Fall Fashion Kool-Aid: True Innovation or Attention Whore?

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it” – Albert Einstein

This edition of Fashion Kool-Aid is devoted to interesting items that I’ve come across that are different in somewhat fundamental ways, either by virtue of design, or by price or by taking a unique approach to a problem. These are products that are innovative and may solve a need for someone somewhere; while to others they may be completely useless. So the question becomes, in the eye of the beholder: “Covet” or “Shove it?” Sorry, couldn’t resist…

AlignMed Posture Shirt

The first such item is something that I actually own however it was provided to me for review purposes by its makers AlignMed. It initially came to my attention after reading about it this summer in the Wall Street Journal (click here for article) This is a shirt that is designed to help with posture, pain relief, increase balance and stability and muscle stimulation. I don’t think I’d wear it as a fashion statement but to each his own. As an occupational hazard, I spend long hours often hunched over my computer which tends to aggravate my neck, shoulders and back so I thought that this product might provide some relief. The shirt retails for around $95 and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve only tried wearing it once due to sheer laziness. It did feel a bit restrictive but I got used to that after a bit of wearing it (maybe I should have sized up?) and I bet if “broken in” would work fairly well. At the very least, it reminds you to sit up straight as the “neurobands” of resistance will not allow you to slump in any real fashion. There is much research behind it (an entire scholarly document in my press kit) entitled “The Influence of a Dynamic Elastic Garment on Musculoskeletal and Respiratory Wellness in Computer Users” written by a PhD, two M.D.’s and an RPT/CMT/CNMT if that sort of thing moves you.

Treadmill Desk

In a similar vein (or tendon) HA, those who work in an office or spend hours behind a computer, may feel that they’re sitting too much…I know I do. Recent medical research (thank you National Cancer Institute, I really could have happily lived out the years that I have left without this “fun fact”) has suggested that a sedentary lifestyle; even if you’re active the rest of the time just spending those several hours on your butt can take its toll apparently, and will increase your chances of getting various cancers, diabetes and heart disease. I often stand in front of my computer to take a break but I never thought that someone would invent a treadmill desk. I had heard of a standing desk but this takes it to the next level! Here is the article in The New York Post that introduced me to this concept (click here for article). Needless to say, I am intrigued but have not gone out and invested the $1,446 to see if this would work for me and I doubt the company that makes them (Rebel Desk) will supply me with one for review purposes (although on their website I do see they offer a 30 day trial). Tory Johnson who wrote the article swears by it and claims she has lost 62 pounds in a year with the help of this work aid.

Cynthia Rowley bracelet flasks (top and bottom)

Perhaps after investigating all of these work/health options, I felt disillusioned and ready to seek a work release plan. Enter the Cynthia Rowley flask bangle also courtesy of the Journal (#19 Off Duty Fall 50 Eating & Drinking (click here for article)). Here is an invention for all you female pre-gamers (mid and post gamers, too) who get dragged to the football game and the only first down you care about can be found in a duvet. You can stack them and really give new meaning to an “arm party.” This chunky and fashionable stainless-steel bracelet (available in gold for $365 or silver plate for $225) also meets TSA standards so feel free to tipple off to Buffalo (Biffalo?) and really fly the “friendly skies.” http://www.cynthiarowley.com/flask-bangle.html

Pharrel in his Adidas Originals = Pharrell Williams fashions

Speaking of Buffalo, I am reminded of Pharrell’s infamous hat. And do you recall what he wore with that hat to the Grammy’s? It was a red leather Adidas track jacket; one of his favorite looks. How fitting that Pharrell has collaborated with Adidas Originals (Adidas Originals = Pharrell Williams) and developed his first few pieces which had their debut this week in stores and supposedly online (although I have not found that to be the case as of this writing). In this first delivery (more styles to come in October-December) are two quintessential items done up in luxe Pharrell style. The classic Superstar Track jacket is available in soft Napa leather in black, red or bright blue. As Pharrell owns his trademark hat in many colors, he also owns the Adidas jacket in yellow and green as well as the black and red so I wonder if we’ll see some more rainbow hues before the collaboration is finished.

While many music/fashion collabs tend to result in flashy, over-the-top design renditions, this is an exercise in restraint as even the Adidas Trefoil logo has been removed from the outside of the jacket, allowing only the three white stripes as design detail and brand recognition. The other item is the Stan Smith tennis shoe, also available in black, red or blue (the colors will give you “Happy” feet) and these are equally stripped down only bearing a white “equal sign” insignia on the heel. While the shoes are “affordable luxury” at $150, the jacket will require a bit more of your hard earned cash to the tune of $1G. Of course, Pharrell has much more fashion cred than your usual hip hop producer/star and ruled his own fashion empire in cult collabs with insider favorites Nigo and Mark McNairy and most recently in July with G-Star Raw, so you’re paying for his expertise as well as the fine skins. Got to hand it to Adidas as this “Normcore” brand has collaborated with Jeremy Scott with the famous winged tennies, as well as Rita Ora for women’s apparel, staying extremely current with the fashion/music scene.

Givenchy Le Rouge Limited Edition Lipstick

Remember a month ago when Christian Louboutin introduced a $50 sculpture er, I mean a nail polish at Saks and everyone went insane in Loubiville.(Yes, that is what they called the window display)! Not to be outdone, Givenchy will be introducing a $300 crocodile cased lipstick available later this month at Barney’s. There will be a limited run of 3,000 of the Le Rouge lipstick in Carmin Escarpin No. 306. Good news is that the case can be fitted on any of their other lipsticks that retail for $36 if you should (shudder) manage to use up the three figure shade. It will come in a numbered gift box and hopefully will make your lips six times more irresistible than its closest price competitor (Tom Ford at $50). I think this may work as a great diet tip; after all if you have on $300 lipstick, you’re not likely to be eating much of anything that could possibly smear it or God forbid, make you have to reapply. Certainly you would be saving this rouge a levres for an uber fancy black-tie occasion and not thoughtlessly grabbing it to apply as you head out to the nearest pizza joint. (click here to see product)

At this rate, we’ll soon be taking out home improvement loans to buy cosmetics and paying to insure our makeup on our homeowner’s policy.

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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