Sunday, October 02, 2005

Stella Mccartney for the Masses


Although you may not hear about it in mainstream descriptions of the fashion-mogul, Stella McCartney's designs are 100% vegetarian. Daughter of Sir Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, both animal activists, it's safe to say that critter-compassion runs in the family.













Recently, Stella McCartney teamed up with Adidas to create some ultra-modern, cruelty-free sneakers.

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Now, Stella the team player is joining forces with H&M to bring her crisp, feminine, yet distinctively British designs to the H&M crowd: women whose tastes in clothing exceed their credit limits. Stella will produce a one-time-only, 40-item line for H&M, including the jeans below, only$49.90.
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Thursday, September 22, 2005

8-year-old Chic

I've always been a fan of the 8-year-old look -- my favorite tank has orange and yellow cartoon trucks all over it. There's something really refreshing about going back to grade school ---you're subtly thumbing your nose at the prententions of the fashion world, as you cheerfully refuse to adopt all the qualities of a boring adult. It adds a whimsical, nostalgic element to your style -- think primary colors, baby book images, dinosaurs, and knee socks.

But just as we all grow up to a certain extent, mix adult pieces with your little kid style. All out knee socks, overgrown elastics, pigtails, and Rainbow Bright lunchbox does not count as fashion.
But these fun splashy black boots are an awesome fall accessory. Try wearing them with tight jeans tucked in (snug, not skintight--a little bit of bunchy is good), or a corduroy mini with knee socks peeking out above the tops. Get them at Moo Shoes

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Or if you like bright colors, these red rubber boots with faux leather are cute yet modern. Click on the Amazon link below the picture to buy (they come in black too)

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Fugly Fur -- Weekly Caption Contest

Most of us know that fur is cruel -- it's difficult to deny. But some don't see the flip-side of the coin: it's also tacky, unsubtle, and low-class. It says: "Damn, I suddenly got some money. How can I shove it unceremoniously in people's faces? Oh yeah! Wear carcasses, huge badly cut diamonds, and drive around in a hummer."

I'll admit that I covet leather shoes, boots, and bags (please please please find me some stylish synthetic leather shoes...) But fur....yer...no. Faux fur....uh...nope. Those sporting real fur look like they just butchered their yorkie. But chics wearing faux fur look like they just went psycho on their teddy bear and slung it around their necks. Leave fake fur to cute little kids and their stuffed animal backpacks.

But why not have some fun with these fashion victims? The fugly fur caption contest is for anyone who likes to point and laugh at furry humans. Each week, I will post a photo of fugly fur. Think up a caption to go along with it--be as brutal as you like. Write your suggested caption in the comments section below. The best caption will be featured at the top of next week's contest.

Below is this week's fugly fur. It shouldn't be hard to rip on this one.




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Monday, September 12, 2005

I looked into the future, and the future looked back.

For the past century, cultural theorists have lamented a side-effect of technological innovation: alienation.
  • Humans alienated from other humans: instead of face to face contact, we pick up a phone or write an e-mail.
  • Humans alienated from animals: instead of stalking, hunting, killing, and preparing animals ourselves, we buy them in neat, unrecognizable form at the grocery store.
  • Humans alienated from their environment: instead of walking amongst the trees, we drive everywhere, enclosed in climate-controlled, steel capsules.
This much isolation defies our instincts, and we begin to look for solutions. Philosophers such as Emerson suggest that we go back to nature, give up our worldly conveniences to experience a more direct connection with the environment.

For those not ready for such a drastic lifestyle make-over, there may be other options. What about using the very instrument of our demise to craft a brighter future? By rethinking the role of technology in our lives, we can use technological innovation to re-establish or even strengthen our ties with other humans, animals, and the environment. Think about it: Who says that the only role of technology is to make things more convenient for humans?

We are quickly digging our way out of this narrow perspective. It's already happening with human to human communication: video-conferencing, cell-phones with cameras...these are all inventions designed to bring us closer.

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In the future, technology will go beyond facilitating human to human communication. It will allow us to understand and connect with animals and our environment -- perhaps better than ever before. One project embodies this trend: It's called Ooz, and it's my absolute favorite thing. in the world.

Ooz is like a zoo, except backwards. Instead of sticking animals in cages, Ooz tries to attract animals with various incentives (much as a restaurant or hotel would attract customers). The critters can come and go as they please.

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Ever feel like zoos are a little one-sided? Not Ooz. Here, the power is evenly distributed between humans and animals. For example, a horse can turn a computerized fence post to different positions to communicate certain desires: If he turns the post one way, a voice tells the human to come forward. If he turns it the other way, the voice tells the human to withdraw. He can even share his food (an apple) with a human by pushing the post to a third position.

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In the badger exhibit, humans will be able to turn a light switch on. However, the badger will have the option of turning it off.

Ever wish you could really interact with animals at the zoo? (other than making faces at the monkeys?) At Ooz, you sit in a "goose chair" and remote control a robotic goose to interact with the real geese out in the water. Your words will be translated into "goose language" and transmitted from the robot's mouth. If the real goose says something in return, their vocalization is translated into English and transmitted into your headphones.


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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Japanese Designers Say: New Clothes are Overrated

Fashion has visited and revisited every decade, century, fetish, and fantasy. Designers are finally getting bored of emulation and searching for a new approach-- with Japanese fashionistas leading the revolt. Instead of dreaming up a concept and then wrestling to recreate it with available material, the new trend is to get inspired by clothing or objects in the immediate environment. Think recycled clothing, altered objects, and clothing as art. This passive approach to design feels more natural -- instead of struggling with existing materials, work with them -- ask them what form they want to take. This is the fashion world's interpration of Rodin, who claimed not to sculpt a figure into the rock, but "discover" the figure inside the rock: "I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need."

It's interesting that fashion critics aren't sure how to categorize these recent attempts. The New Yorker calls the Tokyo Recycle Project "as much an art project as it is a commercial fashion enterprise." Started by Japanese designer Nakagawa Sochi, the Tokyo Recycle Project invites consumers to give their old clothes to the designer, and he will make them into a new garment. A nice alternative to the consumer madness in cities like Tokyo and New York: instead of walking out with new clothes, walk on in with your old duds -- come in with a baseball jacket, out with pantaloons.







Another only-in-Tokyo phenomenon: Taku, a 17-year-old Japanese street artist, will shred and rip your jeans ever so
artfully. He now works for 1921 denim -- pick out
your favorite 1921 jeans, send them over to Taku,
and he will conduct a personalized mauling (prices
start at $500). If you're interested, they're available
by special order from Fred Segal, Los Angeles, or the
Atrium in New York.






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Thursday, September 08, 2005

progressive fashion junkies on the runway

If you live in the Seattle area (or even if you don't) check out a little show called Hatch: The Rebirth of Fashion.

This show was thrown together by The Positive Alternatives Campaign a group whose mission is to bring "hip, earth-friendly, animal-friendly clothing and accessories to mainstream Seattle." Not surprisingly, the fashion show features designers who use alternative, cruelty-free materials.



One label, Queen Bee Creations, features bags, coin-purses, wallets, even record bags so delectable you might try to eat them if you're not careful. (Featured below are "click coin-purses")





Moo Shoes, originally a NYC based vegan store (the first of their kind), will also show off their wares. Below, some examples of their work (all available from their website):







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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

lazy green chill flats















A couple of readers have pointed out that the kenneth cole website does not carry these shoes. To purchase, click in the Amazon box:


(They come in green, black, and fuschia -- and of course, no moo-cows in these trotters)

You can find them by Kenneth Cole Reaction at http://www.kencole.com/