Robin Givhan Gives Fashion Week
Some Tough Love

RGTheCutRobin Givhan, the only person ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for fashion writing, unleashes some pointed commentary on the rampant egomania that is brought into high relief during Fashion Weeks here and elsewhere in the world. Since she was recently relieved of her position at The Daily Beast/Newsweek due to the ending of the print magazine, she skipped New York Fashion week almost entirely, and has no plans to cover Paris or Milan at all this season. Instead she is using her break in steady work to work on a book, and has written a clever post for The Cut about just how little she misses the overblown ceremony and jockeying for status of Fashion Week and the industry in general that she has devoted her career to covering. She has some harsh words for attendees who are more concerned about their seating assignments than any reason why they should be there at all, and designers who ban fashion critics who actually dare to criticize. Click over to The Cut to read her deconstruction of the whole bloated excercise, and learn how she managed to keep from taking it all personally.

Don’t Take It Personal — It’s Just Fashion By Robin Givhan (The Cut)


Check Out ArchetypeMe's
Guide To Designer Collaborations
Featuring The Shophound

ArchetypeMeThere is no end to the Designer Collaboration craze (and why would we want one?). The Shophound and shopping maven Sample Sally talked to the new website ArchetypeMe about the ongoing trend that gives the average shopper just a taste of luxury designer style.

Check out their rundown HERE on what's coming up from retailers and their designer partners and how to get the most of these sometimes fleeting, blink-and-you'll-miss-them events.

Savvy Shopper: Tips for Shopping Designer Collaborations by Lisbeth Levine (ArchetypeMe)


The New York Times Wants You To Know That These Menswear Bloggers Are Totally Not Gay

12zBLOGGERS1-articleLargeProbably as a lead-up to the upcoming Men's Fall 2012 shows in Europe, and the market shows in New York next week, the Thursday Styles is spotlighting a group of influential bloggers in the burgeoning menswear arena, and the first thing they want you to know is that they are totally straight. Seriously, it's in the title.

Straight Talk: A New Breed of Fashion Bloggers makes sure to describe the five gentleman behind Mister Mort, The Marcus Troy Experience, Jake Davis Blog, A Continuous Lean, Sartorially Inclined and How to Talk to Girls at Parties and  as "hyper-masculine dudes" who look at men's clothes the way their red-blooded brethren follow sports. No mincing Queer-Eyed queens here, thank you very much. These manly men are making fashion safe for regular guys, so you keep your sequined Dolce & Gabbana blazer away from here, Brad Goreski.

Is it a coincidence that this article comes on the heels of GQ's Reblog This: The Oral History of Menswear Blogging which features many of the same players? Make of that what you will. GQ's more in-depth piece focuses less on the sexual identities of the bloggers, but illuminates us more fully regarding the truckloads of swag that these guys are pulling in, which the Times only touches upon. Well, damn!
*Note to designers: UPS comes to our house too. We'll be Instagramming and Tweeting next week from Project and Capsule. Just sayin'.

Straight Talk: A New Breed of Fashion Bloggers (NYTimes)
Reblog This: The Oral History of Menswear Blogging (GQ.com)


Shoe Sale Shoppers
Get Stymied This Season

This time of year is a bonanza for Sample Sale shoppers, and it isn't done yet, but two of the sales most likely to turn otherwise perfectly respectable women into vicious scavengers have gone out of their way dial down the frenzy. A couple of weeks ago, Manolo Blahnik managed to hold its sale without a single advance notice from blogs like Racked or Madison Avenue Spy who normally keep their readers abreast of such events without fail. Apparently, it was a tweet from André Leon Talley, who has been serving as the sale's de facto "host" in recent seasons, that alerted anyone that the sale was happening at all, long after the typical wrapped-around-the-block lines could have formed.

This week, it was the Christian Louboutin sale that bedeviled bargain hunters. While bloggers learned that the invite-only sale was to begin today, when the tireless folks at Racked appeared at the showroom, they found the above sign on the door along with a small but determined line of hopefuls who weren't willing to believe what was plainly in front of their faces. Madison Avenue Spy reported that VIPs and celebrities had been scooping up discounted shoes all weekend, but that instead of the loose "invitation" policy that many showrooms follow at their sales, Louboutin would be strictly enforcing its guest list with no exceptions. Adding insult to injury, they had cruelly cut the Spy and other such bloggers who report on samples sales from the list. Damn, so cold!

While there are still more Sample Sales going on in New York than anyone could possibly cover singlehandedly, it may mean something that the two most famous shoe designers who run two of the most popular sales are trying to rein in the excitement and the publicity over their seasonal stock clearances. Perhaps they simply want to move the activity back to their boutiques and later end-of-season sales, but we will keep an eye out to see if this constitutes a trend just a case of a couple of weary showroom staffs trying to give themselves a break.

Christian Louboutin Sale in Full Swing (Madison Avenue Spy)
Louboutin Says There's No Sample Sale This Morning
, The Manolo Blahnik Sample Sale Started This Very Morning (Racked)


Where Did RACKED Go?

Anyone trying to visit our friends at RACKED yesterday would have had a hard time logging on, and if you think something shady was going on, then you would have been half right.

Early yesterday, FBI agents raided a Virginia data center and hauled away three racks of servers according to Gawker. Unfortunately, those racks contained the servers that handle The Curbed Network which includes the various editions of Curbed, Eater and Racked. Apparently, the feds were after the digital assets of one particular client (not Curbed) but many other websites were affected to varying degrees.

We still don't know who they were after, but everyone at Curbed got the day off yesterday while their boss, Lockhart Steele scrambled to find new servers. We are guessing that they will be back up any minute now, and those Racked bloggers will be back at work probably annoyed that they missed the day of H&M's big annual designer collaboration announcement.

FBI Raid Takes Down Mess of Websites (Gawker)

Follow The Shophound On Twitter

TheShophoundtwitImage Something has been obviously missing from The Shophound for a while. We initially resisted the Twitter because we couldn't imagine our already fragmented attention split even further, and also because we thought if we started a feed we were going to have to get in some kind of war with Ashton Kutcher. We now understand that we can tweet without involving the Kutcher-Moores in any way, so please follow @theshophound where we'll tweet our posts and all the other random thoughts that pass through our mind.

Maybe in a while, we'll look into that Facebook thing people keep going on about...

Has The Sartorialist Backlash Begun?

Refinery29sartorialist We're all fans of The Sartorialist, the little blog that (with a few well placed connections) has become the latest chronicler of record for individuals of striking personal style. Since launching the blog, photographer Scott Schuman has found plummy work with Condé Nast publications and even inspired department store windows, so it was only a matter of time before someone aimed a critical (if still affectionate) eye at him.
That someone turns out to be Refinery 29 whose blog, Pipeline, has taken a good long look at The Sartorialist and deduced a clever formula for attracting Schuman's attention and immortalizing yourself in the online annals of style.
Read and learn.
Oh Snap! Our Step-By-Step Guide To Getting Shot By The Sartorialist By Christene Barberich & Piera Gelardi, Design by Joshua Covarubbias
The Sartorialist (Official Site)

Blog Spotlight:

Bagatelle's Wrapping Reminiscence

Bagatelle Logo Brightened Medium We have to admit that pretty often these days The Shophound feels a little bit blogged out, and occasionally relieved to find a reason to delete something from our prodigious RSS feed list. Sometimes it seems like we see the same stories slavishly repeated over and over and over from one blog to another (like anything regarding Marc Jacobs' personal life, for example). It's no small pleasure to find a blog with a unique focus, which happened yesterday when we came across "Bagatelle: An on-line museum of shopping bags... and other things money can't buy".
A blog about shopping BAGS?
It's better than it sounds. More than just creating a budding compendium of graphic design and corporate identity (trying to remember what the old Bonwit Teller bags looked like?), Bagatelle's author, Coco, often uses the bags, ribbons, boxes and even business cards as an opportunity launch into another often unrelated but no less amusing story, like this post about Bergdorf Goodman's iconic paper sacks,

In spite of the fact that I applied for a job there when I was 19 and was turned down (I ended up working for Macy's), I'm proud to say I've never let bitterness or hurt stand in the way of walking into BG's as if I own the place. (Although I was a little embarrassed, when, after they broke the news to me that I wasn't hired, I was discovered rocking back and forth in the shoe section, yelling, "You are lying, Chino! Make it not be true! Please, make it not be true!!!" I guess all hindsight is 20/20.)

We think you've hit on something here Coco.
We're anxiously waiting for a nice post on all those famous Bloomingdale's bags from the '70s and '80s. Consider yourself tasked.
Bagatelle: An on-line museum of shopping bags... and other things money can't buy (Official Site)


Fashion Industry Revealed To Be
Full Of Comic Book Geeks

Apparently, it's not for nothing that Midtown Comics is right in the middle of the Garment District.
The clever folks at Refinery 29 have done a smashing job of matching looks from the current Paris runway shows to their superhero (and superhero movie) counterparts.
Frankly, they did a better job than the Costume Institute did last Summer with their big Superhero exhibition. We would say this was reaching a bit if it weren't that designers actually sent masks, helmets and capes down the runways, in Paris.
Here at The Shophound, we have no problems admitting that we have read Watchmen a couple of times before the movie ever came out (and now we'll have to read it again to check what got left out and what was changed). Nor do we remind revealing that we went to the Apple Store in SoHo on two recent evenings to hear illustrator Dave Gibbons and actors Patrick Wilson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan talk about the book and movie, but it's nice to know that we weren't the only ones who thought of the Silk Spectre when we saw those gartered hip boots from Hussein Chalayan a few days ago.
We still have yet to see the usual Fashion Week crowd amongst the geeks on a Wednesday at Forbidden Planet, but they may just be there in their secret identities, because evidently they are totally into that sort of thing.
Catwoman, Darth Vader, and the Nite Owl Storm the Runway by Daniela Jacobs & Xiyin Tang (Refinery 29)
Previously: Our Last Post On SUPERHEROES At The Costume Institute

Costume Institute's blog.mode is Up and Running

We haven't gotten there yet, but this week, The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its latest exhibition, blog.mode: addressing fashion (intentional lowercase, like k.d.lang). A certain amount of groaning accompanied the news that the show would be designed to be "interactive" with computer terminals allowing visitors to comment on individual pieces as well as blog allowing comment from on line visitors. Clearly, this is a gimmick meant to cover the fact that it is a show of new acquisitions with no overriding curatorial theme, however, after a few days, it looks like the experiment may be an intriguing success, and one that can easily be applied to any sort of exhibition.
Any regular Costume Institute visitor knows that people get very vocal in those galleries, often recalling  clothes they one wore that were similar to those on display, or just expressing their opinions as if they in Bloomingdale's. The blog is an entertaining record of the public's response, and, so far, it looks like the commenters are taking it pretty seriously, although we are pretty sure that the "Gloria Guinness " who offered her opinion on Olivier Theyskens' frothy Nina Ricci ballgown is not the famous socialite by the same name who died in 1980. But, hey, use the opportunity to invent a clever alias for yourself like a favorite character from a novel, or perhaps a porn star.
The blog can be found here. Each day features a new item from the show, like the Nancy Gonzalez bag pictured above, and the opportunity to comment or just lurk and read what random other people of varying degrees of expertise have to say.
The exhibit runs through April 13th which should give them plenty of time to amass a copious amount of opinion, probably more than they actually want.
blog.mode: addressing fashion at The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue from 80th to 84th Streets, Upper East Side