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At the Katrin Schnabl sample sale last Thursday, a customer was hesitating over a top. “I’m trying to think of what I already have in my closet,” she said.
I thought: what a great idea for an iPhone app. There's already software available to help keep track of your wardrobe and create new outfits, and the Web site Polyvore allows you to upload photos of your clothes to mix with images from the Web. An phone app to help you make decisions when you're shopping seems like an obvious next step. If nothing else, having images at your fingertips might possibly stop you from purchasing your umpteenth little black dress. You could of course just load up a phone with individual photos, but that's a clumsy solution. If I had any programming skillz I'd do it myself--especially since creating apps is the latest technological Get Rich Quick scheme.
Curious about what is available in the iPhone app store, fashion-wise, I did a quick search. Answer: Very little that is actually useful. There’s one called iStylist that purports to help you figure out what styles suit your figure, but the lone reviewer calls it “worthless.” For designers, there’s a Fashion Idea Generator: you shake the phone and the app comes up with concepts like “gray/snakeskin/suspenders” or “beige/floral print/boat shoes.” Style.com, the online home of Vogue, offers a version of its site with runway show photos, videos, and blog entries. And Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and Ralph Lauren all have apps allowing customers—or virtual window shoppers—a glimpse of what’s new.