Through the Woods...

Now that it's FINALLY December 1st....

I can admit,
I'm really feeling the Christmas spirit this year.
Sometimes the holidays seem to come and go without much noise, but this year, I feel like pulling out all the stops and truly celebrating this most wonderful time of the year.
After all,
I have a lot to celebrate.

found this in the back of my wardrobe.


Sandy Seaside


Hurricane Sandy has come and gone.
While I was thrilled to have an extra 2 days for my weekend, the destruction and havoc she left in her trail is terrifying.

Between the flooded LES, ships in the streets on Staten Island, and the fires in Queens, the destruction caused in New York City is clearly taking over the front page news.

I just think it's important to remember the Jersey Shore.
It's America's Beach.
Please help recovery efforts by sending positive thoughts to New Jersey and donating to the


Taxidermy Gallery

I don't like Litas, I'm over high-low hems. I really don't approve of killing animals for taxidermy.
I love this picture.

It's like an accidental adventure to the woods, following an afternoon picnic.


Autumn is for America


It's strange to think that only a few weeks ago, it was too hot to even think about sweaters.
Fall has now truly arrived. The mornings are crisp and cool; the sun sets earlier in evening with a golden glow unique to Autumn.

Now that fall's here, I'm itching for an American adventure. I want to grab a friend and an old beat up car and head to a cabin up north. Watch the leaves turn to the color of fire, drink tea, read books, and eat pumpkin flavored everything.

Every Fall season seems to arrive with an air of nostalgia. It's a beautiful serenity that I find myself looking more and more forward to each time it arrives.


Things That Are Awesome Thursday: Toast

When it comes to comfort food, simple is best.
This is an ode to toast.

Essentially toast is just bread,
Everything just seems to be better on toast.


New York Eclectic

This is a dream loft.
It actually exists (and on the Upper West Side), but it looks like something more out of an imagination or set design than a real life residence.
Between the floor to ceiling windows, simple-yet-modern furniture, oversized fireplace and museum-quality artworks, it's not easy to discern which design component really makes this apartment so stunning.

The ceiling really ties the whole space together. With the expressionist brushstrokes on a mural scale, the painted ceiling, and the way it is juxtaposed against crisp white architecture, makes the whole space  come to life.

"New York Eclectic" at its finest.


The End of Neon

Neon has never struck a chord with me. It always feels too much like a "trend," and regarded with disgust as a failing of the 80's.
While I did not jump on the neon bandwagon, as summer has faded out, I'm finding myself drawn more and more to refreshingly bold colors. It must be some sort of denial of the seasons actually changing.
The Christian Dior Haute Couture dress above in its amazing chartreuse is a sort of "non-neon" yet super bold color. The ring-like silhouette seem to soften the color so that it is nothing less than an exquisite work of art.
When I saw this picture of the multicolored agate slice, I felt like it paired back with the gown exquisitely. The central lime color draws you in, but the surrounding varied rings of other bright colors keeps your eye engaged, only to be overwhelmed by the intense details of the contours and color combinations.


Opulent Modernity

One of the spring trends to emerge from the runways in New York, that I'm most excited about is Modern Brocade.
This season designers are taking brocade, which is a material most commonly used in occasion dressing during the fall and holiday seasons, and putting it into daywear for summer.
Because the material is being used in a new way, the silhouettes are staying simple and easy to wear. 

The other thing about this brocade trend that's really fun, is that it really is seasonless. Take the Suno skirt in the last picture. You can wear it styled as pictured in the warmer months, or throw on a sweater and boots to keep wearing through winter.

It's a lovely trend, that doesn't feel like a trend.
Is there anything more perfect?


How To Get The Most Out of Fashion Week: Part 3

Comprehension (but not the kind on standardized tests)
you can follow all my fashion week boards at pinterest.com/madelinejean

Once you’ve pulled the images from shows that you’ve liked, now is the fun part: digging into what you’re seeing. This is where you’ve seen everything and now you can really look and see what the trends will be for spring.

  1. Color- are there stand out colors? New color combinations that seem new and interesting? Take note of the model’s coloring juxtaposed with the clothing she’s in. This should be a good indicator of what colors will work for you in spring.
  2. Silhouette- what shapes are you seeing over and over? this should be just as obvious as color. Is it  a shorts season? Is it a maxi-dress season? I’m not giving any clues, just some general ideas of how to determine the silhouettes of the season.
  3. Prints and Materials- Is it a print season? Is everything made of shirting? Are designers arguing suede for spring?
  4. Design References- Is everyone referencing the 60s? The future? This makes for really open ended and fun forecasting. Most fashion reporters will write what the designer said their inspiration was. It’s always interesting so see how designers incorporate their inspiration into more abstracted concepts.

Repeat City by City. Fashion in New York is totally different from Paris, from Milan, from Rio. It’s important to first look at trends separated, before compiling and comparing across all the major fashion weeks. Each city has it’s own speciality in the fashion world, and each deserves equal attention. Once you dig into each city, it makes it really rewarding to compare all the trends from each city to each other to create a great big trend recap that you can reference all through Spring and Summer.

*also, don’t forget to look at street style surrounding the shows. this is often a good way to see how wearable (and unwearable) trends are.


The Single Greatest Shirt Ever

On the runway, Carven FW12 took my breath away. But now that it's actually for sale, it's giving me a heart attack.
I'm rarely head over heels for an item of clothing, but this shirt my be the single greatest shirt ever
The half-peter-pan collar, mixed with my favorite painting ever.... everything is perfect.
 I'm having to remind myself that this one shirt = one month of rent.

I hereby encourage you to spend your rent money on the greatest shirt ever and invoke my jealousy for decades.

How To Get The Most Out of Fashion Week: Part 2

Start Looking (beyond)

Anyone can flip through slides, but you’re on a mission to comprehend. Grab a coffee, an indulgent snack, a couple hours, and comfy spot. Fashion Week in the internet age is a treat!

1. Social Media
Notice scheduling. Pay attention to who’s attending the designer shows. Follow on twitter, watch the livestream, like them on Facebook. Fashion is an industry and everyone is connected. Start to figure out who is collaborating with who, who’s supporting which designers, which models are walking what shows. It will help you figure out which designers are the “it-designers” of the season

2. Figure Out Your Database
I personally like Style.com. You may like another resource. Try to pick one and stick to it. The reviews will be cohesive from show to show with a similar voice. This is really helpful when you go to form your own opinion. Don’t let the editors or news reporter’s tell you what to think yet. That’s what the glossies are for 6 months from now. Right now, the excitement all relies on the fact that YOU get to form your own, personal, opinion!

3. Use Your Eyes
Flip through slides. Watch livestreams! Have Fun! This is the best part! Skim before you comprehend. Get inspired and enjoy! Use Pinterest if you have to!

I personally like to look at the previous day’s shows, each day. This way I can keep up, and don’t get overwhelmed, but strategize as you wish. There's a lot of information to be had and you want to capture it all.


How To Get The Most Out of Fashion Week: Part 1

Pre-Work: Focus Your Efforts

While not all of us can run around the globe chasing the newest designs, with the expansion of the internet, Fashion Week (er, month) now comes to you. And almost instantaneously, at that. What was for decades an industry event has now unfurled into a full blown PR spectacle that as design connoisseurs and fashion enthusiasts, we can’t help but be consumed by. This is the first part (and a little overdue, sorry!) of a 3 part series on how to get the most out of Fashion Week.

1. Acknowledge you cannot have it all.
Unless it is your full time job, (which if you’re not at Fashion Week, it’s not,) you need to focus your efforts. There are simply too many designers and too many cities for you to even attempt to take it all in. Know this before you start, and you won’t be disappointed.

2. Identify your personal style.
Of course this as a small no. 2 is rather unfair. Identifying your personal style takes years and years of experimenting and researching. If you know your personal style, great; you’re done. If you don’t know your personal style, think about types of silhouettes you gravitate towards, materials that excite you, and treatments that you find yourself returning to again and again. Colors and prints will change season to season and year to year, so it’s best to not declare yourself “a blue,” but rather a “feminine structure,” or “embroidery and pants.” When you say it outloud, it sounds like gobbledigook, but if you’re really looking and comprehending style, it will make sense.

3.Know your designers.
Make lists. Those are the shows you need to focus on.
-Your top 10 personal favorite designers
-CFDA Incubator (designers in the spotlight for the first or second time. They will not disappoint. There will be hype. It’s entirely possible they will be the next big thing)
-Must-see shows by city (the labels that season after season never fail to excite and the press hypes)
-Parisian Couture houses

You wouldn’t expect to breeze through half a year of The New York Times in 15 minutes; take the time to really invest your energy in learning and comprehending what you’re seeing. Fashion Week explores a half a year's worth of work. Plan on taking the time necessary to really involve yourself.

Sounds of Nouveau

I'm obsessed with this track. It's everything you want from a single.
It's haunting, it's optimistic. It's catchy, it's orchestral.
It makes you want to go for a run, read a book, dance your pants off, and share it with friends.

This song has seriously been on repeat for the past 2 days non-stop. If only they had a few more...
Be sure to check out Arthur Beatrice on Soundcloud  and the other bands on Open Assembly.


Ivory Knots

I'm not really into weddings, but when I saw images from Dhani Harrison's wedding to Sola Káradóttir, I was awestruck. They look like the happiest and loveliest bohemian couple.
She wore a custom Stella McCartney creation that featured all-over embroidery (including their first names) to make the dress feel both traditional and modern.
Overall, it's just absolutely stunning. 
Looks like something out of daydreams and fairytales.


Gifts from Giacometti


I spent most of yesterday in the park with the September issue of Vogue.
I certainly wouldn't be the first to marvel at what an amazing book it is, so I won't....
I just really want to point out an essay that in such a massive fashion book might have been missed.

On page 494, Amaranth Ehrenhalt remembers being a struggling artist in the 50s in "Cafe Society."She recalls a gift, or rather two, that she received from Alberto Giacometti.
I won't spoil it an recount it in entirety (its worth the cost of the magazine just for the one essay,) but reading this essay reminded me again why I love to read.
I love the stories, the connections, and the characters. I love it even more when they blend reality and fantasy, so that the only way it is real, is that I believe it so.

I'm used to finding stories like this in The New York Times or The Atlantic, but to find such a powerful, short, and sweet story in the middle of the September Vogue, was the most pleasant of surprises.


Things That Are Awesome Thursday: Internet Menagerie

Now that I'm no longer a full time art history student, I no longer spend my days sifting through countless databases and archives looking for images and primary sources.
Needless to say, this is the greatest thing I've seen on the internet in ages.


Orchestras of Bug Dreams

Uniqlo is collaborating with Jun Takahashi of Undercover on a line of outerwear and clothing this fall.
While the clothing is beautiful, the real gem of the collaboration is the campaign shot with the whimsical insect instrumentallists.

They're a little robotic and creepy, but at the same time they have a feeling about them that reminds me of a forest spirit friend from a Miyazaki film.

This campaign has everything I could want: beautiful coats, scandinavianesque light filled rooms, and bug friends.
Dibs on the cricket.


Ice Cream Man and the Elephant

sources unknown

I'm a bit of a black and white kick this week.
How great are these photographs?
They're vintage, nostalgic, endearing, hilarious, and intriguing all at once.
They make me want to spend the whole day daydreaming about a black and white world where people have, not pets, but animal friends.

I think I'd like to spend the day paling around with an Otter.


Shirts With Words

Graphic T-Shirts are definitely making a comeback.
I've really been loving these super simple t-shirts with just words. In fact "shirts with words" is one of my favorite trends of the moment. They're perfect to pair back to a floral pair of jeans or bold graphic skirt.
Plus, they'll be super easy to layer once the cold fall weather sets in.

Check out these Ts and more shirts with words on my Svvply.


Things That Are Awesome Thursday: Being an Internet Superstar

So today, something weird kind of happened...
I became an internet superstar.

While superstar might be a bit of an exaggeration; I thought I was just posting another picture on my tumblr... but somehow the Tumblr Radar gang got a hold of it, and I ended up on the dashboard.
Not only was I on the dashboard, but as part of the "Tumblr Radar," I (my blog of inspirational images) was in the same company as NPR Music, The Daily, and Kickstarter.

Anyhow, I went from 36 followers to 1,127 followers in less than a couple hours.
Talk about "things that are awesome."


Feathery Pink

1, 2

Isn't it interesting how both a photograph of a model in an evening dress and a western landscape can both contain the same fluffy pink texture?
In one it's the focal point, and in the second, it's the color that ties the photograph together.
Amazing how well it works in both.


Neighborhood Yellow

There's been a surplus of this sunshine yellow in my neighborhood lately.
It's the perfect complimentary color to these late summer days.

I was feeling very "California" when I got my picture taken in front of the batman.
Grey tank top, neon shorts, converse, and super bold sunnies make for the ideal August uniform. Complete with a mandatory ponytail.


Fruit Brains

It's fig season, and that means that the fig tree in my backyard is giving me the most beautiful fruits.
Yesterday was actually the first time I've ever had a fig.
They're kind of weird. They feel a little like alien brain pods. Which is grotesque, but they're still sweet and lovely.

Now that I've tried them, while they're in season, I'm trying to incorporate figs into every meal I can!


Magenta Residents

Photographs Taken By Me

Magenta isn't exactly the most natural of colors. It's borderline neon.

Both these flowers and this mouse reside in Lisbon, where they bask in the sun against faded white backgrounds and bold blue skies.


Things That Are Awesome Thursday: Oven Truck

Food Trucks are quite the culinary trend right now. 
Personally, I'm not crazy about them, because I'm not exactly graceful and normally have trouble balancing both my lunch and standing at the same time.
I do, however, love the affordable options for gourmet food that they offer.

When Fast Company posted this article about Del Popolo from San Francisco, I was immediately intrigued by the stunning simple design but complex process of this west coast food truck. The actual truck has the look of a Brooklyn boutique restaurant, and the food looks absolutely farm fresh.

While I can't even imagine how difficult it would be to eat such a lovely pizza standing up, I would certainly be a customer for take out. 
Now, to remember this for the next time I'm in San Francisco....


Vertical Turquoise


It feels like hurricane season is starting early on the East Coast. What should normally be the hottest weeks of the year has been dreary and wet.

All I want is to keep clinging to the last moments of summer. 
I'm definitely feeling the seasons change. I'm starting to think about my fall wardrobe and how I'm going to spend these colder months curled up inside.

One thing that might help me get through this coming fall and winter is COLOR. Color everywhere. 
How great are these turquoise walls? They're bright and cheery, but also surprisingly calming and versatile.

I love how well it lends itself to a "bohemian-modern collector" aesthetic.

Do you think my landlord would mind if I went Turquoise this fall?


Periwinkle Pops


Considering I call myself a "woodsy minimalist," it probably comes as a bit of a surprise that one of my favorite designers is Matthew Williamson.

He designs dresses in the easiest silhouettes, but makes them fresh with embellishment, texture, and the most amazing color combinations.

Both of these dresses are the epitome of fresh and fun femininity. 
Each has a neutral backdrop, but the pops of color and unique detailing makes them true works of art.

They both also feature the most remarkable periwinkle color, that I have my eye on to be a key trend for SS13. 
NYFW is a little over a month away. I can't wait to see what's to come.