2012

hermes visual merchandiser chicago street style

hermes watch street style

Like everyone I stop on the streets for a photograph, I had no idea who Simon was when I walked up to him. While I was shooting him the conversation focused on his love of accessories. He was easygoing and chill, with a great laugh. In fact, it wasn’t until after he emailed me for his photos (I’m always behind on posting) that I saw in his signature Simon is in charge of visual merchandising at Hermés for the entire eastern United States. Like, whoa.

It’s that down-to-earth, humble attitude that I see over and over in people who’ve become successful in fashion. The obnoxious people who use fashion to put others down, or incessantly name drop, do so because they’re insecure about themselves. I love it when people like Simon don’t even name drop themselves, he was just this totally normal and chill guy who I struck up a conversation with on Rush Street. His job title was secondary to the interaction that we had. That’s a pattern I consistently observe.

A good friend of mine, one of the most stylish people I know, told me that with movie stars it’s the same. The B-thru-Z-Listers prance around Hollywood like fools, faces plastered on tabloids for some made-up drama concocted by venomous PR agents, while the A-Listers are too busy focusing on their craft to bother with all that bullshit. This old article about Phillip Seymour Hoffman hits the nail on the head. Just like I was talking about in Kelsey’s post below, its the whole art vs. image dichotomy, which my anonymous stylish friend gets credit for planting in my skull. She reads my blog so I’ve gotta give her props! Lots of mean people are into fashion for the glitz and the glamour, the source of the stereotype about fashion people sucking at life. Think about the depictions of fashion in movies, TV, popular culture, etc. It’s almost always negative.

Most of the really incredible people who I’ve met in fashion are so cool and friendly, but surprisingly shy about who they are.

Simon was no different.

Jasmine Tsang

Jasmine Tsang

April 25, 2012

This is Jasmine’s umpteenth time on my blog… actually I think it’s her fourth. But I’m feeling too lazy to go back and count so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Jasmine is always rocking her own signature look, a sculptural blend of all-black and simple metal pieces that have more in common with armor than jewelry. I’m going to miss photographing her and all the other SAIC fashion program grads after they (inevitably) move to New York to start their careers. In this photo she is wearing her own designs, which she presented at The Walk the evening I photographed her. Jasmine’s collection was one of the strongest featured, and I’m not just saying that because I like her. She landed the revered cover spot for the annual SAIC fashion magazine and was recently featured on WBEZ for her work, so obviously I’m not alone. Listen to the radio segment here.