Casual Friday: Denim Pencil Skirt

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately… for those of you who’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know that this time of year, I’m usually knee deep in the IFB Conference planning. My outfits have been more and more casual, as the workdays increase. Which can be a good thing! Part of style is exercising how to dress for certain times in your life. How to be more casual, more effortless and still look alright. Ok, my hair might be a mess… but one of the things I’ve been loving are pencil skirts, and when I got the Current/Elliott Dorothy Pencil skirt, it quickly became a wardrobe staple. The button up front the soft, worn-in black denim. It’s probably the most comfortable skirt I own.

Yesterday, Debie talked about pops of red, I took this as a cue to dig out my favorite red tank top. There’s always a use for red tank tops, they do go with anything. Brightening up a sheer blouse, adding a “pop of color” to any neutral outfit. I’ve found my crew of red tanks have played an important role of my summer wardrobe!

Street Style: Long Days, Long Skirts

The summer days are long, and even longer are the skirts. More and more I’m seeing people of all heights delve into the depths of the maxi skirt. Floaty fabrics fluttering in the warm summer breeze. The perfect piece to fit the mood of the season. Even as I’ve resisted the long skirts due to my lack of height, have been wearing long skirts a few times a week. It’s a nice feeling, like a pioneer on the prairie, only, on the streets of New York. These days, it’s great to keep the maxi dress as simple as possible, paired with a relaxed tank top or as a straight modal tank dress. That’s a nice way to keep things simple and stunningly chic.

Statement Lipsticks in Secondary Colors

Every now and then I get the lipstick itch. You know, when every color bores you and it’s time to shake things up. I’ve gone through that every now and again, then falling back on a trusted shade. Usually I wear red or nude, so it was time to shake it up. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of great colors. Fuchsia, orange, even black. Last night I went to go pick up a new lipstick and was thinking more along the lines of coral, but walked out with MAC’s Up The Amp in PURPLE. It just seemed right. Thinking back to how much I love orange or fuchsia in place of red, going to purple in place of pink is a nice way to mix things up. Thinking back, I remember the first time I wore fuchsia lipstick in 2002, people thought it was crazy, now it’s everywhere. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more shades of purple again. From lilac to deep violet it’s just the right twist to make a statement.

Over the weekend I also picked up Make Up Forever: Rouge Artist Intense #40. It’s a bit orangier than So Chaud, but it still looks like red on me. Maybe one day I’ll find that brilliant orange, but for now, this is just fine.

Bronde Girl

I had an itch to brighten my hair, to make a change, but the first change really wasn’t me. In my mind I thought of going lighter, images of Alexa Chung with her brown, but blonde hair.. bronde, the color between brown and blonde. Last night I went back to Pimps and Pinups to fix my hair to something that suited me more. This meant doing research on what exactly was lurking in my mind when I said, “I’d like to go lighter.” Blonde isn’t an option for my olive skin and brown eyes, but sometimes brown is well… boring. It’s hard to add depth, and hard to justify coloring my hair a fraction of a shade and for $100. I wanted more depth, and going bronde looked like it would work on me. My stylist, Marissa, took a look at the images that I presented, not only were they bronde, the had very similar ombre tones. See, hair naturally brightens as it grows, and to be frank, no one shows their natural color these days, so why not play around?

Here is a mood board (sorry, Alexa) with some of the brondes on the runways for AW11:

I feel bringing in a photo really helps and, it’s more aligned with what really inspires. Yeah, I guess that’s common sense, but it took a lesson to make that happen. Anyway, I really like how the new color turned out.

What are some of the hair color trends you’re feeling lately?

Photos: Nando Alvarez • Style.com • Dimitrios Kambouris//Getty

Are Baggy, Footless Tights In Your Fashion Future?

I’m all for most hosiery trends, whether it be two-toned, crazy-patterned, or studded leg wear. And I’ve never been an opponent of “tights as pants,” as long as it’s done tastefully. But I have to admit that I don’t know what to make of Wolford’s Voile leggings/footless tights. Isn’t hosiery supposed to be fitted, not baggy? I have to say that these look like the cheap stockings sold at drugstores and bodegas, which are barely adequate when you’re in a bind and create a very unsexy-looking leg. These leggings, however, aren’t inexpensive, and retail for about $62. They not only look weird (and not in a good eccentric way) and cost too much, but are also impractical. I can’t think of any way to rock these that wouldn’t make the wearer look short and malnourished. Well, I guess if you’re trying to look thinner, these might do the trick, but would you really want to risk having your style license revoked? I didn’t think so. Head over to Stylehive or TheFrisky for more!

Coveted Illustrated: PAPERFASHION

As much as I love photography, there is nothing more personal than seeing one’s interpretation of the world through what they create with their own hands. Yesterday, I was blown away by Katie from PAPERFASHION,  one of my favorite blogger-illustrators, had sent an illustration of me in my most casual weekend attire. On PAPERFASHION Katie hand draws and paints her fashion musings with the touch of classic illustration which gives a unique view from the regular runway shots most of us use. She even has an Etsy shop!

 

I’ve been a fan for some time, and am completely flattered by her choosing me as one of her inspirations.

Citizen of the World

It was always my goal to be a citizen of the world… and I tried! Living in the UK, and most recently Germany… it’s getting there.. Los Angeles based weltenbuerger.org is a vintage shop with a German twist. Weltenbueger means ‘Citizen of the World.’ and what I like about this, is the selection here has a definite German flavor.. and I’m not talkin’ about lederhosen..which I was disappointed to find out that ‘lederhosen’ just means ‘leather pants’ it’s not particular to what we think lederhosen means. I’ll stop digressing! Sorry… anyway, this Weltenbuerger is really more present-day German style, and reflects more what you would see in some of the more hip vintage boutiques. The price points on the other hand, are completely American, ranging around the $25 price point something you would see in some of the vintage shops on Melrose. It looks like there will be the German version launching soon, so all of you on the Europe side, stay tuned, I have a feeling this is going to be a good shop to add to your bookmarks!

Chevron (and we’re not talkin’ gas)

In the last post I describe disappointing meanings of words (lederhosen-leather pants)… but for many years, I thought chevron was just the name of a gas station. Embarrassing right? And was delighted to find out that it just describes the general shape of the V character. Nice, the word ‘chevron’ sounds so cool…and it shouldn’t be tied to gas stations and …oil.  I love stripes, but find it hard to wear them. Sure… except when I want to dress like Beetlejuice! Then pile on the stripes thank you! In search to wean myself off of the grey routine has taken over my wardrobe these last few years, I’ve picked up a dress that’s well, grey..but it has other colors.

This weekend I’m getting ready for fashion week, it’s been wild working on the IFB conference the last few months. This fashion week there are going to be so many opportunities for bloggers, it’s incredible. I really can’t believe how much has changed in the last few years. But hey, it’s all part of the fun! Is there anything you want to see on the The Coveted for fashion week? I’d love to hear your requests!

Devil’s Advocate

If you’re a fashion bloggosphere addict, you’ve probably heard about the newest fashion bloggers vs. editors cat fight erupted late last month. Personally I thought it would die down, it seemed to be an argument as old as blogging itself. Tavi also thought it would die down, and she unintentionally sparked this controversy. But it hasn’t, in fact is seems like there’s a new story popping up about it almost daily…and I haven’t even checked my reader (so apologies if some of you have also written about it). The fact that I have been so engrossed with organizing the IFB conference, that my regular mornings with my RSS reader had to be put on hold for the month (as with a lot of other essential parts of my day, like sleeping) …and still I hear rumblings of this. People are upset from both sides, and we need to talk.

In the Independent’s story by Susie Mesure about Grazia’s fashion editor’s reaction to Tavi’s giant bow at the Dior Couture show, noting that ‘former fans complain bloggers have been “bought off” by the industry.’

Mesure goes further to quote editors from Vogue and GQ (both owned by Condé Nast)

Robert Johnson, associate editor at the men’s magazine GQ, said: “Bloggers are so attractive to the big design houses because they are so wide-eyed and obsessed, but they don’t have the critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not. As soon as they’ve been invited to the shows, they can no longer criticise because then they won’t be invited back.”

They did not use any direct quotes from bloggers in this article. There’s a very good story about that on Business of Fashion.

I’m not going to pretend like I know all the details of what’s going on with PR companies and other bloggers, or what’s going on with PR companies with fashion magazines. But I can tell you my experience.

While I’d like to scoff and say that the editors are wrong. They’re not. Well, they’re not entirely wrong. They’re wrong about Tavi being bought off by fashion houses. They’re wrong to grossly generalize bloggers, and they’re also wrong to assume that this honeymoon period between fashion houses and bloggers will last very long.

Where they are right is that in the past few years fashion houses have been making scrambling to engage bloggers to present a positive image to you, the readers, and so have the magazines themselves. The level of pitches that come through are increasing by the day. I literally get hundreds of pitches daily, and I’m not even that important. As for the campaigns, they’re getting more and more competitive to stand out as bloggers reach points of fatigue. And it’s true some of campaigns are sexy, over the years the opportunities I’ve gotten as a blogger included sponsored trips to Paris (granted it was only a 50minute flight from where I lived at the time) New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, gifts, items for review, sponsored posts… all of which I’ve disclosed to you, and all of which have added value to the content of The Coveted, as I could not fund many of these things myself.

So in this madness how does one determine what to include, and what not to include?

Experience.

In the beginning, I had no idea about the difference between good campaign and when I was being taken advantage of. And through experience, it’s easier see more and more where companies do try to manipulate bloggers into generating positive content. I don’t think that fashion editors could do a better job distinguishing if they were on this side of the fence and managing their own advertising sales. In fact many times they don’t do a better job distinguishing as they are notorious for accepting gifts and selling copy just as much as bloggers.

But just because they do it, does that mean I should?

At first it sounded ok, you know, ‘industry standard’ ‘that’s what everybody does.’ I felt bad, conflicted, somewhat intimidated, and sometimes scared if I didn’t take an opportunity, or if I said something bad then it would ruin my chances to have a successful blog, that part about the GQ quote is true, and I’m not the only one. I saw The Coveted going down this road, reviews, giveaways, sponsored content, invitations, and though I was making more some money, I wasn’t enjoying it as much as the days when I just posted my own clothes and random thinkings. Sure, it made me look like I had reached some level of ’success’ but in reality, it wasn’t at all, so I’ve become so much more selective about what I say yes to.

It didn’t take long to realize that saying ‘yes’ has nothing to do with success, it’s the quality of my content and relationship with the community, that builds success. I’ve written bad reviews, said things that aren’t 100% positive. Griped about bad customer service. Had to face publicists who try to get me to retract words. And yeah, I’ll never be invited back to Chicago Fashion Week because I noted that I did not receive the full designer listing even after I emailed them for it, and Zara probably hates me. But you know what? That’s ok.

It’s also ok to have sponsors. In order to provide quality content, it’s necessary. I run two blogs, one is a community (and will be launching a new blog soon) and there is not enough time in the day to work a day job. For the past two months I have been working 12-18 hours a day on the IFB conference, and because of sponsors, we’re able to offer it to bloggers on a suggested $20 donation, as opposed to charging $300-$400 a ticket which would be what bloggers would have to pay without them.

I didn’t start blogging to get the free things, or to start a business, I started this as a personal project. And as I loved doing this, and wanted to do this full time, I had to start positioning myself as a professional. The difficult part about that, is that were very few professional fashion bloggers at the time, which is why I started Independent Fashion Bloggers. I didn’t know, I don’t know and I don’t pretend to. Blogging is so new, and such a unique medium there is a huge learning curve for everyone, including the journalists who snicker at blogger naivete.

So are the fashion editors right? In a way…yes, but in an even bigger way, they are wrong. To imply that bloggers don’t have the ‘critical faculties to know what’s good and what’s not.’ misses the point of what’s really going on. Perhaps new bloggers don’t know, but neither do new journalists, and successful bloggers have to learn quickly or risk community backlash. The quote misses entirely that like anything really, blogging is an evolutionary medium, and will take time to reach maturity…. and we’re reaching it faster than they think.

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