Friday, July 30, 2010

Olivia Palermo in tennies?

It's a short post today because this week has been exhausting...fun, but exhausting.

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for saying this, but I'm  intrigued by "The City's" Olivia Palermo--is the whole conniving 'tude thing a facade for us MTV lovers, just like Paris who prides herself on playing dumb, or is Palermo really a Grade-A bitch? I'm not sure, but she's drop dead gorgeous and nauseatingly perfect...in that Italian temptress sorta way.

Check out her photos from ASOS magazine's August issue, below. Apparently she's found her calling as she's much softer in photos than on "the tube." She let the style directors put her in Converse for goodness sakes! Who would have ever thought little miss snobby would be wearing a pair of black tennies in Brooklyn, up against a wall of graffiti? Yay for Liv! I like her so much more in print.

Thoughts?

Have a good weekend!!!!









(via nitrolicious.com)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My #1 Step Toward Finding Nirvana! Yes, I entered.


What do you guys think of my styling??? =) 

Simon Says, "Shop!"


I'm not sure if you noticed or not, but last Friday I posted a hilarious and oh-so-true quote by Simon Doonan on my page, from an article he wrote for Bazaar's August issue.

If you're unfamiliar with Simon and his artistic genius, here he is in a nutshell: the Creative Director for Barney's New York, Simon is my hero, has five books under his belt, including Confessions of a Window Dresser, discovered his true self in the 70's when he moved to London with childhood best friend/transvestite, Biddie, and wrote a wild article for his column in the New York Observer unforgettably titled, "Manscaping Takes Manhattan! Dudes Denude Their Woolly Nether Parts."

Now that we're all friends and you understand why I love him so much, I can openly admit that his Bazaar article, "Eat, Shop, Love," captivated my heart, brought chicken soup to my soul, made me laugh aloud at work and prompted me to share its important message with all of you.

You see, he's truly concerned for all of us; he believes that after we see the upcoming Julia Roberts flick, Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert's borderline-vain portrayal of finding herself during an extravagant jaunt across the world, us "normal" women are going to be tempted to squander our hard-earned salaries on a trip to Italy, Tibet and G-d knows where else. He thinks the whole idea is ludicrous and wants us to know, "Pure joy and enlightenment lurk at our local mall...Sometimes a simple makeover can accomplish more than hours of therapy or a year of spiritual schlepping. "

That's right, he's encouraging us to shop (responsibly that is) and to soothe our inflamed desire for adventure by discovering new things like fake eye lashes and cleavage glitter. "You don’t have to blow big bucks on this season’s Alaïa or Céline ankle bootie to reach nirvana. Your everyday makeup counter is easier to find and a treasure trove of tricks." Simon says.

Therefore, even though I'm not on the verge of a nervous breakdown (this week) I've come up with a list of things I'm going to do to reach my personal level of nirvana before summer ends! How about you?


1. Enter Neiman Marcus' newly announced, "What's Your Passion for Fashion? Challenge" for a chance to win a $5,000 shopping spree. A brilliant marketing plan to get girls like me to explore the department store's fall inventory, the challenge allows curious consumers to become virtual stylists.  




2. Wake up extremely early on the revamped Santa Monica Place's opening day so I can be one of the first to explore, and then brag. It opens in 8 days with a Barney's CO-OP, CB2 and Joe's Jeans just to name a few...I'm ready.


3. Go to Ebay and Bid on Chanel's hard-to-come-by jade-colored nail polish, Nouvelle Jade, that every one's apparently fighting over, even though I think it's absurd to spend $55+ on something like that.







4. Visit the legendary Decades Two vintage store and find the couture purse steel of a lifetime!

5. Write Simon to share my blog posting with him and hope for some sort of a response!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bye Bye Derelicte

YESSSSSSS!
NOOOO!
The Olsen sisters embraced the idea behind Mugatu's Derelicte line, a collection of street wear for the trendy homeless set made famous by the really really good looking super model Derek Zoolander, so much so that it became a religion for the skinny-mini moguls and fashion slaves everywhere to live by.

Mary-Kate and Ashley (and Jenny Humphrey) took grunge to new heights and paved the way for oversize sweaters, ripped-to-shreds jeans and kinky, sea-sprayed locks. I too loved every minute of being able to don all articles of clothing beginning with the word, "boyfriend," but unfortunately, the trend is starting to die a slow and painful death. Clean-cut, "Mad Men" 1960's-inspired looks are on the rise--leave it to Robert Pattison to start things off with his new hairdo for the upcoming film, Water for Elephants (pictured above).

I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my tattered Current Elliots or faded leather Fendi bag, but if men are going back to looking like Cary Grant and Rock Hudson, I'm definitely ready for fall! And apparently so are a lot of designers. While Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen and Comme de Garcons, refuse to depart from the avant garde, others including Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, who brought bows, baby doll dresses and buns to the runway, prefer tailored fits, camel over black and fur and lambskin instead of harsh leather. Burberry is still on the fence, but the camel coat below has a Don Draper name tag sewn inside of it.

Back in the 1960's pork chops were all the rage. Pork, you should know, is just as lean as chicken and spices up any menu quite nicely, especially if you've had your share of poultry lately. Chops are just as easy to make as anything else, so try 'em with apple sauce and don't be scared. See my mom's simple recipe below!


Looks from Valentino's Fall 2010 Couture Collection; A look from Burberry Prorsum's Fall 2010 Menswear Collection; A look from Dolce  & Gabbana's Fall 2010 RTW Collection; A look from Prada's Fall 2010 RTW Collection; A look from Louis Vuitton's Fall 2010 Menswear Collection.



(All photos from nymag.com

Mom's Pork Chops

Four center-cut pork chops 
White flour and egg for dipping
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully dip each chop in egg and then flour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Coat a frying pan in half butter/half olive oil. Place pork chops in pan and brown over medium heat. 

When browned on both sides, place pan in a preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes. Thicker chops may take a few minutes longer to cook through. 

Pair with Motts applesauce and your preferred side dish. Serves 4.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bare in Mind

 (Photo: Pink is the New Blog)

There's so much negative attention and bashing that has resulted from Blake Lively's cleavage reveal at Comic-Con this past weekend, but every one's failed to notice (beside how amazing her breasts look...I mean give the girl a break; the adorable bombshell is being compared to Pamela Anderson) is how hot she and Ryan Reynolds look together. I do have a soft spot for Scarlett Johansson since her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, but Lively and Reynold's just look so ravishing together. I'm not trying to be a home wrecker or anything like that, but what gorgeous children a couple like them would make. Filming for Green Lantern commences in March--could they be the next "Mr. and Mrs. Smith?"

And about the cleavage; Blake is twenty-two years old and has been blessed with perfect breasts. Whoever keeps saying that she is baring too much is just jealous. All the power to her because if I looked like that, you bet I'd be showing them off.  I'm glad she's celebrating her voluptuous self in lieu of an emaciated frame.

With that said, let's congratulate Preen for an intriguing fall 2010 collection, one that relishes the feminine figure. It is pretty apparent the London-based label wants its customers showing off what "mama gave 'em" due to the array of cut-out dresses and silky, clinging fabrics. Frankly, I'm obsessed with the line as it's slightly punk-inspired and sexy without going overboard...each piece offers just the right amount of skin-baring potential.

Lively in Preen at Comic-Con 2010; Lively and Reynolds at Comic-Con 2010



Looks from Preen's Fall 2010 Collection

 (Photos from: nymag.com)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rosy Cheeks


 New Yorkers and Midwesterners have been staving off the summer heat for months now and are probably ready for fall, but us Angelenos are just beginning to experience the pangs of heat exhaustion. Yesterday, my husband and I finally got our first sunburns of the season at the Dodger game, and let me tell you, we loved every minute of the stinging sensation felt on our shoulders and knees and proudly covered our limbs, from head to toe, with Aloe.

It was lovely because at about 10 O'clock last night I sunk into an amazing sun coma, waking up this morning feeling refreshed and rosy all over. My husband just woke up burnt, but he's not taking one moment of his day out in the sun for granted.

So today, I'm celebrating our sunburns with the perfect rose-enhanced finds, including my favorite blush from Nars and a couple of romantic pieces from DVF's fall 2010 collection. I usually find Furstenberg's clothes too bland for my daring fashion taste buds, but this fall she's taking a risk by playfully incorporating meral roses into unique silhouettes. What comes to mind right away is Carrie Bradshaw's white rose bomber jacket that Patricia Field chooses for some of the final scenes in the first Sex and the City movie (pictured above).

And to get you to blush even more, I'm also sharing a recipe for Spiced Rosé Gelatin with Peaches, which can easily be described as jello shots for grown ups. The innovative libation is the perfect alternative to the usual ro-filled champagne flutes served at girly gatherings.

Nars' Powder Blush in "Angelika";  Jemma Kidd's Classic Couture Lip Color in "English Rose"; J.Crew's Galaxy Purse in Rose Gold; DVF's Fall 2010 Lumina Dress in Meral Roses; DVF's Fall 2010 Jane Jacket in Meral Roses.








Spiced Rosé Gelatin With Peaches
(Recipe from Tony Cenicola/The New York Times; Food Stylist: Molly Rundberg)

2 cups rosé wine
1/4 cup sugar, to taste
1 1-to-2-inch length of cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 orange, with as little pith as you can manage
5 peppercorns
2 envelopes gelatin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 white or yellow peaches, each sliced into 16 wedges.

In a nonreactive saucepan, add 1½ cups of the wine, along with the sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat and cover the pan.

After 20 minutes, pour the remaining wine into a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let sit for 3 minutes. Strain the spiced wine into the bowl and stir well for 2 or 3 minutes, until the gelatin is entirely dissolved. Place the bowl inside a larger bowl containing ice water, or put in the refrigerator.

When the gelatin is as thick as the white of an egg, 30 to 45 minutes later, put the lemon juice in a wide-bottomed bowl and add the sliced peaches, stirring as you go to coat the peaches with the juice. With a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the bowl of gelatin and fold them in gently. Divide the gelatin and peaches into 4 wineglasses, cover each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 or more hours. Serves 4.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dolce Vita for Target? I mean....Dolce Vita for Target!!!!!

Well, I can't believe I was about to set up a tent for this Saturday's Decades Two Shoe Extravaganza because I'd much rather save my mallows and fire-starting skills to camp out in anticipation of Dolce Vita for Target's shoe line, which hits most stores late August, according to The Cut (New York Time's fashion alert site). Some serious hardware and faux leather and chicness is coming to a store near you. East Harlem gets 'em first...what? Why?

I mean look at theses babies...for $30 to $40. I haven't even gotten my tan on yet and now I'm ready for fall. Who's with me?


(Photo: Courtesy of Target)

It's Black and White

I tend to verge toward chocolate whenever it's dessert time (or breakfast, or lunch, or....whenever), but I also love vanilla's soothing sweetness. Oh, I can never choose and that's why I always order a yellow cake/chocolate frosting cupcake from the bakery, regularly crave carnation ice cream sandwiches and religiously end a delicatessen meal with a black and white cookie. There's just something so heroic about the combination as it comes to the rescue and satiates my sweettooth every time.

Therefore, I figured I would test my Jewish grandmother skills out by baking away the other night and testing a recipe for black and white cookies (recipe listed below). At first, I was scared--I entered the kitchen with a ton of trepidation, a stage I thought I had grown out of years ago, mostly because I was going to have to make my own frosting. But, it turned out to be a cinch thanks to Gourmet magazine's easy-to-follow instructions. Thus, my journey began...the cookies came out a little bit more biscuit-textured than I would've liked, but for the first time my husband and I enjoyed our favorite childhood dessert in the privacy of our own living room instead of at Nate n' Al's.

The same goes for clothing. Every now and then, I do like to wear a hint of color or an all-black outfit due to its unmatched sleekness, but I truly admire the effortless avante garde look that results from wearing black and white. Below are some modern, sleek selections for both men and women to try out. If you pull it off right, the look is almost as delicious as a black and white cookie.

Hellz Bellz's Black and White Leggings; Chronicles of Never's White Hand Painted Men's Shoe; Noir's Plastic Asymmetrical Triangle Earrings; Christopher Raeburn's Men's Parachute Bomber Jacket; Nicolas Kirkwood's Snakeskin Peep Toe Sandal











Black and White Cookies
(From Gourmet magazine's February 2002 issue)
Makes 8 cookies

For Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg

For Icings
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons water
                                                                                       1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Make cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Stir together buttermilk and vanilla in a cup.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add egg, beating until combined well. Mix in flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately in batches at low speed (scraping down side of bowl occasionally), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until smooth.

Spoon 1/4 cups of batter about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until tops are puffed and pale golden, and cookies spring back when touched, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a rack and chill (to cool quickly), about 5 minutes.

Make icings while cookies chill:
Stir together confectioners sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer half of icing to another bowl and stir in cocoa, adding more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to same consistency as white icing.

Ice cookies:
Turn cookies flat sides up, then spread white icing over half of each and chocolate over other half.

Cooks' note: If you can stand the wait, cookies taste better if cooled without being chilled.

(above photo by: Romulo Yanes)



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rodarte and MAC: An unforgettable partnership

Today, I'm going to get a bit journalistic because I feel pretty strongly about the following.

An interesting, thought-provoking story is currently erupting in the fashion/beauty world; one that conjures up the perpetual question, "Is fashion really art?" If one were to answer "yes" like I would, this means that clothing designers and makeup developers are allowed to express whatever they want to through any chosen medium. However, it also means they must be prepared to offend and defend their "works of art" just like every other artist who has ever showcased anything the least bit controversial.Why apologize for bringing much-needed attention and beauty to a place of desperation?

How many of us fashionably-conscious girls and guys are aware of what's going in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a suburb bordering El Paso, Texas? I'm going to be honest, I was not..until this morning. And the only reason I am now is because of Rodarte's MAC Cosmetics collection.

Slated to debut in September with innovative frost-bitten colors and controversial names like, "Factory" and "Juarez," the makeup collection's inspiration was born from a road trip Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the thirty-something powerhouse sisters behind the acclaimed Rodarte empire, took through Texas and beyond. According to sources, the designers' observations of laboring, zombie-like female Maquiladora workers gave way to the collaborative beauty line's sleep walking theme and ghostly quality. 

Offensive? To some maybe, as this overpopulated, impoverished suburb is home to women who are brutally raped and murdered en route to work each week. An unresponsive Mexican police force is to blame for vulnerable females left for dead and a hopeless future. Juarez is consistently referred to as, "The Serial Killer's Playground" and El Paso Times stated that "nearly 340" victims have been accounted for since 1993. Today, the death toll is worse than ever and continues to rise.

What the many unoriginal fashion bloggers fail to note when trashing MAC is that the sisters graduated from Cal Berkeley and launched their fierce collection for the first time just five short years ago. They also leave out that MAC is owned by the prominent Estee Lauder and boasts a strong vitae of social initiatives. Therefore, I doubt both parties had no idea as to what they were getting themselves into when concocting and naming colors--it was about art and bringing attention to a troubled place.

Awareness is priceless, so all of the harsh critics need to grow some intelligence, think for themselves and accept MAC's promise to give a portion of the proceeds to those in need in Ciudad Juarez. Even my friend and trusted source, who has family in Mexico, thinks it's a strategic ploy to atypically recognize a place in society through artistic expression.

Let me know your thoughts on this! I'd love to hear your point of view. Here's a photo and a few products from the fall Rodarte for MAC collection below. 







(Rodarte for MAC Cosmetics)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Clueless?


I haven't done a cheesy movie posting since my Troop Beverly Hills piece, which apparently was a huge hit! Therefore, I've decided to honor yet another all-time great chick flick (but this time from the 90's), Clueless.

Now, I have to be honest, I didn't randomly come up with this idea; I have to give the credit to famed handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff. As I was browsing her fall 2010 apparel collection this morning I came across a pleated leather skirt called, the " Leather Clueless Skirt." At first, I asked myself, "why does she call it a 'Clueless' skirt?" And then the lightbulb went on and I sincerely appreciated being in my late twenties for a moment. And, for all of you who are still clueless as to what I'm talking about, Cher, played by the bright-eyed Alicia Silverstone, wore almost the exact same one during the scene where she's picking lemons through her father's office window and bragging about her negotiating skills and straight-A report card.

So, I tip my hat to Minkoff for bringing the iconic do-gooder back to life one last time...after all there is plenty of argyle, fur and pleats being pushed for fall, so I do think Minkoff is on to something. Either way, I'm ecstatic and ready to partake in this trend. Sorry guys, baggy Fubu jeans haven't made a comeback yet, so there's nothing for you today except for the oh-so-cute picture of Silverstone above.

Ugh, if only Judy's were still around! Here are some fashion pieces that would definitely be found in Cher's revolving closet today.


Rebecca Minkoff's Leather Clueless Skirt; Dolce & Gabbana's Collarless Rabbit Jacket; Miu Miu's Mary Jane Platforms; Chloe's Argyle and Cashmere Sweater; Proenza Schouler's Suede A-Pochette.