Friday, May 29, 2009

Fair Trade In the Shade

Oh, would you just look at this gorgeous woman!

Her name is Carry Sommers and the photo above is by the adorable Polka Dot (click on it to link to her wonderful blog). Carry is a friend of PD's and founded Pachacuti, which is a company that sponsors cooperatives of artists in South America and imports their goods into the UK. And they have some really fantastic stuff. There is some actually attractive knitwear and clothing. I have to be honest here -- usually when I hear "Fair Trade" and "sustainable" and words like that attached to fashion, my eyes glaze over a bit because I figure I'm going to be presented with a raft of those hooded, rainbow-striped pullovers that every hacky-sack-playing, dreadlocked, Teva'd slacker college student wears as part of his uniform. Which are all well & good, I suppose, but very much Not My Thing.

Anyhoo, the things at Pachcuti are shippable to the States, very reasonably priced, and will probably make you feel a wee bit better about your retail impulses because of its Fair Trade status. Everybody wins!

Their specialty seems to be hats, and Style Spy is all about a good hat. These are all handmade and the profits from them go directly to the people who make them. And? Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. (Click photos for links.)

This hat is rollable -- yes, rollable! You can toll it up and tuck it into your suitcase and not destroy it! Genius!!

This one's rollable, too!

I am NUTS for this. What a good-looking hat. Man, could I rock that hat...

Look at the brim! Too cool!!!

I don't know what it's like where you live, but where I live it's summer already. Hats are important for the utilitarian purpose of keeping your face & neck shaded, and if you can accomplish that and still look this stylish, you're golden. So order one of these beauties and relax.

Ooh, you know what really looks good with a hat like this? A gin & tonic...

Don't forget to help out with Style Spy's World Fashion Domination challenge! Click here to find out how you can become eligible for a gift certificate!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Model of Restraint

I spent the Memorial Day holiday in Dallas with some dear friends. It was a lovely three-day weekend spent in the company of three of my most beloved friends, so even if I hadn't done anything besides sit on my butt in their living room it would have been great, but it was filled with fun. Saturday, we had dinner at a lovely tapas bar, where I ate a tuna tartare dish that made me nearly cry. (Yummy seasoned tuna over a pear slaw with a hazlenut/anchovy/olive purée. Seriously. So. Damn. Good. And these particular friends happen to all be big ol' weenies cautious when it comes to raw seafood, so I got to eat ALL of it all by myself!!!)

Sunday I finally got to go here:

This is the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando and filled with some mighty fantastic stuff. This building is... words fail me. It is simply spectacular. Even if it didn't house some of the best art I've gotten to look at in quite a while (more about which at a later date), it's worth visiting just to experience the architecture. If you live within striking distance of Ft. Worth and you haven't been there, hie thee over and take a gander.

And then... there was some retailing. Because... well, because that's what I do. (You may notice you've yet to read about me going on vacation at a beach or an isolated mountain cabin or anyplace like that. Quelle surprise.)

I was retailing both with a purpose and with great restraint. The purpose was to replace a bottle of one of my Top Three Frags at Barney's and sniff some new things I haven't yet tried & some old things I'm interesting in trying anew. (I'm on the hunt for something kind of specific, fragrance-wise -- again, more about which later.) The restraint was... a fact of life. Style Spy is not blessed (Dammit!) with unlimited funds and needs to be pinching her pennies if she ever wants to return to Paris. (Which she does.) So I was good. I was very, very good. What follows here is a list of things I resisted, for which I would like to receive some cyper-pats on my curly little head, thankyouverymuch. Because all of the things shown here were either in my hot little hands or on my hot little feet and, additionally, they were on sale. Everything pictured here was available at 40% or more off this past Monday at either Nordstrom or Barney's and I? Said no to ALL OF IT. (::Style Spy bends to make head available for patting here::)

YSL. These come in black and navy, as well as the burgundy, which is gorgeous.
Even more fun? Pink! ones at Luisaviaroma.

I want a pair of Tribute-based sandals of some sort so much I can practically taste them, but thus far I have refrained. I just live vicariously through Thumbelina. More patting, please.

Nicholas Kirkwood sandals that seriously make a gal gasp out loud. These I didn't even put on because I was pretty sure they'd never come off. And then I'd have had a situation on my hands.

They're available in purple at Luisaviaroma. Good googly-moogly...

Christian Louboutin Lillian in light pink. Oh, my.

Louboutin Hyper Privé in Shocking Pink. Yeah, buddy, these are PINK. Neon, crazy, not-found-in-nature pink. And yet? They work somehow.

I. Just. Want. Them. That is all.

In all honesty, the Loubies shown above weren't that hard to walk away from because they don't fit me. Louboutins are made on a very, very narrow last -- I have tried on exactly one pair of them in my entire life that I thought I could probably wear without crippling discomfort. These:

These? Are some pretty damned fine red patent sandals that would go with everything and never go out of style. Most yummy.

Also yummy. I do not understand how a bow can be made to look both girly and perverse at the same time, but they have managed it in this shoe. These were also available in burgundy, which is even better than the black and far more tempting to me. But I did find that even though these shoes made me instantly sexier and more sophisticated (really!), the top edge of the forefoot came up just a liiiiiiiittle too high -- if I wore these for any length of time they would rub me painfully. I was very surprised by this because typically I have great luck with YSL shoes, they're usually quite comfie on me.

Lastly, on pre-sale* at Barney's:

I put them on but I didn't bother to look at them in the mirror. It would have been too painful. They really are wonderful, but even on sale they're... well, frankly, they're ridiculously expensive. I could get airfare to Paris for the cost of these things, even at 40% off. Which is what I have to keep reminding myself. I have good shoes already. What I need? Is Paris.

How about you guys? Anything you're putting off in favor of something else? What's at the top of your list right now, and how are you faring in your quest to achieve it?

* "Pre-sale" is a concept that annoys the hell out of me. When things go on pre-sale, you're shown the items at their reduced prices and you pay for them, but you don't get to take them home right away. I do not understand the logic of this. I understand pre-SELL, when you put in an order for something that might not yet be physically available at the store so as to ensure that it becomes yours before all of them get snapped up. But pre-SALE, where I give you my real money (or my real credit card signature) for real items that you obviously have there in your real inventory, and then you keep my goodies hidden away until such time as you deem fit to release them to me? I think that's a little more Master & Slave than I like in my retail relationships, thankyouverymuch.


Don't forget to help out with Style Spy's World Fashion Domination challenge! Click here to find out how you can become eligible for a gift certificate!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Customer Service Shout-Out

Swimsuits, as we know, are a problem. Unless you're built like Gisele Bundchen or some other fat-free Amazonian freak of nature, swimsuits are pretty much torture. The best solution I've come up with so far is this:

The board short. I do a board short with whatever top I can find that will actually stay on me in the water (not as easy as it sounds when you're as small-busted as I am) and I'm good to go. I like a board short because it's more modest than a bikini -- no one (including me) has to think think about my... er, "personal grooming" if I'm in a board short. They cover up all the bits of me that I don't particularly want to expose to the world and still look like a swimsuit. Trouble is, dingdong things are hard to find. So when I ran across this pair in black at my local Macy's last Saturday, I snapped 'em up, despite their $40 price tag which I frankly find exorbitant for a half-yard of nylon fabric, a couple of grommets and a shoelace.

Cruising through Macy's again yesterday (forgot to get underwear, dammit!), I noticed that there is now a bunch of happy red 50% Off signs plastered all over the swimwear section. So I snapped up the one other pair of black board shorts they had in my size and took them to the register. And I couldn't help it, I grumbled a bit to myself (and the SA ringing me up) about having bought them for full-price three days ago.

Well. The grumbling paid off, for once. Apparently, Macy's does price adjusts. If you buy something and within ten days it goes on sale, you can bring in said item with its tags and the store will refund you the difference! Woo-hoo!! So I did! And now I have two pairs of the elsuive board shorts for the price of one! Obviously, the Universe wants me to have them...

This may not be big news, some folks might already know about this, but it was a pleasant surprise to me. And now I'm wondering if there are any other retailers that make the same offer -- I'm guessing the larger department stores might all do it. Anyone know of any other places you can do this? Style Spy wants to know!

Don't forget to help out with Style Spy's World Fashion Domination challenge! Click here to find out how you can become eligible for a gift certificate!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Made To Be Broken


Am re-thinking my No Gray Rule. Because of this gorgeous thing....

Yeah. How fantastic is that jacket? Damned fantastic, is the answer to that. There is nothing about that that is not wonderful -- it's just so chic and YSL-ish and I could wear it forever. And if that's not enough, check this out --

::sigh:: Gorgeous vest. I'm still having a major vest moment -- along with the short-sleeved jacket thing that's possessed me of late, it's my favorite way of layering.

These beautiful things (admit it, your jaw dropped open when you saw that jacket) were made by the beautiful Vera. If you click on the photos they will take you to her Etsy site. Here's a link to her blog, Deep in Vogue.

Vera is a designer who models her own clothes (don't hate her because she's beautiful -- she's really very sweet) and has a dreamy, gentle take on the world that's a joy to read.

My first exposure to Vera's work was this:

This is the shockingly chic Thumbelina Fashionista (You don't read her blog? Why not? Tune in and be inspired by the way this woman can work a belt -- she deserves a black belt in... um, well, you get my drift.) modeling Vera's Mummy Dress. I am mighty, mighty intrigued by this dress. I can really see myself in this dress. I am thinking hard about buying this dress. Here's Vera wearing hers.

See? It's thinking I might look like that that makes me want the dingdong dress!

But back to the jacket, which is the most likely item of Vera's that I'd be scooping up... I don't wear gray, especially not that mid-tone gray which is exactly what the jacket is, because I look absolutely awful in it. I can pull off a very dark charcoal bordering on black, but mid-range gray makes me look... gray. Corpse-like, even. Ooooooon the other hand, it is a jacket. I'd be wearing stuff underneath it, and it would certainly be wonderful over a vibrant red or purple (or yellow) top. Also, the price is beyond reasonable. I don't want to give Vera ideas, but good googly-moogly, that's a bargain.

So. Whaddya think? Waive my No Gray Rule? Or stick to my guns?

Photos: Deep In Vogue, Thumbelina Fashionista

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Friday, May 22, 2009

World Domination Through Fashion

Check this out:

(My top three cities: Austin, New York, London. So hats off and thanks to you guys!)

This is the map overlay from my analytics program, the one that tells me how many people are reading my blog and where they're located (Big Brother is watching you!) and all that stuff. When I want a kick, I go look at this. People in almost 1800 different cities visited my blog last month. Which is pretty cool.


It's not enough. Because what I'm aiming for, good or ill, is complete domination of the fashion world.

That's right! You heard me! Please be assured -- I do not simply want power for power's sake. And I do promise to be a benevolent overlord (except to those of you who insist on wearing Crocs). But I want access. I want pull, weight, influence, drag. Because the more of that I get, the more stuff I can share with you. I want to be one of those people who gets aaaaaaaall the insider info and opportunities, so I can pass them on to my wonderful readers. And I want Anna Wintour to listen to me when I talk to her about that damned haircut.

(And while I'm at it, I'm going to have a word with Grace Coddington, as well.)

In the blogosphere, this is all about numbers. So my marketing consultant and I (Yes, I have a marketing consultant. So what if she's one of my best friends and does this for free because she loves me? She's still a darned fine marketing consultant!) have determined that it's time to get the numbers up up up!

And that's where you come in. Here's how you can help.

1. Between now & June 1, forward my blog information to five friends or acquaintances who don't already read it. Encourage them to subscribe to the blog through the RSS feed or to follow it on Blogspot.

2. Once you've done this, please leave me a comment on this post saying so. Why? Because...

3. On June 1, I'm going to draw a name from those in the comments and the winner receives a little goodie bag filled with skincare & perfume samples, as well as a $20 gift certificate to the Style Spy Affiliate of your choice (provided they offer GCs -- not all of them do, sorry!).

Everyone wins. Of course, this will be on the honor system, but my readers are a trustworthy and upstanding group of Fashionistas if ever there was one, so I'm not worried.

So. That's about that. Help Style Spy achieve Complete Fashion Domination, one click at a time. Because together we can make the world a better place. (Or at least a better-looking one.)

Photos:, Getty Images

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shopportunity -- May 20

Woo-hoo! Shoes on sale!!

Hot! Diggity! Remember these, that I raved about the other day?

Women's shoes: Nine West Rusty - Medium blue

On sale!!! How's that for service?!

Women's shoes: Martinez Valero Steffi - Pink

Women's shoes: Martinez Valero Steffi - Turquoise

Classic pump in not-classic colors. Too much fun.

Women's shoes: Emilio Pucci Open-toe Pump - Pink and gray

Swoon, thud, drool, sigh -- all that stuff.

Women's shoes: Sam Edelman Gigi - Mango

Perfectly summer. I for one have never been able to stand wearing thongs -- I hate that feeling of something between my toes. But I see people wearing cute little bare, bright, summery sandals like this with their summer slacks & sundresses and it looks so breezy and nice. These come in several fun colors, and they're just perfect. Sometimes simple is best.
Women's shoes: Unisa Adriana - Blue marine

So now here's a good little something for those of us who don't like the gizmos in-between our toesies. So cute, and what a fabulous color.
Women's shoes: Camper Leia - Turquoise

And one more pair of fab flats, a little less bare this time, but no less colorful and fun.

Women's shoes: Via Spiga Marina - Dark lavender and black

Yes, please. Oh, these are lovely, and have that Eiffel Tower shape I'm so drawn to. Pretty, pretty shoe.

So, go! Shop!!!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hello, Sunshine!



I'm in love with marigold yellow right now. Plummie says it's the logical progression of my purple moment and she may well be right (she usually is, dangit), but I trace it to this


Jil Sander dress that came down the runway at the Fall 09 show and that I posted about in March. I adored this collection and pretty much everything in it (oh, Raf Simons, will you pleeeeeeeeease marry me?) and honestly think I could have built my rest-of-my-life wardrobe out of it. Magnificent. The shapes and colors from these clothes have been lingering & percolating in my head, and the most pressing current manifestation of that is a deep love for this color.

Following the course of this bit of fashion logic (if we can call it that), I decided that I really needed something yellow to go with this skirt

I like it with red, of course, but what don't I like with red? In Style Spy's world, red is a neutral. But as I said, the marigold yellow has me in its feathery, sunny clutches, so when I spied the top at Barney's Co-Op this weekend, I promptly popped it on.

The tank is 3.1 Philip Lim. I mentioned yesterday how I feel about this guy, and when I picked this up it only added fuel to the fire and fanned the flames of my love of Lim. (Say that out loud three times fast!) It's from the Resort 08 collection, which is on sale right now in several places. You can get the top (and other lovely Lim) at Barney's and Net-A-Porter, although it is selling out quick like a bunny. And no wonder, really. It's such a lovely piece -- when I emerged from the dressing room wearing it, it elicited a spontaneous and obviously genuine "Oh, that's so pretty!" from the SA. I thought so, too. Honestly, the color is more of a sunshine yellow than marigold yellow -- there's not as much orange in it -- but this bothered me not one iota. I'm a wee bit unsure of how this shade works on me, but I'll just need to be careful with the ol' maquillage -- make sure I have a bright lip. (Style Spy's solution to everything, apparently, is a bright lip. No doubt makeup artists the world over are laughing at me.) When I get the outfit pulled together I'll get a photo, but I promised no more look-at-me posts this week, so it'll have to wait.

The most logical choice of shoe for this ensemble is this one

Prada Ombrés -- we're still in love after all this time

but I'm also toying with the idea of these

Cole Haan calf hair -- these shoes make me wiggle when I walk. Trés Angie Dickinson in Vegas.

And really what I'm leaning toward are these

Blahnik Dodos, still beautiful

Because I like the idea of the two bright colors with the skirt. You know me -- more color!!

What do you guys think? Which shoes? And tell me what's inspiring you right now -- I really want to know!

(BTW, I highly rec clicking on those designer names above and tooling around on their sites for a bit. Much yumminess to be had. There are some handbags on the Jil Sander site that will give you a coronary, I promise. Check out 85178 from S/S 09. ::swoon:: Deja, I think this is your next bag.)

Photos:,, Style Spy

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