Archive for July, 2009

illustrative style

July 17, 2009

my ever-well-connected friends friends at have done it again and introduced me to someone sensational. for their friends on fashion column this month, they’ve joined forces with british fashion writer and illustrator, baduade, who has drawn some lovely illustrations about depicting and discussing european fashion. i shan’t spoil it all, because it’s wonderful, so you must continue checking back to see it! it should be posted within the week.

i was searching through her blog as i was writing some copy for the column, and was so enthralled with her completely unique perspective on fashion, art, food, herself, culture. fashion is so visual, so it’s wonderful to see someone combine illustration with words to present witty, fresh commentary on style. here are a few of my favorites:

the artist, herself. joanna walsh of badaude.

a christmas card commission…isn’t this wonderful? i’d buy scads.

(click to enlarge images, for easier reading)

i love the creative mind.


style in the city

July 16, 2009

my roommate erin is all about outing me. so much so, in fact, that she often takes pictures of me at home and then makes me swear to post them. so finally, i’m consenting. BUT, not without taking two dear friends of mine down with me.

think of this not as a street style post, but more of an homage to style as a lifestyle. to me, style is not just what you’re wearing, although that’s certainly part of it, but it’s also what you do, how you spend your time, your home, the every little thing that makes up who you are and how you live your life. style is a sense of self.

me at my casa. you can’t see the magnificence of our view too well here, but we’re 22 stories up, facing lake michigan and downtown chicago. it’s a dream.

my best friend, barb. i love this photo of her…living in rome, with her beautiful blonde hair, wayfarers, and perfect little headband. if you saw her apartment (and scads of jewelry) you’d die for the amount of stylish perfection she’s encapsulated within four walls. for my every vulgarity, barb exhibits 10x the class. if you knew the extent of my vulgarity, you’d understand…she’s the classiest lady i know.

my tres adorable roommate, and fellow dark-haired lady queen, erin. there she is, singing her songs on an indie radio show in that fabulous vintage jumpsuit of hers. a true lady…part bohemian/part hamptons, she lives for the finer things and reminds me that every lady deserves them, each and every day.

style in the city, baby. it’s how we do.

**EDIT: i know some of the pictures aren’t showing up on people’s computers — this is in the process of getting fixed…bare with me, lovies, this will be remedied soon!**

new article! ad campaigns!

July 14, 2009

i’m quite excited…i’ve been asked to write a fashion column for the chicago flame, a small newspaper in chicago, and my first article just went up! i’d love for you all to check it out!

also exciting…fall ad campaigns are emerging, which is always a lovely time. sneak peak!











teen dream

July 13, 2009

after my little emma watson-gasm the other day, my dear friend chris alerted me to this stunning editorial shot by the kaiser (who needs a tribute on here one of these days). at only 19 years old, i am so impressed by how well she has projected her success from harry potter into so many other venues. once you’ve played a character for a significant period of time, it’s incredibly difficult to release yourself from being pigeonholed into that type or persona, and she has evaded this resoundingly.

the least of which being showcased in this editorial for the french fashion magazine, crash.

unbelievable. she looks like a dream.


July 13, 2009

i don’t usually write about makeup, not because i don’t love it, but because my makeup rarely changes from day-to-evening. i love product, but i don’t have scads of it, mostly because i’m just kind of lazy and like to get ready as quickly as possible…short hair, lots of mascara…GO!

but when i saw this photo, and then saw that it was the campaign for a new unisex make-up line, illamasqua, i was instantly intrigued.

illamasqua was conceived by british makeup artist alex box, who wanted to explore a darker, slightly gothic approach to makeup, allowing people to discover and create their alter egos. the gothic (i always tread with caution when using this word, especially as i get questioned often about whether or not i’m “goth” simply because i sport black hair and naturally pale skin. it drives me fucking crazy) inspiration totally erupted when ysl debuted noir lips and hair last february, and really meshes with a universal need for change that’s definitely a current permeating mentality.

ysl hair/makeup, rtw fw 08/09

their collections include: noir, 1920s berlin, siren, fantasy, romance, porcelain doll, and neon jewels. there’s no doubt that it’s entirely costumey and definitely on the more avant-garde side, but it’s so refreshing to see new concepts come to fruition.

who doesn’t want to transform into an alter ego every once in a while?


July 11, 2009

child stars are generally cursed. the cute grow up ugly, the once talented disappear forever, resurfacing only when e! does that terrible “top 100 child stars,” hosted by candace cameron and that girl from the cosby show, which is always so awkward and unfortunate that it makes me want to die a little.

but you shan’t see miss emma watson galavanting with the likes of fallen child stars. that girl is fierce. not only has she transitioned seamlessly from child star to respected actor, but she has become an unbelievable style icon. i won’t lie, i’m also feeling quite drawn to her as i’m reading the harry potter series for the first time (on book 4!), but there’s no doubt that that british belle has become a serious fash lady.

july teen vogue editorial. way to go, teen vogue…seriously. the styling, the colors, the punk infused victorian aesthetic…i think it looks amazing. i LOVE the last two, with her in the pink tulle dress, and walking the dogs in that fierce blue creation. quite lovely, all of it.

behind-the-scenes photos from the burberry fall campaign shoot

lacroix l’amour

July 10, 2009

i’m addicted to couture this season. there is no doubt that i am needing some hardcore fantastical, fresh fashion to be inspired by, and, lucky for me, christian lacroix woke up one morning and said, “i will now make a couture collection entirely for amanda marie aldinger.” thank god he’s such a sensational designer because, he did, and i love it. love it love it love it.

the fact that the first four looks were heavy winter coats just slays me. i am happiest in coats and tights and layers and the color black and this collection embodies all of that ten thousand fold. his clothing is chic and classic, yet so delightfully playful and smart. the proportions, the structure…every piece is a work of art, and his collection is far and above my favorite thus far. despite the fact that his company is facing bankruptcy, lacroix has succeeded masterfully.

triumph of the last emporer

July 9, 2009

black and lace and ruffles, oh my!

i know that valentino isn’t designing anymore (it always makes me sad when a house’s namesake steps down…i mean, i still discuss current ysl as if ysl is still the mastermind behind all that magic), but, despite the critics’ less than glowing reviews, i really think that pier paolo piccioli and maria grazia chiuri did a wonderful job. i think this collection is stunning, especially the show’s closing gowns.

there’s something so “masquerade” about the collection. the overdone lace, incredible texture — i love the scalloping, the tiers of ruffles –everything is so rich and decadent, like a highly involved piece of chocolate cake. and those shoes! oh, the shoes. gold satin with enormous black bows adorning the heels…i could live in those shoes forever. when prada reinvented lace, i was a little hesitant, finding the whole look a bit aged and dowdy. yet there’s a delightful youthfulness to piccioli and chirui’s designs…frivolity in the shorter dresses, and unbelievable elegance in the longer gowns. i love that, and am drawn to their attention to the material.

all and all, reviews be damned, everything needs to be shaken up a bit.

a cache of inspiration

July 9, 2009

this is how my mom sleeps. when i was little, i’d try and sleep like her with my arm over my eyes…i didn’t like it.

…because sometimes you just need to look at pretty things.

it’s always good to read a little, folks

July 8, 2009

i started sassafras because i was having trouble finding inspiration in my own life. for any sort of creative, it’s highly frustrating to feel uninspired both by what you love, and by the world around you. sassafras has done wonders for me, but i’m constantly looking for more, and for new ways of gleaning as much as i can from my surroundings, both immediately and globally.

my roommate erin, who’s also a writer, sent me this article last night, but there’s a segment of it that i’d like to post (despite its length) as its incredibly pertinent to anyone who’s seeking a relationship with the world, whether you’re a writer or not. i hope you enjoy, and i hope it inspires you to do or experience something different and new.


You will become known for doing what you do. This may sound obvious, but it is a useful thing to realize. Many people seem to think they must endure a “rite of passage” which, once passed, will allow them to do the kind of work they want to do. Then they end up disappointed that this day never comes. Find a way to do the work you want to do, even if it means working nights and weekends. Once you’ve done a handful of excellent things in a given way, you will become known as the person who does excellent things in that given way. And that’s the person you want to be, because then people will hire you to be that person.

The personal is powerful. Trust your own experience. It’s the only thing that’s really yours, and that’s really unique. Putting yourself in your work can be powerful.

Do your own thing. If you imitate, you’ll only ever be a bad example of the thing you’re trying to imitate. An artist I like very much, Donald Judd, said that what you have to do is to find the same level of inventiveness as the person you’re trying to imitate. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate elements of other people’s work. As Picasso said: “Bad artists copy; great artists steal.” What he meant is that it can be OK to steal an idea from somewhere else, as long as you steal the idea and do something new with it, make it your own, and move on. If you copy it outright you’ll only get stuck in the past.

Ideas are the only things that survive. Execution is important too; a good idea poorly executed probably won’t go anywhere. But if something is going to last, it’s because there’s a good idea at its core. It’s got to start with the idea.

Experience is the only way to learn. Pain, joy, fear, risk, love, firsthand experience. You can learn so much from these things, and the experience will end up affecting your work in ways you don’t even realize. But it’ll be based on a real thing.

Only fools get trapped by tools. Tools exist to serve you. Not the other way around. There is a long-standing unspoken pact between tools and their owners, which says that tools should disappear the moment you stop needing them. This is the way that pencils, hammers, and leaf-blowers behave. But many of our technological devices – iPods, cellphones, laptops, Blackberries – have violated this pact and overstepped their boundary, asserting themselves onto the lives of their owners, becoming constant distractions. Don’t let your tools trap you. Tools are not the idea. Tools are tools.

Go outside. It’s important to get away from technology and experience the world. You’ve got to see your world, see your community, see what’s not being said what needs to be said. That’s probably the best way to figure out what you’re going to say. For me at least, it’s impossible to have any good ideas while sitting behind a computer. Ideas come from life. As Hemingway said, “I have to live to work.”

Once you have learned how to speak, what will you say? This is really the central question. If I can leave you with one idea from my talk, this would be it.

–jonathan harris, 2008


also: check out his project “we feel fine.” a website which is constantly collecting sentences newly posted blogs containing the sentence “i feel,” resulting in a database of human emotion. click on the colored dots, which are organized by size and color to indicate the emotion and its intensity, to read the sentences.