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have yourself a merry little christmas…

25 December 2009

… just for all ye naughty readers who had forsaken singing Christmas carols and baking cookies and decorating gingerbread houses and gorging yourself on carefully frosted desserts that may contain enough calories to last for a lifetime to spend a bit of time here on this bloggie of mine. And so, as a present from me to you, I’ve virtually boxed & wrapped – tied with a six inch curl ribbon (Elf reference, anyone? Watch it! I implore you to!) – a little greeting card for you wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

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walking in a winter wonderland.

23 December 2009

Greetings from New Jersey, dahlings!

I figured I would bore you lovely non-pareils with with random snaps taken over the course of a day; of yes, a single day. I had originally intended on taking a picture of the eighteen inches of snow we got over this past weekend as cold  – no pun intended – evidence of our first snow-storm-borderline-blizzard since 2003 that put all other measly two inch snow falls deeply to shame. And yes, if you must know, I did do a little dance of excitement upon the first “I spy a snowflake!!” cry, and I unabashedly admit to prancing around in the snow the next morning like a wee baby experiencing her first snow. Until my cheeks and nose were an unhealthy shade of red and dearest mother dragged me to defrost in the comfort of my toasty house.

But I digress; I meant to take picture of the height of the snow, but was rather distracted by this sight. The last icicles I spotted were years ago, but now a tree bush-ful of them? Quite breathtaking. If only there were bits of glitter scattered throughout – then it would have been a tree-bush worthy to become a part of the Snow Queen‘s icy castle or of Narnia at the lamppost deep within the wardrobe. Or, even, backdrop for the Sugarplum fairy’s dance. Now, if I were in my younger years and unaware of the environmental concerns, I would physically sprinkle the bush-tree with silver glitter. I’m quite tempted.

Onto my far more interesting baking extravaganza.

{pastel colored cupcake liners; completely inappropriate for Christmas, I’m well aware}

{the finished product on their tray/carrier; decorated with a sprinkling of more crushed peppermint and peppermint candies}

{cupcake decorations from batch no. 1}

{cupcake decorations from batch no. 2}

Batch no. 1 consisted of dark chocolate fudge cupcakes, iced with vanilla (store-bought, I admit) frosting, and sprinkled with a dusting of finely ground peppermint candies and a few more coarsely hammered pieces of leftover candies for decoration. I find that anything involving hammering/grinding of sorts is quite amusing. Batch no. 2 consisted of yellow butter cake cupcakes with the same store-bought vanilla frosting, but this time decorated with find peppermint candy dust (ooh, like fairy dust!) and whole peppermints for added festivity.

I do love the unexpected tingle of minty flavor – strong but not overbearing – with a cupcake; it makes the cupcake much more Christmas-appropriate! Not to mention, the sprinkling of color is a lovely but sophisticated touch. I must also add that finely ground/hammered peppermint candies produces this glittering dust that has the reflective quality of sanding sugars, but finer in texture. And I’ll be pleased to add that my cupcakes did sell out almost immediately!

bisous,

La C.

the christmas wishlist ’09

21 December 2009
{ c l i c k  to  e n l a r g e ! }

I suppose it is a bit late for my Christmas wish-list of 2009, but, Santa dahling, I’ve been quite the good girl this year! Whilst making this collage I could not help but laugh at my predictability; from whom else would you expect a list in which nearly all things are black or a shade of a neutral beige of sorts? But I am hardly complaining. My tendencies towards this simple color plaette makes for an aesthetically pleasing piece sans any color clashing of sorts.
Even more amusing is how my wish-list has barely changed from year to year. I dream of owning (roughly) the same things, pieces I believe are timeless classics. Shall I break it down for you? A Yves Saint Laurent pump, a musky fragrance (I admit that I narrow down my choice of perfumes by bottle design), a bandage skirt, body-conscious LBD, leather handbag or oversized clutch, and a neutral or plummy red lipstick.

  1. Yves Saint Laurent Sculpted Platform Pump, $399. The Imperiale is undeniably a cult favorite for its twist on YSL’s classic Tribute pumps. The black suede makes quite the statement with its unusual pattern, and the sculpted heel makes for seemingly comfortable shoe. Le sigh. My heart palpitates at this shoe; I have a particular affinity insatiable obsession for classic, sky-high heels. The higher the better.
  2. NARS Single Eyeshadow in Mekong, $22. I’ve already promised myself that the next time I step into Sephora I will purchase this little baby for my own makeup collection. Time and time again I’ve admired the color, swatching it each and every time I visit the store – why I never picked it up baffles me. I admit the NARS packaging is a heart-stopper (clean, sophisticated, & classic!), but more importantly, the lasting power and pigment of their shadows (and blushers) is well worth its price. This is perhaps the most gorgeous brown I’ve come across. Sephora describes it as an “espresso infused with gold” – which is quite accurate but hardly captures the beauty of the shade. You lovely non-pareils probably can deduce that I prefer neutral colors for my eye makeup; Mekong would be perfect as a liner or a smokey eye.
  3. Style Stalker Peep-Shoulder Dress, $119. Perfection in my eyes. Yes, I harbor a love for body conscious LBD’s. But more specifically, long-sleeved ones for their added sophistication and versatility. The fact that sleeves on a dress are far less common than the ubiquitous strapless or spaghetti-strapped versions makes me yearn for long-sleeved LBDs. The American Apparel version will always hold a special place in both my heart and closet, but Style Stalker’s rendition with a sexy cut-out? I dieeee.
  4. Hervé Léger High-Waisted Bandage Mini Skirt, $600. It is quite self-explanatory as to why this item has made my rather exclusive wish-list. Again I shall restate that I have a penchant for black body-con skirts, of which, Hervé Léger is undoubtedly the king of. I do love the design, and the high waist balances out the mini aspect of it.
  5. Emporio Armani Diamonds Intense Parfum Spray, $68.50. I have wanted to try this fragrance for so long now. I believe it was two years ago or so when I was first captivated by an ad in ELLE and, accordingly, fell in love with Beyonce’s bedazzled dress and the name of the perfume. One whiff of the sample and it was everything I hoped for in a perfume. But even if the scent was nothing spectacular, the bottle itself is a piece of art worth displaying atop my vanity.
  6. Longchamp Légende Handbag, $800 – $900. Perhaps I stand alone in this belief but Longchamp is one of the houses that produce bags of utmost quality and timelessness. The Légende in particular has caught my eye for a while now, its shape, silhouette, leather, and roomy interior making it the most versatile of handbags to tote around my massive amount of stuff.
  7. MAC Lipsticks, $14. Viva Glam II, Creme d’Nude, Blankety, Captive are only few on the wish-list. I’ve gone from a lip-gloss girl to a lipstick one, partly for the sophistication of whipping out a tube, partly for the longer staying power and color pay-off. I especially adore nudes and mauves for the daytime, and deep plummy-reds or blood-red berries for a special evening.

bisous,

La C.

holiday gift guide no. 2: for the artist

20 December 2009
{ click on the collage for a larger image! }
For the aspiring artist of any sort: accessories/fashion designer, interior designer, graphic designer, painter, etc. who sees beauty in everything. She believes that love of beauty is taste, and the creation of beauty is art; everything around her is a source of inspiration. And instead of weekly girls’ nights out, she much prefers a bit of alone time at the Metropolitan with her sketchbook. Her weekends are spent feverishly drawing and designing, and her nights dreaming of her first gallery opening…

  1. DKNY Stamped Leather Clutch, $185. The vivid shade in combination with the exotic, croc-stamped turqouise leather fold-over clutch and gold-toned hardware undoubtedly brings sophistication to a new level. Amped elegance, I like to call it, with an electric pop of color that is unexpected on such a bag. Which makes it perfect to elevate an everyday ensemble or add color to an evening walk in the art museum.
  2. Yves Saint Laurent Arty Oval Ring, $195. The name is self-explanatory. But since I elaborated on all other items, I feel obliged to write more than one measly line! Simply imagine her bewilderment at receiving such classic statement piece. But she should be forewarned; she may end up staring more at her ring in admiration than the canvas.
  3. Prismacolor Colored Pencils Sets. Available online, in your art supply stores, and Amazon.com, I can personally attest that these pencils are the cream of the crop. Quite literally, too. They draw with a buttery smoothness (however cliche the language) for a creamy texture. It is a no-fail; the true artist’s heart would go giddy at the sight of a Prismacolor set peeking from beneath the gaudy wrapping paper!
  4. Danny Roberts ‘Girls In Glasses’ Tee, $42. An artist would indeed be floored to be gifted with a Borders & Frontiers and Danny Roberts collaboration whose end product is a beautiful tee of one of Danny’s most iconic works (inspired by the Chanel girls a season or two ago). The possibilities of a cotton tee are endless; tucked into a pencil skirt for a gallery sighting, or, simply thrown over her favorite pair of jeans to get down and dirty with some paint.
  5. NastyGal ‘Funktional’ Caged-In Dress, $98. It goes without saying that the timeless LBD belongs in every girl’s closet. The LBD need not be restrictive in transcending personal taste, however. This particular version adds a futuristic touch with its Yves Saint Laurent meets Gareth Pugh SS09 cage shoulders. Architectural and geometric design never looked so classic on this fitted little number, making it the dress to wear for her first showcase.
  6. Christian Louboutin Rolando 120 Yellow Patent Leather Pumps, $625. Louboutins are on [nearly] every girl’s wish list for its seductive and renowned red sole. Why not then, make her first (or next – that lucky girl!) pair unique. Not many own a patent pair in yellow that adds that pop of color and interest to an everyday outfit, nonetheless one that can jazz up the aforementioned LBD. Forgo the typical black shoes, we love splashes of color!
  7. Pixie Market Pretty Young Thing Asymmetric Earrings, $72. I have always harbored a particular affinity for asymmetrical earrings (though I have yet to have my ears pierced); it juxtaposes the eccentric with unexpected elegance – and anything of the sort always seems to capture my curiosity (and obsession). One earring is a 4″ serpentine chain that ever-so-gracefully grazes the shoulders; the second of the pair is a crystal diamond vintage clip.
  8. Moleskine Soft Cover Notebook, $15. The artist, regardless of her area specialty, must always carry within her bag [of the day] a small sketchbook. Spontaneous ideas and revelations of designs will never be forgotten, easily jotted/sketched/planned/written within her Moleskine Soft Cover Large Plain Notebook. The flexible soft ‘moleskine’ cover with rounded corners makes it easy for on-the-go, and its elastic enclosure ensures that all pages will stay intact (a bent page is the worst!). 192 plain acid-free pages, thread bound to allow the notebook to lay flat for additional easiness of use, is enough to last the artist for a good amount of time. Better yet? This notebook includes an expandable inner note holder for miscellaneous bits and bobbins (post-it notes, paint or fabric swatches, etc.)
  9. Black Paper Multi-chain Cubic Necklace, $25.35. Perhaps the biggest nuisance to the artist (of any kind) is a distracting, jingling, bulky type of arm adornment – thus ruling out statement bracelets and cuffs. Fear not, mes non-pareils; there is always a plan better than Plan A! This necklace – part sophisticated, part rock-chic – is easily versatile to be incorporated into any style of wardrobe. Indulge her creative side with a statement piece, for should the artistic not wear something reflecting that facet of her self?

bisous,

La C.

holiday gift guide no. 1: for the homebody

13 December 2009

{click on it to enlarge!}

The homebody was the girl who, as a child, preferred HGTV’s “Design on a Dime” and “Trading Spaces” over the ubiquitous Disney Channel shows. Today she mourns over the loss of Domino magazine, worships Martha Stewart, and religiously watches Mark Bittman’s cooking segments. She prefers to snuggle beneath her beloved Anthropolgie Colossal Cable Knit throw on a loveseat with a mug of hot chocolate in hand whilst enjoying  Gossip Girl. She shifts a bit, putting her feet on her glass coffee table to reach a plate of baked-from-scratch snickerdoodles. A commercial interrupts an intense scene; she takes the time to look around, smiling proudly at the soft glow of tinsel glittering from strings of Christmas lights and gold ornaments. Next year’s theme would be the Nutcracker.

  1. Alice+Olivia Sleeveless Sequined Cardigan, $485. The homebody lives by the phrase of “daily luxury“, believing that even the tiniest doses of indulgences are necessary in everyday life. Though she may prefer to do her daily chores in an oversized cable-knit cardigan, the Alice+Olivia sequined cardigan exemplifies comfort can be chic. Should an unexpected visitor make a calling, or stop by to drop off a gift (or two!), the homebody can simply throw the cardigan over her ubiquitous blank tank and leggings, pin up her hair, and open the door looking nothing less than fabulous.
  2. OPI “Glove You So Much”, $8. A gorgeous, almost-but-not-quite warm burgundy. Who wouldn’t want a rich shade for the fingers and toes with such cute a name?
  3. Philosophy Marshmallow Lip Shine, $12. Philosophy’s products always capture the essence of savory sweets for the sweet tooth – without the calories, of course. The Marshmallow Lip Shine is part of their limited edition holiday collection, making it the perfect stocking stuffer.
  4. Aerie Holiday Plaidness PJs Set, $29.50. Available in four colors (Party Pink, Red Bow, Blue Fob, and Lavender Moon), but I cannot help but have a favorite: Red Bow. Nothing speaks comfy and cute than a pajama set inspired by him. This set of a button-down shirt and little shorties does indeed make the perfect Christmas morning pajamas to run downstairs to  the Christmas tree; festive and wintry in its holiday plaid pattern, Aerie packages it all up in a lovely holiday ribbon!
  5. Lush’s Christmas Goodies. Only Lush could ever capture the scent of a snow fairy in soap form. Its Christmas goodies, all in festive shapes, colors, scents (and packed with bits of glitter!), come in an array of candy-scented to spicy, cinnamon aromas. Perfect indeed for stocking stuffers and for a bit of indulgence and pampering.
  6. Anthropologie Ornaments, $10-$24. I cannot lie. I harbor an obsession for Anthropologie’s home décor – their little candles, stationary, decorations, the likes. Their ornaments are no exception. Winter wonderland meets the woodland seems to be the theme this year with natural elements and organic shapes turned crystal in palettes of portobello, creams, and grays. The homebody would gasp at the sight of these; it is no secret that she becomes giddy at the thought of redecorating every so often. Turning her home sweet home into a winter wonderland would make her giggle with delight. Now should I be the homebody, the Mystic Mushroom would,undoubtedly, be my favorite. It looks as if it had been plucked from a fairytale garden of the Sugarplum Fairy – imagine it tucked quaintly within silver bits of tinsel!
  7. Starbucks Mug Gift Box, $17.95. Here is the girl who rather brew her own coffee rather than make a morning coffee run to a ubiquitous stop. A Starbucks mug, coffee sampler, and cookie all in a festive hatbox, the homebody would be tickled with delight at the thought of waking up to aromatic coffee for snowy mornings to come. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is cozier than warming up to a mug of coffee, snuggled on the couch, watching re-runs of Sex and the City.
  8. Urban Outfitters Sheer Hearts Tights, $14. Let her wear her heart – literally – on her legs. But horrible corniness aside, the homebody loves simplicity with a touch of cuteness that is irresistable. Which, of course, makes these tights the ultimate stocking stuffer.

bisous,

La C.

twelve days ’til christmas…

13 December 2009

I’m in quite the celebratory mood; after all, Christmas is approaching, holiday music is on replay nearly everywhere, and the gift-giving/buying frenzy has begun!

And there’s twelve days ’til Christmas! Twelve!

So to make up for lost posts and unexplained hiatuses, and to help all you lovely non-pareils from any creative blocks that may occur mid-holiday shopping, I’ve decided to attempt updating daily with holiday gift guides & stocking stuffers, what-to-wears, etc. to prepare you for the upcoming holiday madness!

Check back frequently; I have one coming up soon!

bisous,

La C.

shall i introduce myself again?

12 December 2009

{ i m a g e s o u r c e : u n k n o w n }

I had unofficially gone on a brief hiatus; perhaps it wa unfair of me to leave for two weeks without a warning – but I have do have a viable reason for my absence here. La Couturier will always be my one and only – it was here where I began, where I was given so many opportunities, and it is here is I will faithfully stay. Thank you to all who sent me e-mails asking about my well-being and for posts to continue; it truly means so much to me knowing that there are those out there who not only take the time to visit this humble little spot of mine, nonetheless email me! So no worries my love, I have not abandoned this petite blog of mine!

Of course college applications and whatnot comes into play (to some extent). But the true reason behind my lack of legitimate posts  posts lies in what you would call a lack of inspiration. Actually, “lack of inspiration” is not accurate; perhaps it is misleading in describing the last two or so months since my post on the infinity of fashion.

I’ve spent the last few months re-thinking nearly everything. A re-evaluation of my self, my future, my aspirations, per say. And during this time I had (shock horror!) halted my daily dosage of Jak & Jil, Garance Dore, thefashionspot, and various other blogs of which I obsess over, and left monthly issues of magazines to gather dust upon the dresser adjacent to my bed – whilst ignoring Style.com updates of Fashion Week RTW collections. Perhaps a lack of time and re-assessment of priorities had been a factor in my perceived lack of interest. But in reality I was questioning why I loved fashion so much. Why I obsessed over designer collections. Why I wanted a job in the industry.

Was it worth it? Would I be willing to, if lucky, place myself in an industry in which superficiality would be undeniably omnipresent? (Of course I had been making generalizations at the time.) And especially in such tumultuous times, was fashion important enough to me for me to let myself be whisked away by the thought of Paris Fashion Week when so much pain, suffering, and unseen wars is occurring throughout the world? Why then, why would I choose to dream of such a path when I could be making a difference for someone?

Obviously it took me a few months to dwell on the aforementioned questions. I still had a passion for fashion, as much as I despise the phrase (it makes me think of those nose-less, bobble-headed Bratz Dollz of the early 2000’s – which brings again this superficiality into young girl’s childhood… but that would be a rant for another day), a passion stemming from reasons you could possibly define as unusual. And possibly unheard of. I digress; those few months spent contemplating and re-evaluating had been used wisely. I know I do want to be in this industry. As an individual I cannot change an entire history’s worth of established ways – but I know I want to bring to light a new perspective. Finding ways to make a difference through fashion would be far easier; fashion is undeniably universal, and it is through similarities of an entire human race through which we can achieve change. Change through advocacy, I like to say, bringing attention to the important things through the superficial. I swear it made sense in my mind.

Which brings me to last week. I picked up a copy of October’s ELLE, which I have not touched since our dear postwoman left it in the brick mailbox (and yes, I physically had to brush dust off the cover). I read it back to front, re-captivated by the beauty of the works of these artists – designers, photographers, make-up artists, editors, directors, writers, etc. And I knew then, at that moment, that this was what I wanted to do. That, and perhaps styling women and men so they can put their best face forward to exemplify who they are inside.

So let me introduce myself again.

Je m’appelle La Couturier.

Comment ça va?