Wednesday
Apr202011

An Education....In the Maxxinista Ways

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TJ Maxx and me go way back. I was raised on it. No really, there wasn't much in New Hampshire for shopping, beside your Cherry and Webb's and Jordan Marsh's, and yes I just dated myself with those shopping references. As I have mentioned countless times before, my mother passed the bug on to me at a young age and I have never turned my back on the hunt for a good designer bargain.

So, when TJ Maxx calls with an offer to learn more about the ways of the Maxxinista, I become the pupil. Patience grasshopper, for I am about to share my knowledge. My sensei was the lovely and knowledgeable Carrie, who was gracious enough to meet me on my native Freshpond territory.

First and foremost, lets dispel any lingering myths you may have heard about the discount retailer - and no, discount retail is not a dirty word fashionistas! The clothing is not damaged. It is not past season, nor is it out of style. In fact, over 85% of stock is current. Repeat after me, the food is not expired. Frankly, it is illegal to sell expired goods (and I apply this equally to food and fashion in my book though the great state of Massachusetts may see fit to disagree with me here).

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They have over 1,800 stores between TJ Maxx and Marshalls combined and 40 buying offices around the globe, sourcing wares direct from the designers and into the stores complete with deep discounts for us to snatch up. Need a hat for the derby? What about the official tea of Kate and William's royal nuptials? Did someone whisper fascinator?! Check, check and check.

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Carrie, sensei in the Maxxinista and derby hat ways.

Some people may claim not to have the patience to "search" for the deals. Thank goodness, that means more for me. My local TJ Maxx is perfectly situated between a Whole Foods and a liquor store. I can literally fulfill all my daily needs with one quick stop (my usual diet consisting of sushi, wine and clothing). Go ahead, take that quick look before lunch- otherwise, the item will likely be gone when you go back. She who shops first, gets the last laugh.

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Care for some Pucci? Don't mind if I do!

Still have your doubts? The proof is in the pudding. Why, what did I find on expedition this very day? Prada, oh yes. Guiseppe Zanotti? Got you done there. Pucci, oh heavens, they had tons. Gucci? Versace? Miu Miu? Chanel? Why it's fashion's holy grail for the taking. I almost hate to share my secrets, but for you dear readers, I am willing to spill the beans. Now go, shop wisely, and remember, it's okay to feel superior for not having paid full price!

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Meet Guiseppe Zanotti and Miuccia Prada- such a lovely pair.

Monday
Apr182011

Going Retro with Doo Ri

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Featured above: Doo Ri dress, YSL heels, J Crew necklace, vintage bag

And to the victor go the spoils! I couldn't resist playing dress up with the Doo Ri cocktail dress I picked up a few weeks ago at the Fashion Girls for Japan sample sale. More importantly I had to try it on and make sure it actually fit! Husband and I had some fun in the nook previously inhabited by our dining table for some interior shots on a chilly day last weekend (post on the new table and chairs to come later this week!).

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The gorgeous satin pleats and calve skimming length really just begged for some retro stylings. I am over the moon it fits so well. Seriously, does it get any better than $40.00 for a work of fabric art? I wonder if it was a cast off from a previous collection? I see a lot of similar fabric from her fall 2006 RTW collection.

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Background: Doo Ri Chung graduated from Parson's in 1995, put in her time at Geoffrey Beene for six years, and famously started her eponymous line from the basement of her parent's dry cleaning business in 2001. Chung draws inspiration from Ann Demeulemeester, Martha Graham and Joseph Beuys.  Her designs were feted in 2006, when Chung was awarded the CFDA Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent in womenswear.

Friday
Apr152011

Jennifer Chun: Visited

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Above: Jennifer Chun 

While in New York, I managed to schedule a visit with the designer Jennifer Chun. I am happy to report that she is the absolute loveliest person, as lovely, if not more so than her fabulous designs.

Jennifer was gracious enough to entertain me and my photographer (i.e. husband) for an afternoon to see the line in person and chat all things fashion. Jennifer was even so accommodating as to show me some of the fabrics and prints she is putting together for her next line- love, love, love them all!

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Isn't this coat to die for? Isn't she just too adorable?

I took the opportunity to check out some of the pieces I had been eyeing from her collection and maybe order a few as well (oops!).  You know I like to do my part to support new, emerging designers. I can't wait for my delicious denim moto jacket to arrive.

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For everyone who was asking about Ms. Chun after my original post (here), I have good news to share! She is slated to come to Boston soon, as part of Louis Boston's Louis Exposure series. The pop up shop events will occur every weekend 5/21-6/26. I'll be sure to relay additional information as it becomes available.

Wednesday
Apr132011

Fashion Girls for Japan

Two weeks ago I made the quick trip to NYC.....in the April Fool's snowstorm no less. On the agenda, a lot of shopping, dining, and catching up with some of my favourite New York based bloggers; Quite Continental, Style on the Couch, and Ritournelle.

The weekend delivered in every way. A whirlwind of dining (Laconda Verde, Miss Lily's and Norma's), obligatory celeb sightings (not going to lie, seeing Donna Martin kind of made my day), catching up with old and new friends, and of course shopping.

My visit happened to perfectly coincide with the epic Fashion Girls for Japan sample sale- fate! We scooped up tickets and made plans to rendez vous early in the morning. Slightly hungover from one to many "Weather-Up's" the night before, I still managed to arrive at the Bowery Hotel early and good thing because the line was already starting to snake down the street. Press from Japan was out in full force and given the amount of time we spent with camera's awkwardly filming at close range, I am quite certain we have achieved minor celebrity status by this point over seas.

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Top Image: Almost there    Bottom Image: Literally around the corner and down the street

The sale was worthy of the lines.  They did not dissapoint with the brands and selection. Amid the hullaballo, I managed to snag some fantastic deals. I nearly came to blows over a floor length Diane von Furtstenburg gown. Sample sale rule #1, grab first, check sizing and price later! My competition conceded defeat and simply wanted to know how much it was - a mere $40. How about them apples?! The very same is still available via the Outnet for $353. I was proud to show these New Yorkers how Boston gals represent and hold their own in a fashion throw down.

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Scenes from the trenches.

I also walked away with a Sea mini dress, a sheer, sleeveless L'Agence top and a Doo Ri satin cocktail dress- which was truly a sample do maybe it's one of a kind?! Blogging troops also fared well for the cause. Anne, of Ritournelle, snagged a gorgeous silk Rag and Bone trench. Check out Style on the Couch's fabulous purchase already in action here. I can't wait to share some of my finds in detail next week.

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Yours truly with Quite Continental and Style on the Couch holding our spot in line.

I gladly forked my dollars over for such a great cause. It has been just over a month since the quake and tsunami.  I have never seen images like the ones documenting the aftermath of this event. It does warm me on a deep level to see how global we really are and how many have rushed to Japan's aid. You can still do you part by donating to the Red Cross.

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The spoils of victory!

Monday
Apr112011

Harvest Moon

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Featured Above: TopShop skirt, Forever 21 Coat, J Crew Shirt, Banana Republic Boots, Lizzie Fortunato for Madewell Necklace

Who says you can't go home again?

I popped by the family farm last week (dropping off the old dining room set to make room for the new!) and had to take advantage of the views and sunny skies for some outfit photos with my new recurring guest photographer, ma mere!

I broke out the orange lipstick too! Though in the photos it doesn't seem as orange as I initially thought it was. Seemed much more shocking before I left the house with it on. Isn't that always the way?

The only new item here is the skirt from Topshop. The boots are too old to really reveal and the jacket was one of those deals in Forever 21 that you just can't pass up- $8.99! It's a bit heavy in the shoulders but for the most part a great buy. My mother was shocked when I told her where I got it.

The farm makes people happy. I can't help but smile at, and in, these photos. Unless you have hay fever or are allergic to horses and/or hay, then the farm will not make you happy. I can't wait for summer days there....