Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009: The Year of the Chic Nerd

I can't believe it's already 2009! Though I must say, given the magnificent events that occurred in 2008 I'm looking forward to this new year. Just before Christmas, Ryan Stewart of The Boston Phoenix proclaimed 2008 The Year of the NERD. From the dorky tastes of our wonderful President Elect, to the astounding success of comic book movies and the rise of obsessive twittering, 2008 has been great for the nerd. While I join my fellow nerds and bask in our rising fame, I know that the world won't abandon it's long-time stars so easily. No matter how nerdy the world gets beauty and style will never go out of fashion. The nerds who've made it to the top have either started with style or picked it up along the way. Barack Obama looks immaculate in a suit. Tina Fey, who looked charming before, morphed into that fabulous creature on the cover of Vanity Fair. Even twitter has a wardrobe full of cute skins to personalize its pages.

Stewart mentioned Seth Rogen in the section of his article titled Freak Love, observing, "Rogen, the frizzy-haired, chubby comic-book nerd that he is, not only co-wrote and co-starred in Pineapple Express, but with his comedy golden touch also established himself as the poster boy for Nerd Chic." I agree, but let's take a look at Seth Rogen, shall we?

Old and busted........................................New hotness.

At the premier of Superbad in 2007 he looked nice, but he could have done better. His striped gold tie was too wide and it matched his personal coloring, but not his grey suit. Rogen's girlfriend, Lauren Miller, also looked lovely, but the structured black belt was too severe for her white summery lace dress, which wasn't entirely flattering to her midsection. At the premier of Pineapple Express in 2008, however, we see some changes. Rogen's haircut makes his jaw appear stronger, his suit has much better tailoring- its shoulders are sharp and its two button closure accents the taper from his shoulders to his midsection. Miller's dress hits her at the narrowest point on her body and supports her chest. It's pattern, combined with her hair and makeup, showcases her complexion. Plus the yellow necklace adds a fashion forward punch to her black and white ensemble.

Rogen, Fey and Twitter are nerds through and through, but to survive in the land of it bags and paparazzi they had to beef up their sartorial sense. Enough with socialites whose greatest achievement was being born rich. It's time for the clever to rule with java, anime, and a fierce pair of Christian Louboutins- Style & Substance 2.0. If 2008 was the year of the nerd I decree 2009 The Year of the Chic Nerd. It's the dawn of a new era, ladies and gentlemen, and we're on top this time :-)

Image Credits:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lego Fashion Show

Designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac presents his SS2009 collection in LEGO. The show is titled "Plastic Architecture" and is a refreshing break from the standard monochromatic runways. Sure you lose certain features like observing the motion of clothes or draping of fabric as a model moves, but the show makes up for it with overall fun and creativity...and LEGOS. I think it's a worthy trade-off.

JCDC Versus LEGO from Four H on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Before & After: The Gucci Superteam

Talk about a transformation! Lately it seems photoshop is the topic of discussion when talking about models in magazines. I often marvel at the power of new technology to alter our outer shells for better or for worse; I love Jezebel's Photoshop of Horrors posts. Just remember that before the image touches a computer models already go through major metamorphoses. It took three hours per girl to properly prepare for Gucci's runway show in Milan. Fashionista posted these photos from The Look two days ago and they continue to awe me. Given the Gucci hair and make-up entourage and enough time to watch an LOTR movie I bet everyone could look like an ultimate dime. Click on the pics for larger images.

* Although vaguely irrelevant I would now like to take a moment to proclaim my undying love for Chanel Iman. I smile every time I see that girl on a runway <3

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sartorial Space Cowboy

In a procrastination session a little while ago I frolicked about and found a post called A Must For Fall: Leather Boots, written by Corey Moran. The collection of boots was very impressive- each looked like a stylish upgrade of your standard 90's grunge Doc Marten. But something was bugging me with each shot- I just couldn't place it, who did those boots remind me of? Then it hit me.

Spike Spiegel.

If you don't know who I'm talking about you need to click here and familiarize yourself with the futuristic interplanetary bounty hunter that is the animated love of my life. Cowboy Bebop is one of my favorite things in life: it's jazzy, explosive, emotional, and has some of the best illustration I have ever seen. I can't tell you how much time I spent watching that series in anime club (don't judge). Mind you I never tried to marry him (only in Japan, ladies and gents) but I always thought it'd be pretty cool if he were 3D.

Two dimensional love aside, Spike's fashion sense is pretty cool. Who do you know that can rock a skinny suit like it's a pair of sweatpants? The part of his outfit I always found most fascinating was his jacket. I can see the two clasp wrap style being very slimming and just fashion forward enough to catch the eye. I have yet to find a suit jacket like that in real life, but Hyden Yoo's chelsea sweater comes close enough to get the job done. I first learned of Hyden Yoo this summer while working for Gen Art. He was one of the designers featured in the Fresh Faces in Fashion runway show this past September and his work is fantastic. Click on the picture of the sweater for a link to it on Oak.

Now that I have to watch the entire series all over again, there's only one way to sign off on this post.

See You Later, Space Cowboy ;-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Steve Urkel Swag

Ok so it's been a looooooong while since I updated my fair blog and I realized in an improptu sartorial rant that left the other party in the conversation dazed and confused that I missed thechicnerd. So here's a little ditty I wrote a while back, just something to get started agan. Please bear with me for a moment* while I get back into my groove.

Often the most unsuspecting people are the ones who become the fashion icons of an era. Sure, there are plenty of Hollywood starlets styled by Rachel Zoe who plan every detail of their just-rolled-out-of-bed ensemble in preparation for the daily paparazzi feeding frenzy. These girls are snapped, photoshopped, and quickly plastered on the pages of People magazine, where they single-handedly sustain the health of the leggings industry. However the best street style does not begin with these girls, it starts in tiny cultural crevices unaffected by the fashion world where only the boldest individuals dare to tread. Today’s icon is so removed from fashion he has unknowingly founded his own sartorial school of thought.

Surely you’ve noticed that the current cool kids bear an uncanny resemblance to a certain bumbling nerd from the sitcom Family Matters. Yes, I am talking about Steve Urkel. The impossibly clumsy, Laura adoring goofball with that nasal catch-phrase- Did I do that?. He stumbled onto the scene halfway through the show’s first season in 1989 and swiftly stole the show. In spite of all the ridicule Steve still dared to be different, which is why he’s made another great comeback and become the most stylish kid on the block.

I first noticed Steve’s influence on a humid summer night in Brooklyn. In every charmingly grungy restaurant in Williamsburg or seductively lit bar in Fort Greene I found at least two hipsters sporting thick plastic glasses. Their scale far exceeded the largest eyewear I had ever seen; even Mary-Kate’s visage-blocking shades couldn’t stand a chance against these facial wind-shields. They come in a variety of colors, from the standard coke-bottles in black to lime green, burgundy, gold, and even zebra prints. At the 55DSL event in August featuring the legendary DJ Pete Rock, a living breathing instant sign of cool-ness, I spotted no less than six pairs of these plastic frames. I have yet to see anyone rock a big wad of masking tape right on the bridge of their nose, but be patient- the more extreme disciples of Steve will appear in due time.

Monsieur Urkel has sparked trends in more than just eyewear. Plaids and tartans of all colors and sizes have been exceedingly prevalent on the streets. Many are continuing with traditional patterns like your standard lumberjack red and black for a low-key, vintage feel. Even more are branching into shocking colors like turquoise and tangerine, or updating classic picnic table gingham to edgy status with the severe palette of black and white. Oversized men’s shirts are usually an easy find in your local thrift store, but for a more tailored fit Urban Outfitters has some excellent plaid shirt-dresses.

Steve’s next step? Tuck your plaid shirt into a pair of high-waisted jeans. These polished cuts are still proving to be fierce competition with underwear-revealing hip huggers. Ultra-high waists have made an appearance on both shorts and pants often with decorative five-button fly’s or elaborate stitching to spice up those extra inches of denim. Though please be careful, not to have too much fabric around your middle, lest you suffer a repeat of Mischa Barton’s camel-toe mom jeans catastrophe. Keep the fit close to your body and all will be well. If you want to be a hard core urkelian take the legs up a few inches and taper. Hedi Slimane claims to have inspired this fit, but true believers know it's all Steve’s doing.

People keep fooling themselves, denying Steve’s role in their fashion lives. Don’t they know who rocked suspenders all day every day? I do hope that the every adorable hipster in a fedora and suspenders can take the time to recognize Steve Urkel’s contributions to their outfits. Even though his pants were certainly tight enough to stay up on their own, Steve pushed the envelope with a courageous and bold accessory. He could emphasize the best points of his quirky rants with a tug of those rubber band tight straps, delivering his final point with that gratifying snap and a knowing brow raise. No one can gesticulate with a suspender the way he can, but with varieties in all colors and prints we can all try and look great doing it.

Last but certainly not least, to live up to the great standard set before you, you need one thing Steve always has with him. Swag. In spite of being constantly mocked and rejected, Steve Urkel never changed his super smooth ways. He always maintained such an energy and proudly rocked his nerdiness, something us Stanford students can all understand. Steve Urkel sparked the original nerd chic that has Kanye West, Pharrel Williams, and legions of cool kids everywhere rocking his style daily. Ever so humble, he’d ask: did I do that? The only reply is yes, Steve, you did.

*PS: I can no longer say "bear with me for a moment" without thinking of this xkcd comic. The nerd is back!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I only got to spend a few hours there, but I found some amazing people in that short time.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

nihon no chicnerd

Terribly sorry all, this hiatus has been far too long and because of it I officially suck as a blogger. However I'm striking back with a VENGEANCE. thechicnerd has relocated to Japan, and hilarity, dudes who look like ladies, and incomprehensible cuteness will undoubtedly ensue! I'm centered at Doshisha University in Kyoto- the sakura are in full bloom. I have yet to figure out how to ask for people's photos in Japanese without seeming like a total gaijin (foreigner) sketchball, so until then please enjoy these secret agent style pics.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day! <3

Happy heart day everyone! Or celebrate Singles Awareness Day (SAD), whichever suits your current situation. Either way you should appreciate all things red and heart-shaped, as the Saudi Arabian government has banned Valentine's Day. There's even a black market for roses! But I digress.

Take this opportunity to walk outside
spot the one you love
ask that crucial question
and who knows?

..might even get some cute breakfast out of it too :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

oversized bows, colorful plaids and...trippy animation?

so I checked out the Prada website today...

Photo credit:

I was expecting to go through my usual stare, wish, hope, and pray routine, but no. This time instead of being filled with longing I was just freaked out. The site currently opens with Trembled Blossoms, an animated short that you might see if a mannequin came to life and fell through the rabbit hole as Alice in Thelionthewitchandthewardrobe-land. Bugs turn into shoes, fish into purses, clones into suits, and on top of it all the girl's blank eyes give me the creeps.

I normally enjoy fashionable animation, but just doesn't do it for me. If trembled blossoms left a bad taste in your mouth, wash it out with Superflat Monogram, Takashi Murakami's animation for Louis Vuitton. This guy did the album art for Kanye's Graduation, I absolutely adore his work.