Monday, December 29, 2008

Shopportunity -- December 29

Quick! Through today if you enter the code WOW at checkout at Piperlime, you get an extra 20% off all sale handbags.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Want vs. Need

Oh, it's the week after Christmas. And to make up for the well-publicized dip in spending this year resulting from the well-publicized American economic recession, many retailers are offering well-publicized and pretty drastic sales on merchandise. Which is, of course, killing me. Because I am Not. Shopping. Style Spy is on a No Buy and really needs to stick to it, because funds are thin on the ground in le Monde de Style Spy and if she ever wants to take another vacation in her life (and she does, I assure you, she desperately, desperately does), she has got to get her financial ducks in a row.

And so, the No Buy.
But I can still look. And share with you guys.

What I want:

Jean Paul Gaultier High-Waisted Plaid Trouser

These are Gaultier and I just adore them -- they are a nearly perfect pair of pants. Such a great silhouette for nearly any body type and of course, that wonderful Katherine Hepburn vibe that most of us love. However, they are $895, which is a bucket o' cash for a pair of slacks. So I found some more reasonable alternatives.

D&G Dolce & Gabbana Wide-Leg Chambray Pants

These are a slightly more casual take on the wide-leg trouser, made of chambray so they're going to function as a pair of really nice jeans. Super cute.

Tracy Reese Cuffed Trouser

These are adorable -- I really like that asymmetrical button closure at the waist. They are not as high-waisted as the Gaultiers, but I still really like them. Best of all, these and the D&Gs are already on sale at eLuxury and right now they're giving an additional 30% off all sale merch through January 5.


(Click on this link and go look at their stuff -- they've got very good goods over there.)

Okay, so those are what I want. You know what I need?

Under Armour Women's ColdGear Frosty Tight

Yeah. Not nearly so interesting, huh? But it's winter and I need some more running tights. So I look at tights in stores and on online, and I hear myself complaining about how expensive they are. This is really pretty ridiculous on my part. (Not that they're not expensive -- they are. Depending on the various "features," you can spend 80, 90, 100 bucks on what is basically half a yard of lycra and some elastic, which does seem a bit extreme.) The ones above are roughly $50.00. And I'm balking at paying that. Which is silly, because I'm a runner, I run almost every day, and I'll probably wear them at least once a week while it's cool, and for many years to come. Amortized out, these things are going to cost pennies per wear. And yet I'm resentful.
On the other hand, was I resentful about spending entirely too much money on these?

(Which I have worn, I think three times since I bought them - on sale - last year?)

Lord, no. I still think these were a bargain.

(The mind of the Fashionista is a funny thing. You probably don't want to go rummaging around in there.)

But the running tights are not fun, are they, and they're certainly not faaaaaabulous. They don't cause one's breath to catch in one's throat like mine did when I met those red Valentinos. No one is going to stop me as I chug through my neighborhood and say, "I LOVE those tights! Where did you GET those???" Whereas when I wear those red shoes I should probably hire a bodyguard, based on the comments & looks I get from other women. (Bitches want my shoes, man!)

Being a grown-up means learning to prioritize. And so -- no wonderful high-waisted wide-leg trousers for me this week, or next. But a gal can dream.

How about you guys? Struggling with any Want vs. Need situations right now? Share your pain -- we'll console one another.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

(Sorta) Home for the Holidays

Happy Holidays to all my readers!

This morning I head out for a week and when I return, I will have company. La maman de Style Spy is coming to Austin! And not just to visit, friends -- my darling mother is relocating here. Yes! It's been a whirlwind but it looks like it has finally come to pass. I'm thrilled to have my best shopping buddy at the ready, and I'll admit I'm looking forward to never pinning one of my own hems again. (Okay, I'll still do my own pants, but Mom's in charge of skirts & dresses.)

I had a couple of posts I wanted to get ready & serve up while I was away, but my photo hosting site is giving me fits and not cooperating presently, so that's not going to happen. For now I'll just wish you all happy holidays and promise to start off the new year with some fabulous fashion!

Peace, love, and shoes to you all!!!

(By the way -- the Pucci scarf is still available and hasn't yet made it on to eBay so the free shipping offer for readers still stands. It occurred to me that if I posted the auction today it would be ending on Christmas Day, which seemed unwise.)

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pucci on the 'Bay -- Auction Preview

This is going on eBay soon:

Gorgeous, glorious, Pucci Orchidea scarf in the blue colorway. Beautiful heavy silk twill, 35" square, hand-rolled edges, the whole shebang. It's brand-new, it's never been worn, it still has the tags attached.

It's amazing.

It retailed for $290.00, but I'm asking less than half of that -- $130.00. No catches, no secrets -- Style Spy is broke and needs to do some divesting. Like I said, this is going on eBay Thursday, but I'm giving my readers a preview and a special offer -- if you buy this scarf here (and you live in the US) before it hits the 'Bay, I'll ship it for free. And if you hop to it, I can get it to you (again, provided you live in the US) in time for Christmas. Do note -- I'm leaving town Thursday and I won't be back until Christmas Eve, so if this beauty is the gay apparel you want to don, let me know quick like a bunny. Use the "Contact Me" link in my profile, or leave a comment on this post if you're interested. (And please, no haggling. It's $130. Period.)

Photos: Style Spy

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Love It or Hate It -- Yet More Fuzz

All right -- well, last week's fuzzy cardigan got an overwhelming thumbs down -- 90% of voters Just Said No to fuzz. That one was made of eyelash yarn and I have to agree -- I think it's a fiber that should only be found in handmade stuffed animals for sale at holiday season fundraiser craft sales.

Or in hats that your friend Ginny knits you in order to help you channel your inner feline.


But I saw these next two when I finally got around to checking out the pre-Fall 2009 collections. They're from Donna Karan (and by the way, this collection is thoroughly gorgeous.) These are not eyelash yarn -- these are apparently ostrich feathers & paillettes.



I have to say, I love 'em. They are decadent and statement-making and wild. Especially the red one (no surprise there) -- I can think of a lot of ways I'd like to wear that. I love the idea of it with my black Rochas skirt with a simple silk shell underneath it, or with skinny black cropped pants and high-heeled boots.

So what do we think? Love it or hate it? Vote in the poll top right!


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Style Spy Gets Her Martha Stewart On

This weekend I took on a little interior design project that I've been planning for some time.

Aided by a sale on picture frames at Michael's, I finally framed some shopping bags from some of my favorite perfume purchases. In a happy coincidence, the color palettes all worked really nicely together and also worked with the color scheme in my bedroom. No one is going to mistake my work for a professional's, but I'm pretty happy with it.
Now if I could just figure out what to do with the stack of great big full-sized shopping bags in my closet that I can't bear to part with.

I love shopping bags -- they're this great little utilitarian piece of design. That Ormonde Jayne bag above (bottom left) is made with some of the most gorgeous, heavy, slightly glossy paper I've ever seen, and the side gussets of the bag are orange. I have a bag from Takashimaya (where I bought my beloved Jasmin de Nuit, which is -- ::sob!:: almost gone) that is three-sided. Some magical origami wizard must have designed that one, but I
can't figure out a way to display that one & do it justice. My Valentino shopping bag (red satin bow-sided peep-toe pumps) is absolutely beautiful -- the paper is so heavy it's almost fabric, and the handles are gorgeous double-sided satin ribbons. My shopping bags are a bit like a photo album -- they remind me of not only the thing that I carried home in them, but the circumstances surrounding the purchase, like where I was and who I was with. The Ormonde Jayne bag contained a bottle of my beloved Tolu and made its way into my hands while I was in the company of two of my dearest friends while on a visit to London. From there we went to Fortnum's and had tea in the café. And the bag from Malle was handed to me by my friend Tiphaine, who had stuffed it chock full o' samples of all the Malle fragrances. I carried it around all night while she & Corinne & I enjoyed wine & perfume in the Marais. A lovely memory.

So how about you? Do you have a favorite shopping bag? What came in it? Does it have a story?

Photo: Style Spy

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some Fairy Dust, Some Snake Oil

Oh, you have got to be kidding me.


The first time I saw that, I seriously thought it was a parody. Because Van Cleef & Arpels released a fragrance called Feerie not long ago (chock full o' violets -- I did not enjoy) and this is so obviously a riff on that. However. The VC&A packaging and advertising, though a little twee, is of course light years ahead of this in class and taste, but VC&A does not have the career of a famous-for-nothing no-talent with a cosmically-sized need for attention whose "career" they are trying to advance. Seriously, aren't we through with this young woman yet?

I have nothing to say about the fragrance itself -- I haven't smelled it and I don't plan to. Robin's review on Now Smell This is entertaining & informative, so read that instead. I am going to talk about the styling on this ad, which absolutely made my jaw drop. Parlux, the company that owns Paris Hilton's fragrances, announced earnings of well over $150 million last year, yet they apparently could not be talked into spending more than 60 bucks for this ad, and that's including the alarmingly phallic magic wand. The stylist must have shopped exclusively at Rave & the Disney Princess store -- or maybe just a fabric store for those wispy scraps that are posing as some sort of skirt. And what's with the sparkle-studded ribbons winding up her legs? Is this some sort of My Little Pony Does Bondage thing? Baffling. I'm not completely surprised, of course, since Ms. Hilton's personal taste is routinely excruciating, and the marketing for her previous releases was also pretty cheesy, but this is truly some sort of advertising nadir. This is even worse than the Britney Spears one featuring her with the obviously fake bird sitting on her finger and a couple of yards of hospital gauze wrapped around her tube top. (Warning to all starlets hawking vanity perfumes: if they come at you with a tube top, pitch a stadium-sized hissy fit and start screaming for your manager.)

The best bit about this, though, is
this article I found on the Interwebs, from someplace called It claims that Paris did not want there to be any airbrushing on the artwork for the campaign, so she "went totally crazy toning up." Yeah, you betcha. No airbrushing there, nosirree. The article also informs us that "Hilton is not only the face but also the brain behind the fragrance."

'Nuff said.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And You Thought the Fuzzy Cardigan Was Bad...

Behold Pixie Geldof, attending -- ironically -- the British Fashion Awards in London last month.


Good googly-moogly.

First of all, let me just say that I don't absolutely hate the coat the way I imagine a lot of people are going to. I fancy I could actually rock that coat -- I'd just wear something long, lean, monochromatic, and super slick underneath it. Say some narrow black trousers & a black turtleneck with my black Goliath superhigh-heled boots. I know not everyone is going to see the potential in the coat (
the Daily Mirror compared it to a silverback gorilla, which is pretty damned funny), and Pixie sure isn't helping matters with her other choices, but the coat (which is from Mulberry) is honestly the least of my problems with this outfit.

The most of my problems? Oh, that's tough to say. I mean, talk about an embarrassment of riches. Starting from the top, I'm going to have to loudly decry that chain-mail bra top, the sort of thing that you would wear if you were a hooker with a Mists of Avalon obsession. Truly awful. Working our way down -- Pixie, honey, the leggings are supposed to go under things. They aren't actually supposed to function as pants. Especially if you, like Pixie, aren't exactly a pixie, if you understand me.

But possibly the thing about this ensemble that tragifies me the most is the shoes. Ms. Geldof is famous & loaded & hooked up & going to events like the dingdong British Fashion Awards and
these are what she comes up with???

Pleaser Women's Sky-302 Sandal

I swear these are what she's wearing, I swear.

I mean, seriously -- what the HELL?

I don't know that Pixie here is famous for anything other than being the unfortunately-named (Her full given name is Little Pixie Geldof. She has sisters named Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, and
Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Nope, not making that up.) party-girl offspring of celebrities (her dad is Sir Bob, he of the Boomtown Rats and Live Aid), but surely she has enough spare scratch that she doesn't have to buy her shoes at some sort of pole dancers' Oxfam shop. And if there is in fact a designer name scrolled in gilt down that insole, said designer should be taken out and flogged with strips of the clear vinyl used to make the upper of that so-called "shoe."

This whole outfit just hurt my feelings like crazy. Perhaps the fact that Pixie is only 18 is a mitigating factor. With luck, this bad judgment can be attributed to youthful inexperience and in time unfortunate incidents like this will become less frequent. Fingers crossed.


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Monday, December 8, 2008

Love It or Hate It -- December 8

When I was a little girl, I had what was called, for reasons I cannot comprehend, a monkey jacket. It was a little long-haired white faux fur cropped jacket with ribbing around around the bottom and at the cuffs. I loved that jacket -- I felt super-cool when I was wearing it and was sad when I outgrew it (especially because that meant I had to hand it down to my bratty little sister, who'd gotten a pink one when I got my white one and then got to enjoy mine after that -- SO unfair). I haven't thought of it for years, but it came to mind when I saw this

Alice + Olivia Fuzzy Short Cardigan

So while part of me has warm feelings for this because it reminded me of my long-ago monkey, the other part thinks that it looks a little like an old ratty gorilla costume that's been rented by too many frat boys on Halloween.

What do you think? Is it whimsical? Or grotty? Vote in the poll in the top right corner.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Remember When "Recess" Used To Be A Good Thing?

So on Monday, we got word from some big economic muckety-mucks that the country is in an actual recession and has been for a year.

Altogether now: "Well,

And yet...
Someone is spending money, because these dark sparkly beauties from Giuseppe Zanotti


I would do wicked, wicked things in these shoes. I would do wicked, wicked things for these shoes. Oh, my...

that retail for a cool $995.00 on Net-A-Porter (that's about one latte shy of a grand, folks) are sold out in all but three sizes. And they're not even on sale yet.


Can I buy stock in Zanotti, I wonder?

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

Voilá Mary Alice Stephenson (no, I dunno either; some random socialite) accompanied by Peter Som, whose design she is wearing.

peter som

Here is said dress as it shimmied down the runway on the body of Dutch model
Iekeliene Stange.
peter som

Now, I can see how a person sitting in the audience of this show, or strolling through Mr. Som's showroom, would look swoonily upon that dress and sigh, "Ooh, I looooove that! I want to wear that the the New York City Ballet's Opening Night Gala this year!" I mean,
I sure would. It's beautiful, it's elegant, I love the feather thing (although I do worry about what kind of shape those beautiful pheasant feathers would be in after one had sat through two or three hours of ballet).

Except, here's the thing.
According to her Wikipedia article, Ms. Stange is 5'9 1/2" and has a 31" chest. The word "willowy" comes to mind. Ms. Stephenson... well, not so much. I'm not saying she's a hippo or anything, please understand, she looks to be an extremely attractive woman, but she also looks a little short-waisted. And, oy. She could really do with a little hoikage. Bottom line (so to speak): the top edge of her belt seems to be only about an inch and a half below the bottom of her bust. Oh, this is SO not the right thing. At the very least, Ms. Stephenson needs a bra that does her some favors, and if I had my way the waist on that dress would have been dropped a couple of inches. It is not easy to wear a garment with three such very distinctive horizontal zones -- if they aren't placed correctly, they are going to be deadly. Conventional wisdom tells us that horizontal lines make us look wider because they lead the eye from side to side, but in this case the horizontal-ness is less of a problem than the disproportion of the three sections. That compressed top part makes her look stumpy. And I'm sure she's NOT stumpy. So I'm going to have to take Mr. Som to task here, because if he knows her well enough to be her date to the NYCB gala, he should do her the favor of an "Oh, honey, no. Let me fix that for you."

That being said -- there was so much in this collection (F/W '08) that I loved. It had a wonderful louche 30's feeling about it, I thought, sort of a glam take on "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

peter som

I've had a real thing about fur collars lately. There's something so posh and luxe about them. A full fur can be a bit much, but a big fur collar gets the point across without overdoing it. (And no, I don't have a problem with fur. I mean, I want to know the fur isn't from an endangered species and was obtained legally, but as a non-vegan leather-wearer I think whingeing about fur would make me a bit of a hypocrite. I'm sorry if that offends, but there it is.)

peter som

peter som

Great use of patent, huh?

peter som

This makes me nuts. That nipped-in waist (TWO belts!), the cardi peeking out, the layers in the skirt... that's a marvelous combination of detail with sharp tailoring.

peter som

Well, no one gets it right every time...

peter som

I am kah-razy for these big slouchy pants.

peter som

Why, Miss Jones! You're BEAU-TI-FUL! Sexy librarian -- one of my favorite muftis.

peter som

Ooooooooooooh. Sooooooo pretty. Let's all swoon simultaneously: ready, set, SWOON!

And check out these lovelies:

peter som

peter som

Oh, baby, come to mama. From M. Louboutin. If you're going to subcontract your shoe design, you sure could do worse.

Just for you, Style Spy found a little bit of Peter Som on the interwebs. Click photos for links.


Adorable floral print skirt, crazy on sale at Saks.


Hey, look! Big slouchy pants!! On sale big slouchy pants!!

Great skirt. An interesting pattern that doesn't overwhelm.

What couldn't you wear with this jacket? I can't think of much.

Whaddya think? Anything catch your eye?


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Who Shopped?

Wow. Three out of the four items I rec'd on the post immediately below have sold out since this morning, and one has depleted size availability. Was that you guys? C'mon, spill! Who shopped? And if you did, please send me feedback when you get your items!

Also -- the little patent Cole Haan wedges I posted on Tuesday have miraculously shown up on their website in even more colors, including that wonderful tortoise patent that I got my driving mocs in. Go check 'em out!

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Shopportunity -- December 3

One-day only special at Last Call Neiman Marcus:


It's not everything on the site, and you have to look carefully (there is an awful lot of droopy, anonymous, inoffensively pastel, pay-no-attention-to-me Eileen Fisher on there -- just skip over that stuff), but there are some real winners at incredible deals. I've done some culling for you, but don't let that stop you from looking for yourself.


Admire the style of our next First Lady? Try this. This darling, incredibly useful dress comes in red, charcoal, and chocolate and is down to less than $50. Seriously.

Love this


From D&G. This is especially fun because you get the naughtiness of the animal print in a silhouette that isn't the least bit tarty -- that full skirt was made for twirling, though, so make sure your underpinnings are appropriate! The bodice on this is squared-off and ruched, so it's best for the small-to-medium-busted. Be aware that D&G sizes run a bit small -- you might want to go up one from your usual. But you can get over that, right? It's just a number. Here's another number: 125. Which is all that will set you back.

We all know how much I love a shirtdress


And this one has some really nice details. Love this color, and it's only $50.

Another great shirtwaist


This one in Women's sizes. Beautiful, wear-it-forever classic, and an incredible bargain at about $65.

Best of all, you get free shipping at any price with the code DECNM. I LOVE that. What's better than sale clothes? Sale clothes they send right to your front door for free!!! Woo-hooooo!!!!!!

So, go! Shop!!!

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