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.