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September 2009 archive

Confessions of a Shopaholic: 5 Tips For the Fab & Frugal


So I know I’m normally all about fashion, celebs, gossip and all that good stuff…BUT as we all know, this recession has hit everyone pretty hard. As much as I love being all about fashion all the time, this economy has caused many of us to think twice about where we drop a dime. Therefore, as you all are very important to me, any helpful tidbits I receive, I will share so we can all live more fabulous lives!

Based mostly on a great article I ran across on Clutch Magazine and a few of my own personal practices, I’ve organized a list of tips for being fabulous but still frugal in this tough recession:

Fab & Frugal Tip #1: Adopt a Side Hustle

Lisa Price, owner of Carol’s Daughter (It started out as a side hustle)

Whether you need supplemental income ‘cuz those checks have stopped rolling in, or the current job just isn’t cutting it – everyone should have a side hustle. There are amazing ways to hone in on your interests and make them work for you. Find something you like to do, and do relatively well, and market your services to the public. Some great side jobs include freelance writing, bookkeeping (if you’re good at accounting), babysitting for those who love the kids, photography and even styling (I plan to personally embark on this one). Post a listing on a free classifieds site like Craigslist and hit the ground running!

Fab & Frugal Tip #2: Save on Entertainment

a) Books: Let’s face it, one can spend a substantial amount of money on Entertainment on a weekly basis. One great way to save – hit up the library! I know you love those afternoon trips to Barnes&Noble for the monthly reads BUT you can be sure those books you drop $20/each on can be accessed for FREE.99 at your local library. If you still wanna own, try sites like paperbackswap.com, bookmooch.com and swaptree.com to exchange old books with new ones.

b) Movies: For those of you who haven’t heard about RedBox, consider yourself enlightened. If you haven’t checked out the $1 recent DVD releases at your local Redbox, you should. You can truly get dinner and a movie for under $10. Visit http://www.redbox.com to find a retailer near you. And if you’re dead set on owning a DVD, you can try swapadvd.com

c) Parties: Although the grown and sexy lounges and clubs downtown are a great place to spend your weekend nights, they can get a bit pricey. There’s no harm in going out once a week, but hosting your own intimate house parties and/or hitting up your friend’s place to hang out can inevitably save you money. Host your own Halloween bash, have an inexpensive dinner party or potluck for your friend’s birthday instead of going out…it all adds up!

Fab & Frugal Tip #3: DIY Beauty Treatments

a) Body: Head down to your local health food emporium and stock up on essential oils, liquid Castile soap and sea salt to make your own body scrubs and hair concoctions. Though I love me some Carol’s Daughter, those natural hair products can be pricey…hit up TheDailyGreen for recipes.

b) Hair: Well let’s face it…we black women don’t play when it comes to our hair so I will NOT suggest that you do everything at home. BUT, when it comes to styling hair (including blowouts, weaves, etc), YouTube can work wonders. There are thousands of tutorial videos on there, some of them made by professional stylists, so explore your options. You never know what you could do on your own until you try.

c) Nails: Try hitting up your local beauty school! You can pay considerably less for your treatments by visiting a local, reputable beauty school. The hallways are chock-full of fresh talent in the aesthetic arts…at a much cheaper price. And paying $5 for a manicure is sure to brighten your day. If all else fails do the manicure at home! (*Secret: dark colors are much easier to apply flawlessly because the color helps disguise mistakes)

Recessionista Tip #4: Save on Clothes

These days, sales abound as retailers are steadily losing profits, so now is the time to take advantage. A step below that, go thrift shopping!! I was doing this one way before the recession. Besides the fact that its cheap, its thrill-seeking finding vintage items that nobody else will have, that you have to search hard for and that cost under $20! Another great idea – if you hang with a fabulously fashionable circle then consider yourself lucky. Grab your girlfriends and host a clothes swap to keep your wardrobe up-to-date in these economic times. Have each friend bring over gently or never worn clothes, shoes and accessories, and trade off to add new pieces to your ensemble.

Recessionista Tip #5: Cut Daily Expenses

Whether you work or are in school, you won’t believe how much money we waste daily buying outside food. Spending just 1.5-2 hours on Sunday night preparing a few meals can save you both money and time during the week. Dont’ waste your money on overpriced salads and pizza slices! Also, this seems like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: GO GREEN! Skip filling up the tank by walking, biking or taking public transportation. Bring reusable bags to the supermarket and for the Earth’s sake cut off that water and them lights (like momma says)!

I hope these tips have opened your eyes to some ways you can cope fabulously and frugally in this tough economy…be flyy yall!

*P.S. I’m thinking of incorporating more lifestyle content like this onto the blog, feel free to give me feedback on whether you like it or not :)

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Jimmy Choo for H&M

H&M has done it again ladies & gents! They’ve managed to pull of a great collab with an established designer in the industry and make it available to those of us without the designer budget…love it! H&M has collaborated with Jimmy Choo and so far it looks like a match made in heaven. Girls, put on your running shoes and wear light clothing ‘cuz I can already tell (like the Karl Lagerfeld collaboration in 2004), these pieces will be sold out within the first week.

Below see a preview of the collection:


The following pieces make me absolutely giddy:

These shoes are the business…

And although I usually hate fur, I actually really want this…

For an even closer peek at all the looks that will be in store on Nov. 14th, check Nitrolicious.

Amber Rose for Elle Magazine: Fierce or Foolish?

I have to say I’m thoroughly disappointed with Elle Magazine for the stint they pulled this month with their October Issue. This month’s issue is all about Personal Style so they decided to allow Amber Rose to grace their illustrious pages, styled by boyfriend Kanye West.

Now I know the issue is supposed to be an expression of personal style but GEEZ LOUISE….all I see is booty butt cheeks! I thought I mistakenly picked up an issue of Maxim!

I think, given the great editorial work Elle has done in the past, given the demographic of people who read Elle and given it’s position as a high-fashion mag, this was a poor choice…

Don’t get me wrong, high fashion features nudity left and right, but it’s the way it all is portrayed that makes the difference. This spread screams “let’s dress up my naughty stripper girlfriend in sparkles, thongs and booty shorts, and call it fashion!” – Not a fan.

This is the only picture I thought was really editorial-worthy:

Do you guys disagree? Amber Rose for Elle Magazine – Fierce or Foolish?

Playing Catch Up & Emmy’s Top 10

Phew! September has been a whirlwind month for me, but I’m back yall! I’ve had events left and right, fashion week shifts, and just recently last week I had the opportunity to unwind on the sandy shores of Aruba. It was heaven…

Anyway, I’m back in action with my updates, gossip and fashion reviews. I figured to commemorate my return, I’d kick the week off with a countdown! So, the Emmy’s went down last week and I saw some really interesting peices.

Here are my TOP 10 BEST & WORST:

10. WORST

Hayden Panettiere in J. Mendel

This look would probably great on a woman 30 years older than Hayden… not my fave look for her.


9. BEST
Heidi Klum in Marchesa

How does this woman manage to look SO good when she’s pregnant? I swear, she’s always at her best when preggers. I love how the dress accentuates the belly but is still classy and sophisticated…nice choice Heidi!


8. WORST


Padma in Badgley Mischka

I would’ve been fine with this dress minus the weird shredded shoulder and random red flowers on the hip…this confuses me.


7. BEST

Blake Lively in Versace

Blake does Versace and she does it well! She might be wearing red, but she definitely doesn’t blend into the carpet. I like the way the dress accentuates her body without revealing too much. Simple but sexy. I would’ve been giddy if she threw some diamonds on the neck, but no complaints otherwise.


6. WORST
Christina Applegate in Basil Soda

This looks like one of those ghetto fab, made-from-scratch prom dresses gone wrong. Too much going on with this – it’s off-the shoulder, it’s beaded, it’s mesh..its a MESS.


5. BEST

Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier

I love the subtle color and the delicate ruffle details of this gown. I think it suits Drew. It’s soft, girly and feminine without overdoing it.

4. WORST
Kyra Sedgwick in L’wren Scott

This is just…not nice. The color is horrid, the flower embroidery belongs on a couch and the random puff on the right confuses me…


3. BEST
Ginnifer Goodwin in YSL

I adore the color and the draping of this dress. Another reason YSL is one of my favorite design houses. I love how she accented the dress with a clear lucite necklace. Unexpected, yet appreciated.


2. WORST
Mila Kunis in Monique Lhuillier

Something went wrong here….her hem is a few inches too short, and the dress overall looks like it doesn’t really fit. And the shape of the skirt…A-line?? Whose idea was that?

1. BEST
Leighton Meester in Bottega Veneta

The gossip girls strike again! I love this look on Leighton. It’s a beautifully draped grecian gown with gold and red accessories…what’s not to love? It fits her really well and the whole look including hair and makeup are just very well put together.



Fashion Week in Review: Up Close at Ports 1961, Monarchy, Thuy & Rebecca Taylor

Hey all! Busy week so I’ve been slacking on here, BUT I want to make sure to honor those collections I had the privilege of seeing up close this season: Ports 1961, Monarchy by Eric Kim, Thuy and Rebecca Taylor.

Major Trends I’ve Noticed:

1) The cinched waist is still going strong for Spring 2010. A majority of the dresses and combinations for Spring 2010 feature a figure-flattering cinched waist. This silhouette has been going strong for a few seasons now and SPring 2010 is no diferent.

Cinched dress at Ports 1961

Cinched dress at Monarchy


Cinched jacket at Thuy


Cinched dress at Rebecca Taylor

2) The pleated-front cropped pant is full force. This silhouette is all over stores this seeason, so expect to see it in lighter, more flowy fabrics for spring. But the silhouette is still very relevant.

Pleated pants at Ports 1961

Pleated pants at Monarchy

3) Lustrous fabrics galore! I noticed alot of luster and sheen in the fabrics of Spring 2010 collections. This subtle sheen pumps up the luxe effect of every peice in a collection.

Luster at Ports 1961

Luster at Monarchy

Luster at Thuy

Ports 1961

I loved the entire Ports 1961 collection. From the incredible color to the interesting shapes and luxe fabrics…it was a very “rich” collection, in every sense of the word.

Fave Looks:


I love the easy shape. It reminds me of a T-shirt dress a princess would wear. Love the fabric and the print. It has a bohemian vibe without being over-the top. Love this look!

Perfect “going-out” look anyone?? Here’s the lustrous fabric I told you guys about. The shape is so new and creative…I think this look encapsulates the overall feel of the line.

See here for a full viewing of the Ports 1961 show

Monarchy by Eric Kim

I must confess, before working this show I didn’t even know this line existed. However, after previewing the collection and considering the stars I spotted at this show (Ms. Jay and Janice), I now realize Eric Kim is “kind of a big deal”. I really liked the collection. It was very contempory, and casual but still very smart streamlined. I love when those 2 ideas merge. The fun and fancy free combined with streamlined and structured. It’s a fantastic combination.

Fave Looks:

Although I’m not a fan of super-shiny fabrics, I love the soft luster and the light ruffles in this one. I think it would be perfect with a black skinny pant and some chunky heels. The shorts are adorable. Chloe made a similar version for their Fall 09 collection in a thicker fabric.


I’m also not a huge fan of cropped tops, BUT when done right, it can look very chic. I might not have the flat tummy for this, but if you do…rock it out for me! I love how they paired the crop top with a soft, easy white pant… it takes away from the extremity of it being a cropped top.

See the Monarchy by Erick Kim Spring 2010 Collection pics here.

Thuy

The Thuy collection was definitely one of my favorites. I love how innovative the shapes and construction was. They did some really amazing things with zippers and seams. The zippers were completely exposed and out of place and I LOVED it! There were some really clever fabric choices as well. Overall, gave this collection 2 thumbs up!

Fave Looks:

I think this was my favorite dress of the whole collection. It can almost transcend a season, because ideally this dress could be worn in the fall as well with a pair of tights and a great platform ankle bootie. I love the exposed zipper, the asymmetrical construction and the unique print.

Pics from the Thuy Spring 2010 Collection available here

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor’s line was great. It was fun and flirty, it was chic but still wearable and I absolutely loved the colors. Not to mention, this is where I spotted some pretty great celebs including the beautiful Gabrielle Union.

Fave Looks:

This is such a great cocktail dress for Spring. I’m sure one of the young starlets will be donning this frock sometime next season during a premiere or an awards show…mark my words!

See the full Rebecca Taylor show here.


Updates: Fashion Week 2009 Experience

Hey all! I’m so glad to be back on my blog, updating you all on fashion, celebs & such. I apologize for being absent the past week, but I have a good reason – I promise! Last week I had the pleasure of working with IMG Fashion as a volunteer for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. I had such a great time! It was alot of hard work, but my reward came in getting an up close look at each of the shows, being in the company of fashion elite, and nabbing those leftover gift bag goodies 😉 – definitely an amazing experience.

Rebecca Taylor, show I worked yesterday

As you can imagine, there’s tons of work that goes into setting up for the shows: setting up chairs, stuffing gift bags, placing name cards on the seats, making sure the venue is perfect, model run-throughs, lighting, seating guests and all other types of craziness! It was SO rewarding though. At many of the shows I was right up near the front row and only feet away from some high-profile celebs.

Celebs I Spotted:

Janice Dickinson at Monarchy by Eric Kim

Jay Alexander, Runway Coach Extroadinaire, at Monarchy by Eric Kim

Ivanka Trump & Olivia Palermo at Ports 1961

Housewives of NY at Rebecca Taylor

Gabrielle Union at Rebecca Taylor

Mena Suvari at Rebecca Taylor

And of course, Fern Mallis, EVP of IMG was at all the shows

Overall, Fashion Week was AMAZING. Unfortunately, my shifts with IMG are now over and I’m officially back at work but it was definitely an experience I shall never forget. My goal by this time next year is to have a seat of my own at a few of the shows. *Crossing fingers and praying*

Updates: Sex & The City Movie 2


More pics of the lovely SATC ladies courtesy JustJared…cannot wait for this movie’s release. The premiere is gonna be BONKERS…

Never thought I’d be saying this, but I actually like Miranda’s look the best. I love the color of her dress, the shape, the cinched waist and the platform pumps are ON POINT! I wonder if Patricia Fields is still holding rank as stylist for these ladies.

Just when I had doubts about Patricia Fields styling the SATC crew…saw this pic. This has Patricia written all over it…not a fan but you know that Carrie, always pushing the fashion envelope.

What do you think of SJP’s newspaper dress? FIERCE or FOOLISH?

Updates: Fashion’s Night Out Itinerary!

The time is fast approaching! I can’t believe it’s September already. Where did the summer go? It’s early September and you know what that means – Fashion Week is coming whoo!! It’s actually next week and I can’t wait. I was chosen to volunteer for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week so I can’t wait to see what’s in store underneath the tents.

Not only am I bubbling with excitement about Fashion Week, but I cannot WAIT for Fashion’s Night Out on September 10th. It will be epic. I’m inviting all my friends to come out for all the great events, free giveaways performances and T-shirt signings. Should be fun. –>As promised, here’s a list of my tentative activities that night. In no way, shape or form am I going to be able to cover all these spots but I can dream right? Here are my top picks for places I plan to hit up on Fashion’s Night Out:

Midtown Stops

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Where: 611 Fifth Avenue (between Forty-ninth and fiftieth Streets), New York, NY 10022

What: Saks plans to transform its New York Flagship into the evening’s hottest spot, complete with a red carpet and stations leading the way to the store’s entrances on Fifth Avenue. Many of Saks’s celebrated designers will also be making personal appearances. Customers can look forward to over 1,000 cosmetic giveaways.

Who: Donna Karan will inaugurate her new in-store shop at 5 p.m. as a kick-off to the evening. Carolina Hererra, Elie Tahari, Giuseppe Zanotti, Peter Som and others will be making appearances.

BARNEYS NEW YORK
Where:
660 Madison Avenue

(between

Sixtieth Street

and

Sixty-first Street

) New York, NY 10065

What: Barneys New York at Madison and Sixty-first will be transformed into a street fair of designer personal appearances and creative events. In addition to the personal appearances, Barneys will stage a roster of happenings including: Vogue editor Tonne Goodman will curate a fashion green market; Gianluca Isaia will offer Neapolitan delicacies, Loomstate will customize T-shirts, an Ernst Benz watch trunk show and there’s more! See Complete schedule at Barneys.com

Who: Customers will have the opportunity to shop and mingle with Narciso Rodriguez, Lisa Perry, Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and many more.

BERGDORF GOODMAN
What: Zac Posen paints one-of-a-kind creations in the
Fifth Avenue

windows. 5:30-6:30. Celebrity Cookoff feat. Cynthia Rowley, Edward Bess, Gilles Mendel, Lela Rose, Naeem Khan and Peter Som from 6-7PM. Alexander Wang presents his t-shirts benefitting the September 11 Memorial. 6-7 PM. Guest bartenders Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen mix up the season’s tastiest libations. 7-8PM. . André Leon Talley hosts a life-sized version of the new game Fashion Rules!™, with teams led by Donna Karan, Linda Fargo and Robert Verdi. 8-9PM. Much more!

Who:
Designers including Manolo Blahnik, Narciso Rodriguez, Victoria Beckham, and many others will stop by to sign Fashion’s Night Out t-shirts. Music by D.Js Andrew Andrew, Johnny Dynell and Jon Jon Battle.

Where:

754 Fifth Avenue

(at

Fifty-eighth Street

), New York, NY 10019

BCBG MAX AZRIA
Where: 2003-2005 Broadway (at
Sixty-ninth Street

) New York, NY 10023

What: BCBGMAXAZRIA will partner with The Daily to recreate the Runway show at the flagship boutique on
Fifth Avenue

at 40th just hours after the 2010 Runway collection is shown at Bryant Park. For the first time ever, guests will be able to purchase an exclusive, limited edition look straight from the show and will have a chance to meet Lubov and Max Azria.


JIMMY CHOO
Where: 716 Madison Avenue (between East Sixty-third Street and East Sixty-fourth Street), New York, NY 10065

What: Come and experience a Vogue photo shoot at the Jimmy Choo Madison Avenue store: A special behind-the-scenes look at a fashion shoot styled by Tamara Mellon, Jimmy Choo founder and president, with a Vogue editor, who will style and accessorize your fall wardrobe.

Downtown Stops
TORY BURCH

Where: 38-40 Little
West Twelfth Street

(between

Washington Street

and

Ninth Avenue

), New York, NY, 10014

What: Tory Burch is hosting a neighborhood block party at her boutique in the Meatpacking District to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out. Deejay Cassidy will be spinning, La Esquina will be barbequing, and the Street Peeper will be snapping pictures of all the guests! A limited-edition camouflage tote bag will be given to every customer who makes a purchase that night.
OPENING CEREMONY

Where:
35 Howard Street

(at

Crosby Street

) New York, NY 10013

What: Festive block party featuring food, music, and special edition merchandise. Gathering inspiration from nearby open air vendors on
Canal Street

, Opening Ceremony will transform its

Howard St.

store front into a friendly neighborhood sidewalk shop. Designers (Rodarte, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler) will offer goods made exclusively for Fashion’s Night Out, sold out of the back of custom cars tailored to each designer’s aesthetic.


THAT’S ALL FOR NOW! There are TONS of other events going on, especially outside of Manhattan. Some cool boutiques in WIllamsburg, Brooklyn are hosting block parties and events, and the acclaimed Anna Wintour is supposed to make an appearance to sign FNO tees at Queens Center Mall. For more info, visit the Fashion’s Night Out website. You cna also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.