Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York, New York

Today it was beautiful and instead of going to the gym I opted to take my bicycle out and go on a ride. My intention was to just ride over the Pulaski bridge into Queens, get a coffee on Vernon Boulevard, and ride back, but once I was over the bridge I got into a groove and, feeling good about my decision to skip the gym, kept on going. Vernon Boulevard now has a bike lane and its a great route, taking you near the water and is very well paved. I rode by a cute park called Queensbridge Park where there were lots of BBQ's happening, and a few blocks after that, I saw the entrance for the bridge to Roosevelt Island.

Please excuse shoddy camera phone photos, I was not expecting to have anything to write about today.

Now I have lived here for 10 years and have been to all five boroughs but admit I had never been to Roosevelt Island (the small island in the East River between Queens and Manhattan) before today. I am sad that I never went because it really is the cutest thing ever. There is TONS of green space, a bike path that goes around the entire island (did it all), barely any traffic or noise, and a few random restaurants and shops. I stopped into the Roosevelt Island thrift store, which I had heard good things about. It was kind of a dump, but I managed to find a cute 50's floral dress for $5 which I will probably resell. The woman literally gave me the change for my $10 bill out of her BRA that's how ghetto it was. It really felt like you were in a small town, except with million dollar condos.

I stopped at the islands one coffee shop (Starbucks, sadly) and listened to some live country music that was happening on the plaza. There were gorgeous views across the whole island. People were fishing and having picnics and generally enjoying the day.

As most of my friends know, I recently made the decision to leave New York for a while. My relationship with this city is based on love and hate. On days like today, even by myself, its hard not to fall in love. Ten years here and there are still new areas to explore, restaurants to try, stores to check out, and people to meet. But at other times, it kicks my ass and I finally reached a point this spring where I had had enough. No job, no man, no money, this city has teased me with a multitude of possibilities, dangled them in front of my face, and then taken them away. I suppose its not totally fair to blame New York, though most of my friends often do, but sometimes its hard not to. This city has its odds stacked against you and there really is some truth in the saying that if you can make it here, you'll make it anywhere. Sadly, in my case, I haven't really "made it" here so New York and I are gonna go on a little break. Not a break up... I am keeping my apartment, though others will be living in it, and the majority of my stuff is staying here. But the time has come for a change and London is calling again.

See you soon New York. Don't miss me too much.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You know what I did last week?

green day. 8am central park

Margaret and I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to go see Green Day in Central Park and re-live the 90's. Though, in fairness, I have not really stopped listening to Green Day since the 90's and have appreciation for all of their records, even the ones no one bought except me. I regaled her with stories of weird Green Day connections from the Bay Area (seeing Mike Dirnt at the DMV, a friend of a friend being Billie Joe's son's skateboarding teacher (really, skateboarding teacher?)) while we waited the 2 long hours for their set to start. We had to put up with obnoxious teenagers and TV personalities but were rewarded with around 6 songs and the spectacle of Green Day doing an interview on a very G-rated show (needless to say, I don't think they will be asked back). Oh, did you know teenagers still dye their hair with Manic Panic? It's nice to know things never change.

margaret is stoked

Oh, and Billie Joe... still foxy. Eyeliner and all. Just sayin'. Unfortunately, still married. Sigh.

green day.  8am central park

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lingerie is up on Etsy

We had a super fun photo shoot this past week with Erin Barry. I asked my friends Alexandra and Marta to be the models and we shot it in Marta's apartment and backyard, much to the amusement of her neighbors. The ladies were great together and super good sports about the near-nudity. Alex also did some masterful photoshopping (sorry, no more naughty bits!) and made this amazing collage

They're now up at my brand new etsy shop.

Tip: google your brand name before you start a line, or you may never find out that your name is already claimed by a fugly bespoke lingerie line, a stripper supplies shop, and a masectomy bra supplier. GREAT. Name's already on the labels though so oh well. Any ideas for next time?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The nail in the coffin

Monday afternoon I got called by my temp agency, who had not called me in almost 4 months despite nearly two years of faithful service, with a 4 day placement at a charity on Wall Street, doing straight data entry. The problem? Data entry makes me want to shoot myself in the face after doing it for a couple hours and I end up constantly looking for ways to distract myself. But I took the job anyway cause, hell, I needed the money and had spent half the money I had made at Artists and Fleas this weekend on a pair of shoes at Topshop (typical).

After I got through the 8 hours without managing to jump out the 16th story window, I got a call from my agency saying that I was not needed back at this assignment for the rest of the week, and that they had said I work too slowly and was on the internet. Seriously?!?!? Who is programmed to be able to bang out data all day long quickly and without error? Apparently not me. I was also pissed at how non-confrontational this was, the company calling my agency instead of criticizing me to my face and demanding I do better.

Whatever, screw it. I am so over working for non-profits. If it means doing data entry all day when I am so capable of doing more then I don't really want any part of it.

On the way home I saw this coffin set up on Wall Street. I'm not really sure what it was for but I felt it was a sign.

coffin in wall street

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Launching Lady Jane Lingerie

Kim and I did a stall at the new outdoor location for Artists and Fleas yesterday. It was the unofficial "launch" of Lady Jane Lingerie, i.e. the first time it was officially for sale. Although I did fairly well at the market, I wasn't totally happy because I didn't sell any knickers. Its ok though, I didn't really see an outdoor market as being an ideal venue to sell underwear, it being rather high end and all. Everyone who passed it though stopped to pet it and say "aw, cute!" before passing by to the next booth. Despite cold weather and a looming threat of rain, a lot of people stopped by due to the proximity of the Greenpoint brunch nexis (i.e. Enid's, Park Luncheonette, Five Leaves and Lokal). In fact a good number of my sales seemed to be post-brunch drunk shopping. Drunk shoppers are the BEST! Oh but I got a lot of mosquito bites on my feet. Itchy.

artists and fleas

artists and fleas

What sort of struck me about the lack of lingerie sales was how many women were like "oh, I don't really wear 'lingerie,' I'm just kind of a cotton panties gal." This seems to be a pretty pervasive attitude in America, even among women who are really fashion-forward, which to be is kind of surprising. It's one of the reasons I decided to start the line, because I didn't really see a style like this one available in America and thought it should be. All we've got is Victoria's Secret and a bunch of high-end European imports.

I personally wear fancy lingerie for a number of reasons, one being a general interest in fashion, and of course the way proper lingerie can enhance your outfit, but mostly because it makes you feel a little special. A little secret that only you know about. And, if someone does see it, woohoo! So, ladies of America, I encourage you to throw out those faded cotton panties and invest in something pretty. For inspiration, here are some of my favorite import lingerie lines. Some are a little pricey but well worth it:

Central Saint Martins graduate Ayten Gasson has been specializing in luxury hand made pure silk lingerie since 2004. Each piece is hand made to ensure a perfect, comfortable, and elegant finish. Shapes and styles are sourced from vintage lingerie patterns to create individual yet exquisite pieces in 100% silk.

What Katie Did produce two collections a year which are stocked in boutiques worldwide. Their designs are not simply inspired by the 40s and 50s but actually made using vintage patterns adapted for women of today. As far as possible they stick to using fabrics and manufacturing methods which were available at that time.

What Katie Did also look to the past for inspiration in other areas of our business including customer service. Because they're a small company each and every order is processed with ultimate care and personalised service is offered throughout.

This is a line out of Australia. They specialise in high end lingerie and sleepwear, handcrafted from silk, organic cotton and the softest bamboo jersey, with exquisite detailing and vintage flair. Most garments are made to order, allowing clients to choose different colour-ways and ensuring a perfect fit. The line is designed and produced by Gabrielle Adamidis in Melbourne, Australia. Gabrielle has been sewing her own clothes since age 14, and has been formally trained in dress-making and pattern-making. She sells her stuff on Etsy and also through her own site.


Myla is almost as big as Agent Provacteur in the UK but personally I think it is a bit higher quality and better fitting. They started out with a store in Notting Hill around 1999 and have since expanded to 14 boutiques and concessions and also have a store in NYC on the Upper East Side. They are not as retro as some of the other lines I have mentioned but I like them for that, they do high-end without being cliche or trashy at all.

Mimi Holliday

Mimi Holliday is a diffusion line from higher-priced line Damaris. Hearts, bows, polka dots and lace are strong themes throughout the Mimi Holliday lingerie collections. They are also always made of silk which I love.

Fifi Chachnil

One of the French masters! The French know their underthings. Fifi Chachnil first started her lingerie collection in 1996 and immediately started selling to boutiques in Tokyo, New York and London. Fifi's famous lingerie label is well known for her glourious feminine designs, her sense of humour combined with style. Her passion for music, romance, fashion and theatre have all been influences.

Chantal Thomass

I LOVE how French designer Chantal Thomass's photoshoot are styled. To die for! She's also done a line for Victoria's Secret. I found some of her stockings at Century 21 a few months ago but didn't buy them because I was poor. Kicking myself now.

LouLou Loves You

This list would not be complete without a shout-out to my friend Lou over in London who makes the most gorgeous pin-up style lingerie, all by hand in her at-home studio. Lou totally inspired me to start my little line and I am totally indebted to her for that.

So ladies, go out and buy some new underwear. Even if you're single like me. You'll feel special, I promise.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My lingerie is here!

OMG they look so great, I am so excited!

A proper photo shoot will take place next week that will showcase them better but here's a little photobooth preview (I love this feature of my new Mac!)

Photo 2

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Best fwends

Lately I have been thinking about how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends. I may not have as many as some people but I have had the same three best friends for the past 10 years. In terms of girl friendships, from what I understand, that is extremely rare and very precious. These girls have been with me through good times and bad. They are all extremely different and know me in different ways. I don't know where I would be without them.

I bought a scanner along with my new MacBook this week and have been looking through all my old photos (pre digital camera, yo) and have been finding some classics. Be warned: unflattering photos and hairdos!

Have you told your girlfriends you love them today?


Me & Megan circa 1997


Me and Megan in London, 2001


Me and Heather, 2000

Me and Megan, 2000


Me, Heather, Ana, and Megan Callow, missing in action somewhere in SF


Me and Heather, 1999


Me and Megan 1998. SWF all the way! On our way to a Rancid show, no joke.


Heather and Megan, 2003, one of their first encounters

2003- memory lane

Me and Ana, 2003

lost & found bar, green point
All together, 2008.

I love you guys.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


betsey johnson sample sale

Most non-Americans are probably familiar with the American tradition of prom, as made popular by many 80's John Hughes movies and so forth. Despite being pretty much a loser in high school I still partook in the tradition and went both Junior and Senior years, with the same guy (my friend Nathan, who in typical John Hughes fashion, I of course had a crush on).

I was at a Betsey Johnson sample sale last week and picked up 3 so-called "prom dresses." I was also in the midst of many a young teenager scrambling for a $50 prom bargain. I talked about Betsey Johnson a lot in my fashion production class trying to figure out just how it was that she was able to produce such a cheaply made product (and the same one over and over season after season really) and get away with charging $455 for it (the retail price of the dress worn above). Seriously, $455 for Made in China? The fact is that her target customer, the high school prom-goer, does not know very much about clothing quality or construction and would not know the true value of her garment. Sadly, the high school girls who were not wise to the sample sale were probably picking up these dresses at the retail store for full price, feeling giddy about it only to show up at their prom looking like every single other girl. I have my love for Betsey but really wouldn't you rather wear something one of a kind?

Naturally, in high school, I did not have $455 for a Betsey prom dress nor did I probably know of a single designer to begin with; though my interest in and knowledge of vintage has come a long way since, I picked up my junior year prom dress at a cheap vintage store for what I recall was about $35. It was a 50's cotton day dress which I still own to this day and wore to work last summer. My shoes were loaners from my mom, and Nathan and I drove my 1981 Volvo to make a one and a half hour appearance at prom.

Prom 1998

Sadly, my senior year prom photo (60's mod style, pretty fucking amazing) is at my parent's house and my mom's scanner is broken, I'm bugging her to get it fixed. I'll post it on Flickr later when she gets around to it.

If I could do it all over again though, I think I would have worn something a little more evening. Like I said, my vintage knowledge was limited and I didn't really know all that much difference between a day dress and an evening dress. Since then I've collected all kinds of vintage evening wear that, since I do not have any proms left to go to, I usually just wear to the bar. Here is just a sampling of some of my favorite vintage formal wear that I have in my collection.






P.S. I wrote this entry on my brand new MACBOOK! I am so excited. It is kinda tiny (13" white one) but oh so fast. I had my Powerbook for a good 7 years. Goodbye, old friend, you served me well, but I've moved on to a younger, sexier model.

P.P.S. My lingerie line launches TOMORROW!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


The gladiator sandal. Its back. It makes me want to vom (to borrow a phrase from the Brits). These suckers took over Williamsburg last summer and it was a Greco-Roman nightmare. Especially when it came in this incarnation:

Those are CHANEL, btw. Why, Karl, why??? These belong in the same category as Uggs and Crocs. Oh and this season they are STUDDED. God help us. But I digress... the question is, how do we avoid these god awful sandals but still give our tootsies a little breathing room in the hot New York summer? Here are my best bets for not ugly summer sandals:

Remember, kids, friends don't let friends wear gladiators.