Have a Haute Halloween!

October 29, 2013

Whoever said Christmas was the only holiday designers could sell seasonal merchandise for? This year, plenty of designers are delivering up delightful treats for Halloween! Splurge on these Halloween-themed pieces and perfect costume accessories if you dare!

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Olympia le-Tan Dracula embroidered book clutch; Charlotte Olympia "Trick or Treat" embroidered suede slippers; Jennifer Behr spider hair pin; Kenzo eye-print leather mini-skirt; Erickson Beamon gold-plated and crystal mask; ALL FROM NET-A-PORTER.COM

Web Wednesday: Moon and Trees

October 23, 2013

One of my favorite blogs during the autumn season has got to be Moon and Trees, a tumblr that always fills me with plenty of inspiration for fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all the rest of the season. Especially because Southern California lacks that sort of leaves-changing-color feel, Hannah's blog helps me get into the spirit of fall!

So if you need any fall inspiration, definitely turn to Hannah's tumblr! It'll make you start craving some pumpkin spice lattes and cozy knit sweaters.

Leather is Better

October 22, 2013

There is nothing more badass than a cool girl in cool leather, and right now I am kind of obsessing over it.

from left: A.P.C., Burberry Prorsum, Marni, Elizabeth & James

Skirts, jackets, dresses, shirts, shoes...anything can be leather and anything that is made with leather immediately ups your cool points by like, 1000%. (Or "vegan" leather, you know, if you are a better moral person than I am)

The great thing is that while a leather motorcycle jacket is so totally cool and badass, there are more ways to rock leather in a more subtle fashion, so if you want to wear some leather but don't have enough street cred to look like you just joined a biker gang, fear not! There are plenty of options for you!

sweet leather
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Madewell dress; Mason by Michelle Mason sweater; Saint Laurent Paris pumps; Marc Jacobs handbag; Topshop panel skirt

Or, if you are looking for traditional rock-n-roll style leather stuff, there's plenty for you as well!

tough leather
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Saint Laurent Paris jacket; Rag & Bone tee; Guiseppe Zanotti knee-high boots; Marni clutch; Iro shorts; T by Alexander Wang pencil skirt

The Tourist

October 19, 2013

Band of Outsiders; Tommy Hilfiger; Tory Burch; Marni; Opening Ceremony
When you grow up in a vacation town, you learn to loathe any temporary visitors above all other things. They infiltrate our beaches and most-beloved hangout spots, they seem to have trouble grasping the driving laws, and they ask you embarrassingly-ridiculous questions like "Where is the beach?" (Seriously, guys. It's a mile-wide island, it is not that hard to find the ocean.)

There are a lot of things about tourists that drive us locals absolutely insane, but the worst thing in the world has got to be their god-awful fashion sense. Fanny packs, socks with sandals, unironic Hawaiian shirts - the whole thing is an interesting sight (but not in a good way).

Marc Jacobs; Marni; J. Crew
And then comes Spring 2014. I had already seen the beginnings of the troubling trend on street style stars and I hoped it would quietly come and go, but Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada, to name a few perpetrators, took many aspects of tourist wear and turned them into sartorial stars. People can't stop gawking over the bedazzled Teva sandals at Prada and the socks-with-sandals combo at shows like Band of Outsiders.

For so long I've been sure that these were the clothes of the outsider, the stranger, the person who comes and actually stays at the fancy hotel that my friends and I occasionally sneak into. And now the tables have turned, and these tacky tourist staples are actually cool? No freakin' way.

Of course, where the tourist wears these garments out of comfort, utility, and mistaken stylishness, the fashion-savvy artfully arrange their fanny packs and visors with sleek, minimalist jumpsuits and dresses to achieve the ultimate fashion equilibrium between utterly cool and hopelessly dorky. Not an easy accomplishment, I must say, but even I'll admit they look pretty awesome.

Web Wednesday: #marxwear

October 16, 2013

I've decided to enact a new weekly feature I'd like to call "Web Wednesday" where we celebrate the best the internet has to offer in terms of fashion. Kicking things off is the hilariously-executed #marxwear, a tumblr featuring the famous Communist theorist Karl Marx in some of today's hottest "bourgeois" fashions.

The juxtaposition of left-leaning Marx (who, granted, does make a pretty good Hipster with his ironic facial hair and all) and some of his choice quotes with high-end mens fashion is original and quite comical. The real Karl Marx may be rolling in his grave at the thought of wearing Margiela, but hey, he looks pretty good!

Proper Ladies

October 15, 2013

images by tommy ton for style.com

There's that one quote that everyone always uses:

"Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends."

And as overused as that quote can be, it is so absolutely true. Dress-up time when we are little is when we first learn to experiment with fashion, and that fascination with clothing and style never disappears. It's fun to put on Mom's pearls and high heels and pretend we are grown up, and now that we are well on our way to becoming real grown-ups it's fun to go back to those days and dress like we did when we were fantasizing about the future, dressing up like the proper ladies we imagined we would become.

all items from net-a-porter

Of course, no one is expected to always be proper; we are still growing up, still making mistakes, and still learning, but sometimes it is fun to channel that inner Ladies Who Lunches who has had like three husbands, minor plastic surgery, and a group of amazing friends that will drop everything for a Sunday brunch gab-fest - yeah, someday we'll all be that cool, but until then, we can just dress like them.

October 10, 2013

Rain can be a tricky thing. Just come to Los Angeles, where traffic times are doubled and everyone acts like the sky is falling - isn't it, though? On USC's campus it feels deserted - half of the students just don't show up once the water starts pouring - and no one is quite prepared for this odd discrepancy in the normal 70-degrees-and-sunny weather we are used to. Consider the fact that it was over 90 just this Sunday (yeah, the temperature dropped by thirty degrees, which is crazy in normal circumstances) and we've got a crisis situation.

How does one switch from tank tops and sandals to jackets and boots so quickly? I don't even have all my coats with me here at school, I didn't even consider the fact that it might get - dare I say it - cold until at least Thanksgiving break.

But whether we like it or not, Los Angeles has officially entered into fall, which means we should probably start dressing like it.

SOURCE one; two; three
Dressing for bad weather doesn't mean you have to look bad. There are so many ways to rock a coat, and no matter what style you lean towards, you can totally be dressed for rain while also looking amazing!

Personally, I love coats in bright patterns or lighter colors. People tend to lean towards blacks and greys when the clouds get grey, but keeping bright when the weather is not so great can act as an artificial ray of sunshine! I love pairing an oversized coat with black skin-tight jeans and ankle boots, too. It makes you look fabulous and ready to take on the day, no matter the temperature!

casual rainy day
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: TOPSHOP jacket; TOPSHOP scarf; JACK WILLIS backpack; J. CREW socks; MARGARET HOWELL ankle boots; J BRAND jeans; CdG CdG sweater
I've put together a few outfits to show how one can be prepared for the rain in all sorts of situations. Above is a more casual outfit, perfect for classes or weekend errands. Skinny jeans, cozy sweaters, ankle boots, and knit infinity scarves, all bundled up with an army jacket, seem to be the way to go. You are warm and dry from the rain while still looking fashion-forward and put-together. 

My main complaint with people dressing for rain is they tend to forego all fashionability for the comfort of a drab sweatshirt, but there's always a way to protect yourself from the elements while still looking like the stylish lady you are!

dress up for cold weather!
If you are dressing for a more professional setting, you can still layer and keep warm. Tights are my favorite thing in the world, and though I didn't add them to this outfit, simple black tights are a perfect way to pull off a skirt even when temperatures are dipping. All-black accessories with pops of color (in this case, burgundy) keep the outfit polished but not too dreary, and a hat is a great way to look cute and protect your hair from the rain!

And don't forget an umbrella! 

Artistic Vision

October 1, 2013

Quite a few people have trouble making the connection between my major (art history) and my intended career field (fashion) and I don't really understand why. But in Paris this week, the Kaiser himself helped illustrate my point that art and fashion are indeed quite entwined (whatever Miuccia may say about that). 

Karl Lagerfeld transformed the Grand Palais into an art gallery, with 75 original artworks that incorporated many of the motifs of the Chanel brand - Chanel No. 5 perfume bottles, pearls, quilted leather handbags, etc. As a student of art history the presentation of the collection was fascinating, and I could make all sorts of points about the significance of these motifs in our culture and the power of Lagerfeld and the Chanel brand (but I won't for now). 

The clothes themselves were also quite artistic and creative. Each ensemble seemed to be splashed with every hue of a painter's palette, and many looks were thrown together in a very artistically half hazard fashion - sweaters tied around necks, shirts falling off one shoulder, a bag (or two, or three, in some cases) slung this way and that. 

Each model wore "wigs [that] were paintbrushes-cum-Darth Vader helmets of hair," according to style.com's talented Tim Blanks, and they all had rainbow-colored brushstrokes highlighting their eyes. It was truly a stroke of artistic genius.

But Karl isn't the only one making the connection between art and fashion. All week long we've seen the influences art movements and innovators can have on a designer's creations. 

Phoebe Philo's Céline was inspired by graffiti and the photographs of Brassaï. The collection was beaming with bright primary colors and bold brushstrokes. For the queen of minimalist cool, these clothes are quite bold, but nevertheless speak to the impossibly chic aesthetic of the Céline girl.

Elsewhere, Andrew Gn was quite influenced by Pablo Picasso's cubist paintings and featured Picasso-style instruments and faces in a few of his looks.

Fashion and art may have their differences, but they are certainly intertwined, and personally, I love seeing artistic references made in runway collections!