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The Best Fashion Bargain I’ve Ever Seen
05.31.08 | No Comments
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With all the super-expensive clothing out there in stores, when I find a really great bargain it makes my day. Well, consider my week made, because I just found a...
The 2008 Undie Award Winners
05.30.08 | No Comments

Lingerie_illustration The people have spoken...and spoken...and spoken, voting by the thousands on their fave thongs, bras, shapewear, briefs, boy shorts, and this year, on men's unmentionables.  Find out what fashionistas and fashionistos love to wear - under there - at TheUndies.com.

- Lesley Scott

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Rare Vintage Dior Treasures are the Perfect Way to Celebrate Summer
05.30.08 | No Comments

Vintage_dior_maria_felix_2 When a then-unknown Christian Dior presented his extravagant first collection on February 12, 1947 in a Parisian atelier on Avenue Montaigne, Carmel Snow, the renowned editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, enthusiastically declared, “That’s a New Look!” The fashion-starved, postwar audience was eager to rediscover their romantic and frivolous femininity, and Dior's timing was impeccable. "My dream is to liberate women from nature," Dior flamboyantly declared, transforming mere fashion shows into star-studded events attended by Princess Soraya, the Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall and other glitterati of the day (and cashing in before his untimely death in 1957 by signing his name to hats, glasses, stockings and other accessories...virtually inventing the system of licensing).

Beginning June 4th, YOOX.com will be launching a limited-time 100+ piece collection of vintage Dior. Curated by vintage expert and former New York Times fashion critic Holly Brubach (who shares some tips on shopping for vintage like a pro below), the collection will feature choice Dior clothing and accessories previously hidden in far-flung private collections in Europe and the US, from estate sales, and auctioned off at prestigious houses like Christie's New York & Franco Jacassi in Milan.

Some of the highlights include:

Vintage_dior_dress_maria_felix A jacket in silk shantung bordered with an elaborate organza fringe, from the early 1960s and an Haute Couture cocktail dress from the 1967 Spring Summer collection; it once belonged to Maria Felix, the legendary film star of the 1940s-1950s, who was as famous for her intense performances as for her personal style. A Dior devotee, the exotic beauty was a regular at the Avenue Montaigne atelier. The dress was purchased from Christie’s of New York, which held a special auction dedicated to the sale of some of the famous actress’s personal memorabilia.

Vintage_dior_brooch An important necklace owned by the famous fashion journalist Adriana Grassi, correspondent for publications such as Women’s Wear Daily and Gap Magazine, composed of amethyst stone-cut crystals and clear rhinestones from the 1960’s. "Dior’s accessories are statement pieces within themselves," explains Brubach. "Whether it is paired with a pair of jeans, a suit, or an evening dress, the crystal starburst earrings or the brooch in gold-toned metal with cabochon stones are truly eye catching pieces that can bring elegance to any outfit."

"All designers have their ups and downs," explains Brubach, noting that his high point was without question the New Look, "but I don’t believe Dior had a “bad” collection. His career was cut short by his untimely death." Prices range from $130 for sunglasses to $9000 for a cocktail dress...and if this is anything like the site's vintage Chanel sale last year that sold out in record time, be ready to shop the minute June 4th arrives at YOOX.com.

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EXPERT & FASHION CRITIC HOLLY BRUBACH SHARES SOME TIPS ON HOW TO SHOP FOR VINTAGE LIKE A PRO:

In a box-store world, vintage is the best way to stand apart from the crowd. And if you know what to buy, you get fashion bragging rights for your in-the-know savvy. Accessories are an easy and affordable way to sass up any outfit, while a dress or chic suit are virtually trend-proof.  Offline, the best vintage can be found in stylish locales where fashionistas love to dress up for myriad chic soirees, not wear the same thing twice, and then resell or consign the contents of their closet regularly. In Williamsburg, try Beacon's Closet, or head for East 7th Street in NYC's East Village to Vintage Row. In Paris, the 9th arrondissment is the epicenter of fab vintage.

How should vintage be worn today?

Vintage_dior_necklace The first rule of thumb is: not head-to-toe.  It’s important to mix vintage with contemporary, to integrate the old with the new in a way that doesn’t call too much attention to the vintage item(s), just as an antique chair can become part of a modern room.  Concentrate on the whole effect and not on a single piece.  Many people treat vintage too formally, maybe because it’s “precious.”  But one great way to make it seem completely timely is to pair it with jeans.

What accessories best go with a vintage outfit?

Ones that aren’t of the same period.  It’s important to contrast the old and the new and, if the outfit has great presence, not to choose accessories that are self-important and compete with it.

Where is the best place to shop for vintage?

Vintage_dior_dress_pinkOnline!  The vintage landscape has been transformed by the internet, bringing unique pieces to an avid audience.  It’s still worthwhile, making the rounds of the dealers, but it requires a lot of legwork and the best of them are scattered across too many cities for one person to cover.

How should vintage be cleaned and maintained?

With care!  Find the best dry cleaner where you live, with a reputation for handling high fashion and a familiarity with different materials.  The most fanatical collectors store their clothes in boxes, in acid-free tissue, to preserve items that are museum-worthy.  But hanging vintage items that you wear often is fine.

If I buy vintage will I look old?

No, but that’s a common fear.  The crucial thing is to mix it.  It requires a certain self-assurance to carry off wearing vintage.  Perhaps that’s why it’s often associated with women who have great style.

How do you know if you are getting a deal with vintage pieces?

It helps to know a little history, which is easily accessible.  As far as pricing is concerned, you can research what similar items from the same designers have sold for.  But because pieces are often one-of-a-kind and the demand is competitive, the rule of thumb is the same as for anything else in fashion: if you love it enough, it’s worth the price….

What's the secret of wearing vintage year round?

Vintage_dior_red_blouseSome designers, like Emilio Pucci, specialized in resort wear and their looks translate easily into warm climates and seasons.  Others, like Balenciaga, were better known for their coats and suits, more structured looks.  Accessories are a great way to incorporate vintage into a summer wardrobe.  Experiment with vintage jewelry, handbags and scarves to add an accent to the latest clothes in a way that’s chic and personal. Dior’s pieces are timeless and able to be worn year round, making them true fashion treasures to own.

- Lesley Scott

 

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Super Cute Floral Pumps from Hush Puppies
05.30.08 | No Comments

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In honor of their 50th anniversary, Hush Puppies had stylist Rachel Fanconi design these cute kicks in equally fun colors. Available soon from HushPuppies.com.

- Lesley Scott

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Even Teenage Stars are Budget Shoppers
05.29.08 | No Comments
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I just picked up the July issue of Seventeen magazine from my mailbox, and I was immediately smitten with a little article about how young celebs are digging affordable stores....
Payless Launches a new Patricia Field Collection of Sexy Summer Shoes
05.29.08 | No Comments

Sex and the City stylist, Patricia Field, just launched her latest collection of glam-rock kicks at her downtown NYC boutique and studio with an intimate Q&A in her downtown NYC studio, followed by a packed party held in her store next door. 

Patricia_field_for_payless

"I draw much inspiration from my global travels to major fashion capitals including Tokyo and Sao Paulo, among the standards. On the global front, color and pop-glamour are key -- I am excited to bring shoppers these global interpretations in my Payless summer collection. For my second collection for Payless I was inspired to continue the strong metallic theme, layering on bright colors including electric blue, sleek silver and sunny gold with sparkle and high-shine detailing,” explains Field, whose first collection was inspired by her red carpet appearance at the Oscars, after she was nominated for her work on The Devil Wears Prada. This second capsule collection is comprised of shiny blue and gold pumps, glittery ballet flats, metallic Roman-inspired flat sandals, and "sneakers" for the sexy gal (mixed-metallic 3 inch mules).

Patricia_field_for_payless_2

“We have been thrilled to work with Patricia, America’s style icon, to style our consumer marketing, as well as to bring her designs to shoppers nationwide with the Patricia Field for Payless collection,” says Matthew Rubel, CEO and president of Payless ShoeSource. “Payless Guest Designers (which have included Lela Rose and Abaete) like Patricia are a powerful element in our mission to democratize fashion in footwear and accessories. Patricia’s impeccable taste and exquisite sense of style is truly apparent in her summer collection, and we are excited to see the positive consumer reaction when the product hits stores this week.”

Patricia_field While the shoes and coordinating clutches are affordably priced in the $25 to $35 range, they're anything but cheap. “I love what Payless is doing to make fashion democratic," agrees Field, "and I am excited to be a part of that movement.

Also, be sure to check out Sharon Clott's fabulous interview with the uber-stylist for NYMag.com, and find out about "tears of fashion", what Samantha wears in every sex scene, and how Field presented the audience with a lovely Carrie-flower in the opening scene.

The Patricia Field for Payless summer capsule collection is available starting this week at Payless.com.

- Lesley Scott

 

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Fashion Trend Alert - WebSnob: Week in Chic
05.29.08 | No Comments

Coquette finds the best bold Summer necklaces for less than $100!
This summer, Fashiontribes plans to let Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb her fragrant tresses.
I'm Not Obsessed shows you how to snag beautiful AND affordable summer bags.
Kristopher shops the best - and worst - of Saks 40%-off sale.
Second City Style has found the perfect white denim (a summer essential) for every body type.
Shrimpton Couture shows you how to wear a plunging Maxi dress
Stylenotes offers up 5 Father's Day Gift Suggestions.
The Fashion Bomb has the scoop on the hottest new boutique to hit East Hampton
The Fashionable Housewife reminds us that Polka Dots are an easy, classic style.
The Shoe Goddess gets the scoop on the latest must-have sunglasses!
V-Style shows you where to find and how to put together stylish work-appropriate clothes.
A Few Goody GumDrops tells us that Hanky Panky Now Has The Cutest Thongs For the Bride To Be.

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Interactivity Increases Brand Perceptions
05.28.08 | No Comments
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Brand perceptions can be increased just with the mere presence of interactive components on a web site, according to the Science Daily. Adding a blog or online videos are viable options for creating social and interactive components.
Play the Disco Diva in a Fab Floral Frock
05.27.08 | No Comments

The original diva of sexy disco is releasing a new album, Crayons, and is celebrating in true Donna Summer style with a chi chi launch party at Mansion New York. We like to celebrate with, what else, fashion...so why not channel her iconic floral frock look? To keep from looking like a museum piece, skip the satiny mules in favor of something like python snakeskin - the current must-have neutral - and add a sexy pendant necklace, statement ring, and a clutch. 

Here's how to get the look:

Floral_dress_vivienne_westwood_2 FLORAL PUFF-SLEEVE 70s DISCO WRAP DRESS To really get the look, get one made. PenelopePupsVintage.com carries fab retro patterns...all you have to do is pick a floral silk or polyester fabric (try FashionFabricsClub.com) and let your tailor do the rest. For off-the-shelf, try the Vivienne Westwood Anglomani Nymphs shirtdress, a pleated floral frock from Marni or the Pelego floral jersey dress by DVF.

SNAKESKIN CLUTCH A python or python-look clutch transitions easily from day to night, and goes with almost any outfit or shoe, without looking to matchy or precious. Give this version from Carlos Falchi a test run at BagBorrowOrSteal.com.

Peep_toe_pumps_acne_jeans

NEUTRAL KICKS To keep vintage fresh and modern, never ever pair with vintage accessories or shoes. Instead of the spring-o-lators on the album cover, opt for snakeskin, like the super-affordable Boutique 9 Everless. Alternatively, the Christian Louboutin Catenita caramel/nude slingback would lend a ladylike feel, while a peep toe bootie like the Acne Jeans Iman keeps it edgy and fashion-forward.

STATEMENT ACCESSORIES Finish off with a bold statement ring like the Alexis Bittar lucite and crystal-studded Flame ring, and a pendant or tassel necklace (Zoe & Morgan tassel necklace).

- Lesley Scott

("Disco Diva" is written in the Rubber Vloeren font from Fonts.com)


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Another Reason to Love Cameron Diaz
05.27.08 | No Comments
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Sure, she's gorgeous, funny, and talented, but the reason that I really love Cameron Diaz is that she's not a fashion snob. Although she can afford to wear basically whatever...