Sunday, May 31, 2009

Strawberry Charlotte

We are officially obsessed with Charlotte Gainsbourg.

If you haven't yet seen the Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There," please rent it... just to warn you it's a bit dark, but the push-pull energy and heated chemistry between Heath Ledger and Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays his lover and ultimately, his wife, is riveting and completely intoxicating. Charlotte is a study in contrasts... gawky and lanky, but dynamic, gracefully gamine and sophisticated. She's... well, compliacted. Fascinating!

The best way to wear lacy stockings! Forget the frills. With an unassuming corduroy skirt and plain tank, some sleek leather boots... it becomes an unexpected element of contrast.

Charlotte knows how to wear a tutu...

...And a denim bralette! Btw, this is one of the best bikini top styles for those of you who join me in the IBTC*...

*itty bitty titty committee, you know who you are...

I love this... a plain, open V-neckline and a circle of heavy beads. We have a beautiful grey striped flint and sterling sliver version by local desinger Flint at A La Folie in the jewelry case. Lovely with tossed, natural hair, dark brows and... what's that? Oh. A Chanel bag.

For more Parisian gamine inspiration, rent La Petite Voleuse! A screenplay by Truffaut, a young Charlotte Gainsbourg... I recommend an accompanying case of Sofia Minis (the champagne with a straw)... and time to play in your closet afterward.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tutu Much...

You know what, I love tutus... and I don't mind saying so!

You can wear them while looking surprised...

...or while imagining how you would sweep the floor around your pedestal with art deco brooms if only you weren't wearing a tutu.

When I was a little girl, I asked nicely for Santa to bring me one. That December, I went to a Christmas party at Celia Beasley's house and SANTA HIMSELF came and brought one present for each good boy and girl. Once his sack was empty, he trundled outside to his sleigh and... the children rushed off to open their presents while I sat alone in my homemade green velvet culotte and vest set, sans cadeau. I was so embarrassed, I wanted to die... what had I done that was so bad? Was it because I snuck into the pantry and ate all the chocolate crayons my mom had bought for my sister's birthday? No, it was probably because I had forgotten to let that butterfly go and it died in my bug jar. It was an accident, I swear! But I was a muderess, and Santa knew it.
This is how the butterfly returned in her next life... she had an inexplicable habit of grabbing her vintage tutus (black, bien sur) with her hands and fluttering them like wings

Catching sight of my plate of untouched cookies, my dad immediately realized something was wrong and a quick investigation out on the patio revealed that Santa had dropped two presents... one was large and fat, and it had my name on it. The other was for another unfortunate girl in the group who had also spent the last ten minutes internalizing a year's worth of guilt, and I'm sure I would have run into her in group therapy by now if it weren't for the beautiful pale pink tutu that presented itself to me when I opened up my gift. I gave up ballet after a month, but I wore that tutu to tatters.
I was never gonna be Maria Tallchief... in pleather?

Now this week, when you talk to yourself in the mirror in the morning and say, "Well, I really want to wear my tutu again today... but I have nothing to put with it!" you can call us up at A La Folie...
Mlle. Piplette thinks you should wear a beautful Courant d'Air fan lace bra with tulle bows with your tutu! And a top hat and a monocle (not pictured)!

"What an amazing coincidence," we'll say, "This Courant d'Air Collection from Huit just arrived in the store this morning."

And, for a little more variety, you can look forward to this for Fall:

Funambule Blanc from Huit

That's two tutu tops to try! Say that ten times fast and I might give you a prize.*

*The prize is another story about tutus. Are you sure you still want to do the tongue twister?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh, Natacha... did you have to buy all those hats?

I raided Jenny P's basement last night to gather supplies for our new window display. Vintage circus themed, of course, in honor of our upcoming event! I want it to be playful but a little dark... and Jenny P's basement is both. One of her relatives was Natacha Rambova:

I mean, really... my relatives were all goose herders and rice farmers.

Natacha was, among other things, a designer of silent film costumes and sets, a ballerina, an actress, a fashion designer, an Egyptologist (of course) and... Rudolph Valentino's wifey!

A good looking pair, right? BTW, several women around the world KILLED themselves in fits of tragic passion when Rudy died!

Apparently she created quite a stir wherever she went, whether because of her controversial control over her husband's career or her extravagant trip to Spain in which she nearly bankrupted the studio with her purchase of one billion* hand-embroidered Spansh shawls. I got one of the shawls for the window... come on Thursday and see if you can guess which one it is!

There was also an enormous hat box in the closet that read, in huge, scrawling script "Mr. John's Fine Hats" and contains the most beautiful, sassiest olive alpaca felt fedora with a striped velvet flat bow and a lovely straw fedora with interchangeable bands, to match Natacha's many outfits. That's gonna stay in the closet, unfortunately, but once I find my camera attachment I can show you a picture of Jenny P and I modeling them.

Auntie Ann, Jenny P's elderly matriarch, has this to say:

"In those days, EVVVERRRRRYONE wanted a Mr. John hat! Now pass me my diamonds, I want to count them again." Then someone gives her a sack of rock candy, and she's happy until supper.

*considering inflation, that's more like 100 shawls today.