Friday, December 17, 2010

Boutique Belgique

If you haven't already noticed, this blog changes direction often. At one point I wanted it to be something more organized, but I've decided it should be where my brain comes to de-clutter because writing helps. I hope you're riding this roller coaster with me. If there's anything you want to hear more about or see more pictures of, leave a comment!

I really enjoy for inspiration. I'm always looking for new ways to wear the clothes I have. It makes my closet look a lot more interesting than it is. But my favorite reason to look at lookbook is to find out how people are wearing their knits. There are tons of variations on a theme (sheer tights with jean shorts is the things this winter), but sometimes I find something that really intrigues me.

Today, it's this:

 I'm such a tights girl and I loved these immediately when I saw them. She says she got them here:
Boutique Belgique

It's kind of an adorable boutique from what I see in the pictures. The blog is pretty new and the boutique is quite new in Köln.

From the look of the mannequins

Boutique Belgique
and the people in the shop

Boutique Belgique

there's kind of a relaxed, "sporty" style to this boutique. Very comfy and cozy and a little rustic, but in a chic way.
Boutique Belgique

Has anyone else noticed that pallet furniture is kind of in vogue right now? I found some really cute pallet furniture online. I decided not to write a post about it because people have already, but if you do a Google search, you can find some really inexpensive, do-able ideas that actually look right at home in a space that needs a little rustic charm.

It's right up my style alley. I'm not really a girl-y girl, so I like to take a girl-y concepts and pair them with something a little masculine. Pink with brown, skirts with work/hiking boots, "boyfriend" cardigan and jeans with rolled up cuffs and heels, a lace slip with a tailored jacket. - Summerbreeze

I found that outfit AFTER I listed those things but it was actually tougher to find than I was expecting. I should probably take more pictures of me. In any case, that's all for now. Off to think really hard about decorating some more for Christmas.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pringle of Scotland: Check it Out

Dear and lovely readers,

I'd like to start with a sincere apology for the number of times I said "check (it) out" - five or six times, I think. I know plenty more ways to say, "Hey, why don't you look at this?" besides "check it out" and I promise I won't use it this post at all after this paragraph. Thank you for bearing with me. On to your irregularly scheduled program.

I thought I might go into some more depth about some of the stores I mentioned in yesterday's post. By more depth, I mean MORE PICTURES! Hurray!!! Especially since yesterday was really word-heavy. So today's topic is Pringle of Scotland.

Pringle of Scotland
 I love Pringle because Pringle loves knitwear. The company began in 1815 and became iconic for cashmere knit sweaters, argyle, and the "twinset" - a matching cardigan and sweater set. There is a photo chronology on their website that briefly outlines some of the history of Pringle of Scotland. Get this:

Pringle of Scotland - Argyle
If you look closely, you'll see that's the original knitter's graph paper that someone colored in by hand in the 1920's to create the argyle pattern that we know so well today. If you go through the timeline a bit, you'll see some fun things like 'The Pringle Bar', where Pringle sold their twinsets,

The Pringle Bar

a very dashing young Richard Gere wearing Pringle on the cover of Men's Vogue,

Richard Gere on Men's Vogue

and one of the best animated brand films I've seen, though I'll admit I haven't seen many.

(sorry if there's something wonky about that. I was messing with adjusting the sizing).

In any case, at least that pub isn't this:

Horrible, horrible thing about magical creatures stalking you and tattling to Santa since he's too busy to stalk you himself. How frightening. I saw this on tv and I was literally scared. My heart started racing and I was too afraid to go to the website at the end to find out what the heck it was. I saw it again at Borders and complained about how creepy it is and a very kind lady in front of me told me about it. Does anyone else find this scary or is it just me?

Merry Christmas?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The North Circular

I'm sure I'm late on this one, but I'm kind of excited about The North Circular. Do check it out!
Lily Cole is heading a group of models and knitters in a really interesting, if not a bit nostalgic, business collaboration.

The North Circular has rescued some Wensleydales, keep a tally on each garment's tag to let you know how many sheep they've saved, and briefly introduce you to Ernest, the shepherd for those Wensleydales in Yorkshire. The knitters are "...grannies, girls. …and a few strong men..." but I promise, the folks at The North Circular are really mostly focused on the "grannies".

Granted, the focus comes out of a respect for the craft and for the beautiful knit work that Lily's own grandmother has done, as well as including the consumer in essentially every moment of the process from sheep to garment, I still feel a tiny bit left out.

As I knitter, I simultaneously love the concept and hope people buy, as well as knowing I probably won't buy the items myself. I'm hoping people buy hand knits from me, so it seems ironic if I'm buying hand knits. I don't really need to get to know my knitter: I already know mine.

That said, look at the goodies!

Bobble Hat
Skip the 'For Kids' and 'Ready to Wear' sections and just check out the accessories. These are lovely knits for the non-knitter, and lovely pictures for the knitter. Check out the extra thumbnails and you can figure out the construction pretty easily. It's not ground-breaking design, but the concept is fantastic. If you aren't a knitter and you care about the earth, I'd say go for it!

By the by, The North Circular is participating in Prince Charles' Campaign for Wool: a program to support the woolen industry. There are some great companies supporting this initiative like Pringle of Scotland (always a winner), Happy Socks (love love love!), Elizabeth Lau (who designs some knitwear for anthropologie - not a supporter, but they're still fabulous), The Wool Room (lovely lovely woolies for your home - I'll be buying from them soon) just to name a very very very small few.

Check out the Campaign for Wool website - it's aesthetically pleasing and concise - and then check out the brand supporters and make your retail therapy a little bit greener.