Category Archives: Naples Fashion

>Florida Bag Lady

>



So when I started packing for my flight home last week I noticed something quite disturbing: my suitcase had shrunk. Ok, well that’s not strictly true. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that while staying in Florida these last couple of months I’ve accumulated more clothes than I had intended. And now they won’t all fit back in the suitcase.
I’ve never had a need for one of those irritatingly small carry-on suitcases on wheels until now, and didn’t relish the thought of parting with nearly $100 for something I’ll probably never use again. That’s why I was delighted with this total find, above, from The Rose Garden. Not only does the case fit within airline baggage restrictions, it comes in a ‘so garish I love it’ floral patten, with a satchel thrown in for good measure. And all for a ridiculously cheap $12.
The shoulder bag/satchel is sure to come in handy once I’m back in Bristol and I’m loving the sheer ‘granny’ feel the set has to it. All I have to do now is find a space for the bag in my suitcase…


Leave a comment

Filed under bags, Naples Fashion, The Rose Garden, vintage

>Button Envy

>I’m suffering from a serious hit of Button Envy* thanks to Class Act, the new consignment store that has opened up next to one of my aunt’s cafes here in Naples.

The store is run by the lovely Roberta Stephens, who I’ve gotten to know through dishing out cups of coffee and watching as she transformed this former shell of a store into an Aladdin’s cave of art, furniture, jewelery and accessories.
With a background in design and retail, Roberta decided to go solo and set up her own store in Naples, Florida. “I just like collecting junk and meeting people” says Roberta as she slips a bib of brass buttons around my neck.
Most pieces in the store are consignments, (including a collection of brightly coloured acrylic paintings by local artist Dot Lingren) but Roberta makes the button bangles and bib necklaces herself, using buttons she has collected on her travels, from antique malls to flea markets and “anywhere I can find them!”
The bibs in particular are gorgeous and I love this brass one, below, with a watch face thrown into the mix, fastened with what looks like a shoelace. If only I had some dollar and some room in my suitcase, it would be mine!

Class Act Consignment is based in Trinity Plaza, 304 9th Street North, Naples, Florida.

Owner and jewelery maker, Roberta Stephens

The buttons used are a mix of old and new, from antiques to flea market finds

Lust-have: The brass buttons and small watch face certainly liven up a plain white tee.
*’Button Envy’ is a termed used to describe the feeling evoked upon seeing that someone else has a better collection of buttons/button jewelery than you. The sensation can normally be quelled after making a purchase, trading buttons or taking copious amounts of photos to be used as Button Porn.

Leave a comment

Filed under Button Envy, buttons, Class Act, jewelry, Naples Fashion

>Black and Blue

>


In the US there is a Thanksgiving tradition known as ‘Black Friday’, which happens the day after Thanksgiving (which always falls on the last Thursday of November).

But Black Friday is not where families come together to relax after the stress of cooking a big meal, it is in fact the day when they choose to venture out at 5am (!) to shop like crazy in the ridiculously priced pre-Christmas sales. Events take place everywhere from superstores to thrift stores and last the weekend, but all the best sales happen first thing on Friday morning.

Naturally I wouldn’t dream of getting up so early for any of the January sales, but as I’ll probably only be here once for this time of year I figured I might as well partake with the rest of the country. In a bid to be clever and out-smart my body clock, I decided to join my cousin (and what seemed like half of Florida) in going to Miromar, one of the largest outlet malls in Florida at midnight.

There were queues from the highway, queues to get into stores, queues to pay and even queues to get back out again! Luckily I was just on the hunt for a few Christmas presents and succeeded in getting most of the things on my list, but my cousin had to queue to get into her favourite store, Juicy Couture, only to find nothing of interest and left empty handed!
One of the things I love about shopping is the thrill of the chase; the rummaging the looking high and low and the satisfaction of walking out the store with my purchase. Last night I practically had to beat off old ladies with their own walking sticks just to get near any of the stores I was interested in*, and I had to put up with the scary, bleary eyed looks of shoppers desperate for a hit of ‘40% off’. Not an experience I intend on repeating but I’m glad I gave it a try. Now, off to bed…
* No old ladies were harmed in the making of this post.

Leave a comment

Filed under Black Friday, Florida, Naples Fashion, shopping

>Oh So Sui!

>Yesterday I went back to Target, primarily to get a memory card reader for my camera, but got a little sidetracked first by the Anna Sui for Target collection that I mentioned in a previous post.

The collection had been on sale when I first visited the store at the end of October but there was an even bigger sale on yesterday (I don’t think the older generation of Naples appreciate this hip New York look), so I couldn’t help but have a nosey through what Target had to offer.
Most of the gems I found were from the Anna Sui range, although sadly not in my size. I found a gorgeous retro woolen mini skirt in brown, cream and mustard shades which would have looked great with a pair of plum tights, along with a black lace Wild West inspired dress, both of which were too large. I often find pieces like this and convince myself that I’ll take up the hem or whatever but in reality they all just sit in a pile on my desk (for weeks at a time) so I figured I should leave said items behind.

What I did find however was this delicious blue smock with a black print and pussy bow collar, see above. The dress comes with a waist cinching belt but I’m not sure if I’ll use it or not as I quite like it as is, even if it does make me look like a French abstract painter… As M would say, ‘it just hangs there’ and is not in the slightest bit figure hugging but I just love that print over such a unique blue colour.

Perhaps it is being in a sunny climate but I seem to be attracted to brighter things at the moment. Hopefully an occasion will arise where I can wear it here otherwise I’ll have to fit it into my already bulging suitcase. By the way, after a an hour of rummaging and trying things on I did eventually make it to the photography department and am now the proud owner of a memory card reader, hurrah!

Leave a comment

Filed under Anna Sui, Naples Fashion, shopping, Target

>Interview with Zac Posen @ Saks Fifth Avenue

>

Models show off to stunning Zac Posen S/S 2010 dresses in canary yellow and sea green. Print designed by Rosson Crow

This afternoon hip young designer Zac Posen paid a visit to Saks Fifth Avenue, Naples, to meet fans and show off his new S/S 2010 collection.
For those unfamiliar with Zac Posen, he is a US designer who studied at Central St Martins as well as Parsons the New School for Design and made his name in his home town of New York, establishing a cult celebrity following and winning a host of awards for his colourful and feminine designs since he stepped out onto the scene in 2001.
Posen has won both citizen and celebrity fans over with a mix of bright colours, detailed prints and silhouettes that celebrate the diversity of the female form: from 1930s inspired monochrome in A/W 2003 to delicate floral prints in his 2009 Resort collection.
Today at Saks, Posen’s S/S 2010 collection was alive with colour, figure-hugging dresses and exotic prints teamed with bright feather sleeves and cover-ups. The abstract floral prints were designed by Rosson Crow, an American artist and illustrator famous in art circles for her decedent use of paint on the canvas and rich, bold colours.

Yazbukey brooches and jewelery used in the NYFW show are on show at Saks alongside the rest of the S/S 2010 collection

The collection had a mix of short cocktail dresses combined with longer, Grecian-inspired gowns, see top photo. There were also some fun lattice two-tone pieces that looked like chicer versions of cheerleader uniforms. Posen, who has previously favoured tailoring from the 30s and 40s in his collections, has managed to evoke nearly every inspirational decade for Spring/Summer.
The acid yellow colours and shorter mini dresses looked reminiscent of Mary Quant designs of the 1960s while the mannequin sporting the long pink gown embellished with beading could have walked straight out of a 1070s cocktail party. Posen has obviously enjoyed putting together this new collection and collaborating with other artists and designers – something that is reflected in the fun use of colours and choice of fabrics (everything from feather to silk).
The colourful and tongue-in-cheek lip brooches that feature in Posen’s S/S 2010 collection were designed by Turkish design duo Yazbukey, see image above. Laser cut lips and manicured hands came in black, bright green and mirrored pink and blue, reminding me of the London based jewelry company Tatty Devine, a Ship-Shape favourite, who specialise in quirky, fun acrylic designs.

Above: Zac poses for a photo in his rather dapper navy suit
As well as a sneaky peak at the new collection, the designer was also meeting and greeting fans, both the two and four-legged variety! Once the gushing group of high school fashion followers I was with had cornered Posen for a chat, I was lucky enough to be able to pick his fashionable brain about his new collection, Mark Ronson and his list of A-list followers…
Ship-Shape: What inspires you when you design a new collection?
Zac Posen: I am constantly researching. I’m into people who self-style: women who know their character and personality and know how to express it.
SS: Were you happy with your show and all the glamorous parties at New York Fashion Week?
ZP: Well my show was at 9am so I didn’t get much partying before then! The show went well and was mixed by [English music producer and DJ] Mark Ronson who played some fantastic independent bands such as The Like. Ship-Shape also heard tunes by Santigold and Florence And The Machine made an appearance as models sashayed down the runway.
SS: You’ve dressed a lot of celebrities for the red carpet – do you have a particular star you’ve enjoyed working with?
ZP: I could never answer this question!
SS: (with a cheeky smile) Is that because there are too many favorites to choose from?
ZP: Ah, I’ve had so many amazing experiences with every [celebrity] I’ve dressed! I love it when I can work closely with them during the fitting process.
SS: You’re a New Yorker but you spent some time studying in London, what are your favourite things about the city?
ZP: Well I met so many great people there and lots of my friends are in London. I love the British Museum, the John Soane Museum, Sussex…

SS: The people of London and New York dress very differently, what do you think about UK style?
ZP: Oh absolutely! I think England has embraced eccentricity. (SS nods enthusiastically and mentions a potential move to the capital) If you’re going to work in fashion in London you have to make a statement, look at the likes of Isabella Blow – maybe not that extreme but you have to create a look for yourself and stand out from the crowd.

A huge thanks to Zac Posen and the Saks Fifth Avenue team for a fantastic event, and for E for letting me borrow her camera phone!

Leave a comment

Filed under Florida, Naples Fashion, New York Fashion Week, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tatty Devine, Zac Posen

>Thrifty Thursday

>

After my weekend adventures at the mall and Target, I’ve been hankering for a slightly more diverse and quirky way to fashionably spend my dollars and today I hit gold, in the form of thrift stores.
For the uninitiated, the common thrift store is an American version of a charity shop or vintage boutique. Thrift stores have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson championing vintage on and off the red carpet.
I’d been to a few of these quirky stores the last time I was in New York and the look focused very much on leather, denim and retro inspired t-shirts – much akin to the young, hip vintage boutiques in Bristol and London.
Naples is a frustrating place for fashion: the majority of locals are either rich, old, or both, which means that fashion comes in the form of boutiques and exclusive department stores. Great for designer finds, not so great for my wallet. This is why the thrift stores are perfect as all the old people donate all their designer labels and there are plenty of Granny Chic finds to be had!

Gucci pumps, Escada blazers and a stunning pair of nearly new Docle & Gabbana brogues, above, for $75… there are some amazing finds to be had if you’re prepared to rummage, which I always am! Along with high end designers there were the more obscure American and Italian brands along with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Levi denims.
I visited three shops this afternoon, all just five minutes from the house that I had never noticed before. The lovely ladies at The Rose Garden and some gorgeous vintage jewelry and gave me a map with all the thrift stores of Naples on it (the Holy Grail of my fashion hunt so far). Their shop was divided into open plan rooms with menswear, accessories and womenswear, along with furniture and bridal gowns. All the staff were really helpful and super nice, even pointing me in the direction of other store I might like using said map.
Options and Audrey’s Attic were next and both were full of treasures. Options was where I found the D&G shoes, photographic evidence of which will be posted soon. A lot bigger than the other stores, Options supports a local domestic abuse charity which one of the employees told me draws a lot of contributions from the community. There was a real mix of clothes here and although one would need to rummage to find good clothes, accessories were displayed on tables and clear perspex units making them easy to locate and identify.

Audrey’s Attic is a ‘for profit’ thrift store and as a result it looked like more money had gone into the decor and the quirky vintage layout. The collection of vintage upstairs was simply stunning and the shop is run by a British couple who were very helpful when I paid them a visit! The vintage on sale spans from the 40s through to the 80’s with some amazing lace wedding gowns and 50s prom dresses, see photo above. There were treasures aplenty and I will definitely be going back next week and taking E with me – she is a label lover and I’m sure I can lure her in to my way of thinking with some vintage Gucci and Chanel!
Stay tuned for accompanying photographs…

Leave a comment

Filed under Adurey's Attic, America, Dolce and Gabbana, granny fashion, Gucci, Naples Fashion, The Rose Garden