Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This Humble Abode

It was nearly impossible to breeze through this month's Adore Home without noticing Claudia Stephenson's home. The entire issue is filled with glamourous color schemes, chic home accessories, and the best of the best furniture. Peruse the magazine yourself for the full experience, but I know you'll be pleased with this overview from Claudia's magnificently styled abode.
Are there any other Gossip Girl fans in the crowd? As a die hard, there's no way I can resist this arrangement. The Prada Marfa artwork is very Upper East Side, and is actually featured on the hit CW show. Beside the fabulous GG memorabilia, behold the mix of color. Claudia certainly didn't shy away from color schemes and pattern play while designing her home, because this snapshot is loaded with a mix of styles. The basic couch is very average, it could be put in any living room. But the plastic table with the books and flower pot add a modern touch and a hint of glamour. The pillows are where it gets interesting. The pattern is basic, but very exquisite in bright pink. Also in black, this adds a classic feeling to the couch. Paired with other neutral colored pillows, there's a healthy balance in themes.
 I have an obsession with reusing old fashion magazines as decor. The color in this shot is a very tasteful mix. Brights and neutrals steal the show with a subtle black and white magazine cover to set balance, much like the arrangement of the couch pictured above.
This home is very comfortable and extremely chic. It's something that I, and many other style lovers, could see myself living in. The colors, the warm and welcoming bedroom, and the small accessories shape the house. Each additive to the space serves an important role in making the house unique. Claudia Stephenson's eye for style is what sets her apart from many other women with furnished homes. Ah, wouldn't you love to live here? So would I.
xx, ZM

Monday, April 09, 2012

Rêve d'une Jolie Maison [dreaming of a pretty home]

When I flip through the pages of ELLE décor, I can't help but design my dream home in my mind. When I doze off, I dream of a pretty home. My room now is already my own personal space. Picture frames, mood boards, my kate spade calendar mounted onto the wall all say a little about me. Just like fashion, décor leaves a lot of room for personalization. As I found myself lost in my own thoughts and dreams of a pretty home, I put together some pictures of what I imagined, and it came out even prettier than it was in my mind.
 "A good home must be made, not bought."
The thing I can say about my maison de rêve [dream home] is that it's very detailed. There are flowers, colors and accessories all over the place. You can't keep up with all of the colors and your eyes can't just focus on one spot. I love quirky decorations like old magazines and jewelry sitting on top of them. I definitely have an eye for a new, yet rustic style of interior design. It's easy to have fun with and it reflects my style.
 There I said it, rustic. I absolutely love homes with a lot of vintage accents. Even if it's new, it's easy to emulate an old fashion style décor. I get my love for interiors from my mother. If I had to count the number of furniture stores she's dragged me to in the last seventeen years (sorry, mom) let's just say I couldn't using both hands. But now I appreciate her desire to keep a pretty home, and from that, I've been rêve d'une jolie maison. 
Thanks, Mom.
xx, ZM



That's a Wrap: Spring Scarves

Since the cold weather has been making a comeback lately, it’s time for a trend that’ll warm you up. Spring scarves are a perfect and pretty way to keep cozy. Providing warmth and style, these seasonal accessories are a convenient addition to any wardrobe. Just about any print can look fabulous on a spring scarf as long as you’re not clashing! But I’m confident that I’ve taught all of you enough so that you’ll never, ever clash. Chevron, florals, stripes, solid, etc. are perfect print for scarves this season. If you’re looking at an overview of street style from any fashion capital, spring scarves will be all over the place.
Above, is a picture from an advertisement for Hermes collection Paris Mon Ami. The models are dressed for a chilly spring day with a chic accessory tied around their necks. Hermes is a fan favorite among the fashionably inclined, but any scarf will do! But if you're looking for a shiny, silk scarf, Hermes is your top pick. The designs are always classic and in style. I don't think Hermes has ever made a mistake. As for tying your scarf, I'm certainly no expert. I usually experiment until I think it looks good, and I recommend you do the same. It's a quirky and easy way to get your scarf tied for an original look!
That's a wrap.
xx, ZM

Friday, April 06, 2012

Speaking out Against Pro-ana & Pro-mia Sites

     During her speech at the MGH Harris Center’s 15th Annual Public Forum at Harvard University this Monday, Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani called for help to raise eating disorder awareness. Her top request for the audience was to sign the Vogue Italia petition against pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites. With over 300,000 of these blogs polluting the Internet and the minds of anorexia and bulimia victims worldwide, Sozzani is starting her movement against them. These destructive sites promote starving oneself and provide “thinspiration” images and tips to achieve an unhealthy goal weight. These sorts of “pro-ana” and “pro-mia” sites are contributing to the rising number of eating disorders in young men and women today. Sozzani has called for bloggers to designate posts toward raising awareness for eating disorders and advocating authentic, healthy beauty.
     Pro-ana and pro-mia sites are harmful to all of their visitors. Franca Sozzani addressed during her speech at Harvard that it’s nearly impossible to track down all of the sites’ authors and contributors because there are so many, but instead of removing them from the Internet, she’s created a movement to outnumber them. “If they have 300,000, I’ll have 500,000,” Sozzani told the audience in Harvard University’s Memorial Church on Monday night, “We’re not creating a Vogue community, that means nothing. Everyone must become involved.” She has requested that bloggers support young people suffering from anorexia and bulimia by promoting alternative ways to look and feel healthy and to provide practical advice for those suffering. Instead of images of scary-skinny models and dangerous tips on how to maintain an unhealthy, unattainable weight, bloggers taking part in the “Your blogs against ana and mia” movement are writing to provide support and help victims of eating disorders recognize their bodies’ natural beauty.
     The forum, which is held by MGH’s Harris Center for Eating Disorders and the center’s Dr. David Herzog, stresses the importance of health in beauty. Alongside Franca Sozzani was supermodel Doutzen Kroes and media mogul Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post. With passion for the cause and personal stories that will give any audience goosebumps, these women are taking a stand against pro-ana and pro-mia sites. With their support and the support of their fans, many bloggers will be inspired help to outnumber the dangerous sites that are distorting the minds of young people. Creating awareness will lead to a reduction of the number of eating disorders and a wider acceptance of distinct aesthetics, rather than the one, sickly thin look the fashion industry showcases.
     So as a blogger and an attendee of the Harris Center forum for the past three years, I’m here to say that I’m against pro-ana and pro-mia blogs and websites. Not only do they promote unhealthy lifestyles, but they all downplay the severity of eating disorders. Not only do the disorders cause a person to lose weight, but a scarce intake of food will affect all body systems. Dangerous dieting tips are brushed off as if the writers are just trying to encourage eating healthy when it’s just the opposite. After hearing about the massive number of these sites after the forum, I did my research and I was horrified with the content I came across. Images of emaciated bodies deemed as  “perfect “ and “accomplished” didn’t sit right with me. As a seventeen year old, I know how gullible and naive teenage girls and boys can be, so it scared me to think that so many people view are able to this as acceptable and follow the sites’ lethal guidelines. One look at a “thinspiration” website like the ones I saw could influence somebody so easily, and that’s why they’re such a threat to young people in society. They can’t necessarily be stopped, as Franca Sozzani reminded the audience at the Harris Center forum on Monday, but they certainly can be left in the dust behind blogs that promote healthy living.
     There are so many alternative ways to looking and feeling beautiful than to starve or overwork yourself. Each person is different, and with that diversity comes beauty. The dictionary may define beauty as a noun meaning, “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations,” but I think beauty is anything authentic. If you’re original and you let it shine through, that’s absolutely beautiful. For example, behind every painting, there’s a story. All paintings may not fit your definition of beautiful at first, but when the exigence of the piece and the artist’s story behind it become known, all of a sudden what you’re looking at transforms into a piece of art, rather than just a senseless picture. Just like that art that seemed like a cluster at first, a person’s creativity can fuel their diversity and beauty, but without that authenticity, a person is just another face in the crowd; redundancy won’t get you anywhere. Attaining society’s perception of beauty through unnatural ways isn’t practical or beautiful, it’s dangerous.
     Welcome to “anti-ana and mia” Fridays on Here, you will find news on the latest attacks on pro-ana and pro-mia sites, and ways to find your beauty if you’re searching for it. Beauty lies in diversity. There are so many negative resources that will tell you differently, but you must have your body’s best interest in mind when defining what “beautiful” means to you.
Sign the Vogue Italia petition against pro-ana and pro-mia sites here.
Support the cause and let your voice be heard.
You can't reach maximum beauty at minimum size.
xx, ZM

Monday, April 02, 2012

All About the Statement Piece

This spring, there isn't anything shy about fashion. Bright colors, bold prints, a lot of mixing and matching going on, and statement jewelry. Statement pieces are great because even the most simple outfit can be brought to life with the help of some bold accessories. A plain blouse could be transformed into a fabulous top if the right necklace is added on top of it. Statement pieces are the perfect addition to an outfit crying out for a little extra shine.
When adding a piece like the necklace pictured above, it's smart to match to the color you're wearing and add a few new ones into the mix, too. Since this season calls out for lots of color, it will always be worn well. To make a statement piece stand out even more, make it your only accessory. Don't take away from its attention with anything else! Say you've got a great set of bangles you want to choose for your statement piece, try not to add a necklace or earrings. This way, all the attention will be on that one, bold accessory that you'll be so eager to wear.
This blouse's pattern and the color in the necklace is also a perfect example of bringing color and variety into yet another spring trend. I can also picture this look with matching bracelets, too. I know I said not shy away from more than one statement piece, but the bracelets are a soft and subtle addition to the look, and wouldn't make any statement if left alone. But as you can see, these blouses are pretty plain on their own. With the assistance of one or two core accessories, the outfit is complete. It's very smart to have a couple of bold pieces on deck if you've ever got a boring outfit that needs a little spice! It's an easy way to look great.
Making a statement never looked so fabulous.
xx, ZM
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