Dec 28, 2008

cheap or chic...again

oftentimes, celebrities are too quick to put their name to a brand/label in exchange for the easy money that comes along with it. the trajectory of this social phenomena took a few stages:

where gift bags, sponsored clothes and, really, just pure freebies took centrestage, and celebs didnt mind one bit! after all, we're all human. advertising $$$ is saved by the brands, as they receive endorsements in place of payment for their goods, saving precious dollars for both the brand and the! KA-CHING!!!

katy perry in manish arora (as if you couldnt already read the advert...)

and i don't care how cute or kitschy this was meant to look--WEARING a merry-go-out is just not something i would do if i was PAID, let alone it being free. while katy perry may fancy herself as a self-styled fashionista, she should really stick to the vintage items she pays for, because they're in infinitely better taste than the sponsored stuff.

DUUUUUDE. i totally vote cheap, not chic.

where celebs put their name alongside a brand in a "collaboration" of sorts, mainly, as we see thanks to reality tv (kimora lee simmons, anyone?!!?), consisting of okay-ing designs churned out by employed designers, after which a premium is charged on those items. a good example: kate moss for topshop. one million pounds a collection ain't bad money.

mischa barton for stacey lapidus

unemployed OC alum mischa barton is the next "celeb" to follow that route so recently tread by the likes of LC, Whitney Port, Heidi Montag (generally all the Hills girls) and even Ashley Simpson.

more from the collection...not looking too good now, are we?

Mischa's boho-chic look, which really looks more hobo-hardup these days, has been parlayed into a money-spinning collection by stacey lapidus, consisting of 6 headbands and some bags.
goods range from $80 to $200 (USD), and considering the headbands dont require much material nor assembly...

i vote cheap, not chic.
the true designers aren't afraid to come up with their OWN labels, a la Gwen Stefani's L.a.m.b., Harajuku Lovers, and Stella McCartney even.

in other news, i hope everyone had a joyous and meaningful xmas season! i really need to find a way to take photos for myself WITHOUT a tripod...because my iSight is really low-res. plus, i dont fancy modelling in front of another person as photog...
what a pickle.

Dec 23, 2008

happy holidays

before it gets too late for this, 

actually, christmas isnt the most glamorous of holidays, though it may appear to have that slick sheen from the baubles and trinkets and fairy lights and tinsel. Christmas is a holiday where, as i recently read/hear (cant remember), suicide rates spike. 

and there's little wonder why. amidst all the festivity and love, people without such warmth in their hearts can easily spiral into a state of depression, loneliness and dejection. so let's all choose to smile this Christmas season, despite all the Chicken Littles squawking doom and gloom and recession...

and instead focus on HAPPY HOLIDAYS with the family, and with friends, and with loved ones. because no amount of $$$ can buy you such loyalty. (although it can get you a nice shiny hermes bracelet!!! i jest.)

and if you need any inspiration on holiday glamor...

i want to look like helen mirren when i'm old...if that's even remotely possible.
although i must admit i will keep my bits in just a tad bit more. 

hopefully i get to update soon because there are Many Important Things to do before, during, and after Christmas! Merry Christmas and God Bless Everyone. (tiny tim reference purely incidental)

Dec 20, 2008

how to be a mod* hippie

*mod: here could refer to either moderate or modern...either way, i opted for a watered-down version of a hippie in a recent Woodstock-themed party. read on to find out HOW and WHY. bring on the Beatles!
tribal hippie chic

of course, when i first found out, i was simultaneously aghast and excited for the sartorial challenge, but alas, all the images awaiting me on google turned out to be either impossibly styled (see above) or ridiculously humdrum. think paisley+florals+too much coverup.

plus, i didnt possess any bellbottoms. so instead of dressing for the era, i dressed for the mood...more specifically, LOVE. 

dotti heart-print top, accessorize big-ass heart earrings, tiffany and other assorted necklaces ("love", heartshaped, starfish), assorted bangles, beads, bracelets

i'm not sure how clear this photo is, but i was wearing ALOT of it. on my hands. like, over 20 pieces combined. 

luke/me, both tattooed

we had a face/bodypainting booth, and what could be more hippie than a requisite peace sign?!?!?!? i was really hoping that between the "love" jewelry and top, and a peace tattoo, that i could escape any citations for not being enough of a hippie.

didi/me, full body comparison shot

as evidenced here, with my decidedly present-day Cali attire, i wasn't too dressed for the 70s. my friend here, however, is a good example! headband, big earrings, costume jewelry, beads, leather sandals, paisley+floral prints, long skirt, colorful kaftan...she definitely checked off a essential hippie dresscode!

but, i maintain that i was dressing to fit the FREE LOVE concept of things...

didi/trish/me, all smiles while checking guests in


after all, wasn't that the essence of the 70s? having a good time always trumps anything sartorial, so while i did my best with hearts and bangles, being a good sport got me further than any floral blouse would've. 
fairy lights, pinwheels, lamps and a smoke machine completed the decor of the house. 

cheap or chic? cop out or good improvisation? either way, some hippie tips:
  1. jewelry: more is more. pile it on and keep it coming!
  2. motifs: peace, love, doves, hearts, psychedelic swirls, florals
  3. clothing items: kaftans, loose skirts, bell-bottoms, paisley/floral shirts
  4. accessories: LEATHER!! sandals, no shoes. fringe, cross-body small bags, headbands
  5. laidback attitude

Dec 18, 2008

see queens

holiday sparkle is the way to go this festive season, and SEQUINS are a recession-proof, wallet-friendly way to add glitz and glamor to your outfit. this trend has been documented pretty relentlessly of late, from the new york times to west-coast trend central bar none, dear ole Hollywood. so rest assured that if you choose to sparkle, you'll definitely be doing it in style!

from trendmeisters like lindsay lohan to offbeat individuals like zoe kravitz, and classic style icons like diane kruger, its obvious that everyone loves sequins.
EVERYONE. so get on the bandwagon already, regardless of which side of the fashion fence you're on. 

as evidenced above, sequins come in all shapes and sizes!!! harlequin, prints, as accents, as entire fabrics, patterned, solid colors, skirts, dresses, blazers...
but there's definitely a method to all that madness. 
and that is...

so let's see some examples!
hugh jackman and nicole kidman, australia premiere

rocking a balenciaga (squeal!) frock and not letting it outshine you (HAHA) isn't easy, but nicole's alabaster skin is luminously pale against the intricate patterns of this doubtless hand-sewn creation. 

this picture doesnt show it, but nicole's dress ends at or around her knee, its just that she's really tall. the hexagonal pattern of the skirt is really genius; retro-mod and kitschy fashion-forward at the same time. this is definitely a red carpet look thou, so i'l just keep it for inspiration rather than an actual lookbook photo!

hilary duff, lindsay lohan (gasp, without leggings!), carmen electra

these quintessential Cali girls are definitely more realistic examples to follow. all bare limbs and blonde hair, these are nonetheless 3 different ways to wear a sequinned knee-length dress.

solid, striped or patterned, all you need for a sparkly dress like that is the right attitude and some key accessories! hilary opts for simple diamond-drop earrings, a metallic clutch and print heels (the latter being a bit too much for me). lindsay, ever-trendy in ysl tribute platforms and an offbeat fedora, while carmen's statement flirty peeptoes echo the fuschia tones of her dress.

i have yet to acquire my sparkly christmas frock, and with time running out, i will probably just have to cobble something together with whatever i have at the moment! i will ,however, bear a few things in mind:
  1. bare legs below the knee! (any more is at own discretion)
  2. go for festive colors! (see, red)
  3. rock some heels...normal flirty ones, not the bondage ones im currently loving.
  4. minimal accessories
cheers all!!!

Dec 15, 2008

something to render you speechless

prince marc jacobs

all pinked out and ready to go, marc jacobs the infant terrible of LV is doubtless terrorizing his bosses yet again. all kitsch, all camp, and no class: this describes not just the unoriginal graffitti-ed monogram bag, but the entire look of the shoot! tan lines, pink scrawls, mussed hair...i'm not used to seeing this, flamboyant fashion designer notwithstanding.

maybe the photogs just need to stay out of mr jacobs' bedroom. 

festive red

each year, the color du jour at christmas inevitably returns to the royal mantle of RED, despite incessant attempts to wrest that title away from scarlet and into the lesser hands of blue, green, white and silver. why does red reign supreme?

maybe its visceral bloodiness, its monarchical linkages, its blinding ruby gilt...either way, red conjures up all the seduction in the world, while balancing it with a primary-color basic sensibility that still qualifies as PG. all this without any sacrifice of attention-grabbing quality or richness of hue. 

the VS angels, summertime

of course, the quintessential photo ops come courtesy of the faithful VS angels, who are many a male desire (in multiples, preferably), particularly in matchy uniforms. 

the fantasy still reigns supreme, even in the most humdrum of attire--good old denim. what's more attractive than one hot girl in skintight clothes and killer heels and a head full of long luscious hair?

9 girls in skintight clothes and killer heels and...... YEA. okay. 

j hud for Gap

and almost as trusty the angels, we have celebrity-centric GAP, with their classy, cosy ad campaigns so perfect for the yultide season. no surprises they chose to stick with a classic color like red. i didnt manage to get my hands on all the campaign photos, but red + cashmere = lovely. (or if  you're Gap, = KACHING $$$$$) capitalist strains aside, red really in the quintessential christmas color.

from Santa's coat to Rudolph's nose, cranberry jelly to pomegranate seeds, poinsetta flowers to mistletoe berries, lips, ribbon, paper, carriers, nails and sidewalks are all splashed with swathes of this rich ruby shade. in small or large doses, red really brings home the point that the festive season is indeed upon us, so Merry Christmas everyone!

and in a spot of breaking news...
the Harry Potter Exhibition, Chicago

debuting Spring 08, any HP fan will be delighted to know that all the memorabilia possible both from the books and movies has been painstakingly culled and put together for this WORLD PREMIERE of a mammoth pop culture phenom.

thereafter, it will be travelling around the US for a number of months, with plans to take it international. no dates have been released as yet, but if you are interested like me, keep a lookout!!!! i'm thoroughly excited for this and i really hope it hits the West Coast come Summer 09! tickets are currently rumoured to be priced around US$35-60. (this is merely a range of estimates, and not the actual price range).

Dec 6, 2008

the rise of the satchel: PS1

so i've been meaning to do a post on the ubiquitously elusive (an irony if there ever was) PS1 satchel, and i finally got the chance to do an outfit of my own with a satchel. so here goes.
this is what a wore to a night out for a dance concert by le grand school of dance.
rooz jersey ruffle dress, jonathan aston denier 40 opaques, aldo pleated leather shoes, tiffany necklace & charm bracelet, accessorize bangle, marc by mj turnlock satchel

jonathan aston tights

short of wolford, which i will definitely invest in provided i reside in less-humid weather, london-based jonathan aston is a leading provider of high-quality, high-density colored tights. while they are known for their many-colored varieties, i stuck to good old black. 

tights are a great way to transform an outfit into one suitable for evenings. aside from giving your bare legs nice coverage, it allows for one's dressier clothing to have a more polished look, while maintaining a strong sense of modesty and proprietary. 

marc by marc jacobs satchel. 
this is the only satchel i possess, and the bright mustardy yellow of it really popped against the navy and black of the outfit. as much as it wasn't a glamorous "night" bag, i still thought it looked really fresh. fingers crossed that its not sartorial delusion. 
but sometimes its about how you wear it, not what you wear. 


ridiculously cult in status at the moment, proenza schouler's debut bag proved to be ratings gold as its sensibility and practical design became as much of a draw as its lack-of-label cool factor. without sacrificing any aesthetic quality, the satchel still looks haute enough to be paired with the chicest ensembles. 

like here, in paris!
and at PFW no less. the peforated straps and metal closure form a symmetrical sihouette while the traditional slouchiness of a satchel is maintained through the supple leather. 
i completely appreciate it from a fashion point of view, but its not something i'd personally buy. although i must admit, my heart was slightly swayed upon seeing the following picture:

PS1s galore

in tons of colors and 3 varying sizes (sounds SO balenciaga, i cant help but think!), this bag doesnt need much more word of mouth to be the runaway AND runway hit of the FW08 season. i wonder what's coming up next. but you can be sure, whether or not something new emerges, the satchel's still going to be tres chic.

and again.



Dec 4, 2008

assymetrical hem

first up, sincere apologies for the lack of updating...ive been stuck at home due to exams and surely there's not much need to dress up then! fortuitously, its all over! back to blogging!
massimo dutti top, wanko pencil skirt, gucci leather belt, pedder red leather bondage shoes (i call them that!!!), balenciaga parttime lariat bag

after i put on my shoes and skirt, i wondered what to wear this with. i wanted a variation on the too-easy high-waisted look where i simply tucked a top into the skirt, so i chose a light fabric.
then i realised that i could belt the whole look togehter, and in so doing, created a cool-ass assymetrical hem on the top.

all you need to do is 'loosen' the top on your person, belt it at your waist, then pull, tuck, yank etc your top to look as if you were totally effortless, when the truth was the opposite. 

serendipitously, my belt and bag matched, and it was quite an interesting day to come, based on the morning where i put this together. i find that dressing with 1 or 2 items in mind first helps to determine the rest of the look. there's no way i would have concocted this randomly without first wearing the shoes and skirt which really anchored this for me.

people mag's griping on tv starlets...

personally, i'm much more of a GG fan than a 90210 one. i'm not entirely sure if that has to do with my affinity for East > West coast, or the sheer fact that leighton and blake are classier, or damnnit that BEV HILLS 90210 will forever be the original!

either ways, while skinniness may be worshipped in the LALAland, i know for sure that the constance billard girls would own west bev's skinny ass any day. also, i sure wouldnt call the GG stars... "CURVY"!!!! i guess that's just hollywoodspeak for 'normal'. 

romeo, brooklyn, david, cruz.

so who's the cutest of them all?!?!?
i definitely had to put up this picture of the beckham boys because i used to always not see the 3 boys as separate entities. UNTIL NOW.
slowly but surely, they've each been developing style and personality traits to call their own. big brother brooklyn is mama's boy, romeo--i mean his name says it all, and cruz is the b-boy so fly he steals the thunder of his dad. 

i heart romeo, this picture truly makes it obvious that despite a ridiculous gene pool, not all children are created equal. of course, God is fair, and romeo's good looks are definitely to make up for his soon-to-emerge middle child syndrome. 
i just know it.

Nov 29, 2008

shop now: Calvin Klein

calvin klein collection ss09

these discounts don't happen everyday, so GO GO GO! if you liked the minimalism of francisco costa and his clean lines, unfussy shapes and quality tailoring, 

Nov 28, 2008

he's just not that into you

the film version of the bestselling book has just released its trailer...and judging by the looks of it, its gonna be a wonderful alternative to the usual valentines day dates. additionally, its ratings GOLD with a ridiculously star-powered cast including scarlett johansson, jennifer aniston, ginnifer goodwin, justin long and drew barrymore (HEHE), kevin connolly, ben affleck and jennifer connolly.


ever feel like you have to play the dating game?
i confess that i'm one of the hugest proponents of waiting, watching, call-only-after-3-days, offer-to-pay-but-its-just-to-test-him, chivalry and all the ridiculousness that goes into the delicate dance-around of dating. 

and i'm sincerely hoping that this movie has more to teach than the usual ideas that love isn't something you joke about or play around with; i don't want the usual conclusions of genuineness and wearing your heart on your sleeve. honesty may be the best policy, but i'm never gonna say never. it sounds like a super-exciting movie that will bring not just laughter but many areas to prompt some introspection.
everyone can do with more of that. 

as is oft-quoted:
hate the player, don't hate the game.

prada limited edition beanie baby keychains, $117

now arent these adorable?!!? sometimes its good to know that with creatures like these, unrequited love is never gonna happen. same thing with dogs. not so with cats.

and something i'd really like to wear

a day to myself by leyandrea
have a great weekend everyone!

Nov 27, 2008

presents with presence: holiday shopping!

it is the eve of BLACK FRIDAY. hence, in commemoration of its commencement, i am excited and proud to present some holiday shopping picks of the festive season! everything starts TOMORROW. go go go!
given the pervasiveness of online retail, its no wonder that most stores looking to capture a tech-savvy audience are rolling out the festivities online. 
here are some of my favorite options you can get for your girlfriends and sisters and moms! (sorry, no picks for boys...)

PUCCI, the new kid on the block

arguably the chicest print house (aside for Hermes' silk scarves), pucci is the latest to jump on the online store wagon by debuting its store just in time for the craziness of christmas shopping! 

the perfect scarves, print-loaded bangles, full skirts and crazy shades await! make like nicole richie and tie up your hair in  a makeshift bandana. either ways, definitely worth a look--pucci prints are instantly recognizable and have immense cachet; perfect for that summer break and a keeper for any beach holiday!

buy it for:
your lady-of-leisure (aspiring ones included) high tea gal pals

balenciaga and their holiday picks

i really don't even need to explain how who why where what when: balenciaga ANYTHING would be a satisfactory gift for anyone! especially if they appreciate workmanship, heritage, and insta-chic. 

and if you don't wanna blow your $$$ on a bag, you can definitely spare some cash for its too-cute little purses: perfect for pulling out of your tote and stashing money in. girls will love it, especially when its for a night out and you have a tiny purse and all you wanna bring are your cellphone, keys and credit card. (they've even updated their christmas store as you can see, picking wintry shades of white, ivory, ruby and slick metallics!)

buy it for:
your on-the-pulse glamorific party animals

tory burch's holiday must-haves

with one of the coolest still-uncopied emblems, fabulous leather, and legendary accessories, tory burch exemplifies the hip young aesthetic of a modern woman...i mean, girl!

more affordable than most and certainly worth the investment, tory burch's accessories have garnered a cult following in past years. best thing? the bewildered look, followed by a "i knew that" recovery on the just-flaunt-it monogrammed chicks that don't know their stuff well enough. 

buy it for:
your carefree fun-loving boho-chic girlfriends

godiva's festive offerings and packaging

i mean, does anyone really go wrong with chocolate? much less from Lady Godiva herself! the Tiffany of the chocolate world, the famous gold box (just like the turquoise one) is enough to induce flights of fancy and confectionary dreams. 

and seriously, a fancy red ribbon with a christmas ornament on it!??!?! it's so pretty you won't want to unwrap it....or not.

penn badgley and blake lively, or dan and serena if you prefer

little wonder THESE TWO are blowing their GG Gs on tons of chocolate. given the size of one bonbon, i'm almost delirious at the amount they've bought. way to spread the christmas cheer!

buy it for:
your...self? actually, ANYONE who deserves a little pick-me-up this season. it's small, inexpensive, and will bring a smile to anyone's face.

juicy couture's limited edition flute charm

another small and cute item...not from a brand i endorse or enjoy, but definitely a good way to end the year on a toast! this is supercute without being cheesy, and so versatile you can put it on your keychains, latest purse, or as an addition to your charm bracelets. 

buy it for:
yourself, with a matching one for your best friend.

OK so those are my holiday picks for the season, and while there's tons more to go around, what's most important is the people you buy these gifts for. 

happy thanksgiving (to those who celebrate it) and merry christmas. more holiday ideas to come: what to buy, what to wear, and what i'll be wearing. (hopefully)

in the meantime, its still exam season for me, so i regret that posting has not been the most exciting. still, december is the most exciting time of year: family, friends, champagne, parties, turkey, chocolate and love. cheers xoxoox

Nov 25, 2008

how to wear a white tank top

UPDATE: matthew williamson x H&M, 23April09
terribly exciting, and also slightly disappointing (i'm not sure if H&M here will be open by April 09!), but its matthew williamson, not, say, nicholas ghesquire or elber albaz. STILL. MOST EXCITING NEWS OF THE WEEK!!!!!
SPREAD THE NEWS I RECKON. u heard it here first.

one of the most ubiquitous fashion staples due to its versatility, the white tank top is definitely never OUT in the sartorial stakes. plus, it will fit the austere christmas mood that's descended onto most homes. time to dress down for a while, folks. 

nicky hilton, the "Other Hilton Sister"

trying her darnest to channel erin wasson's hippie-grunge-cool vibe, i find nicky's dressed-up leather booties and red balenciaga (!!! same shade as mine!!!) slightly at odds with her crappy (but undoubtedly hella$$$$$) denim cut-offs.

or maybe that clash was EXACTLY what she was going for. you know how it is--- do something no one gets, then claim the applause coming from them slapping their foreheads. 
still, its a rather put-together look and you really cant go wrong with Fierce Shoes and a Cool Bag. (AHEM, the beautiful frock, anyone??)

**PS: remember never to wear a bra. -_-

too-hot-to-be-a-dad-of-2 ryan phillippe 

fabulous LA street style! camo berms, Vans skate shoes, random tatts, white tank top and tucked-in mystery necklace. (nice dog-tag images should flood your dirty minds now) of course, the Pimpin' Ride and scowling face just up the appeal even more. 

sometimes a man says way more wearing a plain white tank than those annoying slogan tees...
the dumpster's a callin, henry holland!

**PS: remember never to wear a bra. -_-

so guy or girl, east coast or west coast, summer or winter, the white tank top can be co-opted however you want. i'll just wear mine with fitted jeans (from all that eating) and a sharp blazer for the season (...or so says alexander mcQueen!)

and for the last word on dressing down basics:
britney spears, comeback kid circa 2008, for Rolling Stone

any music industry insider knows that of all the magazine covers to land, THIS IS IT. the birkin of music-press. i'm super super uber chuffed for one of my favorite stars! (yes, STILL.) looking super natural, fresh-faced, and (dare i say it!) FIT and fabulous, britney is preparing for her big album drop this season, CIRCUS.

fresh off the success of her single womanizer, i guess she's back on the wagon from the trainwreck. when girl starts tying up tshirts, you KNOW she's got serious!!!

photo credits: perezhilton, fyb

Nov 24, 2008

the beautiful frock

and so the Lady, having heeded the frock's wise words, scooped up her Shoes and her Bag, and headed home with the definite sense of being a More Beautiful and Whole and Complete Human Being.

how can you NOT love edward monkton?

prince of prints

malia & sasha obama

now before the feature presentation, a news update:
the obamas have OFFICIALLY chosen sidwell friends as the private school the girls will attend. (cheers, i bet right. that's why hillary and michelle were talking, yall!)

as you do your holiday shopping, you might want to do some anticipatory sneaking around--what's DEFINITELY hot for next year: prints prints prints.
and i don't mean the standard gucci-monogram/burberry-check/pucci-swirls.

junya watanabe

evoking something i felt was distinctly marc jacobs, country-esque straw and cloverfield pictures were underscored by paisley prints, gingham picnic-squares, flowerfield florals and motifs of apples, hearts and leaves. such sunny serenity makes one just want to pluck a flower out of those Africanesque headwraps and smell the roses.

christian dior, backstage

dior also put up prints, albeit more muted versions than the inspired exuberance found elseplace. (interesting take from the usuallly unbridled house..) john galliano used spotty animal prints and cute shorter hemlines to welcome in spring. nothing too groundbreaking, really. i guess the picture speaks for itself.


now this collection was beautiful. more like, crazy/beautiful. but this was no kirsten dunst-like mess. PRINT! COLOR! spots, stripes, tesselations, eyelets, checks, colorblocks--everything was thrown on, thrown together, yet never looked like an art studio gone wrong. consuelo castiglioni tempered silhouettes with belted waists and candy-colored cardigans and the simplest of platforms.
too beautiful.

this is definitely a look i will be flagging when i think about what to shop for this holiday season!

dries van noten, ss08

of course, dries van noten is the printmeister bar none. i unabashedly proclaim my love and his fashion-forwardness, because these gorgeous multilayered colorful worldtraveller prints are courtesy of him, ONE WHOLE YEAR (that's 2 seasons ahem) prior to these other chums.

a year later, i will continue to discuss the beauty of his confections.
contrasting prints and colors meshed in an incredible kaleidoscope of floral/ethnic abstractness, that, when put together, looked classy (not busy!) and relaxed at the same time.

again, 2 seasons ago, people. now get me this man's number, stat!
the next question to be begged:
what did Dries put out this year, then?

dries van noten, ss09

well, never one to be off the mark, prints still ruled the runway, albeit in a new-age, hyperreal, graphic sensibility that one has missed from the exploding runways of recent seasons.
restrained without being repetitive or boring, grids, stripes and checkerboards were king this season, everything pared down to black and white.

urban, jet-set, elegant, quietly refined and not at all ostentatious.
seems very much like what we need to project amid such perilous economic times. so who said you need to cut your fashion budget first? (only do it when chanel spits out a bag like that)

again, something i'll be looking out for when i browse the racks this holiday! what will you be looking out for when bargain-hunting?

photo credits: style, nyt