Monday, November 30, 2009

Thinking Outside the Bag

One of the magazines I manage is Haute Handbags ( I have been very stressed about the handbags to feature in the next issue (Spring 2010). Part of my aggrivation comes from the fact that I'm not seeing a lot of new and forward thinking when it comes to handbags. Dont get me wrong, there are a few notables that I am eyeing but nothing fresh, exciting, and having me believe that people are stretching and thinking outside the box.

And then I found these fellas...

I love how Litar bags ( plays with shape. Such a simple way to reinvent the bag, by starting with the basic architecture of it and redoing it.

Then there's the Pop Art meets crafty quirkiness of Belleslettres ( If you're a label lover and can't afford the real thing, perhaps you should fashion something out of those ads I know you like.
Thanks to these two designers I feel very hopeful about the bags of the future. The next Haute deadline is May 15 2010.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Those Who Wait

Thanksgiving, the holidays, and all this blogging and blogging about shopping have got me thinking. I used to do what lots of other shopaholics do and cut and paste pictures from fashion magazines and paste them in my journal. Perhaps I did this as a goal, perhaps as something to dream over, or maybe because I just love the idea of delicious pictures on paper (go figure I work on magazines). But now this blog has taken over for me in terms of the journaling and cutting and pasting (that's my goal at least).

But sometimes with a little luck, hard work, digging through racks, and getting up early, our goals can be achieved and fashion dreams can become reality. Check out the picture of the red dress in my journal. I cut it out and pasted it there a year ago. It's a very simple spaghetti strap dress with tiers of ruffles all around. And on Black Friday the stars aligned and I found the last dress of this kind at Nordstrom Rack. It's black and not red or navy, but at $60 (it was originally $495) I will love it forever. i will be wearing this lovely to my birthday dinner at French 75 on Laguna Beach. I love the movement this dress creates when it's on. Totally worth standing in line for 45 minutes at 6 a.m.

Notice the other picture in the journal. It's a Miu Miu flat. Miu Miu is my favorite shoe label and Miuccia Prada loves jewels as much as I do. Her flats are always embellished ane beautiful, and while I dont have the pair featured in my journal (yet) Ive been fortunate enough to find some excellent vintage Miu Miu beauties. These red cork wedges are hot and were only $33 at Buffalo Exchange. Talk about making me look taller. The classic black pumps are my favorite basic shoe in black suede and with a platform toe. Just $80 at a consignment store in northern California. Timeless beauty.

Speaking of Miu Miu, a new crop of goals/dreams/visions of grandeur have popped up in their newest catalogue. The Miu Miu boutique finally opened at South Coast (after a long wait). It is the most beautiful store I've ever been in. Shine, bling, and clean lines, they sell footwear, clothes, and accessories. Im head over heels. Here's a peek at my favorites from the catalogue. Maybe some day ...

So, lesson learned: waiting is definitely worth it. The dress you are eyeing now is a tempting splurge, but if you wait you never know how lucky you just may get. I'm so very lucky. And consequently, very patient.

What I Bought Today: Black Friday Edition

OK, so this is actually what I've been buying over the past few days. I have been buying gifts too (I swear) but I obviously cant post pictures of those. So this is a slightly skewed glimpse and it may appear selfish, but really there are very good deals out there. I scored some excellent finds on the gifts I purchased for other people too.

Black Friday is actually my favorite shopping day of the year. I wake up at 4 a.m. like it's Christmas morning, get a Starbucks holiday beverage, and get ready to hunt. It's like the olympics of shopping. This is what I practice all year for (that's my excuse). The only bad thing is waiting in line.

At South Coast Plaza I found these Alexander McQueen tights on pre-sale at Nordstrom, so I will be picking them up and taking them home on Tuesday. Houndstooth is my favorite print and McQueen is doing a lot of cool things with it right now (check out Black and white and always classic, I love the look of this punk rock yet chich print. I just found out its my mom's favorite too.

Then yesterday I ventured over to Kohls for more gifts when I saw these boots for $29.99! I couldnt pass them up. They are suede, gray, flat and will be perfect to wear on rainy days when i dont want to get my leather designer boots wet and when my Uggs are too casual for the occasion. I also got these leopard print tights. For some reason I'm going through a tight obsession right now. I've always loved animal print because it's so fun and because I've been eyeing these Juicy leggings for a while so this is kind of like my look for less. Im still thinking about how to pull off the leopard tights. Maybe Ill do a posting when I have it all paired up. I have an idea though.

My other new favorite store besides Kohls is Neiman Marcus Last Call. They just opened one in Orange and I already cant wait to go back. Mainly because I saw some Marni pumps I want to get my hands on. I found this perfect party dress that Ive been wanting for a while: silk, black and with a feathered hem. By Juicy Couture. My birthday is this week so Im thinking this dress will make its debut over celebratory champagne. I also found this silk trimmed tank for $4!! It's modal, gray, and a basic staple. Here's what it looks like on (

Hope everyone else found some awesome deals too. Stay tuned for the Day After Christmas Sale results (my second favorite shopping day of the year).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I'm Thankful For: J.D. Salinger

The best advice I've ever received on writing comes from my favorite Salinger piece Seymour: An Introduction. This is the most important passage I've ever read.

"When was writing ever your profession? It's never been anything but your religion ... Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won't be asked. You won't be asked if you were working on a wonderful. moving piece of writing when you died. You won't be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won't be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won't even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished. I'm so sure you'll get asked only two questions. Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer... I think I'd give almost anything on earth to see you writing a something, an anything, a story, a poem, a tree, that was really and truly after your own heart."

Mr. Salinger, I'm eternally thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fashioning a Room

All this Home stuff is going through my head. Maybe because it's the holidays, a time in which we all think of the comforts of home.

I think most women are interested in functional fashion. Perhaps the best way to acheive this is through fashioning a room of one's own. These wall stickers exemplify the kind of embellishing that every room needs to express personal style. I found these at They also have some cool pillows.

And speaking of pillows, I thought I'd share one of my favorites of all time from Etsy ( I'm a true Anglophile!

Monday, November 23, 2009

HOME is Where the Art Is

I'm really intrigued with home decor. One of my goals in life is to be able to decorate a home as well as I can decorate myself. I grew up surrounded by women who loved home decor featured in Mary Engelbreit (my mum's tastes) and Country Living (my grandma). But when it comes to my tastes ... well I have a few ideas as to what I'm looking for.
These Etsy beauties are certainly dreamy ( with pearls and crystals. And nothing says home like a welcoming wreath and vibrant color ( But I contend that one can never go wrong with jewels. And for girls everywhere, you know you just want to own a crown like this. It can be pure decor or you can hang jewelry off of it, but I dont recommend wearing it out as it's very heavy (I tried wearing it).

If you are interested in functional and fun art for the home, consider submitting to a magazine I've just been put in charge of called Somerset Home If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Words That Kill

"'There is nothing, no, no, never nothing,
Like the clashed edges of two words that kill.'
And so I mocked her in magnificent measure.
Or was it that I mocked myself alone?
I wish that I might be a thinking stone.
The sea of spuming thought foists up again.
The radiant bubble that she was. And then
A deep un-pouring from saltier well
Within me, bursts its watery syllable."

from "Le Monocle de Mon Oncle" by Wallace Stevens

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Make it Work

Project Runway season finale tonight! Will you be watching?
I am a huge fan of Tim Gunn, he's definitely a super hero in my world. One of my favorite shows is Tim Gunn's Guide to Style on Bravo. I highly recommend digging up some old episodes and learning from the master about how to "make it work."

While I think the top 3 are great designers, I have to admit I am enchanted with Carol Hannah Whitfield. Her personality is so easy going and her dresses are heavenly. Her blog is so beautiful too ( But most importantly, have you seen her Etsy shops?! Here are my favorites and here is the link to buy and browse: I love her shop description too, I completely agree:

dresses for breakfasts, dinners & balls
dresses to sit in, stand in & walk in

dresses to dance in, flirt in & talk in

dresses in which to do nothing at all

dresses for winter, spring, summer & fall

Mantra for the day: "Dresses in which to do nothing at all ..."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apres Coco Avant Chanel

Last night I saw Coco Before Chanel. Loved it. The haunting music, the elegant Audrey Tautou, the ethereal clothes, loved it all. But mostly, I was inspired by Coco's story. She didn't just wait for things to happen, she made them happen for her. She stuck with her gut and personal style and it all paid off in the end. Us women apres (after) Coco now have the task set before us to have confidence in ourselves, and thanks to Coco we can aspire to "wear the pants" in any type of relationship.

To honor Coco and her genius aesthetic I have some pictures of my most coveted Chanel pieces, all vintage and from one of my absolute favorite (and top secret, for now) stores EVER. The heels and pencil skirt are some of my favorite basics to wear. They are also some of the best scores ever at $124 for the heels and $60 (!!!!) for the skirt. I always get compliments on them. My faithful and trusty Chanel compact and lipstick accompanies me wherever I go.

In the last picture I'm wearing the shoes with my new Stella McCartney dress I mentioned here And those sunglasses are not Chanel, they are Target, but no one would ever know.

Haute photography

Working in the magazine business has taught me a lot about looking at photos. Unfortunately, I still don't really know how to take them (as Im sure you can see here). But, I am learning, and I promise I will get better. Im sure it wont surprise anyone that I love fashion photography. Here are some pictures I want to print, cut, and hang on my closet wall.

The first set are from Tracy Dee photography ( I just met Tracy on Monday, she is a total sweetheart. For some reason I am also really drawn to wedding photography too. Maybe it's all that bridal freelance writing I used to do ( Tracy has really gorgeous wedding photos on her site.
Speaking of wedding photos, I love this one from Bonzie's blog ( Bonzie's dress graces the cover of the current Altered Couture, so head over to your nearest bookstore to check it out or visit Bonzie's blog for more on the feature.

To love fashion is to love the Sartorialist ( I was really drawn to these two pictures in particular.

Pixel Peach ( took these photos of Dawn Younger-Smith, the brains and beauty behind Boudoir Queen's killer clothing line ( For more on Dawn, check out the current Altered Couture (

Don't remember where I found this other photo, but for some reason I saved it. It reminds me of having crepes and coffee in Paris cafes taking in the polished pedestrians. And did you see the old woman's face in this picture?