Tag Archives: Proenza Schouler

Triumph or Tacky?

27 Apr

It’s time again for my (supposedly) weekly edition of Triumph or Tacky?! I know that I still haven’t gotten around to writing Triumph or Tacky posts for the Week 8 white dress shirt challenge or the Week 9 ballet flat challenge but I promise that I will get to them soon! Although I have worn my ballet flats once I still haven’t gotten a chance to wear the white dress shirt yet so I will report back once I’ve worn the shirt and after I’ve worn the flats a few more times (so that I can adequately comment on their comfort).

So how did the Week 10 PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag challenge work out? Well, if you can look past the fact that the Mossimo bag that I got is considered a knock-off I think that the challenge was a success! So far all of the votes are that I did great and when I brought the bag to a party I also got some good reactions!

Bag Mossimo, "dress" Sirens, jeans American Eagle, boots Aldo

Now you may notice in the photos that I am wearing the “dress” that I was supposed to return to Sirens after the Week 7 challenge. Unfortunately, I completely forgot and by the time I remembered it was too late to return it. Just to keep things honest I have removed $18.08 from the SpendThrift Savings Bank to compensate for this.

My attempt at a "fashiony" pose

Also, I’m not sure that I’m wild about the fact that I paired my riding boots with this outfit but in my defense we were going to a party at a friend’s place out in the country where we would be spending a lot of time outside so they seemed appropriate at the time. I think that this outfit would be much cuter with a funky pair of wedges.

Now back to the Mossimo bag. I actually found it quite interesting that no one I showed it to seemed to be particularly bothered by the fact that it is considered a knock-off. I suppose though that unless you’re really interested in fashion (or trademark infringement) you really wouldn’t notice or care. Also, I know many people who think that designer items are ridiculously overpriced to begin with so they would probably think that the knock-off version is a real “steal” (pardon the pun).

Most things considered I think that this challenge was a success (again, if you overlook the knock-off factor) and I am happy to report that the horrendous chemical smell that the bag is emitting is slowly dissipating over time! I’ll let you know how the bag has held up to wear and tear at a later date and if the smell has completely gone away (I’m really hoping it will!).

On a final note I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful and insightful comments on my vanity sizing post! I plan on replying to everyone as soon as I can, unfortunately it’s been a crazy week (tip: never paint your own kitchen cabinets, it is the most tedious, infuriating DIY project ever!!!) so I’ve been neglecting my blog a little bit. I really love the discussions in response to the post so thank you again for your comments and to IFB for featuring the post!

Week 10 Results

23 Apr

Once again it’s time for my weekly challenge results post! If you’ve been following this week’s PS 1 bag challenge you may have sensed a bit of a lead up to this moment since I did tell you that I had something up my sleeve. You may have also been a little suspicious after my post on Wednesday.

So did I do it? Oh yeah, I did it! I managed to get my hands on one of the controversial and much talked about Mossimo bags from Target!

First, here’s a reminder of what the beautiful PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag looks like:

PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag

And now here is the Mossimo messenger bag:

Mossimo messenger bag

Now in my defense I don’t go out specifically looking to buy complete knock-offs but I was very curious about this bag since it has gotten so much attention. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the option of visiting a Target store to see it in person (at least that will change beginning in 2013 when Target starts opening stores in Canada!) but fortunately my parents were in Florida and managed to track a bag down for me (thanks Mom and Dad!). Better yet my parents gave it to me as an Easter gift so it ended up costing me nothing and leaves me with $40 to put in the SpendThrift Savings Bank!

Now since this bag is so controversial I know that some people will disagree with the fact that I have one. But I really wanted to get my hands on one so that I could evaluate it and see if it lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. So here’s my critique of it:

First of all I’m actually surprised that my parents were able to find one. You would think that with all of the attention that this bag got and the fact that Proenza Schouler expressed their disappointment in Target selling this bag that Target would have taken it off the shelves. Well obviously Target didn’t really listen to them or care because almost a month after all of the brouhaha the bag is still available for purchase. On top of that it was on sale!

Regularly it costs $34.99 but my parents got it on sale for $27.99. Maybe Target is trying to move the merchandise out of their stores by discounting it? Really though, you’d think that they would have just taken the bags off the shelves. I guess that revenues won out over business relations for this one.

In terms of the look of the bag itself I would say that it’s a cute bag and it does look remarkably similar to the PS1 bag (well the picture of the bag at least, I have also never seen a PS1 bag in person). I like the colour of the bag that I got (cognac) and with the exception of a few scratches the faux leather looks pretty good.

The smell of the bag on the other hand is horrendous! According to the tag inside the bag it is made of “non-leather material” and whatever this material is it stinks! I sincerely hope that the smell fades over time because it’s strong enough to give me a headache.

Functionality-wise the bag does have a lot of pockets: one in the front, a zippered one in the back, a zippered one inside, and lots of slots inside for cards and a cellphone.

One issue that I have is with the accessibility of the pockets. The two straps on the front of the bag need to be pulled out to open the bag and then you need to slide them through the loops again after closing the bag. It’s not a huge deal but it is a little annoying and in the Mossimo bag’s defense you would have to do the same with the actual PS1 bag. Also, the liner of the bag is pretty flimsy (but what do you expect for a discount bag) so we’ll see how it lives up to the wear and tear of use.

All in all I think that the bag is cute. If I didn’t know that it was an alleged knock-off and it didn’t smell like a chemical plant I would probably recommend buying it but because of these issues I would strongly encourage others to leave it at the store!

Now it’s your turn, what do you think of this week’s challenge?

PS1 Plagiarism?

20 Apr

Although I’m more than a little late discussing this, there has been quite a bit of attention paid to the Proenza Schouler PS1 bag in the fashion blogosphere lately. I figure that it’s still worth writing about though since it is so relevant to my current PS1 bag challenge!

PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag

Back when I was in Mexico a few weeks ago I noticed an article on the Huffington Post  discussing the PS1 bag and a very similar looking bag being sold at Target (gotta love resorts with free Wi-Fi, a girl still has to keep up with her fashion and gossip, even on vacation!). Apparently, several people had discovered a messenger bag by Mossimo (a brand sold at Target that also used to be sold at Zellers here in Canada) that they swore was a dead ringer (albeit a much less expensive, less luxurious ringer) for Proenza Schouler’s coveted bag. “What’s the big deal?” you may think, “Bags are knocked-off all the time!”. Well it’s more the circumstances surrounding the situation that make it a bit of a big deal.

You see, Proenza Schouler have collaborated with Target in the past creating a collection for Target’s Go International campaign. Having Target turn around and sell something that they believe is a blatant copy of one of their products (Lazaro Hernandez was quoted as saying that Mossimo even got the attitude, slouch, and weight of the bag right) has made them quite upset. Apparently, they had no idea about the alleged knock-off until Jack McCollough’s sister emailed him a photo of the Mossimo bag at her local Target store!

Left PS1 bag, right Mossimo bag

Now there has been a lot of fashion blogging and discussion about this whole situation. Some people think that the Mossimo bag is a blatant copy, others don’t. Some think that the PS1 bag itself is just a reincarnation of the classic leather messenger bag that has been around for ages. Also, some have people have pointed out that you can’t really compare a faux leather bag to the real thing, especially when the Mossimo bag retails for $34.99 and the Proenza Schouler bag retails for $2350 (on Canadian the Net-A-Porter site at least).

Many have pointed out that the people who would be willing to spend over $2000 for a bag probably aren’t shopping for accessories at Target on a regular basis. But according to the NY Times blog Jack McCollough countered this by saying “Yeah, why save up and buy ours when you can buy theirs right away?”

So what do you think? Is this a case of copying or is it just a coincidence? Did Proenza Schouler overreact or should they be upset? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Week 10 Challenge

17 Apr

This week I have decided to revisit my failed pursuit of a piece resembling  the Proenza Schouler PS1 extra-large leather travel bag (in Saddle) from week 4’s  challenge:

PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag

I am still disappointed that I wasn’t able to find anything inspired by this beautiful bag within my $20 budget but I will leave all of that in the past and face this challenge again with renewed vigour! I have a slightly healthier budget of $40 to work with this time and I also have a little something up my sleeve 🙂 Nothing as completely shocking or utterly fabulous as Proenza Schouler actually sending me one of their bags (I’m still holding out hope, lol) but it will be an interesting twist on this challenge.

Stay tuned this week!

Triumph or Tacky?

8 Mar

Sadly, this week’s post isn’t a real “Triumph or Tacky” post since I didn’t end up finding a bag for the PS 1 extra large leather travel bag challenge and therefore, couldn’t show it off. I did consider printing out a picture of the bag and just carrying it around with me (seriously, I think the bag is that fabulous!) but that would have looked a little crazy now wouldn’t it? I would have looked especially crazy soliciting opinions on the picture or pretending that I really was carrying the bag  (please sir, you can’t sit there, my bag is occupying that seat) and I think that I’m a little old to have an imaginary “friend” (plus my imaginary Louboutins might get jealous…).



Doesn't quite work does it?



I have to say, I’m pretty bummed out about not being able to accomplish my goal but of course I have to face the fact that I won’t always be able to find a similar item to every article that I covet and I can only work so many miracles with $20. I think that the real issue is that I am choosing current/future trends but am stuck shopping in the past (aka sales racks). Oh well, that’s the reality of things!

That being said in the Week 4 Results post I asked you to vote on whether I should order a bag from China to meet this challenge using my now more robust budget of $40:


Ebay $31.47 CAD



or if I should stick with the rules and revisit this challenge at a later date. Well, after a grand total of 2 votes (one being my own to make sure that the poll was actually working…hmm, I think that my readership may be decreasing, I may need to work on the entertainment value of my writing) I have decided to listen to my dedicated reader and revisit this challenge faithfully following the rules at a later date.

I haven’t decided when I will try again but it should be some time in the next few weeks. In the meantime I think that I need a bit of time to lick my wounds and rebuild my confidence!


Week 4 “Results”

5 Mar

I have to start off by apologizing for my lack of additional posts this week (just a heads up, there is more apologizing to come…). It was a very long and busy week and I have been completely exhausted. I’m still feeling wiped out so you are forewarned in case this entry comes off as nonsensical at times (or I continue to use hoity-toity language).

If you recall, this week’s challenge was to find an accurate representation of the highly coveted (at least by me) Proenza Schouler PS1 extra large leather travel bag (in Saddle). In case you have forgotten what this beauty looks like here is a picture to remind you:


So how did I do? Well first of all I am disappointed to tell you that I have not received my actual PS1 bag from Proenza Schouler yet. Obviously, it MUST still be in transit somewhere but I will be sure to take lots of pictures when it arrives, lol.

And back to reality now…and what a harsh reality it is! I come to you today with my tail tucked neatly between my legs. I didn’t want to have to admit this so early on in the experiment but, sigh, I have failed. Believe me it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I looked everywhere but sadly I was unable to find a similar bag for $20 or under. To make matters worse I wasn’t even able to find a bag for $40 or under in stores (one exception was a brown bag at Ardene but it was very cheap looking, small, and the zipper was broken; I want to stick to my budget but I also don’t want to buy something crappy that I don’t like or will never use).

So where does that leave me? Well if you recall the rules I am allowed to carry over my $20 to another week to try to find the same item for $40. Considering my lack of success in stores I think that I may only be left with one option, online shopping. This could also be a challenge within itself.

After trolling around online I found that ASOS used to have a similar bag that retailed for $125.51 US but it’s out of stock and way over my budget:


ASOS Leather Twist Lock Vintage Style Satchel

Likewise, Topshop also had a look-alike bag, although slightly less faithful to the original PS 1 bag, that retailed for $100 US and is also out of stock:


I have found a bag that I think could work on Ebay, that falls within my budget (including shipping):

eBay $31.47 CAD

BUT there is a slight problem (ok a few actually besides the fact that it’s advertised as being made of PU leather which I hope means polyurethane and not smelly leather…).

First, the seller is in China which means that the shipping time will most likely be long (they estimate 10-25 days). Can I order the bag and wait several weeks to receive it (even though this would be cheating according to the rules)?

Second, do I have to continue this challenge in the coming week or can I give myself a new challenge this week and revisit this one sometime in the near future? I’ll be away for a week at the end of the month (more on that in tomorrow’s post) so that would be a good week to order the bag from Ebay since I hopefully won’t be blogging that week (sorry! vacation time=disconnecting from the world).

Third, if I do order the bag now and it comes the week that I’m away I take the risk of the post office sending it back since I may not make it within their required pick up time. I definitely don’t want to take that chance!

Finally, do I take my $40 and continue hitting the malls in hopes that having a bit more money will allow me to look in places that I may have missed the first time around in this challenge?

Since I have no “How did I do?” poll this week (frankly, I have an EFF on my hands here, ugh!) I need you to help me decide my fate. I’ll give you until Tuesday to vote for what option you like best and in the meantime I’ll start a new challenge tomorrow. I’ll tally the scores on Tuesday night and let you know!

Week 4 challenge

27 Feb

The time has arrived for my next challenge! Since I’m not feeling the most triumphant after last week’s challenge (love the dress but it’s not exactly the best hommage to Gucci’s inspiration dress) my first thought was to give myself an easier week by focusing on shoes. But then the more I though about it I realized that shoes are also going to be pretty tough to find for under $20. So I have decided to focus on finding a brown bag since 1) I need one, and 2) there are lots of brown bags out there so this challenge should be pretty straight forward right? Hmm, yeah, about that straight forward/easy comment, this challenge could have been easier if I hadn’t come across my current object of desire:


Proenza Schouler $2350

This absolute beauty is Proenza Schouler’s PS1 Extra Large leather travel bag. It is a caramel-brown leather travel bag with a top handle, a detachable knotted shoulder strap, a buckle-fastening cross-body strap, a fold-over flap front with a lock and strap fastening, pouch pockets at the front and back, an internal zip-fastening pocket, and it is fully lined. It retails for $2350 at CAD at NET-A-PORTER. Easy to find for under $20 right? This will be tough.

I have to say, I have not been this smitten with an accessory since the great Rosazissimo obsession of 2009-2010. I am IN LOVE with this bag! It is classic, timeless, and downright drool-worthy. I have thus decided to pen an open letter to Proenza Schouler in case they ever stumble upon my silly little blog and have an interest in charity:

Dear Mr. McCollough and Mr. Hernandez,

I am writing to profess my utter delight in your designs and specifically one item in particular, the PS1 extra large leather travel bag (in Saddle). This beautiful work of art has inspired great feelings of fashion lust in me but alas, I am just a poor graduate student trying to survive a horrible recession that has left me in a stylistic rut. Unfortunately, my current meagre funds cannot afford me the luxury of purchasing your magnificent product therefore, I must try to appeal to your charitable natures.

If you could be ever so kind as to donate one of your beautiful bags to my cause I will be forever grateful to you and will showcase your product everywhere I go. I will even shout about its glorious craftsmanship from the rooftops! If you cannot part with one of your prime specimens I will gladly offer to take one of its brothers or sisters with more “character” off your hands. Perhaps one that has been slightly damaged in the production process, or one that was tragically injured in a stocking or shipping accident? I am a woman with a lot of love to give and am fully committed to aiding in any bag-related rescue and rehabilitation.

I thank you in advance for considering my most heartfelt request and I hope to someday coddle one of your wonderful creations. In the meantime I would like to apologize for attempting to find an alternative to your bag for under $20. Of course I could never find an article that truly embodies the glory of your product for such a small sum of money and I mean no offense or insult.


Mel    xoxoxo

(Please send all parcels C/O Mel at The SpendThrift Experiment)

I’ll keep all you readers updated on when my shipment arrives, lol. In the meantime the challenge is on!