Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New 'Shoester' In Town

Watch out Zappos,, Endless, and Piperlime, a new heavyweight is entering the online shoe-selling arena. It’s DSW, a brand that first established itself as a brick and mortar store (more like warehouse store). There happened to be two near where I live, but I only shopped there once. It’s truly a shoe emporium with shoes stacked row after row. Despite the abundance of shoes there, I didn’t find anything I liked. Although I’m not DSW’s biggest fan, I do welcome it with open arms. More competition means a bigger selection and better sales for shoe addicts like me. And that’s something to be excited about!

Marcello Toshi Luving

Huh, looks like I haven't written a post about shoes since last Friday, so here's another one.

Marcello Toshi is not a well know shoe label, but something about it is special. What caught my eye was the design, which I found to be both creative and sensual. There’s a delicate play of differing material, curves, straps, and cut-outs. I think the designer, Kerry Valdivia, understands a women’s wants very well. I must say, these shoes are as sexy as Louboutins even without the red soles (Mr. Louboutin says the red sole represents a green light for men to approach).

I read a little about the label. It turns out that the shoes are traditionally handcrafted in Peru, so each pair gets the loving attention it deserves. I haven’t seen a Spring 08 collection on the website yet, so I’m not sure if the designer is not doing a collection this season or they just haven’t had time to update the website. I really hope this label continues to thrive because it’s brimming with creativity. I hope you guys are fans too.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parsons' Designer of the Year: Stephanie Suberville

Today was my last day of classes (woot woot) but I still have finals in the coming two weeks. While I’m prepping for my final exams, seniors at Parsons The New School for Design (that's a mouthful) are getting ready to graduate. The best fashion designers of the graduating class get the opportunity to showcase their designs at the Parsons’ Annual Benefit and Fashion Show.

The Parsons’ Benefit is a fabulous black tie affair that raises funds for scholarships and academic programs at the school. This year at the event, Parsons honored two acclaimed individuals in the fashion industry: fashion designer and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and Barneys New York Chairman and CEO Howard Socol. The school also awarded Stephanie Suberville as the Designer of the Year- an honor that could potentially launch her career.

Dress designed by Stephanie Suberville

Suberville says this of her final collection:

"I wanted to show who I am, and a lot of who I am as a designer comes from my background," said Suberville, who grew up in Monterrey, Mexico and whose grandparents owned a department store. "I come from a French background, but I am actually Mexican. As a Mexican and as a woman I have always been very inspired by Frida Kahlo, but it was very important for me to not be the Mexican student doing Frida Kahlo. So instead of focusing on her paintings, I focused on her personal life. Frida always said that her whole life was based on two tragedies: Her back accident and her love for Diego Rivera. So it's a very dark, very romantic collection."

It will be exciting to see where these new graduates will end up. Recent graduates Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (the Proenza Schouler boys) have gone far. Hopefully, Suberville will be as successful as McCollough and Hernandez. Maybe someday soon I can make a post about her new collection at Barney’s.

Here’s the list of Parsons students who also showed their collection at Parsons’ Annual Benefit and Fashion Show:

Boram Oh, Kirstyn Catlett, Nayeon Lee, Yoon Jeong Gee, Sunghiun (Seonghyun) In, Amira Marion, Judy (Yun-Chu) Lee, Hanmin Kim, Sarah Law, Samantha Aprea, Heezu Hwang, Dominique Cammaert, Spencer Phipps, Melissa Luning, Wen Shi, Sylvia Kwan, Andrew Rogers, Esther Marina Shimberg, Hye Seong (Clara) Yoo, Yoon Jung Ha, Grace Shin, Aiden (Seunghoon) Yoo, Bo Bae Lee, HJ Lee, Cullen Meyer, Sara Shahbazi, Rachel Rymar, Hernan Garcia, Woomi Pyo, Freyja Van Noort, Hyun Ah Choi, Jigon Son and Angela (Yang Zi) Gaoxia.

Edit: Tracey Lomrantz attended the event and blogged about her experience and top designer picks.

Thou Art Fierce

Sorry to do a Fashionista-style quote post but this was too good to pass up:

“Vanessa Williams is the queen of fierceness and Becki Newton is the princess…” ~ Christian Siriano

I love it because it’s so true, so true. If you want to know why Christian is commenting on the fierceness of the Ugly Betty crew, well that’s because he will be joining them as a guest on the show.

Hopefully, some Christian Siriano will inject some fierceness into Ugly Betty again. I really liked the first season of Ugly Betty which was so funny and endearing. My roommate introduced it to me and I was immediately hooked. I probably watched 4 hours straight of streamed video that night. Somehow this year, I’m not so tempted to watch. It’s probably because the plot got too ridiculous, a common problem for new hit dramas. Once I missed an episode, I wasn't all that interested in catching up, but now I'm completely lost. I, at least, will tune in for the Christian episode on May 1.

It seems that Christian is taking full advantage of his popularity following his Project Runway win. I just saw him on "Make Me A Supermodel" and now he's doing "Ugly Betty." He either has a really good publicity person or is naturally talented in that department too.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Deal of the Day: Johnson Wool Jumper

I love the idea of jumpers- they are fun and easy, just put it on and go. Thankfully they are in this season. I spotted a cute wool one at Vibe the Boutique which is currently having an extra 25% off sale. The jumper down to $37.50 from $363- now that's a deal. While you're on their website, take a look around- there's sure to be other bargains. Just make sure you type SALE in the coupon code box.

Wool Jumper $363.00 $37.50 with coupon code SALE

Friday, April 25, 2008

Deal of the Day: Max Studio Weber Shoes

It seem like I'm always on the lookout for hot shoes (despite my already overflowing collection). While skimming through Piperlime I found these cute sandels by Max Studio. In my experience, the slightly inclined wedge and multiple straps are sure to be comfortable. And at $56, they are comfy on your wallet too. Unfortunately, the only size left now are 9.5s so I can't wear them (perhaps this for the best). But if you are a 9.5, I encourage you get them asap- Max Studio Weber.

Max Studio Weber: Size 9.5; $55.97

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gap White Shirts Reinvented... Again

For those who keep track of high street – designer collaborations, I’m sure you know about the one Gap is doing. They are working with some of the best and brightest new designers out there- Phillip Lim, Michael Bastian, Band of Outsiders, and ThreeAsFour- on reinventing the Gap classic white shirt.

All four of these designers are incredibly talented and offer very sleek, clean silhouettes. While the entire collection is lovely, I like the middle two renditions the best: the cut-out dress by ThreeAsFour (left) and 3/4-sleeved top by Phillip Lim (right). I think the biggest complain I have with the designer collection at Gap is the prices. The dress is $88 and the shirt is $78. If I spent $78, it would have to be on genuine Phillip Lim 3.1! I would not pay more than $40 for something at Gap. Hopefully (although unlikely), the prices will go down because I really do like the collection.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum

I think one of the best ways to access the paramount of fashion not through window shopping, but through museums. Museums often feature the best of current and past fashions. So I’m always thrilled to know when there’s a fashion or costume exhibit at a museum. It’s incredibly exciting to see detailed craftsmanship up close.

While I love fashion, I am absolutely obsessed with shoes (think Kelly from the Shoes video). It is my favorite part of an outfit. I bet you already knew that from the unusually high number of posts about shoes in this blog. Unfortunately I have found few exhibits that solely feature shoes.

oday while browsing the Salvatore Ferragamo website, I was ecstatic to find out that they have a museum… in Florence, Italy. Go figure. It’s a little sad because I visited Florence just four years ago and did not know there was a shoe museum there. Well the bright side is that the Salvatore Ferragamo website put up a few pictures of the current exhibits.

How cute is this rainbow flats display?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wardrobe as an Investment?

That’s the idea behind this article by NY Magazine. Can the clothes we wear potentially be worth something in the future? Are they collectibles? Clair Watson, who works for an NY auction house, assesses one woman’s wardrobe for its potential worth at auction. The stylish New Yorker who allowed her person style to be monetarily assessed is music artist Sandra Hamburg. Her sense for statement pieces that pop and quality craftsmanship may make her wardrobe one of the few that actually appreciate in value. It also helps that her mother passed down some great iconic clothes from the past.

But does “investment wardrobe” apply to everyday people like you and me? I’m thinking not so much. We really don’t have the expendable income to buy Dior couture dresses, hold on to them for fifty years, and then sell them to a museum or collector. Nevertheless, I like what this article and ideology promotes.

This article encourages me to be more careful about what I buy. I want to limit the things I buy at malls/high-street stores to items that I tend to wear down: tees, jeans, and comfortable shoes. But for statement pieces, I want them “investment worthy.” Instead of turning toward H&M or Macy’s, I want to find gems on ebay and charity/vintage shops or save up for sales on designer brands. I’ll try to buy more leather, fur, and silks because those items hold their value well. Because they are potentially valuable, I plan to take better care my clothes and hoard them longer. This idea promotes wardrobe longevity and buying less overall. I would even like to pass down some of my favorite pieces to my daughter if they last that long. Although we probably won’t make a fortune (or break even) from clothes, I do think that this article present a sophisticated way of looking at our wardrobe that most people could benefit from.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away

When I woke up today, it was dark and cloudy. But I was in a rush to get to class on time, it didn’t occur to me it might be raining outside. I decided to wear my new sandals from Old Navy that I just blogged about, capris, t-shirt, and a light jacket. It wasn't until I walked outside and saw the puddles of rain did I realize that I made a grave error in my attire. It wasn’t very heavy and I didn’t want to be late, so I kept on walking. And then the rain got a little heavier. Mind you, my jacket, while water resistant, did not have a hood. By the time I got to class, I looked like a drowned rat. My arms, my feet, my legs were all freezing wet and the air conditioning in the room didn't help. I couldn’t even put on my jacket because the edges of the sleeves and collar were soaked. All in all, I was pretty miserable. I wished the rain would just go away or at least get me some rain boots! So now I’m going rain boots (window)shopping.

Target offers a wonderful selection of colorful rain boots for about $20. The argyle is classy but the floral boot brightens up rainy days.

I also really like blue dots as you can tell. The Target(left) one is really good for me because it has a wedge heel that is always flattering for the vertically challenged, but the Western Chief rain boot has a nicer pattern.

Classy rain boots from Coach(left) and Burberry. I really like these but with a price tag over $100, I can only stare longingly.

DIY- Ombre Tights

I can’t believe I didn’t see this before. Remember how I was loving those gradient tights and checkered heels from the Christian Lacroix couture show. I'm still on the lookout for checkered shoes, but Fashionista's Brett Kane came up with a DIY guide so I can at least make my own ombre tights. The results look gorgeous and clean. I’ll add this project to my DIY list, but when I’ll get to it, that is the question.

Here's the complete guide for documentation purposes:

What you’ll need: A box of navy blue powder dye - try the sewing kits/cleaning supplies section at Duane Reade; a pair of opaque, white tights (American Apparel); A wastebasket; Large wooden spoon.

Step One: Fill the wastebasket with the hottest water possible. (You might want to line the wastebasket to make clean up easier). Add in the powdered dye and stir a little. Let the dye steep until its good and blue, about five minutes.

Step Two: Get your tights really wet so they can absorb the dye. Then, holding from the top, dip the feet into the blue solution until they're covered up to the knee. Immediately start to pull them out so this section remains the palest blue.

Step Three: Slowly continue to pull the tights out of the solution. This process is designed so the bottoms of the tights are the darkest navy and the tops are white, so hold the knee part in the dye for only a few seconds per dip. Continue dipping tights into the solution until the bottom is a shade darker than you want - this took us about 3 or 4 dips, over 15 minutes.

Step Four: Rinse the tights in the sink with cold water, but only from the top. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Do not ring the tights out - you’ll get
splotches that look more tie-dye than dégradé.

Step Five: Hang tights to dry overnight. We suggest a manicure during this time off since your hands will now resemble a Smurf's.

Step Six: When absolutely bone dry, slip on your new tights and prepare to be inundated with compliments.



Friday, April 18, 2008

The College Uniform

I never really liked school uniforms.
They are restrictive and unimaginative. I always thought uniforms were for Manhattan private schoolers and the Japanese. However apparently, at my liberal arts university, there seems to be what I call the "college uniform," at least among the sorority girls. I suppose the purpose of this "college uniform" is to say 'I (my parents) have money and I fit in with these other rich girls.' But if you had money, wouldn't you want to deck yourself out in Mui Mui, or YSL, or whatever fashion-house-wallet-drain your choice. Of course then again, there aren't enough true fashionistas at my campus to recognize and gawk at your Stella Mccartney floral dress, and peer envy and admiration is the whole point. It's quite unfortunate that my school's sorority girls aren't quite on par with the "Gossip Girl" crew, or else I might actually have fun dissecting their outfits. What a sartorial disappointment!

And don't think the men are any better. It's always the same outfit: Ralph Lauren polos in every color, khakis, and more Rainbow flip flops (that are as fugly as Crocs and Birkenstocks).

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Have you guys seen the CandyCast on Fashion insider Candy Price gives a video blurb about the fashionable life. It’s kind of like a 5 minute version of the “Fabulous Life” series on VH1. There are seven videos in all and new ones are released every month. The newest video is about Signals- a little history and style involved. If you take a look at the archives, the ones you should really check out are episodes 4: the Collectors and 5: It's All About Color. The CandyCast offers fun bits of information and plenty of eye candy so it’s definitely worth a look. The only thing I’m not enthused about is the advertisement between videos, but that’s an expected annoyance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Comfy New Shoes

I bought so many shoes these past few months that I imposed a self-ban on any further shoe purchases. But after reading the glowing reviews on Fashionista, I’m been dreaming of these comfy sandals from Old Navy. They were only $34.50 original price, but my wallet was hurting so I figured I would wait a while and then maybe, just maybe, consider them.

For some reason, yesterday I decided to stop by Old Navy. While rummaging through their sales racks, I found a black pair and I succumbed and bought them. I came up with all these reasons for me to get them to assuage my guilt.
I reasoned that:

  1. They were way cheaper ($23)
  2. I would wear them all the time since they were comfy, cute, and trendy
  3. There was only one left in my size and if I didn’t snap them up now, I would regret it.

I also found this cute green shirt dress for $23. I loved my shoes but only just liked the dress. I don't know, should I return the dress?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WTF! Project Runway Moves!

I can't believe this. Apparently Project Runway is no longer a Bravo series, but is moving to Lifetime. The whole story is here.

I'm a bit sad. Project Runway was the show that first introduced me to Bravo which I now love. If PR is really moving to Lifetime, I will follow because it's one of my favorite shows and I adore Tim Gunn. Personally, I'm not enthused with Lifetime. I feel that many of their programs are fluff and their movies are very predictable and therefore boring. I probably won't watch anything else on that channel until they produce some edgier shows. I also have no love for the Lifetime website- which is very sterile and directed at 40 year old women (well, that is their base viewership). I am quite sure that Projects Runway's move is less about reaching more viewers (because there's a ton of us already) and more about the bigger paycheck. Well enough of my cynical delvings into the subject. I guess what I really care about in the end is that PR keeps its 10pm time slot and plays reruns right after, because otherwise I will end up missing episodes and will be very sad. Oh Project Runway, why did you have to get greedy and go to the highest bidder? I love you still, but I question your loyalty.

Oh, and some secondary news- Nina Garcia has been let go from Elle. Supposedly, she had been spending to much time outside of the office and not enought time doing her job. I can believe that, especially when she's been promoting her book and making appearances at different events. Based on this article, Nina may still be judge for PR's next season, but somehow I'm doubtful. The producers would definitely want to sell the judge position to the highest bidding advertiser (based on their current record). If ELLE is still on board, wouldn't they want the judge to be one of their own?

Fun Fashion pt. 3: Crazy Shoes

Man, there are some crazy shoes out there. Barbara at ShoeMi spent two hours documenting 21 of the craziest. I must say, some of the shoes scare me, especially those that resemble animals. Here are some of my favorites.

I call this the Industrial Shoe. I love the silhouette of this. It’s a strong look but still elegant.

Spun glass makes such a gorgeous shoe, one Cinderella would wear!

This shoe is like a work of abstract art. I wonder, how does one wear it?

I think the only things missing from this wacky list are those bird shoes from Olivier Theyskens Spring 2002.

Edit: MyFashionLife has discovered four crazy art shoes just from this (Spring 08) season.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun Fashion pt. 2: Duplicating Walmart

From WebUrbanist:

Shopdropping  Walmart Clothing Art Project

Zoe Saldana has put a great deal of effort into an art project that the future owners of will never appreciate. Wait, how does that work? Well, she buys items from Walmart and carefully replicates them by hand down to the pattern, fabric and embellishments. She then swaps her handmade creations for the one she purchased, adds the original tags and ‘returns’ them to Walmart for future sale. Above on the left are images of the originals, and the photographs on the right show the returned duplicates.

This story makes me laugh every time. I wonder if anyone noticed that this 'Faded Glory' t-shirt is different from all the rest. I bet Walmart employees could care less, but a discerning shopper probably noticed and became very confused.

Fun Fashion pt. 1: Monochromatic Wardrobes

I do my fair share of reading fashion blogs and articles, and over the years have stumbled upon many wacky/riveting stories. I'd like to share three of the best: monochromatic wardrobes, duplicating Walmart, and crazy shoes.
New York Magazine did a great article about five people who have monochromatic wardrobes (but not in all black because that would be too easy). Some people go to extreme lengths to make sure everything in their wardrobe is that exact color. Personally, I loved Valeria McCulloch's wardrobe which is in electric blue. It's stylish and bold. She must spend a lot on her wardrobe because she buys Louboutins and colors them in custom blue sharpie.

I think monochromatic wardrobes are a cool concept. People will think of you when they see that exact color. Also you would never have to worry about matching because everything goes with each other. I wouldn’t do it myself because 1) it's too difficult to accrue so many items of the same color and 2) I enjoy being a different color on different days. You can express a lot more through mixing and matching.

The closest I would get to this is probably creating a whole monochromatic look for a day like Susie Bubble and Fops and Dandies.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

DIY- Painted Dress

This season is all about florals and wearable art. I have ooohed and aaahed over the Chloe Brushstroke Dress and Fendi's Circles Dress. If you have the money, then go ahead and click here for lovely artsy clothes. But for me, I'll have to go the DIY way- buy some white cotton tops or dresses, and whip out the old paint brush. Thankfully, there's a very cute guide provided Teen Vogue on how to make your own.

Designer Wu painted this cute cocktail dress as an example. I think I would want to do a Pollock inspire piece and splatter paint all over. If I don't do any sewing, I think this project is not too difficult. However I do worry about washing a hand painted item. I don't want my other clothes to get dyed the same color! None the less, I'm super excited about this DIY project and will hopefully get to it by May (at least before spring is over).

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Purdy 'ellow Dress

I'll be honest, this photo made my day. The dress was bright and yellow and flowy. The whole thing proclaimed 'it's spring, god d@mn it, let me frolic with the grace of a Degas ballerina.' I agree whole-heartedly and will immediately whip out my brightly colored skirts and dresses. This vibrant picture is part of a photo collection called Float Like a Butterfly in NY magazine. There are seven more lovely dresses to go gaga over so click, click, click. If you really want to know about the above dress, it's a Michael Kors chiffon halter gown, and it costs $5,995, wow!

Style Tips from Kohl's

Kohl's is really attempting to up their style factor lately. First they invited Vera Wang to create a more accessible collection, Simply Vera. Now they have replaced SV with the new ELLE collection. Surprisingly, it's worth a peek.

Kohl's collaborated with Elle Stylist Alia Ahmed-Yahia to bring us a fun and bright springtime collection. Kohl’s definitely benefits from having a professional stylist on board because these outfits in the 'lookbook' are super cute. I love the blue jersey dresses/long shirts. The one shown is $37. Too bad I probably won’t buy anything because I'm holding off on trendy, but lower quality, clothing.
However I did learn some very helpful things from stylist Alia.

  1. Grey staples are great for grounding bold colors that are in this season. They are more versatile and, I think, more suitable for spring than just plain black.
  2. Belts are a great styling tool. They help define the body shape or add interest to a simple outfit. This is great for me, because at 5’2”, I need all the help I can get. With a belt, I can visually shorten my torso and therefore elongate my legs.
  3. She suggests the cropped-sleeve jacket as the must-have for spring.

It's definitely worth your time to check out Alia's video diary under Stylist Spotlight.