July 28, 2010

Vacation time!

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been working and vacationing in SoCal and will be headed to Vermont for more holidays shortly. More posts and musings to come!

July 26, 2010

Object Lesson

My new obsession for Fall is this lovely Louis Vuitton reworked Speedy bag. Need. It. Now.

July 12, 2010

Culture of Couture

What’s not in doubt is that haute couture – the term translates as “high sewing” – is a spectacular anachronism. Colossal in its costs, tiny in its clientele and questionable in its influence, it still remains one of the great themes of Parisian life. [...] At this stratospheric peak of the rag trade, many designers never even meet the women who buy their clothes. Some are known only by numbered codes, do their buying through intermediaries and settle their bills from Swiss bank accounts.

To qualify as couture, a garment must be entirely hand-made by one of the 11 Paris couture houses registered to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Each house must employ at least 20 people, and show a minimum of 75 new designs a year. So far, so stirringly traditional, but the Big Four operators – Chanel, Dior, Givenchy and Gaultier – increasingly use couture as a marketing device for their far more profitable ready-to-wear, fragrance and accessory lines.
Quotes from a good primer from London's Telegraph newspaper on the issues surrounding the couture segment of the fashion industry today.

Personally, while I love Chanel I can't understand why someone would buy something minimalist like this black dress from their haute couture collection rather than something similar that is RTW. And perhaps that should be part of the conversation about couture - whether couture garments have the responsibility to be more extravagant. fashion-forward, and fantastically detailed if they are meant to inspire sales of other (relatively inexpensive) products, or if it is just the conditions of production and exclusivity of sale that defines the genre.

July 2, 2010

Retail Identity

I've been doing a lot of shopping for work and photo shoots and ad jobs and just for fun lately, and what I find is interesting is the special magnetic pull when a store's aesthetic and projected customer is...you! Haven't you noticed how there is a huge difference between walking into a store you don't necessarily identify with (for me, Banana Republic or J. Crew) and loving individual pieces...and then going somewhere where they have you pegged spot on (Oak in New York for me) and everything would be just perfect for your life and you need to have it right away. So dangerous!

Some of my favorite things from Oak's annual 304050 sale, happening right now.