Archive for May, 2014

A Tale of Two Skirts.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Those of you who read my blog last week knew about the Marimekko and Banana Republic collaboration launching last week.  Being the fashionista that I am, I logged onto the Banana Republic site on Tuesday afternoon (a perk of being a BR cardholder ) to order a skirt from the collection.  Much to my dismay, my coveted skirt was SOLD OUT online!   I was devastated.  This is no ordinary skirt, it is THE Kivet Print patio skirt .   I placed an online order sans the patio skirt and hoped for the best when the stores opened on Thursday morning…

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

A little background, the Kivet Print patio skirt was the hottest item in the collection, especially since Jamie Chung was spotted in LA wearing it with black pumps, a red clutch and a matching Kivet print sweater.   That sent every fashionista, stylist and celeb wannabe,  into an all out frenzy.

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Come Thursday morning at 9:40 am, I secure the 1st spot in line at the entrance to the Grant St., S.F., Banana Republic store (those of you who know me personally, know that I am a freakishly punctual person, so, naturally, I was in the garage waiting at 9:15 am).   I could see the collection through the windows and was trying to see the location of the Patio skirt.    People start to line up behind me.  I should note here, that I lived in NYC for 10 years, so don’t EVEN try to cut me in line!

BR outside

After waiting for what seems like forever, they open the doors at 10:03.  I frantically weave through the other shoppers, only to arrive to the rack with only 2 items on it, a size 2 and a size 0.   “What to do, what to do”, I think to myself.  I end up procuring a size 0 which, unfortunately, is nowhere close to my size 8 figure.

After milling around the store for a bit, I meet a very disappointed gal who needs a size 0.  We cajoled a salesperson with at 4 to give it to me, while I gave my size 0 to a very grateful company employee/fellow shopper.  I was getting closer to my 8.  I tried on the 4 and big surprise, it’s too small.  I decide that my talented seamstress with be able to let out the pleats in the back to transform a 4 into an 8.  I buy the 4 along with a few other cute pieces and hang around a bit.  Hey, 20 years in retail had to teach me something, right?  I spot a salesperson with a 10 and 12 heading for the fitting rooms.  The size 12 fits the customer who reserved them, so I snatch the 10 from the shocked salesperson and it’s MINE!  It’s still not an 8, but only one size off.  I leave the store with 2 patio skirts (size 4 and 10), feeling victorious!

www.theclassycubicle.com

www.theclassycubicle.com

Later that day, I post to craigslist.org for a trade and come up short…no one has an 8.  Meanwhile I get many offers for my 4, as I clearly state that without an 8, I’m keeping the 10.  Then it hits me, eBay!  I list the $98 skirt for $100 starting bid, with a $250 “Buy Me Now” price.  I can hardly believe it, but two hours later, I have a notification that my skirt has been purchased at $250.  Let me say that again, $250!  I am beyond ecstatic as I contemplate someone buying a $98 skirt for $250.  I am at a loss as I think to myself,  ”this is a CRAZY business”.

I’d love to hear if anyone else was lucky enough to get the Kivet Patio skirt.   Tell me your story!

Marimekko, Banana Republic, a Great Team!

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Exciting news from clothing purveyor Banana Republic,  Marimekko, the iconic Finnish fabric design and fashion house, is partnering with them for a wonderful capsule collection.  I have always been a big fan of Marimekko fabrics and their prints are just so FUN, no doubt about it!  They have created, or in some cases reimagined, vintage prints, to put together a really inspiring clothing group.

photo courtesy of bananarepublic.ccm

photo courtesy of bananarepublic.ccm

I love when retailers collaborate with designers and the outcome is a more affordable group.  Although Marimekko is not very high end, their fabric designs are always imaginative and feel very Scandinavian in it their aesthetic.  Marimekko has done some very successful collaborations with Crate & Barrel stores, where customers pick their Marimekko fabric and have a custom table cloth made for them.  They are also launching a showroom in the EQ3 store in San Francisco at the end of May.

Marimekko started in 1949 in Helsinki, Finland and was Printex before it was renamed Marimekko.  Their first fashion show was held in 1951 and the crowds were so excited, they practically bought the garments off of the model’s backs!  The first Marimekko store opened the following year.  Their most iconic and recognizable print is Unikko, an abstract interpretation of poppies.

unikko

Marimekko has it’s own stores as well as being carried in stores all around the world.  The store locator can help you find the store nearest you.

The Banana Republic collection includes shorts, skirts, dresses, pants, tops and a few cute clutches.  Everything is priced at $39.50-$130, a very doable price point!  It went on sale today for BR cardholders on their website and is available in stores starting Thursday, May 22nd.  The black and white skirt in the top picture is already sold out online, so I think that means there will be a lot of excitement around this launch.  I’ve already placed orders for my clients (and me)!

BR maxi

BR short set

BR short dress

BR clutch

Missoni Family attends AAU Graduation Fashion Show!

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Academy of Art University students wowed the invitation only audience at the packed graduation fashion show last Thursday night, May 8th!  The venue was a massive warehouse in a south San Francisco industrial/chic neighborhood.  Attendees were treated to wine and nibbles before the show, in order to peruse the portfolios of select BFA and MFA graduating fashion students including Fashion Design, Textile Design, Knitwear Design, Merchandising, Jewelry/Metal arts and Illustration majors.  It was an impressive group of graduates!

Even more impressive were guests of honor Rosita, Angela and Margherita Missoni…THREE generations of amazing Missoni women.  The Missoni label was started by Rosita and her husband Ottavio  in the 1950’s and continues to be one of the most iconic knitwear brands in the world.  Rosita and Ottavio (Tai) were awarded Honorary Doctorates while they were guests of AAU in 1999.  I was working at AAU at that time as Merchandising Coordinator and instructor.  I had the great pleasure of spending some time with the Missonis and they were beyond gracious and charming!

The picture below is a wonderful reminder of that time.  Pictured (L to R) Maureen French, Bridget Kelly, Louise (top), GPP (bottom), Tai Missoni (top), Rosita Missoni (bottom), Rhona MacKenzie, Sharon and AAU President, Elisa Stephens.

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

Rosita was thrilled to see the 1999 picture, as was AAU President, Elisa Stephens and AAU Fashion School Executive Director, Gladys Perint Palmer.  Sadly, Tai Missoni passed away in May of last year at the family’s home in Sumirago, Italy.

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

It was lovely to see both Angela and Margherita Missoni receive their Honorary Doctorates during Thursday’s show.   They were both so grateful to be awarded these honors along with their parents and grandparents 15 years prior.  AAU President, Elisa Stephens said “The Missonis have created an iconic, globally recognized and celebrated style.  We are thrilled to have the Missonis as our esteemed guests, and it is an honor to have three generations of lady doctors join us for our Graduation Fashion Show.”

simon_unglessAs in years past, the show was as close as SF gets to a fashion week show!  AAU graduate students show at New York Fashion Week in the Spring and Fall.  Every year the show gets better and having missed only one or two over the last 16 years, I feel very qualified to say that!  Simon Ungless, Director of the School of Fashion and Director/Producer of the fashion show, is brilliant in his role and NEVER disappoints!  He has his hand in every detail of the show and it always pays off with a stunning parade of sartorial splendor.  He really is the heart and soul of the show and makes sure every student whose collection is included, really works hard for that honor.  Many tears have been shed by students who did not complete their collections on time or were lacking in quality and construction… talk about a project runway moment!  BTW, several AAU alumni have been on the popular show including fan favorite, Melissa Fleiss.

Overall, the collections were imaginative, original and impeccably tailored.  The variety of men’s, women’s and children’s collections kept the audience totally interested in whatever came down the runway.  Here are a few highlights…

AAU photo1 correct AAU photo5 correct

AAU photo4 correct

AAU photo2 correct

AAU photo3 correct

AAU photo 6 correct

And here is the full video from the AAU website.  Watch it, you WON’T be disappointed!