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.

photo credit:

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:

photo credit:

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.

photo credit:

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.

photo credit:

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.

photo credit:

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...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

dinner at palate

Thursday night, after a great day spent furniture shopping with my mom who came back down to help me move, we went to Palate to celebrate her birthday. We heard an interview on KCRW a few weeks ago, which piqued our interest. Palate is a lot of things, it is a restaurant, wine merchant/cellar, cheese shop, book store located right in the middle of the car dealerships on Brand in Glendale. A very strange location for a shi shi restaurant.

All silver surfaces, mood lighting, we ate at the communal table in the bar area. I was definitely expecting a less urban and more homey/rustic atmosphere, more Beast less Blue Hour. Comparing it's look to Blue Hour though is not fair to my favorite Portland restaurant. The art consisted of grape themed photos and giant urns filled with oversized grapes. It looked tacky and out of place with the suburban modern decor.

All criticisms aside. The food, french based and small plates, was delicious and beautifully presented. Mom had sweetbreads and caponata (presented in a mason jar) and I had a salad with pears and walnuts and duck confit, unfortunately for you I tried to tack photos but said mood lighting and old camera prevented them from turning out. The wine list was awesome too. They had a number of my favorite wines, including the harder to find Sancerre Blanc and Jurançon Sec. They did NOT have Beaujolais Nouveau, which was a super bummer, unlike Paris where everywhere you turn right now are Beaujolais Nouveaus...aaahhhh Paris.

We spoke briefly with the wine director Tim Goldun, we exchanged our favorite Paris restaurants and rattled off some different wine regions and their importance, who kindly brought us a fancy glass of 1989 Vouvray Sec without botrytis (wine speak for made from mold free grapes) with our dessert. My mom had some fancy descriptions for it, I just thought it was very tasty.

Our outfits for the evening:

Men's Levi's Railroad shirt, Earnest Sewn jeans, F21 oxfords, vintage bracelet

Was feeling bleh, so only took one pic. What you cannot see is a little styling detail, I usually tuck this shirt in the back, somehow manages to give it a little more shape, and you gots to show off your assets...HA! Jkfr. But, I did tuck it in the back, cuz I like the way it looks.

Oliver Peoples glasses, Gap sweater, Dries Van Noten top, Goldsign jeans, Delman flats

Isn't Mom stylish??? I found that sweater for her, and that top. And I probably picked out those jeans. But she put the outfit together herself. She is fab.

totally stoked about: miu miu sequined pumps

Omg. I saw these at Barneys yesterday and nearly fainted. They are just about the most beautiful pumps I have ever seen. Never mind I am a sucker for anything that sparkles. These are just too good to be true.

photo credit: barneys new york

Everything about them is perfect. Just look how the sequins get smaller, to the size of ants practically, as they move down to the toes and the heels. And the grayish color looks like a smokey lavender depending on the light... They have the perfect amount of toe cleavage AND that great roundish-pointy heal. AHK!

The silly salesman, who was oh so clueless, said something to me about how they would look great with the perfect outfit. Um yeah, little does he know I would rock those with black jeans, t-shirt, blazer or leather jacket and scarf (my uniform) as well as the obvious party dress. But seriously, how often do I get to wear party dresses??? Not often enough, that is fo shiz.

Unfortunately, even their sale price is more than I have to my name, and I still need to buy a couch...I hate priorities! I plan on waiting, and hoping my size or something near it will still be available, till I can find them for under 3oo dollars. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Friday, November 21, 2008

jc penny's

On Friday my mom and I got the rock out of my apartment bright and early and drove over to the west side on a very specific mission. I was browsing my new favorite website,, where you can look through their archives and unpublished photos. Since I got to LA, all I can think about is how I am going to decorate/fill my apartment. I am thinking about it more now that I found a bigger, bug free place.

I found these on one of my late night online home furnishing hunts:

photo credit:

I LOVE the mirrored vanity, it is so glam, and feminine. The one in the middle is by far the best; it looks the nicest and has the best details, but it costs an arm and a leg, as does the one on the bottom. The top vanity is from none other than JC Penny!!??!! WHAT??!!?? Anyway, that is the reason we drove over to Culver City on Friday. Unfortunately for us, I got super excited and did not look closely on the website, which clearly stated that it was available online only. WHOOPS. Way to do my research, right?

Now, I just can't decide if it is woth ordering this thing online, when I have no was of seeing it in person first.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

totally stoked about: thakoon for target

I have to admit, I haven't been consistently impressed with the Go International for Target collaborations. Go International is a program where Target features mini, limited edition collections from young and emerging designers from around the world. I give them major street cred for doing it at all, but they never really compare to the H&M designer collaborations in creativity or quality. That is not to say that they are not choosing good designers, I think it was pretty genius to bring in Luella Bartley, Rogan Gregory and Jonathon Saunders among others. But, of all the things I bought from that original collection with Luella (and I bought a lot, shopping high = buyers remorse) I still own 3 dresses, none of which i have ever worn. I'm pretty sure the tags are still on them. The Rogan collection was great though, understated and basic with a twist, similar to Rogan's high end eponymous line, not to mention there was very little color involved. AND they brought organic cotton to the masses, even if it was for a limited time. I bought 2 dresses, silk animal print with cotton jersey panel down the center back, and have worn them continually all summer. Just goes to show that high/low designer/mass market pairings tend to be hit or miss.

I digress. Thakoon Panichgul is the next designer lined up. After his Spring 2009 collection with the awesome rose print with female legs instead of stems, the eyelashes and the surreal, so great, I am stoked on him. From what I have seen in the various photos, there are going to be a few great pieces. This collection isn't going to be about the silhouettes, its going to be about the ethnic batik prints, although these don't quite compare to his RTW prints, they will def please! Basic silhouettes with bright and fabulous prints. The blue and white tie dyed/batik t-shirt is killer. If only i could find that swipe I pulled of it!

Here are a few of my other faves:

photo credit:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

alexander wang + cfda/vogue fashion fund = happy

Fashion wunderkind, Alexander Wang won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the $200,000 prize money and year long mentorship that goes along with it on Monday night in New York City. The 24 year old started his line while at Parson's New School of Design with luxe cashmere basics and gradually expanded into a full line of high end grunge hipster wear. I have been a fan of Wang from the early days of cashmere and have a few well loved pieces of my own (all in storage at the moment, so I cannot feature some outfits in his honor...). Among the finalists, the runners up were Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava (another personal favorite) and milliner Albertus Swanepoel who will receive $50,000.

photo credit:

My question that does not seem to be answered anywhere is who does the actual mentoring? Is it from the high powered members of the CFDA, personal interaction with president Diane Von Furstenburg? Or does it really just refer to the love and benefits that come with that love of Editor in Chief of American Vogue and all powerful fashion god Anna Wintour???? It makes me wonder. Either way this award really proves he is the young (stress young) American designer of the moment, with every hot model/actress/musician/girl about town sporting his simple with the coolest of twists threads. Because this award is so new, only 5 years old, we cant really tell if the award will help with their longevity, or if it just sends their rocket higher, faster and causes a quicker crash??? We must wait and see...

best deal ever

I braved the Glendale Galleria yesterday to go to target for some moving supplies, but more fun, to visit Forever 21 in search of the amazing necklace that the hostess was wearing at Canelé. Alas, the daily turn over there prevented me from finding the perfect Tom Binn's esque neckace (my loathing of knock offs comes and goes with the balance in my checking account) but I did try on a couple cute pair of shoes. Since, I'm still living out of a suitcase, due to my horrible housing situation, I have very limited clothing options. I can deal with wearing jeans and t-shirts all the time, it's the shoe sitch that is really killing me. I packed one pair each of flip-flops, ballet flats and sneaks. So, I decided to get a quick fix and took these Miu Miu ish oxfords to the register.

I was prepared to pay the 40 dollar price tag, but when they rang me up she told me they were 7.95! They might as well have given them to me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

online obssesion: oak

I was scanning through my various fashion blogs and online magazines today, when I came across a new-to-me online store. Oak is the online store for the NYC based boutique of the same name owned by Jeff Madalena and Louis Terline. Both men have design school educations and background in denim design and styling, which shows in their selectively cool merchandise. With brands like Grey Ant, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Acne to higher end Anne Valerie Hash and Rick Owens drkshdw they stock clothes that would appeal to rich hipsters everywhere. My favorite part is that they have the most killer scarf selection of any store (online or otherwise) that I have ever seen, considering I rarely leave the house without one, this pleases me.

A few of my favorite things:

Yarnz scarf

Oak "trashed" jeans

Anzevino & Florence dress

Penny Loves Kenny shoe

As usual my love for animal prints is an especially zebra day. I can't decide if the zebra print wallabies are absolutely ridiculous or totally awesome. I'm leaning towards awesome.

Just add Oak to the list of reasons I need to plan a trip to New York.


In the past few years, I have really tried to avoid buying obvious designer knock offs. Going to design school and working in the fashion industry are the main reasons for this rule. I know what goes into designing a collection and I know that these quick reproductions, which often surface in the store before the actual designer piece does, are poorly made and will last only a few wears. And someone with a trained eye will know they are fake, especially shoes. And everyone knows that cheap shoes tend to be super uncomfortable. That is not to say that I would not recreate the coveted piece myself on my home sewing machine, but then I can give credit where it is due while also showing off my mad sewing skills. Although Zara did become one of my stand by stores while living in Paris due to the exchange rate, this rule meant I eliminated certain stores from my shopping destinations.

This is where my dilemma comes in. I was looking through one of my b-list fashion magazines, and found a cute pair of shoes for extremely cheap. Upon visiting the Baker website, I decided the shoes that brought me there were no good. BUT, then I found these.

A great pair of fake Alaias. And considering that the average pair of Alaia shoes cost well over 500 dollars, the 59.99 price tag is pretty appealing. And they would look oh so lovely with my new CDG for H&M pants...Ahhh the struggle...

Friday, November 14, 2008

comme des garçons for h&m

Thursday was a big day. Not only was it Darlene's birthday, but it was the opening of Comme Des Garçons for H&M. I figured it was the perfect activity to celebrate Darlene's birthday, even if it meant getting out of bed at 7 am. I was prepared for crowds and lines, but when we drove past H&M on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, we were shocked to see that the store was already open. Darlene's research for the day was an hour off. Instead of taking the time to look for a parking spot, we sped into the lot and ran upstairs. Our worst fears came true, as we saw that everything had been picked over, and it was only 9:30, and all that was left were the oxford shirts and itchy sweaters with a few of the better pieces in extremely large or small sizes. I managed to find the wool and velvet dress with the scalloped hem and cut out back in my size and proceeded to the dressing room line. While I was waiting, I was watching various dedicated customers, who must have arrived at the butt crack of dawn, sort through their loot and make their final purchase decisions. I was watching one man in particular, who was inspecting a pair of the elastic waist drop crotch genie pants. Much to my amusement, he tried to get them on over his large shoes, but to no avail! I swear, the room went into slow motion as he folded the pants up and set them onto a display table and walked away. I got out of the line SO fast and yoinked those babies up! Even luckier, they were a size close enough to mine that I KNEW they would fit. I got back into the dressing room line and waited for ages to try my finds on. The dress was strange, but the pants were PERFECTION. Done and done.

Since I am living out of a suitcase, while my housing situation gets dealt with, I had few options to try with my pants. I managed to find a slim black t-shirt and my pyramid studded belt. Alas, I have no heels with me at the moment...Please pardon the picture quality, as I used my i-phone.

The great thing is, they are like 2 pairs of pants in one. If i push up the legs, it gives the impression of wearing a long bubble skirt and leggings, much more harem-ish, while if I leave the legs down they have a more slouchy men's wear tailored thing going on. I will be sure to post some outfits with them, once I am settled with all my belongings at my new, pest free apartment!

Monday, November 10, 2008

canelé...more food.

So, I've been in LA since Wednesday afternoon. Most of the time has been spent driving around, buying things for my apartment that I've owned before and decided to sell when I moved to France, trying not to get annoyed for no reason with my wonderful mother who so lovingly helped me move, cleaning my soon to be former gross apartment and killing bugs. Finally, on Saturday, after some okay but slightly depressing meals, my mom and I met Darlene and her fiancé Jeff for dinner and much needed social interaction at Canelé in Atwater Village.

This restaurant got it all right...except for the extremely long wait to be seated, but in the end even that was pleasant and worth it. While you wait, you are taken care of by and extremely stylish hostess, who brings you wine in classic, faceted bistrot glasses. No stemware at this restaurant. The menu is written on a chalk board, à la classic French cafes, and it includes such delicious options as boeuf bourguignon, fruit de mer stew, steak frites and a long list of tasty salads.

The music was spot on, they had someone's well stocked i-pod on shuffle. The music was so good, that Jeff got up from the table to ask the hostess what was playing...It was nice to spend time with Darlene and Jeff, and to have him meet my mom. We finished with flan and coffee and parted ways.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

brunch at beast

I decided that Beast was probably the best possible location for my going away meal with my family. What with it's write up in Elle Magazine and various recommendations from friends and acquaintances, I thought it was a must. It is tucked in what I assume is an up and coming neighborhood in NE on 30th. I say up and coming because now they have Beast, other great things are sure to follow. Ironically it is right across the street from In Defense of Animals...

Because it is oh so popular, we could only get in for Sunday brunch. A wonderful 4 course midday meal paired with, in our case, lots of champagne. They offer specially picked wine pairings with every course, but I had my mind set on champagne...duh. Also, I was pleased when I saw that the coffee was made to order, French press.

The menu...front and back.

I was joined by my mom and dad, brook and Portland and Kate. We had a lovely time, and all of us enjoyed every detail and every bite!

Me, Kate and Portland,
For some reason we all look slightly...special...I think you can see how tired I was from moving/packing and how stressed/sad I was about leaving the next day : (

Brook, Dad and Mom.

It was HANDS DOWN the best meal I have eaten in AGES.

Brown butter crepes, maple bourbon hard sauce, apple butter and candied hazelnuts
with candied bacon and whipped cream.

The best poached egg that chef Naomi Pomoroy has ever made.
Spoken by the chef herself. I saw her tell the server to give it specifically to my mother. When she saw me taking pictures of my plate, she came and told me to take picture of the worthy one!

Pork cheek hash, Heirloom apples, Brussels sprouts, cipollini onions,
poached farm egg and Hollandaise.

Selection of Steve's cheese's, Gathering Together greens and poached apricots.

I got too excited when the dessert came, and failed to take a picture of it. But, you can imagine the smallest, cutest pumpkin and caramel tart with wildflower honey ice cream. SO delicious. All the servings were just the right size, and so so so tasty and well thought out. The restaurant is run entirely by women, and the entire atmosphere is very intimate, with limited seating. All the hype is very well deserved!!!!

It was a very nice meal, spent with my family and best/oldest friend!!!! The perfect goodbye brunch!!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

halloween...very very late.

I spent the week before Halloween frantically packing for my big move and also searching for the various elements to my costume. Of course, I could have found an adequate costume from my overflowing closet, but being Margot Tenenbaum was far too appealing, and I can never say no to a shopping challenge. Who can resist the opportunity to to straighten their hair and wear tons and tons of black eye liner and not look totally trampy???

The hardest elements to find were the fur coat (it is Portland, Oregon after all) and the Lacoste polo dress, Goodwill and Ebay did not pull through as I hoped they would. I received a text from Kate a few days before, saying she found the PERFECT coat for me at Magpie for 28 dollars, I dropped what I was doing and went down and bought it. Although it is not quite the fox fur trench that Margot rocks in the film, it worked. Lucky for me, my striped polo dress, ordered from the children's department at Garnet Hill, arrived day of, allowing me to return my back up from American Apparel. I found my penny loafers and kiddie barrettes at Target, and used an old purse of my mom's instead of trying to find something that more closely resembled an Hermes Birkin, because that was going to be impossible.

Blurry...thanks iPhone.

I picked up Kate, who dressed as a flapper, and we went to the Nemo party, where i was promptly out Tenenbaumed by the whole clan, including Margot, Richie, Eli Cash and Royal. Richie even had a stuffed hawk on his arm, and they arrived in a Gypsy Cab. I definitely got beat. Then we stopped by "Boo" Hour and moved over to the DB Clay party, and ended the night at Sauce Box for some late night french fries and to meet up with Scott.

Margot and Lindsay as Princess Tigerlilly.

Kate with the Best Flapper Ever at Nemo.

Although I spent a good deal of the night driving, and 2 of my best friends were out of town, it was a SUPER fun Halloween. I rather enjoy party hopping every once in a while, and Kate and I make a very good team. I was pretty well behaved, due to the giant list of things I had to get done on Saturday, which made for a more memorable night, actually!