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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Belle of the Ball

"I'm in a hunt for a dress to wear this July (debut of a cousin) any suggestions? Something I can wear nicely and still run after Eulla. A mommy dress hehehe." -Belle

Hi Belle! With an active toddler like Eulla to take care of, and of course, your passion for fashion, I admit it must be a challenge to marry the two, especially if you have a dressy event to attend!

Thank goodness for net-a-porter and their featured article this week entitled "Wedding Belles" (How apt! You must have sent a very strong signal to them ala The Secret, hahaha!), do I have some dresses that you might want to get inspiration from when searching for that perfect "mommy guest dress" that will still guarantee you'll look like a Hot Momma! Of course, since this is net-a-porter, mere mortals like us would have to look for "look alikes" from BCBG, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Zara, H&M or department stores near where you live, like Macy's and Nordstrom. Filene's Basement by the way has tons of pretty dresses too!

This kimono style dress from Anna Sui is a great take-off point. Kimono style dresses are very comfortable and allows for a lot of movement. Perfect for letting you run after a baby on the loose! It hides your tummy too should you end up eating a lot!
A flowy dress from Temperley London is very feminine but still built for a lot of movement. Though silk chiffon is not an ideal fabric for a mom because it tears easily and costs a fortune in dry cleaning what with all the stains a baby can make, I suggest you look for a similar dress in a different fabric like lawn cotton which is still very light and airy but hand washable!
Shift dresses like these ones from Issa London, Vera Wang and Fendi are very versatile and built for wear. Choose one in a not so fitted style so you have ample space to move around in, especially since you'll be running around in heels (should not be more than 2 inches though!). With these style of dresses you don't have to tug at anything that might show since its neither too short nor "dangerous" like tube and wrap dresses that might expose what you want the world not to see!



But if you prefer a little bit of flair, choose a dress with interesting details like short puff sleeves or ruffled trims like this one from Vera Wang. Paired with a cropped jacket, you'll look like a no nonsense mom - you might get Eulla to actually behave (ie no need to pacify a fussy and bored toddler!)
Evening calls for a lot of drama, but with bedtime in the horizon, I suggest you wear something short so that you don't have to worry about tripping while carrying a sleeping child.

This is a simple but very elegant Burberry Prorsum dress that just spells sophistication. Look for a similar dress but in a different but still luxe fabric because some types of lace can be a bit itchy and scratchy. Babies can get very fussy when their sensitive skin gets irritated!
A simple empire cut dress with balloon sleeves such as this one from Alberta Ferretti is pretty and very prim (i.e. no unwanted exposure which is highly probable especially in cases of "malikot" kids!). It looks very glamorous too with chandelier earrings and a metallic clutch and heels.

Now with these dresses as inspiration, I hope I've been able to set you off in the right direction in your quest for that perfect mommy guest dress! You may not be the Belle of the Ball that night (after all, it is the debutante under the spotlight), but for sure with you looking your usual stunning self that day, you will be your hubby and baby's Belle no matter what!

(Photos courtesy of net-a-porter.com)

The Science of Anthropologie

If the world was a big classroom, then I would have flunked Anthropologie.

Because I just keep on coming back and can never seem to graduate from this store! They always have the prettiest dresses, picked ever so carefully and with loving thought! I mean, these aren't the kind of dresses you would see just about anywhere! There's nothing commercial about Anthropologie for me because every piece in this store is special and unique in its own way...









Now, time to wait for the Anthropologie sale! Thank goodness for lessons on accounting and financial planning. I very much understand the importance of cashflows and budgeting! Hahaha!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Harvard Law Pinoy Heavyweights


Congratulations to my Harvard Hottie Honey (wearing that oh so GQ v-neck sweater and flat front pants ensemble! hehehe!) and his schoolmates who will be graduating from Harvard this June!

Thanks also to Dean and Prof. Pangalangan for the fun and "pick-your-brains" afternoon! Good company and great conversations are always memorable! Plus the coffee and cheesecake was superb!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Stop and Shop at Newbury Street



Because my dear Honey knows how much I love shopping and window shopping, he made it a point to take me to Newbury Street while I was in Boston. My friend Ina, who spent half her time shopping in New York when she was studying for her MA there (hahaha just kidding!), also told me Newbury Street is Boston's answer to Rodeo Drive and that it was a must see! So one drizzly day last week, Honey and I bundled up in our rain gear and headed off to Boston's famous shopping district.

At first, I was kind of disoriented. I was expecting a flashy, glitzy kind of place like well, Rodeo Drive! But all I saw were a row of brownstones and I could have sworn I was just in one of Boston's residential zones.





But therein lies Newbury Street's charm. Because tucked in each brownstone or brick building, is a store or two! Look closely!


Yes that's a Marc Jacobs boutique!(Oh by the way! Right beside it, through the door to your right is the Louis Vuitton store)

Now guess what store on the bottom left is?

Yup, that's Dyptique!

According to the Newbury Street website, it initially started as a prime residential area, but "The beginnings of Newbury Street as a retail and tourist destination are a little harder to pin down, although the street has clearly been a mecca for many decades. The street has taken on a life and meaning far beyond its architectural design. Known as the "Rodeo Drive of the East," it serves as Boston's representative of fashion and style, on par with the most exclusive districts of San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. The street is home to an eclectic mix of independent shops and high-end fashion and dining establishments."

This is clearly where Zegna, Valentino, Chanel, Armani, and Burberry hold fort. Other notables include Ralph Lauren (three stores), BCBG, Calypso by Christianne Celle, Betsey Johnson and Brooks Brothers.







No shopping destination in the US is complete of course without Victoria's Secret

Skincare and make-up fanatics will also find Kiehl's, MAC and shu uemura on this street



For the hip and happening fashionistas, you can stock up on cotton tees from Petit Bateau's own shop and get your fill of designer duds such as Diane von Furstenberg, Catherine Malandrino, Chloe and Rebecca Taylor from Intermix.



Then you can do a high-low mix, by picking up some fun and trendy pieces from H&M and Urban Outfitters



Local institutions like Newbury Comics, and Johnny Cupcakes Clothing, an independent clothing label born and bred in Boston, Massachusetts is on this street too! The latter especially has a cult following among the young crowd with its humorous and colorful graphic tees



Of course, while traversing 2 miles across all the shops, you may always stop for drinks, coffee and meals along the way. You may also drop a visit at any of the salons if you wish (But its always better to set an appointment!). You may even take in some culture since a block on this street is lined with art galleries.




I must say, Newbury Street is one of the more charming shopping destinations I have ever been to! Thanks Honey for bringing me there! I super enjoyed it!

(Photos from my collection, newbury-st.com, johnnycupcakes.com)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One Special Summer

To Pam and all you Jackie O. afficionados! There's a coffee table book version of the scrapbook I posted about earlier! Its about $17 from Amazon. The illustrations done by Jackie herself are fun to look at and admire!

(Photo courtesy of amazon.com)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Treasure Chest

We were invited to a delicious buffet lunch at the neighborhood Chinese resto by Dean and Prof. P, and then for coffee and dessert at their home near the campus. As it turned out, they live in a very historic structure as a celebrated poet spent his remaining years at the apartment right beside them. The particular home they were renting was once occupied by a US Supreme Court justice! Imagine that!

And as if to cap off a wonderful day, look at this treasure that caught my eye! An antique Goyard chest! It was sitting there unnoticed and unappreciated, looking like a beat up piece of luggage that had seen better days. But I saw a glamorous past of luxurious travel across Europe - on transatlantic liners, steamers and trains. I imagined the life it once led, pushed and carried in and out of marble floored hotel lobbies. Bruised and rusty as it may seem, this beautiful trunk managed to maintain its dignity...







When I first laid eyes on the trunk, I instantly noticed the familiar Y shaped markings -- but from afar so I couldn't be too sure if it was exactly what I thought it would be. I had to let go of poise and propriety and asked permission from the good dean and his wife (who I only met that same day!) if I could check it out. Imagine how my heart was beating when I crouched down for closer inspection and saw for myself that it was the real thing! I felt like Aladdin discovering the secret cave of treasures!

(Thanks in advance to the landlady of the house and owner of this rare trunk, I just couldn't resist taking photos and sharing this fantastic piece of fashion history with everyone!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jackie Kennedy-O's Dresses!

A trip to Boston wouldn't be complete without a visit to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum at the University of Massachusetts campus!
Although I expected to see some Jackie Kennedy memorabilia, I honestly didn't think there would be dresses of hers on display! I was so pleased I had to ask my dear husband to take my picture beside the gowns she wore for state dinners (I recognized the dresses from a book I have titled "Jackie: The Clothes of Camelot")...



As we went through the exhibits, I saw a pink shantung silk gown that I absolutely loved!
And I couldn't resist taking pictures from different angles! The gown is so startlingly simple yet very well made (Of course its a Christian Dior!) The quality of the fabric and the small details like the ribbon and pleats spelled the difference don't you think?



A dress and coat ensemble which she wore on a trip to India with her sister Lee Radziwill was on display as well. I looked closely, and though the clothes were again simple in design, the fabric seemed to be composed of minute pleats and the print was lively but unobtrusive!
I thought I knew a lot about Jackie Kennedy-Onassis, so I was again amazed at how artistic and talented she was! I never realized she could draw so well! Check out this scrapbook of their European sojourn that she made with her sister Lee...

Yup! All those illustrations were made by her alone! Amazing huh!
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