Tag Archives: louisboston

It’s Not Even Warm Yet and Spring has Just Sprung

I must have received two hundred e-mails requesting I go to New York, and yes. Europe in May and June for appointments for pre Spring (November/December deliveries). This delivery may be 25% of the overall buy for the Spring/Summer season. I will have to go back in September/October for a January-March delivery. There is something wrong with this. I have been wailing about this since some marketing genius came up with this idea seven years ago. Hey, he/she thought that for Christmas, since every store was on sale and no one wanted to buy marked down apparel for presents, stores could supply fresh pre-spring merchandise that consumers would buy as “holiday presents”. But all that move did was change the consumers’ buying habits to eliminate apparel as a desired “holiday gift”, and stores are full of spring merchandise when it’s freezing out.  Here’s the rub, after five months it’s just beginning to feel like spring in Boston. The weather has been awful, and this has made spring late …. so I’m in pre spring buying for  well… pre spring?????  I know our weather is different from the rest of the country but that just means a longer period of warm weather for others. If the fall season could be fall merchandise for well …..”the Fall months” and then spring could be delivered when the weather IS turning warmer things would be as they should be .  If vendors could just show once a season instead making buyers travel twice a season or four times a year think of the time and energy we all would be saving. Vendors could easily spread out their deliveries (December-March), even the designers would be relieved  because they really only have one focus a season ….that is really viable  (if they were to admit it).

Just to prove that there is a reality gap in the northeast, it’s 50 degrees today and here are some pictures from my garden right now….

Cherry Blossoms around my house

What would spring be without tulips?

It's May and these are my dogwood trees they are late this year

It's May 11th and My Azaleas are just coming out

Here’s my prediction, it’s going to be too expensive to give inventories away anymore (on sale). Stores will have to pay up to 30% more to replace that inventory. Why shorten a season when adding merchandise is too costly?  So will pre spring remain relevant?  Will the fall season clothing stay in stores through the cold months?  Will all these stores readjust their timetables to coincide with reality?  Will giving apparel for Christmas or the holidays regain it’s importance again? How will American stores teach the consumer to appreciate what they are buying instead of purchasing for the sake of purchasing something that has been marked down?

Get ready for inflation it’s coming….and it’s going to change our purchasing habits from consumers to stores’ timetables….hopefully.

We Are Getting Older….So What I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way

I remember my grandmother at my age. As a matter of fact, I think she died three years ahead of the age I am now. My mother died seven years ahead of the age I am now. These facts help me put my life into perspective…. make everyday count, whether loving the people you love or accomplishing the visions you dream….don’t be afraid to grab all that life has to offer it won’t be there, (as well as you) forever.

From what I can remember of my grandmother she wore chunky tie shoes with a low heel, black dresses with thick nude hose (not pantyhose either) and a charm bracelet with a charm for each grandchild (it had our birthstone on the front and the date of our name and birthdate on the back).  That’s what was suitable for a “Woman her Age”. I’m sure she worked very hard to keep the family fed, clothed and clean along with the house and had plenty of time after her two daughters were married and out of the house to slow her life down and take things in stride.

I am just starting to understand this time in my life…. I had children later and I’m still working (harder than ever) and slowing down doesn’t seem like an option I want to have. I find my friends are living at the same pace as well. The goal to retire….well isn’t the goal anymore. Sure financial security would be a gift but I don’t think that would slow us down.

I also find beauty in the faces and bodies of my peers, as well as myself….(not to be conceited) All the rhetoric about looking younger….plastic looking women using product that couldn’t possibly make you look younger…who is anybody fooling ….you are not younger,  you are who you are and why can’t that be beautiful? What a waste of time searching for a fountain of youth which is not there. What you should really be searching for is the fountain of contentment.

There is No Replacing That Look of Contentment (or it could be the wine)

I love the fact that I can dress the way that best suits my body, with that freedom I can take advantage of the new and innovative designs that we discover season after season.  This renewal or reinvention of ourselves keeps our role as older, modern women open and experimental instead of closed and repetitive. Again an opportunity to keep moving forward. The “AT EVERY AGE” issue from Bazaar Magazine  makes me laugh as they try to define what’s right for a women of 30 to a women of 70…they both look the same! The answer is we can be, and look whatever we are. We are blazing trails for future generations of women who can define themselves not by their limitations but by all the choices that are available to them. They can also help to redefine beauty as something that gets better with age…..Just ask Maria!!!!

They Really Did It… They Are That Good

Proenza Schouler have been pushing boundaries in fashion slowly and quietly from their very first collection. That was the first thing that struck me about their collections, they were innovative ….but quietly so. They weren’t trying desperately to get the attention of the press but to get the attention of a women wanting to wear modern looking, well made clothes. They did get press (they are , after all,  young, charming, talented and good looking which made you just want to meet them) by using their comfortable laid back attitude that complimented their work….and it didn’t hurt that the many young, hip, New York women consistently wear their clothes.

They fell into the press trap only once by showing clothing that was impossible to wear. From that season on they have learned from their mistake and concentrated on creating fabrics and designs that consistently update a woman’s wardrobe in a refreshing desirable way.

In the Spring/Summer 2011 collection the boys showed women’s suits that brought the category to new heights. The shapes were innovative and the fabrics that they developed to accomplish this weighty look were as light as a feather. “Are you sure you are going to be able to produce this?” was my first question…”we are going to try” was their answer. That takes guts. Designing and producing a line of clothing takes great effort and most manufacturers take a safe route (like anything else pushing to get great product takes fortitude and determination ). Here are some of the results.

Notice the drape of the jacket...the fabric is like a light weight soft towel

This suit shows the "new volume" that is still sexy ...check out how well the Jason Wu shoes match

The boys also were mixing fabrics….a georgette dress with these soft terry feel jackets. The results were so desirable that I defy you to look at these combinations and not lust after them even if they won’t look good on you…..that’s fashion!

I hope you can see the subtle coloration they have use to accomplish the perfect summer look.

Look at the cut of the jacket, small shoulders with volume at the bottom to give the wearer shape and interest.

Look at the way the print at the bottom of the dress works with the trim of the jacket

I couldn’t leave this post without showing my favorite dress for summer from these amazing talented boys….the dress has two layers and then they designed a sweet yellow bra to wear under to give yet another subtle detail. The overall look of this dress is really in the details. Thank you boys!!!!

Thank You Margeaux, you do this dress justice!

They Must Wine and Dine You….Really?

I’m in New York for two freezing weeks buying men’s wear for next fall. In spite of the snow and cold temperatures I am finding fresh new takes on modern clothing. The next generation is slowly kicking in on their take of wearable clothes and I like it. It’s a combination of function, technical innovation and comfort…all with style (not fashion). There is a new approach to color….just hints of it but it’s there just the same. But the reason for THIS blog is I was having dinner with a friend of a friend and she claimed “In this atmosphere they must wine and dine you!” Really…..I said and then I said “no”. Let me show you a few shots of the offerings….always with “can I get you some water?”

At least it's Italian ! It's delicious

French Macaroons

Chocolate Anyone?

This has disaster written all over it

So it is amazing to me that I am not the size of a house. This also illustrates the austerity program that is part of the T & E category in every company. I workout every morning for self preservation….and it helps give me energy because it takes energy to run around to find and edit new products to present to our clientele….It’s my pleasure. Anybody have any water?

Snow Day !!!!!

Somehow a snow day reminds you what is was like to be a kid again…to let go of all the stress and worries of your busy life (not that kids don’t have that now). You find yourself lingering in bed just a little longer…reading the Arts Section in the newspaper that you might have skipped over cause you didn’t have time…..spending time on You Tube to make you laugh out loud at the most ridiculous shots….renting a movie that you wouldn’t admit out loud.

Bowie makes a great model for pictures when no one else is around

How non productive…isn’t that the point…can we waste minutes enjoying doing nothing? Do we need a snow days to make us stop and smell the roses….wasn’t that what Sundays were suppose to be about?  Oh well for those of us on the east coast just enjoy the moments… they are not lost just  lazy.

Bowie knows what to do on snow days

Has the Visual Impact of Retail Really Changed?

Marrakech was our destination this holiday vacation and a perfect brain release from the doldrums here in America. Going back to the certain aspects of the 17th century has it’s true awakenings to what use to be good and bad….but I’m here to talk about the comfort in the fact that some things never change…. Good Retail!

I’ve been taught quite a bit over the years about the rules for good retailing…from the best….and those messages haven’t changed much is 300 years. First, presentation is number one for success, if it doesn’t look tempting to the imagination of the consumer it won’t sell. Second, selection, or having the right items in the right colors to make sure customers can find something that peeks his or her interest is crucial. Lastly, price accordingly….which at the souks (the markets) can vary substantially.

I don’t even cook and I was ready buy everything !!!

Food alone looks so special and fresh that you have to look and take special interest in what you are selecting.

You couldn’t eat it all but you sure want to buy it all

The colors of things excited all your senses

The colors are sensational....you couldn't reproduce them

Now for some products..

Now that's what I call a selection

Wait there are more!

There is never a concept of too much when the selling space is so small

OK one more…just for me

If there is one thing I could eat everything in the shop it would be fresh olives

How Did He Get It Done? That’s Genius!

Antoni Gaudi accomplished so much is his lifetime. Anyone who has had the privilege to visit his work in Barcelona, as I did this holiday vacation, would be awestruck at his creativity, intelligence and his ability to go way beyond the lines. I will share some pictures in this blog but first I wanted to point out one gigantic fact that I couldn’t shake in my head as I stared in wonderment at his work….”How did he get it done?” His genius was so modern, so outside the box, so against any conventional wisdom that I can’t believe he had enough patrons to pay for his vision.

The Sagrada Familia, The famous church that sits in the middle of the city, that Gaudi started designing in 1883 and is still under construction to this day is beyond description…so now would be a good time to insert some photos I took inside the church this visit….I’ve been there before and I must say the inside has changed 30% in five years.

This is the variation Gaudi designed for the ceiling

At this point you mouth is wide open and all you can say is WOW

The complexity of the columns and each ceiling panel shows his multiple thinking on each detail

By this time I’m thinking this is a church, I’m sure managed by very conservative people and the project had to involve an enormous amount of money, how did it pass the “committees”?  How did these ideas get understood by laymen and how did he get the approval to make it happen? That to me is the true genius of all of his work. He inspired people, all kinds of people, to reach beyond traditional thinking and to dream of what has never been.

I live in a world that is suppose to be the definition of going beyond what has already been, but more times than not, I hear “Oh Debi it’s not done that way EVERYONE does it this way”Sometimes I feel that the fashion industry is made up of followers that copy things that some people had taken a risk with some time before.

Here are a few more examples to feast your eyes on.

The Statues in the Front Illustrate How Advanced Gaudi Was

Each Surface is Different But Somehow It All Seems Symmetrical

One last photo….

This Is Just One Corner (of course unlike any other)