[Photos from The Fashion Spot]
I felt a bit underwhelmed by the Oscars' red carpet and awards show this past Sunday but that feeling disappeared when the photos starting trickling in of stars arriving at viewing and after parties. While I loved a few gowns from this post-Awards set–Cameron Diaz, Victoria Beckham, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley top my list–my favorite look of the night was Nina Dobrev in a Fall 2012 J. Mendel dress with a pleated skirt, structured bodice, and deep neckline. The detailing at the shoulder set off her hips and accentuated her tiny waist in a sexy but understated way. I have to admit, if I had to walk the Oscars red carpet I'd pick something black and accessorize with lots of sparkle like Nina did. I thought the fishtail braid was a youthful and unique touch–and was shocked to find out she had it done for $25 at "braid bar" Nine Zero One in West Hollywood. Pretty fabulous for something so affordable!
What do you think? What was your favorite look from the 2012 Academy Awards?
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Style - Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear, J. Mendel - not yet available]
[Photo from Vouge - Spring 2012 "Cameo" Clutch, Jimmy Choo - not yet available]
During the Renaissance, newborns were given jewelry made of coral branches as good luck charms to ward off evil (how incredible is this fifteenth century rattle?). Times have changed and while I like to think this stunning necklace from Marianne Homsy Jewelry will protect me, I can appreciate it just for the pop of color it introduces to any outfit. The designer of the line, which features bold uses of raw stones, currently lives in Miami so I'm sure there is no shortage of bright inspiration to imbue in each piece. I wanted to let the natural sun coral shine–its color is so stunning it's unreal–so I kept the rest of my outfit neutral with earth tones.
Shirt: White Button Down, H&M
Jacket: Severt Twill Anorak Jacket in Olive, Jack by BB Dakota [$82,
Pants: Artist Crop Jean in Bright Indigo Destroy, American Eagle Outfitters [$49.50, available here]
Shoes: Kentaro Cage Heel Sandal in Brown, Nine West [$89,
[Photos from De Siena - $595, available here]
I've worn stilettos for as long as I can remember so to be honest their height never frightens me. Crazy as it may sound, I find heels under 4 inches tall harder to walk in than those over 5. I swear by three tricks: platforms, straps, and practice. This pair by the luxe brand De Siena–which is so fabulously made in Italy–has got both a hidden platform and an ankle strap making that +5 inch heel a whole lot less intimidating. I love its combination of textures and colors: satin, leather, and patent all interact to form one stunning shoe. The only thing I can't attest to is the practice–I've yet to test walking in these beauties but I'm sure it's a challenge I could handle.
What do you think? What's the highest heel you feel comfortable wearing?
[Shop the entire De Siena collection here]
I spend way too much time perusing (and actually buying things from) Shopbop. One of my best purchases through the site were these Hunter rain boots. In New York so many people wear the brand's wellies that you'd think they gave them out for free on every corner. To be honest, it's no surprise they're such great sellers: paired with their socks (how cute is the stitched logo?), they're so warm and cozy that I purposely step in puddles rather than avoid them. As I've mentioned before, purple is my favorite color so the subtle shade of the brand's "Aubergine" was a perfect fit for me. Afterall, rain boots are only fun when they're colorful.
p.s. You might have noticed but this is my second (!!!) outfit post this week. When it comes to blog reading and writing, I love to see–and share–great fashion finds and ensembles. That's why I'm going to incorporate more of my own favorite looks into posts for all of you. Exciting right? x
Pants: Low Skinny 531 Jeans, Levi's [similar styles available here]
Sweater: Heavy-knit sweater in Cream, American Eagle Outfitters [similar style available here]
Jacket: Peacoat in Navy, J. Crew [similar style available here]
Bag: Uptown Tote in Yellow/Maple, J. Crew [no longer available]
Jewelry: Micropave Diamond Band in White Gold, Channel-Set Diamond Band in Yellow Gold [gifts]; Tiara Diamond Band in White Gold, Ice [$395, available here] Thin Gold Band with Bezel Set Diamond, Jennifer Meyer [$175, available here]
Nails: "Stiletto Red," Rimmel
It was bizzarely warm yesterday here in New York–not bikini-weather of course, but you can't blame me for daydreaming about summer and all of its wonderful accessories. I'm just dying to test-drive this gorgeous bathing suit sent to me by Kooey Swimwear. I can't tell you how much I love the Australian owned and operated label. The company's designs are all unique since they utilize their own indigenous artist, Anne Hanning. Their prints and colors are phenomenally gorgeous (they're based on aspects of Australia's landscape). Even the brand's name is authentic: "Kooey" is a phonetic variation of "cooee," a call used to travel over long distances. I personally like their slogan's explanation much better: "Kooey: Australian for Hello Summer." I've been waiting to say that for a long time now.
[Shop the entire Kooey Swimwear collection here]
What do you think? How early do you shop swimsuits before the summer season? And what are some of your favorite brands?
[Photo from Shopbop - in Purple, $425, available here]
No one could ever accuse me of maintaining a short fashion wish list–by the time I manage to cross something off of it, I've already added a few more things. Near the top of my collection of must-haves for spring this year is a brightly colored blazer. This one by Rachael Zoe is a bit luxe, but I adore anything purple and its crayon-like shade is perfectly bold. Plus the detailing is superb (check out that notched collar and the rows of padded buttons). Although I really didn't need another excuse to go shopping, now it's only a matter of time before I spot a jacket like this one someplace more affordable.
What do you think? If you had to pick a bright blazer, what color would you choose?
I spent yesterday making a batch of skolebrød–Norwegian for "school bread"–in honor of today's Fat Tuesday celebrations. Sure, these treats aren't normally associated with Mardi Gras, but the confections are so rich and dounut-like that I thought they suited the holiday's themes of splurging just fine. A "school bread" actually isn't thought to be a dessert in Norway and is normally eaten in the morning on one's way to school–hence its descriptive name. For me, they are a decadent indulgence but without all of the guilt: unlike most Carnivale specialites they're not fried. Memories of their toasted coconut, creamy custard filling, sugary-sweet icing and cardamom-laced dough will last through the Lenten season for sure.
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk (between 95-110 degrees)
1/4 cup canola oil
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk or water (or more as needed to thicken)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
toasted coconut, to cover
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warmed milk. Add oil, 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar and cardamom. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until shiny and pliable. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough inside and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and form into rounds. Place onto lightly greased baking sheets and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Brush risen rolls with a beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes until browned with pale sides.
5. Cool completely on wire racks. Push center of roll with finger and create a hole for the filling. Spread glaze across top and then dip in coconut.
To make pastry cream:
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until well combined.
2. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of milk. Place the remaining milk and the vanilla in a medium saucepan.
3. Bring the milk to a boil and whisk it into the yolk mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.
5. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and spread the pastry cream over the plastic to cool it as quickly as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Place the cooled pastry cream into a pastry bag and fill the buns with cream.
I remember reading a quote from Victoria Beckham that quipped, "Sunglasses hide a multitude of sins." While I don't usually reach for ones to cover up missing makeup or tired eyes, I can appreciate her sentiment. I've always been partial to sunglasses with oversized plastic frames and I've fallen in love with this perfect new pair, which was gifted to me by Guess. On busy city streets, they make it a lot easier to assume an attitude that falls somewhere between "look at me" and "don't look me."
Sunglasses: Oversized Plastic Frames in Black, Guess, c/o Guess [no longer available]
Coat: Belted Wool Coat in Black, Kenneth Cole [no longer available]
Shirt: Button-Down Camp Shirt in White, J. Crew [no longer available]
Jeans: "The Rocker" Lean Flare in "Aniston Wash," Joe's Jeans [$167,
Shoes: Wendall Boot in Black, DV by Dolce Vita [$169,
Bag: 'Cordoba' Clutch in "Black Onyx," Elliott Lucca [$98, available here]
Jewelry: Red Beaded Necklace [The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, no longer available]; Garnet Ring [gift]
[Photo from Net-A-Porter - $895, available here]
Nude, blush, pale pink–however you want to describe the hue, I adore it for shoes. Valentino calls these pumps "rose"-colored. I think they're the perfect shade, making the brand's signature studs look even more eye-catching. The sheer panels at the front are a great alternative to the standard peep-toe and the heel height is positively vertiginous. It's incredible how leg-lengthening nude shoes are–I'm a fan in case you haven't noticed–and how well they match with just about anything.
What do you think? Does your wardrobe include nude-colored shoes–and do you adore them as much as I do?
[Photos from Celebrity Gossip]
When I say that this is my kind of outfit, I'm not talking about the gown's deep V-neckline or it backless section or the fact that it's so very slinky. While I do love all of those qualities –and that they look incredible on Rihanna– what makes me really adore this look is the way she accessorized such a simple black piece with so much gold. From the clutch to the cuff to the body chains, everything remained sparkly but remarkably understated. Plus, I love how the clear panels on the shoes matched the cut-outs of her dress. It was by far my favorite red carpet moment from Grammy night.
What do you think? What was your favorite look from Sunday's show?
SHOP THE LOOK:
[Photo from Neiman Marcus - Unbout Illusion Pump, Christian Louboutin - similar, $795, available here]
[Photo from Jimmy Choo - Tube Clutch, Jimmy Choo - similar, $1150, available here]
[Photo from Jacquie Aiche - Pave Champagne Diamond "Indian" Snake Body Chain, Jacquie Aiche - $2565, available here]