December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

This year, I got most of everything on my to do and to wear list! The only thing left to look for on Boxing Day is a parka with real fur lining, perhaps like this little Marc by Marc number...

What's still on your list?

December 13, 2009

Speaking of Spring 2010 Shoes...

I've been looking through a TON of and accessories photos for a freelance gig...and there are so many brilliant ones! Here, my top 5 shoes from the runway that I would actually want to wear as well!

From top: Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Versace, YSL and Louise Goldin.

Ps. Looks like I should be stocking up on ankle socks too for Spring.

Note: All photos from

McQueen SS2010 shoes!

I finally saw one in person! So beautiful, and super light! They were size 40 and I'm a size 35 so there was no reason for me to try them on...but I can attest that they are walkable, if not comfortable - I've seen them in action.

To me, this is what high fashion is about - super trendy, original, and makes me so excited that I would even consider buying them for whatever the ridiculous retail price would be! And, too complex and well-made to be knocked off! You won't be seeing these at TJ Maxx or on Canal Street (I hope)!

December 4, 2009

Country Roads Lead to Somewhere

Sorry for the recent paucity of posts! We just got back from a long-awaited visit to Australia, where I was inspired by the California-esque laid-back aesthetic but appalled by the retail prices in all of the Melbourne boutiques. Comparable clothes (even those designed in Australia and produced in China, as most were) cost at least 25% more than in the United States!!

(Over lunch with a friend who is a designer for a hip Australian sportswear company, I found out that high taxes and duties contribute to this price difference...the example she gave me is a $20 top from China will cost the company $40 total...and after the wholesale and retail markups that top will end up costing the consumer a cool $160. Eek!)

One place where I was tempted to make a purchase was at Country Road, which aesthetically reminded me of Montauk or the Hamptons meets Ralph Lauren...nautical and casual, but infused with a chic minimalist core. A city girl in the country, perhaps.

November 23, 2009

Gifting Power

As someone who's worked at a few consumer publications over the years, one of the few eternal points in the editorial cycle is the dreaded and wonderful "Gift Guide." Every magazine does one every year, and it can be at once liberation (we can feature anything we love!), formulaic (every year, the same product categories are presented without little variation), advertiser-driven, and fun.

But this year, I'm much impressed with Candy Pratts Price's gift guide for - bonus points for gorgeous and definitely original! So sad that her contract will not be renewed for the website for next year!!!

November 13, 2009

The Issue of Pricing

I want to write a full length, thoughtful post about this this weekend...but I've been thinking a lot about the issue of pricing fashion goods a lot recently. In design school, you're taught how to price your goods based on your material and labor costs...but that doesn't quite work, because that gorgeous Hermes bag isn't probably costing the brand half of ten thousand dollars or whatever to produce. So maybe the idea is to start with the consumer you want to sell you, and price your goods comparably to the other brands you'd like to compete with. Or it can just be arbitrary...

On the other hand, as a consumer (and fashion industry insider), I'm perpetually confused about what I should or want to be spending on any particular item. What is the price something is worth - is it simply what I'm willing to pay for it? Or what I think it cost to manufacture? Is it the retail price, or the discount store price, or the sample sale price, or the wholesale editor's special price, or the online secret shopping club that anyone can join price???

What is your purchase policy?

November 11, 2009

The Future of Fashion

This was the title of a panel at the 92nd Street Y that I went to at the last minute a few weeks ago. Someone on my Twitter list had an extra ticket and I decided it would be interesting to listen to Cindi Leive, Ashley Olsen, Isaac Mizrahi and Robin Givhan speak about the future of the fashion industry.

I went away wishing that the event had just been a presentation by Robin rather than panel discussion, since she definitely had the most thoughful and interesting commentary on the fashion business, standards of beauty in the media, and the role of clothing in our lives.

But nevertheless, attending the event forced me to rethink some bleak truths:

The power of celebrity to sell products, whether it's Ashley Olsen as a designer or Michelle Obama as a trendsetter.

We live in a time where the same idea will be sold at dozens of different price points and quality levels, and it is up to us as consumers to decide where within the range we will participate. This decision is to be repeated ad nauseum. As a designer, the goal is to figure out where in the spectrum you are comfortable being, and where your skills and aesthetic tendencies are best utilized.

No one really knows what the future will hold - you could've had me and a few of my friends in the industry up there instead of the panelists and although our opinions may stem from less practical experience, our guesses could have been just as valid.

Above, an image by illustrator Anna Higgie

The end of Luella?

For me, Luella has always been a quirky favorite. One of those brands whose samples I always relished trying on and requesting for work, because the adorable girly shapes and frou frou fabrics created a sense of romance on the bleakest of days. And yet, as much as I loved looking at the clothes, I never ordered or bought at retail anything from the British label. Perhaps this is because I thought the quirks and romance of bows and ribbons had no place in my practical New York life.

And it seems like I was not alone. In yesterday's Woman's Wear Daily, it is revealed that the brand is being shuttered and its Spring 2010 collection (which was just shown weeks ago at London Fashion Week) will not be sold.

I wonder, aren't we supposed to use fashion as an escape, especially during a recession?

September 13, 2009

Why Fashion Shows Still Exist

Sorry for the brief posting hiatus, dear readers. A small trip out of state and many nights up late prepping for New York Fashion Week tickets and schedules for Europe for editors have me burning the candle on both ends.

I love the pieces above from VPL's Spring 2010 collection, shown in New York at Pier 59 this past weekend. They might not look like much from the image, but in person the nylon netting and shoulder pad details are exquisite and ethereal rather than pale and homely. If I hadn't seen these looks up close and personal, my review or perspective of the Spring collection would perhaps be much different.

And that, of course, is why fashion labels still have shows, previews, and resees for both the media and buyers despite the exorbitant price tag. Because we have not lost the value in seeing something in three dimensions.

August 24, 2009

The September Issue

In case you're not a voracious reader of NY-based fashion blogs, The September Issue, that oh so famous Vogue magazine documentary, comes out Friday!! Fashion Week Daily has the theatre info for Manhattan, and you bet I'll be there this Friday night to watch Anna and Grace banter it out!
Fashion is a religion. This is the Bible.
Thoughts? How relevant do you think any single medium or even magazine title is in today's age of hyper fragmented audiences and uber niche markets?

You can check out the trailer here.

August 13, 2009

Fashion and Antifashion

Anti-fashion attempts a timeless style, tries to get the essential element of change out of fashion altogether. - Daniel Miller, Consumption: Critical Concepts in the Social Sciences
The longer I work in "fashion," the more I am obsessed with the idea of "anti-fashion."

Basically, whereas the former is about trends and change, the latter is about a way of dress that is seasonless and conceptually driven. I'm not talking about a punk aesthetic or the denunciation of clothing and consumption; rather, it's (for me) the appreciation of core products for my lifestyle that are well-designed, well-made, and will last for many years within my wardrobe. I like the idea of replacing pieces because they're worn out, not just because I've experienced visual fatigue of a particular trend (boyfriend jeans, for example).

For that reason, one of my favorite brands -at least theoretically speaking- is Mary Ping's Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Based in New York, the label aims to "push and produce interesting and significant pieces from the simplest fabrics and materials" and "yield a limited number of fresh pieces in a regulated pace throughout the calendar year. This accelerated pace is a commentary on modern fashion’s temporal nature." Each series focuses on refining (not revolutionizing) beloved silhouettes in fashion, resulting in simple, crisp designs that are visually appealing and yet familiar. The idea of seasonal trends is rendered obsolete - in fact, I've been wearing the wedge shoes pictured for two years and it's never gone in or out of style (although they continue to garner compliments frequently). Styles from each series are simply sold until stock runs out!

This is perhaps the other side of the "fast fashion" coin.


August 9, 2009

And I'm Back!

Sorry for the brief hiatus, my dear readers (if any of you are still out there)! I've decided to start blogging again! Too many beautiful things not to share and talk about.

While I was away, I got a chance to graduate from my Master's degree in Communication and Culture, move to New York City, and immerse myself in all sorts of wonderful and challenging things.

Ps. Isn't this Erdem Fall 09 dress amazing? I tried it on at the office a few months ago though and alas its proportions are too challenging for my petite frame. Sad!