Tuesday, August 31st 2010

Labor Day Apparel: Everybody’s Packing for the Weekend


Going somewhere this weekend?  Whether it’s a BBQ, a pool party, or the World’s Largest Brat Fest, 90% of the fun is just being there. And the other 10% is looking good while doing it. Here’s a style checklist to ensure that you reach your full enjoyment potential:

(1) The sun is up, there’s a pleasant breeze, and someone suggests a game. What can you wear that is both adorable and suitable for playing anything from croquet to flag football? A romper by Rag & Bone/JEAN. Check.

(2) That was a great game, but, blazes, it got hot. Let’s all change and then get some lunch, maybe even a few drinks. You’ll need a frock that’s elegant yet relaxed. The Flower Garden Dress by Free People. Check.

(3) Hey, the sun’s starting to set, but there’s going to be a bonfire to keep this party rolling. A light sweater to ward off both the evening chill and buzzing mosquitoes is mandatory. Plastic Island Remix Sheer Panel Pullover. Check.

(4) Next Tuesday, when you are back to work but, really, just updating your Facebook, bask in all the wardrobe compliments you receive. Check and double check.


Tuesday, August 31st 2010

First Fashion: Vintage Nostalgia

(1) (2) (3)

Fall is fast approaching, and this year it comes with a trunkful of time-tested pieces so classic they’ll make you feel like you’re on the set of Little Women. Granny booties, Fair Isle knits, and fur-trimmed outerwear: it’s the perfect wardrobe for gathering apples or snuggling in for a long autumn’s evening.

(1) Giuseppe Zanotti’s black satin granny booties are sweetly Victorian, but the sky-high stiletto heel keeps them firmly grounded in the present. Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain Button Boots

(2) Fair Isle with a home-spun quality, this Rag & Bone sweater is just the thing to cast a cozy, homey glow over the grey days to come. Rag & Bone – Grayling Sweater

(3) Adrienne Landau’s rabbit fur scarf is a beautiful throwback to a more luxurious, more refined time. Adrienne Landau – Rex Infinity Scarf


Monday, August 30th 2010

Strange but True: Olivier Theyskens for Theory Clothing


I’ve long associated the Theory brand with dressing for job interviews, work presentations, and other high-anxiety situations where I want to put something on and pretty much forget about it. The ultimate in failsafe fashion, Theory is beloved for quality and fit, but let’s be honest, it’s not a label known for groundbreaking design masterpieces.

All of that is about to change. A savvy re-envisioning of the line includes a capsule collection from Olivier Theyskens (Belgian designer of Nina Ricci and Rochas fame) for spring 2011, and styling direction for fall 2010 from none other than Isabel Dupré (watch for our exclusive video starring Dupré in October). Both promise to bring some much-needed excitement to the brand’s core ethos of value and everyday-wearability. In Theyskens’s words (via The New York Times): “For a long time I have been thinking about affordable fashion—you can be disappointed when not so many people can wear your stuff.”

Oh indeed, Olivier. And as more women mix high with low—one of the main points made in a recent article highlighting Shopbop in The New York Times—it makes sense that the fashion industry itself would begin crossing contemporary with couture. (Also see Erin Fetherston for Juicy Couture and Marni for Current/Elliott.) These collections present a welcome middle ground for those of us who are willing to invest in inspired design but don’t have an HRH before our names.

So please, keep those couture/contemporary collaborations coming! A few suggestions from my personal wish list should Andrew Rosen or any executives from LVMH or the Richemont Group happen to be looking for ideas:

  1. Rick Owens for James Perse
  2. Balmain for L.A.M.B.
  3. Celine for Elie Tahari

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of Theyskens’s Theory collection in our spring 2011 NYFW coverage.


Monday, August 30th 2010

First Fashion: Fall Runway Favorites

Marc (1) Diavf (2) Venac (3)

Runway to Shopbop launched today, making it a cinch to find the pieces I’ve been waiting for since February. (And, with our video feature, to see them in motion on the catwalk.) Any one of these fall runway frocks will make it infinitely easier to say goodbye to summer:

(1) The silhouette of this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress may be ladylike, but the sheer bodice is all vamp. Play it safe by layering a top underneath, or go daring with a racy, lacy black bra. Marc by Marc Jacobs – Frankie Stripe Dress

(2) I’ve clicked through Diane von Furstenberg’s runway show countless times since last fashion week, and with a burnout velvet pattern and a swirl of colors, this unique dress was a standout. Diane von Furstenberg – Elliso Dress

(3) Though the fedoras and printed maxi dresses of Vena Cava’s fall collection lent it a ’70s sensibility, the offbeat details on this dress make it thoroughly modern. Vena Cava – Filament Dress


Friday, August 27th 2010

BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND Makes Beautiful Clothing Together


I'm going to be honest with you: I didn’t always know much about fashion. At one point, my sartorial knowledge consisted entirely of phrases I had overheard while my girlfriend watched Project Runway, and I stopped just short of concluding my Shopbop cover letter with a terse "Auf wiedersehen." Jen, my girlfriend, saw what I had written and gently encouraged me to do some actual research on the topic before writing a second draft. Many copies of Vogue later and here I am, waxing poetic about how to choose between a balconette and a plunge bra.

As well as Jen and I work together, we shouldn’t literally work together every day. The bickering and subsequent smooching would ensure that nothing profitable could ever happen. This is why BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND is so impressive. Sweetheart designers Kevin Circosta and Rachel Pally are a cohesive unit: encouraging, complementing, and inspiring. Except for the fact that when Rachel Pally borrowed her boyfriend's well-worn plaid button-down it became the impetus for their new line, I imagine they have a relationship similar to mine and Jen's.


Friday, August 27th 2010

IFB Evolving Influence Conference, NYC Sept. 9

Calling all fashion bloggers! The Independent Fashion Bloggers Evolving Influence conference is slated to take place Thursday, Sept. 9, in NYC. We’ll be there, and we hope to see you, too!

Register now.

Friday, August 27th 2010

#FollowFriday Twitter Crush: @rachelstrugatz

Twitter. Like Facebook, What’s New, and Bloglovin’, we check it obsessively. And, admittedly, we have a few favorites on our follow list. We’ve decided to pick those favorites’ fashionable brains and ask them to pick a few of their Shopbop faves every Friday in our own version of #FF. This week: online editor and reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and WWD.com, Rachel Strugatz.

Helmt (1) Helmt sweater (2) Rebec (3)

Twitter Name: @rachelstrugatz

Real Name: Rachel Strugatz

Occupation: Online editor and reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and WWD.com, and editor of WWD.com’s Social Studies.

Favorite Designer(s): Helmut Lang, Thakoon, Derek Lam, Alexander Wang, J Brand, Steven Alan flannels, Rick Owens, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Lanvin, and for jewelry, Fallon, Dannijo, and Assad Mounser.

Last Purchase: This answer is plural, as I went on a Helmut Lang and Alexander Wang binge last month due to the onslaught of online sales and the emails that won’t stop reminding me about them. I also bought a white button-down from Rag & Bone and pleated harem pants by Tibi, which are the perfect weight of jersey with just the right amount of slouch. I’m also obsessed with JNBY’s grey cutout sweater, my new brass Fallon choker, and Dannijo’s Jacinda rings–I just got two so I can wear them together.

Why do you tweet? I write and report about social media, so Twitter is a crucial medium for me. I monitor it compulsively and get many of my scoops this way. It’s an up-to-the-minute source to see what designers and brands are up to. I tweet about everything–the latest social media goings-on, the Loeffler Randall leopard print booties I’m lusting for, or my daily Chex Mix fix.

When you’re not tweeting you’re: Well, when I’m not cruising the interwebs, I’m teaching myself a crash course in gourmet cooking, styling my friends (whether they ask for it or not), spinning at Equinox, or watching re-runs of my sister-from-another-mother Bethenny in Bethenny Getting Married.

About Rachel’s Picks:
(1) My uniform consists of black skinny pants nearly every day, so leather leggings are a necessity for me (almost like food, water, or air). Many people are scared of leather because it’s so edgy, but when paired with a tee and a cardigan, blazer or flannel, they become interchangeable with any other skinny black pants. Trust me. Helmut Lang – Skinny Leather Pants

(2) I’m a sucker for anything tattered and torn. This is a sweater I could live in, whether paired with skinny jeans, black pants, or leather leggings. It can also take you from day to night: with a tank underneath it’s definitely work-appropriate (read: only if you work in fashion), or you can wear it out with just a black bra, teetering 5-inch Givenchy booties, and spikey Assad Mounser bangles (because that’s what I would do and will do once I get my hands on this sweater). Helmut Lang – Crop Sweater

(3) I love Rebecca Taylor because it gives my wardrobe a much needed dose of softness without being too girly. It balances out my plaid shirts, oversized tees and tanks, black pants, and aggressive footwear and jewelry. This vest makes a statement, so the rest of your outfit could be totally subdued. Leather leggings, a white tee, and BAM, this cardigan makes the outfit. Plus, it doubles as a jacket until it gets too cold here in NYC. Rebecca Taylor – Fab Faux Fur Vest

Thursday, August 26th 2010

Act Like a Lady: Ladylike Fall Handbags

“Act like a lady.”

Throughout high school and even during breaks from college, these were the last four words my mom said to me every time I left the house to go out with friends. After years of laughing it off, I’m finally heeding her advice. Fall is ripe for the picking with elegant silhouettes, but perhaps the biggest story in this return to feminine refinement is the ladylike bag.

Paired with a tailored jacket and a full skirt, a well-defined Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag is the finishing touch on a genteel look. It’s an obvious match and feels grown-up, sophisticated. The trend works with the downtown set as well. Played against type, a ’50s-esque Alexander Wang bag is stylishly ironic, but in a genuine way. It’s the put-together piece in a deconstructed look. But perhaps the most natural match for these structured carryalls is the casual, soft silhouette. Tory Burch or Rebecca Minkoff bags add a welcomed, subtle weight to an airy form.


Thursday, August 26th 2010

Quotable: The New York Times on Shopbop

Read the On the Runway blog post.
Read the NYT article.

Thursday, August 26th 2010

First Fashion: A Foreign Adventure

(1) (2) (3)

I just finished reading Out of Africa, and while I understand this isn’t the 1930s and I’m not headed off on a brazen adventure involving horses and bonfires, there’s no reason I can’t dress the part on my next excursion to the library.

(1) J.W. Hulme & Co.’s tote is modern in its functionality and vintage in its sophisticated silhouette. J.W. Hulme Co. - Sahara Excursion Tote

(2) Oversized yet distinctly feminine, Theory’s simple button-down could be the basis of infinite outfits. Theory - Macina Collared Shirt

(3) Like all Tory Burch’s designs, these boots are the perfect union of on-trend and timeless. Tory Burch - Patterson Logo Riding Boots


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