Friday, February 29, 2008

The Scene
Friday. Danke Dios.

Two good things happen today:

#1. Get a long over due hair cut. Hallelujah!

Alas, it won't stay this purty for long. I'm serious - it will be busted (aka curling) by morning. Wah. Relishing the straight flippiness of it all while I can.

#2. Jean Bean and I make plans to rendezvous in Austin in a few weeks. yayayayyayay!

Super excited. I am all about weekend jaunts this year. And I miss her. So it'll be a win-win.

The Outfit
Forever 21 dusty rose jersey dress
Fuchsia wrap sweater

The Accessories
Me&Ro turquoise/gold hoops
Turquoise bangle
YSL chocolate tote
Thomas Wylde scraft
Giorgio Armani plastic and brown flats

The Grade


The Commentary
Felt unusually smokin today. But in an easy, casually thrown together way. Not in an obvious and calculated way.

The color combos were unexpected but flattering. The layers were languid and comfortable but hot and sexy. The whole vibe is just right - very California cool.

This feels like me at my sassiest. And that feels good.

This dress ended up being such a great purchase. One of my very first at Forever 21. It's kinda Ella Moss/Splendid. Heart the braiding and the tassle in the back and the slightly dowdy cut. It works so well with a variety of jackets and sweaters I have.

Truly loving the versatility of solid colored jersey dresses. They are like a great blank canvas to build on with accessories to create really varied looks.

Have been dying to pair the fuchsia with the turquoise. It just screams summer to me!! Realized all of it works so well with chocolate so got out my little Giorgios and the YSL.

Got these shoes at the UCLA Thrift Store years ago. I LOVE THEM. They are so weird. Always stop people dead in their tracks. Heard more than one person say, "look at her shoes" today. I feel like I have little bear paws when I wear them :)

Added the scarf on a whim. Got it as part of a fabu gift bag after a Fred Segal benefit that G took me to when she was an editor at Variety.

I stood in line behind Sarah Chalke from Scrubs at that party. What a dork I am for remembering that!

Happy weekend, mamis and papis!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Scene
Here's the tip of the day: don't ever eat sashimi before bootcamp. Even if it's 6 hours before your class. Or even if you historically have an iron stomach.


Here are this week's bootcamp funny nuggets:

Number of times I get seriously nauseous and fear being labeled "The girl who threw up sashimi (of all stinky things!)": 8

Number of times I obsess over the fact that super fit Mr. B admitted he DID throw up after his one and only bootcamp class: 30+

Number of times instructor says "good" to me: 1
Number of times he says "good" to the Britney Spears-at-her-peak clone next to me: 10+

Number of times the instructor makes the OK sign at me: 3
Number of times I realize he is asking me if Im OK and feel retarded: 1

The Outfit
Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress

The Accessories
Prada T-strap sandals
Chanel black tote
Faux diamond studs

The Grade

The Commentary
Bought this chevron-y print DVF dress at the UCLA Thrift Store. $35. Savings? Easily $200. It's so dead on for spring's safari chic look. Yet it's really a bold pattern that's timeless.

Much like this other pitch purrfect safari DVF skirt I got at Bloomie's 3 years ago for 70% off. Gotta loves how fashion repeats itself.

The dress works nicely paired with these bejeweled-ish Prada sandals that are a bit Grecian, a bit glamazon gladiator. These were another hand-me down. They are not something I would choose for myself but definitely wouldn't kick em out of bed either ;)

The dress is two sizes bigger than I normally wear tho. This makes me fairly certain it's vintage from the 70s because of all the vanity sizing that's in vogue nowadays with retailers.

The tying situation is also muy differente from the modern DVF wrap dresses I know so well. This one buttons all at the way down but has this cut out smack in the middle. WTF??? Doesn't Diane know I have tummy issues.

When I bought it I was in a rush and just told myself I would figure out how to tie it later. Ugh. Why does one need to have a Boys Scout merit badge to get dressed?

Cut to this morning when I just couldn't wrap my brain around how it should tie - pun intended.

When I got to work I asked The Peeper for her thoughts. God bless her, she got right in there, testing a few tying options. She kinda got it right, kinda didn't.

(Tho she was looking extra cutey patootie with her Prada 1990-ish hair. I remember Brenda Walsh rocked this look with a beehive in the back and i NEEDED it. However, The Peeper said she felt like she was on the verge of washing her face all day. HA!)

At some point right after she tied me up, I saw that my tummy was peeping through the midsection cut out. Ever so slightly but enough to create a panic in someone with less than perfect abs. Decided I NEEDED to take control of the situation.

Marched over to my work bathroom and parked myself in front of a huge full length mirror wall. It was the ultimate showdown between a fashionista and her complicated dress.

Realized part of the reason the tie was strange was because the dress is big on me in the hips. Bunched it up just so and tied it into - voila - wrap dress perfection. Problem solved. Tummy exposure crisis averted.

Loving that my dress looks like one DVF herself would wear to run her empire!

p.s. The Jovavich Hawk line at Target launches this weekend. We shall see if it proves too hippie dippy for my taste.

What was your favorite Go International diffusion line at Target?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Scene
Emotional today...for so many reasons. Jean Bean, Peach, Flower and EL aka The Peeper all sent me love, helping me get through the day. What friends I have! I am eternally grateful for them.

Work out hard today. To get my aggression out. To feel productive. To look hot for Mr. Diabolina. Run so hard that I cramp...bad. Oy vey what an old lady.

Must report that the scale just won't budge. I have lost a grand total of 4 lbs since Christmas which is great but still way shy of my ultimate goal by 7 lbs. BOO! When I was in my early twenties working out was enough to drop a size. At 30, I think I have to cut back on food too. THE HORROR ;)

BTW - Inspired by Styleminded, The Peeper also started sitting on a medicine ball at work and reports after a month, she has lost a "couple of pounds"!!! Says she hasn't done anything else different. I think it's time for me to try least at home while I blog.

The Outfit
Forever 21 grey and pink dress
Austrian trench coat

The Accessories
Stella McCartney grey pumps
Louis Vuitton Damier tote
Faux diamond studs

The Grade

The Commentary

This Forever 21 dress is prissy hot. Feel sweetly naughty in it.

The cut once again is a little off. Got away with buying the small and there's still plenty of room in the body. The length however is a bit short. In fact, The Peeper said she peeped me getting coffee and that I looked like I had mile long legs. YOW!

Let's tick down other reasons why I heart this dress:
  • Precious color pallette. Always love grey and pink together. Very ballet to me.

  • The little bell shape at the bottom makes me feel like I am cute. And 5 years old. And carefree.

  • The sheen of the material is subtle enough that you can wear it as a daytime or evening look. All it takes is a change of makeup, hair and accessories.

  • It's got sweet button detailing on the back. I am a sucker for cute buttons hence my Marc Jacobs fetish.

  • It matches so many hot pairs of shoes I already own.

  • It cost less than $30.

  • It looks like something Gwyneth (the winner of this week's poll) would wear.
Decided to pull together some of my all time favorite Gwyneth looks for us to discuss and drool over and be inspired by.

Here she is working a pinky champagne with grey sash. Love the post pregnancy cleav with the simple hair and great earrings.

Here's an uber femme dress she worked last week. The bow is a bit cartoony and could be a disaster on someone else. But shit she can get away it. LOVE the nerdy grey and white shoes. Plus, loving the fact that she has gotten a little more meat on her bones.

Here are a few more red carpet pink looks. Both of them are from the Oscars.

First one she's got the sparkle of an ingenue. Second one she's got the glow of a woman who is more established professionally and personally. Both total classics. The ultimate princess looks. (Let's try to forget that horrid goth look she did one year to the Oscars with the cornrows and saggy boobs. Ugh. Proof positive that EVERYONE makes fashion mistakes!)

Love when she is a bit edgier, a bit "I'm married to a rock star" hot.
Eating up her trendy shoes, belted tunics and classic purses in these pics. LOOK AT THOSE ROCKER SUNNIES TOO! Ugh. Adore.

See her bestie Stella wearing my shoes...which are really her shoes??? Yum.

I needs a genius designer as a bestie. Imagine all the free clothes flying your way. Got to get on that. Pronto. Have always thought I'd make a great muse for just the right crazy artist ;)

Heart the paring of light dresses with dark accessories So very Euro chic.

It's such a no-brainer. Great way to create contrast, to toughen up something that could be sickeningly sweet. I get it.

Just don't ever think I can get away with it. Feels a bit costumey on me but have been forcing myself to try it out more this year.

Adore when she glams up dark denim with tousled hair and luxe accessories.

Loving her casual chic. Delish color combination that I've been digging lately. And adore her mini-me with matching golden slippers.

Seriously I am having major baby fever lately. This spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

On a final note, I WANT HER HAIR. Have you seen MY rat's nest lately. BLECH! Whether it's up ballerina style or uber sleek or perfectly wavy, her hair is always delicious. It just screams money. Mine screams loony bin. WAH!

I need good hair to chic up my outfits. Gonna book an appointment this weekend for at least a cut and treatment. Too dry right now for highlights. Also going to commit to styling it more.

Thanks Gwyn for the inspiration :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Scene
Back to work. Rough stuff.

Late night goodbye dinner for Peaches at The Hungry Cat. Delish food, drinks and boy harem.

Didn't get emotional when we exchanged goodbyes. Know the waterworks are coming tho. For both of us.

It's hard to let go of someone so dear to you. Someone who sees you. Really sees you. Especially at a time when you feel a bit lost.

Peach is someone who reminds me of all the best in me, of all my potential, of how much I can achieve. That's such a gift to hand to a friend. Sigh.

Think we're just going to have to become bi-coastal in our 30s :)

The Outfit
H&M two-tone dress
Austrian slim fit trench coat

The Accessories
Wooden bangle
Forever 21 necklace
Manolo Blahnik ruched d'orsay pumps
Gucci logo hobo

The Grade

The Commentary
Let's talk H&M.

I fell in love with H&M during my first trip to Europe in the summer of 2000. My shopping awakening began in London where I first became a total slut for Top Shop. I walked into the magical one in Picadilly Circus and fell hard. There was all this fierce glam rock chic that was in at the time. Went a bit nuts snapping up accessories there and blowing my grad student budget.

I couldn't help myself tho. It's so English girl fab. I mean THE English cool girl Kate Moss herself designed a line for them. Plus I dug how Topshop marketed itself: high street knock offs at reasonable prices. Very Forever 21 with an accent and bad teeth.

Next stop on my Euro-edification was Paris . That's where I moved on to H&M (I'm such a fickle fashion lover.) The well-cut and well-priced but still on-trend clothes made a lasting impression.

Bought a great pair of slim pinstripe pants. Very adult of me. I guess I was beginning to think about life after school. Still wear those pants today.
When I went back to Europe a few years later, I got my mom to fall in love too. Every city we hit, we'd beeline for H&M. Found that each country had pretty different merchandise. Scored some tried and true pieces.

So for the last 5 years or so, I have hemmed and hawed that there was no H&M in L.A. I would read magazines and see chic H&M trinkets that taunted me because I couldn't get my dirty little paws on them.

Whenever I was in New York, I would pay homage to the big Fifth Avenue store. When they opened the store in San Fran before L.A., I was inconsolable. When they partnered with Stella McCartney, I was despondent.

So when they FINALLY opened one here and the stock was just “eh” I was devastated. DEVASTATED. Shunned going in there and decided I was on “Team Forever 21.” F those Swedes.

A year later though I have matured and realized that like so many stores, the quality of the H&M merchandise goes in waves. I need to accept that it’ll be kinda hit or miss when I walk in. Either I'll scoff at the thought of buying anything or I'll adore a dozen things. Not much in between.

However, I am convinced that the merchandise is probably different (read: better) in Europe. Am a bit offended by this. Like we are gross Americans with no taste so we get the dregs. Ugh.

Or maybe it's just that my initial memories of H&M's glory are a little exaggerated by the glow of my first time abroad. Or perhaps they've grown so much that they've just become a chain (read: occasionally fab but mostly boring.)

I do have to say that a new store just opened in the Sunset Plaza and it’s a dream. Never crowded. Only girls stuff. And most importantly, well laid out so that it doesn't easily overwhelm with choices. On the other hand, Forever consistently overstuffs its stores, making it daunting to sort through all the options - even for my little expert eye.

Saw this $34 dress winking at me from across the room at the Sunset H&M and knew it had to be mine. Love the mustard/crème color blocking. And the odd pleats. And the slightly dowdy feel. And the bubble pockets.

I AM LOVING DRESSES WITH POCKETS!!! What do you think that’s about? I fear it has something to do with old age and comfort and sensibility. Boo.

It is such a great blank canvas of a dress. It will work with today's brown accents as well as turquoise and fuchsia and purple. LOVE IT!

Didn’t wear the necklace to work today. Decided to add it for dinner though because I realized I would be photographed from the waist up and would want to create some visual interest in the shots.

I know it sounds vain but I think it’s something we should all consider when dressing for fun events now that everyone and their granny has a digital camera and will be posting myspace/facebook/flickr pics of you. You gots to think about how you are going to be immortalized.

Oh and another thing about this necklace. It cost less than $10 bucks. I adore how much it resembles a Marni one which can run you more than $1000.

For nary a diamond on it. That's TOO much in my book.

A few months ago, the shop girl at Stella McCartney thought it was actually Marni, complimented me on it and (I am certain) treated me better because of her own delusion. What. A. Sucker.

I have about 4 necklaces from Forever that are completely Marni-esque and really make a statement. They can completely change an outfit. That's a lot of impact for a couple of bucks.

I really want to get into Marni. It's so Italian. Very Prada-Miu Miu. Little ugly. Little intellectual. Little grandmama.

Also a bit like Proenza Schouler with all the color blocking and unusual color pairings.

Marni feels like my next designer love affair waiting to happen.

I can feel it in my wallet...

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Scene
So Peaches and I are big ole nerds for USC. We’re talking BIG like our appetites.

We were both on big scholarships and ended up in the super involved nerd crowd - really active in lots of organizations all across campus.

So involved that he got named Mr. USC and my name is etched on the Wall of Scholars...twice! Meow.

We sucked the marrow out of every moment of our undergraduate time. Feel indebted to our alma mater for so many opportunities, a stellar education and even better friends. We bleed us some cardinal and gold.

Today, we arrived at SC giddy with anticipation. It's been NINE years since we were on campus together!!!

Have fun catching up with one of our advisers in the morning. Followed by a quick raid of the bookstore. The bookstore is a Trojan wonderland. You can score anything and everything your little heart could possibly desire with USC emblazoned all over it.

One of my best friends, a die-hard Bruin, noted a few years ago that Trojans don’t just wear a T-shirt or a cap to football games. We deck ourselves out from head to toe in our Ronald McDonald regalia...all at once :)

I was burning up with sartorial envy when I discovered the uppity little "boutique" that’s opened up on campus since we graduated. It’s full of Ella Moss, premium denim and a full KIEHL’S wall!

WTF???? We didn’t have none of that. No fancy tunics or designer jeans or delicious soaps. Humph. Only at the University of Spoiled Children.

We meet Mr. Diabolina for a sushi lunch in downtown at Takami then head back to campus for our official CART tour. Yes, that's right: old-alums-who-can't-walk style. The baby tour guides do an OK job (we both gave campus tours in our day so we might have obnoxiously high standards.)

Strolled around campus all afternoon. Talked about where life has taken us, our careers, how young we still feel, how much more life still lies ahead.

As we discussed some weighty topics, we’d interject “Uggs at nine o’clock” or "Uggs on a bike" whenever we’d see Peach's beloved furry boots on a coed.

We'd then wait for her to pass by to confirm whether they were real or fakes by inspecting the little label at the heel.

We quickly decided USC really stands for Uggs of Southern California. SERIOUSLY THEY WERE EVERYWHERE.

I would say the fake to real ratio was 40/60. Wonder if the stats are the same for hair color or boobs on campus?

Head to Philipee’s for a piggie feast then meet Mr. Diabolina at Seven Grand for some scotch then Canter’s so he can grab dinner too.

The last time Peach and I were at Canter’s together we were 21. It was 4 am. We were on the road to being drunk as skunks. And dressed in tuxedo bow ties and tails. It was the beginning of our Skull & Dagger initiation day. One of the best nerd days ever.

Loved today's Trojan trip down memory lane. Loved a time and place that gave me so many of my favorite characters a decade later. 

The Outfit
Old Navy tank
Citizens of Humanity jeans
Chocolate wrap sweater

The Accessories
Marc Jacobs Irina tote
Marc by Marc Jacobs aviators
3 bangles
Banana Republic flats

The Grade

The Commentary
This is one of my latest Old Navy purchases. Love the neckline. Especially flattering, slim silhouette from the side.

Also liked this version and color combo. Very Marc.

Loving how the shades of brown all compliment each other - the top with the bag, the sweater with the shoes. Can’t wait to work it in the summer with lighter hair and darker skin. Wanna pair it with some gold sandals and white pants and turquoise accessories.

Think we blended in with the students fairly well. OK maybe not the baby-faced undergrads but maybe the seen-a-few-things grad students. At the very least, don't think we looked like 30 year olds trying to recapture their glory days, right????  Sigh.

Peaches looked long and lean and preppy. His Prada shoes are funny NYC sensible to me but he is so delish he can work anything he wants.

Saw one girl wearing my shoes with a short black dress and ethnic jewelry.
Very cute. In addition to the Uggs, I saw loads of very fashionable flats on the hot young chicks.

Tried to recall some of my personal go-to outfits as a student but couldn’t. I think I was a bit preppier in college, definitely more casual. Lots of jeans, shorts and flip flops. Surfer chic was very in so I was pretty sporty spicy in Billabong and such nightmares.

My frat party looks were mostly disposable downtown finds. Jean Bean and I would also hit this store across the street from school quite a bit. It was called Elegance but wasn't :) Oh god and remember the black stretchy pants???

I still have all the fancy dresses (lots of Laundry by Shelli Segal) that I rocked for formals. Have always tended to go classic in my evening looks instead of trendy so they hold up. Should try some of those dresses on to gauge my weight loss. Am I the only crazy that does that?

So strange to think now that I can’t remember the clothes I absolutely loved back then. Memory can be so funny, so selective, so elusive.

Glad this blog will serve as a kind of priceless snapshot of this moment 10 years from now when I am forty, fearless and hopefully even more fashionable ;)


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