Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Chicago Birthday

This week my 33rd birthday coincided with my second time in Chicago! My first time in Chicago was two years ago. During a snow storm.

It was the first time I was in falling snow for an entire day. I  was like a toddler in it.  I didn't have any idea how to walk or talk or shop. F!

It was right before Christmas and people were getting their shopping done like it wasn't the dawning of the next Ice Age. Little kids would hustle past me, living their lives and giving me dirty looks for being so crippled by cold. I vowed then and there to NEVER complain about holiday shopping in L.A. again.

There's only one man and one event that could make me brave Chicago in December.  The man is named Peaches Baritone and the event was Phantom of the Opera's 15th Holiday Party.

He wore a purple tie and I wore BCBG.  And we had the most drinks/fun EVER.  Two tell tale signs that we partied a bit too hard.  See Peaches becoming increasingly disheveled?  And my open mouth IN EVERY PICTURE!

This week I was in Chi town for an entirely non-drunk-mouth reason: work. I was blogging, tweeting and producing a video.  The topic?  An insider event focused on a study about women and the Interwebs. Can you beeeelieve this is my JOB now??? Amaze!

I brought all the fashionista AND foodie reading essentials for the plane.
If you have not read Kitchen Confidential and are a pig like me, YOU MUST!

I stayed at The James hotel which was modern chic perfection.

I packed five pairs of shoes and three bags.  For an overnighter.
Because I like to be prepared for anything. Because I am a fashion MacGwyver.

I also brought three potential outfits for the big event. But settled on this one: BCBG dress and Stuart Weitzman sandals.  Mostly because purple is my company's color, I was going to be running around like a crazy woman and it was 110 percent humidity (vow never to complain about dry heat again!)

After we rocked the event, my boss took me out for a birthday lunch at new Chicago hotspot Mercadito. Ceviche, tacos, margaritas and flan. Each plate better than the next.  My 33 year-old tummy was muy happy.  

I would dare say the meal was on par with the brunch Peach and I had at Frontera Grill two years ago.

Though after we were done with that meal, Peaches didn't encourage me to head to Forever 21 and decompress.  But yesterday, that's exactly what my boss did.  Love, right???? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer 2010 Trends: How to Mix Prints

Every since the Spring 2010 collections sauntered down the runway last year, I've been resolving to mix prints. Dries Von Noten, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Peter Som - all gave me permission.  They proved artful mixing and matching reads fresh, chic and, most of all, FUN! 

And yet I've hesitated. I've doubted myself. I've been a fashion chicken shit.

 Mixing prints admittedly has a high degree of difficulty.  Even in the expert hands of fashion black belts, it can read clownish.  See Carrie Bradshaw. Or Punky Brewster.

So I've eased in. I've begun mixing tops and bottoms in the same color pallette and then pairing them with neutral accessories.

I've worked my way up to contrasting but complimentary colors,  kept the prints pretty safe: stripes, florals, polka dots, leopard.

And frankly I am LOVING the effect. It makes a statement and is anything but boring.  And those are pretty much my top two criteria when getting dressed. 

Who wants to blend in when you can stand out?  Who wants to play it safe when you can take a risk?  Life can feel like a big boring routine - why dress for it?

If you're ready to take the plunge, keep a few things in mind:

Think complimentary not clashing color palettes. 
When in doubt, anchor the look around one color.
If you want to ease in: try a striped top and an animal print accessory.
100 percent guaranteed way to get the effect right. 

Also keep your makeup and hair simple.
If you look too done, the mixed prints can read over-the-top Bozo. 

For more inspiration, check out Glamourai. She's been KILLING the trend this summer.  Love love love.

You can also take some inspiration in all the Miu Miu Spring looks.  They validate my complimentary contrast theory. And I swear once you acclimate your eye, it'll be easier to see how things work together that you never thought of pairing in the past.

But please don't do the leopard on leopard thing.  It's MY new favorite thing in the world!!! I plan to rock it constantly from now on. Olivia be damned.

p.s. Amazeball fashion story: The red and white top I'm wearing above with the striped H&M skirt is 12 years old!!!!!! I know, totally bananas! I bought it for less than $20 at a magical store next to USC called Elegance...that was anything but elegant (can I get an amen, Trojan readers?) 

It's one of the few college purchases that has survived into my 30s.  It is after all a knock off of a Prada print.  Plus it reminds me of some of the best years of my life.  Love.

And whenever I wear it I also think back to this iconic Sex and the City look.  Talk about mixed prints done right!!! God I miss the thirtysomething, Manolo-loving, single, weekly-column-writing Carrie.  


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