Monday, January 16, 2012

The Red Carpet at the Golden Globes 2012

So I'll be the first to admit that my favorite part of any reputable award show is the red carpet arrivals. The surprise of who wore what, the breath-taking, beautiful starlets adorned in the best of a designer, and the inevitable actress who sadly misses the mark, all of it ads up to any fashionista's dream program. 

This year's Golden Globe awards seemed to host the average number of "wow" gowns, mediocre dresses, and "what the heck was she thinking!??!" frocks. For the sake of all that is tasteful, I won't be focusing on the latter, but rather would like to put forth my list of the best-dressed ladies from last night's arrival show (in no particular order). 

My first group focuses on some A-list actresses who always tend to stun the crowd with each of their impeccable styles. The second group centers more on seasoned actresses who take more serious roles, but are also always the essence of elegance. Finally, the third group focuses on the new-comers to the Hollywood scene; the girls we can look forward to seeing some really great stuff from for years to come (I know Zooey is a bit older, but I still consider her a fresh face). If need be, click to enlarge the photos for a closer look and enjoy!

I, of course, would have made a few slight changes to some of the ladies. For example, Angelina could do with not looking so frigid and uncomfortable, while Salma needs to get that two-toned hair off of her gown (the color is distracting) and off of her shoulders, as I think elegance usually comes in the form of an up-do. I think Helen Mirren was really overlooked this year as one of the best dressed ladies (maybe because of her age), but I thought she had it spot on (especially for her age); the color of the gown is perfect, her hairdo is elegant, the cut of the dress is impeccable--I'm in love with the whole look. My last minor tweak would have to be to Ms. Deschanel, because, while her custom-made frock may be both unique and gorgeous, her silly bangs and sixties house wife hairstyle really take away from the dress's modern and womanly feel. I think it's time for Zooey to lose the fringe and move on to a more mature cut that could really showcase her lovely eyes. Also, this dress has enough going on at the shoulders and neck without the distraction of debutant hair, get it back!!

Aside from my minor complaints (hey, there had to be a few), I really thought these women knocked it out of the park with their choices. I can't wait to see what the Oscars will have in store!! Did you get to watch the Golden Globes this year? Did you think anyone was unjustly left off of my list or undeservedly put on? As always, share your thoughts!

Ciao for now xx

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Perils of the North

Well that temperature drop came on pretty fast, along with about one foot of snow (maybe more)!!

I've been trying to keep somewhat optimistic about staying fashionable through these treacherous times, but today when my Mac widget dropped below 0F I had to draw a line. Something about being in the negatives just forces one to choose logic over style (boo). This really begs the question: if you live in a climate where walking to the bus stop feels like summitting Everest, how do you keep your stylish flares about you? Here are my few ideas, starting with a good parka. 

Yep, it was cold today, hence my creepy anonymity....

My parka is actually a hand-me-down from my mother. She bought it in Switzerland in the nineties when I was but a tot, and to her utter surprise the fad is coming full circle this season (along with just about every other decade's style). Here are some cute parkas for all budgets that will keep you warm, and will allow you to still maintain your chic persona: 

Another must have for the basic warm-blooded individual living in the northern most parts of our hemisphere, is a good pair of fingerless gloves. Why fingerless, you may ask? Well, just think of how much easier it makes your life if every time you want to text, grocery shop, write something down or just wiggle the old digits around you don't have to remove your entire glove! I find them incredibly convenient, my pair is from J. Crew.

The challenge in finding a good fingerless glove is that it's hard to find a pair that also has a cap to go over your fingers to keep them warm. So here are my picks for the coziest and cutest fingerless gloves (rollover the image for details):

More winter clothing ideas to come, until then stay warm, toasty and fashionable (it is possible)! Feel free to send in your ideas of how to stay chic during these frigid times. 

Ciao for now xx

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

In response to a comment I received today about airbrushing and its relation to the way that women view themselves,  I've decided to post this genius spoof ad that dropped a couple days ago on YouTube. The advert highlights a hot new product that will "erase" blemishes and give you a hot new body, without even exercising! Because "why eat healthy and exercise when you can just look like you do?" The ad perfectly mimics the stock beauty product promotions that we see everyday on TV and really begs the question: where are our standards coming from?! As Jesse Rosten, the creator of the ad, so concisely puts it: “This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty." Cheers to that!

So what does this satirical approach say to you? Has it opened your eyes a little bit? It certainly got me to thinking a bit. As always, please leave your thoughts. 

Ciao for now xx

P.S I'm certainly not trying to bash any celebs here, but here are a few examples of photos that are supposedly pre and post photoshop:


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You're Plus-Size or You're Anorexic

You know what's more fun than job hunting? Everything. Especially writing thank you notes, watching obscene hours of "Revenge" (seriously check it out), blogging, flossing, trying to find matching socks...well you get the picture. I am doing it though!!

My Mantra These Days
In other news, I feel like everyday on one fashion site or another I read something about how women feel about their weight in relation to what they see in the media, and the morality of the portrayal of women in fashion ads, magazines, fashion shows etc. Keeping with the promise of featuring more academic and thought provoking content on my blog, I've decided to tackle this subject from a slightly different angle. 

There have been ads and stats coming out recently that highlight the fact that the typical skinny model is too thin, while the plus-sized model is the "everyday woman." Sadly, what I discovered on Wikipedia (now that I've graduated I can shamelessly use it as a resource) reports that the average American woman is a size 14, while the average plus size model is between a size 10 and a 12. So, do we really need to see more "everyday women" in the industry? Some say, yes of course, celebrate all body types! While other people disagree, and argue that by portraying more "full-figured women" in the media, it will send the message that an unhealthier lifestyle is okay. Sure, I see that side of the story, but unhealthier by whose standards? It's no secret that the high number of skinny women saturating our society, who are portrayed as the ideal, are equally as capable of contributing to diseases such as Anorexia and Bulimia. Not to mention that girls with naturally high metabolisms, who are just biologically skinny, are understandably offended by always seeing the skinnier models in magazines being accused of anorexia, while plus-sized women seem critically untouchable.

In my opinion, either claim is rather demeaning to women; the first argument seems to suggest that we should only celebrate larger women, which, let's face it, may not be the best approach in a nation of morbid obesity, while the second argument makes it seem as though it's not okay to embrace whatever size you may be, even if you live a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise. Frankly ladies, where is the middle ground? If we're looking at this objectively, we're definitely still not celebrating all sizes here. I happen to fall somewhere in between a size 00 and a size 10 (and that's all you need to know!!) so where do I fit in to the fashion industry? Where is my representation? I say either represent the same 1% you have been, or represent us ALL!

The argument that fashion models are just "hangers for the clothing" who shouldn't distract from the designer's creations seems well founded, but we also have to keep in mind that we live in a world where models are now celebrities. I mean, really, like anyone at the Louis Vuitton S/S 12 show didn't see Kate Moss coming down the runway and think "Holy cow, it's Kate Moss! Oh and that dress is lovely too..." Get real. Models are plenty distracting, especially when they become household names. 

Ultimately this "she's anorexic" and "she's fat" repertoire is just the next manifestation of the mean girl in high school who is so insecure and jealous that she has to bring everyone down around her. It seems women have always been hard-wired to bring one another down for one physical flaw or another, but why? Why even separate the term "plus-size" from regular modelling? Why not just call it modelling? Men of all builds are represented in the media, big men, skinny men, even men with bellies, but they're ALL CALLED MODELS. Why are women any different? Here is a prime example of the way women exhibit their insecurities when they feel threatened by either the status quo or something different from themselves...

This ad, which I discovered on, was recently published in Plus Model Magazine:
Now besides the fact that the stats in this spread are undoubtedly misleading as Anorexia is not about BMI, but a mental issue related to food, AND it is a magazine for plus size models, the responses from the public really showed what is at the core of this whole debate: larger women feel marginalized, unrepresented and pressured to be skinnier which leads to resentment of the skinnier women, while skinner women feel this resentment is unjustified as they either have high metabolisms or work hard for their figures, which leads to backlash:

"utter bollocks. ever heard of the word metabolism? or genes?"

 "There will never be a happy medium with this topic, people are continuing to become more obese and just bigger in general. Just because the average women is a size 14, that doesn't make it okay. In a few years she'll be even bigger, then what???"

"This emphasis on starvation-skinny figures (because yes, the vast majority of women cannot have these figures without starving themselves!) is incredibly damaging to our society."

"As a young person I do not look at models and say let me skip a meal, why because I have a mind of my own! People need to quit thinking that teen girls are so stupid and impressionable!"

"You do realize that while you might think that stretch marks and cellulite are a 90 year old's issue, a majority of women have them. It's a natural part of growing."
          "yeah its natural for people who dont know how to eat and exercise right..."

I was happy to see some pro-women comments across the board as well: 

"I hate this whole - "Plus-sized women are 'real' women, and thin women aren't" thing; this battle over what size is best. It's ludicrous, and it's just a part of the media's attempt to keep women unsatisfied with their size and jealous of one another no matter what ('cause hey, it sells more fashion and beauty product, ladies!)."

"As long as a person is mentally and physically healthy, I dont see why people care so much about BMI."

"I wish we could stop making broad assumptions one way or the other. Thin does not equal "health" just as fat does not equal "sick"."

I know that this is not all black and white, of course, as there is a very high rate of Anorexia in our country, which can largely be attributed to what we see in the media. Similarly there is a soaring rate of obesity, which needs to be dealt with accordingly. However, we can't let the media dictate how women feel about women. We should be fighting hard to get models of every range into the industry, AND more importantly respecting ALL body types. That means from very skinny to curvy and fuller formed. I'm certainly not saying we should be advertising unhealthy overweight women, but just spread the love around; if you're healthy, you exercise, and you eat right, then what's the problem? Food for thought, I'd love to hear your opinions!! 

Ciao for now xx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Pink!!

I think at least those of us living in the north can agree that winter is a bleak time with a palette that basically ranges from black to grey. It's hard not to feel a little brought down by all of the dark shades of winter, coupled with the freezing (literally) weather and the grey pall that covers the sky. Recently on blogs, however, I've seen much welcome pops of colors amidst the sea of monotone, which I really hope to see translating onto the streets soon. The primary culprit of these surprising breaks in a basic all black winter outfit? PINK! I'm not a super girly girl, but I have my moments, and I can appreciate pink in moderation for sure.

I even put a few pink items on my finalized Christmas list (which my mom finally got me to cut down and specify). Honestly though, am I the only one who finds the holiday season a little...stressful? This year I've vowed to get all of my shopping done online to really minimize the stress, and I advise, if possible, that you all do the same--anything to minimize that holiday stress...Anyway, here are some really chic examples of how you can incorporate splashes of pink into your holiday wardrobe! 

Zara Purl Knit Sweater
Markey HQ Anywhere Ankle Boot
Cambridge Satchel Company Neon Bag (pink)
Hot Pink Socks
My Very Own Lancôme "S.O.S Pink"
Fun Tacky Stuff!

See? Whether it's your makeup, your accessories or your clothes, pink really just works in the winter (plus your serotonin will thank you)! So go out there and get your girl on! And as they say here in Montreal (even on the bus monitors), joyeuses fêtes! 

Ciao for now xx

P.S. For you fellow fashion bloggers out there, I came across this really interesting TED talk from a very successful "ego blogger" that you guys should find pretty interesting. I found it really useful and inspirational!

*Photos from and

Saturday, December 10, 2011

¡HALA MADRID (fashion)!

It's no secret that moving to a different city can subtly change a person's style, especially when that city is completely foreign and on the other side of the world. Today Real Madrid plays FC Barcelona (soccer teams for those who don't know) and the hype is bringing me back to those four months I spent living in Spain's capital.

Madrid was a really nice break from Boston's uptight homogenous style, but I also found that there were some unspoken rules that were expected to be adhered--and the only way one would find out about such rules was by wearing something seemingly harmless out of the house, and then being stared at on the metro, or walking down the street, or in a restaurant. Madrileños aren't exactly shy about staring in a way that would be considered rude in any American city. For example, going into my semester abroad, I knew that walking around barefoot was considered rude because feet have some sort of stigma in Spain. However,  I didn't realize that along with this basic rule of always wearing house slippers or socks, it was pretty much necessary to always wear stockings or socks, even in 90 degree weather. If a girl wore flats, she also wore sheer stocking socks, and if she wore shorts, she also wore sheer or nude stockings. This fad struck me as really odd, and I think it also has a lot to do with their aversion to a natural look. Most Madrileños wear A LOT of make up, spend a lot of time on hair etc etc. Not that there is anything wrong with a look that's a little was just a big leap from Boston, which has always been a bit more about celebrating natural beauty---probably because there are so many college students, while Madrid's mean age is a lot higher, so much so that it's creating problems with social security. On that note I also seemed to get the stink eye when I went outside with damp hair or no makeup...

ANYWAY, I did not create this post to bash Madrid fashion, because there are parts of it that I really love, and I bought some great pieces while I was over there. Some of my favorite places to shop in Madrid were H&M (for some reason it's just better in Europe, and kind of sucks in the states), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Mango and Zara (duh!). Here are some of my favorite things I picked up: 

Zara Zebra Shirt
Pleated Black Bershka Skirt

Pleated H&M Shirt
Mango Sweater

Mango Dress

All in all Madrid's style takes more risk than Boston's, but is a lot like New York in that the palette tends to be darker, a lot of black, but still fashion forward. It's a place to take big risks with nighttime fashion, for clubs, bars etc. Madrid is the best place in the world to find a fun time at any hour of the night/early morning...oh the times I tip-toed into my señora's house at 6 AM. I miss Madrid a lot at times, even though being abroad coupled with the culture shock made for a roller coaster experience. Fashion may be slightly different in the major cities across the globe, but I think trends are universal, and it's possible to make any culture's fashion a part of your personal style. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Madrid! 

Ciao for now xx

Friday, December 9, 2011

Controversy Couture

Finals are finally almost over, and I can now resume my normal schedule of blogging (almost) everyday! These past few days I've had some time to think about my blog and the direction that I want to take it, and I realized that once and a while I'd like to bring a more academic edge to my posts. I am graduating soon, and I can't pretend that my education hasn't shaped a huge part of my life and the person that I am today. I'm proud of the critical thinker I've become over the past 4 (and 1/2) years, so why not exercise the ol' neurons and synapses from time to time--that's what my Controversy Couture posts will aim to do. 

Last week I gave a brief presentation in one of my English classes regarding the role of children in fashion advertisements, and particularly how they are either made to look younger than they are and sexy, or older than they are and still sexy. I find both of these tactics quite disturbing. Various ads have come out recently portraying children as adults and as objects of desire, which really seems to blur the line between what is appropriate and inappropriate regarding the portrayal of children in the media.

One particularly disturbing ad by Marc Jacobs was recently banned in the UK due to "sexualizing a child" and really jumped out at me because of its obvious reference to Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I think the concept of a "Lolita" has really altered since the book was released into quite a disturbing ideal. The story of Lolita has become so romanticized, when realistically it was a story about a 12 year old girl being sexually abused and taken advantage of by a middle aged man. In the book, for those who have not read it, Humbert Humbert, the pedophile, kidnaps Lolita after her mom dies, drugs her and sexually abuses her.  In an article regarding the ad, Marc Jacobs is quoted as wanting to portray Dakota Fanning as a "contemporary Lolita...seductive, yet sweet." This quote really struck an odd chord with me because I remember reading the novel and finding it very disturbing, so it seems so strange to me that anyone would want to romanticize this story. Why as a culture do we idealize youth to the point that fashion ads have become borderline pedophilic?

I mean it's so obviously sexual in nature, yet it also promotes this idea that children I can totally understand why something like this would be banned in Britain.

More recently, I read this article on regarding a line of French lingerie for children. Um, what?? For what purpose do children need lingerie, right?? Here we see the same problem that we see in many recent fashion ads from the odd Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau photos to the beyond-her-years Hailee Steinfeld Miu Miu ads. To quote from the article, "despite being more age-appropriate, even the photographs for the “femme” collection are unsettling. The way the young-looking model is posed with that sunglasses-wearing teddy bear–she’s made to look like a child, while the actual children are made to look like adults." 

Some people are saying that Americans have a "prudish" attitude towards this line, but I don't really think that's what it is. If kids are running around in bathing suits that's one thing, but to deliberately make them look younger or older in an attempt to sexualize them?? I just feel like this youth thing in our nation is going a little too far. Some claim that such advertising is meant to be satirical, but as points out, "regardless of the intention for the...photographs, children are still being used to convey it. And even if the intended message is sympathetic to these child models, we’re nevertheless seeing these girls with a projected adult sexuality — we’re still being asked to view them in an adult way." It seems this misguided romanticized "Lolita" idea has pervaded the fashion world in more ways than one, and I'm inclined to agree that it reflects poorly on the industry as a whole. What do you think? Do these types of ads have a place in our society? Or are they just exploiting children and sexualizing them? 

Can you tell I've been writing essays all week? Haha. Well, hopefully this inspired you to think a bit about some aspects of fashion from a more critical stand point. Tomorrow, something a little more fun, I promise! 

Ciao for now xx