Saturday, September 30, 2006

I should have majored in art.

Rachel is studying to be an art professor, and she just sent me a picture of these amazingly cool shoes that she deemed "so art professor-y" in what I'm hoping is an ironic homage to my recent Lucky magazine diatribe. Not to condone the dash Y in any way, but she's totally right; they are delightfully art professor-y. In a couple years she is so gonna wear them with fun colored tights and a bunch of flowy layers and some sort of headwrap (you know, if Mary Kate Olsen would just get a damn master's degree in art everyone would stop bothering her about her fashion sense). I met some of Rachel's teachers at her school's Art Prom (long story) and they were the craziest best dressers ever. I'm talking sparkles and robes and the ubiquitous headwrap (they must give you one of those instead of a mortarboard when you graduate from art school). It was such a refreshing change from the parade of blazers and ill-fitting slacks that usually rule the runways of academia. You see, fashion-wise, teaching art is like being able to plead insanity. In a good way.

Awesome art professor-y shoes by Fly London, $114,

Friday, September 29, 2006


Nordstrom and James Perse are calling this a dress, but let's give the chocha at least three more inches of fabric before we start talking dress talk. Agreed?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Why does the oil have to be so cute?

I have a major problem with Jessica Simpson's line of footwear. Specifically, the shoes are really cute. I was just completely taken with a pair of black leather ankle-tie platform pumps in a Dillards ad until I looked up to see the words "from Jessica Simpson." Gah! No! What's worse, this is far from the first time this has happened. It happened in Nordstrom a couple months ago. I kept going back to these gorgeous high heels and picking them up and seeing "Jessica Simpson" in flowery script on the insole, and everytime I'd close my eyes and shake my head vigorously and look at it again and it still said Jessica Simpson. It's happened multiple times with magazine ads like that damn Dillard's one and everytime it does I feel kind of sick with myself, like when you're on the bus and you see a guy from behind and he's dressed really well and has a cute butt and you're thinking "This is it. I'm in love." but then he turns around and he's like 45 and you feel really dirty.

It's just that I can't fathom buying something that would directly fund Ms. Simpson's own purchases of horribly unflattering sunglasses and ponchos and validate her dumb-girl-act-equals-major-moolah scheme and oh god what if some of my money got to her creepy dad so he could buy more pinstriped blazers and hair gel?? You see? Buying these shoes would be like buying oil from a terrorist-harboring country! But why does the oil have to be so cute?

You don't get any pictures for this post, because I don't want to support the terrorists.

That is so Lucky-y.

I love Lucky magazine. Even though John Stewart called it "a magazine for retards about shopping" in his book. Even though my dad has to point out the absurdity of a magazine about shopping being full of advertisements whenever he sees it. Even though far too often the "normal women" they profile talk about $1000 dresses with words like "essential" and "affordable." Still, my love remains strong and true. When I find that thick and glossy tome in my mailbox, I immediately drop anything I was doing and everything I was planning to do for the day and find somewhere cozy and read it front to back several times, because it is beautiful and it makes me feel like I deserve not to do my homework or talk to anyone or move for as long as it is in my hands.

That being said, there is something about Lucky that I do not Love. There is something that, in fact, I despise, something that threatens the very basis of my deep love of this magazine, and that is Lucky's addiction to adjectivifying nouns (please don't point out the hypocrisy of my verbification of "adjective" right now, I'm not in the mood) through the use of what I like to call the "dash Y." This:

About a purse: "This design-y option has a quiet toughness to it."

About a dress: "For a feminine effect, nip it with a corset-y belt."

About a chandelier: "There's something pirate-y and old-world about this."

Get the point?

The reason this pains me so much is that I know the women writing these things are smart, chic women who somehow fall into the dash Y trap. Finding fresh ways to describe clothes all day is tiring and difficult to be sure (after a long day at the office preparing for the "1001 Shoes You'll Love!" issue, I'm sure I'd find myself writing "these pumps are"), but come on, ladies, this is below you! If you're going to adjectivify a noun, just do it, own it; don't backpedal with the dash. Or better yet, use a real adjective! There are plenty of lonely ones out there just waiting to describe that new Burberry tote. Together, we can make Lucky more vocabulary-y in no time!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And I shall call it NeoNaturalizer

It used to be that whenever someone uttered the word "Naturalizer" around me I'd be overcome with horrific visions of, well, these:

The sensibly low heel and tapered toe...the elastic inset for added comfort...They're unapologetically orthopedic. I'm sure I wasn't alone in my anti-Naturalizer sentiment; these shoes made a lot of us embarrassed of our mothers.

But recently something strange has been brewing over at the Naturalizer laboratory (formerly known as The Center for Function Over Fashion At All Costs), something called chic. I know what you're thinking: "Naturalizer? Chic? Surely you jest!" I'm serious. It's true. Yes, for some reason the shoes above are still lurking on the Naturalizer website, but they are on sale, which is usually a good sign of looming extinction--I think dinosaurs went on sale a few years back. Anyway, I'll let these pretty pictures prove my point:

I deem this transformed company NeoNaturalizer. And the greatest thing about these lovelies: they may be cute now, but they're still Naturalizer, which means they're comfy as hell. My friend Rachel was the first person in the world to discover NeoNaturalizer, when she bought the cutest pair of purple eyelet wedges (when she told me the brand I thought she'd forgotten how to read, the poor dear). I tried those babies on and it was like walking on the most stylish of air.
It was then, standing in my best friend's two-sizes too big for me shoes and realizing that she was actually not illiterate, that I became a NeoNaturalizer believer.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Poor Pierre.

Did you ever think that maybe there's a French FBI agent named, like, Pierre Provocateur, and how hard his life must be?

Top Notes of Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

Describing fragrances for sale online has got to be the greatest writing gig out there. In what other job do you get to use an exorbitant amount of adjectives and create completely nonsensical metaphors with no chance of going overboard or being wrong? I may poke fun because I'm jealous, but really, these people are poets, and their talents should be celebrated accordingly.

This is an excerpt from Sephora's description of Narciso Rodriguez "For Her":

This fr
agrant harmony develops gently and slowly, sounding out into the warm tones of sun-kissed skin, dusted in a soft, velvety sensuality.

What's that you say? There is absolutely no description of what the $62-an-ounce perfume actually smells like? Quiet now, you anti-syntacticist, you! Perhaps you didn't notice the masterful wordplay, the music metaphor that runs throughout, making the words dance off the website and waltz into your nose? When writing is this good, you can smell it. Perhaps you just don't have the nose for it. And may I also remind you that we're talking about perfume here, so how it smells is really a minor issue.

Here's one about Michael Kors's "Michael Kors" perfume (at least the description is more original than the name):

A fragrant creation with a wealth of personality that will capture the heart of every woman.

A fragrant perfume! You know, I went to Nordstrom the other day and the designated scent-sniper sprayed me with basically every perfume they had, but I just had to be straight with her. I said, "These are really nice and everything, but I'm looking for something a little more...fragrant."

Perhaps the most masterful work on, however, is as follows:

Vera Wang Sheer Veil is a celebration of sheer femininity that sparkles with a touch of spontaneity, and a mood that illuminates with sparkling clarity and a lightness of heart. The fragrance has a floral fluidity that drapes the skin, revealing rather than concealing - allowing a woman's radiance to shine through.

Is anyone else seeing hints of pre-depression Plath here? Brilliant!

Alright, alright, let's be honest. If you're gonna buy perfume online, you just choose the cutest bottle. I vote for this one:

And look! It says, "Miss Dior Cherie combines pure couture spirit with the audacity of youthful, playful notes." I am both audacious and youthful. My spirit is definitely pure couture. This must be the perfume for me! I'll go get my card, hang on.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Carpe the Clutch....or at least, try.

There's something about a clutch so big that it takes two hands and a manservant to actually clutch properly.

Maybe it's irony. Whatever it is, I love it.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I have the best eyebrows in America.

Not to brag or anything. Okay, let me explain. As a natural blonde, my eyebrows only make an appearance when a ray of sunlight hits them just right or the person trying to observe them is using a jeweler's glass--they are blonde. So I tint the bitches.

The greatest day of my life was the day I discovered Najy, an Iranian Eyebrow Master (god I wish that was actually her formal title) who was the first eyebrow tinter to believe me when I said I wanted my eyebrows a dark dark dark almost black dark brown. All my tinters before her had given me a "Sure you do, honey," look and proceeded to tint my eyebrows a boring light brown that lasted for like a week. But Najy understands me; she knows that I love blonde hair and dark brows a la Marilyn Monroe, and she knows it looks fabulous.

The best thing about Najy, though, is how she lavishes me with praise during the tinting process. Between insights about the Iranian political climate (which I like to repeat haughtily during political discussions, only to have my credibility blown with the admission that I learned it from my eyebrow tinter), she says things like "Ooohh! You do such a nice job on your eyebrows!" and "Women in America always make their eyebrows so small! It looks very bad! But you, you have just the greatest eyebrows of any American I've ever seen." Even better, she talks in this dreamy voice with an Iranian accent so everything she says sounds really profound. You know how James Earl Jones could say "I'll go with the chicken caesar," and it would make an entire restaurant go silent except for maybe one waiter who drops a fork because he's so stunned and everybody would just take a minute to nod slowly and repeat it to themselves--"'I'll have the chicken caesar.' god."? Jesus it must be annoying for James Earl Jones to go out to lunch.
But anyway, Najy has that same quality. Everything she says makes you go "wow." You just believe her.

And she says I have the best eyebrows in America. So you see? It must be true.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What words lurk deep within this crack?

When my bestest friend Rachel told me that she found some $150 Versace panties, I thought at first that she meant she had come across a brand new pair lying in the street (I'm tired today, okay?), which would have been the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, but when she elaborated, and sent me a picture, it became clear that these spendy little undies were no great discovery at all.

I personally think they look like a hot pink menstrual accident, and Rachel pointed out that there are more words below Versace, but it's impossible to read far enough into the girl's crack to decipher them. Overall, definitely not that cute, which is why the $150 pricetag is especially troubling.

For me to spend $150 on a pair of underwear, they would have to meet the following criteria:
a) be waaaay cuter than those.
b) include a bag of cash totaling $135.

Raindrops keep falling on my boobs

Like all women in the entire world (with the exception of those lucky tribal gals in Africa and Australia, I suppose), my first bra buying experience ranks somewhere below chinese water torture and above eating hair.

My brassiered life began in sixth grade; it was recess, and I was telling my friend all the reasons why I didn't think I needed a bra yet (I swear this is true) when it started raining. After a couple minutes of rain and anti-bra lecturing, my friend pointed at my chest, and I looked down to see that only my boobs were wet. I stared at the damp spots on my magenta JC Penney turtleneck and whispered, "Oh God," because I knew that I had just become a woman. It was definitely a "This is the first day of the rest of your life" moment.

The next day I went with my mom to buy a bra, and the saleswoman at Mervyns (who seemed to be fresh off a long stint with the German army) took one look at my boobs and declared, in a shrill Frau Farbissina screech, "We need to LIFT! And SEPARATE!"

I left with an elasticized soft-cup atrocity, and have spent the rest of my life since rewarding myself with expensive and unpractical lingerie. Like these beauties:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Birthday Fashion Crisis! Sound the alarm!

A certain soon-to-be-twenty-one-year-old wrote me the following frantic fashion message:

"Winnie! SOS! I need a super hot/cute/chic outfit for my 21st birthday party, and I have no idea where to even start."

Alright. So in my world, there are two clear ways to go here. Either some dark wash jeans with an awesome top and fierce accessories, or a chic little "It's my birthday, bitches" dress.

Cute top options:

So cute with jeans and some black patent leather flats or heels.
$38, also in black.
Why, look at that! These heels are just what I was picturing! And they're cheap. $32,

I know that some of you are thinking that these two are too boring for a 21st birthday party, but hear me out here, people. These are both classic cuts in gorgeous colors, so there's no chance that your birthday party pictures will cause you to one day be known to your children as "Lame-O Slave to 2006 Fashions." That's always a good thing. Add some gorgeous silver or gold necklaces and/or earrings, a cocktail ring and some metallic shoes (or even leopard print if you're feeling that trend), and you have a super hot yet classic birthday ensemble.
Left, BCBGirls, $42!; right, Rebecca Beeson, $33. Both

Gasp! Picture these shoes with jeans and one of those Bluefly tops. They're only fiddy bucks, and they were originally $180. Jesus loves us. Bluefly again.

And now for some badass birthday girl dresses:

On sale at Nordstrom for less than $30! And you could wear it for many occasions post-birthday.

Comfy and cute. $184,

Gah! Love it! $42.50,

A printed dress will assure that nobody forgets you're the birthday girl and should be treated accordingly, damnit.
Left, T-Bags; Right, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Both really expensive and from

Godspeed and happy birthday!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Ah, that's better.

To make up for that ghastly ostrich belt, here are what may be the most gorgeous shoes ever made:

Feel better?

Marc by Marc Jacobs, way too much money,

Good God.

I came across this while looking online for cute belts. Obviously, this one didn't fit into that category, but something told me to save the photo, that someday I just might need to reference a giant, assymetrical $425 Ostrich belt from Saks Fifth Avenue and it would be good to have a photo on file.

I was completely wrong. This belt has done nothing but haunt my dreams. I seriously couldn't sleep last night. There are so many questions! Who would wear this? How would you wear it? Where would you wear it? Have they actually sold any of these? They claim it's ostrich but don't you think it looks more like Stegosaurus? Could Saks Fifth Avenue be harboring a secret Stegosaurus farm solely for the purpose of producing these grotesque belts? If so, should I alert the authorities? And does "Stegosaurus" need to be capitalized?

It looks like someone took an ostrich (or perhaps a Stegosaurus), sliced a line down its belly, grabbed the skin on either side, peeled it off, added a buckle, and put it on the Saks Fifth Avenue website, all in the span of about 10 minutes. It looks like it would leave an outline of ostrich blood on your clothes after you take it off. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like my clothes to look so...fresh.

This post is pure Stegosaurus belt catharsis. I don't want to suffer alone anymore.

Godspeed, my friends, Godspeed.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Alas, how I yearn for Joya

Last year my friend Khathy and I took Italian together and there was this girl named Joya in our class, and one time she made the huge mistake of telling us that she worked at BCBG and got a 75% employee discount. As soon as we heard this, we made it our goal to befriend her and reap the benefits of her tres chic employment. We would talk on the phone every night before class and strategize--decide who would sit next to her and what we would say to make ourselves seem cool. This was a bit difficult because Joya was one of those tall, shiny haired girls who looks perfectly at home in the Savvy department of Nordstrom, while Khathy and I are two scheming petites who tend to spill things on ourselves (although now that I think about it, we do have great hair) . Once, Khathy was sitting next to Joya eating a Noah's bagel and cream cheese, and Joya said "I love Noah's bagels." This was the closest we ever came to our dream.

Looking at the BCBG Fall 2006 collection, alas, how I yearn for Joya.

No more. The pain's too great.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The belt tolls, it tolls for thee.

Belts. How can you not love them? They keep your pants up, spice up outfits, provide a convenient and accessible piece of leather to bite if you ever find yourself being tortured; overall, definitely one of the best and most useful accessories.

Here are some lovely belts of every breed:

Ah, the sash. This one looks like prim polka dots from far away, but close up you see that it's really covered with metal studs. How delightfully badass., on sale for $39.95.

I'm always a little scared of skinny belts because I'm afraid they make my belly look huge by comparison, like the belt is a miniature Tokyo movie set and I'm stomping around in a Godzilla suit. This one is so cute that it makes me reconsider. I would wear it over a black cardigan with a slim skirt. So chic. again.

This one looks kind of boring, but only because it's a white belt on a white mannequin. This is like being naked and wearing a flesh-tone belt. Wouldn't that be silly? And dude, it's Michael by Michael Kors on sale for $30 on bluefly.

These are on for $6.50 a piece! I'll buy anything if it's under $10. Even rotten meat. But these are much cuter.

The one at the top is Ralph Lauren, on sale for $99 at

This post inspired by Devin.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mod, Mischa, and Me

If you haven't noticed (like maybe you're blind and can't afford one of those computers that reads out loud for you), I absolutely love mod clothes. I swear I'm not just being taken in by the trend; I was born completely obsessed with the 60's and 70's. When I was in fifth grade I bought a tie-dyed poster of a VW Bug for 99 cents at the school book fair and decorated my whole room around it, and that poster is still hanging strong.

This current trend is good for me because there are endless retro options to choose from, but also kinda crappy because now I'm stuck looking like I'm copying Misha Barton, when in fact, she totally copied me (I may be like a foot shorter, but I'm also a year older and I seriously doubt she has a tie-dyed VW Bug poster from the mid-nineties to prove her unwavering loyalty to everything mod).

I'd rather not focus on the negative here though (that would be very un-60's of me), and instead look at pretty mod dresses.

All dresses from Tufi Duek,

Forgive me Fendi for I have sinned

So a while ago I was at the Optician's with my boyfriend Nick, and I picked up a pair of beautiful Fendi frames and put them on and posed in the mirror and wondered just what sort of life I would lead if I could only lead it through these gorgeous glasses. Mid Fendi-fantasy, Nick comes over and goes "The sides of those glasses look like swastikas."

I couldn't believe such blasphemy and I threatened him to take it back and pondered a break-up, but now that I've calmed down a bit and looked again, well, if you squint your eyes a little, they kinda do...

Dear Jen,

This is so you. Please buy it.

urban outfitters, $58.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Esther Williams changed my life.

I do not have what you would call a "flat stomach." I have more of what you would call a "rotund gut." Okay, it's not thaaat bad, but still, my whole life I've worn drab, conservative black one piece swimsuits that didn't match my personality at all. I always looked like I was going to a pool funeral.

So this summer I tinkered with the idea of finally conquering my mortal fear of bikinis and just going for it. I felt that it would be a great showing of feminism and body confidence, like, "yes, I have a big belly, but I'm in a bikini and I'm proud!" Plus, as every woman knows, bikinis are always cuter than one-pieces. I've seen that trend change for the better recently (like in the "A Swimsuit for EVERY Body" sections of the summer fashion magazines this year, they actually had pages devoted to hot one-piece suits instead of the usual, "Bikini not for you? Just kill yourself."), but it's still pretty slim pickings out there.

I was going to order a cute bikini online--I even had one picked out--but I was terrified. My cool feminist body confident bikini plan had some kinks in it. Mainly, I was way too scared to buy a bikini.

I was surfing the net dejectedly when I finally came across the Esther Williams swimwear website. These were exactly what I'd been looking for. Totally retro, totally cute, totally belly covering. Look!
I bought this lovely style in black and white polka dot, and it is GORGEOUS. Each suit is made when you order it (you get to pick your suit style and fabric), they fit perfectly, and they're only $79! I like to lounge by the pool in mine and my big black Gucci sunglasses and pretend I'm reading, but really I'm just pondering how anyone could possibly look any more glamorous than I do right now.

They have retro bikinis too. So what if it's almost fall (or is it fall already? I don't know). In any case, cuteness knows no season, my friends.

So stop the poolside mourning and go get something cute!

Procrastination, Prada raccoon fur style.

I have a big history paper due tomorrow that I haven't started, so I went to and looked up their most expensive hat. This is it.

You can't afford it. Don't ask.
Okay fine it's $630.

Daddy. No. Likey.

Okay. It's time to call out the stretch jersey cropped gaucho. If you happen to own a pair of these, don't worry, you're not a bad person. I just really want you to know, as a friend, that whenever you wear them, every last one of your downtown lady bits are on clear display.

I'm just gonna be blunt here. You look like this:

And this is a professional photo, people. I get it, I get it. I'm sure they're super comfy and they can so easily transition from casual to classy blah blah blah...lies! A girl walked by me today wearing these, and I could have given her an accurate body fat assessment from 20 feet away. They show everything.

Jersey is a notoriously unforgiving fabric. Jersey is your mean friend from junior high: phony, disloyal, and determined to make you look fat. So why are we stretching this mean friend as tightly as possible across our backsides?

Ditch 'em. It's for your own good.

Usually down here I would give you the link so you can find the products in the pictures,

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Most Versatile Bag of the Year

I dare you to name one event where a bright blue tote with a giant squirrel head on it wouldn't be appropriate.

Amo i miei accessori sfarzosi

I've never been a fan of subtlety, especially when it comes to accessories. I like to blame my Italian heritage for this. There's nothing subtle about Italian culture--super flavorful food, loud voices, big hair, crazy fashion--I love it. And like a good stereotype, I like my accessories huge, colorful, sparkly, gaudy, or any combination thereof. My proudest possession is a watch so big that every time I wear it to school my professors end up stopping class and exclaiming, "Good God!"

I'm sure top genetic scientists would argue with my theory, but I really believe it's my DNA that attracts me to things like these:

From top: flats from, bag and shoes from, earrings from
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