I am addicted to the Sartorialist. To me, it’s way more inspiring than any runway show because it displays how real people put themselves together without the help of a stylist. It’s a throwback to my days at magazines where I used to get a million “outfit ideas” by going to lunch at the Conde Nast cafeteria. And I love the style of photography: part fashion, part documentary, part snapshot. And it’s fun to see the trends in Paris (ankle boots: still solid) vs. New York (loving the Prada lace.) It’s a shame that his LA coverage never captures our finest. The true belles out here can easily step out in Europe or NY and hold their own. Maybe he’s going to the wrong part of town!
I know most of us want leggings to be over and done with, but I have to admit that I’ve taken quite a fancy for a particular pair of leather leggings “a la Rodarte”. Although, do we really call them leggings if they are just a pair of leather panels that wrap around your legs and zip up at the back? A couple weeks ago, while working with our bosses at Presse, I got a close up look at them when we went to visit the Rodarte showroom and I just could not get enough!
Love the diamond cutouts that make them look like leather fishnets.
Love the nude and white leather.
Love the crossover look you get from biker to ballerina.
How great are those going to be for spring?! I know, wearing leather in the spring time brings sticky thoughts to my mind too, but that’s why the cutouts are so genious – style and function!
You will either love or hate these leggings, but for me, I’m head over heels.
I recently met New York designer Lizzie Fortunato and her sister, Kathryn, when they popped into Presse about a month ago. Their jewelry is amazing: frothy tulle flower necklaces with tiny studs and jumbo metallic-y rope bracelets (like that generic white one you wore as a kid!) But I flipped for these zodiac bags/clutches/waist-belts that they make on special order. They take something like 50 hours to produce, all hand sewn. One sign was cooler than the next, I literally couldn’t decide which month was coolest. Another designer came in and decided that they should be made into super totes! All in good time….
V Magazine loves us. Or at least I like to think they do as they send boxes of new issues to Presse every month. I’m into it. It’s like getting a little gift in the middle of all the retail madness. Our shoppers love it as well and rarely leave without one. Last month, the cover was Giselle in a trashy Louis Vuitton denim situation and this time, it’s a revolving door of models, some hot (Daria!) and some that came out of left field (Frankie?) I am still a sucker for oversize books (W, thank you for pioneering) and V is no exception in greatness. The photography is saucy, and the covers, a real head turner.
Take for instance, Gucci. Poor Frida: From Cathy Horyn of the New York Times “(…) are they a look you expect from Gucci, or Liz Claiborne? Are they even a Look?” And from WWD: “Gucci looks are all over Zara.”
OUCH! Or as we say in France, AIE! Zara – Gucci – Gucci – Zara….?
Sure, every designer gets sliced once in a while by the Cathy Horn razor blade. But I must say that what shocked me the most was the display of pure, unadulterated copying at D&G. A complete Chanel knock-off!! Take a look for yourself! Scandalous!
Being French, and living for French fashion, I cannot accept this type
of plagiarism. Bisoooooo!
I am obsessed with Model Boards and I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the concentration of hotness, or the simply the hap-hazard collage factor. Indeed they are like a life-size Look Book and inspire ways to work to newest styles, as only runway models can do. At the moment, I am mad for Lily Donaldson. Nevertheless, I can’t turn away from a collection of poloroids with names from the Eastern Block scribbled all over them in black sharpies. We found particularly good ones at VPL and had to snap some shots of snapshots!
Its been a tough week, kids. Fashion shows day in and day out, accompanied by the requisite celebrity citing, natch. Followed by endless meetings with on-line partners, conference calls with our software developers, showroom appointments to see collections after runway presentations, dinners for new designers… fashion ain’t easy. But it sure is highly entertaining. Especially at times like these when I desperately try to find distraction from from the political stage (ix-nay on the ink-lay).
At the end of these exhausting days, I sit back, kick my feet up, and escape the stress by blasting some tunes. Yes, I said tunes. I am no spring chicken, and unfortunately, words like “tunes” are a part of my vernacular. In any case, like many people, I consider the music in the background as a soundtrack to what is my life.
I think its the video that did me in. Super chic. I like to play this song while I scroll through images of the items we are thinking of ordering for the season. A “little bit in love” with each one of these…
Take for instance, the task we were put to by our bosses at Presse. This summer, our charge was to find vintage dress forms that could be fixed up, re-upholstered and transformed into cool new mannequins to be used for unique store display.
Finding dress forms in this city is by far a very challenging task; especially when the task specifies the dress form to be of a vintage look, and most importantly CHEAP! Now, most dress forms as you may well know, are exceedingly expensive and can feel like you are placing a down payment on a Ford Focus. Consider yourself lucky, dear fashion friends, because what you have here before you is a tried-and-true guide to finding a great vintage mannequin:
1. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! When taking on the fashionable streets of Manhattan, you certainly want to keep your feet looking attractive during this uneasy mission. Newcomers to the New York fashion world feel that they have to wear high heels shoes at all times. We highly discourage this behavior if you want to see yourself at the finish line. Moral of this statement: you will be walking miles, so wear something you will be comfortable in.
2. START THE SEARCH AT THE BIRTHPLACE OF NYC DESIGN: Obviously, the fist place to look is in the two world famous fashion institutes conveniently located in NYC – aka: Parsons and FIT. However, be forewarned!! The fashion departments at these prestigious schools either sell, donate or perform a lottery with these forms for their students first. To nab these, you have to get there very early after the end of the year. On that note, another good starting point is to take a stroll up and down 25th-27th streets and around 6th and 7th Avenues (or “mannequin district”, as we like to call it). We found multiple little shops, willing to sell their vintage forms for negotiable prices.
3. OUR SPECIAL SECRET: After many miles walked, we found this little “hole in the wall” shop called “Sewing and Co.”, which is located on 38th between 8th and 9th avenue. This small shack owned by a charming man named Robin has tons and tons of vintage dress forms stacked around in the upstairs storage. Now, you WILL have to listen to Robin’s stories of his son becoming “a movie star”, and you WILL have to watch video segments of said 13 year old son acting in movie clips on his laptop, but once you pass the test, Robin will inform you of his stack of dress forms that he has dropped off at his house in New Jersey that he ever so often is willing to give you for FREE! A tip? You may want to splurge on some popcorn and give yourself a couple hours to kick back and watch some movies to score the deal.
4. ONLINE, BABY, ONLINE: Don’t forget to take a look online at Craig’s List or Ebay.com. Here, you have the ability to find a plethora of vintage forms for bargain prices as low as $25! Before you click the “Buy” button, make sure the shipping prices aren’t as much as you would be spending on a first class ticket to London, because that’s where they might get ya.
5. POUND THE PAVEMENT: When all else fails and nothing is going your way, just begin to roam up and down random streets in the Garment District or go to flea markets during the weekends, because you are always bound to stumble on something. Even if you come across a store that are not particularly dress form/mannequin selling stores, the best you can do is to bat those gorgeous eyes of yours and see if you can change the minds and hearts of all!!!
Why is it so freaking hard to find a good bag? Anything spotted in a department store makes me gag. Give it a week and you’ll see all the Rodeos and Madisons carrying the same Doctor. For some reason, it’s the one category where anyone with an ad campaign doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it’s because “It” bags come and go and they are usually the result of designers hawking free totes to celebs. It’s not even natural selection! But when I met Kendall Conrad, the chic Santa Barbara designer, I knew I found something special. Think: simple styles, buttery deerskin leather, perfect neutrals (dove gray, distressed brown, espresso) and top-notch craftsmanship. My fave this moment: an oversized Tibetan lambskin and mohair number. Not to mention, this month’s French Vogue did a whole spread on the furry fabric. Hopefully it won’t become the new “It” skin!