October 27, 2009

ON REPLAY: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

Tonight on our Top 40 Radio Station, KDWB, Lady Gaga's newest single, Bad Romance, aired on their nightly segment called The New-ish at Nine-ish, or something to that effect. The premise of the feature is to pit two new songs against each other, one is the previous night's champion, and the other the contender. Listeners call in to vote...yada yada yada...

Let's see, the first time I heard this song was at the finale for Alexander McQueen's Spring 2010 show...I remember waking up and going directly to his website to watch the streaming recording...10.07.2009. Both the song and show were fabulous. Fabulous to the max -- walking down the runway in these shoes with this song? Fabulous. FEROCIOUS.

image via fashionologie

images via style.com

So, 20 days, that's the lag-time for a hot single to finally percolate into middle America? And Lady Gaga lost tonight too! To some single by Uncle Kracker! Which took 68% of the votes! Minnesota, YOU LOSE.

October 25, 2009

Tuxedo Suit by Viktor & Rolf for H&M

Personally, I feel the Viktor & Rolf X H&M collection has been one of the best to come out of the H&M designer collaboration series thus far. It's now coming up on three years since the collection launched, and I remember feeling very frustrated at having landed myself in the predicament of living in Minnesota, when, two years prior, I was in a city out East that was special enough to carry Karl Lagerfeld for H&M. While the rest of the world went on a crazy rampage for Viktor & Rolf, I felt left out and saddened that if I truly wanted to join the party, I'd have to shell out for the skyrocketing Ebay prices...I never got my hands on a single piece of the men's collection that November of 2006...

Somehow, I temporarily got over the fact that it just wasn't meant to be that I would own a piece of the action, and I moved on...

...that is, until I resurfaced on some old postings on the SuFu Marketplace Forums this past summer, and my interest in tracking down a key piece or two was reignited. Periodically, I've been crawling onto Ebay and searching out what's currently up for auction. The majority of the time, my search comes up with only women's pieces. But every so often, a men's item will pop up. I'm now under the impression that for whatever initial reason -- perhaps the men's line was not produced in such mass quantity, or the initial collectors remain to hang onto their finds -- pieces from the men's portion of the collection are much harder to find these days than their female counterparts.

Recently, the smoking/tuxedo suit -- both jacket and pants...and in my size! -- was put up, and I'm very pleased with myself for winning the auction. I must say, the resalel value for the items in this collection -- both men and women -- remains very favorable to the seller. I'm happy I did not pay over the initial selling price, given this is a used item, but I was relatively surprised at the winning bid.

I cannot wait for this suit to arrive! Once it does, I'll have to take better pictures than the ones used in the auction. Perhaps I'll get a chance to whip it out this holiday season.

Claudia Hapeman Venetian Masks on GILT.com

Much to my dismay, I slept in yesterday morning and woke up to find that the majority of the masks on the "Masked Crusader" sale on GILTman.com were already sold out just ONE HOUR into the sale. Boo-hoo-hoooo...

All week long, I had been anticipating what exactly would be offered on this sale. Yesterday, I learned the Venetian-style masks are designed by Claudia Hapeman. Her pieces are exquisitely detailed works of art, and some much more ostentatious than others. It would have been nice to settle on one of the styles I've posted here...they're the more pared down styles that were offered on the sale, but they're elaborate enough and flashy enough for me. Check out the detail on the up-close shots...that's definitely something worth appreciating. I hope Gilt Groupe brings back this offering...Gilt, if you're reading this, please sell these again!

In the meantime, similarly-styled masks by Ms. Hapeman can be found and bought exclusively on SoCal Design Company. Even if I missed out on the sale, the one good thing is -- and I love that Gilt is always introducing me to new names and labels -- I now know where to go for quality festive masks.

October 22, 2009

H&M Southdale Store Opening

H&M opened at Southdale Shopping Center at noon today. Curious as to what type of crowd might show up as well as what the new store would have to offer -- both in the store as well as in their free gift bag to the first 100 customers, I duly made my way to Edina this morning. Showing up with a half hour to spare, I was met with an already formed line of excited customers, which snaked past one side of the storefront and past three others. Impressive for my neck of the woods, yea?? The crowd was a mix of mothers with their babies in tow (expected in a midday mall crowd wouldn't you say?) as well as young adults who were probably skipping class (shame!..but i'm guilty too). I couldn't even see the store from where I was standing in line...

At about 15 'til, employees started handing out small nylon knapsacks along with a scratch-off card that revealed a monetary amount. Sadly, Sasha didn't want to give me more than $10 to spend...

Afterwards, a gaggle of employees ran past the queue clapping and cheering...a lot of them looked awkwardly uncomfortable...

And not too much longer after that, I was in.

The men's section is fair...a decent serving of the Divided and H&M Man lines but nothing that stood out to me...let's just say I'll be sticking to the selection at the Mall of America, which definitely has a much more involved offering... If you're interested in checking it out yourself, the men's section is located on the second floor at the entrance past the seductively brooding Andres Velencoso Segura (for the time being).

I did manage to pick up this scarf with fringe detailing...I've been on the search for one...with my coupon, it was worth the purchase...otherwise, I think I would have left it alone...

The gift bag has a few odds and ends...the latest issue of their in-store magazine (oh hey there, Angela!), a couple coin wallets, small notebook, a keychain, and a tee-shirt that was a women's M. Nothing to write home about, but hey, a gift is a gift and always appreciated! Thanks H&M for an interesting morning. Now I wonder if there were men's tees floating around...

October 21, 2009

T. Rains by Traver Rains

T. Rains is Traver Rains' new line of tees, screened with processed pictures that appear to be from his own photo collection. The tall drink of handsome cowboy of the Heatherette duo, Rains draws upon a similar glam, glitz, and color but adds the right dose of rotten, testost, and Americana that altogether, borders on a trailer park chic and lets the line stand on its own.

Based on what I read from Nylon Mag, this line hasn't been out for long...in fact, Rains' myspace account that's linked to his online store seems to have only been up and running since earlier this month. I'm kinda loving the "Top" tee...complete with the cool little pistol pin...as well as the "Outhouse" tee...but the one I'm truly intrigued with has two naked cowboys on the front...I'll leave it up to you the reader to check it out on your own (you can also click through his online photogs to find the original ;) There's FREE SHIPPING for the time being added into the deal if that helps!

October 18, 2009

HDNB <3's Daniel Liu

UPDATE 11/16/2009 >> Daniel's editorial for GQ China has materialized! Click HERE to see the photos.

Last week, while sorting through my inbox, I noticed GILT.com had decided on an Asian face to showcase their PRPS sale. To be honest, I'd never seen him before, but I was pleased to see yet another Asian model doing his part to diversify the look of the industry...I saved a few pics, and figured it'd make for something good to discuss in the future.

Between now and then, I've learned his name is Daniel Liu, he's TAIWANESE (which is HUGE and AWESOME in my mind...anybody want to take a stab at my ethnicity? hehe...), and he's signed with Ford Models. Jealous, to say the least. He seems to be relatively new...as in...end of the summer new.

comp card image via Asian Models Blog

NPR has a nice interview with him conducted by Linda Wertheimer that aired early in September and is available for replay online...he's got a beautiful deep and gentle voice to match his looks. The interview is also trascribed. A couple excerpts...

On what made him a hit with Ford:

"You know, I don't know if it's, like, any one thing. I've been told I've got very strong cheekbones. I've definitely got the height. So…"

On looking toward what's next:

"And well, I'm also on hold for a couple of projects. I don't know if they're going to go through yet, but I am on hold for GQ China."

In Uniqlo's winter ad campaign for their HeatTech line, he's already sitting there next to Sean O'Pry, Boyd Holbrook, and Blaine Cook. Impressive.

Here's to hoping he keeps on climbing up the popularity index so we can see more of him...definitely keeping my eyes and ears peeled on GQ China...but just in case, let me know if you hear of anything first!

In the meantime, in terms of additional images, there is a set from a largely Western-themed shoot that can be found on John Tan Casting. There's also an interview posted on Mr. Tan's blog. The image below is my favorite of the set...not too overtly sexed up, but the fact that the sweater is Tom Ford keeps it sexy enough. Personally, I feel if you add a pair of thermal long-johns, especially w/ those socks as shown, and then a pair of black boots, you're ready to go traipsing around in public...

image courtesy of John Tan Casting, Photographer: Karl Simone, Fashion Editor/Casting: John Tan, Grooming: Yinna Wang for Badass Hair

LOCAL FLAVOR: Window Shopping @ Arbor Lakes

Yesterday was a beautiful day indeed, the sun was out and still strong enough to convey warmth, and yet, the air was crisp and cool...appropriate for a mid-October day. After a very hearty brunch, we decided it wouldn't do to just head indoors, and so we opted to take on some light window shopping...outdoor village style. The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes is a quaintly designed outdoor shopping mall...cute in theory, it's unfortunate there's nothing actually there...for women's, the Anthropologie seems like a pretty impressive coup for whatever management company owns this establishment...but for the guys...nothing... There is a J. Crew, but it's a women's only shop (oooh, SO CLOSE!). So very light, and very window it was...

LOCAL FLAVOR: Saturday Brunch @ Uptown Diner, 10.17.2009

Favorite place to grab brunch in Minneapolis: Uptown Diner.
Favorite item to order off the menu: Crabcake Benedict.

On Replay: Heartbreak "Make Me A Dancer" (Club Mix) by Freemasons feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Any guesses on where I picked up this single over the weekend? I'm not proud of it...but music I like is music I like.

"DJ give me the answer..."

October 17, 2009

not Ken, Christian Louboutin "Rollerball" Studded Flats...and Barbie

A while back ago, I mentioned Barbie's visit to the Mall of America, both in the form of pop-up shop and retrospective exhibition. On a more glamorous level, WWD reports today on Christian Louboutin for Barbie, the latest collaboration celebrating Barbie's 50th birthday. I don't feel the need to rehash when and where the dolls and doll-sized shoes that come out of this collection will be sold. But I did find the photo diary that is also part of this collection rather interesting. Per WWD:
The diary, which comes with the jewel thief Barbie and is also sold separately for $40, is titled “My Year in Paris With Christian Louboutin.” Launching in December, it features photos of the doll shopping with Louboutin in his boutique, on a journey down the Nile, performing at the Moulin Rouge and in a cafe with a male doll that is decidedly not Ken.

“I will have to go with no comment,” Cota said of the non-Ken. “He is a boy who is a friend and not necessarily a boyfriend. As a rule, we don’t comment on Barbie and Ken’s personal life, but I can tell you they are definitely talking and they’re friendly.”

Ken or not Ken, he looks gorgeous. And if he's not Barbie's boyfriend, maybe he should move on and meet Ken. Regardless, he isn't the only stand-in for Ken in the images from this photo diary -- Christian Louboutin seems to be the only actual human posing in each picture (of which previews can be seen on WWD), all the other attractive male characters are plastic. It's fantastic.

And speaking of Monsieur Louboutin himself, it appears he's donned his own footwear label when it comes to posing in front of the lense. Check him out in his Rollerball studded flats. Wonderful.

image from Jak & Jil

October 15, 2009

Unlocking the Wonders of Blogger

Up until now, I've been playing around on my Wordpress blog, hotdishandbars.wordpress.com. Very soon after I started blogging, I realized the limitations set by Wordpress on their system for novices like me -- namely, very little flexibility with appearances outside of their set themes -- would ultimately become a hindrance. Now that I've become comfortable with the basics of blogging, I've moved on to Blogger with the goal of taking more control over how my content comes across to the reader.

Bear with me as I begin transferring some of my old posts onto this new site. I realize there are ways to completely import en masse what I've already written, but going through my old postings gives me a chance to select and tweak them as I see fit and as I continue to try to define the direction I want to take with my blog.

October 14, 2009

Get U Home by Shwayze

Catchy single off of Shwayze’s new album, Let It Beat, out November 3rd…

LOCAL FLAVOR: H&M Southdale to Open 10.22.2009 Noon

At the end of September, I posted pics of the H&M Southdale’s boarded storefront.

Minnesota’s third H&M will be opening a week from tomorrow (10.22.2009) according to the store locator on their website. They've even got the illustrious Liya Kebede helping to spread the news online. I hope to be there on opening day. There’s nothing like digging through a freshly stocked store. Despite the listing of the men’s lines slated to be offered at this location, I’m curious how it’s actually going to be — of interesting note…none of the New York City stores list Men’s Trend, neither does the Michigan Ave. store in Chicago, nor the Beverly Center spot in LA…is this line still going to exist?

October 8, 2009

LOCAL FLAVOR: Polo Ralph Lauren and Puma @ the Albertville Premium Outlets

In contrast to the past few days, which have been downright miserable with all the rain, the sun came out today and made for a beautiful clear and crisp fall day. My friend and I celebrated by taking a drive up to the Albertville Premium Outlets, located north of Minneapolis in...Albertville.

The last time I was here was over three years ago...
the thought of outlet shopping in this state doesn't excite me...especially when other outlet centers out there like Woodbury Commons (operated by the same parent company, Chelsea Premium Outlets) offer destinations like Balenciaga, YSL, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and a Barneys Outlet...so I'm fine holding my breath most of the time. However, we are lucky to still keep a Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store -- sadly, downtown Minneapolis' Ralph Lauren store closed a couple years ago -- and I remember finding a few gems at this outlet in the past...so it didn't take much arm twisting to agree to go...

To a certain extent, Ralph Lauren factory stores are guilty of what I feel is the extremely off-puting practice of stocking factory-direct merchandise.
Per the Ralph Lauren website:
"Our merchandise is comprised of overstocked, prior-season, discontinued and returned merchandise from Polo Ralph Lauren full-price retail locations. We also carry exclusive lines, mildly irregular products and cuts of fabric leftover from making current or prior-season merchandise—all with the exceptional design quality that you expect from the world of Ralph Lauren."
But as the above statement states, they also receive authentic product from previous seasons, and if I remember correctly from visiting the store at the Wrentham Outlets in Massachusetts, they'll actually outright identify which products are factory-direct...so they're not completely shady...like other outlet stores that cater to mass-consumption America...

Today, I noticed this rack of oxfords on further promo from their already reduced price. At $39.99 USD, the price isn't unlike similar product I've found at the sale rack of Macy's or at TJ Maxx...but the shirt I picked up was my size and of the "custom fit" cut...these are two qualities my local Macy's NEVER considers to include when planning their inventory as they assume all their male shoppers must be size "M" or larger and enjoy their button downs LONG and BAGGY (i.e. the Ralph Lauren "classic fit")...so to me, this was definitely a check in the worth it column...

At the check-out counter, I noticed a pile of bow-ties...sifting through them, I found this silk tartan print piece from the Rugby line marked down to $2.99! Not too shabby given a regular priced bow-tie from Rugby can cost up to $69.50... I particularly am fond of the ones that have the tapered ends like this one. I'm not as obsessed with the Rugby line as I used to be when the line first came out in 2004, but I look forward to whipping out this bow-tie over the coming holiday season.

On a whim, my friend and I checked out the Puma Outlet...although in my wildest dreams the store would stock previous seasons of Alexander McQueen X Puma, this was obviously not the case. I was surprised to find a few styles from the Rudolph Dassler and Black Label lines.

I settled on a pair of the Speed Cat style done in pony hair...this particular silhouette has been around for ages...but I couldn't pass up on the fact that this specific pair was of the pony hair variety...
originally $150, the outlet was selling them for $89.99. As luck would have it, everything in the store was 40% off, and my friend had a coupon for an additional 25% off... Pas mal.

October 6, 2009

LO by Laurence Nguyen

A dear friend brought to my attention a new capsule collection put out by LO, which I’m assuming is an abbreviation of the designer’s name, Laurence Nguyen. Per the label’s website, lowares.com, Nguyen hails from Paris and spent time at Levi’s in San Francisco (with access to archives!) before moving on to work for RRL, Ralph Lauren’s well-curated answer to quality denim products. It’s no secret that time spent at Ralph Lauren is time well spent when it comes to learning how to build a brand, and LO capitalizes on this with a well thought out backstory. To me, LO’s lookbook is a take on Old West meets Indochine; some of the images have been done up soft, faded, and as if they were taken on old film plates and stored away in some attic of some mining ghost town. The capsule collection features five denim styles — with all the proper hardware furnishings, and five silk pieces done in beautiful floral prints sourced from Vietnam. As with any smart marketing move, the looks have been enhanced with vintage looking cowboy boots, sexy thigh-high shear stockings, rice-paddy hats, and laced jazz shoes… I’m told the collection has been picked up by Barneys…BRAVO!

I think my favorite piece from the denim offerings is the high-waisted cutoffs…or perhaps I just like that they allow one to show off a pair of stockings as such…I wish more girls would try this look…

Related Posts with Thumbnails