Autumn-Inspired Photo Color Palette

I've been collecting photos that've caught my fancy this past month and I decided to turn them into "color palettes" using Essie polish. I used Essie because they have every single color imaginable to mankind and all of them are so easily available. It's actually really calming to pick out the colors from details in the photos; I recommend this as an untraditional way to wind down after a long day.

This is one of my favorite looks from the Valentino RTW (or should I say prêt-à-porter?) S/S collection.
Nail Colors - Island Hopping // Warm & Toasty Turtleneck // In Stitches // Bff Best Boyfriend

Very refreshing photo = very refreshing colors.
Nail Colors - Need a Vacation // East Hampton Cottage // Blanc // Absolutely Shore

It's fun to play around with shades and hues, especially when the photo has different aspects of light and shadows like this one.
Nail Colors - Going Incognito // Sew Psyched // School of Hard Rocks // Fierce, No Fear // Urban Jungle

This is my favorite photo from the editorial of Natalia Vodianova for the November Issue of Vogue.
Nail Colors - Shifting Power // Power Clutch // Sew Psyched // Sequin Sash // Lapiz of Luxury

This is a photo of the barricade from the 2012 Les Misérables, which I have been obsessed with for a while now.
Nail Colors - Forever Yummy // Mesmerized // Mink Muffs // Good as Gold

Although I wouldn't necessarily suggest wearing all these colors on your hands (or feet) at once, this is a nice option for a last minute halloween costume. Just paint your nails and and print out the picture you based it off of, because most people probably won't get it just by random colors on your fingers. 

Warby Parker X 826 Collaboration

Seeing is believing. Words can be excellent tools for conveying messages, but really, nothing can compare to the gift of sight. I'm nearsighted, so I truly value being able to see details clearly; although I don't normally wear my glasses, you'll never find me too far away from one of my many pairs. I say "my many pairs" because throughout time I've been buying glasses, losing them, buying more, and then rediscovering the lost pairs, thus resulting in owning more pairs than most people need. That's why I admire Warby Parker for providing fashionable glasses, at relatively inexpensive prices for the world of designer eyewear, that do so much more than provide a pretty feature for your face.

Even though glasses do more than look pretty, these frames sure are pretty cute!

Opening your eyes and seeing the world clearly gives anyone and everyone endless inspiration, especially for a child. As a child myself, I know that clear vision triggers amazing ideas in our head, and it also encourages different ways to transport those ideas not only through words, but through art, music, and even vocal explanation, too. In my case, my sight, because of my glasses, helps me to see and understand fashion walking down the runway. Because of these clear images in my head, I can form clear ideas, which I then turn into words and it wouldn't be the same without those tiny details that blurry eyesight just doesn't catch -- it makes all the difference. Vision unleashes creativity in all people, especially children.

Although 826 is for kids and the books are written by them, the Kidd frame is for adults. But they are pretty adorable on them. 

Because I, myself, am a young writer and I know, from personal experience, of the power of words, I'm happy to help Warby Parker announce their new collaboration with 826. 826 is a nonprofit organization that nurtures and grows writing skills in children from Pre-K/Kindergarten all the way to senior year in high school. 826 currently has eight locations - NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Ann Arbor, Boston, and Chicago - and sparks and continues to kindle a natural curiosity in Language Arts for children, skills that will serve them for their entire life. Warby Parker is celebrating their New York City and Los Angeles locations with the arrival of a smart, exclusive design: The Kidd. There are only 826 pairs available in both optical, evidently for NYC, and darkened for the sun, suitable for Los Angeles. Each pair is uniquely numbered out of 826. Warby Parker is also sponsoring two original publications, one from NYC and one from LA, of student's work to prove the knowledge and creativity that these kids have, with all the proceeds going to 826. The books can only be bought in New York or LA stores, but the glasses are available online.(Here for women optical, here for women sun, and also available for men.)

The stylish Kidd frames, available as both sunglasses and regular optical glasses. A soft, intellectual look that's perfect for strolling both the concrete streets of New York and the sunny avenues of Los Angeles.

Be sure to check out all the other stylish eyeglasses and sunglasses from Warby Parker! If you can't decide on one pair just based off the online descriptions, consider their Home Try-On where you can try 5 different pairs for five days. For free. If you still can't decide on one, then you shouldn't feel bad getting multiple pairs because for every pair purchased, one is given to someone in need. An honest excuse for buying extras!

All photos courtesy of Warby Parker.

Natalia Vodianova's Grand Photos at the Paris Opera Ballet

Grand is probably the best word to describe it. Annie Leibovitz's photos of Natalia Vodianova, for the November issue of Vogue, spared no decoration or detail. Styled by Tonne Goodman, the product was magnificent and powerful - just what to expect from Vogue. Ornate architecture and elaborate clothes could have easily become very overwhelming and unpleasing to the eye. But not with this dream-team of seasoned pro's - they managed to show off and utilize every aspect in a powerful and engaging way.

with the Paris Ballet Opera's Benjamin Millepied.

All photos via

See the full collection of photos here.

From the Week

My week has been very productive and busy, which I find is becoming more frequent rather than the rarity that productivity used to be during the glorious summer months. Sigh. I had a school research trip this entire week so I wasn't as on top of things, fashion things that is, as I normally like to be. When I finally got back on Friday evening, I sorted through all the emails I've accumulated through the week and I also caught up on all the action I've missed (so much happens in a week!)

The view from my bus window on the school trip. I don't know what body of water this is, I just thought it looked pretty as we were passing over the bridge. #NoFilterNeeded

First off, I don't think that I could write a post about this week without mentioning Oscar de la Renta. I got the news that he passed from my Instagram feed while I was on the school bus for my class trip. I was shocked and it didn't help being in a closed vehicle where no one knew who he was. I wrote this short tribute from my phone; I am just one of many mourning a great man who left a legend that will outlive us all. In my eulogy, I wrote that this was the end of an era, and it is in a way, but Anna Wintour specifically disagreed in hers stating that, "he would have lived happily and defined any era," which is true, as well. I also found Oscar's Most Memorable Moments in T Magazine interesting and sentimental. It's always bittersweet looking back on good times that we know are now over.

Conveying messages is hard. Fashion is one great way to do that, and it can be pretty difficult. What's even harder than that is conveying a message you can't even see. That's what fragrance is. And in fragrance advertisements, you can't even smell it. So you have to find a strong message from a fragrance and convey it in pictures and hope that it gets the message across. Over the years, people have gotten better with this, producing great short fragrance films that are clear in meaning. Recently, Chanel released their new film for their signature No. 5 scent, starring Gisele. More trained fragrance experts than I will probably disagree with me entirely, but I sensed some similarities between Chanel's No. 5 film and Dior's J'adore film, so I decided to compare them both in a post. The stories in the films are completely different, but the strong message is similar.

Speaking of fashion shorts, check out Business of Fashion's Top 10 Fashion Films. Short films are great for fashion because they show the highlights and feelings of a certain collection without having to watch the whole runway show, for those of us who are more pressed for time or who like to see the clothes come to life in film.

Lastly, I really enjoyed watching i-D's Fashion at Work videos this week because it features people from the fashion industry (Derek Blasberg, Carol Lim, Alexa Chung, and Suzy Menkes for example) and they answer questions like what it's like to work in the industry, how they would explain it to people who aren't in it, what the best (and worst) parts of it are, and many other interesting answers.

Looking back on this week I see a lot of buzz and busyness and looking forward I see Halloween just coming into view on the horizon. We can't let that be an excuse to lay back and relax because it will be upon us before we know it.

Mourning Oscar: the End of an Era

Legendary designer Oscar de la Renta passed away, at age 82, Monday night. I got the news from my Instagram feed and in fact, I'm writing this from a bus on the way to a class trip. I am shocked beyond words; of course I knew that he was one of the classic, old icons, but it just never occurred to me that he would ever go away. Every collection, every piece of clothing, everything he made has a quality and elegance that will never die. Although this is the end of an era, his work, his name, and the magnificent fashion house he built under that will live on forever.

Oscar de la Renta

Downton Abbey Season Five

I can honestly say that there is no other TV show I have obsessed over and watched religiously like I have with Downton Abbey. I love watching the personal, and historical, events that play out and affect the intertwined lives of the richly developed characters, both upstairs and down. I might have learned as much history from this show as I have from actual history class; the writer, Julian Fellowes, does do a thorough job with his research. Downton Abbey provides the perfect balance of deep, engaging storylines, historical backgrounds, amazing sets (my perfect weekly dose of English countryside), and beautiful costumes.

Although the show already premiered in the UK this past month, for all of us in the states PBS has been releasing snippets and trailers, including an ominous video back in July and pictures from Season Five in August. Recently, PBS also released this video containing bits and pieces from Season Five and also the official early trailer. Things start out pretty normal in the beginning, the first part of the video picks up where Season Four ended, but then it takes a more dramatic turn, showing us some pretty action packed clips. It's odd seeing characters that I'm so familiar with in so unfamiliar situations, and also characters I'm unfamiliar with in such a familiar location. My anticipation is rising as I wait for the airing of Downton Abbey Season Five on January 4th on the flawless MASTERPIECE THEATER.

Comparing Chanel No. 5 & J'adore Dior Campaigns

The classic fragrance, Chanel No. 5, has been a standing component and symbol of elegance in a quintessentially glamorous time. It was Chanel's first fragrance, launched by Coco herself and the first bottle was sold in 1921. It was a scent that captured the essence of the 1920s - freedom and modernistic, but at the same time elegant and timeless. It wasn't a groundbreaking, never-before-seen (well, I guess it would be 'never-before-smelled') perfume, but it was something better, it was recognizable although it was nonexistent prior to this time, so it wasn't a strong new smell that would take a long time to get used to. A classic was born. Much has changed since the 20s, but No. 5 has remained the same, including the simple bottle that holds the precious liquid. Dior introduced their representative scent much later than Chanel, in 1999 J'adore was born. Not as renowned as No. 5, but it still gives an strong image of a powerful elegance. Recently, I've been seeing the J'ador Dior commercials, starring Charlize Theron, before videos on YouTube. It says something like 'the past is beautiful but it's no place to live' and then it shows Charlize climbing out to 'the future,' saying, J'adore Dior.

Chanel recently released their new fragrance film for No. 5, starring Gisele Bündchen. It has a very modern and now feel. I also think it reminded us of Gisele's wonderful talent. I think it was a great film with a very clear image for the scent. Fragrance films can be tricky because you have to convey the feeling of the scent but the audience obviously can't smell it. You've got to be specific with your theme. Both of them are about this idea of keeping the past and tradition in mind, but ignoring it anyway and doing your own thing. It's about revamping the old glamor with a more modern sophistication. It's showing that these fragrances are truly timeless and that they will always be a new classic.

Thoughts on Alexander Wang X H&M Collaboration

The much awaited look book for one of the most buzzed about designer collaborations of the year (probably after Altuzarra for Target) came out a day or two ago. Yes, we're talking about Alexander Wang for H&M, the high n' low brand collaboration that has been whispered and rumored about since the announcement during last April's Coachella. Since then, the Alexander Wang Spring RTW show in September has had us predicting what will come out of this mixing of brands, styles, and quality. The spring collection was very athletic, so it was safe to assume that the collaboration would mainly be based off of sporty looks.

It may have gotten a bit too sporty. The athletic look worked in the spring collection and not in the H&M collection because the lower end naturally has to be more wearable. I think they found trouble where they tried to make it look upscale and edgy and still be possibly street wear, if not just on a spunky, young person looking to show off some brand names at their trip(s) to the gym. The result was bulky, unbalanced, unflattering, and in my opinion, almost comical.

This first look isn't too bad, it resembles some of the looks from the Spring collection. 

I really don't get how they thought leather Wang boxing gloves were a good idea. Almost as bad as the Louis Vuitton punching bag. Almost. (Sorry Karl.)

Way too bulky on top, not just the jacket, but the belt too. Also, I didn't point out the hideous, rubber slippers in the past 2 looks (and in several more to come), but a tragedy like these shouldn't go unnoticed.

Okay, maybe the dress isn't that bad compared to some of the other pieces we've seen, but they just go down hill with the printed gloves and shoe/sock combination.

I've honestly got no words for the jacket, but let's take a look at the shoes. Maybe they tie into the athletic theme by imitating the Greek god Hermes' winged shoes.

Too much puffiness in this picture. Bulky, knee-padded pants, thick, quilted jacket, and that hat. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Not as bad, my only complaints have to be the branded choker, the hideous shoes, and the fact that the design of the dress just makes it look like her bra straps are showing.

All these prints, and patterns, and colors, and who would want the letters AW printed across their chest?

No bueno.

I think we can all agree that the pants are revolting, but what I don't get is why everything else - the sports bra, the hat, and the gloves - have to be printed with Wang. The thing with high low designer collaborations like this is that they tend to show off the brand name a lot, which can end up being tacky or just plain annoying.

Eek. This is much spookier than any Halloween costume that I've seen so far.
Because this is for a widely known, and used, brand, I have to think of all the different body types of people that could be wearing these, and if they already don't look good on the model, we can almost guarantee that they won't be flattering on average people (like me.) 

I won't even get started on the Men's collection...

Definitely not my favorite designer collaboration (I loved Altuzarra for Target), but if you thought differently I recommend you check out the full look book and also The 8 Alexander Wang x H&M pieces Vogue Editors Can’t Wait To Buy


Texture is, of course, in everything, but I'm talking about textures that give depth and character to a fabric and are most likely not made up of just one element. This seems to be the time of year for texture to shine, although summer textures are particularly interesting because they can be just as intricate, but the fabrics naturally have to be lighter so you couldn't necessarily have a detailed, but thick design as you can in winter. In the fall and winter, textures come in not only different designs and styles, but in thickness and threads (I love when a fabric appears to be a solid color, but upon further investigation it turns out to be made out of multiple strands of different colors.) I also prefer autumn and winter textures rather than summer ones because they are reliable and sentimental to me; cozy sweaters, multiple rich tweeds, suedes, leathers, denims, it all brings warm feelings and memories to me. That's just what fabric should do, it should tell stories and memories, it should have personality.

I gathered up my favorite textures from my autumn wardrobe, my phone camera isn't really the best at capturing all the knitted and woven details and colors, but it'll do. It was fun hunting around for fabrics in my closet (and I'll be honest: on my floor too - sorry Mom) and it made me think back to all the good times in those clothes. For example, pumpkin picking with my family in my old, hand-me-down denim jacket from my Mom, the chunky-knitted sweaters that I pull over my polo's for school, or the tweed blazers I seem to collect from thrift stores.

My scarves.

One of my many tweeds - this one I partially like because of the subtle blue and red threads. 

A rare example of a pink tweed that doesn't make me feel like Professor Umbridge...

The fall blazer section of my closet - from left to right: my gingham tweed, my heavy (country) tweed, my light tweed, my light tweed with pockets, and my pink tweed. One can never have too many tweed blazers. 

A closeup on the gingham tweed. It's a really lovely fabric because it's not too thick or heavy, but it's still cozy.

Suede detail on one of my autumn skirts.

My closet has so much plaid, so it really wouldn't make sense to photograph all of it, but here's a closeup on my favorite plaid pants.

A faded, comfy denim.

Knitted leggings are my savior on chilly school days.

I really love the combination of my loose-fitting, worn-in jeans and my (well, my mother's first) burgundy leather belt. I'm in love with the color/texture combination.

A simple knit. (Yes, it's a Gryfindor scarf.)

I live in knitted socks during the winter. What is winter without knitted socks?

Closeup on a plaid/tweed waistcoat of mine. I love waistcoats and I own many, but everyone gives me a strange look when I wear them to school. I guess they don't see many 13-year-olds with tweed vests, but it's within the dress code so they can't stop me. 
The best sweater ever. I think I got it on clearance from a Loft a couple years ago,  and I haven't stopped wearing it since. It's just perfect for me in every aspect: color, texture, 

This is a close up of my favorite sweater. This sweater is a rich, dark green and the way it's knitted,  it resembles vines growing, and maybe a bit overgrown even. 

TGIF!!! (& Week Recap)

Does it make sense that this week seems like it has been incredibly long, yet over in a flash at the same time? I feel like it was just yesterday that I headed out of my front door on Monday for school, and I immediately had to go back inside for a coat because I was not expecting the sharp, autumn-morning air. All this time of year, everyone is saying that they're busy and still figuring things out, but, if I remember correctly from last year, and other years past, I was feeling like that all the way up until summer started, and it started again when summer ended. I think anytime that's not summertime will be busy and "figuring things out."
Cold days call for tweed & scarves.
Other than the premature cold weather, many other events this past week have me saying TGIF today. For starters, I started out the week with a quiz in math, it wasn't exactly a pop quiz (okay, it wasn't a pop quiz at all), but it still caught me off guard and didn't give me the best start to the week. Until November, I'll be working on a Colonial America research paper for History, so I've been busy with that, and the terrible thing about long research papers is that they drag on forever. With regular tests or quizzes, you learn the material, take the test, and move on, but research papers are perpetually boring.

All while I was learning the elements on the Periodic Table, John Galliano was appointed as the Creative Director of Maison Martin Margiela, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a fashion education workshop at the White House, new members were added to the CFDA, and so much more. I get my daily fashion news by checking Vogue and all of the others on my long list of websites and blogs after homework, and by reading WWD with my dinner religiously.

Sometimes WWD is not with dinner, it's with cookies, sometimes it's with a dinner of cookies.

It is inevitable for Halloween not to be thought of anytime in October. Simply impossible. This week, I found Halloween inspiration and confirmed my costume idea of Hamish Bowles.

It's my goal to be him one day in real life, but being him for Halloween will have to settle for now.
Speaking of Hamish, a man with so much style, I also went over the difference between style and stylish, yes, there is a difference, and no, it is not just the parts of speech.

New York City skylines are so versatile; a versatile skyline for a versatile city.

I hope you all had a lovely week!

Style vs. Stylish

I know I've written about this before, but I don't think I can stress this enough. Today's post might be a bit of a rant, but it's a rant with purpose. Style and to be stylish have two completely different meanings, yet because of language and etymology and all that good stuff, the two words are often used interchangeably, much to my annoyance (along with fashionable and trendy, ugh). Style is personal; style is a consistent look that defines, but does not limit, who you are. It speaks for you without shouting. Many fashion icons will wear the same outfit or look all the time because it's reliable and it shows that it's timeless. It also builds upon the person, so if you saw that look on anyone else, or saw the person with a different look, it wouldn't be the same. Style isn't just the clothes, it's the character. The clothes you see walking down the runway, or on the racks, are empty shells waiting to be filled with personalty. Style is a noun and stylish is an adjective, and a person's style isn't always necessarily stylish. Just like any other adjective, what is stylish and what is not is based on your individual opinions and thoughts, but style is indisputable. A person can have style by wearing the same, timeless looks (for example, Grace Coddington's all-black-except-the-shoes-and-hair fashion week uniform), or have style by wearing the same type of clothes, in the same style if you will, clothes that look like they are from the same closet, but maybe not the same collection (for example, Hamish Bowles' classic elegance). Style differs for everybody, if you truly have style, then your style should be able to fit and define only you, not everybody else. Style shouldn't be a costume that you put on in the morning and take off at the end of the day; style should be like your skin or soul, it should stick with you wherever you go. Style will always be there for you to fall back on when the trends let you down.

Halloween Inspiration: Hamish Bowles

I think I might be Hamish Bowles' biggest fan, and I know that I'm definitely his youngest. If you're not familiar with him, Mr. Bowles is an English fashion journalist and has kept the title of European editor-at-large for American Vogue since 1995. I've been admiring him for some time now; I just love the way that he writes and makes even the smallest details seem grand and beautiful. Reading anything by him, from runway reviews to cover stories, is always a pleasure. You can get lost in the words and it really transports you to wherever, or whatever, he is conveying. I look at it almost as a goal; I want to be Hamish Bowles one day. Alas, that day is not today, so I guess I'll have to settle for being him for Halloween.

In this look, I've traded his patterned crimson tie for a simple necklace, and I haven't included a link for the shirt because I think everyone should have a basic red plaid shirt.

There is always a color scheme or theme in his looks so although he mixes many different patterns, colors, and textures, it always works together perfectly.

One of the many great things about Hamish is that he is not committed to one look like some other fashion icons are. He has so many great outfits to his name and that means two things: a) There are many different looks avaiable and you can choose whichever depending on what you already own and what you can find at a thrift shop; b) On Halloween, you will have to carry around a picture and tell people who you are (and who he is) because most people won't know, at least where I live. People normally don't understand my Halloween costumes, but I also do it partly to keep them on their feet. To keep them guessing when everyone else has predictable and recognizable costumes.