China's Expanding Luxury Fashion Market Grabs Prada's Attention

One of Italy's sweetheart fashion labels, Prada, is the most recent of several predecessors to bring their runway show to China-a once out of reach market for top labels. The fashion industry has long been obsessed with the latest and based on Prada's 51% increase in sales as reported by WWD, the Chinese market is high fashions latest lover.

The dramatic increase in sales in this area has led Prada to schedule a showing of their Spring 2011 RTW collection in Beijing on January 22nd. The show will include items created especially for this event, thus expanding Prada's Spring collection so be on the lookout for even more chic options. It has been rumored that Prada is making a move towards being listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange this year, thus the show in Beijing may serve as a great launch towards this intiative.

For countless years, top fashion houses have relied on China to manufacture their RTW goods yet never gaining any significant attention from consumers in the area, until recently. Prada is follwoing in the footsteps of a few other fashion designers and industry heavyweights who were able to discern the growing interests and untapped potential in this part of our world. Designer Phillip Lim was the most recent to take on the China fashion market with his runway production on Beijing's Forbidden City Wall that featured cheongsam-inspired dresses. Other forerunners, Fendi, Christian Dior, and Chanel have all staged smashing shows there, setting the bar high for other designers. Vogue is also making a strategic effort to court China through it's Fashion Fund expansion into the area and last months "Asia Major" spread which featured Asia's top models. China has a tremenduous amount of unexplored beauty to offer the fashion industry. It will be exciting to see how top labels and designers utilize this opportunity to heighten the style saavy of fashion enthusiasts everywhere.

Merry Christmas Video for ALL #FHaus Readers


Tis the Season to be Jolly!!! Just a quick video to show my appreciation for your loyal support and wish you and yours a MERRYFUL MERRYSOME MERRYLICIOUS Holiday!!

The Rush for the Retro Jordans: Fashion Crazed or Just Plain Crazy?

Major Newspaper Reports:
"Police used pepper spray to control the dozens of shoppers who began pushing to get their shot at grabbing the new shoes which went on sale at 6 a.m., local television station KDFW reported."-NY Daily News

"Officers had been monitoring the swelling throngs since about 10 p.m. Wednesday. By 5 a.m. Thursday nearly 300 people were gathered outside the mall's several entrances."- Houston Chronicle 

"Starting about 7 p.m. Wednesday, clusters of young people, a few loners and some anxious-looking parents appeared on the second floor of the Westfield Wheaton Shopping Mall near the Foot Locker, one of the few stores in the region that would start selling Air Jordan Retro 11s Cool Grey at midnight." - Washington Post

There comes a time when we all run across something we just" have to have" but how much should a person be willing to do for an item as futile as a pair of shoes? Waiting in line for over 4 hours, damaging doorposts, being sprayed with mace, and hiding in a trashcan certainly shouldn't make the list but today and in many cases before, it did. This epidemic of customers exhibiting fanatic behavior over material posessions has been seen many times before, however it is nonetheless sensible now than it has been in the past. Today marked the release of the Air Jordan Retro 11 "Cool Gray's," last sold in 2001, and hundreds of urban dwellers rushed malls and stores for an opportunity to purchase a pair. Stories broke all over the country of incidents of insane asylum type behavior at stores, including a report of a young man hiding in a trashcan for a pair of Air Jordan's. What could possibly be wrong with people?

Herd mentality is defined by Wikipedia as "a fear-based reaction to peer pressure which makes individuals act in order to avoid feeling “left behind” from the group." We are undoubtedly influenced in a powerful way by the opinions of those who share this planet with us, and this fact is primarily responsible for trends and fads that we establish. However, there is a keen difference between following a trend and falling victim to the herd mentality. The fear factor involved in the latter is far more poignant and will push seemingly intelligent human beings to make illogical decisions, reacting in barbaric ways. People lined up in large numbers, countless hours before opening time, not to partake in something meaningful as our elders once did during the civil rights movement; not to assist in helping distressed individuals who may be without shelter or food; not to volunteer time or donate money towards their local public school; but to buy tennis shoes.

Don't make the mistake of believing today's madness was all accredited to Michael Jordan's successful branding of the sneaker; a large contributor nod goes to the economic explosion known as Christmas and the craze it inspires on days like Black Friday that leads to customer trampling at local WalMart stores. Every person no matter what race, gender, color, or creed has been a follower of the herd. What is of more concern is the lengths to which some people are willing to go in allegiance to the crowd and the causes in which they are willing to go for. No one's need for acceptance should ever be this great and on-lookers would be just as guilty to standby and ignore America's burgeoning greed and appeitite for material goods. The response from a young man who purchased his Jordan's today sums up the reason why so many malls made the news:

' " Are they worth waiting hours in line and paying $185 for? Yes, because they never fail to get people's attention, he said. "I always get comments," Brown said. "People say, 'Why are they so new?' and 'How much do you want for them?'" ' - Washington Post

At approximately 6:00pm #coolgreys (inappropriately spelled) took onto Twitter as a trending topic then spiraled into a couple other trending topics: Jordans, and #butyougotthemJstho. Twitter filled with much debate this morning as people began to take sides on the issue, some defending the behavior by comparing it to consumerism in general while others mocked devoteess of the Air Jordan brand. Here are a few of the Twitter reactions below:

This behavior cannot be blamed on fashion as it goes much deeper into an abyss of peer pressure and the need of the individual to be accepted by the groups. This need manifests itself as desperation with the biggest motivating factor being how others will respond to what you are wearing. When desperate for approval, ugly things can and will happen. As a proud lover of aesthetics and fashion, I come in peace, not willing to participate in mob behavior over a pair of shoes or any material object. A rational person understands that there are millions of other shoes for sale and millions of other places to purchase them. It is certainly possible to strike a balance between being both in love with fashion and in love with common sense. What happened today however, was not an example of such. The verdict is in, court rules that these people are Just Plain Crazy!

What To Do With Less than Fashionable Gifts

Remember as a child having at least one family member who could be depended on to bring you a gift you wish you hadn't gotten? As we grew we realized almost everyone had someone in their lives who just refused to get this gift-giving-thing right! It may be a co-worker, a good friend, a parent, and hopefully not, a significant other who doesn't understand what's hot and what's not (gift lists are a great problem solver for this). Thankfully, we can coach our  immediate family and close friends on determining what we want for the holidays (some of them anyway) but others who don't know us well have a huge chance of failing. Since everyone can't give away cars or overseas vacations like Oprah, it is important to be armed with options if they fail, as it will make your fake "thank you" with a smile more believable. Here's four things you can do when you receive a gift thats less than fashionable:

1. Re-gift It: This is a tricky one for the fashionable giver because the only thing more offensive than receiving a "borderline or across the line of"  tacky gift is giving one to someone else. Most FASHIONIZERS take giving very seriously, as we understand that it speaks volumes to those around us about our taste. For example, the more aestithically appealing someone is, the more eager you naturally are to see what they will get you. Thus IF you decide to re-gift, be sure the gift fits the style and personality of the person you have in mind to give it to (this is not code for dump everything on grandma). I often receive a lot of very yummy scented lotions that are heavy in fragrance so I can't wear them. However, they are the craze with all ages of the female population so my mother and sister always appreciate me passing them along. Also when re-gifting consider other items you may be able to add to your "unwanted gift" to enhance it's appeal when you pass it on.

2. Re-mix It: One particular year, during what must've been a depressing day without chocolate, I decided to sign-up for the office gift exchange. One of the items I listed on the "things I want" sheet was a red scarf. I received a red scarf but I probably should've been more specific about the material as I was not even slightly pleased with this thing peering at me from it's tiny box. Within minutes my creative wheels began to turn and I jetted to the fabric store as soon as the clock struck "time to go!" Luckily I was able to find black and white houndstooth material. With a little coaching from my mother I sewed the houndstooth print to the ends of my scarf and turned an unwanted gift into a closet staple. Now I have a scarf that is not only unique but also represents my sense of style. This too can happen to you! Accept the challenge to recreate the ugly into the beautiful.

3. Donate It: This is a time of year when the less fortunate, homeless, and impoverished are most in need of a little cheer. What's undesirable to us simply due to it's style rank and not it's functionality might mean a great deal to someone else. I've found this option to be more beneficial when you are able to specifically hand the gift to someone. It might not be a bad idea to re-wrap the gift, take a trip down to a shelter or that outdoor area we know the homeless frequent and hand it to directly to a live human being
4. Spring Cleaning Garage Sale It: Along with this gift, hides a collection of items in your home that you are just not that into anymore. When the birds begin to sing again, find all said items and put them up for sale in your yard.  Garage sales can be highly lucrative and a lot of fun if you involve your family and friends. Let's face it, most living quarters have at least one closet full of "stuff:" no one has dared to touch since it was last seen moving on its own. With this in mind, look at every unwanted gift as dollar signs and pretty soon people will consider you to be the best "gift receiver" around and all the unwanted stuff will come pouring in ;-).

In the End, No matter what you do please remember it's the thought that counts and NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY!

Happy Gifting!

What to wear with your Little Black Dress this Holiday Season

Little Black Dress's have fought over the last 80+ years for the position of "girl's best friend," coming in second only to diamonds. Their rank is high in closetdom. Your little black dress runs the place as it is the staple a good personal stylist will check for in your wardrobe first. It's well known an LBD is a must-have, more of a mystery is what a FASHIONIZER should wear with it. Checkout the tips below for accessorizing all styles of LBD'S based on traditional and trendy styles.

1. Velvet: This fabric is mucho popular for Fall/Winter 2010 and will blend stylishly well with your LBD whether you opt for a colorful hue or an all black theme. A jacket or blazer is a necessity with the cold temps, wear yours in the likeness of a velvet tuxedo jacket. If a velvet jacket doesn't seem to blend well with the style of your LBD, try velvet booties. If possible, mix in lace with your velvet bootie to incorporate a new sexy shoe trend.

2. Animal Print: an LBD is the perfect reason to pull out your fave animal print accessory! Zebra, Tiger, and Cheetah print all add a bit of wild to your look in a very chic way. My personal favorite is black and white Zebra print for the sophisticated mixing it achieves with an LBD. The subtle touch of an animal print clutch is a winner but if you feel the need to inspire doubletakes, try animal print on your feet. In ANY CASE, please do not select matching animal print shoes and purse; the overkill will send your look to the dumpyard quickly.

3. Bold Hues: Black is the perfect hue for pulling off pops of color. However, the warning is to stay within the tones for the season. Bright red accessories with black has been overdone the past few years but it does not disappoint when done with class. To break up the repetition, mix in gold with your red when accessorizing your LBD or select burgundy, a darker and more appropriate shade for this time of year. Another emerging popular option is royal blue but be careful not to upstage the classiness of your LBD when using bold tones.

4. Minimalist: As seen on the model wearing the BCBG Cutout Dress in the post | The Little Black Dress | the world of fashion has made it popular to abandon all the extras in the name of giving your LBD undivided attention. Nixing the necklace trend works best with strapless, asymmetrical necklines, mock neck, or lowcut dresses. Nixing earrings works best with hairdos that expose the earlobes; being without earrings actually makes a statement all its own and depending on your mood, you might like it. This look can certainly work, and draws more attention to your LBD and your makeup so be sure to make it glamorous.

5. Tights: Bare legs is about as thrilling as a sale at Macy's, everyone expects it to happen. The new approach is to match your LBD with edgy tights or stockings, preferably something with a pattern for more of a "right now" look. If you aren't comfortable with patterns on your stockings, try solid opaque tights instead. In any case, cover your legs and give them the chance to modernize your look.

The Little Black Dress: Holiday Party Edition

It's Christmas time in the city, the parties are happening in every cornerpocket of your local metropolis! Your job? To be a FASHIONIZER.Make no mistake about it, though the holiday spirit prevails, it's backdrop will be an unofficial fashion show coming to a Christmas or NYE party near you. This is the perfect season and occassion to showcase your trusted friend "The Little Black Dress" as it promises to invoke sounds such as "oohh" and "ahhhh" from the mouths of onlookers. In this post, the LBD(Little Black Dress) steps outside of its box and embraces trend. A traditional LBD should be wearable for years and many occassions but this season I'm aiming to motivate you towards the more risque. Below you will find a variety of Ready to Wear, on trend options for the High End Shopper as well as the Budget Savvy Buyer. As much as we love our LBD's, the right accessories can determine just how deeply we can make OTHERS fall in love. Want to know how to accesorize your LBD? Checkout
What to Wear With you Little Black Dress .
High End Shopper:

Strapless Rose Dress by Milly
"Couture Silk and Cotton Gaazar Strapless Rose Dress. 58% Cotton, 42% Silk. Fully lined. Removable black bow belt. Back zipper. Boned through bodice. Hand applied fabric rose detail on skirt"
Retail: $486.50
View Here
Trend: Roses are forever. A few seasons ago, this fanatically adored flower appeared around our necks, on our purses, and even on our footwear and here in Winter 2010, it is still going strong. There is simply no better way to say elegance than with a rose. This dress is festive and has an aura of "couture" quality for a small fraction of couture prices.

Asymmetric Velvet Dress by Marc Jacobs

"Black velvet dress with all-over pleating. Marc Jacobs dress has inbuilt boning on top, small shoulder straps, an asymmetric pleated overlay at neck, gathered pleated waist, satin panel inserts, a satin-trimmed organza underskirt, a deep V-back and an exposed silver zip fastening with grosgrain pull to fasten at back. 95% rayon, 5% silk; bonding: 100% rayon"
Retail:1,895.00 on sale for $568.50
View Here
Trend: Velvet was ruler of the runway for Fall 2010 and will translate well into your holiday event. Jump into the renaissance of this luxurious fabric and set yourself aside from the crowd.

Crossover Draped Dress by Alexander Wang
"This sleeveless dress features crisscross slinky-jersey overlays at the sheer silk-chiffon bodice and a built-in panty at the semi-sheer, slinky-jersey skirt. Grosgrain banding, ruching, and cutouts at waist. High neck and unfinished hem. Hidden back zip."
Retail: $768.00
View Here
Trend: The sheer look brings a touch of mystery to your garments and creates the perfect tease to grab attention. The pleated skirt balances out the sex appeal from atop; a great pairing.

Beaded Satin and Lace Dress by Marc Jacobs
"Trimmed with lace and decadently studded, Marc Jacobs' gothic-glamorous LBD is the cool girl's choice for cocktail hour. Black sleeveless satin dress with a long-sleeved sheer lace underlay. Marc Jacobs dress has silver faceted bead embellishment, a cutout panel at front of waist with gray gem embellishment, a high round neck with stitched pleating, an exposed silver zip fastening and ruching along back and is fully lined. 100% silk with beads; lining: 92% silk, 8% nylon."
Retail: $3590, on sale for $1077
View Here
Trend: Lace and Beading. Risque and edge emerges as a troublesome pair that will certainly be the topic of discussion at your holiday event.

Budget Savvy Buyer:

Shirred-Tulle Striped Dress by BCBG Maxazaria
"Asymmetrical neckline. Three-quarter length sleeve at right arm. Grosgrain ribbon ties at left shoulder. Striped jersey with shirred tulle overlay throughout bodice. Fitted silhouette. Side zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Rayon, Spandex, Polyester. "
Retail: $228.00
Trend: Sheer material. The assymetrical neckline accompanied by the ribbon give this dress a "right now" appeal. The stripes in the jersey dress give this look an extra edge you wouldn't be expected to have, while the chiffon overlay tells others you appreciate elegance in a sexy sort of way. Perfect option for 20-somethings this season.  
Cocktail Jersey Dress by Anne Klein
"Invisible Center Back Zipper Closure, Center Back Length Measures 33 3/4" From Neck, 95% Acetate, 5% Spandex, Anne Klein New York Dress."
Retail: $148.00
Trend: Sequin is showing up everywhere, including in our UGG boots! Cap sleeves are also a mainstay on the fashion scene and this dress has it all at an unbelievable price! The knee-length hemline elude to a sophistication all your own. The Jersey material works well for a variety of body types and shapes and is very forgiving of our holiday dinner mistakes.

One-Shoulder Cascade Dress by Ann Taylor                                                
"A must-have dress in luxurious silk with a touch of stretch. The chic one-shoulder silhouette offers the perfect drape. Cascading trim features tonal lace for modern feminine flair. 22" length from natural waist."
aRetail: $149.99
Trends: Asymmetrical neckline, ruffles, and cascade effect make this dress an on trend hit. Ann Taylor is a prominent leader in the industry for providing classy, on trend, and affordable looks for women of all ages and sizes. This LBD has the versatility one might desire from this still popular 1920's trend, giving you the option of daytime wear (think summer graduations, outdoor weddings).

Bow-Cutout One Sleeve Dress by BCBG Maxazria  
"Asymmetrical neckline. Single long sleeve at right arm. Bow detail along sleeve forms diamond-shaped cutouts. Elastic belt with dual jewel flower buckle. Ruched draping at right skirt. Side zipper with hook-and-eye closure. Measures 38" from shoulder to hem. Polyester.   
Retail: $160.80
Trend: One-Shoulder, Asymemtrical neckline make this dress one sleek piece of "Sex in the City" quality. Fall in love with the cut-out sleeve that adds a sexy flair to a very chic LBD.