Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mad(?) for Mad Men

Though I tried to get on board the Mad Men fan train (for the fashions, if nothing else) last year, I just couldn't do it. I would inevitably leave the couch mid episode to answer the phone, wash the dishes, or do any myriad of chores to avoid watching the entirety of an hour long chapter. Last Sunday, since I was beginning a week-long staycation between jobs, I thought I'd give it one more try with the season premier. To no avail.

What I do love about the series (and do not need to watch the actual episodes to appreciate) is the costume work. Janie Bryant received an Emmy nomination for her work on the set of Mad Men, and such honor is well deserved. As the EllE Blogs report, Bryant is now launching her own fashion line. Though it will sell only on QVC (I'm not much of a home shopper, excluding those additional 30% off sale emails from J.Crew I jump allover) I hope the line finds its way to some department store shelves come next season.

The iconic 60's sheath and ladylike dressing reaching the mainstream through television is a fabulous turn of events, one that might help rescue America from the slobification currently gripping the nation with an iron fist. While I can't quite tolerate the story lines or saturated arrogance that makes it hard to like any single character on the show, I do love to see the outfits like breaths of fresh air (from an era when the air was in fact fresher, despite the popularity of indoor smoking).

photo credit AMC website

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Wash of Color

As if their iconic trenches and newly chic sportswear under Creative Director Christopher Bailey weren't enough to covet, Burberry's cosmetic line was officially launched earlier this month. Reading about it for months doesn't quite have the same affect as a trip to Nordstroms (home of the launch) and swab of lipstick.

It is perhaps the same psychological phenomena at play as when Chanel lipstick sales soar as the stock market tumbles like a drunken frat boy. But whatever the explanation, the ability to own a piece of a luxury brand creates momentum that transcends economic strata and opens the market to the masses. (The finely etched Nova Check plaid on each buttery cylinder of the lipstick itself is a nice touch to make the connection more tangible.)

As my good friend Christine knows all too well, $30 and a new tube of skin tone altering lipstick can take the biting edge off a 10pm deadline (I like no. 13 Heather best).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Workplace Hazards

On Monday mornings in retail merchandising land, reality is suspended for about 4 hours during which time perfectly normal women are transformed into wildebeests. Fights break out over the color printer, obscenities ricochet off the walls like angry bullets, and calculators are often thrown to the ground and stomped on like glasses at a Jewish wedding ceremony. All of this frenzy ensues in a mad rush to print the Monday reports, recapping the previous week's business (and deciding for some if they will still have jobs come next month).

On this past Monday, during a particularly tense period of morning turmoil (summer sales designed to liquidate warm weather merchandise to clear room for fall goods not quite doing the trick) one poor girl was doing the work of 3 (and the poor girl was not me for a change). The boss let out a blood curdling scream for the girl, and on instinct as if the Titanic were sinking, the girl lept up from her desk and dashed into the hallway, Starbucks still in hand. Unfortunately, a rather large hand truck from the warehouse was parked outside of our door for morning sample delivery, and the girl's foot met with the obstacle with an audible 'crash'. As she tumbled face first into the boss's office, we all jumped up in fear for the girl. Her foot was bent at an awkward angle and her face was as white as sushi rice. Our boss, witnessing this incident head on, dropped her eyes to the newly placed carpeting, and asked "did you just spill coffee on my floor?". The scene was a nice confirmation of my decision to leave this job for a new one, beginning early next month.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mid-Week tid bit

In the midst of shopping for a new wardrobe for a new job (and a bit of a new life that comes with the territory, which will no longer include working nights, weekends, or holidays), I was asked to write a little something for a fabulous paper company's Wednesday website post. If you're in the market for some stationary that's as innovative as your purse collection, check out Rhodia and their classic notepads.

Happy Wednesday!

p.s. many main stream retailers open their fall floor sets today, so stop and browse on your walk home from work this hump day.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Olive it

With fall fashion only a few furlongs away, its clear that some of the big messages for the season are in the details. As the NY Times reports, a few of the big wigs in the true meaning of the word have parred down, or in Givenchy's case, skipped runway shows altogether (except apparently for Lagerfeld's Chanel show which involved a 265 ton glacier back in March).

While Cathy Horyn reports a new wave of color in the collections, I cant see past an expanse of camel, olive and gray when I review line sheets and design boards for the months ahead. I love a good gray TSE cashmere v-neck as much (if not more) than the next girl, so the abundance of the shade doesn't disappoint me (I'd gladly don the Piazza Sempione number pictured right). But for those wishing for some spark, perhaps they need to shop Dior's couture pieces to find the promised punches of pigment seemingly lacking from the larger retail market (as far as sportswear goes at least). If you're planning a fall safari, you won't have trouble finding the appropriate ensembles, as military and camo are all the rage (again, I don't mind that this is hardly groundbreaking, as some of my very favorite styles are those that have weathered the ebbing tides of trend).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Packing Light

Despite the fact that 3 semi walk-in closets barely contain my wardrobe and all its components, I am in fact an efficient packer. For an upcoming destination wedding in the Caribbean, where the weather is hot and the 21st century plane guidelines are not, compact is key.

When the invitation reads 'cocktail attire' this usually indicates a jacket and optional tie for men (a concept the originalists, much like Justice Scalia, do not embrace). Women always have it easy, as a dress will never let you down. I plan to spend little time away from the water, so actual outfits number less than 4, and all fit rolled up into a neat cylindrical log tucked into the side compartment of the trusty boat and tote bag. When all is said and done, the Hubs and I managed to squeeze 5 days worth of beach, dinner, wedding and cocktail attire into one large canvas tote, and a small appendage of a carry on for necessities (in case of lost luggage always bring a bathing suit aboard so your vacation will not be a wash out).

Rolling out the LL Bean luggage brings happy rays of honeymoon memories (the last time said bags were deployed, minus the loss of one wedding band 4 days after the vows in the Atlantic Ocean). Interesting that heading down toward the Equator promises to bring relief from the northern heat that wilts hair, and melts thighs into seat cushions like burning birthday candles against cake frosting. Stay cool!