This week, Buy Curious traveled to Walnut Creek to reflect on some of the year's hottest looks. We chatted up a Victoria's Secret model (bet you can't guess how she stays warm), noted several footwear trends that simply will not die (um, furry suede boots, anyone?), and ducked into dressing rooms to road-test eight of the hottest style trends. (Think you can pull them off? We have scary photo evidence to prove otherwise). We also dove deep inside the Telegraph Ave holiday fair, and reviewed some of the best local shops for last-minute gifts. Plus, more holiday trunk fairs, sales, and a fashion/music mixer.
"To me, modeling is a public service" Who: Isabelle Bundchen Occupation: Mannequin Spotted: Posing in the window of Victoria's Secret, Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek Wearing: Not much. "My favorite part of my ensemble is my cap. It keeps my whole body warm, since everybody knows that all the heat in your body goes out through your head." Best part about my job: I love watching the women who walk by catch the guys they're with staring at me. It's really funny when these women get all jealous and the guys pretend that they weren't just fantasizing about me. Sometimes they start fighting, and it's hard for me not to burst out laughing. But the funniest part is when the women come back later, alone, and buy the exact same outfit that I'm wearing! It's even harder not to laugh then! I want to warn them that wearing it will only make their boyfriends think about me even more. But alas, I can't talk. Fashion Tip: Wear as little as you can get away with. It's always worked for me!
WE TRY THE TRENDS
We stepped outside the box this week and braved the crowds at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek to see how many 2006 trends we could pull off. Read on for the shocking results...
When we saw this pic of L. Lo rocking a jumpsuit, we figured we'd look at least half as hot. Maybe not. Or perhaps white is simply not the most flattering tone for a one-piece?
The Odd Hoodie
We love hoodies as much as the next slackers, but we weren't sure what to make of this bizarre Norma Kamali/Everlast collaboration. In fact, we put it on upside down at first.
The "I Wanna Look Knocked Up" Top
The most misguided trend of the past year is, hands-down, the "I Wanna Look Knocked Up" floaty tank. We simply don't get it. There's no fabric in existence, and no amount of pintucking or sparkly detailing that render a tented shirt flattering. Stick-thin stars wear them for a purpose: so the media won't accuse them of being anorexic. Why the heck would anyone else want to?
The '80s Graphic Jacket
Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. clothing line is so '80s it's scary. Case in point: this jacket. (Hint: The photo itself is perfectly clear. It's the jacket that's making you dizzy.)
The Return of Grunge
We miss Kurt Cobain, too, but there's no good reason to bring grunge back into your closet. If you insist, a simple jumper like the one we found is the look to aspire toï¿½skip the plaid couture. And leave the button-down shirts to your boyfriend.
Leopard Print Anything
Face it: Leopard print will never go completely out of style. But let's just pretend that it has, shall we? If you're under 21, you can attempt to pull off the cut-off sweat-top look (as we have here), but if not? Wear it at your own risk. (And that means you, Gwen & Paris.)
The Sweater Dress
We're really not sure what to make of this very airy, sparkly sweater dress/vest/body bag. We tried our best, pairing it with the ubiquitous leggings of the season, but we still felt naked. Any suggestions?
Why do people wear camoflauge-print who are toting neither an AK-47 or a machete? Even with pants cut as flattering as these...camo will never be cute. Repeat: camo will NEVER be cute.
THREE SHOE TRENDS WE'RE ON THE FENCE ABOUT
#1 Uggs/Ugg Imposters: So over it hurts just looking at them, or so comfortable you don't care?
#2 Jeans Tucked Into Boots: A classic, or a classic only if you're 21 and hot?
#3 Crocs: Cute and utterly wearable, or Birkenstocks' uglier, evil cousin?
We snapped these photos at the H&M store in Walnut Creek where it was hard to look and not see someone lost in Trendland. But perhaps we're the ones drifting along without a fashion clue.
What do you think of these footwear trends? Let us know by leaving a comment! Better yet, snap your own photos of the most questionable feet on the street, and e-mail it to us at BuyCurious@eastbayexpress.com. We'll post the best ones (and by best, we mean the worst) next time around.
Last weekend, we took our own advice and shopped exclusively for locally-made goods from local, independent boutiques. The result? Besides requiring a bit of driving, the overall experience was significantly cheaper and guilt-free. We're hooked! Here's a review of some of the places we stopped at:
Telegraph Ave Street Fair We were surprised that this year's street fair offered a lot more hip local designers than years past. Skip the tie dye and check out some of our favorite vendors:
* Carlos' handmade silver jewelry from Peru: Carlos told us he travels during the year but makes a special appearance for the annual street fair. He's a little pricey for the Ave. ($35 for a pair of earrings), but his designs are high-quality and not ï¿½ber hippie. He's also a super nice guy. Check him out in front of the Bank of America at Durant Ave.
* Catch 23 t-shirts: (Yes, for some reason t-shirts are huge on Telegraph. Why? Who knows. Maybe because it's the cheapest and best way to express your politics. If you're jonesing for a tee with a message, Catch 23's designs are a plenty, and funny, too. Like this "Missouri: I'm So Happy I Don't Live There" design. You can also show off your cult hero knowledge with shirts featuring images of Hunter S. Thompson, Charles Bukowski, William S Burroughs, and Bill Hicks.
* Like Minded People: (We noticed that hella Bay Area pride abounds on everything from tote bags to sweatshirts by local designers. But we have to give it up to Like Minded People, whose designs really encompass what Bay living is all about. Example: their "Everyone Loves a Mixed Girl" t-shirt. What can we say? It spoke to us.
For a complete list of designers, look here.
Slash (2840 College Ave., Berkeley, (510) 841-7803): We gotta say, we love Slash's new expanded store that features cooperatively-made denim, cute sweatshirts, locally-made tees, tons of restored slouchy boots from the '80s, and even a few dresses. Luckily, they were having a sale, so we had to pick up this really cute teal dress from She-bible for $100.
SPECIAL EVENTS Add Some Funk in Your Trunk
Nightclubs turn out to be great spots for local designers to sell their wares during the day, and this event is no exception. The monthly Funk n' Trunk features clothing, accessories, and jewelry for men and women at "special discounted prices," plus tunes from DJ Seven. Check out jewelry from Jester Swink, simple yet sophisticated clothing from Leila Bazzani, and funky, urban designs from Mixer Friendly Clothing. Why you can't miss it: a make-your-own-Bloody-Mary bar. Show up at 11 a.m. for brunch beforehand. When: Sun., Dec. 17, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Where: Levende Lounge, 1710 Mission St., SF. (415) 864-5585
Art! Art! Art!Looking for more art in your life? Mosey on over to the Expressions Gallery Holiday Art Bazaar, featuring lots of handmade items by artists and members of the East Bay Craft Mafia. When: Sun., Dec. 17, noon-5 p.m. Where: Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, (510) 644-4930
Fiery Gifts The Crucible is hosting its annual holiday art sale and open house this weekend. The Oakland nonprofit art studio (famous for their fireball displays) will feature locally made jewelry; glass, bronze, and steel sculptures; clothing, ceramics; and more. Plus a special appearance by Santa in a - you guessed it - flaming sleigh.
When: Sat. & Sun., Dec. 16 & 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: The Crucible, 1260 7th St., Oakland, (510) 444-0919
Mexican Gift Sale Looking for a unique holiday gift? Check out jewelry, tin work, mirrors, purses, scarves, tablecloths, and Dia de los Muertos figurines from Oaxaca and Chiapas. When: Sat. & Sun., Dec. 16 & 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Short Street Studio, 1809 Short St., Berkeley
Jewelry Trunk Show
Delicate and feminine are the theme of Rona Design's earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The designer will hold a holiday trunk show tomorrow in Alameda. Click here for a $5-off coupon. When: Sat., Dec. 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Cafï¿½ au Lait, 3215 Encinal Ave., Suite D, Alameda
Ongoing...For details on the Telegraph Ave Street Fair, holiday fairs at the Berkeley Farmers' Market and the Berkeley Potters Build, and Santa's visit to Rabat Shoes, see last week's Buy Curious .
Every Friday, Buy Curious posts photos of the fashion fabulous of the East Bay, as well as news on store openings, closings, new items, and sales. We want to hear from you! Tips? Send them to us!and Kathleen Richards
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