Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thumbelina's First Ever Giveaway Contest: Chickdowntown's Current/Elliott Jeans!

I'm pleased and excited to offer to my readers these amazing Current/Elliot jeans from Chickdowntown, which retails for $215! Be sure to check out their site for more giveaways and products from designers like Mink Pink (an Australian designer that's youthful, stylish, and affordable) and Mystique (fun flats for everyday). You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.
All you have to do to win these versatile and everyday jeans is to

1) Leave a comment with your name (if you don't feel comfortable leaving your whole name, feel free to leave your first name and last initial) and hometown and at least one reason why you keep coming back to my blog.
2) Refer your friends to this blog. Ladies, this is the honor system!
I apologize to my international readers but this contest is open only to U.S. residents. The contest ends July 14th. Best of luck!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Silver Belles

Hat: Albert Swanepoel for Gap
Blouse: BCBG
Geode Necklace: Club Monaco
Shorts: Zara
Snakeskin Sandals: Prada
So I decided to take my own advice and resurrect these Prada sandals I've had for years. I was reminded why I wore them nearly to death when I initially purchased them: they're comfortable, chic, and versatile. Every woman should own at least one pair of silver shoes.
We spent part of the afternoon reading in Bryant Park. About a month ago, my husband received a free Kindle in the mail (another company/credit card perk), and I have been hooked ever since. Although I have my gripes about it (no page numbers; formatting issues), it really is quite an amazing device. And classic novels, like Anna Karenina, are usually free!

(Click to enlarge)
My casual day outfit:

A shot of the skyline:

Another casual outfit, this time for a dinner out:

Jacket: Club Monaco
Necklace: Aldo
Tank: F21
Lizard Clutch: YSL
Same shorts and sandals as above

Friday, June 26, 2009

What "Shop Your Closet" Really Means

Case in point: A perfectly fine cropped satin Rachel Roy trench that hasn't seen the light of day in months

You've heard fashion editors and bloggers alike talk about the new "it" thing to do in this recession: "shop your closet." But what does it really mean?

If you're like me, you've got loads of inventory (yes, think of it as a warehouse that's been stocked) with nothing to wear. It's time to rethink the "more is more" shopping philosophy that is so seductive and reconsider what we already have in our over-stuffed closets.

I propose the following steps:

1. If you haven't already, organize your closet by item type (jackets, blouses, tops, etc.) and then by color (neutrals first, for example, then colored items) for easier and faster sorting.
2. Make a list of everything you own on a word document, spreadsheet, or a sheet of paper.
3. Highlight everything that you haven't worn in over 4-6 months (of course, some items are heavily seasonal, so if it's summer and you're looking at a winter item, approximate the number of times you wore it last winter).
4. Sit down and write down a list of reasons why you haven't worn that item. Doesn't fit? Itchy? Doesn't go with anything? If it's not worth keeping, donate it or swap that item with a friend. But before you're too quick to part with it, remember that once upon a time you bought it--you spent your hard-earned cash on it. Consider ways of redeeming it:
a. Doesn't Fit: Could a trip to the tailor amend that problem? Even if it's small, some tailors can take an item out, depending on the amount of fabric in the seams. (If it's itchy, a tailor can add lining too.)
b. Looks Dowdy: Hemming a long, matronly skirt may just be the thing to revive that long lost item. A tailor can taper a pair of pants to make them "skinny" or he/she could crop them.
c. Doesn't go with anything: This one is the big challenge--one that requires you to think outside the box. Look to other fashion blogs out there for inspiration. A multicolored top? Pair it with a neutral pant or skirt. An old vintage jacket? Pair it with distressed jeans.
5. Continue to make a list of everything that could be worn with that item (an extension of 4c). If it's a top, think of every possible bottom that could be worn with it (jeans? flared trousers? harem pants? skinny pants? a skirt? shorts? jumpsuit?); if it's a bottom, think of every possible top that could go with it.
6. Test drive those looks in the mirror. Eliminate bad pairings and record the good ones for later use. (Trust me: even though this is time consuming, knowing what works and what doesn't saves time in the future.)
7. Sometimes, you have to buy a few items to ensure the longevity and use of the other ones you already have, but I do recommend going cheap here or being wise about how you drop your dough. For example, perhaps a pair of distressed jeans are just the thing to update several existing pieces in your closet. Or maybe some cheap chains at H&M, F21, or Urban Outfitters would alter the overall effect of some more conservative items.
8. Remember, it's okay to store your vintage items for a rainy day. Not everything you own is currently trendy, but I firmly believe that in fashion, "everything old is new again." Whatever dated item in your closet will, like Lazarus, rise again.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Double Boon: Current/Elliott Winner and Givenchy Score

Boon #1: Thanks so much to Nini from Nini's Style and Chickdowntown for these amazing Current/Elliott jeans! I could hardly believe that I won the contest--I rarely win anything. I'll be sure to post about these jeans once I receive them.

Boon #2: I have been lusting after these Givenchy sandals ever since I saw them on the runway and since Hanh posted about them on her fabulous blog. I knew I had to have them when I saw them at Barneys today! (By the way, they still have pairs in a size 37 and 38.5--so call the NYC store if you're still hankering after them too.) To quote Nini, "Welcome to the family!" :)

Stay tuned...I have a giveaway coming up!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Prada Velvet Embroidered Heel with Stud and Fringe Detail

Miu Miu Studded Leather Bag

Coach Sabrina Leather Bag

Diane von Furstenberg Belle Medium Bag

Givenchy Napa Aviator Gloves

Jimmy Choo Filipa Wallet in Black Napa

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CFDA/Vogue Design Editions at Gap

The Display at the 54th and 5th Avenue Gap store

If you haven't heard, Gap is currently featuring a drool-worthy collection from Alexander Wang, Vena Cava, and Albertus Swanepoel (known for his hats), winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards. Like a devoted fashionista, I arrived twenty minutes early to get my hands on the collection. Surprisingly, the line was quite small, and as I got there, I glimpsed for the second time in under a week the immaculate Anna Wintour as she said goodbye to Alexander Wang. Normally shy around celebrities, I channeled my chutzpah and asked for a shot with the adorable designer. He was quite gracious!

I'm on the left, but I cropped myself out of this photo:

The Vena Cava girls (Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai) were also uber sweet:

I went ga-ga over these whimsical khaki pants from Vena Cava:

Some detail shots of the pants:

Notice the black zipper at the bottom:

Vena Cava dress #1 without a belt:

With my Luca Luca stingray belt:

Which do you prefer--plain or belted?

Vena Cava dress #2 without a belt:

With a YSL belt:

If you can't access a Gap store, buy these lovelies online. Alexander Wang's jackets, shorts, and khaki pants are also quite adorable, as are Albertus Swanepoel's hats. (I purchased the large floppy hat for sunny days at the park.) These designs are bringing khaki back!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Apocalyptic Beauty?

Christopher Kane Resort 2010
Although Christopher Kane claims that the subversive and disturbing images on his quite pretty and feminine dresses were from "images of nuclear test explosions from the fifties to the seventies," one can hardly divorce those "test" images from the actual ones resulting in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb explosions in 1945 that killed over 200,000 people. For a certain generation, those images are akin to our more current ones of two planes piercing the Twin Towers (and imagine the outrage if that image was used as fashion's canvas).
But this is Christopher Kane: his spring 2009 collection featured close-ups shots of growling apes (from Planet of the Apes), and he won over fashionistas everywhere with the charm of a troglodyte (remember King Kong? We're Ann Darrow in his hairy grip). Despite all of the shock and indignation that his Resort collection incites, it also musters our admiration, awe, and wonder, as if some beauty is possible in this decimated afterglow. It reminds me of a Pixar movie that I finally saw that earned my disgust despite its widespread popularity: Wall-E. The ominous wasteland of endless trash; the obese, paralytic, and horizontal television-watching humans; the humane machines that are, ironically, more human than the actual ones: these apocalyptic messages awoke in me a kind of existential antipathy I had not expected when I sat down to watch a family-friendly film. Of course, as my brothers rightly pointed out, the redemption that arrives in the shape of a fragile plant in a boot does speak to some hope. Perhaps the future isn't as bad as it seems. Perhaps some beauty can be found after all.
I certainly hope that this is Kane's message. The last two looks do resemble a floral sky, and if one blinks, those earlier images of war and destruction fade away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

When In Rome...

On the runway...

Dress: Miu Miu
Belt: Max Azria
Pumps: YSL
I fell in love with Miuccia Prada's spring Miu Miu collection, and this dress, which took its inspiration from large Roman tile prints (see the two heads?), is so striking in its color palette and design (you can't see the back from these photos, but it's completely black).
On a side note, two days ago I managed to see Anne Hathaway in Shakespeare in the Park's production of Twelfth Night. For some reason, I've seen at least five productions of this play, and this one was by far the best one I've ever seen. Anne Hathaway was simply radiant as Viola/Cesario. For those of you who don't know, Shakespeare in the Park is a free, high-quality summer theatre series in New York City that attracts at least one big name each summer (Liev Schreiber enacted Macbeth recently); the only impediment is the interminable wait to procure tickets (I usually have to wait 6 hours to ensure a seat). As an added bonus, I giddily espied Hugh Jackman and Anna Wintour in the audience! (He's my imaginary celebrity husband. Wait. It's a tie between him and Christian Bale.) Oddly enough, Prince Edward (Queen Elizabeth's third son) and Miss America happened to be at my school the same day. I couldn't believe I saw five celebrities in one day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Holey Macrame!

Macrame Tunic: Marni
Jeans: Levi's
Pumps: YSL

Although I initially wanted the dress version of this top (see below), I changed my mind and went for the top instead for more versatility. I've got a bad habit of buying cocktail-y dresses, which usually prompts an annoying but predictable response from the salesperson: "Going to an event?" I then resist the urge to roll my eyes and simply say, quite lamely, "Uhhhh, no." I finally realized that I need to buy more "day" items, as my closet is shockingly "night"-dominate. Does anybody else have this peculiar problem, or is it just me?
The gorgeous but impractical dress version:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Strong Shoulders Part II

Origami Blouse: 3.1 Philip Lim
Skirt: Miu Miu
Wedges: Fendi
I've added the link for Gilt Groupe (for those of you who want to join); see the post immediately following this one.

Gilt Groupe Link

For those of you interested in joining GILT GROUPE, use this link:


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On Shoe Shopping

Enzo Angiolini Waters, on sale for $89

Enzo Angiolini Felissa, on sale for $98.96

Kors Michael Kors Bang Platform Sandals, on sale for $156.90 (down from $225)

Jill Stuart Salem High Heel Gladiator Sandals, on sale for $161 (down from $230); also available in white or camel

L.A.M.B. Frankie Open Toe Thong Pumps, on sale for $248.50 (down from $355)

Coach Jenkins Gladiator Heel (also available in beige), $328.00

In this dismal economy, it's perfectly understandable for one reader to ask about inexpensive shoe options. Here are some pointers about shoe shopping:

1. Nine West, Aldo, Steve Madden, and Enzo Angiolini have budget-friendly shoes with high fashion styles (many of them actually mimic high-end designer fashions), but keep in mind that many times, these shoes may not be as comfortable or high-quality as designer shoes (I warrant that this is not always true, as I have seen poorly-made expensive shoes, but generally, this is the case). If you want a trendy style that will be worn for one or two seasons, these brands provide good options.
2. Keep in mind that you can purchase higher-quality shoes during sale seasons for similar prices as the brands listed above. Many designers have diffusion lines (lower-priced or contemporary lines) that are in the $200-300 range. Some of these include BCBG, Kors by Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and See by Chloe. Tory Burch, Pedro Garcia, Coach, and other contemporary designers also have high-quality shoes for lower prices than high-end designer ones (I'm waiting for those green Coach beauties to go on sale).
3. If you live in NYC or LA, check out sample sales for inexpensive shoes. (I have seen Devi Kroell python shoes for under $100.) Of course, if you don't live anywhere near a major city, check out online sample sales: The Outnet (Net-a-porter's discount site), Billion Dollar Babes (slashed contemporary goods), and Gilt Groupe** (this site is for discounted high-end goods). If you live near an outlet, such as Woodbury Commons, you're sure to hit upon a veritable mother lode of discounted goodies. If you aren't squeamish, check out your local consignment store.
**You have to be invited to join Gilt, but use this link to join:
4. Consider investing in expensive, well-made shoes that will last years to come. My YSL Tribute platforms are incredibly well made. Although I "walk like a horse" (to use a friend's self-disparaging comment) and tend to ruin cheaply-made soles, these shoes hardly look it after a vigorous walk down NYC's mean streets. They are worth the expensive price tag. (Many women can hardly stomach the thought of spending that much on a single pair of shoes, but if they add up the price of several of their cheaply-made shoes that wear out very quickly, it would equal those and last longer.)
5. Take care of your shoes to make them last longer. I know this has nothing to do with purchasing "inexpensive shoes," but I think care is another important element to consider when thinking of your shoes. I used to horribly mistreat my shoes: I'd wear them in the rain, day after day, etc. Make friends with your local cobbler to add a protective sole (to extend the shoe's life), repair ruined soles, and shine them when they get dull. Wear rain boots in rainy weather, and purchase two types of shoes: nice ones for work or special occasions and durable, cheap ones for wear-and-tear situations. Knowing how to take care of your shoes ensures more use and pleasure. And we all know that shoes bring pleasure to the fashionista within each of us!