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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Award Season Bling: The Statement Necklace.

Pictured: Sheryl Crow wearing Irene Neuwirth Jewelry

For all of us who love the red carpet walk of style, good news! Award Season is still on and tomorrow The Grammys will be broadcasting live from Los Angeles. Last night gave us a little Grammy style preview with the Grammy sponsored MusiCares benefit to honor Neil Young. While the very cool Neil is not a fashionista by any means, there were some amazing looks on the Red Carpet. Pictured above is one of my favorites, Sheryl Crow wearing and exquisite statement necklace by Los Angeles designer Irene Neuwirth. The is piece is such a show stopper. Her necklace is 18kt Rose Gold Necklace set with Labradorite and Onyx. The necklace is several thousand dollars, so I can't say it's a chic bargain :) What I like is the pairing of a "statement" necklace with a little black dress. The necklace draws the eye up so you really notice the beauty of the wearer. Look for fashionable statement necklaces at discounters like T.J. Maxx. Forever21, Loehmanns and Kohl's. One striking statement necklace that I like is this one by Amrita Singh. I have seen these at both T.J. Maxx and Loehmann's in their locked jewelry counter. Ask one of the sales clerks to help you to try on the pieces. They are amazing!

Pictured:Amrita Singh's Mother of Pearl Bib Necklace is a statement piece you can find at your local Loehmann's or T.J. Maxx. The piece really dresses up a little black dress.

To see some of Amrita Singh's statement pieces online, click over to HauteLook online shopping club. Click this sponsored link from HauteLook to join and shop as my guest. Most of their Amrita Singh pieces are under $50.00.

For a pair of earrings similar to what Sheryl wore at MusiCares, check out Kendra Scott Jewelry at sale at Gilt Groupe. Click this sponsored link from to join Gilt Groupe and shop as my guest. One of my favorite pieces are the Eden earring for $45.00 US.

Pictured: Red Carpet ready Kendra Scott's two faceted amethyst quartz stones wrapped in gold plated brass wire, on sale at Gilt Groupe.

Fashion 2.0 Awards: For those that wear Prada and Tweet about it!

For the past year, we've seen the face of fashion evolving via social media. From Burberry's Art of the Trench social media networking site, to designer blogs and runway shows streaming via the Internet, the web has changed everything. Personally, I love that I can beam into Prada and Burberry shows on the Internet. Or talk to Norma Kamali and DKNY on Twitter. You no longer have to be based in NYC, Paris, Milan or London to visit the designers. Their collections come to us via the magic of the Internet. And now you have a chance to give the designers your feedback on their social media efforts via the Fashion 2.0 awards. The awards are sponsored by the Fashion Coalition, the designer shopping club Ideeli and Lucky Magazine. So how to you get to be part of the voting. Easy, by pointing and clicking! You can vote on the Ideeli blog or on the Style Coalition website. There is a special award category for the Innovator of the Year. This is the The Innovator Award, Fashion 2.0. One of my favorite designers, Norma Kamali, is nominated in the Innovator category. How amazingly innovative of Norma to be the precursor of Internet fashion shows by doing fashion videos years ago!

The nominees, for the Innovator Award, drumroll please, are:

  1. Burberry: website, their own social media site, Twitter page, and Facebook page.
  2. Dolce&Gabbana: website, their blog, Twitter page, and Facebook page.
  3. Norma Kamali: website, ebay shop, Twitter page, Facebook page.
  4. Alexander McQueen: website, Twitter page
  5. DVF: website, Twitter page, Facebook page
  6. Vivienne Tam: website, collaboration with HP

So raise your voice and take the poll to tell us which brands engaged you, moved you, and inspired you to shop, dress, and think in 2009. Voting ends on Feb. 8th.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Within fragrance from BCBGMAXAZARIA

Pictured: The romantic "Within" fragrance packaging from BCBGMAXAZARIA

In the words of Linda McCartney, "The light comes from within." She said, "I need a sense of cause, I wanna smell the flowers." I wonder if the creators of BCBG's new fragrance "Within" are familiar with Linda's lyrics. I like the name of the fragrance, as I do Linda's lyrics, because it reminds me that our outward appearance, does not necessarily reflect our spirit. The real spirit (our light) lies within.

Before the holidays, I had the opportunity to try "Within" and meet its creator, perfumer Sarah Horowitz. Ms. Horowitz is well known for creating custom scents. She told me she loves to spend time with her clients, to understand what they are about and what kind of scents would compliment their pre-existing scent. Did you know that we all have a certain something about us, or je ne sais quoi, that is inherent in our own unique body chemistry? This is why scents will smell different on each wearer. And they will smell different over time, as body temperature changes or as we age. In creating custom scents or recommending packaged scents, the creator of "Within", Ms. Horowitz likes to smell that certain something or natural scent on each individual. It's quite an elegant process the way she does it. Here she is at the BCBG store on Rodeo checking out the scent of a client.

Pictured: Perfumer Sarah Horowitz offers a scent consultation at the BCBG store on Rodeo Drive.

The goal for Ms. Horowitz is to translate her impressions of a woman into fragrance notes. In the case of "Within," natural fruit scents like apple blossom, pear and bergamot (the citrus fruit laced into the Earl Grey tea blend) in the top notes. The top notes are the scents you will notice immediately upon applying the fragrance. As the scent warms to the wearer, the next wave of scent, or the middle notes, float through the air. In the case of "Within" the middle notes are flowers like jasmine, honeysuckle and freesia. Finally, the perfume is comprised of "base notes" which become apparent after about 30 minutes of wear. For "Within" the base notes are a unique blend of of sandalwood, tobacco and amber. When I was told that tobacco was part of the mix, my eyebrows lifted almost to my hairline. Tobacco? But Ms. Horowitz explained that the tobacco scent is discreet and is there for a purpose. The tobacco makes the scent stay on the skin, so the scent will last after the initial spritz on. This makes your perfume last longer, as you don't have to apply it frequently to maintain the scent.

From my consultation with Ms. Horowitz, I learned that various factors including diet (vegetarian or meat eater), age and general body chemistry influence how a scent wears on each individual. This means "Within" can smell different on each wearer. On me, the top notes were most evident. I smelled of pear (reminiscent of Petite Cherie) but my friend who tried it wore more of the middle notes, or the floral scents like jasmine and honeysuckle. What I liked, and found completely unique, was that both of us wore "Within" differently. You could not tell that we were wearing the exact same perfume. The scent smelled completely different on each of us. It was also very different on us than it was on the fragrance strips given to us when we entered the BCBG store.

After wearing "Within" for 20 minutes, I was even more impressed by the fragrance than I was when I first sprayed it on. The perfume really opened up like a fine bottle of wine. In these budgetary times, its a plus that you can buy an off the shelf perfume that allows you to actually smell different than other women who wear it. If you like light, non musky scents, then do give "Within" a try. Just make sure to try it, or any perfume you are considering buying, on your skin. Don't believe the fragrance stick! Wear a scent for a little while as you shop. See how it wears on you over a short period of time. This it the important "cents" test of all scents. Make sure the fragrance works on you before you invest. With Valentine's Day on the horizon, this perfume might be a nice option for a special evening out or even, a gift suggestion. "Within" retails for $58.00 US. Look for coupon codes from BCBG on their website or online to save a few pennies.

To learn more about the art of creating scents, visit Sarah Horowitz Parfums on the web. For discount codes and savings on Sarah's perfumes join her Facebook group. There are some nice offers there :)

Please note, this is not a sponsored post and I am not a BCBG affiliate.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Vogue Partners with Gilt Groupe

Gilt Groupe is kicking off 2010 with an interesting partnership with Vogue. Seems the folks at Vogue magazine came up with more low-budget shopping ideas beyond Anna Wintour's brillant suggestion of a $20.00 lipstick. I guess Anna really meant it when she went down to Macy's Queens and tried to get with the peeps during Fashion's Night Out. To complete the original mission, and evolve from the Fashion's Night Out T-shirt, editors from Vogue will be selecting ready to wear items for under $500.00 to feature in the Vogue shop on Gilt Groupe. Yes, dear readers, you'll have the opportunity to buy stuff picked by Vogue editors. Exciting no? I am smirking as I write this. Under $500 bucks should give them plenty of fashion runway for bargain hunting, although I'd still go with under $100 for real recessionista living. Personally, I am underwhelmed by the tiny pouchette type "body bag" handbag offered in the Vogue shop for $250.00 But baby steps, baby steps here for Vogue. I applaud their effort to get in tune with the times.

Pictured: A $250 "mini cross" body bag from the Vogue shop. Is the word "body bag" a good marketing term for a handbag...I wonder. :)

With all due respect to the editors of Vogue, some of the other items on sale at Gilt are of more interest.

What do you think? Will you be looking through the Vogue shop? Or have you already checked out the Elle online shop hosted by RueLaLa?

Ps, I am a Gilt affiliate.