Jessica McConnell

Archive for the ‘fashion’ Category

Vogue Paris: 90 Years of Decadence

In fashion, Fashion News on October 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I had to post these links…

Feeling very inspired by the ultra luxe ambiance of this party, the pictures and thought processes behind the costumes are enough to make me fall in love with fashion again, even if I am surrounded by black and gold fever in the steel city.

Enjoy and as always, stay Absolutely Fabulous.,,


Insert Cleavage Here

In fashion on August 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm


If you don’t have cleavage, you want it. If you have too much, you’d gladly give it to some A-cup waif.

Bottom line: Fashion has never made it socially acceptable to be a C-cup with curves. Meaning, unless you worked for Victoria’s Secret, you’d be unemployed by most major fashion houses, who in recent years have gravitated towards younger models with boyish figures. The clothes look amazing, as usual, which is the point anyway. But is it?

The majority of women purchasing clothing are not size 0, 17-year-old models. They’re career women with children and busy lives who are curvy and eat chocolate cake. Who then exercise like hell to work off the calories from that cake. These are real women who swoon over fashion and fall in love season after season but designers, over time, haven’t returned the dedication. Until now.

So bring on the sexy pin-up girl style. You should flaunt whatever you have because anything is socially acceptable now. Not only has our one true passion embraced it’s true customer but it’s making women feel prettier than ever by making beautiful clothing for Every Body. I will always  adore the fact that Marc Jacobs had an epiphany and pulled models like Elle Macpherson, Karolina Kurkova and Bar Refaeli for his Fall 2010 show for Louis Vuitton. His ode to the fifties breaths new life into house wife domestication with corsets and cleavage that’s not too sexy for everyday.


Diary of a Shop Girl

In Diary, Diary of a Shop Girl, fashion on December 8, 2009 at 8:47 pm


Since I never expressly said, I ended up not taking the job at Saks Fifth Avenue…I decided, a commission only job was not what I had in mind when I said I’d try and find a “full-time” job. So instead, I’m back to working at my two jobs, thank God they loved me enough to take me back with my same hours and schedule. In the meantime, I’m working with a designer to help get her line of specialty bridal headpieces and veils, as well as trendy headbands, off to a good start. I’m looking forward to fashion shows and trade shows, where hopefully, she sells lots of merchandise!

Anyway, funny thing today…I’m at the consignment store, working of course, and despite the many unusual people who walk in and out, not including the junkies and drunks, I was most appalled today at a mispronunciation that left my jaw permanently glued to the floor. This woman walks in with 2 girls in tow. They perused every rack, the one with the blonde wig and missing tooth making my boss extremely nervous. One of the girls clearly hadn’t showered for days, her stench permeating everything she touched, including my precious designer clothing. As she picked up a pair of Antik denim jeans, I cringed. She later scoffed at the  price. She clearly needed new jeans though, because the ones she was wearing bared so much ass that you would’ve thought she was a celebrity gone bad in a tabloid. Unfortunately, this was no Britney Spears.

Her friend, who smelled much more pleasant, came up to the counter and asked me to see a backpack. So I pulled down the black nylon Prada and handed it to her. She turned to her platinum haired companion and asked, “What’s P-ur-aye-da?” I stopped all thought processes and just stared as the response was, “I think it’s designer, ain’t it?” She says this to me as if this is something normal that everyone asks. All I could manage to say was, “Prada.” I pronounced it properly and attempted to unhinge my jaw from the floor.

My job puts “being fabulous and broke” in true perspective for me and constantly tests my patience. If nothing else, it keeps things interesting and drama infused for sure.

Versatile Vests

In fashion, Trends on November 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm


Yesterday I found myself throwing on the faux fur vest I thought I may never wear again. Pittsburgh weather, however, is incredibly unpredictable. It was the perfect thing to wear over long sleeves while I walked to work and even out to dinner.

The fur adds a luxe factor to even the most basic henley, jeans, and boots. Whether it’s real fur or faux, cropped or asymmetrical, a vest is an easy way out of choosing what to wear in the morning. As I said, it dresses up even the most basic turtleneck or tee. Depending on the style of the vest, whether it be sporty suede with a hood or sheared mink, it can pull just about any outfit together. It’s sort of like this year’s boyfriend blazer, you have it in several silhouettes and colors and you wear it over your favorite party dress, trousers to work, or with jeans out for drinks.

Depending on your love of real fur or not, this could be a costly item to buy in multiples, so just choose one. If you were buying one boyfriend blazer, you’d probably buy basic black, it goes with everything. So take into consideration your personality. Do you work 9-5? Are you out on the weekends or the evenings? Think about what’s already in your wardrobe and choose accordingly. This year, I’m still a big advocate of making purchases that coordinate or at least mingle with several other items I already own, it saves me time and LOTS of money. So do the same. A fur vest won’t go out of style but if you’re worried about being too trendy, then choose something basic that you know will look fab over all your jeans and that work appropriate sweater dress. While the boyfriend blazer will come and go, the fur vest has always been a part of fashion and has been played upon in different styles, colors, and textures for years and years.

Check out some of the styles below to give you an idea of what you might like…

3.1 phillim lim nordstroms, 750 curly lamb

3.1 Phillip Lim, Curly Lamb


elizabeth and james, wilderness blazer with vest

Elizabeth and James, Wilderness Blazer with Rabbit Vest



elizabeth and james, saks, shearling vest

helmut lang, shearling vest

Helmut Lang, Shearling


white house black market, faux mink

White House Black Market, Faux Mink


Michael by Micahel Kors faux coyote

Michael by Michael Kors, Faux Coyote

An Ode to the Trench Coat

In fashion, Fashion News on November 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm


If you haven’t checked out, click now.

Burberry has teamed up with Scott Schuman, world-renowned photographer and blogger of The Sartorialist, to create an essential visual “ode to the trench.” As the first photographer to take part in this special series, his photographs are beautifully candid and capture remarkable moments  of Burberry wearers everywhere. Or, submit your own.


Plus, the soundtrack playing seriously inspires sifting through the traditional trenches.

Just a Little Thought…

In Diary, fashion on October 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm


This past year I’ve been interested in Marilyn Monroe: not so much as an actress but the idea of her and what it actually meant to be her.

I remembered a quote tonight from Miss Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel that not only conjured up the image of Marilyn herself, but evoked many other things about our society and how fashion truly makes any girl or woman feel beautiful.

So enjoy it, because I can’t think of any other quote that sums up my views of these two women or how women today should feel. Not just because of fashion but because of themselves….

“A girl should be two things: Classy and Fabulous” – Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel holiday--large-msg-123613316757

Diary of a Shopgirl

In Diary of a Shop Girl, fashion, Uncategorized on October 8, 2009 at 1:27 pm

It’s official….I’M BAAACK.

Wearing Tory Burch, in a brand new saga, and more fashion to make me (and you) swoon all the way to the moon.

My training began this week, which basically consists of me sitting in a tiny room on a computer, which still insists on being air conditioned. Needless to say, I now have the flu after two days of the ‘ICE-OLATION BOX.’

So my story for today consists of major movies and a major celebrity.

In a nutshell, they’re filming yet again, another movie in Pittsburgh. And so, this particular celebrity comes to Saks, of course…

His body guards descend down the escalator and secures the perimeter while the men’s department phones security. Apparently, they felt the star’s group of body guards was actually a professional shopping ring, there to steal their livlihood.

Obviously, they were ashamed of themselves when Russell Crowe himself appeared before them and proceeded to spend a small fortune in like 20 minutes

Alas, my shopgirl days have not ended, they’ve just begun a crazy new chapter!

Diary of a Shopgirl

In Diary, Diary of a Shop Girl, fashion on September 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm

My quest for a new job literally caused me to have writer’s block. On top of that, I gained a cat…

My days as a shop girl, splitting my time between two different stores, one high end, one consignment, haven’t quite ended yet though. I write to you now, as an officially hired Saks Fifth Avenue girl…based out of shoes and handbags, of course. My search for a full-time position while I continue to finish my degree/decide what I want to be when I grow up has ended in a job that most people my age in the retail sector would kill for. Despite the daunting interview process and criminal background checks, I’m elated. SAKS FIFTH AVENUE!

There is, however, one drawback: Business Attire.

What does that mean? I did not sign on for an office job where cookie cutter black suits and standard computer job pumps were a part of my daily selling routine. So, I suppose I need a new wardrobe. I didn’t sign on for that either…at least not for one that I plan to change out of immediately after my last client leaves.

We’re not required to purchase clothing from Saks, leaving only business-like apparel to be the most appropriate option, I suppose.

Interview outfits, cover letters, resumes and job hunting have pretty much left me exhausted and at a loss for words. A full-time job (that I actually like) with benefits is difficult to come by these days and I was prepared to take what I could get it. I’m so lucky and thankful it was Saks…and to top it off, shoes and handbags. But it got me thinking, I had the resume and experience but with so many people to compete with, is all of the extra stuff necessary?

For each interview, I made absolutely certain that my resume was polished and presented in the most perfect way. My cover letters were thought out but creative, and my outfits were professional. I was in need of a job but in order to set myself apart, I realized I should save the skimping for later.

As I said before, I lucked out. And despite the business attire dress code, I am able to skimp now. A few, essential key pieces are necessary in order to start the job right but with a conservative dress code, I am able to mix and match those particular basics to create a classic look. While I noticed other employee’s frumpy trouser looks, I realized that I can manage the professional look with a few great jackets, white button downs, and an amazing pair of black pants.

I learned that a simple suit is always right and you can never go wrong. Don’t go for trendy, you’ll look over done and employers may only get one shot at finding the right employee. They want to know your creative AND professional. So go with the suit and kill them with an innovative cover letter and interview. It worked for me.

I work at Saks Fifth Avenue, frumpy is not a part of my vocabulary, in fact, I’m scratching it out of my Webster’s as we speak.

(A friend once told me you can never go wrong with a suit. He helped me get through my magazine internship interview, which I got, by the way. I was wearing a suit…he prepared me in every possible way, down to the presentation of my portfolio. I took all his advice and used it to get this job. So here’s to you, Christopher, even though you’re gone you’re still a part of my ‘every day.’)

Wearing White After Labor Day

In fashion on September 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm


I don’t know about you but I abide by the tradition of packing away my summer whites after Labor Day. Shorts, jeans, bermudas, sandals, and especially summer sundresses are pulled from my closet by the next day.

I noticed, however, that many people younger than me bypass this rule and continue to wear white until summer heat is overtaken by autumn weather. So I’m wondering, is this simply a new concept, wearing your white until it’s simply too chilly? Or does the tradition only apply with age?

Take the poll, I’m interested in what everyone thinks. And most of all, have an amazing Labor Day picnic/party, wear your whites one last time, and eat ribs if you can.

Fall’s Grown-Up Approach

In fashion, Trends on August 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Sometimes fall is so predictable with staples that include a sleek riding boot, belted trench coat, or a great black pant. This season’s trends are predictable but most cater to a classic quality and monotony in the best possible way. I recently read an article that touched on how designers have taken a more ‘grown-up’ approach to fashion and are targeting the 30 somethings and up, coming to the realization that most women in their twenties are not purchasing mini skirts priced at $900, at least not anymore.

Without sacrificing creativity many designers like Alber Elbaz from Lanvin managed to create clothing that is age appropriate for the women who can afford them. Not to say that some women don’t feel comfortable in the mini skirt but it’s important to create clothing that makes a woman look and feel beautiful about herself, that’s what makes a Chanel suit or Carolina Herrera dress worth the price tag.

Some of this year’s trends include animal prints, studs, and biker-chic, all of which have been used strategically placed throughout various lines. Designers, so it seemed to me at least, tried to take on this economically challenged season in one of two ways: Shock the customer with something over the top, perhaps too excessive for this period of time. Or provide them with a palette of silhouettes that at first glance seem muted but then you realize how ‘right on’ most of these designers are. They brought back the beauty to fashion. This was not a year of risk taking or designing an entire runway of unwearable pieces for the sake of art, these were well thought out, carefully constructed, gorgeous pieces that are designed for the ‘real’ woman of our times.

The one who’s a mother, CEO, bed-time story teller, wife, dog walker, excessive coffee drinker, and all the while still manages to take time out for herself.

The powerful ‘super women’ of our times have spoken and this time, designers have listened.

Here are a few select looks from fall that anybody should and could pull off successfully:

Donna Karan

Donna Karan

Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent



Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum



Jil Sander

Jil Sander

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Visit view more of these collections from Fall RTW 2009.