Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Spring

With the dawn of a new year comes a new spring.  Spring is one of the best times ever for fashion--it is when the color and fun come back and the weight of fall/winter and shed.  Spring is always full of all sorts of new and fun trends and styles.  

One of the biggest things for spring is going to be pastel-ish florals!  How sweet and romantic!  But, it is very classic, can come in interesting cuts and fabrics and even some neat colors.  Also, don't be surprised to see some of the more edgy designers come out with prints that have bugs and stuff in with the flowers.  

A great example of this is the dress pictured by Alice + Olivia.  It is 100% silk with a bright pop of color with the belt.  The print is everything that the season is about--it is soft, floral and even has a creamy-white background.  The dress is a great, happy spring dress!

Picture from

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh December!

December is probably the busiest month of the year.  Presents to find and wrap, endless dinners with loud relatives to sit through and food to consume.  With all of the ritual and things celebratory stuff can get lost in the shuffle.  Take a bit of time out once in a while to celebrate and enjoy what you love most--your family, life and love!  And, when you do it, make sure to wear something pretty!

All the glitters may not be gold and it won't buy you a stairway to heaven, but that doesn't make it any less fun 
or pretty!  This Lanvin necklace is perfect for a huge holiday party--it may not be real gold, but boy does it glitter!  It is one of those pieces that represents things that are to be enjoyed--to go to
 a party with friends and family and get dressed up and celebrate.  This necklace isn't for someone who just wants to sit on the couch and watch DIVORCE COURT.  It is meant to be enjoyed, seen and worn.  And, hopefully that occasion is celebrated with friends and family and in honor of everything about life that is worth loving!

Picture from, Lanvin SS09

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just a Bad Idea!

Just because something is declared to be "IT" doesn't it is a good idea.  One of these new ideas that just shouldn't be is harem pants.  Why oh why oh why???

Harem pants--leave them in the store.  It doesn't matter what a great deal they are and who made them.  They look good on no one.  They flatter nothing.  Just a bad idea.  They eternally look like sad, saggy butt.  I don't care who says you should buy them, they are hopelessly wrong.  

This pair pictured is by Alexander McQueen.  Sure, he has many great ideas and wonderful designs.  But, he can't be right all the time.  This pair of pants is a great case-in-point.  Unless you have the weirdest rise in the universe, these pants will make you look like you have on the saddest adult diaper.  

Harem pants--JUST DON'T.

Picture from

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Prints for the Pretty

One of the most disappointing things about winter is that everything seems to be solid, dark colors.  While a plain black coat might go with everything, it just isn't all that exciting.  Print coats are so hard to find and if they do turn up, they are either in dated prints or in horribly unflattering cuts.  Ugh.

Well, the designer Barbara Tfank has stepped in and made something for us print-philes!  In her fall 2008 collection that she showed in New York, she showed a variety of super cute coats in PRINTS.  And, not just some tacky toile, but super chic oversized floral!  First, the cut of the jacket is classic, flattering and universally stylish.  And, the print is so current and feminine!  Delish!!!

One of the things that really draws me to this coat isn't just the coat--it is the styling of the whole look.  It is retro-inspired without looking dated or like the designer is trying too hard.  The whole look just comes off as so effortless and stylish!

Picture from

Sunday, December 7, 2008

You Never Know!

It is no secret...I have a soft spot for vintage high fashion.  It is the epitome of great vision and love and shaped what the world of fashion is today.  Well, those pieces do pop up once in a while in the most unlikely of places.  Part of the magic of these vintage pieces is that they were so well-made and loved that they do survive in great condition.  What happens to many of these pieces is a mystery (and a tragedy) and are probably tossed on to the rag heap like what happened to most Poiret.  

This jacket is a vintage New Look Paquin...and it was found at a Salvation Army store for $2.50.  I KNOW!!!  Paquin was one of the great early 20th Century French fashion titans that disappeared into all but obscurity.  The stuff is very rare and HIGHLY coveted and is 
held in many major fashion collections, such as The Metropolitan Costume Institute Collection.  What makes it so amazing is that it represents one of the golden ages in fashion--its rise from the ashes of World War II and its re-vision of what it means to be a modern woman.  Just imagine the woman who first bought this jacket and what she wore it to!  And, what it saw in the intervening years and how it ended up forgotten in the Salvation Army heap.  But, the happy ending is that this work of art has been rediscovered and will be auctioned off by Sothby's London in the coming months!

Pictures courtesy of ebay memeber "erinspotofgold"

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Secret Passion!

Ms. Huffington of the Huffington Post said in a recent interview that bloggers should blog both about their passions and their secret passions.  Well, here is mine.

I'm secretly in love with Rick Owens' work.  I'm not sure why.  It is the opposite of everything I usually wear.  I'm she of twin-sets and a pencil skirts.  But, something about the organized mayhem is just so appealing.  I know, usually no bright colors or prints, which is usually what I love.  Instead, the
 neutral solids are comforting in a way and arguably match with everything.  And, the leathers, oh boy!  Like butta!  And the potential for layering for all of the pieces!  Awesome!!  I'm usually not a beige/grey person, but something about Rick convinces me.  Secretly, I love to sneak into the office every once in a while with a frothy chiffon Rick Owens blazer...

Pictures from clearance

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Au Revoir, La Difference!

'Tis a sad day indeed--one of the world's biggest retailers is stuttering their US retail website!  Yes, that is right. is in liquidation!  

PPR is a French conglomerate which owns a variety of companies, such as Puma, Gucci and Redcats.  Redcats is the corporation which runs La Redoute and a number of other similar mail-order fashion companies.  Currently, PPR has run into financial difficulties and sold off their Printemps department store and is internally reorganizing the rest of their holdings.

24% of La Redoute's sales are in the US and the company has issued a press-release recently declaring that they are revamping and rethinking their web presence to strengthen their positio
n in the market place.  It is unclear if the liquidation of the us branch of the website is to simply do away
 with it or to clear out old product in anticipation of the relaunch of the site.  La Redoute is not listed as an 
American version of their brands nor on any of their strategy for the American market place.  Instead, there is language about focusing on plus-size retail, which currently is part of the La Redoute sizing scheme.  

Only time will tell if La Redoute is merely reorganizing to expand its American presence or shuttering its operation completely.  But, I think all of their fans agree that it would be a sad day indeed when they can no longer order $10 skirts and $3 silk camisoles, not to mention their wonderfully-priced designer exclusives!

picture from

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anne Valerie Hash--Couture Solar Oven?

It is that day of the year--the day where we all put on our stretchy pants and indulge in all things yummy.  Time to relax and enjoy the company of others.  That day of the year where we get to sit and listen to the Crazy Uncle blather about late-night radio.  Time for that horrible green bean casserole, lumpy potatoes and smoke detectors.  And, napping on someone else's couch while your little cousins build a fort around you.

And, well, if you cook like me, you may be in need of this Anne Valerie Hash fall 2008 couture outfit.  A turkey indeed.  But, it is shiny silver, so maybe it will reflect the heat from your cooking disaster to at least save your favorite outfit underneath, like some sort of high-fashion hazard suit.  And, just think, you will probably need it again when you go to cook the Christmas Ham!

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good nap!

Picture from

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The New Plaid

Plaid is one of those ultra-classic prints that has been around for, well, who knows.  Suffice it to say "a very long time".  It never goes out of style because it is truly tried and true.

But, fashion is all about pushing the boundaries and that can mean reinterpretations of classics.  In this case, the reinterpretation of plaid.  It is no longer simply the overlapping lines signifying various British clans, instead not only new colors are being injected, but also new shapes.  

All of the designers are doing it now--Vivienne Westwood added gradient patterns in her glenplaid, Marni is making it watercolor and now Alexandre Herchcovitch is adding ink spots.  While plaid is normally made up of lines, but the
 addition of new shapes is exciting and fun!  While the dress from Fall 2008 looks like the lines are curved, it is the cut of the dress.  But, that really gives the dress its excitement is that if you look closely, there are different shapes in with the plaid.  They blend in perfectly but give it that extra unusual touch to make it memorable and beautiful!

Picture from

Monday, November 24, 2008

It Is That Time Of Year!

Yes, the happiest time of year--SALE TIME!!!!  It has begun.'s sale on fall and winter items has commenced.  Many of the items I have featured from their website are currently on clearance.  I know, they are an expensive site.  But, they have great pictures and customer service.  And, they do carry exclusives and some very hard to find designers.  So, why not?

picture from

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Custom Vintage?

One of the really cool things about the internet is that you can find just about anything.  One of those cool things that you've probably never thought of is a re-worked vintage bag! offers a very wide range of all sorts of vintage skin bags and accessories, but they also recently started offering customs reworked vintage bags!  They are made of parts of vintage bags that are still in good condition and are combined in creative new ways that look extremely fashionable.  These are no sad craft project bags, as they are made of vintage bakelite, furs, leathers and silks, so they are totally worth the money.

This bag is made from vintage bakelite and leopard and lined in silk.  The delish caramel of the bag is so fashionable right now!  And, this is one of the rare chances to get a real-fur bag from an endangered animal without the cost and hassle and still feel good about not contributing to poaching and other problems.  Because the fur is vintage, it means that instead of having to use a new fur, an old item has new life so there is less waste and more live animals!  How cool!

picture from

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tisci Time!

The fashion house Givenchy has not had a good time for the last decade and a half.  And, it isn't for lack of desire by the fashion world to see it succeed.  Instead, it has been the lack of a head designer who can carry through a vision that is both traditional Givenchy but modern in every way.

Everyone had such high hopes in Julian McDonald when he took over the house.  He assumed the helm to much fanfare and to-do but in the end, he quietly slunk out without really ever putting out a collection anyone liked but him.  

Finally, Mr. Tisci has come to the helm of Givenchy.  He didn't arrive with the same sort of publicity.  Instead, he has let the clothes speak for his talent and vision.  The last few collections have gotten better and better to the point now that the house is routinely putting out once-in-a-lifetime gowns that Hubert de Givenchy himself would be proud of!

This black gown is Tisci for Givenchy and absolutely stunning!!  It is flattering, sexy, demure, and delightful!  A dream in tulle and exactly what Audrey Hepburn would wear to the red carpet if she was a young woman today.  Hopefully this dress is just the beginning of what Givenchy is going to put out in the coming years!

Picture courtesy of ebay seller ricysue.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beautiful Quirks!

Japan is easily one of the most fashion forward places on earth.  Accordingly, it has a large number of designers that do some of the most amazing, fashion forward work!  

Tsumori Chisato is one of these top-notch Japanese designers.  She is known for her style that combines fantasy with Japanese fashion-forward esthetic.  Tsumori attended the Bunka fashion school and previously designed under Issey Miyake.  Her line is part of the A-Net conglomerate of the Miyake company.  

The signature look for Tsumori Chisato is the dress.  Her dresses aren't "just a dress", instead they are both fantasy and details that stand out from the crowd.  For instance, this dress from the FW2008 show is at the same time wearable, interesting and chic.  Everything that Tsumori stands for!

Due to the popularity of Tsumori Chisato, it is HEAVILY faked, so pay close attention when you are buying anything from the line.

Picture from

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Party Time

The holidays are quickly looming and even though the economy is down, it still means that it is party time!  And, well, of course party time means time for new dresses!!

Vera Wang makes some of the coolest party dresses.  Sure, she is known for bridal wear, but on her lavender label, she manages to put out some of the most stylish party dresses for much lower prices than most other designers.  

This dress is the coolest updated version of the sexy red party dress!  It has that rich red that just oozes glamour and sexy, but it is paired with classic black and grey for contrast.  That contrast and pairing is super chic right now.  And, it also has that jeweling that is insanely stylish right now, reminiscent of Lanvin party dresses for a small fraction of the price.  

Wearing this dress to a holiday party would be so fun--and I bet that the woman who does wear it will be the most stylish woman in the room!

picture from

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Clock Is Right Again

There is a saying that a broken clock is still right twice a day.  Well, I think that the same can be said about vintage--it was right once and eventually it will be right again.  And, right now is a great time for vintage to be right again!  There is lots of great vintage around, but it is either in poor condition, hard to find or very expensive.  But, there are a number of websites that do offer vintage in excellent condition, reasonably priced and edited in such a way to where you really could wear any of it again today.  One of those places is

Vintageous has an extensive array of vintage dresses--all of which appear to be of excellent quality and in styles that are just AWESOME!!  The pink vintage Oscar de la Renta dress is one of my favorites.  The colors are going to be super ho
t in a few months, the style is flattering and cute and totally wearable!  It may be 
old, but you could wear it today and it would be super current!  Best ever!

One of the coolest parts of the site is the vintage eyewear selection.  Vintage eyewear is pretty hard to find, especially in the styles that they carry.  Glasses like these are super hot right now--just look at the last few Marni collections!  Not only do they have a wide variety t
o choose from, but their prices aren't ridiculous!

I normally don't blather on about how good someone's store is, but this one seems
 like a real winner!  

pictures from

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Lazy Man's Clothes

Sunao Kuwahara--this self-titled clothing line is one of Japan's hottest right now!  The designer Sunao Kuwahara may describe himself as "lazy" but I highly doubt that anyone else feels that way.  

Sunao Kuwahara is part of the A-Net clothing company owned by Issey Miyake, as Sunao previously designed on Issey's line for about a decade.  Japanese fashion houses have a habit of allowing designers in their company to start their own lines under the umbrella of the major designer.  This way, they have plenty of support and credibility and there is less risk.  This also leads to concentrations of great design and ideas that morph into some of the most spectacular clothes!

The line is in keeping with other A-Net lines--young, fresh and avant-garde.  The shapes and color combinations are unusual but totally wearable, particularly for the young woman who wants to stand out and have h
er own voice.  One of the interesting aspects is that Sunao hopes that the women who wear his clothes are able to keep them for a long time and truly enjoy them--which is why the clothes aren't the sort that are going to go out of style any time soon!

Pictures from and

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Don't Let the Blues Get You Down!

The Fall and Winter season is upon us.  Time for thick wools, layering and dark colors.  Sometimes it just seems to get so dreary and boring with all of the practical colors and shapes.  The color of this season seems to be navy.

I know, navy is such a practical, stodgy color.  But, it doesn't have to be!  It is a great neutral so be paired with bright pops of colors or in interesting prints.  A great example is this Chloe dress--it is navy blue but the dress looks wonderfully effortless and interesting.  The print is beautiful and the cut is incredibly flattering. 

Don't be afraid of traditional, neutral colors--just pay extra attention to things like cut and prints!  Just because it is dreary out doesn't mean you have to look dreary too!

Picture from

Friday, November 14, 2008

Project Awesome!

I think that Project Alabama doesn't get enough credit.  Sure, they are socially and environmentally conscious, warm fuzzies and all.  But, they also produce well-made stylish clothes!

Being crunchy granola green is great an all, but what sets Project Alabama apart from all of the other earth-mother companies is embodied in the "Burnished Coat" pictured.  This coat rocks!!  The cream color is super hot for the coming seasons.  The cut is so flattering and it would work on any person.  Not only that the coat is...perfect.  And, not only is it perfect, but it was made using fair practices and materials.  

What Project Alabama brings for fashion-lovers everywhere is the ability to have it all--both eco-friendly and fashion forward!

Picture from

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A House Divided

One of the major divides in the fashion world is the use of potentially cruel materials, and one of the major materials in contention is python skin.

Python is used on just about everything--shoes, bags, coats, clothes, accessories, you name it.  The reason is because of the naturally beautiful and lux look of the skins and their exotic nature.  People have been wearing snake skins for thousands of years, so this is nothing new.  But, what makes it so controversial is the scale at which it is being used.

Pythons are internationally recognized as endangered and are strictly regulated.  The python skins used in fashion are supposed to be from farmed pythons, but because of the tremendous demand of the skins by the fashion industry international organizations are skeptical that laws are being followed.  Most python comes from Indonesia and it is thought that many of the supposed "farmed pythons" are actually wild pythons that are being poached from the rain forests.  Because of the decimation of the python population, their natural prey, the rat has gotten out of control in parts of Indonesia and are busy spreading the plague.

As if the poaching of endangered species isn't bad enough, it is also the method of death that the pythons suffer from at the hands of some "farmers" that has people up in arms.  Pythons can be skinned alive or their head is nailed to a tree and then they are inflated for ease of skinning.  These inhumane practices aren't done everywhere, but because the method of skin harvesting is not disclosed, one cannot be sure how the snake was treated.

Python is beautiful and will always be part of fashion.  There are many ways to enjoy python products without participating in the cruelty.  One is to inquire as to what country the skins came from--pythons are also raised in countries like Brazil, where they are not wild.  Also, one always has the option of buying vintage!  Because the skins, if properly maintained, can last for a very long time there are many wonderful options to choose from, such as the one pictured.  It is a vintage 1960's python clutch!

Picture from which is hands-down the best vintage bag retailer on the net!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Baguette!

Happy Birthday, Fendi Baguette!!  This year is the 10th anniversary of the Fendi Baguette.  I don't think any woman can forget SATC's Carrie's comment of "But, it is a Baguette!!" when she was robbed in an alley.  The reason is because the baguette is one of those original "IT" bags that never went out of style, which is something truly remarkable.

Sure, the bag has been knocked off by just about everyone and done in every color and material imaginable, but that doesn't take away its immutable style and class.  The bag in this post is the official 10th Anniversary Bag, and it is a fitting tribute to the little bag that could.  The bag is the classic white with the signature Fendi-textured leather, everything that the bag is known for.  

So, Fendi Baguette, I wish you a happy birthday and to many more years of style!

picture from

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Naven Hits The Mark!

Naven is a new indie design company, but that doesn't stop them from making some of the most wearable and cute clothes around!  The designers behind the line are identical twins Alexis and Kymberley McClay from Vancouver, Canada.  They went to college in Southern California, one to design school and other for a business degree at Pepperdine.  

The two women combine to form a dynamic fashion and business duo that cranks out w
omens wear primarily in silk for the young, fashionable woman.  They specialize in adorable minidresses (but, if you ask nicely they can custom make you a longer version of a dress...) and chic blouses but also make swimwear, skirts and just about everything that a young stylish woman could want.  

The line is in its second year and is starting to really be noticed--they are sold at a variety of boutiques and on line.  They also dress Lauren Conrad, Kim Kardashian and a variety of other young women stars.  Not only that, but the designers are some of the nicest people!  Expect to see this line really go somewhere--with their combination of great design and business sense, they really are going to make their mark on fashion!

Pictures from

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Time For The Blue Iguana...

John Galliano is at it again!  No, it isn't a pirate hat, either.  Instead it is this shoe for spring, so aptly named "The Blue Iguana".  

This shoe isn't very practical, instead it is a work of art!  Blue lizard upper set on an irridescent pink/blue/gold/purple metallic abstract base.  While the blue part is correct, there is no "iguana" but it looks like it would be at home in the sort of glamourous underworld of exclusive lounges, perhaps on the feet of the girlfriend of the boss.  And, what better name for this imaginary glamourous hide out than "The Blue Iguana"...

As a side note, blue iguanas are highly endangered lizard native to the Cayman Islands that is also the longest-living lizard on earth.  

Picture from

Friday, November 7, 2008

Follow The White Rabit!

 Sometimes Chanel can seem stuffy and tired, but there are times where Karl is able to pull out something that has the perfect amount of edge and fun!  This rabbit pin has just that!  It is a gold-tone and enamel Chanel pin in the shape of the cutest rabbit with a ribbon and logo-ed necklace.  

This pin would look so good by itself on the lapel of a classic suit or as part of a bijoux ensemble on a bag or dress.  The fun part of the pin is that it is so unexpected--it isn't a giant mound of strass or a flower, instead it is an adorable little bunny.  Not, just any bunny, it is a white rabbit, while for all of his innocent looks can also be used as a cheeky double-entandre for some not so savory activities...  But, who cares?!  It is Chanel!

Picture from

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rose By Another Name?

Sometimes stuff has different names in different countries, like "sweater" in the US and "jumper" in the UK.  Another one of these things is "Crylor."

What in heaven's name is Crylor, you ask?  Just plain old acrylic!  Crylor is the French term for it that is generally no longer in use, but was used in the mid-20th century.

Acrylic is very, very important in the textile world because it can be blended with just about everything and acts as a stablizer and helps prevent pilling.  

Picture from (an amazing vintage dress source!!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It Is All In Black & White!

Vintage is a wonderful aspect of fashion!  If it once was glamourous, surely its day will arrive once again.  And, well, this dress' day has arrived again!

This is a vintage black silk and velvet art deco-era dress.  It has a white ermine collar and an extended peplum around the waist that forms a sort of skirt that goes over the longer column skirt.  
What really makes this dress so special is how of-the-moment the cut is again!  The extended peplum was seen again this season in Giles Mendel show.  And, the whole combination of black with white details never goes out of style.  You can see the influence that Coco Chanel had on the cut of this dress--it is feminine while still being gamine.  

Photo courtesy of ebay seller timesupvintage.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fall in Paris!

France, one of the fashion capitals not only has a bevy of top-name designers, but also a thriving indie fashion scene.  The always hit the nail on the head for effortless fashion and glamour.  This blouse by Gat Rimon--comfortable, colorful and perfect for women of any age.  

This blouse is one of those perfect fall blouses!  It hides the tummy.  It could be layered with long sleeved shirts for cooler weather.  Great with skirts or pants, it is super versatile.  Also, it combines two fabrics that don't necessarily match, but the designer managed to meld them into a piece that looks effortless and complete.  Not only that, but it doesn't look like a knock-off of a higher end designer, instead it has its own vibe and speaks for itself.  And, isn't that what fashion is all about?

Picture from

Monday, November 3, 2008

No Reason to be Cold!

In the US, a lot of times British fashion gets overlooked, especially if it isn't one of the good old standards like Burberry.  Well, one that shouldn't be forgotten about any more is Smythe, particularly with this jacket!  

This funnel-necked coat is perfect for the coming cool weather, as it is very warm.  Also, it is extremely stylish and detailed!  The green is perfect, especially with the copper buttons!  Classic yet feminine!  The cut is amazing--it really defines the waist without being ridiculous.  And, it will stand up to wear and still be in style for at least the next few seasons.

Picture from

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Zero Isn't the Loneliest Number!

In the world of fashion, things are always changing.  But, one thing that remains constant is the appreciation of superior craftsmanship.  And, well, the one has it down!  I'm talking, of course, about Maria Cornejo and her line Zero + Maria Cornejo!!  Maria hails from Argentina, but grew up in London and currently lives in the US.  

Her line is all her with no added gimicks, just like the name suggests.  What she is really known for is her expert draping and attention to small details.  This is not the designer for you if you are all about loud, flashy stuff covered with names.  Instead, this is for the woman who wants a garment that will speak for itself and say "I know what I'm doing, I'm confident and feminine!"  The line always includes classic lush velvet, draped sack dresses and contrasting appliques.  And, it is always perfect for any occasion!

Recently, Maria was featured in VOGUE USA as an up-and-coming designer.  She currently shows in London.  Her garments can be purchased at a variety of boutiques and at her website at

Pictures from

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, folks!  That special day of the year where you can take fashion to the extreme and enjoy the fact that you can really wear whatever you want without others posting pictures of you and giggling!  

Unless you are Liza.  Hold it as a general rule of life, that if Liza would do it, maybe you shouldn't.  That means no nylons as pants.  And, no garish drawn on eyebrows.  And, no spirit fingers.  And just don't marry guys like Mr. Gest.  Just don't.  Halloween or no.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

In The Bag!

Every season brings new bags and new possibilities!  Well, one of the coolest ones for fall is the new Louis Vuitton perforated line!  I'm not sure when it is hitting stores, but when it does I'm sure it will be one of the new "IT" bags.  It is subtle enough to go anywhere, chic shapes, of the moment hardware and AWESOME colors!  What I think is the perfect color for this fall is this pink--goes with any neutral but soft enough to transition to spring and summer.  This bag is the perfect size for any occasion and classic enough to never go out of style!  I suggest you grab it while you can!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Azlon: Fabric of the Future?

In the world of fashion there are all sorts of interesting textiles!  One of those is "azlon".  I know, it sounds like some sort of space-invader with bad intentions.  Space creature it is not, instead it is a durable fabric made from synthesized proteins!

It is made in the UK and usually from soy proteins, but sometimes it is from milk, corn or peanut proteins.  Those proteins are reprocessed and eventually made into a durable and soft thread which can be woven into all sorts of materials.  

The idea of clothes from soy isn't new.  Heck, Henry Ford is widely known to have worn suits made of soy fibres!  It is easy to grow, durable, washable and very soft.  Many of the garments that say that they are made with "soy" are actually Azlon.

With the "greening" of the fashion industry, I think that there will be wider use of materials like azlon.  So, if you see some, don't be afraid to try it!

Picture from

For my blog entry about Dacron, a related fabric, click HERE

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lanvin by Castillo--The Fabric of Dreams!

Vintage gowns are a thing of wonder!  This gown is a vintage 1950's Lanvin couture gown designed by Castillo.  It is pink silk with an under skirt so it hangs so wonderfully.  The dress has so many special touches--the open back, the full skirt, the neckline.  It truly is special and worthy of being collected or worn to your most special moments.

What makes vintage gowns so special is the attention that was paid to their details--the tags on the inside of the dress are hand-signed by the designer.  The dress was specially made for a client.  Just imagine what events the dress has gone to!  

Good design never goes out of style and this dress is a prime example.  It is just as stylish now was it was back when it was first imagined.  Nothing is as luxurious as these vintage gowns--specially made, one of a kind and made with the sort of artistry that very few garments are made with now!  Not to mention, for the price of one of these works of art is less than a mass-produced RTWdress!

Picture courtesy of the ebay seller hg-london

You may also be interested in my post about Vintage Lanvin Boots

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fall Trend: Chunky Necklace!

One of the recent trends that has been really fun has been the chunky necklace.  They come in all shapes, colors, materials and sizes.  I think it is the most interesting thing to happen to costume jewelry in a long time!  

There are all sorts of interesting things designers and jewelers have been doing with the necklaces.  Marni makes the necklaces with feathers and hand-wraped beads, Chanel makes ones that look like reworked vintage brooches, the list goes on.  One that came out this fall that I think makes the coolest statement of them all is this big chunky one by Day Birger et Mikkelsen--it is neutral colored enough to go with anything, has adjustable straps and makes one heck of a statement!  It would look fantastic over a cashmere sweater or over a shift dress.  

Picture from

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I See London, I See France...

Better hope you've got some good underpants!!

There is one fall trend that I just don't get.  This whole less than opaque lace-macrame thing as garments.  Especially when there does not seem to be a corresponding line of either interesting slips or over-garments.  I like to be as edgy as the next girl, but something about wearing someone's craft weaving as a skirt and have to hope that I don't give a free show just isn't something I'm willing to consider.  While the trend looks nice on the runway, this is one of those trends I hope I don't run into on the streets.  

Picture of Prada FW08 from

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The DvF Top That Could!

For some reason, this top is the coolest ever!  First, the color is almost universally flattering.  The cut makes every woman have a bust and a waist, just what everyone always wants and it happens with that signature DvF wrap.  Also, it is so beautifully Art-Deco inspired without looking like a costume.  Not only that, it is VERSATILE!  You could wear it with jeans for casual fun, a black pencil skirt for cocktail, slacks for business and over a maxi skirt for more formal occasions.  This blouse really does it all!  It really is one of the best blouses of the season!

picture of DvF "Camille" from

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Saunders at Target!

Target's GO INTERNATIONAL line is so cool!  It gives great publicity to designers that usually don't get a tremendous amount of attention.  And, sometimes the pieces are something I really covet.  This quarter, the featured designer is Jonathan Saunders, a British designer known for his crazy use of color and sleek lines.  His Target offering though just doesn't look quite like what he is known for.  That is too bad--I was really hoping that there would be color-block dresses and skirts with interesting cuts.  Instead, it just looks like mall-clothes.  Granted, nothing terrible, but nothing that is going to make me line up in front of the store and beat people out of the way.  

This dress was my favorite piece--totally wearable and with a flattering cut.  Hey, not bad for less than $50!

Picture from

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dries van Yawn...

I know, Dries van Noten is a genius and does amazing work and all.  But, his ss09 collection is a complete yawn.  I don't care if it is supposed to be one of the top shows for the spring.  It is boring as all get out.  The colors?  Cream, navy, gold, and that seems to be about it.  BORING.  Isn't spring supposed to be breaking out of the dark, cold mess of winter and celebrating the fact that you can wear color?  Instead, his new collection reminds me of the latest Gristedes Challenge of Project: Runway Season 5, especially that table-cloth plaid.  Ugh.  I'm so sad--the last few Dries collections have been stunning and amazing and everything I've ever wanted to buy.  This one?  It looks like the economy, which makes me want to just go back to bed.

Dries van Noten ss09 photo from

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cashgora? What on earth?

Cashgora?  What on earth is that?

There have been many innovations in fibre production in recent decades.  There have been new material invented like spandex.  Also, there has been new commercial production of animal-protein fibres like cashgora.  

Cashgora is a goat that is a cross between a cashmere goat and an angora goat.  What really makes this unusual is that cashgora goats really aren't an established goat variety and are created by breeders crossing the two goat varieties.  What makes these goats so rare is that not all cashgora goats that are bred are able to create commercial-grade cashgora.  Instead, each goat has to be evaluated for its hair, which makes this not very practical for most breeders.  Hence, cashgora is relatively rare.  

The texture of cashgora is somewhere between angora, as it is kinda fluffy, cashmere as it does have very soft fibres in it and depending on how it is milled, it can also have rather stiff hairs mixed in.  The texture will depend on the processing of the fibres and the individual quality of the fibres that the goats are able to produce.

Cashgora is used like wool and cashmere would be.  Above is pictured a Michael Kors cashgora cape and dress--looks like wool or cashmere but it is something else entirely!  It has a great look, is durable and considered a luxury natural fibre.

Picture from

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vintage Lanvin Boots & Licensed Produts

Vintage has become very popular with the fashion folk, and for good reason!  Many vintage designs were ground-breaking and of remarkable quality.  But, not all vintage is equal!

During the 1970's and 1980's many design houses took to licensing out their name to other companies.  These other companies made products with the designer name on them but they were not of the same quality of the items manufactured under the auspices of the designer.

Sometimes these products are difficult to spot.  Take these Lanvin boots pictured.  They are clearly marked "Lanvin" and look to be of significantly better quality than counterfeit goods.  But, the way that the Lanvin logos are used is not the way they are normally used and they say "Made in Mexico" instead of "Made in France."  Surprise, surprise, these are licensed products!!  

During the 1970's and 1980's many of the licensed products were only intended for the Latin American market and were never intended to reach the American, East Asian or European markets.  But, over time these products travel and wind up in the hands of people all over the world.  

When shopping for vintage, be sure to consider whether the products are licensed products.  Licensed products are legal but they usually are not of the quality that you would ordinarily expect out of vintage designer items, so make sure to have realistic expectations.  But, they can be beautiful, collectable and are the real thing!

Picture courtesy of the ebay seller "highendwarehouse"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Moment!!

The Spring shows are almost over and up until now, I haven't had "THE MOMENT."  You know, that moment where you catch your breath and say "That is IT!"  

This dress is that moment!  It is from the Marni SS09 show, which is full of wonderful looks, don't get me wrong.  But, something about this dress captures everything I hoped for the coming Spring.  It is colorful, the cut is fantastic and it just feels right.  It is something that any woman could wear.  It is a blank canvas for accessories but cool enough to stand on its own.  It even has splashes of the season's color cream.  THIS IS THE DRESS.  And, I can't hardly wait!

Picture from

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spring Trend Watch!

The Spring 2009 shows have hit the runways and one theme seems to be the color Cream.  I know, how unexciting!  

But, cream may be one of the ultimate neutrals but don't count it out.  It looks great on most people.  It goes with almost anything, so you can pop it with a more exciting color.  

This trend is still in the making and I suspect it will morph into the "Classic Paris" look.  Think Classic Chanel and Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn in her prime.  

I will keep you posted where the trend goes and different interpretations of it!  

Givenchy SS09 photo from

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall--IT IS HERE!!

Horray!  It is fall!

Fall means pumpkins, dry leaves and more clothes!  One of the best things about fall and winter is it is a wonderful excuse to wear more clothes than you have gotten to in the last few months, like actual outerwear!

This fall is going to be all about layering, but unli
ke last fall, it won't be all about volume.  It is going to be all about balance and contrast!

Instead of wearing a huge puffy coat over a frothy dress, t
his fall it is all about the sleek coat over the dress, like this from Proenza Schouler:

Or, like this Marni look, with the big coat with the sleek dress:

Pictures from
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