Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nespresso's CitiZ Launch and Tasting Event

Nespresso CitiZ light show

Nespresso CitiZ tent at Sur La Table

Nespresso CitiZ hostesses in custom-made attire

Nikki Cascone's Buttermilk Pound Cake - Nespresso (Ristretto) Pudding

Making Nespresso CitiZ t-shirts

On Thursday, July 30th, Nespresso held a launch party for the company’s latest line, CitiZ, in the tent at Sur La Table Soho. Artful attention was paid to create a sleek “’retro modern’” design inspired by Chicago in the 1930s and 40s for the line of coffee makers. Celebrity chefs Nikki Cascone (season 4 of Top Chef), Harold Dieterle (season 1 Top Chef winner), and Christopher Lee (Top Chef Masters) celebrated the launch by serving tantalizing dishes inspired and infused by Nespresso. Cascone, the chef and Co-owner of 24 Prince, created a delicious and decadent buttermilk pound cake with (Nespresso Ristretto) pudding. Dieterle, the Co-owner of Perilla, cooked spicy lamb meatballs enrobed with mint and Nespresso (indriya)- massaman curry. While a Nespresso (volluto) crusted foie gras torchon served with wild strawberries and chocolate balsamic reduction was the masterpiece that the executive chef at Aureole, Christopher Lee, composed.

Those in attendance helped mark the occasion by sipping espresso martinis and nibbling on gourmet cotton candy made with Nespresso (livanto) candy floss, yoghurt powder, orange anise pearls, smoked cinnamon, and crystallized tarragon. If you couldn’t be there, visit one of Nespresso’s newest stores and get your hands on the CitiZ range to start your mornings and evenings with something heavenly.

- Alyssa D'Alessandro

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glamour and Lancôme Fall 2009 Collection Makeover Event at Bloomingdale's

I was eager to get my makeover with Lancôme’s new fall collection "Declaring Indigo", especially since I had two more events to go to that night. I was amazed to see the overbooked turnout, with 50 Lancôme make-up artists busy at work, at the Glamour/Bloomingdale’s event at the 59th Street store on July 29th. If you love Lancôme, I highly recommend booking an appointment with make-up artist Angel Mendoza (looks a lot like Lou Diamond Phillips), who gave me the look I was looking for.

I prefer a dramatic eye and nude gloss for my nights on the town and the Indigo Charm eyeshadow quad and Declaring Gold gloss that I ended up purchasing definitely helped me achieve that effect. I feel like you can never have too many eyeshadows – and I definitely didn’t have any rich blues like the Declaration and Liberty shades included in the quad. Charming is great to use for highlighting the inner corner of the eyes. The gloss looks great when worn alone or over any lipstick or gloss color, adding natural, extra shine. It’s not sticky, is smooth and evenly distributed on the lips and I like the angled applicator.

Attendees were photographed for an in-store shoot right after their makeovers and were able to take home the glamorous shot. I missed my shoot opportunity since I was one of the last makeovers, but I did look fabulous for my next events.

There was also a gift with purchase, including a nautical blue and white striped hobo bag that came with High Resolution Refill-3X anti wrinkle cream, mascara, neutral eyeshadow quad, nude lipstick and the Bi-Facil double-action eye makeup remover (love that - it works so well!).

I’m all set for fall with my intense new
Lancôme look!

- Kim Weling

NY Moves Design Cover Party

NY Moves, a fashion & lifestyle magazine for city women, celebrated the release of the much anticipated design issue on July 29th. Actor Hugh Dancy hosted the NY Moves event at the historic Apthorp, located at 390 West End at 79th and Broadway. The grand condominium masterpiece was modeled after the Pitti Palace in Florence. This was my first time at the Apthorp and at a NY Moves event, as I was impressed with both the venue and the crowd. I was thrilled to arrive just in time to ride the elevator with Hugh and his publicist! In case you are not familiar with Mr. Dancy, he is known for his recent role in Confessions of a Shopaholic and other films including The Jane Austen Book Club, Evening, Blood and Chocolate and the recent limited release of Adam.

- Kim Weling

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Riesling Tasting at USQ Hosted by Marlies Dumbsky

German Wine Queen Marlies Dumbsky

German Wine Queen Marlies Dumbsky hosted a Riesling Reception on July 28th, 2009 at Union Square Wine & Spirits, located at 140 Fourth Avenue at 13th Street. Marlies is a 23-year-old vintner from the Franken region of Germany who was chosen as 2008’s 60th German Wine Queen. During her reign, she has been making appearances at wine shops around the world, sharing her extensive knowledge of wine.

During the tasting, Marlies was showcasing and pouring these select dry to sweet rieslings for attendees:

- Dönnhoff 2008 Riesling Tonschiefer Dry Slate (Nahe)
- Weingut Jakob Schneider 2007 Riesling Kabinett (Nahe)
- Kruger-Rumpf 2007 Riesling Kabinett Münsterer Rheinberg (Nahe)
- Darting 2008 Riesling Kabinett Dürkheimer Hochbenn (Pfalz)
- Willi Schaefer 2008 Estate Riesling (Mosel)
- JJ Prüm 2007 Riesling Spätlese Bernkasteler Badstube (Mosel) – this one was my favorite since I enjoy the sweetest of rieslings.

Union Square Wine & Spirits carries a large selection of wines, including some of my favorite sweet Rieslings,so be sure to stop in and grab your favorites!

- Kim Weling

Clickfree™ Automatic Backup – Efficient and Fashionably Petite

So I’ve had my computer for 5 years now, and believe it or not I have never backed up any of my files. I always think of that Sex and The City episode where Carrie is typing away on her Mac and all of a sudden her Mac makes a sad face and shuts off, erasing all her files. I don’t have a Mac, but I do have hundreds of articles and pictures stored on my pc.

I have finally found a solution to all my worrying. Several times while at Costco and Best Buy, I have checked out the hard drives and could never decide which one to get.

From testing it out for myself, I can honestly say that my portable Clickfree™ Automatic Backup HD225 ($129.99), is the one to go with. Not only do I love the cherry red finish and sleek design (it is flask-size!), there is no software, installation or setup needed! It also backs up your files without you having to click and drag to arrange them. It’s also multi-pc compatible, so it can backup multiple computers!

I’m not much for taking the time to read directions, so I literally just plugged the USB into the backup system and connected it to my computer. It took about two tries of plugging the USB into my computer before it recognized the new software, but once it did, the backup system was hard at work. It took about 2 hours to back up all of my 2,774 files, including 107 videos and 273 text documents. This hard drive backs up over 400 file types, and sorted all my files accordingly - into spreadsheets, text documents, music, and images.

If you are backing up your files for the very first time, the only suggestion I have is to not back them up while you are working on your computer, as backing up the files slowed my computer down drastically while I tried to type articles, send emails and upload images simultaneously.

Believe it or not, I didn’t even understand what the icons on the hard drive meant until after I had backed up my files. There’s a power icon as well as a second icon of 3 stacked discs, which represents the hard drive power. Both icons were lit up when I was backing up the files so I had figured that the files were in transfer mode.

So I get to backup any added files anytime I want and have stopped worrying about losing all my files. I also have a ton of space left on my 250GB* drive. I definitely need a new computer soon, but until then, I can continue to backup my files and free up some computer space.

I am happy to own a practical and simple piece of technology with a slim design and fashion forward look! I highly recommend buying a Clickfree™ Automatic Backup for yourself or as a gift! Clickfree™ also offers a credit card size backup for jetsetters and people on the go. Thank you Clickfree™!

- Kim Weling

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marina Rinaldi Accessories

Equita suede clutch

Bojer cobra-print calfskin pochette

Bazzo messenger bag

Croc-print bag raffled off to one lucky winner

For those of you who are not familiar with the Marina Rinaldi brand, they are owned by MaxMara and carry larger women’s sizes 10-22 and shoes starting at a size 7. So what would I be doing at a Marina Rinaldi event? I friend wanted to go, so I thought I would come along and check it out. As a petite person, just because I can’t shop the clothes at Marina Rinaldi doesn’t mean that I can’t shop the accessories!

There were several Marina Rinaldi bags made of fine Italian leather that I found to be sophisticated, elegant and just my style. My favorites included the messenger bag, cobra-print calfskin pochette with internal strap and signed closure with logo, croc-print leather bag with zip closure. I also adore the shiny calfskin with shaped flap closure and ostrich-print calfskin handbags. So it’s very possible to find a new handbag or accessory where you least expect it.

- Kim Weling

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ann Taylor LOFT Holiday 2009

Last week I checked out the Ann Taylor LOFT Holiday 2009 preview. For those of you who don’t know the difference between the Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor LOFT brands, LOFT is more casual and young, while Ann Taylor is chic and conservative, including suits, dresses and shoes suitable for the office or for a night out on the town.

I usually find some basic blouses or heels at Ann Taylor to spruce up my wardrobe, especially with their great fit in a petite XXS. So it was interesting to see what Ann Taylor LOFT had to offer for holiday.

I really liked the sparkly sequin tank, which looks great with a sweater and dark denim or paired with a black skirt for a dressier effect. Other great pieces include a waffle toggle cardigan, cascading ruffle shell paired with a ¾ sleeve dolman cardigan and metallic leopard jacquard skirt.

There are also some great accessories for yourself or for those on your wishlist, including jeweled or ruffled slippers and feather headbands. Choose from short or long bauble necklaces in grey, purple or multi-colors, pearl chain or ribbon, knotted and multi-strand necklaces. Holiday preview attendees received a chunky, multi-layer gold chain bracelet. It’s heavier than what I am used to, which makes it feel even more luxurious and adds a bold, festive touch to any outfit or dress.

- Kim Weling

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gossip Girl Costume Designer Eric Daman at Charlotte Russe

On July 23rd, I was invited to attend the Fashion Intern Shopping Event at the Charlotte Russe Manhattan Mall store at Broadway & 33rd. I expected to get some styling tips from Eric Daman, Gossip Girl’s costume designer and stylist for Charlotte Russe.

To my surprise when I checked in, I was told I was on of the first 15 to arrive on the list, and that I was to be styled by Eric Daman himself. I was handed some 20% off cards and was asked to put a few looks together within the next half hour. Which wasn’t too hard of a task for me, considering I always find a handful of clothes to try on. So I gathered my pieces and chatted with Eric a bit, introducing my website to him and talking about several run-ins lately with the Gossip Girl cast.

I told him how I had received some comments from friends that I hide my body – I merely told him that I prefer not to wear clothing that makes me feel or look constricted. I continued to tell him that I prefer dresses and skirts with pockets and that I was trying to pick pieces other than black, which makeup a chunk of my wardrobe. He totally agreed with everything I was saying, and loved the look I had on. He thought what I was wearing was perfect, not too revealing and not too covered up.

When it came down to showing him my selections, he liked them all, agreeing with the silhouettes I chose as well as the warmer colors. To my surprise, he didn’t really have any styling tips for me. He told me that I seem to know what I’m doing, and that I really didn't need any help. I’ll take that as a compliment :) There was one strapless piece in particular that I was questioning, and I told him that I don’t usually pick out such thin fabric but liked that it had pockets. Then he realized that it was a romper! We both got excited and agreed that it definitely was a keeper. He did suggest some wooden jewelry to go with that.

I must say that the Charlotte Russe Manhattan Mall location had the friendliest, most helpful associates. I had a very pleasant shopping experience. I ended up purchasing the printed romper, a navy asymmetrical dress with belt, metallic teal halter, print metallic scarf, gold filigree bib necklace, peacock feather bib necklace and wooden bead bracelet. I was told that Charlotte Russe carries XS, but the clothes don't always start in that size. My particular purchases were size S, which fit me perfectly.

Since I felt like I had styled myself, here are my top 5 styling tips to live by:

1) Don’t overdue it – If you have a top with an embellished neckline, it’s not necessary to wear any jewelry with it. You definitely don’t want to over accessorize.

2) Know your color palette – pay attention to what colors look best against your skin
Tone and don’t make you look washed out. I am constantly seeking out colors I don’t normally wear. Teal and fuchsia have become my favorite colors lately.

3) Not too tight, or too loose – be sure to balance out your look. If you are wearing a voluminous skirt, go for a form-fitting top to tuck in. If you decide to wear a pair of skinny jeans, wear a looser-fitting top. You don’t want to appear too tight or too loose all over.

4) Don’t be too revealing – If you are wearing a mini skirt, make sure your top isn’t too revealing. You want to appear sexy, not that you are trying to hard to be noticed.

5) Don’t be too matchy – Sometimes a pop of color to basic, earthy or natural tones does the trick. A bright yellow blouse is enough color to add to a dark denim skirt or pair of jeans, and if you want to accessorize, opt for a printed scarf, or a bright yellow clutch. Don’t feel the need to add too much yellow – shoes, scarf, belt, and bag. Just pick one or two matching accessories.

I just have to add in one more tip, as I feel it is very important. My key to almost never returning any clothing purchases is to TRY IT ON. In some cases, especially at sample sales, you don’t have this option, so I suggest holding it up in the mirror or bringing your own. With the handfuls of clothing I try on, I only end up with a few items. You never know exactly how it’s going to look until you have it on. I have tried on pieces that look great on the hanger and not on me, and vice versa. Hope this helps and that you are doing this already!

- Kim Weling

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guess Soho Boutique Re-Launch Party

Lydia Hearst on the scene with a BYSOG clutch

Michelle Trachtenberg

Lydia Hearst and Michelle Trachtenberg

Amber Rose

Kelly Bensimon

Selita Banks

Phillip Bloch

On July 22nd, Marie Claire and Michelle Trachtenberg hosted the re-launch of the Guess flagship store on Broadway between Prince and Spring. A portion of the evening’s proceeds benefited Trachtenberg’s charity, Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice.

With a $5 donation to Oxfam America, guests were entitled to 20% off their purchases. Even if guests didn’t make a purchase that evening, they received a gift bag with a $5 donation to Oxfam America. The gift bags were so worth it, containing Bumble and Bumble grooming crème, Buxom mascara, Demeter Fragrance Library bath and shower gel, Decleor moisturizer, philosophy cleanser, ESSIE nail polish, Marie Claire magazine, $20 Guess gift card, magnets, perfume samples, wristband and Loyalty Program card, Godiva chocoiste and completely bare gift card. Bare Escentuals was also supposed to be included but they must have run out since I didn’t get my bag until the end of the night.

Celebrity attendees included model-actress-socialite Lydia Hearst, models Amber Rose and Selita Ebanks, Real Housewives of New York's Kelly Bensimon and celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch. DJ Harley Viera-Newton was spinning the beats.

As I wandered around the store, I did see a charcoal heather cardigan that I liked with stud details at the wrist, and two pairs of jeans in particular, one with studded leather cross back pockets ($158) and the other with rhinestone cross back pockets ($108). Cute selection of shoes too! It’s been a long time since I’ve shopped anything by Guess. I think Phillip Bloch said it best when he said people should ‘stay true to their own style’. Guess may not be for everyone but I was able to find a few pieces there to add to my shopping list.

- Kim Weling

Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ Event

Charm bracelet give to all attendees

My customized Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ charm bracelet

I was excited to see what was in store for me at the Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ and Glamour event. Right after I checked in, I was offered a silver-plated charm bracelet (retail $30),a gift from Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ for all attendees. The last thing I needed was another bracelet, but I definitely wanted to participate in customizing my own. So I headed over to the components wall to pick out my charms. Since I had just purchased a starfish pendant the other week, I decided to stick with the same theme and picked out starfish, brass fish and baroque charms. The price of each charm varies, anywhere from $6-$30.

Attendees received 15% off each item they purchased that evening. I had to run off to another event so I didn’t actually put my bracelet together there, but it is very easy to do. You just clasp the charms onto the bracelet links. It was a fun event, especially amongst friends, champagne and bruschetta. Next time I will have to customize a necklace!

- Kim Weling

Cole Haan Introduces The Whitney Collection

Photos courtesy of Guest of a Guest

Also on Wednesday, Cole Haan launched their Whitney collection. The collection of accessories is marked by its focus on implementing gold-tone grommets as eye-catching embellishments. Those lucky enough to attend shopped and mingled while drinking champagne or white sangria, and were offered 20% off their entire purchase. Wish you could have gone to the event? Don’t fret! The Bi-Annual sale is still going on and select styles are up to 50% off!

- Alyssa D'Alessandro

James Jeans Sample Sale

I'm swamped with work and events, so it looks like I'm not going to be able to make this one - but I hope someone else can! $25-$80! That's a steal for James Jeans, as some styles retail in the $200 range.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sample Sale at Coolture Featuring Objets Trouvés by Kate Linstrom and Sally Tseng

If you are looking for S/XS sizing at a deeply discounted price, then check out this sample sale going on all weekend.

I was thrilled to get the last XS black wool skirt with zips on both sides, from Kate Linstrom's Objets Trouvés line. Thank you Kate for letting me know you still had the skirt available!

The original price of the skirt was $340 and I got it for $50! 85% off - that's definitely the type of sample sale I'm looking for! I also got a teal silk ruffled blouse in a size S, which looked great with the skirt! The blouse was over 90% off! It was originally $375 and I got it for $25! I absolutely love the silk rompers, metallic and scalloped skirts from Kate's spring/summer line 09, but I didn't see those there. She did have some fabulous silk dresses left. I recommend you check it out before they are gone!

I've also been in the market for a pocket boyfriend tee to go with my back-zip LNA leggings, and I found one by Sally Tseng for just $25! Also got a mustard/brown double wrap jersey scarf for $20! There were also cute camis, tops, dresses and skirts.

Unfortunately I can't buy everything (unless I win the lottery soon), but if I could I would also be inclined to pickup one of Cammie Hill's ruffled leather bags ($60 for the small version and $80 for the larger version) and soft leather belts by Sheila Elaine for $78.

Friday 17th, Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th from 12pm ~ 6pm

409 West 39th Street
Between 9th and 10th Avenue

Take the A,C,E to 42nd St

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Charlotte Russe Fall 2009 Preview Party

Jessica Szhor and Michelle Trachtenberg

Jessica Szhor and Eric Daman

Jessica Szhor and Rumer Willis

From Left: Rumer Willis, Michelle Trachtenberg, Joanna Garcia and Jessica Szhor

People*s Liberation at Charlotte Russe

Photos courtesy of Harrison & Shriftman

I attended the Charlotte Russe Fall 2009 preview at Openhouse on July 15th. Shortly after I made a once-round walk-through, I ran into Gossip Girl’s Jessica Szhor, right before she was about to leave for a birthday dinner. It’s always a pleasure running into Jessica – she is not only gorgeous but very down-to-earth and genuinely sweet. It’s nice to have contact with celebrities that aren’t so guarded or surrounded by their publicists. Other celebrities in attendance included Rumer Willis, Michelle Trachtenberg and Joanna Garcia (just got word that she will be joining the Gossip Girl cast this fall as Nate's new love interest!). Also, Charlotte Russe Stylist and Gossip Girl Costume Designer Eric Daman.

As I walked around, models were styled and staged in different looks, as seen in Charlotte Russe's fall look book.

QUIRKY – an eclectic style, with a schoolgirl look – argyle prints and novelty plaids. I like the grey jeans paired with a black blazer and black heels.

TOTEM – a Native American influence, consisting of blanket patterns, fringe details and frontier attitude. I definitely can’t pull off the feathery headbands or fringe detail, as I come off looking like Pocahontas, but it may be the right look for you. I like the layering of different necklaces, short and long – red beaded, brushed metal and a turq, red white and gold necklace and worn with a brown leather jacket. Also a printed dress paired with leggings, boots and leather belt.

OH SO CHIC – the Uptown Girl look, with satin fabrications, rompers, sequins and studs, embroidery and embellishment.

There are so many other looks you can find at Charlotte Russe, including 70s hippie chic (psychedelic prints), 90s grunge (boyish silhouettes and feminine details, plaid prints and flannels, distressed and destroyed details), heirloom (cardigans, tweed and boucle, pretty pearls).

Kitson LA for Charlotte Russe has a sporty/street style, including leggings, sweatpants, printed tops and jeans.

Let’s not forget the People*s Liberation line exclusively at Charlotte Russe. The collection is very street, with a rocker’s edge. You’ll find sleek looking leggings, tanks and tees with logo prints and denim. Colors include black, grey, white and red. I especially like the Tanya Ultra Skinny “Concrete Jungle” grey jeans.
Attendees took away a fabulous gift bag. Mine included a Kitson LA tank, ribbed leggings, pink/black print scarf, silver earrings, embroidered necklace and matching cuff with magnetic closure, lip gloss, People*s Liberation pins, Young Love CD and a card for 20% off at Charlotte Russe.

If you find yourself near a Charlotte Russe store, take a peek, see what’s your style and pick-up the Fall look book, which outlines pricing and in-store delivery dates as a useful shopping guide.

Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ Event - You’re Invited!

Join me for a Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ and GLAMOUR exclusive event!

Shop for jewelry pieces to accessorize your summer wardrobe, including exquisite designer collections, all made with CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements.

Learn more about Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™. Click here to read my coverage on the store opening.

Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ will be bringing guests up-to-date with the latest seasonal trends and design experts will show you how to use crystals to personalize your summer essentials.

In addition you will be introduced to your own personal toy-box. Individualize bracelets and necklaces with endless styles, shapes, colors and sizes. Time to play! Guests will be treated to champagne, canapés and a free gift, plus 15% off the entire collection.*

July 22
6 - 9 p.m.
499 Broadway (opposite Bloomingdale's)
New York City
RSVP here
or call 212 966 3322

Visit the online shop. You can still customize your own piece of jewelry online! Whether you plan on shopping in-store or online, be sure to check out the Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ 50% off sale! I recently went back to the store and got the Marine starfish necklace at 50% off! It's perfect for summer and has an adjustable cord.

*Receive 15% off of the entire collection when you sign up for the Swarovski newsletter.

I also encourage you to inquire about the Unlimited membership program. As a welcome gift, you get a do-it-yourself mobile/key charm. You also get a membership card, access to special benefits and events, full access to an online style consultancy and design tools, monthly newsletter, annual surprise gift for VIP members (must achieve a minimum purchase value per year) and more!
- Kim Weling