Sunday, January 30, 2011

Privacy, Please

If I had several million lying around, I would definitely make a high risk investment with the potential for an equally high yield, perhaps a struggling new designer, or a solar powered hair iron. The 2 private equity firms that put their heads together and decided to buy J.Crew for a reasonable $3 billion this past November certainly had the right idea (and stock prices have confirmed consumer confidence of this decision).

Since the end of turkey day, I've been anxiously awaiting any sign of the new ownership in the brand's veneer, hoping that it doesn't manifest in another price tag hike, and that any impact is rather minimal, akin to a new microderm abrasion peel rather than a face lift. So far so good- spring appears to be eternal, ethereal, and inspiring of trips to the tropics, as per the usual. (I've found a few one-piece bathing suits I'll be needing for post-baby summer days at our private community pool, so cute that I will hardly be missing my usual bikinis. My good friend is planning her May honeymoon, and has stocked up on much of the January capsule resort wear, making me both excited for the pictures, and jealous that I can't also take another honeymoon this spring).

But the longer term effects of transition into the private sector have yet to be seen. Reports predict 'aggressive' store expansion, and this always carries a risk. Part of what makes a brand so enticing is its mild accessibility, both in terms of price and location, and anything as pervasive as McDonalds loses something. But we will wait with baited breath for what lies ahead!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Club Wear

In The Devil Wears Prada, when Anne Hathaway's unsupportive boyfriend, upon hearing news of her new fashion job tells her that, to her, Club Monaco is couture, I always think, whats wrong with that? I was happy to see news in February's Harpers Bazaar that famed photographer Ryan McGinley and actress Lou Doillon collaborated on the chic brand's spring line.

During my fashion merchandising days, between my time at Ann and the beginning of law school, I helped design and implement a spring floorset for for Club Monaco's Soho location and in the process, took home 3 large bags full of new finds with the lovely 40% off employee discount, temporary as it may have been. Few know that Club is actually owned by Ralph Lauren, one of its few non-eponymous brands. But if you look closely, the child's aesthetic (clean, modern, sportswear) is really an apple from the tree. The feel of the clothes is decidedly urban, with European tones evident in cuts and details. With no online shopping (other than through sites like Shop Bop), Club Monaco is a bit of an anomaly in this day. I have to have a coral silk shirt dress shown in Harper's under a taupe masculine vest, (the loose shape of which will be forgiving this summer, post baby). I feel slightly ridiculous shopping for such items in the store at the moment, given my 6 month belly, but I'm looking ahead to needs for the season ahead as always. Check out your nearest Club Monaco for a spring treat.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Splits and Rips

If you are a fan of Bravo's Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and happen to adore, pity or otherwise be enchanted by cast member Camille Grammer, do not read any further. I find her vile, to such a degree that I have a difficult time watching the show without hurling a diatribe of insults at the TV screen, to the background of questions from my husband as why it is I keep watching if I seem to hate it so much.

In the wake of her July 2010 divorce, and in anticipation of Thursday night's episode, it seems the tart is making the usual press rounds. I can scarcely contain myself when commercials for tomorrow's episode air, in light of Camille's psychotic physic predicting the demise of marriages around her, yet not uttering a word about the impending failure of her dear friend's nuptials, and the 'boulders' Camille throws inside her glass house. Again, I've been trying to rise above the petty, but every now and then, a romp through the mud is a necessary therapy akin to a trip to the spa or a sale at Barneys (where they really don't sell maternity clothes anyway).

Had the Grammers been married in New York, Camille would be entitled to half the pot (bless equal division of the assets) given the lack of a prenup (did Kelsey lack a good lawyer in his Rolodex 13 years years ago?). Seemingly, California divorce laws are on par as settlement rumors swirl. Amidst such reports of a $50 million settlement, I'm sure Mr. Grammer is kicking himself with his Prada loafers. Tune in tomorrow at 10 if you need a good cathartic release!

Friday, January 7, 2011

High End Hopes

Shopping can be more than a proverbial rush, it can actually be therapeutic, neuro-chemically speaking. And anything that lifts the spirits can make a fulfilling career, right? Now, you can actually get a masters degree in the art of shopping and catering to the super-rich, according to January's Marie Claire.

The International University of Monaco offers a masters program that prepares graduates to be experts in high end luxury goods, like yachts, jewelry, and fashion. Its a sales based degree that shapes grads to sell to those with the cash to carry. The director, Annalisa Tarquini, first dreamed up the idea while working for Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, where, as the name alone indicates, luxury lives. 35 applicants a year will have the honor of completing the degree program for the equivalent of $29,600 US dollars a year. At a fraction of the cost to attend law school, perhaps this would have been worth my while back in 2006. Those Europeans seem to do everything better than us!