Fashion

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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Last Will and Testament

I , Elisa D, being of (somewhat) sound mind and body, declare this to be my Last Will and Testament. I revoke all wills and codicils and any shit written on a napkin or the back of an old Starbucks receipt previously by me.

I appoint my bestie, Molly, as my Personal Representative to administer this Will and make sure that my enemies do not loot the contents of my closet.

I direct my Personal Representative to pay out of my estate whatever I still owe to the bloodsuckers at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. Why don’t I just give them my first born while I’m at it?!

I devise, bequeath, and give my Fashion Photography Collection to The Philadelphia Museum of Art, with instructions that they put up a bigass plaque with my name on it and throw a gala to celebrate my generosity and fabulous taste. But to my gay BFF, Ryan, I leave any photos that show a woman’s tits so that he may enjoy the sweet irony. He also gets dibs on anything leather or remotely kinky in my closet.

I give my television and my shitty DVD player from Target to my building’s concierge, Wellington, so that he has something to entertain him now that I’m gone. Just put my stack of DVD’s by the curb and see if anyone wants them. If no one takes my copy of Weekend at Bernie’s, consider that the downfall of society.

I give my squash racket to my personal trainer, William, but hope that he would feel too guilty to ever play again with anyone else because it just would not be the same because I am one of a kind.

I donate my sexy lingerie and corset collection to whichever of my female friends are divorced at the time of my death and need them to woo a new man because let’s face it ladies, you aren’t getting any younger and you need all the help you can get (I kind of have a hunch who all will get divorced but I better keep my mouth shut).

I give my furniture, specifically my cat-pee stained mattress (thanks Blackberry) and a rickety nightstand to my friend Adam because he won’t give a shit that it sucks he just likes taking my things.

And now for the good stuff. I give my Rick Owens runway vest to Ayumi because you totally get the whole Rick Avant Garde thing. Ayumi can also have all my fashion and art books if she can arrange a way to schlep them home.

I give my Alaia dresses to Terry because i was a total ass about not lending them to her after that time she borrowed one and it came back smelling of perfume which I’m legit allergic to.

I give my Chanel thigh high boots to…wait nevermind, I wanna be buried in those bad boys.

I give my Chanel clothes, hats, fingerless gloves, and headbands to my BFF and Personal Representative, Molly, because she will either totally appreciate them or she will sell them in her store and totally appreciate the cash.

I give my Fendi and Dior clothes to my sister, Laura, even though her skinny ass will have to have them taken in several sizes. And i give my fur jacket and scarf collection to Ayumi. Wear them well, my friend. Wear them well.

As for any expensive jewelry my future husband is going to buy for me whether he likes it or not, I leave it all to my mom. Actually, my mom has dibs and first right of refusal on basically everything because I owe her gabillions of dollars.

To my friends I left nothing to, please know that does not mean I didn’t love you. I probably just didn’t love you enough to leave you any of my super cool stuff.

Also, I authorize Molly to pull the plug on me should I ever be hospitalized and no longer able to online shop. Please do not give my future husband plug pulling ability, as surely I will make him crazy and he will pull the plug on me for nothing short of a hangnail.

I know that Jews have closed caskets at their funerals, but if I’m having a good hair day feel free to give people just a peak.

Thank you and Peace Out.

Go Fund Me

Hello. My name is Elisa and I need your help. I need a shit ton of cash to get Neiman Marcus and their band of collection agents off my back. So, through no fault of my own, well not really, well maybe a little, ok so it’s totally my fault, I charged a ton of cute stuff to my Neimans account this year. But the problem is I’m currently unemployed because of, like, the economy. I have a license to practice law but I just can’t bear the thought of wearing those icky, androgynous pantsuits like Hillary Clinton- I don’t care if her clothes are all Armani and Oscar de la Renta, they still look horrible. So what I really need is for you guys to give me money and keep me out of debtor’s prison because no one looks cute under fluorescent lighting. Orange may be the new black, but not with my dark hair and cool undertones.

And here’s the thing, I need your money like right away because the new Fall runway is hitting the stores and I reserved the Fendi coat that Kendall Jenner wore to open the show and I really think it will look amazing on me because at least two people have told me that if you squint really hard and its dark out and possibly a bit foggy that I kind of look like Kendall. And I’ve been working out at the gym all year to look good in this coat and my trainer actually made me do stuff (so rude) and I only ate at Shake Shack sometimes but I compromised and got a single burger instead of a double which is basically dieting and making a huge sacrifice. I even made it through half a day on an intense juice cleanse and gave up carbs for a bit (except for frappacinos which don’t count obviously).   So here is the best part, if you give me your money now you will get the satisfaction of knowing you helped me look really cute and got me back in Neiman’s good graces so I can show my face at Bergdorfs and charge stuff on my account without the SWAT team coming after me. And if you are really lucky you will see me looking fabulous in line at Starbucks in my new Fendi coat. But please don’t touch it or rub up against it or try to talk to me. Ok thanks byeee.

Fall Trend Alert: Patches

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Patches are turning up everwhere for fall 2016. The new collection of canvas Gucci Dionysus bags feature colorful, embroidered patches of flowers, birds, and butterflies. At Marc Jacobs and Anya Hindmarch you can buy assorted patches and stickers for your hangbag and denim jackets. Too lazy to stick them on yourself? Mr. And Mrs. Italy has got you covered with patch heavy parkas and army inspired denim bomber jackets. You don’t have to be a girl scout to get in on the action this fall!

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Is It Fall Yet?

Right now its 88 degrees and sunny with low humidity. But instead of enjoying this beautiful summer day in the city, I’m holed up in my apartment with the blinds closed and the AC blasting. If I do venture out later, I’ll be shellacked head to toe in sunblock spf 90 and wearing head to toe black. No, I’m not a vampire. I’m just one of those girls that despises summer and lives for fall and winter. Quite frankly, I can’t understand why I haven’t found more people like me. How on earth do people actually enjoy dripping in sweat as soon as they head out the door? Or watching your carefully ironed hair turn into a frizzy mop? Or feeling your makeup melt off your skin? Ugh, I just can’t.

I’ve always said, a person can only get so naked in the summer to avoid the heat before they get arrested. But in the winter you can layer up as much as you want in different textures of sweaters and coats and furs and drink delicious hot chocolate (full disclosure: I drink ice lattes all year round).

I don’t think I’ve ever anticipated the fall/winter season as much as this year. 2016 is going to be a glorious fashion season for winter girls. Some winters there are great knits and sweaters, but this time around, its all about the outerwear.

As temperatures begin to drop by late September (God willing), I’m transitioning with jeans and a Moschino mens leather moto jacket with removeable tails or my MM6 faux leather and shearling oversized moto vest from last season’s Joan Shepp sale. When October rolls around, I’ll pair a long gown or sleeveless knit Alaia dess with a Rick Owens black shearling distressed leather vest I scored in last year’s Barneys sale to the opening night of the Opera. And I just got a stunning rasberry pink cashmere capelet from Fendi with mink trim sleeves which will look to die with basically anything. For cooler weather, I’m somewhat emarrassed to admit I got a Yeezy Season One black cropped shearling jacket in the Barneys Warehouse sale. But hey, its gorgeous and it was a steal, so who cares.

Beginning in November I’m dipping into my collection of Lilly E Violetta origin assured fox fur scarves in pink, powder blue, white, and navy for daytime. I throw them over a plain sweater or sweatshirt from Allsaints and black leggings and sneakers to run errands in the city or walk to the gym. (I might break out the pink scarf in October for breast cancer awareness). For nighttime I’m dying to wear my Lilly E Violetta white with black stars fox fur jacket, or my Charlotte Simone shearling puffy bomber. Either piece would look great with jeans and booties, or over a simple tshirt dress and thigh high boots.

But the real deliciousness begins in January or February. For snowdays I’m pulling out my Moncler parka with fur trim hood I got on sale at Neiman Marcus last spring. And chilly, casual days I’m alternating between a grey Louis Vuitton double breasted long coat I purchased at Harrods in 2010, a hot pink Chanel tweed coat with leather ties from 2014, and a new Fendi coat from Look 1 Fall/Winter 2016 runway that I’m obsessed with and will be purhasing when it arrives in August.

Lets talk about Fendi for a moment. Fendi originated as a furrier company and continues to produce some of the most fabulous furs on the runways today. With Karl Lagerfeld as creative director, its no surprise they produced one of the most exciting shows in Milan for the upcoming winter season. Their fur bag bug and Karlito charms have been a huge trend the past couple years (can’t believe I don’t own one what the heck is wrong with me??) and the charms translated to the runway this seaon on fur monster coats. Some people dismiss the look, saying they look like Muppets, but they have a 70s nostalgiac feel that’s pretty fabulous if you can pull it off (I can’t). The coat that I’m lusting after is 3/4 sleeves, blue with a green and white fox fur collar, and oversize button detail. Kendall Jenner wore it down the runway to open the show so naturally, everybody is obsessed and I’ve pretty much based my entire future happiness on the prospect of owning this coat.

Speaking of my life’s happiness, I could be extra deliriously happy if someone were to surprise me with the Marc Jacobs runway leather jacket with blue fur accents on the shoulders. Oh, and I’ll also take a Mr. And Mrs. Italy parka with a pink fur trimmed hood. Just sayin.

Now, complete these looks with Chanel fingerless gloves and a knit beanie (black Thomas Wylde with crystal skull embellisment, for me) and be ready to rule the streets this winter!

Fendi fall/winter 2016 runway. picture from Vogue.com

Fendi fall/winter 2016 runway. picture from Vogue.com

Marc Jacobs fall/winter 2016 runway. picture from Vogue.com

Marc Jacobs fall/winter 2016 runway. picture from Vogue.com

Mr. and Mrs. Italy parka from Barneys.com

Mr. and Mrs. Italy parka from Barneys.com

Royal Baubles from Andrew Prince

This afternoon I met up with British jewelry designer, Andrew Prince, at the Kentshire boutique in Bergdorf Goodman. Mr. Prince brought with him several tiaras he designed for Downton Abbey. For those of you who are unfamilar with the BBC series, he also designed Miss Piggy’s wedding jewels in Muppets Most Wanted. He revealed that Miss Piggy is close to life-size, but he had to make a tiara small enough to sit between her ears. He also spent some time playing with my hair and fitting me with his gorgeous crystal tiaras.

For more information, visit http://www.andrewprince.co.ukimageimage

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Burning Guitars at Philly Fashion Week

Burning Guitars was the standout collection from this evening’s menswear show at The Ritz Carlton. Designer Smiley Jonez uses original textiles based on hand drawn designs. Many of the prints are quilted together using different textures and fabrics, from faux croc and metallics, to fair aisle knits and leather fringe. The collection offers new takes on classic pieces like letterman jackets and apres ski sweaters. There were references to musicians, cartoons, and pop culture icons, as well as influences from race car drivers, retro skating rinks, and Matisse’s cutouts. There was even a jacket with a built-in backpack– talk about functional! Burning Guitars is available at Joan Shepp in Rittenhouse and also makes designs for women with bold prints and figure-flattering lycra.

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