Sep 19, 2013

Fragments - jewelry that reflects your uniqueness

I have to admit that most of the time I'm really bad about adding jewelry to my every day outfits, but if I find the right piece of jewelry I will wear it all of the time. Recently I came across a site called Fragments, and I love all of their unique pieces of jewelry. There's a diverse amount of designers who I can tell have taken a lot of time to carefully design the pieces, and if I were to ever splurge on a piece, I am certain I would wear a fashionable piece of jewelry from this website all of the time. 

Before I dive into some of my favorite pieces on the site, here's a little bit of a background story surrounding Fragments, for you history buffs. I don't know about you, but I always enjoy learning more about a company, where they began, and what inspires them to create even more. Fragments is no exception:

In 1984 (my Birthday year!), CEO and founder Janet saw a void in the accessory market and decided to develop a niche marketplace of jewelry. You can actually view the jewelry in Soho in NYC and I would love to stop by if I'm in NYC in the near future! Fragments gets their inspiration from NYC, but beyond that they have a passion to design and stay current with fashion and fine jewelry.You can read Fragment's entire story under "Our Story."

Here are a few of my favorite designers on the site:

Alexandra Mor:

"Alexandra Mor's work reflects a legacy of uniqueness and style that originated in her family of French fashion couturiers. Her collections are distinguished by her unmistakable signature details: simplicity and perfected symmetry centered around striking diamonds and gemstones."

I happen to love French fashion and what girl doesn't love diamonds and gemstones? Here is a piece of jewelry from Alexandra Mor's collection that is beautiful and bedazzling, to say the least! It reminds me of something one of the characters from the hit show Game of Thrones

Alberian and Aulde:
"The collaborative pair have crystallized a vision that celebrates the inherent beauty, intelligence and magnetism of the feminine spirit. They passionately strive to provide women with jewelry that reflects their uniqueness."

I can see what they mean by uniqueness, because I see a lot of what I love in my life in this jewelry as well! I think my favorite piece of jewelry is the Aquamarine Septet Studs, which are so gorgeous and remind me of the ocean. Speaking of the ocean, I miss the ocean oh so very much and hope to head back to my ocean dreams very soon! 

I also adore these opal cluster earrings, especially since they remind me of the ocean as well. They're very unique and the cluster of diamonds are also stunning! Not to mention both the opals and diamonds are set in 14K Rose Gold. Just beautiful.

What is catching your eye on the Fragments website?

Connect with them on:


Sep 12, 2013

Changing your man’s wardrobe into something you will both love

So, it happened. You’ve met a great guy, and the only thing you really don’t like about him is the way he dresses. Perhaps he’s wearing ill-fitting jeans and just has no concept of what size he should be wearing. Maybe his shoes came out of a junior high skate park. Maybe his clothing is just a little too worn out for your tastes. If he truly is a wonderful guy, dumping him for these superficial reasons is a grave mistake, but the topic of fashion can be a touchy one unless you approach it in the right way. Here are a few tips for convincing your man to change and improve his style ASAP.

Ask Questions
It may be easier to tell him what to do, but to preserve his feelings, it’s best to start off by asking him a few key questions. Ask him how his style developed as he grew up from his childhood to teenage years to adult years. Ask him if he’s ever noticed any celebrities who have clothing that he admires. If you take him to a store, ask him which types of clothing he gravitates toward. He may start suspecting what you’re getting at, but if you kindly keep encouraging and asking, it probably won’t bother him too much.
Show Him What’s Out There
Chances are that he’s stuck in a fashion rut and simply has no idea what types of clothing are available to him. Look online at sites that capture a unique style like the stylish Coke Boys brand, and just get his feedback. Walk through stores at the mall to explore what’s available. Ask him to compare one garment to the other to determine what he likes best. Start off by saying, “I think you would look really good in this,” or “This makes you look taller!” 
Buy Him Something
Face it, most men don’t get excited to try new styles.  Many men would keep wearing the same outfit until they die unless a woman intervenes.  If you want them to get used to a new style, you might have to suggest what you want them to wear.  Start small, and if they like what you’ve bought, go for a full outfit.  Try interesting accessories that will help ease the transition.  Belts, hats, ties, socks, shoes…. are all good starting points.  Sometimes a man just needs some help identifying his personal style and once he has it down, you mind find him looking forward to shopping and improving his style all the time!
About the author: Sarah is a writer who enjoys fashion and improving a man’s style. With a little bit of guidance, a man can find his personal style and run with it.

Sep 4, 2013

Tim Burton themes and films

Few living filmmakers have had as significant an impact as Tim Burton, who celebrates his 55th birthday this month. His works are wildly imaginative, and he has the sort of aesthetic sensibility that could have only be informed by too much time in front of the TV as a child. What’s sort of wonderful about that, though, is that his aesthetic sensibility is deeply personalized as well as a reflection of his greatest influences -- things like German expressionist films, macabre children’s books by Edward Gorey, or Poe-inspired Roger Corman films starring Vincent Price.

There are a number of things that we’ve seen again and again in his works: Johnny Depp pale with something sharp in his hands; the spooky young counter-cultural girl; the emotionally destructive parental figure and, conversely, the absurdly kind parental figure; the chubby sleaze ball character; the scores by Danny Elfman...the list goes on.

But while he’s stayed faithful to certain tropes, there is absolutely evidence of growth within his body of work. Certain films even deviated slightly from the style which so many associate him with.

Ed Wood (1994), for instance, deals less with authentically macabre themes, and more with kitschy and overtly-stylized notions of dark themes.  The film pays tribute to one of Burton’s childhood obsessions, the legendary B-movie director Ed Wood. The real life Wood is celebrated as one of the worst filmmakers of all time. The film stars Depp in the titular role, and examines Wood’s eccentric life both on and off the set. Wood was a cross dresser and produced a volume of poorly constructed horror and science fiction films throughout his career. The film also examines Wood’s friendship with actor Bela Lugosi (portrayed in the film by Martin Landau) who was struggling with an addiction to prescription medication by the end of his life, and actually died during the production of Wood’s film, Plan 9 From Outer Space, generally considered to be one of the worst (if not the very worst) films ever made.

Or consider Big Fish (2003): Rich and imaginative, one of the things that makes Big Fish so compelling is that it doesn’t quite adhere to the stylistic parameters that Burton is so distinctly known for. This one is considerably less dark than his other films. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, the film tells the story of Edward Bloom (Albert Finney), a whimsical old Southern salesman known for his incredible stories, who is dying. Bloom had a strained relationship with his son (Billy Crudup), and the two work towards salvaging their relationship while the father lays dying. Most of the film feature fairytale-esque segments based on Bloom’s stories, with actor Ewan McGregor portraying Edward Bloom as a young man. This is an extremely touching film.

His greatest accomplishment, though, might not have been as a director, but as a producer -- the wonderful The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), which was actually directed by Coraline (2009) director Henry Selick. 

The stop-motion animation film, which uses dolls and hand constructed miniature sets, originated from a poem that Burton wrote in 1982 while animating for Disney. It wasn’t until 1990 that Burton had managed to secure a deal to realize the project as a feature-length animated film. The film follows the story of Jack Skeleton (voiced by actor Chris Sarandon), the mayor of Halloween Town, where residents spend every day gearing up for their annual Halloween parade. Skeleton finds himself in the midst of an existential crisis, and when he accidentally stumbles upon Christmas Town, he decides that he wants to share the mirth and bliss of Christmas with the rest of the citizens of Halloween Town. They don’t quite get it though, and they end up kidnapping Santa, and forging their own perverse, campy-horror version of Christmas.

His greatest achievement as a director could have been Edward Scissorhands (1990), which featured a young Johnny Depp in the titular role. The film tells the story of a young man who was engineered by an eccentric inventor (played by Burton’s childhood hero, Vincent Price) who was made with scissors for hands. Edward is taken in by a suburban, southern Californian family, and falls in love with their daughter (played by Winona Ryder). This was Depp’s first role in a Tim Burton film, and Ryder’s second. The film was a huge commercial success, and is still beloved by weird kids everywhere.

Sure, he’s had a few misfires (Planet of the Apes [2001] and Mars Attacks [1996] coming readily to mind) but with Burton, the good far outweighs the bad. He’s made some of the most compelling and imaginatively stimulating films of the past few decades, and will forever hold a special place in the hearts of filmmakers and fans alike. 

Author Bio: Elizabeth Eckhart is a entertainment and film blogger for While Tim Burton’s films initially gave her nightmares, she came to enjoy them in her adult years. Her personal favorite is Edward Scissorhands.

taking a wardrobe lesson from tv characters

Dressing appropriately for the office can prove as tricky as your next promotion. You have to maintain a business-like demeanor while remaining reasonably mobile and comfortable, somehow injecting a spark of personality into the mix. In today's tight job market, it doesn't make sense to take unnecessary sartorial risks that could put a damper on your office image. But is there life beyond the navy blue suit?

If the leading professional ladies on are any clue, the answer is yes. From the easygoing department store style of Leslie Knopes of “Parks and Recreation," to the straight-laced power suits of Jessica Pearson in “Suits," these leading ladies illustrate the spectrum of savvy office style:

Leslie Knope, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

Start here to find the perfect example of an appropriately unremarkable workhorse wardrobe. Leslie Knope's character has assembled a wallet-friendly, work-worthy wardrobe of affordable pantsuits over silky tops and tie-front blouses, anchored by discreet accessories and sensible shoes. Perfect for a smaller organization or business casual environment, Leslie's clothes hit all the right notes so her personality can do the singing.

Creative Commons image by letsgoeverywhere

Robin Scherbatsky, “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS)

Here's another accessible wardrobe, which is more representative of department store style. Robin Scherbatsky may often appear in jeans, but she always pairs them with noteworthy tops, sweaters and jackets that keep her looking neat and fresh — a bonus in the office and out. No, she's not wearing anything remarkable, but she always looks appropriate.

Creative Commons image by watchwithkristin

Olivia Pope, “Scandal” (ABC)

Olivia Pope's impeccable style is all about neutrals. Eschewing traditional but harsh navy and black, she reaches past boring beige to blend luscious shades of peach, cream and tea in an office-appropriate palette. The colors say "woman," while the styles assure "professional." Want clothes that keep the focus on your work, not your image? This is how it's done.

Alicia Florrick, “The Good Wife” (CBS)

In contrast to Olivia Pope, Alicia Florrick offsets her conservative legal outfits with crackling color. Her secret to success? Conservative cuts with cautious hemlines and necklines that set off her dramatic coloring. With little room for sartorial splendor in her workplace, Alicia still manages to make a strong statement.

Jessica Pearson, “Suits” (USA Network)

If your office calls for a traditional suit every day, look to “Suits” for inspiration. Jessica Pearson wears a whole new level of pantsuit than Leslie Knopes, and she's made it a specialty. This is powersuiting at its best for women who need to cultivate a strong professional image.

Mindy Lahiri, “The Mindy Project” (Fox)

Ready to loosen up? Mindy Lahiri's physician on “The Mindy Project” always seems to show up to work in feminine, colorful dresses tailored with just enough shaping. Invisible beneath a lab coat? With dresses like this, not a chance.

Keeping It Real

While Knope and Scherbatsky arrive at the office in clothes accessible to most working women, not all the small screen's office attire is so attainable. This is TV, after all, and these wardrobes are most definitely aspirational.

These clothes are often impractical, as well. In the real world, women don't wobble across the office in five-inch spike heels, sweeping back a high-maintenance coif with a perfectly manicured hand. Don't fall for these blunders by too closely following the work wardrobes of characters that were designed for TV:
  • Heavy make-up — Office-appropriate make-up means you look like you, only a little more awake and polished. Leave the smoky eyes and siren lips for after-hours.
  • Flashy manicures — Nail art is hot right now, but that doesn't mean the trend has managed to become work-worthy.
  • Sky-high heels — If you can't tromp up and down the halls for an entire workday, you won't leave your desk to take care of necessary business.
  • No bra — Yes, your co-workers can tell. If you're worried about it showing, you should probably re-evaluate how much your blouse is revealing in the first place.
  • Sexy attire — There's a time and a place to look hot. This isn't it. Give your co-workers a break and let them focus on taking care of business.
Today's matter-of-fact workplace calls for darker colors, conservative hemlines, sensible heel heights, and non-flashy jewelry, Laura Mannix, a fashion pro who works with both urban professionals and TV costume designers, told Financial Times. Her professional clients have been retreating toward more conservative shores in recent times.

Fortunately, that means you don't have to spring for designer pieces just to keep up. Place your trust in these six office basics. Make sure your suits and investment pieces are well-tailored. If you play it safe with your main wardrobe, you can spice things up with the judicious use of accessories.

What TV character do you find office fashion inspiration from? Tell us in the comments.

Rachel is a mom who spends more time than she would like to admit writing about celebrities and entertainment.