Molly Bloom knows style

I now sell chic rain hats, perfect beach onesies and custom clothing services.
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September 21st, 2009

Dream Fashion Job: L.L. Bean

Penned by molly in Uncategorized

This weekend I went backpacking in Desolation Wilderness. I love camping and hiking in the wilds of California. I have accepted that cottons and jeans are not the way to pack on these trips — hi-tech fabrics really make a difference. They breath, dry quickly and pack light. The warmer items insulate without being bulky. But, ugh: most of these items are less fashion-forward than I’d like to be. They’re boxy or over-trimmed or available only in sage green.

Stomping around Lake Of The Woods I realized what I would like to wear. And if it’s what I’d like to wear, it’s what I’d like to create. It will be part Miss Rheingold, part L.L. Bean from the 1950s. I’d like classic pieces in updated fabrics and silhouettes. A plaid hunting jacket with patches on the elbows featuring a nipped-in waist and constructed in waterproof/breathable fabric? Yes, please. Jodhpurs in a quick-dry fabric, paired with button-up shirt in SFP50 wicking fabric? Yes!

And then I would like to write the catalog, with wonderful back-story and silliness a la J. Peterman.

So, L.L. Bean: call me. Let’s discuss a capsule collection. It will sell, promise.

August 18th, 2009

My Cover Month

Penned by molly in Vintage

This issue of Vogue was on news stands the month I was born. It was the first cover of the magazine with a black model. Look at that face! There is a piece up at Jezebel about Beverly Johnson’s experience in fashion. The year 1974 seems late in the game for a first-time black cover model, oui?

July 31st, 2009

Sale Shoes

Penned by molly in Shoes

Recently I wore a pair of shoes for the second and final time. I fell on my way out of the dentist and hit the sidewalk so hard that my eyes teared up. I took the shoes off, got up and walked two blocks to Union Square in my socks. At Macy’s I rode the escalator in my stocking feet up to the fourth floor where I bought a pair of hot pink Chuck Taylors, low-top.

When recounting my fall to my husband (who barely let me get past the part about hitting the sidewalk at full-force and straining my neck), he interrupted and asked:

“Were they sale shoes?”

When spoken, it sounds as if the shoes are nautical — maybe white canvas or Topsiders, something with a light sole that won’t scar sailboat decks. When read on the page it is obvious that these shoes were purchased at discount. They are sale shoes. Ted knew the signs immediately. I bought a pair of shoes I otherwise wouldn’t have purchased because they were cheap, and I made up the difference in price with bodily injury. I wouldn’t pay full price for shoes I can’t walk in, but for that price — I’ll learn to walk in them.

Sale shoes are never what you want them to be. They’re pinchy or too wide. They have a tacky buckle that you’re going to cut off some day or they’re perfect except they’re purple. Years ago my husband owned a pair of yellow Adidas with red accents. No one walks into a store looking for yellow and red retro trainers but someone who likes a bargain will leave the shop with a pair. I’m not judging. But one night we were at a party and a guy pointed to Ted and asked if he was wearing his sale shoes.

One pair of my sale shoes was a teal-colored felt wedge with a sweetheart peep-toe. Felt! Also purchased on sale: the could-be stripper shoes. They are pink and white patent spectator pumps in a Mary Jane style with spike heels. Are they naughty or are they nice? They are confusing and uncomfortable. A pair of geometric-soled platform sandals were too tight but the box they came in is the perfect fit for our extra juice glasses. You’d think I’d learn, but when the pair of three inch wedges from my favorite brand popped up on the sales rack, I bit.

Three-inch heels are really getting up there for a woman who’s feet are all of eight inches long. That’s a Size 7. The most worn pair of shoes in my wardrobe has a 2 inch heel and that missing inch is crucial for walkability. Ankle straps increase stability but these latest sale shoes have no such safety devices. I thought brand loyalty could get me over the 3 inch hump to being One Of Those Girls in high heels. Instead I got a bruised knee.

When shoes fit and look fabulous, I wear them often. The shoes I have gotten the most value from are the shoes that I have worn until extinction. My sales shoes are all relatively new-looking, mocking me from the closet until I finally admit they’re never going to happen and give them to charity. This latest pair were so snazzy I sold them at Buffalo Exchange for close to cost. Who knows, maybe they were purchased by One Of Those Girls in heels. Or maybe some Size 7 is cursing having wasted money on a pair of barely worn black wedges.

June 9th, 2009

Summer Scarves

Penned by molly in Uncategorized

The summer scarf I purchased earlier this season has proved a useful tool in fighting June Gloom here on the west coast. I wonder if people in warm places really do pair scarves with their rompers like fashion spreads and catalogs suggest. Seems like a girl would get hot dressed like that.

I wear my scarf with long-sleeved items instead of a jacket when I walk the dog. It also gets a lot of use paired with a T-shirt indoors instead of a cardigan. I am sick of my cardigans, they get a lot of wear here in Fog City.

There is a good selection of summer scarves at Anthropologie, it’s where I found mine.

June 6th, 2009

Guy Friday: Michael Bastian

Penned by molly in Guy Friday

The Times ran an interesting profile about menswear designer Michael Bastian. The article is a good snapshot of what is going on in the fashion world right now. The designer can’t afford his own clothes.

But the clothes are good. They are classics of the upscale-casual genre, but they are classics with a twist — “the right twist” as the article says. These are high-quality, big-ticket items produced in Italy by skilled workers. That may have to end, as Bastian hopes to lower his prices. “Right now, it hurts a little too much,” Bastian said. “It should hurt a little, but it shouldn’t kill ’em. That’s the law of designer clothes.”

Really, it’s a good piece. It touches on fashion and style and the economy and New York. You should read it.

March 20th, 2009

Hola From Buenos Aires

Penned by molly in Uncategorized

I spent the afternoon shopping in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, wearing a dress I made a few weeks ago. Argentina is wonderful. It’s summer here.

February 13th, 2009


Penned by molly in Uncategorized

Famous gamines: Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Mia Farrow circa Rosemary’s Baby (pictured above) and Jean Seberg. More recently, the puckish Amélie played by Audrey Tatou is gamine.

January 23rd, 2009

Guy Friday: Jil Sander Fall 2009 Runway

Penned by molly in Guy Friday, Luxury, Runway

Runway looks for men rarely translate directly to street looks but certain details do influence upcoming trends. One thing I’m hoping does trickles down from Jil Sander’s Fall ’09 collection: subtly patterned suiting and overcoat fabrics. Pictured above, the wavy lines are very subtle against the pinstriped heathered material.

The lapels are wider and that’s a change from what we’ve been seeing. The length of the coat is awkward, possibly because of the slightly nipped-in waist, a detail that’s carried through much of the collection to various extremes.

Maybe these geode-like, earthy color striations could replace the all-over pattern hoodies that have been done and overdone for a few years.

January 22nd, 2009

ROOS Are Back

Penned by molly in Shoes

The retro sneaker resurgence continues with the KangaROOS brand.

I had a pair of ROOS when I was a kid. They were purple and I kept a Kleenex in one zip pocket and a Chapstick in the other.

January 21st, 2009

Aretha’s Hat

Penned by molly in Shoes, Uncategorized

Women’s Wear Daily got the scoop on the hat Aretha Franklin wore for her performance during the inauguration. She bought it at the Detroit shop of milliner Luke Song, where she is a regular costumer. The hats are sold with the label Mr. Song Millinery in New York, California and the South.

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