Tuesday, November 29, 2011

AmaraGold review ... and things not to do when coordinating blogger reviews.

*Note: It is not my practice to do negative or lukewarm reviews. If I'm sent something for review and don't love it, I simply won't post. I don't see the use in harming the company's reputation or wasting my reader's time with a "eh" review. There are different types of review policies, trade for product, borrow for review and send back, etc. which is determined BEFORE the terms are agreed upon and product is sent.

I was contacted by a rep for AmaraGold about doing a review in exchange for a "gifted" product, meaning they would send an item of my choice that I would keep in exchange for my thoughts and review.

For starters, here's is the company information: AmaraGold is a new company based in the United States near Boston, which handcrafts eco-friendly jewelry in reclaimed metals. Sounds cool right?

I agreed to consider the review and terms were discussed. At first I was told to pick something from the site for review. I chose one or two things and was told because of the price of these items, they could not be gifted to me but I could certainly review and send back. Hmm. Ok, different from the initial "pick anything you like", but reasonable and I had no problem choosing something in the new range that was determined a few emails in. (I rarely do review and send backs, only because i am paranoid of being responsible for a pricey item if something goes wrong in post. I kindly declined this option stating the reason I just mentioned.)

I will say that the rep I was working with was entirely professional and helpful, and we worked together with no bumps to select something that worked for both myself and the company.

I was able to chose from earrings or rings. I don't wear earrings, so I chose the best option for me, a stackable ring, and asked if they could at least send two so I could fully review. I mean, how do you review stackable rings if you only have one? I was told that this was not possible, and they could send ONE ring, or other item of my choosing within the new range of $200 (which is entirely generous and fair), and I was willing to go forward with the brand.

I chose a ring we agreed upon and it was sent out. The ring I chose was the 14K White Gold Finely Textured Stackable Ring, which retails for $180.00.

Upon receiving the ring, my initial thought out of the package was honesty "wow... that's it?" The ring is rather light and flimsy, and seems welded together in a way that resembles mall kiosk jewelry. I could not see paying $180 for this item. $50, MAYBE, but certainly not almost $200. I tried it on, wore it a few days, and it was unremarkable. Others I showed the ring to also could not believe the price tag for a ring of this quality.

As I was reviewing the ring, hoping for something positive to come to me to post, I received several emails from the rep asking when the review would post. i finally had to respond that the ring had unfortunately not met any of my expectations and therefore, I did not want to do a review and give the brand any negative attention. I will post my exact email below to be completely fair:

One thing that I pride myself on and my readers respect is that I only do honest reviews of things that I love. If something does not meet expectations, I simply do not do a review rather than do a negative one, that's not my style.

That being said, I have to be honest and say that the ring did not meet my expectations. While it's pretty, my personal opinion is that it's a bit flimsy looking and feeling, and nowhere near worth the retail value. I wouldn't be able to recommend that my readers purchase a ring like this at that price point.

However, if you still want a review-- I will do one for you, but I'll have to be honest. Please think about my feedback and let me know.

I received an email back from the rep about a week later:

I'm sorry you feel that way. Those rings are meant to be stacked in multiples, so that's probably why you feel it is thin. The price of gold is incredibly expensive right now. So the value/quality of that right is very high for 14K gold. But it's okay if this does not suit your style. I spoke to the brand and they said it's no problem if you do not want to do the review and would prefer to just send the ring back. It's not an issue. The address for return is below. And I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. Maybe another time.

What an unusual request and really not the way these things are done. In their defense, maybe since they are a new company they don't understand gifted review etiquette?

(Again, I want to stress - in no way was the PR rep rude or unreasonable, nor do I feel it was her intent to force me into a review. She was entirely pleasant and patient through the entire relationship.)

But wait, let's back up...

1. "Those rings are meant to be stacked in multiples, so that's probably why you feel it is thin." - As I said above, I knew this would be an issue and asked them to please send at least one more to fully review.

2. "I spoke to the brand and they said it's no problem if you do not want to do the review and would prefer to just send the ring back. It's not an issue. The address for return is below. " - They want me to SEND BACK the ring, AT MY EXPENSE, because I couldn't post a favorable review.

So, here's my review. Like stated in my email: the ring, while pretty, did not meet any expectations and in my opinion (which is what a review is) is not worth the retail cost. I would not recommend it to friends or readers as a single ring, as I was not able to review them as a stacking unit.

If you're still interested in the brand, which does have some nicer pieces at way higher price points (though I cannot vouch for their quality), feel free to visit AmaraGold.com

Review done. Now we're square and I don't have to visit the post office.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bloggers at New York Fashion Week: You Suck. (And here's why...)

Ok... yes, I did get my start covering Fashion Week through my blog. And yes, I still have a blog. But I'm not talking about me (and to be fair, most of you are also exempt.) But a lot of you aren't, and here's why:

1. YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THE PIT WITH YOUR CAMERA PHONE: Or iPad, or flip cam. I mean seriously. Now, I'm not saying that you have no right to be there, a lot of bloggers these days moonlight as photographers and vice versa. But 85 % of you applying for Media passes don't deserve them, and while IMG might overlook this, seasoned photogs in the pit will not. If you're going to bullshit your way into the pit with the professionals, at least have the decency to invest in a professional camera and try. HOW DARE YOU PUSH YOUR WAY IN FRONT OF THE POST WITH YOUR GODDAMNED iPHONE? Or squeeze your overly styled head in front of my lens so you can snap a collection with your blackberry? FROM THE FRONT OF THE PIT. FOR REAL? Girl Bye. I may be too nice to shove the shit out of you, but one day Vogue Italia is going to knock you in that head with their heavy ass video equipment. And I'm going to laughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

2. YOU ARE NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE CHOOSY...YET: Bloggers these days are so entitled. If a brand or PR firm is nice enough to extend an invitation to backstage or runway, either accept it and ATTEND, or politely decline. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING THEM TO WAIT SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT YOU GET INVITED TO? You might as well say "your brand isn't important enough, but if Maybelline doesn't call I guess I'll swing by". SERIOUSLY? Or accepting and then not showing up? Because HUGEbrand had a last minute editor cancellation and needed to fill the space? REMEMBER THIS: brandX may not be as exciting as HUGEbrand, but that's the relationship that will grow and spread to other opportunities. Cancelling on them because HUGEbrand emailed you 5 mins prior to call with space ensures they will not invite you again. And HUGEbrand will forget who the f*ck you are next season.

3. YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS: Dressing like a victim does not a style blogger make. Yeah, you might get asked for pics outside the tents....operative words being OUTSIDE OF THE TENTS. Ever notice that "famous" style bloggers rarely attend shows? Because they're too busy spending 17 hours planning the next outfit. And if they do attend, it's because their notoriety has garnered them a collab or relationship with a brand who's invited them. You won't be so lucky. So KNOCK IT OFF. Next time you actually get  invited to a show, look around at the tiers. Notice that the front row is dressed fashionably but classy. Well tailored, clean lines, not too much accoutrement. As the rows go higher you'll start to see the class wane until you reach standing room, who are usually wearing f*cking costumes at this point. And the photogs? Jeans and sneakers or fashionable flat shoes. GTFO OF THE PIT WITH YOUR LITAS AND FASCINATOR!!. And the editor from Mag/Blog/Site X checking out your awesome outfit? They're laughing at you.

4. YOU SEEM TO HAVE LOST YOUR DAMN MIND ONCE ENTERING THE TENTS: Do not gawk at celebs. Do not shove 18 free Arizona drinks into your bag. Do not accept every free item offered to you (Oh look, free rubber bands with hair still entangled around them!!) Seriously, do not. It's fun to see Rachel Zoe in the lobby. You might drop your free Blueberry White Tea at a Wintour sighting. I know, I've been there. BUT RELAX. You're a professional, right? RIGHT?! AND PLEASE DO NOT GO THROUGH THE PRESS BAG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LOBBY. Omg, shudder.

5. YOU DO NOT BELONG IN THE FRONT ROW: I'm not even going to touch this, I'm gonna let you have this one. Being screamed at by the person who's seat you've taken and having to hand back the gift bag in front of a zillion people will teach you as lesson far more excrutiating than anything I can say here. GOD SPEED.

You may think that your contributing to "the cause", but in reality you're the reason some brands still deny our requests. And with all of this tomfoolery, I DON'T BLAME THEM. I'd deny me too.

So, on behalf of professional bloggers and writers everywhere, THANKS ASSHOLE. Happy Fashion Week.

London Fashion Week - Guide to Spring 2012 Livestreams

*All shows streaming HERE, unless otherwise noted. 

Friday September 16th

09:00 Paul Costelloe  (4 am EST)
11:00 Caroline Charles (6 am EST)
13:00 Bora Aksu (8 am EST)
15:00 Jean-Pierre Braganza (10 am EST)
17:00 Felder Felder (12 pm EST)
19:00 Ann-Sofie Back Atelje / BACK (2 pm EST)
20:30 PPQ (3:30 pm EST)

Saturday September 17th

09:00 Daks (4 am EST)
11:00 Ashish (6 am EST)
13:00 Jasper Conran (8 am EST)
15:00 Jaeger London (10 am EST)
17:00 John Rocha (12 pm EST)
20:00 Issa London (3 pm EST)

Sunday September 18th
14:00 Holly Fulton (9 am EST)
15:00 Topshop Unique (10 am EST)
16:00 Marios Schwab (11 am EST)

Monday September 19th

09:00 Peter Pilotto (4 am EST)
13:00 Michael van der Ham (8 am EST)
15:00 Mark Fast (10 am EST)
16:00 Burberry Prorsum (11 am EST)
17:30 Louise Gray (12:30 pm EST)
18:30 Todd Lynn (1:30 pm EST)

Tuesday September 20th

09:00 Mary Katrantzou (6 am EST)12:00 Osman (7 am EST)
14:00 Meadham Kirchhoff (9 am EST)
16:00 David Koma (11 am EST)
17:00 Danielle Scutt (12 pm EST)
18:30 Aminaka Wilmont (1:30 pm EST)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New York Fashion Week - Guide to Spring 2012 Livestreams

Thursday, Sept. 8

Nicholas K 9 a.m. ET
Richard Chai 11 a.m. ET
Cushnie Et Ochs 12 p.m. ET
Supima 1 p.m. ET
Tadashi Shodji 2 p.m. ET
Kevork Kiledjian 5 p.m. ET

Friday, Sept. 9

Peter Som 10 a.m. ET
Luca Luca 11 a.m. ET
Jason Wu 1 p.m. ET
Rebecca Taylor 2 p.m. ET
Costello Tagliapietra 3 p.m. ET
Tommy Hilfiger Mens 5:30 p.m. ET
Nicole Miller 6 p.m. ET
Cynthia Rowley 7 p.m. ET
ELLE Fashion NEXT 7:30 p.m ET
Academy of Art University 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, Sept. 10
Lacoste 10 a.m. ET
Jill Stuart 11 a.m. ET
Helmut Lang 1 p.m. ET
Vivienne Tam 3 p.m. ET
Alexander Wang 5 p.m. ET
Charlotte Ronson 6 p.m. ET
Monique Lhuillier 7 p.m. ET
Suno 8 p.m. ET

Sunday, Sept. 11

Jeremy Laing 11 a.m. ET
Derek Lam 12 p.m. ET
DKNY 1 p.m. ET
Tracy Reese 2 p.m. ET
Edun 2 p.m. ET
Diane von Furstenberg 4 p.m. ET
Jen Kao 5 p.m. ET
Thakoon 6 p.m. ET
Simon Spurr 6 p.m. ET
Custo Barcelona 7 p.m. ET
Tommy Hilfiger 8 p.m. ET

Monday, Sept. 12

Carolina Herrera 10 a.m. ET
Carlos Miele 11 a.m. ET
Theyskens' Theory 12 p.m. ET
Rebecca Minkoff 1 p.m. ET
Ohne Titel 1 p.m. ET
Donna Karan 2 p.m. ET
Betsey Johnson 6 p.m. ET
Zero + Maria Cornejo 6 p.m. ET
Perry Ellis 7 p.m. ET
Marc by Marc Jacobs 7:30 p.m. ET

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Badgley Mischka 10 a.m. ET
Vera Wang 11 a.m. ET
Frank Tell 11 a.m. ET
Diesel Black Gold 1 p.m. ET
Herve Leger by Max Azria 2 p.m. ET
Sophie Theallet 5 p.m. ET
Oscar de la Renta 7 p.m. ET
Tibi 7 p.m. ET
Narcisco Rodriguez 8 p.m. ET

Wednesday, Sept. 14

Michael Kors 10 a.m. ET 
Nanette Lepore 11 a.m. ET
J. Mendel 1 p.m. ET
Jeremy Scott 1 p.m. ET
Milly by Michelle Smith 3 p.m. ET
Reed Krakoff 4 p.m. ET
Anna Sui 6 p.m. ET
Elie Tahari 7 p.m. ET
Wayne 7 p.m. ET
Proenza Schouler 8 p.m. ET

Thursday, Sept. 15

Ralph Lauren 10 a.m. ET
Calvin Klein Collection 2 p.m. ET
Naeem Khan 4 p.m. ET
Marc Jacobs Collection 8 p.m. ET

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Kim Kardashian Wedding photos.

Ok, I lied. I swore I wouldn't cover the Kardashian wedding, but do these photos remind anyone else of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? Sorry Vera.

BTW, WTF is Kris Jenner also wearing a wedding gown? And why did they get married in a circus tent?

So many unanswered questions...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Collabs we don't hate: Missoni for Target Fall 2011

Just in time to capitalize on the Fashion Week chaos, Missoni for Target is finally here on Sept. 13th!

I have like, ZERO interest in the clothing (well, ok...except for MAYBE the hat), but the home decor stuff? MINE, MINE, MINE. Perfect timing, as I'm moving into a new place in November and need to decorate until I run out of money or my husband has an aneurysm, whichever comes first (bet is on the aneurysm).

If you're interested, the complete lookbook is here. I'm not.

Oh, and PS... if anyone wants to lend me a couple hundred dollars for something I don't really need and probably will never use:

...but damn is it cute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bec and Bridge A/W11 – Lovers and Nomads

Also, can we please talk about the hair?


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TwitRules of Brand-Rep Engagement: How much YOU is TOO much?

Ok, so this deviates greatly from my usual posting style, but I had to get this off of my chest...

By now most, if not all of our favorite brands can be easily found on Twitter. Engagement with representatives of these brands is just a click away, and this is mostly a good thing. I believe that choosing the right person to represent you on the site-- engaging with customers, sharing stories, answering questions-- really helps to give the brand a personality and can help catapult the brand to new levels of success.

I also believe that there are limits, and within these limits a very FINE line of just how much of the rep's own "personality" should be allowed to show through. Too little and people will lose interest quickly. Too much, and well... read on.

Let me share a personal story:

I follow a certain brand who will remain nameless because my intention of this post is not to slander or influence anyone.... though I'm sure if you follow me on Twitter you can figure out who I mean. I've been vocal about it a few times (hey, I'm not perfect either).

Now I've never been a "fan" of said brand, as it's just not my preference or aesthetic. However my feelings until this point were neutral. I really had no opinion of the brand, and while I may not have actively sought them out I certainly would never turn my nose up.

By following this brand on the site, I've become increasingly annoyed by certain things tweeted by their brand rep. (To be fair, sometimes she is quite personable or informative, which is why I continue to follow.) But most times....in my personal opinion - Completely unprofessional. Sometimes moronic. And I'm not the only one who feels this way, as made clear by the engagement I've had with various followers of mine regarding this. To quote one of them, an extremely successful, high level PR company owner: "If she were mine, she would've been fired already".

It makes me wonder just how close attention the brand actually pays attention to what she is tweeting. Likely  they see the follower numbers and choose not to care. Sad. Anyway, I digress...

The other day while out shopping, I spotted a pretty cute item of clothing and picked it up to get a better look. I was about to add it to the "try" pile when I noticed it was a product of said brand and I literally RECOILED and dropped it. Just because of the brand name. Now I realize that this might be silly, but it was almost an involuntary reaction. It was then that I realized just how much their twitrep had influenced my entire opinion of the brand. She'd left such a bad taste, that I refused to buy an item I liked solely because she represented them, and I wanted nothing to do with supporting "her".

Ridiculous right? So just how much "you" is too much when representing a whole? (or yourself, but that's an entirely different post... yikes).

There are plenty of brands that DO do this correctly. Off the top of my head I can think of the wildly popular OscarPRgirl, who twepresents the Oscar De la Renta brand and engages the appropriate amount IMO.

She balances brand information and inside looks into a day in the life of the brand with her (professionally expressed) personal opinions and some fun twitpics of her personal style. She is well spoken, helpful, knowledgeable, and pretty much a shining example of the type of person that should be tweeting for a brand.

Another is Bergdorf Goodman's account. Their tweeter, while a smidge less informal than Oscar's, not only goes out of her way to research the answers to customer questions in a timely manner, but also engages with bloggers regularly and has become known for her fun tutorials showcasing her own personal style or beauty tips.

Both of these girls manage to shine on twitter without being catty, tweeting confidential business emails for laughs, or giving their minute by minute opinions of popular TV shows. And while the latter also seems to be very popular amongst her followers, it is maybe better suited for an alternate PERSONAL twitter, no?

So.... sound off below: What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Has your opinion of a brand or company changed due to an irresponsible tweeter? And what do you think can be done to regulate this? I'm dying to hear your thoughts...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Me, currently.

Rocky Road and Vintage Jane. Don't mind the pjs. :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Your Guide To New York Fashion Week Live Streams - Fall 2011

Why leave the house?

Sitting this season out due to my pregnancy, but here's a handy guide to every live stream under the sun (all are EST):


• The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection: 7 p.m.  CBSNews.com/HeartTruth


• BCBG Max Azria: 10 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• LOVE/Richard Chai: 11 am. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Vena Cava: 12 p.m. Livestream.com/VenaCava
• Luca Luca: 3 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Wayne: 6 p.m. Livestream.com/WayneFashionWeek
• Christian Siriano: 7 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway

• Ruffian: 9 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Peter Som: 11 a.m. Livestream.com/PeterSom
• Perry Ellis: 11 a.m. Facebook.com/PerryEllis, Youtube.com/liverunway
• Jason Wu: 1 p.m. Style.com/Live
• Rebecca Taylor: 2 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Rebecca Minkoff: 2:30 p.m. Style.com/Live, RebeccaMinkoff.com
• Costello Tagliapietra: 3 p.m. Livestream.com/costellotagliapietra
• Nicole Miller: 6 p.m. Livestream.com/NicoleMiller
• Cynthia Rowley: 7 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway


• Richard Chai: 11 a.m. Livestream.com/RichardChai
• Prabal Gurung: 12 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Vivienne Tam: 3 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Alexander Wang: 5 p.m.  Style.com/Live
• Charlotte Ronson: 6 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Suno: 7 p.m. Livestream.com/MacandMilk or Livestream.com/Suno
• Altuzarra: 8 p.m. Livestream.com/Altuzarra


• Derek Lam: 10 a.m. Style.com/Live, Youtube.com/liverunway
• Preen: 11:30 a.m. Livestream.com/MacandMilk or Livestream.com/Preen
• DKNY: 1 p.m. Style.com/Live
• Calvin Klein Collection (men's): 2 p.m. CalvinKlein.TV and Style.com/Live
• Max Azria: 3 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Thakoon: 6 p.m. Style.com/Live
• Cushnie et Ochs: 7 p.m. Livestream.com/MacandMilk 
• Custo Barcelona: 7 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Tommy Hilfiger: 8 p.m. Facebook.com/TommyHilfiger, Youtube.com/liverunway


• Carolina Herrera: 10 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Carlos Miele: 11 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Olivier Theyskens for Theory: 12 p.m. Facebook.com/theory
• Tracy Reese: 1 p.m. FirstComesFashion.com
• DKNY: 1pm. Facebook.com/DKNY
• Ohne Titel: 1 p.m. Livestream.com/ohnetitel 
• Donna Karan: 2 p.m. Style.com/Live
• Monique Lhuillier: 3 p.m.  Youtube.com/liverunway
• Yeohlee: 4 p.m. Twitter.com/FashionWeekNYC
• Alice + Olivia: 5 p.m. Livestream.com/Alice_Olivia
• Kevork Kiledjian: 6 p.m. Livestream.com/kevorkkiledjian
• Betsey Johnson: 6 p.m. BetseyJohnson.com, Youtube.com/liverunway
• Marc Jacobs: 8 p.m. MarcJacobs.com


• Badgley Mischka: 10 a.m. Facebook.com/BadgleyMischka
• Rad Hourani: 10:30 a.m. Livestream.com/radhourani
• Vera Wang: 11 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Diesel Black Gold: 1 p.m. DieselBlackGold.com , Livestream.com/DieselBlackGold
• Jen Kao: 1 p.m. JenKao.com
• Herve Leger: 2 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Marc by Marc Jacobs: 4 p.m. MarcJacobs.com
• Sophie Theallet: 5 p.m. Livestream.com/sophietheallet
• Tibi: 7 p.m. FashionComesFirst.com
• Narciso Rodriguez: 8 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway


• Michael Kors: 10 a.m. MichaelKors.com, Style.com/Live
• Nanette Lepore: 11 a.m. Youtube.com/liverunway 
• Oscar de la Renta: 12 p.m. Facebook.com/OscardelaRentaLivestream.com/OscardelaRenta
• Alexandre Herchcovitch: 1 p.m.  Youtube.com/liverunway
• Jeremy Scott: 1 p.m. Livestream.com/jeremyscott
• Milly: 3 p.m. FirstComesFashion.com
• Anna Sui: 6 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• The Blonds: 7pm. Livestream.com/theblonds
• Proenza Schouler: 8pm. FirstComesFashion.com


• Son Jung Wan: 12 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway
• Calvin Klein Collection (women's): 2 p.m. CalvinKlein.TV, Style.com/Live
• Naeem Khan: 7 p.m. Youtube.com/liverunway

*Have a stream lead? Want to submit your show? Report a broken link?
Please email dani (AT) ferOHHHsh (DOT) com or comment below.