Friday, January 31, 2014

Smooth Like Velvet

- Zara Jacket (similar here), Bebe Tights, Aldo Booties, H&M Tank Dress and Scarf -

Since its popularity about three years ago, velvet jackets have been a must-have for my closet. I can't tell whether it is the smoothness of the fabric or the deep darkness of it that I admire, but regardless, it is a versatile garment that can be easily paired with boyfriend jeans and a loose-tee or in my case, tights and a tank dress. Plus, considering that the jacket/blazer is not tight to the skin, it allows me to layer cardigans and/or sweaters underneath for a more cozy look - I actually have a cardigan under it since it is still brisk cold in Chicago.

Photos by Cecil Thomas

Monday, January 27, 2014


#1 - Taylor Swift in Gucci

This year, the Grammy Awards was not as drama-filled or wild as previous ones so, the fashion pool was smaller than usual. Even though many stars opted out of the show - Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna - those who did attend did have a good flavor for their choice of wardrobe. Here are my top four favorites from last night's awards:

#2 - Chrissy Teigen in Johanna Johnson

#3 - Colbie Caillat in Ezra Santos

#4 - Kacey Musgraves

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pop of Red

- H&M Top, Zara Pants (also love this one), Hunter Boots and Socks, Kate Spade Bag -

If I haven't mentioned it enough already, this winter has brought far more snow than the previous years and it wasn't until this Chiberia season that I used my Hunter boots to its full advantage. For some odd reason, I was adhered to the idea that it was strictly meant for the use in rain. If I had done a bit more research into the boots' purpose and quality, I could have prevented a lot of snow damage on my other shoes. Especially with the fleece socks that go with the boots, the boots are certainly suited for winter weather (I double layer the boot socks with wool socks for extra warmth).

Photos by Angela Cianciolo

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow & Trees

- Walking billboard for H&M: Coat, Pants, Faux Fur Collar, Sweater, Hat, Simply Vera Wang Leg Warmers (similar here), Ugg Boots, Louis Vuitton Tote, Ann Taylor Necklace -

As a continuation of my previous post to embrace winter in a more high-spirited way, I assembled this ensemble only to realize that I matched the natural background pretty well. When I'm not wearing a parka (and it's reasonably decent out, i.e. 30+ degrees) I opt for lighter jackets, which allow me to add layers underneath to lock in the heat. Similarly, I can't survive without leg warmers, which I never fail to leave the house without, even if I'm wearing Uggs. 


Photos by Angela Cianciolo

Friday, January 17, 2014

Raaz Boutique

- Decor at Raaz Boutique -

I usually don't write long posts, but here is one focusing in on a cute boutique in the middle of Chicago's "India town" - Devon.

For those in the Midwest, particularly Chicago, there is a one-stop spot for all your ethnic-wear desires - Devon. Devon is a location in the outskirts of Chicago where plethora of South Asian stores sell traditional things, ranging from groceries to designer wear. The one location that is deemed as a favorite amongst the locals is Raaz Boutique. Raaz Boutique was founded by Zainab Ekbal, an architect by academic qualifications and a connoisseur in fashion by nature. This is her story on her success.

Zainab always had a passionate to feature beautiful designer collections in the form a boutique, due to its absence in the Midwest region, where she could shop for tasteful clothes and jewelry. Thus, she began Raaz in her classy apartment that overlooked the beaming Chicago skyline, which were only, at the time, open to her family and friends upon appointment. She introduced the impeccable designs of the most talented high-end designers from India and Pakistan to the elite women of Chicago. 

Immense success and support encouraged her to give Raaz a physical identity as a cozy, elegant boutique. Since its birth in the 1980s, Raaz has been located in the heart of Devon, as a hidden gem. Its unmatchable collections and decor sets it apart from all the stores nearby and would have been better placed on the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue!

There was no looking back for Raaz and the clientele of her once-upon hobby grew to high volume. Considering the opulent collections and great customer service the boutique offers, she was able to attract designers from Pakistan and India such as Noorjehan Bilgrami, Azeem Khan, Sheikh-Amer Hassan, Rizwan Beyg, Maheen and Faiza Sami, Manish Arora, Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal, Krishna Mehta, and Abraham & Thakore.

Zainab's growing philanthropy and concerns towards humanitarian matters consumed much of her time and paved way for the young and diligent heir, Ghazala Khan Ekbal. As a graduate in commerce and professional experience in public relations, her touch helped elevate Raaz even more.

Raaz has catered to the styling needs of a wide array of clientele from various ethnicities, with the most sought-after designers at the time. To date, the boutique maintains a stable relationship with celebrity designers such as, Rabani & Rakha, Niki Mahajan, and Lajwanti, to name a few. Raaz is no longer just the local boutique in Devon; it has become the epitome of quality designer goods for the successful women all over nation. Raaz, which was strictly appointment-based initially, is now open for all who want to indulge in some retail therapy for any special occasion. Although the appointment-based component still exists, it is primarily targeting those who are going to be brides and their families for their custom ensembles.

Raaz has been written about and broadcasted in Chicago Magazine, Style Chicago Magazine, early CS magazine edition, Vogue international, and Chicago tribune. NBC channel even had a full exclusive showing of Raaz Boutique.

Check out their FB here for orders and inquiries!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pretty Pleasures

- Pretty orchids that my botany-loving mom got me - 

The weather in Chicago is finally warming up (and by that I mean it is above 20 degrees) and civilization is back on track. What seemed silly to me was seeing younger teens walking around the mall, with only 3 degrees out, in their short Uggs, VS yoga pants, and North Face fleeces. I, on the other hand, was bundled up with layered, wool sweaters, double hats, thigh-high leg warmers, and a thick parka that, inevitably, got me sweating. Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to spring/summer as this winter has reached its quota. 

- Spotted this little guy on the fresh snow in my driveway -

- Ain't nothing like some fresh juice and chocolate to get the day going -

- View down my street during Chiberia -

- My awesome coworkers know how important it is to keep me thawed during the winter in the office (heated mouse pad and fingerless gloves) -

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Golden Girls

Jessica Chastain in Givenchy Haute Couture

The Golden Globe Awards came rather quickly this year and the women who attended looked as better! Unlike the Academy Awards or the Emmy Awards, the Golden Globe stands in the middle and actresses may have a challenge in choosing a gown that is not too formal or too casual; it has to be something in between to reflect the seriousness, yet the lightheartedness of the event. Here are my favorite looks from this year's Golden Globe's:

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive

Zoe Saldana in Prabal Gurung

Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren Collection

Emma Watson in Christian Dior Haute Couture

Margot Robbie in Gucci 

 Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Haute Couture

*Photos via

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Red Carpet-Wear

Soon after the holidays, people usually go into a disappointment phase that lasts up until spring. Especially with the Chiberia weather that the Midwest has been experiencing, there hasn't been much cheer and joy. Lucky for those who follow the awards season, there is something to look forward to. All though it may bring sadness to those sitting on the couch and not being on the red carpet, flaunting in a custom-made designer gown, it is still an exciting time of the year. In honor of the award shows that are lined up (mainly my favorite, the Academy Awards), here are some of my picks made by major fashion houses that I hope to see on the red carpet this year. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chiberia Recovery

Bora Bora
This past Monday, Chicago endured one of the coldest temperatures in two decades! When I woke up, it was 17 below and I was beyond glad to be cuddled in bed. However, curiosity kicked in and urged me to take a step outside to experience how 17 below really feels like. Although I would have had to stand outside for at least 5 minutes to really feel the cold, my fingers were close to the point of numbness just by holding the door open to soak in the frigid air. In the spirit of keeping things positive, here are some warm weather destinations I would love to fly out to any moment to recover from Chiberia. (Now, that's if the flight actually takes off!)

For more fun destinations, check out my Pinterest board here!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lingering in Lingerie-Style

Zara mesh dress, $39.99
The lingerie-style clothing was introduced towards the end of 2013, but has been becoming more prevalent this new year, regardless of the climate your region has. It is fascinating to see an intimate clothing that is typically worn in the bedroom embedded with daily wear to be worn for the public eye. A very romantic touch to the mundane attire. Here are some picks I am currently coveting:

Zara top, $49.99

Zara dress, $89.99 
For Love & Lemons skirt, $158