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Monthly Archives: March 2011

ReFashioner.com = Happiness

I am composing this post as a direct response to my OBSESSION with ReFashioner.com (and its blog by founder Kate Sekules) for my Social Media class. I have been DYING to do a post on this particular Web site and there just hasn’t been a good week to cover it in my postings for class. This week isn’t any more relevant, but fearing that the semester is nearing an end and I am running out of time, I have decided I’m just going to write about it, as I want to share the site with as many people as possible!!

Being a true collector of all things fashion-related (especially vintage), this site is like a dream for me, and here’s why:

About ReFashioner:

“ReFashioner is a curated, invitation-only fashion swapping site. Here, the haute one-wear-wonders, also-rans and wrong sizes that clog the backs of the best closets are united with their true owners. After all, your mistake is another girl’s treasure. Our pieces are vetted for quality, and we’ve done away with the need to find the “other half” of a swap-trading isn’t tit-for-tat, but takes the form of actual shopping. Since we get attached to our clothes, Refashioners can tell their garments’ stories, customize their own space, link with others whose style they like, and generally obsess about designers, details and dressing. Questions? Email us: info@refashioner.com. To apply for an invitation: membership@refashioner.com.”

Basically, this site allows me to pass along designer garments I am no longer stoked about to others by putting them up for “swapping” in my virtual closet. I can peruse other people’s closets and they can shop mine. Each garment is given a value, ReFashioner dollars, and you use that money to purchase other items you want on the site. Once you purchase an item you pay a small fee to ReFashioner and for shipping, usually totaling less than $20 each time. If someone purchases one of your items, the ReFashioner Team notifies you via email and sends along a pre-paid mailing label. Though it is an invitation-only site, you can shoot the ReFashioner Team an email with why you think your closet should be included on the site and they’ll let you apply for an invitation to join.

The site is super helpful in explaining its unique concept, so make sure to click here to see How It Works and here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Below is a screen shot of their home page, to give you a sneak peek:

I have scored so many special things from this site, including an amazing vintage Donna Karan silk skirt for my Mom (for Christmas), several fantastic handbags for girlfriends as gifts, a gorgeous Moschino silk scarf, a sweet tulle and glass necklace, and a truly FABULOUS vintage winter coat that fits me perfectly.

I’m in L.O.V.E.

The Orange Flip Connection

When I think about group dynamics, memories flood my brain from the earliest of ages. I suppose I had never thought of it this way, but from the playground to the conference room, it seems that groupings impact your life from childhood through adulthood. In Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody (an assigned reading for my class, Social Media), Shirky expores the complexity of groups and the social repercussions of their composition and growth. In the opening of his second chapter he writes:

“Groups of people are complex, in ways that make those groups hard to form and hard to sustain; much of the shape of traditional institutions is a response to those difficulties. New social tools relieve some of those burdens, allowing for new kinds of group-forming, like using simple sharing to anchor the creation of new groups.”

This particular passage sums up his findings on the idea that “sharing anchors community.” And with this idea comes the analysis of online groupings and how they shape the internet. In another passage, he talks about the online tool Flickr and how it has changed the traditional order of group activity from “gather, then share” to “share, then gather.”  I think this concept defines the internet and its blogosphere to a T.

The larger a group gets, the less possibility there is for close contact and intimate interactions between everyone in the group. BUT, there are so many additional connections that can be made as a group grows and evolves. It’s funny, because while so many people feel a strong connection to one of my favorite bloggers, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, she does note in her FAQs that she simply can’t respond to each and every inquiry sent her way. It’s just not possible, of course. And yet the way she writes feels personal, like she is a close girlfriend of yours, and her musings do in fact bring many people together on so many levels.

*I think that is why I was particularly ecstatic when I mentioned her in a Tweet this week and I got a response. I posted a photo of myself wearing a lipstick she recommended on her blog and thanked her for the idea. To hear from her made me feel like it’s possible to make a simple connection, even in the complex group of style/lifestyle bloggers I am seeking to be a (more substantial) part of.

Cupcakes and Cashmere blogger Emily Schuman modeling Revlon’s Orange Flip Lipstick. (Photo courtesy of CupcakesandCashmere.com)

Revlon’s Orange Flip Lipstick on Me!

Dyanne Lagman, a fellow classmate and blogger of Gold Rushed (and lover of Cupcakes and Cashmere), mentions in her post this week what a great job Emily does of fluidly connecting her blog to her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Ideally, I’d like to get to a point where I can do this as well. My three accounts are not cohesive for Feliz Is Her Name just yet, but it’s something I’d like to do in order to drive more followers to my blog and to garner further exposure.

Mini-Epilogue: Taking this Social Media course has demanded that I constantly think about my presence in the online world and where I fit in; in addition, it requires to me to reflect upon who is influencing me, who I might be influencing and how I am doing so. It’s never as simple as hitting the publish button, it always means so much more…

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I decided to change the theme to my blog today. I had been researching new themes for awhile (inspired by my Social Media class at Georgetown) and I had come to the conclusion that the only way I’d get one I thought was v. cool would be to have one designed…which costs money…which definitely isn’t in my monthly budget. So I sort of gave up looking for a bit.

And then today I was perusing WordPress.com and came across a new theme that tickled my fancy. So, I’ve spent that last hour trying to re-organize and re-setup my blog. The old theme I had I loved in terms of its layout, but it seemed a bit too frilly for what I was going for and I wasn’t crazy about brown being my main color (neither was Feliz, she prefers pink of course!). So, until I am able to design a theme that speaks to exactly what I want to convey stylistically-speaking, I think Liquorice will be a good fit. For now. Because who knows when I’ll change my mind again 😉

 

The MADness Ensues!

Mad Men.

Okay, so maybe I’m a little late to the (cocktail) party. But I often choose to contemplate (and thus forgo) things that are trendy and of the moment in favor of exploring it later and forming my own opinion. I’ve convinced myself that this way I feel less pressured to like something just because everyone else does. This specifically applies to Mad Men because I had heard about the show for such a long time, but had decided that since it was SO in, I probably wouldn’t like it. I did the same thing with Glee, too. And while we’re at it, Uggs (they are a cold weather staple), dark nail polish (Hello, Essie. Nice to meet you…) and embracing my naturally curly hair (on certain days I do indeed love it). Clearly I need to rethink my theory…

The truth is that I initially didn’t like Mad Men when the first three episodes arrived in my mailbox via Netflix. I watched them in greatly touted anticipation and was immediately saddened: the show was depressing! I sent back the DVD after a couple of days feeling disappointed. I even discussed it with another girlfriend who also felt like the show was too dark for her taste. It seemed that we were the only two people I knew who were not immediately charmed by the show.

AND THEN: A few months went by and I decided to give the show another try, watching it for free with an online streaming site (no commitment if I didn’t like the subsequent episodes). Somewhere between episodes four and five of Season 1 I had a complete epiphany. Said epiphany? That I was afraid to like MM because it would mean being hooked on yet another show that would take me four seasons of catching up to in order to be up to speed. The truth was that I had become utterly obsessed with the show’s fashion (not a big shocker, I know) and was immediately ensconced in the characters and their lives. It made me want to be transported back to the 60s, stat. And it still does.

I find myself wanting to take notes and photos of every scene, every outfit. I rack my brain (and my closet full of vintage) to try and recreate a look or use something I saw as inspiration for my next night out. And…I usually end each episode scheming and daydreaming of how I’ll make my way to Los Angeles to get a gig on the show assisting the costume designer, Janie Bryant. I mean, let’s face it: she has my dream job. She gets to shop, design and rework vintage clothing!!!!!! And she gets paid to do it. So as I perused AMC’s site recently, I discovered that there is actually a whole section of photos and a video with explanations of the costume choices from Season 4. Click here to check it out.

And just in case you’re wondering: Here are some of my favorite looks from the past four seasons…

Joan Holloway, Season 1. (The buckle collar KILLS me!) Photo by Carin Baer. Courtesy of AMC.

 

Betty Draper, Season 1.( I'm convinced this is the perfect shade of blue for a winter coat.) Photo by Carin Baer. Courtesy of AMC.

Betty Draper, Season 1. (The jeweled fan detail on the bodice and her stole are just out of control gorgeous.) Photo by Carin Baer. Courtesy of AMC.

Joan Holloway, Season 1. (The draping on this blouse paired with the tweed skirt is perfection.) Photo by Carin Baer. Courtesy of AMC.

Betty Draper in Italy, Season 3. (I'm obsessed with her hair AND her earrings.) Photo by Carin Baer. Courtesy of AMC.

Bethany Van Nuys, Season 4. (In this episode, Bethany models the dress for Don on a date. The black detailing is actually fringe and the back is ah-mazing.) Photo by Michael Yarish. Courtesy of AMC.

So as last week being Georgetown’s Spring Break, I took the opportunity to make my way through the rest of Season 4. I rationed out the most recent season because I knew I would be a bit heartbroken when it was over. And of course, I was. I’ve been reading that the show hasn’t been renewed for a fifth season and it is beginning to have me very worried.

*And on a note for class, I have found myself making a continual effort to tag, link and mention things that I think will be pertinent in a Google search, though I am still figuring it all out. I’ve sort of realized that until I have a very fine-tuned topic, it’ll be hard to try and get a steady stream of readers to frequent my blog. At this point, I’m still trying to figure out what topics produce my best writing and how to make it all cohesive.

**On another note, I have found myself conducting a lot of research for each of my blog posts for class, especially utilizing Google. It helps me see what is already out there for a topic I want to write about and gives me perspective on how I should approach my own blog entry. In order to produce a post that is both informative and unique, I know I need to make my blog interactive and relevant in order for it to be fresh.

The week of all weeks

After one of the toughest weeks I’ve encountered since my relocation to D.C. in January, I found our particular assignment for Social Media this week to be a bit of a sign. Asked to blog about an unknown site or sites that inspire us/our blogs each week, it gave me pause as I forced myself to focus on the little gems that await me on the Internet each day.

Here are a handful of my favorite online pick-me-ups, which I’m realizing as I write, I need to lean on during this week of stress and frustration…

1. Gratefulness.org

I was introduced to this site by my Mom a year or two ago and it honestly is one of the BEST gifts I receive on a daily basis. Unlike the majority of the daily newsletters and emails I get, I never, ever delete this daily, and honestly, I never regret opening it. If you go to their home page, click on their About Us tab on the left and you can read a bit about their philosophy, mission statement, etc. In truth though, I rarely visit their site. It’s their daily newsletter (oddly titled, “Word of the Day” though it’s always a sentence or a paragraph!) that I am addicted to. Being reminded everyday of a passage or a thought to open my mind and my heart is something I never regret. I doubt you will either!

2. Hallmark.com

Okay, okay, seriously, I don’t work for them! But I have been a proponent of the E-card since its inception and I always find Hallmark’s cards to be the cutest. Now, keep in mind, they do still offer some free E-cards, but the selection has really dwindled. I actually pay $9.99 for the year and I can send as many cards as I want, whenever I want. I think that’s a pretty fab deal, but then again, I AM their target demographic 🙂 They have a million varieties and there are some that you can add your own photos to as well, which is neat. It always puts a smile on my face when I’m about to click the ‘send’ button on an E-card…just knowing that it will brighten the day of the person receiving it!

3. Elle Magazine’s Street Chic Daily Newsletter

This is another daily newsletter that I always look forward to opening. For me, it’s a little pop of energy each morning to see what other women in cities all over the world are “working” on a daily basis. I like it because the girls they choose have avant garde tastes and I usually end up coveting at least one item in the outfit…which says a lot, considering how picky I am. Today’s girl has the MOST amazing green clutch. It’s Costume National. And well, it’s to die for.

 

Photo courtesy of Elle Magazine. Taken by Courtney D'Alessio.

 

4. Urban Senses

This blog was started by one of my very dearest friends. Though she began it with the idea that people would add to it to make it a collaborative project, she has ended up doing all of the posts so far, which frankly, I think is perfect. I love reading her postings because it makes me feel closer to her though we’re a continent apart. Her past few postings have been about the cooking and baking she has been experimenting with over the past few months. I, for one, am sincerely disappointed I haven’t been near her flat so I could come by and sample one of her creations! Her page design is simple and chic and she has a great eye for photography. She introduced me to the Hipstamatic App for my iPhone which I think is pretty fabulous. Below is a photo she took during our trip to Ireland together this past summer.

 

Killarney, Ireland

 

 

5. Comedienne Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson is one of my favorite comics for oh so many reasons. I find her timing uncanny and I am dying to see her perform live. I missed out the last time she was in South Florida and I’ve always regretted it!

Both videos below were imparted to me by my sister and Mom during a weekend home a couple of winters ago. All I have to say is if you don’t think Bon Qui Qui is funny, then we definitely don’t have the same sense of humor. I have passed it on to various friends and co-workers because it will, FOR SURE, make you giggle. A close second, if not a tie, is her Nail Salon skit, which I’ve posted below as well. Both are courtesy of MADtv and YouTube.

 

*Please note the Bon Qui Qui video (despite every link I’ve tried from YouTube and Anjelah’s own site) is disabled. Just click on ‘Play” button and then on the link that says ‘Watch on YouTube’ to view it!