Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Kids Are More Than Alright

When I was thirteen, I was just beginning to learn about fashion and considered B.C.B.G. and Max Studio couture. I remember living for these faux crocodile platforms from Guess! and falling short of breath when I received a camel hair Kate Spade bag for my Bat Mitzvah. Fashion to me back then was simply about playing dress up. For child prodigies Tavi Gevinson and Cecilia Cassini, it's a livelihood...when they're not in school.

Already solidifying a blindingly bright future for herself in the fashion industry, Tavi, who's barely fourteen and a freshman in high school, runs Style Rookie, her very own fashion blog that has one of the largest followings on the Web, and was recently recruited by BlackBook to style a fall fashion spread for its September issue.

Filled with witty remarks and reflections and gifted couture pieces from such designers as Proenza Schouler (they send her clothes all of the time), Tavi's blog is so articulate that I have to read through it with my very best thinking cap. As for her styling...it's genius. Her debut will go down in history for two reasons; number one, she executes that eerie urban-girl-in-the-woods look perfectly, and number two, she chose Christine Staub ("Real Housewife" Danielle's daughter) to model when Chloe Sevigny suddenly dropped out. Tavi knew what she was doing--I mean, every good stylist has to have a model muse. 


Cecilia is a different story. She's only eleven, has already been written up in Vogue, appeared on NBC's Today Show and sells her original designs to Fred Segal. With a line of chiffon, "non-alcoholic"cocktail dresses any little girl would die to wear, signature t-shirts and photo ops with Miley and Taylor, she's on her way to becoming little miss Marchesa.

Check out some photos of both prodigies as well as a behind-the-scenes video of Tavi working her magic on set.

(Tavi in Proenza Schouler Graffiti Pants for one of her Style Rookie posts)
(Christine Staub styled by Tavi for BlackBook)



(Christine Staub styled by Tavi for BlackBook)


Cecilia after the jump.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lovely wedding, isn't it?

(A photo from our wedding on August 31, 2008)
When it came to wedding planning, I would've disappeared to some tropical paradise and walked down the aisle in a white beaded bikini if it were feasible. But it just wasn't. We were young with lots of friends and family who wanted to share our moment of matrimonial bliss with us.

I was never big on the business of being a bride. I was more excited about dreaming up an unparalleled menu of marinated bocconcini, gourmet pot roast and butterscotch pudding, and wearing a Carolina Herrera couture gown, than anything else (other than bonding myself to my husband for life, of course). Shocker, right?

However, flipping through magazines was definitely a treat. The wedding we fashioned ours after came from Los Angeles Weddings (from the publishers of Los Angeles magazine) which I coincidentally worked for at the time. There is something so magical about observing another couple's manifestation of ideas, especially when it's classy, timeless and innovative.

All of those aspects are shown here, in a workshop shoot overseen and styled by Carter & Cook Event Co. I would never, and I mean never, subject you to anything wedding-related unless it was absolutely to die for. And this shoot, conducted with a real a couple in an enchanted forest of robin's egg blue and orange sherbert is astounding. It's little touches like colorful popsicles and a floral sweater on the bride during photos that makes a wedding much more than just a wedding. I'm completely smitten--the lavish campground design  triumphs anything I've ever seen in Martha Stewart Weddings.












(All photos by Jessica Claire via Carter & Cook Event Company's Blog)


Vendor Team:
Event Design/Styling: Carter & Cook Event Co.
Flowers: 
Modern Bouquet
Paper: 
Posh Paperie
Cakes: 
Sweet & Saucy Shop
Furniture Rentals: 
Found Rentals
Hair Pieces & Shoe Clips: 
Rachel Larraine
Hair: 
The Mermaid Salon, Kim Lilly
Make up: 
Color4Casting, Jessica Arredondo
Photography: 
Jessica Claire

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girls Just Want Leggings

(Photo via Fanpop.com)

"Slow, slow...quick, quick, slow...Dance City Heaven!"

S.J.P. might be all enrobed in haute couture these days, but back in the mid-80's, she just couldn't wear enough spandex and Lycra on her thin, toned 20-year-old thighs.

While gallivanting through Chicago with Lynne and Jeff in Girls Just Want to Fun, her character, Janey Glenn, danced 'til she dropped and tumbled away in hot pink leggings and much much more, if you recall.

But why is it that these stretchy dream pants (that quite honestly any of us could sleep pass out in) have made such a comeback? Is it because they come in all shapes, colors and sizes? Or is it because girls like me who barely reach 5'2" can finally look hot and trim in leather pants? Or are they just easier to throw on than jeans--you normally have to squat a few times until denim molds back to your body--some days, lets be honest, you feel like your molding yourself to fit your favorite pair instead?

Whether they're equestrian or Cindy Lauper-inspired, I'm 100% on board. If I had a closet solely dedicated to leggings, and I'm sure some women do, I would hang these in there:


(Amber and Thomas Leather Legging Pants via 4th and Bleeker)


(Funktional Leather Vixen Leggings from Planet Blue)

(Bird By Juicy Leather Leggings at Ssense.com)

(Love Moschino Leggings at Yoox)

(Alexander McQueen Celtic Lace Leggings at Net-A-Porter)

   

Monday, August 23, 2010

Let the X games begin











(X Train Bar rendering from xtrainvegas.com)

When it comes time for a legendary trek out to Vegas, I'd rather drive than fly. "Why?" you ask. Because I save some much needed dough for a pair of Giuseppe's at The Forum Shops, pole dancing lessons or an extra day of cocktail therapy at Rehab. 

But come New Year's Eve 2011, I'll be permanently changing  my routine because the "X" Train will be hitting the already-laid tracks in style, from Los Angeles to Las Vegas (and vice versa) in under six hours, with a variety of gaming cars, private suites and acclaimed chef/proprietor Rick Moonen's fine cuisine.  Facebook updates will forever be changed; instead of typing "En route to Vegas" we'll all be rushing out the door writing, "Boarding the choo choo to Sin City!" 

Moonen, a  finalist on Season 2 of "Top Chef Masters," plans to keep the food and drink delicious and inexpensive with beers for $3 and sushi galore. If you're not familiar with the Vegas-based seafood master, he's competitive as all h--l and pretty hard core when it comes to working with his beloved sea creatures; perfection is the name of his game. 

At his flagship restaurant, rm seafood housed inside the MGM Grand, specialties include a Catfish Sloppy Joe for lunch, Pacific Swordfish Milanese for dinner and a Tasmanian Devil Roll (tasmanian ocean trout, scallion, jicama, sweet miso topped with trout belly and micro shiso) for sushi . His fare becoming the ritualistic start to my weekend of debauchery will be one bet I'll definitely place. 


Roundtrip pre-party-on-wheels passes will cost $99 and get you there Thursday through Monday--just in time for the prime partying days. The only problem I can foresee is having to come up with yet another Vegas outfit! 


Expand your culinary knowledge by viewing the following video of Mr. Moonen's "Top Chef Masters Kitchen Tour": 


Friday, August 20, 2010

Girls With Junk Food

I leave you with this as the weekend commences: remember to indulge a little bit!

The following lovely ladies know how to have fun. I mean, isn't this what pops into your head when you think of the age-old phrase, "ladies who lunch"?

MMM MMM good.

XOXO
Valerie


Agyness Deyn Eats Cheetos in V Magazine's September Issue


Heidi Klum loves chocolate in Heidilicious
Jessica Stam sucks on a cherry during one of her astounding couture moments

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cookbook of the Moment: Cook to Bang


(Photo from cooktobang.com)
Right next to Banish Bloat Forever for the ladies there's a book called Cook to Bang for the gents. If you haven't heard of it before, run--don't walk--to your nearest computer and look it up. 

Instead of a tiresome collection of aphrodisiac recipes, the ingenious cult cookbook was born from Spencer Walker's blogging experiment gone right and boasts dishes (and cocktails) that have been developed to woo women into bed. Hey, back when I was single, if I learned that some guy whipped up Walker's "Get Lucky Latkes" or "Who Da Mac and Cheese?," I would've been impressed. 

With a background in culinary arts and a stint at the renowned catering company, The Kitchen for Exploring Foods, Walker eventually came out from behind the stove and pursued a career in writing, which led to a hysterical, critically-acclaimed piece of literature every guy in the universe should own. 

While overseeing episodes for mega-channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, Walker couldn't help but notice that a mere kiss on the cheek was the usual, unfortunate result his friends got after spoiling dates with expensive dinners. That's when the light bulb went on and the blog started. "It's community service for celibate schmos," Walker says. "Cook to Bang helps you avoid the kind of date that leaves you with nothing more than a $150 dinner tab, a doggy bag and blue balls." 

I mean, if you think that last quote is funny, you should read some of his recipe titles. I decided I had to experiment with one, so my heart was telling me to go for "Just the Stuffed Mushroom Tip," a delicious looking rendition of the old time favorite. But, instead I chose to try the "Shake Your Frit-Tatas" from his "Morning Wood" section. Simple and delicious, the recipe was easy to make into a dinnertime dish; I added a side salad with fresh tomatoes and avocado and voilĂ ! 

Here it is! Enjoy! 


(Following Recipe, text and photos from cooktobang.com)


Congratulations!  If you are making this dish, your date slept over.  This dish takes a while so they better be worth it or you’re better off toasting some Eggos and stuffing them in a cab.  But if this is the ONE, or just an incredible lay you want to keep around, try this dish on for size.  It also works great for brunch with friends or family too.  Note that not all these ingredients are necessary and you can throw your own favorites in there, but you need the tortilla and eggs.

Ingredients:
1. 4 eggs beaten
2. 2 medium or one burrito sized tortilla
3. 2 green onions chopped coarsely
4. 1 sausage (chicken or pork) cut into thin bite sized pieces
5. 1 handful of spinach
6. ½ a tomato chopped coarsely
7. 1 handful of shredded
Mozzarella or cheddar

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small casserole dish with butter or olive oil.  Stuff the tortilla into the casserole dish so that it lines it.  Break up the tortilla if necessary.

Step 2
Add the spinach, sausage, tomato and green onions over the tortilla lined casserole dish.  Pour in the eggs, which should fall towards the bottom and submerge all the ingredients. Throw the shredded mozzarella on top.

Step 3
Bake the frittata for 35-45 minutes until it rises and the cheese on top should be browned like a crust.  Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to cool.  Finally cut it into squares and spatula up an appropriate sized chunk.  Serve with salsa, hot sauce or other flavors to sex it up.




IMPRESSED! BUY IT HERE!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Dream of Jean

(Photo via Because I'm Addicted)
This weird, out-of-the-blue obsession with denim used to bore me to tears, but now I'm hooked...hooked on finding denim pieces that stand for much more than a pair of everyday pants or shorts.

I'm currently on the hunt for statement denim articles, ones saucy enough to wear without any jewelry whatsoever. Whether it's Tsubi's rolled up shorts (pictured above), a bleached sun dress or a bewitchingly perfect lingerie set sexy enough to wear while taking a moonlit horseback ride, I'm dreamin' of denim. Ain't no one gotta a cure for what I got running through my head.

Guys and girls, I hope you like my picks.

Roxy's Shore Bet Denim Dress; Diesel's Sdolpy 00lyr shirt for men; Topshop's Denim Lace Bra and Bottom; American Archive's Vintage 80's Acid Wash Spandex jeans; Thrifted's Vintage Light Denim Star Button-up Chambray Shirt.


(Photo via luckymag.com)
(Photo from Diesel)

(Photo via luckymag.com


(Photo from American Archive)
(Photo from Thrifted)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mall Heard 'Round the World

 (Photo from latimes.com) 

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend randomly coined and started using the word, shamazing (pronounced sha-mauzz-ing). I of course instinctively added it to my everyday vocabulary. Now, whenever we go shopping together, we automatically yell out the word when we see something worth--well--a shoutout.

Our trip to the newly re-done Santa Monica Place this weekend was anything but shamazing. Aside from the $12 valet parking fee, mini pop-up shops acting as stores, yoga taking place in the middle of the mall (I mean, what?), the one-story Barney's Co-Op which made us yawn and Hot Topic, some 50-something-year-old mom in Bloomingdale's told me NOT to buy a pair of bejeweled spiked Sam Edelman's because she was going to purchase them. The swarm of tourists posing in front of the unopened Tory Burch store's orange doors didn't even compare to this experience.

However, I do think it is an improvement on the original mall, which I spent many an afternoon at during my teenage years when my mom was still driving me around. The food court was lined with such vendors as The Great Steak and Potato Company and the dated collection of stores included a Warner Bros. So, as you can see, the place did need a serious face lift; it definitely accomplishes that and Nordstrom does look shamazing!

We got a sneak peak at the department store during a somewhat painful bra-fitting experience which served as a promotion and a way to give back to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We were taken captive in a large dressing room, told to strip off our tops and then measured in front of each other. Even though it was an uncomfortable whirlwind, I fell in love with a $68 Chantelle bra, my best friend fell in love with one for $75 and we were both amusingly scarred for life. But, at least we got a sneak-peak at our new Nordie's, which is the only reason I'll be frequenting the mall. With personal stylists (my age, thank goodness) and three floors of exquisite merchandise, the department store is a much-needed staple for us Westsiders.

I always look on the bright side, so I am going to share some items I did go bonkers for and will be eventually purchasing.

Ever's Roatan Pullover Sweater; Sam Edelman's Lorissa Pumps; Benefit's Crescent Row perfume collection; All Saints' Nirvana Vest; Freelook's Aquamarina II watch in two-tone stainless steel. 

(Photo from Shopbop.com)
(Photo from Bloomingdales.com)
(Photo from Mimifroufrou.com)
(Photo from Frankfashion.co.uk)
(Photo from Freelookwatches.com)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Christopher Kane Brings Bed Rock to Versus...Yabba Dabba Wow


While stroking the pages of Marie Claire's September issue in awe yesterday, I read an intriguing article, titled "Partners in Design," about Donatella Versace and Christopher Kane's ongoing partnership formed to pump fresh blood through the vein's of Versus, Versace's younger, less expensive label. 

Gianni created it specifically for his baby sister, so when he passed, Versus officially became sacred. Therefore when it came time for Donatella to rethink her creative direction, Kane was a no-brainer. Her former mentee, the 28-year-old Scot had it all, including loyalty.

And thank goodness he did because before yesterday Versus never really turned me on, but as I read the article, which amusingly notes Kane's strange yet genius obsession with "The Flinstones," I began to get all hot and bothered over toying with the notion of bed rock-ing full, pleated skirts along with choker necklines this fall.  

Since when were Wilma and Betty ever considered fashion icons? Well, they are now thanks to Kane's skeletal tangerine orange and sea blue cut-out party dresses, which are modern up top and feminine and fanciful down below. And, as an added bonus, Kane silkscreens photographer Bruce Weber's late great Versus ad images on to t-shirts and purses for some vintage energy.

This is one label I'm willing to go all the way for. Thanks a lot, Kane, for making me put out after only my first September fashion issue this year. 





(Photos via Versace's Twitter Page)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Worshipping Kristen Farrell

Even though some of her pieces are a bit too Angelina Jolie for my blood (no pun intended) I admire NYC-based jewelry designer Kristen Farrell's exceptional ability to play to the vampire trend...in a good way, I swear. Her goldsmith work goes unmatched and her names for her pieces are even better. I'm questioning whether Farrell had "True Blood" on the brain mid design.

Jewelry never had so much sex appeal until Farrell rose up from the beautiful depths of the artistic underworld. Her diamond and sapphire dagger-shaped 'Nympho' necklace, which comes in platinum or gold, would look perfect on Sookie, while her 'Wolverine' ring encrusted with amethysts would be too hot to handle on Jessica.

As you can see, the designer's pieces are truly for those in touch with their sexuality. No wonder Bethenny Frankel-Hoppy loves it all so much! Let the worshipping of Kristen Farrell's collection commence.


From top to bottom: Wolverine ring, Nympho necklace, Dagger earrings, Mystical Talon bangles, Angel Wings ring, Farrell Tags necklace.











(All photos from kristenfarrell.com)

To inquire about any of her pieces, click here for more information.