Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prim Whim: Key Largo

I watched Key Largo last week. It's a 1948 film noir filled with mysterious mobsters and a big storm a-brewing. What really caught my eye, of course, were the sultry leads, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, who were married in real life and smoldered on screen, without, mind you, one costume change.

Bacall is amazingly elegant as Nora Temple in a simple white shirt, dirndle skirt and espadrilles. I'm completely taken with her classic style and put together a Nora-inspired look.

Linen shirt: $24.50, Old Navy
Tie skirt: $40, Alloy
Gold espadrilles: $50, Jildor Shoes
Leather and rope belt: $7, Forever21
Revlon Colorstay Red Velvet lipstick: $10, drugstore.com

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prim Wish: Crochet Everything

Even when they aren't hosting a holiday, my mom and dad transform their house into a sort of whimsical outpost for anyone in need of a little festivity. This weekend it was Easter, interpreted by my parents as an impressionist mix of deep purple lace, ceramic eggs and woodland creatures.

In the process, my dad unearthed a nearly-ruined box in the basement, but he'd packed the contents in plastic. ("Because I'm neurotic that way," he said. I love it when family members recognize the strength in neuroses.) Inside was a set of gorgeous baskets my mom had macreméd from a waxy rope in the 80s. They got us reminiscing over all the crafting we did when I was small; ceramics, jewelry, clay and crocheting. Crocheting! It was like remembering an old friend who'd transferred schools. As a kid, being able to take a ball of yarn and create something unique was truly magical. It certainly still is, but I've lost the time or patience or maybe even soul needed to access that magic. I want it back.

As a first step, I turned to Etsy, via the fabulous Etsy Shops I Love blog for some nostalgic inspiration and was not disappointed. Meet Meekssandygirl.

Even though this Easter egg is cotton yarn, it takes me back to the days of real egg hunts, with actual hard-boiled eggs.

A crochet daffodil barrette is like eternal spring.

Unbelievably, there's a crochet Octopus's Garden with real freshwater pearls. The Beatles bring me back to Sunday morning crafting with my mom.

And this pink clover necklace is simply beautiful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Prim Knickers Preps for a Bridal Shower

Is it okay to wear white to a bridal shower?

Because I have this great 80s dress, but it's white with a pink tea rose print. Probably not.

Showers are forever doomed to be celebrated in a fashion middle-ground: Somewhere between polite family affair and Friday night cocktails with the girls. It's enough to send anyone into an overthinking coma.

So if you don't see a new post in the next day or two you'll know I'm unconscious, barely visible amidst a heap of wrinkled H&M. But hopefully I'll pull through. I'm formulating an idea: beige. It's in and it's neutral without being boring. Perfect for almost anything. This Pictureshow Dress ($298) from Anthropologie would be a dream.

On the cute and more affordable side, there's the Bow Back Skater Dress ($45) from ASOS,

the Studded Woven Dress ($33) from Forever 21,

or, if you want to be truly one-of-a-kind, the sweet smocked-waist Boho Dress (starting at $10) from Twitch Vintage.

Invitation photo via Zazzle.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Prim Pairing: Chambray Sneakers and Stripes

The search for the perfect spring sneaker has begun. As much as I love sandals, I walk in this city, a lot; And I need a sweet little sneaker to pair with everything from cutoffs to flirty dresses for days when my feet just can't deal.

Thanks to the summer 2010 Old Navy preview posted by Nitrolicious I found what could be The Sneaker: canvas slip-on tennis shoes for only $16.50 that, as one commenter pointed out, look quite a bit like pricey Parisian Bensimons.
And since I can never resist the chance to pair tennies with a dress, this striped number is only $15.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Prim Penny Pincher: Vintage Cameos

The state of the economy has done two things for my style. 1.) Whenever I get an accessory craving, I'm more conscious of what's "trendy" versus what's "classic." 2.) I'm raiding my mom's jewelry box way more than I used to.

With that, I recently acquired her old cameo pendant. I'm not sure why I wasn't drawn to it earlier. Cameos are the perfect answer to looking refreshingly original with a style that's everlasting.

According to Anna M. Miller's book, Cameos Old and New, the cameo came to life around 300 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt. That is some serious longevity. Although mine is a lovely Victorian lady in white on a coral background, there are vintage cameos of every imaginable kind on eBay for every imaginable price. A few of my favorites:

Brown on black lady ring: starting at $2.50, ebay.com
Goldtone lady pendant: starting at $1, ebay.com
Dove ring: starting at $4.25, ebay.com
Couple brooch: starting at $20, ebay.com
Green glass lady brooch: starting at $25, ebay.com
Flower brooch: $10, ebay.com

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Prim Whim: Heathers

So my Winona kick is official. Heathers made it onto my viewing list last week.

But this deviously dark comedy deserves more than just praise for her scathing performance. It's supremely shot, written and acted, and it's become more intelligent with the passage of time. Watch it.

And while I won't go so far as to try and revive the iconic red scrunchie, I will say this: take the one good thing Heathers' hilariously cruel clique has to offer and resurrect your 80s blazer in lieu of a new spring jacket.

Striped wool blazer: $5.88, ebay.com
Pendelton plaid blazer: $12.99, ebay.com
Red blazer: Starting at $24.77, ebay.com
Beige blazer: $29.80, forever21.com

Photo via.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Prim Penny Pincher: Bow Print Sweater

I'm always attracted to clothes that are wildly out of my age range. The majority fall into the "granny" category, because grannies are quirky, have the kind of costume jewelry you can't get anywhere, and like supportive shoes (For proof, check out the NYT feature on Ari Seth Cohen's blog, Advanced Style).

But while I was browsing clearance sweaters at Target, I came across the most adorable girls' bow print sweater for only $5.24. It would be so perfect for early spring with shorts and low pumps. I think I'm going to order a large and hope it looks stylishly shrunken.

If you like the look but not the idea of squeezing into kids' clothes (or failing and giving the sweater up to your niece), Forever 21 has a cute option for $19.80.
And TopShop has a pricier version for $60.

Prim Whim: St. Patrick

I forgot to wear green today. Terrible. Then I walked by my favorite tapas restaurant (Sala19) and their chalkboard said "St. Patrick was Spanish!" And I though, Was he? Thirteen years of Catholic schooling and I had no idea where he was born. I know he drove the snakes out of Ireland: the probably not true but very cool part of his story.

Turns out St. Patrick was born in Britain (I didn't find anything about Spain) and taken as a prisoner to Ireland by Irish raiders who attacked his family's estate. He escaped and eventually returned as a missionary where he mixed the native nature-based pagan religions in with Christianity. A big part of that original Irish religion was sun worship, which is why the Celtic cross has a circle (a sun!) behind it.

Learning a little bit of history makes me feel slightly better about forgetting such a great holiday. Maybe enough to invest in the Dublin Debutante dress ($108) from Mod Cloth for next year.

That or I'll just make my own Shamrock Shake, courtesy of Food Blogga.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prim Pairing: Garden Clogs and Levi's

It got up into the 60s today and I spied a decent amount of city-dwellers stepping out in shorts or flops. I do have a tiny bit more self control (Confession: I have been wearing my flowery spring dresses disguised as tops for about a week. I missed them).

But I was drooling over one girl's wonderful, in-between-seasons outfit: crisp red clogs and Levi's dark, skinny boyfriend jeans paired with a white tank and cozy grey cardi.

Clogs: $65.00, walmart.com

Jeans: $79.50, us.levi.com

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Prim Wish: Get Religion with the Golden Girls

You just have to see this. It's a new line of pendants from jewelry designer, Karen Yost ($140), most definitely in the style of saintly religious medals straight from my Catholic school days. But who says being a friend isn't religious?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Prim Knickers Goes to Forks (Sort of)

It's pouring all weekend in Brooklyn so the roommie and I made the best of it with the new documentary, Twilight in Forks. It's a nice slow story about how Stephanie Meyer single-handedly improved the fate of real, rainy Forks, Washington by basing Twilight there.

You won't find anything groundbreaking or even supernatural, but seeing interviews with people living in the real, idyllic place that's described so well in Meyer's fiction does sort of take the edge off that need to recreate the rush of reading the books.

I know that's a little insane, but it is the motivation behind my minor obsession, and probably everyone else's. Plus the withdrawal has gotten worse after seeing the new Eclipse trailer this week. We love a good story and we want more, plain and simple.

My antidote: Imagining what I'd wear if it were a rainy day in Forks instead of Brooklyn, and I was Bella, meeting Edward (or Jacob) for some extremely significant hand-holding.

Umbrella: $17 target.com
Trench: $78 ardenb.com
Leggings: $14 khols.com
Dress: $100 topshop.com
Scarf: $8 tillys.com
Wellies: $48 urbanoutfitters.com
Camera bag: $17 ebay.com

P.S. if you want more wellies, check out my picks at iVillage!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prim Observation: Demi and the Devil

I have to cap off the week with one more Oscars comment. Demi Moore is 47! She sold her soul to the devil, right? Or maybe Rumor is secretly betrothed to Satan?

I did get a peek at the new study-based beauty book, Your Skin, Younger this week and found an anti-aging secret I'd never seen before.

Science is finding that not just what we eat, but the way we cook it, can age our skin. The bi-produtcts our body produces when it breaks down foods that have been fried or baked at high heat (and basically robbed of their moisture) move on to damage our collagen. An example is that a poached egg is immensely better for your face than a fried one.

More to come as I get through the book, but let's just hope Demi is ahead of this new diet curve.

Photo via FabSugar.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Prim Penny Pincher: Coty Airspun Powder

As displayed in my $42 eyeliner post below, beauty ain’t cheap. But it’s not always expensive, either. Like everyone else, I’m constantly trying to splurge with smarts and scrimp with discretion.

So when I recently needed some flaw-covering face powder for a new headshot (reason to be revealed in a later post), I remembered being 15 and walking the aisles of my local drugstore with my friend Melissa, who was a model then and is now. She picked up the Coty Airspun Powder and told me it was a great way to set your makeup.

Too intimidated to ask what that meant, I marveled over the sweet smell and pretty, retro box.

Melissa bought it, deeming Coty the absolute height of sophistication. We ran home to apply, and as she dabbed my face with a giant poufy brush, I felt like an elegant adult.

Last week, I picked up a brand new batch ($7) and as I applied it, the magic happened again. But this time I felt like a flawless, carefree kid.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Prim Wish: The Oscar Blues

The day after the big day is usually a bit of a downer, but I don't mind these blues at all.

If you're looking to keep your Oscar spirits up with a little true blue glamour, then splurge on Precision Liquid Eyeliner from Le Metier de Beaute ($42) in Aqua. The serene color glides on better than a brand-new Sharpie and is nothing like the runny stuff you're used to.
Plus, I happen to know that Marchesa, the label behind Gabourey Sidibe, Vera Farmiga and Sandra Bullock's dreamy sheaths, included the aqua shade in the model's swag bags at New York Fashion Week.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prim Whim: Lydia Deetz

The excitement over Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is killing me... because I can't go until next week.

In the meantime I'm trying to resist reading all the amazing Alice-inspired roundups by fixating on another Burton beauty--the dark and deeply misunderstood Lydia Deetz from his rewatchable 1988 classic, Beetle Juice.

Dress: $19.80, Forever 21.
Swimsuit: $175, JCrew.
Top: $19.80, Forever 21.
Gloves: $12, Aldo.
Hat: $15.80, Forever 21.
Ring: $14, Asos.
Booties: $158; Shopbop.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prim's Prop-er on Americana Manhasset

I'm constantly teetering between fascination and jealousy when it comes to my boyfriend's job. He handles props and builds sets for all sorts of insidery fashion media: shows, ad campaigns, catalogs, and recently the spring lookbook for Americana Manhasset, the Hamptons' answer to Madison Avenue.

While I will almost definitely never shop there (for budgetary reasons), I get downright giddy taking in the impossibly glam outfits. When I saw the new set, I grilled him on the clothes, but he schooled me on the surprising level of detail that goes in to these prop-lite shots.

Take this Michael Kors cocktail dress--my bf was in the water just off-camera, creating the ripples.

Or here, my eyes go straight to the Marcus Lupier dress, but a team of people ordered and assembled the background tent to offset its stripes.

Same with renting this pristine 60s-style speed boat to compliment vintagey Brooks Brothers suits.

A Ralph Lauren garden party dress gets an exotic treatment in this shot.

And here: an iPhone photo texted straight from the set in Miami (this is where the jealousy part usually comes in).