Black Friday Shopping Guide 2013

Intense…Mad…Frantic …Wild…Frenzied…That’s Black Friday!  No need to panic.   Need some shopping tips?  I have the skills so don’t freak out or have rabies because you’ve got twenty-six days left to prepare for Christmas.   I found a lot of great stuff for everyone, from the store or online, to share with you and most are under $100 (click on the pictures to reveal the prices.)

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My AMAs Best Dress List

American Music Awards the other night was AWESOME!!!  The performances were entertaining and eventful.  Watched all the performances–Katy Perry’s Geisha, One Direction, Miley Cyrus’ Cat Talking (not twerking-LOL), etc.  I was very impressed with the Red Carpet gowns — stunning, gorgeous, breathtaking — you go ladies!!  The best dress of AMAs goes to (drum roll please) … Ariana Grande in her sequin fire-engine dress and honey hair!

Weekly Outfit: Cranberry Crush

Weekly Outfit: Cranberry Crush

A splash of fresh cranberry for the holiday!

Dress: New Look Burgundy Belted Wrap Chiffon Dress $23

Necklace: Oscar de la Renta Large Floral Bib Necklace $690

Shoes: Christian Louboutin Bianca $845

Bag: Salvatore Ferragamo “Jimmy” Leather Shoulder Bag Rosso $895

Earrings: Ek Thongprasert Dalmainsiana Earrings $245

Bracelet: Chan Luu Wrap Maroon Mix Bracelet $170

Lipstick: Armani Prive Rouge d’Armani Lipstick–610 $32

Nail: Nars Nail Polish $19

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Fall Saturday Night

Good evening!

Mannnnn, it’s been a stressful week in school before Thanksgiving and it’s cold too with this arctic blast!  And what do you know … on my way with friends to see “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, I found this gray knitted hat from the holiday market in Union Square.  It went so well with my dark, edgy outfit that blended into the dark, cold night –kinda crowded behind me (LOL!)

Can’t wait to go to Virginia to celebrate the holiday with my family and catch-up with friends! See you soon! XOXO

Isabella Blow, the “Muse” of a Hat Milliner

Fabulous, fanciful and flamboyant Fascinators!  We are captivated and love them.  A hat?  Headpiece?  Crown?  But we know that they are fancy, full of embellishments like lace, feathers or beads worn at formal occasions like the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  They catch our eye and we marvel at the designs, colors and the outrageous styles.  They truly entertain us.  During my research on fascinators, I came upon a British fashion editor, Isabella Blow, who discovered young, talented, unknown designers and launched their careers and brand, including the discovery of Philip Treacy in 1989.  Isabella saw his wedding headdress he designed for a young bride.  Realizing his talent, she invited him to London to work further on his collection and introduced him to Alexander McQueen.   Treacy’s signature style of flamboyant fascinators hit the scene and catapulted into popularity.  She was known as the “muse” of Treacy’s creations.

Her memoir appeared in an article in Vogue “Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore” where I discovered and learned more about her.  She was born and raised in London, England, to an aristocratic family.  Though born into wealth and title, Isabella’s life was full of tragedies that would later consume her life … the loss of a young brother who drowned in a family pool, parents’ divorce, failed marriages, business dejections, bipolar disorder and ovarian cancer, all eventually drove Isabella to take her life at age 48.  Amidst these somber times, Isabella came to know and associate with artists, designers and editors … Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichenstein, Guy Laroche and Anna Wintour, to name a few.  Most significantly, she was introduced to a struggling designer, Alexander McQueen and is credited for his discovery as well.   Isabella Blow reminded me so much of our First Lady, Michelle Obama, who also recognized, supported and nurtured young, obscure or relatively unknown designers like Jason Wu and Tracy Reese, to advance their careers. Here’s a video of her:

Where are you Banksy?

He is a British graffiti artist, painter, activist and filmmaker who took over the walls of Manhattan last month.  He’s described as mysterious and bold! Recently, his art appeared in Chinatown, Tribeca, Brooklyn, the Bronx, alluding everyone and remaining mystical as ever.  Elusive … you can’t find him in action, only his artwork, secretively left behind. So, I was thinking, “I’m going to search and find his next creation … but where … how?  By determination.  I will search and I will find his street art.  Here are samples of Banksy’s recent series of NYC street artwork —

La Cenita in Meatpacking!

La Cenita

My friends and I decided to try out a newly opened Mexican restaurant, La Cenita (“little dinner”) similar to tapas or little plates for tasting or sharing. Chef Akhtar Nawab was voted NYC’s 7 Best Tacos in Oct 2013. We tried the chicken, shrimp and vegetable tacos, goat cheese crepes and wild salmon CEVICHE (“seh-BEE-chay”).

Ceviche is raw seafood marinated in citrus juices, salt, chile peppers and other spices that change the texture of fish and shellfish. This is an old tradition of South America believed to have started with the Incas who used this method to preserve their fish.  I recently tried ceviche for the first time and love it! I have to confess that I was apprehensive to eat raw fish even though I have Asian and Hawaiian roots. (Now I do LOVE sushi, but it is different from sashimi which is raw fish or meat. Sushi is generally prepared with cooked fish served with rice or vegetables.)  To end a perfect meal, our waiter, Nick, recommended the apple pie taquitos, created by La Cenita’s pastry chef, Thiago Silva. This is definitely going to be added to my favorite NY restaurant list!

Update:  The popular singer, Rihanna, recently dropped by La Cenita for a quick bite with her pals, dressed  in a black bodysuit and over-the-knee boots!  Shocking?  Outrageous?  Scandalous?  Judge for yourself!

Weekly Outfit: Glistening Fog

Weekly Outfit: Glistening Fog

It’s a great outfit for day and night!

Shirt: Helmut Lang “Villous” boxy blouse $160

Pants: NewLook 28in Black Leather-Look Skinny Trousers $25

Shoes: Ivy Kirzhner Bootie with Gold Hardware $615

Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Francesca Tote $470

Ring: Bronze Ring with Swarovski Crystal Teardrop surrounded by CZ Accents $84

Earrings: Amrita Singh Gia Earrings $40

Bracelet: Matte Gold Elastic Bracelet with Crystal Accents $48