Tag Archives: shopping

Fashion for real guys…

20 Feb
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Paris is fake snow

This is a refreshing approach. Having reviewed most of the recent mens shows, comprised  of  South Sea barely clad Polish boys with 29 inch waists, asymmetrical  Japanese over coats worn by androgynous waifs and the most absurd of all retro coats modeled after Jackie Kennedy’s three-quarter sleeved, huge buttoned, pastel confections, for men? I don’t think so [at least not for me] I loved Jackie but never wanted to be her.

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All he needs is the sun glasses

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Alexandre Mattiussi, the Designer of the Label Ami has the right idea for the American man.

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Yes, after the show they ate pizza

1-Alexandre Mattiussi, the Designer of the Label Ami, Creates Buzz During Paris Men’s Fashion Week - NYTimes.com - Google Chrome 2202014 65650 AM

Remember those “school boy” shades?

2-Alexandre Mattiussi, the Designer of the Label Ami, Creates Buzz During Paris Men’s Fashion Week - NYTimes.com - Google Chrome 2202014 65717 AM

Real guys all shapes and sizes, a trend that seems to be occurring more and more, as designers opt for a broader audience.

More Shots http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/the-scene-mens-paris-fashion-week-ami-alexandre-mattiussi-fallwinter-2014/?action=click&contentCollection=Fashion%20%26%20Style&module=RelatedCoverage&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

New York Times….http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/fashion/Fashion-Alexandre-Mattiussi-Ami-Paris-Mens-Fashion-Week.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140220

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Lanvin St. Honore

18 Feb

1-01-LANVIN Paris - Life at Lanvin - Windows Fbg St Honoré - ANONYMOUS - Google Chrome 2182014 21048 PM

Simply perfect, always leave it to the French.  Lanvin’s early Spring windows are stunning, simple, chic and I’m jealous. this is exactly my favorite type of display. The COLORS are luscious, After having done display for years I understand the use of packaging. I cant tell you how many times I’ve resorted to bags or boxes. It’s always been the Display mans last choice [due to lack of budget or concept] Budget was not a concern for Lanvin and look what a great set of window they produced.

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New York Fashion Week

9 Feb
 
Fall is texture, faux fur, loose knits, netting, embroidery. Multiple layers of fabrics that create color like a transparent watercolor painting (Chanel is right on the money) Fall is beautiful this year. The short jacket over body concious under pinnings, sexy, fun and luxe.
 

The Dollar is the New Quarter

3 Feb

snow day 3

Yesterday it was 48 degrees the snow from previous storm was gone, not so this morning its coming down thick and wet. For a brief moment my thoughts had turned to Spring but now it seems  winter is here to stay. Time for the bread and milk run again. off I went to the “Stop and Go” our local 24/7 junk food resource. OK, bread, half and half,  a can of coffee and a few packets of ramen noodles, that’s all I need to survive the latest assault. Waiting in line I noticed the cashier unpacking new product. Upon closer inspection I saw it was a local favorite Zitner’s chocolate covered Easter eggs. It’s 20 degrees snow is falling and its Easter? I am fully aware that in my profession pushing the next season is simply a matter of course, but REALLY Easter Eggs? I’m not ready for this, even though their butter creams with dark chocolate are heaven.

I asked for a few when she told me that will be 3.67 I was shocked, these used to be 35 cents a piece, now they are 1.19. Oh man! To add insult to injury they shrunk to half the size, [just like everything has of late, even Oreos] I’m just not meant for this world anymore. I hate sounding like my father in the 60’s complaining that his Chevy new was 2.500. “My first used Oldsmobile sold for 100 bucks” he would exclaim. I can’t even imagine his reaction if he knew that  Chevy loaded would be 26.000 today. A price which sounds reasonable to me. Cars are not candy Easter eggs, they don’t shrink with increasing materials costs [just pay more for options you don’t need] To prove my point look at the photo with a quarter next to the egg. Proof positive that a dollar is the new quarter.

1-(34 unread) - vardisellistm - Yahoo Mail - Google Chrome 232014 105332 AM

Henry Callahan..The Height of Display

20 Jan

When I reflect upon my career I guess I’ve been a lucky guy. I’ve been able to support myself freelance during most of it, except during the last recession which struck the worst blow to retail I have ever experienced. Which, I might add is still lingering on. Retail is just not the same since. The advent of the internet hasn’t helped brick and mortar either. There will always be a “high-end” customer that delights in personal service,but they have become an endangered species. There are simply not enough of them to support the huge amount of retailers yearning for their dollar. The local retailer has had a hard time remaining competitive in the face of the invasion of the “big box” merchants. All in all the last eight years have been bleak.

To combat the malaise in the retail sector lets look back to the Golden Era of retail, the post war years when their was a “chicken in every pot and a car in every driveway. Every boomer remembers tagging along with mom as she dragged us through the great department stores that once where a fixture in every town and city center. Those days of doormen,excellent service and sparkling merchandise,made a lasting impression on me that shaped my future and are still the measure by which I judge my own work.

During my post Art school days I was fortunate to have met Henry Callahan the master of classic display .Mr. Callahan, who was born in Oakland, Calif., grew up in Philadelphia, where as a teen-ager he became a display apprentice to Strawbridge & Clothier’s department store. He later became head of window display at Lord & Taylor in New York City and display head for Schenley, the liquor concern.

In 1957, he joined Saks Fifth Avenue, where he became a vice president and the corporate director of visual merchandise. He retired in 1977. His favorite windows, he once told an interviewer, were of Southern belles napping in hammocks and wearing lace pastel-colored dresses. A hidden mechanism made their chests gently rise and fall as they slept.

I met Henry through a common friend who had tagged me as a perfect display man [before I knew it myself] Henry was retired and living in a snug town house on the very fashionable Delancey Street in Philadelphia. I remember well sitting in his front parlor as he poured tea from a beautiful Limoges pot and spoke to me about his days at Saks as he turned the pages of his scrap books [many scrapbooks] his words still stick in my mind, “You must wear many hats” he said “you must be an artist first and then a painter, a carpenter, a tailor, an architect, and a janitor” Henry had no fantasies about a life in retail, “You have to love what you do or do something else” Henry was kind and introduced me to a number of contacts that launched my career. His words still come to me when I feel I had chosen the wrong path, that I should have chosen a more secure profession and work 9 to 5 for 30 years and retire with a pension. Too late for that now…and I still believe you have to love what you do… Thanks Henry, you were right.

Now for a beautiful collection of Mr Callahan’s work, impeccable, timeless and without equal.

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A Parisienne Christmas

8 Dec

 

The Shopping Bag Hangs Itself

3 Dec
Clever novelty

Clever novelty

This is a clever idea, Origami hits your closet.  Imagine Joan Crawford’s frustration when trying to beat her child with a paper hanger. This is not a solution for “Closet Snobs” like me, its taken years for me to achieve a set of matching hangers, which I derive a great deal of pleasure from. I know it sounds stupid but it’s just one of those small rewards that advanced age provides us. Twice a year when I change the seasonal selection in my closets I edit hangars and replace those that offend me. I’m proud of my selection of wooden hangers [some of which are from vintage hotels]  A career in retail has made me hyper aware of the “perceived value” a hanger bestows upon a garment. One does not hang your best pieces on cheap hangers, I practice what I preach…..”NO WIRE HANGERS” [or paper shopping bags for me] The bag hanger idea is perfect only for a younger set with a limited wardrobe. The “green” aspects are noble, I respect that, a perfect novelty for Old Navy or H&M to enhance their sustainable image. Disposable garments deserve disposable hangers for efficient recycling.

check it out….http://gizmodo.com/a-paper-shopping-bag-that-transforms-into-a-hanger-back-1472792848#!

Remembering the 80’s…Mall Life

4 Nov

The 80’s seems like a far off land in the following photos. The the suburban mall for many was the “Main Street” that developers built to destroy small town commercial strips that were abandoned for the “glamour” of air conditioned pleasure domes of commerce. Big hair, big shoulders and big credit limits made them a mecca for teenage liaisons and retiree “walk and eat” diversion. Look closely I have strange feeling that the next BIG thing might be the 80’s we’ve exhausted every other decade.

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124205 PM

Planters, benches fountains and Ficus trees were the standard decor.

Rental agents had not yet realized that carts could produce more income.

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123541 PM

Big hair, tie dye and skin tight stone wash denim.

Note the diagonally laid planks, a 70’s design feature.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 114612 AM

Gold chains, Branded Tees and a mall strut attitude.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124051 PM

Hi tops were the thing, notice they are all white.

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123721 PM

The oversized bomber jacket with Hi tops she inspects the Leopard prints

No cellphones

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123832 PM

Tube grew in size but still operated on broadcast.

No internet connectivity

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123649 PM

Your typical Mall crawlers

No clue

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123940 PM

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on VCR cassette

No Netflicks

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 123906 PM

Lots of fake snow.Lots of white lights

No originality

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124025 PM

And NO CELLPHONES, what a novelty!

Michael Galinsky's Malls Across America book sheds light on shoppers that defined 1980s  Mail Online - Google Chrome 1132013 124133 PM

Artificial plants, Sears and a motorized Shopping cart, How modern, What will they think of next?

Cellphones

Ernesto Tailors..A Quick Window

10 Oct

20131010-201438.jpgI’ve worked for Ernesto Tailors for longer than I care to admit. After a number of years one can get really familiar with a window space. The number of items and the sizes have become second nature to me,the window is permanently on display in my brain. Today’s install was a perfect example. I threw this one together in record time. Thanks to Google and Staples copy center. Windows have become rapid to fabricate and economical due to all the new technology. This one was only forty bucks in materials, but that was due to fact that I did not have a Mylar tag line on the glass, which would have been at least fifty dollars more. Even so at  one hundred  in material costs  this window was a bargain. The ironic truth about increasing the perceived value of the products it displays.

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Silhouette chandeliers have been all the rage of late,( I generally avoid the rage) but this time due to too many installs this week, I wasn’t feeling edgy, chandeliers lent themselves to the Holiday feeling of the tuxedos and dressy suits. The other reason for my choice is the fast approaching Christmas season. In two weeks it will easily morph into a holiday display with a layer of glitz  and a bit of red.

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The Velvet Lily

28 Sep

Philadelphia is finally out of the closet. Last night I attended the opening of a new shop The Velvet Lily. It’s located just around the corner from Row Home/Kitchenette,on Chestnut street once the premier shopping area in town. Like so many other urban areas the street had lost its luster. No longer home the grand shops of post war America it has for 20 years been home to cheap audio/we buy gold shops, 7 11s and tawdry juniors separates. Things are looking up high-end home furnishings, chic restaurants and now erotic toy stores have taken advantage of lower rents and the street is coming back.

The Velvet Lily is not the condom kingdoms that became popular 10 years ago, with silly edible panties and studded collars. The Lily is for the connoisseur of erotic pleasures. I’m sure it will raise a few eyebrows with its elegant display of high-end merchandise. I loved it, the open bar and the D.J. kept the crowd entertained and intrigued with possibilities of new erotic horizons.

Have a look at the event and the products. A good time was had by all and I bet the after party was even better, but I had another event to attend. Damn it


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Shop online http://www.thevelvetlily.com/

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