Archive for June, 2010

Rules of the game

The June 6th New York Times Magazine features a Dutch soccer school which teaches young children the rules of the sport in preparation for their professional athletic careers.

I like to knit while I watch sports. Here’s my first ever completed sock that I made the week of June 6th, though I wasn’t exactly watching sports, I was watching movies! You can tell by the fact it’s a lace sock that I was watching movies without subtitles, though I love movies with subtitles too.

Another thing I can do when I watch TV is make braids for miniature rugs. The braiding is especially useful for sports that I especially like to watch, like skating, since once I start a braid I don’t have to look at it as I work. I have tried watching skating while knitting items I have to pay attention to and have found it’s entirely possible to glance at my knitting periodically and miss every jump in a skater’s routine. That’s why I’ve found braiding to be a better compliment to sports like skating, and as you can see from my collection of braids, I’ve watched A LOT of skating.

Last week, while not watching sports, I read The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, which I’d highly recommend. It’s about race relations in the American South, in the 1960’s. I was raised in St. Louis back then, just north of the Mason Dixon Line. I remember the Civil Rights marches my mother took me on when I was a little girl, trying to break certain social rules in hopes of making new ones. It was so hot we passed around Dixie cups of lemonade, everyone taking tiny sips.

Here’s a fashion spread from Bill Cunningham’s June 13th Style section. There are many rules in these bold geometries too: black and white exclusively rules, rules about symmetry, rhythmic rules and rules about making strong statements. I watched Bill’s accompanying video on The New York Times website where he took obvious delight in seeing these looks meander along the stripes of Manhattan crosswalks.

Here are a couple of other dynamic black and white fashions that appeared earlier this year in the same section of The new York Times.

The cover for The New York Times Magazine for June 13th, though blue (who ever dreamed I’d complain about color!) does utilize some of these same rules. You have symmetry in the centered typography and the six evenly placed views of our President in action. There are visual rhythms in the staccato of bold white letters punctuating the blue background. There’s even some interplay of Mr. Obama’s black suit slipping between white letters…

all of which brings to mind some of those aforementioned optic art outfits which are the inspiration for my challenge today….

I have rules for my game (this blog) too. One of my rules (though not specifically stated) is to make an outfit from the cover of The New York Times Magazine and post it before the next New York Times Magazine issue comes out. At the moment I am a whopping two weeks behind! I’m coming around the home stretch of my little marathon here, making these outfits for a whole year. I appreciate all the comments I’ve gotten so far, but think a little bit more of a cheering section (especially if you’re not a friend or family member(!)) could help me slog through to the finish line when I’ll have my runway show. I see the numbers people…. I know you’re out there!!

Cheers until next time.

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Cute as a bug

The first time I saw M.I.A. (the rapper, Maya Arulpragasam) was on the televised Grammy Awards in 2009. She was dressed in maternity wear unlike any other. It wasn’t her radical political message that captured my attention, it was the fact that she was strutting around on her due date, singing her heart out, looking cute as a bug.

Here’s her New York Times Magazine cover for May 30th.

And here’s her sensational Grammy look.

Elsewhere in the magazine, I was intrigued by Pete Well’s confession that he’s been moving three unopened boxes containing 200 to 300 of those annoying eight-track tapes around with him for his last three moves where they’ve loitered in his various basements. He’d started his nostalgic collection after CD’s were already in vogue as a fond look back to earlier times and technologies.  I went from that article to one on the current trend favoring a rather retro interest in barefooted running.

I’m not sure I’d call these barefoot shoes cute as a bug in their muddy condition…. I can see it now, everybody sentimentally keeping boxes of sweaty sneakers packed up in their basements as a fond look back. I could understand it though, I ran in high school and college and loved it and remember my running shoes fondly, but I haven’t saved them in my basement.

Meanwhile, back to the runway….

Later baby!

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“Designers, gather ’round. This week we have a fabulous surprise for you. First, I’d like to introduce our special guest who will present today’s challenge and will be with us on the runway to help judge your designs. Designers, it is with great pleasure that I present….

Vivienne Tam!”

“Hello Tim. Hello everyone.”


“First of all I’d like to say how delighted I am to be here with you today. This time we have an amazing treat and challenge for you. We’re taking you on a whirlwind, world tour to get inspiration for this season’s vacation looks!”


“We’re going to focus on ready-to-wear. You can use anything you find in this week’s New York Times Magazines, including ready-made pieces to layer into your own looks for travel, and into your runway looks as well. The folks at The New York Times Summer Style Travel Magazine have kindly provided ready-to-wear outfits for you and your models for the trip!”


“So, let’s get suited up so we’re ready to go.”

“Hmmmm, not your stylish best, but you do look kind of um, well, ready for adventure….”

“Oh, now these styles, on the other hand, are lovely!”

“Ok everyone, be sure to bring your drawing pads and cameras so you can collect plenty of ideas and materials, and then we’ll come back and create our collections.”

“Ok Tim and Vivienne, let’s go!”

Here’s the cover for May 23rd for The New York Times Magazine and for The New York Times Summer Style Travel Magazine.

“Our travels will take us to many countries.”

“We’ll see lots of colors and patterns.”

“We’ll eat fabulous food,

see pretty flowers,

and beautiful fashions.”

“And at the end of our tour we’ll spend an afternoon chilling at the beach, collecting our thoughts…

and then we’ll get down to business.”


“Designers, you’ve had a couple of extra days to pull your looks together, you’ve been to hair and makeup, you’ve sourced the accessories wall, and now it’s time for the show! Are you ready, Designers?”


“Ok, good luck, I’ll see you on the runway!”

“Well Designer, this is quite a show.”

“Thank you.”

“As far as ready-to-wear goes, the dragon dress is perfect, you barely altered it at all. The flower dress is good and the tile dress too, you really didn’t do much, just found them in among the patterns. Some of the others clearly required more work, so they weren’t exactly ‘off the rack’. What’s the story with the lobster dress?”

“I guess I was hungry.”

“Fair enough.”

“Well Designer….”

“Yes Vivienne?”

“There’s a lot of color up there. Personally, I’m responding to some of the more neutral pieces. I don’t know if you’ve seen my current collections but I used a lot of beige for spring and black for fall.”

“Yes, I was hoping that Mediterranean architecture dress had a kind of purity like some of your spring looks.”

“Thanks, yes, I liked it.”

“I liked the vintage crochet apron in the magazine which inspired my cover dress, and my first ever experience knitting lace socks this week, inspired the lace socks with the architecture dress.”

“Hmmm, interesting.”

“We think your dragon dress is the winner today, though it was hard to pick just one, and we like your own ensemble too. Good job.”

“Wow, thanks!”

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