Monthly Archives: November 2010


Q: What do designers Temperley London, Erté, and celebrated film star Greta Garbo all have in common?

A: A shared affection for one woman–Margaretha Gertrud Zelle–perhaps more known by the infamous stage name, Mata Hari. For those not already acquainted with her story, Mata Hari (meaning “Eye of Dawn” in Malay) was a famed entertainer and seductress of the early 1900’s turned keen, self-made businesswoman. She is largely credited as the originator of the modern striptease and as one of the most sexually captivating women this world has ever known. Her life’s tale was one of supreme dichotomy, renowned as the exotic dancer of all exotic dancers during her prime, as the most desired courtesan of all that offered themselves to the trade, and as the world would later discover, World War I’s most glamourous (alleged) double spy—ultimately executed by firing squad for treason. For these reasons, her name is one that will live on for all eternity as being synonymous with danger, duplicity, eroticism, and style.

Photo courtesy of

Greta Garbo as Mata Hari; photo courtesy of

Black and white photographs of Mata Hari decorated in her irresistible trademark bohemian wear continue to inspire us in limitless ways; her exoticism, creativity, and well-crafted, experimental approach to style (and life in general) are undeniable. Greta Garbo played her, Erté designed his first theatrical costume for her, and Temperley London cited her as one of their most influential creative muses.

To this end, we think it’s time we also pay tribute to the femme fatale O.G.—the VG way—in the form of this Eye of Dawn inspired collection:

1. Rachel Pally Long Fortuna Dress, $251
2. Ashaloo Daisy Fields Chain Headpiece, $58
3. Suzanna Dai Alexandria Necklace, $420
4. Axe 2 Ice Traditional Gold Sequin Pasties, $15
5. Aurélie Bidermann 18K Gold-Dipped Lace Cuff, $1,890
6. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner, $18




I’m really in love with this fall’s tendency to teeter toward… earthiness. For lack of a better word. You know: lots of browns, warm tones, jumbo cable-knits, camel, mixed neutral textures, etc. Mmmm: luxurious. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it…

That being said, the current influx of corduroy fits into this equation perfectly. Because nothing says “cozy” like corduroy. And seeing as though the temperature has dropped about twenty some-odd degrees within the past friggin’ four days, I’m more game the ever to take a gander at something that’s trendy and warm.

How does a nice skinny-legged softie sound? It’s true: the words corduroy and chic don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, but J.Brand gets this pant so right, it kills me. With a turtleneck and pair of lace-up boots, you’re set for snow and lookin’ hot. I’ve also fallen deeply for this refreshingly preppy—but not too much—corduroy blazer from Banana Republic. Talk about classic! This is a lifer, my friends. Or what about this classic James Perse Military Shirt spun of fine-wale corduroy? Slide that under your camel coat, whydontcha? It’s infallible. And for all you petites out there (woot!) this Ambition Corduroy Jacket is the perfect weekend piece to sling over your t-shirt + leggings, running around town in your flats and aviators. It’s got a bit of a military vibe to it too: sweet? Lest we forget accessories: make sure to snag a corduroy cap too, like this one from Eugenia Kim, and you’ve officially got all your bases covered…


Woe is you! The holidays are around the corner, and you’ve got nothin’ but an overloaded credit card and a modest fistful of cash with which to shop. What to do? Well, first off–put that pout away! We’ve have compiled this lil’ list of budget beauties for those of you looking to impress sans monetary stress. So buck up and let’s get the dang thing done together…

1. Tree and Kimball Aurelia Copper and Lace Necklace, $44
Four words: Handmade. Lace. Gossamer Chains. This is one she’ll want to wear daily.

2. Korres Jasmine Showergel (8.45oz), $6.50
All-natural, top-rated, heaven-smelling product–straight from the Greek Gods. This is a budget all-star.

3. Aqua Two-Finger Pyramid Ring (in zinc steel) via Bloomingdales, $16 (on sale!)
A trendy statement piece that packs just the right punch. For the knockout that she is.

4. Nine-piece assortment of Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates (9th row down), $18
Quality sweet treats with a unique local flare. Who doesn’t like chocolate?

5. Fred Flare Greenwich Lace-up Heels, $44
Classic black ankle booties that will go with just about anything in her closet. How thoughtful of you!



Those who know me well know that I’m not really one to go for regular manicures, let alone actually taking the time to sit down on my lazy ass and polish my own damn nails for once. However, show me something with a little twinkle and I automatically morph into a spazzed squirrel. I want it. I need it. I have to have it. So, with that said, here are my fave holographic hues for this holiday season–among which the drug store variety were all personally test-driven by yours truly…

First, I’ve noticed that metallics, mainly gold and copper-tones, are huge for winter. Milani‘s Gold Dust ($4.50) goes on rather sheer, but leaves your nails with a gorgeous glow that flatters just about any skin tone. Added bonus: this shade will look equally great layered over an existing shade already in your arsenal (think deep plums, reds, or even taupes and off-white).

Ok, have you SEEN Kate Middleton‘s royal engagement ring (AKA Princess Di’s)? If so (and if not, you’re living under a very non-sparkly rock), it comes as no surprise that I immediately zeroed in on Sally Hansen‘s Thinking of Blue ($7.99). Sapphire shades in all forms are buzzing off the charts, and this is definitely one not to miss. As part of the SH’s Complete Manicure line, trust me when I say, this polish holds true to its name. I only needed one coat and was out the door in five minutes flat! Hint: Finish with Milani’s Gold Dust for a serious oh-la-la factor.

Another homerun for Sally Hansen (also from the Complete Manicure line) is Haute Cocoa ($7.99). This is a smooth, toasty warm red with a hint of plum and a dash of gold shimmer–the perfect color to set off your winter (off) whites or to don during a holiday fete. And again: with one coat, you’re good to go! But if you so feel the need, feel free to throw on a quick-drying top coat (I recommend Creative Nail‘s Speedy Top Coat ($4.45) for extra staying power while you make the familial rounds.

For the indecisive crowd, or for those of us who just like to have it all, Sephora by OPI has created the Rocker Chic Mini Collection ($18), featuring a smashing selection of these aforementioned shades. As reviews on Sephora have mentioned, Already Famous (the pewter-gold polish) would work great for everyday wear, or worn along with Fiercely Fabulous for a little extra pizazz.

Alright, just for good measure, I have to include one polish that simply doesn’t tickle my pickle–maybe because it bears the same color and I do abhor pickles? Either way, Orly‘s Meet Me Under The Mistletoe ($7.50) basically looks like the Toxic Avenger took a festive shit on your nails. It’s not all that flattering against the skin and the amount of sparkle for such an off-beat color, I find a bit tacky… but it’s quite possible this shade would look fabulous on you–to each their own.

Regardless, always remember to keep it classy, not trashy. ♥


Ladies, the death-grip of the statement necklace is weakening. Little by little, stylists and designers alike are reconnecting with… the earring. Yes, it pains me too–greatly–that downright outrageous neckpieces will soon be a thing of the past, but we’ll get through this together…

Now, of course, this is not an immediate thing, so let’s calm ourselves. I’m just trying to prepare you for what’s to come. And from the looks of the 2011 shows, and from what I’ve seen in magazine previews, earrings will soon be making a comeback. Not that they were ever out of style, but let’s be honest: necklaces have been hogging the spotlight for a while now.

Remember the chandelier craze of yesteryear? How fun was that? Well, for 2011, jumbo golden hoops (hoops of all sorts, actually) abound. I’ve noted especially those of the door knocker variety, as put forth by Dolce & Gabbana for their S/S ‘11 collection, and similar to this Larucci pair worn by Kim Kardashian (pictured with–yes, that would be Justin Bieber) in Elle’s September issue.

Some may recall, back in the late 90’s, when an oversized silver hoop was the end-all-be-all-must-have. Well, a little over ten years later, hoops are poised for a trend-infused comeback. All I’m sayin’ is… be on the lookout.

You can do it; warm up to trend shift with these worthy specimens:
1.    Forever 21 Two Piece Mod Hoops, $4
2.    Max & Chloe Door Knocker Earrings, $54
3.    Paige Novick Linda Earring (via Bluefly), $145
4.    Larucci Gold Drop Earring, $145



1. I Heart Norwegian Wood Battle Necklace in Taupe, $149
2. Alice by Temperley Tribal Cotton Tunic, $275
3. Something Else Zig-Zag Pouchette, $242
4. United Nude Black Frame Triangle Heel, $349
5. Element Clay Studio Nesting Scallop Bowls, $150



Let’s face it, we all want to look good for our families on Turkey Day, but we also want to eat our faces off and comfortably conceal the inevitable turkey baby that rears its ugly head after Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve put together a few fashionable outfits that will flatter all your better parts, especially when your belly decides to become an entity of its own…

Leggings are your best friend; you can get ‘em in all different colors, lined with fleece, and footless at Even if you’re unsure of leggings or jeggings, or whatever your worry may be, forget all those inhibitions and give yourself a chance (the suede and velvet variety are my personal favorites–and more comfortable than my favorite pair of jeans)! Next, you’ll want to find (or borrow from your significant other) a button-up dress shirt like this collarless grandpa shirt from Topshop. On your feet, try a comfy riding boot with style like these High Plains Boots, courtesy of Free People. And lastly, give your look that holiday glitz with accessories like a vest belt, or shiny, pretty jewels.

This outfit is sure to be a family favorite, bringing out all your natural beauty… so you can eat that extra slice of pie guilt-free.

It’s always nice to dress up, but it isn’t always the most comfortable, especially after a hard day’s work of catching up with long lost relatives you only see twice a year. Therefore, I propose this simple solution, which will render you glamorous, even after falling into a tryptophan-induced coma. Start with a nice pair of tights, like a pair of these cute crochet creations (remember: something with a pattern will give you an extra edge amidst all the pantyhose and jeans the rest of your family will surely be sporting). Next, pick out a simple straight-lined skirt. Try something in-between a mini and a pencil length like this bodycon skirt (for under ten bucks!). You’re probably thinking, who the hell would be comfortable in a tight skirt while stuffing her face? Understandable, but you must remember: things made of spandex expand with your body. Be sure to contrast your skirt with an oversized sweater as well… to keep your turkey baby nice and warm. Now, if you’re feeling really glamorous, you can try this look paired up with a sleek pair of wedges, like these from Jeffrey Campbell, but if you want to guarantee comfort, go for a cool pair of broguesloafers, or saddle shoes. Top the look off with some gold earrings, and you’ll be setting the standard for this year’s Christmas party fashions to come! It’s never too early to get a leg up, ladies…

Remember: Both of these looks are completely customizable; all you have to do is choose what’s right for you and eat as much as you can. I’d like to take a moment and give thanks to all of you, and to the VG family, for allowing me share my fashion inspirations and interpretations… What are you thankful for this year?