Monday, November 12, 2012

Dress Shirt, Minus the Shirt Part

 Made this out of an old dress shirt that my dad gave me.  The back pleat is at the front of the bodice, the collar forms a waist band, and the button-down part acts as the back closure down the skirt.  Thanks stellar photographer Missa!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Street Style and More

I'm back at CollegeFashionista this semester and writing for a new site, as well.  (Hence why House of Violet has been pretty inactive for awhile.  I'm not sure why I thought two magazine internships plus school was wise...)  Anyway, the site I've just started doing editorial spreads for is called LookMazing, and it is a neat concept.  It combines social media with street style with fashion blogging with online shopping, and probably  many other vague points on the fashion website spectrum that I can't pinpoint at the moment.  Basically, you become a member and post looks you find online or photograph yourself and then tag all the items with similar ones available for purchase on LookMazing.  They carry pretty much every brand you can imagine.  Then, you can browse other looks and put items in your wishlist.  When you buy things, they show up in your virtual closet.  You can also choose to "admire" (it's like following or friending) other members if you like their uploaded looks. You can then browse their wishlists and closets and "wink" at things that you like. So it can function as a place to check for style tips, a place to connect with other fashionistas/os, or place to shop - with several thousand stylists on hand for inspiration.

As if this wasn't cool enough, there is an interactive magazine - this is where I come in. (yay!) The magazine has features on members whose style is show-worthy and captures street style in an array of settings.  It also has trend stories based on runway looks and happenings in the blog sphere.  Within the editorials, you can click on any look to get more information, purchase the individual pieces, or put them on your wishlist.

Check out my articles that have been posted so far and become a member!

Make-up Feature on Purple Mascara - includes video tutorials
Two-page spread on Animal Prints
Two pages of Halloween costume ideas - I realize it's a bit after-the-fact on this one...but it's never too soon to think about next year!  I wanted to be a toddler in tiara this year and didn't have time (what with all my other costumes like Madeline and 50 Shades of Grey) so I'm already putting it aside for future tutu-ing.

Links to my CollegeFashionista style advice columns coming soon. xo.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Socially Aware Back-Packs

Keep an eye out for this start-up company - Kitab Bags - who will be designing unique backpacks, each of which will be associated with its own social cause.  A percentage of the proceeds will then benefit the cause - pretty cool, yes?  They are currently hosting a design competition and will be awarding cash prizes if they get enough Facebook likes for their new page, so spread the word, and enter if you're interested!  I'd love to see them succeed.  Here's their main webpage: 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shop Koshka

Just discovered the coolest new online shopping website for fashionistas who want to look like no one else -  The set-up of the site is what I like the best.  Yes, the pieces they feature are unique, fresh, and creative, but you also get the benefit of up-and-coming designer discovery when you shop there.  Each piece has a small description of the indie-designer responsible for it as well as at least five photos of the garment from all angles, so you really know what you're getting.  Not to mention they have an entire "sock boutique."  Some of the designers whose garments are currently available include Twinkle by Wenlan Chia, Love Zooey by Grace Chon, Otis and Maclain by Sharmani Hall and Andrea Cheatham, and Australian label, Ladakh.  Also, they have the coolest blog probably ever:

My wishlist?

Shakuhachi dress
Lucca Couture riding pants
Samantha Pleet peak-a-boo shorts-in-a-skirt (just made up that term)
Lucca Couture ensemble
Ayame trouser socks

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Laver's Law: Fashion History

Several years ago, I discovered a handy little timeline by which to gauge the appropriateness (or lack there of) of fashion choices, particularly those which reference other time periods or trends.  Laver's Law, created by costume historian and museum curator James Laver, gives one an idea of exactly how far back into the past one must go in order to find suitable material for replay.  It is as follows:

Indecent:  10 years before its time
Shameless:  5 years before its time
Daring:  1 year before its time
Smart:  current fashion
Dowdy:  1 year after its time
Hideous:  10 years after its time
Ridiculous:  20 years after its time
Amusing:  30 years after its time
Quaint:  50 years after its time
Charming:  70 years after its time
Romantic:  100 years after its time
Beautiful:  150 years after its time 

Upon looking back at these distinctions for the first time in awhile, I cannot help but think, how true.  By Laver's Law, Balenciaga is daring, the 90s are ridiculous, the 80s are amusing, and a Jackie O suit is quaint.  Beyond that, we have the charming 1940s ruffle blouses, pencil skirts, and hair dos, and of course, there are Victorian-era inspired pieces that could be anywhere from romantic to beautiful due its span.     

This week's Style Advice on CollegeFashionista? V is for Victorian.  Check it, girls.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Two Hot Looks For the Price of One

My STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK via CollegeFashionista from last week and this week:

For a fresh and youthful take on neons and tribal prints - click here!

For a one-of-a-kind reference to The Hangover's  infamous bachelor party speech - try here!

And next Monday, keep an eye out for a special sister act.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Searching For Inspiration

Just watched two of my all time favorite Christmas movies:  The Holiday, with all star cast Jack Black, Kate Winslett, Cameron Diez, and Jude Law; and A Muppet Christmas Carol (all star cast self explanatory).  I'm helping Kiya Tomlin design her autumn/winter/holiday line of girls' dresses this summer, and I am struggling to get into the spirit of things.  My brain can't seem to turn off the summer mindset, and it's coming out in the totally inappropriate designs I've come up with so far.  It's like I have a mental block on weighty fabrics, dark colors, and sleeves.  Where are the reds and golds?  The velvet bows?  The sparkle, the glow?  (Sorry, the rhyme was just begging to be used there.)  Thankfully, I think the movies are helping.  If you've never seen them, you are seriously missing out on a warm, wonderful feeling that spreads from your stomach all the way out to your extremities - the kind that makes you actually smile and then you realize you're smiling and blush in embarrassment on top it, but you still can't stop smiling.  The Holiday has all the elements of the best ever movie:  Christmas, New Year's Eve, hot couple who meet and immediately have sex but still fall in love afterward, adorable couple that takes longer to get together so you're really rooting for them, Jack Black's humor, Jude Law's smile, an adorable and wise old man, two little girls with British accents and a TENT in their bedroom, AND a phenomenal soundtrack with heartwarming instrumental compositions mixed with Christmas classics mixed with some actual good songs.  The Muppet movie, again, speaks for itself.  Sorry this has almost nothing to do with fashion, but see it as a lesson in how to immerse yourself in something for the sake of your art rather than an excuse for me to rant about Christmas movies in the middle of June.

Monday, June 11, 2012

CollegeFashionista Style Advice of the Week

First real post went live today!  Check it out for a great look for a hot summer night in the city.  Here's a preview:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Activities

So I'm interning with CollegeFashionista this summer, officially kicking off today.  My first post was just to be a bio - here's the link!

Every Monday from now until August, however, I'll be doing a feature article on an artful fashionista that I encounter in my travels around the 'burgh, NYC, and wherever else I make it this summer.  My column is called "Style Advice of the Week," so I'll be zeroing in on something in particular that the fashionista (or fashionisto, as the male version is apparently called, to be politically correct about a term that even my Safari browser knows isn't a word), has done right, or that is on trend, or that I just like for some reason.  I'll be sure to post the links here, but I'm going to try to keep up with actual House of Violet posts, too!
I needed a photo for my bio, but my friend and I got a little carried away with our photo shoot...

Collective Concepts maxi skirt, Free People shirt, J. Crew necklace and bracelet, Nine West sandals

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Insect-Inspired Fashion

 The lovely Jasmine Oh gives me her best catwalk in the Cornell Fashion Collective's annual spring runway show.  As a first year designer, I only got to enter one piece, i.e. this one, so I spent a heck of a lot of time on it.  The bodice is some weird synthetic material I got on sale, with a chiffon and rayon satin skirt and chiffon train.  I ''rubberized" the train with a lattice design done with - literally - silicon bathtub caulking.  The effect is actually so cool.  A Carnegie Mellon University costume design course - thank you Professor Brian Russman - introduced me the ways of rubber; and there are many, make no mistake.  Then I made a sort of partial crinoline with lavender rubber coated wire from the hardware store (sweet find, no idea what the practical purpose of such a product is), jewelry wire, and glass beads.  I also forgot to wear shoes for the picture below.  schwoops.  (The above photo is Dave Burbank photography, the next two are unknown...stolen via facebook, and the rest are by Tina Chau.  To see more photography by Tina - )   

P.S.  Yes, the dress was inspired by a rather insane looking bug I discovered on my patio a while back and photographed avidly.  And apparently since lost the photos of which.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bright Buds and Bold Moves

"Somehow or other it came just the same!" - Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Somehow or other, spring came in February, so I guess I had better stop wearing gray (ok, there is some gray stripage happening in that cardigan, but I can't give it up completely, just yet).
WallpapHer cardigan, Frenchi top, Joe's jeans, all from Nordstrom
Aldo shoes

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rainy Days - to the Baby Grand!

Yucky day after yucky day; I want to go outside to play. But in the meantime I shall settle for playing the piano (if I can call that what I am doing when I sit on the leopard print upholstered piano bench and hit some keys - sometimes I even use both hands at once!).
Juicy Couture Cardigan, Banana Republic sleeveless knit top, Urban Outfitters skirt, J.Crew tights (which are actually gray with a simple pattern, but apparently magically disappear in the flash of a camera, leaving my legs with a most attractive, sickly, grayish tinge), Ugg Boots.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Call Me

Candy, sitting daintily in an old pay phone box at one of Cornell’s student centers and holding her more updated communication device, is wearing a stellar combination of fur and chiffon. It’s a perfect option to consider when the bitter cold weather is just begging you to throw on your biggest, most worn-in sweats left over from your high school basketball days. The flowy dress gives her easy movement and comfort while the jacket and fur collar keep her cozy and warm. Plus, she adds the great leather boots to face whatever precipitation the faithful Ithaca skies will decide to drop on her. On top of it all, the pop of orange color makes one a little hopeful for spring. Her dress is Forever21, her jacket Zara, with added vintage fur collar, and her boots Steve Madden.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh, to collage forever...

When you should be studying, collage instead. It never gets old, and you always end up with something you like, however useless it may be. Whereas, what do, say, math problems look like when you've finished them? An even bigger jumble of HEADACHE than they did when you started. Happy cutting and pasting.

I made this out of newspaper, fashion magazines, and a LOT of clear packing tape before some major tests - really takes the edge off. It is actually wearable, too. The back opens all the way down, and it can just be taped and retaped together along the seam. I have yet to wear it out in public, but we'll see...any more studying might just make me reckless enough.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fall Fashion Week, NYC 2012

These are my top three favorite pieces, assuming I researched the documentation of all shows thoroughly. Clockwise from left: Erin Fetherston, Oscar de la Renta, Anna Sui.

Fall Fashion Week in New York was, overall, rather a disappointment to me. I've already seen much more to get excited about in the shows in Madrid, London, and Milan. Nevertheless, definitely garnering the most attention was Marc Jacobs' glacial runway, gingerly navigated by models essentially blinded by the extravagant, Mad-Hatter-style, fur monstrosities they wore atop their heads. It was a dreamlike performance, as we have come to expect from Marc Jacobs, and although it was not my personal favorite of his collections, it was certainly refreshing compared to his competition throughout the week. Largely, the rest of the shows had two main themes: menswear inspirations, very much revolving aroung the suit, tie, and blazer, often accompanied by mens hats; and a color scheme of black, gray, and white, sometimes with a pop of just one or two accent colors here and there, most frequently a burnt orange or coral color. Some examples of this consistent, though in my humble opinion, horrifically tired and unappealing, fashion statement are in the next few pictures taken from either Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Home,, or

Ruffian - I liked this take on the dark, masculine look best because of the sensual, 1940s locks that poke out from under the models' detective-esque hats. The lipstick adds to the air of mystery, which creates a sex appeal not present in many of the other lines.

Richar Chai

Ralph Lauren

Michael Kors - overall this was a very glamorous line, dominated by luxurious furs and finishing with glittering evening wear, but the color scheme followed the pattern: black, gray, white, with accents of orange and browns.
Jil Stuart

Donna Karan

3.1 Phillip Lim
Calvin Klein

Alice and Olivia - this collection did have many gorgeous dresses and a lot of feminine appeal in addition to black and white pieces with menswear touches like the above. I suggest checking it out on, mainly because the photoshoot is spectacular.
Betsey Johnson - even Betsey, who can always be counted upon to put forth something crazy, got on the bandwagon with some looks (though she naturally took the hot pink route with her masculine silhouettes).
Custo Barcelona - even more shocking is that Custo Barcelona seemed to follow the color scheme through most of his show, despite his usual rainbow display in wild textures and prints.

There were also some more feminine takes on the color uniformity, however. I suppose no one could expect Carolina Herrera or Vera Wang (right) not to send something so wonderfully light and girly down the runway that it practically floats. A feminine suit was not unheard of, either, such as Tory Burch's below. And, low and behold, lavender!

Peter Som (left) and Acne (right) seem a little stuck in last season's silhouette from Paris Fashion Week. The wide, lower-set shoulders seen in both of these jackets were all over the spring 2012 runway, in blazers, outwear, and structured tops alike. Personally, I don't understand the aesthetic.

Tulle! Chris Benz's line (left) was one of my absolute favorites, and I literally gasped at my computer screen when I saw this gown (right) by Carlos Miele.
Channeling the 60s:

Nicole Miller
Nanette Lepore

Oscar de la Renta - also a classically feminine line, in which Jackie O. meets prima ballerinas
Betsey Johnson
Anna Sui

Alexander Wang - boxy, masculine silhouettes with cool bits of netting over the bottom of many of the models' faces. Most pieces looked like rain gear, however.
Despite the vastly dull and butch offerings in the day wear this season, the evening wear of many designers adopted the 1930s draped bias line and art deco details that were breathtaking:

Ralph Lauren - the curved seams at the hip showed up on several runways, but not all were as flattering as these.
Reem Acra
Michael Kors
Michael Kors

Badgley Mischka - also featured a winter themed runway design with teased locks and dark lips on all the models. This might be my favorite show.
Overall, I'm just a bit confused. I am obviously aware that our nation is and has been in economic recession, but are our designers suffering from some creative or emotional depression? Or perhaps the tides have simply turned to the practical in light of the economy. Whatever the cause, I miss the spectacle that is fashion week, the fantasy, and most importanly, the fun.