Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blonde ambition: fall fashion mags hit the peroxide

August is almost upon us, and in fashion it means one thing is absolutely certain: the massive September issues hit the shelves. This is the industry's most important (and most readers' favorite) issue of the year. But I don't have to tell you that: just see the new documentary coming out about Vogue and Anna Wintour, aptly titled The September Issue.

But this year the volumes will be lighter (with far fewer ad pages than usual), and so will all the cover girls. American fashion editors, at least, are using a friendly, familiar formula: stick a blonde celebrity on the cover and, voila!, the magazine will sell. I once read (wish I could remember where) that advertisers turn to blonde models turning times of economic crisis because, apparently, seeing blondes lifts reader's spirits, thus making them more likely to buy the featured product. This is, supposedly, why so many screen sirens dyed their hair blonde when they made films during the Great Depression (or it could be that platinum blonde showed up better and appeared silverly on-screen, but I digress). When finances are risky, blondes seem to be the safer choice. Well, I don't know about you, but even though I like blonde hair and all (I used to be blonde!), I enjoy seeing - and being! - brunette more. And most of my favorite actresses and celebrities, from Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin to Penelope Cruz and Zooey Deschanel, are brunette. Everyone has their preference, I guess, and the American model is blonde hair, blue eyes, apple pie. In case you were wondering, last year's September cover girls were a little more varied.

This year's (puzzling) September cover list:

Jennifer Aniston - Elle
Jennifer Lopez (yes, a faux-blondie, but there she is) - InStyle
Taylor Momsen - TeenVogue
Kate Moss - W
Ashley Olsen - Marie Claire
Amanda Seyfried - Allure
Jessica Simpson - Glamour
Charlize Theron - Vogue

Ashley Olsen graced Marie Claire's September issue two years ago, while it's been just as long since Charlize Theron last covered Vogue. But Jessica Simpson was Glamour's cover girl just last August, and, arguably, is hardly a newsworthy/relevant/even remotely interesting choice. Not that I'm trying to hate on poor Jess; I'm just sayin' some variety would be appreciated. And I hope it's not as terrifying a cover as last September's Elle was (which I ranted about last year, consequently); if Simpson is wearing something other than a plaid shirt and cowboy boots, Glamour will have bested Elle. That simple.

TeenVogue has already leaked their cover:

Can't wait to see the rest! I'm especially excited about Marie Claire; the Ashley Olsen issue from 2007 was one of the best I've read. I'm not a fan of the Olsen twins (ok, so I was when I was little!), but I've always loved Ashley's fashion sense. And even her sometimes bleached, sometimes dirty-blonde hair. ;)

Which September magazine, if any, will you buy?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Romping 'round Bostontown

My visit with Emily has come and gone already. We had a lovely time catching up over over Tealuxe iced chai, several cups of Starbucks and Mary Lou's coffee, and one late-night run to Taco Bell (mmm). I've mentioned before that Em visits every summer, usually around the same dates, but this year was damper than usual. But all the unseasonal showers, bad traffic and expensive parking in the world couldn't keep us from exploring Newbury St. and engaging in some mild retail therapy. Gloomy, congested Boston might have done its best to bring us down, but we slugged it out, came out as champs, and took home the prize! Okay, quite a few little prizes, actually...

In between the coffee stops and shopping, we each took some artsy black and white photos. Emily had her awesome SLR (so jealous!), but I'm pretty pleased with my little digital Nikon's capabilities. I do miss using film and plan to rejoin the 35 mm club soon. Without further ado, a few Boston-y (and Plymouth-y) things we found:

Emily thought to stop and photograph this beautiful walk-up. I couldn't resist snapping a few myself...We were also fascinated by the flights of these birds during a misty afternoon at the Plymouth waterfront...Oh! But this post wouldn't be complete without a few outfit poses, would it? Here's my exciting purchase of the week (and the one item I've been hunting for all summer): a cute retro-style romper. I've been looking for a romper that meets certain qualifications (must not be too short or make me look even more like a 12-year-old) and am really happy with this floral one from Forever 21:I actually owned a secondhand romper like this one in high school, but gave it away because I had no idea how to style it without looking like my afterschool social time was spent sipping smoothies at the Peach Pit. Happily, this romper is a bit more vintage pin-up than 90210. I think.

You've seen most of these pieces before...
Romper: Forever 21
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Loft

Belt: Kohl's
Flats: Wal-Mart

Locket: Vintage

Emily's outfit was so pretty, too! I'll miss my friend dearly, but I know she'll be back...

... if, for nothing else, a few laughs, a few days spent seaside, and an iced Minty Lou. :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - EpictetusMy apologies for lack of updates! The past week-plus has been busy and my house is happily full and bustling. My grandmother has been staying with us (she trades the Floridian heat for New England unpredictability every summer), and last week my (adorable!) younger cousin Paige from New York came as well. And today my dearest friend Emily, also from NY, arrived for her annual visit. We love to shop together and spend hours perusing our favorite stores, from H&M to Urban Outfitters and many in between, but this year we've promised one another that we'll be good (ha). Our plan is to hit up Boston's best vintage and consignment shops and do our best to minimize any damage. ;)

Lately I've tried (tried!) to stay out of stores, or at least steer clear of anything but sale racks. When all else fails, I go shopping in my closet. I'm really learning to reinvent what I've got and have had a blast rediscovering a few old gems. It's also helped me root through my precious junk (I'm the worst pack rat!) and find a few items (okay, four bags full!) to consign.

Here, a few new (sale) finds paired with old favorites.

Everything in this photo, sans my trusty Forever 21 leggings, is new to my wardrobe this summer. How indulgent! But does it really count as new clothes shopping when someone else is footing the bill? ;) My mama purchased the big, beautiful white bag (the saleslady said she thought it looked like a marshmallow, and I've since nicknamed it as such) from Kohl's, along with the cute sweater/vest (she also bought me one in turquoise). The whopping price tag for both vests? $7.20! I popped this one atop my new turqouise eyelet babydoll from the Gap; I watched it go on sale from around $60 to $13.99. Steal! And you may remember my clearance Target gladiators. I'm obsessed with these and probably wear them way too often, already. As evidenced here...

This black linen dress is also from Target. I've had it for so long, I don't even remember when I bought it. My favorite features are the drawstring empire waist and - hello! - pockets. It's so easy to dress up or down, I even wore it to a wedding once. With my new gladiators and some wooden beaded jewelery, it feels fresh and sort of urban-safari.

The African animals necklace was borrowed from my mom. She's a kindergarten teacher, can you tell?

Lately I've found it easier than ever to let go of several beloved items. But there was one skirt in particular that has been rescued from my give-away pile again and again. Paige gave me her expert New York fashionista opinion (she has great taste!) and said it had to go: it's too hippie, outdated, and has hideous tufts of tulle along the bottom. :( But this skirt, once the object of my affection that I saved and saved for and ended up splurging on from urbanoutfitters.com, is my equivalent of a blankie. So I thought it deserved at least one more test drive:

My verdict? It stays! I think it chimes in well with fashion's "Summer of Love" revival. Boho-chic/woho-chic/boho-rock/boho-who-knows? I love it! And in case you were wondering...

Fedora, cami, flip-flops: Ann Taylor Loft

Skirt, vest: Urban Outfitters
Locket: vintage

Paige seemed to enjoy helping me reorganize and reevaluate my wardrobe. And she wound up shopping in "Erin's Closet," too! She's been gifted with quite a few flip-flops, tops, a VS Pink sweatshirt and a few Candie's purses (thanks, Paige, for helping me clean and cleaning me out!). When you go shopping in your closet, what's your favorite find?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A happy bloggy birthday!

Today is the 1st anniversary of Ip & Audrey. I can't believe it's already been a year since I started this blog! Ip & Aud began as a fashion class assignment. I wasn't sure where it was going and began by writing fashion essays, a few book and runway reviews, and finally started "style blogging" in the winter.

As many of you know, the title of my blog is a reference to Audrey Hepburn and her pet deer, Pippin ("Ip" for short). I have many style icons, from Birkin to Bardot to even Bilson, but Audrey will always be my favorite. I know many of you feel the same-- there's just something about her timeless elegance that could never be surpassed. When it came time to think up a blog title, there was simply no better inspiration.

I'm happy to join the ever-growing network of fashion and style blogs. A few months ago I received this sweet award from Emily that fits Ip & Audrey perfectly:

I'd like to pass it along to Sarah, Jessica, Sophie & Raquel. You're all wonderful and lovely!

Thanks to everyone who keeps stopping by. More fun, summery posts coming soon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Backyard safari

I think it's safe to say that, after weeks of almost nonstop rain, the sun has finally come out of hiding. And hopefully it's here to stay! It's been nice enough for me to photograph outdoors a few times a week... and live in nothing but dresses. I wanted to wear this shirt dress to the beach, but wound up spending a lazy evening in my backyard. We just put up a new tent-- perfect for a little "safari" adventure. Notice, also, an extremely deadly jungle cat prowling about... >^.^<

That vicious little beast will never find me over here...

... Umm... I just realized this entire outfit, barring the sunglasses, comes from Kohl's. One stop shopping, I guess! The sunnies are from Ann Taylor Loft.

Here are a few shots of my vegetable and flower gardens. I love my greens. I've been munching on our lettuce all week! Green beans are coming up next. I can't wait to sautee everything in olive oil. Mmm....

And luckily for me, the ferocious jungle cat stayed sleeping!

Looking forward to more sunny summer days...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Boots to the beach

So there was a gorgeous day this past weekend, the first truly gorgeous, sun-shining, blue sky day in a while, but I was feeling blah. Still, in an effort to evoke the summery day, I slipped on a bright sundress and ventured to the beach. My feet were clad in my emergencies-only, stranded -in-the-frozen-tundra boots, hurting from one too many stiletto-ed weekdays. I had zero plans to appear in any of my photos, but fate (nay, my mother) intervened. She said my boots were "cute." Fugly faux-Uggs only a mother could love. Forgive me, fashionistas, for I have sinned.

Dress, Sunglasses: Ann Taylor Loft
Offending Boots: I've no idea; let us never speak of them again.

For this major faux pas, I beg your pardon, and offer a few scenic shots as penance:

And the following pics are shared simply because I like the weird alien-like glow the sunset lends my face... the closest thing I'll ever have to a tan.

Ah, the hilarity of it all...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sweet land of liberty

Let music swell the breeze
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake,
Let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong...

Happy belated Independence Day! These photos look patriotic, but were actually taken a few days before the 4th. I decided to snap these Americana-inspired shots before all the craziness of Plymouth July 4th festivities went down. Believe me, it turns into a madhouse around here! But it is, after all, "America's hometown."

Even though I'm a local, I've never taken any pictures in front of the Mayflower II. Two other tall ships are in the harbor right now (and have attracted many the tourist), but the Mayflower especially resonates with me. My mother's side of the family is, for the most part, first-generation American (her grandparents immigrated from Ireland and Portugal); but my father's side has been here since before the Revolution (Betsy Ross is my relative!), making me an ethnic hodgepodge: Irish, English, Scottish, German, French... in other words, a Mayflower mutt. I'm proud of my Euro-mix heritage, and I know so many who feel the same. That's one thing I love about America: within every family tree is a massive melting pot. Variety is, after all, the spice of life!
Dress: Wal-Mart, purchased during my Illinois days!
Layering tank: Target
Jacket: Kohl's
Shoes: Payless
Sunglasses: Ann Taylor Loft

Ahh, gotta love cheap-chic retail. That makes this outfit all-American, too!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th. :)