Hideous plaid jacket, I'm obsessed with this song.
Roxy's Hobbit impression, funniest show I've ever seen.

NYFW Spring 2013: A Detacher, Belstaff, Betsey Johnson, Christian Siriano, Carolina Herrera, Costello Tagliapietra, Edun, Mandy Coon, Nicole Miller, Ostwald Helgason, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Peter Som, Rebecca Minkoff, Richard Chai Love, Suno

You've been warned -- this is a pretty picture-heavy post.


Jumping right in, A Detacher caught my eye last week, but looking at this image now, I'm not entirely sure why. I do like the pattern used on the two outfits to the right, which makes me think of a simplified toile pattern. Other than that, I appreciate that dark colors are used, but they don't seem oppressive -- key for my idea of springtime dressing.

Of note: Head to toe prints, black and white, cross strap heels, a touch of metallic.


Next up is Belstaff, which I kept dyslexifying (totally just made that word up) as "Belfast". Anyway -- I love the leather safari/motorcycle jacket hybrid in the last look on the bottom. I also enjoy the use of stripes both as a vertical pattern and as accents that highlight the pieces' construction. Finally, I've just noticed a similarity between this and A Detacher: ankle strap shoes. In particular, a very high ankle strap. A word of warning for those of you who want to try this look, a high thick strap does not look particularly nice on thicker legs. Of course, if you don't care about that, go for it!

Of note: High ankle straps, leather pieces, thick vertical stripes.


Betsey, Betsey, Betsey. I'm usually not a big fan at all, because the runway shows seem a little... out there, to say the least. I don't dislike the clothes, but I am fully aware that I am not a part of her target audience. As usual, Betsey Johnson had some very beautiful party dresses (see the last two looks), but my favorite piece was actually the full length orange raincoat... thing. I haven't the slightest idea how I could wear this in public without looking tragic, but I'm sure someone can, and it'd definitely look nice in editorials.

Of note: Crinolines and otherwise puffy skirts, vibrant, juicy almost neon colors.


This year, Christian Siriano's offering looked quite different from his usual. However, I think this worked well for him. I think the construction of these pieces shines through and affirms what most of us already knew -- Mr. Siriano, despite coming from a reality show, has serious talent.

Of note: Very pale colors, sumptuous fabrics like satin, silk, and tulle.


All I really want to say about Carolina Herrera is that I love the little embellishments on these outfits -- the scrolls on the waistband of the shorts (1st look), piping (2nd look), a splash of flowers (3rd look).

Of note: Little details as mentioned above. I've been spotting what may be a micro trend: In the second outfit, there's this piping/embellished seam that really adds visual interest to the dress. I've seen a little of this this summer, but I have noticed it in several other Spring 2013 collections. I think it's really beautiful, and a subtle nod to the linear, graphic trend that's been around for a little while. I hope it catches on and makes its way to the high street.


Of note: Soft (nearly) pastel colors, painterly prints, the return of the nude shoe.


An interesting mix at Edun, which, in my head, comes out as Floral Military. From the gladiator heels to the army jackets and bras made with what look like utility straps... it's all pretty interesting. To be honest, though, I prefer those pieces to the abstract floral prints used.

Of note: Very strappy heels, abstract/floral prints, visible layering.


The cutouts at Mandy Coon remind me of a polygraph or seismograph printout... I wonder if that's where the inspiration came from. And look, more high ankle straps!

Of note: Leather details, red shoes, light-reflective fabrics.


Of note: A patchwork, cut and paste look to dresses and leggings, warped natural prints.


 Logo t-shirts are back! Henry Holland did them a few years ago, and Phillip Lim brings them back in a more sophisticated incarnation. Seems like a little grit from the street got into the Phillip Girl's usual outfit. It's a welcome change.

Of note: Those logo shirts, of course! They'll be very versatile.



This collection from Peter Som seemed very "English Garden" to me. I don't remember what the designer said the inspiration was for the collection, but to be honest, I like to come up with my own stories. Anyway...

Of note: Lots of floral prints, LOTS of white, and a good amount of pastels.


It's coincidence that I posted this Rebecca Minkoff collage after Peter Som, but the two collections actual complement each other quite well. Same florals, same pale colors, same use of white as an anchor... The main difference is the feel of this collection. While Peter Som was soft and slightly reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, Rebecca Minkoff's clothing is much more modern, and seems more suited to city life.

Of note: Same as above, but a modern feel is key.


On Twitter, I repeatedly mentioned the explosion of white that I noticed at NYFW shows... I have to be honest -- I'm not a fan of white. It is one of my least favorite colors. I just find it really, really boring. That being said, I appreciate what Richard Chai did here, mixing white with pale florals or using the silhouette to create interest.


And finally, we come to Suno. I find that as Suno goes to more muted palettes, I am liking them less. That's not to say the clothes aren't nice -- on the contrary, I quite like the pieces I posted above, especially the halter top/pencil skirt combo at right. However, I appreciated Suno for its unabashed love of color when it first debuted, and I don't find that to be there anymore.

Product reviews, yaaay

So I have a few beauty products that I tried recently and I want to review for you all.

First up are some products from Simple. You've probably heard of them, as they launched a few months ago in the U.S. If I remember correctly, it's a U.K. brand that focuses on gentle products for sensitive skin.



I got the cleansing facial wipes and replenishing moisturizer from Klout. I don't have particularly sensitive skin, but I do have very acne-prone skin, and I have been getting rashes and hives lately from allergies. Anyway, I tried out the moisturizer first, using it at night in case it made my skin really greasy -- that's what happened the last time I used a moisturizer made for oily/sensitive skin. To my delight, the moisturizer has yet to make me look or feel greasy! I currently use Clinique's moisturizer for daytime, but when that runs out, I think I'll switch to Simple's moisturizer for everyday use (since I'm pretty sure it's cheaper than Clinique).


Next, I tried out Clear's shampoo and conditioner, which are supposed to clarify your scalp and hair. Unfortunately, for me, I think they worked a little too well. My hair is dry as hell after using these! I used the shampoo and conditioner twice and got the same results each time, so I won't be using them anymore. I'll go back to using Redken and Garnier products.







Finally, I tried two nail polish products: Sally Hansen Magnetic in Polar Purple, and Essie Metallic nail polish in Nothing Else Metals. Both of these have really cool effects, but I experienced problems with chipping with both of them. For the Sally Hansen, I believe it's because you have to add a thick layer before using the magnet to create waves. As most of you know, thick coats of nail polish = chipping. With Essie, I'm not sure if the problem is the formula or what. Overall, I was disappointed with both polishes, but I will continue to use them since they were given to me.

Disclaimers: I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

I also received products from Influenster to try out. I was not obligated to review these products either, and as far as I know, I get no additional benefits for talking about the company.

Photos from respective product sites.
 
 
Cutting a rug, bright blue shoes.
Having a heart attack at work, my best friend's puppy.
 
 
Wonder Woman!, new earrings from Target.
All the lip products in my purse, the best part about riding the Metro.

Neiman Marcus Fall/Winter Trends!

A few weeks ago, CAPFABB hosted an evening with Neiman Marcus that included high-end fashion, awesome bloggers, yummy food and a styling challenge (more on that later)! This was my third CAPFABB event, but I always go to these events alone, so I always have a few awkward minutes before I start introducing myself to people. Everybody is really friendly, so as I said before, if you're in the area and you blog about fashion and/or beauty, join the group and come to an event!

Back to the focus of the evening: fashion. Neiman Marcus signed about 10 bloggers up for two separate teams. Each team had to style a model, using as many of the fashion trends on "The List" as possible. We were given the run of the store, which was awesome... but also a little nerve-wracking, because I was absolutely convinced that I'd be tackled by a Neiman Marcus employee if I touched a Ferragamo bag. Luckily, my partner and I picked up a Rebecca Minkoff Mac bag for styling without a hitch!

Drum roll for our model, please...



 

Here she is, encompassing every trend on The List -- without looking like a fashion victim. There's mixed greens in the shoe, a fur jacket (not pictured), a smoking slipper for daytime wear, navy leather in the top, a statement handbag (the one we didn't get tackled over), a shirt and silhouette borrowed from the boys, two digital prints, a brooch, and the fall face (a red lip).



I have to say, working on this styling challenge with everyone was really fun, and it really got me thinking about pursuing styling as a side career. Oh, by the way: we won!



As usual, I met some really nice people, including the bloggers from The Coattail Effect.




All in all, I had a great time at this event. My one gripe is that the prize we won for the challenge was kinda...mediocre, especially considering (apparently) the outfit we styled was bought immediately by another shopper. Oh, well! It was still a fun evening, the company was great and the food was a smash-bang fusion.
 
 
Saturday in the park, neon oxfords!
Hilarious texting with a Buble hater, baked alaska for a friend's birthday.