Lei Ann...Off Duty

acupuncturist kung fu sifu speed typist hawaiian-born bostonian zombie hunter...so what's a girl supposed to wear on her day off? leiannoffduty@gmail.com ~ FB: Lei Ann Off Duty

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*the neiman marcus spring trends 2013 fashion presentation*

my good photographer friend, smita, invited me to the neiman marcus boston presentation of spring fashion trends yesterday morning, hosted by anamaria pImental, nm accessories fashion director.  i was only there for a brief time, but got the whole spring story targeting the following upcoming trends :)

1. BLUE - one of the hit colors for the spring is blue…not just cobalt, but turquoise, navy…every hue :)  whether an entire outfit or a pop of the bright color, there are many ways to incorporate blue into your closet.  featured items…cobalt blue saint laurent purse, prada handbag & judith leiber prince william frog minauderie

2.  SHOES - pretty much anything goes here…platforms, pumps, flats, stilettos….studs, colorblocking…it’s all still relevant.  there’s also definitely a resurgent in the “gladiator” sandals from years past.  i think strappy shoes are always in style, so no need to call them gladiators specifically.  featured item…charlotte olympia kitty flats.

3.  ORANGE - another popular color for the spring…whether bold & citrusy or subtle & peachy.  orange is a hard color for me.  i can’t tell if it’s unflattering for my coloring or not.  however i’ll definitely have to try with it being so popular!  featured item…alexander mcqueen dress (similar)

4.  BAGS - bigger handbags seem to be making a comeback, also more multifunctional.  bags with both short handles & convertible longer straps to transition into shoulder or crossbody ease.  as a bonus, get one matching one of the color stories above & voilá…2 trends at once :) featured item…stella mccartney fringe tote bag.

5.  RELAXED CHIC - this i can actually get down with.  clothes that are more comfortable, but you don’t have to resort to yoga pants & hooded zipups.  flowy silk pants, a simple cardigan or vest over fit & flare dresses, unstructured jackets.  i’ve always been down for flared skirts, so glad the trend is catching up to me…hahaha!  also, i’m planning a DIY involving more the “sporty” side of relaxed chic…wait for it…wait for it ^_^

6.  PRINT ON PRINT - *very* glad to see this is still popular.  i’ve been a fan of print mixing from the start.  it can be challenging, but it’s fun!  if it seems too intimidating, think like the photo above, mix a print with texture instead & stick to a simple color scheme.

it was a really fun presentation & i was glad to see what’s hot & upcoming for spring. as a final note, how *CUTE* is my buddy, smita?  i like her photographer stance with heel down & toes up!  talk about having signature style!


*boston fashion blogger girls dinner*

i’m between trips…just got back from FL tuesday & now out again this weekend. so, it’s been a pretty bleh & unexciting week just trying to catch up on everything.

so, here are some pics of my favorite blogger pals, najeema, holly, kristen, michele & renata from a recent dinner out.  kind of a second birthday meal for najeema…hahaha :)  hopefully will be back to normal programming next week ^_^

of note: there were menfolk at our dinner even though i have no photos of them. just didn’t want pete, ray, greg & jonathan to think they were being snubbed (on purpose)…hahaha!


*an afternoon of fashion photography with tracy aiguier at the MFA*

i seem to be hanging out at the museum of fine arts a lot lately, huh?  don’t you know? in terms of events & exhibits related to fashion, it’s the place to be!  hahaha!!!

this time, i was invited back to watch a photography demonstration given by tracy aiguier, one of boston’s best fashion photographers!  now, being a personal style blogger, my daily outfit photos are important to me & i’ve definitely been more interested in the technical aspects of image capturing over the years…everything from just getting better cameras to learning more how to manipulate the different modes on the camera to achieve the effect i want.  however, that still makes me *far* from any type of real photographer…like tracy.

i honestly didn’t know what to expect from this demonstration.  utilizing 2 models & 4 different looks/outfits…tracy showed us different lighting conditions & basically her thinking process on how to achieve the shot she wants.  even though i would never use this type of studio space or have lights like these (check out the huuuuuuge profoto parabolic light that’s twice as tall as tracy!), it was all fascinating to watch, and i was able to take away some tips & tricks that i will try to implement the next time i pick up a camera :)

i’ll be honest too…i just thought the models were super pretty & their outfits, i would totally wear all of the clothing.  the cut away back LBD with interesting poufy shoulder detail (you know i loves me some poufy sleeves!) was even modeled by school of fashion design student, sherika pitsch, who designed the dress herself!  i myself got caught up in analyzing the models, their best angles, how best to showcase their outfits, etc.  plus, joking & smoking with my photog buddy blogger, smita, made the interactive demonstration that much more fun!

if you’re a photographer, blogger or just someone who is interested in either fashion or photography, i highly recommend attending this demonstration.  you have one more chance as tracy will be at the MFA again wednesday, nov. 14 from 5:30 - 8:00 pm.  so go! learn!  enjoy!  and don’t forget your camera :)


*AACA & neiman marcus “boston’s famous” fashion presentation*

i’ve been so busy with trying to write about all the fashion shows i’ve attended over the past few days that daily outfit photos have fallen to the wayside.  nice to finally get a picture of what *i’m* wearing for a change…hahaha!

wearing: trina turk printed dress || vintage tassel necklace (via MDH’s grandma) || wah lum temple bead bracelets || melody ehsani armor ring

on tuesday night, i was invited to attend the asian american civic association “boston’s famous” runway show in conjunction with neiman marcus.  in all honesty, i most likely would have skipped it, if not for my good friend (and kung fu sister) mai du who was one of the models!  i had to gently tease her too as it’s established in our school that i’m the one who is known to be the “kung fu fashionista" so it was fun to turn the tables, especially when she admittedly is more comfortable in kung fu pants & t-shirts…hahaha!

it actually turned out to be a fun & ultra fashionable night.  the models really were some of boston’s famous like channel 5’s janet wu & the mayor of malden, gary christenson.  they sported covetable looks like plenty of sparkly louboutins, YSL handbags & even a very sharp looking grey men’s tom ford suit!  mai was nervous, but she did very well.  dave chen, the style advisor of neiman marcus, did a spectacular job of dressing the models in rich fall colors, especially in green & navy.  lots & lots of luscious green!  i really did enjoy his styling since it seems to resonate with my own personal style…color, prints, big jewelry, excess, more is MORE!  all ticket proceeds go to the AACA to help with their education, job skills & social services programs, so it was a fashionable, but also charitable night.  food was provided by one of my favorite restaurants as of late, shojo boston.  all in all, seeing professional runway shows, to student shows, to high end style with regular people as models…i’m super impressed with all the fashion boston has to offer!

all photos property of lei ann…off duty


*boston fashion week ~ the copley catwalk*

now that the “official” tent shows are over…does that mean the end of boston fashion week?  *heck no!*  there’s still plenty of fashion action (see how i did that? like that? hahaha!) all over the city.  monday night was the start of the runway shows at the center court of copley place!  

instead of the professional shows at the tent, the models at copley place showcased the work of student designers from area fashion design schools (although the entire show was nothing short of highly organized & well-run).  this night’s presentation featured student creations from the school of fashion designcopley court will continue the next 2 nights of student fashion from other schools :) there was a great mix of everything from outerwear to ready to wear…jumpsuits to bustiers…bridesmaid to bride.  i must say, i was super impressed with some of the more innovative designs…like a certain crop gray cape (because i sure do love my capes!) & a trench coat with a super flared skirt.  i also loved the soft watercolor prints paired with neutrals.  all in all, more lovely clothing for me to fawn over & a great continuation of boston fashion week ^_^

all photos property of lei ann…off duty


*runway to win ~ in support of obama 2012*

i’m not one to make big sweeping political statements on this ol’ blog here.  let’s face it…fashion is fun & politics, well (especially as of late), ummm…not so much.  not that i’m trying to hide my political leanings or anything.  i am a minority woman who lives in massachusetts, so you can probably figure it out ;)  in any case, whichever way you feel about being right (or left)…i was intrigued with the fashion designers who came together in support of barack obama’s upcoming presidential campaign.  i’m all for people financially supporting whatever cause they believe in, but if i can get designer duds in exchange for a donation…heck yeah!  why not? with all the political wackness out there, it can be hard to figure out what to believe in.  well, you can believe in hope…you can believe in change.  *i* believe this georgina chapman floral tote will look mighty nice swinging from my shoulder ^_^

above from l to r: thakoon panichgul silk scarf, alexander wang hoodie & richard blanch nail laquers…all available on runway to win


*a night of personal style with zoora*

now that thanksgiving is over, i finally feel back in the swing of things & that can only mean one thing…hanging out with some of my stylish blogger buddies!  i love these girls & what better way to reconnect with them than at the preview launch of one of the newest style websites in boston…zoora!  

it was held at the bradley & diegel salon on newbury street, so you know it was a swanky affair ;)  we got to meet the zoora founders, members & a couple of the fashion designers that will be working with zoora when the site launches in january 2012.  i loved emily muller's leather trimmed dresses, but this houndstooth print cape coat from victoria dominguez-bagu really caught my eye.  i’m fascinated with the idea of having designers directly accessible.  instead of buying a ready-to-wear piece & having it tailored, you can work with designers & have a piece of theirs that’s truly personalized not just for fit (important for a short, muscular girl like me), but also to your preference, like if you want pockets added or taken away, hemlines adjusted, etc.  get it?  if not, well zoora is much better at explaining it than i :)

since i did want to talk more about zoora in this post, i’ll quickly run through my outfit.  a marni top i found at the filene’s basement going out of business sale for 95% off!!!  yup, totally my find of the year.  a pristine (no stains or snags) convertible silk wrap thingy that i could probably wear 10 different ways.  it’s also like 10 sizes too big, so i have it cinched up super tight to keep from falling off my shoulders…but who cares???  it’s MARNI (yes…as in the *next* h&m collab) at 95% off!!!  then, my jeffrey campbell night walks in nude suede.  when the black ones first debuted, i was hoping, praying they’d come in a beige/neutral & these are exactly what i wanted.  also, YES, even at this nosebleed-inducing height, they’re totally easy to walk in (IMHO) & don’t feel much different than any of my other platforms. truly…i’m not joking!  you can even ask holly about them ;)


*boston bloggers at 28 degrees*

sooooo…i kinda suck at photography. no…not suck as in technical abilities (although i still couldn’t explain anything to you in terms of f-stops, metering or what not) as i think my photos do turn out pretty decent, but just suck in general. it’s either too much or not enough. for example, i either photograph everything & *all* the time (like douchebag mcgee so kindly pointed out) or just not enough.

take for instance, last night i got to hang out with all my blogger girlfriends at 28 degrees in the south end, snack on yummy appetizers, drink tasty watermelon blog-a-tinis & have a goody ol’ time, but took all of 2 pictures. i’m so frikkin’ lame. everyone was dressed so cute too. i didn’t even photograph my own outfit which was painstakingly put together. ah well…sometimes you just gotta chill with your homies, put the camera down & let the good times roll ^_^

anywho…keeping the post brief today. have to finish up work, give the ol’ stinker a bath (the puppy…not the husband bwahaha!) pack up tonight & head out bright & early in the a.m. back to florida for my 20-year high school reunion. eeeeek! since i’ve already kept some of you in suspense over what i’m wearing for that (don’t worry najeema, you’ll see soon enough), i’ll be sure to get those photos…hahaha! 

if you don’t know them by now or from previous posts, mouse over the photos to see the identification of these lovely ladies ^_^


this has been quite the busy week in terms of fun & fashion in boston :) first up was an event hosted by styleboston at the bristol lounge at the four seasons. i ran into several of my fashion blogger friends and even made some new ones! we were treated to champagne cocktails, truffle popcorn, gift bags (which included free mineral eye shadow…yippee!) and overall good times…good times :) i sucked at taking photos that night, but luckily kinsey michaels of the boston bloggers blog & katy of modly chic captured my outfit. yay!

then, last night was another swap run by the swapaholics, now a part of swap.com! i remember the first swap i went to ran by amy was back in 2009…hahaha, like 2009 was soooo long ago :) this is my 4th swap & amy & melissa run such a tight ship, it’s so highly organized with plenty of room to throw elbows swap & even food/beverage sponsors like pretzel crisps & vita coco! i love these events & once again to hang out with my blogger friends. i made out like a ninja with a black fitted CS lab jacket, *another* black blazer (a girl can’t have enough) that fits me to a T, a multigem neckplate & several basics like cardigans, floral blouses, even a bright yellow purse for spring! all the clothes…none of the credit card guilt ^_^

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