Monthly Archives: April 2011

Spring Obsessions: Color Blocking Essentials

This season, opening your closet should be like opening a bag of Skittles. Color, color and more color. This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and buy the entire pantone catalogue. With just a few key pieces, each in a different color, you can pull it off and say, “Jil Sander and Gucci, you’ve got nothing on me!”

In ordet to put together your vibrant look you need to always go for clean pieces, simple ones. Avoid embellishments and textures, just go for plain and solid silhouettes (this will make layering easier). Don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t hold back. If you have the look in your head, try it on. You will be surprised on how the least expected combinations aways seem to work effortlessly. Don’t overthink it, just have fun with it!

  • The dress: You can find them everywhere right now and the best part of it: they cost nada! Skin-tight, jersey dresses can be found in almost every color and style. Sleeveless, short-sleeved, even strapless, search for them in H&M or Zara. They don’t cost more than $20. Do pay attention to the length, cheeks (we are talking butt) are not to be displayed in public, EVER! That is an unforgivable wardrobe malfunction.
  • The top: Silk loose tanks are the  way to go. I’ve seen them in Zara, but they are everywhere. You can also find them in other materials, but I personally think that silk has a beautiful and natural fall. Wether you let it hanging out with a pair of jeans or tucked inside a highwaisted skirt, it is a must-have for this kind of look (and also a very handy garment to have in your closet).
  • The bra: Bright intimates are so appealing. The vibrant hues combined with our skin tone are just beautiful. And sometimes (if the outfit, occasion and attributes permit it) you can let it out for the world to see. With a button down or a sheer tanktop, a bright bra can upgrade your ensemble. Continue reading

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Nail Files: I want candy!

It’s not that I’m still in Easter mode, it’s just my everyday pastel obsession (you probably know that by now). But this Spring fashion seems to agree with my color fixation. Dresses, tops, skirts and even shoes, all can be found in this gorgeous hues. But another way to have fun with them is with your nails. In the nail department nowadays, pretty much everything is allowed (acrylic claws, diamond applications and tacky “designer” monograms will always be prohibited!). But now you can do stripes, flags, animal print (Sally Hansen’s strips are apparently a big hit), glitter, metallics, flowers. Nail polish companies and even retailers, such as H&M, American Apparel and Forever 21,  are releasing collections with a vast selection of hues and textures for you to choose from. OPI and Essie, to my opinion de two enamel leaders, have an endless selection. You can’t help but feel overwhelmed by their range of options while browsing their websites.

So since I know many of you, like me, share this nail color obsession (my sister Ana Isabela is the queen in this department, I wish I could show you her collection and also the way she has them displayed in my former bathroom, which se has taken over since I no longer live at home) I prepared to you a post with the season’s hottest shades with long lasting quality!

BABY’S GOT BLUE EYES

  • Illamasqua’s Caress, $22.50
  • Essie “Sweet Talker”, $8.00
  • Top Speed “Cloud”, Revlon, $5.99
  • Love & Beauty “Dusty Blue”, Forever 21,  $2.80

AND IT WAS ALL YELLOW

  • Illamasqua’s “Blow”, $22.50
  • Chanel “Mimosa”, $25.00
  • Complete Salon Manicure in “Yellow Kitty”, $7.99
  • H&M’s “Going Bananas”, $5.80
GREEN, GREEN GRASS

  • Pirates of the Caribbean Collection in “Mermaids Tears”, OPI,  $8.00
  • Illamasqua’s “Nudge”, $22.50
  • Essie “Mint Candy Apple”, $8.00
  • Mac Cosmetics “Mischevious Mint”, $14.95
PINK GETS ME HIGH AS A KITE
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Collection in “Sparrow me the Drama”, OPI, $8.00
  • Deborah Lippman’s “Don’t Tell Mama”, $16.00
  • Essie “Forget me Nots”, $8.00
  • Mac Cosmetics “Ice Cream Cake”, $14.00
LADY LAVENDER

  • Chanel “Lilac Sky”, $25.00
  • Pirates of the Caribbean Collection in “Planks a Lot”, OPI, $8.00
  • Illamasqua’s “Wink”, $22.50
  • Essie “Nice is Nice”, $8.00

Now that you know your colors, paint your nails away!

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Dressing my egg. They did it, why shouldn’t I?

Surfing Vogue online, like I religiously do everyday, I found this Easter Egg special. In it, some designers were asked, in a Fabergè fashion to dress an egg with their own personal touch. For the complete slideshow go to Vogue.com

Eddie Borgo went rocker glam with a spiked golden egg.

Jason Wu with lace and red lips.

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Happy Easter!

Even if if was yesterday, from Sweet’n’Raw, I hope you all had a Happy Easter! I hope the easter calorie bunny showered you with lots chocolate eggs (he showered me alright, hence the cake face and eye swelling from yesterday’s sugar high). Hugs and Kisses. A.S.

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Sweet Sophie would dream: Iconic Bags

As much as we would like to own the entire Harrod’s bag department each season (Camila Al Fayed probably does), in order to build a bag closet we have to focus our attentions in those pieces that are timeless, those purses that you can recognize just by looking at them as the eternal classics (eternal in fashion is not that long). The key in buying a luxury or quality designer handbag is choosing one won’t go out of style (at least for a long, long, while). It makes no sense to splurge $1095 on a bag like Burberry’s S/S Bridle patent clutch bag in Spearmint (even if I cry tears of desire, if that even exists, everytime I see it!). It’s better to invest it. Yes, buying a classic is a form of investment. So here I bring to you the bags that I (and you are probably going to agree with me) consider a must.

  1. Hermés Birkin: This is the Holy Grail of bags. A purse so coveted that Arthur’s quest for Excalibur may now seem like a pice of cake. Purchasing the legendary Birkin is almost a ritual, closed waiting lists and limited production (5 per week in Paris workshops). Many would say, all this for a handbag? And yes, the Birkin, named after singer and 60′s icon Jane Birkin, is handmade (one bag is made by a single craftsman, from start to finish) with the best quality materials (Hermés breeds their own crocodiles in Australia). The bag has been around since 1984. Classy and elegant, but handy and fuctional, it can be found (that is if you can actually find it) in different colors and materials ( less common the edition, higher the price). Wether you are an owner, a wait-listed or a dreamer, we all have a Birkin (at least in our minds).
  2. The Chanel 2.55: More than a classic, a myth. Created in 1955 by the genious and avant-garde mind of one Coco Chanel. Concieved as a functional solution and response to the handbag (she wanted a purse that would leave her hands free), she created the bag that is a trademark for the french maison and a must-have item in a women’s closet. The quilted leather, flap bag with the chain strap is a timeless piece, femenine, and romantic (it is said Coco used to stash love letters in one of its compartments). The bag is made by artisans, the creation and production process is not only complex but detailed. Mr. Lagerfeld also known as The Kaiser, who is the creative director since 1983, realeased a copy of the original version for the 50 year anniversary of the 2.55,  named “The Reissue 2.55″. The bag has also been made in different colors, forms, textures and materials, always respecting the classic features.
  3. The Louis Vuitton Speedy: Yes, we see it everywhere, even on those ladies at the airport sporting velour sweatpants and acrylic nails so long I always end up wondering how on earth do they manage to wipe their asses. But wether you like it or not, the speedy is a classic. And what matters here is not that you are wearing it, but how you are wearing it. The bag comes in four different sizes, my personal choice would be in the middle, not too small, not too large. Aside from the LV monogram canvas, we can also find it in Daimer, Daimer Azur, Epi (available in different colors and a personal favorite) and my least personal favorite, the multicolor. With the savings of a couple of months you can get your speedy, great quality at a reasonable price (that came out like cheap advertising).
  4. Balenciaga’s “City”: First came the Lariat, then came the City. Balenciaga’s motorcyle bags have become the most embematic items for the brand. There’s something about this purses that make women, myself included, go nuts for them. The perfectly crafted lambskin, the stunning range of lively colors (seems like a pantone catalogue), the design. It makes you want it, it calls for you and when you see it an another woman’s arm, you feel the betrayal and  you can’t help but say, “that bitch, I’m better than her!”
  5. The Chloè “Paddington”: With slouchy, worn and soft leather, the Paddington is the perfect everyday companion. A little heavy (the padlock alone weights about half a pound), this product has had a ginormous success since it was first released in 2005. It sells out immediately, even before it hits the market. This bestseller, designed by the amazing Phoebe Philo, is serious arm candy.
  6. The Alexander McQueen “Skull Box Clutch”: My jaw seems to literally drop everytime I have an encounter with this specimen. Wether its colored, patent, studded, embellished, python, flowered or even fringed, the McQueen skull box clutch is my top lust-worthy item. It is classic but with a twist, L’enfant terrible’s twist. What the late Alexander McQueen did was not fashion, it was art. And the skull box clutch was one of his many masterpieces. Continue reading

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DRAPER GIRLS: Megan

Actress Jessica Parè portrays young secretary Megan Calve in AMC’s hit series Mad Men. She is also now known as Don Draper’s fiancée (that bitch!). From the first time Megan appeared on the show, I was immediately drawn to her character’s style, the colors, the structured garments, the soft silhouttes. Almost like a Jackie O in the making, Ms. Calve’s fashion has become a personal favorite (even if own a pair of pillows similar to those of Ms. Holloway) and one of the many reasons I am addicted to the show. If you get to kiss John Hamm on set (that has to be the best job on earth), you deserve to have your own look. So here it is,

The “MEGAN” look:

I chose a structured high-waisted skirt in white. I paired it up with a lightweight blouse with a bow tie front in a baby blue shade. I replaced the original belt (black) on the skirt with a hot pink thin one to splash some color in the ensemble. For shoes, I went for a unusual and risky style that somehow seems to work perfectly. This Anastacia Bice leopard pumps with pastel details and bow are to die for. The heel length is perfect, the design is stunning. Continue reading

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DRAPER GIRLS: Joan

In case you haven’t already guessed it (if not by my feeble attempt of channeling Ms. Holloway, you sure read the title), it’s now turn for TV’s favorite sexy siren. If the red hair wasn’t enough, you got the hour-glass figure, the subtle smile, the half open eyes, the breasts (they could be deserving of a post of their own, she even hangs a pen in between). Damn you, Christina Hendricks, you make sexy for us a tough thing to pull off! It’s not a matter of size, it’s not a matter of curves, it’s not a matter of boobs. She drips sexy, she breathes sexy, oh to hell with it, she is the meaning of sexy.

So if you want to channel our dear Joanie, if you wanna turn heads everywhere (no you don’t need a couple of melons to get it done), put your sexy on and some body hugging clothes and work it.

The “JOAN” look:

We can call this look, “When Joanie met Gucci”. Inspired by the italian brand’s S/S collection and color blocking trend, I chose an eggplant pencil skirt, knee-length. For the top an emerald green sweater with ruffled sleeves. I cinched the ensemble with a gold belt. And for the final touch, aquamarine kitten heels to lighten up the look.

For accessories: keep it simple, keep it vintage. Trio of golden studs to embellish your Holloway updo. I managed to find a replica of the little golden pen Joan wears in every episode, just to play a little dress up. A single golden bangle with green and blue details. You don’t want to overpower the sexiness by adding too much. For the purse, a lady bag is perfect, even better if it comes with a short handle.  And finally, you have to wear colored lipstick. Dolce & Gabbana’s Iconic is perfect for your outfit and also one of the creamiest products out there. If you are a redhead it enhances your locks. If you are not, it gives you that playfulness Joan is so famous for. Continue reading

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DRAPER GIRLS: Betty

While AMC is torturing our souls by pushing back Mad Men’s season 5 until 2012 (a year seems an awful lot without a weekly Don Draper dose, same for the boys who would gladly be up for some Joan Holloway “pillow” smothering), I decided to pay my own homage to the series that for an hour a week has been feeding our dirty, dirty minds. And since Mr. Hamm wasn’t available for a live model sketching session (in a suit, not the birthday one), I had to go walk the fashion road. Mad Men has been an inspiration for the industry for a couple of seasons now. The accessories, the silouhettes, the colors. The characters are so powerful they have almost become iconic. Don Draper has the Christian Troy effect and he has managed to look good even in decadent times, one thing Mr. Troy clearly wasn’t able to pull off (he wasn’t even a six in the end of the series). Christina Hendrick’s Joan has changed the meaning of sexy, I’m not gonna get into the empowering “we love curves” argument. But sexy the Joan way is much more than a bodycon dress and sky high heels. Joan’s sexy is more of an attitude, a way of moving, a way of controlling. And there’s Betty. Betty Draper can be as annoying as you want, but fashionwise she is iconic. The suburban barbie wife style is one January Jones has mastered and we love her for it. The femenine dresses, the flowers and pearls, even the casual outfits involving pants are lust worthy. I’ve put together one look translating Betty’s 50′s fashion into our modern day one.

The “BETTY” look:

My obvious choice was a volume floral printed dress. V-neck and sleeveless but slightly shorter than what Ms. Draper would’ve used back in the days. I’ve paired it with a nude belt not so thin, but not so wide. Cinching the garments is always a viable option, it enhances the waist by creating or sharpening  the hour-glass. For an air of chic and girly I chose an open-button crochet sweater with 3/4 sleeves. The weight of the cardigan falls perfectly on to the shoulders. I know in those times heels like these where unthinkable, but since this is 2011 and I am absolutely mad with 5 and 6 inch heels, more when put together with flirty and femenine garments, I went for these green platform pumps. Continue reading

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A Needle Season

Comeback: a return to a former position or condition (as of success or prosperity). Recovery, revival.

Comebacks are a common thing in fashion. The industry never ceases to amaze by bringing back to life every season unexpected trends, always with a very particular twist, making them not only wearable, but coveted and must-have items. Years ago the return of the dreadful 80’s fashion would have been unthinkable. Who would have imagined that MC Hammer’s legacy, the now infamous Harem pants, would be hitting hard the 2009 S/S runways? But they did in a fashionable manner, from Derek Lam’s metallic versions to Chloè’s sophisticated and soft silhouttes. The shoulder pads, now a Balmain trademark thanks to the genious mind of one Christophe Decarnin, responsible also for the return of the acid-washed jeans. Cropped tops, jumpsuits, leggings and even speedos, all fashionably revived and revitalized.

The shocking thing about comebacks is not the trend itself, but how it returns, how designers reinvent the garment, and how it’s portrayed and styled. For S/S, there is a noted fashion piece coming back to haunt us, in a good way. In a season where feminine and sexy are in, they give to us: the metallic stiletto heel.

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You’re not a model, I know what I mean…

What is it with girls this days? Why do lots of them label themselves as models even though they clearly aren’t? Why are there thousands of so-called agencies getting their cash flow by selling photo books to “aspiring” models? You pay for the book, we’ll call you. And they never call (it’s the ultimate scam).

Every woman goes through a phase called childhood. Rember those days? The dolls, the Cinderella dress, the glitter slippers, the tea set (nowadays, barbies that look like tranny hookers and dolls with more human functions than actual babies). Little kids dream of the impossible, they want to be astronauts, princess, live in castles. That’s the beauty of children.

But then the day comes in which we have to take off our Rapunzel dress and face the fact that we have to grow up. No, I am not bitter, no I am no dream shatterer. I am just realistic. Yes, a very chosen few get to keep their kiddie dreams (Kate Middleton will become a princess and there are people actually working at NASA). But to all the rest us, we have to leave them behind. We have to build new ones based on what we like but also on our possibilities.

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