Monday, December 31, 2007

Sweet dreams are made of this

The past few nights, I have been sleeping very late because I've been studying for final exams and the SAT -- class hasn't even started for me yet, but I'm already feeling the strain of second semester junior year pulling against me. During a ten-minute study break around 1am, I found this fabulous Holly Golightly sleep mask on Fred Flare -- remarkably similar to that of our favorite American cinema socialite, isn't it?Of course, I didn't have a sleep mask to channel my inner Miss Holly Golightly last night -- nor did I have a large tuxedo shirt and tasseled earplugs to complete the look.

I eventually fell asleep to 'Let Love Lead the Way' by the Spice Girls. The soothing tempo and smooth vocals makes the song such a perfect lullaby -- who says only little kids can listen to bedtime songs? The best sleep elixir is a clear mind and a song that eventually drowns into your slumber.

I'm sure Miss Holly Golightly didn't listen to the Spice Girls before bed, but perhaps I'll cross the tasseled earplugs off of my Breakfast at Tiffany's shopping list. The extra large tuxedo shirt and sleep mask stay though.

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hello Kitty for men

I just bought my first Hello Kitty product two days ago at the Sanrio store -- an absolutely adorable cell phone charm consisting of a large pearl, black lacy bow, black beads, Kuromi charm, and large black fur ball. I'm Asian, but I'd been a Hello Kitty virgin until then.

To read that Sanrio is launching a young mens' line for Hello Kitty isn't surprising -- considering the edgy fashionistas in Asia that put my fellow Americans to shame.

What is surprising to me is that I'm coveting one of the for-men t-shirts for myself, and I don't even wear t-shirts! The baby blue bow and white kitty body set against a black background is just too darling to resist -- and an oversized men's fit would go great with a pair of black-and-white polka dot tights and blue bow headband of my own!

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Miss Couturable

Friday, December 28, 2007

The new year's resolution dilemma

In the past, I would always make a list of 30+ different new year's resolutions that I intended to follow. People would scorn at my lengthy list of goals and ideals, but logic taught me that the more resolutions I make, the more I would be able to achieve by the end of the year. After all, who cares if I forgot about the first 12 resolutions as long as I fulfilled the 18 other ones?

This year however, I'm making one resolution that I intend to keep -- and it's not about grades, losing weight, or shopping.
I, Miss Couturable, will become a cupcake connoisseur by the end of 2008. I will buy cupcake cookbooks and make the delicious masterpieces for my friends and family, sample cupcakes from far and wide (Magnolia Bakery in New York is on my list for next summer!), and become an absolute master in the art of cupcaketry.
Obviously, I'm more likely to gain weight with this resolution -- but it's about time I've had a fun goal.

Gala wrote a wonderful article on nifty new year's resolutions, in case you're stumped! Do something fun for yourself in 2008 -- you may find yourself happier at the end of the year.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The quest for comfortable 4 inch pumps

Before I went shopping yesterday, I've never owned a pair of 4 inch heels. I own a variety of 3 inch stilletos, pumps, and wedges -- but the extra inch on a 4 inch pump just seemed too much to be practical. Can anyone tell the difference between a girl wobbling on 4 inch heels and a girl effortlessly gliding (I know, I'm exaggerating) on 3 inch heels? Either way, an observer will point at the girl who stumbles on the sidewalk crack and say, "Now that girl cannot walk in heels." -- never mind the fact that 4 inch stilletos require much more balance and endurance than a pair of 3 inch pumps.

My answer to the 4 inch heel came yesterday, in the form of a pair of Taryn by Taryn Rose Crinkle Patent Platform Heels. Taryn Rose is an orthopedic surgeon with a penchant for stylish footwear -- the support for each shoe is designed so well that your foot doesn't realize that it's in 4 inch heels! Plus, the stem is bedecked in sparkles -- perfect for New Year's! Oh, the adventure we'll have together.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Surprisingly sweet: Diesel Fuel for Life Pour Femme

On Christmas eve, the doorball rang once and I found a small package on my doorstep, addressed to "Miss Couturable". After digging through the packaging peanuts, I found myself holding a handsomely packaged 2.6 fluid ounces bottle of the new fragrance, Diesel Fuel for Life.

As a girl who has been wearing Miss Dior Cherie (given to me by an ex-boyfriend) for the past year, the rugged bottle design surprised me -- where did the delicacy go? The next day, I decided to dab some on for the Christmas party. The scent was surprisingly feminine and sweet, and not at all overpowering! There's a citrusy and woodsy tone to the fragrance -- comfortable yet daring.

A new fragrance is the perfect way to shed off the naiveness of being sweet sixteen and to embrace the possibilities of being seventeen. Though I still love my bottle of Miss Dior Cherie and will continue to wear it, I've found a fragrance that'll carry me strong in any situation.

What's your favorite fragrance?

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Miss Couturable

P.S. What did you get for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzah/Diwali/Winter Solstice?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas internship advice for my lovelies!

Wherever you are, I hope you are all celebrating a wonderful Christmas eve -- with plenty of presents to wake up to, cutefaces!

I thought long and hard about what I can give my readers, and because so many of you have asked me about applying for internships -- I've decided to share with you some advice. I hope you find them helpful!
  1. Don't be afraid of starting small, such as writing clips for free. This will build your portfolio and resume, and before you know it -- you'll be skimming past the "no pay" writing opportunities!
  2. Make your cover letter standout, especially if you're young like me. Relate to the magazine, tell the specific person you're emailing that you enjoy their work (and be familiar with it) -- be passionate.
  3. Convert your resume to PDF format at http://www.expresspdf.com/. It's free, quick, and simple! PDFs look so much more cleaner than word documents.
  4. Email all of the assistants and editors for the department you want to work in -- contacting human resources wouldn't hurt either.
  5. Even if you don't have a lot of experience, start small! Look up internship opportunities on Ed2010, Daily Fashion Jobs, Free Fashion Internships, and Craigslist. Your local career services offices or college counseling department may have suggestions too.
  6. Network with the alumni from your school -- the alumni office is a great resource that you cannot neglect!
  7. Be ready to fly to New York City if you're required for an in-person interview. If you're applying for the summer, you might be able to wait until your spring or February break to fly there. There are exceptions though -- Seventeen never required an in-person interview with me, although I will be visiting their offices over spring break to familiarize myself before my summer internship.
  8. Always send a sincere handwritten thank you card and email after your interview! These editors and assistants are taking time out of their busy day for a prospective candidate like you.
  9. Make sure your school will give you academic credit for your internship. It is a requirement at many publishing companies.
  10. Lastly, never say never! I would never have thought Seventeen would accept me as their fashion intern -- I thought I would start at a much smaller magazine in New York City instead! And always treat the position as a privilege, because it truly is!
For more tips, you can visit Free Fashion InternTIPS, Masthead Bound, and The Fashion Social!

I hope that for some of you aspiring fashion insiders, this has made your Christmas a bit more jollier!

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Santa

Santa dear,

Forget about the clothes this year -- Mommy and Daddy already have them covered. I wasn't too naughty this year -- I kept my Agent Provocateur undies to myself, at least. To show you how good I can be, my wish list consists solely of books and magazines. Didn't Mommy always say that reading creates virtue?
A one-year subscription to Lula.
Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster by Dana Thomas
The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A one-year subscription to Vanity Fair.

You know where I live; sending me magazine subscriptions shouldn't be a problem. Thank you, and please stay warm up in the North Pole.

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Friday, December 21, 2007

Princesses eat Princess cake

As I cherish my last four days of being sweet sixteen, I also look forward to my 17th birthday Princess cake from Bijan Bakery in San Jose, California. It's far too delicate to eat, no?
There's something special about being sixteen -- songs such as "Sixteen going on seventeen" from the Sound of Music romanticize the age, and I do think there is a certain innocence that flourishes at this age.
Ah well, when I turn 17 on the 25th, I hope for many more opportunities to learn, to laugh at myself, and to make others smile. Starting with this Princess cake -- who couldn't be happy with a cake like this?

SHAMELESS PLUG: If you're interested in reading more about Spice Girls and would like to read a sentimental tribute to them (written by me, of course), click here. Oh, nostalgia.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brainy fashionistas

On one of my most favorite online forums, thefashionspot.com, there is a thread called "Post your classes." One of my friends speculated that in this online mecca of fashionistas, there aren't many advanced classes listed -- unless it's advanced patternmaking for the creative ones. However, as I skimmed through the replies to this thread, I came across courseloads like these:
Numerical Analysis
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
Aerodynamics Lab/Lecture
Aerospace Materials
Automatic Controls
Rationality and Collective Reasoning
---
Philosophy 12A: Intro to Logic
Poli Sci 179: Undergraduate Colloquium on Political Science
Anthropology 162: Anthropology of Folklore
Slavic 30: Intro to Russian/East European/Eurasian Culture
Econ 2: Intro to Econ
Physics C21: Physics and music
Scandinavian 106: The Works of Hans Christian Andersen
It's wonderful to know that most people nowadays don't correlate fashion with lack of intelligence -- I believe you're so much more stylish if you're eager to learn about anything that interests you, even if it's not directly related to fashion.

Plum Sykes studied modern history at Oxford University; Jane Keltner studied art history and English at Barnard College; Erin Fetherston studied the arts at UC Berkeley. What inspirations to the brainy and studious fashionistas among us who enjoy writing term papers on post-transcendentalist literature in Marc Jacobs flats (I can't be the only one like this)!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm inspired to finish reading the next three chapters of my AP United States History textbook.

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Miss Couturable

Painfully Hip + dtls contest!

The style website I work for, doesthislookstupid.com, teamed up with Painfully Hip to host a DIY contest that I think every crafty girl who reads this blog should enter!

Oh, if only I knew how to knit a beret -- I'm so inclined to win all of the fabulous prizes listed on the website.

There's only two more days left to enter -- if you're the winning entry, I'd love to pay you to make me something.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tidbits: December 18th, 2007

I'm back from Las Vegas -- loved the bright lights and the shopping but was eager to get back home and truly relax (a.k.a., return to my messy room). The highlights of my first five days of winter vacation are:
  1. I got an internship with the fashion department of Seventeen Magazine for next summer! I just chatted with the editor I would be interning under today -- it sounds great. I'll be assisting on photo shoots at least once a week (including weekends), helping out with casting models, working in the fashion closet, assisting with fittings and styling and everything else you can think of, attending monthly intern meetings, and organizing the editor's busy schedule. The Seventeen fashion department is surprisingly small and intimate -- but that just means a better opportunity to work closely with the editors and assistants! I am handwriting a Christmas card for the editor right now -- apparently she's sick -- hopefully she'll feel better soon!
  2. I'm in love with Betsey Johnson jewelry -- I bought a pair of these silhouette earrings in Las Vegas. The little vintage dress and the girl holding a mirror were just too couturable to not buy!
  3. Even if you're not a country music fan, you should definitely check out Online by Brad Paisley. You'll be laughing half-way through the video -- as well falling in love with Brad Paisley's country drawl.
  4. How do you feel about Uggs, Northface jackets, Abercrombie camisoles, Tiffany & Co. charm necklaces, and True Religion jeans? It seems like every high-school girl I meet wears a variation of this outfit. If you like the look, what draws you into it? The comfort, the quality? If you're like me and you've never touched a Northface jacket in your whole life, what do you think of this trend amongst American high-school girls?
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Miss Couturable

What happens in Vegas comes back with me!

I have a new obsession: Nanette Lepore. No, not with the Keds line -- I'm not a fan of flats that are in between dressy and casual. With the sweet bohemian meets cocktail princess dresses. Especially if they're on sale. So, being the must-shop-to-enjoy-the-trip person that I am, I visited the Nanette Lepore boutique in Las Vegas and picked up this darling plum lace trimmed minidress...for only $150 -- even cheaper than online or stated on the price tag (there was a teensy white thread hanging out in the back -- defect -- so I asked for a bigger discount). I love it -- it's not easy finding a dress that isn't too long for you when you're only 5'1".

100% silk, plum colored, rouched short sleeves with ruffle trim, and beaded black place -- I feel like a nocturne cupcake.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Alexander Wang Sample Sale in San Francisco: December 15th & 16th

Alexander Wang, an alumni of my school and the only prominent fashion figure that I've shared a campus with, is having his first San Francisco sample sale this weekend (15th & 16th) from 10am - 7pm.
$1500 Italian wool coats for only $300? $300 + cashmere tops/hoodies for only $40? Yes, you can find them at the sample sale.
Since I will be Las Vegas this weekend, I only hope that when I live in New York City in the future, I'll attend enough sample sales to make up for this tragedy.

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Miss Couturable

Words of wisdom from the best

"Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future" - Coco Chanel
"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and I believe in miracles." - Audrey Hepburn
"I'm selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe
I taped these quotes up on my bedroom ceiling, so that I would be reminded of how these three ladies have influenced my life in one way or another. Whether it's Coco Chanel's early declaration of feminism in the face of a male-dominated fashion industry, Audrey Hepburn's sophisticated yet innocent grace, or Marilyn Monroe's embrace of her imperfections -- they've shaped the best of me.

I will most likely be on hiatus until Tuesday, December 18th because I'll be in Las Vegas for cheerleading nationals -- zebra-print hairbows, uniforms bedecked in rhinestones, glitter make-up -- there should be cheer fashion shows, don't you agree?

In the meantime, share your wisdom with me: who has influenced your life and what are your life mantras?

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From brassiere to Very Sexy

In the December 10th, 2007 issue of New York Magazine, four pages were devoted to celebrating one hundred years of bras. In addition to a fabulous collage/timeline, there is a guide to bras that every fashionista should read. In 1907, Vogue coined the term brassiere -- a demure restraining device similar in appearance to the corset. 100 years later, lingerie stores such as Victoria's Secret and Agent Provocateur are dot the landscape.
Seven years ago, my mommy bought me my first training bra -- how embarrassed was I to be caught in the bra department! Freshman year, I was so proud of myself for going to Victoria's Secret and buying the Very Sexy bra -- a much needed accessory to wear under my prom dress.
From sports bras to underwire bras to water bras, we often take for granted the lacy underthings in our drawers. Kisses to Vogue for introducing the bra to us, and to New York for celebrating a rite-of-passage that we, our sisters, our mommies, and our grandmothers all share.
Just remember -- don't put your bras in the dryer!

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Miss Couturable

Monday, December 10, 2007

Looking like a winter wonderland

I ate too many cookies and pieces of dim sum in journalism class this morning, so I'm sitting here in the school library at lunch time admiring the delicious masterpieces of make-up art on Sephora. I'm especially partial to the "Wood Nymph" -- the spidery eyelashes and spots of iridescent color would go so perfectly with my white organza bubble dress.
Looking at these photos remind me how important the face is -- you can't have the look with only the outfit. My daily face routine could benefit from ethereal fairy eyelashes or shimmering sheer blush:
Wash with Cetaphil; slap on some benzoyl peroxide; moisturize with Skin MD shielding lotion, brush on Bare Minerals mineral veil, sunscreen foundation, and blush; apply black Lancome pencil eyeliner; rub on a layer of shimmery MAC eye pigment; and apply Dior lip gloss. Repeat every morning.
Nothing puts me into the holiday spirit better than a little bundle of glitter (and maybe a pair of wings) -- just in case you're reading this, Santa dear.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What I really really want: Roberto Cavalli for Spice Girls

This past Tuesday (December 4th, 2007), I attended the Spice Girls reunion concert at HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
I was only six when the Spiceworld album was released, but I vividly remember wearing Spice Girls t-shirts to school and role-playing Spice Girls at recess (unfortunately, I wasn't cute enough to be Baby). I knew the lyrics to every one of their songs -- but not a clue about the meanings of the lyrics. Did I know that "2 Become 1" included a safe sex reference: "Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put in on tonight"? No, and neither did my parents. Nonetheless, the Spice Girls pre-Britney, pre-boy band -- and throughout the years since their break-up, I still open up my iTunes and dance to "Stop" in my underwear.
The concert itself was wonderful; the Spice Girls always know how to put on a good show. What stood out the most wasn't the Roberto Cavalli outfits (although they were just perfect!) or even the mad dash for cheesy bling-bling logoed t-shirts. It was the adoring and adorable fans.
As I stood in line with my friend waiting for the building to open, I noticed a little 6 year old girl in front of me, dressed in a pink leopard print dress telling her mommy how excited she was for the concert. I couldn't contain my smile, and her mommy noticed my amusement and said, "Well, I figured this was the safest concert".
Waiting in line, I saw lots of little girls anticipating their first concert. I also saw lots of 20-somethings dressed up as the Spice Girls, reliving their high school obsession. Of course, there were lots of high school girls like me, who spent a good amount of our childhoods pretending to be the Spice Girls.
As cheesy as this sounds, this should be the girl-power Kumbaya of concerts. The Spice Girls stunned us all in their flashy Roberto Cavalli costumes -- proving that you can be a mommy and still look gorgeous, that in spite of the past -- you can remain best friends.
Roberto Cavalli did a great job updating the look of the Spice Girls. Each girl remained true to her own style -- from Baby's sweet flowing dresses to Sporty's tailored jumpsuits. Metallics were added as a Cavalli signature motif, which enhanced the bright glow on stage. In spite of their new look and their different styles, everyone could tell the Spice Girls belonged together.
The $45 logoed t-shirts just couldn't compare with the dazzling costumes, so I settled with a $10 poster from the merchandise stand.

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Miss Couturable

Free Nylon Subscription!

Can anyone say no to a free magazine subscription?
Urban Outfitters and Nylon have teamed up to provide free Nylon subscriptions to anyone who signs up here.
Now that is called spreading the holiday cheer.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Tidbits: December 8th, 2007

Balancing school, extracurriculars, and blogging is difficult -- and unfortunately I haven't been upholding my blogging obligations.
In addition blogging about specific topics, I will begin my weekly "Tidbits" -- anything I want to say to recap the week.
  1. Teen Vogue and CosmoGIRL! invited me to visit their offices and meet some of the editors when I am in New York next spring. Condé Nast and Hearst? I'm so excited.
  2. I am interviewing with Seventeen soon to hopefully secure an internship with the fashion department next summer. I must say, Seventeen has a special place in my heart -- it was my first magazine subscription (I read Vogue at the public library)!
  3. I found out that Alexander Wang, quite the established star in fashion design, attended my school. The corporate offices told me that I could meet him when I'm in New York and perhaps intern with him on days that I'm not with Seventeen -- alumni relations are very useful!
  4. Gala pointed out the magnificence of the new Kate Spade ads; it almost makes me want to spend my Friday afternoons in the school library! Reading has never been so classy. I am in dire need of some new books to read; what books do you recommend for me?
  5. Speaking of reading, have you heard about Plum Sykes -- Vogue-ette, New York socialite, and author of Bergdorf Blondes? In spite of her chick lit fame, she is quite intelligent (Oxford educated in modern history) and quite an entertaining writer. Criticize her all you'd like -- she has brains, beauty, and brawn -- my kind of hero. Her New York Magazine article on the writer's strike was entertaining and provided an interesting perspective from a fashion writer. Smart, stylish, and successful.
  6. Does 25% off on everything at H&M sound appealing? Hurry up and get your coupon; the sale is only this weekend!
  7. I am sorely excited to live in New York City next summer with a close friend of mine.
    I want to window shop at Henri Bendel, spend a few days at the Met museum, visit my 9th grade physics teacher in Brooklyn, bargain for cheap bags and trinkets on Canal Street, meet and work with some fashion industry professionals, watch a few good Broadway plays/musicals, watch old movies in Bryant Park, see the bright lights of Times Square, see a performance by the New York City Ballet, indulge in a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, walk across the Brooklyn bridge, watch Independence Day fireworks next to the Hudson River, and read a good book while lying on the warm grass in Central Park.
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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving thanks

Thanksgiving just might be the most American holiday there is (okay, except for Independence Day), but the concept behind it is quite universal. I have to say that I love the idea of a holiday where I get to reflect back on my year and give thanks for all my blessings. One could argue that giving thanks should be a daily occurrence, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, to know that on this one day, millions of people are thankful for their blessings...well there's nothing better than that!

Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving or if you celebrate it nontraditionally (my family always goes out for a Chinese food banquet), it's a great day to write out what you are thankful for, and to count your blessings.

I'm thankful for...
a family that may be flawed but still sticks together, God's grace, fabulous friends that I could never get bored of, the privilege of attending an academic institution where I am constantly challenged, beautiful fashion spreads, being on two amazing cheerleading squads, eggnog lattes, cozy food such as baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, crispy freeze-dried fruit to snack on, fond memories that make me blush and giggle, the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), and the ability to grow and learn from my mistakes.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Holiday discounts for you!

I came across a wonderful collection of holiday sale discounts, and my first instinct was to share them with lovelies like yourself. Enjoy the holiday haul; you deserve it irregardless of whether you've been naughty or nice.

Stila Cosmetics Warehouse Sale
Banana Republic
Gucci
Victoria's Secret
Bath and Body Works
Aldo
Lord and Taylor
Aeropostale
H&M
Sharper Image

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Miss Couturable

Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Friday -- hello to the holidays

I love lists; whether it's for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Christmas shopping, birthday wishlists, back-to-school supplies -- I will make a list for any time I go shopping. I need to prioritize before I go shopping, otherwise I'll be out of control when there's a sale.
So what are my must-buys for Black Friday 2008? Anything high-quality, sophisticated yet kooky, and hopefully slightly old-fashioned. I dress by the rule that every occasion is a reason to dress up, and I definitely appreciate it when I see someone else dressed nicely for a common day occasion. Doesn't that make you want to spread some holiday cheer too?

Black Friday must-buys for impeccably-dressed ladies
  1. A slightly dressy coat, preferably in a bright color and with ruffles. I have a white wool peacoat from J.Crew, a gray coat from Kenneth Cole, and a black cropped coat from Erin Fetherston for Target; obviously I have my monochromatic colors covered. Now is the time for a playful purple coat to brighten up the darkening gray skies.
  2. Cozy sweater tights so that I can still wear my heels and flats with dresses to school in the winter. White is a staple, but I'm looking for patterned ones too.
  3. Rainy day skimmers to replace those clunky wellies and platform wedges that have become rainy day wardrobe staples. Imagine wearing these gorgeous ladylike flats to school without frost-bitten toes!
  4. Headbands, of course. Particularly ones with jewels or bows; I can't resist them when I see them! It's the simplest and one of the most chicest ways to dress up your hair.
  5. Pretty and simple day dresses that can be worn without tights in the summertime too! I absolutely love wearing dresses to school and I think it's very appropriate too, even if everyone else is bedecked in Seven jeans and Juicy velour hoodies. People will take you much more seriously (including teachers!), and heads will turn in the hallways.
  6. Soothing lip balm to prevent chapped lips. Trust me, I'm finally learning the importance of maintaining soft lips. My lips are so chapped from the cold that I can't even drink hot apple cider without cringing in pain! If there's a sale for lip balm, I'm stocking up.
  7. Floppy satin hairbows á la Brigitte Bardot. All you have to do is visit your local fabric or craft store and stock up on thick satin ribbons. Tie it anywhere you want in your hair; it doesn't have to frame a ponytail!
These are the top seven things I will be looking for this Friday, but I know I'm always going to buy something that isn't on my organized list. Isn't finding unexpected gems the most fun part of shopping? Black Friday will hopefully open up a very stylish holiday season for all of us!

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Miss Couturable

Erin Fetherston: renewing my affection for Target

I used to love Target back in 4th grade when they sold Powerpuff Girls t-shirts and fluorescent shirts with 'witty' sayings on them. After that phase, I lost all interest in Target, including the GO International Campaign. However, one look at the Erin Fetherson ad in Teen Vogue and I knew I had to get the red heart-shaped tote.
Even though it was 7pm and I was still in complete cheer uniform and glitter make-up from my competition, I dashed to my local Target in search of this elusive tote. After being directed to the Sporting Goods department by a clueless associate, I found out that it has not arrived at that particular Target yet. However, I will be calling everyday to ask for it, because it is scheduled to arrive soon. Too whimsical and Alice in Wonderland to not have!

I did however, find some other fabulous Erin Fetherston pieces...
A fabulously crafted cropped coat with 3/4 length bubble sleeves and a giant asymmetrical bow.

Blue jumper with velvet heart straps and big velvet heart pocket.

Who would have thought that a designer from Berkeley, land of Birkenstocks, could produce such whimsical sophistication?

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Completely hooked with fashion mags


Happy Thanksgiving break, for those of you like me who are fortunate enough to have next week off for the holidays!
As an appropriate conclusion to my week, I visited the corporate offices of Nirvana Style Magazine, a high-glossy eastern meets western women's fashion magazine as president of my school's fashion club. While I've done some work related to fashion, this was my first time visiting an actual fashion magazine office.
It's a small magazine (although 6,000 subscribers is pretty good!), and while the office was a spacious suite in the back of a business building, it contained a photo studio, make-up studio, and green room. The CEO, fashion/style editor, and publisher of the magazine met with my club and spoke to us about the fashion magazine business.
We even got to see the cover samples before they come in print!

I am hooked and in love with the fashion magazine business, and this trip just solidified my desire to work in the fashion magazine industry someday. In addition to building contacts (I plan to apply for an internship there during the school year very soon), the magazine staff offered to set my club up with Colleen Quen, a couture designer who has appeared on "America's Next Top Model" and makes fabulous kimono dresses, as well as inviting us to volunteer at future magazine fashion events and parties.

I started off this week with no greater desire than to sleep and do nothing, but this trip to Nirvana Style has left me with the energy and motivation to reach for stilletoed skies again. I swear, I could feel my blood rushing just standing inside the office.

Fabulous plans for Thanksgiving Break:
  1. Compete at 2-day cheerleading competition.
  2. Shop till I drop (or go broke) on Black Friday.
  3. "Bring it On!" movie marathon with cheer squad.
  4. Karaoke with some of my best friends.
  5. Apply for Nirvana Style internship.
  6. Read two new books while drinking green tea in bed.
  7. Plan out east coast trip for college visits and summer internship interviews.
  8. Bake a cake; decorate it with too much frosting (whipped cream frosting, that is).
  9. Spend quality time with my family.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Words like 'copying' and 'knockoff' do not exist in my life"


Marc Jacobs (left) versus Forever 21 (right)
Fashion designers take on pirates
Emili Vesilind, Los Angeles Times
November 11th, 2007

The vendors on Santee Alley are going underground with the good stuff -- the $300 knockoff designer handbags so close to the real thing, they could fool an Hermès salesgirl.

[...]

"There is no counterfeiting without design piracy," designer Diane von Furstenberg said in an interview at her Beverly Hills estate. "It's counterfeiting without the label."

As the president of the New York-based Council of Fashion Designers, a nonprofit trade organization, Von Furstenberg is backing a bill pending in the Senate that would amend the Copyright Act. Dubbed the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, it would extend the protections in fashion design beyond artwork to encompass "the appearance as a whole" (the cut and silhouette) of an article for three years.

[...]

Indeed, some of Los Angeles' most established fashion companies have good reason to hope the bill falls short. Companies such as Bebe, ABS by Allen Schwartz and Forever 21 regularly cull design "inspiration" from New York's runways, and if passed, the legislation may greatly curb this practice. Additionally, many of the West Coast's biggest fashion exports fall into the denim and sportswear categories, genres that are less concerned with silhouette and shape than they are with flashy branding and artwork -- elements already protected under current laws.

[...]

Von Furstenberg, for one, said the bill wouldn't restrict designers from latching onto major trends in fashion, only deter them from copying looks verbatim. "It's like locking your door," she said. "Once people know you have locks, they won't try it."

[...]

Ilse Metchek, executive director of the California Fashion Assn., a nonprofit organization based in downtown Los Angeles, called pattern-making "a craft, not an art. There is only so much you can do with a silhouette, a collar, a drape. For the little designers who have that one great idea and it's knocked off -- well, welcome to the real world, guys. Make another one."

[...]

Johnson Hartig, designer and co-founder of Libertine (which recently settled a suit against Los Angeles-based ABS by Allen Schwartz for allegedly copying designs -- which Schwartz denied), said, "I love the bill theoretically, but I don't think it will ever work. I think it's next to impossible to enforce any of this." He added, "Some of the biggest designers would be in court every other week for knocking off other people."

Copycats have always been a thorn in the side of fashion designers, but never more so than today -- with fast-fashion retailers including Forever 21, H&M and Zara churning out lower-priced versions of runway looks.

"Everyone has style now and everyone wants it immediately," Hartig said. "That's just our culture now."

[...]

"This act is a double-edge sword, because designers think they're going to be able to protect themselves from knock-off artists, but they are going to have to make absolutely sure there is pure, unadulterated originality in everything they do," he said. "Wouldn't anyone run afoul of things eventually?"

Kal Raustiala, a professor at UCLA with a specialty in international law, wrote a paper on the subject with University of Virginia law professor Christopher Sprigman titled "The Piracy Paradox" that's become a hot-button document for both sides.

The paper contends that piracy is actually good for the fashion industry, as it promotes creativity through copying.

"That's the genius of the fashion industry," said Raustiala during a phone interview. "The act of copying by diffusing ideas promotes more innovation at the top." When a coveted fashion item is created, Raustiala said, it's everywhere in six months or a year -- a good thing in terms of propelling trends forward.

[...]

Still, the idea of democratizing fashion is a potent -- and often convincing -- platform for fashion's most infamous copyists. Allen Schwartz, founder of the Los Angeles-based brand ABS by Allen Schwartz, has made the talk-show rounds on TV, flashing knockoffs of red carpet dresses that he sells for a song. Though his business is no longer centered on creating designer replicas, his opposition to the pending bill is a no-brainer.

"Words like 'copying' and 'knockoff' do not exist in my life," Schwartz said. "If a long gown is worn by Nicole Kidman, that was a gown that Audrey Hepburn wore in the 1950s. And that dress is a copy of something that came before it."

A passionate believer in egalitarianism in fashion, Schwartz added, "When you talk about this, it hits a nerve for me. It's based on such an elitist attitude."
While fashion designers have a complete right in worrying about their designs and the cheap copies that destroy the exclusivity of their pieces, just imagine what the masses would have to resort to wearing if we couldn't attain a Tory Burch lookalike pair of ballet flats or a Chloe-inspired shift dress. Will we all have to resort to wearing only Abercrombie-esque logo t-shirts and cardigans because we're banned from high fashion? I'd have to learn how to sew.

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Miss Couturable

Friday, November 9, 2007

Can't leave home without one

You know you're getting close to your mommy when she finally buys you accessories that follow your taste. Fashion is very intimate, and I think it says something when you and your mom can buy things for each other and truly enjoy it.
Especially recently, she has taken a fancy to buying me headbands whenever she gets the chance to shop. Since August, I have rarely stepped out of my house without a headband for every occasion. Bows, plaid, jewels, flowers, buckles: I have them all, but for some reason I always choose the ones with bows.. My mommy likes to call it my "Audrey Hepburn mentality", because I'm a prim and proper dresser. Throwing outfits together is so not my thing. Or at least, wearing a headband decreases the likelihood of looking like I threw my outfit together 30 minutes before class.
This Cara Couture headband is so classic; updates on the satin bow are charming and adaptable for a variety of situations. Cocktail party? Afternoon tea? Quick dash to class? Black satin with pearls totally has you covered.

Need a little more color? These skinny crystal-accented headbands from Tasha add a little sparkle and shine to your hair.

Perfect for strolling through that winter wonderland! The delicate crystal snowflake would look so perfect with a snug winter coat.Another bow headband, this time with delicate rhinestone trim and a demure little bow. My favorite one so far!
A clever twist on the bow is this vintage-inspired gold leaf headband, which definitely exudes a 1920s look.

Too expensive?
But this Forever 21 satin bow headband for only $2.80 and decorate it with your own rhinestones!

Please, let's tidy our outfits up a little more with a headband...there's so many varieties nowadays so stock up on these classics!

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The prettiest things in life

I've been MIA for about a month, and I wish I could say it is because I was busy with spending quality time with my family or organizing a wonderful charity fashion show to save the world, but the truth is, I was just being selfish this whole time. The past month or so, I have only thought of myself. My primary concerns were school, meeting deadlines for yearbook, meeting deadlines for work, winning at competitions for cheer, and picking out new outfits. I love being busy, but living a continuous routine of nonstop stress and work everyday can make you lose sight of the truly beautiful things in life.
Last week, I volunteered at a Halloween festival for low-income families where I helped little kids make scarecrows. Sure, it was just scarecrow making and it was a small thing, but it was so worth it and lightened up my whole week. I'm a sucker for little kids (which is why I'm a volunteer for March of Dimes), but I also realized that the most refreshing and beautiful things in life aren't Chanel pumps or Balenciaga bags.

You can be stylish and do good for the world. I urge you to get out there some time this November and volunteer for a cause you really care about. We can be both couturable and caring. Beauty is love.

Not sure where to start?
My favorite causes/organizations are:
March of Dimes (save babies from prematurity and birth defects)
Look Good...Feel Better (help women and teens in cancer treatment with appearance-changes)
The Princess Project (help teens who cannot afford prom dresses to attain one for their special night--links will also direct you to similar projects if you don't live near San Francisco)

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Miss Couturable

Monday, October 8, 2007

Halloween 2007

I just finished watching the 2004 remake of "The Stepford Wives" last night, and it was probably the most eerily creepy movie I've seen so far. Imagine a whole town of perfect plastic housewives controlled by remotes and guys who assert their "masculinity" at the local men's association by ripping apart bras in robot battles...strange world it is in Stepford, Connecticut.

It gave me a total inspiration to dress up as a Stepford wife for Halloween though; how fun could that be? A group of my friends and I could dress up in pretty little floral print dresses, plenty of pastels, plaster on a fake and dazzling smile, and hand out homemade baked goods during lunch.

Floral prints, headbands, pastel heels, plastered smiles...I never thought a cocktail dress could resemble something so disturbing.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Win a $50 Banana Republic Gift Card

This fashion website I write for, doesthislookstupid.com, is having a fabulous contest called "beat the rap" where you can win $50 to Banana Republic! How fabulous is that? Imagine all the peacoats and stylish shoes you can buy.

Visit http://www.doesthislookstupid.com/contests for more information and read the rules carefully!

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My new guilty pleasure: "Gossip Girl"

I recently downloaded the free pilot episode of "Gossip Girl" on iTunes, and I'm addicted. I read the books back in middle school, but watching it is a totally different experience.
Unfortunately, I can't remember much of the plotline, but I can tell you what Blair wore to her party, and what her mom wore, and what kind of ballet flats Jenny was wearing with her uniform.
Fine, I'll admit it. I'm watching the show for the clothes, but what's "Gossip Girl" without fabulous fashion?

Click here to download from iTunes for free.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, September 9, 2007

I'm published!

I'm finally published in print in Shut Up! Magazine! Check it out; I have an article about minidresses and an article about floral prints in there. The magazine is truly wonderful; it's an indie magazine about alternative music, fashion, and lifestyle with a lot of wonderful interviews and work from up-and-coming photographers, models, and writers.

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Miss Couturable