Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Livin' Off Campbell's

Way back when, when I was actually an indoctrinated member of high school (about five months ago) I was assigned the task of writing up a report on a shoe designer for my clothing class. The suggestions listed on the board were predictable; Jimmy Choo, Manolo. But earlier that week I had received a box smelling of fresh leather and ecstasy that held in it my newly coveted Jeffrey Campbell cut-out ankle boots. I had to write about him, you know, let my middle aged clothing teacher in on the J.C. action. So, after finding the internet stratosphere lacking of any interesting information on my favorite affordable designer, I emailed the personal relations department of the brand and this interview is what ensued:

Jeffrey Campbell’s shoes have always been a bit different, evoking a sense of free spirit and creativity. Campbell’s brand is still young, just nine years old and is based in LA but he’s already made a name for himself. Everything about the brand has personality, right down to the shoe boxes. The inside of one box actually features the scanned image of a love letter the LA office received telling the tale of a memorable and romantic encounter involving Jeffrey Campbell shoes. In search of the history of the brand, I contacted Ty McBride who works out of the company’s New York showroom with a few questions. I was promptly redirected to the man himself, Jeffrey Campbell and was granted access into the mind of a shoe demigod. I began by asking, why the shoe industry? Did you always plan on designing or did it just happen?

Jeffrey Campbell: I started working at the Seattle Nordstrom when I was 18 in the stock room. It was a job, it was fun and I liked the work. It started there. I moved onto the floor, and then off the floor and starting repping several lines. That was many many years ago now. I have just slowly grown and learned from everyone I have worked for and with. I started my own brand ten years ago with the help and encouragement of my wife.

Having read his bio featured on his website, I learned that the brand was born from his garage so I asked, how did it begin exactly in that garage?

JC: Well, not exactly, but we are a small company, a family owned company. I still house our operations and LA office out of my home, my staff has makeshift offices in our back garage. My entire staff is like family.

What was the first pair of shoes you designed?

JC: So many early ones. The first collection(s) were made in Spain, so lots of interesting fabrications and treatments like holographic prints and splatter painted leathers. Lots of novelty.

Did you attend school for the craft?

JC: I simply started working in the industry and worked my way up since I was 18. I took the long hard route; in fact, I still am on that route. STILL learning.

What do you wish to be known for?

JC: I only wish to be known for a great shoe that is fun, affordable and comfortable. That is what we search for every day. We never want to be boring or to be monitored by the industry. We always are influenced by what is going on, but we are known for our own takes on those things. We have very fun clients, this continues to help.

What type of girl would you love to see walking down the street, strutting in your shoes?

JC: We are lucky to see a Jeffrey nearly every day on the foot. We love vintage girls and the looks they use to incorporate our shoes. I always shop vintage with my daughters this is their look as well, they have amazing style despite being young.

And lastly, and most importantly, what are your favorite shoes that you own?

JC: I actually wear basic shoes most of the time, I wear a lot of loafers and dress shoes. I wear a lot of the shoes from the Jeffrey Campbell Men’s line called FIRST. Now that I think about it, I have a lot of metallic shoes.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

yeah, yeah, bob dylan is a demon

roky erickson, and his insane life story, has permeated my daily routine. i think about him at least once, hearing your warbling voice trying to make a clear statement. his collection of publisher's clearing house mail sits on a dirty table in my head.

the woman who lives with rats and demons
is as unclean as they can come
her burden is her forgetfulness
but she says she just having some fun
she takes care of her insane child
who can only sleep when distortion reigns
his hair is matted and his teeth have rotted
that acid really got to his brain
good thing for the cardboard and all those pictures
she hoards and stores with no end
sometimes memories are best to live by
she's learned her lesson, they are her friends
i don't want you to be her paranoid boy
and i don't want to ever ever be like her
a woman who lives to remember then dies
because she's convinced she's the cure.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

paolo, paolo, paolo

Paolo Roversi, Vogue Italia Supplement (courtesy of fotodecadent)

fairytale shadowplay-
wicked, stalked, afflicted.
light casted in a way i only thought
sound knew how to bend.
mushrooms, wings, and spiders
fall virtually upon the gap-toothed girl's face
and flesh.

oh yeah, and lara is wearing chanel.
while walking with a shadow wolf.
fucking brilliant.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the eyes closed experiment

as i waded through the darkness
that descended like a curtain over my eyes
i reached my arms out so far and sloppily,
tip tip tipping my fingers on surfaces to determine
where i was.
it was easy then to pretend you were there with me,
fumbling stupidly, grabbing at the black air
that sifted itself quickly out of my hands
like the fine sand that borders a beach parking lot,
unpolluted by the crunch of seashells or plastic bottles.
there was nothing to touch.
i liked that desert, a forever place of nothing;
the blackened galaxy that lies behind folds of skin
and you, i like you.
"i would have so much fun with you if you were blind"
you wouldn't say that i'm sure
instead we'd glide through the same black chasm;
the blind leading the blind,
only letting the sound of sighs and the biting of lips
enlighten our space travels from the kitchen to
my bedroom.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

illumination! (shoe wizardry)

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte LIGHT UP HEELS.
that is all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

a wedesday night revelation

coddled children will look at him
see his drool, the strange shape of his mouth and head
they'll see his tiny limbs, limp and dead
and he'll look at them,
with what they think are dead eyes
but they aren't. no, no they're not; they are masterful spies.
i was a coddled child until the other night
when he leaned in to speak straight through me
and with his observance he nearly blew me, blew me right away.
"it's not his brain"
i had heard them say, i had heard myself say
a smile, a pat on the head should suffice and then just as soon go on
my way,
their way
far away
i don't know why i did what i did, or said what i said
but i reached into my bag pulling out trick after trick,
and his gurgling laughter creeped into my head.
we went on a walk then through the hall and outside
to see if his friend was tucked away in his parking lot
he wanted to play 21, i wanted to say no stay, don't go
i talked to him like i'd want him to talk to me,
not a carcass
not a shell
but a kid who likes music and being free.


deep, banging bass pushing me from side to side
Layered beneath an exquisite twanging guitar
that extends its steel fingers through my ear canal.
wide, seductive expanses
surround me, caress me, sooth me,
Oh.................that lush trickling sound.
The voice of
beauty sings through
Her breath breathing cooly
down my neck
Sing more, more of your angelic lust
Pierce me again, again with your subliminal passion
I hear you
two music box dancers are spinning, twirling; never intertwined
but always breathing each others' air

Oh.............that lush trickling sound.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

McQueen Fall 2010

these woman, cloaked in what should be intimidating fabrics, stand instead like demure, golden statues molded by the incredible handcraft of alexander mcqueen. the dresses are all at once warrior-like, imperial, subdued, startling, and (i never use this phrase) breath-taking. the printed fabric was special ordered by mcqueen and has images of archaic angels and demons, replicated from photographs, cast on it, an obvious, yet still genius way to express his dark-aged inspiration. with their pale faces and capped heads, these women pacing slowly down a gilded hall, striking in their ornate appearance, but soft-spoken have the wisdom gained from bearing witness to cataclysmic tragedies, but the grace of every woman of every era. religion is something that i've tried to ward off using every type of repellent, but this collection which is so deeply embedded in the shimmering images of byzantine churches has reminded me that spirituality can, and has, resulted in fantasy inspiring artwork and structures. i experienced another type of spiritual awakening upon viewing the collection for the first time. after trying to hide the thought of mcqueen's death so far away from my consciousness, i still cried when my eyes ran over the detailing and the elegant lines. never before have i welled up from looking at still photographs of clothes. i questioned whether it was really just the fact of his death that had crept back up into my conscious that was producing such a guttural reaction. but i realized it wasn't. i was crying and trembling because the designs are simply so beautiful. within me, a realization as to why i love clothes so much flourished. the feeling of indescribable awe, transforming every notion of what beauty really means, sending me through time and back again, still wondering what just happened to me is why i am so invested in fashion. it isn't art, it just is. it doesn't need an explanation, even though every fashion journalist tries to attach words to an abstract feeling. mcqueen's final designs, ornate and startlingly perfect, express just that theory. there is nothing i can say that can accurately describe what this collection is or what it means to me. it is something romantic; something spiritual.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

like when you squint your eyes and everything is blurry and light is stretched and everything looks perfect

i had on cobweb lenses;
snaring and entrapping every flickering light.
low glow and sweet smoke sat heavily and important,
torturing me into accepting that reality was better than delusion.
daring glances flew across the room dodging incantations;
their echoes are still bouncing blindly off my walls.
trembling inconsistency spilled itself empty;
its glass was sitting clear and clean, ready to rest infinitely that way.
voluminous anthologies laid themselves open;
pages blank and expectant, varnished with the intoxicating scent of hope.
the ground we were sitting on: leaves, sand, dirt, clay, grass?
i wouldn't have known hovering in my cloud of celestial fog.

Friday, March 12, 2010

an admirable gentleman

all i have desired in a man.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

family meal time

silver pools in silver chalices, lapped up with silver lips and silver tongues. snaking fingers grip the stems sliding up and down their silver bodies. black pitted eyes stare at each other, through each other, and slay each other. the vultures use their talons to pick apart the fowl carcass until mother sets down a dutch oven full of steaming apples spiced just right.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

who's the fly?

next to a cork coaster that's got thousands of water ringlets on it but no glass or bottle is a little trail of honey drops and dribble, leading all the way to the end of the table. biscotti crumbs have been eaten up by the sticky trail, suspended like insects in amber. there's also a bottle of red wine sitting like a skyscraper amongst the remnants of a romantic feast, empty except for a very shallow ringed pool that's polluted with sediment. a fly descends to make a meal for itself out of the sweet filth that litters the white table cloth. it flies like a drunken pilot though, careening into the wine bottle and landing on its back in a honey droplet. its wings are weighed down by the heavy syrup, but they keep a slow and steady beat. they're drenched though, slathered and batting uselessly. its legs pathetically claw out at the air. it resigns to its fate and eases its motions, sinking deeper into the honey with bubbles forming around its tiny, hairy little body. every one of its eyes looks out but all it sees is the white, white ceiling.
three inches below the fly is the tallest straw of hair that is growing straight out of frederic's scalp. six inches below the fly and three feet over is the face of clementine, red with her previous imbibing of the merlot and surrounded by a net of brunette curls. they've been looking at each other, each with a question the other dare not to ask. frederic's face isn't nearly as crimson as clementine's but his temples are perspiring and the renegade strands that seem to sprout at every angle from his dark mass of hair are sticking to the side of his rounded face. they've been sitting like indians beneath the table for almost an hour. frederic played the white rabbit and instigated their hideout from the after diner dishes and from the world when he ran his foot up clementine's leg and slithered out of his chair and through the white table cloth curtain. clementine followed him down curiously, sliding out of her own chair, smashing her head on the table when she sat up again once she was fully under the table, rattling the silverware. her movements were like a jellyfish, graceful but without form and her drunkenness only intensified this. but in one motion she was nose to nose with frederic, taking the handkerchief out of his pocket to wipe the honey stain off of his collar and chin. clementine closed her eyes deliberately and smiled, letting out a small gust of a laugh.
You know how to clean me up, he said
You're too messy to ever be really clean, she said
You're too clean to ever be messy, he said
clementine furrowed her frow at his accusation, crawling back into the apartment air for only a minute second to grab the spoon of the honey bowl without scraping the excess on the side, leaving the honey trail on the white linen. one she was back in the clandestine den of after dinner affairs, she sat criss-crossed, taking the honey and spreading it all over her lips and letting it run down her chin onto her spotless but damp summer dress. clementine then crawled to her knees, kneeling in the face of her doubting lover.
I concede. You're a pig. An every day pigsty hog, he said
So are you, Mr. Magoo, she said
We're a match then, honey lips, he said
clementine inched only a few inches further and her bee hive flavored lips met frederic's wine stained lips and with time they were both wearing a syrupy mask. but she couldn't stand the feeling of being covered forehead to neck in a substance that made her feel dirty, like she was drowning. she stretched out her hands pressing against frederic's chest trying to free herself from him. clementine turned her face away from his, with strings connecting their cheeks. she distanced herself so far that the honey bond between the two of them broke and she reached for frederic's handkerchief which was under his leg. she wiped her face vigorously until she almost rubbed off her top layer of freckled skin.
I'm sorry, she said
I told you, you're to clean to be messy, he said
And you're too messy for me, she said
now they are sitting with a few distant feet between them, clementine counting the grooves in the wood flooring and frederic counting the flowers on clementine's dress. during the entire hour that had sluggishly dragged on, clementine wanted to escape the post-embarrassment fort to wash her face with warm water and soap but it had quickly become a fortress that held them both hostage. he knew what she meant by messy this time. she had promised that she would never talk about it again, she crossed her heart and hoped to die. she knew what he meant by clean this time, and it made her blush even more, shocked that he could say something like that without his face changing. clementine grabbed a hold of her ankles, rocking back slightly and sighing with the power of the wind. she rolled her eyes back, and all she saw was the underbelly of the dining table. frederic cast his eyes downward, rubbing them, then balancing his jaw in his hand, and all he saw was clementine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

i can hear my sister reading aloud to herself in a phlegmy english accent

Fendi Fall 2010 RTW crafted a distinct character of feminine modesty that is empowering rather than dated. Navy, mustard, black, and forest green represent the majority of the palette that Lagerfeld drew from. Cinched waists provide a classic shape to a collection dominated with heavy looking longer skirts. It's whimsical to me because I can see the woman that would wear every single one of these outfits going to work in a WWII factory and returning home on an autumnal evening to change and take the kids to the park. Or a woman sitting well adjusted in a european apartment with molded white ceilings and grey furniture. It's classy.

Manish Arora, Fall 2010 RTW completely veers away from what I am usually attracted to. But that can get boring anyways. This collection is covered in beads and sparkles and the shoes in the last picture are what a Matryoshka doll would be if it were a pair of stumpy heels. Electric colored cartoon hair on all the models is so fun. And tell me the first outfit doesn't look exactly like those sour candy strips you can buy in bulk or steal a sample of in a candy store. Who wouldn't want to be encased in a full body version of kiddie candy?

Balenciaga, Fall 2010 RTW instantly made me think of a future NASA headquarters filled with desks and offices that levitate and within them, these girls manning the headsets and coordinating space flights. It's an obvious nod to futurism with the geometric lines pastel brows. Thankfully, it's not the same obsession with a distant fashion era that will never actually be that is all silver and shiny. The shoes look like sensible ankle protection devices.

static grief

the walls wouldn't recognize you
my eyes wouldn't recognize you
and the dog would think you're a stranger
your footprints have been cleared
every last top note of your aftershave
has drifted out the windows
i see your etchings sometimes
on scraps that haven't been incinerated yet
and when i blink
hard pressed graphite that carved
with efficiency melted into dread
your imprint is gone now
but when i look down the mirrored hall
i still bargain with the heavens
to see you standing in front of me