Tuesday, October 30, 2007

what i want today: girly home goods

every so often, i heave a little tiny sigh of nostalgia for my carefree, single days....days when i could buy an absurdly expensive chair covered in flowers, without it being vetoed by my darling hubs for being either (a) way too girly, or (b) completely, irresponsibly expensive.

and when i have those days, i invariably go overboard, looking for excessively girly ways to decorate my office - the one room in my house over which i have total, girl-i-fying control.

if i could eliminate the "way, way too expensive" portion of the equation, i'd almost certainly be bringing this beautiful chair home to rest. i love the cool, sleek 70s vibe, balanced against the almost-eccentric floral crewel work (see the november issue of martha stewart to verify that crewel is, apparently, back). i think it would be the perfect thing to add some color, without dipping a toe into the very dangerous laura ashley territory.

and while i'm at it, i'll buy a handful of these gorgeous vintage italian fashion sketches (check out those fabulous green shoes!), some insanely decorative frames in which to hang them, and paper the walls with girly.

well, at least, in my head, i will.

Monday, October 29, 2007

what i want today: sparrow drop earrings by erica weiner

spied these in the september issue of lucky, and haven't stopped thinking about them a month later. by designer erica weiner, who i'm seriously loving more and more every time i check out her website. her pieces are unique, fun, quirky, and stylish....and ridiculously affordable.

seriously. the earrings? they're only $30. i should really just stop obsessing and order the darn things already!

snap 'em up here, and while you're at it, check out the other goodies. i love the twig necklace (and, for that matter, the twig earrings) and the rhino, which i know would make me smile every time i caught myself in the mirror. i'm also thinking (you know, since you're already ordering), you should pick up these gorgeous gold mesh bracelets. layer them and wear together, or put one away to gift for christmas. at $20 for two, that's math i have no trouble doing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

what i want today: the ultimate flat

much as i love heels, and admire them from afar all the time, the truth is that i'm a flats girl. i have a closet full of them, and they're always what i reach for. (which doesn't explain why i insist on keeping my pants hemmed for heels...but i digress.)

so, i'm always on the hunt for that elusive, perfect, "goes with everything", magical pair of flats. i'd pretty much resigned myself to believing that metallics were as close as i could get, until i spied these gorgeous beauties from french sole. called the "rebel," these really are about as close as you're going to get to perfect, i'm thinking. darling with jeans, perfect for work - and look at the colors - if these don't match 70% of your closet, i'd be pretty shocked (not to mention impressed by the variety!). they remind me a lot of the tory burch serena i've been lusting after, but you get the bonus of not wearing the same shoes that everyone else has this fall.

pick them up for $205 over at barefoot tess, and your morning footwear drama will be a thing of the past.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

what i want today: if ever a shearling boot were acceptable....

...then these are they. plus, they're only $200 through lucky magazine's "lucky shops" event (hosted this year by bluefly). helluva deal for a quite gorgeous michael kors boot that will be a no-brainer this fall & winter.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

what i want today: layers for fall

the weather's finally turned cold at my house - a sure sign is that i'm reaching for my scarves and my favorite ugg slippers (still can't quite stomach the boots, but i'll admit the slippers are dang comfy).

the problem i'm having is that, while i'm super excited to pull all of my yummy fall sweaters out of storage, i still have a few things from summer i'm not quite ready to say goodbye to yet. fortunately for me, layers are everywhere this fall, and i'm ready to hop right on the trend.

first stop has to be a great turtleneck - throw one on under the right summer dress, add tights and ballet flats, and you've got a perfectly darling fall look. t-necks are so very hard to get right, though. you want fabric that isn't sheer (it is nearly winter, after all), but is still really thin so it layers easily - nothing sucks like that overstuffed feeling you get when your layers start bunching. and the neck is really important - you definitely don't want that uber-thick chunk of fabric around your neck like you used to sport back in grade school.

my two favorites this fall are by juicy couture and zooey. the juicy version has a nice low-ish neck, which is great for those of us with shorter necks, or who just realize that covering the whole thing up isn't exactly the idea. and it has such a very flattering cut! the zooey is perfect for those of you who normally hate t-necks...the neck is really loose (though doesn't venture into cowl neck territory at all). plus, nice long sleeves, which is a major perk for me when layering.

i actually got the idea for this whole fall layering trip i'm on when i saw a pic in the october vogue (page 425 in your hymnal, if you're curious) showing some of summer's sweater dresses layered under horizontal striped tees. now i'll admit, i'm terrified of horizontal stripes. seriously. even ankle boots don't disturb me as much. but under a dress (or a cute t-shirt, or maybe even the right vest), when all you see is the arms and a bit at the top, all of a sudden, stripes are more than okay - they're covetable! i'm loving this striped cashmere tee by autumn cashmere. the colors are perfect for fall, and will layer with just about anything, plus it's nice and thin, but still cuddly soft. i think the trick is to make sure the chest & tummy areas are covered by a solid color...as long as you stick to that, i think the look is really chic. something tells me this piece is going to be in major rotation in my closet this fall.

i will admit to one peeve about layering, and that's the layers sort of...well, not staying where they're meant to stay. nothing i hate like spending all day tugging on a shirt that's under another shirt. but, i had a brainstorm: what about a dress under a dress? take, for example, this darling cowl neck dress by james perse. alone, it's perfectly cute (though maybe a little thin to wear solo, i think). but i tried layering it under a few different things (specifically, a BCBG sweater dress and a jersey knit tank dress from old navy), and it was adorable! plus, no tugging, and no bunching at the waist, since the dress has roughly the same hemline as the other layer.

really, though, i think my best layering advice for fall is to experiment. i had a blast in my closet this weekend, just throwing things on top of each other, even if i thought they made no sense together whatsoever. sure, there were some disasters that will never see the light of day....but i definitely found a few fabulous new looks i'll be psyched to sport this fall.

Monday, October 22, 2007

what i want today: benefit's "justine case"

i knew i liked benefit cosmetics - really, they're kitschy, fun, clever...what's not to like? but it wasn't until they helped me drop 3 lbs. in 30 seconds that i really, really fell in love.

i recently got a chance to check out their new justine case (which i admit i prefer to think of as "just in case"...since i know no one named justine). most of the "best of the best" product packages you get these days are really only about 75% of the best, and 25% of stuff you didn't actually want or need, but end up toting around anyway, because they fit in the package. so, imagine how thrilled i was to realize that each and every item in the kit is actually something i'll use every single day! there's a trusty mini-bottle of the classic benetint for lips and cheeks, a minty fresh clear lip gloss, a concealer that actually isn't cakey and manages to work with my skin tone, and a little tube of eyecon, for those days when you need a little extra help with the eye puff issue.

so, how'd i drop all that weight i mentioned? i dumped all of the zillion containers of lip stuff, compacts, and various other products out of my handbag, and replaced them with this kit and a pack of bobbi brown blotting sheets. my chiropractor would be so proud! plus, there's an outside chance i can actually carry a clutch without constantly panicking that i've left something behind.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

totally un-fashion-related

because my sweet puppy is having the roughest of rough weeks, she gets her pic in the blog today. she's coming home this morning from emergency surgery, and is looking more pathetic than i care to admit. so, here's a pic of her from one of her better days.

and if you're feeling at all bad for me (or, more specifically, the massive vet bill i'm still too scared to look at), maybe click on an ad or two while you're here - jezebel says thanks!

(ooh, and if you want to see how this post actually is fashion-related, check out the photo spread starting on page 286 of your october issue of in style. my pup is definitely cuter, though!)

Friday, October 19, 2007

what i want today: loeffler randall bling

it pains me to mention this, but the reality is that the holiday season is fast approaching. seriously - i walked into a linens-n-things not long ago (don't ask) and found that the entire front of the store had been taken over by fake christmas trees and dancing santas. i was, to say the least, disturbed. i mean, it's not even halloween yet!

anyway. holidays are coming up, which means all of those holiday parties are also coming up. the work party, the significant other's work party, the friend's party, the parents' party...the list gets pretty long. by the end, i'm more than a little sick of my favorite LBD.

so, this year, i'm thinking that the thing to do is to pick up this gorgeous gold tunic by loeffler randall. it's as comfy as a t-shirt, as easy to style as a dress (i can think of at least 4 different ways to wear it without even breaking a sweat), and so glamorous, no one will ever suspect you're actually comfortable. plus, it has that floaty, non-skintight quality that is oh-so-important after your third glass of eggnog.

at $225, it's about the most reasonably-priced piece of high-end fashion i've seen in a while. grab it now, before everyone else realizes they have nothing to wear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

asked and answered: costuming a costumer

sigh...i just love getting emails and questions from you all more than i can even begin to tell you. it gives me a sense of purpose in a complicated world. (okay, that's pushing it - but it definitely gives me the warm fuzzies!) anyway, as i was saying. reader mail = awesome. liz sent in this lovely question a few days ago:

Hi, I just discovered your blog and I think it's fabulous. I was wondering if you could help me with a tricky fashion issue. I attend classes all day and after that I manage the costumes for my school's theatrical productions. I would be perfectly happy in jeans and a t-shirt, but many of the older people I'm supposedly in charge of don't take me seriously when I dress that way. I need clothes that are comfortable to work in and low key but also show that I can be taken seriously. Any ideas? - Liz
definitely! (and what a fun job, by the way!) given your line of work, i'm guessing you spend a lot of time moving around, particularly bending, squatting, and all of those other uncomfy things. so, i'm not going to suggest any skirts or dresses for you, despite my general affection for them - if you have a job in which you're occasionally going to need to plop down on the floor to fix a hem last-minute, you probably don't want to be doing it in a miniskirt.

i'm also sort of assuming that if you're a professional costume designer, you probably want your clothes to be creative and fun - not the basic black/white/tan wardrobe that's incredibly easy but incredibly dull.

when i want to look professional, but i still want to be comfortable, i head for layers every time. a t-shirt might not look professional, but put a contrasting tank under it, top it with a great sweater or jacket and a scarf, and suddenly you're looking completely professional...but you're still wearing that comfy t-shirt.

wide-legged pants are finally back in style, which is fabulous, because they're incredibly comfortable and easy to move in. add to that the fact that higher waists are back as well (meaning you won't be showing any posterior cleavage when you have to bend over to check the hem on a skirt), and you have a formula that's actually pretty perfect for your needs. i love these gorgeous velvet trousers at boden - the texture is incredible, and perfect for fall. my vote goes to the grey color, which is everywhere this season. (tip: apparently, british women are shorter than american women - so, when shopping at boden, if you need more than a 31" inseam, order the long).

i'm also completely in love with these
helmut lang trousers
. the cream muslin insert at the waist will give you amazing definition (which you'll actually want, since these hit at your natural waist, not at the top of your hips, where most of us start to widen out), and the cut is just fantastic (not to mention the price!). these are definitely a good 'investment' piece - i literally can't imagine these ever being less than stylish.

for tees that i want to pass as career wear, i tend to spend a little more than i would on weekend gear. i'm looking for pieces that won't stretch out and become shapeless as the day wears on, won't pill in the wash, and that are designed to be flattering. tall order for a t-shirt, i know. but take, for example, this long sleeve v-neck tee by nation ltd. yeah, it's $60. but you throw that on with those helmut lang trousers and a gorgeous necklace, and you'll be turning heads all day long. but, since i know we all have to pick and choose our splurges, i'd also suggest checking out american apparel - their cotton tends to be longer-lasting than most, and while it won't be that butter-soft version you'll get from higher-end brands, they're cut very well for the price. check out their 3/4 sleeve boat neck tee, and their sheer rib tee, which would be perfect for layering.

to top it all off, you're going to need something fun and eye-catching that still says "yes, i'm in charge here." i, for one, am so thrilled that long cardigans (formerly known as "sweater coats") are finally back - they're a fabulous substitute for a blazer, they cover our bums when we're not feeling particularly showy, and they keep us warm. why these are ever unpopular is honestly beyond me. i adore this version by nanette lepore - it has the perfect mix of style and substance - the cut keeps it professional, but the purple detailing really makes it unique, which should be ideal for your line of work.

jackets are also huge this fall, and i adore this cropped version from twelve by twelve (a grown-up version of forever 21). it has all the style of a piece ten times the price, but at $39, you'll have plenty left over to splurge elsewhere. the catch with these jackets is they only work if you're on the thin side. they're going to emphasize the waist, lower tummy area...so if that part of you is more or less flat, this is going to look fantastic. but if you're like me, and you were oh-so-grateful for those tunic tops that were all the rage last year, just skip this recommendation entirely. layer a longer, slim-fitting top in a contrasting color underneath, and you'll be looking sharp in no time.

i also love this cardigan by elizabeth gillett, which is a variation on the swing jackets you're seeing everywhere this fall. i love it because the color is fantastic (and much more neutral than you think it would be), and the styling is more classic, which means (a) it's more universally flattering, and (b) it'll be in style much longer.

last but not least, accessories are really going to make these layered looks into something fabulous and professional. statement jewelry is oh-so-hot right now, which means your options are practically endless. and this is really the place you can save your pennies - there are some amazing accessories out there for next-to-nothing. check out this gorgeous retro links necklace. picture it with a black turtleneck and black slacks (another no-thought-required career-worthy ensemble). stunning, right? it's $6 at forever 21. really! if you want something a little more understated, check out the scattered locket necklace at j.crew, which i really love - it would be gorgeous over just about anything.

you might also consider picking up one or two inexpensive silk scarves & trying that look out. it's not for everyone, but if you can manage the "effortless, tossed on" scarf look, it's a great way to add color and sophistication to that t-shirt and trousers look we've been talking about. best place to start is probably ebay, actually - i love the silk scarves by missoni and vera, and you can pick up vintage versions for next to nothing on ebay. if you need help on how to pull the look together, here are a couple of places to get ideas.

now, for shoes. if you want comfort, you probably want flats. i really do think the place to splurge in your case is on a jacket and a fabulous pair of slacks, so i'm going to suggest these gorgeous little gold ballet flats , which are just $40 at gap - so you won't mind if you get them scuffed up running around a theater. plus, they'll go with darn near anything.

whew! i'm exhausted! but your work is just beginning :) liz, thanks so much for the question...i hope some of these ideas hit home for you!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

what i want today: gryson handbags...on sale!

speaking of handbags, you all know by now that i'm a huge fan of gryson bags. the quality really is amazing for the price point...especially now. gryson just launched their online store, and they've put a number of bags up on sale - at a truly amazing 50% to 75% off! it's well worth a look.

my picks would be the gorgeous heidi bag in blue (which i was lusting after this spring, and still think would be an amazing work bag) or the woven jasper in blue jean - so unique, people will definitely be stopping you on the street to check it out. even their signature skye and olivia bags are half price.

this sale is definitely making me wish i hadn't already blown my fall budget on shoes. but since i can't partake, you all definitely should!

Friday, October 12, 2007

what i want today: goldenbleu marni bag

so lately, i've had this weird calling toward really ladylike, structured bags. could have something to do with my fascination with/lust for the hermes kelly bag...but then again, could just be that i'm tired of wearing jeans and tanks all the time, and i'm ready for fall.

anyway. i find myself gravitating toward structure. and clutches. and pretty much anything that looks like it belongs in a black-and-white flick, circa 1949.

the marni bag by goldenbleu caught my eye almost instantly, and literally every time i run across it, i'm smitten all over again. love the shape, love the navy color, love the croc, love the patent...this is definitely a bag with vintage chic written all over it. it'd be the perfect complement to your work wardrobe, natch, but it would also add insta-polish to most of your casual weekend wear. and, considering it's about 1/10 the price of that kelly bag, well, what's not to love??

if you love it too, pick it up over at shopbop for $795.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

what i want today: jewelry by laura james

don't know what it is, but lately, i am so, so into jewelry. i never really have been before - my tastes trend toward really classic pieces. but over the last couple of months, i've been discovering some really fabulous jewelry designers, and i'm finding all of these amazing pieces i just can't do without!

take, for example, this gorgeous green garnet necklace - i love that it's so simple, but it could totally make any outfit pop. i'm all about versatility in my jewelry purchase, and this one definitely fits the bill. i just love everything about it - even the extremely reasonable $150 pricetag.

i'm just barely beginning to branch out into the world of dangly earrings...i've spent my entire life wearing studs. i love these amazing fern and phrenite earrings - the detailing is incredible, and they're the perfect 'baby step' into the world of bigger earrings. and when i'm feeling a little more glamorous, i know these vintage aquamarine and crystal earrings would be just stunning - laura has such a knack for mixing vintage and modern styles, and these are perfect.

now, some of my newfound taste in jewelry runs toward the slightly impractical, i'll admit. for example, i adore this vintage crystal and garnet necklace, but honestly, i have no clue where i would wear it, except for the occasional fabulous cocktail party or something along those lines. i wish my life were more glamorous!

check out all of laura's gorgeous designs on her website - she's recently added all sorts of new stuff for fall, and i'm loving every bit of it! laura's just been told she'll be featured in the upcoming december issue of lucky, so i suggest nabbing something now. you can tell everyone you "knew her when," and you'll get in before everything's out of stock!

Monday, October 08, 2007

shoppingsmycardio interview: diane vadino of bunnyshop!

i think i've raved about bunnyshop more than a few times - i have a serious blogging crush on these ladies. not even so much because of the items they feature, though the writers do have an amazing eye and a talent for finding the off-the-beaten-track stuff i never seem to be able to locate. but also because i just happen to love their writing style. smart, funny, just sarcastic enough...these are my kind of girls!

so, when i found out that one of the bunnyshop-ers, diane vadino, had written a novel, well, i jumped at the chance to (a) find out where to buy it, and (b) chat with her about the book and the blog. she was kind enough to give us some great food for thought.

so, the novel is called smart girls like me, it's available everywhere, and you honestly have to pick up a copy pronto - if the book is anywhere near as fabulous as the blog, it'll be impossible to put down!

shoppingsmycardio: Okay, probably best to start with the “what’s the book about” question. Can you give us a thirty-word-ish plot summary, other than the one on amazon.com?

Diane Vadino: I always end up saying that it's about a girl who comes of age about 10 years too late — that thing where you realize that everyone else around you is a grown-up and you still have mustard stains on your shirt. Hmm, is that not alluring? It is also about hot guys! And making out! There are also a few models, but they don't have a very big role. So really, it's about two best friends, and how they figure out what they mean to each other as they get older and become if not adults then adult-like.

SMC: So…would you say the book is autobiographical? Or pure, unadulterated, completely exaggerated fiction?

DV: There's no denying I experienced things similar to Betsy, but if it is autobiographical, it's an autobiography of me as I was almost a decade ago - so that person ends up being someone pretty different anyway. Does that make sense?

SMC: This whole “being an author, going on book tours, etc.” has to be pretty incredibly exciting for you. How did all of this happen?

DV: I worked for an amazing publishing company called McSweeney's, and part of my job was to help arrange the author tours - I loved that part of it, and I always knew I wanted to set up a really massive one, if I could. I would really love to go to all 50 states. I think we have 14 so far, and we're working on adding to it. I'm excited but nervous, too - I'm sure it's going to end up being me and like a half dozen booksellers totally sad that I'm basically by myself. But fingers crossed though - we start this week, so I guess we'll see.

As for the author part - I guess I always knew I wanted to try to write a book and at a certain point, it was just sort of the inevitable next step.

SMC: Which came first – the blog or the book? Did one lead to the other, or are they more or less independent of each other?

DV: The book definitely came first - unbelievably I started putting it together in 2001. Bunnyshop only goes back to 2005. I do really think of them as separate entities. Bunnyshop is really just my totally unmediated voice, and I'm usually writing as fast as I can so I can go to sleep. But with the book, obviously, I spent literally years trying to make it as good as I could. I was pretty worried that Bunnyshop might sort of take over my writing life, but I discovered that it really didn't - I could keep the two things separate. They just occupy two really different parts of my head.

SMC: How did you have to change your writing style for the book, versus the way you write for the blog? Or did you keep it essentially the same?

DV: I do think they are very different - for the book, I'm definitely writing in the main character, Betsy's, voice - and it is sort of a sad one. She's sad a lot of the time, anyway. In any case, I'm definitely trying to write for the character. With Bunnyshop, there's no character - it's just me. I'm sure there are things in common, but I definitely tried to keep them in different head spaces.

SMC: If your book gets lumped into the “chick lit” category (as so many clever female writers do these days), will you happy or irritated?

DV: I so don't care anymore - I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if that would happen, and what it meant if it did, but at this point - I'm over it. Not to be totally Afterschool Special about it, but there's no just no way to control what box people put it into, if they want to put it into a box. I'm delighted people I'm not related to are reading it - if they want to call it chick lit, historical fiction, military history, I couldn't care less.

SMC: From reading bunnyshop, I know that you said this book has been six years in the making. Are you just ready to enjoy this part of the experience, or are you already planning what comes next?

DV: I'm working on a bunch of projects I'm excited about, plus I'm super psyched to go back to art school - where I'm a junior! - in the spring. I do really just take way to long to get things done, though - whatever I do next, I hope it takes fewer than six years. Life's too short.

SMC: Completely unrelated to the book, but I have to ask: talk to me about Mongolia. [diane recently participated in the mongol rally, in which she spent a month driving through mongolia to raise money for mercy corps and send-a-cow.] What prompted it, how did you manage to actually DO it, and what did you come back with (you know, in a serious, life-altering sense – I’m not asking if you got a parasite or anything!)?

DV: Ha! I did not get a parasite, but all my friends drank the mare's milk - one of the those staple Mongolian beverages, we were told - and they all got unbelievably sick - my teammate was actually so ill I thought he would die - no joke. He's a trauma nurse, though, and he figured he'd make it (when he wasn't delusional), so I trusted him. Anyway: Mongolia was amazing. I'd read about a team doing it from NYC last year, and I just knew I wanted to do it. My teammate is basically amazing and singlehandedly drove most of the way, fixed the car a billion times, and pumped most of the gas. I couldn't recommend it more highly - really, and I say that knowing that I almost chickened out - the night before we left, I truly did not want to do it - if I could have backed out, I would have, I was so freaked. But it was awesome, and if anyone can take about five weeks off next summer, I really recommend it. And I came back ... I don't know. Entirely different. I actually really just got back home today – I spent a month in London after the rally, so I'm just back in the US for about two hours now. The world feels a lot bigger, and more awesome. And I met more great people than I have in ages.

SMC: A couple of style questions for you now, since that’s the side of you I’ve become most familiar with. You and your bunnyshop partner-in- crime have the most eclectic fashion sense – I love it! I’d love to know where you find your fashion inspiration – so, what fashion icon would you love to have in the dressing room next to you?

DV: That is an awesome question. I would be totally too freaked out to have a style icon in the changing room with me - I'm too freaked out to even do the Topshop style advisor, even though I'm dying to – I just think they'd be shaking their heads like, 'no, no, no..' I love looking at really well wardrobed films - like Sabrina, that's definitely a favorite even though I know Audrey Hepburn's kind of a cliched style-icon answer. I love, love, love some of the French style-y girls from the 60s - like Francoise Hardy or Chantal Goya. They just look so unprocessed to me and are so much more interesting than contemporary starlets. I'm just so over and uninterested in the beauty-industrial machine - I mean, we have to look at all these flawless images of women and then we're supposed to obtain the same thing - nevermind the fact that the images were Photoshopped and then, of course, the star has the time and money to make her appearance basically into a full-time vocation. It fucks with people's ideas of what a woman should look like, and I don't think it's good for any of us.

SMC: How would you describe your personal style?

DV: I never spend enough money on accessories or shoes - but I'm a sucker for a nice piece of outerwear. I just brought two home from the UK and I almost had to wear both of them through security to accommodate the one-carry-on-only rule there. In general, though, I keep things simple. This sort of goes back to one of your questions above – while I love people who can really making dressing an artform, it's weird but I really have a lot of respect for the way Jennifer Aniston dresses. She always looks, to me, totally pulled together and never trying too hard.

SMC: Tell us about your favorite, no-fail outfit.

DV: I am trying so hard not to revert to jeans and cute top. I was actually styled by the original British What Not To Wear girls, who told me that I should never wear anything about the knee. It took me ages to get over that, but now that I have, I wear a lot of pretty short skirts, with flats, and usually just a t-shirt. I honestly keep it super simple - I spend half the day in yoga clothes anyway. My favorite piece - and I am freaked because I can't find it right now - is a printed Topshop mini dress that I wear with white vintage heels I found for eight dollars at the Painted Bird, an excellent vintage clothing store in my neighborhood in San Francisco. When I worked at a hair salon in SF (I was a professional shampooist) those heels were the only covetable item I ever wore to work.

SMC: What one style secret do you wish you could teach every woman out there?

DV: I don't know if it's a secret, but I do wish we - myself included - wouldn't just give up on fashion sometimes. It sucks because it's expensive, and we're bombarded with images (again, sorry to be so rantful) of actresses who have literally our annual salaries available as their clothing allowances. It's impossible to compete with that. So I think a lot of times you can just check out – and then you find yourself wearing mustard-stained jeans (I've been there) and a sweatshirt and running shoes to the mall. And I don't think the problem is so much that, specifically - everyone deserves a day off - but that it always sort of gains momentum, and I do think there's a relationship between how you feel about yourself and how you present yourself, visually, or fashion-wise - I know there is for me, anyway. I feel so retro even thinking this but when I just sort of straighten up I do feel a lot more capable - and it's that relationship to fashion that's behind my reason for Bunnyshop. I do see fashion as a means to an end - the end being the confidence and ability to go after what you really want - for me, maybe, the freedom to drive to Mongolia for a month. I did realize that on that trip, which was the best ever, I basically wore the same thing every day, more or less, for four weeks - I just didn't care. And that was amazing.
aren't you just dying to meet up with this girl for an afternoon of shopping and hanging out at a coffee shop? you know, after you've read her fabulous new book, of course.

so, order the book now, and until it arrives, read the blog to tide you over. and a great big huge thanks to diane for chatting with us - it was such fun!

Friday, October 05, 2007

what i want today: quirky letterpress prints

i love these so much that i don't even know where to start. i want to buy them all, and hang them everywhere in my house. they're just exactly perfect for a kitchen that's a little too serious, or a bathroom that's a little too boring.

wood-mounted, letterpress prints by old school stationers, $45 each.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

what i want today: comfy cotton by saint grace

when it comes to cotton, i've become something of a snob. the truth is that once you're introduced to the really good stuff (think james perse, loomstate, michael stars), it's just hard to go back to your $4 target tee. not that there aren't many a bargain cotton t-shirt in my closet...but if i'm looking for something really comfy but that can actually be worn beyond my weekend couch potato routine, that's a different story.

i recently got a chance to check out the goods from saint grace, a relatively new design co whose wares have become a celeb favorite overnight, as so many do. they specialize in comfy cotton goods that are designed to look fabulous - and they've definitely hit the mark. so often, i'll fall in love with a cotton dress, only to put it on and realize (a) the fabric is paper-thin, and (b) the designer never bothered to consider how it would actually look on a human. both problems are solved with saint grace. their pieces are thick and lush - definitely not the stuff that's going to turn into a ball of fuzz when you wash it. and everything i've tried of theirs is just amazing on - well-cut, flattering...and soooo comfy!

check out a few of my faves: the mickey dress, the hanna sweater (check out those darling pink elbow patches!), the remy dress (the perfect work-to-drinks option), or the classic yvette tee. and of course, remember you're getting 15% off at revolve clothing for the next couple of weeks with code DAILYOBSESSION!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

what i want today: ecru hair goods

i have to admit to something here: i've never once been actually impressed by the results i've gotten from a hair product. sure, there have been those i've liked more than others, and some i've been pleased with. but i've never really tried something, finished blowdrying, looked in the mirror and said "wow! that blankety-blank i just used is pretty freaking amazing!"

so, i was a little more than shocked when i looked in the mirror after trying ecru new york's hair products for the first time, and actually did say those words. the volumizing silk mist? i got actual, noticeable volume. the luxe treatment shampoo? lathers like crazy, rinses clean, and smells so good i've been forced to share it with my hubs. and the silk texturizing balm has replaced every other finishing product in my bathroom.

prices range from $18-32, but a little goes a long way with all of this stuff. unless, of course, you're forced to share.

Monday, October 01, 2007

shoppingsmycardio interview: rebecca minkoff

i have been absolutely busting at the seams to share this with you all. the completely fabulous rebecca minkoff recently agreed to take a few minutes out of her incredibly busy schedule to chat with us about her gorgeous handbags, her background and her designs.

for those who aren't familiar, rebecca's designs shot to fame a couple of years ago when her 'morning after' bag hit the market. the bag made instant icon status, and has been seen literally everywhere since. (i own the absolutely stunning royal blue/basketweave version, which is still my favorite bag in my collection!)

before we get to the interview, i do just have to gush for a moment about rebecca's bags. you all know i'm something of a snob when it comes to handbags...i'm about as hard to please as they come. i tend to be a little nervous about trying out new designers, because i can be really picky about details: quality of leather, attention to detail, all of these little things are really what make or break a bag for me. but the moment i had the 'morning after' in my hands, i knew it was fabulous. the leather is more supple than bags i own that cost twice as much, and the color is unbelievably rich and lush - scratches on this bag just vanish. the lining is gorgeous, and the hardware is incredibly well-made. i can promise you this: for the price, you won't find a better-made handbag out there.

okay, off we go!

ShoppingsMyCardio: How did you get started designing handbags? Tell us your story!

Rebecca Minkoff: I started designing clothing at 18 and began my handbag line with my signature Morning After Bag in 2004. My friend, Jenna Elfman, was starring in a movie a few years ago, and she wanted me to design a bag for the film, and that’s how it began. Then, as the bag became more and more popular, I added the Morning After Mini and the Nikki bag. The bags just took off and now I have 6 collections and about 20 different styles.

SMC: I love the fact that your bags have such classic, timeless shapes, but really modern details and touches – to me, it’s the blend of the two aesthetics that makes your designs so special. I can tell you really think through your designs before you bring them to fruition. Can you tell me a little bit about your design process?

RM: I believe in the little details that make things unique, whether it is a handbag or a piece of clothing. For Spring 2008, my line is full of details, with custom hardware and some custom leathers from Italy. I want people to appreciate that these bags are handmade here in NYC and are versatile enough to fit every girl’s lifestyle.

SMC: What is your favorite bag from the new collection, and what do you love most about it?

RM: It would have to be the new ‘Matinee’ bag; it is the bag everyone is talking about. This bag is amazing and so different than any other handbag. It’s fun, and it has a little bit of attitude. The bag has two hidden pockets (zippers covered by reversible flaps) on either side, to hold all of those unmentionables.

SMC: What style icon do you really admire?

RM: Twiggy!

SMC: The last few years have been amazingly successful for you. What’s next for your label? Do you see yourself branching out into other areas of design in the future, or are you a handbag girl at heart?

RM: As a matter of fact, we are actually designing our own scarf that will be on all our Spring of 2008 bags. In the future we will also be focusing on designing a charm to go with each individual bag, so every bag has a gift with purchase. Also, I plan to get back into clothing in the coming seasons, and by next year a shoe line. And I'm working on a project with Momoberry by Sanrio, where I designed 4 bags that will be debuted at Sanrio’s birthday party this Fall.

SMC: What handbag are you carrying today?

RM: I currently am carrying my new bag, the Steady in black…it’s hot and very light!

SMC: How would you describe your personal style? Tell us about your favorite, no-fail outfit.

RM: J Brand Jeans, Alisha Levine blouse, my brown riding boots and a great trench by Nicholas K.

SMC: What one style secret do you wish you could teach every woman out there?

RM: When the butt of your jeans gets loose from wash and wear, take it to a tailor and have him put in darts on the sides – it’s an instant butt lift!
as if the interview weren't enough, rebecca has given us a sneak peak at one of the newest designs from her upcoming spring 2008 collection. the bag is called the 'steady', and i'm so confident this one's going to be as sought after as the 'morning after' that i'm getting on the pre-order list pronto! check out the picture above, and in the teaser post from friday. gorgeous!

rebecca, thank you so, so much for taking time out to talk with us! and a huge thank you to your staff as well - literally every single person i've talked with over at camp minkoff has been nothing but sweet, responsive and just generally fabulous!