Apr 162014

Sale PSA: Shopbop is having 25% off almost everything on their site, through Thursday with code “INTHEFAMILY14″. This is one of the best sales I’ve seen from them in years with no minimum price bands for certain discounts. My picks: a flattering maxi dress in heather gray, a rose gold bangle via Vita Fede, and Steven leopard espadrilles, now $75. 

Finally, this tan crossbody mini tote - wonderful for summer and near $110 after discount!

I’ve been asked a few times about some of the favorite bags I own, and I thought today I would start with one that is not only one of my favorites, but also the oldest in my closet: this little Chanel black caviar leather bowler bag.

Chanel bowler

I’ve purchased bags both before and after this little bowler that have come and gone, but this little bowler has always had a spot in my closet. I bought it in 2002 (!) when my mom and I went to New York on a trip together, and visited the boutique on Madison. I remember it very clearly because  the boutique was almost empty, which never happens these days, especially in the accessories sections.

I wanted a small classic caviar flap which at the time was something like $1095 (that’s right…take in that price!), but at the last minute my mom convinced me to get this bowler instead which was around the same price, saying it was “younger”. I carried it around for years and years. When the price of the classic flaps started creeping up and starting with scary numbers like $3xxx, and then $4xxx, and now even $5xxx, I briefly wish I had gotten the flap. But now I wouldn’t trade my bowler, any day. It’s unique and will always remind me of my trip to New York with my mom! I love taking it out and wearing it whenever I find the occasion.

A few more pictures of my oldest favorite:

Chanel bowler zipper

Chanel bowler back

Pretty good condition for a 12 year old lady, eh? I hope that all the new Chanel bags will last just as long and look like this, especially since they’ve quintupled the price since then.

Please share – what is the oldest handbag in your closet you still use?

Apr 142014

Today’s sale PSA: a pretty pair of striped espadrilles, now under $40, a hot pink Robert Rodriguez dress, now 75%(!) off (check out the rest of the NM sale, lots of great finds), and last but not least, all kinds of beauty goodies on temporarily on sale at Nordstrom, with classics such as Dior Rouge LipstickYSL Touche Eclat, and Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick included.

A few weeks back, I covered the wardrobe from one of my favorite “awesome fashion” movies – A Perfect Murder. I’m so glad that so many of you liked the movie, and I’m going to be covering more in future posts, starting with today! I’ll be covering a film that was mentioned by several readers: The Thomas Crown Affair (199x edition, starring Rene Russo and Pierce Brosnan).


Now, I actually have quite a bit of experience in this movie. When I was a kid growing up, my parents would very rarely buy VHS (and later, DVD) movies. They were generally deemed a more extravagant purchase. However, one year during a Blockbuster sale, my mom ended up bringing up two movies that were close out inventory, 2 for $7.50. They were Congo, and The Thomas Crown Affair. Thus I’ve seen both endless times, though I don’t know when I’ll be asked to do a Congo wardrobe recap (though I’ll be ready!).

I hadn’t seen this movie in about a decade however, so it was fun to catch back up again while keeping an eye out for all of Rene’s great outfits. Let’s start the recap!

Our first glimpse of Rene – as you see her walk behind all the male cops and detectives in the museum, in her glasses and fur coat. Out of the way dudes, so we can see her coat!

thomas crown affair 1

Okay…we’ll settle for a view of the back at least.

thomas crown affair 2

Now back working in the police office, in a pinstriped suit.

thomas crown affair 3

The cool thing about this suit is, it’s not just your typical blazer + skirt combination. There’s actually multiple pieces, which you get a hint of here….

thomas crown affair 4

…and then see more of here, when she takes off her jacket. Wow!

thomas crown affair 5

Next, we see her, on a boat…checking out Thomas Crown, in a thick cashmere sweater and fur scarf.

thomas crown affair 6

Hanging out in a leather jacket and tee (she does casual well, too!).

thomas crown affair 7

Next – confronting Thomas Crown in my personal favorite dress from the movie, this sequined mandarin collar gown. Take a look at those earrings, by the way! Continue reading »

Apr 112014

This weekend’s sale PSA: a super flattering DVF lace dress in black and cream, now 25% off, a flattering Vince sweatshirt in pretty fabric also 25% off (the DVF dress and Vince sweatshirt are on sale through this Sun), and a Nanette Lepore dress in a lovely bright pattern for summer, 30% off. 

1. How wonderful are these lace espadrilles from Tory Burch, below? I truly, truly love them, and they’re a mere fraction (something like ~25%?) of those very cute Chanel espadrilles that have been tempting me for years now.

I have an unnatural amount of loathing for the gym so I like to walk whenever I can, generously estimating the number of calories I must be burning. Thus I’ve been on a flats rampage these last few months, looking for comfortable shoes to walk outside in and enjoy the warm weather.

I adore these espadrilles and they’ve been added to my “buy” list when my size is back in stock. However in the meantime, I’m also debating between this pair and a very similar version in black, which is probably the safer option if you don’t want dingy looking footwear by the end of summer.

2. Raise your hand if you’ve ever bought something from a luxury house in Europe – and marveled at just how much cheaper it is! Anyone who is interested in the still fast growing Chinese luxury market should find this article about the trend of “daigou” agents- people who procure luxury goods abroad for a small fee, in a sort of “luxury arbitrage”. Continue reading »

Apr 092014

I am very excited to introduce today’s interview subject – the fantastic Lynn Liou, all around extraordinaire and editor of the luxury lifestyle magazine Phoenix International. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask Lynn some questions that spanned career, work/family life balance, the future of luxury in Asia, and of course her wonderful style. Plus, can I just mention that she is just so, so beautiful? I’ve included some of my favorite photos of Lynn and her style (as well as her beautiful family!) throughout. Enjoy meeting her!


Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?

I’m a wife, mom to a toddler boy, travel enthusiast, avid reader, sport shopper (that is, I shop as a form of exercise), food lover, California girl, and founder/editor-in-chief/publisher of a Chinese American luxury lifestyle magazine called Phoenix International. I currently split my time between  the suburbs of LA and Taipei, Taiwan.

You have one of the ultimate dream jobs – editor in chief and publisher of a magazine. Can you share some more about how you landed here?

Prior to founding the Phoenix International, I was publisher and editor of Vivid, another Chinese American luxury lifestyle publication originally founded by a well known LA-based Chinese jeweler. Due to the unexpected passing of my boss in 2012, the magazine was shut down after 8 years in existence. After four years at the helm, I had built up a loyal following of readers and advertisers so I felt compelled to continue with my mission of bringing a high quality luxury publication to the Chinese community. So, I partnered with my printer and launched Phoenix; my first issue came out when I was 8 months pregnant with my son!

highres_103785742What have been the most surprisingly positive things that you’ve experienced in your current career? What about some unexpected difficulties?

When I first started out at Vivid, I had little experience and no connections in the publishing industry. Despite having received my graduate degree in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School of Communications, I took a detour in my career early on when I quit my marketing job to help my then-boyfriend (now-husband) build our business in a completely unrelated industry. During that time, I dabbled in blogging (Xanga!) and occasionally on-camera hosting to fulfill my creative side. It wasn’t until many years later that the opportunity to edit Vivid was presented to me, and of course I jumped at the chance.

I learned the magazine business from the ground up with only my instincts guiding me. The previous editor-in-chief had been terminated from the position, so I was essentially given a blank slate and no directions, which was both frightening and exhilarating at the same time. When I look back at my first couple of issues, it’s with a mixture of delight and embarrassment. I made a lot of mistakes, but I’m proud of the fact that, despite my lack of experience, I was able to grow a small regional publication into an industry recognized, internationally circulated magazine.

Today, Phoenix International has an esteemed roster of luxury advertisers such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Omega, Chopard, Rolex, Dior Couture, Versace, and many more. Last year, we were recognized by Media Industry News as one of the fifteen “Hottest Launches of 2012″, alongside titles such as Du Jour and Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

Phoenix Magazine on the newstands in Taipei

Phoenix Magazine on the newstands in Taipei

As a little girl growing up, I used to draw, write, and then staple pieces of paper together to create my own “magazine,” so I feel really blessed to be where I am today in my career. To be able to combine my love for luxury and fine living with my passion for media communications is a dream come true. I’ve always been very involved in the Chinese American community as well, so to be able to contribute by creating a product that has been so warmly received is something I’m very grateful for.

You have fantastic style. Can you share what a typical day and night look are for you? What are you typically doing day/night?

Thank you, I’m so flattered! My style has really evolved since becoming a mother. I’m much more relaxed now in my dress, which means that J Crew t-shirts, Rag and Bone boyfriend jeans, baseball caps, and sneakers or flats generally make up my outfit du jour. When I’m heading out and taking my son with me, I’ll wear leggings or skinny jeans with a relaxed, flowy top and pair it with boots (Chanel or YSL) or kitten-heel pointy-toed pumps (I’m obsessed with Valentino Rockstuds). Black, grey, and neutrals are my staple ‘colors,’ though I have an affinity for stripes and the occasional print (mostly leopard). The truth is, I’m pretty conservative when it comes to fashion. I prefer the French attitude towards dressing these days; my style mantra is “easy, timeless, and sophisticated.”

c9a049228e3911e3919e124f792e77d9_8 Continue reading »

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