Wedding Season Shenanigans

By Erica Mau, Photos by Christie Pham – www.christie-photography.com

Wedding Being recently engaged with a new pup addition to the fam, I was intensely excited to take engagement photos with the whole gang. Especially since the dogs can’t participate in our Hawaii wedding festivities (due to quarantine laws), these photos would commemorate a preciously happy time in our lives – and cement the youthful and adorable canines in the cutest stage of their lives.

Thus, per usual, I researched and planned ahead. I found the best wedding photographer in Hawaii, who also fortunately could take our engagement photos in LA. I informed her that the dogs would be in attendance, so she wouldn’t be surprised and unprepared on the day of the shoot. The Tedster got a haircut and the Jaybster was bathed and blow-dried. I read articles on best practices to photograph pets and gathered all my supplies – treats, matching leashes, and bowties. #necessary

And, per usual, I still felt ill prepared when the time came to take some good ‘ole family photos.

There were several factors that just happened to be in my favor:

We did the shoot at our house, where the dogs were comfortable (rather, our house is photogenic enough at which to do a photo shoot).

The photographer had her hubby in tow, who helped to watch the dogs (rather, the photographer’s husband loved hanging out with dogs and was really good at dealing with two energetic puppies).

It didn’t rain.

Then there were several factors that just happened to suck:

My puppies don’t run out of energy (despite spending half a day playing with other dogs and taking a long, uphill walk in the hot sun).

My puppies don’t like sitting still (despite being bribed with endless treats).

My puppies’ general playful behavior.

So for anyone out there who is planning to ever take pictures with your pups, here’s my advice to you that I did not read in one single article online.

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You, Me, Capri

You Me Capri You. Me. Capri.

A tantalizing isle perched amidst the azure waters of the Gulf of Naples, Capri is amongst the first of the locales that leap to mind when you envision an Italian holiday. Milly taps into the daydreamish quality of this resort island through its designer collaboration for Kohl’s DesigNation.

With bright florals, nautical stripes, and thick scuba-esque fabric, the collection definitely evokes la dolce vita, even for those of us who haven’t sipped limoncello along Italian shores as the sun sinks beneath crystalline waves. The line’s collarbone-baring tops bring to mind a sashaying Italian woman beckoning you through stone-paved streets. The breezy blue prints, of course, recall the gulf.

Milly is actually an American company, founded by designer Michelle Smith and based in New York City. The brand has been around for fifteen years and has been chosen by a few women that may sound a bit familiar to you…Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Middleton…maybe you recognize the names?

Milly is known for its custom fabric and prints, so it’s no surprise to me that the collection’s fabrics are a step above those of a normal designer collaboration and especially one with Kohl’s. I’ve been disappointed by the retailer’s past lines (ahem, Catherine Malandrino), but Milly brought a smile to my face. I mean, it’s Capri—how could it not?

A devilish secret of mine is that I own more from the collection than just the pieces photographed for this column. If we could have, I would have gladly modeled each piece from the line! Yup, love it that much. Much, much more than I care for the recent Lilly Pulitzer collaboration with Target (Sorry, Lilly…you spread yourself too thin with the women’s clothing and the kids’ clothing and the home goods and the accessories…need I list more?). Anyway…back to Milly…the Capri collection is an all-around win. Spot-on quality. Fun, almost quirky prints. Bright and airy summer colors. And truly Caprese style.

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Don’t Do THIS At The Gym

By Rachel McCormick

In life, we all have our pet peeves. Maybe it’s people who completely ignore the fact that large stores have a designated door for entering and a different one for exiting, but just walk wherever the heck they please (ok, that would be mine). Maybe it really grinds your gears when you’re having a serious conversation with someone and all they can seem to think about is staring at the screen of their smart phone.

Most of my biggest pet peeves originated in a place where I spend a large amount of my time: the gym. If you’re a regular gym-goer like myself, I’m sure you will nod in affirmation and give me a little ‘Amen, sister!’ with most of these. And if you’re new to a gym, let me just warn against a few gym personas and reveal the friendly no-nos that will make your workout experience much more pleasant for yourself and all of your fellow exercisers.

Texting Tiffany

For me, this is a huge one. If you are using a machine for multiple sets and sit on it for maybe a 30 second break between each set, or hop up and do some lunges or some other sort of active rest exercise, great. But the moment you pull out your phone and start texting away WHILE still sitting on that machine…that is when I will walk over and unapologetically give you the stink eye. I’m pretty sure that person you are texting will be just fine hearing from you two minutes later when you are done with your hip abductors and are not hogging the machine.

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Princess Pastels

0nce upon a time, I was born and needed a name. My parents wanted a name taken from royalty, which at the time basically consisted of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Caroline of Monaco (now of Hanover). Brunette and statuesque, Princess Caroline was, in a way, the Kate Middleton of her time and, if my eventual moniker is any indication, she also had obvious international appeal. In that same vein, reality-star-turned-designer Lauren Conrad taps into her own royal leanings with her latest collaboration, Disney’s Cinderella a collection by LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s.

I’ve featured basic denim from Conrad’s line for Kohl’s in the past, but to partner with Disney and Kohl’s is a completely different beast Conrad has attempted to tame. The difference between a pair of jeans shorts and the ethereal fairytale quality inherent to the Cinderella tale is critical for determining the success of this particular collaboration. Denim is basic, utilitarian, and originally designed with the working class in mind. Evoking the storybook romance of a maid-turned-princess requires a more delicate hand. It’s not just about throwing some glass slippers on with your work jeans.

For the purposes of our discussion here, I selected the collection’s fluttery camisole and poufy tulle skirt. Initially upon receiving the sample, I thought the camisole’s 3D appliques were butterflies—until I realized they would then be upside down butterflies. They’re actually bows. But the lack of detail in the design and the movement that occurs when wearing the top understandably lends these bows to a butterfly comparison. To be honest, the top looks really cheap in person. The polyester material almost feels rough against the skin and the flitting bow attachments don’t add much romance. The top is something that I might buy for a younger age set, but not for the older fan base that originally fell in love with Conrad on Laguna Beach and The Hills (although I guess Conrad has done much to separate herself from her reality persona, so maybe this is the direction she was trying to take).

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Get Glossy!

Tastevin Magazine FEB-MARCH GET GLOSSY

Strangers in the Weightroom

Letter Pull-ups and bench press and dead lifts, oh my! But I am a female, if I even think about any of these exercises, won’t my body spontaneously combust into the most muscular, bulky, manly figure you have ever seen?

A year ago, this was my mindset, along with a large percentage of women—actually it’s generally true of most people. I have been a gym-goer for years; in high school I even lost about twenty pounds by doing endless, boring cardio and going on a strict no-carb diet. Did this approach work to lose weight? You bet. But was I bored to death and did I eventually gain all the weight back? Yep.

The truth is, for the majority of my adolescence, I was terrified of that testosterone-ridden, male-dominated territory that is the weight room. I thought if I went in there they would all look at me funny, and I would be so embarrassed because I wouldn’t know how to use any of the equipment. Fast forward to March of this past year. A relationship I was betting everything on ended unexpectedly, and I was left heartbroken and looking for a new outlet to occupy my time. I also realized I needed to shed some of those relationship pounds we start to gain when we get too comfortable. I knew I didn’t want to go back to being a cardio bunny, spending mindless hours on the treadmill and elliptical, counting the seconds until it was over. I started seeing a trend in girlfriends of mine with smoking hot, feminine, curvy bodies that I envied: they were lifting weights. And I’m not talking five pounders. They were lifting next to the boys, sharing that squat rack with the men, and they looked hotter than ever because of it.

I was intrigued. So I took to the wonderful World Wide Web and found a beginners twelve-week weightlifting program for women. I followed the program religiously for the entire twelve weeks, and after about just five weeks, I noticed my body changing more dramatically and rapidly than it ever had before with any other workout I had ever tried. I was hooked. Let me tell you—the feeling you get from lifting heavier weight than the grown man next to you, rocking those pink lifting gloves, is way more fulfilling than any runners’ high you will ever experience.

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Ines de La Fressange for Uniqlo

French Fashion, Fresh Style

By Caroline A. Wong; Photos by Alexander Herman

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 3.45.58 PM hate to break it to you Audrey Hepburn-loving, “Paris is always a good idea” fan-girls: the City of Lights isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A few years ago, I spent a summer in Paris, and it really wasn’t about finding my je ne sais quoi. It was about stepping around dog shit in the streets and dodging cigarettes thrown from outdoor café-goers. It was about fighting with Sandro boutique workers and getting thrown out of clubs and French men saying they want to take you home—while they’re still on a date with a leggy blonde. For me, that “I don’t know what feeling” was more “I don’t know what I’m doing here when I can be on the next Eurostar to London.”

I will concede, however, that Paris has a certain fashion blueprint. It has a reputation for an inexplicable effortlessness in the same way that Miami has a reputation for maxi dresses and bold prints. Whether you love Paris or not, you’ll agree with me that the French still have a stronghold on the je ne sais quoi idea of style, and designer Inès de La Fressange does not disappoint. Prior to a dramatic falling out, de La Fressange served as muse to Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld. She was also the first model to sign an exclusive contract with a haute couture design house—presumably before her spat with Lagerfeld, although the two may have patched things up since de La Fressange walked Chanel’s spring-summer 2011 runway. Personal drama aside, de La Fressange is still a classic French woman, and her collaboration with Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo marries Parisian ease with the brand’s utilitarian basics.

As with the majority of Uniqlo’s pieces, the fabric for this collection seems thicker and sturdier than that of many of the brand’s fast fashion competitors, although the quality is not comparable to Target’s high-end collaborations. For de La Fressange’s spring pieces, however, this is not a negative thing. The fabric is fairly sturdy yet still light and seasonally appropriate. The collection includes classic solids and neutral patterns like stripes in addition to more vibrant pieces like her floral skirt. While the basic shirts, trousers, and skirts seem to complement each other well, the outerwear is sporty—almost to the point of being “junior”—and disparate from the rest of the pieces. Examples of this would be the puffy down jacket and the bomber, which is a popular style for the season but entirely uninspired when it comes to design. That said, de La Fressange manages to capture that “I don’t know what” essence with the majority of her spring line for Uniqlo.

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Winter Workout Wear with TSOH

You guys—I did a serious workout clothes style haul at Target. I am big on really comfy workout clothes that can also double as stylish and flattering, especially since I usually have to wear them after my workout too!

I am totally crazy about these tops and yoga pants. As in, living in them from now on. I really needed some new winter yoga gear so I got this pink top, sweater, and yoga pants. The pink top is soooo comfy considering how cute it is. It doesn’t pull or constrict in any weird places, so it’s perfect for hot yoga. I love the tri blend too! When you’re looking for a cute yoga top, be sure to stretch and do poses in the dressing room so you can test your mobility in it. Remember, the top has to be functional as much as it has to be cute!

The sweater is best for outdoor runs but is also great for not-so-hot yoga. The sweater isn’t super heavy and is breathable enough to really get your sweat on while still keeping warm. Look for natural, breathable fabrics like cotton and bamboo.

I also wanted to try out some new yoga pants since mine haven’t been holding up well recently. I got my first pair of C9 by Champion pants and am in love. The little detail on the side makes them great for both workouts and for wearing under a sweater and boots! Sahhhhh cute. They’re the perfect stretchy-flattering combo and will help you totally rock the casual chic look.

Anywho—I’m officially obsessed. New workout gear—and cute workout gear—will totally motivate you to keep up your fitness routine through the chillier months (read as: through the holiday eating months). I love these new additions to my workout wardrobe. Share yours with me via Twitter @xoxoTSOH and be sure to check out more of my fitness finds at www.TheSkinnyOnHealth.com!

See the latest issue!

The Ultimate 2014 Gift Guide

Share Your Wear: Tastevin’s 2014 Gift Guide!

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Altuzarra x Target

T July Issueake away his collaboration with Target, and Joseph Altuzarra is still fashion’s of-the-moment darling. Even before he released his own fifteen-piece collection in 2008, Altuzarra was making a name for himself. Born in Paris to a Chinese-American mother and a French Basque father, he traveled internationally to intern with and serve as assistant to some of the most recognizable names in the industry: Marc Jacobs, Rochas, and Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci. Three years after he branched off on his own, Altuzarra was granted the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. This year—and numerous awards later—he followed it up by earning the prestigious CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

Critical acclaim aside, Altuzarra has cultivated a loyal following through his collection’s sultry, feminine silhouettes and the worldliness stemming from his multicultural background and education. With silky blouses, fitted pencil skirts, and plunging necklines, his Target collection reflects a strong injection of that same sensual and cultured aesthetic. “We are really focused on a very adult and seductive way of dressing,” Altuzarra says. “The inspiration for this collection was really based on a global traveling narrative.”

The Altuzarra x Target line is a triumph in my book. The quality is impeccable, and the designs are at once versatile, classic, and exquisitely Altuzarra. The blouses and pencil skirts in the collection are essential work-day ensembles, but the dresses are a bit more daring with their deep v-cut fronts. We’ve all been there: what to do with the sexy dress besides date night?

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