Friday, 31 December 2010


Linda Loudermilk: innovative eco-friendly fashion designer extraordinaire.  Six years ago, Loudermilk found her designs strolling down the Paris runways and at the top of high fashion, but instead of feeling success, she felt disappointment.  She felt she was "creating beauty without a soul."  It was then that she began a new eco-friendly clothing line. Her personal mission is to inspire change in the world and within ourselves.  She wants to ignite expressiveness, encourage clarity, and bring about gratitude for this planet, all with a sustainable, "luxury eco" lifestyle.

She began using organic textiles woven from natural sources like bamboo, seaweed, and corn and collecting scraps of lace and other fine fabric remnants from European sources.  Her designs are beautiful and dramatic and hand finished mostly in the USA.  Loudermilk is recognized as the first to identify and successfully market to the luxury eco consumer.

Her designs are unique and edgy.  I really appreciate her mission and technique, and I think you'll like her designs too!

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Winter Accessories

When Winter comes around, it gets hard to maintain your sense of style while trying to keep warm.  Even though we may want to go out in ballet flats, a loose-fitting tank, and a light jacket, we know we would immediately regret that decision when we step out the door. So we are forced to be "practical" and wear layer upon layer of sweaters, jackets, tights, jeans, and boots, along with that scarf, that hat, and those gloves.  But rather than grumble over all the things we can't wear in Winter, let's get excited over all the great Winter accessories that we won't get to wear once the snow melts! I put together a "Winter Accessories" set on Polyvore of all my favorite accessories I get to wear this Winter season!

Gloves, hats, scarves, shrugs, and, yes, sunglasses. There are so many different styles to choose from! My favorite gloves are the ones with the bow on them, I have a pair of black and white striped gloves with a bow on them myself! Long leather gloves are always a good choice for when it is especially cold, they will keep your hands the most warm. For hats, you could go for any style, covering your head is the key to staying warm! If you feel like going for a more classy look, pick the cloche hat, and if your feeling in a more cozy mood, put on the knit beanie!

Sometimes the coldest days are the clearest days, so sunglasses are a must! I recently bought a pair tortoise-shell square frames from Anthropologie, and a much less expensive pair of aviators from the car wash!  You never know where you might find a fun pair of sunglasses! And my favorite accessory is the scarf: right now I'm big into the big and cozy knit scarves, but if it's not so cold out, I would go for a smaller scarf. 

This Winter will probably be another cold and gray season, but it's no reason to get down about your wardrobe!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Goth Princess

John Galliano has a new video campaign called "Parlez-moi d'Amour chez Marionnaud" and who is the star?  Taylor Momsen, the long ratty blonde hair and raccoon eyes sporting goth princess from the TV series "Gossip Girl." Although I am not a big fan of her style choices, I do have to give her props for landing the campaign, not only as the model, but also as the singer and songwriter. 

Galliano's new fragrance, Parlez-moi d'Amour, is the subject of the ad campaign.  He said he wanted the name to be something that could be easily understood in English-speaking countries. He was inspired by Momsen's iconic youth and by her lyrics.  The narrative is about a girl who had been touring around Europe with her band and had fallen in love with one of the band members.  When they parted, she was stranded in an airport without any means of communication.  The only way that she could speak to her lover was to write it out long hand.

Monday, 20 December 2010

One of the Pioneers

He was the pioneer of the sleek gowns and flowing jumpsuits that moved across the floor at Studio 54.  He was the fashion superstar of the 1970s and beyond.  He was Halston.  Born far from Fashion Mecca in Des Moines, Iowa in 1932, Roy Halston Frowick, aka Halston, is known as the first designer to realize the potential of licensing himself.  He was one of the first designers to make his clothing designs available to women of all income levels, something that at that time was very controversial, but many designers today do with their own lines. 
Halston at Studio 54 with Mick and Bianca Jagger
Take Michael Kors for example.  His clothes are sophisticated and look expensive, but his ready-to-wear line is very affordable, with several pieces under $100. 
Michael Kors fashion show

Betsey Johnson's designs are also affordable, with fun and quirky tops and dresses between $100 and $200. 
Some fun dresses from Betsey Johnson
Halston brought in a new era of designing.  Not only were his designs iconic, but also he helped bring high fashion to all women, not just those with heavy purses.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A Stylish Place to Live

This apartment is amazing! Created by Samantha Boardman, M.D. and husband Aby Rosen and with the help of architect and decorator William T. Georgis, this modern apartment is filled with ornate decorations and artworks by the likes of Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Francis Bacon.  I was, yet again, snooping around Vogue's website when I came upon this article and fell in love with this apartment. 

Every room has something unique about it, whether it be a wall covered in Andy Warhol portraits, an ornate green and gold matador outfit, or an inflatable dog hanging from the ceiling.  I took a Modern and Contemporary Art History class this past term, and I have really come to appreciate both movements.  This apartment is filled with it.  I do love the cozy feel of traditional homes, and modern homes tend to be cold and sometimes off-putting, but Boardman and Rosen were able to make a modern home feel cozy.  My favorite room is the library.  Even with the plesiosaur skeleton hanging from the ceiling, I could see myself curled up on the couch with a blanket and a good book.

I think it must have been Boardman's touch that helped soften up Rosen's idea of the perfect apartment.

The Library, with the plesiosaur skeleton and the matador outfit

The Play Room, decorated with Andy Warhol portraits

The Living Room, complete with the inflatable dog

Rosen's Study

The Dining Room, with a glass-enclosed biosphere as the centerpiece

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The Year's Best Dressed

I am back in the States!  It was very sad leaving London; it was so much fun living in a big city where there is fashion everywhere you look!  But it is great to be home.  One of the first things I did when I got here: went to the US Vogue website and snooped around for interesting things.  What I found: the Best Dressed women of 2010.  Vogue chose ten women, from which people voted on for who they thought was the Best Dressed of the year.  The winner: Lady Gaga with 8,257 votes.  She won by a landslide; the runner-up was Blake Lively with 3,350 votes.  And in third place was Sarah Jessica Parker with 1,439 votes.  Other contestants included Alexa Chung, Marion Cotilliard, and our First Lady, Michelle Obama. 

The top three women are all very different.  Lady Gaga is the creative, avant-garde Pop Queen, Blake Lively the young and beautiful actress (notice I didn't say talented), and Sarah Jessica Parker the classic and experienced fashionista.  Although she has had some rather weird outfits, like her dress made entirely out of meat, Lady Gaga definitely deserves the recognition.  She is always coming out with something new and different, something unforgettable.  Her outfits may be a bit out there, but she is being creative and having fun with it! She doesn't just pick out pieces from a designer's collection, she actually designs her outfits to be completely unique.  So, Lady Gaga, congratulations!

Lady Gaga

Blake Lively

Sarah Jessica Parker

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Like Father, Like Son

As you know I like to do, I was browsing around's "Need to Know Designers" section today and this name came up: Moises de la Renta.  The adopted son of the infamous Oscar de la Renta has recently entered the fashion business designing his own line called MDLR. 

Moises hadn't been interested in fashion his whole life, like many of us are.  He attended Marymount Manhattan College studying Communications for two years before he decided to drop about to take an internship at Phat Farm.  Phat Farm is a line led by Russell Simmons, the founder of the modern day hip-hop movement, designed as a symbol of men's contemporary American culture.  After that internship, he moved to his father's studio to work as an assistant.  And before you know it, the T-shirts he designed were walking down the runway and became one of the hits of the collection. 

He now has branched off on his own ad recently launched his first collection for MDLR.  It definitely reminds me of the punk-grunge fashion that I've seen here in London and I think it's great!  Here are a couple of pics:


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Define "Redefine"

There has been a lot of talk in the fashion world lately of Asian models "redefining traditional concepts of beauty."  Recently, designers like Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, and Valentino have been casting more Asian models for their collections, and Estee Lauder and Maybelline both have Asian models as the spokesmodel or face of their beauty line, but does this necessarily mean that they are redefining beauty?  I wouldn't go that far.  Yes, Asian models are becoming more widely accepted for big name designers, but I don't see them all over the place.  To say that they are redefining beauty is a bit of an exaggeration.  They do have a very different look, Asian faces are so different from Western faces, but they are still tall and thin and beautiful like all other models.

Putting that issue aside, I do think that it is great that Asian models are getting more recognition.  The porcelain skin and jet-black hair is beautiful and a refreshment from the usual.  It is nice to see something different and I hope to see more of it!

Ming Xi on

Fei Fei Sun on Asian Vogue

Monday, 6 December 2010

Bonjour Mes Amis!

This weekend, I journeyed across the channel, or rather, under it, to the land of Chanel, of Louis Vuitton, of Dior: Paris.  It was hard not to notice all of the stylish people instantly surrounding me as I got off the train.  Ponchos, fur gilets, and leather boots galore!  I know some of you are not feeling the poncho vibe, but they really are the item of the season!  Personally, I love them. I have not been able to get my hands on one, but I do admire from afar.  There are so many different styles and patterns, it would be hard to find the perfect one! My guess is that it is a trend that may not last past this winter, so if you are considering getting one, better to get it sooner rather than later. You may not get to wear it for very long!

I only had about a day and half to tour around the City of Lights, so I made sure to hit all the hot spots: Les Champs-Elysees, Le Tour Eiffel, et Les Jardins de Tuileries to name a few.  I spent Sunday morning shopping through the windows of Dior, Chanel, Tiffany's, and Louis Vuitton while in search for the perfect crepe (the perfect crepe being nutella and bananas).  Despite the bitter cold weather, the snow, and the rain, I had a wonderful weekend in one of the fashion capitals of the world.  I made sure not to leave without first buying a copy of French Vogue to add to my collection from around the world.  By the time I get home to the States next weekend, I will have a copy of Vogue from each of the fashion capitals: Milan, Paris, London, and New York!

Monet's artwork at Le Musee d'Orangeries

Le Tour Eiffel

Chanel, who had exquisite pieces of jewelry in the window

Thursday, 2 December 2010

'Tis the Season

The snow is falling, the streets are bright with Christmas lights, and John Galliano's Christmas Tree is up at Claridges Hotel in May Fair!  I have never seen anything like it. From the giant jellyfish to the pink seahorses to the blue and green lights, this tree is something to see. This underwater tree is the perfect holiday addition to the already decked out hotel. This is the second year that Galliano has designed the tree for Claridges, his prior tree being a frozen tropical tree, trimmed with ice, snow leopards, and blue parrots.  He is truly an artist, not only designing for the House of Dior, but also creating worlds that one might only see in their dreams.

Of Claridges, Galliano says, "The majestic beauty of Claridges Art Deco interior never fails to inspire me. I hope we have created something as sumptuous as its setting and this inspires a truly luxurious escape and a very festive season at Claridges."

A festive season it will be! Wishing you all a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dior Illustrated

I know I've been slacking off on blogging, but I have been extremely busy with school, entertaining my parents, and attending some fabulous fashion exhibitions!  This weekend I went to see Albert Watson's exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery and the Rene Gruau exhibition at Somerset House.  You should already know about Albert Watson from my last post, and if you don't, then you should read it.  Hamiltons Gallery is a small gallery in the May Fair district of London; there were two rooms filled with Watson's vintage prints.  From the photo of a nude Kate Moss to one of a seemingly severed Jon Bon Jovi's head, every photograph was amazing.  I had seen his photos on the slide show at his lecture, but seeing the original print in person was a completely different experience.

The next day I went to an exhibition at Somerset House called Dior Illustrated: Rene Gruau and the Line of Beauty.  Gruau was the fashion illustrator for the House of Dior after World War II, and he produced some of the most iconic and enduring fashion images of the 20th century.   He met Christian Dior in 1936 on the fashion desk of the French newspaper Le Figaro, where both men worked as illustrators.  When Dior launched his New Look in 1947, he turned to his friend to illustrate his Haute Couture designs. In the same year, Dior launched his perfume line, and asked Gruau to produce a series of illustrations.  Gruau's bold lines, simple flat planes of color, and use of negative space are recognizable all over the world.  He loved to shock people with his suggestive illustrations of men's bare legs and women's clothing strewn over a chair.

The exhibit took up two floors, beginning with a collage of Gruau's famous illustrations.  Walk up the stairs and you will find a long room filled with many more of his illustrations, this time separated and accompanied by descriptions.  His illustrations have such a sense of fun in them; it's easy to see why the House of Dior printed his illustrations even long after photography became popular. 

"To be inspired by Dior is to be inspired by Rene Gruau. His sketches capture the silhouette and spirit of fashion and femininity. His illustrations are timeless, ever youthful, ever faithful to the moment he saw; they capture the energy, the sophistication and daring of Dior, and equally are a token of an enduring friendship." -John Galliano, designer for Dior

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Unified Fashion Objectives

This evening I attended a lecture by Albert Watson at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  He was promoting his new book, Unified Fashion Objectives, and his exhibition at Hamiltons Gallery that will be opening this Friday.  Watson is a well-known and successful photographer who has shot over 250 covers for Vogue and over 40 covers for Rolling Stone; so it's very likely that you have seen his work.  Born and raised in Scotland, he became obsessed with the camera after his wife gave him one for his 21st birthday.  His passion for photography was noticed by the right people and he began his career as a professional photographer in the early 1970s.  He said his career began with a photo he took of a man holding a dead and skinned goose by the neck.  The man was Alfred Hitchcock. 

 Before the lecture, Watson showed us a video, a "hodgepodge" of his work.  Photos faded in and out to classical music, showing the faces of Uma Thurman, John Travolta, Mick Jagger, Prince, Kate Moss, Tupac, and many other celebrities.  There were photos of dance, of children, of animals, and of couture.  He has a huge range, photographing celebrity portraits, couture, advertising, and documentary projects.  He said that he used to have days where he would wake up in Paris to shoot a fashion project, fly to New York for an advertising campaign, and fly to Los Angeles to take photos of a celebrity, all within 24 hours.

The man is an amazing photographer.  I have never seen anything like his photos; the colors were so rich, even the black and white photos would pop out at you.  There was a photo of Mick Jagger where his face was combined with the face of a leopard.  His advice: "If you're going to work with a leopard, use a cheetah, they are less aggressive."  Apparently the leopard almost got a taste of Mick!

On the subject of fashion, he says, "I love fashion."  His couture photographs "are not fashion pictures, they are photographs of fashion."  He discussed how through working as a fashion photographer, he came to appreciate the art.  There was a photograph of Naomi Campbell's profile when she was about 17 years old; it was one of my favorites.  He said that when he took this shot, he knew it would be the one.

His documentary is beautiful.  I would have purchased one of his books to have signed after the lecture, but they were a little pricey (And by a little pricey, I mean a lot!).  "The picture is simple," he says.  "It's the concept that is more important."

Sunday, 21 November 2010


This weekend, I went to the Florist exhibition at SHOWstudio. Some of you may have read my "Flowers in Winter" post, so you might know what the exhibition was about. For those of you don't, it is an exhibition dedicated to floral still life.  SHOWstudio is a little shop located on a little street in the Mayfair district of London. Most of the pieces were up for sale, and if I was ridiculously wealthy, I may have been tempted to buy some of these beautiful artworks.  Some of my favorites included a sculpture by Andy Hillman, an installation by Michael Howells,  and a piece by Nick Knight.

Andy Hillman's sculpture, Hello Flowerhead, was made this year.  It features a woman from the chest up with roses all around her head.  It is going for $7,000.

Michael Howell's installation was a giant flower that was designed for the Christian Dior haute couture catwalk.  I don't know that I would want a giant flower in my house, but it was nice to look at. It is going for $5,000.
 Another one of my favorites was an item not for sale, Bloomin' Hell by Julie Verhoeven.  It featured a skull, which had been painted and covered with paper flowers.  The picture from which the flowers were cut out of had then been laid over the skull.

This last one, Rose by Nick Knight, is something I would definitely want to put on display in my house.  It featured a rose that had been cut into 4 pieces, the bottom half of the stem, the top half of the stem, the rose, and a petal.  He put each piece in a cube filled with some sort of liquid, I'm not sure what it was, but it was beautiful. It is for sale for $25,000.

It was the perfect thing to do on a Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Where Art and Fashion Collaborate

I was looking around's "Need to Know Designers" section again and came upon this marvel: Elsa Schiaparelli.  A designer with no formal training, she transformed the way designers look at fashion between the two World Wars.  She was born and raised in Italy, but it wasn't until she moved to Paris with her daughter that her fashion career began.

She began her career with a determination to bring American-style sportswear to Europe's attention.  She designed simple, practical separates that suited the working woman, and soon she became famous for her sweaters that featured trompe l'oeil patterns.  Her designs attracted women like Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford.

Although her earlier work is beautiful, I really enjoy her later, more avant-garde designs.  Schiaparelli designed in the age of Surrealism, and was inspired by artist friends, Man Ray, Salvator Dali, and Picasso to name a few.  Her elegant gowns and accessories were shocking at the time, much like Surrealist Art was.  One of her most famous pieces was the Lobster Dress, which featured a Dali lobster painted on the skirt.  I would assume that it was inspired by Dali's Lobster Phone. She was truly an artist at heart!
Lobster Dress
Dali's Lobster Phone 

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

It's All About the Dress

It will be a warm, sunny day by the water.  Just a light breeze.  Some classy music will be playing in the background, something like Frank Sinatra or Harry Connick, Jr.  The tables will be white, the flowers yellow, and the ribbons a dark red.  The people will be drinking champagne and talking about how beautiful, and happy, she looks. 

Every girl dreams about her wedding day; not because of the special moment where you vow your love for one another, but because it is the one day in her entire life that is all about her!  At least, that's how I see it.... I get to pick out the location, the food, the tablecloths, the music, and, the best part, the dress.  It really is all about the dress.

After hearing about the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton, decided to put up the pictures of its favorite brides, although it seems more likely that they were pictures of its favorite wedding dresses rather than brides, which is fine with me!  Personally, I love a classy, simple white dress, featured on the likes of Renee Zellweger, Mia Farrow, Jackie Kennedy, and Audrey Hepburn.

Renee Zellweger
Audrey Hepburn
Jackie Kennedy
Mia Farrow
 Not too much lace, never too many bows; simple hair and makeup; a small bouquet and a smile. Perfect.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Flowers in Winter

I found out recently that SHOWstudio, a shop in London featuring rare fashion artifacts from iconic fashion shows and catwalks, is currently presenting an exhibition called "Florist," dedicated to still life florals in the dead of winter and reinventing our view of flowers as art, fashion, and artifact.  It opened on November 10th and closes on January 13th, and I will be attending this weekend! 

Artists, fashion designers, models,  and musicians alike, including Dame Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto, have created their own floral creations to contribute to the exhibition to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of  Floral artifacts, including garments, headpieces, and objets d'arts, will be featured in the exhibition.  I'm so excited to go check this out! 

I really love florals, who doesn't?  So it will be fun to see what these artists have come up with for the exhibition, as well as the vintage artifacts that will be presented.  If you're interested in vintage fashion and you are in London, go check out the Fashion Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  It is amazing, and it's so fun to wander through looking at all the styles of the past.  They have vintage Chanel, Ferragamo, Versace, and many more!  It's such a great gallery that I wish it was bigger!

There is also a fun market on Piccadilly Street called St. James' Market, just a five-minute walk from Piccadilly Circus!  I found some vintage watches, telescopes, and even African Masks!  Just some fun vintage things that may be fun to have on display in your apartment! It's definitely what I was thinking about when I was meandering through the courtyard browsing around the different vendors. 

Sunday, 14 November 2010


Vintage by ESP3726 featuring army shoes

Some of my favorite vintage items

Welcome to Polyvore!

Welcome to Polyvore!
Welcome to Polyvore! by ESP3726 featuring ray ban sunglasses

The red coat gives a pop of color, and I love the masculine trends going on right now, hence the briefcase purse.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

One of the Few that I Like

There are very few celebrities turned models that I actually like.  One of the big reasons I love Italian Vogue over US Vogue is because they feature models on their covers rather than celebrities.  However, there is one celebrity turned model that I actually do like: Emma Watson.  She has that kind of natural, slightly awkward beauty that I really love to see in models, and she is really starting to come into her own in the fashion world.  Watson has been the face of Burberry and graced the covers of magazines such as Elle, Teen Vogue, and Marie Claire.  She has even started her own eco-friendly line, People Tree.

According to E!, Watson was recently approached by none other than Alberta Ferretti, wondering if she would be interested in working on an eco-friendly line for the Italian label.

As most of you probably know, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows premiered in London last week, and Emma Watson was looking fantastic with her new, very chic haircut and stylish little black dress.

At the Harry Potter premiere


From Italian Vogue

Friday, 12 November 2010

It's Christmas Time in London!

As in London they don't celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations are already up.  And as a big fan of the Christmas Season, I am embracing it!  From Christmas music to Christmas movies, I am celebrating early this year!  And the one thing I cannot wait to see: not the lights on Regent Street or the lights on Oxford Street, but John Galliano's Christmas Tree that will be displayed at Claridge's, a 5-star hotel in London.  Now, this isn't your ordinary Christmas Tree.  Just take a look at the tree he designed last year:
A frozen tropical tree
  Galliano's design for this year features an underwater theme, complete with coral, seahorses, jellyfish, and many other sea creatures.  He has such an unique eye, and I can't wait to see the final piece!  It will be unveiled on November 25, meaning that I will be taking my parents to see it since they will be here for Thanksgiving, whether they like it or not! 
The sketch for this year's tree
Some other events I plan to attend:
  • The Rene Gruau exhibition at Somerset House, a celebration of the renowned illustrator, who created some of the most iconic fashion images of the 20th century; started November 10
  • A talk by Albert Watson, Vogue photographer, on his several-decades-long career secrets at the Victoria and Albert Museum on November 23
  • The Vintage Watson Opening at Hamilton's Gallery, a showcase of his most famous work, on November 26