29 September 2011

How This Post Happened

This past summer I, ahem, spent a lot more time on Anthropologie's website than I do now. Meaning: I got more of a life and less money. At any rate, it's a good thing that I'm spending less time on the site.

If you know me, you know that I don't really wear jewelry. But! Earlier this summer I bought a Maasai collar piece (that I haven't worn yet). Toodling around town in the past month, I happened upon Calabash Gifts. There, I bought a couple Ndebele choker-like items. I put them on--and it worked. I didn't feel dangly and busy because they just sort of nestle on one's collarbone in such a way that one forgets one has them on. Nice. So, hmm, maybe collars?

Meanwhile, back at Anthropologie, they'd redone their website. At some point, they've included "Featured Artist." Basically, I had reached the point at which I would look at anything on the Anthropologie site--even jewelry, of which I did not consider myself a wearer. I was intrigued by the "collars" or "bibs." (This is known as the "statement jewelry," I suppose.) So, I clicked on "Featured Artist: Marion Vidal." I liked her jewelry, which reminds me of candy and gumballs. Nipping over to her website, I saw that the only stockist in the U.S. is Maryam Nassir Zadeh in New York. So, I checked out her website and learned about a new boutique.

Of course, part of the power (and dread!) of the Internet is discovering where it can lead you. I never would have heard of Refinery 29 if I didn't check "Rag Trade" on jezebel.com every day. God knows I never would've heard of Carven without Refinery. And not having heard of Carven would be completely unacceptable because that's the cool fashion blogger label. I wouldn't have heard of Fancy Treehouse if I hadn't been mucking around on N.E.E.T.'s blog because new issue wasn't up yet.

I forget where this photo is from.

24 September 2011

Shopbop.com To It!

Some brands I wish shopbop.com carried:

Rachel Comey (I mean, how can you not???)
Isabel Marant
Gary Graham
Marni (sigh)

23 September 2011

Speaking of Faythe

You probably know Faythe Levine as Art vs. Craft Lady. And Handmade Nation Lady. She's a curator and artist in her own right, as well. You've probably seen her table at Milwaukee's East Side Green Market. Her latest project is movie about sign painters. Hand-painted signs are delightful, aren't they? Sort of a surprise and subterranean delight in our network, digitized world.

I saw Faythe this past summer at said market. She was wearing a dress I assumed was a vintage find. The dress was from Anthropologie, it turns out. I was intrigued. So Faythe Levine knew from Anthropologie? I guess I hadn't thought it would have been on her radar. What else didn't I know about what she was wearing? Why not interview her?

Faythe was game when I asked for an interview, but she's kinda busy. So, I guess I'll get to the Faythe Levine Personal Style Interview a little bit later.

05 September 2011

Just So You Know

Vintage Madison is holding its second ever Fall Fashion Show at High Noon Saloon on Wednesday (that would be September 7).

I had the chance to interview fashion show coordinator/Vintage Madison member/Wanderlost Vintage doyenne Jess Parvin the Saturday before classes started here in Madison. I realized I had not described myself to her—nor had she to me. I knew who she was the instant I saw her, though. She was wearing a pair of sandals I thought were from Anthropologie (!), a full skirt with a colorful print, and a strappy little gamine top.

We had the chance to talk, and I am convinced Jess is living the dream. All vintage all the time. I’m convinced anyone making a living of secondhand is living the dream.

High Noon Saloon September 7. Vintage Madison pop-up shop at the Project Lodge September 11 and through the following week.

Illustration of Jess by, I'm assuming, Jess.

What If?

What if fashion labels were nothing like what we know now? (I was thinking this recently. I wasn't sure what that meant. What would it mean if labels, in fact, were nothing like what they are now? What would that mean? What would they be like instead?) What if there weren’t shows every season? What if clothing made today were made as well as it was 50 or 60 years ago? Why do we have to have the fashion system we have now?

Why do we have to act as if every dress and pair of pants is completely “amazing” when it’s the same thing (e.g. “folkloric” or “white” or “trousers” or “ladylike”) as it ever was? Why do we have to act as if we “get” something that’s quite far beyond everyone else? Yuck.

Why spend so much money on marketing instead of just making better stuff? Is that a naïve question?

Second what if: what if fashion blogs weren’t talking about shopping all the time? Sure, there are street style blogs—but their raison d'être is photos. And it’s not as if there’s a diversity of style images. What about thoughtful writing or criticism? Another naïve question?

And what if domestic apparel manufacturing were reborn in the U.S.? In the none-too-distant future, fuel prices (and cotton prices, too?) will make manufacturing in China for the domestic market unthinkable. This country has a strong production history, but it was jettisoned in search cheap production. Solid jobs disappeared, leaving shitty service sector jobs in their wake. Of course service sector jobs pay less, which means less disposable income to buy the goods now cheaply made overseas. Very Gift of the Magi.

For these reasons, I think I’ll be buying second-hand and Fair Trade as much as possible for a while. Alexander Wang does not need my money.