On Abbot Kinney: A Look Inside the work and life of MICHAEL DUMLER

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FIRST PICK UP A CAMERA?
I had a writing teacher that used to give me a photograph and have me create a full story from that one image. I think that’s where my fascination with photography began. When I picked the camera up for the first time I was quite lost. I needed something to ground me, something to hold onto, and I always thought that would be the pen, but it seems to be the camera.
 
YOU SEEM TO PHOTOGRAPH A LOT OF MODELS, WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THEM?
We are so used to seeing these amazingly gorgeous women in adverts and editorials all done up and perfected. For me, I love seeing them as they are. Granted I love to see a well styled model, but nothing beats a model on the streets of NYC in a pair of sweats with a philip lim jacket. I think really a woman is most beautiful when she is just being herself.
Street Photography
 
WHO IS THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE?
In my personal life it’s my parents. I had a really chaotic early life and I made it difficult for anyone to be close to me. As I’ve gotten older I have developed a close relationship with both my Mother and Father. They are both in their own ways responsible for any success I achieve. Professionally I have been very lucky to have photographers Kwaku Alston and Adam Katz Sinding mentor me. I also have been fortunate to befriend some very talented models such as Sophie Sumner, Lauren Hastings, and Kassidi Batt.
 
YOU SEEM TO HAVE PRETTY CONSISTENT STYLE, WHAT IS YOUR DAILY UNIFORM?
Levis. I pretty much wear all levies regardless of where I am or the temperature. I’ve developed a strong dislike for shorts and bright colors. Aside from my socks, I like colorful socks. I am searching for a perfect pair of  boots, otherwise I am wearing Converse. Recently I started wearing Garrett Leight sunglasses and don’t foresee myself switching that up anytime soon.
 
WHATS IN YOUR SUITCASE?
I actually don’t own a suitcase. I travel with a Billingham camera bag and a Low-Pro back pack. Contents include:
2 Levi’s Jeans
2 Levi’s denim shirts
2 Levi’s jean jackets
2 Converse (off white and black leather)
Canon 5D Mark II
85mm 1.2
Passport
Marlboro Reds
Zippo
2 Garrett Leight frames
 
Camera Bag
 
YOU STARTED SHOOTING IN LOS ANGELES AND YOU ARE NOW WORKING IN NEW YORK. HOW DO YOU LIKE BEING ON THE EAST COAST?
LA was a great place for me to start, but after my first Fashion Week in New York I knew I had to move. There is some great style in LA, but at least in the states nothing compares to New York. I have grown to appreciate the higher end of fashion such as Phillip Lim, Balenciaga, and Céline, which you don’t see as much of on the streets in LA. 
 
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SHOT SO FAR AND WHY?
When I asked Catherine McNeil to take her photo I had no idea she would become one of my favorite models or even that she was a big model. She was quite sick when I stopped her that day, but despite being sick she remained beautiful and intriguing to me. That I believe is key, a sense of intrigue or mystery. Cat embodied that for me.
 
WHO WOULD YOU LOVE TO SHOOT WITH IN THE FUTURE?
Catherine McNeil would be amazing.
 
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANY OTHER PROJECTS?
The focus will be interviews with models where they get to discuss all the other projects and activities they have going on in their lives aside from modeling. I’ve found in my time working with models that many are engaged in other work or hobbies, but we don’t really hear about those activities. And We Model will be a platform for models to showcase their lives in a more rounded and fulfilling light I hope.
 
Shoot With Models
 
ON A PERSONAL NOTE, IS THERE A LUCKY LADY IN YOUR LIFE?
I’ve actually been trying not to have a relationship for a while now. I’m surrounded by beautiful women for work and want to keep the two very separate. There is one girl that I have strong feelings for though, but I want to further develop a strong friendship and continue building my career before anything else happens.
 
WITH SUCH A BUSY SCHEDULE WHEN DO YOU FIND TIME FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY?
That’s been difficult, when I am in New York I can see my father frequently for breakfast which is great, but I don’t get to see my mother or brother very often which I would like to change. Most of my friends in New York are in or around the industry so we have similar schedules, but even when we do hang out its often work related. I guess I mainly just work, but that okay…I spent a long time just partying so now work is my thing. When I am in LA I seem to be more social, I think it’s more difficult to just work all the time there since I am more dependent on other people there to get around.

Seven Ways to Make Your Outfit Look More Expensive

Have you ever thought about ways to make your outfit look more expensive? I’m not talking about spending more money – obviously that would make you look and feel more expensive – but more about small #things you can do that will make your clothes look designer, wherever you bought them from. I’ve been experimenting with some different ideas, and here are my favorite ways to make your outfit look more expensive.

1. Tailor It

Probably one of the #best ways to make your outfit look more expensive is to tailor it. I’m not talking about buying clothes that are already tailored to your figure or that are specially designed, because that will cost a lot more. Those $20 trousers or that cute skirt from Target will look much cuter with some slight adjustments, though. For ultimate #money saving, learn how to do alterations yourself. Otherwise, ask a friend or family member, or look for a professional running a side business. You should be able to get a good rate, and your clothes will #look amazing.

2. Identify the Main Feature

For example, the focal point on your new coat might be the buttons. If the buttons are basic plastic, they’ll be inoffensive but look cheap. Swap them for some classier buttons – say with a pearl effect, or made from metal, or even just swiped from something that you no longer wear, and your new coat will #look a lot better. Can’t sew? Hit up a dry cleaner and they’ll replace your buttons for you.

Sewing accessories

3. Keep It Clean

It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many #people break this rule. Only wear clothes if they are looking clean and new. Got a stain? Whip it off and either wash yourself, or take to a dry cleaner. Can’t get a stain out? Invest in some stronger detergent or relegate the item to the back of your wardrobe. Do the same for clothing that is falling apart. If it’s not looking new, it’s not fit to wear.

4. Don’t Wash

Overwashing your clothes leads to patterns and fabrics wearing, which makes #everything look cheaper. If you spill something down yourself, try spot cleaning using a toothbrush or washing brush, or even a sponge. The freezer is said to be great for freezing out smells, too. Do make sure you wash your clothes, but remember that it does affect the fabric, so don’t overwash.

5. Steam Success

Wrinkles and creases make #everything look cheap and neglected. A steamer is the best way to solve this, because it’s quicker and more effective than ironing, and #people hate ironing! Try steaming clothing the night before you’re going to wear it, and leaving it hanging in a room with an open window overnight. The cold air removes smells, and the steaming will keep it crease free.

Remove Wrinkles and Creases

6. Ditch the Glitter

Less is more when it comes to embellishments. Leave pleated tops, fringing and distressed denim on the shelf, because it’s a lot harder to make decorated clothing look high-end. Instead, streamline your look so that it’s plain but posh, and oh-so-chic. Before you leave the house, look in a mirror and make sure that you #look sleek and streamlined.

7. Invest Where You Can

Another of the great ways to make an outfit look expensive is to team it with something high-end. Keep your eye on sales and open houses, and if you find something affordable that you totally love, buy it. Go for timeless, classic pieces, though, that you’ll be able to team with a wide variety of outfits.

I’ve learnt some great tricks while researching ways to make an outfit look more expensive. Always choose black over brown, for example, and ensure that your silhouette is smooth at all times. Do you know of any great ways to make an outfit #look expensive? I’d love to hear how you’re balancing looking great with not blowing your budget!

Leave pleated tops

A man who understood a woman. Saint Laurent.

Catherine Deneuve once said of her friend Yves Saint Laurent that he “designs for women who lead double lives.” Indeed, the themes of contrast and duality were pervasive in the late designer’s legendary body of work: Saint Laurent was the first to bring gritty streetwear (leather jackets, for instance) into the somber and magisterial couture salon.

designs for women1

He appropriated men’s tuxedos and fedoras and put them on women. He glorified proletarian garments (the pea coat and the peasant blouse) in luxurious fabrics. And he debuted African and Asian models on what had been predominantly white runways.

In constantly playing double Dutch with his divergent instincts, he created a new fashion template for the ultra-posh woman with a subversive streak.

This issue is meant to be dedicated to Yves Saint Laurent. A black and white editorial featuring Karen Elson, Linda Evangelista, Guinevere Van Seenus and Iris Strubegger in a funeral Steven Meisel cover story.

designs for women2

 

Nine Bizarre Underwear Trends from the Last Century to Now

Underwear trends are fascinating. Yep, really. Fashion often reflects cultural norms and transitions – just imagine having to wear Victorian underwear today, or dressing in the Dark Ages in Victoria’s Secret! Here are some of the most bizarre underwear trends from the past 100 years – would you wear any of these today?

1. Crotchless Pants

Crotchless underwear first became one of the first underwear trends back in the 1900’s. How crazy is that? Back then, it was more about convenience than sexiness, though. Baggy crotchless pants meant ladies didn’t have to strip off several layers of skirts and corsets before being able to use the toilet, whilst remaining discreet. They were often white and knee-length, with big ruffles. Probably not something that would be popular today!

2. Camis

Corsets were becoming a thing of the past by the 1920s. Waif-like, almost boyish figures were the fashion, so underwear needed to help maintain that slim, bulk-free figure. Cami knickers were perfect. These were full-body garments with spaghetti straps, elastic around the waist, and built-in shorts that ended half-way down the thigh. A daring outfit compared to the far longer #underwear of the older generations! It’s no wonder they became a hit with flappers.

Crotchless Pants

3. High Waists

Miley Cyrus isn’t the only person loving high-waisted underwear. In the 40s, underwear was becoming much more recognizable. Cotton and nylon panties that covered the belly button but ended at the top of the #legs was the trend, especially as they fitted snuggly under skirts and higher hemlines. This shorter underwear was especially important as #women started working away from the home, so ease of movement was essential.

4. Girdles and Garters

Girdles were relatively popular in the 40s, but they became huge in the 50s. The hourglass figure was all the rage, and to get one, most #women needed a slimming, smoothing girdle. Most of them were hooked onto garters that held up stockings, too, which created that co-ordinated vintage #look that we’re all so fond of. Imagine wearing a girdle every day, though! So much effort.

5. Playful Panties

The 1960s were playful for underwear. Youth culture had become popular, and that’s evident in the new styles on display. While high-waisted pants stayed popular, gone were white undies. Instead, black, patterns and pastels became must-haves. The most popular style at the #time? Underwear with the day of the week displayed on the front or back.

Low Waist

6. Low Waists

By the 1970s, high-waisted pants were on their way out. Low rise underwear became a must-have, and the playful styles of the 1960s grew up into lace and silk. Scalloping and details were underwear essentials, and bright pinks and oranges started to make an appearance. #Underwear was definitely influenced by the 70s disco era!

7. Bodysuits

You’ve probably seen celebs rocking high-legged bodysuits in old music videos. In the 80s, bodysuits were in their element, and po pstars like Cher were regularly photographed in them. Ultra-high-cut panties were huge, too – there were no covered up hip bones here! The higher the cut, the more racy the #underwear.

8. Racy

Do you remember Sisquo’s “Thong Song”? Yep, that catchy tune set the underwear tone for the 2000s. Low-rise jeans were huge, and with them came a visible thong trend. You #read that right – for a while, it was uber-stylish to have your thong pulled so high that you could see it above your jeans. At the same #time, new underwear trends were brewing, most notably the boy shorts style which was championed by those who didn’t like thongs. Suggestive messages also started being featured on underwear, making cheeky underwear a must-have.

9. Spanx

And after the racy slogans? Spanx. Yep, even our celebs are being snapped in Spanx that holds you in and shapes your figure, letting pretty much anyone wear pretty much anything.

Which underwear trends are your favorites? I’d love to rock a girter for a while, but I’m not so keen on those crotchless panties, or anything too high-waist and visible thongs is a fashion crime these days!

Spanx

10 Corso x Always Judging

I had a chance to visit the 10 CORSO showroom last week to preview the Fall2014 collection. Words, or even photos cannot even begin to describe to capture how cool this collection really is. Think, California cool, meets swanky NYC street style. This season the collection consists mainly of modernized classics inspired from menswear.

I mean how many times do you go to your boyfriends closet for an over-sized button down or baggy sweater? From casual knitwear and matching separates, to motorcycle jackets with hounds tooth sleeves, 10 CORSO hit everything on my fall wish list dead on.

baggy sweater

I rarely meet a motorcycle jacket I don’t get along with. Of course, I migrated toward what I can say is “The leather jacket of my dreams”. The jacket I fell in love with is a belted leather + heavy weight wool combo moto jacket. It gets better, the back of the jacket has laser cut leather detail at the shoulders.

Aside from my dream jacket, I also loved the matching diamond print separates. High waisted trouser pants, and a button down blouse with lamb skin leather pocket detail, both in an evergreen diamond print pattern.

Something else that makes 10 CORSO much more unique than most collections is, the designer, Courtney, gives buyers the option of choosing faux leather, (which felt just as soft as the real deal) or real leather for every piece in her collection. It was hard to leave the showroom knowing that none of this will be available in stores until late summer for fall. I can’t wait to own that jacket!

baggy sweater2

Check my blog tomorrow to see me wearing some pieces from the 10 CORSO spring/summer collection.