Everybody is always talking about Cleopatra. Well, everybody that talks about Pharaohs and ancient Egyptian royals. Sure, C-pats was great, but I’m much more interested in Nefertiti. We all know her from that famous bust of hers-a long slender neck, a big crazy hat and beautiful face. She reigned with her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten and the pair brought a religious revolution to Egypt to worship one god as opposed to the previous pantheon of gods. Very much of her life is still a mystery, but that’s what makes it fun. But yeah, I’m sure she was really concerned with like her clothes and crap.
1. I’m the Queen, don’t you forget it
Beaded top by Sass and Bide, dress by Mario Schwab, shoes by Suno
2. Look at me in my crazy desert dress
Dress by Elie Tahari, shoes by Etro
3. Dress by Cushnie et Ochs, shoes by Proenza Schouler
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I’ve seen this around a few times and tried it on today. It is nice and I want it. It’s definitely on the expensive side at $1200 and there’s no way I’ll be able to afford it but it would be great for all my urban hunting excursions in Nolita.
I don’t know where to begin with Daenerys Targaryen. I don’t even know where to begin with Game of Thrones. When we first meet DT, she’s young, weak and under the control of her punk-ass brother. After marrying Khal Drogo, king of the Dothraki, she becomes Khaleesi, queen of the Dothraki. This new role changes her and she transforms from a weak girl into a dragon-lady. Seriously, she gives birth to dragons. Also, her brother dies, hooray! Too bad though, her husband dies, boooooo. With the dragons at her side, she goes on to fight for her birthright to the throne of the seven kingdoms and all that jazz.
1. I’m the Khaleesi, do whatever I say and everything will be a-okay
As many of you know, The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels. I’ve styled the characters several times here and Daisy Buchanan is easily in my top posts. Last week at the Ralph Lauren show, I couldn’t help but think of the East Egg and West Egg gang. All the clues were there—detailing, feathers, drop-waists and lots of movement. If you’ve been a follower of Textbook for a while, you’ll know that my favorite collections get a lot of play each season. Let me say this, Ralph will get a lot of play. Good show.
I ditched the city for Connecticut this weekend and on the way to dinner my family started asking me what I thought Irene would wear if she was you know, not a hurricane. Right away, I played the Rodarte card and then started thinking some Prabal Gurung—sort of that Miss Havisham whirling mess type, ya know. Later on, Prabal Gurung actually tweeted to ask if his followers thought she’d be an all black type or color-blocking type. I figured if both my Dad and Prabal Gurung wanted to know, I could do a post on it. So here it is and it’s all 95 mph appropriate. Fine family fun for your hurricane tumbling.
1. I keep tornadoes in my handbag, I’ll mace you.
Dress by Rodarte, boots by Thakoon
2. Blowin’ errybody.
Dress by Prabal Gurung, tights and shoes by Anna Sui
3. Pshhhh my eye is collapsing, BFD.
Dress by Viktor & Rolf, tights by Prabal Gurung, boots by Lanvin
Hello Textbook people, I’m glad to be back, work has been crazy lately but hey, it pays my bills. Here we have Eleanor of Aquitane, basically the most bitchin’ badass woman of medieval times. Eleanor was a highly educated, strong willed and fiercely political. When she was 15, she became Queen of France and traveled to fight in the second crusade. Yup, she fought in the crusades, good for her. After the crusade, she divorced her husband and married King Henry of England and had a rather unhappy marriage. Eight kids later, the couple was estranged and Eleanor sort of ran her own show and set up a salon called “The Court of Love” where the brightest minds of the age discussed love, marriage and duty. One of her sons chose to rebel against her husband and her support found her in prison for 16 years but she was set free after Henry died. She’s also widely acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful women ever. Badass.
1. Queen of France
Coat by Celine, dress by Marc Jacobs, boots by Prada
2. I’m in the crusades, yo!
Cape by Jean Paul Gaultier, dress by Alexander McQueen, boots by Dries Van Noten
3. Oh great, I’m in prison
Coat by Vera Wang, dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Lanvin
Shakespeare is always good for a character post, so let’s take a look at Twelfth Night. Like many of his works, Twelfth Night is all about mistaken identities, disguise, humor and of love triumphant. Hooray! The heroine of the story is Viola, who is wrecked on the shores of Illyria, governed by Duke Orsino. Separated from her twin brother, she disguises herself as a man named Cesario and comes to know the Duke as his servant. Bromance ensues. The Duke soon enlists Viola (Cesario) to help him win the affections of Lady Olivia. She falls madly in love with Cesario (Viola). Things start to get crazy and Amanda Bynes wins the big soccer game, then her brother returns and all identities are set right and the Duke and Viola get hitched. Yayo. 1. Shipwrecked, but damnnnn I look good Dress by Nina Ricci, coat by Peter Pilotto, shoes by Roberto Cavalli 2. Hello, Govnah! Me name is Cesario! Suit by Thom Browne, coat by Ferragamo, shoes by Lanvin 3. Surprise! I’m a lady! Dress by Aquilano Rimondi, shoes by Valentino
Countess Bathory was a serious woman. She ran one of the wealthiest family’s in ye olde Hungary, was a devoted mother, clothes horse and serial killer. How ever did she manage it all? Such a modern woman. Of course, time weighs on us all and it weighed particularly heavy on our dear countess. As she grew older, she became obsessed with beauty and maintaining a youthful visage. Perhaps it was madness that lead her to believe that bathing in the blood of young virgin girls would keep her skin soft and attractive, or maybe it was old folklore, or maybe dogs told her. In any event, she turned her castle into a torture chamber—wandering virgins who wandered too close got the axe. The bloodthirsty countess even had a special cage installed as not to waste any of her precious facewash. Now, before I throw her under the bus again, it should be noted that her guilt is still questioned. In that time, a powerful widow was not something powerful men liked to suffer and it has been said that she was merely a pawn in a bigger play for power. Whether she committed the murders or not, she was sentenced to spend the end of her days bricked up in a suite of rooms at her castle. Ouch.
1. Maybe she’s born with it…maybe it’s virgin blood.
Top by Marc Jacobs, skirt by Elie Saab, shoes by Lanvin
2. Because I’m worth it.
Dress by Azzedine Alaia
3. I feel pretty, oh so pretty.
Coat by Proenza Schouler, dress by Alexander McQueen, tights and shoes by Prabal Gurung
I heard about Pneumonia White a few weeks ago through e-mail. It’s a pretty sick personal style blog from L.A. The photography is weird, the writing is spooky but it’s all in a good way. Not to mention she dresses in some serious designers. According to her bio, she lives in “Secret Hollywood” and is currently taking up residence in an old house in Bel Air, left to her by her grandmother. If you’ve got some time, check it out.
The Talented Mr. Ripley tells the tale of a man who becomes obsessed with wealth, power and his friend. The book begins in New York, where down-on-his-luck Tom Ripley is approached by the wealthy Mr. Greenleaf to help him find his son, Dickie. Tom, an acquaintance of Dickie agrees to help. He soon finds himself in London forming a friendship with Dickie and his girlfriend, Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth starts to resent their friendship and founds a blog called Goop. Tom becomes more obsessed by the day—imitating Dickie and his lifestyle. Sensing Dickie is tiring of him and his antics, Tom murders Dickie while on vacation and assumes his identity. Gwyneth, having now successfully written a cookbook, turns her attention finding her lost boyfriend. Along with Mr. Greenleaf and a detective they catch up with Tom. The truth is nearly exposed, but some convenient assumptions exonerate Tom. He escapes his crime and is free to live his life, followed by the fear of capture and the guilt of murder. Murder most foul.
1. Help me I’m poor…
Shirt by D & G, shorts by Corneliani, shoes by Louis Vuitton
2. Look at Me, I’m Dickie
Coat by Canali, shirt and scarf by Kenzo, pants by Hermes, shoes by Maison Martin Margiela
3. On the run
Jacket, shirt, bag and tie by Louis Vuitton, pants by Viktor & Rolf, shoes by Prada
I’m a little rusty on Dorian Gray, so forgive any errors up in this piece. It centers on the idea of selling your soul, or exchanging it for something. It’s a common theme, I believe it was first seen in Faust or Faustus. The protagonist sells his soul for a life he thinks would be better. Things go on and he lives a fantastic, pleasure-seeking life and then goes to Hell. Yay, Hell! Of course, this theme is everywhere from Billy Joel to Elizabeth Hurley and to Dorian Gray. In Dorian Gray, the lead trades a normal life for an eternal youth. Through the influence of others he lives a hedonistic life. It must be tough to have tons of sex and be really really ridiculously good looking. Trouble is, as Dorian’s sins mount, his true self is revealed in the portrait. His once handsome image is ravaged by his actions. Slowly, he comes to see that his life is a farce, a farce I say! However, despite his attempts at repenting and redemption, he couldn’t change it back. Frustrated with rage, he stabs the painting, killing himself and restoring the original work. Heavy shit.
1. Wow, I am so damn good looking, everybody thinks so. Like OMG, look at me.
Jacket by Roland Mouret, shirt and scarf by Maison Martin Margiela, pants by Prada, shoes by Acne
2. Hold on, I gotta sit for this portrait yo.
Suit by Dolce & Gabbana, shoes by Paul Smith
3. Stop looking at me, portrait Dorian!
Jacket by Salvatore Ferragamo, sweater by Maison Martin Margiela, pants by Bottega Veneta, shoes by Dries van Noten
How do you even begin to describe Anne Boleyn? She has two fendi purses and a silver Lexus. Okay, perhaps not, but one has to admit, Anne Boleyn certainly knew what she was doing when she captured the heart (or at least 1/6 of it) of King Henry VIII. We all know how his marriages faired and sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the poor bastard, but once you get that divorce/beheading bug, you just can’t stop. Of all his wives, I venture to say that Anne was the most famous, she was sort of the spark that set off to the powder keg. King Henry was married to the devout Catherine of Aragon from Spain. He grew tired of Catherine, despite their daughter Mary, who you may remember from such historical blunders as “Let’s kill all the protestants!” It was around this time that the Boleyn family came to court from France and after having a go with her sister, the King’s eye fell on Anne and before you know it, his royal highness broke it off with Caterine, started a new church and made Anne his queen. Then yada yada yada, she got locked in the tower on charges of infidelity, incest and treason most foul.
1. I’m gonna get me a King!
Fur by Yves Saint Lauren, dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Lanvin
2. I did it, now I’m the Queen, hooray!
Dress and shoes by Alexander McQueen
3. Why am I locked in the tower, what are all these axes for?
Sweater by Temperley London, dress by Rodarte, boots by Prada
Ferragamo Fall 2010 was probably one of my favorite collections of any designer to date. It had that kind of humor that I look for in clothes but still had a strong sense of Italian tailoring. I swear to god, there’s some kind of forcefield around Italy that keeps the most seasoned tailors on the boot. Anyway, when going through the Pitti Uomo shows, I saw the linen blazer on the right. It has a strong reference to the coat from Fall, which I called all over the world for but was too late (read: I waited till it went on sale and they ran out).
What I like about this is that you see a kind of evolution in the seasons. Some designers, let’s take McQueen or Lacroix for example, use each season as a completely new canvas. Whereas others like to build on a foundation already set in place. When you look at designers like Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan or Ralph Lauren there is a very strong DNA present in each show. With Oscar de la Renta, you know to expect a lineup of sophisticated, colorful and playful silhouettes that any woman would be proud to wear. At Donna Karan, you know you’ll see mastery in drapery and a careful attention to a woman’s body. At Ralph, you’ll see an homage to true American style, whether it’s prep, native, western, victorian or bohemian. That’s not to say a McQueen or Lacroix isn’t always recognizable (because they usually are) but sometimes, you can’t string collections together so easily. McQueen’s Fall 2009 collection was a little frightening, spooky and a mirror of the gloomy recession. However, his Spring collection, Plato’s Atlantis with the famous lobster claw heels was worlds away…although it did retain that somewhat apocolyptic feeling. I wouldn’t say one approach is more favorable than the other but it’s always fun to watch.
Hey, that rhymes. Ever read Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events? Well, Violet is one of the main characters and along with her brother and infant sister, she deals with, well, a lot of unfortunate events. There are leeches, evil troupes of actors, devilish counts and friendly deadly vipers. Yeah, it’s pretty much like working at a fashionable fashion magazine of fashions (badumpshhhhh, kidding). Violet’s main claim to fame is that she is an inventor and can quickly solve problems. Anyway, she’s got a Wednesday Addams meets Elizabeth Bennet vibe, which is cool—and spot on for the fall collections.
1. Well, this is a fucking unfortunate event we’re in.
Dress & tights by Marc Jacobs, coat by Marni, shoes by Lanvin
2. I can invent ANYTHING
Coat by Prabal Gurung, shirt by Tory Burch, pants by Proenza Schouler, boots by Gucci
3. I don’t want to be a child bride of Count Olaf
Coat by Rachel Comey, dress by Stella McCartney, shoes by Burberry Prorsum
Somebody left a suggestion to post Antigone, daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta from the incestuous Greek tragedy Oedipus. But, Oedipus was a little heavy for a Wednesday morning, wouldn’t you say? For those readers who haven’t hit Greek mythology in their required high school reading, just you wait—it’s awesome. As a compromise for this suggestion, I’m posting Calliope, one of the eight muses. She’s the muse of epic poetry and most famous for being the inspiration behind The Odyssey. Well, if you’re going to inspire some of the greatest stories of all time…you better have the style to back it up, can I get some Proenza up in here? Yes, yes I can.
1. Whatever, I’m hooking up with Ares
Dress by Tsumori Chisato, shoes by Rodarte
2. Homer, you should write a book about like, a guy, who like, can’t get home
Dress by Louis Vuitton, shoes by Emilio Pucci
3. Ugh, none of the other muses are on tumblr, they’re so 2000-and-late.
Well, this post has been a long time coming. There have been a lot of requests for Cinderella but I’ve been avoiding it because it’s so, it’s so Disney. Disney is wonderful when you’re a kid, but they actually take classic stories and saccharine-ize them so much that they’re not nearly as entertaining as they should be. For example, the near-murderess Little Mermaid and the almost cooked to death Sleeping Beauty. The original telling of Cinderella is actually quite tame. Let’s fast forward to the evil stepmother. Lose the fairy godmother and throw in a tree growing from her mother’s grave, planted from a branch that once hit her father in the face. See what I mean? Trippy. The young Cinderella prays to the tree and it grants her beautiful gold dresses to go to the festivals at the palace where nobody recognizes her when she isn’t in rags. The final night of the festival, the prince puts some super glue on the stairs and her golden shoes stick, enabling him to track down the one he loves. He finds his way to the home of Cinderella. The wicked stepmother instructs her elder daughter to cut off her toe to make the shoe fit, but a bird on the magical tree whispers to the prince that he’s being fooled. The younger daughter hacks off her ankle, but her bloody shoe gives her away. Finally, Cinderella is united with the prince…but it’s not over. In hopes of royal favor, the stepsisters attend the wedding and the birds from the magical tree peck out their eyes, leaving them blind beggars forever. That’s awesome.
1. Listening to Wilson Phillips while cleaning the house
Dress by Rodarte, coat by Celine, shoes by Derek Lam
2. Tree, I need a gold dress.
Dress by Prabal Gurung, shoes by Miu Miu
3. Tree, I need an even better gold dress with gold shoes.
Dress by Jason Wu, shoes by Lanvin
Revision: It’s not actually the tree that gives her the dresses, it’s a magical bird. Thanks for the info, queenofwolves!
One of the biggest annoyances about shopping in SoHo, or anywhere in the city for that matter, is when you have to go to the bathroom. Usually, I’m at least one cup of coffee deep and that urge comes like clockwork. Too much information? Well, perhaps you’ve never read the book Everybody Poops, we all do it so let’s help each other out here. Since I used to work in SoHo and live so close by, I’ve nailed down plenty of spots to help you out if you’re in a jam. Who knows, it may just save your life. P.S. Click through for the hi-res map.
1. Starbucks, West Broadway & Houston
Expect a wait because every tourist sees the Starbucks logo and thinks, “Yes, bathroom.”
2. The Apple Store, Greene & Prince
Immaculate facilities, rarely a line and a pretty well kept secret. There’s one in the 14th street store too.
3. The Mercer Hotel, Mercer & Prince
Only downside here is that you have to go down into the restaurant and pretend you know where you’re going. But when you gotta go, you’ll do just about anything.
4. The Crosby St. Hotel, Crosby between Spring & Prince
5. Starbucks, Spring & Crosby
Like the one on West Broadway & Houston there is always a line and this one is usually a lot longer. On the upside, it moves faster because there are 2 restrooms.
6. Bloomingdale’s, Crosby between Broome & Spring
You can enter on Broadway too, but if you have to pee the last place on earth you want to be is in a crowd on Broadway in SoHo. Pop right downstairs to the men’s floor, never a wait and the air conditioner is heavenly—BONUS.
7. Le Pain Quotidien, Grand between Greene & Mercer
Sometimes a wait and I’ve gotten the stink-eye for being a freeloader, but it’s a nice option when in need.
8. Starbucks, Broadway between Grand & Broome
Line city and listening to a barista brew up coffee and stuff doesn’t help…better off crossing the street to Bloomingdale’s.
9. Saturdays, Crosby between Grand & Broome
Saturdays has some of the better coffee in SoHo and plenty you’d want to buy if you’re into that whole surfer thing. After answering nature’s call, ponder your life in the garden in the back.
10. SoHo Grand Hotel, West Broadway between Canal & Grand
You’ll have to fight your way through the tourists checking in but up the stairs, through the lobby and you’re in the promised land.
11. Opening Cermony, Howard between Broadway & Crosby
The day I found out Opening Cermony had a bathroom, the skies parted and the angels sang. They’re sort of hidden just before the staircase going to that lofted space.
12. The Mondrian Hotel, Crosby between Howard & Grand
If you feel like going to the bathroom in a Dr. Seuss meets people who have way more money than you enviornment, this is the place!
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list but most of my go-tos are here and it’s not even the whole ‘hood. Got something to add? Leave it in the comments.
Hey look, a post. My apologies for the absence as of late, but then again I have no obligation to do this so apology revoked. Meh. Thanks for all the great suggestions the other day which included Carmen from the famous opera, Carmen. It’s a little bit complicated but let me give you the quick version. Carmen is a gypsy who works in a cigarette factory (DREAM JOB) and falls in love with Jose. Some craziness ensues after she stabs her coworker and they escape with some bandits. But, wouldn’t you know it, Carmen falls out of love with Jose and in love with another dude. Some time later, after some things happen, Jose pleads once more with Carmen to spend her life with him. She says no, and when she goes to check her tumblr he kills her. Oh, what a life. While we’re on the subject of Carmen, I highly suggest you listen to the famous Habanera…it’ll set your Wednesday off right.
1. I work in a cigarette factory, look at me!
Skirt by Bottega Veneta, shirt by Dries van Noten, shoes by Emilio Pucci