Jessica McConnell

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

London Fog Gets Frisky

In fashion, Fashion News, Trends on July 29, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Who doesn’t love a great trench coat? But better yet, one with supermodel Gisele Bundchen underneath it…and nothing else.

London Fog’s new campaign will be seen in magazines like Elle this fall. And as for the baby bump? It’s been masterfully edited over and out of the picture, just like most of Hollywood’s flaws. However, this one was for privacy, which I respect and admire Bundchen for.

Gisele, however,  still looks stunning and makes London Fog trench coats look just as enticing as say, the new Burberry campaign with Emma Watson?

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In fashion, Fashion News on July 28, 2009 at 10:35 pm

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So who hasn’t heard about “The Beautiful Life,” starring Mischa Barton? The CW show, airing this fall, will revolve around three fictitious models all at different stages in their modeling careers. The characters, based off some of the real life experiences of model turned actor Ashton Kutcher, who is one of the creators of the show, will be fabulously clad from head to toe in supposed to-die-for fashion ensembles. So is this “just another show?” Or should fashionistas across the country mark their day planners and program their Tivos to record all future episodes?

The pilot, said to have a cameo with Zac Posen, is most likely worth watching. The majority of us may watch because of the recent drama surrounding Mischa Barton but aside from that, if the CW and creators of the show can manage more appearances from designers like Posen, then what’s not to watch?

The show could potentially set itself apart from the other drama infused shows like the poor remake of “90210” or ugh, the up-and-coming “Melrose Place,” if it uses it’s story line wisely. It would be nice to see a realistic version of a model’s daily ins and outs versus the party pictures and representations of them in the media. Because the show isn’t reality, for once, but is based off some real life experiences of previous models, the show definitely stands out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not necessarily looking forward to another flighty, air-filled television show. I want something with a bit of substance and if “The Beautiful Life” succeeds, I will program my TV every week for an hour of Mischa.

A Studlier Attitude for Fall

In fashion, Trends on July 22, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Fashion is definitely forward about where it’s headed this fall and textures and prints are headlining collections. While I’ve never embraced heavy metal adorned accessories and biker babe chic, I’m approaching cautiously this time and I’ve even eyed up a few key pieces that I’m sharing with you below.

The Stud Factor, as I’m calling it, is key this season to pull it altogether. You don’t have to be a trend-master to know it’s making a comeback. Ever since that Streets Ahead black leather studded belt seen on Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie , we’ve been shifting to make room for more of it’s kind.

And this season, inspiration can be derived from puttin’ the petal to the metal. Paired with leather, dotted on stilettos, and monogrammed on minimalist handbags, this is the studlier version of fashion. One that’s weathering the economic hardships and fashion follies. Fashion is baring it’s teeth to the naysayers and becoming more bold in spirit. Embrace black leather and have drinks with the guy down the street who owns the roaring Harley. You’ll be the best dressed biker babe in the local dive bar with this season’s heavy metal trend.

Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs

 

Giuseppe Zanotti

Giuseppe Zanotti

 

Tory Burch

Tory Burch

 

Prada

Prada

 

 

 3.1 Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim

 

Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture

Turlington for Vogue, Stone for W

In fashion, Fashion News, Trends on July 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I love that for this month’s issues, W magazine and Vogue both used models in the industry, rather than celebrities. A veteran, Christy Turlington’s story is amazing and if you don’t already subscribe to the magazine you should go out and pick up a copy. It’s the age issue and she was the perfect choice for 40: She’s a modern day Mom, elegance and glamour aside, and she’s accomplished. Working her way through school at Columbia to better herself, her family, and to fight for pregnant mother’s who receive little to no health care.

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And W? Lara Stone is “Fashion’s It Girl.” Simply said. And if you’re unaware of the radiance she brings to her work, you should absolutely pick up a copy of W and get familiar because we may be seeing her for the long run…

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Models have consistently graced our runways and even the majority of ad campaigns. But it’s been a long time since we’ve seen them on the cover of magazines. Models stopped selling fashion and news and celebrities became the new selling point. For what it’s worth, the fashion industry has been there and back and despite the recent economic setback, they’re taking the long road home. But at least they’re on their way back, right?

A model doesn’t need a cover story, when did that start happening? We idolize the model for becoming a walking art form after wearing Jil Sander down the runway or escaping to the beach in a half nude D&G campaign for summer. We don’t know their families, eating habits, or favorite movies. They do their job, they do it well, and while the industry may scrutinize every inch of their bodies, WE do not. They’re still people. I once worked with a model who clearly had cellulite. She wore Spanx over her long, thin legs for that show, it wasn’t even necessary. Celebrities have spider veins, get acne, and they do eat pizza. And despite the in-tolerances of some in the industry, models do the same. And if they don’t, then perhaps they should think about getting out. It’s the model’s distinctiveness, not necessarily their beauty that we covet. It’s their ability to go home at night and lead a life in the shadows after wearing $3,000 Chanel.

I love the comeback they’re making and I look forward to seeing more models ‘modeling’ clothes, because afterall, this is their industry, they aren’t a celebrity, they’re a MODEL.

“Barely Legal”

In Diary, fashion, Uncategorized on July 18, 2009 at 12:52 am

My friend living in Brooklyn sent me a text message today that read: “A 45 year old woman just came into H&M wearing a ‘Barely Legal’ sparkle tee. I thought you would appreciate!…And she was with her two daughters.”

Intrigue. It made me think.

The H&M in Herald Square is unbelievably touristy, not to mention how irritating it must be to have to need a SWAT team of employees to clean up the fitting rooms. Even still, if the woman was a tourist, it doesn’t make it acceptable either way. But t-shirts  adorned with rhinestones and glitter, outlining clever adjectives like, “Spoiled,” “Princess,” or even “Sexy,” say something about one’s self. And not just these, but my friends story of the day made me realize that we all own t-shirts we once purchased for a reason with clever or not-so-clever antecdotes. At one time they were a serious must-have, a prized possession perhaps. Now, however, their lack luster qualities and lame meaning behind their cute sayings sit in your bottom drawer taking up space. A memory from the beach or a trip to Vegas with the girls, (Thank God it was a t-shirt and not one of those matching group tattoos) clearly you’ve literally got a fashion “statement” on your hands and ultimately, your choices do say something about you.

For tees purchased at Rue 21, please put them in garbage bag immediately and don’t look back. Anything else, I suggest doing a double take. If glitter and rhinestones are involved, add them to the bag too. But if we’re talking about a “Team Paris” or Marilyn Monroe quote t-shirt, think about revamping them. Tees like that define your fashion personality and you should wear them for fun under a little blazer or with your boyfriend jeans. Absolutely change the neckline, add some embroidery and layer them up. You don’t have to give away your memories but you can definitely make them better, especially if you don’t remember much of that Vegas trip where you purchased $300 worth of Playboy tees. Ugh.

If you don’t own any of the above, lucky you. And if you feel out of the loop, below are a few places you can get your own and support a good cause. Not only will you look good but you won’t get flashbacks of you and your friends on the bar in Miami when you wear it. Instead, you can show your support for a cause that’s worth filling up a drawer full of t-shirts.

Visit www.vday.org for more information.

Visit http://www.vday.org for more information.

 

Visit www.invisiblechildren.com for more information.

Visit http://www.invisiblechildren.com for more information.

 

Visit www.cafepress.com and check out the Darfur Store.

Visit http://www.cafepress.com and check out the Darfur Store.

Closet Picks

In fashion, What I love this week on July 15, 2009 at 1:22 am

 

1. Sequins. Ugh. Though my recent fascination was most likely brought on by the famed Michael Jackson glove, they’ve been in the works for awhile. The piece I covet is a 3.1 Phillip Lim racerback dress. Do it right or dare to be a 1980’s fashion horror story.

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2. Jimmy Choo crocodile embossed Hunter Wellington Boot. I’ve blogged about this before, and I must say, if rain is not a prominent feature in your weather forecast, just pretend. Justify your rain boot purchase by saying you often visit relatives and friends in places like say, Pennsylvania? And if you don’t, then plan a trip around your boots.

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3.  Eva Green. If you don’t recognize from previous Dior parfume campaigns, then you should pay closer attention. She is a force to be reckoned with. Look for the up and coming film ‘Cracks,’ she is sure to amaze and astound, just as she did in Bertolucci’s film ‘The Dreamers.’

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4. Missoni Lavanda top. What can I say about this…I’m not usually a Missoni fan however, I like the silhouette of this piece.

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A Triumph for Christain Lacroix

In fashion, Fashion News on July 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

 

This fall’s  Haute Couture collection from Christian Lacroix was beautiful in more ways than one. The 32 year old fashion house had recently announced it may close if a buyer cannot be found, leaving Lacroix with little to nothing and his imagination to set his Couture collection apart. Lacroix, a creative genius, used fabric that he had left over or had never used to create one of the most important collections of his lifetime.

Each piece looks precise in all it’s glory with exquisite jackets that show-off his extraordinary craftsmanship. With virtually nothing to work with, Lacroix credited old Hollywood with a mixture of pieces that are glamorous in a very, “here and now” way. The recession has practically forced the house into bankruptcy but a true couturier’s talent, like Lacroix’s, will shine through with craftsmanship and creativity.

I am enamored with the collection because I realized that despite the slow fading of the over-the-top glitz that once went along with Haute Couture, the frugality of it all is bringing back the truly, beautiful pieces that will define designer’s collections and in essence, define themselves. To truly appreciate fashion, you must appreciate Haute Couture. To understand the reasoning behind a designer’s work and collection is amazing because they are literally creating walking forms of art, through inspiration that they find season after season. It’s houses like Lacroix that gave us fashionistas a reason to believe in the power of fashion in the first place. So, I’m rooting for Lacroix on this one and I’m praying that I’ll see his next RTW collection, perhaps more subdued, but even still, his works of art deserve to be displayed on a runway.

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Diary of a Shop Girl

In Diary of a Shop Girl, fashion on July 7, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Like so many of us shop girls, I’m underpaid. Even with a hint of commission to boost my paycheck every other week, sometimes it’s not worth the countless perfect bodies who are in constant denial that they’re actually as thin as they are. In all actuality though, they know this, but they look to us for assurance or for their own ego boost every other week. We’re a customer’s ‘commission,’ so to speak, whether they suffer from low self-esteem or simply can’t get enough of themselves. But in this one particular incident most recently, my assistance was not needed or wanted, in the case of a woman, no older than 30.

She was accompanied by an older man, one who appeared distinguished but who clearly feared losing his age. He was dressed in a Hawaiin printed button down shirt, one that reminded you of something from the Tommy Bahama collection. He paired it with khaki shorts and leather loafers. His full head of white hair and distinct tan did not indicate that he was visiting because I had seen his ‘type’ before. People underestimate the shop girl, as if we don’t really know what’s going on?

The woman he was with tiptoed through the sale racks after I told her they were 50% off but after he announced that she’d never find anything to fit her in a sale rack, meanwhile she was a size 4, she retreated upstairs while he relaxed further into the chair.

The woman, of Asian descent, spoke plain as day while in the comfort of the second floor. She did not flounce about or tip toe. She behaved like any other woman, choosing the things she liked, without asking permission. It was not until her trip back down the stairs that it was clear she had no say in what she wore, how she dressed, and most likely, anything for that matter.

The distinguished man with a tan flipped through her clothing and immediately said ‘no’ to several items, much to the dismay on her face. She ran back to the fitting room, looking like a child coming down off of a sugar high, being told she could not have any more candy. She was adorable. But upstairs she was beautiful and well-spoken, a woman. In front of this smug man she pranced about in the navy silk blouse and funky Free People dress, all of which he said no to, explaining why they didn’t look right on her. She barely spoke in front of him, just pouted, and peered at me behind dancing eyes and a girlish smirk that played upon her lips as she made her way back to try on yet another ‘no.’

The woman, clearly intelligent and of sound mind, knew when to put on a show and she did just as she was taught. Like I said, I have seen this before. And if she wasn’t ordered in the mail, then I’d be shocked.

It’s constantly appalling to see a woman in society being dictated to, and in boutiques, us shop girls see plenty of men with opinions who degrade their women. They think that just because they carry the wallet that it gives them a right to dismiss a woman’s way to make themselves feel and look beautiful. While clothing is not the main concern, it is one of the many signs that women are bearing the brunt of an unhealthy relationship. I cannot stress enough how much I wanted to reach out my hand to this woman and explain to her how as a size 4, there was not an inch of fat on her body and that despite this man’s ridiculous notions, that she looked good in everything she tried on. But alas, I did not, because after all, I’m just shop girl, right?

‘NYC Prep’ – Is Not Gossip Girl

In fashion on July 7, 2009 at 9:49 pm

 

Has anyone tuned into Bravo’s new reality TV show, ‘NYC Prep?’

I give you fair warning- while highly addictive this show may become, it is not, under any circumstances, even a Gossip Girl     wanna-be.

The New York Times on-line recently published an article focused on the new reality show, premised on the lives of prep school teens. While the bitter rants of school administrators were dually noted, I was most interested in the interview with Victoria Goldman, who is the author of “The Manhattan Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools.” According to the New York Times, she “…suggested that the teenagers’ behavior may have something to do with the private schools in the show — which she said are not top-shelf…The schools on this show are all at the bottom,” Ms. Goldman said. “There would never be a Brearley girl on this show.”

It appears that Ms. Goldman set out to prove a point but failed miserably. Her interview was infested with a haughty tone. This just proves the point that these types of schools continue to alienate themselves and push their students further from reality, on an elite conquest. But who’s to say that a student attending Brearley doesn’t drink martini’s and Manhattan’s or doesn’t spend thousands at Bendel’s with her clique of friends with equally impressive handbags? Or does a Brearley girl simply study and attend her bi-weekly piano lesson, while all the time in between making casual conversation with her parents over Scrabble? Doubtful. They’re all teenagers but with bigger bank accounts, making them perfect for a TV show thwarted by excess.

Despite all Manhattan prep-schoolers and upper-eastsiders not having a bit of reality TV drama of their own, my guess is, they still have drama. Life drama, wreaking havoc on their multi-million dollar high-school years. The show follows 6 students from the following schools: Nightingale-Bamford School, the Dwight School, the Birch Wathen Lenox School, the Ross School in East Hampton, and Stuyvesant High School, a public school?

The maturity, outlandish parties equipped with luscious cocktails, somewhat clever banter, to-die-for style and effortless ‘oomph’ and of course, the eye candy, all of which are a part of the CW’s ‘Gossip Girl,’ do not exist all at once or even at all sometimes in this knock-off. As I said before though, fair warning, because Bravo has a habit of bringing out the worst in your inner couch potato and trashy tabloid reading self.

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My Grandfather’s Advice on Fashion

In Diary, fashion on July 4, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I recently came home to visit with my grandparents, who I’m extremely close with. While I often turn their world upside down and cause my grandfather to worry uncontrollably, they accept me for who I am and typically keep their opinions to themselves. However, they are proud of me, whether they understand fashion or not.

On our drive back from Cracker Barrel, their favorite place, my grandfather attempted to humor me with fashion related advice as bluegrass played on their crisp white Jetta’s stereo. In order to paint the proper picture, y0u must know that his most notoriously known outfit is a pair of Levi’s with a tucked in Harley Davidson t-shirt.

After asking what I blog ab0utand me answering with “fashion,” he says to me, “Do you talk about those sack dresses and old-fashioned tennis shoes, you know they’re comin’ back in style. I saw em’, they were in the new JC Penney catalog we got in the mail. And those jeweled bands for your hair too.”

Bloody Hell.

It’s times like those that I actually wished he would’ve blasted the blue grass so that I didn’t have to hear my grandmother  chime in from the back seat, “I thought those were called muu-muus!” It was too much to ask I guess, so I shuddered and put my head down. I was living in deplorable fashion conditions where inspiration was being derived from a JC Penney catalog.