Month: June 2011

Back to the Future: Fast Fashion Spring/Summer Shoe Trends

Lately, trend prediction has become like trying to ask a hummingbird for the time. Seems like less than 3 years ago the ’90s came back, went away and now they’re back again but now its specifically the LATE 90s-early 2000’s -at its worst, frumpy and self-consciously futuristic (you know I’m looking at you, Miu Miu SS11), at its best, a playful, grungy twist on a classic (Chanel SS11).
So that means the chunky shoe trend (or “orthopedic chic” as your mom probably called it) is back in full force, but in a beautifully minimal fashion. All over the catwalk, chunky platforms, frumpy wedges, manly oxfords, and yes, again with the combat boots. UK site, Zalando, seems to have it all.

70s platform glitter sandals
If the ’90s ate the ’70s and regurgitated them into a sandal, this is what they would look like. In other words, my past rave-attending self would have dated the lead singer of LIVE for a chance at these babies.

fringed oxfords for women
These shoes remind me of that boy in high school who was my best friend for years and was secretly in love with me, but then when he finally kissed me I felt like I was kissing my brother, but then he got married and only then did I realize I was totally in love with him. Apparently, I must have these perfect, comfortable shoes, or regret it forever.

jeffrey campbell wedges
Oh, glorious hooves of burlap and twine! Where have you been all my life?

platform flats
I think they call this platform/flat hybrid “flatforms.” Or I could be making that up.

buckle multiple=
I had some Doc Marten wingtip Mary Janes that were like my first born…and I would have thrown them to the wolves the second these came into my life.
Hm, what does that say about me?

high heel sneaker diesel chainmail
Yeah, I know. I’ve always thought the sneaker/heel combo was a travesty. But it’s cool – this one is covered in chainmail and has a Diesel label on it! Plus, the monotone black makes them totally wearable.

platform brogues
When the French Club cancelled our trip to Paris, I consoled my 15 year old self with a brand new pair of platform brogues. Pretty cool, right? Except that I wore mine with floral palazzo pants, a poet’s blouse and a jaunty beret. Live ‘n learn.

Make Your Closet Fashionably Foolproof!

Ooh Daddy! Sweet Shades of Glory!

And now, if you’ll allow me, I must talk about my new Ray-Bans.

Rayban Yellow Tortoiseshell
Sale Price $96.75

Aren’t they just made of butterscotch?? Well, velvet smooth (seemingly unbreakable) plastic and tortoiseshell. Somehow both timeless and shamelessly modern.
Never before have I allowed my eyewear-abusing-self such quality, but the nice folks at ShadesDaddy somehow knew that I’d misplaced my $6 sunnies with a premature desert summer and an imminent move to Hawaii encroaching. From now on, I am a reformed sunglass-loser/abuser. My new mantra: “On my face or in the case! If you lose these, Amber, you deserve a firm noogying.” Try it! It’s catchy.

Sunglasses also come in handy for sneaking sideways glances at things you’re not supposed to.

And look! They even look good on future supermodels!

Color me in love.

Photos by Jon Saupe and Abraham Cooper
Model is Rachel Ann Yampolsky (Good Luck at FORD, hun! You’re a shoo-in.)

There is also a super cute collection of sunglasses to be found at Go ahead, check ’em out.

Spectacles online from Glasses on Spec

PHDC: Fire Warning! Summer Trends Adapted for the Desert (or just …reality)

I can say without a doubt that the following shoot was the most death defying to date… and that’s including the time we shot in a haunted antiques warehouse in the bowels of the most crime-ridden neighborhood in Oakland!
After we were forced to abandon our original plan of shooting on top of nearby Mount Lemmon because of severe fire conditions (didn’t think it would be cool to be running a smoke machine up there – we prefer to prevent mass hysteria when possible), we drove wayyyy out into the desert in search of a few trees.
Following several miles of meandering dirt roads we came upon this ominous cracked crater of a pond bed surrounded by sparse mesquite trees in the middle of a known smuggling corridor and thought, “Well it’s no forest, but it’ll do.” Amongst the storm of gunshots we kept hearing with disturbing consistency, this location afforded some pretty amazing captures. David Olsen, the editor of Zocalo, seemed to like it too, he made the first one the cover shot for the June issue! Worth it? You tell me…

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summer 2011 trend editorial

Fire Warning:
Summer’s Hottest Trends, Adapted for Life in the Desert
By Amber Mortensen, Painfully Hip

Photos by Ryan Mihalyi
Wardrobe Styling and Art Direction by Amber Mortensen and Bradley Rhea
Hair by Raul Mendoza at Fringe Salon (4861 E Grant Rd #111)
Model: Jessaca Marie Haag
Special thanks to Abraham Cooper and Jonathan Saupe

It’s June in the desert. The sun is relentless, cicadas are celebrating, and temperatures are rising, but what’s this? Hemlines are descending, modesty is rampant, and …black is the new black? Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but pretty much every trend you’ve come to associate with summer (sundresses, shorts, mini skirts, color, color, and more color) have been sent to trial by fire this year. So how do Tucsonans keep cool when fashion publications are telling us that long sleeves, trousers, ankle length hemlines, and black are haute stuff this season? Anything loose and floaty has risen to the top of my wish list. Especially chiffon, the textile equivalent of whipped cream. It’s cool, breathable, and just plain sumptuous. American Apparel (988 E University Ave) offers loads of the stuff. Maxi skirts, cropped blouses, long-sleeved button-ups and even pants in delicious sheer chiffon.
As far as these allegedly low hemlines go, skirts are especially versatile this season. I recommend the high-waisted variety, paired with a fluttery, cropped top or a fitted tank. I love a billowy maxi skirt as a swimsuit cover-up (as seen at the TYP/TFG runway show last month at the Fox Theater), but really anything below the knee is hip for summer. Just don’t forget to add an airy pair of gypsy-esque trousers to your closet while you’re at it.
Black is in, but so is nude. Now with this list of trends, it would be understandable to just decide to translated this to streaking, but first let me explain. Nudity (as far as I know), is still illegal in downtown Tucson, but anything wearable from light peach to pinky beige to tan is so hot, it’s barely legal. All the way down to your toe nail polish, nude is the new black, at least for us desert-dwellers.
And of course there is always room for color on my spectrum, especially for accessories like skinny leather belts and hats. Mindlessly pairing saturated blues, greens, purples and turquoise with your nude, black and otherwise neutral separates will make you appear as though you’ve got this color-blocking trend on lockdown. The point however, is to take whatever trends you’re into this season and make them your own somehow. That’s something we Tucsonans are best at.


Couldn’t resist including this hotness in conclusion (Abraham was the best fog wrangler in tarnation):
fog machine operator

Check ‘Er Out: It’s Me Time [CONTEST!]

To say this month so far has left me over-stimulated would be a massive understatement. It’s gotten to the point where if a unicorn waltzed up to me in a pair of vintage YSL pumps and started doing a shockingly accurate Philip Seymour Hoffman impression, I would say, “Yeah, that looks about right” and then take a nap. So woosh, just like that, my friend Nico invites me to his ‘rents empty beach house in San Diego for some R&R. “I am so there, I’m already there,” I say. I’m in desperate need of some ME time.

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Continue reading Check ‘Er Out: It’s Me Time [CONTEST!]