Friday, January 15, 2010

New header by Sara Rabin

Ladies and gents, Miss Couturable is about 2.5 years old and it's changed quite a bit since I began writing it as a junior in high school. With that, I present to you a new header -- because I'm too tired to revamp the entire layout.
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The current header illustration is drawn and painted by the amazingly talented Sara Rabin of inks. She approached me a year ago to inquire about my experiences as a high school intern for Seventeen, because she herself had procured an internship at Seventeen as a high school student (and if you visit her blog, you can easily see why -- she's brilliant). All I can say is, high school students put me to shame. Merci beaucoup, Sara!

Maybe I'll get around to editing the layout when I have time.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why you should pursue an internship during the school year

Having a part-time internship and taking a full courseload in college (I'm taking five classes each semester) is doable -- but not without its sacrifices. While many of my friends are romping and frolicking late into the night (er, morning) on Thursdays, I have get to bed by 11:00pm because I have French class in the morning and a fashion internship at Town & Country magazine immediately afterward. I once went to work after pulling an all-nighter, but I had two Red Bulls to "sustain" me. Not a brilliant idea.

"Is it worth it? Not being able to have fun on Thursday nights," asked a friend.

Yes, it is -- and I'll explain why it's a good idea to have a part-time internship with a full courseload in college:
  1. You don't need to party three days a week to have a fulfilling social life. Well, perhaps I enjoy curling up in my bed with a novel a little too much, but for the weekend, I make an effort to go out and have a jolly good time for one night and then study hard the other night. 'Tis better to have one fantastic night that you'll never forget (or remember, if you prefer) than to have two mediocre nights. Besides, I make sure to meet up with friends for meals and study breaks.
  2. You'll learn how to manage your time -- and that looks great to employers. If you're getting good grades on a full courseload and pursuing an internship, it'll show employers that you know how to work efficiently and effectively. You could get good grades if you studied all the time, but balancing work, play, and study is when you show your true abilities.
  3. The connections that you make while you're in school will place you ahead of the competition. Many college students that I know don't want to pursue an internship during the school year because it takes up more time, but you're going to graduate in four years with plenty of references and experience under your belt -- and that's going to save you time when you're looking for a job.
  4. Work experience is especially important when you're pursuing a liberal arts degree. I'm studying Art History and Anthropology, with additional classes in French, film, women's studies, and economics. People always ask me, "What are you doing to do with your degree?" Well, I'm going to know how to think critically with my degree, and I'm going to know how to kick derrière with my work experience. Being culturally intelligent and skilled at work is a deadly weapon.
  5. An internship is an escape from clubs and academia. Let me tell you, I love going to work at a magazine because it is a completely different world from college. And really, I need that to stay sane insane.
  6. It's usually easier to get an internship during the school year than it is to get one during the summer. And with the experience you have during the school year, you can get an internship during the summer. Fewer people are able to and are willing to intern during the school year, so you might as well seize the opportunity.
Hopefully, I've convinced some of you to take a chance and pursue an internship on the side! It's worth it -- trust me.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Every little bit helps

There have been a few earthquakes in my nook of California, but none have been as devastating as the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti today. The damage is heightened by the fact that the earthquake happened in a country where the average family makes $400 a year. Hospitals have collapsed, shanty houses are destroyed, and according to the news anchor, "People are singing their prayers."

Well, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard this news was, "I have shoes that cost more than $400." The gross reality hit me like a wet slap across the cheek, and I tried to brush it away.

Yet... It got me thinking. One pair of Dolce & Gabbana wedges can feed two families in Haiti for a year. One Moschino scarf is enough to double the income of a family in Haiti. One Halston dress is enough to build a house in Haiti.
I don't know about you, but I don't even have a closet the size of Jane Aldridge's and I still don't wear all of my shoes.

If we all donated one pair of shoes or one fur coat -- how many lives can we change for the better? How many children can we send to school? How many babies can we vaccinate?

The question boggles me. I wonder why we don't have a worldwide fashionista charitable fund yet, like a consignment store owned by that sweet hippie lady who wears harem pants, but much more global.

Goal for 2010: Miss Couturable's out to find her soul and do something with it.

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Miss Couturable

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Feline shades

I know I've been chirping on about Alexander Wang for the past few days as if he were my long-lost brother (ha! I dream), but I am infatuated with these new sunglasses that he designed for Linda Farrow, to be sold in Opening Ceremony soon enough! Robot cat ears, no?
I used to watch the Jetsons every day as a wee little bird, dreaming of riding in hovercrafts and befriending aliens. I can easily imagine Judy Jetson, with her fantastic snow white hair, in a pair of these shades.

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Miss Couturable

Friday, January 8, 2010

Funds for charity

This year, I didn't come up with New Year's Resolutions -- but there is something that I need to do.

I'm busy in college. I haven't found the time to do the volunteer work that I came to New York City for. I have a stack of applications on my desk that I have not filled out because I know I don't have any extra time in my week.

But I grew up volunteering, from being the youngest reading tutor at my favorite library as a young child to working with the March of Dimes in high school. I miss it. I need it. Everyone needs it. Everyone needs to do something for the sake of others.

So, this is what I am doing for 2010: I am donating 100% of the proceeds I make from Miss Couturable to charity for the entire year.

And why? I'm a college student with an unpaid internship next semester, after all. I no longer have time for a part-time job. I don't touch the money in my savings account because I want to save up for my first apartment after college graduation.

Well, I can live without another designer purse. I can live without more designer shoes. I can live without more clothes. I can live without French macarons for dessert. Everything that I am choosing to "live without" is laughable.

There are plenty of people who are living without much more than me. There is a reason why I tip more generously these days too -- people are working just as hard for much less.

And just so you don't think I'm a saint, my parents give me a monthly allowance that I live comfortably with. I can't buy clothes with it, but I can fund my Metrocard with it. I always pay my credit card bills on time too. I'll live. It might sound outrageous that Miss Couturable is going to stop shopping, but you know you have other blogs for fashion consumption. I love fashion -- but I don't need to consume it.

So, my lovely readers, every month, Miss Couturable funds will go to a different charity. I ask you, what charities should I consider?

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Miss Couturable

P.S. Or one charity for the entire year?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My school has the best cookies

{J. Crew jacket, Calvin Klein cardigan, By Francine silk minidress, Wolford sheer leggings, BCBG wedge ankle boots, silver silk scarf}
I returned to visit my prep school years today, coming back to awkward conversations with former teachers and delicious cookies with hot apple cider. I also learned from my friends at Brown University what Emma Watson is truly like in college. Amusing conversation, I must admit.

"You grew!" everyone exclaimed. No, it's just the shoes. I'm still only 5'1".
I've decided to join the alumni planning committee in organizing events from now on. I fell into it because the new alumni director attended Columbia too, after graduating from boarding school. We're going to be having an alumni gathering in New York City in March, which I will be attending and planning! If anyone knows of any student-friendly restaurant or lounges, please let me know.

In any case, it was wonderful to meet up with old friends and professors and know that I will no longer get detention for violating the dress code.

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Miss Couturable

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Outfit posts: oui ou non?

Oh, j'adore blogger Miss Pandora, a.k.a. Louise. Not only does she post the most ethereal photos of herself and her life, such as this Zara cape and these Topshop boots, but also she is studying art history in Paris. Maybe I really should invest in a cape, since I've been thinking about it a lot. Additionally, I need to practice my French, and reading French fashion blogs is most pain-free option I can find.

In any case, I have a lot of respect and awe for fashion bloggers who post photos of their outfits on a regular basis, from the original teen fashionista Casey of Teen Fashionista, to the fiercely independent Jazzi of Jazzi McG, to the ubiquitous Jane of Sea of Shoes. It takes a lot of courage, confidence, and creativity to put oneself out there for public scrutiny. Fashion isn't known for being nice -- and neither is the internet.

My suitemate recently asked me, "Why don't you start posting daily outfits on your blog?" She had enjoyed purveying through my closet on the first day of orientation week. So, I responded, "Well, I don't think my outfits are interesting enough for the internet." She paused for a moment. "Sure they are," she said, "You dress like you. That's interesting."

Well, okay -- I do have a camera and a camera tripod in my dorm. Should I start including weekly outfit posts on Miss Couturable, once the semester begins? Quite honestly, I'm still trying to figure out how to dress for the snow. No more sandals in January for me, unfortunately.

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Miss Couturable

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fangirl for Alexander Wang

Gilt Groupe had an Alexander Wang accessories sale this morning, and while I was enamored with the sky-high heels and boots, I couldn't bear to buy another pair of potential ankle breakers. Flat shoes are underrated, my loves. I have my fair share of high heels, ranging from a modest 2.5 inches to a life-changing 6 inches, but when you're a college student traipsing around New York City, you'd rather get to places on time than stumble in with a sprained ankle.
So, I bought a pair of Alexander Wang Frankie Creeper Combat Hi-Top Boots -- perfectly functional for the snow, an edgy alternative to my beloved and goofy plum and pink Timberland boots, and an even more practical alternative to my collection of suede boots and ballerina flats. Wang has a talent in making hardware and combat couture appealing to girls like me, who wear mouse faces on shoes and carry frilly parasols in the rain (mind you, my Guy de Jean umbrella has held up on all sorts of weather -- a worthy investment for a California girl).

I have a personal fascination with Wang because he attended my prep school, and I was able to meet him two summers ago. Back in high school, teachers would tell me about what a creative genius he was, and how he loved to take his friends shopping and give them fashion advice. In fact, our school newspaper snagged an exclusive interview with him, the moment his first knitwear collection came out (ah, yes -- the knitwear collection that launched his career). He still remains to be an elusive personal hero of mine -- proving that youth is not an obstacle to success. In fact, it may be a virtue of success in this day and age.

May I dream big and go far, without blisters, in my new combat boots.

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Miss Couturable

P.S. The remnants of the sale may still be going on, if you want to check it out! Click here for an invite.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Extremes of the size spectrum

I have a problem with the way that magazines are portraying bodies in their "shape" or "size" issues nowadays -- I know fashion is all about the extremes, but I'm sick of fit, "normal"-bodied girls thinking they're fat because they have muscular thighs or love handles. I'm also sick of magazines portraying the opposite of being skinny as having rolls of fat.
(Photo Credit -- Models.com and V Magazine)
I won't deny that V Magazine's Size Issue, debuting on January 14th, 2010, includes a lot of beautiful editorials that make me rethink my preconceptions of beauty. I won't deny that it is a bold move to display rolls of fat and flabby stomachs in a world that holds models like Sasha Pivovarova to be the epitome of beauty. I also won't deny the fact that 33% of American adults are obese.

However, an exposition of the extremes of size, from prepubescent emaciation to crippling obesity, does nothing but entertain, alarm, and cause controversy and discussion -- I concede that it's not a bad way to sell copies, and that I myself love a heated debate at times.

And yet -- where are the girls with "chunky" thighs because they play soccer every day? Where are the girls with the big breasts that don't match up to the rest of their body (okay, other than in Playboy)? Where are the girls with the flabby arms but fantastic collarbones?

The point is, we mortals all have "imperfections" that don't match up to the airbrushed ideal of perfection, but all we see are the extremes of body types that most people cannot relate to. I'm starting to wonder if we should stop thinking about body types in terms of size, since "big" and "small" just aren't indicative of one's actual shape.

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Miss Couturable

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Miss Couturable for G-Star Raw Twitter Reporter

As many of you may know, I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Twitter -- justifying it with the notion that social media is here to stay, so I might as well learn how to play with it.

Well, I need every form of justification that I can get, so I'm competing to be a G-Star Raw Twitter Reporter at New York Fashion Week. G-Star Raw is the Dutch competitor to Italian Diesel, and they make fantastic jeans and blazers. Clean cut but earthy.

If you're willing to support my addiction to Twitter, please click here and vote for me! All you have to do is enter your email address and confirm your vote by email. You can vote once a day until February 1st if you enjoy procrastinating, for those of you who are starting school tomorrow.

In return, I will continue telling the world about my love for gay men. Merci beaucoup, mes amis!

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Miss Couturable