Posts filed under ‘A Little Off Topic’

The Obama girls: influencing fashion


Rick Wilking/Reuters

When all the world is talking about politics, I want to talk fashion. But not Michelle Obama’s fashion (though her selection for the inauguration was bold, and also fantastic), but Sasha and Malia’s fashion for the inauguration. 

Unlike their Mother’s outfit, the girls remained bundled up for the inauguration in fantastic pea coats that were custom made for them by American retailer, J.Crew (one of my absolute personal favorites). 

The coats, which were spinoffs of coats available through J.Crew’s children’s line, Crew Cuts, mimicked the Obama campaign and mantra perfectly: American made, middle-class, but with a personal touch. 

I’m not one to openly sing high praise for political officials (at least not in writing) as politics are essentially synonymous with manipulation and deception and I hate being made a fool of; but from where I stand right now, the Obama’s have it down to a science– or at least their advisors do. 

For months, Women’s Wear Daily and various other political and fashion blogs, magazines, and news sources have been speculating which designers the Obama’s would wear on inauguration day. Sketches poured in from designers like Isaac Mizrahi to Carolina Herrera, Badgley Mischka and Christian Lacroix and so many more– it’s a designers dream. But Michelle Obama selected an American immigrant– Isabel Toledo– relatively unknown to the mainstream fashion world– and J.Crew– a classic, “Americana” brand. 

The decision to wear J.Crew (Michelle wore J.Crew gloves and heels– as opposed to a pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choo heels) decisively  grounds herself as “one of the girls” and instantly makes her more relatable.

In addition to this, by continuing to dress Malia and Sasha in conservative and age-appropriate clothing, Michelle and Barack are subconsciously reinstating positive images of conservative and educated young women in society– young women that don’t look like “Hannah Montana” and don’t have to use sex as an avenue for getting ahead in life. Though it seems like a little thing, by choosing to dress Sasha and Malia in more conservative (but appropriate) clothing they become age appropriate role models for young girls: something that this world needs. 

And it might be a reach, but maybe it all starts with a cute little pea coat.


January 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Marc Jacobs: The Frog Prince

MJHandbagIn an article in the Telegraph today, Marc Jacobs revealed his penchant for frogs and gave his fans a little bit of insight into why he selected them as an accessory for his most recent collection:

‘I love frogs,’ he tells me.’ This sort of fairytale frog that became a prince, and the chameleon who changes colours with his environment. I can hang out in a sports bar with a bunch of straight guys and I can run around in the art scene and I can also be at the Met Ball and be Mr Fashion Designer with Anna Wintour. I can go wherever I want; I can be whatever I choose.’ This, in the end, is Marc Jacobs’ superpower: ‘I can change colours – for my own amusement and, perhaps, the entertainment of others.’

Gotta have the Angie Evening Frog Pouch featured here? You can snag it at Neiman Marcus for a mere $1,195.

January 4, 2009 at 9:53 am 2 comments

Gai Mattiolo Arrested

Hey ANTM fans– remember the Season 10 episode where Whitney , Anya, Lauren, and Fatema met with Italian fashion designer, Gai Mattiolo and Anya won the challenge? Of course not.

But, if you do, you might be interested to know that Gai Mattiolo was arrested today for alleged bankruptcy fraud, says the Associated Press.

ROME – The Italian financial police say they have arrested fashion designer Gai Mattiolo on a charge of fraudulent bankruptcy.

Officer Stefano Catorci says Mattiolo was placed under house arrest in Rome early Friday for allegedly siphoning funds from his fashion house before declaring bankruptcy.

Catorci says another suspect was also arrested on the same charges. He did not give further details because the investigation was continuing. The Rome-based fashion house Gai Mattiolo declined comment.

Mattiolo was seen as a rising star of Italian fashion in the 1990s, when his sexy, over-the-top style, laden with gold and precious beading, wowed the upscale ladies from his native Rome. His fame soon spread to the Milan and Paris runways.

Looks like maybe ANTM is where designers go to have their collections, and, careers die. Let’s hope this isn’t a trend.

December 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment

Another sign of the (New York) Times

American auto makers aren’t the only one’s being slammed by the economy. The luxury market is feeling the pain of the recession too– big time. In the New York Times today was yet another article detailing deep discounts at luxury stores like Bergdorf’s and Sak’s. 

The article prompts fashionistas to think critically about their purchases– and, the cost of fashion.

What seems inevitable is that the pain will worsen as the price reductions provoke questions among consumers of how stratospheric profits must have been when the economy was riding high. How great, really, was the surcharge to consumers for participating in fashion fantasy?

Sure, anyone who’s willing to shell out $1,200 for a Marc Jacobs handbag knows that they’re paying for the name and bragging rights, but the New York Times has a valid point: how much is too much? Believe me, I’m the last person to say the recession is good for the economy– in the next week, I’m likely to become a statistic myself as I’ll probably be laid off from my job, but perhaps the recession is good for sanity. 

As much as it pains me to say it (mostly because I’ve had my eye on the Marc Jacob’s Blake bag and a Hermes Birkin bag for god knows how long), but maybe we don’t all need couture handbags and accessories. 

Ha, who am I kidding. We never needed them. We all just wanted them. The recession will just keep our wants in check, ensuring they remain dreams and fantasies instead of expensive realities. 

In the meantime, if you happen to have endless pockets, be sure to hit up some of your local luxury stores– there are some pretty excellent sales going on, and from the looks of it, now is the time to grab that pair of Louboutin’s before you really can’t afford them.

December 3, 2008 at 8:38 pm 2 comments

Obama Wins– Michelle’s Dress Loses

What a historic night. Obama wins the election and for the first time in a long while, things seem a little bit brighter. Maybe it’s because of the politics, or maybe, it’s because of the lime-y chartreuse outfit Jill Biden wore.

No matter what you think, it’s hard to not agree that in the world of fashion, both Jill and Michelle took risks last night with their outfits. Let’s start with Michelle’s dress, which clearly just had tooObamas much going on. The dress itself was designed by Narciso Rodriguez, who typically makes women look gorgeous. Last night? Not so much. The mix between the super shiny satin and silk created an interesting contrast in lustre on the dress, which would have been great, if it wasn’t also joined by what looked like a huge, red paint splatter across her midsection.

The red might have been fine had it stopped at the empire waist and not continued downward. It’s the speckled mess towards Michelle’s knees that just screams “no!” Whoever did dress Michelle, Barack, and the kids was definitely going for a “cohesive” approach, as the four coordinated well in red and black. Too bad the stylist didn’t pick something better for the future first lady.

Michelle Obama and Jill BidenMoving onto Jill, her ensemble was fine, but bold. Together, Michelle and Jill reminded me vaguely of rotten ketchup and mustard, prancing out on a stage. Perhaps they both should have gone for a more subdued look that caused them to compliment rather than contrast.

Across the aisle, Sarah Palin and Cindy McCain were a different story. SarahPalin Mccain looked fantastic in a silk blend sash-tie suit in a royal blue, and Cindy in a gold suit that complimented her hair. However, I have a feeling that up close and personal, the gold clashed a bit with her fair skin tone, but regardless, from afar, she photographed well in it.

No matter what your political preference is, it’s easy to see that the next four years will bring plenty to talk about– whether it’s about the policy itself, or about the fashion, there’s bound to be a discussion brewing.

Fashion Obamas Outfits

Update: here’s Narciso Rodriguez’s runway version of Michelle Obama’s dress. The dress, which works on the pencil thin model, looks drastically different on the curvy and natural Michelle Obama. Additionally, in the runway version, the red splatter starts higher up on the torso, and ends at the hip, instead of the midpoint of the thigh, creating a more defined, pencil shaped figure.

Want to see what other people are saying? Check out some of the comments on Yahoo!’s OMG!

November 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

Tim Gunn: Political Fashion Critique

My friend Mitra pointed me to this great interview with Claiborne/Bravo’s Tim Gunn (as if he really needed in an intro), found on

In the interview, Tim critiques politcal fashion, highlighting Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton (Chelsea too), Cindy McCain, the Obamas, and more.

My favorite part of the critique? When Gunn critiques Cindy McCain’s buttoned-up look as sort of “S&M kind of look to her clothing.”

What are you waiting for? Go have a listen!

October 31, 2008 at 2:56 pm 1 comment

Palin… in pants? Whaattt??

In my last “off topic” post “Let’s get a little political” I talked about Sarah Palin’s near inability to wear pants. For those of you who didn’t read, I’ll recap my points: no, I’m not voting for Palin; no, I don’t think Women HAVE TO wear pants to show they have power; and no, I’m not anti-skirt/dress, I’m just pro-appropriate attire.

Then, out of the blue, two days later, Palin pops up at a hockey game wearing– yes, you guessed it, pants. I’d of course love to pad my ego and say it’s all because of one little blog post, but I’m not nearly that naive, and think that anyone could see through that BS. Instead, I’m just going to be happy that Palin proved my point: you can wear pants and still look feminine.

Too bad Palin’s smart trench and slacks was greeted by “boos” from Flyer’s fans– she may have done her fashion homework, but she definitely didn’t do her hockey homework: Philadelphia typically votes blue– not Palin’s red.

October 14, 2008 at 10:49 pm 1 comment

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