Saturday, February 27, 2010

Come With Me On A Sunny And Dreamy Retro Holiday In Palm Springs With The Photographer Bersa

As the rain pours down today in Orange County I dream of driving an hour and a half to old school Palm Springs for a sunny holiday.
Come with me to see the sights, my dear friend.

What better photographer than Bersa to capture our good times in the desert.

Let's take a little dip in the pool.

Then, let's get all dolled up.

How about taking in a little champagne brunch?

And, a little retail therapy afterwards. Why, of course!

I'd love to check out a home tour of Sinatra's cool cat pad.

Maybe we could find a bowling alley?

Or, just take a walk on the park.

Surely, we would find some amazing vintage finds here.

What would you like to do today, doll? What outfit calls to you?
Thanks for joining me on a dreamy and sunny Palm Springs retro holiday. It was a dream come true...


All photography by Bersa for Swedish Elle

Friday, February 26, 2010

Project Beyond the Runway Links a' La Mode Top 20 Fashion Posts

links a la mode

Project Beyond the Runway

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

Reading through the links this week, I realized that fashion week or no fashion week, fashion will most certainly go on! A winter snowstorm couldn't even slow down New York Fashion Week, and the links below are testament to the wonderful style that exists beyond the runway, such as Ode to Awe's jewelry discovery, how to look chic while lounging by Cafe Fashionista, and tips for vintage shoe shopping by Wicked Whimsy. Don't get me wrong, I love being 'in the know' on runway looks and trends, but how you interpret them and work them into your personal style is so much more important than remembering which designers showed one-shoulder looks this season!

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

Links à la Mode : February 25th

39th and Broadway - A Side of the Industry Unknown by Most: Life as a Corporate Fashion Designer
British Style Bloggers - Cherish forever what makes you unique, 'cos you're a yawn once it's gone
Cafe Fashionista - A step-by-step guide to looking luxurious even when lounging
Clutch22 -Up close and personal with Vivienne Tam as she expands her fashion+tech innovations to a new category
CMYKaboom - Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) 'Tweet Up in the Tents' event
Debutante Clothing - Vintage Jewelry: Q&A with Lucite line Circa Sixty Three
Fabulous Finds Gal - Moonstuck at the opera with photographer Bersa
Fashion Pulse Daily - Sonia Rykiel Pour H&M; the debut and the review
Holier Than Now - New Take on Florals (5 Under $50)
Idiosyncratic Style - A Girl's Guide to Maternity Style
Independent Fashion Bloggers : Evolving Influence Recap : Part One
Individual Chic: - Would you have wanted a Computer Engineer Barbie when you were smaller? Or would you love one now?
Night Watch - 10 Questions with Model Clara Zapffe
Ode to Awe - Denmark based Alidra Alic's Alice-inspired jewelry
Oranges and Apples - Rules for advertising and sponsorship on blogs
Retro Chick - The Ethics of Blogging
Smiles Go with Everything -10 Tips for Shopping on Ebay: How to find great deals on awesome duds.
The Coveted - Visits Nine West HQ for a sneak peak of AW10 shoe collections!
The Style PA - Gives Henry Holland a grilling ahead of his House of Holland show.
The Sunday Best - Do men get better service when they shop?
Wicked Whimsy -What to look for when buying vintage shoes
Workchic - Fall 2010 NY Fashion week collections: recreated runway to the office outfits


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Weight Game

The weight game, it seems to go on and on for most men and women.
For me, I am "lucky" enough that everything I do and motion I make has
a quick response to my shape. This, my dear, is a blessing and a curse.
Which means I am lucky enough to go back and forth like a yoyo on the scale. I know many of you can "coast" through without much problem, or so it may seem. But, no, not me. One extra margarita or piece of bread shows up loud and clear on my body. What is a gal to do since I'm only 5' 1"? It's got nowhere to hide.
And, my trainer, Crystal Powers of Sunset Fitness, is too slick to trick. Dang. She is good. The numbers speak for themselves. My sweet trainer says it's a blessing to have my body that we can whip into shape so fast, since when I do actually eat a banana in the morning, followed by a protein shake, low cal lunch, 12 almonds in the afternoon, a 300-400 calorie dinner and workout 7 days a week, it truly does show.
But, let's be real. Who can really keep up this type of pace but a 95 lb. perfectly fit trainer? If there is anyone out there that can stick to 1200 calories day after day and not feel hungry and slip up most the dang time?
Chocolate, wine, bread... they are my enemies.
But, I love them so.
Let's face the truth.
I am Christina and I am a eat-a-holic.
I am weak.
I cheat (not on my hubby,but on my diet)
I want to be better, but can't stop my bad habits.
Is there a light at the end of my dieting and workout tunnel?
Bring on the encouragement, if you have any!!! Because I am in the black hole. But, on the bright side I just dropped 3% body fat in 3 weeks and muscles are starting to appear again where I haven't seen in a very long time. So, there just might be a light at the end of this very dark tunnel. If I could just get out of my own way...
What is it about "knowing" what you "should" do
and not doing it time and time again?
Is this the plight of all humans in so many areas in our lives?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Family Memories At Their Best

As life marches on, we are truly trying our best to
create good family times and memories.
Let me share with you my son's first snow angel. Priceless.

Our first real sled ride that got all us squealing and flying through the air.
And, yes, if you were on board last week you will get a little chuckle from my hubby wearing my purple smurf snow gloves.

If you check carefully, you will see a snowball pass by my ear
with the greatest of ease.
The boy has a bit of an arm. Well, better said what he misses in aim
he makes up in heart.

Our very first snowman (or more like a our first chicken?) made from scratch.
A precious moment of Daddy helping Christian walk to the sled site.

An amazing snow day with the people most precious to my heart.
My thought for today is that take time to create memories
and enjoy every moment along the way with
whomever is most important in your life.
Because one day you are 25 and the next day you are 40.
My Mom says then you are 65 in a blink.
It can feel like a blink sometimes. And, sometimes it feels like it's been a hundred years in between.
But, what you do with those days with the one's you love is what really what matters.
Boy, I sure sound like a huge cliche'. But, it is true for me today.
What do you think? Are you feeling it?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Moonstruck at the Opera by the Talented Photographer Bersa and the Question of the Power of an Outfit

I lucked upon a rerun of the movie "Moonstuck" (1987) last night on TV. It is a romantic comedy with Cher, Nicolas Cage and Vincent Gardenia. If you have seen the movie, you remember the scene where Ronny (Nicolas Cage) invites his brother's fiance, Loretta (Cher) to the Opera after they had slept with each other the night before. It was a wild and crazy night that was not in her plans. So, Cher's character goes to the Opera as a final farewell to Johnny, supposedly begrudgingly while still professing to want to marry Johnny's brother Cosmo. But then, Cher shows up looking like the ravishing black haired beauty that she is in real life, dressed to the nines and the affair continues that evening... and her decision changes and her path changes in life. It is a great movie and a classic.
Do you think her updated makeover made her more confident to follow her heart and leap with abandon into passionate love with Johnny? It is interesting to ponder about the actual power of the perfect red lipstick, hair, accessories or outfit. Is it all like armour that gets us ready for battle to take on the world?

If dressing properly creates a shield and armor of power, then these pictures are proof of being ready for battle in the most feminine war in the world... The battle to capture love.

(My fav of the day)

Which outfit would you like to wear
if you had a date with destiny
at the Opera this evening?
I would wear the long gold sequined skirt with the huge pink satin bow and the matching black button up shirt with gold sequined cap sleeves. Simply divine, fitting for the season and any battle for love. I would surely have the inner strength and confidence to capture my man's heart (again) in that ensemble.


Photo credit: All Photos taken by Bersa.

Style Versus Fashion~ Links A' La Mode Top Fashion Posts

Style Versus Fashion
Edited by Retro Chick for the Independent Fashion Bloggers

With the Fashion Week season in full swing and Fashion Pulse Daily live blogging from the IFB conference it can be easy to forget that there are other things going on in the world, where real women are shopping and dressing for real occasions.

There were actually surprisingly few Fashion Week oriented posts submitted this week. Possibly the Fashion Week attendees are still too busy to partake in Links á la Mode, but what I did find was a lot of posts focused on fashion, style and image in the real world. A Typical Atypical calls for a low fashion revolution and Idiosyncratic Style urges you to bring out your cocktail frocks for every day. Meanwhile, in the body image arena Intrinsically Florrie learns to love her specs, Sugar & Spice discusses tanning and Mariels Castle weighs in (see what I did there?) on the body size debate.

It would be impossible to leave this weeks links without mentioning the untimely and incredibly sad death of Alexander McQueen. There were posts submitted on this issue but I made the decision not to include them, not because they were bad, but because I felt that if I included one persons post I would need to include them all. There has been so much personal reflection on the life and designs of this amazing man in the fashion blogging world that to choose a small selection seemed impossible. If you would like to read these posts then, as ever, the full list of submissions is available in the forums.

Links à la Mode: February 18th

  • A Typical Atypical – What girls really want to read about, and why fashion bloggers are changing the face of fashion

  • Bonne Vie – Cultural Appropriation vs Cultural Inspiration: What you borrow from another culture when it comes to wardrobe should be thoughtful

  • Confessions of a Fashion Editor – Dear New Look; it’s over!

  • Eternal Masquerade – Covering the Parallels Between Our Current Winter Wonderland and Under the Sea Fashions

  • Fashion Pulse Daily – Fashion Pulse Daily blogs live from the Future of Fashion Blogging panel during IFB’s Evolving influence conference this week!

  • Hot Beauty Health – Ready for Spring? Here are 9 Big Beauty Trends for Spring 2010!

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Fashion Dare – Let your party frocks come out and play!

  • Intrinsically Florrie – Making a spectacle of oneself: learning to love glasses and finding the right pair

  • Mariels Castle – It’s not about been skinny or fat its about being healthy!

  • Retro Chick – Love, Lust & Burlesque with the Bridewell Collective

  • – Spring comes early to Golden Gate Park. Showcase of spring 2010 looks from San Francisco designers.

  • Stacie Blair – Show your Olympic spirit with fashionable gear from Aritzia!

  • Style Eyes – The dilemma of a fashion blogger and why I’m taking Dame Vivienne Westwoods advice to stop shopping

  • Style Symmetry – Fashion Blogger Interview Kingdom of Style’s Queen Michelle

  • Sugar and spice and all things nice – Discussing the dangers of tanning and why the only safe tan is one from a bottle!!

  • The Clothing Menu – interview with independent jewelry and clothing designer, Norwegian Wood

  • The Fashion Planner – The Fashion Planner is hosting an Giveaway!

  • The Very Subjective – very subjective (and therefore – very true) observations about style do’s and do not’s.

  • Thread Style – Heel-wearing fashionistas also can be feminists.

  • twentyteneightyfour – My thoughts on style vs fashion and how our appetite for fashion blogs is part of our quest for style

  • ventures of jenn – The Great Vintage Debate: the ‘price’ of vintage both within and outside of the western world and what it really means.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God Loved The Birds...

"God loved the birds and invented trees.
Man loved the birds and invented cages."
Jacques Deval
Afin de vivre bel et bien.
May you break out of whatever type of cage
you may find yourself in... and Soar.


Pirjo Niemelä

Set designer:
Johan Svenson

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter Plaid Inspiration from Elizabeth Toll's Elegant Photography

My husband has a saying "What's not to love?". I'm feeling that now. What's not to love about these colors, plaid patterns, hats, leather gloves and the classic red lips? And, her gorgeous creamy white face.
Oh... a nice way to start the day with photography by Elizabeth Toll.
What makes you say, "What's not to love" here?

Photo credits: All images found at

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine Love... Betsey Johnson's Romantic Creations in Home and Fashion Design and Interview

What is Valentine's day without a little Betsey Johnson love? After all, she is the most feminine, fun and flirty of all. Betsey Johnson has over 40 years in the fashion business. She has a unmistakable flirty, feminine and edgy fashion line. Betsey Johnson has dressed everyone from underground film legend Edie Sedgwick to the Velvet Underground and numerous other rock stars and groupies.

Today, Johnson’s clothes, a new signature fragrance and her home collection continue that tradition. Her influences, she says, range from Dorothy Draper to Andy Warhol to the Empress Eugenie. “I like houses that totally reflect their owners,” she said. In her case, that means everything from hot pink silk sheets and leopard print pillows to relatively demure cabbage rose pattern quilts and duvets.

Here's a great insightful interview found at
Are you the rock and roll Martha Stewart?

Not yet, but who knows? Home merchandise is exciting to me right now because nobody is really doing what I’m doing. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely the missing link in the current home market.

How did it begin?

I went to Mexico three years ago and saw this tiny hotel for sale on the beach in Barra de Potosi, a little fishing village not too far from Acapulco, and decided to buy it. It was a pretty spontaneous decision. It needed to be updated so I started painting and decorating and looking at wallpaper. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that. I wound up bringing 26 chandeliers and a ton of other stuff down from New York in two 54-foot moving trucks. It was a fantastic experience. It opened up an entire new world to me.

What’s the finished look?

Very floral, loud, colorful and a little kitschy. I knew Andy Warhol back in the 1960s and the floral patterns and color intensities I used at the hotel – which, by the way, I have re-named Betseyville – remind me of his work.

Is designing home merchandise different than designing clothing?
Not really. You want to be creative and courageous in your dress and the same is true of your home. If anything, home is a little more challenging because there’s so many different elements to consider. When you’re designing clothing, you really only have one point of focus and that’s the body. But home is fabrics and furniture and floors and natural light. If fashion is a planet, home is more like a universe.

You’re known as a funky rock and roll designer – is that the tone of the home merchandise?

I do get typecast as the blast-out kid. I like girly, I like glamorous, and I like gorgeous. But that covers a lot of ground. My home collection is very personal and pretty much based on what I have in my own houses.

How many do you have?

Three, plus the hotel. There’s an apartment in New York, a house in East Hampton and another house in Mexico. They’re all very different. New York has kind of a glamorous Hollywood boudoir feel, East Hampton is very floral and feminine and the Mexico house is very neutral and modern with cement arches and columns. The collection reflects all of that.

What’s the first thing you do when redecorating a room?

I ask myself how do I want this room to feel? Do I want it to be sexy? Elegant? Modern? Edgy? You decide on a feeling and take it from there.

We’re seeing a lot of Mid-Century Modern ideas in home Merchandise right now. Is that a style you’re drawn to?

No. I find that stuff a little cold and hard. And I’m not big on ’50s colors. For instance, I have an original Knoll womb chair from that period but never really liked it until I had it recovered in bright pink wool. Now it works. But that’s typical for me. I’ve never been someone who could just buy something out of a store and bring it home. I usually have to send it out to have the fabric or the color changed.

What kind of house did you grow up in?

Very Doris Day middle class and not stylish in the least. In fact, totally unfashionable.

Where did your own considerable sense of style come from?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a dancer. During junior high and high school, I studied in New York. There’s a whole world of pretend that goes with that – costumes and makeup and jewelry. That’s what got me interested in style. The ’60s did the rest.

Do you have any family heirlooms?

A frying pan from my Aunt Bertha. She was a smorgasbord cook at a Swedish restaurant in Manhattan for many years. Also, an old school desk I used when I was little. My granddaughter plays with it. But that’s about it.

What’s the coolest house you’ve ever seen?

I just got back from a vacation in the south of France where I stayed at the Palace Hotel in Biarritz. It was built as a palace for the Empress Eugenie back in the 1800s. It’s the drop dead house of all time: everything – couches, chairs, tables – Louis this and Louis that. Total over-the-top decadent luxury. I love it!

May your Valentine's weekend be filled
with unexpected delights
and all things lovely.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy Valentine's Day
to my sweet blogger friends!


Photo credits: found on flickr and Elle UK