The four seasons?

I just read an interesting article on the New York Times' website...partially discussing what the abysmal exchange rate will do for sales of European fashion in the US, "One can find a pretty acceptable used car for about the same price a woman is asked to pay for a Lanvin dress"...and also pondering the question of what the current climate changes will do to the world of the article states,

"By Aug. 1, a retailer’s autumn has begun. Whatever isn’t sold by mid-October will be marked down. For consumers that’s a boon. For retailers it is a prospect that inspires dark thoughts. “What are we supposed to do when there are no seasons anymore?”"

Well, I know what I've been doing...much as it saddens me when I see a particularly alluring winter coat or heavy-duty jacket, I rarely buy anything in a substantial fabric in thinner fabrics just makes more sense...when the temperatures do dip I can just add a few layers. The sad thing is that I own plenty of vintage pieces that it rarely gets cold enough to wear. I have some Joseph sweaters for example...knit from heavyweight wool in intricate designs, they're beautiful, but they sit in a closet with bags of moth deterrent and only make very infrequent forays into the world. Let's face it, when you've essentially got an entire sheep on your back, you need the thermometer to take a nosedive...


"The laws of color are unutterably beautiful, just because they are not accidental." ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Admittedly I wear a lot of muted tones (I've based whole outfits around the term "sludge") but when I do wear color I want it to be a pure, unadulterated, blast of color. And nobody knows color better than Pantone, the people who define color for graphic designers and design professionals around the world.

So imagine how excited I am by the news that Uniqlo and Pantone have joined forces over a range of cashmere sweaters and cardigans in 20 official Pantone colors. So, the perfect, purest, red or blue is within my reach...if I can get to the Uniqlo store in New York in time...


Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner!

Well, not yet, but there will be soon and it could be you. You may have noticed the addition of a Splendicity member badge to the area on the right. Well, today is Splendicity contest day...see below for the rules of engagement...and good luck!

Well, almost a month of contests, and this is it. Our final contest is a biggie, and I hope that a lot of you enter this final contest as the prizes total over $325!

To enter today's contest:
*Visit "20" Splendid Member blogs, post a comment on their latest post that is not a contest post. Read the post, and make it a real comment about the post. You can also view the Splendicity member list right at the homepage: .

*Go back to and report the Splendid Member blogs that you commented on in today’s Splendicity blog contest post WITH A LINK TO THE POST. If there is no link to the post you commented on, we cannot check your comment and your entry will not be valid.

All readers that complete the process correctly by leaving both comments and the link to the posts commented on will be entered to the contest.

As always, please be sure to read the contest rules before entering.

Todays prize:

Splendid Swag Bag worth over $325!


Inside the splendid swag bag will be the following:
InStyle Magazine ($3.99)
Glamour Magazine ($3.99)
Allure Magazine ($3.49)
Lancome Color Design Lipstick ($21.00)
Lancome Juicy Tube ($17.50)
Boscia Skin Care Travel Kit ($42.00)
MAC Cosmetics - 2 - Mattene Lipsticks & 2 - Matte2 Eyeshadows ($50.00)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow & Liquid Liner ($34.00)
Bare Escentuals Eye Collection ($39.00)
Kimberly Sayer Night Cream ($32.00)
Philosophy The Supernatural Airbrushed Canvas in Bronze ($35.00)
DuWop Revolotion Tinted Body Moisturizer ($25.00)
Benefit Cosmetics Sexy Gold Lip Gloss ($20.00)

Good Luck!

We wish to thank of all the sponsors for donating prizes for our readers.


Do my eyes deceive me?

I haven't been posting about Milan fashion week because nothing that I've seen has really grabbed me (except Prada which I'm still slowly you tend to do with Miuccia's visions). Moschino Cheap & Chic's spray painted smiley face t-shirt, which bore a striking resemblance to Luella's from last did some of the styling. Gucci...all that yellow and black and white made me think of the flight of the bumble bee. And so it goes on...

Then I came to the pictures from Marni and did a "could that be? yes, it is" doubletake...Marni's colorblock dress and CDG's polyeurethane knot bag...long lost twins?


The head that wears the crown...

As a child, I was a Christmas wasn't just the presents (though they certainly helped), it was the entire package...decorating the tree, singing carols out of tune, and wearing the paper crown that came out of my Christmas cracker until it disintegrated.

Thanks to my favorite purveyor of whimsical accessories, Tatty Devine, I can now succumb to my crown fetish anytime I want...with no fear of it turning into papier mache when it gets wet. The only question is do I want the somber black "business crown" or the pink "party crown"...decisions, decisions...


My main squeeze...

It's official, my computer hates me. Hence the lack of posts today...

I need something to calm my nerves, I need...a Boing Ball. Not just a stress ball but a stress ball that changes colors whenever you squeeze it. In my current mood I could give myself an epileptic fit but, if MoMA had some kind of instantaneous wish fulfillment delivery system, I'd risk it.


Safety first...

Today, as I got dressed, I pondered what lay ahead of me...mainly chores, the most time consuming of which involved a trip across town...from point A (a good-ish neighborhood) to point B (an "emerging" neighborhood) via point C (a slightly dodgy neighborhood). Now, as paranoid as this may sound, I decided against several perfectly good outfits because they didn't I don't even like myself for writing that last sentence...I am a woman, it's the 21st century, and I should be able to wear whatever I want whenever I want. End of story.

However, as I seem to be the human equivalent of catnip for every lunatic, bum, and construction worker roaming the streets it is, sadly, a consideration. Leers, comments, and propositions...seriously, do these men have nothing better to do with their time? And as it mainly occurs when I’m wearing a skirt or dress I consider jeans and pants to be “safe”. Once upon a time I thought that long skirts were pretty harmless, until I went out one day in a full, mid-calf length vintage skirt from Ralph Lauren... I can only assume that, in that instance, the lunatic in question had a Little House on the Prairie fetish.

Susie Bubble recently wrote about people making snide comments behind her back...cattiness I can manage, my theory is that you can't (and shouldn't) please all of the people all of the time. But sexual innuendo freaks me out, there's always the fear that someone may step beyond a certain boundary. And so, on occasion, I edit myself...and hate myself as I do it...


Seek and ye shall find

The research boffins have been out, clipboards in hand, and come up with the data that the average woman owns 111 handbags in her lifetime...and spends about $16,000 on them. Now, this "research" was done by Claire's Accessories so the clipboards were probably covered in rhinestones and I'm pretty sure the lab coat was nicely embellished too...

But, however questionable this information may be, it does make me feel a little better. I admit I have slight "handbag issues" but even though I own a lot of bags it's nowhere near 111. When means I now have a) a nice virtuous feeling and b) comfort that there's room for expansion.

You'll notice I'm not discussing the money aspect...which breaks down to $144 a bag. File this under you-win-some, you-lose-some.


Perfectly pixelated

Home at last...on the plus side, the bus-ride-from-hell gave me plenty of time to gaze around me. I could have looked at the buildings, or the lake, or stared into people's car windows as they went by...instead, I found myself fixated by a small portion of the ear, cheek, and neck of the woman in front of me. I should explain, before you all start giving me odd looks (or the virtual equivalent thereof), she was making a call from her PDA...the screen of which was illuminating the aforementioned small portion of her head. The small patch of skin overlaid with light was strangely reminded me of Pascal Dangin and Mario Sorrenti's work on V magazine's website (I had to take screenshots but I urge you to visit the site to watch the images in flash). It's strangely fascinating to watch the make-up being digitally swiped on layer by layer. Pixelated perfection...thanks to virtual maquillage or a moment in time on a bus ride home.


"...the architecture of movement" - Pierre Balmain

At first glance it doesn't exude the kind of sophistication and elegance that the name Balmain conjures up, but I love the idea of this piece...a chunky, unfinished, sweater smooshed onto a classic sweater dress. I've been thinking quite a bit about dress-y casual recently and this is one-stop-shopping for the whole d.c. idea.

After looking at this, I'm getting an overwhelming urge to try my hand at assembling a deconstructed dress/sweater combo create my own little fashion Frankenstein, if you will.

(Insert maniacal laughter here...)


"Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

September's full moon...hitting skies near you known by many names...the Harvest Moon...the Fruit Moon...the Corn Moon (I kid thee not). I'd like to suggest a new nom de plume, or should that be nom de lune? The Alexander McQueen Moon.

McQueen Moon followers would, naturally, require the perfect ensemble for a spot of moon worshiping. And really, what could be better than this silk blouse by (you guessed it) Alexander McQueen. If it wasn't for the astronomical price tag of just over two thousand dollars I would be all over it is, I must worship from afar.


Hey, big spender...

The latest contender in the "some people have way too much money stakes"...thanks to a snippet on British Vogue's website...and the news of Burberry's extra-special capsule collection of handbags. Bags that are being flown around the world (lucky swines, no one flies me to Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Milan, Madrid and Kuwait) invitation only events...where they will, presumably, be caressed and adored by some very wealthy women. Because these bags are the definition of limited some styles there may only be two bags made...craftsmanship...each bag will be tagged inside with the owner's initials and the bag's serial number, engraved on a brass plaque...and conspicuous consumption...well, no one's going to miss a bag made from red glossy python and matte alligator, are they?


It suits a tee

The Sartorialist does it again...a perfect example of dress-y casual. It's pictures like this one that make me wonder (yet again) why my neighborhood seems to be filled with people who insist that the only clothes that can provide them any level of comfort on the weekend are sweatpants or workout gear.

I can understand it if you're know...working out...but for any other activity, wouldn't you rather look like this?


I wandered lonely as a cloud...

Yesterday I did something I haven't done for a while...I toddled off by myself and spent hours aimlessly wandering around stores...trying a lot of things on and even finding one or two things to add to the closet. Usually I shop with Mr. Heb and, even though he's very understanding on all things fashion related, he does tend to have a very masculine, in-and-out mentality...instead of "came, saw, and conquered" it's "came, saw, and purchased"...browsing is cut down to the bare minimum...and sometimes, a girl just wants to meander around a bit...

The first stop was one of my favorite boutiques, and one of the few places that stocks Isabel Marant in the US. So it's probably fitting that I ended up buying a charcoal grey Marant dress...loose without being baggy and a satisfying mix of sober and funky...perfect for a work look that isn't too office-y. I fell for Alexander Wang's tweed paperbag-waisted skirt for similar reasons but put it on hold, hoping that I could find a cheaper alternative...but more on that later.

At J Crew I was finally able to try on their "homage to Balenciaga" jacket. I have to say, it's lovely...the material is nicely are the hand-painted buttons. However, I had a couple of issues with it. One, this is a thick's a indoor jacket in an outdoor weight...if your building had a halfway decent heating system I don't think you'd be able to wear this...and certainly not if you wanted to go the whole hog and wear a striped shirt and embellished scarf with it...there'd be a little puddle of fashionable fangirl on the floor. Issue two is that, at least in the store I visited, the jackets were almost all gone...and somehow the allure is diminished when there's a good chance that, once the cold weather hits, the jacket will be popping up everywhere. Basically it comes down to the fact that if it was at an H&M pricepoint I wouldn't care but it's just too expensive. I know, I know...I'm too picky...compared to the actual Balenciaga jacket it's cheap as chips, but the "issues" are there and there's nothing I can do about it.

At this stage I realized that I still hadn't found an alternative to the Wang skirt. J Crew, Gap, and Banana Republic all had incredibly ill-fitting grey skirts but nothing even closely approximating what I was looking for. Club Monaco however, the form of the Luca skirt, in a stiff, dark grey fabric with a muted golden weave. At about a quarter the price of the Wang skirt the fabric and cut, at least on the hanger, were good. The only problem was it appeared to have been designed for someone about 5'2" in height. When I attempted to actually tie the skirt on my waist it suddenly became obscenely short...only by wearing it low-slung on my hips could I have actually ventured out of the dressing room with it on.

As you've probably surmised by this point, I will be going back for the Wang skirt. I'm rationalizing the cost (which is about the same as the C.M. skirt and J.C. jacket combined) by the thought that it's a unique piece and I'll probably wear it to death...and besides, do I really need to eat for the the next few weeks. On review, it's probably best I don't get to wander around too often...I couldn't afford it.


Finders keepers...

I knew there was a reason I don't buy things on's the same as why I don't go to many thrift stores...other people find cool items that defy belief...whereas my radar seems to be set to "crap". Actually to be fair, it's 99% crap...the other 1% being something beautiful but way too expensive considering it's essentially secondhand.

I bring this up because I just finished trolling eBay for leather dresses. Being smitten (along with a good portion of the fashion blogging community) by Acne's leather dress but being unwilling to stump up the cash. I should have realized that searching for leather goods would have pulled up every fetish / bondage / pull-me-in-stick-me-out dress known to mankind...I should have, but I didn't. After about ten pages of Elvira hairdos and surgically enhanced breasts (which would have been fine later in the day but I've just finished breakfast) I came across this woven leather pinafore dress from Bottaga Veneta. Gorgeous but $1, I said, I find crap or something that requires a second mortgage, nothing in between.


"Th-th-th-that's all folks!"

It's images like these, from issue #5 of Lula magazine, that make me want to crop my hair and go all gamine...then sanity returns and I remember that short hair makes me look like Porky Pig. Ah well, I'll just have to live vicariously through this editorial...


What goes around comes around...

If the image on the right is anything to go by the upcoming Sex and the City movie will contain a healthy dose of Carrie's signature season 3 accessory, the oversized flower. Which, let's face it, means they will (once again) be hitting highstreets near you in the not-too-distant future.

If you want to try a floral tribute but are anxious to avoid any saccharine overtones, check out Citizen's Ballistic Rose brooch. Made from black, heavy-duty Kevlar (yes, the bulletproof vest material) it's the rose and the thorn combined. And just in case you think it's a little lacking in romance consider that according to the language of flowers of the Victorian era the black rose symbolizes 'slavish devotion'...since a true black rose is impossible to produce.


Les Bijoux

For way too long I have been coveting the girly/macabre skull jewelry created by Sophie Levy for her line, Les Bijoux de Sophie. Unfortunately I was never able to find anyone who stocked them...until now...when my once-a-week troll through Colette's website turned up these brooches.

Of course, nothing is perfect. I like these, but I don't love them compared to other examples of L.B.d.S. that I've seen...and, let's face it, the exchange rate isn't helping either. So, the search continues...I've waited this long, I can hold out until the perfect memento mori turns up.


The fabric of our lives...

I don't know about you but I am a sucker for charity t-shirts, i.e. t-shirts that raise money for good causes...not t-shirts that themselves need charity. I must have about half a drawer full, charting the history of fashionable fund-raising over the past ten years.

The latest versions that I came across are by Luella, Christian Lacroix and Betty Jackson, and are for the Environmental Justice Foundation's "Pick your cotton carefully" campaign. The shirts went on sale yesterday and are very limited...the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will help the EJF fight for cotton that is free of toxic pesticides and produced without child labor.

Of the three, I have my eye on Luella's charcoal drawing tee...the Pete Doherty-esque man on a shirt against toxicity is too good of a dichotomy to turn down.


Found under a Mulberry bush...please return

Mulberry, we need to talk...

I love (in no particular order) your bags, your take on all that is quintessentially British, and some of the original pieces from your Home Collection circa 1991 (especially the pewter frames and original screenprints by Rosemary Saul). And I was excited by the news that Katie Grand would be at the creative helm as of the Spring 09 collection but...what happened for Spring of 08?

Denim overalls tucked into cowboy emerald green satin skirt suit...yet more satin, this time in pale pink...

The overall feel is "bad thrift store" know, not the "finds" that the cool girls get...just the stuff that's left for the rest of us.


Bang, bang, Rock & Roll

If, like me, you have a deep-seated love of kitsch you're probably going to like these guitar ice cube trays. Just one look at them and I get a mental picture of Johnny Cash, glass in hand, twirling his ice guitar round in his liquor...don't ask me why, that's just what keeps popping up.


Something for the weekend, sir?

Affordable weekend bags for men seem to be scare on the ground...Mr. Heb has been looking for one for a while and although there are plenty of beautiful ones they all seem to be a little on the expensive side. Actually, I should clarify that...they cost about the same as a designer handbag but for some reason, what I think of as perfectly reasonable (well, at least after some cost-per-wearing fashion math or a stiff drink) still manages to make Mr. Heb shudder and exclaim, "but it's only a bag".

However I think I may be onto something with this rather snappy vinyl number from CDG Shirt x Fred Perry at Dover Street Market. Masculine, but not boring, and under a hundred pounds.

Ladies, and especially gentlemen, I think we have a winner...


The snake charmer

Look away now if you don't like ruffles...actually, you'd better not look if you're not keen on snakes either...because Christopher Kane's S/S 08 collection was a fluttering mass of both. From what I've read online it doesn't appear to have been well received which is a shame because, let's face it, unless you're Herve Leger you can only do body con for so long.

Personally I like quite a few of the pieces from the show. Yes, it was a bit derivative (a little Balenciaga here, a little Margiela there) and yes, when you see all of the outfits together it's a tad overwhelming but if they were paired with more laidback pieces (like the ruffled skirt and grey sweatshirt combo from the show) I think they add a nice tough/girly/odd element.

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