01

Apr

Pull up a chair!
We haven’t disappeared… I am on hiatus. I am currently taking applications for a Fashion Editor and 4 contributing writers:
1-      Retailing
2-      Fashion News
3-      Street Style
4-      Emerging Designers
 If you are looking to build your portfolio and love fashion, retailing or just passionate about style please submit why you want to write for CRACKERJACK+hOUSE and include 5 sample pieces of your work.
Passionately Fashionable,
Casey Golden

Pull up a chair!

We haven’t disappeared… I am on hiatus. I am currently taking applications for a Fashion Editor and 4 contributing writers:

1-      Retailing

2-      Fashion News

3-      Street Style

4-      Emerging Designers

 If you are looking to build your portfolio and love fashion, retailing or just passionate about style please submit why you want to write for CRACKERJACK+hOUSE and include 5 sample pieces of your work.

Passionately Fashionable,

Casey Golden

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20

Feb

Catching up with CJ+h

Is anyone still out there?

You may have wondered if there was anyone still here.

Ms. Casey Golden is, and she’s not going anywhere but up, up, up, kids. If you haven’t met her yet, make an appointment and see why her perspective on style is so keen and inspiring.

As for me, CJ+h’s first fashion editor, I will now be an occasional contributor until someone else takes the writing reins for the blog. And my contributions, for now, will be applicable posts from my own blog (like this one), as well as some look books to inspire you (like this one).

Thanks for following along this past fall, and I look forward to writing for you again in the future.

* Jeanne Ivy *

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10

Nov

Wearing the Wale

Tomorrow, is #Corduroy Appreciation Day, and CJ+h has some thoughts on how to stylishly celebrate this fabric on 11.11 (the day that most resembles corduroy).

Guys have it pretty easy when it comes to wearing corduroy. As long as their pants fit well and aren’t in a garish color, they can pull on a pair, put on a relaxed button down with the sleeves partially rolled up, and be set.

Women have a greater chance of making a mistep, so let’s get some cautions out of the way first. A chic corduroy dress is a rare thing (see one magnificent option above). You’ll find plenty of corduroy shirt dresses and  jumpers out there, but they’re likely to make you look frumpy or bulky no matter how darling and svelte you are. Corduroy shirts fall in the same category. And while we do have an example of corduroy in a print, the inherent pattern in the fabric can make prints seem a dizzying. Especially if the print is a floral. Please, for the love of all that is beautiful in the world, avoid floral corduroy at all costs. It’s horrible for so many reasons.

On the other hand, there’s lots to love about a pair of corduroy pants in a slim, contemporary fit and a little A-line or pencil corduroy skirt. You can easily build an entire ensemble starting with one of these pieces, and they can be as formal or as fetching as you want them to be. In that way, corduroy is just like that other great wardrobe staple—denim.

Yet you can add a big pop of color with corduroy in a way you can’t with denim. (Yes colored denim is super hot right now, but it’s a trend that comes and goes; colored corduroy has a lasting richness to it that makes it a classic.)

Other things to consider wearing are cropped jackets or blazers in feminine, le smoking cut. Make sure they have a finer wale to them, since a wider wale can add a sense of bulkiness. And if you want to feel a little less like a J. Crew prepster, pair corduroy accessories or shoes with an otherwise cord-free outfit.

Those are just a few suggestions to get you thinking about wearing this timeless seasonal fabric. If you don’t have it in your wardrobe already, get cracking. Tomorrow’s the perfect time to add it, wear it, and party in it. 

 

 

 

* Jeanne Ivy *

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03

Nov

Don’t Ignore the Digits

Let’s talk about rings, shall we? From a fashion perspective, this jewelry category is often minimized or altogether ignored. That might have been okay when society took for granted that women would only need the same two rings to see her through adulthood. But those days are long gone. Even married women are being non-traditional in the kinds of wedding sets they choose, what they suppliment them with, or if they have them at all.

This, however, is not a right-hand-ring post. It’s not about glamming up for the evening with the flashiest cocktail ring you can find, either.  

The point of this post is to encourage you to think about how stylish and transformative wearing a great ring can be. And who needs to commit to the latest Chanel shade on her fingernails when rings offer so much versatility and fun? Here are a few to inspire you.

* Jeanne Ivy *

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01

Nov

Shearling (Finally) Gets Stylish

There’s a whole lot of ugly shearling in fashion’s past, and some of it’s enough to make a person ill.

 

It has usually been part of lumberjack chic—an oxymoron if ever there was one—numbers and overly embellished pieces featured in catalogs for money-can’t-buy-taste retailers (we’re looking at you, Gorsuch).

 

But this autumn shearling is beginning to seem more stylish, either because it is being used with restraint or wit. A girl who wants to add some coziness to her ensemble could look to the former category, while a girl who has the confidence to make zany statement could look to the latter category. In either case, isn’t it a relief that a girl can stay on-trend with shearling while still feeling pretty?

 

See also: today’s NYT’s On the Runway blog.

 

 

 

* Jeanne Ivy *

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31

Oct

The Quandary of Beautiful Shoes

These Donna Karan #shoes, featured in the November @harpersbazaarus, are beautiful, covetable and perhaps completely unrealistic. They ask the question, “What’s a girl to do about artful shoes?”

If you are able to wear such shoes only in a genteel indoor space where they won’t be damaged, or if you have the resources (and the devil-may-care attitude) to feel comfortable wearing them only once, these shoes may not ask you that. 

For everyone else, these shoes present a quandary.

They will become subjected to damage the moment they’re worn anywhere except the most controlled environment. Little accidents happen every day. Shoes can get marred just walking down the street. Sometimes blemishes are easy to fix or hide. Or with some shoes, a few scuffs or flaws give them some cool girl cred. But luxury shoes that truly look like sculpture are in another category altogether. Repairing them may be impossible, and you probably cannot confidently own the imperfections any more than you could if you were driving a Jaguar with a ding in the fender.

Since they’re so artful, they could still present a temptation to people who don’t plan to wear them. But displaying them as art might not be a good choice either. A museum could get away with showcasing them, but an individual doing so at home (in anywhere but her closet) is likely to seem a bit affected or tacky.

So again, what’s a girl to do? If wearing or displaying the shoes present these problems, should she really have them? Is there a third option? There must be.

Here’s one possibility (as inspired by a friend of CJ+h who uses a silver champagne bucket as a paper towel holder): wear them as a modern and entirely glamorous version of house slippers. It’s an outrageous solution, but sometimes the best answers are.

* Jeanne Ivy *

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25

Oct

Grown-up Cute

If Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has taught us anything about #fashion, it’s this: you can be darling and cute and sweet and completely adult at the same time.

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24

Oct

Design for All (Yes, All)

Dear Elitists Who Malign Diffusion Lines and Capsule Collections,

The next time you say these less expensive items are tarnishing the labels you love to wear (or aspire to wear someday), here are some things to consider:

No one with the ability to see or touch will ever mistake your precious couture dress for one in an H&M, Target or Topshop capsule.

In fact, these approachable designs aren’t dragging down the value of your pieces. Instead, they’re building up the public’s appreciation and knowledge of what good design is.

If people can get real fashion at a low price point, they’ll be much less tempted to buy cheap fakes (which are vile for so many reasons).

This is the 21st Century. Step off your pedestal and embrace high-low fashion already.

And that concludes CJ+h’s Monday snark. XO.

 

* Jeanne Ivy *

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23

Oct

dressed to imperfection

“Dressing isn’t about perfection. This is such an English point of view, but I love things that are beautifully crafted yet slightly askew. When it comes to dressing, I don’t want everything to match or be from the same designer. Something in your mix should knock even your best look off a pedestal, like pairing our motorcycle jacket with that little black dress you’ve had for years. We’ll see you shining through—not just your outfit.”

—Burberry’s Christopher Bailey (in the November 2011 InStyle

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20

Oct

Lessons from the less-watched

Keeping up with smaller #fashion labels can be difficult or less enticing. The amount of  information the fashion industry—or any industry—provides today can be overwhelming, so it’s tempting to follow news about only a few select designers. But what do we miss if we pay attention to only the new luminaires and established favorites? Often, we’re missing where innovation is happening.

Consider A.F. Vandervorst. This duo presented their first collection in 1997, yet they don’t receive anywhere close to the level of press that would make them a household name (or even a name that casual fashion observers would know). If you’ve viewed their Spring 2012 show, you’d know that’s an unfortunate fact.

An Vandervorst and Filip Arickx mixed ceremonial elements (like marching band and military embellishments) with fluid, sensual draping for looks that could have gone horrible wrong, but instead were intriguing and inspiring. If they can successfully blend such seemingly disparate elements, what else might possible? What items in your own closet might be mixed in such a way? The AFV collection seems to ask these questions of us.

And that’s what’s one of the things that makes following smaller labels so worthwhile. Rather than handing down a vision from on high the way larger or hotter designers sometimes do, they’re more likely to invite us into a dialog and help us think about fashion in new ways. That is one of the marks of great designers, or any great artist, whether they’re well known or not.

* Jeanne Ivy *

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19

Oct

Mixing It Up at the CJ+h Blog

Would you like a little more frequency here? How about more consistency? And maybe a few more opinions and insights?

 

Us, too.

 

This Fashion Editor is cooking up some new ideas for November that will clue you in to what you can expect from the CJ+h blog, and when you should tune in (click in?) to read about different aspects of fashion.

 

Meanwhile, if you have designers, retailers or topics you’d love for us to talk about, leave a comment here to let us know.

 

Cheerio-ciao,

Jeanne

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17

Oct

The Opposite of Vanilla

Too many women who consult stylists are looking for a grown-up version of Garanimals. They want everything mapped out for them, and they want to know they’re wearing the latest fashion the way it’s supposed to be worn. The problem is, they all end up looking the same.

 

Does any stylist want her suggestions to be mechanically followed? Does she want an amazing designer piece to be reduced to something static?

 

If she’s a good stylist she doesn’t. What she’d prefer is to inspire and encourage her clients to play with fashion and develop what works best for them. She’ll shine a light on the new and help edit out the old, but only in the service of helping her clients be their distinctive selves—stylishly.

 

Look for a stylist who will support you like that, gals. You deserve to be more than a mannequin. You deserve to be the fashionably unique woman you are. 

 * Jeanne Ivy *

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11

Oct

Hipster Likes?

If you feel the urge to click the Facebook like button when seeing an image from one of the recent shows, ask yourself why you like the design. Is it because you want to wear it and know you could wear it? Or is it because—be honest—you want to show you’re so much hipper than the masses who you believe can’t spot the art in fashion? These questions came to mind while reviewing the Spring 2012 collections and seeing Facebook likes assigned to some of Maison Martin Margiela’s strange-just-to-be-strange designs.

Ten people felt compelled to like this on Facebook? Really?

Fashion often challenges us to rough up perfection and be a bit unusual, but asking us to be unattractive, strange or downright atrocious just because we can be is immature and unstylish.

Dislike, dislike, dislike.

P.S. Despite the example shown above, there were a few lovely dresses in the collection that are solidly in the “I’d like to feel like a goddess tonight” category. And gals, if you don’t have one of those dresses, find one. Right away.

* Jeanne Ivy *

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10

Oct

A CdG World

If you haven’t reviewed the Spring 2012 Comme des Garçons show yet, do. Just open a new tab on your browser, get thee to style.com, and then toggle back over here.

 

You’ve seen it now? Excellent.

 

Now let’s think about a world where we could actually where clothes like this.


 

Some designers are so obvious in trying to separate the runway from real life that it’s easy to feel jaded about their shoes. But much of CdG’s Spring 2012 show simply tweaked reality. Yet the tweaks were so fantastic there was a sense of watching a costume drama set in the not-so-distant future. The clothes are built on the past, as all designs are in one way or another, but they are unmistakably looking forward.

 

Sadly, that may be something fashion has been missing for awhile.

 

Even though there are some beautiful clothes and shoes and bags and baubles to adore, there are too few designers like CdG encouraging us to dress for a time and place we aspire to live in rather than requiring us to be the way we were.

 

 

* Jeanne Ivy *

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08

Oct

cheer/shriek/snore: Europe Spring 2012 

Surely you were following the Spring 2012 Milan and Paris news on Twitter, but how about a quick review of the shows? It’s the perfect way to introduce a compilation feature you’ll occasionally see on CJ+h: cheer/shriek/snore.

 

CHEER

 

Top row: Barabara Bui (Paris), Bottega Veneta (Milan), Carven (Paris), Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (Paris)

Center Row: Bottega Veneta (Milan), Emanuel Ungaro (Paris), Salvatore Ferragamo (Milan), Paco Rabanne (Paris)

Bottom Row: Andrew Gn (Paris), Rick Owens (Paris), Dries van Noten (Paris), Martin Grant (Paris)

 

SHRIEK

 

Top row: Ann Demeulemeester (Paris), Antonio Marras (Milan), Tsumori Chisato (Paris), Vivienne Westwood (Paris), Kenzo (Paris)

Center Row: Limi Feu (Paris), Junya Watanabe (Paris), Marni (Milan), Louis Vuitton (Paris), Missoni (Milan)

Bottom Row: Gucci (Milan), Missoni (Milan), Vionnet (Paris), Bluemarine (Milan), Damir Doma (Paris)

 

SNORE


Top row: Emporio Armani (Milan), Sacai (Paris), Julien David (Paris), Ter et Bantine (Milan), Gabriele Colangelo (Milan)

Bottom Row: Fendi (Milan), DSquared2 (Milan), Neil Barrett (Paris), Lanvin (Paris), Luisa Beccaria (Milan)

* Jeanne Ivy *

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