One 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.
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!”
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.
If 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?
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.
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.
Boo f’ing hoo, Cathy Horyn!
This weekend’s NYT magazine has a sob story from Cathy Horyn about how she can’t afford expensive designer clothing, and–can you believe the embarrassment?–she had to buy an Alice and Olivia tunic instead of the YSL tunic. It’s a tragedy, really; I don’t know how she summons the courage to show herself in public.
The Times has recently been writing an awful lot about the middling problems of wealthy people (witness last week’s “I’m sad because my kitchen remodeling project is over!” story), and this is particularly troubling when the class divide is widening so noticeably in our country.
I wonder if Cathy Horyn and her friends know that for every person who can’t afford Balenciaga anymore, there are probably thousands who can’t even afford its “affordable” replacement of Peter Som (whose dresses are around $1,800). I just can’t feel sorry for anybody who complains about not being able to afford luxury goods while, uh, there’s a war going on. I know fashion in itself can be considered a frivolity, but this story exemplifies not only what’s wrong with fashion (the ridiculous price tags) but also what’s wrong with our materialistic-to-a-fault culture.
Nitrolicious has ’em, and from what I’m seeing, I’m not super-excited. The line looks breezy and appropriately summery, but… it looks like American Eagle Outfitters. The quality’s probably the same, but with these cheapy-cheap things, you’re paying for design. And this collaboration seems to be missing that latter part. >> Nitrolicious