Thursday, July 30, 2009

Piano (Wo)Man

Pumps: Chanel
Despite the unfortunate and apocalyptic Noah's Ark-like rain we've been weathering here in the Big Apple (I got soaked twice yesterday), I was fortunate enough to finally meet the magnificent blogger/jewelry designer Wendy Brandes yesterday at her friend Christian Francis Roth's studio. (Click here to read Wendy's account of the night and to see what I wore.) Wendy, her designer friend Christian, and her two other friends Tina (food blogger) and Jen were every bit the funny, warm, and genuine people I imagined them to be! After seeing Wendy in the "piano dress," I knew I had to have one!
Wendy looking stunning as always

Christian (playing around; no, that's not "the finger") and Wendy
Do check out Christian's collection on his website; his clothes are impeccably made and reasonably priced. Thanks to Wendy and Christian for a fun evening!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Here Kitty Kitty

My husband and I went to Kittichai, a pretty amazing upscale Thai restaurant in Soho. I highly recommend it!
The passageway between the bar and the restaurant

The serene center pond with hanging orchids and floating candles

Their speciality cocktail list did not disappoint...The Muddled Grape Cocktail (left) and Lychee Martini (right) were quite yummy...

Appetizer #1: Squid Salad with Beets, Lychees, and Peanuts

Appetizer #2: Tuna Tartar with Limestone Tartlets, Peanuts, Ginger, and Lime Zest (place the raw tuna into the tartlet and then add the sauce)

Entree #1: Spanish Mackerel with Seaweed Salad (the second entree was the pork chops)

Dessert #1: Jasmine Flan with Coconut Jasmine Rice Tuille

Dessert #2: Flourless Valrhona Chocolate Cake with Fresh Cream

We passed by this graphic black-and-white wall on the same block.

Macrame Tunic: Marni
Corset Belt: YSL
Jeans: MiH
Pumps: Salvatore Ferragamo
Bag: Fendi

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Belt Bible


EMBELLISHED (from top to bottom): studded, Burberry; lizard and semi-precious stones, Fendi; fabric and metal, Lela Rose

EXOTICS/EXOTIC-EMBOSSED: metal, YSL; crocodile, vintage Chanel; snakeskin, vintage

EXOTICS CONTINUED: snakeskin-embossed leather, vintage; crocodile, Barneys New York; stingray, Luca Luca

NOT-SO-BASIC BLACK: leather and fabric, 3.1 Philip Lim; leather, YSL; wool, Luca Luca; patent leather, Viktor & Rolf; leather, YSL
*Oops: I forgot to add this one: leather and metal, Max Azria

OTHER COLORS: linen, 3.1 Philip Lim; leather, Fendi; leather, Fendi; fabric, vintage

OTHER COLORS: leather, vintage; fabric, Tracy Reese; fabric, Viktor & Rolf; fabric, vintage
Although this may be surprising, I rarely wore belts ten years ago. For some reason, belts perplexed me until I realized that high-waisted ones suddenly improved nearly every outfit I wore. It's been true love ever since. I hope that these tips help you rethink the power of a good belt.

1. Belts cinch you in and instantly make you look thinner.
2. Embellished belts are like jewelry for your clothes and add interest to a plain outfit.
3. Belts draw attention to a woman's waist, which is usually the smallest part of a woman's body (in comparison to the shoulders and hips); they instantly create a sexy, chic hourglass figure.
4. Belts work on nearly every frame (exception: women who are apple-shaped: widest in the middle).
5. Belts create a sense of proportion. According to Tim Gunn, every woman should adhere to the rule of 3: one should break up an outfit into three parts (head to waist, waist to knee, and knee to foot), rather than into two parts.
6. Belts help to disguise problem areas. For women with short torsos, a low-slung belt creates the illusion of a longer waist; for women with long torsos, a high-waisted belt creates the illusion of a better-proportioned body.
1. First, figure out which type of belt works best for your body type. As I mentioned before, wear a high-waisted belt if your torso is long or proportionate; wear a low-slung belt if you're short-waisted. Consider whether a wide belt or a thin belt works better for you. In my opinion, larger women should avoid thin belts.
2. Don't be afraid to experiment with belt types: exotic, embellished, metal, or fabric. Studded accessories are particularly popular for fall. Although belts with more details and better materials can be expensive, consider them just as much the investment as a good bag or a pair of shoes.
3. Some clothing ideas:
A. Choose one in a different color to break up a monochromatic or patterned dress, like Anna dello Russo does here.
Photo Credit: Jak&Jil
B. Wear one over a long tunic or vest.
C. A wide belt looks great with a tucked-in top and skirt, especially a bubble or A-line one.
D. Use one to cinch in a voluminous dress or tunic, as Hanh is demonstrating here:

E. Play with textures, as Lynn (from All Things NYC) does here. I love her combination of a colored tweed shift with a playful, metallic animal belt.

F. Be creative! Lynn also found an obi belt made out of two men's silk ties.

The complete outfit:

Doesn't she look magnificent?

This man boldly chose a colored sash to decorate a simple outfit:

Photo Credit: Jak&Jil

Urban Outfitters Deena & Ozzy Heavy Metal Belt, $34: Very on-trend for an inexpensive price!

Valentino Glam Signature Belt, $595: Reminds me a little of Supergirl :)

Chloe Leather Chainlink Belt, $1,490: Pricey, but an investment piece

W. Kleinberg Wide Square Buckle Belt, $115: A colorful skin belt for a reasonable price

Valentino Iris Crystal Leaf Bow Belt, $695: Such a gorgeous, girly gem!

Oscar de la Renta Embroidered Gold Lame Belt, $590 (also in pewter): This investment piece will work as a neutral in your closet.

Etro Armadillo Belt, $625: One of a kind, this piece will be a conversation starter.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Basic: Leather Pencil Skirt

Blouse: Banana Republic
Peplum Vest: YSL
Cage Belt: YSL
Leather Skirt: Zara
Pumps: YSL (I know I'm getting boring here, but once again they were the best shoes for the outfit--see how the blue sole matches the vest?)
Don't let leather's bad girl reputation scare you: leather can be chic and professional, too. A myriad of leather incarnations appeared on the runway for fall: jackets, bustiers, skirts, vests, pants/leggings, shorts, and of course, accessories (just scroll through the runway shows at YSL, Prada, and Alexander Wang for proof).
I couldn't resist this leather pencil skirt at Zara (score!), which fit me and my wallet perfectly.
Here I am experimenting (I haven't worn this outfit out). What do you think: is it a DO or a DON'T?

Worn with a Lela Rose top and YSL corset belt

It has a good girl/bad girl vibe about it, don't you think? :)

Monday, July 20, 2009


Sweater top: Club Monaco
Necklace: Aldo
Skirt: Fendi
Pumps: YSL

Every now and then, my husband and I like to go to Cafe Katja in the Lower East Side for some amazing, hearty Austrian comfort food. It's quite the neighborhood gem.

Emmentaler sausage with savoy cabbage and quark dumplings

The amazing beet salad...I used to detest beets (I never ate them growing up), but I have grown to love them.

A freshly baked pretzel with some tear-inducing mustard sauce on the side (I swear there's wasabi in it!). And of course a meal would not be complete without a sweet and slightly bitter ambrosial drink.

We passed by this gnarled and misshapen tree outside of Le Petit Puppy, an upscale puppy pet shop on Christopher Street in the Village.

Quite arachnid and creepy...
On an unrelated note, a reader asked me about my favorite brands. I've separated them into categories:
For inexpensive and trendy items: H&M and Zara
For basics: Club Monaco and Old Navy
For whimsical clothes and shoes: Prada and Miu Miu
For professional investment clothing: Fendi, YSL, and Oscar de la Renta
For accessories (shoes, bags, and belts): YSL, Fendi, Guiseppe Zanotti, Bottega Veneta, Chanel
Thanks to everybody who visits my blog! I really appreciate it. Please let me know what you think in a comment. I'd love to hear from all of you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Of Fleas and Men

Brooklyn Flea Market (Click on the highlighted blue words for more info)
Saturdays: Fort Greene; Sundays: Brooklyn Bridge
I've been meaning to visit the Brooklyn Flea Market for some time now, and I finally did so today. If you're in the city or visiting on the weekend, I highly recommend it for excellent vintage buys.
For Texan lovers out there, Lillian Crowe's handmade jewelry conjures up a host of western associations:

Spines and rib cages, anyone?!

I was intrigued by the steer heads on these!

Ever since I posted about Tiffany's key necklaces some time ago, I've wanted one (but not the exorbitant price tag that comes with it). I saw these vintage keys and couldn't resist buying one for $5.

I added a chunky chain from Urban Outfitters.

I fell in love with these Gothic, moody, hand-carved wooden jewelry pieces made from recycled guitars by WRecords by Monkey. The owner was quite sweet and thrilled about the free advertising I promised!

I bought this chandelier pendant for quite a reasonable price.

Aren't these vintage children's books adorable?!

My husband and I went to Megu last night for dinner. This Buddha is made entirely of ice!
Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!