Monday, December 29, 2008

Renewed, Re-Tooled, Re-Styled! A New Ip & Aud

New Year, new look! Ip & Aud has been on a bit of a hiatus for the holidays, but I'm itching to blog again. But before I do, there's going to be a little redesign! Since I started fashion blogging this past summer, I've covered the eco-fashion beat from just about every angle, from hot eco-fashion designers to natural beauty products to the launch of fashion's first all-green 'zine.

But I've been meaning to keep up a style blog all this time, intending to start a sister site called Fashiontown and track my adventures in vintage and thrift shopping. Well, with all my other blogging, Fashiontown never came to be... so I'm bringing it all here! It seems smart to have all my fashion fun in one place, after all, and I'm a fan of a simple style aesthetic. Starting now, you'll see it all here...Meaning: I'll be posting outfits. Lots and lots of my fun, bohemian-yet-preppy, "Grandma-chic" finds. Wee!

Happy New Year!

Above: Sweater dress, gift. Scarf, The Gap. Belt, Forever 21. Bag, Simply Vera by Vera Wang. Beaded cuff, Wet Seal. Tights, Target. Boots, vintage Frye.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Té Casan No Longer Making Vegan Feet Happy

Té Casan, the footwear company that housed Natalie Portman's line of high fashion vegan shoes, is shutting down. For good. No more store, no more website, no more sexy-sleek shoes for vegan fashionistas. It was so great to see vegan shoes interpreted in such a stylish way, and by a gorgeous and talented celebrity, no less. "It Girl" Taylor Momsen even rocked one of Natalie's designs on a September episode of Gossip Girl. What a moment! So I'm truly bummed. Not that I could afford a pair of Nat's divine slippers, anyway. But let's hope, for fashion lovers everywhere, that Nat takes her just-launched-this-year line elsewhere. And soon!

In the meantime, don't worry, fellow animal-loving shoe shoppers... We still have Mohop!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chasing Marit

I have to take a moment to gush about my favorite singer/songwriter. This is long overdue, as I've been a fan for the past few years and have passed her music around to my friends-- most people stateside have never heard of her. Marit Larsen is a hidden treasure, and once you hear her, you're sure to fall under her spell!

Marit is an award-winning Norwegian artist who's enjoyed plenty of success on European pop charts, though the "pop" designation is hardly worthy of her gorgeous, folksy melodies with lush, sweeping arrangements. Her music is bright, spritely and highly original. I'm hardpressed to find an American comparison, though Jenny Lewis, with her pop-rock-indie-folk-bluegrass hybrid sound, comes awfully close. Marit's voice is reminiscent of Bjork, Regina Spektor, Martha Wainwright, or Sixpence None the Richer's Leigh Nash-- but her gentle, unrefined soprano is even more lilting, and sparkling, and altogether better. Don't believe me? You simply must hear her for yourself. Her first album, Under the Surface, is a glittering marvel of a debut. The Chase dropped last month, and it may be even better. As she promises in "If a Song Could Get Me You," her music just might "change your life forever, too."

The only catch? Marit is big in her native Norway, much of Europe and Asia, but her music is not available in the U.S. (though you can purchase Under the Surface on as an import, which is what I had to do). But I'm hoping that little blogs like mine will help spike a Marit fever over here, increasing the demand for her music to finally reach our shores. Dontcha' think our radios, CD and MP3 players are seriously derpived?

I'm inspired not only by Marit's music, but her cool, Euro-girl vintage-inspired style. And she's not afraid to have fun with impromptu unplugged performances. With her stardom Marit could command huge crowds, but she prefers to pop up in unexpected places! You gotta love a girl that always keeps you guessing!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hayden: Heroes Star Turned Handbag Designer

  • Hayden Panettiere, actress, singer, animal activist, and all around do-gooder, is now dabbling in a new role: designer.
  • Her Dooney & Bourke handbags, inspired by Leo, her astrological sign, are a mixture of girly-girl-cute and socialite-chic. A major step up from the looks she modeled for Candie's!
  • The line comes in five colors, perfect for mixing and matching.
  • The vegetarian and animal lover, who last year participated in a risky protest against Japanese whalers that nearly got her arrested and could have gotten her killed, failed to consider using a cruelty-free material for her purses-- "the bag of her dreams," as she describes her line, is made from Italian calfskin.

It's great to see Hayden making a foray into the design world, but next time? Why not consider crafting something that's animal- and eco-friendly? If these bags were vegan, I would snap them up, and so would fashion-forward, animal-loving celebs like Natalie Portman (her vegan line of shoes for Te Casan is superhot!). Instead of producing more of the same, the products you stamp your name on could help change the world. After all, you've been a hero for animals in the past. So what are you waiting for, Hayden? Dream a little bigger!

*Photo source:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Speaks Up About Her Spiffy Wardrobe

After enduring weeks of criticism, Governor Sarah Palin finally addressed one annoyingly pressing campaign issue: her wardrobe. In light of the economic crisis, people across party lines were infuriated after hearing that Palin's designer clothes reportedly cost the Republican National Committee $150,000. Whaaat? Did our tax dollars support her Neiman Marcus runs?

Of course, some of the swirling rumors were likely just that-- rumors. Sure, Palin had a stylist and some gorgeous ensembles, but on Fox News yesterday she raised a valid point: why isn't anyone talking about the Democrats and their campaign clothes? We know Michelle Obama has sported a few recession-friendly outfits, including her fab H&M dress and moderately-priced J. Crew look. But what about her election night earrings, said to be worth $11,000? And how about that one outfit Cindy McCain donned that cost more than a house?!? Seriously, Cindy-- for one outfit?

In light of that, I'd say $150 K is actually a conservative number [According to Palin, it was far lower than that, and also included clothing for all eight of her family members]. Just think of all the hard-working [Cough!] celebrities and all the crazy-expensive clothes they parade around in daily while the rest of us are scrounging for change so we can score designer stuff at Target!

So I'd like to say, on the matter of Sarah Palin's did-she-or-didn't-she shopping sprees: DROP IT. Enough is enough already! Let's reign it in and re-focus: we're still in the midst of a recession, an energy crisis, a war on two fronts, and have just witnessed one of the craziest - and most historic - elections ever! America's got a lot of work ahead, which creates plenty of opportunities for greatness. So let's not bicker and argue about who shopped where and who styled who!

*Photo found at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Skyrocketing Sales for Eco-Chic Makeup

Spending may have decreased due to the recession, but customers prove they are still committed to shopping for affordable, quality makeup. Physician's Formula, one of my favorite brands, is flourishing, despite the economic crisis. WWD reports that this season's profits are up to $1.7 million, a huge jump from $102,000 at the same time last year. That's quite a leap!

Their new Organic Wear line may have something to do with it. This year the brand debuted the nation's first 100% organic natural origin makeup line with certified organic materials. Each product is free of harsh chemicals, fragrances and parabens, and is also cruelty-free. That makes for a 100% eco-friendly product, right down to the recycled paper packaging!

Physician's Formula, a leader in the bronzer market, also sells mineral makeup and retro-chic compacts, mascaras and more. It's encouraging to see such a great company, committed to environmental consciousness, thrive in a disappointing financial season. Why not support the brand (and boost the economy!) by picking up one of their gorgeous green products? Your skin will thank you, too!

*Photo from

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Change Indeed! Obama Supports Democratic Fashion

It's no style secret that Michelle Obama's wardrobe choices have sparked an American shopping frenzy. The White House/Black Market dress she wore during a June appearance on "The View" sold out across the country. The moderately-priced dress showed that Mrs. Obama is anything but a fashion elitist, though she does favor designers like Narciso Rodriguez and Thakoon. And Michelle's latest sartorial selection, as seen on the campaign trail, was even more budget-friendly: this black-and-bordeaux striped dress from cheap-chic retailer H&M!

Whether or not Michelle donned this frock as a nod to budgeting fashionistas during the nation's economic crisis, or simply because she's an H&M fan, we may never know (Though Obama did tell People magazine, "Some of my favorite summer dresses are from Gap and H&M"). What we do know for sure? Clad in looks from the runway or straight off the rack, Michelle Obama shows us how to be classy, confident and glamorous at any price.

*Photos can be found at and

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sheer Abandon

I'm a New York girl by birth, but London Fashion Week is one of my favorites-- I love to check out wicked British style. Plenty of wearable looks were exhibited last week, but one trend in particular caught my eye. The Fug girls blogged about a trend seen on a few runways in New York that jumped the pond to London-- and the Brits took it and ran wild. Nearly every designer sent out totally sheer creations. While some New York designs revealed models' underthings, most Brits left nothing to the imagination. Vivienne Westwood even threw all caution to the proverbial wind and sent a model out topless!

Now I'm all for innovative fashion, but I don't know how many women are going to sport these transparent tops-- or if it's even legal in some places to do so! Fortunately, if you want to play a little peekaboo, some London designers crafted sweetly sheer looks that are a bit on the shy side. That way you can show a little skin, without going over (or without!) the top.

Jasper Conran showed a sheer dress that may work better as a tunic. This would be adorable over colored leggings or skinny jeans.

Thank goodness! Emma Cook's peekaboo grey frock is dark enough to hide the unmentionables.

Erdem unveiled a more straight-laced take on the trend: plenty of frilly ruffles to make see-through seem ladylike.But my favorite sheer look was this frothy confection by Jenny Packham: wisps of cotton candy fabric are ever-so-subtly sheer, but not enough to make you blush.

For more London Fashion Week coverage - and to see my eco-fashion versions of the trends - head over to Green Cotton!

*All photos courtesy of

Friday, September 12, 2008

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Oscar de la Renta - Spring 2009

Oscar, your clothes are affairs to remember
I'm swept up in the line you've unveiled this September
The style's retro sixties, but no need to wince!
It's like Holly Golightly has married a prince

Your silhouettes and ikat don't fail to impress
I "oohed" and I "ahhed" every little black dress
With such grace and charm ruling each component
Who wouldn't want to have an Oscar moment?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


New York Fashion Week began on Friday, and I've been peeking at the collections thus far to cover the shows from "the eco-eye" for Green Cotton. Check out my post about the Be EcoChic show, which featured both big designers and eco-fashion up and comers united for a single cause: greening the runway! I'll be posting my coverage on GC as Fashion Week continues, so stay tuned!

London Fashion Week is next, and I can't wait to see what the wicked-stylish Brits have in store!
*Pictured above: A look from Alexander Wang's Spring 2009 Collection. I love the tough-girl look paired with a girly pink blazer. And those shoes! They've got me hyperventilating!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Those who shall remain nameless

Vogue India is coming under fire. An August photo spread featuring average citizens of India modeling some of fashion's most expensive, least accessible brands displays a "tacky, distasteful" lack of social consciousness.

The man in the above photo is holding a Burberry umbrella, which retails at $200. Nearly half of India's population (about 456 million) live on less than $1.25 a day.

Other photos include a baby, in rumpled clothing, wearing a $100 Fendi bib and a woman commuting on a motorbike, clutching a $10,000 Hermes Birkin bag.

These are luxury brands that only a tiny percentage of India's population can actually afford-- even if the country does have a fast-growing class of nouveau riche. In a society known for its strict social caste system (in which the lowest-ranking are labeled "untouchables"), letting a fashion magazine depict toothless, barefoot individuals modeling fashion's biggest names - high-end brands that, for them, will forever be untouchable - seems like a cruel mockery.

Priya Tanna, editor of Vogue India, defends the fashion shoot. "Lighten up," she said. Vogue is about "the power of fashion," and the photos show that "fashion is no longer a rich man's privilege. Anyone can carry it off and make it look beautiful."

Indeed, these people are beautiful, with or without Hermes. But, sadly, their identities aren't even credited in the Vogue photos. Theirs are not the names Vogue cares for you to know: Hermes, Fendi and Burberry are.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Indie summer

Bid summertime adieu.

There's a chill in the air here on the Atlantic coast, Autumn announcing her arrival. I'm ready to embrace her in crisp, classic style— pumpkin spice latte in hand.

But I'd be remiss to welcome Autumn without giving Summer one last parting glance.

C'est tout, darlings! See you next season.

*Zooey Deschanel in Sept. 2008 Fashion Rocks
Plymouth Bay, © Erin C. Dale

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Want to feel fresh-faced and squeaky-clean? Green your beauty routine!

When I was fifteen years old (a few moons ago!), I had some gal-pals over for an ultra-girly slumber party. We took over the kitchen and used practically every fresh ingredient we could find to make our party treats: "gourmet" face and hair masks! Using yogurt, bananas, oatmeal and egg yolks, we made quite a gunky mess (that probably wasn't so awesome for the shower drain), but I think we had the right idea. We'd read the "recipe" in a beauty magazine and were eager to try the all-natural facials and hair treatments for ourselves. And you know what? The stuff worked great. I still remember how clean my skin was, how soft my hair felt the next day. That was my first foray into organic beauty.

I haven't slopped any oatmeal on my face lately, but that's because I've come to rely on some great natural products that do the work for me. It's taken me a few years of trying out different things, but I've finally got my organic routine down pat. If you're looking for a natural, plant-based facial cleansing system (like I was!), Alba Botanica has the right stuff. I'm quite the girly-girl, and nighttime equals pamper time! My bedtime routine is extensive, but it's not too complicated: Cleanse. Tone. Moisturize! I use Alba's Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser, followed by the Hibiscus Toner and Aloe & Green Tea Moisturizer.These products are genius for sensitive skin like mine. Most products I find that are marked "sensitive" usually leave me feeling greasy, as they tend to over-moisturize. But Alba's products make my skin baby-soft-- no filmy residue! Aloe and green tea are especially helpful when toning down redness, which is something fair-complexioned gals like me have to combat. Oh, and did I mention that all three products smell delicious? (The luscious scents have made me an Alba junkie; I'm hooked on their Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion and coconut lip balm, too!) That's not artificial, chock-full-of-chemicals fragrance, mind you; everything in Alba is plant-derived, so the products are marked 100% vegetarian! Whoo-ee! This animal lover rejoices!

I've recently given my makeup a green-over, too. For a while I was using Mary Kay (the company is getting more and more eco, believe it or not), but as my skin is verrrry sensitive, I found myself breaking out a bit too often. I'd been looking for natural makeup for a long time, but couldn't find anything that was free of harsh chemicals and cancer-causing parabens that actually fit into my budget. Thank goodness for Physician's Formula!

I've used the company's mascara, concealer and eye brightener (one of my favorite products ever) for years, but I wasn't a fan of their pressed or loose powders (I'm always trying to even out red splotches, but for me, theirs lacked the right amount of coverage). But their new Organic Wear line is superb. I looove the new loose powder and Natural Origin Matte Finishing Veil. Both products have that perfect amount of coverage: subtle, never cakey, and completely shine-banishing. And both come with built-in mirrors and adorable Kabuki brushes (vegan friends note: the brushes are made with goat hair, but the company marks all the Organic Wear products as 100% cruelty-free. I'm assuming no goats were harmed in the making of these brushes!).

Why do I care if my beauty products are natural? The same reason you should! The hard-to-pronounce ingredients in your favorite cleanser or foundation don't belong on your skin any more than they belong in our waterways, effectively poisoning plants, fish, animals, you and me. Remember, your skin is like a sponge for these nasty chemicals; if you care about what goes into your body when you're eating, you should definitely care about what goes on it, too!

So whether you want to use some new, fun organic products or mix up your own yummy-smelling (and tasting!) goop in your kitchen, give natural beauty a try! If you have sensitive skin, too, I highly recommend the products I mentioned; if not, finding products that work for your skin type should be a snap. There are so many great eco-conscious brands out there, it's getting hard to keep track. And, naturally, that's a beautiful thing!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Since when did beanies get eco-chic?

Can you believe it's almost hat season... already? When the weather gets a wee bit chilly, I'm going to sport one of these cotton-acrylic beanies from American Apparel. The best part - aside from the fact that they come in assorted colors and are unisex, natch! - is that each beanie is made from recycled fabric, even the dyed ones, which totally cuts down on waste and manufacturing. So cute, and ecologically responsible. So how 'bout buying one for you...And your man, too. :) Aww.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are you a boho girl?

Boho magazine officially launched on Tuesday, and the corresponding website is a haven for boho-chic fashionistas. Check out the awesome content, but don't forget to swing by your local Borders, Barnes & Noble or Whole Foods to pick up the very first issue!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Viva inspiración

Right now, I'm loving Madonna's "Lucky Star" look. I'm in the midst of a New Wave, oversize sweater, dangly earrings, Pretty in Pink phase. Seriously. I can't get OMD's "If You Leave" out of my head! Anyone know a remedy? Then again, I might just want to stay in my John Hughes daydream. It's more fun here!

*Please ignore the fact that I sorta-kinda badmouthed Madge in a previous post. I don't love Madge on that Vanity Fair cover. But who doesn't love classic '80s Madonna? It takes me back to my lace-and-leggings days. *Sigh*

Let's make the world better with cardigan sweaters

My dear friend Emily has impeccable taste. Lucky for me, she's visiting this week and tomorrow we're going shopping. So far, the plan is to venture to Boston's Newbury Street, and possibly Faneuil Hall or Harvard Square.

Thanks to Em's latest blog, I'm lusting after this grey Urban Outfitters shawl collar cardigan.
We'll also stop by American Apparel, where Emily will be trying on this "paprika" cardigan.

It's the perfect recipe for a cool, rainy, end-of-summer day: two best pals, coffee, and cozy cardigans!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fairytale fashion fit for a queen: who better than Alexander?

Dynamic designer Alexander McQueen has never been afraid to court runway controversy, but his fall 2008 collection is fit for courts of the royal variety. Inspired by a recent trip to India and his 600-year-old elm tree, McQueen imagined a dark fairytale and fashioned the rise of a princess, from frizzy-haired wood nymph to enchanting empress. The transformation is evident, as McQueen’s ‘princess’ displays a full spectrum of spellbinding looks: Victorian structure and sensibility, lavish Oriental elegance, flouncy Russian ballerinas and otherwordly monarchs. Masquerading down the runway were black, body-hugging princely suits, dark velvet dresses and brocade jackets; red velvet coats adorned with antique Indian gems; empire-waist saris with sheer ‘harem’ pants; tufts of tulle on frothy-yet-rich ballet frocks; extravagant ermine toppers and sparkling czarina gowns. It’s bewitching to watch the fairytale queen emerge, but even better? In the midst of all the opulence, the show depicted plenty of wearable looks—with or without a dose of fairy magic.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Elle Goes Country?!? Cover Controversy

Remember how I warned you that Jessica Simpson landed the cover of Elle's September issue? Ok, it wasn't a warning so much as a telling, but yes, the glamorous, high fashion, definitive September issue stars Simpson, newly crowned country queen. But where, oh wear, is the high fashion on this cover?

Perhaps Elle was taking a nod from D&G's country chic fall runway look? If that's the case, they could have done far, far better.

Simpson even rocked D&G (in belt form) and Fendi on Glamour's June cover; so why did Elle style her so dowdy (er, Howdy Doody?).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer sweetness

I'm not a fan of country music, but I have to admit: I love Carrie Underwood. She seems shy and sweet, has a big voice that belies her petite frame, and - bonus! - she's an animal-loving vegetarian. Oh, what else? Her style rocks.
Love how she pairs gray and gold, a tough combo to pull off! Kudos to Carrie for mixing it up!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Boho Magazine: A [Green] Fashionista's Dream!

An eco-fashion magazine is on its way! Boho Magazine, a green fashion/lifestyle publication, is the first fashion magazine to be printed on 100% recycled paper, with all natural inks and zero glossy finish. It's set to launch on August 12! As much as I love glossies, I hope other mags will soon follow suit. Boho's launch just fuels my hope and belief that, one day, all fashion will be green. Till then, we'll have Boho as an example and inspiration. I can't wait!

Friday, July 25, 2008

When "green" issues don't make enough green

This is hardly surprising, but in magazine publishing, it really is all about the money. And when environmental magazine issues are published and don't sell well enough, they run the risk of not getting published in the future. According to, "green issues" were among the lowest-selling this year. Why? Consumers are "skeptical" over environmental messages. The result? The New York Times reports that the advertising industry will scale back on green-themed marketing.

Maybe it has less to do with skepticism and more to do with cover choices? Madonna graced both Elle and Vanity Fair for their green issues. Is it a coincidence that neither sold a ton? I can think of better eco-celebrity choices than her!

It should be noted that the green Vanity Fair didn't sell as poorly as some other green issues, like those of Time and Discover. But Elle hasn't reported such low sales since May 2006, when they published a - what else? - green issue.

This is a setback in the magazine world, but eco-fashion is still going strong. It's important to keep in mind that it's a relatively new movement in the U.S. But with other countries, especially the trend-setting U.K., as fashion trailblazers, I have no doubt that ethical fashion will be big here, and soon. I truly think, in the future, all fashion will be green, and poor magazine sales won't sway that. Besides, as Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici pointed out, the lack of sales could actually be a good thing! It could mean less magazines being printed next time around, which is better for the environment; or perhaps, next spring, publishers will forgo their annual green issues and "go dark," printing nothing at all. Wouldn't that send a chilling message?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Just Launched! debuts: shop funky, vintage-inspired fashions

Need a fall fashion clue? Here’s a little hint
Find flirty silk dresses with bright floral prints
Think flapper flair with a fun, modern twist
Vintage silhouettes and patterns— pure wardrobe bliss

Shopping for function or just on a whim?
Get sweet, sexy silk: try on Yumi Kim

Yumi Kim is a fashion line on the rise. The NYC-based company has been crafting sexy, vintage-inspired fashions – contemporary silk dresses and tops with floral prints from the ‘30s – since 2004. Reality stars Paris Hilton and The Hills’ Audrina Partridge have rocked Yumi Kim’s designs— now it’s your turn. Flaunt trendsetting fashions in real time from the newly-launched

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vogue's venture into reality; September magazine cover spoilers

Vogue, the mother of all fashion magazines, is joining the fashion reality TV show craze. You know you saw it coming... ever since Teen Vogue opened their doors to MTV's The Hills, I've wondered when - not if - their mama mag would follow suit. According to the Wall Street Journal, it's coming soon, all right; Vogue's "Model.Live" launches on-demand on starting August 19. The show is segmented into 12 8-minute episodes which track the careers of three handpicked models as they navigate fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan. It's a clever new way to advertise; Vogue made a deal with Express LLC. The chosen models will be outfitted in Express clothing, and interested fashionistas watching the show will be able to click a link and buy the featured fashions, or visit to see how to create similar ensembles. This is a big step for Express; it's their biggest marketing investment in over a decade. Whew! Let's see if pairing up with the high-end likes of Vogue bodes well for the retail company.

In other (fashion) news, WWD spilled the beans on who's going to grace the covers of September's fashion magazines. For those of you who can't wait for them to hit newsstands, they are as follows:

Vogue: Keira Knightley
Glamour: Penelope Cruz
W: Kate Hudson
InStyle: Uma Thurman (Check out the August issue, featuring Rihanna, for the magazine's exciting new redesign! There's an article in there I'm dying to read on Rachel Bilson's new clothing line for DKNY-- that's right, the pint-sized fashion-icon-in-training already has a clothing line!)
Cosmopolitan: Blake Lively (No doubt this is to promote her summer flick and the return of Gossip Girl-- hmmm, ya think her show is really targeted toward adult audiences?!? Golly gee! Wouldn't Teen Vogue or CosmoGirl! have been more appropriate?)
Teen Vogue: Vanessa Hudgens (Didn't we just see her on a mag cov- oh, wait. Yes. CosmoGirl! How about some variety?)
Allure: Carrie Underwood (I'm still psyched over Victoria Beckham's natural look in this month's issue.)
Elle: Jessica Simpson (A little country competition for Carrie?)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lovin' the Leakey Collection

Right now, I'm having an eco-love fest. I lovelovelove the Zulugrass lariat from the Leakey Collection. It's perfect over a summer tank, as shown above, or a breezy sundress. And a bonus? There are multiple ways to wear this necklace! The website even offers a video tutorial. So cool and hands-on.

And, naturally, I'm featuring this product because the company is eco-friendly and fair trade. You gotta love anything that looks good and is good for the earth, as well as the artisans who crafted it.

Thanks for posting this link on your blog, Emily!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A moment of synchronicity

Yesterday I wore my favorite black skinny pants to work. It was a muggy day here in New England, and these pants are better suited for spring or fall, but I was having one of those too-sleepy-so-I-dressed-in-the-dark kind of mornings and just pulled on the closest clean pair I could find. By lunchtime it was sweltering. I hightailed it to my favorite coffeeshop, rolling my car windows way down and pretending I had air conditioning, dreaming of an almond iced coffee with soy milk. Hmmmm. The pants felt tight. I absentmindedly wondered: What would Audrey do? Surely it was hot when she danced in skinny pants for her beatnik scene in Funny Face. I needed to suck it up. Beauty is pain, all that.

'Besides,' I thought, sliding on my knock-off designer sunglasses, 'I can channel Audrey Hepburn today. I am Audrey Hepburn. After all, I'm wearing the "Audrey" skinny black pant the Gap featured in their 2006 "Back in Black" ad. If that's the closest I can get today, in this nasty heat, to being Audrey-chic, then so be it.'

After a ten minute drive, I'd reached my destination. I skipped across the parking lot, consumed by thoughts of coffeecoffeecoffee. And then I skipped right past a white van. The men inside were blaring AC/DC. "Back in Black."

Channeling Audrey, indeed!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chic Summer Reads

To all those beach blanket fashionistas, you may be in search of the perfect fashion book to tuck in your gorgeous (I'm sure!) beach tote. Feel free to peek in my fashion library. I've compiled a summer reading list that I hope to get to before I start seeing Boston's awesome fall foliage (which is when you're supposed to wear scarves, you summer scarf devotees! Just kidding. I'm actually one of them!).

I'm enrolled in a fashion writing course through, which I heard about from my favorite college professor (a fabulous writer, I might add; I am not a kiss-up!). The class has a suggested reading list of some great fashion books, so naturally I'll include some of those on here. And, of course, I can't resist adding my personal picks. :)

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion by Holly Brubach

Our class was assigned three of the essays that appear in this book; now I want to read the rest! The three short pieces I read were strong, despite their length—proof that “brevity is the soul of wit,” indeed. Brubach’s voice is certainly witty, refreshing amongst other fashion articles that lack her kind of depth. I laughed out loud reading “New World Order”; Brubach channeled Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless character perfectly. And her sardonic tone in “The Spirit is Willing” was pitch-perfect. Brubach’s voice is really strong and refreshing. I loved the poignancy of "Serial Dresser," too; who would think to assign such specific identities to particular articles of clothing? It’s the kind of writing I’ve always wanted to do. If you, too, are a dedicated follower of fashion, you need to check this out!

That Extra Half an Inch by Victoria Beckham

Now, I loved shouting "Girl Power!" with my BFFs back in middle school, but I've never exactly counted Posh Spice as one of my fashion icons. However, I flipped through this book, just for fun, and fell in love with all the gorgeous pictures and Beckham's surprisingly funny, self-effacing writing. Posh Spice may not be a fashion authority, but she is certainly making her mark in that world - with her dVb line, as the newest face of Marc Jacobs - and we can probably expect to see a lot more of her. Neon yellow sheath dresses and all!

Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

This is another book I've merely flipped through but can't wait to delve into more. I read Christie Matheson's Green Chic (another book I highly recommend), and this is obviously in the same vein. Green living is important to me, and is becoming increasingly important to more people day-to-day, especially when books like this are published. The impending doom of climate change is scary, but there's no need to freak; we can all contribute by taking simple steps, and these books tell you how. Even if you're not an eco-freak, I think you'll find how relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating the whole reuse, renew, recycle thing can be (you may even start speaking more alliteratively! How 'bout that?). Okay, I'm a dork, but I'm completely serious. Trust me, you'll feel so good about wearing organic cotton tees, planting a little flower garden (or even just growing herbs in your windowsill), finding the beauty in everyday things. Obviously, this is something I'm very passionate about! Just give some of Uliano or Matheson's tips a try; they're easy to implement and will leave you feeling smart. And fabulous! I'm telling you, green is the new sexy!

The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia

Got a friend in dire need of a drastic wardrobe makeover? This book is the perfect RX. It's still fun for fashion diehards, too, full of cute illustrations and invaluable tips. It's also a bit of a fashion memoir; Garcia takes us back to her glamorous childhood in Columbia and tracks her fashion evolution, all the way to Elle, Project Runway and beyond.

The End of Fashion: The Mass Marketing of the Clothing Business by Teri Agins

I just started this book by The Wall Street Journal senior writer Agins, and I'm already hooked. Before I became interested in fashion, I studied Communications and Business. This book is tailor-made for readers with that mindset, interested in social journalism and fashion economics. I admit, it's a bit of a "heavier," more technical beach read than these other fashion books, but, hey... it's good to be well-dressed and well-rounded. :)

The Fashion Book

So this choice is obvious. Published by Phaidon Press, The Fashion Book is a virtual fashion bible. I bought this to use as a fashion dictionary/encyclopedia, and it's been a great resource (though it's missing some up-and-comers I'm interested in; its last reprint was in 2001). Don't wanna lug an encyclopedia to the beach? Grab the handy paperback version! It fits in even my teeniest purse (though that's not saying much; the "handbags" I carry could fit an Olsen twin). This book is so fun to page through, full of striking images from front to back. If you're a fashion blogger, too, it can help you drum up new story ideas as you learn fashion facts.

These are just my latest picks; I could easily dream up more. My fashion class reading list is fantastic, and I plan to make a major dent in that during the coming weeks. But what are your favorite fashion reads? Any suggestions, or comments on the choices above? I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, July 14, 2008

On how to be lovely

What's in a name?

I feel the need to explain mine... or, rather, the name I've chosen for this blog. Upon saying it aloud, I realize "Ip & Aud" sounds a bit like "hip and odd," and I suppose that's an appropriate homonym! As this is a blog about fashion, "hip and odd" tends to sum up the whimsical fashion world in general. But that's not what the name really means...

In 1959, actress and indisputable fashion icon Audrey Hepburn starred in a film called Green Mansions. It was directed by Mel Ferrer, her husband at the time, and Audrey played a "forest girl" named Rima who had a pet deer. The movie's animal trainer suggested Audrey take the little fawn home with her so they could bond. She named him Pippin - Ip, for short - and the bond between the icon and the forest creature was surprising, even in unflappable Hollywood.

"Beverly Hills habitués are fairly blasé about what they see," photographer Bill Willoughby recalled, "but Audrey being followed around town by this lovely creature stopped everyone in their tracks.

"Ip... would come right up and lie down next to her when she was having a nap. They were literally in touch, something I had never seen between a human being and a forest animal."

Willoughby took many shots of Audrey with her pet, and the deer remained her companion long after the film wrapped. Ip was one of many animals lucky enough to have Audrey's attention lavished upon them; she also had cats, doves, canaries, a donkey and, over the years, seven different dogs. To think that this Hollywood star, still revered as a goddess in the fashion world, was literally that down to earth is immensely refreshing. Audrey was in touch with nature in a way few people - let alone actresses - are.

"I'm grateful for everything that's green," she once said. "When I didn't have a dime, I held to the dream of one day having my own orchard with fruit trees and a place to grow vegetables." She also said that bonding with animals "is possibly the purest experience you can have."

There are many reasons Audrey has been my fashion icon - and humanitarian role model - since I was a little girl. When I was very young, it was because I loved watching her pretty dresses swoosh when she glided across rooms in films like Sabrina and Funny Face. I wanted to get lost with Princess Anne on her Roman Holiday and share her innocent, yet pivotal, adventures—drastic haircuts, ice cream cones, falling in love with a handsome stranger and, best of all, shopping for the perfect Italian sandals. And, like everyone else, I fell madly in love with Holly Gollightly in the film that tops nearly every list of "most influential fashion movies," Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's ridiculously cliché, and ridiculously perfect.

My girlhood dream was to stand outside Tiffany's, baguette in hand, and gaze longingly at the baubles inside. It's an image well-ingrained in my mind and in pop culture, like so many from the film-- recently, Gossip Girl couldn't resist having one of their lead actresses dress up in a Tiffany's-inspired dream sequence.

I adore Audrey in her little black dress, but I formed a special connection to her that has little to do with Audrey the actress. When I was ten, an aunt gave me my first – and only – Tiffany’s necklace. My aunt's a New Yorker and knew how much I loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but that wasn't why she gave me this particular gift. The necklace bears a sterling silver deer pendant, part of a Tiffany's nature collection whose proceeds went toward preserving wildlife. My family knew that, above my love of Audrey, fashion, and New York was my love of all things nature. Though I didn't make the connection to Audrey and her pet deer, having a pendant that encompassed my love of all those things was so important to me, and still is. And it's the one accessory I have that goes with absolutely everything! When I look at it, I can't help but think of Audrey and all the lovely things she represents. In my writing, I strive to make connections between the fantasy that is fashion and the beauty of nature. Fashion is fun and carefree, but it doesn’t have to be careless. I’ve learned that it's more than possible to embody fashionista and humanitarian—just look at Audrey Hepburn.

*This blog's photo can be viewed at