Meb Byrne

Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

Jak & Jil Blog

In art, blog, fashion, nyc, website, website wednesday on July 28, 2010 at 8:00 am

The Jak & Jil Blog, a standout in the blogosphere of couture photography, showcases bright, crisp, behind-the-scenes photos of the fashion world. Pretty young things dominate the shots, their skin clear and their eyes shaded. The best shots highlight oft-overlooked details: the buckle of a shoulder bag, the fall of a hemline, the arch of a foot. Ignore the all-uppercase paragraphs and lose yourself in this world of impossible beauty.


Sterling Renaissance Festival

In fashion, geek, historical, photo op, recommended, renaissance, smile-inducing, syracuse, theater on July 27, 2010 at 12:50 pm

When I was eight years old, my mother took me to the Sterling Renaissance Festival (or Faire) for the first time. The Faire recreates the town of Warwick in the county of Warwickshire, England, in 1585, celebrating a visit from Queen Elizabeth I. The food, the shops, and especially the performers captured my young imagination, and have drawn me back year after year. This summer, I traveled upstate to celebrate the Pirate Invasion, one of Sterling’s theme weekends. Many things have changed since that first visit, but at its core, the Faire still retains its wonderfully magical appeal.

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The Sterling Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays in Sterling, New York, rain or shine, until August 15.



In art, fashion, food, inspiration, photography, treasure trove, website, website wednesday on May 26, 2010 at 8:34 am


Luxirare bills itself as “a weekly webzine dedicated to clothing and cuisine.” This photographic gem is that and so much more.

Luxirare posts blogs infrequently, around once a week. Each post consists almost entirely of photos, and is dedicated to a topic within food or fashion: assembling a boot, say, or making egg nog. Don’t let the mundane titles fool you, though- this is egg nog like you’ve never seen it before. The photographer and blogger behind Luxirare, a young woman named Ji, uses hyper-close zoom lenses, simple compositions and crisp, bright shots to track the progress of each unlikely project.

The result is a creation story told through pictures, beginning with raw, disparate pieces and ending with some jaw-droppingly gorgeous thing, a journey that us peons at our desk jobs can only imagine completing. Ji’s skill and imagination as a sewer and a cook make her photographic results even more special. (When was the last time you saw someone make crayons out of Heath bars?)

Ji occasionally features herself in her fashion photos, a lithe, faceless form with long black hair twirling about a white studio. Generally, though, she is very careful to keep personal details, including any identifiable physical characteristics or personal details, away from the camera, adding to the mystery of the site.

Ji often puts her creations up for sale after she blogs about them, but her livelihood beyond the income Luxirare generates is unrevealed. Whatever her methods are for affording the expense and effort put into her blog, I hope they sustain her creative genius for a very long time.


In fashion, treasure trove, website on January 6, 2010 at 7:58 am

If you spend any time on Facebook (and who doesn’t these days, really), you’ve probably seen sidebar ads for all sorts of things, from Expedited Visas to Spring Break For Free to Match with Christian Singles. One company stands out, under the ad moniker “Indie Treasure Trove”: a start-up clothing company called Modcloth.

Located solely on its pretty, simple website, Modcloth is a great compendium of cute clothing and accessories. Its products are a bit bohemian with a hint of hipster, certainly mod- and vintage-inspired, yet still wearable even if you don’t identify with a fashion archetype. Each dress, belt, shoe or accessory features photos from multiple angles and a campy, tongue-in-cheek description playing on the item’s name. (The “Here’s Looking At You, Coat” description opens with the famous line from Casablanca, “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life, you’ll need a coat like this by your side.”) 

ModCloth caters to its young clientele in numerous effective ways. Members of the site can “love” items for other viewers to see, add them to wishlists, make them viral through conveniently-placed links to social networking sites, and even choose which items are available for sale, through member-run contests like “Be The Buyer.” The site is updated periodically throughout each day, making it great for online shopping when you’re bored at your internship or procrastinating from writing that paper.

For as much as ModCloth delivers online, it often falls short in person. The quality of products can be shockingly shoddy, especially for the comparatively high prices the site charges. The best way around this flaw is to faithfully check and re-check the “Composition and Measurements” link, located on each item’s page, where the type of cloth, size of the garment, and other basic details give a better picture of what you’re actually buying. Even odd details, like if a coat uses buttons to hide snap closures, are listed here.

Due to this lack of quality follow-through from the website to my closet, I’m unlikely to purchase much from ModCloth, unless a piece is particularly unique or I’ve vetted it enough to know that it won’t fall apart or let me freeze in winter. I will absolutely, however, continue to check the site’s New Arrivals page on an almost-daily (okay, daily) basis and share its adorable finds with my friends. I look forward to seeing what ModCloth cooks up in the future.