Fashion

DIY Jeweled Clutch

Looking for a weekend project? Check out Laura’s DIY clutch. Gorgeous!

Oh Wize One

I am addicted to statement pieces. Seriously when something speaks to me I drop the cash and leave my logic at home. I’m beginning to understand  that spending big money on pieces I am only going to wear on occasion is irrational.

I love evening clutches but they are expensive and too small to carry for everyday wear. I have been wanting a clear acrylic clutch so I ordered this one off ebay for $8. When I got it I thought it needed some sparkle!

For this project you will need:

Clear acrylic clutch

Assorted rhinestones

E6000

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Step One

Lay your clutch on a flat work surface. Plan out your design making sure you work around the larger rhinestones first.

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Step Two:

Spread a small amount of glue on the back of the rhinestone and attach it to the purse. Be sure to let the stones dry for at least 5 hours…

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He’s 75 Today, But His Contributions are Timeless

by Kristie LeVangie

Seventy-five years ago, a woman gave birth to one of the most influential icons of American fashion.

Born in New York in 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz, Ralph was the son of a house painter and came from humble beginnings. His first foray into fashion began in high school where he sold neckties to his fellow classmates.

At age 16, he would change his name to the iconic Ralph Lauren.  He didn’t like his given name because it had the word “shit” in it as he would tell Oprah in a later interview.  He was often made fun of for this.

After high school, Ralph went on to Baruch College where he began to study business.  Two years later, he would drop out and serve in the U.S. Army.  He left the Army to work a brief stint at Brooks Brothers before landing a job in a tie company as a salesman.

At age 26, he was inspired to begin designing his own ties and pitched an idea for a wide European-style necktie to his company.  It was rejected, so he left to break out on his own.

Working out of The Empire State Building, Lauren took rags and turned them into his own designed neckties.  He would then sell them to small New York shops until his fate turned when Neiman Marcus placed an order for 100 dozen!

Just one year later, he would open his own necktie store where he would sell ties under the label of “Polo” with the backing of the famous clothing manufacturer, Norman Hilton.

Four years later, Ralph expanded his line and opened a boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

In 1970, Ralph Lauren would go on to win the COTY Award for his menswear line and enter the realm of women’s fashion introducing a line of tailored suits.  This was also the debut of the iconic Polo logo.

His famous Polo shirt would be unveiled in 1972 and was available in 24 colors.  Today, this is still a classic staple of the Lauren line.

Fast forward to 1997, the Ralph Lauren Corporation became a public company.

Ralph_Lauren_2013Today, one man’s dream to sell neckties has turned into a billion dollar business, and Forbes places Lauren as the 19th richest person in the world with over 35 U.S. boutiques and many other retailers carrying the Ralph Lauren label.

Ralph Lauren exemplifies an individual who strived to reach his goals despite the obstacles and haters placed in front of him.  He knew what he wanted, and he set out to get it through hard work and raw talent.

Ralph Lauren, we salute you as an inspiration and raise a glass to 75 years of awesome!

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FASHION: Males Are Now Going to Great Lengths

by Kristie LeVangie

Hair extensions used to be reserved for women.

Well…not anymore.

Celebs like Justin Bieber,

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Harry Styles,

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and David Beckham

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have men feeling as self-conscious about what they have “on top” as they are about what’s on the bottom.

Salons in the U.K. are reporting as much as a 200% increase in male hair extension interest.  Whether it’s length, texture or volume, men are seeking ways to emulate the stars and enhance their coiffure beauty.

One of the companies leading this revolution was Great Lengths.  Check out some of their amazing transformations here:

Extensions aren’t just for men who want to make a statement.  They are for any man who wants to maintain his youthful mane, and for some can be a viable alternative to the scary “plugs” or surgical hair replacement procedures.

We say two thumbs up to this male beauty trend.  What do you think, men?  Would you ever?

Luxury Just Pours Out in This Blog

by Kristie LeVangie

Water is water, right?  We buy it by the bottles due to convenience as we trek off to the gym, running errands, or to the office.

There are tons of brands to choose from in your local supermarket and a case could run you between $4 and $10 in most cases.

Sure, we’ll have concern about landfills and how our bad consumerism will ruin the environment, but it’s not stopping us.  As of 2012, Americans were consuming nearly 9.1 BILLION gallons of bottled water and spending a whopping $21.7 BILLION.

Just imagine how that number would be affected by the following list.

Luxury isn’t just for cars, handbags or exquisite dinners.  Luxury has also hit the bottled water market.

And assuming you have a few hundred, or even a few thousands, to kick around on some pure liquid libation, a little googling could have you drinking in style.

Here’s a list of 8 of the most expensive luxury bottled waters in the world.

8. AquaDeco – $12 per 750 ml

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We start the list at a mere $12 a bottle.

Aquadeco, awarded the 2007 Gold Medal as the best non-carbonated water and another for its bottle design, is sourced from unspoiled and untouched springs in Canada.  The aquifer from which this brand comes was created on an “undifferentiated glacial till with a predominantly sandy silt matrix during the last ice age, some 18,000 years ago.”  With it’s retreat, it left layers of sand that, acting as a filtration device, were able to remove pollutants and ions at the atomic level for some of the most pristine drinking water on the market.

7. 10 Thousand BC – $14 per 750 ml

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Inching up in price, our next entry registers in at $14 a bottle.

10 Thousand BC is sourced from a location off the Canadian coast so remote, it would take 3 days just to get to there.  First, you would begin up the Coastal Glacier Mountain Range, through the Desolation Sound, and finally to Toba Inlet, just 200 miles north of Vancouver.  Only accessible by the ocean, it is unspoiled by man.  From the former glacial location, it is transported by stainless steel water trucks to the bottling plant in Kelowna, British Columbia.

 

6. VEEN – $23 per 750 ml

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Coming in at #6, we go to Finland.

Finnish brand, VEEN, offers may variations and is sourced from many unique natural springs, including Finnish Lapland and Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.  The name is derived from “Veen Emonen” (or Mother of Water).

The “wave bottle”, designed by Antti Eklund, has been nominated for a number of awards and won the 2007 Best Bottle in Glass Award at Global Bottled Water World.  The first VEEN bottle can actually been seen in its Helsinki Design Museum home where it rests today.  Eklund used the first wave that Veen Emonen raised as his inspiration.

5. Bling! H2O – $40 per 750 ml

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Still not sure I’m assaulting your checkbook too much, #5 is starting to make a dent.

Bottled at it’s English Mountain Spring source located at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, this water is the brainchild of Hollywood writer-producer, Kevin G. Boyd.  Bling H2O can be found in the hands of sociality Paris Hilton and throughout the Hollywood scene.  It was featured at the MTV Video Music Awards and at the The Emmys.  Winning the gold medal for Best Tasting water at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition, Bling H2O is certainly attaining its mission to “offer a product with an exquisite face to match exquisite taste.

And considering each bottle stands as a work of art, jewelry-like in nature, it’s surprising it doesn’t cost a bit more.  From the Goldilocks version:

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to the 10,000 Swarovski Crystal version that will set you back $2,600:

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It’s almost too beautiful to drink.

4. Fillico – $219 per 750 ml

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Next we fly to Japan for our #4 listing.

Fitting of royalty, all Fillico bottled waters are topped with regal crowns.  Each bottle is produced by hand, so production is limited to just 5,000 bottles per month.  Sourced from the highly regarded Nunobiki spring located in the Rokkou National Park in Kobe, this water is so pure it also used by a Sake producer in its hometown.

And just like Bling! H2O, their bottles are essentially jewelry-like in nature.  In fact, they advertise as such on their website.  Crystals not your style?  Try out their rock-and-roll version:

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Perhaps something a little more cutesy and Asian-inspired?  Why not their Hello Kitty branded bottle?

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3. Kona Nigari Water – $402 per 750 ml

Kona Nigari Water

For #3, we stay in the Japanese market.  This time exploring Kona Nigari water.

Gathered 2,000 feet deep below the ocean’s surface just off the island of Hawaii, this water is quite literally marketed as the Fountain of Youth.  They claim it helps you lose weight, reduces stress and improves your skin tone and quality.  Made of desalinated sea water and said to be so potent, this is sold only in 2 oz. containers.  It’s suggested you mix a few drops with regular drinking water.

To achieve a gallon, it will cost you just over $2100!

2. Exousia Gold 

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Ironically, the entry at #2 isn’t taking the gold– although it does contain it.

The atomic properties of Exousia Gold contains real gold (24 carat) and is supposed to give this water anti-aging properties.  Of course, it comes at a price– $24,000!

I can’t provide you with the source or distillation process on this one however.  It’s a well-guarded secret.

1. Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani – 750 ml

 

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And coming in at #1 and THE most expensive bottled water on Earth is Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani.  Almost as extravagant as the bottle is this one’s name.

This time the bottle is made of 24-carat gold and designed by Fernando Altamirano.  You may know that name as a designer for Tequila Ley, one of the most expensive spirits manufacturers in the world.

Sourced from locations all around the world, the water inside the bottle gets virtually little attention despite it also containing 5 milligrams of gold dust.  It’s the bottle itself that steals the show here.  Based on artwork by the late Italian artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, this sold at auction in Mexico City in 2010 for $774,000 pesos, or $60,000 U.S.

Is $60,000 out of your price range?  Perhaps you’d like to downgrade to versions at more affordable $3,600?  You can try their versions in gold matte, silver, silver matte and crystal.

 

So…what you are waiting for?  Go hydrate yourself!

Male Fashion: A Brogue By Any Other Name

by Kristie LeVangie

We all call them “Wingtips.”

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They are one of the markers of a successful man.

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Or a gangster…

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What was I saying???

Oh, yeah!

The shoes.

Did you know that Wingtips aren’t really Wingtips?  They are actually a type of Brogue shoe.  Brogue shoes are “a style of low-heeled shoe or boot traditionally characterized by multiple-piece, sturdy leather uppers with decorative perforations (or “broguing”) and serration along the pieces’ visible edges,” says Wikipedia.

This style of shoe has Scottish and Irish roots and was originally constructed with perforations to allow the moisture to escape when trekking through wetlands, like bogs.  What was once an outdoor shoe has transitioned today to be the height of male fashion and a moniker of success and power.

Brogues are most commonly found in one of four toe cap styles (full or “wingtip”, semi-, quarter and longwing).  Here’s a great graphic I found on the web to illustrate the different toe cap styles.

Brogues

They can have one of four closure styles, including:

Oxford – shoelace eyelets tabs that are attached under the vamp, a feature termed “closed lacing”.

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Derby – Also called the Blucher – shoelace eyelet tabs that are sewn on top of a single-piece vamp, also known as “open lacing”.

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Ghillie – thick soled shoes with no tongues and long laces

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And Monk – no lacing, closed by a buckle and strap

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We usually see these in solid colors, but sophistication and swag come into play when the vamps, or uppers, vary in color, pattern or texture.

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These look great with your favorite suits or with jeans and sweater for an ultra-sophisticated date night look.

Don’t have a pair in your closet yet?  I went to Zappos.com, my favorite guilty window shopping site, and found these for you.  From dressy to casual, they are only a few clicks away.  (Click on the picture to be taken to Zappos to purchase.)  Just think of me as your personal shopper.  😉

Cole Haan LunarGrand Wing Tip – $228

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Steve Madden Virgo – $100

Steve Madden Virgo Men's Shoes

Mistress Elle: Jumping Into eBay Feet First

That’s right.  It’s time for your session with Mistress Elle.Elle Mistresses operate best giving instructions.  😉 It’s easy. 1.  You submit your questions to mistress_elle@libidacoria.com. 2.  I share my googled research, sage advice, years of experience, and deliver it to you in one sarcastically biting blog. And now, Curious in Ohio “shoely” needs some help from The Mistress.

Q: What’s Up With These Shoes on eBay?

First up is a question from Curious in Ohio: So I have a question….See, I like to browse eBay for used shoes (I am a shoe freak!) and sometimes someone only wears the shoe only a couple of times and decide they hate the shoes and try to sell them.  I have gotten some really good shoes for a good price that way, but I always wondered about those certain listings where the shoes are trashed and the listing of it is “private” (whatever the hell that means).   I am sure there are other women looking for normal shoes on eBay and have come across these listings and wondered what the hell is going on.  Is there a fetish out there where men like used shoes that women put their feet in and have pics with? Can’t figure this one out!! Or could it be a lesbian thing? Educate me.   Curious in Ohio, What a great question!  And I actually have personal experience here.  As a long-time eBay lister, I was once approached about a pair of shoes I listed on eBay a year or so back.  We all know how Mistress loves her shoes, and I had reached the point where my collection was growing larger than my capacity to store them. (Not my actual closet…mine is SOOOO much larger. lol) So…I listed a pair of tan wedged sandals that had been worn quite a few times.  My foot imprint was in the sole but they were clean and good condition otherwise. Just hours after my posting was listed, I got 2 emails regarding the shoes as well as requests for additional pictures of my feet. Come to find out through some further email exchanges there IS a fetish out there for worn women’s shoes and more specifically sweaty feet.

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One of the men to approach me was the writer of this blog:  http://sshshoes.wordpress.com/.  Not only does he surf eBay for potential features for his blog, he also tracks celebrity gossip columns.  And yes, I was a featured foot model for his eBay listers. This fetish is not a lesbian thing.  As with most fetishes, it spans both genders and is a very specialized type of the more general “foot fetish.” To your point of the listing type, posting a “private” auction does ensure that the name and information of the buyer is not made public to other eBayers.  Many adult listings, as well as some clothing, shoe and accessory listings are made private. I  once had a friend who was a crossdresser, and he was able to shed some light on this mystery.  You see it’s uncomfortable for most crossdressers to shop retail stores, particularly to visit women’s retail shops and try on the clothing and shoes.  Just imagine the looks they would get!  So eBay is the most viable option.  Not only are the items delivered in such a way that even the postal worker isn’t aware of the contents, they can shop with complete freedom from embarrassment of other eBayers. So as you are perusing the shoe availability on our favorite auction site, you won’t be able to help but notice these listings now.  And hell, if you need some extra money, there are certainly worse things you could sell.

What is a “BIKER” Really???

by The Heart Wrecker

A while back while contemplating my future with an MC (motorcycle club, for you newbies) and being inspired by my market research girlfriend, I posted a question to Facebook.

What is one word you think of when you think of a “biker”?

Since I have such a wide variety of friends, the answers ran the gamut and led me to reflect a lot about my own question.

As a Motorcycle Enthusiast (to be politically correct)– Oh wait, who am I kidding? I couldn’t be PC if I was sitting in the White House!– as a Biker of about five years, I have ridden a lot of different bikes and hung with people from all walks of life.  I hesitate to mention my almost being born on a pool table at a biker bar all those years ago.

Needless to say, I know a thing or two about this “biker” issue.

And today, I am gonna respond to a lot of the answers I got on my Facebook post as well as break down some of the stereotypes associated with bikers as I progress through these responses in my unprotected noggin.

When a lot of people think “biker,” they think LEATHER.

This is one of the fashion sides of riding. The leather vest actually plays two roles: 1.) The most important is body protection to protect your mid-section if something happens and you end up going down. Leather against the road is much better than skin any day!  2.) The vest also carries your “colors” (if you belong to a club) and patches to show everyone things about you.

One popular patch is DILLIGAF (Do I look like I give a fuck?).  This one is actually VERY popular with bikers.

 

While a lot of patches are unisex, there are a lot of female-specific patches that range from ones that signify “women only” clubs to things like “Biker Bitch” or “Biker boys make good toys” and so on.

Another popular piece of leather is CHAPS. I have heard people talk about how they like assless chaps, but BREAKING NEWS…ALL chaps are assless!

Chaps are pretty much a jacket for your legs. They protect you from rain and cold, but I may add they do look HOT as hell on a woman with tight jeans…or, you know, a thong.

Okay, getting distracted. Must press on.

These are the two important leather clothing items for a biker, but there are many others like leather pants, leather underwear, and, of course, leather jackets.

Jackets, like most fashion pieces, come in hundreds of different styles for riders. They also are available with padding and plates to protect vital organs in case of a crash.  A lot of bikers also put patches on their jackets and wear them even when they aren’t riding.

Last but not least in the clothing area are boots. Leather boots are important because of the moving parts and heat of the motor and exhaust that can bother your feet.  Additionally, boots are your first line of defense between you and the road.  (Sorry to keep harping on this safety issue, but it IS an issue!)

One of the most popular responses to my short one-question survey was “HARLEY DAVIDSON.”

Some people think that to be a Biker you have to have a Harley between your legs.  These people are American-centric, and don’t perhaps recognize that there are bikers outside of the U.S.

Well, to that I respond, Harleys are not an all-American-made bike, and for a few years were actually owned by an overseas company.   So to those American-centric respondents, maybe if you own a Harley Davidson made only during certain years, you are a true biker…but what about INDIAN and VICTORY?  Those are brands of American-made bikes as well.

So is ownership of these an exception to the rule? (I better note here, before you start sending hate mail, that I am not a Harley hater. I would own one if I could find the right one.)

A funny observation however is that along with owning a Harley Davidson, you are somewhat expected to buy Harley clothes.   This would include t-shirts from every dealer you pass from all over the country to show that you have shopped at their store and sent even more money to Harley corporate.

There is everything Harley from shirts to pants to baby clothes…

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Not to mention all the other  Harley products that you are pressured into owning and displaying in every aspect of your life.

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You can even get a Harley Davidson-themed Ford pick-up truck or Harley-themed International semi tractor.

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I should also point out here that there are Motorcycle clubs out there where you have to own a Harley to be a member…and vice versa, clubs that you have to own a metric bike or other certain brand to be in them, but this leads to one of the other answers I got on my survey…

that when you think biker, you think FREEDOM.

When it comes to a motorcycle, regardless of the manufacturer, FREEDOM of the open road is definitely what hooks you, and it was a pretty popular answer.

The first time I was out in the country rolling through curves on my first bike, my Kawasaki Ninja, I was addicted.  The wind in your face, the air against your skin, and the adrenaline coursing through your veins is indescribable if you have never experienced it.  But for some, this is where the FREEDOM ends.

It’s sometimes the natural progression of riding, and it drags you in.  First, you get the bike and learn to ride.  Then, you do a few runs with other people and start hanging out with groups and enjoying the camaraderie . Then, comes the draw to become part of the group and join a club.

For some, this is where the freedom part ends. You get a leather vest and buy all kinds of patches that fit your attitude and personality. Then, you are told by your club which patches you can or can’t have, and depending on the colors of your patches, where you can or can’t go because your “colors” represent your area and affiliation.   (The rules between clubs can be quite complex.)

For a lot of people, this is great, and they spend their lives in the MC world without a second thought.  For others, they go back on their own, or go from club to club trying to find the right fit.  (I guess the best way to describe it is switching from the Lion’s club to the Jaycee’s….just with a shit ton more rules.)

I myself have been a member of a motorcycle club and really enjoyed it and will probably join another one in the future if the open road leads me there.

The answers to my Facebook survey ran from some of what I have covered here to things like TRUSTWORTHY, BROTHER, and “us.”   Regardless of your idea of a biker, a lot of true bikers are generally VERY trustworthy and loyal people, and they will go out of there way to help anyone in need.   It is thrown around a lot that bikers give more to charity every year than most people, and that statement could not be more true.  From charity rides to just helping random people in need, it is a biker code to help others.

I love being a biker and will continue to be until the day I die. If you have never hung out with bikers, you definitely should, and you will never be the same.

Until my next blog topic or flash Facebook poll…