Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple pt. 3 - Good stuff (cont'd)

Shake Shack in Madison Square Park - The line was blessedly short, though the girls said that lunchtime on a weekday can spawn lines that seem unending. The menu is simple and consists of a few tried-and-true staples that have people singing its praises. I ordered the Bird Dog, which was a chicken-sage-apple sausage hotdog, atop of which]I added sauerkraut and mustard. Delish. One interesting thing that stood out to me was how many people ordered milk shakes despite the cold. That's devotion right there.

Farinella Italian Bakery - This is my type of pizza. Thin, crispy crust with a sprinkling of toppings and a light sauce drizzled over the pie. The place was tiny, but the ambiance was great. You walk in and to the right is a wall with three small, two-person tables lined up and then to the front and curving toward the wall on the left is where the pizza ovens reside and where the various types of pizzas are displayed for perusing on wooden blocks behind clear glass partitions. The girl behind the counter recommended the Capricciosa pizza, which combined Italian cooked ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, black olives, artichokes and tomato sauce. Bonus points go to Farinella for the two beautiful Italian men that were seated next to me, excitedly talking about...I haven't the faintest idea. But it was sexy.

Argo Tea in Chelsea - I stopped into this little cafe on a whim, as I needed a quick drink and it's interesting sign appealed to me (Fun fact: I can be easily swayed by great logo design.) I wasn't expecting much as I am a diehard coffee drinker who likes the warmth and nutty flavor of coffee combined with its energizing properties. Tea hasn't ever much appealed to me, as the few times I've attempted to drink it ended with apathy or disgust on my end. Argo Tea, the veritable wonderland of fun tea for adults, changed my perspective. Argo had warm teas, cold teas, smoothies, milkshake-esque teas, lemonade infusions - you name it, Argo had it. I sipped on a warm, seasonal Winter Spice tea that reminded me of Christmas.

Random street vendors - Fresh off of my amazing falafel wrap from Hummus Kitchen, I was still jonesin' for more falafel goodness. Chelsea mentioned that street vendors' offerings weren't too bad, and she was right. Warm and delicious, the falafel wraps are perfect for grabbing when you're on-the-go. My second sample of vendor truck fare happened whilst the girls and I were checking out the Christmas windows at the department stores. I stopped and bought a bag of roasted chestnuts from a vendor as I was curious to see what they tasted like. Don't tell me you've never listened to 'The Christmas Song' and not wondered at who the hell eats roasted chestnuts. So I tried them, and they were amazing. The shells were cracked open and slightly chewy, and the inside nut was warm and easy to bite into. The taste was a bit meaty, but I liked it.

Sunburst Espresso Bar - I visited this place for brunch with my friend Kelci, and it is one hell of a hidden gem. Free coffee and tea before 11:30 and with a menu that spans four pages, I was obviously in heaven. The server seemed bemused by my inability to narrow down what I wanted to order, and even let me get stuffed crepes with two types of fruit instead of the standard single option. Two coffees and three blueberry-and-banana-stuffed crepes later, I left Sunburst Espresso Bar a happy girl.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple pt. 3 - Good stuff

Whilst in the city, I kept running smack dab into good eats. Like I mentioned in the previous posts, I was aiming for new, new, new cuisine, and there were times when food touched my palate and I involuntarily closed my eyes just to savor the experience. My eyes may have rolled back in my head once or twice and I may have made a yummy noise or two in appreciation of the meals that I enjoyed. Those are just my compliments to the chef.

Places that I enjoyed:

Hummus Kitchen on 81st and 2nd - Oh. my. goodness. Thank you so much for taking me here and having me try the falafel wrap, Chelsea (my friend, not me) as it blew my mind. I can honestly say it is one of the best meals that I've ever had the pleasure of eating. The side of hummus and whole wheat pitas were also pretty amazing. The best part of the meal was its longevity. I took half of my wrap home to eat the next day, and lo and behold, it was just as crazy good, mayhap better, than when I tasted it in the restaurant. Just look at the menu and try not to salivate over the offerings such as Oven Roasted Cauliflower, Chicken Schnitzel or the Green Tahini Kebab. 

Land, also on 81st and 2nd - Amazing Thai food.  I had mouthwatering pad thai with chicken, as did my pal Molly, while Chelsea had pad soo ew that was just as delicious. To be honest, I wasn't previously a fan of Thai food. One awful drunken noodles experience four years ago left a sour taste in my mouth (you bet that pun was intended) and so the Land visit highhandedly made me a Thai food advocate. As I look back over the menu, I pine for the things that went unordered on my visit such as the Green Papaya Salad with cashews and lime? Yes. Wok Cashew Nut with Shrimp? Oh yeah. Grilled Skirt Steak with sauteed cauliflower, asparagus and tamarind-sesame sauce? I'm flying back to NYC right now to get some. 
Side note: No matter how small some of the restaurants are in NYC, there are always tablecloths, candles and crystal pieces on the tables that make even casual dining scenes feel more intimate. I dig that.

Bouchon Bakery at Rockefeller Center - I'd never eaten a macaron before my trip to this bakery. Macarons, because they are not so easily come by in my neck of the woods, always seemed a bit mystical to me. I'd never gotten my hands on one, but I knew I'd like it once I finally did. Kind of like how I instinctively know that I would like Jake Gyllenhaal, a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 or a unicorn should I ever cross paths with one (or all, preferably) of them. But, I digress. I didn't want to be a macaron glutton and order a feast of them on my first taste, so I decided to buy only one. I narrowed it down to the Nutella macaron, though pistachio was a close second choice.
Once outside, I took a bite of my little treat and literally stopped me in my tracks. Crispy on the outside, chewy and gooey on the inside, delicious everywhere.

 (Say hello to the most delicious treat in the world)

This only fueled my desire to eat as many macarons as possible whilst in New York as I knew there would be a bit of a drought once I arrived back home. Which leads to...

La Maison du Macaron on West 23rd Street - I wasn't lying when I said that I was sniffing Macaron places out of the woodwork left and right. I wanted to get a gift for my gracious hosts, and since neither of them had tasted a macaron before, a box of the treats seemed like a good choice. La Maison du Macaron came highly rated and was manned by two very nice ladies. It wasn't nearly as packed as Bouchon, probably due to its less visible location, but the experience was just as wonderful. There was a greater variety of flavors to choose from than at Bouchon, and I probably gaped at the menu for five minutes before finally deciding what variety of macarons to sprinkle into the delicate, daintily beribboned box. The chosen flavors were: coffee, Nutella, raspberry, nougat + lavender and white chocolate + raspberry. I chose a white chocolate + raspberry macaron for myself as well, and once again, the clouds opened up and the angels sang as I enjoyed my treat.

Crumbs Bake Shop - My friend Molly bought me a chocolate peppermint buttercream-filled ginormous cupcake, and it was so good (and ginormous) that a couple of us were even able to share it. This is the type of pint-sized fun that everyone could indulge in after a long day at work.

(For the record, Crumbs has good coffee too)

Alice's Tea Cup on 81st Street - I'd been eagerly wanting to visit Alice's Tea Cup since I first read about it a few years ago. Alice in Wonderland is, and has been, one of my top five favorite movies for years. Therefore, I desperately wanted to visit the little shop that combined the essence of the movie plus the ambiance of a tea shop. Before we traipsed off to hear carolers at Central Park, the ladies and I stopped in to grab tea and pastries (I had a banana butterscotch scone with cream and jam.) It made me so happy to see so many families sitting down at little tables, all of which were brimming with tea cups and tiered platters displaying pastries and finger sandwiches. I'd love to share a similar experience with my own family in the future.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple pt. 2 - Collage

While in the city, I loved spotting out different unique and independent stores and restaurants to try. My unofficial goal was to visit and experience as many different of said places and, regarding restaurants, to try as many types of cuisines as possible. 
On this quest, I ate the most amazing food and saw some amazing style. I tried to keep the memories alive of the places I visited by grabbing business cards and/or to-go menus and writing down the details of what I bought when I went inside.
When I got back from New York, I realized that I had amassed quite a little collection of souvenirs in the form of business cards and menus, so  I decided to make a framed collage/shadowbox of my goodies.

I had to whittle down my stockpile in order to ensure that at least some of my NYC ephemera could be displayed.

A few of the 'before' items:

And the 'after':

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

I recently took a trip to New York, the day after my college graduation, to go on informational interviews for my future career and to get a general feel for the city.

I've wanted to live in New York since I was a kid, but that's a dream that many people have. The goal of my trip was to ensure that what I thought I liked about the city from an outsider's view would stay strong once I had an in-person meet-and-greet with New York. Before I left, and when people realized that I was serious about my move, advice and/or warnings came aplenty. Half of the people that spoke with me told me that they disliked a, b, and c about the city and that I should either stay in the Midwest or move to another type of city...anywhere but New York.

"It's cold."
"It's crazy expensive."
"It never stops. Honestly, nothing slows down. You'll never relax."
"There is no green. You can't just go outside to relax in nature."
"It's really expensive. You're going to have to pay a lot for rent and groceries..."
"The people there are abrasive."

The other half that talked with me loved the city and each had an antidote or story for why they were fans of it.

"There is opportunity to do whatever you want. Literally. You can't get that here and rarely anywhere else."
"I was planning to move to New York, but then I met my husband and we stayed here. If you don't have a mortgage -- go!"
"The food. Holy hell, the food is amazing."
"You'll never be bored. Ever. If you're bored, you're one lazy ass."

So I went. And I enjoyed myself immensely. It wasn't a walk in the park, as I tried to solely navigate the subway while my on-the-fritz phone shut down Hopstop every chance it got and Google maps froze whilst I typed in addresses, but I made it to 12 meetings in five days and learned a lot from everyone with whom I spoke. The friends that I stayed with were amazing at hosting me, assisting me when I got lost and generally showing me around to everything amazing.

Though I was hurriedly bopping around, trying to get a feel for how long it would take me every day to get from point A to point B (Mapquest's suggested average time to my destination ((in minutes)) + the time I spent on getting - inevitably - lost ((in minutes, rarely hours)) = total transit time) there were a few things I HAD to do:
* Daphne Guinness exhibit at FIT
* Lady Gaga's Wonderland at Barney's
* Visit New York Public Library flagship
* Alice's Tea Cup on the UES
* Visit Tom's Restaurant
* Holiday window browsing at Bergdorf Goodman, Barney's, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor and Tiffany's
* Get a Fire Department shirt from a station
* Visit MOMA
* Visit Natural History Museum
* Visit Met
* Visit Beacon's Closet
* Get a Laduree macaron

Only the underlined visits were accomplished, but the whole list will be underlined in a few months.

Regarding the library:
Technically, I was on the steps of the public library until I realized that I didn't have enough time (remember the aforementioned equation?) to browse and gape at the Gutenberg Bible and Picture Collection.

Regarding Laduree:
I so badly wanted to stay ensconced in the barely moving line, but I had to use the bathroom, and I thereby forewent my chance at tasting a heavenly coffee macaron.
*I still regret not having stayed in the line and chancing having my bladder explode. It would have been worth it, right? Right?

Regarding Tom's Restaurant:
I ran past it on the way to a meeting. I attempted to take a motion shot of the restaurant on my camera phone mid-sprint, but the ensuring photograph only captured a disgruntled garbage collector, not Tom's Restaurant at all.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In this Issue No. 6 - Kate Moss

No. 6 - Please, please don't throw rocks at me (metaphorically) because I'm the 104,567,343rd person to say (write) that he or she really like Kate Moss's style.

That being said (written)...

I really like Kate Moss's style.

True, the woman can pull off the most avant-garde fashions, such as when she is styled in an editorial or walking down a runway, hell, even while walking down a sidewalk. However, I'm most taken in by the way in which she wears classic pieces in her day-to-day goings on.

Take these four photographs of Ms. Moss that I've ripped from magazines and collaged together. The outfits  in these pictures aren't flashy. I noticed Kate instead of her clothes because of how well tailored, proportionate and flattering all of the pieces are. Kate has a coy smile on her face as though she is privy to a funny secret that she's keeping mum about, plus her posture is erect, which exudes confidence. She always seems like she is in a bit of a hurry to get somewhere (somewhere fabulous, no doubt) but never looks as though she is bogged down or stressed en route to her destination. Similar to how one notices the man, not the suit, when said suit is expertly tailored to said man's frame, Kate makes sure to own her look every time she is photographed,  thereby ensuring that she takes center stage - never her clothes. The fact that she makes every style choice seem completely effortless is the icing on the cake of sartorial stardom.

The pieces that I can pair with everything and think WWKMD? are as follows:

Because they will never go out of style and can be worn with almost any other items from my closet.

Though I am a "classic-wear Kate" fan, I'll admit that some of her more vibrant clothing choices appeal to my creative aesthetic, such as:

 The gold star makeup for her 34th birthday party celebration
(photo c/o

 Turban + winged metallic smoky eye at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala in 2009
(How I wanted a turban after I saw this look!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Local Spotlight - Made

 (To read my full interview and review on Made, follow this link.)
Made, a relatively new shop located on Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, Kan, specializes in the selling of handmade products. The shop is home to a slew of different wares that have been created by various artisans from all regions of the country. Made is to handmade goods what Sephora is to beauty products. Essentially, the shop makes it easier for consumers to browse items from several different sellers from one central location. One could consider Made to be like a brick-and-mortar Etsy store.

I was a fan of Made before I even stepped into the store (the window display had me at hello) but once inside, I was completely sold. The layout is inviting, as goods are displayed on tables as well as in cabinets, hanging from shelves and grouped into nooks as crannies. This lent the space a personal feel, as I kept picking up one-of-a-kind pieces and felt like a treasure hunter (I'll cue you when I find the Holy Grail). Owners Matt and Jennifer Richards are very welcoming and personally greet each guest that walks into Made. I talked with them for about five minutes, asking which products sold the fastest and how they chose which artists to represent in the store. When I expressed that there were a few artists on Etsy that I thought would be great fits for Made, Matt and Jennifer passed me their business card and told me to e-mail them a list and they'd do a little research on the artists I referred.
*A day later I sent the two a list of said artists, and they promptly replied back. Double points for customer service go to Matt and Jennifer.


One unfortunate aspect of Etsy is that, just like other e-commerce sites, potential customers can't smell, taste, or feel products that are for sale on those sites. Even though I like the sound of a 'Pear Toffee' candle or 'Lemon Honey Chocolate Chip' cookie mix, rarely do I make a purchase without having tested it first. 

This is where Made comes in to close that gap. For instance, Made carries a line of candles called PurBliss that are 100% veggie soy candles with the most enticing names, such as Rainy Day Bliss, Good Night Kiss, Orange Cream Bliss, etc. These sound great, but if I had merely glimpsed them while browsing online, they would become simply a passing thought. But while in store, I smelled the Banana Bread Bliss candle and the Pumpkin Spice Bliss candle and wasthisclose to taking a bite out of each of them, so spot-on were the scents. 
When I told Jennifer about my candle-sniffing experience, she said that the tangible aspect of 'trying-out' these products was what prompted her to open the store. She agreed that being unable to get a grasp of what exactly a product offered before buying it did deter many people from purchasing, and Made provides a nice alternative to that. 

 You can spot the PurBliss candles, above and below, scattered throughout the store. I loved that they weren't in just one central location, as it was a treat to find a new scent every time I meandered to a new section of the shop.

 I am also a huge fan of the greeting card lines that Made carries, as they don't offer aren't the normal, cheesy sayings that are so often found in the Targets, Walgreens and Wal-Marts of the world.
Sycamore Street Press paperie, in particular, has two hilarious offering from it's card line. 
One says, "Nobody puts baby in a corner. Seriously, though. It's called neglect." 
The other, "I would trade two of my other friends for you."
Witty and to the point. I dig it.

Overall, Made is a great little store with friendly and helpful owners at its helm. Should you be in the Lawrence area, definitely make a point to stop in, browse and say hello to Matt and Jennifer.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

In this Issue No. 5 - Blue eyeliner

No. 5 - This beauty feature from Lucky magazine made me attempt blue eyeliner and shadow in an effort to bring out my green eyes. I had assumed, until I glimpsed this blurb, that blue hues were simply not the color family that I should be dabbling in if I wanted to accentuate my green eyes. Keep in mind that the eyes of the model in this spread are almost preternaturally blue, but I still felt compelled to pair blue against green in the hopes that the resulting look would be as radiant as the model's own*. 

*Yes, I realize that the cards were stacked against me in my whole attempt at the resulting look mimicking the magazine spread. Yes, the model is gorgeous. Yes, a professional photographer with a nifty camera and photoshop was essential in capturing the image. Yes, a makeup artist expertly applied the makeup.
But, I've got light-colored eyes, a Canon Powershot and a stable drawing hand, so I'll take those odds, thank you very much.

So I Sephora'd it up and browsed around in search of the perfect blue liner. I went a little cray cray with swatching various liners on my hand that looked like they'd be promising (read: that looked like they would, with a bit of effort on my part, transform my eyes into Barbie-esque peepers)

The final decision as to which liner I would choose left me feeling a bit like Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, but I ultimately settled on Tarina Tarantino's Cute Robot. Tarina Tarantino's eyeliners, I suspect, are vastly underrated and thus under-utilized by the average Sephora makeup shopper. This is probably due to the relative newness of the brand's offerings when compared with other, more established brands such as Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever, which each offer multiple liner formulas in a ton of shades. Tarantino's liners proved to be creamy and color-saturated while also providing wonderful staying power. Should I be looking for another shade in the near future, I'll first take a detour toward the Tarantino gondola to browse the selection.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fall/Winter 2012 - Runway makeup

No surprise that hair and makeup featured in runway shows varies from show to show and from season to season. When trends and themes change, the beauty portion is soon to follow, or vice versa. Some makeup artists can be given free reign by designers to determine what beauty look would befit the show's motif, while other makeup professionals are given with designers' predetermined and well-defined visions of how the beauty portion of the show should look in order to impart one unified theme.
Sometimes, however, the beauty and the fashion elements of a show directly contrast and compete with each other for an audience's attention, and the unifying message is hard to decipher.

The great thing about the fashion industry is its unofficial motto of 'anything goes', which makes it a joy to see the concoctions that creative professionals come up with when collaborating together.
For example, makeup artist Stephanie Marais, told that the makeup he did for Haider Ackermann's show was applied with the intent to invoke a sense of apparitions and irrealism. In order to communicate this theme, he wanted models' faces to have pale, ghostly casts to them. To capture such a look, he applied white clay masks to the models' skin and wiped - not cleaned - excess residue from the surface so as to leave a chalky dusting on the faces.
 (image c/o

The 'anything goes' mentality of runway beauty allows for high drama and theatrics as well as more subdued looks that can easily be translated to everyday makeup. With fashion, one can indulge predilections for both fantasy and reality; having the cake and eating it too. I love seeing an outrageous, exuberant, beautiful beauty look come down a runway and then challenge myself to restyle it so that elements of what made it great could still be seen for everyday wear.

After browsing through all of the runway looks, here are some of my favorite beauty moments from the fall/winter 2012 runway.

No. 1 -Multicolored lids at Roberto Cavalli
Created using a palette of Mardi Gras-esque emerald, purple and gold hues, the metallic luminescence of the colors made the models look lit from within. Pat McGrath, as usual, created a stunning tableau.
(images c/o

No. 2 -  Sky blue eyes at Anna Sui
Ms. Pat McGrath once more utilized the power of pigment at Anna Sui where but a single color was used in order to create an upswept, modern, matte blue cat eye. 
(image c/o

No. 3 - Blue mascara at Stella McCartney
The long azure-tinged lashes at Stella McCartney straddled the line between being understated and being dramatic. With a single punch of color amidst bare, dewy complexions, the lashes stood out. Perhaps the neatest thing about the single color that was used on all models was how universally complementary it was to the various skin tones and eye colors of the models. I'm so besotted with how easily the blue made every face look bright and clean that I've been searching online for blue mascaras for the past hour in an attempt to recreate Pat's handiwork.
(image c/o

No. 4 - Bejeweled eyebrows at Chanel
Peter Philips, Chanel's global makeup creative director, is the person responsible for creating the geometric, studded brows set amidst the perfect skin of the models at the brand's recent show. Philips revealed to Vogue UK that he created the glitzy look when Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld presented him with a sketch of how  the models were to look in the show. The sketch showed a girl with minerals lined up on her face and so Philips created the bedazzled brows for his own interpretation of the image. I'd say it turned out quite well. So well, in fact, that I asked my managers if I could wear the look to work tomorrow, so inspired was I (For the record, I can wear this look to work)
(image c/o                                                     (image c/o

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fall/Winter 2012 - My favorite runway pieces, part two

(all images c/o

And away we go!

No. 8 - Sachin + Babi dress
The perfectly symmetrical tiles and the small sheer panels of the sleeveless top mesh exceedingly well with the flared a-line black skirt. A look that can effortlessly transition from day to night without much else needing to be added or removed. A++

No. 9 - Sachin + Babi black dress
Much like the Sachin + Babi dress featured in the aforementioned text, this piece makes me want to give a hearty round of applause to the design duo for having created it. The dress itself is lovely, with the leather t-shirt top and a-line, semi-sheer skirt overlay. However, the dress's appeal also lies in the fact that I believe any woman could wear this outfit and completely customize it to her style.

No. 10 - Prabal Gurung peacock dress
The first time I saw this dress, I was reminded of peacocks due to the intricate, feather-shaped lazer-cut shapes in the iridescent blue fabric. I love the small sparkly bits that thin out toward the edges of the dress, seemingly like stars in the sky. I also like this dress because it keeps prompting me to spew metaphors into its description.

No. 11 - L'Wren Scott cape
First off, I've almost never met a cape I didn't like. That having been said (typed) even if I wasn't a fan of capes, there is no way that I'd not like this fantastical, resplendent, furry, royal-hued number. Just imagine the street cred you'd obtain (and fun you'd have, no doubt) if you strutted around in this all day long. It looks cozy too, so it could probably double nicely as makeshift down comforter.

No. 12 - Kevork Kiledjian leather dress
Inspired by the Helmut Newton aesthetic, this dress epitomizes sultriness - no uber-short hems or bared skin necessary.

No. 14 - Juan Carlos Obando mint ensemble
The mint hue of the jacket and skirt indicates a summery vibe, yet the fur keeps the outfit firmly grounded in autumnal territory. The satin flats and full-length sleeves hint toward daytime wear, yet the sternum-exposing blouse and waving skirt hem veer toward after-hours wear.The choice is left to the wearer as to which occasion it will be best suited for.

No. 15 - Juan Carlos Obando t-shirt dress
A t-shirt usually invokes a casual, laid-back appeal, but the wave of the skirt hem as well as the silky finish and slim fit of the dress makes it perfect for a variety of occasions. I'm ticking them off in my head as I type...birthday party, happy hour, date night, basketball game...
Maybe not a basketball game, but who knows?

No. 16 - Jil Sander color palette
What a perfect trio of colors. Palest icy blue, light taupe and Pantone shade 230 combine together to create a beautiful vision in pastel. I am in awe of how delicate thr near-invisible neckline appears. The satin, pointy-toed heels rounds off this ballerina-esque look quite beautifully.

No. 17 - Jil Sander gown
Calvin Klein may have made "the nude dress" popular, but Raf Simons has perfected it. If Grace Kelly were with us today, I suspect she would have gravitated toward this gown.

No. 18 - Hermes suit
I can't even put into word the amazing qualities of this suit. I just keep looking at the photo as if a plethora of adjectives will fly at me, but no. I guess that's the sign of something great - speechlessness (typelessness?)

No. 19 - Christian Dior ballet-esque skirt + lace-embellished top
Frothy, in a word, sums up this punch-colored ensemble. The delicate, semi-transparent skirt is complemented by the structured, lace brocade top. I can see someone like Poppy Delevigne doing her thing in this outfit.

No. 20 - Markus Lupfer sweatshirt + miniskirt combo
I appreciate that Markus Lupfer acknowledged the fact that seasonal runway offerings don't have to follow by-the-book rules for lengths and fabrics. I love wearing cardigans and shrunken sweatshirts over shorts and dresses during summer, so it's a pleasant reprieve to see the pairing of similar styles in his line.

No. 21 - Viktor and Rolf suit
The silky shirt plus the seemingly jersey-like quality of the fabric and the slits in the pant hems lend this look a feminine air while the slashed, pillowy edged sleeves add a Shakespearean element into the mix. An inspired, new take on a timeless classic.

No. 22 - Viktor and Rolf 2-in-1
A cape and a wool trench in one. Be still my heart. Why choose between a cape and a trench at all? Finally a 2-in-1 I'd want to wear. High fashion : Viktor and Rolf :: Loungewear : Snuggie

No. 22 - Luisa Beccaria lace frock
So sweet.

No. 23 - Manish Arora dress
Because this would be a treat to wear. I'm about 99.343% positive that I would smile for the entire period in which I was wearing this frock. The Manish Arora line is always full of fun, vibrant prints. I first learned of the brand through the MAC collaboration a while back, and I've been a fan ever since. Also, those booties.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fall/Winter 2012 - My favorite runway pieces, part one

When New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks are taking place, my mind tends to wander from other tasks at hand. As a matter of fact, whole hours have been known to seemingly disappear within a span of a few minutes. Sometimes I start scrolling through the posted runway photos on my phone to the point where my stomach growls and I realize that I've been scrolling for...two hours. I become so entranced that it's like I've entered the matrix of fashion.

At first, I take screenshots on my phone of the looks to which I'm instantly drawn. I then go scroll back through all of the shows to see if I notice any recurring themes that are apparent throughout several shows. I'll be sure to scroll through once more to take a peek at accessories and the backstage beauty, and then I'll check to see if any front row dwellers showed up looking spectacular. Then on to peep the dazzling peacock-like display of street style that can prompt inspiration, confusion, intrigue, envy or fatigue.

Basically, this is a month-long digital scrolling fest. My right index finger needs a vacation afterward, but my mind is sated.

Though every line is lovely, here are some of the pieces that most resonated with me (all images c/o

No. 1 - Dennis Basso's tangerine gown
The vibrant hue, the semi-sheer, sparkling bodice, the plunging - but not overt - neckline, the pleated, swirling skirt and the fingerhole sleeves have combined to create a masterpiece of a gala gown.

No. 2 - Belstaff cropped wool jacket
When a longer or heavier coat isn't the right fit for the occasion, this hazelnut number is a great substitution.

No. 3 - Belstaff long wool coat
However, should a heavier coat be just what is called for, I would immediately encase myself in this cinched, tri-tone number.

No. 4 - Carlos Miele nude blazer + gown
Refined, upscale boho.

No. 5 - T by Alexander Wang tulip racerback dress + leather pants
Dress it up, dress it down, add color, or don't. The possibilities are endless. The dress shape is unbelievable; structured, yet simple.

No. 5 - T by Alexander Wang shirt dress
Change the color, add leather pants and lose the t-shirt portion, and you've got the previously mentioned dress. See? Versatile to the max.

No. 6 - Oscar de la Renta metallic-tinged periwinkle dress
This dress is what every woman's inner child wants to wear. If one were to create a single dress inspired by Wendy from Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Cinderella, this would be it.

No. 7 - Anna Sui royal blue caftan
For as long as I can remember, I have collected flowy fabrics in the form of saris, wraps, pashminas, shawls, etc. This airy, gold-flecked caftan would be a dream to wear.