Monday, June 28, 2010

Children In Heat

Can the residents of Philadelphia all let out a collective "ick"? One.....Two.....Three........"ICK!" Seriously, this heatwave can suck a fat one. I've been cowering in the luxury of central air due to a massive heatwave that's sent temperatures soaring into the mid-nineties. The prospect of walking to find a suitable shooting location was daunting, so I caved for the first brick wall with character I could find. I swear, my camera melted, just a little bit.

Choosing clothes on a day like today is like choosing whether you want to die by suffocation, drowning, or being burned alive. Nothing really sounds appealing, but it all gets the job done. Point in case, until public nudity is legal (and I've got the courage to actually participate), there are pretty much no suitable clothing options for weather like this. You can dress in light colors, you can wear short shorts, and you can adorn the sheerest fabrics, but you WILL sweat and you WILL feel disgusting. So you may as well try to look good.

Rather than bemoan the heat and its inevitable impression on my outfit, let's talk about sheer knee highs. Like many of my readers, I relied heavily on tights to spruce up my winter wardrobe, transforming an otherwise dull outfit into something trendy and chic. Then summer came and bare legs just seem so...plain. Boring. Ordinary. Not to mention, it accentuates my inability to acquire a tan. There's no way I'm wearing full tights, but the idea of knee highs intrigued me. Fully opaque would be too kitschy (and dare I say it, juvenile), but semi-sheer fits just right. And at 50 cents a pair from my local Walgreens, this fits into my "only indulge if it's cheep" rule regarding passing trends. It's the little victories that count.

Top- Forever 21
Shorts- Abercrombie & Fitch pants, cut into shorts
Belt- vintage (Sweet Jane- Philadelphia, PA)
Knee Highs- Ravinia
Shoes- thrifted (Village Thrift- Pennsauken, NJ)
Sunglasses- Forever 21

Friday, June 25, 2010

Designer Highlight: Alexandra Cassaniti

Now that we're officially in summer, the desperate search for weather-appropriate clothes begins. Despite what my outdated wardrobe may say, my ideal closet would be full of sheer, white garments that hang as loosely as possible. Enter Alexandra Cassaniti. Through her genius use of cheesecloth of all things, she's reconstructed the basic white t-shirt into a perfectly summer appropriate trend. As if you needed any more reasons to love her, all shirts are biodegradable and compostable. Though her clothing line is somewhat limited, Cassaniti has a great line of bags, shoes, and accessories, perfectly suited to her apparel.

Simple Tee X (cropped)- $115.00

Tank XXXX (Past Knee)- $130.00

 Summer Bummer Sweatpants- $55.00

Really Big Weekend Bag- $400.00

Sandblasted Face It Sunglasses- $80.00

You can see more designs at the website.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teenage Graffiti

Since getting this new camera, I feel like a little kid with a shiny new toy I can't put down. I've always enjoyed the writing aspect of blogging, but to be honest, uploading and editing pictures always bummed me out. The lighting always looked terrible or my shoes would be out of focus or everything would be so dark that no amount of fill light could salvage the photo. Now I'm genuinely giddy to pop in that memory card and see what great shots Ray got. 

With my rekindled enthusiasm comes a desire to explore locations other than my rooftop ledge. Unfortunately this heat wave has limited me to stick close to my South Philly apartment, not the most scenic of places. Do I want to take pictures by the dive bar on the corner with a bullet hole in the door? Maybe the neon lights of the multiple nail and braiding salons would provide an interesting background. Or there's always the side streets littered with neighborhood drunks and junkies. Hmmm...

Little did I know, Ray had been eying this abandoned truck across the street. I never gave it much thought, but it did provide a beautiful background, even with the fading afternoon light. I've never shot directly on the streets of my neighborhood and I probably won't do so anytime soon. Too many weirdo mutants staring at us as I held bizarre poses in a semi-sheer shirt with the wind trying desperately to blow my skirt up.

Ok, so the outfit. It actually just kind of came together. It's been so muggy and sticky that I wanted to dress as loosely as possible. The tank top is incredibly sheer and breathable, while the skirt, though double layered, is light and bouncy so it actually retains a lot of air flow. I hardly ever wear it because it's such a busy print that I never know how to pair it, but I think these work rather nice. It's very busy and chaotic, but it works. Please excuse the rats nest of an excuse I call my hair. I spent the majority of the day nestled in the apartment with the air-conditioning on full blast, with no thoughts of attempting to run a brush through my hair.

In other news, the fashion show I'm planning is remarkably starting to come together! I've already signed contracts with about a dozen designers and there are at least another eight or so in talks.  Clothing has started arriving, waiting to be mocked up into outfits on my dress form. We're even in touch with a very large and very well-known clothing company to sponsor the event! I don't want to jinx it, but their participation would be huge and relieve my remaining worries about the actual production itself. For those in the Philadelphia/mid-Atlantic region, the event is free and open to the public. You can read more and check out the designers at the Philadelphia Bike Expo website.

Tank Top- BDG
Skirt- Forever 21
Shoes- thrifted (Village Thrift- Pennsauken, NJ)
Sunglasses- Forever 21 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomatoes and Radio Wire

See anything different? I got a new camera! To be specific, I purchased my first DSLR, much to the dismay of my wallet. I'm still trying to figure out how it all works, but thankfully I've got a photographer boyfriend to hold my hand through the learning process.

Despite temperatures nearing the mid-90s yesterday, I couldn't resist going to Rittenhouse Square to enjoy the sunshine and play around with the camera. I always forget how beautiful the park is and every time chide myself for not taking advantage of it nearly enough. Yesterday I counted no fewer than a dozen dogs and listened to a kid randomly playing banjo for everyone and no one. 

Dressing for Philadelphia in June means dressing for sticky, awful humidity. Given that I was 1) riding my bike 2) leaving directly for class afterward, I needed as few layers as possible to avoid looking like I crawled out of a sauna by the time I got to class. This dress is perfect because of the thin, breathable cotton, while the bleach burns add an interesting touch. I've been wanting to wear this belt for ages, but it's way too large for me. I figured out how to pull it through the buckle without securing in one of the holes, so I was able to make the dress a bit more figure flattering. Jokes on me, the only part of me covered in sweat by the end of the day was my waist. (I know, ew).

The tennis shoes were a much-needed perfect final touch. Nothing screams summer like a pair of tennis shoes, but pairing dresses with sneakers can be tricky. These shoes are usually relegated to an outfit consisting of cut off shorts and a basic t-shirt. But when worked in with a polo dress, it strangely works. And let me tell you, my feet were very happy for the day off from heels. Happy feet = happy Molly.

Dress- American Apparel
Belt- vintage (Sweet Jane- Philadelphia, PA)
Shoes- Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses- Forever 21

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Elephant, Elephant

Imagine this, if you will: Faux-conjoined twins covering Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" on a shared ukulele. Ok, now you have an idea what my Friday night was like.

For those who aren't in the know, Evelyn Evelyn is the twisted brain child of Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls fame) and Jason Webley, the premise being two Siamese twins, joined at the side sharing two arms, three legs, and the same name who play wacky songs about pet elephants and prospective boys only wanting to date one of the Evelyns for her sister. They rolled through Philadelphia last night, giving way to one of the weirder shows I've ever seen and a definite contender for best musical performance of 2010 (the other being  the Appleseed Cast playing Lower Level Owl Volumes I & II in their entirety). If you haven't heard Evelyn Evelyn yet, do yourself a favor and check them out.

Ack. It's these wedges again. And these shorts. And damn it all to hell if you haven't seen these sunglasses twenty million times since I got them in May. I call this my outfit of favorites. Favorite thrifted shirt (which was even featured on Mod Cloth!), favorite thrifted shorts, favorite new shoes, favorite shades, even my favorite way to wear my hair (weather permitting). I'd think it was actually a pretty unoriginal way to plan an outfit if it didn't look so darn cute. Sometimes you choose between a quick choice and a chic choice. Sometimes you get both.

I know this post is all over the place with clothes and conjoined twins and whatever ramblings are falling out of my head, but have I introduce you readers to one of our foster kittens? This is Merckx, the poor little guy who I mentioned is in quarantine due to ringworm. He was being so adorable during our picture session that I had to snap some photos. How could something this cute be so filthy?

Shirt: thrifted Aeropostale (Village Thrift- Pennsauken, NJ)
Shorts: thrifted (Closet Exchange- Abington, PA)
Shoes- Forever 21
Sunglasses- Urban Outfitters

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Busy Signals

Ugh. Today is one of those days where I've got twenty things to do and not nearly enough hours in the day. I desperately need to run to the pet store for cat food,.Merckx (one of our foster kittens) has ringworm and needs to be kept company in his quarantine. I need to go to Kinkos to print out blueprints of the fashion show venue. I've got a zillion emails to send out  to designers, both introductory and follow up. I need to write a piece about the show for the website. Dishes need to be washed. Clothes need to be folded. Yoga needs to done. I've got a chapter to read in my textbook for class tomorrow, not to mention starting an assignment due Saturday. Ack! It's enough to make me want to crawl under the covers and never come out. Thank god the weekly fashion show/bike expo progress meeting was canceled!

You can tell what kind of pace I plan to take by what outfit I pick out. A leather skirt with no stretch and heels I can hardly walk in? That's most likely going to translate to watching Bad Girls Club reruns on the couch all day and maaaaybe walking to a nearby bar later that night. Jeans and a tank top with shoes I can jump hurdles in? Now that's a battle outfit if I ever saw one.
I just snagged these wedges yesterday, but I can already tell they're going to be one of my favorites. Not only are they surprisingly stable and comfortable, but I can even wear ankle socks with them to avoid blisters from cheap faux-leather. I also scored this top yesterday. It's so sheer and weightless, so I know it'll be perfect when temperatures start nearing 100°, yet it also adds a thoughtful chic touch to an otherwise ordinary outfit. The exposed front zipper is completely functional, so I can't wait to rock this as a summer vest as well. All in all, not too shabby for a errand-running look.

Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Forever 21
Shoes: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Forever 21