Sunday, March 29, 2009

Neo-Realist-Inspired Fashion

This weekend I watched the Italian Neo-Realist film The Bicycle Thief (1948) directed by Vittorio De Sica. The narrative centers around a man who hangs posters for a living to support his family. After his bicycle (his sole means of transportation) is stolen, he and his son go on the hunt for the perpetrator and the lost bike. The black and white drama has many features typical of Neo-Realism: it was shot mostly on location, De Sica uses non-actors to play the main characters, it features lengthy takes, and it deals with the harsh reality of the struggle of the down-trodden worker in urban society. However, there is also an element of beauty in the mundane or the urban grit that De Sica captures artfully. For example, in one scene the father and son are looking through the displays in an outdoor market trying to find parts of the bike (which they believe has been disassembled). There is something extremely poetic yet infinitely overwhelming in the shot of a table laden with hundreds of shiny bike bells that all start to look alike. This scarf by Sunshine and Shadow embodies a Neo-Realist sensibility; though it appears dirty, as though it was smudged with charcoal, it is simultaneously a beautiful piece, and the silky texture creates an interesting and unexpected juxtaposition with the gritty window pane design.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Current Beauty Obsessions: All Under $10

Below is a list of the top three products that I have been using constantly this week. Though I am notoriously fickle when it comes to beauty products, I think that these three are definitely going to be on permanent rotation this spring.

1.) Sea Island Cotton Anti-Bacterial Towelettes refreshing, and: The scent is breezy and it reminds me of Cape Cod.

2.) Neutrogena Rapid Clear Treatment Pads: These work better than any other acne product I've tried (including Proactiv), and they deliver results within 8 hours. One swipe before bed, and you'll awaken with clear skin.

3.) Arome Scented Sponge in Peach: I received one of these as a gift from my mother, and I'm completely hooked. These soft sponges from Italy are a perfect alternative to a boring loofah, and they have a wonderfully subtle fresh fruit scent. Plus, they're hypo-allergenic.

photo credit towelettes: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com
photo credit treatment pads: http://www.drugstore.com
photo credit sponges: http://www.everythingsmells.com

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Blossoms

I've never loved frilly or overtly feminine clothing, so the spring florals popping up on the pages of every magazine left me a little underwhelmed. However, micro-florals are a different story. I'm loving the Liberty prints that Cacharel is using this season (I just bought one of their skirts at Barney's Co-op and have my eye on a blouse). This diaphanous "Crinkle Chiffon 'Keith' Top" by Diane Von Furstenberg is also completely gorgeous. It looks as though it's covered in tiny wisteria blossoms, yet it's not obnoxiously girly. Plus, I'm obsessed with the drapey back. It's available at Bloomingdales.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Art Opening Tomorrow Night 3/19

Tomorrow evening starting at 6 pm London Terrace Gardens (on 23rd between 9th and 10th Avenue) will be hosting an art opening. If you've walked around Chelsea lately, then you've probably noticed the scaffolding nightmare that's been covering the historic London Terrace apartment buildings. However, Rose Associates has partnered with Art Bridge to create an art exhibition centered around the scaffolding. Possible perks include a Gossip Girl sighting. Recently I've seen Jessica Szohr (and her puppy), Ed Westwick, and Chace Crawford in the immediate vicinity.

photo credit: http://www.londonterrace.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Valentino Film

The couture-gown-creating and pug-loving Valentino lives a life that is the ultimate study in mannerly elegance (even the china plates he dines on are exquisitely patterned). I've been intensely fascinated with this design icon ever since I saw a program on the stylistic intricacies of his beautiful villa and gardens in Italy, and I was awestruck with the utter artful decadence of his lifestyle. Valentino: The Last Emperor will be opening at Film Forum on March 18th, and the film promises to be as fascinating as the gentleman behind the fashion empire.

photo credit: http://www.theluxechronicles.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/08/27/valentinothe_last_emperor.jpg

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Your Roots are Showing

Sometimes visible roots can be a stylish thing (think Debbie Harry or Carrie Bradshaw), but usually they are an unavoidable nuisance. Currently I'm contemplating going blonde; however the root factor is what makes me wary. I've found a product that was specifically developed to address the health of the roots of your hair, promoting lustrous and shiny strands. John Frieda Root Awakening Detangling Spray is a light spritz in a celery-green bottle that smells addictively like mint and eucalyptus and is instantly refreshing and invigorating. I've used it on both wet and dry hair, and it works equally well (though my preference is to spray it on wet hair and comb it through). My hair has never been softer, bouncier, or healthier than it is when I use this product (it's even better than Kerastase Oleo-Relax). Trust me, if you buy it you'll be hooked, and you might even let your roots show!

photo credit: http://www.drugstore.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Green Tea Time

By now all of us are aware of the benefits of antioxidant-rich Green Tea on keeping our skin, hair, bodies, and immune systems healthy. It seems like everyone that I know is getting or has gotten some type of flu/sickness recently, so as an added precaution I've been drinking tons of Green Tea. It gets a little boring though, so I've begun adding some unexpected sources of Green Tea into my repertoire. Here are a few of my favorites:

1.) Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale: This has Vitamin C and Green Tea in it, and it tastes very refreshing. I like to mix it with POM to make a spritzer. You can probably get it at your local grocery store (Gristedes on 9th Ave. between 23rd and 24th Street has it), and I've also seen it at Target.

2.) Green Tea Ice Cream: The one from Haagen Dazs is smooth with a mellow flavor and is also carried at my local Gristedes. However, if you can, try the one at The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory at 65 Bayard Street.

3.) Organic Double Green Matcha Tea: These tea bags are perfect for fighting off a cold or flu, since they combine healthful Green Tea powder (Matcha-usually reserved for the Japanese Tea Ceremony) with Green Tea leaves. I like to mix this with hot milk to make a Green Tea latte.

photo credit Organic Double Green Matcha: http://www.republicoftea.com
photo credit Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale: http://www.ebay.com