Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Stiletto-Strapping" and Fashion-Hacking with 19th Amendment

I don't have to preach to anyone on either coast about Startup fatigue. You know, the syndrome where everyone you know has a Kickstarter, or an app about to release, or some amazing idea that's going to change the world. It's great in theory, but it kind of gets to a point where you're all "system overload." How can you come up with your own great idea if your brain is constantly being co-opted by everyone else's? 

But luckily, there are still ideas that come along and make us sit up and say, "wow, that's really effing cool," followed immediately, of course, by a resounding "why didn't I think of that?"

19th Amendment is one of those. Started by two fashion-savvy young entrepreneurs, Gemma Sole and Amanda Curtis, 19th Amendment seeks to revolutionize the way the fashion industry operates, making it easier for genuine design talent to surface and succeed. It works like this: designers showcase their designs on the 19th Amendment website. Users can then pre-purchase designs before they are put into production, thereby saving both the planet and the pocketbooks of emerging talent. Once a certain number of purchases are made, the pieces are put into production at a partner facility in the US. And then you, the patron, receive a covetable item that you're highly unlikely to see anyone else at the party (or office, or sidewalk) rocking. It's truly a win-win. 

Beyond-badass black horn dress, available:

Pretty white lace dress, available:

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Ward, who happens to be an alumna of my college, the University of Rochester (who knew we weren't all fashion-challenged engineers in bad sweatpants?) And yes, if you're wondering, I fell in love as soon as she referred to what they enable designers to do as "stiletto-strapping". I mean, really. (And also, why didn't I think of that!?) 

From the moment I heard about 19th Amendment, I thought it was a great idea, so what I was interested in learning more about wasn't necessarily the business model itself, but how they came up with the concept. "In an industry as transient as the fashion industry," Sole stated, "it mystified Amanda [who had prior industry experience] that the process of starting a fashion brand hasn't changed much over the past 100 years. This system is broken for all designers, from those just out of school, to Project Runway alumni to Fashion's sweethearts - case in point, famed American fashion designer Zac Posen.  Mr. Posen has been on the fashion forefront for the past 12 years, he's shown at fashion week in NY and Paris and he's sold in major stores from Bergdorf Goodman to Target - YET he still has not reached profitability." 

Who knew? But it's true. I Googled it. There's a weird assumption in the fashion industry (and art, and music, and the list goes on) that once you've Made It, you've made it, cha-ching style. Like having your gowns go down the red carpet on the likes of Rihanna and Diane Kruger or sold on the racks of prominent department stores somehow automatically pays the bills. Not the case. And even if it were, getting to that point takes a hefty investment to begin with. 

Fringe jacket, perfect for leather weathers to come, available:
"We decided to do something radical to change the industry and help our fellow design peers.  We find fashion hacks by using technology and lean methodology to find creative solutions for these constraints. We're applying what we've seen work in the tech startup sphere, such as collaborative co-working spaces, and applying them to the fashion world in hopes that we can make it more profitable and efficient for all involved parties." It feels timely, as we're all trying to simultaneously innovate for today while downsizing our footprints for the sake of tomorrow. And as Sole mentions, for an industry so obsessed with the "next big thing", there certainly haven't been too many shifts in how a designer goes about becoming that thing.

So what's next for our stiletto-strappers? "Three flash fashion shows around Boston culminating in a catwalk at the Liberty Hotel," as well as a major push towards building out their designer database and getting as many designers set up as possible. So check back often, like them on good ol' Facebook and get your noggin-piece ready for the retail revolution, because I have a feeling it's coming sooner than you think. Sole also mentioned they are looking for more designers as well as perspective partnership opportunities, so if this is you, don't be shy! Contact info is here.

The perfect Stevie Nicks dress that will take you from a festy to a wedding, available:


Friday, October 4, 2013

happy birthday, gwen stefani!

If you haven't heard yet: it's Gwen Stefani's birthday today. This is deserving of a post because duh, the woman is an ICON, but also because she writes a song like nobody's business. I remain convinced that no one is able to articulate the tortured psyche of a woman enraptured in jealousy quite like Gwenny. She just gets us, doesn't she?

"I kind of always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend."

And we're all just like, "Boy did I ever."

In celebration of the girl I grew up alternately jamming and crying to, here's some of her most badass pics. Kids today better recognize that Miley so did not start the double head buns thing. Also, can we talk about how she has not aged a day in the past like, fifteen years? What are these celebrities doing to themselves, and who do I need to speak to about reserving some for the future?

This is my fantasy concert/festival makeup.

Back up off the buns, Miley.

Old school glamour.

Tomboys have more fun. Especially if they're hot girl tomboys.

Who doesn't remember this look?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Current Obsession: SCF x Wonderland

One might assume that, due to my brief and rather ill-fated stint as a sunglasses salesperson at Nordstrom, perhaps sunnies have been ruined for me. That assumption would be wrong. Despite haunting memories of spending hours in a hot little box advising bitchy older ladies as to whether the Prada's fit their faces better than the Kate Spade's, I still love sunglasses. And I just can't seem to stop buying the damn things.

Which is why, just now, when I saw on my newsfeed that one of my absolute favorite brands, Stone Cold Fox, is doing a sunglasses collaboration with Wonderland, an indie sunglass label that's way cooler than the mainstream designer stuff I used to hawk, I just about pissed my pants. These shades have that perfect cay-eye that's on trend but still super wearable, and come in 5 colors.

Now to set about justifying to myself the purchase of a SIXTH pair of sunglasses...

Be mine?

Check out The Colony by SCF x Wonderland here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Good, The Meh and the Extremely Meh: Red Carpet Style at the Emmy's

Perhaps you remember the last post I did on red carpet style at the Golden Globes. While I find awards shows super boring, what I don't find boring is ripping celebrities fashion choices to shreds! Muahaha! Just kidding. I actually really liked most of the gowns at the Emmy's this year. I mean, there wasn't much that I would call avant-garde or super exciting, but that's okay. It's the red carpet, not Paris Fashion Week, so like, what did you expect? I for one didn't really expect anything because I have a life and forgot the fucking Emmy's even existed until today, but now I see all the lists that other, more legitimate fashion sites have made and I WANT ONE TOO. So here it is. WOO!

The Good:

From left to right: Claire Danes, Kerry Washington, Michelle Dockery, Heidi Klum. The first two are light, soft, and beautiful, while the second two are deep and sexy. I like it all. And how great does Heidi's bod look in that dress? And how perfect is Claire Danes' lipstick? And also just Claire Danes herself. 

From left to right: Taylor Schilling (PIPER!), Rose Byrne, Julianne Hough, Laura Dern. Okay, so, let's cut right to the chase. I know a lot of people didn't like Julianne Hough's dress because it showed her underwear or whatever. But you GUYS. It's not actually her underwear, you know? And the dress is pretty and romantic and totally NOT slutty enough that I just feel like it works. It's a beautiful dress made of beautiful fabric. I mean, yeah, maybe it looks a little Dancing With the Stars, but it's PRETTY. And a little sexy! And I like it. It reminds me of mermaids, and who doesn't want to look like a mermaid. So let's just all step off Julianne Hough and her gown, okay? Cool.
Moving on: I have a pretty huge girl crush on Rose Byrne. Like, if I had to trade my face for the face of a celebrity, I'm thinking I might pick her. And if I had to pick one dress to wear to this event myself, it would be either hers or Laura Dern's. Just like, FYI.

The Meh:

From left to right: Jessica Pare, Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Lena Headey. This really hurts me to put two members of the Girls cast in my meh section. I love Girls. I laugh so hard that I cry when I watch Girls. But these chicks really need to step up their game. Lena looks okay and I get what she's trying to do, it just isn't really hitting home for me. The overall floral print plus the intense eye makeup is overpowering to her. Sometimes I feel like she's just trying to be put on worst dressed lists, because she's just too cool for all that and wants us all to know it. Which, okay, fine, I guess the joke is on me. I'M not the voice of a generation, after all.
Meanwhile, I'm having the opposite problem with Allison Williams. We get it, you're classically pretty. But come on! DO SOMETHING. At least a necklace, or SOMETHING. Why does she want to look so bland? Is it because her father is a news anchor or whatever?

The Meh-est of Them All:

From left to right: Sarah Silverman, Elizabeth Moss, Julianna Margulies, Emily Deschanel.
All of these dresses look really cheap, in my humble opinion. Like something one could find at the local mall. Did Sarah Silverman legitimately get her dress at Bebe, or what? I can't. And those platform shoes. She looks like she robbed a Kardashian sister on her way to the event...maybe she forgot about the Emmy's too? 
Also the top of Elizabeth Moss's dress reminds me of these tops. Remember those? Yeah...let's just all agree to not go back there. And this is coming from me, the Ultimate Lover of Shiny Shit. So you know it's real. 

Defining the Garment: Vagina Neck Things

A while ago my friends and I came up with the concept of a service to inform you of what it is that you are wearing. Such a service would not pass judgments or offer up suggestions, but just, you know, let you know that you happen to be wearing a knee-length pleated pleather skirt with an open-knit black and white striped sweater and maroon faux-suede pointy-toed pumps (real things that I own, all of them). It seems many people don't know how to properly name what it is that they are wearing, and I for one, would like to help them.

So, with that said, now it's time to define a type of garment you'e probably seen, but likely didn't know how to effectively speak about. The garment in question, of course, is vagina-necked things. Usually sweaters, dresses or tops, vagina necks are basically cowl necks (whatever the fuck that is)...but come on, this is such a better name, right?

For those of you who might be confused as to why it would be called a vagina neck...I meannn, use your imagination, yeah? What's round and maybe floppy and...okay, you get it now.

Vagina necks were so named because of the presence of this American Apparel dress in our lives:

We had it in both yellow and red. And by we, I mean my friend, but when you live in a house with five girls, the boundaries of individual closets kind of tend to fall by the wayside. Though the term was coined for this dress, in comparison with other garments, this is a relatively tame vagina neck. Not super floppy. Not really hangin' down too low. 

Behold! UBER vagina neck. 

But don't get it twisted. In addition to being really slutty and cheap looking, the item pictured below is not a vagina necked garment:

Why you ask? It lacks the circular shape, for one, and it also comes down TOO far in the front. It's too floppy. It's no longer vaginal. Now it's just....I don't know what. A little help please, someone?

There are also scarves designed to emulate this look. Yes, I know, technically they are "circle scarves", but you know what else they are? VAGINA NECK SCARVES, that's what.

So there you have it. Go forth and spread the vagina neck knowledge to your friends, family, and strangers on the street (fair warning: you might get slapped). Do you find this concept disgusting? Are you feeling threatened by so much use of the word VAGINA? Does the idea of using it to define something you wear on your body give you the heebie-jeebies, or is it just what you've been waiting for? Holler back, friends. 

BONUS: I Googled "vagina neck dress" and this is what came up. Yes, yes it is a woman dressed in a vagina costume. Am I impressed or am I thoroughly disgusted? I DON'T KNOW.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Guys, have you noticed? All of a sudden, it's that time of year again...a few leaves on the ground, a slight chill in the air (but not so much that it's unthinkable to rock bare legs out on a Saturday night), you may have even switched over from iced coffee to soy lattes. Do you know what this time of year is called? No, not fall. Not autumn. It's called LEATHER WEATHER, and it's here in full force.

For the uninitiated, let me explain. In New York, at least, leather weather lasts from approximately September through some time in November, depending on how good you are at layering and how forcefully Winter encroaches. And then, like a shining beacon in the black night, it's back again for round two (you may have grown accustomed to calling this time of year "Spring").

So, if you haven't acquired a leather yet or you're in the market for a new one, well then read on, friend, because I've got your ultimate guide to my favorite closet staple, ranging from stuff you can afford to stuff that will probably only ever haunt your wildest dreams. 

Shit You Can Maybe Afford:

Zara, $269
Zara is kind of the move in terms of leather jackets. I purchased one similar to this recently to replace the faux jacket I wore literally to pieces throughout college. Apparently, I have awesome taste, because it now appears to be sold out. This one is similar though, only less zippery and sans lapel. Also, they have nice looking vegan jackets for around $119 bucks.

Reformation, $478
But, if we're being frank, I wish I had waited for this guy. I didn't see it and then it popped up on my Newsfeed today and I became sad. Not only am I crazy about everything Reformation does, but this shows awesome attention to detail and looks like it would cost about twice what it does.

Free People, $398
This is a perfectly classic jacket. If you check out the detail photos, it has a pretty lining and also comes in maroon, if you're tryna switch it up a bit.
Shit You Can Probably Only Afford If You Just Got a Birthday Check From Your Grandma Or Something:

April, May, $699
April, May makes some of the coolest leather jackets I have ever seen. With unique embroidery, distressing, and other customized details, if you've got some money burning a hole in your pocket, well, you're welcome (I'm sorry?).

Muubaa, $590
Muubaa offers beautiful, buttery (I've touched them IN PERSON) jackets in the elusive $500-600 range. On their site, the have them available in literally a rainbow of colors and styles, from teal blazers to ombre (!) bikers.

Mackage, $795
This is a nice jacket to invest in if you want something without a lot of hard wear, that's less punk and more grown-up.

Shit There's No Fucking Way You Can Afford (So Put It In Your Spank Bank and Move On):

Alexander McQueen, $2,465
Okay, so while this isn't a leather jacket in the strictest of senses, it is a combination of my two favorite kinds of jacket (just TRY and guess the other), and it is therefore fabulous and worthy of coveting.

IRO, $1,485
This jacket is just stupid beautiful. Looking at it makes me feel the way that looking at really gorgeous models sometimes makes me feel - like, why on earth does something need to be that perfect?

Rick Owens, $2,195
Rick Owens is known for his beautiful leather jackets, and this one is no exception.

Balenciaga, about $3,000 each.
But at a certain point, they all begin to blend together, don't they? They all kind of feel the same. All, that is, except for the Balenciaga moto jacket. The mother of all moto jackets, I can't even find one of these for sale online. I wish I knew who the owner of not one, but THREE of these things was. I probably wouldn't know whether to rob her or kiss her, though, and then things might get tense. Feast your eyes, bitches, this is leather heaven.

That's all, folks. Now it's time to get yo'self a nice scarf to go with that leather, acquire a pumpkin spice latte, mock said latte in order to mask how much you're really enjoying it and what that says about you as a person, and then realize that you're wearing a fucking leather jacket and that makes you undeniably cool and therefore able to drink whatever girlie Starbucks drinks you want. 

This doesn't apply to alcoholic beverages though. Man up in that department. Don't ruin it for the rest of us, here.

This is how cool you are now. It's a privilege. Work it, girl.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Looking Hot, Being Poor: 9 Beauty Solutions for You and Your Overdrawn Bank Account

Don't you just hate it when you're reading a beauty blog and they're casually recommending products that cost like, $68 for a small tube of face cream? And you're all, "Well yeah, I'm sure my skin would look great too if I was lubing it up everyday with shit that costs more than my weekly grocery budget." And then you feel all sad and shitty because you're poor. And being a woman who is interested in fashion and beauty (not to mention one who wants to someday make a career out of those twin obsessions) is a constant reminder of how pathetic your finances are, especially in comparison to women who can spend not just hundreds on products, but several thousand on a bag or pair of shoes.

Personal confession time: When I was in early high school and insecure like every other 15 year old on the planet (wish I had known that then), I spent considerable time and energy envying the "rich girls" I grew up around.  The sole reason for this was pretty much because I felt that it was so much easier for them to look pretty. Looking pretty, in case you've forgotten, is the be-all end-all of high school success. It had to do with the same thing that makes me jealous of women now - their ability to afford better products, clothes, HANDBAGS, etc. than I can. In my crazy, hormone-addled mind, I even took it to the level that because my family lived further away from school, I would look worse once I got there in the morning, because my makeup and hair had more time to "shift" during transit. I remember being very bitter about this. Obviously that is insane, but it's getting at an essential truth: It IS easier to look hot when you've got the dolla dolla bills, ya'll. No doubt about it. I mean hello, why do you think people like Gwyneth Paltrow look better at 40 than I do at 24?

I mean...

But that doesn't mean the rest of us should give up without a fight.

So, with that said, I present to you a list of poor girl beauty problems and the fixes that one poor girl has cooked up to banish them. Or at least make them bearable until more prosperous days. You're welcome.

1. The Problem: Let me paint a picture for you: It's Tuesday. Your ass gets paid on Friday. You have approximately $42 dollars in your bank account, and you need that for iced coffees throughout the week and Happy Hour drinks on Thursday night. BUT, and this is just the Universe being cruel, you're almost out of conditioner. And really, what's the point of getting drunk on Thursday if your hair is just going to look like shit while you're doing it?

The Fix: Open that bottle up! Bang it against the palm of your hand and see what you can get out of there - probably enough for one wash. But you're not done. For some reason, the walls of these bottles hold on to a fuckload of residue. And by filling them with shower water and dumping said water on your head, you can probably get two more nights of silky hair. And for some reason, it actually feels kind of better than when the conditioner is applied directly to your hair.

2. The Problem: You cannot afford $25 mascara. If you've never used Dior Show mascara, do yourself a favor and don't begin, because once you've used it, everything else makes your lashes feel like stubby, spidery crap. I bought a tube before Prom (remember: high school, obsessed with being pretty) and I never looked back. That is, until I realized a few months later that I was in college and could buy an entire case of beer for that amount of money.

The Fix: Layer mascaras. Anyone who's been around the block a few times knows that mascaras come in all shapes, sizes, and consistencies. And in the $6 - $12 range, nobody's perfect. So you like the angled wand on one, but the lengthening capabilities on the other. Use one to extend the lashes on the outer corners of your eyes and the other to lengthen the ones in the front. Or use one on top of the other.  Or, if you're feeling especially naughty, stick one wand in the other's tube. Currently, I'm using a combination of Maybelline Great Lash and Sephora Lash Plumper. The great thing about this is, if you're anything like me, you probably have about seven old half-used tubes lying around to choose from.

3. The Problem: You haven't got the kind of flow necessary for a professional pedicure, but when you do it yourself at 11:30 PM right before you go to bed because you forgot until then but you really want to wear open toed shoes tomorrow, you fall asleep and it gets all smudged.

The Fix: GLITTER!!!!!! Let's get real though, what problem in life doesn't glitter fix? Just slather a bunch of glitter top coat on it, and no one will ever notice how jacked up it is underneath.

4. The Problem: You're out of shaving cream.

The Fix: In this one, let's hope to GOD you aren't out of conditioner too, because then there is really no helping you (unless you just buck up and go to Duane Reade). If this is not the case, then use a little bit of conditioner to shave your legs. It works. It kind of clogs up your razor eventually, but if you're in the aforementioned it's-Tuesday-payday-is-Friday-need-overpriced-coffee-and-alcohol jam we've all found ourselves in, you should be fine. Disclaimer: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, try this the other way around, i.e attempt to use shaving cream as conditioner. I know, you'd think it would work, but trust me, it will not and all you will get is an even drier, more disgusting mess on your head.

5. The Problem: You're out of/can't find/not in the vicinity of your chosen zit product. But you have a huge zit (again, The Universe can be a real whore sometimes).

The Fix: A little tab of toothpaste will dry that sucker right out. I'M NOT saying it's great for your skin. It's certainly no $68 moisturizer. It's like, probably even bad for it. But if you're in a pickle, it works.

6. The Problem: Your cheap, trendy heels are chafing some part of your feet in a way that's making you want to smack somebody.

The Fix: These bad boys. Or these, depending on where the problem lies. To be quite frank, if you've been wearing shoes like these without some kind of internal assistance, I'm afraid common sense has failed you, and that you have larger problems than poverty and the lack of expensive makeup.

7. The Problem: It's 95 degrees outside and you have to travel down to what's essentially the Bowels of Hell in order to board the subway. Or, even more fun, you live in an apartment that's conveniently sans air conditioning. It's really bohemian and all, but you're pretty sure your face is melting.

The Fix: Shine control sheets will remove all the sweat and oil from your face and yet somehow, by the miracles of science, NOT your makeup. You also get to watch the sheet become transparent as it soaks up all your gunk, which is really gross but also really satisfying. The best part is, the drugstore of your choice likely makes a version of these that's the exact same but not by Neutrogena and therefore like $2 cheaper.

8. The Problem: You can't afford to get your brows waxed on a regular basis.

The Fix: Don't. Seriously. I've been au natural with a few necessary plucks for a solid three months and I'm feeling great. I don't have small, wispy eyebrows either. I'm just going for it. Whenever I feel stupid, I just look at a picture of Cara Delevingne and keep on truckin'. Granted, if you're patchy you may want to use some kind of brow powder to fill in holes. I've also heard brow gel is what's up, though I have not tried it myself.

Cara D, patron saint of the unruly brow

9. The Problem: Your highlights are majorly grown out.

The Fix: "It's ombre!"
The Other Fix: DIY. Thanks to my mom who is wonderful enough to subsidize my blondening procedures in exchange for a weekend visit, I'm usually okay in this department. However, while I was abroad in Amsterdam, I was both poorer than shit and didn't know of any good salons, even if I had the money. I colored my hair myself and it looked fine. The key to dying hair at home is to not do anything too drastic - this isn't the time to try out platinum blonde. Just find a shade that closely matches the highlights you have now, and then make sure not to get too heavy handed when applying, lest you look like Kelly Clarkson in the early 2000s.

See? I mean, you're not going to get the kind of depth you would with salon highlights, but it looks good. Better than having your roots all out and about (or is it?) Also fitting that I got that dress for about 8 euro at a flea market.

And there you have it. From my crappy apartment to yours. Over and out.

Got a beauty problem you'd like me to address? Leave it in the comments section and I'll post an answer. Wanna know about the fancy-person products I use that are truly worth a ramen week? It's got Coming Soon status, so keep checking back.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just a reminder....

Not to lie about shit in order to sound cool. It's got to be a big temptation, especially when someone has a camera all up in your face, but from now on, I'll be constantly reminding myself that if anyone ever asks me about some obscure band, brand or anything else, I'm keeping my mouth shut. This is just too painful.

But I would, however, love to get my hands on one of these UNIBOOTS if at all possible. Can we think for a second about what this would look like? I'm picturing, like, Moon Boots that encompass both feet/legs and require you to hop around. Any other takers?

Hopping is the new walking, you guys.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Stuff I Like From NYFW

For those of you who haven't been obsessively stalking Women's Wear Daily all week trying to answer the real, hard-hitting questions in life like,"I know that I like it, but WHY do I like it? What is it doing? What does it mean?" (cue nauseating flashback to my senior Art History seminar), I'm here to say I've done that work for you. Well, I can't tell you what you like and why you like it, but if you'll let me, I'd love to school you in what I like and why I like it. Just don't ask me why fashion can be so esoteric because I DON'T KNOW.

Jerome 5:31, by Jerome Lamaar, is on POINT.
At first glance, it's super clean and well-tailored, but then you look deeper and there are these little hints of just unabashed funkiness. Like that freaking hat! With the freaking flowers! And the skirt...with the freaking sequins! And the shoes with their moss-like quality. Such beautiful, subtle references to the natural world. It's artsy and it's screaming to be street-styled, but yet I, as a regular person, am not alienated by that fact. Someone buy me that hat so I can wear it to a Phish show, because in my heart of hearts, I believe that's where it needs to be worn.

Marc by Marc excites me not only because I have a slight chance of possibly being able to afford it, but also because it's very easy to wear without being the slightest bit boring. It's everything you'd expect from Marc - great prints, trendy as fuck, and looks like it would blend seamlessly with the rest of your closet. As this collection and many others show, the whole questionably ugly flat shoes trend is here to stay. Perhaps more on this later. Also: METALLICS. Pastel metallics for spring. Yum. I feel like if someone back in like 1980 had been asked to predict what we'd be wearing in 2013, the last two looks would completely be it. The future is here, people.

Custo Barcelona. The weird thing is that I think of them as being purveyors of kind of mediocre looking cotton shirts with like weird, graphic prints on them. But I really like this. It's kind of like a cousin to the Mara Hoffman we looked at, no? Same layering of ethnic patterns, but here it feels more feminine and less boho. It's a color palette rooted in pastels rather than neons, but it's also the cut of the dresses - they're skimming the body instead of flowing away from it, which makes it feel more ladylike to me. I'd also just like to draw everyone's attention to the blue feather skirt in look two, because I am certain it will be present in my dreams.

So. To recap: lots of pastels! Which is good, because it's Spring, and also because they're pretty and I like pretty things. Deep, I know. But, come on, admit it, you didn't want to read a think just wanted to look at some clothes, because dammit, that's what Fashion Week's for.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nasty Gal Fall 2013 Collection

Okay, so I know that it's a sin as a fashion blogger for me to write or like, even think about anything other than NYFW right now. I get it. That shits trending. BUT I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge something that I find bloody flippin' exciting: Nasty Gal's Fall 2013 collection hit the interwebs today, and friends, it is GOOD. And affordable! And good!

I've been following Nasty Gal for a while now and have watched them grow seemingly overnight from a small niche site specializing in vintage goods, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, and the like (before that they were an Ebay store...for owner Sophia Amoruso's rather amazing story, check this out). Now they have evolved into a full-blown fashion powerhouse designing their own collections, which in my opinion have gotten better with every season. This time they really knocked it out of the park - it's much more architectural and high-fashion than I would have predicted. Rather than just knocking off what's happening on the runways, they are really doing their own thing and that's refreshing to see given their price point. Sure, some pieces are more wearable than others, and the quality of the fabrics in person remains to be seen, but it artfully presents a cohesive vision of a certain Fall woman: the space-age (with a little bit of 80's throwback) vamp chick. For me, the most interesting part of the collection is the presence of this smoky-hued vinyl looking material, which is used throughout as accents.

In terms of specific pieces and looks, here are some that spoke to me:

This little slip dress is the piece I would buy if I could only choose one. The vinyl accents are present without being overpowering and the color is just great. It could be dressed up with heels and a blazer for a night out or given a 90's vibe with knee-socks, Docs and an oversized sweater for day.

Another beautiful dress. I would love to take this bad boy for a night out on the town. I've been noticing a lot of dresses with sheer paneling like this lately, but this is one of my favorites. I love the color and the scoop neck.

This look is very on-point with everything I've been seeing in terms of street style lately. Especially with the jacket slung over the shoulders just so.

This jacket is just really fucking cool. The unapologetically boxy silhouette and vinyl panel separate it from the sea of other biker jackets, and makes it look way more expensive than it actually is.

I could do without the shirt, but something about the skirt I really like. Maybe it's the colors. Also I'm OBSESSED with the boots, but I can't find them anywhere on Nasty Gal's site. Sadness. They are such a unique color.

So, there you have it. And also, how excited are you right now to toss aside the orangey-red lipstick you've been rocking all summer in favor of something deep and dark? Personally, I'd like my lips to look like I just finished eating a whole bunch of cranberries. Or maybe a pomegranate.

To view the rest of the collection, go here. And let me know in the comments section which pieces you'd choose!

NYFW: Three Collections I Dig and Why

As I have lamented previously, I find it tricky to think about what I'm going to be wearing NEXT Spring/Summer when I've barely broken out fall jackets for this year yet. But that certainly does not mean that I don't love drooling over the Fashion Month collections...after all, it's not like I'm going to be able to afford these exact pieces anyway, so really, who cares about specifics like seasons, right?

As much as everyone likes to speak about "trends" on the runway, which I'm certainly in favor of because it gives us plebeian folk something to takeaway for when we're shopping off the rack, I find that the designers I am typically drawn to are those who have their own aesthetic that largely eschews trends in favor of something more distinctive that carries over from season to season. Mara Hoffman is a perfect example of this - her colorful, kaleidoscopic prints and true bohemian flavor could be picked out across a crowded room, but yet never run the risk of feeling tired. The flowing gowns, cutouts, and contrasting patterns she sent down the runway for S/S 2014 are no exception.

I just love everything about this. It's effortlessly glamorous and sexy without trying too hard...basically everything I strive for when getting dressed.

I love the contrast of the printed belt with the tie-die. It's unexpected and it really works. I really, really want to add a belt like this to my life, like, ASAP.

This dress is classic Mara Hoffman -  a great print on a super sexy silhouette.

AWAVEAWAKE is a younger brand which I had never heard of until this season when they were featured in ARTINFO's "Rookies to Watch" List. And with good reason! Simple, unfussy silhouettes in  pretty, understated colors totally fit with what I want to be wearing in the warmer months. These dresses will translate easily from catwalk to sidewalk and hopefully to a few red carpets.

I'm a sucker for a nice, pale dusty rose color. And I love that these separates can be mixed and matched  in the spirit of how most of us actually build our wardrobes.

This color! What would you call it? Does it even matter?

Just PRETTY. I could see a very bohemian bride wearing this with a crown of flowers (of course).
Marissa Webb, now in her third season, began her career as a designer at J.Crew. Her timeless, feminine, work-appropriate collection takes the J.Crew vibe to a more high-fashion level. In my opinion, she designs for the "every woman" (okay, maybe the every woman with a very large bank account) - a normal girl who wants to look stylish and pulled together without having to put a lot of planning into it. Simultaneously classic and modern, these looks would be super easy to pull off in everyday life.

This is playful and pretty, without sacrificing interest.

Relaxed, professional, and yet still edgy. This is what every woman wants to wear to work.

And this is what every woman wants to wear to Fashion Week. THOSE SHOES. Get at me.

Hello again, shoes. This is what I think every woman would like to wear for a night out - it's sexy and skin-bearing, without ever veering into slutty territory.

So, there you have it. Three collections I would sell an internal organ on the black market in order to take home. Well, not really. I mean, maybe. You only really NEED one kidney to live, right? And what a stylish, single-kidney'd life it would be....