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November 11, 2010

Wrap Me Up
Nicholas Kirkwood Booties
Nicholas Kirkwood Booties
Nicholas Kirkwood Booties
Looks from Inhabit Women's Fall Collection



It's a get cozy kind of day around here. Hopefully the sun will make an appearance this afternoon but even if we get a bit of sunlight, it's still the kind of day where you want to curl up next to a fireplace wrapped in a soft sweater. This is when Inhabit has you covered.

I have my eye on that deliciously detailed cowl neck sweater. I would wear that to death with jeans and tall boots all winter. What I love about Inhabit is the interesting twists to wardrobe basics. Pieces like that are staples for me because it makes it so much easier to get dressed and you can wear it from season to season. You can't go wrong. Now where's that fireplace?

 
x

Lovely Lanvin
November 9, 2010 | Collections Agent

This would be a hallelujah moment for me – if only I could afford it. I just found out Lanvin is available online at one of my favorite retailers, Nordstrom. The site hasa small, but tempting selection of Resort 2011 pieces.

Nicholas Kirkwood Booties Lanvin Lanvin Shoes
Just a small sampling of Lanvin online at Nordstrom

I wish I could add that beauty of a dress into my welcoming closet, but not only is it not within my budget, it's selling out fast. Guess this means I need to go about this the old fashioned way – by saving. A timeless Lanvin piece is definitely great motivation.

Glimpse of the Runway
October 13, 2010 | Collections Agent

You better work. I know that's so 90's but I had that RuPaul song in my head while I was watching the last night of Portland Fashion Week last weekend. I was lucky enough to attend as a guest of the incredibly lovely and talented Suzi Johnson of Souchi.

Souchi

Souchi

Portland Fashion Week - Souchi Spring 2011 Collection

Portland has a diverse and dynamic fashion community, so it's a great way to see what's happening right in my own 'hood. There were some very creative and highly wearable designs on the runway. I won't lie though. The show I anticipated most was Suzi's. I am an unabashed knitwear lover and Souchi delivers the goods on so many levels. Luxury – check. Elegance – check. Comfort – check. Sexiness – amen, sister.  Everything Suzi designs is timeless. I know that word is thrown around a lot, but her looks are truly wearable for years to come. When I think about the items that will stand the test of time, like a classic Chanel quilted bag, Lanvin flats or a Burberry trench, a Souchi sweater is on that list. Seriously, it's that good.

Souchi knitwear is hand-loomed right here in Portland. All of the pieces are made from the most delicious yarns you can imagine. Suzi's spring collection, filled with gorgeous dresses, tanks, skirts and lounge pants in a dreamy palette, will be available in late December. Meanwhile, peep the fall/winter collection here.

 

The Cat's Meow
October 7, 2010 | Collections Agent

If you told me I would find a cat print shorts and jacket set amusing and fresh, I would say you were smoking the strong stuff. Seriously though, maybe I'm the one who drank the Kool-Aid? Because I saw this look from the Paul and Joe Spring 2011 collection and I think it's awesome.

Paul & Joe
Paul & Joe Spring RTW 2011 from style.com

I also like the look on the bemused model's face. She is rocking the cat print for all she's worth. Now I'm not saying I'd leave the house in this, but I do like the lighthearted spirit of spring this look evokes. I also like the rest of this collection. For such a boyish name, Paul and Joe is bringing the the girly in the best possible ways.

Paul & Joe

Paul & Joe

Paul & Joe

 

Fun in Fashion with a Capital F
September 28, 2010 | Collections Agent
It has been a while since I've posted. I hit a wall when it came to finding something new to write. Everything started looking the same. Even with a recent trip to NYC, the retail climate wasn't getting me excited to part with my hard earned money. I wasn't finding any inspiration even though just a few months ago, I was excited about dressing for fall. Then spring 2011 shows started happening. It's always fun to see the latest and Prada proved to be the one show to offer the inspiration I craved.

Prada 2011
Prada Spring 2011 photos from style.com

Those prints! Those colors! Those shoes! The collection is so captivating, witty, and covetable! Now that Prada finally offers e-commerce, it will be interesting to see if ready-to-wear will join accessories in the online store.  Meantime, watch the spring show on the website. It will get you thinking again about how to make fashion fun and completely your own.

Fancy Frills
August 13, 2010 | Collections
I have to give it up to J. Crew for making it easy to find great fashion forward yet classic designs at wallet friendly prices. If you need the perfect slouchy cardigan, affordable cashmere, or even a fun night-on-the town outfit, J. Crew is on my list of top three places to look. However, there are a few items in the fall collection that does not fit the budget friendly description. Take this for instance.

Rose Gold Envelope Clutch

J. Crew Lacey Cami

What gives with the $700 lace cami? I know the description says it's hand-finished in France but come on! Even if it's sprinkled with fairy dust, I'm not sure it's worth it. For that kind of money you could buy a very nice coat or two pairs of quality boots or three pairs of super flattering wool trousers… the list goes on and on. I think I'll stay away from the French lace and stick to the more basic sportswear that J. Crew does best.

 

Spring in My Step
February 19, 2010 | Collections Agent

While I am having fun checking out images of all the fall 2010 fashion shows online, I am definitely feeling spring.  Getting some extended time in the sun has made me a new woman!  One line I am taking a second look at right now is  Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor
Looks from Rebecca Taylor Spring Collection

While the prints are super girly, there are other pieces – like the leopard print t-shirt or the denim polka dot shorts that add a dose of downtown cool to the looks.  I’m sold.

Jumper Cables
January 20 | Collections Agent

Seriously, why haven’t I written about Pringle of Scotland before?  I probably love a gorgeous knit more than any other item of clothing and this is one of the oldest games in town.  Like Burberry, Pringle of Scotland has worked to shed its stodgy image with a fresh new take on its heritage of argyle sweaters and matching twinsets.  Check out this hilarious animated short by artist David Shrigley about the brand’s past and present.

After watching this, I’m even more enthusiastic about a brand with roots in a place that rains so much it “gets to your head.”  I also love that Tilda Swinton is the fashion house’s muse right now.  She is truly an original… and I guess being Scottish doesn’t hurt either.  Anyway, if you want to see the latest goods, the 2010 Pre-fall Collection is filled with looks that are flat out fantastic. 

Pringle Pringle Pringle
Pringle of Scotland 2010 Pre-Fall Collection

The shapes and silhouettes are a good mix of cozy and streamlined.  I know there’s a whole spring season we haven’t even gotten to yet, but I’m already looking forward to what Pringle has to offer this fall.  Bring on the rain!

Collection Spotlight: Lutz & Patmos
November 30, 2009 | Collections Agent

As a knitter and lover of all things cozy, I am always up for adding to my knitwear collection.  While I love knitting something new, sweaters are more of a challenge, not just skill-wise, but time-wise as well.  Even the little projects can take days.  I just finished a snood/tube scarf/neck warmer and I’m diligently working on another in the hopes of giving a few to loved ones at Christmas.  Let me tell you, it’s hard to find the time.  Too bad I can’t just whip up a few pieces as luxurious and timeless as these.   

Sequin Chuck Taylor

Lutz & Patmos Sweater

Scarf

Lutz & Patmos Fall 2009 Collection

I love this line.  It’s everything fashion should be: simple, yet innovative; luxe, but not at all not precious; classic, but still surprising.  Not only do Lutz & Patmos make beautiful clothes, they know how to create buzz with noteworthy collaborations and guest designers.  Add a dash of eco consciousness and you’ve got an all around winner.  These pieces don’t come cheap, but it’s the perfect example of getting exactly what you pay for.  Beautiful clothes you can wear for a very long time.

Cruising Toward Spring
October 29, 2009 | Collections Agent

I have been in Europe for the past two weeks so the site has been sadly neglected.  So I fully admit this next post was ripped from the headlines… sort of.   One of my favorite sites, Refinery 29, highlights Petit Bateau’s spring lookbook and the looks are so, so effortless and winning. 

Petit Bateau
One word for this collection: love!

While we are just in the beginning stages of rainy weather around here, I can’t help but feel inspired.  Thankfully, I have a warm weather vacation to look forward to in March and I am all over the sailor pants and long sleeve tee.  The black shorts look like there is a zipper detail on the hem, which is way beyond the basics Petit Bateau is usually known for.  I’m a huge fan of A.P.C but now my casual cool French dressing obsession just got a little sexier.  Can’t wait for spring.

Deep Cover
October 1, 2009 | Collections Agent

I have a bit of advice.  Don’t ever try on a luxurious coat if you have no intention of buying it.  Because you will be so, so sad to leave it at the store.   I try not to do this because I tend to obsess over items left behind.  I’m still scouring ebay for a Margiela skirt I didn’t buy when it was on sale.  Yes, idiotic.  I know.  Boy, do I know.

So my point is, the right coat is especially… um, special… when it’s well designed, well made and well executed.  And by well executed, I’m talking about it being the centerpiece of a kick-ass outfit. 

Tory Burch
Burberry Prorsum Wool Trench Coat

Who wouldn’t feel glamorous in this?  This Burberry Prorsum coat is gorgeous.  I know the words “investment piece” get thrown around a lot to justify expensive purchases, but I don’t think many things actually fit that description.  Most of us grow tired of what we buy eventually.  But a like a Birkin, (Ha, how I’d love to get my hands on one of those!) a Burberry trench is truly something you wear for ages.  I wish I could own everything in the 2009 Fall collection, even some of the men’s clothes.  For now, I’ll just have to be happy being inspired by the looks.  Slouchy hat anyone?  

Not Made for Shopping Online
August 25, 2009 | Collections Agent

Why is it that a brand with the backing of retail giant J. Crew still doesn’t have an online store?  Do you have an answer, Madewell 1937?   I guess I will just have to admire the goods on your website because cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and yes, Portland do not have a brick and mortar store.  Just think of all the people going without your on-trend yet sensibly priced jeans and boots!  I’m talking to you Madewell! 

I will quit shouting and just offer up my favorite looks.

Madewell Jacket Madewell Jeans
 I especially like the boots, but the patent oxfords and 37’s jeans
in different washes are nice too.

Yes, I know I can call and place and order, but that is so 1997.   And I’d have to actually talk to someone.  I suppose the upside to this is that it cuts down on impulse buying.  Score one for the recession shopper.

Little Red Dress
July 14, 2009 | Collections Agent

Esty is my new obsession.  I could spend hours looking for vintage clothes, handmade jewelry and quirky kids’ t-shirts.  I just found this cheerful summer dress today and I really like the entire collection.

ES one of one Red Dot Dress

It has a racerback, which I’m especially fond of.  It just seems like the perfect dress to throw on and look instantly fabulous.  Check out the other dresses in the collection in gorgeous prints and an amazing lace belt that you’ll want to buy immediately.  At least I did.

Back to Basics
April 21 | Collections Agent
It was downright hot today… at least it was for me after it took forever to herd my toddler back to our car after a running errands and rewarding him with frozen yogurt.  The healthy fro yo didn’t go over as well as ice cream – that little stinker has very discerning tastes already – but the pebbles under all the trees we passed while getting to the parking lot were a big hit.  He had to linger at every tree.  Meanwhile, I was getting a bit sweaty and wishing I had on a t-shirt. 

I'm actually in desperate need of warm weather clothes. Luckily, one of my favorite clothing lines, Inhabit, is having a sale on cotton apparel.  A sale is a great excuse to stock up on basics.  Inhabit makes the best clothes for throwing on without thinking twice about comfort or style.  I love a no brainer! 

Steven Allen Romper
Inhabit Essential Cotton Tank Top

Hot Pink Hazelle
April 16 | Collections Agent

Another day, another dress.  This one is one sale too.

Hazelle Dress
Diane von Furstenberg Hazelle Dress

I love the color!  You can’t be shy sporting such a vibrant shade of pink.  The cascading ruffles really make this dress.  Check out the back view.

Hazelle
A look at the back from net-a-porter, but it's sold out there

The dress is available on the DVF online store.  Too bad the site doesn’t offer more than one view of the clothes, but with all the gorgeous spring looks, it can be addicting regardless.  You’ve been warned!

Denim Delights
March 26 | Collections Agent

I had a denim dress a few years back that I really loved at first, then got really tired of.  I should have put it away to pull out later but oh no, I had to give it away.  Now I see these dresses and long for the denim dress that was.

McClintock Dress
Current/Elliot McClintock dress
Heart Dress
Current/Elliot Heart dress

While we’re at it, I have to declare my love for the entire Current/Elliot spring line.  I’m not big on ultra distressed denim, which is a big part of their jeans, but I do like the soft, worn-in look.  It works so nicely with their vintage-inspired dresses.  Lighter denim is also a welcome change from all the dark jeans of the fall/winter season.   Besides, these Current/Elliot dresses are just plain pretty, and I'm all about pretty these days.

*Don’t forget to enter the bow cuff giveaway.  Send an email to info@fashionvice.com with your pick for an inexpensive way to perk up your spring wardrobe.  No purchase necessary.  Winner will be chosen at random.  Contest ends March 29, 2009.*

Creature of (Luxurious) Comfort
September 18 | Collections Agent

If there is one thing I cannot live without, it’s cashmere.  I think my obsession started in junior high school after a read a YA book by Beverly Cleary.  The plucky heroine was named Jane (of course I’d see that as a reason to root for her).  It was about the angst of meeting the cute new boy in town but being afraid he wouldn’t think she was cool enough, like the popular girl at school who owned lots of cashmere sweaters and drove around in her boyfriend’s convertible.  Needless to say, this book was written in the early 60’s.  

But I digress.  Cashmere – it’s absolutely the yummiest, most luxurious textile ever.  I am slowly building up a collection that borders on the compulsive.  What helps is that you can find decent cashmere pieces at reasonable prices and with gentle hand washing, a sweater can last for years.  So even with a one year-old, who often has sticky fingers and occasionally drools, I consider cashmere a necessary luxury.

For gorgeous cashmere that goes beyond the basic, Inhabit wins hands down.  I love the simple but innovative designs and the best feature on many of the sweaters is the extra long arms.   

Inhabitat Hoodie

At $578 this is definitely an investment.  These days it’s hard to justify paying a hefty price for anything, much less a sweater, but I say if you can afford it, go for it.  Inhabit designs have a strong “price per wear” justification as far as I’m concerned.  Seriously, whoever thought of that one is a genius.

How It's Made
September 4 | Collections Agent

I have a confession to make.  Fashion has not been on the forefront of my mind these days.  Iʼve completely gotten sucked into election coverage, so between the normal duties that keep me busy, I have once again become a political news junkie with a serious weak spot for The Daily Show.  Yes, I know it's fake news but damn, it's funny.  Whatʼs a girl with a fashion blog to do?

Well, Fashion Week is about to start so hopefully it will get me back on track.  And today I was out buying a gift when I complimented a sales associate on her sweater.  She said it was Madewell.  I made a mental note to check out the goods again, since I havenʼt looked at the website in a while. 

And that's what I did.  It will definitely be a good thing once the ecommerce site is up.  I hate to sound like an exasperated teenager, but actually calling to place an order sounds so old fashioned.   Believe me when I tell you that I remember the days of calling J. Crew so I shouldnʼt feel so put out.  But I do.

Iʼm impressed by the fall looks.  There's a lot to mix and match, which is key for me.  My biggest critique though is that they should offer more description of the products.  Is the sweater made of wool or cotton?  Whatʼs the inseam on the jeans?  How wide is the bag?  That information would help me rule something out outright instead of trying to figure it out over the phone with a customer service representative.   Hopefully the ecommerce site will deliver as much as the clothes.

Madewell Fall
Fall looks from Madewell

Review: Jovovich-Hawk for Target
February 29 | Collections Agent

Here’s my advice about this line: run do not walk to your nearest Target because it will go fast!  Target’s website says Jovovich-Hawk is available starting March 2, but I happened to go this morning for more practical purchases (toothpaste, paper towels etc.) and I was surprised to see that not only were the clothes already out but some of the styles were almost sold out.
 
It’s not surprising because there’s a lot to like.  The vintage-inspired looks that Jovovich-Hawk are known for is well represented but there are styles for more mass appeal.  I haven’t blogged about the Go International line in a long time because I haven’t been impressed with the quality of the clothes or even the designs but this is the best collection ever. 

JH Dress
Jovovich-Hawk for Target apron dress.

This dress didn’t really catch my eye when I saw it online but the pattern is quite nice in person and it’s relatively well made.  I had to clip some stray threads around the crochet trim at the bottom but that’s not really a complaint.  I think flat gladiator sandals would look cute with the dress.  I also liked a black floral print smocked dress and halter dress in the same print, which looked perfect for a warm night out.  Those dresses weren’t pictured on the preview page of Target’s website.  In fact, there were a lot of styles I saw today that weren’t on the website.  Scooped back tees with ties at the back of the neck, thin striped tees and floral print tank tops all had that retro feel that would look great with wide legged jeans or slouchy trousers.  I grabbed these two tops…

JH Hoodie
JH TShirt
Jovovich-Hawk for Target short sleeve hoodie & printed t-shirt

I think the best thing in the collection was the blue linen vest.  I debated whether to get it, but I am just not a vest person.  Too bad for me, but perfect for the girl that can pull off the boho layered look.  And for those of you looking for a new swimsuit the flirty bikinis are a bargain at $16.99 for each piece.

One thing to be aware of: sizing is all over the map.  It could be tricky ordering online.  I was a small in one top and a medium in another.  One of the dresses I looked at ran so small I would have tried on a large.  Speaking of sizes, some of the best styles were already down to just two sizes (S and XL).  So if you want a piece of this action act fast.

Question of Cool
January 26 | Collections Agent

It kills me to admit this but I question whether or not I am cool enough for Alexander Wang.  The slouchy trousers, the kicky tank tops and silk dresses, the super-short shorts; these aren’t looks for your modest Jane.  This Jane doesn’t want to be just another skirt in the crowd but do I have what it takes not to look like a fashion victim? 

Back to Alexander Wang for just a moment.  Every fashion savvy gal and her mother and her brother are talking about him.  He’s been mentioned in all the requisite fashion publications and has gathered accolades faster than a possessed shopper at a sample sale.  I can see why he’s getting all this attention.  His clothes are fresh, forward and definitely youthful.  Check out the designer’s website.  Even that is a breath of fresh air.  Often designers, especially the big fashion houses, have these boring or frustratingly difficult-to-navigate websites.  Wang’s starts off with a blast of music, courtesy of The Cure (one of my all time favorite bands) and displays looks from both his men’s and women’s collections.

Alexander Cardigan
Alexander Skirt
Alexander Tank Dress
Alexander Wang Dress
Looks from the Alexander Wang Resort collection

So back to the question: am I cool enough for Alexander Wang?   Models, musicians and art students aside, I’m not sure if many people are “cool enough” but what does it matter anyway?  I don’t need to relive my 20’s but I definitely don’t have to dress like a grandmother, at least not until I am one.  Thankfully that won’t be for a very long time.   With smart mixes with the right pieces I can pull of my own looks that are age and lifestyle appropriate and - dare I say it - cool.

Knitty Gritty
December 5 | Collections Agent

One of the smartest things I bought for the season is a dark gray Vince shawl collar cardigan.  It feels like a warm blanket without the obvious problems of actually wearing a blanket – which would be very unfashionable and quite unwieldy.  Vince knitwear is my favorite.  The rest of the sportswear line has some nice pieces but I love their knits best of all.  The hoodies are casual but luxurious while the cardigans and sweaters will remain timeless.  Low key never looked better.

Sweater Coat Tie Cardigan Vince Hoodie
my favorite looks from the fall collection all available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Pop Art
October 16, 2007 | Collections Agent

Maybe it’s just me but I’m already bored with this year’s fall collections.  Everything I see at stores and online have been looking the same.  It doesn’t help that in this age of easy access via the internet, we’ve seen the fall lines months ago and they seem about as fresh as lime Jello.

One exception to the same old, same old is Seattle native Chris Benz.  I’m totally keen on his colorful and slightly bent take classic sportswear.  The witty pops of color are the perfect pick me up for days when you’re feeling uninspired.

Chris Benz Chris Benz
Chris Benz Fall/Winter 2007
Chris Benz Fall
Chris Benz Winter
Chris
Chris Benz Spring/Summer 2008

One of my favorite pieces is this striped rugby.  Love the extra long button placket and slouchy but not schlumpy fit. Check out his website for the rest of the collections.  I like how his clothes are styled.  Some of the looks would fit girls in their 20’s much better than me, but you can take individual pieces and make them age appropriate.  Yuck.  What a horrible concept, but absolutely necessary.  Do you want Britney Spears running around Malibu dressed the way she is now in 20 years?  Think about it.  Anyhoo…you can find Chris Benz at shopbop.

Randa Rugby


Mad About Miu Miu
Collections Agent | August 6

There are plenty of summer days left but I’m already thinking about my fall wardrobe updates.  Summer doesn’t last nearly long enough in Portland so it’s easy to shift gears, and fall accessories are especially covetable this year.  Who needs more reason than that to start focusing on fall?  One of my favorite collections is from Miu Miu.   I’m in love with the handbags and those colorful patchwork shoes are a fresh look for footwear.  If only I could fill my closet with all these goodies!

Vitello
Leather Vitello bag will never go out of style… love, love, love this bag.
Naplak
Patchwork Naplak would look outstanding with a simple day dress and tights.
Spectator by Miu

These pumps put a new spin on the old spectator shoe.

If you’re able to splurge, you can find all these looks at saksfifthavenue.com.  For now I’m going to have to be content visiting these beauties online. 

Paradise Found
March 28
| Collections Agent

Whenever there’s a warm weather vacation on the horizon, the first thing I go shopping for is a sassy little dress or two.  Sadly, there isn’t a rum soaked get-away to look forward to in the near future.  But one designer’s line has me aspiring for a look worthy of those glamorous Bain de Soleil ads from my childhood.

I’m talking about the fabulously flirtatious Milly line.  You can check out the entire spring collection on the Milly website to see what I mean.  From sexy bathing suits to retro-inspired dress prints, Milly suits the vintage lover in me who still wants something thoroughly modern. 

Eyelet Dress
Show some serious leg with this eyelet dress
Jaquard Dress
Love the fresh shape and color of this strapless jacquard dress
Ruffled dress

a vintage-inspired ruffled dress that isn’t screaming Carol Brady

Milly shorts
This cashmere sweater and cotton shorts outfit makes me want to play croquet with a tasty bellini in one hand
Yellow Dress

And it seems I’m one of many on the Milly bandwagon.  I’ve seen this yellow ruffled dress in a couple of magazines.  I think I’m definitely on to something.

Definitely a No GO
February 7 | Collections Agent

It almost pains me to do this, because I really wanted to like this collection, but the Proenza Schouler line for Target’s GO International is a real dud. The preview pictures made it seem like the collection would have fresh and playful vibe that was definitely more youthful than some of the other GO International collections but would at least have a few looks for everyone. All I can say is, I didn’t wear this stuff when I was 13 and I can’t see too many teens getting excited about a poor imitation of a Member’s Only jacket circa 1986.

So where do I even begin? Like any optimist, I’ll start with the good.

Suede Jacket

This suede jacket was much nicer than I expected. It was soft and a good weight. The color left something to be desired, but that’s just me. I’m normally not a big fan of light gray because it washes most me out, but for review purposes I’m just going to ignore my own bias. I’m also not too keen on the cropped jacket look, but it would work for some gals.

Chain Tank

In contrast, the chain print tank top in green was a great hue and good length. It’s definitely on the thin side so I’d wear another layer underneath if I was wearing this on its own.Cable Sweater

The gray cropped cardigan gets big points for looks with its pretty shawl collar and cable knit. The yarn is a little stiff for my taste (I’m guessing it’s a cotton blend since I forgot to check out the label) but for 30 bucks, it’s not bad at all.

I’ll also give honorable mention to a couple of skirts, since Proenza Schouler is known for their skirts. The button front denim skirt and the pencil skirt have potential has a wardrobe staple. The black empire dress and striped coat are also winners for nice construction and universally flattering cuts.

Now for the bad, and I’ll try not to get too carried away here.

Tissue TThese t-shirts come in different colors and they are all just wrong. It’s apparently supposed to fit boxy because it’s called “boy” tissue tee but I’d rather buy a three pack of Hanes and call it a day. I don’t understand why the sleeves are rolled up. Nothing should be rolled. Not jeans, not sleeves, not socks. Period.

The purple silk wrap tank was another disappointment. I really wanted it to work out but the straps are awkward and the material doesn’t quite lie correctly against the body. Next!

Tissue T

I’ve saved the worst for last because I have no idea what Hernandez and McCollough were thinking with this cheap wonder. Is it me or do you hear Billy Jean as you’re looking at this? It literally feels like a plastic grocery bag.

Windbreaker

I also give dishonorable mention to the seamed twill pants because… well, there’s no need to explain after you see it. Enough said.

For me, this is the most disappointing GO International collection. As much as I’m looking forward to spring and being a frugal fashionista with my wardrobe upgrades, I won’t spend a penny on this collection.


Sunny Delight
December 12 | Collections Agent

After several days of fun in the sun, I return to rain, rain, rain.    At least I can rely on my sunny disposition to get me through the craptastic weather.  Why the good mood you ask?  I’m sitting in front of a computer looking at resort fashions.  Never mind that I just got back from a resort.  I’m already suffering from solar withdrawal.  It’s all about flimsy, floaty dresses with open-toed shoes.  Do you know how hard it is to keep my feet bound in socks for six months straight?  It’s not pretty.

So for all you gals stuck in mucky weather, here’s a look at three of my favorite looks from Philip Lim’s resort collection.

Lim
Lim Lim
The perfect dress times three

If you must get your hands on warm weather looks right now Satine Boutique, is a great place to shop for this collection.  I love this site.  I could browse for hours.  But now I’m going to remove myself from the computer.  My husband is taking me out tonight and I’ve got to go get pretty!

Reviewing Go: Behnaz Sarafpour
November 2 | Collections Agent

Frugal fashionistas get your fannies over to Target now that the latest Go International collection has hit stores.  This one boasts serious couture cred with Behnaz Sarafpour behind the line.  Her fall ready-to-wear line is just gorgeous and I was hoping to get a taste of that elegance on a much smaller budget.   

To be honest, I have yet to love any Go International collection.  I think my expectations are too high.  At the end of the day, these items are made cheaply so they can be sold cheaply.  Maybe I should keep this in mind so I won’t be disappointed when the sweater that looked cute online isn’t so great up close.

Voile Shirt
This short sleeve voile shirt was my favorite

I’ll start with what’s good in the collection.  For $17.99, the voile shirt is a no brainer.  It has nice little details and most importantly, it doesn’t look cheap.  Just make sure the collar is even.  As with all of these foreign factory produced clothes, construction is all over the map.  Some shirts are fine and others look like they were put together by a junior high Home Ec student.  I would have liked the voile shirt in black but they were out of my size.

Velvet Skirt
Surprisingly well made velvet skirt

This is very cute and the perfect weight, unlike those dense and scratchy checked skirts in the Paul and Joe collection.   Worn with the right little black jacket and great shoes, this skirt can look much richer than the $29.99 price tag.

Faux Lamb Shirt
Elegant faux fur jacket

This faux lamb jacket is another winner.  It would dress up jeans nicely for an evening out.  It’s hard to tell in the picture, but you get the luxurious Astrakhan look without actually wearing the skins of fetal lambs.  Yuck.

Some of the other items in the collection were okay, like the brocade skirt and the lace trimmed mini.  Then there were a few things that fell way short.

Taffeta Dress
The lace trim cardigan and white taffeta dress weren’t so hot

 

To be fair, the cardigan is actually cute on the hanger.  I tried on the black version.  When I took it off, my white t-shirt was covered in black lint.  I really don’t like leaving clues that I’m wearing cheaply made clothes.  The taffeta dress looked dingy on the hanger.  I don’t know if the particular one I saw was dragged under the wheel of a cart then put back on the rack, but it wasn’t what I’d call a pretty party dress.  It was also excessively poofy.  I wear a small and I’d still think twice about all that volume.

Jewel Shirt
This jeweled t-shirt – tacky much?

Oh mercy.   By far the worst thing in the collection.  If you’re riding Greyhound with a bunch of seniors to pull an all nighter with the nickel slots in Reno, this is your shirt.  Otherwise, it’s no gem.

Lace Duffel
I want to get my hands on this lace duffel bag

The item I was most curious about was no where to be seen.   I have some trips coming up and I wonder if this would make the perfect carry-on bag.  I guess I’ll have to look for the duffel bag the next time I’m at Target.  I’m hesitant to order this online because I want to see if it’s actually cute or a dud like the t-shirt. 

So I left Target without buying Behnaz (although I did by a nifty electric toothbrush) but I’m not giving up on finding fabulous looks for less.  I have a date with H&M and Zara in two weeks.

Ladylike Styles to Test Your Feminine Wiles
October 25 | Collections Agent

I’m always on the lookout for small labels that are about more than flash in the pan trends and offer a modern interpretation of classic styles.  That’s exactly what designer Alex Gaines dishes up with her line of sportswear that’s simple but never boring.

Gaines was one of the people behind premium jean label Paper, Denim and Cloth, but left in 2003 to launch her own line of picture perfect ready-to-wear.  I like the mix and match aspect of the collection.  You could take a puff sleeve sweater and wear it with the wide leg pants or the tulip skirt or even topping a dress.   I love everything in the current collection.

Alex Gaines
More Alex Gaines
Alex Gaines Designer
Alex Gaines Clothing
My favorite looks from the Fall Alex Gaines Collection

You can find Alex Gaines at saks.com or Active Endeavors, and view the entire collection at alexgaines.com.

Cheap Monday… On Friday
October 13 | Collections Agent

Do you even bat an eye when you see a pair of jeans for $200 or more?  Even with the denim market completely saturated with labels from Japan to New York, we are still willing (if not able) to shell out the big money for our beloved jeans. 

Enter Cheap Monday.  This Swedish denim maker is taking prices down to a more manageable level and bringing along a new take on quality denim.  It has the cool, new kid buzz and from everything I’ve read these unisex jeans deliver the goods, but let’s just say I’m not sold on all the looks.

Eiffel Tower Jeans
Cheap Monday Eiffel Tower Jeans

 Apparently you can wear these just under your bra line or scrunched down.  Hmm… yeah, I think I can pass on this one.

Narrow Jeans
Cheap Monday Narrow Jeans

These I can deal with.  I’m personally over super skinny jeans but I do like this look with a comfy oversized sweater and high heeled booties.  I’m feeling very contrary this Friday.  Anyway, for $65 it won’t leave you broke for giving it a spin.  I also like this coat.

Duffel Jeans
Cheap Monday Wool Duffel Coat

You can by Cheap Monday online at Barneys Co Op and caliroots.com (which provides an interesting window into Sweden’s hipster set).   Happy weekend!

Thoroughly Modern Mini
October 4 | Collections Agent

I admit that part of the reason I dig Brooklyn designer Samantha Pleet’s collection is because it reminds of the things I loved to wear as a teen.  Don’t get me wrong though, her clothes are not totally derivative of the past.   (Hmm, I must be feeling very nostalgic this week.  See yesterday’s post.)  I love the medieval references, making the collection fantastically fun. 

Samantha Pleet Dress
Samantha Pleet Behind Bars dress

Mini dresses are predicted to be big for spring.  I’d wear this with jeans or tights for cold weather.  I can’t believe this is Samantha’ Pleet’s first collection.  She also has pictures from her Spring 2007 collection up on her website.  If you are in the buying mood, as I sadly always seem to be, Satine Boutique offers Samantha Pleet including this dress.

Making of the Bag
September 26 | Collections Agent

There’s a fantastic article in The New Yorker (September 25 edition) about Fendi’s role in the proliferation of status symbol handbags.  The article profiles Silvia Fendi Venturini, accessories designer for Fendi, but it also delves into what it takes to crank out the next It bag.   Venturini actually provides an inside look at the process to make said handbag, from concept to creation to presentation at the runway shows.   At the time of the article, Venturini was working on a bucket bag to complement Fendi’s Fall 2006 Ready-to-Wear collection.

Fendi Bag
The next big bag?

Fendi conjures up two images for me: fur and that copied-to-death Baguette.  I’m not a fur fan (although I don’t have a problem with those who are) and the Baguette has been done to death, whether it’s the real thing or made in China.  But I do like Fendi’s RTW collection. 

Fendi Purse

Fendi Handbag

Fendi Purses
Lux looks from Fendi Fall 2006

As for that bucket bag, I think it looks clunky.   It’s supposed to be soft but it looks like you could use it in a hammer throw.  Or fight off a mugger with one swift whack across the face.  In some places, I suppose that’s a good thing.

Illuminate Me Marc Jacobs
September 13 | Collections Agent

I know I said I wouldn’t analyze the latest collections just yet, but here’s my two cents about the Marc Jacobs show since everyone and her mother is weighing in.  First off, I had to look at the collection a few times to even form an opinion because those strange 80’s inspired cycling caps were throwing me off.  What’s up with that?

Runway 1
The hat looks like a wardrobe reject from Quicksilver but the rest is fabulous

What I did love right away was the atmosphere of the show.  The green zigzag double runway was a great showcase for a spring collection.  The light reflecting fabrics and accessories were also inspired.  Same goes for the air-whipped ruffled dresses.

Hologram Dress

Silver Bag
Holographic & metallic

But the head-scratcher award goes to the billowy bottoms.  Some are already calling them MC Hammer pants, but my first thought was I Dream of Jeannie.  Well, whatever image they conjure, you can’t touch this.   Same with the pantaloons.

Marc Jacobs Pants

Marc Jacobs Shorts
Perhaps this is a look better left on the runway

As for the accessories, I’m glad quilted handbags are sticking around.  Marc Jacobs infuses the looks with metallic skins and geometric quilting, giving the trend legs for next season. 

Marc Jacobs Purple Bag

Marc Jacobs Stam Bag
I’ll take one of each… I wish!

So I guess I really liked the collection.  And I think we’ll start seeing some distillations of these looks in lower priced collections at a store near you.  However, I still want an answer on those hats.

 

The Peppy Preppies
September 7| Collections Agent

I was at the bookstore recently and saw a woman in a cute striped cardigan.  I thought to myself, “That’s Trovata.”  Weird.  I didn’t even know I had that little nugget of information tucked away in my cluttered mind.   So I checked out the Trovata website.  Because of my journalism background, the whimsical but totally content-deficient site rendered me a little frustrated.

Trovata Site
One of the Look Book pages on the Trovata website

It’s a good thing style.com is around.  When are designers going to learn they need a good presence online? 

Trovata

Trovata

Trovata

Trovata
Looks from the Trovata Fall 2006 Runway

It’s hard to go wrong with an adorable St. Bernard as an accessory.  Speaking of adorable, what about the four designers behind Trovata?  Just like the dog, I want to ruffle their hair and say, “Dude, you guys are so cute.”  Read their charming interview with New York Magazine and you can see where I’m coming from. They must have won the 2005 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund because they are so refreshingly delightful, like lemonade on a hot day.

So back to my original thought, I guess the website and the fall collection both leave me wanting more.  Granted many of the individual pieces, both men’s and women’s, are fun.  But for the amount of attention they’re getting, I hope their upcoming spring collection isn’t lacking for content.  As for their presentation, I’m sure they’ll deliver.

If you want to buy Trovata online here are a few places to start:  Active Endeavors, Revolve Clothing and eLuxury offer a lot.  My favorites are the toggle coat, sweater dress and the twill trench.

             
 

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