April 29, 2007

Body Worlds II

So this week, I finally went to see The Body Worlds II. I've been meaning to see it since January, but it has taken the fact that the exhibit was ending (THIS WEEKEND!) in Chicago to get me to finally book the tickets and go. And to think, its not even that far from where I live, seriously. Anyways, we booked tickets to see the Human Body imax and the exhibition because we thought it was all together. Not so. While the imax wasn't too bad, it wasn't quite what we were expecting- a detailed video of how they plastinate people. It was a video of how the human body works and it was cool in that they actually showed real videos of how a foetus is developed inside it's mother and how food is churned in the stomach and gall bladder splurts out bile in the small intestines. I've learnt in theory all these things, butI've never actually seen it happen. Oh and did you know that our hands were oringally a big blob of cells and the shape was formed as the cells degenerate? Sigh, I wish the cells at the tip of my fingers would've stayed, I'd have liked longer and leaner finger. But yeah, not exactly what we were hyping up for.

Anyway, the actual exhibit was quite fascinating. The bones, the brains, the real organs, the giant camel, the floating nerves and of course- the actual bodies. It was amazing the way they were preserved. You can even see the eyes and the eye lashes! Oh and there were interesting historical displays hanging around too. Like how Da Vinci used to dig up bodies in grave yards and dissected them to get a better sense of the body. And how Frogandard was quite the anatomist himself- and who knew from his gorgeous paintings?
My only slight concern with the exhibit was the artistic displays of the human body, which seemed kind of unneccesary. Its hard to remember sometimes that these were actually human beings. Especially when one see's displays like the drawer man, where chunks were cut and pulled out of the body like drawers and the spiral man, whose body was cut out like spirals. And the ballerina, football and yoga positions. . . I know it says its to show the muscles of the human body in action, but it felt more like they were placed like that for a better display. I'm aware that if they didn't do things like these, I probably wouldn't have found the exhibit quite as fascinating, but then this other part of me remembers that these are real. . . . .
And lastly, here is what your lungs look like if you smoke.

Overall, it was a great experience. The human body is truly amazing. If you haven't already, check out if they're coming to your area next on their site!

April 28, 2007

Oversized Clutches

On a recent shopping spree, I was bored, waiting outside the changing room, and I started picking up the bags around. After a few bags, I picked up this large Marni clutch, looked into the mirror and got that feeling -that unexpected, novel feeling. After carrying large handbags during daytime for so long, it was SO refreshing to carry this clutch.

OK, so oversized clutches might not be a trend this season, and carrying a bag without the strap is certainly annoying. But it's such a nice feeling to carry a bag with only the things you actually need, instead of the ten million random, useless things you probably have in your bag. Ever since that moment of holding the Marni clutch, I've started to take notice of oversized clutches around me. Zara this season, has very Marni-sh oversized clutches. And I love Ashley's large, red Bottega Veneta one -it's just the right size and adds a touch of colour to her outfit.
J Crew has some classic summer ones, such as this straw clutch.

Here is a canvas one by J Crew that is less beachy.

While the L.A.M.B. Catania clutch isn't 100% my style, but it is very cool.

For something really simple and affordable, these are from Top Shop.

These two are right on trend: (Left) Black patent clutch by Goldenbleu; (Right) Metallic clutch by Lauren Mirkin -great for night time. Both are available at shopbop.

Lastly, one of my favourite ones -the Balenciaga Giant Traveller. It's way out of my budget for a clutch but I'll just continue fantasizing about it.

OK, so I'm probably not going to buy a daytime, oversized clutch anytime soon (unless I happen to see an affordable one,) but it's such a nice alternative to the heavy, huge bags we've been lugging around recently!

Photo credits: Linked above.

April 26, 2007

Dresses from The Bachelors

Ok, so I watch the Bachelors. Not exactly THE hit show to watch or anything, but in my defense, this season's bachelor is way hot.
He's cute, he's in the navy, he's a doctor, he does the triathalon i.e. he has the body of a god AND he is a humanitarian. But anyway, this post isn't supposed to be about me oogling Andy (well maybe just a little). Its about how amazing it is that these girls always seem to have an endless supply of dresses packed in their little suitcases, wearing a different dress every episode for the cocktail party. Do they get sponsors?

Anyway, so I thought since we're on the topic of prom, it would be fun to look at the types of dresses they wear (since there are such a huge accumulation of them at once on different body types and coloring on the show) and see just see what works and what doesn't.
HITS: I thought these two dresses were sophisticated and elegant. The black dress is classic with just the right amount of sexiness. And the emerald green dress complements perfectly with her dark coloring.
SO SO: While I like the flirty and fun cut of the dress, I thought it looked slightly prom like and too girly.
SO SO: I like the design of the top part of her dress and the cream color. But I thought the additional details at the skirt was just a bit too much.
MISS: Call me traditional, but I just didn't think her dress was very well fitted-esp at the cleavage. Plus the cutting does nothing for her shape and the light blue shade is slightly too pale for her complexion.
SO SO: I like how the vibrant color of her dress contrasts so well with her coloring. But I'm not sure how flattering the cutting of her dress is. . . .
HIT: Personally I hate orange. But surprisingly, I think this orange dress looks good with her blonde and tanned complexion. The cutting is also very simple and flattering.
SO SO: Again red looks good on her, except I think the bias cut of her skirt makes her legs look shorter than they are.

MISSES: Ok, that short short metallic dress (left) is just skanky. I don't think the funny cutting of her her skirt with two strips dangling down (center) is not very complimenting. And the short cutting and that shiny purple color (right) is just WAY too promlike for her.

Sorry the pictures are so small and the selection so few. But they really don't post too many pictures of their cocktail parties and rose ceremony much. I really wanted to show you this gorgeous yellow strapless long dress that Tessa wore on episode 2, but alas, they didn't have a picture of it. She looked great in it! If you have time go check it yourselves on abc.com!

Scarves For Now

Ever since the Balenciaga FW07 show, I've been paying more attention to people's scarves rather than their bags.
OK, it's unfortunate I used Beckham as an example here, but these scarves are pretty unisex.
These look like heavy (warm) scarves, but I like them so I posted them here too. I really like Kirsten's purple and blue one, (but perhaps not the best outfit to match with.)
It is getting a bit warm to wear big, thick scarves, but it may be the perfect time to wear light scarves. Plus scarves are a great and practical way to add some colour to our mostly grey, black and white outfits (at least mines' are.)
These are from Urban Outfitters. They look really similar (or the same?) to the ones Beckham and Kirsten has on. My only question is, how the heck do you style the scarf that way?
A plaid one from Urban Outfitters. At the moment, these are definitely cooler than the Burberry signature scarves. (Although the Burberry ones are really winter rather than spring scarves.)
Here are two light, fun ones from Top Shop. The white one is great if you've got a colourful outfit on, and the printed one is just fun to accessorise with.

April 25, 2007

SS07 Trend: High-Waisted Wide Leg Trousers

First off, regarding Sat's 'Thoughts On Three CDs' post, I would like to point out that taste is subjective, whether it is of fashion, beauty, music, books and food etc. Everyone should have their own likes and dislikes and be open-minded about those of others. Afterall, what makes your taste superior to someone else's? But anyways, let's move onto today's topic: high-waisted wide leg trousers (such an annoying long name!)

I grew up in the mid-90's to mid-00's, when low-waisted jeans (or pants) dominated, so I must say, it feels very weird for me to see high-waisted trousers (or anything high-waisted for that matter). I've always thought high-waisted trousers as a thing of the past -something that is unmodern and most importantly, something that is unflattering to the majority.
But then when the tide seemed to hint of such trousers and Top Shop made some, I thought it was a good time just to experiment with them. Thus I bought this affordable pair from Top Shop. So now I have to look at different people wearing them to get inspiration and styling yeses and nos.

I was first inspired by MK, whose trousers are from Top Shop. For such a short girl, she sure doesn't make the trousers look unflattering (although it looks like she's got those super high Balenciaga boots underneath.) I really like the business look on the left and the cool look on the right. Unfortunately, it's hard to look as casual cool as she does.

Styling yes: Keep the top simple, mono-colour and deflated (ie. no volume). And tuck the top in. I really love Ashley's trousers on the left -the top of the trousers exactly at the narrowest bit of Ashley's waist. The trousers look clean-cut and stylish, plus they make her body look long.

Keira Knightley shows that even for someone as thin and tall as her, these trousers can look nice or just wide, depending on the angle. And I'm not so sure on the striped top (to go with these trousers.)

Styling no: Make sure there are no puffy pockets on the trousers because it just makes your stomach look bigger than it actually is.

New photos of Mischa seems to say, if you want to try high-waisted wide leg trousers, don't go for denim! Stick to black and grey like MK and Ash. Afterall, if it can make Mischa Barton look wide, then it's bound to make most of us look worse.
My final verdict: High-waisted wide leg trousers are very difficult to wear no matter how you put it. And I still think they don't look young, casual or modern. But hey, that's what high street shops are for -to let us try out trends for a short period of time just for fun!

April 24, 2007

Prom 2007: Cover Up's

As gorgeous as prom dresses are, a girl still needs some kind of cover up in the event that it becomes too chilly outdoors (or indoors with the a/c and all). During my formals, everyone wore shawls. Sheer gauze-y silvery shawls. Pretty pretty sequinned shawls. Feminine delicate lacey shawls. You name it. But these days, suddenly there seems to be a whole lot more options out there to consider! So here are a few:

The cardigan. There is the effortlessly cool long oversized cardigan look shown here by BCBG that is super trendy. To glam it up a bit for prom, try replacing that tie with a hip belt or a shiny satin bow. And if you are like me and prefer the more feminine and ladylike look after all, try this ultra girly cardigan with the puffy sleeves and bow by Miu Miu!

Then there is the shrug. I must say, I am loving it. Last year I bought a slightly furry black shrug from H&M and its great because it matches everything, it doesn't hide the dress/shirt underneath AND its warm. Its kind of similar to this black shrug here By Malene Birger, see what I mean about not hiding the dress underneath? And for something more dramatic and unique, try this black/white shrug by Moschino Cheap & Chic. It would go perfectly with those simple black strapless dresses I showed before. Talk about adding individuality to an outfit.

Taking inspiration from the Teen Vogue prom spread, there are these gorgeous brocade cropped jackets by Hanii Y and Manoush. I think it adds just the perfect touch of romance and fancy to an outfit. Wow, the more I look at them, the more I really want one of these. . . .
For something a bit more casual, there are these two cropped jackets from Bi La Li (I know, interesting name right?) and Diane von Furstenburg, which because of their relatively classic cropped cut, I think would still look great over a dress. But of course, these last four cover-ups are only appropriate for when you are outdoors.

And the BEST thing about these cover ups? You will most probably be able to wear it again!

Photo Credit: www.net-a-porter.com, www.bcbg.com

April 22, 2007

Thoughts on Three New CDs

I've been pretty excited music-wise last month because three new CDs by artists I like were just released.

Hilary Duff ~ Dignity
The first time I heard the album all the songs sounded like one very long song: all the songs were basically disco-ey dance songs. But seeing new photos and watching videos of Hilary Duff busy promoting the CD in fantastic outfits encouraged me to give the CD more chances (-yes, I'm shallow this way). After listening to the CD a few more times, I was in love with most of the songs.
The lyrics are actually well-written and the songs are just so fun without being dumb. I think Hilary described it best in an interview with Girlfriend magazine: 'There are many records on the air that are like, "Shake your ass, blah blah blah." I love that kind of music, but I wanted my record to have some meaning too.' And surprisingly, most music reviews thought the album was better than expected too, so if you like this kind of music, give it a try. Songs I am loving: With Love, Dignity, Happy, Burned
Good Charlotte ~ Good Morning Revival
This CD got loads of bad reviews, but I liked it mostly. Partly because I like pop rock and this album is it; partly because the melodies are easy to the ears and the beat just makes one bob their heads along; and a tiny bit because I think Joel is cute (I actually miss his and Benji's eyeliner-smudged eyes!). Yes it is very different from Good Charlotte's early albums but hey, they grew up. The only thing I didn't like was that it sounded too polished. I liked it better when it sounded like they were a band from the neighbourhood. Songs I am loving: The River, Break Apart Her Heart, Keep Your Hands Off My Girl, Misery
Avril Lavigne ~ The Best Damn Thing
Err, I don't know what to say. I mean, the songs aren't bad, but they're just so... cheerful. I loved her previous albums, Let Go and Under My Skin, but this album felt a bit immature for someone who had made those albums. Yes, Girlfirend is seriously catchy but I just expected more from Avril. On a side note, did anyone else think it was really weird seeing Avril dance in Girlfriend's music video?
Maybe this is part of the reason I don't like her CD that much -pink frilly dress, seriously? And that eye makeup does not look good. I liked her so much more when she wore more black and white clothes and Converse or Vans sneakers. So ya, I just thought The Best Damn Thing was just ok and the slow songs are definitely better than the fast ones.
Obviously I am no music critic, but I thought it would be fun to share and see what everyone thought of the CDs. Anyone else heard these new CDs? Which CDs and songs are your favourite?

April 20, 2007

The Perfect Gift ~$30

So here is the dilema: birthday present for a 18 year old girl. She's a family friend of mine and I want to get her a very fabulous present that she would absolutely adore that her family wouldn't think of giving her. So I thought, what would a girl who is about to go to college want?- MAKE-UP! She doesn't usually wear make-up (not when I see her anyway), but a girl has got to start some time right? And who doesn't love make-up? I have capped the price at around $30 and here are a few things I am considering:
The first thing that comes to mind is the classic make-up essential, mascara. You really can't go wrong with mascara. So I thought of getting her this DiorShow Blackout Mascara ($23) in conjunction with . . .

. . the Shu Uemura eye lash curler ($18). She'd be all set for perfect lashes. Except now I am way out of my budget.
I could get her this wonderful MAC pencil eye liner ($16 I think) with the eye lash curler. .
. . and throw in a cheaper mascara, like this one from Maybelline (which also works great!), because it would be too strange to give someone just an eye lash curler and a pencil as a gift. But still, how weird is it to give a gift of 2 black sticks and a metal contraption even though it makes complete make-up sense?
Presentation is the key after all. So I next thought of getting her an eye shadow palette. I personally LOVE eye shadow palettes. Like this Spring Eye Shadow Trio by Stila ($32) (I got their one last year and absolutely LOVED it and actually used it all the time. Actually I still use it!). . .

. . and this Tokidoki eye shadow quad by Smashbox ($30). They even fit the budget perfectly. My only problem is deciding which colors to buy, everyone's taste and skintones are different after all. . .

Now this one I'm seriously considering: The Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes kit. For only $30, you get eye concealer, 2 eye shadow shades in pink and brown, a shimmer eye shadow, a concealer brush and a contour/liner brush AND instructions on how to apply. Its a bargain AND a great starter set of make-up for anyone. The only thing is that it looks very tiny like a sample case and not very awesome present like. But I guess the best gifts comes in small boxes?
And just to throw in as another consideration, the classic Nars blush/bronzer duo in Orgasm ($36), another make-up staple.

So thoughts? What would be the perfect gift for a 18 year old birthday?
Photo Credits: Sephora, Mac, Maybelline

Prom 2007: The Trendy

I guess not everyone shares my sense of nostalgia for the classic prom, but then again I kind of had 3 proms/dances back in high school, so I had plenty of opportunities to play around and try everything. So for those of you who want something more special and trendy for prom, here are a few more fun ideas:

Volume is all over the place this season. So play it up in these adorable bubble dresses from Tracey Reese (left) and ABS by Allen Schwartz (right). Doesn't the ABS one look sort of reminiscent of the white Chanel dress Marissa wore to prom in the OC?
One of my favourite dresses this season is the sparkly shift dress. Its so simple but glamorous at the same time. For something a bit more girly and feminine, I like the sequins and the delicate material of the Tracey Reese dress (left). For all out glam, check out this sparkly white shift from ABS (right), its like a simpler version of THE sparkly shift dress from Burberry Prorsum this season.

In case you haven't noticed already, I am loving the Tracey Reese collection. Here are a few more gorgeous dresses from her that are both flattering but different.

Lets not forget the silk dresses! I rather like these two less fitted cuts from See by Chloe (left) and ABS (right). The dressy silk material with the casual cuts makes a refreshing combination.
Something a little bit bolder. These two simple black/white striped dresses from BCBG (left) and Betsey Johnson (right) are just great. Simply add on a shrug, a necklace or even a tshirt and you're ready to rock prom!

Personally I'm not a great fan of the prom ideas from Teen Vogue this year. They all look really pretty and romantic, but they also look kind of casual and are super difficult to put together if you don't have your own personal stylist and an unlimited budget. To achieve the same personalized effect, I suggest getting a simple but chic dress, like these two black strapless numbers from BCBG(left) and Derek Lam(right) and adorning it to your hearts content. Throw on a necklace, a shrug, a cropped jacket, long earrings, a belt, a shirt or even funky leggings- just have fun! Though do try not to overdo it and only do 2 or 3 of the things I suggested above, have a focus.
And I couldn't resist adding these two more classic but oh-so-stylish and elegant dresses by the masters of dresses: Vera Wang (left: the Lavender Label) and Carolina Herrera (right: CH line). SO GORGEOUS!

Photo Credits: Net-a-Porter.com, Carolina Herrera, ABS by Allen Schwartz, BCBG, Betsey Johnson, Chloe and Tracey Reese