Monday, December 29, 2008

x-mas gifts, part 1

Sorry for the gap in posts. I was totally overwhelmed by the holiday season and was trapped inside for about a week due to 2 feet of snow. So there was not a lot going on worth writing about, other than the 500 movies I watched on instant Netflix.

This was definitely one of those Christmases where I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be outrageously fabulous, like they were when I was growing up. But I did get almost everything I asked for, which meant that I knew about all my presents. No big surprises this years.

The one gift I was not expecting was this scarf my mother knit for me.

Not only is is leopard print. It is knit on the bias. Pretty fab.

Friday, December 19, 2008

ladurée = cookie love

I don't think it is really fair to call Ladurée macarons cookies, but that is probably the closest equivalent. In reality, Ladurée macarons (macaroons to some) are 2 small pieces of tender yet crunchy flavored cakes sandwiched with the creamiest of filling. They come in every flavor imaginable and all taste like little pieces of heaven. When you enter into one of their stores, you get to pick and choose from the hundreds of macarons spread out in front of you, in a rainbow of the prettiest colors, and then they are put in the sweetest of green boxes with gold foil detail. You cannot help but feel like Marie Antoinette when you eat them.

My sister and I were reminiscing about Paris the other day, while I was sitting in bed in Los Angeles and she in hers in Portland. I told her how I had been going through my daily blogs and saw that Alix of The Cherry Blossom Girl had made a trip to Versailles and brought along Ladurée macarons and some other beautiful pastries from their store. And since we are both obsessed with the Sophia Coppola film Marie Antoinette and Ladurée macarons we found it amazing that we hadn't thought of that ourselves! Part of the problem is that both times she came to visit me in Paris, it was the dead of winter, so traipsing through the grass in the gardens of Versailles with macarons and a bottle of champagne was just sort of out of the question. But we did promise each other that the next time we are in Paris, we will make the trip, baby and all!

I've never really had anything other than their macarons, but I found this on the website, and thought wouldn't that be the most amazing wedding cake ever?

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And the name makes it all the more enticing. L'Entremet Marie-Antoinette.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

wine tasting partay at the murphy's

I was lucky enough to be invited to my good friends' Linsday and Kevin's house for a wine tasting of Argentinian Wines from Anuva Vinos, a Buenos Aries based wine distribution club. Due to the stormy/snowy/icy weather, I had left 2 messages for them saying I wasn't coming and then I was. Due to the hilly location of my parent's house, I didn't know if I was going to be able to venture back out till about an hour before the party started. Man, am I glad I made it!

We tasted 6 bottles, 1 white and 5 red, and got the presentation straight from the founder and Portland native, Daniel Karlin.

The wines sampled were limited production, carefully selected Argentinian wines and included Anecon Torrentès 206 (white and delicious), Cavagnara Malbec Reserve 2004, Familia Mayol Bonarda 2005, Zaino Malbec Reserve 2004, Don Juan Reserve Blend 2004 and finally Mudai Pinot Noir 2005. By the 3rd bottle, I wasn't really paying much attention to the presentation and was interested more in socializing. But presentation or not, it was a super fun party.

The food and friends were fab; the Murphy's throw the wildest and most fun parties of anyone I know. In addition to the holidays, we got to celebrate Pat and Kelly's engagement (YAY!!!) and my homecoming (duh).

Mr. Murphy et Moi.

Lindsay, Kelly and Me.

Oh. And I got bangs.

Lindsay wears a J. Crew Sweater, Kelly a Marni Dress and I forget what label fabulous furry jacket and I wear a Gap men's flannel shirt, Petit Bateau t-shirt, Earnest Sewn Jeans, Vialis boots (not shown) and Bucherer watch.

I must repeat that day/nights outfit. As it was super comfortable, I first got dressed that morning at 5 am for my 7 am flight, and cozy for the cold weather. I topped the look of with my J. Crew (Balenciaga) Blazer and my DIY green cowl scarf.

Kevin in his Ugly Christmas Sweater. I think for a minute they thought about giving it that theme.

Thanks Lindsay and Kevin for a super fun time!

Monday, December 15, 2008

alex wang does pre-fall

CFDA winner and industry favorite Alexander Wang presented a Pre-Fall collection December 12 in NYC.

It's more of the same for this kid. Lots of black and white knits with some leather and tailoring thrown in for good measure. He's really found his niche dressing the skinny hipsters who live in vintage t-shirts, leggings or ripped jeans, blazers or leather jackets and sky high heels. I'm not saying he's not good at what he does, all I'm saying is that I'm a bit bored with it.

Ennui aside, here are some of my fave looks. I do like the use of the sheer bike shorts, and the lazy biatch in me really likes the glorified sweatpants, but I feel like I've seen them somewhere before?

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

no one said you have to be ugly in that ugly christmas sweater

I went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with Juan and Alexa last night. Instead of doing the Ugly Sweater thing, I went for a more Dr. Seuss approach. I spent a good hour hemming and sewing on the tinsel garland to my dress. I finished it off with my Santa dish scrubber and ombré tights from Target, my vintage shoe clips and patent leather accessories galore! I definitely wasn't the ugliest, but I might have been the silliest and most fabulous.

Alexa went all out with beaded vest, rhinestone t-shirt, leggings and mall bangs! They were crunchy!

Had to do an ugly pic in our ugly outfits!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

pre-fall collections

Since when are the Pre-Fall presentations full on runway shows???? This is definitely a new thing, because I was not sending out show requests for the Pre-Fall/Resort collections when I was in Paris. It makes sense that the designers are putting more press into these collections, as they are in the stores longer and sell more than the regular collections due to that time in the stores as well as the looks tend to be simpler and easier for the average customer to digest. But it just all seems awfully excessive to me. When is it going to stop? I know this has been said before by more important people, but next thing we all know, there are going to be collections between Pre-Fall and Fall.

Chanel had a fancy set, snazzy hair/headdresses and 66 Russian doll looks! I doubt this was Mr. Lagerfeld's intention, but with the holiday season it made me think of the Nutcracker (mixed with Starwars).

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As always, the above the knee, leather boots are flawless and swoon worthy, especially paired with the frilly, ruffled sweater dress. I love that they have become a staple in the Chanel collections. They are going to go down in Chanel history with the tweed suit and the quilted bags. Some of those looks were for men, all of the men's looks failed to impress me. For some reason the men's look for the Lagerfeld collection are great, but the Chanel looks never seem accessible, and the only man I can really see them in are Karl himself. The most amazing thing about the Chanel presentation is that you know Karl Lagerfeld doesn't really have a design team, he does most of everything himself, while the other designers putting out these in between collections have a million minions working with them to put out these extra looks...

Zac Posen sent down 22 femme fatale looks, in what looks to be a speak-easy. The leopard print fur and fringe brought to mind Lauren Becall from the Bogie days.

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We all know my obsession with leopard print. But OMG!!!!!!!!!! They are amazing. It's been a really long time since I've been at all into anything that Zac Posen has done, but he has a fan in me again. Note how annoyed the press looks. They are like, GDMF! I HAVE A MAGAZINE TO PUBLISH!

Doo.Ri presented a concise collection of feminine tailoring. My favorite being the first look with the sheer, beaded tank and the ruffle waistband trousers. It's a funny mix of sexy and edgy (top half and shoes) and ladies who lunch (trousers).

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Other designers who put on Pre-Fall presentations worth mentioning were Calvin Klein, Burberry Prorsum, and Narciso Rodriguez.

tights, tights, tights

I received an email from my mom yesterday, requesting some suggestions for different tights to wear with her bright pink Marni dress. Since I no longer have immediate access to the best hosiery department ever that takes up a total of 3 rooms, at Le Bon Marché (a.k.a. the Mother Ship) I proceeded to do some online research. Oh, how I LOVE the Internet.

These were the options that I found that I thought we look cute with the bright bright pink dress, and were equally mom appropriate.

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After I researched on my own, I noticed that Susie had written about tights too. She led me to the NYTimes editorial, which featured these glorious Bestey Johnson heart tights. So cute, no?? I have searched far and wide and cannot find them in black, only red and white. The red is fun, but I'm far less likely to wear them than the black, and the white sort of looks like a funny skin disorder from far away. I am torn though, and might just get them anyway.

Also loved these Agent Provocateur tights stay-up thigh highs, though I would never wear them.

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I am also looking for the perfect pair of lace stockings. When I was little, my mom bought me some really beautiful lace stockings in black and baby pink. I remember she made a point to tell me they were stockings and not tights, and she taught me how to put them on properly by rolling them up from my feet, one leg at a time rather than stuffing both my legs in as I would have done with my cotton tights. With these pretty lace tights she couldn't lift me by the waist band to make sure they were pulled up high enough and the crotch wouldn't slide down to my knees!!! What I would give to have them now in my size!

Though I didn't find the perfect lace tights, I might have found an adequate alternative at Urban Outfitters.

I also found these puppies, a very clear Chanel knock off, except for the fact that the Chanel stockings have a lace front instead of a sheer one. I can't decide what I think of the two tone on one leg thing, especially because I have a distinct memory of Godfrey and Marcus discussing them after the Chanel show (that I MISSED) how unattractive they were and how they made the model's spindly legs look fat. What would they do to mine then?
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They are cool though. Too bad I live in the land of eternal Summer now, I'll probably just ignore the fact that it is too warm for tights and sport them anyway.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

moving in

So, I've pretty much done nothing for the last 5 days other than move into my apartment. I've been living here, furniture and clothing free for just over 2 weeks, but I couldn't stand it any longer and decided waiting for my giant moving box to arrive just wasn't going to happen. Saturday, I rented a U-haul, bribed some friends with lunch and champagne and the promise to continue being such a fabulous friend, and got my things from the storage facility and MOVED IN!!!!!!!!!! I was so excited to see my stuff that I jumped up and down squealing and clapping. But that really isn't too far off my normal behavior. I was actually more excited to have all my clothes than to sleep in a real bed, I'm so sick of the sight of those jeans, ballet flats and t-shirts that I've worn for the last month, not to mention that ugly suitcase! Although sleeping on the new mattress that was amaaaaaazing, it was the first thing I set up. It is much easier to sleep in when your bed is basically a giant, fluffy pillow. The second thing I set up was the TV, which could have been a major mistake...I forgot what it's like to have access to a TV that isn't in the middle of a crowded house full of people and dogs. And apparently, basic cable includes many more stations than it used to. It might be ruling my life at the moment. Whoops.

I also had my ADORABLE tufted, pink vintage couch and matching chair delivered on Monday, which I promptly cleaned, it was definitely my workout for the day. All I need is a dresser to put all of my clothes in...Pictures will def follow once all the clothes are put away. Because of the unpacking (I am now officially cardboard box free, btw) I have done nothing interesting, productive (beyond unpacking) or fashion-y since Friday. I will be getting back into my daily groove of job hunting and spending all my unemployed time on the Internet today.

My apartment is going to be so f-ing cute, sophisticated and feminine, that boys are going to barf from all the pink and Domino Magazine is going to feature it on their website. BOOYA!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

j. crew, keeps getting better

Not everyone knows this, but I am sort of obsessed with J. Crew. I would move to NYC to work for them. I used to make serious fun of my sister for basically being a walking billboard for the brand, while secretly buying a few things here and there, but since I moved back from Paris I have come to realize just how great they are.

I think it all started with the appointment of Jenna Lyons as the creative director, who is young, pretty and stylish, just what they needed to revamp the brand. Since she arrived, every season has been getting better and better. Although, I must say I would do a much better job styling the catalogue, what is with all the strange monochromatic outfits anyway?

Check this out. I was browsing the Holiday catalogue and found this skirt.

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Ummmm, Miu Miu anyone??? I thought, good on J. Crew. Because, A. it really is a beautiful detail, bless Ms. Prada for thinking of the ascending sequins (has anyone else noticed that it is being used in the Prada accessories this season? Way to keep the love of sparkle alive Miuccia!). B. The average bear is not really going to see the reference, and just think it is pretty, while the fashion savvy will probs see it, recognize it, and love it too. And C. who can resist sequins anyway??? We all know I can't.

Also, while I was searching the interweb for Ms. Lyon's info, I came across this blog. Who knew people's love for the Crew ran so deep? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the DIY jacket in the most recent post though, and I have to agree that it is more beautiful than the original J. Crew version.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

museum time + shopping

I have spent the past few days, running around Los Angeles with my mother. I have been frantically furniture hunting as well as eating my feelings, pretend shopping at all my favorite stores and going to museums. Pretend shopping is sort of a lie, because I did buy 2 sweaters at Mas on Sunset, though in general I'm taking a break from shopping for clothes. Mas turned out to be one of the better shopping experiences I've had in a LONG time. We heard the champagne pop the minute we walked in, and I really can't say no to a mimosa, especially on Sunday. It's like cookies and milk, they just go together! It's a small boutique that carries some great, lesser known brands and a few trendy ones too. I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of Current/Elliott on principle; I get grossed out by brands that are completely celebrity driven. But I did try on a super cute strapless denim dress with a sweetheart neckline, but i couldn't quite squeeze into the small, which was the only size, and it very closely resembled an Imitation of Christ denim halter dress I already own and love.

Then tried on a really beautiful Crispin & Basilio double layered tank dress of chiffon and charmeuse. It is so so so so pretty (the picture does it no justice) and so flattering. The bottom layer is racer back while the top is a basic tank, one of my fave combinations.

I also tried this top, thought it was way cool too. Love the layered use of stripes and checks. This brand really knows how to use chiffon in a sophisticated and cool way, but still totally feminine as chiffon can only be.

And I totally heart this heart necklace from ginette_ny. Santa??!!?? I especially lust after it since my itty bitty Eiffel Tower necklace broke on the drive down to LA. Don't get me started on what a bad omen it is for your talisman to break on the 2nd day of a life changing move. One bad thing after the other...but, until that gets fixed:

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I remember seeing this brand in Paris, and LOVING their monogram pieces. As most people know, I am a total sucker for anything that I can put my initials/monogram/name on. Especially jewellery. Photos and descriptions of sweaters to follow.

Off of shopping and onto art. We actually did the days activities out of order. When we were younger, middle school or high school, my mother used to drag us kicking and screaming to museums. BUT, she soon figured out that we put up much less of a struggle if she rewarded us with a present afterwards, i.e. shopping. Even though I love museums now, the tradition stuck.

After the mimosa and shopping at Mas, we went downtown to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. I'd never been to the space before, which is located in the heart of Little Tokyo. Upon entering, I was instantly reminded of Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Though it is missing the super cool restaurant with the fancy schmancy bathrooms, I did discover that the MOCA gift shop carries things from Muji!!!! I guess that makes up for the lack of restaurant! I always can't help thinking "I could have thought of that" with a lot of contemporary art, my mom was kind enough to remind me that I didn't and that is why their work is in there and not mine! TOUCHE!

Monday, November 24, 2008

oh, mother...

Today I showed my mom a tear sheet of a slip with ostrich feathers around the bottom that I would wear as a skirt, and said something along the lines of "Oh my GOD, isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen! I would LOVE to wear that!" And she responded "I would never in a MILLION years guess that you would want to wear that. I can never tell what you are going to like or not like, your style is so personal and you are such an artist with the way you dress that I can never guess what you will like or not like." At first I thought she thought what I was showing her was ugly, but in fact she just really has no idea what I'm going to like. You would never guess from the way I dress on a day to day basis, but I guess my style is ALL over the map.

Here is the slip.

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Isn't it DARLING??!!?!?!?! OMFG, I LOVE it. The tear sheet image is better, not so bleached out, but as of now I have no scanner...Santa??? I prefer the one with the black band and feathers. It would look great with black tights and a black sweater. Another DIY project to add to the list.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

journey to the west side

After our unsuccessful trip to JC Penny's we drove over to LACMA on Wilshire to see the Vanity Fair Portraits. After buying our tickets, we learned that the museum didn't open for another 30 minutes. Snap. Things were just not going our way. Neither of us had been to the museum since it's huge expansion that came with the appointment of the new director Michael Govan, so we spent the time wandering around outside. I remembered the lamp post installation, so we went over there and had a mini photo shoot. The pictures will be added later, due to my mother's technologically stunted camera. I really enjoyed the who LACMA experience. It has always been my favorite LA museum.

We started with the Vanity Fair Portraits, which was very cool. Obviously, fashion photography is high on my list of interests, and the show was full of images from Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Helmut Newton and one of my faves Steven Meisel. But it was really the photos from the early years of VF that were really inspirational. The black and white images of the old Hollywood legends by Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton really got me. That's a bit of a cliché, isn't it. Oh well.

We moved onto the Hearst: The Collector, it was basically like a portion of the Louvre. Then we followed these signs with a painting of a girl in profile with a red scarf on her head until we discovered the room full of Fabiolas.

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Floor to ceiling, 3 walls covered in paintings of Fabiola, a fourth century saint. There were images made out of needle point, painted beans, paintings with rips in them, paintings on all sorts of surfaces. I went through the room and tried to pick which was my favorite, but there were too many! It was AMAZING!

After LACMA, we went over to Barneys to have lunch on the top floor at Greengrass and to do some oogling and crying (because we couldn't buy anything). Lunch was pleasant as usual, but I was antsy to get into the store. Not only was it all decked out for the holiday season, but pretty much the entire store was on sale, especially the Fall o8 designer collections, for their 50th anniversary. Originally it wasn't one of my faves, but I feel in love with the one shouldered navy blue dress with the grosgrain from Lanvin, of course, it is far more beautiful in person than it is from the last row of the fashion show.

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The beauty of Alber Elbaz' work never ceases to amaze me. And a really cool sweater from Dries that I cannot find an image of anywhere. I am going to have to do some DIY action to recreate it for myself; yarn store, here I come! I'll post it when THAT happens. And of course, those Miu Miu shoes. SIGH...