Skipping the cheap buys is the key to maintaining style in a recession.
No recession could keep trendsetting gay boys and girls from standing out in style, so while fashion retailers are having a hard time, Fashion with a capital F will be just fine. We may all be spending less, but the key to staying in style is to buy smarter. No need to stop going to your favorite stores and boutiques, but plan to do more window-shopping than impulse buying. Determine what elements your wardrobe really requires and buy quality -- not quantity. Need a versatile spring jacket? A new bag for work and gym? A dressy pair of shoes? While one might just go to Payless for some bargain kicks, a pair of high-quality Church's shoes, painstakingly made in England (and available at national gay-friendly retailer Barneys New York), will set you back around $500. Granted, that's a lot more than a $90 pair of Steve Maddens, but you can be sure the classic Church's will last you many years longer. Another way to keep yourself in high style during hard times is to broaden your shopping horizons to include alternative retailers. Resale and consignment shops differ from vintage and Salvation Army stores in that the merchandise is often just a few seasons old and not heavily worn. And resale is a recession-proof industry. When the stock market dips, consignment inventories go up.
Hernan Bas's Romantic Youths: Brooklyn Museum of Art Hernan Bas's heartbreakingly beautiful paintings, often featuring boys in romantic settings, are inspired by the literature of Oscar Wilde, fashion magazines, goth culture, and popular series of books like the Hardy Boys. Bas's delicate, intimate work has gained him a loyal following among gay fans and top collectors such as Don Rubell. The boyish 30-year-old artist splits his time between Miami and Detroit, where he recently bought an abandoned mansion in a neighborhood that is attracting like-minded artists. Bas is one of the youngest artists ever to be given a solo show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the exhibit, running February 27 through May 24, is a must-see for anyone interested in rising art talent. It will also be traveling to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, December 2009-February 2010.
Insider Style: Sophie Morner Sophie Morner moved to New York from Stockholm a little over nine years ago. The magazine entrepreneur, equestrian, and gallerist at Capricious Space (CapriciousSpace.com) favors mostly menswear, which she styles with a raffish panache and a dose of rock 'n' roll.
Androgynous Dior skinny jeans, a wool hoodie from the Bless collective, Raf Simons pointy men's shoes, Loden Dager sweaters, and Martin Margiela button-downs have been her staples this season. She feminizes all this menswear with romantic jewelry by designers as diverse as CFDA award-winning Philip Crangi and Hercules & Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman. Morner's liberal use of colors, textures, and patterns creates an overall effect -- highlighting her passion for unicorns and horses -- rather than a strict silhouette. Centered around the gallery, Morner and friends, like performance artists Dynasty Handbag and CocoRosie, have nurtured a scene that is welcoming and stylishly lesbian.