Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Under My Umbrella-ella-ella

Even though the weather hasn't been bad for too long, I feel like its been weeks since the last time I felt warm sun on my skin and enjoyed blue skies all day long. It's been raining here since Sunday and it's weeks like this when it pays off to have cute rain gear.

My friend (who asked that his name not be mentioned), and I always joke that we have "seasonal depression" meaning that when then weather is down, so are we. I mean, I can almost guarantee there is some sort of study out there that links mood to weather. But anyway, invest in one of these fabulous umbrellas and then you'll have something to look forward to on the next rainy day.

I fell in love with this when I found it on umbreallas.net ....clever name right? I could just see myself in a pair of black hunter boots and a nude colored Burberry trench paired with this umbrella.

When I saw this on the same website, I couldn't help but this how French this seemed. I cold just see an all black outfit paired with this, and a lilac colored Burberry trench and to give the outfit a pop of color and contrast the black. The detail and ruffles in this umbrella are really something to admire.

Or of course you could be like me last year when I bought Burberry rain boots and then it didn't rain for a month. Classic.....But nevertheless, just because the weather is down doesn't mean your fashion sense needs to be too.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Milly vs. Forever 21 Challenge

The Challenge: Create a look similar, but of course not identical to (that would be a dream) a $425 Milly dress seen on the runway.

The Rules: Pick one store, and one small budget of $60 or less to create the look!

I loved this Milly look when I saw it on the runway, so I thought I would create the entire look for a fraction of the price of what the dress alone would cost. I decided to turn to Forever 21 as the one store where I would have the best chances of finding a dress, headband, and jewelry for an amazing price. Of course not everything can be identical to the Milly runway look, but I must say I was impressed with how the two looks emulated each other. Here's what I found....

For $24.80....
I was actually really surprised with how close this dress was to the Milly one. Except for the belt of course, (which I actually thought gave a bit of interest to the dress) it has the same structured feel to it as the runway look. Unlike the Milly dress, I thought the belt gave it a nice separation between the top and bottom and would accent your waist making you look extra tiny which is always is plus.

For $11.80 and $10.80 respectively.....
Although this necklace is slightly different from the embellishments on the dress, I thought it added something to have the black lace and the pearls. Can't go wrong with that duo, right? It was similar to the flair on the dress, but I thought I'd add my own spin on the look. Each necklace gives a pulled together feel, but they each have their own identity.

For $4.80.....
The outfit wouldn't be complete without the finishing touch of the headband. Although it's a bit over the top in the runway shot, I think for this look, my headband choice was a realistic risk. I thought about perhaps toning down the size and "poof factor" of the headband, but I decided to stick to the challenge of recreating the look and play by the my own rules.

The Result:
The total of the outfit came to $52.20. However, what's equally important to the low cost factor is that the quality and overall feel of the outfit has been maintained and not recreated in a cheap or cheesy way. This challenge proves that with a little time and a little money (who's complaining about that), you can create a classy, elegant look without the elegant price tag to match.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sleep Like a Lady

This past week I've been on an Audrey Hepburn frenzy. Between watching Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany's, and practically living in a black dress and flats with my hair in a half clip half pony tail, I feel my inner Audrey shining through. Although my small dorm room is without the comfort of "Cat," or a wonderful white couch with pink and purple cushions like Holly's, I've discovered I can now even feel like Holly when I go to bed.

The other day, my friend was telling me about the website fredflare.com, which is a fabulous and fun site for little quirky gifts. After looking through pages and pages of the different things on the website, I stumbled across the Holly Golightly eye mask Audrey Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Now all I need are the matching ear plugs...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Future Forecast

Recently, a good friend of mine asked me if I was afraid of the future and where we were headed in life. I though about the question and responded to him with the following: "what do you think I think about on the tredmill?! Although I meant this to be only half serious, I do often think about where our time in the present is going to lead us in the future. Going through a rough first year being away at school myself, I have been doing more thinking than anyone should at my age about how I want my future to look. It's a scary thing to think about how yes, we do have some say in controlling where we end up in life, and what we choose to subject ourselves to, but it also seems to be that more often that not that there is always some hindrance blocking us from our dreams. Whether they be the goals of our immediate or long term future, it hurts when the things we see ourself doing don't go as planned.

Long before he was my boyfriend, Daniel was always a firm believer in the John D. Rockefeller quote, "I always try to turn every disaster into an opportunity." When I first read that when I was 14, it really didn't pertain to my life at all. Even looking at it now, I don't literally take the word "disaster" Rockefeller uses literally, but more as a means of expressing lost hope and broken dreams. I know not only myself, but many (and most) of my friends are going through a time when we all are beginning to shape our futures, but are going to have a hard time getting there. With jobs being harder to obtain, and internships being nearly impossible for anyone my age to get in the magazine industry, it all seems unfair when things build up at once and good news seems like it will never come.

After all, everyone just wants to succeed...right?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Story Swap

I have to admit, back in high school I was always a follower of The Hills, and even got into The City a little bit. For one reason: Whitney Port. She always reminded me of myself in some ways; just a hard-working, private girl who liked to stay under-stated and under the radar. Whitney started to lose her appeal to me after she took on The City and exposed her life for all of the world to see. Something about the hype of "reality star" seems to always take the potential success stories down. Even Lauren Conrad, whose line could have had potential, is now over-priced, failing and heading to a Marshall's near you. Shame, shame.

Nymag.com released a blurb on their blog "The Cut" (which I read avidly), that Whitney is in trouble for apparently not giving credit to the co-designer of her line! For those of you who watch The City, it's no secret that Whitney has had help from her mentor, (and now very well known colleague), Kelly Cutrone. However, Whitney's supposed co-designer Adrienne Baravetto is suing Port saying that he isn't getting credit for the work he has contributed to the Whitney Eve line.

And to think I follow innocent Whitney on Twitter and thought she was an honest, hardworking girl. Hmm, I guess I STILL haven't learned my lesson. The moral of this story: always listen to BOTH sides of the story. The media can allow you to portray yourself in any way you desire, but the truth always comes out eventually.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mad Mac

It was hard to wake up on this dreary, gray morning and picture myself in my Easter dress in less than two weeks. With almost no motivation to even go run (I did anyway), or do anything worthwhile at all, I had an urge to bake. Well, my 3rd floor lounge kitchen wasn't quite going to cut it, and I have nothing to bake with anyway, so that probably wasn't the best idea.

However, when I got the following e-mail from my mom I finally began to perk up. It read, "I'm going to order these to arrive for when your home for Easter break," and had an attached link. Curiously, I clicked the link to be brought to a picture of a decadent looking macaron.

Everyone knows that macarons are quickly becoming the new cookie. However, it seems only a matter of time until the once delicate, airy French treat becomes a mass-produced and tired fad. At least that is what real macaron lovers fear. Recently, McDonalds started selling macarons as a dessert to customers. Yes, I'm talking about the same McDonalds that also sells McFlurries. Well, they are now providing french pastries. Some may look at this as McDonalds attempting to go "upscale," but others (like myself), see it as the sad downfall of a posh dessert.
With companies such as Mad Mac attempting to keep macarons the lovely French classic that they really are, there may not be too much to worry about. I'm so excited for the macarons to arrive when I'm home, and I'll be eager to try the different types. The classic tray of 12, (starting at $18), holds 4 different flavors including lemon, chocolate, pistachio and raspberry.


Add a little touch of French to your Easter Sunday with some macarons. I know I'll be displaying mine of some pretty Shelley or Wedgewood to add an elegant tea party feel.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cupcake Couture

Last week when I was in south Florida, my family and I decided to head to Delray beach one evening for dinner. For those of you who have never been to Delray before I really recommend going if you happen to be nearby. It had a wonderful little main street in the town that I was told by my uncle has a very South Beach (as in Miami), feel to it. The nightlife was bustling and young people were scattered about on the street everywhere.

But of course, that really didn't catch my attention too much. But what did was the words "Cupcake Couture" posted on a sign at a shop across the street from where I was standing and observing everything going on. I took off running across the street and stood outside the shop awe-struck. Peering in through the large windows I saw lots of pink, beautifully decorated counters featuring fun gum-ball designs, girly light fixtures, and pink and green mock ovens on either side of the store entrance that were actually flat screen tv's. Walking into the store I think I nearly scared the owner with my excitement. She was a lovely woman who told me that the shop had just opened that week. She proceeded to tell me a little more about the store and that they would feature candy, exotic lollipops, cupcakes and custom made cakes. Cupcake couture had the perfect mix of old-fashioned flair with the fun black and white checked tiled floors, and various soft drinks in classic looking glass bottles. The names for the different types of cupcake were creative and made me want to try every one. "Limey Pulitzer" and "Berry Wang" are just a few of the adorable names amongst the various cupcakes the store makes. My favorite part is that they each have a fun spin off a designers name. The owner was even gracious enough to give me a sample wrapped in adorable pink packaging...(let's just say the cupcake didn't last too long).

Even though they won't need it, best of luck to the owners of Cupcake Couture!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wrapped Up in Spring

Today is one of those beautiful early pre-Spring days when the outfit situation can be a little questionable. It's still (to my dismay), a bit early to whip out the floral dresses and bright colors, but too warm for anything overly wintery. Tights and a pashmina can be a girl's best investment this time of year.

Instead of wearing a heavy coat or even a light jacket, mix it up with a wrap or pashmina to cover yourself throughout the day. Walking around outside this time of year, the weather can never make up its mind. It can be quite warm, but a sudden gust could leave you with the chills. A pashmina is also a great go-to when your traveling, because it can curl up into nothing. Just toss it in your Longchamp and away you go.

Today I opted for one of my favorites that I got in December; a sleeveless leopard pattern dress. I paired it with black tights, silver Tory Burch reva flats, and a cashmere and rabbit pashmina (just in case it gets chilly), that I got at a boutique in Greenwich, CT.

The first day of Spring is Saturday and its supposed to be 64 here, so I'll take the warm weather while I still can before a final winter blast comes back to haunt New England.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mad Hatter

Maybe it struck me after seeing Alice in Wonderland with my boyfriend Daniel two Fridays ago, or maybe it was just the fact that I've secretly always wanted one, but I've been on the mission to find the perfect hat.

I knew in my head (like I do most clothes/accessories/shoes/etc.) what I envisioned being my ideal look, but the problem was finding what brought my vision to life. And no, I wasn't looking for the ostentatious floral hat that you think of when you hear Kentucky Derby. (Even though I would secretly love to walk around in one of those everyday.) It had to be a simple and casual straw-woven hat, that was still structured. Nothing huge and floppy that gave off the "heading to the beach look."

This past week in Florida while out shopping with my mom at a fabulous mall in Palm Beach Gardens, she and I both knew we found "the one" when we laid eyes on the ideal hat, (the first picture above). It was the only hat I saw amongst the many others that were featured in the hat section in Bloomingdales. After finally getting my hands on it, I peered down to see who the maker of this fabulous piece was. As soon as I saw the name, it struck an eyebrow raise from both me and my mom. Eric Javitz? It sounded TOO familiar. I racked my brain for a good 10 seconds knowing I had seen the label somewhere else quite recently. It finally dawned on us that my mom almost bought a small leather evening bag of his at a wonderful little boutique in Fairfield about 2 months ago.

After coming across more of his hats and handbags at another store in the same mall in Florida, I knew I would have to check out Eric Javitz as soon as I came home. I've learned that he's a member of the CFDA, and attended Rhode Island School of Design. Clearly, he must have been doing SOMETHING right to be making such adorable hats and structured, yet not stuffy handbags. I might deem his pieces a bit overpriced, but the quality seems substantial and high-end from the pieces I have seen so far. I can't honestly say that I'm wild about his spring 2010 handbag collection, but (surprise, surprise), I'm smitten with his hats.

Check out his Spring 2010 line...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

John Paul Fauxtier for Target

Walking briskly through the Target aisles in search of the greatly anticipated Jean Paul Gaultier collection released March 7, I was eager to see all the hype for myself. Everyone who is familiar with Gaultier’s style was expecting to see elements of what he is showing in his own lines for the current and upcoming seasons to inspire his Target line. Instead of previewing the pieces online before I actually went to see them in person, I thought I would go in and let the product sell itself. I can’t say I walked out with any bags, but I did leave with an appreciation and understanding of the designer’s vision for the line.

Gaultier noted in Elle magazine, “I think that in every woman’s wardrobe, she needs to have expensive, glamorous thing but to be able to mix them with more simple items.” Gaultier claims in his line to have affordable pieces (and separately they are, ranging from $19.99 to $59.99). However, the 20 looks that are shown to promote the line are often paired with other more expensive pieces that allow for the entire image Gaultier is trying to capture to be complete. Part of those more expensive pieces in the supposedly “cheap” line include a $200 leather jacket that is set to launch as the second half of the line is released to over 250 Target stores in early April.

Gaultier’s vision for the line was clearly meant to outfit a diverse type of woman. With looks ranging from a nylon rolled-collared pink and white floral shift dress to a one piece metallic gold bathing suit, the pieces introduced so far suggest Gaultier wanted to bring a Parisian touch to American pop culture.

After perusing through the 14 pieces available, I decided to try a few things on to see how the quality and fit of the different pieces was. My picks were a thin blue and white stripe tee with a cut out anchor design, a thin pinstriped tailored jacket, (a Gaultier classic), with a matching mini skirt, and lastly, a mustard colored halter dress. Needless to say, I had major issues with all three pieces. The dress was nylon and felt like I was wearing a garbage bag. It had an itchy polyester fish net lining that nearly gave me a rash. To top it all off, it had absolutely no shape and did nothing for my body. As for the matching jacket and skirt set, I simply could not figure it out. The contradiction between the ultra conservative top and provocative, short skirt was a failing duo.

Overall, the Gaultier line is overpriced for the quality of the clothing the buyer is still paying up to $60 for. Like most designer clothes that are overpriced, the line wouldn’t be give a second glance if it didn’t have the name attached to the product. It would be one thing if the quality matched the price tag, but for the John Paul Gaultier self-proclaimed “cheap and chic” line, there’s too much cheap and not enough chic filling the racks at Target.

**I know those pictures of me are AWFUL, but at least I'll spare you the embarrassment of trying them on for yourself**

Monday, March 1, 2010

American Dream

Last night as I was on the phone with my boyfriend, he got me thinking about the power of icons. He made an amazing point that I never thought of about before. The power of what a small picture can connect to one's thought process is simply amazing. In particular, we were talking about the closing ceremony of the Olympics last night and how regal the U.S.A team looked completely decked out in Ralph Lauren. The classic red, white, and blue colors with the touch of the classic RL polo logo has become an icon that goes far beyond just a fashion statement. The pony has become an American classic. It has become a symbol of sheer class and refined elegance. Whether it be a collared or more commonly known "polo" shirt, or (my personal favorite), a classic cable sweater with the touch of the small pony, it has truly become the brand of America.

As Daniel and I continued our talk about this we started thinking about the name Ralph Lauren has made for himself. The fact that someone can and has built their name into a worldwide empire is simply phenomenal. One man, one company, one horse. As I began to think about it more and more, it truly started to baffle me. The fact that someone can turn their initials into a worldwide statement, and create a brand that could embody and represent an entire nation in an event as profound as the Olympics is truly amazing.

Check out some of the amazing Team U.S.A Olympic gear...

The line to me seems to be the perfect combination of athletic chic with a subtle touch of Ralph Lauren luxury.