Friday, December 9, 2011

5 fashiony things reserved for the Winter Holidays

1. Ugly Sweaters. Everyone knows this! They are considered truly awful in any other part of the year, but Christmas-themed sweaters are considered cute, fun and even kind of stylish (well, some of them) during the festive season. Bridget Jones made them pop-culture, but these things have been around for ages!

Frankly, I think they're quite cute, on Christmas Eve, you know, when you're being ironic.

2. Festive headwear. From hats with decorative snowflakes to earmuffs and reindeer headbands, this stuff is fun to wear... for a few particular days at the end of December.

3. Whimsical manicure/make-up. This make come off as obvious, I haven't really seen people wear snowflake manicures in April, but it really is one of those little things that are too adorable to pass up in this the-best-part-of-the-year. You heard me!

4. That hat/scarf/pair of gloves your grandma/aunt/someone knit you. Maybe it's the softest thing in the world, or maybe it kind of stings. Maybe the colour isn't even near what's "in" or maybe it's simply kind of embarrassing. But for Christmas, if you see them, and especially if you really miss them, you're gonna wear the hell out of those. Sniff. No, really. I wish I still had something from my grandma. Maybe I'll find a pair of knitted socks or something...

5. Glitter everything. As a very un-glittery sort of person, there is one season in the year when I want things that are shiny and colourful and metallic and all that. For some reason, it's not only acceptable but desirable to me, and you can bet this New Year's Eve I'm wearing something gold.

P.S. I just spent about 10 minutes trying to remember the word for whimsical. It's not that I didn't know the English word for it (it doesn't really even exist in Romanian), it was simply on the tip of my tongue and refusing to come out. Must be getting old. Sigh.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Surely you're also counting the days, right?

Of course I'm talking about Christmas. Not in its commercial sense, nor in its religious one. To me, Christmas equals family(particularly after my first four months away from home) and all the best smells in the world (snow, the tree, Romanian "cozonac" and spiced wine). Oh and the Coca Cola commercials! Always the Coca Cola commercials, they practically announce Christmas.

It feels surreal that two weeks from today I'll be on the train between Budapest and my hometown (yes the connections are so bad that I fly into another country thankyouverymuch) and dreaming of seeing my parents and my dog! My beautiful lovely boy who misses me so much, my mom tells me he howls of loneliness. 

This is the infamous cozonac. I was never even a fan, really, but it has a totally different appeal when I'm away from home and thinking of it as the symbol that it is.

Spiced/mulled wine or Gluhwein or "Vin fiert" in Romanian is a staple of all the Christmas visits between friends and family and it's a winter "thing" in our favourite bar back home. 

Snow. Oh, snow. I loved snow devotedly my entire life, and always mourned its relative scarcity. Then last year happened, and this is what it looked like most of the season. I want it so bad to snow when I go home, because there are slim chances of it in miserable-weather Brussels.

Ahh, there. I've managed to get some of the I-heart-winter energy out of my system.

P.S. I loved the feedback from my Karlie Kloss post. I truly respect everyone's opinions and some of the comments were thought-provoking. I've been having second thoughts about it, but the truth is I stand by  what I said. However, my general attitude in that post wasn't very Christmassy at all so a new post to head the blog was in order! Oh, and I love you guys for the continued love you show my blog, even if I don't have the time to rrreally be on top of it.

Do you celebrate Christmas? What does it mean to you?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What the hell happened to Karlie Kloss?!

'Scuse the rough choice of words.

But I was "introduced" to Karlie Kloss when she was 16 years old, was known for being a former ballerina and having a special walk. I thought she was cool, and loved seeing her climb higher and higher. I loved how healthy she looked, with those strong legs and childlike softness.

Then, something happened. I think Victoria's Secret happened, but then I'm biased. 

However, you can't tell me this (below) is normal and the Karlie Kloss we know and love. I can accept that she's 19 now and growing up, but growing up shouldn't be growing thin. The fashion world wants slim women, which she was. This is starting to border on unsightly and also, really really really bad in the context of so many women struggling with self-image.

You see, it's not just about one girl being too thin. It's about those big fat (sic!) letters practically saying "this is what you should look like, too." Look at her waist. Look at it! Look how her bones poke out and how her stomach is sunk way into her body. 

I thought a lot about whether to post these photos. First, they are nudity. And while I'm not offended by artistic nudity or fashion photography that includes nudity, I know some people are. Second, they are all over the internet anyway. But in the end, they make my point: what happened to Karlie?

Is it a coincidence that after becoming a VS model she started looking like this? 

When VS models started to appear more on high fashion runways (or the other way around?) people thought maybe the runways are accepting more curvaceous women. But actually, it's the VS models that are getting thinner. Which is terrible, because there are a whole lot more 13-year-olds that are crazy for VS than there are crazy for Givenchy, for instance. And the latter, if they are, they understand a bit more. 

To sum up, I think it's great that Karlie is so athletic. I think exercise is wonderful! But I also think women should be encouraged to be their "own size of healthy", rather than having these unrealistic standards shoved in their face. 

Photos by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia (a photographer and publication that I love with all my heart, just like I love Karlie Kloss).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Coffee, why so chic?

I'm not a coffee drinker. My very traditional family maintained that children don't drink coffee and I complied happily after sneaking a sip,when I was 6, from my mum's cup and thought it was disgusting black venom.

photo found here

Come highschool, particularly the final year with all that studying, I somehow managed to make-do with mostly green tea and the occasional cappuccino (strictly for fancy reasons, like with friends over even more chic cigarettes called "Vogue"). I was just fine without it on a regular basis. But I LOVED the idea of it.

Photo by Stefan

Now , between a very demanding Business Administration curriculum,working part-time, blogging, and trying to, you know, actually have a life, I'm hitting up the coffee machine at school more often, sometimes north of three times a week. An icky love affair, because for 60 eurocents, you get a plastic cup filled with a dark brown coffee undeserving of its name, but with the same chemical properties. I snare at at all the girls brandishing steaming Starbucks cups and I sigh. I'm too much of a stumble-to-school-no-time-to-stop kind of girl, not to mention Starbucks is $$$.Or should I say €€€?

Photo from here.

Anyways, the point and inspiration of this post was that coffee is just so chic, non? 

What about you? Are you a coffee drinker?

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's all about the avant-garde

When it comes to shoes, at least. 

Don't these peep-toe booties by Camilla Skovgaard tickle your fancy? Even if you're not one to normally go for this type of "crazy" shoe, it's just something about them.

Have you noticed how it's the most outrageous, unusual, never-before-thought-of shoes that are getting the most love out there? Of course it makes perfect sense that the novel should get a lot of attention, but it seems that when it comes to shoes, it's the avant-garde designers that really do change the world. At least this world. 

Gorgeous Azzedine Alaia ankle boots with an intriguing cut-out in the wedge-heel. 

Brightly coloured Brian Atwood's are so cool, I can't even bear it. 

Kurt Geiger loveliness. Seriously, LOOK at those shoes!!!

I was reading the Wall Street Journal (I know, I know, weird publication to think of such things) and a nice piece on Camilla Skovgaard grabbed my attention. And I realized it, that it's special, kind of odd designs of the likes of her, but also Alaia, Brian Atwood or Kurt Geiger have been taking the fashion world by storm. 

Charlotte Olympia Dellal. Win. 

P.S. I want to thank you, friends, for the wonderful feedback and support reflected in your comments. This isn't the most often-updated blog, nor the most outrageously chic, but I cherish every comment I get. You guys are wonderful! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Something chilly our way comes

Temperatures have been steadily decreasing.
The wind has become icy rather than simply crisp.
The skies are dark, almost depressing. Something I'm told is common of the Belgian winter.
Brussels promises a rough winter.

Which means that it's time to shop for a new coat! One huge, extremely warm and comfortable duffle coat is the only thing that made it with me (in fact, it made it after me along with some of my favourite boots and home-made jam - I love you mum - in a box, months later). So I've been scouring the stores as well as the web for something that I can wear whilst the weather is so chilly, yet not quite winter yet. I'd feel like I'm in a sauna if I were to wear my coat right now.

Anyways, this is the best - and student-budget appropriate - the www has to offer.

Pleated adorableness from Asos for £70.00 (about €85).

Also from Asos, this one is a classic, military-inspired coat that would get me out of a lot trouble, as it's so versatile. (£75) 

H&M makes a tempting offer, this cinched-waist short coat with all those pockets (something I always appreciate in a coat) is only €29,95. 

Just one of Zara's many wonderful coats. The €139 price tag is a little steep for me, but thinking it may be a good investmend tugs at my heartstrings. I mean, look how pretty!

Another wonderful Zara, another heartstring being tugged. Its oldschool Haider Ackermann-like appeal makes me think seriously about shelling out €99,95.

Also very tempting is this cape from New Look, on sale for only €41,99. It's impractical, but it's oh-so-cool. 

Ah, anyway. Which one would you guys choose? Do you have any better sites I should check out?  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A little something

As I was racking my brain (amid the Financial Accounting swamp) for something to write about, I realized every post can't and shouldn't be some earth-shattering fashion or lifestyle manifesto. That would mean "living" on edge all the time, and publishing a new proclamation way too often for them to be taken seriously.

After all, the joy of fashion is how simple it can be and still make you, even if for a little bit, so completely happy. I think it's a huge perk of fashion how a tiny little object can say so much about you. How you can wear your heart on your sleeve, but in a good way.

Today, I thought of rings, and how a piece that doesn't weigh more than a few grams can speak volumes.

I thought of stacked rings, and how excitingly cool they can be! I love them, and the student-budgeted me loves them too (5 rings for the price of one?! ha! sign me up!)

Armani Exchange ring
Armani Exchange has available a set of rings in several metals, something I'm usually hesitant about, but I like in this instance. For $38, rather affordable in Armani Terms.
Wet Seal ring

Wet Seal's version is all-silver, bejeweled and rather girly, but a total steal for $7.50.

Ariella Collection ring
Nordstrom's Ariella collection is colourful and diverse, a pretty good investment at $45.

French Connection ring

French Connection delivers a cute&whimsical idea, available for $40 at Asos.


Topshop has a very varied suggestion, also $40.


The most interesting stacked ring combo comes from Topshop too, costs $25 and is called "Zig Zag Stack Set". WANT!

What about you? Do you like stacked rings? Which ones? Can you tell they're on my wishlist (sic!) ?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Get off your butt and get inspired!

It's not only that I've been busy and mad at the world in all sorts of odd ways (my week was completed by losing my wallet/having it stolen and being left without ID. In a foreign country.) but also that I've been trying to find any sort of fashion-related inspiration. Which is difficult when you deal with numbers and economics and corporate hogwash all day (it's taught in school, it's not random when it happens).

So what's the order of business?

Why,an inspirational post to get me (and you, my darlings) off our bored, cold behinds and back into fashionistic enthusiasm.

Maybe Anouck Lepere by Asa Tallgard for Elle Russia, wearing Gucci?

A cozy bedroom that makes me sleepier than I already am?

The beauty that is Arizona Muse, as shot by David Sims and styled by Grace Coddington for Vogue US November?

Some Shalom Harlow, because she's the most interesting and beautiful 90s supermodel? (I'm a dictator on this blog!)

Yes, these all work satisfactorily, but not quite as perfect as this quote. From the wonderful Albus Dumbledor, ahem, I mean, J.K. Rowling: “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish,  but battle on.” 

And, also, thank you, my friends, for the kindness in your comments, all the time, but especially in my previous post. Thank you for the well thoughts. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taking things for granted

How many times a week do you pass by a particular place in your city? 5 times? 10 times? Several times a day?

Do you still notice it?

I realized I don't. After a while, things become blurred in my mind and I no longer notice the proofs of humanity's craftsmanship or nature's beautiful quirks. I pass by, whizzing through my day, planning a math cramming session or a well-deserved nap.

A few days ago I finally noticed that I'd been walking by, twice a day, one of those scenes people gasp when they see them, and I'd been passing it without even blinking. "It's just a building" I would think before moving on at my recently acquired fast pace.

"It's just sun. It's evening, so the sun is setting. I'm too busy to sit around watching it, not to mention it happens every night."

It is beyond my comprehension how I turned into that person. How I could glance out the window at this view and dismiss it so casually. To turn another page in my books and sigh contently at my resilience.

And then, last night happened. Hearing a woman on the phone telling me my sister had been in an accident, and that I should go to the hospital. Asking her where that hospital is, like the noob that I am. Forgetting any and all tiredness after having been on the go for 12 hours. Thinking never has a subway moved slower. Finding my French words like never before. Thinking "it's not happening". Thinking I had wondered what was for dinner just minutes earlier.

Hearing her voice, knowing she's okay. Literally my heart descending from my throat. Not sleeping the whole night, after my brain found an idea deep inside me: "What if she hadn't been so lucky?". Finding today's classes at University futile and coming home to make dinner for the two of us (that's never sounded so good before) a better way to spend my time.

Life is too short to take any part of it for granted. It's too short to keep our eyes on the ground when we're walking, and it's too short to take for granted that drivers will let you pass because it's your right. Life is too short to think there's another sunset coming.

Please remember that every person crossing a street is someone else's centre of the Universe. Please remember when you're crossing a street that you are someone else's centre of the Universe. Please remember to watch the sunset. The turning leaves. The clouds reflected into skyscrapers. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who am I?!

Until the 15th of August this year, it had never crossed my mind, not even in my wildest dreams that I'd end up studying Business Administration at University. But then, when I was presented with this wild possibility, things started making sense.

Fast forward two months, and I'm a barely recognisable creature. "Sovereign debt" has become a syntagm regularly part of my casual thoughts (like on the subway) and I know what FTSE stands for, as well as what "ceteris paribus" is. I've even decided to give functions that second date I've been denying since the first year of high school. I even know what the EU Summit this weekend is about in freakish detail, and not only because it's kind of taking place at the other end of my street and I have to take a detour on Sunday if I go out.

Fast forward two months, and these three items are regularly and daily found in my hands, my bag, they've become indispensable parts of my day.

The Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a graphing calculator. 

I actually read these papers on a daily basis, and I've even learnt to use the fanciest options on the little device I previously thought was little more than a VERY foreign contraption. 

You see I was always art-inclined, specifically literature crazy and, obviously, fashion was also a big part of what I thought of on a daily basis, and I was more than certain that I was going to study something in the field of Arts & Humanities. Little did I know I'd be studying to get a Bachelor of Science. 

So there it is friends, the late, late, late update on my studying situation. 

And of course I remain myself. Look. 

L'Officiel's 90th anniversary issue, Tavi Gevinson on the cover, all 529 pages of it, all mine for 5 euros. Oh the perks of living in Belgium (foreign magazines were painfully expensive in Romania).

Will you be/ Were you/ Are you in college/Uni? What will you be/are you/were you studying?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Be the splash of colour you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". I find this piece of advice to be one of the most accurate and perfect things ever said. I have no intention to adapt or alter it, however, I found myself thinking the title of this post just the other day.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Along with dropping, winter-like temperatures, the month of October brought along some sort of realisational melancholy: yet another year is finishing. Everyone is frowning upon one economic woe after another, and everyone is insanely busy. However, this is the time when we have to look inside ourselves rather than blame our shortcomings on others, and decide that it's us and only us that have the power to make ourselves happy. It's not easy, I know. I've been shrugging and explaining "I have a student budget" for a long time now, yet it's clear to me that it is unto us to make things different.

And I think it starts with our outlook on life. With the world around us, specifically, with small things that we can control. We can control the feeling our clothes give us, for instance, and I think the sure-fire way to go right now is with a splash of colour to remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Photo found here

And I'd like to thank Mr.Tommy Thon, in the name of the entire blogosphere (can anyone disagree?) for his beautiful and endlessly inspirational photographs, and for making accessible to us quite a number of shoe-gasmic experiences. 

Photo: Tommy Ton

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Super Model

*I swear I didn't mean for two post titles in a row to start with the same two words... but don't you love it when that happens?

People argue over what a supermodel is, and nowadays it's kind of accepted that supermodels aren't what they used to be, that is to say celebrity power-houses in their own right. Victoria's Secret "Angels" make the tabloids, but high fashion models, the ones that grace the runways in Paris, are no longer "all the rage". 

But I kind of like that. It means "us", the "fashion crowd", that is to say, people that are actually interested in fashion as an art form rather than a glittery spectacle, get to admire and love them without being part of a practically world-wide agglomeration of adorers. 

That said, who is the Super-Model nowadays? The runways are numerous and people get lost in the crevices of an ever-globalizing (thank you, Internet) fashion universe but here and there, a face sticks with us, and we recognize it season after season. 

There are many models. Many many many gorgeous girls that embed their names in our heads because they have that special look, that particular walk, that perfect body. But one raises above all. One floats among them with a serene smile on her face and 16 tattoos that would have scandalised and earned her no castings 15 years ago. 

You guessed it, it's Freja. Freja Beha Erichsen, Karl Lagerfeld's muse, the odd, black-dressing smoker that once dated Catherine McNeil (or didn't you know that?!). Many people might love to jump in disagreement, but in my opinion, there is no one that "does it better", she is the goddess of the runways in Paris. 

Freja has always been a special presence during fashion shows, but during SS2012 she brought with her an air of serenity, of calm contentment and that (previously) rare smile, that lights up her surroundings. 

Something else that makes Freja Beha Erichsen beautiful? The fact that she is real and down-to-earth, by realizing it's not all as glamorous as the world around her. She is aware there are people on this same exact planet who are struggling in ways we can't even imagine - so she lent her image to the Starved for Attention campaign, and smartly let the world know by wearing the T-shirt for the campaign during Fashion Week. 

This button feels unloved. ^_^ 
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Do you like her? Who is your favourite model?