Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Movin' On Out

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We must bid adieu

to the long time home of New York Fashion Week after this Friday. Bryant Park managers were concerend about the evnironmental effects that setting up the fashion show tents were making on the park. Replacing the typically pure white tents at BP this fall, IMG used images of suitcases on the tents and in the fashion week program to signify and remind people that NY Fashion Week is moving to the Lincoln Center starting in February. The central location and beautiful setting of the park will be hard to recreate, not to mention Project Runway contestants will all have a new location to aim for their amateur collections to be shown. Time to squeeze into your highest heels and strut to the upper east side!

Adventures In Shopping

Most girls in New York know about a great shopping experience known as a sample sale. I talked about sample sales before in reference to the Gilt Group, an online sample sale. However, in the city you can actually go to sample sales. Picture a vast bare warehouse with legit designer merchandise at very discount prices (some smaller sample sales are held in designer's showrooms). Then picture women hoarding and fighting over the merchandise until they can walk away satisfied with their new purchases. Laws of finance tell us that great deals go fast, so you know when there is hair pulling going on that you have gone to a great sample sale. The recession also tells us that people will do anything for a deal, thus the increased popularity for these bargain brawls with lines sometimes down the block. The merchandise that ends up at a sample sale is either last season, such as at Doo.Ri, or is sometimes actual samples that were never put into production, as in J Crew's sale.

Designers, dates, and locations of sample sales can always be found on Daily Candy and NY Mag.

I made my most impulsive purchase this summer for a basic patent black tote at the Kate Spade sale on my lunch break, because when you see something you want at a sample sale, if you don't grab it that second, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Good luck.
Miss J, will you teach ME how to walk down a runway?ANTM's Miss J Alexander after the Andy & Debb show on Saturday


Bobbi Brown

New York City; September 10, 2009.
It is safe to say that I have now been in Manhattan for the premier of two very Vogue events. One, Teen Vogue's Fashion University in October of 2006 (see earlier posts). The second, and much more epic, was Fashion's Night Out on September 10. Hosted by Vogue, with the participation and help of the CFDA, FNO proved to be one big fashion party sprawling the streets of New York from Barney's to Bleeker Street. Most stores stayed open until at least 11 pm, designers made in-store appearances and celebrity appearances caused fans to crowd store doors.

The vibe was exciting. There were DJs and drinks, ladies in Louboutains and happy fashionistas everywhere. The idea behind the night was for the world to START SHOPPING. A successful night of increased sales at some stores, and pure fun at others acted as a green light for consumers to start spending once more. It is time for retail to smile again and focus on the positive. Thanks to Vogue, hopefully this idea will resignate throughout the industry.

After flying in 30 min prior to the start of the event, my night started out at a failed attempt to catch a glimpse of Tommy Hilfiger at Macy's Herald Square. I then wandered into Nine West in Rockefeller Plaza where I was greeted by a special wine and apple cocktail as I previewed their new fall boot collection (the brown leather equestrian-inspired ones are my number one fall must-have). I then hurried to Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store to meet (in my opinion) the best makeup producer, Bobbi Brown. The entire first floor of Saks was filled to capactiy with models walking around looking fabulous, makeup consultants giving fall fashion tips, and shoppers hoping to see Justin Timberlake at 8:30. I got some pictures and headed off to Barney's.

I can't afford a pair of Manolo's but I have a picture with him!

I can honestly say I have never seen so many people consuming, not softgoods, but
champagne, than at Barney's New York on September 10. The demand for some bubbly was higher on the 4th floor than for shoes at Barney's! However, the pure mob of people around Manolo is a testament to the quality of his footwear and the impact he has made on the luxurious shoe market.

The shoe lounge at BNY can't really compare to Payless down the street, unless of course Project Runway winner Christian Siriano is making an in-store appearance. His recent collaboration with the moderately priced retailer had PR fans lined up almost a block down the street to hear the word "fierce". Although I will admit, the line to see the Victoria's Secret Angel's stretched 2 blocks deep across the street, sorry Christian. I waited for a half hour before I realized my time was better spent elsewhere and headed downtown.

I'm not good with models, anyone know her name?

Downtown Bleeker street was just as exciting. I showed up as the SATC 2 crew was cleaning up the trailer from filming that day and made my way to the Ralph Lauren store where Camille LaBelle was wandering around. Preppy NYC tweens waited anxiously for Blake Lively to appear later in the night. Sick of waiting, I bought an FNO t-shirt with all proceeds going towards the September 11 memorial fund and made my way across the street to Cynthia Rowley's showroom truck parked outside the store. Trying to accomplish the night from 6:00-midnight (I wore heels the entire night) on only 2 hours of sleep I began to wear down. My night ended in the meatpacking district where I really hoped to see DVF, Tory Burch, and Kate Hudson at Stella McCartney but I missed them all by about 20 minutes.

I must say after a month in the midwest, it felt good to be back in the city. And if there is an FNO part 2 next year, you know where I will be.

Two Thumbs Up

Smile, Anna!

For Anna's documentary movie, The September Issue. The film follows Anna Wintour and her Vogue staff as they create the largest issue of the fashion bible ever, 840 pages in Sepmber 2007. Amidst the photo shoots, layouts, and never ending decision making from the most influential person in the fashion industry, viewers are able to capture the essence of the Vogue life, and all of the emotion and money that goes into producing one issue of the magazine. If this movie doesn't make you love fashion even more than you do now, I don't know what will.

Watch The September Issue trailer here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Saw It Twice

Through the roar of the subway every ten minutes at the Angelika theater in SOHO, I still managed to enjoy every bit of the Valentino movie. This exclusive behind the scenes look at the life of Valentino and the magic behind his brand is portrayed so well in Valentino: The Last Emperor one movie ticket and small bag of popcorn was not enough. If you missed it in select theaters this summer, there is good news. You can buy it now on DVD!


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French Dressing

Some fashion stylists will tell you not to buy the same garment in multiple colors.
Well, I say it's time to break to rules.

When you do find that one article of clothing that makes you feel like a million dollars and fits like it was custom made for your sexy bod, you really have no option but to buy more than one.

I splurged on two of this FCUK dress in red and white from Macy's Herald Square, and
couldn't be more in love.

I justify them by the life lesson...

"Never regret anything that made you smile."

Just Can't Keep Me Away From Manhattan

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The Time Has Come...

...for new beginnings.

After the best summer of my life, I'm back to the Midwest and I couldn't be more convinced that September offers a fresh start to many things:

...a full school schedule of fashion classes including Global Merchandising, Science of Textiles, and Retail Math.

...September issue's of fashion magazines highlighting the trends that will drive business, and your closet for the next year. football. This may not be fashion related but it's a vital part of any fall season.

...a new apartment to decorate.

...and time in my life to BLOG again. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No Excuse

There are no excuses needed to dress up. End of discussion.

Today, my roommate and I decided to beat college laziness by throwing on some cocktail dresses and stilettos (of course) and make the most out of our day. In doing so we realized that at some point society defined a few things for us.

First of all, it has been predetermined that college students shall never wear anything other than jeans and sweats around town on a normal day. We considered the thought of wearing heels or dressing up for class one day, and then quickly seized when we realized how scrutinized we would get for doing so. It is awful that our society makes a mockery out of those who attempt at looking their best every moment of their day. As we walked out of Wal-Mart, all dressed up, a lady kinda acknowledged us by telling us to, "keep struttin' your stuff!" and that she really, "needed to work on her inner diva as well." It was at this point that we realized the next thing society defines for us is having a reason to wear a dress and heels. At our next stop, He's Just Not That Into You, the man seated next to us at the movie boldly proceeded to ask why we were dressed up. Do you have to have a reason? When did it become necessary to have an occasion to look your best? We told him "just because," and we were completely satisfied with that answer. But the real reasons we looked so nice we these:

Fashion is empowerment. Amidst any persecution or strange looks we encountered today, we still felt good about ourselves through it all because we took a stand against the norm (and some slightly envied it).

Fashion is an outward expression of your inner bliss
. On Saturday morning when you wake up (mid-afternoon) to 70 degree weather and a positive outlook on life, this will most likely be reflected in your wardrobe choices for the day.

And finally we did it because according to Catherine O'Neill, fashion is a canvas with legs. We have become so caught up in the idea of what others will think of us that we are afraid to make bold fashion choices anymore, especially by ourselves. If fashion is your art, never put your paintbrush down. Be a fashion leader. Don't be ashamed of showing off your style because chances are more people will envy you than detest you.

In conclusion, there is no excuse to have an excuse for what you are wearing. Take a trend and make an outfit out of it. Who really cares?

You only get one life, live it in style.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It Happened

The email read: "Good to talk to you. This is a confirmation that you will be a Tobe intern this summer." I screamed. I started to hyperventilate. I ran upstairs to share the news with the parents who would be funding this dream opportunity. To catch you up a little, Tobe stands for The Tobe Report. Based on Fashion Ave in New York City, this small company focuses on trend forecasting, retail analysis, and fashion consulting. They work with some of the top people in the industry to strategize decisions ultimately affecting what you buy and wear. Following their forecasting predictions, they send out an almost weekly report to major retail stores highlighting what's in, what's out, and what's everything in between. Eleven weeks of my summer season are now officially devoted to the New York fashion scene. Yes, it's finally happening.

Are you a New York fashion intern too? Let me know!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stepping Onto The Runway

"Fashion shows only last 15 min, but in a crowd of 1,000 that's 15,000 minutes of memories."
- Andre Leon Talley

Columbia, Missouri; It takes endless hours and days of preparation to put on a fashion show that lasts only a few short minutes. This fall I learned first hand what it takes to put on such a production.
It was marketed as the Tonic Fall Fashion Show, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network. It was the first show me and my co-director, Emma had ever put on. We didn't have any direction nor were we aware of what we were getting ourselves into. First came talking with the venue to figure out what they wanted, followed by contacting models, a failed attempt at a casting call, getting participation from local boutiques, organizing backstage, rehearsals, selling tickets, and getting the word out. The show consumed both of our lives and left us with little free time. After some unexpected road blocks, and a lot of pressure to be successful, the night of November 12 finally came. The show ran flawlessly. It was a fantastic night and an even better experience.

Model poses on the runway


Backstage manager Amanda Weiss gets models in order

All the male models, with Factory Green, Inc. owners and Tonic Fall Fashion Show coordinators

The managers behind the scenes

Mark and Zach, in green, waiting backstage

Me, with two of the boys before the show

All photos credit of Catherine O'Neill.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gilty Pleasure

Welcome to The Gilt Group, where all of your fashion dreams come true.

The Gilt Group offers online designer apparel and accessories
at sample sale prices! Sales last for about a day and a half, or until all of the merchandise is gone. All sales start at noon eastern time, and to get the good stuff you need purchase fast (the perfect cotton spring dress by ADAM was bought 2 seconds before I could click purchase - very disappointing). Along with women's wear, they offer a selection of men's, children's and home goods as well. This website now consumes my lunch hour.

To fight for your perfectly priced pieces, visit

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Sometimes it's hard to walk in a single woman's shoes, that's why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk more fun."
- Carrie Bradshaw

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Watch Where You Walk

The following is a brief account about how sometimes your stilettos can take a step in the wrong direction.

There are dreary days in New York City when it rains. The crowded streets become clogged with umbrellas and one must watch where they walk to avoid these perilous little things called puddles. When touring the city for the first time in 2006 for Teen Vogue's Fashion University, I found it isn't enough for just myself to avoid puddles, you must walk on the side of the sidewalk farthest from the street. If not, you may find you and your pretty shoes soaking wet from the taxi that was not so puddle-conscious. The cold splash came as a surprise to me and my feet, and I don't even want to think about all of the local onlookers saying to themselves "tourist" after the ill-fated event. The morale of this story is that high heels can be a great thing, just watch your step.

The Next Step

In fashion, people are always changing jobs. After a few months at Express, it was time for me to move on to Columbia, Missouri where I began to work at one of the local downtown boutiques, Elly's Couture. Young and energetic Elly began her store a few short years ago. She specializes in trends from LA, and is one of two Columbia, Missouri boutiques to carry Betsey Johnson dresses. Going from corporate retail to a small independently owned boutique was quite a change. Although I enjoyed my semester at Elly's I think I prefer to work in a faster paced environment.
I can't mention Elly's Couture without reminicsing of another defining fashion moment in my life. It was the day Elly decided to carry men's Lacoste. I showed up for work and spent the rest of the day going through the Lacoste product catalog and marking what items to buy for the store based on her consumer demographic. I loved every minute of it.

Rather Fabulous

Fall 2008 - For most most college students that meant football games, tailgates, following politics, and the first sign of winter. For me, it was all that and some extra special outfits for some extra special events.

Fabulous Event #1
The Faculty Alumni Awards at the University of Missouri

What I wore: Black Pearl Dress by Nanette Lepore

Fabulous Event #2

Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity Formal

What I wore: H&M Trench coat (yes, the same one seen on Lauren Conrad in season 2 of
The Hills) over a silk leopard print bebe dress.

Fabulous Event #3
Kappa Alpha Theta Semi-Formal

What I wore: Silver silk dress with beaded embellishments (designer unknown)
Pictured here with my friend's BCBG gold cocktail dress

Fabulous Event #4
The Veiled Prophet Debutante Ball in St. Louis

What I wore: A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz light pink silk one shoulder dress from my secret obsession Saks Fifth Avenue designer bargain store, Off 5th

Loving Lanvin

Every now and then, oh alright, every day, I must satisfy the fashion cravings inside me. I do so with various forms of media from the latest books, to monthly magazines, to daily trade publications, to podcasts. My favorite itunes fashion podcast is Style Videos by At the double click of a designer name you can watch an under-5-minute video reliving their latest show from backstage to front row. Most critics would agree Lanvin made quite the highlight at Paris Fashion Week for Spring 09. Albert Elbaz got it right presenting fabulous vibrant dresses and very wearable, aestietically pleasing garments.

You can check out the entire collection by searching Style Videos on itunes or visiting

Read Of The Week

This past week of holiday break proved relaxation was much in need. No, I did not attend any fancy parties or hold any of my own. Instead I sat in my Montana mountain retreat and read a new book - Some Like It Haute. This light fictitious story follows a fashion editor at Paris Fashion Week as she deals with designers, embarrassment, and the love of her life. If you need a little bit more Jimmy Choo and CHANEL in your life, this is another way to emerse yourself in fashion. Au revior!