H&M Offers Something For the Fashion Challenged.

I was browsing on the Internet for new clothes for the upcoming season, and I decided to trek on uncharted territory- the land of H&M. While yes, the chain store has received world-wide fame for being known as a low-cost, always-on-trend retail store for the fashion conscience, yet budget driven consumer, I myself have never found the desire to delve into its world. Maybe because, to me, it is "too" trendy, and never tries to create its own trends. I figure a store brand with as much popularity and influence as this one, could by now branch out and start creating trends instead of following them. They do, after all have a very large and dedicated fan base. After such ventures as joint collections by Viktor & Rolf, Stella McCartney, and even Madonna, they have the youthful fashion base wrapped around their well-oiled finger. But I digress. As I was shopping on their site, I stumbled upon a section entitled "Dressing Room", an inventive and useful tool to organize and create wardrobe ensembles from their large selection of clothing. It gives the shopper an entirely new way to see the clothes they want to purchase, and to see what works with what, and more importantly, what does not. Want the neon turquoise tights? Great. Want to mix them with the blue cocktail dress and fur coat, to come off as edgy and youthful? Sounds good on paper, but when thrown on the cyber models, a different story appears. This helpful little tool can be a second opinion for a shopper, and can really help the not-so-fashionable consumer brush up on their skills to make better outfits. It serves as a personal model to each item you select, and does it in an honest way, where that everything you select does not come off as something worth purchasing. The shopper can even create an online account for free, and upload a photo of themself, to make the model an almost-exact replica of their own likeness. Very fun, and of course, very modern. The dressing room is in every store or boutique we shop at, and H&M simply asks "Why should online shopping be any different?". Its a genius attempt at catering to their fan base, and in my opinion, should in fact be a new requirement for all online shopping sites.

Get Ready For Spring! According to Marc Jacobs

When Marc Jacobs unveiled his latest collection at New York Fashion Week in September, he done what he always does- magically shock people with his genius eye for design and ingenuity. His Spring 2009 RTW (Ready to Wear) collection will be hitting stores within a couple of months, and with a collection as entising as this, you can bet that the trends on his runway will be sure to drizzle into the reality of fashion consumers and lesser retailers alike. His collection was bar-none of the best the fashion world had to offer this past season, and to see it go from runway to racks within short time is nothing short of infinitely pulsating. So, what is to expect to come? Judging from his RTW 2009 collection, we're in for yet another season where pattern and textile design is at the pinnacle of what will define class, style, and above all, trend. His show gave us the ideal form of layering and print mixing-something Jacobs has long been known for. Plaids, shimmering metallic prints, and bold and beautiful applique are just a few of the textiles he has chose to mix this season. Think of his collection as "Swedish peasant goes to New York". A silhouette that is less-than-body hugging, soft fabrics, with vintage textile imagery. The day dresses from the collection stay knee length, just like the past recent seasons, with the exception of evening dresses, where Jacobs makes less pretentious gowns from soft, free falling fabrics in light and soft colors. His dresses are "The Great Gatsby goes to the circus", if you will- an ora of elegance, style, and sophistication, with the injection of wild, erratic, and off-the-wall emotions all attached. And the accessories? Perfection. But what else is to be expected from the same designer that heads Louis Vuitton, a brand much more known for their bags and shoes than their clothing. Think straps. For as far up as the leg will allow. Every shoe from the show was adorned with satin straps, differentiating in length of course. And no closed toes! Every model's toe was to be seen, something quite appropriate for the Spring season. Bags were as to be expected from Jacobs- outlandish, bright and full of color contrast. Just like the clothes themselves, each bag was a melting pot of textures, patterns and colors. A flare for the dramatics, Jacobs is sure to have, and as we roll into Spring 2009, it is best we all soon catch on. After all, in fashion it seems, it is Marc Jacob's world, and we all just dress in it.



Even though Thakoon's much anticipated collection for Target isn't out until December 25Th, there is still a much buzzed hot fuss around what the collection will have to offer. Thakoon Panichgul, a young designer who is relatively fresh to the fashion world, is known for his outlandish patterns, simple cuts, and great use of color and unique textile design. He garnered alot of attention after dressing Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention. The much anticipated line will retail between $20 and $80, approximately, for each piece, a more-than-steep price cut from the usual $600+ it costs to own one of Thakoon's basic designs. The question that I ask, however, is "Are these clothes really that superior to the other clothes on the Target racks, or are they considered better because of the man that sketched them out?". The collection for Target has got mixed reviews; some calling it incredibly chic and urban cool, while others say it looks like a "grandma's idea of what a night on the town should be like". Quite the variation in opinion, but none-the-less, the collection does indeed carry much buzz. The collection itself is somewhat representative of what the designer typically does. Bold prints? check. Offbeat color combination? Check. Simple construction and cut? Check. The difference? I'm afraid that the clothes come as looking like a cheap, knockoff version of the designer's handy work. They look more like a Wal-Mart adaptation of Thakoon, which is obviously not a positive, seeing how Thakoon himself designed these clothes as well. The prints are uninteresting, unambitious and carry not genuine aesthetic. The cuts are in fact simple, but to the point of looking cheaply made, and not fashionably groundbreaking; or even current. It appears as though I have answered my own question, but it's a question that you yourself must answer as well. The trick is however, to do it quickly though, because it is inevitable that these clothes will fly off the shelves, if for no other reason, than for the name behind them.


Everyone either wears them, or secretly fantasizes about wearing them, but lets their lack of self confidence get the best of them. The brightly colored skinny jean has been on the fast track for mainstream fashion success for the past 2 years. First it was neutral colors, such as black, grey and white, then a steady drive into pure color; starting with the basic reds and browns, which led to now- a rainbow of colors to choose from for whatever mood you have. There is literally a color of jean for every style, every attitude, and every person. Jean racks in stores now look more like a candy store full of delicious delictables instead of some endless racks of navy denim.

The even newer trend however, is "print" denim; denim that boasts wildly patterned prints and images on them. Plaid? Check. Flower print? Check. Multi-colored zebra and leoppard print? Check. Wait. Thats where the new rules of colored and printed denim MUST come into play. You don't need so much action below the waist- at least not in this scenario. The trick to doing cool denim without looking like you've just been dressed by a 5 year old is quite simple. It's just like any other thing in life, whether it be dieting, drinking, or shopping; Do it In Moderation. Sure, red jeans are fantastic. Zebra print jeans? Even cooler. But do we really need to see someone walking down the street in "Red Zebra Print" jeans? No. You don't come off as cool. You come off as a wounded jungle animal- probably not the look you're going for. There are a few quick tips that can take you from drab to fab:
  • Never mix an over the top colored bttom with an equally outlandish top. Styling is just like a marriage; it's all about balance and compromise. You like the hot pink skinny jeans? Great, but instead of wearing them with a hot pink and purple cashmere sweater, tone them down by wearing them with a dark blazer and simple white undershirt. This makes the look for chic than freak.

  • Stick with one theme. If you want to do a colored jean- make it a solid. And vice-versa. If you want to do a printed jean, make sure you keep the color a neutral. Again, it's all about balance. With two looks as strong as a bold print and a bold color, you're going to look like your having Fashion WW3 below the belt-line.

  • When wearing colored jeans, printed jeans, or even skinny jeans in general, you have to remember it's all about the shoes. You dont wan't chunky; it makes your legs look like tooth picks with jelly beans on the end. You also never want your shoe to compete with your jean for attention; this means NO overtly brightly colored and outlandishly printed mass of plastic on your feet. A nice simple flat or heel will do the trick.