Monday, December 29, 2008

Reluctant hiatus

Oh my goodness, I've had a throbbing migraine all day and there are so many new additions that I'm planning for Miss Couturable in 2009.

For example, frequent outfit postings for when I don't have a headache and disheveled hair (yes, I am going to use the tripod! I will show my face and you will see my Minnie Mouse cheekbones!), a Q&A (in case you're dying to know what I eat for breakfast, but probably not), much more fashion commentary (hey, can't stop me from writing whether or not I have the credentials for it), somewhat exciting tidbits of my daily life (I do regret never telling you all about my photoshoot with Seventeen when the photographer came over to my house), and some helpful articles for my teen readers (I will help you all get through the hurdles of shopping for a prom dress or studying for the SAT). Oh, and quite possible a new layout -- anyone care to help me out?

In the meantime, I'm still a first semester high school senior and I have one college application to finish, an extra credit AP Psychology project to do (possibly raising my grade 2.5 points!), an AP Psychology cumulative not-a-final-because-seniors-don't-get-finals exam to ace, a conceptual AP Statistics quiz to ace, a massive Gothic Literature research paper to write, plenty of pages to work on for the school yearbook, and an optional AP English Literature essay to write (and read the book for). And this is just my work for this week.

Once I'm a second semester senior in three weeks, I'll throw a tea party. Hopefully this is understandable -- my migraine was just the last straw for me. The truth is, I need a breather before I'm refreshed again. Happy new year!

Miss Couturable

Tiaras for teens

First of all, I love princesses: Grace Kelly, Diana of Wales, Zara Phillips, Rania or Jordan, and plenty more of these tiara girls that can rival any socialite on Park Avenue. Secondly, I love New York City -- my emergency hospital visit to the Upper East Side did not change this. Lastly, I love public libraries and I've held my own library card since I was 7 years old.

So, the Tiara Auction to benefit the New York City Public Library's teen programs is the sort of quirky charity fundraiser I'd come up with if I was a New York City philanthropist who read The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. It auctions tiaras designed by figures such as make-up artist Bobbi Brown, fashion designer Nicole Miller, and even author Meg Cabot herself.

My personal favorites are:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Sunday Six: December 28th, 2008

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful holiday break -- of course, I still have one more week left until school begins, but I have so much work to do within these next few days! 2009 (a.k.a., graduation year) is in only four days and I'm so excited for all of the exciting things that the new year will bring!
  1. The Christmas spirit of giving is alive -- whether or not the jolly old fat man exists. Just read this postsecret from two weeks ago and the emailed responses underneath it.
  2. For about three days straight, I watched three seasons of Gilmore Girls. "You officially have no life," remarked a friend. Luckily, I stopped being a couch potato last night. Holiday breaks are excellent for being a sloth. Have you been watching any television shows lately, perhaps nonstop like me?
  3. This morning, I worked with some classmates in preparing lunch at a local family homeless shelter. I wished more of my classmates could have come. I hope you all find some time within the next few days to spread some holiday spirit! It takes the community to change the community.
  4. I've decided that it's time to get a real job -- whether it's steady freelance writing or a Starbucks barista position. Any suggestions?
  5. Okay, so it's a new year (almost). Now tell me, what would you like to see on Miss Couturable? Outfit posts (I should probably get my new camera to work anyways)? More commentary? Less commentary (scratch that, nothing can keep me from writing)? Q&A?
  6. New obsession: World War II propaganda film. Propaganda is a fascinating approach to studying history. Fine, I admit it, I really am a couch potato.
And so here concludes the last Sunday Six of 2008.

Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 27, 2008

One more, Nanette Lepore

When I first laid eyes upon these Nanette Lepore slingback booties, I thought they were awkward-looking with their chunky heels and forest green color. I mean, I still don't find the photo of them online to be attractive at all. The ruffles change nothing -- for some reason, I was reminded of these slingback clogs.

But I saw these booties in person today, held them in my hand, tried them on -- and decided that I should just try on every single item that I've ever found hideous or even slightly ugh-ly because these shoes look so much better in person.

They have a Victorian-era flavor and are one of the most comfortable heels I've ever worn (and I'm making it a New Year's Resolution to wear heels more often). I'm excited to conjure up ways to incorporate this forest green piece that I had previously shunned into my wardrobe. There is something unusually feminine about Nanette Lepore pieces that always makes me go back.

Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Imaginary Christmas wishlist

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas! My family's refraining from formally exchanging Christmas presents today, and instead we're going to go shop the sales tomorrow! We've been investing our Christmas money in nice celebration dinners and hosting festive parties instead -- which is still considerably cheaper than a present exchange in our family. However, in my dreams, this is what I'd want to wake up to on Christmas morning (you know, if Santa thought I was really good this year):
Celine Scarf neck cocktail dress
Sometimes the little black dress just won't do.
Brian Atwood Eva Strass sandals
I can't resist crystals and giant bows.
RM by Roland Mouret Dax sleeveless top
There are silk ruffles -- but it's still demurely minimalist.
Moschino Cheap & Chic ruffled coat
Purple just might be my new favorite color?
Carolina Herrera pleated dress
Yeah, I think so.
RM by Roland Mouret Arletty collarless jacket
Powerhouse woman with a penchant for origami.
Mike & Chris Lyle belted poncho
Am I feel alright? When did I ever consider wearing a poncho?
Christian Louboutin Cancan feather clutch
I wish I had a magical clutch that could carry an infinite amount of items à la Harry Potter.

I think one of the most fascinating things with "window shopping" is comparing my tastes with that of other bloggers, such as Jane from Sea of Shoes or Susie Bubble. We'd all pick out completely different pieces but I can't help but have reverence for what these girls can pull off.

Time to bake cookies with my Mommy! What did you get for Christmas? What did you do for Christmas?

Miss Couturable

Merry Christmas!

Over truffled cheese fondue tonight, Mommy whispered to me, "Happy birthday. You're 18."

So, I'm 18 (at least I am according to east coast time), but I still can't eat fondue without burning my tongue. I still can't chew gum without biting my lip at least four times in the same spot ("How can you bleed this much?!" asked my bewildered friends last week).

When I was younger (but not that much younger), I would run around the house with a blanket tied around my neck like a cape, pretending to be Superwoman.

And you know, I realized tonight that it's time to stop pretending -- because there is potential to be super and do good for the world. And save up for the Givenchy boots I've been craving. Even if I don't have the coordination to chew gum and think at the same time.

Like any 18 year old, I look forward to the future -- but I wouldn't trade anything for the present. Happy holidays to you, my lovely readers, and your families!

Miss Couturable

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Finally LinkedIn

A friend of mine described LinkedIn as "that site for old business people", and of course I proceeded to spend the next hour creating my own LinkedIn profile so that I may connect with my colleagues, classmates, and friends in a professional so-called "old people" manner. Since apparently, Twitter, Gmail, blogging, and Facebook haven't been enough for me.

So just in case any of my readers have professional LinkedIn profiles and are interested in building business connections with me or just seeing what I'm up to when I'm not eating chocolate-covered cherries, feel free to add me.

Miss Couturable

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Sunday Six: December 21st, 2008

During the month of December, I like to pull out old personal journal entries from the same day in the past years and reflect on how much I've changed in one year, two years, three years time. I'd pull up some excerpts but they're too embarrassing to share -- even I cringe when I read them.
  1. Guy Kawasaki, who is an amazing venture capitalist that Teresa introduced me to, wrote a witty yet profound blog entry titled, "Everything I Need to Know About Entrepreneurship I Learned From My Comrades in Moscow". You can start a business anywhere; I'll remember that.
  2. One of the prettiest and most ethereal blogs I've ever seen, The Unicorn Diaries, posts lovely screenshots from The Little Princess, one of my most favorite movies. I had an obsession with both the book and the movie when I was younger -- I was (and still am) convinced that all girls are princesses.
  3. One of my friends got me an absolutely beautiful hardcover book/calendar called A Year in Fashion by Pascal Morche. For every day of the year, there are two pages with fashion photography throughout history and quotations from the likes of Bill Blass and Kenzo Takada. There are even lines to jot down notes for the day -- but this book is too precious to scrawl upon. Still, what a wonderful present for my eighteenth year!
  4. My friends have truly been spoiling me lately -- because I also attained the deep yellow feathered silk sash belt that I've been craving from J. Crew! I'm very excited to think of ways that I can wear this spot of sunshine during the winter. Any suggestions?
  5. For the first time in my life yesterday, I ate cupcake's from Kara's Cupcakes, which is a local bakery that rivals Sprinkles in my area. It was disappointing that there was no red velvet, but the pumpkin with cream cheese frosting was definitely satisfying!
  6. What are you allowed to do in California when you turn eighteen? Really, I have no inclination of starring in a porno.
Also, I just wanted to say thank you for reading Miss Couturable! It was while I was sitting at dinner with Teresa yesterday that I realized how funny blogging can be, for bringing people together.

Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The best things in life are free

It's that time of the year again -- the time of the year to take advantage of Urban Outfitter's free one year subscription to Nylon offer. I don't say no to free magazine subscriptions.

Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Clutched my heart

Is this true love at first sight? Because ever since I set my eyes on this Jamin Puech Alejo Clutch, I just can't seem to forget it. Saying that I like shiny things is an understatement.

Miss Couturable

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm a quitter

Normally I wouldn't classify myself as a quitter, but I could argue that I am. My freshman and sophomore years of high school, I was a committed member of the debate team, a cabinet officer in Junior Statesmen of America, and a dancer who took both ballet and Chinese ethnic dance classes.

Needless to say, I quit all of these activities for the sake of fashion, journalism, and cheerleading. While I was winning numerous speaker awards and receiving top sixteen seedings at various debate tournaments, I wanted to do more than argue -- I wanted to write. While I was involved in the behind-the-scenes process for Junior Statesmen of America, I realized that politics was not for me -- I was more interested in grassroots activism. And while I had been a dancer since fourth grade, I began cheerleading in sixth grade -- and I wanted to rebuild the cheerleading program at my school.

So I quit. And I don't regret it a bit.

The moment I quit these activities, I began to take the train to a local fashion designer's studio every weekend to be her assistant. It was my first small escapade into the fashion industry, and I have never looked back.

A lot of you have been asking me about my college situation -- so yes, I was denied from the school I applied early to (I'm sure you can all figure out which school it is).

Of course I was sad. The next day, as I continued to work on my college applications, my college counselor told me that while I had the grades and scores to get into the top schools -- it's just not that easy to understand why I do what I do. I moped for a few hours because the truth is, I care about my education more than about any fashion publishing career at the point in my life where I am now (hey, I'm still seventeen). I want to harness my education and learn about a wide plethora of academic studies, which is why I am not pursuing a preprofessional degree in journalism or in fashion design. I want to pursue a study in feminist expression, combining my love for literature, art history, politics, history, and gender studies -- and oh, I am so excited for these educational opportunities in college.

So yes, I am a quitter.

But I quit for the right reasons. Last Friday, my English teacher asked our class, "If you didn't get into a certain college, do you really think your dreams in life are over?"

I know it's winter break, but I'm working hard right now -- I have my dreams and I'm not quitting this time. I hope you won't either. Happy holidays!

Miss Couturable

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Sunday Six: December 14th, 2008

I just finished my government paper -- which means I'm finally on winter break (minus college applications and some articles I need to catch up on due to sickness)! Thank goodness for not having final exams as a senior.
  1. Teresa's explication about what blogging means to her made me cry. I am such a geek.
  2. Mochi, an online (was going to be print, but the recession didn't help) magazine for Asian-American girls that I do some writing and editing for, has some great articles -- including an exclusive Brenda Song feature!
  3. Every day, Gala is hosting some wonderful holiday giveaways! Please check them out and enter them if you can -- the prizes are absolutely fantastic. Gosh, she spoils her readers, no?
  4. Happy birthday, Susie Bubble! Now everyone, head over to her blog and tell her that she doesn't look a day over 18/20/22.
  5. An eye for an eye? How do you feel about this? Ameneh Bahrami was blinded and severely disfigured four years ago when a rejected suitor took his revenge by dumping sulfuric acid on her head
  6. Miss at la Playa (my favorite Spanish blog) has Prada desktop wallpapers!
Now excuse me, I'm still horrified that Britney Spears concert tickets are over $300. Even Spice Girls reunion concert tickets could be bought pre-sale for $85!

Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Take me to Russia

"Some supernatural force drew Kitty's eyes to Anna's face. She was enchanting in her simple black dress, enchanting were her full arms with the bracelets on them, enchanting her firm neck with its string of pearls, enchanting her curly hair in disarray, enchanting the graceful, light, movements of her small feet and hands, enchanting that beautiful face in its animation; but there was something terrible and cruel in her enchantment." -- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The translation of the great novel, Anna Karenina, that I'm currently reading for English class is over 800 pages long -- and I admit it, I adore every night's 40-page assigned reading. Maybe I just adore Russia in general; I want to study art history in St. Petersburg while I'm in college, I wish Sasha Pivarova could be my best friend, Miroslava Mikheeva-Duma of Russian Harper's Bazaar is my fellow petite style idol, and Russian Vogue once featured a spread with Minnie Mouse. And the Bolshoi Ballet? I still hope to catch their rendition of The Nutcracker someday.
It should then be quite obvious that I adore Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel Pre-Fall 2009 Collection for all of its Muscovite/Parisian luxury and references to Russia's rich past -- from communist red to Cossack boots to pseudo-military pins to Fabergé egg-like embroidered patterns.
I'd also really like this jacket -- and the attitude that comes along with it.

Coincidentally, I'm off to finish tonight's reading of Anna Karenina.

Miss Couturable

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Sunday Six: December 7th, 2008

With a multitude of projects to finish, articles to write, and tests to study for this week -- I, like Casey of Teen Fashionista, am counting down the numbers until I can breathe again. Really, send me an email if you'd like to be my late-night study buddy.
  1. This fourth-grade boy wrote a book about love -- too cute. "'If I say hi and you say hi back, we're probably off to a good start,' he said" Aww!
  2. My dear laptop broke last week, so now I'm using a new laptop without image editing software. Is there an online, no-download-needed, image editing tool that I can use for the time being?
  3. Phillip Lim's 15-year-old intern Colby Jordan. Just watch the video and wish you were the girl Lim was taking to the Costume Institute.
  4. I'm starting to miss New York City, specifically because I enjoyed wandering the city by myself and feeling infinite. There were times that I felt lonely because it is not the typical high school thing to live in a big city by oneself, but I definitely yearn for the leisurely walks I had by the Hudson River.
  5. I don't want an X-Box, but if you like videos and happen to be good at poetry -- why not enter the giveaway at Fashionista?
  6. My favorite forum is The Fashion Spot -- so many intelligent and stylish people are in that forum! What about yours?
Now, back to my statistics homework.

Miss Couturable

Friday, December 5, 2008

Backpack revival

There is a girl at my school who carries a gigantic Juicy Couture tote bag for all of her school materials everyday, heels or no heels. The cloth bag is stretched tight and packed with books, and the poor girl always walks around campus with an extreme tilt to her left because the giant bag weighs her down.

Personally, I don't think the tote bag is worth the posture problem. I, being the booknerd that I am, carry a monogrammed black backpack with zebra-print ribbon along with a bamboo cloth laptop bag. The truth is, my classes are spread apart on campus and I have pounds of books for each class -- which is further exemplified by the fact that most girls at my school also carry backpacks because carrying a tote bag comfortably is almost impossible unless one is willing to carry some of the books or upgrade to a bigger (and more backbreaking) tote bag. Tote bags work when one doesn't have too many books -- otherwise, it just looks ridiculously impractical.

Therefore, I have an attachment to backpacks -- and I don't think they deserve the contempt that they get amongst "fashionable" teenage girls. I was pleased to discover WSJ. Magazine's article about Gucci's new line of backpacks. These backpacks are of a reasonable and practical size -- and definitely sharp enough for us style-discerning booknerds.

I mean, asking our teachers to cut down on the textbooks probably won't work.

Miss Couturable

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday pick-me-up

Waking up to find $15 to Sephora in my inbox made waking up at 6:00am more bearable after a week of sleeping in. I will have you know that I am thoroughly pumped for the next two weeks of school (as a senior, I don't have final examinations!).

Miss Couturable

Photography lessons

My journalism teacher told me that I needed to improve my photography skills -- and so, while I'm trying not to contain my excitement, there is a new Nikon D300 camera in the room next door that I am currently reading the instruction manual for. While I won't be the next Annie Leibovitz, there is a lot about fashion, art, and journalism that I still need to learn! One cannot underestimate the power of the lens.
Pamela Reed and Matthew Rader of Reed + Rader produce some of my favorite pieces of contemporary photography -- with one glance at their portfolio, you can find both alluring and yet disturbing elements. The muffled women, the isolated desert scenes; the subject of each photograph seems to be the photograph itself. I wouldn't just call them photographers -- they're visual artists that combine stunning photography with computer arts. Animation included.

Is it intriguing? Most definitely. Is it Vogue? Probably not; I'm guessing Anna Wintour wouldn't like the strange purple monster in that model's hand.

Miss Couturable