You Don’t Have to be Pretty

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As someone who is not very active on social media, I just found this quote today. Wrongly attributed to Diana Vreeland, it is actually by Erin McKean – a paragraph in one of her blog post. If you are bored with the standard fashion blog of More Expensive Things No One Can Afford, then check her blog of thoughtful posts, a mishmash of fashion and art history, popular culture and DIY projects.

PSA: The One-Woman Fashion Show is Back on the Road!!

Kate India Bhutan tourI do not use the double exclamation marks lightly – this is probably only the second time in my adult life. Or thereabouts. But! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a royal tour of India and Bhutan! Only two places I’ve always wanted to go to.

So far, the fashion does not disappoint. I love the very interesting Alexander McQueen red dress (above picture, left) – peplum and a split skirt, two of my favorite dress elements. Practical, to boot!

The Anita Dongre dress (middle) is both ethnic and contemporary. I love the color. I do wish she had opted for a shalwar kameez – that would have been practical for the cricket bout she’d have in that dress. But pehaps that would be too costume-y, too early, and too Diana-ish. Check out the story on how the dress had been altered and in turn, the altered version being offered by the original designer. What economic power house! *swoon*

The striking blue Jenny Packham evening dress is a lovely if too-safe option, especially considering she’s mingling with Bollywood elites.

For an engaging discussion of Kate Middleton fashion, check out the What Kate Wore Blog – the best blog ever on personal style.

Aaah, it’s going to be an enjoyable week. Bring on more of the one-woman fashion show!

kate middleton india bhutan tour
Source: The Telegraph

 

Kelly Moore: Bags and Blog

kelly moore bags

I first heard of the Kelly Moore Bags from Rhee. I have yet to own a Bag, but one day, one day, the Libby (in orange or green) will be mine.

In addition to designing functional, pretty bags, Kelly also blogs. I love her posts. This post, about her adopted daughter, is especially poignant. You will be left inspired and optimistic about the World.

[And damn fanatics for censoring Vimeo!!]

 

Another Iconic Look from the Duchess of Cambridge

kimono at the V&A
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The Duchess of Cambridge had a very busy couple of weeks, which is great for her fans and fashion watcher in general. All her fashion choices of the week can be re-lived in Susan’s excellent blog, but I just want to highlight this iconic choice, the Erdem Alouette gown, which I will have to say is my favorite look of hers of all time, in this blog.

This was worn on a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum (“The World’s Greatest Museum of Art and Design”) to attend a function. As someone who has never been to the UK, I had fun looking over the V&A site, and found this section on the Kimono. People often commented these on Kate’s fashion choices: that it’s not flattering to her body; it’s not princessy enough; it’s too princessy; it’s not season-appropriate, etc. I believe, however, these considerations are not of paramount importance to her, but rather the occasion, and how best she could highlight an event, cause or venue of the moment. If you look at the header of the Kimono section of V&A, and her fashion choice, this consideration is very clear.  Another iconic, perfectly styled look that is educational to boot – that is, if you look beyond the visual aesthetics.

Duchess of Cambridge Erden gown2
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HRH Sighting: Kate wearing Lolita Earings made by a Balinese family

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I’m starting a series called HRH Sightings, HRH being the Duchess of Cambridge aka Kate Middleton. She’s recently spotted wearing a pair of Mirabelle’s Lolita Earrings (see picture above). Mirabelle said that this piece, part of their Mythology Collection, was handcrafted by a family in Bali (who is probably dumbstruck that something made by their hands is being worn by the future Queen of England).

[This is probably the first time the Duchess wears an item known to be made in Indonesia and it’s to her credit that it’s an artisanal rather than a luxury designer piece].

I love it when royalty, international trade and fashion create a story. In the olden days, this would be a remarkable story of Cleopatra wearing an Indian silk sheath, presented to her by Mark Anthony who obtained the cloth from Silk Road merchants, with the  process of harvesting, weaving, transporting and tailoring the fabric probably taking over a few years. It is an everyday fact now, but once in a while a story makes it remarkable again.

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Back to Work: Madame Sarkozy

Bulgari Ad of Carla Bruni Sarkozy
Bulgari Ad featuring Carla Bruni Sarkozy

During the supermodel era of the 80’s and 90’s, my favorite was Carla Bruni. Even amongst the super of humans (Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell et al), Carla Bruni was, to me, superior. She was clearly very intelligent, well educated and articulate; her interviews were interesting reads. She came from a very privileged background of Italians (technically, she is Carla Bruni Tedeschi), grew up in France, and her parents were professional classical musicians. In hindsight, it’s should not be surprising that she followed up a very successful modeling career with a successful musical one. Of course, everyone knows that she later married French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

So it is a surprise to see Carla on the Bulgari advertisement popping up on my computer screen. I mean, how often do you see former First Ladies in advert pop ups? A brief Google search revealed that these advertisements have been around for a few months. Check out the gorgeous spread here. It seems that we’ll be treated to another round of professional reincarnation of Mrs. Bruni Sarkozy. And that? Is a good thing.

The song that launched her singing career, below.

 

Zoya Zara nail polish and EACH bracelet (or: How a princess inspires fashion choices)

 

 

East Anglia Children Hospital bracelet worn by HRH Duchess of Cambridge
EACH bracelet worn by HRH Duchess of Cambridge (Source)

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is one of my girl crushes, and when I saw her wearing the bracelet above, I knew I had to have it. It’s such an unusual color combination, and purple is one of my beloved colors. This piece will go well with a lot of my wardrobe. Closer pictures of the bracelet can be seen in this blog, which follows all Kate’s fashion moments.

The bracelet itself is quite light and, to be honest, a bit flimsy. But that is not why this global citizen bought it. You can order it from here. The cost is £10 (including shipping to anywhere in the world), and proceeds go to the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), of which the Duchess is a patron.

In the pictures below, I paired the bracelet with Zoya nail polish in ‘Zara’, a mid-tone purple with very fine gold shimmer. Zoya is my favorite nail polish brand. One of their signature specialty is infusing a glowing gold sheen into any nail polish colors. You can see this clearly in Zara. It is an understated fun, and I like Zara for those middle-of-the-way occasions at work, where I can get away with a little funky, but not too funky to shock the humans.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish
East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish
East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) bracelet & Zoya Zara nail polish