Monday, August 06, 2007
I Want These Shoes.

J Crew is king of preppy -- great for basics, but rarely inspiring and any pieces that ever crawl towards the verge of fashion-forwardness are almost always enormously overpriced (read: Talitha Getty-inspired maxi-dress, originally priced at a ridiculous $495, now down to $299 and I bet it's still not exactly flying off shelves - at prices like that, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want a print that you'd get sick of after wearing it once), but occasionally they do have some things that make me go weak in the knees. Pricey at $250, so I'll have to wait and see if they go on sale at some point. But they are fabulous. They look like they're your great-great-grandmother's dancing shoes from when she was the belle of the ball in the 1920s or something (okay I totally made that up because there is not the faintest chance any of my great-great-grandmothers wore shoes like that but maybe one of you do!)

They look gorgeously vintage, like they've been loved and lived in and danced in, except that they're NEW! i couldn't bring myself to wear real vintage shoes, that's just a line i don't think i could cross, so i love finding shoes that look vintage but with the assurance that no one else's gross sweaty feet have been in them before yours :) and these shoes, i would love them with all my heart but i wouldn't have to cry if i got them a little scuffed up!


My Greatest Pleasure: Chocolate

Major apologies are in order, I've been completely completely MIA. It's been a busy summer!

But here's a short post, because I'm addicted to chocolate and I love to travel, so I wanted to share this little piece from USA Today (well, really, the article's from about a week ago but I just found it today) about the 10 best places in the world to eat chocolate -

"The processing of the cocoa bean with sugar — and later, milk — were two of the most inspired ideas in gastronomic history"
-- Clay Gordon, publisher of and author of the upcoming Discover Chocolate

1. Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Va.

On the first Tuesday of each month (except summers), the Historic Foodways program at Colonial Williamsburg presents "Secrets of the Chocolate Maker," a re-enactment of the way chocolate was made in 18th-century America. "Stay for the evening and partake in a chocolate-themed dinner featuring Colonial-era recipes," Gordon says. 800-447-8679;

2. L'Etoile d'Or

"Many consider L'Etoile d'Or (The Golden Star), near the Moulin Rouge in Paris, the best chocolate shop in the world," Gordon says. "Owner Denise Acabo is known for carrying the crème de la crème of French chocolate brands. In fact, many of the country's best premium brands can be found only in her store; most notably, hers is the exclusive Parisian outlet for chocolates made by Bernachon, the grandmaster chocolatier of Lyon ("

3. Eurochocolate
Perugia, Italy

"In October of each year, the Umbrian city of Perugia plays host to Eurochocolate, the largest chocolate festival in the world," Gordon says. "More than 1 million chocolate lovers sample the wares of hundreds of exhibitors during the nine days of the festival. Perugia is also home to Etruscan Chocohotel — the only hotel dedicated to chocolate, from chocolate-themed bed linens to an enticing chocolate menu in the restaurant.";

4. Naked Chocolate Café

The obvious place for an American chocolate pilgrimage may be Hershey, Pa., but you can have a genuine chocolate experience without leaving Philadelphia. "Naked Chocolate Café offers three kinds of rich, liquid chocolate: drinking, sipping and dipping," Gordon says. "After sampling a dazzling array of ganaches, you can take home your selections in a colorful and artistic edible box." 215-735-7310;

5. La Maison du Chocolat
Paris and New York

"House of Chocolate" founder Robert Linxe carries on the tradition of his native Bayonne, where French chocolate was born after making its way across the border from nearby Spain. "Both the New York and Paris boutiques offer 'courses for initiates' into the chocolatier world, in which La Maison is known for its attention to craftsmanship," Gordon says. 212-744-7117;

6. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker
Berkeley, Calif.

First-tier artisan chocolate manufacturer Scharffen Berger hosts factory tours that show all the stages of making chocolate, from the bean to the bar. "Scharffen Berger, now marketed by Hershey's, is the purveyor of the broadest range of high-cacao-content dark chocolate made in America," Gordon says. 800-930-4528;

7. Choco-Story Museum
Bruges, Belgium

"Browse the more than 40 chocolate shops in this romantic city of canals, but leave time to visit the Choco-Story Museum," Gordon says. "Housed in a meticulously restored medieval building, it portrays the history of Belgian chocolate and offers unique after-hours workshops in the arts of making pralines and sculpting chocolate. Plan to come in early April, to enjoy the annual Choco-Late festival."

8. Ganong Chocolates/Chocolate-Fest
St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada

"Since 1873, the Ganong family has practiced the chocolate confectioner's art in Canada's oldest continuously operated candy factory," Gordon says. "Try to make it to 'Canada's Chocolate Town' for August's Chocolate-Fest. And any time of the year, taste my favorite Ganong invention: Chicken Bones, which are cinnamon candy straws filled with very dark chocolate." 506-465-5616 or for the festival; 506-465-5611 for thechocolatier

9. Cadbury World
Birmingham, England

"From humble beginnings in 1831, Cadbury has grown into a leading multinational confectionery corporation," Gordon says. "The company town it created for employees was a tremendous success in social pioneering, serving as a model of management-worker relations — and for the Hershey company and city in Pennsylvania." Cadbury World is an award-winning, chocolate-themed multimedia attraction.

10. After the Rain spa

"The Swiss eat more chocolate than any other nationality, a testament to the well-deserved reputation of Swiss chocolate," Gordon says. In the land that invented milk chocolate, there is even a spa where treatments feature a chocolate bath — a soak in milk, grated chocolate and cocoa bean oil — as well as a chocolate body wrap. Other spas around the world also are beginning to incorporate chocolate for its beneficial antioxidant properties.


So I've had Cadbury's hot chocolate in England, but I haven't been to Cadbury World. I was in Switzerland in June and I made sure to buy lots of chocolate to eat, but sadly failed to try chocolate spa treatments while I was in Switzerland this June (but I'm pretty sure soaking in chocolate might be a little too extravagant for me at this stage in my life). So in the forthcoming years of my life, I am going to make it my goal to actually hit some of these chocoholic destinations around the world. Maybe see what La Maison du Chocolat in NY can teach me? And definitely go to Philly, if only for the Naked Chocolate Cafe (how sexy is that name? It has a total beatnik vibe like "Naked Lunch" by William Burroughs. Or the Naked Chef.) And next spring when I'm in Europe I will do my very best to be in Bruges for the ChocoLate festival! Exciting :)

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Thursday, July 19, 2007
My Guilty Pleasure: Jezebel
I love reading blogs, especially political blogs. Two of my all-time favorite blogs have to be Gawker, a media blog, and Wonkette, a political blog written by the hilarious Alex Pareene. Both blogs are part of the Gawker blog network, and both report news in the most hilarious, laugh-out-loud fashion possible, which is why I love them. Wonkette also live-blogs political debates with great commentary, which, if you're anything like me, is the best idea ever.

Anyways, very recently, the Gawker Media network started up Jezebel. I usually stay away from celebrity gossip blogs and the like; I feel some of them are kind of crazy and besides, celebrities don't deserve that much attention from us. Why give them the attention? It just inflates their egos and make them think they're important, when hardly any of them have done anything considered important (Bono and Angelina Jolie are good exceptions to this rule). BUT Jezebel changed that. Despite my very public rejection of celebrity gossip, I find myself drawn to Jezebel. It's witty, it's well-written, and often times their commentary goes beyond just reporting the minute details of celebrities' lives and actually has some significant insight on pop culture and media today in American society. They also gossip about political figures sometimes too, and they mock those celebrities whose actions deserve to be mocked --rather than putting them on a pedestal and worshipping. The team at Jezebel is not afraid to tell it like it is, at the risk of hurting hundreds of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton fans the world over.

For instance, Jezebel recently became notorious for exposing just how airbrushed Faith Hill really was on the new Redbook cover, and wrote a great, honest piece about how airbrushing celebrity photos is wrong and promotes a false ideal to young women:

"So why do women's magazines continue to insist on providing readers just the opposite? Is it stubbornness? The selling of fantasy? Or the selling of other things, i.e. advertising revenue? And if so, is it really necessary to shave 10-15 pounds off a woman and erase exactly what it is (the freckles, the moles, the laugh lines) about her that makes her human and accessible and interesting in order to sell a bit of fucking soap? Look at the picture above, and tell us that Faith Hill is not fucking gorgeous and vibrant just the way God -- not Photoshop -- made her....Magazine-retouching may not be a lie on par with, you know, "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction," but in a world where girls as young as eight are going on the South Beach Diet, teenagers are getting breast implants as graduation gifts, professional women are almost required to fetishize handbags, and everyone is spending way too much goddamn time figuring out how to pose in a way that will look as good as that friend with the really popular MySpace profile, it's fucking wrong. And we're glad you agreed."

Dare I say it' intellectual celebrity blog?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Libertine for Target
The newest of Target's Go International Designers, Libertine, just released his collection today. So far, despite the fact that Target has gotten some impressive designers (Behnaz Sarafpour, anyone?), the actual collections have not been too exciting to me. But I continue to write about them here because, hey, on a college budget, it's worth checking out any high-end designer's cheap-chic collection.

Okay, I like this shirtdress. It's simple, but cute, and I like the length and the detailing. Would go well over jeans and with some fun jewelry.This skirt is definitely not bad either. I'm not thrilled with the skull and crossbones print, since we saw that everywhere last fall and I thought that look was over - but this skirt isn't bad.

This vest could be cute, but it's only problem is that you'll see millions of wannabe-punk girls aged 11-18 wearing this out every Friday night. It will get overdone, fast.

Overall, not a particularly impressive collection, but none of Target's Go International Collections really are ever that impressive.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007
The rapid decline of MTV
Remember when MTV actually used to on television? Nowadays MTV is rife with plot-less reality shows and self-absorbed, spoiled teenagers such as those on Laguna Beach, The Hills, My Super Sweet 16...MTV is no longer even worth our time, sadly.

I hate Laguna Beach. On the rare occasions that I have watched it (yes, I have...) it's mostly out of a keen fascination over how such crazy people can exist and function normally in the real world when they are so clearly living in their own rich bubble of a world. I loved this post today lamenting the decline of MTV at College Candy, which talks about the ever-lame Laguna Beach spinoff The Hills:

"This show is trash. Pure garbage. White 20-somethings bitching and whining that their deep pockets aren’t deep enough and their amazing jobs aren’t amazing enough. Bleach blond breast-implanted bimbos who aren’t doing a thing to make this world a better place. Interning at Teen Vogue and working the door at some Hollywood club? This is supposed to drama? This is supposed to interesting? This is supposed to be camera worthy?

And god forbid the producers let a person of color or of a different race step into the frame. Darkly tanned and brunet does not count as diversity.

Why do people watch it? Mostly because it’s there, but also because it covers fantasy with a realistic sheen, making most of us mistakenly think we can live the same way. Not many people who move to the Hollywood Hills have millions of dollars in their bank accounts, not many people can stride into any club they please, or land topnotch internships without any experience."

Agreed! When is MTV going to come up with something creative that real people can relate to and enjoy? Or, oh, here's a fresh idea, actually showing music videos!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Changes for the college wardrobe...
Those of you who are reading this: thanks for being loyal enough to stick around while Aparna and I figured out what direction we want to go in. We're getting things moving again, so expect more posts. We will be focusing on fashion, but not limiting ourselves just to fashion. We will be writing more about other topics of interest also, although fashion will be the predominant theme of the blog. And as always, we will focus on a younger demographic, and often the college age demographic, but not always specifically college. Most of our posts will still pertain to topics college students care about. We promise we won't bore you, and we hope you'll enjoy the other things we will be writing about in this space in addition to fashion and college.

Thanks for reading!


Dior Couture Fall/Winter 2007-2008
Last week was couture week in Paris, and brought with it dozens of fabulous couture shows ranging from the magnificent to the slightly crazy. The one show that everyone can't stop talking about, of course, is Dior. Each piece is utterly magnificent in its own right. This is the best of haute couture; excellent detailing, creative, whimsical designs. Of course, you can't wear them-- but that's certainly not the point! The point of couture is to be able to look and admire these pieces for their artistic value, and they are truly wonderful pieces of art - take a look!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007
Hey sweethearts! I know this here blog's been severely inactive, and that's absolutely unforgivable but please find it in your hearts to forgive us anyway - on top of crazy schedules the last few weeks, Nisha and I are going through a sort of blog-related identity crisis, so cryptic as that sounds, that's the reason for our cyber-absence. More on that later, when we figure out where TCW and we are headed, but for now here's some quick fashion!

Net-a-porter, I know, is not exactly financially accessible for most of us. But I love their Magazine pages to help me get right on top of the biggest trends.

One of their latest and greatest features is their low-down on dresses - from the A Line to the Sack, you're going to Dress to Impress! It's a great resource to get you completely informed and help you figure out which style you like best or will like your body best. Next step, head to,, (in decreasing order of affordability) and shop, shop, shop!

On a slightly unrelated note, wedges + metallic = this gorgeous Gucci dream. I want!

And don't forget to take the Coutorture survey on the left, you guys! It's going to be a HUGE help to the network!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
14 February 2007
Happy Valentine's Day, my beauties!

If you're deliciously single on this day of Hallmark insanity, buy yourself a piece of clothing that's as divinely, fashion-forwardly red as this piece by Christopher Kane from his latest collection which just showed in London. And even if you're not a member of the Swinging Singles Club, I think we can allow you some buying of red gorgeousness, no? Just to show your man candy that you're Hot Stuff.

(Note that the minis-with-tights-and-ankle-boots has continued on its merry way across the Atlantic as well. This is a big trend, folks.)