Thursday, November 26, 2009

Essie Obsession

To all the Americans, Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you have been enjoying this holiday inside a warm and cozy space with a roof over your head.  I've developed a fever but luckily, I don't have school so I get to sleep in and not have to do anything that might prolong the illness (except homework).  Anyway when I got home yesterday, I painted my nails, which I rarely do.  But as a kid, I was obsessed with nail lacquer (not to mention their clever names...OPI must have professional polish namers.  Watch this video of Ellen Degeneres and you'll see) and everytime I went to a store that had nail polish in stock, I would leave the shop with at least one bottle containing some strange color.  I gave up nail color for years and now, I'm revisiting my obsession, thanks to Essie's gorgeous and playful matte colors.  The lacquer dries quickly and stays on super long, so I think it's worth the $8 per bottle.

It all started with discovering Essie's beautiful pastel blue Sag Harbor shade from an article by The Cut.  Unfortunately, Sag Harbor has been discontinued but I kept discovering more covetable Essie colors.  After seeing a classmate wear a light sakura petal pink on her nails, I bought a bottle of Fiji.  I messily painted on a countless number of coats, causing my nails to look like they were smothered in bubblegum flavored toothpaste.  I'm terrible at painting my own nails, by the way.  My aunt painted her nails with the same color and it turned out really opaque after two coats.

I then got into the hype over Chanel's Jade nail lacquer and found Mint Candy Apple, a much cheaper alternative from Essie after the limited edition Chanel polish sold out.  While listening to a few independent writers read their poetry, I creepily eyed a girl's lilac nails.  I asked her what was shade she was wearing and she said it was called St. Lucia Lilac.  Not surprised at all that it was an Essie color.  I had a coupon in hand when I bought the polish, along with a very blue Mesmerized.  The cashier didn't tell me that I could've gotten a third color for free, lame.  Especially since I bought Mint Candy Apple a couple of weeks later.

Blocking my germs from you.

St. Lucia Lilac is currently on my nails and I actually think it's the perfect color for me!  It's a very light purple, but it's subtle, almost a gray color.  Unlike Fiji, St. Lucia Lilac isn't a drastic contrast next to my tan-ish skin.  So YAY for finally finding a color that suits me!

Okay, time for a little Thanksgiving/Black Friday treat...or a few.  Though I'm a bargain hunter, I'm not the kind of person to go crazy on Black Friday.  I remember last year, all I bought was a shirt for my secret Santa...recipient?  This Thanksgiving, I'm sick, so who knows if I'll even want to step outside the house tomorrow.  In the comfort of my home, however, I can share a few deals with you.

1. ideeli - Red sales with discounts up to 90% off, featuring brands like Escada, Oscar de la Renta, Fendi, and Viktor & Rolf.  Free shipping on Cyber Monday!
2. Figs & Ginger (Read about them) - 35% off coupon code: NoShip09
3. - 10% off everything
4. Figleaves - 20% off everything
5. Threadless - All tees for just $9!
6. Magazine Cafe - 5% discount with coupon code: Thanks
7. Free People - Free shipping until Monday

And of course, you can't forget that $3 toaster at Target!  I can taste the burnt toast already!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Daul Kim - An Unforgettable Personality

I seriously can not believe that Daul Kim has passed.  Yes, the Korean model blatantly confessed that at times, she felt depressed but I didn't think she was suicidal.  Her death is especially sad because she was only 20 years old.  Daul seemed to be in good health, which means she either died of suicide or murder.  I can't stand to think of how horrific her death must have been and what her family and friends are going through right now. After seeing an update on Asian Models Blog about Daul, I had to read the headline over again.  Literally, I started shaking...weird, right?  I've never even known her but she just seemed so alive.  How could death hit her so soon?

Daul with Phillip Lim at his newly opened store in Seoul

Change of pace here...I remember finding her site, I Like to Fork Myself, via bunnyBISOUS and getting really excited that an actual fashion model BLOGGED!  I had never heard of that and I thought the fashion blogosphere was exclusively for fashion admirers, not the people who actively participated within fashion (editors, casting directors, models, etc).  Anyway I started reading Daul's blog and I was extremely confused by her e. e. cummings-esque sentence structures.  Sometimes, I couldn't understand her posts but other times, I totally got what she was trying to convey. You would think a model would only blog about frivolous fashion things, but Daul wrote posts about the latest book she read, her favorite music, and many many times, her emotions. She seemed to jot down her thoughts as they naturally I learned a lot about who Daul was just by reading her blog.

Immediately, I knew that this gal was unlike ANY model.  She seemed very confident in herself and wasn't afraid to express her love for...whatever she loved.  For example:
i love
trance music




all the other genres
I admit that post made me want to hold on tight to my Beatles while rocking back and forth in a corner, but that shows you how strong-minded Daul was.  I got a glimpse of her fun side as well through the Model Diaries she recorded for New York Magazine's Cut Blog:

"I probably predict that you can't even spell success."  HAHA. Daul's deadpan humor is amazing...and I got to hear Siri and Kasia's voice for the first time!

DAUL WAS SO FUNNY.  Oh, I felt kind of dumb when I didn't know who Tolstoy was (I knew War and Peace, though!).  But oh my gosh, when she talked about American waiters and how much they just "SUCK", I cracked up!  And now, a year after I watched this video diary, I still sometimes catch myself doing that little eyebrows thing that she did...thanks, Daul.

She lived her few years of life to the fullest, but with her talent and unique personality, I can't help but think of what else she could have accomplished.  Rest in peace, Daul.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rodarte for Target Previews

--Updated 11/21--
First and foremost, I've got to say that I was really surprised to find that R2R received comments and a couple of new followers (Hello!), even though I haven't blogged in over a week!  Thank you all SO MUCH for your readership, it makes me want to get through my workload faster just so I could blog!
Anyway this year is coming to an end, which is a bit sad, now that we won't be able to wear those cool glasses that were so prominent in celebrating the years 2000 to 2009.  Unless you want a number one planted awkwardly in between your eyes.  But you know what we WILL be able to wear by the new year?  Yup, Rodarte for Target pieces!

Since August, us non-fashion insiders have only seen grainy cellphone snaps of some Rodarte x Target ensembles featuring just some of the 55 pieces that go on sale on December 20.  I've been saving every picture I could find of the collection to decide which pieces I should save up for.

Hello, Miss Tavi!

According to Marie Claire, the Mulleavy sisters drew inspiration from their favorite cult films including Bonnie and Clyde, Rosemary's Baby, and Harold and Maude.  It's interesting to see the themes and backdrops of these films merge together, but I really can't say much since I haven't watched any of those movies (I even took a class on cult films!).

Obviously, the sequined x-ray dress alludes to a super creepy Rosemary's Baby.  Fashionistas will be all over that dress, but I don't know if it's going to be a hit with the mass market.  But most of the pieces have mass appeal, so we see a different side of the Mulleavy sisters, knowing the boundary-pushing themes they incorporated into the Rodarte label.

Teen Vogue provided a better look of this halter dress.  It's pretty, I suppose. And I probably would've bought it for prom since it is cheap.  A bit too girly for me, though.

THREE different angles of this delicate silky dress!  Tavi Gevinson pulls off this piece with spunk.

I really dig those sheer cardigans.  So good for layering.  And the high-waisted hosiery is oddly appealing...

WOAH, since when did Dakota Fanning get so pretty??  Is this really the same little freaky-haired girl who starred in Cat in the Hat (yes that's the only one of her movies I think I've watched)?  Anyway, that dress is a little too short for a girl her age, but she looks fabulous and grown-up.

Here are probably the best pictures we have of some Rodarte for Target pieces right now, found in the December issue of Marie Claire.  You can't see many details in the pictures, what do you think?  Though it looks like a collection that's aimed towards trendy teenagers, I think all the items have great potential for styling, so many women can wear these pieces in their own ways.

Photos: Julia Frakes of, Nitrolicious, thank you, Rachel of The Greyest Ghost, for the tip

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jetsetting It Bags

How does Samsonite create such smart but chic totes and luggage?  Many of us are familiar with this popular label...especially frequent flyers (you can't go to an airport without seeing a Samsonite suitcase).  But did you know of Samsonite's soon-to-be-discontinued Black Label?

not to scale...I think

Pity that their luxurious goods will have to go, but ideeli works miracles and brings what you thought was out of season back on the market for a limited time. Black Label emphasized quality and style in their surprisingly sensible products, large enough for your personal belongings that you absolutely must bring on your trips.  As you can tell in the image above, Black Label's baggage aren't always flashy, but it will stand out among the hoard of generic-styled luggage coming down the conveyor belt. 

Some of Samsonite Black Label's products are the results of collaborations with top designers.  Viktor & Rolf, anyone?  Their houndstooth printed, bow-embellished luggage satisfies the girly girl in me.  If you're not into loud colors, the design duo also created pieces in solid black.  The bow, pleats, and gold clasp remain as hints of vintage femininity.

One day, I will own this suitcase.  At least when I get a job and a reason to buy a suitcase.  This slightly gothic product came from Black Label's collaboration with Alexander McQueen.  The ribcage exterior will turn heads as it rolls through the airport and even the zippers have a touch of McQueen.  Literally!  His thumbprints are imprinted into the zipper tab!  Ready to own these luggage items now?  The ideeli Samsonite Black Label sale, which starts on Friday, 12PM EST, is offering these products at up to 77% off, with prices starting at $264Click here to join ideeli and make sure to check those luggage restrictions next time you're flying!

P.S. If you've got a good eye, you may have noticed that my invitation link for ideeli has changed...that's alright, though!  You'll still be redirected to the ideeli site where you can sign up for membership.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Live and Legendary

Californian art lovers are in luck.  While San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is the only US venue to hold a retrospective of Richard Avedon's work from 1946 to 2004, Los Angeles' Getty Center hosts the Irving Penn: Small Trades exhibit which focuses on stark portraiture of everyday people.  I haven't attended either of these exhibitions but if you're in California,you should definitely plan on doing so before the exhibits kiss their host museums goodbye!

Irving Penn's subjects ranged from models to artists and even to found objects.  His sometimes controversial portraits and still-lifes were featured in numerous magazines, but the Getty Center holds one particular series that Penn would revisit over and over.   

Small Trades is a series of photographs that show working people in front of Penn's signature smokey backdrop, immersed in lighting that gave dark shadows and silhouettes.  The focus is only on the subjects, dressed in their uniform, carrying their work tools.  You can't help but notice the emotion and pride (or lack thereof) that these working class figures carry. (1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles. Lasts until January 10, 2010. Admission: Free!)

Richard Avedon, known for his pictures of the beautiful and glamorous, had a niche for capturing exuberance and liveliness through his photography.  His work often featured the rich and the glamorous, ranging from Dovima to Björk, from Twiggy to The Beatles.  He revolutionized fashion photography with subjects that seemed to leap out; Veruschka looks frozen in time as she bounces sideways and Dovima, donning a Dior dress alongside two majestic elephants, appears alive.

Even his photos of posed celebrities emit emotion and tell stories.  Marilyn Monroe seems exhausted in thought, Janis Joplin gives out her signature hearty laugh, and The Beatles are contemplative and other-worldly.  If you're a fan of the '60s like me, this is definitely an exhibit to attend, but this collection perfectly summarizes Avedon's work, not only restricted to famous figures.  As you can tell in his In the American West series, Avedon captured the fabric of America through his portraits of everyday working people.  After you see his work in physical form, you'll never see photography in the same way again. (151 Third Street , San Francisco. Lasts until November 29, 2009. SEE IT NOW! Admission: $15 for adults, $9 for students)