Saturday, November 28, 2009

It Girls

A change of scenery is always nice.

In the States, we're used to following the club-hopping adventures and paparazzi mishaps of such fun-loving socialites as Lindsay Lohan, Lauren Conrad and of course, M-K&A. Though I'd honestly prefer dissecting celeb outfits on WhoWhatWear to reading the trivialities of their latest romances, it's impossible to deny that each of these girls has created and maintained an individual public persona that's present in nearly everything they say and do.

While this is all fine and good, the truth is that Americans just seem so blah when compared to Brits. Am I right? Maybe it's because I've spent my entire life in a country where I was raised without a charming accent or the refined habit of sipping mid-afternoon tea. Whatever it is, these British It Girls have it, and their fashion sense says it all.

Alexa Chung: Probably the most-revered It Girl of them all, Miss Chung makes her presence known with two of my favorite concepts: layers and balance. The colors and textures always flow effortlessly into one cohesive piece. Utterly inspirational to say the least.

Jameela Jamil: I've already dedicated a post to this exotic beauty, but who's to say I can't do it again? She has a killer body and amazing hair; for her, a fabulous wardrobe is just icing on the cake.

Georgia Jagger: How is it possible that Georgia Jagger is only 17 years old? The last look is definitely my favorite. It involves balance and fit, ending in an outfit that complements her figure brilliantly.

Agyness Deyn: Agyness Deyn. What a badass. Embarrassingly enough, I used to feel rather intimidated by the platinum blonde A-lister, flipping through pictures of her in Vogue and not understanding why she was so damn impressive. Those days are long gone; I now look to her design risks as inspiration and stow them aside for future reference.

 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is one of those Victoria's Secret models you love and recognize but don't quite know by name. If stunning isn't the perfect word to describe her, I don't know what is. Proving that she has more substance than just lace, ribbons and garters, Rosie perfects the monochromatic look and makes me want to go on a spree for more to add to my already autumn-centric wardrobe.

Fab, fab, fab. I love London.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rock & Roll

I've written a post or two about Camden Market before, but it wasn't until just recently that I had the guts enough to introduce myself to a manager for one of the stalls. Enter The Rock Boutique.

Walking around the posh Primrose Hill area or enjoying a leisurely dinner at Nando's, it isn't difficult to spot the signature RB hand-printed tops sported by trendy Camden hipsters. Usually paired with leggings or jeans, the bright, lighthearted pieces can be seen (maybe even heard!) from all the way across the room. A hot pink anchor here, a metallic bird there... it's all very normal if you know what to look for. The Rock Boutique prides itself upon creating 100% ethically-produced garments by hand; the process of physically creating the fun masterpieces looks almost as challenging as dreaming up the designs in the first place.

Paris Hilton in Primp

The concept of these cotton wonders is extremely reminiscent of American brand Primp, a staple favorite among Paris, Lindsay and Mischa (think Kitson). These RB tops, while not the most innovative in terms of design structure itself, make a mark in their own vintage-y way and definitely have distinguished themselves on the streets of Northwest London. Whether or not you actually belong to a lifeguarding squad or a yacht club as the printed goods state, they're rather perfect for a lazy day lounging around the house and I have no qualms in predicting these shirts to be a hit should they ever travel across the pond. Americans catch onto trends relatively quickly, and these tops are certainly no exception.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I ♥ Bryanboy

OMG! So let's talk about how I have a new crush: Filipino fashion blog superstar Bryanboy.

18 November 2009

Seriously, how utterly fabulous is he? With his signature look consisting of oversized designer shades and a Birkin Bag perched on a skinny outstretched arm, the adorable Pinoy fashionisto has garnered serious media attention as of late, making it to the cover of the Life & Arts section of the Financial Times and Russian Vogue's website in the past few weeks alone. Calling authorities such as Marc Jacobs and Rachel Zoe friends, Bryanboy has shared the front row at fashion shows with the likes of Anna Wintour and Michael Roberts, and if that doesn't have you convinced, his invitation to the Louis Vuitton S/S 2010 womenswear show was addressed to "Monsieur Bryanboy."

Talk about baller.

24 October 2009

The new highlight of my day, BB's posts are informative without being the slightest bit boring, and his cheeky commentary makes you feel like you're reading an e-mail from your best girlfriend. I really would give almost anything to spend an entire day with the effortlessly charismatic Bryanboy, gabbing away about the new Alexander McQueen python "Armadillo" shoes and snacking on Goldilocks mamon cakes and turon for merienda. Obviously, the fact that he's Filipino makes him all the more a star and gives me yet another reason why I genuinely wish he were my new best friend. Sigh. I look forward to the day I establish my name in the Industry and can make that dream come true.

9 October 2009

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Grown-ups before girls"

Oh, the fun I would've had living in 1940's Manila as my Grandmother Magdalena. Not only was she young and beautiful (with a hint of Spanish blood), but she also had an impeccably glamorous wardrobe. Really, what's not to love about sleek pencil skirts, airy silk blouses and thick woolen coats that hit perfectly at mid-calf level? The inspirational retro-dazzle of one of my favorite decades can be found almost everywhere this season, most prevalently in Lanvin's A/W 2009-2010 Ready-To-Wear collection which debuted at Paris Fashion Week this June.

As Sarah Mower mused in a recent Telegraph article, "The Forties are back – and favouring grown-ups before girls."

Rita Hayworth

Lana Turner

Gene Tierney

Channeling Old Hollywood stars like Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner and Gene Tierney, Lanvin's collection is full of elegant forties timepieces like lush floor-length gowns, vintage fur stoles, whimsical feathery headbands and serious pieces structured at the shoulder. Instead of other designers who ultimately try too hard to embody "new creativity" at their catwalk shows, Alber Elbaz kept it classy, creating pieces that delicately emphasize the feminine silhouette and hug the body in all the right places, all the while maintaining an unavoidable sense of drama and seduction.

images courtesy of's Lanvin A/W 2009-2010 Show Report

While forties fashion was certainly classic and aesthetically pleasing, it can barely be deemed innovative by today's standards. Elbaz addresses this issue, successfully bridging the gap between then and now by substituting today's fabrics and cuts for otherwise obsolete patterns. Ensuring that the collection remains relevant to today, the elbow-length gloves are leather where they once were satin, and skirts and jackets now possess swing and shape where they once hung flat.

images courtesy of's Lanvin A/W 2009-2010 Show Report

In short, bravo to you, Mr. Elbaz, on a dramatic performance well-done; one which Jeanne Lanvin herself would surely have been proud to witness.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Accessories 101

If you know me at all, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I'm guilty of putting less emphasis on accessories than my creative license warrants. It's taken me my entire life to perfect my own style philosophy in terms of dresses and separates, yet I still find myself getting flustered when presented with the responsibility of working with an unlimited option of small items that each have the power to change the outfit's ultimate story. Baby steps are good, though, and I've decided to take on this learning experience one day at a time. Already, I've purchased some everyday wardrobe staples (like my cognac H&M cross body satchel) that I can't imagine my outfits functioning properly without.

In short, Londoners are all about their accessories. It's uncommon to walk around a single high street without being able to count on both hands the sheer number of long-strap satchels and meticulous silk scarves that the locals tend to be sporting. Below is an ever-growing list that I've compiled of the most popular accessories in London today.

(Side note: I was ecstatic to find that each selection remains within an affordable £30. Lush.) 

Tights with personality

Feather Printed Tights
Urban Outfitters, £25 

Wool beanies

Unisex Wool Beret
American Apparel, £21 

Gold-chain cross body satchels

Patent Shoulder Bag
new look, £5 

Chain-print scarves
Vintage Belthain Scarf
Miss Selfridge, £15 

Skinny headbands

Stretch Vintage Style Leaf Hairband, £4 

Neutral-toned cross body satchels

Buckle Cross Body Bag
Topshop, £30 

Chunky circle scarves ("snoods")

Knit Design Snood Scarf
Marks & Spencer, £15

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Monday, November 16, 2009


 I'm not going to lie- it's pretty thrilling having a close friend who regularly gets scouted by modeling agencies just by walking down the street.

Boys and girls, meet the lovely Tina.

It's been a pleasure getting to know the effortlessly fresh-faced Russian native who's as passionate about finance and economics as she is about hitting up the trendiest clubs in London. From her ultra-girly Dolce & Gabbana charm bracelet to her classic Burberry trench, Tina is all about luxe designer items. While this design aesthetic is somewhat different from my own everyday look, it most definitely fits her model persona and I can't imagine her wardrobe being constructed of anything less.
Piccadilly Circus Tube Station
10 September 2009

Graciously, she agreed to pose for the blog before our first night out together (which was obviously a monumental occasion). The entire outfit is framed around the tough Andrew Marc motorcycle jacket which is the most statement-making piece by far. It plays up the mellow BCBG top and fun striped skirt by Pleasure Doing Business, ultimately giving off the ever-popular tone of downtown rocker chic mixed with a hint of feminine simplicity. Her tan Jeffrey Campbell platforms complete the look by personifying the utmost of innovative design choices; while the rest of the world typically sports a variation of the cage shoe for a night out, Tina takes a different approach and honors the idea that in fashion, safe is bad and risks are good.

I'm always looking for inspiration to step outside my box, and Tina is one of those sources. Thank you, my fab gluten-free model friend (and if you're reading this, let's please get Thai food soon).

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Authentic Esoteric Performance

I'm so excited that I'll get right to the point: this post is dedicated to New Year's Eve. Whether I was watching the ball drop from my grandparents' townhouse in Queens or more recently, painting the town red with my best friends, I've been spending New Year's in New York as long as I can remember. There's just something wonderful about being in the City on New Year's that seemingly can't be replicated anywhere else.

Following up with this theory, I've always done my very best to personify the need to respect the holiday and all the fabulous dressing it entails. Last year's ensemble showcased my characteristic balance of high and low labels (a black Old Navy shift dress, deep purple Target tights and Tory Burch heels); this year's selections come straight from Topshop, another quintessential Londontown staple.

Velvet Embellished Dress, £45

Knitted Shoulder Pad Dress, £45

Metallic Tulip Dress by Rare, £49

Lace 1-Shoulder Dress by Rare, £29

Scanning my selections for less than ten seconds, I can already envision my style philosophy evolving. Undoubtedly, being in London has had a genuine impact on my wardrobe decisions, but the reality of it hasn't quite hit me until just about now. I so enjoy the simple color schemes and subtle sophistication of my above four selections. Put any of these dresses together with a stunning pair of cage shoes, a practical carry-all clutch and a glass of champagne and I'll be set for the very first night of the rest of my life, or in this case, 2010. Close enough.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Style Bubble

Having already spent a few months here in London, it seems almost disrespectful (not to mention ridiculous) that I've gone this long without dedicating a post to the fabulous Susie Bubble. What makes the lady of the Style Bubble so utterly respectable to those belonging to the esoteric world of fashion?

Style Bubble
8 November 2009

Perhaps it's her endless innovation that can be readily seen in every single outfit she constructs, or the fearless way in which she approaches...well, pretty much everything. Honestly, who else could successfully put together a cohesive outfit consisting of "no patterns, no prints and at least TEN colours"? Referring to Susie's recent Sunday post, I was constantly wowed by her ability to establish layer upon layer of popping colors (13 to be exact), completing the look with several belts, scallion-green tights and the perfect pair of waffle-knit gloves.

Style Bubble
17 October 2009

When looking toward other fashionistas as sources of inspiration, Susie Bubble definitely tops my list. Not only is she a creative genius, but she explains her heritage as "British-born Chinese by way of Hong Kong," which makes me love her even more. Susie Bubble: brilliant and bad ass. In essence, a style icon to us all.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Choo Choo: Jimmy Choo >> H&M

A sailboat, a vacation, a nice car. Now, these are typical things fifth-graders would spend their first paycheck on. I, on the other hand, had a different vision. I imagined myself spending my first paycheck on a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo heels.

That's why I'm ecstatic to report that one of my favorites, Swedish retail giant H&M, has teamed up with the luxury British label to create a highly-anticipated collection for Fall/Winter 2009. The line, which will be available in 200 selected stores around the world, encompasses both women's and men's pieces that personify the Jimmy Choo brand image while also maintaining the inclusiveness of H&M's high street store philosophy.

I will admit, I was as skeptical as I was intrigued when I first encountered the fashionably-loud Jimmy Choo/H&M ads that took over the Victoria tube station, given other designer/discount store flops such as Alice & Olivia for Payless ShoeSouce (Ew?) or Vera Wang for Kohl's. Whether or not it's about the downright inconsistency of such strategic alliances, something instinctive always tends to tell me that designer looks for cheap prices is just too good to be true. The difference with this particular match up, however, is that H&M historically has personified high-fashion items without compromising quality or value provided to consumers. Looks like we'll just have to see what unfolds after I take a little trip to Oxford Street!

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Making Fashion History

Today's big news comes straight from my new favorite blog, appropriately titled The Business of Fashion. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves. As of today, Vogue has agreed to a partnership with the British Fashion Council to launch an awe-inspiring £200,000 fund directed solely at supporting young British design talent. As with its US counterpart, the Vogue Fashion Fund will encompass all types of necessary financial assistance for qualified designers as well as personal guidance on business practices.

The highly-revered Alexandra Shulman recently divulged, "Vogue's role in supporting young designers is incredibly important because the international fashion industry looks to us to bring young British designers to its attention and to endorse those who we consider talented. This fund means that Vogue can get involved on a practical level."

Georgia Jagger on the November 2009 cover of Vogue
photographed by Mario Testino

Talk about inspiring.

Coming from the girl whose passion for the fashion industry has always been overlooked as an overzealous obsession with her wardrobe, this bit of news gives me hope that our society can start to appreciate fashion for all the tings it truly is- a business, an esoteric art and a vocation.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An American Brand in London

Question: How much do I love Ralph Lauren Rugby? Whenever I receive a periodic e-mail here or there about styling events and  new outfit concepts, my heart skips a beat. There's a lot about the States that I miss, but one of them is walking into the Rugby store in Georgetown and being completely engrossed in their window displays and mesmerized by the outfits arranged proudly on the forms.

Here is a simple yet statement-making outfit constructed from Rugby's current website offerings. Browsing through their pages upon pages of quality merchandise, I made a vow to step outside my box, mix prints and patterns, wear boyfriend jeans with heels and go crazy with the layers. Risk is what makes it fun, as long as balance is maintained, of course.

Little Boy Polo Jacket, $298

Suede Patch Flannel Workshirt, $89.50

Boyfriend Denim Jean, $150

Skull Heritage Crest Belt, $98

This is a breezy, perfect-for-a-Saturday-afternoon outfit, complete with a strong-buckled belt that can hold its own in terms of bringing the entire outfit together. Undoubtedly, my favorite piece is the Little Boy Blazer, while the flannel arguably has the most personality. The playfulness of the shirt and jeans are toned down a great amount by the fitted blazer, which gives it the perfect amount of feminine charm to two otherwise androgynous items. The cuffed denim hem ensures that this outfit is not overly stuffy, as it still gives off an ultimately fun vibe. This outfit is the perfect transition piece to bridge a strong sense of American pride and the guidelines of British Fall fashion.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.