Friday, August 31, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Down to Brass Tacks

I'm a big fan of the blog Atlantic-Pacific, which is very popular for good reason.  Blair Eadie's outfits are interesting, inspiring, and downright cool.  And the juxtapositioning I love is done so well.  Here she mixes a leather jacket, an elegant dress, and feminine yet tough studded pumps.  Her outfit directly inspired mine below.

Dress:  BCBG Max Azria Iselin Draped Dress via Amazon (only red is available)** (you can still find the light grey on eBay or gray sheath dress at Bluefly, belted shift, or cowlneck dress at Calvin Klein*; gray/black colorblock dress at Dorothy Perkins)
Jacket:  Full Tilt Faux Leather Cropped Jacket via Amazon** (same jacket in satin twill at Tilly's or cropped quilted faux leather jacket at Urban Outfitters)
Shoes:  Lola Cruz T-Strap Pump via Amazon**
Necklace:  New York & Company Silver and Pink Geometric Necklace** (similar at New York & Company)
* I have not shopped at this store.
** Blogger's own

Monday, August 27, 2012

Haute Couture is Art - That's Why You Can't Understand It


Haute couture:  high fashion; the most fashionable and influential dressmaking and designing.
Haute = high; couture = sewing.

(l-r:  Iris van Herpen Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 via Edelscope; Alexis Mabille Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012 via; Psych-O)
If you look at haute couture and you think, oh my God, that's insane, who would ever wear that?, you are thinking about it the wrong way.  Haute couture is to fashion as Picasso is to art.  Haute couture is the vehicle for designers to show off their vision, talent, and skill.  It is not meant to be worn or even understood.  Salvador Dali and Jackson Pollock are considered great artists, yet who really understands their work?  Just as Cézanne, Matisse, and van Gogh have inspired generations of artists and influenced many different genres of art, the impact of haute couture trickles all the way down to your neighborhood Fifteen Dollar Store. 

In this scene from The Devil Wears Prada, editor Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, eloquently explains the trickle-down effect of fashion:

I do not understand why everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.
Claude Monet

"Haute Couture.", n.d. Web. 26 Aug. 2012.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sugar Skull

Sugar skulls, or calaveras de azúcar, are used to adorn altars honoring the deceased during the Mexican celebration of Día de los Muertos.

Skirt:  A Delphinium Answer Skirt at Modcloth**
Top:  Sans Souci via Marshalls** (similar at Delia's* and Dillards*)
Underpinning:  Jockey® Naturals Seamfree® Camisole
Shoes:  Stuart Weitzman Capsize Pump**
Bracelet:  Chunky Chain Link Bracelet at ASOS (in gold, rose gold, and pack of two at ASOS; Juicy Couture at Nordstrom)
*I have not shopped at this store.
**Blogger's own

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nice Day for a White Wedding

Part I:  Hit Me with the Inspiration Stick

So I have this fashion design degree (I have other degrees, but they're just the usual).  Which I don't use because I'm living my dream as a technical writer.  No, seriously, I may be the only person who was born to be a technical writer.  Anyway, I figured I might as well as use this degree for something, so I'm going to design my own wedding gown.  Actually, that is about the first question people ask me upon learning that I'm engaged:  "Are you going to design your own dress?"  Hell yeah!  Or I say, why yes, I am - I'm very excited.  It depends on who's asking.

Designing your own wedding gown can be daunting.  I was never that good at the pattern-drafting or the sewing bit, so I'll need to find someone to do all that for me.  (I welcome recommendations.)  I have a general idea of what I want, but as I troll the Internet for more inspiration, here is what I've come across.  Scratch that - I have a very good idea of what I want; it's just a matter of making it all work together.

Long Sleeved Beaded Taffeta Winter Wedding Dress
This is pretty much the dress I had envisioned...if I was still getting married in the fall as originally planned.  But it's going to be a beautiful spring wedding in Southern California.  And I'm going to have a lot of eyes on me, and that's going to make me hot.  Literally.

Aisle Be There Dress at Modcloth,
aka Trashy Diva Honey Dress
This dress is gorgeous - heavy creamy satin. 
I love Fifties-style dresses and Fifties-style dresses love me.  I plan to wear it for the rehearsal dinner.  Unless my design plan goes down in flames, in which case it will be my wedding dress.

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2010
(picture from
This gown is so amazingly awesome, it renders me speechless.  My fiancé is afraid of my designing my own dress because this is precisely the dress he would expect me to come up with.  I'd lose the pantyhose skullcap, though.  The rest of the Alexander McQueen Fall 2010 collection is equally awe-inducing.

Vogue Pattern V8355
Look at that collar on Vogue pattern V8355.  Just look at it!

Left:; Right:  Refinery29
I tend to avoid anything that is too popular - I'm not going to wear the same wedding dress as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, just because she wore it.  Although it was quite beautiful.  But the dress her sister Pippa wore as her maid of honor is just perfect.  The silhouette, the cowl neck.  Looks like I'm jumping on Royal Wedding bandwagon after all.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Check out my new feature, Daily Reading.  Go visit these sites - there's some good stuff in there.

Tropical Storm

Skirt:  Chaps at Kohl's** (beige paisley top/geometric print skirt, navy striped top/pebble print skirt, leopard print top/medallion print skirt at Kohls)
Top:  Chaps at Kohl's** (see above for suggested pattern combinations)
Jacket:  Chaps at Kohl's** (similar at Yoox, cropped at Kohl's, and very cool jacquard leopard print at Calvin Klein*)
Shoes:  United Nude Cup Braid Sandal at Amazon**
Necklace:  Sears** (similar at New York & Company or Urban Outfitters)
 *I have not shoppd at this store.
** Blogger's own

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Low Res

Dress: Closet via Dorothy Perkins** (similar ideas:  Pink/White Spot Dress, Fuschia Printed Chiffon Dress, Pink Lace Pencil Dress at Dorothy Perkins; River Island Digital Floral Mesh Mix Dress and River Island Floral Peplum Dress With Lace Overlay at ASOS)
Skirt:  Silence & Noise High-Rise Printed Skirt at Urban Outfitters
Shoes:  Enzo Angiolini Maylie Color Block Pump via DSW** (very similar at Endless)
Ring:  ASOS Adjustable Cube Ring
** Blogger's own 

Inspired by:

Preen Spring/Summer 2012 (I can't find the source for the picture on the right - please let me know if you recognize it!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She Wore Lemon

Nothing like watching Project Runway and realizing, hey, I have that exact outfit!  Or, you know, the Common Woman version.  (If you can find the season finale of Project Runway All Stars, look for Joanna Coles walking purposefully down the hall of the Marie Claire offices.)

Dress:  Closet via Dorothy Perkins** (similar and similar at ASOS and at Dillards - take off the belt)
Shoes:  United Nude Spike Sandal**
Necklace:  Sears** (neon pink at Max & Chloe*)
* I have not shopped at this store.
** Blogger's own

"She wore lemon...":  U2. “Lemon”. Zooropa. Island, 1993.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Two Step

Shirt:  Western for the Better Top at Modcloth** (Western chambray shirt at Zappos; lilac at Karmaloop)
Shorts:  Anne Klein Collection Lace Short** (Mine are from Marshall's, but you can find them on Amazon)
Boots:  Very Volatile Denver Boot**
Bracelets:  Gold and Fuschia** and Silver and Turquoise** Bamboo Bracelet Set at Target; Napier Silver Tone Cabochon Stretch Bracelet at Kohl's**
** Blogger's own