This year we’re celebrating a big milestone, 5 years since I started Trends and Tolstoy! It’s hard to believe so much time has passed since I was photographing my Abercrombie henley’s with a point-and-shoot self timer. My style has changed but the message of the site remains the same, fashion and intelligence can, and often do, come hand-in-hand. In the last year alone we’ve been featured in the Globe and Seventeen, and I’ve published articles and photographs in The New York Times, Trouvé, and Artchaser among others. In the past few years T&T has evolved from just a collection of outfit photos to a sartorial look at my artistic and literary passions.
Thank you all so much for your support of Trends and Tolstoy. I have loved connecting with readers of different kinds over the years and I hope to bring you many more outfit inspirations and literary insights. Let’s all raise a glass of champagne tonight to another year of mohair jackets, nihilistic Russian authors, and badass, feminist artists!
I found this cashmere off-the-shoulder sweater at the new Savers in Wilmington for only $5 and immediately wanted to pair it with a leather skirt for a textural contrast. The elaborate choker necklace and red lip make it perfect for date night but it could be paired with jeans and flats for daytime. I like the idea of showing skin in unexpected ways, like an open-backed dress or a bare shoulder rather than your typical mini skirt or cleavage-bearing top.
Sweater: Thrifted, Skirt: Primark, Necklace: Forever21, Shoes: Franco Sarto
Photos by Stephanie Krist.
I’ve covered quite a few nonfiction books on Trends & Tolstoy (The Romanov Sisters, Textile and Fashion Arts, Black Mass, etc.) but this one is a very different breed. Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton is a mix of an art review, a narrative nonfiction story, a memoir, and a high society gossip site, and it’s worth every page. Thornton takes you on a journey with her through seven major events in the art world: the Auction, the Crit, the Fair, the Prize, the Magazine, the Studio Visit, and the Biennale. These represent the major moments in an artist’s career (if they’re lucky) and also the major events on the artistic social calendar.
The art world has come to have some of the same elitist qualities and social circles as the fashion world, which inspires such lines as, “[I]t’s dangerous to wear Prada…. You might get caught in the same outfit as three members of Christie’s staff.” But while the book exposes the social trappings of the medium, it also reveals the pure players (typically artists and sometimes collectors) who are in it for the love of art.
Having experienced the art world on a much smaller scale during my time writing for a local art magazine, I can attest that this portrait is dead on. Thornton takes a year’s worth of champagne and critical debate and condenses it into a playful 250-page romp. I highly recommend this book to those who are involved in the art world and want a good laugh, and to those who are unfamiliar and want to learn the insider scoop. It’s as entertaining as fiction but with all the journalist research of a history book.
Photo is mine.
Over the knee boots have been trendy for a few seasons now and I’ve been incorporating them into my wardrobe slowly but surely. It’s very difficult for a petite, curvy woman like myself to style high boots. For one thing, you want enough leg to be showing for the look to be proportional, but you don’t want to look trashy. And if you style them with anything too tight they can emphasis your hips and make you look wider. I compromised with a short but flowy sweater dress. The flowy/tight combination keeps everything proportional without the risky of getting approached for a discount night at a nearby motel. My mom got me these boots for Christmas. They’re just the right mix of style and utility with platforms and grips to help with winter walking.
Dress: Primark, Necklace: c/o Kendra Scott, Boots: Gifted
Photos by Stephanie Krist.
From left to right: 1) A sneak preview of the MFA Boston’s new Pairing Picasso exhibit. Now open to the public! 2) Getting fancy with the bathroom selfies at the Copley Fairmont. 3) BREAKING: I got a donut maker. I am now a baker. 4) Travel necessities. 5) Dreading the inevitable. 6) Cold weather fixer uppers.
For those of you longtime followers, you know this jacket is one of my favorite and hardest won garments. You can read the story of how I wrestled it from the hands of gay man in a Parisian thrift store here. What I love about this jacket is how perfectly it embodies the idea of “fashion.” High fashion is a little crazy and most ensembles require a serious degree of casual cool to pull off. Especially in Boston you should’ve seen the looks I got strolling down Newbury Street in a glorified pimp jacket. But hey, you gotta make sacrifices for #fashion.
To make this look especially meta, photographer Rebecca Isenhart shot it in front of a store. Because let’s be honest, nothing is more #fashion than shooting an outfit in front of a fast-fashion consumer abyss.
To tone down the crazy, I paired the jacket with a leather mini skirt, a black knit top, and the fashion world’s current favorite accessory: the lace-up flat. This keeps the focus on the statement piece and also gives an otherwise frumpy silhouette a little sex appeal. In case you didn’t see it the first time, this jacket has a glitter amoeba pattern embroidered on the back. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better.
Jacket: Thrfited/Fought for in Paris, Skirt: Forever21, Shoes: Primark
Photos by Rebecca Isenhart.