chic simplicity: Jil Sander

The shoppes are stocking up on large cherry poppy prints à la D&G and Prada's trembling blossoms. Perhaps, this will entice mother nature to accelerate its course into spring. I mean I don't feel an ounce of sunny warmth in the weather, do you??!!

Amidst these ornate blooms — in stark contrast — is the Jil Sander collection put forth by creative director Raf Simons; stalks, unwavering, stripped bare of any petals ornaments. In his clothes, Raf Simons' technique — him, having come from designing menswear — suits, and indeed, is exquisite on the puerile models strutting his stuff; for the woman with a butt, we'll see... This strict technicality, however, renders in his accessories a quintessential chic simplicity that I just adore. The clean minimalist design is a perfect testament to its founder, Jil Sander's own aesthetic perspectives and Japanese influences. The understated glamour of Simons' pieces is anything but, even at first glance. I can't get over the details — simple, but oh so chic — and the construction, especially of his shoes. They incite a fierceness that I'm thinking we'd all love. He steers the conversation back to the perceived and redefined practicality of many-a-woman's fave accessory — the purse. I'm terribly crazy about the half-bracelet clutch (especially the one pictured left); although of course, I'm wondering if it's got some type of hidden extender, just in case your wrists don't slip through. *A.w.k.ward*

Tell me you want these sandals as much as I do... (Not yet in stores)

Meanwhile, Madeleine's run away. She's demanded a name change: "It's Astrid," she says.
Silly trick!!
I'm coaxing her back. Wouldn't you believe it, it seems it's the guys who are miss her more. Oh men....

Delicious kisses.


chic fashion: trembled blossoms [weeping willows. ha!!]

Chic: the Prada Trembled Blossoms Collection. The fairy bags are causing a ruckus!! It's fundamentally chic fashion and style among the haute elite.
C.r.e.e.p.y: the video. I couldn't even bear watching the entire thing when it launched back in February. (I still can't.)
Non è bello quel che è bello, è bello quel che piace, vero??
[Italian for beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it??]

Kisses on your blooming cheeks!!

P.S. The annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.

Thank you very much!! :)


my prerogative

I may have completely neglected to acknowledge my birthday — 'twas on Sunday1; or come to think of it, the first anniversary of my chic fashion memoirs (this past Feb); but I'm awfully thankful to have shared with you every minute of my fashion-craving life this past year.

Birthday haiku (of sorts):
One day, anew,
A Butterfly from the caterpillar —
An older me.
I've received immeasurable support from my lovely younger sisters, my most wonderful friends, as well as from you, dearest readers — both regular subscribers (some of who have also become friends) and the puzzling number of guests who stumble upon my page seeking those simply decadent Alhambra necklaces!!2

And just because I can't get it out of my head... (I dare you not to love the accompanying song.)3 Speaking of Bobbi Brown, perhaps we can include some palettes in the gift rewards.

Double lip-smacking kisses on each cheek!!

1. My original bday plan will take place at some point this week, it'll involve a quiet dinner by MYSELF at one of my fave places, and an hour or two at the Boston Hèrmes store, since I've never been in. Can you imagine??!! I'm simply a loner in my real life. On Sat night, however, I made a record-breaking four drive-bys at four different locations in my beloved NY!!
2. I shouldn't find it odd that I've received a fair amount of emails looking for these Van Cleef & Arpels beauties; but honestly, you can only get these in-store or through a personal shopper.
3. I refuse to speak on the sad case that has turned out to be Bobby Brown. And I most certainly never saw an episode of that Bobby-Whitney unholy fright on TV!!

P.S. I should have pics huh?? I'm just not a pic all-over-the-internet kinda gyrl.
P.P.S. The annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.
Thank you very much!! :)

hues news

If you haven't yet, I'd suggest you hobble on over to JCrew — or type in jcrew online, ha!! — for some of spring's most delicious colors and trinkets. The prettiest things ever, I tell ya!! That, and the fact that I'm simply a sucker for darling presentations!! I love love their new jewelry and the pictured belt (below). In actuality, that pic of the belt is perfectly deceptive because it's not one, but four belts (sold separately!!). Good marketing ploy JCrew cadre!! I'm already thinking there's no way I'd love just one belt by itself; at least two, perhaps — but certainly, not all four. Ahh — yes, I'll take the entire outfit in the upper right pic (without the sandals — I'll just stick with the beauties).

[Can I say something sorta awful: I don't like that clutch at all!! It's just that I wanted to show you the gorgeous rings.]

Bright kisses!!

P.S. The annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.
Thank you very much!! :)


a lady's sitting room

I came across this chic sitting room picture in Timeout NY last night. It's up and coming interior designer Gina Merulla's space and wouldn't you know, it's in one of my fave NY neighborhoods, Gramercy Park. Love it!! It's a pity I can't have my living room look like this even though I have that same sofa!! Pathetic!! I need to work harder at revving up my entire apt.

Kiss kiss.


Hi Everyone,
I occasionally will get messages from readers asking my opinion or something like that, but here's an offering from a very kind and thoughtful reader with respect to an intern position at Valentino. I'd sent the message last night to the Chic Simplicity group members on the facebook group page. Here it is:

Hi, I was wondering if you could send a message to the group about this job opportunity at Valentino in NYC. I've had a wonderful time here but I have to head back home, to Tanzania, so I need someone to replace me. It would be great if it were a Chic Simplicity fan! The information is below.

Valentino Fashion Group USA is looking for a committed, driven PR intern to start work immediately. Internship responsibilities include:
-Sample trafficking using a computer database
-Assisting PR department with media tracking
-Liaise with entire PR department on media and celebrity outreach
-Coordinate shipments of samples to and from Milan and Paris

The best person for this position is first and foremost someone who loves fashion and is open to learning everything they can about the industry. This is a high-pressure position and it requires someone who is focused at all times. A good attitude is mandatory. The PR director, the PR managers, the PR coordinator and the PR assistant rely on the intern at all times. The ability to manage time and prioritize responsibilities will lead to success in this position.

This internship is full-time and unpaid. Compensation comes first in exposure to the top fashion talent in New York City, and second, in the constant possibility of promotion. Almost every single person in the PR department started in this position. This is a golden opportunity for anyone looking for entry to the fashion industry.

Please do not apply if you are not able to make a long-term commitment to Valentino.

E-mail *xxxx*@valentino.com with your resume and a short paragraph as to why you are interested.

I'm not sure what the conditions are for releasing the attached email publicly, so I've just taken it out, and if you are interested just send a quick one-line reply and I will send it to you!!


Big kisses on each cheek!!

P.S. The annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.
Thank you very much!! :)


hair necessities

I have a thing for headbands; especially — it seems — black headbands. It's bordering on obsessive *yikes* because I just realized I have at least seven!! (It's more when you figure in the other colors and textures, feathery options, etc.) But... seven black headbands!! Why does a gyrl with primarily black hair need seven black headbands. You can hardly see the contrast between the headband and my hair, so it's certainly not for decorative purposes!! Sadder yet, let me present to you one of my more recent objects of desire — Erin Fetherston's Satin Flower Headband.

You may remember a matching mini dress from her Holiday Collection. It was absolutely divine on Joy Bryant when she donned it for Glamour Magazine's 'Fashion Gives Back' Benefit for Malaria last September; having teamed up with the designer to design a collection of limited edition t-shirts. No??

Anyway, back to my present matter.
I w.a.n.t. that headband!!
I'll pass on the multi-colored one because I think it's a tad christmas-tree-decoration-like. But that black one... I've been eyeing it since the end of last year. Never mind that I have a similar black cotton/chiffon-y rosette piece by Phillip Lim, which I've never used!!! I've been waiting for this particular one to go on sale precisely for this rationale that I've a comparable piece and shouldn't spend so much on the frigging thing!! Alas, the christmas tree variety is sold out and I'm getting a bit fidgety. So you see...

Actually, why don't you do me a favor and graciously overlook the fact that I only use ONE of said black pieces??!! It's the one you see in my profile pic. I'd never appreciated the fact that headbands are actually labeled with the brand tags until last night as I was debating Erin's Satin headband. Well, that's not completely true — I adore pieces by Eugenia Kim and Stacey Lapidus (two words: Gossip Girl, so sad I've only seen three episodes, maybe) — but I'd never really given the concept much thought.

Here's a new piece from Ms. Kim's collection (left). Yes, they do have it in black; it'd just be wise to have it along with this chic magenta color, don't you think?? On the right is one by Stacey Lapidus I love but never wear!! At least it's in a light grey. ...Probably explains why I've not used it yet!!

Well, I went unto Barney's webbie, just because I know I'd gotten a number of these overpriced priceless accessories there. (I shouldn't complain, I was a willing victim of this highway robbery!!) This was when I noticed Jennifer Ouellette's delicate monopoly. Evidently, my fave headband — the one in my profile pic (shameless giggle) — is by Ms. Ouellette. It's akin to this piece pictured here:
I'd gotten some of her pieces without even knowing anything of her; but there's a clamourous rave for Ouellette's headbands, apparently. Ms Ouellette is a hat/hair accessories designer and connoisseur with an impressive resume. She's even patented her design techniques!! Recently, she designed all the head pieces for Tracey Reese's Spring and Fall '08 collections. Delish!!

While I admit my disturbing preoccupation with these black frou frou things, I'm positively salivating over this cutting edge, multipurpose hair accessory + mini-MRI scanner (designed by Armani for his Privé Spring '08 collection) I'm sure it can be used as a discreet radio wave transmitter as well. Just brilliant!!
Should I be on something??!!

Powdered sugar kisses.

P.S. To be honest, while I think headbands are utterly delectable, I'm usually really just trying to get the hair (not my bangs, but the rest) away from my face and/or hiding my uncompromising, unruly mess of a hair. *surrendering sigh*

P.P.S. Aren't headbands also referred to as "Alice bands" by the younger fraction of society who deign themselves 'tweens'?? Or was that just my sad self through the looking glass in the nineties??


beauty... in the eye of the beholder

Would you think me just beyond sad if I told you that...
I really must have these three bits — and, not for any utilitarian purposes whatsoever.
It's just... they're just so pretty to behold!!

L-R: Guerlain Le 2 Two Brush Mascara, Guerlain Terracotta Tajine Eyeshadow, NARS Yachiyo Brush 27

Pretty kisses.
P.S. The annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.
Thank you very much!! :)

Africa: new haute (Deola Sagoe)

Having grown up in Lagos, Nigeria — laughably, with only an American passport as my legal form of ID (then) — I'm terribly biased about a few things Nigerian. I admire and cherish our ethnic mosaic; there are at least six hundred!! specific dialects and a myriad of cultural traditions. Yet we continue to thrive as a unified people; upholding our commonwealth while celebrating our rich diversity. I'm always amazed at new details I'm constantly discovering that distinguish our various ethnic groups. I love love 'skinny' fried (ripe) plantain — no, not exactly plantain chips — just fried plantain, which I can eat with tomato stew or corned beef stew — no, not corned beef hash!! oh so very, very different — for breakfast, lunch and dinner!! Yum!! I love our traditional styles, our ornately patterned fabrics, their inherent histories and their continuous evolutions. Every now and again, even as I continue to work on my 'international woman of mystery' persona (thanks Liza Minelli!! ["Role Play"] haha!!), I develop a feeling of nostalgia for my home. :)

Along with the bittersweetness of my longing, I've been dying to share with you a bit of the especially innovative essence of the Nigerian fashion scene. When I thought about it, I was sure my first feature of a Nigerian designer would be haute couture designer, Ms. Deola Sagoe. With a style inherently her own, she constructs garments that ennoble the rich diversity of the Nigerian — indeed the African heritage; revolutionizing the view of African fashion in a very modern way, and yet evoking a deep need to grasp the intimacies of a people constantly ignored or misrepresented. She regularly puts forth collections for her couture and prêt-à-porter line, and has a new denim line. Even as I procrastinated (naturally), researched her work — seeking Nigerian fashion savvy friends; debriefing, of sorts, the obliging Matthew Mensah, part creative director and PR Director of the design house — I was sure you would fall in love with her pieces, just as I had. Besides, I longed to write a piece that would portray her quintessentially; as the creative innovator she embodies. I looked through her designs, then I realized I could get away with saying absolutely nothing.
It's all there.
You see it.
You feel it.

Deola Sagoe has managed to design pieces that resonate with practically every aspect of a woman's personality. It highlights and nurtures our complexities, our intricacies, flaunting them in the most graceful manner for the world to behold. Our earthiness is displayed with a sense of pride. I mean Ms. Deola Sagoe's work is simply f.a.b!!!

Perhaps, her crowning moment came when she was nominated by the formidable god of fashion Andre Leon Talley for the MNET/AngloGold African Designs Awards (2000), which she won. Or even more recently, her triumph as the recipient of the Platinum Quality Award at the 10th International Star Awards in Paris (2006). It could easily have been a moment of deep appreciation from a fashion show attendee who fell in love with the first piece that came down the runway at one of her shows; an appreciation that resonates as mutual understanding between the designer and her new fan. It is an understanding of the fortunate coexistence of the ornate heritages of our generation; complex and continuously adapting, and yet coherent as a whole. Whenever it was, the world is set as Ms. Sagoe's runway!!

Indubitably, Deola Sagoe's career as a fashion designer in the past decade has transformed much of Africa's fashion industry. And yet, that's only a part of the story. Ms. Sagoe's philanthropic efforts are inspiring. Her struggles led to her appointment as the official Designer for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) & Health PR’s new Global campaign, "CatWALK THE WORLD-Fashion For Food" put forth by Matthew Mensah in Lagos (2006). The aim of the campaign is to create awareness and raise money to fight child hunger (thus, moving the WFP goal of ending child hunger by 2015), while highlighting the unique contributions of African designers in their home countries and around the world. This year the campaign will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In addition, her designs were highly sought after during the international fashion show, held as part of the POSITIVE campaign in Sun City, South Africa; a campaign created to foster the success of AIDS programmes in local South African districts.

Meanwhile, I'm so putting in a request for these pieces!! Yay!!
Yes, I will be sporting that pink chiffon caftan top (bottom right) as a dress (seeing that the model's at least 5'8 and I'm 5'1)... You know me so well daaahlings!! :)

Here are more pieces from her previous collections. I'll have to ask about her collection for '08
I need this outift!!! (4th row right)
Okay I couldn't pick four or five pieces. I just couldn't. I hope you enjoy them.

Lastly, you have to listen to my fave Nigerian songs. I just discovered them while I was home this past Christmas, even though I go back every year. I'm not exactly sure how old they are — not more than two years, I hope. *yikes* My knowledge of all forms of contemporary and pop music continues to dwindle!! If parts of the songs sound familiar, that's probably because they are. You've probably heard them in their original versions!! Nigerians are oh so good at remixing, very much without the consent of the original singers/songwriters. HA!! Enjoy!! And no, I don't understand half of what they are saying esp in the first song :) I just love it!!

Love you for reading!!
Fragrant kisses


nude attitude

Even as Spring hints at dewy, fresh-faced looks, I'm very excited about Fall '08's transcending bold faces. Across the board, from the seemingly haute milieu to brazen street chic, designers dictated a cultivated nudity for fall's face and I love it!! I'm especially taken by the nude lip. I can't tell you how much I detest searching for the right lip color, so this is just refreshing. Many designers played with the eyes very subtly, but the lips were generally nude; making for a very sophisticated look. A good tip for creating a complementing nude lip is to lightly dab the lips with one's face foundation before applying a very soft lip color or even just lip balm.
Top: L- Akris (Han Jin) R- Dries Van Noten (Jourdan Dunn)
Bottom: L- Matthew Williamson (Natasha Poly) R- Alexander McQueen (Ania Trublaska)

Chanel Iman at the Anna Sui show is my fave!! I love the hint of gold that highlights the inner corners of her eyes.

Meanwhile, voting for the annual Glam Network Awards is taking place now, until the 10th of April. You can vote once each day for in your fave categories. If you love reading my fashion memoirs, vote for me in the FASHION category.
Thank you very much!! :)

Lip-smacking kisses on each cheek!!
Pics courtesy style.com