Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Outfits

Ahhh New Year's Eve, it is always a dilema for me. As readers might know, I hate bling and shiny things. I think they're gaudy and over the top. But for NYE, that's exactly what everyone wears. Sequins, shiny fabrics, metalics, lots of gold. So I try to think of ways to not over do it. Here's a couple of outfits I poylvored in which I attempt to balance out the bling factor. 

Classic and simple.
Peter Pan collar, burgundy and velvet. 

Erm.. for circus parties? :]

Black and gold and the glitter shoes that everyone is wearing.

Have a great NYE everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Cana Island Lighthouse

I've been extremely lazy this winter break (extremely), maybe I'm trying to get it out of my system before 5 months of crazy once school starts again. I'm usually a much better blogger while in school so expect the blog to pick up again in a few weeks. ACTUALLY, I will be doing a 5-day mini-journal kind of thing when my program goes to New York City for all day events on Broadway, museum tours, visiting the New York Times, and all kinds of other fun cultural things. You can expect daily posts for that.

But for now, here are some more winter lighthouse pictures from Door County, WI. This one is Cana Island Lighthouse, which I have been to a long time ago when I was little. The light station is on its own island that you have to walk to on a land bridge. It was about 20 degrees and snowing when I went right after the sun went down. It was really exciting for me because I've never visited a lighthouse at night in the winter. Just stepping on the island and hearing the wind and the waves crashing against the ice and rocks... it just made you feel cold and lonely.

(Listen to this while you look: The Lighthouse by the Hush Sound. They're still one of my favorite bands for obvious reasons.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pillow Present

My friends are equally as crafty as me. My friend Jessica (outlawheartt) cross stitched this adorabs pillow for me for Christmas! Recognize the lyrics from "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros? Tutorial of what I made for my friends to follow... once they actually get their presents!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lesage for Chanel Paris-Bombay

I don't like bling. I barely wear any jewelry because I think most of it is gaudy. I don't even like shiny things. Diamonds!? Who needs 'em?

But when I come across something like this, I just melt. Lesage is so amazing, I love watching these ladies at their embroidery stations. The amount of work that goes into hand embroidering and hand beading is completely ridiculous. It's no wonder that these pieces cost so much. I beaded a pair of gloves once and it took me hours (and it was just outlines, no where near as complicated as the simplest work Lesage does).

Surprisingly, I don't find any of this gaudy even though it's an overload of brocade and hardware. That's the magic of Lesage pieces for Chanel. My favorite is the headpiece with the attached nose ring.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Algoma, WI Lighthouse

I saw quite a few lighthouses this weekend in Door County, WI while on a wine trail. I think my lighthouse fixation is kind of like a home-comfort thing. Vacation for me, coming from Northern Illinois, usually means visiting coast towns in Wisconsin or Michigan. Every little coast town has a lighthouse because Lake Michigan is super treacherous and there are sunken ships all over the place. So seeing them along the lake (which is my ocean) is a familiarity thing. Door County alone has 10 of them. And my other favorite thing is snow. Combine the two and this is what you get.

The lighthouse in these pictures is in Algoma right down the street from Von Stiehl Winery. I used it as my new wintery banner :]

Friday, December 16, 2011

DIY Peter Pan Collar

Haven't posted since Sunday and it feels like FOREVER! This has been my first week on winter break and I've been being extremely lazy by sitting around DIYing and watching the Sopranos. Peter Pan collars are majorly trending right now, which is awesome because they're so classic and I love them. Here's one I made the other day. I got the pattern and instructions from Honestly WTF. I'd put up shots step by step as I was making it but it was pretty simple and the original site does a lovely job of it.

Ignore my usual herp-n-derpy face. Blehh.

I've been meaning to use this anchor button since forever!

My tips: I have the same exact leather rotary hole punch as shown in the tutorial and it does not work. Not on felt, at least. All it does is make an indentation and doesn't actually cut through fabric. I wanted to use it because the hole would be smaller and a little less “I hole punched this and it can fit right in my 3-ring binder.” But a standard hole puncher does work, so I would recommend using it. Also, be careful with tying the ribbon as your fabric will be thin and it rip. Mine ripped right before I took this picture so I'm going to reinforce it with hot glue momentarily. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011 Nordic Prints

I hate getting e-mails from yesstyle. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Because I always click though and drool over their latest arrivals. I especially love their winter clothes since... I love winter clothes more than warm weather clothes anyway (What? In my climate, it's below 60 for about 8 months out of the year. You can always put more clothes on but you can only take so much off. Layers, darling, layers.).

One print that gets me every year at yesstyle is their nordic print. It's all over every possible clothing style. It comes in every color. It screams buy me, I'm warm and fleecy and cute!

I don't actually own anything nordic style but I lust over it every year. Right now, there are 253 items in the store. Maybe I will finally cave post-Christmas.

(Love these leggings but the styling on this outfit was horrendous. They mixed two different colors of two separate Nordic print pieces. I'm all for pattern mixing, but those patterns are too similar. And she's wearing Ugg boots. GUH.)

Friday, December 9, 2011

College Student Christmas Wrapping

Are you a displaced student that finds yourself at a loss for wrapping Christmas presents in your dorm room or apartment? All the sliver and gold and fir-tree spangled wrapping paper I have is 700 miles away in a basement. And I don't want to buy an entire roll and a package of bows for wrapping a 2inch by 2inch box, so I use whatever I can find around my house.

Wrapping paper = newspaper. That's easy enough (especially for a journalism student who usually has them lying around). A bow can be a little trickier since I didn't want to part with the small bit of red ribbon I acquired somewhere, since I made it into a bow I wear in my hair. I just finished knitting a scarf yesterday and had a bit of yarn left that I easily made into a pompom.

Pompoms are super easy to make. All you do is cut out a circle out of cardboard and cut a smaller circle in the middle. Cut a long length of yarn and wrap it around and around the cardboard. I forgot to take a picture so here's a simple diagram I googled:

And here's the finished product! It's not Christmas colored, but I think it's cute anyway.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

AJ Christmas Love

Arts Journalism Graduate Students, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University professional, yeah? We're halfway through the program and we've all come so far. Next semester I'll be interning at Bridal Guide in NYC. Eeeep!

(photos taken by lovely Aasimah of Painted Platters)

Newhouse hat: (you can't have one. AJ elite squad only)
bustier top: thrifted
skirt: F21
cardigan: H&M
belt: my Mom's
lace-up wedge booties: thrifted

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christian Siriano. Still ferosh.

I was ecstatic when I came across the four part about Christian Siriano on youtube today. It's not a personal documentary, it's more slice-of-life of the two days before showing a collection at NYFW and how completely hectic it is. And I though I had it rough in grad school, hah!

Christian, of course, is such a character. We all remember him from Project Runway (Fierce. Ferosh. Tranny. Hot mess.). Not only is he a designer of clothes, he's a designer of words. And with a B.A. In English, I appreciate that. He has his own crazy vocabulary that watchers of the show had to learn. I completely understand that, it was the same for me when I got to college and suddenly had a group of friends who weren't used to the words I used. My friends had our own language, too (Doughy. Bindle. Wendy's circle. These words make sense to me and they don't mean what you think they mean.).

So if you missed Christian since we last observed all his crazy antics on Project Runway, watch this 4 part show and see what he's been up to lately:

Sunday, December 4, 2011


It's personal style dissection day! Today's victim is Kerli Koiv, a singer from Estonia. She's kind of Alice in Wonderland/doll influenced and you can see that in almost all of her work. 

I've known about Kerli for around 2 years now, which was a little before she got super electro-pop and went completely bubble-goth.

Bubble. Goth. That's right. From a style pov, I think that's absolutely genius (I appreciate obnoxious and sometimes ridiculous fashion, remember). Different = amazing. Goth is dark. It's black and spikey and death-like. And Kerli made it opposite. She took gothic style clothes and made them WHITE and girly.

She's also a materials unconventionalist and an expert DIY-er. 

(How perfect is this? GLUE GUN BOOM)

She puts tutorials up on her website of things that she makes and vlogs her thrift finds. In the weeks leading up to her video for Army of Love, she had something like 4 videos that documented everything that she designed and made for the shoot. She made those crazy platform shoes and most of the other things that you see. Sure the video is a bit over the top (not so much a fan of the unicorn in the forest and her ears à la Final Fantasy) but whatever. Pay attention to the clothes.

And she dresses this way IRL. My philosophy of clothes is that it takes GUTS to dress in a way that people would label as “out of the ordinary.” And I respect that no matter what it is you chose to wear. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Not quite professional professional wear

Journalism problems. We have them. And they involve clothes.

We're constantly asking how we should dress for events we have to go to (shows how important it is, eh eh?). Are jeans ok? How short should my skirt be? Heels or no heels?

These are all important questions for giving a first impression or for dressing interview appropriate. To me, everything depends on social context. Are you interviewing for a job? Then yes, professional it up. Are you interviewing someone for a story? Then you should dress like them. If you're interviewing the local green thumb at the farmer's market, then you shouldn't be showing up in a tweed pencil skirt and a button down. I think you should be dressing to fit the venue you're going to be in.

All in all, I'm not sure the “professional world” would approve of my wardrobe choices. But then again, it depends on what industry you'll be working in. If I was working in straight-up news journalism, the dress code would probably would be more professional (coughboringcough). But as I plan on working in fashion, I feel that gives me a little bit more freedom to experiment and wear pieces that are a little more eccentric. Because that's just so much more fun.

Exhibit A: Making jeans work. And also blazers!

I think jeans are ok IF they are 1) dark enough that we can hardly tell they're denim and 2) paired with a more dressy top. Basically, you have to make up for wearing jeans with everything else that you're wearing.

I also included one of my most favorite things I own in this set: a maroon velvet blazer aka my Willy Wonka coat. It's not as fancy as a regular, dressy blazer. Fabric choice can do wonders for distorting clothes. (Think about it. Say you wore a sweatshirt made of silk organza. Not so casual anymore, is it?)

Exhibit B: Skirts. How short?

Anyone who knows me knows that I sometimes wear obscenely short skirts/dresses (With tights though! Tights make it ok!). But even I know that it isn't acceptable for professional wear. This doesn't mean you have to dress like Grandma. I think a little above the knee is still ok and this is where you can slightly push it with fabric choice. It you're wearing something tight with a lot of stretch, go longer. If you're wearing something loose or a thicker, heavier fabric, a little shorter is ok. It's all about balance.

I picked a lace skirt here because it's a thicker fabric and can go with something tighter on top to balance out the fuller bottom shape. This outfit is super girly too. I can't help it sometimes.

Exhibit C: Cardigans are magical.

I can't say enough about cardigans. Everyone should own a black and grey one at the very least. They're standards. They're nice enough that they can dress up almost everything you wear underneath. You could wear a strapless dress and a cardigan can make it instantly appropriate.

And these pants... personally, I hate ankle pants, but that's just because I think I can't pull them off. They're perfectly fine for people who can, though.

The same applies to boleros (not that this dress is wildly inappropriate to begin with...).

Exhibit D: The Peter Pan collar.

Well... this isn't actually journalism how-to-make-work at all. I just think Peter Pan collars are awesome.

Actually, the good thing about them is that having a collar means that the top will usually be pretty covered up. Who knows, it might even have some type of sleeve! And that makes it an appropriate dress. If it's too short, wear tights. Rule of thumb is BOOBS or LEGS. You must pick one because both are not acceptable unless you're in Vegas. that I look over these, I guess they don't really fit work wear much. But working/class for AJs a lot of the time means going to museums or such artsy places and talking to important people. And I think these outfits would cut it for the Dress Nice, You're Going to Meet People category.

*Outfits were made on Polyvore, the greatest fashion collage site ever.