Monday, November 24, 2014

The AMA 2014 Fashion Battle

Last night, the American Music Awards were on and of course, I didn't watch them. Usually, I try to take a look for the purpose of catching the red carpet, but with this crop of music, nothing pulled me in and I knew that all the fashion would be online within moments (thank you digital media). After taking a look at some photos, I came down to a few conclusions:
1) The number of obscure Hollywood figures attending this show far surpassed the world famous ones
2) Slits are the new black
3) The men dress better than the women
Since I did not watch the show, I decided to come up with my own list of awards based on the red carpet alone. After all, it is the most important part. Here is what I cam up with:

BEST METALLIC:
Jordin Sparks vs. Olivia Munn
Two women showed up on the red carpet in metallics. Jordin Sparks appeared in a Halston Heritage floor length bronze gown with a deep V neckline and thigh high slit. I'm not sure who she was trying to impress, but it was very 1970s disco chic. Olivia Munn wore a similar look in bold gold Lanvin with slightly less cleavage.
WINNER: Olivia Munn
Neither of them tickled my fancy, but this was the best of the worst.
via www.hollywoodlife.com
BEST GOTH LOOK
Lucy Hale vs. Dianna Agron
Lucy graced the red carpet in a Vera Wang Collection mini dress with an embroidered bodice and a dark burgundy lip. It was a little Gatsby meets dark fantasy and very Lucy Hale. Dianna Agron was her blond counterpart in a knee length off the shoulder Marchesa dress with severe body rouching.
WINNER: Lucy Hale
The proportions were just well thought out.
via www.hollywoodlife.com
BEST UNDERWEAR APPEARANCE
Kendall Jenner vs. Gigi Hadid
Last night, Kendall looked very rock n' roll in a transparent Yigal Azrouel dress with metallic mesh. Gigi Hadid opted for a bralet and Prabal Gurung suit for a little sex appeal meets sophistication.
WINNER: Kendall Jenner
She is just the woman of the moment, isn't she?
via www.hollywoodlife.com
BEST CONSERVATIVE LOOK
Selena Gomez vs. Jenny McCarthy
These two ladies both showed up in floor-length black dresses. Selena Gomez wore Giorgio Armani Prive with a party in the back, while Jenny McCarthy was in Cushnie et Ochs looking almost exactly the same. However, the verdict was clear to me.
WINNER: Jenny McCarthy
It was just a much flattering look on this diva.
via www.usmagazine.com
MOST SHOCKING
J.Lo vs. Nicki Menaj
These two fierce females surprised me in very different ways. J. Lo exposed her abs in a cutout Reem Acra dress that not only showed off more skin than any one else in the room, but matched her skin tone so closely I wondered whether she was actually wearing a dress. Nicki Minaj looked conservative as ever in a sharp Alexander Wang black mini dress with discrete cutouts at the sides.
WINNER: Nicki Minaj
Nicki is getting more sophisticated by the second.
via www.hollywoodlife.com
BEST COLOUR
Julianne Hough vs. Rita Ora
Several women showed up wearing bright pops of colour to contrast with the red carpet. Rita Ora wore a glamorous Zac Posen gown in a flashy yellow hue with a flashy yellow train. Julianne Hough showed up in an orange Zuhair Murad gown that hugged her hips like no other.
WINNER: Julianne Hough
While yellow looked lovely on Rita Ora, this one was the clear winner.
via www.hollywoodlife.com
BEST DRESSED
Fergie vs. Kate Beckinsale
Not sure why Kate Beckinsale was there, but she looked ravishing in a long white Kaufmanfranco gown. Fergie was also a stunner in a black Halston dress with the winning slit of the night. In a battle of black vs. white, it was a tough call, but after much thought, I reached a decision.
WINNER: Kate Beckinsale
This was just too breathtaking for words. But then again, everything Kate Beckinsale puts on seems to have that affect on me.
via www.glamour.com
What do you think of this list? Who was your best-dressed? 

Ponder it,

XOXO,

Bella

Friday, November 21, 2014

#IconCity: Because Anna Kendrick Is My Soul Sister

Because Pitch Perfect is one of my favourite musicals of its time. Because the second one just released a promising trailer. Because Cups is my theme song. Because every tweet off Anna Kendrick's page sounds like something I was thinking in my head. Because she's unapologetically real. Because she's petite and powerful. Because she doesn't fall into that Hollywood stereotype. Because we're all dreaming about being her best friend. Because we secretly wish she were Bella in Twilight instead of Kristen Stewart. Because her sarcasm completes me. Because she's Anna Kendrick. 

She may not be known for her style, but in my book, she is an icon.

Here are some of her best looks:

LOOK 1
Little black dress? Overrated. Little black tube top and shorts? Much better.
via peoplestylewatch.com
LOOK 2
This is just so darn cute, I want to eat it. The colour contrast is perfect.
via peoplestylewatch.com
LOOK 3
This dress is absolutely adorable and just wait until you see the back. I love the asymmetry of the hemline. 5/5.
via fabsugar.com
LOOK 4
Anna mixes prints like it's nobody's business. Jealous of her skills? I know you are.
via wwd.com
LOOK 5
Maybe a little black dress can make a statement if it looks like this one. This is a little batman meets vixen and I'm slightly in love with it.
via www.celebrityjabber.com
What do you think of Anna's looks? How would you rate her style?

Ponder it,

XOXO,

Bella

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What Is Taste Anyway?


No, this is not a rant about my favourite foods and why they are superior to all other food (the answer is candy, cupcakes, and pizza). This is a rant about taste in fashion terms. Left and right, you see fashion industry insiders declaring someone an authority on taste and you can't quite figure out what that actually means. You may consider a slew of options. You may even overlook it and respond, "she's Anna Wintour. Enough said". Or you may question the concept by asking yourself:

What is good taste? Who decides? How do we define bad taste?

A fashion savvy person will eye every single individual in their surroundings and analyze their look. Most of us do it subconsciously and some of us place judgment while we're doing it. It's human nature and we can't resist. After all, it's all in our head so what harm can it do? We may look at someone and envy their ability to put together an outfit in such a creative way. We may look at someone else and cringe. We might even think, "that person has terrible taste".

This may seem obvious. Some people have it. Others don't. However, this industry promotes self-expression, eccentricity, and a diverse sense of style. How can it possibly place judgment on taste?

So then I have to ask myself: Is taste a social thing or a fashion thing?

If taste is based on social norms, it becomes a question of conservative dress that fits in with the rest of the crowd. Examples include jeans, a t-shirt, a leather jacket, and black boots. It's normcore and brand whore at the same time. It's what all the cool kids are doing.

If taste is based on fashion, it becomes a dictate of the Anna Wintours of this world. It's utterly subjective and in fact, sometimes it's even a defiance of social trends. It's the decision to wear something that sets you apart and encapsulates your identity. It's caring about your appearance enough to try. It takes a certain nonchalance of someone who knows who they are and owns their look.

So, what do people "without taste" look like?

Perhaps they are bland, unconcerned with their appearances, and inattentive to fit.
But isn't this a fashion trend in and of itself? Haven't we established that anti-fashion movements like punk and hipster are still fashion movements?

So maybe taste is about being yourself. Maybe it's about finding your niche and wearing what feels right to you. It could be a question of ethics, social climbing, identity pursuit, or Kim K.'s choice to wear it. Whichever it is, good taste becomes defined as a conscious decision to be you. Or perhaps it's a subconscious decision.

If that is the case, can good taste and bad taste really exist? If we're all subjective about aesthetically pleasing fashion and we can look critically at different designer collections or the people in our environs, we can all be judges of taste. After all, fashion is individual, so taste cannot possibly be a public consensus.

Ponder It,

XOXO

Bella

P.S: This is item 2 on #Thingsthatmakemefeelreal.


1) Fluffy things make winter better.
2) Fluffy things make me feel glamorous.
3) It goes with EVERYTHING.
4) It was a steal.
5) It'll enhance a casual look.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The 5 and 5 Challenge: Finals, A Mid-20s Crisis, and My Closet

via www.somecard.com
The end of term is rapidly approaching, my graduation is impending, and the snow has arrived, signalling the emergence of a mid-20s crisis. Of course, my natural reaction is to contemplate existential questions, like who am I? What am I doing here? What will I do next? How will I face the winter? As I think about the answers to these questions, I remind myself how I came to figure out who I was in the first place (before I entered college): Fashion. To the average mind, this realization may appear superficial, unfounded, and banal. How can fashion resolve our existential crisis? The truth is that it can't. It can facilitate the road to self-discovery. It can help us find out a little more about our deeply ingrained characteristics. But can it get us through the brutal stages of emerging adulthood? Probably not.

However, there is one aspect of fashion allows us to reinvent ourselves as we embark upon a new life stage. It is no coincidence that when we finish high school, we're inclined to cut our hair shorter and adopt a more mature look to suit the persona we hope to embody as we exit adolescence. We want to change a physical aspect of our appearance to match our internal state of change and renewal. Once again, we're faced with this powerful desire to reinvent ourselves. What better way than to clean out our closets? Now, I'm not telling you to stop your studying and start your cleansing just yet. But when you are ready, I invite you to join me on in a cleansing challenge.

Part of what my blog stands for is staying real, avoiding trends, and dressing in a way that feels like you. In a previous blog post, I spoke about shopping mistakes and now is the time to eliminate them from your closet. Here is the challenge:

Look into your closet and select the 5 items that your love most. Think long and hard about what makes them special to you. What do you love most about these pieces? Do you wear them more than any other? Are they associated with a special memory? Do they make you feel more attractive? Were they a splurge? Now, once you've selected your pieces, think of 5 ways these items make you feel like your best and more genuine self.

Though this may sound like a very simple challenge, it may actually help you learn a little bit more about the current you in the process. Over the course of this week, with my birthday approaching, I've decided to list one item per day that makes me feel real and the five reasons I chose it.

FIRST ITEM: My Rachel Zoe black 'Elliot' booties


Reasons I love them:
1) The block heel ensures comfort and style (I can spend hours in these beauties and barely feel any pain)
2) They make me feel tall and glamorous (like Rachel Zoe, essentially)
3) They make every outfit look instantly better (jeans, dresses, overalls, you name it)
4) They're multi-seasonal.
5) They're the perfect mix between feminine and edgy that defines every fibre of my being.

If you'd like, please join me and stay tuned every day for a new item. You don't have to publicize it, but try it as an activity and you might feel a little better about the unwritten future ahead of you.

Happy Monday!

XOXO,

Bella

Friday, November 14, 2014

My Burgeoning Relationship With Turtleneck Sweaters

via www.fashion-agony.com
Society tells you to be sexy. Or at least the celebrities at every corner do. All you have to do is take a look at Kim K.'s Paper Magazine nude photo and you'll see that Hollywood is all about exposing your skin. Not everyone is Kim Kardashian and I think it's safe to say that the general population won't be posing for a magazine in their birthday suit anytime soon, but sexy is everywhere.

There begs the question: what is sexy?

This a is term that cannot be defined because it is obviously subjective.

Is sexy a deep v dress that exposes your crevice?
Is sexy a mini skirt that makes your legs look a mile long?
Is sexy a pair of skintight leather pants?
Is sexy a pair of bootie shorts a la Daisy Duke?

Some would say yes to all of these traits, while others would raise a brow at the thought.

Then, there's the anti-sexy. What is the anti-sexy?

The anti-sexy is everything that goes against traditional notions of sexuality. This is a concept that counters the male perception of a sexy woman.

What do you consider anti-sexy?

Baggy leather pants? An oversized sweater? Boyfriend jeans? 

Or perhaps, a turtleneck?

via www.oqusar.com
Now, I finally get to the point. Throughout my life, the turtleneck has never appealed to me regardless of my desire to subvert traditional notions of sexuality. After all, just look at the name. Who wants to have a legitimate turtle's neck? Not so sexy. I also thought it would strangle me. I kid not. This was my main concern. However, I decided to take the leap and buy one the other day. We'll call it my risk of the day. Clearly, I'm the living on the edge type of girl...

After putting it over my head, I came to several conclusions. Here is what I decided:

1) It strangles me a little.
2) Not enough to stop wearing it.
3) Because I secretly love it.
4) It makes me think of Audrey Hepburn and the gamine look.
5) Which makes me feel sophisticated and chic.
6) I also think I look older in it. I think.
7) It looks good with EVERYTHING.
8) It's a great winter fix.
9) I need more of them.
10) In different colours.

So, there you have it. That was my first experience with the turtleneck sweater. What do you think of this look? Do you think there's something inherently sexy about wearing something boyish and "unsexy"? Or am I just crazy?

Ponder it,

XOXO,

Bella

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Navy and Black: Enemies That Became Friends

via hiphunters.com
Back in the day (which day, I couldn't tell you), wearing navy and black together in the same outfit was unheard of. Who would dare combine these two similar colours in one look? It's bland, dull, and creates an aura of overall darkness. Also, the fashion world scolds those who try to match and fail miserably by choosing two colours that are close, but no cigar. Any artist knows that it's better to opt for contrasting colours than to attempt at a perfect match. Unless your wearing black on black, navy just looks like you went colour blind for a split second, like when you put on navy tights and only realize that they aren't black once you walk out the door.

Today, all of this has changed, my friends, as the black and navy debate has resurfaced. The fashion gods have bestowed upon us the right to wear these two colours alongside one another. Rules? Who needs 'em! In a world where fashion is constantly trying to innovate, we need to start reevaluating our current system of laws that govern how we dress.

If one can even fathom pants under a skirt, why can't we wear navy with black? It seems so banal.

In the fashion world, matching is a touchy subject. This is primarily caused by its subjectivity. While one person may tell you to NEVER mix your metals, another might say that silver and gold worn simultaneously on the same wrist is very on trend. While one person might wear stripes with polka dots, another might declare this look pattern overkill. While some will only wear colours in the same family, others will spread their wings towards friends and acquaintances on the spectrum. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone wants to express it. Well, perhaps not everyone. But for those who like to take a little fashion risk every now and then, the thrill of a new rule collapsed at the seams is a cause for celebration.

Sceptical? Feeling uncertain about this black and navy combo you were taught to hate? Well, to convince you of its potential, I've put together a few looks that might inspire you to change your mind. Open your mind and take a look. Your wardrobe may soon be filled with possibilities.

...


What do you think of this trend? Does it work or is it unheard of in your book?

Ponder it,

XOXO,

Bella


Monday, November 10, 2014

How To Measure How Badly You NEED It

Have you ever walked out of a store with a cheek to cheek smile on your face feeling absolutely smitten with the product you just purchased? Best feeling ever, right? Nothing compares. Now, I want you to think back. Have you ever looked at that same product a month later with raised eyebrows, wondering how on earth you could've thought it was worth your coin?

Thought so. If your answer was yes, don't worry. This happens to me on a monthly basis and I read fashion like it's my oxygen tank. 
via 123fashion.co.uk

So many questions flood my mind as I contemplate this phenomenon that plagues us all.

How do I decide if I love something enough to purchase it?
What drives me to buy it? 
How can I love something one day and hate it three weeks later? 
How could I have missed that horrible detail that ruined the item for me forever?
How could I think I wouldn't stain that a pair of WHITE pants?
How could I be such a fickle shopper?

Too many questions. Not enough answers.

What drives us to make a purchase comes from deep within our souls and therefore, it is difficult for our limited brains to understand (even the smartest amongst us are troubled by this strange occurrence). Often, we'll buy something because we were inspired by an image in a magazine, a girl walking down the street, our favourite celebrity, or a trend we spotted on the runway. Whichever the reason, we are driven by a powerful force to buy something we call our "coup de coeur" and somehow, the spark fades like a romance gone sour after it is already too late to return it. I know you've all been through it. After all, everyone makes mistakes and sinks into post-purchase regret occasionally. To help us all with our shopping regrets, I have decided to construct a list of things to consider when we're shopping that can serve as our Virgil. Look at it as a guide to making the right purchase decisions (almost) every time. I know what you're thinking. If this girl makes the same mistakes I do then how can she help me? Well, I've learned a lot from those mistakes (as we all do) and even if I don't always follow my own advice, I'd like to impart it onto you and hope it spreads. Listen and consider the validity of these options. 

1) When approaching an item, ask yourself: am I in a rush?
- Often, if you are in a rush or need something desperately, you will buy on impulse. As much as you NEED that pair of boots, don't buy them when you're too eager. It frequently leads to regret.

2) Think of 3-5 ways this item will fit into your current wardrobe.
- We are often driven to buy something and our fogged brains make us forget to keep our current closet in mind. If you have no way of putting it together creatively, don't buy it.

3) Think of 3-5 things you love about this item.
- If you find enough physical attributes that suit your fancy, you know it's worth it.

4) Ask a friend's opinion.
- This may seem unnecessary to you, but often, the mirror will lie, while your best friend won't.

5) Ask yourself: Is it just a trend piece?
- If it is a trendy item, you need to think about whether it's actually something you see yourself wearing in the long term. Think long and hard about that one. If you know you'll probably get over it in a few weeks, don't invest.

6) Think of one aspect of this item that works into your personality.
- If this item says something about who you are, it'll make it personal and that's the key to a great purchase.

7) Consider your budget.
- This should not be taken lightly. If it isn't within your budget, it'll be particularly painful when you decide you like it a little less tomorrow.

8) Ask yourself: Do I like it? or Am I "In Love"?
Yes, you can fall in love with something material and like with real couple love, it sometimes manipulates your vision. If you absolutely love and can't live without those shoes in your life, you will most likely wear them to death and get your money's worth. This is the only excuse for an above budget item. In this case, you should save up for it and buy it when the time is right. Also, make sure your love is real. Lust can be a very tricky alter-ego. 

Think about each of these things every time you make a purchase and you'll probably find yourself with a wardrobe full of favourites. Who needs those pieces you'll get rid of in a year? Keep it concise and emblematic of who you are.

XOXO,

Bella