Saturday, February 28, 2009

Noisepop 2009

A few friends and I were going to see The Submarines, but just when we were in line to get our tickets, the show sold out. So we decided to decided to check out a lesser-known (not to me) singer, St. Vincent. We had an hour to maneuver ourselves over to the Great American Music Hall. Fortunately, we were early and got front row seats.

I'm 20 years old, which is a weird position age-wise. It's like you're legal to do everything, except you're not. In order to keep me from drinking, they stamped "fragile" on both my hands. It's not like I was going to drink anyway. Come to think of it, it's actually quite hilarious.

The first band that performed was That Ghost from Santa Rosa, who were pretty much 3 hipsters singing wannabe melodramatic songs. Their music was loud, but it wasn't good. They cater to the Urban Outfitters crowd for sure.

The second band that performed was called Rafter from San Diego. Now they were the antithesis from the first band. They had energy, funky tunes, and just fun in general. They kept saying "we're gonna sing about love and sex." I liked them.

The third band, Cryptacize from Oakland (locals always rock), was better than the second band. The music just keeps getting better and better. They had some cool melodies and instruments. The lead singer's mom was also there to cheer her on. I tried find their music online, but had a hard time because their not that well-known yet.

St. Vincent brought down the house! Annie Clark is a lyrical and musical genius. She's one of those artists who looks and sounds better live than in recordings. I got a sneak preview of some songs that will be released in her upcoming album. She was also such a great sport to her fans, and is defintely someone I admire. Let's just say, for my first concert, I'm defintiely glad it was to hear this angel sing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Academy Awards 2009 Fashion

The Oscars this year were quite different from the past because it was a reversion to old Hollywood glamor. It worked on some people, but not everyone. There were very few misses this year, which has led me to think that people are becoming more conscious of the growing need to "dress to impress" and not "dress to test." Although, I personally like it when people dress out of their comfort zone, it must be a difficult to do that with paparazzi waiting to snap some bad pictures. Here are some of the celebrities I thought just nailed it.

Penélope Cruz in vintage Balmain
She looks like Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina in this vintage gown. Yes, it's a white gown, but it's very detailed. I like that she kept the accessories at a minimum because the dress already has enough adornments. It's definitely an improvement from the SAGs and the Golden Globes. I also love her speech for winning Best Supporting Actress.

Anne Hathaway in Armani Privé
She's usually a very edgy dresser, but when it comes to award shows, she tends to wear safe silhouettes. The adornments are usually what make her dresses interesting. You know what though, she's one of the only paler people who doesn't look washed out in white.

Marissa Tomei in Versace
Compared to what she has worn to some past award shows, she kind of did it right this time. It's a little "runway bride" looking, but it's a good risk to take. I also thought her hair and makeup looked great.

Natalie Portman in Rodarte
I'm not the fondest of this shade of pink, but I appreciate that she was the only one who wore pink at all. The silhouette's not the most exciting, but I understood where she was coming from. She looks like a princess.

Marion Cotillard in Dior
It's a little toned down from her very interesting Gaultier dress last year, yet it's still interesting. It's a mix between Anne Hathaway's Golden Globe Armani Prive dress and Marcia Cross's Carolina Herrera SAG dress. It's a lot to work with, but it's not fussy.

Jessica Biel in Prada

Although the dress isn't the most flattering on her, I do like that she took a risk because she's some who plays it a little too safe. I like the white exterior with the peek of the black lining. I also think she's someone who looks better with casual hair and makeup, which she has done here.

Miley Cyrus in Zuhair Murad
She usually dresses way too mature for her age, but I think she did a good job with this dress. It's a nice vintage inspried dress that could've used a little less spakrle, but I think her hair and makeup are very age appropriate.

Tilda Swinton in Lanvin
I think this woman is one of the most fashion-forward actresses out there. Her looks are always a bit avant-garde, but she able to pull them off. This look is a major improvement from the Lanvin dress she wore last year. I like that she keeps everything a bit androgynous; it's very refreshing to look at.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Dior
SJP was my personal favorite because she rocks this silhouette and is one of the only people who can. I love the simple detailing, color, and her hair. She looks perfect.

Here are some people I thought could've used a few improvements. Then again, they could've done without them too:

Kate Winslet in Atelier Yves Saint Laurent
This is definitely a "Best Actress's" dress, and I actually don't hate it. I just think the flowers aren't consistent enough. I would rather have the flowers cover the whole dress. Oh, and that Grace Kelly hair just didn't work for her.

Freida Pinto in John Galliano
Although I think she makes a lot of fashion missteps, I do like that she's a risk taker. Nothing's really wrong with this dress; it's just the sleeve. Hack that thing off and she's good to go.

Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab
I think this dress is absolutely gorgeous and so is she. What's wrong? The color. She's pretty much the same color as the dress. Unlike Anne Hathaway, who's complexion a shade darker, this girl really shouldn't be wearing white, unless she wants to be invisible. I think the black nails are cute though.

Amy Adams in Carolina Herrera
I like the necklace, but that dress is a bit off. Here is a situation where a black dress wouldn't be so boring. Maybe I just have a personal bias of not wanting hair color to clash with the color of clothes. Everything else looks good.

Beyoncé in House of Deréon

Here is a girl who looks stunning without being glammed up. The casual makeup and hair would've done her a great favor with her Elie Saab dress at the Golden Globes. I don't understand why she always pulls something weird when she doesn't have to. I would've maybe liked this dress if the gold was black instead. That way, it'd be more subtle but still interesting.

Courtesy of USWeekly Magazine

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If I really can't make it as a fashion designer, one of my Plan Bs is to be a stylist.

My personal doesn't exactly reflect how I would style people, but it has an influence on my design aesthetic. There's an element of grunge to all of my styles, but it's a neat kind of grunge. I like mixing a combination of traditional, modern, and futuristic styles together because right now, you just can't really go wrong. As a fashion designer, I'll have to worry about trends, but as a stylist, I can throw all of that out the window because I'm not a trendy dresser. And because I'm spending money on clothes for myself, I have a budget, so I pretty much shop at discount shops, thrift stores, or the on sale racks of commercial stores.

Pink Old Navy T-shirt $5.90
Forever 21 Knit Vest $18.99 $8.99
Route 66 Corduroys $16.99

Monday, February 16, 2009

I finally got a new umbrella, but I don't know if it's the right one.

Awhile ago, I was complaining about not having a nice umbrella for the cold rainy season. Well, there has been sort of a winter drought until it started pouring recently (that's San Francisco weather for you). Anyway, I found myself in NEED of an umbrella because I was walking to class the other day and it was suddenly hailing. I wasn't wearing anything waterproof because I didn't think it was going to rain. The umbrellas for sale at school were too hideous for me to even consider buying, so I walked in the rain to stores that I knew would sell umbrellas. The whole time I had a mental dilemma of choosing style or functionality. I wound up at Brooks Brothers, which I never thought I would step foot in, and bought an umbrella.

Brooks Brothers Plaid Mini Umbrella $50.00
This is what I ended up getting. At that moment, I forgot that style came with a price. ($50 for a plaid umbrella, WTF?!) But even then, this wasn't what I truly wanted. Well, one thing's for sure, you could almost feel the luxury just ooze out from it with the beautiful wooden handle, buttoned sheath, and leather strap. It's so expensive that I'm kind of afraid to use it. I'm thinking about returning it once I decide on getting a new one.

Golden Fleece® Logo Mini Umbrella $50.00
This is what saw online and actually wanted. I thought I'd save myself some shipping fees if I bought it in the store. Unfortunately, they did not carry this umbrella, so the only place I could buy it was online. Second thought, why do I even want this umbrella? I mean, the trademark golden fleece monogram is nice, but I usually never go for monogrammed stuff. Maybe I should just stay away from Brooks Brothers altogether; they're too "old money" for my taste anyway.

Senz Mini Umbrella $54.99
When you're trying to block the winds and stay dry, it's hard to be stylish. This is a situation where function trumps style. Yes, it's a rather peculiar looking umbrella, but if it works, who cares? I just might exchange my pretentious Brooks Brothers umbrella for this one.

Courtesy of Brooks Brothers, Senz

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's getting harder to find shoes that no one has and still look good

if you don't have much money. I wouldn't call J. Shoes "cheap," but they are definitely unique. I think this brand goes well with my personal style and hope to own a pair of J. Shoes in the near future; I'm waiting for further discounts.

Mercer $136.00 $67.28

I really like these mainly because of the plimsoll shape. The mix of the croc trimming and leather to me seems very fashion forward, which is always a good thing. I do wish the leather was in another color though (white maybe).

Dune $129.99
I have a pair of Doc Martens that look like these. Lately, I find that I tend to go for shoes that come in this shape. I like the rugged rubber on the bottom; it's like Simple shoes. I also like the shoelaces because they look "historic."

Ohio $131.00 $67.28
I like that these shoes have a contrast, but it's not stark. They're a bit on the grungy side, which is always a plus for me. You know what, I might just get these.

Leo Ruched Boots $190.00 $142.50
This is the first time I've seen a men's ruched boot, and I like what I see. Well, I'm not crazy about the decorative perforations. I love the color though.

Wander Lace Oxfords $120.00 $90.00
This is a very interesting take on the classic Converse All-Stars. Somehow though, the heel has made it a little too mature. I personally wouldn't wear it because I don't look right in Converse All-Stars.

Courtesy of Rochester Big & Tall, 6PM

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammys 2009

The Grammys are always fun because there are tons of hits and misses. If you're follower of this blog, you'll notice that I never point out the train-wrecks because they already speak for themselves. I usually talk about best dressed or looks that could use improvements because that's "constructive criticism." However, it's hard to do that for hot messes.

Kim Kardashian in Toni Maticevski
She's someone in Hollywood I never really understood why got famous (other than having a sex tape). But I've got to hand it to you: she looks great. I love the light gray and the length is good. For once, she does not look like a slut.

Jennifer Nettles in Rachel Roy
I think this is the perfect Grammy look. I do wish the gold was silver instead. It's basically "have fun but don't go crazy." Her hair is a bit funky, but it works with everything.

Sara Bareilles in Louisa Beccaria
She could go to the prom in this getup. Although I do think this look is a bit safe, it suits her well. Why mess with perfection? I like that this pink almost looks edible.

Miley Cyrus in Herve Leger
Here's someone I'm really getting tired of and should be offended by. I'll admit that she looks good. I like the rosette and the one shoulder. Then again there's really nothing special about it because it's a black dress; it's hard to look bad in black.

Taylor Swift in Kaufman Franco
I like this black dress more than Miley Cyrus's because there are some very interesting design elements to it; it's hard to see them because it's black. I'm sure this would've been a perfect dress if it was in a dark purple or something.

Katy Perry in Basil Soda
My favorite was definitely Katy Perry. She has taken a lot of fashion risks and has gotten herself on the worst dressed list many times, yet she didn't exactly play it safe here. The silhouette is a little bit on the classic side, but the adornment and color reflect her personality. I would've liked this dress more if it was shorter.

These are some looks that had potential, but just didn't work in the end. Yes, it's the Grammys, but when these celebrities get chances to show up to these events, why can't they re-evaluate their looks before they leave?

Duffy in Alberta Ferretti
I really like the concept of this dress and the jeweled neckline is great. What I don't like is the length. Also, do something with the hair; at this angle it looks like a mullet.

Leona Lewis in Randi Rahm
I actually don't think this dress is bad, the color is just not for her. The color is too similar to her skin tone; light blue would've been better.

Kate Beckinsale in Reem Acra
Reem Acra designs a lot of very flattering gowns, but this not one of them. I mean, I like it from the bust to the knee, but that tulle on the bottom is hideous.

Keyshia Cole in Zac Posen
I'm sure I would've liked this look if the slip underneath was floortlength. The sheer part exposing the knees and thighs are a little tacky. Anyway, she worked that jewelry, but she could've done without the nosering.

Sheryl Crow in Toni Maticevski
Sheryl Crow is one of my favorite singers, and I think she looks beautiful in this color, but the shape looks a little sloppy. Those shoes are so 1990s, but I like them. LOL.

Courtesy of USWeekly Magazine

Monday, February 2, 2009

Limi Feu has quickly become my latest fashion craze.

Limi Yamamoto is the daughter of renowned Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. She's actually not a new designer, but made it to the fashion spotlight only in 2007. Looking at her designs, you can tell her dad has had a major influence on her aesthetic, but she also has a rock n' roll edge which I find very refreshing. I like that her designs are androgynous for the most part, and hope that she'll tap into menswear in the near future. I can't wait to see what she will do.

Who knew Rambo could inspire fashion? I am truly amazed by her design capability to interpret fashion of the modern vigilante into something quite wearable. There's also something very masculine about the skirt; a man could almost wear this and look good.

The look is a bit messy, but it works. What I love most is the color palette of this outfit: black, white, and lavender; it's "futuristically feminine." I love how the color, scarf, and sheer top softens up everything.

If you could pull this suit off, you could wear anything. There's something so wrong about this suit that it's right; I think it's the balloon pants. It's reminiscent of the 1980s and the Japanese schoolgirl look. Oh, and who could forget about those red boots?

When I look at this dress, I think architectural, edgy, and new...three very important words in fashion right now. I normally would say "stay away from the black," but I really can't see this dress in another color; the shape would be too overbearing.

I find this striped shirt dress to be be incredibly sexy. Well, it's also the coat that gave it a nice touch, which would've been better if it was in green or something.

Yay, Mod fashion is making a comeback. I'm not sure why it went out of style because I always thought it was very simple yet interesting. This dress really speaks to me because of its gigantic zipper. It's the perfect modern LBD in my opinion.

Courtesy of Style (Vogue)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Beauty & Youth Timberlands at Ross!

Beauty & Youth is a Japanese brand that is a division of United Arrows. They have some really interesting designs and color palettes that you rarely can find anywhere else. That is why I am shocked that I could find them at Ross for $24.99. Unfortunately, I did not buy them because they were size 8; I'm a size 10.
How often do you get to see red suede boat shoes? I usually don't even go for Timberlands, but these were just so well designed. I also love that the price was so good. Too bad they didn't come in my size (I'd still get them if they were size 9 though).

Courtesy of United Arrows