I finally am back in NY and got a chance to stop by Uniqlo to check out the Steven Alan Designers Invitation Project, which I have been looking forward to since I heard that it was in the works. The collection has a nice spring feel with lots of sleeveless loose blouses and belted shirtdresses. If you are in NY, then I definitely recommend stopping by to check it out. I don't think that Uniqlo has a website that allows for U.S. orders yet, but hopefully they get that implemented soon. I think you might be able to order delivery to the U.S. from the UK site, but I haven't tried it yet... Here are my picks: Steven Alan for Uniqlo Playsuit $59.50
I still think that onesies are the absolute item for this spring/summer. This belted shorts jumpsuit also comes in black and olive.Steven Alan for Uniqlo Short Dress $59.50
This adorable khaki dress is my absolute favorite item in the colection. The open crossed back can be paired with a fitted tshirt underneath for a more conservative option.Steven Alan for Uniqlo Ribbon Sleeveless Blouse $39.50
There are lots of blouses (which we would expect from Steven Alan) but this is my favorite with the blue on blue striping and the oversized bow. The fit is very loose and long, so I would pair it with a high-waisted skirt or tailored pants.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Sorry for the short break in posts on Hello Kelli. My apartment caught fire in Brooklyn on Wednesday and I have to salvage what I can and find a new place to live. It's all quite sudden.
Luckily I was out of town so I wasn't hurt, but unfortunately some of my favorite clothes and shoes did not fair as well...
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I've been surfing around on shopbop.com a lot lately because they have so many great brands. I also like that the clothes are categorized into useful and creative trend categories like "Investment Pieces" and "Moroccan Inspired", which are updated each season.
Strapless tops and dress styles will be popular this spring/summer with maxi dresses and classy creative designs, so here are some of my affordable picks from the shopbop.com sale:
Velvet Voletta Tube Dress
This tie-dye inspired fabric style will also be seen a lot this spring. This casual cotton dress is perfect for the beach.
LOVE YAYA Eve Dress
I have a dress that is exactly like this and the notched strapless neckline, cinched waist, and thick stretchy fabric make it extremely flattering. And I love any dress with pockets of course!
T-Bags Short Strapless Colorblock Dress
A casual jersey strapless is great for weekends in the summer, or can even be dressed up with a cardigan on top.
Larsen Gray Delhi Tube Top
Gorgeous and creative and made of organic cotton...what more can I say?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I am still addicted to checking Gilt Groupe nearly everyday...they have had so many great brands lately! Until Saturday at midnight they are having a sale on Habitual jeans at truly affordable prices. They have every style (high waisted, skinny, bootcut, wide leg, straight leg, crop) and color (dark wash, light wash, gray, white, black) you can imagine. Prices are super cheap at around $54-$68, down from $189-$209.
I've never owned any Habitual, so I can't give any advice on the fit...but if you are a fan then I definitely recommend stocking up at this sale.
I kind of need a pair since it seems that all the stars are wearing them...
Here is my invitation to join Gilt Groupe: Hello Kelli Invitation
Abaete sample sale
560 Broadway, Ste. 509
Thursday, Friday (11a-7p), Saturday (11a-6p)
I fist discovered Abaete when I moved to New York and realized that the dress designer's Soho headquarters was located one floor above my office! Laura Poretzky and her Abaete brand quickly became my favorite dress designer. This is the best sample sale for finding gorgeous party dresses at an amazingly discounted price. I have gone to every Abaete sample sale for the last two years, but this year I will sadly be unable to attend. Every sale I leave with at least two great pieces, so I am amassing quite a large and wonderful collection of Abaete in my wardrobe.
This year I would have gone to snag some of those vintage-inspired swimsuits.
The sale will be featuring the fall 2008, holiday 2008, and resort 2009 collections at 80% off.
Reality TV Sighting: Was anyone else as excited as me to see Laura Poretzky on a recent episide of America's Next Top Model!? She is so amazing.
Jack Purcell Distressed Sneakers
$65 at J.Crew
Visit my weekly blog post at Splendicity about "Always Preppy Sneakers":
The classic springtime sneaker for me has always been the Converse Jack Purcell. I have gone through multitudes of white and black Jack Purcells since I was ten years old. I wear each pair until they are so broken in that the rubber starts peeling off and the canvas resembles 80's hypercolor, yet they never go out of style.
As the temperatures rise and the flowers begin to bloom, the fresh and preppy fashions surface each year with plaids, linens, florals, and shorts. The Jack Purcell pairs perfectly with these styles to exude a relaxed and beachy vibe. They look great when they're white and crisp and laced up with a pair of khakis or when they're unlaced and worn with barefeet and a cotton tank dress.
Converse has produced many great collaborations over the last few years to infuse new life into their classic styles. I am very excited about the new Jack Purcells by John Varvatos and a new style sold exclusively at J.Crew that are a perfect addition to your casual spring wardrobe.
Jack Purcell Broken-In Chino Sneakers
$65 at J.Crew
Converse by John Varvatos Jack Purcell Vintage
$110 at Piperlime
Note: Some of these styles are only available in Men's sizes.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
After I posted about the "rocker bootie" I have been noticing more styles and press about them everywhere! They are definitely going to be the trend to watch this spring...
Clutch 22 just did a great post that references the original Ann Demeulemeester style:
Loving Ann D. Just Got Easier
Monday, March 16, 2009
Lately I have been subjecting myself to the possibility of receiving endless spam by signing my email address up on multiple online shopping websites. Every website has a "create an account" option these days, so I am researching the usefulness of online website sign-ups and determining which retailers send out emails worth reading. I will continue my research in this area and will share with you my findings.
I would like to share my first pick for online shopping site: Gilt Groupe. Gilt Groupe is a website that requires an online sign-up to gain access to their store. Here is an invitation to sign up: Gilt Groupe Invitation Link
Gilt Groupe sells men's and women's designer clothing, shoes, and accessories at 50-70% off retail prices. Each designer's sale starts at noon and only lasts for a few days, but there are new designers each day so there is continually a great selection of fresh merchandise. I had serious doubts that I would be interested in this site when I first signed up, but within the first couple weeks of receiving emails the website featured three of my favorite brands (Abaete, Seven for Mankind denim, and Marc Jacobs handbags)! Now I am pretty much addicted to checking the website daily.
- Amazing selection of designer brands
- discounts of 50-70%
- calendar on website allows you to plan when to check back
- merchandise is updated daily
- Daily emails
- designers are all high end so products are still expensive (rarely under $100)
- returns are for store credit and not refund
Friday, March 13, 2009
The hot shoe for spring 2009 is a versatile and inventive new style that is so unique that I struggle to grasp what type of shoe it is…a boot or a sandal…or something else entirely? I would call it a combination of a cut-out ankle bootie, a super strappy sandal, and an open-toed platform.
I absolutely love the 80’s rocker style that it exudes with tough black leather and details of metal buckles and grommets. These shoes should be worn with confidence and paired with skin-tight colored jeans or patterned leggings. I would also love to see the contrast of pairing these with a polished party dress and colored tights.
So far I’ve just seen these in stores, but as soon as the weather warms up I can’t wait to see them on the streets to see what outfit combinations fashionistas come up with. I think I will call this style the “rocker bootie.”
Image: Urban Outfitters
Dolce Vita Sweet Life - $128 at Urban Outfitters
I like the intensely fat heel with the cut-out leather contrasting with the delicate lace-up detail. It might be difficult to walk in these 5” heels, but you would definitely look fierce.
Image: Saks Fifth Avenue
Opening Ceremony Lace-Up Slingback Wedges - $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue
I included these as a “splurge” pick to illustrate the sophisticated side of the rocker bootie with rich leather and minimal cutouts. These also exemplify the mixture of shoe styles with a slingback, open-toe, wedge, and lace-up bootie combined.
Image: Free People
Dolce Vita Hamilton Tall Buckle Wedge - $248 at Free People
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I was double checking on the McQ line at Target to see if they had re-stocked their racks with new styles and sizes (sadly they had not) and I stumbled upon the Converse One Star collection. This cute cotton tank dress reminded me of a Theory dress...
Converse One-Star Huntsville Dress $29.99
This empire-waist dress has a double ribbed scoop neck tank on top and a slate gray cotton A-line skirt on the bottom. I love the mixture of different textures of cotton materials and the separates-as-dress appearance, which I saw last season in Theory dresses.
Theory Boasa tank dress for $295
This dress also has two textures of cotton, a scoopneck tank top and A-line skirt, but also a thick waistband and patterned A-line skirt.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Hanky Panky revolutionized the thong underwear market by designing a style that is invisible under clothes, but is also extremely comfortable. My only problem with Hanky Pankys was that all of the underwear came in "one size fits all," which doesn't actually work that well for all the smaller ladies out there. But not anymore! Hanky Panky is now offering a size Petite! Very exciting.
Hanky Panky now in Size Petite
I have been spending lots of time surfing around on Piperlime
lately looking at all of the beautiful shoes and handbags. I decided that free shipping and free returns is actually easier for me than going shopping sometimes...
There are many great options in the Sale section, but I can't really suggest tons of picks because there is a very limited amount of sizes for each style. But I would like to share this amazing find:
Women's shoes: Delman Cece-S - Grey suede $139.99 (orig. $295)
Delman flats are a classic and always in style. As I've mentioned many times on this blog, I am obsessed with the color gray so I think these comfortable and adorable suede flats are amazing. They are also available in black...I want both.
I'll put together a list of spring picks once it warms up a bit outside...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Footwear designer Pierre Hardy has designed a collection for Gap that is available now in 75 stores nationwide and with limited styles online. The most popular style that I've seen advertised is the three strap platform wedge, which is available for $98 online. I prefer the wedge with the wooden heel, but unfortunately they're only available in stores. Racked has more images of the limited-edition styles...
Gap has opened a Pop-Up store next door to their flagship at 54th Street and 5th Ave in Manhattan, which exclusively features the Pierre Hardy collection. I haven't made it out there to check out the shoes yet, but when I do I will report back.
Pierre Hardy designs a line of luxury shoes, which retail for $400-$800, and are most recognized for the towering strappy stilletto-heeled pumps worn by celebrities. His most recent collection had a severe and polished look with black patent leather ankle boots and accents of polished silver and gold metal on pumps and flats. Before debuting his own womens' shoe line in 1999, he built an extensive resume working in the design houses of Christian Dior, Hermes, and Balenciaga.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I was about to post about the recent Pierre Hardy footwear line at Gap when I paused to reflect on how I was overrunning my blog with my overzealous excitement for designer-retailer collaborations (Felix Rey for Target, Alexander McQueen for Target, Steven Alan for Uniqlo). Observing this pattern brought to my attention the important evolution that has occurred over the past few years in the areas of affordable design and how I see the future of design evolving within this area.
I worked for Michael Graves, one of the most influential and well-known American architects, for 3.5 years in Princeton and in Manhattan. When I first started as an architectural intern in 2004, Michael Graves was already an established icon in the architectural world but he was also becoming a more recognizable name in American mainstream culture. Only a few years earlier the architecture firm had expanded to form a Products department and developed a Michael Graves Design product line, which was exclusively produced for and sold at Targets across the country. The line has expanded over the years and now includes kitchen, cleaning, storage, and home decor products.
When Michael Graves started this collaboration it was an innovative and risky idea. The prestige and respect that came with winning multiple architectural awards and being recognized internationally as a talented and successful designer brought extreme skepticism from elite architects about designing a line that would be sold at a low-priced retail chain. Architecture critics questioned the respectability of "selling out." How could the designer of the highest selling Alessi product of all time (a tea kettle that retails for $159), the "first post-modern building" (the Portland Building in Portland, Oregon), and countless other design accomplishments design a toaster that retails for $37.99 and is sold at a big box store?
"Good design should be accessible to all" is Michael Graves' motto and he was pursuing his dream to make that concept into a reality.
I truly believe in this idea and applaud designers in all areas of our culture who have challenged an idea that fashion is only for the priveleged and created collaborations with retailers that offer a wide slice of the population the opportunity to choose a product that is beautiful.
Some of my favorite designers like Vera Wang, Abaete, Proenza Schouler, Phillip Lim, and Stella McCartney have followed in these footsteps and created lines with retailers like PayLess Shoe Source and H&M. Designers have realized that this is how to have their designs truly reach people and I see it continuing to expand and evolve as we look into the future.
This idea has now become so prevalent that it's hard to keep up with all of the collaborations between high-profile designers and mass market retailers...but now I've come to realize that that is why I'm here. Oh and I'll do that Pierre Hardy for Gap post tomorrow.
Thank you to WWD and Pantone for sharing with us the colors for Fall 2009 (and thanks to FPD for sharing this news with the rest of the world). I am so excited to do two color posts in a row!
These colors are gorgeous and I can't wait to see them make an appearance next season. Burnt Sienna is one of my favorite watercolor paint tubes and Iron exactly matches the gray that I use for everything (and the nail color that I wore for the last six months!). I think Creme Brulee is going to be one of the most frequently seen colors for Spring and Fall because of the growing popularity of muted and nude tones.
For those of you who don't have experience with Pantone, I will offer more of a description. Pantone, Inc. is a company that was started 45 years ago to solve problems that the many areas of the design community constantly encountered involving difficulties in color matching. The Pantone Matching System is a book of standardized colors that was created to allow an ease of color communication across the design industries. The Pantone system allows areas like architecture, textiles, paint, plastics, and graphic images to easily create a color palette and share exact standardized colors to be used in different mediums. Pantone is constantly updating their mind-boggling immense color library that is available in a beautiful fan format. Thousands of colors samples are available to download on the Pantone website to be used with Adobe programs.
I sadly missed the Gap and Pantone collaboration at a Pop-Up shop in midtown in January. Gap produced a line of their classic tees in a selected Pantone color palette, with a special Mimosa tee, which is Pantone's color pick for 2009.