There was much speculation over the dress Michelle Obama was wearing when she stepped off the plane in Phoenix earlier this week:
Fashion blogs were buzzing: “It’s chic!” “The ethnic print is perfect!” “The silhouette is so flattering!” “She looks like a million bucks!”
Or $39.99 as it were. This gorgeous frock came from none other than Target. I will say that it appears to have been ironed to within an inch of its life (and possibly tailored as well) and that probably goes a long way toward making it look much more expensive than it is. You know, lest anyone think they can just run out to Target, grab a dress off the rack, throw it on and look as amazing as our First Lady… Let this be a lesson girls! Heat up your irons…or just take everything to the drycleaner like I do.
The Cut has a first look at Anna Sui’s “Gossip Girl inspired” collection for Target. Sigh. I’m…underwhelmed. I feel like it all looks really cheap. And unflattering.
And before someone jumps in with the whole “Well, it’s Target. It is cheap.” argument, I know these designer-discount collaborations can be done well (see: Thakoon for Target). But if this stuff is flipping your switch, the collection hits stores on September 13.
P.S. Sorry about yesterday’s glitch. And special thanks to The Mister for taking time out of his work day to post my absentee message.
Carlos Falchi is not a designer one typically equates with bargains. But thanks to Target, that will soon change.
Image courtesy of Carlos Falchi
Falchi, known for high-priced handbags in exotic skins, is the latest addition to the list of designers bringing high fashion to the masses. The collection will be available this Fall/Winter (I’m getting varying dates on the actual launch) and will include faux python in jewel tones like plum and teal, with splashes of neutrals.
This should be interesting as it’s very difficult to make faux snakeskin look…well…not cheap and plastic-y (for lack of a better term). I’m pretty excited to see the end result of this collaboration first hand. If it works, fab! But if it doesn’t, I fear for mine eyes.
In honor of today’s pool opening, I decided to do a little piece on swimwear. Here are The Raleigh Fashionista’s swimwear commandments:
1. Thou shalt not buy a swimsuit according to trends (unless you are referring to color or print trends). Instead, thou shalt always always always make swimwear purchases based on what cut flatters your body shape.
2. Thou shalt not overpay for swimwear. Even I, horder of designer bags extraordinaire, think it’s positively ridiculous to buy designer swimwear. It’s a waste of money, pure and simple. They always have to be replaced every couple of summers anyway, so why bother? In fact, two of my favorite places to shop for bathing suits are Target and Old Navy.
3. Thou shalt not be intimidated by horrible dressing room lighting. Everyone looks bad under the florescent glare of industrial overhead lights. Yes, even Heidi Klum. But if you really think you’ll have a breakdown, I highly recommend cutting way down on sodium a few days prior to your shopping trip. Also, go get a mystic tan. If there’s anything worse than trying to cram your rear end into a bikini bottom, it’s trying to cram your pasty-white rear end into a bikini bottom.
And to prove my point about not overpaying, here’s a super-cute suit from Old Navy. Each piece costs a mere $12.50! I told you so…
Image courtesy of Old Navy
Image courtesy of Old Navy
So, I probably won’t do this often but I sometimes get questions from friends along the lines of “What do you wear when you —– ?” or “How would you dress for —- ?”. So, on Sunday, the husband and I were hanging out on the front porch at Brooklyn Heights on Glenwood South and I got to playing around with the iPhone camera. I took a couple of photos of what I was wearing, figuring I could angle a post out of it…
Here you have it – my ideal outfit for a lazy Sunday afternoon of drinking bloody marys and reading.
Bag – Kooba; Sandals – LK Bennett (London); Pedicure – OPI Strawberry Margarita; Maxi dress – Target
Earrings – Gigi’s Boutique (Raleigh); Sunglasses – Ray Ban New Wayfarer; Messy ponytail and flyaways – courtesy of riding around with the car windows down
Those of you who have been reading this blog from day one might remember that one of my very first posts was about the Thakoon for Target diffusion line. Specifically, this post about the gorgeous trench that was the centerpiece of the collection. Well, I purchased the jacket ($45) and I remember thinking that it really was beautifully made – moreso than you would expect from a discount retailer. The lining is a stunning shade of blue and feels totally luxe. The print just screams Thakoon, the cut is flattering and I get at least one compliment from a total stranger every single time I wear it.
So you can imagine my interest when I read on The Cut that the Wall Street Journal conducted an experiment to see if fashion experts could tell the difference between a regular Thakoon piece and a Thakoon for Target item (obviously, with all identifying labels and tags concealed). You may be surprised by the results…
The fashion experts in question were Simon Collins, the dean of fashion at Parsons the New School for Design, and Randi Rahm, a Manhattan-based designer. The Journal mixed a $1,145 Thakoon dress with several items from the Target collection and asked the experts to pick out the expensive piece. The designer was able to correctly identify the mainline Thakoon dress but Collins thought the trench was the real deal!
It just goes to show that you don’t have to shop at Barney’s to look like a thousand bucks. Just know how to shop smart. Look for attention to detail with seams, linings and findings (buttons, zips, etc.). Go for fabrics that feel nice and don’t look cheap. And, if you’re able, mix in designer accessories. I once read a quote that basically said “If you’re carrying an expensive bag and wearing designer sunglasses, everyone will assume the rest of your outfit cost a fortune too.” (Just don’t ever, EVER do fakes. Seriously. It’s just gauche.) Above all, no matter if you’re sporting $500 Manolos or $25 Payless, wear it with confidence. Because that’s always in style.
New York Magazine’s fashion blog The Cut (one of my daily reads) sat down with Alexander McQueen recently to discuss his collection for Target. Some of the questions turned to fashion’s current hot topic – the state and fate of luxury goods in today’s economic environment.
When asked what he hopes the Target line does for the McQueen brand, the Scottish designer had this to say:
I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, very now — no one wears head-to-toe designer anymore. It was an exciting challenge to translate my vision into a mass-produced product that is accessible to people who otherwise would have never been exposed to my work.
Discussing how the the fashion world has come to accept designers dabbling in discount and high street (the British equivalent of mall stores here in the States) markets, he went on to reiterate that “wearing head-to-toe designer has become a bit passé”:
It’s a new era in fashion — there are no rules. It’s all about the individual and personal style, wearing high-end, low-end, classic labels, and up-and-coming designers all together.
Addressing whether he had any reservations with diving into discount, McQueen says:
I didn’t have many concerns; I believe that if you maintain your high line quality and overall aesthetic, as I did with Target, a partnership like this is actually quite brilliant for a designer.
When asked whether his decision to partner with Target was a direct result of the economic downturn, McQueen admits that times are certainly tough and that he’s happy for budget-conscious consumers to have the ability to snag a piece of high-fashion:
It is a difficult time with the current economy and we are delighted to be able to offer an affordable line to fashion-savvy shoppers. Fashion and style should not be exclusive to the luxury market or to those who have a certain amount of money.
Read the whole article here on The Cut.