Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Touch of Frivolity Links a' La Mode Top 20 Fashion Posts of The Week

links a la mode

A Touch of Frivolity

Edited by Retro Chick

It’s been a long time since pay day and this weeks Links à la Mode brings a touch of much needed frivolity as we crawl into the second month of a new decade. Idiosyncratic Style takes Scooby Doo’s Velma as her style inspiration, Dirty Hems is inspired by dolls houses and Ode to Awe shows off her leopard print nails. Want something for nothing? A few Goody Gumdrops has an Aspinall of London bag to giveaway and Retro Chick (that’s me!) has 2 Valentine goodie bags to giveaway worth over £100 each. We’ve also got some great designer interviews and some practical advice.

On a more sober note there’s some timely tips from Sway, Sway, Sway! on how you can continue to donate to Haiti without getting scammed, Shoe Daydreams discusses Tanya Golds “Why I hate Fashion” article and Ventures of Jenn shares her opinions on the body image debate.

Bring on February!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: January 28th

  • 39th and broadway – 5 Questions To Ask Before Beginning a Career in Fashion

  • A Few Goody GumDrops – A Few Goody Gumdrops and Aspinal of London are Giving away an ever-so chic and sophisticated beige patterned skin clutch!

  • Analogue Chic – Looking good while doing stuff – braving the weather and the commute with a sense of style.

  • Bonne Vie – Invest in Quality Denim; featuring How-To Tips from Denim Debutante

  • Cafe Fashionista – Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy

  • Cindy Whitehead – The Modern Snow Bunny

  • Denim Debutante – Aeropostale Gives Back with Teens for Jeans Campaign

  • dirty hems. – In the Dollhouse – Miniature inspiration and a teeny resulting DIY

  • Dramatis Personae – a feature & interview with the designer behind i am dorkas

  • Fasshonaburu – I challenge myself to follow my own dress code regulations in order to wow up my day to day ensembles.

  • fête à fête – Clarins debuts first certified organic beauty soap

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Inspired by the sartorially underrated Velma Dinkley.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – IFB Presents : Evolving Influence Conference NYFW 2010

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – Interview with Janeane Marie Ceccanti

  • Ode to Awe – I review Minx Nails, plus my glamourous Russian Garnet cocktail ring

  • Oranges and Apples – Vintage teenage hair inspiration

  • Retro Chick – Valentines Day is on it’s way and Retro Chick has 2 goodie bags worth over £100 each to give away to help you celebrate!

  • Shoe Daydreams – Fashion Influences (?)

  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog – I have avoided eco and ethical fashion in the past because of the price but I have just discovered it is affordable and stylish.

  • Style Symmetry – How to Choose Items at a Clothing Swap Party

  • Sway Sway Away! – A passionate plea from a member of the global community to her fashionable brothers and sister: help Haiti!

  • THE COVETED – Suzy Menkes, Facehunter, LeMads & The Coveted talk about fashion blogs

  • ventures of jenn – on body issues

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chanel Spring 2010 Haute Couture

I start with the Chanel shorts suit.
I love the color of green and lord knows I die for a Chanel suit. But, what the heck are they thinking with the shorts suit? I personally would throw down the Chanel suit on a job interview, closing a big deal, marriage of child, wedding of ex, etc... You know, the few special events in your life when a top of the line Chanel suit is needed. So, why on earth would I throw on granny shorts versus a pencil skirt on such heavy hitter day? I normally am very positive but I think they are way off course on this one. What do you think?
I think the rest of the collection is done to perfection with romantic draping details and exquisite workmanship.

I'm feeling a little 60's vibe here.

This baby really hits me. What do you think?

Very young and hip with the extreme
metallic top and draped bottom.

So soft and romantic.

What are your thoughts about this collection?
Are you up for trying on the granny Chanel shorts suit?
Am I going to be eating my words in two years?
It has happened before...

All photos founds at Couture.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blue Springs Home Makes You Feel "Home Sweet Home"

It has been quite a crazy week here in Orange County. Well, just a little tornado warning or too to spice things up. (We are such wimps compared to most of you since we are used to 6o degrees with partly cloudy as our winter). So, my thoughts are focused on staying home and being comfy and safe this weekend. What better shop to feature than Blue Springs Home when you think of luxury bedding and being comfortable. Well, Ok this isn't just comfortable. This is taking your bedding to another level. And when you feel the quality of this bedding, you will see just how comfortable it is. This bedding is a gorgeous mix of spicy dramatic colors of rust, lilac and tangerine. It is so inviting and luxurious in person.

This antique tapestry, Italian Florentine side bedside tables and lace type textured bedding is right up my alley. Let's just say this is my personal "heaven of a bed" scenario. It is complied of a Silvermist bed and Bella Notte bedding. My Mom actually purchased those blue laced crushed velveteen pillowcases as I was taking this picture and they are beyond fabulous.

Don't you just want to jump into this heavenly pink bed full of lusciousness? Ok, maybe not you guys. But, you gals! All by Bella Norte. Simply divine. Am I right?

Jump on in and make yourself at home.

The romantic work of Susan Brow takes any special bedroom
to another level. This painting is $595.

This is a fabulous bed made up of Maiteo bedding. It would be perfect for a more relaxed seaside or cap cod home. I adore those burlap pillows. I can certainly see my son having this as a teenager with his surfboard leaning against a wall.

You will find the most unique treasures that are top notch
that are a mix of new and antique.

John Rebshaw's colorful mix of modern pillows
in all colors, shapes and sizes to complete your perfect look.

An exquisite colorful mix of classic and modern bedding
created by John Rubshaw.

Blue Springs Home has been a "must stop shop" in Newport Beach for as long as I can remember. So, if you ever make it this way make sure to take yourself a personal tour. The talented, personal and attentive shop owners will help you create the bed of your dreams.

Blue Springs Home

369 E. 17th Street

Newport Beach, California 92627

Of course, if you can't make it take a tour of their website and their gorgeous blog. They are having an amazing 30 % off sale on selected items until the end of this month. So, take advantage!

Which bedding is your heaven of a bed?

Have yourself one safe, warm and cozy weekend.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

All pictures taken by yours truly, Christina Gough, with my little cheapo digital.

The Heavyweights Weekend Read from Independent Fashion Bloggers Top 20 Weekly Posts

links a la mode

The Heavyweights

Edited by Dramatis Personae

Fashion’s getting heavier– and I’m not just talking about the rise of supermodels like Crystal Renn. This week we’ve got meaty posts covering ethical topics like the sustainability of bamboo at Awakened Aesthetic while Bonne-Vie covers the the implications of buying items made in China. We’ve got not 1–not 2, but 3 AMAZING Interviews this week at Alice in Stilettos, kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS, and White Rabbit. Even Gala Darling’s post on her 2010 Style Direction could serve as a paperweight, it’s so chock full of inspiring images, details, and notations.

As usual, there’s a fabulous collection of links in the forums for your continued reading pleasure!

Links à la Mode: January 21st

  • Alice in Stilettos: – Interviewed brilliant 18 year old designer, Nathan Gerard!

  • Awakened Aesthetic: – How Green is Your Bamboo?

  • Bonne Vie: – At Bonne Vie, we talked about the impact of conscious spending on your wardrobe (and one girl’s journey to not buy “Made In China”)

  • Cafe Fashionista: – Style Secrets: Stormy Sophistication. A comprehensive guide for the girl who wants to remain fashionable even in the midst of a monsoon!

  • DailyDivaDish: – Vintage Broaches: 8 Unique ways to wear these treasures & more — includes many pics of different broaches & a DIY idea for reusing those with broken clasps.

  • dramatis personae: – Following Your Instincts…When Meeting New People, When Shopping, When at Work, and When in Love

  • Fashion Pulse Daily: – Ponders the significance of the C. Finley Wallpapered Dumpster Project

  • For Those About to Shop: – nternational runway sensation Stacey McKenzie inspires aspiring models to be themselves.

  • Gala Darling: – 2010 Style Direction: Psychadelic Ladies Who Lunch

  • girl friday : – DIY Ribbon Necklace & Bracelet. tutoirial on how to make your own ribbon necklace.

  • hello beauty! – In my post on Hello Beauty, I wrote about the new Bobbi Brown campaign. She’s using friends – not models.

  • Idee Fixe: – Fashion and the arts charities supporting Haitian Relief on Idee Fixe

  • In Life & In Fashion: – Make a “Most Coveted List” to avoid silly impulse spending! Includes tip on how to create your own list and what is currently on mine!

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: – How to Create Your Media Kit

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My exclusive interview with Inbar Spector, an Israeli London-based designer whose renowned avant garde Bjork-inspired designs have been worn by celebrities such as Rihanna.

  • Model Max: – A special report on the history of male modeling – from the 1980s to the present time, with short profiles of selected male models who remain successful even after modeling.

  • Oranges and Apples: – Top tips for organising your wardrobe

  • Retro Chick – The 4 things I’ve always wanted but never owned

  • THE COVETED – Marion Cotillard and Franz Ferdinand team up for Dior

  • the fashionate traveller: – the rock/burlesque/voodoo vibe that is alternative Sydney label Baroque & Roll.

  • White Rabbit: – Introducing Sorcha Gillet, the Irish born textile designer and blogger.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DSquared2 Fall 2010 Brings On Men's Street Wear With A Huge Punch

You may already know this talented pair, Dan and Dean Caten, the creative brains and muscle behind DSquared2. They have recently gone mainstream with their features on Bravo's "Launch My Line" this season. That's how I recognized them since I'm such a Bravo junkie.

This season in Milan at the recent Fall 2010 show they must have had Rocky Balboa on their minds, since all the pretty boy faces where bloody and looked like they just came out of a street fight. Their inspiration actually was slasher films, hockey and skinheads.

Ok, so you might have to look past the bloody faces a bit. What I find it so refreshing to see a runway show that feature clothes that men would ACTUALLY wear as a complete outfit. And, some of us wish more men would! The designers create clothes for themselves and say they aren't trying to reinvent the wheel. They just want the wheel to roll better.
I miss the days when men wore nice black shoes, great jeans, a white v-neck t-shirt and a nice black jacket to hit the town.
Maybe DSquared2 will bring back men dressing up a bit?

White jeans in fall for a man... no. But I like the look of a great quality men's athletic sweater with a pair of jeans and nice shoes (like Doc Martins).
This is my pick for Ben Affleck.

Love the Parisian inspired scarf and vest with ripped jeans
and that amazing wool tailored jacket. Done.
This would be my pick for Brad Pitt.

Even your rocker man can look fabulous in black leather without
looking like a little punk.
Bono from U2 would rock this outfit with his signature shades, of course.

This would be my favorite for a man like Johnny Depp to go out in rocker style on the town. Dressed up a bit, but not trying too hard. And, it looks darn comfortable.

Here's is last fall's old school hollywood type inspired fashion show that is seriously worth a few moments to see what is possible for your man or the man of your dreams.


What do you think of this collection?
Packing a big punch or needing a few more rounds in the drawing room?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What Are You Up To This Weekend?

Whether you are spinning a few records...

Or, taking a road trip...

Or, having a little BBQ at your pad...

Whatever your plans may be this holiday weekend
may it be filled with good times, creative inspiration, a little old school glam and lots of memorable fun.
Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 15, 2010

James M. Graham Photographer Of "Some Of This Is True" Book and Insightful Interview

This week I would like to take a look back at the favorite posts during the last six months of Fabulous Finds Gal's inception. I so appreciate if you have been following along and still come to visit . I have grown as a blogger through these past months and I have a way to go. But, I am so grateful for the new comers that may not have been here the whole way as I have grown, but motivate me to keep typing and sharing. You all are incredibly inspirational to me and really make it all worthwhile.

I am going to share my favorites and the posts that got the most commentary. Sometimes these are the same and sometimes not. I grow quite fond of anyone that would give me time for an interview, so let's start with the fabulously talented James Graham with some of my favorite photos and my most fun interviewer that speaks it how it dang is... Well, that's James for you. This man tells it how it is.

James Graham specializes in portraits and narrative imagery in fashion, fine art and erotica. He works in both film and digital. James has spent 20 years as a filmmaker, at various times producing, writing, directing and shooting. He has worked on a variety of projects ranging from a Guns 'n' Roses video to the 2004 Natori Lingerie Campaign. He was a nominee for Black & White Spider Awards for the category of professional fashion photography. His work has been published internationally, including in the Taschen book, "The New Erotic Photography".

His Artistic Aesthetic:
I like darkness. I like contrast and I like juxtaposition.

By darkness, I mean the full definition of the word: low light, shadow, but also something sinister. Something unsafe. Something unexpected.

Contrast, I mean in the photographic sense: sharp whites and blacks.

Juxtaposition, I think of as a means to take contrast into the emotional. Something here is not quite "right" is my preferred working style.

My work comes from my 30 year study of motion pictures. Intense study - like, I seek out who the cinematographer of my favorite David Lynch film is (Freddie Francis). I went to NYU in order to be a cinematographer and came out the other end a Producer.

How do you decide when to use color versus B&W?

If I decide to shoot color there is an aesthetic reason- a hue I want, the color temperature of the light, a piece of clothing, lipstick, hair... and when I shoot color I always shoot black and white too. Not as a back-up, really, but as a way to see the same thing the color sees differently.

What does color do or reflect in the shot versus B&W?

It's a different mood. It triggers different emotions. It looks like real life, but not really.

Can you share with us how you get the models "eyes" to be so present in each shot?

When asked what my work is about, I always say "the subject's eyes". They are what I am drawn to when I look through the lens. They're what I automatically want to bring into focus. It's a cliche', but there is something to that "windows to the soul" adage. Then there's also the connection between the model and photographer. Many times while I am lighting a subject I will ask them to look right at me. This is practical (I set the light to kick off of their eyes) and directorial (by looking right back at them I try to give them something to hold on to- trust, calm, a certain seriousness-something). What the subject does with that something is what makes the photograph "them".

Do you choose a model or location differently for a color shot versus a B&W?

Not normally, but I suppose it depends. On everything...

James has a book being launched shortly called "Some of This is True". The compilation of photographs in the book are surprisingly half nudes standing on chairs and the other half are sad playboy bunnys. Strange juxtaposition? No, not really. See a few sad and sexy bunnys below. They are fascinating, sexy, expressive and dark. The sharpness and contrast of the black and white is his signature. He also makes women standing on chairs look amazing from such a unexpected and unique position. Standing on chairs? Who would have thought that would be sexy or even vaguely interesting? James did...

A few questions regarding your upcoming book, "Some of This is True".
When is it being launched and where to purchase?

It is coming out this Fall on Luxxus Press, a small fine art imprint here in NYC. It will be available in a limited edition hardback edition as well as in softcover. It will be available online at and in several photography bookstores here in New York.

How did you come up with the sad playboy bunny concept?

I was struck with the fondness that that particular era and lifestyle are remembered in. You know, oh, the good old days. The good old days where women were treated like sh.., taken advantage of and made to serve. It was just a simple thought about the irony of that.

How on earth did you come up with nude ladies standing on chairs?

I don't really know. I was shooting a plus-size model and asked her to stand on top of an old wooden toolbox with wheels on it. I mainly wanted to push her limits. So that shot was interesting. Then I was shooting another model and asked her to stand on a chair, but shot her from the waist down. Then I was shooting a porn star and asked her to stand on a chair-again, don't know why, but obviously something was cooking in my head. After seeing that shot, I sat down and made a list of rules for the series, and went to work. I've heard some interesting interpretations of it from different people

How did you decide on the cover picture out of all available?

There are actually two covers as it is a "flip over" book- one series to each side. My editor/publisher suggested both shots and I agreed wholeheartedly. He's got an amazing eye.

Interesting title for your book... What about the book is "true" for you?

Naming your work is the hardest thing in the world to me. I suggested all these random titles that in retrospect were completely and utterly terrible. Most of them sounded like Morrissey reject song titles! Laughably bad. My editor/publisher surprised me with this title when we went through the first test pressing. As soon as I read it, I loved it. He said that at a previous meeting I had said something like that and he remembered it. So, technically it can be attributed to me, but really, it was all him. What about the book is "true" for me? I created all the photographs.

What Inspires you?

I think my biggest inspiration is to create. That and to leave some evidence of me in the world. I would like to be appreciated by an audience and perhaps inspire someone else, but mostly it's an inner drive to create.

You can view his complete portfolio on his
website. His stylish and thought provoking blog is worth a look, as well. You can view my previous post regarding some of his amazing black and white editorial fashion photography here. James is available for commercial, editorial, fashion, and portrait assignments. He grew up in North Carolina, but resides in Brooklyn, New York.

I can't help but love his honesty, passion for being creative and his work. The eyes...oh... the eyes. I am lucky enough to have my website with James's photography (you can't see me, but I'm pinching myself) . I feel like one lucky fabulous finds gal.

What do you think of his work or what does it conjure up for you?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Looking Back At Icon's' Past and Looking At How Far We Have Come, Links a' La Mode Weekly Top 20 Fashion Posts

links a la mode

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

This week, some of us looked back at icons of the past, such as // Fade to #c5c5c5's Marchesa Luisa Casati, Fabulous Finds Gal 's Horst photography post, and Cafe Fashionista's take on Diana Vreeland's famous quotes, while others looked at how far we've come, such as The Curvy Fashionista's plus size fashion observations and A Dress & A Bike 's thoughts on what it means to be sexy. Each post brought a unique angle to the subject at hand, and raised important topics of self-expression, style, adaptation, trends, individuality, and acceptance. It's fascinating to examine our own fashion-related introspection, and think about how our inner selves, thoughts and feelings, are reflected through the clothing choices we make, the pairing of certain looks, and of course our writing and blogs.

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

Links à la Mode: January 14th

  • // Fade to #c5c5c5 - Marchesa Luisa Casati inspire artists, designers and authors till this day, more than 50 years after her death

  • A Dress & A Bike - Discussion of the trends of 'sexy'

  • Alice in Stilettos - Runway Review: The Colors for Spring!

  • Bonnie Vie - Discussing retail hell and how both customers and sales associates can contribute to better shopping experiences for everyone.

  • Cafe Fashionista - Why Don't You...? In the spirit of Diana Vreeland; a post featuring luxurious things one can do to make themselves feel fabulous!

  • 'cause I'd rather waste my life pretending - Bites sized interview with Stephanie J, Editor In Chief of N.E.E.T Magazine

  • Cool Mama Style - Is there an ideal pair of panties?

  • Dedicated- Gets downright nosey with Nadia Izruna of the gorgeous & girly indie label Nadinoo

  • Denim Debutante - teaches you about discrepancies in denim sizing

  • Dramatis Personae - How to Custom Order Goods from Your Indie Friends

  • Fabulous Finds Gal - Horst photography is a study in elegance, style and rarefied glamour that spanned 60 years

  • Fashion Pulse Daily - Finds the Habillees series on the Sundance Channel to be the perfect elixir for another hectic fashion week soon approaching!

  • Fasshionaburu - Reviews an indie label from Australia she discovered called Evil Twin

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers- How to cover fashion week....when you're not there.

  • Le Quaintrelle - A collection of Hermes-inspired outfits from my own closet.

  • M.I.S.S. - She's Crafty - Safety Pin Epaulets & Fringe Lapel Pin

  • odetoawe - Love for the movie Cry-Baby, and how to get Traci Lords' rockabilly look

  • Rags to Reverie - Fantastic plastic to slip on your fingers

  • Skinny Buddha - Sending out some love to the artists creating handmade items

  • Style Symmetry - Interview with Audi of Fashion For Nerds

  • The Coveted - Snow boots? Winter comfort or style?

  • The Curvy Fashionista - Plus size fashion has picked up major steam, inspiring both yeas and nays for the latest in V magazine- stating it just a trend- or is it?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Horst Photography Is A Study in Elegance, Style and Rarefied Glamour

In the history of twentieth-century fashion and portrait photography, Horst's contribution figures as one of the most artistically significant and long lasting, spanning as it did the sixty years between 1931 and 1991. During this period, his name became legendary as a one-word photographic byline, and his photographs came to be seen as synonymous with the creation of images of elegance, style and rarefied glamour.

Born on 14 August 1906, Horst Paul Albert Bohrmann was the second son of a prosperous middle class Protestant shop owner, Max Bohrmann and his wife, Klara Schoenbrodt.

The first pictures that carried a Horst credit line appeared in the December 1931 issue of French Vogue. It was a full-page advertisement showing a model in black velvet holding a Klytia scent bottle in one hand with the other hand raised elegantly above it... Horst's real breakthrough as a published fashion and portrait photographer was in the pages of British Vogue... starting with the 30 March 1932 issue showing three fashion studies and a full-page portrait of the daughter of Sir James Dunn, the art patron and supporter of Surrealism.

War was declared between America and Germany on 7 December 1941. Horst was called up for service, though he was not officially enrolled until July 1943. The late 1930s and early 1940s were his most productive years, during which he excelled at working with 10-x-8 inch colour transparencies both for covers and for portrait and fashion sittings...

As a typical example of wartime escapism, the Rita Hayworth film Cover Girl (1944) provided Horst with the opportunity to produce one of his most sumptuous film-star covers in a montage of seven different portraits of the cover girl Susann Shaw set against a silk design. His picture of Loretta Young became an almost immediate classic when it was featured in a special edition of Vogue which included masterpieces of photography selected by (classic photographer Edward) Steichen to show off the first hundred years of the medium.

This is one of Coco Chanel's favorite photographs of herself. I can't blame her. She looks stunning and elegant. Look at that necklace!

The 1960s started well for American Vogue with the appointment of the larger than life 'Empress of Fashion', Diana Vreeland, as Editor-in-Chief. Vreeland served from 1961 until 1971, when a change of approach was deemed necessary. Horst was assigned some of the leading players of the time and produced a number of archetypal images of this energetic decade.

The 1970s remains the decade that good, timeless style overlooked, and work for Horst was necessarily sparse... However, Horst's rediscovery by a new group of 1980's style-seeking enthusiasts resulted in increasing commissions...

Horst was commissioned to take nine photographs which appeared in February 1980. This was the most popular issue of Life in that year, selling 1.5 million copies. It led to a book contract and continued work with (editor James) Watters, whose encyclopedic knowledge of early Hollywood stars made him the ideal interviewer as the two men travelled round America to produce their best-selling book Return Engagement: Faces to Remember - Then and Now (1984).

Horst's career can be said to have reached Old Master status when the world's most famous pop goddess, Madonna, created her celebrated hymn to classic fashion photography with her single Vogue in 1990. In the video directed by David Fincher, she posed as a recreation of Horst's most iconic fashion image, a model seen from behind, wearing a partially tied, back-laced corset made by Detolle.

In his approach to portraiture, Horst set out to create a parallel aspirational universe in which his subjects became mysterious and alluring. Bruce Weber, one of many photographers influenced by Horst, artfully described his feelings about Horst's work in a 1992 television documentary: 'The elegance of his photographs ... took you to another place, very beautifully ... the untouchable quality of the people is really interesting as it gives you something of a distance ... it's like seeing somebody from another world ... and you wonder who that person is and you really want to know that person and really want to fall in love with that person".
What a talent. Oh, to be photographed by this master. He was quite racy for his time. I need to get my hot little hands on one of his books and the 1980's Life magazine. What do you think of his dramatic work and his use of contrast with extreme black and white? How would you describe it?

-- excerpted from Terrence Pepper's essay "Always in Vogue" from the book Horst Portraits, 60 Years of Style. National Portrait Gallery, London, 2001