Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What a crazy week......

I didn't wear any colors Monday in mourning. Bless all the hard working people and the good souls at LEH.
London fashion week has been disappointing so far. I have seen Mac Women and animals from the jungle so far. But not a single beautiful dress in sight. It's been a long and depressing week for me. The worst part is that it's only Tuesday.

But I'm trying to keep my spirit up. We have the Milan fashion week next week and then the world-saving Paris fashion week the week after. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the financial market will stabilize by the time the Versace show starts. Then I will be able to go home before 9pm to browse the internet with you, my fellow fashion lovers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rodarte SS09 - The Easy Way Out

I was blown away by the sisters' FW08 collection. They were the real deal. The SS09 collection is equally gorgeous, but it leaves me a little bit empty. I can see Anna Wintour whispering to the sisters after the previous show "......well, why don't you guys keep the direction and refine it a bit for the summer season......""......look at what Nicolas Ghesquiere has done so far......That's all." I understand that designers need to be consistent and keep their directions clear, but the latest design from Rodarte seem to be lazy to me: They have taken the easy way out to recycle their ideas from the previous season and even borrow ideas from the signature Balenciaga looks. It's not even a remix. It's a re-release!

Question: which dress is from FW08 and which one is from SS09?
If you chose the first look the spring look because of the colors, you are WRONG. Nope, they are not from the same collection. The first is from FW08 and second is from SS09, shown in NYC yesterday. What's the point of doing the same look twice? U2 doesn't record Sunday Bloody Sunday every time they have a new album. Why do you, Rodarte?

Don't get me wrong, the dress is beautiful. The hard metal accessories and the fragile chiffon balance each other so well and the drape is so well done. But isn't it a little dishonest?Those two pictures, from afar, without contact lenses, look 100% Balenciaga to me .(the regulars here know how much I love Balenciaga.) Nope, they are also Rodarte. The first will fit perfectly with the looks from Balenciaga SS07 and the second look is produced by Balenciaga every single season.

So what's the verdict? 10 for execution. 2 for originality.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Marc Jacobs for President!

Some powerful fashion people please take note: never mess with Marc Jacobs. If Marc Jacobs leaves the New York Fashion Week, there won't be any point of putting up a whole week of events.

Marc Jacobs saved the New York Fashion Week, again.

Marc Jacobs for President. With all the politicians, business men and what not, Marc Jacobs is the only one who understands what America is all about.

I saw a mix of the "greatest hits" that work together beautifully and elegantly. There were metallic colors in deep red and blue with prints. There were also raised shoulders like what YSL did many years ago (but not those shoulders in the Seinfeld) and the silhouette was punctuated by wide belts. Skirts were kept long (mid-calf) but the entire outfits were fluid and lean. There was much oversized jewelry and large handbags were nonexistent. The espadrilles didn't do much for me, but the heels with a single stick of steel and a little heel pad extension look perfectly proportioned and they elongated the entire look.

Fashion designers always provide certain restraints during recessions. I was always wondering what designers would do for the coming season and here is how it’s done. The immigrants, the nostalgia and the mirrors. The beautiful women showed us what the great America is all about.

Marc Jacobs 2008!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Shopping report: Seize sur Vingt

Our office dress code will go back to "Business Formal" after the Labor Day weekend and it's time to stock up shirts again.

I've been buying shirts from the Thomas Pink store across street from my office. My sales associate, James, even has my measurements handy and all I need to do is to tell him which kind of shirt styles I'm looking for. I love Thomas Pink: their fabics are the finest and the colors will remain vivid even after over ten washes, the service is always just right - never too pushy yet always provide help when needed, they have practically all styles one can think of, and it's the only shirt maker that stocks odd sizes such as my husband's, super tall, and mine, super petite.

If there is only one thing that Thomas Pink can potentially improve, it is providing made-to-measure shirts for women. Seize sur Vingt does it (as claimed by Lucky Magazine) and so here came Jing, looking for the next perfect shirt.

The store is tucked in a row of NYC local boutiques on Elizabeth Street, just off Prince Street. I was at first a bit surprised by how plain the shirts looked. Well, it's their aesthetic, I suppose. Then I noticed that the white shirt hanging on the rack is so loosely knitted that the bra is guaranteed to show. I tried on the xxs, the smallest size, and realized that it was too roomy on me. To be fair, the length is fine but the body and the sleeves look way too big.

Well, that's why they provide made-to-measure service. But I quickly learned that the first order has to be at least five shirts. Their tailored shirts are from $260 to $490. Five shirts will easily add up to $1,500, before I see a single shirt that fits. What if they don't?

"Well you can have the shirt altered", said the salesman. I liked his British accent, but the math he demonstrated wasn't equally appealing. They would charge for alteration and my final bill would be around what a tailor-made shirt costs. Did I mention that the shirt fabric didn't feel luxurious at all?

Seize sur Vingt also sells suits and made-to-measure suits. A three-piece suit will cost $3,400 and up and require three fittings. The downside is that it's only partially hand-made. I guess that it's worth trying as long as the fit is good. And I don't have to order at least five of them to place an order. The lead time is approximately 10 weeks, so I guess that they are made off-shore. It's a nice concept, and I might give it a try next year.

As for shirts, I guess that I will see James tomorrow.