Monday, August 30, 2010

Kitten Kicks

This weekend, in an effort to cleanse my space, I carted no less than 13 pairs of shoes off to the donation pile when, after trying them on my feet one last time, their narrow, dart like pointy toes reminded me of duck beaks. After several seasons of the soft, subtle, round toes I first fell in love with back in 2005 in a Marc Jacobs store, I just can't lust for a pair of pointy.

Though I'm into all or nothing when it comes to my heel height (whether they be round or pointy), I'm sure many are thrilled to see the reemergence of the kitten heel for fall. Personally, I either need to be able to run around all day and will opt for the classic ballet flat (my favorite 3 years in a row is this Ferragamo staple), or I want to take my pencils up a notch with a solid 3-4 inch pump (the Cole Haan platform is my go to). In between just doesnt fit for me anymore- like wearing sneakers outside of the gym.

But if you, like many, are into the itsy bitsy boost to the ball of the heel, you are in luck this season. (On one of my last days in shoe buying land, I witnessed an argument between the buying director and a junior buyer over the need to actually get on board with the trend for fall, and though the neophyte lost the resistance, I sympathized with her pain over having to be the one to place an order for 1200 pairs.) Even Manolo offers a kitten heel for fall, along with Jimmy Choo, and Louboutin. And for those of us renting 1 bedroom apartments, Nine West and Enzo among many others have affordable versions that will fill your need.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Timeless Tiffany

Its kind of fun these days choosing which bag to carry to work each morning (now that my entire life no longer needs to fit inside, no more risk of stretching Louis Epi leather). 'It' bags change with the season's leaves, but this fall's new totes and clutches have staying power. Tiffany & Co. introduces its first line of bags, complete with the alluring details of its world renowned jewelry.

Created by Robert Lambertson and John Truex (whose brand Tiffany acquired in May 2009), the line features 44 items in all shapes and sizes. Since Tiffany's specific hue of blue is one of the first and most prime examples of color serving as protected, registered trademark, it is only fitting that the color can be found in decadent purse linings and details. Though growing up on the North Shore of Long Island and attending a triple digit number of bat mitzvahs may have jaded me slightly when it comes to the little Blue Box, the sophistication of the new line certainly amps up the lust factor for the fall merchandise (besides, several upcoming new work galas and benefits call for the right measure of timeless accessory). For more info, check out page 129 of September's InStyle. The line landed just in time for the upcoming 1 year wedding anniversary...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Legally Speaking

In the ongoing debate over copyright in the fashion industry, I find more and more that its hard to choose a side. Unlike the decision to get highlights or bangs, extending full copyright protection to designers is not an impulse buy that can be easily undone with some do it yourself home remedy.

This article on the pros and cons of such a measure makes a lot of thought provoking points. Setting aside the nature of copyright law and its origins (to encourage creative productions and provide incentives to authors of ingenuity and culture) there is the issue of determining who actually owns the rights to the work itself (only the owner has the right to reproduce, among others). The example provided in the article of the National Jazz Museum not being able to publicly distribute a valued recording to the many fans around the world due to inability to ascertain original copyright ownership, is an illustration that would be amplified in fashion. Imagine trying to decide who really was the first to bring the speedy bag to fruition? (Probably the first ever medical doctor, since the speedy is really the doctors original bag).

I'm not abandoning hopes of extending protection to those who dedicate their lives to creating only to have their ideas ripped and reproduced by the likes of Forever21 and Steve Madden (thank you, new job) but its not as black and white as a Chanel tweed jacket.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Phoning it in

In the Verizon store this weekend I learned more than I ever wanted to about phones (and the neighborhood between Long Island and New York City). I'm not sure where I was when the cell phone became the new accessory of the season, on par with a hand bag or pair of peep-toe ankle booties. But as I stood number 18 in line (to replace my husband's phone from 2006, and only because the screen finally cracked), I realized that all the people ahead of me were trading up for flashier, newer, shinier cell phones.

As my name neared the top of the list I grew even more impatient and crowded closer to the counter, as if that might speed up the woman being helped. By time I was called, I had spent sufficient time surveying the phones strapped into cradles and held in place by anti-theft devices to have developed a small craving for the new Blackberry. (Don't ask me about the iPhone, I can't understand a touch screen, I cannot navigate applications that replace human thought and can count the calories in your sandwich as you chew, and I despise AT&T). Though my Blackberry worked perfectly fine, it was gray, dull, and its buttons had faded. The new model came in the feminine fall favorite, lavender, and fit snugly into my hand like a perfectly molded appendage. After we had negotiated a nearly free phone to replace my husband's 4 year old flip, I grabbed the purple accessory and slipped it across the counter. My husband shook his head as the salesman looked pleased to ring another item. With a $100 mail in rebate, my new accessory cost much less than a new Miu Miu tote, and will probably get more use.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Neutral Gear

Ever since Phoebe Philo took the reins at Celine 2 years ago, I've been pleasantly surprised by the brand's allure. Just as she did for Chloe in the late 90's (working with the legendary Stella McCartney) it seems the fashion veteran has revamped the previously stale label into a ripe, fresh treat ready to be plucked.

Camel and black is hardly new, but as you may know by now, I'm not one who is wowed by newness. I have yet to see a combo as compelling, easy to wear, and classic as the 2 tones slapped together like a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Celine has been around since 1945, when it was a children's shoe maker, so the brand has age on its side. A house that can weather the fickle fashion forecasts certainly knows a thing or two about reinvention. Sleek silhouettes in neutral palettes alone don't make for Celine's notoriety, the textile mix of cashmere and leather offset the ultra feminine vibe with spikes of masculinity (which you cannot avoid loving this season). If you, like me, can't quite swing a Celine pencil or knee length pea coat, the mass marketers have their own translation of the fall staples that will fit just right.

photo credit to NY Magazine

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Toting Less

For a new job that no longer involves the NYC Subway system, and instead requires my own personal car (a first for me, like many urbanites) some adjustments can be made to my daily routine. The city dweller knows all too well that the forecast determines more than a bad hair day. 'Chance of showers' means proper footwear (rainboots or flip flops?) an umbrella compact enough to pack along with said footwear, and a tote that won't wilt or wither under acidic city rain. Most days, my work bag resembled an overly stuffed holiday ham brimming with supplies for the many scenarios that might require them in the 12 hour work day.

Tomorrow, I relish the chance to pack just a few items in one of my scarcely used, smaller bags for the day ahead. The options one has when 'walking shoes' are no longer necessary and a pair of moderate heels can take you through the day are liberating (perhaps not quite as liberating, though, as the new 8 hour work day which ends at 4pm, can you imagine? I can't.)

Some of fall's cutest bags are modeled after 1950's coin purses and can fit nothing more than a Blackberry and a tube of Clinique almost lipstick. A classic Cole Haan is a nice choice, as is the very urban Marc Jacobs mini satchel. (The Fendi convertible is scrumptious, for a pretty penny even at Bluefly.) Though the day may require a few more necessities, I may try my hand at packing a crossbody mini for the sheer challenge if paring down.