(not so) random links

on the subject of conspicuous consumption and conspicuous thrift:
-flaunting expense or thrift, some ponderings on same by the very smart barry over at 3stylelife
-the case against thrift (from salon) and conspicuous thrift (from the la times) (both via nubby twiglet)
myself? well, i've always had more of a thing for showing off my thriftiness in a conspicuous way (proudly advertising my love of thrift store clothing), or at least sharing my love for new nicer things in a quieter, more mixed up way (i.e., no logos, no/or few obvious of the moment, instantly recognizable uber trendy pieces), rather than buying and wearing a lot of fancy, trendy, omg it's "THE THING TO HAVE RIGHT NOW" stuff just so others will know how much i spent/how much i am allegedly worth.
anyway, so...the trend now is toward playing style down, away from showing off. it's been brewing for a while, an artifact of this deepening recession (depression?), to some degree and just am equal and opposite reaction to the way things were (the reverse) not so long ago...and frankly, you know? i kind of like it.
i'm thinking, and have thought for a long while, that it might be good, on a culture-wide, world-wide level to go the other way, the opposite way from all that hyper-consumption, to scale back, step back, to be more careful, more cautious, at least when it comes to spending habits. maybe it's a good idea, on a broad level. but maybe not. maybe just a personal level? but then again, if lots of persons do it at once it does become broad...
i don't know, maybe i'm just really desiring a paradigm of moderation, not extremes with mass over spending or under spending.
but anyway...
are you feeling it now too? this turning away from crazy spending? were you not feeling it before, but are feeling it now?
is it, in any way, a good thing, this retraction, reaction, to the former trend of conspicuous consumption?
or will it bite us in the ass somehow?
if we stop spending altogether, will the whole capitalist 'system' collapse, as some fear?
any economists (or amateur economists? heh!) with a fashion bent lurking out there want to chime in on this subject?


i always had this feeling that fast fashion retailers were lurking around street fashion/fashion-sharing websites/fashion or style blogs, and pilfering ideas. my suspicions are now confirmed. see: websites feed fast fashion inspiration (via the international herald tribune)
how do YOU like being watched?
do you realize they are watching you and what you like to look at (street style blogs) in order to better sell to you? do you realize that money is being made off of you?
how does that make you feel, this being watched? are you okay with it?


quick and dirty, just like you like it:
-via incense and peppermint, in a post over in the wardrobe_remix discussion forums, comes word of a lulz blog that takes the piss out of lookbook.nu, called lolbook.nu. it's pretty darn funny. gotta be able to laugh at yourself and take fashion (and photographing your style and self) less seriously sometimes, i say!
-woo, a fannypack tute! (via craftster.com)
-these DIY-ed "slide-dyed" denim jeans on finnish blog nelliinan vaateheone are pretty damn hot! the text of the blog (and the post in question) is in finnish, but the resulting jeans are so stunning, they speak for themselves. go on and replicate them! (via outsapop)
-craft: has declared march to be mending month, and as such, they have been posting (and are planning to post) great little ideas for mending and making do, as they say. i particularly like this recently-posted, easy (and cute!) elbow patch how-to!

(not so) random links

-it's official: the recession is in full swing, and people are spending less across the board...consumers and companies. boutiques and big & little retail stores appear to be offering huge discounts, advertising ginormous sales, moving their businesses to different (read: cheaper) areas of town, cutting back their opening hours, or even just plain going out of business. on that note, see this absolutely fascinating, in-depth, multi-part article about the ominous and sad shakeout that has been happening on the retail scene in new york city over the past several months (via new york magazine). i am seeing evidence of some of these trends in the city in which i currently reside (san francisco), and have noted the following (as i stroll my baby around downtown and window shop):

*generally, most stores seem kinda empty, or at least less peopled than they once were. of course, i cannot quantify this, it's just a feeling/obsevation. i have noticed more people lurking around discount tables and racks, however...

*department stores, major chain stores (like old navy, for instance), and even boutiques seem to be bogged down with tons of clearance items and are advertising big savings and steep discounts on top of discounts...

*h&m was handing out 20%+ off-one-item coupons this week, hoping to entice people to buy...

*peripherally related to fashion: i learned that a nice yarn store here in the bay area, artfibers, moved across the bay to oakland, in search of what i am sure is cheaper rent (they had a centralized location right downtown here in SF, i'm guessing they won't have the same foot traffic in their new digs)...

so, question time, addressed to you: what's happening on the retail scene where YOU live, as a result of the economic downturn? are stores closing, moving, or selling off big bunches of goods for little prices? are there any retail establishment whose demise you particularly lament? are any stores in your area enjoying an unlikely boon in this economically busted time in which we currently live? who's surviving in retail, or will survive? and why? care to posit?


a whole bunch of quick and dirty (i have a backlog!):

-the amazing knit maven stephanie japel of glampyre, genius that she is, has come up with an easy triangular scarf pattern that was developed to help one use up those fun single skeins that seem to lurk around in one's stash, looking for a good use...it's called reclamation. LOVE THIS.

-knitter? fan of owls? check out this sweater pattern by needled that has owls encirling it's yoke. v. cute! (via craft:)

- i just recently learned about weekend designer, a pattern drafting blog. brilliant idea! according to said blog's about page, "most of the tutorials (posted on the blog) illustrate basic concepts in pattern-drafting or are patternless designs".

-i LOVE this little japanese-looking "grab bag" pattern from allpeoplequilt.com (via craft nectar and whip up) love the idea for using said little bag for little incidentals one picks up while shopping, particularly when going to the farmer's market, etc.

-here's a few more bag-making links for you: fat quarter tote by cicada daydream (via craft:), rag rug handbag (via whip up)

-the suburban queen passes on an inventive bit of knitting inspiration: a cardigan that isn't a cardigan at all, but rather, a long piece of knitting, buttoned in the front! what a superb idea!

-the observer (UK) has a series of how-to's online called make your own: designer clothes and accessories. amongst the gems on the site: viv westwood details how to make a dress and a how-to on how to recreate one of waistcoats from martin margiela's 2009 artisanal collection...(thanks, farpitz)

-casey of elegant musings passes on some helpful links on the subject of pattern grading (sizing)...here and here. good info to have at hand to help you when you find that perfect vintage pattern in a thrift, but it's not in your size...

-ethical style passes on some super smart vintage shopping tips from judy at atlantis home/jane at sea of shoes (they are mother & daughter)...

-how to make a very haute ruffle necklace, courtesy of morgan of panda head magazine, over at brightest young things...

(not so) random links

this week, some tales (and troubles) concerning thrifts, thrifting and thriftiness:
-according to the NYT, in poland, style comes used and by the pound. apparently, buying and wearing second-hand clothing was once looked down upon by the hip folk in that formerly communist eastern european nation...they allegedly once eschewed used goods with much distain, instead favoring new, designer threads that suggested wealth (when there was little to go around). nowadays young poles, living and thriving in a more burgeoning economy (at least compared to the old days) are following in the footsteps of trendy city dwellers worldwide, and are deigning to dig through the stacks and racks at their local thrift (or thrift store equivalent)...and are sporting secondhand duds with pride. funny how times and perceptions change, when it comes to matters of culture and clothing.
i'm an old gal: i just reached the ripe old age of 33 this past summer. i can remember when secondhand shopping was considered really gross and distasteful, and looked down upon by most. back in the late 80s, early 90s when i was a teen obsessed with vintage clothing, the act of wearing said "vintage" clothing was at the time considered really alternative and subversive, at least where i grew up...in the steamy, sunny, all-american suburbs of central florida. if you wore old, used things, you were considered, at best, a freak...and most people probably assumed that if you bought and wore such garments, you were poor. if you had money then, you bought brand new things, natch!: reebok high tops! guess jeans! bennetton sweaters! it wasn't until the late 1990s, i feel, that thrifting, and vintage clothing became a more mainstream trend...it's when i noticed the practice getting lip service in the media (magazines, television, the internet, and so forth). times are so different now than they once were.
so, i'm curious:
-anyone else of a similar or earlier vintage to myself remember when wearing old clothes here in the states was not so chic? why was this so?
-did the bull market of recent years past encourage experimentation clothing-wise in a mainstream sense? in other words, when the economy is good, are people more willing to experiment? do people feel free to eschew expensive items when they have the luxury of choice? if we do indeed fall firmly into a recession or depression, will the wearing of old things again become something disdainful, or will the burgeoning commitment to wearing green (as a worldwide trend) keep the secondhand buying and wearing in vogue for years to come?
on a related note:
those secondhand clothing stores many of us have grown to love to pilfer paw through are sadly no longer packed with racks and racks of nice, quality old threads, ripe for the picking. these days, said stores are brimming with tons of barely worn, chintzy castoffs from discount fast fashion retailers such as primark, wal-mart, target, and the like. such clothes were little more than trash from the get-go, treated as if they were, for all intents and purposes, disposable, by the manufacturer *and* the consumer. but the trouble is, said clothes aren't as disposable as they seem...they are in deplorable condition almost from the first wearing, and as one might guess, they hold little to no value with regard to recycling and resale.
according to the times online:

textiles have become the fastest-growing waste product in the UK. about 74 per cent of those two million tonnes of clothes we buy each year end up in landfills, rotting slowly (or not at all) in a mass of polyester, viscose and acrylic blends.

a very small percentage of said used clothing is considered sellable in the developed world...but the rest of that crappy, cheaply made clothing is baled up, sold wholesale, and then shipped by the boatload to developing nations (africa, eastern europe, etc.).
some of it gets reborn in products like those made by companies like kilakitu (they fashion fabulously stylish shirts and such out of the aforementioned castoffs that have been sent to africa)...
but what the people of those developing nations cannot or do not use, ends up in the landfills of those nations, basically rotting away (if it's able to rot at all!). out of sight and mind, then (at least to us), eh? wear it once, ditch it, and never think about it again...on a national, and really, global, level.
makes me wonder:
-why do companies even shill that junky crap to begin with? oh yes, greed. but, why do we buy it? why has quality become a forgotten virtue when it comes to matters of clothing, pushed to the wayside by the desperate pursuit of quantity? hasn't the notion of more over less, for less gotten old and out of favor yet? or will such persist in the face of further stretching one's precious and rare dollars/pounds/euros/yen/etc.?
i'm pointing the finger at us all (myself included!) when i question the way it is, and the way it could be:
-why can't we or why don't we in the affluent west make a real effort to live with less? why can't there be more of a widespread trend to try to wear the same thing over and over, but...in a creative way, mixing it all up in a cool way each time so's it looks different? perhaps those who keep their closets carefully and crisply edited, and cunningly curated should be loudly lauded, in lieu of the current trend to congratulate conspicuous consumption? media (blogs included!), get on that, won't you?
i really the sentiment behind this quote from the same article (said by a supposed supermodel here in the states):

"female celebrities need to demonstrate that it's possible to be happy while wearing the same thing,” he says. “it's where we were 20 years ago. lives weren't ruined by lack of clothes. it's a habit that we could break.
if we spent exactly double the amount of money on each garment and bought exactly half as many garments, nobody would be impoverished by that."

see also: talk is cheap: the new thrift (via the new york times), wherein rob walker questions the "new" trend, frugality, and it's relationship to the old and allegedly now outre trend, hyperconsumerism.


the quicke and dirtee:
-model elyse sewell is hilarious. her blog is one of my new favorite online reads, mostly because i dig her sick/black sense of humor. she now resides and works in china, and her view into daily life in that country is fascinating. i had no idea who she was until like, last week, having not ever been a viewer (or fan) of america's next top model...
-thrift town, my favorite thrift store here in SF, has a myspace page. who knew? (not me obviously...)
-for a seasonally appropriate laugh, see this round-up of fugly holiday sweaters over at list of the day. *snort* (thanks to my husband for sending that linky my way!)
-i agree with dreamecho, danish streetstyle site gademode is, as she stated recently, deliciously different than the usual suspects in said blogging category.
-an article on the phenom of street style blogging, and the alleged best of the best in that category, from the new york times.
i wanna ask: do you look at street style sites merely for the eye candy, or do you use the inspiration found within to literally inform what you wear (i.e., do you copy what you see piecemeal or wholesale)? am i alone in just liking to look but not aspiring to replicate what i see exactly, if at all? the trend (from what i see in perusing blogs) suggests most have a penchant for the former...