We've another Network Partner joining our lovely Coutorture Community that you must check out--his blog, Another Normal, features photos of the loveliest windows in fashion, and he takes them all himself. A professional photographer that has worked for Estee Lauder and the like, Rudy Pospisil publishes photos of fashion windows worldwide and it is our honor to include him in our Network. Check out a gallery of his work below and of course, his blog, right here.
Knitwear designer Simone Shailes has landed in Topshop and her structured designs for the retailer, inspired by her Central Saint Martins Fall 08 show, are a winter winner. The 25 year old Londononer learned how to knit by way of her grandmother and her studies at Saint Martins. After her graduate show, Topshop scooped her up for a capsule collection and the rest is history. Check out our Network Partner, Style Bubble, for more on the designer, and, lest we forget, the Topshop goods right here.
It might be a grey Monday but our Network partners are as prompt as ever--bringing us around-the-clock postings on all things fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and more. Eye 4 Style (now OnSugar!) scouted out some online shopping deals for those of us who medicate Monday with e-commerce indulgences. Girl Woman Beauty Brains (also now OnSugar!) found two sale bangles from J. Crew that remind us that the designer options are not the only ones to covet. Network Partner, Senora Cartera posted a thoughtful comparison between the handbags of Tory Burch and Anya Hindmarch. Finally, Shiny Squirrel, who always finds great independent designers, posted some look book images from Garland Coo.
We kindly request that you click over to our Network Partners before you close down the laptop for the weekend--we promise there is fashion yet to be had.
Every photo editorial is the sum of its parts. For our most recent Fall's Top Five: Past & Present photo shoot, each member of our team brought something vital to the shoot. Liz Baca, a Coutorture Network Partner from the website M.I.S.S. Crew, also works as a stylist and vintage supplier to some of the hottest boutiques in America. To see which of her stores she pulled clothing from for our photo shoot, just click on the image and you'll find the credits bottom left. Part of the fun of editorializing fall at the end of August, is knowing that every frock, pair of trousers, and accessory, is available for purchase right now. Thanks to Baca, that includes the vintage items--so long as you're the first the ring or stop by these amazing shops. Below, we asked Baca about her profession (which is of endless interest to us) and what it takes to provide The Goods! to so many chicsters, season after season.
How did you break into wholesaling vintage clothing and accessories?
I am a long time collector, dare I say "hoarder" of stuff. The dictionary defines a hoarder as "a person who accumulates things and hides them away for future use". In all my years of hoarding things, I never really thought I was hiding things away for future use...I just liked my things and liked finding them. About 5 years ago it became very clear to me that I was having way more fun hunting and gathering vintage finds then going to my daily job. I had so much stuff as it was but didn't want to stop getting more (I sound like a crazy lady, right?). My friends had (and still have) a high-end vintage shop in San Francisco called Ver Unica, I started out doing trade with them and eventually starting wholesaling to them. I figured there had to be more people that wanted The Goods! and there where. After a year of testing the waters, I quit my job and haven't looked back since.
We know you split your time between SF and NY, can you tell us a little bit about your bicoastal schedule?
My bicoastal schedule is hella crazy son! I hope at least one reader got my East meets West slang. Yeah, sooo, I venture out to NYC every month to bring The Goods! to my accounts. My time spent on the East side is any where from 3.5 days to weeks...I always hope for the later but based on my West Coast schedule as a stylist I sometimes have to fit in where I can get in. It makes for some very exciting and hectic months BUT I figure work hard now so I don't have to later...well, it's a nice thought at least.
How do you incorporate seasonal trends into the vintage stock you bring to stores?
My vintage accounts are trend based for the most part. Each has their own unique style but generally they are seeking the vintage version of what is currently in fashion. They'll just be stocking the real deal vs. looks inspired by an era as you find with modern clothing. Of course there are always the designer gems that are ALWAYS in fashion no matter the season or current trends. So, it's important that I keep up on what's going down the runway every season so I can work with my accounts to bring them the appropriate merchandise.
What draws you to wholesaling vintage rather than, say, becoming a brand rep?
The bottom line is I LOVE vintage clothing. Don't get me wrong, there are modern brands that do it for me but i will always be more interested in the things that inspire clothing of today. I love the idea of vintage being limited and unique. Part of it is the hunting factor too. The process as a whole is very exhilarating. I have worked with modern brands, on the retail and wholesale side and sure I can sell it but it just doesn't give me the same kind of satisfaction that vintage clothing does.
How does M.I.S.S. Crew fit in to the picture?
M.I.S.S. Crew is a labor of love! It provides an outlet that forces me to have to be in the "know", to be searching out the latest and greatest and a stage to showcase some of my skills. Gabriella of Mama Clothing, my partner in M.I.S.S., and I work hard to "bring it" for the ladies. We work around our skills and talents as well as the skills and talents of the many ladies that we have the pleasure of working with. That is the beauty of creating your own environment.
How does styling fit in to the picture?
Well it all goes hand-in-hand. Styling keeps me up on and involved in current fashion happenings, which can provide content and focus for M.I.S.S. and can also keep me in the loop as to what my vintage accounts might be looking for. Being a vintage clothing dealer provides access to unique items for my styling work and knowledge of what inspired current fashion which can provide fun content/education for M.I.S.S. and my own blog. I can also provide press and exposure to my vintage accounts by pulling items from their stores for my styling work, which can't be a bad thing. In the end it all comes full circle, each helping out the other. These are the things I love in life therefore I have chosen to make it work.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you pulled together the looks for our trend shoot?
There are so many trends every season. I loved the idea of showing the past vs. the present, right up my ally! So I picked trends that I felt had strong roots from eras gone by or would just be fun to showcase fabulous vintage pieces...like Luxe Layers, that vintage Whitng & David top is serious or that Saint Laurent Dress from Winter's Summer. That is a rare piece, the pattern is called the "Picasso Print"...so amazing.
What was your favorite piece in the shoot?
That's really a hard one. It was exciting to work with brands like Christian Louboutin...and the Saint Laurent dress...I'd have to go for favorite looks and that would have to be the vintage "Country Living" and "Boy's Club". Country Living came together like a dream for me and the Boy's Club, although so simple, is something I would totally wear and I felt really represented a strong 80's inspired menswear look. I can't just pick a piece!!!
What advice would you give people about shopping for vintage clothing?
Be patient. It is not as easy as running into the department store and grabbing a blouse or little black dress. Vintage items are unique and limited. Try things on but don't force the fit! There currently is and has never been any sort of standardization in sizing. A vintage size 10 can be a modern size 4, yes it's that crazy.
What don't people know about your profession?
That it is hard work...a true hustle. People always say that I have the best job and granted I have to agree BUT it is the best job for me. Might not be for everyone. It is long hours, early morning digs in the dark, piles and miles of modern day cast off's to find that one gem, lot's of driving, sometimes sleeping in your car, mending and repairing...breathing life back into things that have been left for dead. I call it search and rescue. it's a strange love and wonderful life and it is the life for me.
Our heads are spinning (and not just from last night's Lambrusco!) from all of the sweet tip-offs our community can conjure in a single day.
First off, Cuffington give us the low-down on the ultimate magazine shop (it's all about the imports) located in Portland, Oregon. In her words, "Rich's is in PORTLAND, Oregon, USA, people. If you don't live there, no need to hit the panic button, just dust off that rotary phone and give them a jingle. They'll probably be able to ship something to you.". Consider our interest piqued.
Clothes-Pin, meanwhile, posted a few shots of Yumi Kim's most recent offerings. We'd nearly forgotten about the designer after a seriously overpriced sample sale left a bad taste in our mouths. Alas, women do love those silk jewel toned shifts.
Something we love to take a gander at on a Friday morning is an effortless display of skinnies and mocks. Sure, it's no Yves Saint Laurent smoking suit, but it still kind of makes us excited for lazy Fall days when you can drink a cappuccino without being drenched in sweat. This, from Painfully Hip.
And last but not least, Shiny Squirrel clues us in to some toned down contemporary line called Eple and Melk that totally suits our fashion mood as of late. That is these duds are colorless, light as air, brandless visions of chic (right). This blogger is a mind reader.
Leave it to the bloggers in our Network to keep your extras in check. While scoping out today's postings we noticed a few tricks and deals our Coutorture readers will surely be keen on. To start, Bunny Shop has a special promotion code that will get you 25% off all non-sale items at Fred Flare. That includes the irresistible, albeit slightly retro cum retro, three-pack of red, white, and blue wayfarers. They were twenty dollars and now, with the discount, they're sixteen. Perfect Fourth of July party favor? Quite possibly. Bunnyshop is also running a contest to give away a Jocasi handbag if your fashion question elicits the most comments.
Also on the accessories front, this time in terms of styling is Style Bakery. Alison, the blogger with all of the outfit answers, gives advice on what belting works with a simple cotton frock. Her cobalt and silver product spread has us thinking of putting together a belted number for dinner tonight, so sharp are her choices for the reader that sought her advice.
Also on our radar, after a Style Bubble shoutout on the same topic yesterday, is DIY hosiery. The Coveted, inspired by the recent Christian Lacroix Haute Couture runway show, dip-died her drug store tights for the gradient look she's long been aware of but only now indulging in. In her post she teaches you how to recreate the look making us think, at this point, someone could carve out a pretty successful space dedicated strictly to DIY hosiery tips.
Things are happening in the Network today including outfit-making and original reportage. A wrap up is deserved.
SlamXHype had a sweet little interview to boast about this afternoon. Namely, a discussion with the girls behind Checkinit, a creative agency with knowhow on what it takes to take charge of everything from original fashion editorial to corporate branding to website direction. It's 15 mini-pages long and it has pictures, you've no excuse to skip over it.
Chic and Untroubled explains to us another Nike custom endeavor that allows you to place a picture from your camera phone directly onto your sneaker. It's called Nike PhotoID or some such thing. We love it when our Network Partners help us wade through Nike news. It's not an easy task.
The gals over at M.I.S.S. Crew scoped out Hanky Panky's new website (which was not exactly up to par before the upgrade) with screen shots of what you can expect. Sadly, the site isn't ecommerce yet. We know about two hundred women who only wear this brand of underwear. The product might be eighteen dollars a pop but they'd surely make a nice little space for themselves.
We're one big happy family over in Coutortureland and if you read our site regularly you probably know a thing or two about our Network Partners. To that end, we've started a blog for our 250-odd partners, so that, aside from talking all things fashion, beauty, business, streetwear, perfume, and DIY, we can talk about what it is we actually do. Namely, online publishing. Perhaps you fancy some information from what we call our Education Annex. Recent posts include topics like brushing up on your blogging vocabulary, product giveaways, backing up your blog, and how to slow your load time. It's a big fashion world out there and we think it's just as important to have the tools as it is to have the opinions. Have a lovely weekend. Until Monday...