Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
But these tips are only a little useful. If you have trouble identifying what isn't working on your body or what your body type is, look to the celebrities. They have professionals making sure they look amazing no matter what the occasion or their body type. Use that to YOUR advantage.
Want to look sophisticated, classic and polished? Do you like to look sleek but not draw too much attention to yourself? Model your look after George Clooney and Daniel Craig. What guy DOESN'T want to look as cool as James Bond, right? Both of these men wear very classic attire in both casual settings and on the red carpet.
P.S. Can we just pause for a moment to mention Daniel Craig's blue eyes? Irresistible is a word that comes to mind.
Maybe you'd rather show off your sense of style by experimenting with trends. You want to be NOTICED. Look to Johnny Depp for quirky, trendy attire. He knows a thing or two about stepping outside of the box and he does it with panache.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I can't begin to impress upon you the importance of having girlfriends in your life. At the risk of sounding like a sentimental sap, I'd like to share with you the many reasons why Beth (and Melanie and Amy and all my close girlfriends) are so important to me. I can't imagine where I would be today without them! Where personal style is concerned, I can read fashion magazines and watch runway shows until I'm blue in the face, but even if Karl Lagerfeld himself was dressing me, I'd still want at least one of my girlfriends there. Style advice from magazines, blogs, articles, etc. are all well and good, but they are far from personalized. If anything, they're geared towards the masses.
Think about the occassions for which you really dress and they will (hopefully) be events in your life that you share with those close to you- weddings, anniversaries, holidays, etc. Your girlfriends are the people in your life who know you better than anyone else, who want nothing but the best for you in life, and who support you in the decisions you make- work, school, boyfriends, and of course fashion and style. Like life support for your wardrobe, your girlfriends keep you going. Maybe it's an encouraging smile or a knowing look that gives you the confidence to try a bold outfit. Or the furrowed brow and frown only a real friend can give you that says, "It is BECAUSE we are so close that I can be honest and tell you not to wear that. Ever." And who better to celebrate with you when you find Dior in your size at 85% off?
Beth lives a few hundred miles away in Boston, but that one phone conversation this afternoon left me completely energized and inspired and as close to her as ever. I hope for each and every one of you out there that you have your own "Beth" in your life, someone who inspires, encourages and supports and who feels the same way about you.
Friday, August 28, 2009
WIN: Shirin Askari
AUF: Malvin Vien
I loved Shirin's dress last week- it was the champagne cocktail dress with the black capelet that was attached at the waist and could drop off the shoulders and drape gracefully in the back, almost like a bustle. This week Shirin's dress was a beautiful burgundy-wine dress with the most interesting draping techniques, especially at the waistline. But that wasn't all- she also made a perfectly tailored, beautifully lined jacket- no small feat. I think she's absolutely showing herself to be a front-runner in the competition. I just hope she keeps it up. In both of these new episodes I've loved what she designed and it made me want to see more.
As for Melvin, his concept was nearly as out-there as Ari's was last week. The mother hen? Complete with an egg, feathers and chicken thighs? Even perfect execution couldn't save him! Although, he did edit the jodhpurs down to a regular skinny pant. Thank god!
This week, Monique Lhuillier filled in for Michael Kors, making it an entirely female judges panel, and all four of them had been pregnant before. Honestly, I would have preferred Michael's opinion as well, but at least it was fair judging- all four women have the experience necessary to judge the challenge in great detail.
My other favorites this week: Logan, Christopher, Gordana and Johnny
The judges other favorites were Louise and Althea and I agree they both did a great job, but I preferred the favorites listed above. If anything, I'd probably add Louise to my list of faves simply because of all the interesting details on her garment- the pleating, the hand-dyed lace, the flowers on the shoulder- overall it was impeccably made. Althea's was elegant as well, and I especially liked the back and how slimming the ribbon technique looked. I really loved Johnny's because it worked as a maternity dress, but it would also have been successful if made for any other challenge. I liked the other three- Gordana, Christopher and Logan because they were all able to do something other than a dress and actually be very successful. Making a dress was definitely the easier route to take, so to make separates and look as good as they did was impressive to me. All four were successful to me because they were beautiful clothes that would have been beautiful as misses, plus size or maternity. They were interesting, beautiful and artistic and it was like the maternity aspect was just another detail, rather than the focus.
And other disasters this week (in my opinion): Nicholas, Mitchell and Epperson
I have to admit, I was surprised that Epperson wasn't in the bottom- his jumpsuit was an odd choice and the jacket was SO stiff and uncomfortable-looking! And Nicholas' dress was WAY too tight. Maybe the judges saw something I didn't because they both made it through to next week. The judges other bottom choices were Ra'mon and Mitchell, so I guess I agreed with them a little. Mitchell seems to be ill equipped or unprepared for the challenge of being on this show. For two weeks in a row, he has presented something basically unwearable- his model this week was a hot mess! Poor Ra'mon and his bowling ball bag dress! If it wasn't a maternity dress, it would have been beautiful and chic and probably very slimming. Too bad the execution made it look quite literally like a bowling ball bag! Mitchell made that reference in the workroom the day before the runway show and Rebecca Romijn made the same analogy during the judges deliberation. I'm glad he wasn't eliminated for it because even though it was an epic fail for a maternity dress, it made me want to see more of what he can do. Mitchell, on the other hand- he needs to be Auf'd!
One thing I really like about this season is that the designers all seem to be nice people who support each other. I loved Santino and Jeffrey and the other more controversial cast members of past seasons, but I hate watching the drama and the fighting between people- I'd much rather watch them create and sew. I guess Lifetime's "Models of the Runway" show will have all the drama- we can hope at least!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Who knew there could be so much talent stuffed into such a tiny package?! Speaking of talent, I wrote in an earlier post about this beautiful ombre cocktail dress from his final collection on Project Runway. It's beautiful enough to earn another mention, don't you think?
Similar to the dress above is this grey and blue concoction from his Spring 2009 collection:
I would LOVE to wear this dress. It is spectacular! Another dress from his Spring '09 collection that I would die to wear is this beautiful grey and black cocktail dress. I especially love the drama of the hat. Bold, but it totally works! This is far and away my kind of outfit!
And what is it about Christian and his ability to make oodles of ruffles look good? He's like a magician! Christian Siriano or Christian Potter? He must have a magic wand somewhere up his stylish little sleeves.
I also really admire Christian's sense of drama and movement in his gowns. This blue gown is not only an interesting design, but it's such a special color, too! He makes clothing that pushes into the avant garde, but that also manages to be flattering and wearable!
I can't get enough of Christian Siriano and I hope he keeps cranking out amazing designs like he has for the past couple of seasons. What do you think? Love him? Hate him? (How could you?)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
First, buy quality shoes. Just like with cars, you get what you pay for. Think of cheap shoes like you'd think of a used Kia. It's cheap and as a result it comes with lots of problems- it wears out quickly, it's not that comfortable and you know you're not going to have it for that long because it's not going to last. Quality shoes on the other hand are like a new BMW- not only do they look good, they're comfortable, stylish, and classic- in other words, an investment. A little regular maintenance keeps them looking and feeling as good as new.
Yes, that's right- maintenance for your shoes, and I'm not just talking about shining the leather.
Think of the maintenance on your shoes like the oil change and tire rotation you get for your car. If you don't do the regular maintenance, the car wears out sooner. It's the same with shoes! Quality shoes should last a long time, and if you buy a classic style in black and brown, you'll have them for years. Take them to a cobbler at least twice a year. Cobblers can work wonders- they can do everything from repairing the leather to replacing the soles and all for a very reasonable price. If there isn't a shoe repair shop nearby where you live or work, there is an online service called Resole America who will take your shoes via regular mail, fix them and mail them back to you in less than 2 weeks! Remarkable? Remarkable!
I mentioned that maintenance isn't just about shining the leather, but that is still a part of it. It's like putting a fresh coat of wax on that new BMW, right guys? When you purchase a quality pair of leather shoes, make sure you also purchase a leather care product and APPLY it. By using these products, you can extend the life of your shoes by YEARS. And not only dress shoes! If your job requires high quality leather boots (That's you, lumberjacks! I know you're reading this!), you can make a small investment in caring for the leather and in the following years you will actually save yourself HUNDREDS of DOLLARS! Often the leather care products are sold at the same store where you buy your shoes, so it's easy and convenient to buy them at the same time! Also, the clerk will often be able to tell you about the best product to purchase based on your shoes as well as how to apply, how often, etc. But, just in case you're the type who buys everything online, you can find products here, here, here, here, and here. And those are just a few places! I really do recommend buying shoes in a high end department store like Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus where there will not only be lots of shoe options, but also lots of shoe care products.
Unfortunately, like all cars, all shoes eventually wear out beyond repair and must be replaced. If you've purchased quality shoes and taken good care of them, there should be at least 2 or 3 years in between purchases. Good luck, fellas! I hope you have happy feet from now on!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Yes, I took those out of my closet just to take the picture for you- don't you feel special? You can see from the picture on the left that I favor polka dots and florals, but there are a couple of stripes in there as well. Prints can be tough to pull off, depending on your stature. If you are petite, it's important to choose prints that won't overwhelm your frame. You wear the dress, the dress shouldn't wear you! Large prints on a small frame can be tough, but not impossible. Be objective when you look in the mirror- just because you love a print, doesn't mean you should wear it. A nice, tall pair of heels can help you by adding inches to your height, but they are only shoes- not a magic wand. Fall and winter are going to be all about statement prints, so get a few pieces to work into your wardrobe.
If you're average to tall in height, you could easily pull off this dress from Banana Republic:
I love the exaggerated houndstooth in teal and black- so very unique. It's a bit too much if you're petite, but don't worry- there are still plenty of statement prints out there that petite gals can rock including this top from Venus:
"But I want to wear a dress!" I hear you! I hear you! Try this one, tiny ladies. It's also from Venus:
Another bold option not for the faint of heart, also from BCBG:
Finally, I'd like to wrap up this post with a tribute to Yves Saint Laurent, who made the iconic statement print with his Mondrian dress:
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Here's a tip for you: shop for dresses that can transition from one season to the next. This is easier than you think because SO many dresses available now are of the most comfortable fabrics and styles and are easy to wear year round. In the winter, I wear a lot of my "summer" dresses, but I pair them with boots or a cardigan or a pair of tights, even a pair of jeans or pants- the possibilities are endless! Here is a dress for sale on Body Central's website for less than $30.It is a fabulous summer dress- the fabric is lightweight, the silhouette isn't too clingy- it's great! You can wear it with a pair of flip flops or ballet flats and voila! Instant cool summer outfit! "But how do I transition it into the fall and winter?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you how! First, throw on a pair of opaque black tights and your tall black leather boots (if you don't own a pair, shame on you). Next, add a cropped jacket or cardigan sweater on top and if it's an extra chilly day, add a scarf around your neck for added warmth. Done! In the winter, layering is key, so think of your summer dress as the "base" and then pile on the winter duds over it. It also makes the transition easier on your closet- fewer summer clothes to pack away for the winter, true? True! Now is a good time to start to take stock of which summer clothes will stay and which will get packed away in a couple of months. Also, if you start thinking about it now, the task will seem less daunting when it actually comes time to do it.
Please forgive my horrible shiny red face in this picture- I really should have freshened my make-up a bit before the close-up, huh? The dress is not only adorable, it's SO comfortable:
I wish you could see in the picture, but I'm wearing these shoes:
I look a little awkward in this picture- sorry about that, but I am still working on figuring out how to do the timed self-portrait feature with my camera- I haven't worked out all the kinks just yet. After about a dozen attempts, I finally gave up on trying to get my feet in the picture. I'll keep practicing! Anyway, the point of showing you my outfit is not to point out all my photography weaknesses. The point is this: Andrea (director of the show and good friend) had no idea what I was wearing tonight other than the necklace. She gave me a congratulatory bottle of wine as an opening night gift and you will die when you see it:
Just in case you can't see it clearly in the picture, here's a close-up:
Could there possibly be a better fit for me tonight? Honestly! I died when I saw it- it's SO perfect! It was a flawless finish to a fabulous opening! More on opening night another time- for now, it's time for bed! Good night!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Isn't that last one ridiculous?!?! One arm! Incredible! I just love Travis- not only is he a great dancer, but he's a joy to work with in every way. Actually, all of our dancers are a joy to work with in every way and it would be a shame not to mention them all. Shannon, Melanie and Andy- I love you all!
Well, that's it for now- I don't want to give it all away in one post! I hope you've enjoyed these pictures- I know I had fun working on all the costumes! But now it's on to the next show!
P.S. All photos in this post are courtesy of Ken Bruggeman of AMT's Marketing department. Thanks, Ken!