Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Military Trend Forges On

Hi guys…..or should I say, my fel­low fash­ion sol­diers? I took a leave from my blog-reporting duties as a protest of Apple’s crummy oper­at­ing sys­tem, Yosemite, but now that the dust has cleared and every­thing has set­tled, I’m back with a vengeance, and with a pas­sion for mil­i­tary drab that’s simul­ta­ne­ously fab! Of course, we here at BSSTW were way ahead of the game when we first reported on the mil­i­tary trend two years ago, back in 2013, in our arti­cle, Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence: There’s No Cam­ou­flag­ing This Smart Fash­ion Trend


Military ensemble with moschino purse


And now the mil­i­tary trend con­tin­ues to forge on steadily, with a bit of a more glam­orous twist, as seen above, in the March 2015 issue of Vogue Paris. Shim­mer­ing metallics add a refresh­ing dash of flash. Gold lends itself eas­ily to the mil­i­tary look, with large drop ear­rings, booty shorts, a foiled clutch, and of course, some star-quality shades.


 Leather leggings


 But if you choose to keep it sim­ple, just empha­size one great piece, like this chic mil­i­tary jacket, where the but­tons alone are all the acces­sory you need. It’s equally glam­orous, yet more casual. When worn with leather leg­gings, this jacket com­mands atten­tion. And speak­ing of leather leg­gings, I just scored the most incred­i­ble bar­gain: my new Ralph Lau­ren leather leg­gings, in a rich olive color—perfect for mil­i­tary dressing–at a teeny frac­tion of their orig­i­nal cost! This is a once-in-a-lifetime sale, so I had to snag them. I got them from my good friends Michael Lyen and Bernie Mer­cado at the Ralph Lau­ren store in Palo Alto, Cal­i­for­nia, but there’s also a sale online at Ralph Lau­ren, where they are blow­ing out all their inven­tory for some new sur­prises. You really owe it to your­self to check out their sale.

 I just adore my leather leg­gings, because the dark army green color trav­els effort­lessly with like-minded hues such as earth tones, while also serv­ing as the per­fect back­drop for beau­ti­ful brights. AND….you can wear these things with any kind of top—from an over­sized sweater to a slouchy pon­cho to a skintight turtle­neck that hugs every curve. Don’t you want a pair right now?!?!? They are crafted of the most sup­ple lamb­skin, with a gen­tle stretch for a flat­ter­ing fit. LOVE!

 Now if you’re shop­ping on the dime, I rec­om­mend check­ing out H & M, where there is a bounty of coats and cargo pants in that great, sig­na­ture olive color, which works so well with denim. And don’t for­get to scour the army sur­plus store near­est you. You will find great lit­tle tchotchkes (yes, that’s a word…it’s Yid­dish for tiny things or baubles, in case you’re won­der­ing…) that can make mil­i­tary out of any ensem­ble. Just add a lit­tle badge or but­ton, a lit­tle patch or pin, and you’re good to go! Bye guys…and buy, guys, ha ha ha, over and out!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Halloween pooch

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FSHN, A Fab Fashion Magazine, Brings Haute Couture to San Francisco


Hi guys.….Well, I just had the most fab­u­lous time at an haute cou­ture run­way show in San Fran­cisco at the Fair­mont Hotel last night, and it was such a treat to watch the gor­geous mod­els strut the run­way in the breath­tak­ing fall/winter 2014–2015 col­lec­tions of Parisian haute cou­ture design­ers Franck Sor­bier and On Aura Tout Vu, as well as Amer­i­can designer Mimi Tran, all under­scored with a lively per­for­mance that was sung entirely en Français by a hot French­man. The event was put together by FSHN Mag­a­zine, namely pub­lisher Elis­a­beth Thieriot, founder of Replete Skin Care. Replete is a luxe line of skin care prod­ucts that the strik­ing French beauty Thieriot swears by for her glow­ing visage.

Shankha and model

Along with FSHN editor-in-chief, Shankha Goswami, pic­tured above left, and fash­ion edi­tor, Ylevol Tam Nguyen, cen­ter, the FSHN team deliv­ered the goods in a two-hour fash­ion show that left me want­ing more. Peter Lago, COO of Lions Gate Cor­po­ra­tion, man­aged the total pro­duc­tion of this event includ­ing being the tech­ni­cal and design direc­tor for the show.

I can only imag­ine how dif­fi­cult, and expen­sive, it was coor­di­nat­ing this event–(I heard through the grapevine that the grand total for the dam­age was a cool half million!)–which fea­tured the Paris fash­ion design­ers, who were flown into SF from Paris; as well as dozens of mod­els; a $70,000 light­ing fee for the cat­walk; and no doubt other end­less prepa­ra­tions and expenses.

It was an enchanted evening, and I left with a copy of FSHN Mag and “Be Fab­u­lous at Any Age,” a book writ­ten for age­less liv­ing from the age­less pub­lisher her­self, Thieriot.

I had a blast and met some inter­est­ing peo­ple, such as Pearl Dworkin from Glam­olo­gie. Like me, she’s a licensed aes­theti­cian with a pen­chant for publishing.….publishing beauty secrets, to be pre­cise. Give her blog a whirl!

But the real treat came when I was review­ing FSHN Mag­a­zine at home. I sin­cerely love this pub­li­ca­tion! Fash­ion edi­tor Tam Nguyen and her staff clearly know where it’s at in fash­ion and beauty. FSHN is a great, infor­ma­tive resource for beauty afi­ciona­dos and fash­ion fiends, and it’s pub­lished right here in San Fran­cisco. The pho­tos are TDF!

2014 10 26 17 21 37

And they write about mean­ing­ful trends such as ‘The Head­wear Craze,’ for exam­ple, which reports on fas­ci­nat­ing fas­ci­na­tors, hats and other head­pieces. It’s a great lit­tle arti­cle by Katarzyna Tarab­ula and includes shop­ping resources so you can actu­ally buy the haute head­wear that’s fea­tured in the arti­cle. Must read.

Then there’s ‘7 Design­ers to Watch’–a run­way report from Milan Fash­ion Week. I love ‘Top 10 Haute Cou­ture Dresses’ which fea­tures a few of my favorite and lesser-known design­ers, like Stephane Rol­land and Dice Kayek. Page after page of behind-the-scenes accounts at fash­ion shows, you will find, with the lat­est news…


…as well as a spread titled ‘Haute Cou­ture Makeup Trends,’ which chron­i­cles the most strik­ing looks from Ver­sace, Dior and Chanel.

2014 10 26 17 22 04

There’s a whole edi­to­r­ial called ‘Beau­ti­ful War­rior,’ which fea­tures a sexy spread of one of my favorite emerg­ing trends, and you’ve heard me talk about it: facial jew­elry!!! It’s page after page of stun­ning pho­tos by the tal­ented pho­tog­ra­pher Paul Kim…so avant garde and edgy, I can hardly stand it!

You’ll find a Q and A with celebrity hair­styl­ist Char­lie Le Mindu, who defines him­self some­where between a cou­turier and a coif­feur; a great story on the best resources for online fash­ion con­sign­ment (Loved! Thank you, Gabrielle Man­ches­ter!) and count­less more fun reads in a glossy mag that you can tote with you. Total Eye Candy!!!

FSHN, btw, stands for: Fash­ion­able. Sexy. Haute. Naughty.

Naughty? Huh, a lit­tle weird… But aren’t we all! To sub­scribe, click here. Au revoir.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

R.I.P. Oscar de la Renta, 1932–2014

Oscar 2014

Leg­endary fash­ion designer Oscar de la Renta died from com­pli­ca­tions of can­cer last night. He was 82. De la Renta, who most recently designed Amal Clooney’s wed­ding dress, below, was diag­nosed with can­cer in 2006.

Odr and amal

He leaves a life­time of beau­ti­ful gowns and beau­ti­ful mem­o­ries behind. Here are some high­lights of his illus­tri­ous career.


1969. A model in a frothy dis­play of organza ruf­fles, ala Oscar.


1982. Two mod­els on the run­way wear­ing ruf­fled bouf­fant taffeta skirts.


1986. Christy Turling­ton was pho­tographed wear­ing Oscar de la Renta by Bill King for the Sep­tem­ber issue of Vogue.

1988 LIZ

1989. De la Renta and Liza Min­nelli at the CFDA Awards, which was held at the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum of Art in New York.


1989. The designer with actress Audrey Hepburn.


1991. A model takes to the cat­walk in a look from the designer’s spring/summer 1992 col­lec­tion in Paris.


1992. Eva Herzigova in a black cutout dress from the designer’s spring/summer 1993 show in Paris.


1993. Carla Bruni in a paisley-print look from the designer’s spring/summer 1993 col­lec­tion in Paris.


1995. An Oscar de la Renta cre­ation for Pierre Bal­main, from the French fash­ion house’s autumn/winter 1995–96 cou­ture show.


1996. Ruched silk was the order of the day at a fash­ion show in New York.


1998. De la Renta waves to the crowd at the end of his spring/summer 1999 show in New York.


1999. Naomi Camp­bell walks in the designer’s autumn/winter 1999 show in New York.


2000. Gisele Bünd­chen takes to the cat­walk in a striped ruf­fled skirt and white shirt.


2002. A leather cap and khaki hues from the designer’s autumn/winter 2003 show in New York.


2003. Sarah Jes­sica Parker wore an Oscar de la Renta dress in this sea­son six episode of Sex And The City.


2006. With Amer­i­can Vogue edi­tor Anna Win­tour at the designer’s autumn/winter 2006 show.


2007. Stella Ten­nant was pho­tographed wear­ing an Oscar de la Renta gown by Ben­jamin Alexan­der for the Sep­tem­ber issue of Vogue.


2007. With Ralph Lau­ren at the CFDA Awards, where he was awarded Wom­enswear Designer of the Year for the sec­ond time in his career.


2007. Model Agness Deyn wears a strik­ing feather-embellished cre­ation from the label’s spring/summer 2008 collection.

2009 RED

2009. A model in an appliquéd red and black gown at the designer’s autumn/winter 2009 show.


2009. Mario Testino pho­tographed Lara Stone in an Oscar de la Renta gown for the Decem­ber issue of Vogue.

2009 VOGUE B W

2009. Doutzen Kroes was pho­tographed wear­ing Oscar de la Renta by Patrick Demarche­lier for the Decem­ber issue of Vogue.


2009. Kate Hud­son attended the New York pre­miere of her film Bride Wars wear­ing an Oscar de la Renta gown.


2010. Jes­sica Biel attended the Los Ange­les Pre­miere of Valentine’s Day wear­ing an asym­met­ric Oscar de la Renta gown.

2011 KATE

2011. Kate Moss was pho­tographed wear­ing Oscar de la Renta by Mario Testino for the August issue of Vogue.


2011. Freja Beha Erich­sen was pho­tographed wear­ing an Oscar de la Renta gown by Mario Testino for the May cover of Vogue.


2011. Jason Bell pho­tographed Jes­sica Brown Find­lay wear­ing Oscar de la Renta for the August issue of Vogue.


2011. Laura Carmichael, wear­ing Oscar de la Renta, pho­tographed by Jason Bell for the August issue of Vogue.


2011. After-dark ele­gance at the designer’s autumn/winter 2011 show in New York.


2012. Oscar de la Renta, at his spring/summer 2013 show.


2013. Amy Adams in an Oscar De La Renta strap­less laven­der gown at the Oscars.


2013. Oscar was pre­sented with the Eleanor Lam­bert Founder’s Award by Hillary Clin­ton at the CFDA Awards. “Sim­ply put, he is an Amer­i­can icon,” said Clin­ton in her pre­sen­ta­tion speech. “His style and per­son­al­ity have per­me­ated our cul­ture and shaped the indus­try for decades.”


2013. On the cat­walk at his autumn/winter 2013 show, with Kar­lie Kloss and Mag­dalena Frackowiak.


2014. Tay­lor Swift in Oscar de la Renta at the 2014 Met Ball.

2014 SJP

2014. Sarah Jes­sica Parker wore a custom-made Oscar de la Renta gown to the Met Ball, a cre­ation signed by the artist himself.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Men’s Fashion Roundup With My Fashionable Friend, Stylish Steve Pauley

Hi guys. I love to hang with the fash­ion­able crowd and sur­round myself with those in-the-know, and of course I am always anx­ious to intro­duce you to my friends in the field. Steve Pauley is one of my clos­est inside con­nects for fab­u­lous insights in both beauty and fash­ion. He knows what’s up way before it goes down, with an intu­ition that’s notably on-point.

Steve with olivianj

Here he is, pic­tured above with Olivia Newton-John, on a recent trip to Vegas. A lit­tle FYI on Steve…just like me, he is no stranger to sac­ri­fic­ing neces­si­ties for lux­u­ries, and he is into fash­ion in a big way. I asked ‘Styl­ish Steve’ to record his fall fash­ion roundup for men–a 2014 style fore­cast! Now, for all you women shop­ping for your man for fall, and for all you men want­ing to know what’s com­pletely hip and on-the-scene…Steve is in the house! Read and enjoy. You’ll adore him.

Hello fel­low fash­ion fiends in Beauty-land! It’s me, your fash­ion sleuth on the beat, report­ing every­where from the pent­house to the street! Allow me to intro­duce myself: my name is Steve, and I’m just another appre­ci­a­tor of all that is beau­ti­ful in life, and for me, some of the most beau­ti­ful things fall under the cat­e­gory of men’s fash­ion. Yep, I’m obsessed with it and have been pretty much all my life.

But enough about me…let us get on with it. Today I am here to give you all my lit­tle take on what’s up in men’s fash­ion for fall/winter 2014. (Applause, applause!)

Men in Blue

Lede blue image

Now, being the visual artist that I am, let’s first talk color. To my rov­ing eye THE color of the sea­son is blue, baby. And I don’t mean baby blue–I’m talk­ing elec­tric blue, majes­tic blue, bright, deep and dark blue–you know that hue! Oh yes you do, it’s everywhere.

Men in blue 2

Everything’s gone blue from shoes to sun­glasses and every­thing in between. If you want some­thing new, get your­self into some hot blue.

Cobalt blue

Put down your acces­sories in black and brown; we’ve all got enough of that, and right now, blue is where it’s at!

Blue pants

Fendi is stay­ing true to the trend offer­ing an over­dose of blue in the col­lec­tion includ­ing a divine men’s leather suite of match­ing blue leather clutch, mes­sen­ger, wal­let and key­chain! Why choose and lose? Get ‘em all and be set.

Beyond blue, col­ors are pop­ping all over the place, but in sharp punc­tu­a­tions rather than tak­ing over the whole space. I’m see­ing that so many col­lec­tions this sea­son are based on solids in darks and a good amount of beiges or tra­di­tional pat­terns like plaids and checks accented with a bright blast of color–at the cuff, waist, chest or at the collar.

Gucci is sport­ing vibrant neon col­ored sneak­ers and and belts in every color of the rain­bow to give your ensem­ble that essen­tial kick.

The Fact is Fur

Kanye in paris

Also in, in a big way, is fur–in all forms such as scarves, vests, jack­ets and coats. Kanye wore a floor-length rab­bit coat to the Givency fash­ion show at Paris Fash­ion Week…And Givenchy, one of my fave design­ers of the moment, does in fact have it; so does Valentino, whose coats and scarves are TDF!

Dries van noten fur scarves

Check out the col­or­ful options by Dries Van Noten, above…and Louis Vuit­ton is also rock­ing some awe­some items includ­ing a deca­dent fur vest with a mono­grammed chest that I would love to put myself into and for­get the rest.

Textured sweaters

Saint laurent and dior fuzzy coats

In fact, lux­u­ri­ous, tex­tured fab­rics are all over the run­way and in the shops. In that respect, thin is not in. It’s the chunky fab­rics that are rul­ing again! Two wardrobe sta­ples incor­po­rat­ing this aes­thetic that are thriv­ing right now are the long coat, as seen above left in hound­stooth at Saint Lau­rent and above right at Dior…as well as the chunky, fuzzy sweater, as seen at Louis Vuit­ton, top. Who doesn’t love sump­tu­ous weaves and blends of wool, cash­mere, mohair, alpaca, angora and oth­ers? You could never have too many of these!

Just For Kicks

Fan­ci­ful footwear has cap­tured my soul! Wow, have I seen some excit­ing shoes this sea­son. High-top sneak­ers are still step­ping high! If mem­ory serves me cor­rectly, I seem to remem­ber Kris Van Ashe doing high-tops when he took over for Dior, and that’s no lie. With today’s appre­ci­a­tion hav­ing grown out of that, and that was a rel­a­tively slow-growing process, but here we are today when every designer under the sun is pulling a high-top out of his hat. Those Giuseppe Zanotti’s are pretty rad with all the fur, jew­els, metal hard­ware, crazy, unex­pected col­ors and every kind of doo-dad.

Giuseppe zanottis

Rap­per Ace Hood sports $875 Zanotti’s in crisp, clean, white croc­o­dile, pic­tured above and below. Worn with white jeans and a white T-shirt (and we will get to the best T’s later…!) the look is, oddly, urban and simul­ta­ne­ously ele­gant. Rich. Of course you need not be a rap­per to wrap up these shop­ping acqui­si­tions; they also adapt bril­liantly for the mod­ern Everyman.

Ace hood

But the design house that gets my vote for coolest high-tops is Mai­son Mar­tin Margiela. I love this fella!


I love the style (highly cov­eted and appre­ci­ated by the legion of fans, of which I am one) known as the Replica, which comes out every sea­son in dif­fer­ent fab­rics and leathers with sub­tle mod­i­fi­ca­tions, per­fect for home life and vaca­tions! Celebs love the Replica, too…from Kanye West to Orlando Bloom. They’re just so sim­ple and effort­lessly hip.

Loos­en­ing Up

The sil­hou­ette I’m appre­ci­at­ing right now is the relaxed one. I don’t want to rant, but I sin­cerely love the big, baggy, wide-leg pant. They seem so nice now after so long with all the skinny stove-pipe cuts I’ve been rock­ing for so long. I am all for get­ting back into this pant with its higher waist with the fab­ric flow­ing like a song.

Givenchy runwy 2014

Givenchy’s run­way trouser, above, is one of my favorites with its inter­est­ing dual flaps along the front. They really are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent and dar­ing but at the same time clas­sic and blunt. Louis Vuit­ton also has a gor­geous wool draw­string trouser in grey that I think I could make great use of this day. And what to wear with the volu­mi­nous trouser? How about my fave sweater of the moment, the long cardi­gan, a sen­sual arrouser. Damir Doma, Ann Demeul­meester and Rick Owens among oth­ers, know how to do some great longer-cut cardi­gans correctly.

To A Tee

The T-shirt is often an under­es­ti­mated item, but it is oh so impor­tant, though so often we hide em. T-shirts should be cho­sen very care­fully, because the right one can lib­er­ate you, while the wrong one can oblit­er­ate you! Well, sort of! It’s def­i­nitely Rick Owens for me when it comes to the T. I think he makes the best T-shirts hands down.

Rick owens tee

They are the soft­est, most com­fort­able I have ever worn, and he makes them in so many dif­fer­ent styles. I adore the stan­dard T’s of cot­ton and silk with the extended hem because they are great for lay­er­ing beneath and beyond some­thing worn over them. I have these in both long and short sleeve styles and don’t even recall how I ever got along with­out them, but now I’m all smiles.

And don’t think I’d leave you all hang­ing. I don’t do this all the time, but since we are in Beauty-land, I will pass on to you my top 5 most-shopped web sites where many of the items men­tioned here, and so much more, may be seen and pur­chased (and they all fea­ture items for women too!)

And in no par­tic­u­lar order they are:

An incred­i­ble array of fash­ion, ships straight from Italy, free ship­ping and free returns via DHL, duty and sales tax free…does it get any better!?

Great, great stuff, ships from Canada, free ship­ping usu­ally, duty and sales tax free, though returns are paid by buyer.

Excel­lent selec­tion of mer­chan­dise, often free ship­ping, free returns, ships from US so they do charge sales tax.

A net­work of inde­pen­dent bou­tiques span­ning the globe! Fan­tas­tic selec­tion! Ships from the bou­tique that is list­ing the item, so ship­ping costs vary, though all returns are free. If shipped from within the US there is sales tax. If shipped from out­side the US, there is no duty nor sales tax.

I’ve watched this site grow over the last 14 years into what it is today…great fash­ion at some really good prices! Stock is usu­ally from pre­vi­ous sea­sons but it’s all new and you can find some incred­i­ble deals on items that you may have orig­i­nally missed or those you thought were gone for­ever. Often free ship­ping, always free returns. Items are shipped orig­i­nally from Italy and then dis­trib­uted from the US. Yes to sales tax, but no duties.

All of these sites do have end-of-season sales and pro­mo­tions, so get on the mail­ing lists and keep your eyes peeled!!

Well, that brings my chat to a close, my lit­tle beau­ties in Beauty-land. Now, if you take all of this infor­ma­tion and put it together within rea­son you will have the ingre­di­ents for an absolutely well-dressed man this sea­son! Now go out there and get some­thing great…or work hard and save for sale time…it’s never too late!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Marianna Harutunian Collection & The Future Face of Jewelry

The mod­ern con­cept of jew­elry is chang­ing. Design­ers are chal­leng­ing con­ven­tional ideas of jew­elry with dif­fer­ent areas of the body to embell­ish while they rein­vent those types of jew­elry in aston­ish­ingly beau­ti­ful and unex­pected ways.

Nicki minaj

These changes are com­ing from exotic places…toe rings and pierced noses, from India…hand jew­elry and body har­nesses, from the Mid­dle East, crowns and head­dresses, from all through­out his­tory. And the list goes on.

I am so excited to intro­duce you to a friend of mine, Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian, who is at the fore­front of jew­elry design. Mar­i­anna, a cherry-haired vision­ary, pic­tured below, designs and exe­cutes pieces that can define an entire wardrobe. As jew­eler to celebri­ties like Cher, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, pic­tured above wear­ing a jew­eled glove from the Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian Col­lec­tion, Mar­i­anna has a pretty impres­sive resumé…but she’s also really down-to-earth. Her acces­sories, how­ever, are not.


This woman cre­ates the most out­ra­geous jewels…jewels that look like they came from another world, another time, or both. Some­times her work is fem­i­nine, some­times it’s dark–really, really dark–but it’s always mind-bogglingly unique, very inter­est­ing, bizarre, and com­pletely sur­pris­ing, and I love it all…from her dagger-sharp rings to her fin­ger­nail armor. From her intri­cately fil­i­greed har­nesses to her heavily-jeweled masks, which, I must say, I can­not decide whether they dis­turb me or have seduced me. I think it’s a bit of both.

Stunning rings

Marianna’s pieces have been fea­tured in Vogue Japan and on the run­ways of London’s Fash­ion Week…plus, she counts a for­mi­da­ble force in fash­ion, Italian-Japanese fash­ion direc­tor Nicola Formichetti, as one of her Face­book fol­low­ers! He’s the for­mer art direc­tor at the French fash­ion house, Mugler. Now that is impressive.

Dramatic ring and necklace

You scarcely see a repeat idea; and when you do, its exe­cu­tion is so dif­fer­ent that it ren­ders it com­pletely unique. Mar­i­anna just never runs out of ideas.

And so I am so excited to have com­mis­sioned Mar­i­anna to work on a piece for me: a dress for Hal­loween, fash­ioned entirely out of jew­elry! The back will be a spider’s web…But that’s another arti­cle for another time. For now, I am delighted to show you some of her most cap­ti­vat­ing creations.

Hematite bodice

This elab­o­rate bodice is actu­ally encrusted with hematite and smoky grey pearls. Just look at the detail invested in this piece. This is ART!


The left sleeve of the bodice rede­fines the impact of jew­elry. Wear it over a flesh-toned bodysuit…or a corset, if you’re daring!

Gold ring and claw

My cur­rent obses­sion with gold meets an intri­cate struc­ture that’s crazy-beautiful. Check out those huge, shoulder-dusting ear­rings! And I’m way into the claw the model is wear­ing on her index fin­ger. Keep your eyes open for claws. They’re going to be a new ‘thing’ for the youth.

Nicki minaj claws

Nicki Minaj is already a huge fan, as seen with one of Marianna’s claws on every fin­ger in the photo above.

Green jewelled glasses

Green gem-encrusted sun­glasses? Why not. Snoop (yes, the only Snoop) uti­lized Marianna’s tal­ents in a recent video with his females decked out in bejew­eled sun­glasses, tak­ing eye­wear cou­ture to new heights.

Black mask

A glis­ten­ing mask of tiny black jew­els makes a dra­matic and most mem­o­rable entrance…I don’t know where, but that’s up to you to fig­ure out…

Dramatic blackened metal bodice

I do think it would look quite spec­tac­u­lar with the body chains above. It just doesn’t get any bet­ter than this!

Bold gold

This is as ordi­nary as Mar­i­anna will go: a bold gold bib, ornate with fil­i­gree, and a bracelet, heavy with pearls, trans­form a sim­ple black pantsuit.

Black facial jewelry

Facial jew­elry is a new devel­op­ment in fash­ion, and this delicately-draped, lace-like cre­ation couldn’t look any more cur­rent. Wear it to the clubs.

Crystal encrusted dress

Sparkling crys­tals com­pose an entire dress! And just look at that headpiece!

Lady g

Lady Gaga shines in a pale dis­play of Swarovski crys­tals, set in shim­mer­ing silver.

Intricate gold set

Lov­ing this har­ness, this fab­u­lous bracelet, and the enor­mous hinged knuckle ring. The detail is out­stand­ing. And that ring is a must for many a woman’s wardrobe.

Gold exaggerated bracelet

Check out the detail stu­dio shot above of a near-identical bracelet, if you choose to call it that, in dif­fer­ent light­ing, just so you can mar­vel its work­man­ship, the design, the details…Isn’t it com­plex and gor­geous and unex­pected? It’s pos­i­tively arm candy in Marianna’s skilled hands, where pieces are ‘more is more.’

Enormous gem encrusted bangle

And speak­ing of arm candy, this obscenely huge, gem-encrusted ban­gle is taken to such an extreme as to be inde­scrib­able. The scale of the piece is almost ridiculous…Isn’t it great?!? I love the drama. Don’t you just adore Marianna?!?

Feathered mask2

Another arrest­ingly beau­ti­ful mask/headdress is sure to leave every­one speech­less, includ­ing the per­son who is wear­ing it.

Shoulder piece

This shoul­der piece is both bold yet fem­i­nine. Wear it over some­thing, or wear it under some­thing. Just wear it.

Dramatic V necklace

Marianna’s ver­sion of a “sim­ple” neck­lace is one that plunges prac­ti­cally to the waist. It’s any­thing but average.

Gold set

Too gor­geous for words, this gold-and-pearl set is pos­i­tively spellbinding!

Now I know what some of you are think­ing: “Where would I wear any of these designs? They might be beau­ti­ful, but they’re a lit­tle ‘out-there’ for me. Too weird.” Per­son­ally, I think any woman would look fab wear­ing one of Marianna’s over­sized rings or a giant cuff bracelet. If you’re a lit­tle more dar­ing, go for a bold state­ment neck­lace, or a com­bi­na­tion of the afore­men­tioned. You can wear her things casu­ally with jeans and an off-shoulder sweater, for exam­ple, or with cou­ture, for that mat­ter. Loosen up and get creative.

Elegant necklace

And if you really, seri­ously can­not bring your­self to fall in love with these most edgy, iconic jew­els, then stick with some­thing ele­gant and sim­ple, like this gold neck­lace that speaks of sophis­ti­ca­tion. You can’t go wrong wear­ing this cre­ation to the opera with a plung­ing neck­line, or as-is over a black cash­mere turtle­neck dur­ing the day and into the night for din­ner and drinks with friends.

Knuckle rings and fingernail armor

My advice is to go to Marianna’s Shop­ping & Retail Page on Face­book, and poke around. Make sure you ‘fol­low’ her on FB. She some­times has big sales with slashed prices that make own­ing a Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian an irre­sistible bargain.

Also check out the Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian Etsy store­front. There are 375 items in that store. You may find a few you like. I’m cur­rently lust­ing after her adjustable knuckle rings with match­ing fin­ger­nail armor, $125, above. I need these in my life, lol! I want a set for both hands…Now how dra­matic would that be?!?! You must admit, it’s a tad more sophis­ti­cated than nail art!

I’m also cov­et­ing the black grapevine-style cuff made with hematite Swarovski crys­tals and plated in black metal, $375; the dia­mond clus­ter choker made with lime green Swarovski crys­tals, plated in 24 karat gold, $278; the triple-stone ring made with vit­rail medium Swarovski crys­tals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $85; the Medieval arrow ring, with hematite Swarovski crys­tals, $55; the antique sil­ver hematite clus­ter ring made with Swarovski crys­tals, $65; the emer­ald beauty neck­lace, $195; the fairy ear cover, $38; the Queen Bee ring made with light peach Swarovski crys­tals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $55; the cou­ture body armor, $3,500; the large cock­tail ring, $98; and the crys­tal flower cuff, $145.

Marianna’s pieces are cer­tainly more inter­est­ing than what you’ll find at the mall. And it’s not even that expen­sive to walk away look­ing hip and cool and com­pletely unique. Get a piece of Mar­i­anna before she’s too costly for us mere mor­tals; she is Cher’s go-to jew­eler, remember?

You’ll be see­ing Marianna’s pieces on the celebs, of course, and these types of cre­ations on the street as they infil­trate urban fash­ions. But you’re not merely wear­ing Marianna’s pieces. Let them become a part of who you are. Some­one once said that when you buy some­thing made by a per­son, there is some­thing spe­cial there, and you do feel it. The con­scious­ness with which a thing is made is often more impor­tant than the thing itself. And trust me, you’ll look amaz­ing, dar­lings! Ciao.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Makeup Artist Rae Morris: Low-Maintenance Tips for High-Maintenance Girls

It is bet­ter to arrive late than ugly. How­ever, it is best to be punc­tual and look banging.

Award-winning makeup artist Rae Mor­ris has worked on many a famous face–from Miranda Kerr to Naomi Campbell–and she knows all too well that makeup appli­ca­tion and shop­ping for cos­met­ics can be both time-consuming and confusing.

But it need not be. Rae is author of five out­stand­ing ref­er­ence books on the art of mak­ing up, and now she is prepar­ing to give birth to a new baby: The Ulti­mate Beauty Guide, her sixth tome on look­ing lovely. Just check out her work from the forth­com­ing book, below, on model Lana Zaco­cela, shot by pho­tog­ra­pher Gavin O’Neill…It’s noth­ing short of awe-inspiring! This is a sneak peek into her new project, not even avail­able in stores yet!!! Just look at those eyes!

Lana zakocela

I have col­lected every book from Rae’s illus­tri­ous 20+ year career in makeup, and I find them to be invalu­able ref­er­ences. They are chock-full of low-maintenance tips for high-maintenance girls.

Here are the rest of Rae’s incred­i­ble books. You’ll want to buy them all!

Makeup the ultimate guide

Makeup, the Ulti­mate Guide was Rae’s first attempt in pub­lish­ing back in 2008, and this book is bril­liant! “I wanted to cre­ate a book that would bring high-end fash­ion makeup into the realm of every­day life,” Rae said. “Every sin­gle look–even the most glam­orous ones–was bro­ken down into a sim­ple step-by-step photo guide with clear and con­cise instruc­tions, so that no mat­ter your expe­ri­ence, you could teach your­self.” She con­tin­ued, “This is the for­mat that I have stuck with ever since. The response was amaz­ing and the book became an instant best-seller.”

As a quick aside, Rae man­aged to get Cather­ine McNeil for the front cover and Miranda Kerr for the back cover. Not bad for book num­ber one.

Express makeup

Rae changed focus with book num­ber two, Express Makeup. “I have spent a lot of time in my career work­ing back stage at fash­ion shows where every­thing has to be done quickly,” Rae stated. The tricks that she has learned in the trenches of fash­ion were the inspi­ra­tion for this book.

Whether you have fif­teen min­utes to spare or just five, there are express fixes per­fect for women who may be put off by how long it takes them to do their makeup,” she said. This book is all about real women with real-world time frames, about tricks like using sticky tape to do eye­liner and the most effi­cient sequence in which to do your makeup. “Express Makeup is about mak­ing makeup liv­able,” she added.

Timeless makeup

Time­less Makeup was Rae’s third book in 2011. “It was really a cul­mi­na­tion of sev­eral things for me,” she said. “I’d just turned 40 and hav­ing been a pro­fes­sional makeup artist for almost 20 years my appre­ci­a­tion of beauty at all ages had really evolved.”

Fas­ci­nated with the dif­fer­ence makeup could make in reduc­ing the signs of aging and, when applied with age appro­pri­ate­ness, how makeup could actu­ally cre­ate a time­less beauty as we age, Rae belted out another win­ner with Time­less Makeup.

Rather than work­ing on 15-year-old super­mod­els, I found I actu­ally often pre­ferred older mod­els where a sim­ple tech­nique could lit­er­ally takes years off appar­ent age,” she said.

This book focuses on women over 30 where the signs of aging are start­ing to show, and the aver­age model age in Time­less Makeup was 56.

Beautiful eyes

Along the way two other books emerged as extracts: Beau­ti­ful Eyes, being the eye sec­tion of Makeup, the Ulti­mate Guide, and Quick Looks, below, Rae’s lat­est release, which is derived from Express Makeup.

My books are now pub­lished in eight lan­guages and are used as the cur­ricu­lum text for makeup acad­e­mies around the world.”

She con­tin­ued, “I’m par­tic­u­larly proud of this because I’m dyslexic,” she stated, adding, “I’m just more pas­sion­ate than I am dyslexic!”

Quick looks

You can find all of Rae’s books on her web­site, and while you’re at it, you just have to check out her awe­some col­lec­tion of mag­netic brushes…Yes! Mag­netic!

Rae s brushes

The mag­net in the base of the han­dle means the brushes can securely stand upright,” as opposed to just lying down, Rae explained. “This takes up less space, makes them extremely easy to orga­nize and find, and is great from a hygiene per­spec­tive because the brush heads don’t have to be in con­tact with any­thing. In com­bi­na­tion with our stor­age sys­tem, the mag­nets secure the brushes in tran­sit, this pro­tects the heads so that you don’t open your kit on arrival to find bent brush bris­tles every­where,” mak­ing them per­fect for travel!

Another nice trick is that when you clean your brushes you can hang them upside down (using a metal sur­face) and they drip dry!

But the most impor­tant aspect to Rae’s brushes is the intel­li­gence with which they are shaped–the artis­tic keen knowl­edge that’s applied to each and every brush.

Over time I became more pas­sion­ate about brushes than any­thing else in my kit–over years I tested dif­fer­ent designs and tex­tures and in the process, almost with­out real­iz­ing it, I came up with my own range of brushes. My brushes are the secret behind many of my most famous creations.”

To me, makeup is all about the brushes. You can do more with min­i­mal prod­uct and an incred­i­ble brush range than you can with cot­ton buds and draw­ers full of makeup.”

Thanks, Rae, for shar­ing! You are an inspi­ra­tion to women every­where who want to look great but don’t have hours and hours to primp. We love you!