Friday, May 9, 2014

On Purpose

No doubt you've seen and heard about the Spade brands' new endeavour On Purpose around blogs lately. BUT if you haven't, here's a little background.

Kate Spade, Jack Spade and Kate Spade SATURDAY are all partnering with artisans in Rwanda for limited edition collections for each brand. The end goal of the collaboration is for these artisans to have the skills and knowledge to become a supplier in the global industry. The companies will then find new artisans and repeat the training.

As someone who works for a company that employs artisans, this is really interesting to me. I've talked a lot with my boss about the artisans in India who handcraft our products, what production is like, what their lives are like, how they got started and basically everything under the sun related to our artisans. It's fascinating to me how much industry is concentrated in one tiny area. We think of our first world countries being so essential to the global economy, and we're definitely important, but I think that artisans and the people who are doing the small, tedious, under-glorified jobs are the people who are really essential. For example, for the earrings my company produces and wholesales, there's someone whose specific job is to attach ear wires to the earrings. I've had to reattach ear wires a few times and let me tell you, it's hard and not wholly enjoyable. Imagine doing that day in and day out, every single day. I personally could not do it and I commend them. I also am grateful for the engravers who hand-engrave our products, without any sort of guide or template.

I think that helping these people gain the knowledge, skills and empowerment to work on a global scale is really exciting. And, going back to the Kate Spade brands, it doesn't hurt that the products are so cute either. Typically, socially-conscious products are rather hippie and "earthy" for my taste...these products are definitely part of the Kate Spade aesthetic.

Take a look...

Kate Spade "On Purpose" Friendship Bracelet (other adorable colors/patterns available!)

So totally cute and not at all cheesy. I'm kinda in love...and can't wait for more!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Met Gala 2014

Let's talk about the Met Gala for a minute, shall we? This year's theme was Charles James, a designer from the 50s who is known for the exquisite, intricate construction of his gowns. He was famous for structure and 3D fabric sculpting, if you will. His most famous gown design is the Four Leaf Clover gown...and it's one of my favorite gowns ever. So simple, but so stunning in its simplicity.

Four Leaf Clover gown, via The Met (read more about Charles James here)

I was really looking forward to seeing huge, retro-esque structured dresses and dramatic swathes of fabric everywhere...and I was a little bit let down. There was plenty of pretty, but really only a few gowns that channeled Charles James's artistry.

Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa: Really the only gown that I saw that is truly a Charles James-type of creation. All of that structure is amazing and while I don't necessarily love the 3D flowers, the floral fabric is so beautiful. I bet it's hand-painted. THIS is what couture should look like and how much attention to detail should be paid to a custom, haute couture gown.

Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung: You could probably argue that this is what Charles James would design if he was alive and designing now in 2014. It's sleek and sophisticated, but still structured and elegantly constructed. I wish the lining was a deeper shade of pink for a bit more fun, but I don't hate it as-is.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta: Her hair was bizarre, but this dress is soooo pretty! It has that 50s style to it, but it's still modern.

 Sarah Silverman: Of all the people you'd expect to see in a huge, princessy ballgown, Sarah Silverman isn't one of them. I like that she's wearing something unexpected and that color is so good on her! I'm really loving the bodice detailing and the structured pleating of the skirt...can you imagine how many yards of fabric are in that skirt alone?

Other dresses that I liked but didn't necessarily fit the theme:
Emma Stone: I really just love that skirt and want it in my closet ASAP

Karlie Kloss: Borderline obsessed with that makes a basic silhouette into something gorgeous

Blake Lively: So Old Hollywood and glamorous...she looks amazing!

Emmy Rossum: I covet that fabric so springy and cheerful. Printed gowns are my favorite.

I feel like there were so many blah dresses and so many "edgy" dresses on the red carpet...why not go with the theme and do a total ballgown? I'm underwhelmed.

Photos via Huffington Post

Monday, May 5, 2014

H&M Happy

I don't shop at H&M for clothes very often, but I do shop browse their home goods pretty frequently. The other day I just randomly clicked on over to their clothing and found SO many cute things! H&M in real life is completely stressful for me, so I much prefer their streamlined and you don't have to deal with poking through messy piles of clothes to find your size.

Draped top, $24.95: I'd wear this with bright skinny pants and flats to work...I love a good artfully-draped top!

Beach shorts, $12.95: Such a good idea for the beach...I dislike one-piece cover ups and would rather just wear shorts. These would also be cute pj shorts with a little tank!

Yoga tank top, $17.95: I'm trying to start going to yoga classes, so I think new yoga-specific pieces are a good way to motivate myself. This looks much more expensive than it is and comes in pretty pastels. Namaste, y'all.

Tasseled necklace, $17.95: I've said before how statement necklaces are not my thing...but this one is just too cute with the little tassels! It'd be the perfect little accessory to brighten up an all-white outfit.

Printed espadrilles, $17.95: These are definitely a few steps outside my comfort zone, but I just love the print. So cute with a pair of cutoffs and a slouchy white tee. Summery, casual, easy.

Pom-pom Pillow cover, $17.95: SO cute! I know a little cat who would probably destroy the pom-poms in a hot second, but these are the cutest pillows. One of my goals on my apartment decorating list is to buy new bedding...these may have to make their way to my house as they'll match my current bedding and whatever I get in the future. And how perfect would the pink be on my gray couch?!