Thursday, September 27, 2012

Milan Fashion Week!

Ciao! Come stai? It's Milan Fashion Week post time, y'all! I'm so far behind, and totally chomping at the bit to start looking at the Paris shows!



This dress from Alberta Ferretti makes me think of a mermaid who has just washed up on shore.



I had to zoom in to see that all those shiny things on this dress by No. 21 are soda can tabs and bottle lids! (Right clicking the photo and selecting "open image in new tab" should make it super giant if you want to check it out.)

Somehow, from ALL of the Milan shows, those are the only dresses that felt blogworthy!  That's so weird! Oh well, time to check out the Paris shows!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home






I miss home.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Publix Event & $25 GC giveaway!

Publix is having their "Running Out? Run In." promotion again! This time you can get a free gallon of milk when you buy any 6 of the products participating in the sale! The promo runs through 9/25 or 9/26, depending on your local store. You can see all of the participating products here!

I get to give away one $25 Publix gift card to a lucky winner! Enter via the rafflecopter form below! (If it's not showing up, try refreshing or clicking the link!) 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

London Fashion Week

It's been a really rough past few days here (I may elaborate later, see Twitter if you're super curious), so it was nice to curl up on the couch this morning with some tea and all of the London Fashion Week shows to browse through! London Fashion Week is such a different creature from New York. Here's what's been happening across the pond the past few days. (And omg, Milan Fashion Week starts today, which I'm super excited for!)



While I'm not really a fan of the color combination (or how it's styled), I really love the basic concept of this Moschino Cheap and Chic dress!



On the other hand, I love the colors in Matthew Williamson's collection. It was like a mix of a sunset, jewel tones, and a Moroccan bazaar. I need this sweater in my life!



Can we discuss the styling at Ashish? I will totally overlook the fact that there is nothing interesting about a plain silver sequin dress if you will EXPLAIN THIS STYLING TO ME.


First of all, I am kind of obsessed with the concept behind this Erdem collection- alien women trying to fit in on earth, but not being able to shake a certain sense of other-ness about them. I love all of the fabrics, the innovative dress shapes, the layering of textures, and how I couldn't resist stopping to really study each look instead of just flipping through then. Still, I had a hard time picking a dress to post here, because while I was obsessed with almost every individual "ingredient" of the collection, there weren't any actual looks that I loved. It's like if you could toss all of the ideas and bits and pieces that made up this collection into a big cocktail shaker and shake them up, and let them come out again in a slightly different mix, it would be perfect.



The horse-obsessed 8 year old in me LOVES this dress by Giles (Giles Deacon, not Rupert Giles.) I am calling it The Horsie Dress.



Loved this final look from the same collection, too! I basically liked the whole collection, except for the fact that it felt more like 3 different ideas smooshed into one show.



This look from Temperly London is so striking! I pinned quite a few outfits from this show to my Sewing Inspiration board on Pinterest.



Yeah, kinda obsessed. I would LOVE if this style of top is next spring's version of the more basic lace & crochet shirts we saw everywhere this year.



A-mazing. (Still Temperly London.)

I'm so excited to start checking out the Milan shows! So many big names there! And then.. PARIS! Squee!


All photos via style.com

Saturday, September 15, 2012

New York Fashion Week - Spring 2013 Ready To Wear - Round 2!

This is what I get for bragging about being all caught up last post! I take a few days off and Fashion Week explodes with more shows than I can possibly keep up with!  Here's round 2 of my highs and lows!  There were some shows in this group that I was really excited for, and as usual, some that came as a surprise.



I liked this Calvin Klein collection a lot more than usual. There was a lot of playfulness with design. - not all of it actually wearable, but fun to look at. (Although gahhh, there were CK ads on the side of the screen while I was looking at this show, and the ads all featured Lara Stone, and she's so frickin' captivating I could barely focus! I want to look like THAT when I grow up.)



This dress combined with that hair though... makes the model look like she just woke up hungover and wrapped the sheet around herself to go get coffee.



And this dress... anything that makes your nipples look THAT creepy is a no.

Okay, enough Calvin Klein.



Oh, good! I was really needing some pea soup green overalls... SAID NO ONE EVER. The 3.1 Phillip Lim show was sooo all over the place. Definite 90s Grunge-era influences. There were a few looks I liked, but mostly... no

.


I feel like this little hat from the Anna Sui show deserves a mention. I liked this show in general- the pairing of very girly Spring party dresses with funky leggings and harder accessories in particular.



I will never get why models who KNOW they are about to be photographed in super hi-res by a billion photographers never seem to take 30 seconds to shave their frickin' legs.



Carlos Miele's show was super frustrating for me because I feel like it was RIGHT on the edge of hitting on brilliance, but just barely missed.


I can't get over how stunning this Norma Kamali dress is!!



I LOVE the shape of this Rachel Roy top! I need to try making one like this!


Thom Browne's show made me realize that I want seahorse print everything. (See, more sea creatures!) While I wouldn't quite say that I liked his collection (there was a slight "clowns are going to eat me" vibe), it was definitely fun to look at.

London Fashion Week has already begun as I'm typing this. Can't wait to see what's up across the pond!

All images via style.com

Friday, September 14, 2012

Top Model Semi-Live Blogging!

I've watched all 18 seasons of America's Next Top Model, and I just spent a decent chunk of my afternoon catching up on the first 3 episodes of this season, followed by watching the 4th episode tonight. I'm not sure if I'll blog about it any more in the future, but I thought I'd throw out some of my opinions so far! I'd love to hear what those of you who watch it think, too!


This season is the College Edition, which is kind of a weird schtick since the girls on this show are basically always college-aged anyway. I have to say that I HATE this promo shot. It looks more like porn than anything model-related. I totally get the whole "sexy schoolgirl" thing, but this is just.. bleh.

The funny thing is that my favorite girls when I first saw this promo shot are still my favorites several episodes in.

I took notes while I watched, so if you haven't seen all of the episodes so far (including tonight's), beware of spoilers! And beware that this will probably read like a random list of bullet points, 'cause that's how I took notes.

Episode 1

*I had to turn the volume WAY down for most of the first episode because it was so. frickin'. loud. We get that everyone is excited, you REALLY don't need the first 10 minutes to be straight screaming. CALM YO'SELVES. 

*New judges this season. I still love Kelly Cutrone, but I pretty much instantly missed Miss J and Nigel. And nobody is more fun to listen to than Andre Leon Talley. Bring HIM back. I don't have that much to say about the new judges yet, they're just kind of meh. Although the one guy that's Katy Perry's stylist? I would never pick someone responsible for dressing HER as someone I'd go to for opinions about fashion, but surprisingly, I kinda like him so far.

*The first time we really get a look at the girls is when they pair them up to catwalk in bikinis and tiny college t-shirts. It feels like something blatantly stuck in to appease the dudes stuck watching this, or to draw in more male viewers. I'd rather have more time spent on the segment where each girl is interviewed by the judges, since this little walk-off was too brief to give the viewer time to even form much of an opinion, especially with so many girls. 

First impressions of various girls:


*Kristin is definitely one of those girls who will try to rely on being pretty. (Amusingly, I typed that before she talked about getting by on her looks her whole life.)  It will be interesting if she ever shows anything of who she actually is instead of the personality she tries to project.


*Jessie is that "one in every season" awkward-looking girl who casting seems to throw in for the hell of it- the girl you'd never look at and think "Oh, she's a model". They always seem to either totally make the awkward work and just nail it and make it really far, or they just flop from the beginning and never get there. I think she's gonna be in that latter group.

*I like Victoria's look despite their over-painting her as an awkward home schooled girl. She reminds me a wee bit of Lea Michelle, mostly in how she talks about herself. Her relationship with her mom is a little... odd, though.

*I can see Destiny winning.

*I love Brittany. I loved her more when she said she was accepded for the Disney College Program! (Cast Members Unite!) She looks a little like Amanda Bynes.

*I like Leila, I think.

*Laura is super pretty, but I can't tell if I really like her yet. I think she's one that has to figut against looking too sexy. I'd like to see her without the heavy eye makeup.

*Jasmine is straight-up cray cray.  I'm glad she didnt make it in, she was annoying to watch after a few minutes, I cant imagine several episodes.

*Kaci doesn't cut it for me. And she's kinda catty about the other girls. I'm glad the judges didnt bring her in
just because of her story, I think it would have been harder for her to make it into the house and then get cut.

*Nastasia has an interesting look.

*I just don't like Yvonne. Everything I type to explain why comes out sounding super mean, but I guess it doesnt matter since she won't make it...WAIT. HOW did she make the top 13? Are you kidding? I'm guessing they wanted a plus-sized girl in the mix, but gheez.


Episode 2!

*The stereotype bedrooms made me roll my eyes a little. I mean, any college girl must obviously either be sporty, geeky, or super-girly, right?  Like... right? 

*Okay, yeeeeah, Victoria is a little odd. She actually said she never needs a boyfriend because she gets all the relationship love and support she needs from her mom. The way she was sobbing when they told her she only had 5 more minutes on the phone with her mom made it look like there was someone with a gun waiting to kill her mom as soon as she hung up. Yipes. The weird thing is that Victoria's mom sounds fairly normal when they talk on the phone.

*The first challenge was a little lame, just walking across a stage. I loved when Brittany jumped up and spun on the hoop. Girl, you are gonna have a BLAST at Vista Way. I can't believe Yvonne won the challenge. She still just doesn't stand out to me AT ALL.


The photoshoot, posing as a mounted taxedermy-type head, was an interesting twist instead of doing a boring beauty shot. It definitely showed who was strong and who was weak in terms of working their face.

Leila's photo was a pleasant surprise. She reminds me a little of Laura in that she photographs MUCH better than she looks in person.
I really think Nastasia is one of my favorites right now.
*I liked Destiny so much in the first ep, this episode she was sucky and ended up in the bottom 2. Hopefully that will scare her and she'll get it together. And then there's Jessie. I guess I called it in episode 1 when I said I thought she'd flop out at the beginning, because she's the first to go home.

*I like the new scoring with numbers thing for judging, but it got annoying quickly that Rob basically gives whatever score Kelly does. Still, I think it's interesting to do it mathematically instead of just at the whim of the judges, even though they can still basically throw it by giving their favorites an extra high score.

*Leila, Nastasia, Brittany and Laura are my favorites right now.


Episode 3

Ah, I always love the makeover episode. It's interesting that they actually gave them a choice about getting a makeover or not this season. I think it's more about showing a willingness to go with whatever they throw at you than anything else. Only two (Victoria and Maria) elected not to do it. I kinda get why Victoria wouldn't want anything done to her super-duper long hair, but Maria NEEDED new hair, dude. (But then she dropped out of the competition, so who cares? I think Maria is used to everything coming easily, so when she wasn't instantly amazing she quit.) And even though Victoria's super long hair is cool, it would be really hard to work with as an actual working model. 

I think Kelly Cutrone summed up every person who has ever not wanted to get a makeover- "You are really committed to defending mediocrity."

Kristin's new hair made me realize she looks a little like Jaime King. It's a shame she has such a crappy personality, she's kind of pretty.

OMG WHAT DID THEY DO TO BRITTANY. She's the only one who looks WAY worse.
Some people seem to love her new hair, but I think she was WAY better as a brunette. Either way, she looks a LOT like Amanda Bynes.


I loved Laura before, and still love her blonde. I still really wish she would tone down the heavy eye makeup, though!

Leila has almost a little air of Coco Rocha to her face.

At first I was really impressed that most of the girls seemed super-comfortable with their bodies for this "nude" photo shoot, but then I saw this pic on the Top Model Facebook...
Photo: America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model -- "The Girl Who Wants Out"
pictured left to right: Rob Evans, Kristin and Tony Duran
Cycle 19
Photo: Chris Frawley/The CW
©2012 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved ©2012 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved


Mega-pasties! (They were also wearing underwear). I think it's funny that even with all of that on, they STILL blurred things out on TV. 

Whatshername from Louisiana gets eliminated this week. I don't think I ever even wrote anything about her. 

Episode 4

Tonight's episode starts with drama about Kristin being bitchy. That means that she's either going home this week, or she's gonna have some kind of breakdown. Let's see what happens! (I feel the need to mention that I always seem to eat junk food while watching Top Model. Tonight it's milk & cookies.)

For this week's challenge, Tyler Perry shows up to put the girls through an acting challenge where they're asked to be over-the-top. Like most of the challenges, this one is obviously about totally committing to the task, whether it's something you're good at or not. 

They send the girls out on the street in character. And then my CW cut out and I missed most of what happened next. Apparently some dude throws fried chicken at Victoria, which I think we've all wanted to do at least once by now.


I still don't like Yvonne, but her improv was actually pretty good. 

Tonight's photo shoot was a zombie theme. I personally think that zombies are waaaaay over-done, but c'est la vie. (Or le mort, I guess.)

Photo: The Fashion-Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! New ANTM w/ guest Tyler Perry Fri. 9/14 at 8/7c on The CW. It's gonna get SCARY-FIERCE!

From this picture alone, Laura is KILLING it. (No pun intended.)  I feel like this shoot is kind of horrible timing... it's zombie photos around a plane wreck (War of the Worlds set at Universal), and it's airing a few days after 9/11. 

I feel bad for Destiny. She's naturally pretty and she REALLY wants it, but she's one of those people who just doesn't seem to be able to make what she's imagining actually come out of her body. She ends up in the bottom 2 with Yvonne (who is bottom two 2nd week in a row), and yet Yvonne stays again. DUMP HER ALREADY. Just sayin. 

Leila, Laura, Brittany and Nastasia continue to be awesome. (I found Twitter links for everyone but Brittany!) Fingers crossed for them! As for top 2... maybe Leila and Brittany?

It's kind of weird that ALL of the photo shoot photos are already up on Facebook. Since they took the public's opinions into consideration this time, they had to, but it's weird to be able to see every episode laid out like that. I'm torn between looking ahead to see what's coming up and staying totally unspoiled. (They shot every girl for every shoot, so looking ahead won't tell you who gets eliminated.) I actually really like that they have the eliminated girls in there, since so many girls get voted off and say "I wish I had a chance to show more..."  It's interesting to be able to see if the voted off girls ever get better, or if it's good that they went when they did.

Okay, I haven't blogged about TV in FOREVER, and this was kind of fun. I might have to do next week's episode, too!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: What I've Learned So Far



I'm on my third month of buying tons of cheap thrift store clothes and transforming them into cute, wearable creations. (I've done this kind of thing on and off for ages, but only in such large quantities these past few months.)

The thing is, once you start doing this, it is super duper addictive. I'll see a dress for $40 in the store, pick it up, and then think of all the cute dresses I can make for like 20 cents each. Beyond just the budget standpoint, I've also gotten kind of addicted to the idea that NOBODY out there has the same dress I do. Sure, there might be other people in the world wearing the original dress I started with, but after I've altered it, it's one of a kind. That's pretty flippin' cool if you think about it! Plus, refashioning thrift store clothes is super eco-friendly! Rather than going into a landfill, these clothes get a whole second life!

I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up along the way thus far for this week's Thrifty Thursday post!

*Do some thrift store research! Locate the closest stores to you with either a map program like Google Maps (put in your home address, click "search nearby" and type in thrift store!) or the thrift store finder at The Thrift Shopper. Once you know which stores are near you, you can do a little comparison shopping. For instance, the shop closest to my house charges $10 for a grocery bag full of clothing, while another a few miles farther has the same sized bag for $3!

*Once you have done a little recon to check out the stores near you, see if they have Facebook pages or websites. Not every store does, but most of those that do use their page to announce sales! By liking your local shop's FB page, you'll see right in your news feed if they're having a 50% off sale today, and you can run over to take advantage of it!



One local shop posts these promo calendars on their Facebook so you know in advance what's coming up!

*Train yourself to see potential. This is probably the #1 most important skill if you want to refashion thrifted clothes (or any other items!). Most of use are very used to watching the clothing racks for specific shapes that we know look good on us, certain cuts that we know will flatter our figure. It can be HARD to turn off that hard-wiring in your brain so you don't automatically dismiss everything you wouldn't normally wear! You need to be able to look at a tragedy of a dress and think "Yeah, it's ugly now, but what would it look like if I..." I've found that the more I read other blogs about refashioning (see New Dress A Day, the Refashionista,    the Renegade Seamstress, etc.), the better I become at picturing the possible "after" when looking at an item.

*Pay attention to the fabrics! Here's the thing- Almost any $1 (or cheaper) thrift store dress is cheaper than buying the same amount of fabric at a craft/fabric store. Looking at dresses and skirts as raw materials rather than finished products can help you find items you can really use that you might otherwise overlook! If you love the pattern or feel of a fabric, a little creativity will help you turn almost anything into something cute and wearable. Along that same line, though, if you hate the pattern or texture of a fabric, no amount of amazing sewing skills will turn it into something you love to wear.

*Don't forget- you can dye!  If you find the PERFECT white dress, but you're looking for red, a $3 bottle of  dye is the only thing standing between you and your dream dress. Don't let color hold you back!


*Sometimes, thrifting stinks. Literally. I am SUPER sensitive to scents, so I have to use fragrance-free laundry detergent at all times or I basically die of sneezes. Unfortunately, most of the clothes I get at thrift stores come in smelling like their former owner dumped a gallon of April Fresh Morning Dew scent on them before donating. One sniff gags me. You would think that just washing them a few times would kill that leftover scent. You'd be wrong. This has definitely been the challenge that's driven me the most crazy! Washing on hot (if the fabric allows it) and adding vinegar to the wash help a little, but the thing that has helped the MOST, oddly enough, is just hanging clothes outside in the sun. A few hours outside does more to eliminate the smells than 4 trips through my washing machine. Who knew?  (If you have other deodorizing tips, I'd LOVE to hear them, though!)

*There are basically two types of clothes to watch for. The first is an interesting dress/shirt/skirt/whatever that you can have fun transforming into something cute. That's the obvious type. The somewhat less obvious type of clothes to look for are items you can use as embellishments or parts of other designs. For example, you'd probably not grab a plain black tank top as an item to make over, but it's perfect for cropping and sewing a skirt to to create a summery tank dress.

*Use Pinterest or something similar (or just a file folder on your computer) to collect images of clothing you like. This can be SO helpful when you're staring at a dress and have NO idea what you want to do with it. I try to make notes on the things I pin like "interesting neckline" that remind me what I like about that particular item.

Thakoon Resort 13

I recently pinned this dress from Thakoon's Resort 13 collection. I think it would be so much fun to make a similar dress by cutting 2 dresses into strips!

*Last but not least, don't be afraid to try. I've gotten a lot of comments along the lines of "I wish I could sew!" or "I wish I could make dresses like that!" Dude, YOU CAN.  This is not rocket science, I promise. Yes, some of the dresses I've been working on get a little complicated, but for the most part, anyone can cut of sleeves and shorten a hem. It doesn't matter if you can't sew a perfectly straight line- neither can I half the time. Unless someone gets right up close to the bottom of your skirt, they probably aren't going to notice it's a little bit off. If you don't want to sew at all, there's always fabric glue. Invest a few dollars in a couple of dresses and just try it out! Chances are you'll be impressed by what you can accomplish!  And if it turns out to be a total disaster, all you've wasted is a couple of dollars!

Share any tips you have (or fire away with the questions!) in the comments!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tshirts.com Review & Giveaway!

As much fun as I've been having making and wearing dresses lately, there is still nothing easier to throw on than a t-shirt and jeans. The lovely folks at tshirts.com offered to send me a shirt, and I had the best time picking one out!



The first thing that grabbed my attention is their great selection of music t-shirts! They have band shirts that include everything from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones to New Kids On the Block and Nirvana.
The site obviously doesn't stop at music shirts.  You'll find shirts featuring your favorite cartoon and comic book characters, t-shirts printed with memorable movie quotes, and even shirts adorned with logos from popular TV shows. Beyond pop culture, you'll find shirts celebrating beer, t-shirts displaying your favorite animal, tie-dyed shirts, funny t-shirts, and even shirts that show the world your political preferences.


One of my favorite sections of the site offers artist-submitted shirts that you won't find anywhere else!

Cathulhu T-Shirt Front

Cathulu t-shirt by Jin Joson

If you somehow managed to go through all of THAT and not find a shirt you love, you can even design your own custom t-shirts!

Being a giant U2 nerd, I HAD to go with this Joshua Tree tour t-shirt!


Given that I was super busy being 6 years old while this tour was happening, I never got around to getting a shirt at the time. Hooray for the internet! My shirt arrived quickly, and is great quality! I was a little confused that the bag it came in was printed with the url of a costume company, but I guess they're owned by the same parent company?

It's a men's shirt, so I'll probably end up doing a little altering to the fit, but I still love it! I was planning to do a series of photos of fun ways to style your band t-shirts, but as you may have seen me crying about on FB, my camera finally gave up the will to live in the middle of shooting these pics, and the company seems anxious to have my review up, so sadly all I have are a few photos taken on my trusty phone for the moment!





The fabric is nice and soft! One thing I love about the site is that there's a softness gauge on each shirt's page that gives you an idea of how soft the fabric is. There's also a handy size chart to help you find the best fit. (I recommend grabbing your favorite-fitting shirt and measuring it to see what works best on you!) If you somehow end up with a shirt that doesn't fit, they have a 60 day return policy!

Shipping starts at $4.99, and they have free shipping on orders over $40. About the only thing I'd really love to see added that they don't already offer is the option to pay with PayPal!

For more info, sale notices and special discounts, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Tshirts.com is offering one of my readers the chance to win any shirt of your choice (up to $30)! You're going to have a blast picking out your prize! To enter, just use the Rafflecopter widget below! Entries close at 11:59 PM Eastern on Sept 27!

Monday, September 10, 2012

New York Fashion Week, Y'all!

It's my favorite time of yeeeeeeear, New York Fashion Week!  SQUEE! It seems like just a few days ago that I was posting that it was 6 weeks away! Tempis fugit!

Here are my highs and lows so far!



10 Crosby Derek Lam is usually not my thing, but I love that he used beauty blogger Emily Weiss (from Into The Gloss) for his lookbook! I know Rebecca Minkoff used several bloggers in her runway show last season, so this is definitely a trend I like!

But back to the clothes... I really like this outfit above. It's effortless, but not something you've seen a thousand times. I like the mix of patterns, and am now coveting those shoes! It's just a cool, wearable mix.



Blame Dr. Zoe Hart, but I love dress shorts. That belt is a-mazing, though. Again, I love that this combination is something that a normal person could wear, and each piece would work with countless other items, too!



This dress by Cushine et Ochs is simple, but I drew inspiration from it. The little slits would be so easy to add to almost any dress, and they instantly make it a lot more special. Plus, placing them just below the bust is flattering on almost anyone, since that tends to be our narrowest part!



On the other hand, Alexander Wang took cut-outs to a whole other level. He used fishing line to hold together these pieces that almost look like they're floating around the models' bodies instead of being worn. I reeeeally might have to try this whole invisible thread thing!



Nemo? Is that you??  Hey Marlin! I found him! I found him!!  (From Chado Ralph Rucci)



I mean... are they TRYING to make these outfits look like fish??  (This one is DVF.)



I looooved the prints in this Monique Lhullier collection (and I loved the shoes!), but I'm not crazy about the actual cut of the dresses. Alas.



From the same collection (obviously); possibly my favorite dress so far!



Fish are frickin' everywhere! (Still Monique Lhullier)



Totally digging this Thakoon bird cage dress!


Trends so far: Cut-outs everywhere! Super dewey makeup on the models. Railroad stripes. A very pastel, almost watercolor-y palette. Prints that resemble impressionist paintings or tropical floral watercolors on your hotel room wall. Lots of orange, pink and turquoise and white. Lots of lace. Fish impersonation. If I had to sum it up in a few words, I'd say "Flora and fauna out the yin yang."

I'm fairly impressed with how well I've kept up so far. I'm more than 3/4 through looking at all of the shows that have happened so far. (I'm usually horribly behind by now!) More soon, of course!

All images via style.com