Colgate Couture

Colgate Couture

Rachel Eisen

Spring Fashion Weeks have officially begun for the Fall 2010 collections all over the world! São Paulo Fashion Week has passed with Paris Haute Couture, and many of the top models are now preparing for New York, then London, Milan and Paris over the next few weeks! All right, all right. In all unsophisticated honesty, I will say that regardless of the buzz in elite fashion circles, most of us probably feel pretty detached or uninterested in these big time showcases. Unless you are front row center – which, in fact, many designers including Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein are offering to everyone, via live internet streaming – the effect of the newest collections will likely be lost until items crop up in the thickest September issues.

While we are all wearily dreaming of some semblance of spring, New York is about to be slammed again, not only with snow, but with tweeds, wools and leathers. Just give me a sundress, already!

Obsessing over New York Fashion Week is surely not for everyone, but there are still several easy ways to find wardrobe inspiration and fine tune your own fashion sense. Don’t assume there are no thriving fashion communities outside the major cities; every one of us has access to an endless supply of style tips on the Internet. Instead of depending on major magazines or frequenting the same overexposed online retailers, why not try some research of your own (with a little guidance, of course)?

Do a quick Google search for fashion bloggers and you will be overwhelmed with both the good and the bad, taking their very individual stances on what to buy, wear, keep and store. There are a range of bloggers – some capture street style, some talk about their own outfits, others write about recent trends and fashion news and still more advertise the best upcoming sales.

Scott Schuman, a former high-end fashion buyer turned photographer, has made himself into a household name with his blog “The Sartorialist.” Schuman’s street fashion blog documents the most daring, dapper and delightful outfits of women in cities such New York, Milan, Paris and London. Regardless of potential overhype, I believe “The Sartorialist” has an intelligent eye for beautiful clothes and can serve as a good starting point for anyone new to the blog world.

Jane Aldridge is another figure who has exploded onto the fashion scene, far from her humble beginnings as a Texas teenager. Aldridge is a Dallas suburbanite with a devotion to avant-garde footwear and designer vintage (as well as a seemingly endless trust fund) that she chronicles in daily posts that document her inspirations, over-the-top outfits and opinions on designer collections. Yes, she is young, wealthy and occasionally on the verge of obnoxious, but her blog “Sea of Shoes”(recently featured in Vanity Fair and Teen Vogue) is well informed, full of stunning photography and provides just enough envy to get you motivated to put better outfits together.

If you want a blog to give you more direct advice on what to buy, Omiru.com is a wonderful resource. Omiru posts outfits and look suggestions for the everyday woman that are on trend and affordable. This week the site showcased “Sweetly Sensual Lingerie Under $50.” Though the looks can sometimes feel generic or overtly trendy, the site can direct you to some truly unique and cheap pieces.

There are also more mainstream websites like Whowhatwear.com and New York Magazine’s online fashion section that should be worked into everyone’s daily online activity. Instead of logging on the tired gossip sites to look at what everyone is wearing, these sites give you the daily rundown on what is happening in the fashion world with witty and tuned in commentary. These folks terrify the likes of Vogue and Bazaar, who are struggling to learn to cope with the growing demand for immediate, online fashion information instead of monthly printed material.

I know it might seem boring, redundant and even unoriginal to spend time looking at other (often amateur) people’s notions of style and fashion. Certainly not everything out there is quality, and by the nature of the Internet, oftentimes the most popular is not at all the best. Still, I encourage you to get online and start exploring everything that the wide web has to offer in terms of fashion inspiration. Borrow an idea, steal a look, then maybe even start your own!

Contact Zoe Gordon at [email protected]