Thursday, September 16, 2010

That's so Last Century!

The dress this woman is wearing, as she hangs a poster in Greenwich Village, could be a piece in any modern New York girl's closet. And the photo was taken in the 1920s. That dress would be almost 100 years old today, and I don't think anyone would bat an eye if you wore it out for drinks in today's Greenwich Village.

In fact, I don't think anyone would bat an eye if a dress like that came down the runway at Fashion Week . . . on a model like Karlie Kloss . . . at a Marc Jacobs' show . . . in a Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection, for example . . .

I guess some pieces really are timeless . . .

(Flapper photo from the Hulton Archive, Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 runway photo from

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Better than a Glass Slipper

I would never peg myself as a crystal-covered evening bag kind of girl, but a few months ago, I found myself surrounded by dozens of Judith Leiber's iconic clutches at a photoshoot. We were working on a book cover, and were transforming the many bags into a city skyline for the cover photo. Despite the work at hand, every woman at the shoot couldn't help taking a moment to gush over the clutches. I kept turning them over, opening them respectfully, and imagining myself gripping one on the red carpet.

After the shoot, the bags all went back to the showroom, and I was pretty sure that was the last I was going to see of Judith Leiber— the current line goes from around $1600 to $6000 per bag. Not exactly in a book cover designer's price range . . .

Months went by, and suddenly it was Fall in New York. And I started getting bombarded with magazine articles, commercials, and blog posts about Fashion's Night Out. For this year's second annual Fashion's Night Out, hundreds of stores across the city kept their shops open late and provided free drinks and entertainment for their shoppers. Many stores also had special appearances by celebrities, models, and bands. Unlike Fashion Week, you don't need to work at Vogue to attend. In fact, you don't even need to RSVP.

I had already made a list of the shops I wanted to visit, when I got an email about a Fashion's Night Out Party at Judith Leiber's Madison Avenue store. Oh, and a small footnote about 100 Judith Leiber bags for $100. Wait. What?! And as if that wasn't enough incentive, 100% of the proceeds were going to Alzheimer's. I felt like Cinderella getting an invite to the ball.

So, my friend Sarah and I put on our highest heels, and went to check it out. As I sipped my cocktail, and got offered silver tray after silver tray of tiny appetizers, I couldn't help but expect an Evil Step-Sister to discover my identity, and drag me back to my computer where I belonged.

I said to Sarah, as we stood at the front of the line, Hey, I didn't have a Judith Leiber bag yesterday, so it's not a big deal if I don't get one. Even as model Molly Sims pulled back the fuchsia curtain to give us a peek at the 100 bags, I was thinking, A Judith Leiber bag for $100 AND it's going to a good cause?! Come on what's the catch?

Turns out, there was no catch.

Fashion's Night Out was a real fairy tale, where two regular New York girls ended up with bags worth more than their entire wardrobes. Oh, and as much free champagne as they wanted.

New York City really is a magical place.

(Black clutch photos © Littlehouse of Style, Other photos from Judith Leiber's website)