Saturday, January 26, 2008

024. And you thought puffy shirts died along with Seinfeld.

I can't help but have a weakness for ABC's new show Cashmere Mafia. Four attractive women living high-powered lives in the Big Apple? Cheating (but droolworthy) husbands? Donald Trump lookalikes? Vacations in the Hamptons? Big paychecks? I hope this is my life in fifteen years. There's no lawyer femme, so my default favorite is Lucy Liu's character, Mia, who has one hell of a fashion stylist. When I saw the poofy sleeves of Episode Two, I was thrilled, awed, and envious. One can never have enough billowy silk tops for the workplace.

It was when I was cruising my recently added Favorites that I stumbled onto this similarly puffy dreamboat of a shirt. Designed by Jens Laugesen, this little number is the dark foil to Lucy Liu's alabaster tunic.

Jens Laugesen

I don't think the puffy shirt is going to become a major trend anytime soon, but it's a niche style that I'm totally digging right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

023. Something's blooming in Manhattan...

In light of the new year, I've decided to start cleaning out my Favorites. This has yielded a real treasure trove of forgotten links. One of these newly rediscovered diamonds in the rough is Elizabeth Charles, a Manhattan boutique featuring designers from the owner's own birthplace, Australia (as well as nearby New Zealand). The boutique's website also provides the opportunity to purchase online. Although I've never been to the store, the images and description on the website have managed to seduce me. The About page describes Elizabeth Charles as "nested in the ground floor of an old brownstone" and "furnished with European antiques and modern mid-century pieces, from the ornate gold framed mirrors to the bird cage shaped chandelier." Essentially, the boutique possesses an Anthropologie-like vibe, but with a slightly higher price tag and bigger brand names.

Here are a few of the clothes available online.

Alice McCall long coat

I love the schoolgirl feel of this dress. It's simple but also a statement piece that can easily be paired with lots of layers in the winter, or worn independently in the spring and summer months.

Camilla & Marc stephanie frock

This hoodie looks perfect for cuddling up in front of a roaring fireplace with a Jane Austen novel.

Federation crushed wool raglan hood

I love this color palette: the muted pink with the gray.

Juliette Hogan serious skirt

So when you get a chance, check out - and, of course, the accompanying blog!

Monday, January 14, 2008

023. Un petit mort.

I've decided to let this post be a homage to Alexander McQueen's legendary pale-green ostrich feather gown, which flared up recently, then disappeared forever from Net-A-Porter's sale section, having been conspicuously in the slightly-reduced sale pile for over a year. With it gone from N-A-P's archives, I believe this terminates the dress's availability both online and in stores. But I still fondly remember experiencing this dress in person last winter at the New York McQueen boutique...touching the feathery expanse of the skirt, the fine embroidery around the neck...

Let this fiery star of high fashion be a tribute to the genius and whimsical elegance of my favorite British designer.

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And what's the point of buying a dress like this if you can't have a little fun in it?

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Without a doubt, this collection ranks among my top five favorite shows ever.