30 November 2011


Usually what turns me on and gets me flipping the pages of a magazine are the articles inside. Yes, the pictures are fabulous but only take a second to enjoy. If the articles are lacking in subject, the magazine is just a lookbook to me. I was pleasantly surprised by the articles in all three of the last issues of Vogue Magazine.


It seems like nowadays all fashion magazines rely heavily on their cover model and story, which generally, almost always (and I'm saying this because the three issues I'm talking about are all stories about actresses and their upcoming films) are about an actress and her life and upcoming film. It would be interesting if magazines shied away from this concept once in a while, but nevertheless, "MY WEEK WITH MICHELLE" was a fantastic read.

Not only were the Leibovitz photos fantastically gorgeous, capturing a sincerity and vulnerability in Michelle and "Marilyn" (two of which are already displayed on the walls in my bedroom because they are just divine) but the article itself seems to capture the same thing. It's a perfect blending of Michelle playing Marilyn and exposing how parts of Marilyn's personality already reside in Michelle.

I was completely intrigued by Elizabeth Rubin's piece "THE CONNECTOR", which details the life of Arianna Huffington. I was originally drawn into the article simply because of who it was about. I am constantly reading The Huffington Post, and yes as the article states, I am one of The New York Times converts. Yet, I know nothing about the mysterious puppet master of the major website, Arianna Huffington.

When I read the article, what mostly popped out to me was this statement by Rubin: "Her (Arianna) life's journey is now the stuff of Greek myth, chronicled by every major magazine and by her own pen." And although the article was incredibly interesting, it almost left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. It would appear that Rubin is trying to, with the help of quotes from Arianna's friends, and her own daughters, present Arianna Huffington as the voice of the unheard, the trailblazer of the middle class and the anti-corporate America. 

What's truly surprising to me are the little things that made me actually dislike Arianna Huffington more, and illuminate her own corporate mentality. "Pay editors well, bloggers nothing, reporters OK, citizen journalists nothing, aggregate and give a voice to everyone" and then pocket the money her self and build her empire under the guise of "the voice of the people". 

The article really tries to stress how Arianna Huffington is out to educate the public about how the American Dream is broken, lost, forgotten, dead because of the government we have now. What she fails to realize, is that she is contributing to that very problem.


I would never scoff at an excerpt from a book, ever. So of course I was seriously interested in reading the excerpt from Diane Keaton's new memoir Then Again. I absolutely adore this fresh approach to a memoir, Keaton narrating herself, cut in with diary entries of her mothers. 

From what I can tell, these entries seamlessly weave in and out of the larger picture, Keaton's desire to be on stage. The excerpt is painfully vulnerable, outlining Keaton's hunger for attention, stardom, and love. I believe this hunger is something most actors/actresses feel but are unwilling to admit or accept. Keaton's vulnerability is refreshing and has gained a new found respect from me, and a desire to read the entire memoir.


I told you Virginia Woolf was popping up everywhere! It seems like ever since I mentioned Between The Acts the other day, I just keep getting more and more Woolf popping up in my life. It's as if the ghost herself is trying to tell me something, or I'm just completely susceptible to any inclination of something being related to Woolf because I'm completely in love and in awe of her work.

So naturally I'm drawn to "THE NAMESAKE" nostalgia article. And quite honestly, the article pinned me down for exactly every other annoying lit head who approached Virginia Nicholson and her family, because of her relation to Woolf. The article was lighthearted, and exposed the difficulties of being related to someone who is a genius in anything. But it really just relieved me of my Woolfian urge. 

Oh, Downton Abbey, how I adore you wholeheartedly and unabashedly. And apparently, just like every other person on the planet. Although this article focuses mostly on the beauty of the three Crawley sisters, and less on the show itself, anything Downton is anything I'm willing to spend 10 minutes speed reading. The article doesn't say anything particularly new about how to emphasize your own natural beauty, but it does give slight insight into the show. If you couldn't already tell that I'm literally obsessed with this show, not only for its amazing plot lines and acting, but it's gorgeous attention to Edwardian fashion, then let me explain it to you now. I'm obsessed.

So I say to you, Vogue Magazine: Keep up the good work.

*        *         *        *        *        *

In other news, I'm leaving this evening for New York City! I'm so excited! I'll be sure to blog while I'm there, or at least update my twitter like crazy. Stay in touch!


Images from Vogue Magazine, taken by me.

29 November 2011


Okay, so maybe the title of this post isn't completely correct or apt, since I'm really only blogging about Vogue Magazine for the past 3 months. I don't know if I've already mentioned this, but I'll mention it again. The Vogue Gods/Goddesses or Demons/Devils (whichever you prefer, considering your personal opinions on fashion's most read and possibly respected publication) decided to send me free (and I mean I didn't pay for these) issues for the past, oh I dunno, 8 months? I don't know who is sending these to me,  or someone in my family (there are no names on the magazines) but thank you. It has given me a lot to blog about!

I'm not much of a magazine reader, and as you can tell, it's taken me quite some time to catch up with recent issues. But I've got to say, flipping through these glossies really got me interested. There were so many awesome and intriguing articles as well as editorials that here I am to send some love Vogue's way.


My favorite editorial from October was, "A WINTER'S PALE".  I'm constantly, and I mean constantly, trying to bring in more pale and pastel colors into my wardrobe. Although I don't think of myself or categorize my  sense of style as "goth", I tend to attract toward the darker color palate. I suppose it may have something to do with my darker coloring; a dark hair color and dark eyes like mine are quite hard to imagine decked out in all beige but I think the stark contrast is fine. 


What I love most about how Peter Lindbergh shot these photos is the photog quality they have. Every picture seems to be a stolen moment; an invasion of the couple/models privacy. I like how that invasive quality emphasizes the glamour of the clothing. Like we're getting a look into this highly glamourous person/couple's life that could be quite scandalous. 

It also gives the sense of effortless beauty and glamour. The models hair is wild in the wind; which only adds to her beauty and mystery.



I have two favorite editorials from the November 2011 issue. It's quite funny actually. I think a lot of how a magazine sells itself is by the cover girl and cover story. I don't have anything against Rooney Mara, but I'm not really a "The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo" fanatic, so I wasn't really interested in reading a cover story about an actress who is staring in the American movie version of the popular book. I had decided then, since the cover didn't really appeal to me (and I mean story, the picture is gorgeous), I wasn't even going to thumb the pages of the massive amounts of ads. However, I'm glad I gave it a second change, otherwise I would have missed out on these two gorgeous editorials. The first being, "CALL IN THE CAVALRY", which is inspired by the acclaimmed play War Horse and WWI fashion.

I am absolutely in love with the Edwardian era of fashion and it's resurrection as an inspiration for designers today. I think this editorial does a fantastic job showing the sometimes unnoticed elegance that military fashion and utility has.

I can't help but love the overall androgyny of this editorial either. I'm so into the menswear trend, that I'm over my head. It's unfortunate that the gender roles wrapped up in a mens suit can display so much power, but so it is. I just love to see that power and aggression put on the curves of the female frame. Again, the contrast is strikingly gorgeous.

I swear, Virginia Woolf is popping up more and more these days. (You'll understand that comment more tomorrow).  "SWEPT AWAY" has to be inspired by Woolf's To the Lighthouse. The perfectly Edwardian inspired clothing that is pictured by the sea with the overarching motherly theme is so much To the Lighthouse it's practically driving me insane with Woolf-ian delight.

Not to mention the boater hats are reminiscent and not so reminiscent (The boater on the cover picture is in fact Chanel) of the boater's that made Chanel famous. I only wish boater's were something that I could appreciate in my wardrobe. 


"THE CULT OF BEAUTY" is an editorial I've practically be waiting for. As an English major, I've learned quite a lot about artistic movements and how they've influenced different poets, writers, etc. I've got to say I'm obsessed with the beauty of the Pre Raphaelite movement of the 19TH Century. These pictures are completely gorgeous in a fantastical and artistic manner. It's completely evident that what the photographer wants to highlight is the fantasy of the movement, especially by the model's bright orange hair.

Just to give you an idea of my love for everything Pre Raphaelite, I wrote one of my final English paper's on Christina Rossetti's divine poem "Echo":

Come to me in the silence of the night; 
        Come in the speaking silence of a dream; 
    Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright 
        As sunlight on a stream; 
            Come back in tears, 
O memory, hope and love of finished years.

    O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet, 
        Whose wakening should have been in Paradise, 
    Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet; 
        Where thirsting longing eyes 
            Watch the slow door 
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

    Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live 
        My very life again tho' cold in death: 
    Come back to me in dreams, that I may give 
        Pulse for pulse, breath for breath: 
            Speak low, lean low, 
    As long ago, my love, how long ago.

More on the articles tomorrow.


Images from Vogue Magazine, taken by me.

28 November 2011


You've probably already heard about the British Advertising Standards Authority has banned the above ad for Marc Jacob's "Oh, Lola!" perfume. Just to give you a bit of backstory, quickly, the ad was banned because it was deemed to be sexually exploitive of a child who appeared to be under the age of 16. I've got to say, I agree with the ASA. When I first saw the ad, it did make me feel a bit uncomfortable. The perfume is placed in an overtly sexually suggestive way that I believe is objectifying a childlike Dakota Fanning, not the perfume.

However, the ASA has done it again, and this time I'm really completely clueless as to where the sexualization is occurring.

See the above image. The ASA has banned this ad of Hailee Steinfeld modeling for MIU MIU because it depicts a child in an unsafe location. I just don't really get it. I feel like the ASA is negating themselves by banning this ad. It almost makes them appear like they are being unreasonable banning the Jacobs ad, which is clearly very very different. Banning this ad is unreasonable. There is nothing going on in this location that makes it "unsafe". 

The UK is lucky to have something like the ASA, to remove images that create false advertising or are frankly inappropriate. Yet I think they're shooting themselves in the foot for this one. It's going to become impossible to continue to respect they're decisions.

Rachel Beth

PS. I hope you enjoyed a relaxing holiday weekend! 

Images from nymag.com

24 November 2011


So I could sit here and write this huge long eloquent thing about all the things I'm thankful for on this Thanksgiving 2011, but I'm sure the list would be pretty cliched. "I'm thankful for my family, friends and loved ones. . . yada yada yada." And although there is nothing wrong to be thankful for those things, I'm not putting that down in any nature, it's just not what I want to write here. And let's just clarify, I truly am thankful for my family, friends, and loved ones. For the house that I live in, the food I'm afforded to consume, and the lifestyle that I grew up in.

But what I'm really thankful for this year is you. Does that sound cheesy and cliched? I hope so. One thing that Virginia Woolf taught me (Between the Acts) is that cliches are cliches because sometimes the best things are said in cliches. It's just how you make them your own. 

So now that I've got you thinking I'm the biggest hypocrite in the nation who went from "I'm not going to be cliched" to "I love cliches", lets get back on point. I'm thankful for you, the internet, and my blog. I'm thankful for it because IT (You, The Internet, My Blog) has afforded me the opportunity to be who I want to be, shamelessly, throwing all insecurities to the wind. I may be a confident person, with a strong personality, to those who know me in "real" life (whatever that is). But they don't really know me.

IT (You, The Internet, My Blog) has allowed me to make something of myself, instead of standing and waiting for life to happen. IT has made me happier, more confident, and more sure of what I really want to do with my life, who I want to be. I was completely unsure and insecure about starting this whole thing up again, but I did it anyway, and I'm completely happy and content with the success I have had, whatever success is measured by.

And if you must know, this (My Blog) isn't that successful. But any amount of success I receive, I'm thankful for. It's just the validation that I seek. The validation that I can do what I want, be who I want, and people will stand up and listen and appreciate it. Because I feel like all my life (and I'm sure there are plenty of us, almost all who feel this way) have given up on things I've wanted to do out of self doubt. Out of lack of ambition or fear of rejection. This is my life, this is it. I want to make it my own, even if I am just between the acts.

So thank you. And have a wonderful, fulfilled Thanksgiving Holiday.


Rachel Beth

23 November 2011


I'm so excited to finally announce VARNISHED JEANS' partnership with Proopticals.com! I recently received these fabulous Ashley frames from Proopticals and I've got to say, I was completely impressed. The frames came with a lovely case and shammy for easy cleaning. The frames themselves are really fantastic quality, and really inexpensive! 

I'm glad that my love for wearing glasses (and obvious medical need, because wearing frames for fashionable purposes is just lame) and passion for quality yet affordable items has allowed me this opportunity to create this partnership with Proopticals. I'm completely over the moon with these lenses! Such a great edition to my expanding lens collection!

I love these thick framed lenses that almost look a little like Wayfarers but aren't. As much as I love Ray Bans and the obsession that the public has with them, I'm really trying to move away from that shape. But I do like the point-dexter quality they put off. I'm mean, for christ sake I'm a book worm at heart (with a BA in English) so anything that can give you that impression right of the bat is good in my book(!)

I'm wearing my single favorite blouse I thrifted recently. I love the mock bow tie that it has. I'm also wearing my new favorite (p)leather skirt from Forever 21. It was a relatively inexpensive ($15) way of giving this outfit a little edginess. It's hard to find a leather skirt at the thrift store that is a full skirt, and not a mini or pencil. Both of those silhouettes aren't really my style, and also not very flattering in leather.

Also, I'm debuting another favorite pair of tights of mine, my houndstooth tights. I enjoy their lack of showy-ness; the print is a houndstooth thats black and dark gray. They definitely add nice texture to an outfit. 

And the Winter and cold weather outfits commence! Enjoy! 

Rachel Beth

Images taken by Brian Garcia of Hate Your Answering Machine.

22 November 2011








Now, I know that technically the Winter season doesn't begin till December 22ND, a month from today, the beginning of the Holiday Season always makes me feel like Winter is over. Thanksgiving is the celebration of the Autumn Harvest (in my opinion), and therefore the end of the season.

I really enjoyed putting together my Summer Collage, and you did too! So, above, I give you my Fall 2011 Collage. Again, I've realized that I don't wear too many pairs of trousers, pants, jeans, you name it. I'm definitely a tights and whatever (dress, skirt, shorts) kind of girl. I'd like to change that for sure. I'd really love to pick up some nice pairs of slacks and wear them for Winter. There's something really masculine about slacks. It's something I love to play with in fashion; bringing a typically masculine silhouette or piece and transforming it into a feminine piece. Girls will be boys, right?!


Rachel Beth