Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm going to blog like a maniac when I get home. . .

But while I’m here, I’ll take some time off from time to time. I’m going away this weekend, and I won’t be updating, but I’ll be sure to tell you all about the style I saw on my getaway when I get back! In the meantime, may I recommend Stylebubble and Fashionologie? I’m too lazy to link them in the body of this entry, so please see my link list at right.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fabulous Facepaint

I love it here in London, but I gotta say, London is Christmas CRAZY, and Halloween hasn't even happened yet! It's upsetting, because Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I'm sad that it's such an insignificant holiday here. Looking online at what Mac is doing makes me even more sad to miss Halloween.

Of course, even if I was stateside, I wouldn't actually get this to go to my college's Halloween party--some things are just too good to waste on drunk people.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Strange Country

Apparently, you can’t sell a magazine in the UK without including something free as well. I bought Elle UK today, and got a pink tank top as well. I should have gotten the magazine that came with the free umbrella, though.

It’s kind of crazy, because the magazines come in plastic bags when there’s something included, and you can’t actually flip through the magazine itself. It makes me think that the free crap included is a bigger deciding factor for people than the magazine itself.

That said, there were some teeny-bopperish magazines that actually had some nice-looking lipgloss included. I must be thinking like an English person now, because I actually might stoop to buying Cosmo girl for the included lipgloss!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

None for me, thanks

You know, the advertising that the fur industry is putting out is awfully aggressive this year. That’s probably actually a good thing, because if they’re advertising extra-hard and spending more money on it than usual, it probably means that business is down. The ads I’ve seen are all ridiculously stupid and self-conscious, so I doubt consumers will bite for them, but I’m actually wondering if they’re paying enough for advertising that magazines are giving entire spreads to fur, as is customary to do with really big advertisers. Now, the fur industry might not know how to make a sexy add, but Elle knows how to put together a fashion spread. That’s the worrisome part. And you know, I gotta say, I just don’t get the allure of fur. It doesn’t look any better than faux fur, it’s more expensive, and deep down, you know that something died without cause to make it. The ironic thing is that enough fur was produced before we had an awareness about endangered species, etc. (and, frankly, before fake fur looked any good), that there’s actually quite enough vintage fur to go around. I think it’s kind of creepy to wear fur, but vintage fur has been dead for a long time, and now amount of animal rights activism is going to bring it back to life or stop fur production from 50 years ago, so boycotting vintage fur is a bit of a moot point.

New fur, however, is different. And no matter how ubiquitous the advertising gets, I’ll pass.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Instant Gratification

I'm planning on blogging a lot more about Lanvin when I have more time, but I couldn't resist posting this one dress. It's soooo, soooo pretty!

If only I could afford it.

If only I had somewhere to wear it in the first place.

Lightbulb Moment

Hmmm. . . maybe part of the reason that my computer is crashing like a maniac is that I never delete any of the pictures I use here. They definitely add up. But as long as I have them, let’s have a retrospective, shall we?

This picture is just so, so gorgeous.

It's impossible to go wrong with Alice Ritter. She's like the next incarnation of Chloe or something.

Ironically, I originally used this image in an entry about how cute I thought British flats were, and how frustrated that I was that they wouldn't ship to the US. Now, I'm frustrated that the exchange rate is so bad. Six of one. . .

Ah, the Batacuda Bikini. God among swimwear. No joke.

Ah, the Devora heel by Tara Subkoff. God among footwear. No joke.

This was in a catalog last spring, and I still wish I had gotten it. The birdies are just so cute! Maybe I should do an entry sometime on fashion regret.

Mmmm, Blumarine. It's always just so delightfully rich. And that's not a word I use as a compliment very frequently, either.

Doo.Ri. Yep. I definitely like it.

I think this is one of the best detail shots of last season. It's Proenza Schouler.

I'm living in these jeans, and I'd highly reccommend them to anyone who's still looking for the perfect pair of skinnies. Levi's, if anyone's interested.

Now I've got some major deleting to do.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Once more, thee V&A museum has proved not only an amazing cultural experience, but fashion inspiration as well

This past weekend, I decided to go back to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and see something that wasn’t fashion-oriented. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly would never say that fashion doesn’t have cultural and artistic value, it’s just that it’s such a huge museum that I thought it would be a shame to live so close to it, and only see one of it’s rooms.

Well. I’ve seen quite a few more rooms now, but there are still plenty more that I need to see. I spent my time in an exhibition about every day life in England between 1500 and 1760, and I only got half way through it in my two spare hours. Still, I saw enough to say wow. It was fascinating from a historical and intellectual perspective, but the aesthetics took the cake. Since it was on every day life, of course there was clothing and jewelry and other aspects of design, and it made me think that I was born in the wrong era. I can’t really comment on the clothing, having only seen half the exhibit, but the item that caught my eye was an undergarment decorated with blackwork, which was popular in the Elizabethan age. It’s basically black embroidery on white muslin, but it’s really romantic-looking and gorgeous. It’s now my personal mission to find a modern top that recreates the look. Isn’t it nice to have a project!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Marc Jacobs is always there for me

I know I'm late. I know that I'm way, way late. In fact, I know that I'm so late that it's kind of presumptuous of me to start commenting on New York Fashion Week now. The obvious reason that I'm talking about it a month after the fact is that school is my life here in London, but it's also due to the fact that I found the shows a little boring. Most of the shows, that is. Let's take the time to discuss a notable exception: Marc Jacobs.

First of all, the color palette: yum. I’ve been pairing pretty, feminine blues with sludgy greys forever, and now that Marc Jacobs has caught on, I couldn’t be happier. I feel so legit! I love the way that he makes these really dull, beige-y grey tones look perfectly ladylike and cheerful with well-placed touches of color. As I’ve said before, sometimes I think that Marc Jacobs’ genius is even more in his use of color than his shape and styling (though those are brilliant, too). If he had used really bright, loud colors to offset the grey, the stark contrast would have made the grey look depressing. With slightly softer colors, it looks dove-like and lovely. Genius.

This outfit looks like something that would be worn by the girl who’s so damn cool that she doesn’t even have to try. It doesn’t matter that she only goes out when she feels like, despite the implications that turning down invites has. It doesn’t matter that she took multivariable calculus and got an A. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t wear makeup every day. No one can touch her cool. I think I’ve always wanted to be that girl. Maybe buying the outfit would help.

I could totally wear a bustier cocktail dress over a vintage secretary dress, but there’s no way it would look this cool.

I want this.

The Marc Jacobs line (as opposed to Marc by Marc) looks like it was one of the more theatrical shows during fashion week. The crazy green runway is certainly eye-catching. It looks like it’s set on another planet. The color of the set makes the black and white look really clean and fresh and new—not an unimpressive feat, considering that it’s black and white.

I must admit, the clothing doesn’t speak to me as much his other line, but then, this is not meant to be the accessible line. Maybe it’s because I’m a student and it’d be hard not to stand out a little more than I’d like in a metallic pea coat; maybe it’s just because the Marc by Marc Jacobs line is genuinely cuter and more fun. Still, I totally admire his main line as art, and also for the things it’s achieved and inspired in the fashion world.

This looks like something a contemporary Jackie Kennedy would wear.

Actually, scratch that comment about Marc by Marc Jacobs being more wearable. This does look like something I would gladly wear.

The worst thing about being an American in London is the exchange rate. The best thing is that my country can lay claim to Marc Jacobs.

When in England. . .

It’s pretty much an accepted fact that drastically changing your life can change your skin. I would say that moving to a different country with a different climate to enter a different program, function on a different schedule, and eat different food qualifies as a drastic change, right? Well, let’s just say that although I’m happy to be here, my skin isn’t quite so thrilled. This doesn’t make me particularly happy, because, let’s be honest, you’ve all probably guessed by the fact that I write in a fashion blog that I care about how I look. I’ve tried a few different measures to make my skin behave: I’ve broken out the arsenal of drying products and assaulted my skin with them—didn’t work. I think that part of the reason that I’m breaking out is that my skin started producing less moisture as a response to England’s wet climate, and all my usual products are now over-drying my skin, leaving me with clogged pores. With that in mind, I tried getting rid of all of my topical products, and using only my face washes. Didn’t work. I figured that maybe my heavy-duty exfoliator and gentle-but-powerful cleanser are still too much for my skin here. I tried using less of both my face washes, and adding a light moisturizer. That seemed to help a little, but when you’ve already got a few massive zits front and center on your face, using a moisturizer isn’t going to do much for them. It’s kind of a catch-22; if I use a topical product, it’ll dry out my skin and make it over-produce sticky oil and clog my pores with dead skin; if I cut back on products to help my skin’s balance, I’m still left with a few really gross zits.

Even though the obvious answer is patience until the zits go on their own, and then proper maintenance after, I’ve never been terribly patient when it comes to my face. I still really wanted to try something. I was at Boots earlier today, and though I tried to steer myself away from the skincare section, some products there caught my eye. I saw several things there that I’d used, several that I hadn’t, and several that didn’t particularly seem like they would help me—I mean, a blackhead mask would be great if I had blackheads, and a cream that guarantees “visible results in 4 hours” seemed like it would go against my idea not to overdry my skin. Then, my eyes lighted on a tiny purple vial in the semi-generic Boots brand section. It wasn’t too expensive, but it wasn’t so cheap that it didn’t look like it would work. It wasn’t so large that I’d never go through it, but it wasn’t so small that it would only be good for one use. It was purple! Actually, only the vial is purple—it’s a clear gel that goes on with a want, and it reminded me of a Boscia topical gel that I used last year with fantastic results, so I decided to give it a go. I can’t say if it’s brilliant yet, but it smells like the Boscia gel (and if it really is like it, I’m going to have to stock up before I go home--£3.19 as opposed to $20 is a bargain not to be missed), it seems to be working thusfar, and I have a good feeling about it. I’m sure that none of you care, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my thoughts about it.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of updates this weekend. Promise!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pure Delight

It wouldn’t be spring fashion show season without at least one lovely, sparkling image from Anna Sui. And here it is.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Third grade beauty moment

I believe I was eight or nine years old when I was first seized with the overwhelming desire for a Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper lip smacker. It was red. It was shiny. It tasted like the cola that I loved, but was forbidden to have. It was a match made in heaven. After much whining and wheeldling, my mom agreed to buy it for me. I was thrilled.

Now, more than a decade later, the desire has yet to go away. It's still red and shiny. The taste and scent are actually less strong and offensive than a lot of lip products made for adults (or at least teens). It leaves a subtle warm pink flush that not only (slightly) moisturizes your lips, but also looks perfectly "Why no, I'm not wearing makeup, my lips are naturally pink and soft, thank you." It's so low-maintenance that you could apply it in the dark with one hand tied behind your back. It doesn't hurt that it calls to mind memories of watching The Smurfs and playing with stuffed animals, either.

I brought two of them with me here to London, just in case they're easier to find stateside.


It’s not the best season yet, but it was definitely the best Reunion Special

Wow. What a show! Vincent is truly, certifiably nuts. Malan is hilarious. Heidi’s impression of him is even better. Bradley is truly amazing. Bonnie seemed drunk. Kayne did the smart thing and lost weight and got a haircut before coming. Tim is fabulous as normal.

Did anyone else notice that Uli looked a little subdued and sad? It could be in my head, because he never looks that ridiculously extreme, in a bad or good way, but maybe I’m just paranoid because I secretly want her to win. I certainly don’t want to know in advance that she’s out.

Speaking of who’s out, after Michael won the viewer award thing and both Jay McCarroll and Chloe Dao said that he should win, doesn’t it seem from how they’re setting it up that he won’t win? I really don’t want to have any suspicions about it one way or another, I’d just be surprised if he won after all that talk.

And speaking of talk, Keith made a bad situation much, much worse. Lying is one thing—I’m not saying it’s a good thing to do or that he deserves sympathy, but I can understand why he would want to show himself in a favorable light on national TV. Blatantly lying is another thing. He wasn’t aware that they couldn’t have fashion books? Then why were they under the bed? They just magically showed up in his room? Then why didn’t he say that when he got eliminated? Jeez.

On a completely separate and unrelated note, Alison had a tremendous amount of dignity and peace for someone so obviously unfairly eliminated. Good for her.

Finally, the preview for the final episode makes it look fantastic. We all knew about the outsourcing drama to begin with, but I didn’t know it was actually addressed in the episode. Also noteworthy is that when Tim Gunn was visiting Michael, the dress on his dressform was just a little on the ugly side, and that from what I could see of Laura’s stuff, it was all exactly the same dress that she’s made all along. Monotony or no, I can’t WAIT!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Once Again, H&M saves the day

Once upon a time, there was a young American girl who left her native land to study in the magnificent land of London. The girl had a very pronounced sense of aesthetics, and she loved to shop, and typically, was pretty liberal with her spending on clothes, too. Unfortunately, the evil ruler of her home country selfishly ruined the economy by giving money to millionaires and billionaires and cutting their taxes, thus weakening the American economy and permanently damaging the exchange rate with England. When the girl got to London, she found that she could barely afford food and shelter, much less pretty clothing!

Frighteningly, a wet winter was coming, and the girl was unprepared with skirts, jackets, and light tank tops. Whatever she would do? With her miserable exchange rate, even the cheapest shops looked intimidating—when she considered that a cute sweater for £59 was actually $118, or some delectable boots for £89 were actually $179, she wanted to faint!

One day, the girl decided to go on a shopping quest, and not return home until she had something she could wear in the winter. It didn’t start out well. Dorothy Perkins was having a sale that left it so picked over that the only options were plainer than plain. Faith Shoes was nowhere to be found. The crowds at Debenham’s and Topshop gave her massive, spitting headaches. Soon, the girl started to despair. Would she ever find the clothing necessary to keep her warm? She hit a new low at Urban Outfitters. She found the perfect pair of affordable wide leg denim trousers, and happily took them into the dressing room, There, she found that they fit her perfectly in the waist, made her hips look delightfully slim, and were just plain too short for her long legs.

Miserably, she slunk towards H&M, a store no more novel to her than the many Starbucks that are to be found on London streets. Unhappily, she went inside. Miraculously, once inside, her spirits began to lift! She realized that either H&M in London got slightly different stock than H&M in New York, or the fall season was really, really good! She found a pair of wide-wale, skinny leg grey corduroys, and though they seemed like a fashion dare, they really rather worked. She found a pink sweatshirt that was so delightfully soft that it made her want to squeal with joy. The thrills were endless—she came away with a lovely new brown leather bag, a sweaterdress, a scarf, a blue turtleneck (that was considerably cheaper than the one she had admired at Topshop), a warm top, and a lovely teal scarf.

Mission accomplished.

Ok, sorry that was so damn tacky, but seriously. London has great H&Ms.

Another testament to the greatness of Primark

I was at Primark last week, looking at a wide selection of shoes for £6 and £8 when I saw a pair of boots that intrigued me. I normally don't do boots with a small heel--it's either flat or stiletto for me--but I loved their soft grey color and Victorian styling. I figured that I'm in a new place and should be doing new things, and plus, for £15, I can afford to take a chance, so I went ahead and sprung for them. They're very warm and comfortable, and surprisingly easy to wear.

The next day or so, I was walking in Bayswater, and looked in the window of major British shoe-purveyor Office. The first things I saw were my new boots--for £75!

I dunno if my boots are particularly watertight, and they might not last too long, but damn, Primark makes positively lovely knock-offs. I'm totally going back soon!

Mea Culpa

I'm awfully sorry to have become a weekend-only blogger, guys. My life is just a little more hectic than it should be right now. Still, London is providing lots of fashion inspiration, and I'm enjoying the daring mixing--right now, I'm wearing grey skinny jeans (I know they're trendoid, but they look really good!), a narrow cream belt, a pale blue Marc Jacobs tank top with a dolly design, a navy knit vest from Mango, and Keds. If it sounds cluttered, it isn't. It's just a little eclectic. Actually, with the jeans and the tank and vest creating such a tight, rocker-silhouette, I feel like Irina Lazerenau.

It's a good feeling!

But anyow. Moving away from the self-indulgence, I promise to try to get some good blogging done soon. I have to buy some warm clothes this weekend, so that should give me plenty of fuel.

Monday, October 02, 2006

But do I really need yet another pair of boots?

I used to find them ugly.

Then, I started thinking that they were hopelessly '80s.

Later, I thought they were somehwat intriguing, but equally trendoid.

But now I've broken down. London has me legitimately wanting my very own pair of ankle boots.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Project Runway like WHOA!

All I really can say about the last episode of Project Runway is "whoa." There was just so much to respond to--clothing, drama, conflict, Tim Gunn--what an amazing episode! It's left me a little conflicted, though. First of all. Uli's dress really was amazing. It made me crazy that they formatted the episode to make it look like she was getting Auf'd, because when they made episode 6 (I think it was six) make it look like Alison was going home, she actually did! Still, I thought it was awesome that Uli won, and I thought that the dress was awesome. Ages and ages ago, when I was in middle school, I really had a thing for Tribal looking and Eastern Indian prints and beadwork, and I swear, it was like Uli's dress called out to a part of me in the past. It was cool.

The rest of the episode was tricky. I'm not a huge Laura fan--I mean, all, quite seriously, ALL of her dresses look alike! Still, her work has been consistently good enough that it would have been strange to see her go home. I mean, even though she has yet to make anything without a high waist and a V-neck, she also has yet to really screw up (in my humble opinion).

I was also surprised that I liked Jeffrey's dress. I gotta say, I don't really like Jeffrey, but I disagreed with the judges. The dress was legitimately pretty and romantic, but it sort of stuck to Jeffrey's pieced-together-odds-n-ends aesthetic. So, despite the fact that I think Jeffrey is an ass, I think it would have been unfair for him to go home.

Michael was more of a problem. I just didn't think his dress was all that great. It was pretty and it was sexy, but that's all it was. The thing is, though, that since his work has been so consistently good in the past, it would have ruined the season if he had been sent home. I mean, Kayne was allowed several missteps before he finally got the boot. If Michael had left right before fashion week because of one pretty-yet-uninspired dress, it would have sucked.

Of course, I'm positively shocked by the ending. Now I'm more curious than ever to see the next episode, and hear how the scandal shapes up. No one should have had to go home. Anyone's departure would have been a disappointment. Of course, the format of the show is that someone goes home in every episode. It almost seems like a bit of a copout that no one will leave this time. Still, it would have been sad if anyone left. I'm not sure how to feel about this. Well, all I can say is that this had better not set a precedent for future seasons. ‘Cause, you know, that would get monotonous.

Like Laura.

So yeah. Project Runway. Whoa.