Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Scene
Back to work. Rough stuff.

Late night goodbye dinner for Peaches at The Hungry Cat. Delish food, drinks and boy harem.

Didn't get emotional when we exchanged goodbyes. Know the waterworks are coming tho. For both of us.

It's hard to let go of someone so dear to you. Someone who sees you. Really sees you. Especially at a time when you feel a bit lost.

Peach is someone who reminds me of all the best in me, of all my potential, of how much I can achieve. That's such a gift to hand to a friend. Sigh.

Think we're just going to have to become bi-coastal in our 30s :)

The Outfit
H&M two-tone dress
Austrian slim fit trench coat

The Accessories
Wooden bangle
Forever 21 necklace
Manolo Blahnik ruched d'orsay pumps
Gucci logo hobo

The Grade

The Commentary
Let's talk H&M.

I fell in love with H&M during my first trip to Europe in the summer of 2000. My shopping awakening began in London where I first became a total slut for Top Shop. I walked into the magical one in Picadilly Circus and fell hard. There was all this fierce glam rock chic that was in at the time. Went a bit nuts snapping up accessories there and blowing my grad student budget.

I couldn't help myself tho. It's so English girl fab. I mean THE English cool girl Kate Moss herself designed a line for them. Plus I dug how Topshop marketed itself: high street knock offs at reasonable prices. Very Forever 21 with an accent and bad teeth.

Next stop on my Euro-edification was Paris . That's where I moved on to H&M (I'm such a fickle fashion lover.) The well-cut and well-priced but still on-trend clothes made a lasting impression.

Bought a great pair of slim pinstripe pants. Very adult of me. I guess I was beginning to think about life after school. Still wear those pants today.
When I went back to Europe a few years later, I got my mom to fall in love too. Every city we hit, we'd beeline for H&M. Found that each country had pretty different merchandise. Scored some tried and true pieces.

So for the last 5 years or so, I have hemmed and hawed that there was no H&M in L.A. I would read magazines and see chic H&M trinkets that taunted me because I couldn't get my dirty little paws on them.

Whenever I was in New York, I would pay homage to the big Fifth Avenue store. When they opened the store in San Fran before L.A., I was inconsolable. When they partnered with Stella McCartney, I was despondent.

So when they FINALLY opened one here and the stock was just “eh” I was devastated. DEVASTATED. Shunned going in there and decided I was on “Team Forever 21.” F those Swedes.

A year later though I have matured and realized that like so many stores, the quality of the H&M merchandise goes in waves. I need to accept that it’ll be kinda hit or miss when I walk in. Either I'll scoff at the thought of buying anything or I'll adore a dozen things. Not much in between.

However, I am convinced that the merchandise is probably different (read: better) in Europe. Am a bit offended by this. Like we are gross Americans with no taste so we get the dregs. Ugh.

Or maybe it's just that my initial memories of H&M's glory are a little exaggerated by the glow of my first time abroad. Or perhaps they've grown so much that they've just become a chain (read: occasionally fab but mostly boring.)

I do have to say that a new store just opened in the Sunset Plaza and it’s a dream. Never crowded. Only girls stuff. And most importantly, well laid out so that it doesn't easily overwhelm with choices. On the other hand, Forever consistently overstuffs its stores, making it daunting to sort through all the options - even for my little expert eye.

Saw this $34 dress winking at me from across the room at the Sunset H&M and knew it had to be mine. Love the mustard/crème color blocking. And the odd pleats. And the slightly dowdy feel. And the bubble pockets.

I AM LOVING DRESSES WITH POCKETS!!! What do you think that’s about? I fear it has something to do with old age and comfort and sensibility. Boo.

It is such a great blank canvas of a dress. It will work with today's brown accents as well as turquoise and fuchsia and purple. LOVE IT!

Didn’t wear the necklace to work today. Decided to add it for dinner though because I realized I would be photographed from the waist up and would want to create some visual interest in the shots.

I know it sounds vain but I think it’s something we should all consider when dressing for fun events now that everyone and their granny has a digital camera and will be posting myspace/facebook/flickr pics of you. You gots to think about how you are going to be immortalized.

Oh and another thing about this necklace. It cost less than $10 bucks. I adore how much it resembles a Marni one which can run you more than $1000.

For nary a diamond on it. That's TOO much in my book.

A few months ago, the shop girl at Stella McCartney thought it was actually Marni, complimented me on it and (I am certain) treated me better because of her own delusion. What. A. Sucker.

I have about 4 necklaces from Forever that are completely Marni-esque and really make a statement. They can completely change an outfit. That's a lot of impact for a couple of bucks.

I really want to get into Marni. It's so Italian. Very Prada-Miu Miu. Little ugly. Little intellectual. Little grandmama.

Also a bit like Proenza Schouler with all the color blocking and unusual color pairings.

Marni feels like my next designer love affair waiting to happen.

I can feel it in my wallet...


fancypants said...

I love Marni! But of course you can tell from the way I dress, I'm sure. We seem to be buying the same things from F21 and Old Navy. I guess we cannot risk chance encounters!

Jean Bean said...

You just have to cast a wide net at H&M. I get big eyes and try on 15 things, only to narrow it down to one, maybe. I don't bother going in unless I have a lot of time, because it's impossible to make a surgical strike.

KFR said...

Um, less of the "bad teeth" jokes there missy -- you have English readers too. :)

Michelle said...

You are just my fashion mentor!

I too was always peeved when I would see great pieces in magazines at an insane prices from H&M. And lo & behold, they opened one in LA. I was a little dismayed at first when I went to the Beverly Center location. First of all, I didn't realize that there were two women sides! I know, I'm a dork! But I did take a ton of things to the fitting room & walked away w/a couple of things - total, under $100! I love that they're pieces are affordable (on my working student budget) and a bit unique.

I need to break out of my fashion rut - as I have been saying all this time!

Emily said...

I miss H&M! They definitely have not yet made it to Latin America. I bought a very "LA trendy" dress there last year that was a bit risky for me but since it was so cheap I figured I´d try it out - it is now a favorite go-to short dress/long shirt.

MissJordyPants said...

Dresses with pockets are amazing. I do hate that I spend a lot of time with my hands in my pockets. I dont' put my hands in my jeans... why in my dress?!

Da Fashionista said...

kisses, fancypants and jean bean.

duly noted, kfr! oops!

You make me smile, michelle!! i think the key to getting out of the rut is exposing yourself to as much inspiration as possible. it starts retraining your eye so that when you go out shopping you don't just gravitate toward the same ole thing.

yay, emily! I love when something you were shaky on becomes a tried and true.

totally hear ya, missjordypants!
it's like an anthropological study waiting to happen ;)


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