Monthly Archives: March 2010

Fabricated

There are only seven designers left on Project Runway. Tensions are high. The competitions are fierce. (But, glad to see Anthony keep his good humor despite being sent home.)

Last week’s challenge had the contestants creating their own custom fabrics for a design. Truth be told, I didn’t *love* any of the designers’ fabrics. I much preferred guest judge, Vivienne Tam‘s butterfly prints. But, that’s the kind of girl I am (one with a butterfly tattoo, since age 18).

Emilio won with his “signature” graffitti print. I liked the concept. Edgy graffitti meets 1940’s French style. The design was inspired, but I just didn’t love his name-focused print.

Emilio wins the Project Runway fabric design challenge
with his signature graffitti print

For the shoe pairing, I’ve chosen some killer black pumps found over at Piperlime. On the Calvin Klein’s (left), the cutout and patent trim accent toughen up a classic peep toe. There are two pairs of Vince Camuto’s that are a good match. The scalloped textured peep toe (center), and the studded platforms (right), both complement the edgy graffitti style.

posted  by Ms. S&C

S&C reader mail–out of this world cocktails

Ms. Shoes and Cocktails,

Long story, but my company is having an “Around the World” day where we have to pick a country/region/place, make food from that area, and then present it to a judge wearing an outfit representative of the area. My team has picked “Outer Space” for our theme. We’ll be making futuristic, astronaut-like food, and someone brought up the idea of a tang drink.

Might you have any ideas for a tang-inspired cocktail? Ideally we would serve it out of a punch bowl. We are also planning on making shot glasses out of ice (someone in the group has the appropriate molds to do so).

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you!
LC

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Dear LC,

I love your workplace! First, mobile beer carts, now an “Around the World” day where cocktails will be served.

I’ve tried to find something out-of-this-world, given your team has chosen “Outer Space” as your theme. But, it’s been a challenge. In a good way.

I’ve seen this “Jupiter” drink in a few of my cocktail books. Not sure it can be turned into a “traditional” punch, but it looks pretty tasty (and, I know your affection for gin). Tang could certainly be substituted for the OJ. And, since it should be served in a chilled glass, an ice shot glass would be a great touch.

Jupiter Cocktail
(serves one)

  • 1/2 oz Gin
  • 1/4 oz French Vermouth (white/clear vermouth)
  • 1 tablespoon Orange Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Parfait Amour

Shake ingredients well over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another option that has significantly less ingredients, and much easier to prepare — how  about tang and champagne? What do you think they call mimosas in outer space?

Please let me know what you decide!

Ms. S&C

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Update on the “Around the World” office party: LC’s team decided on tang mimosas, and really took their Outer Space theme to a whole other level. Check out their impressive menu. (I forgot to ask about what outfits they wore.)

  • Cocktail: Tang Mimosa
  • Main dish: Dehydrated steak and potatoes (Grass-fed Cabernet Sauvignon-marinated beef jerky with homemade potato chips)
  • Dessert: Fire in ice (Chipotle vanilla ice cream)
  • Chef’s gift: Whisky gums (Glenlivet whisky-flavored gummy candy)

Need an outer space themed cocktail? Or something to complement futuristic, astronaut-like food? Try tang mimosas.

posted by Ms. S&C

In the Neighborhood

Inspiration was the name of the game for last week’s episode of Project Runway. The designers paired off in teams of two to explore Manhattan and pull some inspiration from local neighborhoods, and were charged with creating a pair of outfits inspired by their assigned locale. I always like the inspiration challenge because it brings out the creative side in the designers.

Anthony and Maya pulled subtle inspiration from Chinatown. The geometric, origami patterns and color scheme hinted instead of screamed Chinatown, earning them the spot of runner-up.

Team Lower East Side was a mixed bag. Jay Nicolas’ ill-fitting pants-and-tank combo was a flop while Mila’s rocker-inspired look was a hit.

Amy’s been in the bottom two a bit too frequently for comfort, so we saw her demise coming with a peachy, voluminous top that, according to the judges, didn’t fit the bill for an Upper East Side ensemble. The judges panned her partner Jonathan’s intricate floor-length dress, but I thought the design was fun, unique and flattering.

Emilio and Seth Aaron received top honors for their chic, Harlem-infused designs. Emilio’s floor length, zip-up gown was the right mix of sophisticated and edgy, while Seth Aaron’s beautifully constructed jacket, pops of color and fantastic hat were totally covetable.

For a shoe pairing, I’d continue the color-popping theme and go with this burst of blue and silver from Seychelles.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Hello, navy. Hello, spring.

In 1911, an avid outdoorsman named Leon Leonwood (L.L.) Bean returned from a hunting trip with cold, damp feet and a revolutionary idea. He enlisted a local cobbler to stitch supple leather uppers to waterproof rubber boots, creating a comfortable, functional boot for exploring the Maine woods. This ingenious invention – the Maine Hunting Shoe – changed outdoor footwear forever and, a year later, began one of the most successful family-run businesses in the country. (excerpt from L.L.Bean history)

What L.L.Bean began in 1912, has defined New England style for nearly a century. Now, after almost 100 years, a new collection has been introduced: L.L.Bean Signature. The collection celebrates the same New England style, but with a new fit that is more tailored and contemporary.

The oft-reluctant-to-admit prepster in me is happy. I’m happy about the clean, classic designs. I’m happy about the return of navy. And, I’m happy about the prices. Below are a few of my spring wardrobe favorites.

The classic chambray shirt dress can be accented with a skinny leather belt and the stacked platform for a refined modern look (that’s also work appropriate). Or, it can be paired with the madras plaid scarf and strappy leather sandal for casual weekend comfort.

Hello, navy! Hello, spring!

posted by Ms. S&C

Beer float

It is a pretty simple formula: Beer + Ice Cream = My new favorite dessert.

Ms. S&C isn’t a fan of root beer, but given the amount of craft beer consumed in her household, she can’t believe she hasn’t tried this dessert cocktail before. Her stout beers of choice for this heady concoction include: Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout and Williamsburg Alewerk’s Coffeehouse Stout. Both beers are strong with roasted malt and well-suited for coffee flavored ice cream (or gelato!).

Stout & Ice Cream Float

  • Split a bottle of stout beer among two glasses
  • Add 1/2 cup coffee ice cream to each glass

Want another variation on the traditional root beer float? Try Bobby Flay’s adult version with bourbon.

posted  by Ms. S&C

Transforming Hardware

Every season of Project Runway features at least one episode that is vaguely reminiscent of a fashion school homework assignment. These challenges typically present the contestants with unconventional materials – flowers, maybe, or garbage bags – and task the designers with transforming those materials into something fashion-forward. Last Thursday’s episode was no different. Let loose in a hardware store for half an hour, the designers went to work turning metal, rope and plastic into sometimes-chic outfits. Here are the highlights.

  • I love that, in addition to an outfit, the designers are tasked with creating a companion, stand-out accessory. My favorite was Maya’s fun, chic and totally current key necklace.
  • The unconventional material challenge inevitably produces results that look futuristic or techno (see Mila’s armor-style get-up or Seth Aaron’s futuristic dress), so it’s always nice to see a softer side – and that’s what Anthony pulled out. Unfortunately, the judges were looking for more edge than Anthony had to offer.
  • Emilio created a bikini. A string bikini. Made of washers and hot pink string. Michael Kors’ label of “cheesy” was too kind.
  • But even a taste-free string bikini was a greater success than Jesse’s Hershey’s-kiss-inspired, dirty-vacuum-bag reminiscent silver dress.

Two thumbs up to Jay’s winner of an outfit. It might not be my favorite pick style-wise, but he truly transformed his hardware materials into a pair of slim and sleek striped pants and a bold, graphic top.

For my shoe pick, I might integrate that same stripe pattern from the pants into the footwear. The horizontal straps on these Stella McCartney pumps are certainly stripe-reminiscent, and the toe is actually a super sleek midnight blue.

Posted by Miss Mojito.

Live from the Oscars…party

We’re live blogging the 82nd Academy Awards! Ms. S&C has just settled in at a friend’s Oscar party and can’t wait to check out the red carpet fashion.

 

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Demi Moore have arrived! They are two stunning brunettes. I like Maggie’s printed dress, but it seems she should have gone more glamorous since she’s a nominee.

Meryl Streep?!?! Yes, you are so classy, but you don’t seem dressed up enough? Maybe by nomination 16, it’s nothing special?

Ms. S&C is a bit disappointed. The usually reliable Kate Winslet is in a two-piece-looking-gown that looks like the two pieces don’t belong. Charlize Theron is in a dress that looks like flowers are grabbing her boobs. What’s going on on the red carpet?

I want a better look at Sarah Jessica Parker’s jeweled frock. I think it has potential. The night is redeemed! Cameron Diaz comes through with a heavily jeweled gown. Love the longer locks too.

All the supporting actress nominees look good together. I like Maggie’s dress a lot more now — tie dye is back people.

Sandra Bullock looks the best she’s looked this whole awards season. The sleek long hair, the red lips, the glistening lace dress. Well down, Sandra. You look like a leading actress Oscar winner [Update: and you are! Loved your speech.].

Thumbs down, J Lo.

You’ll either love or hate Sarah Jessica Parker’s yellow gown. Mixed reviews at this party. I’m a fan of the silver-y accessories, including the sparkly eye shadow.

Miley Cyrus wins for “most improved” look. She needs to work on her posture, but she looks a thousand times better than last year.

Now, on to the show…Ms. S&C didn’t see any of the celebrities’ shoes, didn’t have any cocktails,
but enjoys blogging about Oscar fashion even if only semi-S&C-related.

Neil Patrick Harris, that’s quite a jacket. What are you doing here? This opening is very Las Vegas. I don’t hate it.

The funny guys arrive. “Host cracked joke about Meryl Streep” is on the party bingo. Jokes falling flat is not, and there have been a few of those already.

Now, here’s when we can get a good look at these dresses…

Penelope Cruz is presenting best supporting actor, and her ruby dress looks much better under these lights. But, she’s always been on my top five girl crush list.

Tina Fey is also on my girl crush list. Her dress is not on any favorite list. Not her most flattering look.

Zoe Saldana’s dress is causing quite a stir at this party. Bottom looks like a shower puff, or something equally strange.

Queen Latifah is looking spectacular in her lavender gown.

Last year winter white was a popular choice. It is royal blue this year. Mo’nique is wearing it, and wins for best supporting actress. Or, maybe it is ruby red? That’s the color for Sigourney, Penelope and Vera.

Someone get Kristen Stewart some accessories!

Don’t love Sandra Bullock’s dress as much as I first thought, but her make-up is impeccable.

Ms. S&C is gonna have to start wrapping things up. This Oscar-watching-crowd gives this year’s show a big fail. The show was disjointed (strange tribute to horror films, the complete disaster also known as the interpretative dance segment), the two hosts had more bad jokes than good, and you know the fashion was disappointing when you poll the crowd and there’s more people on the worst dressed list than the best dressed one (and no one here can really agree on the best).

Ms. S&C’s best dressed list includes Sarah Jessica Parker, because she isn’t afraid to do something different than everyone else, and Demi Moore, because the peachy color of her well-fitted, yet flowy, gown suits her so well.

Ms. S&C’s worst offenders were easily Zoe Salanda, Charlize Theron, Tina Fey, and J Lo.

Ms. S&C wants to know: What were your favorite Oscar moments? Who did you think was divine? Who was a disaster?

posted by Ms. S&C