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There’s been quite a bit of glitz, and bling on the runway this fall (even more so than usual), and J Crew is one of the collections that really stood out. Designer Tom Mora put forth a refreshingly new take on the J Crew classics… grey pullover with shiny clusters of beads, and crystals anyone? Yes, please. Oh, and once you put on a winter coat with rhinestones along the lapel… you’ll be happy to put away your down puffer for a while.

 

J.Crew-fall-2013-silk-and-wool-printed-coat

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J.Crew-fall-2013-crystal-minaudiere

J.Crew-fall-2013-saddle-shearling-satchel

 

Ok, this bag’s not blinged out like the other one… but the sheepskin and leather adds a casual, cool-girl feeling to the collection.

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Wood and leather are making a comeback- and not in the way of lacquered, bamboo handles. The new approach is minimal, luxurious, yet also earthy. Sisters Nancy and Kimberly Wu are taking accessories back to square one. Take a look at their multi-medium design project here. Who says playing with wooden blocks is only for kids?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images via Miss Moss.

If you’re one (like me) who gravitates towards dark colors, even in the summer, adding a color-blocked scarf (or heck, even a bracelet) will add a surprising punch to your hot-weather attire. If you’re not ready to take the color plunge with your wardrobe yet- use these images as inspiration, and give a diy a try.

 

 

 

Images via shinysquirrel, video via improvisedlife

What is the peplum? It can be seen as a fashionable growth protruding from the hips. It can take on a life of it’s own, and can act as an instant waist-slimmer. But, what is a peplum really, and why is it so prominent on the runway? Well, this season (and last season) is not it’s first walk around the block. It can be traced back to the 40’s and 80’s when adding an extra layer of fabric around one’s hips was all the rage. Apparently, we are still on that bandwagon. But, it’s a beautiful bandwagon, and can be traced further back in time. The word peplum comes from the Greek word peplos, meaning shawl. Yes, another first by the Greeks. Their version is draped, hanging beautifully on their bodies (no, not the one-shouldered frock adopted during the muscle-man movies of the 1960’s). Now, fast forward to the 19th century and the peplum evolves into a more structured shape. During the 1800’s, the peplum was an extra flounce of fabric affixed to the waist. Such voluminous examples can be seen in illustrations from Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular 1800’s fashion magazine (complete with poems). The modern peplum became trendy during the 1940’s, and again in the 1980’s. The modern version is often shorter in length, and extends beyond the waist. Sure, it sounds completely unflattering, but the most endearing quality of the modern peplum is its versatility. It can be short and cutesy, feminine and flouncy, or architectural and edgy. The possibilities are endless, as can bee seen on the runway and on the street. Whether it’s here to stay or not, the peplum is a serious waist-slimmer and style-booster; and for most women, that’s pretty epic.

An illustration from Godey’s Lady’s Book, December 1875

An editorial shot by Nina Leen for Life magazine, 1946

Mary Katrantzou, Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Lanvin, Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

Chris Benz, Resort 2013

On the street

Image sources: 12, 3-5 via style.com6


The Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco is one of the best I’ve ever seen- or experienced, rather. It was truly that- an experience. I don’t want to give away too much, as I encourage everyone to view it for themselves. It’s hard to understand the craftsmanship behind Gaultier’s work until you do so. One particular gown took 1,000 plus hours to complete. Now, that’s haute couture at it’s very finest. And what’s most fascinating… is that Gaultier uses such craftsmanship in the most thrilling ways. He is not afraid to shock his audience. Everyone needs a little electrocution now and then. In fact, the fashion world begs for it.

Here’s a sneak peek that doesn’t reveal much of the exhibition itself, but captures the mood:

Gaultier

 

The jewelry by Odette New York is sculptural, warm, and streamlined. These creations embody the grace I’d like to embody in life. Here are my favorite pieces:

 

… and a few bright images to store away for those rainy days.

 

 

Images via odetteny.blogspot.com and montmarte.blogspot.com

At 5:33 AM, I woke to my apartment rocking back and forth. I thought I had dreamed it. Nope. It was a 4.0 earthquake that hit the Bay Area. It’s probably time to get together a survival kit. So, here’s what I would like to put in my kit, followed by what I should. 

For fun…

A faux fur blanket made of 100% organic cotton from inhabitat.

 

Kate Spade mittens.

 

Chocolate covered espresso beans from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

 

In all seriousness…

A 3-Day, Grab-n-Go Emergency Kit.

 

Cliff Bar (at least 3).

 

Alkalizing Water Bottle.

 

Red Cross Self-Powered Weather Radio, with Cell Phone Charger.

 

 

Also, here’s some Earthquake Safety Tips from The Geological Society of America.

 

That should do it!