Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a true icon

I really must be addicted to fashion. I don't just mean I like to shop and follow the season's latest trends. It goes deeper than that.

For those who don't know, I took care of my Mom for nearly two years while she had multiple cancers. After she died in April 2007, I declared there to be a 'no medical trauma' rule for ten years. I wasn't overwhelmed - I was just over being in hospitals and constant medical drama and diction.

Well, since Sunday, by dad has been in the hospital having tests for two heart conditions he's had for quite some time. I have been with him many hours in the hospital, dutifully asking all the right questions, keeping family and friends informed, and keeping dad entertained and his spirits high.

Needless to say I was stressed and not in the greatest mood. Especially because being in hospitals at this time of year is not exactly the easiest thing to deal with.

That was until I read a press release from H&M - Sweden's fabulous answer to high end fashion for the budget shopper. My day was instantly brightened simply by reading that 24,000 square feet of affordable goodness will be located in the city of my Alma matter, Orlando, at the Florida Mall this fall. I can't wait.

But I must send a huge thank you to H &M. Retail therapy was just what I needed today.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, March 30, 2009

a real attitude for fashion

there are several attributes one can possess to increase their style quotient. i'm not saying you have to be a certain way to be fashionable, but i've noticed there are several qualities that i see in people who also happen to have great style.

(in no particular order)

-- confidence - not just having the gusto to wear the season's latest trends, but the ability to know that you look good, are comfortable in your own skin and surroundings, and emit a calm understanding of who you are and what makes you happy.

-- self-awareness - in addition to being confident, if you are conscious of your current state - your emotions, your abilities, your resources, your mannerisms, etc - you'll be much more relaxed. and when you're relaxed, you exude confidence.

-- genuinely - authenticity in fashion is key. on so many levels.

-- comfortable luxury - unpretentious. elegant. not stuffy. not ordinary.

when you look good, you feel better. and when you feel great - you look the best.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lights Out!

So tomorrow is a special day. From 8:30 - 9:30 (20:30 - 21:30) in the evening, participants in 84 countries will be turning their lights off for Earth Hour 2009 to highlight global climate change. "Earth Hour makes a powerful statement that the world is going to solve this problem," said Carter Roberts, chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund, which sponsors Earth Hour. "Everyone is realizing the enormous effect that climate change will have on them."

I'm not so interested in this event for the climate change aspect, but for the unintended publicity and awareness of conserving energy. If events light Earth Hour positively spin time without electricity, maybe more people more often will turn off the lights.

Give it a try tomorrow. Think of how much money you could save from your utility bill if you turned out the lights and electricity for one hour each month. Or each week. Or even each day. After all, your imagination reaches new heights and runs wild when you turn out the lights.


It's springtime in the northern hemisphere. And that could only mean one (of several thousand) thing - it's time for vneck tshirts!

I don't often wear tshirts, but in the spring and summer months, I love vneck tshirts. Super soft cotton. Bright colours. Aqua. Goldenrod. Saffron. Grass. Magenta. And of course, grays of various shade, white, and plain old red.

Vnecks can be much more versatile than just a normal tshirt. Pair it under a blazer with your favourite khakis or jeans. Or jazz up your favourite tuxedo pants with a brightly coloured vneck.

Vnecks aren't just limited to tshirts either - I love my light gray cashmere vneck sweater. It's perfect for when the sun goes down and the chilly nights are upon us.

I don't know what else to say - I just love them. Stock up now. The more colours, the better.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the accessory of the day

...is sunglasses. I love sunglasses. Big sunglasses. Dark sunglasses. Aviators. Sporty wrap style. Handmade. Stylish. Fashion forward.

I don't know why I love sunglasses so much. Maybe because they're actually practical and shield your eyes from the elements - not just the sun, but the wind, debris, and haters of course. I am definitely one who stares, so having a little separation between my eyes and yours brings a certain air of dignity and privacy.

A few years ago on our annual Italian vacation, I didn't want any traditional trinkets or souvenirs. I wanted sunglasses. The perfect pair from Diesel Style Lab. And now whenever I wear them, I am instantly transformed into the Italian fashion icon. Not really, but I do love the glasses and am reminded of all things Italian.

I'm currently really into Dior Homme's glasses for men. Go figure. I love Dior.

So the next time you want to amp up your style, consider a new pair of sunglasses. You can never have too many. And remember, eye told you so!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what I'm loving right now

(In no particular order)

-- Dr. Condoleezza Rice on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. What an amazing, elegant, well spoken, and incredibly smart woman.

-- Gingham, checks, and plaids of all shapes and sizes.

-- Fresh flowers. It is spring, after all. Especially from B. Brooks and Krislyn Designs.

-- Dior Homme sunglasses. I'm currently deciding between the black tie 37/s and the black tie 50/s versions.

-- Sangria. The drink, the colour, and the happiness it brings to any party or eating event.

-- Method Home's laundry detergent and dryer sheets.

-- the vintage inspired items and actual vintage pieces at Ralph Lauren's RRL store in West Hollywood, and at John Varvatos.

-- Flo, the coolest associate at Barney's New York location in Beverly Hills. Not only is she incredibly personable, fashionable, and kind, but she is so willing to help you find the perfect ensemble for you. Flo brings the pizazz, professionalism, and panache that you'd expect from one of the world's leading purveyor's of fashion and design.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

white hot denim

In the northern hemisphere, it is officially spring. Gone are the winter blues, cold weather accessories, and sad skies. Now is the time for spring. New life. New fashion.

And what is spring fashion without white hot denim? Here are some simple suggestions to the perfect denim...

-- keep your white denim white. nothing is tackier than something that's supposed to be white and instead is browned, dirtied, and just plain stale. bleach is your friend.

-- keep your white denim plain. some denim looks better with embellishment, rhinestones, special seams, coloured threads, distressing, whiskering, special washes, etc. but white denim looks best with minimal treatment.

-- pay attention to fit. you don't want your denim to be skin tight. and it shouldn't be baggy either. fit should be loose, just skimming your natural shape.
-- keep denim accessories to a minimum. if you're wearing great white denim pants, a dark tshirt or polo shirt, simple belt, and matching shoes are the best look. you can even dress up your white denim with a dark coloured button down shirt, tie, and blazer.

don't be afraid to wear your white denim. the more you wear it, the better it looks and feels. white denim. white hot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

private fashion

With the media, especially the Internet, more consumers are having more access to more fashion than ever before. Some clients, especially the die hard fans of exclusive brands, don't view this as a good thing. They love the old school exclusivity of true couture shopping. They like the peace of mind of knowing that their handbag may be only 1 of 25 produced. Or that their heels were made with glass that was originally used half a century ago in fragrance bottles for their famous fashion house's premier scent.

You may think it's silly or ridiculous, but to a point - I agree. There is a certain allure to the things which we can't have. And designers, who previously were unattainable but now are so much more mainstream, are creating brands within their brands to restore this uberexclusivity.

Tom Ford's fragrances aren't cheap, by any means. You can however go out to your local Sephora or higher end department store and purchase a bottle of your favourite fragrance. But, to the pleasure of Mr. Ford's diehard fans who long for exclusivity, Tom Ford Private Blend is now available - a collection of 12 different fragrances, each with unique notes and distinct attitude, for a mere $180 per 50 mL.

Of the range, Mr. Ford says, "Private Blend is my own scent laboratory; it's where I have the ability to create a very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of main-stream scent making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind."

Italian master Giorgio Armani is paving the private way as well with his Armani Prive - a collection of amazingly couture garments, fragrance, and accessories. All at top notch construction. And top notch pricing of course.

The old saying "you get what you pay for" definitely applies to fashion and fragrance. Especially if you don't want to look or smell like every self described fashion forward fanatic.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

fashion integrity

They say "integrity" is what you do when no one else is around.

I say "style" is the fashion you wear when no one else is around.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha Richardson

Celebrated British actress Natasha Richardson has died today. I send good thoughts and vibes to her family and friends.

Below you'll find a few of the many amazing styles of Ms. Richardson. Her grace, her elegance, and her commitment to her family and her craft made her especially beautiful.

Of her envious physique, Ms. Richardson once said, "I don't always go to the gym four times a week. It's important to enjoy a steak and a martini once in a while."

To her family, friends, and colleagues, I send my thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

being sick is never en vogue

So I've had some influenza-like symptoms since Thursday. I don't think I've slept as much in a five day period as I had the entire month of February - literally all I did was sleep, and occasionally hack up lung or two. I didn't have an appetite at all.

So what're the upsides to being sick? Weight loss of course! I by no means an condoning an induced influenza-like coma that results in a handful of days with nothing but sleep and lack of eating. But it is always a happy means to and end of a down period when you can suddenly fit into clothes that once were a tad on the tighter side.

And regaining taste is a definitely plus - it's actually fun and enjoyable to eat again!

So, for all of you wondering where my posts were yesterday and today - I was under the weather. But I'm back now, and hoping to be 100% tomorrow. Being sick is never en vogue.

And in case you're wondering, I'm still moderately obsessed with Dior's new Trente bag. I can't get enough of it. This officially is the new "it" bag.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

spring colour trends

I love when things work out for both men and women in fashion - it makes things so much easier for us all, especially those of us who actually care how our photographs of us with our friends may look in a few years. I'm not saying I'm a fan of the whole "matchy matchy everyone wears something from the same colour scheme or fabric pattern"...but I like things that are aesthetically pleasing.

So this spring, I'm loving that the bigger designers and more reputable houses are showing similar colours. Of course, spring whites in all shades (from eggshell, ecru, french white, to stark white), sherberts (like raspberry, lemon, lime, orange), and aquamarines (aqua, teal, turquoise, sea foam).

When in doubt - remember, what'd you see in nature? What'd you see in the foods of the season? Fresh, inviting colours and soft, whispy fabrics.

Spring in to good fashion with the best colours, and all will be well.

Oh before I forget - I'm loving greens of all shades. From the lightest, pale celeries, to the deep grass greens, to darker hunters and pines. Again - cues from nature are your safest, surefire bet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

J'Adore Dior - and rightfully so!

I've always loved Dior. From Christian's very first collection 62 years ago, to the very latest, his mastery of accentuating and highlighting the female figure is absolutely incredible.
I just saw John Galliano's latest collection for Dior, and I must say - IT'S ABOUT TIME! The first thoughts that rushed into my head were "This is just like The New Look". For those who aren't quite so familiar with the history of Dior, the fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar proudly proclaimed Christian's inaugural collection as being "The New Look", for it debuted shortly after the end of the World Wars, where rationing of fabric and metals and leathers and goods had finally ended - Christian's collection was full of excess, vitality, and femininity.

So, this new collection is simply amazing. With cinched waists, soft rounded shoulders, and incredible detail. The most care and attention is given to everything. From what seem like endless layers of ruffles, to the quaintest bows, to flowing fabrics that drape so elegantly, everything is poignant and perfect.

You'll see the debut of a new CD logo - very reminiscent to a certain medallion from the Dior shoes of the 80s. The logo is fresh, modern, and young. I can't wait to see it be so well received.

Bags are reinvigorated. The most beautiful pleating, styling, and design was used in their creation. Especially for the Dior Trente bags. Fabulous.

I always liked the Rock and Roll essence that Hedi Slimane brought to Dior Homme, so I'm thrilled that the CDBee bag range includes a strikingly similar bee charm, that when removed, doubles as a whimsical keyring.

In a society where the economy is on everyone's minds, clients today are looking for a bag that won't quickly be going out of style. They want quality. They want exclusivity. Think about it - you'd rather spend $1500 on an amazing bag that you'll have for a dozen decades, will wear and age amazingly, and is versatile enough to carry from year to year, and not just season to season.

Undeniably, the most classic, elegant bag is the Lady Dior - which, as I've said here several times, was created at the request of Madame Chirac for Princess Diana as a symbol of France. In May, the house will shoot a second batch of ads for the Lady Dior handbag featuring Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, depicted in the first episode clutching the lace-like metallic grid of the Eiffel Tower, the purse slung on her arm etched with a similar pattern. (Also coming out soon on Dior's website is a mini-movie with Cotillard devoted to the making of the campaign.)

Dior's next contender in leather goods is the Trente bag, named after the French word for the number 30, the historic Avenue Montaigne address for Dior, and the number of key design elements of the bag, including a logo medallion in a very '30s style. The lambskin style, with the cane-work pattern hand-embroidered in the same soft leather, boasts a double-chain handle with glinting, faceted links carved using fine jewelry techniques. It began arriving in stores late last month, retailing from $2,300.
J'Adore Dior. What do you love?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shop (RED) at The Gap. Save 30%. Save a life.

As a friend of (RED) you can save 30% off any purchase at Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. In addition to the 30% off, Gap will contribute 5% of the total purchase amount to the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. And if that wasn't enough the offer can be used at any store and on any purchase, again and again during the specified dates. The offer can even be shared with up to 25 friends.

Last year Gap launched their Give and Get program which generated a $585,000 contribution to the Global Fund on behalf of (RED). 100% of that money was put to work on the ground in Africa to help those living with HIV. That $585,000 is equivalent to providing more than 1.3 million days of antiretroviral medicine to those that need it. It was an incredible effort and now is the time to generate even more money... all just by shopping!

This is an exclusive offer for friends and fans of (RED). To get started go to http://dwarfurl.com/714c6, download the coupon, and bring it to any Gap, Banana Republic, or Old Navy to receive 30% off the total purchase amount between March 12th and March 15th 2009.
You know I love a good deal. And what do I love more than a good deal? When my shopping actually makes a difference, rather than just a profit. Don't just upgrade your wardrobe this spring. Upgrade the world. Shopping (RED) saves lives. And that's always en vogue.

Monday, March 9, 2009

mix and match

I love mixing patterns. Let me clarify - I love mixing some patterns with other patterns, as long as the size of the pattern is proportional and the colours are contrasting. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a fan of the "overly mixed combination of patterns as often seen in Etro campaigns" ...nothing against Etro. I do love their shirts and incorporation of whimsical fabrics in unexpected places.

So, when you're ready to step up your A game and truly Mix and Match, think about these suggestions:

If one pattern is small, another must be large. For instance, I have a pink and white gingham button down shirt, with a pattern that's fairly small. With it, I'll pair a silk scarf that's grass green with TINY white dots. Or sometimes with the same shirt, I'll wear a tie of the same colours, but featured in an oversize paisley pattern. The contrast of the giant paisley against the small gingham is definitely pleasing.

When you incorporate multiple patterns, you really can Mix and Match!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cole Haan Flywire by Nike

So I stopped in to Cole Haan today and ended up staying for about 2 hours. Maybe it's because my local Cole Haan is of the newest concept, and is absolutely beautiful to look at and visit. Or it's because my favourite CH girl, Megan, is amazing. Or because her manager Christa, and coworker Leslie, are some of the most personable, friendly, and fun-loving people in the industry. Or it might have been that the girls had some extra time on their hands and wanted to know what I thought of several of their newest shoes and collections. So of course, I had to try on and test several different new kicks.

And my favourite shoes, of all time, might just have to be the new Flywire shoes by Cole Haan with Nike Technology.

Here's how the website describes them:

Nike Air Flywire
Debuted during the 2008 Beijing Olympics

A revolutionary technology, its high strength threads work like cables on a suspension bridge with support engineered precisely where the foot needs it. The filaments allow for a minimalistic shoe upper, reducing weight to allow for a lightweight sleek design.

Here's how I describe them: simply amazing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

there is method to my madness

...or so I like to think. I've spoken a lot over the past few months about my minor obsession with Method Home's cleaning products. As I write this, I'm laundering some clothing with their fabulous detergent. So I decided I needed to send Method a little love note today. I told them how much I love their products, their environmental responsibility, and their story in general. And, of course, I asked for coupons and/or free stuff. Not because they should reward my free (and unsolicited) publicity, but because I know that "the answer is always no, until you ask..."

So, I'm going to copy and paste my response from the great people at method.

Hello there, thanks so much for taking the time to write to us and for all of your candid and encouraging words.

I checked out your website, it's awesome! So glad to hear that you are using and enjoying many of our products! The good news is that we have a ton of new things launching this year and into 2009 at Target, Whole Foods, Lowes and Bed, Bath & Beyond stores nationwide as well as online at methodhome.com and Drugstore.com, so be on the lookout for those... we are just getting started!

As for coupons, they are in the mail!

Warmest regards,
Sarah (lastname deleted for privacy)

p.s- I love my new boy friend watch; can't quite afford dior or chanel! But Michael Kors does a nice version!

I must say - I've always been a fan of Method and their goods. But now, after some real interaction with their associates, I am officially a fan for life. Sarah, whoever she may be, might just be my new best friend. Free coupons for great stuff. And she actually read my blog. And yes, Mr Kors does make a great boyfriend watch, too!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ok, I lied.

There are actually 3 products of the day now. Don't get me wrong, I still am really excited to try the new YSL anti-fatigue stick. But, after a trip to my local Whole Foods Market, where I found an entire section of Method cleaning products AND Preserve products too!

You know I love Method cleaning products - they're all natural, good for the environment, and actually clean well too. And Preserve, the makers of my favourite toothbrush, also have their children's toothbrush, tongue cleaner, razors, and razor replacement blades. I didn't look to see if they have the handy bowls and cutting boards that also come from Preserve, but I was indeed excited.

So, hats off to you Whole Foods Market! You save the environment, bring delightful food items to my neighbourhood, and most of all, you made my day today.

YSL - the product of the day!

I love looking my best. I often reference the American Cancer Society's "look good, feel better" campaign - because it really is true; when you look good, you feel better.

And so, I'm always on the look out for new products and devices that help keep you in tip top shape.

I recently read about YSL's newest entry in the skincare industry - an anti-fatigue stick created just for men. I have yet to use it, so the following information is from the official YSL website.

Anti-Fatigue Treatment

Yves St. Laurent's most sought after fragrance, L'Homme Yves Saint Laurent, is extending its product range to enhance men’s daily grooming routine. Taking into account hard days at work, endless meetings and long nights out, these products have been created to meet men's needs and expectations.


A non oily-texture leaves the skin looking fresh, firm and matte. A formula enriched with mineral salts (sodium, magnesium) and trace elements (zinc and manganese). Skin is radiant, invigorated. Signs of fatigue are erased. Skin complexion is fresh, uniform.

10 gr. - US$40.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

windows to the soul?

They say that "eyes are the windows to the soul"...well if that's true, does that make store windows the snapshot of your desired lifestyle? Think about it, a retailer's windows must display everything that you want - the latest trends, the best colours, and the lifestyle that you long for.

Good windows will not only sell you on a trend; by enhancing your wardrobe and updating your options, retailers will also increase your confidence and assist you in being that much closer to your desired lifestyle.

If you came in to my Dior Boutique, and were looking for a new purse, there are two ways I could sell you a bag.

First, I could tell you that the square shape hold a lot of stuff, is a medium size that fits most occasions, and is made of quality products. You'd probably agree, decide you like the look and feel of the bag, and take it with you.

Or, I could tell you that the "Lady Dior" bag was originally created at the request of Madame Chirac for Princess Diana as a symbol of France. And that the lambskin is of superior quality. And that the quilted pattern is called Cannage, a Louis XVI pattern that also just happend to be the same pattern on the gold guilded chairs that were located in the salon of Christian Dior's first house. And that there are small silver "feet" on the bottom of the bag to prevent it from getting dirty. Or that there's an optional shoulder strap, in case you prefer to be hands free. Or that it is the most classic and recognized of all Dior bags.

You'd not only be sold on the beautiful craftsmanship, superior materials, and dazzling design, but you'd also be sold on the story, the history, and the air of luxury that you'd now associate everytime you used that beautiful bag.

One is a purse. One is wearable art.

Store windows should be inviting, inspiring, and easily initiate a conversation between the associates inside and the shoppers outside.

Below you'll see some of my favourite photographs from some of Ted Baker's stores.

Monday, March 2, 2009

the boyfriend watch

There's always an extra air of confidence present when you wear something unconventional. Or at least there should be.

For example, when you're in highschool or university and start dating a new guy and you wear his watch. Designers always like to capture a bit of nostalgia and often recreate this look and feeling as well. French greats Dior and Chanel both have mastered the "boyfriend" watch.

Some things are truly unisex, like fragrances from Creed, Tom Ford, and Calvin Klein. American Apparel has an entire unisex section. And many scarves can be worn by both sexes.

Refined, a little rugged, and definitely bold, wearing something unconventional is a great way to spice up your wardrobe. Just be confident and natural. Accessories are supposed to accentuate, and not overpower an ensemble. Remember, Coco Chanel gave us one of the best pieces of advice on fashion - she said, "wear whatever you want, and just before you leave, take one thing off"...less is more, no matter how well you master a certain look or vibe.