Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Arm Candy

I'm a big fan of accessories, and nothing pleases me more than to pile them on. I love doing it with necklaces, and lately, with bracelets. I like the idea of mixing textures, materials, colors and styles from both ends of the spectrum—crystals and wood, gold and leather, studs and pearls...

Thought I'd share with you some some of my favorite combinations:

Beads + Threads:  I bought 3 sets of these H&M multicolored elastic bead bracelets, and another set of thin wood bangles for about $3.99/set  and mixed them all together. One lady came up to me in the West Village, asking me where I got them and was shocked at how cheap it was considering Scoop was selling similar bracelets for about $60 Ack, so expensive!. I must have worn them for the better part of the summer.

I usually wear them with a Muses and Lovers friendship bracelet. The bracelet is $56 retail, but lucky me, I got it for free while interning at Refinery29. 

Mine isn't this pristine anymore. In fact, it's looking a little ratty already since it always gets wet when I wash my hands.

Sometimes I wear the beads and the friendship bracelet as a happy family on one arm; other times I wear the friendship bracelet on the opposite arm.

Metal + Leather: I gave my boyfriend an H&M brown leather wrap bracelet as a stocking stuffer last Christmas, and decided to buy one for myself. Ever since, it has held a permanent lease on my wrist (and my boyfriend's too!). I especially like wearing it with my gold chain bracelets. The chunky, pavé-link one is from Firma, a Christmas present from a few years back when I was an editor. The dainty chain, a gift from my former co-worker Jessika (love you Jess!), has tassels. It's actually a necklace but I almost always wear it as a bracelet.

Rhinestones + Tribal: Ok, I am a HUGE fan of bling. I am like a magpie, attracted to anything that's shiny and sparkly. So for a wedding I attended a few months ago, I naturally had to wear bling to accessorize my gorgeous Mango fuchsia column dress. However, I decided to make it more eclectic by adding my recently acquired African plastic weave bangles that I got for $6 (for four pieces) at the Harlem African market. 

With Azu and Didi (a very sweet couple), and my mustached boyfriend

Not a usual combination but I liked how they turned out. The African bangles remind me of the handles of our local walis tambo. Oh, and I added a pearl bracelet into the mix.

L-R, not including the African bangles: Hinged rhinestone bangle (actually a watchband) from a jewelry supply store in NY; errant black hair elastic; elasticized thick rhinestone cuff, Mango; elasticized thin rhinestone bracelet, part of a set bought at The Landmark; pearl and rhinestone coil bracelet, The Landmark.

In case you want to start your own collection of bracelets, here are some cool pieces I found online (mostly from Multiply shops).

Extreme Finds Frenchaid necklace, which you can wrap around your wrist too. Php 450.
Extreme Finds Catena charm bracelet. Php500.

Mia Casa slinky bracelet with charms. Php350.
ASOS friendship bracelet pack. US$14.64.

Happy shopping and happy accessorizing!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My 75 Peso Quiapo Dress

Went to Quiapo a few weeks ago and look at what I found:

I came with my mom who knows the place by heart. This is where she goes to buy clothes and fruits  (I know, I know, what an odd combination. Think of it as Target na pinalengke!). And while she gets titillated by the sight of atis, santol and papaya fruit piles, my fashion-addled brain and bargain-wired body was magnetized to a Php25 cardboard sign propped atop a pile of used clothes.

Now I didn't do much scouting. In fact, I only checked out one vendor, but amidst the hangers of dasters and granny florals from the '80s, I found the above ruby red gem of a beaded frock. The bodice and trims feature beadwork and gold embroidery, while the sleeves are slightly puffed, a detail which I like very much.

It's reminiscent of Santo Niño...
Image from Manilenio

...and the Asian Peoples display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. 

While everyone read Asian culture and history, I was snapping photos of embroidered dresses and gilt acessories, haha!
 Wore it with an old pair of Celine gold sandals, and a mannish tan envelope clutch discovered at a Boracay ukay.

I accessorized with a medley of metal arm candy.

Do you like the rose cuff? And the sly snake bracelet peeking out underneath? Me too, I'm enamored with them! As for where I got these, I'm keeping it a secret for now. It's from a project I'm working on that I will unveil to everyone very soon! Exciting!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spring 2012 Highlights In New York Times Video

My Product Development teacher in FIT was a tough guy, very sarcastic and sometimes a bit demeaning, but one of the great things he taught me was to listen to what the big guns at the top luxe department stores were saying. He said that most runway reviews that come out are never overly critical because of course, publications don't want to alienate advertisers, so that all-raves article on a designer you're reading in WWD might not be as objective as you think. But fashion buyers at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's review collections with the eyes of those who have a pulse on what consumers really like. And ultimately, they are the ones who decide what's going to show up on their racks.
Sherbet shades are nudging brights out of the spotlight. DVF's masculine take on pastels is so wearable and so sosy! Type! (Photo courtesy of Fashionologie)

If you want to know what threads you'll be spotting on the retail floor for spring/summer next year, watch this short but informative video by Eric Wilson of the New York Times, and find out which designers retail heavyweights like Stephanie Solomon of Bloomingdales and Ken Downing of Neiman Marcus are placing their bets on.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Detachable Collar

I first saw the detachable collar in Refinery29. The Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medine road-tested a spiked version by Eleven Objects, showing different ways to wear it. It was cool, but the collar, at $325, was a steep offering. Definitely not for Kat Dy Finds! In another feature, Refinery selected six different pieces, but I found that the best ones were still pricey, ranging from $295 to $640.
A few weeks ago, however, while browsing through Lucky’s July issue, I found a dainty, pearl-encrusted version by H&M.  I liked it so much that I asked my crafty sister, Nina, to make me one. Using one of my old tops, Nina cut off the collar and beaded on a simple pattern using a combination of round and rice pearls. She edged it underneath with a ribbon of lace. Finally, she sewed on a rhinestone button to attach the ends together.  Voila! A nifty, yet easy-to-make DIY piece that only requires rudimentary sewing skills. 

Up to making one for yourself? What’s great about the detachable collar is that there’s a multitude of designs and style you can execute. Instead of using pearls, you can also use metal studs, crystals or sequins. We used a pointy collar, but rounded, peter pan styles can also evoke that romantic mood.
ASOS collar, a cheap find at $9.15, but unfortunately sold out!

Eleven Objects leopard print collar made of pony hair, $295. Love the red collar stand peeking out.

Wondering how to wear it? Heavily detailed collars stand out best when given a plain backdrop, while a bold-hued collar pairs excellently with printed pieces.
Here are some suggestions:

1) Wear it to spruce up a simple tank or tee. I wore mine with a gray tank and suede skirt, but it'll also go well with a pair of lace shorts that I have.

Tank, Topshop. Suede skirt, bought at a Milan flea market. Shoes, Rachel Comey. Leather wraparound bracelet, H&M. Mesh bracelet, bought at a NY sidewalk store. Vintage shades, gift from my friend, Larissa.

2) Do like Hailee Steinfeld and accessorize a sheath dress with a fancy collar.
Hailee shows off an elegant Miu Miu dress. Photo courtesy of Fabsugar.

3) Leandra Medine chose to add edge to her embroidered tank with a studded pony hair collar by Eleven Objects.

Photo courtesy of Refinery29.
How will you wear your collar?
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