Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Welcome back to the '90s

My attempt at '90s fashion for a coworker's themed birthday dinner turned out to be an interesting one--I was told that my look veered toward somewhat the late '80s and early '90s. With a L.A.M.B. printed T-shirt tucked into a lime green Diane von Furstenburg cotton skirt, I had the colorful mismatched clothes down pat. Then I added black Converse and knee-high black socks, plus a chunky necklace from Subversive for Target jewelry for good measure! While I was slightly more put-together than I should have been, getting all dressed up for a theme party was a load of fun and the experience made me think about theme parties I could host in the future.

Splurge of the Month: Nanette Lepore's Sin Sling Dress

I've had my eye on this Nanette Lepore Sin Sling dress ever since I first saw it on the rack, and I finally caved and bought it in anticipation of a family friend's wedding. While I ended up wearing a different dress to the wedding, I'm sure I'll come up with an excuse to wear this gorgeous creation somewhere else. With a sweetheart neckline and empire waist, the party frock exudes pretty femininity, but the splashy flowery print keeps it from seeming boring. In vibrant hues of red, purple, and magenta, and contrasting black trim, the dress is perfect for occasions ranging from fall weddings (paired with the right strappy shoes) to formal work functions (under a fitted blazer and sleek black pumps). I love the bold statement just one beautiful, fitted dress can make, and Nanette Lepore always delivers in that department!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hawaii wedding inspiration

Japanese fashion model Jessica Michibata, who maintains her own blog full of personal pics of her glam life, recently attended a friend's wedding in Hawaii as a bridesmaid (that's her, fourth from left). This photograph is my favorite because of the colorful fashion it showcases. The bridesmaid dresses are really unique--a kind of seafoam-colored pattern with a dash of lavender. Maxi dresses come into play as well. The girl on the far left is wearing one with a really bold pattern, and the other girl (who happens to be Jessica's younger sister, also a beautiful model...ugh, genes!) wears a multicolored, orange dress that I absolutely love! Then we have two guests in different shades of yellow. I personally prefer the brighter yellow hue with the embellished neckline. And as for all these gorgeously attired wedding guests posing against a Hawaii sunset...well, it just couldn't get more fashionably perfect than that!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Layering for fall

Even though it's still pretty sunny and warm in Los Angeles, the early mornings have started to look gray and overcast, hinting at the impending fall weather. As much as I dislike the rain and cold, fall is the perfect time to experiment with layering. Like the outfit on the left, for example: a pair of dark skinny jeans tucked into slouchy socks and red kitten heels. It's a little out there--inspired from my time in Japan, where it's common for girls to strut around in get-ups like that!--but I think the combination is really cute. And it's just plain old fun to play around with layers like that! You can achieve a similar look with these slouchy leg warmers from HeartsDeesire Vintage Emporium. Just pull 'em on over your tightest jeans and add cute, colorful heels of your choice!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Street Spotting: Starbucks lady

So a few weekends ago I was exploring Robertson Boulevard and ducked into Starbucks to try their new Vivanno smoothie..mmm. As I was sipping my chocolate banana creation, I spotted an L.A. fashionista in a sheer gray racerback dress which she had accessorized beautifully. She wore a braided belt around her waist, black strappy sandals, a Balenciaga-like bag in a cream-colored print with a scarf tied around its handle, and sleek sunglasses pushing the hair out of her face. She looked so model chic that I snapped a few pics of her as she ordered her coffee. I'm really into her shoes, so I did some poking around on the 'net and found these similar L.A.M.B. T-strap sandals which easily add an edge to any outfit. I also liked how she kept the outfit itself simple, choosing instead to embellish heavily on the accessories. I'll definitely have to take a tip or two from this lady the next time I take a stroll down Robertson Boulevard.

Out & About: Hippie chic

Who: Nicole Richie

What: Taking a stroll with her baby daughter, Harlow Winter Kate

Where: New York City

Wearing: A loose-fitting ombre tank top tucked into cut-off denim shorts, a skinny belt, and aviator sunnies

When: September 8, 2008

Such a breezy outfit for a sunny day! Nicole makes that whole hippie thing look so chic and freakin' effortless! Note the braids in her tousled, wavy hair and the ragged hems of her faded shorts.

(Photo Credit: TheSuperficial.Com)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Out & About: Black and white

Who: Gossip Girl favorite, Leighton Meester, and Tommy Hilfiger

What: Speaking onstage during the Conde Nast Media Group's Fifth Annual Fashion Rocks

Where: Radio City Music Hall in New York City

Wearing: Supertight black jeans, a V-neck white tee, a cropped tuxedo jacket, and fierce peep-toe sandals

When: September 5, 2008

Leighton usually goes for pretty party frocks when she makes appearances, but I love how she chose to mix it up with this blazer-and-pants combo. The shoes are a great choice, plus slicked back hair makes the outfit stand out more and focuses attention on the stark black-and-white color scheme. She rocks this minimalist look, which is so un-Blair Waldorf that I'm loving it for a change!

(Photo Credit: GettyImages.Com)

LC's Holiday 2008 collection

I had the chance to attend Lauren Conrad's fashion show as she helped kick off the first ever Style Week at the Irvine Spectrum Center in her hometown of Orange County. She showed off her Holiday 2008 collection--a parade of pretty dresses and separates. I think her clothes have definitely evolved since her earlier collections, but the design aesthetic is still very simple and straightforward. However, I have hope that with more experience, LC will rise to the challenge and garner more respect in the fashion world. Who knows? She is still only in design school, after all...

While the clothes mostly consisted of solid colors like black, gray, cream, purple, and burgundy, this blocky, multicolored print kept popping up on the runway. The more I saw it, the more it grew on me. They used the print in a few high-waisted skirts and cute party frocks.

This model strutted down the runway in skintight black leggings, a black tube top, and an ivory-colored wrap.

She was outfitted in a black tube top, high-waisted tulip skirt with a bow in front, black stockings, and heels--super chic and feminine.

Lauren came out to take her bow when the show was over. Here she is holding a bouquet of flowers from her dad.
The models taking their last walk down the runway. Every single one of them was super tall and leggy! Loved that sunny yellow dress on the model in front.
Lauren at a press conference afterward, looking even more beautiful in person. During the few minutes we spoke, she was a total sweetheart and such a California girl with the tan, the blonde hair and blue eyes. She was wearing one of her own designs with sky-high black Yves Saint Laurent shoes and a sparkly headband!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Sale: Sheila Elaine's obi belt

This lambskin belt by Sheila Elaine totally reminds me of those obi belts that are an important part of traditional Japanese costumes. It's such a versatile accessory: you can wrap it high around your waist or low on your hips, you can leave the ends hanging or tie it in a neat bow. However you wear it, the belt is perfect for wearing over a loose tunic or dress, or even over one of those long cardigans that are so popular for fall!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Alexander Wang's modern one-shoulder dress

Emma Roberts just keeps popping up on my fashion radar! She was photographed in late July wearing one of my favorite pieces by Alexander Wang--an exquisite nude and black one-shoulder dress. The wool-gauze creation features a contrasting band of black to define the waistline and peek-a-boo detailing at the bodice and hem. It's one of the most special creations I've ever seen--the snug fit that molds to your figure, the strikingly beautiful color contrast, the fabric's unique shirring and its decidedly modern feel. This would be my top pick for a bday dress, but the $796 price tag is just a tad hard to swallow!

(Photo Credit to Fabulous-Emma.Com)

A rockin' T-shirt

One of the coolest bday gifts I received this year was this awesome "Flamenco Dancer" yellow T-shirt. Christian Audigier of Ed Hardy fame had his daughter Crystal design this collection of 100% organic cotton pieces under the brand Crystal Rock. Only 1,000 of each style will be produced and numbered, making each item unique. There's so many things to appreciate about the T-shirt--its bright color, the bold graphic splashed across the front, and the slightly longer silhouette. I wore it for the first time today paired with a black American Apparel miniskirt and got plenty of admiring stares! The shirt is definitely outstanding and you'll never have to worry about wearing the same thing as somebody else! Since the shirts can easily run over $150, your best bet is to comb eBay and find a sweet deal.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Out & About: Red hot

Who: Hayden Panettiere

What: At a taping of MTV's TRL show

Where: MTV studios in New York City

Wearing: A snug black turtleneck dress, a cropped jacket, and fierce red lipstick to match her red heels

When: September 2, 2008

If you can get beyond Hayden's flawless skin and gorgeous features, you'll start to appreciate her outfit as well. She's petite, but obviously knows how to work that to her advantage, showing off her legs in a body-con dress and keeping everything else simple.

(Photo Credit to OceanUp.Com)

Silkfruits bracelet

This vintage-looking silk cuff from SilkFruits comes in a array of lovely colors, from grass green to magenta. But I love the true violet hue of this shade, which goes with so many things. The studded gold flowers, silk ties, and beads make this such a special piece, and seriously, statement jewelry has never been so in! You could wear it with your prettiest party dress or add a whimsical--and colorful--flair to a simple tee-and-jeans combo.

Out & About: Street cred

Who: Emma Roberts

What: Leaving a studio

Where: London, England

Wearing: Superskinny black pants, chunky 'n strappy sandals, white tank top, and gray denim jacket with a wide collar

When: August 1, 2008

Emma's simple basics--white tank and blank pants--are given a whole new edge with those fierce chunky sandals and wide-collared jacket. She's showing off a pared down minimalism that is casual enough for the streets and fashion-forward enough for a budding celeb!

(Photo credit to Fabulous-Emma.Com)

Friday, September 5, 2008

BR's improved fall collection

I'm so glad to see Banana Republic stepping it up, because for the past few seasons, I haven't liked their collections. But now that I've seen this printed silk top, I'm going to have to head to the nearest BR and snap it up stat! The subtle graphic print and soft ruffles at the neck are worthy of wearing to work, perhaps layered underneath one of the many gorgeous fall blazers out there. And yet it's a totally feminine, going-out piece that bares your shoulders and shows off your neck. I'm totally applauding BR for putting pretty, elegant twists to their usual basics!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Out & About: Flat-out fabulous

Who: Model Jessica Stam

What: Dior Beauty's cocktail party celebrating Tinsley Mortimer's cameo on Gossip Girl

Where: Empire Hotel Rooftop in New York City

Wearing: A pastel-colored minidress, a shrunken biker jacket, gold bracelets, and black flats

When: September 3, 2008

I'm digging her look. How many supermodels would wear flat shoes to a swanky cocktail soiree? She's also working a very feminine-masculine look with the silk dress and tough black jacket.

(Photo Credit to JustJared.Com)

Loving LaROK's LBD

So even though I was highly anticipating wearing that lovely red Larsen Gray dress to my bday party, when I eventually tried it on at the brand new Revolve boutique in West Hollywood, the fit just wasn't right. While perusing my alternatives, I came across this lil black dress by LaROK which looks so much better on than I ever would have imagined! In textured woven fabric, the sweetheart neckline dips into a sexy V framed by metal chain fringes. The back of the dress scoops low and is also decorated with the stylin' rock-n-roll fringes. And the biggest plus is the great fit: LaROK's streamlined LBD nips in at my waist and hugs the hips for the perfect party dress! Dressed up with the right heels and accessories, I feel like this dress is trendy with a rocker edge and proves that the old adage holds true: you can always fall back on a little black dress for any occasion.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Something fishy

I was browsing the jewelry offerings at the Intermix store on Robertson Boulevard last weekend and saw these quirky Elizabeth Cole fish bone earrings on display. The Swarovski crystal fish head and tail is dazzling, while the fish bones are made of a 24-karat gold-plated Cuban link chain. I rarely buy jewelry that doesn't make a statement and at four inches long, this pair fulfills my requirement for big statement earrings, yet are so whimsical and fun at the same time. Elizabeth Cole makes some other amazing pieces that I'd be proud to own, such as these key charm earrings and this gorgeous gold buckle ring.

Relating to Rachel

Rachel Zoe's new docudrama, The Rachel Zoe Project, premieres next week and I must say that I'm looking forward to seeing the day-to-day life of a celeb stylist. One of my favorite clients of hers is Nicole Richie--even though apparently they aren't on good terms anymore. I love how Rach helped transform Nicole's fashion sense, and since then, Nicole has seemed to embrace her own style vision and created a signature look. I know there are some anti-or-ambivalent-Zoe fans, but reading some of her quotes made me more partial to her because I can totally relate! For example, my crammed closet is near its bursting point, exploding with tons of clothes and shoes and scarves, purses spilling out everywhere, dresses fighting for room on the rack, hangers vying for a teensy bit of space. But one reason why it's so full is because I still have shirts and skirts in there from all the way back from my high school or yes, junior high, days. Whenever my friends see my closet, they're astounded I have so many clothes. But if you love fashion as much as I do, I usually tell them, you end up collecting a lot of pieces over the years. And as a fashionista, you don't throw things away because you know that trends eventually creep back onto the fashion radar. From now on I'll probably explain using Rachel's approach:
"I haven’t done a count in awhile, but I probably have a bit too much of everything. And that’s not in a sort of extravagant sense as much as it’s from a standpoint of, my rationale is being a collector of things. My vintage collection, and things like that, those are things I can’t ever part with and therefore, it just keeps growing. Instead of getting rid of things and then replacing them, I just keep adding. I am a shopper. I am a collector and I am a shopper, and I can’t really make an excuse for it other than that it’s my art and it’s what I do. And it’s something that in the back of my mind I hope someday my daughter will benefit from, you know what I mean?"

(Photo Credit to Getty Images)

Nanette Lepore's dark romance blouse

This ivory-colored Nanette Lepore blouse is an absolute jewel for fall. Let's start with the sweet bow tie at the neckline and the button placket trimmed in a luxurious strip of black lace. Then there's the sheer, pleated blouson sleeves, lovely lace cuffs, and cream-and-black contrast, which give the shirt such an air of dark romance. I'm thinking about wearing this underneath my new L'Wren Scott matador coat. Paired with suede black ankle boots and the right earrings (perhaps these Lauren Wolf earrings in a casting of stingray skin?), think of what a fashion statement that outfit would make!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

L.A. style with a Boessert-Schorn tee

If you ever want to witness quintessential L.A. style, all you have to do is take a walk down Melrose Ave or Robertson Blvd and do a little people watching. The common uniform for girls is designer boho chic--printed maxi dresses cinched in with a leather belt, ragged cut-off shorts with a floaty blouse and wooden bangles, mini dresses paired with strappy gladiator sandals and tousled hair. This Boessert/Schorn shirt strikes me as what a fashion-savvy L.A. gal might wear on a Saturday spent shopping in Kitson. The fringed bib front is strikingly unique--cascading layers of thread in muted tones of white, red, and brown, which flashes a hint of skin yet still conceals everything. All you'd really need is a good pair of gladiators and denim shorts to blend in with the rest of the Angelenos!

The anti-cocktail party dress

I love discovering new brands, but the problem with that is I'm also discovering way more beautiful clothes than is possible for me to purchase. When I first discovered april, may! in New York, I knew I'd have to keep my eye open for them. And I'm glad I did, otherwise I'd never have stumbled upon this sleeveless dress in dark navy silk. The interesting straps, the silk-smooth texture, the racerback tank top and elastic strap across the back--the style is ultra modern and trendy, with a little bit of sex appeal thrown in for good measure. This is what I'd wear to a pretentious cocktail party with an older crowd, because the dress--to me, at least--hints that you're effortlessly cool and don't really care what anybody there thinks. If only I could achieve that image with all my clothes, I'd really have the perfect wardrobe right there!