SADLY, THE AVANT-GARDE DESIGNER COLLABORATION MAY BE TOO MUCH TO SWALLOW.
A bunch of things I’d like to talk about – but I’m afraid it’s kind of getting down to the wire to mention the upcoming crop of Shops at Target hitting stores this Sunday. And even as it is starting to become part of the normal course of things, so that you think we’d all stop falling all over ourselves and acting as if it represents a once in a lifetime opportunity, I can’t resist a good designer x fast-fashion-retailer collaboration. The funny thing – to me at least – is that I found the last series of Shops at Target pretty easy to resist. There are, after all, no “Designers” involved. The designers are store owners collaborating with Target’s design team. And as great as your eye for fashion may be, and as fabulous as I’m sure your store is, it doesn’t mean you can design your way out of a box. The girls at Kirna Zabête, however, have done a fantastic job. Everyone seems to be jumping to point out that this is a chance to get, for less than $100, clothes from the folks who generally bring you a $2600 dress from Giambattista Valli or a $1700 dress from Lanvin. Flawed thinking, to say the least, since what you are getting for less than $100 is certainly not a Lanvin dress. It is, however, an awfully cute dress, perfectly on trend, which at $39.99 is still an incredible steal.
I cannot mention this collaboration without pointing out that Kirna Zabête is a seriously problematic store name. I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to pronounce (even to myself in the privacy of my own brain). But this collection is strong enough that I have gotten over my discomfort with the name and am now sold.
In addition, I have to make a confession up front. I never thought I would say this — and I’m kind of shocked that I’m saying it out loud — but after a few seasons of the fashion industry trying to foist it upon my, I am loving the jumpsuit/playsuit thing. I still don’t know who can actually pull off the look besides a few blessed souls. You will certainly never catch me in one. But it’s too bad, because a jumpsuit can be kind of cute. In fact, I’m not even going to show you the Kirna Zabête for Target jumpsuit until later in the post in order to let it flow seamlessly with my other favorites from the collection.
I don’t know about you, but I have a had to institute a moratorium on spending on spring clothing and accessories. I have no reasonable excuse for buying anything else. So, trying to steer clear of my favorite websites, I thought it was time to check out the Shops at Target. Without question, my favorite is the Privet House shop (I’m not a dog owner, and after my dear friend was awoken on Mother’s Day by a poop covered dog who had been sick in his crate the night before and let out by a mischievous five year old, I have no interest in becoming one — so I have an aversion to the Polka Dog Bakery shop without even checking it out so it could be just lovely but I wouldn’t know). The Webster shop is a little preppy for my taste, but there is some nice merchandise if you go for that kind of thing.
Not surprisingly, many of the Privet House items have sold out, but there are still some cute pieces left. The dishes, napkins and glasses are very pretty. Admittedly, at this point nice melamine dishes are a dime a dozen, except that they aren’t remotely a dime a dozen so the Target prices for these dishes makes them pretty hard to resist. $15.99 for a set of four dinner plates isn’t half bad given that comparable French Bull melamine dishes, while beautiful, retail for $11.00 each. The bad news is out of four styles of printed melamine dinner plates, only one is still available online. Truth be told, it’s my favorite of the four.
Gotta love it when all of your favorite things come together in one place. At the Proof of Purchase show on Saturday I was carefully examining every postcard to find one by Rachel Perry Welty, an unbelievable contemporary artist with whom I am absolutely obsessed, and scoring that for $50 would have been a major coup. Sadly, we learned that her postcard had already sold, and that Rachel herself had in fact purchased one of the most coveted items in the show, a postcard by artist John Baldessari, and from there the conversation drifted to Perry Welty’s spread in the December issue of Vogue magazine. I had seen the spread at the time but somehow had forgotten about it (which doesn’t make much sense to me given how much I love Perry Welty’s work, but there you have it, yet more evidence of my early onset Alzheimer’s, and led to the mind-boggling realization that I had just thrown that magazine into the recycling the week before). Now I cannot stop thinking about that spread (and what an a*hole move it was that I managed to throw it away).
Rachel Perry Welty Vogue spread – December 2011