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Fourth of July Do’s and Don’ts

The American Independence Day, it approaches, and Francesca knows how much the patriotic Americans love to dress on this day in outfits which evoke their flag! Hooray for the Red, White and Blue, Francesca says. But there is a Right way, and a Wrong way. Rule of thumb: if you are an adult and you would ONLY wear the outfit on the Fourth of July, it is probably a Wrong (little children are exceptions, and it is OK to wear ONE kitschy novelty item IF a Very Cheerful Relative offers you one). If you would wear it on August 10th, it is fine. For example:

Do:

Don’t:

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Do (for a very informal family gathering):

Don’t:

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Do:

Don’t:

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Do:


Don’t:

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LACROIX, Sweetie (and Almodovar and Hemingway and Lagerfeld and Sara Murphy and)

Christian Lacroix Starts Insolvency Proceedings

Y’all. I cannot handle this today. I’ve totally been a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown for the past few weeks anyway and NOW YOU’RE TAKING MY LACROIX?!?!

I can’t say I’m especially surprised, but I don’t think this is anywhere near the end for Edina Monsoon’s favorite designer.

Christian Lacroix, one of the few haute couture houses left, has been flying under the radar in this post-couture age. Lacroix is, and always has been, unapologetically continental in his approach to fashion as if to say if you don’t like his bright, exuberant Gallo-Iberian sensibilities, you can just take that mess over to Marc by Marc. The Lacroix woman doesn’t need you. The Lacroix woman doesn’t need anyone.

Speaking of being a woman on the verge, I am still in the throes of a major Almodovar moment, fashion-wise-speaking. If you’re not familiar with Pedro Almodovar’s earlier work, specifically the hilarious Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (both featuring a vintage Antonio Banderas in all his early-20’s glory)  do yourself a solid and netflix these today.

Lacroix 2009 Spring RTW, Nautical done right

Love this. So casual and 80’s-Euro-in-a-Good-Way. I’m loving the jacket (I’m having an epic jacket moment) and with editing, a big girl could wear this look effortlessly. The rope ankle straps on those shoes, make the look for me, but I don’t think they’ve gone into production. This is what Lagerfeld was trying to do with his Villas Americas collection based on Sara and Gerald Murphy, the jazz-age expats who made the South of France glamorous to Anglo-American sensibilities and inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Tender is the Night” plus Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished “Garden of Eden“.

Sara and Gerald Murphy

and while I love all things jazz age, what I’m all about right now is color, and I mean COLOR.

Women on the Verge pink and red

This still from Women on the Verge  has been on my inspiration board since October.  I love everything about it. It’s quirky, vibrant and flawless, although the women are not traditionally beautiful.

Also on my look board:

Lacroix 2009 Spring RTW My Favorite Look

LOVE the color,  love the Perry Ellis-goes-to-Arles feel. Yes, this is a LOT of look, but there are a ton of individual pieces and references you could take and make your own. Am DYING for that acid green.

And then there are the polka dots.

Polka dots

Popular fashion wisdom has it that pink, plaid and polka dots always come back.  Big girls can wear polka dots like nobody’s business, especially great big ones which, as luck would have it, is what looks fresh now.

Lacroix 2009 Spring RTW polka dot coat

I know we did the Swiss thing a few years ago in a very retro 50’s rockabilly/pin-up way, and that was precious and all but it got tiresome.

These look fresh and I love how they play with the scale. And it’s so slouchy and easy. Very South of France.  If I ever do end up marrying Andre, this is totally what I’m going to wear when we’re visiting the ancestral manse.

Lacroix 2009 Spring RTW dot dress

Seriously.

One of the other fantastic things about this collection that reminded me so much of Almodovar is the jewelry. Pulling off a lot of statement jewelry in one look takes a judicious eye but I love both the irony of sending up the “more is more” mentality that got us into this delightful economic slophouse and the fun of just being unapologetically, gloriously over-adorned. Love it!

Life is Too Short for Small Jewelry

I love costume jewelry. Love love love it. I love fine jewelry too, but since Richard Burton selfishly died before he had the chance to meet me, I have to content myself with more attainable baubles.

That being said, there’s costume jewelry and there’s costume jewelry. The good stuff can often set you back a mint, but all of these little lovelies are between $74 – $180 which, considering the sparkle they’ll bring to your life (and your face) is a pretty good deal, and they make great extra-special stocking stuffers.

For the Sweet Young Thing

(click on the images for links)

Hand Made Rose Sterling Silver Earrings

Lovely little handmade rose earrings on delicate sterling silver (nickel-free) wires. Available in many colors although mysteriously not yellow, so we Texas girls will have to satisfy ourselves with an approximation of burn orange.

For the Downtown Girl

Matilde - Murano Glass Bead Fishnet Drop Earrings

Do these feel a little Fendi to you? Because I’m totally getting a Karl-meets-Edward Gorey vibe off of these. Made out of silk fishnet and murano glass, these are for the very cool, fashion-forward woman in your life.

For the Lady who Lunches

Swarovski Crystal Decorated Clip On Earrings

So so perfect and understated. This is like the noon martini in a St John Suit at The Plaza of perfect. Gold plated with smoky Swarovski crystals and a clip back –I love a clip back– they’re perfect and classic without being matronly, and because the crystals are toned down and not giant vulgar faux diamonds they’re statement-y without being LOUD. If you bought these I swear you’d wear them three times a week, and they’d look perfect on you every time.

For the Girl Who Can Get Away With It

Purple & Orange Swarovski Crystal Clip On Earrings

Do I even need to tell you that I’m ordering these? No, of course not. These earrings, very reminiscent of 1960’s Bvlgari, are all about high drama, high glamor and channeling your inner Liz Taylor. A bit pricey, but good gravy, so fabulous.

For the Chic Continental

Tangerine Swarovski Crystal Earrings

These are actually my favorite and the second least-expensive pair, and there’s something so European about these. I can just imagine some lovely woman with a chic gamine crop and a handsome escort, shivering along the streets of Salzburg in her evening dress, rushing to some fantastic party full of disreputable lecherous viscounts and irresponsibly beautiful rent boys.

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