Saturday, December 19, 2009

Steve Alan's Perfect Travel Bag for V Australia on the Runway

By Laura Medina

Ready to take off right now to somewhere hip, hot, bright, and happy?

This travel companion is still under the hangers but it's ready to take off on the runway.

Here is your sneak peek at the Steve Alan's Perfect Travel Bag for V Australia.

Inspired by the employees, backpackers, and jet-setters, he took in account of the "V" insigna, a need to secure your laptop, quilted nylon to cushion your laptop/netbook, waxed cotton to protect everything from the elements, a wet pouch from divers, hidden straps, and all wrapped up in saddle leather and red with silver zippers.

Actually, it is "3 bags in 1" built with 3 compartments that zippers open and close them shut.

The main compartment's exterior is wrapped in waxed cotton, two deep square front pockets, a side pocket with rope detail, with reinforced corners and silver rivets, heavy duty silver top zipper. There's a hidden zipper for front compartment. Each zipper has a dark red leather puller.

Opening the main compartment, you'll find a deep, wide interior dipped in bright red lining, a side pocket, and smaller "hat" pocket.

The bottom compartment resembles a vintage travel makeup case. You can open and close the silver zipper on all 3 sides for easy access. The top pocket has a zipper closure whereas the lower pocket is low and long with ruched opening. Natural tan leather snuggles the whole bottom compartment.

Flip it over to the footing and you'll find a sly and slim zippered compartment for your netbook/laptop. Quilted in red nylon for extra protection. Unlike the normally bag, this flat bottom comes with a waxed cotton strap.
Just like Australia's own platypus, built by air, sea, and the landed gentry, Steve Alan combined it into a striking jet-setting, Swiss Knife of bag in "Town to Country" clothing.
Now, you have something to pine for on next holidays' wish list.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tokidoki, the next level on the time and space of the Japanese Superflat Continuum

By Laura Medina
A Tokidoki Girl on the big screen-on the ceiling and the wall in the big tent
You know how there are certain moments in life where time, place, and people intersect in the cosmic continuum simultaneously, all for the same reason when each particular individual just happens to think of the one and same specific goal or wish then they collide into a super nova.
This all concurred on 7965 1/2 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood on a Thursday night.

Tarina Tarantino, left, and Pooneh Mohajer-Arnold, right, all in hot pink
This was how Tokidoki was born.
Pondering what to call his graph online portfolio, this Japanese Kawaii Superflat fan and Takashi Murakami admirer, Simone Legno named it, "Tokidoki," Japanese for "sometimes."
This pretty sums up this ex-punk rock Italian bassist's philosophy, how eventually the right person or people with the right purpose and intention will find you then they will set you on the right path in the right direction.
Tokidoki designer, Simone Legno, left, with Nicky Hilton holding her autographed Karl Lagerfeld Tokidoki doll.

Pooneh and her husband, Ivan, felt the same way. She calls it "happenstance." She found the trip from magically discovering a graphic artist online to becoming a cool and affordable global brand, surreal.

After selling Hard Candy Cosmetics with her sister, Pooneh and Ivan went on several consulting gigs with major cosmetic brands but eventually were itching to start a brand in a new field in a new direction.

Ivan was just browsing the web one night when he called Pooneh to come out and see this guy's Superflat-inspired art work. She just screamed an eureka moment when she caught glimpse of Simone's work.

They convinced him to move from Rome to Los Angeles. The move made him even more glamourous, more edgy, more sexy.

In homage to Japanese Pop Culture, central bar with cherry blossoms.

With the right experience and connections, they grew from super affordable $5 tee-shirts to this lifestyle brand, encompassing figurines, skateboards, a LeSportsac luggage, a limited edition Smashbox Cosmetics line, and collaborations with Levi's, Hello Kitty, and Karl Lagerfeld.

Simone is just thrilled he is following in the footsteps of his idol, the progenitor of Japanese Pop Art-and an Andy Warhol freak himself-Takashi Murakami.

He calls designers and artists like himself, the progenies of Murakami, the second wave of the Superflat iconography.

Aware of the Murakami reference, Pooneh is not afraid to state, that despite the growth of Tokidoki, they still want to keep everything affordable and approachable for the average Tokidoki fan.

A new XBOX 360 game for stylistas

Watching his art work projecting on the walls and ceiling, signing a Karl Lagerfeld Tokidoki Doll for Nicky Hilton, sipping white wine, nibbling on Asian tapas, and gobbling frozen yogurt to his heart's desire, Simone felt this night, this moment in time, is meant to be.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Fantastical, the Functional, & the Frugal, Merry Cheers for all Budgets

Demeter Fragrances for the Holidays: Fireplace, Mulled Cider, and Gingerbread

Let's take the "tacky" out of tactful gift-giving this holiday season. Why not replace it with "thoughtfulness?"

Being on a constricted budget doesn't give a person the excuse to dole out blatantly broken-down rejects, dubious dowdiness, and the clearly cheap.

It's one thing to receive a beautiful holiday card that can double as an holiday ornament. It's another to receive a hand-me-down, regifting reject. Come on, your friends and family are smarter than that. Just because something is regifted doesn't qualify it as vintage or a heirloom or an antique.

Finding that thoughtful present that's also budget-friendly can be so daunting, it's enough to make a grown kid cry over the holidays.

Don't fret. The Arriviste is here to the rescue.

Since you know people are turning your Manhattan trip from a pure holiday into a shopping/import side business, you might as well enjoy the perks of being a tourist/buyer and dr0p by Duane Reade at tourist mecca, Herald Square on 34th Street and Broadway and stare in awe at the vast and very affordable Demeter Fragrances 90 Scents Library.

Each scent comes in a 1 ounce spray bottle in a reachable price of $14.99 a pop.

The founder and Demeter Fragrances' nose, Mark Crames, felt this is about time he takes his best-sellers from the Mount Olympus of exclusive and remote boutiques then bring his gifts back down to earth where mortal but die-hard fans of the brand can pluck their favorite scent in an approachable setting at a more attainable price.

Shoot, in a drugstore setting, your tween and teen kids-if they were paying attention-can even afford to buy you your beloved scent without smoking their Buxx cards.

Girlfriends and wives can buy the men in their lives, the smoky, not girly, Fireplace.

Mulled Cider can stock a sophisicate's stockings.

Gingerbread brings it back home for folks, even if they can't bake.

Clarisonic PLUSSkin Care System with Spot Therapy Brush and Skincare Collection, top middle
The pink and cute MIA Clarisonic, bottom left, & Clarisonic Boom for Men, bottom right

Stocking stuffers don't have to be stingy or ephemeral.

Small things can pack a wallop, like these super-efficient and very effective Clarisonic brushes for women and men and face and body.

If you have a tween or teen or a stressed-out adult child fretting over their encrusted break-outs, rosacea, and blackheads-hello? Holiday panic-here is a considerate gift that they can be actually be grateful for year-around and beyond.

After years of hearing the same complaints with no quick relief on the market, Dr. Robb Akridge, an esteemed dermatologist, teamed up the inventor of the Sonicare Toothbrush, to develope the ultimate facial brush to help loosen and brush off black/white heads and polish off acne scars and fine wrinkles while soothing rosacea-induced bumps and lumps.

Despite the obvious veneer of vanity, Dr. Akridge, insisted the most wonderful gift you can give to anyone is a great inner sense of self-confidence.

"As soon as you get that inner sense of confidence, you can project it back."

As a physican and a man, Dr. Akridge is wise enough to diverge and specialize for different markets with its own unique requirements.

The tiny but tough mini MIA in pink or white, is the gymnast of the Clarisonic Family. Meant for girls and women on the go, the MIA's one-button, one-speed, one-minute scrub cycle with compact pLink™ power link charger magnetically attaches to the handle and allows for a full 20 minutes of use.

It has multiple tricks and turns in a tiny package: gentle sonic vibrations cleanse deeply, clearing pores; reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; create softer, smoother skin; help reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes; and are gentle enough for cleansing delicate skin every day.

The MIA is absolutely sporty, rechargeable brush is completely waterproof, making it perfect for use in the tub or shower. Brush heads are interchangeable with other Clarisonic skin cleansing models.

Can't forget the boys and men in your life, especially if they're in throes of puberty, acne and facial hair.

As a male, Dr. Akridge, suggesting using the Clarisonic Boom for Men as the ultimate shaving brush. With the gentle facial brush attachment and in addition of a salicylic acid cleanser, the Boom can whip one heck of a luxurious shaving foam as it loosens up in-grown facial hair knots off a male's face, making an easier shave.

If you want to win over a woman's heart, get the Clarisonic's deluxe Clarisonic PLUSSkincare with Spot Therapy Brush for a head-to-toe spa treatment at home. Now, that's a real beauty investment.

For facial cleansing simply choose between three speeds to prepare skin for better product absorption. With separate control buttons, changing the speed level is as simple as the touch of a button. Other Clarisonic PLUS features include customizable T-TIMER® settings as well as a charge indicator light which lets you know when your Clarisonic is getting low on power. The set also comes with the new Refining Skin Polish and an international charging cradle for worldwide use.

With new power settings and spot therapy brush head, the PLUS take deep cleansing beyond the face to care for the body. Simply swap your facial brush head with the new Spot Therapy Brush, and the Clarisonic PLUS automatically shifts to “spot” mode for areas like the décolleté, elbows, hands, arms and knees.

The gentle sonic vibrations cleanse deeply, clearing pores; reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; create softer, smoother skin; help reduce oily areas, dry skin patches and blemishes; and are gentle enough for cleansing sensitive skin.

The capablitiy of using the Clarisonic in both shower and tub isn't enough and whipping up the PLUS's complete skincare collection of: Refining Skin Polish for the Body (infused with Acai Fruit Oil, Wine, Green Tea, and Bamboo); Gentle Hydro Cleanser for Sensitive Skin; Refreshing Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin; and Nourishing Care Cleanser for Dry Skin into a rich lather isn't enough, try this foot soak recipe inspired by a Manhattan fashion editor getting for her Paris Collection trip:

Fill a bowl with leftover, bubbly champagne. Toss in a couple of rose petals. Submerge your weary feets into the rosy champagne mix. Lift one foot. Rub Refining Skin Polish all your heel, toes, and sole. Message and soften with Clarisonic PLUS with Spot Therapy Brush. Dip your feet back into the champagne. Lift and pat foot softly. Repeat the steps with the other foot.

This columnist personally experience this simple chic pedicure, "first-feet," at the Christian Louboutin boutique in West Hollywood.

Do this for the loved ones in your life and they'll be really thankful.

Mémoire Liquide Reserve Edition Books Collection

If you're deseparate to impress the woman in your life, you can buy her a "book" of perfume now for Christmas or just check this out then wait for Valentine's Day, when you actually need something romantic.

Each one of these 5 exquisite perfumes is actually a story of scents.

Mémoire Liquide Reserve is a library collection of perfume, olfactorically describing a scene or a moment in time.

Vacances Liquide: The memory of a vacation on an idyllic tropical beach with warm, white sand and azure waves lapping the shorelineTiare Flower, Fresh Coconut Milk, and Tahitian Vanilla with Oceanic accords.

Soleil Liquide: The memory of warm sunshine on a dazzling, bright summer dayFresh Grapefruit, Tangerine, Blood Orange, and Neroli Flowers with Santal and White Musk.

Amour Liquide: The memory of exhilarating romantic love, at once soul soothing and breath taking Pure Madagascar Vanilla, Tonka Bean, and Incense.

Encens Liquide: The memory of gently wafting ceremonial incense in Japan, soft smoke trailing its mysterious and sultry veil. Soft Amber Resin, White Musk, Black Tea, and enchanting Hinoki Incense.

Among the industry, the liquid fragrance itself is called "the juice."

The juice is stored in a huge, heavy-duty square spray bottle that is gently nestled in it's own "book" with a matte, embossed label cover and gold pages.

Since the story is all about the juice, they replace the cheap gray plastic interior tube with an invisible polymer inside tube, focusing on the fragrant solution. Then, they top it off with a gold embossed cap.

Nothing says, "special," than a book of perfume.

In a round-about way, returns to the beginning. With little or some amount of money, you can help the loved ones build their own scent library over time with either Demeter Fragrances or a Mémoire Liquide Reserve Edition Book.

If they're not much into scents, you can give your love ones the greatest gift of all, self-confidence, with the Clarisonic Brushes.

Whichever way you choose, there's always something for someone at every budget.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Sale is Absolutely Divine

By Laura Medina
Bravo's celebrity fashion stylist, Rachel Zoe
What used to be revolutionary, is now a holiday tradition, Project Angel Food's Divine Design Sale.
Paraphrasing long-time Project Angel Food member, "Will and Grace's" Eric McCormack, this is not your run-of-the-mill yard sale.
Among this writer and he, we both agreed this fundraiser and amazing discount sale is all about continuing dignity and respect through compassion towards people who needs the most.
The opening night gala, which is kicked off with a 50% discount that gradually lowers over a four-days span, is a red carpet gala and dinner attracting hot talent and stellar fashion celebrities, such as Rachel Zoe,
"Project Angel Food, I think is one of the most important organizations that we have, especially here in Los Angeles. I believe it’s been around for twenty years. I believe every city should have this.”
Absolutely. Project Angel Food's Divine Design Fundraising Sale and Event has been the forerunner of all the AIDS and cancer-driven charity sales for the holidays across the nation. However, it holds the distinction of being the few to afford 50% to 60% to 70% to 80% then to the rock-bottom discount of 90% off on the last and final day.
It's legendary for offering fabulous finds at 70% to 90% off, never been scuffed up sofas, dining tables, and fur jackets and coats. This a rare moment where everyone is happy. Shoppers find great gifts while designers donate overstock and the proceeds go directly into the charity feeding sick women and their children.
"Mad Men's" Joan Holloway aka Christina Hendricks

Nothing beats meeting the patron saint of curvy women everywhere than meeting Joan Holloway aka Christina Hendricks, in the flesh.

As a rising actor in Hollywood, she was always impressed by what Project Angel Food has accomplished and was touched to be invited as an honoree this year,

“This is an organization I’ve admired for a really long time. So, it’s really exciting to be here and have this fun event and contribute to such a great organization and help people out. It’s really fun. I’m very honored to be here.”

As for what’s going to happen on the next season of “Mad Men.”

She and her husband saw Matt Wiener the previous night. Not even the creator of "Mad Men" knows. Mr. Wiener told her he has a really great idea then asked her to give him a call the next morning then we’ll talk about it for two hours. Honestly, she doesn’t even know. “We all have to wait for the next season, six months from now.”

Once in a lifetime moment, Rachel Zoe, her assistant, Brad Goreski, chat it up with Christina Hendricks and her husband, Geoffrey Arend.

Once Rachel and Christina walked off the red carpet for the gala dinner and Barbie fashion show, Project Angel Food saved the most meaningful for last.

Dedicated committee board members, "Will and Grace's" Eric McCormack and his wife.

Looking back, Eric McCormack cannot believe how far he, his wife, and the organization has gone.

Wistfully reminiscing, he talked about hosting Divine Design Gala with Debra Messing, back when it was held at the Pacific Design Center. Proudly exclaiming, this year is their eleventh anniversary attending the event. They never miss it. He went to talk about how hard and how long his wife dedicated her time and energy to the organization, delivering hot, fresh, and free meals to terminally ill patients, to such a point that she is now a board member. Eric proudly calls her a "big wig."

As a loyal supporter, he was more than happy to bring it all home for people not familiar with the organization or what's going on with charities in general now a days.

With charities facing a tough year, Eric feels this particular night is crucial to Project Angel Food's mission in feeding and caring sick people.

He wants people to show up and shop $ 8 Millions dollars worth of fresh, unused merchandise gladly donated by clothing and furniture designers at unbelieveable discounts in a decent environment.

Eric cannot get over how the sale is set up and operated like a real high-end department store, Diane von Furstenberg, Steve Alan, and Yves Saint Laurent clothes neatly hanging on racks, Rebecca Moses plates neatly stacked, and pyramids of Rock n' Republic and Smashbox Cosmetics and Kate Somerville Skincare waiting to be snatched.

He proudly states these are not knock-offs, "not the broken down sh*t," one usual finds at ordinary charity sale but respectable products that funds dignity towards those who needs it the most.

Shoppers enjoy a catered buffet with gourmet treats and desserts.

A person doesn't have to be a celebrity to enjoy the holiday cheers. To kick off the sale, Project Angel Food served a catered buffet with gourmet cheese and crackers, fresh fruits, and yummy, trendy cupcakes and candies, all supplied by Pavillions Supermarket.

A free, full-serviced Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Cafe

Sponsors and donators, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, provided warm refreshments and pastries to endurance shoppers while offering their thermostats, teas, and coffee at fashionably low prices.

Project Angel Food has proven, consistently, that charity can be chic and fun for all, at totally low prices while feeding those with hot, nutritious meals so they can be healed.

Now, this is holiday cheer.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Never Too Late for Rodarte for New Year and the Next Year

By Laura Medina

Sequin Rib Cage Dress in Black, $49.99
Striped Tee in White/Navy, $16.99
Lace Tights in Black, $12.99

It's official. Based from last night's Divine Design's Holiday Fundraising Gala, sequins are here to stay into the next year.

For first timers, it's Eighties Redux.

Target has come to the recessionista's rescue. Teaming up with Rodarte for a near one-month stretch, Rodarte for Target is mixing up twenty-first century sequins with late twentieth century punk rock black lace tights then tossing them into a reasonable, friendly collection priced from $12.99 to no more than $79.99.

Lace Bow Dress in Yellow Leopard, $44.99
Lace Tights in Black, $12.99

Glittery for New Year's but light enough to pull into Spring, even Summer, Rodarte for Target is a can't miss.

With early Madonna's black lace and tulle paired with denim jacket for those who yearns for the Eighties to the more edgy but elegant rib cage shift dress in black and white sequin that will be an automatic vintage piece, this collection has you covered for the next whole year.

Lace Cardigan in Mustard, $29.99
Lace Cami in Black, $19.99
Lace and Tulle Skirt in Mustard, $29.99
Bow Belt in Black, $12.99
Lace Tights in Black, $12.99
Launching just in time to shock your Chrismukkah system out of the garish composition of green and red felt and patchwork and whole lot more stylish than the melancholy gray and blue, this edgy-chic collection makes a statement that isn't a holiday one-note yet fashionably crafted to be uniquely one-off in lace and tulle dresses and skirts, leopard-print sequin frocks, netted legwear, silk camis and bow belts, making designer fashion available for all at a great value.
Because this is a limited edition, these pieces are meant to be special enough as vintage for the future so-hopefully-three girls won't show up at the party wearing the exact same outfit.
Unique couture at down-home prices.
Just in time for the holidays, the edgy-chic Rodarte for Target collection will launch in Target stores and on December 20 through January 31.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shimmy, Shimmy, Shake

By Laura Medina
CW's Kayla Ewell of "Vampire Diaries" in Rainbow Sequin Mini Dress at $72
Does this recent Autumn season of frugal grays, dowdy browns, and bleak blacks are getting you down?
Even vampires, like "Vampire Diaries'" Kayla Ewell, want a little something to perk up their spirits.
These sparkly offerrings at West Los Angeles' Intuition, a celebrity fave shop where they pick up a little something fun at down-to-earth prices, reflects what is actually happening in the LA fashion scene as we speak-sequins.
People here aren't shy anymore with a shy pinch here and there. No. For night- and day, we're talking about body-draping, not lyrca-choking, knit cardigans in full-on black sequins. The creative ones have sequin patches blooming in poppies and roses.
As the season-and the economy gets duller, people's desire for something bright and shiny gets hotter.
Forget yesterday's glued-on rhinestone and glitter-encrusted blig-blig. Think full-on sparkle sequins in discreet black or disco mirror ball silver. Shoot, why not be like Ms. Ewell and shake it in rainbow primary colors to add some dash.

Gold and Silver Tiered Leather Tanks at $55 and Sequin Pocket Tee at $45

Just because it appears expensive, it doesn't always mean it is exorbitant. At these middle-of-road prices for $72 Rainbow Sequin Mini Dress and Gold and Silver Tiered Leather Tanks at $55, having that shot of glamour is easily within reach in approachable silhouettes of shift dresses and tanks with easily changeable dark jeans, skinny or wide, thights or leggings, for most women.

For the timid, you can dip your toes in this quiet sequin pocket tee at $45.

If you're not brave enough to party in sequins, much less for daytime,you're not alone.

This trio of Jessica Alba, "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart, and Kim Kardashian, are opting for the more adaptable and rocker tough strands of chains.

More glamourous than a scarf and tie, wearable with tees and knits year around, these necklaces are instant vintage for tomorrow and a wise investment.

If you want a more tomboy touch without the hand-me-down neckties?

Ms. Alba and Ms. Kardashian get the necktie effect with $30 Box Chain Knot Necklace and the $25 Multi Chain Knot Necklace.

Even vampires like Kristen Stewart want something alluring, as in the $40 Multi Chain Gold Necklace.

Whether it's rocking in chains or shaking your groove in sequins, these pick-me-ups represent a growing underground current for something nice in a hoo-hum world.