Besides Galliano, my two other favourite crazy make-up looks are from Dior (left) and the Lacroix haute couture (right) show. Both redefines the upper and lower part of the eyes making their eyes look HUGE. They are in essence however, the opposite of each other. While Dior uses a sharp white base, Lacroix uses a smokey black base. Either way, I'm loving both of them. Go for the Dior look if you want to look feline and the Lacroix look for something a bit darker. A bit more subtly, we have the smokey eyes of the Chanel haute couture (left) and the Balenciaga (right) show. Just go heavy with the eye liner and the smudging. If you do have a costume, these would be more subtle looks for you. You don't want to take away too much from the outfit now do you?
And as for some simple DIY ideas: You can be forks/knives/spoon with alumninium, a piece of steak and ketchup/mustard to go with that. You can be Tetris pieces. Pacman and the ghost. Or a Twister board- just wear white and stick colored dots on yourself and carry the spinning thing!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Image Source: Style.com
As we know opposites are attracted to each other.
Black clothes perfectly get on with bright ones this season, laconic clothes get on with superfluous, tight-fitting get on with puffed clothes. The modernes designers and modellers are assured that all these shapes andstyles have the right to a life this fall-winter 2008-2009.
Gaudy colours: Dresses: Emilio Pucci, Shoes: Céline
Black colours: Dress: Jil Sander, Coco Chanel
So maybe there is no rationale behind most of these, but hey, it's time to be creative!
This could be the dead sea captain perhaps?
The show girl. And check out the amazing, vibrant make-up! Talk about drama. Not sure about the lump on her head (looks a bit like a tumor), but am loving the gold spikes!
Image Source: Style.com
Has anyone seen that movie recently, "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People"? In it, Kirstin Dunst goes to a costume party and dresses up as a 20s flapper girl (though I think she had a specific flapper girl in mind since the theme was "Favourite Dead People"), looking awesome in a black bob, long cigarette, red lipsticks and slinky black dress. That was when it clicked! I want to be a flapper girl this Halloween! It won't even be that hard. All I need to get is a black bob wig, a long cigarette holder and a black slinky dress and then put on pale foundation, smokey eyes and hot red lipsticks- viola, flapper girl!
Another look I am loving is the royal military look found on the MacQueen (left) and the Lacroix haute couture runway (right). The structured uniform jackets and all the details are just so pretty!
Even more regally, there is the royalty look also found on the MacQueen runway. There is just something so regal and colonial about it. I'm not sure how one would achieve this look for Halloween, but an idea is a start right?
And lastly, there is the classic vamp look. There is the elaborate version from the Lacroix haute couture show (left), or for something simpler and easier, the black lace version from the Prada runway (right). In fact, with all the "lace" around, you can very easily achieve this look. All you need are fangs!
Image Source: Style.com
But anyway, the global market went on another roller coaster ride this week, ending with a big drop on Friday. Asia in particular took a big hit. On the Hong Kong stock exchange, HSBC, the darling of all stocks there, fell by 10% to $88, a 4 year low. I personally could not remember HSBC being below $100.... ever. People are shocked and heartbroken. I don't blame them. The HSBC stock to HK investors is like how Louis Vuittons is to Japanese women- everyone owns at least one or aspires to own one. To see the value of such an entrenched brand go down must be a very traumatizing experience indeed. Who knew that Morgan Stanley slashing the price by 25%, would have such a profound effect?
Back to the rest of the world, developed and emerging markets alike are hit due to slumping currencies and higher financing cost. ING is is latest "big gun" to be bailed out with a $13.5 billion Dutch government injection. And countries such as Iceland, Pakistan and Turkey are in talks with the IMF for help.
In the US, experts have placed the blame on hedge fund of funds. Since investors can pull money out of hedge fund of funds anytime they want i.e. now, this has in turn put pressure on hedge funds to pull out of the market and thus the crazy selling and shorting to cover losses. The mounting layoffs *yikes!* (Goldman announced they were cutting back 10% of their workforce-less than I expected!), speculations about whether we're in a recession or not (do we really need anymore proof?), Greenspan admitting to be "partially wrong" and bad company earnings report coming out didn't help. Oh and PNC just announced that they were taking over National City for $5.2 billion (backed by tax payers). This is the next big bank takeover since Wachovia two weeks ago. Investors are now waiting to see if the Fed will further lower interest rates next Wednesday and whether the US economy is indeed in a recession with the GDP data coming out next Thursday.
It's not a completely gloomy outlook though. Asian countries, following Europe, are starting to form their own $80 billion emergency fund- better safe than sorry. The US are working on another stimulating package and a plan to bailout individual home owners, so then they can get better termed loans. Call me a selfish hypocrite, but while I'm all for bailing out banks because it affects me, I'm not sure how I feel about bailing out individuals. Makes me think, "if I knew the government was going to bail them out, maybe I should've gone and bought a house I clearly cannot afford too!" Logically though, I know helping them would help the economy as a whole, since foreclosure is one of the biggest issues. Guess I'll get around to the idea.
On a side note, did you know that the $250 billion capital injection into banks last week is not part of the $700 billion package? I wasn't sure myself until this week. How come they need approval for $700 billion and not $250 billion? $250 billion is still a LOT of money.
But HOLD ON a second, back up, back up.
Looking at Celine's Spring/Summer 2009 line made me want Summer again. After going through their entire runway show I don't really care for autumn leaves right now. Give me the Summer - I want to wear all of this! I would happily replace all the dresses in my closet with any of the above. I love the wrapping idea with such a free flowing dress.
Probably not practical for the office unless you worked at Vogue, but if I could go to work wearing this, I definitely would.
I thought the draping of these dresses were beautiful. Perfect for a summery night out on the town? I think so.
I never really paid attention to Celine and now I'm asking myself why. And those shoes! I love those shoes, but let's wait for me to fully express my craze for shoes, that could take up another two...three posts.
Image source: Style.com
I walked out of the store disappointed. Maybe if they cut down the price tag by at least a 1/3. Then maybe it'll be worth considering. Image Source: Intermix Online
Generally, I never wear makeup because I have sensitive skin (and I'm a lazy bum!). But when I do manage to get around to putting it on, I use all of the above.
Yes, I sort of look like a walking advertisement for Bare Escentuals. I actually just started using the brand a couple of days ago and I'm hooked. Their powder foundation is incredible. It's light, feels and looks as if I've got nothing on, except, all of a sudden I have immaculate skin. Comparable to an airbrush - I swear, it covers everything. If you need more coverage, just press some extra powder on that particular area before you apply it to your entire face. Walah! Instant concealer!
One thing that I am very particular about is mascara. I have really long eye lashes, and I don't want bother with an eyelash curler, clumping, or something that's too heavy. Lancome's L'EXTREME mascara is just right for me because it makes my lashes even longer! It's clean, curls my lashes, doesn't flake, and goes on ever so smoothly.
I got my M.A.C pigment as a gift from a friend. "Naked" is a great colour as it has just the right shimmer, it looks great on the inner corners of the eyes and on the bottom lid along with some liner. For some more drama, you can brush a touch on top of your cheekbones for a night out.
While I pretty much only wear what I just told you, the amount of makeup that I own would make you think otherwise. I own a lot of makeup, most of which I use once every 2 years (I don't think you're even supposed to keep it for that long). Before, I kept it all in multiple makeup bags - very unorganized. Now I keep it one big pouch,thanks to my friend A who has started to make these adorable pouches that she sells on Etsy. Awesome prints, really great quality, and the perfect carrier for all my stuff.
That's what I've got in my bag, what are your essentials?
Image source: Alliebeans, Bare Escentuals, Lancome, M.A.C, The Body Shop, Sephora
On Tuesday the US government followed suit and announced that they were going to spend $250 billion to recapitalize banks, with $125 billion going into 9 major US banks (whether they want/need it or not..or so rumor has it). This directly pumps liquidity into the market and takes effect almost immediately to "unfreeze" the market, and indeed the market seems to be thawing. Banks are lending to each other again at least (also helps with the government acting temporarily as the insurer like the FDIC does for depositors). This will save many businesses who rely on borrowing to operate. So why didn't Paulson and Bernanke come up with this before? I'm sure they did. Probably because back then (has it only been 3 weeks?), with the public being so against the bailout of "Wall Street" such a plan would not have gone by Congress really well....... I suppose now it is ok since Britain and EU have announced it and it proved to be positively recieved. Just like in fashion, where the European runway leads, the New York runway follows.
Of course, this capital injection does not come freely. Not only do banks have to give the government preferred shares, but they will be more heavily regulated and they'll have to limit their bonuses and "golden parachute" compensations. Effectively, banks are becoming part nationalize (and to think Thatcher had to privatize sectors in her days to boost the economy- now we're going the other way and nationalizing everything). JP Morgan has already announced a 30-40% slash in bonuses this year (incidentally their quarterly report just came out and they had a 84% drop in profit- better less than none or negative!). Rumor also has it that GS is dividing their employees into four classes. The top percentile gets cash bonuses, the third percentile get stock compensation, the second percentile gets nothing and the last percentile gets fired! That's harsh! Sounds like it is no longer quite so lucrative to be a banker. While this plan temporary stops the bleeding, it doesn't address the heart of the issue though. The auction plan is still underway.
On Wednesday, the market plunged another 700 pts again on fears of a looming recession (aren't we already in one?). Job losses are up and it is not limited to the finance sector. And it's been predicted that holiday spending increased the least since many years ago this year. On Thursday, oil prices also dropped to $70, the lowest in a year! Hopefully this means more sales and lower commodity prices for us. The DOW finished off over 4% higher for the week though. Maybe more people are heeding Buffet's (who claims that for the first time he'll be buying American equities with his own account) words and snapping up "bargain" classic buys in the market. Smart shoppers.
My own style doesn’t exactly incorporate the idea of “girly," however, I do develop the occasional crave to buy everything in powder pink. I love glitter and glam, but it's even better when you mix in some grunge, a little gaudyness (think Sonia Rykiel jewel studded bags), and a lot of black . Once you do that, you'll arrive at the whereabouts of what I'm drawn to.
I find that Balmain creates this fascinating balance between something macho but ever so complimenting to the female figure. Oh! Those studded heels!
And after seeing this magazine spread in Numéro, shot by Camilla Akrans, I want to dress like this everyday. So bring on the sparkles and the studs. I'd love to hear all about your style, so let me know!
Image source: Style.com, Numéro 97 - Night Fever
Despite the resurgence in dresses, many women like to wear trousers everyday. Pants are practical for the business woman and manlike looks always change to classic style.
The 2 fashionable autumn styles are the easy high waisted flared pants from boot cut to the widest 1970s flares.
But the style getting attention is a slim line version of the peg-top trouser line, which was in fashio in 1980sn. These peg-top pants sometimes now called CARROT SHAPED TROUSERS taper to the ankle, and usually have tuck pleat fullness at the waistband. This style can be very flattering if you have a paunch. Note that too much fullness can make a woman look frumpy. Yves saint Laurent as the centre image shows, did it best. This was sharp and sophisticated designing.
So on-trend, carrot-shaped trousers are not easy to pull off. Experiment with the look and don this pair from H&M teamed with sharp shirts...
Finally the skinny leather pant is a catwalk fashion coming to a shop near you this autumn.
Moving forward, BG has decided to continue blogging while I have decided to take a break. Obviously I love I am Fashion (since I have blogged for almost 4 years,) but there comes a point where I feel that I should focus on other aspects of my life. Hence, I will be taking a break from the blog. It has been fun to share my thoughts on girly stuff with you all and hear what you've got to say about it as well. Hopefully I will be back soon!
In the mean time, BG will be blogging as usual and will be temporarily joint by E, who we've known since high school and is now based in San Francisco.
Lots of Love,
Then there were the scallop-edges everywhere (right). Not too sure how I feel about them though. They're feminine and very clever in that memorable way- next season when I see scallop-edged clothing, I'd definitely think of Chloe. On the other hand though, the scallop-edges around the shoulders and sleeves, kind of makes the model look as if they've been pinned up to an invisible wall.
I much prefer the scallop-edges (or "dinosaur scales") at the Christopher Kane runway. These are refreshing, innovative but still very flattering and pretty at the same time.
Back on the Chloe runway, I am finally seeing the Chloe girl. That relaxed and effortlessly chic girl on the streets.
Personally, I am loving the richly colored, silky evening wear. It is evening but not overly formal- perfect for a fun night out. Very girl and definitely very youthful...maybe even a bit too youthful, what with the fluttering sleeves and poofy skirts (right). Nevertheless, I definitely see many starlets wearing it in the season to come.
Lastly, let's not forget the shoes. I love how it is so simple and wearable-looking- which means I can potentially wear something similar next season! The shoes on other runways are so sky high that I trip even imagining myself in them!
Image Source: Style.com
I used to not care about my underwear. No one saw it, so what's the big deal? I just didn't get it.
I get it now. All thanks to a trip to Italy, where women take looking good seriously, no matter what clothing article you're talking about. During my time there, I found myself getting hustled into Intimissimi by my mum. It was like Italy's version of Victoria's Secret, except it was beautiful, relaxed, and not eye blindingly pink. It was there where I found myself surrounded by dainty things of lace, satin, and ribbon.
I am now totally obsessed with lingerie in general. Slips, camisoles, etc, you name it, I wish I had it all. And while my wallet doesn't stretch to the lengths of La Perla, no one ever said I couldn't look.
Image Source: Intimissimi, La Perla
I personally have my eye on this fabulous white coat. I've been wanting one since Devil's Wear Prada came out, but haven't bought one for fear that it will turn beige/grey all too soon. Made of wool, rayon and cashmere, it will at least be warm enough until Christmas. The double breasted design with the tie on the waist, makes it an instant classic. And isn't the trench coat like design at the back just beautiful?
Alas, even at 30% off, I still find it a bit pricey for my budget. But if you aren't as limited, I think this is quite a bargain (along with a few other of their collection). So don't miss it, because this offer only lasts til October 13th (tomorrow!).
Image Source: BCBG
I'm happy to announce that nothing too dramatic happened last weekend and no banks collapsed this week- at least not any American banks- yet. On the other hand, we experienced a 8 day consecutive drop in the stock market (globally), like the market has never seen since 1933. The US stock market dropped nearly 18% this week, with the DOW breaking the 9000 mark (and very nearly the 8000 on too today). Asian and European benchmarks posted their worst week as well, while some countries, like Russia, Indonesia and Ukraine were hit so bad that they suspended trading. Basically the stock market dropped and financial journalists are starting to run out of words to describe "down." So how did this happen when the US congress just approved the bailout plan last Friday?
I've pinpointed it down to fear. Fear that this bailout plan will not work or came too late. Fear that the economy is heading for loooong recession (if we're not in one already). Fear that more companies will declare bankruptcy and they will loose all their wealth. And fear is nothing if not a self fulfilling prophecy. As a result, people have been selling off their assets or redeeming their investments in funds, forcing funds to sell off their assets to meet these redemption demands, further driving the market down. Everyone wants to get their hands on solid cash right now- just in case. Emotion is a powerful force. Logically, having just read "The Warren Buffet Way," I believe that as long as you've done your research and you believe that the firm is solid, then the market price of the firm will eventually match with the firm's true value, despite market volatility. In which case, it sounds like there should be a lot of bargains out there right now- not that I'm giving out investment advice. Just musing. Various experts in the field have been debating whether we've hit rock bottom or not and there has not been a general consensus.
So does this mean the bailout plan failed to do its job of stabilizing the economy, since the market actually got worse after it passed? It's far too early to tell (since it has not even been executed yet), but it's comforting to know that something is being done to address the heart of the problem. If you caught a cold and it keeps getting worse, wouldn't you go see a doctor and take some medicine, even though theoretically the body's immune system will naturally fight off the infection, just in case it's something worse than a cold that the body can't fight off by itself?
Though of course, we must bare in mind that the bailout plan is not a cure all (or as Buffet puts it, a "panacea"). To that end, the government has come up with many other 'cures' for the economy:
- On Tuesday, the government announced that it will lend directly to non-financial companies through the commercial paper markets- which are short term, unsecured loans, firms use to borrow money for operational needs i.e. stocking up inventories. This will help companies finance their operational costs easier, since credit is so hard to get these days
- The Fed will start paying interest on commercial banks' reserves, which will expand the central bank's resources and more leverage to battle the this credit market
- On Wednesday, central banks around the world, including US, Britain and China cut their interest rates, which, made together, is supposedly a more powerful move. This is aimed to lower the cost of borrowing and put more liquidity back into the market (and of course there are a host of other effects, but this is the gist). This is one of the most powerful weapon in the US government's arsenal, but at 1.5% (after a 0.5% cut), they don't have much further to go. Any further, and they'll end up like Japan with no more room to adjust their interest rates and a decade long recession. You know the song that goes, "catch a falling star and save it for a rainy day"? I hope there aren't too many even more rainier days ahead, because it looks like we're running out of stars
- Paulson and Bernanke met up with representatives from the rest of the G7 on Friday, to discuss the global economy and came out with a list of broad common goals. I thought those goals were a given, but I guess not.
- They also announced on Friday that the US government will be injecting money into financial firms in exchange for equity stakes, in an attempt to recapitalize firms. At least we're getting something back. Maybe this will help Morgan Stanley, which has been under pressure this week with rumors that MUFG might be pulling out/demaind their stakes and what not.
Over at the other side of the world on a small island of 300,000 people called Iceland, the government nationalized (or rescued) their three biggest banks and closed the stock market, while their currency plummeted (the last I checked it was by a 1/3). Having out grown its Iceland's economy, the banks were struggling to stay afloat in this market with their heavy debts. Some citizens have even lost their life savings becase of this. The government is now currently waiting on a $5.4 billion loan from Russia, the only country who responded to their pleas, having been reluctant to accept anything from the IMF. Not that Russia is doing too well themselves...... I wonder if it's possible for a country to go bankrupt. What happens then? On the otherhand, if anyone is interested in visiting Iceland any time soon (I heard the nature stuff is very pretty over there), Icelandair is offering a "Winter Madness" package for 3 nights staying at the Hilton, for only $549!
The reinterpreted plaid pattern is a refreshing twist on the classic Chanel prints. The technique involved in creating some of the structures (i.e. above right), is also modern and chic.
The evening wear were divine. I love the more relaxed silhouette throughout the collection- much more forgiving for all body types. The black dress here (left) is actually one of my favourites. The upper part, with the sheer fabric makes it modest yet subtly provocative at the same time- very classy and elegant. The white dress (right) is admittdely not the most flattering shape on the runway, but there is just something very intriguing about the play on volume and the delicate floral details here.
Then there were beautiful tiered tulle dresses fit for a fairy princess. Ok, the cape (left) is a bit too much with that dress, but the bolero (also a hot item on this runway) is the perfect compliment to the heavily tiered dress on the right.
Onto accessories- see what I mean by quirky, with this vertical classic flap bag (left)? The leather shopping bag (right), is perfect and very clever for the whole "street" theme of the show, but I hope they're not planning to sell it in stores. Otherwise some misguided soul might just buy it and become a walking advertisement- and not even the good kind!
It appears that the peep toe bootie (left) is definitely here to stay for another season or two.... I guess I better get used to it. It doesn't look too weird here. And the feathers here (right) creates just the perfect dramatic effect for the runway, but they're definitely not suitable for rainy/muddy/humid weather. Luckily, the shoes look gorgeous without the feathers as well, and I'm sure Karl will be commercial minded enough to produce them without the feathers for the stores (or maybe they will be attachable!).
One thing I'm unsure about though are the two tone stockings featured throughout the show. It looks a bit like Karl is trying to put a new spin on the much over done legging trend, but I don't know, the spin is not that new and it cuts the model's legs off in an unflattering way, making them look short. The stockings on his F/W 08 runway is way better.
Image Source: Style.com