I can’t lie: I’m an online shopping addict. I’ll rarely ever purchase anything due to a lack of disposable funds, but it’s still a very therapeutic activity for me. Especially during spring break stuck in the suburbs, where my days consist of eating Nutella and watching awful Hilary Duff films.
As of late, however, I’ve been exhausting my usual stomping grounds (Modcloth, ASOS, Karmaloop, Urban Outfitters), and I’m too impatient anymore for Etsy (but that’s mostly because Etsy doesn’t have a “Stuff Lex Likes” link). Being the loyal blogger I am, I’ve decided to share some of my newest discoveries. Click “more” for the list!
Today, style is all about personal expression through material possessions. We use our clothing to make a statement about our personality and mood without saying anything at all, but in the past expression through the use of clothing and other belongings was limited because of a lack of easily accessible materials.
Yesterday, the Chemical Heritage Foundation hosted a lecture by Regina Lee Blaszczyk, author of “The Color Revolution,” discussing the emergence of synthetic materials, and how they revolutionized the fashion and interior design industries during the “Mad Men” era.
Before the introduction of synthetic materials, quality clothing was very expensive, but in 1935, DuPont introduced nylon. During WWII, the military used nylon to make parachutes for WWII troops, which allowed DuPont to heavily market nylon for consumer goods with the help of haute couture designers like Dior and Givenchy.
Initially, DuPont marketed nylon and spandex to women for pantyhose and undergarments respectively, but artificial materials quickly spread to other parts of the wardrobe. Designers found synthetic textiles are less prone to wrinkles than their natural counterparts. Blaszcyzk said the use of man made fabrics gave men and women the polished look commonly associated with the 1960s.
People were able to express themselves further as chemical companies discovered new ways to dye their materials. People didn’t have to worry about their clothes fading in the laundry because the colors were bonded with the materials, so their sizzling reds stayed hot, and their blues remained icy cool.
Because chemists could produce almost any color imaginable without worrying about it fading, DuPont turned to color psychologist Faber Birren, who mapped out human reactions to each color on the spectrum. Interior and fashion designers used his findings to create moods from their pieces.
Consumers took the influx of widely available colors and textiles to express themselves in relation to their life at the time. More women were able to diversify the colors in their wardrobes without breaking the bank, and as color became more prevalent in society, people personalize their homes with their favorite tones.
Before latex paint, homeowners had to hire crews to apply lead based paint to the walls. Acrylic emulsifiers replaced the lead base of paint, so it was easy to change the color of the kitchen on a whim. Chemical advances in the 1950s paved the way for even further color personalization with the introduction of acrylic lacquers. They allowed appliance manufacturers to design brightly colored gadgets to match their consumer’s décor.
In a world of constant customization, it’s hard to imagine life before synthetic materials. We constantly use them to communicate without verbally saying anything because of technological advances employed in the “Mad Men” era. The sciences aren’t usually associated with fashion, but in this case science opened up a world of opportunity for the fashion industry. Blaszczyk said, “better living [was achieved] through chemistry.”
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Daily Candy has some suggestions. Their slide show, 19 Gifts for Your Valentine features some pretty cool stuff including these vintage Mexican valentines. A not so romantic gift idea? This key chain that makes toilet flush sounds.
If you’d rather make up stories about Valentine’s Day, feel free to submit your ideas to the Coach website.
If you’re looking for a gift to give yourself, Bloomingdale’s currently has a pretty awesome Clinique Bonus.
In addition to having her own series that we covered earlier this week called Kell On Earth, Kelly Cutrone also released a new book called If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. This Elle article also mentions that she used to read tarot cards in Venice Beach and Los Angeles, and still gets occasional requests from people to give glimpses into their future.
MAC Cosmetics has always had makeup for every shade, but their new campaign All Ages, All Races, All Sexes includes products that promise to look good on everyone.
Lastly, Nylon has the lowdown on Dior’s new compact featuring Egyptian Hieroglyphs.
Usually, we’re fans of Etsy. Usually. There are always exceptions, as with this necklace. Can someone explain to us why you would want a necklace with goat’s hair? Ew.
The website Shop Only Green sells things like pencil cases, folders, and bags made out of recycled containers. We’re excited because one of our favorite childhood throwbacks – Capri Sun is included! The totes and bags are so cute, and don’t cost an arm and a leg like some other recycled creations that we’ve seen.
We also came across these hair products created for guys and girls of more than one race, which is pretty cool. We’ve always taken issue with the divisions at the in the hair care isle. What happens if you fall somewhere in between? While we can’t vouch for how these products work, Mixed Chicks hair products are a great idea to say the least.
NPR found that Neanderthals were more stylish than we might think, and raraahahahromaromamagagaoohlala.com just might be the most ridiculous URL ever, and we love it.
While I am a blogger and I do love broadcast, I still have a special place in my heart for newspaperss. Maybe that’s why I love these accessories that were featured on Nylon’s website.
Kate Moss and Topshop are launching a new site for fall/winter. While the site being posted does mean that summer is drawing to a close, it’s worth a look anyway. Also, I’m not a huge Kate Moss fan, but the slideshow of pictures when you first visit Kate’s section of the site are quite striking.
If you have two puppies – I tend to call dogs puppies regardless of age – that would like to tie the knot, make sure you check out the Largest Dog Wedding, scheduled to happen in Woodstown, New Jersey this Saturday.
NBC10 isn’t sure how they feel about plunging necklines. What do you think? I usually don’t mind, unless the woman is old. Saggy clevage isn’t cute.
The Frisky featured a product that will always make room for cupcake filling. Yumm. I’m a fan of baking…I think if I had one of these everyone would wonder just how I got so fancy.
If the unusually mild weather has you itching for spring, the upcoming forecast for your wardrobe is even sunnier!
Love is in the air in the fashion world for Spring 2009:
And last but SO not least KIM GORDON + URBAN OUTFITTERS (DEBUTING TODAY!!!!!)