Jan 31, 2009

Bulgari for Save the Children

As Bulgari is one of SG's favorite jewelry houses, I am very excited to see the company giving back. For the company's 125 year anniversary, Bulgari/or Bvlgari is partnering up with Save the Children to raise 10 million Euro by the end of 2009 to help the less fortunate children from around the globe. The ring is aptly named after the founder of Bulgari, Sotirio Bulgari and produced in silver in honor of his silversmith origin. This silver ring will become available for sale at Bulgari boutiques worldwide starting February 2009 through December 2009. The retail price is $290 of which $60 will be donated to Save the Children. It's a wonderful cause! I will be checking out the ring next week. Ladies, what about this for a Valentine's Day present?

Prada Resin Stone Bags

I love stone details and jewel tone colors on bags but I don't know what to think of these Prada bags. Take the bright pink wristlet, I love the bright color and the resin stones attached to the clutch are interesting but I can't shake the thought these stone look like barnacles or some sort of growth. SG is both fascinated and repulsed at the same time. How is that possible?

-Prada black resin stone clutch (14" x 8.5" x 1") $820
-Prada python/nylon messenger (16" x 12" x 6") $2295
-Prada hot pink resin stone wristlet (9.5" x 5.5" x 2") $540
-Prada metallic green should bag (11" x 5" x 2") $1395

I can see some merits of using resin stone accents on small pieces but on bigger messenger bag and totes seem quite excess to me. They sort of look like an after thought. This collection reminds me of the circular mirror accent collection from years ago. What do you think, savvy or not so much for you?-Prada tan leather tote with resin stones (13.5" x 13" x 4") $1995
-Prada nylon totes (purple and black) with resin stones (14" x 13" x 6") $1395

image: saks5ave

Jan 29, 2009

Annoying LV Pochette - Part 2

After debating if I should go into the boutique as Wendy B pointed out, and after talking to gal pals, SG found a way to fix the broken LV strap. I simply applied white glue using a toothpick to spread the glue out thinly and evenly onto both insides of the strap and secured with cloth pins. (click here to see part 1)
After about 2 hours, the strap looks fine to me. At least I can use the pochette again running errands or as a make-up bag.
As for hardware discoloration, I applied brass cleaner which removed quite a bit of dirt and the surface became cleaner and shinier compare to before. Even if it's not like new, it's still better than the prior condition which I am willing to live with.
***I don't know if brass polisher can safely clean LV hardware but the result is okay for me. So if you are going to try, test a small area first.

Jan 28, 2009

Oh My Heart!

We are only about 2 weeks from the very special Valentine's Day so it's not surprising SG is thinking about hearts. I adore any jewelry with heart shape designs. They are just so "heart" warming and lovely. If I can have any heart shape jewelry, here and here by Piaget will be my choices.

top left B Mine heart necklace $320 (1 ~ 4 all by Baccarat)
top right Glamour Heart pendant $225
bottom left baby Coeur earrings $425
bottom right Puff Heat paper weight $170

---Red color from Baccarat (besides pink) is my favorite not just because red is a classic Baccarat color but also because to produce this particular red, gold metal element needs to be added to create this beautiful hue. If you have noticed, there is a red crystal on every Baccarat chandelier.
What about this little lovely number for Valentine's Day...
Betsey Johnson $72 via Nordstrom
As a chocolate addict, SG sure will swoon over chocolate hearts.

left top Godiva heart shape chocolate biscuit $8.50 --- Totally delicious, trust me. I have tried every one of Godiva biscuits.
right top A box of Godiva special chocolates for that special someone $95
left bottom See's Peanut Butter Heart $4.35 --- these are great for basket filler or just as little something for friends and co-workers.
right bottom See's little heart chocolate $5.5
SG really like Le Creuset pots, and how cute is this heart shape pot. This retails for $140 but these are worth every penny. Luckily for me, Savvy Mom buys me all the Le Creuset pots and pans I can ever use.
I think Savvy Niece will absolutely adore this little all over hearts dress by Gap ($24.50). Are you a heart person, or too girlie for you?

image: Godiva, See's, Nordstrom, Bloomingdals, Baccarat

Jan 27, 2009

YSL Mini Downtown Tote

There is nothing better than a bright jewel tone bag candy to cheer a gal up anytime of the year. After setting my eyes on these mini YSL Downtown totes, I fairly drooled on them in the boutique. They are just so eye catching, modern and stylish. Any of these will be a refreshing addition to any bag collection. Although being a pink gal, SG is partial to lilac and begonia. These lovelies will be a perfect accent for my outfits this fall/winter or coming spring/summer.
As I have a YSL Downtown in medium, I can attest to the ease of use. There is a small patch pocket inside which is good for keys and cell phone. My long wallet is too big to fit inside the pocket. These mini totes measure 10"h x 9"w (at the widest point) x 5"d (but 5.5"w at base) maybe a little small for a carryall bag (ie. snack, change of clothes and sippy cups). However, there is plenty of room for my big wallet, keys, cell phone, make-up bag and some little necessities. This is a handheld tote; the double strap handles are too short to wear on the shoulder. SG can't choose, I want every color. Black is available too, but who wants black with all these choices. Which is your favorite?

Jan 26, 2009

Birthday Cake

Even though BF's birthday is not until next week, we are starting early with a small weekend celebration with his family only. This year, I opted for a smaller cake with cupcakes as additions for variety. I went to Cafe Blanc in Costa Mesa for this little cake. It's vanilla shortcake with fresh strawberry and whip cream filling and decorated with fresh fruits and whip cream. It's not very sweet and the whip cream is light as air. I am telling myself it's better for my diet with fruits and I am sticking to that story.Various berries are frosted with sugar giving them that icy frost appearance.
Instead of a message on the cake, a chocolate message board conveys the birthday message without taking the cake's original unique design away. I am not giving him his gifts until the day of his birthday, which I am taking him out to dinner with just the two of us.

Shopping Monday: Flirty Floral Frocks

Adding flowers to a room, the space becomes that much more elegant and lively. I think the same can be said for floral dresses and tops. In the past, I have not been a fan of floral print clothes because quite a few past collections seem a little country-ish to me. Now, floral trend is very modern, stylish and fresh. As many may know by now, SG adores pink and red! SG especially enjoys impressionistic floral frocks. These pieces are modern and clean. These dresses best illustrate the fusion of art and fashion.1. Versace pink multicolor silk dress $1695 (via Neiman Marcus 1~4)
2. Lela Rose cotton/silk dress $1295 --- SG's favorite!
3. Piazza Sempione cotton dress $1100
4. Emilio Pucci silk dress $1860
5. Piazza Sempione orange/pink dress $695 via Saks
6. BCBG $110 on sale via BCBG --- SG's Savvy Pick!
7. See by Chloe $626 via Shopbob --- floral embroidery accents are good for those gal who wish to avoid the all over look.
8. TIBI $365 via Saks
9. Diane von Furstenberg $525 via Nordstrom
10. Chetta B $525 via Saks
11. Alice + Olivia $462 via Shopbob

So are you a floral gal? Do you prefer big bold prints or smaller motifs?

Jan 25, 2009

3.1 Phillip Lim Ruffle Dress

SG is drooling all over these ruffle dresses by 3.1 Phillip Lim. They are so romantic, casual but not over the top girlie. Something about ruffle just captures the image of bygone era. Not that I want to live in the past since I like to vote and have my own bank account. left to right: all by 3.1 Phillip Lim $450, $650 and $757 --- If I have to pick one, the black one on right will be my first choice because I can get most utility.
Both by 3.1 Phillip Lim $695 each
I am always on the look out for a good leather jacket so without a doubt this 3.1 Phillip Lim leather short leather jacket with ruffle detail will take the prize for SG in 2009. At $1100, the price is not exactly savvy but a gal will sure get many years of utility. This little lovely will pair so well with practically everything in my wardrobe. The little ruffle detail is beyond cute.

However, I will wear a plain leather jacket to contrast all the ruffles. Ruffles on top of ruffles can become a little overwhelming. This form fitting leather military coat by LINE for $380 is the perfect finisher for a feminine ruffle outfit.

Jan 24, 2009

Annoying LV Pochette

After my issue with a different yellow Epi Louis Vuitton bag, SG is ready to scream when I see this the other day. How is this possible, where is the LV quality as the sales explains when selling us that thousand dollar bag? Or, is LV so popular that we should just take whatever?I don't think going into the boutique seeking assistance will solve my problem; they will tell me to buy a replacement because surely it can't be their fault. I must have used the strap incorrectly. Years ago I had to purchase a replacement strap for another pochette when my cute innocent Doxie mistook the strap for her chew toy. The retail cost back then was about $60 when the pochette was only a little over $200. Now a replacement pochette retails for $435 so I expect the replacement strap to be at least $100, if the color is available. I am just angry that I have to pay for something when it's not even my fault.
And, speaking of LV quality, what about rust and discoloration on the hardware? Does this happen to you? I am going resolve these issues by myself and I will update when I have a solution.Looking at my yellow Epi pochette, if I didn't buy it at a LV boutique, I would think I got taken for a fake bag! Do you have a LV story? Let's hear it!

image: purple pochette via eluxury

Jan 23, 2009

Couture Dolls for Big Girls

After seeing Michelle Obama's lovely one-shoulder gown, SG becomes a little curious about the young designer Jason Wu. Looking at his accomplishments, it is no surprise his design is front and center now. SG expects we will hear more about this young designer in the coming years.

(Info via Fashion Royalty)--- At the age of 26, Jason Wu has accomplished more than most have in the toy industry. In a few short years, Wu has turned Integrity Toys Inc. from a producer of mass market toys to a producer of high end collectible dolls. His Fashion Royalty® line had soared in sales over most of its competitors in its first 2 years, and now 7 years since its creation, sports a loyal fan base which rapidly increases every day.
Born and raised in Taipei, Wu has traveled the world from early on in life. He spent a portion of his life living and studying in Canada, France and different parts of the United States before establishing himself in New York City where he attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design.
Always an avid fan of fashion, Wu started designing on dolls as a creative outlet for his budding interest in fashion design as a child. In 1998 after entering and winning a fashion doll design contest, Mr. Percy Newsum (president of Integrity Toys Inc.), noticed the young man’s potential and recruited him as a freelance designer. Within 2 years at the ripe young age of 17, Wu proved to be such an important part of the company that he was brought on as the full time creative director, only to be made partner soon after. In a market often considered as somewhat tired and old-fashioned, Wu has infused a unique energy into the scene with his approach to design and strong business savvy. He and his work have been featured in numerous fashion and lifestyle publications worldwide. Wu currently resides in New York.

How to Wear Hermes Scarf as Head Accessory

Often SG will tell gal pals to be a little more adventurous with scarves. These bright bold pieces of silk, cotton or linen can be worn as belt, skirt, top, head accessory, or simply around the neck. Recently I'm using them in replace of a hat to keep my head warm. Scarves come in various sizes, and shapes and it's up to us savvy gals to maximize each and every one of them. To be honest, wearing a scarf just around the neck can become a little boring after awhile. I always have lots of fun trying on different looks so hopefully you will enjoy too!left: ECHO silk chiffon scarf 36" x 36" ($78) --- It's very stylish to add a pop of color any season. And, silk chiffon is so light and airy; it will just flow with the wind. How savvy is this for spring or summer, or fall or winter?
right: a long thin silk scarf can become the most stylish headband. A Hermes Twilly here will be perfect as a headband. A Hermes Twilly is a silk ribbon 33" x 2" for $125. A square scarf can be used as well to achieve this look. From my own experience, it's easier to use a thinner material or a long thin scarf. Big silk scarf tend to become a little bulky.

The following illustrations are step by step instruction on how to use a Hermes scarf for the head:
This particular Hermes scarf has ruche detail and is not a perfect square. However, a square 24 inch will be a good replacement.
This look is really easy to do and can be achieved with a 36 inch scarf. However, anything larger than 24 inch will suffice.

This reminds me of the classic Jackie O look. This is great whenever we have the top down cruising around in the summer. My hair will stay in place and I arrive at the venue looking normal instead of crazy fly-about hair. This look is achieve with a 36 inch square scarf.
This headband using a Hermes Twilly silk ribbon has an interesting twist at the top. I have used a small ring or a small rubber band is okay as well. If using a 24 inch square scarf, then a thinner material such as chiffon is easier to use than silk which can be a little bulky.

related posts:
How to Tie/Wear a Hermes Scarf: 6 More Ways
Hermes scarf as belt
How to wear/tie Hermes scarf
DIY skirt with Hermes Scarf

image: Nordstrom, Hermes

Jan 22, 2009

Coach Patent Wristlet

I am not generally a Coach gal, but after taking a walk inside the boutique, I can't help but like these cute colorful patent leather wristlets/clutches. Even though Coach logos are embossed allover, the bright patent leather hides these logos well. There is a little pocket inside which I think to be quite useless because the clutch is so small already, measuring 7" x 4.5" x 1.5" and costs $88 each (not too bad). The colors are brighter in real life. My favorite is the hot pink, which will be a savvy accessory addition this spring or summer.

New Hermes Lindy Bag

Savvy Sis is ecstatic and over the moon today. This is an Ebene color Hermes Lindy in 34 cm Clemence leather, which is the larger of two sizes (30 cm or 34 cm). Ebene is a rich dark chocolate brown (1st picture is more true to the actual color). The leather is very soft and supple as with Hermes bags. This bag is very easy to use due to the additional shoulder strap. Savvy Sis can hold the bag by the double handles on her arm or wear on her shoulder if there is the need to chase after her kids. The strap however is too short to wear cross body. There are 2 patch pockets on the outside and 2 pockets on the inside for keys and cell phone. In the United States, Lindy in 30 cm retails for $5500 and 34 cm, $6000. A Lindy bag is definitely a savvy investment which is casual and a bit younger but nevertheless super savvy and stylish. I think the bag is younger in spirit but appropriate for all ages.

Jan 21, 2009

Canvas Leather Birkin

Is the Birkin rage slipping? There is a canvas/leather combo Birkin in gold leather for $8000 at the South Coast Plaza Hermes boutique. It's like the one above except in gold (which is tan color) and 35 cm. SG prefers all leather but canvas/leather combo is very casual chic too. Which do you prefer?

Gucci Clogs

I saw these Gucci clogs on Nordstrom website the other day and said to myself, "oh my gosh, are clogs trendy again?" And, after my marketing survey around various stores, I am pretty sure clogs are coming back. I have purchased several pairs back in the days but find these clogs a little hard to wear due to the hard wooden soles. I was always fearful I would trip and break both of my ankles with super high heel clogs. However, wearing wooden clogs with super high heels usually add about 4 inches to my petite height of 5'4", so that is a savvy thing.

upper left: Gucci clog $745 --- SG prefers this more traditional style since clogs are supposed to be casual so this look is more fitting for that mode.
lower right: Gucci Hysteria clog $595

So let me ask you this, are you a clog sort of gal?

A Gal's Dream Diamond Ring

SG enjoyed the best play date with gal pal yesterday. She is looking for a ring and I am to be her ring shopping partner in crime. To be honest I didn't see anything of interest at Tiffany and Cartier. We thought we should visit De Beers and Harry Winston just for reference as well. Well, I never really think about engagement rings but it's quite fun ring shopping when it's not my own engagement ring. Gal pal doesn't want a traditional round solitaire so we look mostly at princess, emerald, Asscher and cushion cuts. I think 1.5 or 2 carat is just perfect for gals with smaller hands, although we will not say no to a bigger diamond.I totally fell in love with a cushion cut diamond with pave diamond band in platinum. It's so gorgeous at about 3 carats, D color, internal flawless and costs about $120,000. Initially I mistook the price for serial number. ***(Imagine the ring on top left but with a pave diamond band like ring on bottom right. When shopping for a ring, it's important to try on different styles.)
After De Beers, we went to Harry Winston and I found my dream ring. A cushion cut diamond has never entered my agenda but it's just so right. It's a cushion cut diamond with micro pave diamond setting and band which is also a HW classic style. A 2 carat ring looks to be 3 carat because of the additional diamond bling factor around the center stone. The band is so delicate and feminine, exactly SG's cup of tea. The nice SA tells me HW offers only D, E and F color diamonds. BTW, the 2 carat ring like the one above will cost about $50,000 and up. If money is not an issue, SG thinks they are worth it. Another thing, savvy gal always remembers to negotiate for the best price, even at HW.

A gemologist pal once told me for engagement ring on a budget, pick the whitest ring with VS1 or VS2 clarity so a gal can put rest of the budget toward carat weight. Of course, different individuals will have different preferences. Some of my friends insist on the best color and clarity while sacrificing carat. For me, an engagement ring is for daily wear so VS1 or VS2 will be good enough for me. I doubt anyone will be able to see inclusions with their eyes. SG wants a bigger rock. Now, for an investment diamond, then it's important to buy the best of all 4 C's with the budget. So savvy gals, what is your diamond preference? Do you have a dream diamond ring or are you wearing one already?

image: De Beers, Harry Winston

Jan 20, 2009

Chanel Lip Gloss

After trying numerous lip gloss choices on the market, my favorite is the Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer lip gloss. I have purchased other brands before such as Dior and Guerlain but the taste is so man-made and strong, SG is quite turn off by them. With Chanel, the consistency is just right (not too thick) and there isn't any unpleasant taste. With Chanel, gloss goes on very smoothly without the feeling of something sitting on top of the lips. Also I like a little shimmer along with shine in lip glosses. And, they provide just the right amount of both. (SG is not getting paid by Chanel for saying this, but if they want to sent me samples for experimental purposes...) I am using no. 107 Equinoxe (like the middle color above) and no. 92 (silver). For $27 per tube, it's not the cheapest but shiny kissable lips are priceless, right!

Color Stylish Red

As much as this gal adores bright colors during winter, I do still wear quite a bit of somber colors such as black and grey. So not wanting to be head to toe in black and grey, I am thinking of red shoes to break up such monotony. I am partial to red because it's the color of fire, passion and warmth. Wearing red makes a gal feel just so stylish, don't you think? Gwen Stefani with her ever so stylish red lips, SG is trying to find my shade of red!
Cameron Diaz is casual in white dress shirt and dark blue denim but that pair of savvy red strappy heels just complete the casual stylish look. Who knew white shirt and denim can be so stylish! Instead of wearing black heels with this black dress, red heels will sure make this ensemble savvier.
1. Fendi red bow detail heels $705
2. Jimmy Choo red tiedye peep toe heels $725
3. Christian Louboutin red patent leather pump $645
4. Tory Burch red patent leather sandals $115
5. Report red patent leather sandals$39.95 ---SG's cheap red patent thrill
6. YSL red cork wedge $530
7. Gucci red pump $625 --- SG's pick
8. Valentino red bow patent leather D'orsay$745 --- SG's pick

image: people.com, bergdorf goodman, nordstrom, neiman marcus book, wire image