I like this, but …

by Erin on July 27, 2009

So I admit that I get those emails from Gilt Groupe (note the superfluous "e" which stands for "exclusive" or possibly "excess") and I also admit that I do click through from time to time, despite nearly everything being either upwards of $100 and a size 4. (I have bought a few things there, but only for my husband, who has a Ted Baker obsession — the men's stuff tends to be cheaper, like Nordstrom Rack prices.)

On today's guilty click I saw this Zac Posen dress, which I really like. Okay, mostly like:


Zac Posen dress

I love the color blocking and the seaming (and that's it's denim, which I think is cool and wearable) but ….

– what's with the pulling over the abdomen? It's not like the model has a belly to account for! If designers are expecting people to be CONCAVE now, I am just going to strap on a movie-prop pregnancy belly and go way over the top in the other direction.

– I feel like there should be pockets in this dress. (I'm just saying.)

– And who killed the model's pet goldfish? C'mon, people, I know sullen and pouty is in for fashion photography right now (when has it ever been out?) but ending an innocent animal's life to get the "right pose" seems a bit harsh.

– It costs THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS. (But list price was $850! What a "bargain"!)

Clicking on these Gilt Groupe emails is interesting — I see not only what designers actually produced for sale (as opposed to what you see that was made for the runway at places like Style.com) but also what *didn't* sell. Most of the time I can figure out why the stuff didn't sell (a hint: "ugly" tends to hang on the racks), but every once in a while I can't figure it out (although $850 + recession might have been a clue here). So I guess me looking at a sale site for clothes I will never buy or wear is RESEARCH. For the BLOG. Right?

(Gilt Groupe is a "members only" website — whatever that means, since I didn't have to undergo any hazing — but as far as I know all you need to join yourself is to be invited by someone who is already a member, so if you'd like to join you can click this link. Disclosure: That link is connected to my account and will give me some kind of credit, again towards stuff I will never buy, so it seems moot. There are no dues or fees involved in joining Gilt Groupe. It may be a time suck, but — as we've just decided — it's RESEARCH.)

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

RachelMM July 27, 2009 at 12:37 pm

I like the skirt (flat abdomen aside) and agree that pockets would add a lot to this garment.I have to say that although I like the color blocking in the bodice, it is extremely unflattering. It seems as if they put 2 design elements together that just dont work for me. I love the line of a boat-neck. This line usually has the eye drawn to your beautiful neck and face. The color-blocking has your eye go straight to the bust. I think the curves of the neck and the black in the bodice fight each other. Also, the black bodice piece is a weird not quite apron bodice shape. I would buy into it more if it looked more like an apron top, but it doesnt.The fit is also a difficult one for most women because the skirt is completely straight. If it had more of an a-line flare maybe it would have sold a bit better?

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evalyn July 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I like the basic idea of this dress, but agree with RachelMM, theres too much going on in the bodice, it makes me a little nervous. Without the bib and the piping, this would be a must tidier look, keeping the insert for the capped sleeves.I think the look on her face is due to whatever horrible accident happened to her eyebrow. And why is she wearing beige shoes (which I heart, but the way)with that dress? Gray or black would have set if off much more nicely.

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Lisa Simeone July 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Ah, Erin, I love Gilt Groupe (as you know!) and saw some other Zac Posen dresses today that I adored, but yes, theyre too expensive.I have gotten some great bargains there, though, like a pair of KILLER Alexander McQueen shoes that I would never have been able to afford elsewhere, some lovely jewelry, and a wonderful, elegant, unusual Tracy Reese silk skirt. The Christian Loubouton sale a few months ago crashed their website, but theyve since made massive improvements. All in all, Im quite happy with it.Worse than the pout, in my view, is the almost incessant pigeon-toed fashion-victim stance you see everywhere, not just at Gilt Groupe. Sartorialist gals are some of the worst. What is with this pose??? How old are these women — 12??

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Lisa Simeone July 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Oh, I should say that the model youve depicted here isnt doing the pigeon-toed stance. Its just that several models on that same Gilt Groupe page are.

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Emily July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Hrm. The one and only Zac Posen Ive handled was nominally ready to wear. It was really nominal. For a simple full skirted dress, the amount of handwork was incredible. I have never seen so much handwork before or since, except on hand done quilts. It screamed money in an exceedingly dignified way… at least if you knew what hand sewing looks like. (it had two issues: not my size, and a shade of yellow that made me look violently ill)If this is finished anything like, the weirdness around the abdomen is not a big deal. And the seams will be big enough that many many fit adjustments would be easy. No small feat that.

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Cookie July 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I think the beige shoes are supposed to make (caucasian) legs look longer, and keep the focus from being pulled down, away from the dress. I DONT know what the models pickle-puss expression is all about. I am on the East Coast and am taking some pictures of my hosts 11 y.o. daughter tomorrow a.m. outside in a field. (Just saw the documentary Under Our Skin yesterday, about Lyme Disease, so we stocked up on Skin-S0-Soft/repellent.) We raided her moms closet, and I chose a chiffon blouse for her by Elie Tahari and a black tafetta Victorian-looking skirt with some ruffles (by Laundry), and will encourage bare feet. I rounded up all the beauty products in the house today and did a test run on the makeup…which is weird because most of the makeup tricks I know are to make you look younger, but even 11 year-olds can look better with a touch up. Childrens skin is so beautiful, but you also want to balance out the color, and their eyebrows. I tried a Way Bandy trick and used baby powder to set the makeup. I think it will look good!Anyway, I wish we had more formal portraits of us in our family as we were growing up. It seems like now you get them when youre a year old, and then at graduation. BUT WE NEED MORE GLAMOUR PORTRAITS AT EVERY AGE! (While holding off on plucked brows and darker lipstick/stain until…what? 17?)Shall get you all a link later, maybe, to prove I didnt Bozo-ize any one!

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Dr. Julie-Ann July 27, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Im not too keen on this look. It looks to me like an updated version of a 1950s diner waitress uniform. The black looks like an apron. The color blocking in the bodice reminds me of a bib to an apron.Of course, any waitress who had that kind of pout and those kind of shoes would find herself out on the street, pronto.

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Rachel July 28, 2009 at 3:10 am

I have the same thing with:Ruelalahttp://www.ruelala.com/invite/rschmidtI use it to find something I want to knock-off…and on the rare occasion actually buy. I think resellers have gotton on board though so if you really want something thats popular you have to be there when it opens or it will sell-out in 30 min. :(

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Latter-Day Flapper July 28, 2009 at 7:44 am

It looks like a late 60s shift dress to me. Ive never liked them, personally, but I can see why some people do. But Im sure it could be replicated, or at least closely-approximated, for considerably less than $300.I agree that I think the bodice is too busy, and the whole dress doesnt seem to fit her well–pulls over the belly and seems too big around the shoulders.And the beige shoes are wack. Sorry.

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askpauline July 28, 2009 at 7:51 am

My young daughter has done a bit of modeling for a small firm that does very expensive dresses. Basically, the models are expected to bring their own shoes in neutral colors, or use the rather odd collection the designer has accumulated over the years. Youd be surprised to know how many of the girls in the ads for the $600+++ dresses are wearing Payless on their feet. Im assuming theres a level at which the shoes are more carefully thought out, but for a small business they use what they have to hand and try to focus you on the dress.

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Sal July 28, 2009 at 8:10 am

That IS some odd detailing around the abdomen. I tried on a dress the other day with details that looked like turned-out pockets right along my ribcage and thought, OK are they just TRYING to make us look freaky now?

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

300 Bucks my foot! Put on a grey straight cut dress and layer over a black denim waitress apron from the Pancake Palace. Remove the plastic named tag from apron and you have the look!

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Jen July 28, 2009 at 10:23 am

This isnt just any dress, it is a space rocket stewardess uniform!Note the built in black apron, and the front parachute pack. Also, that denim is microwave and bullet proof.

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Zazzu July 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

I like the colors. The fit could be better. It seems a little short, too.As far as the unhappy model. Well, Im sure Id look miserable too if I hadnt held down any food for a week.

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Jennifer July 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

It is a cute dress. (I also love faux aprons.) One could definitely add pockets, and I even think it could be flattering on lots of different figures…if it came in anything besides a size 2 (and even that seems to run small!).

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Theresa July 28, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I get Gilt Groupe emails too…I got on (invited?) through facebook.It was not what I expected.

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Anonymous July 28, 2009 at 4:00 pm

I didnt think this was a human being. Are we sure she/it is? It doesnt look, er, natural. –Karen

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chickdowntown.com Kristin July 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I love this dress. This dress is great for the office because it looks professional and u can even dress it up with accessories!

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Kate July 29, 2009 at 1:58 pm

That is a human? Couldve fooled me. But definitely a sweet dress.www.katedesignsblog.blogspot.com

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Shaniki July 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Love the dress, the cut and the colors. Not sure how well it goes with those shoes. Never been a big fan of nude color shoes.http://www.senseofashion.comShare, shop and sell indie fashion

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