Friday, December 21, 2007

The Weirdest Fashion News of the Year...

happened to break today, all the way at the end of December. Moments ago, I was informed via Fashionista and Variety that Shirley MacLaine is set to play Coco Chanel in a biopic. It'll run on Lifetime as a miniseries.

MacLaine as an older Chanel doesn't shocks me. She may be highly weird, but she's also a terrific actress with a presence lacking in most. But a high fashion LTM (Lifetime Movie)? This'll be rich.

I'm sure we'll be thoroughly amused and horrified at the same time.

A Worthwhile Fast Fashion Fix

Besides Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney at H&M, I've been constantly disappointed by diffusion lines, particularly those at Target. Proenza Schouler did some cute stuff, but the quality and focus of the Go International pieces always fails to impress.

However, it looks like Target has scored in the designer accessories division. I've examined Loeffler Randall's tiny collection of bags and shoes, and I must say, they stay true to Jessie Randall's original vision. I'm dying for her black patent leather boots from the main line, but until I win the lottery, these precious peep toe flats will do.

I'm now anxiously awaiting my trip to the Midwest this holiday season -- if only to scour their Targets for pieces the Brooklyn location is sure to sell out of in minutes.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why I Like Shopping at Old Navy

In general, Old Navy's clothes are crap. The poor make, poor fit and poor styling turn most people off of the Gap's bastard child.

Yet somehow, I always score big at the retailer. Here are my tips for shopping down:

Try everything on. Sometimes, the most boxy, unsophisticated piece will look rad off the rack and on your body. I have a tshirt dress -- from this summer -- that I paid $12 dollars for and looks better than anything else I own. It fall just right.

Don't buy pants. Old Navy pants never fit right. They don't look good on any body type, the sizing is incredibly skewed and the styles are horrific. Simply avoid.

Stick with cotton. Fabrics like velvet, wool and satin don't translate well in the low-end market. They just look cheap.

Never pay full price. If you pick up incredibly inexpensive pieces at Old Navy, spending a pretty penny on loftier brands won't feel so wrong.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gifting Lesson #2: Buy For Them

It's hard not to buy a gift that you would love to receive yourself.

But unless you and your friend/relative/coworker have remarkably similar tastes, it's probably not the best of ideas. Instead, think about their interests and preferences. As much as I adore the new Band of Outsiders for Sperry Topsiders, my college age cousins would like nothing more than a new pair of Chuck Taylors. Pink polo wearers, they are not. And for my mother's new home, nothing speaks to me as Florence Broadhurst's wallpaper does. However, Mom would much prefer a batik table runner. Her tastes run more '60s hippie than '50s housewife.

This holiday season, I vow to suck-it-up and buy the gifts my loved-ones really want. Even if that means buying my Grams another Rachel Ray cookbook. Oy.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Goodbye, Blueprint: mag industry=scary!*

Another one of my favorite magazines, Martha Stewart's Blueprint, folded today. Angled at creative 20-somethings, Blueprint is just one more publication to die within the last year and a half. Others include Jane and Elle Girl.

The main reason these three mags folded is because they couldn't sell ads. The reason they couldn't sell ads is because, well, their market was too niche.

As middle class, well-educated quarter-lifers, we -- as in, their market -- may have great taste and a breadth of knowledge, but when it comes to finances, we still can't afford a Louis Vuitton Speedy.

It's also quite difficult to target ads to an audience who wears mostly vintage and smaller designers like Mayle, Vena Cava and Lyell (brands that don't sell ads themselves). Quirky preferences result in a smaller circulation.

Like Elle Girl before it, Blueprint will remain online. Unfortunately, Jane met a worse demise -- it's gone forever. Rumor has it, though, that founder Jane Pratt (who was fired from the mag three years ago) is planning on launching something new, aimed toward hip, middle-aged women.

Why am so melancholy about Blueprint, Jane and Elle Girl in particular? Because unlike lots of the other women's interest pubs out there, I actually found these valuable, well-written and worth my three dollars and change. Even Elle Girl, which was technically aimed at teens, fits this description better than Cosmo, Glamour, et al. As a journalist, it's becoming clearer and clearer that the only secure place to hold a job in this industry is online.

But what we're currently missing is a Web site as cool as these mags. Sure, Fashionista is a great blog, but it lacks the in-depth articles of a magazine. has a great format, but the features are a little too mass-produced for women like me.

What's your ideal online mag look like?

*headline courtesy of my brilliant friend, Marisa Rindone, who is thankful she works at a Dot Com.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Bye Bye To Wayfarers? Not Just Yet...

Let us pray that Ray-Ban wayfarers do not go the way of the trucker hat. To see those icons of cool stuffed into the book of Burnt Hipster Fads would sadden me greatly. Mostly because I still love the look of wayfarers.

Before now, I've bought the cheap five dollar knock-offs on the street. Why? One, because I'm inclined to believe paying an exorbitant amount for sunglasses is silly. Two because wayfarers are not only made by Ray-Ban -- like aviators, they're not trademarked, so any other company can design a pair (I feel this relieves me of any guilt I might feel for buying a knock-off).

However, I think I'm ready to finally take the plunge and buy a pair of fancy sunglasses. If wayfarers disappear from the pop culture lexicon next year, I know that it will only take a decade for them to return. This red and black pair from retro super future accessories may seem a bit too early '90s to you, but I'm personally willing to take that risk. I promise I won't pair them with bicycle shorts.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What Does Green Really Mean?

The state of the environment has been a hot-button topic for the past two years now, and as a journalist, I've been called upon to write several "green" lifestyle stories. I try to inject as much skepticism as possible, but when you're writing a piece about cute green housewares, it's a bit difficult to delve into the marketing ploy behind them without completely alienating your well-meaning, deep-pocketed audience.

So this is what I really think about the whole Green "thing." Overall, for those genuinely trying to make a difference, going green is a good thing. It means people are taking steps, little by little, to make less waste. And there's nothing wrong with that.

But in general, I don't believe buying an environmentally-friendly sweater is going to save the world. Particularly when it's made out of organic cotton, yet produced in India in one day by three 7-year-olds, then shipped to the US on a massive, gas-sucking cargo plane. Luckily for the makers of these products, it's pretty easy to up the price a bit and market a not-so-conscious item as something that will benefit the environment, whether it's true or not.

At an industrial design conference I attended last October, a journalist discussed the green concept -- and what we as individuals can do about it. He made a perfect point, in my opinion.

It's not us who will make the lasting difference, it's the companies producing stuff in mass
quanitities that can actually reverse the direction in which our world is going. If they can start sizing down the ecological footprint from the first step of production on, we could all breath a little easier. And stop feeling so guilty about shopping at H&M.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Black Sneakers: the Ultimate in Geek Chic?

All-black sneakers are kind of like black jeans. They look extremely cool on certain people, while making others should I say it...extremely geeky.

But some of us are willing to risk looking like a perfect geek. I'm going to Paris on holiday this March, and as I'm a big believer in quietly combining comfort and style, I need to find a pair of cute all-black sneakers to match up with with tights and skirts. I am toying with finally giving in and snapping up a pair of all-black Converse, but does anyone have any other suggestions? My wish is to find Keds with black soles...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday (Personal) Shopping

Why is it that we spend more time buying stuff for ourselves during the holidays than we do our friends and family?

Of course I revel in finding that perfect gift for Mom, or Best Friend, or Boyfriend, but I'm only slightly shamed to admit that not a shopping trip goes by where I don't sneak in a sparkly blouse here or a pair of lace-up oxfords there.

For instance, these Eames coasters -- picked out by Grace at DesignSponge -- work well in my boyfriend's thoroughly modern apartment, but I can't help envisioning them in my psuedo-Parisian boudior that subtly hints of the mid-century. Maybe a "his and hers" moment is in order.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Christmas Song Story

In college I worked with several school friends at a Christmas shop in Boston's Faneuil Hall. The store has since closed, but memories of listening to Christmas tunes in the heat of summer remain.

Now, I'm the first to admit that listening to Silver Bells in August isn't always so appealing. But seeing as it's nearing December, I think it's time to add some classic carols to the iPod. Here are my picks. P.S. You can thank my mother for my excellent taste in holiday music.

John Denver and The Muppets: A Christmas Together
I love this album. Many of the songs are originals, and others are silly muppet variations on the classics.

A Carpenter's Christmas
Can you tell I'm a child of the early '80s? My mother wasn't a Carpenters fan in particular -- they were a little too whitebread for her, but she did love the Christmas album. And I love Karen Carpenter's voice.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
I listen to this year round -- the composition is gorgeous.

Chipmunk's Christmas

Did you hear they're making a Chipmunk's feature film? Isn't that a generation (or two) too late? Regardless, i still want a hula hoop...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

That '70s Catalog

This image is being passed around with several others from a late 1970s JC Penney's catalog. Although the guy's swimsuit is a bit ridiculous, I have to say, I'm digging the girl's maillot.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gifting Lesson #1: Books

As we're nearing the holiday season, I thought I might share with you some tips on gift giving. I will say that although I am not always the bearer of the best gift, once in a while I do hit one out of the ball park. One of my favorite gifts to give is a book. I feel that they're the most specific pressies out there -- you can really pin down one's personality with literature. Some of my favorites for the holidays include:

Stylist: The Interpreters of Fashion
Sarah Mower
Mower's an American Vogue writer living in London and does a lot of work for the Telegraph as well -- she expertly reports the little-known world of stylists. It's a great coffee table book, too -- visually stunning.

Farid Chenoune

Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the house of Christian Dior.

Transit Maps of the World
Mark Ovenden
My bf's pick -- for anyone who loves design and travelling, this is ideal.

Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas
Chuck Klosterman
Great pop culture critic. Actually, great writer in general.

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster
By Dana Thomas
Great debate about the future of the luxury industry.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Why I Can't Afford A Winter Coat: The Disappearance of Mid-level Retail.

My friend Emme and I often get into very heavy discussion about a very fluffy subject: the fashion industry. And we've been chatting about the cost of clothes more than ever. I am obsessed with two winter coats this season, both of them terribly trendy, and both of them upwards of $700. Now, I would certainly justify buying a pricey coat if it was a long-lasting piece. After all, you wear it daily and it's a necessity. My handbag, for instance, was a little pricey but I've worn it nearly every single day for the last three years (it's a Jas MB, if you're wondering).

But neither of these coats are lifers. My decision? A very fashion forward coat from H&M at a very doable price: just $90 (with a 30% coupon).

As high-fashion costs skyrocket, prices at mid-level retailers are creeping up as well. A winter coat at APC, which ran $300-$400 dollars a couple of years back, is now upward of $600. Urban Outfitters is selling dresses for $400. And an approachable designer like 3.1 Phillip Lim, lauded for being affordable, is now selling dresses at $1,000+. Heck, even H&M's prices are going up. With the threat of recession, will retailers bring the prices back down?

I Heart Members Only

Sorry I've been MIA everyone. I had quite a busy week and would like to share some of it with you. First off, did I ever tell you I've a special place in my heart for 1980s threads? As much as I would love to wear '40s style head-to-toe, the '80s are so easy: preppy plaids, booties, leggings, berets. I've got them all, and I flaunt them all.

So, of course, I was thrilled when my friend Julia told me she'd be designing a new women's line for '80s brand Members Only. The looks come straight from the decade and include acid wash jeans and gold lamé bomber jackets. The launch party was upstairs at the Bowery Hotel, but I have to say, it's the leaving gift that made me the happiest. A dead stock Members Only jacket in red. Congrats, Julia!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Working For Cocktails

I'm attending a few events around the city tonight for work -- one at the new Chopard store on Madison Ave, another at the Bowery Hotel downtown. Of course, I'm thrilled to be invited to both, particularly the Members Only re-launch at the Bowery Hotel -- my friend Julia is designing the line so I'm looking forward to seeing what she's come up with. Chopard -- albeit glamorous -- will require some grunt work. I have to stand on the red carpet and ask the celebrities in attendance what's on their wish lists for the holidays (a day job duty, of course).

My question is, how dressed up should I get for a party that I'm only invited to because I'm a journo? For Members' Only, I can wear something cool and comfortable, but for Chopard, it's "cocktail attire," which means I need to wear heels.

Finally, at 7am this morning, I decided on a black pencil skirt, patent Kate Spade Mary Janes, and a grey blouse with spaghetti straps. Grownup enough for Chopard, casual enough for Members Only. My ideal piece? This grey dress from 3.1 Phillip Lim. Maybe next party season.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Confession: I Hate The Beach

No, it's not because I'm uncomfortable in a bathing suit. Or because there are too many kids running around (although that does factor in occasionally). I hate the beach because it's sandy. It's salty. And most importantly, it somehow seems easier to develop a sunburn on the beach than by the pool.

That's probably not proven to be true -- but it sure feels true.

This summer, I took my first trip to the Hampton's, marking my first venture onto Long Island (yikes!) as well as the debut of my black 1950s pinup bathing suit. As much as I loved sporting the halter suit with strategic ruching, I didn't love the pile of sand that came out of my hair, in between my toes -- and other regions I won't mention -- whilst in the shower. I also didn't love my silly tan lines (which are still, amazingly, in place five months later) and most importantly, I didn't enjoy having to dip my feet in freezing cold salt water to stop from profusely sweating.

I hate to be down on sunshine and fine living in general, but give me a smokey cafe in Paris over a white beach in Ibiza any day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Getting in Thigh Deep

As I sit at my desk, pulling up my tights, I wish that I had worn my thigh-highs.

That's right. I predominantly wear opaque thigh-highs during the winter in lieu of tights. Sure, they have a "sexy" connotation, but what they should really be known for is comfort. No more bulges, adjusting and wriggling. My gut doesn't get sucked in, but you know what? I deal with that just fine all summer long, so why not during the winter? It sure beats the itchy Lycra that often cuts a less-than-attractive figure.

Sure, there are some days that you have to wear full-on tights, and for those, I say go with the Spanx's high-waisted version. They reach all the way up to your bra so that there's no strange gapes. And for thigh-highs try, Givenchy's 40 denier version.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween?

Sure, I like to play dress up. But not on Halloween.

Why am I so down on this silliest of holidays? Pure vanity. I don't like making myself look unattractive, so there goes anything shapeless, bloody or covered in guts. I also don't like looking slutty, so no naughty nurses or dirty devils don't work for me (although I might consider sexy secretary). Further more, I don't enjoy slathering too much makeup on my face, particularly the kind that is non-comedeogenic --- say goodbye to vampy.

But. BUT.

If I had to dress up, there is one costume I wouldn't mind trying on for size.

Bonnie Parker, from the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. I already try to channel Dunaway in my everyday digs, why not step it up a level and really go all out -- wig and all. It might not be the most original, but to me, it sure is the most stylish. And again -- I want to emulate the fictional version of Parker, not the real one.

My boyfriend as Warren Beatty? Hmm....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Healthy Dose of Gossip

I'm a sucker for gossip. Maybe it's just my natural curiosity coming out in full force, but there's something titillating about knowing the so-called facts before anyone else does.

The lines between journalism and gossip continue to blur, with blogs breaking news and national publications writing cover stories on rag-worthy personalities. As a fledgling journalist, I often wonder what will be better for my career -- this blog or my full-time job at a respected Web site.

But enough about media ethics. The real fun in gossip is that the characters breaking the news are often more interesting than the secrets they divulge. has put together a clever little gallery of history's greatest gossips, including Walter Winchell and Toby Young.

One word of advice. When gossip gets gritty, step out of the ring. Anything too malicious will just make you queasy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Styled Social Networking

I recently received an email from, the new social networking site for fashion industry professionals. There's no need to place your pin-up photo on a profile, ala MySpace or Facebook. Fashion Quarters -- still in Beta -- is strictly business. Thus far, the site looks like in might be a fairly useful tool for those working in the industry.

I've already printed out the PR contact list for easy reference, and job postings are increasing by the day.

One suggestion: give it some personality. At the moment, the page is bland and boring (but thankfully not shocking pink).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Broke and the City

I'm always broke. No matter how much or how little money gets deposited into my checking account each month, I somehow manage to spend it all. Sure, I can blame in on New York City, but let's get down to the real root of the cause: two gentlemen with the surnames of Hennes and Mauritz.

Whether I'm throwing it away at H&M or "investing" it at Chanel, I spend quite a bit of money on clothes. That's why I love this new blog started up by a couple of friends. It's called City Broke and features a frugal city dweller alongside a big spender. The latest post by blogger ISave lists the things she won't spend money on in New York. I'm in agreement with her choices, particularly when it comes to brand name toilet paper and wine over $15. Gives you more cash to blow on new boots, right?

Treats From San Francisco

Hello, friends! I'm glad to be back. After spending about 10 days in California, I've returned with new inspiration, and a slew of new ideas, places and products I want to share with you.

During my four days in the Bay Area, I spent most of my time concentrating on product design and theory at a conference in Nob Hill held by the the Industrial Design Society of America, but I managed to take a couple of hours on Saturday to scope out some smaller neighborhoods -- my favorite way to investigate a new city.

I ended up in the Mission district by recommendation of my undeniably hip friend Pamela. She spoke of two spots -- one a bakery and another a cheap-but-worthwhile vintage shop -- Tartine and The Painted Bird.

Of course, Pam's choices were right on the mark. Tartine's macaroon, scented with orange, was moist and just enough to fulfill my sweet tooth. (OK, I had a hot chocolate too, and I promise it was better than City Bakery!) Up the street at The Painted Bird, I was dumbfounded by the truly good deals. The pieces weren't just inexpensive -- there were spot-on trend wise. I scored a pair of black booties, something I've been seeking out for the past few years, for $18 bucks. There was no compromise with these boots -- they were exactly what I've been looking for.

What I loved most about the Mission was that, unlike some parts of New York or London, nothing was forced about the local style. I'm looking forward to my next visit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Packing Light

I'd like to think of myself as an expert packer, meaning I have the ability to cram entirely too much stuff into one tiny little bag. Still, it irks me when I see otherwise-savvy friends taking up way too much overhead compartment space.

Here are my tips.

Worry less about wrinkles. Roll up your dresses into a ball and shove 'em in a corner of your bag. A surefire way to get rid of kinks? When you get to the hotel, hang your dress up outside of the shower. Turn the shower on to its hottest and strongest. Close the door and leave the dress in there for ten minutes or so -- your dress will come out wrinkle free (Yes, this is wasting water so figure out another way to conserve).

Bring a limited number of shoes. I'm traveling for 10 days, and these are the shoes I packed: running, everyday trainers, plain black flats and lace up oxfords (could be substituted for heels). There's no reason to take 15 pairs on a trip, no matter how much you want to. Scale back on jewelry, too. A pair of fancy earring, two necklaces and a ring will do.

Remember to leave a little room for extras. I'm guilty of stuffing my bags silly, but I always bring an extra for purchases. The paper/plastic shopping bag that came with your trinket usually doesn't withstand transportation.

Spend money on good luggage. I can't yet afford my fantasy luggage from Globe-Trotter (shown above), but I have learned that spending a little extra on a decent carry-on and suitcase will get you farther, particularly if you're a frequent traveler. The cheap stuff rips after one or two uses.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Time's Style and Design Issue

Sometimes, when I think about who I want to be when I grow up, I had have more than a difficult time deciding. On certain days, it's the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes. Her prose style can be topped by none -- it's honest, concise and colorful all at once. I particularly enjoyed her critique of the Marc Jacob's show. She was the only journalist with enough guts to say what everyone else was thinking.

On others, my admiration falls to Teri Agins of The Wall Street Journal. Her advice column, which dissects trends that readers have questions about -- like patent leather -- looks at the trend's history, its current usages and ways to tastefully wear it. Unlike any women's magazine you might pick up, there's no silly jargon or silly answers -- just straightforward simplicity.

Today, my hero is Kate Betts. She's the journalist who infamously took over the editor-in-chief role at Harper's Bazaar in 1999 after Liz Tilberis' passing, only to be fired after supposedly taking Renee Zellweger off of a cover, saying that she was too fat in her post-Bridget Jones state.

I disliked Betts from then on, but her editorship of Time magazine's Style and Design Issue has steered me in another direction. Betts pens many of the articles, and her small team thinks up new ways to look at and analyze trends -- whether that's in luxury, textiles, industrial design, etc.

Pick up a copy of the Fall 2007 issue before they take it off of the shelves -- you'll love the piece on Nordic cuisine, as well as a look at the most popular luxury brands.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Next Trend: Frosted Locks

Frosted hair was really popular in the '80s. It's very much like highlights, but the affected hair shines with a grayish tone. I like to think about it as malted locks -- like a malted milk ball or milkshake, there's a light dusting of silvery residue over your blondish strands. I think the most beautiful example is Debbie Harry when she's not a total peroxide blond.

This look went the way of the perm in the mid-90s, but I say it's time to bring it back. Unlike the big-hair fest that is the permanent, frosting is a nice alternative to brassy highlights.

True brunettes, watch out -- frosting looks best on natural blond or dishwater brown hair.

Balenciaga: Why Do I want These Pants?

I have to say it. I think Nicolas Ghesquiere is a genius. No other designer could make about fifty different prints looks so cohesive and just right.

Sure, I'm not going to sport one of these suits in office just yet, but really, I adore these sculpted metallic leggings. Maybe I will pick up a less-extravagant pair at American Apparel and wear them with a big ol' sweater for the holiday season.

But please, if you see me near a pair of Christmas tree earrings, feel free to stage an intervention.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Latest Obsession: Gossip Girl

For some reason, the Fall 2007 lineup has brought me back to the boob tube for the first time in ages. Not since Six Feet Under have I made an effort to tune in, even if -- this time around -- I'm watching from my Power Book rather than an actual television.

My new favorite is the CW's Gossip Girl. My, how I wish I didn't have an aversion to reading books I think I could write myself, because that young adult series must contain some killer teen smut.

Brought to us by the, ahem, "creative genius" behind The OC, Josh Schwartz, I think I like Gossip Girl so much because A. the characters tend to speak in the same ridiculous pseudo intellectual tone favored on Dawson's Creek, B. the lead actress, Blake Lively, has some serious potential and C. the fashion on this show is going to explode. There have been a couple of missteps (an adorable Vena Cava blouse paired with bad boots and tacky American Eagle shorts) but come on, B's mother is a fashion designer! They shop at Bergdorf's! Watch out, L.C., Sabrina Van Der Woodsen might just kick you off the Carrie Bradshaw throne.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Catfight Worth Mentioning

I really don't want to dedicate this blog to washed-up celebrities, but I can't help but gloat over the bit of Brit gossip I read this morning. Kate Moss and Sienna Miller finally went at it! Evidently, Kate accused Sienna of lifting her style at a friend's wedding reception on Saturday.

Can I just say I have been observing this for YEARS?

To be honest, I'm not the hugest KM fan -- she certainly has great street style, but her lack of personality irks me. However, it is quite clear to anyone that follows fashion in any capacity whatsoever that SM blatantly mimics looks Moss wore years before. Sienna resembles every other girl in London -- because every other girl in London copies Kate Moss!

I have one more little tidbit to add to this story. About two years ago, British Vogue editor Alexandra Schulman wrote an op-ed piece for an Irish newspaper entitled, "There's Only One Icon For Me -- And It's Kate."

In the piece, Schulman revealed that she will not let her staff use the word iconic in any capacity -- unless they are referring to Kate Moss. She goes on to say how we use the word iconic too freely in this age -- and in result, it's lost its weightiness.

This September, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour chose to feature Sienna Miller on the cover -- calling her an icon in bold text. Funny thing is, all of these women are British, but Wintour has lived here for years and Sienna's father is American.

Regardless, vote for Kate Moss in this battle. It's certainly not Miller Time in my book.

Peach and Periwinkle: A Winning Combination

I loved Raf Simmons Spring 2008 show in Milan yesterday. The tulle steered towards too-much, but overall, it was more of what I like -- even if it was more of the same. The subtle tweaks he makes each season -- in silhouette, color and fabric -- are reminiscent of classic designers that never go out of style. Armani comes to mind.

So does Lagerfeld for Chanel, even if his pieces are a bit more subversive than the two minimalist's mentioned.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My New Jeans?

I've been toying for months with the idea of buying new jeans. I want super high rise skinnies. Right now, the trend is super high rise flares. For me, the return of the wide leg jeans is just a hiccup. We've been wearing boot cut/flares for over ten years. In about another five, they'll be looked upon as if they are as terrifying as those acid wash French cuffs from the early '90s (which are now, I remind you, experiencing a fair comeback).

But I digress -- the Bardot's from J. Brand have a nice high rise and a skinny -- but too skinny -- leg. I wasn't incredibly happy with my last pair of J's, but I might give these a chance. Plus, they're named Bardot -- and who's sexier than Bridget?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sing a Song

I'm not a close follower of music -- which is why I've been dreading writing up my two music profiles for Amelia's Magazine. But tonight, I've decided to suck it up -- and finish it up.

Meanwhile, here is the music that I'm listening to today, whilst penning these profound words. Well, typing.

Wilco. My favorite is Summerteeth (album and song), but I also adore Being There, Part 2. Sunken Treasure is my favorite track on that one. Today, I actually listened to every one of their albums. Yeah, really.

Billy Bragg. Shall I Paint You a Picture? Beautiful song -- great, cockney accent.

Hold Steady. Stevie Nicks, Party Pit, First Night, and Boys and Girls in America. Reminds me of my boyfriend. And that his taste in music is pretty horrific, other than the Hold Steady. (sorry, dude)

Elliot Smith. Self-titled. For some reason, I do my best writing listening to this suicidal album.

Cyndi Lauper. When You Were Mine. Cyndi's version of the Prince song -- a little shout-out to my Ponies.

Johnny Cash with June Carter Cash. I'm Going To Jackson. I love their love. You can hear it in this song.

Talking Heads. And She Was, Love For Sale. They might be the best. Ever.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Clean Desk

As a procrastinator, the thing I love to do most when sitting on an assignment is cleaning. Mind you, I don't do it very often, so when I do, it means that the story I'm working on is particularly daunting.

In lieu of this confession, I've decided to redesign my desk. I do have a cubicle, but it's off in a corner, so I'm separated from the rest of the pack -- I even have a window! Kind of like my own little office.

So, here it goes. I need to DESIGN. No painting, no wallpaper, just an image and some fixtures. Pink and black? Pink and yellow? Yellow and black? Who knows what I'll settle on.

These images provide some inspiration...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Attention All Shoppers

I've officially made my first Etsy purchase. my friend Ann turned me onto this commerce site, which -- as I'm sure most of you know -- serves as something of an online bazaar, selling prints, original artwork, jewelry and even some clothing.

For just $8, I scored this Gocco bird print on the page of a French book. As a Francophile who also hasn't quite gotten over her love for Audubon sketches, this seemed like a reasonable investment. The bird comes from an original sketch by the artist as well.

And no, I couldn't have Gocco-ed this by myself. Have you ever tried to use a Gocco printer? It's not for the uncreative/creative type (those with creative ideas who are unable to express them in a visual manner). You know who you are. You're also called writers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Favorite Lady

I've been obsessed with Leslie Hall since my days in London. The sequin sweater lady was featured in Vice magazine, with 24 pocket-sized, school photo-inspired images right next to her profile. I promptly cut them each out and sent them in my Christmas cards with absolutely no explanation.

Leslie is famous for her sweater collection -- which she matches with gold lame leggings -- as well as her band, Leslie and the Lys. They're playing in Philadelphia this November, and I'm tempted to take the Path train down there.

Why do I love Leslie so? I don't know if her get-up is an act or the real thing, but there's something refreshing about someone who let's It all hang out. And by It, I mean pounds of flesh.

Also, I kinda dig her gold lamé chevron sweater.

Friday, September 14, 2007

For Me, Fashion Isn't All About Consumption

I'm doing an accessories piece for work, scouring the web for "Future Classics." The pieces I personally love are a little more of-the-moment, like these YSL wooden heel oxfords. They would look incredible with a pair of stirrupped leggings.

This is where practically trumps fantasy. Although they're beautiful, these shoes are totally out of my price range, and, more importantly, I can't walk in heels more than two inches. Even if I could afford ten pair, purchasing these stunners wouldn't be worth it, unless I was planning on displaying them atop an end table.

So, maybe I am obsessed with fashion, but that doesn't mean I'm overly materialistic. I appreciate nice things, but I also appreciate useful things. Reveling in the beauty of form is what really gets me going.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

People always ask me what kind of makeup I wear. This is a. because they think it looks good or b. because they think it looks ridiculous and have become fascinated by my clownish face. I'm hope the answer is a.

The truth is, I don't change my makeup routine much, and unlike most girls, I started out with lipstick, foundation and blush at 13, only recently moving into the world of eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. It's sort of a reverse evolution, I feel like a great deal of women focus on the eyes rather than the skin, cheeks and mouth.

So here are my mainstays and tips for wearing them:

Clinique Perfectly Real Makeup. If you don't need foundation, don't wear it. But I suffer from the occasional breakout as well as large pores and uneven skin tone, so I feel it's necessary. The great thing is, most people don't realize I wear foundation, which is the point.

Nars Orgasm Blush. To me, blush is the most underrated cosmetic. It instantly brightens any complexion, especially an imperfect one. My good friend Pam -- who happens to be one of the hippest, coolest people I know -- turned me on to this in college. It's honestly the best blush color ever -- peachy pink with shimmer. I think nearly ever skin tone looks great in it.

Mac Lip Conditioner. I'm a huge lipstick person, but I also love this balmy pot of color. No flaking lips, I promise. I have the conditioner nude -- the pink is beautiful as well.

Mac Mascara. Smells like rosewater and is great for everyday.

Dior Mascara in Electric Blue. With just a little blush and a pale lip, this looks really unique -- not scary, I promise.

Smith's Rosebud Salve. Not only is this a great clear balm, it also looks hot on eyes with a bit of shimmer gold eyeshadow.

Any shimmery nude eyeshadow. Brush on brow and cheek bones for a highlighter effect.

In terms of eyeliner, I still haven't found my one-and-only. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fashion Week Wrap Up

I'll admit it. I don't exactly "get" MJ's show yet, but I'm letting it marinate. Lord knows, he's never gone wrong before.

Best Trend: Dove grey mixed with pastels. MJ did this last Spring (see what I mean??) but it was everywhere this year. And I love it. Best interpretations? Ralph Lauren and Jeremy Laing (my favorite show this year).

Glad to see: The blazer is really, truly back.

Best newcomer: Elise Overland. Went to the show last night (spotted Plum Sykes!) and was very, very impressed. Her palette of tan, nude, mauve and royal purple -- with occasional copper accents -- was stunning. The show had a sexy, cool and -- at sometimes -- pristine vibe:

Sexy -- Off the should mauve satin blouse
Cool -- Nude Shift with Kim Gordon's surgeon-masked face painted on the front
Pristine -- Royal purple high-waisted skirt (I want!)

Biggest Disappointment: 3.1 Phillip Lim. Still my pick for the CFDA, though. There were pieces I will definitely wear, the collection in its entirety just wasn't as fluid as Fall.

Best Party: Is yet to come?

What I'm Really Excited For: Writing a post that isn't about fashion week. But it had to be done, people.

Shown: A new look from BOY. Bound to be my new look.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Short, Short, Red Nails.

I'm not very adventurous when it comes to nail polish. It's either ballet slipper pink or navy blue-black, but this season, the influx of dark, dark shades has left me a little bored.

Thus, I've begun to maintain short, red nails with Essie's Really Red. It works well with my wardrobe (mostly grey, black and navy) and actually looks cute with some chips -- unavoidable, if you're a mean typist, like me.

In other news, fashion week is almost over, but today is Luca Luca, Elise Overland and Nili Lotan. I'll give you a round up of what I've seen and -- more importantly -- what I think, tonight or tomorrow morning.

Friday, September 7, 2007

OK, I Skipped a Party or Two...

But really, did I need to head up to Koreatown for Alexander Wang's after party? Hopefully, my editor doesn't think so.

Wang's clothes looked great at his show earlier in the day, with oversized blazers and short shorts, but I really loved Canadian designer Jeremy Laing this season. Really, best collection yet, in my opinion. He did quite a few long, skinny and slim suits and closely-cut silk dresses in an exquisite dove grey. I'm happy to see designers are finally moving away from the bubble skirt -- it still looks fresh right now, but it's been interpreted in every which way.

I'll admit, I was pretty disappointed with Karen Walker. Her floral prints were nice, but many of the cuts just looked plain dated -- or sloppy.

In a departure from fashion -- which seems to be taking over my world at the moment -- I'm interviewing Ra Ra Riot tonight before their show with The Editors at Webster Hall for Amelia's Magazine. It's been a rough couple of month's for the buzzy band -- their drummer, Jon Pike, was found dead in Massachusetts this past June. I'm interested to see how such a tightly woven human tapestry deals with such tragedy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Cheese Platter at Fashion Week

I've only been to a couple of shows thus far, but tonight at LAMB, I witnessed the appearance of the one and only....drum roll please...the hated Melrose from America's Next Top Model!!!

No, she wasn't modeling. She was just hanging on the arm of some dude who was sitting two seats over from me. Why, although I deny any interest in reality TV whatsoever, did I feel a certain delight -- and at the same time rage -- when I caught her out of the corner of my eye? That's a question for my shrink, I suppose.

Other cheesy sightings at the tents: ever-present Robert Verdi, Nylon Accessories Director Dani Stahl (still rocking peasant chic like it was Britain 2004), some woman with words written all over her jeans.

Cool sightings: Bazaar editor Glenda Baily, who -- if I am standing next to her at a party -- looks approachable enough to speak to, NYT's Cathy Horyn, Teen Vogue's Amy Astley, Gwen Stefani holding her babes (who wore headphones during the actual show), and lots of other people that I am too tired to remember. Oh, I saw Bam Margera at Koi after the show. Quality.

The clothes. I always love LAMB for it's signature Rastafarian/ska/prep/punk style, but I would rarely wear it. However, this year, I really appreciated the plaid boy blazers, navy cocktail dress and red, blue and white woven belt on the waist. Well done!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Everything Grunge Is New Again

I've been rocking the grunge look -- for the second time around -- since last fall (I have a perfectly tattered plaid dress from Edun that makes me feel very Singles), but this season, it's time to take the plunge and revert back to an old standby, black Dr. Martens.

I'm going to rock them with my Edun dress, leggings and high-waisted, skinny jeans (which I refuse to give up -- I'm not a wide-leg kind of girl). Not only will my Docs look completely Fall 2007, they're also significantly cheaper than the Loeffler Randal boots I've been spying (sorry, Jessie).

I'd also like to comment that this is the first real trend that I have been old enough to embrace for two rounds. It's been over a decade since I fell in love with MJ's Perry Ellis line. Guess that means we should expect the resurgence of corduroy insert pants (haa...joking...I hope).

Girl About Town? Heeee...

So this week, I am going to be all over Manhattan attending parties. Yikes.

I know, I know, tough life, right?

Sure, the glamour of fashion week excites me. It also makes me light-headed and short of breath. I'm the type of gal who likes to take her time at the gym, go home, read a book and pass out by ten. I'll venture out for a night or two -- but seven in a row? Let's see how I survive. Bring on the gin and soda.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Barneys Warehouse Sale? Underrated, In My Opinion

I've always avoided the infamous Barneys Warehouse sale. Twice per year, the luxury retailer rents out a space in Chelsea and drastically marks down goods from previous seasons. I've been told horror stories about this event:

1. Everything is about five seasons old, and picked-over.
2. The mark-downs aren't that incredible.
3. It's a cat-fight until the end.

I took a look-see on my way to the gym last night in order to find out what the fuss was all about. It's the end of the sale, which lasts two weeks, so I just assumed I would be starring at thousands of pairs those god-awful gingham Louboutin espadrilles every high-end retailer is trying to pawn off to their sale-seeking customers.

Untrue! Sure, I did see a couple pairs of those Louboutins, but I also found some printed Marni tshirts, a gorgeous dress from Brian Reyes and a Balenciaga blouse that I had salivated over when I first saw it on the shopping pages of Elle. I went with the blouse, which was marked down from $520 to $70.

If you're in NY this weekend, catch the sale on its final days. You might find your very own Balenciaga diamond in the rough.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pretty Petit

I'm trying my best to post original ideas and finds on this little blog, but I just have to mention Daily Candy's feature on Petit Bateau's new line of undies.

I am a HUGE fan of the brand's stripey shirts, so these delicate vests and knickers (the words tank tops and underwear are just too coarse to describe the line) have quickly won my heart.

The bra tops are cute, too, with tiny flowers embroidered in pink, white and blue. Like the Duet bras, these are for smaller chests, but I don't want to leave my bosomy friends out. If you wear a C+ and endorse a particular bra, let me know what it's called, where to find it, and I'll happily feature it.