Wednesday, October 29, 2008

i am not this ambitious....

I've always wanted to be Labyrinth David Bowie (aka Jareth) for Halloween. But that's a lot of work. A lot of shoulder pads. Wig. Eyeshadow. Cod piece. This Jack-O-Lantern template seems just as stressful and intimidating. I don't own many kitchen knives, and definitely none intended for detail work on Bowie bangs. At least Jennifer Connelly doesn't have a tiny detailed face. It's just a small hole in a pumpkin. I can make that happen.

Am already planning on being BSG's Starbuck for Halloween, but am now wondering if I should be a Starbuck Jack-O-Lantern. This is when I know that I've gotten carried away.

awesome templates from pink raygun

Monday, October 27, 2008

"If you believe, clap your hands. Don't let Tink die."

I've long claimed that my idea of hell is a world in which everyone wears sweatshirts and denim button-downs with Disney and Warner Bros. characters embroidered on them (especially on denim button-downs. shudder). Yes, that includes Winnie the Pooh. And Taz. And Tweety. However, my resolve must be weakening, because I'm desperately coveting multiple pieces from Disney Couture. The Disney jewelry line. That's couture. And by Disney. I know, right? It's ever so embarrassing. Hangs head in quiet and appropriate shame.

It started innocently enough with a feature story on head designer Kidada Jones (daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton, sister of Rashida) in Nylon. But it didn't take long for me to go from ironically appreciating the silliness of a Tinkerbell ring to seriously considering purchasing a bejewelled Bambi pendant. A Bejewelled. Bambi. Pendant. This is a slippery slope, my friends. Next thing you know I'll be curling up with my High School Musical 3 Toss Pillow and fantasizing about marrying a Jonas Brother in a Disney Princess-themed wedding (Snow White!!). I barely even recognize myself in the (magic) mirror anymore. This shameful infatuation has betrayed everything that I stand for. It has altered the very fiber of my being. Don't look at me.

Sigh. More images that encourage my secret shame which is no longer a secret because I'm blogging about it:

the science of sleep

I don't sleep well. I've had insomnia off and on since childhood, and during a particularly memorable stretch at age 11, I stayed up for three days watching Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator infomercials, cheating at choose-your-own-adventure books, and roller skating around my driveway at all hours of the morning. This summer, enough was enough, and I finally gave prescription sleep aids a go. My doctor prescribed Ambien, and warned me that I shouldn't take this particular medication until I was physically in bed, as it was so quick to kick in. She also mentioned that people who take Ambien and try to stay awake sometimes experience mild hallucinations. So being the model patient that I am, I tucked myself into bed, took my first dose, and turned off the light.

I was a bit anxious, so although I'd followed all of my doctor's suggested relaxation preparations, I found sleep difficult to come by. I let my eyes adjust to the darkness and I stared around my room, following cracks in the ceiling as I waited for the drug to kick in. As my eyes panned across my bedroom, I noticed that some of the items on my nightstand were moving. My lamp, my Japanese music box, my l'Occitane lotion, my alarm clock. They were swaying and dancing in the dim moonlight, and eventually began singing to me. Yes folks, I was hallucinating. Hard core. My nightstand guardians continued their very "Be Our Guest" song and dance number until I drifted off to sleep, and I remembered hoping that this soothing animatronic lullaby would become a nightly tradition.

The next few times I took Ambien before bed, I tried to stay awake in the hopes that Lumiere and Cogsworth would make another appearance. This led to a number of unforgettable moments in my apartment (which are actually sort of forgettable, since the Ambien made my memory quite foggy). They involved: falling asleep in the fetal position face down on my couch (see first photo for reference), placing affectionate phone calls to the people in my life that I love oh so very much (way more extreme than a drunk dial), and falling ass over teakettle into my bathtub and struggling about like a beetle on its back. Why do I share this story? Because I'm still obsessing over this editorial from last January's Vogue Girl Korea. Not only because it's hauntingly beautiful, but because, girl, I've been there.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

more marimekko for me

Yes, this is exactly what I need. Another limited edition palette. At least this time around, the price is easily justifiable. The marimekko for Avon classic poppy print eyeshadow palettes go for just $8 a pop. Available in two color combinations (as are the two coordinating face palettes), both of the primary shades are extremely versatile. The navy blue is surprisingly soft and blendable, while the gray is easy to work with and very on trend. (I think I've seen fifteen articles about how "gray is the new black" over the past three months. Most of which were in Allure. Way to brianstorm story ideas, you magazine editors, you!)

The face palettes are similar in color and texture to Clinique Fresh Bloom Allover Colour (formerly limited edition, but now a permanent item due to its success). Of course, the Clinique palettes retail for $29.50 and the Avon face palettes are only $10. And since I missed the marimekko collection when it came to H&M last spring, this is my chance to stockpile some of the brand's collectible items. Along with my Kaiku print shower curtain, which okay, isn't collectible, but is marimekko and totally cute.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pretty in pink pixels

I've been coveting this scarf from Forever 21 (considering it's $7.80 I don't know why I just don't buy just it already). Probably because it reminds me of the video for "Ce Jeu" by Yelle.

thank the baby jesus

Watchmen debuted last week in Portland and the majority of the internet reviews (now removed. Thanks Warner Bros!) were overwhelming positive. Spoiler alert: director Zack Snyder DID alter the ending, though I think his choices make sense. The new ending maintains the most important themes of the series while keeping it somewhat more grounded in reality (and infinitely more filmable). March 2009 can't arrive soon enough.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

new shoes and antibiotics

This weekend I broke down and made a visit to the doctor for the cough that knew no end. After three prescriptions and two pairs of significantly discounted shoes at Marshalls, I'm feeling more like myself. I've long been on the hunt for a pair of stripper heels that were comfortable and easy to walk in, and I'm happy to report that my search has finally been victorious. I found these Dior knock-off Steve Madden high-heeled platforms for over 50% off. I've never been much of a Steve Madden fan, but these heels are incredibly easy to walk in. Plus, they remind me of the Gwyneth Paltrow Dominatrix Heel Spree of Summer 2008.

And the shiny shiny close up (featuring my unpedicured toes):

I also found these Nine West heels for $15 on the clearance rack. I'd noticed them in a department store about a month ago. Thought they were very "gladiator-lite." The buckle is broken (probably why these $90 shoes were so reduced in price), but that's why I have a shoe guy. If you're in the Minneapolis area, Mr. Lee is skilled, inexpensive, and extremely polite. These shoes are just another excuse to pop into his shop and say hello.

scary swedish vampire child

the music man

Any die hard Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan knows that Anthony Stewart Head (Rupert Giles) has a fantastic voice. In the huge cult episode "Once More, With Feeling," the dapper Brit sings circles around his co-stars. And in the season four episode "Where the Wild Things Are," the Scoobies stumble upon Giles as he performs Pete Townshend's "Behind Blue Eyes" in the Sunnydale coffee shop. The stage-trained actor also tackled the role of Dr. Frank-n-Furter (made famous by Tim Curry) in the London revival of The Rocky Horror Show. Sadly, Head's featured role as a ballad soloist in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd was significantly scaled back when filming was cut short do to the illness of Johnny Depp's daughter. However, I found cold comfort in his next project Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Unfortunately, I first heard of this indie musical because it features the vocal stylings of Paris Hilton in a supporting role. But when I found out that Head would be playing the role of the Repo Man, I was sold. This dystopic rock opera also features Sarah Brightman (she of crazy opera singing and ex of Andrew Lloyd Webber fame) and the Goodfella himself, Paul Sorvino. Oh, and the girl from Spy Kids (Alexa Vega). And as for Paris, her costumes and makeup render her virtually unrecognizable. And I must admit, her participation in this future cult classic makes me loathe her slightly less. Slightly.

And since I'm on a total rock opera kick, I have to share "Origin of Love," my favorite song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

nice knockers!

Big thanks to my friend Kate for turning me on to, an online heaven of cute inexpensive accessories. I love their signature zodiac earrings, but my favorite section is their selection of vintage 1980s door knocker earrings. Whether you want something classic and discreet or over-the-top ghetto bling, they'll have a style for you. And since the most expensive pair is only $12.99, you can probably justify stocking up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

target, je t'aime

It's no secret that Target's Go International collections can be a bit hit or miss, but I always find at least one or two pieces to love in each release. I adored Erin Fetherston's baby doll dresses and jumpers, but her twill trousers completely lost their shape after one wash. The dresses from the second Private Collection incorporated interesting fabrics, colors and shapes, but the narrow cut through the shoulders made them almost unwearable, no matter the size. Jovovich-Hawk's line included the designers' signature floral prints and flirty summer dresses, but some of their pieces were so ruffly that the effect was an unintentional homage to Harajuku Lolita girls. Though the new Go International collection from British wunderkind Jonathan Saunders has its share of highs and lows, it's demonstrative of the American discount giant's forward-thinking marketing of up-and-coming designers.

Although Saunders incorporates some of his innovative prints and beautiful slim cuts, the collection is not exactly mass market friendly. The design aesthetic is perhaps the most esoteric of all the Target capsule collections. Good news for those who regularly peruse online slides of the ready-to-wear shows, but perhaps not the most exciting prospect for the average Target customer. Additionally, the slim cuts aren't universally flattering. My figure is on the boyish side and I had good luck with the blouses and dresses. However, my considerably bustier girlfriend actually popped off a button as she tried to fasten up one of the shirts in the dressing room. We agreed that the collection is great for size 4s and under, but anyone with even the hint of curves will probably struggle to find a piece that suits them.

Despite the fit problems, the color palette and prints are outstanding. Fans of Piet Mondrian will be delighted at Saunders' use of color blocking, while Klimt fans will be drawn to the kaleidoscope and marble prints. I picked up the marble print paneled shirtdress, though I've replaced the patent leather yellow skinny belt with the collection's thicker reversible yellow/red belt. I also fell in love with this black and white geometric windowpane print dress. It has a great narrow fit (and pockets!), but it's definitely on the short side. Will probably be wearing tights with this one. I was also coveting this olive green kaleidoscope tee, which is emblematic of Saunders' unique ability as a colorist. Sadly, the tees suffer from a common problem among mass-produced printed items. The print is plastic and stiff, so the comfort and fit of the soft jersey tee are hindered by what feels like a sheet of laminate across the entire front. Additionally, the tee is long enough that it hits across the widest part of the hips. I love a long tee, but anything that pulls across the hips is going to have the potential to be unflattering.

Despite its flaws, the ambition of this collection left me wanting more. Luckily, another Private Collection will be released shortly, followed by the much awaited release of the Thakoon collection on December 25th. The only thing that could make Christmas Day even happier is if Target confirms the rumors that Alexander McQueen will be designing a Go International Collection. Hope Santa's reading this.

hopefully better than heroes

When I first heard of Push, it struck me as an extremely derivative Heroes-lite. But with Heroes continuing its downward spiral into irrelevance, maybe Push can pick up where the flailing television series left off. Starring Chris Evans (thumbs up for Sunshine, thumbs down for Fantastic Four) and the increasingly less creepy Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, Taken), the film follows a group telekinetic and telepathic ex-pats as they struggle to avoid being captured by a clandestine and appropriately vague government agency. This sci-fi thriller also features former Miu Miu model Camilla Belle and the freakishly good-looking Dijimon Hounsou (who will be playing Caliban in Julie Taymor's upcoming film version of The Tempest!). And 14 year-old Fanning totally has a drunk scene. After her controversial rape scene in Hounddog, the young actress is one step away from shooting up in Requiem for a Dream II: The Middle School Years.

Monday, October 13, 2008

bunnies like manicures

From the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill Exhibit in Greenwich Village

the cure for the common cold...but not really

I'd intended to do some fierce blogging this weekend, but sadly I spent most of my time passed out on the couch in my crazy cat lady robe with the DVD menu of Emma playing over and over. I usually get sick once a year, and my current bronchial disaster is admirably continuing that tradition. Although I might break down and go to the doctor for this particular illness (over the past two and a half weeks my cough has grown from the honk of a trumpet swan to the call of a velociraptor), I'm a firm believer that it's a waste of time, money, and energy to go to the doctor for coughs and colds. Usually, the bug just needs to work its way out of your system. So instead of worrying about a cure, focus on making yourself comfortable so that your immune system can do its thing.

Kiss My Face Cold & Flu Shower Gel & Foaming Bath: As it says on the label, this product is not a cure, but it is a comfort when you're feeling under the weather. This vegan shower gel fills your hot shower with foaming aromatics such as eucalyptus and fennel. The addition of aloe vera and olive oil prevent it from stripping the skin of moisture, a must during dry winter months. The scent is all at once soothing and invigorating It's like taking a refreshing dip into a pot of Vicks VapoRub, but without the icky grease factor. Try pouring this into a hot bath, then lay back and cover your eyes with a cool washcloth for a total Calgon Take Me Away experience. I originally purchased this for a quick wake up call in the morning and to help me cool down in the summer. But now that I'm in full-on sick mode, it's one of my get well musts. From this moment on, this will be the first product I reach for when I detect the slightest trace of a sniffle.

Neti Pot: For years, my friend Elen attempted to get me to try a Neti Pot. But I didn't cave, not even when it was featured on Oprah. But once I read an article in the NYTimes raving about this miraculous little device, I buckled and decided to give it a try. The Neti Pot is a small ceramic pot used to pour warm salt water through one nostril, so that it trickles through the sinus passages and out the other side. Yes, it's as freaky as it sounds. Initially I was worried that pouring water through my sinus cavity would be similar to getting water in my nose at the pool. But the addition of salt makes the solution similar to your natural tears. So there's no stinging, no sputtering. Neti Pots can provide immediate relief to congestion and runny noses, and over time it can minimize the effects of seasonal allergies and sensitivity to dust. Besides, there's something satisfying about performing a Stupid Human Trick in your bathroom.

Yankee Candle Company Fresh Cut Roses Candle: Last year I walked into my friends Kate and Katherine's apartment immediately noticed how lovely it smelled. They had this giant candle lit in their kitchen, and the fresh floral scent had spread to all of the rooms. Usually, I'm a bit of a candle snob. L'Occitane. Tocca. Laura Mercier. Diptyque. But this big fat candle from a store in the mall smelled just as sophisticated. This isn't a heavy cloying flowery fragrance. It's a realistic blend of heirloom roses that immediately transports you into the garden of a wealthy estate in a Jane Austen novel. It's light and relaxing, perfect for when you're feeling particularly sickly and unattractive. Plus, the 22 oz. jar can burn for up to 150 hours. When I'm sick and feverish, lying in bed in my cat lady robe, I just light this candle and pretend that I'm Kate Winslet in all of her forehead glistening glory in Sense and Sensibility. Though I'll probably leave the bleeding bowl in the past where it belongs.

Fables: When I'm feeling gross and sleepy, I don't want to read something new. I don't want to read anything that requires me to slod through 100+ pages of opaque verbose prose before I can become invested in the narrative. I want something fun, undemanding and entertaining. And having pictures doesn't hurt. My friend Christian introduced me to the Fables comic books not long ago, and I still can't believe I went as long as I did without reading them. The story intertwines familiar characters from the most well-known fairy tales and folk stories, depositing them into a small exile community in the middle of New York City. The plots are clever, the dialogue is snappy, and the illustrations are beautifully drawn. Not to mention that this award-winning series is heavy with political allegory. Fables certainly isn't simple, but it is immediately engaging. Perfect for sick days spent sprawled on the couch or tucked into bed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

cult classic

I mentioned MAC's Cult of Cherry collection a while back, but I just came across their promotional video. Directed by and starring Floria Sigismondi and featuring Erin Fetherston, this video has me craving chocolate covered cherries and is further encouraging my red lipstick obsession.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ooh la la

I mentioned the emerging trend of transparent trousers in my New York Fashion Week article for The Rake. Not the most wearable look, but leave it to Susie Bubble to dive in headfirst. The London fashion blogger showed up at Paris Fashion Week in Raf Simons sheer pants layered over metallic leggings. Not exactly mainstream, but certainly more conservative than wearing them on their own. However, if she had gone that route, I could've led this post with "I see London, I see France, I see Susie Bubble's underpants."

fit for a modern jackie o.

I'm loving this Karta shift on sale at shopbop . It's fairly springy, but pair it with some red lipstick, black tights and skyhigh pumps and it would definitely work for fall. The geometric floral print is classic and timeless, but it's the resin applique flower that has me salivating. I'd also love to see it on a simple white crew neck shirt. Oh wait, they have that too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

a sticky end

an image from the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace

and the inspiration from Goldfinger

Sunday, October 5, 2008

back to school shoes

Found these slate gray patent leather oxfords on clearance today at Marshalls (I wanted to come up with some horrible We Are Marshall headline but I just...couldn't...find it). They were sized very oddly, and I ended up getting them in a 7, even though I usually wear 8s. The 7s are a little snug, but the 7.5s were falling off of my feet when I walked. So even though these pinch a teensy bit, I'm delighting in the idea that my average-sized feet were replaced with tiny elf feet when I was sleeping last night. I'm also fantasizing about pairing them with some sort of DIY version of the two-tone Chanel tights from my previous post.

chanel: what i would wear


for the geek and the chic

Master of fashion technology Hussein Chalayan presented another hit show at Paris Fashion Week complete with wind machines and a glass-smashing crash ending. The collection wasn't as gadget-laden as his previous work, but the aerodynamic auto-inspired clothes retained his theatrical aesthetic. This dress in particular was quite a show-stopper.

To get an even better sense of Chalayan's innovation and style as a designer, check out these videos (but bear in mind that the first is not safe for work).

flaming hair at fendi

I'm infatuated with the hair at Fendi. Although the follicular creations at Christian Dior were exceptional, the styles at Fendi are something I'm far more likely to attempt myself (though perhaps dialed back just a smidge). Of all the variations, Aline Weber's coif was probably my favorite.

Although I love this shot of Olga Sherer and Natasha Poly hanging out before the show.

And this shot of Myf Shepherd in one of my favorite looks from the collection.

and this is how it's done

Leave it to Jean Paul Gaultier to do at Hermès what Riccardo Tisci attempted unsuccessfully at Givenchy. Gaultier's riff on the American West ranged from subtle nuances to kitschy tribute. Though the presentation was over the top (yes, those are cacti on the runway), the collection was surprisingly wearable. Classic shirtdresses, cropped trousers and draped coats were accessorized with cowboy hats, suede boots and, towards the end of the show, cigars.

Fringe, already a major presence at the past four fashion weeks, trimmed skirts, dresses, jackets and boots. Classic Hermès scarves were tied at the throat, ready to be hiked up across the face for the chicest bank robbery in history. Driving gloves and mirrored aviators further accessorized the collection, and took the overall effect from campy Western to jet-set chic. For the fashion risk taker, Mexican serape stripes popped up on swimsuit cover-ups and a full-length shirtdress.

Another accomplishment at Hermès was Gaultier's inclusion of so many models of color. After all the hype of the all-black Vogue Italia, it was disappointing to still see so few non-white models used during the four major fashion weeks. However, the Hermès show embraced women of all races. Jourdan Dunn, Lakshmi Menon, Liu Wen, Sessilee Lopez, Kiki Kang, Arlenis Sosa, Yasmin Warsame, and Chanel Iman all walked in Saturday's show.

Veteran supermodels Naomi Campell and Stephanie Seymour opened and closed the presentation in all of their Amazonian glory, adding further drama to the show's theatrics. And Gaultier was all smiles when he ran out to take his bow in a black cowboy hat with a cigar clenched between his teeth. In season that had so many designers taking themselves too seriously, it was a welcome change to see someone having so much fun.