31 January 2008

If I had a sugar daddy...

Prague silk-blend draped skirt by David Szeto
$765 at net-a-porter.com

Since I don't (yet)

Draped hidden-pocket tulip skirt by Topshop
£25 at topshop.com

Eye candy of the week

What the heck, y'all seemed eager to eat all the candy last week, so I figured it'd be a good idea to pass some more out.


If I were more into handbags, I'd jump for joy at finding this Kelly-style vintage bag. At only $70, even the price smacks of decades gone by...

I was recently asked who my favorite current designer was for a blogger profile, and my answer -part of it, anyway- was that, for clothing I can afford (when it's on-sale), I'm definitely all about Beth Blake and Melissa Akey for Thread Social right now. This is a look from their Spring/Summer RTW collection, and I'm already stalking TS's online vendors in anticipation of its debut.

This is the prettiest Vicky B. has looked in years. I could be wrong, but I think it may be her new wrist tatt that's responsible for her dare I say, almost friendly-looking glow...

We may have broken up after the disturbingly vacant appearances you gave during promo week for that awful movie I know you're regretting right about now, but Katie, doll, we'll always have your outfits. This one, I'm proud to say, looks awfully similar to what I put together every chilly Saturday afternoon. It has "walking 10 blocks to Penn Quarter" written all over it.

Like a soothing, drop-drop-fizz-fizz after the SAG Awards heartburn - Joy Bryant adds a touch of class to the head-shakingly bad fare on the Welcome Home Roscoe Jones red carpet.
The side view is just as good, no?

KimKar in quite possibly the ugliest swimsuit the Calypso outlet ever did sell. But for serious, who's even looking at the suit? Even Kim can't help but glance at her goodies and think, "Gotta admit, I'm a lucky, lucky lady..."

I wasn't in love with the cut of the colorblocked Calvin Klein gown Jamie-Lynn Sigler wore to the SAG Awards last Sunday, however...
...I do believe I have a new pair of shoulders to adore.

Speaking of disappointing SAG dresses, thank goodness Kate rebounded from her Harley-inspired Balmain number with this kicky cobalt Lanvin mini. *Love*.

And while we're on the topic of Lanvin, let me please lust over this pre-Fall peek at Alber's upcoming collection (photo courtesy of Ms. Spinach)

Not crazy about the embellished Herrera dress, not crazy about all the Godiva (I'm a Sunkist Fruit Gems girl) but Ali Larter, as always, is so well put-together I had no choice but to dub her a definite piece of "eye candy".

16 reasons why you shouldn't settle for a blah blouse

You always talk about 'showpiece' necklines, and while I know I need to stop wearing the same boring button-up shirts and scoopneck tops week in and week out, when I'm in a store and actually searching for something, I'm always at a loss. Exactly what qualifies [as a showpiece neckline]?

I may not be qualified to offer advice on true bargain hunting.

I'm probably not the girl to whom you should come for an all-sizes-are-equally-beautiful pep talk.

And I'm definitely not fashion-forward enough to recognize (much less understand) the obvious brilliance behind the denim-n'-stars extravaganza Lagerfeld and Pilati sent down their runways in Paris last Fall.

But as John Rambo sagely imparted in First Blood and reinforced in installments two through four, one must not permit one's weaknesses -or outside reminders thereof- to detract from exercising one's strengths. He had his cross-bow, and I, well, I have the ability to identify, locate and put forth for my readers a flat-out fabulous collection of showpiece necklines.

Necklines, they're kinda what I do best.

In the office, there is far less we can do below the belt than above; the range in cut and color for professional trousers and skirts is so very narrow, and thus, I greatly encourage you to look beyond the traditional oxfords and twin-set shells to consider any one of the following 16 varieties.*

Maybe not the last one, however, as its extreme volume tests even my sky-high tolerance for frill.


Petite cowl
($36.50 at asos.com)

Large cowl
($275 at net-a-porter.com)

Petite pleat
($34.99 at gap.com)

Large pleat

($276 at chickdowntown.com)

Fancy trim
($130 at pinkmascara.com)


($89 at nordstrom.com)

Petite bow
($251 at shopbop.com)

Medium bow
($160 at revolveclothing.com)

Large bow
($228 at saks.com)
Slouchy turtleneck
($17.80 at forever21.com)

Petite neck-framing frill
($89, Club Monaco stores)

Large neck-framing frill
($276 at lisakline.com)

Down-front frill

(£25 at topshop.com)

Asymmetric down-front frill
($1,110 at neimanmarcus.com)

*remember, I'm not so much recommending the specific blouse as I am the type of neckline each blouse represents.

30 January 2008

If I had a sugar daddy...

'Woman of Affairs' vintage gown by Estevez
$985 at poshvintage.com

Since I don't (yet)

Vintage-style party dress by Grayson Sofia
$98 at unique-vintage.com

She's out today...

...but please, go right ahead and tell me my hindquarters could stand to lose a few, that my asymmetric eye-patch is painfully '80s and that the red-rimming 'round my peepers makes me look an aged three years instead of my youthful two and a half.

Go on, I dare you.

29 January 2008

If I had a sugar daddy...

Dress shirt by Karen Zambos Vintage Couture
$345 at madisonloasangeles.com

Since I don't (yet)

Silk button-back blouse by Banana Republic
$79 at bananarepublic.com

I'm gonna have to borrow that

First, a photographic introduction to the influence(s) behind why my new favorite dressy topper is an LLJ, or "little leather jacket":

Ashley, Winter 2008
Ashley, November 2007

Together with Danny Tanner, January 2007
Mary-Kate, September 2007

Together, September 2006
Together, May 2006
Together, March 2006

For those who were hoping I'd fallen off the Prim Express altogether with an admission of affection for Mary-Kate's favored Balenciaga ankle-booties, Ashley's beloved Louboutin 'Pinhead' boots, or their mutual affection for all things big and furry, I do apologize. I'm not quite there yet.

Where I am, however, is madly in love with the idea of wearing a fitted, moto-style black leather jacket on the red carpet -- or in my case, to a formal or semi-formal DC event. For the past couple of months, ever since my lone formal coat was sucked into a black abyss in a club bathroom, I've had to choose among my work coat, my more casual weekend coat, my olive trench and a host of cute but seasonably impractical jackets to top my cocktail ensembles. I know it might seem excessive to some to care so much about an item that will spend the majority of the evening on a rented hanger, but hey, that's me, I kinda want it all.

So after a couple of years of observing the twins Tanner rock this look so successfully, I finally came to a point where (a) I needed a new going-out coat (b) I found a very reasonably priced version of my ideal going-out coat and (c) I had the chutzpah to finally face the fact that there may be a little more Olsen and a little less Audrey in me than I ever wanted to admit.

Also, on a more practical note, the benefits of owning an LLJ extend far beyond just that which you'd wear on the party circuit. They look smashing with skinny jeans and flats, super chic with a high-waisted pencil skirt and pumps and even have the ability to enhance that ruffled jumpsuit you know you -and your friend to whom you've outsourced its less-expensive equivalent's search and rescue- are constantly looking for on the Interwebs.

In closing, I'd like to thank you, Mary-Kate and Ashley, for your leather-jacket-cum-party-topper inspiration -- I hope y'all don't mind too much I'm gonna have to borrow that.

A new feature: "I'm gonna have to borrow that"

Prompted by reader Angelina's suggestion that I include in my ASJiNE repertoire an end-of-the-month feature in which I highlight the item I've coveted more than any other during the previous 27 to 30 days, I give you just that -- but with an eensy tweak.

Instead of simply placing my seal of approval on this pair of jeans, that cool clutch or the funnel-necked leather sheath I quite literally can't stop searching for/fantasizing about, I thought a more interesting approach would instead involve writing about the genesis of that month's most notable influence, be it from a runway trend, a vintage find, a DC lawyer with an admirably avant-garde fashion sense, or in this month's case, a celebrity.

Or two, rather.

Check back later today for my first "I'm gonna have to borrow that" installment to see what finally convinced me to think of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen less as the crazy cat-women in waiting I'd always assumed they were and more as two cool chicks with two very unique, often sophisticated and always chance-taking senses of style.

And no, (eye roll) their bony chests will not be the featured subject.

28 January 2008

If I had a sugar daddy...

Iconic luxe 'Antonia' satchel by Zac Posen
$1,200 at neimanmarcus.com

Since I don't (yet)

'Sloan Peterson' tote by Urban Expressions
$49 at baghaus.com

There has to be an Oscar ceremony, there just *has* to be

I don't know about you, but what I witnessed walking down the SAG Awards red carpet last night did nothing for me.

Well, not nothing but pretty darn close to it.

My feeling is, if we're expected to endure Giuliana and Debbie's highly sycophantic, over-the-top "You look amaaaazing, girl -- how you keep yo'self so teeny-tiny?" interviews with some of the most annoying women in the industry -namely Eva Longoria(-Parker), Amanda Bynes and Nikki Blonsky- I better be able to de-numb my senses with some gorgeous gowns, sky-high stilettos and sparkly four-figure box clutches.

What I'm saying is, fantasizing about Javier Bardem, Viggo Mortensen, Josh Brolin and James Gandolfini -separately and collectively, I admit- should not have been the highlight of my pre-show.

Here below you'll find the two dresses that made me shake my head the least, the five that made me shake my head the most and the three that with a bit of tweaking could have been so much more than they were.

Keep in mind, I graded these looks in the same way all my college and graduate school professors graded my essays -- with a very generous bell-curve. In other words, someone in the sea of so-so had to get an 'A'. That's just how the system works.

Without further ado, here's what is hopefully the junior varsity version of February 24th's big game:

The Best

Marg Helgenberger in a stunning one-shouldered number*

Michelle Pfeiffer in blissfully simple Versace

The Worst

Lisa Rinna in a Cavalli-looking Jenny Packham

Jenna Fischer (braless) in Collette Dinnigan

Nikki Blonsky (Spanx-less) in IGIGI

Jane Krakowski, dress and gumball necklace by Malandrino

Chandra Wilson in sequins overload

The 'Would've been better if...'

...she'd gone up a size on top AND worn a bandeau bikini on her last vacation
Vanessa Williams in Escada

...she'd nixed the bow and chosen a less voluminous (i.e., column) skirtSandra Oh in a modern take of a Korean hanbok

...she'd left the dress un-brooched and taken the time to get a pediMarcia Cross in Monique Lhuillier

*if only she'd pulled her hair back in a low-'n-tight chignon to better show off that fantastic patent leather detailing...