Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One last time for oh nine

Instead of recapping my entire year, I just want to point out that the most important thing I've learned in 2009 is that I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's. Upon high school graduation, I decided that I could no longer compare myself to my peers. I spent the entire car ride, from the mountain vineyard where I received my diploma to the banquet hall that hosted the luncheon, listening to my parents talk about my illustrious and brilliantly successful classmates. It was the sort of conversation that left you breathless to a whisper because you knew that you had just walked down the stage with some of the brightest -- and quite honestly, most privileged -- 18 year olds in the world.Well, after coming to Columbia University, I met some more illustrious students -- students who didn't share the same area code as me, this time. I remember befriending one of my good friends out of curiosity because he reminded me of Bryanboy (and he's Filipino-Parisian!) -- and befriending Anna Cooperberg Gonzalez, fantastic intern for Purse Blog, who happens to be the sweetest Vera Wang-clad southern debutante (and a fierce contortionist). I still recall the awe in my voice when almost every other student I met was either class valedictorian or a Siemens Competition Semifinalist. I am still amazed at the athletes who get up at 5:00am to work out -- and still make it to class on time, without falling asleep. I fondly remember a recent conversation in the elevator about a girl that my friend was convinced was his soulmate -- she had the women's version of his studded Prada shoes.
Well, these fantastic encounters have made my year. I began this year without a clue about my future. I had just finished my college applications, just as Arabelle of Fashion Pirates is about to accomplish. I was a second semester senior, and I still had to write papers and take exams -- to my frustrated dismay. I was restless. I finally graduated from my prestigious -- and sometimes disorienting -- prep school with an Ivy League acceptance letter. I went from being the strange girl in heels with her nose buried in a copy of Lula magazine at family dinner parties to the Perfect Asian Daughter, thanks to a large white envelope mailed from New York City. Never mind the fact that I never learned to play the piano, I didn't win (or even compete in) any math competitions, and that I didn't take a single science course my senior year of high school. I chose fashion, journalism, cheerleading, and history classes. My parents were criticized by other parents for letting me spend an entire summer in New York City by myself, interning for Seventeen. They looked at my parents with curiosity and pity until the news of my college acceptances spread (and if you didn't know, Asian parents love to gossip).

So, merci beaucoup to Columbia University for giving me a chance. And merci beaucoup to my parents for turning the other cheek when I was pursuing seemingly far fetched dreams across the country and buying clothes from the boys' section at thrift stores off the corner of the road. I know you didn't like it. You still yell at me on the phone, but I've also learned to turn the other cheek.

On top of my suitemate's bed, there is a bumper sticker with J.R.R. Tolkien's quotation, "Not all those wander are lost." Perhaps, as college students, we're all wanderers -- uprooted from the homes we've always known and thrown into a community that forces us to move forward, whether or not we know where we are going. Swim or drown.

Basically, I've had a hard time balancing between blogging and real life this year, and I want to do a better job of it in 2010 now that I'm getting used to college. What do you want to see on Miss Couturable?

Have a terribly delightful new year! As usual, I hope 2010 will be nothing you expected and everything you wanted.

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Masquerade ball magic

Gilt Groupe opened up a fantastic sale of twelve masquerade masks created by some of my favorite fashion designers this morning -- with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization that works with children battling serious medical conditions. Back in high school, I interned for a fashion designer who was preparing her costume for the Venetian Masquerade Ball. We bought fantastic hats and masks -- all ostentatiously yet beautifully decorated with an assortment of feathers and adornments. Needless to say, I have made it one of my life goals to attend the Ball. When mystery combines with beauty, you get allure -- and that's irresistible.
Costello Tagliapietra
Vena Cava
Rodarte
Tory Burch
J. Mendel
Rachel Roy
Peter Som
Catherine Malandrino
Charles Nolan
Erin Fetherston
Brian Reyes
Behnaz Sarafpour
J'adore Rodarte and Behnaz Sarafpour -- but Erin Fetherston's vixen of a panther is tempting too. And Brian Reyes' simple but expressive mask has a charming doll-like quality, no? Which one is your favorite? Click here to join Gilt Groupe if you're not a member already!

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just try not to spill, please

These four short months in college have taught me a lot about that cheesy cliché known as girl power. I found myself grappling in a community where I was determined to prove myself not only as an individual, but as a woman. There is nothing like navigating your way through a dark brownstone townhouse full of frat boys to make you assertive and more wary of your surroundings. No means no, boys. Supplement that with essays by Edward Said and Judith Butler, and you get a college education.

Honestly, if you spill beer on my Bill Blass jacket, please don't ask me for a second dance. And then spill more beer on it when I say I need to get some fresh air. I know you're tipsy, but I'm the one traipsing around in the platform pumps.

So, all of this "rah-rah girl power" energy combusted when I found these photographs of Jacques Fath dresses by Walde Huth -- yes, a female photographer in the 1950s. She took photographs for top German fashion magazines and various commissions around Europe. In a time when women were still considered to be delicate blossoms, this daring lady was traveling around Europe, calling her own shots.

When I was little, I would don a cape blanket and jump on my bed, pretending I was Superwoman. Perhaps it is time to invest in a pleated organza cape à la Jacques Fath.

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Miss Couturable

Monday, December 28, 2009

Topless thinking

I haven't been following runway fashion closely for the past few months, and admittedly it's because I've been too busy with schoolwork. Style.com is a great tool for procrastination, but I've been frequenting the website less because procrastination is no longer a viable option for me. I don't even use my laptop in class now that I'm in college.

In any case, I feel as if I am missing a time that I was never a part of. Frequent discussions about feminism in my classes have led me to become intrigued with Rudi Gernreich's topless gown of 1970. Indeed, it objectified women -- but it also provided another outlet for gender dynamics to be explored in a time of uncertainty and monumental social change. 'Twas far from a swingin' minidress.

I just want fashion that makes me think again.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 19, 2009

New spring in my step

I adore my recently purchased BCBG Mendel Wedge Booties, but I've discovered that one needs to walk a lot in college. Even though I thought my high school campus was fairly spacious at five acres and classes spread all around, I was able to wear heels without experiencing the sensation of limping into my eighth period class at the end of the day.

However, here in college, I am constantly walking between various campuses for classes, running down the stairs when the elevators are broken, and running around the city for my internship and various errands. And sometimes, when I am about to be late to an appointment or a class, running in heels appears comical and dangerous.My dear beloved Valentino Polka Dot & Crystal Strawberry Ballerina Flats are finally wearing away; the Swarovski crystals are falling off and the straw is splintering. I still treasure these shoes like nothing else, from their slip-on glamour to their handcrafted bling-bling -- because as you know, I like shiny.
So, yesterday, while I was shopping at the Marc by Marc Jacobs store in the West Village, I picked a pair of these whimsical Marc by Marc Jacobs Love Mouse Ballerinas Flats. They're more childish than my beloved Valentinos, but they prove to be a worthy flat alternative for days that I'm running from place to place.

And on the most stressful of days, I can always look down at my feet and smile. It's good to be young. And 5'1".

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A study break well spent

We have plenty of boutiques in the San Francisco bay area, but only in New York City can you walk into a random store and find the designer there to personally greet you.

Dara Adeeyo of Secretista and I wandered into the Cynthia Rowley store in the West Village today, and to our delightful surprise, the absolutely adorable Mademoiselle Rowley herself was there! She was so sweet and talked to all her customers, and had the cutest daughter in the world.

I asked to take a photo with her in what must have been a deprecatingly shameless tone of voice, and she responded, "Are you serious?" Yes, Mademoiselle Rowley! I adore your simple and sweet designs, books, and the boots that are on your feet right now.

Now, I have two French compositions to write, a Greek drama paper to write, and an art history final examination to study for -- but alas, at least I had a good study break.

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One year later

Today, at 5pm EST, Columbia University Early Decisions came out, and a lot of dreams were crushed, revived, or created.

It brought me back to this time last year for me, when I was slaving over my college applications and too scared to talk to my parents, lest I see the disappointment in their eyes. I had gotten rejected from Yale University -- yes, I am not afraid to admit that. I spent the rest of winter break thinking that I could never, ever, get into college. I didn't even know where I wanted to go anymore. When I got into Columbia, I still didn't even know if it was the right choice for me.

Look, my darling 2014ers, I could tell you that Columbia University is the best school in the world and that you'd be a fool to go anywhere else, but anyone can say the same thing about Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Duke, or any of the other "elite" schools.

But, I'll tell you this: Columbia University is the best school for me because I made the conscious decision to come here -- and make the best of it. You can make the best of any school, trust me.

I'm here now, and I'm taking six classes next semester in pursuit of majoring in Art History and a double concentration (our version of a double minor) in Anthropology and Economics -- in addition to pursuing a part-time internship with Town & Country magazine. I have had to make sacrifices here, such as consistent late nights in the library, in order to do the things that I want to do -- and have fun like a normal college student should.

I was scared to come here. Scared because I knew I was going to be pushed. Scared because I knew I was going to push myself. Scared because everyone here has such a spark for learning that I am still trying attain. For example, my co-editor in chief of Hoot, the campus fashion magazine we're founding, is a pre-med Biochemistry major with hopes of becoming a dermatologist.

So, even though I got extraordinarily excited when the fantastic Arabelle of Fashion Pirates asked me for advice before her Columbia interview, I try not to convince people to come to my school. I know these brilliant 2014ers can do well anywhere.

In any case, I hope my fellow 2013ers reading this can look back and smirk a little at how we've changed -- or just became more of ourselves.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Efficient for all the wrong reasons

This is how great I am at time management (not really): As soon as my writing class finished at 3:55pm, I looked up a list of BCBG Max Azria stores in New York City. I called each one up, asking for a pair of the widely coveted and blogged about Mendel Wedge Booties in size 6.5. I wanted a pair so terribly that I was even willing to go for a pair of size 7's.

You see, it's not often that a pair of shoes transforms you, but these shoes did it for me. They add six inches to my height, which means I can say I'm 5'7" when wearing them. They're extraordinary comfortable for six inches because they're wedges, and they coordinate with almost anything at any time of the year. When I wore these to the dining hall, my friend said, "I think three guys just eye-raped you," which I suppose is both creepy and flattering at the same time.

In what must have been a stroke of fate, the third store I called -- the BCBG Max Azria at Fifth and Fortieth, had the shoes in size 6.5.

"Can you please hold them for an hour for me?" I begged the sales associate on the phone. We finally reached an agreement; they would put the shoes on hold for me, but they'd call me if a customer wanted to buy them before I arrived at the store.

I was already walking to my local subway station by then. By 5:25pm, I had already tried on the shoes, fallen in love thrice over, and was headed back to campus.

I then proceeded to eat dinner with my Hoot co-editor in chief at 6:30pm, lead a Hoot meeting at 7:30pm, and immediately headed to the library afterward to write a research paper, where I am sitting right now, equipped with two sugar-free Redbull drinks.

If only I could write research papers as fast as I shop.

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Miss Couturable

Lazy and loving leggings

It's fairly embarrassing. Maybe I'm just hiding the effects of the freshman fifteen. Maybe I just keep forgetting to do my laundry. Maybe I'm just lazy in the mornings, now that I think my 9am French class is too early (how did I do it in high school?).

In any case, Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl wouldn't approve. "Leggings are not pants!" she exclaimed.

That's okay, Blair. We may share a love of Wolford stockings and we may both be perfectionists, much to the chagrin of our friends, but the similarities end there.

I wear leggings on a frequent basis nowadays. J'aime my Madewell stirrup leggings. J'adore my Wolford sheer leggings. Je chéris my Uniqlo satin leggings. Oui oui, Mademoiselle Waldorf -- I do wear them as pants!

I'm not the only freshman who has resorted to leggings as an outfit staple; I just had a conversation about this with a few of my friends at Columbia. Leggings are sleeker and much more polished looking than sweatpants -- and just as comfortable. I have no problems with slipping on a pair of black stirrup leggings, a cropped jacket, a cashmere sweater, and a pair of black heels -- and going to class or work.

So, answer me: can you wear leggings as pants?

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dream big with a bigger heart

Even though I go to school in New York City, I have great respect for Silicon Valley in California. After all, I grew up here -- here, where Steve Jobs could quite possibly be your neighbor (if you live in Silicon Valley) and cascading golden hills push against venture capitalist firms.

For all the differences between New York City and Silicon Valley (fashion sense, for one), they share one common characteristic: the fast pace of life -- there is always something new to discover, something important to do, something to tend to.

During my past three months at Columbia University so far, I've realized that I don't want to be another fashionista behind the desk forever. I've discovered my love of both social media and print journalism -- and I've discovered that I love entrepreneurial endeavors and feeling the blood course through my veins during late nights in the library, as evidenced by Hoot. I love making change. I love working with people with the same passion and drive and insatiable thirst for curiosity.

So, next summer -- I'm getting away from New York City. What will I be doing? I will be interning for a top fashion publication in Beijing or Shanghai, working with a Chinese language tutor to improve my language skills, and visiting Tibet.

I am going to get away from New York City and Silicon Valley for a moment because I want to see what else is out there. I have some ridiculous dreams, of which I shall briefly elaborate on for your entertainment purposes (ha!):
  • I want to become editor-in-chief of a top fashion magazine. If I want to shape the mindsets of millions of women, magazines are the way to go -- and I will always believe that. I will never forget the impact that opening up my first copy of W left on me. I will always love print journalism and publishing and fashion, and I don't think I can do without it.
  • I want to found my own company, combining the top entrepreneurial and technological innovators of Silicon Valley to the most creative minds in the fashion and publishing industry of New York City (and the rest of the world, in fact!). The world is changing at a rapid pace, and I will keep up. I will do it.
  • I want to publish a book. Writing is still one of my top passions and possibly the only way I can ever clear my thoughts at the end of the day. "You have interesting life experiences -- the rest of America isn't like you," said one of my friends. I don't know if this is true, but I am determined to eventually squeeze out what life has smashed into me.
  • I want to win a Putlizer Prize, like fashion journalist Robin Givhan. And very few journalists ever do win this honor, but I do want to be the best reporter that I can be -- and prove that fashion is newsworthy, fashion is important, and fashion is interesting.
  • I want to find a cause in this world that makes my heart wrench in passion -- and do something about it. I want something that will change me -- and in return, compel me to change the world.
The young ones are the most idealistic and zealous ones -- and why not? The world does not expect any less of us.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give a Hoot

I have been at Columbia University for exactly three months, and I am finally flying home to California tomorrow for Thanksgiving break. It is approaching midnight, but I am currently working on a project that began as a spur-of-the-moment idea during New Student Orientation Week in August -- and grew into a passion.

I'm starting a campus fashion magazine with one of my very good friends here at Columbia.

I met her during New Student Orientation Week. It was an innocuous introduction -- we both liked each other's clothes, simple enough. However, walking back to campus from Broadway one day, we realized that Columbia University did not have a fashion magazine. "Let's start a fashion magazine!" she said with an infectious twinkle in her eye. And that was that.
Three months later, we are Hoot magazine -- Hoot because Alma Mater, the mother soul statue of our university, has an owl hidden underneath her skirt. Hoot because we give a hoot about fashion and creativity within the Columbia University community. Hoot because it sounds like haute.

Within the past three months, we've expanded to a talented team of different but equally fashion-obsessed students, from a society debutante to a civil engineer to a writer for one of the top accessory blogs. Together, we've worked for everything from ELLE to Seventeen to Missoni to Tom Ford -- and I am incredibly proud to be friends and coworkers with such a dedicated and talented team.

We just launched our blog, hootmag.org, today -- and we're currently looking for advertisers to fund our publication and coordinating the production of our first issue, to be published in early February 2010.

We've done some ridiculous things, from making finger sandwiches together at 10:00am in the morning to getting in trouble with the Department of Public Safety. While I may be going home tomorrow, much of my break is going to be spent working on making Hoot a success.

Here's to New York City, serendipitous discoveries and endeavors with new close friends, fashion, and taking risks!

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Miss Couturable

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Daul Kim, you were a doll

A couple minutes ago, I learned from numerous Tweets on Twitter that 20-year-old South Korean model, Daul Kim, had been found dead in her Paris apartment this morning, reportedly from suicide.

I've always been especially attached to Daul Kim -- not only because she is an Asian model and one of the few girls that Asian girls can relate to in this industry, but also because she wrote a brutally raw and occasionally spastic blog called I LIKE TO FORK MYSELF that I have been following for months. I admire a girl who admits, "shel silverstein... you kinda fucked me up in a beautiful way."

Why do the best die young? Rest in peace, Miss Daul Kim.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sheer joy

(Photo Credit -- Rue La La and Style.com)
Winter is approaching in New York City, but I seem to be surrounding myself in sheer fabrics instead of heavy woolens -- highly impractical and certain to make me susceptible to the cold. I recently purchased a pair of Wolford "Voile" leggings and a Hanii Y blazer with organza sleeves, and I'm obsessing over the juxtaposition of lingerie materials and classic black pieces.

I'm wearing a lot of black and white lately, but it would be too simple to say that black and white are the "easy way out" when it comes to dressing in the morning. Spicing up a monochrome outfit by replacing the opacity with sheerness requires balancing skin with fabric -- subtleties that I am determined to master.

In any case, sheer fabrics in their flouncy glory remind me of fairy tale princesses -- and I don't see anything wrong with whimsical touches to classic pieces.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Town & Country in the city

My French midterm examination is tomorrow, and I am well-aware that my last update on Miss Couturable was more than four weeks ago. While I am still learning how to balance blogging with everything else going on in life, I already have a list of things I want to share with my fellow lovelies -- as soon I finish taking my last midterm examination next Thursday, of course.
To briefly update you on my life here at Columbia University, I am currently a fashion intern for Town & Country magazine. Indeed, I'm back at Hearst! I'm also working on starting Columbia University's first and only fashion publication, so stay tuned for updates on that -- 'tis amazing how talented and dedicated the students are here.

I am also trying to avoid swine flu. Don't worry -- Miss Couturable will be back and running as long as I can evade sickness for another week. Hope you're all doing marvelously well; toodaloo!

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Suit up in Hermès scarves

If I were a guy, I'd want to dress in Hermès. My parents used to save the Hermès men's catalogs that arrived in the mail for me, and I fell head over heels for the polished well-dressed men within the matte pages -- one of the few moments in my life when I wanted to be a boy instead of a girl.
Today, after purchasing a copy of Star Von Bunny: A Model Tale from the Paper Magazine Mr. Mickey's Celebrity Sidewalk Sale at Screaming Mimi's (100% of the proceeds went to fund the building of the Vivekananda Public School in India), I trekked over to the Hermès sample sale, where I purchased two signature silk scarves -- one in a sweet baby blue to wear to Columbia University sporting events (ah yes, I do have school pride) and one in a delightfully rich Indian rose and gold.
All Hermès silk scarves measure 90 x 90 centimeters and are hand-printed using silk screens. Additionally, they are hand-stitched and can easily be tied around your wrist, neck, handbag, or head for timeless chicness (and this is one of those few times where "timeless chic" truly applies).

I would like to point that I was probably one of the youngest people at the sale today, as I found myself standing in line with grandmothers in cashmere sweaters and corporettes on a lunch break.

Some things, like Chanel 2.55 bags and Hermès silk scarves, are stylish beyond the whims of seasonal trends and age.

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Miss Couturable

Monday, September 14, 2009

Under my umbrella

At Bryant Park two days ago, I received numerous compliments on my Guy de Jean Cancan Bis umbrella. In addition to its Moulin Rouge-esque froufrou look, it has a sturdy metal frame that has withstood countless strong winds while my friends' umbrellas collapsed under the pressure. It also doubles as a parasol with a sun protection factor of 50+, which is another excuse for me to carry it around all year, rain or shine.

What is your favorite practical -- or frivolous -- accessory?

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Announcements and exhaustion

I've disappeared from the internet for a few weeks, and in these past few weeks I've moved to New York City, backpacked up the Catskills Mountains, evacuated a hurricane, torn a pair of shoes, spent a night at the emergency room in the hospital (thank you, my dear suitemates!), wandered around the city (with company) late at night searching for questionable videos, and got nerdy (classes began today and I'm so ready to work). I'm actually in the library right now, realizing that I can't finish my French homework because I left my earphones in my room.
As I recover from my phlegm-plagued sickness, I would like to share two articles I wrote for Mochi Magazine:

First, I interviewed the fabulously awe-inspiring and yet-ever-so-humble Susanna Lau of The Fashion Blog to Know: Fashion Blogger Susie Bubble on the Digital World of Fashion. If you're curious about her day job, about online journalism, or about how she got her nickname of "Susie Bubble," check it out!

Secondly, I interviewed the amazing Sheena Matheiken of The Uniform Project: Nothing to Wear? How to Invigorate Your Closet. If you don't know about Sheena and her wonderful efforts to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation, read this article and read her blog. Additionally, there are some great tips about how to spice up a "basic" outfit -- trust me, Sheena knows best.

I'm so blessed to have been able to interview two fashion bloggers who are making great strides in both the online and "real" world. I would also like to announce that I am going to be blogging for College Fashion, along with nine other fashion-savvy college students. If you didn't read College Fashion before, now is the time to start! As my introduction reads:
NoelColumbia University – You probably already know her as Miss Couturable, but the fabulous Noel is going to be writing for CF this semester too! As a former Seventeen Magazine intern starting her freshman year of college in NYC, Noel will be writing about everything from wallet-friendly versions of runway looks to her adventures budgeting and shopping in the city.
Don't worry -- Miss Couturable will be staying alive, as always! There are two different approaches to these two different blog, and I look forward to getting in contact with everyone in both ways!

Now, I'm off to my next class. Hopefully, your school year is starting off relatively smoothly!

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ciao, California!

I found out that one of my favorite teachers from high school, Mr. Near, is dying. He has a few weeks left to live. I visited him on Saturday, and realized how terrible goodbyes are -- for all the goodbyes I have said in the past few weeks, this was the only true goodbye.

Mr. Near once said:
When I first started teaching, I substituted one day at my old junior high. One of my former teachers, upon seeing me and realizing I had become a teacher, actually said to me, "Oh, I always thought you could have done so much more." I guess in her mind I hadn't "done my best." And, maybe by her standard I hadn't. I would suggest that you find a different standard because I wouldn't trade my life or career for anyone's.
So, Mr. Near, thank you. People underestimate the importance of a well-taught class -- how the subject matter can grip you and run in circles through your head. People underestimate the importance of a teacher with a booming voice and a stern stare -- how one glance tells you that something wonderful is being taught. You taught me that a life well-lived is not determined by the number of times your name pops up on Google or the size of your bank account.

As for that booming voice of yours, I was at a loss for words (which I admit, is rarely the case) when I saw that it had become a raspy whisper on Saturday. I miss your voice.

I bid California farewell tonight. After I get off the plane tomorrow morning, I still won't know where I'm going in the next few years.

But as Mr. Near taught me, we might not have the future -- so live now, live hard, love now, and love hard. Mommy, Daddy, and Kathy -- thank you so much for a ridiculous past 18 years.

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Batucada "Baroco" Bracelet mini-giveaway winner

Before I head off to bed in my own room for the last time (at least, for a few months), I would like to announce the winner (randomly selected) of the Batucada "Baroco" Bracelet mini-giveaway:

Grace, age 18: My favorite piece of jewelery is a multi-strand faux pearl necklace from Forever 21. It's cream-coloured and has gold accents. I love it to pieces.

Congratulations, Grace -- you'll love this eco-plastic bracelet as much as I love my eco-plastic necklace. Please email me with your name and mailing address from the same email you provided in your entry.

I'm off to slumberland!

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dorm room decorating

A lot of my high school classmates have already moved into their dorm rooms -- I know this because Facebook albums with billions of dorm photos have popped up onto my Newsfeed. I've seen messy dorms, immaculate dorms, colorful dorms, and barely furnished dorms. Even though all of the dorms are different, everyone seems to have propped up their living space in the course of a day.

However, I don't think I could decorate and furnish my dorm room in the span of one move-in day -- I need more time to carefully pick out my decorations and furnishings. I have a few decorations ready to go, but I want to wander around the city and find pieces that spell out home to me, instead of racking up the Christmas lights and flokati rugs on a quick run through Target.
So far, I have a Breakfast at Tiffany's movie poster. I grew up watching Audrey Hepburn and I want to frame the poster for aesthetic appeasement.
My daddy picked up this table lamp for me -- I like it much better than a plastic clip-on desk lamp. I'm a big fan of organic shapes with modernist touches.
Okay, I know there's a mirror in the bathroom, but I need my own vanity mirror. This one lights up, magnifies to different intensities, and has a plug-in at the base for my hair straightener. There are many things I am willing to share, but I also don't enjoy fighting for the mirror in my suite's bathroom.
For my down comforter, I purchased this duvet cover with a cream jacquard texture. I actually had a secret desire to make my own duvet.
I found a $100 gift card to JCPenney in my room. I have never shopped there before, but they had some great deals on twin XL sheets, which I was frantically searching for. I got two sets of sheets and pillowcases in bright mango and aqua blue.
In keeping with my attempts to maintain a bright sunny room, I am pasting these crimson poppy wall decals on my wall. It's so easy and typical of me to opt for silvers, black, and whites for my room, but I do believe that a warm atmosphere can foster warm spirits.

I want to tear out pages of W magazine, which is always oversized, and tack them onto my wall. I also want to buy a French memo board and fill it with photos from high school. I'm not sure yet, and I don't think I'll have a "finished" dorm room for at least a month.

So, help me, please -- what are your favorite places for furnishings and decorations and art in New York City (or online)? Where can I buy poster frames at reasonable prices? How are you decorating your dorm? What are your decorating tips?

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Okay fine, I admit it. I'm also tacking up a Spice Girls poster.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sharp words, sharp images

I felt terrible after selling my copy of Perrine's Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry by to a rising senior who would be taking AP English Literature & Composition soon. I fell in love with poetry through this book and it was only senior year that I began collecting my favorite poems.

So, I would like to share two of my favorite poems with you:
Snow White and the Seven Deadly Sins
By R.S. Gwynn

Good Catholic girl, she didn't mind the cleaning.
All of her household chores, at first, were small
And hardly labors one could find demeaning.
One's duty was one's refuge, after all.

And if she had her doubts at certain moments
And once confessed the to the Father, she
Was instantly referred to texts in Romans
And Peter's First Epistle, chapter III.

Years passed. More sinful every day, the Seven
Breakfasted, grabbed their pitchforks, donned their horns,
And sped to contravene the hopes of heaven,
Sowing the neighbors' lawns with tares and thorns.

She set to work. Pride's wall of looking glasses
Ogled her dimly, smeared with prints of lips;
Lust's magazines lay strewn, bare tits and asses
Weighted by his "devices" - chains, cuffs, whips.

Gluttony's empties covered half the table,
Mingling with Avarice's cards and chips,
And she'd been told to sew a Bill Blass label
Inside the blazer Envy'd bought at Gyps.

She knelt to the cold master bathroom floor as
If a petitioner before the Pope,
Retrieving several pairs of Sloths's soiled drawers,
A sweat-sock and a cake of hairy soap.

Then, as she wiped the Windex from the mirror
She noticed, and the vision made her cry,
How much she'd grayed and paled, and how much clearer
Festered the bruise of Wrath beneath her eye.

"No poisoned apple needed for this Princess,"
She murmured making X's with her thumb.
A car door slammed, bringing her to her senses:
Ho-hum. Ho-hum. It's home from work we come.

And she was out the window in a second,
In time to see a Handsome Prince, of course,
Who, in spying her distressed condition, beckoned
For her to mount (What else?) his snow-white horse.

Impeccably he spoke. His smile was glowing.
So debonair! So charming! And so Male.
She took a step, reversed and without slowing
Beat it to St. Anne's where she took the veil.

Suicide's Note
By Langston Hughes

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.
What are your favorite poems?

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Thursday, August 20, 2009

P-p-p-pockets everyday

{Batucada "Baroco" necklace from Brooklyn5and10, silk J. Crew belt with feathers, Lamixx wool pocket dress, ankle-strapped wedge heels from Belle International}
You see, I think every girl -- especially every college girl -- should have a dress with functional pockets. Deep pockets for when you don't want to carry around a purse (although, handbags are a basic necessity in my book). However, most of the "practical" dresses and skirts I've bought, from a $600 Marc by Marc Jacobs dress to a $200 BCBG Max Azria skirt to a $30 Erin Fetherston for Target jumper, have fake pockets or flimsy pockets which I don't trust with my keys. Why is it so hard to find a nice looking dress with usable pockets? What if I'm just running out of my dorm room for a quick snack downstairs and I don't want to bring my entire bag?

Enter the wool blend low v pocket dress from Jacqueline Rose of Lamixx. Like an ideal pocket dress, it's versatile and easy to manipulate. Here are five reasons why ladies need pockets too:
  1. We don't always have the perfect purse or clutch for the outfit.
  2. On top of all of the clothes in the hamper, do we seriously want to carry our purses to do the laundry too?
  3. Sometimes, reaching into our pockets is easier than digging around a Balenciaga.
  4. If men carry manpurses (or "murses") nowadays, we can ask for "manly" pockets.
  5. We're prone to carry too much in our purses (well, at least I am).
My friends like this dress -- but they also think that it looks like a potato sack (an attractive one, at least). However, cinch the waist and you get a comfortable wool dress that can be dressed down or up. The wonderful thing about a dress with pockets is that it can be thrown on for a quick errand or dolled up for a night out. It reminds of the loose playdresses I wore as a child. I recall that those dresses had pockets too. I can still have playdates, right?

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

P.S. To enter to win the Batucada "Baroco" bracelet (I'm wearing the Batucada "Baroco" necklace), click here! Entries close on August 23rd, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big baubles on bagues

I like rings, but I don't like the delicate thin kinds. I like them gaudy, ostentatious, and usually big. I only thought about this when my friend Katie showed me her new cocktail rings. Two summers ago, I bought a giant plastic blue ring in New York City and I showed my teacher. "Oh...that's great..." she said, shifting her eyes away. I have to admit though, that was a tacky ring.

My two favorite ring designers are Miss Bibi and Mauboussin -- they not only make beautiful wedding rings, but they also make fun whimsical pieces.
(Photo Credit -- Miss Bibi)
Miss Bibi bagues call out to the romantic fairytale lover within me, from the Mickey Mouse ears to the giant heart.
(Photo Credit -- Mauboussin)
Mauboussin bagues, on the other hand, manage to be both classic and unique. Big colorful gems have never been this sophisticated.
But you know, Miss Bibi and Mauboussin rings are far from cheap costume jewelry. A more affordable alternative would be this opal cluster ring from Limoges Jewelry. All of the bling without the big bucks.

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mini-giveaway: Batucada "Baroco" Bracelet

{Sara Berman cropped tuxedo jacket, Uniqlo skinny jeans, Sonia Rykiel sandals, Old Navy ribbed tank top, clutch from Silk Street in Beijing, straw hat from flea market, Batucada "Baroco" necklace from Brooklyn5and10}
The remainder of my days in California have been spent packing, bidding farewell to friends, perusing the Iliad, and lounging at home watching Disney movies and eating homemade potstickers. I have packed most of my clothes, and now am wearing a daily uniform of tank top, jeans, and sandals. On the laziest days when I don't leave the house, I am probably wearing a raggedy pair of shorts and a giant t-shirt -- no really, I did pack everything.
Since I only have seven days left at home, I am hosting a mini-giveaway for a Batucada eco-plastic "Baroco" bracelet from Brooklyn5and10! As you can see, I am wearing the "Baroco" necklace, which is fascinating because the soft plastic molds to your skin, like a tattoo necklace. Reminds me of those tattoo chokers that were all the rage in elementary school, but much more interesting in an asymmetrical organic sense. It feels like nothing. While I've always been a gold, silver, and pearl snob, I adore the idea of jewelry that I can easily wear while swimming or exercising (the plastic is sweatproof and waterproof). I was actually doing research on "easy-maintenance" jewelry for an article I was planning to write when I stumbled across this collection.

To enter to win, just leave your name, age, email address -- and tell me about your favorite piece of jewelry. Entries close on August 23rd, 2009, and the winner will be announced on August 24th, 2009. Good luck, and more good luck if you've already started school!

ex.oh.ex.oh
Miss Couturable

P.S. Yes, the selection of the winner will be random -- so feel free to enter if you happen to know me in real life.