Thursday, February 28, 2008

Style Bard + Lulu's

Lulu's is a cute online boutique with stylish apparel and accessories - and a great sale selection! Shop funky or ultra-chic with their wide variety of trends.

They've got sundresses and sandals on sale for Spring, plus affordable jewelry to create a one-of-a-kind outfit.

Now you can save 15% at checkout using the code "stylebard"! Expires April 01, 2008. Plus, Free Shipping on orders over $75.

Homage or Old Hat?


.... just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Maybe someone out there can explain this to me:

Beaded Bolero, Geoffrey Beene

I have to applaud he intricate beadwork and the delicate pattern, but I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around this "bolero." I wish the site offered some views of how it can be worn. All I can come up with is over a simple formal black dress. Add this to the dress itself and I'm so on board, but as a separate? Why? You're going to get all kinds of uses out of it?

From the site: "Under the design direction of Einar Holiloekk, who was groomed by Beene to preserve and carry on his legacy, the Beene tradition of intricately special yet intrinsically simple style continues. His beaded bolero is a true collector's item of exquisite workmanship. The body of the bolero is shaped in a black/white mini-check silk gazar, and then hand-embroidered with a floral design in yellow silk, which is accented with hand-applied jet beads and sequins. The reverse of the bolero is lined with a yellow/black plaid silk taffeta."

And this:

Beene Crystal Collar Necklace

Again, it's shiny and beautiful so for reasons we won't look at too closely, I have to want it, but it's... not really so much a necklace? It's a... neck... apparel... okay, I give up. It's like the mini version of a cape, really. I could maybe get on board, but for the cutesy bow. Does this go with a sleeveless dress? Better yet, does it go with anything else?

From the site: "The crystal collar necklace is by itself a work of art, composed of dozens of hand sewn crystal baguettes resting atop a black double-faced satin collar. When tied over a simple tee shirt, or paired with a strapless evening dress, the result is a dazzling, outrageously sexy interplay of light and shadow. The collar measures 3" wide at the front and tapers to 2" wide at the back. It ties in front with a black satin ribbon."

Maybe we can brainstorm some ways to make these things practical! Let me know what you think.

Custom Sandals - Morgan Miller Shoes

I'm pleased to share with you Morgan Miller Shoes, a site where you can create great sandals with your choice of sole, strap material, and even hardware!

You also pick the size and width; you're in control. In the store, shoes are actually fitted to you by a cobbler once you've selected your custom look. These shoes have been rising in popularity, especially for women with specialty needs or those who demand to have the hottest shoes on the market, the shoes that no other fashionista can lay claim to. You're sure to get many compliments, and when asked about their origin you can say, "I designed them!" Well-known brands such as Steve Madden and Puma acknowledge that custome shoes are the future of consumer demand and offer options on their site, but only at Morgan Miller do you get your shoes made in an hour and handed to you on a silver platter - literally!

Why am I so proud of this nifty idea? Because this newsworthy little on-the-go bespoke shop is based in South Florida's Aventura Mall, Bard's own home area. I can't wait to go and check it out on my next trip, but if like me you're too far to wander in and get yourself personalized shoes - ready in an hour - you can visit the website and order them. Unlike Steve Madden or Puma, you can get them delivered overnight. I had a lot of fun creating the design shown here, mixing and matching fabrics and colors and heels. (Don't worry, I don't mind if you borrow the look.) Can you believe I don't own any animal print shoes yet? How happy would I be to add this to my summer collection?

According to a recent article in the Sun-Sentinel, the store even hosts shoe parties for "customers who want to share the experience." What a great idea! Champagne, shoes, exclusivity... who's in for my next birthday? Customers get to walk away from these private events with bragging rights - and the best party favor of all, new shoes. At the store, belts and handbags are available for customization as well but they take a few weeks to produce and deliver, unlike the "instant gratification" you can gain from having the shoes designed while you wait (or available for overnight shipping online).

The best part? Ms. Miller is living her dream and creating a new way to shop for shoes at the ripe age of 25 years. I have to applaud and admire a girl with that kind of vision, ambition, and success.

Prices range from $99-$350, making them today's Deal of the Day over at Style Bard Shoes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Legs and All

Okay, so tonight I am finally checking out How To Look Good Naked with everyone's favorite flaming Fab 5-er, Carson Kressley (does anyone really know his last name?). The episodes I caught were back-to-back, "Alea" and "Layla".

At a glance, it's the same formula of all of the makeover shows, from the gruesome The Swan to the redundant Ten Years Younger to the infinitely better What Not to Wear. The hapless girls who hate their bodies are asked to explain what they hate about themselves, and then are summarily told they are wrong, and then given whirlwind makeovers of wardrobe and beauty so that they can see a "totally different person" and somehow embrace... themselves. My main problem, of course, other than the repetitive formula, is the "it's okay honey, you look different now; you look better now" backhanded insult that's buried in the show's insistent optimism.

In the example of Alea, we're introduced to a young woman who's spent eighteen years covering her arms and legs and feet in total every day, even at the beach. She claims to feel 'embarassed' and 'vulnerable' about her exposed body. Vulnerable, you say? Perfect! Let's get right to exploiting that. Erm, I mean, tell me more about your unfounded insecurity. Alea's assessment of her toned, uncurvy, self-proclaimed 'masculine' body (you poor, poor girl) is met with a few tossed out compliments about a flat stomach, long legs, and a nice clavicle (you poor, poor girl). The cynic in me can't help but read this segment as: 'My [insert part here] is ugly.' / 'Yes. BUT---' I mean, compliments are always welcome Carson, but she never said she HAD a problem with her clavicle.

In Layla's case, she thinks she is fat and should lose 40 pounds. She doesn't even own a full-length mirror. So, Carson throws her, undressed, in a room of them. When Layla says she hates the fat under her arms, Carson sympathetically replies that most women do. When she says she has a problem with her thighs, he says, 'We'll show your knees down!' And I say, great, she'll completely learn that her thighs are fine and that no size determines beauty by concealing her thighs for the rest of her life. Just divert the eye from them and no one will know that they're fat! Wait... what?

By the way, they call this part of the show 'taking a good honest look at yourself.' I kind of almost wish for a bitchier host who'll stop dicking everyone's self-esteem around and say, 'Yup, those are fat arms. And?' Carson's family-friendly bitchiness really straddles the line in an unhelpful way. "You're not perfect" is too much of a pat on the head (in my opinion).

(By the way, I really enjoy the completely obvious and irrelevant pop-up facts at the bottom left of the screen in these two episodes. Helpful information such as '72% of women remember being teased about their appearance when they were young' and 'models are skinnier than 98% of the female population.' Ummm, thanks? For that? Information?)

They go shopping, yadda yadda, clothes and undergarments can change your shape and appearance. Trick the eye. Hide what you don't like. Yawn. The girls get some new outfits and bras. "Your breasts are fine because look, we can CHANGE them. No one has to KNOW your boobs are that small." I mean, isn't the point to accept your body NAKED? Carson calls this 'accentuating what the girls see in the mirror.' It's a complete-this-sentence trick. "Let's accentuate what you look like with clothes so . . . you can look good naked." Erm... no. I am the number one advocate of how clothes can change everything about you and upgrade your looks, of how to conceal flaws and showcase the goods, but that's... not this show's agenda. So, essentially, I am flummoxed.

Layla finally seems to be liking herself in her new brassiere and panties, and in his congratulatory excitement, Carson... picks her up and spins her? Guys, I am familiar with finding a begrudging truce with the realities of my body, and how freeing that can be, but I do not want someone I've known for five days to, on television, feel free to grab me up in my underwear and spin me around. Yipes. I think I would have smacked him, or dropped dead. I don't care if you're gay, dude, that's my ass you're holding on TV.

Once the girls get some new dresses and stuff, they're taken to get made over. I'd love to be professionally glammed up to see my 'best' self, just for kicks, but for this show, I'd really rather see the girls do 'beauty' shots, more natural, with their hair down and natural, basic makeup. I think if they grin their faces off and gasp when they see that photo, then Carson's work is done. Fake eyelashes? Fake boobs? Fake hair? I mean, why don't we just photoshop their pictures, am I right? They'll need to go home and look at the mirror off-camera, eventually.

Anyway, apparently none of them have ever SEEN the show, because they get to be shocked! that Carson asks them to do their photoshoot... NAKEDOMG. The girls are like no! and Carson's like come on! and then through the magic of cue cards and editing the girls reply okay! And they go. Tasteful nekked photos happen, and are showcased in downtown Santa Monica, which must be getting really tired of these goings-on every week. Do fans gather there for a chance to peek at Carson?

Yeah, yeah, I have to take issue with the 'compliment the naked photo' part of the show. Mainly just when the women are complimented by men on their sexiness, or hell, thanked for their sexiness, and dissected into parts. 'Nice leeeegs' 'great rack' --- well... sorry, but why does she need their acceptance? Why does she need to be 'sexy' to accept her naked body? Unfortunately, I think women really do benefit from this kind of feedback and like to hear it. I'd be personally sorely tempted to say, 'Yes, I look great, but I did it for me, not your visual consumption.' (Does that contradict having a giant picture of you blasted onto the side of a building?) I also don't like the compliment of 'she looks like a model' in Alea's case. Well... aren't we saying how 98% of women don't look like models and no one should aspire to? Accept yourself because you're normal and NOT A MODEL and that's OKAY? I don't think the show would be enjoyable if it constantly qualified itself, and it can't take the entirety of the feminist agenda unto itself, but these things irk me, so I shall protest.

In the end, Layla's main summary is that she's "started to feel different." Well, I'd rather hear 'better' than 'different' but I get the point that this is good for her. I just hope the show doesn't suggest that women without the money or access to new, expensive clothes, a blowout, and spa treatment can't accept their bodies without somehow changing. If we're telling women they could look better if they could just change a bunch, that seems to be enforcing, well, the problem at hand at the start.

Check it out for yourselves here and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Comrade

Heeeey, Shoewawa's Helen Lee doesn't like sneakers either! But she likes these Blowfish Canvas Sneakers.

To be fair, these are kind of a bootie... and if there's one thing Style Bard loves, it's a form of the boot!

Love. Want. Need. ~J. Crew Elephant Charm Bracelet~

I have to tell you, I'm not always charmed by charm bracelets, but I do have a soft spot for two things, and that's a cute animal charm and white accents on jewelry. Elephants (along with birds, in case you were wondering) are one of my favorite fashion animals, and I recently purchased an amazingly soft hoodie by Cocoa with a cute white elephant patch on the front. I also love the gold rope-like body of the bracelet. I would just love to add this bracelet to my jewelry box and I can think of plenty of outfits it would accent! (That's really always the mark of doom, isn't it? When you're already picturing yourself wearing it?) Unfortunately, at $125 it's not exactly in my "cute jewelry" budget, and even if I were feeling sinful, this bracelet has already sold out at the JCrew website. Ah, well, what can I say but "good job, JCrew"? Found via FabSugar.

PS, would it be too much or just right to pair it with these edgy Gara Danielle Shark's Tooth Earrings from ShopBop? They're kind of fantastic, and very on sale.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I Hate Sneakers

So, I hate sneakers.

Anyone with me?

Unless you're running or working out, or have a medical condition, I find most sneakers relatively abhorrous. There's always a more flattering pair of shoes to make your outfit, and very few excuses not to reach for those when you head out the door. Sneakers are well-built and comfortable, but the compromise is that they're clunky and square-shaped. If they aren't required, I say leave 'em at home. A cute flat is just as easy (if not easier) to slip on, and as comfortable.

I just got back from a trip that required long walks and hiking (part of my most recent long absence). Now, usually I'm the girl who'll survive a long day on her feet in heels without complaint, but for the hiking and climbing required to get to beautiful heights (like the picture above - that's from my trip!), I knew I couldn't get away with anything other than a pair of sneakers. Did I own a pair? Of course not. So I got to take on the chore of looking for a cute but practical pair of sneakers.

After a long day at the mall I was running out of time (shopping last minute is my trademark) and I was mightily discouraged. All of the sneakers I could find were colorless, too athletic-looking, had more dohickeys and doodads than I required, or made my feet look like boxes. Crimes against fashion, really. Sure, I was going to be up in the mountains, but people could still see me, you know? And we'd be taking lots of pictures.

My one other issue was that I didn't want to really spend the money on a pair of sneakers I was never going to look at again in two weeks. I thought, if I could at least find something marginally cute, I won't give them to Goodwill the moment my trip's over. (That was the fate of the last pair of sneaks I kept around after promising myself I'd work out more. Sssshyeah.) If I genuinely bonded with these shoes, against my heartfelt prejudice, maybe I'd keep 'em around for the once every several years my lifestyle requires sneakers.

The last store left in the mall was DSW actually, and I didn't have a ton of optimism going in. However this is a happily-ending story. After about 40 minutes in the store I found this pair on a sale display:

Amiya, by Adidas (Zappos).

They're well-made, come in cute, vibrant colors, and I really appreciate that they're slim. The toe even comes to a slightly rounded point. There are patent strips on the upper to add extra shine and flash to them. Because they were on sale, and because DSW has an amazing non-expiring return policy, I was happy to buy them on the spot, and have continued to like looking at them - even though they're sneakers.

I also love them in Black:

I would still grab another shoe to wear around casually before I would reach for my sneakers, but these have really fulfilled all of my demands and opened my mind about this ugly shoe type. Now let's keep it up, okay fitness shoe brands? There's no reason a woman should have to look like crap while she's working out and trying to look fantastic. (And where better than to meet Mr. Right than the gym? I'm just saying.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Fabbies Update

For those of you having trouble voting, the Fabbies site has been moved and altered so that it's not only working better than before, but prettier, too!

Follow the the following link:

Voting has also been extended to April which gives you plenty of time to register and vote for me as well as all of your fashion blog favorites!