Thursday, April 30, 2009

top 5 hats and sunglasses for summer

I write a daily article for Splendicity about accessories, and I wanted to share two articles that I wrote this month about my picks for the top 5 styles of hats and sunglasses for summer 2009. Check them out...

Top 5 Hat Styles for Summer

  • floppy
  • short-brimmed
  • cloche
  • head wrap
  • fedora

Top 5 Sunglasses Styles for Summer
  • plastic aviators
  • bold colors
  • vintage
  • unique shape
  • oversized

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

vintage gucci handbags are always in style

I am the luckiest girl in the world!

I happen to inherit my love for all things fashion from my amazingly talented fashion designer grandmother Miki. She went to design school in California, and I have always loved looking through her old sketches and patterns to see the beautiful clothing that she designed when she was young. She taught me everything I know about sewing, knitting, and crocheting when I was only five years old...and I still use those skills today.

On my most recent trip to visit her this weekend, she handed down to me four gorgeous vintage Gucci handbags that she bought in Beverly Hills years before I was even born. I have never owned such fabulous handbags! They have all been well-loved by my grandma, but they are still in amazing condition after all of these years.

I have always known, but am now fully realizing, that good design truly never goes out of style. You must take great care of your classic designer pieces so that they can withstand time and maybe someday you will be able to pass them on as well.

I'm excited to start learning more about vintage Gucci!! I think I will start trying to predict which items in my wardrobe could perhaps become vintage treasures someday...

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

center for architecture

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Links á la Mode

  • 39th & Broadway: Even fashion designers can get scared of a new and forward trend.
  • Agent Dreamer: An interview with Rachel Lanese of Crafttastrophe – designer of beautiful shoes and other wearable art.
  • Agent Lover: Hunting for the perfect retro bathing suit, part two.
  • Breakfast at Saks: A review of independent designer retailer, Moxsie and Itsola dress.
  • Broke & Beautiful: Miss Elle experiences amazing handmade jewelry in a video post!
  • Consume or Consumed: Review and hypothetically shopping at Net-A-Porter’s sister sale site: The Outnet
  • Culturistas: Update your wardrobe for Spring using the clothes you already have!
  • Dirty Laundry: How to wear Maison Martin Margiela without breaking the bank via DIY alternatives.
  • Fashion Pulse Daily: Perry Ellis surprises with a fall line-up of classics that with please your Dad and your hottie 20-something boyfriend simultaneously!
  • Felicia Sullivan: eco-friendly fashion on a budget: toggery by kate d’arcy.
  • Haute World: An inside look to the ever famous Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris.
  • Hello Kelli: New Japanese technology creates a loose wave digital perm.
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: Starting your own blog? IFB helps find the right blog platform for you.
  • LuciteBox: HBO’s Grey Gardens – beyond the fashionable women.
  • Retro Chick: Celebrating one year blog birthday with a reader goodie bag giveaway.
  • Star Fashion Addict: A roundup of the hottest handbag styles for spring.
  • Style Symmetry: Inspiration Flashback – a look back at Little House on the Prairie.
  • Super Kawaii Mama: Luxe & Less - Pick me up’s for next to nothing.
  • The Coveted: Basic Investing, is it better to invest in basics or statement pieces?
  • The Curvy Fashionista: Interview with plus size high fashion designer, Monif C - breaking all plus size stigmas.
  • The Demoiselles: The Littlest Demoiselle discusses ANTM’s Short Model Season, and “under height” models of the p
  • The Sunday Best: Why Club Monaco should bring back the crewneck.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

green label keds for earth day

Keds Willow Lace Up in Green $55

One of my picks for spring/summer 2009 trends is the much-appreciated growth of eco-friendly labels and materials.

I love that Keds have returned with an eco-friendly line. The classic canvas shoes have weathered the ups and downs of casual fashion since 1916. My earth day pick is Keds new Green Label line that features this sustainable technology:

  • organic cotton
  • 20% recycled rubber in outsoles
  • non-toxic inks and dyes
  • nickel-free eyelets
  • shoelaces made from 100% recycled PET (water bottles)
Keds Meadow Moc in Khaki $55

Just like we would expect from Keds, the shoes are adorable and affordable.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

japanese digital perm

For all of you straight-haired girls out there who have always yearned for a little bouncy waviness to your hair, I have something amazing to share with you: the Japanese digital perm.

I have been addicted to this technologically advanced version of the perm since I went to Tokyo over a year ago and now I can't see myself ever going back to the stubbornly stick straight hair that I've had my whole life. For all of you who have tried every type of hairspray, curling iron, hot curlers, wax, and curling product out there, this is the true method that will actually work and allow you to have naturally looking waves everyday (obviously I am a huge convert). The Japanese digital perm is much different from the stinky perms of the 80's. It involves multiple steps that I have finally deciphered, since none of the hairstylists I've been to have spoken English.(Before: my hair is super duper straight)
  • haircut. The extremely important first step is a layered haircut, which thins out the bulk of your hair to avoid the excessive volume that was caused by 80's perms (I call it the unfortunate "triangle look"). I'm wary of layers, but in the end it is barely noticeable and just makes the curls more natural looking.
  • heat-activated conditioner. A chemical conditioner is painted into your hair in small sections over your entire head and left to saturate each strand for a length of time.
  • wash. The conditioner is washed out.
  • curlers. Your hair is rolled up into large heavy curlers that each have an outlet for an electrical connection on the end.
  • heat-activation. A foam insulation pad is inserted between the curlers and your head to avoid burns and each curlers is plugged into a central station. This is the craziest part because your head weighs a ton and you feel like your hair is being cooked by a robot.
  • relaxer. The curlers do their job and then they are removed. Your hair will be super duper curly in tight ringlets...but don't be scared, this is not how your hair will stay! To create the loose curl look your hair will be saturated with a relaxer.
  • blow dry. After the relaxer is washed out, your hairdresser will teach you how to properly blowdry your curls so they look beautiful.
(After: this is my first perm in Japan when my hair was shorter.)

One of the main differences between the digital perm and the regular chemical perm is the heat activation process. After your perm is completed, your curls will be re-activated by heat instead of water. There is a special method for blow-drying your hair and shaping the curls with your hand to create the exact loose wave look that you desire.
The process is also very programmable (literally, since it is electronic) so they can tailor each perm to match the exact size and tightness of curls that you are looking for.

The entire process takes at last three hours, but the curls don't really fall out...they basically stay until your hair grows out so I re-perm every six months. The price is fairly high at about $175-200 for the perm plus around $60 for the cut, but I think that it is completely worth it.

To get a digital perm in the U.S. you will need to find a Japanese or Korean hair salon. If you live in New York, I highly recommend Kiwa Salon on the F.I.T. campus on 27th St b/w 7 and 8 Ave. Make an appointment with Tany. If you are interested in going to Kiwa, let me know and I will get you a discount since I am a regular customer.

UPDATE: I already had a lot of responses for the discount and gave out my new customer discount cards! Sorry to those of you who have contacted me. I am trying to get in touch with Kiwa to see if they can give a discount to more people and I will post if I figure it out. Sorry!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

return of huaraches for spring

When I was in grade school I would get a new pair of white huaraches every year right after Easter. I would wear the shoes nearly everyday in the summer until they nearly disintegrated. They were comfortable and easy and I'm not sure why I stopped wearing them.

I love the nostalgic return of these earthy Mexican sandals. Last summer I got a gorgeous pair of stacked heel reddish-brown huarache-inspired Cole Haans, but this year I think I will go for the more traditional flats that go so well with a lovely green lawn, fresh flowers, and a flowing white cotton dress.

Here are my picks:

Women's shoes: Frye Jacey Sandal - Dark brown

Frye Jacey Sandal - Dark brown


I love these classic slingback huarache flats in chocolate brown. These are the most traditional take on the huarache that I have been able to find...

Women's shoes: Pierre Dumas Rachel - Brown

Pierre Dumas Rachel - Brown

These are very similar to the Frye with the traditional style flat, but with the thinner straps and a much more affordable price.

Women's shoes: Jessica Simpson Delanco - Cognac

Jessica Simpson Delanco - Cognac

$69.99 (reg. $89)
I love the wooden platform heel paired with the lighter weaving for a more modern take on the sandal.

Women's shoes: Pour La Victoire Pascale - Sand

Pour La Victoire Pascale - Sand

These are my gorgeous splurge pick. I love the stud accents, which create a melding of the rocker bootie (my favorite!) and the huarache. These also come in a fun kelly green!

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

new member of independent fashion bloggers

Image: IFB

I just joined Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), which is a great community for all types of fashion bloggers. I really learned nearly everything I know about blogging, including copyright laws for images, PR relationships, monetizing, and increasing readership, from the extremely informative forums on their website.

After your fashion blog has been up and running for two months, you can apply to become a member and gain access to more networking and promotional opportunities. IFB also just launched a new program called LittleBirdie, which facilitates a more specific relationship between fashion bloggers and PR representatives.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

muji usa online store

Image: Racked

I am so happy to announce that Japanese minimalist retailer MUJI now has an online store for their US shoppers!

If you are not already familiar with MUJI through their selections at the MOMA store or their retail store on Broadway in New York, it is a brand that designs everything (and I do mean everything) with "beauty through simplicity" as a constant design concept. They produce an extremely complete range of household projects at affordable prices. It's kind of like a Japanese modernist interpretation of Target.

Here is a beautiful description of their brand from their website:
"MUJI is not a brand whose value rests in the frills and “extras” it adds to its products.
MUJI is simplicity - but a simplicity achieved through a complexity of thought and design.
MUJI’s streamlining is the result of the careful elimination and subtraction of gratuitous features and design unrelated to function.
MUJI, the brand, is rational, and free of agenda, doctrine, and “isms.” The MUJI concept derives from us continuously asking, “What is best from an individual’s point of view?”
MUJI aspires to modesty and plainness, the better to adapt and shape itself to the styles, preferences, and practices of as wide a group of people as possible. This is the single most important reason people embrace MUJI."

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spring cleaning fashion tips: men

Image: Flickr

I have been spending a lot of time in airports lately and the hours of people watching, which sometimes nearly resulted in fashion-related public outbursts of anger, inspired me to write some fashion Dos and Don'ts for women and men. It's also a good way to remind people to do some spring cleaning...throw out those ugly clothes please!

I just learned a new word today: evergreen. Evergreen topics are ones that last and don't change a classic instead of a fleeting trend. Some of my Dos and Donts relate to current fashion trends that I just personally love (or hate) and some are...evergreen.

Let's start with men since I don't have as much to say about them...and I will focus on casual wear:
  • DON'T wear any sort of hat backwards
  • DO try wearing other types of hats besides the baseball variety
  • DON'T wear pants that are too short
  • DO make sure that your pants break at the tops of your shoes
  • DON'T wear shirts that are stretched out around the neck
  • DO throw out old cotton shirts because they don't hold their shape for very long
  • DON'T wear your shirt tucked in halfway
  • DO tuck it in or don't...make a choice and stick with it
  • DON'T wear Crocs
  • DO wear comfortable flip flops or man sandals
  • DON'T wear jeans made of thin fabric
  • DO invest in real quality denim that has some structure to wear them enough that it's worth it!
  • DON'T spend much time worrying about your hair
  • DO get a good haircut and it will pretty much take care of itself
  • DON'T wear strong colognes or any of those cheap body sprays
  • DO smell clean and fresh like soap and a hint of aftershave
  • DON'T be underdressed
  • DO be overdressed
  • DON'T wear wool suit coats with jeans
  • DO wear a cotton blazer with jeans
  • DON'T think that any tie is a good tie...most ties are hideous
  • DO keep it simple and spend time finding a quality versatile tie
  • DON'T wear the same clothes you've been wearing since high school
  • DO feel comfortable taking some fashion risks

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

beautiful floral mixed media bags

Zowie Zinnia Tote for $128

I love when tulips and daffodils start to bloom and I find designs that have the distinctly fresh breezy feel of springtime...

I just discovered some beautiful mixed media handbags at Anthropologie that have a wonderful light spring feel with soft leather straps and pastel-hued floral fabrics. I also like that the totes have my favorite spring handbag trend: cross-body straps!
Shaded Arbor Tote for $118
Beribboned Bag for $88

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

spring/summer 2009 trends

One way that I keep my closet (and wallet) in check each season when I am overwhelmed by the massive amount of desirable new designs that tempt me from beautiful storefronts, is to make a list of trends that I am interested in enough to purchase them for myself. These trends include clothing, shoes, handbags, and accessories. I spend a lot of time shopping around for the perfect item for each trend, so I will be posting about my finds as I begin my searching...

Here are my picks for spring/summer 2009. I will do a post about each category separately over the next few weeks, but here is the list (it feels great to put it in writing!):

Sorry about the lack of images for each trend, but I wanted to make my picks and then start to do research!

Images: Shopbop

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hello kelli on racked new york

Racked: New York is a blog that I read regularly with tons of super up-to-date tips about shopping and deals in New York City. They also have a Racked: Los Angeles. It is a great place to find links to other fashion and shopping blogs because they a do a thorough job of keeping up with all of the information that is constantly being posted.

I was excited to find that Racked put a link to my Topshop shopping guide article in their
Wednesday AM Clickage article on Wednesday, April 9! I will have to send them more tips...

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

a detailed u.s. guide to shopping at topshop

Sophie Shoes $125

(If you're not interested in shopping at Topshop, then no need to read this extremely long post...)

I finally made it to the extremely hyped Topshop! I spent hours there examining each item on every floor and I am back here to post a detailed report for all of you who have been anxiously awaiting this arrival from the UK.

I can sum up my experience with one word: exaggeration! Topshop makes even H&M look plain and behind the times. I am talking about a full-fledged return of 80's fashion with 5" platform heels, full body sequins, zany prints, and hardcore neon brights. So if this extremeism is not for you, I wouldn't waste any time trekking to Soho and standing in the long line at the dressing rooms. I would also say that the quality is comparable to H&M and Forever21, but the prices are much that was quite disappointing.


Surprisingly enough, the jeans were one of my favorite sections at Topshop because the sizes came with different waist
and lengths (30", 32", 34"). For all of you who are sick of getting inches cut off of your designer jeans, Topshop will be great for you! The sizes are basically the same as American, so stick with what your usual waist size is.
Baxter Skinny Jeans in Bleach Stone color for $80

These are
super skinny (almost denim leggings), but with the 1% elasticity they are also super comfortable and I don't have to roll them up at the bottom.


I tried on tons of dresses, but didn't really fall in love with anything. There are lots of body-hugging jersey knit, strapless floral print party, sequins embellishments, and solid vivid hue dresses. My favorite were the cotton T-shirt dresses with graphic designs and sparkly details. The Jonathan Saunders line had some beautiful colorblock dresses. The dresses were again similar to H&M in quality, with no inner lining and low quality construction. The sizing ran a little small, so I would definitely try one size up.

Dress by Jonathan Saunders for Topshop $160

Most of the tops are in a smocked or tunic style, with the intent to be paired with patterned leggings (they have tons of different styles...floral, hearts, lacy, suede, metallic, pleather) or skinny jeans. There are lots of thin plaid blouses, graphic print tanks, and brightly colored solid tunics. Most of the tops have a loose blousey fit, so the sizes don't need to be very specific. Fluoro Ditsy Tunic $50


The accessories are big, bold, and over the top. There are cocktail rings with acrylic bobbles as big as a ping pong ball, headbands with huge feather plumes, necklaces with multiple strands of heavy chains or metal trinkets, and wooden bangles that cover half of your forearm. If you are looking for some extreme accessory accents, this is definitely the place to go. It was definitely fun to try everything on!


I saved the best for last...the shoes! I actually was the most excited about the 3rd floor shoe department. Half of the shoes are extreme platforms that are probably best worn by strippers or models, but the other half are beautiful heels in bright colors and unique designs. Most of the shoes are around $125.

I got a gorgeous pair of bright blue suede cut-out booties that are not available online, but they are pictured above. An important note: the sizes are very tricky. At the store they said that they only carry half sizes, but online it looks like they only carry full sizes. The sizes ran extremely large, so I would recommend going one size down.

Here are my picks for other fabulous shoes:

Samba Peep Toe Shoe
$135 Safara Peep Toe Shoe $110 Sheriff Studded Shoe $125

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i love thread social

Image: Thread Social

I have been a huge fan of Thread Social since I discovered their debut collection of dresses in 2006. After their successful line of bridal wear, Thread, Beth Blake and Melissa Akey launched Thread Social as "the New York girl's go-to-design label for perfect party dresses and quirky separates."

I bought a beautiful deep-V black wool bubble dress with pockets to wear to a black tie benefit without knowing anything about the brand...and I have been obsessed with
Thread Social ever since. Each year the designs get more innovative and beautiful and I am excited to see how they continue to grow.

Image: Thread Social

One of the reasons I created Hello Kelli, was to discover new designers and share them with the world. Thread Social is one of my top picks, so I expect to see much more from them in posts to come.

Gilt Groupe is featuring a sale on Thread Social dresses and separates starting at noon today. The designs are expensive (dresses regular price around $400) so the sale is a great place to start shopping for Thread Social!

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topshop...still crowded?

Image: Topshop

Here I go again...another attempt to visit Topshop and I am crossing my fingers that there are no more lines and I can actually get in to see the clothes!!

My goal is to try on as much as possible so I can report back on the fit so those outside of NY can feel comfortable ordering online from the new
US Topshop website. I'll let you know how it goes!

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Monday, April 6, 2009

my beautiful vivienne tam hp mini

I am the luckiest girl ever and I got a beautiful Vivienne Tam HP MIni
for my birthday! It is so tiny that it fits in my handbag and I carry it all over NY with me all day. It's so perfect for instant blogging! I don't think you can really understand how tiny it is until you see it...I love it!

Everyone has been asking me about it, so I thought I would post about it again. It only costs about $600 and it uses Windows XP. It comes with a cute little matching red satin carrying case that protects it while it's in my purse.

Now I just need to get Wireless Optical Vivienne Tam Mouse
Seriously every female needs one of these!

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