Monday, October 18, 2010

The End

But welcome to a new chapter: Explosive Kiwi, my labor of love for the past few years, is growing up and becoming something new. Gone are the days of aimlessly wandering yarn stores and grabbing at whatever caught my fancy, causing my yarn stash to get wildly out of control too fast. Also gone are the days of...shudder...100% acrylic yarn on scarves and cowls, pieces meant to offer comfort and warmth to your neck when it's chilly outside.

Instead, say hello to Threadbare Supply Co., the more grown-up, thoughtful version of Explosive Kiwi. With Threadbare Supply Co. I offer pieces that work harder for you, from keeping you warm to looking great paired with even more of the things you already own. You'll see the change between past and present in the carefully curated collection for Threadbare Supply Co., making its premiere later this Fall.

In the meantime, please visit threadbaresupply.com for all-new posts and updates on the fall/winter collection. It's a "soft" site release for now, but you'll be able to see it grow I'll be ceasing any writing here, but you can find all my new adventures in all the following places:

Official site: threadbaresupply.com
On Twitter: twitter.com/thrdbrspply
On Flickr: flickr.com/photos/threadbaresupply

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vertigo-inducing Prints

Vertigo: not just a great thriller/mystery by Hitchcock. The other vertigo: a condition I recently discovered I have. Compared to Jimmy Stewart's, mine is less agoraphobia and more good-god-make-the-world-stop-moving-why-won't-it-stop-moving. So after getting over the fact that it's totally something I can live with and not as significant as say, cancer, my mind immediately went to fabric. Specifically, clothes with patterns for which I would risk bouts of vertigo.
Admittedly, these pieces aren't as ridiculous as they could be. However, I tend to be conservative when it comes to prints. Wearing them has always scared me a bit—there's an image in my head of attempting a pattern on pattern ensemble as suggested by all those fashion blogs, but it goes horribly wrong and results in blindness.

But prints (particularly in/on accessories) have the great ability of introducing color into an ensemble without dropping cash on that eye-searingly electric blue dress that you'll wear once. Take, for example, the Painterly Clutch from Anthropologie: It's got a bunch of colors working harmoniously that can be mixed and matched throughout various outfits.

And until I can overcome the vertigo and face even crazier prints, I'll take one of each from above: 1. Twist and Shout Dress by Mink Pink, 2. Camo Cat Dress via Nasty Girl, 3. Painterly Clutch by Stephanie Johnson, 4. Vigg Raincoat by Gudrun Sjödén, 5. Burnout Squiggle Stripe Tee by Truly Madly Deeply

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Good Company

Like that guy last night on "Top Chef: Just Desserts" said, when you make something it becomes your baby, and you hope everyone else think it's as wonderful as you do. And maybe, just maybe, Julie of Elliven Studio thinks the same.

She recently featured my Alexandria Legwarmers in a lovely post highlighting some knit items she has discovered on Etsy. I'm delighted to have my legwarmers included among such lovely items (I particularly LOVE that gray cowl/shoulder warmer)—thank you, Julie!

You can read her full post here, or check out Elliven Studio's Etsy shop here.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Giving plastic wrap another chance

I've only ever known saran wrap to be evil: getting caught on itself as you're trying to roll it out of its box, refusing to separate itself from itself as you struggle to cover a tray of freshly baked brownies, getting entangled in your hair in what your Puerto Rican mother claims is a family secret to hair straightening. Then I came across the only thing that could make saran bearable, even cool:


Kate Cusack took rolls of these clear plastic sheets and created a series of Marie Antoinette-esque updos for a Tiffany's window display a few years ago. The French queen was known for making her wigs high and dramatic, and Cusack hasn't disappointed her—these things are huge! The artist pulled off over-sized curls and braids in a finicky material, and all those layers of saran perfectly mimic those powdered wigs. Major props to Cusack for once again taking a mundane material and transforming it into something unexpected and ingenious.

See more pictures below, and read more about the project on the artist's website.



Images via ecouterre and Kate Cusack.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Swooning Over: Tomato Red

With Fall not-so-sneakily arriving, it's time for some Summer colors to get a little more serious. So say hello to Coral's replacement, Tomato Red:
Everyone's familiar with that Crayon Red color, with its cheeriness and in-your-face-ness. But add a tiny bit of yellow and you get Tomato Red, a cheerful color with a little bit more interest. It works just as hard as regular old Red, but the hint of yellow/orange makes it feel a bit more playful.

Though it's been around for a while appearing every now and then in mainstream fashion, lately it's been making quite the resurgence. A huge benefit is that it mixes easily into any wardrobe, adding a playful contrast to any neutral. Add accents of it here, layers of it there, and it adds a pop of color and some intrigue to what could otherwise be a pretty uneventful look.

Keep a lookout for Tomato Red this Fall, or you can start adding to your collection with the pieces featured above: 1. Canyon Messenger Bag, Madewell 2. Moroccan Market Scarf, Madewell 3. Flower in My Pocket Dress, Need Supply Co. 4. Lula Magazine S/S 10 5. J. Crew Editorial 6. Knotted Leather Ring, Urban Outfitters

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Loom of Fate...er, Slumber?

Image of Janine Antonie's "Slumber" (1993) via Artist Research.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Just a few lines


Illustration by Garance Doré.

I will be leaving you with many more findings as Explosive Kiwi goes into some kind of a hibernation...or rather, its cocoon phase. Have I piqued your interest?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drawing all over the walls

I've stayed at many a Courtyard Marriott (thanks, 18th birthday sleepover), but they've all got this weird, New England/floral-patterns-on-everything feel to them. A new trend in hotel design is going boutique—designing each room differently, making each visit a new experience. Each room gets lovingly thought out, and I recently discovered one specific room at the Ace Hotel with an extra special touch: hand-drawn wallpaper about New York City:


Timothy Goodman, the person responsible for this amazing feat in hand-drawn awesomeness, calls it "99 Frames." According to the artist, he "hand drew 99 picture frames to create a dense wall of 'discovery' about NYC that could be passed to the common tourist staying in the room. Each frame contains a different fact / love / tidbit / thing of interest / or shout-out to a place [he digs] in the city." At a whopping 120 square feet, Goodman covers the good and the bad, from the Arch at Washington Square Park and Nathan's hot dogs to sky high rent and pigeon poo. Yes, I'm a sucker for the project because it's about the city that I love/hate oh-so-much. But I'm also crazy for it because it was executed by an actual human being with a great hand and some equally great memories.

Check out Timothy Goodman's post about the "99 Frames" here, or see a few more images below:




Monday, July 26, 2010

Thanks, Jane Austen

Last week I finalized the scheme for my new living room, but the bedroom was giving me some trouble. The room needed something relaxing but not too somber, colorful but not too Lisa Frank. A few days ago I found a beautiful book cover for Jane Austen's "Emma," and it all fit together. Voilà:
The pattern on the book works so well because the bright coral is balanced with the darker purple, all of which sits on a calming backdrop of natural linen and white. Considering the pieces I already have, it also makes sense for my bedroom: I can leave the walls white, I've got light wood and some black furniture, it's an excuse to buy anything in coral (a color I've been recently falling in love with), and the purple and white/natural is a nice variation on the lilac/blue in the neighboring living room. I'm a fool for purple, too, and though coral is pretty trendy right now, this grouping of colors isn't (which means I won't be over it in 3 months).

I can't stop drooling over this color palette :) However, my next mission is the bathroom, with its white, black, and orangy/yellow tiles...eep.

And if you're curious, here are some image credits (from left to right, top to bottom): 1. Pin-Tuck Duvet Cover and Shams, West Elm 2. "In glorious technicolor" by *raffaella 3. "Emma" by Jane Austen, White's Books 4. Crystal Votive, Anthropologie 5. "Cures for Love" by Stendhal, Penguin Books, 6. Prism Knob, Anthropologie 7. Glass Parlor Box, Urban Outfitters

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cycling about

"In glorious technicolor" by *raffaella via flickr.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The best jewelry of all


I like shiny things. And I like jewelry. And chocolate. Is it possible to fuse those 3 things into one amazing thing that I could love even more than its separate parts? Allegedly so: Promise Me Chocolate, a site geared towards brides, sells chocolates, truffles, bonbons, and peppermint patties in the shape of rings and gemstones, painted to look like rocks you’d wear (I mean, they're not really fooling anyone, but A+ for the delicious effort!). I’m particularly loving them because they come in beautiful jewel tones and look like rings I’d actually buy.

A single ring goes for $13 (eep), or you can get sets of gem truffles for less. I was going to buy a 4-pack of truffles, but shipping is a whopping $26, so that’s a no-go. It comes in a box, a small one, so that price isn’t ok unless it’s getting hand delivered via Sherpa.

Check out more of their pieces on their website, and if the shipping and handling doesn’t scare you, snatch a few for yourself.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pantone Fall 2010 Colors

Pantone has spoken once again (well, technically they spoke almost a year ago), with their projected colors for Fall 2010. And it seems only appropriate for me to bust this out now, as summer sales are winding down to make way for new fall merchandise. Check it:

Don’t they seem surprisingly spring-like? There are bright, cheerful colors like Golden Glow, Lipstick Red, and Purple Orchid, and few neutrals. Where are the heavier colors to balance them? Perhaps, then, these predictions are more like suggestions for pairing with timeless neutrals? I also would’ve expected heavier colors because of the season itself, as the wintry weather usually brings out more serious, morose tones. Compare them to Spring 2010’s predictions, and you’ll barely notice a difference—with a few exceptions, most are only a touch darker and/or warmer (see the Spring 2010 colors here).

But how does this compare to clothes you’ll see in stores? A survey of some of the more colorful A/W runway shows makes Pantone’s predictions seem moot, except for Oyster Gray and Rose Dust. Instead, it seems we’ll find electric blue, icy grays, tomato red, and oxblood red (in addition to black, nudes, and navy). See for yourself:

Jeffrey Monteiro Fall 2010


Vanessa Bruno Fall 2010


Twinkle by Wenlan Fall 2010

So the overall assessment? If Pantone is right, it’s going to be a cheerful winter. We city-folk may cling to our blacks and grays, but for the love of God, I hope we can manage to inject some color this season. Pantone seems to be giving us an excuse to, anyway.

Image credits: Jeffrey Monteiro Fall 2010 via Refinery29, Vanessa Bruno Fall 2010 via Style.com, Twinkle by Wenlan Fall 2010 via nymag.com

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hydrangeas in the living room

With all the stresses of moving 2 years worth of your life from one space into another (usually with a UHaul through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and inevitably getting pulled over by cops with poor senses of humor), the single thought that keeps this girl going is decorating the place. And since the new space in question contains a bedroom AND a living room (thank you, Brooklyn!), I've been pondering how to fill it with things that will make me happy. Ergo, I present my color board of insta-happiness:

It started when I found a picture of some hydrangea cupcakes (yummy), and then kept stumbling upon photos of light, hazy, pastelly blue/purple florals. I'm a fool for purples and muted tones, so it quickly became clear that light blue, purple, and ivory should be the colors in the living room. I realized I could also justify using a reddish brown, pulling from the living room's flooring and partial brick wall (again, thank you, Brooklyn!), and may have flipped out a little when I also realized the palette gives me an excuse to get tons of plants.

At some point I'll realize that I can't afford a Domino Magazine apartment. But until then, I'll be dreaming in these colors. Well, maybe until I come up with the palette for the bedroom...

And finally, image credits are as follows (from left to right, top to bottom): 1. Ocean photo, 2.Russian Floral Stream Printed Rug from UO, 3. "Blue Hydrangeas" by Snowy, 4. Brick wall photo via Saucy Dwellings, 5. Eiffel Tower Pillow Cover, iviemade, 6. Table setting by Amy Neunsinger via Haute Design

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Try this at home: Lace Nails

I’m a fool for nail color and nail art—it’s the overlap between my Puerto Rican desire to bling out, and my graphic designer desire to have color. So I bought the nail art pens. I bought the matte-ifying top coat. I’ve even been told I have to be supervised when trolling the makeup/nail polish aisles in Duane Reade.

So imagine my delight when I found this awesome tutorial on something NEW to try! Lace decoupage action! I like it because it’s abstract, because it’s like arts & crafts, and because it involves fabric. And because her outfit is mad cute.

If you want the step-by-step to do it yourself, check out the original post here via Behind the Seams. And if you do it, I demand pictures of the finished product. Muahaha!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thursday, July 01, 2010

I'd live in this city


Urban Carnival Scarf Pillow via Urban Outfitters.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vintage clothing, like, legitimately

Until recently, the Brooklyn Museum's Costume collection had been hidden away in storage, gathering dust and getting forgotten about. But now it's back and in full glory in the show American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection, showcasing early American designers (and some foreign ones) who've had an impact on the country's style in the past century or so. Borrowing some of the Brooklyn Museum's pieces, the Met is concurrently running a twin show on their grounds, American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity.

From photos on the Brooklyn Museum's website, the show highlights pieces with dramatic lines and silhouettes in a rainbow of colors and fabric. They also feature an interactive plaything via Polyvore that let's you match pieces from the collection together.

There's only about a month left for each show, so check them both out while they're all spiffed up:

American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection
Brooklyn Museum
Event description here
Now through August 1

American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Event description here
Now through August 1

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swooning Over: Tiered, ruffley things

Nothing makes me feel more like a lady than wearing something with ruffles (thank you, J.Crew, for constantly appeasing me), but this summer, the ruffle is out in full effect. More interesting, though, are ruffles with a twist: tiered, angled, and at irregular lengths. Here's what I mean:
The Chris Benz dress in image 1 is amazingly out of control in bright colors with layered panels of slightly ruched fabric (which totally counts as a ruffle). The irregular slices of light fabric and the stacked colors are gorgeous, making it look almost weightless and petal-like. The vest in image 2 also pops with color, and makes use of chaotic pleating that makes it visually interesting and gives it the volume that more traditional ruffles would.

And who doesn't want to jump into that bed, or into that knit tank? In fact, I DO jump into that knit tank in white on the regular, c/o Madewell (J.Crew's younger sister), and I love its angled ruffles that jostle around as I walk.

Keep your eyes peeled for more irregular, angled, and unusual ruffles this summer and into the winter!

1. Layered silk organza dress, Chris Benz 2. Barcelona vest, Anthropologie 3. Waterfall ruffle shams, Urban Outfitters 4. Layered ruffles tank, Madewell

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beach style


Here's to a warm, delightfully beach-filled weekend!

Image via psitsshereen.tumblr.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A tangle of cords and lights


Knit work slyly makes it's way into high design. This one's called Ray while its cousin is called Matt.

Image of "Ray" via Ilot Ilov

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Angora rabbits, hopping their way into my heart

I've been considering getting a pet for a while. Qualifications: pint-sized, adorable, and cuddly. This leaves me with gerbils/rats (not as high up on the adorable scale), hermit crabs (at the bottom of the adorable scale), hamsters/guinea pigs (too needy), birds (they never die), and rabbits (WINNER!). I'd been obsessing over dwarf rabbits, the smallest, most cuddly of them all, until my friend Heather (of the blog Bleach Bottle Bird House) mentioned Angora rabbits:


!!! I don't think there's anything I need to say about how ridiculous this rabbit looks. So ridiculous, in fact, that it's pawing away at my heart, asking for me to love it. AND asking for me to comb it regularly and spin its fur into delightful knit goods.

You mention "angora" to a knitter, and we swoon. It's one of those luxurious fibers we dream of using, but it tends to form a fuzzy halo once it's worked up (like my hair, thanks Puerto Rico). According to Alpaca Farm Girl, though, knitting it with another fiber reduces the fuzziness, shedding, AND pilling. She also says the fur on these bad boys is 6-8 TIMES WARMER than wool, and feels even more heavenly.

COME ON!

First image and info via Alpaca Farm Girl
Second image via Shruggle

Friday, June 11, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

An amazing DIY job

Upcycling at its best. But how easily does it snag?

Photo via Tobacco&Leather

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Swooning Over: White Porcelain

Making something in one color is pretty risky—you can always hide flaws and poor quality in a heavy, colorful pattern, but you've got to step up your game when it's a solid color. A solid color lets texture and form shine through, and lately I've been obsessed with all-white ceramic or porcelain pieces with great craftsmanship. A few examples:
I love how clean and precious these pieces look in all white, and the texture really shines through on each one. The vase in pic #1 is super modern and geometric, and the white draws attention to the intriguing facets. Matte finishes feel rustic (like with the hand-embossed "Lucky" in picture 4), while high gloss makes a piece feel more polished (like the vase in #3).

My fav is #5, the tea service set that's actually a stealth candelabra. You'd expect a tea set to be all white, but you WOULDN'T expect it to be in one piece AND hold candles. It'd be an interesting experiment, though, to use teacups and saucers around the house as candle holders. Hrm...

Keep an eye out for more all-white ceramic/porcelain pieces in your favorite store's home goods section, or follow these links to get more details on the images featured.

1. Materialized Vase, Erich Ginder 2. Petal Hook, Anthropologie 3. Small garden vase, Prettyrandomobjects 4. Lucky tiny text bowl, Paloma's Nest 5. Tea Party Candelabra, Anthropologie

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

LeAnne Marshall comes out of hiding!

I started watching (/becoming obsessed with) Project Runway back in 2008, and went gaga (not the Lady) over winner LeAnne Marshall's floaty, feminine creations. The year before, my cousin gifted me with an early design of LeAnne's from her Etsy shop, so I was stoked to see her go on and win PR. Quickly after her victory, however, LeAnne's shop went quiet while she pursued her collection...and I was very sad.

HOWEVER, she's back on the radar and keeping her shop stocked. Yay!

She's doing high and low end designs (though low-end will still run you around $250), and they all carry her signature folds, loose pleating, and origami-like accents. Her pieces tend to stick to solid primary colors, and she'll sometimes plays with a creme/white palette. All the designs look easy to wear, and she makes sure to use soft materials close to the skin, including silks and linen (perfect for the warm weather!).

If you're looking for a summer splurge, I'd highly suggest checking out LeAnne's Etsy shop, stocked regularly and full of lovely, light pieces.

1. Tania Dress 2. Emmeline Dress 3. JennyLou Dress

Friday, May 28, 2010

Madewell online shop FINALLY launches

Finally, after months of being teased by in-store displays and newsletters that a Madewell e-commerce site was going to open up, it has finally happened! Last Friday there was a splash page, Monday the page was animated, and when I checked this morning, that puppy was up and running!

Though nothing compares to an in-store experience (particularly sales racks), at least now I can plot out the damage I'll be doing to my wallet. The rest of my summer will be spent in front of my screen, drooling over what I'll be buying, what's new to stores, and how I can one day gloriously work there. Beach tan? No. Computer screen tan? Yes, please.

Madwell1937.com

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tush Mag does superheroes

Fashion editorials offer a canvas for designers, photographers, and art directors to get together and dream big, coming up with imagery that can be whimsical, dramatic, and tell a story. Some teams go for it, while others take the safe route. "Summer on the beach"? Lame. "Superheroes"? Tush Magazine, you've piqued my interest.

Tush Magazine's latest issue (20) reinterprets famous superheroes (most of them female, hurrah!), dedicating full shots and graphic portraits to each character. Most images are monotone, like Poison Ivy and Witchblade above, while Mystique lends the spreads a punch of that electric blue. The stylist made good use of hard metals as well as exaggerated shapes and silhouettes, giving character to these...ahem...characters. It's also interesting to note what the stylists do aside from slapping a dress on someone—in this case, Witchblade's hair looks sculpted (and probably feels like it with all the gunk they must've loaded it with), and Poison Ivy's face is being devoured by tendrils. And I must say, the stereotypically apathetic/pissed-off model look works well for the various characters' back stories.

Check out even more of your favorite characters on Tush Magazine's site:
See images from the editorial
See the video

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bust's Spring Fling Craftacular 2010

Sunday's Spring Fling Craftacular caught me almost completely by surprise, but I was able to assemble the troops and scope it out. This year's Craftacular at the Warsaw in Brooklyn featured 50+ vendors packed in a few neat rows while DJs kept music pumping in the background. Though the equation was right, I felt like there were some flaws in the execution.

Jewelery tables are always popular, but I noticed that many jewelers were selling rather uninspired work: there were lower-quality, prefabbed, dime-a-dozen charms everywhere. Few jewelers did much of their own casting, a lot of the craftsmanship felt "meh, I guess," and several people relied more on selling vintage odds and ends instead of re-imagining those pieces into something interesting.

I also think it was tough for other vendors to get any attention, like screenprinters and plushie-makers; you can justify shelling out money for something you'll use every day (like jewelry) instead of something that's not as utilitarian (like a plushie). And there were so few of these vendors that there was little variety for people to chew on.

Booths of note, however, included KG+ AB (unglazed white porcelain figurines and plates, including one with a unicorn silhouette from the famous Unicorn Tapestries), Lillian Crowe (hand-cast rib cages and other creepy/beautiful jewelry), Raw Toast (prints and posters that made me smile), and SML Bags (nice clutches and bags, including the one pictured here that I bought).

Another complaint was the lack of space: kudos to keeping the event relatively small, but there were so many people in and out of there that it was hard to walk around or even get a good look at the merch on tables. The whole thing felt like I was fighting to put in my order at the deli.

Overall I wasn't impressed, though I did walk away with a nice bag and some stud earrings. My heart lies with The Market on Mulberry, as it's got a great variety of vendors, your fav vendors will pull rotations, there's never a huge crowd, and the artisans' work feels a little more purposeful. I guess we'll have to wait and see how Bust's Holiday Craftacular plays out this coming winter.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Swooning Over: Covered Wedges

My relationship with wedges has been difficult: so many pairs were calling out to me with their vintage/retro styling, though their usual cork or rope-covered heels usually come off as cheap to me. I've recently discovered, however, a new segment of wedges—covered:
I mean, HOW FREAKING CUTE? They're like undercover heels, giving you height and length, sans the fear of toppling over due to a skinny heel. In my quest for covered wedges, the designer Jeffrey Campbell kept coming up (images 1 and 3), and he really knows how to make shoes that are fun statement pieces.

At first I thought all shoes in the "covered wedge" category just looked like clunkers, but I've come to learn that they must be carefully styled. I find dresses/skirts, tights, and skinny jeans go really well with this type of shoe, as it becomes extra important to balance the top and the bottom (leg and shoe, in this case); anything looser and you look like you're wearing a surgical boot. The shoes in images 2 and 3 are perfect for summer, and #3 in particular gives you height while deceptively looking like a regular sandal.

More and more of these wedges have been cropping up, so keep an eye out for the pair that you'll take home with you.

1. Mary Rocks, Jeffrey Campbell 2. Canvas Striped, Mini for Many 3. Molly, 80%20 4. Rosegold Suede Heel, UO 5. Hillaery, Aldo

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Site to Follow: 100 Layer Cake

Quite a few friends have been getting married lately, and in attempting to nosily influence their themes and color palettes, I've become pretty well acquainted with wedding blogs. One thing I've noticed is that many wedding blogs have KILLER color/inspiration boards—collages of related images that capture a bunch of related, pleasing-to-the-eye color combinations.

One of these is 100 Layer Cake's blog, and buried in their "Inspiration Binder" category are some gorgeous color boards, offering unexpected palettes and fanciful swatch names. Even the boards themselves are beautiful, using elegant photography, a wide variety of visual references, and a clean, simple layout. (Click on any of the boards to go to its page on 100 Layer Cake.)

If you need a color palette for your next project, 100 Layer Cake's blog had better be one of the first places you go to look for one.

See the "Inspiration Binder" section here.
Get to the blog's main page here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rocking what nature gave us

Laura Lombardi Jewelry is organic. Not like baby-lettuce-from-a-farmer's-market organic. More like, patterns-found-in-nature-with-slight-irregularities-and-they're-so-damn-pretty-I-want-to-wear-them-around-my-neck organic (my favorite kind).

The jeweler starts with vintage metals, chains, crystals, and findings. Then, she turns those metals into geometric, symmetrical shapes (like triangles pictured above, or hexagons, or spheres), and roughs them up a little. Gold will be in the shape of crystals just found in a cave somewhere, and the stone in stacked earrings look like they've just been chipped off the side of a mountain. Sometimes she'll pick things straight out of nature, like the feather necklace in image 3. Her crystals (image 1) will have beautiful irregularities, and she'll use stones in the same way. Each little detail turns what starts off as a simple or everyday shape into something interesting and noteworthy. And there's not a dud in the collection—I can picture myself wearing every piece (maybe that should be more dangerous than exciting?)

Check out more of Laura Lombardi's pieces in her etsy shop, or view the full collection on her website.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Swooning Over: Splatters

For one of those "trends" that always seems to be around, splatters have been hitting pretty hard lately. The key, however, is to wear them well. Cue helpful image:

Survey these examples and you'll see that splatters are versatile because they look like patterns without the rigid regularity of a plaid or a houndstooth. They feel a little more accidental, and can lend a piece insta-movement.

One way to maximize the effect is by focusing on a main focal point. In the Omaha drip dress by Full Circle (#1) for example, the action is concentrated up by the neck and then tapers; it's well-thought out, and much easier on the eye than a lot of paint everywhere. The Grace Heels by Olsen Haus (#2) are also measured in their splatters, but use a silver metallic (which adds a nice pop and contrast to the 1940s pink). If you do want an allover splatter, a great way to go is with a smaller allover print, like the adorable Eve clutch by Lauren Merkin (#6) that looks like a Monet from faraway.

Moral of the story: smaller splatters work well for visual interest, while bigger ones should be used in moderation. Use this lesson wisely.

1. Omaha drip dress, Full Circle 2. Grace Heels in pink, Olsen Haus 3. Splatter Vase, Urban Outfitters 4. Billy Lo-rise skinny jean, Delia*s 5. Splatter bangle, Forever 21 6. Eve splatter print clutch, Lauren Merkin
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