Monthly Archives: June 2010

When I’m rich and famous

I’ll have my own personal yoga instructor.

One thing I learned from my spring 2010 semester at Baylor is that I. Love. Yoga. I might do my cardio on the stationary bike, but my growing fitness love requires a spongy rubber mat and a mirror. In fact, I enjoyed my class so much last semester that I’ve enrolled in intermediate yoga for the fall semester. Currently I’m limited to classes at my gym (which are, of course, not when I usually go to the gym). But when I’m rich and famous I’ll have my own personal yoga instructor. I like the concept of doing yoga in small groups (another reason the classes at my gym are not ideal), so my instructor would be more like a yoga partner who would help me get more out of the poses.

The reason I’m posting about this here is that yoga gives me a chance to shop! When I ride the stationary bike I’m a strictly Nike shorts and college t-shirt kind of girl, but I really loathe practicing yoga in the same ensemble. Enter a new wardrobe. For the poses, shorts can often feel restricting, so in lieu of practicing in the buff, I prefer leggings, which act as a sort of second skin. I also need to begin the practice in a light jacket until after the first few sun salutation and warrior I positions. Here’s my perfect yoga wardrobe.

Calvin Klein Zip Hem Leggings, $39

Nike ‘Poly Good’ Dri-FIT jacket, $65

Under Armour Tech Tee, $20

Here’s hoping I can find a good yoga studio when I get to New York in the spring. Who am I kidding though? They were all over the place when I was interning up there a few summers ago!

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Filed under When I'm rich and famous

Rainy day fashion

I’m using yesterday and today’s 21-hour downpour as inspiration for this post. Luckily I was inside for the bulk of this rainy deliverance, but if I weren’t here are a few things I have and would have put to use, or wish I had and am just daydreamed about using.

1. Vivienne Westwood Melissa ankle boot, £90I own this alternative to the Wellington boot in the black boot/black bow combination. When we were in London I was cursing myself daily for not having packed more sensible rain shoes (however, in my defense, the only rain shoes I have – damn clunkers – would have taken up too much of the allowed weight in my suitcase). On one particularly rainy day I was so focused on staying dry under my umbrella that I was just looking at my feet the whole time. I saw a girl walk past us looking very London rainstorm-chic wearing these very boots in the gray boot/black bow combination. It was love at first sight, but I didn’t expect to find them on my trip. Au contraire. Long story short, I found them, bought them and can’t wait until I have the chance to flaunt them. Plus they smell like candy.

2. Banana Republic Trench Coat, tan, $200
I got this trench in March when I realized that my then-upcoming trip to London would mean dealing with day after day of rain. At that time I had no rain coats or really anything to protect myself from a royal downpour but a faulty umbrella. It was time to act. While I would have gladly accepted a Burberry trench, this is a completely suitable second choice for a a fifth of the price. It also came in handy in Paris and Antwerp as well as London. There I am, above, wearing it at Versailles (with my non-sensible rain shoes – they’ve seen a cobbler since the trip and forging European gullywashers)!

3. Felix Rey Clear Bubble Umbrella, $68
My bubble umbrella is not quite as cute, it’s literally just a clear bubble umbrella. This one has fun personality and has “rain rain go away” scrolled on it in a girlish cursive print. In my opinion, bubble umbrellas are the way to go. Pros: they have a shape that is hard to be turned up by strong wind, the shape also makes them perfect for the individual without intruding on the head space of other passersby (especially appreciated on college campuses and, I presume, NY sidewalks), plus it’s cute as a button!

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Filed under Seasonal, Summer

Retail using social media correctly

Sometime around 1:30 ET Ann Taylor posted an album of its Holiday 2010 press preview to its Facebook page. Fans of the retailer can preview the collection, due to be in stores starting in early November and see which magazine editors were browsing the collection. Just to name a few: Hal Rubenstein, InStyle; Alexis Bryan Morgan, Elle; Roberta Myers. Elle; Joann Pailey, Elle; Adam Glassman, O; Susan Kaufman, People Style Watch; Regina Haymes, More; Jane Seymour, More and Meredith Melling Burke, Vogue. Sounds like the kind of press event I could have been at, combining two of my favorite things: Ann Taylor and magazines

It’s not really news that the fashion industry is taking social media by storm and using it to better connect with the industry consumers, but with retailers like Ann Taylor leading the way in showing the consumer what to expect months in advance, the retail industry is changing. The internet, and especially social media, are bringing the consumer closer to the product. Magazines have done this with blogs and allowing reader comments creating a conversation that brings readers closer together. And blogs have allowed little gems like Tavi to make it big before hitting puberty. It makes me pause to wonder what the next twitter will be. What will the industry, and the world, come up with next to bring everyone closer together? And have consumers feeling like they’re not just passing through stores, but actively participating in the business.

My guess is, whatever that next big social media movement happens to be, Ann Taylor will be one of the first retailers to start using it. Ann Taylor’s social media and press team are taking the lead and should be watched closely. From the impressive repositioning of the brand to its business acumen where connecting to its consumers is concerned.

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Filed under Retail, Winter

Where there’s a pleat, there’s a way

Ever since our European tour de fashion and our appointment with Madame Pico (see my post on Madame Pico to learn more) I’ve really been craving pleats. In fact, after our visit with the Bernini of draping I bought this pair of high-waisted shorts from Zara with pleating detail at the waist.

(Photo from Chictopia, blazer also Zara)

(I apologize that this is the best picture of me in these shorts so far. Blouse LOFT, purse Nine West, watch Betsey Johnson, sunglases RayBans)

These shorts have been an incredible asset to my summer wardrobe, I can wear them out on a date, on the job or at my internship (thinking about next spring, plus the styling with black tights is perfect for NY). Plus this item proves that pleating and draping isn’t just left to Grecian-style dresses a la Rami Kashou. In fact designers had this very idea for the current season. Here are some fun pleating/draped looks that I can’t get enough of!

Givenchy (SS10, look 27)

Chloe (SS10, look 23)

Matthew Williamson (SS10, look 9)

In addition to seeing pleats and draping looking cool at Zara and on the SS10 runway, one of the senior design majors played with drape, pleats and cowls in her senior collection. Here’s one of LeErin Player’s looks.

One last note: Matthew Williamson was one of a few designers to put the paper waist on shorts and skirts. While it’s got a semi-presence this season, mark my words, it will be a major trend for next the next spring/summer season. Right now stores like Zara and H&M are just playing around with the trend, not taking it very far, but next season the paper waist cinched with a belt will be all over the place.

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Filed under Seasonal, Summer

What freelancing has taught me so far…

This post should probably bear the title “what working for a regional fashion magazine has taught me” but that’s just semantics. And since I’ve graduated from interning (for the summer at least), this is a legitimate lesson learned from freelancing. Seriously though, other than the immediate differences in readership and demographic, on the surface regional mags seem to do many of the same editorial things that national mags do.

But behind the scenes it’s completely different. In New York at national mags things are so easy. Step 1: flip through images on style.com, Step 2: decide what you want from each designer, Step 3: contact the designer or PR responsible for the designer, Step 4: have the looks messengered to the office or send an unassuming intern to hop, skip and jump all over Manhattan for you. In regional magazine land, much more online research is done, since we can’t just have items messengered 30 blocks. We arrange pulls from stores, contact corporate PR offices to make sure that arrangement is acceptable. And when necessary we buy things from department stores and return them. Then when writing credits we include all of the nearby locations where something can be found- boutiques, department stores, chains, etc. It’s about a 12-step process.

There are certainly strategies for working at both types of magazines, and I’m extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to learn both of them before getting stuck in the clutch. I think that freelancing at a regional luxury magazine, like Indulge, will help me prepare for working at the larger, national titles. A little variety in experience never killed anyone, and in this case it’s been nothing but beneficial.

P.S. Be sure to check out my first freelance byline in the August issue of Indulge.

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Filed under Magazines

My life as a beauty aisle guinea pig

In the last eight days of my life I’ve completed two twenty page essays, gotten my first freelance styling assignment and run out of my trusty brown eyeshadow. Because I love testing out new beauty products I actually got a jolt of excitement when I realized I could no longer continue scraping the edges of my  Revlon trio eye shadow.

Enter Cover Girl Smoky Shadow Blast. We’ve seen the ads with Drew Barrymore, now it was time to put the product to the test. So I bought two: silver sky and bronze fire, just because I was feeling really optimistic. When I got home I rushed up to my bathroom and tried out bronze fire. The roller ball-shaped end (otherwise known as step 1) goes on really easily as long as you don’t twist it out like the eraser on a mechanical pencil. If you do that it could pop out and frustrate you. Next I tried the pointed end (otherwise known as step 2) and got really irritated really fast. DO NOT try to apply step 2 as it is, I did and failed miserably. I made life a little easier when playing with my other eye and used an eyeshadow brush to apply step 2 and was much happier with the result. The colors are fantastic together and I’m always more comfortable using an eyeshadow brush anyway.

I haven’t tried silver sky yet, but that’s because I’m so smitten with the colors in bronze fire, they’re perfect with this summer tan I’m working on in my spare time. 😉

Next I can’t wait to run out of my Cover Girl lip stain, because let’s be honest it’s a pretty disappointing lip stain. Also though because of Revlon’s new Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm. It sounds absolutely genius, especially since – chapstick lover that I am – I always slap on some chapstick after applying a lip stain anyway. How come I didn’t think of this sooner? Or maybe I already did.

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Filed under Beauty, Summer

Prudence Millinery and SATC

I’m home and glad to be. Back in the country where I don’t have to pay for wifi (at least not where I sleep), I don’t get charged close to $5 for a drink with my meal and where one dollar is a note, not a coin. And because of that first reason, I now have time to post more blogs (all together now: yay!) about my trip and the general things I would post about anyway.

But back to my European excursion. In London we met with Prudence, of Prudence Millinery. She makes couture hats and is often commissioned by designers when they want couture hats for their collections. Prudence has done hats for Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent. She also designs freelance for magazines and works with other designers when they seek her expertise. Her hats are featured most often in Italian Vogue, Chinese Vogue and Japanese Vogue as well as French Elle. The above image is actually Prudence’s first magazine cover, Italian Vogue in 1990 with Linda Evangelista (currently the face of Ann Taylor).

While hats don’t seem to be the current fashion obsession, some would argue that Sex and the City is. So in the spirit of all things SATC (because let’s face it, my blog seems to be dedicated to it of late), I thought it would be fun to mention that Prudence’s hats have been in both the first and second movie. In the first movie I am so far only aware that her hats were featured in the Vivienne Westwood show the four leading ladies attend. One of our guides, a personal friend of Prudence’s, told us a story I presume she was too humble to share. Sam told us that Pat Fields came into her showroom to see hats and just ate them up, taking loads of them with her for the SATC2 wardrobe. Having now seen the new release, since I’m back in the states and all, I noticed how many hats the women wore. Being in Abu Dhabi (ahem, Morocco) and wanting to have the ladies don some fancy headdresses to fit in with the culture, there were more than a few hats. All of them stunning in their own way. Here’s a still from the film where all four women have something fetching on their head. I can’t help but imagine that these are the products of Prudence’s handiwork. Especially after having seen how varied her talent is and the range of her millinery abilities.

On an almost complete side note: after seeing SATC2 I no longer feel bad about my desire for a sapphire instead of the traditional diamond. Big gave Carrie a black diamond because she’s not like other girls. Well neither am I, because I don’t care to sport a diamond when I find the right guy. I’ll buck tradition just a little.

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Filed under Accesssories, Designers, SATC