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:

first, THE FREEBIE STAGE:
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 celeb...win-win! 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.


next, THE COLLABORATION STAGE:
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, 
WISHING EVERYONE A GLAMOROUS CHRISTMAS!!!

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

STEP ONE: PILE ON THE JEWELRY
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

STEP TWO: GET YOURSELF PAINTED!!!
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

STEP THREE: SMILE AND HAVE A GOOD TIME

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...
THE SEQUINNED KNEE-LENGTH DRESS.

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. 

THE PS1

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.

I WILL BE AWAY FOR A WEEK AT CAMP, SO UPDATES WILL BE SCANT. BACK NEXT WEEKEND, SO TILL THEN!!! WILL DO MINOR UPDATES ONLY.

CHEERS!

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.