Dispatch Vest – $125; Photo: Shopbop Dot Com
I was just flipping through the current issue of Lucky magazine, and the editors were asked this question – what WOULD they get for Spring, if they could only buy one thing? They answered with the following:
Normally this is a question I would answer, knowing full well that I would buy whatever the hell I wanted, one item be damned. However, given my financial goals and budget, it might be a good idea to choose one key item for the Spring.
I wouldn’t even know what to pick! I have plenty of shoes, I suppose I am good on tops and blazers/cardigans/jackets, so I am thinking a great pair of pants might be the place to start. But….pants? That sounds so boring. I’ve already decided what I love for Spring, how could I ever choose?
What about you? Have you started thinking about what you want for Spring? Have you made a list? Are you on a shopping budget? Is there a particular item or items you’ve already got your eye on?
I studied abroad in London for a short time during college. While there, I lived in Kensington, between Gloucester Road and Queen’s Gate. I was in the city to secure an internship, it was my main reason for going. The organization my school worked with placed me at a PR firm, which was terribly uninteresting. I had hoped to intern at a magazine, but instead I found myself running out to buy fruit for clients (I’m looking at you, Mary J Blige) and receiving piles of samples from the couriers who raced between our office and the offices of Cosmo, Elle and Vogue. I hated it, and I managed to talk our program director into letting me quit, opting instead to do research at the V&A for my credits.
I shopped a lot while in London. An obscene amount, in fact. While there I discovered tons of shops that I had never seen in the states, and found that London high street shops were brilliant at interpreting trends for cheap, much more so than American retailers. Since that time (2002), a few European retailers have made their way to the states – H&M, Zara, Mango, Jigsaw, etc. I find myself sad when I read through UK magazines, that I no longer have immediate access to the those great shops. So, I decided to gather some websites together!
A great site for researching London shopping is Street Sensation. In fact, I can recall looking through this site before I even left, years ago. The site actually has live photos of the streets, which has been fun for me in retrospect, as I can virtually walk my old commute from Sloane Square, a mile down King’s Road to my job at Halpern. In fact, you can even see my office!
While in London, I spent the first month hitting the Starbucks by my apartment. The coffee was 10 times more delicious than what they sold in the states. I found out, however, that the reason my mochas were so yummy was because I was not requesting “skinny” drinks, meaning I was getting whole milk. Soon after I swapped to Coffee Republic. Costa Coffee was another favorite.
The first store I hit up was Harrod’s, for obvious reasons. Then came Harvey Nichols. I couldn’t afford to buy much at either store, but the food halls were amazing. Also, I credit the boy at the YSL counter at Harrod’s for introducing me to YSL Touché Eclat and Clarins Beauty Balm, which I still use.
My next stop was the flagship Topshop store on Oxford. I still miss that place. Nearby I would hit up H&M, HMV, Zara and French Connection. I can recall seeing Kylie Minogue’s “Love At First Sight” video while waiting in line at Topshop and I totally fell in love with her. And, my first name starts with a ‘K” and I totally wanted her earring. That song still reminds me of the store.
I would often walk from my apartment to Kensington high street, using the small back streets. It was upscale, with cute shops, and it was quiet. When I’d emerge on the high street I’d hit up shops like Selfridges, Jigsaw, Dune, Muji, Whistles, Monsoon, Oasis and Warehouse. An intersecting street, Church, had a cute shops including Office, Sweaty Betty and a super awesome shoe store.
On the way home, I would often go to Oddbins, which was on the corner of my street. Before leaving abroad, I had read “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” and always wondered what this “Oddbins” she spoke of was about. The guys at the store would always get on my case because I called it a liquor store. “We’re a WINE SHOP.” I’d buy cases of Australian chardonnay, which was delicious and dirt cheap.
Down the street was Boot’s, which essentially filled the same needs as Rite Aid or Long’s back home.
When commuting home from work, I would always shop along King’s Road, which remains one of my favorite streets in the city. There were some great stationery shops, the UK is known for beautiful paper products. Peter Jones was on the corner just outside of my tube stop, although I rarely went in. Other favorites were Joseph and Habitat, where I bought a lot of stuff for my apartment.
Aside from lots of shopping at the Portobello Market and small stores in Notting Hill, I also liked the following stores:
I have a love-hate thing for Net-a-Porter, that evil luxury web retailer who lures me in with beautiful designer clothes and teases me with fantastic sales. For the record, I HAVE shopped the site before (I’m in debt for a reason, after all) and, if you can afford it, I highly recommend their sales.
I received an email this morning asking me to “shop the new 80’s.” The 80’s were bad enough for fashion the first time around. Granted, I was age 1-10 during the 80’s, but I’ve seen enough photographs and movies to make this claim with complete confidence. That said, I enjoyed some of the 80’s revivals seen on the spring and fall runways, and I figured I could pull a few pieces worthy of 2009.
From the site’s edited picks:
I’m blazer-obsessed, and I would love a white blazer. I know, it’s a bit Miami Vice, but I like it. And McCartney is known for her brilliant tailoring when it comes to suiting. Stella McCartney blazer, $1,795.
I love heels, I love them high, and I love them loud. These super bright stilettos would be awesome with jeans and a white tee-shirt, or paired with a great black dress. I WANT THEM. Alexander McQueen patent platform pumps, $860.
I’m loving the floaty skirt paired with the leather bodice. I also love that it’s short. Kova & T one-shoulder dress, $510.
I adored this dress on the runway and when Gwyneth wore it. This is one of the few sweetheart necklines, a huge trend for spring, that I actually liked. Stella McCartney dress, $2,595.
I decided to pick a few items of my own that I felt represented the “new 80’s.” Items that I would wear, that is.
A skinny pair of jeans that hit at the ankle are a must, and the zipper adds a screaming 80’s element. Stella McCartney ankle zip jeans, $325.
I am loving this metallic-treated bomber jacket; it’s totally updated Top Gun. Rick Owens jacket, $2,500.
Throwing some neon into the mix, this Marni suede bag is HOT. Marni suede frame bag, $1,090.
The cork sole on this shoe made me think of a updated Candie’s mule. Pedro Garcia leather sandals, $475.
Normally I would not be attracted to this dress (too loud), but I found myself oddly drawn to it. I love the color, it hints at neutral red/navy blue and it would be cute alone or paired with jeans. MCQ dress, $415.
I tend to like my jewelry big or dainty – kind of how I like my shoes flat or sky-high. This necklace feels bad-ass, I love it. ACB tiered fringe necklace, $300.
Another McCartney blazer, this one extra long with cool, elongated lapels. Stella McCartney silk blazer, $2.055.
This reminded me of a Lite-Brite. Remember those? See by Chloé bag, $640.
All Images: Net-a-Porter
I was looking through some old photos and I ran across this shot a friend took one night while we were getting ready to go out. And it made me wonder……is anyone wearing these hippie, embroidered, peasant tops anymore? I feel like I never see them, and I love them. I miss them.
I say we stage a comeback. Who’s with me?
I took a break from the shows, as you can tell – and I missed some big ones (Philip Lim and Ralph Lauren, who showed a BEAUTIFUL collection, come to mind). However, I’d like to take this opportunity to make a confession.
My friends, I am an unabashed Sienna Miller fan.
Love her. Love the girl. I think she’s cool, I think she’s beautiful, I love her style, I want to be her.
She and her sister showed their first runway show for their line Twenty8Twelve this season. It was, by no means, the most spectactular show. However, I have high hopes for this line. I’ve seen some pieces in person and I have, by-in-large, liked what I have seen.
The show was fairly basic, but what I like about this collection is the attention paid to proportion, an often overlooked element of apparel design and styling.
All Photos: Style Dot Com
Also, if you have not seen Miller in the Steve Buscemi-directed Interview. I beg of you, rent it. It’s brilliant.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez put out an incredible collection for fall; such a relief as I was somewhat let down by their spring 2008 offering. They kicked off with some awesome camel coats in various lengths, segwaying into beautiful, trend-on layered tweed looks. The oversized leather clutches the models carried were awesome. Designers rarely give them bags such as these and you can see if even changed the way they walked – very downtown cool. The dresses, turtleneck and off-shoulder, were simple but felt daring. The whole collection felt like Proenza Schouler. I predict that WWD chooses this as one of the top 10 collections of the season.
All Photos: Style Dot Com
Amy Smilovic put out a retail-ready, fun collection for fall. I like checking shows such as hers out, because I actually OWN some Tibi. Including a beautiful Mexican embroidery empire dress I got on sale and wore to a wedding last year (shown above).
I especially loved the separates in this collection.
Darling jacket, I am after a jacket with a modified funnel neck such as this.
Classic Tibi pattern and shape.
A version of what I wear 50% of the time.
Awesome for dancing.
A dressy version of what I wear 50% of the time.
It’s so Princess Bride!
All Photos: Style Dot Com
I totally remember this spread, and I KNEW hoarding my Vogue issues would someday come in handy!
Williamson, who you may associate with beautiful, colorful summer wares, put out a gorgeous fall collection that may shape up to be one of my favorites. He easily infused color into a season that has been dour, to say the least. I finished taking in his collection feeling happy and inspired. The woven ombré coats are to die for, and fur-lovers will love the dip-dyed mufflers and generous coats. Cool striped knits and low-slung leather pants make for great basics, while Native American-inspired beading gave some pieces a folksy feel. His gorgeous kaleidoscope pattern mini dress and slinky ombré gown both wowed me in a big way.
At first glance I felt this coat was a big dowdy, but it would look awesome with great basics like jeans, a white t-shirt, and sky-high heels.
I adore the bag, and this look can be easily replicated for less.
Super sexy. I love the choice of color, and those shoes are a must have.
Another great bag. This dress would look equally cool with black tights and flats for winter.
My mother would love this.
Stunning fabric design and tailoring.
I love the sweet shape of this dress.
Too cool for words.
Another beautiful ombré coat done for evening.
All Photos: Style Dot Com