Saturday, January 28, 2012


Does anyone remember this catalog?  Or, better yet, still have one?

Yes, it's a "vintage" (I cringe to accept that fact) Esprit catalog.  And, yep, one that I've stashed all these years after having received it in the mail back in, um, 1988 or something like that.  I was recently talking with someone at work about fashion and nostalgia, and I hope to start sharing my absolute love for this company, when it was in its glory days, through images and my own thoughts.  In fact, I'm so obsessed with the Esprit of ye olde tyme that I acquired a now out-of-print design bible of sorts.  It's a nice, thick coffee table-friendly book that encompasses all their design endeavors, from the obvious (clothing and graphics) to the more subtle (they paired with influential designers, photographers and architects to create a very thorough, thoughtful brand).  I can't wait to start reading it, and all the photos in the book are like a memory slingshot.

For now, enjoy this little blast from the past, and let me know if there's a brand that still tugs at your heart, even if it went out of business long ago.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pinwheeling Down the Slippery Slope

Apparently 2012 means a whole lot of crazy on my plate, so I have been trying to deal with all the nuttiness without finally throwing my hands up in the air, doing my best Wilhelm scream, and running promptly for the nearest cliff.

Since my blog has been giving me the neglected side-eye, I figured I'd better post a couple of quick things.

First of all, check out this beauty, which I saw just now on Botkier's facebook page:

Is she gorgeous, or what?  I like that it conjures up images of my fashionable grandma, and it's just a fab, fab color.  The palest of blues. 

Secondly, I joined Pinterest.

People have already warned me about the addictive nature of this site, which acts as an online community for sharing images and products people like.  I see it as an icy mountainside, where, once you start creeping down the slope, you're pretty much going to land on your bum and go skidding down the rest of it, full speed.  With a lot of pretty pictures passing you by as you hurtle on down towards the base.

Which is cool with me.  Better than jumping off a cliff, right?

Are you on Pinterest?  What do you like about it?  Any tips?  Want to connect (or as they call it, follow)?  Send me your link in the comment section below.  It'll be fun to see what "gefaellts" other people!

OK, back to tending to all the crazy stuff.  Bring it, 2012!  And I'll see you kids in the Pinterest snowpile at the bottom of the slope :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Psssst...  don't be afraid to leave your comments and thoughts on here.  I encourage you to do so, it makes my ramblings more fun - plus, I feel less like I'm talking to myself (heh, not that there's anything wrong with that) than sharing with others.  I do set a filter so spam and mean people don't get to spew, but otherwise, post away!  I'm sure others would love to hear your thoughts on Wu, Target, and the other topics... 

And Happy Friday...

...the 13th!  ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Missoni for Target 2.0? Let's Hope Not.

The World:  Missoni?  Who?
Me:  Um, remember?  Colore spinners, Passione bathtowels, Famiglia throws?
The World:  Blah, blah...  pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars...  oh yeah, and purple horseshoes.  Girl, please.  Missoni for Target was, like, so 2011.

While I am still seeking out the remnants of the Missoni for Target explosion, the retailer is prepping for its next hotly anticipated collaboration with one of fashion's newest stars:  Jason Wu.  A far cry from zigzags in retina-destroying colors, Wu's much smaller line sticks to women's clothes and accessories.  Part of me is relieved at the *much* reduced number of items.  The sheer amount of Missoni for Target offerings (right around 400, I believe) still gives me minor anxiety attacks.  I have to wonder if there's something I still haven't seen?  No, seriously.

Wu's line is refreshingly edited, minimal and yet still playful.  It is also, according to Target Style's Facebook page, sized more for juniors than women.  This is already making my friends' tongues wag with worry.  And rightly so.  After seeing the entire lookbook trotted out on, there are definitely some things to like.

Even I have come out of my Missoni cavern long enough to see a few Wu designs that beckon to me, even though I am similarly leery of sizing and fit.  Here are my picks (along with some hesitations about them):

Love the trench but epaulets make my shoulders look doofy.

Great design, but I don't do well in stiff fabrics...  not sure what this one will be like.

This top is cute...  it looks a little sheer around the tummy, though.  Hoping that's an optical illusion!

Ahhh, bags!  No worrying about fit and fabrics.  Plus, Milu the kitty looks like she's attacking something, or striking a ballet pose - both of which I like :)

And...  love the scarf.

You can check out the look book for yourself right here.

So when does the next round of cuckoo start, you ask?
Why, on Sunday, February 5th, I tell you.
Is it going to be a repeat of the Missoni disaster, you venture?
You mean a crazed mob swooping in and grabbing everything in a heartbeat?  Websites a-crashing?  Ebayers posting things mere hours later at 3x the price because the product is "Sold Out Everywhere?" I reply.
Duh!  Yes!  You roll your eyes.

Who knows?  Many people have criticized Target for its handling of the Missoni fallout.  I know friends who are still dealing with the .com bomb (specifically, items arriving from the distribution centers poorly packed and in broken shards).  Because I love Target so, I do truly hope things will run more smoothly, both in the stores and online.  A couple things in their favor (besides hindsight):  a much smaller collection that doesn't cover as much territory (no men's and home selections here) - and no breakables.

Are you excited for Jason Wu when he arrives at Target?  What from the look book caught your eye?  Starting to plan your shopping attack, or are you taking a big ol' pass on this whole event?  If it's the former, may the shopping force be with you, because you may well need it.  

Images:  all via

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Turn On The Bright Lights...

We're only one week into January, but of course all my fashion emails are hurtling me straight into Spring with their resort collections, swimwear and other frocks I can't wear for another 4 months.  One of the trends I've been seeing lately is a return to neon.  Holy cow.  I'm having flashbacks, and it has nothing to do with the vibrancy of the hues.  It's like I've been zapped back to, ahem, junior high.  Call me nuts, but I can clearly recall my neon yellow earrings from Claire's, and those socks with neon patterns (that'd I'd pair with my mom's shoes - don't ask, my fashion skills were highly questionable in those days).  Back when my life revolved around geography, 7AM band practice and homeroom, my friends and I used to exchange said earrings and such items as Christmas gifts.  Oh, and does anyone else remember the tiny, stackable neon jelly bracelets?  I think I bought mine at Express, but my senility isn't sure about that.

A number of designers and retailers must also be reliving their youth - or at least allowing those of us of a certain generation to do so.

I just checked into Revolve this morning and saw this:

Shopbop also has plenty to jog the memory:

In fact, they have a section dedicated to all things insanely orange, yellow and blue:

And don't exclude Hervé Léger, designer of those ridiculously slinky (and pricey) dresses:

Another freshly opened email, this time from Piperlime.  Not quite as eye-vexing, but still plenty loud:

So, are you going to jump on the neon bandwagon?  Maybe, like the purse with the pink lining, you'd prefer it as an accent piece.  Or perhaps you just want to go all out and watch people don shades to keep from being blinded by your awesomeness?  Is this sending you back to study hall, or is it merely the latest trend you find mildly interesting?

I'm still on the fence, but I bet I'll end up succumbing and buying something neon by the beginning of summer.  Now I'm off to trawl eBay for some neon jelly bracelets...


#1 - Revolve
#2-6 - Shopbop
#7 - Herve Leger/BCBG
#8 - Piperlime

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Only Four Days In and This Happens?

I was digging into my lunch today when I almost spit out my shredded BBQ chicken upon reading that our local Bloomingdale's is set to close in a couple of months.  You can read the article here.

Now, Minnesota arguably has more shopping options than, say, Arkansas or Idaho.  But it's no NYC, Chicago or LA either, in terms of offerings.  While I'm not a big fan of this particular Bloomie's, I did enjoy regular strolls through the one back home on Michigan Avenue.  And I'm just kinda sad to see it go.  (Macy's is a whole 'nother story.  *Please* someone, make them go away!  And not just 'cause they killed off my childhood store, Marshall Field's, grrrr).

Announcing the plucking out of one of the few upscale department stores in the Twin Cities is a mean thing to do to us in the midst of winter.  I'm supremely thankful that Nordstrom is within reach, and though I find it small, I'll hold on to our mini Neiman Marcus, which is located downtown.

Of course, the attention turns to "what next?"  Personally, I'd like to see them put in a Uniqlo - but I suppose that doesn't really work, square footage-wise.  We already have a Sears.  And a stupid Macy's.  It would be fair to entertain a mid-scale store, such as JC Penney, Herberger's or Von Maur.  Call it unorthodox, but I'd be all for a space packed with small, specialty vendor stalls, sort of like the large stores I visited in Seoul, South Korea (where I played Dance, Dance Revolution outside on the sidewalk leading into the building).  Heck, put in a Debenham's (UK), Kaufhof (German, where I once spied the scariest fish ever in the basement food section) or El Corte Inglés (Spain).  Mix it up a little, right?

The semi-sad news makes me all the more happy that e-tail exists, and that I can turn to the likes of Shopbop, Gilt, Revolve and so on for stocking my fave brands.  Sigh, it also makes me miss Field's all the more.

What is your favorite department store for shopping?  Or, should I say, what was your fave?  Has it, like my beloved Field's, also gone the way of the dodo bird?  Or is it alive and well?  If you're local to the Twin Cities, what store would you like to see moving into the soon-to-be-history Bloomie's shell?

I'll leave you with those questions, along with the opening image of the Marshall Field's clock at the site of the old State Street store.  Damn, I miss that place.

Image:  my own


Monday, January 2, 2012

In 2012, I Will...

It's the new year!  Out with the last 365 days and the highs and lows that came with them.  On to a fresh new chapter, which commenced with ringing in 2012 at our friends' cozy home on our first snowy night in weeks.  We had the warmest December in MN in the 7+ years I've lived here.  Crazy.  Although...  not really complaining, either.  As I write this, we're back to a more normal temp of 16 degrees with a -1 degree windchill.  Yeah, it ain't really winter til we're below zero.

Anyways...  now that we're all starting to dig out of our food and drink comas, visions of honey-glazed hams and sazeracs are swiftly being replaced by those of pilates classes and articles on post-holiday "cleansing."  Our urge to physically reduce size is in tandem with trying to put the house on a diet as well.  Yup.  Bring out the shredder and garbage bags.  Our place looks like it's thrown up on itself.  Empty shipping boxes are lying around the front rooms like sad carcasses.  Scraps of wrapping paper, multiple plastic bags from Target, stacks of catalogs and mail only add to the disaster.

I'm on a mission this month (and probably next month as well).  Get rid of the crap!  Donate those clothes I haven't worn in ages to Goodwill.  OK, except my Esprit, Outback Red and Benetton - those are vintage, right?!

I'm also making a list, and it isn't for Santa.  It's my "In 2012, I am gonna do..." list.  Further compelled by a milestone birthday that is slowly creeping up this year, I need to quit saying I'm going to do x, y & z and actually DO them.  Here's my list:

*  GET RID OF STUFF!  (For those who know me well, this is much easier said than done)
*  Learn French and take more Spanish classes (I was a German major in college, and I love languages)
*  Get back to NYC this year (hmm, shouldn't be hard to do this ;)
*  Attempt to eat healthier (hmm, shouldn't be so hard to do this, but it is... )
*  Take some muay thai classes (I used to do kickboxing classes at various gyms and miss the kicking and hitting!)
*  Take voice lessons (OK, so I actually started lessons in December, so I can check this one off the list, at least in terms of having started it)
*  Continue to make this blog better!

And what about you?  Making a list?  Checking it twice?  Are you vowing to work out more and cut down on bad foods?  Finally enrolling in that yoga/painting/finances class?  A closet makeover?  Trying to up your volunteer hours?  Going to apply to grad school?  What's in your future for the new year?  I'd love to hear it.  And I'll bet others would, too.  Might be something we hadn't thought of, but should add to our lists as well.  So spill it :)

I'll be back soon to share more of my favorites.  Til then, cheers & wishing you a fabulous new year!