28 August 2010

Young, Fashionable Italians in Love

This photo, taken by The Sartorialist, is one of the many reasons why I love Italy and, particularly, Italian fashion. Everyone dresses so well there! It never ceases to amaze me. This couple was captured in Florence, a city, while not as stylish or fashion-forward as cities like Milan and Rome, is still very stylish in its own way. I just love how in sync this couple is with one another's personal style, though I'm guessing that this look was not planned or coordinated. The young lady looks adorable from head to toe, and her boyfriend could certainly teach the wannabe J.Crew preppies a thing or two about style.

(**Photo courtesy of The Sartorialist at http://www.thesartorialist.com/photos/61610BohoCouple_2218Web.jpg**)

27 August 2010

Is that Barbara Bush?!

I never thought I'd see a Bush not named Lauren in a magazine as progressive, fashion-forward, and avant garde as V magazine. Not only is it a surprise to see a Bush in V, but a Bush photographed by Terry Richardson.Those two names just don't go together to me!

But, sure enough, here she is, styled with a nod to the 70s. I'm not too fond of this ensemble for her. I think she actually has pretty excellent personal style, and has looked much better than this. I met Barbara and her sister in person once and while everyone else was lining up to ask them questions about their father's campaign (*yawn*), I was quick to ask Barbara where she found those amazing shoes she was wearing (they were Jenna's).

The rest of the photos in this shoot are rather lackluster, too, though I was happy to see Lisa Airan engaging in fashion outside of the world of Vogue. The idea is also kind of stale (young society doyennes). Nevertheless, I'm happy to see Barbara getting out there and trying something new. Maybe she'll follow in the fashionable footsteps of her cousin, Lauren, one of my absolute favorite arbiters of style and taste.

(**Photo from V courtesy of nymag.com/daily/fashion**)

26 August 2010

Cathy Horyn Can Make Tomato Sauce or Read Vogue

I really love Cathy Horyn's take on the September issues of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. In her August 20th blog post entitled "Big Sisters," she wrote that Vogue can be as "strange and dense and rueful as a novel" while Harper's Bazaar this time around is replete with "confidence, clarity, and directness." Quite a stark contrast, I would say! I definitely agree with her that Bazaar put forth a stellar September issue. The articles were readable, the editorials were whimsical and unique, and the subscriber cover was the most artistic cover I can remember in years. Well done, Glenda Bailey et al!

Maybe Horyn didn't give the September issue of Vogue a fair shake, though. Her main criticism of Vogue (not just the September issue), while undeniably veracious, is that the publication puts too much emphasis on class and, well, snobbery. She cited a quotation from an article featuring Charlotte Casiraghi by Vicki Woods that had Casiraghi "snootily" instructing the author to search for the name of her (Charlotte's) boyfriend on the internet if she wanted to know his name so badly. This was just one case in which Vogue seems to favor society and privilege above anything else (as Horyn mentioned in her article, Casiraghi was still "portrayed in the photograph as a class act"). I think Horyn is correct in pointing this out, but Vogue wasn't the only publication to have an article devoted exclusively to socialites and privileged European fashionistas.

Derek Blasberg wrote an article titled "The New Fashion Flock" for Bazaar in which he provided the readers a guide to who is filling the front rows at fashion shows these days. I'll give you a hint: these girls aren't plebians. They're young girls from uber-wealthy and privileged European families, much like Charlotte Casiraghi. Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, Eugenie Niarchos, Tatiana Santo Domingo (OK, she's not from a rich European family), Margherita Missoni, et al. So, I'm not sure if Horyn's criticism of Vogue was entirely fair since Bazaar has kind of been guilty of doing the same thing lately.

I hope Cathy Horyn will put off making that tomato sauce until after she has read both magazines completely.

24 August 2010

My FNO Sample Itinerary

If you haven't been to the official Fashion's Night Out website, I highly recommend it! This is the kind of website that you could spend hours on, sifting through the myriad of options available to shoppers on September 10th when FNO goes down. You can even create a sample itinerary to help you organize your shopping priorities. There are just way too many options to chose from, though, so I had a very difficult time just narrowing my selections down to eight. Obviously, the place to be is Bergdorf Goodman, since that is where Hamish Bowles, Tom Ford, and Victoria Beckham will be. Yes, please!

Here's a look at a few of the (other) places I'd stop by on FNO (image designs courtesy of www.fashionsnightout.com):


835 Madison Avenue New York NY 10021

View Website



542 West 22 Street btw. 10th and 11th Aves. New York NY 10011

View Website

212 206 0872

Nicolas Ghesquière & Balenciaga present an evening of exceptional events for Fashion’s Night Out on Friday, September 10, 2010, at the Balenciaga NY boutique. For one evening only, from 8 PM– 10:30 PM, Balenciaga is proud to feature the US exhibition debut of the Cindy Sherman Untitled (Balenciaga) Series. At 9 PM Balenciaga presents a special live musical performance by Karen Elson, performing songs from her debut album The Ghost Who Walks, produced by Jack White. For full press notes and images, please contact Cynthia Leung at cynthia.leung@us.balenciaga.com or 212.279.4440

Banana Republic

Rockefeller Center 626 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10111

View Website


Bergdorf Goodman

754 Fifth Ave at 58th Street New York NY 10019

View Website


FNO Collection Available Online

Appearances By: Jason Wu Mary J. Blige Nicole Richie Simon Spurr Thom Browne Tom Ford Victoria Beckham 6-11: 5F Photo Studio 6: Face-Off Makeup Artist Competition With judges BryanBoy, Catherine Malandrino, Hamish Bowles & Trish McEvoy. 7: BG Best In Show: Designer Dogs Take The Catwalk! MC Robert Verdi. Judges Kelly Rutherford, Monique Lhuillier & Tinsley Mortimer. 8: Play With The Pros With athletes Georgina Bloomberg, Joey Cheek, Sarah Hughes & Tim Morehouse. 9: Karaoke! Special host Patrick McMullan. Complete BG Info: http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/womens-style/fno

Henri Bendel

712 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10019

View Website


6-11pm Reality stars,The Fabulous Beekman Boys ,with cameras, bring the country to Fifth Ave. with a General Store. Get a 10 min reading with astrologer Susan Miller for $25; benefits Housing Works. Lustr, a New York Magazine top10 fashion app, demos the app. Launch of Atelier Swarovski collection featuring Karl Lagerfeld. 6-9pm Fekkai, Marchesa and Olivia Palermo have a Red Carpet moment that you can share on Facebook/Twitter. 7-9pm Bendel illustrator, Izak, signs one of a kind“green”totes for $100; proceeds go to charity. 8:30-10:30pm Model Erin Wasson presents her jewelry collection LOWLUV.

Jimmy Choo

716 Madison Avenue 645 New York NY 10022

View Website

212 759 7078 or 212

Both New York stores- Madison Avenue at 64th Street and 51st Street at Fifth Avenue will remain open for late night shopping until 11pm with champagne and refreshments. Both will be selling the Fashion's Night Out t-shirt. Only at the Madison Ave boutique- be the first to view and pre-order for one night only- the much anticipated Jimmy Choo & UGG boot collaboration! The capsule collection will officially launch for sale globally on October 21, 2010. The collection is based on the iconic UGG Australia boot construction with design details that embody the spirit of the Jimmy Choo brand.

Kate Spade New York

454 Broome Street New York NY 10013

View Website


Join Tim Gunn, chief creative officer of Liz Claiborne inc and co-host of project runway, and deborah lloyd, creative director of kate spade new york, for a window styling contest at the kate spade Broome street flagship. Contestants will create displays inspired by tim gunn's newest book, Gunn’s Golden Rules: life’s little lessons for making it work and the designs will be judged by tim and Deborah. Pick up a copy of Gunn's golden rules and have it autographed while sipping a gin and tonic. Head home with a limited-edition cosmetics case, available exclusively for fashion’s night out.

Textile Arts Center

505 Carroll Street Brooklyn NY 11215

View Website


20 August 2010

Great Britain and Ireland for All Seasons

I've been collecting DK Eyewitness travel guides since middle school, and I love seeing how the series continues to expand and grow. One of the newest incarnations has been the "Where to Go When" editions. Along with the original guide, DK has launched the Americas, Italy (coming in September), and the one I'm currently in love with, Great Britain and Ireland. As with all DK travel guides, "Where to Go When: Great Britain and Ireland" is loaded with colorful photos, hotel recommendations, maps, websites, and cultural information. Though the book helpfully divides Great Britain and Ireland's top attractions seasonally, the guide truly offers enough suggestions to fill up a lifetime of travel through this most enchanting land.

Here are a few of my favorite suggestions for each season:


- Experiencing the Georgian charm of Alresford in Hampshire. In addition to the lively Watercress Festival and Eel House, travelers can also pay homage to Jane Austen at her home in nearby Chawton.

- The "bewitching views" of Pendle Hill in Lancashire. This was the site of the most famous witch trial in English history.

- London. Though the editors at DK have placed London into the spring chapter, there truly is no inopportune time to visit what I believe is the world's greatest city. One could spend ten lifetimes exploring London and still have a whirlwind of merriment to enjoy. This guide offers an excellent introduction for first-time visitors.

- Oxford, the city that is in "a class of its own." Three and half of the best months of my entire life were spent here, so Oxford will forever be close to my heart. "Where to Go When" has excellent suggestions for experiencing the best of Oxford, like the Radcliffe Camera, Turf Tavern, Evensong at the colleges, and the Botanic Garden.


- The Isle of Wight. I've always wanted to visit this south coast locale, and the editors at DK suggest doing so in the summer when the temperatures are a comfortable 60-66 degrees. Be sure to visit the iconic Needles.

- The Orkney Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland. If you want to see stone circles, this is the place for you. Both the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness are found here.

- The castles and coastline of South Wales. Just a few of the castles you'll see here are Chepstow, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Laugharne, and Carreg Cennen.


- Windsor and Eton. In addition to seeing Windsor Castle and Eton College, Hampton Court Palace is just fifteen miles southeast. For history-lovers, the town of Runnymede is of particular significance since this was where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215.

- The Mountains of Mourne on the east coast of Northern Ireland. Explore the beaches of Newcastle, Tollymore Forest Park, and the Silent Valley.

- Visit the "bonnie, bonnie banks" of Loch Lomond, Scotland where you'll also see Stirling Castle and the ruins of Inchmahome.


- Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. DK recommends visiting for the winter solstice. The stones are roped off during other parts of the year, so this is one of the rare opportunities to actually get close to the mystical stones. Salisbury Cathedral, the finest 13th-century Gothic cathedral in Britain, is also nearby.

- York, England. York Minster is one of the most impressive cathedrals in all of Britain.

- Chester in Northwest England. I really love this small city that is practically on the Welsh border. The city has ancient walls which encompass it and contain all sorts of whimsical shops. The large cathedral is also impressive.

I highly recommend "Where to Go When: Great Britain and Ireland" to anyone looking to explore this region in depth. You will never be unable to come up with amazing places to visit and spectacular sights to see.

13 August 2010

September is the January of Fashion

September marks the beginning of a new cycle of fashion, or so says Candy Pratts Price. It is also the most important month of the entire year for the magazine world. So, which magazines put forth the most exciting, innovative, and fashion-forward covers for September? Here are some of my top picks:

The subscriber's edition of Harper's Bazaar. This is the best cover design I've seen all year. I haven't seen Jennifer Aniston look this edgy or fashion-forward on a magazine cover since the February 2003 issue of W. It would figure that my subscription to Bazaar just ended, so I'm stuck with the yawn-inducing newsstand cover (see below). Maybe I can buy the issue off of a library...

The newsstand cover is like a night-and-day contrast to the artistic subscriber cover. This one is perfectly suited towards the mainstream who have absolutely no interest in fashion.

While not a fashion magazine, I really love Vanity Fair's cover photograph of Lady Gaga. I just love the way she is styled, and I also love that silver hair, which seems to be on-trend these days.

I like this cover shot of Halle Berry. I think her hair looks fantastic and uber-chic. I know that Anna feels like a big statement was made by featuring an African American woman on the cover of a September issue. I just think (no offense to Ms. Berry, who is quite lovely) that Chanel Iman or Liya Kebede would have been more exciting cover choices. They are both highly talented models who are truly deserving of Vogue's top cover honor.

W's different redesigns for September. I'm not crazy about any of these cover images, but I'm most drawn to the middle image. I'm extremely curious to see how Mr. Tonchi has changed the magazine, though.

I also really love British Vogue's Kate Moss cover. Everything about this cover is just perfect.

(** images from Google**)

12 August 2010

Less than one month until Fashion's Night Out!

Fashion's biggest, most inclusive night of the year is less than a month away! And this year's event is primed to be even bigger than last year's inaugural event. To find out what will be happening when and where, be sure to check out FNO's Twitter page, Facebook page, and the official website at www.fashionsnightout.com.

Fear not if you can't make it to New York. From Washington, D.C. to London, Tokyo, and Sydney, there is bound to be an event near you. There are two other ways to take part in the action this year. "Fashion's Night Out: The Show" will be taking place at Lincoln Center on September 7th. Tickets for the largest fashion show ever to be held in NYC go on sale August 19th. According to vogue.com, the show will include over 150 models! CBS will stream the event live and vogue.com will have the show on its website the day after the performance. CBS will also be airing a special documentary on the making of FNO on September 14th at 10 p.m.

I don't know about you, but I am overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation for this year's event! I just hope that Hamish Bowles will be singing Noel Coward standards again because I do not want to miss out on that for a second year in a row! I'm also hoping to disguise my resume and writing portfolio in a cleverly-crafted fan letter to Mr. Bowles...

So, what are your plans for FNO? Will you be in NYC or London? Which fashion designers/personalities are you hoping to see?

More FNO updates and coverage to come as we approach the big event! Stay tuned!

09 August 2010

Tinsley Mortimer and I Have Something in Common

There's nothing more annoying than walking into a clothing store and being asked fifty million times if you need help with something, if you have any questions, or if you are looking for something in particular. Menacing sales associates are the main reason that I shop as little as possible. I just don't want to fend off ten salesgirls while I browse around a store!

Apparently veteran shopper Tinsley Mortimer agrees. She told WWD (which The Cut posted) "I don't like them helping me. I know what I like, and I prefer them to just let me go. I'll probably buy more if I don't feel any pressure." I couldn't agree more! If I need help finding something in particular (i.e. a size that is not on the sales floor), or if I have a question about the ratio of nylon to cotton in that blouse, believe me, I'll ask. If, however, I am continually pestered, I will indeed have a question for the salesgirl, and that question will be "Where is the nearest exit?!"

I've long been mystified regarding the sales approach of clothing stores. Do they really think that this is how sales are made? Sometimes I just want to wander through a store to see what's new. I won't be buying anything, even if you tell me that the sweater I'm holding can spin straw into gold. I'm just here to look. Also, I really don't require a stranger's help with finding a piece of clothing. I've been dressing myself for almost twenty years now (OK, my dad picked out my clothes in elementary school!), and I have a well-developed aesthetic. Plus, I enjoy searching for that perfect piece and stumbling upon an interesting find.

I realize that there are exceptions to this shopping preference, though. I can't imagine shopping for a wedding gown without the assistance of a sales associate. Also, if a man is searching for a gift for his wife/girlfriend/daughter, I can understand how this might necessitate assistance. There needs to be that happy medium between completely ignoring a prospective customer and bothering him/her to the point where the customer makes a beeline for the door.

How do you feel about shopping? Are you with Tinsley and I in that you know what you're looking for and just want to be left to it in a clothing store, or do you enjoy a certain amount of assistance from the sales associates?

08 August 2010

The Search for the Perfect Bag

Handbags are probably my least favorite accessory to purchase and, sadly, I am in desperate need of a new one. My last go-to bag was purchased in London in 2007 at New Look, which is basically a British Forever 21 equivalent. Nevertheless, this was a fantastic black doctor bag that was loaded with roomy pockets, chic stitching details, and versatile handles. It also constantly garnered approval from strangers. So, I am now in the market for a new bag. I need something that travels well, something that can handle a lot of wear and tear (my trusty New Look bag survived nearly three years and two big cross-Europe trips), and something that is unique. I've really been favoring cross-body bags as of late, so that's probably what I'll concentrate on.

Here are a few looks from Gap, Inc./ Piperlime that are either top contenders for the role of New Bag, or are indicative of what I'm looking for:

I really love this Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, but it's inconceivable for me to spend $400 on a handbag. If I can buy round trip airfare to London for not much more, I'm definitely not spending it on a purse. No way, no how.

This Rebecca Minkoff cross-body bag has everything I'm looking for in a new carryall. The only problem, again, is the price. These are the details that I would want a prospective bag to have, though.

I kind of like this mustard-yellow cross-body bag from Nine West. The only problem I can see is that it is predominantly nylon, and I'm not sure if a nylon bag can truly go the distance.

This mini chain bag from Banana Republic obviously couldn't be my new multi-purpose, go-to bag, but I'm strangely drawn to it. This bag would be so much fun for nights out, dressy dinners, cocktails, etc.

I haven't bought a handbag from the Gap since high school, but this two-tone coated canvas bag has real potential. The bag also possesses more uptown elegance than its small price tag would suggest.

(** all images from piperlime.gap.com and gap.com**)

01 August 2010

America's Favorite Cities

Travel + Leisure wants to know what America's favorite cities are. For the magazine's annual survey, you can rate your favorite city on everything from the quality of its cultural and historical monuments to the abundance of its microbreweries or farmers' markets. You can even rate the city based on the attractiveness and friendliness of its inhabitants. The 35 cities include standards like New York, D.C., Chicago, and Boston along with smaller noteworthy gems like Philadelphia, Providence, Savannah, and Seattle. I only took the survey for three cities: New York, D.C., and Chicago since these are the American cities that I have spent the most time in. How did I rate these cities?

Well, New York received high marks for the diversity and stylishness of its residents, but loooooow marks for the friendliness of said residents. If you've ever been temporarily lost in New York and tried to ask for directions, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Of course the city received the highest scores in categories like neighborhood joints, luxury stores, vintage boutiques, nightlife, and cultural attractions. I gave it low marks for cleanliness (after Rome, New York is without a doubt the dirtiest city I've ever visited) and ease of public transportation. I have an easier time getting around Warsaw than I do New York.

How did our nation's capital fare? Well, I gave D.C. high marks for the quality of its historical monuments (obviously!), cleanliness, ease of public transportation, the intelligence of its inhabitants (yes, that was a category...a category in which L.A. always comes in last), the quality/ abundance of classical music venues, and the access to outdoor parks and recreation. I was unsure of the friendliness and stylishness of the inhabitants. Traditionally, D.C. is where fashion comes to die, but that's been changing recently, so I was optimistic.

Chicago generally received middle-of-the-road marks from me, mainly since I haven't visited in a few years. I didn't think I had a valid opinion in many categories like noteworthy neighborhoods, singles bars, and public transportation (I've always walked or gotten around via taxi). I did give Chicago high marks for the quality of its museums, ethnic restaurants, skyline, and friendliness of inhabitants.

How would you rate our nation's cities? Take the survey at http://www.travelandleisure.com/afc/2010 and watch for the official results in the December 2010 issue of T+L!