Monday, September 28, 2009

It's the fall, and I'm looking at Missoni for inspiration.

Based on the economic climate right now, fashion can't really afford to look and feel opulent. Plus, aristocratic fashion doesn't really whet my appetite, which is why Missoni's "homeless chic" revival is really refreshing. I usually find Missoni quite bland, but I guess they upped their ante stylistically this season.

I like the monochromatic effect the colors seem to convey. The subdued signature Missoni zigzag pattern adds a lot more texture to the look, so nothing looks boring. Also, the hooded tube scarf is draped very beautifully.

The clothes have a lot of color, but is neutralized with the two long scarves flowing in tandem. I like the color palette of the skirt, but I like the patterns of the sweater. Stylistically, it would've been less of a visual interruption.

Wow, they've got some pretty neat tricks up their sleeve. The draped and hooded turtleneck sweater with zigzag graphics of the coat pair well. The color story and the contrasting length of the scarves is sparking some ideas in my personal style.

"Nomad" comes to mind when I look at this; is this in anyone's fashion forecast? The floral trench almost looks like a kimono, yet still keeps everything looking organic. Oh, and the hooded tube scarf drapes beautifully even when it's not on the head. I'm especially digging the color palette.

To me, the look says "summer's not really over yet." There's an ease to the look and the floral print is cheery. I would've actually liked to see Liu Wen's hair tucked inside the hat because that would give the look a lot more symmetry.

As a city boy, I love this because there's an urban touch to it. It's a little on the grungy side, which satisfies my personal taste; it's very sexy. The color palette sticks out in the collection for being dark. In that sense, it's the most wearable.

I think this is a wonderful interpretation of a pumpkin (oh no I didn't). I actually like many elements of this look like the crochet dress, the hat, and coat; it's got that 1920s/1930s vibe.

Courtesy of Style

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I guess I have geeky taste.

I was at work yesterday and this girl asked me "What's a good housewarming gift?" I had too many ideas running through my mind, so I asked "What does this person like?" She replied "Geeky stuff." Finally, I had a ball rolling. She had a $30 budget, which is not impossible, just more limited. Here are some of the things I suggested:

Money Pig $19.95
This money pig puts a new spin on the traditional ceramic piggy bank. The different banknotes are color copied and papier-mâchéd onto the pig, giving it a literal meaning of a "piggy bank." It's not "high-tech geeky," but if you made this during the 1950s per say, you would've been ahead of your time.

Chicago/New York Buildings $24.95 - $29.95 $19.95 - $24.95
These are geeky in the sense that many geeks, I find, have a very fundamental understanding of how things work. These buildings made of split bamboo panels show a very skeletal part of the architectural process. I'm sure any geek would appreciate these.

"Show Me How" $24.95
This book embraces the geek in all of us. It teaches you everything from interesting D.I.Y. projects, etiquette, useful and ridiculous trivia. From reading this book time and time again, I've actually learned a lot.

Dot Wall Hook $19.95
When I think of wall hooks...I don't, because most of the time they're just there. This one, however, makes a statement by being geometric, orange, and minimal. It's perfect for math geeks (I wish I could be one of those).

Troy Pillow $24.95
Geeks and computer hackers alike, I am sure will love this pillow. It gives a nod to the Iliad and to that stupid virus that has killed many people's computers, including my own. I like the fact that the horse looks more like a doodle than an actual illustration because that would no longer be geeky or even cute for that matter.

Gear Candleholder $6.95
This was my last resorting suggestion to the girl, and you know what? She loved it. First of all, they're reclaimed (you can't beat that). They're antique yet mechanical, which is ironically how geeks tend to think. Actually, that might just be me because I'm a different kind of geek. Anyway, she bought two of these and a set of 12 tealights, which totaled to about $19 ($11 under budget). I'm proud of myself for being so instinctive and GEEKY. Basically, if someone asks me for this kind of specific help again, I'll know exactly what to do.

Courtesy of CB2

Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm so excited award season is back!

I love the Emmys because I have a closer relationship with T.V. than film. It's nice to see my favorite T.V. stars back on the Red Carpet, so I can give some style critiques. There weren't too many disasters, which sucks because that means fashion has kind of plateaued. Anyway, these were my favorite looks of the night:

Mary Louise Parker in Zac Posen
Normally, I would say "don't wear something above the knee after 40," but MLP has still got it. Then again, she's always a little off kilter, and that's why she's one of my favorite actresses. I love how loud that dress is and how demure her hair is. I also love that her shoes glitzed up the whole look rather than her jewelry.

Kristin Chenoweth in Zuhair Murad
She looks absoultely radiant in this shimmering number. I love that she went with her gut to go short because as a petite girl, it made her look taller. I would also like to congratulate her on her Emmy.

Mila Kunis in Monique Lhuillier
I love that she chose this dress because I haven't seen this style dress on the Red Carpet in a while. I love the berry red tone and the "awkward" length of the hem. It's definitely risk-taking.

Sandra Oh in Marchesa
I usually get overwhelmed with the Grecian draping of Marchesa that I overlook some very nice pieces. Sandra looks incredibly statuesque with the tailored silhouette and gold beading yet very easy breezy up top. I also thought the rope was incredibly adorable. This was one of my favorite looks of the night.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Yves Saint Laurent
This girl knows how to stand out. I absolutely love the color. (Actually, to push the envelope, she could've gone a bit more neon). I love the Mia Farrow do and the necklace. I love that she stepped away from looking to romantic.

Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier
Here's someone who looks pretty good when she's romantic-looking. I love the nude pink color and the feathery embroidery on the bottom. She looks very ethereal and honestly, she needs more of that.

Jennifer Carpenter in Zuhair Murad
Wow, what a knockout. I love this dress because it's like a sketch that has come to life with the nude and the black beading. Everything is draped so beautifully. It's what I would call "easy elegance."

January Jones in Atelier Versace
In my opinion, she should win best dressed on the Red Carpet. I love that she took a risk and did it well. Those geometric cutouts surprisingly worked in her favor and gave us some insight on futuristic Red Carpet arrivals. She looks edgy and romantic at the same time. I also love that she decided not to box herself into the wardrobe of Betty Draper.

Here are some others who looked good, but could've done a little tweaking here and there.

Rose Byrne in Valentino
This was practically the most beautiful dress on the Red Carpet. The scattering of the crystals and the volume make this dress perfection. However, when you're wearing such a beautiful dress, she could at least pull that hair back and bask in all her glory.

Olivia Wilde in Marchesa
I would like to like this dress more, but I'm sure it would look better on the ice. The bottom of the dress did not need all that frill because the top is already so interesting. Had it been sleeker on the bottom, it would gotten more raves. While I do like the concept of the design, I know I've seen this at the Winter Olympics before.

Christina Applegate in Basil Soda
Christina seems to always get it right with color. Her choices on dresses, on the other hand, arne't always the best. Now, I actually do like this dress, espcially the cowl neck. However, that beading is way too much. If it was all focused in one place, it would've looked so much more effortlessly elegant. I do appreciate that she's a risk taker on the Red Carpet.

Courtesy of USWeekly, Style

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tilly Bloom makes me want to open up an old textbook.

Tilly Bloom is a young jewelry designer from Scotland now living in New York. Inspirations for her designs are the Victorian Era, surrealism, folktales, creatures, dolls, diagrams, and inanimate objects. It's nostalgic and quirky, which is part of the appeal. Jewelry isn't all about glitz (at least not for me).

Eyeball In A Tophat Cufflinks $16.00
I'm not really a cufflink kind of guy, but I like the idea of wearing them. I think a guy's taste in cufflinks, can tell you something about his personality. So what does this say about me? I like to find the "funny" in fashion.

Beethoven Earrings $16.00
I like the idea behind the earrings more than the earrings themselves. The irony behind is this that Beethoven was technically deaf and was still so talented with his music. Maybe when you go out next time, people might think you're musically inclined.

Russian Doll Earrings $15.00
If anything, these earrings are very sentimental. They mean something in "the old country." I also liked that Tilly made them red instead of black and white.

Dancing Elephants Brooch $15.00
I love the humor in this brooch. As far as I know, elephants don't waltz, but this brooch says otherwise. I wonder what textbook she pulled this out from.

Valentine Brooch $15.00
This has got be my favorite piece. It's so simple and literal, but it says everything. You can even be a walking metaphor by wearing this brooch on your sleeve.

A Bee in Her Bonnet Necklace $25.00
The bee on the girl's head, gives the "beehive" new meaning. It's especially funny because the bee is so gigantic. It's kind of like Little Miss Muffet's spider. Tilly should totally do a Nursery Rhyme collection.

Eye Test Necklace $25.00
This eye chart necklace is hilarious. It's a very subtle way to hit on someone. People like mystery, so you wearing this necklace gives them something to solve; it's going to be you they're thinking about.

Courtesy of Tilly Bloom

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Give it up for comediennes who write!

I'm a student, so I don't get to read books I want to read as much as textbooks. It also happens that my favorite stand-up comics are mainly women who are crude and raunchy because they break that stereotype of prim and proper, submissive females. Ironically, they will still insult us in very endearing ways, in which male comics are less likely to do. Here are books written by three of my favorite people: Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin, and Lisa Lampanelli.

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands $14.95
My Horizontal Life chronicles Chelsea bag of one-night stands and what she has learned from each of them. She opens with an interesting story about catching her parents "in the act," which in a way framed her notion of "hooking up." Throughout the book, she learns that one-night stands are way easier than relationships because sex is what it amounts to anyway. However, the stories are so bizarre that it makes you wonder if some of them are really true. Either way, you'll laugh your ass off regardless because it's so taboo.

Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea $24.95
If you watch her late-night show, Chelsea Lately, this book is a premise to understanding her branch of humor. I love that the title is a parody of the famous Judy Blume book, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret because it's so random. Unlike My Horizontal Life, gives us a lot more insight about life rather than documenting past one-night stands, which can get a little boring after a while. Nodding to the title, many of the stories are about her passion for alcohol (her favorite is Grey Goose). My favorite chapters are Prison Break in which she went to jail for a D.U.I. and fraudulent I.D., Dim Sum and Then Some where she was stuck in a strange situation at a massage parlor, Jumped by three Latinas, and Re-Gift in which she recycled a gift to a psycho.

Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin $25.00
Kathy is my idol, which is why I had to get this book when it first came out. (I also got it for 30% off.) I worship her because she has a fearless personality and does whatever the hell she wants, even if it gets her in trouble in the strict world of show business. This is my favorite book so far because she really exposes herself, and allows her fans to love her. She is brutally honest about the good, bad and ugly in her life like her hard-earned career, failed marriage, botched plastic surgery and her dead estranged pedophile brother. This memoir is not all comedy, and gives you another facet of her that you don't get to see on her show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. It also includes some very interesting e-mails between her and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak.

Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks $24.99
I haven't gotten the chance to read this book yet because it just came out yesterday. But based her branch of "insult comedy," I'm sure I'll like it. In the comedy world, she's known for being the "Queen of Mean," so you have to have thick skin to not be offended and understand her humor. I think the title refers to her love of black men. Then again, who doesn't love chocolate? I'm really looking forward to this book.

Courtesy of Simon Spotlight Entertainment, Bloomsbury USA, Ballantine Books, It Books

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I practically overdosed on chocolate.

The 14th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival benefiting Project Open Hand was a success this year, even with the economic downturn and all. The festival worked like a carnival system, which you have a ticket that gets marked off at every booth you go to. Admission was $10 for 6 tastings and $20 for 15. Come to think of it, I should've just split a ticket with 15 tastings with a friend because contrary to belief, it was just too much.

The place was jam packed and it was a challenge to get around. There were booths all over the square and was a bit of a hassle. However, chocolate is always worth it.

These edible art pieces are from Sterling Truffles. Not only did they look good, but tasted like heaven. They had flavors like strawberry mint and orange liqueur, which were really interesting.

My friend Shirley absolutely loved those pancakes. There was a lighter and milder vanilla pancake to go with a rich and indulgent chocolate pancake. Oh, and it was made with chocolate butter, which blew her mind when she found out.

Although the line took forever to get through, it was worth the wait. I've had gelato only once, so I had to have it again. I chose the blood orange because I heard that it was really good; they weren't kidding.

Ah, San Francisco's own Sugar Bowl Bakery. While I never get the chance to go to their flagship bakery, every now and then, I get some of their baked goodies at Walgreens. They make awesome Madelines and danishes.

This was a s'more with dark chocolate, graham cracker and pumpkin marshmallow. I had weird expectations of the taste, but it was actually really good.

I'd say Mary Louise Butters makes the most interesting brownies. The packaging is very nostalgic and reminiscent of art nouveau. They had flavors like orange, rose and...chipotle. A pumpkin marshmallow is one thing, but chipotle brings chocolate to a whole other level. Let's see, the first bite really tastes like a normal brownie. It's when you swallow the first bite and take a second bite that it begins to burn.

This is what I was waiting the whole time for: the sundae. It's vanilla icream, hot Ghirardelli fudge, drizzled with caramel, topped with whipped cream and a Maraschino cherry. The line for this wasn't as long as the Ciao Bella gelato line. But hey, more for me. Then again, maybe not; I'm afraid of chocolate right now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It was quite colorful at the Doki Doki 6% fan night.

Doki Doki 6% is a special brand created by Sebastian Masuda in the Harajuku subculture and caters to a particular style called "Sensational Kawaii." The goal is to look excessively cute by adding on accessories to find some kind of symmetry. Doki Doki 6% has designed some accessories for occasional and everyday wear. If you want to check them out, you should do it soon because they're moving out of the New People Center in a couple of weeks.

Well, will you look at that line. Fortunately, we got there early, so we got a guaranteed spot. Those in the back couldn't get in because the shop was so small.

Look at how crowded we all are. I could hardly sit let alone move. Many dressed up for the event, but it was not as formal as the BTSSB tea party. My friend Phuong gave me a blue barette to wear, so I'd "fit in." Whatever.

Here is a girl who is considered a "clean slate" because she had no accessories on whatsoever. So instead of putting the bow on the hair, they jazzed it up by placing it on the dress strap. Also, their scrunchies could be used as bracelets.

This girl dressed up for the occasion and went up to demonstrate. Yuka, the shopgirl added more bows on her head to complete the look. Of course for Doki Doki 6%, "more is more."

So they were giving out prizes, but the way to win them was to play some rounds of Jankenpon (Rochambeau) with Yuka. I lost on the second round, but Phuong kept going.

She kept it up and won second place. Lucky. She claims that there's a pattern in the game, but whatever it is, I have no idea.

This is what she won: a unicorn t-shirt. Either way, I wouldn't have wanted it. Maybe I could've sold it and gain some profit. Oh well.

This is her "Lolita pose." While Lolita is a lot more put together, Harajuku goes all out. Here she is trying the bow near her shoulder like the way Yuka demonstrated.

Phuong says this place is like a Japanese version of Claire's. There isn't too much that I could wear or want, but I really want the glitzy bow tie. It's a brooch, clp-on tie, barette...whatever you make of it.