Sunday, February 27, 2011

Graveyard Girl



Outfit Details: thrifted and reconstructed sweater coat, thrifted sweater, vintage slip (from my mom's store), boots courtesy of Wanted, Ginger Satchel courtesy of Coach 
 

One of my favorite pastimes might seem a tad macabre, though I never really thought of it that way until it was pointed out to me. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been fascinated by cemeteries, with a love of visiting particularly older sites and discovering the epitaphs within. I have two distinct sources for this early intrigue: my great grandparents and my mom. Let me preface this by saying that I was obsessed with consumer-friendly horror novels when I was in elementary and middle school, and went through a phase where I read books about famous murderers and other Wednesday Addams-esque topics. I even dressed as Lizzie Borden for Halloween. Other than that, I was a relatively normal child. Well, not really, but we'll save that for another occasion.

Though my great grandparents always made me feel safe and loved, my sisters and I were convinced that their house was haunted. It might have helped that they told us they had a resident ghost. It might also have something to do with spending an entire night reading Amityville Horror, while laying next to a lion statue that was just waiting to come to life. But I digress; this is about graveyards.

Moe (my 92 year old great grandma) never drove, due to an early accident that rendered her petrified of taking the wheel; Papa always picked us up for weekend visits. On our car ride to their house on the intercoastal, we always passed a cemetery that seemed to stretch beyond the capacity of my lungs. You see, Papa told us that we had to hold our breath as we passed by, in order to keep spirits from inhabiting our bodies. We all knew he was fooling - both he and Moe were fond of superstitions and ghost stories - but it made for a fun game.

I always cheated.

Beyond keeping the spirits at bay, I delighted in reading the epitaphs on older tombstones, visiting whom I can only assume were long forgotten inhabitants, and romanticizing the lives of the presently deceased. That came from my mom, who introduced me to gravestone rubbings and told me of her favorite tombstone she came across, when she was younger. Though variants seemed to be common in the 19th century, I have never forgotten the way she told it:

Dear friend, as you go passing by
as you are now, so once was I
as I am now, soon you will be
Prepare for death and follow me.


I'm certainly not trying to disrespect the dead, or the people they've left behind. Quite the opposite, actually, and I prefer to visit them when they're empty (as to not disturb any visitors). Strangely, though I've frequented the famed Greenwood Cemetery and others I've happened across, I still haven't visited Papa's grave. Perhaps it's because I knew his life: there is nothing to make up, only actual nostalgia - and the people who loved him are still here, still grieving, even after all these years.

I think of him every time I drive by a cemetery, though not because he has passed. I hold my breath until my cheeks hurt, and I think of him sitting there with me.

Maybe I'll pay him a visit while I'm in Florida. I think it's time I visit Rowdy, too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

bear hug!




(photos by Katy of sugarlaws.com)
Outfit Details:
Bear Hug Coat - courtesy of Spotted Moth
DKNY lace and chiffon top - courtesy of DKNY for winning the Cozy Style Off
vintage chiffon jacket - Beacon's Closet
tights - HUE
Coach Ginger Leather Satchel - courtesy of Coach
vintage yellow leather skirt - borrowed from Samara (it was her mom's!)
lipstick - MAC Pro longwear lipcreme in Unlimited


When I was in elementary school, a tiny kitten named Mittens followed my big sister Nicole and me to school. And by followed, I mean we coaxed her the entire way there and possibly picked her up and brought her into the classroom, but still. Nicole's teacher called my mom and she came to pick her up and it was all around adorable, but that same year, my snakes, Slick and Slimy, followed me to school (do you see a trend?) and made me show them to my kindergarten teacher. This was not quite as adorable; I don't think Mrs. Stevens ever looked at me the same way. The point is, animals follow me, even if I occasionally leave a path of treats behind me or put them in my backpack.

This is why I don't own a black coat. I used to, but it was too much of a hassle with these furry critters and their shedding. Miku is just one big fluff ball, and I swear my mom sought out the sheddingest (this is not a real word) kitties she could rescue before giving them to us. I say this because magically, her animals barely shed. Mine, however. They even defy the magic of the furminator. No amount of furminating, vacuuming, sweeping or lint rolling will keep stray hairs off my clothes. It's a constant battle. I would love to hear your secrets - but keep in mind that Miku needs lots of hugs, so keeping her away from my clothes is out of the question.

That being said, when I borrowed this amazing yellow skirt from my dear friend Samara, I had the grand idea of letting it be the focal point and pairing it with all black and some bright lipstick. Though I had no black coat, Spotted Moth sent me this cozy sweater coat, akin to wearing a teddy bear and therefore right up my alley. I carefully placed it in a garment bag and kept the little critters away from my closet. I waited to put it on until I got outside, safely away - and I carried a lint roller in my bag for emergency stray hairs. Despite my utmost effort in tricking the fashion world into thinking I live in a critter-free zone, I still found a Miku hair here, a Vester hair there. I could just hear Kim saying, "Perro! Gato!" as I picked off the stray hairs, and I almost looked behind me to see if Miku was in tow. But alas, the days of coaxing tiny animals to follow me around seem to be behind me.

I wish I could say it's because I'm all grown up, but it's really just that I wouldn't want them crossing these busy streets.

p.s. I was beyond flattered when this outfit landed me a spot in NY Mag's The Cut, as one of the most stylish people at fashion week. What a nice surprise!

B Brian Atwood





(photo credits: top, Kelly Stuart; bottom, Billy Farrell.)


Right before NYFW went into full effect, I had the pleasure of attending the B Brian Atwood launch party and interviewing the [devastatingly handsome] man, himself. If you're a shoe lover, you are probably already familiar with his eponymous line of sky high, insanely sexy shoes - even if it is sadly out of your budget (I'm pointing at me). But did you know there is a fresh new line in the works?

When I found out Mr. Atwood was set to debut a contemporary line of a more budget-friendly price point, I was cautiously enthusiastic. I love diffusion lines [when they are done well] but all too often the quality, construction and even the design - which is the selling point - get lost in the budget cuts. But as Brian Atwood previously conveyed, he doesn't consider this a diffusion line. Based on the higher-than-most-diffusions price tags alone, I immediately agreed. Though much less costly than the main line, at $200-$400 (with seasonal items varying accordingly), these are hardly cheap. Luckily for Brian Atwood maniacs (pun intended), the design and the quality of this line is beyond expectations. Beyond.

There are very high heels, yes, but don't expect a knock off of Brian Atwood: this line stands on its own. Some key differences that Brian noted in our chat: richer colors (though the blushes and nudes still had their own spotlight), disco influences, a little more downtown gritty to balance the uptown chic. Think studs, metallics, fringe, cutaways and bold colors - all in carefully curated moderation. While the main line brings to mind a refined young starlet with a hair and makeup team, B Brian Atwood embodies a girl about town, who doesn't think twice about doing her makeup in a taxi on the way to a girls' night out. Young, flirty and a little edgy, this fresh new line is made for girls who don't save their statement shoes for special occasions - they live in them.




I can't wait until I can show you the rest of the line. There was an entire room full of shoes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

snowflake.








Outfit Details:
lace collared shirt - H&M
American Living sweater - borrowed from Bobby
skirt (with pockets, yay!) - Urban Outfitters (several years ago)
tights - courtesy of the Kmart Concierge during NYFW (they brought them to me when I got a run in my tights!)
Seychelles Hawk Wedges - Gilt
MAC clutch - courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff, from the Bloglovin' Awards

Sometimes, when I really like a pair of shoes, I get them in all available colors. When Gilt had these on sale for half the original price, I bought them without hesitation. They are so comfortable; I can walk in them all day. I'm jumping ahead of myself here, with current pictures even though I have a ton to post from last week. After a crazy week, Bobby and I couldn't wait to have one leisurely day of thrifting, eating and more eating. There's something to be said about borrowing your boyfriend's sweater: it might not provide the most figure flattering silhouette, but it does help to hide your food baby.

Speaking of babies, my little sister Amanda is pregnant with her second kid! It better be a girl.

Kidding. Sort of.




p.s. Are you coming to the R&Em launch tonight?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meet Me at Herald Square Macy's - Tomorrow Evening!




(click the picture for larger version)


Join me at Macy's Herald Square to celebrate the launch of the new (and very affordable) handbag and accessory line, R&Em! If you're in the tri-state area, please come out and be the first to see and shop the collection. I'm really excited about this wallet and animal friendly collection; I can't wait to share it with all of you. Hope to see you tomorrow!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Makeup Monday: Gradient




Today's look requires no complex contouring or shading: it's just a simple gradient that's darkest near the eyes and gradually gets lighter as it goes up. I prefer to build from lightest to darkest, to avoid muddying the colors too much, but that's just about where the technique stops. This look is more about the color choices, which are completely interchangeable according to your preference - though it's easiest to keep them in the same color family (in order to get a seamless blend). I chose purples in three different shades: dark, bright and opal (this one is white with a purple sheen), but you can swap them out for neutrals or any colors of your choosing. Let's get started!

Here's the look we're going for:


Continue reading after the jump for step by step instructions!

Embrace Messy Hair.



I bought a new little gem to add to my bulletin board. I also picked up this one for my little sister, the cheese enthusiast. Words to live by.



p.s. I'm currently working on a new Makeup Monday...it will be up tonight!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Erin








This past week, Erin Fetherston debuted her new contemporary line, Erin. The collection is exactly what you would expect: overtly feminine, flirty and ultimately wearable across the board. The crowd at Milk Studios was downright chaotic - and a slew of people were turned away from the presentations altogether - but the mood inside of Erin's presentation was that of a very girlie dance party. Though the clothing was very pretty and the new price point much more wallet friendly, the absolute standout of the night was the hair, which was even donned by Erin herself. I can't wait to try it out!



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shamble



Outfit Details:
vintage sequin blouse - Beacon's Closet
faux leather skirt - H&M
petticoat (underneath skirt) - Beacon's Closet
Hue cable knit tights - Nordstrom Rack
peep toe lace heels - courtesy of Nine West
MAC clutch - courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

Makeup Notes: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline on upper lash line, Smashbox Baked Starlight on cheeks, MAC pro longwear lipcreme in Unlimited on lips 
 
I somehow managed to remember to take a photo of my least favorite outfit of the week. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that it wasn't what I was planning on wearing but I only had a few clean blouses left to choose from.  I let my laundry pile grow to the point of embarrassment - it's really pathetic. I don't even have to do my own laundry; we drop it off at a laundromat that charges by the pound. Yet somehow, I seem to have more of an issue with dropping off my laundry to be done by someone else than doing it myself (when I had my own washing machine). I like to procrastinate, obviously.

On this particular evening, I had the pleasure of bringing Bobby's boss's daughter, Grace, to her first show at Lincoln Center. While we were waiting in line for Mackage, I broke my heel! I rocked back on my heels and crack! there goes the left heel. Luckily, it didn't come completely off and I was able to drag it along the carpet like a dead weight. Oddly enough, it was the one day I didn't have my flats with me - and though Kmart's concierge (they had a special service during fashion week for emergencies such as this!) kindly offered to save me with a pair of flats, I toughed it out and hobbled my way into the show. We were fortunate to have really great seats, so the struggle was limited to the entrance and exit - and I made it through the night without falling. What can you do, except drag your little broken heel behind you with your head held high?

p.s. I dropped off my laundry!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winding Down


I have had a very busy week and it has been hard enough to keep up with sewing, let alone blogging. I haven't even been taking my outfit pictures, so I'm hoping to see some around the web. Luckily, Milk has a cute little photobooth that Claire and I took advantage of before the Erin Fetherston/Suno/Pamela Love/Illesteva/Billy Reid madness. We got out of there just in time - it was insanely packed and tons of people missed the shows while waiting in line.

Though I have admittedly missed several shows due to poor planning and/or tired feet, I am still not at the point where I'm "over" fashion week. I get a little stressed or tired - and sometimes I get bitter about isolated incidents - but the moment I feel too jaded to enjoy the insanity, I will happily hand over my invitations to someone who will appreciate it. It's easy to forget how lucky we are to have these opportunities and I, for one, want to cherish all of these moments while I have the chance. It can all be taken away at any time - why not enjoy it?

Also, for the record: I know a lot of people assume bloggers have taken over the front row seats, but most of us are still in the standing section. And you know what? It's an honor just to be invited.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Date Day, Date Night













For Valentines' Day, Bobby and I have teamed up with Hudson Jeans to give you a glimpse into our relationship and of course, our own personal style.


There's something to be said about Valentines' Day, even if it is just a manufactured holiday that boosts candy and greeting card sales: it gives Bobby and me an excuse to slow down, spend time together and maybe even go out on a real date. I was misleading you with that opening dismissal of the importance of this day, even though teenaged me - who made a statement in all black every February 14th - would be rolling her eyes right now at the mere discussion (but still enjoying all of the delicious candies). I love holidays and all of the themes that go with them - I eat that stuff up like no other - but most of the time, either Bobby is working or I am in Florida with family. We both have hectic work schedules, but we coordinate specific days or pockets of time to dedicate to one another. Valentines' Day, however, is a great excuse to spend an entire day enjoying each other's company - and Hudson Jeans made it even better by insisting that we style their jeans for a typical Bobby/Keiko date. Luckily for workaholic Bobby, I'm easy to please. Flowers are optional, gifts unnecessary, dinner reservations can be skipped for a home cooked meal (or even take out...because I don't cook). An ideal day for me is exactly as depicted here: Bobby, Miku, me. It's a low-key family affair.









That being said, I won't turn down a proper night out, if Miku wants to stay home and watch the kitties. For this particular night out, Bobby and I dined at one of our favorite restaurants. He likes to dress up but he's still a dude, so changing outfits throughout the course of one day is foreign to him. I kept the same jeans, makeup and necklaces but had to glitz it up a little bit with a sequin jacket, floral tights and a themed pair of shoes (I told you I love themes). A boyfriend, red lipstick and heart covered shoes...on Valentines' Day? Fifteen year old Keiko would be disgusted by this display of girlish nonsense. But hey, at least I'm still wearing black.

On Bobby:Langport Five Pocket Slim Straight - courtesy of Hudson Jeans
beanie - Target
flannel shirt - thrifted
boots - Timberland
jacket - H&M

On me (day):
May Five Pocket Skinny Jeans - courtesy of Hudson Jeans
top, sweater and scarf - Gap
little boys' blazer and belt - thrifted
Seychelles boots - courtesy of ModCloth

On me (night):
May Five Pocket Skinny Jeans - courtesy of Hudson Jeans
top - gift from my mom
BB Dakota sequin jacket - Fred Flare sample sale
tights and necklaces - courtesy of Accessorize
Jeffrey Campbell heart heels - courtesy of ModCloth
lipstick (day and night) - MAC Russian Red

On Miku:
cupcake sweater (under the jacket) - gift from my mom?
parka - Old Navy
shoes (they're a necessity with the salted sidewalks) - Target

Bobby and I have chosen four of our favorite pairs of jeans that are currently being featured in the For the Love of Denim boutique. If you love our picks, you can receive 25% off your own pair with this code: 4THELOVE25


In the spirit of Valentines' Day and spreading the love, we will also be choosing three lucky winners to receive two pairs of jeans - one for you and one for your significant other! All you have to do is submit an entry form at the Hudson Jeans website.

Modern Day Romance














On me:
Carly Flap Pocket Straight Leg Jeans - courtesy of Hudson Jeans
scalloped bib top - thrifted
lace jacket - Postlapsaria (I made it from leftover fabric of my sister's wedding dress)
gloves, rings and necklace - vintage
shoes - Steve Madden

On Bobby:
Pete Five Pocket Skinny - courtesy of Hudson Jeans
coat, blazer and shirt - H&M
hat - Nordstrom Rack
bow tie - Gilt
shoes - Urban Outfitters


For Valentines' Day, Bobby and I have teamed up with Hudson Jeans to give you a glimpse into our relationship and of course, our own personal style. 

I have to be honest: I am quite possibly the least romantic person I know. It's something I never got the hang of. Being that I'm in a long term relationship, this might make me look like a hypocrite, but hear me out: it's the popular ideal of romance that makes me feel awkward. Not that there's anything wrong with it; it's just not for me. I'm not the kind of girl who is wooed by poetic proclamations of love, candlelit dinners or rose petals in the bath. I sometimes wonder how many modern day girls are , outside of the magical world of movies and novels. Or maybe I'm just an emotionally stunted weirdo - that's a more likely possibility.

Love, on the other hand. Love is something I can't get enough of. Nothing beats falling in love, but being is a close second. I've fallen in love more than a few times - that's easy - but staying there is a less attainable endeavor. At the risk of making all of you (and myself) nauseous, I'm happy to say that things are really, really good between that silly little tattooed boy and me. Better yet, we've maintained it without any of the frivolities I am so averse to - perhaps because we were close friends for so long and know each other's likes and dislikes so well. I'm not going to lie and say it has been effortless; it's a little too easy to depict a perfect relationship through thoughtfully curated posts and photographs - and that's not realistic. We've had major ups and major downs, we bicker, I push buttons. But mostly, we are a great team - and it's strange, because we have significantly different personalities. He is level headed and unbelievably optimistic; I am tempestuous and easily overwhelmed. Somehow, we balance each other out. As Kim says, he can handle my crazy. It takes a special kind of guy to be capable of that feat in any situation, let alone close quarters.

Though we may not have a relationship straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel, we have our own laid back, modern day romance. It doesn't hurt that he's a great cook (I only know how to order take out), dresses well and wears almost the same size jeans (it only works in my favor), loves animals as much as I do and willingly plays Scrabble with me, even though I always win...because I'm way, way more skilled in the game...and so very humble.



p.s. Love our looks? Visit For the Love of Denim boutique to see Bobby's and my favorite Hudson jeans and receive 25% off with this code: 4THELOVE25


Bobby and I will also be choosing three lucky winners to receive two pairs of jeans - one for you and one for your significant other! All you have to do is submit an entry form at the Hudson Jeans website.