Thursday, January 28, 2010

IFB Links a la Mode - January 28, 2010

links a la mode

A Touch of Frivolity


Edited by Retro Chick

It’s been a long time since pay day and this weeks Links à la Mode brings a touch of much needed frivolity as we crawl into the second month of a new decade. Idiosyncratic Style takes Scooby Doo’s Velma as her style inspiration, Dirty Hems is inspired by dolls houses and Ode to Awe shows off her leopard print nails. Want something for nothing? A few Goody Gumdrops has an Aspinall of London bag to giveaway and Retro Chick (that’s me!) has 2 Valentine goodie bags to giveaway worth over £100 each. We’ve also got some great designer interviews and some practical advice.

On a more sober note there’s some timely tips from Sway, Sway, Sway! on how you can continue to donate to Haiti without getting scammed, Shoe Daydreams discusses Tanya Golds “Why I hate Fashion” article and Ventures of Jenn shares her opinions on the body image debate.

Bring on February!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: January 28th



  • 39th and broadway – 5 Questions To Ask Before Beginning a Career in Fashion

  • A Few Goody GumDrops – A Few Goody Gumdrops and Aspinal of London are Giving away an ever-so chic and sophisticated beige patterned skin clutch!

  • Analogue Chic – Looking good while doing stuff – braving the weather and the commute with a sense of style.

  • Bonne Vie – Invest in Quality Denim; featuring How-To Tips from Denim Debutante

  • Cafe Fashionista – Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy

  • Cindy Whitehead – The Modern Snow Bunny

  • Denim Debutante – Aeropostale Gives Back with Teens for Jeans Campaign

  • dirty hems. – In the Dollhouse – Miniature inspiration and a teeny resulting DIY

  • Dramatis Personae – a feature & interview with the designer behind i am dorkas

  • Fasshonaburu – I challenge myself to follow my own dress code regulations in order to wow up my day to day ensembles.

  • fête à fête – Clarins debuts first certified organic beauty soap

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Inspired by the sartorially underrated Velma Dinkley.

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – IFB Presents : Evolving Influence Conference NYFW 2010

  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – Interview with Janeane Marie Ceccanti

  • Ode to Awe – I review Minx Nails, plus my glamourous Russian Garnet cocktail ring

  • Oranges and Apples – Vintage teenage hair inspiration

  • Retro Chick – Valentines Day is on it’s way and Retro Chick has 2 goodie bags worth over £100 each to give away to help you celebrate!

  • Shoe Daydreams – Fashion Influences (?)

  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog – I have avoided eco and ethical fashion in the past because of the price but I have just discovered it is affordable and stylish.

  • Style Symmetry – How to Choose Items at a Clothing Swap Party

  • Sway Sway Away! – A passionate plea from a member of the global community to her fashionable brothers and sister: help Haiti!

  • THE COVETED – Suzy Menkes, Facehunter, LeMads & The Coveted talk about fashion blogs

  • ventures of jenn – on body issues

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vintage Spots

This posted up on Shrimpton Couture and I nabbed it in about .5 seconds.



This plus a pair of vintage heels and a pencil skirt = LOVE!









And yes, I do think it will be coming with me to New York....

UPDATED: As I'm sure you all know, I would never ever ever wear fur ripped from an animal killed for my vanity. This is totally FAUX!!!

Financing Fashion

After reading an article today about France creating loan and other support programs for major fashion houses, I was bit, well, not quite appalled but certainly not wholly supportive.



After reading Deluxe and from my own professional background, I would say some of the troubles boil down to:

1. Higher prices and cheaper manufacturing are not a guarantee for profits

2. Many of these brands have over extended themselves through stores, hotels etc.

3. They've diluted their brands by licensing too much and extending their product lines too much

4. Deceiving your customers is not a great way to build brand loyalty

What do I mean by #1 and #4?

Well, what I am seeing and have read is that many of these brands are taking their manufacturing overseas and having it made cheaply with a few finishing touches added on in France and Italy to keep the "Made in" label. I've bought shoes from high-end lines and on the first wear the insole is coming up and squishing down. Not the experience I'm looking for.

Also, I've been surprised how much prices have gone up in just a few years. Yes, prices will rise but almost double? And when combined with poorer quality goods it really makes people reconsider if they should spend the money.

As design gets better in places like TopShop, Target and Payless and designer labeled products become less well made, these houses are going to suffer more. The main thing these companies have to differentiate themselves is heritage, creativity and quality. If they can't maintain the latter two and if they betray the former, they are going to lose their customers and their businesses.

The industry has changed, and not necessarily for the better.

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's That Time Again

Okay, it's that time again - hair cut and color. And I want to be adventurous but I always chicken out. Will I this time?

I've had my hair red for a good 15+ years, is it time for a change?

Here I am now -



I used a virtual make-over program to "try on" different styles and colors. Here's the base:



Here are my top picks -









Any thoughts? I was considering much darker brown/black than these but the program was not letting me make it that dark. I also did a TON of other ones and put them up on Flickr here.
Help me!!!



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fashion Influences (?)

While other bloggers were having fun at Lady Gaga, I was sitting in a town government commission meeting. This week was crazy so it’s been a little light on the blog front. Plus, as you can guess from the first sentence, my life can be straight up boring. It’s hard to find time to eat or sleep, much less do some thing fun like read or write.

But this morning I did finally get the chance to do a bit of link clicking and went over to Miss Tavi's site to read her post discussing fashion and responding to Tanya Gold’s Why I Hate Fashion article.

Before I launch into my thoughts about Ms. Gold’s article, I want to say that I think it’s great that I, a 37 year-old, can have an intellectual discussion with a 13 year-old. Many would relegate Tavi to a mere "child" status and discount much of what she has to say. I think that is very biased. I'm generally not a "kid person" but I am a fan of smart intellectually curious and engaged kids... just ask my amazingly smart and talented friend Miss Bridget who's been impressing the hell out of me since she was approximately 6 years old. I don't think it’s weird or surprising that Miss Tavi has an interest in and great knowledge of fashion and actually forms educated opinions about the arena. Heck, I remember at 13 I was given a list of classic books we were going to be reading in high school and college and was appalled that I hadn’t read some of them already. I then spent my summer reading most of the list. That age is the perfect time to be passionate about something and totally immerse yourself.

But back to the article and, in theory, my point for writing. I see both ladies’ perspectives here.

But I have another.

I appreciate artistry, especially in this day and age of increasingly disposable fashion. I appreciate the designer's eye and vision. I understand they have an aesthetic they are trying to achieve. I'm sure that is the rationale behind choosing the models they do. I can also see how a consumer seeing very thin girls and not seeing a range of sizes and shapes represented in ads, on the runway or even in stores can make you feel like you are pushed out of the realm of the "fashionable".

The way I have kept from being overly influenced and possibly feeling bad about myself is because I am a superficial consumer. I mentally separate the designer's fantasy from my purchasing criteria as much as I can. Tanya seems to be more ifluenced by the messaging they are sending. But what I think is great about fashion is creating your own vision with the pieces that are put out and less trying to fit into their fantasy. Sure, in my younger years I was probably more impacted body image-wise by advertising - ironically during my most effortlessly thin timespan - but I've worked to move on from that.

As I've gotten older, I just care about what I like. And while I'm not thin, I'm not outside of the range of "regular" sizes either. So while Ms. Gold feels liberated by no longer fitting in with fashion and therefore having an "outsider's" perspective on what she feels is the absurdity and dangers of the fashion industry, I'm still sort of in it. But what surprises me is why she lets it get to her. I've always tried to subscribe to the Eleanor Roosevelt saying: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent and WendyB’s: Wear what you want. Tanya should, especially as a 36 year old, be able to enjoy what she wears and not feel like she has to be or act a certain way because of a marketing campaign. Maybe that is a difficult task for her and many others.

It's not like I don't have body issues and self-conscious doubts like anyone else. But I try not to let that hold me back. I've never been easily influenced by outside pressures. I don't buy things because others are or becase they're in style or because of a devotion to a designer or brand. I only buy what I like. I just want what I want. I've said it before but it bears repeating- I don't care about a pedigree, if I like it, I like it. End of story. Maybe I've always been more self-confident and strong-willed than others. Heck, you could even call me cocky rather than the kinder "self- assured". And that great for me, right? Is it being to simplistic to say that everyone can feel this way? Do I have too high of expectations of people and expect others to be as strong willed as I am. Is that unfair?

But I have faith in people. I don't think you HAVE to feel bad about yourself, no matter what the ads and society norms say. You can be whoever and however you are and still have fun with your clothes. Yes, you can get mad and be frustrated when you see something you like or want and you can't get it. That sucks, believe me, I've been there. But when that happens, don't get mad at yourself or your body shape. Get mad at the companies ... And let them know! I can't tell you how many times I've called and bitched at a company for not making my size. You can do it too. Don't just sit there moping that fashion hates you and women and is nothing but something that makes us all miserable. Fashion is, at least for me, just fun. That's probably why I have a schizophrenic eclectic all-over-the-damn-place wardrobe. One day I'm in a vintage-inspired lady who lunches look and the next I'm in black sequins, bones and knee-high combat boots. I'm enjoying it, even if I get some crazy looks.

I am energized and inspired by my blogger friends. Them much more so than any industry type. Editors and models that have access to everything do little to impress me with their so called "style". Individuals creating unique personality-filled looks with pieces thrifted, vintage and from regular stores are much more inspiring.

If you enjoy who you are, you can enjoy clothes and accessories too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

With a Fringe

I was not a good girl last night and didn't plan out my outfit for the next day as I have been doing. Consequently, I was late and had no idea what to wear. So I grabbed something almost too easy - a sweater dress, fun tights and mary janes.

But when you're wearing these Bebaroque fringe tights, you don't have to get too fancy.










Black sweater dress - Target
Fuschia Roxy tights - Bebaroque
Absolute black patent mary janes - Facade

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finally... a dedicated Facebook Page

I created a dedicated page on Facebook for Shoe Daydreams. I will keep it stocked with fresh images and fun content! Stop by!

Find me at - Shoe Daydreams

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ensemble du Jour

I really think I should take photos in advance of outfits I think I might want to wear rather than a week late. Looking at this combo in this light, I'm not too sure about the purples going together.

Oh, well, what's done is done.



I'm wearing a purple cardigan with crystal buttons from New York & Co. over a black camisole and a purple tweed skirt from Target. The heels are the same Target peep-toes from earlier in the week (lazy me!) and elbow-length gloves pushed down to tea length.



Hell-o!



Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ensemble du Jour

I should have warned you about all the outfit posts. You aren't used to it, I know!

On Thursday, I wore another new dress I got from the Saks (crazy low) sale after Christmas. What I liked about this one was the simple vintage-y shape, the jersey top with the ruched bodice which contrasts with the metallic, taffeta-like material of the skirt.



I like the shape a lot but I may have the skirt shortened an inch or two to hit just above the knee.



I paired the dress with one of my favorite pairs of vintage shoes - the amazing custom brocade heels that were never worn.



They have my favorite heel shape, but no cushioning to speak of!





I wore this dress originally with a wide black belt with a large patent buckle. The dress is DKNY and, again, the shoes are vintage via Ebay.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ensemble du Jour

Over the holiday I was in Target and they have some cute new skirts coming out for Spring. They're simple pencil skirts, which I like but they had this polka-dot, a nice solid black one and a bright bright yellow that I was extremely tempted by.




This outfit was somewhat inspired by the Kate Spade Fall line and color combinations. I mean, I love bright tights anyways. This was just another reason to break them out along with my equally as bright Sermoneta gloves.





For jewelry I wore an equally whimsical Paraphernalia necklace - Cpt. Poulet!




The tights are JCrew and the peep-toes are from Target as well.




I felt quite festive for a regular Tuesday in the office.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ensemble du Jour

Well, due to the fact that it gets dark at 5 o'clock and it's also cold as heck out, I've found it very difficult to take outfit pictures.

Oh, yeah, and my regular p&s camera stinks.

I'm on the lookout for new equipment, but in the mean time, I forced the hubby to take a week's worth of pictures in the afternoon on Sunday. My neighbors must think I'm crazy because I did four outfit changes and stood in the driveway in the cold taking the shots.



On Monday the 4th, the first day back at work, I wore a cute cardigan and skirt by Pink Tartan that I got on major sale from Saks. The only thing is, they're too big. But luckily, I have new seamstress who is going to help me fix a bunch of clothes that I need to adjust, plus work with me to make some new custom ideas I have.

Yeah!



Yeah, the sweater is much too bug but it's cute and cozy and I can layer it open like a jacket.



The plaid skirt is a tulip shape which can be a bit tricky but I like it.




I paired the two with a black camisole, tights and patent mary janes, all from Target.

It was a cozy start to another year!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Photo Advice Needed

I've been struggling with doing the posting I want to do lately because I've been more and more frustrated with my camera equipment. I have a great DSLR, but it's too big to carry around with me every day to shoot on the fly. I have a craptastic point and shoot that I hate. No remote so I can do pics on my own with the DSLR. And I want a macro lens too.

So I need your help and advice. What recommendations do you have for me???

Here is what I'm looking at right now.

For my point-and-shoot replacement, I was thinking about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. It gets good reviews on Amazon, has a large back screen and quite a few features. But I'd love to know what other cameras are out there that have worked well for folks and may be a bit less pricey.


I have a tripod, does this remote seem okay. I didn't realize they were so inexpensive. What have I been waiting for!?!?! Does this seem in line with the remotes you may use? Do they focus okay?




I've also been dying for a macro lens to take detail pictures of clothes, food and the pets. I found this neat little option that may be a good first step before a dedicated lens. The reviews and samples seem very positive and the price is low. For $30, I'll give it shot.




I am open to more ideas. If you have them, please send them my way.

- Poochie

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Leave me some Louise

I know the Louise Goldin for TopShop heels are not new news, but I've refrained from talking about them for fear of generating even more excitement and anticipation for when they come out in real life. But I'm trying to overcome my naturally selfish opportunities to talk about them.

And to have an excuse to look at the runway shots again...













Images of the "real" product have come out and while they don't look to be bristling with spikes as much as the runway pieces (sadly), they still look pretty awesome.




Frankly, I'd like them so crammed with spikes that I risk serious blood-loss wearing them but that's just me (Or is it? To be addressed later...).

But why talk about them now? Well, they come out soon soon soon, and I must have them. Yes, all of them. So if you see them in a 35, 35.5 or even a 36 (I'll stuff the toes), tell me! I've been looking at the site everyday for months.

Hurry up, TopShop!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sale Alert: Kate Spade


Kate Spade is having a sale and I wish, even with the reduced prices, I could get some of the stuff... but I can't right now.

Darn it!

I want this sweater!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 - The Year of Focus


Last year I made a pretty substantial set of goals for myself. Because these are a list of goals and not resolutions, many of them will transfer over into this year, and some years to follow. And that's okay because they are about progress and moving forward, not just checking items off of a list.

But I do think this year is going to have a different feel. Maybe it is the closing end of a decade. I'm not sure. 2009 really was a year of change a year to accomplish and strive. I feel that 2010 is going to be all about focus. Focusing internally and externally. So many things were created - connections, experience, work, that now it seems like a time to reflect and refine and find the right directions in which to grow.

Personally I want it to be a year filled with more experiences. We traveled more this year and I want that to continue. I want to regroup and decide on which path I want to follow. I have some very personal goals that I need to work on. And I need to work on creating more of a balance in my life between self, work, online, town and home. Having so many outlets can often be draining which makes me rebel by not accomplishing the things I want to accomplish. So by pulling back in some areas I hope to be more efficient and impactful.

How are your goals or resolutions formed? Do you feel the need to take stock at the beginning of the year or is this an ongoing process. I'd love to learn more about your plans and how you integrate change into your life.