February 2012

In January I tried the ombre lip trend and promptly decided I wouldn’t be trying it again – yet, here I am! A lot of you who read the post said you likely wouldn’t try the trend yourselves, whether out of preference or fear, and I decided to try again in a more basic way to see if it could be achieved on the fly. And guess what? It can! Rather than the very fickle red-to-nude tone I did last time I decided on the simpler process of swiping a lighter shade across the inner portion of my lips. I didn’t think it would be possible to really see a light shade on top of a dark one, but miraculously it is. It might depend on the lipsticks used, and it might take a few applications to get the desired effect, but it makes for a totally effortless beauty trend.

The shades I used are discontinued now, but these two match up rather well (and the brands are right-on). Make sure your bottom shade has a matte consistency while the top, light shade is creamy and thick. Alternatively to a lipstick you could apply a cream lipcolor with a make-up brush; I have a bright cream shade from a MAC palette that worked well for the same effect. Add a dash of a bright gloss for extra shine and voila! Instant statement lips.

What do you think, gals? Still an out-there style or something you’d be more inclined to try? The best part, I think, is that we’re all likely to have both a dark and light shade of lipstick so it’s easy to try it in the spur of the moment without spending any extra cash!

“It’s the clothes, not the celebrity, and not the spectacle.”

“Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty, freedom is the most expensive.”

“The best fashion show is definitely on the street. Always has been, and always will be.”

Editta Sherman, photographer and (at the time) 95 year-old Carnegie Hall squatter.
“I’m really a legend now.”
“A legend or a fixture?”
“Well, I’m both, yaknowwhatimean?”

“I’m just about capturing what I see.”

“A lot of people have taste, but they don’t have the daring to be creative.”

After just about a year since its release, I finally had the opportunity to sit back and watch Bill Cunningham New York. If you don’t know, the documentary follows 80 year-old New York Times street style photographer Bill as he adventures around New York City by bicycle, snapping away at the most fascinatingly dressed passersby on the street, at charity events and in fashion shows. He’s considered one of the first – if not the first – street style photographers, and he’s certainly a revolutionary for the way he keeps himself immersed in fashion as an art while maintaining a blissful obliviousness about starlets and social status. In Bill’s world, we are who we are; it’s what we wear that counts. What I love, among many things, about him is the way he’s so unaffected by fashion as an industry: I think it’s sadly very typical for a woman to consider how she’ll be perceived by others when she gets dressed in the morning. There’s always someone who’ll judge. But for Bill, he’s that person on the other side of the looking glass and he doesn’t represent all those things we fear – he’s quite the opposite. It’s freeing to think about, and I think in a way he stands as an icon of self-confidence in personal style from his place behind the camera.

If you haven’t seen the documentary yet, I highly recommend it!

Screencaptures are my own, from the Bill Cunningham New York DVD

After an exhilarating time putting together Little Fashion Week‘s medley of content I’m so excited to look back at all the inspiration and conversations that grew from my initial ideas. Thank you tremendously to everyone who left comments, shared posts and engaged through social media. As the lady at the helm of this blog I’ve felt like the area of content that focuses on fashion has been kept at bay lately while I attempt to balance all the many facets of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, so this week presented a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in the sort of fashion-related content I’m interested in churning out. And I’m so glad to know you all enjoyed it, too! In case you missed a bit, here’s a full recap of the week’s events:

Sunday: {a little giveaway} Kathy van Zeeland Handbag (you can still enter until 2/28!)
Monday: {a little project} DIY: Turn a Scarf Into a Shoulder Bag
Tuesday: {a little history} Fashion History: The Chanel 2.55
Wednesday: {a little motivation} 5 Lessons in Style I Learned from Adele Adkins
Thursday: {a little inspiration} Tips for Building an Inspiration Board
Friday: {a little style} On Cultivating a Signature Style
Saturday: {a little look} Lookbook: An Affair to Remember

If you kept up with the articles last week – thank you! And feel free to head back and check out the comments; there were some truly wonderful words of wisdom.

Upon seeing my inspiration board tips my dear friend Lyndi was motivated to undertake a similar project with her adorable daughters, Amy and Becca; I’m thrilled that she kindly let me share the photos of their finished inspiration boards with you all! Aren’t they the sweetest? Amy’s inspiration collage decorates the front of her school binder – a brilliant idea – and Becca’s serves as ornamentation for their bedroom door, while Lyndi herself focused her inspiration board on her favorite lyrics and quotes. I love!

Lastly, many thanks to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring one of my Little Fashion Week articles in their weekly Links a la Mode series. Check out the full list of the week’s great reads below.


Thank you all again for your support with my little project!


Jason Wu for Target. We all loved it, most of us shopped it; it was the perfect marriage of designer and retailer, right? I shopped the collection online at midnight with Nnenna and Courtney, the three of us chatting on Twitter and sharing the pieces as we came across them in true scavenger hunt fashion. But this was, really, my first time shopping a capsule collection with hype of this magnitude. Aside from a Rodarte for Target piece, I haven’t bought into any of the others; Lanvin for H&M, Karl Lagerfeld for Impulse, Missoni for Target. Considering how enamored I was with Jason Wu’s line, it had me wondering why I hadn’t be interested in past collaborations between designers and retailers. But I think what it comes down to, for me, is that it’s not about snatching up just any designer name; it’s about the work and style of designers we admire being translated to practical, wearable pieces for our lives. And Jason Wu, besides being a favorite of mine prior to the capsule collection, managed to take the entire concept of a capsule collection and completely reinvent it. I loved that he made himself part of the collection’s marketing, appearing in the very cute television spot and sharing insights about his designs before the release. He took the idea of designing for a mainstream-budgeted audience very seriously, and the result was lovely. I chatted with Jenmarie while she shopped a local Target store on the day of the launch and we agreed that these collections can become very personal; it’s not about a label, it’s about how we’re affected by these designers on a personal level, and the chance to engage with them as consumers when our budgets otherwise wouldn’t allow us to. And I think Jason Wu really took the opportunity to engage with us as a merchandiser.

This particular dress – one of the few still available to buy online – wasn’t on my Wu Wishlist and I didn’t purchase it in my wee hour shopping spree: it was one of the few remaining bits hanging on at a local store, and I simply couldn’t resist. I hadn’t expected that it, as a shirt dress with little endeavored shape, would flatter me at all (I thought if it wasn’t one of the belted A-lines I wouldn’t go for it), but I quite like the result. Heaven forbid I waited until its intended season to wear it, either, so on with the leggings and cardigan!

So tell me: what are your thoughts on capsule collections and collaborations?

Thank you all for your support with Little Fashion Week these past days; I’ve had a wonderful time putting it all together. A full recap and thank-you will be happening on Monday, and don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the giveaway!

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

Most people call me a fashion blogger, which was how I began when The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower first came into fruition. And it always surprises me that, as a fashion blogger, I’m sometimes mystified, sometimes completely out-of-touch with my own personal style. It’s easy to get swept up into the idea of new trends and popular styles, but more recently when I’ve turned to my wardrobe I find myself perplexed at how the style in my head fails to coincide with what’s in my closet, or even on my bookshelf, or in my collection of movies. Am I a romantic? An edgy glamazon? An ardent collector of bold statement jewelry? To each, yes, and to each, no. A New Year’s resolution of mine was to finally break down the elements of my uniqueness and cultivate my signature style. I’ve read several articles on the topic of creating a signature style, something we often leave to icons – yet we deserve to be icons in our own lives, don’t we?

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

Your personal style is your identity. As you create it, as you discover the things that enhance your view of the world and figure out how to bring them into your life, your personal style transforms into a moniker, something distinguishable as belonging to no one else but fabulous you. It’s your personal style amplified, flourished and complete.

Part of my journey to pinning down my signature style was creating, on the fly and almost mindlessly, my inspiration board. It showed me that I admire carefully cultivated opulence and natural elegance. I like classic pieces reinvented by the woman wearing them. I like comfort and excess at the same time. I like statement jewelry, loose hair, the boldest red lipstick on the planet. Add to that some of the elements I’m already in touch with – my love of books, jazz music and everything French – and I’m starting to get a pretty good idea of myself.

Taking personal style into the signature territory is about a lot of things. Analyzing your life and understanding the many elements of it – from how you behave to what you wear, read, watch and eat – can give you more insight into who you are and what best describes your style. Do you have a signature scent? A signature lipstick? A signature film? Things that not only your friends recognize as being very “you”, but things that you instantly recognize as being favorites; deeply-important-to-you favorites.

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

As I’m challenging myself to cultivate my signature style, I’ll invite anyone else to take on the same initiative in two possible ways:

Create a visual interpretation of the things that serve as signatures in your style – it can be an offline inspiration board, a special board on Pinterest (I’ve just started mine here) or even a Polyvore set. Tap into your truest self, trends and influences aside, and be honest. See what happens, and what resonates with you the most.

Secondly, take it out of the visual and put it into words: literal, singular words; any words that come into your head that instantly remind you of your style, your life and your favorite things. I listed a few of mine earlier, but I’ll throw them out here again for inspiration: red lipstick, books, Audrey Hepburn, jazz music, elegance, black-and-white, Impressionism, wine, scarves, glamour, and intellect.

Have you ever thought about the signature in your style? I’d love to know about it. For some ladies whose styles scream of their signature, check out The Citizen Rosebud, By Anika, Barbro Andersen, Crimson Rosella, All This Happiness, Her Waise Choice, Little Girl Big World, and the many fabulous women captured by Ari Seth Cohen on Advanced Style (perhaps the definition of icons in my world).