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New Discovery: Alice & Olivia June 4, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Inspiration, So What's New?.
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Apologies, firstly, to anyone who has already heard of this brand. However, I discovered them today and thought that some of their clothes were so pretty I simple had to share. In spite of the fact that they aren’t exactly cheap! What I have noticed, however, is that this brand seems to sell quite regularly for much more reasonable prices on eBay, even eBay UK, and I can only assume this is because they aren’t all that well-known – and aren’t consequently all that well searched for.

What I noticed with the designs of this American brand is an emphasis on structure. I am a little obsessed with structure and shape at the moment, despite not only much structured stuff at all, and this meant that I found it very pleasing to my fashion eye. There are also some slightly ridiculous high fashion pieces that would look surprisingly good on some people I know! Here is a sample for your delectation (click on the images to go to the site):

draped wrap around jacket alice and olivia

Draped Fabric Wrap-Around Top

Shelly Strapless Jungle Green Dress Alice & Olivia

Shelly Strapless Jungle Green Dress

Square Mirror Headband Alice & Olivia

Square Mirrored Headband

Jasmine Rainbow Bustier Dress Alice & Olivia

Jasmine Rainbow Bustier Dress

Lexi rainbow strapless dress Alice & Olivia

Lexi Rainbow Strapless Dress

Dree Drapey asymmetrical vest, alice & Olivia

Dree Drapey Asymmetrical Vest

So What’s New | Fine and Dandy August 19, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Giveaways/Offers, So What's New?, Vintage.
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Time for the third installment of So What’s New! I am quite excited about the answers that the lovely Matt from Fine and Dandy is going to give, as he brings something new to my blog. The thing is, you see, that I have never really talked that much about men’s fashion. Due to the constraints of my gender, it rarely crosses my mind to thinks about dapper boys, sexy shirts and beautiful men’s shows – instead, the selfish side of my personality prefers to think about dresses, skirts and unbelievable high heels! This men’s fashion shop, however, is something a little bit special. I was converted the moment I went onto the site and saw the categories of beautiful clothes  with a whole section just for bow ties. This up and coming shop is definitely a great supplier of dapper and vintage inspired men’s clothes, a rare resource!

tartan dapper bow tie

So – onto the questions!

Me: The obvious question – how did you get into designing?

Actually I’m not a designer.  I buy the best items I can find for my shop; items I would wear or use.  I come from a Broadway theatre management background but for many years I’ve fantasized about opening up my own menswear storefront shop.  Given the expense of NYC, its hasn’t been an economic possibility.  About a year and a half ago I had the idea to give it a try online.  We launched on October 31, 2008, just in time for holiday shopping.

Me: Did you ever expect the success you have ended up having?

The response has been great.  I think the timing of our launch was wise. We heard from many desperate shoppers who were ecstatic to find something a little different

luxury tweed cap

Me: What are your inspirations, principles etc? Is there any concept your designs are based on?

I’ve always loved everything vintage.  I buy tons of vintage photos on ebay of guys from around the turn of the century.  It’ fascinating to see how guys dressed back then.  Wow, have times changed.  I loved the idea of be INFLUENCED by those early styles, but making it my own and very current.

Me: Aspirations for the future?

We have a lot of things in the works.  We’re shooting a lookbook next month for our new collection.  We hope to have a pop-up shop for the holidays.  And some day we hope to open that storefront shop.

Me: Who are your favourite designers?

Antonio Azzuolo, Philip Sparks, Hacket.  All three are dandy to some degree

So there you have it guys – Fine and Dandyfor dapper boys! And, as always, I have managed to get you a lovely discount code to use at the till, for orders over $50 – just enter “ATYPICAL” at any time through September! Exciting eh?!

So What’s New? Every Little Counts August 11, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Giveaways/Offers, So What's New?.
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wild at heart hoodieHi Guys. The time has come for the second instalment of So What’s New, a weekly report featuring upcoming designers, artists and fashion gurus, each with a little individual something to give to the world.

This weeks featured artist is the lovely Amy from Every Little Counts. This gals company produces T-shirts that are in turns inspiring/romantic and just a little bit silly. I am impressed by how there is something for everyone, this is like a whimsical version of threadless! So here are the standard “So What’s New” questions that will reveal to you just what the up-and-coming brand is really all about!

Me: The obvious question – how did you get into designing?

I knew from a very young age I wanted to be a designer. It was a combined interest in costume design and a love for vintage clothing. My mom and I would spend our weekends going to yard sales or watching old movies- Charade, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Pillow Talk…just to name a few of our favorites. I was so inspired that I would just sketch for hours and hours afterward. That’s where it all began.

Me: Did you ever expect the success you have ended up having?

When we started Every Little Counts, I had been working for a number of companies, designing clothing that I was never 100 percent inspired by. When we decided to start our own company, we did so because we wanted to do something we could stand behind, and something that allowed us to indulge our influences and inspirations. Now that we’vedone that, the greatest feeling in the world is hearing positive feedback from customers- or seeing those same customers come back season after season. Its extremely validating to know our strange little assortment of interests strikes a chord with our audience.

small-violent2

Me: What are your inspirations, principles etc? Is there any concept your designs are based on?

Our overall concept is based on the nostalgia and sentiment centered around young love. We make clothes for romantic girls, girls who daydream, fantasize, and fall in love. But this same girl also sees the irony, fun, and craziness of it all.

All of our inspirations are centered around this concept of a girl that loves to love- French New Wave, Anais Nin, PJ Harvey, 80’s rock ballads, old photographs, the soft, natural sensuality of the 70’s, pretty much anything that triggers an emotional reaction…

Me: Aspirations for the future?

We’ve got a lot up our sleeves – men’s, intimates, ready-to-wear, as well as a soundtrack (by Adam, who wrote the song on our homepage) and artwork to fill out the Every Little Counts feel. All are coming soon. Stay tuned and keep up with us on the blog! http://www.every-little-counts.blogspot.com

pink tshirt

Me: Who are your favourite designers?

I admire from a distance… Lanvin, Lorick, Lover, Chloe, YSL, and Tibi. But if I am actually shopping- it stick to the reliable and affordable- Urban Outfitters and my favorite vintage haunts.

Click the link above to see the strangely haunting pieces in the Every Little Counts collection, and read here if you fancy hearing beautiful quotes and more at their blog. I am sold as much on this brands identity, inspirations and heart warming concept as much as I am by the clothes! As usual, I have grabbed you a bargain, my wonderful readers – type in “atypical” at the checkout to receive a 15% discount!

So What’s New? Designers, Ideas and more August 3, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Giveaways/Offers, So What's New?.
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alexandracipparone[1]Hi Everyone, and welcome to the first installation for my new weekly feature, “So What’s New”. For this  piece I hope to introduce you all to a new and exciting designer/company/idea, showing you some of their products, designs and inspirations.

 

For my first installment I was lucky enough to be approached by Alexandra Cipparone, the founder of wonderful clothing line ALEX&RA. Many of you will have already come across this girls wonderful work on Etsy, where she sells her lovely clothing to delighted customers from around the world. She is now launching her own specific Internet shop, and I though this would be a great opportunity to ask her a few questions!

Me: So – how did you get into designing?

I found my love for fashion design in high school. My oldest sister Noel took a sewing class and I signed up just to be like her. Turns out I was actually really good at it! I ended up being the girl who cut up club t-shirts and made them into cute tube tops and off-the-shoulder tops. I’d even embellish them with all sorts of gems. I guess I just saw them as blank canvases and used my creativity to stand out from the rest.

Me: Did you ever expect the success you have ended up having?

I never thought that I would be at this point! I started this line as a way to kill time between jobs and after just a few weeks came to the realization that this is all I ever want to do. It’s turned into a great experience. In just a short amount of time I have learned so much about design, selling, customer service, and branding.. and I love it all! It is a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day, I am just so honored by the support I’ve received from fans and customers. They really keep me going! Now I’m excited about the future and planning my next moves. I want to take this brand really far and I think it’s off to a great start.

ruffles2[1]

Me: What are your inspirations, principles etc? Is there any concept your designs are based on?

The main concept behind my line is to highlight the beautiful city of San Francisco. Everything about this city inspires me. I love feeling like a tourist in my own town.. constantly looking up at the beautiful buildings, feeling dwarfed by its majestic bridges, and taking in the incredible amount of diversity of each of its neighborhoods. Even a short stroll around the block gives me so many ideas. Besides that, I am also influenced by art, vintage finds, and unique fabrics. I think my designs are so different because I don’t surround myself with the usual sources of inspiration. I want to build a unique brand that sets girls apart from each other – not just another brand with just another skirt. My customers deserve something better.

wave6[1]

Me: And your aspirations for the future?

It takes so much to build a business that it’s daunting to look into the future! Of course I want the brand to grow and expand. Ideally I would see the line being sold in high-end boutiques and exclusive online shops but I still want to maintain the handmade aspect of the work I do. It’s important for me to have a personal touch and a custom fit. That definitely won’t change. In the immediate future, I plan on launching a new collection at the end of August (to coincide with my launch party in San Francisco) and a line of bridesmaids dresses by the end of the year. I have a lot of aspirations for this line – I just have to find  the time to do it all!

circle4[1]

Me: Finally, who are your favourite designers?

My favorite designer, by far, has to be Consuelo Castiglioni of Marni.Her work is absolutely phenomenal to look at. She focuses her designs on the construction of each piece. Every item is made in the most innovative of ways. It’s unconventional but brilliant. This excites me as a patternmaker because I value sculptural, wearable clothing. I look for thought in the clothes I buy. I want to wear clothes that push boundaries of fabric and sewing. To me, that is what fashion is about and that is what I hope to eventually achieve with ALEX&RA

Check out Alex’s work online at her new website, and see what you think of the cute clothing on there. I have even managed to wangle you a 10% discount – simply mention this article at the checkout and she will refund you the value!

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