Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lia Kes

I just bought the most amazing dress from designer Lia Kes who has a new boutique on Fillmore St. in San Francisco. I can't find a picture of the dress online, but it is a sexy asymetrical knit dress with a zippered cowl neck for a rough edge with ruching down the side. Really a killer dress.

The dress at left was another great design that I was tempted by.

In fact, it was hard not to walk away with more. I love, love, love her sexy yet strong designs that really flatter a woman's body. There is also a bit of the unexpected in her designs like a backless button-down tunic shirt, a bit of feathers or sequins or the drapey cords at the back of her t-shirts.

Lia Kes Studio
3024 Fillmore Street (at Union Street)
San Francisco, CA

The Doctor is In

I never really went through a teenage rebellion phase and maybe I'm playing that out now because I'm really craving a pair of Dr. Marten's boots. These boots also fit in really well with my whole post-apocalyptic fashion obsession.

I love the vintage 1914 boots ($200). Yes, they are more expensive, but if you are going to do it, why not get the original? As of 2003 Dr. Martens moved their production to China and Thailand, but in 2007 they started making this vintage line again in the UK. These boots are made to the original spec in the Dr. Marten's factory in Wollaston, England.

Aside from the vintage style, I also like the Triumph 1914 mid-calf boot ($150). This style can be worn laced up tight or folded down to reveal the plaid lining. They remind me of Judd Nelson's character in the Breakfast Club.

I also like the lightweight tall metallic Cato boot ($150) which has a zipper on the inside for easy on and off. I'm a sucker for anything silver and I love the burnished effect that these boots have. They are also available in a less-flashy black finish.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Post-Apocalyptic Fashion

I just saw "Book of Eli" and although it wasn't the best movie, I was inspired by the character Solara's (Mila Kunis) end-of-world fashion (minus the machine gun).

I love the heavily layered look with a vest, scarf, combat boots, plaid shirt and the aviator sunglasses. The movie was shot in muted sepia tones which I like as well.

Here's a few recent finds which I think play well into this theme.


I'm loving the cashmere and leather sleeves ($235) from Elaine Kim's latest collection. Paired with a sleeveless dress or tank they would make a simple outfit instantly interesting.

I also love the cashmere shrug ($275) from Elaine Kim with silk ties that hang down that can be styled as a wrapped scarf or draped loosely as in these photos.

Army Pants

The unisex Fisherman's Pant ($388) in army green from Harmon definitely has that end of the world vibe. Baggy with a slightly dropped crouch I love them cuffed with heels as in this picture or paired with boots. Available at

A little bit more affordable is the new cargo ($59)from Gap. I like them worn a little big and cuffed with heels as in this picture. I might buy them a size larger than usual.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Make it Work!

I am so excited Project Runway season 7 launched last week. As a huge fan of this show I often get inspired when I watch and think, "I can do that!". I am thinking about ordering the Fashionflat Sketchpad ($14.95) from Hokey Croquis so I can actually put down some of my design ideas.

These notepads come pre-printed with front and back female croquis that disappear when photocopied or scanned.
Each notepad has 40 pages of 8 1/2 x 11 sheets that are perforated for easy removal as well as space for fabric swatches, notes, etc.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wall Art for Less

I don't normally to decorate my walls with stuff you can buy at a chain store, but have to say that CB2's limited edition prints and "one of a finds" are pretty cool and very reasonably priced.

Cypress Row Print
I'm loving Photographer Brian Everett's cypress row print ($249) which was shot with a Holga camera in b/w and then colored.

This is large-size print on canvas at 48" square. For the size the price is extremely reasonable. I think I've spent almost as much trying to blow up one of my own photos to not even half this size.

Madhubani Painting

This "one of a find" hand-painted Madhubani painting ($149) was originally $199, but has now been marked down so I doubt it will last much longer. Each painting is hand-painted by Indian artist Lalita Devi who is paralyzed, but paints with help of family and friends. The art form of Madhubani paintings is passed down from mother to daughter in a remote region of northern India and now helps support the village.

Urban Outfitters sometimes has some interesting finds too. Right now I'm liking this giant cardboard stag head ($52) which could look very modern and simple in the right space. The deer measures 12"w, 9"d, 16"h.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Road Trippin'

Over the Christmas holidays we completed our 5th roadtrip across the United States. This time we took a more Southern route following Route 66 for much of the journey. This is definitely not hte quickest route, but we were trying to avoid bad weather and also thought it would be an interesting route.

Places we stopped on this trip that we would recommend or go back to again:
Williams, AZ

This is a cute old "mainstreet USA" town which serves as a gateway to the Grand Canyon. You can take the train from Williams to the Grand Canyon.

We stayed at the El Rancho motel. An old motel court motel that takes dogs, has a park across the street to walk them, a laundramat next door. Rooms have a microwave, coffee pot, mini-fridge, satellite t.v. and they have an outdoor pool. Not fancy, but definitely a good value for the price.

We had a good breakfast at the Pine Country Restaurant before we had to get on our way again. Hopefully we will come back and explore this area more next time.

New Mexico

Our car broke down in Albuquerque which ate into the time we were going to spend checking out Santa Fe. However, what little we did see of New Mexico was absolutely stunning. We will definitely plan a separate trip just to explore New Mexico.

Cadillac Ranch (outside Amarillo, TX)

This is a fun quick roadside stop to stretch your legs and walk the dog. This art installation was originally built in 1974 by The Ant Farm, a San Francisco art collective. Graffiti-covered cars are half-buried, nose-down in a row along interstate 40. Cool photo opportunity.

St Louis, MO
We spent New Year's Eve in St Louis, but didn't get a chance to really explore the city. We missed out on trying two of the city's specialties: "concrete" and "toasted ravioli".

On our next trip back we want to be sure to visit Ted Drewe's for the frozen custard.

We also wanted to try Trattoria Marcella one of the many oustanding Italian restaurants on "the hill". Definitely more to do and see!

Nashville, TN
We didn't see that much of Nashville, but would definitely like to come back here. The downtown and outlying areas were beautiful and there seemed to be a ton of musical and cultural offerrings as well as being a big college town. We will definitely be back in Spring or Summer.

Hotel Indigo

We stayed in a couple Hotel Indigo's during our trip (Nashville and St Louis). This hotel chain reminds me a lot of the aLoft hotels. Funky design at an affordable price. What's great is they take pets. In Nashville we had a huge room right downtown with a sitting area which was really nice. Each hotel has it's own style.