Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now all I need is a sewing machine . . .

A representative example.

One of the few things I salvaged from my parents' house was a collection of about 100 vintage patterns. I packed them in a box, mailed them to my home address, and then let the box sit in a corner of my spare room, unopened, for about 8 months. Then, for some reason, the urge to open the box came upon me about three weeks ago, but all I did was remove a few of the uncut patterns before I pushed the opened box back into its corner. A few days later I was standing outside of that room when I heard a very suggestive crinkling, rustling notes. One of my female cats was happily shredding the top patterns to make a nest in the box. I tossed her out, and, without resealing the box, shut it in a closet where I assumed it would be safe from the brooding habits of the domestic feline. I should know better than to assume anything about cats.

Last week a friend was staying over in my spare room. She was awaked in the middle of the night by a spooky rustling noise coming from the closet. Not having learned the lesson of a million horror movies, she went to investigate, opened the closet door (which, as far as we both knew, had been closed since my friend arrived and, indeed, since I had put the box away) my other female cat jumped out of its bed among the patterns. That tissue must be more addictive than catnip.

Obviously I need to do something about those patterns.

Alas, I didn't check for pockets

I did send one -- Simplicity 5022, to Erin at A Dress A Day, knowing her attachment to both shirtdresses and Peter Pan collars. That only leaves me 99 more to deal with.

I considered selling some of them, but most have been opened and cut, and to be a responsible seller I would have to look through each pattern piece by piece to make sure it was all there. I tried this on one pattern and couldn't refold it to fit back in its envelope. Soooo . . . selling doesn't look like an easy solution.

Curses, HP!

I'd like to post pictures of some of the patterns here, but after an hour-long battle with my combined printer/fax/alleged scanner for one image, that's not going to be as easy or entertaining (for me, at least) as I hoped.

It would also be nice to sew up some of the patterns to see how 60's styles would look in modern fabrics. Back in the day my mother and I would whip up a dress a weekend, mostly, heaven help us, out of polyester double-knit. That staple of the 60s and 70s was a great fabric for the home sewer: it was easy to use, washable, and had the body for those stiff mod shift dresses. All the scraps we threw away will probably outlast the pyramids among the other plastic trash in their overflowing landfill. Anyway, I think an entirely new, and much improved, look would be achieved if, for example, I made Simplicity 7268's jacket in a fun boucle and the dress in a coordinating wool, assuming I could find anything suitable at the local JoAnn's, which, alas, is the only convenient fabric store.

Then there's the sewing machine problem: I donated my ancient Singer and Necchi to the Salvation Army, then I was scared off by the $3000 fully computerized monsters when I went shopping for a replacement. I must gird my loins and try again.

Yesterday's visit to a local department store, however, has inspired me to sew. There I was, surrounded by acres of clothing (but no other shoppers; I was practically run over by eager sales staff) and almost every item I looked at, including a $450.00 Ellen Tracy jacket, was made in China. The one exception was a top made in the Marianas, where the women in the garment trades have been called "the most exploited women in the world." And there is a connection between the dearth of shoppers and the fact that very little is made in the U.S. Oy. Depressing.

Anyway, what did I finally do?

Why, I bought another vintage pattern, of course! Ain't it a beauty? And sooner or later I'll have a garment that's Made in the U.S.A., I just have to do it my own damn self.

Click on the pictures for links to patterns for sale, except Simplicity 7268.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Emmys: Whatever

The Emmy Awards were broadcast last Sunday, and I actually managed to sit through E!’s entire, entirely boring, red carpet show. I never thought I say this, but boy, do I miss Joan and Melissa. And Isaac Mizrahi, and Kathy Griffin, and anyone who isn’t that boring waxworks homunculus omni-host Ryan Seacrest. Those shows only really work when spiced with snark. But speaking of Kathy Griffin:

Kathy Griffin

It’s bad enough that her dress looked like it was made out of Grandma’s drapes, but look at the hem!!!! It looks like someone needed to shorten it in a hell of a hurry and used glue, or else the dress was REALLY made from drapes and someone forgot to take the weights out of the hem.

If a Project Runway designer sent a dress down the runway finished like that s/he'd be sliced and diced by Nina Garcia and then auf'd. So who let Kathy out of the house that way?

As for the rest of the fashion parade, I didn’t see anyone dressed ridiculously, but I didn’t love the same things that the Fashion Police and the voting public loved, and I liked some things that a lot of commentators hated. I attribute this difference of opinion to my ability to rise above the rabble and independently apply my own innate good taste, not to mention that my inner crotchety old maid more and more dictates how I view clothes.

For example, most people raved about Brooke Shield’s fuschia Badgely Mischka dress and Heidi Klum’s sparkly Armani PrivĂ© number.

Brook Shields in Badgely Mischka

Heidi Klum in Armani Prive

I think the Badgely Mischka dress is a bit too young, too prom, and too fussy, and I don’t like asymmetry in clothing , even in Armani, so even though Brooke and Heidi don’t look bad by any means, I just can’t get excited about their looks.

Christina Applegate in Reem Acra

My favorite look was Christina Applegate in a Reem Acra gown, which surprised me because I often think Reem Acra’s dresses are too bridal (she started as a wedding gown designer) and, having just said I don’t like asymmetry, this dress is asymmetrical. One of E!’s fashion police thought the look was too old for her, so maybe it’s the crotchety old maid who likes the way Christina looks. Maybe I’m giving Christina points for being a cancer survivor, at any rate, I like it.

Then I liked, or at least didn’t hate, some looks the Fashion Police and other so-called experts absolutely loathed.

Mary-Louise Parker in Roberto Cavalli

Emilie De Ravin in Matthew Williamson

Poor Mary-Louise Parker; she took a lot of criticism for her Roberto Cavalli gown. I'm not crazy about the color, but the gown is basically a slip dress with a little bit of ruching. Considering some of the hot messes Robert Cavalli produces, this garment is downright restrained. Mary-Louise has the body for it, too. So why all the hating?

I also rather liked the Mathew Williamson gown worn by Emilie de Ravin. The dress had a lovely classical look, flowed nicely when she walked, and it was, at least, not another damn strapless mermaid gown. The Fashion Police worked themselves into a tizzy over the sparkly trim. In spite of urging women to take fashion risks, the clothes critics are awfully intolerant of those who do.

Vanessa Williams in Kevan Hall

I haven’t made up my mind about Vanessa William’s Kevan Hall dress; I like the print, it’s different, but that rhinestone strip annoys me.


You can see Emmy Red Carpet photos at Yahoo TV and

Friday, September 19, 2008

Clothes on TV alert: "Ralph Rucci: a Man and His House" on the Sundance Channel

Chado Ralph Rucci Spring 2009

The Sundance Channel will be broadcasting a profile of Ralph Rucci, a designer known for his very elegant, very expensive and very exclusive clothing. According to the October edition of W magazine, the prices for his clothing can reach $32,000 for an off-the-rack coat "albeit one crafted to perfection from exquisite materials." That article goes on to say the prices of his made-to-measure clothing can "exceed six figures at the drop of a hat." Rucci is not a household name because he doesn't cater to the young or to the red-carpet crowd, instead, his clothes are purchased, or rather collected, the "sophisticated, rich adults who can afford to buy his clothes." One of those, I reckon, would be Martha Stewart, who narrates the Sundance profile.

Interestingly, when I did an internet search on Ralph Rucci before writing this up, I found his name among the guests at a cocktail party Vogue magazine gave for Michele Obama, and who coughed up from $1,000 to $10,000 for the privilege of attending. Bless; I don't see Michele among the customers for his clothing, give their price and these times. In fact, I hope their remains a market for Rucci's designs after the recent crash, because they're quite remarkable, and, given the level of craftsmanship involved, the garments are probably worth the price.

Anyway, tune in if you want to see how the other 1/4 of 1% dresses. The profile airs at 7:00 p.m. PT on Monday, September 22, 2008, check for the air time in your area.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trends, New York Fashion Week, Spring 2009

I've scanned enough of the Spring 2009 collections to notice some trends, in fact, some disturbing trends. They are, in no special order:

Isaac Mizrahi Spring 2009

Cropped "Hammer" pants. These things are all over the collections, and they're just what every woman needs: trousers that make it look like she's smuggling cheesecakes strapped to her hips and thighs.

Bell or tulip-shapped skirts. More saddlebags!!!

Jumpsuits. Unlike the Fug Girls, I'm not opposed to jumpsuits in principle (after all, Emma Peel wore them!!!) but c'mon, does the average non-super-spy woman want to completely undress every time she goes to the bathroom? I think not.

The persistence of "formal" shorts. Oh well, I suppose they make some sense in a Spring/Summer collection -- for 15-year-olds!

One-shouldered or one-sleeve dresses. I get the one-shoulder thing -- goddess dresses, etc., but, one sleeve??? Ehhh . . .

Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2009

Marc Jacobs Spring 2009

The predominant retro-reference is to the rich-hippie looks of the late '60s, early 70s, which is fine by me. At Diane von Furstenberg, in case anyone didn't get it, the models even wore flowers in their hair, like they were going to San Francisco in 1968. Mark Jacobs did a collection that referenced Morocco, 19th Century French peasant girls, and the 1940s. I interpreted this collection as homage to Saint Laurent, who was also inspired by those things, although YSL never used them all in one garment.

The trends I liked were the use of mixed prints, bright colors (lots of orange!!!) and big zippers. My favorite collections so far were Monique Lhullier, Narcisco Rodriguez and Dennis Basso, because, should I win the lottery, I could actually wear pieces from those collections. YMMV.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New York Fashion Week = sensory overload

Isaac Mizrahi, Spring 2009

It's only a few days into New York Fashion Week, the first event in Worldwide Fashion Month, and already I'm overwhelmed. It seems like the number of runway shows increases exponentially with every season, making it impossible for any normal person, i.e., one with a non-fashion job, a house to clean and pets to feed, even to flip through all the designer slideshows on or I can't even keep up with the Fug Girls' reports at New York Fugging City, but that might be because I have to stop to google three-quarters of the "celebrities" they write about. Really, why are the stars of Gossip Girl everywhere, and why should I care?

The slideshows at New York Magazine are fun because they let you label every look "fabulous" or "hideous," but that scale would be a lot more useful if they added a third category, "meh." Because when there are thousands of looks going down the runway, you can bet there's going to be a lot of "meh."

Project Runway fans have already realized that, once again, the finalists (or three finalists and one decoy) will have their well-publicized shows weeks before the episode in which they're chosen is broadcast. Way to go, Bravo!

What (Not) to Wear to a Funeral

Last winter, when I was attending way too many family funerals, I thought about writing a post about modern mourning attire, or rather, the lack thereof. Today, there are no rules about what a member of the deceased family should wear, no family dressmakers who will rush over and sew up a year's worth of black clothing overnight, no funeral department at the local Tar-zhay where a person can pick up something suitable in a spare half-hour between picking out a plot and ordering the coffin. You'd be surprised how hard it is to find a plain black day dress when you need one. I found mine at T.J. Maxx, and this is pretty much it, or the current season's version of it. When I wore it with a black jacket I felt pretty presentable.

After the last funeral of the series I gave up on the idea of a post about mourning attire as too grim and self-centered. I also concluded that it's probably better, more democratic, and certainly more economical, if people can pay their respects wearing their everyday clothes. After all, it is the substance of their respect that's important, not the symbol.

One would assume, however, that there are still rules, protocol, in fact, that apply to official mourners like ambassadors and First Ladies. One would also assume that official mourners would have the resources to obtain the appropriate clothing at a moment's notice. And one might assume that the First Lady of France, the former model Carla Bruni Sarkozy, representing her country at the funeral of Yves Saint Laurent, one of the 20th Century's great couturiers, would appear at the memorial in an outfit doing credit to both her country and his memory.

One would be wrong about Madame Sarkozy.

Okay, her jacket is probably an original YSL smoking. Her pants might also be YSL, but they're creased and look a trifle too small, like she had fished them out of a bag containing clothes from her old modeling days and pulled them on, unpressed. And even if Madame Sarkozy has the best rack of any First Lady since the Empress Theodora, she should have worn a bra. It was a freakin' funeral, for the love of Pete.

The oddest thing about the way she appeared at this event is that Madame Sarkozy usually dresses very well indeed.

How to say "oh, honey, no," in French

After I found the above photo i whipped out my 1964 edition of Elegance, A Complete Guide for Every Woman Who Wants to be Well and Properly Dressed on all Occasions by Genevieve Antoine Dariaux. If you're a fan of chicklit, you might have come across the novel Elegance that was inspired by Madame Dariaux's Guide. The Guide is better. Anyway, considering all Madame Dariaux has to say about everything else, her comments about funeral wear were rather short. Some excerpts from the one-page entry:

A woman who attends a funeral dressed in a conspicuous manner shows proof of a total lack of good taste and good manners. Even if you are not a member of the immediate family, you should dress in black, or at least in whatever you own that is most dark and neutral, and you should wear no makeup. During the course of a year it is unfortunately likely that you will be obliged to attend a funeral ceremony, and you should prepare for this eventuality in planning your wardrobe, just as you prepare for the luncheon and dinner invitations you expect to receive.

The best choice, aside from a black suit of wool in the winter and linen in the summer, is a dark gray flannel ensemble, both worn with a black hat, gloves, shoes, and bag. . . .

Well, with the exception of the hat, at least I'm prepared.

By the way, if you're interested in fashion design, like, doing it, not just wearing it, you might want to pick up a copy of Yves Saint Laurent: Style. It's full of reproductions of YSL's sketches, done, interestingly, on graph paper, as well as lush photos of finished clothing. See how the Master did it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

More Clothes on TV

A beautiful dress for a beautiful body.
Normal women need not apply.
Lazaro Spring 2008

The new seasons of Project Runway and Say Yes to the Dress are well underway, to my clothes and comedy delight. I'm not going to write at length about Project Runway, because no blog does that better than Project Rungay, but I will say the this season the producers put together the right combination of ego, incompetence and neuroses to yield some damn entertaining TV (although I could have done without the product plug for the Oppression Olympics). My previous desire for a season that concentrated only on the clothes, clothes, clothes has completely evaporated. Tight-lipped super-competent contestants who whip up ballgowns in 15 minutes do not TV excitement make.

As usual, I'm rooting for the token Old Broad, Stella, not only because she's carrying the flag for maturity among virtual infants, but because she's so in-your-face herself. Go STELLA!!!!

There's a new "oh honey, no" dress, or at least silhouette, on SYttD; it's the trumpet or mermaid dress, i.e. a garment that's skin tight from the bust to mid-thigh then flares into an enormous pouf, the mermaid being less extreme than the trumpet. This is a style that really can only be worn by winners of the genetic jackpot, like Charlize Theron and the chick in the Taittinger champagne ad, although looking at the pictures again I see even they avoid being cut off mid-thigh. Several of the SSttD featured brides this season, who specifically asked for mermaid dresses, are, alas, not so physically gifted.

In the first or second episode this season the viewers were introduced to Randy, Kleinfeld's fashion director, a man of taste who, evidently, is not being paid on commission. He arrives at a consultation where a very short, round future bride is happily modeling a trumpet dress which she declared to be the one. Foolishly, Randy tried to talk her into something more sensible, saying, most tactfully, that the trumpet wasn't the best silhouette for someone so "petite." Meanwhile the consultant was in the background grumbling because the Fashion Director's taste was getting between her and a sure sale: it didn't matter if her if the bride went down the aisle looking like an exploding bratwurst. In the end, Randy was elbowed out of the way and the bride bought the trumpet dress.

And what did we learn from this? 1. A saleswoman working on commission is not your friend, and 2. when buying clothing, always, always, listen to the nice gay man!

If PR and SYttD aren'te enough of a TV fashon fix, Bravo is bringing us The Rachel Zoe Project, a so-called reality show featuring the notorious Hollywood stylist. The half-hour preview episode showed scenes of Rachel crying as someone was removing her make-up, and Rachel waving a vintage sequin-spangled tulle dress around, and I was hooked. The RZP premiers on Bravo Monday, September 8, at 11:00 P.M. I can't wait.

P.S., the chick in the Taittinger ad is supposed to be Grace Kelly. I don't see it, but I like the champagne!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Clothes on TV

A dress you won't see on "Say Yes to the Dress"
Christian Lacroix couture, Fall 2008

This is an exciting week for TV-addicted clothesaholics (oh, those dual dependencies!). The second season of TLC's Say Yes to the Dress premiers Tuesday, July 15, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. and the fifth season of Project Runway (and its last season on Bravo, if the Weinsteins get their way) premiers Wednesday, July 16 at 9:00 p.m. But, as they say, check your local listings.
Notice, I say these premiers mean joy to clothesaholics, not fashionistas. I don't regard the parade of white, strapless, puffy dresses on SYttD as fashion. The show is fascinating because it gives the audience the opportunity to watch brides pick out what many regard as the most important single article of clothing in a woman's life -- her wedding dress. (We'll ignore for the moment that for some of the shoppers this might be the second or third most important dress). I'm also transfixed by how often women from completely different backgrounds and of completely different sizes choose the same dress as "the one." Shopping for a wedding gown is like having sex in the head; reality is superfluous.

A dress you won't see on Project Runway V
Elie Saab couture, Fall 2008

Well, at least I sincerely hope that this season of Project Runway is exciting. Last season turned out, ultimately, to be a bore. There were no big personalities like Jay McCarroll (I'm not counting the caricature that is Christian Siriano), no real villain, and hence none of the drama that made previous seasons such good TV. Even the garments were mostly boring.

PR is in transition; its producers, the Weinsteins, want to move the show to the Lifetime channel and relocate the designers to Los Angeles. Both of those proposed changes make me shudder: How will Lifetime, home of the weepy-woman Movie of the Week, treat the bawdy and gay-friendly PR? And why film a fashion program so far from America's undisputed fashion capital, New York? One of the producers explained the move by claiming that it provided "more context for our challenges involving celebrity culture." Given how celebrities often dress (i.e., badly) a concentration on celebrity culture does not bode well.

For vintage lovers, the second season of Mad Men premiers July 27, 2008. I think that series got off track with the unbelievable Dan Draper plotline (don't waste the Draper, people!) but dayum, the costumers get the look right.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Clothes on Film: Roberta

Lucille Ball before she became a professional housewife.

The 1935 movie Roberta is about an American football player who inerits a Parisian fashion house and falls in love with the designer, who just happens to be a Russian princess in exile. There's a lot of "just happens" in Roberta.

The football player (henceforth FBP)/Russian princess (henceforth RP) story is a snore. Concurring in that opinion an online reviewer wrote "[t]he plot's fashion angle is also boring -- far too muchtime is devoted to models displaying the latest dresses of the day, although if your curious about 1930's fashion you might enjoy gaping (or laughing) at the outlandish fashion." To which criticism I can only reply, no, no, NO!!! The fashion, and, oh yeah, a subplot involving a romance between two entertainers played by some kids you may have heard of, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, are what make the film worth watching at all.

Can you believe these two got second billing?

I usually do my laundry when Roberta is broadcast; I've seen it often enough so that I can load the washer and drier during the FBP/RP scenes and be back in front of the TV in time to catch a fashion show or a musical number. However, there is one bit of the main storyline I like: FBP's snooty ex-girlfriend "just happens" to show up in Paris and she's determined to win FBP back. She goes to Roberta's to pick out a gown for her reunion date with FBP, RP arranges a fashion show (hooray!), girlfriend rather insultingly rejects all the outfits chosen for her by RP (ex-girlfriend has somehow divined that FBP is attracted to RP). Fred Astaire, FBP's best friend who just happens to be at Roberta's while ex-girlfriend is shopping, uses reverse psychology to get ex-girlfriend to purchase a revealing dress FBP had previously ordered out of the collection. Ex-girlfriend appears at the date wearing the vulgar dress, FBP gets angry, ex-girlfriend, who really likes the dress, leaves, and presto! no obstacles to the union between FBP and RP remain. Well, none but FBP's bad taste -- the dress he disliked was really very hot.

Roberta's costumes and fashion were designed by Bernard Newman. Newman had been the house designer for Bergdorf Goodman, the New York department store. He only spent a few years in Hollywood before he returned to Bergdorf's, but not before he designed a dress that has become part of Hollywood lore: the blue feathered dress Ginger Rodgers wore while dancing "Cheek to Cheek" with Fred Astaire in Top Hat.

Roberta was remade in 1952 as Lovely to Look At, a movie so turgid that not even multiple fashion shows of extravagant New Look clothing designed by the fabulous Adrian could save it. Here's a hint of how bad it is: the Astaire/Rodger's roles were played by Red Skelton and Ann Miller. Sacrilege!

Anyhoo, the makers of the Robert a got a clue by the end of the movie and left the audience with a performance by Fred and Ginger. Here it is. Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Great One is gone.

Yves Saint Laurent, the designer who dominated fashion during all of the formation style years of my life, died June 1, 2008, of a brain tumor. My brother died on February 14, 2008, of a brain tumor. Saint Laurent and my brother had absolutely nothing in common except a dread disease and the fact that their passing leaves me feeling that a good chunk of my life, real and aspirational, is gone for good.

Saint Laurent basically invented modern fashion. He started the trend of turning street fashion into couture; he was the first to use African models on his Courture runway, he turned the pantsuit into "Le Smoking" and made it chic. He elevated the status of ready-to-wear with his Rive Gauche line while still creating the most elaborate haute couture imaginable. It’s one fashion writer’s opinion that many of the trends created by YSL, like sheer blouses and thigh-high boots, were “scary monsters.” Well, one person's monster is another person's fabulous, is all I can say.

Both Bianca and Mick Jagger wore YSL at their wedding.

Saint Laurent also set the standard for celebrity excess. His pre-collection mini-breakdowns were famous (and in fact parodied in one of Harold Robbins' trashier trash novels, "The Adventurers." ) He posed nude for a fashion magazine well before every Tom, Dick and Myle Cyrus was doing it. He used drugs, he drank to excess, he became a recluse, but he always managed to produce fabulous and newsworthy fashion.

Vintage Saint Laurent for sale at that fabulous website, The Frock. It's worth a closer look.

In the 60s and 70s the only magazines my parents subscribed to were "Life" and "Newsweek." I can still remember the fuss those rather staid magazines made over YSL's Mondrian dresses; you'd think he invented a vacine or something. His release of Opium perfume created another media sensation. Imagine, someone glamorizing drugs -- in the 70s!!!

Saint Laurent abruptly fell from fashion favor in the 1990s. He didn’t do minimalist and he didn't do grunge, and after 30 years on top of the fashion heap, he probably didn't care, either. Then, after he retired in 2002, he simply disappeared. Reading articles about his death online I came across many a reader comment that said “I thought he was already dead.” Look upon his works ye Mighty, and despair.
The Sundance Channel broadcasts the documentaries "Yves Saint Laurent 5 avenue Marceau 75116 Paris" and "Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times" from time to time. Try to catch them if you can.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pardon me, that would be Sweet . . .

P, not Pea, although however you spell it, there are trademark problems in the dear girl's future.

It took seven episodes for Project Runway Season IV to really engage me and for my gal Sweet P to step up to the plate and deliver some fashion. This is another case, for me, of being careful what I ask for: I wanted a season where the emphasis was on fashion, not personal drama, and I got it -- and it promptly put me to sleep.

Anyhoo, Episode 7 was the prom dress challenge which, after my recent traumatic encounter with the prom dresses in Dillard's junior department, really grabbed my attention. The PR crew produced some interesting designs which, for the most part, did not expose the young models' naughty bits, although, with one exception, the dresses looked too old for 17-year-olds. (In my opinion as a stuffy old broad who would like to see 17-year-olds in pink organza.) It was also generally agreed that this dress by Ricky Lizalde was one of the least attractive to roll down the runway.

Screen cap by the divine duo at Project Rungay.

So imagine my surprise when I found this dress un Chanel's Spring 2008 Couture collection:

Is washed-out and egg-shaped the wave of the future?

Karl Lagerfeld is on record disparaging PR. PR was filmed in Summer, 2007; the Paris Couture collections were held the second week of January, 2008. I wonder if Herr Lagerfeld knows that one of PR's less successful (at least until Episode 9) designers anticipated his design?

In Episode 9 the PR designers were challenged to create, using Levi's jeans and denim jackets, "an iconic look that captures the spirit of the 501 legacy." I wasn't sure whether that meant they were to sew up an iconic look in denim, or to create a design in denim that would become iconic. Whatever; is there a design more iconic than a Chanel suit? And once again there was a Chanel/PR convergence, because Herr Lagerfeld did at least a third of Chanel's Spring 2008 ready-to-wear collection in denim. And this may be the trench coat that designers Victorya Hong and Jillian Lewis were trying to create:

Sorry Victorya, there are some things that are only justified by a pricey designer label.

Actually, doesn't this Chanel jacket look like something a PR contestant would create from scraps?

Kiera Knightly was well and truly fugged for wearing another piece from the Chanel denim collection, as well as a bizarre hairdo and terrible make-up, for the cover of W Magazine. Let that be a lesson to persons who would combine denim and iconic.