Friday, January 29, 2010

Sparkles and Flowers and Kittens: Oh My!

Why yes, that was a blatant Wizard of Oz reference. I'm in the middle of sorority rush, so I'm feeling super-duper girly. So this is a post for the inner eight year old in me, who likes sparkly, lacy, kitschy things. Because I feel like every girl needs to indulge that fairy princess-loving side of her every once in a while, but without looking like she's wearing a costume.

Charlotte Tarantold Field Game Cardigan, $118 at, Floreat Grasslands Dress, $138 at, Only Hearts Dark Beauty Crinoline, $58 at I would have totally worn this cardigan when I was eight, and I would have dug it out of my dress-up bin at some point and completely fallen in love with it again. The lace and the nautical stripes sound contradictory, but somehow the lace works to soften up the hard stripes, and the slight sheerness of the lace plays into runway trends--it's the ideal combination of fresh and naive, and yet very on-trend. There's something slightly Swedish milkmaidy about this dress, but I kind of like it. The symmetric floral print, the ruffles, the sweetheart neckline; it's all very fresh faced and pigtail braids. Obviously this stands on its own, but it would be fantastic with a little leather jacket or boots for some added edge. This crinoline is my absolute favorite. First off, the sheerness, lace and lingerie vibe are so of the moment, and second off, how great would this look over a skirt? I know a crinoline is supposed to add volume under a skirt, but I'd love this over a little black or navy blue mini skirt. Very Dior, no?

J. Crew Ribbon Rainbow Necklace, $45 at, Dogwood Cocktail Ring, $65 at, Oiseau Hand Cream in Flaming June, $16 at This necklace totally looks like the kind of thing I would have made in fifth grade, except infinitely more polished and elegant. The jumble of pearls and crystals in the pendant is very casual glamour, and the pink bow on top adds a bit of girlish charm. How adorable would this be over a little white tee or a shirtdress? I had so many rings like this when I was little. Those oversized flower rings were so epic. This is like the grown-up version of a gumball machine ring, and with extra sparkles. The contrast between the pale crystals and the matte black ring is so striking, and yet almost whimsical at the same time. I love this lotion. The packaging is sweet, but not cliche or kitschy, and the scents have great names, like Flaming June and Woman in Yellow. I feel so girlie every time I use this. I have Flaming June, which has narcissus, ginger blossom, and alpine strawberry. It basically smells like a big pile of awesome, soft and floral but with a hint of tangy spice (the ginger, perhaps).

Vera Wang Lavender Label Lynette Ruffle Ballet Flats, $225 at, Gorjana Alphabet Charm Necklace, $50 at, Felix Rey Love Letter Clutch, $130 at These flats are satin, and ruched, and have a giant applique flower on the toe. That's like every 6 year old's dream shoe, but incredibly chic. The shape has a bit of a Lanvin feel to it, and the contrast between the sheen of the flower and the matte finish of the satin just makes them look so luxe. I do love statement jewelry, but it can be a little bold and overwhelming at times. For a softer, girlier look, I like really small pendant necklaces with something sweet or quirky about them. This small monogram necklace is delicate and personal, and really the kind of piece you could wear everyday. I don't think I have to explain this clutch. It's gold, and sparkly, and has XOXO and lipstick prints all over it. It looks like a 5 year old's post card, but done on a metallic clutch it has a certain mysterious, impish spunk that could liven up any basic outfit.

Hannah's Kittens, $265 for the set at This it the stuffed animal I wish I had when I was little--it's one deluxe little stuffed animal. It's a pretty small stuffed kitten, about six inches long without the tail, but it's the details that make it special. Each kitten has a name and a personality. This little white one is Violet, with her name written on her paw and a super-cute purple ribbon collar. Doesn't she look just like the kitty from Aristocats? They're made with really nice French faux fur, and feel almost softer than a real kitten. I got a sample of the leopard faux fur that they're going to be making kittens out of, and I've been petting it for about an hour. The fur is slightly shaggy and shaved around the paws and face, so it looks extra-realistic. What I really love is that the body shape and weight are crazy life-like, so it actually feels like you're holding a real kitten (minus the potential clawing and scratching). The kittens are hand-made and come in a set of three (Daisy, Violet, and Sweet Pea) and in a marabou trimmed hatbox. Vioelt is totally satisfying my need to cuddle with something tiny and fluffy, and I highly recommend these kittens to anyone with a niece or little sister with a discerning eye for stuffed animals, or for any other lonely college students missing their pets. Their website also has a ton of fun info about raising a cat and some adorable cat names, so it's worth checking out.

Image Sources:
Charlotte Tarantino cardigan:, Floreat dress:, Only Hearts crinoline:, J. Crew rainbow necklace:, Dogwood ring:, Oiseau lotion:, Vera Wang flats:, Gorjana necklace:, Felix Rey:, Hannah's Kittens:

Full disclosure: I was sent of a sample of a Hannah's Kitten to review, and yes, I am snuggling with it right now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haute Couture Spring 2010 part #2

I can't wait for NY Fashion Week to start. I'm at that point where I'm compulsively checking everyday because I can never actually remember when it starts, and in all that obsessive clicking I've managed to see all the Haute Couture shows. And I've noticed some very interesting trends.

Valentino: Namely, Avatar. Yes. I know. That blue person movie. It starts off subtle with the blue eye paint/shoulder paint here, and some slight futuristic-tribal references. Although, I just have to say that this looks absolutely nothing like Valentino. I mean the little red dress is in theory, but would Valentino ever do a sheer dress printed with what looks like veins with the model's thong poking out? No. Although the shape of that red dress is a refreshingly sporty take on the asymmetric draping trend.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Here's where the Avatar references get really blatant. The hair, for starters. Don't get me wrong, I think the futuristic alien meets tribal hippie thing is very interesting, but how closely it resembles that movie I refuse to see is disturbing. I mean, this is Haute Couture from JPG himself, and he's referencing Avatar? I'm all for high-low mixing, but that seems a little overboard. That said, all those bangles against that long floral dress are really working for me, and that last dress is such an organic take on the retro ballgown. I guess this means we should all learn how to braid and invest in some blue body paint? The implications of this are PROFOUND. Not really, but I'm feeling melodramatic.

Elie Saab
: For a nice palette cleanser of pretty, here's some whimsical gorgeousness from Elie Saab's couture show. It was basically a parade of pretty chiffon and embellished gowns, but I'm not complaining. This first dress reminds me of a white Dior that Marion Cotillard wore recently, but I think I like the soft rose-nude hue of this gown even better. I don't usually call nude tones glamorous, but there's something so luxurious about wearing a dress that blends into your skintone and simultaneously makes you look like you're dripping in jewels. Very Mata Hari. This middle dress is just a burst of floating sunshine. It looks like there's a leotard-esque base under a very full skirt with a very high slit, which is a really interesting concept. It lets you get maximum movement out of the skirt without compromising any modesty. I had to put up this last dress because, one, it's Karlie Kloss, and two, I think I'm in love with the washed out, watercolor-esque floral print that's going on there. You almost can't tell that it's a floral print--it's so blown-up and the colors are so muted that it seems more like an abstract pattern, but the flowers add such a nostalgic, romantic feel to the dress.

Christian Dior, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier: Couture shows don't just have crazy clothes. They have crazy makeup too. Actually this first look isn't that crazy, just proof that the cat-eye is obviously going nowhere. That over-gelled hairstyle, on the other hand, might want to take a little trip to the shower. The uber-smokey eye look still has legs to it, as seen at Givenchy. This really did make the girls look like vampires, but that hint of icy-blue sheen at the inner-corners added just the right amount of glamour. Remind the multi-colored eyeshadow at the Derek Lam show? Evidently JPG did too. I'm not crazy about this look for real life, as it requires epic blending skills, but on the runway it adds definition and a mysterious sort of magnetism, because you can't quite figure out what's going on.

Image Sources:
Valentino:, Jean Paul Gaultier:, Elie Saab:, Dior:, Givenchy:, Jean Paul Gaultier beauty:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I Like. And Ice Dancing.

If you're bored of just looking at things that I think are pretty, which I could totally understand, then scroll down for something epically amazing. I'm serious this time.

Miu Miu Large Stamped Patent-Leather Wallet, $510 at, Mulberry Alex Leather Leopard-Print Clutch, $695 at, Milly Tri-color Sheath Dress, $345 at How ladylike is this wallet? The blush croc and the frame structure with the teensy clasp are so elegant and chic, but the idea of having all that in a wallet is so unexpected and refreshing. It would be so fun to whip this little number out of your purse at Starbucks. And speaking of awesome tiny leather accessories, this Mulberry clutch inspired by Alexa Chung is all sorts of amazingness. 1: it's pink leopard print. 2: it's a clutch that looks like the adorable shrunken version of a real Mulberry bag. 3: it's pink leopard print. Need I say more? I'm still having a Michelle Obama moment, and this shift dress is totally satisfying my preptastic cravings and is insanely chic at the same time. The color blocking is really on-trend and flattering at the same time--the orange draws the eye straight to your waist, the black skirt makes your lower half sleeker and the white bodice helps balance out your hips to create the insta-hourglass shape. Plus the sheer panel at the neckline and low-cut back add a little extra sass.

Alexander McQueen Skull-print Silk and Wool Pashmina, $395 at, RM by Rouland Mouret Gaea Stretch-Cotton Skirt, $615 at, Mike & Chris Dresden Leather Biker Jacket, $825 at I know, I know, everyone's seen and done the Alexander McQueen skull scarf. But no one's done the purple and red Alexander McQueen skull pashmine! I'm actually being serious. I really want this. It's slightly more practical, it's a little less gothic and a lot more fun, and there's something so ironic and irreverent about it. Rouland Mouret makes stunning wardrobe staples, and this skirt is no exception. The black hue and pencil cut make this piece a total workhorse, but the silver zipper and origami pleating in the front add so much spunk and visual interest (and the pleating's only in the front, so it won't do mean things to anybody's butt). I know I post a lot of leather jackets, but this really is the ideal little leather jacket. The cut is spot-on motorcycle, with the long sleeves and slightly cropped, and the subtle gold hardware adds a little extra edge without being too in your face.

Michael Kors Stretch Wool Asymmetric Zip Dress, $1,395 at, Rogan Morita Sweatshirt, $228 at, Rogan Hale Dress, $288 at First off, I just have to say that I loved this Michael Kors collection. It was so Mad Men, but still very of the moment, exactly like this dress. The baby blue is very kitschy and retro, as is the wiggle-dress cut, but the one-shoulder and asymmetric zipper cut-out show just enough skin to be sexy without resorting to the usual low neckline or mini-dress length. Everybody knows that I love open cardigans. Well I just found an open sweatshirt. SWEATSHIRT. And it looks like a chic sweater! This is the most drop dead chic sweatshirt I've ever seen. I was inspired by all the purple on the SAG Awards red carpet when I saw this Rogan dress. It hits on the jewel tone trend, the asymmetrical draping trend, and the one-shoulder/uneven sleeves trend, and does all of that without flashy or over the top.

So let's talk about ice skating. Why? Because I am a total Winter Olympics nerd, and it's mainly because of the ice skating. Why ice skating? Because they wear CRAZY AMAZING costumes. See Exhibits A-I below.

Sasha Cohen rocking the single color palette with cutouts (very trendy), and a little ombre thrown in for fun. And then there's Sasha Cohen rocking the red mold pattern on nude background with bloodstained opera gloves. Confusing, but intriguing in a Moulin Rouge sort of way. Oh, and that couple ice dancing? Yeah, it's not about Elvis. But it really, really should be.

I assume this first couple is doing some rendition of the Wild Wild West? Because that man is wearing chaps. As a figure skater. And that second couple obviously loves Bollywood very, very much. As do I. I mean, Bollywood + ice dancing? YES PLEASE.

And oh my god, the men's costumes. This first guy is actually pretty on-trend--note the ruching, the leather shoulder appliques, and the green ribbon vest. He's got a very suave European thing going on. And then there's Johhny Weir. AKA my new favorite person. He skates to Lady Gaga and upstages Sasha Cohen and all those other divas.

I was not kidding. At all.

And he's skating to Poker Face.

Image Sources:
Miu Miu wallet:, Mulberry clutch:, Milly dress:, Alexander McQueen scarf:, Rouland Mouret skirt:, Mike & Chris jacket:, Michael Kors dress:, Rogan sweatshirt:, Rogan dress:, figure skating photos:, YouTube video:

Haute Couture 2010

Super, super crazy day today (literally was not in my room between 11:30 AM and 10:oo PM gaaah) so super duper short post. But it's full of super duper pretty things, so that kind of makes up for it, right? I usually don't cover the Haute Couture shows because they're chock full of crazy and hard for me to relate to, but this year (maybe it's the economy) they were full of wearable, whimsical prettiness.

Chanel Haute Couture: Chanel Haute Couture? I mean, come on. How much do I have to say? The Lady Gaga meets Lolita wigs, the icy sheen of the tights, the futuristic shoes, and the clothes! That peach column dress is divine, and the way that embellishment grows out of the bodice is so organic and yet so glamorous at the same time, plus the draping hits that asymmetrical trend without being unflattering or bulky. That tulle concoction in the middle is the crazy love child of roses and feathers, and the excessive femininity of it is almost refreshing, especially in the pale color palette. The detailing on this first look kills me. If the jacket was plain, this look would be in the regular Chanel show, but adding all that embellishment to the jacket on top of the ruffled tier skirt pushes this into couture. The unified color palette keeps it coherent, and that brooch adds a bit of an ironic, unexpected touch.

Christian Dior
: I hate puce green, but there's something so fetching about this coat. The skinny sleeves work perfectly with the volume of the a-line skirt, and the dramatic collar adds a bit of a Dracula vibe. How adorable does Chanel Iman look in this middle pic? I keep thinking her hat is a parasol, which only makes me like it more. I can't even see all the detail here because there's so much of it, but the overall effect is frothy and sugary-sweet, but there's also something slightly saucy about in. Maybe it's the sheer sleeves and the booties. I'm having a Scarlett O'Hara moment with this last dress, but I'm kind of loving it. The skirt looks like fish scales, the bow is gigantic, and there's such a distinct separation between the bodice and the skirt that it's almost so over the top that it works. The subtle sparkle of the skirt and all that beading on the bodice is taking this to a whole over, ice princess level that I would seriously like to go to.

: Can I just say that I absolutely love the direction that Givenchy is going in? LOVE. To death. I know this first look is a little revealing, but how amazing is that Edwardian collar against that Moulin Rouge feathered mini skirt and those thigh high boots? That model is wearing a cape. A CAPE. And it looks absolutely fantastic and almost normal with the combination of the volume and the sheerness, and against the slim lines of the navy blue dress. It's very evil Queen from Snow White. This last dress is my absolute favorite, hands down. Who doesn't want that as their imaginary fairy princess dress? The ruffles on the skirt could be overwhelming, but Tisci gives them such a sculptural shape, and the heaviness of the ombre adds visual weight to all those layers. The thigh high slit balances out the dramatic girliness of the beaded bodice and sash detail at the waist, and the crazy eye makeup adds just enough edginess to it all.

Image Sources:
Chanel Haute Couture:, Givenchy:, Christian Dior:


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