Sunday, January 24, 2010

Luxe item of the day

As quoted from a promotional e-mail from The Outnet, "Bows, velvet and ever elegant black- what else could a girl want?"

Yves Saint Laurent Bow Clutch, $511
Retail price: $1,350

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Walk, walk, fashion baby

1. You know you've made it big when you're Lady Gaga.
2. You know you've made it big when you're Lady Gaga and people are making cookies of you.

All images courtesy of Refinery29. More images here.

Hot off the press at Refinery29, word has it that a few creative ones whipped up these gingerbread-woman-shaped confections in honor of the star's most memorable looks with the perfect pinch of sugar, sprinkles and icing. Yummy.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

M Missoni: S/S 2010

As paradoxical as it may seem, questioning designers' ideas to a certain extent is a sign of respect in my books. It means that they're keeping me thinking. Who wants to go through life accepting absolutely everything designers present us and consequently, throw money away like a mindless robot? There's no fun in that, and one of the key principles about fashion is the complicated thought process that goes into every single outfit. This understanding is what sets apart the truly esoteric from those who merely enjoy filling their wardrobes with nice-looking things.

Missoni, as every designer, has created certain pieces that have made me wrinkle my nose and wonder, "What were they thinking?" But, their Spring collection for shopbop is so fun and cohesive that I almost forget singlehandedly about those garments of which I was not the biggest fan.

Ruched Tunic, $295

Banded Tank Dress, $595

Metallic Leggings, $395

Short Sleeve Button Front Dress, $795

Safari Swirl Caftan, $595

With hints of metallic along the bright splashes of characteristic Missoni color, the patterns and prints just scream creativity and freshness. Some of these pieces work well with a pair of low-cut structured leather booties while others go efflortlessly with loose curls and bare feet at the beach. What I really love about the look for Spring 2010 is that the pieces aren't obnoxiously Missoni; each piece makes a statement in its own way without calling excessive attention to the label itself. Understated elegance and personality: two of my favorite concepts, and with this M Missoni line, it just works.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Miniature Love

I'll say this bluntly: if you tend to have trouble finding fashionable, well-fitting clothes because you're too tall or wide... well, that sucks. But for me just barely reaching 5'0", it's not any easier to find some magical garments that instantly work for my unique figure, especially without the constant pains of having denim hemmed and dresses altered. Sure, some of my favorite staple stores like Topshop and Zara do have petite sections, but by principle, they exhibit only a fraction of the rest of the store's inventory. According to Topshop's current online merchandise, the regular section boasts a stunning 80 dresses and 68 skirts, while petite offers a mere 16 dresses and skirts combined. How is that fair?

Petite Superstarlets

  Mary-Kate Olsen

Nicole Richie

Just because we were blessed with cute little frames does not mean that we petite girls should have to bend over backwards trying to find that perfect LBD, or rather, one which doesn't make us look like we're drowning in a potato sack. So unflattering.

This being said, it is with extreme pride and joy that I introduce the great Henrietta Pertuz, the designer of the self-titled collection catering solely to women 5'2" (Amazing!!!!) and under (Even more amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!). This Main Line mom actually gave up a stable Madison Ave. career in order to pursue designing full time. The line's philosophy is based on the principle that fabulous clothes should be fabulous without a trip to the tailor. I couldn't agree more.

Take A Bow Pencil Skirt, $195

Betsy Jacket, $325

From us petite girls to you, Mrs. Pertuz, we commend you on your brilliance and turning our dreams into a reality.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It Girls

A change of scenery is always nice.

In the States, we're used to following the club-hopping adventures and paparazzi mishaps of such fun-loving socialites as Lindsay Lohan, Lauren Conrad and of course, M-K&A. Though I'd honestly prefer dissecting celeb outfits on WhoWhatWear to reading the trivialities of their latest romances, it's impossible to deny that each of these girls has created and maintained an individual public persona that's present in nearly everything they say and do.

While this is all fine and good, the truth is that Americans just seem so blah when compared to Brits. Am I right? Maybe it's because I've spent my entire life in a country where I was raised without a charming accent or the refined habit of sipping mid-afternoon tea. Whatever it is, these British It Girls have it, and their fashion sense says it all.

Alexa Chung: Probably the most-revered It Girl of them all, Miss Chung makes her presence known with two of my favorite concepts: layers and balance. The colors and textures always flow effortlessly into one cohesive piece. Utterly inspirational to say the least.

Jameela Jamil: I've already dedicated a post to this exotic beauty, but who's to say I can't do it again? She has a killer body and amazing hair; for her, a fabulous wardrobe is just icing on the cake.

Georgia Jagger: How is it possible that Georgia Jagger is only 17 years old? The last look is definitely my favorite. It involves balance and fit, ending in an outfit that complements her figure brilliantly.

Agyness Deyn: Agyness Deyn. What a badass. Embarrassingly enough, I used to feel rather intimidated by the platinum blonde A-lister, flipping through pictures of her in Vogue and not understanding why she was so damn impressive. Those days are long gone; I now look to her design risks as inspiration and stow them aside for future reference.

 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of those Victoria's Secret models you love and recognize but don't quite know by name. If stunning isn't the perfect word to describe her, I don't know what is. Proving that she has more substance than just lace, ribbons and garters, Rosie perfects the monochromatic look and makes me want to go on a spree for more to add to my already autumn-centric wardrobe.

Fab, fab, fab. I love London.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Rock & Roll

I've written a post or two about Camden Market before, but it wasn't until just recently that I had the guts enough to introduce myself to a manager for one of the stalls. Enter The Rock Boutique.


Walking around the posh Primrose Hill area or enjoying a leisurely dinner at Nando's, it isn't difficult to spot the signature RB hand-printed tops sported by trendy Camden hipsters. Usually paired with leggings or jeans, the bright, lighthearted pieces can be seen (maybe even heard!) from all the way across the room. A hot pink anchor here, a metallic bird there... it's all very normal if you know what to look for. The Rock Boutique prides itself upon creating 100% ethically-produced garments by hand; the process of physically creating the fun masterpieces looks almost as challenging as dreaming up the designs in the first place.

Paris Hilton in Primp

The concept of these cotton wonders is extremely reminiscent of American brand Primp, a staple favorite among Paris, Lindsay and Mischa (think Kitson). These RB tops, while not the most innovative in terms of design structure itself, make a mark in their own vintage-y way and definitely have distinguished themselves on the streets of Northwest London. Whether or not you actually belong to a lifeguarding squad or a yacht club as the printed goods state, they're rather perfect for a lazy day lounging around the house and I have no qualms in predicting these shirts to be a hit should they ever travel across the pond. Americans catch onto trends relatively quickly, and these tops are certainly no exception.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

I ♥ Bryanboy

OMG! So let's talk about how I have a new crush: Filipino fashion blog superstar Bryanboy.

18 November 2009

Seriously, how utterly fabulous is he? With his signature look consisting of oversized designer shades and a Birkin Bag perched on a skinny outstretched arm, the adorable Pinoy fashionisto has garnered serious media attention as of late, making it to the cover of the Life & Arts section of the Financial Times and Russian Vogue's website in the past few weeks alone. Calling authorities such as Marc Jacobs and Rachel Zoe friends, Bryanboy has shared the front row at fashion shows with the likes of Anna Wintour and Michael Roberts, and if that doesn't have you convinced, his invitation to the Louis Vuitton S/S 2010 womenswear show was addressed to "Monsieur Bryanboy."

Talk about baller.

24 October 2009

The new highlight of my day, BB's posts are informative without being the slightest bit boring, and his cheeky commentary makes you feel like you're reading an e-mail from your best girlfriend. I really would give almost anything to spend an entire day with the effortlessly charismatic Bryanboy, gabbing away about the new Alexander McQueen python "Armadillo" shoes and snacking on Goldilocks mamon cakes and turon for merienda. Obviously, the fact that he's Filipino makes him all the more a star and gives me yet another reason why I genuinely wish he were my new best friend. Sigh. I look forward to the day I establish my name in the Industry and can make that dream come true.

Cour Carrée Musée du Louvre Paris
9 October 2009

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

"Grown-ups before girls"

Oh, the fun I would've had living in 1940's Manila as my Grandmother Magdalena. Not only was she young and beautiful (with a hint of Spanish blood), but she also had an impeccably glamorous wardrobe. Really, what's not to love about sleek pencil skirts, airy silk blouses and thick woolen coats that hit perfectly at mid-calf level? The inspirational retro-dazzle of one of my favorite decades can be found almost everywhere this season, most prevalently in Lanvin's A/W 2009-2010 Ready-To-Wear collection which debuted at Paris Fashion Week this June.

As Sarah Mower mused in a recent Telegraph article, "The Forties are back – and favouring grown-ups before girls."

Rita Hayworth

Lana Turner

Gene Tierney

Channeling Old Hollywood stars like Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and Gene Tierney, Lanvin's collection is full of elegant forties timepieces like lush floor-length gowns, vintage fur stoles, whimsical feathery headbands and serious pieces structured at the shoulder. Instead of other designers who ultimately try too hard to embody "new creativity" at their catwalk shows, Alber Elbaz kept it classy, creating pieces that delicately emphasize the feminine silhouette and hug the body in all the right places, all the while maintaining an unavoidable sense of drama and seduction.

images courtesy of

While forties fashion was certainly classic and aesthetically pleasing, it can barely be deemed innovative by today's standards. Elbaz addresses this issue, successfully bridging the gap between then and now by substituting today's fabrics and cuts for otherwise obsolete patterns. Ensuring that the collection remains relevant to today, the elbow-length gloves are leather where they once were satin, and skirts and jackets now possess swing and shape where they once hung flat.

 images courtesy of

In short, bravo to you, Mr. Elbaz, on a dramatic performance well-done; one which Jeanne Lanvin herself would surely have been proud to witness.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Accessories 101

If you know me at all, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm guilty of putting less emphasis on accessories than my creative license warrants. It's taken me my entire life to perfect my own style philosophy in terms of dresses and separates, yet I still find myself getting flustered when presented with the responsibility of working with an unlimited option of small items that each have the power to change the outfit's ultimate story. Baby steps are good, though, and I've decided to take on this learning experience one day at a time. Already, I've purchased some everyday wardrobe staples (like my cognac H&M cross body satchel) that I can't imagine my outfits functioning properly without.

In short, Londoners are all about their accessories. It's uncommon to walk around a single high street without being able to count on both hands the sheer number of long-strap satchels and meticulous silk scarves that the locals tend to be sporting. Below is an ever-growing list that I've compiled of the most popular accessories in London today.

(Side note: I was ecstatic to find that each selection remains within an affordable £30. Lush.)

Tights with personality
Feather Printed Tights
Urban Outfitters, £25

Wool beanies / berets
Unisex Wool Beret
American Apparel, £21

Gold-chain cross body satchels
Patent Shoulder Bag
new look, £5

Chain-print scarves
Vintage Belthain Scarf
Miss Selfridge, £15

Skinny headbands
Stretch Vintage Style Leaf Hairband, £4

Neutral-toned cross body satchels
Buckle Cross Body Bag
Topshop, £30

Chunky circle scarves ("snoods")
Knit Design Snood Scarf
Marks & Spencer, £15

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.