Monday, November 29, 2010

Girl Crush

Newcomer/Spanish sexpot Alejandra Alonso says her goal is to become a Victoria's Secret model. I don't think she'll have a problem--she closely resembles Adriana Lima, boasts a "come hither" pout and stands at 5'10".  

Walking in 15 runway shows in 2010, including Chanel, DVF and Topshop, during her first year as a professional model only proves that she has a powerful genie in her magic lamp. Just you wait and see; you'll see her clad in a lace thong in no time. 








(Photos via models.com, forums.thefashionspot.com and allaboutmodels.net) 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Berry Vamp

Cabernet, Cranberry and Boysenberry cast spells of darkness and chicly (instead of freakishly) accomplish that cold weather, vamp look we all strive for. 

Layering, wearing thick velvet and sporting tattered knits is only half the battle. Colorful, darkly dabbed eyes painted on in berry hues mysteriously lure. Black raccoon eyes made famous by everyone's favorite bad girl, Taylor Momsen, are passé

Check out an inspirational photo spread below, plus a tutorial by my favorite Swedish makeup maven, Maggie Makeup Addict (she uses teal, but you can swap in any color). 





(Photos via Models.com: Grey Magazine September 2010)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Mood

I'm in a super duper good mood today! I know, I know--many of you are staring at your computer screens with a grim face thinking, "why is she so g-d damn perky on a Tuesday morning."

Well, it's simply because I won something (and I never win anything). Kelly Framel (AKA the Glamourai) randomly picked me as the winner of her first Ralph Lauren perfume contest. I'm a perfume whore, so I'm content; I see lots of spritzing in my future. 

I also see a mood board below, which reflects my love of an unmade bed's discrete intimacy, Winona Ryder's tomboy sex appeal in the 90's, Tom Brady's chin cleft and anything log cabin-esque. 

What kind of a mood are you in today?

Photos via: Bella Life, Artitudezine, Espressofiend, Stetson, Tim Flach, eHow, Food & Wine, Sleddog, Corbisimages.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

Naag.com

Earlier this month, Naag.com officially celebrated its launch at All Saints, NYC. A daily read for fashion, food and music junkies alike, the Web site/blog offers addictive information to those who prefer non-redundant content to the incestual kind seen on many other fashion blogs. If you haven't been following, follow.

Supermodel Agyness Deyn  (my personal fashion inspiration) and journalist Fiona Byrne are at the helm of this chic cyber ship. Collaborating daily, the duo dreams up original content on new perfumes, burgeoning Australian designers, London eats and album reviews, written to make readers beg for more. It's a bible for those who yawn over the present and yearn for what's next.

Below are some party photos of the set of attendees (you might recognize a few): Karen Elson and Coco Rocha, to name a few. And since it's healthy to fantasize, I created the outfit of my dreams that I would've worn to the ultra fashionable fete. Celine, Burberry, Giuseppe...the gang's all here.

(Agyness Deyn, Teen Vogue Editor Andrew Bevan, and Fiona Byrne)
(Coco Rocha, Agyness, and Karen Elson)

(Photos via teenvogue.com and instyle.com)


Save as Draft

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Time


If you haven't noticed, green is in. "Army Green" is what they call it. It makes me think of G.I. Joe, Demi Moore with a shaved head and Private Benjamin, which is all fine and dandy, but what I'm looking for is something different--a little outside the box--and I think I've found it.

A shade lighter than anything military inspired, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Green" contains just a hint of grey (think split pea soup). Ashish's sequin pants are a great example and could very well become the bottom of my T.M.N.T. Halloween costume next year.

My attempt to coin a new color is all thanks to Essie's amazing fall nail color, "Sew Psyched," which is surely named for the underground amphibians. Come on girls, whether you were a tomboy or not in the 80's, you loved the show/movies. OK, at the least, you wanted to grow up to be April, the sexy, legs-for-days news reporter.

Here are some of my favorite picks that scream Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael.

(Ashish's Sequined Silk Pants via Net-A-Porter
(Retro Super Future Sunglasses via Madewell)
(Gap's Center Seam Dolman Sweater)  
(Photo via squarednails.com)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey Day Traditions

(Thomas Keller's Creamed Pearl Onions & a photo of the chef with his mother: Photo from nymag.com)
My grandma's best friend recently moved to the East Coast to be closer to her family. The transition left us with bittersweet emotions and one less side dish on Thanksgiving. 

Ruth, my honorary second grandmother, supplied the table, year after year, with a candied yam casserole. The temptingly sweet union of buttery vegetables, raisins and brown sugar was the perfect mate for my Dad's turkey blanketed in apple cider gravy.

Now that she's gone, I've been left with the daunting task of preparing a side dish to fill the culinary void. My mom keeps hinting at me to track down Ruth's recipe and recreate it, but I reason that it's time to make my own tradition, one I can carry on until I am in my 80's. 

Thomas Keller, a chef I have grown to admire over the years, recently upped my loyalty to his cooking techniques after I tested out his newest cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home. A bible for those who love rustic, home-cooked fare, the book offers much more than a pair of keys to his legendary archives--it offers step-by-step lessons on the basics, including how to turn out a flaky pie crust. 

So, when  nymag.com displayed a rendition of a Thanksgiving dish Keller's mother used to make, I had to share. Other names, such as Mario Batali and Tom Colicchio, also contribute to this special collection of "mother knows best" recipes. 

Phewww, I finally found some inspiration. See all 11 recipes, here


Creamed Pearl Onions

Provided by: Chef Thomas Keller 
  • Type of Dish: Sides
  • Servings: 8
  • Cuisine: American


Ingredients

80 white pearl onions, unpeeled
2 oz. applewood-smoked bacon, cut into small dice
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, grated
2 tbs. sherry
1/2 bunch chives, cut into 1/2-inch batons
Kosher salt

Instructions

In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the pearl onions for about 3 minutes. Remove from the water, shock in a bowl of ice water, and drain. Peel onions, leaving a little of the root end intact.


In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, and drain on a paper towel. Leave 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pan, and add the pearl onions, heavy cream, and nutmeg. Season to taste with kosher salt.


Cover the onions and cream with a cartouche (a circular piece of parchment paper with a 1-inch-diameter hole in the center that will fit on top of the saucepot).


Cook the pearl onions on medium heat until the cream has reduced by half and the onions are cooked through. Stir in the sherry.


Garnish with the bacon and chives. (Published 2010)

Monday, November 15, 2010

An Ode to Tom Ford: Orgasmic

Tom Ford's men's store inside the CityCenter Las Vegas resembles an old yet refined New York manor, exceedingly fit for cigar smoking and reading leather-bound books. Dim lighting creates mystery while rich, dark carpets bring harmony to a long sea of charcoal suits, bomber jackets and silk robes. The store ends with a grand finale of sorts; a small room of white marble and golden mirrors could be easily mistaken for a treasure hunter's haven but is simply a shrine to Ford's many intoxicating fragrances. Enveloped in patchouli, musk and lavender, I think I've been transported to heaven and so does my husband who would gladly don a Ford suit a day for the rest of his life.

Just when I thought the dashingly handsome designer, who wears scruff better than Clooney and Pitt combined, couldn't sweep me off my feet any further, he goes and dazzles me (and the world) again. Behold, Tom Ford's spring 2011 women's collection. His 1960's silhouettes and bold use of sequins makes me want to cry and at the same time reminds me why I'm more than OK with deeming myself a slave to fashion.





(All photos from Vogue.com)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Polish Beauty

Anja Rubik, one of the few blonde models I adore, showed off her beautiful, toned assets yet again at this year's Victoria's Secret fashion show. 

Breezing down the runway in a silk kimono covered in tattooed-on cherry blossoms, hearts and stars, Rubik showed off a washboard stomach and a sultry stare from behind her signature baby blues. What I love most about the statuesque beauty, is her ability to look different in every photo she takes. See for yourself. 

And, in honor of the model's Polish heritage, here's my recipe for Polish sausage sandwiches. A cinch to make for dinner on a cold night, the dish calls for only a few ingredients and a small budget. I mean it's not the best thing to eat if you're on a V.S. diet, but it's beautiful, delicious and satisfying. 

(2010 Victoria's Secret Show: Photo via Zimbio)
(Photo from 25 Magazine) 
(2009: Photo from Bazaar) 
(Candid street shot: Photo from Hanneli.com) 

Valerie's Polish Sausage Sandwiches
Serves 2

2 Fresh Polish sausages from your local butcher 
1 Red Bell Pepper 
1 Yellow Bell Pepper 
1 Medium Size Red Onion 
2 Pita Rounds (White or Whole Weat) 
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 

Vertically slice peppers and onion into long strips, set aside

Heat olive oil in frying pan (about one minute) 
Place all pepper and onion strips in frying pan, constantly stirring to prevent burning 
Heat for about 5 minutes or until they start to become tender, but not brown
Place Sausages in same pan (Continuously rotate until cooked through/ about 10 minutes total) 
Remove sausage-vegetable mixture from heat 

Wrap pita in tin foil and place in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until thoroughly warm 
Remove from oven and roll with sausage and vegetables so it becomes like a bun

Serve with spicy mustard and/or ketchup. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Wedding Dress for Bella

About every 2-3 months I start to get the Vegas itch. I pine for a trip where I can abandon adulthood for a little while. Well, a similar sensation occurs with Twilight; I start to yearn for a taste of Bella and Edward's carefree teenage love.

Needless to say, when I came across these wedding dress sketches that InStyle asked some big name designers to create in anticipation of Bella's fashionable on screen matrimony, I nearly died. Even though the actual designer has not been 100% confirmed, many think the chiffon, lace and ruffles will be left to Zac Posen. I'm actually rooting for Erin Fetherston; I think her sketch captures that vintage Victorian nymph look, which perfectly matches the bride's persona.

I don't even know what Brian Reyes was thinking...his dress looks more like a monster in the closet. Which one is your favorite?


Erin Fetherston



Badgley Mischka


Christian Siriano

Brian Reyes
Lela Rose

Max Azria

Monique Lhuillier
Prabal Gurung

Zac Posen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Come On In

Let me preface today's piece by saying, this is not an outfit post! My friend, Nilou Lueck, had to snap a few portrait shots as part of a photography class homework assignment. I volunteered my face and my place of residence with the ambition of  becoming less camera shy.

Thus, the shoot begins and Nilou beautifully captures a lazy Thursday evening in the life of Valerie Friedrich. I think the aspiring artist has a bright future ahead of her. What do you think?


One additional note: I do not smoke any more, but love the visual presentation of smoking in photos; the act gives the hands and mouth some sort of purpose. That's why I have my furry children in most of the shots that you're about to see.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Man Cave

(Timothy Oulton on his Union Jack Sofa: Photo from nytimes.com) 
Every blogger I follow picks apart and fantasizes about the ideal "female office," carelessly forgetting the males of the world who need a handsome work space of their own. 

If you're smart, ladies, you'll help him through the decorating process because his man cave inevitably becomes part of your overall aesthetic. You don't want a designer kitchen complemented by fanciful dish towels mixed in with his old fraternity sofa and NFL paraphernalia.

But you ask, what characterizes man cave furniture? Enter, Timothy Oulton, a London-born antiques dealer/ furniture designer, whom I learned about this weekend while paying a visit to Culver City furniture mecca, H.D. Buttercup.

Often contributing to Restoration Hardware, Oulton is a reclamation master. His espresso colored leather sofas, reworked steamer trunks and metal infused chairs somehow appear glamorous, especially when gussied up with crystal chandeliers.

(ABC Showroom in NYC: Photo from ny.racked.com)
(Trunks and Standing Chandelier: Photo via adachchristopher.blogspot.com)
(Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk: Photo via Restoration Hardware) 
(Aviation Chair: Photo via Restoration Hardware)