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Friday, November 7, 2008

Ctrl BG: A Shortcut to Financial News 11/7

It was another turbulent week in the markets.

It started off with a rally as election day approached and everyone was filled with hope for change. On Tuesday, America finally voted for our next president- President Barack Obama. Even though the result seemed obvious in the last few weeks, it was still a very exciting day here in Chicago. Everyone in the streets were hyped, retailers like Starbucks and Ben & Jerry's were giving out free coffee and ice cream, roads around Grant Park were closed for the rally, the over all atmosphere was just very exhilarating! Unfortunately I wasn't one of the lucky few to get tickets to Grant Park, but I actually thought that both Obama's victory and Mcain's concession speech were really well done. Mcain's speech was very touching and gracious (though whoever dressed him with an ugly yellow tie should be shot), while Obama's speech was very inspiring- yes we can!

The next day after this pleasent distraction though, the market turned its attention back to the economy and it went downhill from there.
  • Retail chains posted the worst monthly sales data in more than 3 decades! Retailers are closing stores. Circuit City for instance is closing 155 US stores. Jewelers were also hit especially hard. Many, such as Whitehall and Friedmans, are being forced to hold liquidation sales, which in turn is creating temoporary price competition for its healthy peers
  • As sales drop, so did unemployment. The job report this week showed that in October, 240,000 jobs were lost, taking the unemployment rate up to 6.5% from 6.1% in September, hitting all sectors. Companies such as GS, Circuit City, Mattel, Time Warner, Yahoo, Ford and GM have or are planning to cut back their workforces
  • GM in particular posted worst than expected earnings and have called off their merger deal with Chrysler in order to focus on its own financial health. Chrysler is now in talks with Hyundai. The auto industry as a whole is not doing well in this economy (except Porsche, which posted a 46% rise in pretax profit) and the big three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) have approached the government for a $50 billion aid. The auto industry is in fact one of Obama's top priorities to save/ I guess since it takes up 3% of overall GDP it will have immense effects both directly and indirectly on the economy, and not just affect Detroit
Outside of the US, there was another gloabl rate cut, with the Bank of England cutting a whooping 1.5% and the European Central Bank cutting 0.5%.

The outlook is pretty pessimistic. Bonuses are slashed (ironically Bear and Lehman survivors are actually getting better deals from their retention package than their counterparts in other firms like Goldman). The next domino to fall seems to be consumer loans, such as credit card and auto loans. Predictions of when this will all be over just keeps getting postponed. Last week, it was middle of 2009. Now we're hearing beginning of 2010!!

Obama is already looking into all this at a
meeting of the transition economic advisory board, which included a high-powered collection of business, academic and government leaders, such as Buffet, who called into Chicago from Obama- just like Charlie in Charlie's Angels! His priorities are to get a second stimulus package out asap (maybe even before Christmas!) and saving the auto industry.

All this talk about presidency and campaigning just reminded me that I've forgotten to watch Brothers and Sisters this season. Better go catch up!

Hot! Or Hmm..:Knowles Sisters at the MTV Europe Music Awards

The Knowles sisters recently hit up the MTV Europe Music Awards in Liverpool, continuing their world promotional tour, and providing endless fodder for the Fashion Bomb's Hot or Hmm series...
...I must say, though this outfit is a bit tame for Solange, I love the black sequins, stripes and the pop of her yellow bracelet. And Beyonce's one handed glove is definitely hot!
Sasha took to the stage to perform "If I Were a Boy"...
Hmmm...but maybe it's hot that homegirl is stepping out the box?
What do you think?
Check out Beyonce's performance:


Mail Bombs: Diddy's Leather Bomber, Keyshia's High Waisted Look, and Ashanti's CBS Swag

Obama might be changing American politics, but at the Fashion Bomb our schedule remains the same:
...let's solve some Friday Mail Bombs!
First Sabine says, "I love what Keyshia is wearing here, especially her shirt..."
"...Please help me recreate this look. Thanks!"
We couldn't find Keyshia's exact top, but thought you could get a similar look with the following high and low priced items:
1. Twelfth Street By Cynthia Vincent Long Sleeve Ruffle Neck Blouse in Yellow, $253. 2. Armani Exchange Lariat Necklace, $34. 3. Charlotte Russe Jersey Scarf, $9. 4. Victoria's Secret High Waist Pant, $78. 5. Sterling Silver Pave Domed Ring, $129. 6. Urban Outfitters Palms Springs Sunglasses, $13. 7. Nadri Thin Pave Hoop Earrings, $100.
Next Melissa says, "Ashanti recently made an appearance on television wearing this gorge jacket..."
"... I was hoping you could help me find out who makes it or find something similar?"
Get a similar look with these ruffled wool beauts:
1. Hanii Y Short Ruffle Jacket in Black, $268. 2. William Rast Ruffle Broken Twill Jacket, $398. 3. Above-And-Beyond Jacket, $148.
In a Male Mail Bomb, Chontel says, "Where can I find a leather bomber jacket like the one Diddy has on here?"
Steal Diddy's swagger with one of these options:
1. byCORPUS Leather Bomber Jacket, $348. 2. Armani Exchange Leather Bomber Jacket, $425. 3. Orthodox Marquez Leather Jacket, $878.
Juvie says, "I wanted to know where I can get these boots Raven Symone is wearing or something similar..."
"...I will die if I don't get them!"
It seems Raven might be wearing these $1,555 Alexander McQueen Lace Up Boots in Brown:
If you want a lace up look for less, go with these:
1. Ruco Line Boots, $298. 2. Corso Como Cable Lace Up Inside Zip Boot, $325. 3. Frye Fiona Tall Tie Front Boot, $298.
Next, Takisha says, "I would really like to have that cute sweater dress Regina has on in my closet..."
"... Could you please tell me where I can get it??"
Adriana searched, and found that this Tibi Racerback Glen Plaid dress gives off the same effect:
Get it for $348 from
Lastly, Ramona says, "I'm in dire need of your assistance I've been looking every where for some leather pants like the ones Rocsi is wearing..."
"...Can you please help me?"
Adriana found these high and low priced skinnies:
Adriana found these:
1. Charlotte Russe Faux Leather Skinnies, $30. 2.Armani Exchange Leather Pants, $295. 3.LOVE YAYA Fix Skinny Pant, $136.
That does it for today!

Michelle Obama for Vogue??

WWD reports that we might see Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue soon after the inauguration of president elect Barack Obama:
The article, by Stephanie D. Smith says, "Vogue has been campaigning for a Michelle Obama cover since last September — both in print and in person. Editor in chief Anna Wintour and contributing editor André Leon Talley hosted several fund-raisers for the Obamas last summer, rallying the fashion community’s support for the Illinois senator."
Ok Andre!! The article goes on to say that despite Vogue's best efforts, Ebony or Essence might get to them first. "The Chicago-based title [Ebony] is quickly assembling a special January issue dedicated to Barack Obama’s candidacy...Essence is also said to be working on a special package for its January issue, but details have not been hammered out."
Hmmm, so Ebony, Essence, or Vogue?? Which do you think she'll choose?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

DSquared Designs Usher's Tour Outfits

DSquared will be designing Usher's outfits for his 'One Night Stand Tour'. A few looks:

Oh, Kate

Has anyone watched Stylista? I watched the Pilot and all I could see was Tyra Banks making Elle Fashion News Director, Anne Slowey, appear to be an exact copy of Miranda Priestly of The Devil Wears Prada. Example: Anne Slowey enters the office by throwing her coat on the receptionists desk...really? It was so utterly unrealistic that all I could do was sigh and skip chunks throughout the episode to see what the point of the show was. They call it "Stylista" except it's less about style and more about editing and seeing if people can figure how to do a nice layout on a page...using scissors and glue. Boring and just terrifyingly superficial.

BUT! The wonderful Kate Lanphear was their first guest judge, and I find Lanphear simply stunning. Usually makeup-less (except on the show) her style speaks for itself: strong, elegant and a risk taker. She pulls off androgyny extremely well. Lanphear was the only redeeming factor, even if all she said was at most two sentences.

Her outfit in that first photograph is just amazing! These beautiful photographs are from Jak & Jill.

This Week in Chic

In case you missed, this week's flyest 'fits:

Pink Cherie Election Day Contest!

So on Tuesday, I asked you guys to send in pictures of what you wore to vote or pix of yourself after you finished voting. A few of you sent in some fabulousness. Let's check it out!
First Adrienne says, "I am a sophomore at Tuskegee University! Since this is my first presidential election, not only did I have to vote, but I had to look cute and represent Obama as well!"
"... The shirt has a picture of Obama as a card and it says "If America plays its cards right, not only will it make history, but we'll make a positive change in America!" I also have on a cute red jacket and red velvet flats with a lace and plaid scarf. I hope you like and I really hope that me and Obama win!" Well Obama won...I think Adrienne's a winner too!
Reader AJ snapped a pic in her car:
She says, "I'm a voter here in Atlanta and I stood in line for 1.5 hours to help turn my state BLUE this election. Here's my voter pic and you'll see I have the sticker to prove I came, I saw, I conquered early voting in Georgia." That's right!
And lastly Lady B sent an e-mail with the subject, "My Voting was Priceless"...
She says, "I know you can't truly see my fit but I'm so proud of myself and our people for stepping up for a change!" And it worked!
Well I think everyone should get a Fashion Bomb T just for voting and sending in a pic! But there can only be one winner of the Pink Cherie earrings. Who should it be? Leave a comment and let me know!

Obama: Front Page News

A friend sent me a collage of some of the nation's (and the world's) newspapers from yesterday:
I heard the NY Times is selling on Ebay for $200!?!?
I wonder what I can fetch for a Paris Metro Newspaper? Ha!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Loyalty in Design

I'm one of those people that once I find a brand, I stick to it. Then if they change designer I feel betrayed and angered until I find something else to feast my eyes (and empty my pockets) on. But it takes me a while to get over my loss.

One brand that I am extremely loyal to is Kookai. I found a simple black dress for a high school formal and I still wear it to this very day. Their cutting fits my body type perfectly and their cool relaxed style is something I'm very fond of, eclectic and different. Their pieces are very versatile, which is by far one of their greatest qualities. Buy only a few things and you will be able to churn out a multitude of looks with whatever else you have in your closet.

I absolutely love their colours of their Fall collection, I would wear every single one of these runway looks.

Those grey trousers up there on the right, I'm definitely going to go find myself a pair.

Image Source: Kookai

Peanut Brittle - Hua Ren Torng

(two sides of Foochow peanut brittle - nutty and fragrant)

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With news of Barack Obama winning I need to write something sweet today!! I have not really been thinking about nice and sweet things having been burdened with such serious issues in life!

Floods + Petrol prices +down trends of share market+ funerals+ sicknesses+ end of the year blues = serious + depressing thoughts. So writing about peanut brittle could just lift my spirits today!! Need to bury my head in writing about comfort food and warm thoughts.

Peanut Brittle was probably my first ever sweet bought by my grandfather for his grandchildren to share in the 1950's. And perhaps it was because of this sweet we develop a sweet tooth for the rest of our life!!

Wan Hin Bakery at the corner of the Island Road and Blacksmith Road in Sibu was famous for this sweet. The sugar content must be just right according to Mr. Toh whom I interviewed recently. He said his father fried the peanuts to perfection. He also added that fresh peanuts must be used and they must also be dried in the sun before frying in fresh oil.

The peanut brittle were wrapped in green white and red translucent paper and they were indeed very attractive. These sweets sold well not because they were tasty but because they were also part of the Foochow bride price.

(Traditional coloured paper wrappings)

The Wan Hin Bakery was so famous that every potential bride must have her bridal biscuits and dowry cakes (leh pian) made by them. It was the number one bakery in those days. I still remember the Foochow wedding biscuits were almost a foot in diameter and at least one inch thick. They probably weighed a pound each.

(Newer plastic wrappings - common packaging of peanut brittle made in Miri - prices are quite reasonable at RM2.00 per packet)

While one had to make an order for wedding biscuits these peanut brittles could be bought every day. And they were displayed beautifully in the glass cabinets. Today shops no longer have these kinds of glass cabinets for style and security reasons. How time has changed over the years.

(Export quality peanut brittle - gifts from Singapore)

I am glad that most of us are still nostalgic for our traditional cakes and goodies.

You might like to have a simplified recipe here - you can make it at home. Or just go to a super market and buy some off the shelves soon. And all memories of your childhood will come back.

This recipe is adapted from

Tip: Have all the ingredients for this recipe measured out and ready. This recipe requires that you react quickly. You do not have time to measure ingredients in between steps.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 cup roasted peanuts/hazelnuts/almonds/black and white sesame seeds
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Grease a large cookie sheet. Set aside.

2. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place, and continue cooking. Stir frequently until temperature reaches 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

3. Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter or margarine and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet. With 2 forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14x12 inches; cool. Snap candy into pieces.

There are other recipes of course. Perhaps you already have a good one.

this is a good sweet to serve at Christmas and Chinese New Year. Also you can crush the peanut brittle and use it to garnish your servings of icecream.

This photo makes me want to go and make some peanut brittles!

Enjoy! I think I must call my peanut brittle - Obama's Peanut Crunch!

Michelle Obama's Victory Dress

And for all you stylistas wondering who designed Michelle's banded red and black ombre "victory" dress:It came straight off the runway from Narciso Rodriguez's Spring 2009 collection!
First Lady Obama just keeps killin' the fashion game...

First Lady Outfit Ideas: Michelle Obama

So I'm checking my CNN from Paris, and I see headlines!
Headlines like 'Change has come to America' and 'Obama claims Historic Presidential Win."
Yes we DID!!!!!!
We at The Fashion Bomb are no stranger to politics or fashion, and of course had to bless this day with a post not about Obama, but about his fly wife, Michelle:
Just like Barack's changed the game in politics, Michelle's style has completely redefined First Lady chic. Her bold-colored sheaths, flip hairdo, and funky accessories broadcast that it's OK to be trendy, creative, and a little edgy:
Michelle's calendar will now be chock-full of events (and will require more wardrobe changes than a Mimi concert!). So we here at the FB have done our patriotic duty and rounded-up a few outfit suggestions for First Lady Obama--don't y'all just love how that sounds? We're political, funky, fly: check what we came up with:
1. Black Halo Keyhole Ruffle Sleeve Sheath in Ash, $345. 2. J.Crew Cashmere Schoolgirl Cardigan, $175. 3. Brian Atwood Tonya Patent Platforms, $650. 4. J.Crew Quilted Patent Leather Quincy Hobo, $298. 5. White House Black Market Adorned Tweed Jacket, $198. 6. Tracy Reese Trapunto Waist dress, $266.
And don't forget about the parties: SHUT IT DOWN:
1. Oscar de la Renta Silk Faille Embroidered Dress, $4,990. 2. Banana Republic Jeweled Rolled Clutch, $120. 3. Roberto Cavalli Embellished Cocktail Ring, $370. 4. Miu Miu Paillette Embellished Pumps, $650. 5. Vera Wang Jacquard Draped Long Gown, $3,870. 6. Christian Louboutin Very Brode Pumps, $1,095.
*And we've been great since January '08. Check this Style File on Michelle Obama!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wednesday Video: Obama Victory Speech

Peep pictures and more at!

Fashion Internships Galore!

The good news keeps rolling in!
Hmmm, not quite sure why gets all the internship scoops, but no matter! From their mouths to your ears, a few internship opps in NYC. Apply! Apply! Apply! There's no other way into the industry (and if Barack can be President, you can break into fashion):
1. New York Model Management needs interns, and they need them fast.
They have openings in men's, women's, art, and require two to three days a week. According to Fashionista, "Responsibilities will include updating model portfolios, assisting with the building of show packages, coffee runs, etc." Send your resume and cover letter to
2. GQ... looking for, "motivated, detail oriented and incredibly organized students to help out in the fashion closet and different editorial departments." It's unpaid, but you can get school credit! Send your resume plus just one paragraph on why you'd be perf to
3. Last but not least: WWD is looking for 'terns!
Ahem, "If you're a student, grad or under, who can work two to five days a week from 10 to 6 who is motivated, organized and takes initiative, who loves fashion, (not just shopping) and you're looking for a way into the industry, they might want you." Send your resume and cover letter to You must be available for an in person interview in NYC.
No More Excuses ladies (and gents)!!!!
Go out and get yours!

I want it all and I want it now

Standing five feet eight inches, I'm not that tall. But slap on a pair of 4 inch heels and I will tower over you, which is actually a great feeling; that is until my knees fail, my feet fumble, and suddenly it's impossible to find the ground beneath me. Even with the training of classical ballet in my back pocket, balance (or shall we say off-balance) always gets the best of me.

However, in all seriousness, adding heels tends to make you feel empowered. Your posture will be better, because that’s the only way you can walk in them, that leads to your head being held higher and ultimately you’ll be walking the streets flooding them with your confidence. This can then result in feeling a rush of greatness, which is the most important part.

I believe in always looking put-together, and neat and tidy when leaving the house. And a good pair of heels (or kitten heels, or flats, or boots), styled properly, can really make an outfit.

And just a little something for you to lust after…

My great obsession with Giambattista Valli is only increased with this pair of beautiful red shoes. And look at that beautiful shattered crystal heel detail, Versace.

A tad dramatic, but nonetheless, platforms are amazing. Gucci, Louis Vuitton & Marni

Christian Louboutin does no wrong [ever] at Rodarte.

Lacroix, oh Lacroix, tout ce que vous créez est beau. I have a strange affinity to those white sandals by Emilio Pucci. And do you SEE what I mean when I said I don't know what I've been doing NOT looking at Celine?

A good pair of heels always make a woman look powerful, strong, elegant and sexy. So don't worry about being "too tall." Enjoy your new found height - or as long as your feet will allow it.

Image Source:
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