Friday, March 11, 2011

Just A Small Town Girl.......

I was recently back home in Nebraska (yes, I'm from Nebraska, gasp!) and it was just this trip that I truly realized how much I love it there (in small doses, don't start getting any crazy ideas Mom or Robin!).  Ryan is from a very small town tucked away in the northeast corner of Nebraska, where cows may outnumber people and people don't think twice of seeing a tractor parked in the middle of town.  The rolling cornfields and big skies are complete eye candy to a city girl like me (I'm from Omaha, just for the record). 

It's unpretentious and unassuming, which is an excellent escape from the consumerism that I experience in any major city I've been too/lived in.  And leave it to me to analyze the fashion.

Ryan and I drove the entire 30 hours to Nebraska and back and it's a trip that will repeat itself in May when we go back for the wedding.   Throughout that drive, we passed miles upon miles of farmland (I feel that's all that Iowa really is) and it dawned on me that these hard working mid-westerners are truly the core of America.  They don't care who the latest womenswear designer honored by the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America was, it was Marc Jacobs for those interested, nor do they seem to care about the latest It Bag, or the newest season of Christian Louboutin heels. 

They seem consumed with living their lives and living them to the fullest, labels or not.  This type of outlook is so refreshing and one that I'm trying to adopt, albeit slowly.  They have adopted this utilitarian outlook on clothes, questioning not the name, but the quality and usefulness.  Rough, stiff denim reminiscent of the '70s Levi's that screamed America are a staple.  Jeans that take forever to wear down and seem to retain their shape no matter how many times you washed them.  Field jackets and Carhart overalls are all as common there as high heels and girly dresses are to me here in Cleveland. 

The feeling of simplicity that washes over me when I go home is like no other, it's better than the high that I get from scoring the latest fashion find on eBay (winning an auction is fantastic!), it's something you don't want to let go of.  It holds onto you, you instead feel the love from family, feel your Mom's (in this case Ryan's Mom) home cooking in your tummy, hear the laughter from people that make your world go round and it makes fashion the furthest thing from my mind and reminds me that I'm home.  


So the time has come that I must show off the finished product of my wedding set!! I am absolutely in love with it and could NOT be happier with the way it turned out!!!

Behold my set fit for a queen!!!! The first photo is of my engagement ring by itself.  This photo was taken by a window with natural light, but the diamonds have a slight greenish glow to them because I was in a room that is painted lime green.  The second photo is just of the wedding bands by themselves,  you can see how they are shaped to fit along the contours of the engagement ring.  The third photo is a profile view of entire set.  If you'll notice the European shank has little "surprise" diamonds near the "turn" of the shank.  I would highly recommend a European shank to ANYONE! I love them, extremely comfortable to wear and minimal "banging" on hard surfaces because the ring sits more flush against the skin. And last, but not least, the fourth and final photo is of my ring completely put together on my finger! I don't plan on soldering because of the "surprise" diamonds and because I don't intend on wearing my entire set all the time. Overall, though, this set is everything I had hoped for and more!!!


Center and side stones diamonds are from Leo Ingwer, NYC.  Center diamond specifications are: 1.10 carat, F Color, VVS1 clarity. Side stone diamonds specifications are: .52 and .54 carat, F/G Color, VVS1-2 clarity.

Diamond semi-mount setting is 18KT white gold with a total weight of 2.13 carats of diamonds, G Color, VS1 clarity. This semi-mount is from Trax NYC

Stones reset from my original setting to this setting is courtesy of Rocky River Jewelry Company.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Label Love or Lust??

I readily admit that I'm a fashion junkie...I always need a fix.  Whether it be wedding fashion (which is currently occupying about 85% of my brain capacity) to haute couture to simply off the rack, I love it all.  But I feel it brings me to one big question, what is in a name?  Do we love the label or the item that bears that label? 

I love certain labels, to love me, is to love my handbag collection too! My closet bears no less than 52 purses (at last count) and most have a label affixed to the inside of the bag.  My favorites are Louis Vuitton, Gucci, & Chanel.  There are a couple Burberry thrown in, just for varieties sake and then there are a few that have no label whatsoever, but I absolutely adore.  Louis Vuitton has always been my first love, I own most of the label's iconic bags, the Speedy, the Ellipse, the Pochette Accessories, along with various wallet and card holders, I always pick classic pieces.  The LV monogram will NEVER go out of style, in my humble opinion! And perhaps, that is one of the huge things I love about labels, they are timeless.  Coco Chanel introduced the iconic flap bag in February of 1955, it has since reached a massive following and it is still their most popular bag to date, I don't even think today's marketing geniuses could fathom that type of trending.

Louis Vuitton Speedy (available in sizes 25cm, 30cm, 35cm, & 40cm)

Louis Vuitton Ellipse MM (discontinued model, Grand Modelé available)

Chanel 2.55 Flap Bag 

But while shopping, I always ask myself, would I still love this bag if it didn't have the name? I still don't know if I can answer that.  I admit that it's slightly shallow, but at the same time, I love them.  My bags tell a story, about where I've been with them, what has been thrown in helter skelter, and memories of me choosing them.  Just for the record, my son has helped me choose most of them! He's my little Tim Gunn! I wouldn't take back any of that, so for some of you, it may just be a handbag, but for me, it's a purse full of memories!

Which brings me to clothes.....clothes I'm not so picky on.  I could wear a $10 sweater and still feel fabulous.  And while it's the style of clothing for me, for others it's not.  They want to wear a label blazoned across their chest like a crest of armor, shouting to all the world that their $400 t-shirt is Lanvin (though I give major kudos to Alber Elbaz, he truly is a fashion genius). 

That type of label worship, I don't understand.  For me, it's a clear case of label lust versus label love.  That $400 shirt will be thrown out next season like last week's garbage, where a purse won't.  Also, unless you can see the designer, who knows if that item of clothing is Kmart or Valentino? Those with a discerning eye may be able too, but your average female walking on the street couldn't! 

Which means for me, I'm all the about the copy or the diffusion line.  What's a diffusion line you ask?  A diffusion line is a clothing line that a designer produces at a lower price point.  For example, Philip Lim has an amazing couture line, but also his diffusion line 3.1 Philip Lim is also a best seller.  What makes diffusion lines so successful is that the pieces are very similar to the couture version, but they are available mass market.  Also, I'm a big fan of the collaboration.  Target's Go International line with featured designers such as Zac Posen, Tara Jarmon, and Rodarte, all personal favorites of mine.  H&M's collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf, and Lanvin were all MUST HAVE pieces in my repertoire.  These lines were also extremely affordable.  

I would much rather purchase the inexpensive version when it comes to clothing, but I would never settle for less when it comes to my bags.  Besides all that extra money I'm saving on the clothes, I can tuck away for my next handbag!! 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spring Fashion Trend: Ballet Inspired.....Love it or Hate it?

As the snow laden fashionistas of the upper half of the United States shake off the dregs of winter, we all have one thing on our minds...the fashion for Spring 2011.  Well, at least that's on my mind! If there's anything that can get me out of winter doldrums, it's what's the best new trends for warm weather!

After watching the runway presentations of such names as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler, I'm officially obsessed!

My favorite look of Spring 2011 are the ballet inspired looks seen everywhere from Forever 21 to Chanel.  Ballet is big, maybe it's from childhood when every little girl dreamed of being a ballerina, or it was the amazing costumes that L.A. based label Rodarte designed for the critically acclaimed movie The Black Swan.  Anyway you cut it, I'm all for the ballerina look, and I will be rocking it as much as possible this spring!

The floating organza, the sheer chiffon, the layers upon layer of light pink tulle are enough to send me into a ballet tizzy! Below are some of my favorite pieces and where to find them!

Chanel Haute Couture S/S 2011

Chanel Haute Couture S/S 2011

Merrie Gossamer Slip

These are just a couple of my favorites! I will be editing more upcoming Spring Fashions....stay tuned!! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wedding Cakes, Diamond Rings, & Happily Ever After.....

So...I'm getting married!!! Yes, me!!! Wheeee!! 

I've been engaged since June 2010 to a lovely fellow, whom I've known since I was 19!  We met in college, broke up, re-connected on FACEBOOK, and are now going to live happily ever after!  We're getting marrid on May 21, 2011 and I CAN NOT wait!!!  If you wish to read all about our wedding details please follow the link below! It also shares our Love Story, pertinent details, etc, etc.  Fairly standard...we all know you guys want to know about the cake and the diamonds!! I won't post photos of my wedding dress till after the wedding, we want the groom to be surprised!

Caitlin and Ryan's Wedding!!!

I thought I'd use my blog to post some of the absolutely beautiful things I've chosen for this momentous occasion.  We'll start first with some DIAMONDS, which I don't know about you, but they certainly are MY best friend!

Ryan and I chose a BEAUTIFUL 3 stone ring, from a custom jeweler in New York City's famed Diamond District.  The center stone alone took me too months to pick out, but the end result was worth it!

For all of you in the jewelry know-how the specs on my diamonds are:

Center Stone: 1.10 carat F color VVS1 clarity
Side Stones: .52 carat F color VVS2 clarity, .54 carat G color VVS1 clarity

These stones have been set in a modified Tiffany Lucida semi-mount with lattice work viewable when looking at a gallery view.  I love this setting, I wanted something that truly showcased how white and clear my diamonds are, however, I've been getting a niggling feeling because I have always wanted sidestones.  I had talked things over with my wonderful friends Pam and Mindy (whom always give GREAT advice, every girl needs friends like them!) and they were both getting halos on their rings.  Pam is getting hers custom done and Mindy has an amazing Tiffany Sola ring with a gorgeous yellow diamond!

That sealed my fate and I have decided to halo my stones! I present to you my new semi-mount! My jeweler is currently out of town, but I will be resetting my diamonds in the next week or so when he gets back! I will then post pictures of my completed ring!! I'm so excited I can barely stand it!!

Moving on to my wedding cake!!!  Our colors are royal purple and black, I couldn't convince Ryan to do hot pink, so royal purple it was!  I have always LOVED the damask pattern and will be incorporating it as much as possible in our wedding decorations.  I was somewhat lost on a wedding cake, but have been working with a wonderful cake artist near Ryan's hometown, who has stated that she can get the job done!! The picture below is with red flowers on top, I will be using purple, but everything else is the same! I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

These are just a few of the main items I have selected for our Nebraska wedding.  I will definitely post more photos and keep everyone up to date on all the wedding chaos that will ensue!! With a 2nd wedding reception in July in Cleveland, I've been up to my ears in wedding planning!! Let's hope I don't lose my mind before I make it down the aisle!!

Welcome to the Musings of a Fabulous Magpie!!!

Welcome to my blog!  I hope you'll join me in my little space on the web and enjoy what I have to say!!

I plan on posting musings about fashion, the amazing food in the cities I visit, sparkly things, basically anything that I love!

I always welcome questions, comments, and new suggestions of things to try! Also, please check out my reviews on Yelp! I review predominately Cleveland-centric locations, but I get the travel bug, so there may be a few randoms!

Fabulous Magpie's Reviews on Yelp!

Sit back and let's enjoy the ride!!!