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On the Street.....American Beauty, Greenwich Village

 
 
 
 
 















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Thursday, June 05, 2008

On the Street.....American Beauty, Greenwich Village


To me, this is a perfect "inspiration" shot.

I think she looks great just her way she is (very American, healthy, full of life, it just feels like Summer) but if i was a designer I would immediately start thinking "this would also look great if it had a pintuck detail right here.... or a braiding detail on the strap...or this color/print/pattern might...."

I guess what I'm saying is that the dress here is important and yet complete irrelevant. The value is it makes me start thinking of a thousand different variations. I could totally imagine a designer printing out a shot like this, taking white-out to all the specific design details, keeping the overall silhouette and begin designing Resort 09.

To be honest, I think the more perfect "a look" is, the harder it is to be inspired by because it is difficult to imagine it any other way and on any other person. The ability to look at this shot and not see the dress (I know it sounds weird) is very valuable here.

Comments on "On the Street.....American Beauty, Greenwich Village"

 

Blogger chic simplicity said ... (8:11 AM) : 

Yes, she's just right the way she is. The dress itself is perfect chic simplicity (dare I say :)), and yet an inspiration for something even more intricate, if need be.

This is exactly how I shop. I buy clothes that look delicious just the way they were made; but which also give me leeway to tweak them to fit my personality as well as my mood. Yes, this means I'm constantly reworking my clothes!! :)

 

Blogger Linda said ... (8:19 AM) : 

word, Sart.

 

Blogger david santos said ... (8:25 AM) : 

Very nice!
Happy day

 

Blogger heidi said ... (8:32 AM) : 

Great shot... captures the casual village mood in the summer perfectly.

 

Blogger Ronkas said ... (8:36 AM) : 

I totally dislike shoes' color.
Is not really synergic with the overall look.

 

Blogger Stephanie said ... (8:48 AM) : 

NOT "weird" - extremely helpful! When you think onto the blog like this, explaining what you were looking at, why you liked something or what you thought worked, then I learn how to refine my own ability to see. Please keep doing this commentary! (And what a great dress!)

 

Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said ... (8:50 AM) : 

perfect! so casual and simple you just know that you would be completely comfortable wearing this entire outfit. and the fact that she is wearing flats elevates the cuteness factor by 100, imho. i love that she is wearing little or no make-up (at least that's the way it appears to my eye). this is very NYC, on a beautiful spring day.

sart, could you only post pics of women wearing beautiful summer dresses, long or short, i don't care. just kidding! but seeing women looking light and comfortable and happy is the best.

 

Anonymous tj said ... (9:02 AM) : 

Great hair. Beautiful color and fullness. It looks perfectly comfortable and casual in this setting. I'm sure that every hair stylist in town would love to have the chance to do her hair for a formal night out. She'd be a smash.

 

Blogger Jill said ... (9:04 AM) : 

"I could totally imagine a designer printing out a shot like this, taking white-out to all the specific design details, keeping the overall silhouette and begin designing Resort 09"

This is fascinating to me. I am a designer, (not clothing though) and I am sometimes inspired by parts of other designs. My mind starts thinking, "What if ABC part was different" and "what if I did XYZ instead of ABC" and then the sketchbook gets going.

This is a gorgeous photo, girl, and dress. It's the kind of dress I would buy myself - the shape is classic, but the extra details are a personal choice. And like chic simplicity, I am constantly reworking and tweaking clothes I already own. My tailor loves it when I come in with all my grand (tongue firmly in cheek) ideas for changing things up!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:07 AM) : 

yeah, she's pretty, great hair, fine dress. but i'm inspired to burn that bag!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

no, i wouldn't burn the bag.

she's obviously a casual type of woman, that bag goes perfectly with the style she's sporting. it's her style that's all it is.

 

Blogger amy said ... (9:24 AM) : 

i love it all. love the ease. love the simple shoe. love the idea you gave me to think about today. something too perfect can be uninspiring. i'm with ya. haven't thought about it before. thanks!

 

Blogger Stacy said ... (9:31 AM) : 

i'm picking up what you're laying down.

this kind of photo inspires me to be the best 'stacy' i can be, with the clothes i already have hanging in my closet.

great post.

 

Blogger António Erre said ... (9:37 AM) : 

Nice! nice! nice!

 

Anonymous kluad said ... (9:45 AM) : 

Very nice blog

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:47 AM) : 

I'm a 'runner' - i search and find inspirational clothes (mostly vintage) and sell to designers, consultants, stylists, fashions students etc. I travel all over looking for stuff and sell mostly in europe. your final paragraph is so spot on; it puts into words exactly what i think, but haven't been able to vocally articulate. i'm increasingly wanting to buy trashed stuff so designers have to fill in the missing details as it were but so many still want perfect pieces. Sigh...

ps - yes, burn the bag

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:59 AM) : 

perhaps you've found a way to better explain what people mean when they say "take off the last item you put on". It's wretched to be matching your shoes to your scarf (etc).
It takes a fine eye, but my best approach is to buy whatever I adore (this is referring to clothes, furniture, accessories) and the collective will be a casual arrangement of beautiful pieces. you can't go wrong if you know what you like.

 

Blogger Carolina Lange said ... (10:05 AM) : 

Beautiful photo! She looks great!

 

Anonymous Anairam said ... (10:20 AM) : 

I love your idea that Imperfection Inspires. I might just make a poster of it ...
I love the look of this girl. Love the dress style. Love the embroidery. Would like the dress shorter so that the bag hangs below it. Would have liked the flats in green or picking up on one of the colours in the bag.

 

Blogger Natalie Galitzine said ... (10:27 AM) : 

The girl is very beautiful!
But I couldn't agree more about the dress being "inspirational": there are some interesting and lovely ideas in it, but there are so many things that could be modified..! It's provoking! :o)

 

Blogger Candace said ... (10:39 AM) : 

To me she just looks very fresh, clean and crisp.

 

Blogger amyw said ... (11:28 AM) : 

Beautiful dress; very simple and clean. I like how the gold flats elevate the look a little while still keeping it simple.

 

Anonymous chi said ... (11:31 AM) : 

i know i'm no photography expert but i feel as though this picture needs more light (or maybe it's just too small on my screen).. i love the wind in the hair though.. quoting jamie oliver.. "happy days"

 

OpenID smartbykrae said ... (11:34 AM) : 

You've just inspired me not to wear makeup this summer. Thanks Sart!

 

Blogger Duchesse said ... (11:44 AM) : 

Great post re the design approach!

Reminds me of an interview with Clarie McCardell, who said she imagined where a woman might be, such as "an evening rooftop bar-be-que" and designed something for her to wear.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

I really dont get it - to me she looks nice, but thats about it. I dont see anything special in this shot, or in her - apart from maybe looking like a young Kristy McNichol.

And I dont like the way her legs are more tanned than her hands or face...

 

Anonymous Kate G. said ... (12:20 PM) : 

Nice post. She appears perfectly comfortable with herself and with the camera. Some people "invite" design (as opposed to makeovers). You've added some fun to my morning. Thanks!

 

Blogger a* said ... (12:20 PM) : 

My sister bought this dress and I tried it on. To me this dress defines exactly what you say about being too perfect. And what I mean by that, is that I can only see myself wanting to throw this dress on, on a day when I just want to wake up and run out the door without giving too much thought to my outfit. It's a "pre-thought" dress where the details have already been figured out for me. But I get the feeling that this girl did just that - grabbed that bag and those shoes and ran out her door this morning. I would wear it the same way.. I'd also throw one of my old random hoodies on in a non-matching color... like navy... to make it un-perfect like her bag does. If that makes any sense.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:42 PM) : 

Interesting post, Sart. As graphic designers, this is how we work!

I wonder if she made the dress? (And her bag, too?) Maybe the dress started life as a (vintage) tablecloth and was transformed using a very basic home-sewing pattern.

I can see this as "a look" that a professional designer could reference. Really sharp eye, Sart.

-- desertwind

PS chi 1131AM, click on photo for bigger image!

 

Blogger Elizabeth said ... (12:42 PM) : 

great hair color!

 

Blogger Deb said ... (12:45 PM) : 

I was shopping in Anthropologie yesterday and this dress looks like something they would carry. Retro, maybe applicae'd. Very nice.

Deb

 

Anonymous style slicker said ... (12:51 PM) : 

a perfect summer dress!!!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:14 PM) : 

WOW

 

Blogger Jen said ... (1:48 PM) : 

You pegged it -- the look is not about the dress of the specific design details, even the outline could be fudged a bit. A lot of what I see in this "look" is the way she wears it.

 

Blogger Allyson said ... (2:31 PM) : 

what wonderfully insightful comments you made, sart. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, as well as your pictures.

 

Anonymous Jacques said ... (2:41 PM) : 

I'm not reading your post as a veiled critique of her dress, but ... yes, I'm kind of squinting my eyes and seeing something else happening here as well.

(Beautiful woman, full of life.)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:00 PM) : 

go anthropologie!

 

Anonymous JA said ... (3:14 PM) : 

yes, the dress is nice & she looks comfortable and pretty, but what does "very American" mean?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:21 PM) : 

I love all of it. The dress, the bag, the shoes, the hair, the lovely shimmery skin on her legs paired with the shimmery shoes, the hair, the smile! It's funny how so many disparate elements add up to one complete 'whole'!

 

Blogger Anni said ... (4:42 PM) : 

She is lovely!
So charming.
But i also think she looks just as much Swedish, as American.

 

Blogger aficionada said ... (4:54 PM) : 

her face & hair remind me of the flemish painters. classic yet sort of quirky/elfish. which is that much more delightful when you note her funky little dress & very relaxed & modern attitude. like two historical references coming together.

she's great.

 

Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (5:13 PM) : 

she actually doesn't look 'very American' to me...

more european.

she's beautiful though.

And yeah, it's a very nice picture.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:25 PM) : 

she's lovely and i enjoyed reading your thoughts. great post!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:27 PM) : 

Oh my goodness, that mane! Gorgeous. And right near my house :)

 

Blogger monique said ... (5:48 PM) : 

She is perfect.

Nothing to nit pic on. I'll even allow her the ballet flats which I normally dislike. On her they are Heaven because she is an angel.

A modern day Anne Margaret in Bye Bye Birdie.

Love that she's not all modelly too.

Thanks Sarte.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:28 PM) : 

This girl is adorable!

I saw her and her boyfriend on the L train the same day this picture was snapped. Too bad you didn't get a picture of them together. They screamed "All American College Sweethearts" - a la Ryan O'Neal and Ally McGraw.

Her flats, by the way, were quilted. So you aren't getting the full effect from this picture.

 

Anonymous the red queen said ... (7:37 PM) : 

It's intriguing to speculate about national styles. She does appear archetypally American. I wonder what the difference would be if a gorgeous, healthy, insouciant Australian girl wore that extraordinary dress. (Would she wear that dress? Perhaps the difference lies right there.) Something about the hair, maybe?

 

Blogger ck said ... (7:47 PM) : 

the dress is anthropologie.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:10 PM) : 

Beautiful photos! Perhaps your writing could use a little more attention though. It's little tricky to read in areas.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:14 PM) : 

What I see is a very confident woman who would look good in anything that she wears including a potato sack with a belt.

Style/design/designer isn't so much about the clothing as it is about the person (individual) who wears it.

She does it very well - Bravo!

 

Blogger momo said ... (10:43 PM) : 

Loverly~I'm having a hard time commiting to a summer dress this year. I want to be comfortable, and too many summer dresses are fussy or impractical. This one looks easy and fun.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:07 AM) : 

I had a YSL halter-neck dress like this is the late '70s and yes, it had about 15 pin-tucks in the skirt. It was black and white marbled silk, super-elegant. No lace. The fabric in the present dress looks 1950s cotton and the lace and zigzag stitching are oddly assorted; and yet it and its wearer look wonderful.

 

Blogger Saucy said ... (2:47 AM) : 

Yes, this is about the whole look, the shoes, the hair and that wild, sunny handbag. She got it right.

 

Anonymous Laura said ... (3:28 AM) : 

I also think she is perfect. Perfect. I like this kind of beauty, it communicates joy, youth, summer as you said.
I love all the outfit but it is not only the outfit. Love your description, Sart.

 

Blogger LostPenguin said ... (11:13 AM) : 

Personally, I love the bag. It looks like it might have been handmade by her or by an artisan somewhere in Africa. The beauty of this angel comes from her sincerity. Her smile says to me that she lives in a world of improvisation and connection unbound but enriched by fashion. She could teach us all a lesson.

Great find, Sart.

 

Blogger looker said ... (12:14 PM) : 

Beautiful soap and water

 

Blogger looker said ... (2:27 PM) : 

The beautiful dress even if not particularly love the bag

 

Blogger Raven said ... (3:47 PM) : 

I love this bit of commentary! It's a refreshingly contented -- so much of fashion dialogue is frantically trying to be the newest and most inspired. But to be the inspiration -- genuine, modest, pure -- is lovely.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:37 PM) : 

ooh those shoes are from payless and i would know since i have the same pair! i have worn mines out, but still keep them around b/c they match most of the clothes i wear!!

very pretty picture and i love the dress too.

 

Blogger Maven said ... (7:04 AM) : 

What is so appealing to me about this young lady is that she looks so healthy. I love the "I just got up and threw this on and had to get a coffee" look. I like the shoes- nothing feels contrived at all. I might lose the bag, though, and opt for a knitted shopping bag or canvas bag. Lately I've become enamoured with this crewel embroidery look- or any kind of obviously ethnic textile thats expressed with a purely American sensibility. If you alter this- braid the straps,say, or add pin tucks, it loses its dash out to the coffee shop inspiration. I love your photos- especially ones like these. Insousiant is the word that comes to mind...

 

Anonymous Khanh said ... (5:26 PM) : 

Love the shot. She look fresh, vintage feel, most important is comfort with style without trying to hard. It is an Anthropologie dress, I have the dress but have not worn it yet. Can't wait to wear it now, it looks so cute on her.
Thank you Sart, love your photos as always.

 

Blogger citizen said ... (7:19 PM) : 

This is why I love reading your blog.
Thank you.

 

Blogger Stefano said ... (11:31 PM) : 

Really beautiful, truly inspiring.

 

Anonymous haley said ... (7:24 PM) : 

cute good for summer light and mystical...very pretty

 

Anonymous loli said ... (9:38 PM) : 

Very nice! Fresh and natural, the most important in the look is her personality! I love sring and summer clothes!
It´s cold in South America...

 

Blogger TresChic said ... (12:21 AM) : 

This is the most wonderful shot and explanation you have ever posted. Well done.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:02 PM) : 

she's alight from within - so forget that dress, that bag, that ballerina - u'd never get another person to have that aura as here it's the girl not the rags...

 

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