Tuesday, October 18, 2011

week·ly round·up #4

i'm writing in my beloved neighbourhood coffee shop, which - not gonna lie - may have influenced my choice in apartment location. sometimes you just have to get out of the house to (a) be inspired and (b) get things done. i read a newspaper article yesterday that asked authors where they write. their answers spanned from harvard to their bedroom floor to a sugar shack in the woods {how very bon iver}. speaking of where people write, an article that created quite a fuss online last week suggested that writers whose "offices" are their local coffee shop buy something once an hour, which is a lot {here are a few good posts on the topic, if you're interested: malcolm gladwelllifehacker / hello giggles}. i'm sitting pretty at one french press coffee in an hour and change, and i'm feeling okay about it, in case the etiquette police are lurking.

speaking of places where we "do life", a favourite blog/source of inspiration of mine is the selby. i love connecting people with their spaces to get a better sense of them and their story, so to speak. the selby {aka photographer todd selby} features the homes and studios of creative people, focusing on objects in their space as opposed to the space as a whole. every post includes illustrations and a handwritten q&a with the subject(s). a post i love features colin tunstall, one of the owners of saturdays surf nyc {aka one of my favourite store/coffee shops in new york}. not only do i love his wallpaper, i love his answer to this question:
Q. what has coffee taught you?
A. it's like bacon to me...i can have it with anything.
on that glorious note, let's get to some other things i loved this week...

1. french album that even non-frenchies will love of the week :: blonde by coeur de pirate
2. pant rolling guide {for guys} of the week :: tame the roll
3. british super duet of the week :: up by james morrison & jessie j
4. exhaustive french press brewing guide of the week :: sprouted kitchen
5. recipe i'm dying to try of the week :: roasted tomato soup with broiled cheddar
6. gorgeous striped tote of the week :: clare vivier hot streak tote
7. interactive pop music video of the week :: keep your head up by andy grammer
8. super cool online shop {for gals & home} of the week :: beklina
9. american-made enthusiasts max wastler & joe gannon's tv demo of the week :: made right here
10. best darn flower shop blog of the week :: saipua brooklyn

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

portland by train

oh portland. like any budding relationship, you stole my heart in february and kept me wanting more. you played hard to get, since you're just far enough away that it requires a little effort to get to you. you wined and dined me and strung me along with no sales tax and bearded men who make a mean and cheap old fashioned between the happiest hours of 4 and 6pm. you kept things simple with bike lanes and dollar beers. you son of a gun, portland, i think i like you. 

i'm not going to sugarcoat the train experience for you: it leaves at 6:40am and it takes eight hours. as long as you can handle those realities, it's awesome. there's free wifi {which works most of the time, and is strong enough to send e-mails or read blogs & articles}, a café car, sweet people watching and beautiful scenery. i'd definitely take the train again. note: bicycles cost an extra $10 per person. when in rome portland...

i've stayed at the palm springs ace many times, but this was my first stay at their portland hotel. jenn, ashley and i shared a basic triple - the perfect room for travelling with friends. it has three single beds, costs $95/night and, oh yeah, has no bathroom. you have to walk down the hall for that, which is pretty hilarious in the morning on the way to the shower, but they supply sweatshirt robes, which make the trip a little less awkward. i must mention one other thing about the ace {besides the awesome collection of magazines in our room, including one for female drummers & another about alcohol} they have wonderful staff who know where to send you for whatever your heart desires. and they wear suspenders, just in case you were curious about the dress code.

happy hour @ clyde common
clyde common is the bar & restaurant off the lobby of the ace. it's also my favourite happy hour in portland. they have a delicious bourbon drink, friendly bartenders and a daily grilled cheese. i mean... right? we definitely went here twice on this trip. yes we did.

$1 beers @ the hungry tiger, dinner @ screen door, drinks @ central
a lengthy pre-trip debate about the pros & cons of bringing our bikes ended peacefully when we found out the ace rents bikes to hotel guests for free. after happy hour, we rode down to the river, across one of portland's million bridges and up the other side, where we encountered some friendly portlanders who told us about $1 beers down the street. oh portland. there was very little space to lock our bikes because every stitch of fence and post was already occupied with bikes. oh portland. we then rode up a few blocks to screen door, where we had the best fried chicken, mint juleps and fried green tomatoes of my life. we made it back to the ace with only four minutes to spare before the bikes turned into pumpkins, and then, at the suggestion of the front desk staff, wandered down to central, a speak easy-style bar on a roped-off street with picnic tables, strung lights and live music. everybody now: oh portland.

coffee @ ristretto roasters, breakfast @ tasty n sons, happy hour @gruner, shopping @ canoe
everybody and their dog and their blog told us to eat at tasty n sons. and... it was amazing. potatoes bravas, sweet biscuits, bacon-wrapped dates with maple syrup, moroccan chicken hash and goat cheese & beet fritatta - are you dying yet? be sure to peruse the neighbourhood and stop by the cute shops and ristretto roasters for coffee. breakfast was followed by shopping at three of my favourite portland shops: canoe, alder & co and frances may, where we had the loveliest time trying on clothes and shoes and chatting with our new portland friend ashley, the shop assistant. 

a festival in the pearl district with live music and food carts with beer pairings? yes please. a show at portland's best music venue with one of my favourite nashville singer/songwriters? yes please. the milk carton kids were awesome too and you can download their album for free on their website {linked above}.

frolicking in the pearl, putting a bird on it @ clyde common, breakfast @ byways, shopping in the alphabet
we went on walkabout through the pearl and the alphabet district and fell in love with both neighbourhoods. we found a kitschy diner, a vintage shop, an urban outfitters and a trader joe's. we also ended up back at clyde common, which wasn't much of a surprise to anyone.

coffee @ stumptown, dinner @ whiskey soda lounge & pok pok
one of my favourite things about the pacific northwest is the coffee. portland's stumptown is one of my top three favourites, with locations off the ace lobby and downtown. pok pok is basically the hottest restaurant in portland. it began as a food cart and expanded into a thriving restaurant with two offshoot locations - pok pok noi in the alberta neighborhood and whiskey soda lounge down the block from pok pok. upon arrival, we were told there would be a 2-2.5 hour wait. say wha? we walked down the street to whiskey soda lounge to wait, where we drank pok pok som {an amazing fruit & vinegar-based drink} and ate miang kham and pad thai. when we were finally summoned to pok pok, we had their famous chicken wings. Here's my tip: skip pok pok if there's a long wait and just eat at whiskey soda lounge, where they carry many of the same menu items and are much friendlier. And be sure to pop across the street to the super cute d-street food carts.

*many thanks to grace bonney for your portland suggestions!

Monday, September 19, 2011

music monday #12

one complaint i have about living in vancouver is that independent artists often skip playing here to avoid crossing the border. i've been to many shows in seattle, driven home at 1am and gone to work the next morning. the glamourous life of a music fan... it's not just vancouver; all west coasters could complain about the many bands who won't cross the great midwest divide. one place they will stop, however, is a small city in america's heartland: rock island, ill. this town on the illinois/iowa border is home to the country's largest weapons arsenal - and daytrotter.

daytrotter sessions are stripped-down recordings by artists who fall somewhere between established and up-and-coming. the sessions aren't over produced; they make you feel like you're listening in on an intimate house show. and the best part is that you can download the sessions for free.

here are 15 of my favourite daytrotter sessions, by date:
grace potter & the nocturnals / sept 13th 2011
the civil wars / aug 9th 2011
jill andrews / aug 10th 2011
andrew belle / jul 9th 2011
madi diaz / jun 23rd 2011
the head & the heart / jun 17 2011 
dawes / jun 7th 2011
raphael saadiq / may 3rd 2011
cults / oct 20th 2010
local natives / jul 26th 2010
the temper trap / may 17th 2010
william fitzsimmons / apr 8th 2010
mat kearney / oct 24th 2009
diane birch / may 21st 2009
bon iver / jul 21st 2008
*note: to get these free sessions, you must login and get the daytrotter download manager. it's easy and only takes a few minutes to set up. or you could just listen to them online. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

palm springs living - side trips

part three :: side trips
san jacinto mountains / cabazon dinosaurs

allow me to recount a conversation i eavesdropped on while sitting at a restaurant's bar this weekend:
man #1 {customer/friend}: hey man, how's your lady?
man #2 {french bartender}: she's completely burned out. that's what happens when you work for the money and not for the love.
deep words from the french bartender. sounds like his lady needs a vacation. a vacation where she can relax and recharge. but let's say the french bartender wants to get away too. i bet he'd get bored just sitting around relaxing all day. so what are the french bartender and his lady to do - take separate vacations? 

that's crazy talk! here's what they should do: meet in the middle, so to speak, and take mini trips within their trip. kind of like inception with the dreams within the dream ;-) my favourite way to vacation is to relax and recharge and have adventures. 

the perfect place to do this is palm springs, where you can spend your morning lying by the pool and your afternoon hiking in joshua tree or the indian canyons, or road tripping to the salton sea or the san jacinto mountains, or braving the dinosaurs and the outlet mall crowds in cabazon. the world - or at the very least the coachella valley - is your oyster!

- future palm springs retiree {and part-time adventurer}

allow me to recount another conversation:
heather: let's drive up here, it looks fun.
jenn: road, where are you taking us?
heather: higher and higher.
jenn: oh my god, we're going to heaven. it's our time, heather. we're going to reach the gates.
we never made it to the gates; we turned around. but the gorgeous, winding drive into the san jacinto mountains, where this thrilling conversation took place, is conveniently located mere blocks from j.crew, anthropologie and kate spade {perfect afternoon. i mean... right?}. from palm desert, drive south on the aptly named pines to palms highway towards idyllwild - aka. hometown to american idol's casey abrams. since we drove this highway on a whim, we never made it to idyllwild - or heaven - but no matter how far you get, you'll have some gorgeous valley views.

when i'm driving, i often spot cool things on the side of the road and keep driving. but half the fun of a road trip is stopping. be spontaneous! don't be in a hurry! on this trip, jenn and i committed to pulling over for anything fun. if we hadn't done this, we never would've gone to a hare krishna festival, been offered a dodgy thai massage or visited the cabazon dinosaurs. the world's biggest dinosaurs on the side of the interstate - why wouldn't you stop?

history lesson
the dinosaurs have appeared in such "classic" films as pee wee's big adventure and the wizard (holla jenny lewis) and music videos for tears for fears and brad paisley. they were created by knott's berry farm sculptor claude k. bell, who built them to draw people to his truck stop diner, the wheel inn. after bell's death, the new owners of the dinosaur park expanded it to include a gift shop and museum, and use the dinosaurs as a means to promote creationism {we just went for the photo ops}.

{previous palm springs living posts here and here}

Monday, August 22, 2011

week·ly round·up #3

i'm an addict. 

a bookmark addict. 

it once got to the point where my safari browser was all "hey you, i'm going to delete your old bookmarks if you keep adding new ones," and i was all "oh yeah? i'm getting a new computer." i showed that browser. with 64 tabs open as i type, i might also be a digital hoarder {don't even get me started on my twitter favourites}. 

speaking of hoarding, i once considered working on the show animal hoarders, but i think it would have made me too sad. remember how sad we all were when oprah told us about puppy mills? 

speaking of puppy mills, grab a glass of vinho verde and have a peek through this week's links, full of music, video, food and blogs.

ps. if the city of portland passed me a note that said "do you like me? tick yes or no" i'd tick yes and probably find a way to incorporate a heart into my tick mark. stay tuned for a post about my recent trip back to the city of roses {and bearded boys on bicycles}. also coming up soon: more palm springs!

1. perfect {crisp & cheap} summer wine of the week :: vinho verde
2. band playing in a hotel room video of the week :: barcelona at the ace hotel portland
3. canadian blog discovery of the week :: beckerman bite plate
4. delightful song/crazy music video of the week :: baby by devendra banhart
5. prettiest darn food blog of the week :: honey & jam
6. tv series preview {starring my celebrity best friend crush rachel bilson} of the week :: hart of dixie
7. free summer pop song download of the week :: bone dry by a b & the sea
8. anti time-lapse video of the week :: brooklyn in extreme slow motion
9. delicious agua fresca recipe of the week :: watermelon mint agua fresca
10. food critic vs. restaurant gq article of the week :: diner for schmucks

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

palm springs living - shop & eat

part two :: shop & eat
trina turk residential / resale therapy / el gallito / native foods

have you ever noticed how when we describe our favourite cities, we always talk about the food? {yes, i just went there with the royal "we".} and what usually comes next, at least when i'm telling the story, is the shopping. when i'm not lying by the pool in the desert sun, riding a cruiser past gorgeous mid-century ranchers, or getting in touch with my inner hippie in joshua tree, i'm probably enjoying the air conditioned interiors of restaurants and boutiques. ain't no vacation like a palm springs vacation! here are two fun shops and two delicious {and affordable} restaurants, with photos from my most recent trip.
- future palm springs retiree {aka snowbird in training}

this store is a palm springs must-stop. unless of course you're not into a bright, colourful and amazingly curated shop filled with missoni towels, mid-century art, jonathan adler ceramics, trina turk pillows and other fabulous finds. trina turk residential is the designer's only home store, and it's located next to her original boutique, which, like the viceroy hotel, was designed by kelly wearstler.

shopping in the back room at resale therapy, conveniently located across the street from the parker hotel, makes you feel like you're in a movie montage where the two main characters try on silly clothes while dancing to an 80s song. i picked up a pair of round sunglasses, a pucci scarf and an elizabeth arden new york caftan. i wonder which fabulous palm springs ladies wore my new treasures? {note: resale therapy has moved. check their website for current location.}

history lesson
while she's famous for her cosmetics brand, elizabeth arden entered the fashion business in the 1940s. trivia time: one of her designers was none other than oscar de la renta. arden was born florence nightingale {no joke} in ontario, but reinvented herself with a more "glamorous" name, which she borrowed from an old business partner {elizabeth} and a tennyson poem {arden}. here's a little piece of inspiration: arden didn't achieve any success until her thirties. she went on to run one of the most successful brands in the world. oh, and she was briefly married to a prince, so that's something to aspire to. wink, wink.

palm springs isn't just chain restaurants and fine dining. the following restaurants are recent off-the-beaten-path discoveries, thanks to some poolside eavesdropping at the ace hotel and a little help from yelp. el gallito is located just east of palm springs in cathedral city, which appears to have all of the car dealerships in all of the desert. this kitschy-cute family-run restaurant is filled with locals who don't even need a menu to order, and rice and beans you'll devour! native foods is a vegan restaurant whose patio spills out into the courtyard of a strip mall. what it lacks in ambiance, it makes up for in lavender lemonade. holy hannah, i've been putting lavender in everything ever since. also, best sweet potato fries ever. you won't even miss eating meat, i tell you!

{previous palm springs living / hotels post here}

Monday, July 25, 2011

palm springs living - hotels

part one :: hotels
the ace / the parker / the viceroy

one response to my oft-received question, what do you DO in palm springs? is visit hotels. palm springs is a collection of small and diverse resorts, each with an identity and clientele of its own. i stay at the ace hotel for its atmosphere, price and now familiarity, but i love to cycle over to nearby properties and stop in for cocktails, a meal or just a snoop. while many are worth mentioning, here are three of my favourite palm springs hotels, with snapshots from my most recent trip.
- future palm springs retiree {aka snowbird in training}

sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name... the ace hotel and swim club is my third place. the hotel, a renovated howard johnson, is one of four ace hotel properties, which also include seattle, portland and new york. it has a mid-century, bohemian, minimalist camp vibe and amenities like a restaurant, a bar, two pools, free cruiser bikes, communal fireplaces, a spa, amazing rudy's barbershop products and a killer poolside soundtrack that will have you shazam-ing every fifth song. it's dog friendly, so you'll be competing for lounge chairs {and occasionally even pool time} with pups, as well as cool LA peeps on bridget jones-style mini break.

one day, i'm going to stay at the parker palm springs, where i'll lounge poolside with rachel zoe and hang out in a mini villa named "lola". until that day, i'll continue to pop by the 13-acre resort for brunch al fresco and drinks around the fire pit. this gorgeous and delightfully eccentric hotel was designed by new york designer and potter jonathan adler. it boasts two restaurants, three pools, tennis courts, giant chess, yoga retreats, a spa and a to-die-for lobby and entryway. it's pricey, but if you go during low season - and keep an eye on travel flash-sale sites - you can get lucky. croquet and celebrity sightings, anyone? 

history lesson
the property was california's first holiday inn before becoming gene autry's melody ranch. it was later purchased by merv griffin and run as the givenchy hotel and spa during the 90s. if you recognize the parker name, their original property, new york's le parker meridien, was the official hotel of the rosie o'donnell show {it's scary how advertising stays with us}. staff and guests of the parker were also featured in a six-episode bravo series called welcome to the parker.

the kelly wearstler-designed viceroy palm springs sits conveniently behind downtown palm springs. the hollywood regency-style resort is a yellow, black and white love letter to the desert city's golden age. while the hotel feels intimate, it's deceivingly large, with three pools, a spa and a gorgeous little restaurant. i can't wait to stop by for poolside dinner under lanterns and lemon trees.

{stay tuned for more palm springs posts. past palm springs posts: 1 / 2 / 3}

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

week·ly round·up #2

"my life is family, dogs, clothes, food, and coffee. FFCCD. You'd think it was an html color code."

i've been leading my own version of a color code life lately, but i'd add a second {shortened} layer of color: BMBSB. sadly, the last three letters do not stand for my favourite boy band, since i missed their show this weekend. instead, my life is boxes, music, boxes, sunshine, boxes. that about sums up my move and my week. new neighborhood, same roommate {though to be clear, it's friends first, roommates second. if i didn't mention that, i'd get almond milk thrown in my face. i kid...}.

a friend called me a "woman of the world...wide web" this week. in the spirit of my new moniker, enjoy this week's links. and regarding the NKOTBSB shows this past weekend, i can't say i'm too disappointed i missed out based on the crowd i encountered pushing their way onto the eastbound train after the show. they were all f-bombs, boobs and layered white and black eyeliner. that said, how fun is this song?

1. summertime coffee brewing method of the week :: iced cold brew coffee
2. blogger-photographer collaboration of the week :: bri emery & angela kohler style column
3. free download cover of the week :: bon iver "i can't make you love me"
4. pretty blog discovery of the week :: colour my life
5. can't-stop-listening free download of the week :: brandi carlile sampler
6. long-anticipated tv show of the week :: project runway australia season 3
7. oh so LA/oh so coppola movie rental of the week :: somewhere
8. rabbit food inspiration of the week :: 101 simple salads (via nytimes)
9. can't-beieve-it's-real iphone accessory of the week :: iphone SLR mount
10. men's style blog of the week :: ben there, done that

Sunday, June 5, 2011

week·ly round·up #1

clickity-clack :: the sound of me walking in stilettos on a polished concrete floor or the sound of me clicking every link on the internet? it could very well be either, but it's most likely the latter. who wore it best? click it. ten biggest songs of the summer? click it. NSFW wardrobe malfunction? click it. the meaning of NSFW? click it.

not only am i click happy, but i also like to share. so get ready for a new {semi-regular} feature called week·ly round·up, where i link to some of the best things i read or saw online during the week. i say semi-regular just so i don't get your hopes up if i miss one here or there. this was one of my favourite things to post in my early days blogging on xanga. {xan-what now? whoa, memories.}

disclaimer :: these are links that i, for whatever reason, find fascinating, pretty, mysterious, helpful, etc. i can't promise you'll like everything. some things will be more for the ladies, some will swing both ways like the unisex bathroom in ally mcbeal and some will be more for the gents. let's do this!

1. album of the week by a band with an awesome name :: cults by cults
2. condiment of the week :: noble maple syrup (in vancouver at thomas haas & old faithful shop)
3. single of the week by one of my favourite live bands :: every teardrop is a waterfall by coldplay
4. gorgeous canadian blog rediscovery of the week :: fieldguided
5. restaurant substitutions policy controversy of the week :: gjelina vs. gordon ramsay
6. old sad song of the week :: keep me in your heart by warren zevon
7. perfect printed summer tote of the week :: berkeley tote by twelfth st by cynthia vincent
8. cute kid video of the week :: kid gives speech after learning to ride a bike
9. new appalling yet addicting bravo show of the week :: million dollar decorators
10. deeelightful celebrity blog of the week :: zooey's miscellany by zooey deschanel

Monday, May 16, 2011

music monday #11

artist:  mike edel 
album: the last of our mountains

victoria-based singer-songwriter mike edel is a treat to listen to and see live. i caught his show at the media club last month, and ever since his album has been on constant rotation in the apartment, in the car and on the ipod. we like it that much.

do yourself a favour and...
download a free track here.
stream the whole album [and buy it for $5] here.
watch a short video i iphoned of the show here.
see him live in bc and alberta next month here.

* * * * * * * * * *

artist:  middle brother 
album: middle brother

middle brother is a side-project band that brings together the lead singers of delta spirit, deer tick and dawes. their music is fun, their lyrics often humorous and a little irreverent, and their live show undoubtedly a party.

do yourself a favour and...
download a free track here.
watch a video from sxsw here.
download the album for $10 on itunes or here.

fredrik :: black fur :: free download here
brett dennen :: hard times :: listen here
mat kearney :: hey mama :: listen here
jessie j :: who you are live :: watch here
bootstraps :: fortyfive :: watch here
dawes :: if i wanted someone :: free download here

and finally...
this is a great mix i found via old faithful shop.

Friday, April 8, 2011

bootielicious (i couldn't help myself)


one thing i love about fall is boots. and one thing i love about spring is booties. i love 'em so much that i marched up the block to gravity pope, tried on a $600 pair and thought, i could justify these, right? you know the expression "my eyes are bigger than my stomach"? it's more like "my eyes are bigger than my bank account" when it comes to booties. so instead of the gorgeous $600 acne boots, i left with a much more reasonably priced pair of filippa k's. crisis averted...ish.

if you can't stomach the term booties, you may prefer to call them ankle boots. or maybe even shoe boots. but by then you might as well just call them shbooties, right?

i mean...how much do you love all the peach booties?

clockwise from top left: rachel comey miner bootie, alexander wang dakota lace-up bootie, reed krakoff desert boot, h by hudson mia canvas ankle boot, topshop pippin ankle boot
clockwise from top left: rag & bone classic newbury canvas bootie, a.p.c. suede ankle boot, rag & bone harrow boot, acne cypress leather bootie, rachel comey mars boot, acne pistol heeled zip boot

clockwise from top left: rachel comey fraction bootie, opening ceremony joelle ankle clog boot, swedish hasbeens high heeled jodhpur, swedish hasbeens combat boot

clockwise from top left: repetto neo lace-up wedge ankle boot, topshop ailish wedge shoe boot, filippa k bella laced bootie, madewell sidewalk wedge, loeffler randall june lace-up bootie

clockwise from top left: sam edelman louie ankle boot, ash jalouse ankle boot, paul smith vera almond toe boot, gravity pope safari ankle boot, rodarte for opening ceremony pull-on western boot

clockwise from top left: forever 21 suede engineer boot, dv by dolce vita pascal ankle boot, shellys elvaston ankle boot, zara suede ankle boot, forever 21 suedette studded ankle boot, gap design editions peep-toe wedge bootie, forever 21 lace-up bootie

  now just for fun, and so i can look back on this in 10 years and think, i miss those shbooties, or maybe even, what was i thinking?

[top images via heatherlovesit *favourites* the sartorialist & fancy treehouse]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

oscar fashion smashion 2011

strike me down for fashion blasphemy if you must, lord, but dare i say i preferred the fashion at this year's golden globes to the oscars? it wasn't a disaster - just a little boring (kind of like the ceremony itself). thank goodness anne hathaway changed so often; otherwise we'd have little to discuss.

i watched a red carpet interview with nicole kidman once, where she said she always brings peanut m&m's to the oscars in her purse. if you think four hours is excruciating for us viewers, think of how hungry all those in attendance are from the time they get in their limos (can toyota make a stretch prius already?) to the time they hit the party circuit and get their hands on some sliders. do you ever think about the limo ride to awards shows? i always imagine the women are lying down lengthwise on the seats so as not to crease their dresses. why oh why can't we have limo cams?

speaking of behind the scenes at the oscars, rachel zoe was a busy little nine months pregnant stylist this year. anne was rachel's only client at the oscars proper, but she dressed cameron diaz, liv tyler and eva mendes for the parties.

i’m kind of surprised natalie didn’t join team lavender, since that’s all she wore in no strings attached with ashton kutcher. seriously – watch it and you’ll see. but she chose wisely and appropriately by going with rodarte, who made her costumes in black swan. left to right: cate blanchett in givenchy couture, mila kunis in elie saab haute couture, scarlett johansson in dolce & gabbana, natalie portman in rodarte.

the oscars demand glamour, and what’s more glamourous than sparkles and metallics? am i the only one who thought gwyneth was dressed like an oscar statuette, albeit a lovely one? left to right: mandy moore in monique lhuillier, helen mirren in vivienne westwood couture, emma roberts in jenny packham, gwyneth paltrow in calvin klein collection.

this girl deserves a category all to herself. between the red carpet, hosting duties and parties, i counted anne hathaway in eight looks. she even had a nail polish change backstage. and why not, right? clockwise from left: vintage valentino, givenchy haute couture, oscar de la renta, lanvin, atelier versace, vivienne westwood, armani privé, tom ford.

my friend katrina pointed me to lainey gossip, who brilliantly compared jennifer lawrence’s dress to baywatch: “i’m not saying she didn’t look good. she looked great. gorgeous. super sexy. but you can’t deny that’s exactly the same shade of red. and it’s cut exactly like an elongated swimsuit. she could be running in slow motion down the beach…which…well…it’s not exactly the spirit of the oscars, you know?” left to right: jennifer lawrence in calvin klein collection, rosario dawson in diane von furstenberg, sandra bullock in very wang, michelle williams in chanel haute couture.

these are some seriously stunning couples. besides the famous men folk, the wives/baby mamas were the ones who shone here. it doesn’t hurt that they’re gorgeous too. plus, mark ruffalo’s wife’s name is sunrise, and that’s all kinds of california awesome. left to right: mark ruffalo in neil barrett with sunrise coigney in jean paul gaultier, mark wahlberg in giorgio armani with rhea durham in naeem khan, matthew mcconaughey in dolce & gabbana with camila alves in kaufman franco.

overall: cate blanchett, michelle williams, mandy moore
on anne hathaway: fringed oscar de la renta, blue armani privé, white & gold givenchy
and finally, it's true what they say: converse sneakers really do go with everything.

(all photos via justjared & fabsugar)