Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Value in Vintage: Why We Love It So Much

I found this really interesting article from one of my favorite websites, The Business of Fashion (BoF), about vintage and it got me thinking - What does vintage mean, exactly? This is both a summary of the article (which I highly suggest you read) and my own musings on vintage.

exclusivity - Finding something that only you might have - you might be one of 10, 5, or the sole owner of a special piece. Friends can be jealous but can't copy you. While I consider my Chanel 2.55 to be my most valuable fashion possession, I equally (and fiercely) love my Liz Claiborne military/Chanel style tunic that I found in my mom's closet. No, seriously.

archival quality - Some of us are hoarders collectors and we truly appreciate the craftsmanship and rarity of vintage pieces. I have been tempted so many times to shadowbox a piece and hang it on a wall - perhaps in my big girl house if I ever get one?

the thrill of the chase - I remember walking flea markets with my mother when I first moved to New York. We stopped at the little lot that has a lot of junk vendors on 16th and 6th ave. Imagine my surprise when I found a red wool Guy La Roche skirt tucked away on a $10 rack! I had to keep my calm as much as possible until we left; then I started freaking out at my lucky find. These don't happen that often, but when they do, they're memorable experiences.

attention to detail - These days, things ain't made how they used to be, which would probably explain why vintage pieces are usually in good condition if they've been even moderately cared for. Plus, vintage articles aren't necessarily made in Italy but they sure aren't made in China.

inspiration - My first truly designer vintage experience happened on a trip to the What Comes Around Goes Around private showroom in Tribeca to help a designer gather some inspiration. The things I saw there I can never see again, most likely - it was an incredible sensory overload.

demureness - Long gone are the It bags of the Aughts - Fendi baguettes, Chloe Paddingtons (which mine, by the way, is sitting at the bottom of a trunk in a pillow case because I'm too embarrassed to carry it now), Balenciaga City Motorcycle, or the Marc Jacobs Stam bags. Nowadays, it's more about the uniqueness of the bag instead of the label. In fact, the less obvious the label, the better! (see: Celine.) If someone has to ask you where you got your bag, you know you've got a good one. 

history- History is traceable through so many things and my two favorites happen to be food and costume. You can see the entire history and mood of a designer by looking through archives - dark periods, social change, personal struggles.

sustainability - It is actually recycling at it's core - one person's cast off is another's new item.

So how do you know how much a vintage piece is valued at? It's really a matter of supply and demand. Maybe tomorrow there will be a new-found love of, say, Leonard or Sonia Rykiel for some contribution or historical context, but today it's only worth x dollars. So the way I value vintage is how much you're willing to pay for the privilege of owning it!

YSL 1970's Flamenco Skirt, Shrimpton Couture (sorry, SOLD!)

Guy La Roche 1970's top, skirt, and belt set, Shrimpton Couture ($575)

Ceil Chapman 1950's Bow and Brocade Gown, Shrimpton Couture  ($875)

I honestly had to give up posting things from Shrimpton Couture - it's SO wonderful! And I switched to Pinterest for ease. You can check out my other loves (sold and otherwise) on my pure fashion board. Seriously, this stuff covers all the points I made above then some - truly sick.

Just want to browse some great vintage pieces? FIT has a great collection online for inspiration. I love seeing beautifully made clothes and getting my fashion gears going thinking about modern interpretations! 

Christian Dior White Organdy Gown, c. 1955

Claire McCardell, cotton romper 1953

Vionnet, cotton and silk crepe de chine, 1938

Lanvin, black satin with kid leather 1930

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Southern Belle Primer: Blast from My Past

I found A Southern Belle Primer: Or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be A Kappa Kappa Gamma while I was cleaning some stuff out the other day and it made me giggle. I always had this on my table in college, mostly because I was a Kappa, but also because it's a great reminder of ways of the old world. Half the stuff in it doesn't apply to me (half Asian!? Not Southern.) but it still has some pretty hilarious/true advice in it. To wit,

A Southern Belle's Ten Golden Rules:

1. Never serve pink lemonade at your Junior League committee meetings. It has Communist overtones.


{get the recipe here for Rosemary Lemonade}

2. Always wear white when you walk down the aisle (even if it's for the third time.)

3. Never wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day. The only exception, of course, is if you're a bride. Bridesmaids, however, must never wear white shoes. Bridesmaids' shoes should match the punch. {Ed Note: Let's all agree to never wear white shoes. Ever.}

4. It doesn't matter if you marry a man who doesn't know the difference between a shrimp fork and a pickle fork; you can always teach him. Just make sure he can afford to buy you both.

Deviled Eggs Revisited-Southern Deviled Eggs & Wasabi Deviled Eggs

The ubiquitous deviled egg - always served in a deviled egg plate, natch. This one here's Yankee

5. Never date your sorority sister's ex-husband until at least three years after the divorce. You might need her to write your daughter a Kappa Kappa Gamma recommendation one day. Just remember it's a lot easier to find a new man than it is to get your daughter into Kappa.

6. Never marry a man whose mother and grandmother owned silver plate instead of real silver. He's not used to quality and he'll try to cheat you on the divorce settlement.

7. It's never too soon to write a thank you note. Some belles take their notes and a pen with them to go to a party. In the middle of the evening they go into the ladies' room and write a thank you describing how much they enjoyed the dinner (naming specific items). They then put the note in the mailbox as they leave. The hostess receives it first thing in the morning. Sure this is compulsive, but you're going to have to be compulsive if you want to be the president of the Junior League.

{$24 for six, Sugar Paper Los Angeles}

8. Never show you bosom before evening and never wear an ankle bracelet before anything. Girls who wear ankle bracelets usually end up twirling batons. There has never been a baton twirler who became Miss America and there's certainly never been a baton twirler in the Junior League.

9. Never chew gum in public and never smoke on the street.

10. Buy low. Sell high.

Friday Files: Street Style

SUNGLASSES: American Apparel, $45
TANK: Delia's, $24.50
THONG: Cosabella, $34
SHORTS: Splendid, $38
NECKLACE: Adia Kibur, $54

Monday, July 16, 2012

DKNY Changing the Social Media Landscape Once Again

Have y'all seen this video? Love Aliza Licht's "social media is the new press release" take on their store opening in London. Seriously, genius. 

Watch and learn - I know I did! 

{source: DKNY via The High Low}

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lustworthy and Only $30!

I love these great bracelets from ShopLattitude, one of my favorite online resources for all things cool and interesting and global. And at under $30, they'll make a great gift for your friend who has everything!

Pom Pom Bracelets from Honorine Jewels, ShopLattitude, $30

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Files: French Girl Chic

STUDS: Elizabeth Cole, $197
JEANS: Free People, $88
TOP: Uniqlo, $20
BAG: Rebecca Minkoff, $195
BLAZER: Brooks Brothers, $198
FLATS: Armani Collezioni, $255

Monday, July 9, 2012

Guest Post: Zhushing Up Two Summer Looks with Sue of The Zhush

Y'all - I obsess over The Zhush, this great blog I've been reading since I entered the blog world. I think  Sue is great and I personally have and can learn a lot from her. She also has zhush.com which is a go-to, "secret" source for me when it comes to finding gifts and goodies at a great price. Zhush.com has been featured in Lonny, Daily Candy, Redbook, Matchbook Mag and more. I am so thrilled Sue could contribute this guest post highlighting some of her favorite summer pieces from her site! Enjoy! 

Two Summer Looks For Less

Hi, I'm Sue from The Zhush and zhush.com guest posting over here today about getting "The Look" for less...a whole lot less.

I've got two great summer looks that are hot now and will no doubt take you fashionably straight into fall. 

 The first up is this chic tote from Vanessa Bruno that retails for roughly 
$140.00, and that's after it's been marked down on major sale!

Vanessa Bruno Linen Tote, $140

And, now here's our zhush.com look that is quite similar and for $38.00! It's dramatically less and yet still just as stylish.

{Ed note: Chic!!}

Another great trend this summer that's sure to carry over nicely into fall...star patterns.  Seen here on this scarf sold at Barney's for $145.00.

So there you have it. Two great looks, only for much, much less.
Hope you liked it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Files: Sea World

PLATE: John Derian, $185
BUSTIER AND SKIRT, Versace, $800 and $675
HAIR PINS: Chanel, $250 for set of 3
SANDAL: Miu Miu, Price Upon Request
DRESS: Halston, $1209

Monday, July 2, 2012

Connect with me! No, really. Do it.

You may have noticed the decline in posts and here's why:

- I'm a one woman show trying to balance it all and "have it all"
- I have made the editorial decision to only post things that I truly care about and think my lovely readers would care about, not just filler.

 I am tweeting,

and pinning

up a storm! These social media outlets make all the difference in being able to do quick, lovely posts and really get the entire WTSTA point of view out in several different vehicles. Please follow me on any and all of the platforms you use - I can't wait to see what you've been up to, too!


Spotlight On: Jess Moore of Stylebook App!

Recalling my chance encounters from the Marie Claire @ Work event a couple of weeks ago, I am so excited to present to you Jess Moore of Stylebook, a virtual closet app available now on iTunes! Jess has figured out a way to work for herself, combine fashion and technology successfully, and do what she loves. I chatted it up with her about the app's recent successes.

{Jess Moore, founder of Stylebook}

Hi Jess! How did you come up with the idea for the app ?

There were a few things that contributed to the idea. I think the wheels in my head
started turning when I was interning in the fashion closet at Vogue, where my job was to
track the clothing samples that were traveling between the magazine and various PR
showrooms. The system they used at the time was simple: it involved writing a detailed
description of the item and snapping a Polaroid, which I then stapled to the description
form. It was often a lengthy and difficult process, especially when you had to flip through
pages later on to find an item after it had been filed. I knew there had to be a way to
effectively digitize the process.

My next internship was at Modern Bride Magazine, where I also worked in the fashion
closet. My boss there kept photos of all of her shoes so she could keep track of what
she owned. She told me that other people in the industry did similar things to track their
wardrobes: some hung up their outfits on hangers in their closet, some drew little
diagrams, and others kept Polaroids of their favorite looks. Later, this would come back
to me while developing the idea for Stylebook.

When the App Store was first created, my boyfriend Bill and I decided to start an app as
a weekend project. It wouldn’t cost us anything and it would be fun to make something
practical that we could use everyday. I wanted to make something to plan out and track
what I was wearing to my new job in the Lucky Magazine art department. As an
assistant at a magazine in New York, I felt the pressure to look fashionable but I had a
very small budget. I needed to stretch what I had, which would require some
organization. I thought back to my experiences in the closet and how I had seen other
women document their wardrobes and the idea for Stylebook was born.

{her beautiful workspace!}
Can you explain the app to us? I would love to know more about the less obvious
features, like the calendar, sizing, stats, etc. So cool!

Stylebook is a virtual closet for your real wardrobe. You can create outfit collages wIth
photos of your clothes, plan what to wear on the calendar, pack for a trip, save all your
style inspirations, and get insight into what you wear the most and least.
A few of the lesser known but very cool features are:

Used In Outfit - If you open a single item in the closet and look at the notes screen, you
can see all of the outfits you’ve made that use that item - this is great when you’re
getting dressed and want to wear a certain top or dress but can’t remember any good
outfits that use it.

Cost Per Wear - If you record the price of an item in the item’s notes screen and then
log it on the calendar each time your wear it, the app will automatically tell you the
item’s cost per wear.
Shopping - Shopping is one of Stylebook’s newest features. You can do advanced
searches to find very specific items that fit your budget. For example, you can look for
white blazers priced between $100 and $150 and it will find all matching results from the
catalogs of over 7,000 different brands. You can then add the image of that item directly
to your Stylebook closet and test it out with your existing wardrobe before deciding to
buy it.

Do you have any tips for women wanting to get started in fashion and technology or how to start a small business?

Put in the time to see your idea become a reality. Bill and I had so much fun planning
out Stylebook and working on it after work and on the weekend. If you have the
necessary skills and you’re willing to make time to do the work, you’ll be able to make a
great product. Of course, you should make sure you do something that you’re
passionate about because it will take a lot of hard work. When times get tough, you’ll be
better able to handle it if you really believe in what you’re working on.

Figure out the important stuff before you decide to work on it full-time. Where are you
going to get health insurance? Do you have enough savings to live on if you don’t make
a profit right away? Do you have a business plan? Do you need help working on the
project, and, if so, how will you get it?

{Ed Note: Listen up! Such important points!}

Last I’d say find a good lawyer and accountant. There are some things that are best left
to the professionals and they aren’t as expensive as you might think. Plus, you’ll feel at
ease if you know that you fully understand every contract that crosses your desk and
the proper tax procedures that apply to your business.

{Jess on the job!}

Explain how you work on a given day and who is responsible for what and when. I think you have an awesome job and am in awe that you've been able to figure it all out.

My co-founder Bill and I do most of the work. He does the programming and I work on
PR, marketing, events, social media, and our blog. We plan out new features, test the
software, and work with customers together. The other nitty gritty stuff like accounting
and legal we leave to the professionals.

We both think it’s important to do all we can on our own. It makes the work more
interesting and we’ve learned a lot of valuable skills over time.

 My Typical Schedule:
wake up
check sales from previous day
check advertising stats
make breakfast
check email
answer customer feedback and press inquiries
read my daily blogroll
work on an interview text or artwork for style expert
make lunch
edit or take images for the window shopping blog
test changes or plan new features for the app with bill
social media time! post to facebook, tumblr, or pinterest
about once a week, I’ll attend a networking event
bed time

The packing list feature is so cool. Can you explain how to use the app for a packing list and what you'd have in it?

Typically, when I go on a trip, it’s for a trade show or blogger event. So I need to pack
outfits for meetings, booth setup, panel discussions, and cocktail parties. I’m a notorious
over-packer but I try to reduce what I bring by packing versatile items that can be
repurposed into many different looks. The last business trip I took was to Austin, Texas,
for Texas Style Council and SXSW. For this trip, I made a few looks with Stylebook’s
outfits feature and then added them to a packing list. I then looked at the list of
individual items in the packing list and made adjustments as necessary. For this
particular trip I tried to to reuse my bottoms and changed up each look with dramatic
accessories. I also made sure to include a t-shirt for the afternoon I would be setting up
 our booth for TXSC.

{a sampling of Jess's packing list for TxSC in Austin}

What are your favorite gadgets as a fashionable gal on the go?

Mini Steamer - My steamer is way easier to use than an iron. It gets out the wrinkles
without having to navigate an ironing board plus I like to use it to fluff up embellishments
on my blouses and dresses. That’s a trick I learned while working in the Modern Bride
fashion closet, where I often had to rejuvenate delicate veils, fascinators, and head
pieces that had been flattened while in transit.

Scanner - I scan my magazines so I can save my favorite images in my Stylebook
inspiration library. I also use it keep feature stories I want to reference later. My next
goal is find good text recognition software so I can actually search the copy.

Camera - I love my new Olympus Pen camera - I seriously always have it with me. It’s
super-compact so it fits in my bag but it still has all of the manual controls of standard


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