Tag Archives: Amanda Bynes

More Fashion Week & Please, Stop Calling It Burberry Plaid

Hello-Hello and welcome to a Wednesday!

Today we share lots of little tidbit and pictures, many of them from the doings at New York Fashion Week.  First, the Ann Taylor presentation, the first time Annie T has done a show at Fashion Week.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD

The review in Women’s Wear Daily referenced the company’s ‘new direction’:

“… the affordable, working girl’s retailer is serious about its new attitude and willing to put its money where its mouth is.”

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The palette was neutral, with none of the bright colors we adore.  Many of the pieces in the presentation are available now, a huge distinction from other firms showing in New York last week.

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Those items not already in stores are scheduled to drop before the holidaze holidays.  Back to the presentation, WWD wrote about the notables in attendance:

“… so a gaggle of Ann Taylor-clad celebrities were wrangled to sit front row. Jennifer Esposito, Vanessa Williams, Mena Suvari, Gretchen Mol, Kelly Rutherford, Kelly Bensimon, Laila Ali, Katherine McPhee and Amanda Bynes came prepped with pro-Ann spiels, some which actually sounded sincere…”

The WSJ’s Heard on the Runway blog has more on what is driving the changes at the company:

“…Ann Taylor made a name for itself on women’s busines suits that were popular more than a decade ago. But it failed to evolve beyond those pieces,  slipping into a staid and dowdy style.”

We’re not convinced it has all been frumpish, but there is definitely an issue with the merchandise mix in recent years. We would contend that for those needing proper apparel in the workplace the company managed to keep some basics in the stores, pieces one could build a look around. Back to the show:

ann-taylor20

George Chinsee/WWD

Additional thoughts from Heard on the Runway:

“Ann Taylor stepped up its styling game for Thursday evening to give its pieces more of a high-fashion aesthetic. The brand added feathers and pom poms to its so-called ”power sandal.” The overall presentation was at once edgy and sophisticated, prompting a collective “That’s Ann Taylor?” among audience members.”

The next pieces are a bit more formal, possibly the perfect look for upcoming parties and celebrations:

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Overall the styles had a more contemporary look, we hope the company is able to rebound and capture the younger shoppers it desperately needs.

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Next, some quick looks at lines we haven’t been able to showcase, like our beloved Oscar de la Renta.

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

He really is a master.

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If there is a designer who better understands what flatters the female figure we don’t know who that might be.

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The few items we have in our walk-in by Mr. de la Renta have worn beautifully, timeless designs we are always happy to put on again.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD

This party frock caught our eye.

George Chinsee/WWD

George Chinsee/WWD

Sigh.

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Now here’s a sharp turn, from Oscar de la Renta to Sears and Kmart.  At Fashion Week.  Seriously.

Below, tops from the Kmart spring line for next year.

Giovanni Giannoni /WWD

Giovanni Giannoni /WWD

Below left, another Kmart style, and on the right, pieces from the Sears 2010 spring line.

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The WWD review was complimentary:

“… a fine example of high-fashion trends interpreted for the mass market — everything under $40 at Sears and under $30 at Kmart. The body-conscious attitude of late showed up in slimmer silhouettes for the professional look — pencil skirts and dresses with a belted waist.”

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On the retail front we have word that Vera Bradley plans to open three more stores this year, in addition to last week’s Cincinnati opening. The new shops are slated for Palm Beach, opening Nov. 13 at the Gardens, and Tysons Corner, scheduled to open Oct. 16.

Samuel Hoffman/Journal Gazette

Samuel Hoffman/Journal Gazette

The company will also open and an outlet store at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.

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One last note, this one on Burberry: it would seem we are requested to cease calling it Burberry Plaid, instead referring to it as Burberry Check.  That suggestion comes from none other the label’s Creative Director an Christopher Bailey, in a recent profile in the New Yorker.

“And he hates when Burberry’s signature print is referred to as plaid: “People keep saying to me it’s a plaid, and I’m like, ‘No, it’s a check!'”

Indeed.

Tomorrow we’ll have loads of looks from the Burberry Spring 2010 Collection, being shown at London Fashion Week. On that happy note, G’Bye until next time!

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

Was Sarah Jessica Parker’s Dress “Too Cheap” for Steve and Barry’s? + Williams Sonoma Home Sale!

Way back on May 5th of this year we chatted about the NY Time’s article on discount retailer Steve and Barry’s, home to Sarah Jessica Parker’s ‘Bitten’ line of clothing; the headline for the story asked “Is This the World’s Cheapest Dress?” with an SJP floral print dress (seen below) accompanying the story as the rhetorical dress in question.

SJP Bitten Steve & Barry\'s Dress Sarah Jessica Parker

In his article Times writer Eric Wilson looked at the retailing phenomenon Steve Shore and Barry Prevor created with their company, a chain where the most expensive items are just $8.98. More accurately, Wilson honed in on precisely how Steve and Barry’s merchandise could be sold profitably at that price. From the story:

The question on everyone’s lips: How do they make a decent dress or a jacket, with sleeves, or a pair of functioning shoes for $8.98?

Because that price point includes the dress shown above, from Ms. Parker’s ‘Bitten’ line, as well as merchandise tied to teen star Amanda Bynes, a relatively new line from surfing legend Laird Hamilton dubbed Wonderwall, basketball-themed pieces from Ben Wallace in additon to the Stephon Marbury basketball & sport tennis shoes, a performance collection from Venus Williams called Eleven, a golf collection named Bubba Golf after Bubba Watson and others.

Venus Eleven Banner
Laird Hamilton Dear by Amanda Bynes

“There’s been a revolution, a full-blown revolution,” Mr. Shore said, sounding, at times, just a bit like Crazy Eddie. “We just haven’t told anyone yet. If the Gap or Abercrombie & Fitch or J. Crew said that everything in the store is going to be $8.98 or less, it would be front-page news. But while no one was noticing, we opened stores across the country that have identical clothes for much lower prices.”

The question, again, is how.

That was, and remains, the question of the day. Mr. Wilson appeared to be pressing for an answer in his story, but never seemed to get one that spoke directly to the issue. It hasn’t been two months since the story was published, and well, here we are. Things are not good at Steve and Barry’s; they are in fact, very bad.

We don’t know if it was ‘the World’s Cheapest Dress‘ or not as the article asked, but we are pretty sure it probably needed to cost more than it did. A dollar more…? Two dollars…? How much exactly would have been enough to avoid what is going on now: a frantic search for funding to keep the company afloat, ongoing planning to close at least 100 of the company’s nearly 300 stores, continuing work on a bankruptcy filing should that be required, and all of the other unfortunate tasks that become necessary when the train leaves the tracks while traveling at a high rate of speed.

SJP Bitten Sarah Jessica Parker

It is a shame, because a lot of people are impacted by what happens with the company, as are a lot of hopeful fans who believe in Steve and Barry’s credo that good fashion doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. We’ll keep you posted.

If you aren’t too depressed after reading all of that, here’s one activity to put on your list, be it online or in person: the Williams Sonoma Home Sale.

Williams Sonoma Home Sale

There are always loads of goodies at this one, and this year doesn’t disappoint. There are always wonderful finds to spruce up your own cottage or winter residence, and if that isn’t in the plan, they have so many items that make ideal gifts, especially Hostess gifts when heading out as a guest for a weekend at the beach. These Raffia Embroidered Pillows just scream “summer fun” with their whimsical fish and crab motifs!

Williams Sonoma Raffia Embroidered Pillows

And we’ll absolutely have to notify our recently returned stateside Nautical by Nature preppy to take a look at the Nautical Rope pillows, as they just looko like something she needs… if she doesn’t already have them. In pairs. The Pure and Simple Soaps from Scotland are always a hit and great to have in the house.

Williams Sonoma Nautical Rope PillowsWilliams sonoma sale soap

Those are just a few of the samplings from W-S Home, always worth a minute or two in our opinion, and not only because we were already at the website looking at Ice Cream recipes, as we were. So? I mean, what is the big deal if we have quite the full table for a festive Fourth gala. And Cook has been given the weekend off. The whole weekend. Off. And yours truly said she would make the ice cream. Personally make the homemade ice cream. This will be good.

You see we have one of the contraptions shown here, and it did seem like a good idea at the time when planning menus for the week to decide that the final course be something all American… ice cream! Of course! Homemade! Oh yes! In fact, I’ll make it myself, surely this is something I’m capable of! Oh Nooooooo.

Oh well. Photos may follow. If not, ask questions at your own risk.

🙂

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