ecoutez-vous, look book

faces_09_lookbook.jpgOne of the things I love about New York magazine is its Look Book feature, in which dipshits opine about their sartorial choices. This week’s sucker is a French woman, which automatically endears me to her simply because of her nationality. But then I read what she, a “fashion consultant,” had to say:
French women always have a little something that makes it. They have a touch. The Americans have less the touch; they follow too much what they learn in magazines.

Look, I love the French-girl style, I really do, but implying that Americans are the only ones who slavishly follow magazines is a bunch of merde. Anyone who’s spent time in Paris knows that women there devour Elle weekly. Yes, French women are generally more stylish than Americans, but come on. It’s stupid to pretend that they don’t follow magazine tips. What gaul.I  also wasn’t going to be rude, but what the hell: This woman’s a fashion consultant?! Nothing’s really wrong with her outfit per se, but that’s the problem. It’s the epitome of refinement, safety and good taste, and it is therefore boring. I’m not a fan of wacky fashion, and I don’t think you have to go avant-garde to look interesting, but this is just a snooze. Bland color palette, frumpy shoes, and a coat that looks like something Sinbad (the “comedian,” not the sailor) would wear. Topped off with a smug smile and a “Can you believe I look zis good?” ta-da pose, it represents the worst of French style.

Fashion blogs vs fashion mags

The Budget Fashionista wonders whether SJP’s appearance on Oprah will be enough to overcome the bad blog buzz that Steve and Barry’s has made over its cease-and-desist letters. Um, yeah. It’s Oprah. Oprah says “fart” and middle America fills up with methane fumes. I think it’s safe to say that she’ll reach more people than blogs will.
While I do think that weblogs are challenging traditional access to the fashion world, I don’t think they’re changing it completely. Like it or not, blogs don’t have the authority or aspirational aspect that print magazines do. Things are changing—and I think good, insidery sites such as Fashionista are a sign of this—but when you try to pull a “Don’t you know who I am?” as one Coutorture-affiliated site did at the 3.1 show in February, it’s pretty clear that traditional media are still seen as more important.

That said, I think print mags have been approaching the web all wrong–basically, putting a tiny “for more, go online!” at the ends of their stories–but this is changing. Teen Vogue and Glamour both have great staff-written blogs, which not only allows these magazines to stay relevant in a digital world, it also has the potential of crushing much of the competition. I think it’ll be interesting to see where the ad dollars and readership go over the next few years, particularly as Conde Nast ramps up its online content. My prediction: Print-affiliated sites will dominate, but the actual magazines will die if they don’t freshen up their content.

sarah jessica parker’s bitten: pictures ahoy

Fashionista has the first pictures of Sarah Jessica Parker’s line (Bitten! how goth!) for Steve and Barry’s, which brings back collegiate memories of frat rats buying their three-for-$10 university sweatshop t-shirts. I’d like to say that I’d hoped that Bitten would be a great cheap-chic line, but really, I didn’t. A store known for selling athletic apparel isn’t exactly the best fit for fashion.

The line will be a good seller, I’m sure, because you’ll get university students and suburban types who will coo over Parker’s association with the brand. But it’s a blow to Parker’s branding. Sure, it’s great that she’s trying to make fashion inexpensive and accessible—you could argue that it means more when she does it than when, say, Proenza Schouler do it, because Parker is known for being stylish (as opposed to being a fashion house that’s written about in run-on sentences like this one here). But there’s no cachet to Steve and Barry’s, no cachet to the drab, seen-it-before shirts and CAMO PANTS in the line. It just looks like Old Navy’s clearance rack.

Old Navy would have been a better fit for Parker, actually. She fits their demographic well; she appeals to moms who want good value, and teenagers who want to look trendy on the cheap. It would have been a much better fit, and with many Old Navy locations blighting New York City, the photo ops would have been so much better. Imagine Bitten launching in Soho. Yeah, anyone who knows New York and its scene would roll her eyes, but if you weren’t keyed into that scene, you’d be all, “Wow, launching in Soho! High fashion!”

sales roundup!

Maybe you have a tax refund coming? I do, but it’s going to my exciting Condo Buying Fund. Shop for me, dear reader, for I cannot shop myself.

botkier.jpgIf a $315 handbag is a bargain to you, head to Botkier to pick up its Bombay satchel for that price—it’s half the regular price.

Shopjake has 3.1 Phillip Lim resort at more than half-off, plus more from Mayle and Josh Goot.

Bird LA has Repetto flats and boots on the cheapish. Okay, the less-expensivish.

I would find some sale items at Le Train Bleu but their site redesign took all of the aggravatingly poor aspects of the old site and used that as inspiration. Seriously, what gives?

jovovich-hawk for mng/mango pictures

The main Jovovich-Hawk line is cute and cool in a vintage way, but the prices are unjustifiably high; I have two pieces and while they’re nice, they aren’t that nice. For $449, you should get more than a camisole—or at least you should get a camisole with Karl Lagerfeld’s sweat on it, you know?

So I am happy that Jovovich-Hawk’s cheapy collection will be at Mango in April. Obviously the quality won’t be as high as the main line, but really, the stuff is cute enough to sucker me into the snore zone of Mango. Here are teeny-tiny pics of the collection; I really want the last two pieces. What do you think?

jh8.jpgjh7.jpgjh6.jpg

jh5.jpgimage005.jpg
jh4.jpgjh1.jpgjh2.jpg

things you should never wear: stacked heels

Do not listen to what any fashion magazine tells you about this, unless you are reading the magazine for which I work, because we will tell you the truth: Stacked heels, particularly when shown in platform, uh, form, look cheap.

I know, you’re thinking, “No, they don’t look cheap. They look Chloe-esque!” You are mistaken.

Here, take a look at these two shoes.

cheapshoe.jpg wedeshoe.jpg

Can you tell which one is cheapy Target and which one costs $350? Probably. But would you feel clever spending $350 on either shoe? I should hope not. Though one has actual stacked wood and the other is merely printed-on pleather, the difference isn’t that noticeable. And when something expensive doesn’t give off the appearance of quality, you are a sucker for buying it. And on top of that, you wind up looking like you just stepped out of Family Dollar.

target picks libertine

God, I feel like I write about Target every five minutes, but anyway, it’s confirmed: Libertine is the next Go International designer.  Questions this raises:

1. Why is Target calling this Go “International” anymore? The last few designers have been from the States.

2. Does anybody care about Libertine? Or think this stuff looks good?

3. I’ve always thought Libertine was some sort of ha-ha in-joke that poked fun at the fact that some assbrain would pay $1,200 for a reworked vintage blazer. If I’m right, this is the best coup ever!