My eyes were immediately drawn to the astonishing palate of colors as I entered the small yet fashionably organized boutique on the corner of 21st and Walnut. Purses, sun dresses, jeans and shoes adorned the color-coded walls from ceiling to floor. I have finally found it-fashion heaven.
Named after her favorite flower, Fleur De Lis Boutique is owned and operated by fashion leader, Kimberly Czyzyk. Opened three years ago, the Rittenhouse Square shop is not your typical Philly consignment boutique. Instead, Kimberly does all of the buying and selling on her own as opposed to setting up contracts and selling items for clients.
While buying from customers isn’t something she does all the time, she is not opposed to the idea and will never turn down a must-have item. What also makes Fleur De Lis stand out is that the chic owner doesn’t discriminate against non-high-end labels. If she spots a cute dress from H&M, it is on the rack of the boutique the next day. I fought the urge to purchase every cute spring sundress that stared me down as I sauntered through the maze of seasonally appropriate tops, skirts and fur coats. This was not an easy feat to say the least.
Separating herself from the masses even more, the clever fashionista is in the mist of setting up an Ebay store to double her presence. Once the merchandise is purchased from the online store, it is removed from the boutique and vice versa.
It excites me to report that the fashion master-minds behind the Gap and Threadless have decided to join forces to create an elite graphic t-shirt line debuting this spring. The tees will be exclusive pieces that feature never-before-seen designs created by artists from communities all over the world. Since their creation in 2000, an upwards of 1.8 million people have made their dreams a reality on Threadless t-shirts.
Beginning February 27th a handful of Gap stores, as well as the online platform, will sell the collection that is said to include sixteen men’s and ten women’s graphic t-shirts. The one-of-a-kind shirts, sold for $29.95 each, are said to be bold and buoyant with bright graphics that coincide with Gap’s “Be Bright” spring collection.
On their anticipated collaboration, Gap North American President, Art Peck, commented “We share the same belief [with Threadless] that great ideas can come from anywhere, and we can’t wait to give artists another way to get their designs out into the world by selling them in our stores.” Founder of Threadless, Jake Nickell, followed up by saying “…we applaud Gap’s shared mission to celebrate the artists, their stories and their ideas on a much larger platform through their retail stores and Gap.com.”
The new apparel line doesn’t stop with spring, either. Gap + Threadless plan to roll out new styles throughout the year by hosting challenges where artists can submit and vote on which designs will make it to the stores.
From February 27 through March 19, artists from all over the world are encouraged to submit design ideas for the new line. Voting will run March 20-26th, and a combination of the most votes and best comments will determine a winning shirt to be sold in stores in 2012. Artists and fashionistas alike are encouraged to make their design a complete interpretation of their imagination. They are looking for something that is a combination of “funny, geeky, thoughtful, beautiful, even a little weird.”
~Michelle C. Mass
In 2010, while standing in an American Apparel store cursing their loan-depleted bank accounts, three entrepreneurial, fashion-conscious Penn students came up with a brilliant idea to essentially reinvent online shopping.
And they called it Kembrel.
The online shopping community pairs with cool lifestyle brands to offer members their favorite fashions for the fraction of the retail price. Each week, Kembrel runs a flash sale featuring 10-20 items from a handful of designers for up to 40-75 percent off.
Furthermore, the company partners will local businesses like restaurants and salons to offer VIP members Living Social/Groupon-esqe deals.
Within a year, they were representing over 200 brands and had provided savings to more than 40 thousand shoppers. Kembrel carries both mens’ and womens’ apparel as well as a little bit of everything else—shoes, accessories, gifts, gadgets Apple accessories, ect.
“We are going after independent, smaller labels and designers, either with a cool story behind the brand or interesting detailing,” explains co-founder and CEO, Stephan Jacob. “Anything that makes the merchandise stand out.”
The store also features established designer brands (including Missoni and Chloe), but only if they can negotiate a great value for their customers.
In November, Kembrel extended beyond the virtual world, setting up shop at 1219 Locust St. The store—which also serves as their home base—was a little light on merchandise when I stopped by last week, but that’s because most of their inventory has been transferred to Kembrel’s first official pop-up location in Rittenhouse (1822 Chestnut St.).
Judging by the attendance at the store’s grand opening party and the amount of foot traffic it attracted on a Monday night, the venture already appears to be a success. The pop-up shop will only be open a few months and I highly recommend stopping by. Most items are slightly on the pricier side, but there’s still some pretty sweet deals—like this awesome Niez ring ($5), paisley print tunic dress ($39) and sequin BB Dakota dress ($28).
Though there’s a larger a larger selection of items on Kembrel’s Web site, according to Jacob, most of the items in-store can also be found online, give or take a few days. He also says that they plan to feature several local apparel brands in the coming weeks.
While PW Style’s Mark Longacre already shared some highlights from the spring/summer installment of Philly Fashion Week by FBH, we figured you might want to see more of the fabulous fashions it entailed…
To shake things up a bit, we here at PW Style decided to have all our contributors weigh in on the fashions at last night’s 84th Annual Academy Awards and, well, this proved to be rather interesting experiment in fashion democracy.
Not only did all seven bloggers choose a different starlet to top their “best dressed” list, but there’s even a few disagreements in the bunch. It’s a good thing we’re not a jury on a murder trial.
Nicole: Michelle Williams & Giuliana Rancic (tie!)
“On one hand I have a huge girl crush on Michelle and think she looks absolutely darling in this coral gown (or any dress, for that matter). On the other hand, I couldn’t stop staring at Giuliana’s dress. Seriously, it’s just perfect.”
Jennifer: Berenice Bejo
“Berenice stunned in this beaded Elie Saab gown. The delicate mint green complimented her newly-dyed red hair, which was twisted into an elegant braid. Sometimes starlets try to avoid the long sleeve gowns, but the Argentine-French actress pulled it off with perfection. J’adore!”
Michelle: Gwenyth Paltrow
“There were a lot of gorgeous gowns on the runway this year, but Gwenyth looked so chic, regal and absolutely stunning in that dress. I was even happier when they showed her during the Oscars, so you could see that the cape jacket wasn’t attached, and came off.”
Emily: Jessica Chastain
“I’m normally biased towards her because she is a ginger goddess and was in my favorite nominated film (Tree of Life), but she looked perfectly stunning. Her choice was intricate yet elegant and the gold on black complimented her features wonderfully.”
Marissa: Mila Jovovich
“Mila didn’t have that old Hollywood-inspired air about her—she WAS old Hollywood. In a sweeping white sequined one-shoulder Elie Saab gown, romantic curled updo and perfectly red lips, she dazzled on the red carpet.”
Abigail: Meryl Streep
“I thought Meryl looked amazing, graceful.”
Lauren: Rooney Mara
“The short, blunt straight-across bangs contrasted against the femininity of an all-over lace Givenchy gown was surprising, but complimented each other well. She looked polished while still maintaining her edgy side.”
Jennifer & Marissa: Sacha Baron Cohen
“Okay, seriously dude? Not the time for shameless self promotion right now. Such a shame really, because he can look quite dapper in a tux.”
Mark: Meryl Streep
“Who told her a gold dress was a good idea with her coloring?”
Michelle: Rooney Mara
“The girl gets crap for always wearing black, but I think white was a bad color choice for her. And that fabric that was over her boobs? It made her looks horrible! The color and the dress did not show off her best assets and the hairstyle did not help either. I just thought it was all wrong.”
Abigail: Angelina Jolie
“With those slits showing off these weird pre-pubescent legs…it was hard to look at.”
Lauren: Glenn Close
“The strapless Zac Posen gown she wore didn’t seem like it was age-appropriate, and throwing a blazer on over it just made her look all the more matronly.”
**All photos courtesy of People.com
After my New York Fashion Week struggle, I thought I was cursed from the fashion world. Fortunately, Philly Fashion Week by FBH was an opportunity to redeem myself. The event was divided into two main days, Ready to Wear fashion on Friday, February 24th, and Couture on Saturday, February 25th.
In the past, I’ve attended the Philly Fashion Week events, and I felt it could have been organized much better. However, the show went very smoothly this year for me. The organizers let the press in promptly, but attendees were forced to wait in a hot waiting room for about 45 minutes before the doors to the runway room opened. The organizers need to specify that doors open at 7, but the show doesn’t start until 8-8:15. In New York Fashion Week, if the show says it starts at 6 p.m., and it starts at 6 p.m. sharp.
Once the show started, it was apparent that Philadelphia is home to a wide array of fashion opinions. There were lines that appealed to an urban audience, like Street Mode, and others, like Banana Republic’s “A Weekend at the Hamptons” that appealed to clean cut, preppy fashionistas.
The organizers tweeted each designer that walked down the runway for the “Ready to Wear” show, so it was easy to figure out who was on the runway. Unfortunately, they didn’t do the same on the couture day, so if any designers names are butchered, I apologize. Click the jump for the highs and lows of the show!
We told you back in December that H&M would be collaborating with Marni and with the collection’s grand reveal now only about a week away (March 8), it’s time to officially examine their fashion offspring.
In theory, everything about the Italian label’s design aesthetic excites me: bright colors, bold prints, sophisticated silhouettes.
But as I scanned through the collection’s look-book, the only thing that got excited was the food in my stomach. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. Much like the H&M-Versace collabo, the collection is really just hit or miss.
On one hand, there’s wonderfully quirky, modular work-appropriate looks like these…
But on the other hand, there’s this barf-tastic pleather/sweater hybrid for $149…
And while I realize that pairing mismatching or odd garments is sorta indicative of high fashion photography, what really alarms me about the collection is Marni’s claim that “everything goes with everything.”
So apparently in Marni’s world swimwear goes with knee-high socks, sandals, wool cardigans, sequined collars and matching button-up shirts. Let’s see how this looks in the real world, shall we?
As far as I’m concerned, not a single garment in the either of the above ensembles makes any sense. I mustn’t be apart of the “transversal audience of individually minded explorers of style,” that Marni is targeting.
**All Photos courtesy of H&M