March 30, 2007

The Problem with the Drape Neck

Recently in the Ralph Lauren sale, I acquired this completely exquisite cable drape neck cashmere sweater for a very good bargain. And trust me, it truly feels exquisite. It looks great too.The only problem is that while the drape neck looks great and has an interesting twist compared to other classic styled sweaters, it is the devil to match it. I'm not sure about you, but I wear cashmere in cold weathers. And in cold weathers I usually wear a jacket over my sweaters to keep warm.

Unfortunately, with this drape neck, nothing looks good over it. If you wear a big coat over it, the drape neck creates a big bulge in your chest area that creates a terribly unflattering silohuette. If you wear it with a blazer or something and let the drape neck hang out, it looks strange. So the only way to wear it really is on its own. But when the weather is warm enough that I feel I can safely walk out with just a sweater on, this cashmere sweater is too warm.

So this style is actually quite a pain and I'm still trying to figure out how to wear it right. Ideas?

March 29, 2007

Bebe SS07

I must say, I've been impressed with Bebe's marketing techniques lately. They've managed to present themselves as ladylike, sophisticated, stylish and chic.
Through Mischa, they also appeal to the young and trendy. These ad campaigns really makes me want to go out and buy this trench coat (unfortunately, the site says it is not available for sale. Why do they even bother to shoot this if its not even available sale??). . .

. . . and this dress. . . . . . and basically everything in the catalog as well. Even though the fashion in the catalog seems to be targeted at a more sophisticated audience, it just looks soooo cool with this jet as a backdrop!
Their website is quite well designed, comprehensive and easy to navigate too. And some of the clothes shown actually look nice.

The only problem with all this is their actual store and products. Have you BEEN to a BEBE store? Because the ambiance it emanates feels nothing like this. I've tried. I've been inside many times trying to look for remnants of this style, I even asked if they had this dress that Mischa was wearing in the ad (to which the sales people told me they have never seen in the store before)- nothing.
In reality, the actual store feels cheap, and most of the clothes look cheap, slutty and way overpriced, like these two tops shown above.

Even Eva Longoria- who always looks so chic and elegant- looks cheap wearing this Bebe top on the cover of this month's Cosmopolitan.

So kudos to Bebe's marketing and web design team, and to those in the Bebe design and store concept team- a little revamping is in order.The products have to FIT the image!

SS07 Beauty Trend: The White Eyeliner

First off, thanks for suggesting mascaras to me last week. For those who are interested, the Lancome counter that I went to told me that the much-loved Definicils has stopped being produced, so instead I bought its new Cils Design Pro. (It's a two-sided mascara.) It was only a bit more expensive than L'Extreme so I figured I'll try it.

Anyways onto today's topic -the white eyeliner. Now I am no expert about makeup so I was always thought white eyeliners weren't that versatile. I thought they were only useful in useful in doing the 60's mod look, as done in the Dior FW05 show. But apparently, there is another way to use it.
Some people (me included) feel that wearing black eyeliner all around the eyes is feels a bit heavy and 'madeup', especially for a daytime look. Recently, I read in a magazine that solved this problem. A great way to wear eyeliner but still achieve a (relatively) natural look is to wear black eyeliner along the top line, and white eye along the bottom line. I think it brightens up your eye area, (plus the magazine claims it widens your eyes.)
Check out how it was done in the Anna Sui SS07 show -Du Juan (above) looks really pretty with this makeup.
So I really wanted to try this look and made the effort to visit 3 Shu Umerura shops just to get this two-ended eyeliner, (one end is white, the other end is pearl,) but it's completely sold out! I'm definitely going to try again when I get back to London and if it's really sold out, I suppose I can try Nars.

So ya, just a little makeup idea for you all to try out!

Photo sources: and Shu Uemura

March 27, 2007

Not So Glamorous

Just in case any one of you thought that these cheap plastic check Vuitton bags seen on their SS07 catwalk were cool. . . .

. . .and then got it into your head from this spread in the recent Teen Vogue that it was a great bag for this season, I did some first hand research while I was home for spring break. I'd like to point out that while they make it look really stylish and cool on the catwalk and in the photoshoots, the actual people who uses these bags are not so glamorous.
In fact, these bags are commonly used by street vendors as storage and for garbage disposal.

Seriously, I don't know where they get their ideas from.

Chloe's Bay Bag

Months ago, BG wrote about Chloe's SS07 bags. Back then, I wasn't yet into anything SS07 nor have I seen any of the bags so I didn't pay too much attention to them. Now that we're starting SS07, I'm very into all bags SS07.
When Chloe's Bay bag arrived at, I stared at it for awhile and it grew on me. It's practical, girly and chic. Plus it's by Chloe, which usually means the leather is gorgeous. There are two versions, the first one is this quilted version, which is more lady-like and sophisticated.
The second version here is a bit more androgynous but equally chic.
Then as expected, we started seeing it carried by celebs. Mischa Barton totally had me convinced that the Bay is gorgeous and fab for all ages. I mean seriously, doesn't it look so cool on her?
But then Britney Spears started carrying it last week and honestly, it really doesn't look good on her. It's probably also because I don't associate her with good taste, (although I admittingly still love some of her old songs.)

But of course, as a fashion-lover, I'm certainly not basing my love/hate decision on photos of Mischa and Britney so I checked it out at Lane Crawford (a HK department store) yesterday and well, the bag was definitely bigger, and the material odder than I imagined it. What I mean is, the leather didn't seem like the usual soft Chloe leather; the leather seemed a bit thin and crinkled in an ugly way (unlike the beautiful crinkleness on Balenciaga bags.)

So the truth is, I'm a bit disappointed. My almost-non-existant optimistic side tells me that maybe, it just happens that those Bay bags I saw were over-tried-on by customers, or maybe it's just the lighting, so I'm going to look out for them again next time I go shopping. Maybe they will look better.
Photo of bags from

March 24, 2007

Sampling Mascaras

If you have read my recent post in the Jane blog, then you'll know that I'm desperate for a new tube of mascara. I've got this habit: after I finish a product, I usually don't buy the same product. I either buy a (magazine or Makeup Alley) -recommended product, or try out new products on the market because you never know if there are better ones out there. So when BG and I were shopping yesterday, I tried out two mascaras which are quite new.
The first mascara was one by Shiseido Maquillage. I can't remember the exact name of the mascara and the official site is in Japanese so this is just from what the saleslady told us. The mascara had one one of those flat combs and it had a waterproof formula. It was supposedly a light, volume-enhancing mascara, although when pushed further, the saleslady also claimed that it was supposed to legnthen your lashes. She quickly curled my lashes and tried some on my lashes. The result? My lashes sort of clumped together and I looked like I had half the lashes I actaully had. Plus, they looked barely legnthened and only a bit volume-ised. I removed the mascara immediately and moved on.
The second mascara was the Projectionist by Estee Lauder, which I've been meaning to try out for awhile. I had my reservations because it was not available waterproof, but the 'High Definition Volume Mascara' ad looked so tempting so I had to give it a try. The saleslady curled my lashes, put on many coats of mascara base, and then many many coats of the Projectionist. She put on so many coats of mascara that my eyes literally teared up.
The result was kind of weird. It was obviously a good mascara as it did a decent job at lengthening and adding volume (I have high standards). And like the ad said, it certainly added 'drama' to my lashes -they looked very unnatural and coated up (thanks to the saleslady.) BG thought my lashes looked weird. I was unsure about the effects and it being non-waterproof so the saleslady said I should wait for a few hours. When I got home about two hours later, a tiny bit of mascara seemed to have already smudged around the outer bottom eyeline very slightly. So I guess that's a no.
The conclusion? Since I'm such a risk averse girl and practically every mascara smudges on me, it seems like I'm destined to stick with good-old-totally-waterproof Lancome. Oh well, I might as well try out the ever popular Defincils. What is your take on waterproof/ non-waterproof mascaras? Pls recommend me a dramatic, waterproof, smudge-free mascara if you know any!

March 23, 2007

A New Take on 3.1 Phillip Lim

In the past few seasons, Phillip Lim has been one of the NY's new 'big' fashion designers. People love his clothes because they're chic, girly but not overly so, wearable and don't look cheap. I've always thought his designs were pretty and loveable, but I wasn't too interested in them. Maybe because I can't quite imagine myself wearing clothes so mature. Afterall, I'm a somewhat fashionably-unbothered student -my outfits are usually just jeans and simple tops.
But a family friend/ 3.1-enthusiast recently asked, 'How could you not like Phillip Lim (more)?!?' That got me thinking and instead of looking again at the photos from his SS07 runway collection, I went onto his website, and looked through all the lookbooks. Wow. The lookbooks had the outfits styled much more realistically and they were heavy doses of fashionable, girly, young and romantic outfits. I especially loved the Spg '07 pt1 lookbook. You HAVE to go check the lookbooks out if you haven't done so already -I felt like I was drunk on all that prettiness, much like after I watched Marie Antoinette!

True, I still think that Phillip Lim's clothes aren't completely suitable for a 21 year old student (esp budget-wise), but I am definitely going to stop to take a look at his clothes next time I'm in a department store. Hey, it doesn't hurt to look right? Or perhaps when the summer sales are on in June......
Photo sources:,

March 21, 2007

SS07 Trend: Permenant Hair Straightening

Straight hair was all the rage in the SS07 runway shows and the uber glamourous Oscars. Now we all know that the models and celebs have professional hair stylist straightening their hair with brushes and straighteners. But how could normal people like us get such perfect straight hair? Most people would buy hair straighteners, like the much-beloved T3. But we also know that using hair straighteners all the time (admit it- so many people are guilty of this!) is not great for your hair. OK so my point is, here's another idea: permenant hair straightening.
Japanese negative ionic hair striaghtening (don't know the proper name) was very popular back around seven years ago. I did it twice, once when I was fifteen and the once when I was sixteen. I loved it -it made my hair seriously shiny, easy to manage, there were never knots (believe me my hair was long), and my hair looked perfectly blew-dry 24/7. And to my surprise, the hair striaghtening didn't seem to dry out my hair (I almost never found split ends.) Oh how I miss those days. The only disadvantage was that during the first month, my hair looked dead -shiny, but limp. Thankfully, my hair got more volume after it grew out a bit.

How long did the straightened hair last? It depends how much of the straightened hair you cut off. For example for my second time, I didn't get a proper hair cut (I just trimmed it myself) for two years, and so my hair looked somewhat naturally straight for that second year.
However, here's just a little warning: some people may have side effects. I have a friend who got her hair striaghtened and some of her hair fell off. But I also had another friend whose hair was originally wavy, had a wonderful time with straightened and frizz-free hair for eight months.

Anyone planning to have fun with this straightened hair trend this spring/summer? And if you've had permenantly straightened hair before, did you have a good or bad experience?
Photo sources:

March 20, 2007

Sienna Miller Looking Pretty Again

We liked Sienna Miller when she rocked the boho chic style back in 2004/5, but her fashion choices were just... bleh last year. This year though, she's been out and about getting publicity, promoting Factory Girl and she has definitely made a comeback style-wise. Given, most of the photos I've seen of her are of her in events which she seriously got dressed up for, but I thought it'd be fun to take a recap.
Sienna attending parties in Chanel. She looks amazing in both dresses, but I esp like the green one.
The black dress fits her so well. It's such a classic yet not boring cut. And that studded clutch def adds a bit of edge to the outfit.
Sienna looked really elegant and cool (and practical) at Sundance in this grey trenchcoat.
At one of the many Factory Girl premieres. This dress is simple, but I'm not sure the cut looks that great on her.
Sienna at another Factory Girl premiere, but this time she looked pretty in this white dress (head-to-toe in Burberry.) I love the details of the dress, like the silver strands that move with her -they totally add life to the dress.
These shift dresses look absolutely fabulous on her. The left photo is of her at the UK Factory Girl premiere. I love that dress: the beaded sequins, and the black hems that balance the overly-cutsy feel of white. (I read somewhere it's vintage Balenciaga.) That black dress on the right is also so perfect for a night event.
A simple outfit for the CK In2U event. Now this is one outfit we can take notes on because it's actually achieveable for us normal people. It's very 'now'.
OK, onto some more 'casual' outfits. Of course, Sienna's casual outfits are not quite your average casual outfit nowadays.
Sienna out for lunch in the simple dress (left) and out for a night out (right). Love the night time outfit. And note the double thin headbands -very 'in' at the moment.
Not a big fan of this daytime look. It just looks too... formal and dressed up, unless she was attending some formal tea party.
Sienna is more glamourous than boho these days, and she certainly looks glam here. Styling tips for a cold night: wear a sweater under a coat. Sounds like a no duh advice, but most ppl usually freeze on a night out instead of wearing layers.
Ahh, if only designers sent clothes to us like they do to Sienna!

March 17, 2007

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St Patrick's Day everyone! To make sure you don't look like a leprechaun while celebrating this day, here are a few stylish suggestions:
Green floral patterned tops perfect for this summer by Marc by Marc Jacobs (left) and Trina Turk (right).
Casual green day dresses from Free People (left) and Velvet Torch (right). I especially like the style of the Velvet Torch one, the fit looks perfect.
And for the night, have fun in pale green in this Marc by Marc Jacobs dress (left: which Willa Holland wore in Teen Vogue) and silky and sexy Lauren Moffatt dress (right) just the thing to party in!For a more sophisticated look, go for emerald green. These two are by Zac Posen (left) and Roberto Cavalli (right).

To be a more subtle, accessorize with green shoes like these sexy Miu Miu strappy heels (left)and classic green heels (right: Top Shop).

March 16, 2007

Musing on Leggings

Lately the leggings trend has been everywhere, on the streets, in class, at the airport. . . its almost becoming a fashion cliche. But lets face it, we all love it and its probably going to be around for another season or so. What I'm wondering though is this: Do you differentiate them between leggings for under skirts/dresses and very tight black pants for under long shirts? It might sound a little trivial, but I've been wondering this because I always thought that they were tailored differently for different purposes. Tight black pants are typically tailored thicker because they are pants and leggings are more sheer and super tight for skirts, right? At least, this is how mine are made. So for under shirts where your butt is half exposed as in Mary Kate here (left), do you wear black pants? I mean, no one needs to be that acquainted with your butt. And for under long shirts where its not as in Ashley here (right), then don't you wear leggings/tights? (ps. don't they both look fab here with their cute short fur coats? I always thought fur coats were for older ladies, but I stand mistaken)
Ditto for Lindsey here. I wonder if they are tights or pants? I'm leaning towards pants because of how dark it looks and the crinkle at her knees.

Thoughts on this issue? How do YOU wear the trend?

March 15, 2007

The Black Headband

Recently, for lack of anything better to watch since everything worth watching stopped, I started watching Season 1 of The Hills. And I was struck by the magic of the black headband.
The black headband works for wonders for Lauren Conrad. Not only does it keep the hair out of her face, but it also makes her looks GREAT from a dinner date to a casual day at school.
After then of course, I started seeing black headbands everywhere. On the streets, the front row of the 3.1 Phillip Lim show on Michelle Williams(left) to Rinko Kikuchi(right) in a dress. And everyone looks soo pretty in them! It contrasts perfectly with their blonde hair. So what do we brunettes do for the same effect besides dying our hair blonde? We take a page from Drew Barrymore's outfit at the London premier of Music and Lyrics, and go for the gold/silver/metallic headbands of course!

Here is a selection from Intuition. For a more casual toned down classic headband to match everything, I'd go for the last one with the black print and gold background. You don't want to look too flashy now, since the whole point of the black headband is to provide a great contrast while still looking casual and down to earth. I can't find one online just yet, but I think a bronze-ish colored headband would look awesome too!

Smashbox O-Glow

So they did a very successful advertising campaign for this product, because after seeing the ad in both Allure and the Sephora catalog, I had the sudden urge to go out and get it- immediately!

But of course, being the rational shopper that I am (mostly anyway), I did have the presence of mine to try it out first. So just in case you haven't seen the ads, this product reacts with the moisture of your skin and creates a microcirculatory effect that produces a natural rosy flush- natural being the key word here. Nevermind the universal Orgasm blush shade from Nars, this one IS your color! This is so awesome because I never know what color to buy, with this product, its hard to go wrong. Wow, now I sound like their ad campaign.

But anyway, so I tried it on top of foundation and POOF I'm flushed! Its kind of scary at first because it comes out clear and turns into a hot pink shade once in contact with your skin, but after you blend it in that it turns into your natural shade. And just to see that it actually IS a different shade for everyone, I made my friend, who is slightly more tanned then me, try it too. Indeed, her natural blush is out. And in case you are wondering how we know it is our natural blush, we actually tried the blush on one cheek first, made each other flush naturally and compared :P LOL, the things we do to procrastinate during finals. . . .