Lady Charlotte Magazine

A lifestyle magazine for stylish and intelligent women.

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Pendragon Fashion

Camelot hasn’t been this fashionable since Jackie Kennedy! Guy Richie’s King Arthur has me longing for the days when quality shearling and fur outerwear was affordable, standard issue. I am seriously coveting Arthur’s long, scrumptious shearling that looks straight off the Burberry runway. And King Vortigern’s daughter’s cropped (ermine?) fur is droolworthy. Even the Vikings get in on the action draped in silver (weasel?) fur capes and pelts. Sorry PETA!

Get the Pendragon Look:

Burberry shearling coat available at Fwrd.com

Lilly E Violetta cropped mink available at Barneys.com

For a toned down look, Fendi Fall 2018 blazer with mink trim

Half A Night At The Opera

Philadelphia hosts beautiful operas at The Academy of Music and since moving here two years ago, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing top rate productions of La Traviata and Turandot. Last week, I had the opportunity to see The Marriage of Figaro, a beloved screwball comedy by Mozart. I make no claims to be an opera connoisseur. I’m simply a fan. And this was a terrific production with strong lead vocals and a cool set (that’s about the limit of my technical critique). I went with a friend and admittedly bought terrible seats. I spent the bulk of the evening cocking my head to the left to try and read the translation because a giant pole obstructed my view. I could see the first few words alright, but the last two or three words were a problem. I probably should have taken that limited view waiver more seriously.

The real challenge was sitting nearly two hours in tiny seats waiting for the intermission. The Marriage of Figaro is a four act opera but this production only had one 20 minute intermission. An hour in and the audience was already getting restless. By the time the intermission rolled around, we were borderline miserable with sensory overload and stiff knees. We decided to stretch our legs in the hall and I’ll be honest, I wanted to leave and I could sense my friend had also had enough. The thing is, nobody wants to be the first to admit they want to leave the opera halfway through, lest they seem uncultured or ungrateful. What followed was a good five minutes of back and forth “Do you want to leave? I love it, but if you want to go…” Finally the lights flickered signaling the second half was starting and we should return to our seats. Thats when I made the executive decision to get us the hell out of there.

I enjoy the opera, I really do. I love the drama and the period costumes and the romanticism. I delight in seeing the same operas that have entertained kings and queens for centuries. But, I’m only human. And I don’t care how incredible the production or how beloved the story, and how melodic and striking the singing, a person needs a break after 40 minutes. And before you accuse me of being uncultured, I know what Rosebud means.

 

An Open Letter to Vogue

Dear Vogue Editors
I can deal with the fact that your magazine and online platform have basically turned into an homage to the Kardashians and that you covered The Yeezy Season 4 show like Kanye West is the second coming (if Jesus designed nude bodysuits). But for a fashion magazine you are completely unabashedly biased and pro-Hillary Clinton and quite frankly, it makes me sick. Aren’t there enough politics in the fashion industry, itself? Do you honestly believe your writers understand enough about the economy and foreign affairs and the military to deliver informed political content to readers? Why don’t you start with critiquing Hillary’s godawful pantsuits and leave the actual politics to the appropriate forums.

See-Now-Buy-Now is a Joke

Last night, Tom Ford showed a curly shearling fur coat that is available this morning on Bergdorf Goodman’s website as part of their See-Now-Buy-Now inventory. But the joke is on us because stylist Christine Centenera, who sometimes works with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, wore this same coat back in February! Basically, all See-Now-Buy-Now did was move the buying season forward because clearly the clothes existed months ago.

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The See-Now-Buy-Now Experiment

Luxury labels like Tom Ford are shaking up the fashion timetables and experimenting with See-Now-Buy-Now business models. Traditionally, designers show their clothes a full season before they will be available for purchase in stores. High-street fashion stores like Zara and H&M have always sold in season clothing and designers are starting to catch on. How will this new business model affect the brick and mortar and online department store buyers’ relationship with the brands? How can these brands possibly fulfill the buyers’ orders in such a short turnover? Moreover, will this lead to more overstock if designers are too optimistic with their production? Or, will they be nervous and underproduce and drive up demand that leads to bidding wars on ebay?

 

Update Sep 8:

Tom Ford’s runway presentation from last night is already available this morning on Bergdorf’s website. This leads me to believe that buyers saw these clothes and placed their orders several months ago. Were the editors given the same sneak peak? Does this new business model make runway shows a mere formality? The shows are an expensive marketing tool for designers to build excitement and demand for their product for several months before the clothes become available. As consumers, we see the show images online and in magazines and build wishlists and obsess over them for months. Where’s the excitement and anticipation in See-Now-Buy-Now?

Sponsored Bloggers: Buyer Beware

In 2013, The New York Times published an editorial piece by legendary fashion editor, Suzy Menkes, titled “The Circus of Fashion,” in which she laments the onslaught of fashion bloggers peacocking before the shows and shamelessly accepting free gifts from designers. Peacocking refers to the bloggers wearing ridiculous outifts to get noticed by the streetstyle photographers. Menkes believes this “circus” takes away from what’s going on inside the tents and she describes a pre-Internet fashion week, where editors dressed in head to toe black moved unnoticed from show to show.

Fast forward a few years and there is a bigger problem than bloggers dressing crazy and accepting free gifts. Designers and big brands are actually paying bloggers to promote their products online, and until now there has been virtually no government regulation. Consumers browsing Instagram and Facebook or watching Youtube are being misled because their favorite bloggers generally aren’t revealing the fact that they are sponsored.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is starting to crack down on bloggers by enforcing a strict set of guidelines– and using a “#sponsored” amongst dozens of other hashtags may be insufficient. The ad agencies who pair bloggers with big brands are furious, but they had to know they could not go unregulated forever. The bloggers basically carved a new industry and the government was bound to catch on. And shouldn’t consumers know the truth?

The bloggers created jobs for themselves in a time when the government and the economy failed them. They accepted free clothing and paraded in front of the shows because they couldn’t get the traditional editorial jobs in fashion, often despite their qualifications and experience. They hustled and they posted tirelessly to gain followers and create a new branch in the fashion industry. And while I understand why Suzy Menkes is disheartened with the blogger movement, the fact remains that times change and the fashion business is no exception. That said, I believe the bloggers should want to be better than the previous generations that failed them and ruined the economy, and they should be loyal to the millions of followers that gave them a livelyhood. It’s as simple as revealing to your followers that they are viewing sponsored content.

Read more about the FTC guidelines and their affect on the fashion industry at The Business of Fashion.

Death Of a Shoe

We’ve all owned that one shoe that was so comfortable, so stylish, so perfect, it became our signature. We literally wore it to death. Such is the tale of my first pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks. The year was 2002. I was browsing the annual sidewalk sale at Ruth Shaw at Cross Keys Village in Baltimore. There they sat, as if the heavens had descended, and a bargain on sale for $275. They were black with perforated leather and a 3 inch heel, not too high, but high enough to make my legs look long and lean. I wore them with everything, from jeans to dresses, casual to cocktail. I wore them my first day of classes at law school (I’m like a brunette Elle Woods!) and walked home in them for two miles after getting on the wrong bus, without getting so much as a single blister. My Choos were basically the luxury version of the Easy Spitit Pumps the women played basketball in from the 1993 ad.

That year I wore my Choos so much I questioned why I even owned other shoes. I wore the heels down several times and had them repaired by a cobbler (are they still called cobblers?). Then one day I got the call. My shoe guy phoned to tell me he could no longer fix my shoes- that it would literally be unethical for him to fix them again and let me try and walk in them. The structural integrity of the shoe had completely deteriorated. All that was left was leather scraps. If they were a car, they’d be totalled. If they were a person, they’d be on life support with no signs of recuscitation. RIP.

To this day I’ve searched high and low, scoured the internet, across continents even, looking for another perfect shoe. Alas, the perfect shoe is a myth, its a mirage, or a legend. And I’ve got the blisters to prove it.

 

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The Emperor’s New Clothes

Most of you are familiar with Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of an Emperor so vain and easily duped, his tailors dress him in “invisible” fabric. The Emperor parades around the land, daring his subjects to point out his nakedness, because he believes only those with a keen eye for fashion can appreciate his new duds. Naturally, everyone oohs and ahhs. The Emperor was never in on the joke. Enter Kendall Jenner.

The year is 2016. Kendall has access to the world’s most beautiful and technologically innovative clothes. She owns the catwalk in both the ready to wear and couture seasons and is the darling of Olivier Rousteing and Karl Lagerfeld. Anna Wintour and Vogue awarded her the highly coveted spot on this year’s September cover and regularly feature her on Vogue.com. She is applauded the world over and by thousands of devoted social media accounts for her personal style. We worship her. Yet she runs around half naked.

Aren’t we foolish?

 

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Fendi’s New Mascots

Fendi recently introduced two furry mascots known as the Fendiruma, life sized versions of two of their newest bag charms. The Fendiruma are making the rounds, celebrating Fendi pop up shops and store openings, and even attending the Fall 2016 runway show. The mascots are heavily influenced by Japanese culture and love of all things kitsch (and according to W magazine, the Japanese pop duo, Kigurumi).

My problem with the Fendiruma is they seem off-brand. Fendi recently showed a stunning and immaculately detailed collection post couture week at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. The show was breathtaking and the models walked on a runway of clear glass suspended over the fountain, with Kendall Jenner opening the show and Bella Hadid closing. So, how does Fendi go from ethereal beauty to tacky telletubbies?

Fendi should leave the Fendirumi in Japan and let the clothes speak for themselves. The western world has embraced Fendi’s furry bag charms, but the Fendirumi are garish and tawdry. This is not a smart move for an atelier that, in their own words, revolutionIzed fur.

 

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Women Seeking Rich Husbands

Welcome Ladies, to the first annual convention for Women Seeking Rich Husbands. I am extremely pleased with today’s turnout and our fast increasing membership. I look at your bright, hopefuly faces and am reminded of our motto: “It doesn’t matter what he looks like; it matters what his financial statments look like.

Before I tell you about the exciting events we have scheduled, I want to extend my thanks to the Planning Committee, who worked tirelessy to secure this brilliant location on Wallstreet. Wallstreet is recognized the world over as workplace for some of our nation’s wealthiest men. In the building next door alone, we have a generous selection of lawyers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers, and business tycoons. But lets not get ahead of ourselves, ladies. There will be more on that during Wednesday’s lecture, “Your friend the elevator: how to land the rich man in the building next door.”

To kick off our convention, we will welcome best-selling author, Ivanna Richman, who recently published a new book, “Down the Aisle and Straight to the Bank.” Most of you are familiar with Richman’s other books, including “The Art of Marriage: Refusing a Prenup,” and “The Art of Divorce: Getting what you Deserve.”

At 12:00 we will break for lunch. The Planning Committee has prepared a list of nearby restaurants categorized by menu and the occupation and bank account size of the men that frequent them.

After lunch you will rotate between four half-hour workshops led by some of New York’s most notable socialites, who have turned marrying well into an art form. In Workshop 1, “If I were a Rich Man,” you will learn to distinguish between young men with real ambition, versus those suffering from The Tevia Complex, who have the dream but not the drive. In Workshop 2, “Law or Loser” we will go over which types of lawyers make the most money and which lawyers work for the love of the profession. Remember ladies, Pro Bono is a NoNo. In Workshop 3, “The Hospital Dating Pool; Looking at the Bright Side of Surgery,” you will learn when its appropriate to ask out your single doctor or anesthesiologist. Finally, in Workshop 4, “I Loved a Really Old Man and All I Got was This Lousy Tshirt,” we hear from experts on The Anna Nicole Smith case and where she went wront. Always get it in writing, Ladies!

I now turn the podium over to Mrs. Ivanna Richman. Let’s give her a warm welcome. She knows what she’s talking about.

 

(Written when I was 20)