Mischa's Recent Hits, OKs and Misses

You always see Mischa Barton in the 'who's wearing the trend' or 'best outfits' sections of fashion magazines. But she is also known to wear a few not-very-flattering outfits out and about. She's a spectrum dresser -one who has hits, oks and misses. Here are a bunch of candids from this year:
Miss -White footless tights with that black shift dress look awkward together, and that pair of green sandals is definitely a no.
OK -Maybe it's because the black dress is so casual and that cardigan isn't, but this outfit is only so-and so.
Miss -The public display of bras is not cool. This dress could have been very classy if she had worn a solid top underneath.
Hit -I really like this outfit which is weird because it's all red and lacy, but it's other details like the ruffles in front and the fit are just so right. And the nude, patent shoes is a good modern choice to go with the otherwise all red outfit.
Hit- Mischa walking around in Paris. Love this outfit. It's casual in a sophisticated way.
Hit -Yes I like boring and simple outfits, although the hat and the necklace really adds something to the outfit. And yes, those are actually jeans, not pants, (I zoomed into the pic.)
Hit -Love the boho vibe from the outfit. It's boho in a pretty, not-messy way.
OK -The coat is so lovely and everything looks casual but put-together. The problem is her shoes.
OK -Mischa's wearing a nice casual little white dress for daytime, (but I don't like this particular white dress that much.) LWDs are must-haves this season!
Controversial -Loads of people made fun of Mischa wearing that dress on the left, but I think it's actually nice because it's like a sophisticated ballerina outfit. And that all-black outfit on the right, I'm not sure what but something seems off about it. Maybe it's the shorts or the leather jacket?
Hits -OK, so these aren't candids, but she (and the outfits) looked so pretty I couldn't resist. The black sequined dress with the coat are just perfect (left). And that gold dress (right) is pretty and right-on-trend without being too metallic and shiny.

Isn't it so unfair those gold Keds actually look cool with that sort-of-formal outfit (black sequined dress; above left)?

The Problem with the Drape Neck

Recently in the Ralph Lauren sale, I acquired this completely exquisite cable drape neck cashmere sweater for a very good bargain. And trust me, it truly feels exquisite. It looks great too.The only problem is that while the drape neck looks great and has an interesting twist compared to other classic styled sweaters, it is the devil to match it. I'm not sure about you, but I wear cashmere in cold weathers. And in cold weathers I usually wear a jacket over my sweaters to keep warm.

Unfortunately, with this drape neck, nothing looks good over it. If you wear a big coat over it, the drape neck creates a big bulge in your chest area that creates a terribly unflattering silohuette. If you wear it with a blazer or something and let the drape neck hang out, it looks strange. So the only way to wear it really is on its own. But when the weather is warm enough that I feel I can safely walk out with just a sweater on, this cashmere sweater is too warm.

So this style is actually quite a pain and I'm still trying to figure out how to wear it right. Ideas?


Manolo BlahnikBAGGING the latest It-accessory just isn't enough anymore: this season is all about the limited edition shoe. As well as planning the April opening of his new store on Hans Street, Knightsbridge, Rupert Sanderson has created Carmen. Sanderson joins Manolo Blahnik, who is currently designing two unique shoes for his new Kuwait boutique (for more details, click here); Christian Louboutin, who has made Activa, a midnight blue stiletto, exclusively for Harvey Nichols, and Burberry, who got in on the act with an ostrich-trim slingback for Matches. The king of elegant heels, Sanderson decided on a gold leather sandal knotted at the toe for Carmen. "My inspiration can come from anywhere from the most mundane to the most luxurious and rarefied," says Sanderson. "In the case of the Carmen 'knot shoe' my imagination was sparked by the knot of a Judo suit - the rows of stitching in this instance used to add strength to a garment worn in one of the world's most physical sports translated into a striking detail on a luxurious evening shoe. Limited edition shoes work as promotional tool both in a design and retail sense. There is a strong demand for exclusivity, customers want to feel that they have something special - something that isn't available in unlimited quantities."

Bebe SS07

I must say, I've been impressed with Bebe's marketing techniques lately. They've managed to present themselves as ladylike, sophisticated, stylish and chic.
Through Mischa, they also appeal to the young and trendy. These ad campaigns really makes me want to go out and buy this trench coat (unfortunately, the site says it is not available for sale. Why do they even bother to shoot this if its not even available sale??). . .

. . . and this dress. . . . . . and basically everything in the catalog as well. Even though the fashion in the catalog seems to be targeted at a more sophisticated audience, it just looks soooo cool with this jet as a backdrop!
Their website is quite well designed, comprehensive and easy to navigate too. And some of the clothes shown actually look nice.

The only problem with all this is their actual store and products. Have you BEEN to a BEBE store? Because the ambiance it emanates feels nothing like this. I've tried. I've been inside many times trying to look for remnants of this style, I even asked if they had this dress that Mischa was wearing in the ad (to which the sales people told me they have never seen in the store before)- nothing.
In reality, the actual store feels cheap, and most of the clothes look cheap, slutty and way overpriced, like these two tops shown above.

Even Eva Longoria- who always looks so chic and elegant- looks cheap wearing this Bebe top on the cover of this month's Cosmopolitan.

So kudos to Bebe's marketing and web design team, and to those in the Bebe design and store concept team- a little revamping is in order.The products have to FIT the image!

SS07 Beauty Trend: The White Eyeliner

First off, thanks for suggesting mascaras to me last week. For those who are interested, the Lancome counter that I went to told me that the much-loved Definicils has stopped being produced, so instead I bought its new Cils Design Pro. (It's a two-sided mascara.) It was only a bit more expensive than L'Extreme so I figured I'll try it.

Anyways onto today's topic -the white eyeliner. Now I am no expert about makeup so I was always thought white eyeliners weren't that versatile. I thought they were only useful in useful in doing the 60's mod look, as done in the Dior FW05 show. But apparently, there is another way to use it.
Some people (me included) feel that wearing black eyeliner all around the eyes is feels a bit heavy and 'madeup', especially for a daytime look. Recently, I read in a magazine that solved this problem. A great way to wear eyeliner but still achieve a (relatively) natural look is to wear black eyeliner along the top line, and white eye along the bottom line. I think it brightens up your eye area, (plus the magazine claims it widens your eyes.)
Check out how it was done in the Anna Sui SS07 show -Du Juan (above) looks really pretty with this makeup.
So I really wanted to try this look and made the effort to visit 3 Shu Umerura shops just to get this two-ended eyeliner, (one end is white, the other end is pearl,) but it's completely sold out! I'm definitely going to try again when I get back to London and if it's really sold out, I suppose I can try Nars.

So ya, just a little makeup idea for you all to try out!

Photo sources: vogue.co.uk and Shu Uemura

Not So Glamorous

Just in case any one of you thought that these cheap plastic check Vuitton bags seen on their SS07 catwalk were cool. . . .

. . .and then got it into your head from this spread in the recent Teen Vogue that it was a great bag for this season, I did some first hand research while I was home for spring break. I'd like to point out that while they make it look really stylish and cool on the catwalk and in the photoshoots, the actual people who uses these bags are not so glamorous.
In fact, these bags are commonly used by street vendors as storage and for garbage disposal.

Seriously, I don't know where they get their ideas from.

Chloe's Bay Bag

Months ago, BG wrote about Chloe's SS07 bags. Back then, I wasn't yet into anything SS07 nor have I seen any of the bags so I didn't pay too much attention to them. Now that we're starting SS07, I'm very into all bags SS07.
When Chloe's Bay bag arrived at net-a-porter.com, I stared at it for awhile and it grew on me. It's practical, girly and chic. Plus it's by Chloe, which usually means the leather is gorgeous. There are two versions, the first one is this quilted version, which is more lady-like and sophisticated.
The second version here is a bit more androgynous but equally chic.
Then as expected, we started seeing it carried by celebs. Mischa Barton totally had me convinced that the Bay is gorgeous and fab for all ages. I mean seriously, doesn't it look so cool on her?
But then Britney Spears started carrying it last week and honestly, it really doesn't look good on her. It's probably also because I don't associate her with good taste, (although I admittingly still love some of her old songs.)

But of course, as a fashion-lover, I'm certainly not basing my love/hate decision on photos of Mischa and Britney so I checked it out at Lane Crawford (a HK department store) yesterday and well, the bag was definitely bigger, and the material odder than I imagined it. What I mean is, the leather didn't seem like the usual soft Chloe leather; the leather seemed a bit thin and crinkled in an ugly way (unlike the beautiful crinkleness on Balenciaga bags.)

So the truth is, I'm a bit disappointed. My almost-non-existant optimistic side tells me that maybe, it just happens that those Bay bags I saw were over-tried-on by customers, or maybe it's just the lighting, so I'm going to look out for them again next time I go shopping. Maybe they will look better.
Photo of bags from net-a-porter.com

H&M M by Madonna

Having personally been unimpressed by the last few designer for H&M collections, I didn't really have much expectations of this M by Madonna collection either. I was only vaguely aware that it was even coming out this week! But then while shopping with my cousin at the new H&M store in HK (you will not believe what a crowd it was-and still is) I came across the collection and so took a look. And boy was I surprised. I actually LIKE the collection! Its simple, chic, elegant and totally wearable.

While people have complained that this is a boring and safe collection, I personally think that this is the best way to do it. For even though the previous designer collections have been adventurous and exciting, you ultimately cannot cheaply mass produce such garments without compromising the quality. At least with this collection, since the designs are so classic, there is less room to go wrong.
The classic white trench looks gorgeous. But alas, its such a hot item I did not see it at the store.
But mostly I am just loving the office looks from this collection. They are so simple, put-together yet very sexy and chic.
I adore these two all over white look.
And I absolutely LOVE this dress (left). I saw it in white, tried it on and it looked great and fitted BEAUTIFULLY. I almost even bought it, but alas, I didn't have anywhere to wear it to. For something more casual, the shirt dress on the right is also a great option.
For pattern, these two dresses are sophisticated and classy.
And THESE are the belts i've been looking for. Simple and versatile with just the right amount of detail and width- I'd like one of each please!

The best thing I like about this collection is that it doesn't look cheap. I'd wear everything I've just posted. My only concern now is that since its so widely publicized and sold, do I really want to risk clashing with every other girl on the street. . . . . .

Sampling Mascaras

If you have read my recent post in the Jane blog, then you'll know that I'm desperate for a new tube of mascara. I've got this habit: after I finish a product, I usually don't buy the same product. I either buy a (magazine or Makeup Alley) -recommended product, or try out new products on the market because you never know if there are better ones out there. So when BG and I were shopping yesterday, I tried out two mascaras which are quite new.
The first mascara was one by Shiseido Maquillage. I can't remember the exact name of the mascara and the official site is in Japanese so this is just from what the saleslady told us. The mascara had one one of those flat combs and it had a waterproof formula. It was supposedly a light, volume-enhancing mascara, although when pushed further, the saleslady also claimed that it was supposed to legnthen your lashes. She quickly curled my lashes and tried some on my lashes. The result? My lashes sort of clumped together and I looked like I had half the lashes I actaully had. Plus, they looked barely legnthened and only a bit volume-ised. I removed the mascara immediately and moved on.
The second mascara was the Projectionist by Estee Lauder, which I've been meaning to try out for awhile. I had my reservations because it was not available waterproof, but the 'High Definition Volume Mascara' ad looked so tempting so I had to give it a try. The saleslady curled my lashes, put on many coats of mascara base, and then many many coats of the Projectionist. She put on so many coats of mascara that my eyes literally teared up.
The result was kind of weird. It was obviously a good mascara as it did a decent job at lengthening and adding volume (I have high standards). And like the ad said, it certainly added 'drama' to my lashes -they looked very unnatural and coated up (thanks to the saleslady.) BG thought my lashes looked weird. I was unsure about the effects and it being non-waterproof so the saleslady said I should wait for a few hours. When I got home about two hours later, a tiny bit of mascara seemed to have already smudged around the outer bottom eyeline very slightly. So I guess that's a no.
The conclusion? Since I'm such a risk averse girl and practically every mascara smudges on me, it seems like I'm destined to stick with good-old-totally-waterproof Lancome. Oh well, I might as well try out the ever popular Defincils. What is your take on waterproof/ non-waterproof mascaras? Pls recommend me a dramatic, waterproof, smudge-free mascara if you know any!

A New Take on 3.1 Phillip Lim

In the past few seasons, Phillip Lim has been one of the NY's new 'big' fashion designers. People love his clothes because they're chic, girly but not overly so, wearable and don't look cheap. I've always thought his designs were pretty and loveable, but I wasn't too interested in them. Maybe because I can't quite imagine myself wearing clothes so mature. Afterall, I'm a somewhat fashionably-unbothered student -my outfits are usually just jeans and simple tops.
But a family friend/ 3.1-enthusiast recently asked, 'How could you not like Phillip Lim (more)?!?' That got me thinking and instead of looking again at the photos from his SS07 runway collection, I went onto his website, www.31philliplim.com and looked through all the lookbooks. Wow. The lookbooks had the outfits styled much more realistically and they were heavy doses of fashionable, girly, young and romantic outfits. I especially loved the Spg '07 pt1 lookbook. You HAVE to go check the lookbooks out if you haven't done so already -I felt like I was drunk on all that prettiness, much like after I watched Marie Antoinette!

True, I still think that Phillip Lim's clothes aren't completely suitable for a 21 year old student (esp budget-wise), but I am definitely going to stop to take a look at his clothes next time I'm in a department store. Hey, it doesn't hurt to look right? Or perhaps when the summer sales are on in June......
Photo sources: elle.com, 31philliplim.com


COCO RIBBON is launching Coco Ribbon Neutral next month, a COCO RIBBONveritable swap-shop where customers can bring their unwanted designer clothes to the Notting Hill store and will be given shopping vouchers to spend in the boutique instead. "We came up with the idea ourselves," says founder Alison Chow. "Sophie [Oliver, Alison's co-founder] and I were chatting about the state of the environment and how quickly things need to change - and we came up with this fun and rewarding way for people to shop and recycle at the same time. As a company, our philosophy is indulgent, but we also feel that everyone - no matter what area of life they work in - needs to think of different ways to do their bit for the environment. Whether it is recycling at home, in the office and just doing a small bit, the fashion industry needs to follow too. People like Anya Hindmarch have already started with her eco-friendly handbag and I admire her for being such a good role model and pioneer." Garments will be sold by the store online and 50 per cent of profits will be given back to the customer in Coco Ribbon pounds. If your clothes are incredibly fabulous, however, the boutique will give you an extra Ј10 on the spot. "Our girls have been trained to know what will sell and what won't, and the goods need to be freshly dry-cleaned and in mint condition" says Alison. "The best selling designers include Chloe, Prada, Miu Miu, Missoni and Roland Mouret, but we don't accept trousers or jeans."

Prada SS07: Fringe Accessories

I simply cannot ignore it anymore as a catwalk anomaly there for show, Prada fringe accessories are everywhere.

On the catwalk on their clothes, their bags.. . .

on more of their bags, on their shoes. . . on their ad. . .
and now even in their store. They've devoted a whole SECTION to these things!

I know that where Miuccia leads, we all follow. But this time, I fear that I will have to stay behind. Personally I am very freaked out by this phenomena, because I really really really do not like these fringe things. It reminds me of cross between Cousin IT from the Adam's Family and red indian costumes. As if THAT isn't creepy enough, now she wants us to carry mini cousin IT's around and wear him ON US?? Ah. . . please keep IT away from me!

SS07 Trend: Permenant Hair Straightening

Straight hair was all the rage in the SS07 runway shows and the uber glamourous Oscars. Now we all know that the models and celebs have professional hair stylist straightening their hair with brushes and straighteners. But how could normal people like us get such perfect straight hair? Most people would buy hair straighteners, like the much-beloved T3. But we also know that using hair straighteners all the time (admit it- so many people are guilty of this!) is not great for your hair. OK so my point is, here's another idea: permenant hair straightening.
Japanese negative ionic hair striaghtening (don't know the proper name) was very popular back around seven years ago. I did it twice, once when I was fifteen and the once when I was sixteen. I loved it -it made my hair seriously shiny, easy to manage, there were never knots (believe me my hair was long), and my hair looked perfectly blew-dry 24/7. And to my surprise, the hair striaghtening didn't seem to dry out my hair (I almost never found split ends.) Oh how I miss those days. The only disadvantage was that during the first month, my hair looked dead -shiny, but limp. Thankfully, my hair got more volume after it grew out a bit.

How long did the straightened hair last? It depends how much of the straightened hair you cut off. For example for my second time, I didn't get a proper hair cut (I just trimmed it myself) for two years, and so my hair looked somewhat naturally straight for that second year.
However, here's just a little warning: some people may have side effects. I have a friend who got her hair striaghtened and some of her hair fell off. But I also had another friend whose hair was originally wavy, had a wonderful time with straightened and frizz-free hair for eight months.

Anyone planning to have fun with this straightened hair trend this spring/summer? And if you've had permenantly straightened hair before, did you have a good or bad experience?
Photo sources: vogue.co.uk