Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Sealed Fate?

Teresa and I ventured to Nigel Barker's photography exhibit in the West Village on Sunday -- "A Sealed Fate?". Even though we were initially intrigued to come because, well, Nigel Barker is a fashion photographer and America's Next Top Model eye candy, his heart wrenching and enlightening 45-minute talk around his baby seal exhibit alarmed us.

I don't know where to start -- but for three days (before the baby seals learn how to swim), the seals are clubbed or shot to death for only $12-$14 per pelt. I'm not an expert on this topic, so please visit Protect the Seals for more information.

It was a really great exhibit -- Nigel was very funny and charming, as well as earnest. There is a lot of controversy on this issue, so I recommend that you do your research and form your own opinion. There is a comment debate on this NYMag blog entry that I've found to be quite interesting. How do you feel about this?

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Some of you have been asking me for SAT prep tips -- I've been racking my brain for my "techniques" but I do believe that everyone has different strengths and different ways of learning. I will definitely elaborate on some advice later, but the best score booster I've discovered is learning from your mistakes. That's actually harder than it sounds -- but I'll try to help my lovelies with some tips to get started.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Sunday Six: July 27th, 2008

I'm sitting in the parlor, watching a television program about the benefits of playing bridge. Do you play bridge? Apparently, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates grew up playing the game.
(Photo Credit -- Secretista)
  1. Yesterday, I went to Sugar Sweet Sunshine for cupcakes with Dara of Secretista. Please excuse my disgusting stringy hair and oily complexion -- actually, I don't have an excuse, but I spent over an hour trying to find my way to the bakery since the normal trains weren't running. I was famished and forced myself to eat two cupcakes -- they were okay. I almost think that I could make equally tasty cupcakes if I used a Duncan Hines mix, but the price ($1.50 per cupcake) made up for the generic mediocrity (I'm no cupcake expert, so take everything I say with a grain of salt). The $.25 cup of tepid water and the $4.50 of so-called lemonade (more like, lemon water in a cup full of ice) were disappointing though, especially because I was thirsty.
  2. I recently met my fellow Bay (Yay?) Area-er, Teresa, at a Mediabistro event! Her blog is extremely entertaining and educational -- as she dispenses some valuable dating advice in this entry. "The paper quality of your business card. Are you a baller?"
  3. I am finally at the age where most of the girls on the 2008 U.S. Gymnastics Team are younger than me. I'm so impressed and in awe, but I'm also feeling old for a 17-years-old. I'm so excited to watch the Olympics; there is a healthy balance of different body types that I think could be beneficial and inspiring for anyone who watches the competitions.
  4. I love mismatched earrings too.
  5. Does anyone else spend hours upon hours reading Jezebel? And not just the article, but the comments too?
  6. Speaking of earrings, one of the elderly ladies in my building just gave me a pair.
I'm going to learn how to play bridge before I graduate.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jumping on the bandwagon

I love me some Fake Karl (yes, I know many blogs have already posted this).

I think "fake blogs" are really interesting -- I actually read an article about this in my Spanish language textbook (ha, random). Apparently, some Latin American writers create characters who write in their blogs online. When they're well-written and witty, it's not that hard to believe that these blogs are real -- even though they're not.
I have the urge to dance the waltz like a bat. One needs Yohji's clothes to do such a thing. Chanel allows you to be a bird- a robot- a penguin- a pencil- a pipe organ- a telephone- a shoehorn; but not a bat.
It's so ridiculous that I want to meet the masterminds behind this blog. And dance the waltz like a bat.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Significance of Seventeen

I've always wondered why Seventeen is, well, called Seventeen. Why not sixteen? Is eighteen too intimidating of an age to younger readers?

The logical explanation, of course, is that the magazine addresses all the issues that a typical seventeen-years-old girl would be interested -- and indeed, I do believe the magazine does an excellent job.

However, it was (is?) not until I, as a seventeen-years-old, experienced freedom did I understand the significance of being seventeen. You're not quite an adult, but you feel like you've left your childhood behind (Britney Spear's "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman" rings into my head). It's an awkward stage of adolescence: of college applications, of first (or second or third) loves, of fights with your parents, of all-nighters, of apologies -- and hopefully, of non-stop girl talk.

I'm starting to sound overwhelmingly cheesy, but being seventeen is underrated. Sweet Sixteen is glorified in American pop culture (MTV's My Super Sweet Sixteen, anyone?) and Legal Eighteen is technically adulthood -- yet, being seventeen is just as monumental.

It can be an awkward age -- no kidding, ask Casey of Teen Fashionista or Connie of Pretty Legit, they've encountered my brand of awkwardness. I, personally, have never felt such an urgency to figure myself out and grow up until this year.

That said, I do think Seventeen is aptly named -- there are so many facets to being seventeen that I didn't realize for a long time. I used to (uselessly) scoff and say, "What's the point of being seventeen? Why not just skip to eighteen?" Now I know why.

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Miss Couturable

Alexander Wang at last

Alexander Wang's brother emailed me and said that I could visit Alex and the design studio any time next week -- even though Fashion Week is only a couple weeks away and they're all on crazy schedules over there.

For my newer readers, Alexander Wang is an alumni of my school -- which is part of the reason why I'm so fascinated by his gloriousness.

This leads to a few dilemmas:
  1. I don't think I have anything hipster-cool to wear.
  2. I feel rather guilty that they're being so accommodating though they're obviously crammed with work.
  3. My awkwardness is going to be at its peak once I get there.
  4. I still feel really guilty.
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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rising tuition prices

High prices don't usually raise my heart rate, but this morning I checked out my high school's tuition for the 2008-2009 school year:

$32,250.

I'm not going to debate the qualities of private school education versus the qualities of public school education -- or anything related to that because I've had a phenomenal education so far and I'm very lucky and blessed to have parents who are willing and able to fund my education in such a way. I do know that my high school has provided me with many opportunities that I would not have attained if I attended public school, but I also believe that success comes from yourself and making the most of what you have -- being proactive, in other words.

That said, I'm just really appalled (but perhaps I shouldn't be?) that in a time of recession, my tuition dollars have risen from around $25,000 to more than $32,000 in just three or so years. I shudder to think of the tuition when my little sister is high-school aged.

This is just one of the reasons why I owe my dear parents the world.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Sunday Six: July 20th, 2008

I miss Californian weather; I woke up this morning covered in sweat and completely dehydrated. I went downstairs to the parlor, where everyone was talking about how New York weather was better than Californian weather -- are you kidding me, my dears? I prefer New York over California for many reasons, but the weather is not one of them.
  1. My best friend from over ten years ago found me on Facebook -- we haven't talked since she moved to Massachusetts and I moved to California when we were six-years-old. That very night, we chatted on the phone and laughed like old times. Finally, Facebook is becoming useful.
  2. I was on MTV's TRL on Thursday -- didn't catch the episode because I was working, but I remember being two inches from Kimora Lee Simmons at one point. She debuted her Fabulosity line -- "Guys, logos are in this season," she commented. I practically choked on my breath when I heard her say that -- Kimora, you are beautiful and quite the entrepreneur, but I didn't see any huge bling-bling logos on the runway.
  3. I'm blessed with thick hair on my head and practically no hair elsewhere. I literally do not have any hair on my armpits (too much information? oops), which is convenient. At the same time, I barely have any eyelashes. Thus, my sole beauty craving is a pair of Shu Uemura lashes.
  4. If Heidi Klum's legs are worth £1,100,000, I wonder how much mine are worth. I'd rather not know.
  5. The fabulous Bryanboy writes: "Some dresses, like skinny jeans, are simply NOT meant to be worn by women of certain body types." I disagree -- at least when it comes to skinny jeans. One commenter writes, "high fashion is not meant for everybody." All I have to say is, there is nothing wrong with being curvy and stylish -- and personally, I think curvy ladies such as Rihanna rock the skinny jeans just as well as any waifish model on the runway.
  6. Yesterday, I tried Red Mango frozen yogurt with pieces of mango (of course!) and mochi balls. I wish I ordered a large -- it was that good.
Hopefully you're staying hydrated and not binging on sugar-free Red Bulls like me.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Head over heels for headbands

After a week of recovery (in other words, going back to work), Miss Couturable is back and running (hopefully, without any visits to the hospital this time!). Yes, I am fine now -- I remember sobbing miserably in the ambulance because I thought I was going to die all alone in New York City and even apologizing to the nurse for "burdening her with my life", but I am finally well. Thank you so much for your kind words, my lovelies!

A lot of you have asked me where to buy headbands -- I've never had trouble buying decorative and ostentatious headbands, but here are some places to get you started:
♡ Handmade headbands can be found on Etsy.com for reasonable prices. Some favorites that I found in only ten minutes are this button headband, this flower bouquet headband, and this feather headband!
♡ If you're willing to splurge, Jennifer Behr makes gorgeous headbands -- yes, the exact ones that Blair Waldorf wears.
♡ Fellow reader Kate referred me to Andrea's Beau, which also sells decorative headbands for reasonable prices. She reports, "Not only are the headbands I've bought there amazingly beautiful, but they are also comfortable, which is something you can't always count on with headbands."
♡ Stop by your local Forever 21 and check out the amazing assortment of headbands -- some for under $3.00!
♡ I adore Nordstrom's selection of headbands. In fact, the department store is one of my first stops when I'm in search of new hair accessories.
♡ I'm a huge fan of venturing into Target when I need cheap (but not cheap-looking!) trendy accessories. They also have a decent selection of basic headbands.
Asia. No, I'm kidding -- sort of. Some of my best headbands come from Asia, where bows and jewels perpetuated the market long before Gossip Girl aired.
♡ If you can't book a vacation to China, Korea, Taiwan, or Japan any time soon, you may be able to find handmade headbands imported from Asia at the small booths in your local mall.
♡ Make your own headbands! Buy some simple plain headbands from H&M and paste on anything you'd like.
Luckily, the chic school girl look is in for fall -- so channel your favorite stylish school girl (Blair Waldorf) with a new array of headbands.

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Miss Couturable

Friday, July 11, 2008

Need to rest

Today, an ambulance took me to the hospital.

Forgive me -- I need to rest for a few days, cutefaces.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Easing into sandals

I'm excruciatingly sick today and I've been lying in bed drenched in my own fever-induced sweat for quite a while -- so logically I decided to treat myself to a pair of new shoes. Or perhaps the sickness has just spread to my head.

I normally do not buy anything online beyond school textbooks -- but when ideeli sent me a notification that these Sonia Rykiel Palmas were on sale for $190 (originally price of $530) -- I forced myself to wake up from my slumber at exactly 1:40pm (when the sale started) and snatched up the only pair in size 36.

I have never bought or worn a pair of sandals before, beyond my pink Kate Spade jelly flip flops (which recently broke after three years) and my sole pair of summery wedges. I'm not too fond of gladiator sandals -- not feminine enough for me and they seem to make my feet stand out atrociously (I'm not a big fan of feet). I also don't want another pair of flip flops, as I use them solely as shower slippers. These Sonia Rykiel sandals, with their gold sheen and dainty black lace, will hopefully allow me to appreciate sandals a bit more.

Then again, there are no returns or exchanges -- so I better appreciate these shoes.

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Miss Couturable

P.S. If you want an ideeli invite, feel free to leave your email under comments or email me! I'm all for sharing the retail therapy.

My 15 minutes of fame

I did not post this earlier because I wanted to wait until someone could give me a scan of this page in the August 2008 issue of Seventeen ("17 Best-Dressed Girls in America"), instead of this photograph that I took from Kaelah (#10). That said, I don't have a scan of this page yet -- so if anyone is willing to email me the scan of the entire page (because as you can tell, some parts are cut off), I will be eternally grateful. Thank you so much, Rosie!

I am #9, obviously.
  1. Yes indeed, I did buy that cropped jacket from Target. I'm pretty sure I've worn it around school many times and no one realized where it was from. Most of the time, the clothes at Target are too big for me (yes, even size XS!) -- but I still think it's a fantastic place for clothes that no one else has (because I don't think the average person suspects a fashionista to shop at Target). The quality is great too -- none of the pieces I've bought from Target have become damaged in any way.
  2. I really love bows, but if you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably already know that.
  3. I wore headbands before Gossip Girl aired -- but only a few weeks before. Luckily, I've found buying headbands to be easier after the trend caught onto mainstream America. My mommy buys me headbands because it's the only thing we can both agree on -- and I, being too lazy to do my hair after pulling all-nighters, enjoy looking put-together without the effort.
  4. The photograph was taken back in April. The photographer flew all the way to my house from New York City -- she's absolutely wonderful!
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Miss Couturable

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why I am so addicted to Gmail

"It's Chanel. You're comparing Gucci to Chanel. That's like comparing a Mercedes to a Bentley!" Quoth the salesman who reminded me strongly of Suzuki St. Pierre (the Fashion TV host) from Ugly Betty. My aunt and my mom were asking about a gorgeous, amazing pair of Chanel sunglasses. You know, the kind that make your haircut look better and your whole outfit look more expensive. We were just asking if there was a discount, because Gucci had discounts on theirs in another store. Chanel doesn't do that. Now we know.
A friend and recent graduate of my high school started a project where she sends personal emails to her lovelies through a mailing list -- a great alternative to a blog and much more intimate. It definitely brightens up my day to read through these delightful emails filled with interesting tidbits and beautiful graphics.

I've never had an interesting salesperson incident (unless you count getting snubbed by the sales staff at PacSun in fifth grade) -- so reading my dear friend's encounter at Chanel makes me wish I was a member of more sweet mailing lists like this.

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Yes, I am in the August 2008 issue of Seventeen as one of the "17 Best-Dressed Girls in America". No, I have not picked up a copy yet. Yes, I have seen it. I really love reading about other girls' style. And yes, I am going to cover my head with a paper bag from now on.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Sunday Six: July 6th, 2008

I have trouble believing that I'm already four weeks into my summer -- time goes by fast when you're not doing homework, eh?
  1. I almost think I made this postcard on PostSecret -- thank you to whoever wrote it.
    (Photo Credit -- emma.c)
  2. Yesterday was Casey of Teen Fashionista's 21st birthday! Please send her birthday greetings and virtual cupcakes, my lovelies!
  3. I couldn't remember where I had packed my glasses until last Friday -- as comfortable and necessary as my contact lenses are (what would I do without these at cheer practice?!), there is a very cozy "bookworm" ambiance associated with glasses and spending one's Sunday afternoon reading.
    (Photo Credit -- Style.com)
  4. I have a girl crush on Jourdan Dunn -- those sultry lips, ah. Who's your girl crush?
  5. I'm definitely going to test out Couture Cupcake's coconut dulce de leche idea when I get home.
  6. No, I'm not applying to MIT (ha!) -- but this entry by an admissions officer on the MIT admissions blog touched my heart. As the college application process becomes a steeper hill for us '09ers, it is comforting to know that someone (hopefully) will appreciate how we've opened our hearts in hopes of gaining acceptance to our dream schools.
Four more weeks -- and too much of New York City left to explore.

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Miss Couturable

Friday, July 4, 2008

Let freedom ring!

(Photo Credit -- Style.com)
Happy 4th of July, my lovelies! Who would have thought that you could dress up in red, white, and blue today and claim that you're channeling Chanel Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear?

It's my second 4th of July in New York City -- last year I watched the fireworks from the Brooklyn Promenade. The plans for today? The Sonic Youth concert at the River to River Music Festival perhaps (if I can still get tickets -- I'm not even dressed yet!), and of course, those glorious fireworks by the river.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"New Look" is still fresh

For all his flamboyance, John Galliano never loses sight of Christian Dior's original New Look vision -- a celebration of the voluptuous female body. It's not Grace Kelly anymore, but Galliano's Fall 2008 Christian Dior Couture collection still channels the roots of Dior's 1947 collection -- displaying more flesh than usual with sheer fabrics.

Personally, I'll never get tired of these timeless silhouettes, recycled each season by Galliano.

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Miss Couturable