Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kelis's Hair Revolution: She's Still Bringing Them To The Yard!

Peep this little diddy I did for the j-o:

I really enjoyed working on this photo gallery. So ahead of her time that Mrs. Jones...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Matthew Williamson at H&M!

It's no secret that I have a thing for British fashion designers and Matthew Wiliamson is at the top of my fave list. And now the genius behind Kelis's bold and ridiculously fly green wedding gown is designing not one but two lines for H&M.

Yes, I'm serious.

WWD broke the deets on Thursday and I couldn't be happier about it. As much as I admire Matthew's talent, I can't afford his stuff (yet) so I honestly don't own any of his pieces. But come April 23rd, that will all change. Williamson's first, limited edition women's collection will debut at 200 H&M stores nationwide. As an encore, H&M will unveil styles for men and women by M.W. in all 1,700 locations.

Williamson shared with WWD that he was inspired by the idea of the colors of a peacock feather for the collections. Of course, he's turned to the peacock often in his work as he did for his Smythson of Bond Street collabo. The first limited collection is scheduled to feature cashmere, leather (!), sequins and embroidery and retail prices will range from $49.90 for shorts to $349 for a ruffle gown.

I just hope that I'm not disappointed with the looks up close in personal as I was with the Marimekko line at H&M last year. The prints were not nearly as rich and memorable in person as I had hoped they would be. I'll let you guys know how I do with Matthew next month.

Off to take a disco nap before I meet up with the amigos to go bowling. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shoe Bargain!

Check these babies out:

Cute, right? And can you believe that they are only twenty bucks??!! I am truly a bargain shopper and rarely ever pay retail so these Payless wedges even got me more than a little excited. I can start wearing them in about a month or so with jeans/pants and then pair them with skirts and dresses throughout the summer. Now, I'll be the first to admit that these shoes might be hideous in person but I have no problems returning them should I not like them in person. Payless has definitely stepped up their designs and quality in recent seasons (peep the site for all the higher-end designer collabos). I am not ashamed (in the least) of wearing Payless shoes if I like them and they're made well. I will however be ashamed if I haven't made a move to own my second property within the next 2 years. I'm trying to remember that my wants are very different from my needs (according to Suze Orman and my mother, not enough of us do) and I certainly don't need another pair of shoes. Oy vey, being a grown-up... Anyhoo, I will probably order them later today so I'll let you know what they look like in person next week! (LOL)

P.S. - Any Payless shoe wearers out there? Leave me a comment and tell me if your Payless shoe purchases have helped or hurt your shoe game.

P.P.S. - Is anyone else strangely drawn to BET's Harlem Heights besides me? Sure I have my issues with it --trust-- but I have been watching. For those of you who have been too, how ADORABLE is Jason's daughter???? The cornrows, the beads, the big brown eyes, the way she looks up at her dad...that father-daughter relationship is probably the best (and most "real") part of the reality show. Do you agree or not? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Have You Seen Her?

2003: Near my London flat.

I'm very proud of the young lady in the above picture. She quit her "good" job to chase a dream of living abroad, in expensive a** London specifically. Nevermind that she was unemployed for over a year when she returned home to the States. Somehow, she managed to never get behind in any of her bills with freelance work and a part-time retail gig. Never mind that she didn't stay as long as she originally planned to either. She still jet-setted all around Europe and even spent an eventful night at Gatwick Airport trying to get to Prague (never made it to Prague but the memories are priceless nonetheless).

I'm also proud of the young woman who purchased her maternal grandparent's home (and the acres of land it sits on) because she wanted the property to stay in the family. Had she thought about it too much she probably would not have done it. Sure becoming a homeowner was an important goal of hers but making sure that her kin's strong legacy was maintained was far greater. The process all went by sort of quickly and she even impresses herself to know that she pulled it off and is not only a homeowner but a landlord. All by age 30.

And then there is the woman who took a chance on love (and still is quite frankly) simply to please herself -- no one or nothing else. She honestly still questions her decision from time to time but always comes to the same conclusion: He makes my heart smile. Love is one thing but forgiving? That forgiving thing is strictly for grown folks. I'm not talking about blind forgiveness either, that would just be dumb. But letting your guard down long enough to allow yourself to be happy...I'm overwhelmingly proud of her for that.

So where has this woman gone? If she's been able to accomplish all these things, why won't she get out of her own way long enough to complete that project she's been talking about for over a year? Maybe it is because she worries that at 33, she isn't where she "should" be in her career. Maybe it is because she wonders if she is indeed too idealistic in thinking that she can have it all (in due time): the career she dreams about, the hubby and the kid or kids. And while everyone tells her how proud he would be/is of her accomplishments, she still occasionally ponders on whether she has made (and will continue to make) her father proud.

But lately, she realizes that her career path is not straight but she really wouldn't have it any other way. The hubby and the kids will not be enjoyable if she's not happy with who she is first. (She got that gem from DVF herself.) And truthfully, she's gonna disappoint her Dad and herself here and there. But how lame would life be if she didn't make some mistakes? Every now and again we all lose sight of ourselves but thank goodness I found the woman in the picture. And thank God she's back and ready to rock!

(Writing about myself in 3rd person is wierd but I had to do this. It was like therapy. Thanks for understanding that I needed PPT to be my journal for this post.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I don't wanna toot my own horn but...

I'm enjoying this weekend so much and it just started. It's the little things like wearing my wifebeater and sweats while reading the Real Estate section of the New York Times on my comfy sofa in between my mom catching me up on the N.C. fam on a Saturday morning that make me happy. Awww, life is good.

Remember this? Maybe those chicks at Vogue read PPT??? LOL! (I kid, I kid.)

But on to business. Be sure to read the article, "Heavy-Metal Manicure" on page 154 of the April 2009 issue of Vogue. (It's the issue with Bouncy on the cover.) My girl, manicurist Lisa Logan got a huge shout-out for her Minxing skills in the piece. Yep, the same Minx I wrote about here on PPT months ago. Big C, a fellow magazine junkie, alerted me of the piece. Lisa is so modest (and busy) that she forgets to tell me these things herself. Lisa, the best is yet to come!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shopping Like A Rich Woman

Happy Friday!

So in yesterday's WWD, I noticed a charticle on spending habits that I found quite amusing. The piece shows a snapshot of the top, midtier and discount stores where consumers with annual incomes of $250,000 or more said they've been shopping. Interesting, right? Now, perhaps because I was an advertising, marketing and communications major I tend to take surveys like these with a grain of salt. I'm sure the sample was small, I know first-hand that folks say what they typically think others want to hear, etc. Still, the result of this research is pretty telling. See for yourself:

1 - Target, 46.2 percent

2 - Costco, 39.5 percent

3 - Macy's, 38.6 percent

4 - Nordstrom, 31.9 percent

5 - Wal-Mart, 25.9 percent

6 - Kohl's, 20.6 percent

7 - Bloomingdale's, 19.3 percent

8 - T.J. Maxx, 18.6 percent

9 - Sam's Club, 18.2 percent

10 - Neiman Marcus, 16.4 percent

11 - J.C. Penney, 14.2 percent

12 - Lord & Taylor, 12.5 percent

13 - Saks Fifth Avenue, 12.3 percent

14 - Dillard's, 11.5 percent

15 - Sears, 11.1 percent

16 - Barneys New York, 7.2 percent

17 - Kmart, 6.9 percent

18 - Bergdorf Goodman, 5.8 percent

Now keeping all things in perspective: is an annual personal income of $250,000 high? (in most parts of the country it certainly is), were most of the people surveyed married and/or have children, what part of the country was the survey conducted in...yada, ya... I still think it is safe to say that over half of the top 10 stores (including the number one spot) being discount retailers gives us a real window into the minds of those who what to make their dollar stretch. I happen to LOVE Target (where else can I get a mop, a scented candle, a dress and deodorant under one roof?) and make far less than 250K a year but I've long noticed that Target, Sam's Club, Costco, and T.J. Maxx stores are rarely ever in the neighborhoods that seem to need them the most. Hmmmm.

I'm clearly opening up a much bigger can of worms and I will certainly revisit this topic later. But, in the meantime I'd like to know of the stores listed above, where do you shop most and why? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

Btw, I thought that title would grab your attention. ;-) A whole 'notha can of worms is what constitutes someone being rich, right? All relative my friends, all relative. But do remember that the survey consisted of those with personal annual salaries of 250K or more, NOT household salaries of 250K or more. Huge difference.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What Recession?: Vintage Shopping 101

Okay so the recession is very real but I refuse to moan and groan about it. That old saying about the happiest people not having the most of everything but rather making the most of what they do have couldn't be more timely. And it applies to how we dress as well.

Enter vintage shopping. Vintage has been "hip" for a minute now but folks are looking to vintage and secondhand (or third or forth) even more to make a dollar stretch. Um, keeping your home off the foreclosure block or ensuring Junior stays at University is more important than a new Gucci purse, right????

But I know many people are intimidated by vintage shopping. So, I dug up an article I penned for a custom published mag nearly 4 years ago on vintage shopping. Here are a few highlights:

*The first lesson on vintage shopping is to understand exactly what it is. Constance White, fashion expert and style director for eBay explains, "A garment generally has to be at least 10 years old for it to be considered vintage."

*The best vintage items are probably right under your nose, or in your attic. Search through Grandma's chest and you just might uncover the perfect little clutch you've been looking for. Remember this post about shopping in your own closet?

*If you're saving your pennies (Who isn't these days?), stay away from vintage stores in places like NYC's Soho or Washington's Georgetown. Vintage doesn't always mean inexpensive and touristy areas usually mean higher price tags. Instead, opt for Goodwill, Salvation Army, garage/yard sales and flea markets off the beaten path.

*Fret not if you don't strike gold on your first vintage adventure. It might take a few visits to the same store before you land that must-have item.

*Before determining whether you really have a bargain, check for missing buttons, permanent stains and other damage like rips. Only you can know for sure if the repair costs will be worth it in the long run.

*Wearing head-to-toe vintage is quite a challenge to pull off--even for a vet. Try to stick to mixing elements of vintage into your existing contemporary wardrobe. The result is more likely to be modern and sophisticated than dated and weird.

Friday, March 13, 2009

One to Watch: Miguel Antoinne

It's been too long. *Sigh* I have no "good" excuses for not posting either so I'll just get to it.

Fall 2009 Fashion Week wasn't a big "to do" for me this season. While I didn't get invited to much, I didn't hustle as I have in the past for invites either. I have delayed reactions so perhaps the reason for my blah attitude will be revealed to me later. Although I only went to a handful of fashion week events last month, there was one designer I discovered that I must sing the praises of: MIGUEL ANTOINNE.

Looks from Miguel Antoinne's Fall 2009 debut collection.

My coworker invited me to attend Miguel's event at a posh east side NYC hotel penthouse and I obliged. Tastemakers like Lloyd Boston were in the house, drinks were flowing, complimentary hand massages by Aveda were plenty. (Love Lloyd btw! Check him out on his new Fine Living show, Closet Cases.) The vibe was cool, this is the same event I met Kwame at, but the clothes were FIRE! Miguel specializes in menswear. A fellow F.I.T. alum, his foray into fashion began with him working as a buyer for one of the nation's leading retailers. Miguel's Fall 2009 debut collection is made primarily from Italian and Japanese fabrics and was inspired by gangsters of the 1920s. The details are ridiculous: oversized pockets, constrast top stitching, unique blending of cashmere and pony-hair. His color palette is pretty basic with grey, black and pops of white and beige but the garments were anything but. Miguel's collection put me in the mind of Paul Smith and that is always a good thing.

Miguel (front and center with arms folded) poses for a pic with models during his Fall 2009 presentation. Isn't he a cutie?

Time will tell whether or not Miguel will make it at retail for seasons to come. One thing that makes me feel confident he will (so many young, talented designers don't unfortunately) is his experience as a buyer. While the price points were way out of my league or most that I know, there is certainly a market for his offerings. Plus, Miguel's clothes are investment purchases not a wear for 2 or 3 seasons and then toss type purchases.

Check his stuff out for yourself here.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

P.S. - As of tomorrow, I'm back to posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Paula, I'm sorry!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

First Lady Sleeveless Drama

My bad. I'm swamped y'all. I plan to post (late) tonight but in the meantime, check out this gallery I worked on for the j-o. It has been getting an enormous amount of feedback so I thought I'd share with my PPT folx.

I personally think that Mrs. Obama's arms are the LEAST of America's worries right now. What do you guys think?

Enjoy and Happy Thursday!