Monday, January 31, 2011

A Classier Rebel Yell

Mario Testino shot Freja Beha Erichsen, Sasha Pivovarova, Carmen Kass and Anna Selezneva in an editorial for one of my favorite magazines -V Magazine. Titled "Uptown & Down," Carmen and Sasha play the role of uptown ladies (with a salacious twist), while Freja and Anna are cast as the effervescent spirits of downtown. Testino captures that yearning that's settling into many of us in this increasingly complicated world: a psuedo-punk desire to break with tradition, change the rules, and put our own playful spin on the world.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

“Sunshine State of Mind”

So last night I was looking through some February issues and I stumbled upon an ELLE photo shoot called “Parks and Recreation.” This particular shoot concentrated on only New York Spring Collections. Pointing out how much color and flower pattern many designers chose to incorporate into their collections this season. I have to confess, I'm not a huge fan of color but these images took my breath away. Carter Smith did a spectacular job! Starting with the hair and make up, the ensembles, the accessories and shoes: everything was perfectly put together to create a new sense of freedom that comes with spring and summer. The shoot took place at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in New York: a perfect place to create stunning images. The stylist, Mario Grauso, chose body-loving luxurious dresses and some adventurous and wild accessories to finish each outfit.

Image via

When in Beijing, Do As the Romans Do

In an unprecedented international art exchange, the governments of China and Italy (Beijing and Rome, respectively) have each announced long-term, loaned installments of the other country's art. Beijing will host Italian art, and Rome will showcase Chinese pieces.

In Rome, at the Palazzo di Venezia, the Chinese government has installed a "state museum of Chinese culture." The new museum has already begun its first exhibit, titled "The Two Empires: the Eagle and the Dragon." It contrasts the histories of the Roman empire with the Chinese Qin and Han Dynasties. The exhibit is part of the Year of China in Italy, where Italy is raising cultural awareness of the country they have enjoyed 40 years of diplomatic ties with.

Image via Heritage Key

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sheer Elegance: Valentino Spring 2011 Couture

This Spring has heralded something new in the world of fashion: not only a vast array of exciting, inspiring couture shows, but also the first Valentino show I have honestly been blown away by since the Emperor himself stepped down.

Exploring the limits of "ladylike" couture, this season's show flirted between clean, almost sharp prettiness and hypnotic, Rococo-esque eroticism. Although some of the first pieces were uniformly seventies inspired, the show gradually became more whimsical, the fabrics dissolving into gossamer wisps of frothy starlight. For me, these last pieces conjured up something like a Fragonard painting, starring Twiggy in a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Image via Google
Image via Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chanel Beauty

Image via

Image via Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris

After watching Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 2011 Couture Collection, I was surprised to find out that this season’s inspiration for him was Marie Laurencin’s portrait of Gabrielle Chanel, a painting that Coco was not exactly fond of. The portrait managed to inspire Karl and he masterfully got the best from this seemingly melancholy and rather poignant portrait and created one of the most romantic and convivial couture collections I have ever seen...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Design Daze: Lonny Magazine, January/February 2011

Lonny Magazine is an online art, fashion, and design cornucopia, with spread after spread highlighting different designers' projects, personal homes, and "personal favorites" lists (a really cute touch). Plus, all 100+ pages are totally free to view! It's like getting into your favorite art museum for free.

Of course, if you want the print version, it's $35 per issue... But getting inspiration via the online issue is just fine with us :)

This issue puts a lot of focus on the latest fashion and design trend: pops of rich and/or funky colors. When balanced with luxe textures and elegant, eccentric pieces, today's design trends have never been more drool-worthy.

Jil Sanders' new show (bottom right) epitomizes the optimistic note that fashion is hitting today

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hidden Treasures: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

For every bustling city, there are little treasures that history has kept hidden away. One of the treasures in our city is Vizcaya, the grand estate built by James Deering in the early 1900’s. In order to impress his fellow businessmen and socialites, Deering used the money from his farm machinery empire to collect artifacts from all over the world. Now a museum, his home contains Asian, Italian (Renaissance), Greek, Roman, French and even Egyptian inspired pieces. It’s like walking through a famous explorer’s home! (Or the set for Pirates of the Caribbean.)

The crowning glory of the home is a stone ship with Greek and Roman style sculpture, floating beyond striped markers that look like they were plucked from a Venetian canal.

It’s great how the sculptures seem to be looking out to sea… When this was built, there was no skyline, but now the whole scene serves as a beautiful blend of history and the future.

Safely tucked away from the hum of cars, the gardens have such a romantic, left-behind-by-time feel. They make an awesome place to take wedding and quinceañera pictures.

Of course, there has to be a tropical touch. The estate is built out of natural limestone, giving it that high-class pirate, Mediterranean vibe.

And last but not least… the fashion world approves!

Happy treasure hunting :)

(All images are ours)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Recycling, The Chic Way

Every lover of fashion has a collection of magazines (Vogue, Elle, etc) that, though lovely to look back through, usually end up collecting dust on the shelf. What better way to enjoy old editorials and ads than recycle them into new pieces of art? It's also good practice for those aspiring fashion editors and advertisers ;)

Materials needed:

Fashion magazines or print outs
Decoupage or glue (ModPodge, etc.)
Something to arrange everything on (we used a spiral-bound notebook's cover)

1) Put on some inspirational music

2) Cut out your favorite pieces, perhaps with some kind of theme in mind (these are all from Vogue)

3) Have a drink (or just some Rockstar in a martini glass) to keep the creativity flowing

4) Arrange, and glue! 


We call this one "Wonderland Exquisite"

Happy creating :)
(All images are ours)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meet the authors :)

Ciao! Hola! Dia Duit! Bonjour! Ni hao! привет!

We're the authors of International Fashion: Brianne and Anastasia. Nice to meet you!



Image via Vogue Latin America

Favorite Designer(s): Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, Valentino, L'Wren Scott
Favorite Piece of Art: Nike of Samothrace
Favorite Music: Edith Piaf "La Vie En Rose"
Fashion Icon: Lara Stone
Fashion Personality: The Urban Starlet
Background: Ireland
Inspired By: India, Asia, and Italy
Occupation: Ghostwriter and Undergraduate English Student


Image via ELLE Russia

Favorite Designer(s): Garavani Valentino

Favorite Piece of Art: Jean-Honore Fragonard “The Meeting”
Favorite Musical Composition: Tchaikovsky “The Swan Lake”
Fashion Icon: Nastassja Kinski
Fashion Personality: The Classicist Bombshell
Born in and Inspired By: Russia
Occupation: Undergraduate Business Student


We started this blog to share our interests in art and fashion. We have champagne tastes on beer budgets, and we're not afraid of figuring out ways around that! Follow us as we explore our city, our cultures, and the art that can be found anywhere.

We have a lot of favorites - but the one favorite we can agree on?

Priceless (and stylish) experiences, without a designer price-tag.