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Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

Goodbye Retail, Hello Price-Slashed Wholesale

March 4, 2011 9 comments

My new Sun Ice raincoat. Okay fine, it's not me wearing it...

Retail shopping is so yesterday.

I refuse to pay full price for anything anymore. If it’s not on sale, forget it. With huge outlet malls cropping up in suburban areas, and email alerts conveniently telling me when my favorite shops are busting out goods at huge discounts, who needs to?

The only thing better than driving south of the border to hit these outlets is when these outlets come to you, in your own backyard, a new trend that is catching on like wildfire.

My friend has an in on a sweet line of Sun Ice ski jackets and outdoor apparel – her family owns it. Instead of shipping their extra stock off to a discount center, she is setting up racks in neighborhood homes and selling them at big discounts. I went by her house for a sale where she had partnered with a local yoga line, Tonic. We had coffee and I left with a super cute yoga outfit and raincoat that both rival Lululemon – but at half the cost.

Next year's ski jacket - would it look as chic with a helmet and no make up?

 

I was giddy with delight, flushing with victory so pure I was puzzled. I felt something was missing, and then realized it was that feeling of buyer’s remorse. Unlike usual, I had none. No guilty feelings thinking, “I didn’t need that”. I had gone with the hope of finding some new yoga wear (whether doing yoga or not, I live in this stuff) and a raincoat that was a tad different from everyone else in Vancouver. I found both within the confines of her friendly living room and spent a fraction of the cost.

Life may be beautiful, but mine is seldom this easy.

I am being invited to sales like this on a regular basis; women hosting jewelery designers and clothing lines in their own homes. The environment is much more welcoming than harsh fluorescent light and those mirrors that make my hips look wider than they are. I’ll gladly exchange the bored out of their mind teenage shopkeepers for honest women who know a garment flaw when they see one.

The concept of shopping is changing as quickly as the world is shedding its landlines. I don’t aimlessly browse through shops in the hopes of randomly discovering something I like and is on sale (unless, of course I’m at Winners and in need of retail therapy). My shopping is much more purposeful and driven by red tags.

I’m ignoring the middle man in favor of neighborhood homes, my days of mall crawling are officially over.

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Red Carpet Glamour At Oscars

February 28, 2011 1 comment

Anne Hathaway and Valentino at Oscars

Forget who won what. They’re all talented, some more so than others, and they’re all earning bucket loads of cash to dress up and play pretend, so you can’t feel too badly for those who didn’t bring home a golden statue last night.

Let’s talk fashion: how these artists choose to express themselves when the most famous couture houses in the world are knocking on their doors is the subject of many a fashion critic and blogger alike. It’s easy to throw stones at those who live in glass houses, especially when they are beautiful and making millions. If I sound jealous it’s because I am.

The Oscars are a time for starlets to either strut like a peacock down the red carpet or choose understated elegance, wear up-dos or shaggy tresses, Jimmy Choos or Prada shoes. It is a night for couture houses to shine alongside Academy members, the night People and InStyle magazines salivate over as they pick their best and worst dressed.

The men will all look suspiciously like waiters. The real question is what will Hollywood’s hottest women wear?

Will Helena Bonham Carter actually brush her hair and find matching shoes? Will Sandra Bullock still look  crest fallen? Will Nicole Kidman keep with her classic elegance? Will Scarlett Johansson improve on her Golden Globe windswept look?

Mila Kunis - most beautiful gown

I was on pins and needles all day.

The verdict: classic glamour – often vintage, in fact – prevailed. In fact, it’s hard to find fault with most of the beautiful choices that graced the red carpet on Sunday night; there were no January Jones missteps to dwell on.

Marisa Tomei proved that understated can still shine – she sparkled in a midnight blue 1950 James Charles dress, with gorgeous sunburst inspired earrings. A classic look that reminds you to hold on to those oldie but goodies in your closet.

The youngest person to ever to host the Academy Awards, Anne Hathaway, started the evening by repealing to old Hollywood in a red archival Valentino gown. A diamond necklace from Tiffany’s was also fittingly elegant. Her low chignon was the perfect hairstyle to complement the look, her way of saying I’m still hip.

Best Supporting Actress, Melissa Leo

There were a proliferation of Japanese-inspired high-neck, cap-sleeve, straight bodied gowns. Scarlett Johansson wore an amethyst lace styled number, Amy Adams a blue sequined one, and Annette Bening a sparkling black gown. Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo – who will forever be remembered by her f-bomb slip – also wore a variation of this theme.

Reese Witherspoon channelled Betty and Veronica with a high ponytail containing lots of extensions. Although her hairdo was puzzling, her black Armani dress with white trim was a great figure flattering choice.

Jennifer Hudson was a walking advertisement for Weight Watchers in a skin tight tangerine Versace gown. She was stunning, despite overdoing the cleavage.

Best Actress Natalie Portman looked every bit a champion in an eggplant coloured gown. She proved that fashion and baby bumps can, in fact, coexist.

My runaway favorite of the night was Mila Kunis, wearing a lavender chiffon Elie Saab gown with a low neckline. Gracefully draping her body with a short train, it was the perfect modern choice for a storied evening. If they come out with a Best Ordinary Person award, I might sell my car and buy it. I assure you my acceptance speech will be classier than Melissa’s.

Reduce, reuse and SWAP

December 15, 2010 2 comments
Color Clothes

Image by Orin Zebest via Flickr

I had forgotten how utterly distracting a roomful of clothes yet to be discovered can be.  Clothing swaps, although tons of fun, are no place to catch up with friends.  My long lost pals from distant neighborhoods across the bridge would enter, say a quick hello, and then get down to business surveying the scene.  If you did attempt to engage them before they had properly done so, it was obvious they were only half listening – no matter how fabulous your story was, their eyes would dart from rack to rack behind you.

It is a feast for the eyes: racks of silent treasures, hanging modestly, waiting for you to fall in love.  Once again, the clothing swap was a resounding success, everyone of us leaving with something a little more treasured than we had given up, giddy from chatting and bubbles.

As always, there were coveted items that caused no end of plotting.  The highly acclaimed Diane Von Furstenberg dress was back, under the rumor that it had been consigned after its last swap showing (horror of all horrors!), but somehow mysteriously made itself back into the fray.  Sisterhood of the traveling dress in the making, and much more sensible for a wrap dress to flatter different body types than jeans.  If Hollywood could only have that one over.

There were twice as many women in attendance, a nod to its burgeoning success, causing us to round corners even more slowly lest you bowl over a half clad stranger.  As I stopped to zip up one such stranger and glimpsed a view of her behind, it occurred to me how truly funny it is that we were all running around trying on things and garnering public opinion on their effect.  A de facto benefit from this night is viewing up close and personal all of the underwear choices out there, be they Panties by Post or the Gap.  A stunning array.

Winning the item of your desire is a numbers game – the better your number, the better your chance of getting a coveted item.  Just when I thought I had scored a great number – 22 out of a possible 70 – our gracious hostess Ruthie changed the methodology on us, freeing both the first and then the last of the numbers to choose their items, once again ensuring I was one of the last to choose.  The cloud of bad luck follows me at these gigs, so I’m a good target to sit beside if you want a good number.  Nevertheless, I got a sweet pair of high brown Franco Sarto boots that I can’t wait to wear with the dress I am now looking to buy, so it’s all good.  I missed out on the DVF dress, but my great friend Nancy swiped it, so it was a victory in two ways; my friend got the trophy and now that dress hangs a stone’s throw away in an attainable closet.

With its expanding attendance, it is a great evening for women entrepreneurs to showcase their artistry and products, so also on display were beautiful prints and jewelery, cool housewares, environmentally friendly cleaning products, and Sun Ice ski jackets at wholesale prices.  I scored a beautiful long necklace for a ridiculously reduced price which I would tell you, but then I would have to kill you, so let’s leave it at ridiculous.

At the end of the evening, all of the remaining clothes are donated to a local women’s shelter, which is of course the biggest victory of all; women helping women.