Into The Blue or Under The Sea (I couldn't decide)
If you want to know what company I am wracking my brains about, it's Swarovski. Reason? Personally, I've been obsessed with a more "Under the Sea" theme as of late because it's definitely time for the nautical to take a rest. So what better way than to go down the anchor and delve further into the ocean? I mean, creatures and underwater life are a lot more animated than sailor decor details, seersucker pinstripes, and brass buttons.
When I first wanted to do this article, I was reminded of this beautiful ad I saw at the Swarovski store in Atlantic City. It was a picture of the back of a brunette woman with her hair pinned in a wavy bun with seahorse, seashell, and starfish hairpins from their "cruise collection". I wanted to secure the image and put it up here as a relevant way to start off...but I guess you'll just have to use your imagination, because, well, you know...god forbid Swarovski allow their ad to be posted on a website.
That happens to be the reason why I got to this post 2 weeks later than I planned...that and then my internet decided it was a good time to go into hibernation. And for the past few days, I've been terribly sick (rather not go into the details). At least now it's calmed to nothing more than a turbulent stomachache and an urge to consume biscuits and mashed potatoes-- neither of which I'm supposed to eat. [photos: swarovski.com]
Now, before I fully emerge your head into the ocean, here are some very worthy (and well-priced) above the sea, beachy and boardwalk-y picks.
Patrick Robinson's GO Collection @ Target was actually inspired by the Mediterranian. Worth checking out. Click on the photos to go to their webpages.
Other items at Target:
1. A White Straw Floppy Hat (I bought one for myself...been looking forever for one that wasn't over $60)
2. Issac Mizrahi Canvas Tote, Metallic Trim
3. Rafe for Target Flap Shoulder Bag
4. Issac Mizrahi Square Flap Bag (love the color set and it's really adorable in person)
5. Drawstring Leaf-Print Purse (ditto)
6. Clear/Gold Purse (..if you've been meaning to try out the current clear bag hubub. Speaking of, I think a clear bag's good for the beach but not much else. Do you really want everyone to see the unmentionables you put in your everyday purse?)
7. Kate Spade-like Woven Straw Bag (sold out online but probably still in stores)
And here comes the continuation of the previous all leather-free Alloy Shoe Sale post. Right now you can even get free shipping on orders over $75 with code AEGW75 . Click on the photos to go to their webpages.
For when you're thinking beach, And you've got to think espadrilles (for that woven rope sort of look)
Unless, um, you'd like to hit the deck in these (I'm sounding more and more commercial, aren't I?). I think they're kind of gorgeous. In a high fashion, impractical way. Part of me thinks that they must have been spun off from some runway designer. Interestingly enough, they're also by Charles Albert.
But since we're heading more into the sea, you should keep in mind shoes of a more royal blue. Like these. Damn! Which are also Charles Albert. Man, he has really good taste.
I can't help but think Vans look like the quintessential sailor's sneaker, in a more contemporary age.
And These are just cute for padding around. (Sugar, of course)
So if you're wondering how intense I am about this "Under the Sea" I assure you I am very serious. In fact, I was hypnotically induced by this idea that when I snapped out of it I found I made this. I call it "Crab Couture". No, seriously. Plus, since the crab's on hinges it's claws swing around.
Yes that's right, lady and gents, she makes jewelry too! A bit elementary and not professionally, though I actually hope to someday. Maybe as a fun, side-job. I've run out of those little v-shaped beads though...need to find some more. Agh that's the thing with beads, there's so many different kinds that it's hard to pick between them at the store. I can hardly figure out a certain style's potential until after I buy them, which has its monetary downfalls.
I've been thinking of making more "under the sea" themed necklaces. My little notepad reads like an ecosystem:
"octopus, jellyfish, squid, mantis/sting ray, starfish, crab, lobster, seahorse, crayfish, plankton,
sanddollar, algae necklace"
(PS. I have no idea how I would make a necklace look like tangled algae)
My obsession has grown kind of large. A couple days ago, I was at the library researching seahorses (that sounds very scholarly but I went, honestly, because my internet had been MIA for much too long). I learned that there are fisherman in Asia who capture large numbers of seahorses because they believe it has medicinal use and so their numbers are rapidly declining and I saw large baskets full of dead, dried seahorses which made me really sad.
Did you know that baby seahorses sometimes form groups by holding onto each other's tails (WorldBookEncyclopedia)? (Yes, I am aware of how dorky I sound) I've been looking for such a photo depiction (darn these image obstacles) and I can't find one. I was thinking of making a necklace with a bunch of seahorses linked to each other but I don't have a real life image so I'm not exactly sure how this tail-linking group looks like.
My under-the-sea obsession is strange too because crustaceans (which are no Sebastian) and slimy squids really creep me out in real life. But I like the idea of trying to depict them as cute.
Anyhow, Kate Spade's got the right idea of going into the blue with her summer lobster claw fob/charm and lobster print collection. Wish they weren't leather though, for my purpose at least.
[photos: neimanmarcus.com, nordstrom.com, neimanmarcus.com]
Of course, her Cape Cod collection (currently on sale katespade.com) is chock full of (saltwater) taste. I love that red dress.
Another label that's getting the hang of things is C&C California, with their starfish and octopus prints.
Kenneth Jay Lane's got a few marine creatures stuck up his sleeve as well, including these octopus rings, starfish ring and bracelet, and pretty conchshell-type ring. Click on the photos to go their webpages.
[photos: vivre.com, electricladyland.com, pinkmascara.com]
Here are some more under the sea jewelry from Fred Flare and around the net. Click on the pictures to go to the websites.
[photos: lisakline.com, nordstrom.com, urbn.com, eddiebauer.com]
Now, I scoured Etsy top to bottom, and all over the seafloor, for these picks. Since I like supporting indie designers. :) Clicking on the below pictures will lead you to their respective webpages.
[right, "Grace" photo print]
And now some more Designer ideas. Click on the pictures to take you through to their sites. In order:
Oceanic Top by LaRok. J. Crew Lobster Skirt. Madison Marcus Chiffon Blouse. Cynthia Steffe Starfish Trapeze Dress. Octopi Necklace Dress. Daryl K-189 & Barneys CO-OP Pintuck Belted Dress. Eva Franco Seahorse Dress. Nicole Miller Tie-Dye Ruched Dress. Betsey Johnson Starfish Dress. Mara Hoffman Octopus Dress.
Also, a selection from Anthropologie:
Totes from EBags and Urban Outfitters:
And lastly, pants. I love these two styles from Ralph Lauren, Ocean Parachute Capri Pant, and Citizens of Humanity, Octopus Skinny Jean in Atlantis Wash (Octopus Embroidered on Back Pocket!). Plus, the jeans in size 27 are on sale at Barneys.com for $89. For other sizes, but no sale, Saks.com will do the trick:
So you see, the water's fine. ;) You gonna leap in or what?
Speaking of leaping in...please take a moment to send off a message (already written out online by SaveDarfur) to ask Secretary Rice to urge China & France to join together with the US on Darfur diplomacy when she attends an important diplomatic meeting on Monday. World leaders need to increase pressure on the Sudanese President Bashir and you can do a little bit of your part by just filling out a few blanks.