Zang’s Book Club: August

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus this summer with the book club, but as summer is winding down (and I’m going away for a week of beach) I’ve brought back the book club for August. Today I’m suggesting probably my favorite book of all time: Jaqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls. This might be the most glamorous book ever written, it details three young women and their journeys to fame and fortune (and subsequent downfalls). When it was released in 1966, it was quite scandalous at the time with it’s candid talk of drug use and women’s sexuality. This of course, did not stop it from selling a record 30 million copies.

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Perhaps the most glamorous part of the book, however, is it’s author. Jaqueline Susann grew up middle-class in Philadelphia, her wish in her yearbook was to own a fur coat. She married her husband Irving Mansfield after running off to New York, where her encounters with the rich and famous gave her endless inspiration for Valley of the Dolls and her following books. She’s also known for always wearing Pucci (which you may be able to tell by now I have an affinity for), and is rumored to have had an affair with Coco Chanel (who knows the legitimacy of that one–but even having a rumor like that floating around is so beyond).

Jacqueline_SusannPhoto courtesy of Wikipedia. Also, I’m planning on emulating that entire look in about 35 years.

I also know I’ve suggested this before, but the colors and font of her books really look fabulous on a bookshelf as well.

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I thought the gold purse was in good company with Jackie’s books. Valley of the Dolls is missing because I loaned it to a friend who never returned it, I’m currently in the market for a vintage copy. 

If you can’t get enough of Jackie, or Valley of the Dolls (which I can sympathize), I recommend any of her other books, the movie based on the book, AND the delightfully campy biopic about Jacqueline starring none other than Bette Midler! (and Nathan Lane AND Rizzo!). See, I’ve given you so much to read and see while I’m away you will barely miss me! See you in September!

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Zang goes to a fashion show

Last Thursday I attended an Atelier Azza fashion show with my fashionable friend Erika.  Azeeza Khan is a Chicago-based designer who debuted Atelier Azza in 2012. She opened her first retail space at North Bridge in December and has quickly grown out of it, she is opening up shop at the 900 Shops any day now. It’s easy to see why and how this designer has grown so quickly, her beautiful designs are interesting yet timeless, work on a large variety of body types, and are appropriate for both the young and the old. Azeeza’s use of embellishments have become somewhat of her signature, and she uses them in a way that is both artful yet not overdone.  Below are some of my snaps from the event:

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The event was catered by Boutique Bites, the perfect choice considering owner Elaina Vazquez’s passion for mixing food and fashion. Aside from being delicious, it fed my interest in all things little!

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I loved the mandarin collar on this piece, complete with Azeeza’s signature embellishment

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 This gorgeous chartreuse looked amazing on the red-headed model.

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Azeeza also featured several separates, proving she is not stopping at dresses. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good embellished top. 

Zang’s Essentials

While shopping online the other day, I came across two of my favorite wardrobe workhorses on sale so I decided to share them with you.

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House of Harlow Leather Sunburst Necklace from South Moon Under

I bought this necklace last summer after lusting after it for awhile, and since it’s been my go-to to jazz up any outfit. This is a good necklace to pack while traveling, I typically don’t travel with tons of jewelry since it gets all knotted and it increases my chances of losing it, and I’ve found this works just as well with a tshirt and jeans as with a LBD. It’s also great to wear year round. South Moon Under is one of my favorite re-discoveries, I shopped there when I lived in Maryland and have now found their website. It’s kind of like Piperlime, but with more of a beachy, boho twist. Bonus: right now they are having extra 40% off sale. It’s taking a lot of restraint not to buy these booties.

16000_EC2627J.Crew Factory wide calf hair belt in cheetah

This is a great belt that I probably wear at least once a week. It looks way more expensive than it is, and it very well made. Since leopard is a neutral, it fits seamlessly into many an outfit, I also like to add it to belt a dress when I’m in the mood for a little print mixing.

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What are some of your go-to accessories?

Very Impressed

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Last week I finally had the chance to see the Impressionism, Fashion & Modernity exhibit that is making the final stop on it’s tour at the Art Institute. I have enjoyed Impressionism since studying it in high school, and one of my favorite museums I’ve ever been to is the Musee D’Orsay in Paris (the first stop of this exhibit’s tour).  The exhibit features amazing works of art from Manet, Cassat, Desgas (just to name a few) along with actual garments from that time period that reflect the Parisian styles portrayed in the paintings. I was amazed out how similar they could find dresses suitable to be displayed next to the paintings until I realized about halfway through that the style back then was pretty homogenous, everyone essentially wore the same thing.

 

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This dress is only one in the exhibit that is the actual one in the painting, the artist had it preserved. Check out that print-mixing!

Photo courtesy of The Art Institute

The exhibit also touched on how department stores were coming into existence, and how that affected fashion and how people dressed and shopped. They even had old catalogs–complete with fabric samples! Can you imagine  having your J.Crew catalog coming with samples?

The exhibit runs through September 29th, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is in the Chicago area. It is extremely well curated, not to mention fascinating. You’ll also breathe a sigh of relief that we no longer have to wear corsets.  Au Revoir!

Lollapalooza 2013: Girls Who Rock

This past Saturday I trekked down to Grant Park and entered my first Lollapalooza. Armed with a hipster headband and my sidekick Lisa (along with hand sanitizer) I prepared for a day of laughs, sun, a beer or two, and of course, great music. What I saw were wayyyyy too many crop tops* and three ladies who literally rocked my socks off.

Our first stop was Matt and Kim, they weren’t a must see for me, but Lisa wanted to go and I like their song Daylight, so I went along. I was expecting them to be a bit more chill, and was I wrong. As soon as they entered the stage, Kim started totally jamming out on the drums, occasionally standing on top of them. Her energy was contagious, and it really set the pace for the whole day. When Kim decided to walk across the crowd, I was smitten. This is what sets Lolla apart from other music festivals.

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Photo courtesy of Elle.com

After Matt and Kim we re-fueled and headed over to Ellie Goulding. I’ve been a big fan of hers since Lights came out (just last summer) and regularly listen to her Pandora station. Walking over to her we were both struck by how beautiful her voice is in real life. After belting out her amazing cover of Your Song, she immediately kicked it into high gear with Anything Can Happen which caused everyone to go nuts. It was so great to be part of such a large group all in sync, and I’m definitely planning on seeing her in concert again soon.

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Photo via my Instagram

After heading over to the other end of the park to watch The National,  The Lumineers and a hot minute of Mumford and Sons, we headed to the performance I was the most excited for: The Postal Service. I had been a fan of that single album of theirs for ten years and could not wait to see them live. Boy, did they deliver. It was a great crowd too, most of the teens in braces were puking up their first beers ever over at Mumford and Sons.

Video courtesy of Billboard

It was also at Postal Service that I officially fell in love with Jenny Lewis. She is gorgeous, and I loved seeing a black sequined cocktail dress at Lolla. She is also insanely insanely talented, not only did she play practically every instrument on stage, she also at one point played her guitar with her teeth. Still not convinced? She ALSO starred in Troop Beverly Hills. Being in one of my favorite bands of all times and starring in one of my favorite movies of all time? You had me at hello! I’m still reeling from the fact that I was able to see them at what they claimed was their last live show ever.

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Image courtesy of Flickr

It was so refreshing seeing these women rock on their own, playing their instruments, and garnering amazing crowds. Wish I had stuck with those piano lessons!

*quick note on Lolla fashion: I was a bit underwhelmed, everyone was wearing pretty much different versions of the same thing–crop tops and high waisted shorts. Yawn! Also, that look isn’t very one size fits all if you know what I mean. We are so lucky to live in such a global marketplace that allows everyone to have their own style, I always get disappointed when people don’t take that advantage to be unique.