The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011
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CARRIE freaking BRADSHAW?!?! Shut UP!!!!!!

As soon as she walked through that workroom door - and how dramatic was that moment? Even though we were already pretty sure she was the guest judge, we could feel the excitement of the designers, who were clearly beside themselves. Anyway, as soon as she walked through that door, Lorenzo turned to Tom, clapped his hands, and said "Now we can blog about her!"

We're calling it now: one of the best guest judges the show ever had, right up there with Diane Von Furstenberg and Fern Mallis. She not only really knows fashion, she really LOVES to talk about it. Adorable Andy Cohen has a great interview with her where she talks about her experience on the show:


Waiting behind the door was so scary because I have seen every episode, some more than once, and it's too much. It's too weird.... The whole time I was thinking I was gonna disappoint them when I walked in like, "Oh great...." There were things I had to say that I didn't want to mess up or make sound silly like "May or may not be sold" and try to be clear with them when i described the line. My ideal would be to walk in there and chat for an hour and a half... figure out who they are and where they come from and all that -- that would've been the dream. I would've like to spend more time with them even in the pitches. I wanted to say more to each of them. The welcome and reception was so, you know, sweet and amazing. And I wish Pat Fields had been there because I feel like a lot of that is for her...."

See, part of the reason Lorenzo's so excited is because now we can talk about her slightly controversial line of clothing, BITTEN.

"The idea behind the line is about creating high-end American sportswear at affordable prices, so giving every woman what she needs. I believe that fashion shouldn't be a luxury and quality shouldn't be a privilege."

Fabulous Cathy Horyn of The New York Times interviewed her about the line:

Cathy - "A number of blogs have expressed disappointment with the label and the idea. One said it’s the sort of thing that Carrie Bradshaw and her “Sex and the City” friends would have mocked. My own feelings about the label are that the basics are solid, especially the jeans and the striped T-shirts and cropped hoodies, but that it needed more surprise. That may come with time."

SJP - "What was most satisfying to me on the opening day was to see the preponderance of plus-size women and women of color. That’s what made me cry, and I’m not being treacle-y about it. People may have been disdainful about our clothes—well, it’s not for them. They have access. They have the financial or the geographical access to clothes. This is simple American sportswear, and we made the decision to size from 0 to 22, from 5 to 11 in shoe sizes. What resonated for us on the first day is that women really got the point we were trying to make—which is you should have access to well-made, affordable clothes regardless of your size or where you live. It’s not this rarefied thing. Are we trying to do couture and red-carpet, to be Narciso Rodriguez and Nicolas Ghesquiere, for 20 bucks? Absolutely not.

We’ve had some criticisms, even before the line was launched. And I say, “Great. Bring it on. And tell me what troubles you about women in this country having affordable, well-made clothes. Let’s talk about it."

Then Cathy Horyn followed up with Howard Schacter, the company’s chief partnership officer about the lines somewhat ridiculously low prices.

"Of all the topics raised by the Sarah Jessica Parker interview, the one that stirred the most debate was how Steve & Barry’s can deliver Bitten at such low prices, and does this mean the company employs sweat shops and other unethical manufacturing practices. The subject came up during my conversation with SJP at the store — and, according to Parker, she asked similar questions of Steve & Barry’s during her due diligence. But since a lot of people on the blog are concerned about this issue, I decided to explore it further with Howard Schacter, the company’s chief partnership officer, and we spoke this morning.

Here’s what Schacter said: “Most brands that we consume as shoppers — the car you drive, the pen in your hand — are priced on a market system. What can the market bear? We price our products on a cost basis and then add a very fair, small profit to it. We’re O.K. making a little bit on a ton of items rather than a big profit margin on a few items.

Now to the manufacturing part, I asked Schacter if it follows that a $14.95 pair of jeans means that it was made in a sweatshop. “Absolutely not,” he said. Steve & Barry’s produces clothes in 20 to 30 countries around the world. “We have a very strict foreign sourcing policy when it comes to legal and ethical business practices,” he said. “We have people around the world who are diligent about determining who we’re going to conduct business with, and then monitoring them as closely as we can.” One labor rights group, cited on the blog, noted that Steve & Barry’s took aggressive action in 2005 with a Kenyan factory that had subcontracted work to a sweatshop."

So! Now that you've got the whole backstory, let's judge her ass! BITTEN's Fall 2007 Collection:

Kimono Sleeve Sweater $19.98 Crew Sweater $19.98 Jeans $14.98

Houndstooth Coat $19.98 Sheer Turtleneck $10.98

Jacket 19.98 Bib Front Shirt $12.98 Square Neck Top $10.98 Jeans $14.98 Scarf $7.98

Ruffle Shirt $12.98 Suspender Pants $14.98 Jacket $14.98

Babydoll Top $10.98 Tribeca Cardigan $19.98 Cotton Jodpher $14.98 Striped Scarf $7.98

Ruffle Shirt $ 12.98 Crewneck Sweater $19.98 Trouser Chinos $14.98 Basic Pea Coat $19.98

Knotted Close Toe Shoe $14.98

Parachute Bag $9.98

What do you say, girls? Cheap crap? Chic and affordable essentials? Vanity project?

And don't worry, we'll get to the actual episode tomorrow.

[Photos: - Screencaps: Project RunGay]

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OH. MY. GOD. SJP!!! How perfect is that? She was absolutely FABULOUS. ALthough I hated what she had on. What was that thing?

At first glance, I like the Bitten line quite a bit. What's a turn off to me is the low price. I don't don't how anything that low can be of good quality over the long run.

Back to Turkey. Thanks for the post TLo! Gobbles to ya.

Ugh, seeing the ugly of the line helps me to understand why she picked the ugly of Victorya's dress.

I loved the episode. SJP was great. Bitten doesn't appeal to me, but mostly b/c I like different colors than the ones they showed in the collection. But I'll be buying a whole lot of it for my 14 year old niece and I know she will love it!

Sorry folks, Larryginbeantown was me. Bad DH! Clearly he was playing on my Mac without permission!

As a college student who loves to find great, versatile clothes at an even greater price, all I can say is "LET ME AT IT"

Bittens line is SO predictable and boring. Versatility, hmmm...mix this piece with that piece and you get more of, BOOOOOOORING! And I completely agree with lima bean, SJP was cute, but that gray potato sack of a dress..."honey, you are famous, hire a fashion consultant--PLEASE!"

I bought a pair of Bitten jeans while shopping with DD at Steve & Barry's. They fit like a dream and laundered well. I am almost 6' tall and these were long enough. If they only last a year, who cares at $14.99. I think she serves a huge market of women who are living near the poverty level but don't want to look like it. I can't deal with the snobbery of some critics.

ugh, SJP is dead to me. First, Bitten's biggest trouble was accusations that they were knocking off other designers -- and not the Karl Lagerfelds and people who could take it, but purse designer Foley & Corinna, little labels from independent designers that actually get wiped out by stuff like this. We're talking about the exact kind of design that most PR alumni will be aspiring to work at once the season ends.

Second, SJP on her own is a mediocre fashion icon. On the runway she gets it, but not nearly as well as actresses like Cate Blanchett or Charlize Theron who can REALLY work it. What we love is Carrie Bradshaw, and while SJP was the muse/actress for Pat Fields' Bradshaw fantasy, it's still just that. I'm disappointed to see so many "icons" today actually being the products of styling from others. Pat Fields would be the "icon" PR was looking for -- not SJP.

Can't say that the fashion appeals to me much ... but the principle does.

Give me SJP and the fans who do buy Bitten over Kimora Lee Simmons and the ilk who buy the KLS and Babyphat crap. Not that all the KLS stuff is crap, but it is SHOWY, OSTENTATIOUS, and a tad VULGAR as Mr. Kors would say.

Bitten might be a bit boring and safe but marketed toward real women, with real life budgets.

Again, admire the principle, perhaps the execution can shift in the future, but for a line of clothes there are WORSE reasons and WORSE options for a celebrity to put her name on a clothing line.

Just sayin-

P.S. Happy Turkey day and I can't wait to dish on the leftovers tomorrow. My tongue is already waggin about that last show.

I'll need to touch the clothes to judge. The prices are low enough that it doesn't have to last for years, but the fabric can't feel cheap and icky. The look is reasonable for a grown woman with children to schelp and groceries to buy (which is to say, me). I'd have to jazz it up with color a bit, but no one expects you to wear a clothing line as-is. It's very J. Crew looking. No fabric flowers, so that was nice.

Last thought: What about the effect of actor-as-designer on the industry? Granted PR is sort of part of that -- in that designers get a certain level of celebrity from the exposure -- I just find it kinda icky that SJP, JLo, Sienna Miller, all actresses I adore and whose style I enjoy, are pushing start-up indie designers out. It's changing the nature of fashion, and I'm not sure I like it. The thing is, these actresses are also the ones whose faces sell magazines -- so the fashion glossies have no choice but to feature their designs. Fashion is, of course, commercial at its most basic root. But should a show about fashion as a creative art really be featuring the very phenomena that might wreck some of the most exhilarating, innovative forces in the industry?

OK, this is totally off topic, but I am so darned proud of myself for being tied for first in the fantasy game. I am enjoying it now, because I am well aware that it's a fleeting honor.
The hair category, though, is a bit of a black hole. Any ideas on how to handicap that one?

I think this is great for SJP to do because so many REAL WOMEN love her from SATC.

Someone above said that she was "sooo over"...

Well honey, once the show began appearing on TBS, the luster left. That's to be expected. The fashions on the show are very done- but the "average woman" is the one watching the cleaned up re-runs on TBS and reveling in the watered down fabulousness.

I think this line is terrific because it's cheap, some of it is very cute, and it's all wearable. I can see it doing really well with moms and college girls who are looking to save some cash for more fierce looking fashions.

Bravo to SJP!

I`d have to see them in person. I think it`s hard to judge clothes that are laying flat. I liked a couple of them, and the price is right, so......high fashion it isn`t, but what do you expect for $20.00?

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving you guys!

I like the shoes.

As to the rest, well, it's extremely hard to tell from the photos. The styling isn't particularly exciting, but you know what? Exciting isn't everything. When you don't have a lot of money, inexpensive basics are good.

It's impossible to determine the quality without getting my hands on the pieces themselves. Can't tell if things are lined, if the fabric's sleazy, it's just not possible. So in that regard, I'll withhold judgment. (Actually, since there's no Steve & Barry's near me, I will probably not have the opportunity to judge them at all!)

Is it a vanity project? Sure it is. Just like a lot of other celebrities who've started their own fashion lines. The vendor gets to use their name and the celebrity gets to preen. I'm not terribly thrilled with this trend. Guess I just don't like it when a person who didn't do the work gets the credit, merely because they are famous in some other field.

I'm not crazy about the color palette (looks a bit sad to me), but manufacturing this stuff, they probably can't use expensive dyes or high end fabrics. And it looks like it.

However, these clothes aren't on people and that can make a big difference.

I think the idea behind bitten is great. But the line isn't marketed to the people who watch this show who may have more extravagant tastes.

SJP is an awesome person. I loved her sweetness on the show. You could tell she felt really bad about Marion being aufed.

Hello boys!! Been a long time.

My BFF and I have always thought she'd be a great guest judge, before Bitten came along.

She's always said she was a fan of the show, and of Tim Gunn, smart thing that she is. While Laura Bennett is the ideal to the everyday house frau, I think Bitten is more of the attainable reality. Because of Laura, I've thrown out all of sweat pants and jogging suits I wore to "run to the store" and because of Bitten, I've added some great items to my everyday wardrobe. The price point means I can add 5 pieces to my cart instead of 1 somewhere else. The costume jewelry pieces were great, too.

who's been offline so long, my blogger account is kaflooey

LOVE LOVE LOVE Sarah Jessica Parker. Not so sure about "her" line.

I'll be back. Happy Thanksgiving, kittens!

the houndstooth coat is very cute, i think, and i liked what she had to say about appealing to women who don't have access...been there more often than not, i have great respect the effort

What I love about her, one of the many things, is she's a star, but she just seems so down to earth. She really seemed to love being there with the designers. How freakin funny when she got the hand shake snub from, was it Kevin?

I loved the internal eye roll she did at poly-freakin-morphic also. What the hell is that? Clothes for a power ranger?


"Wasn't it a blast seeing SJP finally walk into the "Project Runway" design room? I thought so. Every year, I beg the lady to appear on "Project Runway" and every year she thinks about it really hard, gets really tempted, and respectfully turns us down. This year, we figured that her successful clothing line, Bitten, provided a natural bridge to our Runway. We were right! I rang up the always classic Parker after she'd had a minute to digest her appearance on one of her fave shows."

In other words, she only did it to promote her cheap-ass line. Not feeling the love for the show.

When it comes to fashion, I only worry about how it applies to me. I wouldn't wear any of those outfits as a whole, but I'd take certain pieces and apply it to my own style and wardrobe. So I don't have a problem with them being "boring" on their own, 'cuz I can make them exciting with my personal spin. =)

My only concern is that, like lima bean said, the low price does make one question quality of structure, but I also question the fit. I love that they market to big girls (I'm at the higher end of the sizes, AND I'm a freakin' amazon height-wise with big feet), but having shopped at cheap stores with big-girl clothes, I can tell you that fit is a HUGE PITA - you don't get good fit for the price. Target is the biggest culprit of this - they seem to assume that if you're fat, you're short, so the sleeves are low and short. I'm flippin' 5'10" with long arms and legs - the shoulders of their clothes start around the armpit on me! The waists are also horrible fits on Target clothes. So that would be my main question - how well do they fit fatties like me?

I LOVE SJP! I was so excited!! One of the best judges EVER!!!

Then Cathy Horyn followed up with Howard Schacter . . . about the lines somewhat ridiculously low prices.

"Of all the topics raised by the Sarah Jessica Parker interview, the one that stirred the most debate was how Steve & Barry’s can deliver Bitten at such low prices, and does this mean the company employs sweat shops and other unethical manufacturing practices.

Most of the criticisms of this line are pretty offensive. That last is a bit disingenuous, as probably 95% of clothing is made in sweatshops around the world. As some have said, it's hard to tell with the garments lying flat. I'd love to see them on a model in a runway show.

But the fact of the clothes being affordable is magnificent and, if for no other reason, SJP & Co. should be commended for that.

Instead, it looks as if they'll be criticized for pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. In this case, that would be that the fashion industry doesn't actually sell clothes, but rather an image of exclusivity and wealth and that the profit margins are obscene. Obscene.

Buying into that ridiculous belief system ~ that the money I put on my back makes me special ~ is why I see working folk carrying handbags that cost $600 or wearing shoes that set them back $400-500 or $1000 dresses. Any idiot knows that the materials used to make a handbag or a pair of shoes or a garment don't cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars except in the most unusual circumstances.

And I'm not against profit, I'm a business owner and make one myself. I am against obscene profit and I'm probably on a rant here because I see the quest for obscene profit destroying our world. I am also against the idea that we are what we wear and my wearing a $500 frock from a particular designer and you wearing a stylish garment that costs $25 makes me somehow better than you.

I love clothes. I love sewing. I love style and fashion. And I love a well made garment, handbag, pair of shoes or boots. But it's just fashion. It's just style. It's not about self worth or self esteem or transformation via how much I've spent to clothe myself.

This unceasing quest for profit in this world is destroying us. Our malignant foray into Iraq is motivated by greed for oil that doesn't belong to us. The destruction of our environment is unhalted because our masters, the multinational oil companies, are making obscene profits on the last drops of oil on earth. George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest among us have created a disparity between the incomes of rich and poor unseen since the Gilded Age. Just about every small retirement investor or company pension plan is being battered upon the shoals of Wall Street's greed, and thousands and thousands of our fellow citizens will become homeless as a result of the thieving bastards behind the subprime mortagage mess.

So I say good for SJP & Co. and thank you for getting real. I look forward to seeing more from Bitten and hope that she inspires a host of thoughtful, realistic, competitors who are willing to expose the truth behind the hype of high fashion. The fact that a number of the Project Runway designers made attractive garments for $15 flippin' dollars is fantastic. Let's make that a goal: who can make the best clothes, the most stylish and attractive, for the least amount of money. Kick ass, Sarah Jessica Parker. I love you.

Bitten isn't for me - but it wasn't designed for me. It was designed for people who shop at the Gap (I'm not dissing that, that's just not my bag), and as an alternative to the Gap, I think the line looks great. I think the problem is that most of us (myself included) expected a higher end vanity label, because we relate high-end with SJP. Clearly though, even for people who want to make design their entire business, and not just a brand that is a side project of their real career, putting out a high-end label is not easy, and especially for a vanity project - if you are doing it as an actress - it probably isn't smart. She wants her clothes to get in as many people's hands as possible - you do that by doing the H&M thing, and that's really what this is -- H&M, or from the looks, Forever 21 for people that aren't fucking whores (yeah, I said it - my older sister buys that shit -- I'm 25 years old - I refused to buy that shit when I was 17, I damn well refuse to wear that shit now). It's also disposable - which I guess is one direction fashion is heading. I don't like to dispose of my clothes - hence the reason I buy expensive high-end items that I keep forever -- but if I was on a budget and needed something cute to go out - I might give it a look. I would try to get some room on the Bloomingdales card first and just hit up the BCBG rack, but still.

As for SJP, I love her more than so many things - she's seriously just awesome on 10000 different levels. My now dead (RIP) Sony VAIO laptop was named Carrie Bradshaw (network name, Carrie) because it was so pretty and chic. My black MacBook's name is Simon - but if I hadn't been naming it after another TV character for a different reason, Carrie 2 would have been a possibility.

She was so great with the designers - like, she loves this stuff - she isn't one of those actresses that pretends to like fashion but really just likes to get dressed up, this bitch lives for fashion. What I love most about her is that even when she gets her style wrong (and on the red carpet, that's almost never -- it does happen at other times, and Pat Fields certainly had doozies on the show), she still pulls it off better than anyone else would have pulled it off - and she's unafraid to try.

Yeah. Right. It doesn't matter if little brown people are making those clothes as long as we look good at a very affordable price.

Yeah, but almost anything we wear is made in sweatshops, regardless of price. I'm in love with Lacoste and have about 15 of their re-designed polos w/stretch/form fitting in various colors/lengths and some say "made in France" - some say "Designed in france, manufactured in Peru" -- same shirt - same $74 a pop -- one is made in a sweat shop, one is made in French factory. I mean, I wrestle with the guilt of using products made in sweatshops - but what is NOT manufacturered in East Asia or South America?


I walked into a Steve & Barry's for the first time about 2 weeks ago. It was the first time I had actually seen the Bitten line. Of course, the prices were VERY appealing -- and I applaud the range of sizes available in-store. But, sadly, I was not impressed with the actual quality of the fabrics. I've been around the block before and I honestly had to take a much needed stroll down memory lane to relive some past Old Navy and H&M "bummer purchase" moments that I have personally experienced. I said to myself, " 'shrimpo, you are not 25! Get a grip and walk away from this store. Three months from now that cardigan will be a mess of acrylic pills... don't go there!"
And so, I walked away.

Mostly I think it's cheap crap, but the bag is cute enough. I need to see it and touch it to truly decide how cheap it is.

I never cared for SJP, but I do appreciate the fact that she's catering to us unfortuntae girls with size 11 feet.

Here's the weird thing: I can't STAND Sarah Jessica Parker, and I don't think she picked a good outfit last night, this profile of her has blown me away. I could not be more impressed by her vision for this line, and I think that the clothes are OUTSTANDING for what they are. If you don't agree, go into a Wal-Mart sometime and see what they've got on offer for poor women. I'm really, really impressed. I wish her a huge success.

People who think that the fancy-name clothes are more costly because of more costly materials or constuction might be surprised. The price of clothing (and everything else) is based on what people will pay, not what it costs to make).

So, starting today, I'm a newly-minted SJP fan. Still can't stand to watch a minute of SITC, though.

I liked the line O.K. The first look is really cute. Her color story is really bland but I understand that these should be starter peices.

Speaking as someone who is a student and doesn't have much money I think Bitten is a good line. I think it is absurd what some designers charge for thier clothes.

I've gone to Steve and Barry's. I've purchased. I live in a low income area-and for the girls who can't take their daddy's credit cards to Macy's on a whim, it's great. It's also the perfect place to buy T-shirts. And Marbury shoes!

And Bitten? Not earthshattering. But reasonable. Gives Old Navy a run for its money.

Let he who has never walked into Ikea cast the first stone.

Jr. Goddess

SJP's philosophy is great and the photos look okay. I never liked the Carrie Bradshaw look - too boho hooker for me - but applaud that SJP herself wants to do something different than that. I haven't seen the Bitten line in person, and that's the only way to evaluate whether the quality is OK. The sweatshop aspect of merchandise (not just Bitten's) concerns me, but I'm not sure what to do about it. Can you even find Made in USA clothing anymore and how do we know it's not made in an American sweatshop as they too exist?

That said, I didn't get the love for the Victorya dress and wonder whether many women would even want to try that silhouette. And now it's back to the kitchen for me. The turkey is calling.

-- rain brain

I have to say I always thought SJP looked like a hooker on SATC. I wouldn't call her a fashion icon; Catherine Deneuve is a fashion icon, IMHO, and maybe Helen Mirren is a minor icon (I think designing for one of those 2 would be a great challenge!) However, I thought she was a great judge last night and she seemed almost as excited as the designers. Loved her tact with Christian's '80's mess of a dress. I really admire her philosophy for Bitten and I think it fills several niches that are ignored not just by high fashion but everyday lines as well. And FYI, Venus Williams is also doing a sports line for Steve and Barry, not sure about the sizes that will be offered.

And thanks for the holiday post!! I had to work so this definitely brightened my day.

Okay, I don't care that it's Thanksgiving, I am *going* to have my say on this and since there probably won't be a post on it today I'm posting for the only people I know who actually care about this show.

I wanted to CRY last night when that horrible bitch Sweet Pea kept trashing Elisa. Jesus Fucking Christ on a Fucking Pogo Stick, who gets that worked up over spit? I have five children, ninety percent of what I wore was encrusted with VOMIT for the whole of '97-'05 and you didn't see me getting the vapors over it. I liked Sweet Pea before this, but now I just hate her.

I thought it was so sweet and sensitive of Elisa to say, "I wanted Sweet Pea from the very beginning" and take the sting out of being the last kid standing, so bitch turns right around and gives a big "confessional" about not knowing what planet she's from and how nervous she is. And then keeps it up even though it was clear that the garment was going to be fabulous! WTF?!?!

When she showed Carmen that seam and they both whined about how unacceptable it was I wanted to crawl through my TV. Excuse me, which one of your designs was chosen by freaking *Sarah Jessica Parker* as worthy of going in her new line? Neither? Great, then shut the fuck up.

Loved, LOVED that Elisa stood right up to Heidi. "I'm coming to your planet but I'm bearing gifts." LOVED it. Suck on that you giant blonde uber-bitch. Didn't she just wear a dress with her ass hanging out?

I was so happy when the Persimmon Prince said, "Bottom line is, the garment is gorgeous." Exactly. Sweet Pea was on what will probably be her LAST winning team and I can't believe she was so mean.

Oh, Happy Thanksgiving! :)

This cracked me up:

>>Target is the biggest culprit of this - they seem to assume that if you're fat, you're short, so the sleeves are low and short<<

Because I was just ranting last week that size 16 pants at Target had a 36 inch inseam. I'm 5'7" and still think stilletos with jeans make you look like an extra in a ZZ Top video, so I resent that I have to put a Jethro Clampett cuff on my pants.

So I guess what we draw from clothes are just that. I have noticed that at, say, Old Navy, the same size in 4 different styles will net 4 different fits. I, um, have not have the privilege of trying that experiment at Cathrine Mandrino's boutique, but I doubt it's the same.

Agree with the person who said "I'd have to feel the fabric". That is such a basic test for me as to whether I'm interested in something. I like the basic silhouettes, but wish there was more color.

The cheap (not "inexpensive") prices scare me. I would never shop at Target and wouldn't wear anything from there if it was a gift. While these samples look good, anything that's $14.95 says "K-Mart" to me.

the clothes are horrible.

US$20? for sure they're made of chinese fabric and using little children of 3rd world countries to sew them.

I live maybe a couple hours' drive from the impoverished part of Appalachia where SJP grew up, and I have to say that I am very impressed that she clearly hasn't forgotten her roots. She IS aiming to provide choices for people who don't live near the fashion capitals of this world, or who can't afford to wander through a mall and drop a couple Benjamins on something fun and flimsy. Yay. For. Her.

That said, I hated VictorYA's outfit. That bow was ass.

(and what was with the flattering fill lighting on SJP and Tim in the workroom? Nobody else looked that golden and glowing.)

"US$20? for sure they're made of chinese fabric and using little children of 3rd world countries to sew them."

See, that's what I mean. People don't understand economics.

Am I the only one who has no idea what sort of store Steve and Barry's is? Is it like Wal Mart? Do they only have clothes? I've only ever heard of it mentioned as the shop to buy Bitten, but what is it really? :/

The clothes are boring, but nice -- you can defintely use them as staples in your wardrobe, which of course every woman needs. Those shoes are hideous though.

Thank you Samantha!! As much as I love Target, I hate their "womens/plus sized" clothes! I have about the same proportions that you indicate (5' 10", big feet, long arms, long legs, long torso) All their shirts end at my belly button and trust me muffins, my "muffin top" is something you DO NOT want to see!

I do better at Fashion Bug, but even then I measure the shirt from shoulder to bottom.

Just making a shirt wider for a fat person doesn't necessarily make it wearable! I would love to see the designers have to design an outfit for a really large star since the "real woman" challenge went over like a lead brick last season.

I have never seen these clothes in person but I am interested in feeling the fabric and examining the construction. I'm not in the demographic that she's targeting but I appreciate the concept behind this.

I like this! Yeah, the clothes are basic, but that means it'll be easy to build a wardrobe with less money. Then there's more money left over for accesorizing.

I wish they would put the clothes on a body, though, or at LEAST a dress form. It's kind of hard to tell how they hang from the pictures.

You can buy Victorya's dress on Friday!

It wasn't my favorite, but hey...


I'd never heard of Steve & Barry's before either, but apparently they have a lot of locations near me. Go figure.

Here's their store locater:

i think it's interesting that so many people are judging these clothes who have never even seen them in person, much less tried them on. since i have done both, here's my two cents.

first, i heartily applaud the concept. of course these clothes can't compare to designer clothes. but most people can't buy a $500 shirt dress, but they can buy a $20 one from steve & barry's. and if it only lasts 2 seasons, oh'll probably be out of style again by then.

practically, the quality of the clothes varies quite a bit, both fit and fabric. for instance, the jeans and tees fit a little small, but the other pants and tops fit fine or a little big. i suppose that could be because they manufacture in so many places. also, i think the tee shirt knit is a little itchy, but the wovens are mostly quite nice.

i own a pair of jeans and a top, which i wear frequently, and have both held up quite well. you really have to try stuff on to see if it's something you like, and for most people, i think it's absolutely worth checking out.

Fashion icon in a brown burlap bag. Hm. I don't think so.

PR Canada is up! MsRoyalT on YouTube. Such a happy Thanksgiving present. You must see Iman and the Heat Miser going at one another at panel.

I was so relieved to see Marion get auff'ed. Sad rags, indeed.

A coat for $19.98? Yipes. Doesn't seem possible (and doesn't look that good, either).

The houndstooth coat is fully lined. I bought it for my daughter. It is well made. It has a lot of great touches. I was lucky to even find one. The salespeople told me that they have had a hard time keeping it in stock.

Uh, do you all get paid for advertising Bitten?

And no, PR sentences you throw this way DON't convince me this isn't sweatshop labor.

I'm short. I'm fat. I live in the middle of nowhere, and I make $13 an hour and live on it -- no credit cards with six-figure limits here.

Oh, and I have big feet, too.

You size 2s who live in major metros and have boatloads of cash? This line is not for you. It's for me and the people like me who need to spend that $500 they have on rent and food, not ONE piece of clothing.

I heartily applaud SJP for being one of those size 2s in a major metro with unlimited cash and *thinking about the rest of us.* It's refreshing, to say the least. And I guarantee that if I ever get down to a size 2, move to a major metro, and come into a fortune, I won't be as snobby and harsh as some of the commenters here. Honestly, folks -- not everyone is overprivileged. Enjoy it if you are, but don't be horrible to those of us who aren't.

Many kudos to a "celebrity" remembering where she came from, and still caring.


The clothes look attractive to me and the prices are wonderful. I think it's a great idea. Even Laura Bennett shops at IKEA, you guys.

I also had never heard of Steve and Barry's until the Bitten line was promoted. I don't think there are any in NYC or even in the suburbs but maybe I'm wrong. I'm not in the demographic she's targeting and I do appreciate her good intentions but I think this line looks pretty bad. Target's GO International line does a pretty good job of bringing designer high style to the masses at affordable prices. Of course the fabrics and construction aren't the same as the designers' runway lines but the're much more interesting and risky than Bitten. Most of the GO Intl. pieces are more expensive, though. I think because of SJP's high fashion image people were expecting any line she launched to be more daring. Bitten seems to have no connection to her esthetic, her own style, whatsoever. Great that she wants to make affordable clothes for poor women but how about a little more style? And those shoes are hideous.

If their profit philosophy is truly what is quoted, then I love them, even if the clothes are not the quality one might prefer. I mean, seriously... there are NOT a lot of businesses these days who say "Eh, we'll make it up on volume."

Besides, I'm fat, tall, and broke, so I'm shopping at Wal*Mart anyhow; if their clothes are even comparable it's just one more choice for me, and if they're better (and it sounds like they might be), then I say 'woo', so either way, it seems like a viable alternative. Plus it looks like they're a bit better fashion-wise than what one gets at the Evil Empire.

I just finished reading the interviews (thank you for the links, boys) and I have to say that Vera Wang's comment is pretty stupid. Does she wear her own shitty Simply Vera line? I don't think so.

This may sound scandalous on this blog, but not everyone's life or budget revolves around fashion, as much as we might enjoy PR. Some of us have families and limited finances for clothing. We also don't have the kind of lifestyles where we can go about our daily lives in cocktail dresses (sorry Laura). The Bitten line (which I admit I had never even heard of until last night, as well as Steve and Barry's)seems to fill the gap for people like me who are not a size 2, but don't want to look like we're dressing in thrift store cast-offs. If it keeps us out of sweatpants, then what's the problem?
Now, I don't know if I personally would wear any of these things, but I applaud SJP for at least trying to fill the niche. And even if these pieces aren't the most well made garments you'll ever own, they let people on a budget still look at least a little trendy. By the time the items fall apart, they'll be out of style anyway.
BTW, I know she's a fashion fan, but a style ICON? Seriously....

SJP says "We made the decision to size from 0 to 22, from 5 to 11 in shoe sizes." - she says this as if someone who wears a size 11 shoe must be overweight and live in a trailer. This chaps my hide! I'm 5'11", wear size 6 pants and my feet happen to be 10 1/2 which of course you can't buy easily - so I must wear an 11. I am tall and lean and would look good in almost anything - if only they made affordable clothing and shoes that fit me. Every time I order shoes from a catalog or online retailer, I inevitably receive mail order catalog from Lane Bryant and the ilk!!! I resent the implication that a large shoe equals large(fat) body - I wish mfgs would open their eyes and realize that not every fashionable woman is 5' 7" with a size 8 or smaller shoe. Phew - I've vented. Now I feel better. Thank you - I can't wait for your blog tomorrow. Happy T(Lo)DAY!

I'm soooo shocked at all the angry people. What's wrong with SJP trying to make an affordable pretty line for people who can't or don't want to pay big money? I mean I'm a metropolitan girl and always have been, but I'm in college so I love shopping in Forever 21, Target and Old Navy for clothes so I can have loads of different styles and clothes without paying too much. If I can add one more place to shop to my cheap varieties of clothing, I'm so psyched to do so. Go SJP! So much better than like whatsherface from the hills who's making $300 dresses I can get at F21 for $20.

what a nasty bunch of remarks about "poor women," as if any woman who doesn't want to spend hundreds on a single garment is somehow less than equal to those who want to wear their money (or credit) on their backs.

this is pretty much the thing i hate about the whole fashion world. and it's what i increasingly despise about popular culture and the obsession with celebrity in this country.

i'd be willing to bet that if this line came out of some major design house, folks here would be drooling over the garments. modestly and realistically priced, they have no snob appeal, ergo no interest.

I adore SJP & it was great to see her as a judge. She was perfect (except for the the outfit she chose to be the winner - that was awful. I would have chosen the purple dress).

You could see that she really felt for the designers, which was nice to see. But then she has a great reputation around town for being just a nice down to earth mensch.

As for the criticisms of her line being to inexpensive: I think that's a funny criticism. Does anyone criticize the athletes who endorse $100 sneakers that probably cost about a dollar to make? I think it's great that she is trying to do something affordable (as long as it's ethically made) - and maybe the critics are people who don't want it exposed how overpriced some clothes are. However, if the charges are true that they stole designs from other designers, I wouldn't want to support that.

As for style of the line...not for me (though I do really like that houndstooth check coat). To me the line says 'student', which is fine. And I never even heard of Steve & Barry stores until I heard of her line & I still have never seen one.

But forget all that...the big story this week is that it took Ricky until only 10:09 to start crying. If he hangs around long enough, I expect he'll have a full-on Andre on the runway.

--Gotham Tomato

In spite of the criticism, I can't hate on SJP's clothing line. I've managed to find some cute shirts that are dressier casual - I've worn them with a pair of jeans for everything from friends' parties and family dinners to a disciplinary hearing at work (after being inspired by a Marie Claire article about what starlets wore to court) and the GREs. (Though I'm not too keen on the jeans - they fit, but other brands definitely that fit better.)

I like that she hasn't forgotten where she came from (I always tell people that since SJP came from a humble background, her family might have shopped at a store similar to Steve and Barry's). I also like that she's actually willing to take my money. I'm a size 20, and there are few clothing stores - let alone celebrity-designed clothing lines - that are willing to sell to me.

Blech, I don't get the appeal of SJP at all...

This is just an extension of the trend started by Target with Michael Graves in 1990-something. Big-name designer brings good design (albeit with sometimes cheap execution) to the masses (which is most of us!). And look where we are now. People are more aware of their surroundings and the design of the things they buy. And that makes people more efficient, more beautiful, more happy. This concept was probably hatched by Steve & Barry's, not SJP. She's not designing it, either. But I give her credit for not being above it. It's designed for mass appeal and thus can't be held to the same standards as high fashion or even department-store fashion.

i think sjp was perfect for the episode & it was overall a fantastic challenge. fashion for $15. who can beat that? and there were some great pieces on that runway last night.

i have to give sjp credit for getting involved with the bitten project. it's a great idea. i may not be gaga over every piece in the line (who, but laura can pull off jodphurs?!), but there will be a few things here & there that i'll pick up. a $14 handbag, a $7 scarf... it provides a nice alternative to the BORING old navy clothes and too trendy h&m. it's like shopping at target, without having to shop at target. and bitten actually comes in my size! i'm in!

Affordable clothes for every woman -- sure, I approve of that. Would I wear any of that stuff? No, but I can afford better, luckily (or at least I can hunt down sample sales and thrift shops where I can get more interesting and higher-quality stuff for low prices). But hey, if Bitten's stuff is made in a semi-ethical manner, and there's a market for it, I can't really mock it.

But let's get to the episode! Blog, my little poodles, blog! :)

(Happy Thanksgiving, btw.)

To me and my size 16/18 ass, it's just another cute, affordable option. Thank god we have gotten away from the dumpy messes from the "plus size" departments.

And I wasn't under the impression that she equated size 22 in clothing with size 11 shoe. It was a simple explanation of the rage of sizes.

While the clothes are a tad dull, I can see what market she wants to target. At to my interpertation, are for the average woman, who wants to feel fashionable at a reasonable price.
I don't really think that she is not trying to target someone who can drop some cash on a dress or nice sweater.

From the pictures, the fabric looks like a bit thin and doesn't look like it could be a permant piece in a closet. But then again, like most people said, I have to feel the fabric and weight of the piece. Personally I think that SJP wouldn't want to put out a "cheap" product, so im fairly confident that the products are decently made.

Anonymous 10:02, there is a Steve and Barry store in the Manhattan Mall near Macy's in NYC.

"And tell me what troubles you about women in this country having affordable, well-made clothes. Let’s talk about it."

This quote sums it all up. No one could have that conversation with her without it becoming apparent that they really just don't want fashion to be accessible, which is actually quite a ridiculous stance to take. For the elite who feel beautiful clothes should be just be for them, let it go, kittens. The rest of us are here, too. Nothing wrong with everyone enjoying a little bit of tangible beauty in their lives, not just in pictures in magazines and on tv.

I hope she continues the line (this is the only celebrity line I'd EVER say that about). While I'm not thrilled with the pictures, I'm interested in seeing the clothes up close, and definitely interested in seeing what else they come out with in the future (I could see them making a really cute and fabulous spring line, fall clothes are too depressing in general).

Okay, I'm late to the party by a day. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you all enjoyed it. Ed put out a great spread, the family loved it and I have dishpan hands from doing all the dishes and all the housecleaning before and after the event.

Ed & I sat there and squealed with delight on Wed. night when SJP came through the door. We laughed and yelled that it was genius on PR's part and also on SJP's to have her be on the show. And she seemed delighted to be on the show and I loved how engaged she was with the designers.

The line is exactly what it set out to be and I certainly appreciate that. I would much rather see the women I work with dressed in Bitten on casual Friday than in the sweats and worn denim skirts and flip flops and other crap that they show up in.

bigassbelle - I LOVE you! You said it all so perfectly re: the line and manufacturing and fashion and prices/profit. Perfect!

Not understanding all the flaming of mass market fashion. I make no claims of being a fashionable guy but I do what I can to look decent and generally succeed. I make a pretty good salary, but I have a mortgage and a serious Broadway habit. My money gets earmarked for a lot of things in additon to clothing. I buy designer stuff off sale & clearance racks at department stores (our Lord & Taylor clearance kicks ass). I also shop at Old Navy, Marshall's, Target and the like for some basics and the odd piece of casual wear and have no problem admitting that. Things go in and out of fashion so quickly that the 2 or 3 seasons of wear I get out of them are just fine with me.

And now I'm off to insulate the attic (having spent my $600 on 27 rolls of insulation instead of on 2or 3 Prada or Zegna dress shirts).

Seems to me Ms. Parker gets a WAY FREE RIDE on a character she played. It's. A. Character. OKAY??

When someone else dresses her she can look amazing, but I don't really understand why she's being called a "fashion icon" just because she "loves" fashion. Credentials please? Oh, or did I forget that being on television or in the movies suddenly instills you with expertise in all walks of life? You know, politics, philanthropy, architecture and fashion?

Come on! Let me have it!!!

Cheap crap, definitely. I seriously doubt she would wear it, and if she did, it would look reeediculous on a woman her age. I am her age and a couple years, and I can say that.

Anonymous 11:40 said she got a pr. of jeans and they fit great.

I agree! I, too, am 6 ft tall, and finding 'run around' sportswear is really tough. (What is with charging $5-10 more for "tall" sizes???) At less than $15, I don't care if the jeans only last a season or two - for now, they look great, feel great, and didn't cost me an arm and a 36" inseam leg!

My daughters - both in college - love shopping at Steve & Barry's - fun clothes at an affordable price, that are just right for going to class, casual but not too trendy or ratty. (Anyone else out there notice the trend of students wearing pajama bottoms and shower shoes to class?! Abysmal!)

Like others, I appreciate the concept behind the "Bitten" line. Also, can hardly WAIT to talk about the episode!

Happy Turkey day/shopping day! Time to put up the tree! :-)



Lots of others have great and insightful comments, so I won't repeat. Here's the bottom line:

Whatever you think of her looks, her fashion choices, or SATC, Sara Jessica Parker has chosen to comport herself ethically and with a senstivity to the poor which would be useful for all of us to recall during the holiday season. She was pleasant, sweet, intelligent and respectful to these young designers as well. Not many famous people behave as well in the public eye.

"But forget all that...the big story this week is that it took Ricky until only 10:09 to start crying. If he hangs around long enough, I expect he'll have a full-on Andre on the runway. --Gotham Tomato

Right on, GT!!!! Mr. ProfP and I have started keeping track of the "Wricky Wrecks".


"lima bean said...

OH. MY. GOD. SJP!!! How perfect is that? She was absolutely FABULOUS. ALthough I hated what she had on. What was that thing?"

She was probably wearing her line - that you people are all drooling over - as opposed to her $50,000 Narciso Rodriguez dresses.

"Nutsy Fagan said...
Seems to me Ms. Parker gets a WAY FREE RIDE on a character she played. It's. A. Character. OKAY??"

I don't think she's gotten any free ride at all. And the characters on SATC are more than just characters.

Those characters on SATC tapped into the zeitgeist of single, professional, urban women in a way that was never done before. It was not just a run-of-the-mill sitcom. It was unique while also being funny & sometimes moving. In it's original form (on HBO) it was a landmark in the cultural landscape.

And SJP was also a producer of it & so she had a larger hand in creating the show than simply playing the character.

That she takes her celebrity, and tries to do responsible things with it, I think, is admirable.

--Gotham Tomato

Bigassbelle! Like I said it myself! Thanks for the excellent rant.

I like the idea of accessible clothing for women in all sizes, shapes, and economic levels with reasonable profits throughout the supply chain. Not just because everyone deserves to be able to find wearable, fashionable clothing in their size, but because the price/profit discussion is about more than the cost of consumer goods, it is about social class and exclusivity.

Uber-priced clothing, accessories, cars, houses etc are manifestations of an increasing gap between the rich and the poor - in fact the elimination of the middle class. Belle is right. The trend is toward conspicuous consumption with a soupcon of superiority for the rich, coupled with systematic depression of wages and quality for the rest of us. The two are connected and the consequence of inattention to this trend is a continuation of a downward spiral where the gap between rich and poor grows, greed is seen as a positive “family value” and the pressure on our planet only increases. If Bitten has re-thought the current model of excessive profits on the backs of underpaid workers, then kudos to them! The clothing looks wearable and reasonably fashionable.

I enjoy Project Runway (even with all the blatant product placement) and love Tom and Lorenzo’s terrific sites. They are a welcome mental vacation.

But as can happen on any vacation, sometimes we take a turn down a darker street - We are what we wear only when we confuse wealth with worth. End of rant (part 2). Okay – now back to my mental vacation!

I thought SJP's eyes and face looked kinda tight, kinda different, a little Asian perhaps. Recent plastic surgery maybe.....

Wow, so much vitriol!

I have to agree with Bigassbelle, Bill, Gotham Tomato and others who are a little bit more realistic about, well, life.

I thought SJP was a terrific guest judge, that she picked the exactly right outfit for the line, that Victorya deserved the win.

Considering that SJP is held up to the public as a fashion icon, I think she deserves a little credit for getting involved with a line that is more accessible, rather than cranking out more ho-hum fashion with ridiculous price tags.

If you don't like it, don't buy it.

Bill, sounds like we had similar turkey days: I was out scraping paint off my house.

"snf in va said...

Wow, so much vitriol!

I have to agree with Bigassbelle, Bill, Gotham Tomato and others who are a little bit more realistic about, well, life.

I thought SJP was a terrific guest judge, that she picked the exactly right outfit for the line, that Victorya deserved the win."

I agree with all of the above!

As a bigger gal myself, and one that goes out of her way to be stylish (but never trendy--yuck!), I appreciate the line as another alternative to overpriced Lane Bryant. And I am tempted to go buy Victorya's dress today, even though I'm 9 months prego and couldn't possibly wear it for a few more months, just because it's one of the more fashion forward pieces I have seen available in my size.


say what? said... “i would love to see the designers have to design an outfit for a really large star since the "real woman" challenge went over like a lead brick last season.”

here here! queen latifah, jennifer hudson—it would be awesome to see the designers produce garments for these fabulous women! i wonder if jeffrey would still use his “i’m not used to designing for larger women” line in that instance…



I'll join Bigassbelle, Bill, Gotham Tomato and others in applauding SJP for working to bring stylish clothing basics to a wider range of women, and at very affordable prices.

I love PR,love reading about fashion, but my lifestyle and budget don't include higher-end clothing. As much as I like some of Emmett McCarthy's fall designs, there is simply no place in my life for a dress that is priced at $300-500. I'm looking forward to Laura Bennett's dress on QVC, as it will be a more realistic price.

still with the "poor" comments. crimifuckinitly, this reminds me of 7th grade art table, when gary johnson turned to the rest of us "popular" people and said "we don't like krista, she doesn't have very good clothes."

even at the time it made me sick to my stomach, but even more so now when i see the impact the cult of consumerism is having on our world.

they are just clothes. clothes. bits of fabric with which to cover our nakedness lest we be arrested and so we won't get chilly or sunburned.

if you want to spend $2K on a dress, go for it. unless you spend $2K in cash on that dress, you're simply buying a ticket for a seat on the economic disaster train racing headlong for the destruction looming at the end of the track.

the excess of consumerism in this country is fueled in great part by the perception that we are what we wear, where we live, what we drive.

this ridiculous concept is greedily promulgated by corporate CEOs making $50 million a year for the sole reason that it lines their pockets. we are seduced by appeals to snobbery and so spend money we may not even have (read credit) on crap that is simply costuming and, in the end, means nothing.

do any of you who are insistent this line should be only for "poor women" imagine that you'll be lying on your death bed thinking "oh, if only i'd been able to buy" whatthefuckever????

it's insanity and i will just say one more time that i applaud sarah jessica parker and the entrepreneurs behind steve & barry's (read up on them, they're brilliant) as a breath of fresh air into the sickroom of our wealth- and celebrity-obsessed society.

I'm sorry but when you think about buying a bag that costs $9.98, you should also think about where it was originally made, by whom and under what conditions.

Did you know that some third-world workers are being forced to work up to 80 hours per week, refused access to trade unions and even abused verbally and physically by supervisors?

Is this the price you’re prepared to pay for cheap clothing?

Read about Steve & Barry's in Business Week:

you are assuming that the costs of designer garments are based on the actual costs of manufacturing.

it's not true. the costs are based on what the market will bear and have no relation to the real costs of production.

like some more expensive lines, steve & barry's makes every effort to avoid sweatshop labor. their marketing concept is really refreshing.

my hope would be that people like these guys will create a major push for change in the business world.

i put these two in the same category as warren buffett, bill gates, that cheap basketball shoe guy: folks who are recognizing the insanity of our out of control "free" market system and are trying to do something about it.

"Yeah. Right. It doesn't matter if little brown people are making those clothes as long as we look good at a very affordable price."

It helps those little brown people feed their kids and themselves. You cannot tell me that creating jobs around the world is a bad thing (even though it has killed the manufacturing industry in the US dead).

Gotta tell you - Both of my daughters have clothing from this line and it is actually well made.

Low price means lower quality isn't always the case. On this theory when Valentino manufactures his subprime lines in China somehow he has picked the exclusive manufacturers and the fabric is all so exquisite because after all he is Valentino. No, they are just making their own knock-offs for a good profit. But you are paying for the name of his high couture. Why do you think all clothing manufacturing moved to China? Because China knows how to sew better? No cheap labor.

Which brings us back to a previous topic. How much is too much. A 30,000 dollar purse we may think as excessive but it sure makes the 400 dollar purse look like a deal. I have seen low quality junk made by all designers for top dollar. As for artists and designers starving because someone lowered the price . Please...hogwash. I am an artist and I certainly know one thing marketing is strong and alive in the art world. Good book "The Painted Word" Tom Wolfe

Personally I believe a real style comes from being a good shopper and knowing yourself not listening to hype and living within your means.

This comment has been removed by the author.

. . . You cannot tell me that creating jobs around the world is a bad thing (even though it has killed the manufacturing industry in the US dead).

what has actually killed the manufacturing industry in the US is the tax breaks and other incentives given to manufacturers for moving overseas and a rampant unrestricted "free" trade that devastates the middle class while enriching corporate america.

the free market killed manufacturing in the US. corporate thugs screech about regulation hampering business, but when the regulations are removed (such as the requirement that US companies manufacturing overseas had to pay a living wage, ensure decent working conditions), profit then becomes the sole motivator and whatever it takes to increase profits is justifiable.

our entire economic system is corrupt and our government has aided and abetted its corporate citizens at the expense of its human ones.

but as long as we're sending jobs overseas, it's pretty kickass that Steve & Barry's is sending some to africa.

if you want to see what a tiny bit of money can do to change a person's life, go to

you can even help, if you want. imagine how many folks lives could be changed for the price of a designer handbag.

Today, Friday November 23rd, is Buy Nothing Day. A good opportunity to..... (wait for it) buy nothing. Perhaps we could use the time we would have spent consuming to consider how our choices reflect our values. Look at your checkbook registers, or store receipts. What you spend your discretionary $$ on will tell you what you value.

I love beautiful clothing, but to spend money out of proportion to the commodity (ex. $500 for a dress, $6,000 for a bag) or to support businesses that use sweatshop labor is not consistent with my values. In addition, how much clothing do I actually need?

Does this dialogue make shopping a pain in the ass? Of course, but it is less painful than drowning in a sea of consumer products that will not make me smarter, sexier, or more fulfilled.

Thank goodness for Bitten and other businesses that acknowledge and presumably act in socially responsible ways. I will probably continue shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops since they are smaller and not located in malls but I would certainly consider Bitten if I were younger and into a more youthful look.

I have to say I thought SJP was a terrific judge. Instead of going for pithy putdowns (it seems like the Dutchess is working hard to coin catchphrases this season), she gave some very thoughtful feedback. I own several pieces from the Bitten line and they are really nice. You can get color (I got a cute emerald green pullover, a white shirt wih little red flowers, and the striped sweater she was wearing at judging--yep, I wear the same clothes as SJP, er, when I go to Walmart to buy more granny panties.) The quality is good for a low priced line. There is actually quite a bit of color and a good variety and for those of us on budgets, good basics that you can wear several seasons and accessorize with trendy stuff to keep up. The caveat is that can't rely on the label for size. Like Target and H&M (really, I fit into 4 different sizes there) the fit can vary across styles within the same size.
Anyhow, I lurved the PR episode even though I thought the winning design looked like a sack. Actually preferred Elisa's design and would buy it only if the garment label specified that it had not been spit on.

SJP's Bitten line actually looks pretty good to me. Although that darling hound's tooth coat is a rip off from a Hilary Duff(!)coat. I have the pattern for it.

I thought that SJP--and I've never been a fan--was a gracious, kind-hearted judge who obviously felt very badly about having to auf somone.

My grandmother worked in a factory. One line of clothes got the A-Buttons and went to stores like Saks. One line of clothes got the B buttons and went to sears. Same clothes...different buttons. My friend who works in the industry agreed...people are being sold a bill of goods.

I worked as a buyer for a while in the blouse department of a big department store. I can tell you for sure that price has nothing whatever to do with manufacturing cost or with quality. Just think for a moment about all those 70% off or even 80% off deals you've patted yourself on the back for snagging. Guess what -- those retailers are still making a profit. If you pay $150 for jeans at another store, as opposed to the $19 or whatever it is for a pair of Bitten jeans, you've sent no more dollars into the pocket of the manufacturer, or the manufacturer's labor force.

Bitten (and Steve & Barry's) is a brilliant idea for basics and for impulse buys. I shop at my local JC Penneys and Fashion Bug. Steve & Barry's business philosophy is commendable.

But, also think about supporting young designers who are making their own clothes or having small runs done by American manufacturers. They operate on a very low profit margin, too! I'm saving up for one of Emmett's coats because I know I'll wear it for a long time and I want to support him. I may have to wait for end of season sale or keep saving for next Fall, but I know it will be worth it.

-- desertwind

LOVE SJP, but her line is boring. There, I said it.


Bigger companies usually have bigger influence over how the products are made. So if they are willing to use their muscles in an ethical way, changes can really be made. A survey in Sweden showed that H&M has better code of conduct/production ethics than higher priced and more "exclusive" brands.
So buying a pricey designer brand is by no mean a guarantee for good production standards.

Also a label saying Made in Italy for instance, doesn't necessary mean it's made by artisans in a cute little factory. My boss's son is a designer for a Swedish
jeans label and he says that is not unusual that the workers in Italian factories are illegal African emigrants working under bad conditions.

It's. A. Television. Show. People.....Sincerely. I'll bet Tom and Lorenzo are laughing their asses off at how this diatribe has continued.

SJP is rich. Getting richer. She is not this fabulously humble-let's-create-jobs-for-the-poor. She is a really famous, really rich actress. For God's sake, she created how own perfume and now her line of clothes. She's like everyone else who wants to be rich and famous. Oh, except she likes to be cute too. She's NOT CARRIE BRADSHAW.

Sorry bout the double posting too much company and too little sleep.

as a 20-something with a shit salary trying to survive in NY i welcome SJP for offering an alternative to the over $100 jeans that are all over the place... it's all about mixing pieces and creating your own vision.

Sorry for posting so late, but I've been out of town. Here's my two cents.

Here's the thing. I suspect the people who are critisizing SJP here expected Bitten to be Carrie Bradshaw's clothing line. But Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character. Hell, a real life columnist living in New York can't afford to dress like Carrie Bradshaw. This is a line of clothing by Sarah Jessica Parker. A real woman.

Is Bitten the end all and be all? No, but they are nice clothes that are affordable for a whole range of women. Including plus size!!!! When do you ever see any so-called "vanity line" cater to plus sized women? (Excl. Delta Burke) Considering the average American woman is a size 14, it's a travesty to think that so few fashion designers do this.

Others in the entertainment business (I'm looking at you, JLo) claim to be "keeping it real" and remembering where they came from, but no one other than SJP has really shown it. This is a girl whose family was on welfare for many years when she was little and she remembers what it's like to go without. Good for her for marketing her clothes to girls and women like herself

And you know what? They are nice clothes. Are they going to win awards? No. Will they set the world on fire? No. But they are fairly well made basics that can be worn for more than one season at a reasonable price.

One last thing... I second everything that bigassbelle said.

I live in the Northwoods in fly-over country and we just got a Steve and Barry's last month. In desperation I went in because I was costuming a show and I found I was short some pieces. I thought maybe they would have some cheap stuff that I could easily convert. Well, they did--everything turned out great but I never thought I would find something that I could wear. I picked up a heather blue turtle neck sweater and I can not tell you how many compliments I have had on what I would consider a mundane piece of clothing. It feels great and I have already laundered it and it didn't pill or shrink. I don't expect much for 12.99 but this certainly was a surprise. Oh, and for those who think that SJP has a 'good idea' but it will never fly---the store was packed.

It looks way better than that crap that Amanda Bynes put her name on. Can't even remember the name of it, but it was hideous and looked CHEAP.

I wish there was a Steve & Barry's store where I live.

Oh, but the jodhpurs? Those can go.

Snobbery is not a good look, ladies!

I think the idea behind the line is fantastic. I'd have to see the actual clothes before I could say the same.

did anyone else notice the Wildenstern plastic surgery to SJP's eyes; A wild cat look with frozen features and expressions. How sad she looked. Not like Carrie and not real. Harsh and fake.

I love how people are complaining that this lower priced clothing must logically be made in sweatshops, despite the fact that the company claims it is not. So much for trust.

Not to mention that a lot of higher priced clothing is made in sweatshops. I hear no complaints about that. The difference? A higher mark up, which means you pay more. That's about it. Oh, and a brand name that everyone knows.

A low price does not automatically mean it was made in a sweatshop, just as a high price does not automatically mean it was NOT made in a sweatshop. In reality, probably MOST of the clothing in ALL our closets was made in a sweatshop somewhere. So don't hold that against this line in particular, unless you plan to do something about it.

And commentor FNARF hit the nail on the head. Price has much less to do with the cost of materials than most people think. Any piece of clothing, or any good in general, is priced at what the company thinks the consumer will pay for it. How much can we charge and get away with it? What will my customer value this good at? What will the market bear?

So for those of you that can't fathom paying $10,000 for a handbag, remember that there are enough people out there that will, and do. Otherwise the company would charge $8,000.

And for those of you that "wouldn't be caught dead in Target clothing," remember that there are enough people that would rather pay $20 for this season's shirt and still buy, you know, food and shit, to support those companies. It's a cheap way to stay in style, since styles change so quickly.

So let's all put our claws away, shall we?

I like some of the basics here. What I love more than the price of Bitten is the size range of Bitten. I wish more stores would offer large size ranges. I went from a size 16 to a 6, so I've been on both sides of the fence. I remember going shopping with friends in high school, and not being able to try clothes on at the stores at which they wanted to shop. Kudos to SJP and to Bitten.

To be quite honest ... as much as I like SJP and the Bitten concept, and WANT to like her clothes, I don't see anything here that's original or different. They're just jeans and t-shirts, more or less. I can get the same anywhere.

BALMAIN for women

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