April 30, 2009

Links à la Mode : IFB Weekly Roundup

Right Sized

Edited by Retro Chick

Hello and welcome to Links á la Mode!

This week I’ve noticed a few posts on the theme of body size issues, with 39th & Broadway asking whether the Fashion Industry is to blame for our skinny bitch obsession, The Curvy Fashionista interviewing the brains behind Full Figure Fashion Week and Dramatis Personae introducing us to plus size fashion line B &Lu.

Also in this week’s selection you’ll find some great DIY ideas, a Competition from The Coveted, tips on keeping to your shopping budget from Work Chic and vintage shopping hints from The Style PA and Culturistas.

There’s the full version of Links á la Mode here in the forums… there’s a lot of great posts there too.

Links à la Mode : April 30th

  • 39th & Broadway - Is the fashion industry responsible for our weight issues?
  • A Typical Atypical - When to ignore the fashion houses - the ridiculous, the impractical and the downright foolish!
  • Broke & Beautiful - Earth Week! The best of plastic bags are highlighted.
  • Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - Take flight with some fanciful feathered jewelry
  • Culturistas - The Culturistas take a trip to the Vintage Expo and give tips on how to shop for vintage
  • Debutante Clothing - A private, curator led tour of the Valentina exhibit in NYC
  • Dirty Laundry - Who needs Marc Jacobs when you have DIY?
  • Dramatis Personae - B&Lu Presents Fun Plus-Sized Fashion…
  • Fashion in my eyes - Interview with Sarah Korsiak Cellier, owner of a vintage shop with designer pieces
  • FashionMind - Dressing up classy but very bright and not boring.
  • Fasshonaburu - A public request for online stores to provide more and better pictures of their merchandise!
  • Gladys L - Construction boots or Lotus shoes? The astonishing Chinese quest for female beauty incorporating small feet!
  • In Pursuit of Fashion - Bleach for beginners: How to DIY the latest trend, bleached jeans.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers - 6 Do’s and Don’ts for Networking Online
  • Retro Chick - Ethical Design Spotlight - Heart’s Desire Jewellery (+ 20% Discount!)
  • Style Symmetry - My Storage System for Belts.
  • StyleCovered - How fusing trends and culture can create something unique and chic! Who said covering up had to be boring?
  • The Art of Accessories - The Art of Accessories show you how to make your own tinted moisturizer, how thrifty?
  • THE COVETED - The Coveted: Two chances to win Pequito Bun Vintage Jewelry!
  • The Curvy Fashionista - The brains behind Full Figure Fashion Week- Gwen DeVoe dares to bring Plus Size Fashion to the forefront
  • The Style PA - Where to go in Leeds for Vintage fashion and beauty treats.
  • Work Chic - Blowing your shopping budget? It may be your shopping habits!

If you’d like to take part in Links a la Mode, please sign up for next week’s roundup in the IFB forums! Remember, only the best 20 links will be published! So submit your best content! The new thread is posted every Thursday along with the official Links à la Mode post.

April 28, 2009

Full skirted spring jacket beauty: Jillian Lewis

The gals over at Fashionism posted a beautiful coat recently photographed on Beyonce. I am not usually a "omg must have what celeb has" kind of gal but this coat was really something.
That hemline. That fabric. Those cuffs. All of it was simply stunning. I remembering wishing I could have seen it closed on her. And I wished I could have seen it from the back.

Eventually ATDOW posted that it appeared as though Jillian Lewis of former Project Runway fame designed it, or at least something quite similar. And as a result I got to see some specs on approximate price, how it could look from behind, how it would look buttoned, etc.

A less expensive looking version was for sale on Searle NYC's website, for a MINT. $1498, to be exact. If this one is $1.5k, I can't imagine how expensive Beyonce's would be!!

They're both gorgeous but when you have the immediate reference photos handy, it is obvious that one is of significantly higher quality. The additional ruffle layer and the color and finish of the fabric on Beyonce's are indicative of an even heftier price tag than the Searle garment above, which is still quite lovely.

I wonder what the Forever 21 version will look like once the inevitable trickle down economics of fast fashion spring into action? I have to be honest. If it looks half as nice as either of these, I might break my moratorium on buying F21 clothing. Just this weekend I broke my moratorium on F21 shopping, by accumulating four of their finest superfluous, Blair Waldorf-inspired headbands.

Sadly, I will have to let the Jillian Lewis version pass me by because even if the economy yields a space for epic spring sales, this coat would have to be at least 85% off to be justifiable.

April 25, 2009

In Honor of the NFL Draft: Outfit Fandom from the Consume or Consumed Archives

Here you can see me wearing one of my earliest sport-fandom inspired outfits of the day. It is in honor of my first true sports love: The Steelers. Although my look matches that of my dad and little brother, you can see how I've styled it to be my own through the assistance of accessories.

In this case, turquoise jelly shoes, white tights, and a pink plastic telephone coil belt.

I hope the Steelers draft some promising offensive (and defensive) lineman. Glad to hear Hines Ward is here for another 4 years (poised to retire as a Steeler). The Pens won in the playoffs. Yay Pittsburgh! Yay for more chances to be an expressive and fashionable fan!

April 23, 2009

Links à la Mode: The IFB Roundup

The SS09 Wardrobe Transition

Edited by Clutch22

In reviewing submissions for this week’s edition of Links á la Mode, I found comfort in learning I’m not the only one ”nesting” my closet for spring and summer. Thankfully, Agent Lover shows us how to shop for retro swimwear, Super Kawaii Mama shows us some of her favorite pick-me-ups that cost almost nothing and Dirty Laundry gives DIY alternatives to Maison Martin Margiela. Additionally, there are a variety of insightful designer interviews and shopping reviews to check out in this week’s roundup. Finally, Retro Chick explains how she used IFB’s Little Birdie service to organize a goodie bag giveaway for her one year blog birthday.

There’s the full version of Links á la Mode here in the forums… there’s a lot of great posts there too.

Links à la Mode : April 23rd

  • 39th & Broadway: Even fashion designers can get scared of a new and forward trend.
  • Agent Dreamer: An interview with Rachel Lanese of Crafttastrophe – designer of beautiful shoes and other wearable art.
  • Agent Lover: Hunting for the perfect retro bathing suit, part two.
  • Breakfast at Saks: A review of independent designer retailer, Moxsie and Itsola dress.
  • Broke & Beautiful: Miss Elle experiences amazing handmade jewelry in a video post!
  • Consume or Consumed: Review and hypothetically shopping at Net-A-Porter’s sister sale site: The Outnet
  • Culturistas: Update your wardrobe for Spring using the clothes you already have!
  • Dirty Laundry: How to wear Maison Martin Margiela without breaking the bank via DIY alternatives.
  • Fashion Pulse Daily: Perry Ellis surprises with a fall line-up of classics that with please your Dad and your hottie 20-something boyfriend simultaneously!
  • Felicia Sullivan: eco-friendly fashion on a budget: toggery by kate d’arcy.
  • Haute World: An inside look to the ever famous Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris.
  • Hello Kelli: New Japanese technology creates a loose wave digital perm.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: Starting your own blog? IFB helps find the right blog platform for you.
  • LuciteBox: HBO’s Grey Gardens – beyond the fashionable women.
  • Retro Chick: Celebrating one year blog birthday with a reader goodie bag giveaway.
  • Star Fashion Addict: A roundup of the hottest handbag styles for spring.
  • Style Symmetry: Inspiration Flashback – a look back at Little House on the Prairie.
  • Super Kawaii Mama: Luxe & Less - Pick me up’s for next to nothing.
  • The Coveted: Basic Investing, is it better to invest in basics or statement pieces?
  • The Curvy Fashionista: Interview with plus size high fashion designer, Monif C - breaking all plus size stigmas.
  • The Demoiselles: The Littlest Demoiselle discusses ANTM’s Short Model Season, and “under height” models of the p
  • The Sunday Best: Why Club Monaco should bring back the crewneck.

If you’d like to take part in Links a la Mode, please sign up for next week’s roundup in the IFB forums! Remember, only the best 20 links will be published! So submit your best content! The new thread is posted every Thursday along with the official Links à la Mode post.

April 22, 2009

Seasonally Inappropriate Dressing: Recent Outfits

Although spring has sprung, you wouldn't know it from the recently chilly high temperatures in the 40s and the buckets and buckets of rain. Just a few days ago it was 70 and sunny. Still I find myself reaching for clothes in colors, shapes, and fabrics more appropriate for fall than spring.

The only somewhat spring outfit I've worn recently was this ruffled white and lightly patterned dress:

I still paired it with darker colors.

Outfit details:
1. Marc by Marc Jacobs dress and bag, Cece cardi, Volatile shoes.
2. Tibi skirt, Benetton dress shirt, MBMJ Dr. Q Huge Hillier Hobo bag and captoe shoes.
3. Shoshanna jacket, Steven by Steve Madden Director pumps (knock off of Chloe), Marc Jacobs Patchwork Stam.
4. Tibi floating feathers dress, MBMJ shoes and Fools Gold Faridah.
5. MBMJ Serena top, Hand made (not by me) bird skirt, Volatile shoes.
6. MBMJ white ruffled paisley print dress, Gray Chie Mihara t-straps, Design History cardi, Longchamp tote.

April 21, 2009

Hypothetical Shopping: A Review of the Outnet

Since the Outnet launched, as examined in my previous post, I have browsed their stock to determine whether the site lives up to months and months of hype. My conclusion is that, much like parent site, Net-a-porter, the stock selection is quite beautiful but the prices are still comparably high. Most competitor department stores had the same pieces for less money months (or in some case, a year) ago. Pieces from seasons past still populate the pages, with only moderate discounting. The ranges of discounts span from 30% off to a rare but impressive 80% off.
These pieces were among the most deeply discounted at 80% off retail. The dresses (by Chloé on the left and Marc by Marc Jacobs on the right) were already sold out. The Nina Ricci jacket was still available at the time of my browsing.

All items have the same volume and variety of photographs from NAP. The fit guide and measurements for each garment are also included in the information. I was glad to see this as it remains one of the best aspects of the parent site. Most items tend to be priced at 50% off retail. Other than the comparable frill-less, editorial free design the bulk of the site seems like a redundant addition to the Net-A-Porter brand if, like me, you were familiar already with the now-defunct sale section, complete with disappointingly stingy discounting.

But this site's surplus of older seasons stock might be an asset to some. If you are looking for a now-rare piece that you regret missing the first time around, the site can be useful. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I have an iron clad memory for basement sale prices and cannot bring myself to pay a penny more than the lowest discounted price of yester-season. This useless skill makes it nearly impossible for me personally to actually shop The Outnet.

But I can hypothetically shop. My hypothetical shopping cart includes this Tibi dress that sold out when it dropped to 80% off on Saks.com. It is 50% off on The Outnet.
And this beautiful, surprisingly modest Dolce and Gabbana frock, which I would wear to the late spring/early summer weddings I will be attending in the next few weeks.

I would also buy these seasonally inappropriate dresses by 3.1 Phillip Lim and Viktor and Rolf, respectively.
I am already eager for fall as evidenced in my stubborn, seasonally inappropriate recent outfits of the day. My next entry will document the seasonal inappropriateness!

April 16, 2009

Net-A-Porter and The Outnet: A brief introduction

Despite the economic downturn, some etailers continue to diversify and expand. One such online boutique is the famously stocked, famously edited, and famously expensive Net-A-Porter. Net-a-Porter carries a range of premier and mid-level designers, many of whom were not previously available to purchase online. They house the official online boutique for Chloé, though you can often find better sale prices on the websites of luxury department stores.
Still if you are searching for a specific piece or just eager to browse beautifully selected stock with accompanying in-house editorial, NAP is your website. They take careful measurements of every garment, and have unparalleled information on fit. This is crucial in an online shopping context since you cannot try on merchandise and sizes are so variable even within the same line. They take gorgeous photos from various angles so you know exactly what you are buying. And because of their excellent reputation and customer service, they are among the most respected etailers in the luxury shopping business and in fashion news coverage.

The items that sell out at full price on NAP are fodder for fashion writers in the blogosphere. The original content on Coutorture, one of the first online fashion website networks of which I am a member, looks to NAP's inventory as a barometer of trends in shopping and style.
If you have ever placed an order (even for a sale item) with NAP you know why they are regarded so highly. The iconic, decadent packaging of black tissue, hard black boxes, and lightning fast shipping are reminiscent of the meticulous customer service from a department store shopping experience of yesteryear.
They recently launched a wedding boutique that was the exclusive carrier of Carrie Bradshaw's Vivienne Westwood wedding gown from the Sex and the City Movie (which sold out in minutes, despite its hefty $10k price tag).
And today, they launched their affiliate outlet website, The Outnet.
Months ago, with much hype and anticipation, Net-A-Porter announced that they would soon launch an outlet website where discount designer shoppers could find decent prices on ex-NAP stock. Well, today that website went live. In addition to carrying moderately discounted stock that was previously housed on the sale page of NAP, www.theoutnet.com includes a Flash Sales page which promises to eventually have "Going, Going, Gone" sales of incremental discounts that correspond to the time the item is available for sale (aka, the longer something is available, the deeper the discount will become), 72 Hour Pop Up Sales (inspired by Gilt, Hautelook, Ruelala, and their ilk), and Giveaways of merchandise. Now that the background of NAP and the context of the Outnet have been established, I can hypothetically shop the Outnet in tomorrow's entry. I'll see what kind of deals are available for savvy shoppers.

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

The Interview Process

Edited by Dramatis Personae

Welcome, Cher, to a lovely round-up of Links á la Mode! While putting together this week’s list, I noticed a trend emerging… we had all of these fantastic interviews and features on independent designers! From handbags at a Few Goody Gumdrops and High Maintenance Woman, to fashion musings at the Demoiselles, Solo Lisa, and Breakfast at Saks, I couldn’t help myself. I hope that reading these interviews is as inspiring to you as it was for me!

There’s the full version of Links á la Mode here in the forums… there’s a lot of great posts there too.

From now on, we will select the best 20 links posted in the Links à la Mode thread as decided by a guest editor.

Links à la Mode : April 16th

If you’d like to take part in Links a la Mode, please sign up for next week’s roundup in the IFB forums! Remember, only the best 20 links will be published! So submit your best content! The new thread is posted every Thursday along with the official Links à la Mode post.

April 14, 2009

More Trompe L'Oeil Details Via Etsy and Eley Kishimoto

Since I posted about the Moschino Trompe L'Oeil pieces I've been hunting for something to add to my closet. And a few stylish friends have enabled the process with their tips! Laurenhockey alerted me to this Etsy "Tennis" dress with an embroidered trompe l'oeil belt and buttons from seller, Encouragementaward.

I kind of wish it had sleeves and was available in another color. But I think it is pretty great as is!

Then, I discovered via a messageboard this perfectly adorable Eley Kishimoto dress with Peter Pan and princess seam trompe l'oeil piping:

It also features an unfortunately astronomical price tag.
But I can dream and stalk for sales!

April 13, 2009

Monogamous Dressing

Although I have all these great new items from bday gifts and recent sales, I've spent the last few days wearing the same Marc by Marc Jacobs Claudette dress, modifying the details of the outfit with hosiery, footwear, jewelry, and bag pairings. Repeating pieces in quick succession is something I do with regularity. It isn't that I get lazy or fall into a clothing rut. It isn't for lack of fantastic options. Instead it is for the love of a new or rediscovered garment. I become fiercely loyal. I become a monogamous dresser.

You can see that the outfit I've worn the last three days is essentially the same. And if I realized in advance that I was going to blog this subject so soon after repeating this dress, I would have probably put forth more effort into mixing new colors and shapes in the cardigan, in the hosiery, even in the shoes. But even with the minor changes, the outfit felt fresh enough to pull off reruns.

Are you a monogamous dresser? What are your criteria for pulling off repeats in quick succession?

When I know I'll be encountering a range of different audiences, I behave as a secret dirtbag. I really enjoy repeating outfits, and do so often, but I try to do so strategically, based on what I know about my own social routines. This way I ensure that my clothes and accessories get the mileage that make them worth having, while maintaining the illusion of not being a dirt bag who wears the same dress for a week. Sure, there are the occasional situations where social spheres inadvertently overlap, and people see you wearing the same thing two days in a row, but usually it isn't a problem, even in a small city like Pittsburgh.

Tips for Monogamous Dressing:
*Wear a slip and/or an undershirt underneath the piece you are going to repeat (saves you some laundering time and $).
*Mix new layers over and/or under the garment to add dimension, while changing the overall silhouette of your outfit.
*Don't just switch up pieces for pairings. Switch up color palettes.
*Rotate the shoes, bags, jewelry, and other accessories you pair with the outfit to prevent boredom (for yourself and those who see you regularly).
*Plan to do this strategically. Know your contextual audiences well enough to make predictions about who will see you in various settings.
*Air out your garment in between quick, subsequent repeats when you don't have time or the desire to dry clean or launder. Don't tuck the repeat clothing into your closet. Hang them in the open and go easy on perfumes/fragrances.
*Avoid this dressing tactic if you will be in smoky situations or places with strong food smells for extended periods of time.
*Lastly, be ready to defend the fact that you DO repeat and that "this old dress" is indeed one your forgetful loved one has seen before. I swear, not a repeat day passes without Chris remarking about my "new" clothes.

April 10, 2009

Consume or Consumed featured on The Coveted!

Be sure to check out Jennine from The Coveted's followup article about the forgotten closet treasures of other bloggers. The original entry about Jennine's old but understandably beloved "rags" stimulated my thinking and inspired me to consider one of my own forgotten goodies.

This Old Rag? Our Lurking Treasures features many bloggers, including Consume or Consumed, in a vintage, home sewn dress I can't part with but also never wear.

Spring Inspirations: Soft Hues and Navy Accents

I've been consumed by the Proenza Schouler PS1 bag, lately. And I cannot fathom a more beautiful, more understated, more spring-appropriate bag than the ivory one pictured above. Repetto and Prada ballerina flats make these otherwise fussy, dressy garments by Oscar De La Renta and Moschino into casual day wear. I love the idea of pairing rich, custard ivory hues with navy accent pieces. It allows for nautical influences without being costumey or predictable.

I am notoriously clumsy so I don't often wear light colors but this spring and summer I am going to try to change that.

April 09, 2009

Links à la Mode: IFB Weekly Roundup

Fashion Econ 101

Edited by STYLEMOM

From celebrity trendsetters Johnny Depp and Kate Moss, to the chronicles of Michelle Obama’s Euro trip diggs, this week’s IFB links a la mode are a delicious smörgåsbord of fashionomics, free-bees, fashion 2.0, and “fantabulous” style news and tips for all!

39th & Broadway breaks down the recessionista, Fashion File & A Few Goody Gumdrops have super chic accessory give-aways, and Star Fashion Addict dishes on the new iPhone app for fashion junkies. You can also find the latest shopping hot spots in Hong Kong with Studio Purpura or read all about Consume or Consumed’s love affair with Moschino. And finally, high five to Lady Coveted on her first photo shoot! Happy Reading!

There’s the full version of Links á la Mode here in the forums… there’s a lot of great posts there too.

From now on, we will select the best 20 links posted in the Links à la Mode thread as decided by a guest editor.

Links à la Mode : April 9th

If you’d like to take part in Links a la Mode, please sign up for next week’s roundup in the IFB forums! Remember, only the best 20 links will be published! So submit your best content! The new thread is posted every Thursday along with the official Links à la Mode post.

Recent Bday Acquisitions

Between my birthday celebration and the spate of recent sales, I have few new items to throw into my dressing repertoire.

Chris gave me the most incredible brick red, 8 hole Dr. Marten Boots. He also got me Fresh Lemon Sugar perfume, a Jessica Kagan Cushman Bangle that says, "I Want To Be The Girl With The Most Cake," From the Hole song, "Doll Parts," A steam punky book locket necklace from Etsy, and the Griffin Clarifi iphone case, which adds a macro lens feature to the iphone camera! All that on top of throwing me an amazing bday party, taking me to many different bday dinner celebrations, and generally being the sweetest fiancé!

I am so excited for the spring of grunge, as evidenced in the outfit I assembled to try on my Docs.

Ruelala.com held a final sale boutique with items from many different designers.

I selected this Shoshanna jacket, and the MBMJ Claudette dress (to be featured in my upcoming monogamous dressing post). Chris got a sport coat and sweater from the men's MBMJ boutique.

Hautelook had a sale of vintage sports merchandise so I grabbed shirts representing Pitt and the Penguins. And Old Navy, along with Gap and Banana Republic held their 30% off friends and family promotion.
I stocked up on basic tshirts and flip flops. Bloomingdales held its private sale.

I got an amazing deal on a Marc by Marc Jacobs Dr. Q Huge Hillier hobo in Tan, as well as some sale hosiery.

I am so excited to wear all my new goodies!

April 08, 2009

Consumed by Trompe L'Oeil Moschino Pieces

This week, a long-forgotten obsession of mine was resurrected. I've already mentioned time and again how the clothing genre of coats generally consumes me. My love for cold season clothing and the firm belief that outerwear is often an overlooked component of dressing combine to fuel further my position. Add this to the fact that the weather dipped into undeniably winter-coat-appropriate territory, and it seems fitting, despite the calendar date, to devote an early spring entry to coats. But I'm not interested in just any old coat.
I distinctly remember gripping Chris's arm while screening Kill Bill Volume 1 in the theater, back in 2003. It wasn't from the gore or the violence. It wasn't during any especially climatic moment in the non-linear plot. Instead my visceral reaction came when Daryl Hanna's character, Elle Driver, appeared on the screen, walking down the hospital hallway, dressed in the most incredible trench coat I had ever seen.

I didn't know who made it. I didn't know if it was a designer piece. I just knew that I had been studying Lacanian psychoanalytic theories about the gaze and trompe l'oeil, and that coat symbolized the possibility for two of my seemingly disparate interests, critical theory and fashion, to merge.
Eventually I learned that Elle Driver was wearing head to toe Moschino, from the collection depicted in the above, early-2000s ad campaign. But I never put forth much effort toward tracking down a piece to call my own, and my memory of it quickly faded... Until now.

Thanks to an outfit post by the always adorable and stylish, Lindsay of Janey Powell, I was reminded of my desire to locate one of the incredible trompe l'oeil pieces from that particular Moschino collection. Lindsay is fortunate enough to actually own one!

I had no idea there was a DRESS!!!!! Isn't it incredible?! Obsession: Resurrected, and Expanded. It now includes the coat, the dress, the gloves, and everything else that happens to utilize this "trick of the eye." Lindsay alerted me to the existence of a bathing suit, and while I couldn't pull it off, I am VERY interested in knowing more about the dress with the tricky bow detail, to the right.

Does anyone know anything more about this collection or these pieces? I can't seem to locate the year in which they existed. While Kill Bill was released in 2003, the 2003 and 2002 spring runway collections for Moschino on style.com don't feature these looks. Regardless, I have something new to track down and I have a feeling that I will need to muster all my shopping karma to make it happen.


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