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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Disco Feva

(Photos via insidesocal.com)
Who wears short shorts? Ummm, Ryan Phillipe and Breckin Meyer do pretty much the whole way through 54, a glamorous yet blatantly honest portrayal of what life was like for beautiful twenty-somethings in the gold, glittery age of disco.

Praise the lord for satin gym shorts, cherubic man curls, smoke screen-filled dance floors and fierce hip movements in that film; it all makes me want to travel back in time to celebrate just one New Years Eve at "the" Studio 54.

But, you know what, we can make our own dance club debauchedness as we ring in 2011 and leave our first decade in the 2000's behind. Who's with me? If you're not, you'll be after you see what I've cooked up (included: tools for a curled mane, sequined bottoms and freakishly high platforms). Let's do this!

Clockwise from the top: Ambertina Bejeweled Christian Louboutins; William Anzevino Fabric Block Tee from UOShu Uemura Black Velvet Feather False Eyelashes; Vintage Vogue magazine cover; L'Oreal Elnett StrongHold Hair Spray from Target;  Sultra "The Bombshell" 1" Curling Iron from Sephora; Ashish Sequin Disco Shorts from Net-A-Porter;  MAC Super Glass in Disco Blend

Friday, December 24, 2010

Taste the Rainbow

(Miu Miu Salon photographed by Hanneli Mustaparta) 
Hanneli's astounding photo above, which depicts the simplicity of colorful m&m's aesthetically paired with a stack of fashion reads, inspired this post.

Just because it's winter and black is still the new black doesn't mean we can't incorporate a hearty amount of color into our lives. Tomato red is one way to ease into the bright light; it pretty much looks good on everyone. Fuschia is another obvious avenue to try to go down.

If you're real adventurous let the iconic Coco Rocha whisk you away with her January 2011 spread for Elle Italia. Her auburn locks accompanied by a bursting-with-fruit flavor wardrobe make anyone and everyone want to taste the rainbow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monogram the &*^(%t out of it!

The day my mom bought me a bubblegum pink L.L. Bean backpack with my initials sewn onto to the back pocket was one of the best days of my life. But only until Olivia (a fictional name used to replace the real one), an elementary school foe of mine who used to battle me to the death in Tetherball, jumped out of her mom's minivan with the same bag in teal. Her obnoxious smile and shiny brown curls, coupled with the muscular arms she used to fiercely swing that ball at me with, only made things worse.

I felt betrayed, I felt mimicked and I felt jealous. Monogramming my initials onto a brightly colored knapsack, one so big that it covered by entire backside, was my idea--OK, it was Michelle Tanner's too--but you get where I'm coming from.

Monogramming is in pretty high demand again. But instead of imprinting nylon, it's all about tattooing leather briefcases and Goyard totes. It is kind of obnoxious, but so was reading aloud that "unexpected" note inside your Strawberry Shortcake/Transformer's lunch box from your mom.

(Simon Doonan photographed in all of his Goyard Glory by Hintmag.com)
(4th and Bleeker) 
(A shot by Street Fsn)

(Rebecca Minkoff's darling Monogrammed Companion Pouch)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let's Play Holiday Dress Up (For the Girls)

My No. 1 Holiday Dress Pick: Erin Fetherston's Lucy Dress
(Photo from NYmag.com)
OK gals, it's your turn for some holiday party dress-up inspiration. I encourage you (as well as myself) to take innovative, whimsical measures when toying with different ideas and flipping through your closet.

Perk up a classic black dress with a fun headpiece and throw in some drama with purple eyelids and a dark shade of rouge lipstick. Don't be afraid to add a tinge--or if you dare--a splash of color here and there; you'll standout in the crowd and perhaps even get served the last flute of champagne.

Paint the town black, red, pink, maroon...whatever you want...just do it with class, sequins, sparkle and some originality. All of my favorite friends have showed up to help:  Lindsey Wixson, Daria Werbowy, The Man Repeller and more. Dress responsibly!

Lindsey Wixson for Barney's Fall 2010 Catalog
(Photos via Barneys.com)
Karen Wolter for Tush Magazine
(Photo via Ford Models Blog)
Juliana Schurig for French Revue de Modes
(Photo via Ford Models Blog)
Daria Werbowy and Elletra Weiderman for Lancome
(Photo via Stylefrizz.com)
Olivia Palermo and Boyfriend for Elle Germany
(Photos via saturdaynightsalrite)
The Man Repeller in all her amazingness!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Dress-Up (For the boys) Thanks to Andy

(Photo via Bravo TV)
I paused the TiVo last night to inspect Andy Cohen's tremendous get-up, which consisted of a charcoal grey wool suit matched with a blue and white checkered shirt. Genius! My husband even applauded.

The illustrious, recently promoted Bravo TV host is hands-down one of the best dressed men in Hollywood. Dapper, charming and amicable with even the most notoriously despicable of "housewives," Cohen always seems to up the anti by using a quirky pop of color or just-the-right plaid to match his adorable smile. 

Combining Ralph Lauren's timeless style with Tom Ford's cutting edge look, Andy is inspiration to guys everywhere who need some assistance in the dress-up department during the holidays. 

Girls, there's some inspiration for you too around corner. I would never leave you hangin'. 

(Photo via Wetpaint)
(Photo via Celebri Fi)
(Photo via Zimbio.com) 
(Photo via famliy.go.com) 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Courtesy of my favorite bloggers

(Noir Dagger Ring from The Man Repeller)
For my second holiday gift guide (click here for the first one), I've decided to collect items from my favorite bloggers instead of coming up with more picks of my own. No, I'm not being lazy; I figure this tactic will calm nerves. There are too many suggestions out there and not enough time to shop and I'm not about to add the gift of additional stress to anyone's list.

The accessories, clothing and design knickknacks you are about to see have either been suggested by a trustworthy blogger or are currently being sold by a blogger that has his/her own e-commerce operation. If you haven't visited Shoptoast, you're missing out. Fashiontoast founder Rumi Neely got her start online as a vintage clothing purveyor. Her one of a kind selections are and always have been insanely chic...if you like that effortless Boho look. She often sells sought-after Zara and Topshop shoes that have been sold out in stores for months.

For the guys guide, I went in the direction of practicality. The cologne I've listed smells deliciously reeks of masculinity; it's definitely a gift for both him and her. Happy last-minute holiday shopping!


Clockwise from Left: Vintage Leopard Biker Jacket from Beckerman Bite Plate; Custom Mugs from Design Sponge; Gently Worn Topshop Booties from Shoptoast; Zinke Tea Party Jumper from Frou Frou Fashionista; Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty from Le Fashion; Alexis Bittar's Pyramid Charm Pendant Necklace from me; Vintage Caviar Studs and Sticks Bracelets from Luxirare; Sofia Coppola for Louis Vuitton from Naag


Clockwise from Left: Lobel's Meat Bible from A Cup of Jo; Pendleton Picnic Blanket Murse and Ralph Lauren Cologne from The Glamourai Jonathan Adler Pipe Matchstrike from Design Sponge. Penfield for Rag & Bone Parka from Rag & Bone; Marshall Headphones from from Design Sponge.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bake, Don't Buy

Bon Appetit's Maple Cheesecake with Maple Cranberry Compote
(Photo via Epicurious)

According to our favorite clueless girl, "Whenever a boy comes, you should always have something baking."  My husband instantly perks up when he walks into a house that smells of baked goods, inhaling with pleasure as he would with my perfume. You get it now? 

The carnal rule followed by Cher Horowitz, girlfriends, boyfriends, housewives and housewife hopefuls everywhere can be applied to many different situations, including your upcoming holiday party.

Please (I beg you) try and bake something. The aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting through your dwellings is much more desirable (and impressive) than the stench of plastic cartons from Trader Joe's. 

Here are some ideas. And no, none of them include throwing a roll of Pillsbury cookie dough onto a baking sheet; that right is solely reserved for Cher. I've made and taste tested all of the following so no excuses allowed. 

Brunch or Luncheon: Mom's Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake 
Courtesy of my mom, this recipe requires a bundt pan and very few ingredients. The result: a moist and fluffy slice of yellow cake, dotted with semi-melted chocolate chips and pecans. 

4 large eggs 
1 package yellow cake mix
1 small package vanilla instant pudding 
1/2 cup cooking oil 
1 small carton sour cream 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 package chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped pecans 
2 tsp. cocoa 
1 tsp. cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350. 
Grease and flour bundt pan. 

With an electric mixture, combine for 10 minutes eggs, yellow cake mix, instant pudding, oil and sour cream. Set aside. 

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, chocolate chips, pecans, cocoa and cinnamon. 

Pour/spoon 1/3 dry mixture into bundt pan, pour 1/2 batter over, 1/3 dry mixture, and so on, ending with the dry mixture. 

Bake for 50 minutes. Let it cool completely (very important). 

Knife the edges to loosen the cake and flip over onto a plate to serve. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Casual Open House Party: Fruit Filled Jewels 
If you want a damn fine cookie, don't go searching far and wide for a gourmet recipe-- you'll end up with dried up rounds of nothing and disappointed guests. Go to a reliable source (AKA   Mrs. Debbie Fields). All of her recipes end up in my recipe bible. This one landed in my top 10 favorites by the time I was 12 years old. Don't get scared by the steps; they're easy. 

3/4 cup butter, softened 
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 large egg yolks 
1 tsp Vanilla 
1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour 
1 cup Fruit Jam (Any flavor...I like raspberry) 

Preheat oven to 325.

In a medium bowl cream butter with an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg yolks and vanilla , and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour and blend at low speed until thoroughly combined.

Gather dough into a ball and flatten to a disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or place in a plastic bag and Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Using a floured rolling pin , roll dough on board to inch thickness. Cut circles with a 2 inch diameter cookie cutter or drinking glass and place on ungreased cookie sheets, 1 inch apart. Continue using dough scrapes , re-rolling and cutting until all dough is used.

Drop teaspoon of fruit jam in center of each cookie, then top with another cookie. Using the tines of a fork, seal edges of cookie.

Bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Recipe from Mrs. Field's Cookie Book

Formal Dinner Party: Maple Cheesecake with Maple Cranberry Compote 
I lost my cheesecake making virginity to this recipe from Bon Appetit, last year and boy was it an amazing experience. Go slowly, follow the directions carefully and don't be afraid of the maple's ability to captivate. 

Reduced maple syrup
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup (preferably grade A dark amber)

2 cups ground graham crackers (about 17 whole crackers ground in processor)
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup maple sugar or (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced maple syrup (see above)
2/3 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Special equipment
9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides


For reduced maple syrup,  boil maple syrup in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally and watching closely to avoid boiling over (syrup will bubble up to top of pan), about 5 minutes. Remove reduced maple syrup from heat and let cool to slightly warm or room temperature.

For crust, position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Bake crust until set and top edge of crust darkens slightly, about 10 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

For filling, Beat cream cheese in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with paddle attachment until very smooth. Add maple sugar, flour, and salt; beat until well blended and smooth. Add 1 cup reduced maple syrup, sour cream, and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add eggs, 2 at a time, and beat just until blended after each addition. Tap bowl several times on counter to release any air bubbles. Pour filling into cooled crust. Using tip of small knife, pop any air bubbles on surface.

Bake cake until slightly puffed around edges (center will still look moist and will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 30 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool completely. Cover and chill overnight. 

DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Cut cheesecake into wedges. Divide among plates. Serve with warm Maple- Cranberry Compote alongside.

Recipe from Bon Appetit/December 2009. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All hail to the Wu

Ford models Ming Xi and Julia Saner aid in showcasing what I think is a beyond brilliant Pre-Fall 2011 collection. Within an abundance of simplistic, mod pieces, Jason Wu seems as though he used a Rothko painting (or two) to inspire his use of color blocking.

The delicate satin, peachy numbers jive with his more avant garde wear, including a zip-up leather shift dress which is to die for. The unexpected combination gives way to a youthful, flawless collection.

All, I can say is wow and that I'm glad I can look forward to what's ahead for us fashion hopefuls in the new year.

(All photos via Ford Models Blog) 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frost Yourself

(Elle's Kate Lanphear wearing Eddie Borgo: Photo via Style.com)
Last week, one of my other besties and I embarked on a weeknight out in Venice, finding ourselves as impromptu party crashers. Strolling along Abbot Kinney in demure sweaters fit for the cold we came upon a store opening.

To our satisfaction, we were testimony to Alexis Bittar's first steps outside of New York. The budding male jewelry designer, who molds lucite by hand into statement pieces, finally arrived on the West Coast.  Now you can start to imagine the speed at which our jaws dropped, especially when the bouncer asked if we wanted to be admitted to the soiree to peruse the goods ourselves.

Trying our best to fit in with the local hipster and New York import attendees, we were extremely appreciative of the kind gesture and made our way up the wooden plank stairs and into the small concrete room. Slightly intimidated by the fashionable roster of guests, which included the designer himself and fashion journalist Rose Apodaca Jones, we felt like thieves casing a rich joint for valuable goods.

The experience was sinful, beautiful and decadent. Thus the party was a success, as this is the way jewelry is supposed to make one feel.

Some frosting suggestions for the holidays...notice how obsessed I am with 70's inspired, structural pieces. A little bit of bling goes a long way!
(Neo Deco Rhodium Earrings fromAlexis Bittar)
(Neo Deco Rhodium Large Bracelet in Silver from Alexis Bittar)
(Modern Georgian Necklace fromAlexis Bittar)

(Crystal Crater Ring from Free People
(Tribal Necklace in Oxidized Silver from Tom Tom)

(Erickson Beamon Neo Agate Earrings from Net-A-Porter)