Going Green(er)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The state of the world these days has had me brutally examining my buying patterns and consumer choices lately. It's a scrutiny that's long overdue: I've been slowly (and rather unsuccessfully) trying to cut back on my over-consumption and make more eco-conscious choices when it comes to beauty and fashion buys. I could wax on and on about how I think this recession we're in will usher in major, but hopefully positive, changes to the fashion industry — and the pastime of shopping — as we know it, but I think that's another post for another day. Instead, I'll reference a quote from author Tatiana Boncompagni from the May issue of W that really resonated with me: "I don’t think this will be remembered as another Great Depression. I think it will be remembered as the Great Correction.”

But I digress! One big change I've made recently is to stop shopping at "disposable fashion" stores like H&M and Forever 21. Too often, I come home with a bunch of $10 pieces that fall apart after a few wears and can't even be resold in thrift stores. With discount codes and sales so rampant, I'd rather spend that $50 on one well-made item from, say, Theory, which might not be so bright and trendy, but will last much, much longer.

Not that these ideas are anything new — fash experts have been touting "quality over quantity" for years. But putting it into practice, well, that's another story.

But I digress again! I've also been trying to add more eco-conscious websites to my regular roster of shopping destinations. One of my new favorites is, created by my friend Maggie, which champions small, artisan-focused designers and stylish, eco-savvy lines. I'm dyyyyying over the Risto Bimbiloski Intergalactic Dress ($750) above — it's just so unusual, I imagine it's an instant compliment-getter — and Kerry Cassill's inventive printed shirtdresses ($145) below.

Also, every time I see these fab Beyond Skin pumps, I cannot believe they were made out of recycled bottle caps. Genius!

Newsflash: Devi Kroell is my Design Hero

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Austrian-born designer Devi Kroell — whose debut ready-to-wear line you may remember I shamelessly gushed over last year — was in D.C. recently as the guest of honor for the grand opening of the very cool high-fashion boutique Hu's Wear. Her insanely gorgeous pieces were even prettier in person (I'm seriously contemplating rolling my Louboutin fund into a Devi Kroell pleated eelskin clutch fund). And Devi herself was just so sweet and incredibly well-spoken about style that she pretty much instantly skyrocketed herself into my top five favorite designers, right up there next to Mr. Elbaz.

I did a small q&a with Devi here, but here's one of my favorite parts:

Q: In a crowded fashion industry, how do you create something new?

Devi: One thing that really inspires me is architecture. I find more inspiration in architectural shapes than vintage fashion. I actually really hate vintage clothes.

Q: Which explains why your designs have a very modern feel.

Devi: The '80s are very trendy now, but I would never say, "Let's redo Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' jacket." No way. I'd rather look to the future.

So, sort of thankfully, there will be no Balmain-esque jackets in her future — just chic, airy, exceptional clothes, like these favorites from her spring collection. Including my oversized eelskin fantasy bag. Droooool.

Bottoms Up!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My parents came for a visit this week, and in between the walking around and enjoying of the blissfully warm weather, I devoured the catalogues and magazines they brought from home. My favorite: Anthropologie's "From the Hip" spring catalogue, focused on pants, skirts and shoes — basically, anything from the waist down. The concept was totally fun, and the photography was so inventive.

And of course, I also totally want Anthro's near-perfect harem pants now...

Your monthly dose of shameless self-promotion

Friday, April 17, 2009

I've been super-busy this week, as the new spring issue of FW — the Washington Post's fashion glossy, a.k.a. where I have my day job — just came out on Wednesday. The issue is packed lots of fun, fashiony things (New spas! Statement necklaces! Some exciting details about upcoming fashion exhibits in NYC!), but my favorite thing is the above image from our cover shoot. I've been pretty much obsessed with this swingy Nanette Lepore print coat since I saw it on the runway last September, and I'm just so psyched to have been able to use it in a shoot.

I'm also blogging for FW every day over here. There's lots of good posts in the pipeline, so click on over if you start to miss me. Aw.

Okay, must go enjoy the sunshine now! It's gotten so warm, I'm thinking I'll even get to rock a romper or two this weekend…

Tiny hats.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I'm prepping for my triumphant return to Nashville's notoriously awesome Steeplechase horse race early next month, and was thinking that — instead of the typical big, floppy, wide-brimmed hat — I might want to go with something small and quirky instead. You know, mix it up a bit.

Something like, say, the mini boater hat from Pixie Market, which I've been drooling over for some time. But at $48, it seemed an awful lot for a tiny straw hat that I'll probably wear a couple of times — no matter how insanely adorably cute it might be.

My budget-minded alternative: I ended up purchasing a doll's straw hat off of eBay. It hasn't arrived yet — my only concern was getting the right size — but I'm pretty excited. Plus: it was $4.50, including shipping. Which means I can put the other $43 into my Louboutin fund.

Ommmm... Cakes and shoes...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Those cute gals over at Fashionation turned up an old Vogue Girl Korea editorial I don't think I'd seen yet. Of course, I'm smitten... All those cakes and shoes remind me of Marie Antoinette, the movie!

An exciting day here in Spinach HQ!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Permit me to tell a tiny tale. One year and one month ago, I got a really nice note from a reader named Genevieve. It was full of unexpected compliments and stuff, and also directed me to, which at the time featured a mood board with the picture above. Did I know what it was?, she asked politely.

I did not. But I became obsessed. I even e-mailed the writer (who was nice and actually responded, but didn't know). I googled relentlessly. I gave up.

And then today! I was flipping through Laird Borelli-Persson's newest book, The Cocktail Dress (which is fab, and I'm not just saying that because I once got to hang out with Laird for a week at India fashion week and thought she was super-cool), and there it was. My picture!

And so, the answer, ladies and gentlemen: It's a photo called "Girls in the Windows" by Ormond Gigli. The backstory is here. I am smitten all over again.

My dream, in YouTube format!

I think I would die from happiness if I ever got to do something like this. Which reminds me: Did you ever see this spontaneous food court musical? My inner Broadway diva is *dying*.

Just a little Sound of Music to start your Thursday!

Bending the Rules

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I am in a cleaning out/purging stage with my apartment, and am devoting all my free time to emptying drawers instead of blogging. The place has just been feeling a bit too cluttered lately, even by my own extreme-maximalist tastes. As a result, I'm trying hard not to buy things to add to all the stuff. Very, very hard. Like these shoes. Mmmmm… satin rosettes.

But! I totally caved when I saw the new magazine Uppercase, which looks to deliver the creative, clever, inspiring mix that is missing from so many mags. I bought a subscription instantly. I can't wait for it to arrive. I'm like a little kid who keeps checking the mailbox.