Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lace it up with oxford kicks


For fall, one major shoe trend is taking a cue from menswear. Oxford shoes are so in right now. Generally speaking, I'm a high-heel kind of girl, but these shoes are very cute. I'm especially loving them in metallic colors like the first pair from Kimchi Blue for $58 at Urban Outfitters.

See Whitney Port's take on the black-and-white saddle shoe. These shoes look good with the boyfriend jeans or skinny jeans. I also like these shoes with the full skirt and striped shirt combo like Sienna Miller. Olivia Palermo also sported a similar look recently. I think they'll look great with tights too.

If you'd prefer to wear them with a heel (which I may), I like the Harajuku Lovers 'Packard Oxford' ($99.95 at Nordstrom).

"Whip It"

I saw a sneak preview of the Drew Barrymore-directed film Whip It last night, and it was fun and funny. Juno's Ellen Page stars as 17-year-old Bliss Cavendar, a reluctant beauty pageant participant in Bodeen, Texas. She does the pageants to appease mom (Marcia Gay Harden), a former beauty queen turned postal worker.

She and her best friend Pash (Alia Shawkat) work as waitresses in a local diner. Nothing exciting is happening in their lives until Bliss discovers a roller derby flyer while shopping with her mom in Austin. She sneaks out to see the derby and is offered the chance to try out by Hurl Scouts member Maggie Mayhem (SNL's Kristen Wiig). Meanwhile, Bliss falls for a hipster boy in a band, Oliver (a Gallagher-brother-looking Landon Pigg) after spotting him there.

Bliss dusts off her old Barbie skates, and it turns out that she's actually a fast skater. She tries out for the coach, Razor (Andrew Wilson - brother of Owen and Luke), and ends up making the Hurl Scouts team. She joins Maggie, Smashley Simpson (Drew Barrymore), Rosa Sparks (Eve) and more.

Babe Ruthless becomes Bliss's new name. With her help, they actually start to win. Bliss even becomes the poster child for the league. Her arch-nemesis Iron Maven (Juliette Lewis) threatens to out her for her age though - turns out you're supposed to be 21 to skate.

Bliss's relationship with her mom and dad (Daniel Stern a.k.a. Marv from Home Alone) is strained after they discover that an S.A.T. class was code for roller derby. To make the perfect storm, she discovers on the Internet that Oliver cheated on her when he goes away on tour.

Since Bliss ends up being too young to skate in the championships unless she gets permission from a parent, she enters yet another pageant. Her father stages an intervention with the Hurl Scouts, and they rescue her and take her to the championship. Barrymore did a impressive job for her directorial debut.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jackets with pizazz


Right now I'm loving flashy jackets and vests - sequins, studs, faux fur, get the picture. What can be easier than throwing on a jacket over a simple outfit to make it instantly chic?

A few of my faves are...

-Sequined silk blazer, Tibi, $600 ( I love Tibi's clothes, and this blazer is no exception. It would look fabulous over a dress at night or with black leggings and a long white top.

-Studded leatherette jacket, Forever 21, $47.80. This faux leather jacket is a great take on the leather jacket trend that has been happening the last few seasons. The studs give it a little extra bit of oomph. Plus, the price is incredible.

-Charmed to perfection jacket, LaROK, $368 ( I adore this jacket. I would wear it to work with skinny black pants or a pencil skirt. On the weekends, I'd wear it with jeans.

-Brown Potter faux fur vest, BB Dakota, $57 ( This vest would be great over a floral dress or a feminine blouse.

New "New Moon" posters

[Summit Entertainment]

Three brand new New Moon posters have been released. I must say that I love them. Goodness, in the first one Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) are holding on tightly. The Cullen clan is lurking in the background. The slightly scary face that Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) cracks me up.

The next poster is of the muscular wolf pack with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) out front. There was another photo of a shirtless wolf pack sans Jacob floating around.

The third new poster is of the Italian vampire royals, the Volturi - Aro (Michael Sheen), Jane (Dakota Fanning), Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower), Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl) and Alec (Cameron Bright).

The movie is in theaters on November 20. I already got my ticket to the midnight showing on!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sonia Rykiel to design for H&M


H&M has just announced that French designer and fashion icon Sonia Rykiel will be their next guest designer. Her first collection will be released on December 5 then the next on February 20, 2010 in 250 stores.

Her collection will include lingerie and accessories. This is the first time that a guest designer has had a hand in lingerie. The Parisian is best known for her sweaters and knit designs. She got into designing after she couldn't find any soft sweaters during her pregnancy in 1962.

The H&M press release included this quote from their Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch...

"Sonia Rykiel is a true fashion icon who invented a signature style around femininity, Parisian chic and modernity - as well as functional, comfortable, wearable clothes. She has an attitude that inspires admiration among women of all ages around the world. We loved the joyful chic of Sonia Rykiel’s 40th anniversary runway show - and in that spirit this collection is all about revelling in great lingerie for its own sake. This is a totally modern, new kind of lingerie look, and when we started to work together with Rykiel on it, we just couldn’t stop."
Jimmy Choo's line is also in H&M stores on November 14. I know that these lines benefit the designers, but it's wonderful that they're lending their creative genius to stores with prices that the average consumer can afford. I can't wait to see Rykiel's collections!

Catching Fire

I just finished Suzanne Collins's second installment of her best-selling novel The Hunger Games (which I wrote about here), Catching Fire. After I absolutely loved her the first novel in the series, I was thrilled that I could read her new novel so soon - early fans didn't have this luxury. However, now I have to wait impatiently for the third novel.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are back in Catching Fire. As winners of the Hunger Games, they, along with their families, have a plush new life ahead of them, or so they think. President Snow has it out for Katniss after her blatant display of rebellion in the games. He is forcing Katniss and Peeta to get married. She is still torn between the two men who love her, Gale and Peeta.

Meanwhile, there's unrest in the districts. Katniss and her symbolic mockingjay have ignited the spark of rebellion against the Capital. In order to prove to the districts that Peeta and Katniss are really in love and the games weren't just an act, Snow wants them to get married immediately.

In a shocking twist, it's announced that tributes for the 75th annual Hunger Games will be chosen from previous winners of the games from each district. A boy and girl tribute are chosen, so of course Peeta and Katniss are forced back into the arena - it was between Peeta and their drunk middle-aged mentor Haymitch.

There's plenty of adventure and action in this novel, but it's a romance novel at heart. I'm Team Peeta all the way. His undying, unselfish love for Katniss is simply what every girl dreams of.

"The Informant!"

The Informant! starring Matt Damon is an amusing film involving a real corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (of the Ocean's 11 franchise), this film tackles the touchy subject of corporate deception and greed but makes it slightly comical.

A chubby Damon (he gained weight for the role) plays Whitacre, a wealthy and slighty crazy exec for ADM, a Fortune 500 agricultural business, in Decatur, Illinois. When the FBI gets wind of some suspicious business activity, mainly involving price fixing, Whitacre gets involved as an inside spy for the FBI. He confesses to Special Agent Brian Shepard (Scott Bakula) that some untoward things have been going on at the company and agrees to act as their informant.

Whitacre begins to wear a wire to meetings as he becomes their spy. Special Agent Bob Herndon (E!'s The Soup host Joel McHale) also becomes involved in the case to bring down the company. Mark's wife Ginger (Melanie Lynskey) urges him to tell the truth to clear his name. Poor Ginger doesn't seem to really know the half of it though. Her husband has also been accepting kickbacks and embezzling money. All the while he still believes that he's the one "wearing the white hat" in the company. We later find out that he may have suffered from bipolar disorder among being a pathological liar.

During the funniest scenes in the movie, you can hear Whitacre's thoughts. They are inane and hilarious. Damon was great in this role - throughout most of the film, I didn't even remember that it was he. That's a pretty impressive feat for a former People's Sexiest Man Alive.

Lust: Kate Spade's El Morocco Paola sequined clutch


Kate Spade's 'El Morocco Paola' oversized clutch is just as cute as it can be. It's dripping in multi-metallic sequins, and the bow gives it an added touch. This is the perfect bag for a night out on the town (however, it's so fabulous that I'd carry it during the day too). Plus, it's a good investment because you could carry it through any season.

It also has a chain handle and 14K-gold hardware. The size is 8.2" x 12.9". This gorgeous bag is available now for pre-order for $475.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Colorful Spring 2010 Versace

[Associated Press]
[Wire Image]

Oooo, pretty colors! Donatella Versace sent her models down the the runway today in Milan for her Spring/Summer 2010 show in mostly bright, cheery colors like coral, lavender and mint green. There was also a hint of sparkle and shimmer.

Versace said that her inspiration was "Alice in Wonderland—and the energy of pattern and color." New York Times writer Suzy Menkes went as far to say, "It was the first show in which Donatella Versace captured absolutely the witty and lively spirit of her late brother, Gianni."

The models' hair was middle-parted with lots of body, and the makeup was natural. Platform heels were a staple in the collection. Short girls rejoice! I also loved the chain-strap bags that many were carrying and the pink-and-black sunglasses (see above).

There were a lot of dresses, of course - some were one-shouldered and many were in psychedelic prints. There was also some leather in light colors like white. The overall collection looked playful and fun.

J.Crew's October catalog


I just received the October 09 J.Crew catalog in the mail, and I was very impressed. I love the way they're mixing and matching prints and textures these days. They're also selling non-J.Crew products like Essie nail polish, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Timex watches, Selima Optique glasses, etc. Genius! Plus, tucked away in my catalog was a code for 10% off and free shipping with any purchase.

I always look forward to Creative Director Jenna Lyon's picks. My favorite item in her picks is Belstaff's 'leather bomber jacket.' At $1,195 it's definitely an investment piece. I'm also loving the cozy 'Donegal shawl cardigan' in the rose color ($148). The 'skinny studded belt' at $35 is a great buy that would go with so much.

Flipping through the magazine, I was also instantly smitten with the 'Birds of a Paradise' necklace (see it here, thanks ratsonparade!). However, I was a bit disturbed that it was selling for a whopping $795. Uhh, I don't think so. A more affordable jewelry find are the 'crystal soiree earrings' for $55. I would wear these versatile earrings to work or for a night out. They remind me of something I would find in my grandma's jewelry box.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pantsless Prada


Milan's Spring 2010 fashion week is underway. Many of Miuccia Prada's models sashayed down the runway sans pants. Could this be the Lady Gaga effect? Prada told The Telegraph that she simply "has a passion for knickers.”

The models walked on a black-and-white checkered floor while shots of the beach and chandeliers were displayed in the background. How retro!

Models wore low pigtails or side ponys with red lips. Accessories included clear PVC heels and luxe bags. I love the grey/blue tie-dyed bag pictured above.

There was some sparkle and many wore crystals literally hanging off of them (see the above ensemble). There were a few sporty looks, like a pair of blue running shorts with a beach scene and raw hems. There were a few coats, jackets and dresses, but for the most part, Prada is going to take us to the beach for spring and summer - albeit a very glamorous one.

"Breaking Dawn" movie: parts I and II?


My favorite gossip columnist of The Awful Truth, Ted Casablanca, on has reported that Melissa Rosenberg is confirmed to write the screenplay for the fourth film in the Twilight Saga. However, it is still unclear at Summit whether or not Breaking Dawn will be one film or two. It looks like all of the cast is a go for the film though - thank goodness!

reaking Dawn is one of my favorite books of the series. It's definitely the most risque of the books. Edward and Bella get married and go on their honeymoon. She later finds out that she's pregnant. The baby is destroying her since it's part vampire. In order to survive after the baby is born, she must be changed to a vampire to survive. Another interesting twist is that part of the book is also in Jacob's perspective.

I'm all for a part I and II of this movie. It's such a lengthy book at over 700 pages. I think it would do a disservice to fans to leave out any important details. I can't wait to see what Summit decides to do. The way they're cranking out these films, we won't have to wait very long to find out.

Lucerne and Zug, Switzerland

While on my jaunt to Switzerland, we took the train to Lucerne for $35. We were advised by some locals to stop off in Zug on the way back. It was a good decision.

Lucerne (Luzern in German) is a gorgeous, medieval town south of Zurich. It's surrounded by the Alps including Mt. Pilatus and Rigi. The Reuss River goes through the city and empties into a lake.

After we arrived, we stumbled upon an outdoor church service where some musicians were playing the alphorns (see above photo). Then we strolled around the city looking for the Rosengart Musuem. We finally found it, and it was well worth our hunt. This museum is packed with Pablo Picasso paintings and photographs. There's also an impressive collection of Paul Klee, Matisse and Chagall.

The most notable site in Lucerne is the Chapel Bridge, or Kapellbrüke. The wooden bridge was built in 1333. Though most of it was destroyed in 1993 due to a fire, it's still a beautiful structure. The water there is so clear and blue that it's unreal. We had lunch near the bridge at a Swiss German restaurant Rathaus Brauerei. They actually brew their own beer on site and had good pretzel sandwiches.

On our way back to Zurich, we took the 15-minute train ride to Zug. We took a walk around the city. Someone told us that this is where a lot of the wealthy business people live who work in Zurich. I can see way - it's a gorgeous place to live.

Our feet were aching so we parked it for a while on a dock and then at a little lakeside bar to watch the sunset. The sunset was unbelievable. Before we left, we had dinner at a little Italian place called San Marco. It was a great day excursion. I'm glad that we decided to go there rather than making the much longer trip to Geneva.

Zurich, Switzerland - where wine is cheaper than water

I just got back from a whirlwind weekend trip to Switzerland. Back in June, I found a ridiculously cheap airfare for $230 roundtrip (JFK to Zurich) on Delta. Since I hadn't been there but always wanted to go, I booked it stat.

Zurich is frequently rated one of the most expensive cities in the world as well as the wealthiest (hello Swiss banks), so I was a bit nervous. I found that the only really outrageously expensive thing is the food. Most dishes, even sandwiches, run anywhere from $20 to $30. We made the mistake of getting bottles of water for the table at $6 each. The wine truly is cheaper than the water (at about $5 for house Italian wines)! Coffee is also overpriced at $4-$5 for a small cup. My sister got a grande iced coffee at Starbucks for $7! There's a lot of Italian food there though the food isn't particularly notable.

The exchange rate for the Swiss frank and dollar were nearly even so that helped. We stayed at the Hotel Coronado, a very nice but no frills hotel. It ended up being about $135/night.

I've been to a lot of European cities, but I was impressed with Zurich. It's very clean, and the buildings are beautiful and medieval looking. Plus, it's right on the lovely Lammat River which empties into the Zurichsee (Lake Zurich). The tram system is very efficient (they run every 7.5 minutes). We bought a ZurichCard for $38 (3 days) and had unlimited rides. We also took a boat cruise with the card. Many restaurants also offer a free drink when you show it.

There happened to be a retro Ferris wheel in town while we were there. That offered up some great views of the city. They were playing American music from the fifites. We went once during the day and once at night for $8 each. Zurich at night is a beautiful site.

Here are a few of my other favorite things to do and see in Zurich:

-Kunsthaus Museum. This fabulous museum is loaded with Picasso, Monet, Kandinsky, Matisse, Dali and much more. It's was well worth the $10 entry. Visit the site for more info.

-Zeughauskeller restaurant: This traditional Swiss restaurant in an old armory building is located in the Bahnofstrasse shopping area on Paradeplatz. It's a fun experience and a must-do in Zurich. The restaurant was hopping and had a bit of a wait. I tried a traditional Alpine pasta. They also have sausage meat swords (not appetizing for a vegetarian like myself but still somewhat amusing).

-St. Peter's Church: It has the largest church clock face in the world!

-Merkur Chocolaterie: This chocolate shop in the Bahnofstrasse area is heaven on Earth. It's the place to get chocolate for friends back home. They have these big slabs of chocolate that you can get pieces from. My favorite was dark chocolate with cranberries.

-Altstadt: This old town area is a great area to walk to see all of the gorgeous old buildings.

-Bürkliplatz flea market : This flea market open Saturdays May through October was a happening spot. One vendor told us that sellers come from all over Europe to sell their treasures. I found a jewelry box from the 1930s painted by a Swiss lady who painted clocks for a mere $15.

As for my souveniers, in addition to the jewelry box, I brought home chocolate and some really nice, big Bodum mugs with the Swiss flag on them for $8 each. It was a great trip for a long weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lust: L.A.M.B. Juva Pumps


Ohmuhgoodness. The 'Juva' pumps from Gwen Stefanie's line L.A.M.B. are to-die. These four-inch heels mix a black-and-white houndstooth pattern with optical illusion-like boxes. These would look great with skinnies or black tights and a skirt when it gets chilly.

I love the square toe and 3/4" platform. Plus, in black and white, they'll go with a lot. They're priced at $353 on

Stephenie Meyer's "The Host" to become film

I am thrilled that Twilight author Stephenie Meyer's adult science-fiction novel The Host will be made into a film. I read the novel last year, and it's an incredibly fascinating story.

In The Host, alien figures referred to as "souls" have invaded Earth. They're implanting into human hosts and taking over their bodies and minds. The soul Wanderer has invaded Melanie Stryder's body. Melanie refuses to let the soul take over her mind. They develop a unique relationship. The soul even falls in love with the man that Melanie loves.

Andrew Niccol will write the script and direct the film. His previous projects include The Truman Show and Gattaca.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Elizabeth & James breast cancer awareness necklace


Who doesn't love a good cause? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's line Elizabeth and James has created a pretty necklace that benefits breast cancer research. Robert Lee Morris designed this necklace that is sold exclusively at

With Breast Cancer Awareness month (October) fast approaching, this necklace is a great buy for a great cause. Shopbop is donating $15,000 to the Breast Cancer Network of Strength organization.

The 16"-long necklace has a rose-gold-plated feather pendant on a sterling silver chain. I just love the feather, and I like that the silver and gold mix so well.

Emmy's Best Dressed

[Getty Images]

I was in Switzerland when the Emmy's took place last Sunday, so I'm just now catching up on everything. Of course 30 Rock and Mad Men were big winners of the night. Justin Timberlake also scored an award for his SNL performance.

Now, who dominated the fashion? Here are my faves:

-Chloe Sevigny in Issac Mizrahi. Her one-shoulder, black-and-white polka-dotted dress with a yellow slip underneath was fabulous. As usual, the Big Love actress had a look that was her own. The gold brooch on the hip makes the dress look vintage.

-John Hamm in Gucci. The handsome Mad Men star managed to look even more dapper than usual (if that's even possible) in a classic Gucci tuxedo.

-January Jones in Atelier Versace. This dress is amazing! It's very futuristic and definitely stood out on the red carpet. The fitted art-deco bodice and the contrast of the flowing bottom half was so unique.

-Ryan Kwanten. The Australian True Blood actor wore a simple black suit and tie. When it comes to men on the red carpet, you can not go wrong with this look - especially with that face!

-Olivia Wilde in Marchesa. The House actress wore a leaf-like, mint green one-shoulder gown. Even though it could be considered risque, it still looks classy. There is subtle nude netting on the front and back. I love the layering of fabrics in the skirt.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chocolatey nails

Ahh, it's the little luxuries in life that make me happy. I just bought Chanel Le Vernis nail polish in Imperial (#469) from Nordstrom yesterday. I painted my nails as soon as I got home. It's a gorgeous, rich chocolate brown color. Yes, it's a bit pricey for polish at $23, but what other Chanel item can you wear everyday for that price (that's what I tell myself anyway)?

It's the perfect fall color. I'm still wearing my Blue Satin, Vendetta (dark plum) and Black Satin from a few seasons back, but this color just seems so now. I always think Chanel polish stays on the longest too.

Loud and proud necklaces


As a dedicated necklace girl, I'm thrilled that statement necklaces are still big this season. The bigger and bolder, the better. These necklaces make even the simplest of outfits insta-chic.

Here are a few of my favorites:
-Tory Burch's 'gold bar necklace' ($295). This bib necklace with a grosgrain-ribbon tie is fabulous. The gold bars make it unique.

-Banana Republic's 'mixed charm necklace' ($40). This necklace looks like you went to the trouble to layer a bunch of chains but without the work. I also like that it's both silver and 12K-gold plated.

-J.Crew's 'crystal thornbush necklace' ($135). I adore gold right now, and the chocolate glass stones in different sizes are quirky and chic.

-Forever 21's 'sequin necklace' ($11). Where can you find a better deal than this? This sequined bib necklace adds polish to any outfit.