NORDSTROM -  Shop the Fall Clearance Sale for Men, Women & Kids through November 13

Monday, December 21, 2009

Fashion Review: Rodarte for Target

Pictured: Rodarte for Target at my local store. Many items are already sold out online.

I've heard from many readers this am that is was just too cold and dreary to venture out in winter storms to buy Rodarte at their local Target store. I think this is why many of the items are already sold out online. Target did a good job creating buzz for this collection and many frugal fashionista were chomping at the bit to get the pieces. It will be interesting to see if the sold-out items are returned to Target after customers receive their items and actually get to try them on and access the fit. Here in California, there is plenty of Rodarte still in stock, so don't despair if you didn't get yours. I think there is some in stock at stores around the country judging by the emails I am receiving. So, here is what I thought of the collection, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My overall impression of the collection is that there are some cute, very romantic looking pieces here. There is also a lot of reproduction of vintage lingerie pieces from 1930s lingerie collections. The camisoles and the tulle dresses are reminders of earlier looks. These items are sized small and in my opinion will best fit tweens and young girls The fit in the bust and shoulders is very small. This is also true of all the dresses in the collection. Although the sizing is larger than the Anna Sui collection and the lengths are longer than mini, things are still not in proportion to the average American women's size. This is truly junior sized, which is sad as I always see women who are clearly not juniors (including myself) looking for a fashion bargain. Unlike Jimmy Choo for H&M, this collection features thin fabrics and styles best suited to teens and tweens, rather than adults. I was at two Target stores today with shoppers, and most of them were disappointed by the sizing of the tulle dresses and the animal print dresses. Like many styles from the 1920s, the fit will look best on ladies with small busts and small hips who are not too curvy and can carry off the look of one straight line. This is particularly true of the leopard print dress modeled by Dakota Fanning in various fashion magazines. (Fabric on the leopard dress is also very, very stiff. It doesn't exactly move well with the wearer.)

Pictured: The vintage lingerie look camisoles next to the lacy cardigan. I liked the lacy cardigan, its a nice holiday piece for the price.

The Givenchy inspired black lace dress worn by Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse also falls short in my opinion. It is in black as well as a Liberty of London type floral print, which I think is a rather ill fitting to the style of the dress. In my opinion, you can't replicate a classic Givenchy couture dress with synthetic materials and cheap tailoring. It just doesn't work.

Pictured: The Rodarte for Target halter dresses in floral and black lace.

Pictured: The faux fur jacket, good on Jeremiah Johnson maybe, too wooly for my tastes.

In person, I was also disappointed in the floral rain jacket. The print was lovely, but the nylon material was very thin and flimsy. It was also a boxy cut. The matching nylon tote is miniature sized and won't carry much. You get what you pay for here.

However, there are several pieces in this collection that I do like for the design and the price point. My top picks are the lacy style cardigan, the lace print t-shirt with bow, the scoop lace tee and the mesh bow top. Here are the pictures of those.

Pictured: This mesh top with bow ties at the front and sleeves is very cute for $24.99. I bought it in navy and paired it with a black camisole from my closet. It also comes in Orchid/Hot Pink.

Pictured: For $14.99, I like this faux lace print tee with detachable bow.

Pictured: This faux lace floral top is cuter than it looks. Its completely sheer, so I paired it with my own camisole for a less peek-a-boo look. It retails for $16.99.

Bottom line, as with all budget collections there are plenty of hits and misses in Rodarte for Target. I left my local Target vowing to sign up for the Rodarte sample sales in Los Angeles. I love Rodarte designs, but the execution of them for Target just wasn't all that. There are many better made designer garments at Loehmann's, Marshall's and the online designer shopping cubs that are not designer budget lines for the price point. When you go to Target today, or look at the over 200 Rodarte for Target listings on eBay, step back and separate the hype from the actual quality of the pieces.

Update, Jan. 5th. I returned both the mesh navy tops (bow tie and floral) pictured above to Target. While getting ready to wear them to holiday events, I found them rather itchy and uncomfortable. To top it off, my 9 year old niece asked why I would want to wear a see through top so that people could see my underwear. I decided she had a good point! I returned both items and will content myself with my Rodarte White Shirts from the Gap purchased a few years ago. Although I thought both tops were pretty, I just didn't find they were wearable, at least for me. Especially in the winter months. Give me some fabric or some cashmere at least :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some of Rodarte's Target Collection Echos Jean Seberg's Style

Pictured: Fashion Magic, Jean Seberg in her bow collar little black dress.

So I'm still coming down off my Jimmy Choo H&M fashion fix, and checking out what is actually coming for the Christmas holiday season. Naturally, my thoughts turn to Target's upcoming Rodarte collection launching in stores Dec. 20th, 2009. The recent issue of Marie Claire magazine had a few more preview pictures of the collection. In the article, the designers, the Mulleavy sisters credit some of their favorite films (Bonnie & Clyde, Harold & Maude and Rosemary's Baby) with offering them inspiration for their collection. Frankly, I don't see it. I saw someone else in the pieces of the collection that I like. And I am not talking about the dreadful skeleton dress with sequins pictured in the Marie Claire article. I'm talking about the little black dress (pictured below) with the bow tie at the neck. The dress is a dead ringer for a dress one of my favorite film style icons, Jean Seberg, wore as Cecile during the nightclub sequence from "Bonjour Tristesse" (1958). Compare the photos for yourself.

Pictured: The Rodarte Lace Dress from their Target collection. The dress is rumored to be priced between $45.00 to $50.00 USD.

Pictured: Jean Seberg over 40 years ago, posing in a very similar style black dress with bow at the neck. She was just 20 years old.

As you can see, Jean's dress had the same halter design top, exposing bare shoulders with the little bow at the neck. Her dress had the same flared full skirt and cinched waist as the Rodarte Target dress. I believe this dress was designed by Givenchy for Jean. Regrettably, neither she or her films were mentioned as an inspiration for the Mulleavy sisters in the Marie Claire piece. And the black dress is not the only reminder of Jean apparent in the collection. If you've seen Breathless and A-Bout-De-Souffle (as I have many times), then you know that Jean popularized the boat neck top with stripes. Here is a picture of her in one of those tops.

Pictured: Jean with some fabulous french accessories, a striped top, a Renoir print and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Compare Jean's striped top above to the top by Rodarte for Target in the Marie Clarie article below.

Pictured: The Rodarte for Target stripped top with faux-lambskin vest
(photo from Marie Claire)

I'm glad to see some of Jean's style is still alive and well. I can't honestly say that I am a fan of the overall Rodarte Target collection based on the advance pictures I've seen (the skeleton dress looks like a Halloween costume to me.)

But the black Jean Seberg style dress is as beautiful today as it was decades ago on the actress. I hope the version that hits the Target racks will be as similar to Jean's dress as the pictures in this post are. If it is, then it will merit the approximately $45.00 USD price tag.

Pictured: The "other" Rodarte Target dress. Trick or Treat?

Je préfère le style Jean Seberg.

PS. Anyone who grows up in Iowa, learns to speak French fluently, becomes part of the French "new wave" cinema and sparkles on screen as Jean Seberg did deserves to be remembered!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Amelia Earhart Fashion Designer : Her Affordable Take On Fashion in the 1930s Resonates Today

Pictured: A beautiful and seldom seen photo of Amelia from a poster for her lecture tour. Her aviator pin, pearls and open collar look is wearable today.

The fall fashion collections are alive with echos of Amelia Earhart. There are aviator jackets everywhere from Arden B. to Topshop.

Pictured: Arden B.'s affordable, Amelia Earhart inspired "flight jacket" is $58.00, US.

Amelia Earhart styled jumpsuits are featured in many collections for 2010. The Topshop Massive Jumpsuit by Boutique channels Amelia and is almost sold out.

Pictured: Almost gone: Topshop's Massive Jumpsuit by Boutique is selling for $135.00 US.

If you've seen the movie Amelia with Hillary Swank, then you may know that Amelia Earhart had her own fashion line. I had read and studied a lot about Earhart in college, but one fact I never knew was that she was one of the first celebrities to endorse and market a fashion line.

In 1934, Amelia created a line of fashions known as “Amelia Earhart Fashions.” The line was sold at Macy’s in New York and Marshall Fields’ in Chicago. The movie Amelia only briefly touches on the many products that Miss Earhart endorsed in order to finance her flying expeditions. The movie show her modeling and promoting her fashions and a luggage line. After seeing the movie, I was keen to learn more about Amelia’s involvement with fashion during the 1930s. Most of the well-known pictures of Amelia that I had seen showed her dressed in her aviator attire. Remember the famous Gap advertising campaign, showing Amelia in her bomber jacket and khaki pants in the 1990s? The commonly known picture of Amelia is one of aviator goggles perched on her head, a leather flying cap on her head, a scarf at her neck blowing in the wind wearing her trademark leather bomber jacket. So I was surprised to learn, that Amelia showed and designed some stylish suits and dresses. These were the staples of her 1934 fashion line. My desire to learn more about Amelia and her flight of fashion fancy, lead me to uncover some lesser known facts about her life.

Amelia studied sewing as a young girl growing up in Kansas. She didn’t play with dolls like other girls did. But she did design and make beautiful clothing for her dolls. Her early career was as a social worker, not as a pilot. As a social worker in Kansas her income was limited, and it seems that making her own clothing was a way for her to remain stylish and live within her means. Later, she carried this knowledge of sewing and design into her career as a pilot. This was part of the genius of Amelia Earhart; she was an excellent promoter of her own brand. Tall, slender and beautiful, she wore clothing as fashionably as a model on a runway. As a pilot, her first foray into design was to create a jumpsuit that she could wear comfortably in the cockpit. She designed a flying suit with loose trousers, a zipper top and big pockets for the Ninety-Nines (an association of 99 women pilots.) This was her typical work attire. But off the runway, Amelia was much more fashion conscious. In the 1930s, she frequently wore the designs of Elsa Schiaparelli. She was always conscious of her image and appeared in fashion spreads in Vogue magazine and Cosmopolitan (where she was also an editor.)

Pictured: Amelia Earhart's article with photos from the 1928 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

It was a natural transition for her to move to creating and designing a fashion line. After seeing the movie, I had assumed that Amelia Earhart merely licensed her name to a manufacturer of clothing and that she was simply the promoter for the line. After digging into her biographical material, her long forgotten press interviews and exhibits at various museums, I was surprised to learn that she was actively involved in her fashion line. She created her line’s samples using her own sewing machine and dress form with the help of a seamstress in New York.

Pictured: The designer at work, Amelia drapping her garment on a dress form.

The original Amelia Earhart clothing line included dresses, blouses, pants, suits, and hats. I have not found any information about the line including a leather bomber jacket, although this is the fashion item most commonly associated with Amelia today.

Amelia was much more than the front person and model for Amelia Earhart Fashions. Her mother said she was so involved in the creation of Amelia Earhart Fashions that the effort left her exhausted. As with everything she did, in the development of her fashion line Earhart worked hard and strove for excellence. She had some original and innovative ideas about fashion design for women and fashion merchandising. Here are some of the highlights of her fashion vision:

  • She recommended practical fabrics such as Grenfell cotton (traditionally used in men's outerwear) and parachute silk.
  • The garments in her line were washable.
  • She was the first to recommend the marketing of “separates”, so that a woman did not have to buy a suit in one size. In the Amelia Earhart line you could purchase a jacket in one size, and a skirt in another size. She wanted her clothing to accommodate various sizes and shapes.
  • Amelia was a recessionista. She was budget-conscious. Her fashions were launching in the Great Depression. She told the press her goal was to bring the beauty she’d found in aviation closer to all women at prices that didn’t reach “new altitudes.” Amelia said, "I hate ruffles, and at the price I could pay, that was all I could buy. So I decided to design clothes. They are nothing exciting. Just good lines and good materials for women who lead active lives."
  • The clothes were reasonably priced. The prices were well below the haute couture lines of the 1930s offered by leading designers of the time like Elsa Schiaparelli or Lanvin. Although it was the depression, there were few "designer" fashion lines that were priced like Amelia's line. A dress was $30.00, a pair of slacks was $16.75 and a tweed suit was $55.00.
  • Her clothing line incorporated her love of flying. Her special touches included “parachute” silk raincoats with buttons shaped like propellers. In an interview she noted that her styles always included “something characteristic of aviation, a parachute cord or tie or belt, a ball bearing belt buckle, wing bolts and nuts for buttons.”
  • She added shirt tails to women’s shirts. The shirt length of the Amelia Earhart shirt was designed to be longer than shirt tails of women's shirts at the time. She was annoyed that shirt tails were often not cut long enough, so that when a woman bent over or moved, the shirt shifted and became “untucked” revealing exposed skin. Amelia said, " I made up my mind that if the wearers of the shirts I designed for any reason took time out to stand on their heads, there would still be enough shirt to stay tucked in." How very practical.

The most fascinating part of my research was trying to find out if there were any samples of Amelia’s clothing line still available today. I wondered if her designs had vanished as mysteriously as she had. I found the answer less than three hours outside of my hometown of Los Angeles, in the town of Hanford, California. Amelia was a frequent visitor to the west coast and spent time in the small town of Hanford to be close to the Fresno Airport where she gave flying lessons. During that time, she developed a close friendship with one of her students, Mary Packwood. During the course of the friendship, she gave Mary some of her clothing. She left the clothing at Mary's house in Hanford so that it would be there for her to wear whenever she came to visit. Mary Packwood preserved one of the dresses and today Amelia’s clothing is on exhibit at the Hanford Carnegie museum in Hanford, California. The exhibit contains a dress designed by Amelia and an original label from her fashion line. Here is a look at the long lost treasures.

Pictured: The dress Amelia Earhart designed and gave to her friend and flying student Mary Packwood. This dress is in the Hanford Carnegie exhibit today, in Hanford, CA.

Pictured: Amelia Earhart's Fashion Label, the little red airplane taking off complimented her signature.

In researching the lost Amelia Earhart fashion line, I found a picture of Amelia wearing one her dresses from her fashion label in a history book about the town of Hanford, CA. Below is the picture of Amelia in one of the two-piece dresses she designed. Amelia's biographer Susan Bulter notes that Amelia liked simple silk dress and jacket combinations. Comfort was the goal of her designs. Sewing patterns of her designs were sold through the Woman's Home Companion magazine. During her lifetime, her designs were featured in Woman's Home Companion magazine alongside those of French designer Lanvin. Making her designs available as sewing patterns was another way for Amelia to make her designs economically accessible to women during the depression.

Pictured: Amelia Earhart in a dress from her Amelia Earhart Fashion line in 1934.

In this picture, you can almost feel the comfort of the garment, and you can see its loose, flowing design. Clearly, Amelia Earhart Fashion was about looking feminine, not just wearing khakis and goggles. Amelia said, "I tried to put the freedom that is in flying into the clothes."

Another example of an Amelia suit/dress exists in the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas. The suit is displayed alongside pictures of Amelia wearing the garment.

Pictured: A replica of the dress Amelia designed and wore in 1935 on a visit to Atchison, Kansas. This picture is from the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas.

Despite its initial popularity, Amelia Earhart Fashion did not survive. After the original launch at 20 department stores in the United States, the line was not financially successful and folded. Given the economic conditions of the 1930s, this was not a surprise. After all, fashion, even if designed by an innovator like Amelia Earhart, was not a necessity at a time when all over the world people were unemployed and standing in breadlines. Amelia did not loose money on her fashion line, but she did not make money on it either.

Fortunately, Amelia’s place in American fashion survives and we can see some of her original designs today. The style of her fashion line had little to do with the aviator fashion line created by Jean Paul Gaultier for Hermes. She had a style and elegance that went beyond flight clothing. Her elegant two-piece floral dress in the Hanford museum, with its complimentary strand of pearls, looks like it’s ready to take flight and carry on her dream of affordable, accessible fashion.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Glade Fragrance Collection: A Chic Bargain

Pictured: Mi Amour, the new Glade Soy-based Currants and Acai Candle, (Photo by Erik Neldner photography.)

Last week, I enjoyed a relaxing and peaceful evening at the Thompson Hotel Beverly Hills. As the sun set over the Hollywood Hills beautiful scents filled the evening air and tranquility set in. It was a total escape from the big city and the work day blues. Beautiful candles were lit and twinkled against the cityscape. I thought the candles were as pricey as the Beverly Hills real estate. But fortunately, I was wrong. The party was to celebrate the launch of a reasonably priced line of candles from ...wait for it....Glade! I was shocked. I've written about Candles before here on the blog. Tired with jet lag, I've forced myself to wonder Galleries Layfette in Paris for my beloved Diptyque Candles so I could get a little discount . I've perused the bargain racks at Loehmann's looking for designer candles for less. Little did I know that one of the best candle bargains was literally under my nose: The Fragrance Collection by Glade, sold at drugstores and grocery stores around the world has launched. A small candle is only $3.99 US, the larger candle is $8.99. And, with coupons on the web, and in your Sunday newspaper, the retail price is further reduced.

As a practicing recessionista/frugalista, there are a few things I love about these candles. First and foremost, the price is right, and they add an upscale touch of luxury to a relaxing, pampering evening at home or a special event. Secondly, the scents are lovely and elegant. The collection includes, Pomegranate, my favorite Currant and Acai, Sheer White Cotton, Pine, Lotus Bamboo, Jasmin and Wild Orchid and more. And finally, the scents smell great. Each one smells like a delicious familiar flower or fruit (currant.) They do not smell like heavy scents designed to mask odors in your home.

My mind is already racing ahead to the holidays, as they would make great stocking stuffers or goodies for my annual girlfriends gift bags. Take a look and see for yourself from the pictures below. I also like the idea of having a girlfriend's party at home with the pomegranate champagne cocktail, the little cranberry craisin adorned cupcakes and meringues. This is a chic event you can replicate in your own home for the holidays.

Pictured: The Pomegranate and Cranberry candle surrounded by cupcakes. Perfect at home holiday entertaining. (Photo by Erik Neldner photography.)

Pictured: The Currant and Acai candle compliments red nail polish for girlfriend giveaways

Pictured: The new Jasmin and Wild Orchid candle provides an oasis of calm against the backdrop of busy Los Angeles traffic. (Photo by Erik Neldner photography.)

Pictured: The new Jasmin and Wild Orchid candle against "The Hills" :)

Pictured: A little bit of spa renewal at home, with the Lotus candle. A good option when you don't have $$ for spa treatment. (Photo by Erik Neldner photography.)

Pictured: The scents are available in diffuser sticks as well as candles.

Picture: An elegant bar decorated with candles, and a simple holiday drink recipe: Champagne, Chambord liquor and Pomegranate liqueur. Delish! (Photo by Erik Neldner photography.)

As one of my favorite rock groups Weezer sang in their song, Beverly Hills:

I wanna live a life like that
I wanna be just like a king
Take my picture by the pool
Cause I'm the next big thing

The Fragrance Collection from Glade helps us all live large for less. Just light up a great scent and let it take you away.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sears VIP Sale Today

It has recently come to my attention that an American shopping tradition, Sears, is having an amazing VIP sale. Readers, did you know that Sears was around during the Great Depression helping shoppers make smart fashion choices? Last year when this blog was featured in The New York Time's article, " A Label for a Pleather Economy" reporter Natasha Singer noted in the article that " A Sears catalog from 1930 at the beginning of the Great Depression offered “coats of the new mode in the spirit of smart economy” priced to sell at $9.75 to $25. Phrases like “be smart and thrifty” and “look at the chic economy” promoted dresses that cost $4.98 to $8.98." Good old Sears, the original frugalista fabulous! It's nice to know Sears is still featuring smart economy for today, literally! :)

Following are some coupons and sale info for the Sears’ Friends & Family VIP night sale today, Sunday, Oct 4. The online sale is all this weekend including VIP events from 6-9p in-store tonight. For more information check|:

If you're interested at fashion at Sears (and that is actually not an oxymoron because there is some :) enjoy this coupon for an extra 20% off of apparel. Yes, Sears actually carries some great fashion choices. My Sear's Recessionista picks include:

The Land's End line provides terrific value and style at the right price! It's great to be able to try it on in-store, instead of just doing a catalog order.

Pictured: Lands' End is one of the brands on sale today at Sears.

If fashion is not your thing, you still might want to check the sale for bargains on energy efficient washers/ dryers, ranges, refrigerators, TVs, lawn & garden tools, apparel, and more. Click here for those savings. There is truly something for everyone at the right price.

One more Sunday Savvy tip, check out the new Glade Fragrance Collection soy candles on sale now at Drugstores and Groceries around the world. I'll be writing more about these this coming week. The small candles are on sale at Walgreen's for $3.99 today. The larger ones are on sale for $8.99. The Currant and Acai candle is amazing. More details on these soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend Sales and Bargains!

Looking for bargains this Labor Day Weekend? You are in the right place! Several great mark downs have come to my attention plus a great one stop shopping listing pf sales called

Pictured: A good site with Labor Day Sale Listings, lists the Labor Day sales from sites like Pottery Barn, Eddie Bauer, JC Penney, NY & Company plus websites like What's unique about this sale listing is it also features coupons and links to user comments. I like this because you can see what other shoppers have already learned about the sale, sizes available and quality of the goods. Click here to see the reviews of the Eddie Bauer 70% off sale.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the Labor Day Specials:

Pictured: My Book Pick: Ted Kennedy's Memoir, True Compass

And finally, a "Freebie Alert": Stop by Chick-fil-A on Monday while wearing your favorite sports team's logo and pick up a free chicken sandwich.

If you're reading from outside the US, look for deals on sites like and which ship internationally. In store, check out H&M, Zara and New Look clearance racks. Look for the final clearance Giles Deacon Gold items at New Look.
I'll be updating my "
Top Picks" on the Right Nav bar for designer deals throughout the Labor Day weekend.

If you find great deals, please drop me a note or send a comment. Share the savings with all The Recessionista's Readers!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mad for Plaid? Egads!

Pictured: A bad flash back, a replica of my catholic school plaid uniform

So, I just have to say it. What is up with the fall plaid trend? I was strolling down Fifth Avenue in Gotham City today enjoying all the needful things and window shopping, when there it was. I stopped in my tracks. A very upscale retailer's window display was full of....plaid! And not just any plaid. The display showed a plaid jumper that bore an eerie resemblance to the jumper I was forced to wear by my mother at St. Bartholomew's Catholic School. Most shocking of all, in addition to the bad memories, was the price tag. The jumper was not cheap. It was over $100.00 US. So I just have to remark upon this trend, what is going on with all the plaid? What's next? Will the plaid jumper take over Rodeo Drive, the Mall of America, shops on Oxford Street, boutiques along the Champs-Élysées and more? Plaid has already hit the racks in the new Miley and Max Azria collection at Walmart. And, it's selling out. The plaid tops by Miley & Max are "no longer in stock" online.

Pictured: Miley Cyrus plaid top from her Walmart collection.

There are also half-bred, hybrid plaid garments rearing up. By this, I mean a garment with a solid top and a plaid bottom.

Pictured: A Fire Buffalo Plaid Dress from Macy's

I just don't know what to think about this. Do I call Sister Hilda and tell her to recycle all the old plaid uniforms because she could make a fashion statement and maybe a little cash? Or, do I get into the spirit of the season and run to my favorite plaid retailer, Burberry, for tasteful fall plaid cover once it hits the sales racks?

Readers, what do you think? Are you loving the new fall plaid trend, or are you also having a bad school uniform flashback? I've already sighted plaid at Topshop, Juicy Couture, Macy's and the Gap. Were any of you forced to wear plaid as children?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rodarte Announced as new Target Go Designers: Laura and Kate Mulleavy Will Make It Work

Pictured: The Rodarte designers Laura (in stripes) and Kate Mulleavy at Pasadena's Huntington Gardens

A lovely early holiday gift has just arrived: the announcement that Pasadena designers Laura and Kate Mulleavy are doing a line for Target that will be on the racks in December 2009. I'm so excited about this one. I bought their white shirts from their Gap collection a few years (2007) ago. I still treasure my scoop neck white top with the little bows are over the bodice. It's so beautiful.

Pictured: Rodarte top with little bows from their Gap collection.

Rodarte is well know for their vintage inspired, romantic looking dresses from their runway collections. Their models sometimes look like little Degas ballerinas walking in their tulle.

Pictured: The Rodarte Spring 2008 "Degas" ballerina look

Natalie Portman is a Rodarte lover and has worn their classic styles to film premieres. Check her out below in this 1920s inspired frock.

Pictured: Natalie Portman in a vintage style Rodarte dress at a premiere last year with Scarlett Johansson.

Only a few sketchy details have been reported about their Target line. According to British Vogue, the line will be a 55 piece collection. It will be part of the Go Collection, so I am hoping that is will be sized for more than teenage girls. :) I have hope for that, since the pieces in their Rodarte collection and their Gap line have been sized appropriately. You can see that below in the pictures of the sisters in their own designs with their models.

Pictured: The Rodarte designers with their models.

Many Rodarte designs retails for thousands of dollars. So, I look forward to seeing their Target line for much less. If you live outside the US, take heart. You know the whole line will find its way to eBay.

Watch this space for the Target collection images when they are available in November. It's good to see the democratization of fashion marching on. Now we just need Walmart to announce a new Norma Kamali holiday collection. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chic n' Cheap: Easy to Do Summer Hair

As frugal living becomes the new "black", I've received quite a bit of mail from readers asking how to do their hair in chic n' cheap styles. All over the world, people are cutting back on expenses. And part of this scaling back, is looking for new ways that we can style our hair.

Speaking for myself, I am afraid to cut or highlight my hair at home. However, I know some of us are currently doing this to save money on salon visits. It's great if you can do it. I'm more comfortable finding some basic styles I can do myself, and some products to help me keep my hair in "tip top" shape. To research this area, I called my stylist David Jensen at Santa Monica's hip celebrity boutique salon, The Shampoo Lounge. The Shampoo Lounge is discreetly tucked away on Pico Boulevard a short distance from Shop Intuition. David was full of great information and sample ideas for easy summer styles. Following is my interview with him and some pictures to illustrate his tips. Listen up Bargainistas!

Q. What are some of the current hair style trends that you've seen? Popular looks?

A. David, The Shampoo Lounge: I am seeing a lot of braids; they are quick and easy for everyone to do with just a little practice. This is an easy and chic look. I'm seeing more braid styles turning up on celebrities and my clients.

Pictured: Linda McCartney's Band on the Run "accent braids" from an old Wings album cover.

Pictured: Actress Anne Hathaway's braid up do, a new twist on an old favorite.

Pictured: Actress Jennifer Anniston's braid accent at the Academy Awards this year.

Q. Any styles that you recommend that are particularly easy to care for ?

A. David, The Shampoo Lounge: We are definitely seeing a return of curly hair. Once you have taken some of the water out of the hair, with a towel or a quick squeeze, I recommend putting on some Fresh Curls (from Redken) or another curl relaxer or refiner (Glass, Vinyl Glam or even Fast Food). Then simply leave your hair alone and let it dry naturally. The less you fuss with it the better it looks. I used to spend time blow drying and straightening some of my client's hair. Today, many of them no longer want that---they are happy to just let their hair go naturally curly. I have one client who writes a popular blog that is now doing this! :)

Pictured: Actress Drew Barrymore's easy curl/wavy hair look

Q. What are some simple tools that you recommend Recessionistas keep in their Hair Care tool box?

A. David, The Shampoo Lounge
: I love Glass (from Redken) it is the best product, for ultimate shine and frizz control, and the best priced of all its competitors and expensive imitations. ( I looked this up on ePinions, and the reader reviews give Glass a strong thumbs up.)

Pictured: Redken products recommended by The Shampoo Lounge

Outshine is great and gives a nice conditioning treatment. I recommend using this when it is dry due to Southern California's Santa Ana winds or being inside with air conditioning. In the summer, beware of AC as it does dry the hair out.

Fabricate is the best for giving support to a heat set. If I am going to take the time to curl hair with a curling iron or hot rollers, this product gives great long lasting shiny curls and works fast. Using rollers at home or curling iron is a good way to give yourself a special hair look at a low cost. Just make sure to use a product like Fabricate to get the most of our your curls.

I recommend Redken's Rough Paste for fine hair when you want a little volume without teasing.

Q. Any secret products for men?

A. Often over looked, but a classic, is Redken's Cleanse bar for men. It smells great. Men tend to shower a lot and Cleanse keeps the skin clean but not tight and dry. And at under $8.00 US, it is a great price.

Q. For a special evening out, what would you recommend? An up do? A chic blow dry style?

A. For an evening out the pony tail seems to be the new up do. I recommend doing your ponytail up high and then pulling it tight so the hair volume is at the crown.

Pictured: Keira Knightley looks tres chic in a ponytail and Roland Mouret dress.

Pictured: An easy high pony tail style. The look is swept back in a colorful clasp.

For more information, and some discounts, visit The Shampoo Lounge website. If you live in the Los Angeles area, check out their Happy Hour promotions. There's nothing better than a little hair care, some gossip at the salon and a great Cosmo-tini!

Leave a comment and let us know if you have any summer style tips of your own