Monday, February 11, 2008

The Scene
Beautiful day out today. Yay to sass being in full effect! Boo to being at The Office.

Three angels fluttered around me today, making my heart smile:

1) EL was back from her conference and working a great basic hot-librarian look. The proportions are oh-so right on her figure. What a minx.

2) Sablecrow came over this evening after my workout. Loves his sassy hat. We sipped Port and discussed his new honey. Ah to be young lovers!

3) Kate of All Trades sent me the cutest Valentine in the mail. I almost keeled over with delight. Who gets mail anymore...especially VALENTINES?? LOVES the rockets and the apple-cheeked boy who looks like her gorgeous baby. So sweet!

The Outfit
Forever 21 bubble tribal dress
Forever 21 green linen jacket

The Accessories
Manolo Blahnick d'orsay brown heels
YSL chocolate tote
Chanel quilted brown sunglasses
Banks & Biddle gold bangle
Faux Chanel white earrings

The Grade

The Commentary
Adore this outfit to the core of my being. Let's start with the fact that the dress and the jacket cost a grand total of $50. Can't beat that.

The jacket looks so polished. Just look at those gold buttons and clasps!!! And the pear lining is OUT OF CONTROL adorable. Scrumptious.

The dress is truly a dream. Got it last spring. Uber comfortable. So light and floaty. A marshmallow of a dress. I was worried that the bubble would date it but I think it's so subtle that it's not a concern. Plus, it's still very on-trend for spring because of it's tribal/safari/global pattern. (Btw, Neiman's Spring Style Tutorial is to die-for!)

Like many Forever prints, it's very reminiscent of Diane Von Furstenberg. She is actually one of a handful of designers suing Forever 21 for copyright infringement. Blech. I need to read up on the arguments for each side and earnestly discuss with Mr. Diabolina who has handled apparel copyright cases for major corporations.

But I think all fashion is derivative. All designers influence each other, borrow from each other. There is no distinctive brand logo that is being misused. Forever 21 is not passing anything off as a DVF. Not any more than any other major retailer (Inc., Ann Taylor, Gap) does when they sell customers wrap dresses with a graphic print.

Plus I don't think it substantially undercuts Diane's profits. I for one still buy DVF. I just never pay full price. The quality is clearly better when it's designer. I know exactly what I am getting when I plunk down $250 versus $25. Forever isn't keeping me from buying her work. Diane is keeping me from buying her work by pricing me out. That's her right in a free market. And I think it's the right of other retailers to make more sensibly priced versions of sought after pieces.

Ultimately, I'm no lawyer but I think all is fair in love and fashion.

p.s. I took the runway photos above at the DVF Spring 2007 runway show during Fashion Week. I was Jean Bean's plus one. I just happened to be in NYC celebrating a friend's 30th and it worked out that I could join her as she covered the shows for the Austin Statesman. Got to go all around the tents at Bryant Park and mingle with the glitterratti.

It was one of the all time fashion highlights of my life. Will never forget it. A dream come true.

What did I wear? A Forever 21 wrap dress :)


amber said...

super cute look today!

love dvf. one of her simple, black wrap dresses is on my must-have list for this year. :)

Cee said...

I too adore DVF and sadly my wallet says no to her stuff unless it's on sale.

Love the look today. You are so ready for spring.

fancypants said...

I say F21 has every right to emulate ideas and styles as long as it is not a carbon copy. Once fashion is in the air, I say it's fair game. Wasn't there that classic scene in the Devil Wears Prada where Miranda explains how the look she is creating for the shoot will end up trickling down to the mass market?

Michelle said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the outfit. Total A+.

Question: Do you hand wash your
F21 fashions or dry clean them?

Jean Bean said...

I don't think the copyright legislation the famous designers are pushing is in their interest. The knockoff market drives the cycle of obsolescence on which the top brands like DVF depend. But in a way, she and others are advocating for the non-famous, non-rich designers whose businesses aren't as resilient as DVF's, and whose voices are not heard much in this debate. Let's say you're a little known but well respected hat designer. Banana Republic regularly, shamelessly rips off your life's work and you don't see a dime. You don't have dozens of assistant designers churning out an endless supply of new product. You're screwed. It sucks. (True story.) As a person who makes her living with intellectual property I definitely sympathize with that pain. So I hope we can arrive at a legal solution that protects the independents and entrepreneurs without hamstringing the entire industry. It's a really complicated problem.

Let me add, I am 100 percent opposed to counterfeit logos. Their sale supports horrible, violent, evil crime syndicates in Asia. That's a different beast than a knockoff. I digress.

Personally I think our culture has an unsustainable relationship with fashion. The proliferation of knockoffs and of fashion media have made the cycle of obsolescence so short, I don't enjoy it as much any more. I am reluctant to buy anything but the most timeless, top-quality things. It's the only way to slow down the treadmill.

But I'm not above buying some trendy junk jewelry every time I pass a Forever 21! Oh, my conflicted soul!

Love you, Diabolina.
xxxx Beans

Da Fashionista said...


they are so uber flattering and just EASY.

Ugh she needs a DVF by Diane Von Furstenberg diffusion line like Marc by Marc Jacobs.

amen, fancypants!

very timely question. was just thinking about that with some newer pieces. I usually just MACHINE WASH. too lazy for hand washing most of the time. but a couple of the newer, satin-y pieces I think I am going to HAVE to. What do YOU do?

jean bean,
all excellent points. that's why you were my go-to on this one. along with fancypants for the legal reivew :)


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