Anatomy of a Do: Braving White

Anatomy of a Do_March 2015_Spring WhiteSpring officially begins next week, but in LA you wouldn’t know it. Ninety degree weather accompanied by the lingering scent of wisteria in the air, find us channeling Spring slightly ahead of schedule. And I couldn’t be more excited!

This season, I’m eager to incorporate more light and airy clothing into my personal style. When I came across this look (at left) while killing some time on Pinterest, I immediately got inspired. I hardly ever wear white. Outside of the fact that it’s an incredibly difficult color to keep clean, it’s also a very hard color to pull off, highlighting every flaw imaginable (unlike my BFF, the color black). Not only am I always concerned about spilling something on myself, I also can’t stand how that once crisp white blouse inevitably starts to look dingy, with those not-so-attractive yellowing armpit stains.

It’s a new season, and with it, time to take more chances…even if it’s just confronting the color white. The model here does everything right, perfectly showcasing everything I’m loving at the moment: dark aviators, layered gold jewelry, strategically ripped boyfriend jeans, and strappy heels. It’s an impeccable blend of polished set against casual, the archetype for California chic in my book. What unarguably brings this ensemble together is the fresh, structured white blazer, an item that could easily be dry cleaned. This should help with my aversion to wearing/caring for a light color. A white blazer just officially made my closet must-have list for Spring.

The takeaway from killing a little time on Pinterest? This Spring, conquer your fears and brave white.

Previous posts
Anatomy of a Do: The Overall Comeback
Anatomy of a Do: Carla’s Denim on Denim
Anatomy of a Do: Wendy’s Color Love

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*Unaltered original image via Pinterest.*

TOP FIVE: The 2015 Academy Awards

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It only rains approximately 5.7 days a year in L.A. Naturally, one of those days would fall on Hollywood’s biggest night. I was set to attend a viewing party, but the universe had other plans. Suffice to say, it was a rather chaotic Oscar Sunday on my end, down to an actual technical malfunction that had me at Best Buy one hour before showtime to rectify the situation. $45 dollars later, I was back home with Chinese take-out, a box (okay, 2 boxes) of my favorite candy, my TV set-up and ready to go. As the rain started up again, I lit some candles, and settled in for a cozy night alone just a few miles away from the festivities…happily at home, just Oscar and me, for the first time in years.

Here are my top 5…


The 5 Best Moments of the Night


5. Pretty much every single winner who continued to talk well into and AFTER the “wrap it up music” – with no regard that wrap it up means WRAP IT UP!

4. Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech that quickly turned into a social commentary on wage and gender equality (and Meryl Streep’s total “YOU GO GIRl!” jumping out of her seat whoop-whoop in support).

3. I knew she could sing, and I’m a fan, but who knew THAT voice would, or could, ever come out of Lady Gaga? Go Gaga, you nailed that Julie Andrews/The Sound of Music tribute!

2. Graham Moore’s acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, taking a moment to give a shout out to the “weird ones.” Best speech of the night, by far.

1. John Legend and Common’s moving performance of “Glory” from the film Selma. It gave me chills. When they cut to David Oyelowo and Chris Pine in the audience and both had tears streaming down their face, I nearly lost it. (p.s. what is it about seeing a man cry that’s so damn sexy?)


The 5 Best Dressed Starlets of the Night


5. | DAKOTA JOHNSON in Yves Saint Larent.

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4. | REESE WITHERSPOON in Tom Ford.

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3. | JENNIFER LOPEZ in Elie Saab.

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2. | LUPITA NYONG’O in Calvin Klein Collection.

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BEST DRESSED. | ROSAMUND PIKE in Givenchy.

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Header image credit: Oscar” by lincolnblues used under CC BY 2.0

Photo sources:
Dakota Johnson
Reese Witherspoon
Jennifer Lopez
Lupita Nyong’o
Rosamund Pike

Advanced Style

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On a dreary, rainy Saturday afternoon the weekend before last, I found myself in bed under the weather, making it the perfect recipe to kill some time exploring the never-ending streaming cosmos of my Netflix Queue. In a documentary sort of mood, the moment my eye caught the bright red feather boa laced around the neck of a lively looking older woman, I settled in for the afternoon’s entertainment.

Enter: Advanced Style.

What started out as a passion project for blogger Ari Seth Cohen, has sparked a book deal, a documentary…a movement. Ari’s blog, Advanced Style, is a celebration of aging, told through the expression of personal style. Unlike most fashion blogs of today, it chronicles women over 50, well into their 90s, who choose to defy the notion that aging means a woman cannot still savor a sense of style. It challenges the perception that the fashion industry, which unapologetically continues to cater to younger generations, shouldn’t discount women “of a certain age.”

In a collaboration with filmmaker Lina Plioplyte, Ari’s blog comes to life in documentary narrative form, following 7 of the New York women made famous through Advanced Style, ranging in ages 62-95. While their eclectic style, set against the vibrant background of New York City is the film’s premise, there’s something much deeper being explored here. Our youth-obsessed culture continues to create the belief that aging, something that’s as natural as breathing, is an experience to be feared. A culture that perpetuates the idea that over a certain age a woman should “tone it down,” effectively losing a part of herself in the process.

Sure, society’s preoccupation and constant nostalgia for youth, do drive certain facets of a woman’s relationship to fashion and beauty as she ages. Then again, maybe there are women that hit a particular age and simply decide that their priorities have changed, or perhaps fashion has never been a big part of their lives to begin with? What palpable comment is Advanced Style making when it comes to aging and appearance?

Advanced Style Dogwoof Documentary

What the film does brilliantly that puts everything into context as I questioned this, is to address the concept of style. The message is clear: Style is eternal – it cannot be bought. Of course, you’re buying things in a monetary sense to help subsidize an expression, but true style is born out of how you choose to present yourself to the world. It’s your voice before you even open your mouth. It’s what you’re wearing. It’s how your hair is styled. It’s the statement made through bold lips, lined eyes, and brush strokes. Most significantly, it’s your attitude, how you carry yourself. Your attitude is directly linked to your appearance.

Think not?

Throw on a pair of sweats to run errands (which I’ve been known to do and thoroughly enjoy!) and you’ll manage just fine; but take the time to style your hair, do your make-up, and put on something that makes you feel fabulous, and even I, can feel the difference in how I interact with the world. Your style…essentially, your brand, is what a woman should not lose as she ages.

Advanced Style is about those women who choose style, who choose to hold onto their brand. Their version just happens to be more colorful than what we’re likely used to seeing on most women in their twilight years. Alternatively, mature women who opt for a less colorful or eclectic approach to their style shouldn’t be discounted either. As long as they envelop their version of “style,” in whatever manner that means to them, that’s really what it’s about. Although, I can’t help but wonder given the number of women featured in Advanced Style throughout the years and its growing popularity, that perhaps…just perhaps, there are more of us colorful, eclectic types like the women featured in the documentary than there are not?

As I watched the film, it also got me to thinking about how I wanted to age. I have some time before I should even entertain the idea of freaking out about it really, but already, I can see it. I can’t say I look forward to birthdays with as much enthusiasm as much as I used to. I’ve already surpassed many of the big, celebratory milestones of youth-hood when I turned 30. The great news is that the 7 ladies profiled bring a fresh, affirming approach to aging.

It’s not about re-claiming your youth, it’s about being who you are, where you are, and not going quietly. It’s leaving this earth knowing you honored your truth. Even if it’s as simple, yet complicated, as how you present yourself to the world everyday. The takeaway is simple: Find your style and honor it. Rock it to the end. “Style is ageless.”

Advanced Style is available on Netflix streaming. It’s the perfect way to spend a dreary, rainy Saturday afternoon should you find yourself in a similar situation in the near future.

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Images via Advanced Style Film.

Hollywood Costume Exhibit

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What: Hollywood Costume Exhibit
Where: The Historic Wilshire May Company Building
Location: 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Miracle Mile
Cost: $20.00


Unlike some years, I’ll remember fondly how I kicked-off 2015…and that’s in-style. Literally. While most likely spent January 1st curled up on the couch nursing their New Year’s Eve hang-over, we found our way through the easily maneuverable LA streets to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences new home on Wilshire Boulevard. Currently inside the historic Wilshire May Company Building, resides a tribute to Hollywood history. The caveat is that this history is told through fabric and shoes, handbags and hats.

Hollywood Costume creates the rare opportunity of introducing movie-lovers to the iconic wardrobe worn by some of the most legendary actors to ever grace the big screen. The exhibition highlights over 150 costumes spanning the Golden Age of Cinema (the late 1920s) to the present day. Its aim is not only to allow the costumes themselves to step out of the screen and into the general public, but to further acquaint fiction with reality by inviting an up-close and personal look at those behind these emblematic looks, the costume designer.

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The exhibition’s message is clear: without costume designers and what they bring to the table, one of the most pivotal aspects to the cinematic process is valueless. Costumes encourage character development, create a sense of time and place, and most importantly, drive the narrative. Ultimately, without the right look an “actor” is just “an actor,” but with the right attire, an “actor” becomes someone we see as a character, separate from the movie star on-screen. This is why we see Indiana Jones, and not Harrison Ford; why we see Batman, and not Christian Bale; and why we see Dorothy Gale, not Judy Garland.

Hollywood Costume TIX_ATG FINAL{Tickets.}

Like the characteristics of Hollywood itself, the exhibition expressively features a dramatic, and moody approach. Dim, yet strategic lighting showcases the glitz of a dress or the cut of a suit. The room instantly encourages viewers to travel back in time, to when you first met these pieces on-camera. The treat here is not only seeing wardrobe that’s instantly recognizable, but absorbing the words and video interviews of those personally involved with building the looks, reminiscing over how and what it took to create these iconic movie characters.

See the white ivory William Travilla dress that exposed Marilyn Monroe’s legs as she famously stood over the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch (that same dress sold for $4.6 million at a 2011 auction). Stand in front of Julie Andrew’s Mary Poppins costume. See Beyoncé as a “Dreamgirl.” Take a moment to re-visit Julia Roberts’ memorable red evening gown in Pretty Woman. Look at Rocky’s actual boxing shorts. See one of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra ensembles. Batman, Superman, Captain America, Spiderman, Darth Vader; and Bond…James Bond, all make an appearance. And the highlight, staring at Dorothy’s famous (estimated $3-$4 million dollar-valued) ruby slippers from 1939’s The Wizard of Oz.

It’s hard to capture the breadth of what’s contained in the exhibition in words. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the galleries. I shot the exteriors, but the following images are courtesy of The Academy to give you a taste of what’s inside:

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{Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson / Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater, Titanic, 1997}

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{Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels, The Birds, 1963}

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{Front: Chris Evans as Captain America / Henry Cavill as Superman (2013)
Top: Christopher Reeves as Superman (1978)
Back: Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man / Christian Bale as Batman}

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{Julia Roberts as Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman, 1990}

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{Daniel Craig as James Bond / Harrison Ford as Han Solo / Uma Thurman as The Bride (Kill Bill)}

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{Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, The Social Network, 2010 / Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez, Argo, 2012}

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{Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones.}

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{A special tribute to the range characters played by the incomparable Meryl Streep. Looks from The Iron Lady, It’s Complicated, Mamma Mia, and Out of Africa.}

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{Amy Adams as Sydney Prosser / Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld, American Hustle, 2013}

Needless to say, it was an unforgettable way to spend my first afternoon of 2015. Nearly three hours later, we emerged, filled with a rich and renewed appreciation for costume design. It’s pretty astounding when you think about how much clothing impacts a film and your memory of it. I don’t necessarily recollect every aspect of a film, but can instantly be transported to that world (or a time in my life) when seeing even a short clip of a sweeping camera movement over an iconic costume.

Hollywood Costume does a phenomenal job of curating and combining my two favorite “F” words: film and fashion. It salutes and elevates key players and key moments in the art of cinema.

Just a note that if you plan to visit Hollywood Costume, that it is a timed exhibition. This means that guests are admitted into the presentation at designated time slots on specific days to prevent over-crowding. It’s encouraged that you buy your tickets in advance on-line. (Hint: use promo code “MayCo” for a special discount).

The exhibition closes Monday, March 2nd.

Get there quick…you won’t regret it!

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{Program.}

Hollywood Costume Exterior_ATG FINAL

{Full exterior, Wilshire May Co. Building. Saying goodbye after an incredible day.}

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*Interior photo sources via The Academy website press kit.

Best Dressed: The 2015 Golden Globe Awards

BEST DRESSED ATG FINAL_2015

Closing out a much-need, productive, yet relaxing 3-week vacation on the couch with my (they-just-don’t-know-it-yet) BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards wasn’t too shabby. At the very least, having the festivities of the show to fall back on did wonders at distracting me from my end of vacay blues.

Overall, the show kept me engaged. Though there were a few “WTF?” moments (paging: the weird vibe between Jeremy Renner and J-Lo), Tina and Amy did a great job. However, I always feel that the Globes (like the Oscars) should really incorporate their hosts into the show more. The Globes have to be the easiest hosting gig in town. Aside from the opening monologue, you only see them on-stage a few more times and it’s usually just to introduce someone, rather than keep the energy of the show alive.

I was happy to see some much deserved wins of the night (J.K. Simmons, I’m looking at you!); but also slightly disappointed at the unexpected upset for best actor in a motion picture. Admittedly, The Theory of Everything was the one big award-contending film I didn’t get to in 2014, but plan to catch soon. That being said, I was pretty sure David Oyelowo was a shoe-in for that honor for his formidable work as MLK in Selma. I guess we’ll see where The Academy stands on this issue next month.

And can we take a moment to reflect on the greatest speech of the night? Mr. George Clooney is in love. So in love. What a beautiful acceptance speech and the kindest words a man can utter to his new bride. The man had me choking back tears. Side note: I read that the tux he was wearing to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award was, in fact, his recent wedding tux. Too sweet.

Aside from who takes home the statue – this is the night to star-gaze at all things fashion. I caught a bit of the red carpet pre-show, but ultimately was annoyed that we didn’t get to see steady wide shots of the gowns for any length of time because they were usually being interviewed at a medium. So, I did what any gal had to do…the internet. I got my full fashion fix the next day over a morning cup of tea.

I’ll preface, as I usually do, that when thinking about my favorites of the night – I went for total package glamour. This meant not only a show-stopping ensemble, but impeccable hair, make-up, and accessories. These ladies nailed it.

Here are my top 5 picks of the night…

5. | KATE HUDSON in Versace.

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 4. | AMY ADAMS in Versace.

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3. | KATE BECKINSALE in Elie Saab.

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 2. | JENNA DEWAN-TATUM in Carolina Herrera.

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BEST DRESSED. | EMMA STONE in Lanvin.

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Header image credit: Absolute Power” by vaibhav ahuja used under CC BY 2.0 | Modifications: filtered, text added to original.

Photo sources:
Kate Hudson
Amy Adams
Kate Beckinsale
Jenna Dewan-Tatum
Emma Stone

Mr. de la Renta

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The moment I saw the headline of Oscar de la Renta’s passing on my MSN homepage when I turned on my laptop Monday night, I sighed at the sad news…and then gave a slight smile. Though it’s always tough to hear of anyone’s passing, I would argue that 82 years, over 50 of them as one of the world’s most respected and legendary designers ever to grace the runway, is a good life; particularly, when you take into account that many people don’t make it that far in age…or in success. What’s been quite moving this week has been catching the tributes here and there as they came in. I was especially fond of reading Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker’s words as they reflected on an old friend.

I found myself looking back at all things Oscar de la Renta throughout the week…and that smile appeared again, this time much bigger without an ounce of sadness as I sifted through hundreds of pictures and years of fashion. What a fun contribution, body of work, and legacy to leave behind.

I wouldn’t personally describe myself as the biggest fashionista of them all, because I’m not, but I certainly love a beautiful dress when I see one. They say “never say never,” but I’ll likely never have an original Oscar de la Renta hanging in my closet – and yet, it’s still dreamy (and quite fun!) to admire the poetry and pure art if you’re one of the lucky ones who have.

It comes down to how I imagine it must feel for any gal wearing Oscar de la Renta: like a modern-day princess, in the middle of a real life fairy-tale.

Let’s spend some time in fairy-tale land, shall we? A look at some of my favorites from Mr. de la Renta to close out the week…

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Oscar de la renta ATG FINAL 3left / right

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Oscar De la Renta ATG FINALleft / right

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Thank you, Mr. de la Renta. You sure helped make it fun to be a woman.

Have a wonderful weekend! x

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{click image or “left/right” for photo sources.}

The Weekender: My Search for the Perfect Crossbody Under $50

The Weekender ATG FINAL

{Click image to enlarge.}


I don’t know about you, but I have “purse moods.” This means that I’m often rotating handbags depending on the day, the outfit, or time of year. Admittedly though, ever since I splurged on my beloved Madewell Tote as a birthday present to myself earlier this year, I’ve been using it religiously as my go-to bag during the week. It’s incredibly versatile, chic, sturdy, and holds everything I need to get through a busy workweek. The beauty of this tote is the more you use it, the better it looks. There’s just something eternally classic about worn leather. It was well worth the purchase. (I’m learning they don’t call the place “Madewell” for no reason!)

Random fact about me: I’m not a fan of using small handbags during the week. There’s something so comforting about knowing that I have any and everything I need for any and every situation. The caveat, I’ve learned, is that the larger the bag, the more stuff you somehow manage to add to it because you have the room for it!

It’s a slippery slope.

The weekends, however, are a different story. I HATE lugging around a big bag as I run my errands, find myself out and about exploring the city for a blog post, or heading to a late afternoon movie. I almost always ditch my tote, pare things down, keep it simple, and load up what I call, “The Weekender.”

The Weekender is my go-to Saturday and Sunday small crossbody handbag. It’s function: to keep things light and hands-free (stylish doesn’t hurt either).

Ideally, it should hold my weekend essentials: debit card/cash, phone, sunglasses, digital camera (mine is tiny) for high-quality blog pix, my Kindle (because I always carry a book with me), and Chapstick.

My current go-to weekender that I bought at Forever 21 about 4 years ago finally broke-up with me. (Realistically, anything that last more than 6 months from Forever 21 is impressive, so I realize 4 years for a $20 bag is a considered a lifetime…or 2.) I was pretty bummed at first and even entertained the idea of having it fixed, but I’m sure the cost to do so outweighs what I actually spent on it. Even better, it gives me an excuse to look for a new bag (what woman doesn’t like that!?!) and an idea for a blog post. Win, win.

My four main requirements for my search was that it had to be crossbody-style, a color that would go with anything, on the small-to-medium end in terms of size, and under $50.

So just in time for the weekend, let’s explore my hunt for the new weekender.

What’s your favorite? (I’m always open to suggestions if you have a weekender that’s just FAB! There’s only so many hours in a day and websites a gal can visit on her own.)

Have a great weekend! x

Sources/Links:
1.  //  2.  //  3.  //  4 . //  5.  //  6. //  7 . //  8.  //  9. 

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