chic and antique bags

Daniel and I are both crazy about nice, sleek, strange bags, so we are always on the lookout. Here's a few favorites of late...

This bag from Delight.com (found via Outblush) is great because it's so chic and girly! ($58)

This vintage Czech bag is an antique find from P.O.S.H. in Chicago - one of my favorite Chicago stores. ($40) The Swiss Glacier goggles ($22) are just too fun.

This is an exciting etsy find from upaproject. The bag is called Oito


hoodies remixed

Rose La Biche has created some amazing new "hoodies". Much much more on her site HERE.


etsy find

A great etsy find! Gaia Conceptions has wonderful, imaginative pieces made from locally produced/dyed organic fabric.


radio edit

There are some wonderful npr programs lately covering the fashion industry that have a lot to do with the past several articles I've posted (several have author Dana Thomas as a contributor!).

Made in a Sweatshop?

the economy and fashion week

can accessability turn luxury dull?

"never has storytelling been so central and quality so peripheral to the business."

This is an other fantastic article about the fashion industry and the position of "luxury" brands that should accompany your thoughts as you pick up your next issue of Vogue, W, Elle, or any of those publications. There is so much in here - including the author of the article, Kerry Howley, who is reviewing and responding to the book Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre by Dana Thomas. I highly recommend you read the article here. Below are some quotes from the article that reveal the author's ideas about class and where (or, to whom) fashion belongs.

"Democratization is a dangerous game, and the executive who misjudges the balance between accessibility and positional value can destroy a brand’s cachet in a single season"
It's hard to believe there will ever be a time that an $800 bag will not be sold to a person with $800 to spend. That doesn't mean "democratization". To the people in the stores and industry, it may seem like such audacity for a ripped-jean wearing bum to stroll in and buy their stuff. But the issue is that not that the industry has somehow started having the concerns of the masses in mind (maybe the wallets of the masses). We are placing "positional value" - the status that comes with buying Louis Vuitton or Gucci - over the reality of our life. Sure, as Howley states, "Buying into a dream has always been part of high fashion’s allure"; the difference is we started believing it more than anything else. If we believe the storytelling of advertisements - that Prada really makes me the urban sophosticate, or Versace somehow makes me more sexually liberated - we literally are sold to the business and give up a lot more than $800.

And to keep those stories going, consumers must be able to find places to insert themselves in a narrative that selectively reflects the realities of their life. Just like the fashion shoots in magazines where women in $6000 furs are grocery shopping or pumping gas, it seems major labels are walking a fine line between building their brand to impossible heights and trivializing themselves.
"Fashion is more celebrity driven than it used to be, and the editors at US Weekly never tire of revealing how celebrities are 'just like us.' Pictures of Renee Zellweger taking out the garbage are as important as pictures of her on the red carpet. You can pull off a Carolina Herrera dress too, or at least a wallet. You both do chores. You’re practically twins."

What an observation. The other side is the celebrities who pair a white t-shirt with an Oscar de la Renta full-length skirt (or the like) on the red carpet. The juxtaposition of a ridiculously pricey, handmade piece with a basic one (also handmade, but most likely in a sweatshop) could undermine the luxury or bring it to wider distribution.

Read the article for yourself and let me know what you think.


Every wondered if those campaigns work?

"There is a broadening concern that business marketing is taking on the patina of philanthropy and crowding out philanthropic activity and even substituting for it"

“We’re not encouraging people to buy more, but if they’re going to buy a pair of Armani sunglasses, we’re trying to get a cut of that for a good cause”

“Red is not a charity; it’s a business”

These are all quotes from a great article on Product(RED) from the New York Times this past weekend exploring the details and facts about the campaign. You can read it here.
Every time I see a GAP commercial promoting their (RED) campaign, I've wondered if it's really working. This article may not exactly answer that question as much as complicate it, but maybe it's good to be reminded that saving the world is not as easy as buying a shirt or bracelet.


swimming beauty

These are almost fun enough to make me want to start swimming again! found here.

the best

even though I usually don't get that excited about valentine's day, I do LOVE the color red and think this is too cute to miss...

$16 at the curiosity shop


the search continues

Found a fantastic article on the ethics of clothing from Linda Grant (of The Guardian). It ends with some "beautiful ethical" labels including the UK's popular People Tree.

enviro clothing

Dwell magazine usually sticks to modern home design, but they had a great article about Nau, an environmentally progressive clothing company out of Portland (not Canada, as I said earlier). The clothing won't fix any color longings you may be having during the dreary February stretch, but there's some very inventive and fun stuff. (I've been informed that the color choices are also rooted in environmental initiatives AND there's some brighter looks for spring on the way!)


urban outfitters inspiration

this dress is made by recycling men's plaid shirts. Urban Outfitters is finally doing the actual recycling thing instead of just making this dress LOOK like it's recycled.

hable construction

beautiful fabric! Hable Construction is a favorite of interior designers... but I can see dresses and bags in these lovely prints.

tulle and AA Super Tuesday

Fashion is Spinach has some great photos from Elle (shot by Karl Lagerfield). Looks like it's all about tulle this spring.

There's a nice interview on shiny squirrel with artist Julianna Swanney (from oh my cavalier). She's a Michigan artist!

Are you on the American Apparel email list? Usually I try to avoid them because I could spend too much money too easily, but today is different.

"We urge voters to consider Obama on the Democratic side."
There's information on their website and you can see all their ads and read articles... AA is by default a more political company than many in that they have taken their commitment to responsibly made clothing very seriously (without waiting for government sanctions). Immigration is a large concern to them because it really effects their workforce, but also because they are invested and working in the LA garment industry. In LA alone it's estimated there are more than 5,000 sweatshops. AA has done a lot to expose the needs of workers and immigrants.

"We urge voters to consider McCain on the Republican side"


whimsical details and straight-up crazy

I love this yellow flower belt! (from jcrew)

amazing balloon dresses!! via Abbey