Friday, February 26, 2010

Trocadero Featured Film: "Annie Hall"

Being an intern at Trocadero has its requirements, one of which is to watch the "required movie list." As a fairly passionate film lover, I welcomed the task. I immediately stocked up my Netflix queue with all of Alice's top picks and eagerly awaited their arrival.

First up: the 1977 classic "Annie Hall," starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton. It's obvious that this film was huge for the menswear look - oversized blazers, ties, oxfords, vests, and boots were all key elements of the film's fashions. Reportedly, the outfits were Keaton's own - the costume designer wasn't fond of her ensembles, but Allen left Keaton to her own stylings. It was quite the idea, too, resulting in a near-cult fashion following in the late 1970s.


The movie itself is clever, and the awkward romance between the two characters is both adorable and realistic. But, as with anything I do, all I could really focus on while watching was the clothes - and in seeing the film, I was inspired to find "Annie Hall's picks" within the walls of Trocadero.
La dee da, la dee da........

annie hall
annie hall by shoptrocadero

(clockwise from top left)

Basic, neutral boots would certainly be an Annie Hall staple, and this Dolce Vita pair definitely fits the bill. I can picture her walking in the park with a pair of slightly oversized khakis tucked into the top of these, with a button-up shirt done all the way to the top and a fedora loosely plopped on her head. Her home would have this touch of the "masculine prep" vibe as well, which is perfectly captured by this impeccable John Derian plate (we've got various styles here at the store - every home should have at least one).

Although Annie's not into heels, you can get the look (and a bit of height) with these Seychelles "Blimey" oxfords. The classic black leather, lace-up style and chunky heel make these a cold-weather staple - and with a cute pair of over-the-knee socks you could definitely sport these into the spring, although Annie would probably pair them with a long skirt and a turtleneck. In between "analyst" visits, Annie could write down her notes and emotions in one of our unique Attic Journals - their vintage book covers would surely suit her style. She'd probably tote one of them around in this covetable Lambertson Truex "Boxcar" bag, a gorgeous find in this rich chocolate brown.

For those lonely nights at home, Annie could light up one of our popular Diptyque candles. The "Figuer" or fig scent has an almost woodsy tone and would surely be a personal favorite of hers.

Of course, even those of us who aren't the semi-ditsy, loveable Annie Hall could appreciate these fine selections from Trocadero. Pick up a little inspiration today (remember, we do phone orders!) and stay tuned for the next Trocadero feature film!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Called "What If..."

I love nice clothes. Sure, who doesn't? But I can honestly say that right now, in these times, with my budget and the fact that Omaha isn't necessarily the most "dressed up" city, it is hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on just one clothing item. Yes, sure, I sell expensive bags that are "hundreds" of dollars and many hovering over $500, but it's like what I learned in my old job about cost per wear (CPW). Buying a dress that is noticeable and memorable like this one for instance from Mason by Michelle Mason from shopbop will set you back $320. But how often can you get away with wearing it? Maybe once a week? Throw in the cost of dry cleaning at least once a month and you're talking about another $100 at the end of the season (about 5 months). That averages to be about $20 per wearing if you really wear it once a week (and honestly with something that eye catching, you probably would wear it more like twice a month). But on the other hand, if you invested in a handbag for $520 and used it on average 5 days a week for 5 months, your CPW would be around $5.

What I've learned through the years is that it's important to pay attention to things like CPWs and the long term value of fashion purchases. I invest in classic shoes, boots, evening shoes, handbags and coats. Once in a while I will buy a dress or cardigan that I know I will get a lot of mileage from and that are simple silhouettes that aren't overly noticeable so I can get repeat wearings out of them in a week. I don't invest in jeans (I know people who do and it's smart if you are going to wear them a lot; I don't) and I buy throwaway tops and skirts seasonally. I love getting a patterned top from a cheapo line and wearing it with a designer jacket and a staple pair of pants or skirt. I toss the cheapo top in the washer, don't have to worry about dry cleaning and all is fine in the world (and my Amex bill).

I've talked with some friends both far and near and many have the same ideas about where they want to put their money. No one is rushing out to buy a $350+ dress or item of clothing even if it's a name brand. The same goes for shoes. It's either people want to spend the $795 for the real deal Christian Louboutins or else they want to get shoes for under $150. Ok, maybe $250 tops for regular, every day heels, boots, shoes. Summer sandals? Forget it. We're talking $95 and less. So as a retailer, it's hard right now because in many ways, I get it. I mean, I really get it. Which brings me to my next challenge in approaching the Spring 2010 season. I'm looking at myself as my best customer as to what it is I want to buy, to update my wardrobe, to wear for the next 5 months.

In my "What if" world of "What if I opened up a clothing boutique, what would I buy?" I went to shopbop and found they had 74 dresses. In my "virtual" boutique I would stock 7 dresses...for 7 days a week and then show how to interchange them with different jackets, cardigans, shoes and accessories.

1. The hot pink dress by Mason by Michelle Mason, $320. It's still a bit special occasion but I think it has a nice flow and good lines. Each season you need at least one thing with some color to brighten up your boutique.

2. Theory black and white dress, $295. Doesn't look like Theory, this dress can be dressed up or dressed down. Love it with a long black cardigan or else more polished with a cropped collarless jacket with 3/4 sleeves. I can also picture it with a leather motorcycle vest or jacket too.

3. Thread Social cloud print combo dress, $550. Okay, this is a bit pricey I know but I love the look of it and I think again, if only offering 7 dresses a season, you gotta have some things that are a little more special. I also know and love the designers behind Thread Social so they have a special place in my heart.

4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Darby Sweater dress, $228. I like the color blocking, that it has sleeves, it's a comfy shape that works on different body types. Cute and a good price. Would wear this at least once a week and change the shoes; sneakers one day, cute ballets another, a slouchy boot for another day...

5. LaRok Foulard Fever Dress, $228. It's not one of my top choices but it's the most summery with the spaghetti straps, flirty with the ruffle, and is good for the teenager, 20- and 30-somethings. Wear it alone, with a boyfriend blazer, throw a tee-shirt underneath it too for variation. Good neutral color, easy shape.

6. Joie Mary Jo Dress, $248. It's an oversized t-shirt dress with a subtle animal print pattern. I can picture so many people in this dress. I see 40-somethings and 20-somethings both wearing this and it would be really awesome with the Joie over the knee boots we have in the boutique right now!

7. DVF Slippery Dress, $325. Everyone is always looking for an LBD. This one to me looks like a winner. Great sweetheart neckline, wider straps, fitted bodice. This is a no brainer dress that you slip on and out of and can literally wear every other day with a different topper and shoes.

Sometimes I wish I could create a really edited clothing store that I only had 7 dresses, 3 jackets, 2 sweaters. And if I happened to find a fabulous skirt or tops at a good price, I would have a few of those too. But that would be it. Kind of like my store right now when it comes to shoes...just the bare basics and the best.

What do you think of my virtual boutique? Let me know...

The next thing I'll be posting will be jackets to complement these dresses...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feathers on and off the Runway

Designing figure skating costumes is nothing new for Vera Wang. She first became known in the 90s for Nancy Kerrigan's outfits on the ice with all its illusion netting. But this is definitely a first seeing Vera dress a male figure skater. Evan Lysacek hit the ice on Tuesday night's short program wearing a sleek black outfit fashioned with feathers at the wrist. It was nothing compared to the black and bubble gum pink corsetted and tassled get up that Johnny Weir wore, but nonetheless it seems like it's overshadowed his performance and is what people are talking about. Truth be told, I didn't pay much attention to Evan's performance; I was still thinking about Stephane Lambiel's mesmerizing spins.
Back in New York earlier in the day, Vera showed her Fall 2010 Collection. Seems like it's all about the feathers both on and off the ice. But if I can offer any advice, I don't care if your song is "Firebird," the feathers seemed a little too frou-frou, whether it's on someone who is straight or gay. I think, "No." What do you think? Feathers on men's figure skating costumes? A Yay or Nay?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fashion for the Masses

It might be New York Fashion week and Narciso Rodriguez's Fall 2010 collection will hit the runways but for those who don't have the money to afford his eponymous, designer threads can now get a little piece of the action with his new line for eBay. Yes, eBay. Forget about Target, H&M, Top Shop and the other usual suspects. This time the famed online auction seller has found a new niche in featuring a "designer-for-less" line of their own.

Narciso Rodriguez for eBay launched this week and perusing the line I have to admit I was surprised by the prices. The jersey dresses are simple, like most of Narciso's signature line, but I don't think they have enough of the seaming or contrast color blocking that warrants a price tag of over $125. Yeah, there's the now ubiquitous "exposed zipper" detail which is nice but I want more design especially at a $250 diffusion price point. Personally I love the simplicity of the scoop neck jersey dress; it's slightly reminiscent of a staple DVF dress I own. And yes, if it was DVF for $270 I wouldn't balk. But for some reason the $270 price point for a diffusion eBay line seems a bit steep. If I could feel the fabric and be convinced that it's not cheaply made, I would think about it. But what really got me going (and in a bad way) was the $450 price tag for the canvas espadrilles. Four hundred and fifty dollars...really? I love a good espadrille, but trust me when I say it's all about CastaƱer (a Spanish shoe company) and you won't be breaking the bank. The mark up on these Narciso for eBay espadrilles makes me seriously wonder about the mark up on the I said, a $125 price point seems more appropriate.

I like that Constance White, the Style Director of eBay, who used to be with the New York Times and WWD is using her clout to bring something different and new to the eBay marketplace. While it's nothing new to have designer clothing for less, I appreciate this new approach to it. I just wish it wasn't mid-priced and instead more affordable for the masses. Or else I wish she made it strictly an auction-only line with limited availability.

What do you think of this eBay line? Are you going to place your "bid?"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Special 20% Off Valentine's Day Items!

We are calling it our "LOVE 4 SALE" sale at the Troc. Come on down today or tomorrow to receive 20% discounts off the selected items in our email promotion. There are also lots of other great V-day theme gifts all organized for your convenience on our front table at the shop.

And please note we will be closed this Monday, February 15th in observance of Presidents' Day.

Happy Valentine's Day from the Troc!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

As Good As Fashion Gets-RIP, Alexander McQueen

As the start of New York Fashion Week began this morning, the industry was shocked and saddened to learn that one of their own, a most gifted and visionary designer, had died.
The news of Alexander McQueen's death spread like wildfire via Facebook status updates (how I found out), blogs and news outlets via the internet.

McQueen was truly an incredible artist with a genius, creative mind. I learned this not so much from his clothing but from the shows that he put on season-after-season. Being out of the fashion loop for 3 years, I'm hard pressed to remember many shows from his contemporaries and peers. But I can rattle off at least three seasons of McQueen pret-a-porter shows that made an impact on me.

The first true memorable fashion spectacle (and really, it was a spectacle from start to finish...) was from his Spring 2004 show held in October of 2003 at the Salle Wagram in Paris, a historic, gorgeous theatre near the Arc de Triomphe.
It was modeled after the 1969 Sydney Pollack-directed film, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, set during the Depression era and centered around a grueling dance marathon competition. This was one of my first introductions to how Paris fashion truly set itself apart from the rest of the pack. It was theatre to the highest degree and from that point forward I knew that McQueen was a true genius. I had never seen anything like it before. And the clothes were magnificent both on the stage and up-close-and-personal. This is someone who learned his craft on Savile Row, making custom suits for royalty and heads of state and it always showed in his impeccable tailoring.

The second show that comes to mind is his Fall 2005 show, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" held in Paris in March of 2005. I remember it because as a Hitchcock fan, I saved the invitation for its homage to Vertigo .
Years later I had it framed as a fashion memorabilia souvenir from "my glory days as a fashionista." I'm really glad I saved many of the items I received as an editor, whether it was the invitations or even the goofy trinkets that often came with the envelopes. It was at this show, very inspired by the Hitchcock Blondes of the 60s, that McQueen also gave out plaid blankets for us attendees to cover with. The hall was very cavernous and extremely chilly and the wool blankets were cozy as we sat for the show to begin. I still have my blanket (pictured here on Carine Roitfeld's lap as well as in one of his looks as a poncho) and will always be reminded of McQueen's terrific theatre he delivered season after season.

The third brilliant memory of a McQueen fashion show was his Fall 2006 Collection, shown in Paris in March of 2006. Now this was the one that ended with a glass pyramid in the center of the runway/stage. Inside it appeared a puff of smoke that moved and swayed until it shaped into a figure of a woman...that woman being Kate Moss. It was incredibly beautiful and downright magical. This time I really forgot about the clothes (can't remember the collection whatsoever) but the image of Kate Moss coming from the billowy smoke is something I'll never forget. And we will never forget Alexander McQueen.

Spring 2004 Collection images from
Fall 2005 Collection images from

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Go Team Troc!

It's no secret that the Troc has some of the best boots in town...and we would like to say in the whole country! So it made lots of sense that Omaha's HER magazine featured us front and center in a fabulous editorial on boots. A full page was devoted to Team Trocadero modeling some of our best styles in store right now (and most are on sale to pun intended...). I definitely know that you can't get the See by Chloe gray and khaki rain boots I'm wearing in the photo except for at the Troc and the Joie Caravan over the knee boot in black (on Cygne) is not available anymore at Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman. And we all love the Seychelles western-style Mademoiselle boot as seen on PJ; it seems to lengthen and instantly slim every person's leg who tries them on. They're genius! And then of course there are the fur Ulu boots that are from last season and our very own Jared snatched up one of the last pairs...a size 11...good thing he's a guy's size 10 and they fit him perfectly!

Come to the Troc or shop online and snatch up a pair of boots NOW ON SALE! Mention this blog post and receive an additional 10% discount on both sale and non-sale shoes and boots. This offer is valid all month don't forget to mention it to that special someone...we know a way to a woman's heart is with fabulous shoes so we're trying to make it extra nice for those who are gifting. Happy pre-Valentine's Day!