Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So I took a little break from the No Buy this weekend. Hold your fire, friends, there will be an explanation coming later. I did it in a very controlled way, you'll be glad to hear, by visiting a couple of my favorite vintage dealers who I knew would be having Memorial Day discounts. And sure enough, I scored some serious gold.

Nugget #1:

Bronze/black iridescent waisted sheath.

I've added an alligator patent belt and my black patent Miu Miu mary janes. At first I thought it wanted the Blahnik Dianamus sandals, but I think the mary janes are better. I really love the long sleeves on this dress but I'm going to shorten them, for a few reasons. First and most importantly, overall they're a little big but the wrists are tiny -- so tiny I can barely get my hands through them and I have relatively small paws. What this does is cause the sleeves to sort of bunch up instead of hang, and since the shoulders of this dress fit a tiny bit loosely on me, it's throwing the whole thing out of whack. I haven't decided how short to go -- I think I'll start with below the elbow and see how that works.

Great v-neckline in the back, which I have cleverly disguised by hunching my shoulders. Sorry!

I so adore this fabric, which is that wonderful (although slightly scratchy) iridescent taffeta from the 60's. As a blue-eyed redhead, this rust-brown-bronze is really good on me, but I almost never wear it. Why? you ask. Well, because I live in Austin, and burnt orange and white are the school colors of the University of Texas, which is located here and a HUGE part of life in this city. There's nothing wrong with being a fan of UT per se, but usually when someone is wearing burnt orange or rust-colored clothing here in Austin, there is a Longhorn insignia printed or embroidered on it somewhere. And there is a LOT of it. At any given time in Austin, probably a good 10 - 15% of the population is wearing some sort of UT logo'd clothing and frankly, I'm good & sick of looking at it. It's fine to support your team, but I do not believe it should dictate your fashion choices, and I do not care to be mistaken for someone on her way to a tailgate party. I think that in this dress that won't be a problem.

Nugget #2:

Oh, this thing is amazing. It's a suit -- waisted sheath dress and perfect (perfect!) little short jacket made of the most beautiful patterned silk.

Shown here with a gold patent belt and my gold & crystal Blahnik Priscas. Florals are huge this summer, and there are a lot of dresses in this silhouette (Roland Mouret's influence, I think. People are still crazy for those Moon & Galaxy dresses. And don't forget the whole "Mad Men" phenomenon -- remember the Michael Kors fall show I posted about?), so this thing, 50 years or so after its birth, is right on point. I would also like to add that the jacket is going to be a great stand-alone piece. It will be very, very adorable with a pair of my new wide-legged trouser jeans and some sassy heels. And of course, one of the loveliest things about it (and everything I'm showing you here) is that it's lined. Because back then they put linings in dresses, even dresses that weren't spectacularly expensive couture pieces. (This one doesn't have a label, but from its construction I'd say it's high-ish end department store or custom-tailored.)

The lining of the dress is a layer of superfine silk organza. It's exquisite. There's not a single raw edge on the thing, every seam is pinked at the very least. The jacket has a regular charmeuse lining, so it's heavier.

Please note the bound buttonholes. Just gorgeous. It's next to impossible to find a bound buttonhole anymore, even in designer clothing. Just one more sign of the decline and fall of the human race, if you ask me.

Nugget #3 (probably my favorite):

Blue/green brocade waisted shift dress with a wide square neckline. The color of this is so unbelievable -- completely saturated peacock blue & green iridescent brocade worked in a floral pattern. Gaw-juss. I'm wearing it here with my Pedro Garcia rose-gold Noa pumps. I'm not sure about these shoes, the dress may want the blue sequined Armanis, but I haven't decided yet. The Noas are great, but they are such a retro shape themselves (I described them as "very Angie Dickinson running around in Vegas with the Rat Pack." The ever-trenchant Plumcake agreed, stating that she could "imagine them thrown over Frank Sinatra's shoulders." I'll leave you with that visual.) that they may make the whole outfit authentic to the point of costume-y. They are so deliciously sparkly, however...

(Thirty-two pounds later, baby still got back.)

All three of these dresses fit me really well, and what's unusual about them is that they all fit me lengthwise in the torso. I'm pretty long-waisted, and my most common issue with vintage clothes is that the bodices are too short -- the waist seams hit me around the middle of my ribcage. All three of these dresses are perfect -- the narrowest parts of the dresses coincide with the narrowest part of me. Since I bought all of these from the same dealer and they're all a similar style, I'm wondering if maybe they were all made for the same woman. I have a call out to the dealer in hopes that she can tell me a little about where she got them -- they may have all come from the same estate sale, for instance.

The other question I have about the blue dress has to do with these elastic straps that are sewn on the inside of the neckline at the very top of the bodice:

One of them has an eye from a hook & eye attached to the bottom, the other one looks like it had one but it's fallen off. I can't quite figure out where these straps are supposed to hook into -- I can't find any mateless hooks anywhere in the inside of the bodice, they must also be missing. I suspect it's some kind of contraption whose purpose is to keep the very wide neckline from falling off the shoulder, but I'm not sure how. (If anyone is familiar with this sort of thing, please let me know. I'm dying to understand this little mystery.) I'm going to hem all of the dresses, as well, just an inch or two so that they hit me just at the bottom of my knee.

Now. A note on the breaking of the No Buy and the title of this post. I did some hard number crunching over the last few days and realized that my goal of an October trip to Paris is an unrealistic one. XE.com this morning quoted the euro at $1.57. This means that, what with exchange fees and credit card surcharges and all that jazz, for all intents and purposes when you actually spend the euro it's probably at about $1.65. I doubt very much that's going to come down by October -- it's more likely to go up, as a matter of fact, and I can easily see it going to $1.75 or more. When exchange rates are this bad, it makes just walking down the street and breathing in a foreign country heart-stoppingly expensive. Not to mention airfares, which I also think are not going to get any better any time soon. So, as much as it breaks my heart, I have to be a responsible grown-up and shelve this plan for the time being.

After I worked through all of this in my head I had a little cry and then I went for a nice run and I'm mostly at peace with it now, so don't worry about me. And let's not talk about it too much more, because it doesn't much change things and I'm ready to let it go. I will say, though, that the dreamy items above were a direct result of me doing a little consolation shopping to salve my wound. It did the trick and then some, because the total for all three of those dresses? Less than 50 bucks.

All hail the Bargain Queen.

One more thing -- as an additional consolation, I'm planning a nice, fun, three-day weekend to visit some of my nearest & dearest in Dallas next month. Dallas is a far cry from Paris, of course (although not from Paris, TX), but my friends there always treat me comme une princesse and my darling Ms. Jody has promised to call me mon amie all weekend if I desire. While I'm in Dallas, in between the museuming and the retailing and the general swanning about, I though it might be fun to have a meet & greet with whatever Dallas-area readers might be interested. So if anyone reading this in the Dallas Metroplex (a phrase I can't even type with a straight face, let alone say) is interested in getting all swankied up and meeting me for an early-evening Friday cocktail hour, let me know. If there's enough interest, I'll put something together. Right now the most likely date for this would be June 20, although that isn't set in stone. If you think you might like to join me, let me know in the comments or by sending me an e-mail (see "contact" in my profile).

C'est tout pour maintenant. A bientôt!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Shopportunity -- May 27

Need summer shoes? Endless has $25 off sandals from select brands. Plus they have free overnight shipping and returns. Go check it out!

FREE Overnight Shipping from Endless.com

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 26, 2008

Give It a Whirl

It's funny how the mind works. Last week in my post about fashion at Cannes I posted a photo of Woody Allen. My guess is that Woody Allen doesn't make it onto fashion blogs all that frequently, and he wasn't the focus of the photo for me, but it got me thinking about him as a filmmaker. While I haven't loved every Woody Allen movie I've ever seen, I've at least liked almost all of them, and there are some I absolutely adore. One of my very favorites is a little movie he did in 1997 called Everyone Says I Love You. It's a musical featuring the usual Woody Allen cast of dozens, and it's surprisingly sweet and funny. And thinking about that movie made me think of my favorite scene in it, which is this one...

Isn't that just swoony? (Seriously, if that doesn't melt your heart, or at least thaw out the edges, I'm not sure there's any hope for you. It's one of my favorite things I've ever seen on film.) Goldie Hawn started out her life in show biz as a dancer, remember -- it's why to this day she still has those great legs. And this scene is set in Paris, which of course makes me love it all the more now, although the first time I saw the movie I'd yet to go there. (And if anyone familiar with Paris can tell me which bridge that is I'd love to know. I can't quite suss it out.)

One of my favorite details of the scene is Goldie's dress. It's a perfectly simple black dress, but obviously designed to be shown to its best advantage while it's moving. (Jeffrey Kurland, who has costumed most if not all of Allen's movies, does an amazing job in this one -- it's a great example of how a costumer can use clothes to help define characters.) It looks like several layers of silk chiffon in that skirt and an elegant, fitted top with snug sleeves that make her arms look nice & long. Oh, the joy of a twirly, swirly skirt. It's one of life's best things.

I have to admit, since I've been enjoying the New Skinny I've been rather vain about my new shape and have been indulging in pencil skirts pretty exclusively. But this clip reminded me of how much I do love to wear a skirt that's fit for dancing -- how much most women do, really. Fewer things in your wardrobe can make you feel prettier and more feminine than a nice big twirly skirt.

So, forthwith find an assortment of things to wear when you're feeling all girlie and twirly and swirly. As usual, click photos or hypertext for links.



(It's not just a dress -- it's a frock. Which is scads better, as we all know.)

Great twirly linen for summer.


This might be more floaty than twirly, but let's go with it.

D&G Dolce & Gabbana Taffeta Strapless Dress

Crystal pleats are excellent for twirling.


On this right girl, this would be quite a wedding dress, don't you think?icon She'd need to wear her hair loose and carry a bouquet of wildflowers. Lovely.

For those who like their twirly on the subtle side -- classic and gorgeous.

More affordable version of the "frock" above with -- dare I say it -- an even better skirt. It's already twirling for you in the picture!


Because even goddesses like to dance sometimes.

Just Cavalli Gathered Jersey Dress

For the small-busted gal who wants a twirl.


On sale at a great price!!


Iridescent chiffon!!! Oh, I get a little trembly just thinking about it!

This weekend I got together for wine & gossip with the delicious Plumcake, and, inspired by the research I'd done for this post, I wore my great big cream tulle Michael Kors skirt -- it's a borderline tutu, really, and beyond lovely - two layers of vanilla-colored tulle over a layer of cream silk organza. It's so light and floaty, it moves if you even think about a breeze. As I walked down the street, the wind blew, my skirt twirled and lifted (but I was wearing a slip, so I was not afraid!), and my lips curved in the sort of smile that only a woman who loves what she is wearing smiles. It was a smile just for me and my skirt.

If you haven't already, go put on something that makes you smile. It doesn't have to be a big skirt or a dance dress, anything will do as long as it makes you happy. Whatever it is, put it on, go look at yourself in the mirror, and give a little twirl.

Oh, you look wonderful...

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Shopportunity -- Memorial Day Sales

macys.com - 5.21 - 5.26

YOOX.COM FashionTherapy 247

(After you've done your shopping, enter PROMOTIONS@YOOX in the YOOX CODE space located on the first page of the Cart and click New Total to apply the discount. This code offers an EXTRA 25% OFF only on items from the preview. Purchase at least one item from the preview and the code will also be valid for Free Standard Shipping on the order. Remember that the code is valid until 11.59 p.m. EST on May 22nd. )

Spring styles at Shoes.com

Today through Monday, May 26, save an additional 15% off all sale and clearance styles for men, women and kids. Enter code MEMORIAL08 at checkout.

Clinique Online (ELC)

You may notice that I have a few new affiliates listed on the blog. I hope you'll check them out. I'm choosy about which etailers I advertise and only go with merchants I really like and feel can offer a worthwhile shopping experience. One of them is C&C California, a brand I was recently turned on to by a great SA and who make the softest, most wonderful knits. Also new on the list is Gap.com, and consequently Old Navy and Banana Republic as well as Piperlime, because the company has oh-so--brilliantly re-designed their e-commerce site to allow you to shop from all 4 merchants with one shopping bag. That means you can purchase from all 4 stores and still only pay one shipping charge. Genius! My affiliates, ummm.... reward me for click-throughs from this site to theirs (and if you purchase something, they reward me even more!), so I hope next time you're shopping you'll consider using my humble blog as a launch pad.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone, whether you're shopping or not!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, May 23, 2008

Unforeseen Peril

Okay, maybe not peril, more like unforeseen annoyance, but that's not nearly as interesting a title, is it?

I went out for drinks Wednesday night and I was wearing these shoes:

(Yes. They are good. And I do appreciate them, believe me. I waited a long time for these shoes.)

Nothing wrong at all with these babies, except I was wearing them with some wide-legged trousers that I had hemmed myself, and I spent all evening reaching down and unhooking the thread in the hem stitching from where it'd gotten itself wrapped around the sequins on the backs of the shoes. It is a testament to Mr. Armani's high-quality manufacture that none of the sequins popped off, because I stood up more than once without checking them and while I may have to re-sew some of the stitching on the trousers, the shoes are perfect. Note to self: These shoes with skirts only. Note to everyone else: remember, tricked-out shoes can be just that -- tricky.

On the other hand...

Ecstacy Heel - Bronze

Shellys London Women's Luna Flat

(These also come in blue, like mine!)

Cyprus Flat - Black



Oh Deer! Jamocha (Women's) - Gold Sequin

Women's shoes: Liz Claiborne Brandey - Silver sequin

Celine Pump - Red

Ruby slippers!! LOVE!!!


Rebels Women's Albee Flat

Oh Deer! Oz (Women's) - Silver Sequin

Dolce Wedge - Red

(Okay, these are bordeline stripper shoes, but I couldn't resist.)


Bling It On - Silver Flat

Anne Klein New York Women's Elana Flat

justsweet Women's Nichola Open Toe Pump

Yellow Box Dayze Sequined Flat


Martinez Valero Women's Calin Slide


...so totally worth it.

I would also like to point out that most of the shoes on this page are on sale. (Not, unfortunately, the Loubies or the Manolos -- calm down & wipe the drool off your chins.) So go -- getcha some twinkly toes. You won't be sorry, I promise.

Stumble Upon Toolbar