October 21, 2014

R.I.P. Oscar de la Renta


The news was broken to me by a friend: "Oscar died".  At first I was racking my brain for an actor I knew named Oscar, until my friend sent the crushing words, "The fashion designer".  That's when my heart dropped.  With suddenly cold hands, I immediately Googled what I knew I wouldn't want to believe.  Last night, Oscar de la Renta passed away.

I have been following this prolific designer ever since I started my blog four years ago.  I was completely amazed by his elegance.  He was a designer for the ladies of high society, and I adored how he always stayed true to old-school ballroom sophistication. There are few designers out there who dare have such an unabashedly uptown aesthetic, but de la Renta made clothing for grown ups, and I always respected him for that.  

Sometimes I wonder how the passing of designers can have such an impact on me, but then I realize it's because they've touched me emotionally. As any creative person will know, putting out a piece of work comes with great vulnerability.  Designers bare their soul to us every season, and every fashion show becomes an intimate exchange. I may not have known de la Renta personally, but his creativity knows no physical boundaries.

After learning that de la Renta had passed the reins of his namesake label earlier this month to Peter Copping, I am comforted to know de la Renta was ready to let go. To the man who left both his design house and the world with utmost grace and dignity, may you R.I.P.

Image Source: MissInfo

September 27, 2014

4th Year!


Hip hip hooray, 4 years of blogging!  I still feel like a newcomer - the one who joined the party late and who still has so much to learn.  I don't think it will be until my 5th year that I start to realize maybe I've been at this for a good amount of time.  And it won't be until the 10th that I finally accept it.

Nonetheless, great things have happened this past year.  Even though I still consider 4 years the tip of the iceberg, I'm honoured to know others recognize more potential in that than I see myself.  Every year, it would be a crime not to thank my friends, readers and supporters (are you sick of it yet?); I feel incredibly privileged to have friends who show me so much support.

And at the end of the day, I am privileged.  Not because I was born with connections or was one to have opportunities come knocking on my door, but because I've had to yank seemingly closed and unreachable doors open myself. I've seen what hard work can do.  I am privileged because I have experienced doubt, adversity and judgement, yet have come out more passionate than ever.  Passion is ceaseless and will always serve you well. Follow your heart because those who tell you to go in other directions will never understand how strongly the fire burns within you.  Prove them wrong.

Happy Birthday, Red-Soled Fashionista.

Image Source: Birthday

September 6, 2014

Blossoming Love

One of my favourite things to do is go to weddings.  You get to dress up, see the bride's dress, eat a lot, and witness the beginning of a wonderful marriage.  I'm a sucker for romance.  I practically burst with joy after receiving an invitation to a wedding this summer, and spent all four months planning an outfit.

The thing about dressing up for me is...I don't have a lot of fancy dresses nor heels.  So to make do with what I had, I came up with a simple look that focused on quality separates.

Dress: Charlie Jade | Heels: Prada | Handbag: Unknown | Necklace: Tiffany & Co. | Tights: Unknown

If you'll recall, this dress is one I bought from Holt Renfrew for $9 (thanks to a gift card), and as for the shoes, I have been dying to find an opportunity to bring out these heels.  For once in my life, I didn't feel short - I felt average height, if not even tall.  I had a great time walking around in these booties, even though, no, they were not painless.  They didn't scratch or rub at all, but height like that doesn't come without sacrifice (no pain no gain, ladies).  The dress was understated, but I felt the artful mixing of colours and slippery silk material were details that elevated it slightly.

As a final note, this particular wedding I went to was one I will remember.  The bride and groom were clearly in love, and not because they were overt, but because they were so subtle.  The tender, silent communication they shared through the simple locking of eyes was palpable. A romantic, I am.

August 11, 2014

Not Without Love


So...yes, this is shaping up to be another summer of me not blogging.  That's not to say I've forgotten about Red-Soled Fashionista; on the contrary, I've had a steady flow of inspiration these past few months, yet time is one thing I don't have.  Partially this is due to a full-time summer job I am so grateful to have landed, but also another opportunity that was miraculously offered to me back in May.

I had planned to find another easy pay-per-post fashion blogging job for some extra cash, but there were slim pickings this year in terms of companies who were hiring.  After about a month of searching, I finally found a job posting from an accessories company.  I almost didn't apply because it required a CV, and I was too lazy to create a fashion-targeted resume. Luckily, I had a niggling fear of missing out on an opportunity, and so I applied.

And thank goodness I did!  A week later, I received an email.  After a surreal phone call with the company, I realized it was my blog and my writing style, both of which I have lovingly nurtured all these years, that made me stand out among the applicants.  Now here I am, working from home as Managing Editor of an American accessories company, getting paid to do what I love.  What seemed like a distant, impossible dream a few years ago has now become a very real possibility.  So, please do forgive me if Red-Soled Fashionista becomes a little bare, but always remember that my heart and soul is in this blog and I will never, ever be without love for it.

Image Source: HeartIfb

July 14, 2014

Dressing for the Occasion

I feel good.  Just breathing in the moment, and boy, it smells sweet.  For one thing, I'm wearing a new outfit. In fact, these past three months have been filled with wonderful sartorial adventures, thanks to dressing up for the office.  I was too lazy to take a photo of my outfit today, but use your pretty imaginations: a navy Vince tee with the front tucked loosely into a pair of blue and white floral H&M shorts, a slouchy grey crochet cardigan from Hong Kong, gold snakeskin print Elie Tahari loafers, a maroon snakeskin minibag with gold hardware, and a blue-grey metallic stone necklace.  With an outfit like this, I felt decent enough to hit up Holt Renfrew for an afternoon of shopping.  Here's what I tried on:

Pink Tartan


This dress was in the sales rack, and it was a size 0 - how could I not pick it up.  I adore jacquard detailing, especially when done in sorbet pink, and the fabric had a quality thickness to it.  The bodice fit me wonderfully, but I just didn't have the model-esque figure to pull this off.  The dress landed below my knee (which actually isn't a problem once you have heels on), but the structured A-line slightly overwhelmed my petite frame.  

Needle & Thread


Both my mom and dad ohh-and-ahh-ed over this dress, so I definitely had to give it a whirl. The size 2 bodice fit a bit too snugly around my arms, even though the length was once again past the knee. However, the skirt was less poofy, making the length very chic.  I'm not too fond of the muddy colors, but the floral embroidery was quite pretty.  My parents thought the beading made it wholly worth its $500, and I guess they're right - this is better than any typical $500 prom dress you'd find in BCBG Max Azria.  Obviously I didn't buy it, but I have discovered a new dress label to ohh-and-ahh over.

Miu Miu


I never give up the opportunity to try on a pair of shoes at Holts.  I liked the artful sketch print on the toe of these Miu Miu pumps, although the stark white leather felt somewhat outdated.  The pointed toe added instant glamour to my legs (despite being very painful), but there's something about the shape of these heels that make it "off". I can't pinpoint what it is, but it didn't have the polished contours that a great pair of pumps should have.

P.S.: Managed to catch Germany's winning FIFA goal on a TV in the menswear floor.  It seems like all greatest looking, most stylish guys work on the Holts menswear floor...I should frequent more often.
 

June 20, 2014

Once Upon a Dream


I can be logical and realistic, but at the very core of my being, I am a dreamer.  That's probably the reason why the fashion world excites me so much.  No matter how my emotions are tested, no matter how my rational mind tells me to expect and accept the mundane, I still dream of the perfect career and of the life I've always wanted.

I won't let myself stop believing that with patience and hard work, things in life will finally click together, and the dreams I've had all these years will prove themselves to have been visions of the future.

Image source: Lucky Mag

May 21, 2014

Rookie No More

I don't know what made me search her up, but girl, it's been years.  Long time no see, Tavi Gevinson.


Boy, time goes by quickly.  In my mind Tavi will always be the miniature girl who took the fashion world by storm with her youthful (but knowledgeable) prose and her penchant for granny chic at such an early age. Admittedly, I wasn't one of those who had jumped on the Tavi bandwagon.  I looked through her blog and couldn't distinguish that beguiling voice that had readers riveted and high fashion designers ushering her to front row status.  She sounded like exactly what she was: a young girl exploring fashion.  Certainly much of her appeal came from the fact that most girls her age didn't care about Chanel, much less Karl Lagerfeld, but I wouldn't say she was more than just a girl having fun with the way she dressed.  I couldn't see that maturity or worldly insight she apparently had.


But while I was personally not swayed by her words, I was inspired by her life (and also a teensy bit...ok insanely...jealous).  Here was a girl who, years younger than me, was already doing everything I had only begun to work towards.  It was Style Rookie, along with Sea of Shoes and The Sartorialist, that inspired me to start my own blog.  I saw how they created their own community around their passions, and I realized that the freedom of being able to speak my mind was something I was missing in my fashion-obsessed life.  I needed a conduit for ideas that were, at that point, simply broiling over in the solitude of my head (a recipe for madness).  Sure, I jumped on the bandwagon late, but at least I caught its tail-end.



Sadly, blogging has now quickly been replaced with Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter - condensed, visceral, efficient forms of information exchange.  Traditional bloggers may no longer have the prominence they once had, but I will never forget those who inspired me daily by taking the time to spill their hearts and minds into cyberspace.


But anyway, back to Tavi.  The purpose of this post was to congratulate her on...everything, basically.  She's a magazine editor, she sings, she's dappled in acting, she's applying to college, she has a boyfriend, she's exploring life outside of fashion, she has a new style...she's growing up.  From an adorable girl in her granny knits and gray hair, to a young woman with Scarlett Johansson's sultriness, Michelle Williams' self-assuredness, and the Olsen twins' cool.  She's a rookie no more.

Image Source: Photo1, 234