Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wednesday Pretty, 7/27

I sometimes wish that magazines would go back to fashion illustration every now and then.  Who wouldn't love a few of these early 20th century covers on her walls?

Erté's first cover for Harper's Bazaar, 1915

"Romain de Tirtoff, who called himself Erté, was born in St. Petersburg and moved to Paris in 1912 to work in fashion. He briefly collaborated with couturier Paul Poiret, and in 1915 he signed a contract with Harper's Bazaar. For the next 21 years, he contributed original fashion drawings, but it was his spectacular cover art that set him apart. His love of color and his elaborate couture designs put the magazine at the forefront of creative innovation."

Read more: The Erté Years - 1915-36 - 140 Years of Bazaar - Harper's BAZAAR 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Why I Don't Understand Topshop

Well, there are many reasons, of course.  But here's an illustration:

I've eyed this dress at Target for a while, but was put off by the exposed zipper - which just looks like a great big black scar up the back of the dress.  Boo.  

Mossimo Pleated Zip-Back Dress

It's knit and costs only $25.  Definitely the verstile, colorful piece that's such a great find from Target.  

Just yesterday, while I was in Topshop on Oxford street (don't even get me started on that particular shop), looking for something specific and ultimately being disappointed, I saw the exact same dress. 

And, lo and behold, it showed up again on Shopstyle's main page today:

Topshop Tuck Shift Dress

It's 100% polyester.  And costs $95.  Seriously.

And I'm not kidding about it being exactly the same (well, except in fabric).  It's even got the black exposed zipper up the back.  

At those sorts of prices, I expect a bit more.  I don't even pay those prices for items from Anthropologie (sales, baby!), which are much, much better quality and made from better materials.

When I was perusing the racks and trying things on in store, I found one pair of trousers that had the pocket on one side accidently sewn into the front pleats, entirely ruining the line of the leg.  I nearly tried on a chiffon dress (polyester chiffon, mind you) that had had the lining entirely ripped out of at least two dresses on the rack.  And the linings were just hanging there, alongside the dresses, as though you were supposed to purchase it in that condition.  Who has such little respect for themselves as a customer to do that?  

Look - I understand that Topshop is the store for one kind of fashion aesthetic, which is largely not one that I share.  But in describing it to Jas, all I could come up with was 'it's like Forever21, but at the prices of Banana Republic.' 

So...I'm just wondering.  Does that strike anyone as unfair?  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

J. Crew for Fall

Colour!  Lovely, lovely colour is back at J. Crew.  Can you tell that I'm excited? 

I think my mourning for the colours of 'old' J. Crew are more mental myth than reality, but these jewel tones and brights are a vast improvement over the pale pink and beige that dominated the spring/summer collections.  

source 1, 2, 3

No. 2 Pencil Skirt (clever!)

Silk Elodie Blouse

Cashmere Long-Sleeve Tee
I have this sweater tee in black and it is one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe.  Plus, it's lovely. So now I'm positively panting after this dahlia-pink version.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday Pretty, 7/20

I may get some disagreement on these, but I think they're positively fab.  

Nicholas Kirkwood Suede & Metallic Loafer Platform Pump - $995

J. Crew final sale

I've found that, being in London, I'm missing J. Crew.  Which is a bit odd, considering that I haven't really purchased anything there in ages.  I suppose I've picked up a button-down and a tee in store when they were deeply on sale, but nothing has caught my eye online enough to convince me to pay what are becoming exorbitant prices.  

That being said, encountering J. Crew's final sale is always a dangerous proposition.  It's on sale!  And final!  What if it goes away!  Oh noes!  


My through perusal of the sale didn't result in any purchases; but looking through the things I've put aside, I found something interesting. 

Natalie Studded Sweater - now $150


Martie Trouser - now $60


Swing-Out Slicker - now $180


Melange Ballet Flat - now $150

(Seriously, Jenna?  $150 for ballet flats, on sale?)


 a rather (if I do say, myself) cute outfit perfect for the summer-that-actually-thinks-it-is-fall weather that we're experiencing at the moment.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anthro Sale!

Time for the weekly (seems like it, at least) Anthropologie sale post!  

Anthro made some odd choices regarding sale stuff this week, 'dime-ing out' several of the things I've had sitting in my wishlist, essentially making them unavailable for sale, even though they seem to still be in stock.  Very, very strange.  I suppose it's their way of getting rid of old stock and cycling out some online storage space.  But since wishlist-stalking for pop-backed items is a huge part of my fun on the Anthro site, I feel a bit robbed by it. real 2nd or 3rd markdowns this week for my interests (check out the comments on this post at for other markdowns).  

My second problem is that I'm mentally already switching out of summer mode, and so much of the sale just is already beyond what I'm looking for.  

Of course, there were still a few sale items that did catch my eye:

Embroidery Pattern Skirt - now $70
I think this my favorite of the lot, but still to expensive for my budget at the moment.  I love the silkiness of it in contrast to the apparent tapestry pattern.  However, according to the reviews, there is no lining - which means that it's perfect for summer, but seems like (a) a detail that Anthro doesn't usually miss out on, and (b) that it might make it less useful year-round.  In addition, a strange part of me wishes it was tapestry weight, just because I think that would make it a more unusual item to add to my skirt collection.

Voile Maxi skirt - now $130

Now that's a summery skirt.  I especially love the tea length and the massive amount of thin voile layers.  Gorgeous, and probably well worth that price, if you can swing it.

The tops I ended up liking from the sale selection are unlikely to ever find their way into my shopping bag, due entirely to the fact that I can't see spending this much cash on sheer tops that require an additional piece of underlayer (not provided, of course) in order to be decent.   I'll hold out for some fall-ish tops in a month or two.  If they're up your alley, 
they do look perfect for summer, and beautiful on the dress form.

Dogwood Blouse - now $50
Campfire Shirt - now $40

Cadence Blouse - now $50

Or how about some delicate jewelry?:
Point of Sail Hoops - now $20

Or a quite expensive, but GORGEOUS scarf?:

Unalloyed Scarf - now $100

I'm a strong proponent of buying absolutely huge scarves, which can be used as a wrap or a blanket and goes this lots of your closet.  I've got a blue pashmina from ages ago that gets loads of use this way.  I suppose I wouldn't be opposed to adding another to my collection (heh).  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! - Shoes on Random

I'm a sporadic Nordstrom shopper (their customer service is second-to-none in Dallas, but the horrific salespeople at the Nordstrom in Troy nearly put me off shopping there forever).  Frankly, I get a little overwhelmed by department stores.  

Nevertheless, I do know that the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is a bit of a religion among some fashionistas.  I did a bit of browsing after spotting these boots on Possessionista:

Fergie Varsity Boot - now $160

Gorgeous, aren't they?  The look is a little marred by the zipper up the back - I'm trying to decide whether the zip on the back or on the inside is a worse look... But I love the straps, and the relatively low heel means that wearing them all day is easily doable.  

I'm progressing quickly to a fall mood, as you can tell from the rest of my shoe picks.  I'm afraid they ended up all over the place, but where they did not end up was sandal country.  

Also in the strappy-boot category were these by Frye (ergo, more expensive, but also more worth-the-price):

Frye Jane Strappy Boot - now $240
I like the colours here better, and they kinda make the previous pair look cheap.  I don't know whether the ruggedness (which is part of why you buy Fryes, surely?) is something I would wear a lot of.  Also, the weird stitching along the top seems a bit haphazard.  

Ooops.  Did I just talk myself entirely out of them?

Well, then, how about these:

Steve Madden Miidori Buckle Boots - now $130
Another pair of boots marred by a bloody great zipper up the instep?  Boo!  Still, the height of the boot shaft, the buckled straps and the low heel appeal to me.  I'd probably go for the black, since it would hide the zip a bit and I've got very similar boots in a camel colour, which is probably a bit to similar to justify.  :-P

And in the less-practical-but-fabulous boot category, I selected:

Cole Haan Air Kennedy Flannel & Leather Boot - now $250
(Surely if anyone can make 4" heeled boots comfortable, Cole Haan can?)

DV by Dolce Vita Wyatt Bootie - now $80
(These seem perfect to wear with skinny jeans)

Finally, in the off-the-wall column, I'm a little torn on these mens-slipper-inspired flats:
Steven by Steve Madden Madee Slip-On
I'd be tempted to find an elaborate monogram patch to sew on the front to complete the picture.  Don't they look sumptuous, though?  That flannel would get ruined in a second in the rain, but they just look like the perfect loafing-through-the-shops shoes.  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Wednesday Pretty, 7/6

Rosie Huntington-Whitely, the new 'pretty face' in Michael Bay's Transformers series was on a fashion tear during the press tour for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which took place over the last couple of weeks.  The former Victoria's Secret model with the super-posh-sounding name may have gone a little over-the-top in some's opinions, but I thought she looked glamourous and stunning every time.  If only we had a bit more fun like this on the red carpet more often.  

Here are my favorites (yes, even the first one - girl has legs for days...and may be the only person who can pull off the panties/sheer skirt look):

in Gucci

in Antonio Berardi

in The Row

in Michael Kors

in Naeem Khan

Sunday, July 3, 2011

LK Bennett - black pumps

I've been keeping my eye out for a new pair of basic black pumps - either suede, leather, or patent.  Drawing inspiration from the new Duchess of Cambridge, LK Bennett came to mind as the ideal place to buy some mid-expense, long-term basic pumps to fill this hole in my shoe collection.  

The Duchess of Cambridge in Erdem and LK Bennett pumps while visiting Canada.

During my previous time in the UK, LK Bennett was always outside of my price range, but I'm hoping - with a little smart budgeting - that a pair are within my grasp.  Heh.  

Here are a few gorgeous pairs that are in the sale:

Abramo suede court shoe - now £95

Aida Suede Court loafer - now £95

Carla platform court shoe - now £120

And, just because they're bright and I (especially after walking non-stop around Kensington for several days) couldn't resist:

Adelina coral suede loafter - now £60

LK Bennett also has several shoes of the black pump variety in its full-price selection including...

these fabulous play-on-the-bow courts:

Selina high-heeled court - £185

these chunky suede platforms:

Palermo suede platform - £160

or my favorites, these positively stylish patent courts:

Shilo high-heeled court - £160

Do you have any go-to black pumps?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Advice needed

Does this look like wallpaper?

Tucker classic blouse - $264 

Or maybe the question should be: does this look too much like wallpaper?  

I love these Tucker blouses, but they always seem to come in the weirdest patterns.  I wish I could magically combine DVF graphics and Tucker styling into one affordable top. 

Summer does something to me, during which time a floral, silk, peasant-y-type top appeals to me.  But I'm not so sure that this top is the top.  So what say you?  Acceptable?  Or looks like Grandma's couch?