|It's not quite cold enough for such thoughts but I've been busy ogling these Lumberjack chic arm warmers by Zucca. The only downside...because I think they'd look incredible peeking out from the sleeves of a winter coats...is that previous forays into the land of the fingerless glove have resulted in a close approximation to frostbite. It's one of those times where I like the idea but the reality is that it's either too warm to wear them...and clammy palms are never fun...or too cold...which is where the aforementioned frostbite comes in.|
I think this is one of those times when I'll just have to admire them from afar...
I have to report a fatality...namely a striped Banana Republic men's t-shirt (a Christmas gift for Mr. Heb several years ago from his mother). The tragedy occurred when the perpetrator (that would be me) saw a picture of Ka Pow Wow's grey jersey necklace. It was comfortingly familiar (the t-shirt fabric)...subtle, yet funky...and a very good candidate for a little DIY (thus "saving" me $99). And so, the replica project was born.
At which point the inspiration/DIY gods threw me a curveball because, when I'd finished my "homage to..." necklace it just...wasn't me...or, should I say, the restrained quality that I'd admired on the original was a little too plain when I was confronted with it in reality. Thankfully my sewing basket spill-eth over, and I had some Victorian rosettes in there...they were originally designed as upholstery finishings but they were a complementary color scheme to the (now sadly diminished) Banana Republic t-shirt so they were added to the mix.
The problem is, I can't decide if I like the end result or not...it's a hybrid...stark versus ornate...modern versus historical...this versus that...not what I intended but not altogether a bad thing.
|Because I'll obviously need something to go with those bandleader ankle socks...and I'm not talking about my erstwhile gappy teeth (though a massive thank you to everyone who found the idea of me with bad dental work unthinkable...I was definitely a child with something freaky going on in the mouth department so I appreciate the disbelief)...this brass-buttoned cardigan.|
Because, if you're going to do an ironic outfit, why not go the whole hog and beat people over the head with it...?
|From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!|
NY Spender suggests that if you buy only a pair of shoes this fall, buy one with stacked heels.
Her Accessories is celebrating the cooler weather with a roundup of her favorite fall jackets.
Gleaming Things loves Givenchy's look of layered chains, but they just aren't in the budget right now - these picks are though!
Shopalicious finds a very stylish quilted handbag -- with an eco-friendly twist! (Plus a coupon for 10% off!)
Chic by Nature has a great wrap top that you can wear out and then to bed.
There's some serious inspiration afloat over at All That & a with more inspiration-themed jewelry.
Sasha of Style Manila creates a boho-look on an 11-year old named Sylvie.
Tops 2 Bottoms shares an style idea, Layered, Belted, and Plaid for her weekly Work Wear Monday series.
Viva Woman shows you how corsages can make your attire more feminine and romantic.
Style...a work in progress finds inspiration in a little bear called Paddington
Petite Fashionista shows you how to update your Fall wardrobe with pieces that will keep you; comfy, cozy and chic!
The Space Between My Peers categorizes the looks at the bottom of the formality scale into Three Levels of Leisure.
Beauty Bento Box features the elegantly packaged, eyeliner-slash-eyeshadow Kohl cosmetic, Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner.
Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog shows you how to get an easy, elegant smoky eye with the Smoky Eye Quad from Chanel.
My Women Stuff discusses whetherSilicone is good or bad for the skin.
Krizia from Beauty Match declares: We tried Pro-V Restoratives and said bye-bye FRIZZ!.
Beauty and Fashion Tech looks at three bright handbags that look more expensive than they are".
Only a couple of days ago George Bush was staring out at me from my television set and bringing me tidings of doom and gloom...it's a recession, and you have to assume there will be cutbacks, so we didn't get the four horsemen of the Apocalypse...just George. Based on this, and the multitude of associated happenings at the moment, I would have thought that I would have been safe in browsing for any items that caught my fancy...taking my time...and generally behaving like a leisurely, contemplative (dare I say frugal?) shopper.
It turns out I was wrong...because about a day or so after APC's Winter collection was placed on its website their leopard scarf (in the dark green colorway) which had been available for Preorder only was...gasp...sold out. I suppose this particular phenomena could be explained by glancing at the image below but, even so, I wouldn't have thought there would have been quite such a feeding frenzy.
I think I snagged one...having been burned once when a preorder army jacket that I ordered...and waited 3 months for...never appeared I'm not going to say for certain that it's mine until I have it in my hot little hands. I'm also not going to assume, even in a recession, that it's safe to (as Lady MacBeth said) "Let 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' Like the poor cat i' the adage".
|I have to admit, when I watched Paddington Bear as a child I never really thought of him as stylish...cute, friendly, entertaining whilst being thoroughly PC, and inordinately fond of marmalade sandwiches and cocoa...but never a couture cub. Yet when I was browsing through Dover Street Market's online store I stumbled upon this striking blue duffle coat and it's very P.B. (as opposed to P.C., I'm not sure whether coats of this hue could be considered politically correct or not).|
And though I'm not a fan of the other colors on offer (namely turquoise, purple, light pink, acid yellow, and dark pink) the blue does somehow seem "right"...and an interesting injection of color against all the black and grey that I plan on wearing this winter.
After reading disneyrollergirl's post about the excessive number of eco totes floating around London Fashion Week I feel a little guilty about lusting over another member of the species...in mitigation, I think it's a disease, because as I read her post I was drooling over her photograph of the Mulberry eco-freebie.
|It's hard to escape the fact though that they do have their uses...as shoe bags when you need to pack footwear for a trip (certainly more cheerful than a plain cotton bag)...for groceries...or as a handbag-alternative when you want something "fun". And, because they're either inexpensive (or free), you are able to inject a huge variety into your bags...something which isn't always possible given the increasingly high cost of "proper handbags".|
So, somewhat sheepishly, I'm going to admit a fondness for this book bag from Karen Walker...featuring her trademark runaway girl logo in puffy paint...I defy you to have a bad day when you're in close proximity to puffy paint. Thankfully (because I probably don't need another tote) the bag is too white for me. I have no allusions about my messy ways and know that it would last about 5 minutes in its perfect, virginal, form...and a grubby tote just doesn't have the same allure.
I know I've mentioned before that there are certain items which I tend to, for want of a better expression, collect. I realize that I'm not alone in being a collector...for some people it's stamps...for others it's souvenir spoons...for me it just happens to be coats and handbags.
That's right, just when I thought I had talked myself out of the urge to buy more coats that there are cold days of the year to wear them I walked into H&M and fell head over heels for this empire-waisted, bubble-bottomed, double-breasted trench. Do I need another trench? Not even remotely. Could I resist the unusual take on such a practical item? Not a hope.
I'm consoling myself with the fact that a) there will always be rainy days and b) the coat, though pricey by H&M standards, is also very well made. I wonder what argument souvenir spoon collectors use when they come home with yet another utensil embossed with the Eiffel Tower...
Following what I'll refer to as the reclusive Victorian ingénue part of my adolescence...where my mother and I developed a positive fetish for needlepoint and ended up running out of things to cover (once you've worked your way through numerous cushions and the seats of a set of dining room chairs the only option is to turn it into wallpaper)...I haven't had much contact with cross-stitches.
Thanks to this scarf from Phillip Lim though I am feeling a definite renewal of interest...the urge is stirring to, once more, take needle to canvas...dress like a Russian nesting doll this Winter...and buy some really good vodka.
|Things I don't really need...#243...a shiny black acrylic ink-splot hat from Tatty Devine. Not only because I lack the 1920's film star hair necessary for this kind of headpiece but also because of the disturbingly high price tag but (oh, gosh) how I want it...|
Work has been so hectic for the last couple of weeks that I have been thanking the Blogger Gods for the gift of scheduled posts...and cursing my luck that this burst of activity had to fall during Fashion Week(s)...thereby allowing me virtually no time for serious perusal of all the images on Style.com.
One of the few shows that I did have a chance to click through was Rag & Bone...I know, I mentioned this before in relation to their pretty/punk accessories but...bear with me...because I couldn't get their gingham shirt and/or tie combos out of my head.
I don't think I've worn a tie since high school (and how could I forget the grey, maroon, and mustard yellow ensembles from my childhood?) but I couldn't resist the call of check on check...especially when Mr. Heb had a pale blue gingham tie hanging in his closet...and I had a pair of unworn Mary Jane's of a similar hue (if you squint...as they're the kind of color and finish you'd usually associate with 70's muscle cars).
Now I just need to find some time to catch up and browse through all the other collections...
Being pretty cheap...I mean, frugal...no, I admit it...I mean cheap...when it comes to basics...I've recently been mulling over the increasingly high prices of hosiery...trying to balance out the joy of owning a pair of decadently lush (or freakily fabulous) tights versus the concept of paying vast sums for something that I know I will put a hole in after a couple of wearings or won't even fit me in the first place due to "one size fits all" usually topping out at around 5'8".
In a world of disposable fashion tights are some of the most throwaway items there are yet I'm constantly coming across pairs at highly elevated prices...$70 here...$200 there...for sanity's sake you have to decide what your cut-off point is in the quest for interesting legwear. Luckily these cut-out hexagon and corset tights fall under the "amount I'm willing to cough up" category...plus the number of layering options possible under the hexagon pair opens up numerous styling options (thereby making them much more fiscally alluring).
|A small addition to my lace list...in the shape of these rather natty lace and suede saddle shoes from Rachel Comey...which nicely manage to avoid any of the poodle-skirt-wearing-Chuck-Berry-listening-50's-teen-queen associations that these things usually have...if anything these bypass the saccharine completely and have a decidedly androgynous appeal.|
|Fashion, bless it's little designer cotton socks, isn't always terribly practical. Gorgeous...mesmerizing...confusing...addictive...yes, all these and so many more. But practical? On a great many occasions, no. |
Which I was so pleased when I came across these shearling leather gloves from Acne. They actually look warm and (gasp) practical...as an added incentive they remind me of some black and white pictures from the 1960's of my mother...looking like an outdoors-y Beatnik in a pencil skirt and shearling jacket.
|In High School my musical exploits were short-lived and relatively painful (for those around me) thanks to an infatuation with the trumpet...trying to learn "God Save the Queen" so that I could play with the school band...and a gap between my front teeth which meant that (however hard I tried) I was always playing at a slightly different pitch to everyone else. It was, as they say, not meant to be.|
Despite this rather off-putting experience I still have a soft spot for band uniforms...the epaulettes...the gold trim...the copious quantities of braiding and trim...the mood of which is nicely encapsulated in these Marionette Bootie socks. Just the thing to keep my feet happy this Fall...
|Actually, I don't, but there's something so incredibly Byronic and "I may keel over from consumption at any moment but first let me get down some prose" about this ruffle blouse from Built by Wendy. It's completely un-"me"...the double-whammy of my pale skin and the fact that I instantly turn into a stain magnet being enough to keep me away from white clothing...not to mention that, at 5'11", I am not a ruffly kind of girl...ruffles being the inherent closet staple of the small and the chouette.|
And yet...under a dress...with the ruffle factor somewhat mitigated (but still evident)...there's a little part of me that wants to wax poetic.
It's true what they say, your memory can play tricks on you...so...although I remember visiting the renowned discount store Tati when I lived in Paris...I don't actually recall what (if anything) I bought...in fact the only overwhelming memory is of the pink and white gingham pattern which was the store's hallmark.
A memory which was instantly summoned up when I caught a glance of Mayle's Tati bag. A bag which, on first glance, has a gorgeous chic-older-lady vibe...a bag that you could imagine stuffing full of life's necessities and carrying as you venture forth on a cold winter's day...a bag which...has no sides? Described as "a chic way to carry files or folders" I have to wonder how many people actually need a bag for this purpose...I certainly don't remember having seen this style before...of course, memory being what it is that isn't conclusive evidence...
|From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!|
NY Spender reports some of her favorite, and not so favorite, looks from New York Fashion Week.
Viva Woman shows you how colored stockings can add style and fashion to your wardrobe.
Petite Fashionista says don't miss the upcoming Petite Feet Sample Sales in Toronto!
Tops 2 Bottoms shares her Erin Fetherston favourites from New York Fashion Week.
Style...a work in progress has discovered some accessories which are decidedly...hairy.
Beauty and Fashion Tech reveiws a new Pixi eye shadow palette from Target, complete with swatches.
Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog gives you a sneak peek at super cute holiday makeup gift sets from Benefit Cosmetics.
Krizia from Beauty Match shares Makeup tips from Jennifer Lopez’s makeup artist.
Beauty Bento Box experiments on a new scent, Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana.
Laya's EYE desires Alexa Wagner knee high boots & a Nancy Gonzalez croc hobo...
Shopalicious finds a way to work some Stella McCartney into her wardrobe without breaking the bank: The Stella McCartney for LeSportsac Classic Carryall!
ShopDiary notes a trend from New York Fashion Week for Spring 2009: assymetrical or one shouldered.
It's fall and that means there are tons of great sales around! Her Accessories has some shopping suggestions for classic accessories on sale.
“He neither drank, smoked, nor rode a bicycle. Living frugally, saving his money, he died early, surrounded by greedy relatives. It was a great lesson to me.” - John Barrymore
|You may recall that I managed to successfully track down (miracle of miracles) a bicycle helmet that I'm actually comfortable wearing out in public...as opposed to the majority of helmets which are so ugly that only the potential of brain damage induces you to wear one. |
Which means it was (naturally) about time for me to stumble across a bicycle bonnet, i.e. a natty little hat to disguise your ugly helmet and add an element of safety thanks to some reflective embellishment...something which I always wondered why nobody actually made.
|The search for a gold-toned winter bracelet continues...the next candidate...a mass of chains...courtesy of Giles & Brother. On the plus side, the dark chains mixed in with the brass...this is going to be a dark winter, my jewelry may as well reflect that fact. The downside? I'm nervous about the amount of noise...a jangle is fine but I don't want to sound like Marley's ghost everytime I move my arm.|
"(It's) like a Parisian punkette. You know, originally the punk (were) English so it's the French version of punk which means a kind of bourgeois. A little chic, elegant and (some kind of) accident (can) happen" - Jean Paul Gaultier
Frequent readers will know that I have been stalking various incarnations of the punk ballet flat...aka a shoe that is black and usually embellished with a few dozen studs. Much like Goldilocks I've been faffing around..."this one's too studded"..."this one's not studded enough"...
I've finally found my prince (oh, oh...mixed fairytale metaphor alert)...and there are no studs at all. Instead Ash's flats combine zips, faux snakeskin, and shiny black leather in just the right proportions.
On a side note...one of the things that I've noticed since I started this blog is I'm a lot more...selective. It used to be more a case of "I like that...I think I'll buy it"...but now there's a good deal of dithering (in a good way). The "irresistible impulse" buys are still taking place...they're just more sporadic. All in all, it feels like a move in the right direction...thanks for all your comments and help with this.
And now for a product which should really irritate all those people spending money on Rogaine and hair transplants...Hairem jewelry from NY based Bijules...though, to be completely factual, the platinum blonde, black, and brown hair is synthetic...only the dyed pieces are actual, human, hair.
|For me, the earrings have the most potential...for days when you want some color in, or around, your hair but can't be bothered actually dying it...or have a job that frowns on the occasional pink or orange streak. The, somewhat off-puttingly named, "hairball" can be worn as a brooch or a pillbox hat but conjures up too many images of creatures from science fiction to be something that I'd lust after. I'll pass over the fact that the long chain on the necklace causes some disturbing placement issues...|
For those worried about tangles and furballs (and who wouldn't be) each purchase includes its own comb and box. The added benefit? For anyone fed up with using the standard excuse "I can't go out, I'm washing my hair" you now have the updated version "I can't go out, I'm combing my necklace"...
|Well, the pictures have started trickling in...and the overwhelming sensation at the beginning of New York Fashion Week is...bland. Maybe it's just the result of my current sense of ennui at the mere thought of warm weather dressing but everything seems pale...and terribly uninteresting.|
Thankfully there are some accessories to lust over, namely the floral and plaid studded bracelets from the Rag & Bone show. Not only delightfully girly-punk but incredibly easy to pay homage to...once I order some studs online.
Carine Roitfeld musing on the secret of her success in an article on The Times' website...
“I’ve been with the same person for more than 25 years, my kids are working and not totally crazy, my skirts are not too short, and though I am very serious, I try not to take myself seriously. If there is a secret to me, this is the trick.”
Remove the part about children (I am not, and will never be, a progenitor) and I think she may be onto something...
|It's been awhile but it's time for another addition to my virtual collection of Karl Lagerfeld paraphernalia. I was beginning to get worried that maybe I'd run out of KL goodies but, thankfully, they keep on coming. The latest? A fingerpuppet which goes by the moniker of Karl Lagerfelt...though perhaps even better than the puppet itself is the accompanying text..."Karl is not suitable for small children as he is a choking hazzard and contains small parts".|
What can I say? I come from the land of Carry On movies...how can I resist double entendre of that calibre?
|It's that special time of year again...when the streetstyle (or should that be fieldstyle?) pictures from the Rock en Seine music festival, held in Saint-Cloud's park just outside Paris, are available. On first analysis, I obviously need to get a life, but, in general, the outfit quality seems so much higher than any concert or festival that I've ever attended that it does raise the pulse rate and prove worthy of a little anticipation. Even the leopard print coat from APC (which I got into trouble for mentioning my dislike of previously) looks good...though my heart goes out to the beatnik biker with the day-glo scarf.|
For anyone who would like to see more R.E.S. style, check out the amazing blog of Garance Dore.
It's right about now that I am regretting not having upgraded from a (now seemingly prehistoric) iPod to an (extremely multi-functional) iTouch...thanks to the combination of a business trip next week...ie hours stuck in airports...the upcoming Fashion Weeks...and a new iTouch/iPhone application courtesy of Style.com which will allow you to view all of the Spring/Summer 2009 shows pretty soon after they are done on the catwalk.
I'll just have to console myself with a little Rocky Horror...
|These, and far more than these,|
The Poet sees!
He can behold
Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold
Of the clouds about him rolled
The showery rain,
As the farmer scatters his grain.
From Rain In Summer by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It's still summer, I admit...but this was the first day of rain and cooler temperatures...which offered the ability to wear a trench and go for a splash-ing walk through the puddles...so I had to celebrate. It was impossible to take a camera as the rain/wind combination was a little extreme but standing in the drizzle, watching the waves crash against the breakers, made me long (even more) for Fall and it's accompanying wardrobe selections...
You may have already read the article on The New York Times' website regarding an editorial in the August issue of Vogue India where poverty and consumerism were posed side-by-side in unholy union. I have to admit that Vogue India is not one of my regular reads...nor am I even sure if my local Barnes and Noble stocks it...so this was the first that I'd seen of the images.
Before anyone gets too excited let me say that the pieces in this post are one-off prototypes...the work of an Icelandic product designer called Hafsteinn Juliusson...and therefore fall under the "lovely to look at" category rather than "must run out and buy".
Which is just as well for anyone who is as bad at gardening as I am...even though, at the moment, I am only attempting to maintain a small window-box sized planter my chives are droopy, my basil faltering, and my rosemary has officially committed suicide. How quickly I could kill a ring-sized portion of grass doesn't bear thinking about...
|When I first saw a picture of the grey jersey bow clutch that Alexis Mabille designed as part of the collaboration between the Gap and Parisian lifestyle store Colette I was intrigued...I've been lusting over Mabille's designs for a while now and this seemed an ideal time to pick something up but (why is there always a "but" in these stories) according to Colette's website the bag retails for $296 (okay $296.16 to be precise but what's 16 cents between friends?).|
Love, as they say, is officially dead...it's a cute bag...just not three hundred dollars cute. Not wanting to sound like a curmudgeonly old grandma but this seems to be pricing gone mad. And it raises the question of how highly we, as consumers, rate design versus materials when it comes to justifying a purchase...in this instance the cost of the fabric is negligible...the remainder has to be regarded as paying the artist for his work (plus the necessary store mark-up)...is it worth it?
Which is why I was so thankful to see the "Lignes et Attitudes" editorial in the September issue of VP...styled by Emanuelle Alt and modeled by Daria Werbowy...there, amongst the Balmain and other goodies, was my cardigan (okay a newer version but, really, does Ralph Lauren change that much from year to year?). And, what do you know? Paired with a plaid shirt and some (God help me for saying this) tie-dye jeans, it has possibilities...I am re-energized and, this Winter, am determined to make this sweater work come hell or high water.
* For those who are curious, today's quote if from Mohandas Gandhi