Thursday, June 25, 2009

Styles off the Street: Laila

Honestly... how many girls can pull off a turban? Not many, I don't think. But I have witnessed a few daring style experts who can pull off such a, well... daring look. Laila, pictured to the left, is definitely one of them. The cobalt blue turban looks perfectly incorporated into her outfit. I stopped and asked a few questions, wondering why and how she pulled it off.

Me: What are you wearing today?
Laila: I'm wearing stockings and flats from H&M, this skirt is actually my mother's, the blouse is 3.1 Phillip Lim, the jacket is Miu Miu, and the bag is from Urban Outfitters. Oh yea, the glasses are from a street vendor.

Me: I gotta ask, why the turban?
Laila: (laughs) I get that question a lot. Um, actually I've always worn turbans. And this is just a piece of clothe, wrapped around my head. I don't know, I guess I love the uniqueness of it. I love to be different and to be stared at. It's thrilling in a way, if that makes sense (laughs)

Me: It definitely does. Were you inspired by Prada? They had a season when turbans were the "in" thing.
Laila: You know, believe it or not, I did this before Prada (laughs). I promise.

Me: What do you think is the must-have for summer?
Laila: Ohh... that's a hard one (laughs). I guess a pair of nice, comfortable, high-waisted skirt can never go wrong. They instantly elongate your legs. Great for someone with short legs like me.

Hey, if this girl can pull off a turban, I'm sure she can pull off just about anything else in this world.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 5 Essential Items

There are some things that a girl just needs. Below are the 5 essential items in my closet that I can't live without. There's just so much you can do with them and they have the characteristic of being timeless so you don't have to worry about being out of style. I suggest that if you can't afford a closet full of designer grabs, the 5 below are worth spluring on.
Lanvin flats in a nude color can be worn in endless ways. These simple flats are solid colored so they match with anything and everything not to say amazingly comfortable. I'm absolutley addicted to them and can't help myself but to pull out my credit card everytime I'm around one even though I own 12 pairs. I can honestly say I have a Lanvin addiction. (about $500)
It's hard to find a pair of jeans that actually fit these days. Especially because I'm very tall and have a slim waist. However, I can always count on J Brand if I'm looking for a pair of perfectly tailored jeans. My dark washed and skinny legged J Brand jeans are probably one of my favorite pieces in my closet. I can wear it with just about anything and it's so versatile. Pair it with flats for a casual look or with heels for a party look. ($160)
The little black dress has been going down in our society as the most classy, elegant, and sophisticated piece a woman can have. The concept, developed by Chanel, is pure genius. I recently got this Oscar de la Renta wrap dress and has already worn it about 12 times. It's perfect for a business party, dinner with friends, or a funeral (you can probably pull it off for a wedding too with some bright shoes). All in all, I think a LBD should be modest and shouldn't be too revealing. This dress is the definition of a LBD. ($2,390)
Whereas shoes should be kept neutral, a bright colored bag is a must-have. I especially love this Balenciaga bag I got awhile back. I go through bags like most people go through toilet paper. But this one has stayed with me for almost 1 1/2 year now. A big number for me. I can carry this when I'm running errands or going to clubs with friends. And I just love the color. (about $2,000)

All right, I know what you guys are thinking. A trench coat? Yes, a trench coat. Believe it or not, I think a trench coat is an absolute necessity and should have a spot in every girl's closet no matter age or size. This Stella McCartney coat has served me well this past winter, keeping me warm even through the crazed New York City weather. Again, it's classy, it's elegant, and oh yeah, it's simple. A coat being simple? We don't get a lot of that anymore. The light cream color and crisp cut of the coat is just amazing. ($1,995).

The five items above are the items I think is super important to have in a wadrobe; a pair of nude colored flats, a pair of dark washed skinny jeans, a modest LBD, a bright colored bag, and a well fitted trench coat. With these 5 designer items, it doesn't matter if the rest of your closet is non-designer, I gurantee you'll still look sophisticated and chic.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Favorite Item of the Week:

Chanel 2.55 Upside Down Bag: $2,675

Someone once asked me what I thought was the piece that defined a classic elegance perfectly, and I told him, "Of course the iconic 2.55 bag." This is one of the items that brough Coco Chanel her success. It is the pure symbol and icon for undeniable sophistication, class, and grace. It's simple, it's exquisite, and it is now... upside down. Yes, we've seen it transform. From the crazy prints and the tweed fabrics to the neon eye-piercing colors. But Karl has taken it one step further by making the iconic 2.55 Chanel bag now upside down. This is the bag that will make you stand out and this is the bag that will turn heads. I absolutely love the concept. Even though it has its own unique twist, it still keeps the definition of a 2.55 bag clear. For my sister's birthday, I got her the black patent one pictured all the way on top, and myself the white patent one pictured to the left. Though my new year's resolution was to get rid of my 2.55 addiction, I couldn't help myself when I saw this. In fact, it was the best $2,675 I've ever spent. There's no price that's unresonable for any Chanel bag, and this is no exception. My white patent upside down bag may be #24 in my collection of 2.55 bags, but it stands to be my favorite yet.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Styles off the Streets: Audrey

After taking a relaxing trip to the hamptons, I was back home in NYC. And as I was walking down the streets of Soho, it is this particular female who reminded me that indeed, I was back home because no one else in any other parts of this world can pull off a look like this and still pull it off amazingly. This lovely young lady's name is Audrey. Wearing an oversized Alexander Wang blazer, a simple American Apparel white tee, a vintage scarf (one that was passed down to her from her grandmother), Urban Outfitters leggings, vintage boots that she got in London, a pair of ray-bans, and a unique bag that she got from a garage sale, Audrey pulls off an effortless, classic "I don't give a fuck" look that so many people attempt but fail miserably at (even I admit to the horrible experimental phase). I love the pop of color from her scarf. They're the centerpiece of this outfit and Audrey incoporated it into her outfit perfectly. Paired with any other jacket, shoes, or bottom, the look would be ruined. I love how she wore leggings with that particular jacket. If she wore jeans or skirts, it would make her legs look shorter. But paired with a simple pair of black leather leggings that clung to her legs like skin, the oversized jacket elongated her silhouette, making her look 3 inches taller. I decided to mix things up a bit. Instead of asking her a full interview, I was to ask her a question and she would have to reply with only one word and one word only. What did Audrey think of this? "This is the most interesting interview I've ever had (laughs)."

Me: Favorite season to dress?
Audrey: Fall

Me: Favorite types of boutiques to shop in?
Audrey: Vintage

Me: Last attended fashion show?
Audrey: Balmain

Me: Favorite color to wear?
Audrey: Black

Me: Signature scent?
Audrey: Soap (laughs)

Me: Most important aspect of an outfit?
Audrey: Accessories

Me: Last but not least, your style in one word?
Audrey: (takes a drag of cigarette, thinking.) Effortless

I think that Daisy and Audrey are very different style-wise. This was done on purpose to show the different types of fashion walking on New York Streets. Audrey may not have been as crisp or clean as Daisy, but she sure as hell has style.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boutique Spotlight: Darling

I'm the kind of girl who goes inside a store by the appeal of the window display. If the window display is not good, I will not step a foot into the store. My philosophy? The window display is the first impression. And this particular store made a very good first impression on me. And this store goes by the name of Darling. Located on Horatio Street in the west village, this boutique is probably one of my favorite. Ever. And that's a bold statement for me to make. Let me put it as simply as I can. There's a 24/7 wind machine blowing in the window display, causing every mannequein to have a "Marilyn" moment. As I walked past the store, it intrigued me. The store was small and the door was like one a house would have, not expected of a typical boutique. It felt like a little house. The outside paint was peeling and the color was fading. But yet the clothes in the window display were beautiful. This store has character, a thing many other boutiques doesn't have. It has an interesting look that made it feel vintagy and approachable. One thing I hate is walking into a intimidating store. This is definitely not it. And the price is great too. The designers aren't very well-known, they're up-coming designers and they're new designers. I love that fact about this store too. The pieces in there are different, unique, and one of a kind.

My experience:
I walked in to find racks and racks of beautiful, colorful, and detailed dresses. I was approached by a saleslady who was dressed with impecabble style. And I just happened to know who this lady was. Her name is Ann French Emont, a.k.a. Broadway costume designer extrodinaire and the actual woman who taught Zac Posen how to sew. She helped me stacked up on summer dresses, one of a kind skirts, and even Hanky Panky thongs in colors I've never even seen before. And get this, I was offered champagne while I shopped. Really? That just won me over right there.

The dress selection was just out of the world. In so many different fabrics in so many different colors, cuts, styles, size. I walked out later that afternoon holding 8 shopping bags full of stuff and 10 dresses for the summer and coctail dresses. Including a iconic red silk Marilyn dress that I'm very excited about.

This store decorates up during the holiday season. Doesn't that look welcoming and inviting?

If I had to give this boutique a star, it would be a 6 out of 5. Not only do they have a rarely seen collection of new designers, but they are super friendly with the service and will help you leave with the best experience. New York Magazine list Darling as #7 out of their "best boutiques in NYC" list this year, calling it "shopping made fun." Because it is fun. There's the magic word. Fun. When I was shopping at Darling, I felt like I was playing dress-up. I enjoyed this shopping trip. If you're ever around the area, I highly suggest it. And I mean it, I highly highly suggest it. I think this is one of my favorite boutiques, probably makes top 5. I promise you, it will be worth the trip.

Inside info:
* Darling hosts private shopping parties. It's great for that fashionista that we all know. What's better than chocolate covered strawberries, champagne, and pure knee-quavering fashion?
*In August, Darling holds a special sale in their garden. Yes, they have a garden in the back of the store where one can enjoy a cup of tea and be surrounded by roses. I can tell you this, not every boutique in NYC has a garden.
Location: 1 Horatio Street, New York, NY 10014 at 8th Avenue.
Price range: $$-$$$
Products and service: Handbags, Jewelry, Lingerie/Hosiery, Vintage Clothing, Womenswear

Monday, May 25, 2009

Paris show spotlight: The Video

Read the post below before watching this video.

Paris show spotlight: Louis Vuitton Fall 2009

Fashion week in Paris is probably one of the most important weeks for me. Sure, there's London, Milan, and New York, but I find that every season, Paris always holds the most precious jewels in the treasure box. This year, I got my invitation for the Louis Vuitton fall 2009 show in Paris. And front row at that. I never turn down any show designed by Marc Jacobs. But I entered the building, not expecting a lot. Boy, was I wrong.

I was never a huge Louis Vuitton fanatic up till now. This particular show blew my socks off (though I wasn't wearing any socks. Metaphorically speaking of course...) and left me wondering where I was for 22 years and why I haven't been drooling head over heels for some of the most beautiful pieces I saw all week, and probably some of the best I've ever seen. From the moment I sat my toosh onto the hot pink cushion chair and dug through my goody-bag, I knew I was in for a good show. The models came out, my confirmation. This season, Marc added a very Frenchy twist to the collection. It definitely reminded me of a sexy young French woman in the 80s. One of those girls you see walking down the streets of Paris, who wears whatever the hell they want whenever they want and still look good even if they had the most ridiculous oufit on. It worked for them. The structures were absolutely mind-blowing. So much volume and bubble-hem (two of my favorites.) And the fabric was just out of this word. Lots and lots of lace. It was in one word... spectacular. The necklines were low cut for a sex appeal and the skirts were short to show off some legs. Though I must admit, the clothes weren't very wearable. However, there were some pieces that needs to be in my closet. Like a particular purplish skirt perhaps? Overall, the collection surprised me in a good way. It is great to see transformation for the label from last season. I've never seen Marc do something of this sort for Louis Vuitton and I'm looking foward to the invitation I'll be getting in the mail next season.

Two of my favorite pieces was the black lace dress and the green coat. They gave me a heart-attack. Literally. And sitting in the first row, I was able to note the details of that coat. Definitely a one of a kind piece.

I love the concept of the bubbly skirts Marc incoporated into the collection. So many of them in so many colors and prints. It was great.

That purple skirt in the middle? That will be mine in three days. Currently in the process of waiting for it via FedEx.

Check out some backstage clips and commentaries of the show in the post above.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Styles off the streets: Daisy

Friday afternoon, after getting out of work. I decided to check out the Anthropologie store to see if I can grab anything for my trip to the Hamptons memorial day weekend. As I was heading back home, I ran into this lovely girl who went by the name Daisy. I had to stop her and ask for a picture for my blog and she kindly said yes. Dressed perfectly for the heat, Daisy's style is the classic NYC style; simple but yet chic.

Me: What are you wearing today?
Daisy: I'm wearing my boyfriend's shirt (laughs) and Acne shorts. These flats, I got from Russia, where I'm originally from. And the bag is from a vintage shop downtown.

Me: Do you steal your boyfriend's clothes all the time?
Daisy: More than I should (laughs). I love wearing men's clothes and making them look feminine.

Me: How would you describe your style?
Daisy: It's hard to narrow it down to a few words. But I like to keep things simple and I'm very subtle when it comes to accessorizing. I like to let my clothes tell the story.

Me: What do you think is a fashion no-no?
Daisy: Um. I don't think there is such a thing as a fashion no-no. If someone wears it the right way, anything can look good.

And there you have it. I have a feeling that Daisy's one of those few people that can truly pull off anything. Hey, any girl who can make her boyfriend's clothes look amazing on her gets my applause.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Designer Spotlight: Matthew Williamson

spring 08

spring 09

When thinking of patterns, colors, and flowy fabric, the name Matthew Williamson instantly springs to mind. Yes, may other designers also incorporate those elements into their line, but can they do it so effortlessly and so uniquely as Mr. Williamson? I think not.

When I received an invitation for his store opening in NYC, I could not resist. First reaction once I set my Louboutin covered foot into the store? Pure knee-quavering heart attack; I have finally died and found heaven. The otherwise simple store was covered with delicate fabrics in amazing colors. I turned to my friend next to me and said, "here's a designer who really knows his pastels from his brights." The patterns reminded me of a modernized and up-to-date DVF. Matthew turned the philosophy that so many other designers used into his own creations. And with his new more affordable line at H&M, Matthew Williamson definitely takes the spotlight as a designer.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Favorite Item of the Week:

Cotton silk voile dress by Celine: Price upon request

All you need to do is look at this dress before finding yourself completely in love. The voluminous skirt just completely transform a otherwise simple dress into a piece of art. The bubble hem also adds a touch of bounce, and together with the volume, makes this dress #1 on my must-have-list. The colors are also amazing. It reminds me of watercolors. Beautiful, well-blended, blue watercolors.