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Tag Archives: Holidays

Styled by Lady Liberty

4 Jul

Happy Fourth of July!  A wonderful day to be an American…and yet, a rather sad day to be an expat (especially when it falls on a Wednesday!).  But not to worry – we will listen to God Bless America as many times as we can stand it while eating as much American junk food as we can get our hands on.  For those of you celebrating in the land of red, white, and blue (not just RED) – I hope that you channeled your own inner Lady Liberty to dress the part of America’s independence celebration!  In case you need help – here are a few festive looks for the fourth:

For the Lady Liberty in All of Us

Andrew Gn Resort 2013

Carlos Miele Resort 2013

For the Hipsters Watching Fireworks on Brooklyn Rooftops

Isabel Marant

For the Lady Liberties Who Beach

Norma Kamali Resort 2013

Michael Kors Resort 2013

For a Picnic in the Park

Antonio Marras

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013

For a Fancy Fireworks Fête

Prabal Gurung Resort 2013

Rachel Zoe Resort 2013

Christian Dior Resort 2013

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE!! L’wren Scott Resort 2013

 

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FALLing for Valentine’s

15 Feb

Perhaps it is a coincidence.  Perhaps it is just a true love for the color red.  Or…perhaps the fact that New York Fashion Week fell during Valentine’s Day this year inspired designers to include the color of love into their Fall 2012 collections.  Whatever the reason – I don’t care.  I love red, and even more – I love the nod to the day set aside for romance.  Let’s FALL in love…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monique Lhuillier Fall 2012

Diane von Furstenburg Fall 2012

Christian Siriano Fall 2012

Rachel Zoe Fall 2012

Kevork Kiledjian Fall 2012

Wes Gordan Fall 2012

Moncler Grenoble Fall 2012

Images courtesy of http://www.style.com

Confetti Dressing

31 Dec

Happy New Year from 3 confetti obsessed 8-year-olds circa 1988! *Check out my beautiful white tights! Hot, right?

I LOVE confetti!  Seriously – it is absolutely my favorite thing about New Year’s Eve (although I do love the midnight kiss with my husband!)  I have loved this holiday from a very young age simply because of the tremendous joy running through confetti gives me. My mother, Leigh Haverstock Moric, and Kristin Kopperud can certainly vouch for this.  You see…at just 8 years old, I convinced my mother to allow me to host a formal dinner party for 2 close friends.  What does a “formal dinner party” mean for an 8-year-old you ask?  Well – in my case, it meant asking my mom to make three coordinating evening gowns in different colors.  I chose red lamé with black velvet accents for myself, blue taffeta with sequins for Kristin, and pink satin with pearl details for Leigh.  (In my opinion – we all looked elegant and very grown up – in reality, we looked like 8-year-olds in play dresses!)  My idea of a formal dinner party also including eating our meal of choice (take-out chinese) on the china in the dining room and drinking sparkling grape juice out of the crystal.  If she didn’t realize it before, NYE 1988 undoubtedly confirmed to my mother that she was raising a super girly girl.  Truth be told – the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn is most likely to blame for it.  I still have high hopes of going to a party like the one she dreams of in the movie.  I also have high hopes of having a revolving shoe closet someday like the one Kurt Russell builds for her on the yacht!

This year I decided that I would like to dress like confetti for NYE. Care to join me?  (My NYE outfit to come later.)  In the meantime, here are some super fun brights to inspire your “confetti dressing”.  And remember, confetti is NOT just one color – feel free to mix, match, and add other bright  accessories in the form of bags, shoes, and bangles.  I know I am going to!  Happy Confetti!!

Bill Blass Spring 2012

Antonia Marras Spring 2012

Elie Saab Spring 2012

Jenny Packham Spring 2012

Juan Carlos Obando Spring 2012

Norma Kamali Spring 2012

Roksanda Ilincic Spring 2012

Mathew Williamson Spring 2012

All images courtesy of www.style.com

Party Party Party in Pastel!

30 Dec

Looking for something sweet and feminine to wear this New Year’s Eve?  The perfect pastel can actually be a bold move.  Think of all the black that will be crowding the dance floors.  You could really stand out in a delicate pink or sea-foam green.  Here are some my favorite pastels from the Spring 2012 runways:

Azzaro Spring 2012

Calla Spring 2012

Carolina Herrera Spring 2012

Costume National Spring 2012

Giorgio Armani Spring 2012 RTW

Jenny Packham Spring 2012

Juan Carols Obando Spring 2012

Mila Schon Spring 2012

Naeem Khan Pre-Fall 2012

Nina Ricci Spring 2012

Rochas Spring 2012

Rodarte Spring 2012

Vera Wang Spring 2012

Images courtesy of www.style.com

 

 

Suit Up to Celebrate 2012!

29 Dec

Why not mix it up this New Year’s Eve and trade in that LBD for a night-on-the-town worthy suit?  These sexy suits certainly won’t disappoint!

Note: Real life wear will most likely require a camisole! Or at least a HUGE statement necklace. Azzaro Spring 2012

Masquerade Ball Anyone?? Giles Spring 2012

This look definitely needs a different "do" - as in hair and a different shoe (this one feels a bit lack luster for NYE). Giles Spring 2012

How about adding a bright-colored clutch to this classic black look. Also...probably best to NOT show your mid-drift and crazy cleavage. John Richmond 2012

If you can't afford to run out and buy this Jean Paul Gaultier suit...how about adding a similar cape-like detail with a long piece of silk chiffon in the same tone as a suit you already own and love. Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 RTW

Be a show-stopper in this electric blue get-up by Elie Saab!

Or...if you can't find a suit you absolutely love, how about pairing a fitted jacket or blazer with a fabulous party skirt. It looks great here on Hillary Rhoda, right? *Just be sure to pull it down lower on your hips, like her, so the jacket can show off your slim waist. Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2012

Happy Suiting!

All images courtesy of http://www.style.com

Ring in a Red-Hot New Year!

27 Dec

Is there any color that turns a head like red?  I think not!  So why not celebrate the coming of 2012 in razzle dazzle red?

Here are 7 outstanding looks that work for a variety of occasions.  Please tell me your favorite!

Meeting Friends for Drinks

Emanuel Ungaro Jumpsuit - Spring 2012 RTW

Spicy red Ferragamo Suit - Spring 2012 RTW

Cocktail Party

This Nina Ricci frock is certainly not complete without the darling little turban. After all - it is NYE and hats are encouraged and often expected! Spring 2012 RTW

This look from Alice & Olivia will bring a touch of sophistication to any New Year's Eve party. Pre-Fall 2012

Be prepared to WOW in this littler Ungaro number. Not only is it red...it is a print and it is sequined! A triple threat. Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012 RTW

Black Tie

A classic red look by Ferragamo. Spring 2012 RTW

I do believe that this is one of the most striking red gowns I have seen. If you do in fact have a black tie ball to attend, then I feel confident that wearing this Zac Posen gown will guarantee you the title, "Belle of the Ball"! Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2012

Happy Red-Hot New Year!

All images courtesy of http://www.style.com

 

Countdown to 2012

26 Dec

The Carpenter’s famous song “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” asks a very important question.  By now many of you have most likely booked a table at your favorite special occasion restaurant or you have made plans to go out-on-the-town with dear friends that you only get to see at this time of year.  So now I will ask you another very important question, “What Are You Wearing New Year’s Eve?”

In case you haven’t selected  the perfect ensemble just yet…(like me) here are some fun alternatives to the traditional LBD.

Today, I would like to play with color.  In fact, many of you might be able to create some of these unique looks with items already in your closet.  Wouldn’t it be nice to hold on to that Christmas money from your grandmother just a little longer?

BRIGHT IDEAS!

Pairing two shiny brights, like this look from Ferragamo Spring 2012, feels fun, fresh, and festive. All the look needs to make in NYE ready is a touch of sparkle...pick 2 of the following: necklace, cocktail ring, shoes, small clutch, or hair clip.

Blue, Green, and Yellow are not typically worn together all at once. But isn't it fun? Plus - just think how you will stand out in the sea of black that is NYE. I also highly recommend the beehive up-do and false lashes to add some Madmen sex appeal. DSquared Pre-Fall 2012

Take inspiration from Ferragamo's Spring 2012 runway. Delve into your closet and pick three pieces that are each a different shade of bright...a top, a bottom, and a belt. Have fun and be a show-stopper. Keep in mind that a neutral shoe might be in order!

How about trading in those nude fish-nets or black tights for a bright pair to match your outfit. This monochromatic look from Giorgio Armani Pre-Fall 2012 takes it up a notch, don't you think?

NOT SO BRIGHT

This look from DVF's Pre-Fall 2012 Collection proves that a basic pale blue (or insert your own color) frock can look fresh when paired with contrasting colored long gloves and belt. For NYE - a pair of shoes with a touch of glitter or sparkle is certainly in order. And - if your scene is on the edgy side, go ahead and sport the thigh highs!

Have an old bridesmaids dress or 20? Why not look through your "27 Dresses" collection and see if anything can be revived with a bright-colored belt. Just look how a skinny royal blue belt can add life to this simple asymmetrical chocolate number from Carolina Herrera's Pre-Fall 2012 collection.

This sophisticated look from Donna Karan's Pre-Fall 2012 collection can quite easily be recreated. Supplies needed: 1 slinky white or off-white silky top, a navy blue or other jewel-toned pencil skirt, and a long piece of black silk taffeta (purchased at your local fabric store) tied in an over-sized bow. And of course - ruby-red lips!

I challenge you to get creative and take risks with your New Year’s Eve ensemble.  It is the last night of 2011 after all… Live it up!

More NYE inspirations to come!

Images courtesy of http://www.style.com

Shine like the North Star

24 Dec

Who says you have to save sparkles for New Year’s Eve?  Certainly not ABIB!

I should probably warn you that some of these looks are NOT Midnight Mass or Christmas Eve church program appropriate – but if you are going to the annual see-and-be-seen Christmas Eve party at the “Smith’s” or celebrating with a new love at a fancy restaurant, then these little numbers are the perfect inspirations.  (I use the word inspiration because these looks are from the Spring 2012 runways…not available to us quite yet!)

Red sparkle pants! Perfect for this HO-HO-HO-Holiday! Alternatively, you could winterize the look with a sweater up top. Antonio Berardi Spring 2012

Who doesn't want to look like a snowflake this time of year? I also love the sequined jacket with the second look in the background. Chanel RTW Spring 2012

Going on a Christmas Eve date? Look "sweet" in this gingerbread house inspired cocktail dress. Pucci Spring 2012

Yes - this is a touch dressy for the average Christmas Eve celebration. That said, I am certain that Zara has a skirt very similar to these fish scale sequins right now, and it would be darling if paired with a crisp, perfectly fitted white button up shirt. Maybe throw in a few colored bangles too. Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2012

Work with me on this one....I realize that there is A LOT going on here. But my inspiration take-away for a fun Christmas Eve look is pairing Kelly green and silver sparkles. This could be done with a simple green pencil skirt (I have seen them at multiple retail outlets) and a shimmery silver sweater. Black lacquered accessories would add a needed bit of edge. Manish Arora Spring 2012

Who doesn't love a shiny gold package at Christmas? While this one is quite "slinky" for the occasion - I love gold at a holiday party. Also, shiny little numbers like this can always be toned down with a fitted black blazer or a sweet winter white cardigan. A pretty ballet flat is another way to take it down a notch...although you know how difficult that is for me to suggest! Obviously, a heel is a lady-leg's best friend. Pucci Spring 2012

Snow bunny anyone? Again - these looks are far too formal for the majority of people on this night, but I wanted to use it as an example of winter white. White is such an angelic color. What better night to wear it? But I should warn you to wear it cautiously...you don't want to end up looking like you are supposed to be at the Annual Tacky Christmas Party. Giorgio Armani RTW Spring 2012

Merry Christmas, God Bless, and Happy Sparkles!

I would love to see what you do end up wearing to your Holiday Parties.  If you send me pics…I will post them!

Images courtesy of www.style.com

Miracle on Xiang He Yuao Road

28 Dec

Christmas Tree Lot - Beijing Style

The title of this blog might be a bit of a stretch.  I don’t mean to insinuate that either of us defended the existence of Santa Claus within the Chinese court system (although best I can tell – the court system here has one simple step: a payoff).  I do believe; however, that we did have a little miracle of our own here on Xiang He Yuao Road (our street). It all began with our first Chinese Christmas Tree…

We were thrilled to learn that our favorite flower market was selling live Christmas Trees of a respectable size.  It was Griswold time – Charlie Brown style wasn’t going to cut it for our first Christmas away from all of our family.  I wouldn’t say that a glow of heavenly light surrounded the glorious pine – but we were both instantly drawn to the same 3 meter douglas fir with an endearing floppiness to it.  While the tree keepers cleaned and trimmed our chosen tree, we headed inside to buy lights and other trimmings.

Our Griswold Tree - It Hits the Ceiling!

The selection of ornaments and garlands was staggering.  I was actually expecting to have to decorate the tree with my collection of bangles – but no need.  We bought tons of twinkle lights, balls of every color and size, oversized bells, crystal ice cycles, and meters upon meters of garlands.  But the highlight of the day was finding our over the top tree topper – a flashing red light reading Merry Christmas – so tacky it was cute.  Of course it wasn’t intended to be a tree topper – so we convinced the electrician on call (as if such a thing existed  – it was a sales clerk) to rewire it with a cord long enough to read the top of the tree.  In retrospect this was our dumbest idea ever.

The tree was delivered about an hour later (still with its roots in a giant barrel mind you…making it quite a bit taller and quite a bit more Griswold than we anticipated). With It’s A Wonderful Life on in the background, we strung our lovely tree with hundreds of twinkle lights and decked it with glittering ornaments.  Then, we snuggled up on the couch with a glass of champagne each to admire our work.  It was lovely.  A little scrappy – but lovely nonetheless.

Sheng Dan Liwu - Christmas Gifts

We dozed off at some point – lulled to sleep by Christmas music and the sweet glow of our tree.  Somewhere between falling asleep and total dream zone I awoke to a loud pop.  I could tell something was different about the room…and then, it hit me like a Mack truck. The lights on the tree blew out.  I woke Brett to give him the bad news that we would have to start all over tomorrow.  Oh well…we both agreed.  Worse things have happened.  Actually, worse things were about to happen.  FIRE!!  The entire surge protector (some protector, right?) was engulfed in flames rising quickly up the cords just centimeters away from torching the curtains, the wall, and obviously the entire tree.  I ran to get a big blanket to snuff it out while Brett carefully pulled the cords away from the wall as best he could.  Luckily, he put it out before it caused any major damage.  But we definitely learned our lesson…don’t Clark Griswold your tree.  (FYI – I went to IKEA the next day and purchased extra cool, energy-saving lights…I wasn’t going to take any chances. And, although the topper remained in place, it was never turned on again.)

Christmas Eve at Jaan - 1920's Style. BTW- I am going to incorporate wrist corsages into my daily life. Love them! FASHION: White Iisly Bunny Fur Shrug with Silver Sequined Trim, Black Strapless Ted Baker Silk Jersey Gown and Feather Headpiece

Other than the tree fiasco, we had a lovely Christmas, just the two of us, here in Beijing.  We started the festivities with a Pre-Christmas Eve dinner at the Kunlun Hotel’s Summit Club.  It is on the top floor, and we were able to see all the lights of the city which actually included a lot more Christmas lights than one might think.  On actual Christmas Eve, we went to Jaan, a French restaurant with beautiful art deco decor in the Raffles Hotel downtown.  They did such a lovely job. We enjoyed a five-course meal in a 1920’s themed setting with 2 different live musical performances.  First a string quartet and then a jazz band with a saxophone player that oddly bore a resemblance to Stevie Wonder and Jon Hamm as “Sergio” in the SNL Digital Short: “Cursed”.

Yes...we realize we look dorky. FASHION?? Matching Red Waffle Print Long Johns from Red Envelope

On Christmas morning, we feasted on chocolate muffins, sausage, and champagne while we played Santa in matching red long johns.  Unfortunately, the majority of those pictures (any showing us from the waist down) are not suitable for my blog.  I will just say that long johns look hilarious – and very Cousin Eddy.

Of course we wish we could have been with our families and loved ones for the holidays – but I think we found the best thing Beijing had to offer this Christmas…time with each other.

Merry Christmas!  Sheng Dan Kuai Le!

How Much is that Turkey in the Window?

23 Dec

In Our Turkey Day Aprons

Well…I never thought that buying a turkey would stress me out financially – but then again I never thought that a generic frozen turkey could cost over $100…and I have bought turkeys in NYC!  The truth is – turkey is quite a commodity here in China. But I wasn’t about to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner for Brett and all of our expat friends sans gobbler.  So – I forked over the money to the sweet lady working at the supermarket who giggled and said, “Tai gui le” – which means too expensive.  To which I replied, “Wo tong yi” – I agree.

With the turkey in hand (or in the trunk) I began the search for the other accoutrements.  Corn, potatoes, shallots, even finding butternut squash was a cake walk – but endives, chestnuts, canned pumpkin, and fresh cranberries?  Forget about it.  5 stops later – I gave up all together on the cranberries (eventually I just threw some craisins in a pot of hot water and plumped them up as much as possible before using them in my spicy cranberry relish).

One of my favorite things about the shopping excursion(s) was running into every other

Sharpening His Carving Knife

expat “homemaker” (I can’t believe I just called myself that…although a spade is a spade) out and about in search of all the same things.  I actually exchanged email addresses with a few of the other turkey day trackers, and we are now friends!  One of the markets swarming with expats is called San Yuan Li.  This local market was established years ago to cater to all of the embassies in Beijing.  So – if you can’t find what you are looking for at Jenny Lou’s or April Gourmet – San Yuan Li is the next stop.  I would have gone there for everything – but it is outside and therefore cold, and they do not have champagne, wine, or bourbon – all of which are necessary ingredients for the type of Thanksgiving I like to host!

The Menu

Because The Mayflower did not stop in China on its way to the US of A, Thanksgiving is unfortunately not a Chinese Holiday.  So – we decided to celebrate on Saturday when no one had to work. I began the preparations on Friday by making the items that would keep: butternut squash soup, creamed corn, 14 miniature pumpkin pies (one for each of us), and the chocolate torte.  This left a lot for Saturday itself – but I had a plan.  I knew that my alma mater would be playing its number one rival that day at 3:30 AM Beijing time.  So, with game day bells on, Brett and I arose before dawn to cheer on The Crimson Tide and cook a Thanksgiving Feast.  To Tom and Donna – you did an amazing job with Brett.  He is such a great helper in the kitchen!  He carved out all 14 baby pumpkins (we used them as bowls for the butternut squash soup) while I prepped the turkey and made the oyster dressing.  He peeled the potatoes while I popped green beans, and he poured the Maker’s Mark into our Diet Cokes when it was late enough in the day to not feel like total degenerates! (I mean how do you watch SEC football without at least one bourbon and diet coke?)

Turkey Day Table

With the place settings, candles, and fresh flowers (from our wonderful and freakishly cheap flower market) on the table – we were ready for our guests to arrive.  There were 14 of us in total with representatives from England, Russia, Canada, and America – specifically: Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, California, Texas, D.C. and Virginia.  Surrounding ourselves with so many wonderful new friends helped ease the pain of being away from our families, and it made giving thanks especially easy.  How blessed we are to have celebrated the most American of all holidays in such a far away land.

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