Tuesday, February 28, 2006

As long as I can remember I've used my appearance to set me apart. In high school that became a conscious search for an identity that became Kim. Looking at pictures from then till today I can see that search mature into what has become my evolving style.

High school was a time for the style of the month as I ricocheted from preppy to lollipop colors, to Goth girl, to neo hippy chick, to Lolita, to riot grrl, to slutty preppy and on and on. During high school I always had this little point and shoot camera with me, and while I don't remember doing it I regularly took pictures of my out fits, including the two that got me sent home from school in order to change. Looking at those pictures makes me dizzy.

Getting to college slowed the changes down and I settled into a pattern of casual femininity. Lots of casual dresses and skirts paired with tops and jackets. Usually longish so I could sprawl out on the grass or a library chair comfortably.

Arriving in Paris I began tightening my appearance, a bit sharper, dressier. Part of it was Paris and when I became an escort my view on the expectations of the clients contributed. I went through a period last winter and spring of hyper femininity, very hard edged and defined with too much time spent on make up, a classic sexiness of the femme fatale sort. The apex of this was meeting Nathalie and Chloe for coffee after leaving the salon. Chloe brought her face up to mine and asked me if there was something wrong. Growing paranoid I replied with "No is something wrong?" "Well you look aroused," was her response. After that I dialed it back, a lot.

The launching of Kim & Co created a different need, the need to convey a level of professionalism and experience. I am young and tend to look younger. Most of my friends would say that I would more likely pass for fourteen than thirty-four. Not bad when seeking a date but a problem when you are trying convince a business executive that he should entrust a project to your new company.

So girl has been eighty-six'd from my weekday attire and the focus on woman and sophistication. Lots of suits, primary and muted colors, never separates and god forbid anything that conveys young. I always wear my glasses rather than contacts. I'm sort of a Carla Kent, glasses and conservative business suits on top and tart's knickers underneath.

Of course I obsess about this like everything else so while shopping recently Anne Marie suggested I simply dye my hair gray and be done with it. To which, I reminded AM that she wears a uniform at work, an attractive and well tailored uniform, but a uniform no less.

The fall fashion frenzy is ongoing here so let's look at a few things for spring.

ck sheer

For spring 2006 Calvin Klein had the first well received collection in several years. It will take a daring woman to wear these as shown as all are sheer. At
Cap d'Agde or Ile de Levant, yes. In Paris? Stocking up on a supply of pasties would be a good idea.

ck wearable

Calvin again. Much more practical. The billowy skirt of the green and white one has me wanting to find a Metro air vent.

Karan - Modrian

Donna Karan must have come across a treasure trove of Modrian inspired fabrics. She also showed the yellow/gold color in a couple of garments. Generally her dresses have very full skirts while the suits and two piece outfits have nearly a hobble skirt.

Karan - slim

I really like the outfits on the ends and the collection in general.


I always find things to like at Prada even if I don't fall in love with anything.

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler. Jack and Lazaro have been the IT boys of fashion for the last couple of seasons (and easy on the eyes) and this is a nice collection. Cathy Horyn of the NYT panned there Fall 06 collection as I recall. Time to take them down a notch.


This season pant suits and slacks caught my eye like these from Rochas and those above from Proenza Schouler.



Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

Professional opinion: Nothing in the CK line is really appropriate as business wear, even the black, if your client is traditional/conservative. DK looks great when you're lunching in a cafe with girlfriends, but needs a volume control if the person across the table from you is wearing a coat and tie. I'd recommend either of the latter pieces, hair up, watch the shoes. General rule, never outdress the client TOO much, just enough to keep their attention.

And I really doubt you'll ever have any problem keeping anyone's attention. ;)


3:05 AM  
Blogger Pete from Cal said...

Didn't know AM has such good sense of humor telling you to dye your hair and be done with it. :D Very funny! I can hardly tell the difference between this year's fashion and those you posted from last year. :D What's wrong with CK's line of new sheer looking outfits. Aren't Parisian women daring/liberated enought to wear them? I know I'd love to see them. ;)

4:43 AM  
Anonymous VJ said...

Well looking aroused was the point, right? In any case what the women wear in Paris as 'conservative business wear' differs greatly from what's typically seen over here, and even that's different from NYC to 'the provinces' where most of us dwell in blissful ignorance of much of the fashion trends under discussion. So I'd favor looking sharp & neat, suits and pants preferred, but you could probably afford to keep them light & just a bit 'playful'. It's the mostly the guys, the high rollers you still want to attract. No use getting out the old boiled wool suit for this crowd. (I know this dates me or my fashion sense to right around the 3rd Republic...). But I'd go for variety too, just in case not everyone agrees on our more severe impulses. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As professional I would have to agree with Garrison. Never outdress the client. It really does put them in a bad mood and slightly doubtful.
However, enough to remain fashionable yet classic, I always find that this works best. It gives a sort of timeless taste that never goes out of style, is in perpetually and is somehow "above" the in and out of fashion. Dark colours; browns, greys and blacks. These are delicious colours to wear when put together properly. Shoes a very important addition.
This look is always well received as it shows you are in yet above the fashion scene. Carolina Herrera, have you ever seen her dress, or DK? They choose the "woman" look. They do not wear their "fashion" clothes yet they wear something that DEFINES who they are; professional women who deal in fashion maintain a timeless, professional and respectable look.
I would say, "If you are blessed with the ability to look young and look older, use it to your best advantage." Sounds like you live several lives, best to put on the mask when you have to. Just know where the lines are different... Instead of bleeding them into each other. But this I think is main point of the blog no? You are learning then!
Been reading your blog for a while. Never really looked at the profile closely until now. Silly but I had not realised they are shoes :)

12:14 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I highlighted these collections because there were things that appealed to me but not for a specific need such as business. Having said that I really liked both the CK and DK offerings though CK I see as dressy casual and also the dresses from DK.

Be assured that these will serve only as inspiration as my budget has only room for price tags that have three digits to the left of the decimal.

10:43 PM  
Blogger The Captain of the Ship said...

i've come to your blog via el's and find your posts lovely and entertaining. so jealous of paris as i sit in los angeles, wondering if mini skirts and ugg boots will ever go the way of the dinosaur. plus your struggle?(triumph, really!) of transitioning from one job to another is both fascinating and inspiring! keep up the good, hard work.

i've never commented before, but you now are out and out discussing fashion, so i had to give the proverbial "shout out!" i pour over nylon and vogue, bid with fever on ebay for the perfect christian louboutin's and wish to be alexander mcqueen's muse. can i move into costume national?
le sigh.

so just thought i'd say the hello, the good luck, the thanks for including some spring (which i normally detest) fashion as i'm fiending for some flirty something to wear as warm weather approaches. kudos, my dear!


12:49 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Hi Scout, and welcome aboard. Yes we occasionally delve into fashion here probably not enough though. Funny how you envy me Paris. I have a couple of Parisian friends who believe living in LA would be heaven. Of course they have never been to Los Angeles.

Ugg boots huh? Shudder.


9:55 PM  

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