Have you heard about PopSugar's Retail Therapy game?. It's sort of like Farmville, but instead of tending to livestock, you manage your very own fashion boutique - stocking your shelves with brand-name merchandise and selling items for points. It's mildly entertaining, if you're into that sort of thing.
I myself like real-world retail therapy, but that can be costly. So today, we're just going to window shop. Here are the items that caught my eye this week (but not my wallet):
I have a thing for birds (both decorative and in the wild), so I think these love birds decorative pillow from Grandin Road are charming:
Similarly, I'm drawn to this comforter from Dwell Studio:
Laslty, check out Badgley Mischka's over-the-top Diamond Reef Sea Life Necklace. A bit much for me, but certainly fun to look at:
No, it's not a man. And it's not a puppy. It's a publication; more specifically, a shelter magazine designed to fill the void after my beloved Domino magazine folded last year.
Lonny actually launched last fall by a former Domino staffer who had the idea to replicate the accessible design focus that title was famous for, but this time in an online-only format built on the Issuu self publishing platform. A new acquaintance tipped me off to it last week, and I see that they got some great press in today's NYTimes. It's name is a combination of London and New York.
Just like Domino, Lonny has a gorgeous, clean design; but thanks to its digital nature, it also provides "inspiration at the click of a finger" - meaning readers can easily click on any item for more information or to buy. The Issuu platform provides a magazine-style browsing experience, complete with table of contents, full page ads (also clickable!) and page flipping. Full-screen, single-page and zoom viewing options provide even better visuals of the merchandise and showrooms.
I'm only halfway through the June/July issue, and it's chock full of design ideas, beautiful rooms, and lovely little finds like Jack Spade's Perforated Bookmark Paper and this Conservatory Chair from Anthropologie.
But the best part is that I discovered this one late, so there are five more (back) issues for me to catch up on! Perfect Summer reading.
Check them out yourself, and if you're so inclined, contribute to Lonny here.
Last weekend I finally made it to the Brimfield Antique Show, something I have wanted to do for years.
It is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, covering 23 fields along a one-mile stretch of Route 20 in Brimfield, MA, and takes place three times a year (May, July, September), drawing over 6,000 dealers and 130,000 visitors.
Here's a nice aerial shot of the show grounds, courtesy of BrimfieldExchange.com:
I wish I had the foresight to take more photos of the trends I saw there, like the girls over at DesignSponge did, but as a first-timer I was utterly overwhelmed. DesignSponge did a fantastic job summarizing the major sights (especially the bird cages - I saw lots of those, too, and commented on how beautiful they were, but sadly I missed Mary Kate Olsen!).
Here are a few things that caught my eye:
Dainty dishes (like all the lovely pieces in my mom's china closet)
Ornate, cut-glass ashtrays
Tons of vintage brooches and pocket watches
A fair amount of French-influenced furniture (Pam Szori described it on the DesignSponge blog as "Gustavian furniture in grey and white, mixed with nubbly flax grain sacks, rough-hewn linens, French scrolly monograms, and wood.")
And lots of enthusiastic fair-goers, like us!
I loved the show, and wish we had more time to browse through all the fields (we just did a day trip). Even if you don't buy anything, it is fascinating browsing through the goods (and the food is great, too!).
I did manage to pick up a lovely set of Tiffan glasses, a cast iron chocolate mold, a vintage sweater clasp, and a reclaimed, punched tin mantle piece. Need to go back next time and score a vintage Tole tray.
A few weeks ago, they featured Haiti Projects, Inc., an organization that supports the economic livelihood of the people of Fonds des Blancs, Haiti. More specifically, they featured the beautiful, hand-embroidered nightgowns created by the Sewing Cooperative there, which provides Haitian women with much-needed income.
Here is a video, featuring Haiti Projects, Inc. founder Sarah Hackett, who is all about grassroots projects that allow the Haitian people to help themselves.
You can order the nightgowns on their site ($48); perfect gift for Mother's Day!
San Telmo is the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires, and is known for its Sunday antiques market in the Plaza Dorrego, featuring all kinds of jewelry, glassware, leather goods, trinkets, art and tango dancers. It is really quite amazing - about four city blocks of outdoor stalls, plus a few big warehouses and numerous storefronts full of larger and/or more valuable items (furniture, jewelry). And tons of people...a pick pocket's dream.
We'd been warned of the pick pocketing threat here (and in BA in general) and took proper precautions, but didn't realize the magnitude of the problem until this day. At one stall I stood by a man who was lamenting that his backpack had just been pilfered and he lost his wallet and passport (note: never wear the pack on your back! It's too easy for the ill-spirited to quietly unzip it and remove your belongings without your knowledge).
Moments later, we were alarmed to witness a melee between one woman wielding a butcher knife and another slapping a large chain on the ground. All the while screaming at each other in Spanish. We learned afterward that this is a common ploy to distract tourists: while their attention is focused on the mayhem, the pickpockets quietly lift their valuables. Crazy!
Despite his best efforts, TJ was not able to snap a pic of the knife-wielding crazy lady, so these more tranquil shots will have to suffice...
We brought home one of these great old bottles:
And I picked up these old coins/medallions at different stalls, and subsequently put them on a long chain:
Tango! The national dance.
Stopped in at La Resistencia (a bar with an interesting history) for a cold beer and papas fritas (french fries, for the uninitiated).
After spending the morning here, we headed over to the colorful La Boca neighborhood, which I'll feature in tomorrow's post.
Thayer Street in Boston's South End has come a long way since the days when I used to work in a refurbished warehouse on Harrison Ave. Back then, the three main tenants in the area (besides the digital agency I worked at) was the vintage shop Bobby from Boston, architectural salvage firm Restoration Resources (which has since moved to Washington St.), and the venerable Pine Street Inn homeless shelter.
My, how times have changed. The buildings along Thayer Street and the alley behind it now make up the SoWa Art Walk, a collection of galleries, stores, and restaurants where South End artists display their wares. I headed over there this past weekend to check out SoWa's first annual Cabin Fever event, an indie gift show featuring local artists and designers.
The crowd milling about in the Valentine-themed space...
Beautiful handbags made from vintage coats and brooches, each with the story of its origin sewn inside. Designer Nicole Keane has since shifted her focus to sustainable carryalls for men, but she still has a few of these earlier pieces for sale.
Adorable dresses for little girls, like this doggie print (the big one is a pocket!) from Little Girl Pearl.
Funky, hand-made jewelry from Black Sheep Designs, like these bird earrings that I wish I'd bought...
These awesome bird etchings from Karen Kemp (which I also wish I'd bought!)...
And gorgeous, hand-knit sweaters from Knit Happens, the brainchild of best friends Kelly Pepin and Michelle Tripp, who hooked me up with a great, new shrug (they'll do private home shows and custom orders as well!).
If you missed the show and can't wait for it to roll around again next year, head over to the Cabin Fever site where you can find links to each of the artisans, and/or check out First Fridays, where The SoWa Artists Guild at 450 Harrison Avenue holds its monthly open house on - you guessed it - the first Friday of every month.
I love what auction giant eBay is doing with it's new trendspotting publication, The Inside Source.
When I first read about it back in November, I promptly checked it out, subscribed to their enewsletter, and shouted out some praise (to which The Inside Source promptly replied - they are on trend in more ways than one!).
The goal of the site & newsletter is to showcase the trendiest items for sale on eBay - things that "savvy" and sophisticated" shoppers may not even realize are available on the auction site...and it does a good job.
Today, I received this promo for Valentine's Day, which features a variety of items currently for sale, packaged up in nice little bundles to make selecting a gift for your Valentine a snap. Among them:
The shopper in me looks forward to receiving The Inside Source for its editorial, as much as its product features. I bundle it in with my other favorite fashion reads, like DailyCandy, Haute Weekly, The Zoe Report, Net-A-Porter, and ShopBop.
And the marketer in me is impressed with the strategy and execution of this program - yes, I now visit eBay more than I ever used to :)
Just picked up my ticket for Rare Bird of Fashion: the Irreverent Iris Apfel, a special exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum celebrating the personal collection of a legendary tastemaker and style icon.
Eighty-eight year old Iris Barrel Apfel is known for her "eclectic mixing of haute couture with costume jewelry and exotic baubles." She is also credited with having started the denim jean craze among women, back in the 1940s.
A New York society figure and co-founder of textile design company Old World Weavers, she has traveled the world in search of "all things wearable and wonderful," building her business and inspiring fashion designers like Jason Wu and Issac Mizrahi (great video of him with her on the PEM site, by the way). She's been featured in Coach ads and atop Vanity Vair's international best-dressed list.
As a special bonus to the exhibit featuring over 80 of Apfel's ensembles, the museum will hold a screening of The Latest Fashion Trends from Around the World, Fashion Group International's Spring/Summer 2010 Trends report which includes photos, video clips and commentary on the latest runway shows from around the world. The special screening on Saturday, January 23rd, will also include a discussion of how to adopt the runway looks into your wardrobe.
I'll leave you with these Elements of Style, according to Iris Apfel:
1. Never take yourself or an outfit too seriously.
2. Visit the animal kingdom.
3. Consider the clergy.
4. Travel widely.
5. Go high and low.
6. Don’t fret about your age.
7. Don’t be afraid to stop traffic.
(Click to watch video)
And don't forget to check out the museum's fun interactive exhibit where you can style runway models with Apfel's clothing, paper-doll style.
Try this on for size:
In a bid to showcase its new, 2nd generation Integrated Services Router, networking giant Ciscso has jumped on the augmented reality bandwagon with a concept mirror that lets shoppers "try on" clothes without taking off their own (the clothing is superimposed onto the shopper as if they’re looking at a fitting room mirror).
Check it out:
[via my friends at Hyperspace]