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Beauty in the Movies: The Devil Wears Prada

I had a job interview this week, and on my way I couldn’t help thinking of The Devil Wears Prada. That might sound silly, but it was reassuring to know that even if the interview went badly, it couldn’t possibly be as bad as finding Miranda Priestly (or Anna Wintour) sitting at that desk across from you.

The Devil Wears Prada is the story of Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a Midwesterner in New York, fresh out of college and desperate for experience. Andy wants to be a journalist, but she finds herself at the world’s top fashion magazine, Runway, interviewing to be the assistant of Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), a job a thousand girls would kill for. Miranda isn’t just an editor at a fashion magazine, she is the voice of fashion. Her word is the last word, and all other opinions be damned. She is cold, brutal, and unsympathetic, but also elegant, successful and respected beyond compare.

Miranda hires Andy despite her “frumpy” (ahem, I have the j. crew coat she wears in the opening sequence—it’s cute, ok?) appearance in the hopes that she is different from the fashion obsessed girls who usually land the job. While Andy is up for the challenge, the demands of her new position put her relationship with her family, best friend (Tracie Thoms), and boyfriend (Adrian Grenier) into jeopardy. Andy has to choose what’s important to her, but in the process of self discovery there’s also a bunch of montages, a few Madonna songs, a makeover, and some great designer clothes.

This is not the most unpredictable film, but it certainly has its charms, most specifically Meryl Streep’s perfectly frightening portrayal of Miranda. It’s hard to take your eyes off her, everything from the way she enunciates her words, to the cruel flicker in her eyes while torturing Andy with impossible tasks, further propels the believability of her character. Miranda Priestly makes Working Girl‘s Catherine Parker look like a whiny, disheveled brat. Rumor has it the character was based on Anna Wintour, the notoriously steely editor-in-chief of American Vogue, but Streep creates her own Miranda and delivers a woman who is both vicious and awe-inspiring in her approach to life and business.

Emily Blunt is fantastic and funny as Miranda’s other assistant (the 1st assistant), she is the stand-out among the supporting cast and steals all her scenes right out from under Anne Hathaway. Stanley Tucci is also charming, while stereotypical as Nigel Runway’s Art director who is adored by both Miranda and Andy. Simon Baker plays a roguish writer and Valentino and Giselle (proving she shouldn’t quit her day job) make appearances as well.


Most people have had a boss or supervisor whom they’ve found less than pleasing, but this film takes it to new levels. Miranda’s treatment of Andy could be seen as character building—a tough love of sorts, after all she does learn a lot and come out on top in many ways. Unfortunately the ugly side of that coin is that her sadistic treatment virtually ruins Andy’s life, and as we learn, Miranda’s personal life isn’t all roses and sunshine either, leading the viewer to believe that great success comes only with great sacrifice. It’s an issue I wish the movie explored a bit more, because it feels like we’re meant to believe Miranda must be evil in order to be respected, which forgives her cruelty just a tad too much. There is too much of a shine put on everything in this film and the minute you think you might get to look deeper, you’re placated by pretty clothes, which is fine and can be really enjoyable, but it doesn’t make you think too hard either.

The Devil Wear Prada is a fun, entertaining, possibly unrealistic look at the fashion world. It’s also a coming of age film, and a film about figuring out who you want to be as a professional and as a person—but most of all it’s about really pretty clothes, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana and Patricia Field’s beautiful styling. I’d take a film like this over a bland rom-com with Jennifer Aniston or Katherine Heigl any day, because while it might not be groundbreaking, it’s about something other than just men and cliches. Don’t expect to be surprised by the twisting plot or unconventional characters, just get lost in the brilliance of Meryl Streep and the beauty of Chanel while you sit back and wish you could afford designer clothes.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada by justinez featuring peep toe shoes

PAUW SS10/42330 009 COTTON –
172 GBP – farfetch.com
Wrap blouses »

Trimmed Cardigan by D&G Dolce&Gabbana
153 GBP – my-wardrobe.com
Knit cardigans »

Whyred Pasca pleated mini skirt
145 GBP – brownsfashion.com
Pleated mini skirts »

Lanvin T-Strap Sandal
$955 – barneys.com
Peep toe shoes »

Bianca Patent Platform Pump
$735 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Christian louboutin pump »

Christian louboutin shoes BLACK
535 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Peep toe shoes »

Gepa Vitello Daino Tote
$1,650 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Prada handbags »

Marc by marc jacobs bags DARK BLUE
440 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Leather totes »

Susan caplan vintage jewellery GOLD
475 GBP – matchesfashion.com
Gold jewelries »

CA & LOU Bracelet
315 EUR – colette.fr
Couture bracelets »

Chanel Gold Medallion Chain Belt
$900 – cmadeleines.com
Chanel belts »

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Beauty in the movies: Hocus Pocus

I’m sorry to say this is a sort of budget Beauty in the Movies post. I thought it would be fun to celebrate Halloween with one of the best Halloween movies ever—Hocus Pocus, but there is a “long wait” for the film on Netflix so I wasn’t able to take my own screen-shots, thankfully I kind of have it memorized and it was on the ABC Family channel so I was able to watch it again.

Hocus Pocus is the story of Max Denison (Omri Katz) the new kid in Salem, Massachusetts who loves wearing tie dyed T-shirts and doesn’t believe in witches, especially not the local tale of the three Sanderson sisters Winifred ‘Winnie’ Sanderson, (Bette Midler) Sarah Sanderson, (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) who were put to their deaths on Halloween night in 1693 for sucking the lives out of little children.

In his effort to woo the cute girl in his class with “big yabos”, Allison (Vinessa Shaw), Max drags his little sister, Dani (Thora Birch), along to check out the Sanderson house on Halloween night. Once there, he foolishly lights the ‘black flamed candle’ which legend tells will bring the witches back from the dead if lit by a virgin on Halloween night—can you guess what happens? Yeah, Max brilliantly not only brings three evil witches back from the dead, but also outs himself as a virgin to the girl he is trying to impress, smooth move Hollywood.

Max also really pisses off Thackery Binx, a 300 year old cat who is really a teenage boy (Sean Murray) who was turned into a feline by the witches after they killed his sister Emily. Wild Hi-jinx ensue, and Binx, Dani, Max, and Allison must figure out a way to stop the witches before they suck the life from all the kids in town.

Some kids are obsessed by pop-stars or fairy tales, but for some reason I was obsessed with the Salem Witch Hunts, I’m not sure why, but this movie probably played a part in it. I made my parents take me to Salem, I read the crucible more than five times, gave my Barbies the water test in my old fish bowl, and I actually learned a lot about history and the screwed up things people do to one another—so thanks Disney for representing history so badly I had to go learn it for myself!

Hocus Pocus is what I would call a delightful romp, Bette Midler is fantastic as usual, and I personally think it’s a perfect Halloween movie. There’s singing, zombies, and a freaking talking cat! Plus, look at these 90s bullies, that’s “Ice” (Larry Bagby) on the left, he would later appear on lots of TV shows including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but he has never had more awesome duds than the ones he sports in this film.

If you want to get mushy about it, this movie sets a good model for kids in terms of being nice to your siblings too. When the movie opens Max is a total jerk to his little sister and whines about being too cool to take her trick-or-treating, but after hearing how Binx lost his sister, he realizes just how precious younger siblings can be.

And also, when you’re a virgin who lights a black-flamed-candle bringing three evil witches back from the dead and they’ve put your parents under a spell in song, you really need to learn to stick together, because you’re kind of all you’ve got—now isn’t that an important lesson for siblings to learn?

I have to say I was super annoyed when they showed this on TV the other night and cut out the ending with all the parents walking out of the Halloween party dazed and crazy from being under the witches spell—bad form ABC family, bad form.

Somehow I managed to lose the polyvore collage I made for this post, which really sucks and I have no idea how it happened, so I apologize for that. One week from today I will be getting married, so Beauty in the Movies will be taking a break and returning in November with more beauty and more movies!

Happy Halloween kiddies!!!!!!!!!!!


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Guest Post: Amanda’s 10 Favorite Nail Polishes for Fall

I am so grateful that the very kind and generous Amanda has stepped in with a guest blog post today, and you should be grateful too because she is awesome and has great taste in nail polish! Amanda blogs over at mandabear and she is amazingly stylish and always has great beauty and fashion picks, so I highly suggest you check it out, you can follow her on twitter too! Many thanks to Amanda today, she has allowed me the time to work on my table numbers and iron out my wedding makeup, thanks again Amanda!

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When fall comes around, I don’t dabble with vampy colors all that much just because summer’s over.  Once in a while I do, but I switch around a lot because I am more of a “I wear what I like” type of girl.  Though I will admit that I can easily get sucked into seasonal color trends with makeup, nails, clothes…I just can’t help it.  It’s almost like a part of my materialistic mind is telling me to switch to a darker color palette when cooler weather hits.  True, it’s easy to grab your trusty bottle of OPIs Lincoln Park After Dark because it fits the season, but I still want to play around with some fresh colors.  Here are 10 nail polishes that I picked out from my own collection that I think are unique, rich in color and work for those who do like to change their polish color seasonally. Enjoy!

1. Essie “Sew Psyched” – A new take on the standard neutral polish.  It’s a gray/green mix that is just really interesting and cool.
2. American Apparel “Passport Blue” – A dark blue alternative to black. Very pigmented in one coat.
3. Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear “Concrete” – This is an opaque gray-lavender that works for the office but also fits in with the neutral look that is oh so trendy.
4. OPI “Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous” – A festive nail polish for those who hate chunks of glitter in their polish.  It’s a dark glitzy polish that is perfect for going out.
5. Zoya “Harley” – One of my favorite Zara nail polishes.  It’s a light silver gray that is slightly shimmery but not light enough to wash you out.

6. OPI “Ate Berries In The Canaries” – A rich magenta that pops.  Great if you are transitioning from hot pinks.
7. RGB “Toast” – A “dirty” neutral. It’s so chic and resembles the popular Chanel Particuliere.
8. China Glaze “Mummy May I” – A black base with a pink glitter explosion inside. This is part of their Halloween collection.
9. Rescue Beauty Lounge “Sheer Nude” – I would consider this an “interview polish” but it really does give your nails an elegant, finished look.
10. Orly “Royal Navy” – One of my favorite blues!  This color is so special because it hits the spot on perfecting both brightness and blueness.

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Beauty in the Movies: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

At age 10 a became obsessed with The Rocky Horror Picture Show (I was a strange kid what can I say?), I didn’t understand most of the dirty parts in the film even though I knew they were dirty somehow, but I loved the music, the costumes, and the craziness of the whole thing. So, Rocky Horror holds a special place in my heart forever, and a special place in my DVD player every Halloween.

If I had understood this movie better I might have had reservations about sharing it with the sweet, normal sisters who lived next-door to me, but I think they ended up loving it too (though I’m sure their parents wouldn’t have been too happy about them watching it). When I heard that Glee was doing a Rocky Horror episode I was darn excited and I thought it would be a perfect time to feature it. So what if it just squeaks by the Bedchdel test? A pass is a pass in my book!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the story of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), a wholesome, newly engaged couple on their way to visit their old teacher, Dr. Scott (Jonathan Adams), but they get caught with a flat on a dark and stormy night and end up having to knock on the nearest door (which happens to be a giant gothic castle) for assistance. They are invited into the castle by the butler Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien, who is also the author and creator of the show) and his sister/lover Magenta (Patricia Quinn). They soon learn they are in the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry) and find themselves caught up in a celebration for the unveiling of his new monster (and boy toy)—Rocky (Peter Hinwood). This all leads the unknowing pair into a night of debauchery, insanity, and murder, culminating in a swimming pool orgy.

Obviously Tim Curry plays the role of Frank-N-Furter with astonishing ease, it seems he was born to play this role. Between this movie and Legend, he was pretty much my favorite actor. Both Sarandon and Bostwick are perfectly corruptible and enjoyable, plus you will be amazed by Bostwick’s high kicks in heels. There are a lot of other great performances in there too, like Meatloaf as the literally “half-brained” ex-delivery boy Eddie, and Nell Campbell as the adorable tap-dancing groupie Columbia.

Rocky Horror is a send-up of classic B horror and Sci-fi movies, the opening song references the films it parodies; The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, Doctor X, and others. It pokes fun at the seriousness and the campiness of those films and in doing so became one of the biggest cult movies of all time. It has the longest release of any film, it has never been pulled from theaters by Fox, and after 35 years there are still tons of midnight showings. Funny story—in college I convinced my friend to go to a midnight show at the Waverly in Manhattan because I had never been, we got all dressed up in our Rocky Horror costumes and then it started raining, and then we took the wrong train and people were shouting things at us, and we were scared and wearing uncomfortable shoes, and ended up going back home—we were such crazy wild college kids! Unfortunately I’ve still never been to a midnight showing.

Recently, knowing my love of Rocky Horror my fiancé got me the sequel, Shock Treatment, which I had never seen. It was an odd film to say the least, and not in a good way. It’s also far less coherent than Rocky Horror, but if you’re a fan it’s worth watching just to see some of the same actors in new roles, but the leads just aren’t as interesting and there is no Tim Curry to carry it for them, such a shame.

If you haven’t seen Rocky Horror this is the perfect time to check it out, it’s almost Halloween, and you only have a couple of weeks before the Glee episode, and you’ll want to understand why your favorite teens are running around in fishnets and bustiers (thought somehow I have a feeling this episode is going to be extra sanitized compared to the original). Not a Glee fan? Give it a try anyways. If you are a fan you might want to know that this year marks the 35th anniversary of the film, so they’re putting out a fancy blu-ray edition with all sorts of extras on October 19th—and let me know if you want to check out a midnight showing!

Vedette lamé bikini
$86 – theoutnet.com
Halterneck bikini »

White Lace Balcony Bra
$118 – pret-a-beaute.com
Panties bras »

La Perla Sirena garter belt
$74 – journelle.com
La Perla »

Hue Fishnet Tight
$13 – lorisshoes.com
Fishnet tights »

Glitter Slingback Bootie
$895 – kirnazabete.com
Lace up shoes »

Glittered Crisscross Bootie
$595 – bergdorfgoodman.com
Miu shoes »

Ivory Pearl Necklace
$53 – pret-a-beaute.com
Kenneth jay lane necklace »

Sequin Mini Top Hat With Veil On Band
28 GBP – monsoon.co.uk
Top hat »

Bling Sequin Cut Off Gloves
12 GBP – monsoon.co.uk
Sequin glove »

Blue Glitter Belt (Thick Flecks)
8.66 GBP – fashionaddict.com.au
Belts »

Gold Glitter Top Hat from Windy City Novelties
$1.60 – windycitynovelties.com
Gold hat »

NARS Shimmer Eyeshadow – Tropic
$23 – barneys.com


Lab Coat
uniformcountry.com
Coats »

red boa
fashionfix.net


Mickey Mouse Ears
blogspot.com


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For the Love of Homemade Halloween Costumes

Yesterday Jezebel posted this Target ad in which a kid is clearly embarrassed by his homemade Iron Man costume made by his proud mom. It’s meant to be cute, and obviously Target is in the business of convincing people they should buy their costumes rather than make them, so you can’t get all that annoyed at them, but it did get me thinking about homemade Halloween costumes and why I always find them so much more interesting.

What a kid wants to be for Halloween is a big deal, it reflects who they want to be, what they’re afraid of, or who their role models are. It also lets them express themselves and can be both a fun bonding experience and a creative challenge for kids and parents alike. While a kid, or an adult, can have just as much fun dressed in a store-bought costume, there is something about homemade costumes that’s uniquely charming. Whether answering the door for trick-or-treaters or attending a party for grown ups, it’s always exciting when you see a one-of-a-kind costume. Obviously, as the Target ad shows, it can be hard to make a costume for a licensed character who looks a very specific way, but plenty of kids want to take on a persona that can be created without buying a package.

For example, my older sister as Cyndi Lauper in the early 1980s at around age three, there was no sewing involved, just stuff we had around the house, some spray-on hair color, creativity, and lots O’ fun, the result—adorable!

Here is my fiancé as Hulk Hogan a few years ago. I’ve gone to the Halloween parade in Manhattan many times and I’ve never seen people as excited by a costume as they were when they saw him that year. People were constantly stopping to take his picture and shout catchphrases at him—and he threw this costume together in a couple of hours. There were other Hulk Hogans in store-bought costumes, and they didn’t get nearly as much attention.

This owl costume was a combined effort, I made the head-piece and the glasses to wear one year, and my lovely future sister-in-law improved on my original costume a few years later with the fur trim, feathers, and orange owl feet—hoot!

My friend Jessica donned this awesome Joan Holloway costume last year, I’m shocked there aren’t packaged Mad Men costumes out there yet, but this shows how you can use stuff from your own closet (plus a few store-bought accessories) to come up with a great costume.

My Grandma made these adorable Campbell Soup kids costumes for my dad and uncle sometime in the mid fifties—simple, creative, and cute!

Me as Courtney Love and My fiancé as Ernest P. Worrell, both fun and easy costumes to make.

This was the first costume I made all by myself. My mom made me wear that stone-wash jacket over it since it was cold out so you can’t see it here, but I found an old satin dress, tore it up, caked on a bunch of face-paint, put baby powder in my hair, and threw on a tiara just for kicks. I called it “bloody Mary” I think I got the idea from an episode of Are you Afraid of the Dark?

Anyway, my point is that sometimes (like if your kid wants to be Iron Man) a store costume is necessary, because moms can be busy and kids are easily embarrassed. But putting together your own costume whether you’re a kid or an adult, can be lots of fun, and usually yields more entertaining and memorable results—plus those packaged costumes can be damn expensive.

If you don’t have anything in your closet that works as a costume, check out a thrift store, or the sale rack at Forever 21, you may even wear it again unlike the flimsy polyester packaged costumes. Get any accessories you may need that you can’t make (horns, wings, wigs) at the bigger stores, and never underestimate the potential of pipe cleaners and a hot glue gun!

On a side note, clicking through the pages on the Party City website has convinced me I need to do a whole post on inappropriate packaged costumes—I’m truly disturbed by some of the stuff out there for both kids and adults.

Send me pictures of your best homemade Halloween costumes—I know you must have some great ones!

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Fabulous Hats

I’ve been meaning to do a post on hats for a long time now, and after watching Glee last week and seeing Kurt’s fabulous church hat, I decided I had to pull it together and make this post happen—so thanks for the inspiration Kurt!

I’ve always admired people who can really pull off an amazing hat. I’ve tried before but I always end up feeling awkward and obstructed somehow. Winter hats are a different story, they’re much-needed and practical, what I’m talking about are statement hats, they draw attention, they express an attitude, and they require a special kind of confidence to pull off.

I put together this collage of fabulous hats worn by fabulous women as inspiration for myself, and maybe for all of you too. Nothing shows off your confidence like an amazing hat.

(Click to enlarge—you want to see these hats!)

I consider this to be the ultimate fabulous hat, so it gets its own picture. If you haven’t seen the film My Fair Lady, it’s worth it just for Cecil Beaton’s costumes and this hat.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this post is because at my wedding in 17 days (Ahhh!!) I will be wearing a hat. I kind of love the idea of a “wedding hat”, it seems so old-fashioned somehow. I had it made at a great little hat shop on Thompson street in the village, they did the purple bow, feathers, and lavender veil custom for me, which I love! Since most bridal salons charge upwards of $200 for a row of Swarovski crystals pinned to a piece of tulle, having a custom wedding hat made doesn’t seem extravagant—it seems like a lot more bang for your buck.


I can’t wait to wear it—it goes perfect with my purple shoes!

Wedding hats—and any statement hat, are a great way to add some pizazz to an outfit, and unlike other fashion risks, you can always just take the hat off if you decide you don’t like it.

Anyone have pictures of themselves in fabulous hats? I’d love to see them!

*Sorry my posting has been so sporadic, this whole wedding thing takes up a lot of time.

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Beauty in the Movies: Heathers

This week I present to you one of the best teen comedies ever, and by far one of the darkest. Heathers is one of those movies that just keeps getting better as the years go by, and you discover something new each time you watch it.

There are four girls who rule Westerberg High, Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) and Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder). They spend their days torturing geeks like Martha Dunnstock (Carrie Lynn), who they call Martha Dump-truck, doling out witty dialogue, and playing croquet. When new guy JD (Christian Slater) arrives at school, he shakes up Veronica’s world and forces her to confront how awful the Heathers really are.

When we first meet JD, he’s the epitome of the cool, mysterious new kid, he comes on the scene to save Veronica from a world of Heathers and expose the popular crowd as the self-centered assholes they are. It’s set up like other teen movies; two characters meet and seem to be a perfect match, but things go off in a very different direction from there. It’s Veronica’s story, but instead of spending the film mooning over a crush, she spends it frantically scribbling in her diary while wearing her monocle and cursing the idiocy of her peers.

The American high school is a nasty place, and Heathers was the first movie that exposed it as such. In high school everyone is labeled, every dark secret is fair game, and even death is a way to up your social standing.

Heathers came out in 1989, at the end of an era dominated by John Hughes movies where teenagers are fun, sweet, and adorable—the most bad-ass things they do involve dancing at parades and skipping out on their detention homework. The Heathers teens range from vapid to down right evil, a sharp contrast to the charming geeks and lovable jocks of the Hughes Cannon. In Heathers, house parties are replaced by funerals, and instead of the cute male lead turning out to be surprisingly sensitive, he turns out to be a murderous psychopath. Sadly, in some ways it’s a much more realistic portrayal of what high school is really like.

Heathers established its own vernacular, it gave us phrases you still hear in modern high schools, even if those kids have no idea where they came from—like “what’s your damage?”, “I gotta motor”, or “How very”. Virtually every other line is a memorable quote, who could forget “F*ck me gently with a chainsaw” or “I love my dead gay son!”?

Teen suicide has been making headlines again recently, which means it’s time to start re-running Heathers on cable, because this film actually makes a great case against suicide. It demonstrates how killing yourself just makes your hateful classmates pretend they liked you, and that they will use your death as a means to garner attention for themselves. High school is a war zone, and sometimes it spills over into college, but life does get better. There are still jerks in the world after high school, but you get to choose if you want to be around them or not. Sure, offices can sometimes recall a bit too much of that old high school cruelty, but for the most part people mature and realize life is too short to be so worried what everyone else thinks.

Heathers held up the mirror and forced us to look at the way we treat tragedy, the sensationalized accounts of death and suicide have only grown with the internet age. Teen suicides provoked (at least in part) by bullying are in the news every other week these days. The cavalier attitude and lack of responsibility from peers is always a major focus of disgust—more than twenty years later and Heathers is truer than ever, yet we still act surprised by the actions of empathy-free teens and their victims, showing that we would rather run a “shocking” news story than try to solve the problem. All I can say is, in the words of Big Fun, “Teenage suicide—don’t do it”.

Off Shoulder Stripe Top
$47 – metroparkusa.com
Off shoulder tops »

DOUBLE BREASTED LAPEL VEST
164 GBP – mytheresa.com
3.1 Phillip Lim vests »

Double-Breasted Long Vest
$70 – yesstyle.com
T shirt vest »

Fall Remy Skirt
$188 – stevenalan.com
Steven Alan skirts »

bow & ruffles mustard skirt
$23 – shopruche.com
Rayon skirt »

Silk Bubble Hem Skirt
$18 – forever21.com
Silk skirt »

Monalisa
299 DKK – shopfriiscompany.com
Ballet shoes »

Leather penny loafers
$119 – talbots.com
Leather shoes »

Large Red Fabric Rose Brooch
7 GBP – avalaya.com
Red brooch »

Red Plastic Hoop Earrings
3.65 GBP – avalaya.com
Red earrings »

OPI Off With Her Red
$2.97 – amazon.com

Gap Tiered tulle skirt
$13 – gap.com

red scrunchie
ehow.com

Smilart Fan Studio Фоторедактор Онлайн
fanstudio.ru

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The Going Away Outfit, and The Trouble With Dress Shopping

Ok, so it’s not really a going away outfit for me as much as it is a brunch the next day/going away outfit, but I’m calling it my “going away outfit” anyway. I like the idea of it, it’s a bit of a throw back, a little retro, a bit traditional, but practical too. Years ago brides would buy their outfit as part of their wedding trousseau and change into it before they left for their honeymoon while the wedding was still going on. Maybe I just like the idea of buying a new outfit, but I keep thinking about Shelby’s little pink suit in Steel Magnolias, and Cameron Diaz’s character wears one at the end of My Best Friend’s Wedding too—maybe it’s Julia Robert’s who’s responsible, but either way, I like the idea.

My wedding ends at 1:30 in the morning so I won’t be changing into anything but pajamas afterward, the next morning there will be brunch though, and then the fiancé and I are going away for the weekend, so as far as I’m concerned, the occasion calls for a cute outfit.

The going away outfit is usually a suit, but the problem is, it’s hard to find suits that are cute and feminine, and if I did find a cute suit I would probably either never wear it again (and I already have an expensive dress I’ll never wear again) or if I did ever wear it again it would be to an interview, and that would just take all the fun out of it. So I thought I’d look for a going away dress instead.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been having any luck, sometimes finding dresses can be exceptionally hard. It seems that everything is either a party dress, a work dress, or a sun dress, anything else is really hard to find. My mother says it’s because in your twenties you end up in-between the juniors section and the ladies section—that theory is reserved for mall department stores, and is also completely true. All the stuff in the juniors department seems flimsy and ill-fitting, and most of the stuff in the ladies department is best suited for the office or the MOTB (that’s mother of the bride in wedding speak). So what’s a girl to do? Not shop at department stores I guess.

I checked out Anthropologie too, and maybe it’s just me, but it seems like their clothes (especially dresses) just keep getting more expensive and less wearable. Everyone knows that Anthropologie has a tendency to take a perfectly lovely article of clothing and stick a weird flower or pom-pom on it and ruin the whole thing, I’ll do a whole post on it one day, but right now all I can say is they have a lot of weird expensive dresses. When you need to find something it’s impossible to find it, but finding cute dresses seems harder than usual recently.

I only have 29 days more to look, and I’m generally sick of the state of available dresses. That seems like a crazy complaint, but the more I trek around to stores and click through pages online, the more I’m convinced that dresses only come in three categories.  You could draw the conclusion that the fashion industry only sees women as one of these three archetypes—business woman, party girl, or cutesy teen, but maybe it’s a supply and demand thing. So what I’m wondering is, do other people have this problem when searching for dresses? Is it just me who hates spaghetti straps or low backs because I have to think about what bra to wear with it? Or who feels like every dress is either too short or too frumpy? Anyone else who longs for tailoring and fit without sacrificing personality and femininity? Maybe I’m just crazy, but I’m also a lady who loves dresses, and I’m fed up with my lack of options.

Anyone have suggestions—perhaps a favorite store I haven’t thought of? I’d also appreciate any insight into why dresses have to be sleeveless, because that’s something I’ve never understood, who wants to have to search for a sweater after all that dress shopping?

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I Heart Anna Sui

Right after I graduated from college and was struggling to find a job, I ended up working at this children’s clothing boutique a few blocks from Washington Square Park in Manhattan. I pretty much hated working there, it was typical crappy retail—no breaks unless you smoke, no sitting, limited bathroom and lunch breaks, and lots of dealing with obnoxious wealthy customers. But one day, while I was standing there at the counter, staring at the kids clothes that cost twice as much as my own, in walked one of my favorite people—Anna Sui.

She came in with two little girls in tow, they were ridiculously cute, I don’t now if they were her own kids but they looked like she let them get dressed in her closet. They had on beads and adorable frilly outfits and were having tons of fun running around the store. I just stood there starstruck. I’ve seen my fair share of celebrities, but Anna Sui was the first who made me stop in my tracks. I had discovered her fashions in high school and used to cut out her ads and obsess over her patterns and makeup packaging, so I was kind of in shock as I stood there in the tiny shop on University Place. So in she walked, and in a flash she was out again. It took me a moment to convince myself it had happened, and then a second to kick myself for not saying anything. But really, what do you say? “I think you’re amazing! You’re my favorite designer! I love purple!” All those things come off as lame, and also, when a celebrity is with kids, courtesy dictates you should leave them alone.

Whether I had the courage to speak to her or not, Anna Sui remains one of my favorite people. If I had a bad day at work, or if I was just bored, I would go to her store on Greene St. and look at all the pretty clothes I could never afford, and play with the beautiful perfume bottles and cute accessories until I felt better.

So it was pretty exciting when my friend Jessica called yesterday to say she was at the Coterie trade show sitting across from the Anna Sui booth. I demanded pictures and she quickly provided them for me to share with you.

I keep looking at this dress, it just makes me happy. It’s sort of gypsy ballerina, and who wouldn’t want that?

Her classic cute signage and doll heads.

I’ll take any one of those dresses please.


Roses, hydrangeas, and Lavender M & Ms (I’m ordering those for my wedding!)—I hope Jessica grabbed one of those pencils!

Cute boots! I’ll take that folder too.

If you want to be super jealous check out Anna Sui’s home, which was featured in Elle decor, I especially love the latticed windows and her signature black lacquered furniture.

And the woman herself in her domain, I love that wallpaper too.

What I love about Anna Sui is that she’s a rare designer who makes what she loves whether it’s “in” that season or not. She doesn’t blindly follow trends, she makes clothes that are beautiful and interesting and she has a very distinctive style that always sets her clothes apart. She makes clothes that are overtly feminine and girly, but with a hard edge. All her products manage to seem fun, bad-ass, magical, and elegant all at the same time.

Sui is also a great example of someone who struggled to achieve her dreams. She came to New York from Detroit in the 1980s and built a name for herself designing clothes out of her small apartment living off nothing, and now her empire is worth over $400 million—now that’s pretty damn inspiring.

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A Wedding Miscellany

I’m sorry to do another wedding post, but I have them on the brain. I am breathing, eating, and sleeping weddings recently. Whether it’s putting together my wedding play-list, ordering candy for our wedding candy bar, or painting bridal card boxes for others with upcoming nuptials, it’s a huge part of my life right now.

I’ve written before about the stress of planning a wedding, but there are so many things to keep track of that you can’t keep your mind from running all over the place, so this post might be a bit scattered, and I apologize for that.

All of the illustrations featured below are from an adorable little book my mom bought for me when I got engaged—it’s called The Little Big Book for Brides, and it has all sorts of cute advice, customs, and strange facts you never knew about weddings, here are some examples:

“Feed a cat out of your wedding shoe for good luck”—hmm, kind a gross, but I could try it!

“If in October you do marry , love will come but riches tarry”—this doesn’t surprise me at all, sounds about right actually. Darn.

My favorite part of this book is a whole long excerpt from an article entitled “The Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride”, it was published in an 1894 newsletter and it will blow your mind! For example:

“One cardinal rule of marriage should never be forgotten: GIVE LITTLE, GIVE SELDOM, AND ABOVE ALL, GIVE GRUDGINGLY. Otherwise, what could have been a proper marriage could become an orgy of sexual lust.”

Cracks. me. up. Here’s some more sage advice:

“Clever wives are ever on the alert for new and better methods of denying and discouraging the amorous overtures of the husband. A good wife should expect to have reduced sexual contacts to once a week by the end of the first year of marriage and to once a month by the end of the fifth year of marriage.”

I hope you’re listening ladies!

Moving on, today I am officially starting my pre-wedding diet. I know, I wrote a whole post about how I wasn’t going to let the pressure get to me and I wasn’t going to starve myself, but here’s the thing; I went for my final dress fitting and things changed. The good news is that the dress fits perfectly—too perfectly. It fits so perfectly that breathing is a bit of a problem. If I had money to spare I’d probably just let it out a little, but money is an issue, and the cost of alterations on bridal gowns are astronomical. So in the interest of saving a few hundred dollars, I have to cut back on my beloved cheese, ice cream, fried anything, and all the rest of my favorite foods. It’s just for a month, so I can handle it, and I just need to keep thinking about all the food I won’t be able to eat on my wedding day and my inability to dance if there is no room to move in my dress as motivation. So for the next month I’m counting points, snacking on carrot sticks and praying that come October 29th, I can breathe, move, dance,—and eat comfortably.

To those of you who are getting married soon, or planning on getting married soon, or have some kind of big party or event to plan in general, here is some advice—start planning now. Months ago, even a year ago, I kept poo-pooing things “oh, we have time” I’d say, and now I wish I could go back in time and knock myself upside the head. Not only do I wish I had taken care of some things earlier, but also, spending money in small bursts over a year is far easier than doling out large amounts all at once. So, if you see something you like—whether it be a wedding dress or favors, buy it, or at least bookmark it now, you’ll thank yourself later.

So, right now I have to order my favors, and research hairstyles and follow-up with the florist, the hotel, the venue, and so much more, and every phone call will hopefully soothe a bit of the madness, but really all I can hope is that I fit into that dress and actually get to eat some of my wedding cake, and of course, cheese.

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