Categories: 07/31/08 9:35 AM
Im pretty determined to update myself each time a collection is released by Target. Its a bit of a compulsion- an ironic one considering Ive almost never bought anything there (not because I dont like it- I just cant bear the Brooklyn location). But there is something so fascinating about the translation of high fashion into the commercial market. I love seeing what theyre betting on and what theyve discarded. But in this current case, the results are unfortunately quite poor. If youll remember from my last musing about a target collection, I was a bit shocked to see an indie designer like Maria Cornejo so blatantly referenced. And if I blinded myself to this fact, all in all the collection was quite interesting while also being wearable.
Not so with the current offerings. I dont get it. It kind of looks like a Union Bay jeans campaign from the 90s. Seems to be generating some decent reviews on the blogs, but for me, its not working. Thoughts wunderkinds?
Now Im no designer, not the most design savvy, researched woman on the bloc, but there are a few trends that I think wouldve been safe bets for the Fall that Target didnt pay homage to. Humor me while I divulge my little what would I do musings.
Honestly, with those little changes, I think I could be a convert of the collection. Its not terrible- the dresses actually have some lovely silhouettes- but its in need of a lot of tweaking.
What would you do?
One of the coolest things about bespoke shirts is that you can mix and match fabrics. A lot of custom/bespoke shops out there encourage people to try this by putting a different matching fabric on the back of french cuffs. I call this the "Ted Baker" since they were the first that made this style popular. I think its cool but you can't really see this feature unless the cuffs are rolled up.
A better idea is to pick out fabrics that are the exact same color and texture but different design. You can mix and match this by using one fabric as the body of the shirt and the other fabric as the collar and cuffs. Take a look at my shirt that Michael Andrews Bespoke designed for me. Same exact fabric but the body is a stripe fabric and the collar & cuffs are checks. Here is the link for the photos of this shirt: Bespoke Shirt
Usually, its easy to spot these fabrics because they are put right next to each other in a stack of fabric swatches. Give it a try! You will love it. Then match it with your favorite Vittorio J tie. (Yes, I know. It really is a shameless plug for my ties.)
New York, NY
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO avoiding it. The signs are there, you can't ignore it--the back to school commercials, the boutique & department store sales, and, if you're in NY, the quiet hum of Fashion Week approaching. The summer will soon be coming to an end and, I know ... you feel like it just started. You still have items on your spring must-have list that you haven't purchased yet for heaven's sake! ...And you haven't given up on it. Hmmmm, well you may want to. Whatever shopping budget you have should go to your fall/winter purchases; after all it is the longest season.
I wouldn't go all out right now on pre-fall because you want to rollover some of that budget for the good stuff that's in fall I & II stock, BUT I would begin picking up those accessory pieces that make all the difference in your wardrobe like tights/leggings. So don't fall into the pre-fall trap! If all your fall/winter shopping is complete by mid September, you've grossly wronged yourself. Believe me, I've done this many times.
My purchases have got to be unique and one of a kind. I've been trying to hunt down leggings that are original and can be worn to Fashion Week...Fall 09, that is, in February. One of my partners in crime, B, and I shop with this motto in mind: If it's not good enough to wear to Fashion Week it's a no-go. So all summer pieces are purchased with the September shows in mind and all winter pieces are purchased with the February shows in mind. An important tactic when you don't have the Olsen Twin's extensive wardrobe and it makes everything clear when you're teetering on a purchase decision like, "should I purchase this cotton frock? It's so comfortable!"
B: "Will you make a statement in that frock at the tents?"
Me: "Uhhhh, no?"
B: "Put it down".
So, fashion week is normally all about accessories, truly. But this February, it's really going to be about shoes (wz there any doubt?) and imaginative pieces by those hard to come by designers. It can't be just a shirt or just a jacket. White button down shirt with ruffles down the middle? How cute, store it. White blouse that you need your BFF to come over and help you put it on? Bingo!
But I digress. I'm looking at these leggings by Seelenkleid, a German collection that showed at Fashion Week Berlin the week before last. Looks like something rich leaked down the stockings, I know, but I really like the effects of it. It's especially cool in silver (in Summer 09 collection). Both Seelenkleid's Fall 08/09 and Spring 09 collections have this sort of spill effect on the clothes as well as the leggings. The drips are actually rubber which were added onto silk pieces. Clever.
The leggings pictured is a funky set up that I'm digging but I believe the shoes are what give these fishnet knee-high socks that special look. The contrast is devilishly fantastic. I can pick up the knee-high socks at Hue.com for $6. Perfect for my recession proof budget.
These leggings are Prada-esque at American Apparel. Contrast, again, will make this legging attractive if I style it with sandals. Patent leather sandals would be ultimate. Make that patent leather sandal a similar color to the leggings for a monochrome look and I've now accomplished sleek and polished and a little less downtown funky.
I'm a fall gal at heart so I'm super excited to be prepping for the season up ahead. I'm dreaming up my fall wish list...
Okay readers, I'm skipping over the bigger shows and rolling right into one of my favorites: Shop NYC by GenArt. I have to do this because it's the first show in a lineup of many and it also happens to be tonight. So... imagine this. You walk in to the Metropolitan Pavilion. The DJ beats are the first things you hear. You're checked in at the front, given a map of the space, and greeted with a smile. You're on your way. You move along to weave your way in and out of the tables, each adorned with some of the most beautiful jewelry, shoes, handbags, you name it, that you've seen. This is where you find the up-and-comers. Sure, there are designers that have been at the show for a few years running, but combine the mainstays with the newbies and you've got the best combination yet. These designers are making their own pieces, working with small productions, selling to only a few shops across the country and beyond. They are what's next and ultimately are what I want. I've found countless amazing designers at this show. I currently carry at least 6 lines from GenArt and I feel like I might be overlooking one or two. This is quality.
What sets this gem of a show even further apart from many of the others is that it's open to the shopping public (for a small fee, of course.) This is not typical of an accessories show, which is why this is a shop night more than a show. But for me, it's still a show. Most accessories shows require you to place a minimum order if buying anything at a show. It must be for a shop and you must have registered with your Tax ID number. At GenArt, you buy what you want. If you're a shop owner like me, you indulge from time to time, but more often take a moment at every booth, taking in the designs and taking cards. It's a great opportunity to see new styles, hold them, try them on and envision a client's reaction. You meet the designer, make an impression and if you want to move forward with a buy, touch base with the designer a few days after the show has closed. It's worked incredibly well for me and has never been a stressful, unwelcome trip.
Clarabella's GenArt lines: Tashkent by Cheyenne (discovered her at my first GenArt show!), Marcello Toshi Creazioni, Judith Haas, Andrea Brueckner, Rebecka Froberg, and now Cri de Coeur. You get fresh styles, cutting edge paired with super quality, and lots of great conversation.
I'm headed over there in an hour or so and will try to get a few photos to share with you all tomorrow. And, if you're reading this now, wondering what to do with your night, hoof it over to the Metropolitan Pavilion on 18th between 6th and 7th. The show opens to the public at 6pm and goes all the way to 10pm. Trust me, it's worth it!!
I cant imagine the difficulties boutique owners face when it comes to these hectic times of year. I have only held the hands of the designers we work with at these points (who really didnt need their hands to be held but maybe for my sake ;) ) but the trade show season is upon us and in my experience, they seem to be a stressful and work-filled time for both shop-owners/buyers and designers alike. Choc-a-bloc with long days that although they must be exciting (discovering new designers and placing orders) must also be arduous and tiring. Having wandered aimlessly through the Lingerie of Americas show at the metropolitan pavilion a few times to support our designers, Ive noticed that after a few booths the mind gets cloudy, the body weak, and focus lost. Its unfortunate but true. I think amidst the mountain of merchandise and samples you are perusing at this time you must find yourself totally and completely overwhelmed.
But this, friends, I believe must be a great time to culture budding relationships with new designers and spread the word of your budding boutique. As for all you designers, this is a good time to start acting like your own publicist and if you have the contact, invite a some press to your booth to show them your new designs. Its a great opportunity to get press to see what youve got without having to do a deskside*, that although a bit more relaxed and intimate, requires quite a bit of your time and puts you at a total loss if the editor has to cancel last minute.
*Just in case deskside is an unfamiliar term- this is when you take new product straight to an editors desk and show it to them. Most likely the meeting will take place in the magazines front lobby, but the idea is precisely this: you set up a time with them to meet them at their office. For clothing designers this can be difficult but for accessories designers, not so bad.
As referenced before, always try to stay on good terms with the designers you carry. You never know when their press agent will receive a credit check from a magazine and that mentioning your store could help you grow. So use this work-packed time to continue your PR plug, cultivate your designer relationships and try to have fun!
A few weeks ago, I blogged about Seven Fold Ties and I mentioned that I'm working on a Seven Fold collection under the Vittorio J Exclusives Collection. I received a few emails asking about this brand.
The Vittorio J Exclusives is the most limited and luxurious brand under Vittorio J. These are the ties I sell to my most affluent clients and the majority of the ties are one-of-a-kind pieces. These are 100% made by hand pieces from Naples, Italy (includes cutting, folding and sewing all by hand). The silks used have up to 50% the standard yarn count of most ties making them stronger and more brilliant.
Tonight, I want to show you a number of ties I have available for sale. Please send me an email if you are interested in any of these ties. Please note that these are all one-of-a-kind ties under this label. Quite unique if you are looking for a rare collectible. I sell these ties for $155 each to my clients. If you really love one of these ties, let me know. I am willing to bargain as long as it goes to a good home.
I will update this blog if any of the ties get sold.
Here are the ties:
Cindy N Gordon
New York, NY
Fact: A man's character can often be determined by judging his shoes.
And, quite frankly, I don't blame the jury... Men may not have as varied a range of shoe options as women. But that doesn't mean that you are limited to traditional lace-ups and nondescript loafers. There are other options.
Enter Wells Stellberger, the creative mastermind behind Heutchy (pronounced "hi-chee") men's shoes. I am in love with these hip, sleek, sexy, "sole"ful shoes.
I was lucky enough to interview Stellberger to learn more about him and his line:
Q1: Tell me a bit about your design background. And what was your inspiration behind creating a men's shoe line?
I studied fine arts as an undergrad and then Fashion Design at Parsons. As far as inspiration, I wanted to address a void in the market for a well-designed, simple, fashionable shoe. Something that's not too fashiony, for lack of a better term. Being a guy who likes clothes but will only wear subtle, simple things, I wanted to design a line that Im comfortable wearing but that's a bit forward. I also thought it needed to be moderately-priced. So keeping all of that in mind, that's how the line came to fruition.
Q2: What does "Heutchy" mean?
The line is named after my grandfather on my mother's side. He passed away months before I was born. I wanted the name to live on in some way.
Q3: How do you see the Heutchy line evolving over the next few years?
For now we're taking it season by season, but once we're done building a smarter shoe, we'll offer a full line of accessories.
Q4: Where are your shoes manufactured? And how are they constructed?
The shoes are made in Argentina and crafted by hand in a small factory.
Though our brand in based on subtle design, we want to use the finest materials like Italian leathers and Japanese canvas. For our upcoming Spring 2009 line I found a Fuchsia denim in Bangkok at a flea market. Quality materials lend to the beauty of the factory's construction.
Q5: What constitutes a quality men's shoe? And how can shoppers identify such characteristics?
Always look for materials, construction, and design. You want a shoe you feel comfortable in, something that can be worn and last over time. Nice looking shoes are great but they need substance and wearability.
Q6: What's the best advice that you can give to someone who wishes to start his/her own line?
Timing is everything
Q7: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I've kept all my shoes since I was a freshman in high school... more than I can count... some are quite questionable...
Q8: If you were reincarnated as a shoe, any shoe, what shoe would you be?
I'd be the shoes worn by Godard while filming CONTEMPT or Fellini's while filming 8.5. It's more about the person wearing them than the shoes themselves, though. The shoes are the accent.
Q9: Where can we buy your shoes? And what are the price-points?
Q10: What type of Wunderbloke wears Heutchy?
Heutchy shoes are for the guy whose style is an extension of his personality. He knows what he looks good in and he knows what he feels good in. He knows good design when he sees it and he buys pieces knowing he'll wear them for a long time. That's why he wants something simple, subtle, and attractive. Something that, with age, becomes better. That's our guy.
Bonus: Will you name a shoe after me? "The Gordon" has a nice ring to it...
How about "Air Gordons"?
I like the way he thinks... Hop to it and "shoes" Heutchy for your wardrobe!
It's been a very long couple of days, wunderkids. Instead of getting a new place, which my BF and I had intended to do upon the expiration of our current lease, we decided instead to renew with a mission: to really re-vamp it. This has entailed many, many trips to Ikea in Red Hook, lots of flea market perusing (where I inevitably discover millions of things other than house wares that I want to buy) and trying to fully develop my own personal sense of style in the dcor category- something I have embarrassingly never quite figured out. Add in the compromise of taste with the BF who seems to abhor color but is clearly in denial of this fact. We even had the following conversation yesterday:
I like color
No you dont G.
Yes I do. I like this
Thats called beige and barely falls into the category of color.
Well I like white too.
It's such a headache. This post is not to complain, it's more a reflection as the way I seem to have found my voice is through a kind of intellectual approach to my personal style.
Since I am quite opinionated about what I will and won't wear, I've deduced that this information can inform me as I aimlessly wonder the aisles at every house ware store in Manhattan.
I love vintage. I don't know many downtown girls who don't so I realize that is a fairly arbitrary statement. But taking this idea further, I particularly like vintage pieces of the Mayle, Isabel Marant, i.e. bon vivant, francais, feminine interpretation if they aren't coming straight off the racks of the consignment store. So taking that investigation further- it's safe that part of what I like these designers for is their ability to incorporate some really lovely elements of the boho variety; pieces that can be worn wandering the markets of Marrakesh just as easily as through the crowded and smoggy streets of nyc.
So with that, perhaps I need these earthy elements in my apartment to feel inspired and me and get me excited about the decorating process. All in all this my fundamental problem, the inspiration factor. Anyone that has spent a Saturday afternoon at Ikea probably understands this far too well (amen) as everything you look at seems kind of generic and familiar and inoffensive but not thrilling, exciting or steeped in character.
So while most of our newly acquired pieces actually were purchased in that new Red Hook space- I was able to rationalize my way through how to handle the details and how to create a "room"- which I think is a skill that you must develop over time just like personal style. I've noticed that a quick way to get to the bottom of the burning question is to look in your closet. Its likely your clothes reference your taste perfectly.
Maybe I'm the only ignoramus in this field and my revelation is not so revelatory (more like duh!). Well, it has taken me a while to get to. Any advice on how you've handled the NYC apartment renovations?
My only tip- once I realized I needed some good vintage/earthy pieces I discovered a place called The Source. Its a store in Chelsea that has a huge warehouse in Greenpoint with amazing wooden pieces hand made and imported from the Philippines. Doors, bureaus, tables, AMAZING full body mirrors at not so crazy prices. They are having a sale right now too and I had some wonderful moments after asking the price of certain items. I think they saved me and my place.
Love these antique doors pictured above!
New York, NY
One of my favorite accessory pieces is this statement ring that is also a locket. It has pearls on the front and is oval in shape and is just brilliant on. I LOVE wearing it when I'm doing polished but not so much. I bought it maybe 4 years ago now at one of the 25th Street flea markets and I'm a bit saddened that it is beginning to look as such. Two of the pearls have fallen off and the gold brushing is beginning to chip away. I love lockets and I don't think I will be able to find a locket ring that had so much personality. It always becomes the subject of conversation when I'm out and all sorts of naughty things come to people's minds while examining it. I'm a bit of a square in a way so I love when people's imaginations runaway with them. I do nothing to convince them otherwise, lol.
It's really difficult to find amazing lockets that are not simple pieces in which to harbor a picture. These pictured are just such pieces at Barney's and not nearly as edgy as the ones I adore although purchasing one of these pieces will certainly set you back a few thousands. The top necklace is by Julie Wolfe--$1,490--and the bottom piece is Cathy Waterman--$3,430 and is 22k yellow gold. I loved the one Sarah Michelle Gellar carried in Cruel Intentions as she played the angel of the not so angelic NY private school.
If anyone spots a really cool locket, shoot me a message. I'm desparate to replace mine.
We are proud to announce that Vittorio J has officially completed the design and delivery of The Flute Bar's custom designer neckties. The Flute Bar is New Yorks premier Champagne lounge and bar, with two locations in Manhattan and a new location in Paris, France, which opened in January 2008.
I met the owners, Herve and Dacotah, back in November last year and have designed a necktie for The Flute Bar's servers and bartenders using Herve's strong vision. I also intoduced Herve and Dacotah to Michael Mantegna of Michael Andrews Bespoke who has designed the uniforms for the champagne bar
We are currently working on an official lauch date for the uniforms and neckties and will be sending a press release when ready.
Like I said in my previous blog, we design and create custom/bespoke ties so if you have a special project, please contact me.
Please feel free to visit The Flute Bar's newly update website: www.flutebar.com
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