I really don't get why everyone is so darn obsessed with A.P.C. (the French label)

I mean seriously, people.

Case in point: the girl who produces Camp Comfort, along with every single person in The Laws of General Economy community, they all seem to worship heartily at the alter of A.P.C. On Economy, if something gets posted for sale and it says A.P.C on the label, it's done for.  Girls trip over themselves to get a piece of the action like wolves tearing the last morsels of flesh off a downed caribou. I swear.

Disclaimers: 1) I do enjoy the down-to-earth style of Camp Comfort most of the time, 2) I am a rabid/avid follower of Economy and have bought two pretty cool items, and 3) I never owned a piece from A.P.C. and can't vouch for its quality or fit. But A.P.C., though exercising beautifully French restraint and looking mighty comfy, feels like little more than absurdly overpriced basics that you could otherwise get from Gap, or Banana, or J. Crew.  Observe:
Now, what makes it okay to spend $230 on a pair of overalls?  Is the cotton woven from the dried saliva of endangered Amazonian vampire bats?  Golden droplets of fairy-tears?  Tailbones of Ethiopian orphan babies?  I admit there are a few pieces in their new Spring 2010 collection that are lovely, like a few of the tops and dresses.  But there are other pieces that are downright grungy looking, and all I have to do is dig through my childhood closet to achieve that kind of look, thankyouverymuch.

Seeing the kinds of pieces that sell like hotcakes on Economy makes me think that people are indiscriminately and rabidly obsessed with the label without really evaluating the pieces individually for integrity and style.  I don't care what you say or who made it, I won't be duped into buying an ugly, expensive parka just because some fancy French label told me it was cool.


Meet: tambukiki (or, I'm pretty sure I've found a new addiction)

So there I was, minding my own business, doing a search on "purple coats" on eBay for a possible Halloween costume when I saw, at the bottom of the listings, a sponsored listing (read: AD!) for this other eBay seller who apparently had nothing to do with purple coats, tambukiki.  I was intrigued by the dress in the picture and clicked through.

I found myself in a veritable treasure trove of dazzlingly cute, pretty, wearable, and--best of all--totally affordable clothing!  Actually, what struck me first were the product photos.  They are certainly done with an expensive camera against a simple gray backdrop, and the seller includes no less than nine high-quality photos for each item.  By far the best product photos I've ever seen on eBay.  I don't understand why more people don't do this--it makes your stuff look so much better!
But beyond the photos, the styles themselves are so very cute, and so very unique, and the stuff seems to be decent quality for the price (I'd place it somewhere around Urban Outfitters or the nicer stuff at Forever 21).  I am dizzy with the vast selection tambukiki offers - probably around 1500 listings at any given time, so there's always something new and fabulous to discover.  It's taking a lot of self control for me to refrain from buying up her whole store.  For you, dear readers, I picked through almost all 1500 listings and bring you the best of my favorites list.

You can find tambukiki's eBay store here.  Happy shopping--I'll probably see you at the auction block =)

Meet: ArtLab

Otherwise known as Patricia, a designer/artist of incredible pedigree, who operates out of the NYC area.  I've been following ArtLab's work on etsy for a very long time now, and have always found her designs fascinating, haunting, like a creature from a Tim Burton film, except perhaps less stylized and more faded.

I first mentioned one of ArtLab's pieces, "Disjointed Series No. 6," in an old Wearability Challenge post for Jen McCabe.
Honestly, I think conceptually many of her items skate the edge of wearability, as most of them are probably just a tad too unnerving to go out and about without feeling a little self-conscious about it.  But in a way the pieces are intensely wearable, made of luxurious, comfortable fabrics that move easily with the body, and assembled in rather modest, if totally unconventional, ways.  And few can find fault with the neutral color palette that makes all her clothing look as if it had sprung up from the earth.

I especially love ArtLab's way of naming her pieces.  So poetic and dream-like:
  • Andromache's Deconstruction
  • Athena's Head Covering
  • I heard you call my name, in a dream
  • Blues before sunrise
  • Revolutionary Girl
  • Obliquely crossing