Thursday, January 31, 2008

NYT: The Newly Uptight

“I like the idea of good tailoring and clothes that are not so demonstrative,” she said. “We’re getting beyond the idea of ‘look at me, look at me.’ Fashion today is more about calmness than flash.”

The New York Times had a great article on the trend of fall 2008. The trends are gearing towards conservatism - less mini skirt, less babydoll shirts and dress, less "loud" ladies. Conservatism, however, will not be so subdued but subtle, passive chic. The quote above accentuates the desire of the fashion world to be a little more serious. With an interst in economics, I can't help but wonder whether the designers are reflecting present economic worries.

I wrote a memo in one of my class on how a company was weakening and had to restructure themselves and they thought the first thing to do is to change the office wardrobe. The company used to have formal dressing but then relaxed the rule and casual wear was accepted, a progression towards casual Friday. In recent blogs, I always touch on how I dress reflects how I think, or at least have influence on how I feel and act the specific time I have that wardrobe on.

With that in mind, perhaps for fall everyone is getting ready to sit down and be serious on tackling the unsteady world economy. In American society, there's a shift in presidency and awaiting the new one to undo and help the society regain momentum. When the people elected Bush, people said that they wanted a president to sit down and have a drink with. However, perhaps after seeing what that type of person can do, a president should be expected of more than a drinking buddy.

Though the article touches on the movement back to conservatism, the culture has always existed. I also admire the culture that stands out but try little in doing so. They don't need a bright neon skirt, though there's nothing wrong with it, but a tweed jacket and a fitted suit fits them just as fine as a Marc Jacobs inverse-underwear Spring 2008 dress.

Designers seem intent on returning to old-fashioned civilities just the same. Some view the resurrection of a more formally controlled aesthetic as a rebuke to young Hollywood’s disheveled style. Thakoon Panichgul, who will show a collection of body-skimming dresses with subtle ’60s details, maintains that such looks are timely. “There is an energy about being proper,” he said. “It’s not about wholesomeness, it’s about respectability, about having manners again.”

I have to go to class, but I think the article is really interesting and worth reading. Besides, I'm tired of the mini skirts and the babydoll dresses. :)

Read article: New York Times: The Newly Uptight

Sale Watch: La Garconne

Zero M.Cornejo Sheen Voile Boy Dress (518, now 362.60USD)
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Mike & Chris Trenton Fleece Wrap(276.00, now 193.00USD)
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Vena Cava Silk Bernard Dress(549.00, now 274.50USD)
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CLU Sleeveless Henley with Ruffle(131.00, now 92.00USD)
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Daryl K Soft Leather Bag(425.00, now 297.50USD)
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Marketing: Price=supply(name) + demand

For the past few months I've been interested on pricing. No one loves a good bargain like Tyra Banks. But second in command, and less cheap, that's me. If I could find a good price on something, doesn't have to be on sale, I'll purchase it. Last year was the first year I've invested on shoes and jeans over $300 dollars each.

So at first I was interested in store pricing but then as I was riding the subway today in conjunction with the online purchases I've been making the past few months, I became interested in online purchasing.

What I know about store pricing like Bergdorf, Neimans and other luxury stores is that they have a mark-up of more than 50% on the product. How else do you think they're able to have those great sales and not really worry about losses? The thing about luxury stores is that you can't really walk from store to store and compare prices and then decide on which one you want. Well you can if you are really in shape and not the average American. However, you are probably asking such sites have online stores now. You're right.

So I'm a huge online shopper because I live in Philadelphia and there's no stores that carry the brands that I like within walking/public transportation distance. The closest would probably be King of Prussia which has Neimans, Versace, etc. The closest thing to luxury in Philadelphia is Boyds for both men and women (carrying brands like Zegna, Armani, D&G, etc) and other local boutiques for women like Echo Chic on Sansom and Joan Shepp on Walnut Street. My point is that these local physical stores have a niche in Philadelphia so they're able to have a greater mark-up. For people who like good, quality, luxury items but aren't tech savy, the price that's presented are higher than the internet prices.

But for people who constantly window shop and online browse, I'm concious of the price difference. Though they're 100-500 difference, after a few items it all adds up. Especially since I'm a college student.

To recap, online stores most likely cost less than the local boutiques of pseudo-cities where the general population are a little older and money isn't an issue.

Online stores are for a younger generation that are brand-concious but with a limited income, or at least I'm talking about me. So I was wondering if there are millions of me out there, how do these store price themselves as competitors. They're limited amount of clothes in high-fashion that comes out each season so how do they price themselves so that customers are willing to go to their site instead of the competitors? The answer:


Let's assume I want a pair of Dior Homme Jeans. Each season, the house releases a limited amount of jeans and then buyers from stores and online stores come and request the list of inventory they think will sell. Let's assume the online stores are, some are my favorites, Saks, Bergdorf, Neimans, Bloomingdales, LuisaViaRoma, Pret-a-porter, Diabro, bluefly, and eluxury. Let's say there's one pair of Dior Homme jeans that all the stores carry. So as an avid shopper, I notice these pairs of jeans and I want them a lot, however, the only way I would purchase them is knowing I have the best price out there. What do I have to factor in? The cost of the product and shipping and handling.

So how does one go about making sure one has the best price on the jeans? Well, I would go from site to site to look for them or do a search with the name of the jeans or the description.

Easy enough right? Wrong.

The sites will turn out to each have different price ranges but you can't really tell the difference if they're the same pair of jeans because the name for it is different. On one site it could be called, Dark Blue Jeans, and another could say Spring/Summer 2008 Jeans, and another could say Spring/Summer 2008 Raw, Whiskered Jeans, etc. Not only the name is different, but how they're presented is different as well. It could be different models wearing it, different lighting. So before you know it you're presented with jeans that looks different and it seems to have over five different kinds but in reality, they may just be the same pair.

This is how the online stores are able to get around price comparisons. The make the supply low and the demand high so they could put the price on it. It seems like that online store you're looking at is the only one carrying that type of jeans and you could get it no where else so the average consumer, not knowing this, would make that purchase.

How clever right? I'm really intrigued by pricing and that's what I thought about on my day to school today on the train. Hope that give you some insight into being more careful when making a purchase online.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Need a Good Suit

So this Christmas I basically spend over $2000 to update my wardrobe and that's just for 5 pieces. I'm in my third year of college, with hope of graduating next year May 2009 with a good job once I get out. How can I ensure both graduating and landing a good job? The equation is easy. Or at least the partial equation is:

Look Good=Feel Good=Outstanding Performance

DUH! It's easy, Right? Not so much, especially looking good is proportionate to how well one performs. And looking good, one has to be willing to spend some money. How you chose to spend it, is up to you. But I recommend don't be frugal if you don't have to be. Looking slouchy and like the clothes were from your father's closet will make you feel exactly that, outdated or like an italian guido. Unless you work in the mafia, please refrain. However, I'm optimistic in believing that mafias out there have been upgraded to Jil Sanders and Versace suits.

I prefer not to look like my father or in a Mafia unless your father is 30, an investment banker or trader for Prada, Jil Sander, Dior Homme, or Armani. Just kidding. There's also Valentino and Versace. I'm not saying for you to live off of Ramen Noodles for the next year just so you could have a nice fitted suit ang some Ferragamo shoes, I'm asking that you would be smart, know your audience and dress appropriately.

If you plan on working corporate, dress formal. I suggest Jos A. Bank. They will help educate you on what to wear. After learning how many breaks you are supposed to have in your pants, then move on to Bergdorf. Or you can take smaller steps and go to Macys before upgrading to Brooks Brother. If you plan on working in marketing at Vogue, step it up further and wear Thom Browne or one of Anna Wintour's favorite asian loves. But I'm sure if marketing department at Vogue is your goal, I'm sure you're fashion concious and know how to dress appropriately for Wintour.

I digress. I need a good suit. I haven't invest in a suit since...I have no idea. Mother use to buy suits for me back in high school and I dreaded wearing them. They would not fit me well and I turned out looking like my dad, which is understandable because to her, that's her ideal man.

My ideal man? Terron Woods in any of the wardrobe above. Or any of the men in the pictures. The cuts are tailored, falls on the body and hugs it just right and nothing is too extreme, screaming clean, but not stuffy and impersonal. Of course I don't have that all-american look like Terron Woods does, not yet at least; however, it's good to be concious of the proportion. Where the jacket should fall, how the sleeves fall, how the collar is not crunched or crimped or cramped, where the legs end. All that is important. But since I'm anal and insecure, I alway like something that fall where it should be so I tend to get most of my pants tailored. I'm 5'7 so unless I plan on getting a suit cut by Raf or Albert Elbaz themselves, I have invested in a tailor I trust. I like her not only for her skills but because she gives me gum.

For me, it's important to look clean and crisp. It's important for what I wear to not be dull - I always need a pop of color somewhere. Whether it is through my sweater sleeve, my button up shirt, my socks, my belt, watch, or whatever single piece there is that makes the piece me. Or, dare I say, a brooch. Yes, I said a brooch, some pieces can be worn by men. MEN not boys. Well, I guess that could be argued both ways depending on your age.

What I like about the pictures above is that it is stylized but subtle. There's no pop of color, but a pop through cut and through turtlenecks or pashmina, helping emphasize the head and body. Such pieces helps make the look seem casual but still retaining that formality that most job will require.

When I was little, I hated feeling stuffy because I noticed all the grown up around me looked (I didn't live in New York, Paris or Milan) boring and I didn't like how the men look. But with the styling presented in the pictures above, I could have a better appreciation for a good suit, a better understanding of my own style. I like that it's clean and looks effortless so it's not a choir to get dressed up anymore. The suits are not so much an obligation, but something I actually want to put on and flaunt. The suits or the accesories with it, though monotone, became that pop that I look for, but without color.

I've made it a goal to dress with jeans less this year and foward because I think dressing affects how I act or think that day. Jeans is an American influence and as much as it's a globalized trend now, if one goes abroad people can be seen to wear pants than jeans. Though that is questionable since the jeans market have been increasing, especially since Chanel Spring 2008 just had a collection where the fabrics were jeans. Though that is the case, pants and slack gives a sense of casual elegance that many still favor. I'm more conservative in dressing so I'm bias and prefered that look more. Also, I want to be more serious in my studies and what I'm pursueing so I noticed that by waking up, no matter how crappy I feel, if I wear a jacket with slacks, I feel better in the day than going out in something wrinkled and gross.

Standing out of the crowd of slack, skinny jeans, and urban outfitters brand tees, I feel more individualized and that gives me confidence. In the long run, I know that if I get used to this new mode of dressing, I'll be a more productive person. I'm not saying I'll dress up in a suit everyday, but a little bit more conservative. With Prada's latest collection, along with Lanvin and Gucci, dressing formal isn't dressing like your dad anymore. So to be productive and feeling better, I don't necessarily need to invest in an Armani or Valentino suit, I could scale down and recognize the contemporary pieces and see if other affordable brands out there are imitating the cuts, or just get the pieces made by some local tailor.

I've never been more excited to invest in/wear a suit. I've never been more excited to have recuitors look at the fit and proportions of my suit and my individualized style among the stuffy Men's Wearhouse drab, which works for some people but not for me. I'm confident in my look. Though confidence alone may not get me a job, my confidence through my wardrobe will get me noticed and will allow me to present myself in a manner many would want to invest in since I have heavily invested in presenting myself for the job, $1000+ worth. Hah.

Frankie Morello Spring/Summer 2008

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So, now that I have your attention after seeing those pictures, I want to talk about the brand. I'm sure you rather me just repost the pictures so you could look at them again, but just bare with me for tidbit and you could go back to enlarging the picture and then making it your desktop background, or whatever you do with such pictures...

Those pictures above are from Frankie Morello's lookbook for Spring/Summer 2008, modeled by Terron Wood, my current favorite male model. Frankie Morello is a men and women's wear company, with a more stronger focus in women's wear. It's one of my favorite designers for ready-to-wear. Three are two designers to the name and they're based in Milan. One doesn't normally find this brand on because...Well, frankly I can't speak about since I do not work for them or know how they function. Perhaps they didn't get invited, which I doubt bcause has access to their fashion show. Perhaps there were five other shows going at once and they didn't have someone on staff to attend to the show, which I also doubt because, com'on, It's, collaborators with vogue, and W. So as to the reason why you won't be able to find Frankie Morello on I have no idea. But a reason why you won't find them there may be becuase someone at doesn't think it's one of the big names or influencers in present-day fashion market, along with Cacharel, a brand I also love. Basically, they're, in my opinion, underrated, along with Cacharel, whose collection could also be found on . ANYWHO. (Frankie Morello @

So Frankie Morello is a brand that's super cute and chic. Have you heard of Dsquared2? Well, I prefer Frankie Morello over Dsquared2. Why? Because the cut are so much more contemplated than an evolved Diesel collection. As much as I love the twins of Dsquared2, Dean and Dan, their collection sometimes can be dry; however, I think what helps them is that it's hip and the colors are what people are going for presently. Frankie Morello, however, is more innovative. It's more cute and personal, less pretentious feeling than their competitors. Their website (Frankie Morello ) is cute and fun to navigate. What I like about companies based abroad is that it is less subtle in going after profit. Even Frankie Morello's about me on their website is told through a comic strip. I love the colors, it's new. It's not following that saturated trend. The only thing I could really point out that they're following trends on is that Amy Winehouse affect that Karl just went through for Chanel Pre-Fall in London. But aside from that, it's refreshing to see a collection that's fun and weareable, and not trying so hard.

Like Cacharel, Frankie Morello is going to get more face time in the future. I just feel it. Perhaps I may be bias because they're currently using Terron Wood for their lookbook. However, I have pieces by them and the cut fits well. By fitting well, I mean it accentuates the ass. Frankie Morello is also currently my friend's favorite, who's currently interning in Milan. She also met them and said the men are lovely. The brand is just fun and they don't make any facades about it. Other brands that had jumpsuits in their collection didn't seem fun for me. I didn't see a reason to buy them. With Frankie Morello, the colors, the patches that they incorporated into it points out that it's meant to be fun, like a union suit. And I like that, honesty in their presentation.

Source: Frankie Morello

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jil Sander Long Tulle Overlay Top

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This entry is about the piece of tulle floating around the body, not the shirt or pants.

When I first saw this collection, I was enamored with it. I love the simplicity of the fold and fabric. The collection was so post-modern ethereal. It was like an injection of architecture's international style, but with colors.

It never occured to me how I'm supposed to wear it. Ok. I could wear it. It never occured to me how I'm supposed to wear it in public, in Philadelphia at least. Philadelphia is still conservative style wise. The store that I found to be selling this stuff is not and will not be Barneys, Neiman Marcus, or Bergdorf, it was Luisa Via Roma, an Italian store. I could see this being a shot covered by the Satorialist for Milan because it's tres chic. But in the US? Not so much. The only place that you wouldn't get a weird look? Possibly New york, which is where I plan to move to after I graduate.

Another place you could wear it? Third world country notorious for mosquitos. It's perfect as a body mosquito net! Maybe Raf Simons is trying to attract and encourage third world country to take care of their body more, but in style! The only reason I'm hesistant in saying that was his goal was because of two reasons. Most people in the third world country exposed to such pest, by pest I mean tourists, would be intimidated if third world country started dressing better than them! He cares about third world country and he doesn't want the natives to scare people away. A secondary reason would be the price. Most third world country can't really afford a 470euro mosquito net with bidye. You know? I mean if I was in the third world, I would starve myself for half the year just so I could buy the dye and then find a fish net and attempt to make myself this exact replica. But that's just me. SO those two reasons are why I don't think Raf Simons were trying to appeal to the third world, however, I would prefer it was more affordable because I don't mind seeing pictures of people wearing these in National Geographic. Perhaps someone should start a program of aid in purchasing these Jil Sander Long Tulle for third world countries.

But anyway, If I was in New York or abroad in Europe with the finance I need, I would make this purchase in a heartbeat. By the way, the shirt on the inside and the orange pant stockings are not part of the deal. It's just the overlay top.

Buy: Jil Sander Long Tulle Overlay Top (470euro)

Bangin' Bangle? : Marni

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I really like this bangle. It reminds me of third grade when I used to play with PlayDoh before it became really complicated. You know, before you could start sculpting the whole human genome project with them along with hydrogen polypeptides. Either way, the colors are totally in, that candy look. It's like you could be one of the cool druggied up kids on hallucinagens but without the drugs to see the colors.

Put in your image a clear day in central park (it HAS to be central park) and you're walking from the East side to the West side to meet with your less affluent friends for lunch in your bright yellow phillip lim mini skirt and Lanvin white blouse (which I've mentioned before in my previous post) wearing this bangle. The colors just pop out of your hand. And you know what? The beads may actually pop out of your hand, because if you enlarge the picture it's actually stringed together by a hair rubber band. I'm kidding. It's probably stringed together by something probably a little bit more stronger than that.

But word of advice, this bangle is only meant to be looked at from a distance because if you look close you kind of see the sewn fabric wrapped around something. As much as I'm sure Marni wanted to be avant-garde in juxtaposing plastic against cotton to show that they believe in the assimilation of nature and artificial creations, the twenty children that died to make this think otherwise. I'M KIDDING! You think kids have sewing skills?? It's 80+ year old italian women with their skin barely hanging onto the bones that make these. Actually, I don't know. But isn't it weird that we're ok with elder on respirators working but not ok with child labor? I mean, they're basically the same thing. I think they should let kids eat.

Back to the point, I love this bangle, it look and works great with a spring/summer wardrobe since Spring 2008 is all about colors. Spring is always about colors but you know, since VOGUE and W are accentuating it this year, it must mean it is REALLY about color.

You could purchase this bangle for a measly 375.45USD. If you make less than 20,000 a year, I suggest you go to you local Arts and Craft store and ask your little girl, or your grandparents (the key part to have is adept, thin figers) to help you try to imitate this lovely bangle.

Click to buy: Cloth Bound Bangle (Chilli), 375.45USD

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Valentino Adieu

So I have class in 25 minutes but I wanted to post these because they're just so...sigh. Bittersweet. LOOK AT THOSE DRESSES! HOW COULD HE BE RETIRING?!!! Sigh. I'll post more pictures and talk more about it later. The pictures aren't even available on WWD yet but they probably will be in a few hours.

Images Courtesy of:

Numéro 90 February

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Russian L'Officiel February 2008

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Wow. I love this. The colors, the model. Each one could be an ad campaign. Marcin Tyszka, the photographer accentuates the spring collection so well.

Source: Russian L'Officiel