Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You Didn't Think I'd Forget New Years?

Personally, I think New Year's is the funnest thing to dress up for all year. It's the only day you can go all out sparkles, glam, girly, crazy, whatever you want, and it's totally acceptable for public consumption. Want to wear an outfit composed entirely of sequins? Go for it. Of course, there's always a way to work fashion into it. The runways are always full of night on the town worthy outfits, and there were a few trends this year that fit into the New Year's themes perfectly.

Lanvin Spring 2010, Naeem Khan Pre-Fall 2010, Derek Lam Spring 2010: This could go a thousand different ways, but here are my three favorite trends for New Year's dressing. There's soft and assymetrical, like we saw at Lanvin. There's showgirl, Moulin Roule-inspired glam, like we saw at Naeem Khan, and there's bold and rock and roll inspired, like we saw at Tracy Reese.

So I'm doing three separate dresses that you can rock with similar accessories and makeup. I know it's pretty late notice to go shopping for a New Year's outfit, but these are just guidelines or inspiration if you haven't put one together yet.

Haute Hippie Ostrich Cocktail Dress, $595 at, Alice + Olivia Wrapped Goddess Dress, $264 at, Torn by Ronny Kobo Olivia Crystal Mini Dress, $440 at I love this Haute Hippie dress. It's very over the top glam with the feathered skirt, but the simple top keeps it from being too costumey. The basic black makes it perfect to showcase statement jewelry. There's just something so innocently girly and yet very femme fatale about this dress at the same time, which makes it easy to wear in so many different ways and gives it longevity beyond New Year's Eve. This Alice + Olivia dress reminds me of the Lanvin runways. It's chiffon and jersey, and is the perfect combination of asymmetrical draping and a body-con fit. I love the tension between the sexiness of the fit and the softness of the detailing, and grey is such an unexpected but perfect New Year's color. This Ronny Kobo dress ties back to that Tracy Reese look, and also has a serious case of Balmania. It's definitely the trendiest way to ring in 2010--by celebrating the biggest trend of 2009. It's obviously really sexy, but it's easier to wear than a strapless dress and provides a bit more coverage, while the crystal detail provides subtle, but high-impact sheen.

ACB Suede Tassel Chain Necklace, $275 at, Tory Burch Caecey Clutch, $295 at, Dolce Vita Trinity Studded Suede Pumps on Hidden Platform, $215 at There are a lot of jewelry options for a going out look like this, but my bet's on a statement necklace. It's the easiest thing to wear, and gives you the most bang for your buck. I'd pair this tassel necklace with all three dresses because it's a very on-trend piece with a simple silhouette. The mixture of leather and chain adds a ton of visual interest and a little bit of quirkiness. It would balance the all-out glam of the Haute Hippie dress, anchor the floating draping of the Alice + Olivia dress, and add a bit of organic earthiness to the sleek Ronny Kobo dress. I'd top it off with these shoes and clutch because both pieces are in neutral palettes and won't detract from the dresses, but the mixture of textures on the heels and the metallic leather of the clutch add so much richness to the overall look. Both pieces are very polished, but with a lot of attitude which is perfect for ringing in the New Year.

Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Oil Slick, $ at, NARS Shadow Duo in Eurydice, $32 at, Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips Gloss in Jessica, $18 at Makeup is obviously a huge part of any going out ensemble, and that's especially true New Years. This is the night you get to have fun with your makeup. I'd do a subtle, but dewy face--maybe some tinted moisturizer, a little bronzer/blush, and a lot of highlighter, and a strong brow to balance out what I'd do with the eyes. New Year's calls for a smokey eye, but not just any black/grey smokey eye. I'd brush the purple half of this NARS duo across the lid and the lower lashline, and then blend the dark grey into the crease and outer V for a smokey eye that really pops. Line the upper lashline and waterlines with Urban Decay's liner in Oil Slick, a shimmery black, for extra definition. Finish with a coat of Bare Escentual's gloss in Jessica, a coppery pale pink, on the lips for a flash of subtle shimmer that doesn't distract from the eyes.

Happy New Year's, guys! If my calculations are correct, Awkward Chic is almost a year old, so it's gonna be a very new year for us too!

Image Sources:
Lanvin:, Naeem Khan:, Tracy Reese:, Haute Hippie dress:, Alice + Olivia dress:, Torn by Ronny Kobo dress:, ACB necklace:, Tory Burch clutch:, Dolce Vita pumps:, Urban Decay Liners:, NARS shadow duo:, Bare Escentuals lip gloss: .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Elementary, my dear Watson

Everyone takes inspiration from random sources. Just looking at the reviews of runway collections reveals a whole smorgasbord of interesting inspirations, from milkmaids, football, and gypsies to Michael Jackson, cowboys, and sea creatures.

Well, I'm inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Or more specifically, London in the late 1800s, as exemplified in the new Sherlock Holmes movie. I know that seems insanely random and specific, but there's a reason, I swear. Before I start waxing poetic, I just want to say that this isn't a movie review or me declaring my undying love for the high cinematic quality of Guy Ritchie's new movie. Although it's pretty entertaining, and my dad read me Sherlock Holmes when I was little, so it's kind of in my brain. What I really loved about it was that it brought that gritty, twisted, dark London to life. I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who's pretty obsessed with England and everything related, but there's something about London in that time period that really gets at me. It's a beautiful city, full of gorgeous architecture and tree-lined streets, but at the same time (back then at least), there was something raw and almost savage under that manicured exterior. Just look at Jack the Ripper. People rebelled from the expected primness of the Victorian era like the Americans during Prohibition--i.e., a lot. Sherlock Holmes really hit on that. His investigations would crack the polished veneer of any situation to reveal the twisted goings-on underneath.

There are a lot of arresting visuals in this movie that capture that spirit, like the half-finished, steel Tower Bridge clawing at the sky surrounded by Gothic architecture, or creepy black magic rituals in the basement of a Neo-Classical church. I couldn't find that many good stills, so here's the trailer. It's pretty.

See what I mean? And Rachel McAdams has some pretty sweet costumes.

I know this all might still seem irrelevant, but it's what Awkward Chic is all about. We like things that are 90% chic, but with a little weird, awkward, offbeat twist, outfits that need a double take or have more than meets the eye. I'm all hyper from the gym, so I'm going to channel that awesome Sherlock Holmes energy into an outfit. I'm thinking classic pieces, old world detailing, and a bit of a morose twist.

Veda Kendall Leather and Lace Jacket, $ at, KAIN Pocket Tank in Deep Lavender, $80 at, Robert Rodriguez Twist Knot Pencil Skirt, $242 at So the foundations of this outfit are very simple: pencil skirt, tank, cropped jacket. The color palette is pretty neutral, with a pop of lavender peeking out from under the jacket. The skirt works because it's a very basic cut, but the knotted detailing gives it a bit of a couture touch and has a Baroque feel. The tank is simple enough to not steal the spotlight, but the pretty pastel color keeps it from being boring. I love this jacket. There's something very Edwardian about the trailing lace detail and the way it hangs in the front, but the leather gives the outfit an edge. The detailing here doesn't show up from far away. It's only once you get a little closer that you see how complex it really is--very Sherlock.

Merona Opaque Tights in black, $7 at, Frye Melissa Button Boots in Dark Brown, $298 at, Iosselliani Snake Ring, $384 at The tights unify the bottom and top halves of the outfit by making your legs the same color as the jacket (a great styling trick), and these tights are a serious bargain for $7. I've had a pair since September and they haven't snagged or run at all, plus they're actually black, not sheer. I love these boots (I just got a pair!), and I think they really work with this ensemble because the cut is really classic, just a simple equestrian boot, and the Frye quality is reminiscent of another era. I also like the boots because they're not really expected with a pencil skirt, but they totally work. The jewelry is really what makes this look--that's where you can go all out without overwhelming the rest of your outfit. This snake ring looks pretty and sparkly from far away, until you get up close and see that those arabesque curves are actually a reptile. The snake-crystal combination is weirdly awesome.

Unearthen Vial Necklace, $185 at, Pamela Love Dagger Rosary, $207 at, Giles & Brother Tiny Bat Studs, $54.60 down from $78 at These Unearthen necklaces come filled with crude oil, water from the Pacific ocean, or Blue Holi powder. You could almost mistake them for just a simple pendant necklace, but then you realize that there's something seriously twisted about them. I personally like the crude oil version. It catches the light so nicely, and has the creepiest vibe. I'd layer that with this Pamela Love Dagger Rosary. Yes, that is a rosary with a dagger on the end. It's the ultimate chic, gothic accessory. These tiny bat studs complete the outfit. They'll just look like sweet, little gold studs peeking out from your hair, but only you will know that they're actually tiny bats. It's very quirky, and insanely awesome.

So it's actually not that hard to turn something like Sherlock Holmes or 1870's London into an outfit without being costumey. That's my personal inspiration, but you could really do this with anything. Just step back from the actual inspiration, look at the underlying themes, and then translate that into something you'd actually want to wear. It's elementary, my dear Watson! Yeah, I overdid it, I know. Hehe.

Image Sources:
Sherlock Holmes trailer:, Sherlock Holmes stills:, Veda jacket:, KAIN tank:, Robert Rodriguez skirt:, Merona tights:, Frye boots:, Iosselliani ring:, Unearthen necklace:, Pamela Love necklace:, Giles & Brother earrings:

I'm a Lovin Almodóvar

If you haven't seen any of Pedro Almodóvar's films, you should. I had the opportunity to see his latest film, Broken Embraces, at a preview screening and loved it. It was a gorgeous mix of drama and comedy. Almodóvar is great at that. In his films he often references the sometimes ridiculous and audacious forms of acting and plots that run through telenovelas and the like, making some of the more heartbreaking moments in his films absolutely hilarious. There's also something about the music - it's not really timeless or completely perfect, yet somehow it works. He's also really big on a strong female cast, which is pretty bitchin. Pretty much all of his films revolve around women, with minimal male leads, so the feminist in me isn't complaining either. The best thing about the visual design of his films, though, is the fact that he doesn't try to make everything cinematical: he uses believable locations and the outfits represent the social statuses of the characters wearing them. And yet, it all still looks stunning. That's the magic of Almodóvar for you.

P.S. If you didn't notice, he definitely has a thing for Penélope Cruz.
So here's some of her red carpet style:

Image Sources: Broken Embraces poster:, Volver poster:, red carpet pics:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Victoria's Secret: Yes, They Do Sell Clothes!

One of my favorite things to do, aside from blogging about random things that I want, is to find interesting things at random places. Like cashmere scarves at Restoration Hardware or fab perfume at the Gap. A lot of the time, no one else (that you'll run into, at least) has those pieces, and you look like a serious, hardcore fashionista for finding them. I love to look for cute clothes at Victoria's Secret. Yes, that Victoria's Secret. Aside from great bras (especially this one), they do actually have things to wear in public, although they never carry them in store. Maybe there's a giant Victoria's Secret store in like, Minnesota, that has all the Victoria's Secret clothes. I want to go to there.

High-waist Skirt, $29.50 at, Corset Playdress, $58 at, Cutout Dress, $48 at This skirt is from the PINK collection, which is their teenage line, but it's still pretty darn adorable and wearable. It really looks more Topshop than chain lingerie store. The high-waisted cut, combined with the Liberty-esque floral print and swingy, a-line cut has such a charming, English vibe to it, and it would pair perfectly with hard edged pieces, like a moto jacket and some chain necklaces. I love this floral dress. The contrast between the idea of a floral sundress, the classic fit, and bra-inspired top is so chic against the overripe, almost savage feeling of the floral print. Just think about all the different ways you could wear this. It stands perfectly on its own, but the vibrant print would also work to brighten up neutral ensembles, and it would be so festive in the middle of winter. This cutout dress also comes in black, which I like much better. It's a really simple dress with pretty classic lines, but the shoulder cutouts make it very on-trend and of the moment. A versatile LBD that highlights your shoulders and collarbone for less than $50? Yes, please.

Leather Buckle-Front Motorcycle Jacket, $159 down from $198 at, Soft & Sexy Wrap, $38 down form $59 at, One-Shoulder Dress, $69 down from $78 at That leather jacket is a STEAL. They have similarly priced jackets in a variety of cuts, but I love the motorcycle-inspired details of this one, right down to the belt at the waist. It also comes in black, for a bit of an edgier vibe. I still haven't shaken my craving for an open cardigan, and this wrap isn't helping. It has the long in the front to short in the back cut that I love, it's a cashmere blend, and it comes in a rainbow of colors. There are like 10 different ways you can wear/wrap/tie this sweater. Also not helping. Did I mention that it's on-sale and really on-trend for the '70s vibe of next spring? This one-sleeve dress is so hot. It combines the body-con mini dress trend with the asymmetry trend, and it does all that for less than $70. I don't think I really have to explain that in more detail. Hello, awesome.

Silk-Bandage Sweaterdress, $78 down from $88 at, Pocket Tank, $28.50 at, Short Sleeve Scoopneck Tee, $22.50 down form $28.50 at For a split second there, I thought that dress was Herve Leger. And then I looked at the price tag. It has the same layered elastic look (probably with a little less holding-in power, but at $78 who's complaining?), the same body-con fit, and the slightly exaggerated shoulders are very, very on-trend. Oversized pocket tees are a cute, boyish take on your basic tee. Obviously KAIN makes fab pocket tees, but $70 can be a lot to spend on a t-shirt. Here are two great alternatives for less than $30, a racerback tank and a scoopneck tee. They both come in a ton of fun colors, with deep necks that balance out their boxy fits.

Cotton & Cashmere Wide-leg Pant, $59 down from $68 at, Floral Dress, $39.50 at, Frye Patchwork Boots, $344.99 down from $498 at Cashmere (blend, but still) sweatpants? Sign me up. It's the definition of luxury, and who doesn't want to lounge around in cashmere? 100% cashmere pants would cost a fortune, but a cozy cashmere blend still has all the warm, fuzzy feelings for a much cozier price. This dress is another piece from the PINK collection, and while it is a little short, how cute is that? I like how the sweetness of the florals is tempered by the black, strappy top, and this would be the perfect dress to wear with a fun pair of tights! Victoria's Secret also has a massive, totally underrated collection of shoes from brands like Colin Stuart and Frye. This is about as discounted as I've ever seen a pair of Frye boots, and the textural contrast between the shiny leather and suede inset is refreshing modern against the classic, equestrian shape.

Forever 21 Tassel Pendant, $10.80 at On an unrelated note, I finally found a tassel necklace! And a pretty darn cheap one at that. Forever 21 is always reliable for good chain necklaces. I love this one because of the tassel (obviously), which adds a great, Mediterranean vibe to any outfit, and for the variety of lightweight chains that make up the necklace itself. It's hard to see, but the chains are different widths and textures, which adds so much visual interest up close. And it's the perfect length--almost belly button grazing.

Image sources:
Victoria's Secret: high-waist skirt:, corset playdress:, cutout dress:, leather jacket:, wrap:, one-shoulder dress:, bandage dress:, pocket tank:, scoopneck tee:, sweats:, floral dress:, Frye boots:, Forever 21 necklace:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shaun of the (Un)Dead

Clever title, I know. Mah brain ish FRIED. Bleh. But, on a high note, Maud and I are doing a vampire themed photo shoot this weekend. Why? Because we secretly want to be vampires and evidently that's very on-trend right now. Before your brain goes to that tween-dominated Twilight stuff, no, that's not what we're doing. We're not doing Underworld either. It's going to be more of a blend of True Blood, Interview with a Vampire, and Dracula (the old school Dracula).

In my mind it's the story of two girls (since Maudie and I are modeling--le gasp! You may actually see our faces) who get turned into vampires in the very early 1800's, and then sort of wander through the country as these animalistic, fleety nomads. So their clothes are reminiscent of that Victorian, Gothic era, but they've also picked up newer pieces along the way, like a menswear vest from the 1920's, a fur stole from the 1940's, and so on. We're doing (or going to attempt to do) the shoot in an old cemetery nearby, so that'll be interesting. We're thinking barefoot, slightly smudgy/dirty, messy hair, maybe some Rodarte-esque tribal tattoos.

As for makeup, obviously pale-ish skin (dewey but no color in the cheeks), which neither of us has to work too hard at, and maybe a mixture of nude and stained lips. Definitely no red lipstick. Personally I want to nude out my lips with a little concealer and layer a bit of berry gloss on top (so yes, I'll probably cave on Clinique's Black Honey gloss). For the eyes, I think we should do a heavy crease to exaggerate the brow bone for a really primal feel, and then do elongated shadow/liner to give the eye a feline quality. I don't want to cop out and just do a smokey eye, because I feel like that's such a standard thing for the vampire look (red lipstick and smokey eyes) and I want to go a little further out of the box. Even if it means ugly instead of pretty. I'm feeling lots of greys and purples for the eyeshadow, lots of heavy blending, some black eyeliner.

We've got lots of cool, old props lined up. Think antique lanterns, perhaps an antique (but broken!) pistol, weird old mirrors and photos and the like. As for the clothes, there's a lot, and I mean a lot, of crazy vintage pieces, and I've got a few pics to give you guys a sneak peek.

Why do I own these things? That's a fantastic question. Like this torn up black tulle dress and oversized plastic cross. No idea. Not questioning it. This black velvet dress was actually my grandma's. It has tiny buttons up the cuffs and a sheer, beaded/sequined panel over the shoulders and across the back. The fur stole was also my grandma's, and will now be mine. Sorry dad. It's too flufftastic to sit in a closet all the time.

A sheer, black lace sequined trim cardigan? How do these things live in my house for so long without me knowing about them?! And I was just pining over that Rodarte lace cardigan today. Why yes, that is a fur-trimmed cape. I just--wow. And then some creepy/awesome random jewelry pieces. That cross is like 10 times older than me. Very vampire appropriate, no?

In unrelated but entertaining news, I cut two of the bows off my leopard Rodarte for Target dress, and now have two leopard print oversized bows to play with. Yippee! They're the color in the first pic, I don't know why the other three are coming out acid yellow. Eek. So far I'm thinking I could attach one to a belt for something fun and whimsical, turn one into a brooch and pin it on tees and cardigans, or attach one to a headband and go all Lady Gaga. I know I would be publicly mocked for this, but I really love the last one. Another other ideas guys?

That's all from me. Happy Holidays guys!


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