Every once in a while I meet a product so amazing that I wonder where it's been all my life. Upon meeting the Anna Sui Super Mascara DX Waterproof, I only wished I had met it earlier. Oh how different my life would have been! OK, I'll stop being so dramatic but, seriously, it's got to be the best mascara on the market. It was with me on my wedding day lasting all day through rain, (lots of) wine and laughter. It goes with me everywhere, ensuring that I have the prettiest, longest, thickest lashes. Even to the sweaty hour and a half karate class. Yes, it's that amazing 'super'!
And it will be ringing in the New Year with me tonight. Have a great time everyone!
After being a Links a la Mode editor for years, it's really refreshing to come back and edit our end of 2010 edition! It felt so timely, too-- the end of a year. So many new, exciting things to look forward to. New ideas, people, inspiration. That's where this round-up came from: inspiration. It's my hope that these posts will inspire you, as they've inspired me-- as a reminder to step outside your boundaries to try something new. As a reminder to look at the world around you. To be bright and brilliant and love fashion & style. To treat yourself well, to love yourself, and feed your mind & body all you need to thrive-- and hopefully inspire and help you to be the person you want to be in 2011.
Hope you all have an amazing New Year!
Links á la Mode: December 30th
Antares: Alfa Scorpii: Mori girls style is an amazing street style trend, the mixture of ethnic, folk, lolita-style and others.
S/S 2011 is all about the brights, but accessories take it to a whole new level of intesity. If you like to blend in with the crowd, this season might be a little tough shopping-wise. So prepare to shine brighter than ever!
Pierre Hardy S/S 2011
Prada S/S 2011
I love all the chunky bright wedges this season. Notice that this Pierre Hardy number is my illustrated mascot for the upcoming seasonal trends (check right-hand column). Prada, of course, is leading the way of the bright future with its "Carmen Miranda" inspired collection.
Christian Dior S/S 2011
Jil Sander S/S 2011
More and more, I'm getting tired of the "it" bag that comes out every season and sticks around for years (I know, I've been guilty of hyping). It takes away from all the gems that are released for the limited amount of time. On my wish list: this Jil Sander floral print satchel.
Christian Dior S/S 2011
Fenton S/S 2011
Mawi S/S 2011
If there is one way to introduce brights to one's wardrobe the safe and sound way, it's through the fun accessories. I'm pretty obsessed with Fenton's fuchsia bullet necklace although I suppose the Dior one is more of a classic. Mawi's ring is an amazing marriage of elegance and industrial chic.
Prada S/S 2011
Prada S/S 2011
OK Prada, I doubt I'll be getting either of these but that doesn't make them any less amazing! Surely, if I was the type of person to rock fur accessories in the midst of summer or hang out in my vacation villa somewhere in the Caribbean, I would move these to the top of my shopping list!
I don't think I've ever featured a pair of nude pumps before even though it's something every woman should have in her closet. Mine are Lanvin but I think I need another pair, a stiletto. Plus, even nude comes in many different shades. At the moment, the front runners are Miu Miu and these by Brian Atwood.
They are crazy high (oh, the joy of a hidden platform) and something about the seams in the front reminds me of a ballet pointe shoe. And Mr. Brian Atwood himself? This guy is like the Tom Ford of shoes: drop dead gorgeous! After graduation from F.I.T, he spent seven years working as a model, eventually ending up as an accessories designer for Gianni Versace. He started his namesake label in 2001, and also designs for Bally. Sorry ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Atwood is currently in a relationship with Nate Berkus. Yes, theNate Berkus. Now, how do I get an invite to their dinner parties?
Already got the nude pump? No worries, check out these fun Resort 2011 colours: Kiwi and Orange!
Anna Wintour by Alex Katz (my favourite painter), 2009
I haven't read this mag in about five years. It's boring. I buy it every once in a while, flip through it and recycle. Other than the editorials by Grace Coddington and the occasional one by Tonne Goodman, it's not really worth the $5 price. I know some of you will hate me for my Anna Wintour fatigue but I really do think Vogue US needs a fresh look and approach. Sure, I get the Anna Wintour worship. I, too, have worshipped her once. I adored Vogue in the 90s! There were a lot of memorable and even some brilliant covers, but all great things must come to an end. And things eventually did come to an end with Wintour's fascinations with celebrities. The truth is that Vogue US has been lagging behind artistically (and fashion is art, right?) for the past decade. The 2010 covers have been a bore, with twelve issues featuring eleven actresses (Rachel McAdams, Jessica Biel, Tina Fey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Blake Lively, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Carey Mulligan, Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie) and one (yes, just Giselle Bunchen) model. Vogue US settled into a pretty and familiar comfort zone a while back and it's showing no signs of further development. While other Vogues are experiencing a Renaissance -- China and Russia in particular -- Vogue US is one giant yawn.
JANUARY: Rachel McAdams for Vogue US; Natasha Poly for Vogue Russia
Things didn't start on the right foot with January's horrific cover featuring the gorgeous Rachel McAdams. She looked very matronly, and at first I thought it was a very demure Sharon Stone. Vogue Russia kicked off the year with smouldering Natasha Poly channeling 1960 glamour Bardot. Take your pick!
APRIL: Giselle Bunchen for Vogue US; Amber Valletta for Vogue Italia
The only model that graced Vogue US's cover in 2010 was the Brazillian stunner Giselle Bunchen. You'd think that the world's greatest supermodel would make for a gorgeous cover, but no: we get a horrid ensemble of booty shorts with a one-shouldered leotard? If you look close enough, I swear you could see a camel-toe. On the other hand, we had a stunning issue by Vogue Italia with Amber Valletta. While her hairstyle may be questionable, I love the composition and the simplicity. Notice the lack of ridiculous headlines on the cover? Yes, I don't really care how to "shape up for spring." I'll buy Shape for that. I want fashion.
SEPTEMBER: Halle Berry for Vogue US; Liu Wen, Shu Pei, Tao Okamoto, Ming Xi & Sun Feifei for Vogue China
According to The September Issue, this was supposed to be the most important issue of the year. Yeah, we got Halle Berry with a weird wig channeling the 1920s. I'm sorry, but wasn't this F/W season all about crimsons, camels and the 1950s? It left me baffled. The cover I absolutely loved was the Vogue China's Asian supers adorned in seductive crimson shades. It echoed the great supermodel era.
DECEMBER: Angelina Jolie for Vogue US; Sasha Pivarova for Vogue Korea
The worst cover was of Angelia Jolie, a woman that is so ridiculously unfashionable that I often think she looks closer to 50 than 40 (turns out she is only 35). No amount of styling can help her. Not even Tonne Goodman. Ok, bring on the Brangelunatics! On the opposite side of the world, we had a wonderful cover by Vogue Korea with Sasha Pivarova: very high-fashion, very festive. It had a beautiful composition of her red silhouette against a silver background. It's so nice to see a model, well, "modelling."
Natalie Portman for Vogue US (January 2011) and Vogue US (May 2002)
When it comes to celebs, there are a few that I don't mind seeing as faces of fashion, and those are Gwyneth Paltrow, who had a great Vogue US cover in August, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman and anyone French. Don't get me wrong: I think Vogue's January 2011 Natalie Portman cover is a great one but too bad she has already done the same one back in 2002! Same dress, same hair, same make-up, same colour combo... Really? This is the best Vogue could do? Portman is promoting The Black Swan, a very dark film where she plays a very dark and twisted character and Vogue puts her in virginal pale pink? This would have been a great opportunity to show Portman in a new light: more seductive, more edgy.
So, do you agree with me? Does Vogue US need a big change? I mean, Wintour is surely capable of better.
Michaela Bercu for Vogue US(November 1988) ; Naomi Campbell for Vogue US (September 1989)
From the very beginning, she made fashion smiley and approachable which was a great departure from stiff celluloid faces of the 80s.
Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford,Karen Mulder, Elaine Irwin, Niki Taylor, Yasmeen Ghauri, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell & Tatjana Patitz for Vogue US (April 1992); Helena Christiansen, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Stephanie Seymour for Vogue US (April 1993)
Vogue US celebrated 100 years with a history-making cover featuring ten gorgeous supermodels wearing GAP (yes, GAP). These epic group covers became a tradition for Vogue enlisting established faces and introducing new ones.
Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Amber Valletta, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Lisa Taylor, Paulina Porizkova, Carolyn Murphy, and Patti Hansen for Vogue US (November 1999)
Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta for Vogue US (September 1995) and Vogue US (March 1997)
My two favorites were Shalom Harlow, my favourite supermodel, and her bestie Amber Valletta. They came as a team and appeared on a cover at least once a year, always smiley, all-American (or Canadian in Shalom's case) and happy.
Sadly, it seems that Shalom Harlow -- or any model -- would have to pay Vogue US these days to get on a cover. There are big and groundbreaking names in the industry that have never graced the US cover. Who would I like to see? Crystal Renn, the face of changing times.
OK, so you have by now figured out that I have a thing for sequins. They are just so damn festive. And I like the GAP's casual take on the delightful little shiny circles. It was still in stores yesterdays on Boxing Day but after the epic 40% off day, I'm not quite sure if it's still there today. It's kind of a tough time for choosing items as most stores are so picked over.
I would wear this if I was celebrating New Years at home with friends and family. It's so nice and cozy. But I'm heading out on, hopefully, a glamorous night on the town, so I think I'll go with my Matix dress and some fur.
I have a rule when it comes to gigantic blow-out sales: don't buy something you need, buy something crazy that you usually wouldn't splurge on. Let basics be basics and get them over time.
For example, I would never in my right mind spend $1,230 on Tabitha Simmons shoes, not because they are not worth the money but because half the time I have less than that in my bank account (it's sad, I know). The truth is, I have a girl crush on Tabitha Simmons. I think she may have the life I've always dreamed of: a very successful stylist (often collaborates with her husband, bonafide fashion photographer Craig McDean), contributing editor for Vogue and a shoe designer (untrained, but I feel like it's okay in this case because it seems that this woman can do no wrong). Not to mention that she is also incredibly gorgeous and ridiculously stylish. Yeah, not fair.
All that and I haven't even mentioned the shoes! Well, they are colourful and fun and definitely don't fall into the boring (but necessary) basics category. Perfect type of shoe to splurge while it's on a 70% off sale!
It's a pet peeve of mine when people say "I don't really follow trends, I just wear whatever I like." Well, you may not know that you do follow trends because pretty much every store carries merchandise that is directly influenced by the latest runway collections. H&M is probably the best example of a fast fashion chain whose collections are not necessarily carbon copies of designer runways, but instead, for a lack of a better word, 'inspired.'
Now, we learned last week about the colour councils and about our 2011 colour fates being destined for Honeysuckle. Don't like Honeysuckle? You're in luck, because there are runner ups: Russet, Blue Caracao, Peapod and Regatta. Most of these will make it your closet in some way this spring, trust me, whether you buy designer, H&M, Zara or wherever else you shop.
Because I always post the latest H&M lookbook, I thought I'd do something different this time and show the possible "inspirations" (although some of them were plainly coincidental) from runway to H&M. While the silhouettes may differ, the colour stories are similar. None of them are designer knock-offs but mainly something that, perhaps, works on a semiotic level.
Nina Ricci and H&M
There's no argument that Peter Copping of Nina Ricci loves pastels and Honeysuckle in both cases makes pretty and flirty summer ensembles. I know, H&M is no Nina Ricci but it's pretty adorable too.
Marc Jacobs and H&M
Marc Jacobs was all about channeling the 70s and YSL with his flow-y numbers and H&M takes the flow-y note with this pretty two-tone maxi. Perhaps the silhouettes and colours aren't a coincidence here?
Loewe and H&M
Russet meets Honeysuckle at Loewe in the form of an amazing leather t-shirt (Loewe is a leather house after all). H&M combines the colours with a pretty two-tone spring turtleneck.
3.1 Phillip Lim and H&M
Russet (or pretty close to it) is accompanied by simple black and white geometric shapes both at Phillip Lim and H&M. I actually like H&M's version better.
3.1 Phillip Lim and H&M
And Russet combined with Regatta begets cute tomboy ensembles. I admit that I'm totally crushing on the Phillip Lim suede blazer.
Derek Lam and H&M
Of course, one cannot do blue or summer without some denim. Same shade, different stories here: Derek Lam's feels very 70s while H&M's is kind of 60s mod.
Missoni and H&M
Last year turquoise was the colour of the year, and this year its cousin Blue Curacao is coming up strong. I'm sure to most people it's still turquoise but designers can get pretty specific about these type of things. I thought Missoni's show was total weirdness and strangely unsophisticated for the brand, but I enjoyed this particular exaggerated Missoni print with Regatta, Blue Caracao and Peapod (not as popular as others). But, more importantly, I'm in love with H&M's version of the colour combo. If it's a silk or a cotton blend, I'm sold.
Fendi and H&M
And Blue Caracao and Regatta make an appearance again in this adorable pouffy sleeved Fendi dress and Peapod joins them in the H&M version.
I know from the Honeysuckle post that so many of you were not aware of colour forecasting (neither was I until I started my blog). What do you think of the runway to fast fashion interpretations of the colour stories and silhouette themes? And finally, H&M's S/S '11 lookbook? I say delightful.
* H&M images courtesy of H&M (photography by Hasse Nielsen).