Friday Follies: A Steel Hand in a Lace Glove

Image courtesy of Michelle Civelli.

Image courtesy of Michelle Civelli.

Congratulations to our Karen Walker giveaway winner, Isla!

Today’s Friday links all share three things: fashion with an overlay of femininity and an underlay of steely business efficiency. Giving women what they want to wear can be excellent business.

Villager and Me – More preppy floral-print childhood trauma. Oh, girl, I feel you. “I myself, at age eleven, passionately desired a complete wardrobe of floral cotton—a wish not devoid of many ironies. I was actually an unwitting part of the social revolution: a skinny little Philadelphia girl who was one of the first black students to attend a famous girls’ private school in Bryn Mawr, a bastion of high society where, in the past, the only black faces had been in the kitchen. ”

Nobody’s Looking at You – the paradox of the designer Eileen Fisher’s success in creating a uniform for “women of a certain age and class—professors, editors, psychotherapists, lawyers, administrators—for whom the hiding of vanity is an inner necessity.” I love this little exchange: “Weren’t you making a lot of money?” Eileen: “Yes. Absolutely.” “That isn’t something associated with the feminine.” Eileen: “To me it was very intuitive.”

A more chipper alternative to Eileen Fisher is my discovery of the week, Birdsnest, an Australian online retail empire. Pros: Highly wearable contemporary clothes, $12.50 flat rate shipping to NZ, and an intriguing look at both Australian style and the quasi-personal online marketing and recommendations that can be enabled by juggling data. Cons: Looking at the site once activates some metrics that turn any online ads you come across into Birdsnest ads. Activate a good ad blocker and go have a look.


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