Denim brand Rock & Republic debuts a cosmetics line
By Erin Weinger, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 14, 2008
ROCK & REPUBLIC, the 6-year-old brand best known for dark, dressy denim, is adding yet another branch to an already crowded family tree that includes handbags, belts, shoes, eyewear, dresses — even cashmere sweaters. On Monday, the Culver City-based company enters the beauty game with its first line of cosmetics.
Ten items for face, eyes and lips reflect the brand’s flashy, hyper-sexy apparel. The packaging glitz is thickest in a bronzing and highlighting powder duo that comes in a pimped-out, crystal-encrusted compact priced at $225 — $56 more than a pair of the brand’s Cosbie raw blue jeans. Fittingly, the three shades are called Private Jet, Villa and Penthouse. Pressed face powder ($44) comes in the same heavy, black-and-chrome compact, sans rhinestones, and resembles one of the brand’s logo-laced belt buckles.
A mascara tube looks like an elongated silver bullet ($28). And tinted face primer ($46) and illuminating mousse ($48) are encased in cold, shiny, black-and-silver tubes. If only their contents were intended for men.
The variety of colors and products is impressive for a fledgling brand. There are 48 colors of eye shadow ($28), 17 cheek hues ($28 to $40) and 15 lip gloss shades ($26 each), many with names that give Nars’ infamous Orgasm blush a run for its money. Fiend, a gray eye shadow, the light green Hangover and a darker shade, Lawsuit, feel tailored to some young Hollywood train wreck — the name of a gold lip gloss, coincidentally.
None of the products is earth-shattering, especially for the prices, though the tinted SPF 20 face primer does some nifty tricks. It saps oil, fills in fine lines and can be worn alone or under foundation. Talk about multitalented.
But the products can’t compete with all that flash, which is really more trashy than classy. Somehow, bejeweled compacts seem to scream “coach-class lavatory” when what you really want them to whisper is “Gulfstream jet.”
I didn’t see this coming. Did the Skinny Bitch have a Spat? Was that Lindsay Lohan’s Spat? No, not a tiff. Not a fight. It’s the Spat: the invisible middle-child spawn of the military-inspired trends. It’s an accessory worn over shoes and covers open areas, particularly around the ankles. Traditionally, soldiers wore them. Marching bands wear them today. Modern civilians such as Swedish rock band The Hives have been known to wear them. And now, denim lovers wear ’em — if you dare!
Spat “leg gloves.” Available online at Shop Intuition.
If you’re lucky enough to find a decent pair of Spats worn over (or under) the right pair of jeans — like a pair of skinnys or pencil legs — you might just avoid looking too Flashdance. From the looks of New York Fashion Week, there will be plenty of hot new jeans to mix it up with, come spring. I can totally see trend setters like Mary Kate Olsen giving the Spats a try. Are you brave enough to rock the look?
— Kathy Ng Hassan
New denim for the dudes! Established in 2006, Los Angeles-based Simon Miller Jeans is the new kid on the denim block, and the one to watch. It’s getting hard to be original these days, so many denim labels have gone totally gaudy with big stitches, embroidery, bling, you name it. Even for men’s jeans. Ugh. I won’t name names, unless you want me to.
Simon Miller is so not about superficiality. They are proud to state that they source the finest denim from Japan. “Our denim is the best available in the world mixing selvedge and non-selvedge finishes throughout the collection.”
I appreciate their tiny design details, such as their back pocket ruching. Less is still more. Less is still more. How many of you guys out there don’t slide your wallet in your back pocket? You sit on them. You create a square bulge and distressing on the pocket after a while. You have a little extra room for error, and your pockets will last longer. Your back side will feel less compressed.
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
Call it denim sickness, but I loves me a denim factory tour, even if it’s simulated and stylized, as depicted above. It’s their proof that everything is done in-house, from production to sewing to finishing, in downtown, Los Angeles.
Where to get Simon Miller Jeans:
L.A.: Fred Segal, Ron Herman
NYC: Bergdorf Goodman, Steven Alan
Visit Simon Miller Jeans online for stockists near you.
— Kathy Ng Hassan
Perez Hilton, doing all bloggers proud.
Didn’t I call it? If we’re not careful, plaid jeans will be next. If you didn’t watch last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, then you probably didn’t miss much in the fashion department. Unless, you’re one of the many who just wanted to watch it to see Britney (who, by the way, looked pretty good), the big show was before the show. It was a circus on the red carpet and hip-hop artist T-Pain was the Ring Master. Literally. At the red carpet, the so-called music ballers simply rolled out of bed and showed up. People showed up in their underwear and what looked like clown pants on some folks. Katy Perry didn’t wear pants, but she looked like a flying trapeze girl. I can’t tell who won the most ghastly-dressed contest. The Jonas Brothers raided the Miami Vice wardrobe vault. DJ AM, who looked street chic in his baggy dark denims, was the shining hope to Michael Phelps’ dull ensemble. His jeans looked ill-fitting on him and seemed to accentuate his dusty shoes. We get it Michael. You have big clown feet.
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Source: Frederick M. Brown/Getty and Reuters.
The fashion saving grace was Pete Wentz’s interesting Emo choker. It was a fashion risk that worked for him. Pete, can I borrow it? I’m curious to know what the Fashion Indie folks think about all the red carpet looks.
People seemed to have fun dressing horribly. Perez Hilton didn’t seem to mind that he looked like he just rolled in from his used-car sales gig to supplement the millions he’s making on his blog.
It’s fun to see who shows up in all their glory and splendor. It’s fun to see who doesn’t. At this year’s MTV Video Music Awards show, it was a complete joke. Now I must go wash my eyes out with soap.
— Kathy Ng Hassan
Colette x Gap is open. And, no, I haven’t been yet.
It has something to do with preserving what little free time I have. Thankfully, Racked has a bit of scoop from yesterday’s opening uptown:
IMPOSSIBLE: Colette x Gap Wait is Pure Pain
Saturday, September 6, 2008, by Leslie Price
We are experienced line waiters. We’ve sat for hours in anticipation of sample sales, store openings, and limited-edition releases. But Colette x Gap pop-up store, you have defeated even us. The wait to get in, estimated by one optimistic and fake-cheery Gap employee as “an hour” is most certainly three, or four. The line isn’t extremely long??”perhaps a block at present, running up Fifth Avenue and around the corner of 54th Street. But when you open something as highly anticipated as a Colette pop-up in a space the size of a walk-in closet, you are going to have a serious issue handling demand. We’d guess the space fits about eight to ten people at a time, and the first bunch were certainly taking their time. After an hour or so, the selection of tee shirts, fragrance, jackets, candles, shoes and bags was looking pretty picked over. We left before gaining entrance, but plan on returning??”with a folding chair and a few magazines.
Update: Just buy the stuff online, for god’s sake.