Monday, December 31, 2012

CSM's Photo Review of 2012 in 12 Photos!

As the year is drawing to a close, reflection is all that one can do and inevitably will do today on NYE.  Today I'm looking back at all of the great CSM moments that have happened and in doing so all the amazing memories filled with laughter, love, and of course fashionable style come flooding back.

So many exciting things have happened for me this year and it's all thanks to my phenomenal CSM readers & community.  This year I've traveled to a few pretty amazing locales, played 'hostess with the mostess' for some stellar fashion/style events & brand collaborations, wore some kick ass ensembles, and attended a number of fashion shows.  All while still channeling my style mantra: Edgy, Comfy, Chic.

As you peruse through my top 12 photos from 2012, I hope it encourages you to reflect back and pick your personal top 12 moments from 2012 as well.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

[Chicago Dining] Roka Akor Winter Menu Preview!

Anytime I get to infuse food and fashion together it's always a match made in cosmic heaven.  Roka Akor extended me the opportunity to join them recently to preview their food & cocktail winter menu.  As an appreciator of artistic cuisine featuring premiere fresh seasonal, natural and local ingredients it was definitely an event I was looking forward too.  The tasting menu was comprised of 5 different courses, a dessert and 3 different cocktails.

Being a contemporary Robatayaki Japanese restaurant, it was so refreshing to see "food as theater".  Of the 5 courses that were served my favorite was the Robata grilled Wagyu confit Short Rib with truffle maitake mushroom; grilled sweet potato with ginger teriyaki sauce.  Roka Akor is most notably known as a sushi master, but their impressive offering of succulent steak cuts is what left me craving for more.

This new seasonal menu will launch this Friday with the Winter Solstice, on December 21st through March 20th.  Check out my pics below (warning, may cause drool):

Wondering what to wear to this contemporary eastern experience? Play up the fun and sleek vibe in this "Edgy Sparkle" ensemble:

Shop the look here:

Friday, December 7, 2012

[Personal Style] Baroque'in it until the wheels fall off!

When I laid my eyes on the ultra luxe rich brocades and intricate embellishments that defined the baroque opulence of Balmain's Fall/Winter 2012 collection my heart skipped a beat.   Exquisite detailing, elaborate patterns, and lush fabrics just beckoned to me to jump behind this trend.

To emphasize the defining details of this trend I chose  pieces that showcase fine detailing and elaborate patterns so that they would be the main points of interests in my ensemble.  Keeping the palette in monochrome tones with just a pop color of red updates this trend, while also giving it the right amount of edge to keep true to my style mantra: Edgy, Comfy, Chic.

What I'm wearing: ASOS Baroque Caviar Beaded Tunic/ Laundry by Shelli Segal Wool Cape (Similar)/ J Brand Skinny Jeans/ Chloe Susanna Boots/ Chloe Paddington Tote (Similar)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cape it up!

The perfect topper for any Fall ensemble? Why not a cape! This season's big and spacious silhouettes make this accessory the perfect accent to channel your inner super hero.

Seriously, how vogue-ishly chic are these?!



Miss Selfridge

Monday, December 3, 2012

[Chicago Beauty Review] Sine Qua Non Hair Make-over!

Sine Qua Non, a premier hair & beauty salon have been styling Chicago for the last 19 years extended me the opportunity to come in and experience first hand just what makes them such a one-of-a-kind hair & beauty salon.

Naturally when I received the invitation I was a bit apprehensive.  So, if you don't already know I have really curly hair.  Let me say that again, I have really curly, wavy, frizzy, unmanageable hair.  I've had way too many nightmare hair encounters to count and because of this I've become a skeptic of trying out a new hairdresser.

Even though I've had such a horrible experience finding the right match it hasn't stopped me from being on the hunt for the perfect hairdresser to tame my wild mane.  Half a dozen mushroom shaped layers and botched trims in Chicago,  I can honestly say that I have found my hairdresser.  After much trial and error, I've identified key signs/questions to immediately look for when trying out a new hair dresser:

1. Does the hairdresser have the same hair texture as yours?
2. Do they share personal tips for hair management and/or routine?
3. Do they explain and walk you through each step of the plan that they have for your service?
4. Are you smiling at the end?

After so many hair disasters I was very pleased to have experienced just what made Sine Qua Non "an indispensable or essential ingredient".  I happily answered "Yes!" to all of my 4 questions.  And the best part of all of this is, I finally found my hairdresser!  Mischa is officially my Chicago curly hair expert and I can already foresee that we are going to become hair besties.

P.S. For all of my curly haired readers who struggle to find the right product and product regime to follow, I have been using Mischa's recommendations and I cannot live without them.  My hair still feels and looks as healthy as it did as when I left Sine Qua Non.  Bumble and bumble Bb Tonic Lotion & Bb Curl Conscious Defining Creme are literally 'water' for my curls.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Smart is the new Chic!

The clutch handbag for me has always been synonymous with being the perfect pairing to any ensemble day or night.  This is especially true when the final touch to your look is the want to embrace the "less is more" adage.  Spring 2013's fashion accessory direction is focusing on pint size chic.

With this new silhouette trend direction, coupled with the fact that I am a book worm at heart, it was an instant love affair when I put my eyes on these book clutches.  Check out my top 4 choices that can accommodate any budget, after all book smart is the new chic!

Olympia Le-Tan

Monika Chiang

Kate Spade


Olympia Le-Tan

Friday, November 23, 2012

[Chicago Shopping] Shop Local for Black Friday & Small Business Saturday!

The biggest shopping time of the year has officially arrived.  This time of year is when retailers make half of a year's worth of profit (yes, approximately 47 to 50%) and keep their fingers crossed they get their profits into the "black".

So this  year, take advantage of the opportunity to not only score on some amazing savings while at the same time supporting local Chicago businesses.  Check out my round-up of top deals happening in Chicago today for Black Friday & tomorrow for Small Business Saturday:

C/Fan Designs:


True Blessyn:

Edith Hart: 

Sir & Madame:

Cotton Candy Couture:


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Get Inspired for Turkey Day!

Out of all of the American holidays we celebrate there is no other holiday that has a stronger association with food, indulgence and consumption than Thanksgiving.  All of us look forward to gathering together with close friends and family and partaking in a larger than life feast of a meal.

Many of us sacrifice style and fashion for this holiday because let's be real, you want to be wearing your "eating pants" to be comfortable as you are chowing down on mom's homemade stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Check out my 4 outfit inspirations that focus on comfort and style.  This Thanksgiving you can have it all, a stylish ensemble but comfortable enough that you will be officially retiring those "eating pants" (I would personally recommend burning them but that's just me).

Monday, November 19, 2012

[Personal Style] Floor Length Skirt + Tee = Edgy, Comfy, Chic!

I'm officially another year older, another year wiser and naturally another year closer to refining my style. Over the years I've gone through a number of what I call style evolution's.  Through each style evolution that has happened I've always maintained my style mantra "Edgy, Comfy, Chic".  My love and adoration for fashion and style stemmed from my fascination with fashion as an art form.

The idea of drawing inspiration from inanimate objects and giving it life in movement & shape through a beautifully constructed garment is the epitome of euphoria.  This year I partnered with one of my favorite Chicago fashion designers, Arianna Green of ASSATA Designs to create a color-blocked floor length skirt for me to wear for my birthday festivities.  I have been fascinated by the beautiful shapes and silhouettes of Balenciaga's Spring 2012 Collection of big brimmed hats that were inspired by Irving Penn's iconic images, "Hat Women".  

From the moment I seen the dome shaped hat being balanced by tiny models strutting down the runway, the rest of the world admired these beautiful hats & visors but I seen an amazing shape for a skirt.  This next chapter in my style diary continues to grow with the expansion of my signature "Edgy, Comfy, Chic" style mantra by re-defining casual elegance.

What I'm Wearing: ASOS Leather Jacket/ASSATA Designs Custom Skirt/Comme des Garcons PLAY Tee/Dolce Vita Pumps/LINKS of London Bracelets/River Island Friendship Braclets/Spiked Gem Drop Earrings

Love my look? Re-create it now: