Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two Nine........Almost 30

In a few hours I turn twenty nine. Unlike most of my peers I have been looking forward to turning thirty so this brings me much closer to that. Life has taught me that no destination  or any perceived end product or achievement will bring any joy/happiness that is lacking in my life and as such I do not think that turning thirty will miraculously alter my life to make all things better. That said and done, my twenties were filled with such tumultuous times that I feel eased up as I near thirty. More than that, the confidence that one gains as one goes through different experiences , some repeated, and comes out standing, offers a sense of confidence. I equate thirty in my mind with confidence hence by unconventional glee to turn an age I should be dreading.

That said and done I would like to share unload some thoughts as I reach this 'homerun' age of 29.

1. Life will most likely not go as you planned it to go, perceive it to go, want it to go or believe it to be. That is ok. It makes it interesting. This coming from a control freak. I like controlling everything in my life to ensure the results are as I want them. Life has taught me that it is  all wasted effort. Life will be as it will be. I cause myself too much anguish trying to control things that I cannot...chief among them are people. As I turn 29, I believe I'm less inclined to control people and to let them just be. If i am unable to deal with them as they are, I walk away. It is the most graceful thing that I cannot do. This lesson has helped me in my career, my relationships and general outlook in life.

2. Living my truth and being true to myself. The two are interlinked. From a  very young age, I started a journey of self discovery and it is one that will end when I depart this earth. I am obsessed with knowing  who I am, why i do the things I do and how the world fits into all that. I often joke with a close friend that unlike several of my close friends(including her!) I am generally not nosy. I rarely ask people questions about themselves but human behavior interests me much. one of the reasons I love blogs. It has taken time and effort but i do know who I am and what I am about. The most inspiring and admirable things I have done or accomplished are when I have been true to who I am without thought or consideration to other people's opinions. The moments when I have betrayed myself are when I have deviated to conform to something that is not me or my values. Surprisingly I have also come to learn that the most impact I have made in other people's lives has not necessarily been through my words(and we know I can talk A LOT!) but rather when I have pursued things I firmly believe in, or fought for causes that are dear to me or just been me.

3.There are two great losses or heartaches that I have experienced that in a sense changed me. One involved a man and the other a dream. I learnt so many things through those awful instances though I would quake if I had to go through them again. One is that falling in love, trusting and letting in someone else into your heart is a process with crossroads which have options to either get in deeper or start the process of getting out. Two was that the more walls you build up, the more of a target you make of yourself unknowingly but dangerously so. Three was that no experience is in vain and has an opportunity to grow you. Fourth was that no matter what heinous act another person does , forgiving yourself will still be the tougher act compared to forgiving them . Fifth in both instances letting go is a skill and discipline that is essential in life. letting go of people, dreams, perceptions of people, perception of what life should be.

4. Change the plan as many times you need to. the goal can be a constant but be open to changing the plan as many times and in many ways that you can. Business has taught me this more than anything. Tied to this is the habit of constant review of who you are, where you are going and how you are going to get there. You are the author of the plan so it is within your province to change the plan.

5. I am not invincible. It feels like the last three years more people within my circle have died or had life threatening illness or some shocking change in their lives. Life is not fully in our control as we thought in our much younger years. It makes me appreciate my loved ones more especially my family whom I easily take for granted. More than that it makes me continually work on my relationship with my creator. It also makes me have sleepless nights wondering if I were to die today, what would I have accomplished? Would I have lived the best version of me and utilized all the resources in me and available to me to make an impact in this world. incidentally I still don't feel broody or any need to procreate to have a child as a legacy

6. Connections are so important and personally are almost like a need. It is beyond sad to have all you dream of yet lack someone to share that joy or the pain of achieving that goal. That said and done I have also learnt that the wrong connections will rob you of precious time, energy and will to achieve all you were meant to achieve. You are in the relationship you are in by choice regardless of its condition. The friends I have combined with my family and values are the building blocks that make the structure that is me. I have also learnt that it is far much harder to make intimate friends as you get older. In my opinion that is not a bad thing, friendships grow and are tested through time and experiences.

7. My instincts are for me and not against me. Whether it seems logical or not go with your gut. I could give a list of my own some experiences but it would mean outing some people.

8. Men are people. Weird as they are.....can you believe it?  They are people. They are different and despite the tempting thought that perhaps they are inferior, it just means they are different. Their difference is a good thing(when they are not being irritating) .

9. It is not always black and white.

10. Contentment is a precious state.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Nautica set sail in 1983 when founder, David Chu, created six styles of outerwear intended to seamlessly fuse fashion and function. Named for the Latin word “Nauticus” for ship, the Nautica logo became a spinnaker, a timeless symbol of adventure and exploration. Today, the world of Nautica represents both a rediscovery and a reinterpretation of what its customers have always wanted to wear.

Over the past three decades, Nautica has become one of the most important and most recognized brands throughout the world. Part of VF Corporation since 2003, a leader in branded quality apparel, Nautica is more relevant than ever to today’s consumer with refined casual classics that are inspired and energized by the water.

Black Sail, by Vice President Design & Creative Chris Cox, challenged the outdoorsy man to split his time between his rugged voyages on the sea and his polished social life, perhaps lounging or partying on a yacht.
 Cox, who took over the role of creative director in October 2008, struck the balance of the brand's iconic seafaring heritage but added in a functional, polished aesthetic in the 50-look collection.

The loose knit sweaters struck the perfect chord between comfort and style – printed swimwear, cropped pants, and simple slip on footwear gave the collection a feeling of being refreshing, adventurous, and free. Lightweight and functional jackets completed the look, hammering home the practical nature of the collection. Whether you’re planning on going boating or not, the collection offers up several viable options to mix in with the everyday man’s wardrobe.

I really like this look, I'm not too sure about the deep v-neck but I dig this look

Another look I really dig, again the neckline may put off some men but this look works.
This look reminds me of a friend of mine who is some miles away. This would be the type of look he would be into. I think its relaxed sexy! hihihi
Like the male model, a man would need to have a certain swag to pull off wearing white crop sweat pants. On this model the look get's a thumbs up
This reminds me of Scott Schuman!

The shorts could have been a tad longer but love the blue shirt.

I think enough guys would be able to pull off this look. It is not too casual. I wonder if my friend now turned farmer can still pull this look in the middle of those coffee farms.

Good use of colour.


TIME Magazine stood up and took notice of Carmen after his Fall 2005 collection in a feature story saying “While other designers seek to shock, Valvo’s creations shine in the marketplace.” Valvo grew up in a traditional Spanish/Italian family in Westchester County, New York

Carmen has proven to be a dedicated scholar of his craft, carefully honing his skills to master the fine art of cutting and draping fabric to enhance the female physique so that every customer feels like a star on the red carpet when they walk into a room wearing one of his creations. Along the way, his designs have ended up on some of the World’s most sophisticated, talented, and glamorous women. From HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Queen Latifah, Beyonce, Katie Couric, Leona Lewis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, Kate Winslet, Eva Longoria, and Mary J. Blige just to name a few, to fashionable films such as  Confessions of a Shopaholic.

I found his Spring 2014 collection to be young, fresh and very precisely executed. I loved the cutouts that were in several pieces. you all know I love short dresses, more so shift dresses so this was a collection i enjoyed. The hair styles were an interesting addition.


This was a favourite the hair, the dress, the styling. All of it

I find this dress fascinating.
My second favourite dress in this collection.


Marissa Webb is certainly a designer who joins the ranks of designers I personally love.

Born in Korea and raised in the United States, Marissa Webb has always had an intimate and creative relationship with fashion. Marissa Webb dedicated 11 years designing for J.Crew — a span of time during which the mass retailer experienced a fashion renaissance and became a veritable style mecca — and last year she decided she’s going it alone with her own collection, showcasing her very personal aesthetic and approach to business. Unlike other reviews I've done this will probably have abit more focus on the designer. Below is an excerpt of the interview she did with Harper Bazaar just before showcasing her debut collection Spring 2013

Marissa Webb. I love her personal style which has greatly influenced her collections since she parted ways with J. Crew

The Interview:
Harper’s Bazaar: What was on your mind when you began designing the collection?Marissa Webb: I actually went through a very different process this season and I think that was because I was able to just do what I love to do — designing things that I really covet myself and want in my closet. It was a different way of starting because I didn’t have the extravagant mood board at the beginning as much as I was just sketching instinctively. My personal approach is about the play on opposites. I always call it a contradiction because at some level, the soft and the hard, the really edgy urban and the softer more feminine, contradict each other, but at the same time they complement each other.
HB: I know the last time we talked you were doing your final J. Crew collection and you had said that you were drawn to Greece, do you have a similar direct inspiration source for this collection?MW: I was more organic with it. I didn’t have to tell a story. It was actually a reflection of my life at the time because I’ve been going through gut renovations at my house and getting into architecture, furniture and different metals, different woods, while also spending time at the beach and in the suburbs. I just allowed myself to be influenced by what was around me.
HB: What has launching your own line been like in reality versus what you anticipated when you first left J. Crew?MW: That is a really great question. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s been a really amazing experience. Thinking back to the day that I opened the door to the studio I was like ‘okay this is going to be my studio,’ and ‘I’m just going to come here every day and sketch!’ [laughs]. It hasn’t happened that way because of all of the unexpected buzz around the launch. It’s been really nice and humbling to have everyone interested in what we’re doing. I kind of like expected to sort-of slip back in gradually and just have a small little business and grow it slowly. The support has been really positive, even before anyone’s seen anything. It’s...heartwarming.
HB: You are launching with shoes, bags and jewelry. What prompted you to introduce these categories right out of the gate?MW: Well I did not anticipate starting with bags, really, or shoes, at all. But it was three months down the road and I was like ‘oh my god! What are they going stand in? What are they going to walk in? Where are they going put their stuff?’ I am a jewelry junkie myself so I asked, 'what can we do that’s brand appropriate, that we feel proud about, and that’s ours?' I think it’s really important for everything to come out being ours. Even if we were running at the last minute, my amazing team will get it done. So we were happy that we were able to actually get shoes here on time, get some jewelry here on time. There were a few handbags made, but it was not in the plans, at all.
Every day there’s a new challenge, every day there’s a new lesson to be learned, and I’m learning a tremendous amount. Don’t even get me started on social media!
HB: What has engaging on the different social media platforms been like for you? It really gives you access to your customer.MW: It’s kind of funny, but the people that tweet at me on a regular basis or people who write to me on our Pinterest boards or now on our Instagram, are almost more like my friends now. I like to respond and I think it’s important. And they’re obviously rooting for you, and supporting you, and I want to give that back.
HB: Were you surprised the personal fan base that you had just starting your own line?MW: I didn’t expect anything at all. In the honest truth, I thought I would start making a couple little items and going to each boutique, knocking on the door and being like 'Hello, [laughs] I have, a couple items I would love to share with you!'
HB: So you would have gone door to door if you had to?MW: That’s what I would’ve done!
HB: What are some of your favorite looks from the collection?MW: I love all the leather pieces. I really, really like the jackets. I think it’s one of those areas that we’ve been able to really explore and push. They start out as a very classic silhouette, each one then has something to it that give it a little extra design element and we can just exaggerate design lines and exaggerate the fits. It’s been really fun making each decision as it comes.

Marissa Webb Spring 2013: Sparkles at the Office . With this collection Marissa showed women how to shine at the office without blinding the boss

The coolness of this outfit would surely break any scale. I'd probably have practiced law if I could go to work like this. Marissa Webb Spring 2013
I usually hate suits but this one rocks! Marissa Webb Spring 2013
Like Marissa Webb, I love contrasts and the leather vest makes the sophisticated dress have an edge. Again if clients weren't too snooty perhaps I would still be a banker! haha
This outfit is not something i would wear but I love it's classic style. The shoes add just the right amount of pop.
Of course I love this outfit. The leather pants are just the right fit. I'm not too crazy about the shoes but the chiffon top with embroidered vest are a good soft contrast to the leather. Again this should be acceptable work wear.  Marissa Webb Spring 2013
I am sure most would picket at the thought of shorts being worn in the office but its just another limit we unnecessarily pout on ourselves. Obviously not everyone can pull this look but I think it looks fab. Marissa Webb 2013
'Nuff said!


I have profound respect for designer who take a niche market and fully commit to it. Tadashi Shoji, Japan born and bred, is one of those designers. Troubled by the fact that women had few options for special occasion dresses in the contemporary market, Tadashi identified a niche and set out on his own.
In 1982, Tadashi launched his own collection, Tadashi Shoji, in Los Angeles, California. Tadashi Shoji has become widely recognized for its original designs and innovative collections. The company has seen steady growth since its inception and is carried in more than 4,000 major department and specialty store doors worldwide, including: Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Lord & Taylor. Internationally, the brand is available at high-end retailers such as: Vakko, Harvey Nichols Dubai, and Rustan’s.

In 2007, Tadashi launched the Tadashi Shoji Runway Collection for Fall 2007 during New York Fashion Week to rave reviews. By featuring the utmost in luxury and elegance, the much-anticipated collection continues to elevate and hone the brand’s image in the marketplace. His designs have won a loyal following with well-dressed women worldwide, including a wide range of celebrities such as: Octavia Spencer, Kate Beckinsale, Dita Von Teese, Florence Welch, Mo’Nique, Katy Perry, to name a few

In the Spring 2014 collection there are a few dresses that I loved more so the ones with almost an ethereal feel to them a theme that was evident in the Spring 2013 collection which had more pieces that I loved. 

Let's look at the Spring 2014 pieces:

This was my favourite piece, you can tell the designer understand's women's bodies.  There is both a dreamy feel and luxury.
I absolutely love the colour and fit of this dress. It's those dressy outfits which leave you feeling all dressed up while allowing you free movement

The fit of this dress is amazing! The colour balances out the texture created by the scale like pattern. I call these dresses grown sexy dresses.
This dress may be controversial due to how see through it is but I love the detail that has gone into it! I think it can be a bridal piece for a very BOLD bride
Let us now go back a year to look at the Spring 2013 pieces:

Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013
Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013
Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013
Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013. This dress would look stunning on a curvy person.
Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013. I want this dress!
Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013. Love the dropped waist, bateau neckline and  deep blue tulle skirt

Monday, September 9, 2013


BCBGMAXAZRIA was founded in 1989 by Designer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Max Azria. In 1991, Azria’s wife and muse, Lubov, joined BCBGMAXAZRIA as Creative Director. Named for the French phrase bon chic, bon genre, a Parisian slang meaning “good style, good attitude,” the brand embodies a true combination of European sophistication and American spirit.

Azria broke new ground when he launched BCBGMAXAZRIA, redefining the designer category by offering innovative, high-quality clothing at contemporary price points. With the overwhelming success of his women’s ready-to-wear line, Azria ultimately evolved BCBGMAXAZRIA into a complete lifestyle brand for women, with evening dresses, swimwear, footwear, handbags, small leather goods, eyewear, watches and more.

This is another collection that invariably makes me yearn for the previous year's spring collection. The Spring 2014 collection  has an equal number of hits as it has misses. The 2013 spring collection made me want to grab almost every piece of outfit that was showcased and I do admit that is a very high standard to measure consequent collections

We will look at a few of the pieces in the 2014 spring collection that were hits in my opinion then look at the awesome 2013 spring collection pieces which make BCBG a favourite of so many Hollywood stars.

CURRENT: Spring 2014

This dress is the epitome of expensive simplicity. It is not fussy and a woman would be comfortable and sexy in it. This was my favourite piece in the collection. Spring 2014. BCBG

The design of this outfit is what i call intelligent. It makes me want to figure it out like a puzzle and not end up saying ;what a mess! I like the asymmetrical dropped waist and the peekaboo sheer detail on the thigh  with the flower print being on the minimum. BCBG Spring 2014

I picked this dress selfishly for two reasons: my friend and former housemate Viv would like it or so I assume :) and the other reason is how that colour looks fab on dark skin like mine. BCBG Spring 2014
This was my second favourite piece in the whole collection. It reminds me of DVF designs.  I keep staring at it and wanting to touch it and of course wear it. This is another uncomplicated outfit which will make a woman look and feel sexy. BCBG Spring 2014

I find this outfit interesting. I am sure some will hate it but i like contrast and this is an equivalent to a an art piece at the dinner table which is a conversation starter. Some will only like the blazer while others the dress/skirt? BCBG Spring 2014
SPRING 2013:

This dress remind me of Donna in 'suits'! I really want this dress. Perhaps because in a few weeks i turn 29 but I'm now drawn to such dresses. Grown up sexy. BCBG Spring 2013

This was another piece that stole my heart. It would be perfect for my slender body! I love the colour, the mix of different textures and the cut! More that that the model has been styled so well. I love this look. BCBG Spring 2013
This is a jumpsuit I would definitely wear! It is classy, elegant and so cool. It is doing good things to her body unlike most jumpsuits. The top has some body armour feel to it yet she still looks feminine. BCBG OUTDID themselves Spring 2013
I think offices should allow women to wear such outfits to work and more people would be less miserable at work. I love it. The harness brings  just a hint of naughtiness but it is not crossing the line. The white shoes work really well with the print of the dress. BCBG  Spring 2013
No one is messing with you when you wear this outfit! I love it!
This dress is exquisite! The cut, the colour, how it flows! BCBG Spring 2013