Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The "WANT" vs The "can have"

/wɒnt, wɔnt/ Show Spelled[wont, wawnt] Show IPA
–verb (used with object)
to feel a need or a desire for; wish for: to want one's dinner; always wanting something new.

The word "want" is described as a verb indicating wish or desire. But want is a powerful thing. Anything that has to do with passion or desire has the power to balloon into this ginormous monster of need. When that happens the simple verb "want" becomes a thing, a separate entity known to me as "THE WANT".

Now "THE WANT" is not a thing to be trifled with, it can consume, "THE WANT" can lead to jealousy, coveting and a slew of unpleasant emotions. It takes various shapes and can come from a need for the emotional like love or happiness, something life changing like marriage or a child, something material like a car or home.
"THE WANT" can and will keep you up at night, it will turn you into a schemer, a planner, sometimes even a manipulator(of people or truths), "THE WANT" can and will wreck you at times.

I want to talk about THE WANT today, but even in this very exhibitionist/voyeuristic world dominated by social media I have to keep some things to myself. And while I admittedly have the "THE WANT" for some powerful and possibly unattainable things, I'm going to focus on "THE WANT' for material items. This is not to discount the severity of the "THE WANT" for material things, many a person has lost family, homes, even jobs in their search for more things. I have put myself in and find myself in a precarious situation due to "THE WANT" and my inability to tell it to FUCK off.

While I haven't bested the beast, I can trick him a bit. If I can't get that thing that I want but can't afford I'm going to find something like it that I can. This is especially easy to do when dealing with handbags.

I always look for the "Steal vs Splurge" sections in magazines where they profile similar items. However I'm frequently frustrated by the high end designer vs what is often a low end replica.

I think that when you fall for a bag you can't have you should look at the shape, texture, coloring, and then find something that offers a similar aesthetic in your price range. Not a replica so much as having something you like in common. My comparison is between high end designer bags and the more accessible yet also respected "contemporary" designers. In other words I'm talking about looking at bags in the Louis Vuitton price point vs bags in the Tory Burch price point (although I'm not going to look at those specific designers) :

Hermes vs Proenza Schouler

This is the iconic Hermes Birkin, you cannot just stroll into an Hermes shop and pick up this bag even if you did have the $10,000+ to buy it. Wait times for a Birkin can take years. This bag is all about exclusivity and is often thought as the Holy Grail of handbags. This bag is not me so its easy for me to keep "THE WANT" at bay. If I were to ever purchase this bag It would be a trophy "oh look what I have " purchase and I really don't want to be that person.

If you don't have $10,000+ or a generous significant other/friend/family member to buy you the Birkin I present to you the Proenza Schouler PS1 Keep All. Similar to the Birkin in shape and size, the PS1 is a very modern interpretation of a carry all. The front features a flap over and multiple cut outs and straps. The beauty in this bag is in the architecture and that it is not trying to be a Birkin or any other bag, the girl who carries it wants to be carrying a PS1. With a price tag of $1,275 it is not cheap in the least but it is accessible with some short term saving up or by using a paycheck whatever floats your boat.

Chanel vs Rebecca Minkoff

This is currently "THE WANT" for me. The Chanel 2.55 in lambskin. Nothing says timeless like Chanel. Coco knew what she was doing and her legacy will live on for a long time. Chanel is about the classic and the sublime. Its luxury personified. But that chain strap while lady like also brings a bit of the badass. And I live for a bit of the badass in my accessories. Chanel does not promote it prices on the websites of it's authorized resellers like Bloomingdales and Saks, which is a good indication that it's not for everyone. A typical 2.55 can start at about $2,100. Right now "THE WANT" for this bag has me doing all kinds of rationalizing and planing, like if I eat cereal for two paychecks I can put money towards the bag, if I find a friend who works at Bloomingdale's maybe I can get a discount, maybe I can do a good consignment purchase (used or vintage)  reducing the price to $900. There is all kinds of plotting going on in my head for this bag.

While "THE WANT" forces me to do all my scheming and planning for a 2.55 I needed a stop gap. A bag to fill the void left by my non existent Chanel. I went on a hunt for a chain strap bag as that was the one element I wanted most. Enter the Rebecca Minkoff "The Affair" for $325. I did a ShopStyle.com search for chain strap bags and of the hundreds that came up "The Affair" was my instant favorite. While the bag has the similar quilting and straps of a Chanel, it's not a wannabe or poser Chanel. It may be Rebecca's ode to Chanel while maintaining her young and edgy aesthetic by using circular quilting, studs throughout and washed pebbled leather. She makes a great bag for a great price, while its not lambskin, the bag is made of quality Italian leather and heavy hardware. I bought this bag last week and looooove it. While it didn't annihilate "THE WANT" for the 2.55 it's definitely alleviated it.

Lanvin vs Kate Spade
I have spoken of my love of Lanvin recently so I will not dwell on it for too long but Alber I love you and your love affair with both luxury and femininity. This is all evident in his Amalia bag. This metallic leather chain strap shoulder bag sells for a pretty steep $2,195, And I won't lie, if I had it I would drop it on this bag in a minute as it is very inline with my aesthetic. But alas I don't, le sigh....

Kate Spade has done her own metallic , chain strap, bow embellished bag that I honestly think feels closer to an actual copy of the Amalia than a similar look. Lanvin made this line in various sizes, colors and shapes and the Kate Spade is similar to more than one. She used the same texture, straps and embellishment but has changed the shape making her bag a structured tote and by eliminating the quilting she changed it up just enough. If you love the Lanvin Amalia and are looking for something a bit more affordable and practical at $445 this is the way to go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Inside My Bag-A look into the Supermassive Blackhole

I've seen bloggers and readers all over the Internet post photos of the inside of their handbags over the last couple of years and I've always meant to do it.

Today I'm sharing the contents of my handbag and the stories behind each item. When I decided to do this I promised to be completely honest and not add or remove any items for privacy or storytelling purposes.

Silver filigree pocket mirror- Was a Mothers Day gift 2 years ago from then 5 year old niece. My sister always jokes that I like to look at myself in the mirror so when my niece went shopping on her own at her school sponsored sale she picked this up for me not knowing my sister was insulting me. She is so pure of heart and her innocence and intelligence astounds me. And it's OK to like mirrors and making sure I look OK so it was a win win. It's actually one of my most prized possessions.

My taxes-The IRS is STUPID, nuff' said. They screw me over every year at least once a year.

I'm a gadget girl, it ridiculous how many gadgets I carry around on a daily basis. My Blackberry--I hate whenever this thing notifies me about anything, I do not enjoy structure. Digital camera--I never leave home without a charged camera, you never know when you will step into a moment you want to capture. I like to preserve every memory. Bluetooth ipad keyboard--the best accessory for the ipad I have come across hands down, MIFI portable broadband--This takes my wifi Ipad and gives it access to the internet anywhere, I'm still getting used to it and have encountered issues. My old iphone which no longer functions as a phone as I switched to Blackberry but I cant let go of it as my media player. You cannot use an ipad for music on the go, it would be like carrying a boombox. And I need music, constantly I can not stand silence and there is always an ever changing soundtrack to my life playing on my ipod.

February 2011 Vogue--This months issue features a profile on my favorite designers right now Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough who are the designers/founders of Proenza Schouler. A blog post on my love of their work is forthcoming. I like the direction that Vogue is going in wuth their cover models this year. January-Natalie Portman, February Kristen Stewart, March Lady Gaga and Rhianna is expected for April. Anna Wintour is focusing on talent and edge this year after devoting multiple covers to her protege Blake (look at my boobs) Lively last year.

Drawing by my niece-We had a small party for my nephew at home on his 3rd birthday the other day. My niece made up party games and drew pictures as the prizes. I won the beautiful butterfly drawing for pin the S on Superman(she also drew her own Superman). I love this chick.

Ticket Stubs to Tangled, Love this movie makes me want to walk around with a frying pan to chase off any Badguys!

Wallet and make up bag--Both of these come with me everywhere I go. I love that while its fairly simple the clasp and color of this wallet make it very mod and kind of spunky.

Accessories that I got bored of during the day. I love statement rings and wear a large one on my left hand ring everyday but sometimes get bored with it during the day. This one is from Puerto Rico and made with wood from the island and has a pounded sterling face. The barrette was bought at a vintage shop in Baltimore for $1, I adore it and hate that I lost its match.

This card came in my handbag, its hand written by the sales associate at Barney's. I cant really make out what is says but I'm oddly fascinated by it so I kept inside the bag.

Close up of my iPad which I have named baby. I carry it around everywhere and have fallen asleep with under my pillow often.

I enjoy cute things, I tote the owl coin bag everywhere, and my beat up Papyrus heart keychain.

Tarte quilted eyeshadow pallet--I have a highly suggestible personality, I was watching a how to make up video on youtube and this kit was being used, I ran out and bought it at Sephora the same day.

The bag---This an AW/2010 Navy Calfskin hobo from Lanvin. I came by this bag in a very serendipitous way. On the day before our office broke for the holiday break our team gathered for a holiday potluck, during which I was browsing Twitter when Barneys tweeted the start of their year end sale. I quickly shared the info with my office buddy and fellow handbag enthusiast. We both saw and loved the Lanvin hobo. This bag is expensive it definitely a luxury bag with a luxury price tag. But when I went to buy it it was sold out:( When we got back from vacation my friend let me know that the bag was too big for her style (its goes from shoulder to upper thigh) and she was going to return but held onto it in case I wanted it. I fell in lust that moment I put it on my shoulder. The quality on is amazing Ive never felt a leather quite so rich before. Despite it's price tag and the brands pedigree this is not an ostentatious bag at all. It's beauty is in its simplicity and timelessness.

It didn't photograph well in my poorly lit abode but here is a clear look at the bag in camel. I personally really enjoy the grossgrain trim along the opening. and the bonus wristlet it came with.

The thing with a purchase like this even though I love and enjoy it and even with the discount I can't help but feel guilty and I can't help but feel a bit sick. This purchase actually prompted a friend to send me information on Shopaholics Anonymous.

So there it is a look into my bag and my life because each item in here ties to some persons or thing. While the was nothing salacious or sordid in my bag, showing the contents of ones personal belongs is quite daunting.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On Guilty Pleasures & Vampire Copulation

We all have our guilty pleasures some more embarrassing than others. I like any good Trekkie or Star Wars fanatic wear my geeky love out in the open........You see I'm a Twihard ( couldn't someone have come up with a better monikor?)
What's a Twihard? Well a Twihard is someone obsessed with the Twilight Saga books and or movies....me I love them both. The writing us crap and full if cheese but the story.....well the story is fuckawesome. I read New Moon is five hours because I had to see how Edward back, I rushed through Eclipse in a day because I needed the triangle with Jacob to be done, Stephanie Meyer with all her faults knew how to keep her audience desperate for what came next.

After I read the books well next step was the movies and they are as campy as the books which is good in a way because I'm seeing the same story not a retouched or flanked up version. While some of the casting is horrid and some if the acting is cringe inducing I became just as hooked on the movies as the books.

I go see the midnight premiers and brave the rabid tweens and Twimoms to get my fix. Scour the internet for the scripts, read all the blogs see the ibterviews etc. The final book in the saga Breaking Dawn is currently being filmed as two movies to be released over the next two years. Eeekkk!!!! Almost two years to see VampBella?? Unfortunately yes, Breaking Dawn part 1 will release on November 18, 2011 and Breaking Dawn 2 which features Bella living as a vampire and the vampire human hybrid Renessme will release in November 2012. Both movies are being filmed at one time to reduce actor aging and to allow for extensive effects.
This will be the longest time between the release of a Twilight movie, which is frustrating as the big things happen in breaking Dawn:

Bella and Edward get married (sorry team Jacob you lost)
Bella and Edward trade in their V cards and have headboard shattering, flying feathers sex in Rio
A vampire baby but fear not the producers are releasing
The bad guys come a callin' etc.

Now even with all these things to look forward to, keeping the interest of an aging and evolving audience for a year and a half is hard which is why over the last few months as the movies filmed the producers have been gifting the loyal fans with
small glimpses of what's to come first up:

This photo was released on Thanksgiving as a gift from Director Bill Condon. When this photo was released I laughed....I mean talk about knowing your audience. See that there is Bella's arm surrounded by feathers....and well the feathers the mean Bella and Edward had an interesting wedding night. I think this was marketing genius it was subtle ,tasteful and left you wanting more. Well played Summit Entertainment, well played.

For Christmas we got this lovely postcard pic:

Sent with a tag line of 'Happy Holidays from the Swan House to yours". Again well done, this pic of what looks lime an ordinary living room is a picture of the house used for Bella and Charlie's house in the movies. Now if we look closely we will notice three very important things:

1----we have 4 stockings hung by the fireplace
2----1 stocking is small and meant for a child
3----the picture of the little girl in the background

This pic is actually a taste of Breaking Dawn part 2 when Bella and her husband Edward (sorry again team Jacob) take their daughter to visit grandpa Charlie for Christmas.

And looky what they released just after the new year:

This is the first official still(a photo of an actual scene) from Breaking Dawn 1 and it's kind of perfect. Twihards the world over were all a quiver over this photo. Twilight is a love story and Edward and Bella are the heart of this story and these movies. This pic is perfect in that is beautiful and tender and portrays the devotion that was detailed in the book. A photo of Edward and Bella doing the bump and grind would have gone against what they've been portrayed to be. This photo is smoking hot and yet classy. Beautifully lit and cropped it was the perfect glimpse at the next chapter in the story. And the actors well they look good, these two have made the movies worth watching. Others things can and have failed in this franchise but Edward and Bella had to be perfect and this casting was spot on.

Now as great as the tidbits from production have been the non official pics are much more telling of the storyline.

Sparing no expense (actually they are a pretty cheap studio) Summit decided to film the honeymoon on Location in various parts of Rio, being an exterior shoot this allowed some fans and the ever present and disturbing paparazzi to get some exciting pics:

Filmed in Lapa these pics show Edward and Bella strolling through the streets of Brazil as the land in Rio. Can I just say I'm loving the look these two are sporting, the Cullens are filthy stinkin rich and we are finally seeing them dresses accordingly and the look lime newlyweds having a fun walk.

Ooh Edwards boat

Filmed in Paraty these are pics of various honeymoon beach outings, again love the styling here and that they spent the money to do this right as opposed to green screening a beach.

The chess board is a cool throwback to the book cover

I have to say I never thought they would put her in a bikini after she wore pants and two shirts in the Eclipse beach scene. These pics are from a waterfall stunt doubles apparently did a jump into the ocean but no pics were taken

These show a bit more of the waterdall location and are pics of the actors in between takes, this is obvious because Edward and Bella don't smoke.

Well there you go there's my look of what's coming in Breaking Dawn part 1. They are being much more secretive with what's coming in part 2 as the 2012 release date is so far off but I will leave you with the latest and most important addition to the ginormous Breaking Dawn cast :

Mackenzie Foy as Renesmee Cullen"

Again great casting at least visually speaking, while there no way to know what her acting ability is she certainly looks like she could be the daughter of the actors who portray her parents. The plan is to use the same CGI technology that was used in Benjamin Button to show her rapid growth. They will use Mackenzie's face and voice on the bodies of younger actresses. And her face will also be adjusted to show how she changes from infant to elementary school age.

PS: I couldn't leave this out, I love how much fun he's having here this is a downtime pic and it's made of win. I mean he's a super famous multi millionaire in his skivvies.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to Blogging...Because the UK rules!!!!!!

OK so I've kind of been gone for a bit, the demands of real life took over and time was lost. But after a couple of mini vacations and some time to myself I am back to blogging hopefully uninterrupted.
For my first post back I wanted to share my new obsession, UK based online fashion Mecca ASOS.com. I do not use the term obsession lightly, this online store is quite literally owning my ass right now. I have in the last month placed four orders from them, three of these orders were in the last week and a half alone.
I am a social net-workers dream come true, as I update my Facebook or stalk celebrities on Twitter my eye catches the little adverts on the side of screen and I will from time to time click on them. Early in July I believe I was on Twitter when I caught sight of an amazing big pocket apron dress, I thought to myself I wish it came in my size but assumed that like always it would not. I clicked on the photo and was directed to ASOS.com. The dress was only $40 and they were apparently in the midst of a sale,
I however was broke so I bookmarked the page and went about my business. I drifted back to the site a couple of weeks later and looked at the full line and fell in love....hard!
I shop at many many stores so it's hard for anything to surprise me and that is what ASOS did. Nordstrom, Torrid, Macy's Bloomingdale's, they all have nice things but at the end of the day they are all selling the same thing. ASOS's plus size line is carrying items that I have simply not seen in plus sizes in the US and have only rarely in standard sizes in stores that are financially at accessible to me.

ASOS carries their own line as well as many lines by well known designers. In addition to having an array of great fashion collections, they also have a MASSIVE shoe department as well as beauty, accessories, men's and children's. It is simply one of the largest online stores I have visited.
The ASOS website is also one of the most user friendly sites I have ever used and it has amazing tools for the shoppers benefit, I shall list them for your benefit:

#5- Currency conversion-You can select which currency you would like to view prices in. This is great because you do not want to fill a shopping bag with items listed in pounds only to check out and have the amount of money you thought you spent double because of conversion to US dollars.

#4- Editorial content: 3 favorite items from new additions to the collections are selected by the sites editors and listed on the homepage. It's worth noting that the editors/buyers and directors of ASOS hail from some seriously respected sources such as Vogue. They also group collections of items based on of the moment trends so that the buyer can shop a specific "look". ASOS also publishes it's own high quality fashion magazine that can be viewed online.

#3- CLEARANCE ASOS has an extensive and constantly updated clearance section as well as an outlet section which has sale items that are not a drastically reduced. This dress was bought on 75 % clearance
This quick and easy dress was reduced from $70 to $14

#2 Flat rate shipping- Shipping to the US is fixed at $6 for standard shipping and $14 for 3 day express delivery. That is amazing I can not get those shipping rates from any store in the US, hell even Old Navy is fixed at $7.

#1-Catwalk, the "view catwalk" option is a video of a model wearing and walking in each individual item on the site. This is an unbelievable asset, items look very different in movement, something that appears blah in a 2d photo can become stunning when shown as part of full outfit and in it's actual scale. Also I find that colors in photos can vary greatly from the actual color shown in the video. There may be other stores with this option out there but ASOS is the first store that I have come across.

While my favorite pieces so far have all been party clothes, I do recognize that I do not go out all that often and I managed to build a new work wardrobe. I'm going for a retro 40's "Secretarial Pool" look, that has gone over really well.

But party dresses do own my heart and I could not stop ordering dress after dress. My recent birthday(yesterday) gave me an excuse to indulge and I made 4 costume changes through out the day, including the cage shirt which I paired with a simple pencil skirt, and what I like to call the swirly dress. I'm in love with both pieces which were from my first order from the site.

The swirly dress is amazing in person and made of knit cotton and quite comfortable.

Me in the swirly dress,

Lace dress worn to bday dinner:

The cage shirt is one of my favorite purchases EVER!

This draped shirt paired with jeans was my final costume change of the day:

But if I had to pick a favorite ASOS purchase it would be the cargo Parka featured above, the hood alone makes me swoon. It was also a clearance item purchased for $40. So Ive talked a lot about ASOS now you should go check out the site for yourselves, look, love and buy many pretty things.

I would like to thank the British at this time for recognizing that the overweight appreciate and deserve trend setting fashion. Since I am in a list writing mood I will leave you with my list of the top 5 fuckawesome things from England: