Monday, March 31, 2008

No More Celebrity Fashion Lines, Please!

If I hear about one more celebrity fashion line, I might simply vomit.

That is all.

A Girl Can Dream in French

If you catch the drift of the title of this blog, then you know how badly I love French culture. I don't when it happened, but sometime in my early twenties I realized every girl I wanted to be was French. (Except for Sofia Coppola, of course, but she also wants to be French). I love Charlotte Gainsbourg, but recently I've become fascinated with the style of Francois Hardy, who I seemed to have been mimicking without even knowing she existed. Now I must buy her albums for inspiration.

I Love You, Shoe

I've never been a big shoe person -- I tend to stick with flats and Converse or Keds -- and I've been that way since childhood. I don't think I ever truly adjusted to wearing heels. On the days I do attempt to slip on anything above 1.5 inches, I tend to look like a teetering fool. I suppose I'm lucky at 5'8" -- I have no need to wear uncomfortable clompers unless I really want to.

However, the sculptural shoe styles that have become more popular in the last couple of seasons are making me reconsider my anti-height stance. I loved Marc Jacobs inverted heel/wedge contraption for spring, but my heart really belongs to Tashkent by Cheyenne. The designer's Greco-inspired wedges -- with twists and turns and unexpected textures and colors -- still look fresh after debuting about two years ago. I finally got my hands on a pair, deeply-discounted of course, at my local boutique.

Who are your new favorite shoe designers?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fashion Fun

When I was living in London, my editor was constantly introducing me to people and things she deemed truly "cool." A posh, boho beauty fanatic, this editor is not what you'd call hip, but she is what you'd call in-the-know. Meaning, she had the right friends who introduced her to all that was hip, letting her be who she was -- a peasant skirt-wearing bleached blond -- without missing out on the next big thing.

One "cool" item this lovely lady passed on to me was Cheap Date -- an anti-establishment fashion magazine that featured thrift store style and cool girls like Chloe Sevigny and Karen Elson. Unlike slick urban culture mags, Cheap Date was irreverent and fun.

Now, the women behind the mag have published a book: The Cheap Date Guide to Style. Unlike most fashion-fixer manuals, this guide doesn't scold you for liking things a little off kilter. Instead, it helps you to embrace your style quirks without looking like a mad woman.

Hopefully, more women will read Cheap Date's guide and stop watching the American version of What Not to Wear. I swear, tuning into to that program lowers your Style IQ within the half-hour.

List Therapy

I've probably said this before, but I'll say it again. I love lists. They de-clutter my mind like no other exercise. And now, as April creeps up on us, I must make my Spring Wardrobe Essentials list. The biggest satisfaction that comes from organizing chaos? Being able to cross off an item or two.

This year's list:
  • Steven Alan's boyfriend shirt in blue
  • 3.1 Philip Lim for Tatami sandals
  • Mario Badescu cleanser and moisturizer
  • Calypso Jasmine perfume
  • Alexander Wang for Uniqlo dresses
  • white v-neck t-shirt
  • two white v-neck tanks
  • new white slip-on Keds
  • Alexander Wang purple silk tank
  • 3.1 Phillip Lim yellow high-waisted skirt
  • iPhone
  • ticket to Europe

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Call It Quarterlife Melodrama

When I was 23, I bought a book called "The Quarterlife Crisis," lauded on Oprah as the first book to gain deep insight into the trials and tribulations of those in their mid-20s.

I must say, I was a bit disappointed. The book was very surface and didn't really provide any solutions, or even comfort -- it was essentially a documentation a few people a little confused about whether they should become doctors or lawyers, or parents before they're 30. Needless to say, these weren't issues I was dealing with at 23 (yes, I know that's a bit early for a 1/4-crisis, but I always seem to be a little ahead of the game ;)).

I wish the online television drama Quarterlife was around when I was going through all that bad stuff. Although melodramatic and filled with not-so-great acting, the creators behind -- you guessed it -- My So Called Life have brought the same sentiment to the same generation. The difference? A decade and some change.

Main character Dylan works at a Cosmo-esque women's magazine, but she wants to be a "real writer." She's also in love with her friend who is (of course) in love with her other friend. There's sadness, longing and a lot of drinking and eating in between working and sleeping.

The story -- told in 8 minutes clips instead of 44-minute long episodes -- sums up Generation Y. We're unsure of our place in society; because of the comfortable means we've been raised on, we don't feel the need to set things in stone, whether that's a relationship or a career. And we've never really had to work for much, which is why we carry designer handbags and iPhones that our parents paid for. Some of us are lucky; we're ambitious enough to land good work. Others are not, and that's why we all have friends who are 34 and bartending.

Regardless of where you fall, you'll appreciate Quarterlife. Just when I feel like I'm passed the stage of being unsure of what's to come, the feeling creeps back up. And watching Quarterlife reminds me that, if someone wrote a show about my hopes and fears, I must not be the only one holding onto them.

Paris Paris

Of course, the French pulled off the most interesting fashion week during a period when buyers are buying less and popular silhouettes from the last few years look tired. The birthplace of fashion continues to bring fresh ideas to the table without alienating the "money people."

My favorites looks were from Isabel Marant -- I'd wear every single checked blouse, belted dress and high-waisted skirt -- and YSL, which was monochromatic, slick and to me, the epitome of power-dressing.

My only disappointment, when it comes to Paris, was that I wasn't there to enjoy it.