Web Wednesday - "The Grunge"

Illustration by Mesdemoiselles for Style.com

That time of the year is quickly approaching, and gift guides are a plenty. 

This year, Style.com has delivered a truly unique take on the usual gift guide by introducing it was an original Christmas tale of The Grunge

The Grunge is what the Grinch would be if Dr. Seuss was actually Hedi Slimane, with her vintage leather jacket and raccoon eyeliner frowning on all things merry and bright. 

In typical Grinch fashion, the Grunge tries to steal away the Christmas joy of even the most stylish celebrators, and the whole story is told in wonderfully whimsical rhyme written by Matthew Schneier. 

An excerpt from the holiday tale:

"From the well-to-do women on Champs-Elysees,
She flinched every last carat bought chez Cartier.
From snow bunnies in Aspen, while they apres-skied,
Every It bag, from PS1 right down to FEED."

The Grunge learns some valuable lesson about the meaning of Christmas, having her own personal style, and all that, and rewards all her victims with the most fabulous gifts for the most fabulously fashionable. 

What to Wear to Thanksgiving Dinner


Thanksgiving can be a weird holiday, clothing-wise.

It is usually a holiday full of family gatherings, so we desire to dress our best. BUT there is also a lot of food involved, and no one likes a noticeable food baby, so that eliminates a good deal of dresses.

Shift dresses and empire waists were made for Turkey Day. Their loose-fitting structures are perfect for a day of indulgences, and you can wear one of these dresses without fear of looking drab or like you just ate, well, a whole turkey.

Thanksgiving dinners also tend to either be pretty casual family affairs or more dressy occasions with friends, so I've provided two perfect Thanksgiving outfits for whatever style of the holiday you celebrate!

Casual: Sweater | Dress | Boots | Scarf
Not So Casual: Blazer | Dress | Pumps | Clutch | Necklace

Enjoy Thanksgiving, everyone, and don't forget a slice of pumpkin pie!

What are you all planning on wearing to Thanksgiving dinner?

These Clothes are on Fire

Source
Catching Fire, the second installment in the beloved Hunger Games film trilogy, came out this weekend, and naturally I found myself in an 800-seat theatre for the midnight showing with ten other sorority sisters ready to watch the Girl on Fire tear it up in the arena once again.

And of course, I was also pumped up to see some crazy Capitol fashions.

Source
One thing I admire about the Hunger Games is that it really understands the potential power of clothing and fashion. The books and movies alike place an unusual (but much appreciated) amount of emphasis on the ensembles the many characters don throughout the movie.

Extravagant makeup and bold colors distinguish the Capitol citizens from the people of the outlying Districts. The costumes given to the tributes before they enter the arena can clue them in on what type of climate they will be competing in. Even a tiny little accessory (in the form of a golden pin) can become the inspiration for an entire revolution.

Source


The second film definitely kicks that notion into high gear, especially with District 12 Escort Effie Trinket's fabulously flamboyant wardrobe of Alexander McQueen frocks. And Katniss's interview/wedding dress is so beautiful you will cry.

And the rest of the movie is good too! Actually, it's amazing. No sophomore slump for this movie series, so definitely grab some popcorn and catch Catching Fire in theatres now!

Items from Net-a-porter's exclusive Capitol Couture Collection

P.S. Want to replicate the style of Katniss or Effie in your everyday wardrobe? Net-a-porter has just released the "Capitol Couture" collection by Trish Summerville. Now you can wear a mockingjay dress when feeling like rebelling against a tyrannical boss (or maybe a teacher who decides to assign a large essay and also have a final exam...just a hypothetical situation, you know) or get focused with a hoodie and leggings combo inspired by Katniss's arena costume.


Blocking It Out

Wrap Dress ; Sneakers ; Top ; Dress ; Skirt

Geometry is actually pretty cool when you think about it. Different shapes and patterns can make the coolest clothes; throw color into the mix and you've got loud statement pieces.

Color blocking is back and better than ever with the in-store arrival of Resort 2014 collection items, so whether you're spending your winter break tanning it up in St. Tropez or roughing it in the snow back home, add some POP! to your winter wardrobe and (color)block it out!

Web Wednesday - That's Not Victorian

That's Not Victorian's blog header

As an art history major and lover of historical knowledge in general, I was so incredibly pleased to have found That's Not Victorian, a tumblr blog dedicated to educating the masses on what does and does not constitute a #Victorian for a tag.

The most common mistakes include tagging Marie Antoinette and Rococo-era stuff as Victorian, as well as calling Jane Austen a Victorian rather than a Regency-era writer.

The blog's author, Gretchen, is blunt but kind about correcting people on what is and what is not Victorian - as she states on her "About" page, her goal is to educate rather than to ridicule.


Helpful guidelines from That's Not Victorian

I appreciate the blog because it is not only amusing but also educational. The author always tries to explain what era things actually do come from, and often includes interesting facts and tidbits that I may have not already known. And occasionally, she even has a "This IS Victorian" day.

If you've ever found yourself calling Jane Austen or Marie Antoinette or anything that is "vintage" Victorian, I highly suggest checking out this blog. And even if you are a history buff, I'd still check it out because the pictures - Victorian or not - are gorgeous.

Check out the tumblr blog here!

Get the Look - Paulien

Outfit InspirationBlouse ; Hat ; Cardigan ; Jeans ; Ankle Boots

I was stumped as for what to do for today's post, so my roommate suggested I do a "Steal Their Style" post and hey, why not!?

This look comes courtesy of the blog Polienne, a personal style blog by a Belgian student/model (so fabulous clothes are already a given). I love Paulien's cool but glamorous style. She'll pair downtown cool ankle boots and fedoras with classic pieces like a leopard print blouse (speaking of, I really need to get one of my own!) so I assembled an outfit inspired by Paulien's fabulous off-duty look.

The best part: every item is under $100, so you really are getting a steal!

Our Lips are Sealed

1. Mallarino 2. Lulu Guinness 3. Kate Spade 4. Markus Lupfer 5. Au Jour Le Jour 6. Diane Von Furstenberg
Stella McCartney Resort 2014 look at right

Nothing is quite as classically sexy as a lip print. A little provocative without being too provocative, a lipstick mark on a napkin can be a coy and flirtatious move.

The same could be said for lip prints and shapes on clothing and accessories. It's a fun and flirty motif that can be applied to any outfit or style.

Feeling bold? The primary-colored Au Jour Le Jour skirt is loud and cheeky, as is the oversized red snakeskin Lulu Guinness lip-shaped bag. Or, if you just want a whiff of sassiness, the Mallarino bracelet or DVF clutch would be perfect!

Either way, lip shapes are an awesome and fun trend to try out when wanting to make a statement.

Mad About Plaid

1. Topshop 2. J. Crew 3. Anthropologie 4. Madewell 5. J. Crew 6. Marc by Marc Jacobs

Plaid (or tartan, for purists) is an autumnal staple that made an even bigger splash on the runways, thanks to both 90s grunge-inspired shows like Saint Laurent Paris and more classic, simple presentations like Celine (Pictured above).

The linear print has infiltrated all corners of the fashion world and I couldn't be happier!

Add just a touch of plaid with a printed bag or barettes adorning your hair.

Or go mad and pair different patterned coordinates together! The possibilities are endless.

Personally, I have my eye on that Madewell vest, but I don't know I could justify such a cold weather piece when it is currently pushing 90 degrees here in sunny (always so sunny) Los Angeles.*

Until that day comes where I need winter wear, I'll probably settle for a fabulous pair of plaid shoes...and I do have a super cute American Apparel schoolgirl plaid skirt left over from my Blair and Serena Big-Little costume (thank goodness for sororities and their love of costumes!).

So I guess I have some criss-crossed options to try out! How about you guys? Are you mad about plaid like I am?

*I love LA to pieces, but I wouldn't mind if it got just a little cold for a little bit, you know? A girl can dream, right?


Urban Outfitters Holiday 2013 Collection


It's pretty safe to say that most holiday collections will feature plenty of sparkle and tulle, but no one has made these glitzy party staples so fun and fresh quite like Urban Outfitters has.

Entitled "Surprise Party", Urban has delivered their usual ironic and hipster touch to sparkly shoes and glittering clutches. Hey, they even have a bedazzled flask thrown in - for the classy lady, of course.

My favorite has to be the Urban Renewal overalls-tulle-skirt combination. I don't know on which occasion such a dress is acceptable (the skirt is classic party attire, but the denim top screams Despicable Me minion) but I have faith that someone is going to buys that dress and absolutely rock it this holiday season - or does the type of person who buys a dress such as that even celebrate such mainstream, consumeristic days?

Burning questions.

Not everything is so whacky, of course. The nail polishes especially, in an array of glitters and sultry winter colors, are pretty tempting. Of course, they are $8 for two bottles, so what's not to love!?

The collection is available here. What are your favorite pieces?

Web Wednesday: KEEP


InStyle magazine recently tweeted that their entire gift guide was available for purchase online at Keep.com and I was automatically intrigued.

As you may or may not know I am a huge fan of the magazine holiday gift guide, so immediately I was paying attention. But the fact that the whole guide was available online and all in one place! Gone are the days where we must hunt down each individual item from a magazine and find it on the internet - now the two mediums are so intertwined that the line separating print from web media is virtually invisible.

The website InStyle uses to conveniently share the links to all their gift guide goodies is called Keep and I am already infatuated with the web service.

Similar to Pinterest, users make profiles and different boards with different themes of categories. You can even make wish lists and send them to others! Users can browse new objects and easily find out where to buy a product online, or they can "keep" a product for later and digitally store it in a collection. So essentially Pinterest, but you can buy everything that you see.

Additionally, the website has featured guests come and curate special collections - this week, makeup artist Toby Fleischman has collected some of her favorite beauty buys.

Perhaps what I love most about the website is its gorgeous design. Usernames are presented in pretty script font, and icons in cool hexagonal shapes!

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised by this browsing-shopping website and definitely recommend it if you need to organize potential purchases (perfect for Christmas shopping!)

Here's my Keep profile!

Caped Crusaders

FROM LEFT: Marios Schwab; Red Valentino; Chloe; Mulberry


Following yesterday's Pink Coat Analysis, I find myself obsessing over another outerwear trend: the return of the cape.

While not always entirely practical (in other words, the lack of sleeves) the cape is a stylish and swinging piece that can serve as an alternative to the typical, classic coat.

And recently, capes have made a remarkable return to the forefront of cold weather fashions, which has gotten me questioning just how practical they can be and thus, how justified I would be if I were to buy one.

MICHAEL Michael Kors cape, $295 at Net-a-porter.com

This MICHAEL Michael Kors cape in particular has got me swooning. It is classic black and gold and comes in at a perfect price point, which is quite tempting. Plus, it totally goes with anything, including my somewhat preppy style.

But as the fall 2013 runways have shown, any style of lady can wear a cape, from the innocent fairy tale styling at Red Valentino to the witchy vibes at Marios Schwab.

Take a cue from these bloggers and fashion-savvy ladies; there are endless ways to wear the cape!

one ; two ; three ; four

What do you think about the cape trend?

Think Pink

50 SHADES OF PINK: Roksanda Ilincic; Topshop Unique; Prada; Jonathan Saunders; Miu Miu; Carven

Pink pastel coats seem to be all the rage right now. Last week when passing by Topshop at the Grove (aka one of the best shopping destinations on the planet) all the mannequins were wearing pastel pink coats and dresses - paired with festive holiday sparkles, of course.

The same styles were seen on the Fall 2013 runways at shows like Carven, Prada, and Jonathan Saunders.

So how does one wear a pastel pink coat without looking like a total cupcake? Take some cues from these guys!

FROM LEFT: One; Two; Three; Four

When wearing an oversize coat that is rosy-colored as a fluffy piece of cotton candy, it is best to balance the piece out with simple, sleek separates in neutral colors (like black and white, as the street style stars and bloggers have so wonderfully demonstrated). Menswear inspired accessories like brogues or straightforward boxy bags also counteract the "girly" color if you are worried about this look being too girly.

Get the Look
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rochas; Zara; Simone Rocha; Carven; MSGM

Pinterest Picks: Autumnal Hues

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Pear, Vanilla and Smoke Cakes by Wild Flour Bakery (source) ; Matieres a Reflexion Paris Charlotte Sometime pony scarf (source) ; backstage at Gucci FW2012 (source) ; Laura Mercier Artist's Palette for Eyes (source) ; Half-up, half-down hairdo (source) ; Menswear shoes and mustard socks (source)

I may have already started a Holiday Pinterest board but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about autumn! I absolutely love the earthiness of fall, the natural colors that the season inspires. Especially with Thanksgiving, when we celebrate the abundant fruits of good ol' Mother Earth, there is a warm, natural feeling to everything that surrounds the transitional season. 

Burnt oranges and rich chocolates are definitely on my mind, and nothing would get me more in the fall mood than a nice slice of pumpkin pie while wearing an oversized cable-knit sweater. 

My Pinterest Picks definitely celebrate the natural beauty of the earth and how fashion, hair, and makeup can all be inspired by the colors of fall.

Attack of the Runaway Mane


Like all good horror stories begin, I started off this adventure with good intentions. My hair freshly washed and cleaned, I decided it was just as good a time as any to try out a Pinterest beauty tip and attempt to pin-curl my hair.

The goal: wake up with effortlessly-styled (and by effortlessly, I mean spending the hour it took pinning my hair at night rather than in the morning, when I am tired and incapable of becoming motivated to style my hair) retro waves. It wasn't suspiciously easy or anything, like some tutorials feel. Pinning my hair did take some effort, so I was feeling optimistic that my work would pay off come morning.

Photographed by Amelia Alpaugh (Image Source)
The above tutorial promised luxurious waves with no heat at all - just curl your recently-showered hair up, sleep, and wake up with a fabulous mane and bluebirds chirping on your windowsill. And I'm sure that the tutorial works on some lucky few.

But I woke up looking like this:

Me, looking like a bird made a nest in my hair; NOTHING RETRO-GLAM ABOUT THESE WAVES
Yikes. Buuuuut...I did learn an important lesson about (a) how Pinterest DIY beauty tips mean well but sometimes don't always go as planned, and (b) how to cope with a Bad Hair Day. Because everyone gets them - even me, apparently!

The key to taming unsightly hair is usually in changing up the texture. Most hair issues occur in the morning, when you wake up with crazy-frizzy hair or unruly pieces. You could apply heat and use flat-irons and curling wands to tame funky hair, but sometimes even that can be a challenge, and you might not have the time (hey, your unruly hair might've been a result of trying to save hairstyling time in the morning, like mine was!), so the best thing to do is get out your bobby pins and get to work on a savvy style,

After the initial shock of my fail-hair wore off, I did admire my unnaturally voluminous hair (which usually turns out stick-straight, but in a boring way) and decided to use my newfound texture to my advantage, going for a half-up, half- down style. After all, the problem pieces were mostly the front ends, so I twisted a small piece on either side of my part and pinned them in the back for what my roommate said was a "totally Serena" (as in, van der Woodsen) 'do. If the boho queen of the Upper East Side could work this style, then so could I!

Pretty!
Et Voila! I managed to turn a hair nightmare into a cute, fun style that held throughout the day thanks to the added texture in my hair!

If all else fails, throw it up in a cute bun or ponytail and make the focus your lovely face with fun lipsticks and dazzling eyes. As long as you feel good about how you look, that's all that matters - the rest will follow through.

And, oddly enough, I even got a lot of compliments on what I thought of as completely disastrous hair, which goes to show that just because something might be unusual or horrendous in your opinion, no one else needs to know that you were supposed to wake up with Hollywood waves instead of fun, wild hair, so just go with it!

What are your tips for surviving a bad hair day?

Sparkle from Head to Toe!


Now is definitely the perfect time to purchase a dazzling pair of sequin shoes!

Silver and gold go with just about anything, and glitter adds a wonderful festive touch to every occasion - holiday or otherwise. Just think Dorothy without the country girl braids.

And when the party season is over, you can always take a little sparkle into everyday wear! Pair with jeans and a smart blouse for a little party in your look, every day!

How Early is Too Early?

Cute, Starbucks, but it was 90 degrees this weekend; no one wanted Peppermint (image source)

It is now November 4th. Four days after Halloween. There is pretty much all of November still ahead of us. And then December. We have only slightly less than two months to go until Christmas day. And those two months will flash by before our eyes, yes, but two months sure does seem like a lot of time.

And yet...Starbucks put their signature red holiday cups out while Trick-or-Treaters were still counting their candy loot. Stores have sent out their holiday catalogues. Online shopping websites and magazines alike have debuted their annual gift guides. What used to officially begin in the wake of Thanksgiving weekend has now blossomed at October's end.

So, is it too early for us to start thinking about the holidays? Are we giving in waayy too much to consumeristic behaviors with our overzealous love for all things red and green as soon as the temperature starts to drop? Or does it make sense? I'll admit that I've started a holiday Pinterest board, but only as a way to keep all my Christmas-themed DIY decorating and baking projects all in one place! Is it more acceptable if I include Thanksgiving tips too?

What do you guys think? When is it appropriate to start holiday preparations? And have you made a holiday-themed Pinterest board yet? if so you should totally send me a link to it so I can get even more ideas

Cultural Appreciation

Los Angeles is probably one of the best places to study art history. There are fabulous museums, galleries, and private collections in almost every neighborhood, featuring every genre of art imaginable. Even smaller collections may quietly boast absolute masterpieces. There's always something new to discover, and I couldn't ask for a better place to study art!

This Sunday I ventured to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena with my Biography of the Renaissance Artist class. We focused on the European art galleries from the 14th-16th centuries, but the whole collection is absolutely stunning. 

I thought I would share some of my favorite artworks from the Norton Simon with you guys!

Guido Reni, Saint Cecilia, 1606 (source)
Jean Baptiste Pater, Fete Champetre, c. 1730 (source)
Jean-Honore Fragonard, Music, c. 1760-65 (source)
Henri Matisse, The Black Shawl (Lorette VII), 1918 (source)
Jean-Louis Forain, At the Evening Party: Woman in White with a Fan, 1883-84 (source)