Friday, June 26, 2009

Kensie Sale

In need of major pretty + fab dresses for less?
There's a huge Kensie sale on ideeli.


"What makes you feel pretty?," fashion brand Kensie recently asked its legions of fans on Facebook, Twitter and its own blog. It's an open-ended question that solicits endless responses, but Kensie's own answer is simple: pretty is when you feel like yourself.

Since 1994, Vancouver-based designers Eric and Lani Karls have been helping girls feel pretty with Kensie's whimsical dresses, skirts, bottoms, tops, and jackets. Their looks alternate between soft neutrals and in-your-face geometric patterns, but throughout, you'll find lots of layers, puffs of ruffles, and shimmery details. Composed of soft, silky fabrics, each piece has just the sort of ethereal, flowing quality you'd expect from a company that identifies light, bubbles, and dreams as sources of inspiration. Each of their distinctly feminine A-line dresses is more stunning than the next.

Despite ruffles and bows galore, the Kensie collection never tries too hard to flex its feminine charm. Kensie is just naturally delicate and pretty.

Belted Dress (Original: $138) - Sale $58
Sizes 2-14 (XS-XL) Available.
  • Criss-cross v-neck sheath cocktail dress
  • Cut-out at shoulders
  • Natural waist
  • Features grosgrain belt at waist, with elastic back for perfect fit
  • Zipper at side
  • Approximate measurements, in inches (taken from a size 2): shoulder to hem 34
  • 96% polyester, 4% spandex
  • Machine wash

Party Dress (Original: $158) - Sale $68
Sizes 2-12 (XS-L) Available.
  • Spaghetti strap chiffon party dress
  • Straps are adjustable
  • Empire waist with bow in center
  • Tiered ruffles around bottom
  • Slight padding in bust
  • Zipper at side
  • Approximate measurements, in inches (taken from a size 2): shoulder to hem 34
  • 100% silk exterior, 100% polyester lining
  • Dry clean

Tiered Dress (Original: $168) - Sale $70
Sizes 2-10 (XS-L) Available.
  • Scoop neck short sleeved dress
  • Sheer at top, lined at bust to hem
  • Ruffles at chest
  • Tie at neck
  • Natural waist, sash around waist
  • Ruffles below waist
  • Approximate measurements, in inches (taken from a size 2): shoulder to hem 34
  • Shel: 100% silk, Lining: 100% polyester
  • Dry clean

Ruched Dress (Original: $148) - Sale $62
Sizes 2-14 (XS-XL) Available.
  • Spaghetti strap cocktail dress
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Lace / ruffle trim around top of dress, down front and back, and at hem
  • Empire waist
  • Zipper at side
  • Approximate measurements, in inches (taken from a size 2): shoulder to hem 33
  • 96% polyester, 4% spandex
  • Machine wash cold

Criss Cross Dress (Original: $148) - Sale $62
Sizes 2-14 (XS-XL) Available.
  • Fitted dress with spaghetti string straps
  • Features scalloped design at front and tiered design at back
  • 96% Polyester and 4% Spandex
  • Approximate Dimensions (in inches): Top of Shoulder to Hem 32, Natural Waist to Hem 19
  • Machine wash cold

There's plenty more dresses - short, long, plain, embellished, graphics, ruffles, pleats and so on.
But, you better hurry... sale/event ends in 3 days and 2 hrs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Edgy Chef: Sam Mason

Obsession: Sam Mason, Chef.

(Above) Sam invites touring bands to his Manhattan loft in his online show called "Dinner with the Band" on One Networks. They prepare dinner and discuss music. In this video, Chef Sam prepares migas for Canadian indie band Tokyo Police Club.

So a few days ago I ended up watching Gourmet Magazine's show "Diary Of A Foodie" on PBS. I didn't really know what I was watching until the show was over. Basically it was about desserts and I'm a dessert junkie so obviously I was down for it. Also, Barcelona was mentioned in the show and I want to live in Spain one day ("the ultimate") so I was defintiely going to be watching this episode.

So I can't embed the video of the full episode I watched but you can find it online on their website, under Episode 8: #108 - "Just Desserts".

First part of the episode "Just Desserts" highlights Sam Mason, New York City pastry chef. He is walking sex, a rare breed, total inspiration... and I think I found my dream chef! I can't possibly be happy with just one guy (obviously - unless he is an all-in-one type and/or I get over my commitment-phobia)... so I've always thought if I found my type of guy who is a chef, I can finally get to a "healthy" weight (preferably 100 lbs) and think of how wonderful it would be to have him cook me anything I desire (especially considering how I'm super picky). But, one thing I keep wondering (aside from his looks and cooking ability) is - how does he cook with all those accessories on?

* Quote: "Desserts are like fashion. Passion, style and faultless execution are the mark of a great pastry chef."

"I don't know if I think outside the box. That's what people say, but I feel like I'm just in my box. I think inside my box, but my box is somewhere else." - Sam Mason.

After monsieur Mason's segment comes Barcelona's legendary all-dessert restaurant, Espai Sucre. Main courses and all are solely devoted to desserts ("heaven"). Then, off to Peru for Helena's Chocolates & Tejas.

Later in the show they show the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine as well as a photographer and food stylist for the magazine. I didn't really realize there was a career as a "food" stylist. But, then I thought about it in fashion industry terms and I'm sure most people don't realize the importance of a fashion stylist. So I guess every industry/field has their own realm of stylists.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Combination /// The Controversy

So I just saw this amazing and powerful Aussie film - "The Combination." It's uber controversial... and I love a bloody, good controversy (anything/anyone that challenges the status quo)!

The film revolves around a contemporary Lebanese family in urban Australia - more specifically Sydney's western suburbs of Parramatta and Guildford.

Plot: John Morkos (George Basha) is released from prison intent on a new life, free of his old ways. But he finds his younger brother Charlie (Firass Dirani) being lured by the local underworld. His demands to stay clear of crime fall on deaf ears as Charlie has no respect for his older brother. In the thrall of gang leader Zeus (Ali Haidar), Charlie's life oscillates between the school yard punch-ups and the gang-land streets of his neighborhood.

When John meets Sydney (Clare Bowen), a beautiful Anglo-Aussie girl, and finds a job at the neighborhood boxing gym his life is challenged and changed in unexpected ways. But Charlie's continuing descent into the world of crime places his whole family in harms way forcing John to risk his new life to right his younger brother's wrong.

In regards to the storyline, it's very "American History X." The acting and some of the visuals aren't so superb, as most of the young actors in the film were literally talent-spotted off the streets of western Sydney (where much of the film was shot). However the message as well as the history of the film is well worth the watch!

The script for the film was written by George Basha, who plays the main character John in the film. He's a Lebanese-Australian who grew up in Guildford and who, between stints as a tradesman, has had minor acting roles in other Australian films including the 1997 film "Black Rock" (internationally, best remembered as the debut film for Australian actor Heath Ledger.)

The film's subject matter is raw and real, particularly the racial tension between the Lebanese + Asian school boys and their Anglo-Aussie counterparts.

Perhaps to emphasize the point, albeit fleetingly, TV footage of the Cronulla riots of 2005 were incorporated in the film.

The love interest between Basha's character, John, and Anglo-Australian girl Sydney (Clare Bowen) with her disapproving parents reinforces evidence of the racial divide in Australia. One of the film's classy performances comes from Doris Younane, who plays John and Charlie's mother Mary with at times heart-wrenching sensitivity.

The essence of the film is encapsulated in Basha's own words: ''A world away, streets apart.''

Honestly, I didn't realize Aussies were so racist to Middle-Easterners and I really didn't know about this situation in Australia until I watched the film. It really enlightened me on the subject!

The Lebanese-Australians in the film, as well as in much of Australia, are treated much like how African-Americans are treated in America. It's very violent, vulgar and primitive!
(Although I do realize this isn't really a new subject since ever since 9/11 Middle-Easterners and anyone who looks "Middle-Eastern" have been targets of racial tensions, hate and crime.)

There were parts of the film which I could relate to in many ways.
I think everyone can relate to the film in the sense that everyone wants to "belong" / wants to "fit in" but you can't no matter what you do!

I am (according to society and norms) South-Asian and American... so when you are from two different cultures you realize how much you never really fit in. When I go to South-Asian places I'm considered too "American" and when I'm in America people ask me "What's your race?" The same dilemma many Lebanese-Australians face. Also, the Leb-Aussie family in the film were Christian and yet they were still treated as foreigners simply because ignorant individuals think all Lebanese / Middle-Easterners are Muslim. A problem which knowledge and an open-mind can easily solve! It's a problem I'm familiar with, as well, because I grew up as a Roman Catholic and most people think I'm Hindu and/or Muslim because I'm from India.

To me, the core of the film really was that -
We are not our parents!
We have the choice to think,

& choose for ourselves!
Stop living in the past,

& begin the future!
Stop the hate,

& start the love!
We're all human beings!

I'm an avid believer in humanity! I don't believe in religion, sexuality and nationalities/races!
In fact, many people who really know me probably already know that... If you meet me then ask me "What race/nationality are you?," I'll answer with "Why? Does it matter?" or I've had people ask me straight-forwardly "What are you?" and I reply with "I'm human."

A lot of people think I don't like my nationality/race/culture but that's not the case really. Sure, I don't know much about it and there are several dramatic individuals who make me wish I was a different nationality/race/culture but I never said I didn't like what/whom I am! In fact, I love myself but at the same time I hate myself. I'm that way with everyone - I love you and I hate you - regardless of everything. I think I'm a rare breed. I haven't met many people like myself. There's only a few and they're scattered all throughout the world. I say we unite as one and create a revolution!

On a lighter note, Firass Dirani (left from above picture, in the camo) may be super cute in the film but Ali Haider (right from above picture, in the stripes) is the definition of sex! Well, he's my definition of sex - which really is defined as unconventional, ballsy, edgy and "he'll fuck you up if you fuck with him". But, that's only one definition of my kind of sexy since I do adore dark rebels, lovely romantics, gorey goths, gender-benders and mostly "outcasts". Anyone who doesn't "fit in" anywhere and isn't anything like my parents / "society" - that's for sure!

Also, I love the haircuts of the Leb-Aussie boys in the film - super sexy!

And I had to share this as well... my favorite quote from the film was when the Leb-Aussie guy says to the racist Anglo-Aussie guy: "At least we came in planes; you came in chains." (I adore satire!)

Alright, to end this post - I hope this film gets the wonderful recognition it deserves... in Australia and worldwide! It's a definite must-see, especially if you love controversy (like myself)!

It's so controversial in Australia that there have been several security increases needed when this film was screened and there were even bans to play the film in theaters because of violence/riots that have occurred after the showing.

However, great films are meant to provoke and challenge! I believe films are an art form and they should be created to help people think in a larger sense, not just escape their normal day-to-day routine (much like mainstream Hollywood and Bollywood does). Entertainment is fine once in a while, but really you need to challenge your way of thinking! After all, some of the best inventive moments were born out of "wrong thinking". Most people start with the right way so they all follow the same path. The wrong way will lead to mistakes from which you can learn and create new discoveries – the kind of original ideas that come to life when we dare to be different, keep an open mind and have no fear of failure. x.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fabulous Fashion Finds (Under $20)

Cheetah Lover Belt in Gold at Lulu's [[$10]]
{I'm in love with this belt!}

Pleated Tulip Skirt at Forever 21 [[$15.80]]
{I like pleats and ruffles.}

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chronicle Books

Summer reading? Maybe.
Really I just love books. Collecting them. Reading them. Shelving them.
I'm a book+magazine-whore, but only for ones that interest me and have amazing cover designs.

Here's a few from Chronicle Books that I recommend/love:

{For advertising advocates}

1.) Guerrilla Advertising by Gavin Lucas & Mike Dorrian [[$40]]
The advertising industry is in a state of flux. In an age where we can choose what media we consume, the traditional channels of television, press and poster are no longer always the most effective methods for a brand/company to reach its target audience. As a result, global brands are opting to implement ever more inventive and original schemes to get their projects talked about. Microsoft covered Manhattan in butterfly stickers, Volkswagen made a car out of ice and parked it outside the Saatchi Gallery in London, and Adidas suspended two soccer players high above the streets of Tokyo for a death-defying face off.

This book shows the best international examples of the varied and inventive tactics that are being used today by big-name brands, non-profit organizations and individuals to promote themselves, their ideas and their products.
Over 70 international campaigns are featured, grouped according to their approach: stunts, street propaganda, sneaky tactics, site-specific campaigns and multi-fronted attacks.

About the authors:

Gavin Lucas is a senior writer at the leading monthly communication arts journal Creative Review.

Mike Dorrian has been a designer for the last 13 years. He has co-edited and designed numerous books, including the highly successful Business Cards.

{For menswear maniacs}

2.) 100 Years of Menswear by Cally Blackman [[$40]]
A rich, comprehensive collection of images covering the revolution in menswear over the last 100 years with text by fashion historian Cally Blackman. Packed with images of Hollywood style icons, the artist personalities of the 1930s, and more, the evolution of menswear from practical to peacock is explored in an array of rarely seen photographs and illustrations.
The impact of Pierre Cardin, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and other designers is contrasted with the street fashion of the 1960s, punk, and the club scene to bring together the story of the flourishing menswear market in one invaluable book.

The unique collection will prove indispensable for all fashion students, historians of dress, and lovers of menswear.

About the author:

Cally Blackman is a writer and lecturer with degrees in Fashion Design and History of Art, and an MA in History of Dress from the Courtauld Institute of Art. She teaches on the BA Fashion History and Theory course at Central Saint Martins College. Her previous publications include 100 Years of Fashion Illustration (2007), Costume: From 1500 to the Present Day (2003), and The 20s and 30s: Flappers and Vamps (2000).

{For interior design ideas}

3.) Creative Space: Urban Homes of Artists and Innovators by Francesca Gavin [[$35]]
Creative Space looks at the studios, apartments, and homes of the designers, directors, stylists, artists, graffiti writers, curators, novelists, and innovators that are pushing the boundaries of contemporary culture. These are interiors created by people who shop in Colette in Paris, live on the Lower East Side in New York and travel to Tokyo. The domestic spaces are often D.I.Y and strongly reflect pop culture.

Looking at these interiors city by city, among the 30 homes featured in the book are those of artist and designer Julie Verhoeven and Maharishi founder Hardy Blechmann in London, graffiti artist Fafi in Paris, artists Ryan McGinness and Wes Lang in New York, innovative creatives Jaybo and Lucio Auri in Berlin, Barcelona filmmaker Roger Gual, and Tokyo's cult photographer Yasumasa Yonehara and artist Aya Takano. The spaces they inhabit and work in give a real image of today's avant garde.

About the author:

Francesca Gavin is a writer and editor based in London. She is currently the visual arts editor at Dazed & Confused magazine. She has written features and reviews for publications including Another, Blueprint, i-D, Art Review, Contemporary, Intersection, Marmalade, RA magazine, The Sunday Times, and Wonderland. She has written two books: Street Renegades: New Underground Art (2007), and Hell Bound: New Gothic Art (2008), both published by Laurence King.

There's more goodies on their website and if you love me or want to gift me, check out my wish list. x.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When You Are Engulfed In Flames

David Sedaris' new book is a must-read!

For those who do not know who he is: David Sedaris is a Grammy Award nominated American humorist, writer, comedian, bestselling author, and radio contributor.

I love Sedaris' humor, mind and soul!

His latest book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames," is a collection of essays on trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, being picked up by a driver that wants a blow job, buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina, having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane, fascination with dead bodies, language barriers and their consequences, armoring windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds, and venturing to Japan in order to quit smoking - among others.

The cover is major love - it's an early painting by Vincent Van Gogh called "Skull of a Skeleton with Burning Cigarette." The title of the book is named after a chapter in a booklet Sedaris found in a hotel room in Hiroshima.

To learn more about the book, listen to an audio interview with David Sedaris on Borders Media Live at 01:
Blog Widget by LinkWithin