Thursday, January 31, 2013

[Chicago Fashion Event] Randolph Street Market Winter Market!

The Randolph Street Market's 2013 winter markets are all about "Passion & Vanities".  I'll be hitting the market early on Saturday, February 2nd to pick my top market finds and will have an 'Editor's Choice' ribbon  on the items letting you know that it's CSM Approved.

Get all of the info about tickets here, and definitely come prepared with your walking shoes because once you enter the market gates you will end up spending the day there discovering all of the amazing treasures that it has to offer!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spring 2013 Couture Shows: 8 Looks Worth the Investment!

In the world of fashion the term "Haute Couture" is heavily misused.  Everyone from Real Housewives reality star, Alexis Bellino to pop star Gwen Stefani have used this word to describe their fashions.  It has now become such a muddled definition that many associate anything that they cut and sew or personally design as "Haute Couture".

According to wikipedia the definition of "Haute Couture" (is French for "high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high fashion") refers to the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing.  It is a made to order for a specific customer, and it is made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses, often time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.

To preserve the prestige, quality and high value attached to a garment being labeled "Haute Couture", the term is protected by law in France. The Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris is a commission who's sole purpose is to determine which fashion houses are eligible to be true haute couture houses.  Each year they release a list of approved companies/fashion houses who are eligible to use the term.

So you can only imagine the long laborious hours that it takes to create these stunning pieces of art.  "Haute Couture" is the definition of Fashion is Art, Art is Fashion. In reviewing the different collections from this past Spring 2013 Couture fashion presentations there were 8 looks that I believe would not only be worth the thousands in investment but are such bold and beautiful works of art that in the end, what you are purchasing is wearable art.

So, any takers willing to fund my "Help CSM's Haute Couture Aspirations"? Think about it as you check out the 8 looks I've selected:

*Photo Credit:

Elie Saab

Christian Dior

Atelier Versace


Giambattista Valli 



Alexis Mabille

Monday, January 28, 2013

SOSS Nails Giveaway!

Attention all nail heads, attention all nail heads SOSS Nails is giving away one of the most amazing and comprehensive nail and beauty giveaways EVER!

Soileti Hoko, the phenom behind SOSS Nails is asked on daily basis by the nail heads that come to her for a  nail crack fix about what are the absolute necessities that she needs in order to create the magic and well here it is folks:

  • 1 SOSS Nails hand painted nail set 
    • Includes 18 nails (9 sizes for each hand)
  • Nail Art Kit
    • Black Nail Polish Stripper
    • White Nail Polish Stripper
    • Orly Lacquer Thinner
    • Seche Vite Base Coat
    • Seche Vite Top Coat
    • Cuticle Scissors
    • Cuticle Nippers
    • Cuticle Pusher
    • Nail Clippers

These are the tools that Soi believes aide to accomplish her Top 3, which are in her own words: "1. Maintaining nails/cuticles is the first thing that should be done (clipping, removing, etc) as well as using a base coat-the foundation always matters. 2. Applying polish smoothly is impossible without lacquer thinner for your stripper bottle when it gets thick (that's the biggest secret to my straight lines). 3. Of course-Seche Vite top coat to add the "WOW" factor.  Seche Vite is the Beyonce of top coats, anything else is blasphemy.  You don't know nails until you know this top coat-it's what gives nails the money look."

Want to win this AMAH-ZING nail giveaway? Well here are the rules, ready-set-go!
P.S. If you 'LIKE' and comment on both of our instagrams (@SOSSNails@CSMStyleDiary) you will get an additional entry in the giveaway (might not hurt if you followed us as well).

This sweepstakes officially starts today, January 28th until February 12th at 5pm CST.  The winner will be announced via Facebook.*

*Must live in the United States.  Winner will be randomly selected using and must follow all steps listed above in order to qualify to win.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

[Pasifika Fashion Series] SOSS Nails: Providing Nail Crack for Nail Head Enthusiasts!

In case you have been sheltered and or living on a remote island with no access to the internet you know from my previous post (here) that your manicure is just as important of a fashion accessory as your choice of footwear.

There are quite a number of nail artists blazing the trail of transforming and re-defining this new industry, but one in particular is creating a truly unique niche that I couldn't help but take notice.  Meet Soileti Hoko, the talented young Tongan woman behind the trailblazing company SOSS Nails.  As an art lover since birth the inspiration to take that love to the unconventional canvas of nails happened in 2010 and she hasn't turned back since.  Soi's infectious excitement and love for her craft are so evident that it is no surprise that this is what has continued to fuel her drive and continued aspiration to be one of the forefront entrepreneurs in the beauty industry.

As one of the many who worship at the altar of nail art, it is such a rush to discover the many new and constant innovations that are showcased on a daily basis.  Soi's creation of a custom hand painted nail set is pure genius.  As if there were a possibility that this remarkable talent could be any more amazing, she wows with these custom hand painted nail sets.  If you are in Salt Lake City, UT don't sleep on this young lady.  Get in now and get SOSS'd! (contact her here)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Designer Handbags 101: Get More Bang For Your Buck!

A few CSM readers have reached out and asked me about tips on how to buy designer handbags so I've decided to share my approach to designer handbags in today's blog post.  My central focus when I embark on the hunt for finding the next treasure to add to my handbag collection doesn't initially start in the handbag section.  My search always starts in the fashion accessories department.  Majority of the high end designers have fashion accessories in addition to their handbags that are much more affordable than their handbags are.

Cosmetic pouches, large wallet size pouches, etc all fall under the classification of fashion accessories.  Many  of these pieces are actually the size of a clutch but are only a small fraction of the cost in comparison to an actual clutch.  Remember my Alexander McQueen pictured below (post here)? Well here's a secret, it's actually a coin purse.

Alexander McQueen 

Check out the following designer fashion accessories that you can definitely carry as a clutch.  Which one will you be adding to your collection?

3.1 Phillip Lim 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander Wang



Proenza Schouler

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#CSMTravels for the month of January!

The month of January so far has been such a whirlwind.  I toasted in the new year with a few glasses of champagne, made a few resolutions for myself personally and of course for CSM and then jetsetted off on a work trip to Hong Kong.  While I was there for the '9 to 5' I still managed to enjoy some sinfully delectable eats, scored a few man repelling pieces, accomplished a few personal fitness goals and even squeezed in some time to play tourist.

Check out my photo review of my trip abroad to Hong Kong and to Shen Zhen in mainland China.  Enjoy! xoxo