Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mara Hoffman does WEDDINGS !

Lady's got an official bridal collection up on her site.

Almost as good as the "ceremonial" dresses she did for Bona Drag last year...  But maybe not quite. (The Artemis corded bustier + skirt combo pictured above is my fave)

p.s. I CANNOT get these photos to not look crappy. But I also cannot not post them. Hey Mara Hoffman PR: Want to send me some better quality images??

Update: I found more images. I fear they are a touch culturally insensitive.  Also: The "devotional" collection?? COME ON.

If you like Miranda July….

You'll love Sheila Heti.

I hoarded this book. Though it's a quick read, I eked it out slowly, renewing it from the Los Angeles Public Library* twice because I didn't want it to end.

Raw and honest and dirty and funny, it's billed as "a novel from life" but it doesn't feel like any novel I've ever read. Feels like its very own thing.

(I'm pretty sure it was Meghan who turned me on to S.H., though I can't find the link on her blog.)


*Shout out to the LAPL. Did you know you can request a book from anywhere in the system and they'll deliver it to your branch for you? I'm harboring a small fear of bedbugs (which have apparently begun traveling via library book, and have been found in Los Angeles -- who knew?) so I try to stick my books in the freezer for a week or two before I read them. It was definitely firstmilk who turned me on to this idea.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A not-quite-wedding question

Hi, ESB,

I'm a fan of your blog, but I'm not planning on getting married anytime soon. At least, I thought I didn't want to.

In the past few months, I've gone to boring-ass wedding showers and a couple of weddings that seemed overly elaborate and definitely expensive. It's kind of turned me off to the idea of weddings and all of the hoopla that comes along with it.

My parents were very happily married for 30+ years (until my dad passed away a few years ago), and they set a great example for what I'd want if I ever did get married. And I used to want to. As I've gotten older, though, with shows like "Say Yes to the Dress," I've felt more wishy-washy about it -- after the wedding and the party and all of the thank-you cards have been sent, you're... still together. Maybe a new last name, definitely a lot of paperwork. People say it's different when you're actually married, but I'm just not understanding.

On top of that, my boyfriend doesn't think he wants to get married. (And I think he is my "person.") He quotes the "50% of marriages end in divorce" thing. And his parents are still married, but only because they're pretty religious and don't believe in divorce -- you can tell they just coexist and tolerate each other. He doesn't understand why your "partnership" has to be recognized by the government. I get that, but I also sort of get that it's more than that. I just can't explain to him what makes it so great, because I can't explain it myself.

I know there's a middle ground between foofy weddings and nothing at all, and I know if I did it I'd want to wear a reasonably affordable yet awesome wedding dress and just have a huge party with all of our friends and family that we actually like. Can you (or any of your readers) tell me what's so great about it, and help me form an actual opinion?

Thanks so much,
Wedding Waffler


If you don't see the point and he doesn't think he wants to --> DON'T GET MARRIED


File this under non-problems. (Just below "The cat barfed on my dress.")

Tavi by Christophe Kutner for Metal Magazine #26

Bario-Neal opens a showroom in NYC!!! (Sponsored by, erm, Bario-Neal)

Hello, internet. Hello, world! Helloooooo, New York City....

We are Bario-Neal Jewelry and we are excited to announce the opening of our New York City showroom in lower manhattan. 

Bario-Neal is committed to environmental responsibility, ethical sourcing, and marriage equality. Our work is handmade in Philly with recycled metals and responsibly-sourced gemstones. We are also happy to work with your heirloom stones or recycle your precious metals in our bands. 

The new location offers our custom design services and showcases Bario-Neal’s collections. It’s important for us to be able to work with our customers on a personal level as they search for the right wedding band, engagement ring, or special pair of earrings. With our new space, we look forward to being able to better serve (& get to know) our New York-based customers.

The showroom is only by appointment, but we are having an opening party! Stop by and check it out November 7th from 5-8pm, at 195 Chrystie St., #900A.

Editor's Note: Anna and Page sent me a whole bunch of images to choose from for this post. Rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets (yes, they make all those things, too!).

But it's the RINGS RINGS RINGS RINGS RINGS RINGS RINGS that blow me away every time -- both Bario-Neal's custom work (custom designs begin at $500, see three examples pictured at top) and the engagement rings + bands from their current collection (rings pictured are priced between $255-4400).

Friday, October 25, 2013

my imaginary uniform

$575 is too rich for my blood, but I'm clicking through every fucking day waiting for this sucker to go on sale.

Related: These platform booties are KILLING ME. Loeffler Randall is have a huge sale -- 20% off everything until October 28 -- but now that I'm un(der)employed again my shoe budg is pretty much nil.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

If he's not ready, why did he PROPOSE?


I've been reading your blog since I planned my friend's wedding two years ago, now I'm finally engaged.

My boyfriend proposed last month while on vacation. I want to start planning the wedding. He said doesn't want to have a wedding because it is outrageous to spend so much money on one day. I want to set a date (even if it's 2 yrs from now) but he says we have to save. What are we saving for if we just go to City Hall? 

He says I'm rushing. After crying about it, I told him I want to have a wedding, he says okay but still is annoyed anytime I bring it up and says to give him time. If he's not ready, then why did he propose? I'm confused and sad.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 10 yrs. Yes it's a long time but we got together a month before I turned 18 so a good 6 of those years don't count. We don't live together. I was adamant about this since I was young and wanted to learn how to be alone. Did not want to live with someone until we were at least engaged. No kids. We are the longest relationship we know but most of his friends have kids, all of my friends are married with kids. I did not pressure him into wanting to get married (he will agree with this.) We will not get much financial help from family as we both make way more than our parents.

I was completely fine with our long-term relationship but I do not want a long-term engagement. We've discussed this. I am currently I'm in limbo until he says he is ready. I feel like a fraud wearing this ring. Every day someone ask me about a wedding and have to lie that we are taking our time to save but I really don't know why we are taking our time. We took the "next step" but nothing has changed.


Ladyfriend, you've been with this guy for TEN YEARS and you don't have the guts to ask "Why did you propose if you're not ready to get married?"

I suspect he wants to live with you. (Or: Sleep with you. Are you sleeping together??) His next step is maybe not the same as your next step. But you'll never know until you ask.

Camille Vivier for AnOther Magazine via Bird Production

Pioneertown Weddin'

This is the just kind of wedding that makes me want to get married again.... Sweet and simple, with a really sexy backdrop.

Here are a few words from the lovely bride:

We always knew that we wanted a semi-elopement, handmade, un-cookie-cutter-style wedding and after getting engaged in Joshua Tree last year, knew it was the perfect location and we would never find anything similar in the UK. We never had a wedding style/theme/scheme in mind but the desert encapsulates everything we love -- country, psychedelic weirdness, good BBQ and Californian hospitality, with not an English country garden in sight. 

We had the most surreal and magical day with our closest friends and family, as well as the amazing people who helped bring the day together.

(Photos by Rad + In Love. See more images + get all the dets over on their blog)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hello, friends.

I feel like I owe you a real post.

Like, something more than yet another Dear ESB (though there are plenty of those coming... don't worry).

Should I fill you in on what I've been doing? Just finished a casting gig for that pretty cool fashion-related reality TV show. Pitching one film project, madly drafting a new draft of another.

Life is pretty good, you guys. Lately I've been feeling like an honest-to-god writer. (Though I'm breaking one of my own rules by talking about it here. Rule #10: Stop talking about writing and write.)

Weirdly, when things are going well in other realms, it makes me clam up on the interwebs. I'm always more inclined to blog when I'm avoiding doing something else.

But there's nothing to avoid at the moment. There's just me, tapping away on my laptop. Watching American Horror Story: Coven with my adorable husband. Making lentil soup. Going to yoga.



You are all unsubscribing right now, aren't you?? Shit.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Online flowers?

Hey ESB,

I have been reading for months, favorite way to start my "work" day. 

I'm getting married at my parents' house in Del Mar - a dodecahedron on the edge of Torrey Pines state park. We come from a creative set - so we are doing things pretty DIY (in a good way). Wedding is "Black Tie-ish" - (yes, we letter-pressed that onto our invitations) - and the vibe is Minimalist, vaguely Japanese - mostly white, wood, a touch of hand-dyed indigo fabric.

I have a question about flowers. I have a florist doing personals (all white, organic feeling, fluffy) - but I wanted to do all the flowers for the reception space (in the house) - and the ceremony space outdoors. 

I found this website, which seems reasonably priced, easy and almost too good to be true. Have you (or your readers) had any experience with ordering flowers online?

Thanks for your help!
Believer in internet magic


Throwing this out to the evil club of mean hipster brides......

(Florals and photography by Sweet Root Village for A Daily Something)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wedding dress halp!

Dear ESB,

I'm getting married next summer in my fiance's hometown and it will be a small ceremony in his parent's backyard and then a dinner reception at a great restaurant downtown. I would like to look classic and not too made up or bridal-y because it's an intimate affair and we're not particularly traditional. I would like to look great though, because it's a special celebration! :)

I'm very sure that I would like to wear a short white lacy dress from Lover's amazing collection (this, this or this, plus several other options I'm still considering) and my amazing sister and her husband will be graciously buying my dress for me as the raddest wedding gift ever. However, their dresses are hard to come by in Canada or online which makes trying on several dresses really difficult! I do also like this Zara dress (which I can easily purchase to try on and return for free if I don't like it) and a Lauren Moffatt dress
[pictured above] but I feel like they may not look special enough for my wedding.

While I'm going to keep trying to get the Lover dress of my dreams, I feel like I need to look at alternatives too in case that doesn't work out. 

Do you have any suggestions for a lacy short dress with a similar look to the Lover, Lauren Moffatt and Zara dresses? I'm also open to a nice top and skirt combo too. I have a budget of CAD800, but if you have cheaper options all the better! I am 5'5" and hourglass shaped if that helps.

Excited Bride To Be!




My one concern is that 100% silk (esp with long sleeves) might be a little warm for summer.... But I had to post it for someone else to buy.

Hold out for spring collections. Your dress is coming. I know it is.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Seeking: wedding crash retaliation

Oct 13, 2013


My younger sister got married yesterday and the wedding was awesome and fun (wahoo!), except for a little drama from an obnoxious group of crashers.

Security quickly dealt with the situation (they were pretty obvious as it was mostly a family affair and they were making real asses of themselves) and I know that this is the risk you run with the internet -- but here is my quandary:

The solo female in the group was posting all over Instagram using the evening's hashtag and bragging about wedding crashing. Her username is her full legal name, and is unusual. I now know basically everything about her, including the fact that she works in digital media and marketing.

Basically I know I need to let it go and be the bigger person, but still feel protective over my little sis and would love to let this crasher know she is not nearly as clever as she thinks she is. Tell me to stand down -- and I would love to hear how anyone else dealt with this!

Retaliatory MOH


Did you find an email address for the crasher?

Email her, and very kindly (KILL HER WITH KINDNESS) ask her to take down the instagrams from your little sister's wedding.

If that doesn't work, give us the dets and we'll be happy to bombard her with comments.*

Siri Tollerod By Henrik Bülow for Costume Finland (September 2013) via Visual Optimism

*I have to admit, I kind of really want this to happen.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Broad shoulder woes &tc


I wrote you almost 2 years ago, complaining about my Olympic swimmer shoulders and my crazy family
[not linking here, because hey, let's not get anyone in trouble]. I've been married about a year and a half now, our wedding was amazing and everyone behaved.

I ended up wearing a strapless dress my mom made; I know you're no fan of strapless but its what I felt best in so I went with it. Last month my husband and I fulfilled our long time dream of moving to Africa. We quit our jobs, sold all our stuff, bought some tickets and moved to Malawi (and got a puppy!). In the chaos of transporting my life across the world, I forgot about your blog. All blogs, actually. There was no time or energy for anything except packing and making Goodwill runs. Now we are here and we love it, despite the heat and humidity.

Last night I was laying in bed, sweating profusely because its so damn hot and we have no AC and we can't leave our windows open because of mosquitoes and our windows don't have screens because that's not a thing here. I couldn't sleep. Then your blog popped into my head and I put my sleeplessness to good use, catching up on all I missed. It was like finding money in your pocket that you forgot you had. Thanks for that.



So are your wedding photos

♥ ♥ ♥

(Images by Tyler Branch)

Friday, October 11, 2013


Dear ESB, 

My wedding is not until the end of January and my future MIL is driving me BAT SHIT CRAZY. I need your sage, blunt advice. 

First some background, the wedding is being thrown in my hometown. But my fiance and his family are from a city a few hours away. Also, my fiance's parents do not make millions of dollars and are very frugal people. So naturally, I had assumed that my fiance and I would pay for the rehearsal dinner. But my FMIL insisted that she pay for the dinner. When I got quotes form various restaurants, I sent her the most affordable ones. She chose one that she said she could afford and made a deposit on reserving the room for the dinner. She also offered to pay for the hotel room of our officiant. 

Lately, my FMIL has been complaining to my fiance about all the money she has wasted on the rehearsal dinner! (Even though she has only paid the deposit.) She is also complaining about hotel prices for the officiant. We've offered to pay for everything several times and she insists that she can. 

How much longer do we have to listen to her complain? I am growing increasingly nervous that she can't actually afford anything she's agreed to and am worried that we'll be stuck with the bill at the end of the night. Should we just go ahead and plan to pay for everything even though she is saying she'll pay for it?



a) Until the wedding. Possibly longer.... She may not let go of this until she's dead.

b) Yes

Photo by Robert Trachtenberg for Tatler (August 2011) via Fashion Gone Rogue

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

a wedding present for the couple who has everything

Dear ESB,

You have had some great gift posts in the past, so I thought I would ask for your help with a wedding gift that has me stumped.

I am attending a destination wedding for a couple who has a lot of money, like a lot of money. They are wonderful, gracious people and their wedding is going to be the bomb. But everything on their wedding registry, which was all very reasonably priced, was bought up the day after I got their invitation and now I have no idea what to do. 

It feels weird for us (always broke-ish) to give them cash or a gift card to Williams Sonoma when they don't really need money. I love them and would like to get them something in the standard wedding range of about $100. I could go as high as $200, but closer to $100 is ideal.

Their taste is classic, kinda fancy, but they aren't dorks or anything. They're like, wealthy, straight, big-city-living people in their 40s. Have you seen any new and exciting salt bowls? I'm at a loss.

Bad At Shopping For Once


How bout a polished horn salt bowl [pictured above] and spoon....

plus a jar of white truffle sea salt "harvested from seawater off the Oregon coast based on evaporation techniques first used by early explorers at the turn of the 19th-century." (Sounds like something rich ppl would like!)

$29 + 9 + 29 = $67 from Kaufmann Mercantile


Sidebar: I had a terrific experience with KM back when I was obsessing about tiny home decor.

I ordered the horsehair hand broom, which I l-o-v-e....

And the enamelware dust pan (which is gorg) but then I decided that I wanted the enamelware dust pan with the rubber lip, which was out of stock.

They sent me a free return shipping label, hung on to the credit for me, and shipped the dust pan with the lip as soon as it came back in (which took a while, but was worth the wait).

Can't recommend em highly enough.

And ps if you sign up for the newsletter, they'll send you a discount code for $7 off.

Monday, October 7, 2013

fall wedding inspo

Could a plaid jacket + lil lace dress be the new moto jacket + long white gown?

Just throwin it out there.

Styling by Snakes Nest + Photos by Easton Schirra for The Dreslyn via Le Fashion

Sketchy wedding photographer

Hi east side bride,

My cousin hired the same wedding photographer I used for my wedding a few years ago. He was awesome at my wedding, got along with family, was a great deal, and we loved our pictures. When my cousin got engaged I was more than happy to make the recommendation.

So the wedding was this past weekend and, as is sometimes the case, there was one emotionally needy bridesmaid. This one girl decided to latch on to the wedding photographer at the rehearsal dinner. Follow him around, talk all night to him, invite him out for drinks, etc. Turns out, the next day, she was flirting with him in the bridal suite while everyone was getting ready and chasing him around reception. She invited him to the after party (which was after duration of his contact so he technically wasn't "working" anymore). Bear in mind he is married.

Anyways fast forward to today... I called my cousin to catch up after the big day and she mentioned that the girl said that the photographer made a move on her bridesmaid after the wedding after-party. Nothing happened (that we know of) but it seems pretty skeezy that the man you hire to capture your special day is putting his own marriage at risk for a fling with a needy bridesmaid. Not discounting that the bridesmaid should not have been throwing herself at the photographer, but I feel like he should have had the professionalism to (politely) turn down her advances.

So it's not my wedding, but I feel ashamed that it was my recommendation. Is there anything I or the bride should do? Write a review? Email him that we know what happened? I feel like this behavior is totally unprofessional and unacceptable, but my husband thinks I should just let it go. 

What do you think?



You don't know what actually happened

You don't know who made a move on who

Even if they fucked, and you had proof, this is not fodder for a Yelp review. Please don't jeopardize this guy's career -- or his marriage, which you were uber concerned about a minute ago -- because a couple of consenting adults behaved badly.

(You may feel free to never recommend him again.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013


This morning I was sick of wedges.

I am no longer sick of wedges.


(Thank you for reminding me when I forget.)

Black nubuck/Mirrored leather or Black dot haircalf/Taupe watersnake

I found the PERFECT bridesmaids gift.

Excellent beverage serving abilities
High quality glazed ceramic construction
Oddly familiar selection of letters
C-shaped handle

$16.99 from Firebox 

Seeking: Sturdy but sexy heels


I'm getting married outside and have to navigate some pretty treacherous terrain. To avoid a bambi, legs akimbo situation, do you have any suggestions for fabulous, but sturdy heels? Is that even a thing? My dress [pictured above] isn't very forgiving in terms of footwear choices, being shorter, so I want to go all out.

Also, flats are not an option. This is one of the few chances I have to dress girly/appropriately sexy and I want to take full advantage!!

Sexy but sturdy


Dude, wear the SNAKESKIN HEELS! that she designed to go with the collection.

They look sturdy-ish enough to me.

Though you might want an adorable pair of sneakers as backup....

I'm thinking classic white Supergas.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Sonny thought this wedding might be up my alley.


I mean. Who doesn't like tacos and casually really good-looking people??

Also: Dacia Piersen's photos slay me.