Monday, June 30, 2008

Anthropologie's Globemallow dress

This type of flowery dress normally isn't my style. But something about it just makes me want to escape to my imaginary country house and run into the fields to pick yellow buttercups. The silk skirt is imprinted with pink desert flowers, adding a necessary burst of color to the dove-grey top. Both the sweet bow at the waist and wraparound style are wonderful slimming devices. The girly, almost rustic touches lend the dress a vintage air. I consider this dress a modern version of what Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen (in Becoming Jane) would have worn for a romantic walk outdoors with Tom Lefroy.

The ultimate accessory: Khoon Hooi's zipper belt

This zipper belt by Khoon Hooi, a Malaysian designer, is so original that I've never seen anything remotely like it. The satin belt is embellished with a zipper (which doesn't serve any functional purpose except as a unique decoration), as well as chiffon, wood, pearl, and jewel pieces. The result is a slightly strange--yet aesthetically pleasing--belt, which is fastened high on the waist with two hooks. Khoon Hooi's innovative belt can easily add some novelty to a plain dress or tunic. Definitely an accessory for a bold girl, the belt is on sale for $91.80.

On Sale: White ribbon blouse

This white sleeveless ribbon blouse by Borne is on sale from $248 to $62, which makes it one amazing buy. Delicately folded ribbon detail around the neckline and a bow at the center exude femininity, but I love the idea of pairing this sweet top with a tough leather jacket to create a more interesting look. You can also wear it as a tunic layered over leggings or add a splash of color with bright shoes. The possibilities with this blouse are endless, and from the pretty ribbon to the affordable price, I'm sold!

Wanted: a leather jacket

After watching Wanted over the weekend, I was inspired by the tough girl style of Angelina Jolie's character, Fox--heavy eyeliner, leather jackets, and tight pants (though in one scene, she also gracefully pulls off a feminine white dress while lying on the hood of a car and firing two guns). Any girl who wants to imitate that tough look needs a black leather jacket to kick start her outfit. While you can buy the exact one she wears in the movie off eBay (the sale will benefit charity PLAN!T NOW), chances are you don't have $7,100 to spare and might not be able to squeeze into Angelina's size extra small. That's why this S.W.O.R.D. Volterra leather jacket, at $748, is a great alternative. While Angelina's original jacket definitely has some cool details, like the asymmetrical zippers and shoulder detail, the Volterra motorcycle jacket maintains a simpler style in washed leather. I like the shorter, cropped hem, elbow patches, and the sleek collar and overall fit. I'm sure that after slipping it on, you'll effortlessly slip into Angelina's tough girl persona. If only it were that easy!

(Photo credit to

Elizabeth and James Grecian tank

Depending on how it falls on your body, I'm thinking this Elizabeth and James Grecian tank could look either very silly or super trendy. A slubbed jersey tank top is draped with white chiffon, baring shoulders in a sexy, careless way. Leave it to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to dream up this ingenious design. Pair the top with tight jeans to balance out the loose fit and generous chiffon draping around the front. If you can pull it off, this carefree and comfortable look is perfect for that summer cruise or vacation you're planning to take.

Body Spotlight: A bikini for bottom heavy women

Now that we've settled on perhaps one of the cutest and most impractical bikinis ever, perhaps it's time to shop for a more sensible version. This Seafolly spindrift bikini incorporates a nautical theme with cheerful stripes and admiral buttons. The boy short bottoms offer a bit more coverage in case you're feeling insecure about your thighs and butt, and the halter-style top (take note of the cute matching buttons) is perfect for drawing attention to your upper body.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Elementary school nostalgia: BFF necklaces

My best friend from elementary school and I used to wear those best friend heart necklaces, cheap pieces of pink plastic jewelry signifying our loyalty as BFFs. Each of us got one half, either "BE FRI" or "ST ENDS." I loved wearing mine; it remained a comforting and tangible expression of our friendship as we grew up and went on to different schools. Those necklaces are long gone (I suspect my mother of throwing mine out) and though my friend and I are now separated by geography, we still have intermittent contact and remain in touch. That's why I immediately thought of her when I saw these rather grown up Best Fuckin' Friends necklaces in brass (made by In God We Trust). Hand hammered and engraved in pretty cursive, these necklaces are a sassy reminder of that nostalgic piece of elementary school jewelry. Now that we're adults, it doesn't stand for best friends forever...but you can remind your BFF that she's your best fuckin' friend with a necklace in silver or brass.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Iosselliani Jewelry

Iosselliani jewelry has, for a long time, registered on the radar of those in the fashion biz. The creation of Italian designer Paolo Giacomelli, the line is often featured on models in magazine photo shoots, which is how I first took notice of the brand. While the pieces are decidedly delicate, the heads of serpents, dogs, and panthers give the jewelry a tougher edge. Semi-precious gems and metals are blended together to create edgy, ornate pieces of jewelry. The designer is fond of layered necklaces and statement rings. Some of my favorites include the single earring with a catlike head and ruby eyes, the stack of five bracelets including one serpent head, a glittering panther ring, and a tangled necklace starring rubies, garnets, and zircons.

The Vest Done Right

Not only do I adore the preppy style of this black vest, I'm also a fan of the entire Club Monaco ensemble. As mentioned earlier, vests function as a great layering pieces in your summer wardrobe. This simple black waistcoat, with its tiny buttons and subtle pockets, adds a tomboyish element to the ruffled shirt and white shorts, while a silk sash belt completes the outfit. The crisp black and white color scheme is perfect for keeping cool and looking sophisticated in the heat of summer. Chic and comfortable, Club Monaco's outfit is brilliantly put together and my top choice to wear to any approaching summer barbeques.

Alice + Olivia's garden party dress from Gossip Girl

Now that I've already watched all the Gossip Girl episodes from season one countless times, I've graduated to combing the Internet for pictures from the upcoming second season. With the cast currently filming in the Hamptons, I expected some signature, ultra fashionable outfits and I was not disappointed. Leighton Meester, in character as Blair, was spotted wearing this summery Alice + Olivia garden frock. She accessorized with a wide pink belt, a sky blue headband (of course!), and cute floral flats--a very Blair-esque ensemble fit for the hot Hamptons weather! The dress also comes in a silk blouse with blouson sleeves and a bubble hem. The playful, multicolored print is really what makes this garden party dress so special. You can mix and match with a variety of colors (orange or lemon yellow instantly come to mind) and the classic silhouette (very Audrey Hepburn-ish) will never go out of style.

(Credit to Getty Images)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

McQueen's little gold bolero

Initially, I thought this was an interesting black top with gold trim. But I soon realized that the "gold trim" was actually a fantastic Alexander McQueen short bolero, which can easily be worn with a top or even a dress, as shown. I've never seen a bolero quite like this before. While its size, shape and design are quite unique, I must say its versatility can add pretty embellishment to a plain outfit in a solid color. The details--scalloped edging, hand sewn heavy beading and sequins, intricate design--make this tiny piece of clothing a worthwhile investment. The gold goes with nearly anything and really jazzes up that black top, taking it from prim office wear to a trendy piece for a night on the town.

Anlo's denim mini

Building on today's denim theme, I'm completely enamored with this Anlo denim mini skirt. I am admittedly picky with my denim mini skirts, making it difficult to incorporate this California girl staple into my wardrobe. I simply don't like the super-distressed, faded, frayed, Abercrombie & Fitch style that is so popular nowadays. That's why Anlo's sophisticated skirt is just my cup of tea--clean, soft denim in sky blue with back pockets and oversized buttons. The length seems ideal (not scandalously short, but obviously a mini skirt) and I love the finish of the denim fabric--smooth and refreshingly un-distressed.

Ksubi Jeans: Yes or No?

I've been singing the praises of Rich & Skinny jeans to anyone who will listen for quite a while now. But every year, I get that same itch--a craving for a brand new pair of everyday jeans. I've heard that Australian brand Ksubi (formerly Tsubi), which was created by surfers Dan Single and George Gorrow, makes the most comfortable jeans with the slightest bit of stretch. Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan and other celebs are fans of the brand and it's quickly become a cult favorite. I haven't had the chance to try a pair on, but from what I can see, the styles are sexy, slimming, and trendy. The Dynamite Shorts sport the trademark Ksubi logo on the back, a series of embroidered dice + +, and a cool, slightly frayed hemline. And the Tallina Mid Indigo Scooter Jean is a mid-rise, super stretchy skinny pair in a vintage blue wash. But before I splurge on the jeans, I'm curious to know what everyone--I mean, those without Nicole Richie's petite proportions--thinks about their fit. Let me know your thoughts!

Designer Spotlight: Made in Shoreditch Somewhere headbands

Like so many other viewers, I'm getting anxious waiting for the next season of Gossip Girl to begin. So I started watching reruns of the show and was reminded of how much I had admired Blair Waldorf's headband in one of the episodes--an enormous red bow headband by Valentino that only the Queen Bee herself could pull off! As Valentino's version is probably costly (and unavailable to boot) and I haven't been able to find a decent similar version, I was thrilled when I came upon a label called Made in Shoreditch Somewhere.

The designer, Jennie, originally hails from Brooklyn but now resides in London and creates the most amazing hair accessories, wristcuffs, and brooches. One in particular that caught my eye was a giant bow headband in fuschia pink, the closest to Blair's I've found yet. Browse through her selection of headbands and you'll find unique blends of lace, charms, beading, chains, and other fanciful embellishments that give off a fun, whimsical, rock and roll vibe. The designer handcrafts each piece with a heavy emphasis on quality and detail.

There's no online store just yet, but I'm hoping they sell and ship to the United States somehow because I am definitely a fan!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sea urchin tableware

My namesake store, Tiffany & Company, makes some truly beautiful diamond jewelry. But their tableware also happens to be quite exquisite as well, and these sea urchin bone china pieces--including a teapot, salt and pepper shakers, and creamer--have definitely caught my attention. The rough, dotted texture and pure white color give each piece a sophisticated yet modern aura. The fact that the collection was inspired by sea creatures known for their symmetry and spiny outer shell is truly reflected in the design. I would adore these pieces as part of my tableware collection in the future, but with a collection starting at $95, even the 2-inch shakers are rather out of my current price range.

On Sale: Thread's white strapless frock

While searching for some new summer frocks, I came across Thread's black and white strapless dress. Made of 100% silk gazar, a strip of tulle is draped from shoulder to waist, and hangs down the length of the skirt, giving the dress a very regal air. The stark contrast between white and black is startling--in a good way! The only thing that might bother me about the design is how the tulle sash seems a tad pageant-like. At the same time, it's such an interesting look, and it would be fun to see if the sash could be taken off to give the dress a whole new spin.

Discount Spotlight: Jeffery Campbell's wedge shoe

This wedge shoe by Jeffrey Campbell, with its beige-colored linen fabric, reminds me a little of the Tashkent by Cheyenne heel. The adorable bow at the ankle and cool cut outs at the sides make for one unique shoe. Since I don't usually favor too-high heels, I like the 1/2 inch wedge heel on this pair that will still give me extra height without sacrificing comfort. This wedge is definitely one of the most fabulous, fashionable, and affordable (a steal at $78) shoes I've come across yet.

Plus, purchase it online (or anything else you may fancy) from Urban Outfitters and receive an extra 20% off with code "secretsale."

Perfect for summer: Tara Matthews pirate bikini

Though I'm totally over the skull-and-crossbones motif that pops up on so many clothes and accessories nowadays, I think this Tara Matthews pirate triangle bikini is absolutely adorable. The gold sequin embellishment is probably not suitable for any serious swimming, but you'll look ultra fashionable lounging poolside and sipping a fruity drink. And take comfort in the fact that a percentage of profits are donated to a charity benefiting underprivileged children in Calcutta. A matching hand painted pirate wrap sarong is even available, if you want to complete the look! Somehow, seeing the familiar pirate theme played out on this bikini doesn't irritate me at all. But then again, I'm a sucker for sequins!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Discount Spotlight: Lauren Wolf

As I mentioned before, my earrings obsession has continued well into my twenties. However, I am actually quite picky with my earring choices. They must fulfill certain standards in size, shape, color and design, and most importantly, they must have that "it" factor, the special something that makes me sit up and take notice, like these earrings from Lauren Wolf. Wolf studied jewelry design in Mexico and her nature-inspired designs both "complements and commands attention" (as her website puts it). I'd have to agree--the "it" factor in these earrings can't be denied. The blackened silver palm frond earrings, with those jagged, sharp points, have a dazzling strip of 14k green gold down the middle. And Wolf's petal earrings are a casting of stingray skin in silver, with a uniquely mesmerizing shape that reminds me of a leaf.

Use the code "FABULOUS" at checkout to get 25% off anything you buy from her online store.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The sweet and sexy LBD

To be honest, I really don't need anymore black dresses in my wardrobe. I have enough to last me throughout my twenties, but after spotting this DSquared LBD, I'm thinking it can never hurt to have too many, right? What's so amazing about this dress is its unique double-layer bodice. While you've got a flattering sweetheart neckline (which reminds me a bit of Rach's dress) and twisted bow on top (a sweet feminine touch...take a closer look to fully appreciate it!), the inner layer is a mesh corset for a snug and sexy fit. The empire waistline, slim skirt, and stretchy wool blend fabric seem like they were all designed to make you look your best. I love how the twisted bow and sexy silhouette merge into a sweet, slightly edgy LBD.

Rachel Bilson's Abaete dress

Recognize Rachel Bilson's Abaete dress, which she wore to a movie premiere last November? It's available at Shop Intuition for $495 and I'm seriously contemplating the purchase. Of course the dress looks stunning on Rach's petite figure, but I have a feeling the asymmetrical bodice and black band around the waist will accentuate all shapes. The silk dress comes in a black and pink combo as well, but I love the color scheme Rachel chose--sharp white, azure blue, and that narrow strip of black to define the waistline. The design is elegant, but the dress maintains a youthful and fresh feel, especially paired with simple accessories and long, flowing hair, a la Bilson.

(Photo credit to Getty Images)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The best ice cream on earth

I know this is a fashion blog. But I have a major revelation that needs to be shared with as many people as possible. After a late-night grunion run over the weekend, I had an intense craving for something sweet. So I popped over to the nearest supermarket and picked up Haagen-Dazs Hawaiian Lehua Honey & Sweet Cream ice cream. One bite released rich, creamy flavor weaved with the texture of sweet honey, transporting me to dessert heaven (apparently, I am not alone in thinking this). I easily could have polished off the rest of this ambrosial creation, but I managed restraint. If you haven't tried this flavor, please do! It will make you see the delectable combination of honey and ice cream in a completely new light.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

On Sale: Tashkent by Cheyenne's Metallic Sandal

These Tashkent by Cheyenne sandals, made of linen threaded with hints of metallic gold,
must be the ultimate summertime shoe. The shoes pretty much go with anything, from a long summer dress in an ostentatiously bright color (to offset the shoe's neutral shade) to a patterned bohemian top-and-jeans combo. What I like most about the shoe are the elegant straps that tie at the ankle and the undeniable quality of the linen, which gives off a subtle sheen. Though truthfully I am more of a flats girl myself, it is precisely these kind of shoes that are slowly converting me to the world of high heels.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Trend Alert: Vests

Kate Moss has worn them for years, and even Kim Kardashian seems to appreciate the trend. The basic black vest has emerged as a trendy wardrobe staple, but as usual, I am drawn to something just a little different. Richard Chai's ivory-colored chiffon vest is one of the most innovative I've ever seen, incorporating a halter-style back and military-inspired closures made of black lace. The sharp tailoring and fine detail make this an outstanding piece on its own, though most vests are great layering devices and add a bit of menswear-inspired oomph to your outfit.

(Photo credit to

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Designer Spotlight: Biyan

I enjoyed the amazing privilege of attending a Biyan fashion show while visiting Jakarta, Indonesia last month. While relatively unknown in the Western world, designer Biyan Wanaatmadja is the go-to man for Indonesian celebrities and high-profile socialites. His creations--elegant, highly embellished, ethereal pieces--are coveted as much as tickets to his exclusive fashion shows. Throughout the show, I sat on the edge of my seat as a parade of beautiful clothes on beautiful models floated by on the jungle-themed runway.

My favorite piece was an intricately embroidered silk jacket with a mandarin collar in a muted pink shade. Close up, the embroidery was exquisite, trailing around the collar and shoulders for a delicately feminine effect. The show featured clothes heavy on silk, innovative draping, luxurious embellishment, bold jewelry, beading and bright patterns. Even the leather platform wedges worn by the models were each carefully embellished with unique stones and beads. All in all, the show was breathtaking, showcasing the kind of contemporary yet opulent designs most Indonesian socialites favor wearing.

No word yet on how to get your hands on some Biyan if you live outside Indonesia, but hopefully their new website will be up and running and offer international shipping to the USA! Now that would be beyond wonderful!