Monday, November 19, 2012

The Coat That Ate The Girl Who Ate The Purse

Since I've been on a roll about collaborations lately, we might as well talk about another one that hit stores late last week.  That's right, the mash-up known as H&M and Maison Martin Margiela, the latter boasting fashions that seem to defy wearability sometimes.  In fact, this newest partnership resulted in a line of men and women's clothes and accessories which draw from past MMM collections.  This time around, though, the price points are much lower than the high-stylin' regular pieces.  And yet, one could argue, "Define lower price points."  Because, while the assembly of covetable items doesn't require a "K" after a numeral, I'm not sure you want to fork out $300+ for a huge coat that resembles bedding and looks like it might want to eat you.  

On the other hand, I like scary puffy coats.  Hell, I live in the Upper Midwest and winter is about to drop an arctic beat on us Northerners.

Here are a few other things I was drawn to or perplexed by:

Beautiful color, challenging draping.

They're pants!  They're a skirt!  They're skants!

I like the watch belt idea, but IRL, I couldn't find a clasp anywhere on the thing.  

This is a purse.  No, really.  My friends adore it.  I'm worried I might start gnawing on it when hunger strikes.

Speaking of devouring, here is the coat that may indeed consume me.  I'm OK with this.

I didn't even notice these flats til my friend posted a photo of them.  Me liked, so me bought.  It comes with "heels" that aren't intended for the shoes.  Uh-huh.  They're strung on a ribbon and meant to be worn as...  wait for it...  a necklace.  I can't wait to mess with my coworkers.

The guitar carryall for men.  I dunno.  I think the musicians are gonna pelt you with pennies.

So, I saw this shirt hanging out in the women's section.  It's a little boxy, but I liked the fit and slightly angular draping.  Turns out it's a dude's top.  I got my true size.  Not sure who should be more annoyed by the small fit - me or the guys.

These are awesome but they must've sold out at my store.

Again, the watch motif is cool on this oversized necklace.  But then all I could think of was this guy:

Yep.  Flava-Flav.  No can do.

So there are some highlights from the collection.  Oddly, Refinery29, which is where I grabbed these photos from, claims to include the entire inventory.  But I saw some other things, like a brown men's bag and a crazy glittery necklace for the chicks (see first pic below).  As I mentioned, I was able to pop into one of the H&M's and gaze upon things with my own peepers.  But not here in MN.  Sadly, I guess we don't make the cut for limited-edition must-have collabs like this (we got the shaft for the Marni stint, too, I think).  As luck would have it, I spent this past weekend back home in Chicago.  Where, you know, you can see this stuff for real (and pay real sales tax, unlike up here in MN...  note to retailers, people might buy more in locations where they don't have to shell out for taxes...  just an idea... ).

Here are a few photos from the IRL ("in real life") trip:

I got to keep the hangers.  Kinda arty, and if I'm gonna spend this kind of cash at H&M, I'll take 'em.

And here's my 3 picks on myself:

  Some pals love it, others asked me if I'm trying to look like this on purpose.  Granted, I don't plan to wear these all together "IRL."  But if my purchases give you pause, just wait til I get my hands on that duvet coat.  The Stay Puff'd Marshmallow man'll have nothing on me.  Nada.

What do you think?  Some good stuff from this joint venture, or does everything look like it might attack you?

All individual pieces from
Flava-Flav from Wikipedia
In-store pics and weird self-portrait are my own

Sunday, November 11, 2012

As Manic As Missoni?

Yesterday, it was 70 degrees and sunny here in the tundra.  People sported shorts and t-shirts and swarmed my neighborhood of Uptown like ants on a picnic basket.  I wasn't feeling the whole winter holiday vibe.  But, in true Midwestern fashion, it snowed this morning and tonight will be a hot cocoa-inducing 19 degrees Fahrenheit.  So the crazy-early Christmas displays in stores make, well, a little more sense again.  But still not much.  Warm spell aside, I can't deny holiday shopping is about to charge into full steam ahead.

Perfectly planned to sync with the retailing furor, Target is about to find out whether its hotly anticipated new collaboration with Neiman Marcus will create as much of a frenzy as that now infamous launch with Missoni.  Armed with 24 different high-end designers, this joint venture finds itself in fairly unprecedented territory, kicking the whole retail bar up a notch as well.  Not only has the mass retailer paired up with a society grande dame heretofore considered "out of its league," but the designer roster is quite an impressive who's who from the CFDA - aka the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Now that the lookbook is available online, I've done my window shopping and made my list.  I was surprised at the number of items that appealed to me, either as gifts or for yours truly.  Home decor and clothes are the main offerings, and while it weighs more towards the ladies, there are dude-friendly choices, too.

Here are some of the eagerly-awaited things just waiting to jump into your cart:

Already familiar to Target, Jason Wu is back, this time putting his fancy touches on ornaments.

Carolina Herrera, of the swooping formal gowns, sticks with smaller accessories for this launch.

A pretty darn cool cocktail set up from Altazurra.

Lela Rose's top is pretty, but it also looks complicated to pull on.  I envision getting everything from chunky rings to kids' curious fingers snagged in the delicate overlay.

These opera gloves by Brian Atwood look even better in person.

I predict madness as moms try to grab this Marchesa number for their little princesses.

I love this blazer from Thom Browne.  Too bad the chick's version has 3/4 sleeves.  Maybe I'll see if I can get away with the men's option shown here.  It does kinda smack of the Olympics' opening ceremony, but who cares.

Do I want a skateboard by Derek Lam?  Yes.

Aww...  Band of Outsiders is offering you and your BFF the chance to show your love.

I adore Diane von Furstenberg.  My adoration extends to her jewelry box.

A Rag + Bone flask?  Hellz yeah!

Should you feel inclined to share your secret stash of bourbon...

Tracy Reese's first foray into hardlines, I believe.  And these are also much prettier in person.  I passed up the online version, only to find myself coveting the real-life display.  (P.S.  I got to meet Tracy, and she is the sweetest gal ever, making my decision to buy her appetizer plates that much easier.)

The perfect holiday party dress, thanks to Robert Rodriguez.  Now I just need to find that party.

Wanna spoil your pup (or cat)?  Oscar de la Renta enables you.

Oscar also enables you to treat yourself with this chic printed purse.

It's sort of random, but I like Rodarte's moon wrapping paper.

Eddie Borgo's larger-than-I-expected letter opener.  Scary in a good, elegant way.  I'll keep this at my desk, for tearing through envelopes and warding off the engineers, haha.

Of course Marc Jacobs wasn't going to do any full-size satchels, but his pouches are cute and festive.

Oh, Proenza Schouler, I was really hoping for a bag of some sort.  Guess this sweatshirt will have to do, instead.

And finally, Tory Burch's colorful thermos, which you can pair with...

...her glam take on the lunch box.  I really love Tory's designs, and these are no exceptions.  Too fab for your egg salad sandwich and turkey wrap?  I'll stash my pile of sunglasses in here.

So...  what caught your eye?  Scribbling down a wish list now, too?  Let me know what made you do a happy dance.  Or, were you expecting/wishing for different things from certain designers?  What were those?  I'd be curious to see if we had some similar "why didn't ABC do 123 instead of XYZ?" moments.  There are many other pieces to salivate over, including a bike by Alice+Olivia (looked ginormous to me), a cape by Prabal Gurung, and so on.  Click here to see the entire lookbook (cue the crying and/or chiding of your checkbook).

The Target+Neiman Marcus collaboration unleashes the mayhem on Saturday, 12/1.  I'm still deciding whether to stick with online shopping (and risk website crashes circa September 2011) or drag my butt out of bed and hit one of the stores.  Oh, and both Target and Neiman Marcus will carry the entire assortment.  While the former is accustomed to the crush of shoppers, I have to wonder if Neiman's has planned for a possible onslaught.  Hmm.  That could be interesting.  

Finally, a plea to Target's co-collaborator...  Considering you've just engaged in this lovely partnership, don't you think it's kind of mean to close your Minneapolis outpost??  We've already suffered the loss of other upscale department stores...  bye-bye Bloomie's and Saks.  While I love Nordstrom bunches, I hate to see it become the lone wolf.  Please consider keeping our Neiman Marcus open.  Some may snort and call it Needless Mark-Up, but I think plenty of fashionistas here "need" you.  And you realize you'd be closing shop on Target's home turf...  isn't that like giving your partner and newfound BFF the finger?  I don't know...  just a thought...

Coming soon...  Uptown (in Minneapolis) continues to turn into a mall, without the roof...  But is this a bad thing?

All images:  A Bullseye View /

Sunday, November 4, 2012

And In Other News...

Kind of how I've been feeling this week.

Anyone interested in trying to caption this?  Lots of arsenal to choose from... Halloween, Daylight Savings Time, turkeys, bears, sazeracs, Tina Fey (sorry, super random stream of consciousness).  Just, please, nothing to do with the election.  The political frenzy has tempted me to follow my pal's lead...  twist off my head and replace it with something which simply blinks on and off, happy in its own weird, discombobulated, darkly humorous, and endearingly creepy campaign-free world.  Thankfully, all I need to do is glance at my desk mascot to keep me sane over the next few days.  He arrived just in time for last Wednesday's festivities, but now I realize he neatly sums up an entire week of events.