Thursday, December 31, 2009

GAP denim tunic


It's hard to believe that stores are already selling spring clothes. One particular item that I'm loving is GAP's 'Denim Tunic Top' ($59.50) with a mandarin collar. You could do some much with it.

Wear it now with black leggings or opaque tights with the sleeves rolled down. It'll look great in the spring too with the sleeves rolled up. It could also be belted for a totally different look. Wear is with your short cowboy boots if you're feeling a little bit country.

Spratters & Jayne scarves

I know winter has really just begun, but I'm already getting tired of tying my scarves. Spratters & Jayne's scarves are easy for people like me because you can simply pull them over your head. S&J scarves are super-cute and cozy since they're made of 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. They're either handmade or made in Peru.

My favorite style is the Cowl with the heart buttons ($159). Other styles include the Lapel and the Tube. The Lapel can double as a wrap or capelet. The Tube is essentially a circle infinity scarf - love those! A variety of colors are available from black and chocolate (my favorite) to ruby, lilac and lemon.
I would wear these over tops for a uniquely layered look. These scarves would especially come in handy on these frigid days we've been experiencing lately. Stay warm, and shop Spratters & Jayne scarves here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lust: Christian Louboutin Bianca Slingbacks


My heart literally skipped a beat when I saw Christian Louboutin's 'Bianca Slingback Platform Pumps' from Saks Fifth Avenue. Though I love both colors in both the nude and black-and-coral pairs, the primary colors on the nude pair are so striking.

These shiny patent leather slingbacks would really pop with a simple, neutral dress and tights for the colder but would be equally fabulous in the warmer months. The heels are a tall 5.5" with a covered platform. Pre-order these beauties now for $755.

A brightly bowed bag


Do you ever get tired of your same-old neutral bag? I'm in the need for a variation from my standard black bag - something bold and bright.

Valentino has been creating some gorgeous and feminine handbags lately featuring bows, flowers and fabulous colors. One of my favorites is the fuschia 'Nappa Bow tote' ($2,250). The leather pleats are lovely, and the removable should strap is a nice touch.


A more affordable, but equally bright, bag is the 'Bow Eyelet Bag' from TopShop ($70). I particularly like the drawstring on this large coral bag. Bright bags aren't just for the spring and summer. I'm going to break out one of these stat.

"Up in the Air"

George Clooney's latest film Up in the Air is fantastic. While there aren't many bells and whistles, the film is heartfelt, and it emphasizes the importance of human relationships.

Juno director Jason Reitman takes on this adaptation of a comic novel by Walter Kirn. Ryan Bingham (Clooney) travels around the country firing people for a living. He lives out of a suitcase, and the sky is his home. His ultimate goal is to reach 10 million miles on American Airlines (having just acquired enough miles for my first free flight, I can kind of sympathize with his obsession).

Ryan has no real friends and isn't close to his family. He meets a woman, Alex Goran (Vera Famiga), who seemingly lives the same kind of carefree lifestyle.

The naive Natalie Keener (Twilight's Anna Kendrick) comes along and wants to change the way their company fires people from face-to-face to through the computer. After traveling with Ryan, she discovers how gruesome the job is. Natalie does, however, persuade Ryan to decide that he does want someone to share his life with - the problem is that he picked the wrong woman.

Clooney and Kendrick are both excellent in their roles and definitely deserving of their award nominations. Though the film is a bit of a downer at times, we are at least reminded that human relationships are what make life wonderful. I like Reitman's style, and the way that he showed changes in cities was very similar to Juno.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Head-to-toe New Year's Eve garb

(a little mood music for you courtesy of Diana Krall)

Ahh, the age-old question of what to wear on New Year's Eve. I've sometimes found that NYE isn't worth the hype. Often it can be more fun being at home watching the ball drop anyway. However, if you're going to be even the slightest bit disappointed in the evening, you may as well do it fashionably, right?

It's no big secret that I love sequins. It's my lucky season that they're ever-y-where. I'm obsessed with the 'All Over Animal Sequin Dress' by Whistles (one of my favorite shops in London) from OK, since this is shipping from across the pond, it won't get here in time for NYE, but there will be plenty of opportunities to wear it later. Plus, they ship to the United States for $6.

I also like pants for NYE. In a sea of dresses, they're unexpected and fresh!

Wild shoes with a pop of color add punch to any outfit. I adore Poetic Licence's purple 'Gift Wrapped Pump' ($99.95) from Nordstrom. They'd look great with an LBD and are also available in black and silver. A red pair of heels is also a fabulous choice.

Don't feel like going all out with your ensemble? Just add something fun on your head and look instantly chic. Pair a bejeweled headband like the one pictured from Forever 21 ($4.80) with a black dress and voilà!
You could also channel Kate Moss's Marc Jacob's look in a metallic headwrap. This silver one is $3.80 at Forever 21.

Isn't it funny that the things we wore to prom like beads and sequins were considered passé for a while? Well now they're back! You can't go wrong with a beaded or sequined clutch or bag. Express's 'Beaded Foldover Wristlet' ($44.50 plus 30% off) is so cute and would go with just about anything. Sephora also has these sequined bags in different colors for $5. They'd be perfect for your lipgloss and other essentials.

My stocking was stuffed with this pretty, glittery polish by OPI for Sephora. 'Too Good for Him' ($9) will look great over a deep purple polish or alone.

Here's to ringing in 2010 in style however you choose to celebrate!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Star-studded "Nine"

I enjoy musicals and pretty much anything starring Daniel Day-Lewis. So, with these two factors and a star-studded cast, I figured that I would love Nine. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago), the film about Italian director Guido Contini's crazy relationships and script-writing troubles was good, but unfortunately not as good as I'd hoped.

The film, set in the 1960s, is based on a play that is based on Federico Fellini's film . I was told to watch this film before I went to Rome last year but never got around to it.

In Nine there are many women in Contini's (Day-Lewis) life. The pressure is on him from almost everyone in Italy to create his latest masterpiece entitled Italia. Unfortunately, he is having director's block.

Contini's women include his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his mother (Sophia Loren), his muse (Nicole Kidman), his costumer (Judi Dench), an American fashionista (Kate Hudson) and Seraghina (Fergie). All of these women have impacted his life and his work in some way. Contini eventually realizes that the love of his wife is what matters. He wants her back after he has lost her.

The handsome Day-Lewis does a mean Italian accent (as if we'd expect anything less), and he actually sings quite well. In fact, just about all of the film's stars sing. I thought that Fergie's song "Be Italian" was the best for both song and performance. She and Cotillard did the best job in their roles as Contini women.

After Christmas sales


Isn't it a bummer that some of the best sales of the year come after Christmas - when all of your money is gone? Hopefully you got some gift cards to spend on massively marked-down loot. The mall was a madhouse on the day after Christmas with everyone trying to exchange gifts. I find that a few days after Christmas (like now) they mark things down even more.

It's the perfect time to buy some discounted Christmas gear. I purchased a tree at Target yesterday for $30. They usually mark everything down to 75% off in a few days. I have my eye on a white tree with pastel-colored lights, so I will probably go back and get that. I also bought the '12 Days of Christmas' ornaments ($19.99) from Crate & Barrel that I've been literally wanting for years.

Now is a great time to stock up on winter gear because believe it or not stores are already gearing up for spring. Neiman Marcus is having an amazing sale on boots and winter shoes if you've had your eye on a pair. I'm so obsessed with these Miu Miu 'Platform Pumps.' Are they not to-die? They're regularly $950, marked down to $637 with an extra 25% off!

I also love the gorgeous Joie 'Apache Fringed Flat Boot.' It's another steal marked down from $425 to $325 with 25% off. Bloomingdale's also has 30 to 50% off, and Saks is offering up to 60% off. Pretty much every store seems to have great sales right now, so happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All black ensembles


Keira Knightley stepped out wearing an all black in London for the premiere of her play The Misanthrope. When I wore a black dress, tights and oxfords on Thanksgiving, my dad said I looked like a Witch from Eastwick (whatever that is). No matter what anyone says, I love the look of all black - it's so chic and elegant. []

The actress wore her embellished Chanel minidress with a swingy black coat, two-tone pumps and opaque tights. This is a great outfit to take a cue from for Christmas or New Year's Eve. I like this 'Sequin Party Dress' by 7 For All Mankind (on sale for $149.99 at Piperlime). Plus, it's long enough to wear to work with tights and a blazer. I'm all for outfits that can pull double duty.

Knightley makes her stage debut as a Hollywood actress in the play; imagine that! The play is a revival of British playwright Martin Crimp's update of French playwright Molière's comedy Le Misanthrope. In the updated play, actors and journalists are satirized, rather than the French aristocratic society.

The Telegraph reviewed the play mentioning that Knightley is "scarily skinny" in person, but gave it a good review saying, "This stinging, zinging play would be a hit without Knightley. With her, it becomes unmissable." The play is at London's Comedy Theatre until March 13, 2010.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shop La Garçonne


I'd seen La Garçonne cited in numerous magazines and wondered what it was. The Connecticut-based company's motto for the Garçonne girl is "she side steps the spotlight and prefers the warm glow of her multifaceted heart." They sell ultra-chic designers like Lanvin, Thakoon, Opening Ceremony, Alexander Wang and Boy Band of Outsiders.

Though most of their stuff wouldn't qualify as bargain prices (though they have some sales), it's a great place to go for style inspiration or to splurge on that special piece you've been wanting.
La Garçonne is carrying Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony. The actress is wearing her design, the 'Western Buckle Wedge' ($625). Those shoes are pretty quirky yet fabulous.

They also carry handbags. I adore Alexander Wang's 'Donna Hobo Bag' ($820) in distressed grey denim printed leather; it's the perfect everyday purse. I also love the 'Zadie Purse' by Rika ($265). The distressed leather clutch with antique brass studs is great for a night out. Nail polishes by Uslu Airlines (Berlin-based makeup line) and Bernhard Wilhelm are also sold. I like this turquoise color, GWW. I hope this polish stays on like glue though because it's $31.50. The site carries Moleskine notebooks too - how cute is that?

New fave Christmas album

I remember working at The Limited during my college Christmas break and hearing "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" played over and over in the store. Every time I've heard it since, I think of overzealous holiday shoppers.

Yesterday when I was perusing, I noticed that they had the MP3 download of Ella Fitzgerald's Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas album for $2.99. This album includes the aforementioned song.

Anyway, I'm beyond excited about this deal as I think it could be a new favorite Christmas album. I had no idea that Miss Fitzgerald, a Virginia native, sang so many holiday classics. One of the greatest jazz singers of all time sure could sing some classy Christmas tunes.

Here are the album tracks...

1. Jingle Bells
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
4. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
5. Sleigh Ride
6. The Christmas Song
7. Good Morning Blues
8. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
9. Winter Wonderland
10. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
11. Frosty The Snowman
12. White Christmas
13. The Secret Of Christmas
14. Medley: We Three Kings Of Orient Are/O Little Town Of Bethlehem
15. Christmas Island
16. The Christmas Song
17. White Christmas
18. Frosty The Snowman

Lust: A stealthy black watch

I either wear a gold and silver David Yurman watch or an oversized gold Michael Kors watch. Recently I've seen some black watches that have caught my eye. Some are reminiscent of Chanel's J12 black or white ceramic watches but for much less money. Since black is a neutral like silver or gold, it goes well with most outfits.

I love Michael Kors' 'Ladies' Chronograph Resin Band Watch' ($225) from Nordstrom. It's loud and blingy with some swarovski crystals around the face. There's also a Kors watch with a reddish face and silver accents (above photo). There's also a date window in case you forget the day (hey, it happens).


The 'Plasteramic Mother of Pearl Chrono Watch' by Toy Watch ($275) at Bloomingdale's is another good choice. The three watches mentioned have a three-eye chronograph as well.

I like to wear bangles on the same wrist as my watch to give it a little jingle.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Must see "The Blind Side"

I finally saw The Blind Side this past weekend, and it was worth the wait. It's a wonderful and touching movie. The film is based on the true story of Michael Oher and a book by Michael Lewis.

Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Ann Tuohy, a wealthy Memphis interior decorator. Her son, S.J., and daughter, Collins, attend a Christian school. A new black student Michael Oher a.k.a. Big Mike (Quinton Aaron) starts attending school. Eventually, it is discovered that he's homeless due to his mother's drug addiction. Leigh Ann and her husband Sean (Tim McGraw), a fast food chain owner, invite Michael into their home.

Michael begins to play football, and his coach is surprised to find that he isn't very good at first. Leigh Ann instructs him to protect the quarterback and his teammates like they are her or any of the other family members, and he starts to excel. He's eventually adopted by the Tuohys and is offered scholarships to many universities. Oher was recently drafted to the Baltimore Ravens. Bullock is excellent in the role of this Southern firecracker - very deserving of her Golden Globe nomination. McGraw is also well cast as the loving husband and father. Aaron is just as precious as he can be. The story breaks your heart then warms your heart. It's definitely a must-see.

R.I.P. Brittany Murphy

Brittany Murphy died in L.A. yesterday apparently from cardiac arrest at 32-years-old. I've been a fan since Clueless where she played the school's newcomer, Tai. I also always enjoyed Just Married with Ashton Kutcher.

According to IMDb, Murphy had three films in post-production, one in pre-production and one in production. What a tragedy - she was so young and talented.

A review of Rodarte for Target

[Teen Vogue]

I'd been anxiously awaiting Rodarte's Target collection for months. By the time I went online yesterday, a lot of items were already sold out. Then I learned that they had the collection in my local store, so I schlepped through the snow and ice to check it out.

Unfortunately I discovered that I'll have to return the items that I bought online. I tried on practically everything, and let me tell you - this stuff runs small! Most of the items are in juniors sizes of 1-13, which is fine, but they're at least one size off from the normal sizes of 0-12.

One of my favorite pieces ended up being the macabre 'Sequin Ribcage' dress (in sizes S, M, L) for $49.99. It actually has a nice feeling material, and it would look fabulous with a striped shirt underneath. It's a spin on the classic sequin shift.
Another piece that I purchased is the 'Mesh Lace Swiss Dot Printed Top' for $29.99. The mesh material felt good too. I'll wear it with a tank underneath and might even pair it with my sequined shorts. It's a good top for work too.
The 'Mesh Lace Cardigan' ($29.99) is fabulous. They have it in ochre (which I bought), black and tan. It'll be great belted over dresses.
The 'Cotton Striped Long Sleeve Top' ($16.99) is a good wardrobe staple for the price. It'd be perfect for layering under sweaters and dresses.
I was really looking forward to buying the 'Crepe Slip Lace Dress' ($39.99) after seeing in magazines for months. However, when I tried it on, the tulle and lace sticks to you like glue. The material is also paper-thin. It wouldn't work in these cold months, and I kept envisioning it sticking to my tights in unsightly places.
Dakota Fanning wore the 'Leopard Print Lace Dress' ($44.99) in the January Teen Vogue. It looks great on her, and it looks great on the hanger. When I put this thing on it was frightening. The material is stiff, and the zipper is very hard to maneuver - especially with the snapped bows down the back. C'est la vie.

I was very interested in a faux fur leopard coat that was supposedly going to be part of the collection. It wasn't in stores or online though.

Overall, I have to say that I'm disappointed in the collection. I'm such a fan of Laura and Kate Mulleavy's designs that I was expecting more. A lot of the material felt cheap, and the sizing was just way off.