Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday Morning Musings

♥ A while ago, I mentioned that putting olive oil on my face has been a complexion life-saver. Let's just say most of you were skeptical, and I can totally understand why the idea of rubbing oil on the face made you recoil. However, here's a little Oil Cleansing Method explanation that gets a bit more scientific than I did. Maybe that will convince you! All I have to say is that olive oil gives me a major glow and gets rid of my blemishes. If it works, I don't question it. End of story.

♥ Speaking of glowy skin, I've just added bee pollen into my diet. It's supposed to be great for your skin (among many other things), so I'll report back with the results when I've given it a fair trial!

♥ I'm loving all these natural, good-for-you, cheap, & easy-to-use beauty treatments! Do you have any beauty miracles of the sort? I'd looove to hear about them! Seriously, I want them in the same way that Veruca Salt wanted a pet squirrel. (and an oompa loompa, and a golden ticket, etc., etc. . . .)

This made my day. Just watch it and feel thankful for Queen Michelle.

♥ I want this skirt. It looks like it came straight out of a Teen Vogue editorial. So cute!

I still need help! Be a doll and donate a little sum'n sum'n for the models who will, without your assistance, be forced to walk down the runway in their birthday suits. Of course, you'd also be helping people with AIDS and promoting your business, but let's put the focus where it's most important. Ahem.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fashion Show Extravaganza

Hello, readers, from the shiny shores of optimism!

Yes, I did just say something that corny.

As my health slowly improves, the gears in my head have been turning, and I can't help but throw myself toward new goals and take on new challenges. My most recent undertaking is putting on a fashion show at my school!

Why, do you ask? Well, first of all, there's a great local charity I helped out at a summer ago called Community Servings, which makes and delivers delicious food to people who have AIDS. The fashion show would raise money for this charity. Also, it's gonna be super fun!

My school has never had a fashion show before (not that I've heard of, anyway), and I'm a bit at a loss when it comes to my to-do list. I need to get some clothing donated or loaned, for starters, but I'm not sure who would be willing to do that kind of thing.

Soo. . . I thought I'd start by putting a shout-out here. If anyone is involved with a business that would like to donate (or loan) clothing, shoes, makeup, etc. to a good cause, then please shoot me an email! You would get exposure in the show, as well as in my coverage on this blog, and I would be eternally grateful. We can also discuss the possibility of placing an ad on the right-hand side of my blog for a few months in exchange.

It's worth a shot, right?

Also, does anyone have some advice to share? Have any of you put on a fashion show before?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nothing to Wear Syndrome

Oh, that bewildered panic that every fashionista has come to know and dread! Its first signs come in the form of a disheveled closet, clothes strewn across the floor as they are plucked from their hangers and rejected. Maybe an event invitation shares the floor space, but more often than not, the occasion the fashionista is dressing for is something much less formal, something that didn't merit an outfit planned in advance. The fashionista looks wildly around the room, her frenzied gaze darting between the clock and the wardrobe as time begins to run out. Her hair is mussed from being shoved through endless shirt collars, her cheeks flushed and her palms sweaty. Any interruption, save the appearance of a fairy godmother clutching a miracle dress, would be met with a snarl.

The danger is real. The ferocity of a fashionista with nothing to wear rivals only that of a fashionista at a sample sale. Take heed, and stay away.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a tad.

My wardrobe has been letting me down a bit lately. Is it obvious?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

ELLEgirl Taiwan

I, like so many other fashion nerds, absolutely adore the photo shoots from ELLEgirl Korea. They're so much more creative than what you can find in American teen magazines, and there is clearly a much larger budget. They are, in a word, beautiful.

But ELLEgirl Taiwan? I just discovered it today, and while the photos are not quite as wonderful as the ones found in its Korean counterpart, I can't help but love them too.

See for yourself:

If I could get my (greedy) hands on a few foreign teen glossies, I'd be a happy girl indeed.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fashion Inspiration: Anais Nin

Well, the photo shoot styling session has been postponed, so instead I'm going to talk about Anais Nin.

And FYI - the clothes horse isn't the only blogger whose photo-hosting service just added new features. Just look at that nifty frame! Go Photobucket!

I, of course, first discovered Anais Nin due to her books, which were so nicely recommended to me by Miss Gala Darling. But that chic-yet-eccentric serenity which Anais displayed on her book covers, as well as the fact that she used to be a model, led me to think that her personal style might be quite inspirational.

As you can see, I was right! She has this timeless beauty about her, a kind of mysterious glow that makes anything from a hooded cloak to a be-ruffled gown to a patterned maxi dress suite her to a "T." Gorgeous, no?

But these photos aren't just a source of open-mouthed adoration; I intend to glean some styling tips from them! Anais seemed to enjoy playing with contrast; her pale skin gleamed alluringly against her richly-hued clothing, raven tresses, and that quintessential dark lipstick. Also, it seems, she favored head adornments, whether they were flower-topped hats, sloppily-tied scarves, or a tightly-wound spiral of her own hair.

I will take that into consideration when getting dressed.

Now if only I could have that bewitching moon-shaped face and the ability to string words together so that they delve into equal parts dream and reality. . .

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Springtime!

Happy Springtime, everyone! Get ready to dig out your sandals, airy dresses, and umbrellas - unless, like me, you never put them away.

My negligence this week as a blogger really came as quite a shock to me. I was curled up on the couch today, immersed in the perfectly chosen words of Anais Nin's tales, when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't written in, oh, a day or two. So I slipped a bookmark between musty pages and made my way to the computer, summoning up my blog on the screen.

Where I realized that I hadn't written since Wednesday. Ooops.

How did this week manage to slip by so quickly?

So I'm sitting here, writing, just to let you know that I haven't forgotten about you. I have some new clothing purchases to share when I have enough time to take decent pictures, as well as an interesting blog-related surprise that will have to wait so that I don't jinx it. Oh, and tomorrow my friend and I are going to work on styling a photoshoot! The concept is mixing Indian and American clothing, and my friend will model while I take the shots. I have the perfect shoot location picked out, and it will be so fun! I just hope I don't botch things up too much with the camera; I'm far from a pro, and my Canon A610 is not the sharpest camera in the world.

We shall see. . .

For now, I'm going to slip into bed to read the Lula Magazine I finally managed to pick up yesterday and drift off into dreams of floaty dresses, colored maccaroons, polkadot tights, and rainbows.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Short Hair Help

I recently received an email from a reader that said, "I wanted to ask if you had any websites that were really good for looking up chic haircuts, I want to go really short but I'm not really sure exactly what I want, and I can't seem to find any decent websites online."

I figured I'd post my answer here, because other people might find it useful. Short hair is so easy and comfortable, and it can look damn hot! Embrace it!

I know for a fact that finding a picture of the exact cut you want can border on impossible. I remember that when I decided I wanted a pixie cut, I was sure finding a picture to show my hair stylist would be a snap.

It wasn't.

In the end, I threw up my hands, went to the stylist, and explained what I wanted. It came out beautifully, but I got lucky. Unless you know exactly what you want your cut to look like, you need to find a picture. This will a) ensure that you figure out what you want your cut to look like, and b) give the stylist an extremely clear idea of what you want.

What I'm trying to say, dear readers, is that this was a smart question, and I'm happy to answer it.

Now on to the good stuff.

A while ago, I wrote a post on getting the perfect pixie (which actually might be of some use to you.) I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits on that post from a hair forum, which led me to check out the website that hosted the forum. Hair Boutique seems amazingly useful to me, and there is a feature where you can search for pictures of hairstyles based on hair length, face shape, hair color, etc. Some of the pictures aren't great, but there are a bunch of good ones if you're patient enough to sift through them.

Above: Pictures found via Hair Boutique

Also, The Fashion Spot has a thread discussing short haircuts that's filled with fabulous photos of stylish short hair. These photos are some of my favorites among all the ones I found while researching for this post, so check it out!

Above: Pictures found via TFS

Finally, flickr has a few great groups bursting with photos of short-haired women. Take a peek at Beautiful Short Hair and Cut It Short to see some gorgeous ladies rocking amazing 'dos.

Above: Pictures found via the two flickr groups

Best of luck, darling! I'd love to see a picture of your new haircut!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How Mysterious You Are, My Dear

These pictures have been lurking around the Target press room, titled "GO International Private Label Collection 1."

Hmmm. Might they be a preview of Richard Chai for Target? Some aspects of this collection are reminiscent of some of Chai's previous collections. . .

I do like it, though. Not all of it, but that first dress is quite pretty, for example. The final dress reminds me of a Korean hanbok.

More pictures here.

Update: Fashionista reports that "the clothes were created by Target designers in an attempt to 'bring top apparel trends to Target in between each limited-edition GO International designer collection.'"

Oh. I can't decide whether this is good or bad. On the one hand, Target is bringing us more fashionable clothing (yay!), but on the other, do I really want to pay what I would pay for a Luella for Target jacket on something that's just Target for Target?

Hmmm. Discuss.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I've been waiting for the newest Lula magazine for ages, and. . .

. . . my local Barnes & Noble decided not to sell this issue!!!


There is nowhere else around here I can think to get it, and I'm feeling incredibly disappointed. No dreamy photos to paste above my bed this month for sweet dreams? No amazingly insightful and unique articles? No thick, glossy paper and cat-eyed Siri? Sacrilege!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Let's Go to India

Lately I've been noticing how much more accessible Indian and Indian-inspired fashion is becoming. There was the launch of Vogue India, Disneyrollergirl is blogging about her experience as the fashion director of an Indian magazine, the Sartorialist is snapping fabulous style in New Dehli, profiled Bombay fashion in "India: A-Z,"and Indian fashion blogs are even popping up. Not to mention the countless Indian-inspired collections designers have shown in the past couple of years.

Well, I do love the rich fabrics and colors, the beautiful embroidery, and intricate jewelry that has come from across-seas.
I decided to do some experimenting with Indian-inspired looks, even though my wardrobe is pretty lacking in that kind of thing. But just wait 'til I travel to India some day - I plan to stock up!

For more Indian fashion:
♥ Suze on Style's Indian Summer
♥ Gala Darling's Bindi Revival

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rules of Fashion

Sorry for the gaps in posting - I'm currently wrestling with several school projects/papers, not to mention preparing for the senior show. Stress is the word, people.

Anyway, last night I finally got around to reading the issue of Time: Style & Design that my friend loaned me. My family has a subscription to Time, and I enjoy reading it, but the addition of a oh-so-cool Agyness lounging on the cover made me extra-eager to read it. So I dove in.

One article that I found especially interesting concerned fashion in the Middle East. It talked about how girls are struggling to be stylish and unique, while at the same time covering themselves up according to their religious values. If a girl has fashion on the brain, however, we just know she's going to find some creative solutions, and that is exactly what these girls are doing. Read the article here. It's interesting - I promise!

This article got me thinking about how the clothing we wear can be dictated - and restricted - by rules. I'm not a Muslim, and I don't live in the Middle East, so I don't have to worry about wearing a hijab and that kind of thing. And while most of the students at my high school dress pretty uniformly (besides me. . .), there is actually no school dress code. I remember seeing a high school girl get off the bus at my school when I was in middle school (where we had a dress code) with a short pink pixie cut, bra top, and low-slung jeans. A silver ring glinted from her navel. No one dresses like that here, not anymore, but it's nice to know it's not forbidden.

I guess what I've realized is that I live in a pretty open environment, fashion-wise. My somewhat eclectic outfits are not always embraced, but they are definitely tolerated. The so-called "rules" that dictate what I wear come from what society expects from me, and in turn, what I expect from myself. I wouldn't wear my combat boots to temple, because it would feel disrespectful. The military connotation of the boots just doesn't feel right in a place of worship. In the same way, I wouldn't wear a too-short tank top that leaves my bra straps in full view to a meeting with a teacher. No, more conservative dress isn't required of me, but a slobby-sexy outfit might send a message to the teacher that I'm not taking the meeting seriously.

What I'm trying to say in a long, rambling, and not-so-elequent way is that I appreciate the openness of my society. I know that many Muslim women do not find their hijabs oppressive, and I fully support anyone who chooses to wear them. The problem, I think, comes when choice is no longer taken into account.

I'm not an expert on the subject, so I'm going to shut up now. What do you think?

On a semi-related note, I'm looking foward to reading this. Also found in the same issue of Time: Style & Design, Girls of Riyadh sounds fascinating.

"Four upper-class Saudi Arabian women negotiate the clash between tradition and the encroaching West in this debut novel by 25-year-old Saudi Alsanea. Though timid by American chick lit standards, it was banned in Saudi Arabia for its scandalous portrayal of secular life. . ."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hair Show

Last night I went to an. . . interesting event.

My friend Bea was modeling in a hair show, and she invited my friend Juli and me to come along. We didn't know what to expect. At all.

When we got there, after a bit of mingling (the rest of the audience seemed to be hairdressers), we sat down and waited for the show to begin.

Here we are, waiting.

Then, after a short presentation about the J Beverly Hills line from John Dellaria, the show began. An apparently famous hairdresser (Miyake, I think? Supposedly he cuts Julia Roberts' hair. . .) took to the runway, demonstrating his flawless hair-cutting style on a model.


Miyake power!

Unfortunately, as he moved on to a second model, I felt my interest slipping. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the movement of the hair, or the way the scissors were held, or different cutting techniques for very long.

So I was kind of glad when his presentation was over.

Until another hairdresser came out to showcase her hair-cutting skills. And another. And another. It lasted for about three hours, and I was bored out of my mind.

It was cool to see my friend Bea on the runway, however. She's so beautiful!

This is Bea, looking lovely with her chic new bob.

When the hair-cutting demonstrations were over, the stylists moved on to updos.


My favorite updo

I hated the updo in the picture at first, but it grew on me. I could see it looking very retro-chic with cherry-red lips on someone without orangey fake-tanned skin. It's not for me, though. I prefer a more natural look.

That was basically it for the hair show. The models all walked the runway one last time to show off their new 'dos in the finale, and then applauded the hairdressers.

I congratulated Bea and raced to the car, brain screaming with relief that the four hour festival of boredom was finally over. I turned to Juli, and as we locked eyes, we collapsed onto the back seat, shaking with laughter. Between giggles, she managed to gasp, "That was so boring!" I nodded, wiping streaming eyes, and continued to laugh.

I mean no offense to any of the amazing hairdressers in the show. They were talented, really, and I'm sure some people found it interesting. The rest of the audience seemed riveted, actually. But as much as I like having a cute haircut, I can't handle talking about it for hours. Just cut it and get it over with, please. That's what I pay people for.

So, have you ever been to a hair show before?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Word's a Circus

I recently finished the book Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen, and was fascinated by the depression-era circus photos that were displayed in the novel.

To give you an idea, here are some vintage circus photos I found online:

I'm totally enthralled with pictures like these - poverty, abuse, corruption, and helplessness hidden behind masks of face paint and glimmering costumes. It's quite a powerful idea. These circus performers were running away from problems, dealing with ruthless circus managers, and living in crappy conditions, but as soon as they stepped into the ring, they were completely different people. Suddenly, in the spotlight, they were the stars. They were admired, applauded, and filled with confident talent.

Only to be left once more in the shambles of their lives as the crowd exited the big top.

It's kind of like living a double life, one reflected by their clothing.

Apparently others agree with me, because I've stumbled across several circus-themed photo shoots with a vintage sort of feel:

Of course, being who I am, I immediately began to plot ways to incorporate the circus into daily wear. Here's a pretty good example:

Flouncy skirts are pretty much a must:

Clockwise from top left: Miu Miu, Miu Miu, I'm Your Present, Mod Cloth, Plasticland, American Apparel.

We're talking bright colors, crazy prints, and some major volume.

For more circus appeal, accessorize with circus animal jewelry, two-colored tights, top hats, and bow ties.

Clockwise from top left: American Apparel, Mod Cloth, Plasticland, Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.

Also: vertically striped tights, harlequin prints, sheer skirts, ringmaster jackets, tutus, leotards, flowers in the hair, feather headdresses, and parasols. Extra points for carrying around a cute Barnum's animal crackers box.

I'll admit it. . . I'm feeling a strong urge to go to a circus right now. . .

Friday, March 7, 2008

A Letter to Old Navy

Dear Old Navy,

I knew you were trying to improve. When I went to my local store, I was impressed by how much better the clothing was. It mostly didn't look expensive, but it was pretty nice, and I dug the urban saffari theme.

But this? [see picture above] This is on a whole different level! It's actually. . . chic. And expensive-looking.

In fact, I really want a studded dress and sandals ASAP, although I suppose I'll have to wait until summer when this clothing hits stores.

Thanks in advance for clothing me,

P.S. I also love the other items I viewed on Fashionista. Props!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More Fairytale Fashion Portraits

I love searching for fairytale fashion portraits, because I always find the most enchanting photo shoots.

Today I looked for Snow White.

So beautiful! I love seeing how different photographers interpret the story.

Sources: Snow White by Chris Craymer, Evil Queen from Harper's Bazaar, Ninagawa Mika, Snow White by erintaylor, Fairytale by Eugenio Recuenco.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Flawed Beauty

People are always saying "love your flaws" and "flaws are beautiful" and that kind of thing.

I like the idea, and I try hard to believe in it, but sometimes I don't buy it.

This picture of Irina Lazareanu (source) has me buying it:

She is not a classic beauty. She has these tiny, tiny lips, which look gorgeous on her even though big lips are normally considered more beautiful.

If she had big lips, I don't think she'd look as amazing, and she would definitely look less interesting. That double-take factor would be gone.

Just something to think about . . .

Monday, March 3, 2008

Flowers 'n Stripes

A few weeks ago, I sat on the floor of my room in a dazed sort of bliss, surrounded by piles of fashion magazines. I was flipping through at random, letting my fingers slide across smooth pages as I sought any sort of inspirational pictures I might have previously missed. Beside me was a stack of torn-out pages, edges ragged and surfaces gleaming, that particularly caught my fancy.

I began to notice a trend in the torn out pages. You see, in many of them, the stylist had chosen to pair stripes with flowers. And it worked so well! With Nubby Twiglet's fashion notebooks fresh in my mind, I grabbed a glue stick and began assembling a stripes-and-flowers collage, my excitement mounting.

Then I realized that Lost was on. The collage tumbled from my hands and slid under the bed, forgotten.

It's really not my fault. That show is like a drug.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say in a long, rambling, and possibly boring way is that today, when I saw how Queen Michelle paired her beautifully altered floral dress with a striped shirt, I remembered my collage.

Here it is, dug up and dusted off. The girl in the white hat has a blue-and-white striped shirt on, but the stripes aren't visible with the picture in such a small format.

And here is my collage's virtual sister that I felt the need to make:

There's no doubt about it; stripes + flowers = styling success! I'll have to keep that in mind when mixing prints and that type of thing.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

New Purchases Make Me Happy

I made a few purchases today that I'm supremely happy with.

First there's this Jovovich-Hawk for Target top I picked up today:

I like the draping and Grecian style, and the fact that it's soft and loose. I was a little disappointed because the two pieces in the collection I was most excited to see in person and possibly buy were the linen vest and that absolutely adorable linen bag, and they weren't in the store.

Oh well. I'll have to try again some other time. The sizing and quality of the line is too variable for me to risk buying online.

My other purchase is the necklace I'm wearing in the above picture. Here it is close up:

I bought it for $20.00 from a younger girl in my neighborhood this morning. She and her friends make this amazing jewelry (in lots of color combinations), and they held a crafts fair today. They are donating half of the proceeds to a school in Sudan, and the other half goes toward their supplies. I asked my neighbor if she would be interested in selling to you guys through my blog, since I think the jewelry is so pretty and the cause is so good. She hasn't decided yet, but we shall see... Anyone interested?

I love my necklace, though! I know I said I hated chokers, but apparently I don't. So Wendy, you can stop being shocked and disturbed by my aversion to chokers now.

Yay- I love buying new things!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Nylon-Inspired DIY

After the floral glory of those Nylon photos from my previous post, it became clear to me that I needed to find some way to wear flowers in my hair.

So I did a little DIY.

I used a glue gun to stick together some flowers from a worn out lei. Then I glued beads to the center and a stiff piece of paper with 2 slits to the back.

I made 2 flowers.

The point of the slits on the back is that I can slide a hair clip through them:

Or I can use them to slip the flower on a headband:

The flowers were so simple to make, and delightful to wear. I'm happy.