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About Stylephile

Christopher Muther and Suzanne Ryan are writers for The Boston Globe's Style section.
Hayley Kaufman is editor of the Style section.
Courtney Hollands is the Your Life producer for Boston.com.

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Week of: November 4
Week of: October 28
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Week of: October 14
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After my own heart

By Courtney Hollands
02:10 PM

Target's past partnerships with accessories designers — like Devi Kroell or Hollywould — just haven't done it for me. Most of the materials seemed cheap (and more importantly, looked cheap).

However, Target is a wily little devil, always full of surprises. Like this one:

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[Beau coeur = Beautiful heart. My sentiments exactly.]

The national retailer has launched a collaboration with jewelry designer-to-the-stars, Dominique Cohen (And by stars I mean Brittany Murphy, Anne Hathaway, and Judith Light. Yes, that Judith Light). The sweet ring above is one of the best pieces, and the "Beau Coeur" design comes in a pendant necklace, drop earrings, or a bangle as well.

And the Target pieces cost thousands less than Cohen's usual 18K gold and gemstone creations.

See the whole collection here. Christmas shopping? Check.

Happiness is.. owning this dress

By Christopher Muther
12:49 AM

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This Isaac Mizrahi-designed Charlie Brown dress is up for auction on eBay (current bid just $405). It's a size 4 (I always wondered what Charlie Brown's dress size would be if he grew up to be a female impersonator).

The dress is made of beaded sequins, natch, and the proceeds go to the charitable foundation Dress for Success. Bidding ends at 10 p.m. on Halloween. Happy bidding, Charlie Brown.

Merry Chrismoss!

By Courtney Hollands
12:11 PM

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So the breaking news here isn't Kate Moss' fresh eye-grazing fringe. (But honestly, her hot bangs could be the news, if only because every tween and lesser starlet will soon be scrambling to the salon for a chop. Kate is the sexy after all.)

What I really want to talk about is her shiny new holiday collection for Topshop. The minidresses, sheer tops, and waistcoasts hit stores and the web Thursday. Not every piece is a grand style slam (A sequined kerchief? Really?), but the best looks scream party, preferably with fake snow, glittery disco ball, and plenty of eggnog.

Behold! My favorite dress:

katemossxmas.jpg
[Oooh-la-la!]

I'd have to try it on to truly commit to this glitzy thigh-grazing number. Sigh &mdash unless I wing it to New York or London, learn karate and other self-defense mechanisms, and stand in line for 19 hours, I probably won't ever see this winter wonderland fantasy come true. But, if the nice people at Topshop happen to read this blog and want to send me a sample, I promise to get myself invited to no less than 10 parties this December so I can show it off. Just a thought.

Hot tip

By Courtney Hollands
11:28 AM


I am a bona fide bargain hunter. I'm not ashamed. I'm not ashamed of the Joe's jeans I got for $45 at Marshall's. Or of the Furla bag I scooped up from the lower reaches of Filene's Basement's discount rack for a cool $50.

Nothing gets me more jazzed than a good deal, that's for sure. And because I know there are some fellow penny pinchers out there, I'll let you in on a little secret: enroll in the VIP club at the Wrentham Outlets. It's free to join and gets you coupons and discounts to several stores at the shopping mecca.

Case in point: This weekend I landed a pair of sweet Banana Republic "Luella" boots on the cheap. (Close your eyes and imagine the boots at left are black, ok?) True, they are last season. But with a 25% off in-store sale and a 15% off VIP coupon, the oultet price of $129 for the pair came down to $75. Not too shabby.

Bird by bird, baby

By Courtney Hollands
04:59 PM

If I haven't made it obvious by now, I love birds. I love wall hangings of sparrows, silver necklaces with owl charms, birds on my t-shirts, on my plates, on my pillows. But, lest you think I live in an aviary, I've actually tempered my addiction by buying bird presents for others.

Davis Squared, a new gift boutique in -- well, do the math -- Davis Square, has a great selection of MeMe Baby onesies that I absolutely adore. I'm not above nagging married friends to have children prematurely, just so I can give them a "Goldfinch Baby Bodysuit":

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[How lovely and whimsical.]

And in case you can't get enough:

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The twee designs are inspired by birds of the Catskills and drawn and hand silk-screened by Dennis Witnauer (his wife, Jennifer Subrin, runs the company). The couple hopes to "smartly outfit the next generation," according to the MeMe website. At least someone is looking out for hipster babies!

Coming Soon.. Project Runway, season 4

By Christopher Muther
01:43 PM

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I am more excited than Britney at a Taco Bell on 99 cent gordita day. The first episode of the new season of "Project Runway" arrived in my mailbox today. Season four premieres on Bravo on Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. I'll give you a report later this week after I've had a viewing party.

Fashion en francais

By Christopher Muther
11:20 AM

Let's see, what to do during lunch hour this Thursday? Go to TGI Friday's again, or check out a trunk show. Hmmm. this is a toughie. I suppose the fried mac and cheese and the Oreo cake can wait until next week. Matsu is hosting a trunk show of French designer Lilith on Thursday, Oct. 11, and Friday, Oct. 12. The collection is spring/summer '08 (the clip above is fall/winter '07, but you get the idea). Matsu is at 259 Newbury Street. The spring collection is '60s influenced, with a hint of Imperial British India tossed in for good measure.

Pocket-sized fashionista

By Courtney Hollands
03:52 PM

I have already confessed my style crush on Zooey Deschanel. As long as I'm making wardrobe wish lists, I have to mention Rachel Bilson. Can I please have all her bags, boots, sunglasses, and -- not to be greedy -- her jeans too?

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[Love the scarf. Love the attitude. Love the pup.]

I've always admired her style -- it's effortless sophistication. Rachel's petite physique might have something to do with why she looks gorgeous in all clothing, but hey, she knows how to work it. And since she said sayonara to Adam Brody, we can be friends. (The jealousy was too much to bear before. She was very insensitive to date my future husband.) In fact, she's so tiny, I could carry her around in my bag and she could advise me on minidresses and coats. Bils hasn't done much since the "O.C.," so I'm sure she has free time. Perfect!

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[Rachel, what do you think of this chunky sweater? Great. I'll take two!]

Bulky bag haters: Coach has two new options

By Suzanne Ryan
11:50 AM

If you're like me, you hate the big bulky bags in vogue right now. Sure, they look beautiful in the store. But in reality, you're lugging around a suitcase full of lipsticks and whatnot.. It's too much!

Today, Coach introduced two new lines.

The Bleecker collection is comprised of burnished leather with a vintage quality.

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The Thompson line, named after a street in the West Village, is supposed to suggest an urban chic vibe with an artisan sensibility. Whatever. Here it is:


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The Ebony Fashion Show celebrates 50 years

By Suzanne Ryan
03:59 PM

This Sunday, you can catch the show at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel at 5 p.m.

I grew up attending this event in California. It was always a scene. Unlike the shows in New York, this travelling fashion show allows its models to have personality and sass. There's humor and a great announcer with a fabulous voice describing the designs for the audience. Sometimes the clothing totally missed the mark (check out the blue and green number below). But it was always a good time.

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I can't believe it's been 50 years since the show hit the road.

Tickets are available at Cramer's Hair Studio, Hip Zepi USA and a Twist of Passion Hair Salon.

Need more info? Try: 617-504-3764 or bostonfashionshow.com

Invest in an "in" vest

By Courtney Hollands
06:07 PM

Essential question of the day: Can style and sub-zero temperatures really coexist? Sure, you say. There are scads of trendy, well-cut coats in great colors. Obviously, you'll be singing a different tune in mere months when you have a scarf wrapped around your eyes and long johns tucked into your salt-and-sand stained leather boots.

Not to be totally cynical. There is a warm solution to winter woes: Layering! Why not reach for a trendy down vest to keep your core toasty? You can wear a chic sweater and long sleeve tee below it and a stylish winter coat over it. I'm currently crushing on this ruffled Juicy number from Saks:

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[Puffer vest with cotton and cashmere back; $298 at Saks Fifth Avenue]

The color is sophisticated, the ruffles are girly -- all in all, it's a very G.I. Jane-meets-Daisy Duke look (Somehow that combo really works for me, haha).

If you want to save some of your money for a Thinsulate snowsuit -- $300 is a little steep for a down vest, after all -- Free People has its own version of the ruffled, vintage-y outerwear:

freevest.jpg
[Retro nylon vest; $98]

Apart from its cheesy faux fur lining -- why? -- this vest rivals Juicy's version in its cute details and slimming fit.

Winter: Bring it on!

SJP on ice?

By Courtney Hollands
11:42 AM

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There's a whole lot of crazy going on with Carrie's over-the-top outfit on the set of the upcoming "Sex in the City" movie. I'm worried that the giant flower might pull a "Little Shop of Horrors" and eat SJP's face. Or -- perhaps there's a new twist in the plot where Carrie tries out for a Manhattan-based Ice Capades team. In which case, she's absolutely dressed appropriately for the audition.

However, nothing makes these shoes O.K.:

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[Whoa.]

(I fully realize that this outfit is a costume. But it appears Patricia Field is back with a vengeance!)

Oldham for Old Navy

By Courtney Hollands
10:31 AM

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[The man with a plan. For Old Navy.]

No, really. Designer Todd Oldham is the new creative director for Old Navy. At first, this seemed like a really odd pairing to me, but then I remembered that Todd has already lent his name to a line of dorm furniture (obviously) at Target and to a collection for La-Z-Boy. So he gets around.

Old Navy and Gap have both been suffering in sales -- hopefully this will be a step in the right direction for Gap. Inc. I'm all about style for the masses (Hello! My entire closet is stuffed with pieces from Target's Go! designers.) but I'll need to see some proof before I fully endorse this discount duo. O.K. Oldham, your first order of business: Please purge all fleece from the Old Navy collection. Yuck.

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[Sing it with me: "Old Navy, Old Navy, Old Navy performance fleece..." Make it stop.]

Crocs are evil

By Suzanne Ryan
10:38 AM

I have long hated Crocs, those ugly plastic shoes designed for the garden but suddenly seen in school yards everywhere -- even on boys!

Alas, my seven-year-old daughter has been begging for a pair for years. With the approach of fall, I thought the issue was behind us for now.

Then my daughter's godmother came to town to visit last night. Anxious to spoil, she insisted on taking the child to the mall and buying her a pair of HOT PINK CROCS.

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She bought my three-year-old son a pair of blue and green ones, with Mickey Mouse cut-outs.

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What could I do but smile? Especially when my friend and her husband own Crocs themselves?

Can you believe the bill came to $60?

As fate would have it, I arrive at work today to find an email from a co-worker advising me about a story of a boy in Virginia who had his toe nail ripped off on an escalator. He was wearing.. wait for it.. Crocs.

My daughter has already pushed to wear her Crocs to school tomorrow. And I don't like to live in fear.

But pink plastic shoes are just wrong.

Oh no, she didn't!

By Courtney Hollands
04:02 PM

There was a rather interesting article profiling Rachel Zoe in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Though Lynn Hirschberg provided juicy -- and/or troubling -- insight into Zoe's life and how the starved stylist single-handedly conducts celebrity and tabloid fashion, the most controversial lines came from Miss Thang herself:

"Anna Wintour is one of my heroes, but they say that I’m more influential. As great as it is, Vogue won’t change a designer’s business. But if an unknown brand is worn by a certain person in a tabloid, it will be the biggest designer within a week."

I wonder what the Vogue editrix thought of that little quote. Unfortunately, Zoe's ability to churn out teeny-weeny, bug-eyed, bejeweled starlets in her image (Hello, Nicole Richie! We're talking about you, Lohan!) does affect the celebrity fashion landscape and probably influences tweens to lose weight and spend gobs of money on designer jeans. But no one messes with Anna Wintour. No one.

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[Zoe vs. Wintour: Coming soon to a fashion show near you. Bangs will fly.]

Spotty fashion sense

By Courtney Hollands
05:28 PM

Whenever my fashionista friend Jen -- she's every bit as polished as Posh -- mentions a piece of clothing she likes, I pay attention. So, when she said she'd found the perfect fall jeans at Urban Outfitters, I couldn't wait to click on the link.

Until these forever tarnished my screen:

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[Don't worry, Stylephilers, she was absolutely kidding!]

Yes, for $68, you too can dress like the Leopard Empress of Stretchland. Ick. I had a pair of actual stirrup pants in this pattern (in purple) when I was five. I mean, it looks like Lisa Frank -- of Trapper Keeper and school supply fame -- designed this ill-fitting mess.

This fall, you can wear a variety of denim styles -- wide leg, high waist, skinny leg, even gray and chocolate brown hues -- and still be very much in fashion. Leave the suction-tight "Welcome to the Jungle" leggings to David Lee Roth. Please and thank you.

Neimans in Natick an architectural sight

By Suzanne Ryan
02:25 PM

I went to a press walk-through yesterday of the new Neiman Marcus in Natick.

The store opens Saturday to the public. It is a sight to see.

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The architect is Elkus Manfredi Architects. The idea of this wave-like stainless steel exterior is to create an illusion of fabric in motion.

The interior, designed by burdifilek, is equally modern and appealing. Everything is white and well-lit. This department store is airy. No crowded aisles here.

The men's department has a room with a flat-screen TV. Yesterday, a salesmen had his head buried in the instruction book, attempting to program the remote. The game will surely be on by Saturday.

Upstairs, the women's department is young looking, featuring designers like Stella McCartney. But there are also in-store designer shops (Akris, Chanel, Armani) which all reflect the style of that design house.

The women's handbag section, which includes Gucci and Prada, appears larger than the shoe department. Perhaps they realize they can't compete with their next door neighbor's humongo shoe department (Nordstrom).

My conclusion: it's worth the drive. But bring that checkbook.


Nordstrom is a hit

By Suzanne Ryan
04:26 PM

I finally made it out to the Natick Collection today. It was worth the drive.

I took one step into Nordstrom and discovered a pair of Prada shoes for KIDS! How cool is that?
They had Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole, all for kids. Talk about putting Stride Rite to shame.

The women's designer collection was equally enchanting. I grew up in California and have never been a big Nordstrom fan. Today I changed my mind. Even the stuffy old St. John selection was stunning. And the Yves Saint Laurent collection was to die for (even if the dresses were over $1,000 a pop).

The shoe department, of course, was insanely large. (Nordstrom began as a shoe store).
They have every designer and non-designer you can think of. The sales staff is so big, there's a guy running around with a microphone announcing when a woman is waiting for service. Take that Saks Fifth Avenue.

When you finally step out of Nordstrom, the rest of the new wing of the mall is equally fun. There's Stil, Juicy Couture and the Apple Store. Neiman Marcus opens this week. The entrance has red lights all over it and is sort of glowing in anticipation.

The ceiling is all glass and there are strips of artwork hanging from it. Very relaxing. Even the carpeting is plush.

It's striking when you finally reach the old mall section. It's sort of a non event. There's Lord & Taylor and the Gap and yada yada. Of course, these stores are affordable. Just not exciting.

Happy shopping. It's worth the drive.


Slip into something less trashy

By Courtney Hollands
04:35 PM

Tsk, tsk Lily Allen! Were all the mirrors in your flat temporarily clouded over? How could you attend GQ's "Men of the Year" awards at the Royal Opera House in London earlier this week with your belly button and panty lines (and thigh outlines, ew) clearly on display?

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[I see London, I see France...]

Don't get me wrong. I like the spicy orange hue and even the cut of this flowing dress -- but if you're going to go sheer, you have to be smart. Get a slip! If you're not thrilled about lacy, frumpy slips-of-yore, there are several comfortable and sleek variations on the sometimes necessary underthing. Lily, might I suggest American Apparel's sheer jersey chemise in cream? At only $22, it's a solid solution to your see-thru woes.

Q&A with Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia

By Christopher Muther
12:01 AM

"Project Runway" stars Tim Gunn and Nina Garcia both offer new guides to style this week-- Garcia with her book, "The Little Black Book of Style," and Gunn with his new Bravo series, "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style." But in a diplomatic manner not often seen in the realm of reality television, neither claims to be the ultimate fashion svengali.

"I would never call myself a style guru. Never," says Gunn. "So the title goes to Nina. I would call myself a fashion spokesperson, a fashion educator, but not a style guru."

And Garcia, fashion director of Elle magazine, isn't about to battle Gunn for the title.

"I could never get into a fashion fight with him," she says. "I love Tim too much. We're offering two different perspectives on style. I think you need both."

We spoke to both fashion experts about their new projects, their advice for busy women, and, of course, the long-awaited fourth season of "Project Runway."

TIM GUNN

tim_gunn.jpg Your book and the show are all about the basics. Do you think there's a fashion crisis in this country? You're referring to the slobification of America?

Indeed.
I'm standing at an airport right now in Houston, watching it go by me.

Is it a steady parade of track suits?
You know, things have eroded so much that at this point, I'd be grateful for a track suit. I'm seeing lots of gray fleece, including sweatpant cut-offs, more versions of flip-flops than I ever knew existed, bare midriffs, and tummy rolls, I'm seeing it all. I don't know what's wrong with people. In a way I'm in a state of complete apoplexy. It's quite clear that comfort rules.

What inspired you to write the book ["A Guide to Quality, Taste, & Style] and start the TV show? Was it being appalled by what you were seeing in airports around the country?
I started the book at the request of [publishing house] Abrams. The editors contacted me and said, "We love 'Project Runway,' we'd love you to do a book." I have to tell you from the time of my appointment to the chair of Fashion Design at Parsons, I really thought "I'm in one of those publish or perish positions." I never would have done it without some prodding from Abrams.

Were you approached to do the TV show after the book came out?
It's a very funny story. [Bravo president] Lauren Zalaznick asked me to breakfast. She said that the dimensions of Tim Gunn that are seen on "Project Runway" are fairly limited, and I agreed with her. I'm thinking she'll say "We want to show more of you." And instead she said "That's as much as the viewers are going to see of you on 'Project Runway'." I looked at her and asked if I did something bad. She said that she wanted to give me my own show. I was simultaneously flattered, exhilarated, and mystified.

There seemed to be a lot of drama earlier this year surrounding talk of whether you would or wouldn't be returning to "Project Runway." What was going on?
I'll tell you exactly what was going on. I'm nothing if not honest and transparent. A journalist asked "Do you have a contract for season four?" I said no, and then added that I had every confidence that I would have one. And that part wasn't published. It doesn't make as good a story. I told them that the producers would have to beat me away with a stick. I would be there contract or no contract.

Have you finished filming season four yet?
We're about halfway though.

It feels like it's been forever since season three ended.
It's worth the wait. It's the most incredible group of designers we've had. I'm crazy about them. And it made me sick to lose any of them. I have to tell you, any one of them could have made it to the end. They're that talented.

NINA GARCIA

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Your book is a basic starting point on fashion. Do you think that American women need a lot of help with the subject?
No, I think we have really busy lives. Perhaps there's not enough time to think about fashion. What I'm hoping with this book is to really inspire them to find new things.

Is there something that a super busy woman could do in 10 minutes a day that would help her attain more style?
Lipstick. It's the easiest thing. Put on some divine color. It's about loving yourself. It just needs to be a little something glamorous. It's like my book says, you have to become your own muse.

Is there is a style mistake that you see all too often that could be very easily avoided?
Many. I think the trick is not falling for all the trends. Women think "This is the trend, therefore I have to wear it." And perhaps it doesn't look good. That's where women take the short cut. "It's a trend, so I'm going to be the victim." They easily fall into it because they don't have to think about it, it's been done for them. Be yourself, do what works for you, and who cares what the trend is.

Let's say there's a woman reading this interview, and she's planning to go shopping this weekend. She has $200 to spend on an essential fall piece for her wardrobe. What would you recommend?
I'm going to be specific. There's a little black dress at H&M. It's $39 and it's amazing. It is beautiful and perfect, and it's great for fall. I'm obsessed with it.

I thought you would tell me that $200 isn't enough.
Well, that's the beauty of what's happening now. Everything is available at a price. It's out there in Zara, H&M, or J. Crew. You just have to be clever about what you buy.

If someone was planning to invest a substantial sum of money in one article of clothing, what do you think that piece should be?
I believe that if you are going to spend the money, then buy something extravagant and fantastic that will live many years. Something that you can wear in five years, or ten years. I'm a big believer that you should invest in one fantastic dress. Whether it's your party dress, your cocktail dress, it doesn't matter what it is.Many women think "I don't go to parties." But we all go to parties sooner or later, and it's worth having a special dress.

Stay classy, Stylephilers

By Courtney Hollands
09:12 AM

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How excited am I for the return of Nike's vintage running shoes? I'm usually a diehard Puma loyalist come autumn weekends, but the classic Nikes just might outpace Pumas this season in my wardrobe. While I do think it's weird that the "new" Waffle Racers and Nylon Cortez runners are supposed to come out of the box looking worn ("It's vintage. Minus the 'wait thirty years' part,'" Nike's site brags), I find the 70s color palette fabulous. (Hello, orange and blue together!)

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[I remember my dad wearing these exact shoes.]


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[I'll be stylin' at the apple orchard next weekend...]

You can grab these kitschy kicks locally at the Tannery in Harvard Square or downtown at Niketown.

Not your mom's jeans

By Courtney Hollands
09:29 AM

I wrote a column about Washington Square's new-ish -- and only -- boutique Velvet Ribbon in the Globe's Sunday Magazine. Not only is owner Nicole Pham an absolute sweetheart, but her chic and surprisingly spacious store is chock full of favorite designers: Robert Rodriquez, Joie, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, etc.

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Plus, Pham has a great selection of this season's new denim styles -- wide legs and high waists, oh my. I used to live in Washington Square, so naturally, I'm pretty bitter that this stylish shop opened after I relocated to Somerville. But, on the other hand, think of all the money I'm saving by not stopping into Velvet Ribbon every time I get off the T.

Stylephile contest!

By Christopher Muther
06:35 PM

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OK, 'Philers, it's our first official contest. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana, we're giving away two copies of the book "Diana Style." Want one? Just answer this question:

Who is the famed fashion photographer who took the 1997 Vanity Fair photos of Diana?

The first two fashionistas to e-mail me (at muther@globe.com) with the correct reponse will get a copy of the book. Easy, yes? Well, get to it. I'll notify the lucky winners on Tuesday.

Style on the cheap

By Christopher Muther
06:14 PM

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I nearly forgot to tell you, my favorite T-shirt site on the planet, Threadless, is having its big $10 T-shirt sale through Sept. 3. Quantities are dwindling quickly (oh yes, I've already placed my order). Again, you have until Sept. 3 to get the deals.

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Opening today: Club Monaco, number two

By Christopher Muther
11:30 AM

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I've been doing an admirable job of weaning myself off of chain stores. I've got nothing against them, but sometimes it's too easy to drop into the Banana to pick up a sweater rather than scouting out local stores for something unique. And because we're all lazy, I know your closet is bulging with Banana.
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That said, I'm a total fiend for the Canadian chain Club Monaco. Yes, it's a chain, but their clothes are more forward-looking than others, and chic. A second Club Monaco is opening today at the Cambridgeside Galleria -- and I have my fingers crossed that the men's section there is larger than the men's section at the Prudential Monaco. Pretty please?
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Buy Britney's chicken grease dress!

By Christopher Muther
11:16 AM

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OK! magazine is selling the Versace dress that Britney Spears wore during a melt-down photo shoot. Brit suddenly had a hankering for fried chicken -- and really, who doesn't get such hankerings while posing in Versace -- and decided to wipe her greasy fingers on the $21,000 dress.

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The magazine is now selling the dress on eBay. It's currently at $1,550. A total steal. A dab of Tide stain removal stick, a quick spritz of Febreze, and you're ready for action.

You too can look like Sienna Miller

By Courtney Hollands
04:09 PM

I'm over the whole celebrities-turned-designers trend. If I see another B-list or barely A-list star -- I'm talking to you Alyssa Milano and Paris Hilton -- churning out tacky t-shirts and dresses, I might just scream.

That said, I'm intrigued by the Miller sisters' (Sienna and lesser-known Savannah) new line, Twenty8Twelve, which includes plenty of blousy shirts and coats, leggings, and the like. You could see Sienna wearing most of the pieces and that's the point: she's a genuine tastemaker and her sister is a genuine designer (with stints at Alexander McQueen and Anya Hindmarch under her sleek leather belt). Here are a few of my fave looks so far:

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[And all that jazz...]

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[Oooo, jewel tones]

The line's website claims the collection will be available at Neiman Marcus in Natick (apparently the new fashion kingdom of New England), though I didn't see any pieces on neimanmarcus.com yet.

In related news: Fashion chameleon Chloe Sevigny will launch her own line at NY Fashion Week. So. very. excited. Even her fashion misses are daring and eclectic enough not to land her on my fugly list. Wonder whether her collection will include any prairie chic ensembles?

Fall fashion picks

By Suzanne Ryan
11:36 AM

Fall fashion season is officially here and I'm honestly excited.

I love sweaters and boy, is there a selection this time around. Gone are the tired twinsets. In their place are lovely long, popcorn-knit numbers. The sweaters hang past the hips, which is good news for most women.

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I haven't owned a sweater dress for years and I look forward to picking out a few. So far, Lord & Taylor has some good candidates.

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The idea of some wide-legs pants is also cool. Nothing like a good pair of tweed wide-leg slacks.


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I was sitting in Johnny Rockets the other day and I saw a photo on the wall of a post-World War II woman dressed in a white dress and white lace-up Oxfords. I cracked up. I told the waitress those very 1940s shoes are all the rage this fall. I don't think she believed me. Regardless, I plan on getting a pair.


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I like the metallic shine trend in fabrics. It can be quite striking. I'm a little skeptical of the patent leather trend. That can get old quickly and then you're stuck with these little girl shoes and handbags.

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Color. As my story warned today, be careful with color. A splash of cobalt blue is fabulous. But don't do a head-to-toe arrangement. Enough is enough.

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Anyone for tennis?

By Courtney Hollands
04:15 PM

Tonight Maria Sharapova will distract her opponent defend her 2006 U.S. Open title in this fierce flared dress:

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The siren-red shift, by Nike, features 600 Swarovski crystals and no-sew seams (apparently the seams were bonded with heat and silicone) and was inspired by the New York skyline, according to the tennis ace. Since when did tennis get so... stylized? It looks as if Miss Sharapova might sashay off center court and grab cocktails after her match tonight.

Well, I guess her costume could be weirder. I'm sorry Serena, but denim chafes!

Perfectly packable

By Courtney Hollands
01:23 PM

I might be a little late on the Nieves Lavi love train, but I'm now fully aboard. Key reason: I recently heard that silk jersey is the most packable, wrinkle-free material. Most of Nieves Lavi's collection of cute dresses and tunics are made of this miracle material -- the dresses even come with matching silk jersey packing bags to toss in your suitcase. Ooh-la-la and you're off to France!

Plus, the Nieves Lavi's fall collection injects some welcome color (mostly jewel tones) and bright patterns into this season's all-gray-all-the-time palette.

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[isadora print]

Love the gold paisley print. The prices are a bit steep -- $350 and up -- but think about the time you'll save not having to iron all your clothes on your next vacation or business trip! Snag Nieves Lavi online at shopbop.com or at Neiman Marcus or Saks.

The full skinny on Thom Browne

By Christopher Muther
12:01 AM

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I have an interview with Thom Browne in the Style section of today's Globe about his much-anticipated collaboration with Brooks Brothers, but there was only room for about half of his responses. Fortunately, there's plenty of room on the interweb to post the full interview.
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For those who have somehow missed news of the collaboration, Browne has created a line of clothes for men and women based around his well-known style of wool and tweed, European-fit suits. To read the full interview, click below.

By Christopher Muther
Globe Staff

On paper, it looks like the oddest pairing since Felix Unger moved his broom and air freshener into Oscar Madison's digs. But the partnering of designer Thom Browne with retail institution Brooks Brothers will allow both parties to expand their customer base when Browne's new line, called Black Fleece, goes on sale there next month. The clothes are more expensive than the usual Brooks Brothers offerings (suits will sell for $2700), and the styles more adventurous. Browne, busy with preparations for the launch of the line and his own collection, took time to answer questions about the collaboration via e-mail this week.

What did you think when you were first approached by Brooks Brothers for a collaboration?
It was a dream come true, since I've always associated Brooks Brothers as an iconic American brand. Also, I wore Brooks Brothers, my father and my grandfather wore Brooks Brothers, so I thought that this would be a great fit. The collaboration began with Anna Wintour asking me if I were ever to collaborate with a company, who would it be. So she was kind enough to make the introduction.

When designing the collection, did you take into account that these were clothes that would be sold by a store that provides clothes to business men and women, or did approach the collection as you would one of your own?
Both my own collection, and Black Fleece start from the same classical point of view. However, I'm very conscious of making sure that Black Fleece is true to Brooks Brothers, that it is a brand under the umbrella of Brooks Brothers. For my own collection, I am only responsible to myself. I like to maintain my collection as a provocative collection that makes people think. While certainly my stamp will be visible on Black Fleece, it is meant for a wider audience.

What inspired the line for Brooks Brothers? Who did you imagine wearing the clothes as you designed them?
Since Brooks Brother is a 189-year-old company, there are plenty of references and inspirations I can draw from their archives and catalogs. The wearer of Black Fleece may not be all that different from mine, in that I imagine that it would be someone who is a true individual, and independent thinker. This is for both men and women.

I understand that the pant hems will be unfinished so the customer will be able to determine his own length, are you secretly hoping customers will
hem the pant to a Thom Browne length?

The pant hems will be unfinished as my own Thom Browne collection are for stores, but they are meant to be hemmed just to hit the shoe. The point is that there shouldn't be a break in the pant leg. I know that people today think that this is short, but if you look at the way some men wear their pants in Europe, the UK and Japan, it's really not all that unusual. You even see it when watching old American films too.

This is your first, full women's collection. Did you find any challenges in adapting men's designs to women's wear?
I have actually been making suits for women by custom order at my own shop. But for Black Fleece, again, I wanted it to be based around classical ideas that derives from men's wear. The women's suit, of course, is cut differently, but I didn't want it to be a 'guy's suit' for a woman, but a men's inspired suit cut for a woman.

There has been a lot of talk about Brooks Brothers using your name to appeal to younger, more stylish customers. Are you worried that fans
of your clothes may be turned off that you're designing for a 189-year-old store that is best known for navy blazers?

As I mentioned earlier, I've always been attracted to Brooks Brothers, so I don't see how my customers would be turned off by this collaboration. And the purpose of adding Black Fleece to the Brooks Brothers umbrella is precisely to appeal to a new audience, and for the existing Brooks Brother customer as well.

The inseam, arm length, and cut of your suits is an important part of your design. Was there a particular historical time or fashion icon that
inspired the look?

It's not a literal historical reference. I've always been drawn to the American style in the late '50s and '60s. It's more about the spirit of this time that I am drawn to, as this was the time when there was a distinct American sensibility. My silhouette is not exactly the same as this period, but it's been changed to suit what I think is appealing and different.

If there was one thing you could change about the way that American men dress, what would it be?
While I think men in general should not fuss over how they look, I do feel as though they should make more an effort to find a way to look good in their own individual, but natural way. I think it's a shame that it's become acceptable to wear jeans and a T-shirt to any place and function. I always say that what I am doing has become the anti-establishment, because the jeans and T-shirt look has become so acceptable and part of the establishment.

How quickly they grow up

By Christopher Muther
04:14 PM

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Suddenly, the sleepy summer, which was never all that sleepy, seems to be over. I'm overwhelmed with cool September happenings. The latest is that Neiman Marcus is turning 100. Yes, the new (and very chic looking) Neiman's opens next month at the Natick Collection. But the birthday celebration appears to be happening at the Neiman's in Copley. Here's a list of birthday events. All of these are free and open to everyone, but at least put on a nice pair of shoes when you show up for the free cookies. I'm very excited to get my hands on the cookie recipe.

MONDAY, September 10th:
Cookie Day
Everyone who enters the store on September 10th will receive a NM chocolate chip cookie and NM recipe

Neiman Marcus Day/Lunch with the Mayor on September 10th
Mayor Menino will be in store at noon on Monday, September 10th officially proclaiming it Neiman Marcus Day.

WEDNESDAY, September 13th:
Prada Ladies shoes Trunk Show

THURSDAY, September 14th:
ETRO Men's Trunk Show
Cocktails with Kelly in Men's 6-8pm

Beauty Week Cocktail Party 6-8pm
Cocktails and makeovers, gift with purchase

FRIDAY, September 15th:
Pop Up and PopOvers
Come in from 12-2 and for pop-overs and coffee, With the New 100th Anniversary Coffee Table Pop-Up book


SATURDAY, September 16th:
Loro Piana men's trunk show

Vintage edge

By Courtney Hollands
07:42 AM

I have an old soul -- or at least that's how I like to describe my obsession with anything from the late 60s-early 70s. I dig flowing dresses, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, and especially paisley. Yum, paisley. But don't fear: I'm not going to pack my possessions into an orange VW bus and head west to a commune anytime soon -- obviously, I'd miss designer jeans, chai lattes, and pedicures waaay too much.

Instead I'm interjecting a little vintage into my today style with Rotter and Friends' witty, arty band tees. Jess Rotter and Alison Zero – friends and coworkers at music PR company Girlie Action – started the hand drawn, highly nostalgic line out of a mutual hatred for modern band shirts emblazoned with antlers and skulls.

Love 'em:

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["The Wolfking of L.A." shirt]


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["Thanks, Neil" shirt]


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["Qu est Bobbie Gentry?" shirt]

I love these shirts as much for their hip, underground references to classic bands (the "Thanks Neil" shirt features a Rotter-ized version of Young's "On the Beach" album cover; and the "Qu est Bobbie Gentry?" shirt is a nod to the mysterious subject of Gentry's single, "Ode to Billie Joe") as for their totally unique designs.

How retro!

Sale at Urban - yipee!

By Courtney Hollands
04:52 PM

Yes, Stylephilers, I know the summer is waning. The days are getting shorter, the sun getting weaker, etc. But, personally, I'm going to make the most out of August by wearing my whole new wardrobe from Urban Outfitters, purchased over the weekend ;) The bargain basement in Harvard Square is literally a treasure trove of adorable mini-dresses and t-shirt shifts at the moment -- in teals, purples, yellows, and great prints.

One of my favorite steals:

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[The Hollywood Dress by Lux in lilac]

Very Natalie Portman, circa 2005 Oscars
-- minus the whole Lanvin-sheer-gold part. Okay, so I just really like the shape and the color and the way the viscose drapes. Oh and the $29.99 price tag.

Hurry and you too could scoop up some deals to make what's left of summer absolutely stylish.

Hey Twiggy

By Christopher Muther
11:40 AM

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I'm normally Teflon when it comes to jewelry. I have no interest whatsoever. But yesterday while walking through the New York International Gift Show, I spotted jewelry that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. Laura Baxter's handmade work is so lovely that I'm going to legally change my name to Tequila Mockingbird and become a drag queen simply so I can have an excuse to wear lady's jewelry.

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Fortunately she also makes wall hangings and bowls, so I suppose I can forgo the drag route, for now. Her work sells at Motto in Cambridge, Essentia in Chestnut Hill, and the Museum of Fine Art.

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Rep your neighborhood in style

By Courtney Hollands
05:30 PM

I have a drawer full of t-shirts, some ironic, some cute, some leftover from races I've run (when they only had XXL shirts left). So, no, I don't technically *need* a new t-shirt.

But when I popped into Sherman Cafe in Somerville's Union Square -- my neighborhood -- the other day, I had to have this shirt:

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This little beauty pays tribute to the 'Ville's culinary history -- because as everyone knows, Archibald Query invented gelatinous, sugary Fluff right in Union Square in 1917. (You knew that, right?)

I'm not going to lie, though. I sometimes wish I lived in East Cambridge -- because then I could wear this infamous tee:

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Yep, Mayflower Poultry in Inman Square -- which opened in 1932 -- sells these tongue-in-cheek shirts in a variety of colors and styles: tank tops, vests, baseball jerseys. And if I ever decide I have too many t-shirts (never!), I can go for the "Live Poultry, Fresh Killed" thong.

The year of the cat

By Christopher Muther
12:47 PM

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I'm totally planning my next vaction in Thailand. There is an amusing story on Yahoo about bad cops in Thailand who are forced to wear Hello Kitty armbands as punishment for misdeeds. I can finally check off "Get arrested by Hello Kitty" from my list of life goals with one quick trip to Thailand.

Recount!

By Christopher Muther
12:32 PM

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Esquire names Tom Brady as the best-dressed man in the world in its September issue. In the world? Sure Tom's a good looking guy with a few nice suits. We ranked him as the third most stylish Bostonian in our Style section last fall. How can he suddenly be the best-dressed man in the world? I don't mean to insult Tom's sense of style, but do you think this honor has anything to do with his dimpled chin or super model girlfriend? Only that goat knows for certain.

Is Gap getting – gasp! – edgier?

By Courtney Hollands
05:00 PM

Well Stylephilers, my opinion of the Gap may soon be shifting. The retailer, purveyor of all things turtleneck, corduroy, and pleated, has again snagged my favorite shutterbug, Annie Leibovitz, to shoot their fall ad campaign: "Classics Redefined."

A taste:

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There's Selma Blair with her bedroom eyes. John Mayer with his mussed-just-right hair. Forest Whitaker with his winning smile. (The alliteration could go on and on. Seriously. Don't tempt me.) Sarah Silverman looks a little scary with her vacant eyes and awkward pose. Discuss.

You can see the whole ad campaign here -- I'm a little obsessed with these portraits.

The clothes? I do like the sweater dress and wide-leg trousers, but the rest of the collection is, well, pretty basic and yawn-inducing. However, I may just be swayed by Liev Schreiber's intense gaze to pick up a few pieces for the boyfriend...

Suited up

By Christopher Muther
11:52 AM

A show of hands from those thinking of visiting the beach this weekend? Thank you. A show of hands from those brave enough to wear one of these monokinis to the beach this weekend?
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That's what I thought.

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This is the monokini from Rosa Cha, perhaps the sexiest one-piece I've ever seen. These little numbers sell for between $350 and $400. And if you're looking for more information about purchasing one to wear to Revere Beach this weekend, check here.

And the winners are...

By Christopher Muther
11:19 AM

Vanity Fair's September issue contains its annual best-dressed list. There's no sign of the Olsen twins, but I'm quite happy that my favorite chanteuse, Charlotte Gainsboug, made the list. If you haven't bought her allbum "5:55," you're missing out on some fine, fashionable, French pop. Here are Vanity Fair's most stylish

Women
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Charlotte Gainsbourg
Princess Alexandra of Greece
Marjorie Gubelmann
Princess Mafalda of Hesse
Fran Lebowitz
Michelle Obama
Bee Shaffer
Tilda Swinton
Ivanka Trump
Renée Zellweger

Men
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Tiki Barber
Jonathan Becker
Count Manfredi Della Gherardesca
Lapo Elkann
Richard E. Grant
Lenny Kravitz
Luis and Rafael Medina
Hidetoshi Nakata
Nicolas Sarkozy
Gay Talese

Couples
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David and Victoria Beckham
The Earl and Countess of Cawdor
Damon Dash and Rachel Roy
Frédéric Fekkai and Shirin von Wulffen
Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
David Lauren and Lauren Bush
Viscount and Viscountess Linley
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Ruben and Isabel Toledo

Hall of Fame
Alba Clemente
George Clooney
Marina Rust Connor
Anderson Cooper
Sofia Coppola
Jemima Khan
Anna Piaggi

My so-called glamour

By Christopher Muther
03:35 PM

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Claire Danes is looking incredibly glamorous at the opening of "Stardust" yesterday in Hollywood. The movie looks terrible, but she looks fab. This backless dress is quite sexy.

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And speaking of sexy, can we take a moment to soak in the amazing perfection of Michelle Pfeiffer? I thought she reached her peak as Catwoman, but I saw her in "Hairspray" over the weekend, and it's like she's invented a time machine that has taken her face back to 1994. Incredible. She's working a perfect little Valentino dress at the "Stardust" opening.

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Sex sells?

By Christopher Muther
03:24 PM

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Apologies for the lousy scan, but here's the new face of Marc Jacobs. REM lead singer Michael Stipe appears in ads for Jacobs's fall line. Funny, I think I wore those same blue trousers back in the days when I worked at Fotomat. Below is the ad with text (in an even lousier scan). Iggy Pop for John Varvatos, Michael Stipe for Marc Jacobs... when will we have Tom Jones for Calvin Klein?
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Oh, wear a tie already

By Christopher Muther
02:26 PM

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I'm not one for being nitpicky about celebrity fashion (on public blogs, that is), but I'm finding it irksome that Cambridge eye candy Ben Affleck showed up to the premiere of his BFF's movie last night looking like he just finished a shift at Citibank. Here he is, sans tie, at the premiere of 'The Bourne Ultimatum' in Hollywood. Some suits are better without ties. This is not one of those suits.

Rihanna is sooo thoughtful!

By Courtney Hollands
12:33 AM

Yes, that's right. This 19-year-old Barbadian beauty-slash-R&B singer would like to make sure you stay dry next time you go out in a storm. That's why Rihanna has partnered with Totes to launch her own line of umbrellas (ella, ella -- sorry, couldn't resist), capitalizing on the name of her recent hit song, "Umbrella."

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Based on the picture above -- edgy bangs, triangle earrings, for crying out loud! -- you'd expect funky and fierce protective raingear from Miss Thang, right?

Wrong. Her umbrella line is totally boring. All the umbrellas come in solid colors, some with "Rihanna" stenciled on the side. Sure, her tunes are catchy -- but Rihanna probably shouldn't follow in the footsteps of fellow musicians-cum-clothing designers (Gwen Stefani, Jessica Simpson, et al.)

I'm actually a sucker for a cute umbrella -- and I usually love Urban Outfitters' irreverent selection. I don't want to jinx the weekend with rain, but I'm craving this grandma-chic, flowered UO umbrella. Enjoy:

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Brown and RISD launch dual degree program

By Suzanne Ryan
10:29 AM

Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design have created a partnership where students can cross-register for classes and earn both a Bachelor of Arts from Brown and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from RISD in five years.

The program will launch in 2008-2009. As part of the program, students will be expected to study a semester or a year abroad.

What great preparation for future designers.

Well-heeled

By Christopher Muther
06:07 PM

I recently wrote a story about the Shoe Club. Based on the reaction to the piece, I know there are plenty of ladies out there (and a few fancy lads) who are crazy about shoes.
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The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto is showing part of its collection at the Boston Center for the Arts Calderwood Pavilion through July 28. You can see everything from Marilyn Monroe's red silk boudoir slippers (above) to kooky 19th century clogs that were worn in France to crush chestnuts. There's really no excuse not to check this out because it's free. Canadians are so generous, eh? (sorry) After viewing the shoes, I recommend a Lemon Drop Martini at 28 Degrees. The mojito at the Beehive is also pretty tasty, but good luck getting a table.

Polyesterday

By Christopher Muther
03:36 PM

Since I'm feeling like a blogging machine this afternoon, I need to share the most amazing You Tube clip, ever! (said without the slightest hint of hyperbole). This is professional hoofer Gwen Verdon working one very hot polyester pantsuit on the Ed Sullivan show. Talk about style. I'd like to see the pantsuit make a comeback for fall -- any volunteers?

I'm posting two versions of the clip. The original, in which Gwen kicks it to the tune of "Mexican Breakfast," and mash up, where she and her sassy dancers go hip-hop to "Walk it Out."

Here's the original:

and "Walk it Out":

This is genius!

By Christopher Muther
02:33 PM

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Harper's Bazaar worked the Simpsons into a fall fashion spread by illustrating the family with fashion designers and supermodel Linda Evangelista. So smart. Chanel and Viktor & Rolf are particularly brilliant.

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This bag's for the birds

By Courtney Hollands
06:17 PM

And while we're on the subject of bags, I'm pleasantly surprised by the bird-themed numbers at aerie. Yes aerie, the lounging and lingerie sub-brand by American Eagle Outfitters. High style, n'est-ce pas?

(If you must know, I stumbled into this old high school haunt at CambridgeSide Galleria looking for a beach tote last week. I didn't buy any preppy-yet-sparkly halter tops or madras hot pants, I swear!)

But, honestly, how great is this bag:

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Red and just twee enough. I could see my favorite store Magpie in Davis Square carrying something like this.

"I just want an Anya Hindmarch Bag"

By Courtney Hollands
05:33 PM

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Starting tomorrow, you -- like Jessica "Buff" Biel -- can buy this popular, cheeky reusable caryall at select Whole Foods markets in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. (Though I'm sure that Jessica got hers on special pre-order; contrary to what US Magazine may think, celebrities are not like us.)

The bags cost about $15 each -- compared to the between $500-$1,500 you'll shell out for a regular Anya bag -- and were previously only available in the UK. These totes have gained an almost cult-like following -- especially since British darlings Keira Knightly and Lily Cole have taken a liking to them.

Now I'm sure that some people are only buying these trendy bags for the name, but I admire the small, stylish seeds of change. As long as people realize that being green takes more than a trendy tote...

Personally, I'll stick to my reusable, uber-trendy Trader Joe's sacks:

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Check me out.

Oh really, J.Crew?

By Courtney Hollands
05:13 PM

As I was flipping through J.Crew's July catalogue -- in all its glossy, preppy glory -- I noticed this "new" style of denim:

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Now, I do like most of J.Crew's summer collection, especially their rainbow of simple tank-tops and cute swimsuits (I also love the orange jacket on this model!), but carpenter jeans?? Their stylists missed the mark with this one. Carpenter jeans -- remember unisex Carhartts? -- were cool to wear with flannel shirts when I was in sixth grade. They just aren't flattering, and certainly don't conform to curves.

Perhaps this lithe model is truly an artist, about to place a hammer in her handy jean loop and re-seat the chairs in the photo -- but I doubt it. Listen up, J.Crew buyers: Move away from workwear and stick to sailing, schmoozing, and polo matches. Cheers!

When leggings go bad

By Courtney Hollands
11:37 PM

Hi, K.T. Tunstall. Olivia Newton-John called. She wants her gold lame leggings back. It's time to get physical.

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[Photo by Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images]

Granted K.T. was rocking out this weekend for a good cause -- Live Earth New York -- but she was proclaiming her message a little too loudly, don't you think?

There was a time (well, earlier this year) when I unilaterally hated leggings of all color, stripe, and style. I bemoaned the inevitable -- or so I thought -- return of scrunchies, big hair, t-shirt ties, and other '80s fashion sins. But then, something wonderful happened. Paired with blousy tunics and stylish long t-shirts, leggings actually look sophisticated and chic.

I have yet to buy my first pair, but you can bet that they won't look like K.T.'s glam-rock tights. I also won't be purchasing the "Vegas" leggings by American Apparel for obvious reasons.

When bands and models meet

By Christopher Muther
12:09 PM

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On St. Patrick's Day I went to a fashion show at Felt (there are so many things wrong with that sentence), and it was quite an adventure. There's another one coming up next Friday night, July 13, and I find it interesting that no designers are mentioned on the flyer. It's bands, models, and ... funk? I'm all for funk, but I like a little fashion at my fashion shows too.

OK, I'm not complaining. After all, it's free, and I'm all for folks who take it upon themselves to promote fashion (and funk).


Zaralicious

By Courtney Hollands
05:14 PM

Apparently, the buyers at Zara know my deepest, darkest soap opera fantasy: to marry a European prince or mogul and spend my days frolicking on Italian and Greek beaches in casual, yet painfully chic attire.

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And Zara's clothes are pretty cute back in the real world too.

I probably clocked a good three to four hours trolling the aisles of this fast-fashion retail giant while in Rome and Florence last week. Thankfully -- for my credit card's sake -- I only bought some fun, perforated patent leather flats and seriously hemmed and hawed over a flirty, lavender jersey knit mini-dress (didn't buy it after all).

Move over H&M: I can't wait for fabulous Zara to open at the Natick Collection this year and on Newbury Street next year. And -- be still my bargain-loving heart -- the Spanish retailer recently announced plans to move into the former Filene's space in Downtown Crossing.

Prince of Liechtenstein, my bags are packed!

'My So-Called Scarlett'

By Courtney Hollands
10:09 AM

Whoa. Scarlett Johansson is pulling a total Angela-Chase-chaneling-G.I. Jane in this not-so-hot ensemble:

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Yes, Stylephilers, I know it's summer -- hence more relaxed style standards -- but there is simply no excuse for the mismatched shades of green and bunchy pleated shorts. The (hopefully) fake tattoo and bull nose ring are the icing on this travesty. And is that a pager clipped to her braided belt?

At least she's rocking some chic Ray-Ban shades. Now, I love me some Jordan Catalano, but I'm at a loss with Scar-Jo's most recent look.

Image source

Girls on film!

By Christopher Muther
04:10 PM

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The School of Fashion Design on Newbury Street is screening a series of short fashion films on Wednesday nights throughout the summer in front of the school. It's like going to the drive-in for fashion films -- minus the gratuitous car sex. This Wednesday, June 27. you can see a short film featuring the fashions of South End designer (and occasional drag queen) Daniel Faucher. On July 18, check out the designs of Fiandaca (as seen in the photo above). Other designers participating in the films are Denise Hajjar (July 25), Myre Designs (Aug. 1) and OKW (Aug. 8).

The films have all been made locally by Guerilla Fashion, and start at approximately 8:30.

Earth to Calvin Klein

By Christopher Muther
03:30 PM

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It's fashion week in Milan, and Calvin Klein is calling occupants of interplanetary craft with his spring/summer 2008 line. I applaud fashion bravery, but salmon-colored suits? Powder blue jump suits? Bike shorts and sweaters? I'm sorry Calvin, but I can't get behind your deep love of 1986.

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Show off your pedicure

By Christopher Muther
03:30 PM

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I don't think caipirinhas technically qualify as a "style" subject, but stay with me here, kids. The patio at Pops in the South End opened today, and they're serving up $5 caipirinhas. Is there any better excuse for slipping into a little sumpthin' sumpthin' summery and having a perfect cocktail on a perfect day? I think not.

Behind the scenes fashion

By Christopher Muther
10:53 AM

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Two weeks ago, I spent a very long day on the roof of the Colonnade Hotel working on the fashion spread that appears in today's Style & Arts section. My friends enjoying ribbing me about my job (putting hotties in swimsuits), but what they don't realize is that styling a photo shoot involves finding a location, researching and picking up all the clothes for the shoot, finding hair and make-up people, and then making sure everyone is there at the appointed hour.

Aside from some issues with swimsuits revealing too much, everything went surprisingly smooth. In between dressing models and holding lights for the photographer, I took a few behind the scenes pics of the action.
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Is it cold in here or ...?

By Courtney Hollands
05:19 PM

I was sifting through the photos from Sao Paulo Fashion Week today, when I noticed some models with, er, interesting make-up:

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Just when I thought lifeguard chic had gone out of style! The models showing Carlota Joakina's 2008 spring/summer collection yesterday all rocked neon blue, pink, and orange zinc oxide-esque lipstick. And the clothes? Joakina rips a page from the American Apparel catalogue with her roomy, no-fuss designs in vivid, comfy-looking fabrics. Think non-structured jumpers layered over tank tops and stretchy leggings.

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The high cost of a beach day

By Christopher Muther
03:14 PM

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It's not exactly beach weather today, but I'm daydreaming about warm, sunny surf, and naturally my mind drifts toward accessories. Beach towels are creeping up near $500 this summer. You can still pick up a SpongeBob towel for $10 at Target, but this Hermes towel is (hold onto your trunks) $470. Who am I kidding, I'd still like to get my paws on it.
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If you're looking for a bargain, this Pucci towel can be had for $285 at Barneys New York. But I'm sorry, it's just not as much fun as the Hermes elephant.
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Extra crispy fashion

By Christopher Muther
02:20 PM

I'm just starting to think about Father's Day gifts (I know, I'm a terrible son), and this came across my desk.KFCMenGrey.jpg
I figure that my father likes T-shirts, and he defintely likes the Colonel's secret blend of seven herbs and spices. It's the perfect gift, no? The shirts are $15, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.

My story about the $10,000 jacket

By Suzanne Ryan
10:05 AM

I spent virtually my entire workday yesterday shopping at Neimans and Saks Fifth Avenue. Boy, was that exhausting!

I was pulling clothes to use in an upcoming photo shoot. What a joy it is to shop with no regard for price.

When you spend hours in a department store, though, the shoppers become much more interesting than the clothes.

One woman at Neimans was thrilled to find a pair of fall black patent leather designer flats on sale for $300. She called her mother over to show her.

"These are probably from last season," she said. Still, she couldn't resist a bargain. Cha ching!

Later I saw models wandering around with champagne. Of course, I had to find the party. It was a Chanel trunk show. A chance to see the latest Paris-Monte Carlo collection.


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Neimans is hoping to ring up thousands in sales over two days, not a big deal when you consider: one of the jackets is $10,000!

That doesn't include a skirt or pants. Throw it on with jeans I guess.

Here's a slideshow of the collection. The jacket for 10 grand is No. 5...


Comfy chic

By Courtney Hollands
12:03 AM

It's official: T-shirt dresses are my new summer staples. Looking fashionable has never been so breezy -- slap on a flirty t-shirt dress with bangles and bright flats and you're good to go. Marc Jacobs has been pushing the short-sleeve dress look for a few years on the runway; and now these yummy dresses are accessible to the mainstream. Longer varieties can be worn to work with sophisticated accessories, or over pants, while their shorter siblings should stick to the street or beach.

I like this option from Michael Stars -- though I wish there were more colors to choose from (currently, the "Lily" dress comes in black, mossy green, and pink):

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The empire waist, tiny buttons, and slouchy front pockets are nice touches.

And if I actually want to stretch my paycheck a bit farther (I do need some new sandals, after all), I'll opt for this number at American Apparel ($30, yo!):

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Oh, fickle fashion gods, don't let this good thing end!

Note: A ginormous t-shirt is not the same thing as a t-shirt dress (horrible. '80s. flashback.). Make sure that your dress fits in the shoulders and has some room through the hips -- it should look subtly feminine, not shapeless.

Adora that fedora

By Courtney Hollands
12:24 PM

Colin Farrell is the latest star to don the celeb headgear du jour: a fedora. Everyone from Kate Moss to Britney Spears, Sienna Miller to Justin Timberlake has been wearing these snappy hats -- and I'm pretty sure Ashlee Simpson hasn't removed hers since October '06.

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Hats off (pun intendend) to stars and everyday people who rock the fedora. I think the classic toppers add sophistication, a little gangster and film noir mystery, to any going out ensemble.

If I were to invest in a fedora, I'd stop by ravinstyle.com first. Currently, the online boutique carries fedoras by Cha Cha's House of Ill Repute. You want feathers with that fedora? No problem! How about a black-and-white number with a reclining nude woman silhouetted on the side? Look at you!

Sweet dreams are made of this

By Christopher Muther
11:40 AM

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One of my fav websites, Fredflare.com, is selling these Holly Golightly sleep masks, exact replicas of the mask that Audrey Hepburn wore in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for $12.

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Perfect for dozing off while listening to your Henry Mancini greatest hits album.

From A to Zooey

By Courtney Hollands
05:30 PM

I have a raging style crush on actress Zooey Deschanel. So, naturally, when I found out that she was on the cover of Jane magazine this month (she also stars in the issue's campy beach photo spread, wearing bathing costumes and peering through inner tubes), I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to gush a little.

Whether Zooey -- yes, we are on a first-name basis -- is wearing leggings and a striped jumper, heavy bangs and an intriguing dress, or t-shirt and jeans, the actress always stays true to her quirky fashion sense. She's never boring. No strapless, basic black gowns for this fashionista.

The best part about her fashion sense? It's completely unassuming -- she always looks great, but doesn't make a point to steal the show. How refreshing.

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ps. And if I need further proof that Zooey is, in fact, the queen of hipster cool: she plays Cheryl in the recent movie, "Live Free or Die" -- which is, of course, my homestate's rockin' motto.

Here comes the fashion plate

By Christopher Muther
11:00 AM

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I've been checking out photos from this week's Barcelona Bridal Week fashion shows, just in case I decide to get married in drag someday. By far my favorite are these dream-like designs from Ruben Perlotti. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the Bjork-like eye make-up, but I think these bridal dresses are gorgeous.
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Wayfaring celebs

By Courtney Hollands
10:44 PM

I'm so-so on Ray-Ban Wayfarers. I think they are a bit boxy and overpowering for my face -- but young Hollywood has certainly jumped on the Ray-Bandwagon.

Case in point: Ashley Olsen hearts Wayfarers (Look, she's almost smiling. Almost.)

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At any rate, Wayfarer-wearing scenesters like Sienna Miller, Drew Barrymore and Brandon Flowers are in good style company -- hip tastemakers (think Audrey Hepburn, Bob Dylan, Deborah Harry, Z.Z. Top) have been sporting these iconic shades since 1952.

Check out this gallery of Wayfarer devotees, past and present.

A little crow told me

By Christopher Muther
05:00 PM

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Last week I wrote a column in Sidekick about hanging with my favorite Norwegian pop star, Sondre Lerche. What I didn't mention in that story -- primarily because Sidekick readers are not as fashionable as you, Stylephilers -- is that Sondre and I were wearing the same clothing brand.

I am a total junkie for a California-based company called Modern Amusement. Sondre was wearing the Modern Amusement crow logo on his white belt and on his jacket, I had the tell-tale crow on my sweater. We bonded immediately (at least I'd like to think that we did) over our shared love of laid-back style. The clothes are sophisticated, fun, and well-made with incredible attention to details such as unique buttons and cool patterns.
Here's Sondre at the Institute of Contemporary Art in his Modern Amusement belt and jacket...
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Uniform in the South End carries Modern Amusement, if you're interested in checking it out in person. And in case you missed it, Kevin Dillon wore Modern Amusement on "Entourage" earlier this month. Man, that crow got some major free advertising on Drama's chest.
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Make summer pop

By Courtney Hollands
01:52 PM

Looking for comfy, candy-colored flats to literally put spring (and summer) in your step? Check out these leather cut-out "Celine" ballet flats from Sam Edelman:

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The shoes come in a rainbow of right-now colors, including lemon yellow, deep green, ocean blue, and red. They are the perfect anecdote to the "wearing neutrals to the office" rut -- and also look great paired with straight-leg jeans on the weekend.

How do I know all this insider info? I bought the yellow pair two weeks ago and they already have serious mileage on them. (Bonus: These lightweight flats also double as sandals for those of us who haven't ponied up for a proper pre-summer pedi yet. This weekend, I promise!)

Target, you have my heart

By Courtney Hollands
11:28 PM

I've been salivating over Patrick Robinson's hip line for Target since I saw the bold, brown-and-white medallion print tunic featured in April's InStyle magazine. Sadly, when I received said tunic in the mail (three cheers for online shopping!) and tried it on, I looked more like a chic, shapeless paper bag than a hot Mediterranean boho chick.

As if I would give up that easily. I stormed my local Somerville Target and tried on every piece featuring Robinson's signature medallion print until I found a flattering fit to my liking: a cute bubble skirt.

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The rest of the collection is hit-or-miss, with some stylish tanks and dresses mixed in among the unwearable masses, but who's complaining? Designer fashion at too-good-to-be-true prices? Yes, please!

Up next at Target: Libertine, Alice Temperley.

Beware of creeping waistlines

By Courtney Hollands
11:01 PM

This just in: Hollywood starlets are slowly being swallowed alive by high-waisted pants!

Why, oh why:

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Mischa Barton is rocking bona fide mom jeans (minus the tapered legs, but still). I'm pretty sure Miss Thang is a twig -- but this unflattering style gives her a definite bunchy paunch in the front. And what's with the ratty, tucked-in tee? Mischa, fire your stylist, stat. Other celebs who have recently sported high-waisted styles include Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, and Scarlett Johansson.

I, for one, am not a fan of this recent style epidemic. Viva the low-rise revolution!

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Saturday night: Fashion, music, art, and hipsters

By Christopher Muther
03:15 PM

For the five of us not going to out-of-town this weekend, 280 Studios and Birdhead Design are sponsoring a party of beats, fashion, and art in Fort Point Channel Saturday night. Here's the flyer.

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I wrote a story about Michael Crigler and Birdhead Design last year for Style & Arts. He makes poltically charged T's that are subtle and arty. The kind of designs that make statements about the environment and war, but aren't shrill about it. He has finally set up an online store for his clothes, so if you're too sunburned to get to the party, you can shop here.


Shoe York City

By Christopher Muther
02:40 PM

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Saks in NYC will devote its entire eighth floor to shoes this summer, carrying 10,000 pairs. The department will be so big, it's getting its own zip code, 10022-shoe. Today's New York Post, natch, has the low down.

Attention Newbury Street shoppers...

By Christopher Muther
02:24 PM

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My friends at Marc Jacobs just sent me an e-mail letting me know that the store's spring/summer ready-to-wear collection for men and women is 40 percent off. Marc by Marc women's shoes are 40 percent off. Select accessories are also 40 percent off. Given that it's a warm sunny day, I think a saunter down Newbury Street may be in order.
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Garnish thyself

By Courtney Hollands
10:40 PM

Dear big, chunky, colorful necklaces: I love you. Not only do you have enchanting good looks, you have personality. You captivate rooms and make a statement wherever I go.

Lately, I've been craving pieces by Garnish, a jewelry designer based in Marblehead. All of the unique -- and oh-so-chunky -- baubles are handmade by Kati Enscoe.

A particular favorite: this "hot pink jade teardrop" necklace.

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Note the lime jade detail and cute stars at the clasp. And I'm swooning.

Locally, you can grab Garnish at Mint Julep in Cambridge and Brookline, or at the Beauty Mark on Charles St.

My daughter asked me to buy her Crocs today

By Suzanne Ryan
09:25 AM

No! Those hideous plastic shoes.

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She says everyone in her elementary school is raving about how comfortable they are.

Since when do first graders care about comfort?

Absolutely not. Not even to play in the yard.

I will never, ever, pay money for those shoes.

Bring on the next fashion trend please!

Hey baby

By Christopher Muther
04:30 PM

I find purchasing baby gifts to be as pleasurable as giving my cat a bath. Cute tends to give me a bit of a rash. There is, however, a company called Wry Baby that makes very cool baby clothes. Not cool as in hipster baby outfits (sorry, Shiloh) but cheeky and fun, which is exactly what a baby should be.

Here are a couple of designs. There's a bunch more at the web site wrybaby.com.
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