Monday, December 29, 2008

This keeps popping into my head...

... every time I go shopping. I love everything about Gucci's Fall collection - heavy embellishments, a dark palette, traditional patterns, and old world touches. There is heavy influence from Russian textiles, as seen in the velvet pants, silky tops, and jackets embroidered with gold thread. Several fur pieces pop up here and there.

To achieve an inspired look, I would stick to a color palette of black and gold, with muted purple, blue, or gray accents. Look for black skinny pants to tuck into black boots, and wear a billowy, printed silk top or an embellished sweater with dolman sleeves to offset the fitted bottom. Layer ornate belts and necklaces. Invest in a pair of studded or fringed shoes. To make a statement, go over-the-knee or go velvet or fur.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stock up on...

I buy my basic tees and tanks from J. Crew because I know the color won't fade and they will last many wears and washes. Plus, the colors are too-die-for!

I recently stopped by my local b&m to check out the sale section, and I saw stacks of the ringspun scoopneck painter tees on sale for about $25. I picked up two tees to try on, and I loved the fit and the fabric! The scoopneck is not too low, the sleeves are 3/4 length, and the fabric is slightly sheer and has a brushstroke-like texture (true to its name, and my favorite part about the shirt). Since I live in So Cal, it's perfect to wear now and will carry me on to spring, too.

If these get further marked down, I may just have to stock up!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Icon Lost

Pin-up star and pop culture icon Bettie Page died Thursday at the age of 85.

I've always been fascinated with Bettie Page, and I love her iconic hairstyle, especially after seeing my organic chemistry professor last year rock an amazing Bettie Page haircut. She'd always walk in with a pencil skirt, collared shirt, heels, and dark-rimmed glasses. Very naughty secretary. OR I guess it's naughty professor.

Wonder if I could rock this cut? Unlike most people, I actually love getting drastically different haircuts. Never cried over lost locks. Sure, I've had bad haircuts, but I get over it. I absolutely love bangs, but they're not very flattering on me. Still, when I see a cut or style I like, I get pretty stubborn about it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

great stocking stuffers and gift-giving ideas

1. Holiday cookies from look super sweet and good to eat! These rolled holiday cookies are festively fun and make great homemade gifts. Make them for your best friends, your neighbor, for dessert after Christmas dinner! I love how Martha packaged them in little white boxes nestled in shredded parchment paper, covered the boxes in cellophane, and tied the ends with ribbons.

2. J. Crew's perfect fit flower tanks are perfectly priced at $19.50 (and save even more with all the promo codes going on) and come in really cute colors. I have the avocado and I love how it looks.

3. I've always wanted a bottle of Chanel nail polish. $20 a pop, they're the gift I'd never buy for myself but I'd love to receive.

4. The most expensive gift on this list, but totally worth it. Costs $28.99 on and is a boxed set containing five of Audrey Hepburn's classics. What girl doesn't love Audrey?

saw this on a mannequin

and thought it looked fantastic! It inspired me to start looking for men's shirts to layer underneath cardigans.

Unfortunately, the cardigans I have from J. Crew are very fitted/tight in the sleeves, so I can't layer it with anything but a tank top. So size up, people!

all J. Crew

how to wear: J. Crew silk dupioni skirt

Some different ways to wear a silk skirt...

+ sequin cardigan + tank top + metallic strappy heels =

party perfect!

+ oversized comfy sweater + slipper socks + steaming mug of chocolaty goodness =

warm n' cozy!

+ tissue turtleneck + layered necklaces + fantastic handbag =

city chic!

+ cardigan + tee + mohair scarf + jeweled heels =

flirty and fun!

All images from

smythe waist coat

i wish this was instock...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Parisian Chic Outfit For J. Crew's Francie Papaya Skirt

It's tricky to wear a bright papaya skirt. The color is stunning, but hard to pair. I've found that it complements navy, and the two together come across as very parisian chic!

francie papaya by stylechild

J. Crew in Paris by stylechild

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comme des Garcons hits shelves at H&M - and instantly gets snatched off them by throngs of crazed shoppers

See for yourself:

The Beverly Center H&M was no exception, selling out within ten minutes! And at least one eBay reseller reaps the benefits.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Recent J. Crew Order + shopping on a monday

I mean, I've heard how bad the economy was and how the recession would affect the retail industry, but the truth hit me full force on Monday when, to give myself a long-needed break after the onslaught of midterm/paper attacks recently, my roomie and I took a shopping excursion at Century City Mall. NOBODY was at the mall. We walked into several different stores, and you could hear the crickets chirping (or for LA, the sound of Santa Monica street traffic - and, wow, Monday night drivers are terrible! Twice I've had cars nearly hit me that night alone!).

coat on the left model

I did buy a gorgy black wool coat from United Colors of Benetton - it has a fantastic close-fitting silhouette with a playful funnel neck (that can be unbuttoned to make a wide lapels or an asymmetrical collar) and a full pleated skirt bottom that hits mid-thigh. Stunning! Full-price was $268, but the sales lady declared that slow Monday nights had a promotional 20%, which was upped to 25% "just for us". SOLD!

I had been looking for that perfect wool coat for quite a while - I ordered the J. Crew Lady Day Coat in sea salt online, but returned it because it was quite big on me. I sized up because I figured I'd be wearing thick sweaters and other bulk underneath, but lesson learned - order your size! It just didn't feel like a winter coat, the white color in combo with the roominess, it conjured images of priest's robes. Not for me! Though, I'm sure it would look beautiful on someone else, I've only heard good things about it online. And I thought white was everybody's color...

Other lovely goodies include the dotted Victoria ruffle cami, the ruffled collar is gorgeous and a much greater improvement from the Elizabeth. It has more weight to it, and the ruffles have a rounded edge, plus the fit is tighter (albeit it's still loose), and having it available in different sizing is fantastic. AND NO WEIRD PLASTIC BUTTON, thank god. A keeper!

The Francie skirt is a great classic skirt, it beautifully fans out and the colors are gorgeous! I would have kept dark peony had I not just bought a similarly colored purply-pink pencil skirt from H&M days before. I did exchange it for the papaya color, which I saw in-store and (really!) gasped at it's gorgy color! The material is quality thick felted wool and cashmere, no VPL and beautiful fit.

Lastly, I returned the merino wool button cuff cardigan because I just know it will go on-sale soon and it probably will not sell out. I do like several of the colors, so I'm not too picky about this one.

But gosh, the winter accessories at J. Crew are so adorable! I'm waiting for those papaya ear muffs and the mohair scarf in berry to go on-sale!!! And then I'll probably never get to wear them here in sunny SoCal, haha, but at least I'll have something to look forward to for my (hopefully! *fingers crossed*) future trip to France!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall Wardrobe

I've been thinking a lot about how to ease the transition of my wardrobe from summer to fall. Because I live in southern California, there really is no great need for thick coats, scarfs, and other wonderful winter apparel, but it still does get very cold. I haven't been ready to commit to a quality wool coat, but my fleece hoodies aren't really keeping me warm - I have to wear multiple layers underneath and often feel (and look) like an overstuffed doll.

My closet is dominated by casual, summer apparel - tons of tank tops, short-sleeve T-shirts and jeans. Out of my casual attire, I only own ONE long-sleeve shirt. Just ONE. I own several sweaters, only one of which is long-sleeved but it still isn't very warm because it's a thin knit. I have two cardigans, and they're both summer-weight. Clearly, I lack the basics of a fall wardrobe.

For outerwear, I own one university hoodie and one fleece hoodie - these are perfect for when I'm running late to class and don't have time to think about what to wear, but like I wrote earlier they aren't very warm. I also have a checkered trapeze coat from Forever 21, with 3/4-length sleeves (and because I own only one long-sleeved sweater, it's the same sweater that shows past the sleeves most days - and it looks terrible and very sloppy). I purchased the J. Crew Waverly Jacket earlier this year, but it has the look and warmth of a spring jacket. I could possibly pair it with a black or cream turtleneck underneath, for a more chic and weather-appropriate look. There's also a Gap khaki jacket that's belted with epaulets, but I still haven't figured out a way to incoporate it into my wardrobe after four years.

I'm seriously thinking about buying some key pieces from J. Crew, so that I can have the foundation of a great fall wardrobe. In addition to buying more long-sleeved shirts and thick sweaters, I've been eyeing these pieces:

1) Classic Peacoat in white

2) Silk Tricotine Cecelia dress in blue

2) Double-serge pencil skirt in black

This lovely clasp belt from Banana Republic would nicely complement a lot of fall outfits:

and a pair of black gloves, like these from Banana Republic, would look very chic. I still can't pick between hand gloves and elbow-length gloves. Hand gloves have sass, but elbow-length gloves are on-trend and would look great with my 3/4-sleeve coat.

And these are a major splurge, but I can't stop looking at them! They're the perfect tall brown boots for fall!

J. Crew Long Fabienne high-heel boots

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stuck on Repeat: Lykke Li

"I'm Good, I'm Gone" by Lykke Li

"Little Bit" by Lykke Li

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Canada: Day 5 From Jasper to Banff / Athabasca Falls

After spending the night at Hinton, we explored more of Jasper's sights.


Athabasca Falls is one of my favorite locations within the two parks because the views of the waterfall are gorgeous. The water flows out into a lake, where puffs of foam float (I was told that this foam contains contaminants, but they're still pretty to look at). Interesting to note is all of the warning signs posted: if you fall in, you will die because the water is extremely cold and you will have hypothermia within minutes.

Juxtapose the powerful energy of the waterfalls with the serenity of the lake:

View from the lake of Athabasca Falls - one of my favorite shots, the milky glacier water looks ethereal.

A short 15 sec clip of Athabasca Falls

Monday, September 08, 2008

Canada: Day 4 Jasper

Canada's Jasper National Park is full of unspoiled natural beauty. It's connected to and north of the more-traveled, older Banff National Park, Canada's first national park. I had read that travelers enjoy Jasper more than Banff because Jasper has less visitors and is less developed than Banff. The central town in Jasper, while much less developed than Banff, still offers plenty of shops and restaurants and also appears very well-maintained. The fam was surprised at how commercialized the town was, but it was nothing in comparison to Banff.

Doesn't this look like a place where you'd have a conversation with God?
Pyramid Island at Pyramid Lake

Beware of idiot tourists!

Medicine Lake

Maligne Canyon

A black bear sighting! Mama bear was eating berries, while the baby cubs ran away. It was amusing to see how people react around a bear sighting. Rather than stay ten bus lengths away, everyone inched closer with their cars. There was a massive traffic clot as people parked their cars every which way to get a closer peak at these elusive animals. I saw one man leave his car and approach them for better pictures, as if the millions that he had took in his car weren't enough (and he had parked right in front of them). Tourists climbed on top of their cars, my mother perched on top of the sunroof, it was quite an experience.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Canada: Day 3 Kamloops

After a day of shopping in Vancouver, the fam was ready to journey eastward toward Kamloops, where we would spend the night. The drive was beautiful - lots of mountains, trees, rivers and lakes. Since I could not drive (the car having been rented), my time was spent finding choice music on satellite radio. I have to say, I was not impressed with satellite radio. Maybe it was because of the limited number of channels, but there were only a few channels of music that the whole family could listen together, mostly pop and oldies. And what we all soon discovered was that the same new Jonas Brothers hit or Miley's #1 song kept replaying over and over. Oh god, the horror.

So after abusing our ears with enough replays of "7 Things" and Fall Out Boy's "Beat It", we permanently fixed the radio dial on oldies.

Kamloops, while not the small town I imagined, looks more like a sprawling mass of suburbia. There really isn't much to do here. We went to the Oriental Gardens Restaurant, which offers Japanese and Chinese cuisine. I was wary of the themed appearance of the restaurant's exterior, which should have been a giant warning sign, but the fam was really hungry. We ordered several Chinese dishes and they were terrible. The meat had a strange texture, and the food did not look freshly prepared.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Spotlight: Laura Laine

Laura Laine for Zara (see more of her illustrations on the Zara website under Inspiration)

I recently came across Laura Laine's fashion illustrations on the Zara website and instantly fell in love with the mood and movement of her misshaped characters. One of the most striking features of these figures is their hair, exuding energy with overpowering volume and fluidity. Bodies are strangely contorted, with hunched postures and elastic limbs. These girls' ghostly expressions contrast with their animated bodies, attesting Laine's strength in depicting dynamic bodily form.

To see these characters dressed in the latest fashion is mesmerizing. Tiered ruffle dresses billow beautifully. Trouser jeans skim legs gracefully. The clothes emphasize, rather than overpower, the lines and form of their models. Laine skillfully plays with colors, textures, and patterns.

See Laine's online portfolio here.

Read an interview with Laura Laine here.

See her work at an upcoming exhibition in Los Angeles! Laine's work, as well as the work of many other talented artists, will be shown from November 7th to the 29th at the Thinkspace Art Gallery. For more information, click here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Canada: Day 3 Shopping at Robson Street

One street in Vancouver has all the biggest names of retail - Robson Street. With diverse offerings ranging from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci to cheap n' chic Zara, Robson Street is the go-to place for your retail fix. Central to Vancouver's dining scene, Robson Street also has plenty of great restaurants - my fam and I went to CinCin yesterday, which was at Robson.

Although my fam doesn't really enjoy shopping as much as I do, we spent the morning at Robson to peruse a few stores so that we could spend more time in Vancouver before leaving for Kamloops. I had read that Kamloops doesn't really offer much besides golfing and other leisurely activities, which the fam was not interested in doing. At Robson, we stopped by stores like French Connection, American Eagle, and Zara. I made it a point to stop at every store which I did not recognize the name in order to find Canadian brands or brands not easily found in the United States, such as lululemon athletica and MEXX. I wish I had stopped at Aritzia.

See what Robson Street has to offer here.

On the drive to Kamloops, we stopped by Hell's Gate where we saw a gorge and a salmon fish-ladder. Apparently, falling rocks due to railroad construction during the early 1900's further narrowed the gorge, making it extremely difficult for the salmon to make their yearly migration, so these fish-ladders were built.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Canada: Day 2 Stanley Park

Stanley Park is gorgeous! It offers beautiful views all along the seawall, where lots of people jog and bike. There are several beaches along the coast and some attractions within the park such as totem poles and an aquarium. It is a very big park!

Since we did not have much time in Vancouver, we took a free shuttle around the park. It seems that everyone uses the shuttle to see the park, rather than to get place to place, since the buses were always packed and nobody ever got off.

If I ever return, I would love to bike along the entire seawall.

Around 6PM, we decided to eat at a nice restaurant. Vancouver has a fabulous dining scene (and while the prices are expensive, they're not outrageous). The fam decided on CinCin, a Mediterranean restaurant. Since we were dressed in touristy attire, we called ahead but they said it wouldn't be a problem.

I had the roasted boar gnocchi - I've never had boar before, so it was quite interesting. For dessert, petit fours! They were so adorable and very yummy - I wish I had taken a picture before we started eating them. Our waiter at CinCin provided top-notch, excellent service.

One of the petit fours - tart

A half-eaten plate of petit fours!

After dinner cookies!

And then we went back to the beach at Stanley Park to see the sunset.