Archive for December, 2006

BCBG Max Azria ‘Napa’ Wine Silk Charmeuse Halter Mini-Dress

BCBG Max Azria \'Napa\' Wine Silk Charmeuse Halter Mini-Dress

The Perfect Gift For: You!

A modern take on the flapper dress.

$129 at Bluefly via Amazon.

Add comment December 15th, 2006

Designer Profile: Michelle Zacks of Spring & Clifton

 Born in California and based on the East Coast, Michelle Zacks of knitwear line Spring & Clifton deftly fuses the sophisticated attitude of New York with the easy-going vibe of the Golden State.  And she has exactly what you need to bundle up this winter.  Read on to hear about Michelle’s design inspiration, her views on expensive clothing (Expensive does not equal Good), and her thoughts on next season’s fashion trends.

Spring and Clifton KnitwearOmiru: What’s the story behind the name Spring & Clifton?

Michelle: When I first started the line, I had a partner.  At the time I lived on Spring Street in Manhattan, and she lived on Clifton Place in Brooklyn.  Though we stopped working together after the first season, I kept the name.

O: Writers often experience writer’s block when they run out of ideas. Do you ever experience designer’s block?

M: I have experienced “designer’s block” in times of extreme stress or when I’m pushing myself in the wrong direction. But I don’t freak out about it. I think the art of being creative calls for letting go but also being involved in life. My real “problem” is probably that I have TOO MANY ideas.  I am constantly editing, editing, and editing. I also keep a notebook - uh, pile - of my sketches and photos from magazines that I can always refer to if I need a kick.  I often revisit the same ideas, which used to frustrate me, but now I think of these ideas as elements of the Spring & Clifton look, and I hope to evolve them with each collection.

O: How do you strike a balance between being classic and trendy?

M: You can get really tripped up if you go too far on either end of the spectrum: what’s new is unrecognizable, and what’s tried & true feels uninspired. I used to think I had to reinvent the wheel with every collection, but now I think it’s more important to just evolve the Spring & Clifton look from season to season. 

Spring and Clifton KnitwearO: From where do you draw your inspiration?

M: Everywhere! I’m constantly observing everything and tucking it away into the inspiration file. I love traveling. I try to make it a point to go to museums and galleries. I look at the work of designers whom I admire. I’ve gotten ideas from reading the New York Times. I’ve used movies and books as references. I love flea markets and eBay. I love New York nightlife and how girls put themselves together.

For my Spring 05 collection, for instance, I was collecting old Playboys from 1960-1970 for the pin-up illustrations of Alberto Vargas. I love his illustrations for the detailing on the clothing and the shoes.  Anyway, I realized that the pin-up was the ultimate sweater girl…and the idea for the collection was born.

O: When it comes to knitwear, do you think expensive equals good?

M: Oh, hell no! I don’t think that expensive = good. I mean, it can, but it doesn’t exclusively guarantee goodness. The most stylish women in the world know how to strike the perfect balance between high brow and low brow, and it’s that contrast that is so much more interesting to me. I’m also a huge flea market/thrift store scourer.  I don’t know what my life would be like without secondhand things, which have so much personality.  As far as knitwear goes, when you start getting into the finer yarns, like cashmere, of course the price is going to go up.  That to me is something worth investing in, but in general, I like to offer a range of prices with Spring & Clifton.

Spring and Clifton KnitwearO: What can we expect next? What is the next big knitwear trend?

M: I think that a big trend we’re going to see is clothing with a socially conscious message.  For Fall 07, I’ll be using a Bamboo/Cotton blend yarn, which I’m attracted to because bamboo is a biodegradable textile material that is really kind to our environment. I’ve done bamboo/cashmere in the past, and I was surprised at how many new clients I picked up because people really responded to the organic factor.  I think it’s something that people really want.

Don’t take this to mean that the clothes will be at all hippy dippy or anything.  I’ll be making bamboo interesting, stylish and sexy! It’s also amazingly soft, which is important to me because I’m big on comfort. One of my design mantras states that there’s no style without substance, and I think this reinforces that idea.

O: As a designer, do you feel the pressure of always having to dress stylishly?

M: I challenge myself to constantly push my personal look forward.  I think that it reflects in my designs and makes me a better designer. When I’m starting a collection, I always have in mind what I need in my own closet.  I want to know what women want before they know they want it!  My one bad habit is my tendency to reach for my jeans first. I really have to fight that some days!

Spring and Clifton KnitwearO: If your house was burning down and you could only save one item in your closet, what would it be?

M: I’d save my 2 cats, Cooley & Slice! If I had extra time, I’d grab my vintage blue hoodie with the silkscreened birds on it. I am really a blue hoodie kind of girl.

O: What type of women do you want to see sporting your designs?

M: That girl on the street that you have to stop and check out twice because something about her style caught your eye.  I’ve seen all kinds of women wearing my sweaters, and at the end of the day, I want anyone who gets a feeling from my clothing to be able to wear it.

O: Where can Omiru readers purchase your clothing?

M: Barney’s Co-Op, M.Z. (my store on the Lower East Side), and online at Shopbop.

Want to see Michelle’s latest line for Spring & Clifton?  Visit Spring & Clifton’s website.

2 comments December 14th, 2006

Snowflake Ornament Card


Lasercut wood snowflakes interlock to create a stunning 3D design.

$7 at Elsewares.

Add comment December 14th, 2006

Greetings, Wall Street Journal Readers!

Welcome to Omiru: Style for All, where you’ll find the most fabulously affordable fashion and accessories online.

Here for the gift guide?  Shop for everyone on your list, from the workaholic and the gadget geek to the person who has everything.

What else do we have for you?

Didn’t catch the article?  Read "Blogs for Shoppers"  online at the Wall Street Journal.

Thanks for stopping by, and come again soon!

Add comment December 13th, 2006

Trendscape [Men]: Velvet Blazers

Velvet Blazers are In
, according to Omiru’s weekly poll. Though we love cropped styles on women, we’re enamored of full-length designs for men.  Presenting our favorites for men, for work or for play.

Triple Five Soul Velvet Pinstripe Blazer

Blazing Glory Velvet Blazer | $298 at Kenneth Cole

Triple Five Soul Velvet Pinstripe Blazer

Black Velvet Two-Button Blazer | $298 at Banana Republic

Triple Five Soul Velvet Pinstripe Blazer

Luxe Velvet Two-Button Blazer | $248 at Banana Republic

Triple Five Soul Velvet Pinstripe Blazer

Triple Five Soul Velvet Pinstripe Blazer | $159 at Urban Outfitters

5 comments December 13th, 2006

Crowded Teeth Animal Pals Button Pack

Crowded Teeth Animal Pals Button Pack The Perfect Gift For: The Friend of Animals.

Charm your friends with these adorable animal buttons.

$3 at Crowded Teeth.

Add comment December 13th, 2006

Shopping Guide: Office Party Little Black Dress

Wondering what to wear to the office party?  Or for any one of the dozen holiday parties you’re invited to this season?  You can’t go wrong with a Little Black Dress. 

Our $$$ Picks

Fiorenza Strapless Tulip Dress

Fiorenza Strapless Tulip Dress | $425 at Intermix

Alana Belted Dress

Alana Belted Dress | $395 at ScoopNYC

Our $$ Pick
Theory Oceana Curve Dress

Theory Oceana Curve Dress | $330 at Shopbop 

Our $ Picks
Brocade Minidress

Brocade Minidress | $168 at Anthropologie

Silk Jersey Dress

Silk Jersey Dress | $128 at Banana Republic

Wool Jersey Wrap-Front Dress

Wool Jersey Wrap-Front Dress | $118 at Banana Republic

2 comments December 12th, 2006

Tufi Duek Purple Striped Satin Puff Sleeve Dress

Tufi Duek Purple Striped Satin Puff Sleeve Dress
The Perfect Gift For: You!

Vertical stripes are slimming,  the empire waist makes you look taller, and the puff sleeves obscure the upper arm.  What more can you ask for?

$359 at Bluefly via Amazon.

Add comment December 12th, 2006

Omiru Poll Results: Leopard Print is (barely) In

Omiru Poll Result: Leopard Print is (barely) In

Diane von Furstenberg Kasper DressWe asked: Is Leopard Print In or Out?

You said:  We’re on the fence about Leopard Print.  47% are all over Leopard, while 27% and 26%, respectively, believe they’re Out and On the Way Out.

Omiru’s take:
Jennifer Lopez might rock these spots, but they’re not for everyone.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try a Leopard Print dress or overcoat.  But we’d recommend accessorizing with these spots instead of creating an outfit around them. And please, one Leopard Print item per outfit, max.

Next Question: This season, we’re keeping an eye on an emerging eveningwear trend: Shorts (over Leggings or Tights) masquerading as Eveningwear.  But what do
you think?  Tell us, is Shorts as Eveningwear In, or is it Out?  Cast your
vote on the sidebar! 

Pictured: Diane von Furstenberg "Kasper" Dress | $325 at Shopbop.

2 comments December 11th, 2006

Yosifa Penina “Glass” Belt

Yosifa Penina \"Glass\" Belt
The Perfect Gift For: The Hipster Woman who doesn’t wear belts because they’re (1) uncomfortable, (2) boring, or (3) made of leather.

What makes Yosifa Penina belts so special?  They’re made of a unique material that is flexible, waterproof, and washable.  Designer Jules Sherman employs a special molding technique that makes a 3D pattern for added visual interest.  And even better, no animal products are used in the creation of her designs.

What’s next from Yosifa Penina?  A line of laptop bags, purses, and luggage tags, due out next summer.

$45 at Smashing Darling.

5 comments December 11th, 2006

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