Thursday, July 5, 2012

it happened

Enter thoughts of guilt and extreme overindulgence that I'll surely get over sooner rather than later...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The other day I noticed these boots on the main screen for the Steve Madden new arrivals page, but they weren't available for purchase anywhere on the site. Being the stalker I am, I contacted customer service to see what they were called and when they'd be available, but got no answers. I checked back for days and pre-ordered them as soon as I saw they were available.

As a much cheaper alternative to the highly coveted Chloe Susanna boots, I think these were a great find. 
Pros - (1) The price (2) The actual style and shape of the boot itself
Cons - (1) I'm not sure how I feel about the swirly pattern of the studs (2) I don't wear gold that often

Ultimately, I think I will be very happy with them, but only time will tell. Unfortunately, I'll have to wait a while to decide because they don't ship until mid-August.

**Use the code SMSUMMER15 at Steve Madden for 15% off of your order of $75 or more plus free shipping** from,

Friday, May 25, 2012

mini mac

Rebecca Minkoff's leopard Mini Mac is my ultimate leopard accessory. I dreamed of this bag for a long time before finally scoring it during a Black Friday sale at Saks last Thanksgiving. Everything about it is perfection --- The luscious leopard printed calf hair, the matte black hardware, the supple black leather.

Unfortunately, this particular style is no longer available but the Mini Mac comes in many other varieties.
Neon Pink/Yellow/Orange, White, Black, Blue, Purple, Almond

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Several months ago I became obsessed with the idea of DIYing iPhone cases and ordered a boat load of rhinestones from Etsy. This is the second case I've made, and I'm hooked on the idea of creating something that is completely custom and exactly what I want. In theory, cases like these are super easy to make but the main ingredient is patience. If you don't want the end result to look bootleg you have to take it slow and you'll end up with something fantastic.

I used E6000 glue, available at any craft store, a cheap iPhone case ordered from Amazon and AB rhinestones from Etsy, which can be ordered anywhere online or found in craft stores. The supplies probably cost me about $8 in total.

I added the glue onto small sections, then covered the section in rhinestones, then glue onto the next section and so on. For the rhinestone placement, I wrapped a piece of tape, sticky side out, to the end of a pen to pick up each one and a toothpick to help the rhinestone off of the end of the pen and onto the case.

The entire case took me a little less than two hours to complete and I let it dry overnight. I didn't worry too much about it coming out absolutely perfect or trying to pre-plan the rhinestone layout too much --- I had an idea of what I wanted to do and just let it flow. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

floral arrangement


It might not be possible to live another day without these.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

mama and baby

I've been obsessing over the 3.1 Philip Lim Pashli bags for months. I really love the larger satchel, but the mini version is super cute and has a cross-body strap.

While they are more 'reasonably' priced than others bags I've considered, they are still expensive, and I don't feel that I can justify the purchase. The fact of the matter is that I'm head over heels in love and sure I have the money, but just because you can doesn't mean you should. At the same time, I feel that every once in a while, it's perfectly fine to treat yourself to something a bit more luxurious than you usually would.

I need something that's going to fit into my life practically, which I think either of these bags will do, but if it's practical, I will use it everyday and destroy it. In the scheme of things does it even make sense to spend a lot of money on something that you might ultimately tear to shreds? from

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

tough love

My love for black leather, studs and spikes may never wane.

If my closet was a club, these shoes would be the bouncers at the door, kicking ass and taking names.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

all black everything

Michael Kors has done it again. Even though I have the silver/clear crystal version of this watch, something in my heart tells me this another absolute must have.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

the skinny

I've done it. I've finally scored myself the quintessential pair of black skinny jeans; the 'Kex' low rise skinny jean by Acne in wet black for 57% off of the original price.

After completely ripping the crotch out of my favorite black skinny jeans about six months ago I'd been on the hunt and nothing that I'd found was quite right. Being 5'-10" means I needed something with at least a 34" inseam. On top of that I wanted something super skinny but not made with flimsy material and denim that was super duper deep dark black.

I'd also decided  that I really wanted a pair of Acne jeans, and maybe a day later Gilt Groupe had a sale featuring Acne. Fate?

I immediately scooped up this pair, but of course, they were too small. By the time I got them, the entire sale was sold out. I wish I'd done a bit more research on the fit beforehand, because apparently it's a known fact that Acne jeans run a size too small. All I could do was return them, after nearly two weeks of trying them on and attempting to convince myself that they could work. Oh, and complaining to Jay and anyone who would listen about how bummed I was.

I put myself on a wait list, but continued to stalk them everyday. They finally popped up again on Gilt in the size I needed and they are officially MINE. from

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

nyfw - vera wang at lincoln center

First, let me preface this post by saying that Tuesday, February 14, 2012 was one of the best days of my life.

I woke up at 5:30am. Not only that, but I did my hair and makeup. Now, ask me to wake up for work at 5:30am and I will laugh in your face. But if waking up at the crack of dawn has anything to do with shopping, traveling or New York Fashion Week, I'm up with no problems. Funny how that works.

 This day was the perfect ending to my NYFW experience. The atmosphere at Lincoln Center was intoxicating. I felt like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time; I was so happy.

*All photos are from the iPhone, unless otherwise noted *

I had to be there at 8:30am for a presentation by Norisol Ferrari, on behalf of The Looks for Less.
The presentation was really cool; all of the looks were displayed on mannequins in the center of the room and the audience walked around to look at each one. I was one of the first people on line, so I got in before the room got packed and was able to get great photos of each look.

Check out my full post, including photos of all of the looks from the Norisol Ferrari Fall 2012 collection

I then had the most ridiculously amazing and huge opportunity to attend the Vera Wang Fall 2012 collection runway show, thanks to my mom. She is all about helping me out and doing anything she can for me and she was all about trying to get me into this show. When she called me to tell me my invitation was in the mail, I screamed and shrieked for two minutes straight. My mom is so supportive. She's always encouraging me to do that which inspires me.

Here's my invite --- I felt like I'd found a golden ticket when I saw the envelope in my mailbox!!! I stared at it for three days. On my way there I was super paranoid about losing it, so I kept checking my bag. What can I say --- I have the worse case scenario gene, and it's dominant!

After the Norisol Ferrari presentation I decided to stick around and just people watch. Maybe I'd see someone interesting...

I spotted Anna Dello Russo (editor-at-large of Vogue Nippon), Giovanna Battaglia (editor, stylist, model), Joanna Coles (editor-in-chief of Marie Claire), Andre Talley (editor-at-large of Vogue), Joe Zee (creative director of Elle). I even saw Nina Garcia (fashion direction of Marie Claire and Project Runway judge) on her way into a show. I totally called her out and she smiled back at me -- Good enough, Nina. I'll take it!!!

Anna Dello Russo was wearing a crazy hat!!! Her boots were AMAZING!!! Too bad they couldn't fit into this pic I took of her in the lobby.

Giovanna Battaglia making her way to a show. She's gorgeous!!!

While wandering around, I saw Brad Goreski, stylist and former Rachel Zoe associate, and asked him for a photo. He was so nice. Then I asked him if I could take a photo with him and he said yes again. Not only that but he complimented me and said my purple blouse looked beautiful on me. Love it!!!

Another really exciting moment was getting interviewed by, because they liked my outfit!!! This happened right after I took my photo with Brad. This was super cool mainly because I didn't try that hard --- Yes, I obviously wanted to look good, but I also wanted to be comfortable and warm. I wore the same outerwear and bag that I discussed here; black Zara coat with leather sleeves, Michael Kors black faux fur and black quilted BCBG bag. I wore black jeans from Urban Outfitters and a bright purple silk blouse from J. Crew that I stalked for months until it went on sale.

I also wore these amazing boots, which I first spoke about here, and finally got on Gilt Groupe for half price!!! These are my feet in the back of a cab. This is the best $10 I spent all week. Even though they are flat and comfy, I was walking around for six hours and my feet and legs were ready to fall off!!!

Let's be serious. It is more than likely that my interview will end up on the cutting room floor, but it was still really nice to be asked.

After wandering around for a little over an hour, it was finally time to line up for the Vera Wang show. I think I was probably the third person on line to enter the show. We had to wait for a while, then they started to let people past the entry area. After that all the standing room only people were corralled in an area outside of the show, until all the people with seats were let in. I was standing there for a solid hour --- I'm not complaining.

Picture a scene from an apocalypse movie where people are charging the aisles of a grocery store for water and supplies. No, better, Walmart on Black Friday, right when the doors open at 3am. This is what entry to the show was like once they gave word that we could go in. People were clawing their way through the door. If you were slow, you would certainly get pushed and potentially trampled.

When I finally made my way into the show, I literally gasped. This was a moment when I realized that I was actually living out a dream.

The room was gigantic. It was packed, wall to wall, with people in stadium seating. Hundreds and hundreds of people. Filling every seat, every space. After making my way through the crowd and finding a standing room spot, at the very top of the stairs, I settled in and waited. My vantage point was  perfect.

There was a guy standing next to me who tried to strong arm me but I was prepared to throw him down the stairs to keep that spot. He got the point and quickly gave up --- Smart move, pal!!!

As soon as the lights dimmed the crowd was instantly silent. The music began to play and the runway was lit. At this point, I had become pretty confident with my camera. I'd had lots of practice in the days before, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I used a 55-200mm lens, and shot in shutter priority, this way I was able to catch the models in action, without the photos being blurry. I had the ISO cranked up to 3200. It was super dark everywhere except the runway.

Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of Vogue) was across from me, in the front row. Here's a photo I got of her with my real camera. I was pretty far away from her and got this on max zoom. I lightened it up a bit.

Here's a quick shot I took with my phone midway through the show.

As I snapped away with my camera I kept checking the display. My photos were looking amazing. I was so excited. The collection was beautiful. The styling was impeccable. The shoes were fantastic. The show was EVERYTHING!!!

Check out my full post and runway photos from the Vera Wang Fall 2012 Collection

It was over in a flash. This is a real camera pic of Vera Wang at the very end of the show. She didn't walk the runway with the models. She just peeked out for a few seconds.

It was over, and once I made my way out of the room, I had to take a minute outside to breathe and soak the whole thing in. I'd just been part of something so amazing. I had to gather my thoughts. Surreal would be the perfect word to describe the experience of the show. It did feel like a dream. It was really beautiful. Everything was pieced together perfectly.

After the show I spotted J. Alexander, runway coach and judge on America's Next Top Model. I waited until he was done with an interview to get a photo with him. We both had on furs!!!

Finally, one last photo of me outside, right before heading out.

The day was done. I wandered around a bit more outside. I really didn't want it to be over. It was a strange feeling. I think I've been feeling it ever since. It was so amazing to get to experience NYFW first hand. No words can really do it justice.

I just feel lucky.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

nyfw - polyvore live

Last Monday, I had the opportunity to attend another event on behalf of The Looks for Less, Polyvore Live, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Polyvore is an awesome site where you can put together outfit 'sets' and share them. It's perfect for getting style inspiration because you can explore and create. I spoke about it before here

The premise of the event was simple --- four Fashion Institute of Technology graduates were presenting around ten looks each, and top bloggers were the models. The event was held at a place in the city called La Venue, which was super cozy and intimate. 

My favorite thing about this event was that I got to go backstage. I don't know if I was allowed to but I went, and no one told me to leave!!! It was cool getting to see all of the behind the scenes hustle and bustle right before the show started. I also got upgraded from standing room only to a fantastic seat in the second row, which included a sweet gift bag!!!

The whole night felt like I was a fly on the wall in an episode of Project Runway.

See my runway photos and more information on the event

Sunday, February 12, 2012

nyfw - rock & republic

On Friday I had an incredible opportunity to attend my very first New York Fashion Week event. If you follow Leather and Lollipops on Facebook, you know that I've been working with The Looks for Less for several months now as a guest blogger. I was invited to represent the site as the New York correspondent. Here is a glimpse of my experience at the Rock & Republic for Kohl's show, via some iPhone photos.

First, me and my outfit.

I decided to keep it very simple. I wore a J. Crew black and white gingham button up, dark blue 'Roxanne' 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans, black Topshop boots (discussed here), a black Zara coat with leather sleeves and a black Michael Kors faux fur vest. I'm really happy with my outerwear choice because I didn't remove my coat or vest for the entire evening. I also brought my gigantic BCBG bag. It was seriously heavy and filled to the brim with so many things, including my SLR and two lenses, a photography book that I was studying before I left work and a bag of makeup and other odds and ends. As soon as I knew I was going, this was the obvious bag choice. I wore some fun jewelry too. The necklace I got at Bloomingdales, rings are by Noir Jewelry, watch is Michael Kors and bracelets are Judith Jack and Nadri (discussed here, here and here). I put some curls in my hair and kept my makeup fairly simple --- No one was paying attention to me anyway!!!

Next some celebrity sightings.

I showed up about 40 minutes prior to check in. I was legitimately paranoid that I wouldn't be on the list or that something would go wrong when I got there. I spent 15 minutes outside giving myself a pep talk before I ventured in. The step and repeat was right inside. The celebs walked, and then exited through a door which led into the hallway that everyone attending the event had to walk through. I stood behind some interviewers and snapped away with my phone. I got Tinsley Mortimer, Zoe Saldana, Ed Westwick and Molly Sims. When I was leaving I asked Mena Suvari for a pic and she said yes --- No big deal.

Finally, a few random pics.

There was champagne flowing from the moment you walked in, which I obviously loved!!! The waiters were all models and were constantly asking if I wanted a refill. You know what my answer was.

 My seat at the show was awesome --- I was super close to the runway and three rows back!!! I was literally at a diagonal from the entry way onto the runway, right under the R&R/Kohl's logos. Photography wise, it was so dark on the runway. Not only did I have to try to time the cadence of the models walking, I had to figure out the timing for the music and runway lighting too. Despite the fact that none of the camera settings I'd planned on using worked, I got some phenomenal runway shots.

Check out my shots and some more information about the Rock & Republic for Kohl's line
>>> HERE <<< 

Everyone also got gift bags on the way out. My bag had two boxes in it, one for men and one for women. The men's box had a pair of jeans, a tee and a hoodie and the women's box had a pair of jeans, a tee and a dress. Yea, I know.

The whole night I was basically giggling and jumping up and down on the inside, and calm and collected on the outside. It was an amazing experience and I would really like to thank The Looks for Less for allowing me to represent the site.

I will be attending a couple more events for New York Fashion Week which is incredible. I am seriously shocked by these opportunities. Can't wait to share more!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

anchors aweigh

I got sucked into Instagram one night, as I usually do at least once a day, and happened upon someone wearing this sweater. I did a Google search for "anchor sweater" and found it!!! After concluding that I wasn't going to spend $150 for it, I decided that I'd keep checking back in the hopes that maybe it would go on sale.

A couple of weeks ago, I randomly checked AllSaints online shop and it was there for 50% off!!! There was one left. The sizing was European and I was confused about whether or not it'd be right, but I bit the bullet and ordered it, figuring I could always send it back. It arrived and is perfect.

Oh, how I love the chase. from

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

insta --- polish

Wet n Wild Black Creme, Matisse Elite Seduction
OPI Rainbow Connection
OPI Glitzerland, OPI Silver Shatter, OPI Spark de Triomphe
Sinful Colors Snow Me White, Color Club Pink & Blue, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Black
China Glaze Fairy Dust, China Glaze Some Like It Haute
OPI French Quarter for Your Thoughts, OPI Gold Shatter
Essie Dive Bar Collection
Sally Hansen Nail Strips in Check it Out
American Apparel Neon Yellow
Orly Androgynie
Chanel Quartz, Chanel Graphite, Chanel Peridot
Milani Purple Gleam
Nars Bad Influence
Incoco Nail Strips in Staccato
Essie Funky Limelight
Revlon Starry Pink
Essie Shine of the Times
China Glaze Go Go Pink, Milani Disco Lights


Follow me on Instagram --- @vanessawilliams
You can follow me >>>HERE<<<