Thursday, December 23, 2010

"i felt it... it was perfect."

the title of this post is just one of many brilliant lines from natalie portman's character nina, in the new film "black swan".. this movie is 100% worth seeing.

i am honestly SHOCKED that somebody like myself, who is so anti-big-blockbuster-movies it's not even funny, would actually advocate going to see this film. but it is a work of art and an inspiration. so, like i usually do with anything that inspires me, i'm going to find some "black swan"-ish fashion (feathers and tutus and tights, oh my!).

... now, since i KNOW you're thinking it, let me be the first to say that THIS IS NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT:

we all remember this sad time in fashion history when some poor, helpless swan decided to not only wrap itself around the icelandic singer björk, but to kill itself shortly thereafter (shhh.. if we don't tell her, maybe she won't notice..)

let's get to the good stuff.

the nina shrug
in the movie, nina wears a shrug to cover up some nasty, self-inflicted wounds on her shoulder blade... but if you DON'T have those, worry not -- it's still cute! i think it's more modern and less middle-school to have an oversized, slouchy shrug, like this grey one from Forever21.

the crop top
american apparel crop top: half ballet, half "let's get physical", all dance-worthy.

the tutu (kinda)
don't feel like getting literal with the whole tutu business? me neither. luckily, viktor & rolf have made it easy to pay homage to sugar plum fairies without actually looking like one. their scent "flowerbomb" is my absolute favorite perfume of all time, and in this holiday edition, they dressed it up with a metallic version of their grenade-like casing (flowerBOMB, get it ?!!) and, most importantly, a cute pink tutu. it'll fit on your old barbies, if that helps.

the black feathers
this feather skirt/black top combo by jay godfrey, available at neiman marcus, is a great way to channel your inner psycho-swan-bitch-twin. i prefer smaller feathers to large ones, as it makes it a little less obvious and doesn't look like you've tied a feather boa around your hips.

Monday, December 20, 2010

my 99% fashion-related christmas list.

it's just around the corner, folks; good ol' xmas. i've just returned from the city and took with me a handful of inspiration that led me to write the following: my christmas list!! ...that is, if it actually still mattered, cause it doesn't, cause christmas is in 5 days.

i've tried to keep it mostly fashion-centric, but hey, i have to be at least a LITTLE versatile. here we go:

1. Mid-Length Skirt
magazines and blogs everywhere are talking about this phenomenon: an aversion to both mini and maxi length skirts and dresses, and a preference for a mid-length skirt -- a skirt that hits between the knee and ankle -- which one would usually think was grandma status. but it's been reinvented in a totally chic and flattering way with cute patterns and flowy fabrics. maxi shit is always too damn long for me, and short skirts show my gross kneecaps, so this is an A+ move for me in terms of fashion. thanks, fashion!

2. Denim Shirt

denim shirt? what the hell is that? it's not a jacket, but somehow it's still made of denim?? yes. a soft denim. this hybrid creature has the feel of wearing your boyfriend's dress shirt, only it actually fits you. i like it buttoned up to the top, but it can certainly work unbuttoned. levi's makes a great one shown here.

3. Something with Toggle Closures
tonight, my boyfriend tried on a jacket from Urban with toggle closures. i was secretly jealous. a very outdoorsy feel, with a lot more uses than a coat closure -- like this cool sweatshirt. toggle closures also are more fun to close than buttons ..... or at least, i think so.

4. Cool Cummerbund

we're used to hearing cummerbunds for men, referring to those barely necessary (can someone tell me what their purpose is? i don't feel like googling) pieces of fabric around the abdomen when wearing a tux. but they've been in women's wear too, this sparkly look especially popular in the eighties. now, fashion's pulled yet another frankenstein and reanimated the look for 2010. where would i wear this thing? everywhere.

5. Manfrotto Tripod
yeah so here's where shit gets a little obscure. no, this is not fashion. but i used what i'm pretty sure is this exact tripod this semester and it's beautiful and light and awesome. you never know how much you value a tripod when all of a sudden, you're trying to film and realize you don't HAVE one ..

6. An Internship
Oh... oh wait, this is supposed to be a realistic list? ahh, fuck.

7. Big Ol' Bag

i want a nice leather bag -- a BIG one -- that has this dual handle business going on. i love the nonchalant look as the unused handles hang down beneath the bag. i also have a severe case of never-being-satisfied-with-my-handbag syndrome; keep this in mind.

* in other news, while walking around the city tonight, i saw a lot of THIS bullshit polluting my eyeballs (what did they ever do to you?!?!):

at first i thought, "oh, okay... like a mohawk. i get it."

but after a while, the only thing that came to mind was the trojan horse.

Friday, December 17, 2010

for auld lang syne, my dear.

good news: school has stopped eating my life and soul for a short duration of time! bad news: i've been terribly uninspired for my blog.

perhaps this is due to the fact that during finals week, nobody really cares about their appearance -- even i resorted to wearing the same thing two days in a row -- so i've kept fashion on the back-burner for the past couple of weeks. but one thing that has been on my mind is this: new year's eve.

now, let me begin by saying that there is a 99% chance i will be spending this new year's eve at home with my mother and my sister and their friends, living vicariously through each of them and feeling like their merriment is mine too because i'm not one of the cool kids anymore..........

..... but that doesn't mean i can't get an appropriate PARTY DREESSSSS!

so to me, new year's eve always calls for something metallic and/or sparkly. is that cliché? absolutely. still, one of my favorite new year's eve outfits was the one i wore when i was about twelve and we went to red lobster; my look consisted of silver glitter nail polish to accompany my black and silver-striped polyester top. ironically, all subsequent outfits have been sub-par.

after meticulous searching, i've discovered some of the most spectacular, shiny, sequined creations out there at the moment:

"Iconic Heavy Beaded Dress" by Kate Moss for Topshop
here's one of my favorites -- one of the few that used beads instead of sequins. very art deco, very flapper, very short, but conservative enough to arrive looking classy -- not trashy.
the shoulder cut-outs read chic, not nightclub. while it's meant to hang, fit here is key: too long and you may look short, and if the bottom hem is too wide it will simply look too big.
j.crew always does sequins perfectly, especially with the dusted-sequin look. this is understated, yet sexy, and adds a little more to the basic LBD.
another j.crew masterpiece. unconventional in color and sleeve-length, this is still flashy enough to make you a stand-out at your NYE party. but fill up that piggy bank first -- this silk sequined number goes for a whopping $1,100...... er, maybe next year.
modcloth had some pretty extravagantly shiny dresses, but i chose this one for its versatility -- it could really act as a tunic for day, too -- and its affordable price tag at $70. but it's sold out, so keep an eye out!
ah, forever 21: my go-to store for a quick party fix. black sequins on a black flouncy dress are wonderfully alluring, and the silhouette is as girly as it gets. plus, it's only $24.80!
here's another great example of shine without sequins, since sequins can sometimes be unreliable if not constructed well. i love the asymmetry and combo of textures.
"Goddess" Dress by Free People
white dresses: are they risks? yes. but this one may just be worth it. it's got the whole grecian thing going on, but the bit of silver at the hips makes it party-ready.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

my new holy grail product.

oh, my. could it be i've found the perfect lip product?

it's called snow fairy lip tint from lush cosmetics, a great company that makes handmade, natural, and even vegan beauty products such as body wash, shampoo, lip products, and their famous fizzy bath bombs to name a few.

why i love it:
it smells like bubblegum, but not overwhelmingly so (it's a very particular scent .. reminds me of something specific but i cannot for the life of me remember what!). the bright pink color is intimidating at first, but actually goes on very sheer, keeping lips soft -- not sticky -- and giving them a noticeable yet natural pink flush (the color comes from raspberries!). it doesn't dry lips out like a lip stain, but still has surprising longevity; it lasted hours after i applied it, even after the decadent but messy chocolate souffle i had for dessert. only downside is that it's a tub and you have to use your finger, but for what it's worth (approximately $6), i can live with it.

check it out here! thanks, lush!

Monday, November 15, 2010

inspiration: johnny flynn

you'll notice there are many times in which i refer to music videos for fashion inspiration. this is one of those times.

here's one of my all-time favorite songs/videos called "the box" by a fantastic artist named johnny flynn.

as if the song wasn't good enough, the video is beautifully illustrated and animated (and it starts with an HDT quote -- could it get any better???). it's almost completely black and white in both film and illustration, save for a few splashes of watercolor-like hues that flicker in an out with a perfect subtlety. i especially love the black, white, and yellow combo.

this artistic, painterly look is really quite gorgeous when translated to clothing. so i ventured to one of my favorite clothing sites ModCloth to search for some dresses that captured the feeling of this video:

i love the way the flowers appear to be illustrations, almost like artistically placed doodles from someone's math notebook. i also love that it's not just a floral print in black and white, which we see a bit too often perhaps, but rather in ivory and navy; really makes it whimsical and wearable.

here's that black and yellow combo i was talking about (although this might be more of a charcoal). like i said, out of all the color palettes in "the box", this one caught my eye the most. 90% of this dress is neutral except for that ribbon of yellow cascading down, peeking out from beneath the ruffles. it's unexpected, which is great.

now if any dress really captures what johnny flynn's video shows, it's this one. it combines that splash of yellow upon a black/grey/white base, as well as illustration-like patterns. if i worked at modcloth, i may just name this "the box" dress -- although, i doubt anybody would be too eager to buy it if they didn't know what i was referring to .. nobody wants to look like a box.

johnny flynn is performing tonight in boston. i can't go, and it breaks my heart a little. suppose i'll have to wait.

Friday, November 12, 2010

happy 10th anniversary, lucky! but something's missing ..

(i don't like caps. i'm disposing of capital letters at the beginning of words from here on out, indefinitely.)

happy anniversary to my favorite magazine: condé nast's lucky magazine!

oh, lucky, you know you hold a special place in my heart. i'm the first to snatch the latest issue of those glossy pages from the shelves as soon as it hits drugstores. you're a no-frills, no-nonsense publication dedicated to my most expensive compulsion: shopping. nothing about sex or dramatic novels or any of the filler stuff that i usually skim over. just fashion, beauty, and style.

but why, in your december 2010 issue, have you not included my favorite section on the last page - andrea linett's section called "fashion babble"????

not that i don't love the magazine otherwise -- but i always look forward in particular to the wonderfully detailed illustration and lovely outfits put together on the final page each month. now it's gone! hopefully not forever!!

the rest of the issue though, with diane kruger on the cover, has been one of my all time favorites. it includes a great and humorous section on what might be in magazines in the year 2020 (it also mentions how mags have stood the test of technological time, avoiding the print publication extinction that has doomed other written mediums -- keep up the good work, folks!!). a highly informative issue, lots of lists and tips like top beauty products, which i love.

here's to many more years of my most thoroughly read magazine!

Friday, November 5, 2010

and i thought this day would never come ..

I was on campus the other day and a girl was wearing these wonderful boots - slight heel, good shape, nice color, good quality. What really struck me was the fit and the shape. So I, being the big creep I am, casually walked closer to try and sneak a peek at the brand, printed on a metal tag on the back of her heel. As I got closer I furrowed my brow in confusion. "Can't be..." I thought. But it was.

On that tag read: Ugg.

Yes folks, it's happened. I found a pair of Uggs that I not only like, but love - the Ugg Amberlee from their Equestrian Collection. Take a look:

Now granted, it doesn't look like a traditional Ugg. THAT'S THE POINT, PEOPLE! Uggs don't HAVE to mean those big flat fuzzy things that people stick on their feet. Ugg is a brand, not a TYPE of shoe.

We need not be label whores! What you should be paying for is QUALITY, not the ability for someone to identify the brand of your purse from miles away. Get a Coach bag that doesn't have the Cs on it. Get a Louis Vuitton bag without the LVs on it. And get Uggs that don't look like "Uggs"!

..... UNFORTUNATELY, these lovely boots cost a hefty $275, and I'm a broke-ass college student who could barely afford her Panera lunch yesterday, so back to the drawing board, I guess.

Monday, November 1, 2010

at least video didn't kill the fashion designer.

I'm highly impressed lately with the fashion I'm seeing in music videos.

Let's start with Willow Smith, arguably the best dressed 9-year-old on the music scene right now (well, probably the only 9-year-old on the music scene right now. Miley's still like .. 8 years old, right?). Either way, in the video for her hit single "Whip My Hair", she shows off her surprisingly mature style - a sort of hybrid between M.I.A. and that neat kids section they have in H&M (can you say 'capsule collection', anyone???).

For the video, Willow wears custom-made clothing and a OneZ jumpsuit courtesy of California Christiania Republic - which gets covered in paint!

This one here is my obsession of the moment: Kanye West's incredible new short film "Runaway". It's a half-hour video accompanied by tracks off his upcoming album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" (which I am TOO excited about!!). The focus of the movie is really on the fallen phoenix, personified by model Selita Ebanks.

If you think her costume of mindfully placed feathers looks runway-worthy, that's because it is; her outfits were designed by fashion designer Phillip Lim and costume designer Martin Izquierdo. From the wings to the makeup, it's to die for - but let's leave this look to the Victoria's Secret Angels, shall we?

I think the fiercest new hip hop star simply HAS to be Nicki Minaj. She's featured in's new song "Check It Out"; and in the video, we can't help to do just that.

Her outfits channel the kind of harajuku-robot thing that's been hanging around ever since Gwen Stefani went solo - but this time, with a whole new street-inspired flavor.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

i'm having an issue with boots these days.

There seems to be a relentless and terrifying epidemic of problematic boots as far as the eye can see. I see a lot of good looking boots (and, consequently, not as many Uggs!), but not great looking boots. What I hope to illustrate here is that comfortable and functional boots can still be fashionable. And what I hope to dissect is the reasons why some boots look cheap and others don't; I haven't come up with a specific golden rule to avoid this just yet. But what I HAVE deduced is that, like most things, it's all in the details. So here's a few guidelines to think about when looking for that perfect fall/winter staple:

Material is Essential: If You Can, INVEST!

Now I understand that money is almost always a factor in deciding whether or not to buy something; we all want a bargain. But with boots, there are plenty of decently priced choices out there depending on where you shop. And if you're going to buy a good pair, INVEST in one - specifically, a pair made of real leather. Not only does real leather have more longevity than fake leather, but it will almost always look better. Unless you're vegan, the most worthy investment is the real deal.
When going for a timeless pair of leather boots, I look for something like this:

This leather boot from has a great shape, nice hardware, and a good-sized stacked wooden heel. And I'm a SUCKER for this widely versatile camel color. This kind of boot will last you a while, and can transition well from fall to winter, and even winter to spring.

But if the real leather is simply too expensive, there are very cheap BUT realistic looking alternatives. It just takes a good eye! Check these boots out, from Forever 21:

I think these are great for the bargain shopper that isn't looking for an extremely long-term buy but still wants in on the trend for this season. While I don't feel these are particularly timeless - the lace-up combat meets oxford look may not translate into Fall 2011 - I would definitely think these were much more expensive than they are.

AVOID the following:
The oddly textured finish and the orangey color of the fake leather looks forced. Compare it to the first picture; see the difference?

Keep it Simple - Then Add a Twist

LESS. IS. FREAKIN. MORE. Always. This is a rule of thumb in every fashion endeavor. Unless you're Lady Gaga.

Think of shoes as several different variables that can be changed: material, hardware, heel size, color, length, etc. If you're wary of making bold choices, keep all the variables simple except for one. Here's what I mean:
These are some over-the-knee boots by Versace. Most of this is basic: Flat black leather boot with a zipper up the side. So what makes it different? The length. Over-the-knee is a big trend right now, which makes these boots current.

What I DON'T mean is THIS:

Why in the world would Jimmy Choo collaborate with Ugg Australia, and somehow, create an even UGLIER Ugg counterpart? Baffles me.

Avoid the "Forced Slouch"

The forced slouch (for lack of a better term) boot is a lot like a white button down shirt collar sewn into a cable knit sweater, or a dress that appears to be separates; it's fooling us into thinking we're seeing something we're not. An illusion of sorts. Is this technique cost-effective? Certainly. But it must be done right. Shoe brands these days have a knack for doing it extremely wrong.

When I was a senior in high school in fall 2007, I had a pair of fake leather forced slouch boots from Charlotte Russe that were all the rage - to me, anyway. The key word here is 2007! in my opinion, that look is now overdone and DATED. Fashion calls for a much sleeker look these days.

The forced slouch is, of course, inspired by the REAL thing: boots that have a natural slouch. I adore these, from See by Chloe:
A cool yet neutral color, and a subtle slouch.
Please, AVOID these:
Quite sick of 'em.

Be Cautious of Covered Leather Heels

I'll be the first to say - i LOVE the look of covered leather heels!! It seems to elongate the whole shoe and create a sort of continuity instead of a dark wooden stacked heel against a lighter color upper. However, what I've discovered the hard way is that they are extraordinarily easy to mess up!

For the practical woman, a covered heel is no good. A wood or rubber heel won't get too easily scuffed or scraped. It usually takes a while to show the wear and tear. But in a covered leather one, a simple scrape can tear away the leather exposing an unsightly plastic heel beneath it. Then comes the shoe repair, then comes continuous visits, etc.

Here's a covered one (a Louboutin pump and not a boot, but it's gorgeous!!) :

And HERE'S what's on the inside:

Aesthetically pleasing when it remains covered? Yes. But for a lasting heel, go with something like this:this post dedicated to carly. ♥