LIVING LIFE WITH PASSION AND STYLE™

My Examiner.com post: Stretching your style dollars when you lose your job

July 21, 2010
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Please check out my Examiner.com post here.  Thanks!

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My Examiner.com post: Inexpensive Ways to Feel Like A Million and Perk Up Your Style

July 20, 2010
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Check out my post on the Examiner.com as Honolulu Women’s Style Examiner here.


Ode to Hawaii: Hawaii Girls in the National Spotlight (Part 1)

June 2, 2010
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Like how we like to claim Barack Obama as our own, it’s natural for every town, city, or country, to feel kinship and pride of any of their countrymen or women achieving great success. Hawaii is no different. Indeed, the obstacles appear far greater as Hawaii is an island in the Pacific Ocean, the 50th state of the USA, and culturally diverse where stereotypes and generalities can emerge. Yet, professional athletes, actors, models, businesspeople, musicians, and scores of others have reached national and international success. I want to celebrate it. I also want to share the paradise I live in. And nothing seems more appropriate than to celebrate Maui girl, model (she is also the face of Billabong, too), and surfer Tori Praver, who has a featured photo spread in this month’s Marie Claire magazine. The layout captures the ethereal, yet active energy of our lifestyle; the fashion what we should all aspire to. And thanks to Marie Claire for setting an example of authenticity from the inside out. Now, that’s style.

-Stephanie

Photographed by Matt Jones; Styled by Isabel Dupre in Alexander Wang, Burberry, Mango and others.


SM Style: My favorites and misses of the Oscar fashions 2010

March 8, 2010
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Check out my post on the Honolulu Advertiser’s fashion forum blog about my favorites and misses of the Oscar fashions 2010.

-Stephanie


SKIER LINDSEY VONN ON THE “CONTROVERSIAL” SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER

February 9, 2010
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Well, this isn’t the most flattering pose of cute skier Lindsey Vonn. However, neither is it the worst. But people are talking about it because sites like WomenTalkSports believe the cover objectifies women. Listen in:

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“Vonn is first a GREAT athlete, but she also represents norm of feminine attractiveness. The combination of athleticism and attractiveness make Vonn the likely poster girl of the US Olympic Team, and the media hasn’t disappointed in constructed her as such.

Not to be left out, Sports Illustrated is featuring Vonn on their Feb. 8, 2010 cover. For those of you who follow SI Covers, know that female athletes are RARELY featured on the cover.

Over the last 60 years researchers have shown that about 4% of all SI covers have portrayed women.

When females are featured on the cover of SI, they are more likely than not to be in sexualized poses and not in action-and the most recent Vonn cover is no exception.”

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As I call it, let’s look at the facts. Lindsey Vonn is a downhill skier. She skies downhill, crouched, poles tucked under her arms, tush in the air, right? Arguably, she’s not doing anything out of the ordinary. She’s a superior athlete, cute (great makeup, hair and ski suit!) and marketable, so why would anyone want to hide her face behind goggles in an action shot. (See a male skier cover.) Very cool shot, but we can’t really see his face.

Does it hurt her credibility? Not really. Sport Illustrated crowns her in boldface type “America’s Best Woman Skier Ever.” Please, this is not an example of mockery or sarcasm like the Palin cover on Newsweek. Not by a long shot.  Well, could SI have shot her straight forward? Yes, but it is SI’s call and that is what the ruckus is about. Is it also that SI shot her in a bikini for its Swimwear edition? (see below). And all covers are on newsstands within a span of a week.

They speak like SI held a gun to her head. Lindsey Vonn consented to be shot on the Olympic Preview cover and the Swimwear edition. C’mon, who wouldn’t pose for SI knowing it could catapult your career, your marketability, your bank account. It is not sleazy, sarcastic, or demeaning. You are included with the top athletes of the world. Yes, SI should be better about having more female athletes on covers. Yes, SI does show the female form in sexy ways, but a woman should never try to be a man. How confining! Be yourself. Obviously, Lindsey Vonn shows her smart, playful, girlish side that loves to dress up, feel pretty, but let her accomplishments speak for itself.

Will SI probably sell magazines with Lindsey Vonn on the cover? You bet.

-Stephanie


Brilliant designer Ilan Delouis and Faith Connexion

January 27, 2010
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Brilliant design. Brilliant photographs. Brilliant concept. FAITH CONNEXION. I want these clothes. Must-have dresses. Just brilliant.  I am a broken record.

-Stephanie


What can we do now for Haiti?

January 13, 2010
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It is hard to imagine the unimaginable. Yet, people experience it and often times, it is the poorest of the poor. The earthquake in Haiti has the same reverberations as the tsunami damage in Indonesia, flooding in Philippines, and the countless natural disasters globally affecting the innocent. Like living in urban sprawl and hearing the sirens blare by night and night, we can become numb to the alarming sounds as well as tragedy, too. Everyday there seems to be a “shocking” event, but whatever way we can focus on the positive and help one another, it may help alleviate some burning pain. We can start by spreading the word about links to help the Haitians. You can check these sites out, albeit from ones being tangentially relating to fashion. There are a host of others on the Internet to learn of, too, such as the Red Cross. Here are the sites:

1. Ben Stiller’s site, Stillerstrong.org. Ben Stiller has been raising money to build a school in Haiti after he visited there for the first time  and has Stillerstrong headbands for purchase. I freely admit that Ben Stiller is one of my favorite actors and I love his humor. See his video on his website with President Clinton. Too funny! Maybe you may see one of the Stillerstrong headbands I bought. Who knows how it looks!

2. Fashion Philosophy is donating 100% of the their profits from purchases to Help for Haiti. Buy yourself a new dress or shirt while helping out, too!

3. Check out Twitter’s Fashion Bloggers for Haiti. Search for events!

-Stephanie


MAKE IT EASY FOR GUYS TO SHOP…A PERFECT STORE FOR HIM

December 18, 2009
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Some guys dread even the word “shopping.”  It means being trapped in the mall, outlet, or department store causing mental hyperventilation. They have no interest in finding the bargain: the experience of exploration this way. So retailers need to find diversions to help this. A jewelry store on the North Shore smartly has a big flat screen tv mounted on their wall with the latest and greatest surf footage. What a great idea because it keeps his attention, while relieving stress for any woman to shop at her leisure. Other stores have comfty sofas, a plethora of magazines, and food and drink. Ah yes, get to his stomach and satiate him. That is another answer! However, what if he needs something, but always procrastinates because he rather be outside surfing, golfing, hiking, running, or heaven help you, working. Well, if you are catering to men, this store in San Francisco proved to be an ideal shopping model for men: Cafe Coton. The store I saw had rows and rows of beautiful, cotton shirts displayed and grouped according to prints. It was a small store, but I found it very interesting as men would come in, tell the sales clerk his shirt size, pick it out from the rows of prints, (most likely not even try it on!), buy it, and be out the store within 15 minutes or so. It certainly was becoming a sociology issue to ponder. The store had a niche: upscale, collared, long sleeve shirts; ties; socks; and briefs. Guys bought it even if it may be a little more expensive than I think most may be willing to pay for a long sleeve shirt because it was easy, a very quality product, standard in the sizing, and it just looked great. A sure confidence booster and versatile to wear for day, business, paired with jeans, or an evening event.  I loved all the shirts and I don’t even think Cafe Coton does much marketing in the US.

I think everyone -the guy with the affliction, the woman who has a guy like that, or the retailer itself- can learn from this model: make the experience easy with definite organization of the inventory, reasonable price points, planning, and diversions. No big heaps of clothes to sort through or racks and racks of inventory to browse. Easy. Simple. Uncluttered. Maybe this can be applied in real life as well?  As a minimalist at heart, it speaks to me, but it is just so hard to maintain. Observe the stores out there and maybe you will have some tips to share!

-Stephanie


The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (2009)…STRUT WITH CONFIDENCE!

December 3, 2009
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VIDEO: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (2009).

Ladies, watch and learn! While entertaining, (and I love the BEP!), Victoria’s Secret is a top-notch marketing machine spinning a bigger and stronger Victoria’s Secret brand, despite not being a top luxury undergarment. However, Victoria’s Secret has brilliantly branded itself as pure sex appeal and the fashion show did not disappoint. Well, here’s top 10 things to learn from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2009:

10. Never underestimate the power of undergarments. Always have sexy ones, Ladies!

9.   Marketing to women and men is first and foremost visual! Top models! Top theatrics! Top production!

8.  Create a “reality show” by having a casting call for the next Victoria’s Secret model by having loads and loads of contestants in lingerie. It’s Top Model crossed with a casting for the biggest fashion show in the year.

7. Send out a press release stating that this year it will have its first Asian descent model (from China) gracing its runway. (China also has more than a billion people.) (Part II on this subject to come in the next post).

6. Create the fantasy by having “angels” wearing the Victoria’s Secret underwear. Angelic, yet not so. Hmmm…

5. Have the Black Eye Peas sing live at the show!!! (I love the Black Eye Peas and Fergie!)

4. It’s a fashion show, but what is really the fashion? The pieces are not really seen, unlike an Oscar De La Renta show during New York Fashion Week, where the designs are celebrated and awed. It is just selling the concept, an idea.

3. Victoria’ Secret has attached the color pink to its marketing campaign, the color of romance, sweetness, and love. Not too hot, but not too dull. But, just sweet enough. Awww.

2. Show that even ordinary people can be a Victoria’s Secret model or at least part of the making of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show by displaying footage of their casting call in over four major cities and having the people choose their favorite model.

1. Ladies, above all, STRUT WITH CONFIDENCE. Take charge and be confident and that will jump start any sex appeal you have.

Stephanie (@honadvsmstyle)

Strut with confidence!

stephred email

©2009 by stephaniematsumotoSTYLE.


SARAH PALIN’S NEWSWEEK COVER: IS JUNE CLEAVER BACK? C’MON NEWSWEEK, BORING, BORING, BORING.

November 18, 2009
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At first blush, it’s easy to say the cover is sexist. And it is, as the Newsweek honchos attempt to discredit Sarah Palin through her attire, or lack of, no less, by using a cutesy posed photo she took for Runner’s World magazine.  Haha, the Newsweek team probably smirked with pleasure at its brilliant “marketing” decision, using a unprofessional photo of Sarah Palin in running attire, to really show everyone how problematic she really is.  And then, they creatively prepared a heading “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Sarah?” which has nothing to do with running at all. Wow, genius idea. Makes you run to pick up a copy. NOT.  Well, I am not here to defend Sarah Palin as it was a photo taken of her, albeit a little too posey, for Runner’s World magazine and a magazine I have read and enjoyed myself. And the photo was relevant and apparently sold copies of Runner’s World off the shelves. Here, this is a commentary about how boring, irrelevant and old fashioned this cover is, and how Newsweek’s cover falls miserably short of modern and lacks any creativity. The magazine cover looks like out of the June Cleaver era. Take some clues from TIME, which can be just as critical of Sarah Palin, but they can create covers that are much more modern, artsy, young, and edgy. What is Newsweek trying to say with its cover? While its goal may have been to criticize Sarah Palin in a “shocking” way, in fact, Newsweek just shows us it needs a refresher course in being modern, relevant, and creative. Right now, it’s so boring. Maybe it may redeem itself with its next cover.

-Stephanie

©stephaniematsumotoSTYLE. All rights reserved.


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    My Mantra

    DEFY FEAR™ Be open to change. Take risks. Revel in adventure and new experiences. Travel. Read. Engage your senses. Learn from your mistakes, your successes, and from the wisdom of others. Unravel a puzzle. Create and use your imagination. Be active. Find the positives. Keep it fun. Be EXTRAORDINARY. Love. Live the good life. Enjoy the ride. - I AM. Copyright 2009 by Stephanie Matsumoto STYLE. All rights reserved.