Thursday, May 30, 2013

Found: Gilt Groupe Warehouse Sale

I believe I hear AC/DC screaming,
"Dirrrrty deeds NOT dirt cheap!"    
 
The annual, ever-so-anticipated Gilt Group warehouse sale took place a few weekends ago, spanning from a Friday evening to a Sunday evening. Via their website, you purchased tickets for solely a particular 2-hour time slot on a particular day. Due to some work obligations, I bought a ticket for early Saturday afternoon, although, my gut tells me that the biggest and best items would be put out first on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
   
The complimentary open bar, particularly the mid-level champagne, and the massive giveaway of bags and bags of Pretzel Thins, made the introduction to this overwrought, crowded warehouse of confusion much more bearable. With a quick eye-over, I realized that the prices weren't all that discounted, and most definitely not "warehouse," nor were the vast majority of the items that desirable. They need to be one of the two, if not both, to warrant my efforts in treasure hunting.
 
I wondered if the real designer gems, or at least the obvious steals (there's a clear distinction between the two) had all been snatched up the preceding night and morning. After concealing four bags of free Pretzel Thins (They were free, come on! And hey, if nothing else, I deserved to leave with something for the price of admission.), I made an executive decision to give the hunting a real shot. Women ran around in a frenzy while their boyfriends (who were dragged there to hold their ladies' handbags and found items), congregated at the open bar, of course.
 
Although I had no bag boy in tow, I committed.
 
I didn't score big time, but I did leave with two items that I am even more thrilled about today than I was on that anticlimactic Saturday. How many items have you purchased recently that you can say that about?! Usually, questioning, remorse, and inquiring about return policies ensue when you impulsively buy under crowd pressure and a time crunch, like I was working with my pre-purchased- pressure-cooker-time-slot-ticket.  
 
1. Leigh & Luca Oversized White Scarf
Olive, pink, and black swirl design; fringe detail
 
 

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It's a lot of fabric, I tell you. But, contradictorily, it's not heavy or stuffy, in the least.  
Leigh & Luca, a line I personally fancy immensely, produces art-inspired scarves in limited batches, as evident below. That's difficult to do, but each scarf and its design feels just like a unique piece of art--cherished and collectible. When one feels so fabulous, why shouldn't you have another? Their scarves generally range from $68-$400. Pricey? Perhaps, but the price tag, like with many luxury accessories, is a result of the high quality and limited edition nature. Back to my to find, though (me!me!me!)--When I say that this scarf is oversized, I'm not even slightly exaggerating. It's almost the size of an afghan. But, the lightweight cotton material makes it easily wrap-able, and it looks super cool all twisted, layered up and tied. You can expand it or tighten it up, due to the flexible and stretchable cotton. These two lovely ladies-Leigh, an Australian entrepreneur, and Luca, a fashion designer, seem to provide that perfect balance of style and function.

Spring and fall scarf? Yes. Pat on the back.
 
More, sir, on Leigh & Luca (via their site):
 Creative Director Susann Luca travels the world looking for inspiration and more and is inspired by the less structured garments that stem from exotic cultures such as Asia and Africa. Each piece is woven on antique wooden looms using the highest quality cashmeres, silks and cottons, and can take up to a full day to make. Embellished with innovative hand embroidery, printing, and flocking techniques, the oversized scarves are made with love in Inner Mongolia.

Shop the line HERE, or at least check out their gorgeous designs.
Oh, and their SALE section.
Get into it.
 

 
 

2. Winter Kate Black Long Silk Maxi
Shoulder and back intricate beading; small V-neck; front center-cut slit
 
This Winter Kate maxi doesn't look super duper fabulous, due to my poor photography skills no doubt, but don't be fooled. I wasn't able to find a photo of the dress online, which I actually am comforted by. It feels a bit special, due to the quality of the fabric and the beading detail. There's a moderately-high front upside-down V shape slit in the front. It can be casual with flat sandals during the day (It's not frumpy, and especially not with the peek-a-boo slit), but I've been belting it, slipping on funky heels at night, and finishing it with a studded jean jacket. Or booties and a blazer. Done. It's so easy to style a million different ways, can look entirely different from day-to-night, and it just works effortlessly. Worth it.
 

 
Isn't the beading lovely?
Simple and chic,
but NOT boring. Boring is yuck.

      Winter Kate, Nicole Richie's dress line, is one, very rare example of a beautifully-crafted and remarkably designed (very un-celebrity-like) begun by, yes, a celebrity. I don't typically endorse, much less purchase, lines touted by celebs-turned-designers. Elizabeth & James/The Row, along with House of Harlow 1960/Winter Kate are some of the only examples I can muster up, now that I consider it. Winter Kate is a bit difficult to find, actually, and not too many large retailers carry the line, or carry much of it, at least. I suppose that's refreshing, albeit a bit frustrating, since it makes each piece that much more unique and less likely to be spotted on every fashionable lady across town. They're not oversaturating anyone or anything yet. Too much of anything means I'm over it.



Photo courtesy of Winter Kate
 
    The short shift dresses in addition to the flowy, yet figure-flattering maxis are all on my "currently crushing" list. In particular, this Nisha Maxi is divine, yes?
It's 100% vintage silk with that gorgeous chest embroidery. Day or night, I feel like this dress could easily pass through all seasons for several years to come.
 
    I found it on sale online HERE at www.Shopthetrendboutique.com for $209.99 (regularly $299.99), which also offers some great brands that are not quite as accessible in your nearest department store or offered on the web in large quantities.

    You can shop the Winter Kate site HERE, and yes, they have some beautiful blouses and jackets half off in their SALE section. Win.  
This girl adores a good sale and a thrilling hunt. But, sometimes, a sale isn't the time to indulge (shocking! I know).  
A sale, if nothing else, is simply a tricky marketing term.
Save it for the next time.
There will be a next time, and you won't be questioning it when it happens. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Local Spotlight On: Vaute Couture

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When spotlighting labels, it's quite important to me to acknowledge a vast array of designers,
individuals, and ideas- from large to small, from local to international, from massively recognizable to obscure.
Right around the corner from my apartment, on Grand street, style and heart, merge into the icon that is Vaute Couture, not only a New York design team, but a Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based emerging apparel and accessories line.  



 
At age twelve, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, the founder of Vaute Couture, sold the title of her Social Studies Fair Project (on Vivisection, the Fur Industry and Factory Farming), “Being Cruel Isn’t Cool” to a national t-shirt company. Eighteen years later, Hilgart’s dedication to activism and her desire to create innovative fabrics, have culminated in New York Fashion Week’s first 100% all vegan, cruelty-free showing by an independent fashion house and the designer’s first ready-to-wear collection.


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Hilgart launched Vaute Couture in 2008, when she sought to fill a glaring void in the fashion industry, leading to the production of a stylish all-vegan dress coat that could withstand the harsh winter season. Although predominantly favoring outwear and accessories for both men and women in the past, this Vaute collection consisted of the line’s statement coats, of course, but also playful dresses, chunky men’s sweaters and patched blazers and even unisex overalls.
In front of a packed showroom, models accessorized by metallic footwear and sticker face-art, showcased a group of rescue dogs, which were available for adoption. The Williamsburg-based designer’s true passion: actively fighting against the fashion industry’s use and abuse of animals, was clearly the foundation of the show in every aspect: from the animal-free makeup by DeVita, to the Humane Society and Brooklyn BadAss Rescue’s leashed dogs waltzing around the showroom, to the Vegan Treats cupcakes served to onlookers.


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Photos courtesy of USNews


Hilgart noted the influence of the anime character Sailor Moon in created this collection, but seemed to reference this only in understated detailing of tops and dresses—cut-out hearts and stars plus the addition of girly bows—and the whimsical face-art the models donned. The varying textures of the pieces, including faux-suede and thick faux-wool, showed incredible innovation in terms of design, and the crowd seemed not only interested but excited about the vegan apparel movement. Hilgart’s cause is noble and just, and with her focus on continuing to develop functional apparel and accessories, I think that she will continue to find an audience for her creations. Keep an eye out.


*See the original review HERE and FAR MORE on StyleDefinedNYC*

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Wore: Urban on Irving Place

 
 Wait for it...
wait for it.
It was eighty-something just yesterday.
Summer?
Is that you?
 
I'm doing my absolute best to take full advantage of the weather before it takes a turn and spikes straight up into the sweaty, muggy 90s, and we're all clamoring to pile into the movies or anywhere with a working air conditioner. Believe me, this city, with its massive population, garbage accumulation, public transportation, and sky-high temperatures...well, need I say more? Except, the great outdoors clearly refers to that mythical land beyond the invisible gates of New York City.
 
But, just two weeks ago, it was still necessary for moderately-heavy jackets and layering.
 Hence, below.  
I found myself on Irving Place in Gramercy that day. There's a small restaurant there, with a gated courtyard, and it's appropriately-named The House. A restored 1854 carriage house, it's charm lies within the wooden floors, a creaky staircase, and its parlor next to the fireplace. It's just the house to sneak into, whether you're dodging your work responsibilities, the slippery heat, the snow trenches, or just an ex-boyfriend who lives in the area.  
  
In terms of the color palette, I returned to my natural roots, my comfort zone: the dark side, if you will. I match my urban surroundings almost impeccably. With a background of black iron, brick, concrete and peek-a-boo tufts of grass, I don onyx, brown, a bit of metal, and a tiny splash of earthy-green.
Sing with me,
 
"She wore a short skirt
&
a loooooooong jacket! "
 
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The Details:
 
1. Black silk dress--Parker
 
2. Black faux-crocodile embossed blazer--Walter
 
3. Brown faux-fur vest with black leather trim--Sanctuary Clothing
 
4. Black pork-pie hat- Forever 21

5. Green EPI Noe XL bucket bag- Louis Vuitton
 
6.. Black platform booties with gold studs-Miu Miu

These heels begged me for their own individual portrait. They REALLY did, I promise.
And you know what? I'm inclined to agree with them--they deserve it. Channeling Babs when I say,
"Hellooooo, gowww-geous!"
 

  Au contraire, mon frere...
 
Yesterday, I soaked up some sun out in a lounge chair with the dogs at the dog park, laid in a hammock up on my rooftop terrace and lazily read, and I concluded the evening with a guided walking tour up and down the High Line. Free tour Tuesdays. 
Free!
Such a powerful, positively delightful word. It rolls off of the tongue.

Photo via Highline.org
 Death Avenue.
 

The High Line, if you're unaware, is a 1-mile long linear elevated park, stretching from Gansevoort street up to 30th on Manhattan's West Side, which begins in the Meatpacking district, heading north through Chelsea. It's a renovated public park, which restored the city's old abandoned freight rail line. Trains ran along 10th Avenue, then referred to as "Death Avenue," as a result of the frequent accidents caused by street-level trains with cars, horses, and pedestrians. Due to consistent outcry, in 1929, the city began constructing an elevated train line, which would no longer present such a hazard to everyday life and simultaneously, alleviate traffic in an already-crowded city.


Image via Highline.org
 You can view the Empire State building in this photo.
Old and modern construction.
    Commencing service in 1934, The High Line, the newly-elevated West Side railroad, provided the delivery and distribution of supplies, vegetables, coal, and meat to the Meatpacking district, where much of the city met daily to supply the city's everyday demands and so forth, chugging up and down the lifeline of Manhattan.

Image via Highline.org
The High Line, ran right beside
 the National Biscuit Company building (Nabisco).
The oreo cookie was actually invented there.
Today, that building still remains, and I walked by it, on the High Line yesterday.
I like it when some things just don't change
in this continually-evolving, developing, changing world.

Image via Highline.org
The current lawn, where people stretch, study, and enjoy the open space.
   
 
    As the country began to depend less and less on freight, the need for and use of the West Side tracks dwindled. In the 80s and 90s, the High Line had been forgotten by most. Weeds overtook.
Graffiti and peeling billboards decorated Tenth Ave. Teenagers snuck in to do God knows what. The far West Side itself was in a state of disarray. Now, it's quite the opposite, serving as a nucleus for fashion and the arts.
New York City has gone to great lengths to transform these once-desolate tracks into artistically and architecturally-praised grounds where people, jog, stroll, participate in free classes, chat with their co-workers after work, enjoy gelato, and so many other leisurely and social activities. Tuesdays, they even set up massive telescopes and invite anyone to view those stars we can so rarely see with the naked eye here.
 
Images via Highline.org
Top:
Notice the remnants of the old tracks in the center of the photograph.
They run throughout most parts of the park.
Bottom:
This is the sundeck portion of the park.
Wooden lounge benches and chairs face the Hudson River,
 making it one of my favorite spots on the West Side.
In fact, one of my favorite views in the city.
Sunsets there make you feel like you're going to burst with contentment.

 
Plant life and art displays are strategically placed all along, allowing each several feet to stand unique from any other section. Read on HERE about the High Line, what it offers, its history, and view some pretty fascinating photographs. You can even sign up to become a volunteer High Line gardener, to aid in their planting and up-keeping, which is a substantial undertaking.

I think that these hands could use a little less touchscreen and texting 
and a bit more of the Earth in them.
 

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Week in Seven.

And,
it's time for the re-cap, pre-cap, and all that lies in between.

This is what's been on my mind or is currently dancing around in that skull of mine, playing on my television, blasting through my speakers, and living in my closet.

One:
 
Dolce Vita Julie platform wedges
 ...galore!
 
Wedges for all of my friends! Ok, so I know I've clearly been loving my electric blue suede Dolce Vita Julie wedges (a lot, ok. I know, I know.), but they've been such a new favorite of mine--the color, the style, etc. The indigo-purple-ish color is surprisingly versatile (it coordinates with so much! who knew?!), but it also adds another layer of depth and a tiny smidgen of flare to dresses or skinny pants. Anyway, these heels are the most unexpectedly comfortable shoes I own! Even more so than many of my flats. So, I went ahead and just had to--simply haaaad to, dear--also acquire them in fruity, punchy-red suede and in classic black leather. I'm about slip one of these bad girls on and run a few miles around the city...not really, but I probably could if I so felt compelled.
 
In terms of these Julie wedges, you can walk a mile...or three...in my shoes any day. Or, just snag your very own pair, HERE.


Two:
 
Ga-ga-Gatsby
 Jay Gatsby, his Daisy, and the rest of the fabulously good-looking and well-dressed roaring twenties gang.
I know, I know, I know.
Forgive the self-portrait aspect, but this is what I wore to the Gatsby Premiere--Over-sized maroon sequin jacket,
black tiered and pleated dress, long necklaces,
vintage hat.

The media has completely gone off the deep end, over-saturating, over-hyping everything and anything Gatsby. We're all,"ohhhh, sooo into 20s fashion again," etcetera, etcetera.
As irritating and bandwagon-ish as it may appear,
I'm into this. Some people hated the film. Hate the whole revival and obnoxious display of excessive Hollywood hype. It's obviously a seriously divisive issue. But, I'm going to have to play the role of the sap and declare that I'm driving this wagon. Or, at least, in the forefront. And we're driving Maseratis, mind you.
I am.
 I give in. I gave in to the newest film, itself, lastly and most recently.
And, man, did it feel gooooooood.  
 
 
 
I don't even believe that I, a word-y lady, possess the words to describe how I felt about Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of American author F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel. It's a feast for the eyes.
A feast!
Thanksgiving on steroids.
Simply put, it's visually enchanting. I sat, mesmerized, in the theater by the excessive display in front of me. I wanted and needed more. It's gluttony at its finest. Just...do yourself a favor and see "The Great Gatsby," whether it is for pure pleasure or simply to rag on all of your friends about how ridiculous they are for believing that it's everything but absurd.
 
Congratulations, Mister Luhrmann. You've done it again, 'ole sport. Feast your hungry eyes, everyone. Gatsby is not only great again...he's magnificent.
 
Three:
 
Collar necklaces 
 
I've been seeing more and more of these collars being sold. From chiffon to lace and even leather. It's a unique concept. These collars, paired with even a basic crew-neck tee or blouse, look fabulous, adding an element of interest in terms of texture. They replace the need for a necklace and make a statement without screaming.
 
These two lace collars were found at my local Crossroads Trading Company. The left's beading makes it a bit preppier, and that worked out wonderfully for me, because I purchased it for my oldest sister's birthday.  
 
 Four:
 
Cheers!
The television show.
 
Image via imdb
I'm revisiting this classic. I'd seen episodes, here and there, growing up  and later on, the re-runs on late-night television. With my Netflix on Demand, I'm flying through the 200+ episodes they have available. It's witty. It's cheesy. It's comforting. It's warm. It's going in my favorites list along with "The Golden Girls" and "Friends." Having a bad day? The answer is clear.
Go where everybody knows your name.
You wanna go where everybody knows your name.
 
That provides the perfect segue to the following,

Five:
 
Southern Rock Bars...in Brooklyn

I've been off the radar. "And where, exactly, is this 'off-the-radar?'" you might be asking. Recently, I've felt some semblance of nostalgia for my own homeland, so in an effort to appease this, I've been indulging in a few boot-scooting hideouts. I actually line-danced a few weeks ago. I'm not kidding. I'll deny it ever occurred, though, if you ever strike up a conversation with me about it. But, I've found some comfort and even some solace in my own little pseudo-south. Yes, it's trendy. Yes, I suppose this whole "southern" theme has caught on in terms of fashion, décor, stores, and dining and drinking endeavors. It's the newest "Asian-fusion" or what-have-you. Well, especially, here in Williamsburg, it's even more apparent, and this has been trending for a few years now. I'm finally giving in and perhaps, embracing my roots. It took me long enough to cease being bitter or even at times, ashamed, of the place where I hail from (Tennessee, ya'll).  And, I don't even have to cross the Mason-Dixon line.
 
I can have my cake--actually, biscuits--and eat them too.

 
 
Six:
 
Metallic Nail Polish
 
Golds, champagnes, nudes, bronzes and even olive.
They're a funkier take on a boring neutral, yet they're not overtly attention-seeking. 
Like I've said, I'm not a pink girl even if it is spring.  Metal rules.
 
Image via BeautyBay

OPI's "Spotted the Lizard" is this amazing
metallic golden olive color.
 
Seven:
 
"Maria" by Blondie
 
I have a well-known affinity for girl rockers and female-led groups. This song was Blondie's "comeback single" on the lesser-known 1999 album. People aren't quite so familiar with Blondie's later singles, such as "Maria." And although it's not "One Way or Another," it's super infectious. That chorus is just so darn catchy. This song tops my daily "to listen to" playlist when running to catch that passing subway car...and with any luck, I just slide in before the doors close.
And you know what?

Debbie Harry is most definitely one of those kinds of girls.

"She moves like she don't care.
Smooth as silk, cool as air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

She doesn't know your name
And your heart beats like a subway train.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Ooh, don't you wanna take her?
Wanna make her all your own? "

 
 
 
 
 
And that brings us here.
Lastly,
the one thing I am NOT into this week:
 
Mind-numbing commutes
 
Commutes are terrible. They are. It's a fact. But, these experiences are exasperated by certain inconsiderate, grouchy, and selfish commuters themselves. The New York City subway system takes the cake for poor and disgusting behavior. It's the birthplace of weird underground dwellers and their own set of guidelines. Like, rules, laws, and social norms no longer apply when you descend into the bowls of the city.
. On an uncomfortably-packed L train, this woman leaned against the entire length of the handrail, leaving most of us grasping for something to hold onto as the train zipped wildly through the tracks. Arms flailed. I basically kissed three strangers in thirty seconds as a result of the sudden sways. With green jacket unaware and uncaring, most of us just resolved that we were going to be smashed into our neighbor from time-to-time on our commute.
Ugh.
Foul play, green jacket.
 
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What I Wore: Bright and Dark in the Park

 I've been in a haze of park fever as of late.
With the promise of an actual, real-life spring (spring!) in the air, I just feel compelled to indulge my intense need to be outdoors, exploring, roaming, and just being.
  
 Just being present brings the utmost contentment.

Central Park entrance, Central Park Fifth Avenue, summer day in central park nycIt does wonders for my serotonin levels, mind you. Clearly. Almost annoyingly so. But, I'm a firm believer in nature being the simplest, purest form of medicine...for the mind, body and soul.  It's not quite so easy to pop out to the country for a few hours to spend time in the solace of the natural world. So, yes, I've always been a park junkie around New York, since they seem to be our own mini-getaway daytime destinations here in the jungle of cement. Central Park, McCarren Park, Prospect Park, the Highline, East River Park, and the Hudson River Park...all among my major park fixes.

On this particular afternoon, I'd lunched on crudo and black bass at Michael White's Italian seafood park staple, Marea, and found myself meandering down storied Central Park South.
Paying well-deserved tribute to the golden season,
this is what I wore last week when I dipped into Central Park after lunch for just a few minutes to walk and drink in the surroundings of people who were simply happy as clams to peel off those stiff work loafers and wiggle their bare feet in the grass.

Roll up your trousers, folks, and rip down those confining dress socks.

Now, that's sight. 


 


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I began with this sunshine-shift, which is very, very feminine for me.
I've owned this dress for years, but I haven't actually chosen it in far too long.
I decided that if I could toughen it up, I could bring it back out of the shadows of my closet.
 It's almost too happy-of-a-piece to be left in the dark.  
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I chose dark leather and silver hardware to tone down the happy-go-lucky look of the dress. I'm not a super clean and pristine kind of girl, so I needed something that felt less "pretty," if you will.
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"Just a little frosting."


=

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1.Canary yellow shift dress-- Collective Clothing
2. Metallic-olive textured tote--Jill Stuart 
Tidbit:
Featured in a DIY portion of "This Week in Five" in January, the bag was originally a light grey or powder blue hue, and I doctored it up with fabric paint. It's a fantastic way to re-vamp boring or damaged accessories you might have at home or that you find out and aren't entirely sure what to do with. Let the resurrections commence! The paint I used, purchased from an art supply store, doesn't rub off on clothing or chip away. Funky metallic green on quilted, texture leather? Crocodile-like effect. Boom! One of a kind.
3. Black leather cropped biker jacket--British Vintage
4. Black leather,strappy gladiator heels--Pour la Victoire
Tidbit:
Pour La Victoire actually debuted as a footwear line in 2007 for the "21st century Marie Antoinette." They've found their target consumer, evidently. Wink.
5. Silver-studded black leather belt--Thrift store find
6. The Jewelry--Assorted--Black and white snakeskin leather cuff, maroon leather oversized bauble ring and black onyx albion David Yurman ring, assorted black beaded and skull bracelets.   

Monday, May 13, 2013

Found: Prada Everyday Flats.

Prada
Prada
Prada
 
Nude shade with small cutouts and a small bow atop
Cute, girly but in a simple, classic style.
The devil isn't wearing these today,
thank goodness!
 
Prada flats, nude Prada flats, nude ballet flats, flat shoes with a bow, designer nude flats, Prada tan shoes, Prada consignment, where to get used designer clothing and accessories, used clothing, designer consignment, crossroads consignment stores, NYC used designer items
 
85 BUCKAROOS
on consignment at my local Crossroads Trading Company here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which re-sells anything from Forever 21 to Lanvin and Chanel. See if there's one near you. By the way, that's a command, not a suggestion.
 
Don't be jealous of these in particular, though, if you aren't in the New York area.
Go out and hunt these susceptible designer consignment finds! They're practically begging for new homes. And, the best part of it, is that all day, every single day, apparel and accessories are being added to the gang of possible prey.

Consignment stores accept new inventory as long as they're open, so there's always something new (and old!), to be searched for and found by us. Or, on the flip-side, you can sell your used items and make a bit of money for those things you no longer love or need. Some times, you just need to say, "ciao, baby!" Make some room in that closet for future finds. Spring cleaning benefits us all, whether you're the buyer or the seller, eh?
 
I like win/win scenarios.
Those are the odds of a game I'll play, thank you. 
Think of it as doing something honorable for your fellow man...er, woman, whoever!
This process keeps fashion treasure seekers, like myself, running in a tizzy and always in "seek and destroy" mode. Ahhhhh, the thrill of the chase. I love a good thrill. My Bank of America account? Not so much. It's nauseous from all of the adrenaline rushes.
 
I say,
 pop a Pepto and deal with life like the rest of us.
 
Someone had pasted these "public surveys" on the brick walls of a few buildings in Soho.
Anyone could walk by and choose to write in their own personal answers to any of the prompts.
 I love that-- random and real talk!
 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Round 'Em Up-The Met Gala Goes Punk

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Costume Institute's
incredibly fancy, incredibly expensive, incredibly exclusive gala
was held Monday night here in New York City, and everyone--simply everyone rich or famous or fashionable--attends. It's a MAJOR night, stylistically speaking, and clearly a who's who of power and beauty.
 
Show up and bring it. 
I know it's the Costume Institute Gala, but you're in public!
You know, if you're going to ever embrace a good Costume party, then this Met Gala soiree is the one to do it at--I get it,
but come on...
 It's a fundraising event in the name of couture, elegance, and over-the-top-fashion-forwardness.
Think bold but tactfully so.

This gala is the major fundraising event for exhibitions, acquisitions, and capital improvements for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The spring 2013 Gala will introduce and honor the latest exhibition,

 Punk: From Chaos to Couture
 On display--undisputed courage, creativity, and independent instincts.

Beliefs, ideals, dissatisfaction with the present and a desire for more more more directly affect the way we act and what we produce...art, music, and fashion. The museum's Punk exhibition, which runs through August 14, 2013, provides a thorough look at punk's influence on not only streetstyle but high fashion, beginning in the 1970s. Clearly, it's still a pivotal inspiration in the looks of today.
Personally speaking, I owe much of my style inspiration to this movement.

Now, cue guitar riffs, catchy vocals, and crowd chantings.
Hands up
for these who showed up to take the stage at the Met Gala:
**All images courtesy of Getty Media**


Minka Kelly in Carolina Herrera
 
 

Blake Lively in Gucci Premiere
Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte
 



Carey Mulligan in Balenciaga
Amber Heard in Emilio Pucci.

Kerry Washington in Vera Wang
Aubrey Plaza in Marios Schwab





 
 




 
 
Kate Bosworth in Balmain
Katy Perry in Dolce & Gabbana
Nina Dobrev in Monique Lhuillier



 And, although it posed very difficult for me to make a decisions, and I went back and forth,
I think, as of  right now at this very minute,
 
My top 3 overall LOOKS of the night
with
more drama than those episodes of Real World Las Vegas:


 
Anne Hathaway in signature Valentino
Amanda Seyfriend in Givenchy Vintage
 
Rooney Mara, co-chair of the Met Gala,
 in Givenchy.
Bam!
Living for her entire look. Drama, drama, drama.
In that---
leave-you-breathless-
live-theater-
final solo-of-the-night---
way.
Image via examiner

Avant-garde Mohawk headdress by Philip Treacy.



And,
Two of my deliciously favorite accessories of the night:

Much-criticized, but I adore a couture headpiece.
This girl likes--LOVES-- hats,
and she certainly LOVES Miss Sarah Jessica Parker.




Image via Bellasugar

Spike-studded headband by Eddie Borgo.





While SJP's headgear isn't exactly an everyday look, Sienna Miller's encompassed the Punk spirit while serving as a much more wearable piece.
That spiked headband!
It's only studded on one-side, which makes a statement, but it isn't entirely overbearing. It draws more attention to the way the hair falls and the face, in fact.
She also donned a black leather and spike-studded jacket by Burberry. Killer.




 
 
And now,
I bring you...
 
The Yawns and Yucks:
Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam-Bam-Buh-Bam--
I want to be sedated.
 
The following range from just odd, distasteful, unflattering or plain boring. Meh!
Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus were mercifully left off of this list. My eyes couldn't bear those photos long enough anyway.
 
Madonna.
Girl, this is the Met Gala. Not Halloween.
Coco Rocha.
Nope. Missed it.


Beyoncé.
No, no, no. Did you see yourself? Hot mess.
Gwyneth Paltrow.
Fail.  
Karlie Kloss.
Missed it.
It just isn't right dress, right time.
 Not working.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
This dress looks like it was in pieces
and sewn together. Nope. Not feeling her.


Katie Holmes.
Yawn. Something is off about this whole look.
Nicki Minaj.
Although a much tamer and even
 a step up from most of her looks,
it's just...eh. I think the problem is from the neck-up.
Kristen Stewart.
Time and time again...
No, thank you.


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