A Moxie Fashionista takes fashion by the balls and makes it her own.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hear Bill Murray Read Poems by Billy Collins and Cole Porter

Who wants some Bill Murray? I sure as hell do.

This year, he flew in from filming for Wes Anderson’s new movie Moonrise Kingdom to join the 16th annual Poetry Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge. He read poems by Sarah Manguso, Cole Porter, and Billy Collins.


LeBron Jame's Face Catalogued

You NEED to look at this piece, in which LeBron James’s attitude throughout the NBA Finals is chronicled in facial expressions. It’s brilliant.


The Latest News on John Galliano

John Galliano arrives at French court on June 22nd. He spoke through a French interpreter, as John Galliano is British.

Before you all read this, I want to make my opinion known. In no way do I condone John Galliano for his remarks and behavior and I do not think his addictions are an excuse, but I do believe he was shit faced drunk. Out of his mind drunk, wasted...gone. He spattered out horrible things like many other drunk people do. We all have seen drunk people, and they do and say stupid shit. Regrettable, despicable things. I do not think his career should be over because of this. I love his work and think he is a genius. He needs help first and foremost. But I do not think he should never design again. I mean, have you seen his work? It's beautiful, brilliant and so Christian Dior. http://www.style.com/fashionshows/complete/F2011RTW-CDIOR

He made Charlize Theron even more gorgeous:

Now for the news:

Fashion designer, and former head designer of Christian Dior John Galliano told a Paris court on Wednesday that he was so out of control on drugs and alcohol he does not recall hurling anti-Semitic insults at strangers in a bar earlier this year.

Looking thinner than in his last public appearance, Galliano arrived in a hushed courtroom wearing long sandy hair, his trademark razor-thin mustache and leather trousers, prepared to defend himself against charges of anti-Semitic behavior.

He stood as a judge read out charges against him and repeated statements he allegedly made in an incident in Paris on Feb. 24, including "dirty Jewish face", "f-king Asian bas-d I will kill you", and "f-king ugly Jewish b-h"

Asked whether he remembered the insults, Galliano said: "I don't remember very well ... I have no recollection."

"I have a triple addiction," he added. "Alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium."

Galliano's career is in tatters. He was fired from fashion house Dior in March, after a video posted online showed him drunkenly telling a woman he loved Hitler and saying her parents might have been gassed in a Nazi death camp.

French police first questioned the British designer in February after a couple accused him of hurling racist abuse at them on the terrace of a cafe.

Designer Galliano Says He Can't Recall Speaking Slurs

Published: June 22, 2011

PARIS — In a halting voice, John Galliano, the fallen star designer of the fashion house of Dior, defended himself Wednesday against hate-crime charges by insisting he could not remember spewing anti-Semitic insults in a Parisian bar because of drug and alcohol addictions.

Mr. Galliano, 50, appeared in court wearing a subdued charcoal jacket and open-necked shirt, speaking with the aid of a French interpreter who was replaced by Mr. Galliano’s lawyer when the translator had trouble understanding the English-speaking designer.

“I have addictions, I am recovering from addictions and I am still in treatment,” Mr. Galliano said as he stood facing a panel of three judges. Under questioning, he said his addictions to alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium were a crutch to cope with extreme work pressures and financial crisis.

“The drinking started in a cyclical way. After every creative high I would crash,” Mr. Galliano said, adding that the death of a friend and key aide, along with work pressures, exacerbated his drinking.

“Dior is a big machine and I didn't want to lose Galliano,” he said of his own label, which is majority owned by Dior. He complained about suffering panic attacks as he struggled to raise new revenues for his brands for everything from children’s underwear to menswear.

For the one-day trial, the judges evaluated testimony of about a half-dozen witnesses and watched a grainy, 45-second cellphone video that shows Mr. Galliano speaking in a slurred voice. The witnesses testified about two incidents, in October and February, both at a bar in the Marais, La Perle. The video, which involves a third dispute that was not part of the trial, was allowed as evidence.

The actual crime of which he stands accused — public insults about religion, race, or ethnicity — ordinarily ensnares far-right politicians with a clear ideology. The crime carries a penalty of up to six months in prison and a fine of €22,500, or $32,400, though usually the maximum fine is not imposed. As the trial still continuing into the evening, it was unclear when a verdict would be issued.

Despite the attention surrounding his trial, the John Galliano label will go ahead with plans to stage a show Friday of his menswear line for Paris fashion week, which also began on Wednesday.

But for Mr. Galliano, there was no red carpet on Wednesday, just the bare parquet floor in a wood-paneled French courtroom, where a young couple in their 30s testified in detail about their encounter with Mr. Galliano at La Perle, a clash that ultimately resulted in his being fired by Dior.

Mr. Galliano insisted that he had no recollection of the venomous language that witnesses described, or of the comments he made in the 45-second video, which had been widely circulated online, showing Mr. Galliano slurring his words and declaring, among other things, “I love Hitler.”

“He had different expressions, dirty Jew, Dirty Jewish face,” recalled Geraldine Bloch, an art curator whose visit to the bar exploded into a 45-minute encounter with Mr. Galliano in late February.

“At a certain point, he told us to leave because he said I was in his bar and his neighborhood. He finished by saying, ‘I am John Galliano,”’ she said, noting that he also peppered his comments with observations about her hair and what he called her “revolting” eyebrows and boots.

After the video was viewed in court on a wide screen, Mr. Galliano stood and faced the judges and spoke about himself, sometimes in the third person.

“I never had these views all my life,” he said. “These are not the sentiments of John Galliano.”

Ultimately, Mr. Galliano apologized for his behavior, including the video and the dispute with the couple. He said that he himself had faced discrimination for being gay.

“On the video, I see someone who needs help and is very vulnerable,” he said. “It’s the shell of John Galliano.”

Dubbed fashion’s bad boy for his flamboyant and provocative style, Mr. Galliano had helped to energize Dior since he joined in 1996 as creative director, increasing sales and making it one of the jewels of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury empire, run by the billionaire Bernard Arnault.

Yet in court, that flamboyance had vanished. He spoke so quietly that the judge pushed him several times to speak into a microphone.

For every witness who declared a list of insults, he responded in a tired voice that he could not remember.

“I was in denial,” he said. “I was taking all those pills and alcohol. I was in complete denial. I am still in recovery. But I am feeling much better.”

The hearing, which started about 4 p.m. and continued for more than four hours, also included witnesses who said they had not heard any anti-Semitic remarks made by Mr. Galliano. One supportive witness was an English-language teacher.

Others have fashion industry ties — an American fashion student and a public relations employee who represents fashion firms.

At one point, the presiding judge, Anne-Marie Sauteraud, asked his current profession.

“I have none,” he said, almost inaudibly.

Then he issued a plea to the judge to take note of his work, inspired by his travel to diverse countries.

“I know what it feels to be discriminated against,” Mr. Galliano testified, noting that his real name is Juan and that his mother is Spanish. “We moved to south London when I was 6 years old and aware that I was gay. I was sent to a difficult English boys school and you can imagine that children can be cruel.”

Galliano Scandal Timeline:

Galliano was arrested and taken to a police station for a sobriety test, where he was found to be just over the legal limit. Police then escorted him to his home.

February 28, 2011: Galliano is been suspended from Dior. The designer visits a police station in Paris to answer questions about the incident. Just hours earlier, a video emerged of him apparently praising Hitler in a separate incident.

Another woman later comes forward to say she suffered a similar attack in October last year.

March 1, 2011: Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, who is the face of Christian Dior's Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, issues a statement condemning Galliano over the video. "I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano's comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."

Dior confirms that it has sacked Galliano in light of the video.

March 4, 2011: The Dior show goes ahead during Paris Fashion Week, without Galliano. Dior's CEO, Sidney Toledano, took to the stage before minutes before the curtains were raised to give a moving speech: "What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all. It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer. However brilliant he may be." With Galliano gone, speculation then fell to who would replace him at the luxury house, with Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, Haider Ackermann and Alber Elbaz of Lanvin all apparently in the frame April 15, 2011: things go from bad to worse for the disgraced designer after he is ousted by the board of his namesake label, 91 per cent of which is owned by Dior.

May 3, 2011: rumours circulate that Stephane Zerbib, Galliano's lawyer in the case, has quit; Zerbib had previously defended his client in an outspoken interview with an Israeli newspaper. However, a spokesman for Galliano issued a statement saying Zerbib was "dismissed as Monsieur Galliano's lawyer some weeks ago."

June 22: Galliano is due to face charges in a French court over the alleged racist tirades at a Paris bar, which the fallen designer will blame on drug and alcohol addiction. If found guilty, the 50-year-old couturier - considered one of the finest fashion designers of his generation - could face a sentence of six months in jail and a fine of 22,500 euros (£20,000).

Versace for H and M

I didn't get my hands on the Lanvin for H&M collection because it is at select H&M stores- not the ones at the mall- which is stupid. Most people shop a the mall. So have designer collaboration collections at H&Ms located in malls! Why should I have to drive to an H&M in Washington DC to get the new Versace for H&M collection? And probably see it sold out because I had to drive 30 minutes to get there! The collection with ONLY AT 300 stores. Probably sold out in a day... so get competitive!

I hope Donatella dives into the archives and sends out a "Gianni Versace Couture" from the late 80s to early 90s-inspired collection. It would be great to have the younger generation (whom I assume are big H&M fans) get a chance to wear tons of gold medusas, buckles and multi-color printed everything.

Versace has signed on to do H&M’s latest designer collaboration.

The collection will be big and include two rollouts, one on November 17 including men's, women's, and homewear, and another prespring collection on January 19. The line consists of "iconic" archive Versace pieces repurposed for H&M. More from H&M's press release:

The womenswear collection will be dominated by dresses that express the spirit of the season, featuring studded leather, silk and colorful prints, and accessories including high heels and costume jewelry. The men’s collection will focus on sharp tailoring, including the perfect tuxedo, as well as belts and jewelry for men. For the first time in a designer collaboration at H&M, the collection will include homeware pieces including pillows and bedspread.

“For me this is an opportunity to show to a very very big audience what Versace has been and what Versace is now,” designer Donatella Versace said in a video announcing the collaboration.

According to H&M creative adviser Margareta Van Den Bosch, the collection, which is comprised of 40 pieces for women and 20 for men as well as accessories, will look back at iconic pieces from the brand dating back to the ’80s.

“As a designer I look at the future–I never look at the past, but being the sister of Gianni, the DNA is Versace and I’m going to use iconic Versace pieces of iconic Versace moments which are not exactly always the past but also the present,” Donatella said.

And as if to prime the masses for an accessible vintage-leaning iconic Versace collection at H&M, Lady Gaga has been wearing only Gianni Versace to promote her new video, “Edge of Glory.” Good timing.

I think Donatella changed her attitude from 2008, when she declared she wouldn't do a line for H&M: http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2008/05/donatella_versace_wont_do_an_h.html

The collection is set to hit 300 H&M stores on November 19. Donatella has also designed a pre-spring collection for the Swedish retail giant, which will only be available in countries with H&M on-line sales starting on January 19.

The highlight of the Versace men's show at Milan Men's Fashion Week was not the striped booty shorts or pink suits, it was Donatella — but isn't she always the highlight, in a way? — taking her bow at the end wearing a Versace for H&M studded leather dress.

Sketches from Donatella Versace's Versace for H&M collection

Donatella Versace puts the finishing touches on one of her H&M looks.

The H&M collection will be full of "prints, color and exuberance," Versace said in a statement.

A studded shift dress from the Versace for H&M collection.

Men's looks will focus on sharp tailoring, and the collection will include a tuxedo.

Kate Middleton Denies Designer Freebies

Kate Middleton Won’t Accept Free Clothes, Is Striking ‘Private Agreements’ With Designers

Today in Kate Middleton wardrobe news, royal officials are decidedly being more tight-lipped about Kate Middelton’s fashion choices than almost anything else. The level of secrecy that surrounded her wedding dress was only the beginning.

As we’re sure you’ve heard, William and Kate are about to embark on a tour of North America—starting with Canada, followed by a trip to California. As usual, we’re all wondering what Kate is planning to wear to charm us North Americans at her many scheduled appearances. According to a spokesman for the couple quoted in a story about Prince William’s 29th birthday (happy bday!), it’s a secret, but she definitely will not be wearing anything that hasn’t been paid for. Like the American first lady to whom she has been compared on more than one occasion, Middleton “has a policy not to accept any free offers of clothing.” She also “will not receive any special clothing budget for the Canada and California tour.” However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the decidedly down-to-earth duchess will be wearing nothing but high street labels for her tour. According to People, she is striking “private agreements” with designers to “help build her tour wardrobe,” which presumably means that certain designers have been chosen to dress her (not for free) and those designers have been sworn to secrecy.

Somewhat related–William and Kate’s itinerary for Canada was just released via AP and it sounds like we’ll get to see Kate in much more casual fare than we’re used to, as planned activities include campfires, cooking workshops, a dragon boat race, a canoe trip, a barbecue and a rodeo, for which the couple “will be given 10-gallon cowboy hats and are expected to dress in jeans and casual western clothes for the extravaganza.”

We’ll especially be looking forward to the cowboy hat.

Would You Buy A Candle That Smells Like A Newspaper?

A New York Times Candle That Smells Like Newsprint

If you've kept around old issues of The New York Times because you kind of get off on the smell, don't worry, you're not (that) weird. A fellow newspaper addict, the now deceased designer-artist Tobias Wong, created The Times Of New York candle, a concept that's equal parts a tribute to the Grey Lady and a commentary on the fate of printed media. The scent is, in a word, newsy, with hints of guaiacwood, cedar, musk, spice, with "a powdery note and velvet nuance," meant to mimic the aroma of black ink on newsprint. Realized by Josée Lepage, the Creative Director of Bondtoo, the candle, made in a limited-edition run of 1,000, is available for $65 at Project No. 8 at Ace Hotel and Bondtoo.com. Your apartment's never smelled smarter.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

98% of Mexico Can't Afford Oscar de la Renta So Why Is He Their Poster Boy?

No Seriously You Guys, Oscar de la Renta is the Face of Mexico City

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
This morning, I got a brief announcement that Oscar de la Renta had been named the official tourism ambassador of Mexico City. Yeah, it didn't really make a lot of sense to me either, since de la Renta is of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent and still holds very strong ties to the Dominican Republic, despite having renounced his citizenship in 1971. I just got the official Mexico City government agency press release on de la Renta's appointment, though, so I thought I'd share it with you. To be fair, the ambassadorship seems to be more of an award in recognition of de la Renta's achievements rather than a diplomatic or spokesperson-type post.

Oscar de la Renta received recognition today as Tourism Ambassador of Mexico City "in the hands of the Minister of Tourism, Alejandro Rojas Díaz Durán, who on behalf of the Head of Government, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, recognizing the career of fashion designer. Tourism Minister explained that the designer is "one of the titans of fashion" and a recognition of his career, he has held for several decades throughout the world, is the scroll that was given on behalf of the Head of Government. The famed designer Oscar de la Renta said, be very happy in Mexico City, said that all the inhabitants are very warm and mentioned that he longed to return to the capital of Mexico, which has known for many years. And he stressed that during a visit on Friday night at Garibaldi was splendid to meet up with mariachis, sing some songs and visit this landmark of the city square.

He said that many of the renowned Mexican artists and foreign use their designs, and stressed that since the seventies he began to make their designs with the goal of being the best in the continent. He acknowledged that one of his goals is to stay updated on any area and learn the changes of fashion. At a press conference held in a Havana hotel, acknowledged fashion designer in Mexico City feel peace, security and "the music of mariachis, to forget the fatigue." Accompanied by Secretary of Tourism, Alejandro Rojas Díaz Durán, Oscar de la Renta recalled that when he began his career in the United States believed that their nationality was Spanish or Italian by the name, however, said he was proud to be Dominican and to be Latino, deeming that the successes achieved in your life are the product of all Latinos. As a background to the catwalk fashion is now held in the Plaza de Toros Mexico, Oscar de la Renta accepted the award and said to be one of the admirers of the nation's capital, as well as heighten the Latin roots that bind all members of the continent.

At a press conference, Oscar touched on his career in the United States, deeming that regardless of his nationally, the successes achieved in his life are a product of all Latinos.

Wonder if this means he will make like Lagerfeld and take his next catwalk to the streets of Mexico City?

For even more adorableness and his trip to Mexico City, check out the video below! Oscar sings Bachata with Juan Luis Guerra in Mexico City.

According To New Study Brits Buy Half Their Weight In Clothes!

Clothes: Too much, too cheap

In an age of democratic dressing, when women buy 62lb of clothes a year and own at least 20 garments they never wear, Susannah Frankel argues that when it comes to fashion, less is more

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The new Prada shoe, the make-up at Balenciaga, the tights at Chanel, are common knowledge before the first designer outfit has even made it on to the runway


The new Prada shoe, the make-up at Balenciaga, the tights at Chanel, are common knowledge before the first designer outfit has even made it on to the runway

According to the environmental journalist Lucy Siegle, most women now buy half their bodyweight annually in clothes. The writer's new book, To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? (£12.99, Fourth Estate), states that the average female invests in 62lb of clothing each year, has upwards of 20 garments hanging in her wardrobe that she has never worn and owns four times the amount today than she did in 1980.

When a story written by Siegle for the Daily Mail to publicise the book was published at the end of last month, and then featured on the newspaper's website, it was met if not quite with howls of derision, then with a healthy dose of scepticism. Perhaps she's touched a nerve.

Siegle's figures are based on research conducted at Cambridge University into textile imports as opposed to sales, it was argued, and the two do not necessarily tally. It's safe to say, though, that any half-viable manufacturer is unlikely to over-estimate their fabric requirements on a grand scale – that is, throw away large amounts of investment – and stay in business for very long.

Equally contentious appeared to be the fact that women weigh approximately 124lb (8st 12lb) in the first place. Given that we are consistently informed that most of us are sized somewhere between a UK 14 and 16 this seems on the light side. The loaded nature of issues concerning both bodyweight and wardrobe expenditure make it far from surprising that this, in particular, saw eyebrows raised. Still, it's just an evocative gimmick, surely, and the principle behind it – that is, we buy a huge amount of clothing – holds water.

With this in mind, there's more. Women are expected to spend £133,640 in a lifetime on fashion. In 2007, three pairs of jeans were sold each second. Between 2001 and 2005, while spending on womenswear rose by 21 per cent, the price of individual items dropped by 14 per cent. And so forth.

Such facts and figures, for all Siegle's diligence – which is considerable – are unlikely to be wholly representative: statistics are statistics and the way in which we choose to digest them is clearly subjective. Having said that, we only have to look around us to see that there are more clothes and accessories available to buy both on the high street and in more upscale shopping destinations than ever. And we only have to observe the shopping patterns of colleagues, friends and family to know that, to varying degrees, we must be doing our bit to consume them. That much is clear.

But why?

For her part, Siegle is most vocal in the first place about the culture of celebrity endorsement. Until very recently, she claims, we were only interested in what celebrities wore on the red carpet or to a film premiere. Now, though, we are obsessed with their off-duty wardrobes too.

That is also true but celebrity endorsement has been around since the court of Marie Antoinette, the difference today is that far more of us can actually afford to emulate our idols, or we think we can at least – our bankers, struggling with burgeoning debt, might beg to differ. Where we used to look on in spellbound wonder at Marlene Dietrich's Dior gown at the Oscars, say, or Grace Kelly's Hermès bag, and even at Madonna's Jean Paul Gaultier conical bra, we would never have expected, or even necessarily wanted, to own them.

Until the turn of the 21st century this was a purely aspirational and entertaining activity, the stuff of dreams and/or nightmares depending on how we chose to look at it. Now, though, with budget copies of any outfit worn by even the least interesting young hopeful proliferating and images of the same published everywhere from online to the pages of newspapers and magazines, far more of us believe we can actually live that dream.

The rise and rise of Asos.com is a case in point. It may have cast off its original tag – As Seen On Screen – and have an eye on a more credible and far-reaching position in the market but the premise the business was originally founded on remains the same.

More significantly, Asos, like all other online shopping destinations, allows us to purchase clothing at the mere click of a button, making poring over a garment in a store, returning on two or even three separate occasions to consider just how much we want or need it redundant. Neither do we save up for clothing the way previous generations did, appreciating them far more just for that. Shopping for clothes is now a practice as undiscerning as many of the products we shop for. And that is regrettable.

Blame the so-called democratisation of fashion if you will. Images straight from the catwalk – and the inevitable fast-fashion copies that go with them – are also everywhere. Formerly, the designer fashion industry was a closely regulated concern – as late as the mid-1990s, all photographers at the international collections were accredited journalists required to sign forms limiting the use of any images to prevent plagiarism.

And if, since the mid-20th century, the world's leading couturiers, including Christian Dior and Coco Chanel, might have been persuaded to sell their patterns to American department stores, any buyers paid good money for them and their execution and distribution was closely guarded with a view to protecting exclusivity. Today, the shows are an all-singing, all-dancing, all-blogging, all-tweeting media circus. And consumers can "get the Marc Jacobs look" or whatever, only hours after the designer's biannual New York show has taken place, and this despite the fact that the prototype, which is high-end and therefore takes longer to produce and is necessarily more expensive, won't go on sale until almost half a year later.

The new Prada shoe, the make-up at Balenciaga, the tights at Chanel, are common knowledge before the first designer outfit has even made it on to the runway. And where such material used to be seen as news – admittedly not necessarily hard news, but news nonetheless – the purpose of which was to show people what they might, or might not, like to wear six months down the line, it now fuels a consumer habit that might be described as full-blown addiction.

The effect of this has been huge across the board. If we accept that it is now almost impossible for designers to copyright their ideas – and much has been written about the time and money involved in tracking down and removing everything from catwalk-inspired pieces deemed too close for comfort to blatant counterfeiting – then they are forced to take action in other ways. And so they have.

We may not have the budget to pay for a straight-off-the-runway, so-called seasonal statement piece, but we can and do buy designer sunglasses, bags, hosiery, shoes or even just an itsy-bitsy keyring/mobile-phone trinket to go with them. And just as the high street famously turns over clothing at breakneck speed with new drops appearing in any self-respecting fashion store on a weekly basis, so designers too have upped the ante with the aforementioned small-accessories market booming and pre-collections, cruise collections, all-year-round classic collections, multiple diffusion lines and more freshening up of the formerly proud-to-be-impenetrable designer stores.

With this in mind, where it was once not uncommon for fashion's biggest names to force consumers to knock at a locked door to gain access to their hallowed portals "by appointment only," today anyone and everyone is welcome at the vast majority of even the most elitist retail outlets where they will be greeted, if not quite with open arms – some things never change – then certainly without having to break in.

At the same time, and to establish a point of difference, fashion's big names are ensuring that their main line collections are more complex and therefore more difficult to interpret. And that is reflected in their price. The customer who is prepared to spend a three or even four-figure sum on her so-called seasonal statement piece does not want to show up at the party and find a half-dozen other women wearing the same.

The Independent regularly receives letters from readers decrying the price of clothing on the fashion pages, complaining, for example, that a dress might cost as much as £200. This is a dangerous mindset and, at the risk of attracting more disapproval, even a decade ago anyone working within the industry would have replied that £200, or indeed far more than that, is a fair price for a garment if it came from a great creator heading up a French or Italian fashion house and was made the country of origin by highly trained craftspeople all of whom were thereby respectably and respectfully employed.

In a similar vein, it was considered a mark of shame for a fashion editor to wear a copy of a catwalk design – we were, effectively, biting the hand that fed us by so-doing. Neither would we have shown high-street clothes mixed with designer looks on our pages or, certainly, demonstrated to people just how they might emulate them for a lower price. Cheap was cheap. Chic was chic. And the two worlds should never knowingly collide.

The basically protestant British mindset decrees that a desire for fashion is rooted in vanity and therefore to be frowned upon. But is it really any more shameful to want to dress in clothing that is interesting and well made than it is to lust after a precious first edition of a much-loved book or to buy a beautiful car?

At best, fashion is an entirely valid vehicle via which to express ourselves and one that can be passed down through generations of women carrying with it as much emotional power as a grandmother's wedding ring or a mother's scented cotton lawn handkerchief. Somehow, though, society has developed in a manner that deems it acceptable for us to descend en masse upon a low-budget store from where we emerge with bagfuls of clothes that we will either wear infrequently or not at all.

The hypocrisy – and indeed outright snobbery – that drives our disapproval of a Wag shopping on Bond Street for more of the same, meanwhile, only their carrier bags are glossy, carry more expensive merchandise and spill over with clouds of tissue paper, is disingenuous in the extreme. Contrary to popular mythology, shopping in the modern world has little to do with budget. It is not the less well off who have caused the boom in cheap fashion but the middle classes in search of a sartorial bargain. Neither are the super rich responsible for the proliferation of exorbitantly priced product. Instead, and as always, supply reflects demand. We choose to buy more low-priced fashion – and just more fashion – now than we used to. And that is more suspect.

"How do they make them so cheap?" It could be Lorraine Kelly's mantra. But, of course, someone somewhere in the world is always going to pay the price. Although there is no guarantee that all designer clothing is made in the best possible conditions, luxury brands that do employ cheap labour are likely to have longer lead times and bigger budgets than their mass market, high-street counterparts. Similarly, it would be naive to claim that price invariably reflects quality but more high-end clothing does generally come with a degree of care attached because those behind it can afford it.

And so, in France, artisans really do tend to make the clothes. In Italy, pioneers of the ready-to-wear industry and the computer technology that goes with it have passed down their knowledge since the 1950s and their expertise is second to none. Should we live in a world where the concept of investment in clothing expires then technicians such as these will die out and innovation and creativity will ultimately suffer for that.

To say that all budget clothing comprises cheap copies of what we see on the catwalk would be to over-simplify the matter. The high street, we all know, has come of age. Topshop sponsors many of Britain's youngest and most vulnerable designers. It also has its own design team which, while informed by designer fashion, is by no means reliant on it. Ditto the aforementioned Asos. However, a huge amount of the fashion we are buying is derivative, brazenly upheld in the press as a low-budget alternative to the real thing. Blame the word "commercial", perhaps, which in itself is misleading. Sell 10 jackets for £1,000 or 100 for £10 and the end result is equally cost effective to the designer or manufacturer, after all.

Of course it's a good thing that fashion is today available to many as opposed to merely the privileged few and Miuccia Prada, to name just one hugely influential name, has probably done as much for our collective fashion consciousness both in this country and overseas as Sir Terence Conran has for the look of our homes

So what's the answer? Buy carefully and buy less, is Siegle's argument and she's right. Consider everything from the origins of any garment, its sustainability and the working practices that went into its creation to whether it will actually add to the quality of your life or not. It almost goes without saying that, if we all chose to do that, the amount of product would naturally diminish to more manageable proportions. It may become more expensive as a result but the planet will only benefit for that.

As for what we don't buy, there's never been any harm in looking, has there? There's an inspirational quality to the best fashion that can and should inform our wardrobe choices and fuel our imaginations to boot. And all without costing us a penny.

Vivienne Westwood Does Some Good- Check This Out

Vivienne Westwood's Ethical Fashion Africa Project

Pictured: The Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Africa Project shoppers (€120)
Vivienne Westwood's Ethical Fashion Africa Project is Exclusively online at YOOXYGEN (www.yoox.com)

For the eco-friendly project YOOXYGEN, virtual store yoox.com has teamed up with renowned British designer, Vivienne Westwood. yoox.com is the only online destination to feature three Vivienne Westwood shoppers created for the launch of Westwood’s Ethical Fashion Africa Project. The shoppers will be available online exclusively in the YOOXYGEN section on yoox.com and viviennewestwood.com starting in February 2011.

Handmade in Nairobi, all bags are created using recycled roadside advertisement banners and safari tents by marginalized communities of women such as single mothers, widows, HIV/AIDS victims and those living in extreme poverty. Vivienne Westwood is launching the Ethical Fashion Africa Project with the International Trade Centre, the joint body of the United Nations (UN) and World Trade Organization (WTO).

The Vivienne Westwood Ethical Fashion Africa Project shoppers (€120) come in three sustainable designs: The “Get a Life” banner bag in a variety of colors, the “Purple Gaia Heart” printed on beige canvas, and the multi-colored “Orb” appliqué embroidered on khaki canvas. All will be available only in yoox.com’s permanent eco-friendly section, YOOXYGEN, which focuses on providing an engaging virtual platform for ethically conscious and fashionable products, as well as featuring exclusive eco-items and special collections.


Just In Case You Have No Idea What To Wear When Cooking

When you're hosting a dinner party, your outfit has to do double duty: It must be suitably festive while freeing you up to cook. Even when she expects to be busy in the kitchen, chef Giada De Laurentiis believes in dressing up for guests. "I want people to feel like I made the effort to look nice because I'm excited about having them over," she says.


When entertaining, chef Giada De Laurentiis likes her outfits to be practical, yet festive.

When she entertains in her Los Angeles home, Ms. De Laurentiis, who is a judge on season seven of the TV show "Food Network Star," as well as hosting her own show, often chooses an ankle-dusting cotton dress. The length "looks sophisticated," she says, but it's still somewhat casual because of the less dressy fabric. She likes cottons with a little stretch and flowing quality—jersey knits are a favorite—so that her movements aren't constricted.

The fabric must be lightweight, as a kitchen "tends to be a lot warmer and can get overheated," she says. She avoids silk, which shows perspiration easily.

The chef also likes empire-waisted styles, as they are loose but "just fitted enough so you don't look like you're wearing a sack." Sometimes she may wear black jeans, which she finds "elegant" when paired with a "floral or printed blouse that adds a little dimension of happiness and color on the top."

Ms. De Laurentiis likes her cooking blouses fitted so the fabric doesn't snag, and she favors three-quarter sleeves. Wrist-length sleeves, on the other hand, "get in your way," she says. "You don't want to be constantly pushing up your sleeves." Ms. De Laurentiis rarely wears skirts in the kitchen as she doesn't want to worry about baring too much when moving around or bending down.

Ms. De Laurentiis typically wears dark colors such as burgundy, black or gray. "Things can splatter and spill at any moment," she says. Although chefs sometimes wear patterned pants in professional kitchens so stains are less noticeable, Ms. De Laurentiis, who is 5 feet 3 inches, believes a printed fabric on the bottom would overwhelm her petite frame, so she limits patterns to her blouses.


On the set of 'Giada at Home' for the Food Network, she wears a lightweight dress suitable for the kitchen heat and loose enough to allow easy movement when preparing food.

To spice up dark outfits, Ms. De Laurentiis relies on accessories such as striking earrings or necklaces that aren't too long. The chef, who wears her hair pulled back from her face to avoid "hair dropping all over" the food, often wears large faux-diamond hoops in the kitchen, saying they "don't get in the way of what you're doing." But she avoids bracelets or rings. "I'm always touching things with my hands. I don't want to get food in my rings," she says.

Ms. De Laurentiis generally avoids aprons, which she feels restrict movement. But the chef sometimes ties on a frilly, colorful half-apron to "add punch" to a solid, dark outfit. Ms. De Laurentiis picks styles with one or two pockets, to store frequently used objects such as a tasting spoon.

One thing Ms. De Laurentiis doesn't dress up: her feet. Eschewing heels, Ms. De Laurentiis usually goes barefoot when entertaining: It "gives a relaxed feel to the whole evening," she says. "I don't believe in wearing heels in the kitchen. I need to move around easily, pull things out of the oven, bend down to pick things up. [With heels] I'm afraid I'll slip and fall."

Whatever you choose, the key is to "wear what you're most comfortable in," Ms. De Laurentiis says. "If you're constantly pulling and tugging at your outfit, you're fidgeting and your heels are burning your feet, your guests are not going to be comfortable," she adds.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

TOMS Shoe Guy Gives Sight Like Jesus

The guy who started the TOMS shoe company that gives shoes to needy children per purchase- is now giving sight to the poor of the world per purchase of TOMS eyewear. Ain't that nice. They aren't cheap, but it's all for a cause.


Website to buy the sunglasses:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Don't Forget About Dre: A Dr. Dre Flow Chart. Seriously


Read a flowchart analysis of those who ‘Forgot About Dre’

From the great minds at Pop Culture Labs, a breakdown of the many mother####### who forgot about Dre, for whatever reason (and there are many, all of them considered and refuted).

Bath Spa Students Have Nothing Better To Do Than Make Dresses From Cheese

Check this out. Damn.