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.

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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