Gypsy Queen

Stereotypically, fashion is seen as a vapid industry, perpetuating shallow depths and vain aspirations. And with good reason. We have plastic surgery, reality shows and Facebook to thank for intensifying that mess. However, I’m of the camp that perceives fashion as more than a tool of vanity; it is a creative outlet for self-expression. It was Coco Chanel who said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

I used to be perplexed by how I would vacillate between dark and brooding looks enveloped in dark neutrals and metallic accents like safety pins and more free-spirited styles like my current obsessions with the nomadic, jet-setter divas. But I’ve come to realize that the schizophrenic swings in my style palette is completely based on my mood. I cruise my usual style haunts on a daily basis, cataloging and blogging on any style tidbits that speak to me in the moment.

For example, the weather has been warming up to the highly anticipated summer months dancing around the corner, and my mood is following suit. I spent an awesome weekend with KFK and my aunt and uncle who are 10 years older than we are but infinitely young at heart (we spent 3 hours drooling over toys at Frank & Son, for cryin’ out loud!). It’s always a buzzkill to have to trudge drearily into work on Monday morning, knowing that this is only the beginning of a week of hellish survival.

I thought Alexander Herchovitch’s Fall 2010 collection would be a lovely way to translate my emotional limbo between summer euphoria and the workday blues.

Top left: West Elm side table; Bottom center: Loeffler Randall safety-pin sandals

The collection is a visual feast of Gypsy sensibilities as evidenced by swooping chains, headdresses and eye-catching Eastern-inspired fabrics, and bridged seamlessly with urban accents like artfully slashed dresses, fishnets, combat boots and full plaid pantsuits reminiscent of Westwood’s punk couture.

I tried to embellish more on the Gypsy queen’s earthy qualities by interspersing Herchovitch’s looks with Brett Manning‘s ink illustrations. I’m captivated by her emphasis on combining what is man-made with natural elements such as feathers and animal horns.

Sruli Recht : Cross, monolith and pyramid belt buckles made from concrete; rough uncut diamonds unscrewed and screwed into white gold ring.

I love how Recht writes about each project in poem form. Here is his description of the belt buckles:

I took my horse and I took my house
and dragged four stones along that road
to wipe the dust
from mortar, cold steel and flesh

I took the cement powder
claimed rusted steel nails from the forgotten grounds of hope
the horse’s hide, beaten now by time and toil, I tanned
and left with my gaze and sweat
to bend that steel and harden that stone.

and with what was shed I am left to atone
sit,
stare
and postpone.”

I just thought this following Brett Manning image was totally cool. I see this woman in her drawing and feel a sense of freedom and strength both in mind and body. She has direction and purpose; she knows where she wants to go. Besides that, I love how that single left earring isn’t overpowered by her untamed hair; did I ever mention that I used to have a fascination with Native American cultures? I loved reading and writing short novels about them when I was younger. They were always such strong people to me, living off the land and never feeling life was more complicated than it had to be. Perhaps that’s where I need to be right now…

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