December 6, 2009

Ambience & Apparel: Shopping in the City

Shopping in the city on a Sunday is a brave undertaking for a New Yorker. Areas to avoid are 5th avenue uptown and Broadway in Soho. While there are two faces of Sohos that are received by the Sunday afternoon pedestrian: casual brunching and shopping on a mission, I  braved the latter. Today I helped one of my girlfriends find work clothes for a new job. Restraining from spending money, I put all my effort into playing stylist for my friend and observing holiday retail and merchandising techniques at America's favorite stores.

The store that surprised me the most was Banana Republic. The Gap Inc. label has successfully marketed conservative yet modern business clothes to the American working woman for years, while avoiding the mass-produced cardigan epidemic of its sister stores Gap and Old Navy. The lay out reminded me of a holiday-pop up exhibition. Sort of like Macy's annual Santaland spectacle in Minneapolis. People waived in and out of individual rooms to admire the different clothing displays. The store itself felt like being in a mini-museum or large apartment. Was this BR's way of an exclusive shopping experience? While the e-shopping world has worked so hard to compete with the fully branded shopping experience stores give, it's sort of ironic that stores now have to compete with the isolated online consumer experience.
All over Soho I was greeted by extremely overzealous salespeople that offered "20% off cash-a-mere" products and hoped your experience in their store was euphoric. I think their strategy must be to create such an infectious energy that the customer wants to buy!buy!buy!.  Au contraire, my hangover radar kicked in and mapped out the safest route to avoid unneeded sales lectures.

Here are a few observations:
Top shop crams their sections together and I was constantly running into people. Also, I am not paying $70 for leggings.
Club Monaco: What is with the drifting racks of clothes that are always in the center of the back room? Are they on sale? Are they in transit?
Mango: Everything was too glitzy, cheap, and overdone. I have always been a huge fan of the spanish chain, but was unimpressed. Also, I am a lazy shopper and don't want to invest in the 3 step process of walking past the long row of chairs only to have to bend down and unfold the shirt I couldn't see from across the room.
Gap: Again, as a lazy shopper, I advise to never put women's clothing on the second floor. I got dragged up the stairs only to reach disappoinment.
Uniqlo: the store was freezing inside. Is this a ploy to get people to try on coats? Asthetically, it's like Old Navy meets Dylans Candy Bar meets a Library. I was lost.
Speaking of Old Navy, that sam's club of a store is one breath of fresh air. I don't really like any of the clothes (Minus the holiday pajama pant collection) but for some reason Old Navy has just always made me happy. And I still know half of the performance fleece song.

This said, I am spending next sunday brunching, because I am exhausted.

December 5, 2009

SS10 Runway Trends>>Put Your Party Dress On

From Left2Right: BCBG Max Azria, Derek Lam, DKNY, DVF, Emporio Armani, Just Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Matthew Williamson, Moschino cheap&chic, Moschino cheap&chic, Paul Smith.

November 23, 2009

Swiss Textile Awards 2009

“While some designers look to the past or future, Alexander Wang is as right here, right now as it gets. The American designer is zeitgeisty, he’s of the moment and in fashion-speak he’s also having a moment; quite an extended one to judge by his growing popularity.”

-The Independent

November 2, 2009

SS10 Runway Trends>>White on Black

Celine, Givenchy, Chanel, Jean Paul Gautier

Michael Kors, Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta, Jil Sander

Hermes, Aguri Sagimor, Philip Lim 3.1, Jonathan Sanders

October 26, 2009

Wake me up when September ends..


A dream was passed on to a large majority of my generation in America of becoming a magazine editor. Whether food, fashion, rock journalism or political humor, there was something (I say with bias) glamourous about the freedom to create and dictate what the american consumer would digest as far as trends, gossip, real-life advice-essentially a niche market spectrum of entertainment and information-on a monthly basis. Over 200 years ago the elegance of newspaper print blossomed into colorful periodicals of pop culture, in order to transform print journalism.

I read an article today on Media Bistro that calls attention to the marriage of journalism and marketing threatened by the death of print, specifically questioning the objectives of a media consulting organization called: Innovation. Reading the accusation gives me a headache. Perhaps Media Bistro just wants to remind us that the art of objective journalism is dying and the reader, who has been so spoiled by the truth since the freedom of the press was put in motion by Ben Franklin, is susceptible to manipulation by this marriage. Journalism in America, I learned from my studies at BU, was this entity that supported the voice of the people our nation was built upon. How could being the bearer of truth to a country with an exploding spirit of liberalism not be idealized as a gallant, patriotic quest? Newspapers were like Robin Hood's bow and arrows.

So as magazine editors are being laid off and the consumer is now primarily reached online, media relations are entering a tunnel of darkness. I have to say, it's really cool to be in communications in New York as all of this is happening. My generation, that saw the birth of the internet, is now responsible for rebuilding how America gets its news. I admit I've had a difficult time converting to the "me" behind blog writing and Twittering, because after studying journalism and the importance of research, fairness, and a well-rounded story etc, I think in terms of articles, not incomplete thoughts and "diary" entries. And besides, my life is not all that fascinating.

I must say, "following your dreams" is overrated when you can be a part of a media revolution in America.

October 18, 2009

November Vogue and the ladies of Nine

November Vogue's cover shoot for the must anticipated Nine. The story recounts the life of Italian director Federico Fellini and how he balanced the many women of his life. The cast boasts the best of the international broads-oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman..etc. Also a musical remake,  I imagine it will be something like Chicago, also equipped with a random pop-diva appearance (Fergie). Out this Christmas, will be sure to let my Jewish friends know.

October 8, 2009

John Ribbe SS10 Paris

Here are some images from my cousin's show in Paris (they are a bit small, waiting on better ones). He makes clothes that are functional and architectural. He doesn't take from the embellished, fantastical world of Paris, because that is not the German way. Like Jil Sander before him, his clothes are minimalist and ahead of his time. Raised by a German father, I can vouch for the fact that in the mind of a German there is no time for things that do not make sense. The John Ribbe woman is sharp and confident, but most importantly the clothes don't distract; they are just as imaginative as they are supportive of the woman's many colors.

October 7, 2009

Favorite Quote I Read Today

"Sometimes I say to myself, what are you doing in this absurd job? Why don't you go to Africa and help people? But I cannot help people, because I am a hypochondriac." -Javier Bardem

October 5, 2009

Highlights from SS10 New York

Above: Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs. Bellow: Derek Lam, Preen, Cynthia Rowley, DVF.

From top left: Narciso Rodriguez, Charlotte Ronson, DKNY.