February 13, 2008

Review: Disney Fairy Tale Weddings

Posted in fashion, review tagged , at 11:40 am by classyaction

Disney movies set brides up for unrealistic expectations, or so they say.

(Actually, the only unrealistic expectation was for blushing brides to think that their beastly counterparts would miraculously transform into princes the instant they kiss, but that’s not the point.)

Yet for those who have met and are content with the visages of their respective others, Disney is stepping it up and providing yet another opportunity to get one step close to your fairy tale wedding.

The Disney Fairy Tale Wedding Collection

Seriously. This ain’t no joke.

With a collection designed around three of the most popular princesses: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Beauty, Jasmine, and Ariel – each collection contains Disney-inspired wedding gowns and accompanying bridesmaid and flower girl outfits.

Designed by Kirstie Kelly, fret not: it’s tasteful art, however(and in some cases, utterly mundane and generic with any other wedding dress).

Jasmine dress Sleeping Beauty dress

Clam shell bras need not apply.

The Disney Collection can be viewed at http://disneybridal.com/.

February 7, 2008

Doubting Thomas? 27 Dresses

Posted in fashion, review tagged , , at 6:36 pm by classyaction

Sometimes we have to see it to believe it.  27 dresses?  Really?

Really.  But sometimes we see it, believe it, but just want to do a fake proof to showcase dresses.

Sometimes CA just wants an excuse to post gratuitous pictures.

Truth? CA doesn’t particularly admire Katherine Heigl, but CA does admire James Marsden enough to watch 27 Dresses. If not for the sake of him, for the dresses. So in their hideous glory – all 27 of the ugly beauties.

dresses9.jpg dresses8.jpg  dresses7.jpg 

dresses6.jpg  dresses5.jpg  dresses4.jpg

  dresses3.jpg  dresses2.jpg  27 dresses 1

This post can be printed out and mailed off with a short, accompanying letter along the lines of:

Dear brides-to-be,

Please watch 27 Dresses. Do not follow by example.

Love, your bridesmaids.

Review: Deluxe – How Luxury Lost Its Lustre (Dana Thomas)

Posted in review tagged , , at 4:25 pm by classyaction

Deluxe - How Luxury Lost Its Lustre

For those who miss the day of old-style Hollywood glamour – the elegant Garbo gliding through a film or a perfectly coiffed Grace Kelly offering a quiet smile at the cameras – there are still others who jettisoned celebrity to the masses through popular culture today.

Deluxe is Dana Thomas’ exploration on how the fashion industry has changed: from the stark beginnings of LVMH as a quiet couture brand to the massive powerhouse today; how Givenchy launched their brand name successfully through clever Hollywood positioning in once-unknown Audrey Hepburn.

Some not-so-secret-yet-not-scandalous-enough-to-be-gossiped-about trade stories are divulged. LVMH, for example, is the majority holder of those tax-free Duty Free Shops you commonly see in travel. They transcend former boundaries. No longer are DFS restricted to airport settings: under the helm of skillful management, the DFS Galleria opened to great fanfare in the shopping district. The tales of brand management evolve, the backstabbing world of artistic conflict, and the story of Rachel Zoe’s inexplicable popularity amongst the stars are explored.

It is the Japanese who can be credited with changing the look of the industry as we see it today, with their voracious appetite for seeking name-brand items. It is a curious socioeconomic phenomenon with Japanese custom, Thomas offers. As a ‘classless society’ that prizes conformity, it is argued that their high end purchases are a sign of the Japanese desire to elevate their country’s social status. Despite the psychological hoo-ha behind it all, there’s no denying their purchasing power and how their demand for quality has changed the industry’s attention to detail.

An excellent exerpt from the book follows:

Back in the 1980s, when [Chanel Japan’s president, Richard] Collasse worked for another luxury brand, a Japanese woman brought a dress in and said it had a defect. Collasse looked and looked and finally saw a two-inch thread dangling from the hem. It was absolutely unacceptable to her. Collasse exchanged the dress, bowed repeatedly, and sent her a big bouquet of flowers. Then he decided to do a test. He took the dress to a French woman. She tried it on, liked it, saw the thread, and said, “I can cut it.” He took the dress to an American woman. She tried it on, liked it, and never saw the thread.

Is it any wonder than North America’s most popular retailer includes Zara and H&M, the so-called ‘fast fashion’ stores that rip off cheap copies of runway looks within two weeks? Our society’s current fascination with fashion and luxury seems cheap, shoddy, and superficial in comparison to the hushed, secretive and utterly lush couture houses of the past. Where it once seems to have been tacky to discuss where couture was to be found, large brands including Louis Vuitton and Chanel are now banking upon the young nouveau-riche (or simply pampered) 14-year olds to trot around unassumingly with branded diaper bags, real or not.

It’s well-worth a quick perusal: there’s no groundbreaking news, but for fresh-faced and cynical fashionistas alike, there’s something to be enjoyed. Don’t knock the masses for craving luxury goods.  If Joan Somebody can’t afford to fork over $82,500 for a bejewelled purse, we’ll take the next best thing if it nudges the decimal point 2 places over.  If nothing else, it helps redefine what Moschino may have meant by ‘Cheap & Chic’.

And afterwards, you can take your fake Prada purse to the mall with you indulge in some cheap retail therapy.