Friday, May 24, 2013

Operation 50th Wedding Anniversary Dress, Revisited

I have neglected following up on my shopping exploits. It has been a few weeks since I purchased what I THINK is the dress. I even found a pair of shoes, which usually seals the deal for me. Here are some pictures:

Kate Spade Solar Trisha Dress

I'm delighted to say I did not pay $300 for it. I am sad to say I still paid about 1/2 that. I'm also still unsure about it. I'm debating if I need to add some fabric to the neckline. It's OK, but I wish it was a little more covering. I might find some white lace and have a tailor do some alterations just so I don't have to worry. Or I might find something else that doesn't make me slightly uneasy and take this back. Here's a better close-up of the print:

The print strikes me as bright & summery, so I like that. It certainly wasn't that common among all the dresses I was finding. All other dresses I was seeing were either black, mostly black, or neon.  And I think the aquamarine is close enough to a pastel to accommodate my family's request. I told them we were doing aquamarine for our color. And here are the shoes:

 I'm happy to say, regardless of the fate of the dress, these shoes aren't going anywhere. I love them. I'm trying not to wear them too much right now so they still look new for the party. It's difficult.

Thoughts? Ciriticisms?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cannes Film Festival 2013: All Covered Up

I was just looking through the red carpet photos for the Cannes Film Festival. Normally, I scour any event for a charming formal look (I'm obsessed with all that is dressed up) that I would wear or at least dream that I COULD wear. And while scouring Cannes' photos, I was struck by how many women were walking the red carpet all covered up. Is this a trend? I don't know. But I find it remarkable. Here my Top 10 Favorite looks from ladies who dare not to bare all that much:

Petra Nemcova at the Red Carpet screening for "Behind the Candelabra". And her pretty number isn't even peek-a-boo from behind.

This is Berenice Bejo. I know nothing else about her, but I love her romatinc-bride-meets-business ensemble.

Here you have Alessandra Ambrosio. She and Petra seem to be on the same wave-length, amping up their curvy silhouettes with metallic fabrics. She cuts like a knife in this number. Sadly, I did just have Bryan Adams run through my head after I typed that, but it makes the statement no less true.

And can you ever go wrong with glitter? Well, yes you can. But in this case, Mizz Kristin Scott Thomas, at the Red Carpet Premiere for "Only God Forgives", you are just so right in this dress. And I love the understated tone of your bracelet and that you decided to leave the neckline bare and do dangly earrings instead. Even your hair is perfectly made for this look.

Here you have Fan Bingbing, with a soft and romantic gown on a strong woman with lips that could kill.

It seems Adrien Brody couldn't stay away from Lara Lieto at the Cannes Film premiere of "Behind the Candelabra". I can't say I blame him. I mean, she looks amazing. Nonetheless, I was hard-pressed to find a clear shot without him hanging all over this stunning woman. Until I did! It was worth the hunt. :)
Clearly, I have a thing for blinged-out armor gowns. But I'm not the only one. These ladies are wearing it. I'm just posting.

Aishwarya Rai is stunning in this detailed, beaded lace masterpiece. I tend to get unimpressed with black dresses. There are just so many. But this one has too much drama to overlook.

Li Yuchun went with a blood red, pant suit. She wears her femininity on her chest by bearing billows of ruffles, rather than her boobs. A cape -- now THAT is an unusual accessory. I think she looks amazing.

Mila Jovovich ditched the drama and went for a pretty print instead. Her statuesque frame doesn't hurt this look at all. It's a very modern, artsy look. And her simple hair is a great accessory to the less formal look.

Here's Cheryl Cole at the Cannes premiere of "Jimmy P". Never underestimate the appeal of lace over a flesh-colored fabric. It's always a hot number.

So those, are my Top 10 Favorites. Shockingly enough, there were so many dresses, the couldn't all fit in my list of Top Ten. Some are alright, and some looks aren't my favorite. But I want you to see them, just so you know how incredibly covered up these premieres have been. For your feasting eyes, the other lovely ladies include:

Florence Welch, Cannes 2013

 Melita Toscan Du Plantier, Cannes 2013

 Samantha Barks Cannes 2013

 Eva Longoria, Cannes 2013

 Kirsten Dunst, Cannes 2013

 Jessica Chastain, Cannes 2013

 Rosario Dawson, Cannes 2013

 Elsa Zylberstein, Cannes 2013

 Maji -da Abdi, Cannes 2013

 Mary Cameron Goodyear, Cannes 2013

 Barbara Palvin, Cannes 2013

Nicole Kidman, Cannes 2013

Mouna Ayoub, Cannes 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fashion Thoughts & Frustrations

So, I've been shopping for a dress for my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party this August.

I know, I know. "It's not till August, right? I've got plenty of time." I hear that.

And to that, I say, "Ah, so naive. Have you shopped for a nice dress with sleeves and a knee-length skirt that's not in black anytime this decade?"

The even bigger challenge is we've been instructed to pick a color for each family and the color should be in a pastel hue. I haven't picked our family color yet because I'm hoping to find the dress first (so I have more options when shopping) and let my shopping find determine the color -- which will, in a perfect world, happen before all of my other siblings pick their family colors first (blue and purple are already called for, but I can work with the rest of the rainbow for sure.).

Usually, when I start shopping I already have a pretty accurate and unyielding idea of what I'm looking for. Notions of what I'd like to find out there:

I'm in love with the idea of tulle skirts. Light, feathery, full, kind of whimsical. I could dig that. Or something different that just holds that full shape.

Along with that tulle, I DO enjoy the lace trend. But maybe just a little lace.

A cute print would also not be so bad. And I'm definitely leaning towards a fit and flare style. My short curves appreciate structure and definition.

Also, I like some texture elements. But not too much. These ruffles are nice because they accomplish that without adding actual volume or width (for the most part). I never want to appear wider, so if it's too exaggerated, I tend to avoid texture (especially around my chest and waist where I already think I have sufficient "volume". :))

What I'm finding instead of what I want is:

LOTS O' BLACK. Why do designers always retreat to black? I HAVE black. I need pastel. Color. Any color. Please.

SHEATH DRESSES -- Can I please find a dress that does not remind me of "Real Housewives of Atlanta". Please?

CHEAP LACE -- Come on now. Cheap lace everywhere does not a nice dress make. You have to add nice stuff somewhere. Haven't you learned anything from Cheap n' Chic DIY blogs? 

LONG SLEEVES -- Did I mention this is going to be in summer? Give a modest girl a little bit of a break. 


BABY DOLL DRESSES -- I am a GROWN WOMAN. I want a WHOLE DRESS. Please stop telling me that I need to look like an adolescent boy wearing an 8 yr old girl's dress. I do not wish to appeal to pedophiles.  I want a WOMAN'S DRESS. Seriously. These are everywhere. What is up, people!?!?! 

I was thinking not go back to designing dresses, but you're really not giving me much to work with. Unless, of course, I can afford Oscar de la Renta or Valentino. In that case, I might have a few suitable options. Until then.....

I'm hoping my bottom feeder shopping at Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth proves to be more encouraging than my online searches. Wish me luck. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flat As A Board

There's a waifish, sleek and streamlined affect achieved by the ability of some women to look essentially flat-chested. Said look is achieved above. It was also popular during the flapper era and is quintessential Audrey Hepburn.

Now, I know that in general women spend a lot of time getting larger boobs, and buy special bras just to give them more mmph. But as a matter of personal preference, there are certain styles that I would like to wear -- namely blousy tops-- that just would look better if my chest were... flatter. I've taken to wearing sports bras if the shirt's neckline is discrete enough to not reveal the tacky racer straps. Am I the only amply endowed female who tries to emulate this look? Am I the only one using sports bras for things that are not their intended purpose (namely, to sweat in)?

There is, of course, no way I'm walking around without a bra on, even though that might help the the flat effect a little. I know other women do it. And I just don't think it's a good idea -- especially if I were to get cold. But I can't help but think I am committing a fashion crime at the same time by flattening what most women try very hard to boost. With a sports bra, no less. You'd think they would make them with lacy straps or something, if this were really a legit thing to do. Meh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Street Looks From All Over The World

Sifting through websites, looking for inspiration, I found my way to and checked out their Global Street Style pictures. They had almost 300 pictures in there. Below are all the looks that spoke loudest to me and why I find them so fabulous.

On the Street, Casablanca: This outfit is pretty simple, nothing too crazy. No one will think you are obsessed with fashion if you walk out in this. I like that it's understated in this way. I also like that she cuffed the skinny jeans and made them so cropped. I think that makes the whole thing. That and the light-colored button down shirt under her bomber jacket. Nice.

On The Street, Bucharest: I totally would wear some version of this outfit. I love the color blocking. And I love the bag. It's very Emilio Pucci-esque. The pink boots are extravagantly loud and yet comfy/practical all at the same time. They reiterate a surprising rule of shoes I learned years ago (coincidentally, when I bought MY first pink pair!:)) Shoes with color are a lot more versatile than you think they are, and you'll have a lot more fun wearing them. I also like the skinny camel colored belt. Note to self -- I need one of those.

On The Street, Bratislava: Does this not wreak of drama? I'm not sure I would try to pull this off, but it speaks to my inner child that played dress up. That vest, those shoes, those long chains! Even her posture says, "I do what I want," and "I'm not afraid to be noticed". Both are interesting statements to be wearing. I'm not sure when the last time was I wore either of those statements so boldly.

On The Street, Barcelona: Did I mention that I love skinny jeans and boots? The crispness and sophistication of this outfit. Ah. It's so breezy and refreshing. The sunglasses almost give this person an air of unreachable, but I think it adds to the allure of the whole outfit. I love the fresh brightness of her top. Of course, none of these pieces are daring at all. But that's one of the things I love about it. It's a little safe, but safe can be very pretty and classy. And comfortable.

On The Street Amsterdam: This outfit is proof that a simple, sleek style can pack a punch. Another thing about this outfit -- from the jewelry, to the bag, to the dress, everything pops! The editing on this outfit frees you of distractions, which makes each piece stand out. They are each so unique. The necklace becomes kinda mesmerizing, doesn't it? And she looks so put together that you forget her hair is kinda messy. Maybe she left her hair that way to tie in her more rough-looking handbag. I love the earthy tones of her shoes and handbag. Although, in practice, I'm not sure I'd go for such a big bag. but it does look fun and I love the rich color of the leather. There's not much there, but each part of this outfit gets its moment to shine.

On The Street, Portland: Ok, this outfit is SO daring. Dare to bare those fabulous legs. And those boots. I love the mid-calf length. And she wore a light-colored boot, which breaks up her leg-line, even while being a shorter frame! I think it looks gorgeous. I'm starting to be converted to the idea that mid-calf boots are a short girl's best friend, or at least one of them. The jacket has such a fabulous shape and print. Everything else is just a compliment to it. What an excellent demonstration of how to make good use of a statement piece. And did I mention I love her ridiculously huge sunglasses? Even her hair, voluptuous, and shaped perfectly. I'm in love.

On The Street, also Portland: There are a few things that fascinate me about the smartness of this outfit. First, her color choices are excellent. Hello yellow! Also, that print under her sweater is something that, alone, would be way too big and bold and overwhelming for a slight frame (like me), but with a sweater to calm it down a little, it's fabulous! And how crazy is the idea that a bright yellow cardy would be calming anything down?! And yet it does. Also, she's not wearing skinny jeans with her boots! They're a straight-leg cut. This relieves me because 1) I think she looks adorable, and 2) I have done the same thing and wondered if it made me look sloppy. Of course, I could still have looked sloppy, but at least I know it's not because of the combo of those two pieces. :)

On The Street, Chicago: I love the wide-leg jeans. I also love the belted sweater and the puffy layering of the whole thing. She looks so put together, and yet she's totally cozied up and bundled. Her figure is in there somewhere. You can't really see it. But she still looks sophisticated. It takes a woman with inner confidence to know she can look that hot while being that covered up. The jury's still out on the length of her jeans -- I think they would would drive me crazy and fray at the bottom in no time. And I like clean leg lines, which you don't get here. But I still like the look.

On The Street, Singapore: So edgy. Her hair, for one thing, is totally edgy. And then that extreme crop to her jacket. Her shoes in their light gray. She is modern art walking. And then you have that organic-looking claw on her long, pendant necklace. It's a total contrast to the rest of the outfit. I'm not sure how to incorporate any of these rules in my own dress. I could never pull off that hair cut. But I really like the idea of this outfit. I really do.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Red Carpet: Miranda Kerr

Of course, a well-placed ruching effect never hurt anyone's sexpot factor. Miranda Kerr is smoking it up in this pale green number on August, 29th, 2011.

Red Carpet: Kiera Knightley

Sometimes patterns can be overwhelming. But here, the look is gorgeous! The detail around the neck and torso is a beautiufl contrast to the rest of the dress. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that Kiera Knightley calmed everything else down, with nude shoes, light makeup and a sleek do. So pretty. Thanks Adrian, for pointing me to it!