Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: HairDo Clip-in Bangs

A while back, Jessica Simpson got together with Ken Paves and created a line of hair pieces- mostly clip-in extensions designed to be worn with layered hair. Most were a little beyond my price range ($80ish), so I never tried them out. I was, however, quite tempted. In my line of work, I ask the girls I dress to wear faux hair all the time but I think a lot of women are intimidated by the idea of wearing it in real life. I've incorporated a few hairpieces into my style repertoire with great success and that's with mostly cheap stuff. No joke. I even wore a curly hair comb to a wedding and got SO many compliments on my 'do.

Recently, I discovered a piece that I found too intriguing to ignore. I even splurged and bought it for $35 (with shipping). It's the Jessica Simpson/Ken Paves HairDo Clip-in bangs. I'm in love. I wore it for the 2nd half of the day today and fooled just about everyone. Hardly anyone noticed and that was a pretty clear indicator that they looked natural, don't you think? The color was a flawless match with mine and it truly blended in without looking like an added on "piece." The bangs are designed with three small clips underneath the layer of bangs. Simply part your own hair down the middle and clip on. I did it several times without even using a mirror and achieved fabulous results every time. These bangs are far superior to other add-on bangs available on the market right now. I've tried another pair that actually wraps around your entire head and let me tell you- they are hard to put on and look soooooo fake. If I didn't look so battle-worn from the long day at work (it's nearly 11 PM and I've been here since 9:15 AM!), I'd photograph myself before and after to show you how great they work. However, since I look far too wretched today to photograph, I'll just show you the HairDo demostration pictures because it TRULY is this easy and effective.
And yes, they look that natural and fabulous in real life, too. I give these clip-in bangs a solid 2 thumbs up.
P.S. Just in case you're wondering why I'm at work so late and lso ong, The Black Crowes are playing at American Music Theatre today. It has been a fabulous, if long, day- they have all been so polite, and friendly, as was their opener, Truth & Salvage.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Style Icon- for men!

I received an email today asking for tips on what is slimming attire for men. The answer is: that depends on your body. I know that's not the answer you want, but it's the truth. All I can tell you is to start with Step 1: look in the mirror and be honest about your body type and the dress it in clothes that fit. Too tight will make you look sausage-y. Too loose will make you look frumpy and disheveled. Clothes that fit well will make you look great. That being said, there are a few general tips I can offer.
1.) Flat-front pants with a straight leg are generally more slimming than pleated front pants
2.) Vertical stripes on a button-down shirt help elongate your look which can also be slimming
3.) Monochromatic outfits are also slimming because once again, they elongate your body

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.
I understand, though, if those options don't appeal to you. While Clooney & Craig look dapper, maybe it's a little too polished for your taste. And Johnny Depp is definitely cool, but maybe you just aren't that interested in fashion. You want to be more laid-back, more casual. You can still look good, and be in good company while you're at it. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are two guys who can rock a t-shirt and jeans and look better than anything else for miles. And miles.
Although I don't recommend a t-shirt and jeans as your everyday go-to attire, I do think that you can look just as good casually dressed as you can look in a 3-piece bespoke suit.
I hope this post has been useful to all of you guys out there. To be honest, menswear can be even more difficult than womens clothing because of its simplicity. You have to have all the details right in order for it all to work. Women have the advantage of layering all sorts of accessories on top of our clothes to alter the shape and feel of our outfits. Smoke and mirrors aren't as readily available to men. Fortunately, once you figure out exactly which details work on your body, you're good to go for quite a while. Menswear hasn't changed a whole lot in the last 100 years or so. In fact, each of the style icons mentioned above has his own counterpart in a previous generation. Think I'm wrong? Check it out:
George Clooney: Clark Gable
Johnny Depp: Truman Capote
Ben Affleck: James Dean
No matter who your style icon is, you need to remember that fit is the MOST important factor. I don't care if you spend $1500 on a pair of Dior jeans or $5 on a pair from Goodwill. If they don't fit you well, they are a waste of money.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Style Support

I spent the morning hanging around the house thinking about what I wanted to write about today. The fashion industry is so enormous, so widespread and ever-changing, it can often feel overwhelming and I sometimes struggle with choosing a relevant subject that's simultaneously broad in its appeal and focused in its scope. While musing over the many topics to discuss today my phone rang and it was Beth- my oldest and closest friend. After over an hour of chatting I had my topic: personal style support and its importance in my (and your) life.

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

Project Runway- Episode 2

I think that the LA location of Season six is kind of cool- every episode has the potential to have a HUGE celebrity guest judge. Last week was Lindsay Lohan, this week, Rebecca Romijn. And the twist? She's pregnant with twins, so the designers have to make maternity clothes! Every season there seems to be some type of "real woman" challenge, whether that means plus size, or this time maternity- I think it's cool. I remember an episode of The Fashion Show (that god-awful show that replaced Project Runway on Bravo) where the designers "real women" were size 6 or 8 for the most part and they all seemed to lose their minds- they couldn't wrap their heads around the concept of designing for something larger than a clothes hanger. One even admitted that she wants her models to essentially be walking clothes hangers. I believe that was the last episode of The Fashion Show that I actually watched- I was too offended. Real women, plus-size women, pregnant women- they are all beautiful. Ok, on to the actual episode:

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

One Shoe, Three Ways

A lot of people ask me about how to put an outfit together, or how to take something from their closet and use it differently, so today I present: One Shoe, Three Ways! Below are three different outfits that all work with this pair of shoes:

Every piece in this post has two things in common: First, they were all sent to me via Shop It To Me which I wrote about in this post. Second, they all cost less than $100 because the sale prices are 25-50% off the retail price. (The shoes are BCBGirls and selling for $59.99.) I like how they are classic in shape and color, while subtly displaying the cut-out trend I wrote about in this post. And now, on to the outfits. First, we have a Michael Kors pleated top ($62.65) and ankle pants ($33.90) with a Nine West blue leather tote ($74.70). I'll let you choose the rest of your accessories, but I would personally add a long thin necklace or a pair of delicate chandelier earrings.

This would be a great outfit for work and could easily transition from day to night just by switching the tote out for a dressy clutch and glamming up the jewelry a bit. A cocktail ring and some big earrings could do the trick.

Next, you know I have an obsession with dresses, so I HAD to pair the shoes with at least one!

Due to the height of the shoes combined with the length of this adorable BCBG Max Azria dress ($87.90) it's inappropriate for work, but great for a date or a girls night out. The bag is once again Nine West ($62.90), and don't let anyone tell you about that no-white-after-labor-day rule. Rules are meant to be broken, especially that one!

Feminine ruffles are very trendy right now and you can find them literally everywhere you look.

This BCBG ruffle dress ($38.90) is very feminine and light, but the shoes add a distinctive edge to the look. Paired with the smaller Nine West handbag ($58.07) and voila! Fabulous and feminine, but edgy enough that you're not completely girly. It's a sophisticated, mature feminine look.
You may have noticed that I don't like to create matchy-matchy outfits- they look so much less sophisticated than outfits that go together, but don't necessarily match. Just make sure the colors you choose are complimentary and you'll be good to go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I miss Christian!

I was just sitting on my couch watching last week's episode of Project Runway (yes, again) and it made me feel a little nostalgic for Christian Siriano. I think this is going to be a good season, don't get me wrong, but I miss his dramaticly spectacular designs, as well as his light-hearted yet over-the-top personality. I started wondering, "What is Christian up to these days?" Google rocks. In a moment, I was visiting his website and before long I had found some pretty amazing fashions. I have so much respect for Christian because he is truly an artist. He seems to have innovative ideas bursting out of him- you can tell by his collections that he has an endless supply of ideas to execute and oh boy, does he execute them! On his season of Project Runway, his designs were always beautifully constructed in addition to just being beautiful clothes. Also, Christian makes me smile. I mean, look at him! How can you NOT smile at him?!?!

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?)

Rate my look

Here's my outfit for the day and that's right- I want YOU to rate it! Leave me a comment with a score from 1 to 10. I promise I can take it! Maybe you think I need a new hairstyle? Or better shoes (as if)? And the dress? Love it, hate it, indifferent- let me know!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shoesday Tuesday (for men!)

That's right! It's Shoesday Tuesday for the guys this week! I feel bad about not covering enough about menswear, so this week, it's all about footwear for the boys! My advice for men isn't that much different than my advice for women- shoes are an investment not only in your wardrobe, but in your overall health. Take care of your feet and you'll be much happier in the long run. Think about it: you take care of your car because you need it to take you to and from work every day, right? Your shoes are the vehicle of your life, so they should be high quality and you should maintain them. I'll try to keep this in guy terminology, but as I'm about as girly as they come, I might struggle a bit, so bear with me.

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

Fall trends- no, thank you!

I recently read a style article that listed 5 major trends for fall. My response to each of them? No, thank you! Let me elaborate. First, unisex leather bomber jackets:The one pictured here is actually a fairly slim cut, but that is SO hard to find in a bomber jacket. They are very boxy and generally really unflattering. If you can find one that is flattering on you, go for it, I guess, but in my humble opinion, there are SO many far more flattering and far more interesting jacket choices. I respect what she did, but I'm not interested in dressing like Amelia Earhart. Trend #1? Rejected!

Next, anything reminiscent of lumberjack style- flannel, plaid, work clothes, hiking boots- although there was no mention of an axe as an accessory.
Listen good, kids- if it doesn't look good on Lindsay Lohan, it won't look good on you. This trend reminds of the "grunge" movement of the early 90's. Do you really want to look "grunge-y?" I didn't think so. Trend #2? Rejected!

Next, embellished tights: This is perhaps the least offensive of these 5 trends, but for me personally, I want my legs to look sleek and this look is just a little too grade-school-crafty for me. I'll be honest, in the winter I wear a lot of tights to work and throughout the day, sequins, thread, rhinestones, and all sorts of other sewing paraphernalia catch on them. This look reminds me of those days I spend pulling all that crap OFF my legs. I might go for a more subtle embellished pair of tights, but this look? No, thank you! Trend #3? Rejected!

Next? 80's vintage clothing.
I can't even talk about this one. Vintage 80's? Really. Trend #4? Rejected!

And finally, the mohawk.
(I'm sorry, but I just couldn't help myself with this picture.) All I have to say about this trend is, I pity the fool who thinks this looks good! Rejected!

Here's my big issue with the last 2 items of the list- the 80's were a horrible decade for fashion, so WHY ON EARTH is the industry bringing trends back from that period? I'm all for vintage, but the 80's are a decade that really should be forgotten. Rhinestone studded bustiers? Over sized, off-the-shoulder t-shirts? Mullets? Gravity-defying bangs held up with Aqua net? Tight-rolled, high-waisted jeans? Please correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I doubt you'll be able to convince me. If there are any other trends you've heard lately and you're not quite sure if they're a thumbs up or down, leave me a comment and I'll happily chime in.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Prints for Men

I realized after finishing my last post that I haven't written much for guys lately. So I'm going to continue the post about wearing prints, but it's all for the boys this time! I love it when a guy can pull off a nice print, but I understand why so few men try. It's no easy task! So many guys I know are stuck in a polo shirt/khaki pants rut. You know what I mean- it seems like there is a uniform that was distributed for all the men out there. Admittedly, menswear is not nearly as varied as womenswear, but still, you guys can do better. And I'm here to help you! For starters, get yourself a striped oxford (button-down shirts)- these are so much more visually interesting than just your basic solid oxford, not to mention really slimming! (And who doesn't want to wear clothes that are slimming?) Target has a couple of lines of fitted mens shirts that come in a handful of colors, including a striped version. Express For Him is chock full of nice, fitted button-downs for men in literally every color of the rainbow as well as some prints including this striped number:
Or this plaid one:
Unlike my advice for women, men should avoid too large or busy a print. You may wonder if it's okay to wear a print to work and the answer is: Absolutely! Keep your shirt tucked in and pair it with a nice, sleek pair of trousers in a solid color and you can go even more bold than you ever thought possible. If you are going to choose a very complicated print in eye-catching colors, keep the suit and tie solid and understated so as to balance out the look. And whatever you do, don't wear this shirt unless you're on stage doing a Tom Jones cover:

I hope this has been helpful for all you gents. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, or leave a comment with your question. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, everyone!

Gimme some print love!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE to wear prints. I think solids are boring! (But I understand they are necessary.) In case you need evidence of my print love, check it out:

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:

The asymmetry of the print brings a lot of visual interest and because of its specific placement versus being an all-over print, it works on a smaller frame. Also, the length is key for a shorter gal- it keeps the dress from overwhelming a petite frame. Now, I know there are some tall, fearless ladies out there who want to go all-out and really make a statement. For you, I recommend stripes. Wearing bold stripes says to the world, "I am as confident as a person can get." Try this adorable frock from BCBG Max Azria:
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

Dresses galore

I wear a lot of dresses in my day-to-day wardrobe choices and I want to shatter the myth that wearing a dress means you're dressed upand uncomfortable. When I wear a dress, I'm often more comfortable than I would have been in sweatpants, yet when people see me, they immediately think I'm so dressed up and polished. It's such an easy illusion to maintain, too! Another myth with regard to dresses is that it's expensive to dress in them a lot. Not true! I shop a LOT at Marshalls and TJ Maxx to find discount designer dresses, but I also frequent Target and Body Central for bargain frocks. Think about it: a dress is an outfit all by itself, but tops and pants, while often less expensive individually, are more expensive when you consider the cost of the full outfit. Right? Right!

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.

Opening Night Fabulousness

Tonight's opening went really well- I'm just getting home and it is SO late, but I had to share a little about the night because it was great! First, you should know that I always dress for opening night. I love to get decked to the nines for opening and I don't care what anyone thinks. The director of tonight's show is a kindred spirit where fashion is concerned. We love to shop together and we love to talk about the costumes for the shows we do together. Last week, she and I went shopping together and of course had a great time, but we also both bought the same necklace from Forever 21. (When I say we have the same taste, I'm not kidding!) Anyway, I had decided it would be my featured accessory for opening night, but that is all she knew about my opening outfit. I ended up wearing a fabulous Eliza J black dress with the necklace. It was a match made in heaven. Here's the necklace:

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

Opening Night!

As if the excitement of the Project Runway premier wasn't enough, tonight is opening night of Broadway's Best the Music at American Music Theatre where I work as Costume Designer. This show was an interesting challenge, because as the title suggests, it is a concert version of the songs. Very little of the wardrobe in this show is a literal representation of what would be on stage in the actual show. Picture a concert at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center- this show is chock full of tuxes and gowns and beautiful dresses. It was a lot of fun to work on it, but I'm always happy when a show is finally up and I can relax for a moment before jumping into the next one! I though that today I would share some photos from our final dress rehearsal yesterday. This first photo is from the "Mamma Mia" medley and I have to say that I LOVE the sequin boots on Michelle (center w/yellow top). They are SO much fun! And where else could I possibly get away with sequin boots, right? They crack me up every time. Speaking of Michelle, that girl kills "Defying Gravity" from the musical Wicked- she's amazing. Here is a perfect example of the "concert"style of dress I mentioned above- rather than actually dress her as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, I've chosen a gown that is reminiscent of the character. I wish the picture did this gown justice. The beadwork is absolutely tremendous and it is phenomenal on stage. Another amazing performer in the show is Travis. He is an incredible dancer and at 6'4" he has a huge presence on stage- literally! All the dancers have to work SO hard in this show, but Travis especially because he has SO many lifts to do! Here are a few:

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!

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