Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Target is planning to announce Wednesday that Alexander McQueen, the British enfant terrible of fashion, will design a collection of apparel for the mass-market retailer under a new program called “Designer Collaborations” in which it will partner with well-known designers to create limited-edition lines of clothing.
Mr. McQueen, who is known for edgy antics like sending robots out on the runway to spraypaint models’ white dresses, will design the first collection, which will be sold on Target.com and the retailer’s stores from March 1 through April 11.
The line, named McQ Alexander McQueen for Target, will be inspired by British rock band The Duke Spirit and will be priced within the retailer’s cheap-chic price range. (Designer Jonathan Saunder’s current pieces for Target include skirts for $18.89 and dresses for $27.99, for example.) The retailer notes that the new program differs from its GO International lines in which emerging designers like Proenza Schouler and Luella Bartley have created limited-edition lines for Target.
Target has had success with such partnerships so far — its Anya Hindmarch line of handbags sold out minutes after it started selling online in early October. The retailer says it will announce future collaborations with established designers for the new program throughout next year.
– Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Monday, November 24, 2008
1. Kenneth Jay Lane cocktail ring. 22-karat electroplated gunmetal with Swarovski® crystal insets. Faux amethyst center stone. Made in the USA. $165. Neiman Marcus.
2. "Lady D" by Dior. Black patent. The most classic, fashion forward, and timeless bag - all at the same time. This handbag was originally made at the request of Madam Chirac for Princess Diana as a symbol of France. It's canage pattern is a Louis XIV pattern, and was the same pattern featured on the golden chairs inside the original House of Dior (located at 30, Avenue Montaigne in Paris). Fit for even the woman-on-the-go, the bag has tiny silver "feet" on the bottom that prohibit the bag from resting on the ground. Stunningly beautiful. About $1,800.
3. Henri Bendel luxe candles. $45. The ultimate ambiance. The ultimate accessory.
4. Lacquered crackle jacket. This stunning jacket takes our breath away. A wearable piece of art (dare we say) in coated wool tweed from one of the world's finest mill's that specializes in the most avante-garde prints. We're smitten. Classic fit. No collar. Straight. Long sleeves. On-seam pockets. Double breasted with patent-leather buttons. Fully lined. Hits at hip. Part of the J.Crew Collection. Import. Dry clean. Catalog/jcrew.com only. $550.
5. Norman Love chocolates. This is the man who invented Godiva Chocolatier's luxe "G" collection. Enough said.
6. Marvis toothpaste. The acquamint is delicious. And makes your teeth sparkle like diamonds. $10.
7. Speaking of diamonds. They really are a girl's best friend. And when dealing with diamonds, the only mistake you can make is going too small is size. Remember - colour, cut, clarity, and carats. And if she's extra special, Cartier.
8. Blood Orange + White Pepper body wash from Bliss. The entire range is absolutely fabulous. But especially the body wash. $24.
9. Flowers. Flowers aren't a traditional holiday gift. So be unconventional and send them at random times. Just because. If you need help picking a florist, let me know.
10. Italian homegoods, accessories, and art are always in style. The best collection outside of Italia is Villa Fiorenza in Winter Park, Florida. Ask for Lael. And tell her Joseph sent you. She'll take care of you. I love the Francesca di Stefano artwork. And the l'Object picture frames. And the handmade ornaments. The list goes on and on and on. I love this store. It's romance. With the villa, you don't just give a gift. You give a memory.
For larger vases and arrangements, you can substitute the fresh cranberries for whole vibrant oranges, beautiful royal pears, or bright green apples. Fill the container part way with the fruit, arrange small branches, dried grasses, or large stalks of flowers in the center of the container, and fill the remaining space with more fruit. You can also create a different look with nuts as well.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Focusing on image isn't always a bad thing. It helps you keep your "A game" at all times. And so, designers are always on their "A game" in the City of Angels. I went to a sample sale with a friend in the Cooper Building in the heart of the fashion district. I must say, it was absolute madness. Racks and racks and racks of Ella Moss, Splendid, and Splendid Mills were packed into the 8th floor open space warehouse. And there must have been at least 1,000 crazy ladies looking for a uniquely styled garment at a bargain price in just a few hours.
For those who have never been to a sample sale, most often you're not allowed to try clothes on. Prices depend on the type of garment. For example, tops would be one set price, sweaters and jackets another price, pants and shorts another price, and accessories and miscellaneous another. But at check out, you can always "convince" the cashier that an item may fit into a less expensive category.
While Alana and I were scouring the racks for cute, one-of-a-kind treasures, we definitely made the same comment at the same time. "I swear all of these people have their arms full of the ugliest things!" Right after I said this, a random woman looked up and started laughing. It's so true. Just because something is on sale does NOT mean you are obligated to buy it.
One crazy young woman had her arms FULL of clothes. So much so that she had all of her potential treasures strewn out on the floor, so she could separate what she really wanted to take home with her. Apparently she didn't notice all of the giant signs absolutely forbidding the trying on of garments, because she tried on a few items. Needless to say, the staff was NOT pleased, and promptly let her know of the violation.
After nearly an hour of waiting in line, we purchased our items and went on our merry way.
Fashion is alive. Fashion is intense. And fashion is always a good time.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Next week you'll have the pleasure of reading about my whirlwind excursions to the City of Angels - I'll be writing about the most chaotic and visually overwhelming sample sale I've ever been to, and other adventures.
Until then, stay full of Glamour, dress in Style, and be en Vogue.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
When you receive an invitation, take special notice. Is there a dress code suggested? To whom was the invitation addressed? If there is no dress code, such as "black tie", always opt for classic formal wear. For men, a well tailored suit, beautiful shirt, and tie will always be in style. Don't hesitate to wear colour, too. I usually take a hint from the colours of the invitation - they'll often coordinate with the theme of the event. For women, if the wedding is before evening (meaning before 5 PM), a knee length dress and cardigan or jacket paired with heels in a fun colour will never lead you astray. If the wedding is an evening affair, opt for something either more formal or more daring. Regardless, no one but the bride wears white.
Your invitation sets the guidelines for who may accompany you. "Mr. Joseph and Guest" would allow me to invite a lovely lady. It would not be in good taste for me to invite a lovely lady, my parents, my brother, my brother's fiance, and a friend who sort of knows the groom.
If, by some infrequent event, you bring additional guests than otherwise notated on the invitation, each additional guest is obligated to bring a gift for the lovely couple. And nothing cheap either. Weddings are expensive. You don't attend weddings for the free food. Or the free drinks. You go to celebrate the couple's union and be a witness to their lifelong bonds. So don't be a pig and scarf down plates full of food, or be that guy at the bar who gets wasted and ends up dancing and dry-humping the groom's mother.
And with that, I'll close with a toast to Justin and Christienne. May all that you wish for, be the least that you get.
Monday, November 10, 2008
(In no particular order of excitement or price)
-- Bang & Olufsen A8 headphones. $159.95. The most comfortable, best sounding, travel friendly headphones. The first time I used these headphones, I don't know if I was more impressed with the sound quality, or the fact that more people kept commenting on how cool they looked!
-- Marvis Aquamint toothpaste. $10. Retro packaging. Delicious taste. Good for your teeth.
-- iTunes gift cards. It's safe to assume by now everyone has some sort of portable digital music player. And we all know that fashion rocks.
-- Gucci necklace with bamboo cross pendant. $290. I've seen this for several years, and always admired it's classic, simply beauty and elegant styling. Not too small, not too big. Italian made of sterling silver.
-- Prada's crocodile embossed leather card case. $150. Classic black. ...because real crocodile is very expensive. A good alternative for the fashion-forward man in your life. And if you don't have a fashion-forward man in your life, you can always remember me instead.
-- Emporio Armani's square face sport watch, yellow. $345. Stainless steel with black ion plated case. Chronograph movement. Vanilla scented yellow rubber sport strap; soft rubber pushers. Water resistant. Adds the perfect pop of colour to any wardrobe. Round-the-clock fun for all.
-- AUM shopper. $44. The perfect bag to keep in your truck. Great for the grocery store, a trip to Target, or to stash virtually anything when you're on-the-go. Made of reclaimed (recycled) sailcloth from sailboats. Eco friendly, handy, and chic.
-- Preserve Toothbrush. This toothbrush is designed by dentists and engineers. Made from recycled yogurt cups. Unique angle makes for easier cleaning. Available in seven stunning colours. And when you're done, return the toothbrush to the manufacturer to be recycled again. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
Don't worry. Very soon I'll include gift suggestions for women. Until then, happy shopping!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
-- Henri Bendel Candles (especially fig)
-- method home cleaning products
-- luxe throws (I have a fantastic silk/alpaca blend from Banana Republic Home that I got several years ago)
-- slippers (I have fantastic foot duvets with goose down and fur lining)
-- incredible bath products (especially Bliss's new Blood Orange and White Pepper)
-- fresh fruit for that special touch to drinks and desserts (cranberries, pomegranates)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
In 1953, David Crystal, who already owned Izod, bought 50% of Lacoste to bring the range to America. Calling the range "Izod Lacoste", he marketed the companies signature pique polos and prep-wear. In the mid 80s, when the look of the prep was saturating the market, sales were incredibly high. But when the market was too saturated with the signature alligator embroidered polos, sales began to decline. In the mid 90s, the name and company was split - Izod to be a mid market price point, with Lacoste trying to recapture the luxe customer. In 1993, after a few other failed business attempts, Crystal's license ended on Lacoste, and he sold his half of the company back to the original owners (Sporloisirs S.A.), and sold Izod to VanHeusen. Lacoste wasn't available in America for several years, but now is reincorporated into the US Market throughout upscale department stores and freestanding boutiques.
Just like with the great schisms and evolution in fashion, I'm hoping the history and air of elegance of America continue through the future leadership of president-elect Obama.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Even retail giant Bloomingdale's jumped on the political bandwagon and created beautiful displays, centered around voting. I'm thrilled that these retailers are being responsible, not publicly endorsing a particular candidate.
I must say, I'm anxious and nervous for the outcome of this political election. And most of all, I hope that the increased voter awareness, the political buzz, and the excitement of young people towards politics isn't just a trend that will soon fade, but that it's actually lasting.