Trendspotting: Vertical Stripes Are Okay Again


The last issue of Marie Claire magazine I read had a pages-long spread on the black and white trend that carried throughout the Spring/Summer 2013 runway shows. Bold, structured bags with blocks of black and white, silk blouses with vertical black and white stripes, jewelry patterned with black and white gems. Marie Claire’s lovely Colombian editor and Project Runway host (I prefer her taste to Heidi’s and Michael’s), Nina Garcia, writes that this theme of stark black and white contrast shouldn’t be simplified as another case of  fashion history repeating itself. She admits that it is a return to the mod styles of the 1960s, but that it is also an artistic reaction to the worldly climate of economic and political uncertainly. This trend, she raises, like its vertical stripes, offered an outlet for order, structure, and solidity. Lit crit in fashion, who knew?


This trend, especially the vertical stripes, has been creeping its way back into street fashion for the past year or so. What has inspired this? Beetlejuice? Yes, naturally, but also, I honestly think that people realized that black and white doesn’t have to be stuffy or tacky. I remember growing up that vertical stripes were a thing to be avoided like the plague. They would make you look much larger than you really were, no one wants that. And by the 1990s, two-toned black and white get-ups were already becoming costumey and outdated. The things being done with black and white now are totally redefining all of those old notions. Black and white is chic, it’s edgy, it’s new. Well, it certainly feels new, because we’ve banished it for far too long.





Thrifty Cent is on Tumblr!

Thought I’d take a moment to plug our tumblr page by showing you some of the awesome fashion and street style photos featured:


Like all that? Visit the Thrifty Cent tumblr for pure inspiration photos!


Kat Von D starts a weekly fashion vlog on YouTube

I have tried to focus mainly on blogging with my own original content lately, but I just have to share the news about my personal fashion idol, Kat Von D. Like her, hate her, whatever — but the girl’s got style. Just get a load of her shoe “closet” (which is actually a shoe room). I wish I had space for the shoes I have now, let alone an entire room.

She also has a great informational video on mourning jewelry here, something I adore but can’t afford (at least not authentic antique mourning jewelry). This is a subject I am very interested in. If I may add to the little lesson given in the video, in centuries past, women were expected to wear black for up to  year after their husbands died as a visual display of widowdom and grief. Those who could afford it often willed money to be used after their death to pay for mourning rings, which might have the departed’s initials, portrait, and many times actual hair from the body, to be distributed to their loved ones. I think that is fascinating.

Kat Von D has stepped away from the reality show world, but is still very busy! She is still tattooing at her very own shop, High Voltage Tattoo in LA. She is also working on an album, finishing a new book, and designing a new line for her fashion brand, Kat Von D Los Angeles.


A quick update!

I’ve been through a whole bunch of crazy lately — computer viruses, chronic broke-ness, and a broken camera. (Thank my cute new kitten for that one. Long story.) I am now plus one camera and minus all computer viruses but still broke (because of the new camera). But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thrifting! It’s going to take me awhile to catch up on all the treasures I’ve found and all the things that have filled my mind, but we’ll get there.

Stay tuned!

Win Nasty Gal for life! Nasty Gal Hosting a $10,000 gift card giveaway!

Hey, I’m in!

Enter at Nasty Gal’s website, The clothing and accessories for sale at Nasty Gal are super rad, but also super expensive. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have $10,000 of pure mad money to spend shamelessly on your wardrobe?

This is not a sponsored post! I am just really jazzed about such a crazy giveaway and wanted to share a chance to win with my readers.

What is this Glossybox thing, anyway?

The beauty corner of YouTube has been inundated with reviews and unboxing videos of something called Glossybox. You may recall a little while back I reviewed, a shoe subscription service — well, it seems a lot like that.

Glossybox is a worldwide company, but is just now coming to America. In order to raise some hype, they’ve sent boxes free of charge to a whole lotta Youtube beauty vloggers, not just the big name gurus. This shows a transition in the way fashion and beauty products are marketed to young consumers. While we may still covet our issues of Vogue, we are spending more time browsing Youtube, blogs,, and than magazines for fashion and beauty “inspiration.” I mean, these days you can even watch people unbox new shoes on Youtube with a detailed review — times are a-changing, people! (Which is sad for all of us who hoped to be magazine editors.) Lots of companies are offering free products in exchange for blog updates and vlogs.

Let’s take a look at my favorite Youtube fashion/beauty/paranormal blogger, Grav3yardgirl, as she opens her free Glossybox:

From what I gather, you pay $21 each month for one monthly box filled with five different travel size beauty products (a nice way to dress up what seems like samples to me) curated by “beauty experts.” I am not sure if you can skip months or not, like you can with JustFab and ShoeDazzle. They are packaged very nicely, and some of the products actually are full size, like OPI nail polish. The company promises that all the brands are high end or luxury. So, is it really worth the $21 per month?  That’s $252 per year, and as grav3yardgirl says, that’s potential shoe money. Perhaps the added retail cost of all the contexts is enough to draw you in. I definitely want to see more.

The whole thing is still in the “beta” stages for America, but I am intrigued. Their marketing tactic has certainly succeeded in creating a lot of buzz.

Alexander McQueen: Into the Woods

This month, Sarah Burton (who took over as designer after Alexander McQueen’s passing) threw a fashion show in McQueen’s native London for the Fall 2012 McQ line as a celebration for the launch of a new store location. She has been able to maintain the McQueeny-ness of the late designers aesthetic while still creating original and exciting new pieces. The McQ line is tailored to a more everyday look. This collection has earthy, woodsy colors (browns, forest greens, deep autumn reds) but there’s nothing bland about it. It really feels like fall. Nothing too vibrant. Enjoy!

{Photos via}

Whitney Houston has passed away. Let’s remember the good times…

Love the big hair!

Critique of Kat Von D Los Angeles Spring / Summer 2012 Collection “Treasure Coast”

The fashion world was pleasantly surprised when Kat Von D unveiled her first wave of Fall 2011 designs last year. No one seemed to suspect just how chic it would all be. (I, of course, knew it all along. Ahem.) Kat offers her “Red Label” collection as a cheaper alternative to the more elegant (translation: high priced) “White Label” collection. As I began to peruse the lookbook for the Spring/Summer collection “Treasure Coast,” my expectations were high.

As seen with this baroque jacket inspired by Beethoven, Napoleon, and other strong-shouldered icons of days gone by, Kat's first collection expressed a love of the darkly romantic. Gothic but elegant. Edgy but still refined. I loved every bit.

As a die-hard Kat lover, this is painful for me to concede, but… I’m disappointed. Kat has said that she wanted this collection to appeal to a wider audience, and thus the aesthetic has been (drastically) toned down. So much that for me, the clothing has little appeal.

Granted, there are still looks that exude Kat Von D-ness. As the collections name would suggest, it appears that Kat and her design consultants wanted a pirate-slash-maritime theme.  My favorites from the lookbook are as follows:

I love this tunic. She's called it a sweater, but it clearly ain't gonna keep you warm. I like the thin gauziness of the fabric, and the circular cutouts that represent the black spot, the symbol of mutiny from legend and pirate movies alike.

This jacket is a cleaned up version of the tattered shirts and wind worn jackets of pop culture pirates. This could have been tacky, but instead it's glorious. It has a dark, sharp feel to it that I love.

I love both the top and the skirt. While we've seen similar designs in the past skirt-wise, it seems like a workable piece to add to one's closet. I have a maxi skirt in the exact same tie-dye bleached fabric. Perhaps not office appropriate, but it's a rad skirt to wear day or night with a pair of combat boots and sheer black pantyhose. The top is an ode to the pirate wench with an Asian spin. Love it. Looks like a denim type fabric. It would look great layered over a chiffon peasant top or button up.

That said, some (or most) of the looks are drab and kind of tacky:

I can see scraps of piratey inspiration here, with the knotted gilt yarn closure and the high captain's jacket collar, but the tailoring is all off. It looks thrown together. The pants are something most of us already own. The outfit looks too contemporary.

The leggings look cool, but I imagine they buckle up when the knees are bent. Not practical if you like sitting or moving. The top looks tacky. I don't have a problem with fringe. I love fringe, BUT it has to be done in the right way. The fringe paired with the swirly metallic look of the graphics on this top are fighting each other. It doesn't seem like Kat at all.

These garments, especially this in particular, are items that could have been designed by any old clothing company. I’m thinking Kathy Ireland, Jaclyn Smith, and all the other “every” woman labels. Things you arbitrarily buy for work just because you think they’re office appropriate, not because you really like them. I get the feeling that Kat put all her eggs in one basket with the first collection. Perhaps, not wanting have the Spring / Summer collection be too similar, Kat tried to expand her aesthetic. Instead, the aesthetic was almost lost, muddied with pieces that don’t fit in with the them and don’t feel true to the Kat Von D style. If you cut out all the tacky, humdrum looks, then you’d have a more cohesive, more personal collection, but then again, you’d only have a few looks.

Maybe I’ve just watched too much Project Runway, but it seems like there were two polar opposite designers – one designer is an evolved continuation of the debut collection – dark, tough, but still elegant. Kat has conceptual focus with the “good” looks, however, the “second” (imaginary) designer (presumably Kat’s “average” alter-ego) is trying to design for too broad of an audience, causing the output to be unfocused, uninspired, and bland. The “bad” looks just don’t seem like anything Kat herself would wear. I am guessing the schizophrenic differences between the looks may end up being what separates the “White Label” items from the “Red Label” items this time around. The Fall 2011 had cohesive variety; it really didn’t need to toned down.

To channel Reading Rainbow, “But don’t take my word for it!” View the entire lookbook here and see for yourself.

Discount Line to Watch For: Jason Wu for Target

As we all know, only a select few determined and (probably) tough fashionistas actually nabbed anything from the Versace for H&M line in Fall. The day the line was released, a news broadcaster on NPR radio commented on how H&M employees had to hand out wristbands and numbered tickets because of the amount of people waiting to bust through the doors to snatch a piece of Versace gold. Most stores sold out within the day. And the Missoni for Target line wasn’t much better. I breezed into my local Target only a few days into the release of the Missoni line to find nothing but a few infant items that the employees had placed on the Women’s displays in a desperate attempt to keep the racks from looking barren.

Maybe, this one’ll be different. You may remember First Lady Obama’s gown Inaugural Ball, the one she wore as she danced with the President to Beyonce’s rendition of At Last. If you don’t, here’s a refresher. Well, that gorgeously poofy dress was designed by Jason Wu, a now 29 year old Parsons alum whos designs are known for being “fuss-free” but still striking and chic. On February 5th, he will be releasing a ready to wear line with Target that promises to capture the simplicity and chicness of his designs with a much lower price tag. In fact, prices will be decently gentle on your wallet, ranging from $19.99 to $59.99.  The line will include accessories, like bags and scarves.

Click here to see Target’s page on the upcoming line. They don’t offer much more that a few glimpses as of now, but it does wet your palette. Personally, it an not into printed shirt-dresses unless the prints are something crazy, like cats, but we’ll have to wait and see what Mr. Wu has up his sleeves. Mark your calenders. This line will only be available online and in stores from Feb. 5th to March 6th, 2012. I’d recommend getting there early!

A Look at the Upcoming Versace collaboration with H&M

This past weekend, my boyfriend and I took a short vacation to New York City, and for the long bus ride home I picked up the new issue of Vogue. As I read through the magazine, I came to the feature on Versace’s upcoming diffusion line the fashion house is launching with H&M. (For those of you who are like me and don’t know what diffusion line means, it’s basically a more affordable, redesigned version of an expensive designer line.) I’m still mourning the loss of my chance at snagging a piece from the Missoni for Target line that is still technically going on, but as most fashionistas will tell you, the shelves are bare, so the article in Vogue was pretty exciting for me. The Missoni for Target line sold out within days of release online and in my local Target. I wanted at least a cardigan, but no dice. Perhaps, like the Dolce Vita line, I’ll be able to scrounge something up on eBay. (I found a pair of Dolce Vita for Target boots with the gold buckles and zippers for only $15, including shipping! I’ll show them off in my next post!)

The Versace line will have two roll-out dates, the first being Novermber 17th and the second coming January 19th of next year. The first installment will include woman and menswear as well as goods for the home, such as decor and dinner ware. Both installments are reworkings of iconic designs from Versace’s archives, including many from the late Gianni Versace.

Above is a video released by Versace back in June. Lots of leather and studs, she says. Well, the line will be far less expensive than real Versace pieces, but not cheap by H&M standards. Maybe the upside is that the line won’t sell out immediately like the Missoni for Target line has.  We’re getting more and more looks at pieces now that the full ad campaign has been released. Here are some to pique your interest…

Leather studded dress from the upcoming Versace for  H&M line.

Donatella Versace wearing one of the studded leather dresses from the line for H&M at a Versace fashion show.

Daphne Groeneveld and Lindsey Wixson modeling the H&M line. Photo by Mert & Marcus.

A reworking of a Gianni Versace design for the H&M line.

I am excited, but doubtful I will be able to afford anything. Hopefully the H&M closest to me will be one of the “select” stores. For more scans of the ads that have been released, check out this Fashonologie article.

Film Review: Bill Cunningham New York

If you’re out on the streets of New York, you might catch a glimpse of him. He rolls down cluttered streets with total disregard for his own safety. His eyes aren’t the road, but instead fixed to his camera, poised to snap the next shot. His life’s passion: fashion. Sounds like a hip, young fashion blogger, doesn’t it? Well, not quite. If you don’t already know who Bill Cunningham is, you’ll be surprised to know that he’s over eighty years old, and only ventures as far in personal style as blue street sweepers’ jackets (because, he says in the film, the camera won’t tear them as easily as fancy jackets). Bill’s was photographing street fashion decades before there were blogs. In a way, Bill ‘s New York Times columns, “On the Street” and “Evening Hours” and his previous work for Women’s Wear Daily, were proto-fashion blogs.

The film, Bill Cunningham New York, released March 16th 2011, paints an intriguing portrait of Bill’s life. I watched this movie hoping to see some inspiring New York street fashion, but this film is less about the fashion, and more about Bill’s passion for it. When asked by the filmmakers what religion means to him, Bill could only say that as a child in church, he was much too busy checking out the women’s hats. It becomes clear that fashion is the driving force of his life. He explains that he isn’t concerned with celebrities and they’re “free dresses,” but rather “private women,” as he calls them, who haven’t just slapped a straight-of-the-runway garment on their bodies, but have instead taken garments and worn them in their own way. He is uninterested in plain clothes, saying the world would be a boring place if everyone dressed like he does. Throughout the film, we see Bill Cunningham skipping lunch and risking his life in New York traffic on his Schwinn bike just to be that much closer to printing the perfect column. It is touching to to see someone who whole-heartedly loves his job.

We see his home, a teeny apartment wedged in a corner of Carnegie Hall, is filled with stacks of fashion books and dozens and dozens of filing cabinets jammed-packed with film strips, chronicling the decades of street and evening fashion he’d captured thus far. It’s then when we see that Bill’s life is lonely. Fashion has left little room for personal relationships. At one point, his former editor from his days spent working for Women’s Wear Daily, is called the love of his life. He is unmarried and has no children, and he’s nearing the end of his life. When asked if he regrets it, he laughs. It’s only when he speaks about his love of fashion at a French event in his honor that he breaks into tears.

After watching this film, I realized that a documentary that would have fulfilled by craving for street fashion would have been boring. This film takes a more heartfelt and personal side. If you enjoyed The September Issue, you’ll like Bill Cunningham New York even more. It will inspire you to love fashion more than a street fashion documentary ever could. This film is a must-see for any fashion photographer or writer.

A belated tribute to Amy Winehouse.

It’s been a week or two since Amy passed away, and I’ve noticed, like every dead celebrity, so many people are now fans. I seem to recall everyone calling her horrible names and criticizing her for her addictions and problems only a short time ago. Amy was perfect by no one’s standards. She’d been an alcoholic for many years. She was bulimic. She indulged in a plethora of hard drugs. She fell in love with the wrong men. However, I can tell from the lyrics she wrote that she was deep and intelligent. She had a poetic mind. There aren’t many songwriters like her anymore.

Ever since I learned of who Amy was (probably about five years ago), I’ve followed the news on her, always hoping she’d get healthy and STAY that way. I was desperate for her to finally release her third album. I’m sure her record company will jump at the chance to make money on a posthumous release, but I really wanted to see Amy back on top again.

I’ll miss her…

Remembering a Hollywood Legend: Elizabeth Taylor dies at age 79 (March 23, 2011)

Today one of Hollywood’s most loved actresses passed on at the age 0f 79. Elizabeth Taylor has faced the limelight since she was a child. She will be sorely missed. Let’s reminisce on the Elizabeth of the past…

From her most talked about role as Cleopatra.

Rest in Peace

Elizabeth Taylor

1932 – 2011

Woah, Lady Gaga goes head to toe leopard in Paris, France

She looks fierce.

She even painted her eyes to resemble a leopard’s! This really is a “cat-suit.”

Amy Winehouse’s new Fred Perry Collection – photos!

Finally, we get to see all of the designs she’s helped bring to life when she callaborated with the Fred Perry clothing line!

My initial thoughts are that it’s nice, but almost a bit boring. However, I guess I should keep in mind that miss Amy is working on cleaning up her image, which could be why this collection is so organized and clean cut.

To view the entire collection, click here. Now, let’s hope we see her new album soon! If you haven’t heard it yet, why not give her newest song (a cover of “It’s My Party”) from the Quincy Jones tribute album a listen. It’s really good!

Thierry Mugler Fashion Show with Lady Gaga and Rick the Zombie Boy

Photo: Credit: Marc Piasecki/WireImage

Gaga debuted a new song from the Born this Way album (to be released in May) called “Government Hooker” at the fashion show as she strutted down the catwalk in mega-platform shoes.

Photo: Francois Guillot/Getty

And, Rick, the skull face boy, seems to be in on it too!

I guess our friend Rick, aka Zombie Boy aka skull face boy, is modeling for Mugler now as well. He’s moving up in the world!

Skull Face Tattoo Guy in the new Lady Gaga Video “Born This Way” – Pictures.

Source: Bizarre

Fashion related? Eh, maybe not, but I think it’s cool. At first I didn’t like the new song, but it’s grown on me, and the video is crazy good.


Anyways, you may recognize that guy (“Zombie Boy”) from BMEzine and ModBlog, well now he’s in Lady Gaga’s new video. He is pretty brave to get a face tattoo, but like the Lizard Man and “The Enigma” (aka puzzle piece face guy) he can probs make a good living off of it. It all reminds me of el Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls and the some of the giant puppets that you see in the Brazillian carnivales. Turns out, his name is Rick. He’s going for the “zombie” look. Which, I mean okay, but rotting flesh is more of a zombie trademark. Skeletons are just skeletons. Still, he’s attractive in some strange way. F’n Rad has a pretty nice article about him here, with some more photos — even one with an old man scoffing at him angrily.


Lady Gaga appears with him, with a matching face. And they do some sexy dancing stuff. It’s almost too sexy for me. I could hardly handle it! I also dig her new hair do — side ponytail with very short jagged bangs. She died the bangs black (I know this from twitter).


Oh, look see! Fashion. Just look at that Batman-esque chest plate! And, those boots are to die for, but I think I need heels on my boots. I am awkward on elevated shoes like heels and platforms to begin with.

Kat Von D is launching her own clothing line- sneak peek! – hits stores in Fall 2011

My favorite celebrity, Kat Von D (tattoo artist from the TLC shows Miami Ink and LA Ink and now notoriously engaged to Jesse James) will be launching her own clothing line in the fall. Oh happy day! According to her twitter, the designs “[will] be in stores world wide. Everything from Dept stores to boutiques! :)” (Feb. 27th.) I’m squeeling! I know I’m supposed to be all about the bargains, but I will have to splurge on her stuff. Here are some previews she tweeted:

I am digging the skirt, although I am shy about wearing long skirts, because I am very short.

For the most part, it looks like it cam straight out of her closet, which for me is exciting. I want the leggings with the sheer “windows” and the Captain’s jacket.


What do you think of it? Comment!!!

New York Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2011 – Betsey Johnson Fall 2011 Collection

Click here for photo stills of each outfit in the ready-to-wear collection.

Despite having faced bankruptcy last year (the line was saved by Steve Madden), Betsey Johnson still delivers an amazing collection for Fall 2011. She has incorporated many of the current trends (like the use of silky and sheer fabrics for maxi skirts) but makes them her own (puce green leopard print) as always. I love the silky leopard pants. What are your favorites?