August 2010 Archives
There's something about Mara.
I simply adore Mara, and not just because she shares the last 4 letters of my name.
New York City based Ready-to-Wear & Swimwear designer Mara Hoffman made her first appearance at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim last season and was by far my favorite amongst the designer newbies, quite possibly one of my favorites of the entire week, so I was elated that Mara was coming back to Miami for more.
Last season, Mara's theme was out of this world. This season, Mara’s 2nd run on the runway took a mystical journey through the jungle. Always a fan of where the wild tribal things are, I was blown away by bold batik prints, tickled by colorful kaleidoscopes, bright yellow highlighter and neon pink hues, and inspired by intricately stringed and beaded bikinis.
While Mara's monokinis and bikinis took center stage, I found myself even more captivated with her stunning yet simple beach to night offerings that every South Beach babe needs in her summertime wardrobe. Mara's maxi dresses, printed leggings and convertible dresses were as brilliant as her bathing suits and expertly styled with feathered jewelry, sexy Steve Madden wedges, fishbone braids and white tribal dotted makeup perfecting the models' don't-mess-with-me-I'm-into-the-mystic look.
Another surprise of the season was Mara's partnering with Alternative Apparel, my personal go-to clothing haven for vintage soft tees and basics. Mara and the folks at Alt App paired up for a special mini-collaboration where the "Mara Hoffman for Alternative Apparel" ultra soft and cozy Eco-Fleece poncho made its stunning debut.
Best of all, as a VIP guest I scored an exclusive custom Burnout Baseball tee designed with Mara's crazy cool "Crystal Collage" artwork.
Breaking news: Actress Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame cut her hair and more tears are being shed than when Albus Dumbledore died in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Oops, spoiler alert.
Seriously people, get a grip. She's paid her dues and it is every young girl's rite of passage to get a wack hair job at least once in her life.
Personally I think she looks adorable, and totally ready to give birth to Rosemary's Baby.
This morning I had a visit from my friendly neighborhood plumber.
To make a long plumbing story short, my 2nd floor shower was leaking through the lighting fixture of my first floor dining room. I made a quick service call and spent the remaining 24 hours pre-plumber arrival feeling terrified that I might ultimately end up with a hole in my ceiling the size of Texas.
In an effort to protect the innocent, I shall refer to my designated plumber as Eduardo. While Eduardo was working hard and leaning over my temperamental tub, I couldn't help but catch an accidental glimpse of clichéd crack. My cheeks reddened as the tops of his cheeks became more and more exposed. I turned away, embarrassed, but it got me thinking that this was no longer strictly a plumber's problem.
These days I have been catching more and more glances of revealed coin slots on men, women, adolescent boys, and even babies who don't have the decency, balance or upper body strength to pull up their droopy diapers. Thanks to the increasing popularity of Low-Rise jeans, the dreaded plumber's crack is now a universal issue that is affecting everyone without discriminating against age, sex, ethnicity or religious preference. From a fashion standpoint, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
This is why I am here and this is why out of all of the guest bathrooms in the world, Eduardo walked into mine. Eduardo was put on this earth to fix leaks. I was put on this earth to fix the occasional fashion faux pas.
After a little research I discovered that one talented designer had cracked the code on unconcealed crack. Kimberly Brewer is the mastermind behind the Backtacular Gluteal Cleft Shield, an ingenious stick-on patch that will cover up any remnants of inappropriate bum cleavage. Easy to use, this little denim savior is hypoallergenic and sticks right onto your skin. Available in a variety of colors and patterns from butterflies to peace signs, this little patch from heaven will keep your ass covered while also doubling as a rad tramp stamp/lower back tattoo cover up.
Thankfully, all is well in my plumbing world. Eduardo patched up the leak with plumber's putty and left my ceiling it tact. I was warned to keep a close eye on it and if it continues to leak, Ed will have to come back and make my piping and drainage nightmares a reality.
Pre-plumber departure, Eduardo handed me his business card in case I should ever find myself in desperate need of his plumbing services again. I, in return gave him my business card with my easy to read Let's Talk Style url on it, in case he should ever find himself in desperate need of any Ask Sammy advice.
Hopefully Eduardo is reading right now and ordering some Backtacular Shields for his next service call, and hopefully my ceiling doesn't collapse. That would be bad crack karma.
A silly fashion craze is sweeping the nation.
A few months ago, I began to notice colorful collections of arm candy gracing the wrists of all of the prepubescent children in my neighborhood. That's interesting I thought, while I endured an unsettling flashback of my Madonna/Lucky Star phase when I wore black rubber bracelets piled up to my elbows.
A few weeks later I was surprised to catch glimpses of Tinseltown starlets along the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Ritchie and Mary-Kate Olsen sporting the very same cheap silicone wristlets. What was going on here? Was I trapped in an episode of the Twilight Zone where A-list actresses and celebrities were now retiring their Tiffany, Juicy Couture and Kitson bangles in favor of the basic equivalent of pastel hued rubber bands?
Fast forward another month to the afternoon of a Couples Baby Shower barbecue where the adorable niece of one of my best, very pregnant friends finally explained it all to me. I spotted a wrist full and I made my move.
"I dig your bracelets" I said, pointing to her tiny tanned arm.
"Thanks" she replied, beaming. Then she removed a couple and I noticed her rubber band bracelets return to their original shapes. Like magic. Sea Monkey-like magic.
"What's up with that?" I asked inconspicuously, wondering if I was about to gain invaluable intel on some deep underground cult.
"Everyone in my school wears Silly Bandz. We trade them." Then, she went on to explain the Silly Bandz basics. 24 to a pack for $5.99 with 6 different designs ranging from sports and dinosaur themes to fantasy, western and beach motifs. Most of her BFFs wore them as bracelets, but she occasionally stepped out of the Silly Band box to fashion them as sleek ponytail holders and braid ties.
"Wanna trade?" She inquired, as she held out a pair of mouse and moon shaped manacles.
I looked down at my solid wood bangle she was eyeing, a beloved trinket that I had acquired while vacationing in Puerto Rico.
"Not so much," I replied and walked away, secretly wishing she had offered the high-heeled and tiara shaped ones.
Another month has passed, my friend's beautiful baby was born and Silly Bandz are still as popular as ever.
I am ashamed to admit this, but I'm seriously considering ordering the Silly Rock Bandz pack on sale for half price at Amazon...mere seconds away from jumping on the Silly Bandzwagon.
My friend's niece will totally wanna trade these.
Normally I am not a connoisseur of crocs, unless you work in a kitchen or are under the age of 8, but these Women's McCall Crocs aren't half bad.
For all of you crocoholics out there, Crocs is offering these babies at almost half off their regular price of $24.99 to $12.99 with code MCCALL1299 at checkout. Plus, stack code springfreeship to score free economy shipping. On top of all these reptilian savings, you don't even have to pay sales tax, unless you live in California.
Rock out with your croc out.
Today we celebrate the birth of the woman who makes the music that makes the people come together.
Yes, Our Lady Madonna is 52 today, and she doesn't look a day over 52.
Besides her immaculate discography, her racy sex book and public affairs with Sean Penn, A-Rod, Dennis Rodman and Guy Ritchie, Madonna has also found the time to make a dent in the fashion industry, appearing in numerous ad campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Versace and the Gap, as well as creating a limited edition capsule collection with H&M.
Even though the bday gal is over half a century old, she is proving that she is still young at heart by joining forces with her 13 year old daughter Lourdes (check out her blog, it's adorable) to Madonnify middle-schoolers across the country with their junior clothing line label, Material Girl.
The new line (fronted by the face of Gossip Girl's Taylor Momsen) features bad girl apparel, footwear, handbags, jewelry and fingerless gloves for girls who don't want to hear their papas preach about costly clothes. Pieces retail from Macy's for $12 to $40. Just in time for Back to School.
p.s. Don't worry Moms, no pointy bras, bustiers or chaps here.
If you are too young to remember the original A-team, this post may not be of interest to you. I don't really know anyone who caught the recent feature length 20th Century Fox remake starring Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson and Jessica Biel, but I pity the fools who thought it was better than the original series.
And remember kids, drink your school, stay in drugs, and don't do milk.
I have yet to be enlightened by the new Julia Roberts film based on the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm still smack dab in the middle of the Pray part of the book and it's serving as a guide on my quest to find the perfect pasta, prayer and partner slash-love-of-my-life. I won't see it before I finish reading because 1) I am stubborn. 2) I enjoy being able to determine whether the book was better or vice versa by the end of the final credits.
As Julia travels across Italy, India and Indonesia in pursuit of worldly pleasures and spiritual devotion, I can only afford to travel online for moderate retail pleasures. Here are a few things that I am eating, praying for and loving until I can make my own pilgrimage overseas.
Eat - Lou Malnati's Tastes of Chicago. It ain't from the heart of Italy but it is from the heart of Chicago and they'll give you free standard shipping on your entire order. Plus, the name Malnati is molto Italiano, is it not? Order the Heart Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie/Deep Dish Pizza combo and tell them Sammy sent you. Bravissimo.
Pray - I've been going through some major life changes lately, and I'm looking for a new mantra/prayer that is a touch more spiritual than my routine Now I lay me down to sleep (or Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer). Whether you're in an Ashram far, far away, the yoga studio across the street or sitting on the floor of your own living room, the Marketplace Handwork of India will help you find your inner Om with an assortment of Indian inspired clothing and home decor from kaftans to cushion covers. 10% off your order with code CCOM at checkout.
Love - I love scarves. I wear them with everything, during all four seasons. I would even venture to say that I love scarves more than I heart handbags and shoes, especially when they are custom designed from the House of Moksha. Get your passport stamped at Moksha Fine Wovens for an international collection of scarves, shawls and capes that you'll fall in love with, especially at 25% off with code MFW3025DIS.
"I think I deserve something beautiful."
-Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I was just invited to attend Swimshow Australia 2011 in March, showcased against the spectacular backdrop of Australia's glamorous Gold Coast.
I want to go to there.
But last I checked we were still in the midst of a recession, and I don't think my boss will foot the bill for an international excursion to the land down under... even though I have a close friend who lives in Sydney who would be glad to put me up, therefore eliminating any exorbitant hotel expenses (hint, hint).
Oh well, Anne's your aunty [Aussie expression meaning all is fine], I shall refrain from chucking a wobbly [throwing a temper tantrum] and settle for some retro tunes from the Men at Work boxset and a grilled Shrimp on the Barbie Aussie-tizer from Outback.
I'm all for taking the occasional fashion risk, but when considering the styling of this particular model, I can't help but remember the "One of These Things is Not Like the Other" sketch from Sesame Street.
You know the one, where kids and campers were shown a group of four items, one of which was vastly different from the other three. If you have no recollection of this, you are young and I am old, whoopee for you.
I was always a master at identifying the incompatible item and am still at the top of my game, as I shall now demonstrate.
1. Dresses, check.
2. Shoes, cute.
3. Hairstyle, nice waves.
4. Tube socks, Dude, no.
Okay. I am all for the retro tube sock sensation, but not with a skimpy cocktail dress and slinky slip on heels. If you want to look totally tubular, stick with basic tees or rock the sporty vibe and pair your Unisex Striped Tube Socks [à la American Apparel] with the following unobtrusive items:
Because the last thing you want is old people like me being reminded of Big Bird when we take in your outfit.
While browsing the new Nanette Lepore lookbook, I had to take a second glance at a caption that befuddled me (ps, i love the word befuddled).
If you access Let's Talk Style through your mobile device and can't make out the miniscule text, the caption reads:
At the end of the day, she decides to stay in and let the party come to her.
Am I the only person who finds this text more than a little suggestive?
Clearly this woman is in a bedroom, so I am assuming that Miss Thing is having a party in her budoir. When I think of parties in the bedroom, I conjure up images of a.) slumber parties and/or b.) private parties that exist between two mature and consenting adults (or multiple adults, depending on your personal preferences).
And what does all of this have to do with the outfit? If it was a slumber party, she'd be in her jammies and have a bowl of popcorn and a Drew Barrymore DVD on the bed, which rules out my whole slumber party theory.
So Nanette Lepore marketing staff, I ask you -- based on this copy, am I to believe that wearing this outfit will guarantee sexy time is to follow?
No, no Nanette. You are better than this. You are high-end, upscale fashion designer who has her collections sold at Bergdorf Goodman.
Why not go for:
At the end of the day, she decides to sleep in her Nanette Lepore dress - Insinuating that the dress in question is like, way too beautiful to take off?
or more accurately:
At the end of the day, she decides to curl up in bed and cry because she spent half of her rent on her Nanette Lepore dress.
I'm trying something new here, ladies and gents - This evening, I am reporting live on the fashion highs and lows of the 62nd prime Time Emmy Awards, not the morning after the telecast, not from the red carpet... from my living room, but I am blogging with all of the ardor and buoyancy as if I was sitting on John Hamm's lap over there at the Kodak Theatre
The evening just got off to an amazing start with a show stopping opening musical number with a hodgepodge of misfits singing their hearts out to Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run, featuring the cast of Glee, host Jimmy Fallon, 30 Rock's Tina Fey, Mad Men's John Hamm, Hurley from Lost and the Soup/Community star Joel McHale.
While the cream of the Television Arts and Sciences crop arrived on the red carpet, there was the usual assortment of safe, uninspired yet acceptable black gowns, but my eye was immediately drawn to a not so basic black gown worn by an effervescent and glowing Kelly Osbourne, a white asymmetrical Pamella Roland gown with a glorious circular cutout side detail rocked by Dexter alumni Julie Benz, and Jayma Mays who gained my best dressed nod for a neutral navy gown that was classic, understated and fit her to a Glee tee.
Honorable Mentions: Access Hollywood correspondent Maria Menounos also stole the spotlight from the nominees she was interviewing in a glittery backless sheath, except for nominees Lea Michelle of Glee in a navy Oscar de La Renta gown and Julie Bowen of Modern Family who nailed modern elegance in a dark and strapless stunner with extra brownie points for having just given birth to twins.
As for the bad, Lauren Graham was a Gilbore Girl in a weirdly proportioned black and white drapey bodiced gown, True Blood's Rutina Wesley was a bloody mess in a gown that her transvestite cousin Lafayette sure as hell didn't pick out, and Mindy Kaling's black frou frou gown and pineapple hairdo was far from appropriate Office attire for a best Comedy writing nominee.
Christina Hendricks has taken America by storm, and now she's taking London by fog.
Mad Men's Emmy nominated actress might have had trouble finding the perfect fitting dress to show off at the Emmys Sunday night before settling on a lavender Zac Posen gown, but the luminous redheaded head turner had no trouble fitting her rack into a rack of London Fog's tasteful trenches and accessories for their current ad campaign.
You might have already caught a few glimpses of the preliminary proofs circulating around the web featuring classic and understated black and white shots of Christina, the new face of London Fog's Fall multi-media marketing campaign that will officially debut in October issues of fashion and lifestyle magazines everywhere. Chrissy follows in the footsteps of Foggy alumni models Gisele Bundchen, Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria Parker.
Here's a little preview of Christina rocking the Fog outerwear collection like it's never been rocked before, thanks to the addition of real female hips.
I think it's a perfect fit.