Top Knots and Curly Locks

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding: Outfit Changes

Sometime between the first and second wedding receptions, Kate had time to change into yet another fabulous gown.  This white satin strapless dress is also by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  It features a circle skirt with diamante detailing around the waist; she also added a simple white shrug.
Photo courtesy of People

Camillia changed into a light blue floor length Anna Valentine dress with hand embroidering and a high collar.
Photo courtesy of E!

Carole Middleton changed into a black cap sleeve dress with a tired skirt.

The girls weren't the only ones changing their outfits, Princes William, Harry and Charles along with Micheal and James Middleton changed into classic dinner jackets and black bowties.
Photo courtesy of People

Royal Wedding: Bridesmaids

The four young bridesmaids wore handmade dresses by Nicki Macfarlane and her daughter.  Kate wanted the dresses to be "classic in design but would also echo elements of her own dress," the designer told People Magazine. The dresses used the same fabric used to make the wedding dress and the same lace as Kate's underskirt was used for the neckline and puff sleeves.  The girls also had similar buttons on the back.  The bridesmaid dresses were ballerina length with a box pleat skirt.  The girls wore satin Mary Jane shoes with Swarovski crystal buckles.  The flowers used for the hair wreath were lily-of-the-valleys.

Photo courtesy of Getty

Photo courtesy of Zimbio

Royal Wedding: Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II did not look her age at all at today's wedding ceremony.  The Queen wore a yellow Angela Kelly single crepe wool primrose dress with hand-sewn beading at the neck in the shape of sun rays.  To  match her dress, she wore a double crepe wool tailored coat.  Pinned to her coat was a Queen Mary True Lovers Knot diamond brooch.  She wore white gloves, pearls and a yellow hat that had silk roses on it.  The hat was also designed by Angela Kelly.  Ms. Kelly just so happens to be the Queen's personal assistant.

Photo courtesy of People

Photo courtesy of Shoes Scarpe

Royal Wedding: Pippa's Maid of Honor Dress

Pippa's maid of honor dress is stunning and also designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  The column dress fits her body beautifully.  I couldn't help but wonder why she decided to wear white until I found out the different tradition in England.  There is an old superstition saying that bridesmaids and groomsmen can ward off evil spirits by dressing similarly to the bride and groom.

The dress has the same button detail down the back and lace detailing as Kate's.  It also has an ivory satin-based crepe.  The cowl neckline on the dress is absolutely beautiful.

Photo courtesy of OK!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of The Associated Press

Royal Wedding: Kate's Dress

From the top part I can see of Kate's dress, it looks beautiful.  It has long lace sleeves with a sweet-heart V-neck.  The dress is timeless.  The designer is Sarah Burton who is an Alexander McQueen designer.

Now that the wedding is over and I've had three hours of sleep, I can go back and add more to the blog posts.

The famous wedding dress was designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  I don't know what exactly I was expecting her to wear, but this was not it; however, it was gorgeous.  The dress combined modern with a traditional look.

It was made from hand-cut English and French Chantilly laces along with ivory and white satin gazar.  There were lace appliques all over the dress.  The appliques were made by the Royal School of Needlework using a technique originated in Ireland in the 1820s called Carrickmacross; something old.  When applying the appliques, the workers had to wash their hands every thirty minutes and change needles every three hours to keep the dress pure white.

The silhouette featured padding at the hips which made Catherine's waist appear even tinier -- I didn't even think that was possible!  There were 58 organza and gazar buttons up the back of the dress.  The full skirt led to a train that was just over 6-feet-long.

The bride was given a pair of Robinson Pelham leaf-shaped diamond earrings by her parents to wear on this special day; something new.

The beautiful veil was made from ivory tulle and went well with the 1936 Cartier tiara the Queen let her borrow; something borrowed.

Even though the bride was in all white, she had blue ribbon stitched on the inside of her dress; something blue.

Photo courtesy of People

Royal Wedding: Mother of the Bride

Carole Middleton, Kate's mother, arrived at Westminster Abbey looking gorgeous in a sky blue 'Sydney' day dress with a crepe coatdress featuring satin piping and and a braided trim at the waist and on her sleeves.  The dress featured short pleated sleeves as well as pleated pockets.  The dresses were designed by Catherine Walker and her hat was designed by Jane Corbett.

Photos courtesy of Mail Online

Royal Wedding: The Princes' Attire

Princes William and Harry have arrived at Westminster and we can see their handsome uniforms.  Prince William looks dashing in his red Irish Guards uniform while Prince Harry looks dapper in his Blues and Royals.
The Princes in the car taking them to Westminster

Photos courtesy of Mail Online

Royal Wedding: James Middleton Heads to Westminster

Kate Middleton's brother has been spotted wearing a black suit jacket with pinstriped pants, an ivory waistcoat and a maroon tie.  Do any of these colors give away the wedding colors and what Kate might be wearing?
Photo courtesy of Mail Online

Royal Wedding: Fascinators Everywhere

As the wedding guests file in, the women are wearing fascinators of all kinds.  I could spend all day looking at them; they're in every shape, size and color.  Not only was nearly every woman in attendance wearing one many people lining the streets were wearing them too.  Fascinators are headpieces, a form of millinery that is slightly to very frivolous which are worn to occasions where hats are traditionally worn, such as weddings -- especially they Royal Wedding.

Of course Victoria Beckham drew attention with her glamorous look.  Even pregnant, this fashionista can rock it.  Here she is arriving at the wedding in a dress of her own design and a hat by Philip Treacy.  David doesn't look too bad himself in a handsome Ralph Lauren suit.

Photo courtesy of Mail Online

Joss Stone looked beautiful in a class wide-brimmed hat.
Photo courtesy of People

Princess Letizia of Spain wore a pink fascinator with tulle.
Photo courtesy of People

Princesses Eugine and Beatrice of York both wore Philip Treacy fascinators
Photo courtesy of People

Royal Wedding: Their New Titles

It has recently been announced that Prince William's title will be His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge and Kate's will be Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.

Royal Wedding: Pulling an All-Nighter for It

Well, it's 2:15 am and Royal Wedding coverage starts in 45 minutes on some channels.  I'm camped out at my friend's house on her couch waiting for it to start; we decided to make an all-nighter of it.  I'll try my best to update as I watch the ceremony.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Top 8 Ways the Royal Wedding is Breaking Tradition

8. The family baker isn't making the cake
For almost forty years, the royal family baker, Andrew Davidson, has made the cakes for the weddings of all of the Queen's four children.  However, that tradition will stop with Prince William and Kate.  It is still not known who is baking the cake, but there will be two of them.  A traditional fruit cake will be served as well as a chocolate cookie cake as requested by Prince William.

7. Kate will arrive by car
Instead of the usual glass coach taking her to Westminster Abbey, Kate has opted to arrive by Rolls-Royce.  This purple car was given to the Queen in 1977 and has more than $1.7 million worth of security that includes reinforced steel doors, toughened glass and it can continue driving even if it has a flat tire.

6. The couple will have a best man and a maid of honor
Traditionally, the groom doesn't have a best man, he has a "supporter" but Prince Harry will serve as the best man.  The bride doesn't usually have a maid of honor, but Kate will have her sister Pippa filling that role. Also, the bridesmaids are usually teens or toddlers.

5. A smaller guest list
Since Prince William is second in line to the throne, the wedding isn't considered an official state occasion.  This means the couple doesn't have to invite foreign heads of state.  President Obama and the first lady were left off the guest list!  Only 1,900 of Prince William and Kate's closest friends, family, charity workers, celebrities and ordinary citizens were invited.  (I'm sure my invite just got lost in the mail!)

4. They won't have any servants after the wedding
Once the couple settles into their new home in all their wedded bliss, they won't have any servants except for a few body guards.  They are trying to live as normal of a life as possible meaning no cooks, butlers or maids.  They even plan to do their own grocery shopping!  This is far from the 149 servants Prince Charles had.

3. No gifts, please
Prince Charles and Princess Dianna received more than 6,000 wedding presents, but in lieu of any presents you might want to send Prince William and Kate, they have asked that money you would have spent on gifts be sent to the Royal Wedding Charity Fund.  The money raised will then be distributed to 26 different charities worldwide.

2. Get ready to serve yourself at the reception
Instead of an extravagant wedding reception, Prince William and Kate have chosen a buffet-style luncheon.  Later that evening, Prince Charles is hosting a private dinner for 200-300 of their friends and family.  Having two receptions is also another break in tradition.

1. Kate is a commoner
Whoever said you can't grow up to be a princess is wrong.  Kate Middleton is a commoner.  Her parents are a former pilot and stewardess who then opened a successful party supply company.  This is the first time a non-aristocrat is marrying into the Royal Family, so there's still hope for all us girls crossing our fingers for Prince Harry!  Also breaking tradition is the fact that she is college-educated, she and the Prince have lived together and her family is helping pay for the wedding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Royal Wedding Week: Princess Diana's Dress

Even 30 years after the wedding, Princess Diana's wedding dress is one of the most famous dresses in the world.  The dress is silk taffeta and lace with a fitted bodice and a curved neckline embellished with a ruffled collar and a bow in the center.  The sleeves were large puff sleeves with ribbons on them.  The dress really set the style for weddings in the 1980s.  With the fullness of the skirt and the fitted bodice, the dress style became known as meringue.  As soon as Princess Diana stepped out of the carriage, designers all over the world started making sketches to make a knock-off.

Princess Di's train is the longest train ever seen at a royal wedding, measuring in at 25 feet; however, it was detachable.  Six different fabrics went into making the dress designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel including: 25 yards of silk taffeta, 100 yards of tulle crinoline and 150 yards of netting for her veil.  The dress is an off-white ivory and features 10,000 pearls and sequins.  Even with all of the material, the dress was very light weighing in at maybe two pounds.  In following the something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue tradition, the lace was old, the silk was new, the tiara was borrowed from her family line and as for the blue, Princess Di had a horseshoe sewn inside the dress with a blue ribbon.  When the dress was made and purchased in the 1980s, it combined with the bridesmaid dresses cost $1,700!  Today, though, it's priceless.

While the dress technically belongs to Princes William and Harry, every summer it is displayed at the Spencer Family's Althorp Estate in England.  During the year it travels the world as part of an exhibit to honor her life.  The dress travels on a mannequin and even has its own security -- it takes half of a day to pack the dress correctly!  I can't wait to see what Kate's dress looks like.  Will it be as influential as Princess Di's?  We'll find out Friday!

Sketch of the dress

The dress on display

Princess Di in the dress

Carefully unpacking the dress

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Week

This week is all about the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.  I can't wait for Friday morning when we get to see Kate's wedding dress.  I love Kate's fashion sense; she's gorgeous!  I didn't realize that she was an assistant jewelry buyer for the British retailer Jigsaw.

Kate has a very classic, British-prep style.  She is often seen in fitted blazers, riding boots, country tweed, discreet jewelry and, of course, her headpieces.  Whatever Kate wears, she always looks extremely lady-like; even if it's clothes from her reported favorite store TK Maxx which is the British version of TJ Maxx.  Being in the royal spotlight, Kate's clothes are always conservative, but figure-hugging.  Since 2006, Kate has become quite the fashion icon for not only British women, but for American women as well.  After announcing her engagement to Prince William in a blue silk ISSA dress, the dress sold out within hours and it wasn't long before all kinds of knock-offs were made and those too were sold out.

While you may envy Kate for becoming a real-life princess, now you don't have to envy her wardrobe.  Here are some of her looks at a cheaper price.

Blue ISSA Engagement Dress

Kate Middleton Engagement Dress
$48 -

Blue engagement ring
$40 -

Blue sapphire jewelry
$64 -

White Burberry Trench Coat

Calvin Klein White Cotton
Blend Tiered hem trench
$149 Bluefly 

2006 Sovereign's Parade
Kate Middleton Red Dress Black Hat
Red Herring cami top
6.40 GBP -

Viyella wrap coat
90 GBP -

Jessica Simpson dressy shoes
$129 -

Army glove
$18 -

Black wide brim hat
$18 -

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Time is Now Fashion Show

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Kent State Senior Fashion Show.  I was able to see some of the dress rehearsal when I covered it for the news (you can go here and click on TV2 News 4-15-11 to watch, it's about 2 and a half minutes in.) but didn't have a ticket for the actual show until my friend Kelly, read all about her here, called me three hours before the show saying she had an extra.

After seeing the different collections, it is no surprise that Kent is ranked 3rd in the country and 13th in the world for fashion schools.  Not only was I impressed by the designs, I was impressed by the professionalism of the student-run show.

Along with the 37 senior collections, there was a luxury cotton portion where designers created jackets as well as an individual submission portion with around 30 designs.  While the senior collections were extraordinary, almost all of them were in the same color scheme.  My friend's mom and I both caught on to this and thought it might have been part of the theme but it wasn't.  We would have liked to see more differentiation of the colors.  They were all neutrals.  This really made the few collections with bright colors stand out even more.  One of my favorite collections of the night was inspired by 1940s swimsuits and they were adorable!  Another collection that stood out was maternity wear.  It had bright colors and was extremely cute.  The show closed with a collection of three wedding dresses that were stunning.

The judges for this year's competition were Leanne Marshall, 2008 winner of "Project Runway"; Jeff Mahshie, senior designer for Lord & Taylor; and Jeff Bergus, a designer for JCPenny and IZOD.  Each of the judges selected their own favorite and then together they selected a best in show.  This year, best in show went to Abigail Drake for her menswear collection.  Even though he wasn't a judge, former "Project Runway" contestant and Kent State grad Suede was at the show.

I can't wait to see what the future has in store in store for these designers.  I look forward to one day buying their clothes and being able to say I went to school with them.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What did you learn today?

I love rediscovering old clothes from my wardrobe that I haven't thought of in a while.  While I was home over spring break, I found some cute outfits I hadn't worn for quite some time.  I hadn't been home for ten weeks and it was like I was seeing a new closet.  That's when I found a shirt I had bought during high school and fell in love with it all over again.

I got this shirt from Wet Seal  when I was mad at a boy.  It's a Heather Grey, slouchy, off-the-shoulder top.  It says "What did you learn today? Science, History, P.E., Math, English" all of which are crossed out and at the top of the list it says "Boys Suck".  I laughed when I bought it and laughed again when I pulled it out of my closet.  I used to wear a hot pink cami underneath it but decided since I was older, to try something a little different.  This time all I wore under it was my hot pink sports bra and I loved it!  It even got the 'Mom Seal of Approval'!

When the weather so rudely tricked us into thinking the warmth was here to stay after two days of 70+ degree weather earlier this week, I pulled this outfit out--giggling of course--and decided to wear it around campus.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nude Pumps

One thing I have seen everywhere lately and I can't wait to get my hands on -- or should I say feet in -- is nude pumps.  These shoes work for every season and match everything.  They are super flattering because they elongate the leg and they also slenderize them.

When looking for the perfect pair of nude pumps, go for a color similar to your skin color but don't match it exactly.

I put together a few of my favorite nude pumps.  I tried to keep them affordable, but I HAD to throw in a pair of Louboutins.  A girl can dream, right?

Qupid stiletto heel pumps
$24 -

Steve Madden stiletto shoes
$90 -

Christian Louboutin leather heels
$595 -

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Go International

What is the best way to get designer clothing at an affordable price?  The answer is simple, with Target's Go International brand.  Created in December 2005, Go International is a brand that features high-end  designers creating affordable fashion for women.  Each season features a different designer and the clothes are sold for a limited time frame of 90 days.

For the most recent season, instead of having a new designer, they brought back several popular pieces from favorite designers instead of a whole new collection.  The clothes featured were from Alice Temperely, Behnaz Sarafpour, Erin Fetherston, Jonathan Saunders, Jovovich-Hawk, Libertine, Luella Bartley, Paul & Joe, Proenza Schouler, Richard Chai, Rodarte, Rogan, Tara Jarmon, Thakoon, Tracy Feith, Tucker and Zac Posen.  Unfortunately, my Target didn't have all of them -- which was probably good for my wallet!

The sizing was a little weird on some of the pieces so the only one I could find that fit me was this Proenza Schouler one.  Today was the first nice day we've had in Kent so I was extremely excited to be able to wear my new dress.  I got tons of complements on it and after a long winter of barely exposing any skin, I felt so girly and happy wearing it, which is a great accessory!

Friday, April 8, 2011


I have had a terrible time with finding the perfect foundation.  I'd have it applied in the store and buy it, then a few hours later or when I applied it the next day, it turned orange on me.  I've tried countless brands ranging all over the spectrum from department stores to specialty stores and even drugstores.  I've tried Clinique, Prescriptives, Smashbox, Tarte, Almay, MAC, and many more.  My mom used to blame me and say I was applying it too heavily or I didn't blend it well enough, part of which might have been true.  It wasn't until two years ago that we found out what was actually causing the problem.  I learned that my skin has a reaction with ingredients in foundation which causes it to turn orange, to oxidize.

Oxidation has to do with body chemistry.  While the exact cause is unknown, it's speculated it has to do with the PH, or acidity, of skin.  This reaction with the titanium dioxide, iron oxide and zinc oxide is more than likely what causes the foundation to turn orange.  While it is nearly impossible to find foundations without those ingredients in it, I have finally found one that works fairly well with my skin and smells good, too.  I've recently started using Cover Girl NatureLuxe and so far, it has been working.  When I looked at the ingredients it only says that it may contain iron oxide and titanium dioxide so I figured I would try it -- plus, I love their spokesperson, Taylor Swift!

Just remember, while this may work for me, everyone's body chemistry is different so what works for one person may not work for another.  Hopefully, you don't even have the problem of foundation oxidizing; but, if you do, I feel your pain and good luck in your search for the perfect foundation!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top 8 Items in my Closet

Growing up in dance classes and musical theatre, I joke that I can only count to eight since almost everything is done in an eight count.  In honor of that, I have decided to do "Top 8".  For my first one, I'm doing the top eight things in my closet at the moment.  Keep in mind, this is only my school closet.

8. Hoodies/Columbia Fleeces
     I know it doesn't sound fashionable, but living in northeast Ohio, it's a must.  There's nothing like coming home after a long day of classes and putting on a hoodie or fleece with a pair of aerie yoga pants and heading to the gym.

7. Michael by Michael Kors
     I recently got this shirt and loved it so much I wanted one in every color.  Unfortunately, there was only one in my size.  I love the asymmetrical neckline and the silver hoop.  The shirt is so soft and made of 95% Supima Cotton and 5% Spandex.

6. Jeans
     I absolutely love my jeans.  I have several pairs, but I do have my top three favorite.  Out of my capris, my favorite pair is a pair by Seven.  They are a darker wash and fit my curves perfectly!  When it comes to skinny jeans, my Levi's are the best.  They have a great fit and look cute when cuffed as well.  And last, but not least, my favorite regular boot cut jeans are my Seven For All Mankind jeans.  They are extremely comfortable, very durable and have a wonderful fit.

5. Romeo & Juliet
     Another thing you don't think of as fashionable is flannel; however, Romeo & Juliet Couture has shown that it can be.  They use pearl colored buttons trimmed in gold that are gorgeous.  What really sets this apart from regular flannel are the two buttons on the back that cinch the shirt in giving it more of a tailored look.  I love to pair this with skinny jeans, especially when traveling because not only is it super comfy, it's cute, too!

4. Cowboy Boots
     Being from West Virginia, I love cowboy boots!  I've been wearing them for a long time.  Far before this country craze; since before people even knew who Taylor Swift was.  This pair is my favorite and it's so old, I can't even tell the brand or remember it.  Twice I've somehow forgotten them at home and called my mom, frantic for her to mail them to me!

3. Kira Plastinina
     I love pink and I love black so when I saw the two of them together, I fell in love with this cropped top.  I usually pair it with a sparkly black tank top and people constantly stop and ask me if it's one piece or separates.  This knit piece is something that can be worn from fall through early spring because it's not extremely heavy.

2. MM Couture by Miss Me
     This is probably one of my favorite purchases.  I was shopping for an Easter dress when the sales associate pulled this for me and I tried it on.  I love everything about this dress from the colors to the waist line and from the one shoulder to the tiers and strips of material on the skirt.

1. Candies Combat Boots
     Over the summer I lived in NYC doing two internships plus school.  For one of my internships I did Celebrity Must Have items.  Combat boots were one of the things I saw numerous celebrities and Broadway actresses wearing and I knew I had to have a pair.  I wear these all the time!  I love them so much.  I pair them with almost everything.  I love them with skinny jeans, jean shorts or even to give a tougher feel to skirts and dresses.