IFB Links a la Mode – January 28, 2010

links a la mode

A Touch of Frivolity

Edited by Retro Chick

It’s been a long time since pay day and this weeks Links à la Mode brings a touch of much needed frivolity as we crawl into the second month of a new decade. Idiosyncratic Style takes Scooby Doo’s Velma as her style inspiration, Dirty Hems is inspired by dolls houses and Ode to Awe shows off her leopard print nails. Want something for nothing? A few Goody Gumdrops has an Aspinall of London bag to giveaway and Retro Chick (that’s me!) has 2 Valentine goodie bags to giveaway worth over £100 each. We’ve also got some great designer interviews and some practical advice.

On a more sober note there’s some timely tips from Sway, Sway, Sway! on how you can continue to donate to Haiti without getting scammed, Shoe Daydreams discusses Tanya Golds “Why I hate Fashion” article and Ventures of Jenn shares her opinions on the body image debate.

Bring on February!

Note from Editor : Please be sure to check out the IFB Conference at NYFW : Evolving Influence

Links à la Mode: January 28th

  • 39th and broadway – 5 Questions To Ask Before Beginning a Career in Fashion
  • A Few Goody GumDrops – A Few Goody Gumdrops and Aspinal of London are Giving away an ever-so chic and sophisticated beige patterned skin clutch!
  • Analogue Chic – Looking good while doing stuff – braving the weather and the commute with a sense of style.
  • Bonne Vie – Invest in Quality Denim; featuring How-To Tips from Denim Debutante
  • Cafe Fashionista – Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy
  • Cindy Whitehead – The Modern Snow Bunny
  • Denim Debutante – Aeropostale Gives Back with Teens for Jeans Campaign
  • dirty hems. – In the Dollhouse – Miniature inspiration and a teeny resulting DIY
  • Dramatis Personae – a feature & interview with the designer behind i am dorkas
  • Fasshonaburu – I challenge myself to follow my own dress code regulations in order to wow up my day to day ensembles.
  • fête à fête – Clarins debuts first certified organic beauty soap
  • Idiosyncratic Style – Inspired by the sartorially underrated Velma Dinkley.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – IFB Presents : Evolving Influence Conference NYFW 2010
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS – Interview with Janeane Marie Ceccanti
  • Ode to Awe – I review Minx Nails, plus my glamourous Russian Garnet cocktail ring
  • Oranges and Apples – Vintage teenage hair inspiration
  • Retro Chick – Valentines Day is on it’s way and Retro Chick has 2 goodie bags worth over £100 each to give away to help you celebrate!
  • Shoe Daydreams – Fashion Influences (?)
  • Style Eyes Fashion Blog – I have avoided eco and ethical fashion in the past because of the price but I have just discovered it is affordable and stylish.
  • Style Symmetry – How to Choose Items at a Clothing Swap Party
  • Sway Sway Away! – A passionate plea from a member of the global community to her fashionable brothers and sister: help Haiti!
  • THE COVETED – Suzy Menkes, Facehunter, LeMads & The Coveted talk about fashion blogs
  • ventures of jenn – on body issues

Vintage Spots

This posted up on Shrimpton Couture and I nabbed it in about .5 seconds.

This plus a pair of vintage heels and a pencil skirt = LOVE!

And yes, I do think it will be coming with me to New York….

UPDATED: As I’m sure you all know, I would never ever ever wear fur ripped from an animal killed for my vanity. This is totally FAUX!!!

Financing Fashion

After reading an article today about France creating loan and other support programs for major fashion houses, I was bit, well, not quite appalled but certainly not wholly supportive.

After reading Deluxe and from my own professional background, I would say some of the troubles boil down to:

1. Higher prices and cheaper manufacturing are not a guarantee for profits

2. Many of these brands have over extended themselves through stores, hotels etc.

3. They’ve diluted their brands by licensing too much and extending their product lines too much

4. Deceiving your customers is not a great way to build brand loyalty

What do I mean by #1 and #4?

Well, what I am seeing and have read is that many of these brands are taking their manufacturing overseas and having it made cheaply with a few finishing touches added on in France and Italy to keep the “Made in” label. I’ve bought shoes from high-end lines and on the first wear the insole is coming up and squishing down. Not the experience I’m looking for.

Also, I’ve been surprised how much prices have gone up in just a few years. Yes, prices will rise but almost double? And when combined with poorer quality goods it really makes people reconsider if they should spend the money.

As design gets better in places like TopShop, Target and Payless and designer labeled products become less well made, these houses are going to suffer more. The main thing these companies have to differentiate themselves is heritage, creativity and quality. If they can’t maintain the latter two and if they betray the former, they are going to lose their customers and their businesses.

The industry has changed, and not necessarily for the better.

It’s That Time Again

Okay, it’s that time again – hair cut and color. And I want to be adventurous but I always chicken out. Will I this time?

I’ve had my hair red for a good 15+ years, is it time for a change?

Here I am now –

I used a virtual make-over program to “try on” different styles and colors. Here’s the base:

Here are my top picks –

Any thoughts? I was considering much darker brown/black than these but the program was not letting me make it that dark. I also did a TON of other ones and put them up on Flickr here.

Help me!!!

Fashion Influences (?)

While other bloggers were having fun at Lady Gaga, I was sitting in a town government commission meeting. This week was crazy so it’s been a little light on the blog front. Plus, as you can guess from the first sentence, my life can be straight up boring. It’s hard to find time to eat or sleep, much less do some thing fun like read or write.

But this morning I did finally get the chance to do a bit of link clicking and went over to Miss Tavi’s site to read her post discussing fashion and responding to Tanya Gold’s Why I Hate Fashion article.

Before I launch into my thoughts about Ms. Gold’s article, I want to say that I think it’s great that I, a 37 year-old, can have an intellectual discussion with a 13 year-old. Many would relegate Tavi to a mere “child” status and discount much of what she has to say. I think that is very biased. I’m generally not a “kid person” but I am a fan of smart intellectually curious and engaged kids… just ask my amazingly smart and talented friend Miss Bridget who’s been impressing the hell out of me since she was approximately 6 years old. I don’t think it’s weird or surprising that Miss Tavi has an interest in and great knowledge of fashion and actually forms educated opinions about the arena. Heck, I remember at 13 I was given a list of classic books we were going to be reading in high school and college and was appalled that I hadn’t read some of them already. I then spent my summer reading most of the list. That age is the perfect time to be passionate about something and totally immerse yourself.

But back to the article and, in theory, my point for writing. I see both ladies’ perspectives here.

But I have another.

I appreciate artistry, especially in this day and age of increasingly disposable fashion. I appreciate the designer’s eye and vision. I understand they have an aesthetic they are trying to achieve. I’m sure that is the rationale behind choosing the models they do. I can also see how a consumer seeing very thin girls and not seeing a range of sizes and shapes represented in ads, on the runway or even in stores can make you feel like you are pushed out of the realm of the “fashionable”.

The way I have kept from being overly influenced and possibly feeling bad about myself is because I am a superficial consumer. I mentally separate the designer’s fantasy from my purchasing criteria as much as I can. Tanya seems to be more ifluenced by the messaging they are sending. But what I think is great about fashion is creating your own vision with the pieces that are put out and less trying to fit into their fantasy. Sure, in my younger years I was probably more impacted body image-wise by advertising – ironically during my most effortlessly thin timespan – but I’ve worked to move on from that.

As I’ve gotten older, I just care about what I like. And while I’m not thin, I’m not outside of the range of “regular” sizes either. So while Ms. Gold feels liberated by no longer fitting in with fashion and therefore having an “outsider’s” perspective on what she feels is the absurdity and dangers of the fashion industry, I’m still sort of in it. But what surprises me is why she lets it get to her. I’ve always tried to subscribe to the Eleanor Roosevelt saying: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent and WendyB’s: Wear what you want. Tanya should, especially as a 36 year old, be able to enjoy what she wears and not feel like she has to be or act a certain way because of a marketing campaign. Maybe that is a difficult task for her and many others.

It’s not like I don’t have body issues and self-conscious doubts like anyone else. But I try not to let that hold me back. I’ve never been easily influenced by outside pressures. I don’t buy things because others are or becase they’re in style or because of a devotion to a designer or brand. I only buy what I like. I just want what I want. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating- I don’t care about a pedigree, if I like it, I like it. End of story. Maybe I’ve always been more self-confident and strong-willed than others. Heck, you could even call me cocky rather than the kinder “self- assured”. And that great for me, right? Is it being to simplistic to say that everyone can feel this way? Do I have too high of expectations of people and expect others to be as strong willed as I am. Is that unfair?

But I have faith in people. I don’t think you HAVE to feel bad about yourself, no matter what the ads and society norms say. You can be whoever and however you are and still have fun with your clothes. Yes, you can get mad and be frustrated when you see something you like or want and you can’t get it. That sucks, believe me, I’ve been there. But when that happens, don’t get mad at yourself or your body shape. Get mad at the companies … And let them know! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called and bitched at a company for not making my size. You can do it too. Don’t just sit there moping that fashion hates you and women and is nothing but something that makes us all miserable. Fashion is, at least for me, just fun. That’s probably why I have a schizophrenic eclectic all-over-the-damn-place wardrobe. One day I’m in a vintage-inspired lady who lunches look and the next I’m in black sequins, bones and knee-high combat boots. I’m enjoying it, even if I get some crazy looks.

I am energized and inspired by my blogger friends. Them much more so than any industry type. Editors and models that have access to everything do little to impress me with their so called “style”. Individuals creating unique personality-filled looks with pieces thrifted, vintage and from regular stores are much more inspiring.

If you enjoy who you are, you can enjoy clothes and accessories too.

With a Fringe

I was not a good girl last night and didn’t plan out my outfit for the next day as I have been doing. Consequently, I was late and had no idea what to wear. So I grabbed something almost too easy – a sweater dress, fun tights and mary janes.

But when you’re wearing these Bebaroque fringe tights, you don’t have to get too fancy.

Black sweater dress – Target

Fuschia Roxy tights – Bebaroque
Absolute black patent mary janes – Facade

Ensemble du Jour

I really think I should take photos in advance of outfits I think I might want to wear rather than a week late. Looking at this combo in this light, I’m not too sure about the purples going together.

Oh, well, what’s done is done.

I’m wearing a purple cardigan with crystal buttons from New York & Co. over a black camisole and a purple tweed skirt from Target. The heels are the same Target peep-toes from earlier in the week (lazy me!) and elbow-length gloves pushed down to tea length.


Happy Friday!