Author Agnes Smedley once wrote "I see no reason why a woman should not grow and develop in all those outlets which are suited to her nature, it matters not at all what they may be". Though perhaps not her intention, her words echo the sentiments of satisfied Designer outlet mall shoppers.
Though outlet malls exist globally, the US, with its already stellar conversion rates and monopoly on the "bigger is better" shopping centers, seemingly has the most wonderful of these outlets. The deals are so good they are worth salivating over and often the merchandise is so seasonal it is practically right off the catwalk!
My favorite outlet malls are along the east coast of America from the north (in the mountains right outside of New York City) to the south (Orlando, Florida). Outlet malls tend to be conveniently located near vacation hotspots so they are often scenic and accessible! The Premium Outlets in Orlando, the Wrentham Premium Outlets in Massachusetts, and Woodbury Commons in New York are each filled with brilliant shops and fabulous atmospheres that are completely unique to the locale!
However, similar to other great shopping experiences (vintage shopping, market shopping, etc) there is always the problem of scouring through the numerous options to find the places worth going to.
Generally with outlet malls, shoppers spend much of their time looking for a bargain on their visit. Some people may have an idea of what they want; other will have brands they want to purchase. However, the most successful of shoppers approach these malls without anything specific in mind. There are so many great sales on gorgeous items, but when shopping for something specific you may find that you cannot find exactly what it is you are looking for.
Orlando Premium Outlet Mall is an excellent outlet but requires some hunting effort. The mall is filled with luxurious brands including La Perla, Locaste, Donald J. Plinar, Diesel, Kenneth Cole, Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Dior. These stores often deeply discount but tend to require time, as you will have to search for the items worth the bargain. However, one can often strike gold! Early this summer I found a gorgeous Burberry Lawson bag for just $700 down from its originally price of $1500! Located just minutes away from Disney World, these outlets are a great stop during holidays with the family (8200 Vineland Avenue, Orlando, FL 32821, (407) 238-7787)!
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets are located in the Berkshires, Massachusetts about 45 minutes from Boston. Like the Orlando Outlets Wrentham has a large and wonderful selection of brands. This popular mall is perfect for someone on a slightly lower budget then the Orlando Premium Outlets. There are over 200 different shops including Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Saks, Juicy, Uggs, Coach, Theory, Barney’s, and BCBG. Whilst the discounts and finds are excellent at this mall one should take heed that this is a very crowded shopping center (think Notting Hill Carnival crowds). However, it is totally worth it, the merchandise is very seasonal and I always a great price. One example is my recent find of a lovely Armani leather coat at Barneys for nearly ½ price at $350! The outlet is located at: One Premium Outlets Boulevard, Wrentham, MA 02093, (508) 384-0600.
The crème de la crème of outlet shopping is hands down Woodbury Commons in New York (about an hour outside the city). Fashionista across the globe will travel far and wide for this buried treasure! Woodbury is the type of shoppers’ mecca where to go there you must love to clothes, bargains and shopping. It is very crowded and very big but is equally brimming with luxury brands and has equally luxurious deals! Some of the many, many shops include, Balenciaga, Burberry, Betsey Johnson, Coach, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tod’s, Tory Burch and much, much more! Whether you are looking for something specific or are just wanting to see what’s out there you will find it here! Every time I am in the States (no matter how inconvenient it may be) I make sure to hit up this shopping paradise. I bring back all my gorgeous finds to London and happily strut around in my seasonal must-haves (that I got for ½ the price)! I have gone once already this summer (but am actually going again at the end of the month) and got some fabulous Rock and Republic jeans for under $100, Prada loafers for $200 and a fabulous more then 30% off on a Chanel Cruise Collection ‘09 handbag! Woodbury is easily my top favorite place to shop retail in the world! Located at: 498 Red Apple Court, Central Valley, NY 10917, (845) 928-4000.
The process of assembling your autumnal wardrobe can be a daunting experience. Often the desire for multiple new pieces combined with a tight budget can make a girl feel overwhelmed! These outlet shops allow a girl to have a bit of luxury without the guilt! So, the next time you are travelling my fellow fashionistas (and feeling that you want to be recession savvy) it is worth investing your time and money in these marvelous Outlets!
I recently went to visit Camille Roman of La Tour de Force in her studio as I needed some hats for a shoot. Of course I fell in love with her oversized bows! I had a chance to ask her some questions about her work:
What inspired you to become a hat maker?
CR – I love that creating hats allows you to form a landscape for a concentrated area of the body. I have been designing hugely elaborate couture looks since I was small, though back then they were costumes for a troupe of figure-skating dancers with gymnastic capabilities. I started making hats as it allowed me to realise some of these idea of a smaller scale, in a way that I could afford to produce them.
How would you describe your style?
CR – I like drama and extremes, so extremely minimal or extremely complicated in a visible way. I am really interested in how people form visual association, so there are always a lot of literal references in the collections. Always the aim is to create something dramatic or humorous while covetable at the same time. If I was going to verbal mash-it though, I would say;
Parisian glamour + Japanese abstraction.
You’ve recently moved to designing garments has that been a natural progression for you?
CR – Totally, I have always designed clothing alongside the Headpieces, and a lot of the time the details easily translate well in either form. At the moment I am still focusing on creating garments that work as components in the way that accessories do. The next season’s collection is called ‘The Peripheral Ingredient’ because there will be a mixture of Headpiece and Clothing which essentially have the same role in an outfit.
Did your experiences at Lanvin, Zac Posen and Johnny Loves Rosie influence you?
CR – Definitely, I think your experiences in other design houses always help you work out how you want to run your own business. I have always gone away from these places having more respect for the designers because of the way they operate with alot of integrity. I think it is really important to get things done perfectly, but always make sure that the people you work with are having a good experience. Working such long hours in fashion- you really have to enjoy it or what’s the point!
Do you wear your headpieces?
CR – As strange as it sounds, I only wear them in the creative process. I am pretty minimal in terms of my personal style, i could just wear a tapered pillowcase every day, therefore I am not interested in designing for myself as I find that pretty limiting. I love to design pieces that I want to see on other people, and that I think they will want. It is so satisfying to see other people wearing something you have made, and for me it’s about the realistation of an idea that can be used.
What advice do you have for students wanting to study fashion?
CR – I think it is really important to see your limitations as opportunity to be more creative. I think fashion is a pretty difficult subject psychologically because there is often so much pressure and a lot of competition within institutions. I think it is really important only to make sure judge yourself by your own standards and be objective, so that you can enjoy it as much as possible and always be sure of your purpose…. When people leave education, I believe it is the confidence in being able to achieve what you want and like that will keep you going, and is probably the most important thing to gain before you graduate.
I’m not really a festival kind of gal, I’m a little bit scared of the mud, the rain and the gross gross toilets but I decided to brave it this year, put on my dancing shoes (lace-up brogues) and head to Chelmsford for the V Festival.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t camp (don’t be silly!) I went along for one day and for one day only. It was brilliant though and I had such an amazing time.
The overwhelming decision about what to wear to a festival is ridiculously hard though wouldn’t you agree? You don’t want to look like you tried too hard but you really don’t want to fade into the background either. You want to look stylish and chic yet still be comfortable.
In my head I had the perfect outfit, I wanted a little studded leather mini, a black t-shirt and a pair of black plimsolls (I wanted to look a bit Debbie Harry esque) but then the sun came out to play and scuppered my plan.
So I chose a playsuit in the end. I’ve not worn one before but boy do I love my lil Topshop number. It has a gorgeous ditzy floral print on it and it was so comfy I could have done cartwheels if I could remember how to do them.
The weather was gorgeous, the atmosphere sensational and the style on show was fab. Having seen the celeb pictures from the entire festival I think my top three looks from those that went were Rosie Huntington Whitely, purely for her fab hat, Lily Allen for her sheer cami and her toned figure, and Peaches Geldof for her long flowing Woodstock esque hair but I felt fab in my lil playsuit and that’s all that matters.
In any professional field there is always someone that is an inspiration. A muse of sorts who is top of the ladder… In football there maybe David Beckham, in fashion you may think of Coco Chanel and in the world of Hollywood makeup there is Mr. Marvin Westmore! I’ve recently spent an hour on the phone chatting with Marv’. He graciously has invited me out to Los Angeles to come and run a catwalk fashion class at his world renown makeup college-The Westmore Academy. His academy started in 1981 and they have a real "artists" approach to makeup. In some of their courses they teach drawing, colour theory, and psychology of colour.
Marvin is a six time Emmy nominated, third generation professional Hollywood Makeup Artist, with a history of over 35 years in consumer makeup and in the Motion Picture & Television industry. His family are a makeup artist dynasty and they have the star on the Hollywood walk of fame to prove it! You may recognise his work in such cult classics as Blade Runner. I had to ask him "You were the makeup artist for ultra cool movie- Blade Runner- what was it like working on that? Creating the looks? Did you realise at the time when working on it, that it would be such an iconic cult film?" and he so humbly replied "I did what was asked of me for the job, I just do what is required of me to best of my ability as with any film, you never really know how it will turn out until it all comes together."
I also ask him the question I always love to ask other makeup artists "What products do you think are essential in a makeup artists kit?" I was pleasantly surprised to hear such a simple and sensible response which was "Lipsticks, cream colours for shadows and RMK foundations; all easily mixed. Keep the kit light and small for trave.l"
And would you believe even with his stellar career, he managed to father 5 children! I’m looking forward to meeting Mr. Westmore in person at the end of the year. We haven’t worked out the exact dates of the upcoming course but we are hoping to plan a course for January 2010 – so watch this space. I’d also suggest checking out Marvin Westmore’s personal blog.
We love t-shirts for so many reasons – it might be the perfect cut or the softest fabric but for many it’s all about the image. I love this image, it’s from a t-shirt for the band The Damned. Optical illusion can be quite fun as it’s a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation.
Girlie Alert-For all of you who love a bit of pink! The ultimate chick stick- Clinique vitamin c lip smoothie in the colour- Pink me up. An awesome shade of rose pink gloss with a hint of shimmer frost thrown in. Barbie lips personified. So this weeks product crush!
Celebrate the versatility of the Liberty print – this is the department store’s brick façade that faces Carnaby Street painted with the classic Betsy floral print! Arthur Liberty first began printing fabrics in 1875. The exhibition has a series of one-off pieces that have been specially commissioned giving a whole new meaning to textile design!
The hand-sewn boudoir dolls have a 50s pin-up/ femme fatale about them are created by textile artist Amanda Fatheraz. I love the Wendy House, it’s covered in strips of Liberty fabric developed by Liberty print enthusiast and art student Helen Benigson. It’s a small but very full exhibition so you can go through it quite quickly but it’s really worth taking your time and looking everything from the bicycle basket to the furniture. The exhibit ends on Wednesday September 2nd 2009.
Like most girls I love shoes, but there is nothing worse then running around London on appoitments and having sore feet. When my feet hurt I can’t think about anything else other then taking my shoes off. I’m a lover of boots – I always find them easy to wear and I can walk all day in them.
Neosens is a Spanish footwear brand from the La Rioja region. They’ve been around for over thirteen years and sell worldwide.
I love the leather of these boots and I’m very partial to anything that has an old world/Victorian feel
Shoe shoppers often forget to ask themselves: does this shoe suit my foot and leg shape – the same goes for boots. I’m quite short and I tend to love the mid-boot – it makes my legs look longer.
It always amazes me how much colour and a few details can change the look of something. The boots below are the same style but different fabrics and so they end up having a very different look!
There are so many interesting jobs in fashion and it’s hard to learn what people really do. I had the opportunity to ask Jessica Bumpus from VOGUE.COM a few questions about her job.
What does a Fashion Features Editor do?
JB – As fashion features editor at VOGUE.COM I write and break daily fashion news (with my colleague Lauren Milligan), interview designers, compile and edit the VOGUE.COM Loves page (looking for interesting new designers, products, places etc. to feature), edit and compile the Street Chic pages (whereupon I take to the streets of London – or go to places like Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot – to find the capital’s most stylish people), as well as attend/cover events and the shows during Fashion Week – which I especially love. It’s busy, varied and exciting – again, all of which I love.
What is the best part about your job?
JB – The variety, and the fact it’s the job that I always wanted to do – being a fashion journalist – and I’m actually doing it. One day I could be out reporting on the shows during London Fashion Week, another I could be filming or politely chasing someone down the street to take their picture for Street Chic and on another I’ll be wading through hundreds of emails in the office.
Another great part of my job is the people I get to meet and work with; from new designers that you’re really excited about to established designers that you’ve admired for so long, and the rest of the VOGUE.COM fashion team.
Who is your favourite writer?
JB – That’s a really difficult question and depends on what exactly I’m reading, though I don’t think I have just one favourite – I just like to read as much as I can by a variety of people. It’s always good to get a different perspective on things.
What are you reading right now?
JB – The new issue of Vogue, J.B. Priestley’s The Good Companions and Carrie’s War – which I saw at the theatre at the weekend and just loved. I’m also getting excited about the new Philippa Gregory books that are coming out.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into the fashion industry?
JB – Work hard, be willing, keen and enthusiastic – but be realistic – and try and do as much work experience as you can. It’s the way in and it’s invaluable in terms of you learning about yourself and developing your own skills, as well as finding out about the way the industry works, which is something that can’t be taught in a classroom.
I’ve heard you never wear the same outfit twice. Is this true?
JB – Um, possibly! Though it’s not necessarily on purpose – I do just have a very vast wardrobe and pluck things out from years and years ago that people have never seen before, mixed with new purchases and old favourites. I like to think of it as collecting!
What is your favourite flavour of crisps?
JB – I’m not too keen on crisps but if I had to make a choice it would be Walkers Worcester Sauce or Flamin’ Hot Monster Munch, I think.
I’ve been a freelance makeup artist for about 13 years. The photo shoots and fashion shows I work on today didn’t always come easy. I had to work at it…a lot! I paid my dues and honed my craft not only by assisting other artists but by working at makeover studios, kids face painting,doing weddings and like many other aspiring makeup artists out there, I worked on counter for various cosmetic companies. I was a part time consultant for MAC in both the UK and NYC, I helped launch Lancome’s Newest Collection each season in various department stores and I also spent a brief time working as a freelancer for Laura Mercier.
As happy as I am now that those days of retail are long gone, I am grateful for my time working within the sales side of the cosmetic industry. This gave me a chance to get to know various products and practice how they worked on skin aged 16-60. Let’s face it, if I’m on a shoot and I have some young 17 year old model, chances are no matter what product I apply on her, it’s going to look great. This route of retail makeup is something I always suggest to all newbie makeup artists as it’s a fantastic training ground for the future.
From this time period I’ve also learned to love a few key choice products that I still use religiously today! One of my favourite all-rounders in my makeup kit is Laura Mercier’s loose powder. This is a huge Hollywood favourite as it contains no silicone in its formula so it’s a perfect choice to use on top of air brush makeup for HDTV. I really like the fine grain texture of the powder as it just sets the makeup without leaving any chalkiness. Laura Mercier is available in London at Selfridges and Liberties… and remember next time you hit the cosmetics counter be extra nice to your sales girl, she may be the next Pat McGrath!
I’d love to attend New York Pet Fashion Week and I don’t even have a pet! The event has become so popular that PFW offered Japanese pet industry professionals and consumers the opportunity to experience a scale version of its New York event!
Saturday 22 August 2009 – Sunday 23 August 2009
New York Pet Fashion Week
Location: Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building, 125-135 West 18th Street, New York City, New York, USA
The event even includes charity fundraisers, a student design award and an industry symposium!
Cheryl Cole looks fab with her new red locks don’t you think? I love it. It really suits her and stops her from looking too sweet and innocent. I think it’s great that she decided to revamp her look for the new series of X-Factor. It’s official, I really don’t care about ‘the next big thing’ I just want to see the various looks of Ms Cole every week.
Now there’s one girl who we could never describe as sweet and innocent and that’s the delightful Peaches Geldof, our favourite tabloid brat has also gone cherry red. I think this could be the start of a whirl wind hair craze, remember the intensity of the POB inspired by Victoria Beckham and her bob? Well I think you should all brace yourself girlies, the Cherry Cole is next.
I read recently that due to the credit crunch the number of people purchasing home hair-dye has gone up dramatically, I love that, us girls are not stupid – we know where to cut costs. Saying that, I think about how much I spend on my hair and it leaves my blood cold but the alternative is black roots and that my friend, is not an option. However, my trips are a lot less frequent now and I’ll buy colour enhancing shampoos for a short term solution.
Being in a recession this past year has taught me so much about how I spend my hard earned money, sure I still shop but not to the extent that I used to. A few weeks ago I found four dresses in my wardrobe, all dresses in the exact same style but in four different colours. I could never shop like that now, I no longer want to spend what I haven’t got.
I think the key to this credit crunch is knowing where to find your cheap thrills – so go on girls, hit the bottle and start painting the town Cherry Cole red, you know you want to.
The Wizard of Oz turns 70 this year and to celebrate Swarovski Crystallized has teamed up with designers to reinterpret Dorothy’s red shoes. There 17 designers including Roger Viviér, Giuseppe Zanotti, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Stuart Weitzman alongside leading fashion creatives such as Alberta Ferretti, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Fürstenberg and L.A.M.B by Gwen Stefani.
The shoes and development sketches are currently being showcased at the Swarovski Crystallized Store, 24 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7HU. Entrance is free and the exhibition will run until 20 August.
This couple was vacationing in Banff when this squirrel jumped up in front of the camera, then got intrigued by the autofocus noises coming from the camera! He looks like a little photographer’s assistant!
I told you I’m fickle, when it comes to my style girl crushes they tend to change like the weather. And while Cheryl was yesterdays girl crush, today there’s a new girl in town; and this one means business.
If you don’t watch The City (spin off TV programme from The Hills) you might not be familiar with Olivia Palermo but she is the frenemy of Whitney Port and they both work for Diane Von Furstenberg in her New York offices. Even though Whitney is the star of the show, Olivia is famous for being the office bitch, however she’s one stylish bitch and that’s why I love her.
Ok, a little bit of info on my new girl crush, Olivia is a New Yorker who grew up in the City and now studies there as well as working in the Publicity department for DVF. She is a self-confessed socialite and word has it she inspired the character of Gossip Girls Blaire Wardorf (and we all know what a bitch Blair can be).
What I love about Palermo is her polished appearance, I wish I could mix it up like Agyness Deyn or Pixie Geldof but the reality is that I can’t. I’m one of those matchy-matchy girls; I like styled outfits in magazines and I like looking to celebrities for inspiration, at the end of the day I like to know that a look works.
Palermo is a master at blending inexpensive pieces, high-end designer items, and vintage articles to emphasise her sophisticated style. She keeps things interesting by trying several different shapes and lengths. At the moment she is loving Topshop, seen here wearing a black sequin hero jacket which she wore to the Serpentine Garden Party in London last month.
Now I regard myself as a career girl (University is starting to feel like a long time ago these days) I feel that Olivia is the perfect inspiration for the working girl that I’ve become. Fear not though, I’m definitely no office bitch.
My job as a makeup artist not only requires the makeup on the face to look good but I need to make sure the nails look tip top too. This past May when I was working on the London Clothes Show, there were over 40 models, dancers and celebrities backstage to make up each day.
I was so grateful when I found out the team from Jessica Nails was there to take care of their digits- they took a huge load off my day and they did an amazing job!
Being a makeup artist also requires me to spend a lot of hours on my feet. And they take a bashing! So I was thrilled when Jessica Nails invited me to their head office in Hertfordshire to introduce me to their products and receive a fantastic pedicure!
Jessica Nails is a not just a colour collection (although they do have 200 shades of polish)! But a treatment range with different formulas for different type of nails. Their products can treat and nourish all sorts of nail problems.
Lisa Rodgers is the Jessica Nails trainer for the southern UK and she gave me my pedicure. She started with a Zen Spa ginger fragrance spray, then they were soaked in a pedicure tub followed by an energising enzyme scrub , soaked again and then scrubbed with Jessica’s salt scrub. The salt polish scrub is also super for the body to exfoliate dry skin. Lisa then wrapped my feet up in plastic and slipped on a pair of heated boots to get my feet feeling super soft.
Next my cuticles were smoothed out with a gentle nail care machine which is much better than cutting ( which can make the cuticles grow back jagged and thicker) A cooling ginger mask was then massaged into my feet which felt sooo good! This is a great product to revive tired tootsies. Then my nails were painted. I choose colour 479-Venetian Ball; a saucy crimson red. Then Lisa painted Jessica’s Brilliance High Shine top coat which finished off the polish leaving it looking extra glossy.
If you want to go get a full on Jessica treatment too-check out their website to find out where it’s available in your area – jessicacosmetics.co.uk
The upcoming debut album from The Big Pink, called "A Brief History of Love" is now online, complete with player for imbedding in blogs – the player is below! So many of these songs would be great for a runway show…
For those of you Stylist Stuff readers who follow my beauty posts, you may remember reading an interview with HDTV airbrush makeup specialist Kim Borio.
Well, Kim had popped back over to the UK to enlighten the privileged few of us who attended her 3 day course at AOFMakeup school. Kim worked on the very first HDTV broadcast and boy does this girl know her stuff. I learnt all about how HDTV sees all- imagine looking at a tiny imperfection on your face and then having it magnified times 10 for the world to see! With HDTV flawless skin that looks natural is a must. We learnt on the Dinar systems.
We studied everything from spraying techniques to taking apart the airbrush gun and putting it back together. This was very important as the airbrush guns can get clogged easily and if you need to get someone out live on the air for example such as a news cast-they can’t wait for you to take your time! I was proud to have reassemble my gun in 2 minutes and 20 seconds!
I’m totally hooked on airbrushing foundation. It lasts for so many hours and the result is super. Best of all Dinar have some very cool air compressors-I’m going to go for the Leopard print one-meow!
Kim also will be broadcasting the first worldwide beauty radio show Beauty By Kim at Healthy Life every Thursday at 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m USA Pacific Standard Time (8:00 pm-9 pm UK time) starting Aug. 6, 2009 and she’s hoping to schedule me as an on air guest-so watch this space. Make sure you join the sites "clubhouse" for all the best Beauty By Kim radio updates.