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Monthly Archives: February 2011

I’ve Made Up My Mind, It’s Make Up For Ever

Feb 23 0 Comments

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My leading lady when it comes to all things hair and makeup, director of Beauty and Brand development for Alexa Winner Inc., Rachael Lynsey Rubin (check out her new blog!), has turned me on to a brand called Make Up For Ever that is seriously unlike any other makeup brand I’ve used before. The packaging may not be as glam as say Nars or Bobbi Brown, but after being backstage at many of the shows this fashion week (designer friends Daniella Kallmeyer and Malan Breton are two fans), I can firmly attest that it is the brand of choice to celebrity makeup artists.
Backstage at Daniella Kallmeyer
What makes Make Up For Ever different is their array of colors, longevity and quality. It is, by industry standards, professional makeup, however it is competitively affordable. 

One of Rachael Lynsey Rubin’s Photoshoot’s Using Products Entirely From Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever has become one of the leading innovators in the makeup industry. Christian Dior and other designers have been showing flamboyantly large colored eyelashes on their runway. Make Up For Ever was the first to pick up on the trend and is now selling them online. Wear them as a fun accessory for a photoshoot or just a crazy night out. Other fun lash products by Make Up For Ever include feathered lashes, diamond lashes, and tres vichy lashes.

 

My personal favorite product that Rachael has introduced me to from Make Up For Ever are “aqua cremes,” which can be used as face makeup, eye shadow and even lip color… Like many of Make Up For Ever’s products, you can consider it face paint in makeup form (***tip, make sure to give it a little extra time to dry!)
 

Make Up For Ever’s palates come in neutral colors as well as bold colors too which I love as I’m slightly O.C.D. about matching that perfect hint of mint green in my dress with a perfect hint of mint green around my eyes.
 

Much to my happiness, Make Up For Ever has recently opened a store downtown just a few blocks away from me, likely due to the increase in customer following. For those of you who don’t live in New York, Make Up For Ever is also available at Sephora.

Inside the Make Up For Ever Store in Soho

When I don’t have the amazing Rachael around to transform me into an otherworldly goddess (I swear whatever it is she does with makeup I can’t even believe it’s me sometimes!) I now know that Make Up For Ever, as the name so bluntly states, is now my forever go to.


Tres Belle, Ricki L

Feb 21 0 Comments

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This spring season is all about femininity with edge. In jewelry, this means lots of feminine references such as flowers and bodices but with striking colors, protruding edges, and often unfinished and rough-cut stones.

Costa Rica Bracelet, Price Available Upon Request.

While perusing through the Nolcha style lounge at the Empire Hotel a few days ago, I came across a jewelry designer who absolutely blew me out of the (jewelry) box . I wouldn’t even so much call her a jewelry designer as I would more of an artist of the body. The pieces that she had on display were absolutely stunning works of art; I was certain that the prices were at least $500 and up (also considering I had seen about 18 other “costume” jewelers that day so I had a fair basis for comparison when it came to price.) 

Goddess Necklace, $525

To my surprise and much aghast, I was happily proven wrong when I checked to see the prices and they were all in the $200-$500 range.

Amethyst Cuff, Price Available Upon Request

The designer I speak of is Erica Levine, otherwise known as “Ricki L.” Ms. Levine, who is based out of New Jersey, uses over-sized precious and semi-precious stones that she has collected from her travels around the world (hence her naming many of the one-of-a-kind designs after various cities).

Milan Necklace, $550

 The price has no baring on the quality of the pieces or the tremendous amount of labor and love she pours into each and every one; she is simply a savvy business woman trying to make a profit without going overboard on the markup. 

Blue Agate Bracelet, Price Available Upon Request.

 In her rings, necklaces, and bracelets, she typically combines stones with other materials you wouldn’t normally see such together as delicate wires and dried flowers. Everything is placed in intricate yet wearable ways due to her vast knowledge of her craftsmanship, having learned to weld at the age of six and later attaining a degree in jewelry design at Parsons the New School for Design. She also purposefully places the stones, both rough cut and fine, juxtaposing one another to enhance the ethereal and artistic quality of her pieces.

Florence Necklace, Price Available Upon Request

Because Ms. Levine so thoughtfully mixes art and fashion, you can clearly see an emotional attachment to each and every one of her pieces, as all of them literally and figuratively tell magical stories of travels from around the world.

Formal Affair Necklace, Price Available Upon Request.

In her late fifties (although with the looks and fervor of someone in their early forties) Ms. Levine now makes most of her pieces at her workshop at home, however has plans to eventually open a showroom in Manhattan. In the meantime, Ricki L designs can be purchased online or custom ordered (she will, quite literally, hunt down any stone or gem you desire to fit your specific need).

Red Carpet Bracelet, $375

 To purchase already-made pieces online, visit http://globalfashionbrands.com/RickiLJewelry

Pierre Ring, $225

For personal inquiries and custom orders, you can contact Ricki L Jewelry via email, Ricki-L@att.net 

Happy Birthday Michelle and UNYSA

Feb 20 0 Comments
Michelle Lara Lin, a beautiful girl around my age, ran up to me a few days ago outside of Lincoln Center at the fashion shows. She proclaimed to me how much she loved my blog and for that alone, I felt quite honored. Michelle was kind enough to invite me to her birthday party, a joint venture of a celebration of her coming of age as well as the launch of the United Nations Youth & Student’s Association (UNYSA) in which Michelle is both Founder and President. I feel so special not only to be invited to Michelle’s birthday, but to know that I have reader’s like her who (like myself) not only love fashion, but love to try to make a difference in the world. Happy birthday Michelle, and may all your wishes for you and your foundation come true.
For anyone who would like to attend or learn more about UNYSA, please see below.
Event Description:
UNYSA Launch Celebration
Hosted in conjunction with Founder & President Michelle Lara Lin’s birthday celebration

Venue:
The Waldorf Astoria & Towers, New York City
50th Street between Park & Lexington Ave
Grand Suite # 29A

Schedule:

Sunday, February 20th
7:00PM~8:00PM: Private press session
8:00PM~12:00AM: Celebration begins
UNYSA Overview:
UNYSA was founded in 2010 as a project for establishing a United States youth delegation program to the United Nations. The mission of UNYSA is to give youth between the ages  of 15-24 an opportunity to represent the United States in real United Nations conferences (most notably the General Assembly). Youth delegates to the United Nations are given the opportunity to participate in conference such as the General Assembly (more specifically, the Third Committee that targets social, cultural and humanitarian issues), Commission for Social Development (CSocD) – a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). In the various conferences, youth delegates take on the roles of politicians, lobbyists and diplomats by delivering statements on issues relevant to the committee’s agenda and participating in the drafting of youth-related resolutions.
Fifty member states of the United Nations have established youth delegation programs to the United Nations, and have furthermore sent, or continue to send youth delegations to annual United Nations conferences in New York. Taking in mind that the United States is the number one financial contributor to the United Nations- funding a whooping 22% of the United Nations budget, and that youth empowerment is unarguable an issue of priority on the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agenda, it comes as a shock that the United States is absent from this list. After years of witnessing youth groups attempt, but fail to lobby for a United States youth delegation program to the United Nations, UNYSA was established to once and for all fixate the status of youth delegates as an official part of United States government policy.
Furthermore, UNYSA also aims to foster awareness of current affairs and global issues, and seeks to provide leadership and empowerment opportunities for youth all over the world.
Program & Non-Profit Partnership
Cherished Feet is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to provide footwear to underprivileged and impoverished children in developing countries. Our focus is to promote, protect the health and well-being of children around the world. Cherished Feet reaches out to communities across the globe to offer assistance and services to orphanages, schools and organizations.

The mission of Planet Good™ is to be the premier eco-green-sustainable brand and to connect Individuals or organizations who are seeking support for a project that will help people in our neighborhoods live healthier, happier, more creative and satisfying lives. By bringing people together, supporting projects that improve the health, security, education, and well-being of our neighbors, we can inspire and achieve more than we can alone.



Nothing Wrong with a Little Poison

Feb 20 0 Comments
Right now, I’m in the midst of a minor obsession with “poison rings.” The word “poison” is used when describing the ring because the gem or top design always flips open unveiling a small compartment in which you can hide a small amount of any type of toxic substance. Nicer terms for these rings (which date back hundreds of centuries) include “socket” rings, “box” rings, or even “funeral” rings (in replacement of a poison, one would place a picture of a deceased loved one, somewhat like a locket.) 
The rings were said to have originated in the far east, but were so practical in usage that they began to spread to other parts of Asia and eventually Europe.

While in modern times wearers of poison rings seldom use them for anything but decoration, or perhaps holding a pill or two, in ancient times it was said that there was one poison in particular which was a derivative of an unknown vegetable that in small amounts (such as the tiny amount that can be held by the ring) could actually prove lethal. Other historians dis-spell this rumor and believe that there was nothing during those times, in that small amount, that could actually kill someone.
Lethal or not, these rings are fun collectors pieces and are definitely coming back into style as we begin to see more and more modern jewelers use the notion of the poison ring’s “secret compartments” when designing their own pieces. 
One Unique Modern Take on the Old Concept of the Poison Ring That I Actually Love. Available at http://heirloomphilosophy.blogspot.com/2010/11/naughty-or-nice.html
While I am not a huge fan of most of the modern poison rings, I myself have been able to find some terrific “antique” (hard to tell the date, but they look rusty enough) poison rings at various outdoor flea markets in New York (look for a man named Jay on Houston and Bowery) as well as online. 
My Three Poison Rings Stacked On Top One Another on One Finger
 Interesting, authentic, poison rings can be hard to come by online, as most of the ones sold on the internet are obvious reproductions. However, I highly recommend either going on eBay, perusing through flea markets and estate sales, or visiting your local pawn shops and inquiring about them if you are interested.  


Obsession of the Day: Burberry’s Spring Leather Jackets

Feb 17 1 Comments
Christopher Bailey is killing it this Spring season with his rocker chic coats. I’m particularly loving the motocross sleeves, studded details, ribbed topstitching, and high collars. Such a relief to see a divergence from the classic Burberry plaid. Well done Mr. Bailey, well done.
Below are a few of my favorites. 
Bonda Nappa Peplum Biker Jacket
Boyfriend Fit Military Leather Biker Jacket
Cotton Crochet Jacket with Cotton Leather Sleeves
Gabardine Biker Trench Coat with Contrast Leather Sleeves
Leather Peplum Biker Jacket
Gabardine Cropped Biker Jacket with Contrast Leather Sleeves
Short Studded Leather Biker Jacket
Bonded Nappa Studed Biker Trench Coat

Inspired

Feb 17 0 Comments
True, this blog is essentially a “style” blog, but as any true artist knows, in order to create art, be it style, be it fashion, be it pottery, you must consume and be inspired by your surroundings. Some of these inspirations we find are conscious, others subconscious, but it is the power of being able to open your senses to the world that enhances ones creativity.
Below are a few of my favorite images, seemingly random but purposefully placed that way. They all mean something important to me and have inspired me in some way or another; one could even say they have helped define my “style.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words but they also say that actions speak louder than words. Thus said, I am not going to caption who/what/where/why any of these images are important to me, I am only going to hope that perhaps one resonates or inspires you to take action and create.

***ALL PHOTOS (with the exception of 31) TAKEN BY ALEXA WINNER 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


New York Fashion Week: My Favorite Trends for Fall

Feb 15 0 Comments
It’s day five of New York fashion week and although I’m still feeling a bit ho-hum about what I’ve been seeing, there are a few key trends that I’ve been picking up on that have really caught my eye. Below are a few of my favorite trends for fall so far and a little visual guidance to inspire you. 
Trends I’m Loving
Fringe
 Asian References
Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom
Deep-Set Blues
Loose and Low Slung Trousers
Military Greens
Thigh High Boots
Tattered and Torn
Sheer Accents
Argyle’s and Plaids
Bursts of Reds
Structured Outerwear
Controlled Gothicism
Bare Legs
Belted Breakdowns
Soft Metallics
Unusual Knitting Patterns
Sophisticated Necklines
1920’s and 30’s References
Pointy Toes
Biker Leggings
Massive Scarves and Sweaters

 DESIGNER: Carlos Miele
TRENDS: Bursts of Reds, Belted Breakdowns
  DESIGNER: Adam
TRENDS: Argyle’s and Plaids, Deep-Set Blues, Loose and Low Slung Trousers, Sheer Accents
  DESIGNER: Adam
TRENDS: Fringe, Deep-Set Blues, Sheer Accents, Unusual Knitting Patterns, Massive Scarves and Sweaters
  DESIGNER: Alice + Olivia
TRENDS: Soft Metallics, Structured Outerwear
 DESIGNER: Alice + Olivia
TRENDS: Soft Metallics, Controlled Gothicism, Sophisticated Necklines
 DESIGNER: Alice + Olivia
TRENDS: Fringe, Thigh High Boots, Bare Legs, Oversize Sweaters and Scarves
 DESIGNER: Alice + Olivia
TRENDS: Bursts of Reds, Belted Breakdowns
 DESIGNER: Altuzarra
TRENDS: Military Greens, Sheer Accents, Tattered and Torn, Bare Legs
 DESIGNER: Altuzarra
TRENDS: Argyle’s and Plaids, Loose and Low Slung Trousers, Structured Outerwear

DESIGNER: Behnaz Sarafpour

TRENDS: Pointy Toes, Structured Outerwear, Biker Leggings, Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom
DESIGNER: Carlos Miele
TRENDS: Sheer Accents, Bursts of Reds
DESIGNER: Carlos Miele
TRENDS: Unusual Knitting Patterns
DESIGNER: Charlotte Ronson
TRENDS: Loose and Low Slung Trousers, Military Greens
DESIGNER: Christian Siriano
TRENDS: Controlled Gothicism, Soft Metallics, Pointy Toes
DESIGNER: Christian Siriano
TRENDS: Tattered and Torn, Controlled Gothicism, Sheer Accents, Bare Legs, Pointy Toes
DESIGNER: Christian Siriano
TRENDS: Sheer Accents, Controlled Gothocism, Bare Legs
DESIGNER: Costello Tagliapietra
TRENDS: Bare Legs, 1920’s and 30’s References
DESIGNER: Cushnie et Ochs
TRENDS: Fringe, Sheer Accents, Controlled Gothicism, Asian References
DESIGNER: Cushnie et Ochs
TRENDS: Fringe, Controlled Gothicism, Pointy Toes, Massive Scarves and Sweaters, Asian References
DESIGNER: Doo.Ri
TRENDS: Massive Scarves and Sweaters
DESIGNER: Doo.Ri
TRENDS: Deep-Set Blues, Unusual Knitting Patterns, Biker Leggings
DESIGNER: Duro Olowu
TRENDS: Sophisticated Necklines, Bursts of Reds, Deep-Set Blues, Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom
DESIGNER: Erin Fetherston
TRENDS: Biker Leggings, Sheer Accents, Pointy Toes
DESIGNER: Malandrino
TRENDS: Tattered and Torn, Controlled Gothicism, Sheer Accents, Bare Legs
DESIGNER: Max Azria
TRENDS: Soft Metallics, Turtlenecks, Loose and Low Slung Trousers, Belted Breakdowns, Unusual Knitting Patterns
DESIGNER: Monique Lhullier
TRENDS: Sheer Accents, 1920’s and 30’s References

DESIGNER: Monique Lhullier
TRENDS: Sheer Accents, Belted Breakdowns, 1920’s and 30’s References,
DESIGNER: Monique Lhullier
TRENDS: Tattered and Torn, Sheer Accents, 1920’s and 30’s References
DESIGNER: Norma Kamali
TRENDS: Controlled Gothicism, Pointy Toes, Asian References
DESIGNER: Prabal Gurung
TRENDS: Bursts of Reds, Structured Outerwear, Controlled Gothicism, Tattered and Torn, Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom
DESIGNER: Prabal Gurung
TRENDS: Tattered and Torn, Sheer Accents, Belted Breakdowns, Turtlenecks, 1920’s and 30’s References
DESIGNER: Rachel Zoe
TRENDS: Bursts of Reds, Loose and Low Slung Trousers
DESIGNER: Rebecca Minkoff
TRENDS: Bursts of Reds, Structured Outerwear, Biker Leggings
DESIGNER: Sachin + Babi
TRENDS: Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom, Oversize Scarves and Sweaters, Biker Leggings, Sheer Accents, Fringe, Sophisticated Necklines
DESIGNER: Suno
TRENDS: Sophisticated Necklines, Deep-Set Blues, Belted Breakdowns
DESIGNER: The Row
TRENDS: Heavy on Top/Narrow on Bottom, Deep-Set Blues, Tattered and Torn
DESIGNER: Theyskens for Theory
TRENDS: Deep-Set Blues, Loose and Low Slung Trousers, Sheer Accents
DESIGNER: Theyskens for Theory
TRENDS: Structured Outerwear, Pointy Toes, Unusual Knitting Patterns, Bare Legs, Sophisticated Neckline
DESIGNER: Theyskens for Theory
TRENDS: Deep-Set Blues, Pointy Toes, Sheer Accents, Belted Breakdowns
DESIGNER: Vivienne Tam
TRENDS: Sophisticated Necklines, Asian References, Deep-Set Blues, Tattered and Torn, Fringe
DESIGNER: Vivienne Tam
TRENDS: Sophisticated Necklines, Structured Outerwear, Deep-Set Blues, Asian References, Controlled Gothicism, Soft Metallics
DESIGNER: Willow
TRENDS: Bare Legs, Structured Outerwear, 1920’s and 30’s References
DESIGNER: Willow
TRENDS: Controlled Gothicism, Structured Outerwear, Asian References, Bare Legs, Thigh High Boots
DESIGNER: Willow
TRENDS: Bare Legs, Sophisticated Neckline, Controlled Gothicism, 1920’s and 30’s References
DESIGNER: Y-3
TRENDS: Military Greens, Thigh High Boots, Bare Legs


Pineapples over Zoe’s Bananas

Feb 12 0 Comments
Some girls may be born Winner’s, but damn it wouldn’t be so bad to be a Zoe either, Rachael Zoe that is. I don’t care what people say about her, the woman is brilliant and a working machine. I’m additionally pleased to see this preview of her new f/w 11′ collection that definitely took away from that little collection for QVC some of us may like to forget (Sorry Rach! We all screw up sometimes…you less than others). 

Q V C’ya Later
 
If you want to go “bananas” for her new collection, click below. Or you can just “die” from the images. Up to you.
Bananas.

Apples.

Watermelons.

Kiwi.

Limes.

Pineapples.

More Bananas.

Kumquat

Fashion WEAK?

Feb 12 0 Comments
I know it’s only the beginning of New York fashion week, but something about this year seems exceptionally different than last. Perhaps it’s the move to Lincoln Center (and then those who choose to protest it and show elsewhere, thus creating an uptown-downtown-uptown-downtown daily pattern that could make ones’ head spin.) Maybe it’s the weather, (although I’m certain there have been New York fashion weeks colder than this.) But whatever it is, f/w 2011 fashion week in the big apple is looking pretty bleak.

Inside Lincoln Center…Not as glamorous as one would hope…
First there is the crowd
Which sometimes, is often better than the clothes themselves. I remember my first fashion week at age eighteen when I interned for Kelly Cutrone at People’s Revolution. It was s/s 07′ showing in Bryant Park and you could practically hear a buzz as the energy was so alive. Photographers were everywhere, models were chirpy and running like mad from show to show. The celebrities were out in full force, walking up the steps to the main tent as if it were the Oscar’s. Come to think of it, everyone was well dressed. And if they weren’t simply well dressed, then they were beyond well dressed. It was fashion spectacle after fashion spectacle. If you work in fashion, at the very least, isn’t fashion week the (two) times of year when you should put on your best, (or some may say worst) but certainly most creative and exciting attire? 
What’s black and white and dead all over? The front row at this designer’s show.
Not so yesterday and today…
I live by the motto that “life’s a runway; walk it” so it isn’t atypical for me to wear something over-the-top on any given day, however I didn’t expect to be the most dressed up person in the tents when I arrived. There was minimal security in general, but even the fashion police weren’t there because surely 90% of the people I saw would’ve gotten a large fine. I put on my 8″ heels (if Daphne Guinness can work it, why can’t I?) an Alexander Berardi dress, and some beautiful jewels from Diamond Club International, yet amidst what had always been hyped to be one of the most exciting days of the year, I felt like a sore thumb sticking out in a sea of gray and black. Even if you want to wear your warm jacket, there’s a coat check people! Grin a bare it, this is fashion week after all! Instead, Unlike four and a half years prior, I found myself surrounded by (eeeek dare I say it) GYM SHOE WEARING and heel-less women in a bland array of casual wear. I feel that it’s almost insulting to the designers not to show up looking like you put in some effort; the designers have certainly done their part (or at least tried). The celebrity sightings at the tents were at an all-time low too. The other Alexa, Ms. Chung, was strolling along (looking quite beautiful) yet it seemed no one was paying attention. Alexa Chung is a style icon to some people, this is the type of place where she should be getting the most attention! As usual, there were fancy cars on display, but this year the photographers seemed more interested in snapping shots of the cars than the crowd (which I can’t really blame given my aforementioned description of the subjects).  
Myself in an Alexander Berardi dress and Jewlery from Diamond Club International
Then there are the shows
Thus far I have personally viewed Irina Shabayeva, Alisha Trimble, Christian Siriano, Norman Ambrose, Cynthia Rowley, The W Global Glam Showroom (kind of an overcrowded hot mess) and about fifteen or so other up and coming designers at the Nolcha Style Lounge. Truthfully what impressed me most was the jewelry I saw at many of these shows, not necessarily the clothing itself. Most shows had about 20-35 looks go down the runway. Below are a few of my favorite looks that I could muster together thus far.
Christian Siriano (1 of 5 pieces liked)
Irina Shabayeva (1 of 3 pieces liked)
Alisha Trimble (1 of 3 pieces liked)
Norman Ambrose (1 of 4 pieces liked)

Cynthia Rowley (1 of 2 pieces liked)
 (More on the jewelry I’ve seen so far in a separate blog to come).
So let’s all pray to the fashion gods for a little better weather and some sparkle or a feather, because if I have to see one more collection entirely in black or gray, I might just call it a day (or a week rather).

Oh and just an aside, there are some “fake” Alexa Winner’s on facebook…Not me.
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