Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Collaborate away, Nine West

So, it looks as though the next (desperate?) brand to jump on the Collaboration bandwagon is Nine West. This surprises me, because unlike Target, La Redoute, or H&M, they don't have a particularly strong image to try to upgrade. See, I've always looked at Nine West as a decent brand that doesn't quite get strengths and weaknesses--as in, their shoes are strong, and their clothes are weak. Frankly, I think that they should just get rid of the clothing line altogether, and focus on turning out more, and more, and even more shoes. I love the way that they can just crank out new shoe designs at a shockingly rapid pace and keep them relatively cheap, and always very stylish.

Because of that, I'm somewhat surprised that a collaboratoin is fiscally necessary (because it's almost always a financial move) for them to stay afloat. I like their design choices--you can already look at the shoes from their collaboration with Vivienne Westwood online, and Thakoon Panichgul and Sofia Kokosalaki are on the way. It's cool that they chose brands that you can't just get in upper-class department stores, but it's not cool that the prices are what you would expect to pay in an upper-class department store. Most designer collaborations have benefitted the collaborating brands by getting them media attention and getting them business, and the reason WHY they get business and media attention is that collaborating allows them to do what they couldn't necessarily do alone--either have a name-bransy line, OR, more importantly for those of us who are buying, sell clothing at price that's accessible to a wider audience. I understand that the Nine West collaborations are designers that haven't done shoes before, but there's really no specific benefit for the consumers--I mean, for $375 a pop (and, admittedly, sometimes more and sometimes less), these designers could sell a shoe line without Nine West!

I will admit, though, that I like what I've seen of the collection. The shoes look good--but that doesn't mean I'll buy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mi Dispiace

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, fashionisti--I've been having computer issues, and blogger doesn't seem to want me to post pictures. I suppose I could write entries without them, but where's the fun in that?

In the meantime, I changed my bangs. Since none of you knew what they looked like to begin with, I doubt that matters to any of you, but I'm personally really feeling the Jane Birkin vibe for fall.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Lucky's fall Shoe Guide: a blessing and a curse

I've already shared the fact that I love Lucky magazines. That may seem strange coming from a self-proclaimed green consumer, seeing as Lucky started the magalog genre, but I think that pretty much every magazine is about consumerism, and Lucky is awfully bold just to put it out there. Plus, the clothes in it are good, and I like the guides. The shoe guides are especially fun for me, shoe junkie that I am, but the shoes in it are always so expensive that anything reasonably-priced seems like a bargain, causing such irrational thoughts as, "Eighty dollars? I HAVE to get those, as soon as possible, before the department store runs out!!" I mean, really, other than Carrie Bradshaw, no one spends $500 on every pair of shoes they own. Actually, I don't think I've ever spent more than $140, and my dog ate one of those.

This of course means that when they feature any shoes that are really, actually, truly, honestly cheap, they seem like they're free. Strangely, this fall's shoe guide didn't feature ANY cheap shoes (which I guess was good for my wallet), but later in the issue, there was a pair from Abaete's collection for Payless. I haven't seen the full collection, but as y'all know, I do quite like Abaete, and the collection looks good. Still, I wish they had shown us some some cute, cheap, and, oh yeah, currently available shoes. I had to find some on my own instead:

Not bad for $25, right? Head to your nearest Target to get it, and be sure to check out the Paul & Joe collection while you're there.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More eBay treasures

My brief flirtation with selling vintage on eBay gave me just enough disposable cash in the PayPal account to sink it all in other eBay finds. The jumper-cum-mini dress is going to be adorable, and I cannot WAIT for my vintage pocket watches to get here, and now, I have just enough funds left for some lovely vintage gloves. I found a fabulous vintage swing coat earlier in the summer for late fall and early winter, and, true to vintage swing coat form, the sleeves are a little cropped. The perfect solution is a long pair of vintage gloves, and eBay is offering a lovely range. Perfection.

Don't worry, I'm not stuck in a time warp. I bought a lot of new, not-previously-worn clothes for fall, too.

The Obligatory Target Go International! Entry

I went and saw Luella. I bought some Tara Jarmon. Behnaz Sarafpour is looking awfully good. But Paul & Joe? If you ask me, absolutely extraordinary. It's easy, fun, wearable, and yes, chic, chic, chic. I love the poncho jacket, even though, with heavy material and short sleeves, it's not particularly practical. It's probably the most fashion-y piece of the collection, which is funny since the most expensive piece, the ivory leather jacket with ruffles, is much easier to wear. I already got the mini with the owls on the pockets, which I know that everyone else on the planet is going to get, but it's ok, I'm spending some time in Europe soon. No Targets there, right? I can't find the cute short sleeved sweater in my size (argh, argh, argh!) anywhere, but I'm going to keep searching, and hopefully, I'll find one soon. I'm dying for the kimono dress is blue, but the piece that I'm most anxious to find (though I don't think it's hit the stores yet) is the waffle knit purple top with the wide v-neck. When I mentioned how much I liked the whole collection to a friend of mine, the first thing she said was, "I know! I want the purple kitty top!" Good taste desires alike.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Project Runway goes green!

Recycled material? Love it. Love it! What a great concept for an episode. What a great episode! Man, Laura is sooo critical. So is Jeffrey! Nothing Jeffrey's made has been terrible, but I still wish he was home by now. Bradley was terribly nice. I was sad to see him go. Pretty much everything Laura has made is great, so I can't wish that she'd been sent home, but man, the way she condescends, the things she says--so offensive! Is there anyone left that she hasn't insulted? Personally, I like Vincent. I'm not saying that he's a brilliant designer, but the man's a character!

I hated the way that they formatted the episode in such a way that insinuated that Alison was going home. I think she's totally one of the best designers there. Oh, and the way that they insinuated that her model was fat? Totally unfair! She's gorgeous and much thinner than average. Tragic, tragic, tragic that she left, and also tragic that they hinted at it so much ahead of time.

Ooooh, and how they showed that none of the clothes fit the models? So funny! What are the odds?

Oh, and what's up with Laura and the riding clothes? I too own breeches, tall Ariat boots, and fleecy tops, but I wear them, oh yeah, when I'm riding a horse. I know it's a novel concept, don't judge me too harshly.

I was so happy that Michael won again! His design really was just plain elegant and lovely. I thought that Jeffrey's dress was unfortunately fabulous too, even though I think he's an ass. Still, I must admit, the dress was nice. But what he said about Michael's clothes? Totally unfair, as usual. He's terribly defensive.

It was impressive the way that Kayne saved his dress, too. I mean, it wasn't what I'd call good, but it certainly wasn't that bad. Still, it was much, much worse than Alison's design. Ok, hers wasn't flattering, but the detailing was beautful, and the rest of her designs have been awesome. Grrr.

Wow, that felt good. None of my friends here in the ol' midwest watch Project Runway, so I had no one to discuss it with but YOU! So, thanks very much.

Built by a Genius

I've had a request to post the Built by Wendy tops that I want to for fall, so, lovelies, here you are. Go figure, the color and size combinations that I want aren't available, so I'm not sure I'll actually be getting what I want, but I still want to show you what I like.

I've wanted this top for like, ever. Now, it's fall and I can't really justify getting it, but a girl can dream.

This is the top that I've wanted since I knew that Built by Wendy existed. Now, it's finally on sale, which means, of course, that they're out of blue (I like the oatmeal too, but it just doesn't look great on me) in both small and extra-small. Damn the man. Damn my procrastination.

This is my favorite piece from the new fall line. You can't really tell from the pictures, but it's got pretty pretty pretty kimono sleeves. I like the feminine detail on such a boyish piece.

Finally, this is the top, though not in this color (all out, damnit), that I'm going to get for fall. Mine'll be purple, but I like the blouson fit and sweet little crepe-y ruffles across the top in any color, and I think purple will be lovely.

Even though I'm only getting one piece of her current offerings, I'm confident that everything Wendy Mullin makes in the future will be lovely, too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Search for the skinnies

As previously announced (as if anyone cares), I am officially in the market for skinny jeans, despite my initial resistance. In spite of their ubiquity, finding the perfect pair has actually been quite the trial. Now, seeing as I'm too sick to work (but never too sick to complain), I don't want to (read: can't) spend more than $100 on a pair. Normally, that wouldn't really be a problem, but it's so hard to be flattered by skinny jeans that you want really good construction and a really well-crafted fit. Since I can't go the route of Tsubi or 575 Jeans, I decided to go ahead and give Levi's a try--hey, they know denim. Dark is slimming, and I'll take all the help I can get when I'm wearing ankle-suckers, so I went ahead and got the nearly-black pair. Oh, and I couldn't find them in a department store, so I ordered them off the website. They were shipping reasonably quickly, and they're not badly constructed. The faux-distressing wasn't ridiculously overdone. The length was really nice, and most jeans are too short for me, sometimes even when the inseam is marked 'long.' The problem? They didn't fit my calves at all! I mean, my calves went in them and stuff, but it was not what one would call comfortable. Now, I'm a dancer and I have muscles, but I'm not a big girl. I mean, I definitely think that my calf muscles are a little bigger than average, but I'm a ballet dancer, and they HAVE to be! Ok. That's stupid. I'm not apologizing for my body. Remember how I said that the skinny jeans looked good in France? I think it's because they were ever-so-slightly more forgiving below the knee. So, my solution for the fact that skinny jeans have gotten so skinny that they can only possibly cater to one body type is to go a size up from your normal size. Chances are, it'll be more flattering regardless, but if you go a size up, any unique body feature that you may have will be forgiven. It's tough on the ol' ego, but at least on me, a bigger size definitely just looked better than my normal size.

I found that the same rule held true with other brands, too. I wanted a grey pair, not because I'm a trend whore, but because grey is one of my favorite colors (and, ok, if I like a trend, I can be a little bit of a trend whore). Once more, the under $100 thing was prohibitive, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I had a few options, and even though I'm again in a size bigger than I usually wear, I'm pretty happy with what I've found. I settled on a pair by Hurley (not a brand I'd normally pick for myself--I never go anywhere near skateboards) from Swell. They're nice, with a little bit more room just around the ankle, but they're still quite tight in the calf. The room around the ankle would look nice pulled down a little over a pair of high heels, and with skinny jeans, any extra length is good. There's a little bit of faux-distressing that I'm not crazy about, but it's not ridiculous over-the-top distressing, it's just a few scuff marks. I also really liked a pair from Urban Outfitters, one that was a little more brown-grey, but the cut was a little more similar to the Levi's I got, so I decided to go with the Hurley ones. And now I own skinny jeans.

Took me long enough.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm drooling

OooooOOOOooOOoooooohhh. I totally, totally, totally want this. Interestingly, there was a Stewart + Brown cashmere sweater that I was dying for last year because it was so gorgeous, but this one totally blows it out of the water. Everything about the style is so dead-on that it sort of takes my breath away. A grey cashmere sweater is in every way a basic and a neutral, but the details on this are so gorgeous and sophisticated that it's a total statement piece. The double buttons are a very elegant detail. The slouchy, strangely high neck that moves into the hood is perfectly drapey. The long sleeves are not only a godsend for those of us with long arms, they also lengthen anyone without long arms. The drawstring waist is a casual, sporty touch, and if you ask me, it's pretty unexpected, too. None of the details are particularly revolutionary or outstanding, it's just that the way they're combined is really, really unique. AND it was made by ecologically friendly herder/weavers in Mongolia. And it's sustainable. And I want it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Yet another confession

Do you remember way back when, when I confessed to a certain dirty little secret?. Well, disappointingly, I have another. Now, I've never been much one for watches. I have a purple Kors Michael Kors watch that seems to go with most of everything when I absolutely HAVE to wear a watch, and I used to wear a watch with a band made out of embroidered ribbon that people liked a lot (come to think of it, I'm not sure where that is. . .), but usually, I just don't bother. I already shared how much I like Marc by Marc Jacob's new line of watches, and now, another unnecessary time piece has caught my eye. Here's the confession part. . . it's by Juicy Couture. There's no excuse for me to like it! I hate sweatsuits! I hate velour! 99% of the time, I hate hot pink! Likewise with the rest of their clothing--a terrycloth polo-neck tennis dress? WHY???

The watch, however, is sort of gorgeously tough-luxe. I can't find a picture online, and don't have my scanner here, so you'll have to find the picture in this month's Teen Vogue if you want to see it, but I'll try to describe it. It has a leather-covered padlock that's a very upper-crust sort of utilitarian combo. The padlock hangs off the double bands of leather that go around the wrist, and the clock face is on the padlock. The signature Juicy crown engraving is on the back of the padlock, and it doesn't look disgustingly saccharine and overdone in this case. It's actually (gulp) really, really cute.

Needless to say, I'm not going to get it. Not only am I a college student, I'm a poorer-than-usual college student, thanks to all the traveling I've been doing lately. Even if I could spend $350 on a watch, I'd buy one that's Marc by Marc Jacobs anyway. BUT, the various forms of watch-charm that I've seen lately have sort of served as inspiration for me. I think I've found the perfect accesory: vintage pocket watches. I'll wear them around my neck, of course, but they come in such a range of neutral colors that they'll go with most of everything. Here's a quick sampling of what eBay has to offer:

I like Converse. I like grunge. I like John Varvatos.

So naturally, I like the way that John Varvatos is drawing on grunge influences for his line for Converse. I actually bought a pair of brown slip-on Chuck Taylors right after they came out, and later, a blue tweed pair as well. I haven't bought any of the clothing (curse you, midwest), and frankly, I'm not sure I will, unless I find it on sale somewhere, but I really do like it. Grunge-minimalist is such a chic idea. The latest edition to the Converse-John Varvatos collaboration is the best, however. These sneakers are the perfect marriage of tech-y, modern, new, classic, and simple. Love 'em. I'm not sure how they'd go with the sort of clean 60's look I'm cultivating for fall, but still, they're awfully cool kicks.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Organic, organic, organic!

Ok, the actual title of this post should have been "Organic, organic" but I thought that three times had more of a ring to it. What am I blathering on about? Why, denim, of course! Two new organic denim lines have hit the headlines: Levi's is starting an organic line, but more excitingly, designer Tierra Del Forte has started Del Forte Denim, a line of jeans that's not only made out of organic, sustainable (sustainably farmed) cotton, but is also dyed and treated in environmentally friendly ways. She's also looking into cleaner ways to use indigo, etc. The best part? The fit is supposed to be amazing.

Levi's has been accused of "jumping onto the organic bandwagon," and only using the sustainable aspect as a marketing ploy, but I say that sustainability is sustainability. Sure, they're going to get more money for organic jeans, because concerned consumers are willing to pay (I know I am), and moreover, due to the care that goes into organic farming, it's more expensive to begin with.

The jeans shown are Del Forte, and I think they're very extremely cute. I like the shorter crop with the wider leg--it's a welcome change from gauchos, and a little more relaxed than bermuda shorts. I'm guessing that Levi's is making good organic jeans too, because, hey, they know their denim. Even if the construction of Levi's is occasionally a little cheap (though I feel like their more expensive lines could get put through a grinder and survive), I'm always happy with the cut of Levi's jeans. Now, I'm happy with the ethics, too!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

She likes the hemp

Yet another testament to the greatness of Bust magazine is that I found this line through them. Sweet Skins is an environmentally-friendly clothing company, and purveyor of simply stylish, well-cut pieces as well. I'm a big fan of their bias cut dress, and the tunic dress is pretty cute as well. I'm not sure about the tie-side underwear, but I'm all for the idea of sustainably-made underwear in general. They don't offer a huge range of colors, but the ones that they have are very subtle and nice. Long live eco-fashion that can actually be called fashion! Finding things that are sustainable and legitimately styish is a big treat for me.

Blue Wave

I'm really loving this season's minimalist take on new wave-y style (oxymoronic as that may be), which makes me badly want to keep these new wave heels. They're so bright and shiny that they look like candy (like, I kind of want to lick them), but they have such nice, clean lines. The problem is, I can't cart 50 pairs of shoes with me everywhere I go. Want them? They're all yours.

But if they don't sell, I might take it as a sign that they're meant to be all mine.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Also Pretty!

And also discounted! Better yet, this dress is a hemp/silk blend by Cool Not Cruel, so it's sustainable and environmentally friendly. It's marked down from $85 to $42.50, so not only is it green and planet-friendly, it's pretty and wallet-friendly. Maybe I'll have to find an opportunity to dress up.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Still backing away from the backpack

I've noticed lately that I haven't posted a lot of entries with an environmental bent. Being that I posted a bag entry recently, I thougth I'd take a look at some eco-friendly bags too, since the construction of bags can be simple, and therefore bags can be cheaper than organic, eco-friendly clothing, which can run on the pricey side.

This bag is cute and colorful, and I bet it'd be pretty tough, too. The recycled material means that it's only $23.95.

You can NEVER go wrong with a trusty hemp Strand tote. I love love love mine, and they're quite inexpensive--the normal price is $6.95, though I think that the fancy patterned ones are $7.95. You can carry so totally much more than books in these, and they're so durable that you could carry and angry pitbull in it and it wouldn't rip. Ok, onto other bags, but seriously, Strand totes are great.

At the ever-reliable Green Loop (The Green Loop), there are a multitude of choices, but I think I like the one above best. It's $128, notably pricier than the others, but it's awfully stylish too.

Stylish Coco's Shoppe offers a smaller, but quite, quite fashionable selection. I'm a fan of this tote by Ananas. The price tag is steep at $231, but it's oh-so-cute, and oh-so-sustainable.

Ironically, since I'm trying to break free of backpacks, he most innovative thing I've seen is this backpack. I grant that it's not terribly fashion-forward, but it has solar panels that store energy, and then, in turn, it'll charge your iPod or computer! I mean, you can't go wrong with a black bag, especially when it's a sustainable power source for your electronic necessities. Maybe when I'm ready to re-accept the backpack, I'll go with this one.

Project Runway SCANDAL!

Project Runway tonight? Whoa. Just whoa. I mean, whoa! Ok, yes, it's totally cheating and dishonest that Keith had pattern books, but. . . he's so cute! Now who am I going to look at? I mean, this couldn't have happened at a worse time--the boy in my life is beings shady and I don't know what's going on, and now, I don't even get to see Keith Michaels once a week? Grr. Ok, since I can't moan about it in any interesting or introspective manner, I'm just going to point you to the newest fabulous addition to my link list: Blogging Project Runway. I'm too distracted by my quest for attractive skinny jeans to blog nonspot about Project Runway--they'll do it better, I promise.

But tonight's episode? WHOA.