Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bubble trouble

After seasons of bubble looks, the WSJ ( suddenly announced that "the bubble is back" in the latest weekend journal. Then the article went on to talk about how difficult it is to make the bubble look flattering or to make it work for office outfits. Are you kidding me?

It was not the first time the Style page on the WSJ shocked me. The bubble skirt article looks so outdated that I thought that I got an old newspaper (then the H-P article on page one confirmed that the paper was current). The column on the WSJ style page is simply too conservative and too fashion backwards.

How does that happen?

Apparently, the writer of the column looked at the wrong sources. Diane Von Furstenberg, Rachel Roy, and Adam+Eve are all so called contemporary designers who do not create trends but are trend followers. They normally capitalize the successful styles from the high end designers a couple of seasons after the trends are around. Marc by Marc Jacobs' look was used in the article as well, but if the writer looked at the Marc collection from last year, she would have realized that the bubble looks had been around for so long. To make it worse, most of the quotes from "experts" and "stylists" are from women in Des Moines and Denver where the majority of the women still wear "mom jeans". How could it not be fashion backwards?

In addition, the writer consistently looks at trends from an "average" woman's perspective. The fact is that there is no "average" woman. Macy's "regular" women don't buy bubble skirts because those bubble skirts sold at Macy's are not well-made, not because women refuse to take volume. If the writer visits the Marc store or Neiman Marcus' contemporary department to look at the sales, or takes a walk down on Madison Avenue, she would realize how mainstream this look has become. Did she just ignore the fact, or forget to do a little bit of fashion research?

The article ended with with a quote from a 29-year-old female New Yorker who refused to wear the look to the office. Come on, I work at downtown financial district, and I wear bubble skirts all the time and I saw bubble skirts all the time. How could you use such a biased quote to end an article with such a large audience? The only principle the readers need to know is to balance the look instead of refusing a trend without thinking. I have been wearing bubble skirts to work for at least five seasons, and nobody said it was inappropriate. In fact, I get positive comments all the time regarding my bubble skirts (the record is six times a day on my Marni skirt, with four in the elevators in my office building).

The WSJ is always forward looking on the financial markets. Unfortunately, the style page failed to do the same and even became a victim of a male dominated industry. Women working on Wall Street should have our own agenda and fashion sense instead of following the "normal" and "average". To empower the female on Wall Street, the style page should look at the fashion forward designers (Marc Jacobs in NYC and most of designers in Paris) , and help people to incorporate the latest looks to everyday outfits. Articles such as the bubble skirt one, only ridicules itself as a style page on a major newspaper. WSJ, it's time to change. Either the theme of the style page, or your columist.

Friday, September 08, 2006

TGIF, I saw Nicolas Ghesquiere!

After trying many belts with the Balenciaga pants I own, I realized that the belts shown on runway was the only perfect choice. The only place that sells them after the spring season is Barneys New York. I called two days ago to put one on hold, but I was stuck at work every single day and I never made my way to the store. Today was the day, no matter how much more work I had to do over the weekend, I HAD TO MAKE IT.

The train was extremely slow today, it took 30 minutes for the "express" train to drive from Bowling Green to 59th street. I started running with my three-inch heels and a messenger bag full of documents on the dark 60th street.

I entered the store and asked for help. My SA was not there, and the lady who helped me couldn't find the belt on hold. I was so disappointed but wandering around the display case looking at those beautiful belts (which I had looked at for many times). I wasn't really watching my way, and then I bumped into a belt rack - with my Balenciaga belt hanging in front of me.

The lovely lady turned on the register to run the belt for me. (Thank you!)

I got a call earlier today that my alteration was ready, so I asked the SA if it's too late to catch it. "Well, it's closed, but you can give it a try." Why not, I've run that far.

The elevator stopped at the fourth floor, and then I saw "Balenciaga" letters everywhere. It was the party for Balenciaga! I saw Nicolas Ghesquiere himself with his charming and lovely smile. Apparently he was signing the book "Balenciaga Paris". It was a very large book with very detailed history about Balenciaga. Talking about impulsive purchase...then you know what happened; I got my book, signed by Nicolas Ghesquiere, and chatted with him briefly.

The room was full of models and fashion celebrities. Julie Gilhart was one of them. She was surprisingly tall and thin. I had never seen so many Balenciaga outfits. They were from different seasons, in different silhouette and worn by different people. It was a very interesting party to look at. I also spotted a guy who had the standard Dior Homme boy figure. He was wearing a breathtaking beret with feather on!

All those beautiful people and beautiful clothes made me happy. After a whole day of discussion on real estate and fixed income (which is interesting, but work has been stressful lately), I ran to a completely different world. All it took was a little run in heels and a little extra effort to make my way to the fourth floor.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Case closed

I was looking for the Ann Demeulemeester boots for months last winter. Ann's sizes run large, so I need to find size 5. I visited Alan Bilzerian, Barneys New York in Manhattan and Neiman Marcus, but no luck. One year later, while the memory started to fade, I saw the pair on the last day of the Barneys Warehouse sale with hundreds of women and men fighting for bargains.

My heart almost skipped a beat when I saw a piece of leather hanging down the shoe rack yards away. Is it the one?

I ran to the rack and picked up the boots within a second as if somebody was running after me. Yes, it was the one. The one I was looking for a long time, the Ann Demeulemeester boots, in size 5.

Eventually, I stepped out of the warehouse sale with three pairs of Ann's shoes in hands. The other two pairs were from the Spring '06 collection with very comfortable padded soles and almost 4" heels. The total bill came to $235, and my boots only cost me $105. It still felt like a dream to me.

The following are the boots' pictures from