Saturday, April 27, 2013


I have mentioned in past posts that I am feeling the studded trend. It is still going strong, and I am still buying into it. I love how Sam Edelman adapted this trend for spring. The mint colored trench is perfect for the weather now. And the motorcycle jackets are actually not real leather, so they are light and perfect to throw over a maxi dress. It might seem obsessive to buy three pieces of outerwear, but when they are faux leather they are cheaper, and the deals are even better when you score them at Hautelook. Hautelook is owned by Nordstrom and so you can find sample sale prices on Nordstrom goods while the sale is on Hautelook. Thank you, Hautelook!

Happy shopping!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fashion Collaborations

I think it's really important that fashion houses have learned to collaborate with other retailers. Lately it seems like the trendy thing to do, which has been really beneficial for consumers who like high fashion but can't always afford it. H&M has had long-standing partnerships with designers such as Jimmy Choo, and I am glad to see these other retailers following suit. Here are the ones I am liking and buying right now.

In February, Prabal Gurung for Target hit stores. It was floral, colorful, and perfect for Spring. I got up super early and hit my Target. Good thing I did, because I got the last floral blazer and dress. They fit so perfectly and they add instant vibrancy to any outfit. I also like the neon yellow dress, though it didn't look best on me, and the neon tie-up shoes, which were online only and sold out. The blazer and dress were $49.99 each. I even wore the dress to a spring wedding already. It was the perfect item.

In January, Kirna Zabete partnered with Nine West to begin the release of six months of shoe partnerships.  Not being an avid Nine West shopper, this slipped under my radar. But later on when I saw these feathered beauties on Instagram, I knew I had to have them. The tall, red heels were just $129.99 and they look way more expensive than that. The kitten heels are under $100. When I saw the June preview with the pink, vibrant colors, I got really excited for the coming months. I am happy to be a newly converted Nine West fan.

I was so thrilled to hear that Marchesa's Georgina Chapman was doing a collection for JC Penney called Pearl. However, I have to admit, I was a bit put off. I hadn't been in a JC Penney for years. It is definitely not the place I would associate with stylish clothes, let alone the rosettes, tulle, and ornate decor that is Marchesa. But on a whim I went to check it out and am oh so glad I did. The pieces are beautiful for how affordable they are, and they have the Marchesa flavor. My picks were an embellished LBD and this vintage-looking peppermint tulle dress. While these looks are marketed toward prom wear, the sizes are regular and the quality is definitely there. If you want a classy frock to wear for any occasion, check out these deals at JCP. The Pearl section is marked off with these gorgeous pearl chandeliers, so you can't miss it. And by the way, they are doing a couple other cool collabs as well, with Mango and Sephora. I am really feeling the new JCP. 

The biggest surprise for me has been Kate Young's collection for Target. This stylist is really hooked up in Hollywood, but since I wasn't that familiar with her style I didn't know what to expect. The preview pictures I saw for this line weren't moving me that much. But when researching this post, my jaw dropped. I literally saved this draft and ran to Target. Luckily my Target is tucked away so they had pretty much everything (save for the fuchsia tiered dress) in stock. I picked up three of these gown-like dresses that look absolutely stunning. And for under $100 each, they are perfect. I just need more nice occasions to wear them to. Oh and a new pair of shoes made it home with me too. Just $45 for these bow-tied beauties. Kate Young is now my new favorite designer.

I sincerely hope more retailers keep up the collaborating, making high-taste haute couture affordable for those on a shoe-string budget. Fashion can be affordable; fashion is for everybody.

Now, happy shopping!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ruby Slippers

New issue of Nail Art Gallery Magazine is out! You can read it here.

I surprised myself a bit when writing my ed note. It got personal very quickly. You will find some amazing nail art in this issue inspired by the new film Oz the Great and Powerful. When thinking about Oz, my mind immediately went back to my childhood. We have an entire section on pop culture, and I really got to thinking about the effects living among TV, books, movies, and music can have on you. Is the reason I love shopping really because I love Carrie Bradshaw and want to be a fashionable writer like her? Did my love for Modern literature translate into a love of that excessive, Jazz Age type of lifestyle? Do I want a ring from Tiffany's because I love Audrey Hepburn? I honestly don't know. I can't pinpoint the roots of all my affections. But there is an undeniable influence these works of art have had on me, and I'm sure on everyone else too.

In fact, everyone in Southern California seems a bit obsessed with the entertainment culture. We watch our news daily (and here, content that is considered news, like what a pregnant Kardashian wore, is not what I would consider news). Everyone wants to be an actor or a filmmaker. Seriously, I can name so many of my friends who have tried to be in the industry. Everyone knows someone, or pretends to know someone, or wants to see someone famous. And you know what? That bubble is not for me. That lifestyle is not me. I would love to hear a traffic report without hearing about a celebrity split. I would love to meet more people who moved to California not to be in show business. And the times I go to events in Hollywood, I don't like sucking up or name dropping or fainting and fawning over "really important people." 

I think we need to get back to the art behind it all. There was a time when there wasn't a TMZ, when our authors and fine artists were celebrated as much as people who could sing or act. Rachel Zoe said something that I relate to very much, and that is for her, a celebrity is someone who designs clothes. I bet you the majority of people wouldn't know what the designer behind Dior is named (Raf Simons) or what the designers behind Valentino looked like. But these are the people who are creative geniuses, who are artists. One of the things I like most about Nail Art Gallery Magazine is that we shine spotlights on several artists, so you get to see their faces and not just pictures of the pretty nails they paint. 

Back in the day, films were done in black and white. You had to really imagine what an emerald city might look like. There weren't a ton of digital effects, so we had to trust the filmmakers to have creative stories and not just creative visuals to get us through a script. When I was growing up, the Wizard of Oz fueled my imagination. I was a daydreamer, I still might be. And I remember dreaming of places over the rainbow -- places worth singing about. I still worry about following the right road. I love a pair of ruby colored slippers. And part of the reason why I love them is because when I click my heels together three times, I do feel transformed. Because that is the magic of shoes. That is the genius behind great design. And no matter how many roads I wander down, or cities I visit while walking in my shoes, no matter how many dreams come true, I still feel like there is no place like home. So no matter how we choose to escape reality for a bit -- be it blogs, a book, a film -- we are all happy to return home. That's where the real stories begin. And for me, home is not really a place with a closet full of shoes. Home is at my grandmother's house, sitting on the carpet in the back room, watching the Wizard of Oz on VHS. Good art takes us back to where a story begins. Good art transforms us. And that power exists within the artwork itself, not within the red carpet of its premiere, or the number of tickets it has sold. I hope you enjoy the new issue and that you find something in there that transforms you, that takes you back, and maybe even causes you to dream a bit.