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October 26, 2008

Ask the Stylist: Halloween Costumes

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Play,Shop — StyleGuide @ 6:49 pm

Alexandra Haines, Fashion Stylist, photo provided by A. Haines

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  In honor of the upcoming holiday, today I’m re-posting contributor and fashion stylist Alexandra Haines’ Halloween post!

Halloween is the one time of year where you can wear whatever you want — forget appropriateness and decency!  For a fashionista, it is THE national holiday.  I start early — real early — and cast a wide net. 

Hidden Treasures
A destination in and of itself, this hideaway earns regular mentions in the pages of Vogue and stocks an amazing collection of vintage clothes.  But come Halloween, they load up extras like masks and tutus in a rainbow of colors.  In Topanga Canyon right off the main drag, this is a great stop for retro costumes for men and women. 

Robinson Beautilities
Whether I’m pulling together a costume for a man or woman, this is my mecca for costume extras.  Yes, it is a fully functioning costume shop that has not (blessedly) be remodeled since the 60′s.  But it also offers a huge supply of wigs and Venetian masks, a wall of fake eyelashes, all types of glitter spray, and my new wardrobe standard — Vegas-style feather headdresses (really, once you buy one you’ll find there are all sorts of occasions to wear it).

Squaresville
I’d say Squaresville is a hipper, cleaner version of Aardvarks, where the buyers really care about what they’re stocking.  Some of my greatest regrets come from not buying beautiful pieces I found there, like a sequined butterfly top, trashy white fur coat or an original prairie dress.  These wouldn’t have made it into my everyday wardrobe, but could make fantastic retro costumes.  Find costumes for men and women.

Hollywood Blvd.
Got no time and are just going to dress in a skimpy outfit with some sort of animal ears?  Try walking Hollywood Boulevard for their cheap costume/lingerie shops and amazing wig shops.

About Alexandra: 

I am a stylist who has been designing clothes and accessories and styling photo shoots.  That wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t intrinsically interested in how individuals can express themselves uniquely in their dress.  Expect no cookie cutter advice here.

Call:  310-908-7605 (Alexandra)

alexandra@amorphiastyle.com

May 26, 2008

Donut Man and Donut Hole — Los Angeles Road-Trip with Stuart Paap

Filed under: Eastside,Eat,Expert Opinions,On the Road,San Gabriel Valley — StyleGuide @ 9:54 am

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders. Today’s contributor is Stuart Paap, who teamed up with StylishGuide for a doughnut-crammed road-trip documentary (or is it, “doughcumentary”?):

Stuart Paap is a comedian in Los Angeles who hosts a live interactive comedy talk show every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at TheStream.TV! He also loves his dogs, likes his cats and tolerates his neighbors.

Related links | more deep fried delights:

Six great L.A. doughnut shops

Stuart Paap on StylishGuide.com

November 28, 2007

Ask the Beauty Editor: Hair Repair

Filed under: Expert Opinions — StyleGuide @ 8:28 pm

Brooke Eastburn (seated), photo provided by B. Eastburn

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is Brooke Eastburn, former beauty editor for a major magazine. 

Sometimes a great deal can go horribly wrong.  This is a particular risk when you’re searching for a cheap haircut.  We turn to Brooke for guidance on what to do when a ham-handed stylist really butchers you up.  It may cost a little more, but it’s a bargain when you’re in dire need of hair repair.

In full disclosure, this is something of an ode to a certain hair salon.  My love affair began with the most colossal beauty disaster of my life, and miraculously concluded with me stumbling into an incredible L.A. beauty find, Chop Chop.

In brief, my hair hell occurred at a MAJOR celeb salon (think laughable prices and frightening egos).  I exited with a fierce mullet.  And the color? Frito Lay’s most vibrant “cheese” powder comes to mind.

A sage friend directed me to Chop Chop, and though they were fully booked for the next day (Saturday, of course), when they heard I was considering a baseball hat and a staple gun, they invited me to come in as soon as they opened.

And here is why I fell in love: Chop Chop has every single thing you could desire in a salon: amazingly skilled stylists and colorists with absolutely zero attitude in a sun-flooded architecturally gorgeous space (with new art installations every six weeks), all at reasonable prices. (Cuts are $80 and up; color is $120 and up.)

Chop Chop could flaunt some attitude — they’ve scored press coverage in Allure, Lucky and People, but all you’ll sense is that the staff is really interested in you loving your hair. 

When I first hurled myself into Troy Trusciante’s chair (as soon as he’d pried the Yankees cap from my head), he took a long look at me, asked what I do for a living and some other key “get to know you questions” — all in an effort to figure out what style and color would make sense for my life.

I left blotting away tears of gratitude, and to trump all, received a call from the salon two days later to make sure I was happy with my style and cut.  I almost wondered if it was a trick question.

Price: $$$$

Where:  830 North La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, Ca 90038 

Call:  323-464-8100

www.chopchopsalon.com

About Brooke:  Brooke is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. She previously was a beauty editor at Mademoiselle Magazine and has writen for Glamour, Prevention and More.

November 15, 2007

Ask the Expert: Finding Stylish Gifts for your Favorite Pet (or Pet-Lover)

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Shop — StyleGuide @ 8:31 pm

Rachel Paap, owner of RP Worx, photo provided by R. Paap

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is animal activist Rachel Paap.

Now that the holidays are upon us, where can you find gear for your best four-legger that’s stylish, top-quality and cheap?

For Proud Parents of Big Dogs:  Why do small dogs get the cutest gear and accessories?  For dogs over 40 pounds, there are few choices for fashionable, appropriately sized collars.  In this size-conscious city, why should our dogs be ashamed to be big and beautiful?

That’s why L.A. local Karen Klopfenstein started Big Boned Dogs, offering handcrafted durable collars that reflect the unique personalities of dogs who don’t fit under the crook of your arm.  Dozens of designs — think Izod alligators, cute owls, French toile, fun bees and elegant paisley — come in multiple colors and styles like martingale choker or traditional slide buckle.

These collars are so well-made and adorable, they could easily sell at boutiques for as much as the “little dog stuff.”  They don’t!  Depending on size and style, they average $25-$35.  These are machine washable and long-lasting, so even if your dog plays rough with friends at the park, you won’t have to buy new collars every year (and that saves money, too).  Better yet, they’re one of a kind — just like your pups!

For Kitties Too:  Most cat owners know the importance of collars and tags.  For those multi-cat families (I can’t recommend multiples of cats enough!  Two is better than one, and what’s one more with two?  Or four . . . six?), tags can often look plain, or fade over time. 

Lucky Pet is a great company (they give back to humane organizations) with a fabulous selection of lightweight and small tags in stylish colors for smaller kitties or dogs.  And if you’re sick of hearing that cling clang of your pet’s tag against the collar, there are options-a-plenty.

We’re talking quality here — these tags last a long long time.  Why not get a few in every color (to go with your cat’s every mood)?

About Rachel:

Rachel Paap is the owner of RP Worx, a public relations and marketing boutique agency serving charity organizations, with a focus in the animal welfare field.  She is also a highly competitive kareoke singer.

www.RPWorx.org

October 30, 2007

Ask the Comedian: Cheap Laughs — Comedy Death Ray

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Play — StyleGuide @ 8:39 am

Stuart Paap, photo provided by S. Paap

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is Stuart Paap:

Cheap laughs.  Get it?  It’s a double entendre — ah, the French have such a way with words, passive aggression and mimes.

Step one: Hello! I am your host, Stuart Paap, a local comedian, auteur, television host, bon-vivant (and Francophile apparently), BUT most importantly, I am your comedy maitre’d (arret), ready to make all the right recommendations for your comedy palette here at StylishGuide.com.

*Cautionary note: Before you take any of my suggestions, let me quote clause number 1 of the ICSA (International Comedy Suggestion Agreement), which states that: “Humor is subjective, and unlike the self-congratulating gourmand who will suffer indignance if you don’t take his/her/its recommendations for the best croissants in town (incidentally – they’re at Susina Bakery and Café on Beverly and La Brea), as a comedian, I can only nudge you in the general direction of humorous situations, people and venues while YOU, future satisfied audience member, must do the parking, ticket buying, drinking and, of course, laughing.”

And while I can’t help ease your parking, drinking and lack-of-humor situation, then maybe I can help alleviate your bank card of unnecessary trips inside another anonymous ATM by giving you the lowdown on good laughs — cheap!

Brought to you at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on the hip part of Franklin Avenue where Hollywood sleaze meets East Side cheese, Comedy Death Ray is a tossed salad of humor, featuring stand-up comedy, characters and sketch that would happily live in the “alternative comedy” section of Amoeba Records.

If you’re unfamiliar with “alternative comedy,” don’t worry — it’s just like regular funny comedy with a dash of comic book nerds, thick-set glasses and cheese-fries guts thrown in for good measure.  Some of it is pure genius, some off-putting, but regardless, you’ll get the sense that somewhere in this crazy town, comedy is alive and not-so-well and that ultimately, that is just fine.  (Hey, it’s usually better than some dink in a cheap suit talking about how his crazy spouse just doesn’t understand football.  You dig?)

Experimentation is the motivation here, and for five bucks, you can be entertained and possibly even emotionally scarred!

NOTE: keep your eyes peeled for drop-ins from celeb-beauties like Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Fred Armisen, and more.

Price:  $ (reservations recommended)

When:  Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.

Where:  UCB THEATRE LA, 5919 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, Ca 90028 

Call:  323-908-8702

www.comedydeathray.com

Stuart Paap is a comedian in Los Angeles who hosts a live interactive comedy talk show every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at TheStream.TV!  He also loves his dogs, likes his cats and tolerates his neighbors.

October 23, 2007

Ask the Personal Assistant: A-list Gifts from Edelweiss Chocolates and Beverly Hills Seed

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Shop — StyleGuide @ 6:25 am

Janet and her husband, photo provided by Janet

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is Janet (pictured above with her husband), a personal assistant who spent 37 years working for one of Hollywood’s biggest power players. 

Even if you live on a ramen budget, there are occasions that demand A-list gifts.  Janet turned us on to some shops that impress no matter what your budget:

I had the privilege of working with a boss who had top organizational skills and was a wonderful communicator. Since I was 19 when I started working for him and had the sense to observe and be willing to learn, I gained a great deal of knowledge that I used in a long, successful career.

My boss was a generous man who gave many gifts.  Even to this day, there are two places that I would highly recommend to anyone for great gifts:

Edelweiss Chocolates is a paradise.  They cover and dip just about anything and everything in chocolate – fruit, marshmallows, you name it.  Their gift boxes are elegantly wrapped and you can buy one piece or one hundred. 

Beverly Hills Seed is a wonderful store where you can choose from a large assortment of lush, healthy plants in beautiful decorative pots.  My favorites are all the varieties of orchids that you will find in several sizes and prices.

Edelweiss Chocolates, 444 N Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, (310) 275-0341 and 225 26th Street, Santa Monica, Ca 90402, 310-656-0306, $-$$$$

Beverly Hills Seed, 9526 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, Ca 90210, 310-276-3501, $$$$

Where do you get A-list gifts?

October 2, 2007

Ask the Stylist: Halloween Costumes

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Play,Shop — StyleGuide @ 6:16 am

Alexandra Haines, Fashion Stylist, photo provided by A. Haines

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is fashion stylist Alexandra Haines. 

Halloween is the one time of year where you can wear whatever you want — forget appropriateness and decency!  For a fashionista, it is THE national holiday.  I start early — real early — and cast a wide net. 

Hidden Treasures
A destination in and of itself, this hideaway earns regular mentions in the pages of Vogue and stocks an amazing collection of vintage clothes.  But come Halloween, they load up extras like masks and tutus in a rainbow of colors.  In Topanga Canyon right off the main drag, this is a great stop for retro costumes for men and women. 

Robinson Beautilities
Whether I’m pulling together a costume for a man or woman, this is my mecca for costume extras.  Yes, it is a fully functioning costume shop that has not (blessedly) be remodeled since the 60′s.  But it also offers a huge supply of wigs and Venetian masks, a wall of fake eyelashes, all types of glitter spray, and my new wardrobe standard — Vegas-style feather headdresses (really, once you buy one you’ll find there are all sorts of occasions to wear it).

Squaresville
I’d say Squaresville is a hipper, cleaner version of Aardvarks, where the buyers really care about what they’re stocking.  Some of my greatest regrets come from not buying beautiful pieces I found there, like a sequined butterfly top, trashy white fur coat or an original prairie dress.  These wouldn’t have made it into my everyday wardrobe, but could make fantastic retro costumes.  Find costumes for men and women.

Hollywood Blvd.
Got no time and are just going to dress in a skimpy outfit with some sort of animal ears?  Try walking Hollywood Boulevard for their cheap costume/lingerie shops and amazing wig shops.

About Alexandra: 

I am a stylist who has been designing clothes and accessories and styling photo shoots.  That wouldn’t mean anything if I wasn’t intrinsically interested in how individuals can express themselves uniquely in their dress.  Expect no cookie cutter advice here.

Call:  310-908-7605 (Alexandra)

alexandra@amorphiastyle.com

September 11, 2007

Ask the Stylist: Haute Seconds

Filed under: Expert Opinions,Shop — StyleGuide @ 6:50 am

Alexandra Haines, Fashion Stylist, photo provided by A. Haines

Expert Opinions are tips from L.A.’s ultimate insiders.  Today’s contributor is fashion stylist Alexandra Haines. 

My biggest, newest secret as a stylist is Haute Seconds on Wilshire in Santa Monica.  These gently used clothes are right off the runway with going-out-of-style prices.  The shop is small enough not to be overwhelming, friendly enough that it is not intimidating, and fresh enough to make you feel fabulous as you try on discarded Prada, Armani, Chloe and all their compatriots.  

I’ve picked up a beautiful hand painted silk Akris top, a classic black Anna Sui dress, and a Jean Paul Gaultier top for under $100 each.  This is the best place to rock some serious names without breaking out the Benjamins. 

Where: 2721 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, Ca 90403

Call:  310-828-6500

About Alexandra: 

I am a stylist that has been in and around the fashion world by styling photo shoots and designing clothes and accessories.  I’ve worked in major design studios tracking trends and creating products for consumers.  None of which would mean anything if I wasn’t intrinsically interested in people and how each individual can express themselves uniquely in their dress.  No cookie cutter advice here.

Call:  310-908-7605 (Alexandra)

alexandra@amorphiastyle.com