chic simplicity life lesson #794

The squirrel will always get the nut, or is it the other way around?!

I dare you to find a more amusingly cute necklace :)!!
By Wendy Brandes

Kiss. Kiss.

layer me ombré

Loved it. Then h.a.t.e.d. (most of) it.
Then I came across these pieces by Jessica Sturman's Madison Marcus last week (Shopbop, Revolve Clothing, Intermix). The quintessence of chic simplicity, these silk tanks are super stylish and versatile.
Little aside: Yes, I understand that it is supposed to be worn as a top. I got one (in black) last fall and it doubles very nicely as a dress on my 5'1 frame (ha!) every time I've worn it ― esp. paired with a chemise underneath; sheesh I still pretend to cover up!!

Ombré, the more restrained cousin of the tie-dye ― defined (of a fabric) as having a dyed, printed, or woven design in which the color is graduated from light to dark1 ― made a few appearances on the fall 2005 runways, before its more recent splashes last fall. And I loved it, for the most part. It was the runways!! (Right: A new fave piece from Lacroix's recent fall couture collection.) But, the pleasurable sartorial decadence that rules the runways, often times turns annoyingly dull and washed out after the customary filtering through fashion editors, buyers and the overcrowded workshops in Shanghai. It's exactly what happened with the ombré trend, especially in the more contemporary brands/styles. So, I developed an averse reaction to its every simulation. Worse still, I missed the memo explaining the rationale for the acid-white + color gradation this season. And it wreaked havoc on my central and peripheral nervous systems2.

I'm wont to say that these pieces (from Behnaz Sarafpour and Badgley Mischka) might singlehandedly responsible for the egregious retina-searing pattern that hurts my eyes and brain each time I erringly spot one!! (Even though, these pieces are, themselves, pretty! and a softer white. Another version of the Sarafpour dress is at Net-a-porter.)

Lipstaining blackberry kisses.
P.S. I want a nude/peach/pink-purple ombré piece. Argghhh.

1. I am a dork.
2. Go ahead, say it, I am the biggest dork. You may or may not have read an excerpt of a (seemingly useless) covert physiochemical essay.


too easy a poem, à la henry holland

you'd sooner glimpse her ch*cha
that coco rocha

The inspiration for my literary expertise/flair: Henry Holland, House of Holland.

Dirty kisses.


must-have: cazal sunglasses

Okay, I don't do pics of celebrity folks, but one of my lovely sis sent me this photo of singer Amerie sporting probably the most gorg 80'sretro sunglasses from Cazal (by German eye wear designer Cari Zalloni). We ― my sis and I ― can't help it; we'll prob end up with this identical pair!! Well, except if the frames come in different colors. And naturally, we go for pairs with little to none of the required tacky logos on the side... Tom Ford; Barton Perreira; Alexander McQueen (which, by the way sent out a little delightful email yesterday informing me about the launch of their new online shop where you are more than welcome to buy those sequined pair of leggings for just over $2300. *stifling a snort*); Oliver Peoples (I've got a pearlized Harlot pair that's now extinct :), but you will find the black and brown ones, I think. The style's now at least two years old)...

I find it wholly necessary to carry two or four pairs of shades in my inappropriately large bag (to suit my mood at any time. I also find a pair useful for shielding my eyes from taxi drivers ― the only men who approach me ― as they attempt to catch my eye in their rear view mirrors while proposing marriage. My life is sad. I know.)

Big harlot kisses.

P.S. When I say "must-have," I obviously mean for myself (and not you. LOL) We can't go around wearing the same pieces, now can we?!


5 reasons you should watch the marc jacobs documentary

1. I haven't slept a wink all night, I'm awfully tired and don't feel up to writing.
2. While having dinner last night with my dearest ex-roomie and another friend, I remembered that I hadn't even thought to post this documentary, but with youtube, life, art, fashion.. it's all accessible, at your fingertips literally.
3. I l.o.v.e. Marc Jacobs.
4. You do too.
5. I am falling (have fallen) hard! for Vuitton. (Un)Fortunately you don't know how much I despised ― still do, for the most part ― the ubiquitous monogram canvas styles, especially the speedy. Ugh!! But there's a thrilling abundance of the Vuitton brand to love, I just can't deny it. The Blason jewelry collection, for instance ― o.r.g.a.s.m.i.c.!!

Bisou bisou.


another tribute

This is the most perfect colored pair of Tribute sandals (Matches Fashion); I think it's the pair I really want!! I've found myself stealing glimpses at it at the most random times in the past month!! Sheesh. While I've been patiently waiting to see what colors Stefano Pilati'll come up with, especially with fall shopping around the corner ― Eeck! "It's summer, it's still summer" repeat after me ― I think this will be my fave.


last friday: a tale of wedding dresses (and all manner of prettiness)

Oh alright. So, it wasn't exactly last Friday, but two Fridays ago. But if I said that, I wouldn't be able to avail myself of this rather crafty title, leading you to believe you're about to share in a cutesy sort of amusement that is not this ittle anecdote.

So, two Fridays ago, after a most upsetting, pain-jabbing-in-my-left-eye-only?! migraine, I picked up last month's Vogue to revisit the prettiness that was the SATC issue since all the drama had died down. It was here that I discovered Sarah Jessica Parker's (or Carrie's) Christian Lacroix wedding dress towards the end of the magazine. It had actually been a couture! dress from his Fall 2007 collection!! (This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I dare you to tell me otherwise.)

Ever since my friends dragged me (thankfully)1 to see the movie opening wkend, I'd been gushing over this dress. It'd been my absolute fave especially teemed with the decadence that was all those strands of pearls, and I'd spent hours trying to find it. After looking through his recent wedding collections, I'd looked through the Spring 2008 Couture collection, assuming they (Patricia Field et al) wouldn't go too far back to pick out a dress. It all had to be au courant, no?? I'd searched the nonexistent corners of the web ― even enduring wretched re-echoed opinions of the dresses, the movie, blah, blah...2
But there it was. Fall couture 2007!!
Heavenly delight.

It's the character of the dress that's particularly appealing. Not every bride could pull it off. Smugly, I think to myself, "I'd totally rock it." That, and the three other dresses I will be adorning on my wedding day. Yes. I will be wearing four wedding dresses ― my bridesmaids and sisters, two each (no, not all at once, smart mouth *sticking out tongue* :)) Here's the count while we're on the subject:
Dress 1: Church (most poufy of the bunch, much like the Vera Wang piece from the movie; my mother would probably require it); Dress 2: Reception; Dress 3: Dance with my darling father; Dress 4: Dance with new hubby. *J.o.y.*
And no, I am not so deluded to believe in all that fairytale love nonsense that little gyrls grow up believing.
Cynical much?? Yes.
[But I do, however, believe in love that will grow with respect for one another (and a prenup!) and the prettiness that will be my f.o.u.r. wedding dresses!!
So kiss me. Passionately.]
That's the wedding dresses part :).

My entire being coursing with endorphins from this recent finding, I got online in search of some more prettiness.3 It would be perfect window shopping wish-list garnering! because I was awfully broke.4 When I ended up on my precious Funky LaLa webbie, and good thing too, I hadn't visited in a bit, I wasn't really looking for jewelry per se. After looking through some very pretty dresses, I came across the most enchanting, avant-garde trinkets.

What's most intriguing is that I'd been pining for pieces as I'd just seen for what now seems like an eternity. Two Christmas seasons past, I'd gone into my jeweler's shop to talk about having a ring with a butterfly (in mid-flight) made (in yellow gold). After my dearest jeweler, Gary Shteyman, a venerable artisan who runs Persona Jewelry and unnaturally patient man that he is ― I really wish he could recount the episode ― talked me through the pricing, I passed on it (and concentrated on picking mommy some pieces. Like I mentioned, Noël, Noël...) But, violà! Alissa Frazer of Agrigento Designs has loving answered my prayers, taking away all unnecessary control from my high-minded -priced consciousness and presenting me with this gorgeous! gorgeous! reasonably-priced ring.5

Knowing the price of gold ― which has nothing to do with the price of rice in China, this has nothing to do with anything, or maybe it does?? ― I'd been biding my time (for several months now), hesitant to show up to Gary's (again) to discuss possibility of creating some relatively intricate body jewelry with gold links of varying thicknesses ― although I have been in to pick up a few things. Yes, I come up with seemingly crazy ideas. But once more, sweet serendipity! NY-based (Hawaiian) designer Bliss Lau has pieces in antique brass and nickel. I can't explain this good fortune, neither can I adequately express my happiness. It's the little things really... LOL. (I still want to design my own piece with Gary, but this will do for now.) [Yes, my acct may have been topped off (somehow), but it won't be for long, unfortunately.]

Decadent kisses.

1. I love these gyrls. Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie (I just didn't want to be with the crowds of people that showed up to see the movie... but like I said, I l.o.v.e.d it!! And, I still haven't found the time to go a second time just to reabsorb all of its prettiness.)
2. I don't get it. Fashion is (almost) inextricably linked with celebrity culture, yet I manage to remain ignorant of said culture and the masses of people dedicated to following it. I think it gives me a headache.
3. It's never just one sniff with an addict, is it??
4. How does this make any sense?? I'll tell you. When I'm broke, I can look at anything without automatically keying in my card number to make a purchase. Same thing if I go into the shoppes. It's a treat really!! I can try on as many things as I want, without falling victim to a helpful sales associate. You see once anyone tries to help me with anything, I usually feel obligated to buy at least one item for their trouble!! But if I'm broke... Haha. Utterly pathetic.
5. It's just that given the options, I was gunning for the best possibly and that was just gunning for expensive!!


a fleet ilya of corset belts

I started and finished reading Underdressed by Élodie Piveteau in an hour and half on Monday evening. It's a compact book ― and three quarters of the book is filled with pictures ― so I use the term "read" equivocally :). On the one hand, the written narrative is an account that traces the history and evolution of women's undergarments from the beginning of time, really ― the chapters of Genesis in the Bible in which Adam and Eve discover their nakedness and decide to cover up are highlighted ― until the present. The pictures ― in color, and black and white ― on the other hand, tell a sexy, dressing story of three gyrlfriends playing dressing and undressing games in tons of pretty sexy lingerie in the converted loft of an absent boyfriend.
(Now I know what I've been missing in my relationships with my gyrlfriends?!!)

The entire book is in fact available on Google Books?!! I'd never even heard of Google books before. Yes, seriously. The pics and fonts aren't great online; a stark contrast to the pretty little pink (and black/grey) book I'd held while reading.

Anyway, from the dark recesses of mind, I started fantasizing about the harrowing pleasures of adorning a corset; one thing led to another and I found myself frantically re-searching for the more modern and surreal corset belts from Fleet Ilya. The brand creator, Ilya Fleet, as well as its co-director, Resha Sharma designed a concept line of avant-garde waist cinchers for British designer Ana Šekularac's F/W 2008 collection (right, and bottom pics) which'd caught my eye earlier this year, although the brand's been around since 2005 (I believe).

Apart from this concept line, the duo is perhaps best known for their Restraint line, a collection of "luxury bondage" pieces which, natch, can only be described as risque. I've put up a few the milder, less shocking pics below. (There are a few umm... dildo harnesses, metal masks etc.) In reality, many of harness pieces are very wearable and actually super stylish; for instance, worn over a shirt, you'd find yourself considering some of them demure, almost.
A third line, the classic line includes belts, cuffs and handbags and beautifully highlights the distinctive craftsmanship of the brand. (I didn't even know they made bags; they're pretty relaxed with a characteristic downtown-chic air.)

Alrighty, this marks the end of our erotic literature sessions for the wk!! :)

Big kisses.
**I hope there aren't too many errors in my note. I'm too tired to give it a once-over, forgive me.
**Love, me.


the art of pretty dresses (vicente villarin)

I've a thing for dresses. In the past half-year, I may have worn a pair of trousers, oh maybe, all of four times. I've just been happy wearing dresses ― or skirts and tops, but I'm trying to make a point here ― and yes, even during winter, with pretty stockings :). Natch, I have enormous dress wishlists. It's completely ridiculous, and implies a pathetic indulgence to fill my empty soul; terribly satisfying, if I may say so. And up until last April, I was pretty confident in my 'knowledge' of dresses and the best designers out there. How naive. (I can't help but refute this immature claim now; that is, until I'm holding my very own Vicente Villarin dress.)

I wasn't looking for anything in particular when I stumbled upon Vicente Villarin's pieces on the Des Kohan webbie. Now, Des Kohan is a darling of a store, but it offers a very, very limited online shop, so I don't check up on it often. Stupid. Stupid me. (To be certain, one of the reasons to leave the east coast would be to pop into the store in LA.) Anyway, I went through to discover any new pieces and was immediately struck by a Vicente Villarin mauve/dusty pink oversize drape coat with an asymmetrical Pierrot-like collar. It was the most beautiful, sophisticated coat, with minimal fuss. Chic.

I went unto the brand's site, and I can still recall the immense pleasure I felt just looking at the dresses. Joanne Cordero Reyes named the brand named after her grandfather, Vicente Villarin Cordero, a talented composer of the early 20th century. After apprenticing at some of the most prestigious dress houses from Ji Haye to Reem Acra (umm, Reem Acra!) and Monique Lhuillier, Ms Reyes started her own line last year. Her pieces incorporate a chic simplicity and refinement that is just gorgeous to behold; her hand-draped and/or -pleated techniques making for the most elegant dresses. It's almost pointless to try to express just how pretty these dresses are, so I recommend you indulge yourself in the prettiness of it all. [Vicente Villarin]

Apart from Des Kohan, her pieces are available by special order at Greg Mills Showroom, NY (I'm not sure what that's like); and starting in the fall, they will be at Bellhaus, NY, Septième Etage, Swtizerland and Manha Manha, Japan. Very limited availability (it seems). But then you wouldn't want everyone wearing your dress, would you?? :) (And may sale season continue to reign!)
S/S 2008 Collection:

F/W 2008-09 Collection:

Pretty kisses.

P.S. I need people to throw dinner parties for no reason so I can wear some pretty dresses.
P.P.S. Speaking of weddings, her S/S pieces make the most beautiful bridesmaids dress, don't they?? If only I was getting married so my bridesmaids would could wear some of her dresses. See how nice I am?? :)

what are you wearing??

...sometimes all a woman needs to put on is a scent.

Annick Goutal Petite Chérie (limited ed.)

Scented kisses.



6.49 a.m.
I shifted my attention back to my computer screen and typed in tomford in the address toolbar. I can't say exactly why I'd thought of him; regardless, I hadn't checked up on my beloved créateur in a while. I know he prefers to be under the radar, but the last thing I remember about him was a spread an editorial depicting his royal impeccability while jetsetting. So you see...

The greeting on his home page:
assured me nothing whatsoever had changed concerning my dearest.
I l.o.v.e. this man.
(And it's still Spring/Summer!! I can't tell you how much I dislike the rush ― that comes just around this time of year ― into autumn, just when I'm getting used to the hot stickiness that is summer in the northeast. By the way, I absolutely hate the hot stickiness that is summer.)

I'd already seen the ad campaign earlier in the year. The pics aren't sexually explicit in so much as they are just images with naked people; not so much erotic as just plain nakedness. Just apt to elicit an iota of invisible blushing on my brown skin. Disappointing. For reasons unknown even to myself, I'd expected the well-known randiness of early morning to rear its desirable horns and cause me to lust, for the male bodies, at least. (Oh shhhut up!) But really, there was nothing. Well, that's not completely true. I was a tad more excited at the images of the voluptuous mounds ― I use the terms loosely, of course ― of the women's bodies than the men's. I am certain it's because I like hairy men!! Hahaha!! Oh dear!

Which brings me to my question, "what's the big to-do about naked bodies in fashion??" Fashion is irrevocably built on the art of clothes, so what exactly is it?!! I got to thinking ― perhaps, it's to illustrate the impact beautiful garments and bespoke tailoring can have on the human form. But then, one wouldn't seek to depict this influence with such elegant bodies, right?? Why not, less than fashionably accepted and sculpted, perfect bodies; from one (imperfect) extreme to a (more perfect) one. A beautiful body is almost/just as pleasurable to look at as is a beautiful dress, no?? I can appreciate the body as a palette for decadent baubles and accessories, but with garments, I spend just as much time (or more) looking at a naked body as I do its adorned counterpart. Anyway, way to be philosophical about it. What's really bothering me I guess, is that I didn't find Tom Ford's images so erotic this morning. HA!!!

This bottom image is smaller to shield your eyes from the obvious schlong just hanging out on the naked man to the right. I feel like a hypocrite!! Women are exposed all the time!! Well, usually, their lower triangular patches is obscured in some manner, so I am being a bit fair then.

P.S. When YSL passed early last month (Lord rest his fashionable soul), I was online rediscovering his contributions to the industry when I came across some photo ads for his M7 men's fragrance (2002). I was immediately struck by the utter sexuality (this is the appropriate word in this case) of the images. I thought Tom Ford! written all over it. And then I did a little more research. It turned out, indeed, Tom Ford and Doug Lloyd of llyod (+ co) luxe branding company were responsible for its design. Ahh... Tom.
Again, small images:

Deep, lusty, mouth-searching kisses.