Monday, August 31, 2009

When ninjas attack

These are from R916's A/W 09/10 collection entitled "Ninja Attack". Now, is the wearer the ninja, or is this what is recommended you wear whilst being attacked by a ninja? The loose fit certainly would aid you in moving, but I don't think you'd be as stealthy as a ninja in a dress. So I'll just hope I look this good the next time a ninja mistakes me for an enemy. And perhaps the ninja will be intrigued enough by the different textures and fibre combinations so that he'll stop attacking me in order to ask where I got my clothes from. One can only hope...

Cut and Paste, Part 2

Yes, this is Queen Michelle's post for today (and thus, images via Kingdom of Style). But I can't get over how beautiful the pairing of Queen Michelle and this dress is. What you are seeing here is the most recent collaboration between Her Highness and Angie, the genius behind Norwegian Wood. This dress is not entirely my style, as you might have guessed by the leather and the bodycon fit. But have you ever seen something fit and suit someone so well that wasn't hand tailored on the intended wearer? And that oversized zipper is just phenomenal. If Angie would consider making this in a sturdy twill instead of leather and maybe with draped stretch tulle as the 'ribs' rather than jersey (blasphemy, I know), I'd definitely sign myself up for one. And goodness, I pray I look that good in 10 years. Sigh.

Cut and Paste, Part 1

I truly hope that none of you are bored with my ArtLab obsession just yet. Because I saw a great ArtLab feature this morning and just wanted to share it with you. In today's Etsy Finds, titled "I Heard a Rumor", they dispel the "common fashion fallacy that it's uncouth to wear white after summer's end." And pictured right at the top of this article and list of alabaster beauties are ArtLab's Aphrodite white tank top, styled with her Clinical White Harness No. 1 (something I have yet to pick up - shame on me!), and the infamous Charlie Chaplin Couture Bib. Also featured is Desira Pesta's white Principe Dress with Sleeves, and Take Off Your Clothes' Inversion top (which is actually a light grey - oops!). Congrats everyone on the excellent feature, and long live white indeed! Until I spill something on it of course...

Oh, and if you aren't yet weary of my ArtLab praises, make sure that you stay tuned for a very exciting feature, scheduled to arrive on this very blog in the not so distant future.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Caped beauty

Does anyone else agree that this piece by Rachel Balzarini is amazing? Who knew you could wear a stylish high-collared cape and show off your lovely outfit underneath? I definitely want one in a smoky grey. And perhaps made of wool for the cold weather. I think it would make me feel like a beautiful present, just in time for my birthday.

Edit: You can contact this wonderful emerging designer at for more information on her work.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Three beautiful things

1) If you've decided you want to buy just one piece for the fall and want to spend under $200, you should probably listen to me and get the complexgeometries two face dress. I just received mine (my birthday present to me!) and I'm in love (so yes, I know I've blogged about this dress at least twice, but you'll just have to deal with it). Not only is this dress exquisitely cut and impeccably made, but it also features an ingenious design of two drawstring-ed holes, a unique shoulder seam, and barely perceptible batwing sleeves. All together, these characteristics mean that you have at least 3 styling options for the dress. You can wear the bigger hole as the neckline, creating a deep-plunging front that's great for layering. Or, you can wear the dress on its own with the smaller hole as the neckline, giving you the option of more coverage in front (first picture above), and an open or closed back. And, for those warmer fall days, you can actually wear this as a halter dress, with the sleeves draping beautifully in front (third picture above). I'm not a mini-dress sort of gal, but I'll be wearing this as a dress while in the house, as it's super comfy for lounging in. It also looks fantastic over leggings (well, I'm guessing on this one since I don't have my Norwegian Wood leggings yet) and jeans. The sizing recommendation I got from Adam at cg was also dead on - you may want to order a size up than usual for this dress. The 30% wool content is a wee bit itchy on my sensitive skin, but it's definitely worth it for the amount of wear I'll get out of it.

2) We finally have a sneak peek at Alexandra Groover's S/S 10 collection! This dress is featured in the current issue of i-D. If I needed a formal dress, I'd definitely want this one.

3) And lastly, I have yet another ArtLab piece to feature. I've blogged about Patricia's Revolutionary Girl jacket before, but this one is a bit longer and more oversized - just the coat for me! I've found that, since I acquired The Hoody, I am now on the hunt for The Jacket. Not to ignore my Vivienne Westwood jacket, but I do need something a bit more everyday wearable to be a contender for the title of The Jacket. Also, I really don't think this girl could do any wrong.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ArtLab Coat No. 1

This will come as no surprise as it's ArtLab, but I am in love with this coat. It is so simple and elegant - an absolutely timeless piece. And the surprising shoulder cut-outs are nothing short of wonderful. I would definitely want to wear this with a puffy sleeve to pull some material out of the cut-outs à la Jane Austen/Shakespearian wear. (There's got to be a better term for that. I should probably take that textiles degree just so I don't sound so green on here.) My problem would be choosing between black and grey though. Brown is also an option, but I wouldn't want to make my brown Vivienne Westwood jacket jealous.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Take Off Your Cubist Literature

I can see! I just picked up my new Vivienne Westwood specs, courtesy of my work benefits. Well, $200 worth of glasses. I had to pick up the tab on the rest of them. It's a very minor prescription change, but I'm already getting a headache. Having one far-sighted eye and one near-sighted eye is extremely weird...

And I think my mom is web-stalking me. Mommy dearest? Shh, don't tell. No one knows I have a blog. :)

Speaking of web-stalking, I found out that the Take Off Your Clothes bone (remember the Double T-shirt Dress?) is connected to the Cubist Literature bone, and the Cubist Literature bone is connected to a Supermarket shop that has a new and most delightful t-shirt not yet available in either Etsy shop. I want both the brand-new Oversize Cowl Top and the Knit for Fish tote bag (available in both the Etsy and Supermarket shops). That tee is just so simple but incredibly awesome at the same time. I'm actually tempted to try and make the cowl top on my own, since I have two lovely AA grey Gary Fisher tees lying around that I got free with my bike. XL might be too big for me to work well with though. And I'm extremely lazy. So chances are I'll just stare at and/or buy the Top if it meanders over to Etsy.

P.S. I forgot to say that if you want to avoid a bad online shopping experience like I described below, shop at the recommended shops in the sidebar! All those people are simply fabulous in both excellent designs and unbeatable customer service. I only recommend a shop/designer I have bought at least one thing from, AND if the transaction(s) was enjoyable. That is not to say that these are only sellers I'd recommend though, as I have bought from many more designers and Etsy shops. These are simply the ones that adhere to my current style and/or budget restrictions. If you have a specific style/type of product that you're searching for, contact me and I'll let you know if I can recommend someone for you specifically!

Why can't everyone be awesome?

People are so vastly disappointing. I want nothing more than to support every indie designer out there that I can. But I am so saddened by my most recent experience with a label that I thought I could believe in and support wholeheartedly. I never asked for a discount, but, because they offered me one, they count selling one of their items to me as a favour. Last time I checked, I shouldn't be paying a not-small sum of money to receive a favour of the legal sort. And yes, they did tell me that they did not accept returns. However, I assumed this meant that I couldn't change my mind once trying them on if I didn't like the style of the piece on myself as opposed to on the models in the pictures. And that is a totally fine policy for a small label. However, for this label, their no return policy apparently gives them license to sell products that are not as pictured (and aren't properly made), with no fear of losing out on the money I parted with. I've had to resort to putting into action non-characteristic characteristics in order to at least try to get my hard-earned money back (ie. I am not a mean person in the least, and avoid confrontation at all costs). I feel horrible for having to write such unapologetic emails, and even moreso for likely having to escalate the dispute to a Paypal claim. Apparently I will probably not get my money back since I did receive something from the seller. But there needs to be accountability on the part of the seller, and hopefully they'll at least learn something from this. And hopefully none of you will have such a horribly disappointing experience.

So here are a couple words of advice for those wanting to start their own labels or other type of business:

1) The absolute worst thing a business owner can do is to trample all over their customers. Customers are the reason why a business can survive, and you have to treat them with care and respect, especially when your business is just starting out. If it means losing a few dollars at the beginning in order to gain the trust and loyalty of customers, so be it. You need to not only have quality products, but also build a name for yourself. This is most easily done in the form of return customers and/or customers who tell others about your business.

2) Just because you have a product you want to sell does not mean that you should be running your own business. Make sure you've thought out every aspect of running a business, and perhaps look into obtaining a business degree if you're serious about having an efficiently run label. Or look into taking on a partner that handles the business side of things, while you focus on the designing aspects.

3) Never ever ever cut corners. A poorly made piece put up for sale, especially with a high retail price, reflects very poorly on your label, and will never help expand your label. If something isn't made right, make it again. Don't tell your customer to get it fixed themselves at their own cost - this is simply an added slap in the face to the customer. Offer to fix it yourself, or offer a return/exchange.

Monday, August 24, 2009

And the September curator of The Shop is...

Now here's some exciting news! The September collection of NJAL's The Shop will be curated by Lara Stone, Dutch supermodel. I'm much more excited about this collection than this month's, as I think Lara is a bit more relatable for me in terms of fashion taste compared to Amanda Lepore. First of all, we're the same age (well, I'm a couple months older). Second, Lara has gapped teeth, and I used to. Third, we both are known for our "fierceness of personality and strong individualism", although that's only be said aloud of Lara as far as I know.

...Okay, so maybe we aren't all that similar, especially in regards to the whole supermodel thing. Nonetheless, she's gorgeous and has been clothed (or partially clothed) in some of the most beautiful clothing ever made, so I'm interested to see what she would pick for herself from the designers on NJAL. Let's just hope the picks, set to be posted in The Shop the day after my birthday, aren't all supermodel-sized.

And in other exciting related news, some of the lookbooks uploaded by designers onto NJAL will soon become individual online shops! I think this is a great move for NJAL to make some designers' work more accessible. There's always the option of contacting the designer through NJAL's email system, or Googling the designer to find if they have an up-to-date website and/or an Etsy shop. But I think new feature will transform NJAL into an even bigger resource for fashion aficionados!

Dead Man's Bones

Whoa, a most awesome musical find today. Canadian cutie Ryan Gosling and his pal Zach Shields have formed a band called Dead Man's Bones, whose debut album will be out October 6th. Their music has a raw and stripped-down feel to it, and is a delightfully bizarre and eerie mix of gothic and folk. The couple of videos floating around also carry out the spooky feel, as they feature the band's back-up singers, the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, hanging out in Halloween costumes. Who knew that Ryan had such a dark and croonery voice?!! Check out their MySpace for three of their songs available for your immediate aural pleasure.

Circular capes

Still on the theme of capes here, it'll be no surprise that I think Alexandra Groover's Sinum Cape (above) is oh so wonderful. However, if I were an elf, I think I would be expected to wear one of these cape/necklace/top pieces by Bzz (below), as they are more elvish and ethereal in the materials used. But really, I'm hoping, in the event of waking up with pointy ears and unworldly beauty, I would be allowed to wear both types of capes.

Oh, the suspense is killing me waiting for London Fashion Week and the subsequent photos of Alexandra's S/S 10 collection! Eek!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Escape coat

I was trying to decide whether I liked the newest butterflysoulfire cape/coat in the Doshaburi store. But there's no question whether I love this exquisite Attila Design cape/coat. Yum! I may have to expand my Top 3 Want list to hold 4 items...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Classic postmodernism

I love this Silent Era Jacket by Desira Pesta. There's just something about the look of a 3-piece (or 2-piece?) suit in hoody form (a 1-piece hoody that is - the vest in built into the overcoat). I know I could never convince my man to wear this, but I definitely would rock it! And, according to Desira, that would be just fine, as she describes it as both postmodern and androgynous. Which reminds me, I need to find an old suit jacket to do some DiY. I still regret missing out on those Layered Trousers. Sigh.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Umbrella Girl

Isn't this tank top just darling? I'm usually not a screenprint sort of gal, but I've found that I love anything Neurotica. And especially this one, as I love rain, umbrellas, and bats. It's a new addition to the Neurotica shop - can't wait to see more!

Me, a leggings virgin? That's preposterous!

I am a leggings virgin no longer. Well, I won't be in 2ish weeks. I realized that I needed to break down and get a pair because of my obsession with my ArtLab Andromache dress(es!). I just couldn't decide if I should get black or a grey. And I knew that I wanted a regular rise or higher-waisted fit. And as I loathe going into American Apparel, and Bobelly was on vacation and out of the fabric I liked, I just hadn't purchased any. Then, when I saw these beauties last night in the fabulous Norwegian Wood Etsy shop, I nearly cried 'Eureka!' out loud. Just like Angie, I'm in love with elbow patches on grandpa sweaters and jackets. So I think the knee detailing is simply brilliant. And, these are both grey and black, so I didn't have to choose one colour. And they're a regular rise. AND they're warmer for the fall weather which is here already. Hurray!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Athena's Head Covering

I know I've posted this before, but Patricia just put moved it to the front of her Etsy shop, so I was reminded of how much I love this piece. And I mean love. In fact, it's a permanent installation in my Top 3 Want list, and, if ever a large sum of money should fall into my lap (or on my head, either way) I would buy it in a heartbeat. Yes, I have a hard time resisting anything ArtLab, but I would have an especially hard time denying myself a gigantic ArtLab swoon-worthy silk hood AND harness. Oh, the other two on the list are Liza Rietz's Half Circle Tunic in black (which is on sale!) and Alexandra Groover's Shell Hooded Jacket, both of which I've also posted about before. So, in conclusion, sigh, sigh, and sigh.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'm just a girl with a bustle (or two)

You may have noticed that this is not a 'what I wore today' blog. This is true for many reasons, including the fact that I have a crap camera and live in a very poorly lit apartment. You may also remember the fact that I tend to buy pretty garments just so I can look at them, with little to no intention of actually wearing them. Today, however, I was inspired to create an outfit that included an as-yet unworn piece, and was so taken with it that I proudly carried myself out the door with it on before my nerves faltered. And, I must say, it was kind of exhilarating! Not that the piece, being my fabulous ArtLab Bustle of Lysistrata, is unwearable or all that odd, especially in my area during the Fringe Festival. It's just something out of my normal repertoire, and definitely far beyond the mall outfits which grace 95% of the females around here. At any rate, the registry gals thought I was a tad touched coming to get my license renewed in such an outfit. But you can't win them all, can you? So please excuse the poor photography that I felt the need to share with you, but I felt pretty, oh so pretty. Thanks Patricia for such a wonderful piece! Oh, and the extra poofiness underneath is provided by the also bustle-ish top made by yours truly out of the remnants of a toga party (layered over an AA tank top). I must say there was quite a bit of fabric gathering in the hip region there, but it was nicely balanced by my trusty black slim-cut Buffalo jeans which you can't see. 

My next goal: to create an outfit featuring my ArtLab Charlie Chaplin Couture Bib

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Convertible convert

Today, whilst walking towards my daily coffee, I was stopped by a lovely woman and her wonderful deaf dog. One of the two was mostly interested in the taste of my hand, but the other was mostly interested in my dress (first picture below), which apparently is "the frickin' coolest thing" she had ever seen. This encounter led me to thinking about my wardrobe and the conclusion that the recession has changed what I look for in a piece of clothing. 

I'm generally not spending less, as should probably be the case. Rather, I have unconsciously been more selective in my purchases, a process which has inevitably led me to purchase higher-end clothing. This may not make sense at first glance. However, I think it's entirely justifiable to spend more on one piece of clothing which will: a) be current across many future seasons (and sizes) because of its timeless style AND quality, and b) be both versatile and convertible in nature, meaning that I can wear it many different ways, such as different layering techniques, different lengths, detachable sleeves, etc. Also, such a convertible quality lends one piece to be styled completely differently by each individual wearer, meaning you may never even realize you're wearing the same dress as that girl over there. With two of my last few purchases (and my next future purchase) coming out on top via this fashion rule of natural selection, I'm now wondering if designers have picked up on this and have adjusted their designs accordingly, or if it's just somehow a trend completely separate from the economy. Hmmm... At any rate, the contents of my closet have dramatically changed within the last 12 months from random under-$50 pieces I might wear once or twice in a year to a sufficient stock of quality pieces which will get me through the next few years (and every season). And that makes me feel quite comfortable, especially in the event that I do the right thing and cut up that dangerous piece of plastic.

Double T-Shirt Dress by Take Off Your Clothes, featuring an oversized fit and convertible hood/cowl neck; available in grey, black, or white.

Two-face Dress by complexgeometries, featuring no definite front or back, two drawstring collars for coverage options, and the possibility to wear as a halter dress; available in black or grey.

Convertible Gun Metal Grey Taffeta and Eco Bamboo Knit Dress by Attila Design, featuring snaps and straps to change the length and amount of gathers. Can also be ordered in a shorter length and/or without the detachable sleeves.

This is Neurotica

Checking my favorite blogs regularly has become like taking my daily vitamins. I can't say enough good things about Fashion156's blog in particular, a wondrous blog that has brought such designers/labels as Alexandra Groover and complexgeometries into my life. And now I've been introduced to yet another lovely label that encapsulates my main fashion interests, namely local production of unique handmade pieces, affordable prices, and, of course, jersey! The label in question is London-based Neurotica, which is "is a unique, concept driven fashion label specialising in original illustration, print and textiles that explores the contrast between the sweet, the sinister and the beauty in the everyday." For now, they only have their S/S 09 collection posted on their NJAL page and in their online shop (example above). They do, however, have a wonderfully sinister video posted on their site for a sneak peak at their upcoming A/W 09/10 collection. A couple of photos are floating around of these new pieces (examples below), but you truly need to see the video to see the lovely cuts, open backs, and cape/wing-like details of the seemingly simple jersey tops. There's also a lovely oversized cardigan with a tree print which I would snatch up in a heartbeat. Just lovely!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stacey Grant, Part 2

I am just absolutely taken by this lovely girl and her work (you might remember The Dress, which is from her previous collection). Stacey just posted her 'Obviously, doctor, you've never been a 13 year old girl' collection on NJAL. And despite the limited/fuzzy pictures, I can tell it's glorious and right up my alley with the laid-back layering, draping, and raw detailing (especially when styled with red Chuck Taylor high tops!). I so admire how Stacey is deeply inspired from things around her and manages to clearly translate it into her pieces. This collection in particular is "inspired by the novel by Jeffery Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides. It explores the life and death of the Lisbon sisters. When life is cut off, much remains unfinished, and this is reflected in the work." I cannot wait to see what comes out of Stacey's Master's degree. Check out her Etsy shop for one-off pieces she is kind enough to part with.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

complexgeometries, A/W 09


Umm, yay! Cult Montreal-based label complexgeometries has had pictures of their A/W 09 collection up for awhile on their main site, but only had their S/S 09 collection for sale in their online shop. I haven't checked for at least a week so I'm not sure exactly when it was posted (edit: was just posted on Friday!), but the A/W 09 collection is now available to purchase! I'm assuming others were more vigilant in looking for updates, as some sizes and colours are already sold out (some pieces that say 'coming soon' also say 'sold out', so I'm hoping they'll still be available in the near future)! So happy to see pictures anyway though, as I think the shop pictures showcase the pieces much better. In fact, I had previously hinted that I liked the S/S 09 collection better, but this collection has now gained my favour. So many pieces! And increased convertible styling! And it's also fun to see how a lot of the pieces are unisex and a bit more elegant in style and materials than the S/S 09 collection. Definitely worth the slight increase in price from the last collection for these pieces, especially as they will be wearable for seasons to come.

By the way, I've only posted the above pieces in only one colour each and as styled only on the female model (in the case of the unisex pieces). Check the shop out to see the men's collection, as well as more colour and styling options (and order soon before your size is sold out too!).