Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moda Operandi: A Complete F***ing Revelation

Online shopping used to be the fashion nerd's equivalent of a mall trawl, but the times they are a-changin' thanks to globalisation and the jump from "over the counter" to "over the keyboard". The ease at which some sites operate make acquiring those crucial fashion statements a breeze, although often at a price which is more blizzard like, but no matter, there's no such thing as a free Louboutin anyway.

I hate to burst the bubbles that I will in the next bit of my post so please understand that what I have written is a matter of opinion (versus my rather informed one of course).

The sad thing is that while we all love shopping online, very few of us have the time to sift through virtual 'piles' of clothing, many of which we really don't need and more importantly, wouldn't need to acquire online either. Too many online fashion sites have compromised a more pleasant shopping experience by focusing on a large (read: TOO LARGE) range and no real sense of compassion for the shopper (especially with those little 'Search' boxes which don't ever work efficiently).

My post is from the viewpoint of the busy woman who really doesn't have the time to buy an entire wardrobe online (purely because our department stores have the basics covered) and loves fashion, but wants access to that perfect middle ground between convenience and exclusive pieces that will steal the room.

I may not be a fashionista, but I am most certainly one of the crazy few who salivate at the mere thought of an Hermes acquisition, and this is where Moda Operandi steals the show.

I've taken it upon myself to visit a good number of fashion sites with the hope that I'd have more than one place to burn holes in my purse/s but alas, all the other sites are either too busy, too much like a sad attempt at an online department store or too focused on designers out of the reach of us mere mortals.

Now here's what makes Moda an absolute gem:

1. The prices are unbelievably reasonable and so are the waiting periods.

2. There's a focus on high end designers as well as more wearable and less known designers.

3. Trunkshows don't last very long, and the realisation that these pieces won't be there forever makes shopping with Moda that much more of a rush.

4. The site is easy to navigate, simple but functional and all the item details are easy to understand.

All in all, Moda is a web destination I look forward to visiting daily because it isn't a schlep. Where the other online shopping sites have failed, Moda has learnt and applied to put them ahead of the competition. There's a lot of potential for Moda and as more and more designers sign on their collections, there'll be an even bigger buzz.

Watch their space at http://www.modaoperandi.com/ . It may just wet your pants a little.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is Mismatched The New Orderly Sense of Dress?

I'm  a colour coordinator, but not in the maniacal sense of the word. Sure, I'm rather particular about finding a colour scheme in my outfit, even if it's more interpretative than literal. But wow, how intriguing is this phenomenon of messy dressing?

(best of 2010)

It's a calculated piece of chaos, an intricately constructed mistake, which is an absolute joy to look at.

I tried it today, worn-in skinnies (Mr. Price), caramel half-calf booties (Mr. Price, again), a heavy black knit with studded shoulders worn over a utility green fitted long sleeve tee and my tan Zara trench. All this offset by a wide oxblood red belt with a gold buckle. It may not be an extreme exhibit of the trend, but it certainly feels liberating. Why the hell didn't I think of this before? I'd never have a bad day. EVER.

Definitely a fashion idea to keep in mind, especially in the current financial stumble.

I'm still a fierce colour coordinator, but at least this way I'll have a fashionable justification as to why my shoes and coat are of two VERY different shades.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Art of Classy Dress; Classy Shoes

I believe I've touched on the topic of shoes and the issue of class and sophistication (or lack thereof) in my piece on that particular pair of red suede boots, but in this episode (yes, like a bipolar episode, hence the blog title) I will be touching (very seductively) on the topic of how to look classy, without looking trashy. Indeed, this seems to be the antithesis of our time.

A while ago I read an article in Vogue which proclaimed the death of the platform heel following the platform-less courts seen at Prada (amongst others). I had just bought a pair of red-soled (read: SOULED) platform courts from Plum and I was mortified at the thought of having to donate them to a deserving prostitute, or alternatively, a home-wrecker.

Thing is, fashion commentary should never be considered as revelation. Some trends die, and others are more difficult to kill off (like harem pants and nerdy specs).

But shoes...ah, what an intricate art form, one inch off and you won't be a fashionista, one shade lighter and you'll be labelled a disgrace, one heel tip and you could be known forever more as a slob of note. Be afraid ladies, for your shoes are what separates you from being a whore or a style icon.

Let's see a few examples:

Red Suede Boots (with platform)- unless you're wearing a granny cardigan, band tee and reggae beanie, TRASHY.

Red Pointed Courts (no platform)- teamed with a pencil skirt, TRASHY. worn with a shift dress in a neutral colour, MAYBE.

My point here is that maybe you should stay away from red. Because scuffed red shoes are never good for
an image. Ever. If, however, you disagree, do send me a picture of how you made it work (thealteregofashionista@gmail.com). I will mention you in my next post AND maybe remunerate you if you live in South Africa.

OK, here are a few pointers:

1. If the platforms on your heels are more than 5 inches, your hemline had better be just above, or below your knee. PS: this rule also applies to shorts in public but excludes tailored shorts.

2. When choosing a heel, consider the wear-and-tear that will affect it. For eg. suede can work if looked after, leather can be polished, but patent can wrinkle, rip and look like a varnished dust bin bag.

3. Consider the material the actual heel of the shoe is made of an how that will translate with your wardrobe. If it's a platform heel of over 5 inches and the heel is made of cork. DROP IT. In fact, avoid cork at all costs, because they only really work with jumpsuits (which should be burnt) and bootlegs (which will make you look like a country singer).

So if after reading this you feel unsafe in your platforms, you may revert back to wearing Mary Janes and gladiators. But if you're willing to take the risk, throw on those platform heels, but remember that the line between class and "back of classroom" is blurred by the inches on your feet and the tightness of your clothing.

Be afraid Ladies. Be very Afraid.