Monday, April 26, 2010

Inspired by the Music of Interpol

Interpol is my go-to band on depressing, rainy days, and just guess what kind of day today is. I enjoyed my previous posts on fashion inspired by the music of Metric, so I decided to do the same thing with Interpol this time. And here we go...

"Obstacle 1" from the album Turn On the Bright Lights

Interpol's lyrics are usually very cryptic. While they don't necessarily tell a clear story, they do a phenomenal job of invoking an emotional response. The vague, poetic lyrics coupled with the sound of a particular song paint an incredibly vivid picture of the emotional state being portrayed. Obstacle 1 feels like a song about a hopeless, unrequited love and a desperate attempt to win over the object of those affections. It has a heavy and dark sound relying on reverb effects and Paul Banks' distant, Ian Curtis-esque vocals to illustrate simple sorrow. I didn't want to rely too heavily on Interpol's Gothic influence when interpreting it in fashion, but I tried to convey the sorrow and heartbreak in a more subtle way. Also, I wanted it to be friendly for gray and rainy days (like today).

"Evil" from the album Antics

This song has a sleeker sound and is more up-tempo and polished than "Obstacle 1." The dark, sophisticated vibe translated here into a more sexy-yet-professional look. I stuck with grays and blacks since they can portray "evil" as well as sleek sophistication. The subtle animal print accents give the outfit a touch of a more daring, exotic look which is a reference to a couple random bits of lyrics in the song.

"The Heinrich Maneuver" from the album Our Love to Admire
(Watch the video here.)

Being the most upbeat and least depressing of these three songs, I wanted to lay off the heavy use of black and make it more of an accent here. The girl in this music video wears a light, flowing dress which was an indirect inspiration for the light blue tunic. Since this IS Interpol we're talking about here, this song isn't a sunny, happy tune so I added sleek, black accessories to the ensemble. This song is about frustrated love (kind of a theme with these guys) and the dark heart pendant is meant to be a nod to that.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inspired by the Music of Metric: Part Two

A continuation of my previous post. I had so much fun with it, I thought I'd do a few more.

"The Twist" from the album Grow Up and Blow Away

This song has a melancholy, lovesick undertone which prompted me to use predominantly blues and silvers in this outfit. Since this is Metric's very early work, the sound is much lighter and uses synth as a complement to Emily's driving vocals as opposed to their more recent music which features synth/dance beat driven music that works in equal force to Emily's vocals. This outfit reflects that in its simplicity and its breezy tone.

"Succexy" from the album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?

This song has a clear anti-war message and references the military throughout. Since military-inspired clothing has been a recent trend, I thought I would employ it in my fashion interpretation of this song. I wish I had more to say about it, but that's basically all I got.

"Poster of a Girl" from the album Live It Out
(You can see the video here)

This song is about lost innocence and feeling like a child with far too much experience as an adult. It truly is a heartbreaking song. In keeping with that basic premise, there are some adult themes discussed in the lyrics, so be forewarned. The outfit I made was inspired by a few things. Firstly, I wanted it to have an innocent and girlish look to it which gave me the general idea for what I wanted to do. Secondly, I wanted to combine a couple elements from some of the outfits Emily wears in the video, hence the lace skirt and striped top. Finally, half of the song is sung in French which inspired me to add the crocheted beret. I know, I know. It's so cliche, but I think it works.

"Gimme Sympathy" from the album Fantasies

This song is very romantic and optimistic. I wanted to makes something very pretty and I wanted it to reflect the romantic feel of the song. I started with a lacy crop top just because that's always the first thing I think of when I think of romantic fashion. I paired it with a complementing high-waisted pencil skirt. Nude flats and a simple purple clutch work well with the outfit without detracting attention from the top which is clearly the focal piece. I added a lace headband just because I thought it would be cute.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Inspired by the Music of Metric

I recently shared my obsession with Emily Haines and her band Metric. I've had a lot of fun over the past couple of days making outfits inspired by some of their songs and thought I'd share. Music and fashion are so intertwined in my life, I'm not sure I could ever untangle them. What I listen to affects what I wear and what I'm wearing affects what I'm in the mood to hear. So without further ado, my Metric inspired creations:

1. "On the Sly" from the album Grow Up and Blow Away
More Metric music on iLike
The lyrics of this song are a flirty and romantic, and the sound is light and twinkling. In light of that, I wanted to keep the outfit light and springy and I immediately went to lace and floral patterns. I mean, it doesn't get much more flirty. I added some vintage accessories to further illustrate the soft, romantic theme here. I really like this outfit. I'm not sure if I would wear just because it's SO girly, but I definitely feel like it's a great complement to the song.

2. "Combat Baby" from the album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
The first thing I thought of when I was listening to this song for fashion inspiration was combat boots, and obviously, there are a lot of allusions to fighting in these lyrics. I decided I wanted this to be a grunge-inspired number so I added some grunge staples like a denim jacket and tattered socks. The vintage floral dress adds some femininity to the overall masculine vibe. When it's all pieced together, you have a rocker-chic look that reflects the more upbeat, drum-driven sound of this rock song.

3. "Monster Hospital" from the album Live It Out
This outfit was mainly inspired by the music video above. (It gets kind of bloody, so just be aware if you're going to watch it.) The majority of this video is shot in grayscale, so I took my cue from that making the core of my outfit white and gray. Like I warned, there's a lot of blood in this video and the red stands out in the colorless background. Inspired by that, I added some little splashes of bright red that pop out of the neutral core of the outfit. The necklace is a nod to the one Emily is wearing in the video.

4. "Sick Muse" from the album Fantasies
Again, I used the music video as inspiration. Emily wears very glittery, glam outfits which is a reflection of the sparkly, electronic sound of the song. The attitude of the lyrics and the way Emily sings them is sneering at times and wistful at others. Inspired by the highly stylistic, glitzy vibe of the song and video, I made a metallic, sequined club-appropriate outfit that I think is a lot of fun and perfectly fitting for the 'sick muse' who is the voice for this song.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

I felt like Zooey Deschanel today and thought I'd share. :)

Don't forget to check out She & Him's new album Volume Two!

PS- Sorry the pictures aren't great. I lost my camera and was using my phone.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Emily Haines

I always used to say that I could never in a million years pick a favorite band. There are just so many that I love and none that truly stood above the rest in my mind. And then I met Metric.

Metric frontwoman Emily Haines is not only musically gifted, but one of my favorite fashion icons. Emily has two fashion personas. I will refer to them as Peformance Emily and Off-Duty Emily.

Performance Emily
When she's in music videos and sometimes when she's in concert, Emily ups the glam factor. Think sequins, sparkles, heeled boots, fingerless gloves, etc. Her on camera/on stage style reflects the Canadian band's musical style. Their edgy, sparkling, electronic sound that has spawned hits like "Gimme Sympathy," "Sick Muse" and "Combat Baby" becomes the style and demeanor of Performance Emily.

Off-Duty Emily
When Emily is in more casual situations, she opts for a more androgynous look taking menswear inspired ensembles and giving them a softer touch. Off-Duty Emily isn't showy. She leaves the sparkles and the experimentation for the spotlight. She doesn't wear a lot of accessories and she doesn't do complicated hair styles. She's effortlessly charming as a refined, adult tomboy.

As always, some looks inspired by Emily. (Instead of doing one casual and one formal like I usually do, I've made a Peformance-inspired outfit and an Off-Duty-inspired outfit.)

And, of course, current musical obsessions. (I've got a lot right now.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Music and Fashion- Old School Punk

There are so many different facets of culture: literature, film, music, politics, fashion, scientific discovery and so much more. They are all intertwined and shape each other in varying degrees. Music and fashion are probably the ones I know best besides maybe literature. Music and fashion are the two biggest things that define different subcultures. In light of this, I think I'm going to write a series on different types of music and their effects on fashion starting with my personal favorite: old school punk rock.

The punk movement was about a lot of things- standing out, fighting for a cause, subversion, refusal to grow up, chaos and anarchy, realism, simplicity, etc., etc. The one unifying concept of the movement was rebellion. Whether it be against pretentiousness, hygiene, idealism, government, the notion that you have to be talented to make music or what have you, the founders of punk were motivated by rebellion. Obviously, this was reflected through their clothing choices. The same things that motivated their simplistic, thrashing, light on talent, heavy on passion musical style motivated their shocking, conspicuous, edgy clothing style.

My idol Debbie Harry.

Vivienne Westwood in her younger days. Love her!

The Clash: Joe Strummer, Topper Headon, Paul Simonon (hot!), Mick Jones.

The infamous Nancy Spungen and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious.

Ramones frontman Joey.

Punk essentials: tattered denim, leather, structured jackets, metal studs, bondage gear, safety pins, band tees, converse, combat gear, fishnet stockings, sunglasses, holes/rips/tears.

Currently listening to: "White Riot" The Clash (What else?)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring Trends - Part One

Okay, I know it's kind of cliche to write about Spring trends and all, but I think I'm going to do a little series on my favorites. I'm really excited about Spring fashion... too bad it's 25 degrees here on a good day. Also, I'd apologize for not posting in so long, but I doubt anyone really cares.

In today's post I will be covering the first two spring trends on my list

1. Chambray
Chambray looks a lot like denim, but is lighter and easier to wear. Chambray is so versatile. It's being used in dresses, shirts, skirts, shorts, rompers... basically everything. And I'm excited. I can't wait to rock some chambray pieces in my wardrobe. I'm a denim addict, so naturally I'm glad a more spring-appropriate version is hitting the runways.

Chambray dress from the Lacoste spring collection

2. Colorblock
Colorblock is a fun and bold trend. Graphic and futuristic designs have been gaining popularity. However, it is perfectly possible to do colorblock subtly. Some examples of this are pieces with different shades of the same color. You can also take the bolder path and do it with contrasting colors. I enjoy statement-making pieces, so I'll most likely be taking the bold route with this trend.
Colorblock from the Mabille spring collection

And, as always, here are some more everyday manifestations of this trend that you can rock. (And my current musical obsession)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Resolutions (A bit late...)

I know it's late to be writing about New Year's Resolutions, but I decided to share some of my style-related resolutions for this year.

1. No sweats/pajamas in public
It's hard. Believe me I know. Last semester, I literally rolled out of bed, pulled on a hoodie over my pj's and went to my 8 am just like that. Bedhead, unwashed face and all. It's not so much about wearing legit pants as it is about looking presentable. If I have time to pull on a hoodie, I have time to slip on a dress instead. And for those days when I'm just feeling under the weather and want to be comfortable, I did myself a favor and bought myself a pair of sweater tights. I can pair them with my comfy suede boots, a loose dress or tunic and an oversized cardigan and I'll be perfectly comfortable AND presentable.

2. Wear something other than black
Black is easy and fun and just happens to be the go-to color for band tees, I guess. The point is, my wardrobe is full of it. I'm going to make a point of buying some versatile pieces with color. For example, I recently bought a red blazer and several pairs of different colored tights.

3. Introduce heels to my wardrobe
I love love love high heels. My problem is that I can't walk in them. Well, the only way to get better is to practice, and I shall be doing a lot of that this year. I bought a few pairs of wedges and heeled boots to start with and pretty soon I may be wearing stiletto pumps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My latest fashion obsession is Modcloth!
Modcloth is a vintage-inspired indie clothing website which is pretty much amazing. Some of their stuff is a little pricy, but you can still find some great deals. You'll find everything here from blouses to tees to jeans to shoes, but my favorite part of Modcloth is the dresses. I love to look through them all.

There are two nifty features I discovered when dress-browsing. The first is that with each item, Modcloth gives you suggestions as to what to wear with it. I got a lot of good ideas from reading these suggestions. Also, I noticed this little thing that said I could consult a stylist.
I have been looking for a breezy summer dress that would be flattering for my specific figure that I can buy when spring rolls around. I decided that I would give this chat thing a shot. I signed into the chat system in a pop-up window and was connected with Autumn. I told Autumn what I was looking for and she gave me a few suggestions. (The window doesn't show what you type, which was confusing at first, but don't worry, the other end does receive your messages.)
These were the suggestions that Autumn gave me. I'm not a fan of the third one, but I like the others. The first two are great, but I think I like the second one better. I decided to continue browsing on my own since there are just so darn many dresses on this website.These are my favorite dresses that I came up with after searching the site. It took a while.
And after it all, I am no closer to picking a dress! There are just so many great ones!

If you haven't checked out yet, DO IT NOW! There really is something for everyone, I think.

Currently listening to: "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out" The Smiths

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Zooey Deschanel/Summer Finn

Last night, Cassidy and I watched (500) Days of Summer (which, by the way, has the best soundtrack EVER) and I was inspired to write this post about Summer Finn's style and of course the style of the lady who played her- Zooey Deschanel. I've been a Zooey fan for quite a while. I love how she manages to look great without showing off a lot of skin. That's something you don't see a lot in Hollywood. Despite that, I wouldn't really call Zooey demure. Her wardrobe is whimsical and quirky. She's very vintage and very charming.

You should probably check out her folk duo She & Him. Just sayin'. She has an amazing voice.

In the movie, Summer's style is a lot like Zooey's. Her outfits are very vintage and feminine but not provocative. She looks breezy and classy and almost everything she wore made me think of Summer (the season). I'm guessing that was intentional. She wears a lot of light and neutral colors, wide leg pants and roomy dresses.

Oh, and the movie was great. I'm generally not a fan of romantic movies, but this one was different. I don't want to spoil anything if you haven't seen it, so I'll just shut up right about now.

Currently listening to: "Hero" Regina Spektor