Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland

Alexander McQueen dress / Zero + Maria Cornejo coat / Carven shoes / Diane von Furstenberg clutch / chloe + isabel necklace / Lanvin gloves / winter wonderland

It finally happened. Minneapolis got a real snowfall. It's first in almost two years, really, with how incredibly mild last winter was. I'm usually one who welcomes the warm winter, as I much prefer the spring and summertime, but the holiday season changes everything. It's just not right for the ground to be bare leading up to the holidays. And it pains me to admit that, without snow, I'm just not in the shopping spirit. There's no sense of urgency. Here's hoping that the change in weather lends itself to a psychological shift and I finally make and complete my gift list.

It's amazing how much impact a little snow can make. Not only have I been shopping online all day for gifts, but I finally decorated my apartment for Christmas, lit my candle that smells like Christmas, and put on my music that's all about Christmas. Let the official countdown begin!

To kick things off, a winter wonderland inspired outfit. Muted tones of blue, pink, and gray give a soft, peaceful feel to this look. I absolutely adore the simplicity of this Alexander McQueen dress it allowed me to feel totally fine about pairing this ornate chloe + isabel necklace to make more of a statement. The rest of the accessories are understated but lovely. And I don't care that it makes no sense to wear suede stiletto pumps in the snow. 



"Love To The Test" - Niki & The Dove

Love To The Test

Markus Lupfer sweater / Antonio Berardi skirt / Rochas heels / J.Crew handbag / J.Crew necklace / Bottega Veneta ring / Love To The Test

I have been dying to dedicate a post to this song for months. I fell in love with this song the moment I heard it, which is very apropos since the chorus of this song involves "the first time I saw you, I saw you/I thought baby can I hold you". "Love To The Test" has such a cool eighties vibe that I just cannot get enough of, and the message is so great: being overcome with love at first sight, not being able to hold back any longer, but asking the new love if he's really ready for her.

This is the look of that impulsive, passionate woman. Bold, with nothing held back and a clear message sent. I love the graphic lips on this Markus Lupfer sweater, and I didn't want to play it safe with the rest of the ensemble. So. Glitter maxi, chunky heels, bauble ring with a costume-inspired necklace, and a bright bag. 

The accessories are a bit dreamy, because I think the wearer is a bit dreamy. She's someone that says yes to the idea of love at first sight. She takes risks. She wears a full-on glitter maxi skirt with a loose sweater, which means she's wearing it casually, which is not for the fainthearted. 

Listen to the song here


Halloween 2012: Last Minute Ideas

It's the Sunday before Halloween. Many of us may have had our party last night, but for those purists who are holding out for the real thing on Wednesday, here are a few last minute, simple ideas.


"Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)" - Miike Snow

Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Miike Snow live at First Ave, sort of on a whim, actually. I was more excited for the opening band, Niki and the Dove (more on her at a later date), and was only vaguely familiar with the main act. Well. I am familiar now. And I am a fan. It was incredible visual and aural spectacle that cause the crowd to erupt into a dance party on a Tuesday night in Minneapolis. A fantastic show, and now my appreciation for their work has grown (after my initial listens of their albums to educate myself before seeing them live).

One of the songs that I enjoyed most before seeing them live and now have an even greater liking for is "Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)".

This song has a strong, militaristic drum beat layered under some whistling, keyboard, and distorted vocals. It's a really enjoyable mix of eclectic sounds and styles. What's more, the song's about imploring someone to give things up for love, and we all know how I feel about sweeping notions of lurve.

I wanted to incorporate both the strong marching sound and the sweeping notion of leaving everything behind with this look. Balmain is my go-to for exceptionally strong (shouldered) looks, here contributing both a fun jacket and a stern leather turtleneck. I started the bottom half with a no-nonsense wool skirt, but added a whimsical peekaboo with the TopShop celestial pencil skirt. A bright, fun necklace completes the look, giving away that she takes a risk and says she will.
See a live version of the song here.

Balmain jacket / Balmain top / McQ by Alexander McQueen skirt / Topshop patterned skirt / Yves Saint Laurent pumps / Marni handbag / Sass & Bide necklace/ Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)

Halloween 2012: Part Of Your World

the little mermaid

Wildfox Couture cropped shirt / Mary Katrantzou maxi skirt / Reiss clutch purse / Kenneth Jay Lane necklace / the little mermaid

(Whoops, Halloween is in a week and a half. So I'm going to ramp up the costume options.)

Taking it back to my childhood once again, this is the sartorial interpretation of The Little Mermaid. The first time I saw this Mary Katrantzou skirt, I couldn't help but think that if would be perfect on Ariel herself, what with the mermaid silhouette and reptilian-reminiscent detail. I adore the kitchy shell bra top, and the coral necklace and shell clutch make for the perfect under the sea accessories.


"Home" - Phillip Phillips


Topshop sweater / Clover Canyon pants / Dolce & Gabbana boots / Proenza Schouler handbag

Work has been exceptionally stressful lately; it's a busy time and it's been a little difficult to stay motivated. I'm not someone who is satisfied with less than 100%, so I'm able to get through it, but not without some emotional nights. I mention this because it's the first time since I started my career that I've felt a consistent struggle, and, as you may imagine, that's been difficult. Fortunately, I have an amazing support system, consisting of family, friends, boyfriend, fulfilling hobbies and activities, and music. It's incredible how a song can lift my spirits. So perhaps it's fate that right at the moment that I need some extra motivation, Phillip Phillips graduates from American Idol and inundates the radio waves with his first single.

This song can't help but inspire with it's strong bass drum beat and uplifting chorus of "ohs". It begins softly, with a plea to hang in there, because no matter how hard it gets, you're not alone, and you have a home (Perhaps I'm trivializing it when I connect it to how I'm feeling about my job when one imagines the other immense difficulties that others face, but that's something I love about music: I can relate on whatever level I need to relate, and others may do the same.).

As I created this look, I considered how I've been feeling and wanting to feel: comfortable, but not safe. I'm not asking for my life to be easier, and I don't want to stop being challenged, but I want to maintain some level of peace. This look embodies that theme, with a giant Topshop sweater (one of my all-time favorite pieces to wear throughout half the year), some Clover Canyon leggings, and Dolce & Gabbana boots. The pieces alone are always an easy, comfortable outfit option, but the print and pattern are strong and deliberate. The wearer is bold and willing to take risks.

Listen to the song here.


Halloween 2012: If She Doesn't Scare You, No Evil Thing Will

If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will

I wasn't kidding about these Halloween costumes, you guys. I've got a bunch up my sleeve. I thought I'd wait and reveal this one towards the end of the month, since it's what I will be sporting this October 31st (not exactly this look, mine is a thrifted version, though a girl can dream, amirite?), but I couldn't resist. I am very much looking forward to embodying this crazy character this year.

Cruella De Vil is arguably one of the best dressed Disney villains in existence, and if her wardrobe was faux and she wasn't fighting to murder puppies, perhaps she wouldn't be a villain at all. I've always enjoyed the utterly insane glamour she exudes - to the point of being unhinged. This is a woman who gave up everything for fashion (not that I'm condoning that level of devotion - I'm certainly not condoning the obsession with fur - it is a cartoon, after all). 

Jason Wu dress / Miu Miu coat / Versace heels / Kendra Scott ring / Causse Gantier gloves
If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will


Halloween 2012: Dorothy Gale, from Kansas

dorothy gale, from kansas

Valentino lace bodice dress / Lili Gaufrette pink socks / Jeffrey Campbell glitter high heels / Rewind Vintage Affairs handbag
dorothy gale, from kansas

Halloween is, and has pretty much always been, my favorite holiday. Perhaps it's my flair for the dramatic, or maybe my incessant sweet tooth, but I live for Halloween. To celebrate, I will be dedicating a few posts a week to Halloween costume inspirations. I don't particularly believe in store bought costumes; I like the thrill of putting it together myself, and what's more fun than giving a classic costume a modern, couture spin?

To kick of the month of October (yes, I'm a day early. Favorite holiday, remember?), I've put together a modern day Dorothy Gale, after one of my all-time favorite movies. I was the child insisting "I'm not a witch at all, I'm Dorothy Gale, from Kansas" and getting to dress up as Dorothy as a four year old was a dream come true. I love the idea of reprising that character now that I'm grown, and these Jeffrey Campbell boots just may be the perfect ruby slipper for me to do so.


"Bad For You" - Haley Bonar

Everything's Bad For You

This is such an adorable, simple song. The message is clear and concise: everything's bad for you. I listen to it with a smile, having grown up eating dirt along with carrots straight from the garden and spending my time singing and talking to myself in the woods day after day. It's no secret that we've become much more protective of our health and safety in recent decades, and often for good reason, but doesn't it sometimes seem a little excessive? That's what this song means to me: maybe it's not actually all that bad?

I loved envisioning what the wise grown-up singing this song would wear. Very proper, very modest, very smart, but perhaps a little off - she takes everything a little too far, both in her wardrobe and her advice. This Moschino Cheap & Chic dress gives a hint that the wearer is a little off-balance with it's quirky blocks of color and that surprise pop of yellow. The look is put over the top with this outrageous Meadham Kirchhoff faux fur coat, evoking a crazed monster. Everything really is bad for you after all, it seems. 

Listen to a live version of the song here.

Moschino Cheap & Chic lace cocktail dress / Meadham Kirchhoff  faux fur coat / Rupert Sanderson pumps / Alexander Wang leather wallet / Rebecca Minkoff sunglasses
Everything's Bad For You 


Things Emma Loves: Animal Sweaters

Things Emma Loves: Animal Sweaters

Remember how I said this may look a little different in the coming weeks? Let me introduce you to a new feature where I gush about a particular trend/genre in fashion/music with which I'm currently obsessed. Today, I am channeling my inner five-year-old and adoring all these fine-knit pullovers featuring our furry friends (believe it or not, all that alliteration was totally an accident - but I'm not going to correct it).


"Sweet Sour" - Band of Skulls

Sweet Sour

What do you call a more innocent version of a femme fatale? Like, someone that has just a bit of edge - not enough to be dangerous, but enough to be interesting - and still an undeniable adorability? I'm not sure exactly what she'd be called, but I do know that Band of Skulls' "Sweet Sour" would be her anthem and this would be her signature look.

This look appears almost preppy until you stop to notice the details: leather almost everywhere, sky-high Louboutins, accessories boasting a bit of hardware. This chick has layers. She is complex. She will keep you guessing and keep life exhilarating.

I love how this song is a bit reminiscent of 80's rock - the look is almost too tame for such a genre, but I think the added subtleties of the look make the pairing all the better. It makes the resulting personality of the wearer that much more surprising.

Listen to the song here.


"The Only Place" - Best Coast

The Only Place

Last week it was my birthday. My birthday has always been and will always be my favorite day of the year. I am well aware that this is because it is the one day a year I feel I can let my inner narcissist out into the world and not be sorry at all for demanding all of the attention. And I think it is very healthy that I can admit that. 

Unfortunately, looking forward to an August birthday practically year-round causes the rest of summer to fly by incredibly fast. Last week also marked the first time in months that Minneapolis wasn't a slave to sweltering heat. While the cool breeze and cloudy skies were a welcome change after nights of sweating through semi-consciousness in an apartment with a shoddy window A/C unit, it also made me a little sad that the summer was beginning to come to an end.

To mark my defiance of the inevitable change in season, today's look is based on Best Coast's "The Only Place". This song is the perfect summer anthem. If we're being fair, it's more of an ode to California, but being a true Minnesotan girl, I'm going to pretend they meant Minnesota lakes when they sing "we've got the ocean/got the babes/got the sun/we've got the waves". That totally applies to Lakes Nokomis, Calhoun, Isles, and Harriet. Minus the waves, I suppose.

Regardless, this look embodies a carefree summer day wonderfully. It's got the necessary layers to transition from a day on the beach/boat to bonfire, and those washed out colors lazily speak to a day of no responsibilities. 

Listen to the song here

Well, hello again.

Whoops. Accidentally took a four month hiatus there.

The good news is, that break allowed me to think about what I want this to become. I've been pretty happy with what I've produced thus far, but what I've really enjoyed is how this has reignited the creative spark in me in a way that I haven't felt in a very long time. Wanting to actually invest in this project has forced me to be more connected to music, fashion, and the wealth of resources at my disposal.

As a result, I'm re-prioritizing how I want to spend my time, which means looking into guitar lessons and classes at MCAD instead of endless hours spent watching my Hulu queue. Allowing myself to truly be inspired by the art and concerts I attend and act on it.

So, what I'm saying, is this may look a little different in the coming weeks/months. The focus will forever be music and fashion, but in different iterations. It's still a bit abstract, but I'm always optimistic.


"How You Like Me Now?" - The Heavy

How You Like Me Now?

I am seriously digging the funky, retro sound of "How You Like Me Now?". The choice to sample Dyke & The Blazers' "Let A Woman Be A Woman - Let A Man Be A Man" was absolutely genius and gives it an infectious beat that I love. There aren't a whole lot of subtleties to this song; the title itself gives it away. And who doesn't dream of seeing that certain someone from a past life and impressing them with how cool/smart/mature/awesome you are now?

Like the song, this outfit has few, if any, subtleties. How appropriate, then, to include the Giuseppe Zanotti sandals designed by Kanye West, a man known for many things, but none of them subtlety (let's count how many times I can use the word "subtlety" in this post). I wanted the rest of the ensemble to speak to the retro-inspired nature of the song, adding some modern cat-eye shades, a little leopard peplum, and some cavity-inducing sweet bubblegum leather skinnies.

I suppose this look could be considered over-the-top, but so is the message that's being sent, so I think it fits.

Listen to the song here.


"Settle Down" - Kimbra

"Settle Down" - Kimbra

Ever since "Somebody That I Used To Know", I've become more and more interested in Kimbra. I'm drooling for her full-length album to be released in the States (if anyone knows where I can purchase it here, please let me know - it's not on iTunes nor is it on Amazon [booo]), and in the meantime I get to enjoy her 4-track Settle Down EP on repeat. 

The title track sets itself apart with an a cappella intro and a some percussive vocals that maintain throughout the song. It's a cheeky, honest song about wanting to settle down (hence the title, you guys). It almost sounds as if it's sung by a child who thinks she knows what love is, incorporating a bit of "Star Light, Star Bright", though it gets a bit more desperate towards the end and she almost begs her man to stay with her, singing "baby there's no need to run".

To evoke this look I put together a classic, "Mad Men" meets Stepford Wife look. Very demure, nothing too overt or risky, very proper. Almost unsettlingly so. 

Listen to the song here.


"King of the World" - First Aid Kit

King of the World

First Aid Kit has quickly become one of my favorite bands. I'm so amazed by them - they're a Swedish sister duo but their music is so old country you'd think they were direct descendants of the Coal Miner's Daughter herself. This song is the closing number on their debut album The Lion's Roar, and though it was difficult to choose which one to feature, I found myself drawn to this one. I love it's declarations of being nobody's baby, everybody's girl, queen of nothing, king of the world. 

It's all about feeling insecure yet confident at the same time and trying to understand where you fit in. Although the message is somewhat unsure, I still feel that evokes this sense of strength. Like the storyteller is saying, sure, I don't have it figured out yet, but I know that I will and in the meantime I'll do my best. That's why I wanted to pair this with such a strong look.

Those Roberto Cavalli pants are killer, right? Totally undeniable. I wanted to build the ensemble around them, with more metallic accents to allude to the royalty that's wearing it. I also included the soft Clover Canyon top to represent the unknowing - it's a lovely print of the horizon and reminds us that we are a small piece of a huge puzzle. It keeps the look a bit more grounded.

Listen to the song here.


"Manchester" - Kishi Bashi

Not sure if you've heard, but it's going to be 75 degrees this week in Minneapolis. HOHHH MY GEE. Finally. This summer is going to be fantastic - I've got an anniversary vacation coming up, loads of local concerts to go to, Tough Mudder, and Bonnaroo. And that's all before June! Summer is the best. You know what else is the best? This song. I think I found my song of the summer - and it's only March!
This is yet another "instant love" songs. I think I'm starting to understand the formula I need for me to feel an attachment to a song. It usually involves at least one of the following: hopeless and/or beautiful declarations of love; an infectious melody that builds on itself with grand instrumentation; the ability to spark the desire for me to stand up and twirl around until the song is over. Kishi Bashi has included all of these qualities in "Manchester".
The song begins with a dreamy string and percussion sound and builds into the chorus, when Kishi Bashi sings "Oh, hello/will you be mine?/I haven't felt this alive in a long time". And what makes one feel more alive than sporting some high waisted geometric printed shorts and a cutout blouse? P.S. - "Oh, hello" is one of my favorite ways to begin any story, conversation, anything.
Please listen to the song here (along with other tracks from his Room For Dream EP).