Monday, January 8, 2007

See By Chloe: Blue Light Special

See By Chloe: i believe the the craze of designer turned discount started with isaac mizrahi and target (which my friend renee affectionately calls "tar-jey," and you should too). Or maybe I'm giving the designer himself too much credit and really should be praising the likes of forever 21. you know what i'm talking about, right? i'm talking about the low-quality fabric, the poorly drawn lines, the fake-leather shoes, but yes, genuine and authentic designer pieces sold at bargain bin prices. and as we know, everyone from paul&joe to proenza schouler is now riding that train.

chloe chose a slightly more traditional route, similar to ralph lauren. she just introduced a cheaper line. see by chloe is actually not "cheap," per se, as her denim usually retails around $200. compared to the $575 of the label chloe, however, it's relatively cheap.

it also sucks. and here's why: it costs money to make and sell high quality fashion. designer clothing fits well for a reason-- that being that a lot of time and effort goes into making certain that it's well made, durable, timeless and flattering. sewing the name "chloe" on a pair of jeans does not make them awesome... phoebe philo and paulo andersson make the jeans awesome.

Chip and Pepper: Another Reason Why I Rock

i discovered these in miami at barney's coop 4 years ago. the original sorority girl jean was one of the few styles (like, EVER) which pulled off the super low waist. cute, but haven't been impressed with the fabric's ability to hold up. within days of yanking at the right belt loop (yes, you do it, too, even if you don't know it. 90% chance your right thigh is wider than your left, which means the right side of your ass is more likely to hang out in low rise jeans, which means you're pulling it up without even realizing it) a hole appeared. i had it repaired, and it tore again. CARDINAL RULE OF DENIM: DURABILITY. summary: the rise is really low so i recommend chip and pepper to girls who have long, lean, athletic frames. i don't think they do well with curves. inseam usually around 33 inches, although the original sorority girl had a 36" inseam.

Grey Ant: I Wear Mom Butt Jeans And You Can Kiss My Ass

so sometimes i like to stray a bit from the world of my favorite words (let's say it together now. c'mon. you can do it. "timeless, classic, versatile." go on. say it. good. nice job).

i do so only when i find a piece so outrageously flattering and cool that it justifies its weirdness. such is the case with grey ant, which are so fucking awesome that they warrant my use of the word "fucking."

i saw them for the first time on they're difficult to miss as they have a 13, yes, 13 inch rise. they practically reach my nipples. ok that's not true. however, they do reach my belly button and they are in every sense of the expression-- mom butt jeans.

but here's the thing: somewhere in the grand scheme of skinny jeans, overpriced terry cloth, and the heinous heeled rubber flip flops from sigerson morrison, we lost the truly important aspect of fashion-- to look good. and let me tell you, when dark navy fabric corsets my waist, narrows my mammoth ass, and gives me a slender silhouette for 38 inches of inseam, i am comfortable breaking out the mom butts.

more importantly, find me one girl who has the, um, balls, to sport a high waisted jean. you can't. the only one so far is scarlet johanssen and yes i'll post a picture when i find them. now you. grab your, um, balls and go try them on. go on. do it.

Fidelity Denim: You Make Me Want To Be A Better Woman

Fidelity: ok i'm going to be frank. i'm a snob. i call myself a collector but when it comes down to it, i want my jeans to have been expensive. like, offensive they're so expensive. so naturally i was half-excited and half-disappointed when i found these which are the second most flattering jeans ever in the history of the world. however, it's worth the trip. fidelity denim is based in canada where the designers are big fat snobs and don't like selling to american boutiques. so they're extremely hard to find in the states. they come in three lengths (32, 34, 36) and several different washes. they do have some lycra but the quality of the cotton and the weave is such that they remain FAR more versatile than their rock & republic counterparts (see, rock & republic: i cry for you argentina, previous post). the rise is a little higher, the detailing is classic and timeless. these are the slightly younger trendier version of chloe. except sort of cheap. go and buy them. you will love them. i swear.

Habitual: Another Reason Why I Am Superior To You

Habitual: used to be only available in smaller boutiques and barney's NY, but i believe bloomingdales is now carrying them as well. i bought my first pair at a barney's outlet in napa valley california and they have since demonstrated to me that they satisfy on of my denim maxims-- they are timeless. in 2002, my slightly distressed low-waisted wide flare trouser jeans earned more compliments than any other pair of jeans i own. today, these jeans are still slightly unique, flattering and generally adorable. the colors are PERFECT for what should be your favorite *pair* because they are slightly distressed but generally the sort of classic blue which compliments any top. habituals are mostly 100% cotton which means there will be a break in period before they mold accordingly to your body. it's worth it. trust me. inseam 35"

I Discovered Marc Jacobs

i realized i'm mildly deluded but i still take credit for discovering marc back in my junior year of college when i got a pair of tuxedo jeans off of bluefly for like $60. i own three pair now, and i cherish them like they're family heirlooms. i'm not a huge fan of jacobs' entire apparel line, but every pair of jeans and/or pants have left me supremely happy. haven't seen these on shorter frames but again, i'd guess they're for the skinny and tall (although they do minimize my hefty lower half) inseam 35"

Chloe: Better Than Sex

CHLOE UPDATE: i got them. yes, i recently lost my chloe virginity and let me tell you, it was every bit as amazing as i'd hoped. i have the trouser style which are closer to a 5-pocket than i had expected. they are 100% highly durable cotton in a true blue which remains timeless and versatile. the hem on most of chloe styles is 3 inches, which is really flattering and again, adds a slightly unique edge to the classic denim. inseam 35-36"

ANOTHER UPDATE! the price of chloe jeans has decreased slightly, such that you will only have to sell your first born instead of your entire family. i have last season's version of the style shown below. if you want them (ie if you are cool), yoox and net-a-porter both carry chloe. here is a link to yoox:

Chloe Jeans


Rock & Republic: I Cry For You Argentina

rock & republic: r&r goes first because they illustrate the cardinal rules of denim. my experience is limited to the roth style, which, like all great denim, i discovered and purchased, like, 2 years before you did.

to explain, i'll number:

1. UNIQUITY: let’s face it, uniquity is not a word. however, you know what i mean. you also know that coolness is dependent somewhat on uniqueness, which is apparently a word but not as fun to write as “uniquity.” my point is: every girl has a moment during which she lashes out and faces the completely inverse principles of those she learned in the 7th grade. if everyone else is doing it, it’s just not as cool. such is my problem with rock & republic. even two years before you had them, i was reluctant to buy rock & republic because they're available at bloomingdales-- which automatically made me suspicious that the masses would catch on and eventually steal my favorite jean. cost, brand/designer, and style aside-- your favorite jean simply loses clout when your roommate turns up with the same pair.

2. DURABILITY rock & republic fabric content is usually 98% cotton and 2% lycra. i can appreciate the fit with lycra. more flattering, jeans with lycra don't require a break-in period & can accommodate for even the most heinous pre-menstrual syndrome. however, the cotton/lycra blend cannot & will not last forever. your favorite jeans should have assured themselves a space in your closet from now till the end of time. even if they become dormant for a couple of years-- a truly great jean should be durable enough to last through the fads so that when they come back in style (and your favorite jeans always, always will), they're still in tact.

my rock & republic roths will forever live in infamy because not long after i had my first r&r orgasm, my roths fells apart. i marched them back to bloomingdales where i exchanged them for a pair that fell apart about a month later. it was tragic i tell you. cryable. i cry for you argentina.

3. VERSATILITY. here’s the thing: i am the first girl in line to fork over half month’s rent and/or my soul for a great pair of jeans. however, i do so with the deep inner conviction that i am making a wardrobe investment, which cannot happen unless the jeans are relatively classic and understated. rock & republic, in all of their victoria beckham glory, cannot seem to kick the whisker phase. let me tell you something: “whiskers” are the new shoulder pads. this little fadish detail was cute for five minutes. however, great jeans are not cute for five minutes. and any unusual detail should be one which may at some point become a classic detail (like, for example, marc jacobs large round buttons. slightly trendy, yes, but they were made popular by twiggy in the early 60s. now they're back. whiskers? no, dude, that will never come back.)

4. HOTNESS: i will now assert that my rock & republic roths were hands down the most flattering jeans i've ever worn. listen to me. are you listening? rock & republic are the most flattering jeans ever in the history of the world. of all the jeans maxims, fit is the most important so hear me now: even though they’re flimsy pieces of shit, i would buy them again and again if i could find that same roth style. but i cannot.

ok, i’m done. i swear to god the other jean bible books are not nearly this long. i just needed you to understand the tragedy of rock and republic which plagues my soul. oh wait, i almost forgot—the information you may actually use:

r&r is very nice for the super tall (inseam is usually between 34-36), but i have a friend who's 5'7 and they look f-ing unbelievable on her, too. the nice thing about these is that the rise is not ridiculously low so one's ass does not hang out when sitting, etc. i’m not sure words can describe how awesome these jeans look and feel, so go out and try some on. but not after you read my fidelity denim post—cause if you like r&r, you should come ride the fidelity train. gia.

Oops, Jeans Bible Preface

before proceeding to the jeans bible, please consider the following:

1. I ROCK: before i begin we have to establish my jeans superiority over you. no offense, i'm sure you have many great qualities. in fact, you might be quite stylish and have a great wardrobe. however, i swear on my chloe trouser jeans that you do not have more knowledge of denim than i do. i own them all. and if i don't, it's because i tried them on nine or ten thousand times and eventually decided that they weren't cool enough for me. either than or they were too short, in which case i will forever boycott the designer because he shunned me from the beginning. bastard.

2. I HAD THOSE JEANS LIKE TWO YEARS BEFORE YOU DID. no, seriously. i did. in fact, i probably had them before you were born. gia.

3. I AM FREAKISH. i am very tall and very thin which is made complicated by the fact that i have a big ass. no, seriously. i'm a beanpole with a huge bum. i do not patronize brands that don't run at least 35" long and will forever boycott any designer who does not initially make jeans long enough for me. true religion? yes i know they now have extra long sizing. they didn't in the beginning. i hold that against mr. religion. he and his over-embellished teeny bopper front pockets can kiss my big ass.

The Original Jeans Bible, Book of Genesis

so i’m starting with the jeans bible, which has been evolving for about 4 years now, ever since i decided to infect my friends with my designer jeans addiction by sending regular updates and reviews via email. the bible begins with this post and will vomit onto many of the succeeding posts, differentiated by designer/brand and/or classification of rambling. appreciate if you will the fact that i’ve placed each brand/designer in a different heading/post so as to justify the fact that i can write more on designer denim than i can on international criminal law… which is what i’m supposed to be doing right now.

i feel credited to speak with authority on jeans to write the bible (as though i were a jeans moses), because i collect them. i adopted the 'collector' label because i have a truly higher appreciation for the art of the blue jean. ok, that’s not completely factual. yes, i own 42 pairs of designer jeans. however, i can sleep at night thinking i have an appreciation for wearable art, rather than admitting the truth, which is that i am the epitome of a jeans whore.

i have other justifications. for one, my addiction is at the very least logical... sort of. my reasoning is-- if i'm going to spend money on something, why not jeans? jeans are comfortable wearable classic and understated. they get more use than 95% of the rest of my wardrobe. in the grand scheme of things, better to spend money on something i'll wear (and wear and wear) than on a shirt that goes out of style next season.
finally, and most importantly, i am superficial enough to believe that a great pair of flattering jeans can actually be the fashion equivalent to prozac. there is nothing more beautifully graceful and stylish than a white tee-shirt, driving loafers, and pucci scarf belt woven through thick belt loops of your best denim. you know it's true. and if you don't, you just haven't found your *pair* yet.

ok, so click on. please note that i add to the jeans bible regularly and would love comments, suggestions, and other reviews. whatever you do, please don't remind me that i am a conspicuous consumer and that there are children dying in africa. i know.