Friday, November 21, 2014

{YOUR WEEKEND PLANS} COZY UP & LISTEN TO 'SERIAL'

A curious phenomenon is taking over pop culture this fall. People all over the world have become obsessed with—wait for it—a Podcast. It's called 'Serial,' and I am among the hooked.

Produced by the team from This American Life, the show is narrated by Sarah Koenig. She takes listeners along with her through a (true) story she unravels in weekly episodes. She's reopened a murder case from 1999, in which a high school honor role student, Adnan Syed, was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. He's been serving a life sentence ever since. 

I have never been much of an NCIS or SVU watcher, crimes shows don't particularly interest me. However, for me, Serial is gripping. It's fascinating and entertaining and incredibly detailed. It's also complicated and filled with emotion on behalf of the convicted, his family, his friends and also those who believe he is guilty. Not to mention Koenig, who's excellent storytelling pulls us into her own conflicted feelings about the case, the further she digs.

I'm no stranger to listening to stories: My parents and I listen to books-on-tape read aloud on our way to Sun Valley all the time. But, to have a story broken down into episodes like a television show adds this element of suspense and fuels speculation and chatter on behalf of the audience. Serial has inexplicably gotten huge throngs of people (to the tune of about 5 million downloads) excited to sit and do nothing but just listen.

But that's part of what makes it great. You can take the story in while you're out doing other things—which you can't exactly do with, say, Netflix. Suddenly, you find yourself wishing your commute was just a little bit longer.

I began episode 1 on my commute to work yesterday. I arrived at my desk before it had ended, and just sat there with my headphones in, unable to begin working or do much of anything at all until it had ended. I listened to episode 2 and 3 on my way home and at the grocery store, and then broke into 4, 5 and 6 as I made and ate my dinner. Though it was designed not to be binged upon, playing catch-up has caused me to do exactly that. I'm anticipating that I'll be fully caught up by the weekend, and left to wait impatiently for more—along with everyone else.

Serial releases new episodes every Thursday, and with the exception of Thanksgiving, they will apparently continue into mid-December with the conclusion of the season. All I can say is, pour yourself a glass of cider, cozy up and catch up! There are nine episodes out so far, but we have to wait until December 4 for the next one.

[Read a much more detailed and articulate case for listening to 'Serial' from the WSJ. And thank you MEGHAN  for turning me onto this!]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

{CELEBRITY STYLE} JENNA LYONS AT SOLANGE'S WEDDING...


Drama. Feathers. Fur.

These are the feelings I have about the ensemble that J. Crew's creative director, Jenna Lyons, wore to Solange Knowles' wedding in New Orleans over the weekend. I am obsessed with this, and have now began to deeply consider the sartorial power of a white wedding. Except in this scenario, I would wear something like this, not the (equally cool, to be sure) cape-and-dress combo Solange wore for her big day.

Ms Lyons is no stranger to the dramatic maxi skirt + shirt combo, and I believe this is the same skirt she wore to the Met Gala (with a casual cashmere sweater) in 2011. (She actually wears a shirt and skirt to the Met Gala every year, I am pretty sure.) She is also a master of the brunette-and-red-lip combo, as well as the casual-coat-as-cape move. She has a lot of go-to moves, and a lot of hyphenated styling moments in her arsenal. Here, she uses them all in one dramatic, fantastic outfit. I love it.

*Image credit: The Observer

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: GEORGE EZRA



{ My friends and family - they don't understand
They fear they'll lose so much - if you take my hand }

This song was sent to me by my friend Lauren, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since. I had never heard of George Ezra (nĂ© George Barnett), but I think he's got the potential to seriously blow up in the coming months. This song, "Budapest" was something of a hit earlier this year, and it totally escaped my radar at the time. It's fun and lovely and a great toe-tapper for the desk on a frigid New York Wednesday. The video is great, and reminds me very much of my morning commute on the L train. 

For more of his music, you can check out one of his EPs on Spotify—but I'm kind of dying for his full album (you can find more of his music and videos on his YouTube channel. His voice is deep, gravely and soulful, and seems to bely more emotional damage than a person that young should have experienced. All the same, he's an extremely enjoyable blend of folk and pop, so I hope you like.

ALSO, for a real treat, check out his video for "Listen to the Man," which features your man Sir Ian McKellen being awesome. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

{WEEKEND INSPO} GETTING A LITTLE TRIM...



I'm going to my new favorite little hair salon in Brooklyn (Deluxe) this weekend for a trim. It's kind of amazing how fast your hair appears to grow once you cut most of it off. I last had a trim at the very end of July, and I've been hankering for a little update since early October.

I don't want to go too much shorter, but I love the idea of a more angular, slightly bouncier chop. That said, I think I'm finally mastering this lob of mine, and have narrowed down my essential hair products that I think you might benefit from, too. For example, myself (and my roommates) cannot live without Dove Refresh + Care dry shampoo. Trust me, I've tried them all and this one is the best. I use it even when my hair is clean, after combining Kerastase's Spray-a-Porter and Forme Fatale before blow-drying. (It's a magic, triple-threat combo for volume and texture.)

Additionally, I can smooth things out or add kinky, playful waves with GHD's 1 inch professional straightener. It's a little pricey, but this one works brilliantly, heats up quickly, and when you consider that it's something you use almost daily (and makes such a difference) the cost-per-use goes way down.

Short-haired ladies: What are your favorite hair products?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

TALKING TAROT CARDS, LUCKY NUMBERS AND LULU FROST...


On Tuesday night, friends of Lulu Frost (and it's founder, Lisa Salzer) gathered at 20th and Broadway to celebrate the launch of the brand's first brick and mortar shop. There was champagne, plenty of bling and even New York's most Instagram-famous dog was trotting around making friends wherever she went.

Part of the fun of the evening was that guests could create their own custom Plaza piece. On hand to help us choose our charms was a numerologist—with a set of tarot cards. I've never dealt much with either, but I was eager to see if I had a "lucky number." Each person's special number is actually called a "life path number," and is found using your birth date. (Calculate yours here.)

As I wrote in this post a while back, I was not always keen on horoscopes and the role of the stars and universe in our day-to-day lives. However, after deciding that I was more of a Libra than a Scorpio, and investigating that sign, I've found a lot of parallels and truths in regards to my own life. Anyway, when I sat down with the numerologist and she did some quick math, she showed me that my "life path number" is 7.

She pulled out the different tarot cards that corresponded to my number: The Chariot, pulled by two different sphinxes, symbolizes victory but also pull in two different directions to arrive there. The Seven of Wands represents creativity, and the hurdles you may have to overcome to accomplish your goals. The Seven of Cups is all about figuring out what you want in life, and the difficulty of chasing after things that may not ultimately make you happy. The Pentacle symbolizes waiting and patience—emphasizing that reaching for the fruits of your labor before they are ripe can be harmful.

For more reasons than I can or should recount here, this reading gave me a lot to think about. I mentioned to the numerologist that I had just turned 29, and that this birthday was weighing on me more heavily than most, and that I was feeling anxious for change, but unsure what that change might be. She related something very interesting back to me, that I had never heard before. It takes Saturn 29.5 years to make it's full rotation back to the exact place in the sky it was when we were born—this is called Saturn Return. When it does, a person is said to experience a major shift—and enter to the next stage of their life. The first Saturn return is believed to be the transition from youth to maturity, and occurs between the ages of 28 and 31. How about that?

I'm certainly not alone in my late-20s panic. We all go through it, don't we? And I think it's very interesting to think that our anxiety around turning 30 isn't only brought on by the prospect of beginning a new decade and leaving our wild-but-wonderful 20s behind. The Saturn Return suggests that the stars and planets have a say in it, too. Looking at this time as a "shedding of skin," as the numerologist called it, is much more appealing than a "third-of-life crisis," no?

More than any other time in my life, I actually feel empowered by both my age and my place in the world—as uncertain as it may be. I don't miss being 24 one bit. I am certain that while my life, my career and my personal relationships are all in rather pointed states of transition, I am growing into the person that can handle these changes and take advantage of what they might bring. And with a lucky number 7 around my neck, I'm feeling all the more ready.

Do you believe in astrology, lucky numbers and horoscopes?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

MID-WEEK MUSIC MOMENT: THEOPHILUS LONDON FT. KANYE WEST


Theophilus London is one of those artists that I've always liked, but I haven't ever really put my finger on a specific song that captures why. (Maybe because he's incredibly stylish and a fashion week frequenter?)

This is that song. There's really nothing extraordinary about "Can't Stop" per se, and Kanye's rap is, you know, standard Kanye (that sounds much more one-dimensional than his latest efforts, frankly). However, the collective vibe of this song is so good. A great beat and a little violin here and there give it depth, and it's something you'd could play while getting ready to go out for the night, or as you settle in for a cozy night at home. I also have a hard time resisting anything that employs finger snapping and background vocals that sound to me like R&B monks. Check out "Can't Stop" below and let me know your thoughts:



Image credit: MR PORTER

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

{STYLING NOTES} LEARNING TO LOVE EARRINGS AGAIN...

Earrings Fall 2014

{ compass rose earrings, Elizabeth and James / 360 stud earrings, (similar) BaubleBar / arrow earrings, Rue Gembon / letter earrings, Maya Brenner / ear cuff, Catbird / heart studs, Jennifer Meyer / code earring, Lulu Frost / stick earrings, Tai / single stud earring, Givenchy / pearl and bee earring, Delfina Delettrez / Paige earrings, Gorjana / Beacon earrings, Lulu Frost }

Ever since I chopped most of my hair off this summer, I've slowly but surely been learning to love earrings again. For longer than I can remember, I've gone mostly bare-lobed, preferring to layer up with necklaces or bracelets instead. However, with this shorter, inherently less-feminine haircut, I've come to greatly appreciate the power of earrings. Oh, and did I mention that I triple-pierced one of my ears back in May? And then got two more in my other ear this weekend? It's safe to say I have an addiction.

The multiple ear-piercing trend has come back majorly thanks to the pervasive 1990s renaissance in fashion this year. Add to that an uptick in personal and dainty jewelry, and you've got an ear-centric #perfectstorm. Mismatched studs, ear cuffs, ear jackets and singular statement earrings have overtaken midi rings as the accessory du jour.

Playing dress up three weekends in a row for #weddingblitz2014 (as I called it) was another reason to embrace earrings again. The dresses I wore were too pretty; I didn't want to overpower them with heavy necklaces—so statement earrings became my new best friend. During the weekdays, I quickly decided I enjoyed wearing them with everything else, too.

Now with the holidays approaching and party season closing in, I'm once again ready to make earrings the focal point of my accessories game. I can already see a pair of Rue Gembon ear jackets like these rad arrows paired with a cozy turtleneck or party dress and a center-parted low ponytail.