Monday, October 17, 2011

Make It Stop!


In all honesty, I have not been very good about finding much fashionable news to share with you.  Why?  Because I am still neck-deep in that hole known as Missoni for Target.  You know, when the campaign started, I had my little wish list and that was it.  I was autonomous from the rest of the MfT (yep, that's "Missoni for Target") world.  

Over 30 days later, my couch has been invaded by zigzags and I've joined a Facebook page that generally operates as a support (therapy?) group. I've spent the vast part of my evenings and past weekend celebrating people's triumphs, commiserating on the hyper-inflated eBay auctions, and commenting on how cute the colore throw looks with Mr. Whiskers curled up in its threads.  Of course, I'm also hoping to make a deal.

Worse, I've started scouting multiple stores in a day, just like the hardcore gals (and guys) on that page, wishing hard for the MfT Fairy to bless me with someone's fresh returns cart (hey, this happened once - it could happen again).  Even worse than, um, worse...  the list of wants has grown.

Getting *out of control* here!

I've never fallen victim to this kind of retailing...  situation?  You've already witnessed my addiction in the prior post.  This combination of coveting, marketing genius, marketplace insanity and competitive shopping fascinates me.  And I believe fascination is something that both attracts and repels someone.  Completely fitting for my current condition.

Interestingly, I don't seem to be alone regarding the all things Missoni craze.  These recent emails and offerings would appear to be equally guilty...

These are Missoni (or at least one of them is):

And this is not:

These are M Missoni:

And...  this is not:

Whether the real deal or someone's take on the now ubiquitous zigzags, it seems the pattern is popping up everywhere.

So - just wanted to give you my pathetic update, which kind of makes for a pathetic entry.  But...  this is the rock that I am hiding under, by choice.  Partially because I believe my life isn't complete without that gorgeous sweatercoat or must-have martini glasses.  But truly because the page's community of like-minded MfT fans.  The more we share, vent, trade and encourage each other, the more it feels like a funny little group of old friends instead of over 300 people across the country, most of whom have never met in person.  Cue the drippy music - it just makes me happy.  Is that so bad?  Plus, I've made my first couple of deals on there (hello, aforementioned martini glasses).

For the next post, I promise to scuttle out from under the Rock of Missoni and let you know of other happenings.  Things that are not called "colore throws," "passione duvets," and "famiglia salad plates." But until then, I bid you good evening as I disappear back into the shadows.  The work is not done...


Brown scarf:  Prairie Underground (via Hot Mama)
Pants:  M Missoni (via
Frame:  Jonathan Adler (via

Thursday, October 13, 2011

An anniversary of sorts

Today is 10.13.2011.

For most of you, this day is about as significant as if we played "pin the tail on the donkey," and you forked a pin onto some random day on the calendar.

For a few of you, it might mark something important, either happy or sad.

However, for a group of us, it heralds the one month anniversary of the Missoni for Target launch.  By now, the vast majority of you in the States know about this collaboration, its much hyped campaign and much maligned merchandise fallout.  Many eager shoppers flocked to stores as soon as the electric doors slid apart or pried open their laptops well before sunrise to take advantage of the online option.  Alas, crazy people converged on the stores, wiping out inventory in one fell swoop, and leaving anyone who showed up 30 minutes after opening in "too bad, so sad" mode.  Those of us who logged onto fared no better.  The website had crashed due to overwhelming traffic around the same time most normal humans were still waking up.  Want my first impressions?  Waltz your mouse over here and see where it all started.

In the last few weeks, all sorts of Missoni madness has ensued.  Stories were shared (did you hear about the women who came in, dumped all the stuff in their carts, and then ran and hid in some corner to pick through what they wanted to keep?).  People vented their frustrations with Target's failure to anticipate the insane demand (I'm not sure they can really be faulted for this, but who knows).  Many shoppers' orders were canned due to the system crashing.  The poor things then turned to eBay, only to find in disgust that people were selling their wares for well over retail price.  I mean, the woman who wanted $31,000 for a pair of $35 rainboots?  Really?  I'm not sure whether to give her an "A" for having the cojones to do that, or a big, fat "F" (which could be followed by another letter, that letter being a vowel which occurs towards the end of the alphabet).

So, it looks like the $31K pair is off the market (I can only hope someone didn't buy them).  But you can still snag them for $249!  Or Buy It Now for $299!  And free shipping!  Never mind the seller bought them for $35.

And me?  How has this affected me?  Guilty as charged.  I totally drank the kool-aid.  I am a certified Missoni for Target nutcase.  Not only have I trawled eBay in hopes of the rare, reasonably-priced item, but I've also seen more of the Twin Cities over the past month than I ever have during my seven years of calling Minnesota home.  I hit 8 stores in one day.  Most of them in suburbs I'd never been to (Hello, Crystal, MN!).  I even resorted to looking up items on's store locator, then calling the store to make sure they were really there.  Which, usually, they weren't.  Sigh.

Oh, martini glasses, where art thou?

And, while we're on the subject, same for you, prep bowls!

And, oohhhh, you're lookin' pretty sweet too:

Mostly, I've been on the crazy trail because, of the four orders I placed with, this is what happened:

#1 actually went through and most of it arrived.  One item is still in backorder limbo.
#2 was canned.
#3 was also canned.
#4 is on backorder.  I've heard many of these met the same fate as #2 & 3.

So, very little of what I'd ordered made it to my home.  Many of these were presents for family and friends.  Thus, I've made it a mission to track down and get my lost items.  The whole situation has brought out the competitive shopper in me, for better or worse.  Damn it, I will get my Missoni for Target vases/pillows/scarf/wine glasses/votivesblahblahblahthelistgoeson...

In the midst of all this madness, I've seen one bright spot emerge.  A number of Facebook pages have been created by fellow frustrated shoppers.  Like me, they scorn the people on eBay who are asking $200 for a $40 espresso set (currently a holy grail item that yes, I too, covet).  And like me, they are hoping to find their dear zig-zag dress/colore throw/famiglia platter in someone else's purchases.  Incredibly, a virtual trading post has come into being.  You have the sweater that I want, and I've got the bath towels you search for?  Deal.  Even more than the trades, a number of women have actually dedicated their spare time to hitting Target stores all around in hopes of finding things for others on the pages.  Strangers!  Who live in other states!  Now that is goodwill.  And while it's great to see people actually getting things they want, I have found it even cooler that something that was created in reaction to a negative - has created quite a positive - a community of people (yep, guys, too!) who seem genuinely interested in helping each other achieve their Missoni missions.  It just downright gives me the warm fuzzies.  They're even posting pictures of their pets (sometimes modeling a MfT purchase).

While I've not actually done any trading on the pages, my persistence (or deranged obsession for all things bright and zig-zaggy) has paid off.  I hate to say it, but I've accrued a decent amount and found presents for nearly everyone on the list.  A few were on the original list; some are good "replacements."

This whole 3-ring circus has amused my coworkers and friends, and even my husband.  He recently posted a photo on his Facebook page of the loot (with me in the background, well camouflaged in a MfT dress).  Then he simply wrote, "Help!" as the title.  Much laughter and disbelieving remarks ensued.  You know, I contemplated sharing this picture.  But part of solving the problem is acknowledging you have one, right?  And isn't sharing one of the first steps?  Well, in all its shamefulness (or not), here it is:

Shocked?  Awed?  Only sorta?  Howzabout this picture?

There, that's more like it.  Not bad for someone who only got 5 things of the (cough) 20 ordered.  Did I overcompensate?  Bah, nonsense!  Remember, many of these are presents or items I picked up for others.  Really.  No.  Really!

To all of you who caught the Missoni for Target virus - I understand.  It takes a few weeks to shake and the only known cure is your Visa bill.  And maybe a significant other who is about to lose his or her mind.  I ask you, did you find everything your heart desired?  Or are you caught still wanting?  Did you suffer under the delusion that your shopping and coveting was over, only to get sucked into more madness?  That happened to me, too.  Did you fall prey to eBay (or geez, Craigslist, which was just as bad?).  Or, like some of my friends, are you shaking your head and saying, "I don't get it."  That is a totally legit perspective, and your credit card thanks you mucho.

At Target, life has moved on, and the chatter has changed from chevron patterns to frilly things by Josie Natori, sharp hats by Albertus Swanepoel and - dare I forget - dresses by Jason Wu.  However, you can bet a month from now (maybe even a year from now), there will still be a group of us pouncing on any Missoni for Target leftovers that we can get our paws on.

And if you're at any Twin Cities-area Target store this weekend, don't be surprised if you see me harassing (*nicely!*) the team members at Guest Service.  Hey, gotta take advantage of, "Can I help you find something?"  :)

P.S.  I give heartfelt props to all those who work at Target stores and have had to deal with all us Missoni freaks.  I am always nice to them, but I've heard some crappy stories about customers whose need to have got in the way of their need to have manners.  As much as I love this stuff too...  come on, it's just stuff.  Granted, pretty stuff in blinding hues and enough zig-zags and patterns to permanently mess with your eyesight :)


eBay snap from, well, eBay
MfT glass -
MfT prep bowls -
MfT swirly bowl -
house hoarding - my husband
couch takeover - my own

Monday, October 10, 2011

Modern Family

So, seems to be on a roll lately.  One of the sales this week featured something that I had to tell you about for two reasons.  One, it involves dollhouse furniture.  I happen to love that stuff and will share my endearment with mini-worlds in the near future.  Two, and more compellingly, it made me scratch my head when I saw some pictures of the "people" that you can buy, you know, to populate your miniature chairs and such.  This, in turn, opened up a much larger discussion-with-self about topics beyond design and fashion.  Take a look:

OK, maybe it's just me, but I find it a little odd that all the peeps are Caucasian (well, as far as I can tell, and maybe shame on me for assuming that).  Except for one boy.  Now, before the tirades start, let me share that my own family is, as they like to say, multi-culti.  My parents are Caucasian, and my brother and I are Asian.  We can tell a few good stories about people also scratching their heads and trying to do the genetic math and still coming up with 2+2=5 (thanks, Radiohead - I find your song title very convenient in everyday life).

Seeing this little boy standing out from the pack, it made me launch into my own odd backstory theories.  Is he supposed to be adopted?  Is there a family member that got excluded?  Why did the designer include him, but only him?  And really, hell, does it matter?

I did try and do some quick research regarding the whole sale and, as Fab's background blurb says, the collection is part of a larger design project which you can read about here, from one of its own creators, Laurie Simmons.  I couldn't find much on the family line-up, but given the "Kaleidoscope" title and the creators' take on the modern family, it makes sense to me.

Rarely do I pick at the larger social issues that are often associated with fashion, shopping and style.  This is a conscious decision.  The blog is about fun stuff, stuff that I like, etc.  I want people to come away from my posts with feelings of kittens and rainbows (of the Kate Spade or kind).  But it's hard to ignore the larger themes that sometimes shadow the merch itself.

While I'm going to stick to not delving into a long discussion of politics and fashion, I thought it was well worth mentioning.  I'm sure many of us have had our own reactions when reading news about models, trends, clothing.  There are more than ample headlines from which to choose, good or bad.  From John Galliano to plus-size models to the current Asian model "trend," the world of shoes and clothes and even furniture - and those who design, sell and buy them - does not reside within an insulated bubble.  It's all part of the larger human universe - and we humans are quirky characters.

At the very least, the Kaleidoscope House has intrigued me for various reasons.  It also makes me think about how the world is changing.  Decades ago, adoption was a fairly new idea, and multi-racial families (both via adoption and not) were looked upon with leery eyes.  Today, I would argue that many people hardly lift an eyebrow anymore.  Many of our friends are in multi-racial/multi-religious/same-sex relationships.  And many of our friends have a more traditional family.  Neither is better than the other.  Personally, I enjoy all the variety.  We have great friends and family from all walks of life, and I appreciate all that I can learn from them.  If we do in fact have our own kiddos, we'll be the proud parents of little "Norwasians" (our bad mash-up of Norwegian and Asian...  plus, honestly, a handful of other Northern European bloodlines).

So, I'm hopping off my soapbox now.  I do hope I haven't offended anyone.  I also hope my little tangent from the pretty, sparkly stuff will give you food for thought.  Whatever the designers' intent was in creating their people, I'm glad they did it.  It made me pause and think about the wider world which fashion - and ourselves - inhabit.  And that's never a bad thing.

Images: courtesy of Kaleidoscope toys

Friday, October 7, 2011

What They're Really Thinking...

A few months ago, one of my shopping enablers turned me on to a new e-tail site that specializes in all sorts of arty, design-y creations.  Apparently, being signed up for 50+ retail emails a day just isn't enough.  Or, more critically, I guess I truly need a hole in my head, which would explain why I also needed to subscribe to  Operating like other flash-sale sites such as Gilt Groupe and Rue La La, Fab's wares are available for a few days only.  After that, midnight has struck and you're left with a virtual slipper.

Fab is great in that its focus is not so much clothes and shoes, but furniture, accessories, toys and artwork.  Perfect for you design school kids, as well as those of you who love the quirkier side of style.

Case in point is one of this week's sales.  According to Fab's site (which always provides a helpful little background blurb about the designer), Tiny Confessions comes to us courtesy of artist and comedian Christopher Rozzi.  The artwork displays pets and monsters with faces that range from funny to plaintive-looking to just downright underwhelmed.  Here are some of the prints that caught my eye:

OK, the last one isn't so hysterical.  But I love Scotties and Westies.  So there it is.

Love these?  I understand.  Want them, but not a member of Fab (yup, it's a members-only site)?  Cry not.  Tiny Confessions is available right here on  A few clicks and you, too, can reflect upon your dog's / cat's / werewolf's deep thoughts as they gaze at you from your office cubicle wall / bathroom mirror / basket of your fixie bike.

Well, it's Friday night.  Work - check.  Blog post - check.  Dinner and drinks with friends - check, in about 1 hour.  So I'd best get goin' and get ready.  Have a great weekend!

Images: via Tiny Confessions

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dressing Room Confidential

Not long ago, I stopped into my all-time favorite department store, Nordstrom.  During that trip, I wound up on their 3rd floor, home to items that I rarely ever shop for.  Stepping off the escalator, I always get that "Oooo, so that's what's up here" reaction when surveying the little kids' department, housewares and such.  The juniors' department, known as BP (Brass Plum), is also located up here above the clouds.

With the music blaring Top 40 hits that the teens love (and which Muzak has probably already filtered for lyric-appropriateness - I know this happens because I used to do this as part of a former job, really), the racks of teen clothes and accessories beckoned to me.  My brain, which dug up old images and memories of shopping at the Marshall Field's bygone juniors' department, succumbed.  I wandered like a twelve year-old into the sea of plaid, lace, denim and leggings.

After a few minutes, I managed to find a few things worth trying on.  Before I knew it, I was in the fitting room with some seriously red skinny jeans and a few tops, including a drapey white t-shirt and grey tank top that the salesgirl chose to pair with the jeans.  Here's a shot of the selections:

Here's the outfit the salesgirl assembled for me:

To quickly summarize, the clothes were a fail, but actually not a massive one.  I probably could have pulled off the white top/tank/pseudo hot pants concoction, were it not for my own hypercriticism.

The best part of the visit to my teenage years?  Just being in a teenager dressing room!  How so?  Haha, the chatter!  Yes, there's more of it.  And yes, the pitch is higher and the conversations are different. Also...  you don't normally have your aunt in the room with you, simultaneously scoffing and encouraging you as you whine about everything.... and then some.

Mostly humorous, a little bit sad (girl didn't seem super confident), but generally sympathetic, I became the involuntary eavesdropper on the girl (no idea what her age was, couldn't see her) trying on outfits and dishing back and forth with said aunt, who was in the little room with her.  Some conversation snippets (not exactly word for word, but you get the idea):

Girl:  I don't like my toes.
Aunt:  What?!  What do you mean you don't like your toes?  What's wrong with them?
Girl:  I don't know, they're ugly.
Aunt:  What?!  There's nothing wrong with your toes!  You don't like them?  Put some paint on them! Of all the things to worry about at your age...

Later... girl is trying something else on, something with a zipper.

Aunt:  Now don't zip it up!  That's not the style!...  There now, you see how nice that looks?
Girl:  Uh-huh...
Aunt:  You look lovely!

Ah, toughlove.  Well, good for the aunt!  I couldn't see her either, obviously, but imagined her to be a little like one of those moms from shows like Malcolm in the Middle.  Or, honestly, Estelle - George's mom from Seinfeld.  

I listened to their conversation while I tried on my own teen clothes and did my own teen assessment of my outfit.  And I could hear my brain having its own 2-party dialogue (image below for help):

Brain of bygone teenager:  I don't know.  It's kind of cute.
Brain of almost middle-aged me:  Well, it doesn't look like anything I don't already see on Shopbop or Revolve.  Really.  Equipment shirt, J Brand jeggings...  
BOBGT:  Yeah, except you're in the juniors' department.  Dork.
BOAMAM:  Well, it's cheaper?
BOBGT:  You're trying too hard.
BOAMAM:  Hmm, I suppose it's not really me.
BOBGT:  Duh.  Besides, everything you wore when you were 15 was oversized or Esprit.
BOAMAM:  Esprit circa 1988.  Sniff.  I miss :(
BOBGT:  It's OK, but save your cash for something you really love.
BOAMAM:  You're right.  Like that Swatch from 1987 on eBay!

So, yeah.  While I ended up buying nada from the department, I was very glad to have paid that area a visit.  Not only is it good to check out the trends beyond your comfort zone, it allowed me to remember what it was like to shop many years ago, when the experience meant something a little different.  Rather than buying things because I need them for work or a wedding, I always associate the teen department with the excitement of going back to high school, pages of Seventeen magazine layouts tucked into my memory.

And as awkward as that poor girl probably felt in the dressing room, I felt weirdly privileged to have listened to an exchange that so many of us can recall.  It brought back memories of my own gawky but giddy years, and the aunt's encouragement, however gruff, seemed much-needed.

Before I sign off, let me ask you...  Do you find yourself shopping in the juniors' department from time to time?  Were you also flooded with memories of high school?  Did you love it?  Or did it make you want to gag (with a spoon)?  Superficial or not, my shopping experiences back then provide me with images and feelings powerful enough to endure the decades.  I can't imagine I'm alone on this one ;)