"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

--Winston Churchill

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Case of the Blues

I'm loving vibrant shades of blue right now (especially the rich cobalt color in the heels below). Here are a few things I've had my eye on...

If you saw my previous post you won't be surprised why this dress immediately struck my fancy. I love the big dramatic one shoulder look and the subtle shade of blue doesn't compete with the strong silhouette. (Nicole Miller, bluefly.com)

I am obsessed with these striking platform pumps so don't be surprised if you happen to run into me sporting them in the near future...(Steve Madden, stevemadden.com)

This nail color grabbed me the second it caught my eye. I have never seen this exact shade in a nail polish so of course (being the nail polish collector that I am) I had to purchase it. (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail color in Pacific Blue)

Rompers are my new favorite thing. I'm in love with everything about this romper, from the shade to the cut to the exposed zipper detailing. (Urban Outfitters, urbanoutfitters.com)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lunar Attraction: The Look of Armani Prive 2010

Scarlett Johanson looked positively angelic at the recent premiere of Iron Man 2 and I couldn't help but compare her elegantly architectural and luminescent dress to the full length one Jennifer Lopez wore to this years Academy Awards. I quickly realized the reason they reminded me of one another is because they are both from the 2010 Armani Prive collection, which features dreamy yet structured designs inspired by the moon."It's about the moon," explained Giorgio Armani before his show. "I always need a hook to get into a collection, and that was it—thinking about something romantic and dreamy, far away from our everyday life. Something less harsh." The lunar references, he pointed out, were poured into luminescent fabrics, curviform cutting, embroideries made to look like the craters of the moon.

Amanda Seyfried also wore an Armani Prive dress to the 2010 Academy Awards. I am incredibly drawn to this collection and am amazed at the intricate and delicate beading on all the pieces. They are a work of art and are truly out of this world.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Celebration of Meryl Streep

It's Complicated was released on DVD today so I thought it only appropriate to celebrate the ever fabulous Meryl Streep and her life in movies. Here are my top five favorite Meryl Streep performances:

"Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road." --Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

Twenty-four years ago Meryl Streep and Robert Redford starred in Sydney Pollack's masterpiece Out of Africa. Now my all-time favorite film, this movie is a piece of art in and of itself, but it is Meryl Streep's performance as Karen Blixen, the Danish woman who moves to Kenya and marries her friend for the title of Baroness that grabs us from the very beginning. Streep's accent is flawless and her chemistry with Redford is magnetic. I can't leave out the fact that I turn green with envy at the thought of the scenes she had with him...but we'll just leave that out of the picture. This is a must see.

Just the mere thought of Miranda Priestly's stilettos clacking down the halls intimidates me. And that is because of Meryl Streep's impressive performance as the demanding and merciless editor in chief of a prestigious fashion magazine in The Devil Wears Prada. I feel the fear Anne Hathaway's character feels in every cringe-worthy scene they share together. I read that some of that fear was real, as Streep used method acting for the role, and hardly talked to Hathaway and her costar Emily Blunt on the set. Now that's a true actress!

There is only one word I can give for Streep's performance as the culinary icon Julia Child in Julie & Julia: flawless. I can confirm this statement after watching footage of the real Julia Child and I almost thought they were the same person. Streep's exuberant and vivacious performance almost makes me want the whole film to be about Julia Child. I remember watching Amy Adams on Good Morning America when she was promoting the film and after they showed a clip of the real Julia Child Amy Adams said that it took her a while to realize it wasn't Meryl Streep. Acting perfection.

Streep's portrayal of a country housewife caught up in a whirlwind affair in Bridges of Madison County is heartbreaking and poignant. Streep's performance is so real and emotional that you connect with her character on a higher level than you might expect. I felt her character's emotional battle within herself and was brought to tears with her heartbreaking decision at the end of the movie. Though the movie is hard to watch, it is well worth it for both Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood's stirring performances. The very fact that these two hollywood greats share the screen is enough to make this classic a must see.

When I thought Meryl Streep couldn't be any more talented, she blew me away with her performance as the mother of the bride who is suprised by three unexpected visitors in the musical Mamma Mia! Meryl Streep...musical?! Yes folks, she can sing and dance too. And really well. Wait for the song, The Winner Takes it All and you will see what I am talking about.

Rent It's Complicated and let Meryl once again suprise you with her winning comedic chops. She is truly acting's finest.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Reinvention of the Tea Party

"If you are cold, tea will warm you.
If you are heated, it will cool you.
If you are depressed, it will cheer you.
If you are excited, it will calm you."
--William E Gladstone

My friends and I have a tradition of holding large tea parties whenever many, if not all of us are together. What started out as a fun get together has become a treasured pastime.

145 years ago, the conventional tradition of the tea party was reinvented by Lewis Carol in his imaginative and strange "literary nonsense" Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter's tea party, eccentric and odd, changed the way we look at tea parties.

Now, in the 21st century Lady Gaga is bringing the oddness back as she has been spotted out and about in her many strange and expressive getups with a teacup and saucer in hand. I attended the GRAMMY Awards earlier this year and remember easily spotting her all the way from our nosebleed seats. She is never hard to miss. At one point as she sauntered back to her seat during commercial break we saw through our binoculars that she was carrying a teacup and saucer. Of course we didn't find it too surprising because normal is never Lady Gaga's style.
With the recent release of Tim Burton's update on Alice in Wonderland, both Lady Gaga and the Mad Hatter prove that tea parties can be held anywhere, anytime and can be as strange as you want them to be...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Zac Posen for Target

I have been eagerly anticipating this line for months now so of course I had to swoop into my friendly neighborhood Target the day of its arrival. I was disappointed to find that the store carried only a few of the many pieces I viewed online but eventually realized it was probably a good thing because I would have wanted to buy out the whole of the collection. Here is what I found...

This is a fun party dress but I wasn't absolutely in love with it. The pros: The frilly skirt is removable and without it you have the simple black dress version above which makes two dresses in one. The cons: I know the dress comes in red too, but sadly this store didn't have it. I think I would have liked it even more in that color. I would also love it more if the detachable skirt wasn't sheer so it could be worn on it's own with a fun top.

I was hesitant to even try this dress on because I didn't think it would flatter me but I decided to just for the sake of the blog. Boy was I surprised. This ended up being one of my favorites and the second I put it on I knew I had to buy it. The tye dye print is festive and current and the fit was perfect--hugging all the right places but relaxed enough to dress up or down.

This was another dress I didn't expect to like so much but once I put it on I absolutely loved the fit. I didn't end up purchasing it but I came pretty darn close to. You can't really tell from the photo but the dress cuts off a little below the thigh and from there down is a more sheer, netted texture. That flowy sleeves are that same texture and I think those touches altogether made the dress.

I appreciated the originality of this dress. The material was absolutely beautiful and I loved the zipper detailing. However, I think the cut wasn't flattering on me and swallowed up my petite frame. I could see it being adorable on a non-petite person.

My personal favorite from what they had at the store, this dress is bold and original and oh so flattering. I fell in love with everything about it and knew that if I could only take home one thing, this dress would be it. Thank goodness I found the last one in my size on the dressing room rack!

When I tried this dress on I appreciated even more the sizing on this entire collection. Quite often I find the sizing a little off in a lot of the clothes Target carries but for once I felt like the sizes were consistent and didn't run too large. The top of this dress had the perfect amount of snugness and didn't feel gappy at all. I liked the bottom detailing with the drawstring that when pulled gives the dress more of a bubble hem.

Last but not least I fell in love with this beautiful metallic swimsuit with detachable straps. I can't wait for swim season!

If you're itching to see this collection for yourself (which features more pieces than I had time to try on) I suggest going into a Target store or visiting their website soon. The line is selling out fast!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nude Lengths

"Nude heels are a trick I picked up while on Broadway. You look like you have legs from here to Sunday." --Molly Ringwald

This is one of my favorite trends of the season. Nude platform pumps are universally flattering and work with almost any outfit. They are a must have for the Spring/Summer and probably well into the Fall and Winter too. Dress them up or down and don't be afraid to splurge a little on a good pair. Consider them an investment piece.

My version. I ordered this pair from Bakers (www.bakersshoes.com) months ago while they were on backorder and patiently awaited their arrival for what felt like ages. The wait was well worth it.

Kelly Ripa opts for a monochromatic look with her peeptoe versions.

Ever the on-trend fashionista, Zoe Saldana works a pair that subtly work with her statement look.

Book Review

In my first post I mentioned that I was reading Julie & Julia. Well, today I finished it and I thought I'd give a brief review for all who are interested.

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved the movie version of Julie & Julia. I thought it had the perfect balance of humor, warmth, and an inspirational message. If Julia Child were truly like the character Meryl Streep portrayed her to be, I have great admiration for her zest for life, her spirit, and the incredible relationship she had with her husband Paul. The only part that bugged me was Julie's husband who was such an obnoxious, disgusting, pig of an eater that it was almost distracting and made the decadent food Julie made look incredibly unappetizing.
But anyway, back to the book. Julie Powell humbles herself frequently throughout this enjoyable memoir as she describes her emotional roller coaster, temper tantrums and all, as she cooks her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her casual writing style makes her so real and relatable that I feel like I know her by the end of the book. However, I have to say that Julia isn't as warm and sweet tempered as Amy Adams portrays her in the movie. In fact, if I were the casting director, Amy Adams would probably be one of the last actresses that would come to mind when casting for the role of Julie. The real Julie Powell is humorous in a feisty, and at times more vulgar way and has the mouth of a sailor when she gets upset. Though I was a little put off by the crudeness and language at times, I found myself too sucked in to put the book down. Powell grabs you through the very beginning and wets your appetite for each succeeding chapter. By the end of the book I felt satisfied as if I had just finished one of Julia Child's butter drenched meals. The books is vastly different from the movie, and only has little tid-bits into Julia Child's life every so often, so I recommend approaching it as its own entity without a preconceived idea based on the movie. I recommend it for those looking for a quick read and an enjoyable and escape from their daily routines. Who knows, you may find it inspirational...

While on the topic of food I just thought I'd share my amazing lunch with you. I love replacing mayonnaise with avocado in tuna so I made a tuna/egg salad with avocado and greek olives mixed in and topped with sun dried tomatoes and a dash of pepper all mounded on top of a rice cake. Divine.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Hello cyberspace!

So what inspired me to start a blog? Lately my creativity and inspirations have been overflowing so I finally came to the conclusion that I need some sort of outlet in which to share it all with the world. I am almost finished reading Julie & Julia (which is vastly different than the movie but equally enjoyable in its own way) which first made the idea of starting a blog more appealing and approachable for a non-computer-savvy person like me. Then my sister started talking about her current obsession with blogs and blogging, and as I perused several incredible blogs which infused fashion with food and art and general lifestyle I realized that's exactly what I want to do. I want my blog to be predominantly fashion oriented but with some art, food, stories, and anything else that inspires or intrigues me weaved in. I hope you all enjoy it because that is, after all, the reason I am starting That Touch of Chic.

What is chic?

Chic \Chic\, a. [F. Cf. Chic, n.]
Original and in good taste or form; stylish; in current
fashion, fashionable.

There are a few women I consider, in essence, my fashion icons. It is not only their wardrobe that I admire, but how they wear the clothes. To me, they are the definition of chic. Here are a few of the women who inspire the fashionista in me:

Zoe Saldana is the "girl of the moment" for me. I don't think I have ever once been let down by one of her looks. She is fearless and the definition of fierce. I would love to own every article of clothing she puts on her body and pull it off with the grace and elegance that she does. She is the complete package.

This woman is fashion royalty. SJP and Carrie Bradshaw share the same incredibly fashion forward sense of style which makes her even more worthy of the role.

Carrie Underwood inspires my girly side. It has been amazing to see her evolve from a small town country girl to a fashion diva. I admire her consistent polish. She knows what she likes and what looks good on her and sticks to it.

Another fearlessly fierce fashionista, Dian Kruger continuously pushes the envelope in her fashion decisions and pulls them off incredibly. She reminds me of a modern day Grace Kelly.