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