Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Sunday Six: November 30th, 2008

Assuming most of you are going back to school (like me) or work tomorrow, I hope you savor your last few hours of the weekend (and Thanksgiving break).
  1. I walked past a nice elderly lady who was selling jewelry on a table -- most of which were too sparkly for me -- but she was selling these big glass disks on silver chokers. My Gothic Literature teacher wears giant stones as jewelry, which has fascinated me even more than her crisp British accent, so I was eager to find a choker that focuses on a single giant piece. It's better than pasting a giant disk on my neck, I suppose.
  2. Terry Richardson's 2009 Vogue Calender via Pretty Legit -- saucy, no?
  3. I give kudos to the movie, Twilight, for integrating racial diversity into that small town in Washington (which seems somewhat unlikely because I was the only Asian in a small town in Oregon many years ago, but oh well) -- but I still find the dialogue to be laughable. "You're like my own personal brand of heroin." Really?
  4. I absolutely adore Jane from Sea of Shoes. And her mother. And her "father". I'm sure you do too!
  5. A bit random, but this article from TIME about designing restaurant menus is fascinating -- marketing, marketing.
  6. Now tell me, what did you do for Thanksgiving? My family's quite tiny, and Mumsies is out of town (not to mention, good ol' Daddy can't cook very well, bless his soul), so we (as in my father, my little sister, and me) went to Trevese for an amazing five-course dinner -- after watching Twilight (which surprisingly was my father's pick).
Is tomorrow really December 1st? What excites you about this year's holiday season?

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Miss Couturable

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday death

Caught my eye today: "Worker dies at Long Island Wal-Mart after being trampled in Black Friday stampede".

Tell me the truth -- would a good bargain at any store compel you to step on a person? If there was a list of ways to die, I would consider this one of the worst. Perhaps, this is a reminder to consider the consequences of our actions -- no matter how insignificant we may think they are.

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Miss Couturable

Retail ennui

Is it possible to have retail ennui? A great part of me wanted to sleep in this morning and skip the Black Friday frenzy -- another part of me realized that I had way too many presents to buy. and absolutely nothing else to do on a Friday morning.

As a rare outfit post, today I wore my red dot Bill Blass jacket, silver silk scarf, pearl necklace (thanks Mumsies!), white Gap tank top (okay I admit it, I slept in this top and was too groggy in the morning to change), black Uniqlo skinny jeans, and Sonia Rykiel sandals. Oh, and this Botkier bag. Last year, I foolishly wore heels on Black Friday and practically glared at anyone who made me wait in line.

I had absolutely no interest in buying anything -- I suppose it is because I have everything I need. I'm considering my next investment to be an Anne Fontaine blouse that I tried on and the poor saleslady was trying to tempt me to purchase, but for now I have absolutely no immediate sartorial needs to satisfy. Perhaps I am just too picky for my own good, but I cannot garner the enthusiasm to purchase something unless I can consider it an investment. Well, investment is subjective -- but I can't trick myself into thinking that these Juicy Couture cupcake earrings are an investment. Adorable, perhaps, but my pearls will do for now.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Apologies for the holidays

"I asked for a Harry Winston choker for my birthday. Instead, I got a conscience." -- Blair Waldorf
Dear readers of Miss Couturable,

It has been of great concern to me that I may have offended some of you with my enthusiasm for Black Friday sales. This hasn't been the first time that I've been accused of living in a glass bowl or in a bubble -- there is no reason why any of you should pity me for this, as I wholeheartedly believe that my readers are wiser and more worldly than me and can assert their judgments on me to some degree.

I know that I am lucky. Most parents would not be willing to allow their 17-years-old daughter to live in her own apartment on the Upper West Side in New York City for two months -- 3,000 miles away from home (dear Mommy and Daddy, thank you for everything). I know I lament over my lack of sleep thanks to my choice of taking 5 AP classes, but I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to attend a school that offers me these resources. I definitely am a very lucky girl with no right to be as happy as I am, and I was wrong to be thankful for something as trivial as Black Friday sales when I know some of my own friends are not exchanging Christmas presents this year because they cannot afford to do so. I am not proud of myself for what I said and I cannot defend myself for this reason. I am very sorry.

So, in perhaps the most personal piece of writing that you will ever see on Miss Couturable (really, I try to refrain from being too personal), I would like to truly express my gratitude to:

Daddy: I still remember waking up in the middle of the night at the hospital and finding you crying next to my bed. Thank you for loving me in spite of the difficulties of raising me -- I guess our relationship defines tough love, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

The opportunities I have; the pressure to achieve success is a lucky possession to have.

Mommy: You helped me hide my D on my 5th grade math test from Daddy. You're rarely home anymore, but it made me laugh when you called yesterday and told me that you were buying me a collection of pearl earrings and more headbands. Thank you for loving me like only a mother could -- no one else would take temperature when I have the flu.

God; faith is precious.

Kathy: You taught me to share. Thanks for being the younger, prettier, more talented daughter -- I know you're only 9, but I have big hopes for you.

Free speech.

Alyssa, Priya, Stephanie, Janet, Gabby, Daniel, Kelly, Sarah, Juliane, Nate, Mai, Steffo, Prachi, Albert: Thanks for making me want to be a better person -- and for teaching me what it means to selflessly love. Where would I be without my charming friends, who are always there to tease me or to shake some sense into me? I'm pretty sure some of you read Miss Couturable (Nate, don't lie, I've seen it open on your internet browser).

Inspiration -- whether I'm writing my college applications or brainstorming an angle for a new article.

My amazing teachers, past and present: You've all truly changed the way I see the world. Thank you for more than an education.

President-Elect Obama.

Bloggers and blog readers like you who make me think.

A warm bed, a home, leftovers in the fridge, security, and all the simple things that make me the luckiest and happiest girl in the world.

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Noel (just Noel)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving, whether or not you celebrate the holiday! While Mumsies won't be home tomorrow, I am exceptionally thankful for:
webcam sessions with my little sister ♡ walking barefoot through the rain ♡ tear-jerking reconciliations with best friends ♡ President-Elect Obama ♡ luxuriating in polka-dotted silk stockings ♡ spiced apple cider soda with cranberry froth ♡ moments of inspiration while working on my college applications ♡ Black Friday sales during the economic crisis ♡ leisurely moments during Thanksgiving break when I can curl up in bed with a stack of magazines ♡ God ♡ free speech ♡ quite possibly the most wonderful and exciting year ever ♡ the potential of falling in love ♡ opportunities for success ♡ foolish mistakes ♡ lessons learned from such mistakes ♡ a limitless future ♡ falling asleep to the scent of coconut oil ♡ wool peacoats and cashmere sweaters ♡ endless cupcake bakeries within driving distance of my house ♡ knowing that we have the means and ability to change the world ♡ getting to know lovely people like you
What are you thankful for?

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Miss Couturable

But it doesn't snow where I live

The sloping curvature and fluffy white faux fur of this Kira Plastinina hat reminds me of the snowy mountain that the Grinch lives on. Or at least something that a Dr. Seuss character would wear.

Happy Holidays!

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Miss Couturable

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rooming with editors

This morning, I stumbled upon the following notice, which may appeal to recent college graduates in New York City:
East Village apt with Editors at Nylon and Lucky
$1,140 - East Village apartment available - washer/dryer, backyard & lots more… (10009)
Num Rooms: 3
Num Baths: 2
E. 11th St. (near b/n B and C)

Move in December 1 (date is flexible), lease goes until August. Rent is $1140 plus utilities. Email caroline.kinneberg@gmail.com if interested. Thanks!!

* Location: 11th St. between B & C. Avenue B has Gruppo pizza, Back 40 and lots of fun dives, coffee shops and vintage stores. Avenue C has Esperanto, Cafe Cito, Zum Schneider, Sunburnt Cow, Porch and so much else within walking distance. Convenient to Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s in Union Square and Associated on C & 8th. Spin City (best drycleaner in the EV), Kasadela (home of the city’s largest sake selection) and Tompkins Square Park are all right down the street.

* Three bedrooms on the first and basement floors of a pre-war building - available room is on the first floor, roughly 8x12 with a closet and a backyard (non-street-side) view. Painted a nice light blue/green.

* Backyard we share with three 20-somethings who are nice and fun. Grill, patio furniture and a few flowers with potential for more.

* Washing machine and dryer *IN THE APARTMENT* - located in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how much this will change your life.

* Living room with a humongous flat-screen TV.

* Dishwasher

* Great shower pressure

* The roommates: Caroline & Faran, two lovely ladies in their mid-20s who work at Lucky and Nylon, respectively. Laid-back and fun, both very busy but cool to kick it with.
Honestly, I love Caroline Kinneberg and Faran Krentcil's work -- the Lucky website wouldn't be as resourceful without Caroline and Faran, of course, founded Fashionista. How amazing would it be to room with some phenomenally talented editors?

Then again, I wouldn't want them to hear me sing in the shower.

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Miss Couturable

The Sunday Six: November 23rd, 2008

My mommy left the country and shan't be home for quite a while -- which is a damper on the family Thanksgiving. I know there is a lot to be thankful for this year, so I won't complain. I have an entire week off from school, so I've finally getting the rest I need! I'm starting to think that my only Thanksgiving tradition is sleeping early so that I can go shopping on Black Friday.

  1. I'm obsessed with "Her Eyelashes" by Jay Chou, who I can loosely say is the Asian Justin Timberlake (but so much better).
  2. I mean, if I don't achieve my dream of becoming a magazine editor, pencil escort sounds somewhat exciting.
  3. Why yes, I can write serious articles about the retail industry! As Assistant Editor for Nolcha Metier, I've been blessed in being able to expand my journalistic pursuits into writing about business. Read my article about the tween retail market here -- I spent so much time on interviews but it was so worth it.
  4. As an addendum to my wish list, I think these Alliterative Alphabet Necklaces from Anthropologie are adorable. N-O-E-L, please?
  5. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is probably one of the reasons why everyone intends to lose the extra pounds as their New Year's Resolution. I'll be watching on December 3rd.
  6. Excellent read for bloggers by Nubby Twiglet: Personality, Branding, and Blogging.
What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Santa, I've been good this year

With my eighteenth birthday and Christmas approaching (I was born on Christmas -- hence the name Noel), I've been thinking about how to approach the age-old question: What do you want?

A friend recently told me that her family is not exchanging Christmas presents this year (because of the economic crisis) in order to save money for college. I bit my tongue because I had spent the last few weeks gradually making a wish list for my eighteenth birthday/Christmas, because my parents did not mention any issues of money with me even though I knew that my college savings fund was being depleted by the recession, and because I knew that there is absolute nothing that I need this year.

Therefore, I present my wish list with a grain of salt -- I could never expect these presents in a time like this, when the economy is so terrible and college tuition piling on top of high school tuition is just around the corner. Now, if I owned diamond mines in Africa and hid gold bars under my bed, I wouldn't be conjuring up such a fantastical list for Santa -- in reality, I'd rather have peace on Earth (and maybe a sweet boy under the mistletoe):
A wool coat from Betsey Johnson, an Agent Provocateur bow garter, a canary yellow feather sash belt from J. Crew, Stella McCartney pumps, a Yorkshire Terrier named Britannia, a custom-made bolero by BONZIE, a subscription to the darling Lula Magazine, a dress by Paule Ka, the book Style by Kate Spade, extravagant Shu Uemura false eyelashes, a Blackberry Storm for my inner technology geek, Team Chuck t-shirt, Holly Golightly sleep mask, a sharp jacket by 3.1 Phillip Lim, giant hair bows à la Brigitte Bardot, the Chanel 2.55.

I suppose I'd also have to include getting into college.

What is on your holiday/birthday wishlist?

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking for copies

Okay, I lost track of time (someday, I'll take a screenshot of my packed monthly calendar/agenda) and forgot to pick up extra copies of the November 2008 issue of Seventeen with my name in the masthead. To my dismay, I went to Borders the day after the December/January 2008 issue was released. However, I'd really like to have a few for keepsake purposes and one to frame.

Thus, my dear lovely readers, if any of you are willing to send me your copy (or any extra copies that you may have), please email me and I will be in deep gratitude.

Apparently the bookstores immediately send the past issues to the recycling plant.

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Miss Couturable

Attaboy, Alex!

Yes, that is Connie from Pretty Legit. Yes, that is Alexander Wang, who just won the CFDA. Yes, that is an atrocious photo of me from this past summer.

No, I don't even care because I'm extraordinarily proud of Alex and I bet his mommy is too.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hiatus

I am:
  1. So congested that I can only breathe through my mouth.
  2. Suffering a migraine that has lasted 22 hours so far.
  3. Losing my voice.
  4. A ball of phlegm at the moment.
Until my health returns, I'm going to read Tolstoy and drink orange juice. I hope to make this up with next week's Sunday Six.

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Follow my blog with bloglovin´? There are too many blogging tools nowadays.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Young'ns younger than me

I'm quite sure that that everyone who reads Miss Couturable knows that I'm 17 years old. I'm not old at all -- okay fine, I'm old enough to make many important life decisions but I'm still an avid shopper of the boys department.

But seriously, younger fashion bloggers such as Kristin (age 14) and Jane (age 16) make me feel incredibly incompetent and unstylish. Kristin started her own fashion magazine and Jane has the most enviable wardrobe of a teenage girl that I've ever seen.

I am humbled.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Sunday Six: November 9th, 2008

I didn't think Twitter would be so useful -- but I've found many of tidbits for this week's Sunday Six simply by twittering! I'm slowly embracing social media, site by site.
  1. These Disney Retro Pinups paintings by Amy Mebberson are fantastic -- I'm hoping to buy the Snow White print (the red garter is a nice finish, no?) for my dorm room in college. This is just one of the reasons why I will never outgrow Disney. Thanks Chic and Charming @ Twitter!
  2. A guilty pleasure of mine is reading horoscopes -- I always make sure to read them at the backs of magazines, but I had not found a suitable and decent online horoscope website until now. Astrobarry horoscopes are both insightful and realistic -- not to mention detailed. Thanks Gala Darling @ Twitter!
  3. I'm just as excited that my name is listed in the masthead of the November 2008 issue of Seventeen as I was for the October 2008 issue. I'll be at Borders buying extra copies very soon.
  4. I've been updating and cleaning up my blogroll like Susie Bubble -- if you have a blog that you'd like me to check out and potentially place on my blogroll, feel free to comment here. However, I only list blogs that I personally subscribe to myself.
  5. I summed up my courage this afternoon and tried out as a model for the school fashion show! The results come out tomorrow, but either way I'm proud of myself for taking a chance and even blowing a kiss at the judges. If I didn't try out this year as a senior, I would never have the chance again.
  6. Susie Bubble introduces us to Spanish luxury brand Loewe! I'm craving the ruffled pumps.
Now, please twitter me if you haven't already -- or start twittering, because social media is not leaving the internet.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Petite perfection

Being dark-haired and petite, I've rarely found any role models in fashion that I religiously ogle over. Sure, Audrey Hepburn worked the little black dress -- but she was also much taller and could pull off evening gowns with much greater ease. Call it the self-reference effect -- for some reason, I could not consider anyone to be my "style role model" (if I had to define such a thing) unless she had the same build as me.
Luckily, I discovered Miroslava Mikheeva-Duma of Russian Harper's Bazaar this week. This petite and youthful fashion editor pulls off the most daring silhouettes to complement and accentuate her slightly curvy but very small frame. She mixes adorable innocence with classic sophistication -- from an assortment of Birkins to short satin dresses.

Did I mention that she's an economist?

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Miss Couturable

Tiara thoughts

Yesterday, I was asked if I wanted to compete in the Miss Teen Chinatown Charity Fundraiser Gala. In other words, a scholarship pageant. I had never thought about competing for a crown, of walking down a stage in a long evening gown and performing dance numbers in unison. I've always been behind the scenes -- the production of, not the performance of, has always been my forte.

Therefore, I am asking you, my lovely and insightful readers, to give me some advice. Should I compete? Have any of you had similar experiences? How did it go?

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tulle and tutus


Diana asked me if I knew where to get a wearable tutu skirt, which is a piece I myself have sought ever since model Elma Huskic was photographed in the streets of New York City in a vintage tutu, blazer, leather boots, and tights.

If we can't all be Elma Huskic and find the perfect vintage tutu in our corner consignment store, I have found that Jenjoy Designs (which I've mentioned before) makes some phenomenal wearable tutus. I also think the more daring could wear an actual rehearsal tutu -- at $43.20, it's cheaper than the wearable tutus. Similarly, Miss Priss Tutus makes some darling adult tutus that I'm contemplating for my 18th birthday.

However, those who aren't so keen to blatantly wear layers and layers of tulle can opt for a petticoat instead -- cheaper, but just as romantic.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A night to remember

Last night:
  1. I interviewed a cast member from Gossip Girl. I'll definitely post the link to the article when it's up!
  2. I barely completed any homework thanks to the excitement of the night. I received my mid-semester grades and I'm more determined than ever to work harder -- because I know can do much better.
  3. I cried during Senator McCain's speech. He truly loves his country. It is heartbreaking to know that he will never have a chance to become President ever again.
  4. During Senator McCain's speech, I heard someone yell (referring to Senator Obama), "Shoot him! Use your gun, Sarah!" Classy.
  5. I cried during Senator Obama's speech. I never thought the afterthought I had in seventh grade ("I could totally see Obama as president someday") would come true. Yes, we did and will do.
  6. I played "Black President" by Nas about 20 times.
  7. My heart broke when California passed Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage.
  8. I finally identified myself as a liberal.
God bless. Alexander McQueen for Target? Talk about eventful.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fashion déjà vu

(Photo Credit -- the CW)
In the hallway at school about 20 minutes ago, a classmate asked me, "Hey, wasn't the dress you wore yesterday on Gossip Girl?"

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to watch Gossip Girl last night (but that's what weekends are for!). However, I checked the blog and apparently "Little J" is smothering Nate Archibald in the same dress.

Jenny Humphrey and I have more in common than I thought. Nate not included.

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Miss Couturable

Get thee to a polling place!

Americans, please vote. Make history.

If you're too young to vote (like me), make sure your parents do. Offer to do more chores, promise to finish your homework by 8pm -- just make sure they vote!

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Yes, I am an ardent supporter of Barack Obama. I've been following his career since I was in seventh grade (I'm a senior in high school now) -- his websites have been bookmarked on my web browser since then. I know a lot of people (including my own friends) doubt his ability to bring about the change that he speaks of -- and yes, a politician is different from an inspirational leader like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. -- but Obama has demonstrated the potential to change things. In the words of one of my friends:
He has the ability to climb mountains at break-neck speed. He jumped from community organizer to state senator to US senator to presidential nominee, beat out Hillary Clinton as the underdog in the primaries, became the first black man to be nominated for the presidency by a major party, and won the world's support and approval in the meantime. -- Katherine R. Long
And we, the United States of America, need to climb mountains again.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Twitter me

Teresa has been exerting an indecent amount of influence on me, but I'm benefiting because I enjoy listening to the advice of my elders (but that's okay, Teresa -- you're still young and gorgeous!).

She recently made a post about Twitter -- a website I've tried to steer away from in the past year because I don't need another reason to be telling the world what I'm up to, but I've succumbed to its simplicity and its widespread use.

So, twitter me. I vow to amuse you with the inklings of my life. In less than 160 140 characters.

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Miss Couturable

The Sunday Six: November 2nd, 2008

Happy November, my charming readers! Over here in California, I've been waking up to bleary-eyed skies every morning -- for some reason, the chillier temperature makes me want to snuggle up and be with my friends and family more.
(Photo Credit -- Coutorture)
  1. While I don't have a book of wedding plans like Monica from Friends made in middle school, I do occasionally dream about my future wedding dress. This particular gown from Monique Lhuillier Bride Fall 2009, with its giant assymetrical ruffles that drift down in a dreamlike sequence, is my pick for the season. If I was getting married this year. Which I'm not, because I'm only 17.
  2. Teresa points out an excellent reason to study abroad during college -- and not for career-driven reasons! At many of the college meetings and tours I've attended in the past few months, many of the colleges stated that they'd provide full financial backing for the study abroad opportunities of their students. Please take advantage of these amazing experiences; I know I will once I get into college!
  3. Yay or nay on Taylor Momsen's new hipster look? I still miss "Little J."
  4. I received this bottle of Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner from the CosmoGIRL! beauty closet (R.I.P.) last spring, and it is the best-smelling and most effective leave-in conditioner I have ever used! The ingredients are plant-based and water-based, so that it doesn't leave your hair feeling oily or heavy at all -- no matter how much you spray on (and I always spray to an excess). I spray it on in the mornings after I take a shower, and it smooths my hair into loose ringlets and waves without any effort.
  5. I, too, adore these Corso Como bow-tie booties featured on Fashion is Spinach.
  6. Susie Bubble has been exploring my lovely corner of the world -- a.k.a, San Francisco! I knew we had a lot of wonderful fashion and artistic development here, but seeing it candidly through a fashion expert's eyes (and yes, Susie Bubble is the fashion expert of bloggers) has been enlightening.
I am so excited to be bundling up in soft tights and cashmere shawls.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A rose by any other name is Valentino

Flesh pink isn't exactly the most appetizing color, but the Valentino Petale Dome Bowler is the sort of bag that a girl carries around when she's feeling exceptionally romantic but not in the mood for ruffled blouses and tutu skirts.

In other words, this one of those bags that you pair with simple basics because you know everyone will be looking at it anyways.

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Miss Couturable

Vintage veneration

I rarely shop vintage, but the collection of vintage pieces from Resurrection Vintage that was up for auction at Christie's is enticing. I mean, if I overlook the $1,000+ purchase prices.

Where else can you find an aluminum tunic dress by Paco Rabanne?

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Miss Couturable

Happy Halloween!

I didn't think I'd get through this week alive -- I struggled through two weeks of AP Statistics homework that I had put off until last night (never, never again), forced myself catch up on the 100+ pages of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe that I had neglected for other assignments, and read the 10 modules of my AP Psychology textbook that I had neglected to read before I took my exam.

No, no, no -- I will not procrastinate anymore. I've learned my lesson and I've paid the price of saggy bags under my eyes that no amount of foundation can fix. And somehow (not surprisingly), walking in heels is harder when you haven't been getting enough sleep.

Kids, don't be like me in high school.
So for Halloween, I dressed up as Snow White -- Snow White because when I was younger, Snow White was the only Disney princess who had black hair like me.

I suppose there is a stigma against "slutty" costumes and I was definitely appalled when the salesperson told me that the store only stocked the "fun" versions. I tried my best to make my costume as school-appropriate as possible because all I wanted was to be cute -- flats, no heels.

At the end of the night, when I came home from the last time I would ever trick-or-treat, I realized that one didn't need to be exceptionally clever or witty when it comes to Halloween costumes -- even costumes can be fashion statements without the avant-garde.

Me? Snow White was the first American movie I've ever seen -- and I'm happy to celebrate my last "childhood" Halloween being the Disney princess that I've always wanted to be. Good-bye to 16 years of trick-or-treating!

What did you dress up as for Halloween?

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Someday, I would like to be Karl Lagerfeld for Halloween. Actually, I would just like to be Karl Lagerfeld.