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Published: January 2014
Client: BuyWith Agents.com
In case you've wondered if China is in fact taking over the wonderful world of online shopping, you'd be correct! Half of the country's 1.3 billion people have online access, of which a mindboggling 80% own smartphones and tablets. And e-commerce has responded accordingly: from 2009 to 2012, where stateside e-commerce grew around 13%, the Chinese market exploded at an average rate of 71%! The consultancy Bain & Company further reports that by 2015, they are projecting this market to be worth a godzilla-size $540 billion. Suffice it to say that China is changing the face of shopping online, especially if the most recent numbers from “Singles day” are correct. This is an awesome occasion when young Chinese celebrate their Singleton status by, what else, shopping! The Alibaba Group, which controls 80% of the country's e-commerce, encouraged almost 14 million buyers to click "buy" within minutes of the start of the holiday sales online with their shopping festival Taobao Markeplace. With 60,000,000 visitors a day buying 800,000,000 goods, Taobao is possibly the biggest online shopping site in the world. Probably because it accommodates both auctions and fixed price sales and the ratings allow local and foreign shoppers alike know who they're buying from - which runs the gamut of anything and everything a click-happy Singleton or other e-shopper could want. However, since Taobao is a Chinese platform, most of the displays are obviously in Chinese. But don't let that stop you. BuyWithAgents.com is a pro purchasing agent will help you Taobao with style. They have a really easy-to-follow shopping tutorial and good ratings. What are ya waiting for?
Published: December 2013
Client: Trabbia Vuillermoz
request: link to a selection of the jewelry in an interesting, editorial way
Giving jewelry as a gift is and isn't tricky - if you know the trick. Which is, I think, is to focus on good quality, whatever your budget, be it 5 Euros or 5,000. At least that's the word from the experts at Trabbia Vuillermoz, where they have bling for most any occasion, be it an anniversary, wedding, baptism, birthday...Christmas. Speaking of which, Santa, are you listening? *ahem* Here are my Top 5 from Trabbia Vuillermoz, in order of preference. (Although personally, Santa Baby, I'd prefer everything on the list.)
- a fabu ring with a ginormous 17 carat amethyst (my birthstone...hint hint)
- a pendant crafted with diamonds and jade for good luck
- some gorgeous .8 carat diamond studs to sex up my everyday wardrobe
- a few leather & metal bracelets made for a fashionisto but perfecto for this fashionista
...to pair with a giant stack of these very cool industrial-chic guy's bracelets
Thanks, Santa! You're the best!
Published: November 2013
keywords requested: Sherri Hill prom dresses, designer, beautiful dress
"I love these gorgeous new shots of Kendall and Kylie modeling for Sherri Hill prom dresses," blogged their proud sister Kim Kardashian. "Simply stunning!" Kendall also worked the Sheri Hill runway along with Miss China 2011 Luo Zilin, Miss USA 2011 Alyssa Campanella and Carmen Dell’Orefice when Hill debuted her glam gowns at New York Fashion Week. She first strutted onto the scene after Miss America, Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants all won titles in her gowns; other celebs the designer works with include Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Carmen Electra, Bella Thorne and Miranda Lambert who like to grace the red carpet and other big appearances in gowns that say G-L-A-M-O-U-R.
If you're more a denim 'n diamonds kinda gal, the strapless cocktail numbers with fun poufy tulle skirts look adorbs with cowboy boots or cute ballet flats. Wanna show off all your hard work at the gym? A lacey bodcon number has your name on it. And should you be black-tying one on for New Year's Eve, she has a good selection of floor-length fabulousness to choose from. For the upcoming 2014 prom season, she's mixed ladylike lace and beautiful beading to create frocks worthy your own red carpet events, whether you need a beautiful dress for a beauty pageant, to hobnob with A-listers, or reign regally at prom
Published: November 2013
special request: that the content be editorial & the only link via the main artwork
The real fun of fashion is, of course, the fact that there is always some new trend, "must-have" or otherwise lustworthy piece to add to your wardrobe. Especially when it gets chilly out which means snuggly layers, badass boots, bold bags & cute coats. The un-fun part is, generally, when it comes time to pay. Which is one of the reasons Tidebuy rocks. I totalled up this cute head-to-toe look I pulled together and it would have cost me just under $170! The breakdown:
* plaid coat with faux-fur trimmed hood & stylish horn toggle buttons (I love toggle buttons) - $46
* leopard booties - $46
* cherry-red jodhpur pants - $18
* retro-fabulous sweater (very Stella McCartney, no?) - $16 (!)
* cobalt-blue shoulder bag -$16
* pyramid-spike bangle - $16
* pyramid-spike earrings - $13
They have a ton of on-trend pieces at great to really-great prices, which gives a girl room to experiment a bit. Like I did with this ensemble. What makes it work, I think, is the mix of classic and edgy. The plaid coat would feel right at home at any proper prep school, but pairing it with punk-inflected jewelry and colors - particularly the bold cobalt-blue bag against the #checkmeout red of the pant - gives it a downtown vibe. And there are few outfits in life which can't be made that much more fabulous with the addition of towering leopard pumps or boots.
Published: October 2013
Client: Gaming Club Casino
keywords requested: "roulette"
So much of what we think we know about what one wears for a fun night out at jetsetting casino was probably made at the movies...but unlike the Hollywood fantasy, showing up in real life dripping in jewels, festooned in furs and clad in a formal red carpet gown will generally prove a tad much. (Which is why one should never turn down the chance to attend a casino party if the invite states "James Bond Casino Royale them" or even "Retro Gangster". Either are a great excuse to get your tresses done, shimmy into a full-length gown, get blinged out and slip on as many furs as possible.) A happy medium can mean wearing your go-to LBD in places like London or Paris (and do make sure your male arm candy is in a snazzy suit and tie); alternatively, an on-trend maxi dress looks terrific out and about in the evening and is a comfortably chic alternative to a regular cocktail dress plus maxis look great with flats. Bonus! For stag nights or a little something different than just being up at the club (yawn), jeans in a dark wash look snazzy, especially with a stylish blouse and big heels. The trick to wearing something casual (but smart!) on the bottom half is balancing it with a more formal piece on top, like a blazer or cashmere knit such as cardi, which can be removed if things start to heat up. However, if you really have a jones on to casino but insist on doing so in your comfy jeans and oldest tee, you can always just play roulette from the homey comfort of your couch.
Published: October 2013
word count requested: 350+
keywords requested: "Reef" "Reef Boots" "Reef Flats" "Reef Bags" "Reef Shoes"
Surfing tends to be more than just a passion - it has a way of becoming an entire way of life. Just ask brothers Fernando and Santi Aguerre who left Argentina for Cali in the 80s and founded Reef. Inspired by the notoriously fabulous women who populate the beaches of South America, they highlighted that spicy and exotic element and dubbed it "Miss Reef". Miss Reef, whose face and identity were a mystery, brought intrigue to the surf lifestyle (to say nothing of the humble beach sandal) and rode the waves of popularity to become an icon in the global surfing community.
And while actually surfing might not be possible right now wherever you live, you can certainly bring some of the surf feel into your wardrobe with a pair of flats or boots from Reef and, of course, a bag! I love the Reef High Desert boot in grey as it would look picture-perfect with one of fall's cute full skirts or worn with my fave pair of boot-cuts & a dove-gray cashmere sweater & slouchy beanie, as would a pair of the Reef Winter Drift fringe mocs with fabric hand-woven by artisans in San Antontio Palapo in Guatamala. The roomy Weekender bag also features this same textile design and is one-of-a-kind; the proceeds help to provide a sustainable income for these artisans.
Supporting the local crafts industry is part of Reef's overall attempt to lessen their footprint, be more green and give back. Their Reef Redemption program is dedicated to "employing what we believe to be environmentally-conscious and socially-responsible business practices." Which includes using only water-based glues that are free of PVC (which is toxic and found in many commercial goods) and using recycled and organic textiles whenever possible. They also encourage their employees to give back by granting them paid time to volunteer at a non-profit organization of their choice. "We may just be passing through, but we're not doing it without a conscience," they add. "We are still surfers at heart. We create authentic and innovative products intended to nurture an incredibly fortunate lifestyle that involves surf, sensuality and a life filled with happiness."
Published: January 2013
co-citation requested: 1800LooseDiamonds diamond jewelry
keywords requested: "custom jewelry; 1800LooseDiamonds"
As nature's most abundant hue, lush green is associated with renewal, prosperity (it is the color of money, after all), growth...and glamorous emeralds! A popular choice of gemstone by rich royals during the fashion-conscious Renaissance period, it was recently crowned 2013 Color of the Year by Pantone, putting it back in the limelight & onto A-list runways such as Lanvin. The key to rocking emeralds for a colorful touch of everyday luxe is to wear them casually as if you inherited them from a fabulous eccentric aunt with great taste in jewelry & a lot of it. These pretty pieces (how sassy is that pave cocktail ring?!) are from 1800LooseDiamonds diamond jewelry - 1800LooseDiamonds - a family-run affair located in Los Angeles where they (obviously) carry more that just diamonds and also specialize in custom jewelry. Plus fam-friendly customer service...which, in this day & age, isn't to be underrated.
Published: January 2013
Client: Sunglasses Shop
keywords requested: "designer sunglasses, Prada sunglasses, Prada 170S sunglasses"
When she was still looking ahead to what her legions of fans would no doubt want to wear come 2013, Miuccia Prada seemed to be in a bit of a mood - a bit pensive and a bit rebellious, even. "Dreaming is forbidden, nostalgia is forbidden, to be too sweet is not good," she explained about her Spring '13 collection. "Everything we used to feel historically, now you can't enjoy. The clothes are the expression of this impossible dream." (So why not slip on a pair of these Prada 17OS sunglasses & dream in confetti-festooned fabulousness?) This type of cryptic but totally on-trend way of looking at what's happening in the world is but one of the reasons Prada was deemed as one of the most influential brands of its time. Another is the Italian "cool" factor in her designs, like these awesome Prada Sunglasses. One part pin-up and one-part glamourpuss, designer sunglasses like these are pretty much 100% the way to finish off your look whenever you head out the door.
Published: December 2012
Client: Fairy Dishwashing Liquid
Starting with Thanksgiving (stateside), the holidays are about togetherness, food & friends...dishes. Lots & lots (and lots) of dishes. *sigh* However, the UK's #1 dishwashing liquid with the most-awesome name ever is up to the task!
Just ask celeb chef Ben O'Donoghue, who recently whipped up some Spaghetti Bolognese for the Margaret River community in Australia - an intimate event for 500 people which generated 9,600 dirty plates (my back-of-the-napkin math indicates this comes to just over 19 plates per person, meaning it must have been some delicious pasta). Chef & his team then cleaned up using but a single $4 bottle of Fairy Dishwashing Liquid. (The sparkling clean plates lined two 30 meter long tables, just to give you a visual). "As a chef, creating beautiful meals is what I love, but of course behind every meal is a pile of washing up," notes chef Ben, who has a side gig as a Fairy Ambassador. "We're always looking for ways to minimize our cleaning up efforts. I’ve tried them all and not only does Fairy last the longest, my dishes are always squeaky clean." Since you probably aren't planning on having 500 of your closest friends over for a meal, you'll have plenty of Fairy left over for, say, creating an awesome "coiffure" like Used Magazine did - an entire fun editorial's worth, in fact - devoted to all the "flavors and colors" it comes in, which include Original, Lemon, Antibacterial Action, All In One and Platinum Dishwasher Tablets.
The best way to disqualify yourself at "Hello!" is to show up for an interview wearing completely the wrong thing. Few things say "I have no idea whatsoever about this industry" like that stuffy suit when you should be professional yet feminine (marketing assistant jobs), too feminine when you should be in business casual (media jobs), or in business casual when you should be in designer (the catty fashion biz). To avoid being sidelined by a sartorial snafu, when you're researching your hoped-for job in order to be a dazzling interviewee, make sure to do some photo research as well. How are the industry big-hitters dressed on their Linked-In Page? What about Facebook pics of company functions & events? Can you describe the dress code?
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
If your industry is Creative & Chic, go with classic pieces that have some edge. For instance, a wonderful pair of black "cigarette" trousers (think Audrey Hepburn) with a slouchy black tee made from leather. Top with a black tuxedo blazer and make sure your bag rocks. Fashion people especially are all about bags & will notice if yours is cheap, boring or the deathknell: a fake. If you have to, rent a designer bag or try that old fashion stylist trick: buy a bag at a department store that has a good return policy, be really careful with the purse and when you've killed it at your inerview, return it. (It goes without saying to keep all the tags and the receipt.)
If your industry is Feminine But Professional, dresses are always a good choice, but separates will give you more wardrobe mileage plus more room to dress with flair. A black pencil skirt is never out of place, and looks low-key but sophisticated with pieces like a cashmere sweatshirt in the same hue. Tights, flat equestrian boots, some low-key earrings & a really cool coat (maybe a vintage animal-print trenchcoat) send the right message.
Published: November 2012
keywords requested: "marketing assistant jobs"
NUDE Skincare is the holistic, complexion-friendly brainchild of Ali Hewson (aka Mrs. Bono) and Bryan Meehan, founder of the UK's Fresh & Wild chain of natural & organic food-stores. While the notion of topical nutrition for your skin is new, the principle on which their cult-fave Perfect Cleansing Oil is based isn't. Just ask your flawlessly-complected grandma, who is always right about everying, including the fact that when you're cleaning your face, the best way to keep it glowing is using like against like - as in banishing oily residues from your pores with oil. NUDE's is of course free of mineral oils and sulphates and although it's tough on the toughest waterproof makeup, it's loaded with natural botanically-based plant oils which leave your skin, soft, supple & instead of any awful tightness - comfortable.
Published: November 2012
Client: NUDE Skincare
keywords requested: "cleansing oil"
For such humble beginnings - carbon, pressure & high temperatures within the fiery depths of the earth - diamonds certainly are capital-G-glamorous with few jewelry rivals when it comes to their ability to inspire lust & longing. And for every 10,000 white diamonds mined, only one will be colored, which is why they're dubbed "fancy" and are the most valuable diamonds of all. Indeed, they were the star attraction at the blockbuster "Diamonds" exhibition at NYC's Natural History Museum, where crowds flocked to see natural wonders like the ginormous 407 carat yellow stone, the "Incomparable", one of the biggest ever cut. Slightly smaller (but no less impressive!) are the yellow diamond rings, engagement, wedding & otherwise, chosen by style-conscious celebs including Rebecaa Romijn, Carrie Underwood & Heidi Klum.
I quite like the design of this one from Uneek Fine Jewelry. The fancy-yellow gemstone is set in platinum & gold and flanked by two prong-set trapezoid white-diamonds. Uneek has a good selection to choose from, including many classic designs which, thanks to the colored stones, look fresh and new.
Published: November 2012
keywords requested: "yellow diamond rings; Uneek fine jewelry"
When the former Mrs. Brad Pitt was still just Jennifer, struggling L.A. actress, she had dark hair & eyes to match - unlike her current blond/blue all-American re-do. Britney may have born brown-eyed, but seems to be more of a green-eyed girl. While Nicki Minaj likes cartoony hues as experimental-looking as she is. And then there was that fabulous Lady Gaga moment in Bad Romance with those amazing anime-inspired lenses.
Whether you wanna pass for natural or rock something more dramatic, you don't need a prescription. GetLenses.co.uk has a large selection of colored contact lenses, including the fun & convenient Freshlook one-day contact lenses.
Published: November 2012
keywords requested: "contact lenses"
Fashionistas of "a certain age" tend to eschew pain-promoting footwear not because they're too old to look cute. No, the real reason is they've got places to be, appointments to keep, people to impress, a town to paint red. Which means logging a lotta miles, so comfort is key. "Trainers are the greatest comfort shoe ever designed," note the style mavens at high50 - who want you to remain stylish even after 50. "The answer is to invest in sporty shoes that look so good you can wear them in non-sporty circumstances without people thinking you’ve entered the age of wide fittings, corn plasters and bunions." Like these picks for kicks which I then paired up with stylish-at-any-age looks off some of my fave runways for F/W '12/'13 - trainers from left: Prada, Anello & David (dance shoes), Bloch, Brasher & Adidas *Adi Up*. Whatever your age, from young to young-at-heart, the secret to rocking trainers and getting away with it is this: the trainers are comfy and run the risk of you looking sloppy unless whatever you've got on above the ankles reads as more dressy (opposites attract...just like love). Choose fabrics some heft and visual texture such as brocade a la Alexander Wang, color-blocking (Chalayan), leather (Isabel Marant) and pretty much anything with some shine or sheen (Balenciaga). Wearing one hue from head-to-toe always looks elegant (Prada), so an easy option for a busy morning is simply to slip on a snazzy sneaker in the same shade.
Published: October 2012
keywords requested: "remain stylish even after 50"
Practical wedding gifts are great ...but so not memorable. After all, this is the union of two lives into one being commemorated. Doesn't the happy couple deserve better than the ubiquitous serving dish and/or kitchen apparatus? Instead, why not pick something fun & personalize it? Maybe have your fave pic of the couple put on some snazzy matching mugs or perhaps fill a photo album with shots you love of both the bride and groom (just be sure to leave some room for them to add pix from the ceremony & the honeymoon!). Alternatively, crystal makes for more upscale quaffing, especially if its engraved with their surname(s) & a family crest, or maybe monograms that are intertwined. Really, the possibilities are endless & the end-result so much more spectacular!
Published: September 2012
Client: Getting Personal
keywords requested: "wedding gifts"
One of the coolest looks to sashay down the Fall 2012 runways was without question the first one out at Valentino: this stunning folk-costume inspired ensemble of a leather skirt & cape. Capes are without a doubt completely fabulous - doubly so in leather - but rocking one with proper panache means that any bags you sling over your shoulder - including crossbodies & hobos - are simply out of the question. Rather, a more ladylike top-handled satchel or, better yet, a clutch are the way to go. This one is from New Zealand's Wild Pair & is the right hue (black, of course) and with cool of-the-moment details you want in your F/W handbags, including sassy studs, fringe & braid. And priced at just under AUD $50, it will keep your bank balance looking as chic as you.
Published: August 2012
Client: Wild Pair
Girls just wanna have fun...and shoe shop. A lot. And why not? Life is short, so better make it stylish & keep your days easy, breezy & filled with fabu footwear. These cute wedges, eyecatching bejeweled flats and no-muss no-fuss flip-flops are all by BGBGeneration and look to me like a mighty good excuse to pick up some new shoes from BCBG - like, right away!
Published: July 2012
keywords requested: "new shoes from BCBG"
As fun as it is to soak up the glam & gloss of your typical fashion mag editorial spread, at some point, a girl's gotta spend real money on real clothes for real life. And no matter how much - or, for that matter, how little - you spend, nothing will ever make you look chic if it doesn't fit...regardless of whether you're a pocket Venus or have a curvy & fabulous silhouette. Sure, you could have a tailor on speed-dial, but if you have a "healthy" shopping habit and need to hem or alter most of your purchases, suddenly all those steals and deals start to add up.
Bonmarché - the UK’s largest womenswear value retailer for over 5 decades - has again won the award for *Best for Flattering Fit* in the Yours 50 plus Fashion Awards 2012. Every year, Yours Magazine asks its readers where they like to shop for value, selection, range of sizes, quality, fit & customer service; the thousands of replies are then compiled and the winners chosen. The retailer has also been shortlisted for the mag's *Best 50+ Clothing Retailer* and was recently crowned *Britain’s Best Women’s Clothing Retailer* at the 2012 Verdict Research Awards.
Whether you're on the hunt for dresses for curvy women, ladies trousers, plus size womens clothing or the summer season's must-have plus size maxi dresses - whether you live in Europe or elsewhere - be sure to do some value-added pointin' & clickin' at Bonmarche.co.uk.
Published: June 2012
keywords requested: "dresses for curvy women, ladies trousers, plus size womens clothing"
After taking a peek at what lies beneath, a number of recent polls have revealed the surprising fact that something like 80% of us wear bras that are the wrong size (typically too large a band size with cups that are too small). But if your bra doesn't fit right, your clothes won't. Especially if you're a busty babe. Worse if your cup size is on the exotic end of the spectrum and hard to find.
Award-winning British lingerie company Panache specializes in D-plus naughty nothings which focus on fit & support while being as comfortable as possible to wear. Like their Superbra brand: it keeps the essentials but adds in layers of fashionable fabulousness such as 23 different styles to choose from - including two for maternity - and a wide range of cup sizes, from a D on up to a KK. The perennially popular Superbra Tango Panache plunge bra is one of the line's flagship styles and their best selling bra. To celebrate 10 perky years, they recently introduced two new juicy colors: Tutti Frutti & Raspberry. A balconette (plunge) style, it comes in sizes D to K and is a great choice if your cups tend to runneth over.
Published: April 2012
Client: Panache Lingerie
keywords requested: "Panache plunge bra"
The new season is simply brimming with hot new trends, irresistable looks & colors too tempting and juicy to pass up. But with a closet stuffed to capacity or wardrobe starved for space (and no, the oven is not an appropriate place to store your sweaters or out-of-season shoes), why not make room for the new by passing along the old? Options include selling stuff on an online auction site, hosting a yard sale, or even opting to sell jewellery (or jewelry, depending on where you live on the Pond) that is pretty but you no longer wear. Not only will it make for a guilt-free summer shopping spree, but you get to freshen up your look without having to let any pesky economic realities hinder your fashionable life.
Published: March 2012
keywords requested: "sell jewellery"
When it comes to flattering the feminine form, one of the oldest tricks in the Fashion Design Book is structure and boning, which make the waist look tiny, create a smooth silhouette (no back bulges or nasty muffin tops!) and together build a beautiful bust line. However, if Haute Couture isn't in the budget this year, the next best thing is a corset! Fewer items look more sexy & fabulous peeking out from under a transparent layer a la Dolce & Gabbana for Fall 2012; worn unexpectedly like uber-chic Parisienne Carine Roitfeld, the former editor of French Vogue, who gives her buttondown blouse and pencil skirt ensemble some bite; or alternatively, with sugar on top at Hermes and paired with a full skirt and...*smack*...saucy riding crop. Try a corset in a fabric with some edge, like this fun one in faux leather from CorsetChick.com - they specialize in corsets, corset tops, corset dresses & plus-size corsets. This particular one contains 12 bones & laces in the back for proper fit; it's also cut shorter in the back making it more comfortable.
Published: February 2012
keywords requested: "CorsetChick.com"
In 1947, artist Nathan George Horwitt, a Bauhaus acolyte, conceived of the now classic Movado Museum watch. Defined by a single dot at 12 o’clock, symbolizing the sun at high noon, it's a design which has stood the test of time - while continuing to tell it accurately. Meaning "always in motion" in the manmade international language of Esperanto, Movado watches have been crafted in Switzerland since the late 1800s, when the company was founded by the entrepreneurial 19 year old Achilles Ditesheim in the village of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The the sleek & elegantly-simple exterior of this classy, classic watch belies a precision-crafted interior. The Classic Museum, which is actually exhibited in various museum collections including the Victoria & Albert and the Deutsches Museum is available in several variations, including bands made of either leather or lizard and a case from stainless steel or, should you like your time told more fancy, in 18k gold.
Published: January 2012
keywords requested: "classic watch"