Monday, December 31, 2012

The Carrie Bradshaw Tulle Skirt

When I think of a tulle skirt, a number of things comes to mind. Whimsical ballerinas en pointe to Tchaikovsky, giddy toddlers at a costume party, horrifyingly tacky cotton-candy colored prom dresses, and Carrie Bradshaw. As a former ballerina (very former, meaning kindergarten through fifth grade), wedding dress lover (Vera, Reem Acra, Amsale, Christos...) and overall connoisseur of anything rather feminine, I love the fabric, if done right. Like most things in this world, it has its wonderful moments, it has its terrifying moments (see prom dresses above). 

Let's consider the most culturally and fashionably relevant at the moment. Miss Bradshaw, an icon in her own right (although, purely fictional), donned a creamy and layered tulle skirt in Sex and the City's opening credits. If you're a regular watcher of SATC or flip to E! more than once a week, you've no doubt seen the classic scene: Carrie smugly sauntering the streets of NYC, only to be splashed by a passing bus with an advertisement of her column and picture on it. In my mind, and I hope in yours, the skirt is synonymous with her name and character. For such an iconic look, the story on how the skirt was discovered is quite diamond-in-the-rough. 



Patricia Field served as Sex and the City's costume designer for all six seasons and both movies, earning her two Emmy awards in costuming. While searching for outfits for the opening, Field found a tulle tutu in a bargain bin on the floor. On a whim, she bought it for $5. SJP, unsurprisingly, loved it, but it took some convincing to get the show's producer on board. Such a leap of courage certainly paid off, and continued to carry Bradshaw's style to the forefront of trends throughout the show's seasons. 

Perhaps taking a cue from Carrie, but more likely perhaps not, recent runway shows, too, display the ever-ethereal and statement-making tulle skirt. Starting on the left: Christian Siriano RTW spring 2012, Oscar de la Renta RTW spring 2013, and Tory Burch RTW spring 2013. Of course, tulle skirts will forever be a favorite at houses like Marchesa, Reem Acra and Vera Wang. 



On a more wearable, daytime scale, fashion bloggers have created their own perspective on the tulle skirt. Starting on the left: Jane Aldridge from Sea of Shoes, an unknown (yet well-dressed) blonde, and Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacfic. 


Even with Carrie Bradshaw and Patricia Field paving the way, would you wear a tulle skirt for a daytime look?

Sources: Carrie Bradshaw in cream, Carrie Bradshaw in green; Christian Siriano by George Chinsee, Oscar de la Renta by Giovanni Giannoni, Tory Burch by Robert Mitra; Sea of Shoes, Grey Tulle, Atlantic-Pacific

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Perfume Bottles

Can we talk about perfume bottles for a moment? 

While I'm fully aware that it's not polite to judge a book by its cover, it's impossible to say that packaging doesn't play a role in my perfume-buying practices. Yes, it's ultimately about the scent. But I can't have a hideous bottle marring my vintage mirror-and-gold vanity tray, especially since (as you may have noticed) aesthetics are a big thing for me. 


In such a competitive market, perfume packaging, along with that of other cosmetics, is of utmost importance. We've all been there: at the perfume counter, smelling samples, being helped by a pushy saleswoman (or man). After a half-dozen sniffs, they all start to smell the same. And then you sniff the coffee beans to clear your sniffer, and sniff some more, and it's all sort of just a miserable process. 


Not to suggest that we all throw our hands up and go with the prettiest bottle. Because we don't, or not entirely. For those of us whose olfactory senses are not well-attuned to the minute differences in similar perfumes, a lovely bottle sure is an easy way out. Shall we examine the good, the bad and the ugly?



Chanel No. 5 by ChanelIt was the fifth sample scent Mlle. Coco Chanel smelled on sampling for the house's first fragrance. In my opinion, it's more for the grandmotherly set, but you can't deny the classic icon that the bottle has become. And if perfume bottles could talk, not many of them could say they've been silk-screened by Andy Warhol.

Daisy by Marc Jacobs: I'm undeniably under the impression (or spell?) that Marc Jacobs can do little wrong. Starting with his namesake high-end line, to his more affordable, yet still pricey, Marc by Marc Jacobs line, to his fragrance-bottle designs. He's good. He's just too good. 


Girlfriend by Justin Bieber: I don't even like, follow, or obsess over Justin Bieber, but if I had to guess the future name of his fragrance, it would be Girlfriend. This bottle's get-up reminds me of a fashionable yet fragile bowling pin that's trying too hard.

Couture Couture by Juicy Couture: The name in itself is a mouthful. The pink-lined zipper, the crest-like topper, it's all an information overload. While an over-the-top pink princess is definitely the epitome of a "Juicy girl," this bottle might be a little too much, even for the juiciest.


Fantasy Twist by Britney Spears: To start, I will admit that my inner 90s girl loves Britney. I'm not going to lie or be ashamed about listening to the album "Oops I Did It Again" within the last month. I know that once you're a mainstream celebrity, or if you've appeared on the cover of People enough times, having a personal fragrance is essentially a rite of passage. This is bad though. Like a tacky-glamorous-Pokemon-ball bad.  A message to Brit: ditch your product designer!

Pink Friday by Nicki MinajIt was a good thought. It really was. And it's so Nicki, as in it's pink, looks like a robot and is startlingly attention-grabbing. I stared at it for a good couple minutes in the store, and came to the conclusion that if a small child all but glanced at it, there's a good chance they would run away crying.

Image sources: Chanel No. 5, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Girlfriend by Justin Bieber, Couture Couture by Juicy Couture, Pink Friday by Nicki Minaj, Fantasy Twist by Britney Spears

Monday, December 24, 2012

Implementation


I've been dabbling (at best) with blogging and The Corner Apartment on and off for maybe a year and a half now. It's been great. It really has. I love being able to write whatever I want, research things I'm curious about, connect with others who share my interests, and play around with and teach myself graphic design.

There are so many wonderful sites and bloggers out there. So. Many. It's overwhelming, really, how you could spend a whole day doing nothing but read them. Such an influx of information has lead me to an idea, something that I think fits perfectly with my personality while being unique to the big blogging community.

My main goal is to focus on the writing. I'm going to do longer pieces, researched and well thought-out articles while still maintaining my connection to and passion for history, art and style. I want to learn things, convey them to readers and talk about things that matter. As much as I love putting outfit posts together, it's just not where I want to go.

Additionally, I want to do away with all the consumerism and product-pushing. While I think affiliate programs and brand partnerships are great for some people, I want The Corner Apartment to be a place that stays focused primarily on written content. I am, after all, a journalist (or will be). 

I hope you all are as excited as I am for the changes to come.

Happy Christmas!

Source: top image

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Changes


To be short, it has been quite a semester. A new job, new apartment and (hopefully!) new major have been exhausting, overwhelming and thrilling at the same time. I know you've all ridden that emotional roller coaster before. Such busyness brought about almost completely quashed creativity, despite ideas rolling in left and right. I have some very, very long lists.

To accomodate such ideas, I'm going to make some changes around here (yes, again). I'm not yet sure what they will be, but they will be. I'm officially declaring the deadline for implementing the changes, in full, to be the day spring classes start: January 9. Hold me to it!

Sources: original photo, quote

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear // NYC


It's difficult to fully envision ourselves in the newly debuted spring 2013 collections when we are finally beginning to stock up on sweaters and dust off our riding boots for the next few (blessedly) cooler months. While I have been fully appreciating the colorful and breezy separates and dresses of the Spring/Summer Ready-To-Wear runways, I've found its got my seasonal fashion clock a bit confused.

Of course it's fortunate that the fashion (and thus publishing) world is so forward-thinking. They serve as our cooler-than-thou seemingly omniscient mentors who shape and direct trends for us to build on, copy and make our own.

For now, let's go back to last February when we were tempted once again with a faraway season, plush knits and meticulously crafted trench coats parading down the runway in their usual artful manner. Shall we begin at the first stop of the fashion week circuit, New York City?













Photo Credits: All courtesy of Women's Wear Daily; Alice + Olivia by Thomas Iannaccone; Calla by Robert Mitra; Chris Benz by Giovanni Giannoni; Christian Siriano by Giovanni Giannoni; J. Crew by Steve Eichner; Kate Spade by Pasha Antonov; Marc by Marc Jacobs by Thomas Iannaccone; Milly by Thomas Iannaccone; Oscar de la Renta by George Chinsee; Rachel Antanoff by Pasha Antonov; Tory Burch by John Aquino

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

History Lesson // Barbies


For me, a childhood without Barbies would have been endlessly monotonous. I spent hours each day carefully crafting my ballerina-pink room into its own seemingly self-sufficient plastic paradise. There was the mall, the pet shop, a few cars and a grocery store. Plenty of glitter, too. I would line my dolls up in a neat line, brush their hair, change their clothes and begin my own childlike narrative. But what was Barbie's story?

As wife of Mattel co-founder and mother to Barbara and Kenneth (that's not a joke), Ruth Handler was one of the few who had insight to both sides of the toy business- production and consumption. As she watched her daughter play with flimsy paper dolls, she noticed a gap in the market-- dolls that looked like adults as opposed to the ever-so-common baby doll. 

Ruth's husband Elliot initially rejected the idea, not willing to make such a bold maneuver into unknown toy territory. Upon visiting Germany shortly after her proposal, Ruth saw exactly what she was looking for: a successful doll for young girls modeled after an adult called Bild Lilli. She purchased a few and worked with a Mattel product developer to tweak the doll to appropriate American standards, and Barbie was born.

On March 9, 1959, Barbie made her debut at the American International Toy Fair. The date is also the official birthday of Barbie, whose full yet fictional name is Barbara Millicent Roberts. Her biography states that she hails from Willows, Wisconsin and has younger sisters Skipper, Kelly and Krissy. It appears that Barbie has lived a well-experienced life, with over 40 different pets including dogs, horses and a zebra, and that she has dabbled in more than 100 occupations. She has a rocky romantic relationship with cutie Ken Carson with their last big break up released as a press report by Mattel in 2004. 

Barbie has become a cultural icon over the years, needless to say. She represents so much more than a childhood plaything and has served as a muse to a number of professionals across industries. Pop Art prince Andy Warhol added Barbie to his list of clients in 1985, creating yet another version of his signature multicolored portraits. Interior and graphic designer Jonathan Adler debuted his 3,500 square foot Barbie Malibu Dream House in 2009 complete with plenty of pink, velvet and "B" monograms. Project Runway mentor and author Tim Gunn created a small collection for Barbie earlier this summer with stylish separates and smart accessories (but who could expect less?). 



Oh, to walk in Barbie's shoes. She certainly gets the elite treatments. 

I'll admit- I still enjoy walking down the pastel pink Barbie aisle at stores, always amazed and slightly envious at what Mattel keeps coming up with. It undoubtedly brings back a multitude of memories. 

Sources: Original Barbie imageBarbie by Andy WarholJonathan Adler Malibu Barbie Dream House, Barbie Styled by Tim Gunn

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Returning


I am so embarrassed to have left so suddenly and for such a long prolonged period of time without any warning. How very rude and thoughtless of me! I hope you can all forgive my absence.

It's been nearly three weeks since my last little blurb, and what a whirlwind it has been. I have successfully moved back to school and into a new apartment, participated in yet another year of sorority recruitment madness, got a new job, started school, and searched all corners of my little college town for the perfect bedroom decor (we're almost there!).

Despite all of my new semester busyness, The Corner Apartment shall carry on. And what can you expect? More culture, art, history, less fashion. A lot of pretty pictures, a lot of happy inspiration.

So, shall I see you tomorrow?

Source: photo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

For the Love of // Tees


Does anyone else find it unbelievably difficult to find a decent cotton tee? It seems as if they're either mom-fit crew necks from Target or a perfect LNA dream costing a little less than $100. Ridiculous, yes?

If I had my choice, I would have a nice drawer full of loose and soft Splendid tees- the perfect piece to undermine a dressy blazer or throw on with a pair of jeans. Such a drawer, though, does not exist (at least not in my closet).

It's hot here in the South. I can hardly think about being outside without shivering (oddly enough) with disgust at the idea of my face melting off and my clothes sticking to me. Thus, I have been quite the t shirt aficionado this summer (note: not the XL sorority version).

My collection, though, is rather sparse. I have maybe two tees that I actually like to (and regularly) wear.

So here are two lessons for you: the usual cue from some of the best-dressed style bloggers on how to translate the tee look to your own daily wear, and a nice little compilation from myself on where to get them.

As essential as they may seem, the t shirt is, after all, just a t shirt. There's really no reason to break the bank, is there?




Top shirt: Madewell

Sources:
The Pink Peonies//Wendy's Lookbook//Harper's Bazaar Australia//See Jane//Kendi Everyday//Hi I'm Anna//Penny Pincher Fashion//Gal Meets Glam
Quote: Vogue

Relax


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Featured on Julie Leah


Today's For the Love Of... is over at Julie Leah and all about printed denim. Hop on over to see what it's all about!

July Etsy Favorites // Paper Goods

There seems to be no shortage of beautifully designed and printed paper goods on Etsy, and I honestly think I could put together a post on pretty paper goods every week. Hand-pressed cards (and more!) feel like such novelties to me, and for a number of reasons:

1. My sister and I were at Target getting cards for my dad's and grandfather's birthdays and my parents and grandparent's anniversaries and had the hardest time finding quality cards, which for me, consists of two things- well placed design/typography and an appropriate or meaningful message. Perhaps design takes a slight level of importance over the message, because I know can write something meaningful inside. 

2. I'm not going to get on a soapbox and preach about how technology is taking over our social lives, because when I'm being honest with myself, I can't imagine life without my MacBook or iPhone or Kindle or Facebook or email. A handwritten note, whether it be a thank-you or birthday, mailed or hand-delivered, has so much sentimental value in a world where it's free, fast, and easy to type an impersonal message and hit send.

Anyone who denies the small rush of excitement when getting a card in the mail has either never gotten one or has only ever received the unrealistically cute and mass-produced kitten kind. Remember that.

Hope you enjoy these picks! My personal favorite? The calling card. So very Regency England. 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Alphabet // C


History Lesson // French Macarons

The macaron, a confectioner's sweet and airy delight is a merengue-based cookie that hails from the fashionable streets of Paris, slowly and surely charming its way into parties and baking books all across the world. 

If you've ever tasted one, you surely understand the macaron's trending popularity. A dainty sandwich that melts in the mouth with seemingly endless flavor profiles, and possibly the fact that they are French (we just can't help it) all contribute to the welcome spread of these tasty treats. 

They are the perfect companion for just about any activity. Waking up with coffee and the paper (a more accepted version of "cake-for-breakfast"), accompanying an afternoon tea (or nap), or a post-dinner dessert all suffice for consumption of this marvelous little cookie. 

So, as I commonly ask in the History Lesson, where did they come from?

As usual, there's a little confusion and debate on exactly where and when macarons first appeared. Fortunately for us, the most reported version is also the most glamorous version (as in, it involves royalty). 

According to many-a-source, the macaron first appeared in Italy at the hands of Catherine de Medici's (yes, of the banking and art-collecting Florence Medici family) personal chef around the time of her marriage to the Duc d'Orleans in 1533. Not long after he became the king of France as Henry II, thus moving the macaron to the country it's currently so commonly associated with.

It's important to know that the macaron did not start out as a sandwich, but simply as a single light cookie with no filling, topping, or what-have-you. Another fun fact: 'macaron' and 'macaroni' are unsurprisingly from the same origin, a word meaning "fine dough."

Their popularity spread during the French Revolution when two sisters baked and sold them to support themselves during the troubling time. Thus, a staple was born.

The sandwich version was created in the 20th century by the grandson of Louis Ernest Laduree of the Laduree pastry salon in Paris, still one of the most celebrated macaron bakeries today. He had the idea to fill two shells with a chocolate panache, and it stuck.

You may recall my two attempts at making macarons- delicious yet ugly here, and still delicious but slightly less ugly here. They take a skillful and steady hand- something I've not quite acquired. I've been known to eat multiples (and multiples) of macarons in one sitting, so perhaps it's good and well I'm not procuring the perfect little pastries right and left.

I'm going to go ahead and apologize for any cravings this little dabble has spurred on.


Image Source: Gilt Taste

Friday, July 20, 2012

Photo Diary // Early Days

Sometimes, it's nice to sit back, look back, and remember a time when all we really worried about was sharing our Barbies and how to get out of the daily dreaded afternoon nap. I know I always wanted to grow up (and still do), but there's something to be said about being carefree. It may be less gratifying, but sometimes it's hard not to envious of my former little self.

All of that being said, I'm definitely a bit envious of these little gals! I can only wish I was this fashionable growing up. Unfortunately, the 90's gifted me a few too many striped turtleneck and leggings sets, complete with jumpers matching my little sister's. On second thought, maybe I am glad to be older.




Sources: Pink//Rain//Ballet//Blindfolded//Gray//Twins//Diner//Florals//Stripes

Thursday, July 19, 2012

List of Online Magazines


Online magazines are a dime a dozen these days and I can hardly complain. Not only do I get to read my printed subscriptions every month (Elle and Marie Claire are favorites), but I also get to peruse through the online metaphorical newsstand, complete with click-through product links that are equally exciting and dangerous for me (read: big spender).

Over the past few months I have been bookmarking every single online magazine I've come across and have amassed quite a list of some truly entertaining reads. I love flipping through so many different ranges of writing and features- such pretty inspiration for just about everything, including a new favorite in graphic design (which, by the way, how are you liking the new graphics this week?).

I hope you have nothing to do for the rest of the day. Have at it!

Current Reads
Matchbook- My absolute favorite, with plenty of Kate Spade and great features.
Rue- A little bit of everything.
Lonny- For those who mourned the end of Domino a few years back, here is your replacement. Primarily home with style and other lifestyle tidbits peppered in.
House of Fifty- Classic and luxurious design with a twist, travel & lifestyle.
Adore Home- All around lifestyle with fun features and pretty graphics.
Sister Mag- Based in Germany (although in English- I'm not that multilingual), and a bit like stepping into the simpler sister version of Anthropologie.
Verily- Fashion, culture, advice & more. A teaser is available free while a subscription is $30 per year.
Sweet Lemon- Has a lot of articles with whimsical pastel graphics and relatable cover girls.

New Favorites 
Home
EST- Based in Australia, simplistic clean lines meet classic interior style.
Styled- Features beautiful and whimsical DIY and pretty home entertaining ideas.
Trad Home- Just like it sounds, and a lot of great contributors.
Covet Garden- Short and sweet, with a slightly eclectic design and some fun recipes.
Ivy and Piper- Beautiful colored spaces with a mix of style at the end. I only wish it were longer!
Llamas' Valley- Simple and paired down design and living with somewhat of a rustic feel.
Roco- Plenty of features from industry pros and pretty pastels.
Standard- Plenty of outdoor and indoor interior decorating ideas- mostly photos.

Lifestyle
High Gloss- Pretty homes + style + travel. They haven't updated in a while, but worth a look through the archives.
Docica- Focuses in on true beauty, style, home & culture.
Dabble- Hones in on design, travel, and food.
Sweet Paul- Simple design meets lovely places and deliciously fresh looking recipes. With some DIY and entertaining.
This Girl Means Business- All about being a woman in the business and entrepreneurial world.
Poppy- Fashion, beauty, hostessing and more for the twenty-something gal.
Dashing- A colorful take on the world of twenty-somethings.
Grays Lane- For the Anglophile- classic anything and everything.
Society Social Manifesto Magalog- Half magazine/half catalog for the party-hostess website Society Social.

Other
Style Me Pretty- All sorts of features and beautiful shoots for helping a bride plan her wedding (or just hopefuls like me).
Pure Green- For those who want to live a stylish green lifestyle- food, DIY, fashion and travel.
Small Magazine- For parents on how to raise a stylish child (seriously, too cute).
Paper Runway- Paper meets art meets graphic design.

Let me know if there are any I missed!

Updated List:
Gifted
Leaf
Heart Home
91 Magazine
What Liberty Ate
Reverie
Made With Butter
Minted
Luxe

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For the Love Of // Neon


I always tend to lean toward the more conservative side of trends and actually have not really picked up the neon movement yet. After doing a bit of research for this post, I'm not sure why. I have such "classic" dressing tendencies, always stocking up on J Crew, silk blouses and Tory flats. But what do you know- the 80's rave-like staple color can even be given a classic twist. So, let's turn to my favorite fashion bloggers for a little lesson in perfecting the pop of neon.


Yes, a lot of pink, J Crew, and Kate Spade. I can hardly apologize for that!



Credits: Top; Atlantic-Pacific//The Pink Peonies//Viva Luxury//Brooklyn Blonde//quote//Atlantic-Pacific//The Blonde Salad//Atlantic-Pacific//Kendi Everyday

History Lesson // Playing Cards


We've all done our fair share of card playing. We grew up with them- playing Go Fish as a child, watching them in action in Alice and Wonderland, and maybe even passing them around the table in college during a game of heightened debauchery. They're the quintessential time-passer, a gambling accessory, and a social icon. So... where did they come from?

Historians debate on the exact origins of the deck of cards. Most, though, believe that they originated some time during the 9th century in China, as they were the first to invent paper back in the 2nd century (can you imagine- no paper?). Within about 200 years playing cards had migrated all over the Asian continent and featured characters of popular lore as the first face cards.

It is widely believed that playing cards made their way to Europe via Middle Eastern countries in the 1400's. Their popularity quickly spread and each region developed their own style- different face cards, different amounts of suits, and so on. In Germany, common suits of the time were acorns, bells, leaves, and hearts. The French created the card suits on which we base our modern-day decks, basing the club off of the acorn and the spade off of the leaf.

Europeans additionally altered face cards to represent their respective royalty. The first face cards were king, chevalier (knight), and knave (male child or prince). In the 17th century England it was conjectured that the "k" of king and the "kn" of knave on the corners of cards were too similar, causing confusion in the heat of the game, so the knave became a jack.

Initially the king was always considered the highest card, although in France during the French Revolution especially, a special value was placed on the then lowest card, the ace. Games with a high ace were used as symbolism by the expanding lower class to illustrate their rise to power at the time.

I hope you all enjoyed this little historical blurb. I'm trying to make the history lesson posts very relevant and not dry- so let me know how I'm doing and if there's any subjects you'd like to hear about. Happy Tuesday!

Image source: Kate Spade Instagram

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekly Favorites


This week has been rather crazy for me. I've been out of town three different times- although no complaining here. A few debutante dress fittings for my younger sister (in which I scouted out my top future wedding dress picks + designers), birthday shopping, and a day of father-daughter bonding at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. And of course, some very delicious eats.

Here's what I loved from around the web this week.

-There are few of us that can afford to score a wardrobe full of couture from the latest runway show. For now, I'm content settling with these beautiful illustrations from Sunny Gu on her Etsy shop.

-A sunny outfit from one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Rachel at The Pink Peonies.

-If I ever have a spare $25 million and wanted a villa in Cannes- this is where I'd pick. Perhaps the most gorgeous views I've seen in a while.

-Gorgeous, classic jewelry over at Natalie Merrillyn. Start stocking up!

-You know you love a Chanel-inspired jacket. The Glitter Guide has pictures + details.

-Did you know Tory Burch has a playlist on Spotify?

-A pretty home full of fabrics prints that pop on Design Darling.


Did anything catch your eye this week? Tell me!


Credits: Original image

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photo Diary // Girlfriends

There are few things sweeter than genuine friendship. The thrill of having true camaraderie and a confidant- whether in trying times or out on the town- is invaluable. I am so blessed to have a wonderful group of beautiful, fashionable, fun and encouraging friends. What joys are there, after all, if one is always alone?

So, to all of my friends out there (you know who you are!), this is for you. 












Image sources: Petals//Models//Ice Cream//Beach//Desert//Pool//Upside Down//Vintage//Stars