Points of View

11 July 2013

The Internet's Influence on Fashion: A Look at the Past 15 Years

We live in an interesting time.

The same thing was also said amidst the boom of print media, especially when haute couture glossies first hit the market and the whole fashion industry became more of an “event” as opposed to a utilitarian means to an end (read: being clothed).

I’d argue that when online blogging hit the scene roughly 15 years ago — the late ’90s — fashion underwent a notable shift. Once “the people” received a megaphone (in this case, the Internet), their amplified voices slowly began competing with the opinions of fashion designers and magazines across the globe. Don’t get me wrong, to this day designers and glossies certainly have a huge say regarding what we wear, but the whole social aspect of the Internet indubitably turned the style world on its head.

Fast forward another five-ish years or so — into the early 2000s — when “all about me” social media websites such as MySpace were at their height. The early 2000s also marked the dawn of the Facebook era, a website which has a bigger influence on the world than most even realize. It was also around this time when deep and thought provoking online diaries shared between close friends (hello, LiveJournal) lost their luster and lifestyle blogs gained momentum.

Today, you can’t go anywhere on the web without running into a blogger or a niche website that focuses specifically on fashion/style or beauty. And with the prevalence of smart phones and Apps (fashion-focused and otherwise, including Instagram), we can’t even pick up the phone without seeing what other people are wearing or buying.

This social media/Internet whirlwind frenzy makes me wonder: Are we better dressed now compared to 10 years ago?

The Stylish City’s own founder, Mirela, says: “Everybody — stores, bloggers, fashion magazines, etc — has “looks” to draw inspiration from. There are literally thousands of bloggers, personal stylists, celebrities and reality shows we are exposed to every day.”

This undoubtedly affects our decisions when we walk into a store or peer into our closet. With the potential for more people to see how we’re dressed, are many of us less apt to throw on scroungy sweats even while sauntering around the house? And do we make better fashion choices now as a result of being exposed to the more fashionable who want to put themselves out there for the world to see?

Another question I have, in regard to the Internet/social media influence:  Do we approach fashion on a more “individual” level these days? Or does the influx of online/media inspiration cause us to all sort of look like each other?

Personally, I think cities such as NYC, where there a lot of people coming from all walks of life, are more likely to dress individually, but there’s still this “NYC vibe” that permeates all fashion in the city.

Perhaps the boom of social media has made us dress better as a collective whole, but with that have we lost a sense of individuality when it comes to fashion choices?

What do you think? Have your wardrobe decisions changed over the past 10 to 15 years as a direct result of the Internet and social media? Has it gotten worse? Or have you sort of shrugged your shoulders and not changed much at all? Share your comments below!

By Wendy Rose Gould

Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 10:00 AM
Fashion: Trends, Style, and Business , Opinions , Points of View , Style , The City |

8 July 2013

The TSC Poll Votes Are In, And We're Surprised

We recently conducted a poll on The Stylish City website which asked readers to vote on their number one resolution for 2013. Now that we’re already seven months into the “new” year, it’s about time we got around to revealing — and talking about — the results.

We have to say that the poll answers definitely came as a surprise to us. Before we dig into the results, though, know that nearly 300 people participated in this poll, all of them readers of The Stylish City.

Out of those 300 votes, a whopping 31% (read: almost a third of voters) said that their ultimate resolution — the resolution they most wanted to keep — had to deal with their weight. In second place, with 23% of the votes, was “health.”

What we found most surprising, though, was that “relationships” came in with the lowest percentage with only 9% of the total vote. In between the lowest and the highest were as follows: Career/Job: 16%, Money: 11% and Organization: 10%.

Now, we understand that there’s a lot that can’t be answered in a simple poll. Maybe the readers of The Stylish City have super healthy relationships with their family, significant others, etc. and didn’t feel the need to set any goals or resolutions regarding that aspect of their life. The same can be said of our readers’ finances or organization skills. If that’s the case, serious props to the women who have their pecuniary ducks and relationship matters all in a row.

It does seem strange, however, that the “weight category” came in at number one, especially at 8 percentage points above the second most popular resolution of “health.”

Maybe I’m crazy, but wouldn’t you think that your health, in general, is the ultimate goal compared to simply maintaining your weight? Even if you’re trying to maintain weight, drop some L-B’s or gain a bit of muscle mass, the reason you’re doing that should ultimately be motivated by a desire to be healthy, right?

As I write this, though, I must admit that I can see how “weight” may soar to the top of the list, even above health. Not to go off on a tangent, but as someone who’s lost over 50 pounds in the past three years, I strived to become a healthier version of myself throughout that weight loss journey, yes, but what really drove me was a strong yearning to look in the mirror and be satisfied with my appearance. To be able to fit into the coveted size 6, to feel good and look good. I care about my health, but I tended to care more about inches/pounds lost and a dwindling dress size.

This all leads me to a question I have for The Stylish City readers, especially those who selected “weight” as their number one 2013 resolution:

Why did you select the answer you did? And now that we’re over half way into the year, how are you doing on that goal? Have your priorities shifted? Did you fall off the proverbial wagon? Or are you totally kicking butt? We’re dying to hear your thoughts/comments, so share them in the comment section below.

By Wendy Rose Gould

Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 12:00 AM
Opinions , Other People's Style , People , Points of View , Relationships , The City , Tips Guides |

2 May 2013

Meet Charlie Girl: One Fabulous, Manhattan Poodle

Sometimes, I look at my two sultry felines and think to myself, “Wow. They really have it made.” And sometimes, just sometimes, I get a wee bit envious of their lavish catnaps on the fuzzy sheepskin rug in my bedroom, or the fact that they get free, organic food three times a day without having to lift a finger (or would that be paw?).

I’m getting off topic. Kind of. Only because instead of discussing cats, I’m writing today to talk to you about dogs. One dog, actually. A New York City poodle who goes by the name, “Charlie Girl.” This fabulous pooch lives an enviable life, as well, and is portrayed by her owner Elizabeth Frogel in her new, dynamic book, “Charlie Girl: Tails of a Very Original Poodle.” (Would that make her a VOP?)

The deluxe, illustrated book covers all the NYC shenanigans of a “lovable, curious and life-of-the-party poodle.” And yes — Charlie Girl is a real life dog whose owners are author Elizabeth and Elizabeth’s 10-year-old daughter Ava. Together, they live as a happy family in the Upper West Side art deco architectural icon, The Century.

A Little More About the Book:

Recalling the day Elizabeth brought her weeks-old puppy home to New York City, she beams, “During the ride back to town from the breeder, Charlie Girl was completely quiet and just nuzzled in my arms, but the minute we arrived in the City, she sat straight up and had this magical transformation. She was mesmerized by the lights. And she looked right into my eyes and smiled. I knew at that moment Charlie Girl would love New York and that we would have a great life together.”

Charlie Girl is a real life dog whose owners are author Elizabeth and Elizabeth's 10-year-old daughter AvaToday (and in the book), Charlie Girl takes advantage of all the fun her glamorous city has to offer. From long sidewalk strolls with mom, frolicking with her puppy pals, going shopping, dining on delicious food, and taking in art exhibits, Charlie Girl is one happy canine.

The stylish watercolor illustrations by Ashley Quigg are inspired by the décor of Elizabeth’s apartment, historic and contemporary photographs.

A Little More About Elizabeth:

Elizabeth’s accomplishments were propelled by what she describes as “survival mode.” Divorce turned her life upside down, as it does with most people, but there was no self pity, only forward movement. She took charge and committed heart and soul to creating what is now the happiest time of her life.

Divorce allowed Elizabeth to live at her authentic best, and with encouragement from her family and a loyal group of strong friends, Elizabeth’s life started to shine like the Chrysler Building. Charlie Girl evolved out of sheer love. During the emotionally charged years when Elizabeth was trying to conceive a child, she developed her special bond with Charlie Girl, who served as a constant companion and partner in NYC adventures. Charlie Girl the book captures the essence of that pinnacle time.

Where to Buy:

Head to Bergorf-Goodman (who happens to be a character in the book, as well) if you’re interested in flipping through the pages or buying. Bergorf-Goodman is the exclusive NYC department store carrying Charlie Girl.

Not lucky enough to live near NYC’s Bergdorf-Goodman? The book is also available online at Amazon.com.

Charlie Girl supports the Puccini Foundation, which is dedicated to the hope of a future for pets and people – cancer free under one umbrella.

I love the concept of the Charlie Girl book because it’s lighthearted and breezy. I think we all need more lighthearted and breezy things in our lives, especially in a world where urgent deadlines reign supreme and coffee is gulped down for its caffeine properties (instead of enjoyed for its smooth textures and rich aromas. Hey, I’m a coffee and an animal person).

By Wendy Rose Gould

Posted by Wendy Rose Gould at 08:00 AM
bargain news , Opinions , Points of View , Relationships , The City |

6 March 2013

Anna Wintour at Fashions Night Out

As Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) is finally being put to rest, I’ve taken the time to reflect on Anna Wintour’s power. Specifically, whether or not she’s “too big to fail” and if she’s smart enough to navigate any disaster that may come her way.

It’s no secret to those who know me that I have a love/hate relationship with the snappish lady who put fashion to bed with politics. I don’t recall when I first became aware of her power, but it’s been an enlightening experience to see her move mountains and (probably) buy herself an ambassadorship position in the process. While I am still working on figuring out her superpowers, I am sharing with you the lessons I’ve learned from her FNO fiasco.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Remember 2009? Between the economy crumbling and Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the most affluent felt less than optimistic about their futures and, consequently, stopped spending. The fashion industry was caught with their pants down and excess inventory, which lead to panic and erratically slashed prices. Anna Wintour knew how to capitalize on the nervous frenzy.

What you should take from this experience: TIMES OF CRISIS ARE THE BEST TIMES TO CONSOLIDATE POWER. Don’t be afraid of a crisis.  Regardless of the later outcome, you will get people to pay attention to you in that moment.

I don’t want to imply that from the very beginning FNO was just a plot to further Anna Wintour’s career. However, let’s not forget that after coming up with the FNO initiative and being perceived as saving the fashion world from crumbling, Condé Nast gave Anna Wintour another five year contract.


Now, to me the FNO plan looked doomed from the beginning. I am going to quote Gawker here because I couldn’t say it better:

“The plan seems to spend a lot of money getting people in the stores to spend a lot of money. The one thing we haven’t heard anything about is discounts. Just because Catherine Malandrino is converting her Meatpacking showplace into a French cafe for the evening doesn’t mean that suddenly more people will be able to afford one of her cocktail dresses.”


After four years — which seemed to drain rather than fill the fashion industry’s coffins — FNO has finally been put to rest. Anna has not personally spoken on th topic yet, and I doubt she will.

When Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), was asked about the money brought in by FNO, this is what he had to say:

“I don’t think the success of it was measured only by numbers or money, but was really about engagement. Everyone feels we had a great four years.”


By Mirela Gluck

Posted by Mirela Gluck at 08:00 AM
Insights , Opinions , Points of View , The City |

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