Archive for Rag Trade

Two of a kind, maybe

Just watch where you step:

You might stab someone in the shin.

(Via @syaffolee.)

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Beyond the little black dress

In fact, beyond much of the universe. This astronomer has an image from the Hubble Deep Field imprinted on her dress:

Hubble deep field dress

She swears she found it at Macy’s.

(Via TYWKIWDBI.)

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A hundred years of heels

I have no idea what’s next, but this is what has gone before:

HelloGiggles notes that the most recent styles are also the most dangerous-looking. The significance of this is left as an exercise for the student.

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Prepare for your head to hurt

Migraine-detecting dress designed by Grace BuckwalterIt’s kind of stylish in an early-80s TRON way, but it’s far more than eye candy:

[I]t’s sometimes difficult to tell when a migraine is coming on.

To help her mother, 15-year-old Grace Buckwalter decided to find a way to help detect a migraine before it starts. She has designed a dress that changes colors based on brain activity. Grace says, “It’s like a mood ring, but a dress.” Her efforts have resulted in a great deal of attention, including local television and TEDxLancaster.

How does it work?

The dress has a very special accessory, a headpiece that Grace borrowed from the game Mindflex. In Mindflex, the headpiece uses electroencephalography (EEG) technology to steer a Styrofoam ball through an optical course. With the dress, the headpiece interprets brainwaves, then transmits data through a circuit into a microprocessor. The microprocessor then emits light of different colors through optic fibers incorporated into the dress. There are six optic fiber bundles on the dress with colors scaling from red to blue to purple to green. Grace says that the meditation fibers turn red if the wearer is nervous and green if they’re relaxed.

Says Grace, the project took about 40 hours of work, at a cost of about $150. She will wear it at TEDxLancaster on the 10th of September.

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Meanwhile in the Southern Hemisphere

I suppose you couldn’t run an ad like this today:

Fiesta hosiery ad from Australia

A poodle in a sombrero? Sure, why not? And I smile at that bit about “made in an air-conditioned factory where nylon cannot contract.” Said factory, incidentally, was in Australia; Bond’s Industries sold it off in 1958, citing a decline in demand for its uncontracted products.

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Quickly spotted

By gum, here’s another vintage item from The Fashion Capital of Delaware:

Chiffon dress with polka dots

I think you have to be exactly the right age to appreciate this sort of thing.

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Is it Mary or Sue?

From the faraway early 1960s, a dress over which to obsess:

Pretty Girl dress from Braunstein's

Stag line, indeed. (Yet the dateless guys still queue up, even today.)

And I have to chuckle at “The Fashion Capital of Delaware.”

(Tip of the hat to Roger Green.)

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Once this was cool

Now, I guess, it’s a political statement, but in the 1970s it was kinda whimsical:

Landlubber clothing ad

Yeah, I suppose it is sort of uncomfortable.

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Strictly boho

I have a feeling I’d like this dress:

What I’m seeing is pretty spiffy.

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Because I needed this

I didn’t do any Rule 5 stuff this week due to, um, illness, but I had to say something about this Bai Ling tweet.

“Rawr” should about do it.

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Block partier

Not so long ago, Stuart Weitzman came up with a shoe called, for good and sensible reasons, “Tasselmania.” What happens when the shoe is not so, well, manic?

Tasselean by Stuart Weitzman

The nice thing about the block heel is that it looks like it won’t give way under you, unlike some styles you could name. Says Weitzman’s storefront about “Tasselean”:

Boho goes modern by way of a tassel detail and a minimalist single-sole design. This fashionista favorite is finished with braided straps and is crafted from cipria leather or suede. Wear with structured shorts and a silk tunic.

Um, “structured”? Okay. These are structured AF, or at least A&F.

The cipria version of “Tasselean” is “Frosted White.” Either way, it’s $398.

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Fantasy and then some

Claire Farron here is the new face of Louis Vuitton, kinda sorta:

Lightning for Louis Vuitton

Not that she’s going to walk the runway for them or anything: Ms Farron, better known as Lightning, is the protagonist of the game Final Fantasy XIII, and her existence is purely virtual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I guess:

On the ad pages of a recent Vanity Fair, Lightning can be seen sporting her trademark pink hair and brandishing a metallic leather handbag. The clothes and purse look ordinary, but her skin is smoother than that of even the most excruciatingly Photoshopped human woman. Lightning dwells in the uncanny valley; she is real enough to pass as a model, but her dead eyes and perfectly regular features create a subtle sense of unease.

If you ask me, she’d create a subtle sense of unease were she “real”:

Lightning is determined, concentrated and independent. Initially, she is cold and standoffish, distancing herself from her companions. She only looks out for herself and doesn’t care if others are left behind.

Sound like any flesh-and-blood models you’ve heard of?

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Hey, (almost) nineteen

The 21st of this month is Rebecca Black’s 19th birthday, but I figured I’d mention it here today because it’s Friday and that should require no further explanation.

A couple of weeks ago she turned loose a video in which she’s talking music with the two brothers who make up funk-pop duo Fox Wilde, with whom she’s apparently working on some tunes. The main thing I gleaned from it, though, was a reminder of how great a simple t-shirt/jeans combo can be:

Rebecca Black as casual as she wants to be

Interestingly, there’s apparently only the single rip, over her left knee, so these jeans aren’t fully “distressed” in the contemporary sense.

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Hardly there at all

Once upon a time, I professed a fondness for “insubstantial” shoes, not for myself of course — I wear a freaking size 14 HyperWide, fercrissake — but as an occasional fashion choice for my fair lady. (At the time, I didn’t have a fair lady, and I have no reason to expect I will get one any time soon, but let that pass for the moment.)

In terms of substance, this shoe is an iceberg, with next to nothing above the surface:

Eva La Rue in Valentino heels

And I suppose it’s technically a peep-toe, but who’s gonna know?

When this picture showed up, I went combing through the Net for suitable red-carpet information, the carpet’s lack of redness notwithstanding. It took little effort to find out who this was — it’s Eva LaRue, at the second-season premiere for Showtime’s Ray Donovan — but this was evidently not enough of an event to warrant any fashion coverage. After too many searches, I have ascertained, I think, that this shoe must come from Valentino’s Spring 2013 collection, which also contains a Lucite-ish bag:

Plexiglas bag from Valentino, Spring 2013

Way to trompe the hell out of l’oeil, guys.

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There Armani here among us

Hillary Clinton's infamous jacket… who feel that this entire discussion of Hillary Clinton’s pricey Armani jacket is but a joke:

People are saying mean things about Hillary’s wardrobe, particularly the $12,000 coat she appeared in recently. I think that’s a cheap shot. The coat is not becoming — she can’t carry it off. She looks like she picked it up at some store that features garments for older women. I can just see some upper middle class woman wearing it to church or to a do at the Women’s Club, and looking better in it than Hillary.

No kidding, I think I would look better in that coat than she does; she is not interested in looking attractive, and I am. Surely the pantsuits she wore in office were dreadful, but so was everything she wore, including her ugly hairstyle, which made her look like someone who does not visit her stylist often enough, or maybe doesn’t even have a hairstylist. She does not place a high value on her appearance, having more worthwhile things to concern herself with, like how many bombs to drop on ISIS this week or what to do about hunger. I’m not saying she shouldn’t spend a lot of money on her clothes; no one expects a millionaire in public life to shop at JCPenney.

Best handwave I’ve seen so far: someone imported into my tweetstream who swears that this shapelessness of hers is caused by bulletproof vests.

There is, I suggest, no point in getting worked up over the price of Mrs Clinton’s garb; she’s a private citizen and can spend her money any damned way she wants, and those who feel like yelling “But inequality!” can go whiz up a rope. This is not Pat Nixon’s Republican cloth coat. And let’s face it, you’ve seen worse.

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And oh, what heights we’ll hit

What we have here is “a story about a pair of flats that wanted to be a heel”:

Kind of heartwarming, or at least footwarming. There’s even a video on how it was done.

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Cold in one’s hose

Now here’s a catchy title: How Freezing Your Tights Will Change Your Whole Damn Life.

Oh, they mean it, all right:

Those opaque bad boys are a lifesaver when the temps start to majorly dip … if only they stayed run-free for longer than, oh, a day. Good thing there’s a super-easy trick for extending the life of your tights.

You freeze them.

Yes, it sounds crazy, but hear us out: The next time you buy a new pair (and before you wear them), run them under water until they’re damp. Then place them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. Take them out and give them a day to defrost and thaw out.

You only need to do this once — after that, you’re good to go. The chilly temps firm and strengthen the individual fibers of your tights, making them less susceptible to runs later on.

Hmmm. Wonder if this works on sheer, or at least non-opaque, varieties.

(And why am I hearing about this only now?)

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Never gonna give them up

Most guys, I suspect, have at least one pair of shoes coming close to this description:

When I got home I realized there was a pebble in my shoe. I’m not sure how it got there. Those old shoes have been through a lot. They are worn and dirty. I bought them five or six years ago. They are white leather Adidas. The trademarked three stripes are unusual in that they consist of two blue stripes and one red in the middle. Those old shoes sure have traveled while on my feet. They have trod untold miles. They have been to Mexico, Belize, the Bahamas. They’ve walked through the VI and both French and Dutch St Maartins. Those old Adidas stomped around on the Great Wall of China and protected my feet through at least 14 different states. There is a scuff mark on the right heel from where I routinely rest the foot on the floor while pressing the accelerator. The insoles lost any support long ago. The inner padding and liner is worn through at various contact spots.

I had a pair of Nike sport sandals I managed to keep more or less intact for a decade; eventually, of course, “less” won out over “more,” and I wound up replacing them with these. Three years later — well, I don’t envision getting seven more years out of ’em, but you never know.

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This is not a Bag O’ Crap

I actually saw this on Woot yesterday:

Chanel Boy Quilted Flap Bag

I am not making this up:

Exuding sophistication and elegance, this size new medium Chanel Boy Flap Bag is masterfully constructed in Italy from durable black textured caviar calfskin leather, showcasing the iconic flap design with its sublime signature stitching/quilting pattern. The Pushlock Boy Lock is distinguished by the two interlocking C’s in rustic silver, which is identical in color to the bag’s other hardware. This bag can be worn on the shoulder, hand held or cross body, making it irresistibly versatile. The oversized adjustable chain is smartly paired with a leather strap and can be worn with either the single or double chain option. The brownish red fabric lined interior compartment features one pouch and one zip-closure pocket to help properly organize belongings. This bag measures 11in (28cm) length by 7in (18cm) height by 3.5in (9cm) depth and comes with original Chanel authenticity hologram card and black dustbag.

List price is given as $5200; Woot will let you have one — but no more than three — for $4779.99 each. (Plus, um, $5 shipping.)

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Neutral shift

Have you ever picked up a garment labeled “nude” and then put it back down, muttering “Yeah, right”?

It’s probably past time for this:

Advertisement for Naja nude undies

Naja have launched their “Nude for All” range, a collection including seven shades to suit women of all skin tones.

Naja CEO Catalina Girald first got the idea while watching the 2012 Olympics and seeing Gabby Douglas wearing “nude” coloured shoes that didn’t match her skin.

“I used to be a gymnast so I’m always sensitive to those things, and it was the first time that it dawned on me that the wrap didn’t exist in other colours,” she told Cosmopolitan.

They apparently will ship to the States, which is a good thing, considering how slow we’ve often been to adopt trends along these lines.

(Via @MoxieBeautiful.)

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Handy, but not in a good way

I’m hoping this is not a real product:

The Jerk Shirt from CamSoda

Gadgette explains:

The basic premise is that the shirt includes one fake arm, which disguises the fact that your real arm is under the fabric of the shirt, getting jiggy. Thankfully, the part of the shirt that might come into contact with your “manhood” (if you can still call it that after using this) is splash-proof and wipe-clean. Hooray!

I believe I speak for everyone here when I say “Ewwww.”

The, um, promotional video has about 400,000 views already.

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The name is killing me

But this was a thing in 1947, a thing a guy might not be shown:

Suspants by Blue Swan

Note the “Junior Miss Sizes”: 9 through 17.

Blue Swan Mills operated out of Sayre, Pennsylvania, hard by the New York State border; among other distinctions, Sayre has a newspaper called the Morning Times, which used to be called the Evening Times.

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Sweet and simple

In an era of Rampant Overdecoration, I have to appreciate something like “Amanda” here:

Amanda pump from Shoesinitaly

That heel is 4.1 inches. And there are three non-black colors, should you prefer.

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This much and no lower

Meanwhile in London, they worry over whether you’re wearing shoes of the correct height:

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. The British naturist Lady God1va, from whom I got this report, doesn’t think much of the petition:

After noting that it would be just about as useless to petition for nudity on the job, she added:

I can manage only so much empathy here: I can remember exactly one instance of a woman wearing heels to work on any day after her first, and I remember that only because — well, never mind.

In the meantime, this is the petition in question.

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Taking no chances

I have to admit, I wouldn’t have thought of this as a precautionary measure, but it makes a certain amount of sense:

I wasn’t sure which size to go for with these Valentino Rockstud City Sandals as I’m a 40 in the heels in patent leather, but I know with sandals you always need to size down if there’s an open back and an open toe. I ordered both the 39.5 and the 39 on my credit card and I kept the 39. The 39.5 did fit me, but there was too much gapping at the toe area and the straps weren’t as tight, so they were definitely too big. I recommend you size down if you are buying these as they need to fit securely and will probably stretch a bit from the heat during the hot months.

A 40 on the Continent is about a 9½ in the States, so she ended up with what we would call an 8½. (I’m not about to compare our “hot months” with theirs.)

And I did not know about downsizing for sandals. Maybe it’s something specific to women’s shoes; me, I tend to be grateful for anything that comes close to fitting.

There’s just one potential hangup with this procedure: these shoes were priced at £650 — $940 a pair. Charging two pairs might be beyond some people’s credit lines.

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Put it on your Bucket List

I mean, they still sell KFC by the bucket, don’t they?

There’s a precedent for beauty products inspired by fast food: Last year Burger King Japan released a cologne designed to smell like flame-grilled beef patties. But the new effort from KFC in Hong Kong is arguably more bizarre.

Working with Ogilvy & Mather, KFC launched two edible nail polishes with flavors based on the brand’s best-loved recipes: Original and Hot & Spicy.

As Ogilvy explains in a release: “To use, consumers simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick — again and again and again.”

And KFC certainly can’t object to your finger-lickin’, can they?

Still, I have to wonder if this sort of thing is making Colonel Sanders rotate at faster-than-rotisserie speeds.

(Via Vandana Puranik.)

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It’s not rocket science

And, well, Dolly Singh is not actually a rocket scientist, though she did work at Elon Musk’s SpaceX for five years as Head of Talent Acquisition, which tells me that she’d know a rocket scientist if she saw one. So I take this quote seriously:

To me, when you’re surrounded by some of the smartest people on the planet, building some of the biggest and most badass machines on this world, the idea that my shoes are such crap became really obnoxiously unbearable.

Women, in case you hadn’t noticed, do have a tendency to take shoes seriously.

Dolly Singh explains it all

Dolly Singh poses on a wing

So Dolly Singh vowed to create some shoes that were not crap. After leaving SpaceX, she did a stint at Oculus VR, the virtual-reality outfit, since acquired by Facebook, before striking out on her own with Thesis Couture. From their current lookbook:

Our mission is to decouple beauty and pain, and show just how sexy smart can be.

Sleek, sophisticated curves on the outside, cutting edge technology on the inside.

A prototype, with the Thesis-designed underpinnings:

Prototype Thesis Couture shoe

“Our patented design,” says Thesis, “is engineered to redistribute load, minimize impact shock, and reduce fatigue.”

Which you have to figure would be the priorities for a woman who is going to wear heels No Matter What.

Dolly Singh not saving lives

The shoes aren’t on sale yet, and they’ll be pricey when they are. But such is the way of technological advance.

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Look what just blew in

A pleasantly pointy pump from Nine West:

Tornaydo pump by Nine West

This shoe is called, um, “Tornaydo,” and here’s the pitch:

Keep your look classic in our Tornaydo pointy toe pumps. It’s an ideal choice for the office or the perfect evening go-to because it complements so many fashion choices. Ultra thin T-strap detail. Adjustable ankle strap closure.

Always did have a thing for the T-strap. (No, I have no idea why.) Heel height is 4.25 inches. Nine West is asking $89; there are a couple of solid-color versions as well.

(Via Fevrie.)

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Pedi concerns

When I was a lad, the very word “pedicure” seemed a mystery to me: women spend actual money on such things? Today, of course, there’s a nail salon or two on every other block, so it may simply be that the time for this product has passed:

Really want to accessorise your sandals with a snazzy pedicure, but just cannot be bothered? These tights were invented for you.

Hosiery with painted-on toenails

I suppose the effect might work if your toes happen to match up with the factory measurements. And I concede that it’s more pleasant than the Dragon Lady scheme, in which the nail can’t possibly be enclosed in any fabric, but then most things are.

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Hence the name “duds”

In this society, we don’t have uniforms — except, of course, for the fact that we do:

In all seriousness, there are only so many ways that someone can dress. Ninety percent of the people I see while eating lunch downtown are wearing the same unhappy combination of Third-World-sewn business casual clothing and square-toed, unpolished black shoes.

Yeah, that’s me when I’m downtown, lunch or otherwise.

Ninety percent of the people I used to play golf with as a kid wore the same outfit.

Ninety percent of the road cyclists out there dress like Lance Armstrong to maintain a rolling average of 12.3mph.

It’s hard enough for people to stand out; it’s more so when they think there’s a competitive advantage to not standing out.

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