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Annie - San Francisco, CA

I don't live-blog from the tents.

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It's Back: J.Crew Catalog Theater

Now that the FashFilmFest is over (but will return in 2013!) I'm back to blogging! What better way to get back into the routine than with a favorite? By request and popular demand, I've got a new edition of J.Crew Catalog Theater, from the April catalog... The models are sad, sassy, confused, and wearing things we've seen before. But don't hold that against them! They're models, they can't do any better...


J.Crew Spring Catalog Theatre!

It's been a very long time since the last episode of J.Crew catalog theatre and the only reason I can give you is that the stylists at J.Crew have seriously upped their game of late. I'm not going to lie - they've done a great job at making their pages both appealing and shoppable. That is, until now... (I hope my sister and her New York crew enjoy... I hear they love it when I get sacriligious.)

I was so happy to find this issue in my mailbox full of odd, ackward poses, models who are both pale and hungry, and very very strange styling choices.

There's a lot of ground to cover here, so indulge me. And yes, I edited out a few pages too - there was just too much good stuff...







Winona Confidential

When I heard earlier this year that Winona Dimeo-Ediger was having a style book published, I got tingles of excitement. Yes, the fun and irreverant woman behind the yellow pants craze, chocha warnings, tie-dyed tights, and raccoons with critical eyes for fashion was bringing out a book. What will Anna Wintour say about it? I know what Winona would say: "Anna who?"

While Winona's book Closet Confidential - Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way is full of great advice and good humor, she doesn't preach or pick at your insecurities (like Anna would do.) In fact, as I read the book cover to cover I found myself chuckling out loud at the classic Winona-isms and annecdotes. So wise, so witty, so...worldly in their insight. Winona's creative writing talent is fantastic, such as when she links together the odd assortment of items found in her purse into a fantasy story about pygmies, a jet plane, and an assortment of IRS agents. Woven throughout are perfectly-placed literary allusions too, such as this advice on the dangers of large handbags:

"Be careful of going too big, though, as giant totes tend to function less as handbags and more like portals to other worlds where evil ice queens use Turkish delight to lure away your keys and sunglasses."

Style advice and C.S. Lewis in one? Indeed.

But all this wit isn't in vain, there's a great deal of practicality too. Advice that good-quality shoes can be had for around $100, and that "poorly made shoes are the devil's work" are definitely things to keep in one's back pocket. I too firmly believe that fashion works psychologically, making you feel good or bad depending upon how you wear it. Of course, the way Winona dispenses this wisdom is much more too the point. "If you go to bed dressed likea  slobby sitcom husband, it's that much harder to transform into a stylish, put-together woman in the morning." That, and "wear your personality on your feet, and you'll walk with your head held high," sealed the deal for me. This book is a new classic of the style-writing genre. Fun, fashionable, practical, and without judgment. Just like Winona herself.

To dig deeper into the mind of the master, I had Winona complete the famous Proust Questionnaire. The list of questions is taken directly from the real Proust questionnaire, as filled out by Proust around 1890-1891 in the Parisian journal La Revue Illustrée. (Just in case you thought I was making it up.)

Your chief characteristic: Bubbly.
Your favorite qualities in a man: Nurturing, funny, and kind.
Your favorite qualities in a woman: Strong, creative, and smart.
Your favorite qualities in friends: I'll happily befriend anyone who inspires and feeds me often.
Your biggest flaw: I'm messier than most of the people featured on those terrifying Dateline specials about hoarders.
Your favorite occupation: Writing and mentoring teen girls.
Your idea of happiness: Snuggling up on my couch eating cookies and watching Reno 911.
Your idea of misery: A turbulent plane ride.
If not yourself, who would you be?: A fainting goat, for sure.
Where would you like to live?: On a commune with my friends and family in Maui, Hawaii.
Your favorite color & flower: Cobalt blue and sunflowers. A cobalt blue sunflower would be ideal.
Your favorite prose authors: Anne Lamott, Truman Capote, David Sedaris.
Your favorite poets: Adrienne Rich and Dr. Seuss.
Your favorite heroes in fiction: Milo from The Phantom Tollbooth.
Your favorite heroines in fiction: Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
Your favorite painters: Henri Matisse, Caravaggio, Lindsay Jordan, and Rachel Warkentin.
Your favorite heroes in real life: Gloria Steinem, Rachel Maddow, Tina Fey, and Maggie Zackowitz.
Your favorite heroine in history: Susan B. Anthony.
Your favorite names: Cordelia and Dario, which were incidentally the names of the lead characters (a paleontologist and a pirate, respectively) in a romance novel my best friend and I penned in high school.
What characters in history do you most dislike: Vlad the Impaler and Tucker Max.
The military deed that you admire most: The American Revolution.
The reform that you appreciate: Being able to vote is pretty sweet. Thanks, suffragettes!
What gift from nature would you like to have?: The ability to regrow my tail like a lizard. Also to have a tail. Wouldn't that be fun?
How would you like to die?: To spontaneously combust while receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. You know, something subtle like that.
What is your present state of mind?: Anxious.
For what fault have you most toleration?: Absentmindedness, because it usually signals a creative and exciting personality.
Your favorite motto: "I would start a revolution, but I just bought a hammock." -Zach Galifianakis


J. Crew Fall Catalog Theatre!

Okay, you knew it was coming. The new J. Crew catalog arrived in mailboxes last week, which of course means that Poetic & Chic has to do something about it. Interesting to note that the expensive atmospheric shots are gone and almost the whole thing is shot in a studio...maybe they got my message about the Spring issue?

As usual, there's a lot to love and a lot to question. But, that's the fun of J.Crew Catalog Theatre... I'll let the pictures tell the story! All pictures are from J.Crew and scanned by me from the catalog. They're thumbnails, so feel free to enlarge...

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