Thursday, May 27, 2010

Zac Posen for Target: Not totally blech?

Even though I totally dissed the Zac Posen for Target collection a while ago, did that stop me from going to Target the weekend it debuted?  Important thing to note: The stores don't seem to care about their own street dates, and will put out these collections on the Friday or Saturday before they officially go on sale.  I truly believe this is why I did not find the Cynthia Vincent shoes I wanted on the Sunday they "debuted."  They had already been picked over for two whole days!

Regardless, I was in Target on a Friday for some manufactured reason, and walked through to see if anything was displayed yet, and of course, there it was! As suspected, most of the items were designed for juniors, and some of the items were as ugly as the pictures I had seen. But there were a few cute items, and typical me, I bought probably around 6 or 7 things.  In the end, I am left with 3 items. A long party dress which I will wear to the one fancy cocktail party I go to every year, a casual sun dress (the only one that was age-appropriate in length, definitely not as short as the picture below) and a black short tuxedo-like blazer.  I think I'm getting much better at self-control!
- alison

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

London - the happiest shopping place on earth!

Not even rain could diminish my excitement at the chance of shopping in London early in May.  I even took the train from France just so I could visit my beloved Selfridges for a couple of hours. Well, not totally true, I took the train to London because I haven't been there in too many years nor have I seen my lovely friend Jen in that many years, and France was as close as I was going to get on a business trip.  So it was definitely worth taking the train to see Jen and her gorgeous family, and making a quick detour on the way to shop!

I so wish that department stores in the US were more like London.  Just imagine if Barneys, Dean & Deluca, Design Within Reach, and at least 2 of your favorite restaurants were all in one building. That's my idea of an amusement park. Entertainment for hours and hours.

Even with the limited time, I managed to do enough damage considering the exchange rate.  I bought 2 pairs of shoes (making it challenging to repack my suitcase at the end of the trip), a dress and a cashmere tee.  The shoes were the phenomenal Jil Sander heels I mentioned previously, and a pair of super-high turquoise suede Miu Miu sandals. I have not seen the Miu Miu's in the stores here in the states, nor have I seen the Jil Sanders except for on the Jil Sander online store.  The dress is from Preen and is an abstract black and white print with neon yellow trim, kind of reminds of old-school Body Glove surfwear, very eighties. David Pava initially thought I looked like a clown, then decided he liked it. Not sure what that says.  And the red cashmere tee is from Zadig and Voltaire, which is also challenging to find in the states, though I think they are opening a boutique in NY this year.  Anyway, I bought it because it had these tiny, nonfunctional buttons at the collar that were the shape of skulls!

What I didn't manage to do is any shopping in Paris. I went to one department store, thought about buying some Tsumori Chisato stuff, but was kind of too tired to deal with the language barrier. Plus the French have this thing about not really caring about making money, which kind of annoys me. The stores all close really early, taxi drivers will refuse you to take you places, etc.

Yippee! What a great shopping expedition to tide me over until the Marni sale this summer!  If I can find some pics of the other items I bought I'll be sure to post.

- alison

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

When did I become so vain?

"You're just now realizing this, Alison?"  Yes, I can hear you all saying this, but I still refuse to believe. What I want to know is why NO ONE has commented, good or bad, on the most amazing pair of shoes that I am wearing today.  I've made plenty of trips up and down the hall at work, went to Barney's at lunch, nothing. Doesn't anyone want to shower me with compliments? These shoes deserve it, don't you think? Or is it the fact that they blend into the color of my pale skin that no one can actually see them? I'm going to assume that's the case, otherwise, shopping will no longer be fun if I can't impress people with my wardrobe.
- alison

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Are Cats the new Black?

Is it just a coincidence that Spring has sprung, and we enter the time known as "kitten season" that the latest fashion trend is cat prints?  Is it theoretically okay for me to dress like a crazy cat lady if it is also endorsed  by highly fashionable Miu Miu brand? 

I'll assume the answer is yes.  The followup question is "How much crazy cat lady is too much crazy cat lady?"
Exhibit 1:  Head-to-Toe, I've got 15 cat "babies" and room for more!
Exhibit 2:  Just some subtle accessories using the same print as in the outfits above for the woman who only has a couple cats but is heading down the slippery slope by leaving food outside for the strays. Note the adorable pink cat crawling down the shoulder of the top.
Please let me know your opinions before I go making a fool of myself!
- alison

Review: Nordstrom at Fashion Island

What I was hoping for:  A Nordstrom that has more designer collections, both apparel and shoes, than South Coast Plaza.
What I got: A Nordstrom with NO designer apparel collections (St. John does not count), a couple of good shoe collections, and a very large and well-stocked contemporary section.

I was really expecting Nordstrom to come into Fashion Island in Newport Beach with the intention of kicking the ass of Neiman Marcus.  It was so not like that at all. They have decided to cater to the SoCal beach audience whose uniform is jeans and tees. How disappointing.

What was not disappointing was seeing that they stocked Nicholas Kirkwood and Jonathan Kelsey shoes.  These are shoes that you see in the multi-page Nordstrom ads, where they mostly show collections that they don't carry in Southern California.

The most exciting part of my visit:  Meeting Jonathan Kelsey.  As I was pawing his shoes, it didn't even register that there was a sign on the table saying he was in the store that day. I just thought he was an odd guy hanging out by the women's shoes. Then, he said "hello." I responded "hi." He then said, "those shoes are from the fall collection, so they aren't available yet, but the ones on the other end are available." I said, "oh, do you represent the line?" and he said "I design the line." How embarrassing! Though more embarrassing was what little fanfare Nordstrom gave the guy. He literally was standing next to his shoe display like he worked there!

I asked him what I have to do to find the awesome shoes typically featured in magazines. He confirmed my suspicion that you have to pre-order at trunk shows after the runway shows. I told him I had been desperately searching for a pair of Proenzas and he said his friend designs the shoe line. And I asked him where I should go shoe shopping in London and he said Selfridges has absolutely the best collection of shoes. All that and he was really adorable, too!

- alison

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shoes: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I've identified three types of shoes that have obsessed me this season and would like to share with you.

First: The Good.  I consider these the most beautiful shoes I have ever seen (it might not be the first time I've said this about a pair of shoes, but I'm sincere about it every time, really!).  I will most likely never own these shoes because they cost $4700. Enjoy your free look.  If you do go off the deep end and need to buy them, you can get them at Neiman Marcus in black!

Next: The Bad.  And by "bad" I mean, I want these shoes BAD.  Alas, I will probably never find these shoes in any store because I am not a uber-power shopper that goes to trunk shows and commits to buying things before they even hit the shelves. I guess these will only be in the shoe closet of my dreams...

Finally: The Ugly.  There is no excuse for such a use of plastic, lucite, PVC, any other toxic man-made material, plus the chandelier crystals that remind me of some table lamps from my childhood. Prada always seems challenge the level of taste every few years.  I'm not even going to show you the Fendi shoes that were taken straight out of a stripper's closet.
I'm sure that in a few months time, I'll have done a complete 180 on my views of these shoes. Hopefully this happens before I spend money on any of them!
- alison

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 25 - Zac Posen for Target

If you were lucky enough to be in NY, you have already shopped the Zac Posen for Target collection.  The rest of us must wait until April 25.  I have mixed feelings on what I've seen of the collection, though definitely worth making the Sunday morning trip to my local Target to see how it looks and feels in person.  All the dresses seem short and the metallic stuff looks cheap. But there is some hope for the maxi dress.  If you didn't see the looks when they release the images in January, click here for a quick peek.

The next Target collaboration is with Tucker by Gaby Basora.  I'm not familiar with this line, but from the looks of it, it has real casual, vintage vibe.  Check out the full-priced line at

- alison

Monday, April 19, 2010

Et Tu, Target?

What is with this disturbing trend of advertising awesome deals that so few can actually take advantage of?  I've already bitched about The Outnet $1 sale (btw, as an apology for the frustrating experience, they are going to give customers free shipping for a month. Wow, I feel much better, now).

I went to my local Target at 10am on Sunday to check out the Cynthia Vincent shoes. Sadly, the shoes only took up the space of one endcap, and there were none of the gladiator wedges to be found. The space was half-empty already which led me to believe that they stocked them the day before, at least.  And when I went online at home, they claimed all the gladiator shoes were sold out, yet still showing them on the website just to rub it in.

Target deserves an extreme finger-wagging for being a MASS MERCHANT who NATIONALLY advertised a specific pair of shoes and yet didn't bother to order enough.  There was still boatloads of Liberty items in-store as well as some Jean-Paul Gaultier, so what happened, Target?  I almost think that they didn't even ship the yellow wedges to stores because I when I checked on ebay, I only saw the brown wedges. No one was selling yellow.  Usually, there are a boatload of the Target items on ebay as soon as they are in the stores.

And Target gets an additional stink-eye from me for not even having the Eugenia Kim accessories on display in either Target that I visited on Sunday.

Badly played, Target, badly played.
- alison

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dana Davis Shoes - Fashionable and Comfortable?

Did anyone see the story about a month ago in the Sunday LA Times Image section on Dana Davis' shoes?  She claims to make comfortable stilettos.  Could it be true?  They do feature built-in orthotics, which makes me want to believe they are comfortable.  And they don't look as boring as something from Naturalizer. The heels are legit - 4 1/2 inches, not just a bunch of 3 inchers. Of course there are lower wedges and flats, but why waste time there. I would wear some of these styles. Hmm...maybe I WILL wear some of these styles at E3 and put their comfort to the test! Check out the collection on her website:

- alison

Friday, April 16, 2010

Target - This Sunday: Cynthia Vincent shoes & Eugenia Kim accessories!

I'm sorry I didn't post about the Jean Paul Gaultier or Liberty of London collections at Target. Short story on that: I did not buy any Jean Paul, but I did buy some scarves, comforter, a dress, and a blouse from Liberty.

But mark your calendars for this Sunday.  The Cynthia Vincent shoe collection goes on sale. The pics look really cute, but the real test will be in person when I can figure out what material it is made of.  The yellow wedge is just what I need to relieve my daily stress. They also come in brown and black. The flat studded sandals come in a few different colors and the tribal print fabric is used on a flat and a wedge.  I'm EXCITED!

On the same day, Eugenia Kim is launching a line of hats for Target.  I learned long ago to stop buying hats because I never wear them, but they look really cute, so I encourage you to check them out.
Have fun shopping at Target this weekend, you might want to create a valid shopping list in case you are having any feelings of guilt for buying shoes.  I need to pick up some vitamins while I'm there!
- alison

Damn you, Outnet! See what you made me do!

I shouldn't surprised, but I certainly am annoyed.  I didn't realize the Outnet would play dirty pool when it came to their $1 anniversary sale. As I mentioned previously, the Outnet would not tell anyone in advance when the dollar sale would start today. So, I was mentally prepared to enter the fray as I logged into my computer this morning around 9am, only to find that the sale started at 3:45am.  WTF?!?  Of course it was LONG over by the time I got the news.

So to quell my irritation, I decided to buy the most expensive dress I've ever bought in my life that I had tried on last night at Neiman Marcus during their cocktail party. I tried it on, got Polly's approval that it looked good, and put it on hold, thinking, I really shouldn't buy this, though I would sleep on it before making a final decision.  After I told Polly the price, she confirmed I should not buy it.  But this morning, I get the stupid Outnet news, AND an email from Polly telling me to buy it.  I did some casual research to see if there would be any chance that I would find this dress two months from now on the sale rack, half-heartedly convinced myself that there is no way this dress is going to be around in two months, and made the purchase.  Thank gooodness I got a tax refund.

In other Neiman Marcus party news, Polly and I discovered there is Spanx for men, I believe I had a real housewife of Orange County sighting, and after  the party, Polly and I got to meet and chitchat with Trina Turk over at her store in Fashion Island. She is totally adorable! I feel rather bad that I didn't buy anything from her.
- alison

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When did shopping become stressful?

I know it has been a while, but don't worry, I have been doing a LOT of shopping since the last post.  I will try to give you some details on that later, plus some things you need to put on your calendar for the upcoming weeks.

But what I really wanted to discuss today is why does The have to make my pleasure in life so stressful?  If you are not familiar, The Outnet is sort of the clearance site for  Everything there has been marked down, versus net-a-porter which only occasionally has sales.  The Outnet also does these flash sales where they take one item and mark it way down and they sell it until it is gone. I have NEVER been able to take advantage of these flash sales because they start at 9am pacific and I am still enjoying the drive to work at that time.

But the REALLY stressful sales event is this Friday, April 16th. They are celebrating their one-year anniversary and selling a bunch of stuff for $1!  Who knows if it will total crap, like a bunch metallic harem pants or something awful like that.  Then again, it could be awesome.  The stress comes once you've RSVP'd for it.  They don't tell you WHEN the sale will start, and today they dropped the bomb that you will only be able to buy 1 item.  How the hell are you supposed to look at everything that is available and make your choice before everything is sold out?  It's making my blood pressure rise just writing about it.

In any case, if I actually get logged in for the sale and manage to buy something, I will report back to you all.  Wish me luck!
- alison

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Barney's Warehouse Sale - Sorry, it's over

I know I'm supposed to update everyone on sales, but you probably already knew that the Barney's Warehouse Sale has come and gone.  The reason I neglected to report it because I am trying to boycott it now that it has changed venue to the LA Convention Center.  It was so great when it was in Santa Monica.  I could go on Day 1, the middle of the show, and then hit the last Friday before it ended. This would either happen on my way into work, during lunch or at the end of the day. Now it is a chore to get there, and parking is $12 instead of free!

But of course, the only reason to tell you about the sale after the fact is because I did not boycott it, and actually went there on the Monday holiday, the last day of the sale.  It was a way to avoid cleaning the house, but I did get quite a few other chores completed before treating myself.  I tried on a ton of stuff but was extremely brutal in terms of what I allowed myself to buy.  I forced myself to put back the ribcage sleeveless Rodarte shirt but did snatch up the Rodart leather jacket.  Bad news is that I did buy 2 pairs of shoes.  I was obsessed with the Proenza Schouler fall collection after spending too many hours this weekend watching The Day Before, a great show about various designers prepping for Fashion Week on Sundance Channel.  So when I saw those shoes, I crammed my feet in them and decided they met my level of pain tolerance. 

I love my shoes and my jacket (I also love the cheaper shoes and pants I bought but they aren't as special). Plus, I was able to park at a meter across the street that still had 40 minutes in it.  Take that $12 parking!
- alison 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fashion Week and Chanel Nonsense!

Two fun updates for you.  First, in case you missed the live webcast of the Marc Jacobs show, you can catch the live webcast of the Proenza Schouler show on Wednesday, Feb 17th at 5pm Pacific/8p Eastern at the official Proenza Schouler website

Even more exciting, immediately after the show for 24 hours, they will be selling the handbags used for the show. That is going to be crazy, though after watching how those guys prepare for their show (spray painting belts black from brown, and touching up the handbags), I'm not sure I want to pay crazy prices for a potentially tweaked bag.

And in other craziness, I'm sure you've all signed up for the email alert regarding when the Chanel faux tattoos would be available to the public. So I'm sure this is old news to you, but they are now available on
and now you, too, can pay $75 for some Limited Edition temporary tattoos. It's a good deal, just read the description:
Fifty-five exclusive, individual temporary tattoos, referencing iconic CHANEL symbols and codes, hand-drawn by Global Creative Director of Makeup, Peter Philips, for the Spring-Summer 2010 Fashion Show in Paris.

Don't all rush out at once!
- alison

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen's Untimely Passing

I just read that news that Alexander McQueen has reportedly committed suicide in his London apartment.  Here's the official text from the website:

On behalf of Lee McQueen's family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee's family.
Lee's family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.

His designs were always extraordinary and I own a number of his pieces and shoes. Tomorrow I will have to put together a tribute outfit in his honor.
- alison 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What are you excited about?

Such a heavy sigh….life is heavy these days, bizarre weather patterns and severe storms (our car’s engine got flooded on our way to get sandbags for the doomsday rainstorm and the car was totaled), high unemployment and those who are employed are afraid they’ll get the pink slip any day so everyone is competing against each other, no real upside in sight, sucky real-estate market, savings dwindling, I could go on.


The upside? Fashion! Yes Fashion! Beautiful, new, pretty, pieces of clothing that make me feel so fabulous and special. Skinny jeans that take off 10 pounds, buttery soft leather jackets, platform shoes, Balenciaga, it’s all so, totally, incredibly fabulous. Screw retirement, screw everything. Looking good is all that matters. Actually, feeling like I’m looking good whether I really do or not, is all that matters. I was at one of my favorite little boutiques the other day and the owner was wearing the Gucci ankle boots, fishnet stockings with jean cut-offs, a fur coat and tank top. God bless her, so many would say she looked ridiculous, I thought she was so hot. I really did envy her too, I wish I could dress like that every single day, but I just can’t. Yes, I’m 43 and I’m sort of coming to terms with that. I know, sad. Maybe in my post-sales, sort-of executive/professional career, I will dress like that every single day, even if I’m just going to Save-On or Trader Joe’s.


Gaultier is coming to Target on March 7th! Isn’t that so exciting? I’m so excited, it is marked on my calendar and I’m actually, truly excited. What are YOU excited about?


C’mon, we have to get excited. The world is going to hell in a handbag (for me a good one at least), but I’m going to have a fucking good time going down. And I’m going to dress well all the way.


You know what? All this saves my sanity, like Edie Brikell says “push me in the shallow water before I get to0 deep”. Thank God for Fashion, Gossip Magazines, Fashion, Gossip Magazines, Fashion, Gossip Magazines……and sugar free bubblegum.





Friday, January 29, 2010

Zac Posen for Target: Blech!

It is such a depressing time for fashion right now. The spring/resort clothes are just barely starting to trickle in, but no one is showing me anything I would die for, the winter sales are all over, and the First Look at the Zac Posen line for Target is terrible. I expected the dresses to be short, since the Target stuff always is, but I didn't expect it to be ugly, too. The only interesting thing was the look with the pants, though I'm not hopeful that the pants will actually look good in real life.

See for yourself here.
- alison

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barf! Jimmy Choo and Ugg to collaborate

I don't care much for Jimmy Choo and I really don't care at all for Ugg, so imagine the strong gag reflex that occurred when I read the news that  those two brands were going to collaborate. Ugh! it's still giving me dry heaves. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Read the story at Refinery 29.

Kym - under no circumstances are you allowed to buy anything from this abomination.
- alison

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010: So far, so good

We are 10 days into the year, and I'm happy to report that I have kept to my non-spending resolution so far. I even returned a couple things that I bought in December. One item I exchanged for a lower priced item, and the other was a straight return, though I am fighting the urge to purchase a similar item to replace the ill-fitting one. Trying to hold strong! Honestly, I've looked at all the sales sites for so long, it's a little challenging to get excited at all. I keep seeing the same stuff over and over.  Bring on Spring/Resort!  Which reminds me, I must find a picture from the Miu Miu Spring runway show. I am pleased to tell you that it is the year of the crazy cat lady!

- alison

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Resolutions

Happy New Year! I figured I better confess to my resolutions for 2010 so you all can keep me honest.
Resolution #1: Try to go as many days as possible without buying clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.
So far, so good.  The only shopping I have done, this 5th day into the new year, is online window shopping, and shopping for car tires. The car tire shopping took about as much time as shopping for clothes, cost just as much (though I haven't paid for them yet), but was not nearly as fulfilling. I guess "safety" is the new black.
Resolution #2: Attempt to wear contact lenses more regularly. 
Since I am now too old for laser eye surgery, the only way to indulge my vanity is through contact lenses. This means i will need to buy some contact lenses first, so this resolution might take a while to get started.

I think I might have had another resolution, but I've already forgotten it. Probably something about exercising. Oh well.

And in case any of you were wondering about whether or not my dog ever got her medications, the answer is "yes!"  I returned a bunch of the Rodarte stuff to Target, and was just shy $30 of what I needed to take my dog to the vet and get her meds.  That leaves me with 2 cardigans, 3 dresses and 1 t-shirt from the collection, and I'm sure at least 3 of those things will probably go into the Alison's closet bag 6 months from now.

I'll keep you updated on my resolution progress!
- alison