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!

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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?

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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.

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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

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