Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Designers for Obama

I am sure many of you have seen this, but a number of fashion designers came together to design some schwag for the Obama campaign ("Runway to Change"). A few of the items are really awesome and will definitely be collector's items. So, get yours now HERE before they sell out (all of the artist contributions for the Obama campaign sold out almost immediately). Here's a few that I especially like:




"Change" T-shirt by Alexander Wang. I saw this one in a few photos from
NY Fashion Week and loved it!
It is subtle, but bold. ($45)




I also like this bag from Diane Von Furstenberg. It has a fun 70s vibe to it. ($75)


This is a scarf by Rachel Roy that features the
famous Gandhi quote: "be the change you want to see in the world." ($95)


Everything is Union made in the USA!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Le Swoon!

"Under Paris" skies . . . or, at least, on legally French soil . . . beau and I attended the "Fashion of Goodwill" event at the French Embassy last night. The event was comprised of a silent auction of about 100 carefully selected items that had been donated to Goodwill donation centers over the last year and a fashion show made up of outfits, shoes and accessories that were also donated.

Honestly, when I first heard about the concept, I was interested, but didn't know what to expect. In the end, the show blew me away. Tu-anh, from Polished by Tu-anh, and her team of stylists, did an amazing job styling the outfits to be so very current that you might have thought you were in a "best trends of NY fashion week" show at several points. We were treated to a lot of the retro-hip "Mad Men" early-60s silhouettes that are so prominent this Fall (fur accents, sheath dresses, feminine shapes, Asian influences, luxe metallics, hats, camel coats . . .).

For me, the most unexpected moment of the evening came when Catherine Meloy, President & CEO of Goodwill of Greater Washington, announced at the end of the show that all the modeled looks would be available for sale immediately after the show in the lobby. My notes say: "Ladies, rev up your credit cards." And rev up the credit cards they did. There was a bit of initial mayhem as savvy fashionistas pursued the racks being wheeled from the back of the stage, angling to catch sight of their targeted item. (Oh, wait. Maybe that was just me . . .) In any case, I found the dress I was hunting for immediately and, politely - yet with a determined air - ignored the woman who was holding the other end of the hanger. I had the top, and therefore, a significantly better grip, so there was really no discussion to be had. ; )

Here is the dress I lucked out on:

The still photo really does not do justice to how the light played with the beading and how the fabric swooshed and swayed. As one woman described it (in a ladies’ room post-show chat), it is a killer dancing dress.

The event was also a rendezvous of sorts for various DC-based fashion-friendly bloggers, all invited by the Goodwill Fashionista, whose meticulous selections from Goodwill stores were featured throughout the show and in the silent auction (um, if you haven’t figured it out from reading her blog, she works for Goodwill). Although I did not have a chance to meet all the bloggers that were there - or even chat for more than a few moments with any of the ones I did meet (or anyone for that matter - as good parties usually go) – they were definitely the most stylish bunch in the place. If you haven't already, check out their blogs/sites: Pandahead, Listopad, The President Wears Prada, Brightest Young Things. One of my other favorite bloggers was there (the Anti-DC) - and, you know, she is much sweeter than her slighty caustic- always funny blog would lead you to believe. She hovered as long as I did amongst the racks (most of the other folks had departed already).

It was nice to be at a fashion event that emphasized individual style and an eco-friendly approach to fashion . Although I am sure some of the stylish women in attendance had purchased their evening frocks from Neiman's or Saks (Jandel, that is), many were obviously wearing vintage ensembles, maintaining the theme of the evening. As one of the speakers before the runway show noted, the "House of Goodwill" was out in style last night. It was so very exciting for me to see the amazing looks that had been put together for the evening because that is very much what this blog is about – being true to your style by curating your wardrobe from vintage, secondhand and, yes, sometimes, new items. Not just haphazardly purchasing whatever the next trend is or buying clothing and accessories to fill emotional voids . . . but, really, truly developing your individual style, one well-made piece at a time. Also, as I noted to one of the marketing folks last night, as more and more consumers become excited about the idea of buying secondhand and vintage items (for environmental, financial or fashion reasons), Goodwill can fill an important market niche. And because many stores (especially in metropolitan areas) get a great variety of high-end and everyday items, Goodwill can target a different consumer than I think they have before - for higher revenues, which go directly to helping those in need with job training support. Everyone wins!!

So, without further ado, here are some moments from last night festivities. For ALL the pictures, click here and here (with thanks to Mark Silva Photography).

Blogger shoes chatting ("love your shoes!" "no, love your shoes!": (l-r), Pandahead, (friend of) The President Wears Prada, The President Wears Prada, moi, Brightest Young Things.



The Fashion Show opened with a tango.

A breathtaking kimono-esque evening gown.

Seriously checking out the vintage pretties.

Nowhere to sit, but who cares!

A long line at the check out formed quickly.

Massive bags (biodegradable plastic, thank you!) were hauled out at the end of the night.


Hangars exhibit signs of raucous shopping.


And, like the good eco-fashionista that I am, I went home on the bus.

Ze End
(note French Accent).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hey, Trashy Neighbor, Stop Wasting my Tax Dollars

I just saw an interesting statistic on the Green DC website (did you even know that the DC government had a green website? Me neither.) Here is the stat:

It costs the District about $25 to haul and dispose of one ton of recyclable materials, compared to $60 per ton of non-recyclable trash.

If there was more recycling, the District would spend less on waste services, which would leave more money for other important things. Which means that every one of my neighbors in the District who does not recycle is wasting my hard-earned tax dollars.

Hey You, freakin' recycle already!!!!





Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Refined Sense of . . . Grunge?

One thing that caught my eye for Fall (I know, I know, the Fall '08 shows were in March, but, really, there is just no way I can think about the Fall until, you know, Fall) were the many designers doing tartans. From Ralph Lauren to D&G to Thakoon, there were many interpretations of this centuries old pattern. I loved Lauren's tartan evening gown and Thakoon's version, as well.



D&G's obsession with the pattern (everywhere, including the tights!) was fun - it definitely takes a skilled eye to be able to combine so many tartan patterns in one outfit and not have it look crazy (okay, so a few of the outfits did, kinda, look crazy). I also loved the scarves that D&G showed - so classic, while at the same time reminding me of my Russian heritage (speaking of which, is it me, or is every other model on the runway Russian nowadays?):


Sadly, I am old enough to remember the last time this trend was very big - grunge. (I totally remember the Vogue spread that the pic below was taken from. )


But, this season's version of it is more tailored, lady-like, modern. When an old fashion theme resurfaces, it is always easy to call it "modern" - things are obviously updated and redesigned. In any case, I always find it interesting when trends resurface - while giving us an opportunity to do it a bit differently, it also makes us old folks a bit nostalgic (I think you need at least a few decades of birthday candles to really know what I am talking about). In any case, this is actually a good thing for us environmentally conscious fashionistas - we get to find old things (maybe even in our own closets) and make them new again. So, as always, here are a few vintage/secondhand options that let you be in the "now", while still reducing your environmental impact (as always, click on the image to be taken to buy/auction site):






(Gosh, looking through all the stuff on Etsy really brought back memories of childhood. I remember going through a phase as a preteen where I loved all things Scottie dogs and red plaid. I also remember my mother making me the most amazing green plaid taffeta skirt and blouse set for one New Year's Eve when I was probably only 8 or so. Ah, good times.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Truly Green Remodeling (and Loving White Floors)

Although I am amazingly happy that the term "green remodeling" is finally entering the common lexicon, I think that it might be a bit misguided. For one thing, I think when most people hear that term, it brings up images of bamboo floors, solar panels, LEED certification. All good things. But. To me, "green remodeling" means the kind of remodeling that puts as little as possible into the landfill and that requires as little as possible new stuff. Less trash. Less new stuff.

With that in mind, we are undertaking a bit of a "green remodel" in our little 100-year old house. Although we have great floors on our first floor (we think it is the original flooring, refinished), our second floor had carpeting when we moved in. After reading all the awful things about what gathers in carpets after a few years (dust & dust mites, allergens, chemicals from your shoes, mold, read more here) - and my little dog's recent coughing fits - we decided that the carpets must go. Like yesterday. We pondered on what to replace them with that would have the least environmental impact.

Our first inclination was to explore something like bamboo or cork flooring. Even though much greener than regular wood flooring, it doesn't really live up to the idea of reducing as much new stuff as possible. And, it was sort of pricey. Then, we decided to sign up on the waiting list for reclaimed flooring from Community Forklift. Reclaimed flooring is flooring saved from the landfill by being removed gently when someone decides to replace their old floors, or if an old house is demolished (this is different than remilled flooring, which is made from non-floor wood from houses and barns). You can get a variety of wood floors this way, but they usually need to be refinished. Anyway, we signed up, not knowing how long we would have to wait - although the nice volunteer promised that it wouldn't be too long.

One afternoon, when I was away at an appt., the beau got a fit of energy and decided to remove the carpet in the bedroom, even though we didn't have any flooring yet. Lo and behold, the floor underneath (just plywood) was not that bad. Which gave us an inspiration, why not just sand what we ended up with and and paint it? It would be much cheaper than installing and refinishing the salvaged floors or getting the bamboo. Plus, the only new things we would need would be some paint and sealer.

I have been having dreams of white floors ever since the carpet went bye-bye (oh, and yes, it was unfortunate that the carpet had to hit the landfill, but there is really nothing you can do with carpet that has lived for 4 years with 4 pets and 2 long haired humans). Here are some great images that I have been salivating over (some from Apartment Therapy, some from A Cup of Jo, and some from Desire to Inspire):







And I will definitely keep you all in the loop as we move forward (before and after photos to come!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Loving Fall Hats

Fall is by far my favorite time of the year for fashion. The layering, the autumn-y colors, the comfy corduroy, the hats!

Yet every winter I am astounded at the number of ADULTS who don't wear hats. I do remember being a preteen and - along with all my friends - not wanting to wear a hat. Maybe we were rebelling against the advice of our parents, creating our own individuality by forgoing headwear. Maybe a hat wouldn't go so well with all the hair spray in our gravity defining hairstyles (you know which ones I mean). Whichever. That whole phase didn't last very long for me. Probably because I am one of those people who is cold all the time (you lose most of your body heat through your head), I never really bought into that. I love me some hats.

The designers really brought out some great hats for Fall. I really loved Carolina Herrera's collection. Her collection was a great mix of tweed, velvet and corduroy . . . and plenty of hats.




And like the good eco-fashionista that I am, I have been looking for the perfect vintage Robin Hood-esque fedora (with feather, of course!). Here are some I like from Etsy (click photos to be taken to the Etsy sale site):





(would need to add a feather to this one).

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Find Eco-Fashion Designers at Local Boutique

Hoopla, a small eco-friendly boutique in Adams Morgan, will be carrying some new lines for Fall. If you have stopped by recently and been underwhelmed with what was on the racks, check out these new pieces for Fall. Cute!!

Kelly B - Organic Cotton/Bamboo Denim Coat.

Kelly B - Organic Cotton/Bamboo Denim Coat.
Kate Organic - Organic Cotton Twill (above).
Kate Organic - Organic Cotton Twill (above).

Ecoskin - Bamboo and hemp silk dress.


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