Thursday, June 30, 2011

Designer Crush: Rachel Zoe?

You read that right. When I heard that Rachel Zoe was designing an apparels and accessory line, I couldn't help but think: LA's famously skinny stylist makes for great TV and puts together a killer outfit, but can she design?

Color me pleasantly surprised. Rachel Zoe's new collection is really, really cute. It's effortless trendy and luxe, but you still see hints of Zoe throughout: bell-bottomed pants, warm furry vests and boho maxis. There are pieces of all kinds: fun party dresses, a gorgeous black halter gown, pants, shorts, tops, coats... You could put together a great wardrobe with these pieces.

Any stylish woman of any age would look classic and sophisticated carrying her purses. I'm not mad about the velvet and furry trim on some of the pieces, and the heels, while they have Zoe's signature uber-high heels, are fabulous but nothing new.

The highlights:

Faux-Fur Vest, Tie-Neck Plunge Blouse & Zip-Cuff Skinny Jeans: $295, $225, $175 (My favorite casual ensemble - this blouse should probably be mine)

Tailored Tuxedo Jacket, Tie-Neck Plunge Blouse & Boot-Cut Tuxedo Pants: $425, $295, $275 (if you've been reading my twitter, you know I'm obsessed with white suits, and this one is exactly what I want - easy, breezy, boot-cut!)

Blouson Metallic Maxi Dress: $550

Wrap-Collar Cape & Cuffed Tuxedo Shorts: $695, $195 (it's so hot out, I know it's impossible to think about wearing a coat, but this one is sort of makes me want to wrap up in it... sort of)

Crocodile-embossed back pump: $295

Zoe snake-embossed tote: $650 (a little Birkin-esque, but I wouldn't kick it out of bed)

Remind me why I'm on this shopping hiatus again?

Pre-order Rachel Zoe's collection at Neiman Marcus now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TBONTB: A thing of beauty

Ok, obviously this isn't a real To Buy or Not To Buy since I just declared my shopping hiatus, but I need to share this glorious Preen dress with the world.

Perfection costs $1646.40 at Net-a-Porter.

This black crepe dress with a beaded taupe chiffon bodice rocks that ladylike trend in the guise of a cocktail dress. It feels like an updated Mad Men look with on-trend midi length but demure aesthetic.

I so, so want it.

And it can be yours for nearly 50% off the original price. So can someone please buy it so I can live vicariously through you?

Shop stop

In my blogging hiatus, I mayyyy have done a little shopping. Ok, I obviously did more than a little.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite purchases of the past few months:

Kate Spade Dotty Heels - These heels are great for a night on the town or dressing up a simple work sheath. Note: Beware wearing new satin heels on dangerous Georgetown brick sidewalks!

Trina Turk Nubia Beaded Halter Dress - I spotted this at a boutique in New Orleans in red pepper and I had to have it - but I needed an excuse. Fortunately, a Bermuda-themed party provided me with the perfect one!

Leifsdottir Rainbow Confetti Dress - This is my new favorite going out dress. I bought it a bit big so it's swingy and fun and loose on hot summer nights. It goes with so much, and the asymmetrical hem (hard to see in this picture) frames my legs fabulously.

J. Crew High Tide Tunic Dress - Because... have you met me? Hey, I'm just proud it's not navy stripes.

ASOS pleated maxi skirt - So this just came today, and I like it a lot. BUT it's super sheer. Do I keep and wear it (as seems to be trendy)? Or send back (free returns)?

So I had a little bit of fun. Maybe too much fun.

A few days ago, I realized I really need to go on a shopping diet (and a taxi cab diet. And a regular diet, but that's another issue all together). I have numerous things to save up for, not the least of which is my wedding (and a fabulous wedding/honeymoon wardrobe).

So the shopping hiatus began last week.

I don't necessarily want to put a hard and fast deadline on my shopping hiatus, but my birthday is in early August, and birthday=presents+parties=new clothes... Makes sense to me! But in actuality, the shopping will be severely restricted for at least three month. It's not a punishment, it's just a lifestyle diet.

I'll miss you, credit cards.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hit by Cupid's Arrow

I've been a fan of Rebecca Minkoff's delicious handbags for years. I got a Nikki hobo years and years ago, and I've been scouring Gilt sales for an MAB.

However, I think I'd rather save my pennies for RM's newest handbag, the Cupid.

Buy it here.

Love this bag! It's the perfect-sized satchel, and like the MAB, it has the dual strap - one longer and one that just fits over your shoulder. The gold detail is to die for - just the right hint of color without looking like heavy metal.

My favorite thing about this bag is the variety of colors: navy, red, metallic taupe, teal and black. (You can also pick up lavender and a shimmer anthracite with silver details).

Now, I wonder when Gilt will be getting these in stock...

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Gray Lady

I'm a newspaper nerd. Can't help it. Comes from eight years of working on my college and high school papers, interning for trade pubs, and then moving into the PR and press world.

And thus, I need this candle, purported to smell just like a fresh issue of The New York Times. "With hints of guaiacwood, cedar, musk, spice, with 'a powdery note and velvet nuance,' this candle is intended to mimic the scent of black ink on newsprint

(via Refinery29)

So now apparently I'll be swinging by the Ace Hotel next time I'm in NYC to pick up a $65 candle. Just another thing to add to my To-Do list.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Lust List: Blog-Found Fun

This week's lust list highlights some fun pieces, fab shoes, and darling dresses found on some of my favorite fashion blogs.

1. Giles & Brother Archer Hoop Earrings: $95 (via Refinery29)
2. Joie Sashay Heels: $198 (via The Cut)
3. Splendid Shadow Stripe Dress: $110 (via Capitol Hill Style)
4. Prada Baroque Sunglasses: $290 (via FabSugar)
5. Apple and Ivy Bettingen Circle Button Bracelet: $15 (via Whipped Style, a new DC FABB friend!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Week's Facts: Blue and blazing

Hilary Rhoda looking FABULOUS in cobalt. (via FabSugar)

  • FabSugar recreated model Hilary Rhoda's Topshop look. FYI - her Proenza Schouler purse cost nearly 9 times as much as the dress!
  • Always lusted after your very own Hermes handbag? Check out what a Kelly looks like deconstructed on Styleite.
  • I don't know about you, but it's sort of hard to be fashionably creative when it's hot as blazes out. Refinery29 takes some of the hard work out of summer outfit planning.
  • DC's own Tucker Blair has partnered with the always-cool Opening Ceremony on a collection of needlepoint belts, reports Fashionista. Nantucket prep meets downtown cool. I love it.
  • Get away with beautiful beachy looks at coco+kelly.
  • Cheap Chicas shows you how to style your boyfriend's button down.
  • Peep the Banana Republic collaboration with Mad Men's costume designer at The Cut. General Twitter consensus is meh - some highlights and some terrible fabric choices. And is it just me or is this like... a couple years delayed?
  • Money burning a hole in your pocket? Zara's annual sale starts today!
  • Shots are up from the DCFABB happy hour on my BFF Liz's blog So Much to Smile About. Who's that hot tall blonde in the last shot? ;)
  • Win $100 to Shopbop over at I Heart Heels.

Marta Rants: Kim Kardashian's Wedding Registry

(via Refinery29)

I can't wait to get married. But more importantly, I can't wait to register. Dude, can you just imagine me, running free-reign around a store of my choice, making a socially acceptable list of things people can buy for me?!

Needless to say, I'm psyched.

But in all seriousness, the most important part of a wedding is the marriage that follows - not the dress, not the gifts, not even the people who come - just you, your husband and the rest of your lives as a family.

A wedding is the party you throw to celebrate that love and commitment. Tradition says your guests give you gifts to commemorate that day and to help you get started on the right foot in a new home, for a new life. Apparently, if you missed the news last week, Kim Kardashian, arguably the most famous person in the world (maybe after Justin Bieber) is hoping her guests will help her get started on a very expensive foot - like a gold-encrusted Louboutin.

Last week, she hopped around Geary's, a shi-shi Beverly Hills department store with her mom and fiance, dressed "casually cute," racking up a dream registry that includes luxury items from Hermes, Lalique and Baccarat. The grand total of her registry? Who knows, but it's likely astronomical.

I have a couple of issues with Kim Kardashian's tacky display.

1.) She makes nearly $12 million a year (that's nearly 240 times the American family's median income). Her 20.5-karat ring is worth $2 million alone. (Check out this site, which shows you exactly how much Kim K. is making at this exact moment). Kim claims she donates 10 percent of her income, and I admire her for that (though she's almost too upfront about it - asking to be applauded for what many normal people do - people who make way less than her).

(via People)

(And I don't mean to bring it up negatively, but this girl is famous for two reasons: a sex tape in which she got peed on, and being friends with Paris Hilton. Now, homegirl is legit brillz for capitalizing on this and turning what most people would consider a shameful life into a big fat cash cow - for herself as well as her family.)

But my major issue is not that she comes from a less-than-humble background or that she's got a ring that most women call tacky but secretly lust after. It's this: Once you are that independently wealthy, is it right for you to register for gifts? Wealth, I believe, does not preclude you from receiving gifts. But asking your friends to shell out $6,000 for a stupid vase is ridiculous - just buy it yourself. Don't force your expensive taste on others, especially when they are likely way less fortunate than you. And provide options in a variety of price ranges!

One commonly held belief on registries is that you should pay for your attendance (this is not true, according to Emily Post; you should pay what you can afford). But even holding to this belief, I really freaking hope Kim is serving beluga caviar with a side of that $10k Serendipity frozen hot chocolate for her dinner if she's registering for Hermes napkin rings.

2. She made a show of registering for obscenely expensive gifts. Don't tell me she didn't invite the paparazzi to her trip. She went to a luxury department store in Beverly Hills and went on a spending spree with other people's money. During a time of economic crisis. While the number of people using food stamps increases exponentially and 9% of Americans don't have jobs. Kim had to have $1000 Lalique ashtray. Does she even smoke? (If so, nasty).

Here's a sample of her registry from Refinery29:
  • Baccarat Cosmos Extra Large Vase, $7,850
  • Lalique Epis Perfume Bottle, $1,695
  • Lalique Soudan Black Ashtray, $1,100
  • Napkin Rings:
  • Rablabs Aleotto Natural Agate Napkin Ring, $32.50 x 18
  • L'Objet Set Of Four Noir Napkin Rings with Crystals, $150 x 5
  • L'Objet Set of Four Gold Napkin Rings with Crystal, $150 x 5

Now I realize this sounds a little sanctimonious coming from a girl who considered saving up and shelling out $3500 for a pair of shoes. So I want to know what you think: Is it gauche for Kim Kardashian and her future hubby to register for this expensive stuff? Or can she do whatever the hell she wants?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To Buy or Not To Buy: Chanel Peridot Vernis


I'm on the fence about purchasing Chanel's fall nail collection. These rich, luxe metallics will perfectly complement fall's jewel-tones, and Chanel's nail colors tend to become staples for each season season. The collection includes the bronzed green Peridot, silvery-beige Quartz or the silvery toned Graphite. I'm a big fan of Peridot (it is my birth stone after all), and it might be a good way for me to ease into the green polish trend (I just couldn't bring myself to buy Jade a few seasons ago).

But I wouldn't say that Chanel's polish is worth the $25 price tag. It find it quickly wears down at the tips of my nails. But you do pay for what is most certainly the best and most trend-setting color palette out there. Mimosa, Particuliere, Paradoxal - these are all essential colors in any polish-lover's "wardrobe."

All Lacquered Up recently featured Peridot, which, when photographed, reads a bit more like a gold with a mossy hue. Is it too green for you? Would you rather wear a more neutral metallic?

Or is Chanel polish all together overrated?

Reason #18752 to Go to the Gym

This Pencey number.

Pencey dress, exclusive to Shopbop: $320

Yes, those are cut outs on the side.

Boot camp? Here I come. 5 mile run? See you Sunday. Yoga? 2-3 a week, repeat as necessary.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Get It Fast: Red Denim

Have you been lusting after those J. Brand red jeans you've seen everywhere? Surprisingly, I think this trend is totally wearable on most people. Nothing wrong with a pop of color in an outfit - especially on your pants.

That said, I'm not anticipating to see people wearing bright red denim in the seasons to come. So don't go shelling out nearly 200 smackeroos on some jeans you'll wear maybe six times.

Instead, head over to my new favorite online shopping emporium, ASOS, and pick up these Vero Moda bad boys for less than $30. You read that right. And you're not at Forever 21 or H&M! Shocking, I know.

Vero Moda Denim Legging: $25.86

The jeans are available in sizes S/M and M/L, so hurry over and snag your pair ASAP.

ASOS is having a huge end-of-season sale right now, so be sure to gaze at the massive discounted selection. And, if you're new to ASOS, they have free shipping and returns. So if the jeans don't fit, no harm, no foul - just send 'em right back.

You're welcome.

Wedge Would

Freaking obsessed with this Pierre Hardy Cruise 2012 wedges.

(via Fashionista)

Yes I'd be taller than the average Mavs player in these sky-high wedges, but I'm loving the fun color palette, and the updated retro-vibe.

Honestly, I'd be happy to put these on and just sit around and stare at my feet. (Also, this would probably be much safer for me than walking around).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The perfect wedding shoe

Ok, so remember when I wrote about my love for the flat version of Manolo Blahnik's Something Blue pump? And how I wanted it to be my wedding shoe.

Scratch all that.

THIS is my wedding shoe.

I can't even talk about this Brian Atwood confection. It's everything I could want in a wedding shoe and more. The blue color, the sparkly heel, the silk hydrangeas on the heel... It all fits perfectly in my wedding motif.

I say I do to this shoe.

(The only drawback? If I wear this shoe, I'm sure to be several inches taller than the Hubby-to-be. Think he'd mind? Or a better question: Think Brian Atwood would custom make these with a 2.5-3" heel?)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Blueprint Cleanse

Around the holidays, I was a little let's say lax with my diet and overall health. A new schedule has wreaked havoc on my eating schedule and has made packing my own lunches and working out drop on the list of priorities. Obviously that needed to change ASAP - the longer you let yourself slide, the harder it is to pick yourself back up. So I wanted the BluePrint Cleanse to be a swift kick in the butt to get me into gear for the last month before my trip to St. Thomas (hello, bikini body) and the last few months before I commit to buying a wedding dress!

I ordered my cleanse back in December. I had a coupon code, and I thought it would be a great way to kick of the new year. Well, then things kept springing up - friends in town, last week at work (which means parties!)... So after changing my cleanse date around three times, I finally decided on the week after Valentine's Day.

Mistake. Who knew I'd be working late (and I mean LATE) surrounded by delicious, free take out every single night

Blue Print Cleanse offers three levels of cleanse: Renovation (Beginner), Foundation (Intermediate) and Excavation (Advanced, and honestly, it sounds baddd... Excavation? ew). My fiance, who fortunately decided to do the Cleanse with me, and I went with Foundation cleanse both times, because I like to challenge myself, ya know?

The cleanse consists of six juices a day: three green juices made with romaine, celery, cucumber, kale and green apple (plus other assorted goodies) interspersed with three other liquid concoctions (a pineapple mint juice, a spicy lemonade a la Master Cleanse and a delicious cinnamony cashew milk). You can order one, two or three days, but I think you can go longer if you'd like.

They tell you to ease your body into and out of the cleanse - avoid dairy products, meat, alcohol, etc. in the days before and after the cleanse. Considering the Fiance and I enjoyed a delicious prix fixe meal for deux at Wolfgang Puck's the Source for Valentine's Day, I had one day to get my body ready. So I paid (way too much) for some fruit from the cafeteria for breakfast and for salad bar (lettuce, cucumber, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots) for lunch, and I had some mushrooms, asparagus, lettuce w/ salsa and air-popped popcorn (corn is a vegetable... right? I know... I couldn't resist). And then T and I shared some of the Wolfgang Puck truffles we'd been gifted upon leaving. That I really couldn't resist.

So I didn't exactly abide by the rules - they are hard! But I have to say, I didn't go into the cleanse with a sense of dread that I felt the first time. I felt excited and ready to clean my body of some of my worse transgressions (RBVLs anyone?), and hopeful of the beneficial results.

Day 1
The green juices (of which I will drink three today) do not taste as bad as my first experience with Blue Print Cleanse. I read somewhere that it tastes better when you're healthier, so I guess that's brownie points for me. Actually, I'm mostly feeling good, until the office decides to order Thai food for dinner. It smells amazing, and as I watch a woman munch on some pad thai, my stomach starts to rumble. Get me out of here.

Luckily, I'm able to leave soon. I go home and polish off my cashew milk in maybe just a few minutes and chase it with water and herbal tea. Both the fiance and I are like, yeah let's go to bed early tonight. My stomach was rumbling as I got into bed, and I pondered the setback of eating a piece of roasted asparagus. Full of willpower, I abstain.

Day 2

I wake up feeling not hungry and somewhat refreshed. I start with a mug of hot water with lemon, straighten my hair and head to work. I wasn't in a rush to start my juices today. But then 2 pm hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm feeling a little laggard, my freezing office feelslike it would never get warm, and my head is hurting. Keeping myself busy is the only way to pull through (luckily, there is a LOT to do). Then we get an email that we are being treated to BARBEQUE tonight. I want to throw myself off a cliff.

Day 3
I'm feeling good, but I'm filled with dread knowing it's increasingly likely I'm going to be at work very late. I make it to dinnertime - I actually feel OK - but I finally eat some salad and a little chicken. At work until the wee hours of the morning (literally... I crawled into bed at 6:00 am), it was just not realistic for me to work 18 hour days on juice only. Coffee at midnight was a necessity.

I felt much more prepared to do this the second time around. I know my general health habits have vastly improved from the last time I did this. I wish I could say I had the energy to work out like they promise but I didn't. I totally slacked on my training for the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.

I'm frustrated that I sort of wasted my cleanse (and, in turn, the money) and I couldn't commit to three days of no food, but it just did NOT work into my schedule this time around.

So my final say on the Blueprint Cleanse is this: Do it if you have a week to commit to avoiding temptation. Honestly, I can't say that I have a week anytime in the near future where I don't have post-work commitments of happy hours and dinners. I don't think I can say there isn't a chance of me working late and being surrounded by both temptation and high-stress, high-energy situations that require more energy than juice can give me.

I would love to give BPC another go. And when I have 14 days (ha!), I'd love try the Remove Cleanse, which got great reviews on FitSugar.

Mark Your Calendars: Bitches Who Brunch Summer Brunch Soiree

I'm excited: The lovely ladies over at Bitches Who Brunch are combining two of my favorite things - brunch and fashion - for a Summer Brunch Soiree at the delicious Ris in the West End. We're talking bottomless mimosas, gourmet passed small plates from a fabulous DC chef, fashion the uber-chic boutique Rue 14, tunes and more!

As if you needed more reasons to go, the event benefits a much-deserving charity, The DC Farm to School Network, which provides healthy, local, sustainable foods to DC area schools and educates children and families on nutrition, exercise, and environmental consciousness.

The details:

What: Summer Brunch Soiree to benefit DC Farm to School
Who: The Bitches Who Brunch and other fabulous, fun DC brunchers
When: Saturday, July 9, 12-3 pm. 
Location: Ris, 2275 L St NW, Washington, DC
Cost: $45, which includes bottomless mimosas, passed apps, a fashion show, DJ-spun tunes, a dance performance, an art show, and goodie bags!
Tickets are available through Eventbrite. Tickets will not be sold at the door. you must pre-purchase them here:

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Look I'm Loving: Diane Kruger at the Louvre

Diane Kruger, 95% of the time, has flawless style. It's borderline avant garde, but almost always impeccably chic.

(via Go Fug Yourself)

Here at a charity gala in Paris, she looks stunning in a nude Alessandra Rich dress with chartreuse lace embellishment. I LOVE the pop of tangerine, which is just edgy enough against the contrasting yellow-green.

Her arm candy doesn't hurt, either.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Freak out! Eddie Borgo at J. Crew

(via Refinery29)

I DIED a little on the inside when I saw that my jewelry designer crush Eddie Borgo (CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award runner-up) was designing a capsule collection for J. Crew. I don't know if they didn't do much press beforehand, or if I just totally missed it until the day before the launch, but this is truly amazing.

I went online today to see what I could snag. The prices run from $38 for the studded bow pins to $175 for a fringed mesh pocket necklace. There are also some totally hip studded belts.

I'm contemplating snagging the black cone and pearl cuff ($95). Cones are such an Eddie Borgo signature, and I just love it! The pearl necklace ($150) is awesome too. Looks like I have some decisions to make...