Happy, happy Sunday.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

There's just something about these new ads for Valentino—the first batch under designer Alessandra Facchinetti—that just made me smile. Angela Lindvall + windblown pink = intensely, perfectly pretty.

Come with me…

Friday, July 25, 2008

A friend dropped me a note this week and posed this question: Is a fashion "staycation" where you dress as you would in the place you'd most like to be?

I love the idea and, since my upcoming vacation plans are limited to a few quick jaunts to the Delaware and Jersey shores {whoo}, I am contemplating a glamorous fashion staycation very soon. Where should I "go"? India? (Boho skirts, bright colors and piles of beads!) Paris? (Hmmm… lots of black, light scarves, heels constantly, smoky eyes, some Dior here and there.) Mr. Valentino's yacht? (Bikinis, heels and breezy tunics. And probably a spray-tan.) Can I take a staycation through time, to Paris Fashion Week perhaps? (Intensely glam, Sartorialist-worthy ensembles. Every. Day! Heaven…)

The best part? Unlike a regular vacation, I can bring my entire shoe collection with me.

{Photo from here.}

The big winners! Plus, other stuff.

Thanks everyone for entering the big book drawing. I wish I had books and smokey eye kits for all of you! Unfortunately, I do not. Boo. But, here are the winners!

The copy of the book goes to Ms. Dip! (Full disclosure: Ms. Dip is one of my Very Favorite People Who I Used to Live in China With Who Now Lives in Bulgaria and someday, we also aspire to start a Fashion Referee show where we issue red cards to style violations on the street. Wouldn't that be so much fun? But I digress.)

The smokey eye kit goes to Elena in Washington! Elena, drop me a note so you can get started on your glam eyes.

There's another contest coming *almost immediately!* In the meantime, may we offer:

+Some fun DC events happening this weekend! We're hoping to pop by both the Listopad party and the Lily Lily! event.

+My weekly Project Runway recap! It's leathah.

+The wonderful bubble photo above, which was found here. It seems like the perfect day to get out there and blow some, no?

Then & Now

Monday, July 21, 2008

I absolutely love that Princess Anne wore the same dress to a wedding last month that she wore to Charles and Di's wedding back in 1981. She seems to be getting a lot of flack for it, but I think she absolutely pulled it off. (Really, the dress looks great—if not even better now that she's done away with the pearl choker—and oh! That hat is just fantastic! I so wish I was British if only for the regular hat factor.) In retrospect, however, perhaps she should stick to recycling outfits from sliiiightly less high-profile events.

Princess Margaret's seriously peach ensemble, on the other hand, probably wouldn't translate quite as well if she decided to resurrect it. Via the DC Goodwill Fashionista, who was also quite inspired.

Happiness is…

Sunday, July 20, 2008

this movie, quite obviously. As soon as I saw the trailer, I was smitten. If it's not in a theater near you (grumble, DC, grumble}, it's out on DVD next month. I cannot wait. Via the lovely One Good Bumblebee blog.

An open letter.

Dear Mr. Louboutin,

We would just like you to know that we think your Armadillo d'Orsay heels are the epitome of perfection, and we are prepared to try and brave the 120mm heel for the privilege of wearing them.

Love and shoes,
Ms. Spinach

PS) And please feel absolutely free to send along some of your classic black patent Simple Pumps while you're at it. We admit we kind of pine after the walkable 70mm version, but that low of a heel seems to go against your very core, so we'll hope instead for the 85mm. Also, love what you're doing with the New Simple Pumps. Maybe royal blue? Mwah!

Credit where it is due.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We have never been big InStyle fans. It always just seemed a little too—how do we put this politely?—safe for our style tendencies. It's not that we don't like celeb fashion, but we are much more interested in true personal style. And we prefer a quirky-indie twist with our trends, a la Lucky, or a seriously insider voice, a la Vogue.

And so we didn't set out to enjoy InStyle's long-awaited redesign—as seen in the new August issue with Rihanna on the cover—but we really did. There's a solid mix of fun items, stylish features, good tips and enough indie designer cred to satisfy our style needs. Truly, we were hooked by page 52, at this picture of Charlize Theron in the most fabulous Sally Tseng fitted tuxedo jacket. Which has apparently sold out. (Which is fine, because we really can't afford it.) The slouchy sleeves, the skinny lapel… swoon.

Luckily, there are about 19 other tuxedo-style jackets featured in the issue—truly, if InStyle wants you to have one item for fall, it is the shrunken tuxedo-y blazer!—so we will look to get our fix elsewhere.

Just in time for your summer vacation!

We spent Wednesday night feting our brilliant author friend Cathy (we have several brilliant author friends, but this is Cathy's big week), who was celebrating the launch of her very fun, funny memoir, Up for Renewal, about devotedly following women's magazine advice for a year.

It was a great party and we chatted all night with fun writer-types and also ate approximately nine pounds of cheese, but our favorite story of the evening was an anecdote Cathy told about her Today Show appearance last week. (Also, apparently Kathie Lee is really pretty in person! Who knew?) There was a small shoe debacle, as the shoes Cathy had set to wear on the show got ruined, and the producers sent her to Barney's and told her to pick out whatever she wanted. Can you imagine? That might just be better than being on national TV. {Of course, I was all "Louboutins! Louboutins!" but apparently, they don't quite fit Cathy's feet, so she ended up with some great sandals. Still. Like a dream come true.}

But we digress. Since we already owned a copy of Cathy's book, we've decided to give away our copy from the party goody bag. All you have to do is leave a comment here with your first name {you might want to include your last initial or your hometown if your name is something really popular—I'd hate to have a situation where I had to mediate between Jessicas} and—in the spirit of the book—your favorite magazine to be entered into the drawing. We offer as an example:

Hi, I'm Betsy, and I'm a Vogue-aholic.

Or perhaps just:

Betsy loves Elle Decoration (UK).

Or maybe:

Betsy. Lucky.

{No, I just cannot decide.}

But wait. There's more! We'll also have a second prize: your very own Sephora's Smokey Eye Kit, which we recently-ish got sent two of. Even if you're not into the smokey eye, you still get a lot of useful makeup brushes, which is totally great.

So, leave your name and mag of choice in the comments; we'll do a drawing in a few days; one of you will be the owner of Cathy's fab book, which is the perfect summery poolside read, and another one of you will be doing your own glam eye makeup in no time.

While we're at it, here's what we wore to the party: Flowered silk Tuleh dress, plucked from the racks at local high-end consignment store Inga's for me by Cathy herself. It still had the Neiman's tags on it, but cost me less than 10 percent of the original price. It is one of my all-time favorites. And yes, I do know that I say that about almost every dress.

Um, I also had a lot of fun playing with the mirrors.

Me, elsewhere.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's a busy, busy day here in Spinach HQ, only compounded by the fact that I popped by the magazine store today – News World on the north side of Farragut Square, which always has the latest mags waaaay before anyone else – and they had the new In Style (Rihanna and a long-awaited redesign!), Harper's Bazaar (Jessica Biel, eh) and Marie Claire (love that Maggie Gyllenhaal). Okay, and also US Weekly, which I totally bought for poolside reading this weekend. Gyllenspoon! Brangelina! No, I cannot get enough.

For now, you can find me elsewhere at the following locations:
+My Project Runway recap over on the Washingtonian. I nearly died when Austin came skipping across the street in his little scarf. {I also have a play-by-play version, in the style of my Gossip Girl recaps, that I'll be posting here later today.}

+A Q&A with Armani beauty guru Tim Quinn, who was in DC earlier this month. {Loved him! And honestly, within days of adopting a few of his beauty suggestions, a friend asked what I was doing to my skin because she thought it looked amazing. So, thank you, Tim. You might make a beauty devotee out of me yet!}

+And of course, my weekly fashion event picks at both Washingtonian and Lucky mag. {Sigh. RIP, Pop.}

+Back soon with an exciting giveaway!

A public service announcement: Set your Tivos!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We are so excited about this that we have not even been able to get our of our jammies yet today. Okay, okay, that's mostly out of laziness. But still: Project Runway is back tonight! They've only just revealed the cast, who look appropriately moody/funky/talented. 9pm, kids!

Also, it looks like there's a new Tim Gunn Bobblehead out. (And it talks too!) They've really dapper-ed him up from the first version, and yet, it still looks nothing like Tim. Otherwise, I would probably have to buy it. And perch it on my closet shelf, of course.

Your Spinach Tip o' the Day

Friday, July 11, 2008

The thing about shopping for vintage shoes is that, while they can be extremely adorable, they also can be kind of cruddy, smelly and usually three sizes too small. A few years ago, I found an old designer pair I loved at the thrift store—which, of course, didn't fit my non-vintage feet—so I clipped off the cool cluster of little leather balls on the front, super-super-glued them to some leftover bow shoe clips (thanks, mom!; thanks, '80s!) and voila! I just add them to my own black heels whenever the mood strikes.

Keep an eye out for thrifted pairs with bows, flowers and other appliques that you can DIY into your own shoe clips. And that has been your handy Spinach tip for today.

(Now somewhere, back in the day, Ms. Bubble did something similar with Velcro and cute flats and I linked to it, but I just can't seem to find it anywhere in my archives. Which might just be a sign that I've been blogging for way. Too. Long.)

The summer (and likely fall) of the hat.

I've been pretty remiss about posting outfit photos up here, which is kind of a shame because I've actually been rocking some pretty fab vintage finds lately. (Voluminous skirts! Printed maxis! Stripey tennis-style mini-dresses! Trouble is, I'm usually running out the door and totally forget about documenting the look until later, when I'm tired out and my hair is fairly frizzy/disheveled. Damn you, humidity!)

Still, I recently decided I was all about the Sixties-style, Jackie O. hat—they've got an amazingly diverse, very affordable selection up at Polly Sue's Vintage Shop in Takoma Park, which totally inspired me—and have been running around town in little caps lately. (The Polly Sue's salesperson kindly informed me that you wear these toward the back of your head—not on top—which is a pretty key aspect of pulling it off.) I rocked a little black one to Miss Cathy's amazing book reading on Tuesday, and yesterday debuted a slightly more pillbox-y style in white (with oversized sunglasses, natch) for running around town doing worky errands (see below). They feel a bit costume-y, but in a good way. I'm pretty sure this will be one of my staples for a while--they give a simpler dress a little extra vintage kick.

The kitties so wanted in on the photo action. Plus, you can also see the details of this sweet little vintage dress—one of my Love, Allie finds.

Anyone else embracing a new mid-summer favorite to get you through the sweaty summer hump? Mid-July is always that time of year when I think our wardrobes could all use a kick of inspiration, so please comment away in hopes of helping out the rest of us…


*We shall now forever refer to this as "the time I squealed in Anthropologie."

I headed down to Georgetown yesterday morning to let the amazing Lance work some of his magic on my brows (seriously, I can't stop looking at them – they're so perfect!) and decided to head over to Anthropologie. I've been avoiding it for months—because really, I am trying to stick to this no-spend-summer thing and Anthopologie is generally just waaaay too dangerous to venture into--but I'd seen that really cute floral skirt on sale on their website and wanted to see if it was also in the store. (It was – just one, size 10.)

But then I got all distracted, because right there in front of me was a gorgeously colorful Manish Arora dress. On major sale. It was one of the pieces I'd loved way back at India Fashion Week in September 2006—and had actually tried to order from the designer, to no avail—and had kind of given up on ever owning something from that amazing collection. But now, through some benevolence from the fashion gods, I do. And it is perfect.

Blog contests = happiness.*

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

So, our adorable friends over at Bunnyshop are having a Jocasi bag giveaway contest, and we are a finalist! The deal is: You must present a fashiony question to the Bunnyshop readership masses, and the question that elicits the most answers in the comments section wins fabulous, buttery, beautiful Jocasi! {Like the envelope clutch above. Sah-woon.)

Now, we are definitely not saying you have to comment on our question and vote for us. (Unless you want to. And if you do, our question is: What is the last fabulous fashion item that you bought? We're loving the answers so far.) But really, we think you should go and lend your support to any and all of the questions you like, because they're really, really good. We present our very deserving competition:

+What is your favorite fashion moment from film history?

+What are your favorite staple clothing items?

+If you had your dream body, what would you buy immediately to wear?

+What's your all-time favorite clothing or accessory item?

+What's the best gift you've given, and what's your fallback gift?

+What three beauty "sins" do you regularly commit?

I think that's it so far. Great questions, with lots of great responses. We've personally left our answers on almost all of them over the past week. Go and comment away in the name of free beautiful bags everywhere!

*Do not fret. We know we promised one of our own, and it's forthcoming!

Your public transit read o' the day

I'm kind of completely in love with superstylist and Pop magazine editor Katie Grand after reading this profile of her. The Miuccia details alone are pretty much worth the click…

Artsy Endeavors

Sunday, July 06, 2008

These dresses—created for an art installation by felt pens that bleed into the fabric—are supposed to be washed and redone with each wearing for infinite creativity, but I love the pattern they make so much that I think I just want one to stay that way permanently. Er, minus all those pens sticking out of it, of course. From designboom, via Swissmiss.


We had a great time over at the Fashion Fusion event last week, where we did a little trawling of the very fab boutique marketplace, checked out a very impressive runway show and promptly fell in love with this girl's adorable outfit. She's an intern at Baltimore boutique Love Allie for the summer and was dressed up in a bright orange vintage petticoat (as a skirt), yellow vintage blouse (you know how we love a peter pan collar – and, oh! those puffed sleeves!) and perfectly contrasting green sandals. Not that we would have expected anything less, as Love Allie instantly became our Favorite Boutique We Have Not Actually Been To (Yet). They had such an amazing selection of well-priced pieces from small, innovative designers (plus an arsenal of amazing vintage items), which just may have inspired us to blow our No Spending rule a tad. Um. Oops. Still, with so much great stuff—and such well-dressed staff—I really can't wait to see the store in person.

Desperately Coveted, part 763 of 9,224

I've been playing catch-up with my blog reading this weekend and I'm so glad I didn't miss the New York-based label Vicente Villarin via A Merry Mishap. Such sculptural, striking and incredibly beautiful pieces… Yes, please!

In related news, I seriously want this model's hair. I really, really wish I could get mine so crisp and blunt and Anna Wintour-ish like that. {And if you'll now excuse us, we must go and curse the poor genetics that left us with this super-fine, super-thin, super-non-dramatic hair.}

Things that make me go ooooh, part 778

Friday, July 04, 2008

John Galliano and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but he caused some serious fashion convulsions in my apartment this morning when I viewed his new 50s-inspired Dior Couture collection. It is so Esther Williams-ish perfection—right down to the pool blue runway. Triple swoon.

Save the Date! Saaaaave it! {July 19}

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Um, I just got word that I was one of the winners of the Edy's Ice Cream Neighborhood Salute essay contest (eeee!), and so all of you in DC are invited to come eat ice cream with me on July 19 somewhere near Dupont Circle. More details to come!

In the meantime, this insanely hilarious SNL clip -- introduced to me by my amazing beachmates earlier this week -- pretty much perfectly sums up my (freakin!) excitement:

{The very pretty ice cream cupcake photo is from here.}

La la la la la…

Oh goodness, where does the time go? Actually, here's where it goes: jaunts to Bethesda (home of $7 thrifted Burberry trenches); organizing my shoes in matching plastic boxes, which makes me deliriously, unapologetically happy; finally paring down nearly six years of Vogue magazines into neat little binders (Teen Vogue, you're next!); long catch-up dinners at Cork with lovely old Beijing friends; being, um, first to the bi-annual sale at Relish (and still not being able to justify the Dries, no matter how beautiful it is! luckily, the super-sale bin yielded some goodness…); shopping fun with super-author Cathy, in which I get to consult on outfit ideas for her upcoming Today Show appearance; my weekly tangysweet catch-up/fashion discussion with Johanna (now back to brunette!); rooftop dinners; escaping down to the beach for the week; Skee-Ball; showtunes sing-a-longs; general ridiculous fun; frequently lamenting the fact that it is now July.

And, of course, all the usual stuff: work, poring over the new Vogue, keeping up with the tumbleweeds of kitty hair that relentlessly invade my apartment.

I plan to be back, fully rested, by next week. In the meantime, there are some vinegar-soaked french fries calling my name. Happy fourth!