Celebrate the Season in Silver & Gold

Christmas parties! New Year’s parties! And a few birthdays! Don’t you love this time of year? Not just because you get to snuggle in with your friends and family for holiday cheer and yummy eggnog (well, some of us love it), but also because that means shopping. Yes, shopping for your loved ones—but it doesn’t hurt to snag yourself a new dress for the new year, now does it? For details on the items below, visit Polyvore.

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8 Confessions of a Fashion Lover

I love fashion, that’s pretty obvious. But…

hbz-september-2013-sarah-jessica-parker-chanel-xln-857204481. I love love love designer clothes, but I don’t wear them.

I actually dress in basics every day: flats, skinny jeans, a cute-ish but plain top and whatever style I can wrangle my frizzy hair into. I always manage makeup, but that’s about as far as I go into fashion on a daily basis. Sometimes there’s cute jewelry involved. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have the interest—my floor is littered with fashion magazines, and I certainly have my industry idols (Sarah Burton, Joe Zee, Frida Giannini…on and on). I love the creativity and imagination that goes into designing clothes, and think it’s a courageous endeavor, to put your ideas out there for other people to critique. Fashion is art, and those who create it reveal their thoughts and emotions as any other artist would with a canvas or a pen.

2. I’m extremely camera shy.

Seriously, any photos you see of me that aren’t my hands—that took hours. And they are a result of playing with angles and light and trying to do some photo-editing magic. Instagram helps a lot.

3. No one says “fashionista.”

Ugh, people hate that. All people—not just fashion-industry types, but just, all people.

4. Runway shows go really fast.

You’ll wait and wait for one to start (all editors side-eye Marc Jacobs), but when they finally get the show on the road (or, runway, ha), it lasts like 10-15 minutes. And sometimes, I’ll see a look on the runway that I think looks kind of meh, maybe just OK, and then in photos later, it is stunning.

5. I kind of think Carrie Bradshaw is the worst.

I know all fashion lovers should worship at the feet of Sex and the City and Ms. Bradshaw, but I just can’t handle her ridiculous quotes: “I couldn’t help but wonder, can you make a mistake and miss your fate?” F-ing, no. If you missed it, then it wasn’t really your fate, now was it? But I guess you’d have to believe in fate to begin with. Vomit.

6. I have made some amazing fashion mistakes.

Just because you love fashion doesn’t mean you won’t fall victim to it (especially when you’re a teenager). Example: Did I own Uggs at some point? Yep. And early-2000’s tie-worn-as-belt? CHECK. However, I’m proud to say my closet has never seen a trucker hat or any juicy couture.

7. I flippin’ hate tiny hats.

Because…why? Why do you need to wear a hat that could fit a doll? I never understood why this became a thing for some people. Agh.

8. The people with the best style are not following trends.

What makes you and your style unique are the quirks—the weird stuff that maybe others wouldn’t try, but you jump right on in. Just go with it!

Simply Stylist Sessions with Kitson’s Courtney Saavedra, Pursuit of Shoes, WWD’s Khanh Tran and Mena Suvari

Simply Stylist hosted yet another fabulous event, this time at Kitson on Melrose. Speaking on the panel were actress Mena Suvari in an amazing leather bustier and Chanel necklace; Pursuit of Shoes blogger Ashley Torres, who dispensed advice about following a career path you want instead of one you feel like you must travel (she left the world of accounting to pursue fashion); WWD writer Khanh Tran, who pointed out that what journalists do in today’s digital world isn’t different from what we’ve always done—it’s the execution that has changed (e.g. finding sources through Twitter); and Kitson’s Director of Operations Courtney Saavedra, who emphasized the importance of networking for your career. It was an engaging and entertaining discussion that ended with champagne and yummy snacks.

Bringing Back the Brooch

This hadn’t occurred to me until I did my daily rounds of my favorite fashion blogs, and Wendy (of Wendy’s Lookbook) popped up in this gorgeous outfit, complete with a stunning brooch. And when I say complete, I mean, it was a fine outfit before the brooch, but the addition of a small tiger accessory made it unique and powerful. Seriously, it’s gorgeous.


{Photo courtesy of Wendy’s Lookbook}

Which makes me think—what about brooches for fall? If they’re this fabulous on a simple knit sweater, think how stunning they’ll be everywhere else! I included a few faves below, but next time you hit the flea market, keep an eye out for these gems! To purchase any of these gorgeous brooches, visit polyvore.com.


Busting Out: Some Love for Ladies Who Are “Blessed with Chest”

Up until about, mmm, sayyy, four years ago, I had huge boobs. Like, HUGE. But it’s not like I was enjoying some super hot Sophia Vergara-like existence. Life was not about looking curvacious and cute in sexy clothes. No—my back and shoulders were constantly in pain at the end of each day, when I would have to lie down and give my body a rest from the extra weight I was carrying around on my chest.

Small boobs on my wedding day! No back pain, just fun. Photo by Danielle Capito Photography
Small boobs on my wedding day! No back pain, just fun. Photo by Danielle Capito Photography

Ever since they cropped up at the age of 13, my boobs were a constant hazard. It was awkward being so young with such an adult physique. There was a lot of staring and teasing in school, and I didn’t know how to handle this “development” much better than anyone else knew how to ignore it. What made it even more of a challenge was being required to wear a uniform everyday that included button-down shirts, and as ladies with big boobs will tell you—button-downs are impossible. You have to buy them big enough to not bust open, and at that point you look like you’re wearing a garbage bag. SO FREAKING FUN, let me tell you.

Anyway, clothing was a constant challenge. Most shopping trips ended in tears because I just wanted to look cute and dainty like my friends, but it just wasn’t going to happen. There weren’t a ton of options then besides just buying bigger (too big) clothes. Finally, in 2009, after talking about it for years, I had a breast reduction and went from about an F cup (by this time, my boobs had continued to grow since high school and college, when I had been a DD) to a modest C cup. After some weight loss, I’m now a B cup and couldn’t be happier—it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

But, this post is for those big-breasted women whose pain I felt. I wish I’d had a resource when I was in high school on the best chest tamers. For those who are lucky enough to be able deal with this problem with today’s technology, below are some links to help with everything from clothes to bras to bathing suits (and, of course, the Sophia Vergara collection).

Stuck in a Fashion Rut—How to Break Out


Ugh, I’m bored. I’ve been stuck in a rut with my daily routines for a while, and it’s time for that to change. Mostly, I’ve been wearing the same clothes over and over and over again.

Now, I can’t exactly afford to go on some wild shopping spree, but I can liven things up. I always recommend investing in slightly pricier, but much nicer pieces that will last forever, but in situations like this, we can take a pass on that advice.

I love heading to Forever21 and H&M to spice things up. So cheap! So cute! But I’m not really talking about the clothes. I’m talking about the accessories. They will doll up your drab outfit in an instant! Pictured are some of the gems I’ve found recently.

What do when you find yourself in a fashion rut?

Fixing L.A. Fashion Week

Here’s the thing about Los Angeles Fashion Week: It doesn’t exist. At least, not in the traditional (and much more respected) format that we have come to know from Mercedes-Benz fashion weeks in New York, Paris and the like.

The scene at Designer & The Muse, which kicked off L.A. Fashion Week Oct. 3 at Sofitel Beverly Hills’ Riviera 31 Lounge.

But it did exist at one point, most recently in 2008, when Mercedes-Benz, IMG and Smashbox studios were on board and uniting the industry in L.A.

Since those three left the scene, there hasn’t been an official fashion week. Style Fashion Week L.A. has come close, and Concept L.A. isn’t far behind, but we don’t have anything that really puts us on the map of “must-attend” runway shows. To sum it up politely: No one cares about LAFW.

This is a large part of why I started Fashion Maven Los Angeles; there are plenty of talented Los Angeles-based designers, and they deserve to be highlighted, singled out, shown as unique.

But others have their own reasons why LAFW isn’t influential in the industry (to the point where we’re almost a joke). Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, Linda Immediato points out:

“The idea behind fashion week is to create a platform for designers to present their collections to buyers who enable supply and to media editors who selectively create demand. And let’s forget for a second that, when it did happen, L.A. Fashion Week took place a month after designers have already shown in NY, Paris, London, and Milan and that buyers have by now already bought and editors have already published their trend reports. Some critics have argued that an LA Fashion Week can’t help but be irrelevant because of when it did/would fall in the calendar. Nowadays, some West Coast designers show in NY and then go to Project or Magic in Vegas to show their collections to West Coast media and buyers there, though the clothes hang on racks instead of models and the vibrancy and excitement of a runway show is missed.”

Be sure to read her entire article, because she hits the needle on the head. But not all hope is lost. There are plenty of great things about our unofficial fashion week. Though it’s rather fragmented, this leaves plenty of opportunity and time to attend shows. Plus, we use models who lean more toward the California aesthetic: curvy, tan and happy. No grumpy, hungry facial expressions here.

Tell me—what do you think about LAFW and how do you wish it could be different (if at all)?

Clothes Crush: Erdem

It started with this skirt:

And then it continued with this skirt:

erdem paillette skirt 2

And then there were my favorites from the Fall 2013 Ready to Wear collection:

But it didn’t end there…I don’t usually like the cold weather, but Erdem has turned me into a fan of fall with these pieces from their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection:

Here’s to being ready for (Pre-) Spring 2014:

Fast Five: End-of-Summer Essentials

Most Angelenos will readily admit that summer never seems to end here, but rather, the temperature dips a bit (68 degrees—so cold!) and the Santa Ana winds whip through town every once in a while. But in most parts of the country, the leaves are turning orange and red and it actually is starting to cool. No matter where you are, the end of summer is quickly approaching, and FMLA has your end-of-summer essentials.

kate spade1. A Light Sweater

Because it’s cooling down—but not so much that you can wrap up in that fall jacket you’ve had your eye on for a few weeks now—you’ll need a soft sweater to keep you warm in the evenings. Especially this adorable one from Kate Spade (it’s the KSNY X Darcel). Her latest batch features punchy, girlish colors that still feel adult. I love the cyclops with a bow, but there are also clothes with donuts—sprinkles included.

night film2. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl’s second novel, Night Film, is out August 20. Pessl’s debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is one of my favorites. The after her stunning debut, she made her readers wait almost seven years for a follow-up. No doubt that, much like her first book, Night Film will be perfect for any day, including the ones when you’re lazily sitting by the pool or ocean but are too sluggish to actually go in the water.

aveda3. Hair Repair

You sat in the sun all summer long and loved every moment of it. Except maybe those moments when your hair was ravaged by pool or ocean water, wherever you may be. Get to the salon! Or, take the easier route and apply Aveda Damage Repair. My stylist and good friend blessed me with a tiny sample to take home, but I’ve already got its full-size backup on the way.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 10.44.53 AM4. Weekender Bag

For those quick weekend trips out of town—San Diego, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Las Vegas—to enjoy the warm weather just one more time, you’ll need to pack light. I love this colorful bag from Stela 9, the Isabel. To give you some perspective, it’s about as tall as your knees.

vichy spf455. Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 45 Sunscreen

OK, this is more of a year-round essential, particularly in Los Angeles, but my point: Never go without sunscreen. Never. Not even in the dead of winter on the cloudiest day. I’ve been using this particular sunscreen since I discovered it in May, and I’m addicted. It’s so light that you can wear it under makeup and it doesn’t smell like sunscreen.