Friday, June 6, 2008

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row

Hi! To anyone out there in cyberspace with an interest in fashion, welcome to my blog. It's funny to think that all those teenage years that I kept a diary, my observations were meant to be secret and now here I am writing a blog for the whole world (if anybody actually cares) to read.

So what are my credentials? I've been a fashion editor and illustrator for more years than I care to count and I'm still going at it on a free lance basis. So why did I call my blog Crap and Couture, Notes from the Back Row? It's simple. During fashion week in New York's Bryant Park only the very top fashion editors, socialites, and celebs get front row seats. The rest of us working stiffs get relegated to the back rows or nose bleed section as we like to call it. And since I'm not in the social register (although I actually have a title that just might get me a better table in some snobby European restaurant), or a page six flavor of the month starlet, I sit five rows up if someone hasn't already grabbed my seat and hopefully, goody bag.

And while we're on the subject of goody bags I have a pet peeve. Either give everybody one or don't give any out. Oh no, some designers leave goody bags on the front row only where the likes of the mucky mucks at Vogue etc could care less about getting another useless gift while the rest of us seethe with envy.

But enough bitching. Back to my heading, Crap and Couture. I use the term crap loosely. To me it simply represents my philosophy on spending. One doesn't have to be a brain surgeon or even a podiatrist to realize that the cost of dressing well – or even badly – has gone sky high. Don't know about you but I'd rather not spend a month's rent on a pair of shoes (that were probably manufactured in China with a made in Italy price tag attached) so I mix it up. Cheap can be cheerful if you know how to shop and have taste and that's one area that I consider myself an expert on. When I die, my epitaph will probably say, DAMN, I WAS THE BEST DRESSED WOMAN, PERIOD!

Let's face, nobody's born with taste but you can learn, either as I did, with parents who taught me to appreciate the best in every price range. Their motto was, buy less but buy quality and I've stuck to that through the years. It's a lot easier now with stores like H&M, thrift shops, church bazaars, resale shops and flea markets. For me it's all about the thrill of the hunt. Sure I can also hit designer sample sales and go wholesale, but really the best sources for fab couture fashion comes from unexpected sources like vintage boutiques and auction houses.

So this is what my online diary will attempt to do – give you the inside info on what I think is hot, or not in fashion and basically an insider's view of my world no holds barred. For example, last night I attended a terrific "patio party" given by one of my favorite designers, Tia Cibani, creative director of PORTS 1961. The reason for the party was to showcase the resort '09 collection, and it was a blast. While we swigged "healthy" honey spiked booze and hors d'oeuvres, models sauntered down a makeshift runway complete with "grass" and palm trees, to the running commentary of famous and gorgeous drag queen, Lypsinka, we were treated to some terrific clothes inspired by that iconic '50s housewife, Lucille Ball. Sounds campy? Hell no. These were really great clothes and I wanted to grab every outfit, from the full-skirted cotton dresses to the ladylike brocade sheaths and the terrific upholstery textured in a retro wallpaper print coat and, and … Let's just say that I get heart palpitations just thinking about the clothes. Best of all, Ports isn't stratospheric in price either. You won't have to mortgage your house to buy one of Tia Cibani's frocks so keep on the lookout for this label. That's all for now. I'm off to Montreal next week where I hope to scope out some hidden treasures. Talk to you soon, C&C.

1 comment:

mcb said...

I LOVE THIS -- Finally someone from the fashion industry that speaks to you off the cuff and straight from the heart. Bravo - Keep up the good work!!
~mcb

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row