The incomparable Chanel.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." – Coco Chanel

As part of my Christmas of Catching Up (on reading, on sleeping, apparently also on cheese consumption), I finally watched Lifetime's recent original film "Coco Chanel", which I probably downloaded on iTunes at least two months ago but hadn't actually gotten around to viewing yet.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting much, but I really, really enjoyed it. The cast—mostly unknown European actors, peppered with snippets of Shirley MacLaine as an aging Mlle. Chanel—was completely engaging, especially Slovakian actress Barbora Bobulova, who took on the bulk of the Chanel role. The story, just a snippet of Chanel's storied life, was nicely paced. And the fashion. Oh, the fashion! Truthfully, I wasn't sure Lifetime (known more for its adoption-related sob stories, of which I am also a major fan) could do real justice to a fashion movie, but it was great. So great I had to take fuzzy screen shots of some of my favorite moments for inspiration, for both of us. Let's go to the snaps…

The movie focused mostly on the teens and 1920s, which was a great glimpse into the elegant French designs of the times. Like long wrap dresses!

Chanel gets her first pearls, and I immediately become kind of pearl-obsessed.

Hats! Furs! Jackets! Oh my.

Of course, now I totally want a dramatic dotted lace veil.

Like want one a lot a lot.

While Coco unfortunately channels Mary Poppins here, her rival Gabrielle gets the fab hat, great dress and vibrant purple gloves.

In one of my favorite scenes, the elderly Chanel decides to dress up her niece in the chiffon curtains. She gives Maria a total run for the curtain clothing money.

Seriously have half a mind to take down my window sheers right now.

Love the hat, the top, the silky tasseled necklace…

My other favorite time in the film was the WWI years spent in Deauville. Long skirts; little hats; slim, elongated silhouettes with nipped waists. Perhaps even more important because finally, I totally and completely get Marc Jacobs' spring collection.

Finally, no real Chanel biopic would be complete without a bit of the famous stairs at 31 Rue Cambon…

Overall, the film was nicely done and I give it two green thumbs up. Next up to tackle the role of the iconic designer will be Audrey Tautou (who Barbora is fairly reminiscent of) in Coco Avant Chanel, sometime later in 2009… For now, I leave you with some choice Chanel quotes.

"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions."

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."

"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress."

Amazing. No?

Daisy, daisy…

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My mom read Daisy Lowe's cute little Q&A in today's NYT Styles section and remarked that she sounded quite a bit like me. Vintage, bows, kimonos… I dare say she's right.

Ho, ho, ho!

And a Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you've had fantastic holiday weekend, filled with music and friends/family and lots of blissful downtime. (Or maybe that's just me? In any case, it has been quite nice.) My Christmas loot is also quite fun (fashion books! vintage Pyrex! obscure DVDs! Does Santa know me or what?), rounded out by a few self-Santa purchases. (I know better than to expect patent heels from Santa… he can only do so much.) Here's a few things I gifted myself this year…

First, Playsam's shiny red Streamliner (above). I've asked for this for about five years, and finally took matters into my own Santa-y hands.

Then, American Eagle stripey longjohns: Anyone who has ever slumbered near me knows that I love matchy jammies. I was able to use several discount codes, so poke around…

I've been wanting Louboutin's round-toed patent Simple Pumps for a long time now, but keep balking at the $600ish price tag. J.Crew's Juliet heels aren't quite the same, but they're actually pretty close (and comfy!) and have a vintagey wooden heel to boot. Again, discount codes abound – I was able to take off a huge chunk off the price.

There were a few other things plucked from the mad sales — new pants and my awesome red watch and perhaps a massively discounted luxury find or two — but these are among my favorites. What about you? Did you get any good things from Santa (self or otherwise) this year?

Oh, the irony…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

…that the second I make a conscious decision to take a blogging break, new inspiration and ideas start flooding into my head.

I've been on a huge Keri Russell kick for awhile now – she's just so naturally fresh-faced and always manages to channel a stylishly downplayed elegance. The pretty new spread in January's InStyle completely reinforced that image, and also made me instantly want a White + Warren oversized cashmere scarf. Love.

Alas, I have hit the end of my personal holiday budget, and can't really justify the $275 price tag. But then I saw Childhood Flames show off her new chunky cowl from etsy shop Ozetta and realized it was the perfect oversized, cozy necked alternative. Because, after all, it's a frosty 19 degrees today. Stay warm out there, kids…

We Wish You an Eco-Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Okay, while we're at it… if you (like us) have not exactly gotten your holiday card act together by now, why not send an eco e-card? Cute, quick and good for the environment. Which was totally our intention from the get-go. Er. Um. Yes. Anyhoo. Merry Christmas!

On a completely unrelated note, I'm pretty sure that Fashion Week Daily's regular facebook status update report — which chronicles the status updates of the prominent and stylish — might be the greatest thing ever. Do. Not. Miss!

We interrupt this blogging break… {er. spoilers!}

**It has been pointed out that we are a terrible, horrible spoiler. We apologize for the oversight. We are just too excited!

…because really, we would be remiss if we did not wholeheartedly congratulate our pal Johanna, the hard-working, funnel-necked, structure-loving winner of the CW's Wednesday night guilty pleasure, Stylista. She is off to be an editor at Elle in NYC, which makes us both thrilled (for her) and sad (for us), because we suspect it will be very hard to find another friend here in DC who is always willing to meet for pedis, coffee or long walks through Zara, who can discuss Gianfranco Ferre construction with both ease and appropriate levels of excitement, who fully appreciates getting dressed in cocktail dresses to go have a few cocktails. On the upside, we no longer have to worry about showing up in the same outfit, have a new place to crash in NY, and can expect regular shopping reports on the very latest finds from both the city that never sleeps and the Elle fashion closet.

Oh! And! Did you see the end where the doors shut and Johanna's fabulous Elle cover of Eve had been blown up and pasted on them? We were so excited we might have cried. Or screamed. Actually, yes, we totally screamed.

Congratulations, J. DC's loss is NYC's gain. Give our best to Barney's!

Remember, kids: Fashion *is* Spinach

Monday, December 15, 2008

There comes a time in every blogger's tenure where real life must take priority, where a break is needed, where other things are what's most important. For me, dear readers, now is that time. I don't know how long I'll need – at least until the end of the year, maybe longer, maybe forever – but I do want to be sure to thank you. Blogging has never been about numbers, or profit, or ad sales for me. It has been something I have done purely for personal enjoyment, because I love fashion and design and the little things like Marshmallow Fluff labels. The fact that so many of you have taken the time to come here every day has just been the icing on a big, fabulous, be-bowed cake. Truly, thank you.

Have a very happy holidays. Wear your prettiest, poufiest dresses and think of me. I'll see you soon.

Ms. Spinach

Big! Humongous! Flowers!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I styled the cover of yesterday's Post Express Styles section, which is always incredibly fun to work on. But I'm especially smitten with the oversized flower headband – uncovered for just $5.80 at Forever 21! – which I suspect will be a staple of my own holiday dress-up this year.

One for the Guys

One of DC's best style writers/stylists, a one Mr. Cory Ohlendorf, recently told me about his new men's style site: Of course, it took me over a week to finally check it out (I blame my crazy-busy schedule lately, and also that insanely bad cold I caught last week), but it's a seriously great website. With things like: Reasonably priced tux finds! Tom Brady's travel style! (And, of course, Tom Brady! Ooooh.) Even the always enjoyable Joanna Goddard dishing on her holiday wishlist!

The pages are crisp, inventive and totally magazine-worthy. I personally have to recommend the fun gift guides… which totally turned me on to this big red Furni digital watch. I don't usually wear a lot of jewelry, but I love big, unexpected, quirky-cool watches. (I'll probably pair mine with a sleek LBD, just for contrast.) And only $28. So, merry Christmas to me! Thanks, Cory.

Campaign for [Wardrobe] Change

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I just realized that as of this week, I've been back in DC for a whole year. And really, what a year it's been. Washington gets a bad rap for being a bit boring, but between the election and the upcoming inauguration {and, just in case I have any independently wealthy readers, I will totally rent you my cute little Dupont Circle apartment for a ridiculously large sum during the inaugural events}, things have really been hopping around here lately. I mean, even Oprah is coming for inauguration week. And you know how I love Oprah!

Many of us are expecting the Obamas and their new crew to breathe even more life into the city, and for Michelle Obama in particular to set a new style standard for DC. (A first lady who wears Thakoon! The mind boggles.) On that note, WWD asked some top designers to come up with sketches of proper first lady ensembles. The results were resoundingly chic and totally charming.

{And! On a mostly unrelated topic, we at FW/Post Express are looking for a few good spring interns, preferably with journalism-fashion-features interest. Drop me a note if you're in the DC area and interested about hearing more about the job.}

Yes, please!

Snap happy.

I recently spotted this slouchy-cool mother-daughter duo on The Vintage Society (originally from Stylesightings) and immediately thought, Wouldn't a vintage leather camera case be a great little run-around-town bag? It's just big enough for keys, a little wallet and cell phone, but looks way cooler than a nondescript cross-shoulder bag.

Apparently, this was not an original idea – or vintage leather camera cases are hugely popular in some areas of the world – because I keep getting outbid for them on eBay. Grumble, grumble. {I have the same problem with wool spats – I've been chasing them on eBay all year, and still no luck!} I'm giving up ... for now.