Den perfekten poncho

July 31, 2006

(Wool poncho by Development)

A while back, I pondered the correct term for this item of clothing, but turns out it ain’t nothing but a good ol’ poncho. Browsing La Garçonne I found one by development that while extremely cute, lacks the epaulets that would make it even cuter. What would be absolutely insane however, would be to wear the above poncho with the below bicycle -in particular the jorg&olif– a nubby woolen toque and big scarf…

In other news, Loeffler Randall has released a black Matilde boot for their fall collection, but the price has gone up a hundred bucks. Boo. Ah, I didn’t want ’em anyway.


Jewelry aquatic

July 30, 2006

(the divine Heremiti ring by Moea at AlohaRag)

What better inspiration than nature, and more specifically the ocean? Hawaiian jewelry designer Jennifer Binney of Moea makes beautiful jewelry with oceanic influences, very simple and poetic, naturally.

I have been admiring this ring from afar for over a year, but haven’t purchased it for a reservation about buying jewelry for oneself (I’ve put it in the shopping cart, unloaded and loaded a couple times…) For some reason, a hundred dollar barrier comes up when buying jewelry for myself, as if anything more extravagant would be construed as a sign of vanity or flagrant consumption.

Other things, I don’t fret over, but the significance of jewelry for some reason strikes me as a sacred purchase, only to be exercised on special occasions: an engagement, a birthday, a reward for reaching a big milestone, etc. I feel as though I could only possibly enjoy and deserve this gorgeous piece if I were to really work for it -though I have a couple big goals in mind that, should I achieve, perhaps then I would be so deserving.

Sweet Adele

July 29, 2006

(Pumps at Creatures of Comfort)

There are several pairs of beautiful Adele Clarkes in size 10 on sale at Creatures of Comfort -can someone please buy them already? It pains me that they’re not being worn and are languishing in a box, they must adorn a pair of feet post haste!

Adele Clarke’s footwear aesthetic is something I feel a kinship with. They are beautiful, with unusual cuts and shapes, the textures look lovely and rich, and they somehow also manage to look sensible and practical -no wonder since she has said herself, “I can’t tolerate uncomfortable shoes. I’m really difficult like that.” Her designs for Hussein Chalayan’s footwear line also communicate her amazing aesthetic -I saw the collection and admired it immediately, only finding out later that she was the woman behind these beautiful shoes.

(Hussein Chalayan s/s 2006 footwear collection)

(Some favourites from Chalayan f/w 2006)

With little financial backing, her line is almost entirely independently financed -got to give her props for that. That kind of hard work requires a real dedication to the craft and only speaks of a true love and appreciation for shoes -and I admire her and her shoes for it.

This I won’t miss

July 28, 2006

Herbert on tour.

Pimp my ride

July 27, 2006

(Photo from the Sartorialist)

My tried and true means of transport, my bicycle, is in dire need of an upgrade. Style has never been a big concern in the past, just as long as it gets me from point a to b, is fast and dependable. The bicycle I’ve had for the past five years has been good to me, and I to it (I had rescued it from abandonment and repaired it into good working order), but as much as we’ve had some good times together, I think I am ready to move up the ladder. Logging almost 1500km per year, I really should be riding something better suited to the distance and commuter wear -and perhaps a bit more stylish.

What gets me around now is a frame very well suited to my size -but kind of a rustbucket- is blue with red paint underneath, and I’ve added a front basket to accomodate my handbags and change of footwear I bring to the office. Yes, she may be an eyesore, but I really love her so!

I’ve been intending to purchase a better bike for years and have long been eyeing Biomega. They’re very design-beautiful, streamlined and extremely functional. Biomega bikes are intelligently designed; all the fundamentals of a good bike are encorporated in every model. While I love the sportiness of the Copenhagen, I think the upright posture and mustache handlebars of the Amsterdam (in cocoa) are more suitable for me (description from Biomega):

A quintessential piece of Biomega integration – Amsterdam spins of from its Dutch heritage and morphs from classic into a new style city bike. Larger, Softer rounded shapes makes pleasing to the eye and qualitatively durable.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? Plus it is chainless, and thus greaseless and no worry of rusty chains winter after winter. But in my bike research, I came across a more traditional Dutch bicycle from Jorg & Olif of Vancouver.

These bicycles are equipped with a sweet saddle, dynamo powered front and rear lights, and a “traditional Dutch bell.” Jorg & Olif even offer accessories ranging from a very cute Jorg&Olif cap, equestrian-style bike helmets and even a scarf to look convincingly Dutch.Tough beans, but I guess the decision comes down to functionality and whether I want to go old-school or modern. I somehow feel a great deal of allegiance to my rough and tumble blue bike, however scrappy she looks. Some people have the luxury of owning two cars -a practical one and perhaps a more stylish ride- and many people I met in Copenhagen had two bikes (just in case), I don’t see why I can’t have both. Afterall, the bicycle is quite an awesome thing indeed.

Retail needs therapy

July 27, 2006

The retail shopping in Montreal rarely meets my needs; thus I do about 90% of my shopping online through various outlets. Often asked where I got my shoes, top, jeans, etc. I usually answer, “online!” -this often illicits a quizzical look followed by the requisite questions of logistics and a bit of curiosity, sprinkled with a pinch of astonishment. A couple weeks ago, while debating the purchase of a pair of Chie Miharas for a mere pittance (from which I abstained), I lightly pondered the future of the retail industry. I came upon a post from Extra Tasty which offers great insight and ideas on the future of retail distribution & beyond:

Having retailers at the end of your distribution cycle is fast becoming a liability rather than an asset. There are some retailers out there with a specific reputation which reflects well on your brand but it’s appearing as though retailers have been the end of the distribution pipe line for long enough. They won’t die any time soon but labels will do wise to explore other distribution channels (those don’t conflict with retail are better) which allow for a greater return to be made per unit and which have lower costs associated with bringing their ranges to market each season.

Retail can still be a viable distribution model well into the future if people are brave enough to experiment and come up with innovative solutions to several of the issues that plague it – such as high overheads, geographic limitations, intense competition and almost zero protection against major retail discounting sprees. This may be a subject for another post should I ponder on it enough.

I totally agree. However, I do have to disagree with Tasty’s statement that online retail is limited. Old guard department stores were probably the last to join the eShop bandwagon but they still did. Most popular stores/boutiques (fashion) have at least a website and most likely online shopping capabilities following suit. There are a growing number of successful online shops catering to a certain style and demographic (women 14-40 for example) peddling goods definitely more upscale than basics. Luxury eShops are burgeoning. Web-boutiques are pre-ordering and selling out. Yes, traditional retail may be dying in part due to online retail, but I think that they (traditional) must innovate – to add to “hey the cafe stocks brand x how cool!” perhaps could be “hey, the boutique serves up café and cocktails, amazing!” (some already do). Of course, I may be speaking primarily of my particular shopping habits and haunts, but traditional retail still has many legs up on online -though perhaps not the deals. The capacity of online retail only becomes limited when there is no other alternative than the eShop -that is, if retail were to go extinct.

Definitely more research and debate to come.

Friendly fashion

July 26, 2006

(Filippa K dress from Oak)

I saw a petite, heavily pregnant young woman walking around the neighborhood in this dress. The drape of the dress was amazing and she, bra-less, wearing white canvas slip-ons and sporting heavy bangs, was just the picture of beauty. Though it was a hot and humid day, she looked amazing.

That’s the thing with Filippa K (no doubt compounded by the fact that this girl was wearing it well), whether it be the dead of winter or the height of summer, her stuff always looks fresh.

A longtime devotee of the line, I appreciate Filippa for the following reasons:

  1. The clothes fit well and flatter, use quality fabrics, and have a long life (the trousers are nice and masculine, and she makes a mean winter coat);
  2. The prints are unique. Case in point: I spotted a shirt with a beautiful peacock print in Copenhagen in the fall of 2002, stalked it for a season, didn’t buy and always regretted. The print haunted me until finally one day last winter the shirt crossed my path again (eBay) and now lovingly hangs in my closet. Needless to say, the print was a memorable one;
  3. Having signed up to receive their catalogue in 2002, I without fail continue to receive them the beginning of every fall and spring -something small that speaks of the brand’s consistency and reliability.

I’ve actively had to seek out Filippa wares upon returning from Europe as the line isn’t widely available in North America – but with Want Agency heading up distribution here, that is slowly changing. With little advertising and press, the brand has been growing into a mini-empire; and with an underlying philosophy of simplicity and longevity in the clothes, it should continue to flourish. This is friendly fashion.


PS: All of Oak‘s stock is 50% off, but damn…the super cute and functional tres bag is sold out!