LA Sample Sales Holiday December 2011 Edition

It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Happy holidays and happy sample sale-ing!

A.L.C First Ever Sample Sale, December 16 9-1pm, 135 E. Broadway Street, Los Angeles. An insider birdie tell me the prices will be very fair!

Chic Little Devil Annual Sample Sale, December 15-18, 10-6pm. Up to 90% off sky high end brands like Chloe, McQueen, Balenciaga and Miu Miu. I never miss this sale! 1206 Maple Avenue 11th Floor, Los Angeles Cash/CC.

Stop Staring Annual Sample Sale, December 9, 9-6pm December 10, 10-4pm, December 11, 10-3pm. 14023 Paramount Blvd, Paramount

Twelfth Street By Cynthia Vincent Sample Sale, December 8-10, Thursday and Friday 10-5pm, Saturday 10-2pm. 860 S. Los Angeles Street, Mezzanine 2, Cash/CC

Black Halo Warehouse Sale,12/9 noon-5pm, 12/10 9am-3pm. 648 S. Mateo St., Los Angeles 90021. Cash/ CC

James Perse Sample Sale, December 9-11. 1125 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood 90038. Cash/ CC.

Gold Hawk, Tag Jeans and Tag Elements Warehouse Sale, 12/1-12/3; Thurs/ Friday 10:30am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-4pm. 3864 Santa Fe Ave., Vernon 90058 (323) 587-7873. Cash/ CC.

213 Industry and MK2K Sample Sale, Wednesday -Saturday, 11/30-12/3 9am-6pm. 2301 E. 7th St., # F105, Los Angeles 90023. Cash/ CC

Raquel Allegra and Of Two Minds Warehouse Sale, Thursday- Friday, 12/1-12/2 10am-3pm. 834 S. Broadway 4th Floor, Los Angeles 90014.

Joie/Current Elliot/ Equipment Sample Warehouse Sale, 12/2-12/3, Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-3pm. 4575 District Blvd., Vernon, 90058. Cash/ CC.

Thomas Wylde Warehouse Sale, 12/3 9am-7pm. Smash Box Studio, 8538 Higuera St., Culver City, 90232. Cash/ CC

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale, 12/2-12/4, Friday and Saturday, 10am-7pm and Sun 11am-6pm. 4661 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles 90027.

Rachel Pally Warehouse Sale, Friday -Sunday, 12/2-12/4 and again on 12/9-12/11 Fri.10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm and Sun. 11am-4pm. 2301 E. 7th St., Suite C100, Los Angeles, 90023. Cash/ CC

A Current Affair Pop Up Vintage Marketplace, 12/3 6-10pm 12/4 11-5pm, Cooper Building, 860 S. Los Angeles St, Penthouse, Admission $10

Shopping Night on the Avenues West Hollywood, Wednesday December 7, 6-10pm, WEHO is celebrating the holiday season with a night of in-store festivities and sales, promotions, and food trucks. Santa Monica Blvd, Melrose Ave, and Beverly Blvd between Doheny and La Cienega.

Unique Vintage Christmas Party, Saturday December 10, 10-6pm. 10% off the entire store, raffles, gift with purchase and food trucks!

Cooper Building Sample Sales 860 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles 90014

NationLTD, Linea Pelle, Jessica Elliot and Genetic Denim Sample sale, 12/2 10am-4pm. Lobby J.

Kain Label Sample Sale, Thursday 12/1, 9am-6pm. Suite 505

Society for Rational Dress, Wren, Scout Vintage, Thursday 12/1 10-6pm, Friday 12/2 10-6pm, EM Productions, Suite 402

Maggie Ward Sample Sale, 12/2 9am-3:30pm Suite 211

Noetic Showroom Sample Sale on 12/1-12/2, 12/8-12/9, 12/15-12/16, 10am-5pm. Suite 612. Cash only.

The New Mart is opening up their doors to the public for Showroom Sample Sales every Friday till Xmas. Find Savings of 40%-85% off at dozens of showrooms. 127 E 9th St., Los Angeles 90015.

Exclusive First Look at the Marni for H&M Collection

Fresh off the press! Marni will be designing a collection for H&M! The Spring 2012 designer collection will feature signature Marni prints and patterns juxtaposing and mixing modern tribal influences with Bauhaus graphic and adding sporty utilitarian elements. I've been a longtime fan of Marni's chics prints and fine craftsmanship so it will be interesting to see how it will translate in the fast fashion, mass market arena.

Pictures of Consuelo Castiglioni, Founder and Creative Director of Marni working on the exciting new line:

My Cyber Monday Shopping Bag(s)

The following items are currently in a state of shopping limbo, just begging to be processed and bought. It looks like the holidays are influencing my shopping habits as it appears I'm in the mood for red. I hope everyone had a filling Thanksgiving and a fulfilling Black Friday weekend!

Camilla Skovgaard Masai Open Toe Booties, on sale $299

Mulberry Polly Push Lock Bag, $1,050

Alexander Wang Double Skull Bracelet, on sale $256

Pixie Market Crimson Blazer, $69

Dorothy Perkins Red Deco Colorblock Dress, $75

Bursting The Arcadia Bubble

I was born in Shanghai during a time of political, social and economic transition. Remnants of Mao China intermixed with capitalism, a concept that slowly but steadfastedly peeked over the horizon. Uncertainty hovered as the country entered an unexplored terrain that married old traditions with new beginnings. Unwilling to settle for uncertainty and believing in the much talked about idea of achieving the American dream, my parents packed up everything and brought me (age 7) to the US. I grew up in Arcadia, an idyllic city ten miles northeast of Downtown LA. Due to its award winning school district and proximity to Asianified cities, flocks of Asian immigrants holding the similar minded belief that stellar education leads to bright futures and overall happiness live in Arcadia. We were groomed and expected to study hard and excel in school so that one day we can become lawyers, doctors, accountants, and engineers. Our world revolved around AP classes, SAT prep courses, and partaking in activities that were college essay worthy. Basically, Arcadia is a city full of Tiger Moms, Dads and cubs.

I met Alex in high school. I thought he was a typical Arcadia guy. He was on the tennis team, had spiky hair and hung out with a group of inocuous boys. Occasionally I would run into him outside the steps of the public library and exchange a few goofy jokes. After high school, we went to different colleges and lost touch. His name didn't come again until a few years later when I heard he had started a clothing company called Kallusive. It was doing really well and was making a huge prescence in the world of hip hop and dance. I was in law school at the time and was quite shocked to hear he was embarking on an unconventional career path. After all, I totally had him pegged for an accountant!

Over the next couple of years, as I began to break free of my Arcadia mindset and bubble, I realized that there is no ideal occupation or magical life path that can guarantee success or happiness. Out of love, my parents provided me with the tools they thought I'd need to succeed. However, I shouldn't let those tools become limitations, blocking me from seeing beyond their conventional use. Like Alex, I need to creatively utilize them to explore new frontiers. Alex is an entrepenuer, a fashion designer, the CEO of a media company, a movie producer, and a blogger. Through dedication, hard work, a keenly positive attitutude, and unrelenting perseverance ( he called Metropark everyday for a few months until they agreed to meet him. After the meeting, Kallusive Clothing was on the floor of every Metropark store), he has achieved the American dream in his own bubble breaking way.

Kallusive Clothing is a men's and women's lifestyle clothing apparel brand founded in 2006 by Alex and his business partner Michael. The label quickly rose from humble beginnings to being internationally known.

A Fine Kreation is Alex's high-end contemporary women's apparel label. Pulling from a wide variety of some of the world's most talented independent artists, the brand combines unique art with custom body silhouettes.

Alex's Doranato Entertainment is a visionary media company engaged in multiple facets of entertainment, including film production, talent management and digital media.

Ktown Cowboys is a feature film based off the popular web series of the same name. Expect tons of celebrity cameos as well as a talented Asian American cast which includes my friend comedian Danny Cho. Alex is the executive producer.

Big Skoop is Alex's personal blog and gives a behind the scenes look at the daily life of a man juggling entertainment  fashion, and business.

Beauty Product Review-Red Carpet Manicure At Home Gel Nails

The woes of my brittle nails have followed me like a bad habit for as long as I can remember. Because my nails lean on the thin side, manicures never last beyond a few days, as chips and cracks usually invade by day three or four. With my hectic schedule, I don't have time to reapply polish on a regularly basis much less get manis every week. So yeah, I'm pretty much always out and about with a full blown nail catastrophe on my hands. I've gotten gel manicures before and loved the results but don't have time to keep going to the salon for reapplications. So, when I heard that Red Carpet Manicure had come out with at home gel manicure kits retail that can garner the same natural, shiny and long-lasting results of salon gel manicures, I was elated and had to try it. My saving grace!

A full system, available at all Ulta stores, costs just $57.94 and can be used for more than twenty applications, a bargain compared to the prices of in-salon gel manicures. The kit comes with the needed basics-portable LED light, various gels, and 36 wearable and trendy polishes!

My inaugural Red Carpet Manicure session was not for a red carpet event but for my friend's wedding. The entire session took about 45 minutes, which should reduce with each session. The instructions were simple and easy to follow. Basically, I applied three different coats of  polishes, placing my fingers under the LED light for a few minutes in between each application. The products didn't smell carcinegous and the polish brushes were small and easy to maneuver. You do have to be careful when applying the gels as any residue that land outside the nail beds become hard to remove due to the curing of the LED light. After the session, my nails looked and felt like gel nails! Of course, due to user error and carelessly, they don't look completely flawless but I'm sure practice will make perfect!

If you'd like to find out how my gel nails are holding up, follow me on twitter!

Michael Valitutti Eye-Catching Bling

With my birthday coming up in a few weeks, I've been browsing the net for some bday bling. Since I'm not a rapper, I can't see myself swinging a blinged out oversized pendant necklace in the shape of a cross or a money sign back and forth. I simply don't have enough street cred to pull it off or the necessary hand/eye coordination skills. So,I want to buy something subtle, preferably in blue topaz, my birth stone. It's not my favorite gemstone, but I'm kind of stuck with it.  I'm a huge sucker for big cocktail rings so when I came across Michael Valitutti's collection and saw this art deco cocktail ring my heart swooned a bit.

A statement piece in every sense of the word, this two tone London blue topaz and sapphire ring in palladium and 18 karat gold rocks it in uniqueness and decadence!

A Chance Encounter with Fashion Designer Tina Huang

I was at the California Market Center a few weeks ago admiring the Spring 2012 collections of some of my favorite designers when I stumbled across the Tina Huang collection. I was immediately drawn to the pieces' dainty and luxurious silk fabric and the refined but absolutely wearable tailoring. Fixated on my new finds, I didn't see Tina sitting just a few feet away until I had carefully looked through all the pieces. When our eyes finally locked, a look of instant recognition descended. We knew each other! She was a former Miss LA Chinatown princess, a pageant I had also competed in. The pageant was a formative experience. At the time, I was a bright-eyed freshmen in college, completely sheltered and naive about the world outside of my world. Quite honestly, the pageant was my first glimpse into life in the adult lane-glitzy, glamorous and absolutely jaded.

I had a great time catching up with Tina. A native of Los Angeles, she graduated from FIDM and moved to New York for a prestigious design internship at Derek Lam after graduation. She then went on to be a part of the design team at Calvin Klein and has consulted for labels such as Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren. Her work is an examination of innovative construction, distinct details, and her ability to transform her travel influences into a truly unique style. Enamored by her collection and intrigued by her background, we did a quick Q&A session to learn more about her brand and her vision. I'm so excited and happy for her!

Where did you grow up? 
TH: I grew up in Walnut, California. My childhood was traditional in that we were encouraged to only speak Mandarin at home and I was forced to take piano lessons when I was younger. My parents weren’t necessarily strict though. Now that I think of it, I got away with a lot! My parents were not immediately supportive of my choice to work in fashion. I went and got my Bachelors first in Sociology before I was allowed to study Fashion Design at FIDM. They are more supportive now that they’ve seen Jason Wu and Alexander Wang make headlines in the Chinese newspapers.

What/who was your fashion inspiration? 
TH: My first big fashion inspiration was meeting my now good friend Andrae Gonzalo. I was on the Miss Chinatown court at the time and he was a new designer who had just opened shop in Chinatown, Los Angeles and wanted the Miss Chinatown court to be in his first fashion show. When I went to his studio for the fitting I was so in awe of all the care and passion he put into his clothes. I loved the space of creativity that he had formed for himself and was instantly inspired. I decided to apply for FIDM later that year.

What type of woman embodies the Tina Huang collection aesthetics? 
TH: The Tina Huang woman is a chic sophisticate and ageless. She has an understated sex appeal and doesn’t ever look like she is trying too hard. She is definitely the kind of girl that is wearing the dress instead of the other way around.

What was the biggest hurdle in starting your own line? And how did you overcome it? 
TH: This biggest hurdle was actually deciding to start the business itself. I knew there would be a lot of roadblocks and personal sacrifices given our current economy. I had to take a step back and force myself to be courageous and go for it! Where do you see your brand in the next year? Five years? TH: In the next year, I hope the Tina Huang brand has a bigger presence in the U.S. both editorially and in the retail market. I hope to be selling to a major department store in the next five years and that the label will be a go-to brand for women who are looking for the perfect piece to add to their wardrobe.

Where can I buy the Tina Huang collection? 
TH: My e-commerce site will be up in the next couple of weeks, so you can visit!

List your three favorite restaurants in New York and in LA. 
TH: New York My favorite restaurants in New York are- The Lion- the best cocktails and New York ambiance! My friend Chef John DeLucie makes the best burger. It’s to die for! Izakaya Ten on 23rd and 10th Ave. I am here all the time for their tako wasa and sake specials. Lady M Confections- I’m obsessed with their Mille Crepes cake.
Los Angeles Sushi Ko-Amazing omakase! El Taurino- I’m also always craving their carne asada tacos when I’m back in NY. Gjelina- the cutest outdoor dining area.

Which fall/winter fashion trends are you most excited about? 
TH: This winter I’m really excited to wear my new men’s army green parka. I love the borrowed from the boys look. I would wear it with the Audrey Blouse with my Fall ‘11 Collection. The blouse is super feminine with lurex thread detailing and would look great juxtaposed against a masculine jacket.

W Magazine December Cover


Personal Style Outfit Post-November Shower

What I Wore
Dress: Express
Wedge Platforms: Giuseppe Zanotti
Belt: Rory Beca
Pearl Necklace: Mom's

You're probably thinking I'm insane for wearing a strapless floral dress in the middle of a brutally cold LA November. Let me explain. First of all, I wore this outfit a few weeks ago during the unprecedented LA heat wave. Secondly, The floral madness that consumes this outfit is fitting as I wore it to a friend's tea themed bridal shower. Although I've always been a girly girl with a high ratio of female to male friends, I've come to appreciate and treasure female bonding time and my relationships with my girls so much more the past couple of years. At the end of the day, no amount of retail therapy or actual therapy can replace the instant R&R an afternoon of gab session with the girls can provide!

Beginning of a Beautiful Weekend with Friends, Food and Hard Rock

I went to Vegas a few weeks ago to celebrate the birthdays of two of my dearest and oldest friends. I met J and M back in elementary school, back when socializing took place on the four square and punch ball courts and dining out meant enjoying your cafeteria sloppy joes on the swings  We weren't the Three Musketeers by any means. After all, they were boys infested with cooties and other ickiness! We would talk from time to time, and by talking, I mean yanking on J's backpack in the hallway, or making fun of M's supersized thick-rimmed glasses. I mean, we were in an elementary school state of mind! After I moved away, I kept in touch with a handful of people from elementary school, including J and M. And over the years, that handful of people tightened into just J and M. We truly enjoy each other's company and find fun and humor in everything we do together-whether it be experiencing the experience of Coachella, gabbing away about anything and everything at our regular dinners, or partying the night away and rehashing a play by play the next day on Gchat.

Although I've somewhat put my hardcore partying days behind me, when I heard we were going to Vegas to celebrate J and M's birthdays, I promptly dusted off my bandage dresses and prepared to heartily celebrate with and for the birthdays of my childhood through adulthood friends.

Upon our arrival at the Hard Rock Hotel, we headed straight to Pink Taco for a quick and on the house pre-dinner snack. Although I've passed by the Pink Taco at the Century City Westfield mall dozens of times, I knew very little about the restaurant other than the tabloid fact that its owner Harry Morton (who is also heir to The Hard Rock Hotel) frolicked with Lindsay Lohan years ago. Since we went during in-between meal time, the restaurant was refreshingly mellow and uncrowded. The decor is simple but infused with the expected rock n roll vibe. A bar sits squarely in the center, with the bar counter installed with the ubiquitous Vegas card games machines. We sat at a booth in the corner and proceeded to order a little bit of everything. What was intended to be a snack was quickly turning into a full fledged meal. I'm a sucker for enchiladas and sweet corn tamales, so I ordered both. The enchilada was one of the best I'd had, blending together the perfect ratio of cheese and savory chicken. I'm unashamed to say that I inhaled both enchiladas in mere minutes. The sweet corn tamale, which I consider to be a delicacy because it's never on the menu or in season, was simply perfection. Sweet but not overly so, I could taste the freshness of the corn with every bite. In between the food inhaling, I looked up, looked around me and knew that a weekend of fun, laughter and celebration of everlasting friendship was about to get underway....

...I wish I could elaborate on the rest of my Vegas trip. But c'mon, you know the saying!

A VERY Big Contest-Your Vote is Appreciated!

I would be absolutely crazy to turn down an opportunity to win FREE CLOTHES for life so when I heard that that was doing just that, I entered without a second's hesitation. is an adorable UK based e-tailer with a fab selection of apparel and accessories that will be launching its US webstore shortly. To promote the launch, they're running a contest for bloggers to submit a photo of themselves on their Facebook page - the ten bloggers with the most votes at the end of the contest will receive free clothes for life!

I would be forever indebted if you could vote for me! Of course, I believe in spreading the wealth so if I end up winning, you win too! ;)

Please vote for me me clicking here!!! Voting ends Tuesday November 8.

*This is a sponsored post. However, the opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fab Five Friday-Tan As Camel

1. Lace Front Peter Pan Shell Top, $80 at
2. Petite Faux Leather Shorts, $80 at
3. L.A.M.B. Nathan High Heel Booties, on sale $248.50 at
4. Diane Von Furstenberg Fimby Trousers, on sale $241.50 at
5. Kate Spade Bow Bridge Kennedy Handbag, $445 at

Style Fashion Week Gypsy05 Spring 2012 Show

I was looking forward to attending the Gypsy05 Spring 2012 fashion show with my girl Kiara mainly because one of my friend's sister works as a designer for the brand. Over the years, I'd heard about the brand's meteoric rise to fashion stardom but never really had the chance to see the collections up close and personal.  I now totally regret it as their runway show at Style Fashion Week LA left me gasping with awe and buying desire!

The artistically executed opening dance performance set the tone for the vividly crafted "around the world" fashion show. Every couple of minutes, the picture on the runway backdrop changed as we were treated to bold imagery of nature, desert, and Moroccan paradise with each image signifying a subtle shift in the collection's style aesthetics. The collection itself was laid-back sexy, blossomed with color and super maxi dress friendly, proving once again that Gypsy05 is the perfect style representation of the Southern California bohemian spirit.

Gypsy05 Spring 2012 Collection-The Fab

What I Wore

Dress: Eva Franco. I love the perforated detailing and the oversized bow!
Clutch: Vintage
I'm heart Kiara's One Teaspoon leopard blouse! She bought it that afternoon at their showroom. It's just another fabulous perk of working in the fashion industry. After a while, you feel like paying retail is sacrilege.