Ensemble du Jour – 10-6-10

So 10 years later, it seems I’ve finally bought into the whole military-olive-green jacket trend.  But I swear I bought this way earlier in the year.  It’s just been too darn hot in NC to wear it until now.  But I love it.  I found a long jacket with the great color and all these wonderful details.

Of course, being a bit more girl-y, I paired it with a tonal Michael Kors sequin tank and a denim pencil skirt.  I love sequins.  There, I’ve said it.  You didn’t know, did you?

Isn’t it cute?!?  It’s by Kayla and I bought in sale on YOOX.

Lots of pockets, which are great, but what got me is the knotted cuff detail.

Here’s a better view of the tank, which came from Macy’s and is now on sale (darn it!).  The sequins have a bit of a camo pattern that I think you can see in my picture above.

I paired this with my camo Manolo Blahnik Sedaraby d’orsay heels.   They’re the perfect green and combine the same mix as the outfit – satin, camo, crystals.

Here’s a better view:

I hope we keep enough of the Fall weather so I can get some more use out of the jacket before Winter really sets in.  At least it is a piece that I can wear forever.

Designer Focus: Have Fun With It and Kobi Levi

You may have thought the no-heel or reverse-heel shoes were strange, unusual and probably a challenge to walk on but Kobi Levi takes his designs to a new level.  I love the idea that he sees shoes as art and that his designs are “alive” even without the foot.



“Double Boots”

 Some of his designs are a bit naughty but they are all interesting.


“Dog”




“Market Trolly”




“Rocking Chair”




“Tulip”




“Tongue”


These last two are my favorites.  Go check out the paw pad soles.


“Miao”

  And I would wear the heck out of these. The “chewing gum” heel is genius.

 This is what I want to see  – unique, fun designs.  Not copycats.  Sure, some of these are out there but that’s a good thing.  Why be boring?

Go to his site or below to see all of his designs and more pics of each.

Thanks to DesignBoom and Fashionista for sharing!

Balancing the Scales

I try to be an ethical shopper.  Not just for my own sense of peace but for the greater good.  I know that I am not perfect and I do not hold myself up as an example but I do feel a sense of responsibility. 
But I am finding in the way our retail society is structured, that is very challenging to balance all the scales and to reconcile all of my interests with one another.
Let me give you an example. 
Currently there is a huge nationwide boycott on against Target (and Best Buy) due to their funding of anti-LGTB rights politicians.

I fully support this boycott and have done zero shopping in there since it began.  For the past several months I have spent my money in other places when I’ve need an item. Not that I’m desperate but I loved Target so it’s taken some adjustment to not default to shopping there. I mean, I remember the first time I went into a Target store in college and haven’t stepped foot in a KMart or Walmart since then.  So to go somewhere else, I hope, has been impactful, especially if others are doing the same.
But I’m still tempted.
I was in the store on Friday night (I have a Target card and had to make a payment.  This pains me.) and for some reason decided to walk around.  I probably justified it in my mind as “looking for inspiration” that I would source somewhere else, but more likely I missed walking around the store and seeing what new cute things were there.
I bypassed all the clothes but did go into the tights section.  In 10 minutes I had 3 pairs of tights that I “really needed” and they were so cheap and right there.  What harm would come from spending $15 on some tights?  
I made it around the store, peeking at the Halloween stuff, cosmetics and stationary, and then put the tights back.  I left the store without buying anything. I knew it would be easy to get tights some where else and I will be doing that.
Yeah!  Good work and will power, right?  Well… not so fast…
I’m in another quandary and I’m going to use a particular example.  It does seem ridiculous to give give this so much emphasis but bear with me, I’m hoping for a larger discussion here.
I’ve been looking for and wanting a black patent purse for over a year.  Being somewhat particular about what I had in mind, I haven’t bought anything yet.  I wanted a medium sized bag, simple lines, minimal hardware and cute.  Ideally, I wouldn’t have to spend a lot.  Oh, yeah, and not be a knockoff as far as I can tell or be made of animal materials.
Got all that?  No wonder I haven’t found anything.
Then I saw the black patent satchel by Mulberry for Target.
Yep, it ticked all the boxes, even the materials and price.  I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars at Mulberry, not that I cared about the brand, just the design.   So it’s hitting most of my monetary, desire and ethical boxes.  Except one.
Target.
Sigh.  So what to do?  As I mentioned before, I’m not aspiring to be perfect but rather to do the best that I can.  I know that no business is going to be perfect, just like I’m not and I’m not looking for absolution.  Of course I can live with out the purse which would solve the dilemma. I haven’t decided either way if I would get it or not.  All of these factor are still being weighed in my mind.  I thought this would be an interesting discussion because I’m curious how you make your own choices.  Do you give yourself a green light if an item has more pros than cons?  Or are you more absolute?
Apartment Therapy has a good article on The Ethics of Shopping Cheap which is a whole other layer to shopping criteria.

Who’s To Say?

Last night Miss Tavi shared a smart and funny satirical article titled “Look Like This: The Social Network!“. 
The article had some great quotes and images including these two that jumped out at me:
“With reprints of the 60s Japanese Style book “Take Ivy” flying off faux-distressed mahogany hunting mantels in pre-fab mall stores across the world, it is clear that we are entering a brand new age where we are finally looking to rich white people to dictate what is fashionable.”
and
“While obviously the romanticization of pre-Civil Rights era Ivy League white men and the fetishization of their trappings depicted in sepia-toned and Kodachromed photos should be totally and utterly divorced from their glaring historical context (we just really like the clothes, ok?!), it’s clear that Americans are yearning for a time when white people were unquestionably in charge and keeping other, less stylish, people down.”
Fashion is a barometer of the times, as we all know, and with all the news about the Tea Party, immigration and socialism, this revisiting of a rose-tinted view of the fashions from the past is everywhere.
So I shared the link to the article, retweeting the source.  At that point I received a response stating “Who would know better than her?” and then that same person retweeting it again as a “Hypocritical tweet to savor.” 
And that’s fine.  I’m all for freedom of speech and irony and humor.   I don’t think I am the most PC person so, the comments didn’t phase me.  But they did get me to stop and think about a larger issue…who can criticize?
What I take from the comments above is that Tavi, as a middle-class to well-off white girl, has no right to agree with the article because she is one of those “rich white people dictating what is fashionable” (please correct me if that was not the implication).  That because she is, on the surface, a member of this group by virtue of her birth and upbringing and current circumstances that she has no right to agree with the satire.
Is that true?
Taken to the next step, I should not be agreeing or passing it along either.  I too am a privileged white person.  I’m not putting that in quotes because this is not a euphemism; I know that I am in that same group.  So much so that I didn’t even understand until recently how the term “privilege” was being used in the context of race discussions.   I have had many advantages growing up and now and am lucky enough to have a comfortable lifestyle now. 
But does that mean that I cannot be critical of these discrepancies?  Taken on a superficial level, maybe some would feel that I shouldn’t.  That it could be seen as disingenuous.  But what if I use the advantages and opportunities to work for change and to support that change however I can?  Should I be criticized for opening my eyes and realizing that I need to learn more and working to share information and make changes?  I hope not.
Perhaps I am giving Miss Tavi too much credit (I’m sorry to have to keep using you as an example, Tavi).  I only know her through our brief conversations online and perhaps she is a spoiled child who doesn’t know how good she has it.  But for some reason, I doubt this.  Yes, she has definite advantages in her life but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t interested in changing the world around her to be a better place.  Who’s to say that she won’t be out there, tomorrow or in ten years, actively campaigning for social change.  And why would we discourage her now?  But Tavi is just here as a reference example.
Growing up I had little access to all of the information and discourse that is available to us now.  I didn’t have a variety of people to learn from.  But even with that insulated life, I still knew what was right and what was wrong.  And now I’ve been taking the opportunities to broaden my views and the perspectives I receive.  I want the discussion and I want to know where my privilege has clouded my perspective because I want to learn and change where needed. 
Updated:  Tavi forwarding the link and the commentary here around that was the start of my thinking for this post but I also want to talk about the larger issue.  Not if Tavi has a perspective but more, does it seem unseemly for a member of a certain group to criticize that same group?  Comment either way!
Let’s foster the discussion.

Wurk it, Gurl!!!

I know there are some ladies out there who are up for the challenge of these shoes.  I just wish they came in my size!

Per the Etsy listing:

SIZE: NONE LISTED. I’M A 7 1/2 AND THEY ARE A TINY BIT SHORT. I WOULD SAY A US 6-7.

LABEL: PLEASER

MEASUREMENTS

LENGTH OF SOLE: 9.5″

Heel: 5.75″

FABRIC CONTENT: NONE LISTED. FEELS LIKE WOOD AND LEATHER OR PLEATHER.

Taking Stock

I usually need to get a few cardigans and sweaters each Fall.  I end am able to hold them over for a few years but I wear them a lot and they tend to get worn out.  I usually go to Target for some basics in solid colors and then JCrew for nicer v-necks. 

But this year, I’m not shopping at Target.

I stopped spending my money there when they stopped supporting people’s rights by funding anti-LGBT rights politicians.   Now I don’t support them.

So I’ve spent my money elsewhere.   I am looking for more more independent sources but also bought a few items at Gap. 

I’m finally getting to wear my olive green items (outfit post to follow).  I found a great olive sequined top that I wore under my jacket from YOOX and this cardigan is going to be the lighter version of that.  Plus, it’s a great green to pair up with all sorts of colors.

V-neck sweaters are what I wear all winter long.  I got this in charcoal, purple, navy and tomato red.

Cowlneck is my second favorite neckline.  I’m sticking pretty close to my palette of greys and blacks but I like the fun stripe too.

I was smitten by these stripes, especially the black and white one.  Usually I buy argyle but I think I OD’d on argyle so I’m backing away this year.   These are especially comfy as I’m wearing the navy/red one right now with a denim skirt, navy tights and lace-up mid-calf boots.

I searched out a good promo code online so I got all of these for a pretty big discount.

How do you stock up for Fall? 

Project Time: Grosgrain and Chain Necklace

In the spirit of P.S. I Made This, I saw this cute little neckace from Ann Taylor and thought it would be fun to make my own version.  I don’t do a lot of jewelry making but I loved the pink ribbon combined with the gold and the crystal drops.

So off I went to Michaels for supplies.  I decided to do two versions, one in silver and one in a gold.  I would say I felt a bit limited in terms of chain and crystal options, not having exactly what I hoped for, but I found some pretty good options.   I didn’t take a lot of supplies – 1 package of chain each, the crystals, 1 spool of pink grosgrain ribbon and jump rings and clasps (enough for more projects too)

I ended up using 24 inches of chain each because they get compressed when you thread through the ribbon, losing about 4 – 6 inches.  I wanted the crystals to hang down so this length worked out perfectly.

I used little briolets for the gold version.  I may go back to get more so I can continue them up, more like the inspiraiton piece.

For the silver, there were two sizes of the crystals in the packet so I took advantage of that to creat a more dangly piece.

All in all I spent about $50, including for the clippers, to make two necklaces with material to spare.  As P.S. I Made This says – I saw it, I liked it, I made it!

Feature Shoe – Miu Miu Spring 2007 RTW Double-strap Mary Jane

Does everyone remember the Miu Miu Spring 2007 Ready-to-Wear collection.  Probably what is most memorable for me were the Lindsay Lohan ads and the great shoes, including the satin contrast-toe platforms and the double-strap mary janes.

I think this was the beginning of my love for Miu Miu.  Since then they have had amazing shoes every season.  I typically try to get at least one pair.
I waited for a while to get any of these even though I was totally smitten with the double strap mary janes.  I especially loved the silver and the baby blue.  When I finally got around to calling the Miu Miu store in New York it was near the end of the season.  I asked if they had anything left in my size and they said they had limited sizes left.  When they said they had a 6 in silver… and marked down… I pounced!!!

I’ve searched all over the internet and never see any non-runway shots of these shoes so here we go!  They need to be curated.

I’d also still love to get my hands on a pair of the sky blue version.  I’ve been looking for ages.  So if you see any, let me know!