Tuesday, July 28, 2009

fashion + technology = polyvore

There was a great article about fashion website Polyvore in the NY Times:

Site Wins Fashion Fans By Letting Them Design

I believe that user-controlled fashion websites like Polyvore are the key to the future of the fashion industry. The user-friendly nature of a website and the attractiveness of the images are the new display windows for shopping. Buyers can spend hours surfing the internet and viewing hundreds of different options for merchandise without maneuvering through crowds to get to a store. With lines and limited availability of merchandise at a store competing with free shipping and returns, the idea of shopping in the comfort of your own home seems quite attractive.

There are many advantages to shopping online and I think that there are great opportunities for creativity in this area that need to be explored. Polyvore is one of the first sites that I have seen that pushes the boundaries of internet shopping.

One of the biggest changes in our culture over the last few years has been the infiltration of social networking. There is a voyeuristic aspect of Twitter and Facebook users wanting to share every aspect of their lives. Paired with this has also been a growth in personal blogs, many of them related to fashion. Women of all ages use a personal fashion blog as a way to express themselves by posting self portraits in their favorite outfits and links to items they covet. With a decrease in purchasing over the last few years, these blogs provide an outlet for sharing ideas about fashion when prices are still unaffordable. Right now these two ideas have co-existed, but not entirely been joined.
I believe that there is a great opportunity to explore the ways that fashion blogs, social networking, and online shopping can be melded together in a new way that makes finding out what people are wearing so much easier.

If women want to Tweet about their activities throughout the day, maybe they also want an opportunity to open up their closets and share all that is inside. Maybe we should be able to flip through digital versions of closets and put outfits together so our friends can see how we wear our favorite pieces. I also see opportunities for categorizing so we can figure out what our favorite brands are and what area of our closet is lacking. If you can't afford something, maybe you can hold onto an image of it for awhile until you decide that it will fit with the rest of your clothes.

There are so many opportunities that Polyvore has created by starting with a digital database for browsing fashionable merchandise and expressing your ideas about style. Fashion is an art form. It is one of the ways that people take inspiration in our culture and interpret it in a way that makes a visual expression. If you offer more ways to combine technological advances in our society with personal expression then you will be looking towards the future of the fashion industry.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

lewis cho on sale at ideeli

I definitely go through phases with my discount websites...and after that awesome melissa sale I am definitely on an ideeli kick.

There is a really great Lewis Cho sale at ideeli right now that lasts for 2 and a half more days. Lewis and Cho design simple and soft knit dresses that are extremely wearable. I have the most classic black boatneck empire waist dress from Lewis Cho that I bought at least three years ago and I have worn it so many times that it's become pilly. But I love it! I would get it in a million colors but at full price their dresses are usually a little pricey for a simple knit dress. Try to snag them at this sale for about 60% off!

One warning...their dresses tend to run short in length so you will have to pair with leggings if you plan on wearing them to work. But for a casual summer look they are great with bare legs and flats!

Here are my picks:

Mosaic Dress $72 (reg. $219)

This is the exact dress that I have in black and wear all the time. It's so soft and comfy. And I love this pattern!

Yoke Dress in Navy $72 (orig. $207)

Scoop Neck Dress $82 (reg. $242)

Sleeveless Dress II $72 (reg. $207)

Each dress is available in multiple different colors. Check online to see availability of sizes and colors.

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barney's warehouse sale in san fran

(One of my first reports about my new shopping city: San Francisco!)

Racked just reported that the craziness that is the biannual Barneys Warehouse sale will now be occurring in the lovely city of San Francisco. In past years the sale has only been in New York and Los Angeles, so I'm excited to see that San Francisco is making it's way onto the fashion map.

The dates for the sales are staggered, with SF occurring first, but that doesn't mean that all the good stuff will be snagged before the other sales start...the SF sale will have leftover stuck just from the west coast stores.

Here are the dates for the sales:
San Francisco July 30 - August 9
Los Angeles August 13 - August 23
New York August 20 - Sep 7

Let me know if there are any fabulous finds!

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

lower prices from gilt groupe to come...

Why I didn't I think of starting Gilt Groupe? It's such a genius idea, and now it's getting even better.

Gilt Groupe just announced that next month they will be starting a spinoff site called Gilt Fuse where designer merchandise will retail for less than $150. Just in case you thought you had kicked your addiction to internet shopping...

If you don't already receive emails from Gilt Groupe about their amazing online sales here is my invitation: Gilt Groupe.

Did anyone catch sight of those gorgeous Fendi Spy Bags at over 50% off before they were Sold Out???

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

nordstrom sale finds...

I finally made it to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yesterday. Most of the items that I had my eye on from the catalogue were all sold out already, but the salespeople said that they usually get more stock in after the first week of the sale.

Here are my favorites:

Joie Mesa Pintuck Top

The photo doesn't really do this blouse justice. It's a beautiful deep raspberry hue with the softest silk. It puffs a little at the shoulders and has a very flattering fit. Love it!

Linea Paolo Fae Flat

Soft, comfortable, and versatile flats.

Ruby & Bloom Gem Moccasin

These are so adorable! Very casual and comfortable mocs.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Posh Turnlock Jazz Bag

Soft definitely seemed to be my theme for the Nordstrom sale this year. Everything I loved had an amazing texture. This is a classic medium-sized Marc Jacobs leather bag for a great price.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

daniblack shoes on sale

I am loving some of the shoes that are on sale right now at daniblack!

daniblack Rocket $92.50 (reg. $185)

These lace-up cut-out booties are perfect for the transition into Fall. I am definitely putting these in my list of favorite rocker booties. I love the natural color. It will go great with opaque black tights in a few months...

daniblack Addison $93 (reg. $155)

For summer this is a great pair of soft suede kitten wedge sandals. This electric blue is my favorite, but these also come in red, gold, or bronze. If you like a pop of color, but don't want to make a strong statement, a simple sandal like this is perfect.

daniblack Mimosa $87.50 (reg. $125)

If you want even more color, try this colorful satin flat. The bright color and large soft flower would pair with a simple outfit like cropped skinny jeans and simple tee.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

nordie's anniversay sale starts tomorrow

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts tomorrow Friday, July 17 at 7am. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite sales. It is reliable (it happens at the end of every summer) and it is super organized!

If you are unfamiliar with the wonderfulness that is the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I will explain why it is so great. Unlike most sales and discount stores where it's just a jumble of whatever didn't get sold last season, the Anniversary sale is the opposite. The fashion geniuses that they are pick what will be in style for Fall and have a pre-sale on brand new items. They have a catalogue that debuts about a week before the sale that features all of the items that will be going on sale. It's always fun to start thinking about sweaters and boots when the sale comes along! The sale only lasts until Monday, August 3 and then the Fall items all go up to regular price so I usually try to make it in the first few days.

You can see this year's catalogue online here: Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Catalogue

I was excited to see that the buyers agreed with me on many of my quick picks for Fall 2009. There are definitely lots of rocker-inspired looks with leather jackets and tall boots. Here are some of my favorites:

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

first pick in the bay area!

If you live in the suburbs of the bay area or are visiting Stanford, I have a great boutique find to share with you!

In the Menlo Park area about an hour south of San Francisco there is a wonderful little street called Santa Cruz. It is a lovely pedestrian-friendly street that is similar to a trendy Main Street with coffee shops, restaurants, and, of course, boutiques!

{akiko wildflower halter dress}

There are just a few boutiques in the Menlo Park area, but my absolute favorite was Milana C. The flyer that listed designers like Catherine Malandrino, Black Halo, and Joie drew my attention immediately! The store just opened and is currently having a sale with 25% off of everything in the store. The fashionably knowledgeable owner, Irina, picks a wide range of clothing by great designers in different price ranges for her store. It has a great selection of colorful jersey tops and beach dresses that reminded me that fashion is definitely different in California (no black and gray uniform for me this winter).

Milana C is located off of Santa Cruz on Chestnut Street in Menlo Park. I hope that it stays around for awhile...

{LnA Zipper Leggings}

One of my favorite finds at Milana C...these LnA Zipper Leggings that also come in capri length. I wasn't aware that my absolute favorite T-shirt designer also made the best leggings!

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officially a west coast blog

I have been in transition for a few months, but now I am officially declaring myself a resident of the west coast. I'm excited to find out about the difference between the NY and LA styles and how San Francisco fits in...so much research to do!

I will still keep up with all of my reading about NY designers and shows, but I probably won't have much about the sample sales anymore. Hopefully I will find a way to get involved with the fashion scene in the bay area.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

melissa shoes on sale

Melissa Harajuku in Navy $49 (reg. $99)

My favorite plastic shoes are on sale at ideeli!!

We all know by now that
I am obsessed with these comfortable and eco-friendly Melissa shoes. The sale at ideeli only lasts for two more days so I would recommend buying them soon...I have a feeling that all of the styles will sell out in the next 12 hours.

Ideeli is another registration required discount designer website that is slightly similar to Gilt Groupe. Here is my invitation to join:
Ideeli Invitation

You have to sign up with your email to be allowed access to their sales and then receive newsletters that include information about the upcoming sales. They usually have a great selection of designers at low prices, but sales only last a few days.

Here are some picks from the sale...

Melissa Sin IV in Navy $34 (reg. $59)

I tried these on at Epaulet in black and they are so perfect for summer so I just had to order them in Navy! They are also available in yellow.

Melissa Night III in Gold $44 (reg. $79)

I already have these in Black and they're probably my favorite shoes right now. These might be all Sold Out by now, but they have Wait Lists on Ideeli. They are also available in a metallic green.

Melissa Ultragirl in Red $39 (reg. $59)

If you are loving the Melissa shoes and want to stock up on more Sale styles, you should check out the Melissa Clearance section at Epaulet. I check it fairly often to see what styles they have in my size...they always have a great selection at ridiculously low prices.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

leanne marshall collection at bluefly

Leanne Marshall has to be one of my favorite Project Runway contestants for taking Tim Gunn for a bicycle ride in Forest Park in Portland (my hometown hiking spot)!

If you are a fan of Project Runway, then you will remember that one of the fabulous prizes that Heidi Klum recited every week was the "chance to sell your collection on Bluefly.com." Well that chance has finally come for last year's winner Leanne Marshall and today her 7-piece collection debuted online.

I have to admit that after her amazing final runway collection that impressed the judges enough to win her the grand prize, I find the collection slightly anti-climactic. The pieces are very simple and dumbed down in solid bold colors of jersey knit fabric. The beautiful aquatic-inspired pleats that she handcrafted on the show now seem contrived when attached to a royal blue jersey knit t-shirt. Where is the ethereal color palette and floating aesthetic that we loved on Project Runway? I also hope that she is handmaking all of these pieces because the price seems pretty darn high if she isn't.

Perhaps I am being too critical...what do you think?

The entire collection is on sale for 20% off to celebrate it's debut at Bluefly.com.

Leanne Marshall Bamboo Jersey 'Carine' Tunic $98 (reg. $123)

Leanne Marshall 'Jasmine' Cropped Jacket $220 (reg. $276)

Leanne Marshall 'Cora' Swing Dress $248 (reg. $310)

Leanne Marshall 'Sophie' Pleated Tank $110 (reg. $138)

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quick picks for fall 2009

I haven't compiled my final list of my must-haves for Fall 2009, but I have already started keeping my eye out for a few styles. Here is my quick list for Fall 2009...final list to be published next month.

  • long blazers - I think these will be an update on the 80's version with a slouchy feel, open front, and rolled-up sleeves. The blazers will be menswear-inspired, but will have a long skinny fit and tight shoulders. No shoulder pads please.
  • gray - I love finding beauty in gray. I am interested in gray suede, gray boots, fluffy gray sweaters, gray leather, gray wool hats, gray distressed handbags.
  • detailed booties - Take the idea of the open-toed rocker bootie and gladiator sandals into Fall and you get an intense heeled bootie with unique details.
  • bowler hats - Think of it as this summer's cloche...cute and vintage-inspired.
  • leather jackets - I think the rock 'n roll vibe will continue through the winter, so look for fitted leather jackets with unique designs.
  • velvet - For some reason I just came up with this idea. I want to see the softness and romanticism of velvet explored in new ways. It should be used minimally.
  • chunky jewelry - New and flashy accessories paired with basics will be a good way to create new outfits during a recession.
  • vests - I loved layering them with tanks for summer, but I can see them adapting to Fall for thicker layering in materials like leather and fur (fake I hope!).
I still think the style will be rock 'n roll and vintage-inspired with skinny legs and slouchy tops. Expect larger-than-life accessories and details with fringe, metal studs, and zippers.

Images: Saks Fifth Avenue, Urban Outfitters, Piperlime, Intermix

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Monday, July 6, 2009

layering and letter art

Here are some pieces that I created with the direction of the hilarious and talented Rebecca Wild at Sitka Center using layering techniques and letters. If you live in the vicinity of the Oregon coast and want to take an art retreat, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology offers an amazing collection of classes during the summer that are great for every experience level (literally from beginner to professional).

All of these pieces were done on 7"x7" paper with many layers of tempera, graphite, pastel, and cold wax.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

a real journalist analyzes rompers

Thanks to my journalist sister for bringing this article from Slate's fabulous Double X Factor to my attention:

The Romper Craze: Why Grown Women Dress Like Toddlers

For all of you onesie haters out there who have been wondering why I post so often about this summer obsession... Jessica Grose delves into the onesie trend to try to figure out what the hype is all about.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

painting at the coast

I am taking a short break from fashion blogging this week to enjoy painting along the beautiful Oregon coast with some of my most favorite people.

If you are interested in taking an art class in Oregon, I highly recommend the gorgeous and environmentally conscious Sitka Center for Art and Ecology.

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