Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leila Goes To Germany, Loesers Are Involved

I've been painfully, horribly bad at updating you, my sweet sweet blog, but I just wanted to show you what I've been up to. In the whirlwind of journalistic would I've undertaken, my friend Tony at Asylum and I hopped on over to Germany, and I helped him find his family (kind of). Mostly, we failed. Scroll to 2 minutes to see us not find the Loesers in Germany. Also, we drove some Volkswagens.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Boys! Boys! Boys!

Refinery 29's "How To" guide for guys in hot weather hits the nail right on thee head. Simple, fitted and colorful. Makes me want a drink with an umbrella in it.

A couple other gems for boys:
What Comes Around Goes Around's Palma shirt, on sale for $65

Zuriick's cheery canvas slip ons - $55

J.Crew's poplin button up for $40

Little style snacks for you.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Look!

How awesome is my new logo?

Thanks so much, Zach Weiss!

Best Fashion Movie Quotes of All-Time, Ever

Remember when Cher pleaded with her mugger not for her life, but her Alaia dress in Clueless? Or Singin’ in the Rain musically immortalizing a “string full of pearls with a suit of tweed?” As Bruno busts up the box office in Thierry Mugler, I'm going to recall classic fashion quips, and count down my top sartorial-inspired cinematic quotes:

10. “I think tomorrow is a ‘Say Something’ hat day.” Patrick Swayze, in a brilliant turn as Vida Boheme, attempts to cheer up her fellow queens as the ladies are stuck in Kansas, for To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

9. “Yes, Derek, they’re jeans and they’re in order.” Parker Posey’s Mary chastising her closet-rifling friend in Party Girl.

8. “This is a really volcanic ensemble you're wearing, it's really marvelous!” Duckie, one of my favorite fashion inspirations, in Pretty In Pink.

7. “Impossible! You're in the fashion world. We're cold, artificial and without sentiment.” Anna Wintour predecessor Maggie Prescott tells it like it is in Funny Face.

6. Cher: "Oh, no. You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa.” Mugger: "An a-what-a?” Cher: "It's like, a totally important designer.” Mugger: "And I will totally shoot you in the head. Get down!” Alicia Silverstone fights for Azzadine during Clueless.

5. “A string of pearls with a suit of tweed, it started quite a riot. And if you must wear fox to the opera, Dame Fashions says dye it.” Gene Kelly oversees a musical that tackles changing fashions in the classic Singin’ in the Rain.

4. “Clothes make the man. I believe that. You say to me you want to go shopping, you want to buy clothes, but you don't know what kind. You leave that hanging in the air, like I'm going to fill in the blank, that to me is like asking me who you are, and I don't know who you are, I don't want to know.” Marshall, the wise chauffeur who teaches Tom Hanks the value of Armani in Joe Versus the Volcano.

3. "A lot of the style gurus in Austria are saying like Osama Bin Laden is thee best dressed guy, do you think so?" Sascha Baron Cohen taking it a bit too far in Brüno.

2. “Well, it's all about looking good, helping the silhouette…and all about getting a great fuck, honey.” Thierry Mugler, explaining his fetishistic inspiration to fictional reporter Kitty Potter in Robert Altman’s chaotic Ready To Wear.

1. My number one pick isn’t as much of a quote as it is a powerful monologue. Watch, and see Meryl Streep explain why we do what we do.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dear Ladies at Is-Mental,

I hate the summer. Well, that's not true. But I hate wearing shoes in the summer, because I am pretty much a boots/heels type girl and, while summer boots are a wonderful thing, I'm beginning to feel like I need to up my shoe game and not get a calf-and-up boot tan.

We both live in New York. Can you, in all of your fashion expertise and style curatorial skills, give a good round up of acceptable, New York sandals? Is there such a thing, or will be feet end up covered in street goo and rat feces? What is acceptable, especially for a girl who kind of dreads sandals and anything with the word "gladiator"?

Thanks in advance, and I would love to hear what you have to say on the matter.


Leila at Battledroid

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why Today Is Good: The Maxx!

"Most of us inhabits two worlds, the real world, where we are at the mercy of circumstance, and the world within, the unconscious, a safe place we where can escape..."

Oh man, one of my favorite nineties shows has finally been revived via the interweb, thanks to MTV realizing that Julie Winters and her luggish pal, The Maxx, is worth a second look. They are currently streaming six episodes online, which is only half of the series.

The comic itself is totally twisted, dark, hilarious and hopeless nineties. While the TV show talks about Julie and her rabbit, it only covers, like, the first trade paperback. The series itself follows Sarah way more, and the outback, and Maxx as a homeless guy. The TV series does a fantastic job of staying totally true to the comment, though Maxx's wheezy voice can be a bit much.

But it keeps one of my favorite quotes eve, which is Julie telling a creepy homeless guy to, "Keep in mind that I have a job...while you have a blanket with vomit on it."

Man, MTV Oddities were so good. I have The Maxx, Aeon Flux (which is way darker than that Charlize Theron monstrosity) and the totally dark, funny The Head. Wherever did that one go?

Eternally love the 1990s...

Here's the clip where Maxx chases the Isz dressed as a grandma.

And this is the crabbit moment, which I dig. "The outback slug can leap nearly a quarter mile into the air! hasn't mastered the ability to land. It has no natural's just stupid."

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Imaginary Life Through McQueen

Gilt Groupe had an A. McQueen sale today. I trolled the site, pretending to put things in my cart and imagining the ways I will wear them. Sigh. Just tossing a couple grand towards a new dress. I mentioned to a friend that Alexander McQueen is probably one of my top five favorite designers of all time (For the record: Nicolas Ghesquière, Jil Sander, YSL, Rei Kawakubo - dark, elegant and pretty hard to argue with), though I tend to cycle through designers. So here is the existence I must have if I were to purchase any of these Alexander McQueen pieces (ranging from $600-$2000, each):

For hosting my first socialite event:

If I ever were to get married:

When I win my first Oscar:

The Oscar afterparty (after I won):

Announcing my company has gone public:

Someone else's party, that I still need to make a serious appearance at:

God, what a great life I lead.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm so sorry, little blog (Friday Videos on Monday)

I've ignored you. It's not my fault - I've been busy writing over at They are good to me there, and you are good to me too, but things come first, you know? So to make up for it, I'm going to show you a couple of my favorite songs to listen to to get into the mood for spring. Ok? I'm glad we can agree.


Because, don't we all want to be adored? I love the droney rhythm guitar in this. Stone Roses paved the way for so many nineties bands: Pulp, Oasis, um...Bush? It's a really poignant song. With a simple message.

An amazingly classic find. This is early 808 State doing some crazy minimal acid house with a wacky guitar solo. Why can't we have parties with people just filming random people swaying in warehouses anymore? 1990 was so cool. Everything was so excessive and baggy.

I would like to point out Tom Hingley's gnarly teeth. Only in England...this is a great sing-along song. And I wouldn't really include it, because it isn't groundbreaking music, but the Michel Gondry video is rather lovely. Early, I believe...

A bit later in their career..but I've always liked this The Fall song because it kind of reminds me of something rockabilly. And Marc doesn't have that super dull, typical-talk voice, and I kind of like him all squealy.

Can you guess the theme of my videos? The correct post gets a prize!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Interview With German Painter Evol

German tromp l'oil artist Evol started off being everything that I have a hard time connecting with in art: graffiti-based, German, hyper and obviously political and performative. But I was have been interviewing him for a piece I'm working on and I've gotten quite familiar with his work, and its really quite astounding. Growing up in a war-torn Berlin with all of these pre-fabricated concrete slabs with bullet holes and spraypaint marring its surface allowed Evol to celebrate the grit of the city. And he did this meta-urban thing, where he started using cubes and electrical boxes to paint on other structures, so it was like this mini buildings next to the real thing. It's pretty engaging.

This is going to be in Surface next month, but they aren't running nearly any of the interview, and I thought that he was so articulate I had to post it somewhere. He is such an unpretentious, interesting artist. I think if all artists talked about their process as just a "It's just what I do and its to make things pretty" like he does, I, interview more of them.

BD: A lot of your work deals explicitly with architecture - usually run-down, extremely urban looking spaces. What continues to draw you towards these dilapidated buildings? Do you find beauty in them? What about your background (educationally or otherwise) that pushes you towards the urban landscape?

Evol: In fact, the works sort of portray the area that I moved to almost nine years ago. Most of the buildings looked like that back then; most of them weren't renovated, and of course, you couldn't have called it a posh neighborhood, because it appeared rather poor. But in the end that offered possibilities and space for people to make things happen with little or no money, like off-cinemas, illegal or improvised bars and clubs or galleries or other projects. You just could do it - no one really cared and you didn't need resources to do something spontaneously or temporary, and what you described as rundown or dilapidated was in fact was pretty charming: visible history on facades with marks from generations of inhabitants, silent stories of existence (isn't it that what all the tourists like about Venice or small villages in Southern France e.g.?)

So because to all the stuff that happened here, the area got more and more popular. And just like anywhere else gentrification happens, prices go up, thousands of gallons of yellow paint were dumped on those buildings and took away the charm, the people and the possibilities. So for me, the surface of those buildings is a symbol for a neighborhood that offers a lot of discovery /exploration because it hasn't been commercialized yet.

Installing the work at Flamingo Beach Lotel

BD: How did you start in product development? Are you drawn towards architecture in a similar way? Why or why not?

Evol: I drew all my life and as far back as I can remember, Iwanted to study graphic design back. After a few tryouts/internships, I couldn't imagine spending my life doing it. So I tried it out by adding another dimension: I´m not naturally drawn to architecture, it simply is my surrounding. I like living in a city, and if you spend your days or nights walking around or looking for spots to be played or spots others have played, you start developing an eye for it. I mean, buildings or architecture in general are the stone manifests of our society ...

BD: You came from a graffiti-filled background, but your work seems to vary from typical European graff artists. What did you take from the graffiti scene, and what do you think it could do better without? Do you think your similarities are mostly in the fact that you and graffiti artists paint outdoors?

Evol: I think there is no typical European style or something, since there´s a huge difference between Prague, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam...and that´s what I like about it: when people try to develop their own visual language or playground of expression (I mean, it's difficult to throw funky letters like from the New York 80's. On the other hand: that has been done in the 80's already). And/but that´s what I took from it; the possibility to tell your own story by leaving your mark in public spaces. Get to an audience you don't know, leaving something on their daily ways, using impartiality and the unexpected.

I wish people would be more aware of this, the joy of discovering your surrounding/social environment.

BD: Would you consider doing more commissioned work? Your show catalogue talks a lot about "artistic schizophrenia" and having two VERY opposing sentiments: Nike's and armored tanks, anti-commercialism on a product box. Can you speak a little more about being so contradictory?

EVOL: As a product designer, I was doing commissioned work. And there´s nothing wrong about it. Abstractly seen, it´s a problem with certain parameters, and you gotta find a solution for that. There´s nothing wrong with shoes, your feet can be quite cold without them. It´s the level of commercialism we have to deal with these days.

The tiniest corners of your life get branded ("brandalism" as someone whose name I can't remember right now once subsumed it), so as an artist, I´m my own client, and my reflections on the things surrounding me are the products.

BD: What is your favorite type of place to paint?

EVOL: It could be my studio, because I´m struggling with a tiny, fragile stencil that almost doesn't survive from the cutting mat to the table the way that it should to get sprayed, or a well chosen place in public where a certain impact can be made on the passerby...

Images courtesy of the artist and Wilde Gallery

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Enough with the Recessionista

Ok, I'm a young freelancer who lives in a "quaint" part of Brooklyn. But those who think its adorable to add a cute little "-ista" to the end of recession to glam it up a bit (Thanks, Manhattan Storage) are the same people that come up with heinous phrases like "stay-cation" or "sandwich-ocracy." And those people make my job harder, because I am not into coining an adorable neologism to make us all feel better about not being able to afford even Samantha Ronson.

So I'm pretty much doing what I swore I would never do when I started this blog: I'm going to tell you how to save money but shop wisely. Seriously. And this has nothing to do with my ability to save money - I am completely useless when it comes to planning fiscally - its because I made the choice at a young age to dress a specific way and, as I just mentioned, I'm completely useless when it comes to fiscally planning (ie. always broke).

I can't offer helpful tips like, "Pay off your credit card" or "Stop focusing on labels" because if you haven't figured that stuff out by now, put down your Gateway and go read Marie Claire or something.

But I can tell you how I have successfully scammed and conned my way into having a reasonable wardrobe (the person I usually scammed and conned was myself...):

This little mechanism on your internet browser is genius. See, I love to internet browse. I love checking Oak and Pixie Market, Welcome Hunters and Topshop, and when I am done, I see about 70 things I like. So I bookmark them throughout the month. Then on payday (which was a once a month thing for me, but I imagine the non-rent payday for normals), I scanned my list. Most of what I liked earlier in the week kind of sucked to me now. Or now that I had my credit card out and it WASN'T a spontaneous purchase, I was a little reticent. And the stuff I did like, I reeeeeally liked.

2. Avoid shit stores:
My roommate looks good in a potato sack so sometimes she comes back from Strawberry or Joyce Leslie with a bag of things that I kind of envy. And I have a pair of jeans from JL that are amazing (a great color teal, totally keep the stretch). But if you start shopping at H&M only, you are going to look like you start shopping at H&M only - which is fine, except that garbage is so poorly made.

3. Check the content:
Labels are important. Not the designer labels, the fabric. Poly/rayon/acetate combos are not very soft and look really cheap. 100% cotton, a little nylon - thats the stuff that cozy is made of. One of the reasons I support Uniqlo so whole-heartedly - they have cheap cashmere-blends. So I can drop $20 on a cardigan that looks like a spent more on it, because its material isn't made from something that feels like old Barbie hair.

4. Tailors:
Yes, thrift stores are the best things ever, but even if you find something great that doesn't fit perfectly, tailor it. And, even better, take OLD stuff of yours to a tailor.
Ok - my tailor is magic. She makes beautiful things happen to shirts that were a bit boxy, pants that are too long, even t-shirts that were meant to be dresses. Dudes, I cannot tell you how much this applies to you. I literally know maybe one guy that doesn't wear ill-fitting jeans, and that's because he's a drag queen. Seriously. Get your hems up.

5. Google rebate codes:
Some may call this janky - I call this resourceful. See this website: It's a really comprehensive, un-popup-py way to research codes for stores you like. For instance, get 10% off at Urban Outfitters using the code SPRING. Get free shipping at Yoox with FREESHIPPING@YOOX. Seriously. The internet won't judge you.

But the best way to save money during the recession but not look like a schlub is to NOT SHOP. You don't look like a schlub. Go to thrift stores and buy a ton of accessories. Borrow stuff. Put a ribbon in your hair or grow out a beard. Throw out your clothing that you hate (or...even better, sell it at Beacon's Closet. But whatever you do, don't buy crap simply because its cheap.

Blame this whole rant on H&M charging $39.99 for a cotton stretch skirt. Pure rubbish.

Monday, March 30, 2009

JENNY HOLZER: Protect, Protect

In a moment of blind luck, I was invited to preview Jenny Holzer's largest retrospective in fifteen years, "Protect Protect" at the Whitney last week. Running til May 31st, the show is immaculately curated, a winding journey favoring a lot of Holzer's more contemporary works and then ending in a darkened room with her trademarked neon flashing messages.

A brief glimpse of Jenny Holzer: She gained recognition in the 70s with her "Truisims" which were a type of "Escatological Laundry List" that she posted everywhere. She began to project onto buildings, using phrases and sentences that were aggressive, usually dealing with war or sex. Dark, critical and deliciously masochistic, her work then continued with "Lustmorde," which was a depiction of rape from the view of the perpetrator, victim and viewer. Today she is working on "Redactions," which takes "unclassified" documents detailing the Iraq war detainee treatments and quite literally blows them up to be examined.

Because her work is unapologetic and inflammatory, there is something adolescent in a lot of what she does - magnifying words or difficult speech and then making the viewer swallow the often painful imagery. One of the suits from the Whitney was explaining, almost apologetically, that "with Jenny Holzer, its not just the words that she is depicting, but the actual visualization of the words." While it is true that the flashing marquees and neon lights are fairly beautiful, I totally disagree: It IS the words that are so moving. Simple, unhinged language being ignited like a billboard is incredibly and irresistably powerful. A lot of her work challenges the viewer as being passive - by reading this you are passively accepting the world - but then encourages a different course - RUIN YOURSELF BEFORE THEY RUIN YOU. This dichotomy, this tension, is what draws me to her work. She is both the accuser and the accomplice.

It takes a while before you can step over intert bodies and go ahead with what you were trying to do.

Some days you wake and immediately start to worry. Nothing in particular is wrong it's just the suspicion that forces are aligning quietly and there will be trouble.

Some Redactions.

A confession from a soldier admitting to killing a child. The hand written note and the fact that it was on a wall by itself was simply impactful.

The physical presence of the confessions.

Jenny giving us a tour.

Massive handprints of torture victims.

Some of her neon structures.

Lustmorde. This is my favorite of her works. She took human bones and bound them with metal that was engraved with her work. The statements themselves are nauseating and powerful. I was physically shaking at the pure physicality of her imagery. You can see more here.

I feel who you are, and it does me no good at all.

The simplicity of her language and presentation is so vehement.

May 31st at the Whitney.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twitter? But, I just met 'er?!

You can follow me now.

If you had been following earlier, you could have witnessed my traipse around Washington Square Park to locate the elusive Topshop truck.

I promise you it will be good fun.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The lovely ladies over at Is Mental always talk about how amazing TenOverSix is - with good reason. The LA-based retailer is a bit of LA's response to, say, Opening Ceremony (besides, er, Opening Ceremony) or something a little more quirky. And, for FW 09, the gals have created their own capsule collection, made of lovely coats, bags and even a couple pieces of jewelry.

Actually, the laptop bags are quite cool - I really have been noticing a lot of paint dipped things recently and I like that you can actually discern a where the paint stops.

Oh, and two-toned shoes are always amazing, and are apparently made by Kristen Lee, whom I've been following secretly since Surface did its big LA thing.

Is there something happening in a Navajo-print, native inspired way here? Can I get a poncho?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

Massively uplifting news today. The dream project "Where The Wild Things Are" is not only in production, but trailers are being released this weekend and stills have finally hit the interweb. Possibly one of the best adaptations of all time (except for Jodorowsky's ill-fated Dune, perhaps, or Terry Gilliam's Watchmen). If you haven't heard, this is like, a fortuitous alignment of impossible forces: The story is apparently very faithful to Sendak's 1963 children's masterpiece, it's directed by Spike Jonze, written by Dave Eggers and starring Catherine Keener and Forrest Whittaker.

And the test footage was so heart-warming it almost melted my ice-encrusted soul:

The pictures that surfaced on USA Today look amazing. Max is irritated instead of cute, the movie looks thoughtful instead of oafish and there is a general sense of expanse and melancholy.

Oh, and to top it all off, the boy who PLAYS Max is actually NAMED Max as well. I can't wait til October.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Very exciting news that I wanted to draw the general attention to. Camille Altay, who you might recognize from such roles as My Best Friend 4Ever, just got accepted into her first real-live jurored show. Located at the fairly large and reputable Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Camille is one of several artists located all over the east coast to be featured in a show that "engages latitiude, limits and attitudes with boundaries either upheld or transgressed."

Camille's work has always been fascinated with geometry and placement: things meld, morph and merge in often cartoonish, overtly sexual ways. Abstract notions feel somewhat tangible - and there is always something a little threatening but also precocious lurking beneath the surface (like a child offender...?). I think this show has a theme that is very much in line with her work, and it sounds like it's quite a good fit for her. Rumor has it she is going to apply for a solo show. And, it's Delaware, which is quite fancy.

Here are some lovely, line-featuring works of Camille's:

I believe that the "Universal Events" series is the piece that made it in the show, but I can't find a digitial representation of the specific work.

Anyway, if anyone heads to Delaware in the next few weeks (the show is up til the end of April), check it out, take some pics and I would totally post them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Want More Leila??

You can always stalk me over at Interview. Just check the fashion blog, or here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Amazon in the Mood


Since when did start getting amazing shoes at absurd prices? Why didn't I know about this? Why are they so cheap? And, is it wrong to like how well Jessica Simpson rips off of Balenciaga? Has this been going on for a while? Can someone talk to me about this?

Guess "Maeve" Boots for $60.85

Botkier Jamie Boot for $168.73 (marked down from $460...)

Camper Twin bootie, $58.00 (marked down from $200)

ALL BLACK cut out bootie, $58.00 (marked down from $170)

Oh dear. Jessica Simpson taking a page out from Nicolas Ghesquiére for these heels. Quite nice - at $104.00

Nine West Nistka lace-up, $50.00 (marked down from $150). It's ok to like Nine West. High quality, most of their ideas are not their own. It's okay, I promise...

Killer 'bats from Seychelles, $72.00

Diesel Prairie boots, $79.00 (marked down from $238)

Perhaps you can't tell, but I'm not quite ready to let go of winter, because my footwear options run dry. But boots and shorts, as we all know, is probably the best combination since chocolate milkshakes and fries.