Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Remembering Oscar De La Renta

It has been said, that the true measure of someone's life can be weighed in how long they remain embedded in the conscious memory after their death; in that respect, Oscar De la Renta will be made immortal. A pioneer in the fashion industry that sprung from his natural ability to draw and love of the female form, De la Renta happened to get his start by chance. It speaks to the nature of pure, raw talent, how a boy from a wealthy family in the Dominican Republic was plucked from obscurity just by sketching a few dresses to make extra money while he went to art school.
As fashion people, we know that clothing is so much more than what we put on our bodies, it is art, it is our living expression and no artist has perhaps embodied that sentiment even more. From old Hollywood glamour in the 60s when he got his start, to most recently crafting the wedding dress for the new Ms. Clooney, De la Renta's career spans decades of starlets and prominent socialites. His knack for grandeur created a niche for the standards of couture we see in the likes of Galliano, Mugler, and the late McQueen; being simultaneously over the top and exhilarating, while still subtle and posh. To say that the Fashion universe lost a legend, would be redundant as his legacy lives on in the dresses he created, in the starlets he clothed, and in the charitable works he endeavored

At 82 years old, Oscar De la Renta lived a long and incredible life. Take a look back at some of our favorite moments.

"The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life."


Written by Kiani

Monday, October 20, 2014

Your Fall Reading List

Fall is made for reading. There is something about the longer nights and cooler air that is fit for bundling up in blankets and losing yourself in a good book. It's very easy to forget the comfort of reading; of crinkling pages and underlining your favorite parts, or even the smell of books. Even I, a self-professed bibliophile, finds it hard to put in in the time to devote to someone else's world. But this season, I'm dedicating all my nights to a book. While the obvious choice for somber October evenings would be some collection of stories by Edgar Allen Poe or a chilling thriller by Stephen King, sometimes, you need a little more substance to hold you over. 

Rookie: Yearbook Three

There's not much that say about Tavi Gevinson that hasn't been already. After coming on the scene at the tender age of thirteen with her now defunct blog, thestylerookie, Tavi has been a force to be reckoned with. It was clear back in 2010 that she was a girl with ambition, fast forward to the present and she can now call herself an actress, model, and--of course--a writer. Set to be released October 21st, comes the third installment of a series of companion works to her website RookieMag. This reads less as story and more as an encyclopedia. Rookie: Yearbook is filled with stories from her celebrity style icons and DIY tutorials from Tavi and her fellow teenage writers that contribute to the website. If you're in the mood for a little teen angst, a little bit of advice on those embarrassing moments from high school and how they relate to your adult life, and a little bit of tips on how to emulate the style of  your favorite Wes Anderson character, pic up a copy. This is one book you won't want in digital.

NOT That Kind of Girl

While Girls creator, Lena Dunham boldly proclaims to be "Not that Kind of Girl", in the title of her book, as you read it you start to get an idea of exactly the type of girl she is. While her art, sometimes imitates life, Dunham's character on the show is a stark contrast from the shy, seldomly quirky, and over-analytic person she actually is. Consider this a book for the feminists of the millennium, while Dunham chronicles her tussles with scale and pervy bosses, always coming out of it with her head held high, if not
with a few battle scars. 

Women in Clothes

Imagine sitting in a room with yourself and six hundred of your closet gal pals, talking about your favorite clothing. While that isn't much of stretch for the imagination, that is exactly what Women in Clothes, brings to the table. It's an anthology of collected works and essays from women around the world, from the famous, to the girl-next-door, about clothing and how it shapes the worlds around them. As fashion people, we know that the clothes on our back are more than just what they appear, each article has a story behind it, or a memory stitched in the lining--fashion is, after all, living art. This book is filled with the behind-the-scenes scoops on a red carpet look and the story behind a wedding dress as a part in an arranged marriage.

Gone Girl

Before you head to the movies to watch Ben Affleck in his latest role, you've got to pick up this thriller. It's one part "film noir", one part psychological trip as a small town in Missouri is turned upside down when local Amy Dune goes missing. Her husband Nick is the prime suspect as his marriage comes under fire by snooping reporters and nightmarish in-laws. This is a tale about infidelity, love, and loss all set in a picturesque town with a seedier side. It's Twin Peaks, minus all of the supernatural, with writing that keep on the edge of your comfiest chair.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy Earthstrong: Ziggy Marley

We're sending out Happy Earthstrong wishes to Ziggy Marley! Making music since the tender age of eleven, Ziggy is the oldest son of Bob Marley and a musical tour de force. He released his fifth solo album Fly Rasta  earlier this year in April and has been on tour promoting it since. We here at BBLA have been bumping "I Get Up" (featuring Marley fashionista, Cedella), on repeat. Ziggy is a true Libra with naturally easy-going and amicable personality, apparent in the music he creates. You can catch him in California, coming November, with dates set for the 1st - 10th across the state. Find tickets here!


Written By Kiani-Iman

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BBLA Does Halloween

Check your calendar BBLA Babes, Halloween is fast approaching! Whenever I'm visited by the 
"ghost of Halloween's Past", it's never sugar highs or wild parties I think of fondly. No, this holiday has first and foremost been about the costumes. Dressing up and playing pretend has always been my favorite past time, and I've looked forward to Halloween with a reverent excitement; finally it was my chance to dress up in public! But I've long since grown out the handmade princess costumes that I'd plan out a year in advance, and I'm over dressing up like a witch, as I'm sure all of you are too. Unfortunately, that leaves us with scarce options for dressing up! Any walk down the costume aisle at your local drugstore can leave you underwhelmed. If you're like me, you want to stand out from the crowd come October 31st! You want to make a scene at that party, without wearing a skimpy tutu and cleavage-hugging crop top. Luckily, I've rounded up some super easy and super chic costumes that you can find in the shop! 

Margot Tenenbaum

The original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who spawned a whole subset of moody, mysterious, and fashionable indie starlets: Margot Tenenbaum. In Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenebaums, Gweneth Paltrow portrays the misanthropic adopted middle child in a family of self-professed genuises. Margot is a soft spoken playwright, who smokes in secret, runs away to libraries, and charms her brother and neighborhood boys to fall in love with her. With her signature fur coat, which she sports no matter the season, and DIY bob-cut pinned back with juvenile hair clip, Margot is a simple look to help you stand out from the crowd--removing your third finger, totally optional.

I achieved this look with everything from the shop. Vintage Moschino dress, Marc Jacobs pumps, and a vintage fur coat.

Josie and the Pussycats

The girl band above all girl bands, Josie and the Pussycats. Originally, just a one-off plot line for the Archie comics of the 60s, Josie and the Pussycats are a cultural phenomenon, more widely known than their predecessor. There's something simulatneously cool and sexy about a trio of crime fighting, spy catching, rock stars that kick but and play guitar all while wearing cheetah print and stilettos. For this costume, I'm using the 2001 adaption as my muse. Starring Even Rachel Wood, Rosario Dawson, and Tara Reid, a Josie, Val, and Meldoy, the movie pins Josie and the gang against an evil record company bent on taking over the world with an army of brainwashed trend-hopping teenagers. The best part about this costume is that you can gather up some of your gal pals and go as a group! 

I achieved this look with an Isabel Marant tank, Annie Bing leather pants, Burberry Wedges, and vintage ABS jacket all in the shop!

Annie Hall

The titular character of Woody Allen's 1977 rom-com is more the hero of her own tale than the neurotic loser played by the director. After a chance meeting, Annie becomes the proverbial "white whale" in Allen's infatuation--think Tom's obsession over Summer in 500 Days of Summer, plus trips to therapy while whining over a dead-end comedy career. While Woody Allen's earlier work veer a little too close to his personal life and often are seen as flat, it's Diane Keaton's role that has remained a strong cultural fixture. The androgynous wardrobe of men's suits and wide-brimmed hats even launched a trend in the early 70's. Ralph Lauren, who contributed several pieces to the costume department, later put out out a line specifically for women to emulate her style!  This look is simple and chic without trying to hard. You'll be sure to impress any film buff you see while trick-or-treating.

This look is with J Brand Slacks, YSL Pumps, Vintage Prada Tote, Frieze leather vest, Vintage Salvatore Tie, and No Label Vintage top!

Cruella DeVille

Let's get a little scary! Cruella Deville is a women who knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it. She's also one of the only Disney villains who is evil for the sake of being evil (Ursula wanted her power back, Jafar wanted to rule, Scar felt like he was rightful heir to the Pride, and Cruella. . .just wanted to kill 101 puppies to make a coat). Be real, we've all done some scary things in the name of fashion, I know there have been times when I'm not too proud of how I act at a sample sale. So why not embrace your bad side and show off your style? Cruella's look is currently right on trend too--tons of designers have paraded models down the runway sporting luxurious fur coats in their fall collections. This costume is influenced by both the original cartoon and the 1996 Glen Close version. 

This look was created with a Halston stole, Pur Lopez shoes, A + Ellen Dress, and Donna Karan handbag. Dog is totally optional!


"In an old house in Paris, all covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. The smallest of which, was Madeline!" Here's a costume that's pretty nostalgic--the world's favorite mischievous Parisian school girl and the 2nd most renowned little orphaned redhead. The franchise which spans over 20 picture books, two TV series, eight animated films, and one live action movie is absolutely a main staple from my childhood. At the age of six, many of my days were spent butchering the French words I'd picked up from the show and calling my mother Ms. Clavel after Madeline's nun teacher. This look is simple and fun, definitely a throwback.

I used a vintage Ohbrach coat, Alexander McQueen Skirt, Joie Top, Marc Jacobs pumps, and Vintage hat + scarf!

So, what are you going to be for Halloween? Stop by the shop and let us help you dress up!

Stay Sweet & Keep it Chic