IFB Links a la Mode – November 26th, 2009

links a la mode

Beyond Fashion

Edited by Retro Chick

This weeks Links à la Mode blows away any preconceived ideas of the narcissistic fashion blogger posting endless outfit photos and magazine shoots by covering a huge array of topics. Ranging from Dream Sequins whimsical birthday tea party to High Fashion Girls detailed examination of racism in fashion magazines, these posts demonstrate what we’re capable of and the communities we can build.

Of course, being fashion bloggers there are also some great outfits to be found and our bloggers this week have looked at: movies, from Bollywood to Sci fi; their pyjama drawers; and even their cleaning cupboard in their ceaseless search to bring you fashion inspiration.

As ever there’s many more exciting links on the original forum thread


Links à la Mode : November 26th

  • British Style Bloggers – Intrinsically Florrie on British Style Bloggers on how you can support the lovely Luella brand in it’s time of need
  • Dream Sequins – The stylish guests at a virtual birthday tea party (Part 2)!!
  • Fashion X K8 – The Fashion Blogging community being analoguous to “The Girls” in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof
  • FashionHippo – Best Organic Lip Balms: 6 Natural Picks to Nourish Your Pout
  • Fete a fete – Guerlain’s Imperial Holiday makeup collection review
  • High Fashion Girl – Racism & Fashion
  • Idiosyncratic Style – Idiosyncratic Style dares you to re-think the possibilities of Pajamas outside the house
  • In Life and In Fashion – How to dress with Bollywood Flair
  • Lillys Roses – The new charity tshirts by TV-Star C.F. for the eco label armeangels
  • M.I.S.S. – She’s Crafty: DIY First Place Ribbon Accessories
  • Mariels Castle – Are we trully free when it comes to our fashion choices?
  • Oranges and Apples – What are charity shops for? Thoughts sparked by Mary Portas’ new Save the Children shop
  • Prom Mafia – Happy Accident: How to bleach fun designs on your clothes
  • Quirky Fashion – Movies that Inspired Fashion
  • Retro Chick – Buy Audrey Hepburns Wardrobe
  • Shoe Daydreams – Why Knock-offs are Bad for the Soul
  • Style on a String – Confessions of an UGG Lover and Wearer (but only indoors!)
  • THE COVETED – Coach Holiday : Review & Giveaway!
  • The Demoiselles – Wing Tips: Finding a Tailor
  • Work Chic – Win a Sondra Roberts SR squared Shopper tote!

Knock-offs Are Bad for the Soul

Yesterday I posted another in a very long series of “Imitation = Flattery?” where I expose what I feel to be shoes that have crossed over from the trend inspiration realm and go way more into the blatent ripping off of another company’s designs.

I wanted to clarify why I detest this practice so much and what I feel is really so wrong about buying these shoes and supporting the companies who engage in this regularly (*cough cough Steve Madden cough cough*).

To me it comes right down to theft.

Many would argue that the practice of knocking-off is no where near as egregious as is the explosion of counterfeiting going on the shoe world today (BTW – check out Michelle’s new resource site: ShoeFraud.com) but I saw that it is.

These companies are stealing ideas aka Intellectual Property Theft.

I work in an industry where we are hired to generate ideas and to create concepts, so to me intellectual property theft is a huge issue. Essentially, someone has the audacity to come in, take advantage of the hard work, creativity and innovation we have worked hard to create and just slightly tweak it to serve there ends. When this happens, customers become confused, the original message is diluted and the value we created is minimized.

This is true for large marketing campaigns, but it is true for fashion and shoes as well.

Yes, as a consumer, it is very tempting to see a designer shoe that you fall in love with and realize that it is out of your price range. It can be very tempting when you find a very similar copy to want to buy the less expensive piece to get the same look.

But if you love the original you shouldn’t and I’ll tell you why.

Because every time you do that, you are helping to put the original designer out of business.

The innovation and creativity is not coming from the company doing the “inspired by” piece. They are not investing time and money to create new looks, to do research and hire experienced talented individuals. How can the first company continue to do business when they outlay all the costs and then get undercut in the end?

Sadly, it is still very difficult, not to mention expensive, for companies to prosecute against the fakes although they are trying to fight back. It doesn’t help that there are laws in some countries that do a poor job of protecting original designs. Our favorite Despotic Queen of Shoes, ImeldaMatt, worked on an expose into Australia’s high street rip-offs (make sure to see the original post and the Camilla Skovgaard post that started it):

I have to agree with Wendy Brandes, a designer herself, who made the following comment on an earlier post:

“No one has an inalienable right to wear designer looks. There were no fast fashion runway knockoffs back in the ’80s and ’90s when I couldn’t afford designer clothes (excluding ABS). We wore other things! Put together our own non-designer outfits! It would be nice if the H&Ms and Forever21s came up with their own looks, but then how would they churn out product at such a fast clip? The inspiration well runs dry pretty fast.”

I think fashion and good design can come at all price points. I’ve said many times that I don’t care what the pedigree or cost is for a particular shoe – if it’s cute I’ll get it. I also like to spend my money on unique original ideas. I want to support that no matter where it comes from. That’s why I typically don’t buy “plain” shoes. What I want is for these companies to spend their time thinking up ideas at price points all along the range.

But if consumers keep buying the fakes, they won’t. And if we keep buying the fakes and knock-offs we are going to limit the amount of great designs put out there for us to get excited about.

And that should make us very sad indeed.

IFB Links a la Mode – November 19th, 2009

links a la mode

Food for Thought

Edited by Ashe Mischief

This is my first time editing since I wrote Good Cop/Bad Cop: Participating in Links a la Mode. Thank you all so much for making this my most pleasurable experience in editing yet!

I’m not sure if it’s because American Thanksgiving is a week away, or because the blogosphere is ablaze with Kate Mosses’ unforgettable quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” but either way, I’ve got food on my mind. This week, you brought me the best kind of food–rich, decadent, and 100% calorie-free! That’s right–you delivered highly thoughtful posts on fashion, fashion blogging & communities, and more.

On a personal note, ferOHHHsh has asked that we share her post about her close friend’s near-fatal accident. I believe that the fashion community is one of surprising strength, dignity, caring and compassion, and that it was worth sharing. We’re sending your friend speedy thoughts for a wonderful recovery!

Links à la Mode : November 19th

  • Awakened Aesthetic: – Eco-Friendly Stocking Stuffers (Part I)
  • Crisis in Denim: – Crisis in Denim: I make gentle fun of a Banana Republic ‘rewards’ card I received in the mail, that seems designed to make me think I accomplished something by shopping at BR and earning ‘rewards’ points, by riffing on the president’s Yes We Can slogan.
  • dramatis personae: – the Hat’s Out of the Bag! by Michelle at Wicked Whimsy
  • Fashion X K8: – The importance of Fashion Ad Campaigns and analyzing the collective subconcious of fashion consumers. I beg the question, what makes a great Fashion Ad.
  • Further Ado: – With many of their paper equivalents going bust, Further Ado finds 5 great online fashion magazines to keep you satisfied.
  • Grit and Glamour: – yesterday The Psychology of Lace Lace, in spite of its implied fragility, holds very special power in the sartorial world.
  • Idiosyncratic Style – Infatuation List: Five Fall Fashion Favorites
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – Fashion Blogging : The Road Ahead
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – Interview with Lauren Jones of mydearthing
  • Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to.
  • Oranges and Apples: – What drives fashion bloggers? Oranges and Apples in the Scotsman
  • Random Fashion Coolness: – Musings on the power-partnerships in the Blogosphere
  • Shoe Daydreams: – Collaborations and “inspiration”
  • slsvgg fashion: – An interview with Gossip Girl actress LEIGHTON MEESTER, on her style
  • Somewhere over the Skyline…: – rugality? Sustainability? The Recession! – Thoughts & Recommendations on Sustainable/Vintage Lifestyles
  • Super Kawaii Mama: – Meet the Dr. of Dames and her new book Our Girl’s – Aussie Pin Up’s of the 40’s & 50’s
  • THE COVETED: – Benefits of Chilly Days… Coats!
  • The Curvy Fashionista – Got the Plus Size Bridal Dress woes? Enter in Cc.Elaine- A studio dedicated to the Curvy.Confident.Chic. Plus Size Bride
  • The New Wave: – Underwear as Outerwear: How to wear this spring’s runway trend using vintage pieces.
  • The Pixelated Blonde – Fashion: it’s an individual thing – a look at how to be stylish whilst maintaining one’s individuality.
  • White Rabbit: – Lookbook.nu vs. Flickr’s Wardrobe Remix – the battle of “What I wore today” sites
  • Wicked Whimsy: – Rene Geneva Designs – featuring a local, woman run eco-friendly design house that makes gorgeous clothes to boot!

Chloe and Me

Ever since I saw this on the runway…
I’ve been obsessing over these… The Chloe two-tone wedge heel ankle boots. They have that safari British Colonial look that I really adore.

Well, I had to break down and get them. They are even more adorable in person.

I think these will be obsessively worn as much as my Ann D.’s

There are tons of ways to wear them. Because of their sporty yet classic look they really can be dressed up or down. Cherry Blossom Girl does a great series of looks in them that I’m sure to find influencing my own choices.

Sadly, even though they just arrived and I can’t wait to wear them, I am so worn out (today was exhausting and had us running from 6:30 a.m. until almost midnight), I can’t even envision what I am going to pair them with first.

I guess I will have to dream about the perfect outfit.

Yellow with Envy

There are a few colors that I just cannot wear. I wish that I could but they just make me look sallow and jaundiced and, well, horrendous.

Orange is one but another is a bright golden yellow, like the Pantone color of 2009 Mimosa.

I had not thought about this for a while but I was watching Dangerous Liaisons today and I was reminded about how I would kill to be able to wear the classic combination of rich yellow and deep black, as Glenn does in this scene.

I also loved Gwyneth Paltrow’s Parisan outfit in View from the Top.

But a movie that really kicked off the love for this color combo was a very bad made for TV movie, Tears on the Rain, featuring a very young Sharon Stone.

I love the dress, the embellished gloves and you have to love the matching hair ribbon.

Of course all three of these ladies are blonds and, since I would also look horrible as a blonde, it isn’t going to happen.

But if you can rock this color, I will try and be happy for you and not jealous.

I love this coat which, surprisingly, is from Victoria’s Secret and pretty inexpensive at $129

I could probably get away with wearing these Oh Deer! Toffee “taxi” shoes. They are sold out now but I think that you can find them around.

Or I can get a pair of yellow gloves like Ms WendyB and wear them with a black coat. and boots.

If you can wear this color, share how or what you wear.

Hopefully I have better luck with 2010’s color!

Color Study – Orange

Ready for the next installment of the Color Study series?

Orange is pretty unrepresented in my closet. I cannot wear it in shirt form at all, although I really do like the color. And I only, obviously, have a few shoes that barely squeak in to the group.

Since there are only five (I don’t think I’ve added any since I took these) it will be easy to break it down:

Top Row, left to right:

– Guiseppe Zanotti Cam Albiconna Nappa
– Hetty Rose Love Platforms
– JCrew Liz in Neon Orange

Bottom Row, left to right:

– Isaac Mizrahi Hannah Orange Flash
– Olivia Rose Tal Silvy II

The details are the best part:

I have a free weekend… maybe blues or greens next???

Cookie Monster Cure-All

It’s been raining for days here and I’ve been busy with work and other things to plan, so I feel like I’ve been lacking in inspiration. I’m also trying to avoid temptation until I go to Ireland.

But there is one thing that’s actually made me smile and make me wish it came in my size… these kids tees by Morfs at Barneys.

I particularly love the pink Cookie Monster tee with giraffe-y sleeves. It’s not like Cookie Monster was my favorite but this is so cute.

I love that it’s done as an applique.

This should come in my size too!!!

Maybe some real cookies can pep me up since I don’t get the shirt.

Elements of Sunday

When I don’t have the hubby around to take decent shots, I get stuck with my own efforts at self portraiture which doesn’t work when you can’t remember how to use the timer on the good camera.

So this is all I’ve got.

On Sunday, the dogs were still in boarding so we got up, took care of the other pets and went out for a late breakfast.

I wore my JCrew v-neck sweater with the sparkly Scottie dog, Gap jeans cuffed with sequin Chucks and my mini-retro case.

Then I came home and took a nap. Did you have a good weekend?

Asheville Weekend Outfit at French Broad Chocolate Lounge

We had amazingly gorgeous weather here this past weekend. We’ve been testing the dogs out at new boarding places so, since we didn’t need to rush back to pick them up, we decided to take a drive over to Asheville. The skies were blue, it was cool but not cold and the leaves were perfectly red and gold everywhere.

We really adore Asheville. And we have to always eat at least one meal at Laughing Seed Cafe. If you haven’t been, please make a point of going there.

Instead of wearing the typical jeans and a sweater, I grabbed my new stripey dress from Anthropologie and, even though it is a great Summer dress, when it’s paired with grey tights and a cozy over-sized cardigan, it’s perfect for Fall.

I always end up with few goodies to bring home. This time it was a new tee from Circles & Squares, they have the cutest prints and the softest shirts, a moleskine from Malaprop’s bookstore and some chocolates from French Broad Chocolate Lounge.

Sheer silliness….

I kept the jewelry simple – a vintage Trifari owl necklace.

The bow on this actually ties in the back but since I was wearing a sweater, I tied it in the front so it would show. I did have a pair of black gloves I bought on my honeymoon and so I used my vintage mock croc bag.

For a workday I would wear this with heels but to traipse around the hilly streets Tibi flats are more in order.

We’ve been wanting to check out the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for a while. Named after a local river, this place is cute and filled with amazing chocolates, drinks and pastries.

We got two liquid truffle hot chocolates. And this is real hot chocolate in the French style, not hot cocoa like you normally get in America.

We of course had to bring some of their truffles home, especially because they make vegan ones with a coconut milk ganache. They are decadent and I’m inspired to do some ganache experimentation of my own now.

I also bought some new chocolate bars I’ve never tried before. I’m always on the lookout for a new brand to obsess over.

Another wonderful day in one of our favorite cities.