Now mind you, Santa, I'm not asking for an entire new wardrobe - more just some stylish stuff from my fave London store to spice up my sartorial side a bit. What's that? Oh, a coat - definitely...by Barbour, preferably. Some fabulous perfume from Dolce & Gabbana (plus a tube or 10 of their amaze lipstick would be lovely). And one of their bags, of course. Pardon? Yes, exactly, the snakeskin tote. A Paul Smith cardi...plus if there's any room left in your sack, some glovescarfkeychain. Huh? No, that should do nicely!
Thanks Santababy (and Harrods) - you're the best!
xo Lesley Scott
GET THE LOOK: coat - Barbour "Outlaw"; cardi - Paul by Paul Smith; ankle boots - Carvela Kurt Geiger "Spin"; fragrance - Dolce & Gabbana "Velvet Desire"; scarf, gloves & keychain - Paul Smith; degrade python tote - Dolce & Gabbana "Miss Lily" - all Harrods.com
[Note: This was written in partnership with Harrods. The words & opinions are mine.]
Pantene Volume has a plumping effect inspired by collagen that turns flat hair into thick, full, 24-hour volume hair. You get high-volume hair that lasts all night...the problem being that it might just outlast you!
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with Pantene.]
For women fighting cancer, feeling good about the way they look goes beyond just vanity. The American Cancer Society found that almost 9 of every 10 women cancer patients reported feeling more confident about coping with their disease - when they felt they looked good. Of which hair plays a huge part. "It was very hard when my hair started falling out," observes one breast cancer survivor. "It really takes away who you are when you look in the mirror."
So Pantene teamed up with the American Cancer Society - the largest non-profit health organization committed to saving lives and improving the quality of life for people facing the disease - on Pantene Beautiful Lengths to help women (and men) grow strong, long beautiful locks. Once they're ready to "pony" up, the next step is to cut and donate their tresses to be made into real-hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
Be sure to check out the videos above - there are two of them, just refresh your browser to watch the second one - to see Queen Latifah and other celeb royalty who proudly support this initiative.
To date, Pantene has donated 24,000 free real-hair wigs to the American
Cancer Society’s wig banks, which then distribute wigs to cancer
patients across the country. "We created Beautiful Lengths because healthy hair means a lot to us, and the appearance of healthy hair means so much to women battling cancer," explains Pantene. "We want to be there for women when looking and feeling healthy is so important to them."
- Lesley Scott
[Note: This was written in partnership with Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The words are mine.]
"The world has ended, civilization has collapsed, the undead hordes have overrun everything. We've seen the apocalypse so many times, even Roland Emmerich is bored with it. So what comes next?"
Cool Halloween makeup, for one thing. This fun "Hard as Hell" makeup by Mayela Vazquez (above) is anything but if you just follow the instructions below the podcast.
But is there more to his maquillage than meets the ghoulish eye? I would argue: yes. It's another sign, along with the apocalyptical ennui observed by io9.com that we've moved beyond just throwing up our collective hands in the *face* - so to speak - of impending doom and instead decided to paint it...doomsayers in the know prefer the longlasting, Endtime-proof formulations of Makeup Forever & Illamasqua. (Rick Owens's fiery apocalyptic runway show for Fall 2012)
In movieland, we've moved beyond just wringing our hands and bemoaning the fact the end is nigh. "Think about movies in 2012 that featured New York being trashed — the main one that comes to mind is probably The Avengers," continues io9. "Unlike previous years' crops of New York-gets-trashed films, this one featured a gang of superbeings fighting back. And the next year's crop of big tentpole movies include mass destruction, being battled by giant mecha (Pacific Rim), Superman (Man of Steel), and the Starship Enterprise (Star Trek). We're not dwarfed by the scale of the destruction in those movies, we're big enough to weigh in. Idris Elba even declaims in the Pacific Rim trailer that the apocalypse is cancelled."
What I also found interesting about the archetype of the apocalypse is that Carl Jung identified it in the early 1950s. Calling out the approaching "End Time" was more than just an intellectual attempt to put all of society on the analyst's couch; rather, he felt every individual had some degree of power to change the future and that if enough people were aware on a conscious level of this archetype, the fate of future could in fact be altered in a positive way. (image)
Which is, I think, one of the key characteristics of the Apocalytical fashion tribe. Yes, they're worried about The End but they're also of the mind that it's in our power to change things. And rocking makeup is a fun and fab way to shed some humor on the situation 'cuz everyone knows that laughter is the best medicine. (To say nothing of having something cool to wear when all hell breaks loose, like this clever leather "Victory" vest by Anahata
Designs which comes with detachable long sleeves that easily transform it into a jacket.)
How-To: Create the ‘Hard as Hell’ Halloween makeup by Mayela Vazquez
SKIN: The more pale, the better - go several shades lighter than your natural skin color. Try: Make-Up Forever Face and Body Liquid Make-Up for a waterproof natural, satin finish and The Famous HD Powder.
EYEBROWS: The no-brow look is part of what makes this makeup H-A-R-D. Which eyebrows aren't. An easy way to hide 'em (assuming you haven't yet plucked them into oblivion) is to smooth foundation over them and complete the disappearing act by dusting on a layer of powder.
EDGES: Shadows under the cheekbones are key - use a small brush (more control) and apply brown or even purple eyeshadow. Then switch to a light shimmer to bring out highlights along the top of the bone.
EYES: You'll need black mascara, a dark eyeshadow such as purple or burgundy, a pair of fake eyelashes and two colors of eyeliner: black & white.
Apply the white eyeliner along the inside your lower eyelids. Follow with a smoky eye using the dark shadow and then add depth by applying black eyeliner in the corner of the eyes. Lastly, glue on those falsies & pile on the mascara. Try: eyelashes by Shu Uemura, Make-Up Forever or Ardell; Illamasqua lipstick (the darker, the better) - good ones are Illamasqua's Pristine (matte opaque black), their Two-toned Lip Bundle and/or the Pout-Perfection set which includes an awesome stayput lip pencil.
Make two giant braids - use synthetic hair if you don't have enought of your own. Then treat each braid the way you would a headband, making them encircle your head & setting them with bobby pins and enough hairspray to choke a beauty pageant contestant.
As a student at Yale getting an M.F.A. in photography, Endia Beal interned in the IT department...along with her striking red afro. Black and taller than most of her colleagues, short(er) white guys, her tresses had the men curious and wanting to touch it. Instead of ignoring the elephant in the room, Beal
responded like the artist she is by mining it for material. She asked the men not only to touch her hair but to really pull it and then, a week later, she recorded them on video talking about what was for many of them a new experience. "I wanted to allow someone to feel something different, to experience something they never had before, and through that experience, they felt uncomfortable,” she explains, "and then to talk about it kind of amplifies that feeling." (image)
That feeling inspired another really interesting experiment: enabling other women to experience some of what Beal had as a result of her hair and the workspace. The women chosen were white and in their 40s and older, mostly Baby Boomers, a demographic with pretty specific ideas of how you're "supposed" to look in the corporate world. She took them to a salon and gave each one a new "black" hairdo and had them agree that whether or not they were happy with the result, they would sit for a traditional corporate portrait. "I said, ‘I am going to give you a black hairstyle,’ and they were like, ‘You’re going to give me cornrows?’ And I said, ‘No, we’re
going to do finger waves.’ ‘Finger waves? What’s that? You mean from the ’20s?’ And I said, ‘These are a little bit different type of finger waves!’"
Having the women actually go to work wearing their new hairstyles is obviously the next step, but Beal acknowledges that climbing the corporate ladder with a non-conformist coiffure comes with burdens to hurdle. In the mean time, she figured that an art project was a great way to start traversing that gap. Which members of the FOLKSPUN fashion tribe excel at: either keeping alive the arts and crafts that keep us alive inside or, as with Beal's "Can I touch it?" project, placing them in an unexpected context to create fresh and exciting new insights.
The End Times have been grandly predicted hundreds of times in the past, beginning - on record, at least - with the ancient Romans of 634BC who feared the end was nigh when Rome turned 120. Sextus Julius Africanus revised his Doomsday date to the year 800, while in 1186, John of Toledo confirmed that the planetary alignment was primed for our destruction in 1186. Martin Luther placed his bets on "no later than 1600 and Cotton Mather was forced to revise his prediction of 1697 to 1716 when the former failed to materialize. Harriet Livermore (1847), Seventh Day Adventist Margaret Rowen (1925), astrologer Jeane Dixon (1962), Pat Robertson (2007) and fundamentalist Mormon Warren Jeffs (2012) have all been famously wrong. Going forward, Dixon decided to have another crack at it and gives us until 2020, while Sir Isaac Newton's read of the Bible places the date in 2060.
Suffice it to say, Armageddon Prediction is probably not the most rewarding of career choices.
The fact that these various (false) prophets of doom & gloom accurately hone in on people's fears and yet are so consistently W-R-O-N-G makes it unsurprising to me that the Apocalytic fashion tribe - which is prepping for the Apocalypse, but with an eye on style - has two distinct flavors. The first is the most obvious: the very head-to-toe tough leather, Mad Max-channeling fashion badass which takes the predictions (somewhat) seriously. They rock Matrix-style kung-fu leather made for badassery - meaning that when you wear it, you can actually engage in activities like moving, eating & breathing.
The second group, while concerned about the looming threat of total annihilation, is also of the mind that all the predictions have turned out to be bunk. So while the predictions worry them...a bit...they only take them half seriously. And the other half? It's out partying like there's no tomorrow since there probably won't be one. Any blow-out party worth its festive salt requires one hell of a getup. Besides, the monied classes have a long history of dressing up and pretending the good times will never end...right up until the end.
That's why I'm not surprised to see the party-mad Apocalytics attempting to follow in the fashionista-extraordinaire footsteps of Effie Trinket (The Hunger Games) and dressing in a kind of hyper-whimsical way that reminds me of those awesome 80s glam Hair Bands. Just like the 80s hair dudes, Apocalytical tresses are ever higher (and closer to god) while their shared love of makeup would make a clown convention look demure. There is similarly much wearing of leopard by both groups, the silhouettes are sexy and body-con (but not in any way particularly pragmatic) and while the accessories reference "tough", the context makes them silly - fingerless leather driving gloves, anyone?
This *thumb your nose at the forces that be* sartorial vibe is strong in the upcoming "Capital Couture" collection by movie costumer Trish Summerville - cue the laser-cut leathers, over-the-top evening finery and streamlined silhouette, all conveniently timed to drop on Net-a-Porter along with the November release of her work in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. “This is also brilliant fashion in its own right," adds Holli Rogers, the Fashion Director of Net-a-Porter, "and we’re delighted to provide our customers with the chance to purchase limited-edition pieces designed by one of the most original costume designers in the industry today.”
The blockbuster fragrance of all fragrances is the only thing Marilyn Monroe claimed she wore to bed: Chanel No. 5. Interestingly, what makes it so irresistible are certain special ingredients, in particular castoreum and ambergris. Special flowers? Exotic plant extracts? Hardly. Ambergris is a substance puked up by sperm whales; yes, that's correct, whale vomit. Castoreum is found in beavers, musk deer and Himalayan civet cats...in their rear ends, courtesy of various anal secretions. Synthetic versions of fecal notes created in the lab, like indole, helped propel Calvin Klein's "Eternity" (1988) to mega-fame & fortune. And Guerlain's Jicky (1889) and Shalimar (1925) were both tinged with smells anal and vaginal, reflecting perfumer Jacques Guerlain's belief that fragrance should smell like "the underside of my mistress."
Not that this would be a surprise to Fido. Dogs and their often embarassing butt-sniffing & licking are merely being honest about what appeals to animals scentwise. As animals ourselves, regardless of what we wish turned us on scentwise, our biological drives are in control.
We become passionate about odors that are pretty much unfit for polite company. While the presence of these animalic and funky notes are noticeably absent from perfume ads & marketing, our modern obsession with fending off germs, battling bacteria and generally doing our best to disguise & rid our bodies of their natural odors has corresponded with a rise in the popularity of perfumes drenched in fecal notes and various scents of secretion. It's as if the more we've tried to deny our biology, the more it bursts through the synthetic, manmade veneer with a vengeance, both leering and downright dirty.
"So many of my friends didn't want to be wearing fragrance after the heady scents of the 80s. I realized that it was time to introduce something that was cleaner," observes perfumer Geza Schoen of Escentric Molecules (left), one a crop of forward-looking perfumers that is attempting to work with - rather than mask - our biology. Their artisanal fragrances are labor-intensive and time-expensive endeavors, and yet, using many of the time-honored techiques of yore, their results are hyper-modern. Like Schoen's three "series" of scents which are limited to two bottles, "Escentric" and "Molecule" - containing a chemical called Iso E Super which Schoen was the first to use in fragrance. (image)
Perfumer Christopher Brosius, whose brand "CB - I Hate Perfume" (right) reflects something he learned odd-jobbing it as a cabbie in the 80s. "Women would get into my car in the evening wearing some horrible scent that made me sick. 12 hours later in the cold freezing dawn, my eyes would still be watering & my stomach churning!" Luck was on his side and a gig a Kiehl's included draming out scents from the company's selection of 128 to fill customer orders. "I quickly became familiar with them, recognized my favorites, and in the six spare minutes I had now and then, I began to do very simple blends for myself. It turned out I was good at it and I soon began to do blends for some of Kiehl’s special clients as well."
Although Schoen was formally trained for five years at the German company Haarman and Reime and Brosius learned his craft by doing, both are devoted to bucking the trend of the loud mass scents that Brosius rails against for behaving like "an ethereal corset trapping everyone into the same unnatural shape." Rather, he seeks to create scents that "enourage you to be
yourself, expand yourself and please yourself." And Schoen concurs. "I think smell is the most powerful sense we have, and the most fascinating. It is also quite mystical – you can't see what I do, which gives perfumery a sense of magic."
This sense of "magic", of respect for the work of the artisan, of honoring the trio of body with soul and mind are hallmarks of the FOLKSPUN tribe and the delightful way they embrace the human, the quirky and the handmade. (image)
- Lesley Scott
My PODCAST about FRAGRANCE & the FOLKSPUN FASHION TRIBE:
A kilt in badass camo would make a fun addition to any fall/winter wardrobe - besides, you probably already have a charcoal cashmere sweater to wear with it & if not....hello, time to go shopping. Ditto matching footwear in either a pump or boot. Prints play well with brights, so be sure to go all out with an eye-popping purse.
GET THE LOOK: overcoat - Theory; kilt - Christopher Kane; turtleneck - Joseph; pumps - Gianvito Rossi; glasses frames - Illesteva Hudson; bag - Fendi - all Net-a-Porter.com
How fun would it be to wear a pussybow-blouse & classic pumps in a matching python print? I love gray with lipstick-red, so I styled it here with a standout skirt to make for an eyecatching ensemble. The Vivienne Westwood bathrobe-style wool coat is also in gray, making it coordinate, but the oversize plaid gives some additional visual variety. Add actual lipstick in red & a snakeskin'ish looking bag & off you go.
GET THE LOOK: blouse - Jason Wu; pumps - Stella McCartney; coat - Vivienne Westwood Anglomania; bag - Burberry Prorsum; skirt - Miu Miu; necklace - Olivia Collings; lipstick - Chanel - everything is mostly available at Net-a-Porter.com
How cute are these "Fitness" wedge sneaks Aerosoles just sent me as one of their lucky Brand Ambassadors?! The heel is a totes do'able 2" with cushioning for comfort & their signature diamond-pattern rubber sole - to give a girl traction on the ground when she's runnin' around reaching for the sky. Yes, you could of course pair them with your leather skinnies, but I also thought they'd be super cute with more of a retro pinup-girl vibe with dark-wash big-cuff jeans, a gingham-check shirt, leopard-print headscarf & red, red lips 'n tips.
GET THE LOOK: shirt - American Eagle AE; jeans - MiH; clutch - Antik Batik "Tulib"; head scarf - Gobbolino on Etsy; fragrance - Victoria's Secret Bombshell; lipstick - Vincent Longo; polish - Topshop Nails