Thursday, August 27, 2009

Price Post day

By Aqua Catlin

Thanks, for the sale info, Frederik, HauteLook is a good online resource.

I've been excited about the current and upcoming Loehmann's sales. If haute (definition "high" so "haute couture" is "high sewing" + is individual, not mass and officially requires many hours of hand-sewing), buying online makes no sense to you, check them out; they're local and this week:

1. Theory sample sale !yay! This post talks about why you must partake.
2. Dolce & Gab intimates. Or as my girlfriend J calls them, "naughties." IMO, we can never have too many naughties, lacies, unspeakables, nighties, etc. Girls need pretties, that's my theory.

I wouldn't be mentioning it here if I didn't think it was ridiculously well priced. God save Loehmann's! And its a smiler for me that lower priced discount stores have closed while they remain busy. Makes me hopeful.

Speaking of D&G, am I the only person alive who doesn't like their Cool Water scent? Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani's Acqua Di Gio still intrigues, especially the men's, (I wonder why...?), yet none of them wear it. Yes, I've been at the fragrance sales again too.

And if you're just over shopping while we wait for the inevitable and depressing slip into autumn:
Anyone wanting to contribute their dollars or ideas to sponsor an LAUSD high school class to be bussed over to volunteer at LA AIDS Walk in October please contact me for info!

Alvin Valley sale at HauteLook

Gentlemen, I direct your attention to HauteLook.com for a relatively rare sale on menswear - this one by Alvin Valley, a designer whose influences come from the US, Europe, and Latin America.

On sale now with discounts of up to 70%, the sale features a few leather jackets and some very nicely tailored cotton jackets. My favourite, the Dollard Casual Jacket, has a clean, simple, unfussy look that is very contemporary but versatile enough for both casual-chic and sophisticated wear. Very nice stitch detailing too.

And Ladies, there's an Alvin Valley sale for you as well, in addition to sales by Park Vogel and Julie Haus. (Dresses, tops, leggings...a very nice selection.)

The Alvin Valley sale ends in 36 hours as of this writing, which means you have until 10pm tomorrow night to take advantage of the deals.

(I'm looking for some feedback on HauteLook, so if you order anything please let me know about your experience!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new feature: eMail subscriptions!

Frédérik, here. I've just added a new eMail subscription feature to make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with Fashionoclast posts. Look up, up, waaaaaay up to the box on the left: you can now enter your eMail address, push the button, and presto! Blog posts in your inbox. As before, you can also subscribe to RSS feeds via popular news readers.

So please subscribe, enjoy, and tell your friends! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

spotlight on...capris

by frédérik sisa

Of all the bifurcated garments out there, capris are my favourite. They’re wardrobe rebels, defying the categories of pants and shorts. They look good and sleek and somehow manage to always be in style. And, of course, they’re comfortable, blending the coverage of pants with the cooling factor of shorts, and versatile. They’re also great for impromptu walks on the beach - no need to clumsily roll up those pants to keep the hems from getting wet! Best of all, after years of being a warm weather fashion staple for women, they’ve gained a good deal of traction with men. (It’s a strange point of vanity that I anticipated the trend among men in North America 10 or so years ago when I first experimented with capris.)

As a matter of history, capris have sartorial precedents in breeches, knee-length men’s garments – dominant in the 18th century but with roots stretching further back - that fastened below the knee with buttons, draw string, or buckles. Check out Elijah Boardman here, rockin' those breeches (I love the jacket too):

Earlier forms of breeches included Spanish breeches, which were moderately fitted, and the looser petticoat breeches that overtook the Spanish breeches in popularity during the 1650s. Knickers (or knickerbockers), differentiated by a looser fit in the thighs, followed the breeches as we typically know them and were popular in the early 20th century, especially among golfers who wore them as “plus fours” hemmed at four inches below the knee.

Interestingly, once upon a time the wearing of breeches marked a rite of passage for young boys. Breeching represented an important step of growing up, when boys stopped wearing dresses or gowns (sometimes distinguishable from girls’ dresses depending on family wealth, although apparently at that time putting a dress on a young boy wasn’t treated as a kind of sissifying) and moved on to more adult clothing. The reason for putting very young boys in dresses, incidentally, probably had to do with potty training. Here's a Flemish boy from 1625. Note the dagger and coral teething beads:

Also interesting, in an obvious sort of way, is how breeches and knickers play into the cyclical nature of fashion trends, where men and women’s fashions influence and play off each other. After being so dominant among men’s garments, they retreated until resurrected as a predominant part of women’s fashion.

So this brings us to the 1950s, when European fashion designer Sonja de Lennart unveiled her iconic and influential (to say the least!) Capri Collection, named after her favourite island. Among the dresses and blouses was that ¾ length pant with the small slit at the hem on the outer side of the leg:

It’s a stretch, I think, to declare de Lennart the “inventor” of the capri given how capris are essentially re-styled breeches. But for our purposes, “inventor” will have to do: she revitalized cropped pants and made them an enduring part of fashion despite ebbs and flows in popularity.

Flash forward to today, where the influence of capris and breeches can still be seen both on the street and on the runways. I’ll share some thoughts on the menswear that strutted down the catwalk at the Spring/Summer 2010 show in Paris, but here are a couple images showing a definite capri influence among fashion designers:

Comme Des Garcons SS10: suit-style pants and jacket, sharp white shirt worn untucked, vine-like frills, and a beanie I find more ridiculous and lacking in class than appealing.


Junya Watanabe SS10: intriguing, attractive blend of casual and formal thanks to the memorable juxtaposition of jeans/sport jacket with a shirt/suit vest and brogues. The rolled up pant look gives a nice capri-like bit of styling.

There you have it. Now I turn it over to you, dear readers. I'd love to know how you've incorporate capris (or "manpris," clamdiggers, etc.) into your wardrobe. Please leave a comment. Or send me a picture at fsisa[at]thefrontpageonline[dot]com (replacing, of course the [at] with @ and [dot] with .) I'd love to feature readers in a future post.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

posterior kickin' Demonia Deviant sneaks from Pleaser Inc.

by frédérik sisa

Oboyoboyoboyoboy! After weeks of waiting, these bad boys finally arrived and they’re as totally monster as I hoped they would be:


A couple of years ago I jumped on the Converse bandwagon, something I hadn’t been compelled to do until I found a sweet pair of black hi-tops decorated with a couple of symbols I could relate to. The canvas sneaker style is so ridiculously popular that it almost felt like giving in to a trend, but hey, if the shoe fits…The only thing is that while I really dig the hi-tops, these aren’t the kind of shoes I can picture with shorts or capris, which led me to thinking about the regular lo-tops. Since I’m not Imelda Marcos, however, I could really justify getting myself a pair.

Until, that is, I came across the aforementioned bad boys at a perfectly reasonable and irresistible price from an on-line goth shop: $24 excluding shipping. These are lo-top Deviants from Pleaser Inc.’s Demonia collection (a “connotation of the demonic diva that conveys Demonia’s no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners attitude”), the company’s alternative footwear line catering to non-mainstream fashions like Goth. The upper is covered by a transverse, buckled double-strap separated by a zipper, giving the shoe an edgier look than the usual canvas sneaker. The sole has a large screaming skull and, at the hell, a smaller winged skull. They reminded my wife of the 80s, to which I say, sure, why not? Forget that Flashdance nonsense and harkens back to the time when punk kicked ass and goth was goth. These Deviants, along with similar hardware-enhanced shoes from the Demonia line, add rock ‘n roll and, I’d like to think, a bit of kick-ass to an ensemble. Construction-wise, they’re as sturdy as anything from Converse. And while they’re made in China (big surprise), some of Pleaser’s other products are made here in the US. Bottom line: I love ‘em.

But who, you may ask, is Pleaser Inc? I hadn’t heard of them either until recently, although I did come across some of the company’s individual lines at various goth outlets. As you might expect, Pleaser Inc. is footwear company dedicated to the unconventional. They started in 1993 as an importer/distributor and then expanded with the design and manufacture of six lines of footwear (Pleaser, Demonia, Bordello, Funtasma, Devious, and Lush) catering to more or less outside-the-mainstream fashion tastes. Shoes span the spectrum of street, party, classy, costume, burlesque, and bondage/fetish wear: sneakers, boots, flats, heels, sandals. You can get everything from creepers and elegant high heels to 7” ballerina-style fetish boots and stripper platforms– and then some. The designs are often edgy takes on familiar styles; some of their boots, courtesy of strategic cut-outs, remind me of Martin Margiela designs.

(From left to right: Beauty, Ballet, and Delight.)

So there you have it. There are always the biggie brands out there for your “classic” fashion footwear. But for something darker, different, edgier, Pleaser Inc. strikes me as a wicked good place to start. Unsurprisingly, the 5 of the 6 lines are geared towards women, although they do have categories for cross-dressing and/or transgendered individuals. The men's section (in Demonia) gets lumped with unisex, but for industrial boots, goths, sneaks, and the like, the selection is good enough that us guys shouldn't feel too excluded.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Denied and Prejudice

By Aqua Catlin

Sorry if I offended anyone last week! But I did get lots of reader comments, both here and verbally, thanks! Please don't make me do that nasty stuff again, give us your input without it responding to such cruel and unusual comments of mine.

In response to my own post a couple interesting things happened. Looks like law of attraction works because I was forced to see several personifications of everything on the list parading before me at once. Hid-eeeek-ous. But I deserved it.

Also, I got a giant, "in your face!" and met a guy, wearing jewelry, that I actually really liked. My prejudice was flipped like an egg in a diner and landed on the floor like an egg in my kitchen. He was wearing an anklet of all things and I loved it. What a slap in the face. I am sorry I haven't been able to source it based on the info he gave me. It had two highly polished long thin silver bullets. They weren't really bullets but looked like it. They were at the back ankle tendon, one on each side and connected with a neutral leather strip across the front of the ankle. It was the most masculine anklet I've ever seen. Very cool indeed and I stand corrected and somewhat open on the 'jewelry on man' issue, thank ya, its great to keep learning!

Speaking of prejudice, this story is shocking. So French. Starts off mentioning a female Muslim swimmer can't wear her Muslim approved swimwear, dubbed a "Burquini", at a local pool in France. They banned her from the pool!! Ohhkaaay. Seems a bit harsh, but perhaps their eyes were offended or I don't understand the French. They can't seriously think she's a hygiene risk. I know y'all got chlorine (and eat snails and truffles- yum!)

They take their anti-religious-fashion prejudices pretty bloody far over there! In fact, Muslim headscarves and Jewish yarmulkes are banned from classrooms! That ain't right. Further, President Sarkozy, married to a model, is quoted as saying that he supports legislation to ban women from wearing burqas in public in "...our country..." because that imprisons them and deprives them of identity.

Humpphh. I'm not a politician or an elite french but I'm a self-respecting human being with the strength to respect others and I can see these people's identity is linked to and rooted in their faith. Inarguably. Faith that includes traditional dress and other customs that they feel stregnthens their ties to .... whatevah. They live in a free country afterall and make the choice each day to dress as they wish. Every day.

Perhaps its President Sarkozy and something in the French political culture that is so imprisoned by the burqas? I'm not saying all the faithful love it. I'm saying they're free to choose and they are doing so. Goddamnit.

You may be French and have a monopoly on perfection that we can all learn from on our knees, but President Sarkozy, this is disrespectful on so many levels I don't wish to list... as I see it, you'd essentially take away their religious rights to support your tastes and opinions.

But it is a double-sided coin. Are they more or less fashionoclast for dressing as they wish in their traditional dress?

Monday, August 10, 2009

designer discounts at HauteLook.com

by frédérik sisa

I'm enjoying a staycation at the moment, but I thought I'd still take the opportunity, however short, to mention a website I recently discovered. I was waiting on writing it up for such a time as when I could place an order and get the full experience. It will come as no surprise, however, that Standard Complaint No.1 is in full force. First, however, the basics. The website is HauteLook.com. They host designer short sales in which everything from apparel, accessories and makeup to home appliances can go for huge discounts - try the likes of 40% to 65%. Sales may last for 24 to 72 hours, which means you don't get much time to hem and haw over the products...And as for the brands, they can range from Tag Heuer, Zoe NYC, Laura Mercier and Urban Decay to the ridiculously expensive (even post-discount) Great China Wall. It's rather amazing, really, just how many unique specialty brands there are to discover in addition to the more recognizable names.

The only problem is that there are very few men's sales. Tag Heuer watches is the only one going on at the moment; I haven't seen shirts or apparel for a while. Ladies, however, should have a ball with all of HauteLook's selection. So give it a try. It costs nothing to register and check out the sales. And if you do buy something, I'd love to know about your experience for a future post. In the meantime, I'll keep my eye open for the guys and report back when I have something to report.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

funky footwear roundup

by frédérik sisa

The world of women’s footwear has no limits, it seems. For those achy feet after a night out on the town in heels, two UK companies have come up with rather spiffy and portable relief: inexpensive foldable ballet flats sold in vending machines. The first is Rollasole, rollable flats that come in black, gold or silver and go for £5-6.95. And by rollable, I mean literally rollable. The things are so flexible you can roll them up into a tight cylinder, store it in a matching bag and keep it in your purse. The vending machines are already in a variety of UK clubs; just pop in your money and out comes post-dancing relief. I don’t know about their plans to expand beyond the UK (the US seems like a prime market for this sort of thing) but they’re also available online.

Next up is Afterheels, the better of the two in my estimation. For bonus greenie points, these are fabricated from eco-friendly, recyclable polypropylene. Also interesting is what they refer to as the “science bit:”
Our specialist team have used over 20 years’ experience of pioneering materials from the aerospace and military sectors to create afterheels. We have adapted body armour strategies and technologies to offer your feet fantastic protection. The one-piece body outer offers an initial water barrier to keep feet dry and clean whilst the insole provides a secondary barrier to spread the load of sharp objects like stones. The outer and inner sole work together to shield your feet from small fragments of glass.
Tres cool. And all for £4.99 through vending machines located in various UK clubs. Again, not much good for ladies in the US…but there’s always the online option. Unfortunately, they don’t have a consistent choice of colours - metallic black pearl with fuchsia pink lining is the only online option at the moment - although they are soliciting votes on future colour combos.

Moving into more regular footwear, Phootlery (“jewelry for the foot”) offers a neat concept for the ladies: customizable sandals via interchangeable uppers. You begin by picking your sole (flat or demi-wedge, brown, gold, or silver) then choosing from a wide selection of uppers – these range from ankle-fringed suede to leather cages and assorted be-jeweled designs. Prices vary, but the total will easily push $300. In a way, it strikes me a bit pricey for a modular concept, although given the emphasis on “luxury” it comes at no surprise. Even when sticking to the same sole, each upper costs as much a whole pair of shoes. The idea is attractive, though.


So what about us guys? Anything interesting out there for us? The answer, for today, is an unqualified maybe. I recently came across sandals called “Dopie,” which may either be a misnomer or a case of truth in advertising. Designed by Matt Harrison while studying at the Royal College of Art in London and manufacture/distributed by Terra Plana, these pieces of minimalist footwear are clever feats of engineering and design. They’re conceptually like topless sandals, except that instead of using adhesive to keep the shoe on the foot, the big and second toes clamp around a toe post formed by a fold in the single-shape EVA/rubber footbed. The question is: how do they look? Weigh in below with your thoughts – would you wear these? As far as I’m concerned, I’m not sure. I think I’d need to try a pair and see how they feel/look in the context of what I wear in order to decide. Judging from this pic from the website, I am, at the least, intrigued...



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bad

By Aqua Catlin

OopsiDais, thought I'd posted on Thursday but I hadn't. Now I'm in trouble with my Editor. But I like it. (Rant all you want Fre-fre. Just makes me feel wanted.) So we're swapping post-days and you'll see his on Thursday.

I've been wondering what to post about, (it was requested that I review Bruno and would love to thanks but I can't step on toes: did y'all know Frederik reviews films too), and during this process it occurred to me, not for the first time, that there's not much that's more narcissistic than blogging. Perhaps with the exception of being an author, but not necessarily. Bloggers actually think their opinion deserves the time to be written and published, not just opined. But, our blog, or, "commentary" IS special and changing the world.

On this note, naturally, I want more response from you. And I finally figured out, I have to go bad. I've been avoiding it but people respond to negativity, bad news, judgments and gossip more than good news reviews and rose-colored Prada sunglasses, though I'm the type who giddily shares whatever pleases me with whoever will listen. But I did promise to judge and loot those who offend my eyes, here and I intend to make it happen now. Only in the Interest of Social Studies for the Betterment of our World for the Pleasure Our Eyes.

Disclaimer. There is offensive language below. And Fashionoclast is about marching to your own drum, taking some risks and wearing what you want with pride. But not everyone should be allowed to! What's wrong with being as perfect as you can or trying to? Not perfect of course, but as perfect as poss. A lil' fabulosity is life well lived. Though Frederik is furious with me. He thinks I'm sexist, I'm not, I'm commenting about taste. My taste. Wear your jewelry, Men, ignore me!

Ok then I'll start off with the easy ones and Backlash, I'll deal with you later. I know you love it, Sickos... And we're all in the list somewhere.

- Fanny-pax (can't even bear to write it). How could you? (And P, traveling is no excuse - there is no excuse.) Vom!
- Men in shorts with their socks pulled up. eew.
- Men in socks, in sandals. You're missing the point, do you understand that? (I'm sorry, T!)
- Women who eat whatever they want ( I'm jealous), look like it and dress like it: perhaps with two clashing, mis-matched prints. WHAT? yuck.
Don't you have eyes?

(Gosh, this is
so unfabulous, its making me feel icky having to think of this.)

- Men in oversize clothes. Why? You look like a slob and you look like you smell like one too. Where's your desire to impress at least yourself.
- Ugg boots. They're just cold weather slippers, wake up. You wear them to go outside and feed the sheep they came from,
in winter at 5am on the farm.
- Men outside with big bellies and no shirts. Typically seen with unkempt hair. Truly you lack dignity.
- Toe socks. They are Disgusting.
- Women who mix warm and cool makeup. Are you blind?
- Oh! Women without mascara.
What are you doing, Sweetheart?
- Steve Madden, you bastard.
- Jeans from 2000 or before. Yikes. If you don't like to shop just go online for god's sake.
- [Straight] Men in jewelry. I'm sorry but if you were meant to be adorned you'd have been born a girl. Tribal chunky, raw jewelry worn to show manly status may be the exception, if there is one..
- Comb-overs. Duh. Just work the sexy bald, Silly!
- Blokes with long hair. Do you want us to braid it for you? What is that? I don't care if you think you're ego is up in that mess, its not.
- Ski jackets and wind-cheaters in summer. Please. What are you doing?
- Just going to throw this in: Guys who order "expresso" when they mean "espresso". Awkward!
- My own white legs. Please. TAN.
- Pants too short. They're s'posed to come to the foot, not the ankle, Honey.
- The final and worst possible thing to lay your eyes upon: jeans and athletic sneakers. (Tourists are forgiven because they have limited options.) Vom-vom.

Right, well that's about all I can handle and I'm about to be fired from the blog for it. But before you say goodbye:

Can we add to this list? What do you hate to see? We're better than those people we're judging, so let's get it out. What hurts your eyes? Is there something that turns your tum?

(I feel terrible. )This is to make our world better. Comment below and tell me what troubles you.