Monday, June 30, 2008

The Scene
Monday. Sigh.

The Outfit
Fashion District dress
Fuchsia wrap sweater

The Accessories
Chanel necklace and bag
Marc Jacobs pumps
Canal street earrings

The Grade

The Commentary
This little gray dress is the one my mom talked me into buying on Saturday in the Fashion District. $60.

Very professional and classic. Easy to reinvent with accessories. Unique without being too "look at me." Great coming and going.

So why did I resist? First of all, it's not particularly flattering on me. Saw it on another girl who was quite thin and it was magnificent. On me however, the beautiful detail under the bustline draws attention to my lack of a waist. Boo. Gotta stop eating my weight in Sprinkles and be more consistent about the gym.

Also thought it was pretty similar to this Forever 21 tweedy dress with the bow at the bustline. Trying not to buy multiples lately. Lots of women swear by buying the same shape/color/style over and over again. Think of it as uniform dressing or having a signature style. But I'm not convinced that's very creative or economically sound.

In the end my mom threw a fit when I got to the register so I had to get it. Apparently, she knows good design when she sees it. I was reading Fashion Ivy on Sunday night and discovered the dress was a copy of a yummy nubby Dior dress. Main difference is the sleeves. Think sleeveless works better for me.

I adore Dior from way back. Have exactly three Dior items. A very utilitarian belt, a leopard saddle pouchette trimmed with red and a pair of black stilettos. The first two are handmedowns from a generous friend of my Mom and the pair of shoes was a birthday present from my mom a few years ago. Scored them 60 percent off at The Forum Christian Dior store in Vegas. Wore them to death that first year.

The recent Dior couture show had me mesmerized. Galiano's shapes and detailing always thrill me. They feel so modern and yet retro. How does he manage both?

I fundamentally appreciate the theatricality of Dior. The runway shows are unabashedly over the top, even a bit avant garde at times. And yet they still oooze beauty and femininity. How does Galiano do it??? He's truly gifted.

Adoring the bubble deliciousness Eva Mendes wore to the show. The color combination is an old favorite and one I have to whip together more often. Very flattering on Latina skin.

But my absolute favorite single item of the show was this pair of shoes. Sexy crazy cool. With today's dress it would be Dior divinity!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Scene
Sleep in and then meet this lovely lady in her new DVF top for lunch.

After lunch, I proceed to fall in love with my very own DVF top. I need, I want, I gots to have...when she goes on sale ;)

Pop by Target and try on the newest Go International looks. Pretty enough but a bit juvenile for a lady of a certain age like myself.

Decide to pass on all of it. Feel fat in everything and nothing evokes a "must-have-it-now, daddy" response.

Meet up with Sable Crow to catch a flick. Despite the funny pictures, we talk deep life lesson talk. Discuss finding inner strength and making better decisions and celebrating rather than squandering our gifts. His friendship gets me through such rough spots.

We end the night watching Wall-e. Original and adorable love story. Come home to my very own love robot. Great frivolous weekend as heavy things stir inside.

The Outfit

Forever 21 dress

The Accessories
Chanel black tote
Forever 21 sunglasses
Faux Chanel earrings
Urban Outfitters sandals

The Grade

The Commentary
Feel like this dress makes me look like a little girl. A little Eloise, a little American Girl. Wore it precisely because I knew my mom would love it. Within minutes she cooed that in this dress I looked like her little two-year-old Diabolina. Heart her.

No big surprise that this dress makes me swoon. The buttons are tres me. So is the color blocking.

And I have always always hearted drop waists. Though I must admit they are getting harder and harder to wear the older and older I get.

A few months ago, loads of fashionistas out in the blogosphere likened today's Forever 21 dress to the Marc Jacobs Spring 2008 dress that I've been coveting since April.

I can definitely see the similarities. The color scheme is identical. The buttons look alike. But fundamentally it's a different dress. The MJ is a much more grown up, universally flattering shape. Primarily because the waist is higher. That bow is to die for and understandably missing from the Forever 21 dress. It'd be real hard to reproduce cheaply without looking, well, cheap.

With the matching tomato sandals and Chanel purse and buggy glasses, I think it looked significantly pricier than the paltry $24 I shelled out for it. Though I'm not delusional. It's definitely no Marc.

p.s. Look at how casually gorgeous Sable Crow looked today at sunset. The hat, the sunglasses, the linen, the scruff. Yum. My little boy's all growns up.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Scene
Mr. Diabolina left bright and early for a boys' weekend in Vegas. So I promptly embarked on a "girls just want to have fun" day. YAY!

Met my mom for breakfast and then we hit the Fashion District. Found some amazing stuff. 4 dresses, 2 tops, 3 bracelets and 2 hair products to be exact.

Wanted alot more but stuck to my budget: $350. I know - pretty amazing haul for that much money ;)

The most exciting purchase was a nearly identical version of this Phillip Lim dress I have been coveting all year. The real thing alone would have cost me what I spent all day.

Oh and I also scored a $60 version of this Dior dress that Claudia Schiffer just wore to the collections. Except I had no idea it was a Dior knockoff. My mom just loved it on me and forced me to buy it. Dying to know how much the real thing costs.

In the afternoon I head west to see KFR and her new(ish) house. Love it. Adore the sprawling backyard. Mr. Diabolina would faint. He's so over condo living.

KFR and I get some summery cocktails and piggie eats near her house. We kvetch about work and help each other see the light at the end of the tunnel. Like we always do.

Then do what we do best - yep, shop some more. Finally peeped that new Phillip Lim maxi dress in person. Adore! Also adore that KFR's dress is from Forever and she's sporting a wrap sweater. Clearly she's an avid blog reader ;)

Saw lots of amazing sandals. But not interested in shelling out more than $30 on sandals. Most were $180ish.

Really want some studded sandals like the ones that Your Everyday Style just blogged about. Also fringed one like the ones Style Rules found at Urban Outfitters in her Best Sandals of the Summer post. This fringed UGG, however, just made me think UGH!

Ended up buying the little asymmetrical, tiered dress I saw on Thursday. $50. Gotta figure out when I'll wear it. Feels like an Easter dress.

And also wanted this one. The print looks exactly like a DVF print a few seasons ago and the shape and those rosettes are very me.

Maybe I'll get it next week. $60. You think it's worth it?

Headed home for a late dinner with The Peeper. Loved her sandals. Loved that she called them Marc Jacobs when they are actually Michael Kors. Love my friends who could care less about labels :)

We ordered in and chatted and took photos with Mr. Diabolina's stuff like we did with her hubby's stuff when he was out of town. Then we joined Mr. Peeper at a house party in Beachwood with some of his besties from med school.

The party was at the sprawling house of network TV writer. Love that words built such a gorgeous house. Dream of the day my words create so much comfort and stability.

The Peeper and I arrived just as a major female indie rockstar was leaving. Within an hour of us getting there, a reality TV icon showed up. Amazingly random L.A. scene!

The party goes until sunrise but I bail a little after 3 a.m. Pretty tired after a hard day of so much girly fun :)

The Outfit
Image jersey dress

The Accessories
Forever 21 sunglasses and bangle
Louis Vuitton earrings
Chanel bag
Stuart Weitzman sandals

The Grade

The Commentary
I heart this dress. Delish colors and easy fit. Pretty pretty for summer. Looks quite expensive with the expensive accessories :)

Love how the jewelry picks up the turquoise and the the purple in the print. So hot.

The print actually reminds me of a Trina Turk dress I just saw at Bloomie's. $338. Ouchy! Think mine is more wearable though. And you can't beat $32.

I repeat, run don't walk to Image.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Scene
This morning at work I was minding my own business when I heard a ruckus. A musical ruckus. A SOUND OF MUSIC RUCKUS.

The following is the transcript of my actual IM conversation with The Peeper.

Diabolina: someone is getting a singing telegram right now
: for his bday
Diabolina: the singer is dressed up as maria from the sound of music
The Peeper
The Peeper
: now that a sight to see
: she's sung five songs already
Diabolina: i'm going crazy.
The Peeper
: FIVE!!!!!
The Peeper
: the hills are alive?
: si
The Peeper: do re mi?
: now the slow one
The Peeper
: i am 16?
: not that one
The Peeper: hahahahaha
The Peeper
: this funny
: bloom and grow
: forever
: right now
: peeps singing along
The Peeper: sing!
: what a job that woman have
The Peeper
: inspirational
The Peeper
: there so many ways to make living
The Peeper
: not stuck to one path
Diabolina: i need out of my current path
: pray for me
The Peeper: i pray to baby jesus
: she's way talented
: how hard for her to be doing this
The Peeper: what a morning
The Peeper
: b-day person love sound of music
The Peeper
: ??
: who knows!!!
The Peeper
: she singing
The Peeper
: or laughing?
: bday BOY. it a GUY
: he singing along
The Peeper: oh boy!

Several friends requested I call them and hold up the phone so they could hear. F.

Sable Crow took it one step further. He called me and demanded I take a picture for the blog!!! NO WAY! That would make me seem like I was condoning all this. Ugh. He's becoming such a pushy stage mother.

And as if a singalong in the middle of the morning wasn't bonkers enough, the singer's outfit looked more Mary Poppins than Frauline Maria. Think she got her Julie Andrews movies mixed up. F.

I swear you can't make up the Dilbert shenanigans that happen in offices. How is this my life? How did it all go so horribly wrong? Sigh.

Get through the rest of work day and watch Wanted with Mr. Diabolina in the evening. I enjoy it despite the REDIC plot line. Dig the Matrix like action. Adore Hottie McHottie James McAvoy. And Angelina Jolie is just great to look at - she's so stunning she's frightening.

Plus the flick is based on the premise that one can escape the soul sucking cubicle grind...

The Outfit
Fashion District tunic
Blue Cult jeans

The Accessories
Gucci platform sandals
Marc Jacobs hobo bag
H&M scarf
Forever 21 sunglasses and bangle
Louis Vuitton earrings

The Grade

The Commentary
Hair isn't behaving lately. Neither is my skin. Feeling blah blah blah.

Plus wasn't feeling going to The Office today at all. So decided to dress down...way down. Friday after all.

This is probably the most casual I've dressed at the new job. The sad thing is that today's schlepy outfit is right in line with how roughly 70 percent of the office dresses most days. Sigh.

I'm becoming pretty self conscious about wearing my fancy heels and dresses because everyone gapes when I do. Most of the women give dirty looks. Ugh. Don't even get me started about how PISSED I would have been if I was wearing a pulled together professional look today when the singing nun showed up :)

Built the outfit around the ratty jeans and the beauty of a scarf. Picked the easy white chiffony top next to make the scarf really pop. Then came the neutral bag and then the Gucci shoes.

Donned my new Chloe knockoffs in red to pick up the reddish hues in the scarf. Gawd how I adore these sunnies.

Finally I donned the LV earrings and the Forever bangle because they also matched the scarf nicely.

Probably inspired by all the summer scarves I've been seeing everywhere lately on celebrity chicas. Particularly in my Singer 22 emails. Lightweight scarves are an easy, low cost way to sass up simple separates.

Makes you look a little Cochella hipster too. Good for office singalongs.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Scene
Went to a focus group tonight after work. I'm so funny - sometimes I forget that I'm not a poor college student anymore. HA!

Just thought it'd be fun. And no matter how flush I am, making a few extra bones will always sound better than going home and working out.

The session focused on a new styling product for frizzy hair. My specialty for the last 30 years. Wah.

Actually, all of us in there had some serious hair issues. Always so interesting to hear women talk so candidly about their appearance and how it affects their self esteem. It almost ended up feeling like a therapy session.

When I got home and I proceeded to delineate for Mr. Diabolina why the marketers were positioning the brand all wrong for market. He laughed and said I had no business being in that focus group.

After all, I've worked for companies that do focus groups. I've helped prepare the marketing presentations for them. My job is actually to give marketing opinions all day long. So, he said, I might be just a tad overqualified, not quite the average consumer.

Humph. Whatevs. I still have the right to earn some extra walking around money.

The Outfit

Forever 21 dress
Black wrap sweater

The Accessories
Chanel tote
Chanel earrings
Forever 21 lucite bangles
Manolo Blahnik patent heels

The Grade

The Commentary

This is that adorable black and white sailor dress I got at Forever 21 dress last Sunday. Have been dying for a black and white dress for months now.

Been seeing too many satin ones that were trying to be this Chanel runway look. But they just looked cheapie. And weren't very forgiving /flattering on my lower half.

Remember this little number I got downtown that looks just like Diane Von Furstenberg? Well I was pining for a less dressy version of it. Something chic and uncomplicated in a light weight material for summer.

This dress was a great option at $22. Comfortable with clean lines, pockets and a sweet neckline.

The waist is a little funky. A bit high for a normal body and very high for my no-waist body. But I overlooked it. Just liked overall how easy and simple it looked. Very school girl Chanel.

Paired it with Chanel earrings and the bag to really make it sing. Added the wrap sweater because the new office is a meat locker.

Added Manolos on my feets to complete look. These are the patent heels that I broke a few months ago. Hadn't worn them since I repaired them. Too frightened. Teetered around on them oh-so-carefully today.

Hearing pointy black pumps are way "in" this fall. Not sure they were ever completely out. But am excited to bring a few good pairs out to play.
Special Feature: Dear Diabolina

A million years ago, AT wrote:

Hey there! First off, I wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog and have it marked as one of my favorites! I love checking it out for some fashion advice. I have a question for you. I have recently been a little obsessed with ordering from Forever 21 (there isn't one anywhere close to me so I have to do the online thing). Would you mind recommending some good pieces from their website? I have ordered a few things but it's hard to pick things without trying them on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

The Dear Diaboina Answer:

After profusely thanking AT for her kind words I promptly started fretting about getting her the "right" answer. After all, I just don't shop online. Cannot.

Can count the number of times I have on one hand. The Armani Exchange dress at right is the only thing last year.

I miss out on alot of great designer sales being this non-savvy way but I just can't seem to get into it. I enjoy the actual visceral experience of shopping too much. Love the hunt and the high of it all. Also like to feel up the goods, if you will. And closely analyze the fit on my rather difficult to fit body.

To make her question extra tough, AT threw my beloved Forever 21 into the equation. When you add the inherently hit or miss nature of more cheaply made clothing then I'm really at a loss. The fit and material can be sooooo off soooooo often with mass production. Plus online photographs can be very deceiving when it comes to material and detailing.

So I am hoping some of you can help a sista out. I know many of you are ninjas at online shopping. So please feel free to give some of your online shopping do's and don'ts in the comments. Lurkers, this is your chance to delurk for the good of a fellow fashionista in need :)

In the meantime, here are my piddly two cents about online shopping:

* I look at the return policy really carefully before I buy something online. I need to be able to return something right away if it doesn't work out. And I prefer being able to return it at a store.

Though that doesn't help AT much since she doesn't have a Forever 21 close by. I weep for her ;)

* Try to know what designers work best for your body and what size you are in a given designer. Like I know I am generally an 8 in Marc Jacobs and that the pants don't tend to cut me very well. I know I am a 6 in a DVF if it's jersey, an 8 if it's button down and as small as a 4 if it's voluminous. I am a 9 in Manolos and YSL shoes if they are pointy. And typically an 8 1/2 in Marc Jacobs round toe shoes.

Again tho, this doesn't really help at Forever 21 or other mass retailers because each piece is made so differently. I have smalls, mediums and larges from Forever. Similarly my Nine West shoes are a whole range of sizes. Sigh. So far my advice sucks...

*I would say buy accessories freely online if you fall in love with them. After all with purses and jewelry, you don't have to worry about the fit in quite the same way as clothes or shoes.

Sunglasses are slightly different because fit does matter. Especially on chubby cheeks like mine. But at Forever they are just $5 so what the heck.

I ended up buying the Chloe lookalikes from Forever online last week. In red and black. Was a bit worried that I might look like an Olsen in them. But I tried the real things on at Saks in NYC so I knew that yes, they'd likely be a bit buggy but overall, the shape worked.

Let me tell you these sunglasses have been the best purchase I've made in long long time. I never want to take them off. In fact I woke up the other day, put them on and then brushed my teeth - much to Mr. Diabolina's amusement. They just make me feel glam and ridiculous which I guess is EXACTLY like being an Olsen twin.

* Finally, let's get down to some Forever 21 specific advice: I would say if it looks remotely cheap in the picture, it will look ten times worse in person. Try to steer clear of the 100 percent synthetic garments. Also anything too chiffony or sheer will likely fall apart quickly. Stick to the jerseys and the cottons.

If in doubt, buy it in a darker color. Lighter colors tend to show cheap construction more. Zoom in on seams. Remember if the buttons are a bit too plasticy, you can replace them and really luxe up the piece. Or if there's a detachable satin sash that looks like trash, it's easy to snip off. I do that all the time.

As for items I'd recommend getting from Forever 21, unfortunately there's not alot to chose from currently. Here are a few that caught my eye after a quick perusal:

Pretty little summer top with nice rosette detail.

Artsy tunic with great fluttery detail at the neckline

And I still heart this dress that I bought back in March. It's still online after all this time but it's actually in the tops section. Weird.

May get it online in this color combo. Incredibly soft and great fit. Which I would never have known if I didn't try it on and paw it at the store, unfortunately.

Ok, ladies and gents, now it's your turn to share your words of wisdom with AT. Have at her question...


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