Thursday, June 17, 2010

Don't Let Carrie's Designer Turban Fool You

I am not one that intends on bursting bubbles (although those close to me might refute that), and I do enjoy a fashionable romp around the world. But with disclaimers aside, here is the lowdown: after watching Sex and the City 2 it is abundantly clear that “Orientalism” is alive and well, ever-morphing, pervasive and has a bright future…if we let it.

Orientalism, a term coined by Edward Said in his ground-breaking book of the same name, is used to describe the exoticization of the “Eastern other” depicted through the works of Western art/artists. Said uses examples of 20th century European art to show how the “exotic East” was portrayed in stereotypical ways. However, we need not go back in time to see the proliferation of such depictions – I got a healthy dose of it through the 2.5 hours of Sex and the City 2 as the 4 ladies ran around the “mystical” land of Abu Dhabi.

For instance, when Charlotte’s daughter asks Carrie about Abu Dhabi, Carrie replies; “yes dear, it is the land of magic carpets and Arabian Nights…” or something to that affect. I think my jaw actually dropped at that point. There were some failed attempts to shed light on the complex nature of the gender issues that exist in Abu Dhabi, but just when I thought redemption was to be had; I was disappointed. For instance, in one scene the ladies are running away from the oppressive mob of Arabic men (how stereotypical), who are shouting at Samantha and Samantha retaliates by flaunting sex in their faces (her only weapon as a female?). Bad enough? I thought so, but it gets worse; they find safety in a room full of veiled women –who, once behind closed, doors take off their niqabs to expose their designer gear and are finally given a voice. So is the lesson that Muslim women only have voices once they expose themselves? These are just a few examples from an array of offensive material that was presented.

Sex and the City 2 successfully perpetuates Middle Eastern and gender stereotypes and what’s even worse packages them in amazing designer clothes in hopes we won’t notice…but I URGE you to notice. Don’t let Carrie’s designer turban fool you….

What do you think?

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Homage to SCARVES...

It’s instant comfort as the familiar hot breath bounces back and covers your freezing face in a warm shield. You sink further and further into the comforting ring around your neck, the soft material gently caressing your face and suddenly you feel at home. A familiar feeling that never disappoints during those cold, lonely nights….
Whether used as a security blanket, a fashion statement or a political statement, scarves have proven to be one of the most classic accessories. This is precisely why you need at least a few sprinkled in your wardrobe, regardless of trend or season. Scarves are a potentially inexpensive way to upgrade any ensemble, if you are willing...
To help make the most of your scarf collection, here are a few ways to rock ‘em:

 Simple way of sporting a long scarf, add one loop or more depending on desired length of scarf – definitely can go longer when in heels
 No real science to draping this way – you’ll need a material heavy scarf and play around with it in front of a mirror until you like what you see

 Look chic when you wrap the entire scarf around the neck (use a light material). Especially great if your hair is up or you wear it short. Pair with fun stud earrings for added interest
 A classic pashmina, pick a vibrant colour to effortlessly add excitement to your everyday look – this one is easy!
 A leopard print scarf is a great accessory as the print keeps getting re-hashed in a multiple forms over the years – drape one side longer and tie it in the back to create that loungy loop

 Our FAV scarf style – a simple yet high impact accessory worn in a way that will surely turn heads! Adjust the size of the bow depending on taste (use a printed silk scarf)

 We couldn’t resist an Audrey Hepburn reference -there is nothing more sophisticated then wrapping your head in a silk scarf and pairing it with over-sized sunglasses – a plus if you have a convertible to match ;)
Ps: wrap around neck once and tie the knot in the back to avoid looking like a bag lady

Images courtesy of:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Lovin'... TRY IT OUT!

As I’m talking with my girlfriend while riding the subway together, mid-conversation she professes her love for my nail polish on my fingernails – which is an aqua bluey? (a risky colour for many people). She asks to borrow it for her toes, (probably because blue fingernails wouldn’t jive in her work environment) but I thought, what a great way to incorporate some boldness into your everyday aesthetic; something we should all do more of, and why not start this summer…
But we wouldn’t send you on this risky journey without guidance, so…this summer the fashion raison d’etre is all about colour, boldness and risky behaviour. Trends come and go, but the key is to pick at least one and TRY. Here are a few starting points to help you with that:

Change your Blush
Never given enough credit for its propensity to make an impact, your cheeks are yearning for a change of tone or colour – for a drastic update try a plum blush (apply more or less of it depending on skin colour and desired effect). For the less risky, try a bronzer as the base for your usual blush and watch the colour pop

MC Harem 
You may think you run the risk of looking like a washed up pop star, but the re-emergence of harem pants is not about repeating outdated looks. It’s about modifying a classic silhouette to make it work for you now. There are varying degrees of harem that you can try depending on your comfort level and body type: from jumpsuits, to pants, to capris:  pair them with a fitted top and a belt, and you are good to go

The happy medium between a flat and heels, and definitely more comfortable, wedges are a great staple in your wardrobe. The best part about it, they come at different price points, patterns, heights and even shapes – and some are like little blocks of art 

Chunky Watch 
A hot accessory (I admit, from previous seasons) BUT it still looks great today – and adding a chunky, men’s watch to your night out, gives you that oh-so desirable edge. You can invest in a pricier brand, OR just pick one from Winners in the Men’s section

Nails 2.0
We all need an update to our nail polish collection periodically, and there is no better opportunity then this summer. There are some daring, fun colours out there; so experiment and go BOLD! Try a bright yellow, blue, green or purple (if not on your finger nails – try it out on our toes) 

Light Denim
For those of us who love our cool, casual looks – light denim is your confidant this summer. Thrifting a light denim button down shirt could be the best thing you do for your wardrobe– if you’re not used to thrifting, plenty of stores have light denim shirts or jean options. Fit it with a belt and some tights and you have a great casual ensemble  - or wear denim on denim if you dare… 

Bold Prints 
There are many options, variations, colours to chose from – the key is to try items on to see what colours/prints work best against your skin (look for some contrast)–my fav is finding a bold print, structured dress for a night out; only one piece required and go easy on the accessories to counterbalance the bold print…low maintenance!

Stay tuned for our pieces on belts and scarves…

{pictures courtesy of: denim dress; harm & bold print pants, watch; nail polish; blush; pattern wedges; black wedges}