Archive for the ‘Pet Fashion’ Category

A life with books, dogs, & thread … meet Carolyn of Carolyn’s Originals

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Carolyn gets lots of help when she sews.

Some of us work all day and come home at night and sit. Our very talented friend, Carolyn Linsday works all day setting type for books and, when she goes home, she exercises two of her three Shih Tzu dogs. Cy and CT will compete to earn their C-ATCH Championships in Summer 2011. And finally, when Cy and CT are tired, Carolyn herself “relaxes” by sewing beautifully cut pet clothes. Running all aspects of her pet fashion company is her third full time activity as designer and technician for Carolyn’s originals.

We are not sure where she gets her energy, but Carolyn seems to keep all three balls in the air every day. Raja and I plan to be in the stands waving our pom poms when Cy and CT take the ring in June and we’ll blog all about it here so you’ll be in the know.
Agility is a rapidly rising field of small dog competition in which we see more and more Shih Tzu dogs competing. In previous decades, the Shih Tzu, the hardy dog from the Himalayas, had been stereotyped into the role of companion couch potato, while also being pigeon holed as stubbornly aristocratic. A revoltingly hopeless combination.

While the aristocracy remains, the couch companion myth is rapidly fading, thanks to people like Carolyn who believe in the athleticism of these small and powerful dogs. Maybe Shih Tzu dogs are still stubborn, but bring them aboard respectfully and they will excel admirably. Right, Raja?
If you are still looking for an artisenal gift for your pet for Christmas, you can view Carolyn’s fashions here http://carolynsoriginals.weebly.com (Yes this is a plug, but there is no hidden commercialism. Raja uses many of Carolyn’s creations, especially the flannel shirts, the visors and the snuggle bag. Our blog isn’t about product and we don’t plug for things or money. We just like to share what we think is really good.)
What our blog IS about is living an energetic, self styled life in which your dog is a constant, happy companion. Maybe Carolyn’s dogs can’t help with the typesetting, but they can compete fiercely and they love helping her sew.

Raja’s Pet Halloween Costume Contest

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Having been to two pet fashion events, Raja and I felt we must get in on couture… albeit at the least serious level. Announcing Travel Dog’s Very First Ever………… Pet Halloween Costume Contest!

The costume contest is open to all pets all over the world, between now and October 31!

Here’s how it works:

* Between now and October 23 entrants will please send jpegs of their pets in costume to us at helenfazio@traveldogbooks.com . Be sure to include your pet’s name. Multiple family homes may enter multiple pets separately, or they may enter as a cluster- such as The Three Little Pigs (we’re talking costumes here, not real pigs); or Lady Gaga and Elton John… see what I mean?

* On Monday, October 22, we will blog post a smashing video of all entrants, with a link to an online survey, where you will vote for the best pet costume. (Yes it is legal to spam your friends to support your pet. How else can you win?)

* The winner will be announced on the afternoon of Halloween, October 31st.

* The prize: What’s the prize? A CUSTOM OUTFIT by the brilliant designers at Carolyn’s Originals: a dress for a girl or a shirt and visor for a boy. Clusters get matching visors. Pets of all sizes are invited to participate. (Yes, a camel is OK, but a fish is hard to costume humanely. Fish only must enter au natural. I don’t know what we’ll give you if your fish wins, but we’ll figure it out.)

And while you’re doing that… Raja and I will slip away for a little walkabout that we can blogabout later.

Couture here… made to measure! http://carolynsoriginals.weebly.com/

New York Fashion Week: Dogs & the Luxe Laboratory

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

New York Fashion Week’s festivities began with a flurry of chichi parties.  As Raja and I see it, the best party happened this past Sunday when The Shabby Dog- a California based company- launched its new Rodeo Drive Collection at Robert Verdi’s Luxe Laboratory in New York’s Fashion District.  Founder and celebrity trainer, Sandy Duvall, her sister Gwen, her staff and their adorable Maltese and Maltipoo pet models were on hand to explain the line and discuss what it means to design from the West Coast. 

As Sandy says, in California the weather is generally warm, so pet clothing is a minimal consideration.  Even though The Shabby Dog has a cuter than cute line of tees and tee dresses, the focus of the new collection is blinged-out leashes, collars and hands free wrist cuffs.  The cuffs (not for the dogs) are wide leather, variously studded, jeweled or adorned with a glam watch.  The leash attaches to the cuff, creating a hands-free, safety- assured link to the leash.  Small purses or shopping satchels also can link to the leash. This could be very helpful when you are shopping on, say, Rodeo Drive and you have so many bags and totes and your phone in one hand and you need your other hand to hold your double yerba mate latte … no worries, Fifi’s still attached.  Or maybe you’re just walking home from the green market and you have lots of stuff and your pet is with you.  Sure makes it easier to search for your house keys. 

Readers, don’t think for one minute that Raja and I are pushing product.  Oh no, we’re talking about the DOG asserting itself in NY Fashion Week.  And it is not the DOG as accessory, but the DOG as fashionista / o.  It’s dressing the dog in ways appropriate to your lifestyle and activities.  So you might say, “Why does a dog need to dress up to shop?”  OK, maybe.  (Look, I never dress up to shop and Raja doesn’t either, but at least we match.) But how lame and mean spirited is it if you dress yourself to the nines and drag Fifi out, grubby and scraggly and badly appointed?  And “NY Fashion Week” might sound awfully superficial, until you consider the close connection between retail sales and New York City’s fiscal health.  The Mid Atlantic region needs New York to thrive big time. 

Back to the Luxe Laboratory, where Raja and I wish we lived now and then.  The venue, styled like a fashion forward apartment, is a party suite for industry events and promotions.  Robert Verdi is a celebrity stylist, party planner, animal lover who welcomed dogs to the Laboratory during Fashion Week (probably he always does).  He is assisted by Winky, his adopted Havanese who, in 18 short months, has learned how to convey the warmth, restraint, modesty and confidence of a true host. 

Check out the Shabby Dog:   http://www.theshabbydog.com/ 

Check out the Luxe Laboratory: http://www.luxelaboratory.com/wordpress/

Pet Fashion Week NY 2010: Raja’s Report

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Hi Everyone.  I’m blogging for this topic myself since a dog’s perspective on pet fashion is paramount.  Let me just say, if you call me cute, I’ll wear anything that’s comfortable.  Seriously.  I’ll even wear a dress if you ask me to.  I’ll wear a bustier, if it fits well.  I’ll wear a cancan outfit, as long as it’s well cut.  I really don’t care.  

But I won’t wear a fez.  A fez requires a chin strap and is not comfortable.  I won’t wear high heeled boots.  I’ll refuse to walk.  

So, you get me here… we dogs are compliant and willing and we always aim to please and, as long as the pet outfits and pet costumes don’t stop us from being ourselves, we’ll go along.  In cold weather I love a nice sweater or a well cut coat.  I even like a little knit hat when I go skiing because I lose a lot of heat through my big brachiocephalic head.  And since I’m skinny, I confess I actually prefer a tee shirt on cold winter nights. 

Last weekend, I visited the 4th annual New York Pet Fashion Week Trade Show Event at the Metropolitan Pavilion.  The program was supported by major pet businesses like Modern Dog, Fido Friendly, Pet Elite, Ceasar’s Way, Bow Tie Press and Pet Business and featured some charming newcomers as sponsors including PetsAreOK, a new Miami based pet life style magazine.  As pet events go, this one was pretty posh.  There were no metal feed bowls or “kennel accessories.”  It was all swanky stuff.  And fantastic stuff too- like pet hair spray in colors in case you want me to look more like a tiger than a Shih Tzu.  (Sure, why not?)  São Paulo, Brazil and Tokyo, Japan previously hosted Pet Fashion Events and the famous bejeweled and gilded Fairytale Jacket by the design house Manfred of Sweden was on display.  (Manfred forgot to ask me to try it on.  But I think it might have been too heavy for me.) 

I liked everything I saw, except for the real animal fur pet carry bags for upscale traveling and shopping. If I were in one of those I’d be completely nervous. 

Attending the event, besides human people, were many of New York’s dog elite.  I don’t know who they were, but they certainly looked elite in their frothy summer dresses and bad boy tee shirts.  Once Chihuahua even came with his bike.  Another Chihuahua seemed to come by himself and he paraded all over the show on his own.  He must be a very important dog!  Everybody behaved beautifully for the most part.  One Min Pin had some harsh things to say to a Pit Bull who was up for adoption, but the Pit minded his P’s and Q’s.  I hope he found a good home at the end of the day.  I came wearing just my fur since it was a hot day.  Perhaps that was gauche.  What do you think?  Was it wrong to go to a pet fashion event in naked fur?