Archive | October, 2010

Details on Katy Perry’s Elie Saab Wedding Gown and the Gray Bridal Gown Trend

25 Oct

It’s official! Katy Perry, a.k.a, Mrs. Brand, married her husband Russel Brand last Saturday night in front of approximately 80 guests at the Aman-i-Khas wildlife reserve and resort in Rajasthan, India. While pictures of Perry’s wedding gown haven’t been released, a source revealed to Us Magazine that she wore a dove gray haute couture gown by Elie Saab that featured lace sleeves. We’re wondering if it’s this stunning gown from Saab’s Fall/Winter 2010 -2011 Haute Couture Collection:

Saab’s collection, which was inspired by the concept of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, features dreamy, red-carpet ready gowns ranging in color from fire-engine red to the gorgeous, dove gray tone of this bridal gown, which closed the designer’s Couture 2010 Fashion Show.

The gown Perry may have chosen features layers of ash-gray silk tulle accented with gray and gold sequins, and has a dramatic eight-foot train that would certainly appeal to the singer’s whimsical style. Saab’s decision to use a delicate lace fabric to form the gown’s sheer sleeves provides a fantastic contrast to the strong shoulders, made up of beautiful shimmering flower applique. The same sheer lace is overlaid on the bodice, and sewn on the bias, which creates a very flattering silhouette.  It’s certainly not for the traditional bride, but we can easily see Perry getting married in it!

The silver/gray color palette has been an emerging bridal trend since 2009, when Sarah Jessica Parker wore a now iconic Versace Couture gown made up of 1000 layers of tiered gray tulle in the series finale of Sex and the City (“An American Girl in Paris: Part Une”).

 

Gray brings an unexpected, sophisticated drama to bridal gowns.

It’s a fantastic option for brides looking for an non-traditional gown, and can be especially lovely for winter weddings.  If you’re looking for a gown inspired by Perry’s, check out these choices:

Vera Wang featured gray gowns in her 2009 collection, and then mixed in black accents for her Fall 2010 collection:

 

Fall 2009

Fall 2010

You can get a great deal on gray wedding gowns by searching on websites like Preownedweddingdresses.com–many, like this gray chiffon dress with an exquisite sequins and beaded bib halter neckline–are sample dresses and have actually never been worn. This gown, new with tags, is available for only $245:


This beautiful pearl gray Priscilla of Boston gown is $2,000 (originally $5,293–you save 62%):

Vintage sites can also be a great resource if you’re looking for an “offbeat” gown, like a gray one. For something short and flirty, check out this one shoulder Derek Lam dress, a steal for only $450 at a “new vintage” (1990 to present day) online store, Relic NY.com. The pleated silk creates just enough volume to add some drama, while the silhouette still stays streamlined and sophisticated.

Check Out Designer Consignment Deals at Covetshop.com

25 Oct

I’m a big fan of thrifting.  You get the quality of designer clothing at a reasonable price, and by recycling former-owned items, you can celebrate the environment as well as fashion. I can definitely vouch that pre-loved designer items have treated me well.

However, there is perhaps one downside: the thrill of the thrifting hunt requires a measure of patience. Luckily, if you don’t have time to comb through your local Goodwill or flea market, there are tons of online designer consignment stores that will do the digging for you. One of our favorites is Covetshop.com. Launched just over a year ago by a fashion industry vet and her graphic designer husband, Covet specializes in designer finds from names like Chanel, Zac Posen, and so on and so forth. The store offers pre-loved clothing, shoes, bags, and accessories, including these brand new Burberry plaid gloves (only $105!), which were featured in In Style‘s  November issue.

Here’s a quick run-down on the fine print: First of all, Covet guarantees the authenticity of each item, and offers an easy return policy (notify them of the return within 24 hours of receiving it, and then return it within 14 days). The store also gives each item a Condition Rating–from 5 to 1 stars–that describes how much love the item previously received. 5 stars indicates brand new with no wear (like the Burberry gloves, these items usually have the original tag still attached), while 1 star items are in fair condition (they likely show flaws that may be cleaned or repaired). We didn’t find any 1 star items posted–all the merchandise seemed to be 5, 4, or 3 stars. Finally, the merchandise changes daily, so if you like what you see, consider signing up for their new product email alerts.

So what did we find? We were most impressed with Covet’s dress offerings. For casual to formal occasions, Covet had a great range of dresses.  Here are our top three picks:

  • This Fisherman Sweater Dress from Thread Social is a great pick for fall and winter. The turtleneck knit top and wool skirt will keep you cozy and at $235 (originally $680) you’ll be able to keep more cash tucked away for a rainy (or snowy) day.

  • Looking for something for a special occasion? Check out this Ruched Cocktail Dress from Marc Jacobs for $240 (originally $1,200–that’s almost $1000 off!). The black silk is gathered at the front to form a delicate rose detail, while an exposed zipper in the back gives the dress some edge.

 

The off-the-shoulder neckline is very flattering.

Whether you visit Covet to shop or window shop, we have the feeling you won’t be disappointed.

A Light Rice Pudding You’ll Love

19 Oct

Looking for a lighter dessert that will still satisfy your sweet tooth? Here’s a recipe for a light rice pudding you’ll love. Even though there are no eggs or butter included, the evaporated skim milk keeps the rice nice and creamy. A little bit of brown sugar keeps the dessert sweet while plump yellow raisins and dried cherries add fantastic texture. Serve with just a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg and a drizzle of honey and you have a comforting, healthy dessert that’s perfect for a crisp fall day.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice (for best results, use short grain or medium grain rice–long grain rice will not work)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated skim milk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup milk (I like to use soy milk to add a bit of nuttiness, but you can choose your type of milk depending on how “Light” you want your rice pudding to be.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup of yellow raisins
  • a drizzle of honey, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (or nutmeg, if you prefer), to taste

Give the rice a chance to soak up all the liquid. It will ensure a creamy, satisfying dessert, even without eggs or butter.

Directions:

  1. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add rice and cook until tender, stirring frequently. When the rice is cooked all the water should be absorbed.
  2. Add the evaporated milk, orange zest, and brown sugar to the pot of cooked rice; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover and cook, stirring frequently, for another 10 minutes or until the rice is very creamy and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in the milk, vanilla and almond extracts and remove the rice from heat.
  5. While the rice is cooling to room temperature, boil an extra 1/4 cup of water and pour it into a mug. Add the yellow raisins to the water and stir, then let them sit for 5-10 minutes. This will plump up the raisins and bring out their sweetness.
  6. When the rice is at room temperature, stir in the dried cherries and the plumped up raisins and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
  7. When you serve up your rice pudding, add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to each serving and drizzle with honey for a great presentation.
  8. Enjoy!

Mmm. Look how plump those yellow raisins are.

Note: Yellow raisins are my favorite, but one of the best things about this dessert is that you can get creative and customize the “add-ins.” Try shredded coconut and pineapple, or go for fresh strawberries and blueberries. You could also toast some almond slices and sprinkle them on top. Once I tried adding a spoonful of fresh pomegranate seeds–the pop of juice against the creamy rice made a great flavor/texture combination.

Rad or Ridiculous? “Designer Band-Aids” by Cynthia Rowley

9 Oct

Designer Cynthia Rowley has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aid brand to offer “Dress Up” designer bandaids. The collection, which features several designs, comes in an old-school tin for $10.

A few of Rowley's designs.

One dollar from the sale of each tin will go to Design Ignites Change, an organization that engages high school and college students in design and architecture projects. The Band-Aid tins can be purchased on CynthiaRowley.com and in Cynthia Rowley stores.

Luckily, so far, there haven’t been any reported images of celebrities wearing the band-aid’s inappropriately (can you just imagine a precarious Designer Band-Aid Lil Kim “outfit”?).

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

A Piece of Mississippi Mud Pie at Petsi Makes Term Papers a Piece of Cake

4 Oct

It’s term paper season here in Boston, where I’m a grad student. So, this week I have plans to spend some major one-on-one time with my laptop, in the library, crafting two A+ papers. What can sustain brain function best through these long, solitary hours? A piece of Mississippi Mud Bourbon Chocolate Pecan pie from Petsi Pies.  Luckily there’s a location in Cambridge that’s 5 minutes from my new home away from home.

Location: 31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, MA

In one word: PIE

Food: While Petsi offers lots of delicious kinds of pie, I always go for the Mississippi Mud Pie, hands down, no contest. I’m only half-joking that it’s brain food…part of me truly believes that the creamy, rich (and antioxidant filled!) chocolate pie and the crunchy, nutty (protein filled!) pecan topping is the best nutrition when it comes to paper writing.

Take your pie to-go, if you like. One piece feeds 1-2 people, or 1 hungry, sleep-deprived person trying to survive mid-terms.

As if the chocolate filling isn’t intense enough, thick chocolatey goodness is drizzled all across the pecan topping.

Check out the texture of this pie. So moist and decadent.

I can’t taste the bourbon in here, so they must cook it off somehow. Does anyone know if the bourbon has a baking/chemistry purpose? Or is it just tradition to include it in the recipe?

Drink: I got a small steamed soy milk with honey to-go (for the cold walk home). Then, at home, paired my pie with a cold glass of…more milk!

Service: The staff is great–very friendly and efficient.

The pie counter at Petsi's.

Scene: You’ll find lots of students at Petsi’s grabbing lunch, a snack, or a coffee while they study. I like going after 2 pm when the lunch crowd has cleared out. The background music is on the quieter, low-key side, and the place is bright and cheerful. All in all, it’s a great place to study, with only one drawback: you have to pay for wi-fi.

Dress: Casual. Very casual. Whatever you’d wear to the library, feel free to wear here.  I find that stretchy pants are often the best option, in order to accommodate multiple servings of soft, beautiful scones (they’re as good as the pie).

The front of Petsi's Pies in Cambridge.

Delivery: Delivery is available throughout Metro-Boston. Advance notice is required and fee is dependent upon distance and time of delivery.

Cost: My small steamed soy milk and large piece of pie only set me back $5.78 with tax. If you ask me, that’s student loan money well spent.

If you like, try: Royal Pastry Shop in Cambridge (Boston), Appleton Bakery in the South End (Boston).