(photo: courtesy of J.W. Hulme)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saddle bags have been kind of major lately, and I think they're perfect for the cooler temps. The leather is meant to be worn and the more vintage-looking (aka, the more wear and tear), the cooler it is. So I was particularly besotted when I saw this J.W. Hulme design. I was flipping through the Barneys Co-Op catalog at the gym and was wide eyed with the assortment of glitz, glamour, and everything I instantly wanted. But this bag had a different feel to it. It was less luxe and more made for everyday. It looked like it came from a flea market and had an amazing story behind it. And maybe the part I liked best was that you could really make it your own (and a cool heirloom) since Barneys offers complimentary embossing on the bag. Putting your initials on it would be OH so cool and a sure fire way to have something that no one else has. Now that is cool.
Before I started this blog, I spent hours on end every day perusing my favorites (and frankly, still do). I was busy reading up on some of the best blogs out there and others that are under the radar but I can't seem to spend a day without. So just for you (and in hopes of some cross-blog lovin'), I'm going to list out some of my faves and send you on out to have a read. Just promise you'll come back!
- Style File I write for them and they're kind of amazing, on the pulse of everything going on in the fashion biz and beyond.
- The Cut New York magazine's fashion blog isn't just for Manhattanites. It's got news you won't find anywhere else.
- Fashionista Impress your friends with fashion industry news that this site is known for breaking.
- Refinery29 Great at covering contemporary brands and designers and has great local editions.
- Shopbop's Shoptalk I may be obsessed with this site for shopping but their in-house blog is pretty rad and features great, styled editorials.
- Sea of Shoes I find blogger Jane Aldridge slightly absurd, but she provides no shortage of eye candy.
- The Kitchy Kitchen For days when I pretend that I can actually cook.
- The Style Rookie Simply put, Tavi is beyond compare.
- Because I'm Addicted Cool girl Geri Hirsch has a really great eye and presents her finds flawlessly on her blog.
- Cupcakes and Cashmere Still trying to figure out how this blog gets so many hits, but it is kind of addicting.
- We Are In Residence My new favorite store features daily posts that perfectly reflect the owners' amazing aesthetic.
- LGD Designs This SoCal girl mixes design, art, and style into the perfect mix of daily inspiration.
Now that Mad Men is off the air for a few good months, my Sunday nights are markedly empty. Long gone are the days of staring dreamily at Don Draper and lusting longingly at the clothes worn by Joan, Betty and the rest of the gang. So what's a girl to do? That's where the show's costume designer Janie Bryant comes in. Swift on the heels of her TDF collaboration with Banana Republic, she's just released a book with all of her trade secrets, including behind the scenes tidbits and a forward by none other than January Jones. The styles and looks that she's created have certainly launched a million copycats and now she's here to tell you how you can get the look too. Martini glass not included.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
So apparently the fast fashion world is at it again. Now, yet another amazing designer is going to bringing their high-brow designs to everyone on a budget with a collection for Ebay. Yes, you heard me right. Ebay. The major online reseller has inked a deal with Derek Lam (who Rachel Zoe happens to D-I-E for) so that he will design a collection especially for the retailer at prices that are actually--gasp--affordable. The best part? Seems like the designer and retailer have realized how important shoppers like us are and are letting the crowd vote on some of the designs. Shopping by popular demand is in vogue. The collection won't hit the site for some time but looking at his dreamy runway shots and I'm already fantasizing at what might grace the screen of my Macbook Pro. A girl can dream....And thanks to Ebay, those dreams may be a reality, too.
(photo: courtesy of The Frisky)
I have mixed feelings about all those young bloggers out there who post photos of themselves traipsing around in the latest fashions. Intriguing? Always. Gratuitous? Sometimes. So when I come across one that doesn't strike a nerve, I add it to my blogroll and make sure to check back daily for updates. This young lady is not only gorge, but her outfit choices are "real" enough that I can actually get some ideas from seeing them. (Sea of Shoes. I mean, seriously. Come on now.) The skinny jeans are an obvious choice. Done and done. But that sleeveless button down? I've accumulated so many long-sleeved versions that maybe I should take one or two to the tailor and have her edit the sleeves off. Great idea! And buttoning it all the way up? I love it. I would have NEVER have thought to do it, but seeing it done so well, I'm now dying to try it too. Paired with a slouchy hobo bag and open toe shoes, the outfit is perfectly California and may be having you east coasters dreaming of a warmer summer's day. But no matter your locale, you're sure to score an idea or two from this young and inspired in-motion shot.
(photo: courtesy of Sincerely Jules)
I'm the kind of person who never buys the generic brand at the drug store. I am not sure why (and it's not a snob thing), I just convince myself it's lacking some major and vital ingredient. For whatever reason, I'm willing to pay the extra dollar for name brand soap. Strange, but true. But department stores and now online retailers too have gotten into the business of making their own generic brands. Consider Bop Basics, the in-house line for Shopbop (which you know by now is my shopping mecca). The items are their take on all of the current trends (skinny cargos, draped tees, oversized scarves, etc.) but for lower prices that anyone could get behind. I like to think that since Shopbop in particular does such a bang-up job of styling and culling amazing merchandise their in-house line has got to rock just as hard. Mais non? Whatever you're doing, dear Shopbop, keep doing it. You've lured me over to the dark--err, generic--side and I'm pretty sure I'm here to stay.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I went through a total Banana Republic phase. I think it started with my first college internship when I realized I could get pretty cute clothes for pretty reasonable prices. Then I discovered their jewelry and I was sold. But I have to admit that I haven't been in a Banana Republic in years. Frankly, it's become more like Ann Taylor to me and Gap's been busy stealing my heart. But of course, I see something pretty and I stop in my tracks. Banana just presented their collection for Spring and I think they may be trying to quietly lure me back in. They're way better at whimsy than J. Crew and I think these soft floral maxis might be the perfect pairing to my shrunken military jacket and olive colored wedges. It's not too over-the-top boho and it mixes in some of my already favorite elements to make it look, well more "me." I don't think I have to go on but have a look and you'll be planning your next trip to the Republic soon, too.
(photo: courtesy of Fashionologie)
I've come to a realization. I am pretty sure everyone (and I even mean all those skinny minnies out there) look better in a flared skirt. Same goes for shorts. I think when the hemline flares out a bit (aka gives you some space between your thighs and the material), it's just better for everyone. Looking at the skirts that have come out for fall (and not so secretly planning pretty outfits for holiday parties that I hope are on my calendar), I keep coming back to these flared skirts. Even if your waist isn't teeny, the cut of the skirt will make it look like it is. Bottom line: it's super flattering, which is something that every young woman can get behind. There's a sparkly DVF one that's tiered with a pretty bell shape and this bright purple one from Jenni Kayne that would look amazing with an all black look. But no matter the fabric, I know that this shape is what's on my radar--and my shopping list.
I know, I know. Just when you thought it was safe to go from Ballet Slippers to Bordeaux, there's a new kid in town. And typical of Chanel nail polishes, mania ensues (even though they're not set to hit store shelves--or Ebay--until December 1). This time, for resort, Big Boss Karl has come up with a beautiful shade that is nothing short of a breath of fresh air. It looks like the water in the caribbean with a subtle sparkle and I am sure that if I painted it on my nails (or toes) I'd be staring non stop. It's a bit more of a pick-me-up than fall's deep greys and their bestselling khaki collection and it just brings a smile to my face. Certainly a conversation starter if nothing else. Get ready for some fierce competition when the polish hits stores just in time for your winter vacay.
(photo: courtesy of Lacquerized)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
So my parents just got back from Asia and all I keep hearing about is the pearls. My god, the pearls. Apparently there's a pair waiting for me and I keep thinking of how conservative pearls look. Those short strands are just not me. And if you know me but at all, I'm more of an oversized bauble kind of girl these days. So I keep smiling when I hear about the pearls and beneath that smile my wheels are turning. I'm trying to think of ways to make the pearls work--for me. So I've got an idea. In the spirit of my obsession, Fenton Fallon, I am going to intertwine a few necklaces together (one of which will be those trusty new pearls). Very crafty, I know. I have this big, rad chainlink necklace that was a vintage score from a few years back, and the links are big enough and the pearls small enough that I can weave one through the other. I'm even thinking of adding a pretty satin ribbon at the clasp to finish things off. All I had to do was look at what I already owned to make this new strand work for me--and my style.
(photo: courtesy of Culture of Cute)
I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Because I'm Addicted by cutie Geri Hirsch, and she was talking about a new way to look at shopping. She mentioned the store Maxfield in L.A., which I am pretty sure is beyond most people's reach. In fact, I like to think of it as a museum. You can look, but you best not touch. But Geri made a great point. Instead of thinking of the store as a place where she didn't belong (because she wasn't buying any of the big ticket items), she treated the store like a museum, a place she could look and learn and get some ideas of her own. Stores like Maxfield aren't always the most welcoming to people who aren't going to make a sale but I think when you look past that and see the store for what it means to you, it makes the experience a bit different. You give the store a different meaning and walk through it with different intentions--and have a little more confidence when you walk through those front doors.
(photo: courtesy of Valet Mag)
So THIS is what I'm going to be wanting to wear this Spring! Sometimes as much as I love looking at runway photos and lookbooks I'm a little more Gap than I am Givenchy. I've become a loyalist to their jeans and can't help but be enticed by their inexpensive tees. So now that I'm looking at what they've presented, I am already planning my outfits. (Lame I know, but it's the way I work). I LOVE the way they've incorporated a pop of poppy into their usually monochromatic palette. The jeans look like they'll fit perfectly and that draped khaki jacket and striped tee? It just brings one word to mind: Score! Of course the collection is denim-heavy (it is Gap, after all), but there's a nice mixture of other materials and textures that make it fresh. Your new logo may have been a miss, but this new collection is a sure hit.
(photo: courtesy of Style.com)
Monday, October 25, 2010
I've always had a thing for Hermes scarves. I don't exactly own one, but when I see some of the older ladies at Neimans wearing one, I always have a bit of envy. They're just so classic and even my friend Rachel framed hers and hung it over her sofa. Tres chic. So even if I'm not quite ready to tie one around my neck the conventional way, there are alternatives that let you wear them in style. (And hint, any silk scarf will do, I'm just dreaming about one from Hermes). First, this cool new blog shows how girls just like us wear theirs, which will give you some cool new cues in about 2 seconds flat. Frankly, nothing has ever looked better--or cooler. Then there's that lovely DIY'er, Erica Domesek (remember I crushed her new book P.S. I Made This?). Well, she was guest blogging for Lucky this week and she came up with a totally wearable necklace out of her scarf, which means that literally anyone can wear it. I'm right on top of that, Rose...
(photo: courtesy of Lucky Magazine)
I know, I'm borderline obsessed. My growing number of coffee table books will soon need to be stacked underneath my actual coffee table--I have accumulated that many. But, alas, there's a new one that will soon be part of my ever-expanding collection. I was lucky enough to meet with an author a few years ago who asked for my help with some research on a book he was writing about famed photog Herb Ritts. Years later and the book is finally coming out, and frankly, how could I not? Seeing the images in person the other night (if you're in LA, they're at the Fahey/Klein gallery through December 4 and I HIGHLY recommend a trip), I realized just how talented Ritts really was. The movements, the motions he captured, and the respect he paid the human form. The biography is intriguing and the images are nothing short of breathtaking. Plus, for anyone looking to start collecting art, this is a good first step, no? It's a beautiful book to open up and gaze at and certainly an inspiration on taking art and style to new levels. So recommendation made, you'll certainly see it in my apt....
I've never really been a watch girl. I prefer to stack my bracelets instead. I can find the time on my blackberry (or ask anyone nearby) and have always had wide eyes when it comes to what I really want. So perusing Shopbop the other day (obvi) and I found something that's a cute alternative to the high ticket Cartiers, etc that everyone else seems to be wearing (or wanting). This rubber number screams sporty but it also adds a little flair to my wristful of bracelets and accessories that I can't seem to tear myself away from. The colors are just plain neat and the prices mean that I can splurge on more than just one. I'm particularly fond of the neon one, which I know is a bit jarring, but I'm considering it as just a plain old exercise in fun. Plus the best part? I'm guessing not that many peeps are going to have the same thing. This is individual style that I can really get behind.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
If you're looking for really inspired style, something that none of your friends are wearing, looking abroad is almost a foolproof option. Sometimes turning your attention to some of the street style blogs that feature fashionistas in other cities is your best bet. Take Copenhagen Street Style, one of the most recognized street style blogs around, which showcases some pretty rad fashions all the way over there. This lovely lady struck my fancy because of the way she wears everything so well. Her leather jacket has cool leopard embellishments which is just plain awesome, and the way she wears her scarf as a kerchief is something I have never tried--but now kind of want to. The sweater dress? Well anyone could wear that and those wedges I've already got. The way she puts it all together is inspiring though and definitely is giving me some ideas. You dig?
(photo: courtesy of Copenhagen Street Style)
For some reason everywhere I go, I see ads for Aldo. Either they're taking over the world or I'm finally starting to notice some of their really cute shoes. This pair of bandage-y suede wedges happen to look a lot like the Jenni Kayne numbers I have been wearing for nearly two years on end now and I'm guessing they cost a bit less. I love a clunky shoe like it's my business and I actually think these would look cute with everything I've been slowly acquiring for fall/winter. Yes a ton are knockoffs which I'm not the biggest fan of, but I think if you're going to go trendy, why not find something affordable. That way you won't feel so bad when you stop wearing them 3-6 months down the line. Considering I kill my shoes (a shoe repair asked me in all seriousness if I purposely stepped in those subway grates in NYC), something a bit more wallet-friendly seems to be calling my name. I would have passed this store/brand over, but it's making me take another look.
(photo: courtesy of Aldo)
I have always been a HUGE fan of Gryphon. Not only is their designer, Aimee Cho, nothing short of adorable, but she takes the basic pieces we love and makes them that much more interesting. Does that trench coat seem a little too buttoned up for you? They'll embellish it and make it kind of bad ass. Same goes for that boring boys blazer. They'll add a rockin' fur collar to make it unique and young again. These are definitely investment pieces but considering I can't stop lusting after them, maybe I've met my match. Take this street style photo as inspiration. The shrunken blazer is something that everyone realistically probably should own. It looks amazing with just about everything and is universally flattering. The oversized collar makes it that much more different than everyone else's and makes the ordinary extraordinary. Yet another lust-worthy piece. Well played.
(photo: courtesy of Street Style Aesthetic)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Just because I'm on a self-imposed shopping hiatus doesn't mean I'm not allowed to look. Right? So I'm still going to do my fair share of virtual window shopping (and dreaming), and try and get ideas from all my fave sites about ways I can wear what I already own in new and different ways. It's hard to resist but I did come across a new awesome site, Quail Shop, that is giving me some amazing ideas. I'm feeling the sweet feminine blouses that will make me forget that winter is coming on strong in all its doom and gloom. And there are even some pieces on there so cute they may just require a trip to the trusty old tailor for some reworking. I'm bookmarking this bad boy for when the hiatus ends, but in the mean time....let's keep on browsing. There's no harm in looking...
(photo: courtesy of Quail Shop)
Talking to a friend over lunch and the subject of the Hanky Panky sample sale came up. In New York, it's legendary. Those lines I talked about that wrap around corners? Yes, this would be that kind of event. So my friend told me that she heard the prices weren't as good as what she's scored at Nordstrom during their sale. And my obvious question was, but how do you know when they're on sale at Nordstrom? She let me in on a little tip. At Nordstrom (and a lot of other stores that work on commission), if you let the sales person know what you're looking for, they'll place a special call to you to alert you of a sale (and even let you shop a special pre-sale). If you're a tried-and-true shopper you may even want notifications when new things hit the sales floor. Just depends what you're looking for. Makes sense to befriend the gent behind the register or the lady watching you browse. They could be your greatest resource yet!
What seems like decades ago, I bought a button up sweater vest from Theory. It was a great thin merino wool and for some reason I loved it. It seemed a bit extreme to wear it over a button down (a little too Alex P. Keaton), so I paired it with draped tees, even tank tops, for a look you wouldn't necessarily expect. My favorite outfit was one where I wore the sweater vest over a slinkier camisole and a long necklace. Without fail, I always got compliments. So now that the temperature is dropping, the vest has been reintroduced into my closet--and my wardrobe. I can't wait to use it as a layering tool, and I particularly like all these draped versions that are popping up everywhere. Simply put, they work with everything you already own, keep you just a little bit warmer, and I think look adorably chic. Just a little bit preppy with your own, personalized edge. I happen to think it looks amazing. Expect me to be sporting my very own in very near future.
(photo: courtesy of Gap)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I've always thought pins were pretty grandma. I'm sure you'd probably agree. My mom and grandma both wear them on the lapels of their jackets and for some reason they love them. Now I'm not saying I'm going to go out and buy me some big insect pin (they love the insects), but I am thinking it may be an overlooked accessory. Considering I am trying to find new ways to wear what I already own, a pin may just be an easy and quick fix to what I've got. Paired on my simple black blouse that looks a bit boring by itself, it could be a conversation piece. Or I could use it to accessorize an otherwise basic scarf. Pinned onto the straps of a fabric handbag? A very cool addition. I'm still not entirely positive that pins are my thing right now, but I think I can start out small and see if they fit into my look and my lifestyle. They're a quick fix (the only kind I like) and they can make any boring old outfit just a little bit more interesting--and original.
(photo: courtesy of Net-a-Porter)
So I caught up with a MAYJOR editor earlier (ok, maybe it was on Twitter, but still!) and Teen Vogue's Eva Chen told me her must-haves for Fall. Which means, obvs, they're my must-haves too! Excuse the short hand, but, "musthaves 4 fall: camel coat/swtr, leather leggings/dress (depending on personal style), brown/beige booties!" So it's time to start brainstorming, no? Looks like these new Loeffler Randall booties may be on the list. The prices are def up there, but considering we're talking hypothetical investments, I think they pass muster. And even if you're unsure about the peep toe, I guarantee these would look great with some knit tights peeking out from underneath. Thank you Eva for some great advice! If only I can look as cute as you do in your Twitpics! I'll keep at it...
(photo: courtesy of Fashionista)
Some of you have already been kind enough to have a look, but for those who haven't, this here blog got a lovely little shout out from Dueling Tampons. And don't be alarmed by the name, it's a Penn thing, I swear. So thank you to Matt Rosler and Dueling Tampons for that little extra push! Much appreciated....
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
A few weeks ago I was actually looking for this exact photo when I just came across it on Garance Dore's street style blog. There's something about this image that I love. Maybe it's because she's rocking those thigh high knit socks that would make anyone jealous. Or that her light skirt seems like one of her favorite items from summer but it gets the Fall treatment with a pair of dark suede wedges and a beanie. Check. That big coat has a cool cutaway and fur collar, which I know some people are against (hi, peta), but just imagine how soft it would feel with the winds blowing. The oversized bag? Well I have a hard time leaving the house without mine. When you look at all the pieces separately, I would never think they would go together (nor would I ever probably wear them). But together, they're pretty awesome. This photo gives me at least a few easy ideas to use for the when the temps start to drop and I still have to look (at least try to look) stylish.
(photo: courtesy of Garance Dore)
So this image has been leaked just about everywhere getting those crazy Internets in a frenzy about H&M's latest collab. The problem I always find though (especially with H&M's capsule collections) is that it's next to impossible to get anything before it's sold out. You have to wait hours in line in the cold rain, and well, thanks but no thanks. But this photo makes me realize that maybe those crazies who wake up at 3am to stand in line may actually have the right idea. I am particularly crazy about the dress on the far left, that one shouldered number that would be AMAZING for all the upcoming weddings I have...and I am guessing the price is a tad more wallet-friendly than the other designs I've been spying on Net-a-Porter. Plus, if major designers are really your thing but you don't have the means to deck yourself out head to toe, these designer collaborations with fast fashion retailers like H&M, Target, and Uniqlo really are a great way to get what you want for less. It's the democratization of fashion at its best and opens these designers up to a whole new crowd. And with designs this sleek and sexy, I am pretty sure Lanvin is going to be reaching a very wide, new audience of fans.
(photo: courtesy of New York Magazine)
I've never tried to hide the fact that I love J. Crew. Particularly lately, I just can't seem to get enough. And the way they style the models, looks just bananas. Me and my friend Jordan were comparing notes the other night on how much we love J. Crew. She claimed she wears it head to toe. She tousles her hair a bit and makes what would otherwise be straight prep look enviously edgy. Taking a look at their latest lookbook and I think I don't even need to tousle my hair to feel cool in the looks they're serving up. This sweater dress and tall boots might as well be my winter work uniform. I can wear different tights (black opaque and grey knit are in heavy rotation) and swap out a pair of heels for night and I'm set. Pretty easy if you ask me. Plus sequins for day. Expect another post on this, but I think once again the geniuses at J. Crew have reminded me that something I would have thought was only appropriate at night (or for an elegant affair) looks pretty bad ass when worn in the day. Thank you for never disappointing me, dear J. Crew. Can't wait till we meet again. Sooner rather than later.
(photo: courtesy of Fashionologie)
Monday, October 18, 2010
Every day when I wake up I have nearly 20 emails in my Inbox. Bloomingdales, Barneys, The Zoe Report, Who What Wear...the list goes on. As annoying as I find it, sometimes, just sometimes I come across something that I'm glad I didn't delete. Case in point, this morning's email from Mulberry. I want nearly everything from Mulberry. Their fresh take on leopard prints and girly English charm is nothing short of perfection. But, getting everything I want from Mulberry just isn't on the agenda, if you catch my drift. But, considering I've been feeling just a little bit crafty lately, I am all about getting ideas about the high-ticket items I do like and figuring out ways to make them my own. On today's to-do list: Mulberry's lace-up heels with amahhhzing ribbon detail. I love the shoes, love the idea, and it's a pretty quick DIY project. I've found two pairs of shoes in my closet with removable straps. All I need is one trip to Mood or F&S Fabrics (or M&J Trimmings in New York) to find the perfect ribbon to replace the straps. The more colorful (and trendier) the better. I can swap them out to match the outfit, and dress them up to make some old heels look jazzy and new. It's a super quick (and cheap!) fix that's on my list...and a welcome alternative to those lustworthy (and pricey) Mulberry heels...
(photo: courtesy of Mulberry)
It'd be a shame if the entire month of October passed with nary a mention of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's beyond important, and any purchase where proceeds go to the cause is one that can put any shopping hiatus on hold. Free Fingers by Nina is rad not just because they're cool enough to give you the warmth of mittens while still letting your fingers have a little breathing room, but the best part is that 100% of the profits go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 100%! I mean how amazing is that? The soft cashmere is nothing but delish and the Fall collection features some amazing color combos that will spruce up your look. As someone who has dropped many a glove from chair lifts while trying to get comfortable, I know that free fingers is undoubtedly the way to go. And for such a great cause, there's no reason not to...
(photo: courtesy of Free Fingers by Nina)
As obscenely preppy as it is, I still believe a monogrammed L.L. Bean tote is just about as classic a handbag as one can have. You can stash a change of shoes in it (very Working Girl), carry a smaller clutch in it for nights out, and load in everything but the kitchen sink without worrying about its fine canvas finish. However, I may just have stumbled upon a new classic. For those who have already heard of the lovely Clare Vivier, pardon the repetition. For those who haven't, listen up. Her luxe leathers are buttery soft, and her moderate prices aren't exactly what you'd find at a swank boutique or even Bergdorfs. My fave is the oversized clutch, which could be a day bag if you're cool enough to pull it off. The incredible range of colors means you can either challenge yourself with a vivid pick or buy one in every color of the rainbow. They're just that good. Plus, I love finding L.A. designers who are just under the radar enough that they're still special. Get yours now before she gets so big that the prices rise and everyone else is carrying the very same bag...
(photo: courtesy of Clare Vivier)
Sunday, October 17, 2010
You may think that rainy days in L.A. are rare, but lately it's been all about that annoying light mist that seems to ruin a good hair day. Though I've never been a hat type of person, it's days like today that make me wish I had them in my closet. I don't think the baseball caps I wore in college will really do the trick and I'll probably look like an idiot in a newsboy cap. I bought something that resembled a fedora to wear on a trip to Europe a few years back and all I could remember thinking when I caught my reflection was how much I looked like Carmen San Diego. Instead of a structured number, I may be in the market for one of those oversized beanies. They're definitely more fashion than function but I think this weather calls for something. There a few options out there and I know, when it comes to hats, one size does not fit all. So my work is cut out for me. Have to find something that suits me (and my huge head)...
Maybe it's because my apartment is so small, but one of my favorite ways to "decorate" is to find as many cool coffee table books as I can get my hands onto. It's become a mix of a hobby and obsession that I just can't seem to satiate. So low and behold, another winner that will be making its way onto my bookshelf. I think apart from the way someone dresses, the way they keep their home (be it a teensy apartment or sprawling manor) says a lot about someone's personal style. And what better way to get ideas than to take a sneak peek inside their pads? (And since someone is giving us the go-ahead, it's anything but creepy). It's the first reason I pick up Elle Decor, and why I loved Domino so much. I love seeing the things people collect, the fabrics they choose, and figuring out what their home says about them. This new book is coffee table elegant and has an inside look at the homes of major fashion designers like Diane von Furstenburg, who is essentially a goddess. Their homes may be out of my reach at present, but I'll no doubt pick up an idea or too just by having a look. A great way to get inspired and snag some ideas from real living legends.
(photo: courtesy of Assouline)
So the other night I was lucky enough to talk to an incredibly talented designer, who was bringing her big city designs to open a breathtaking space on Melrose Place. While discussing her new store, her own mood board, and the fabrics she so skillfully uses, she let me in on a little secret. Turns out that her amazing prints aren't just some fabric she happens to like. She carries her iPhone with her wherever she goes, and loves taking pictures straight from her phone. Since she's holed up in Brooklyn most of the time, she usually focuses on nature, any kind of animals she comes across, and brilliantly colored sunsets. Once she gets a great photo, she uses photoshop on her trusty Mac to turn that photo into a new print. And voila, a new, unique design is born. What cooler way to come up with incredible patterns and vivid imagery. So next time you're toting your camera, see what you come across and toy around with it. Sometimes the images you'll stumble upon will be as inspiring as a cool new print. Head over to a fabric store and see if you can find something to match what you've just snapped. It's a foolproof way to make what you wear something personal to you.
(photo: courtesy of Style.com)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I remember when I first read about The Style Rookie, Tavi Gevinson. Back then she was a little known blogger (who was 12 at the time and wouldn't even reveal her last name), updating her site out of her parents' house in suburban Chicago. I thought she was insanely rad and remember distinctly asking my dad what the process was for buying her. And yes, you read that correctly. I just had a feeling she was going to be big. Now two years later (she had a Bat Mitzvah!), she's literally become an icon in the fashion industry. People either hate her (think she has too much influence and wears too big of bows in her hair when she sits front row at fashion shows) or love her (think she's a genius, which I kind of do). I am never not surprised and amazed when I look at her site, especially considering the access she's given to designer's studios, collaborations with big brands like Target, and a general style savvy that makes me wonder what exactly I was thinking when I was her age. While I was busy reading Seventeen, there's an article on her in The New Yorker. Nuff said. So take a chance to familiarize yourself with dear Tavi. She's nothing short of amazing and I honestly think we could be BFF. Simply put, this teen rocks.
(photo: courtesy of The Style Rookie)
So while rummaging through my closet and trying to figure out different ways to wear the obscene amount of button-downs I've managed to acquire, I came to a realization. As I paused in front of the mirror, sporting my tortoise shell glasses, and trying on my black blazer over my white silkish button down, I only had one thought. Why do I look so much like Andrea Zuckerman? Now, she may have been one of the most awkward characters on 9-0 (save for poor David Silver), but she always dressed like such a mom (which actually, she happened to be at the time). So in utter fear, I tore off the blazer, and realized that that particular look just won't do. I realized I'm still struggling just the same as anyone else trying to look good AND feel good at the same time. It just goes to show that I'm trying to figure this all out too.
(photo: courtesy of Kosmix)
Remember the days of Limited Too? Life was so simple. I used to LOVE that store. I'd wear these outfits that made me look 40 (at least). Black stirrup leggings. Ankle cowboy boots. Oversized sweaters. And long necklaces to complete the look. I think one even had bubbles. Totally ill-advised. I discovered stirrup jeans a few years back and wear them religiously with my boots through winter. I get a little embarrassed when anyone sees that they're actually stirrups, but they just fit into my boots so nicely that way. So here I come across a pair of stirrup leggings and I am relieved to see that the stirrup trend is here to stay. These thick knit leggings look like they're an absolute staple, great enough to be worn with boots and maybe even a dress if you're that masterful. I used to hate leggings (plagued by bouts of insecurity), but I now know that they're an indispensable part of any girl's wardrobe. They're just so versatile! So here's to rocking leggings and bringing back stirrups, one amazing pair at a time!
(photo: courtesy of Barneys)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
So back when I lived in New York, I worked for Conde Nast. And on the first day of work (I think I was dressed in something awful from Ann Taylor), I stumbled into the storied cafeteria. It's this unreal futuristic space that offers not only the most incredible selection of food, but the most incredible selection of fashions. Every editor, assistant, and the like parades through that cafeteria in the coolest clothes I had ever seen. Somewhere in between placing my order for stir fry and sheepishly making my way over to the register I literally stopped dead in my tracks. Incredible style was all around me. Now as much as Vogue may be inaccessible, they've started a new series on their website that is totally relatable. They feature one of their staffers (Lucky does too, which I love) and shows the outfits they pick each day for a week. Now while most of us can't quite access the designer finds they're usually in, it's a great place to look for outfit ideas, trend inspiration, and great looks that you can (with a little tweaking) make your own. Here's the latest, a staffer that I am obsessed with, who always turns out adorable looks that I want to copy-cat stat. Consider it your own personal pass into the Conde Caf.
(photo: courtesy of Vogue)
So back when I was abroad, ZARA was all the rage. Everyone would spend hours scouring the store and come out with millions of amazing finds. Those kind of excavation expeditions are not exactly my thing, and I have to admit, I avoid the ZARA store at Century City because it's way too overwhelming. But taking a look at their recently published October 2010 designs and now I know what I've been missing. THIS is what I want to wear this fall/winter. Granted the temp will have to drop significantly in LA, but what caught my eye was the way that each piece is just a little different than what you'd expect. The great oversized coat has bracelet sleeves (aka they hit above the wrist) which means you can play with proportion and let some fun prints and colors sneak out from underneath. Those harem/sweatpants look addictively comfortable and those shoes, my god those shoes. Not quite sure if I'd be able to walk in them, but if I did manage, I'd never take them off. Wonders what one little picture can inspire in an imaginative young lady like myself. Flip through their lookbook and see if you get any ideas...
(photo: courtesy of Zara)
Since I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, I walked myself over to All Saints' Robertson store (ps, there's also one at the new Santa Monica Place) and woah! Roughed-up, vintage looking leathers were everywhere in wear-anywhere work boots and studded, draped, and bomber leather jackets. You name the leather, they got it. Plus, here's a little hint. The All Saints website features an awesome lookbook that pairs together a lot of their clothes in ways that can give you great ideas. Head over to a brand or store's website and see if you can find a lookbook or see how they've styled the clothes. Net-a-Porter and Shopbop also have an awesome (and easy) "Looks good with" feature that enables you to buy everything you need to make an entire outfit at once. And if you're looking for some cool (and relatively affordable) leather accents for your fall look, All Saints' edgy boots and shapely little leather jackets are just about as good as it gets.
(photo: courtesy of CoolSpotters)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
My mom wears Chanel Number 19. I have a lot of friends who are loyal to Quelques Fleurs, and I went through a phase where I wore CK One. I know, I'm horrified, too. It's only now that I realize instead of buying the perfume that everyone else is wearing, your scent is something that you really can make unique to your style and personality. On my first trip to Paris I discovered Nina Ricci's L'air du temps, and on another, I fell in love with Hanae Mori. But now, I think I've stumbled across another new fave. I always have loved the smell of musk, but was afraid it was too much of a man's scent for me. Until I met my new fragrance at my friend's new store, In Residence. Their in-house blend (which I hope not too many have snatched up yet) has a perfect blend of musk and woodsy notes that is just right for the cooler temps. I even apply it before I go to sleep. I'm that obsessed. Treat yourself to a custom blend (Bond in NY and Fred Segal Apothia in LA have great options), or discover a blended scent that's off the beaten path (tons of stores/boutiques have their own fragrances). It's a great way to set yourself apart, and develop a unique piece of your style that you can really keep all to yourself.
(photo: courtesy of In Residence)
Just as I am trying to make myself more stylish (sometimes in vain!), I am also trying to make my home just a little bit more stylish, too. Whether buying coffee table books in bulk or adding decadent candles and accessories, every day I seem to find something else new that I have to have. So while I used to flip through the pages of Domino magazine for ideas, these days there aren't really any great resources for girls like me (and you). Everything is either too high-brow, too expensive, or definitely not my taste. So I've taken to reading Lonny online. Formed by the former editors of Domino, it's a great home resource that gives you ideas on how you can (or can dream of) decorating your pad. Whether you get one idea or ten, I love taking a look and dreaming a little dream of what I'd love my apartment to look like...some day.
(photo: courtesy of Lonny)
So there seems to be a bit of little red riding hood to this, and a dash of Phyllis Neffler after she remade her Troop Beverly Hills uniform. But I think this modified cape looks fresh for fall. It has breathable arm holes which means it's not the conventional style, and a generous cut that would look rad over skinny jeans. Paired with a great striped or print top and you can let the colors or pattern peak out, turning this into the ideal layering piece. I am pretty sure this will work for those with a flair for the dramatic. Who, me?
(photo: courtesy of Intermix)
Monday, October 11, 2010
I think pink is one of those colors that is nearly impossible to get right. It certainly depends on the skin tone, and you run the risk of going too bubblegum or too pepto with the slightest variation in shade. So what's a girl to do? Well I was reading Cupcakes and Cashmere, an adorable blog by another LA lady, and saw this pic of a petal pink bedroom that gave me an idea. It wasn't the dusty rose that has been a Pantone favorite, and it wasn't the totally pale version that washes me out. It was just bright enough to catch my eye, which means it'll catch other eyes if I wear it. A delicate silk or chiffon dress would be ideal or maybe even one of those sweet camisoles I have been on the search for. I have a feeling Urban Outfitters may have an option or two. The color is a bit of a stretch for me, but it makes me happy every time I see it. And what better reason do you need?
(photo: courtesy of Cupcakes and Cashmere)
So I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this but there was a day all too recently when I had a conundrum. I had to spend a credit but couldn't find anything to spend it on. I know, tough life. But here's the thing. Because there weren't any boxy grey sweaters and navy dresses to focus on (my go-tos), it forced me to get out of my comfort zone. It was a use it or lose it type situation. So after the sales girl prodded I finally took some soft camisoles and a vastly unsupportive bra into the dressing room. The camisole was a no-brainer. Clemense Poesy wore a delicate one on Gossip Girl a few weeks back (she's French, go figure), and ever since I've been thinking about how they look so amazing underneath just about anything. I'm thinking boy blazer or motorcycle jacket. I did drag my feet a bit on the triangle top, but turns out it worked. And now I can't seem to get enough of it. Not only is it insanely comfortable, but I prefer the look of its thick straps and bold colors underneath my dark sweaters for fall. It's a peek-a-boo style that covers a lot (thank you) but still catches the eye--which is my favorite kind. VPL makes great versions too (available on Shopbop) in fun colors that look great with the season's darker colors. A cool trick to try when you're in the mood for something just a little bit different.
(photo: courtesy of Glamour.com)
I don't think I need to go on and on about how inspiring Paris street style can be. That certain je ne sais quoi does exist, I swear! So looking at these pics taken criss-crossing the right and left banks gave me some very fun ideas. This one in particular made me rethink color combos and what I like to think of as conventional style rules. After cleaning out my closet over the weekend I was just about ready to stash away those light shoes and box them up for next spring. If I had my way, they wouldn't see the light of day until the summer months. Wrong. Again. My tan skin heels will look amazeballs with my new black opaque tights. I think some grey ones will look awesome too. And just when I thought I'd cleared some stuff out of my cluttered closet. Looks like these pale colors (even tans and beiges) are here to stay through fall and winter--but only paired with some dark, contrasting knits and tights.
(photo: courtesy of Mr. Newton)
Sunday, October 10, 2010
So for as long as I can remember (or for as long as I've been paying attention), ASOS has been one of the go-to sites for shopping fanatics. The only problem? It wasn't available to the US---yet. I like to think of the British website as kind of like a mix between a high-end H&M, Shopbop, and Urban Outfitters all rolled into one. It interprets the season's latest trends in pieces that are actually well made, and has cute cuts, and might I say, the very best jackets and coats around. So now we here in the states can have our fill of this UK fave (which has long been an obsession of Teen Vogue). Take a browse and you'll see why. I particularly love the shoes. They're like well-made versions of Steve Madden that you'll actually want to wear next year.
(photo: courtesy of ASOS)
Being home sick always incites a bit of cabin fever in me and I end up pacing my apartment trying to figure out ways to occupy my time (I only had so many episodes of Mad Men on my DVR). A great way to spend a day at home? Cleaning out the closet of course, and trying to swap out some of my summer basics for fall's freshest finds. The best part? Stumbling across things that I forgot I owned, which I'll admit happens way too often. The most exciting (re)find was a pair of old Vince wool shorts. That's right, shorts. I kind of hate shorts, but the reason I love these is because they're meant for fall which means I can wear them with my favorite opaque tights. The heather grey color goes with just about anything and they look great with any kind of boot you can imagine. I may hate summer's cut-offs, but I do love winter shorts. And even though I can't imagine myself wearing them, I'm envious of anyone who can pull off some cute leather shorts with tights for fall. I'm just hoping the temperature actually drops in LA so I'll find a chance to wear them...
As I sit here typing, staring at my book shelf, I am beginning to notice that my habit of buying "Style" books has gotten a bit out of hand. It all started with the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen book "Influence" (which still gets comments every time someone sees it) and was most recently forwarded by Nylon's new book about street style. If it's about style, I tell myself it's fair game, and part of my growing collection. A collector's item? In my mind (and in my apartment), the answer is always yes. This one has a bit more edge than The Sartorialist. Think hipsters in Los Feliz vs. chic fashionistas in Bev Hills. Since I am always looking for a new source of inspiration, even if it's a bit out of my comfort zone, count me in. Another great read, inspiring photos, and plenty of eye candy that will help me rethink the way I dress.