Junya Watanabe FW08 ♥ eDrop-Off

December 8, 2011  |  Amy's Closet, Amy's Friends, Bloggers, Parties
From Left: Chelsea Lavin, Jena Gambaccini, and me

Ok, I admit it. I don’t like to smile for photos. I make everyone else smile while I’m behind the camera, but once I’m in front of the lens it’s like pulling teeth to even get a half smile out of me. That’s the most you’ll ever see. I simply like the way my face looks better when I’m not showing my teeth. I’m really happy and expressive in person, but the second a photographer pops up I snap into photo-mode with a straight face and half-turned smile. I’m not another moody intellectual girl in conceptual Japanese fashion, despite how it may look! I swear!
I had a total blast at eDrop-Off founder Corri McFadden’s private 30th birthday celebration last Friday at Perennial Vivant. What an honor to attend her party as a friend and not a blogger! I kept the camera in my purse all night as I relaxed and enjoyed the company of friends, including The Style Block girls. I also relished the opportunity to wear the Junya Watanabe FW08 dress I purchased from eDrop-Off this summer.

via Style.com

I adore this profound oddness of the dress. This is my first Junya Watanabe purchase so I was surprised at how difficult it was to actually put on the dress. Challenging traditional methods of garment construction is at the heart of the Comme Des Garcons spirit. The experience of wearing such a piece out in the real world of Chicago revealed to me just how subversive a piece like this can be, especially to American men. I wore it out to a nightclub (long story and subject of an upcoming post) and let’s just say they call fashion “man-repelling” for a reason. Although the upper half of my body is obscured by draped jersey in this dress, I was stared at as though I was walking around topless with bared breasts. I can imagine all these straight men were looking at me and thinking – “What the f*ck is she wearing?”

Conceptual Japanese fashion, that’s what,” I thought as I imagined myself answering all these confused dudes staring at me. Granted, I stuck out like a sore thumb next to my gorgeous blonde best friend Maryhelen who donned my sexy Suno minidress for the evening. The idea of obscuring the silhouette of the human body, by adding fabric or lumps (as Watanabe’s mentor Rei Kawakubo is known to do), is perhaps the antithesis of Western fashion. Western designers usually seek to accentuate a woman’s shape even though they may too obscure it, as Prada’s bulky coats recently did in the Fall ’11 and Spring ’12 collections. Yet how is it that the absence of a defined shape, which requires the viewer search for the female form, can actually sexualize clothing?

Either you appreciate weird Japanese fashion or you don’t. And thank God for the existence of eDrop-Off so women around the world (like me) can obtain legendary runway pieces seasons after they were produced. Now, I just have to keep checking back for that Rodarte dress I had my eye on…

Guerre of Guerreisms

The most important thing to possess as a street-style photographer? Why it’s the ability to make people smile, of course.

Check out Guerre’s awesome street-style blog Guerreisms, formerly Swagger 360.

Candice Lake & Peony Lim

Poppy Lim Candice Lake
Candice Lake is one of the world’s best street-style photographers and a former runway model. Her work is regularly featured in Australian and American Vogue. I first met her in February, when I photographed her as part of my first NBC mini-documentary video. In the bright red heels is Peony Lim, one of the chicest personal style bloggers out there. She has an international fanbase and counts many fashion-insiders as readers, and with good reason.

This photo is a perfect example of why I always carry my camera in hand – turned on – when I’m out shooting. Sometimes you have only a split second to catch the shot.