Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Book Review: Lauren Conrad Style
November 21, 2010


One of my not so secret indulgences used to be  watching MTV’s “The Hills”, back when Lauren Conrad was still the star of the show. Needless to say the show went completely downhill (no puns intended) once she left reality TV  to pursue her fashion career, and I stopped tuning in and turned to Gossip Girl instead for my bitchfest/fashion fix.

When I came across the new Style book that Lauren Conrad recently put out, I couldn’t resist getting it because I’ve always thought Lauren’s brand of california-chic style was quite stylish and accessible, she’s managed to always look put together,but still comfortable in most of her pictures. The book is a must have for Lauren Conrad’s fans, there are plenty of glossy pictures of Lauren in different outfits for different occasions,looking great by the way, and the content is split into 3 main sections: Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle.

I’ll focus on the fashion part.In this section, Lauren covers the essentials of putting together a workable wardrobe for different occasions like work, school, parties and events. She also included tips on how to conduct a proper shopping hunt (‘cruise around a large department store one time before circling back to grab the piece that caught my eyes the first time round.’) and avoid “skipping regret” (that’s when u hesitate when getting something you wanted and ending up losing it later) and impulse purchases at huge, wallet friendly stores.(buying things you don’t really need just because they are cheap)

She included some types of looks to wear for “first dates” or weddings, as well as for work. ( didn’ really like the office work looks, a bit too cliched, but I guess Lauren Conrad hasn’t spent much time working at a real office job) I love the powder pink dress(above, right) which she recommended for a “first date”, so sweet!

There’s also a entire section on accessories, including shoes, bags and jewellery.

All in all, a nice , glossy “coffeebook”type of book to flip through and look at the pretty shoes and outfits in signature Lauren style. I thought some of the most useful information included was the packing list she compiled for different vacation trips; city trips, work trips, weekend beach trips etc…. great for people like me who constantly get stressed out and way overpack for trips.

Must Read: “Deluxe” – How Luxury lost its Lustre by Dana Thomas
September 15, 2008

I had finished this book a while ago and meant to recommend it to anyone who actively/obsessively consumes luxury goods and fashion, it was one of those books that had really piqued my interest from the start-go. Dana Thomas is the fashion writer for Newsweek in Paris for 12 years, and her job lends her access to the inside working corporate world of luxury brands in this time & age, and she has carefully researched and documented her discoveries and some dismal findings in this no holds barred read. Here’s a sypnois of the book.

From inside the luxury industry comes the truth on what designer brands are really worth

 

Once upon a time, luxury was only available to the rarefied and aristocratic world of old money and royalty; luxury wasn’t simply a product, it was a lifestyle. Today, luxury is different. Gone are the family-owned businesses; the industry is run by corporations that focus on brand-awareness, advertising and — above all — profits. In Deluxe, Dana Thomas has found out all the secrets that Prada, Gucci and Burberry don’t want you to know.

From the last bastion of old-world luxury — Hermès, where highly skilled artisans still make their coveted Kelly and Birkin bags by hand, she takes us into the scent factories that manufacture Christian Dior and Prada perfumes, into the crowded factories in China, where workers glue together ‘Made in Italy’ bags. She takes us behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the Oscars to witness the wheeling and dealing of luxury brands to dress stars for the red carpet. Thomas has interviewed corporate heads and factory workers, the old-luxury clients and the new luxury-obsessed middle-class consumer and paints a surprising picture of ‘New Luxury’ today.

An uncompromising and rollicking read about the real world behind the dream, this book asks: what does luxury mean when it’s targeted at a mass audience? What are we paying for when quality is no longer quality? How did luxury lose its lustre?

I had polished off this relatively fast read in a week, usually on my train rides to and from work, and from one chapter to the next it was a blow after blow of “What??!” “Are you freaking kidding me?!” discriminating facts about popular labels like Gucci, LV, Prada to sombre details of long hours, or child labor in China. The book is also littered generously with delicious tidbits and stories of the design houses that have grown to become the money grabbing, corporatized, giant luxury brands we know and lust endlessly for today.

Some stuff from the book that made me gasp:

– Most luxury brands like COACH and LV have moved most if not ALL  production of products to China, where workers work harsh,long hours shifts with almost no off days, and sometimes child labour are used as well ( and there they are complaining about counterfeits being cruel) Its “made in china” label is often hidden within a non visible part of the bag, sometimes even on the reverse side of its ” made in Italy/France” label when the product is produced entirely in China. 

– With the exception of Hermes, and perhaps Chanel, most of the other brands of luxury bags and products are put together on factory assembly lines and sometimes GLUED TOGETHER instead of sewn, in order to speed up the production process. The quality of products is significantly inferior compared to the older stuff. Millions are spent on advertising to emphasize on its history of handmade bags and create the illusion of quality, exclusivity and value.

– Brands like Louis Vuitton seek to increase their burgeoning profit margins and reach the middle class consumer by using cheap materials like Denim and Canvas to do a new collections. This significantly cut production costs, at the same time the collections,which are priced exhorbitantly despite the use of cheap, non-durable materials, are still selling like hotcakes to  eager middle class consumers who just want a piece of the ‘magic’.

And many other revelations I’ll let u find out yourself when u read the book. A really interesting read that really make me think about the habits of consumerism, as well as the value of true luxury in this time and age. Oh, I don’t know if i’ll ever splurge hard earned money on a Louis Vuitton bag after this read! 

“Deluxe” is available at Borders at SGD$26.70.

Ready for Summer: The Balloon Tote
July 7, 2008

  The good old beach tote gets a stylish update this summer with some interesting fabric prints, check out these cute balloon totes from OldNavy at $19.50 (about SGD$26.50). I am eyeing the black one, think it’s good enough for lagging all my stuff around on the weekends as well!

It’s already July?
July 7, 2008

A quick update to anyone who gives a cherry about what I’ve been doing with these past few weeks/months.Beside not blogging.

– Still pulling long hours at the agency on most days, although I try to get off work at a decent hour if I can help it. I get home at about 8pm most days, sometimes 9pm,eat a home cooked dinner, take a hot shower, watch some TV, check my personal email and catch up on my celebrity gossip and fashion blogs , and then collapse into bed with a soothing mask to detox the day away.

– I caught the Sex and the City Movie. And then I got the fabulous movie soundtrack.And now I have the SATC theme song as my default ringtone. Yes it suffice to say I loved the movie. 

–  I’m going to have to take my driving theory test AGAIN!! in August and starting my practical lessons.

– I’m becoming re-aquainted with Second Life again, particularly in the Second Life fashion scene.It is really apt to say that Second Life IS Fashion…why else would you want to earn all that lindens for,other than to dress your avater up to look like a (cyber) milion bucks?  I’ve always, ALWAYs had a secret wish to be involved in fashion design somehow,some way…but in real life I can hardly sew a button on properly.So becoming a digital fashion maven suddenly sounds very appealing and much more achievable with some photoshop skills, creativity in texture and layering…and Ta da! I’ve been lurking around this massive e-social sphere a lot these days, absolutely fascinated about its possibilities and new media potential.

One of the first dresses I’ve created for my avatar, a tube dress with belted details on the waist,and a tulip skirt with floral print details. I am a budget SL-er though, have not invested a real dime into the game.The flexi hair was scored in a fatpack at only 10L..the earrings was a freebie, so was the skin. One do not have to invest real money to have fun in this game!