Lost in Translation: the diaper bag edition

Over the course of our five years here in Brazil, there's been countless times where things I tried to convey in my butchered Portuguese became "lost in translation"  At the time, the situations drove me nuts, but in hindsight are comical.

A few weeks before I was due with Skylar, I took my old, leather diaper bag to be reconditioned at a bag 'n shoe shop.  A little background info:  when I had my first kiddo, I purchased

this leather

bag from Storksak.

At the time, the $300+ price tag seemed like a major splurge, but now, six years later, I can say the cost-per-use is practically pennies.  A great "non-diaper" diaper bag, that I highly recommend.

Mine had seen some serious wear, so I took it to the shop thinking to have it reconditioned.  You know, some mink oil or something to blend the water stains, and soften the leather.  At least, that what I thought I was saying.

Bells probably should have gone off in my head when I picked up the Portuguese words for "darker" and "paint." 

A couple of weeks later, I returned to this:

 The nice, leather bag had been....vinylized.   It's like they painted it (poorly) with some kind of liquid plastic substance that's the color of a sewer rat.  The thing even smells like a vinyl sofa circa '75.

I also must mention how the brass hardware was "touched up" with gold paint.

The picture doesn't do it justice.

Translation:  Diaper bag sads.

I think I might just put this one in the donation pile, and call it a day.  So...I'm in the market for a new "diaper" bag.  I tend to go for styles that transcend the baby look, and can function beyond diapees and wipes.  Here's a few I'm considering.

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Do you have a fave go-to that can pull diaper bag duty?

Oscars (yawn) Fashion Recap

I was a little underwhelmed by this year's Oscar dress selections - were you? Granted, there were some winners, some "meh"-ers, but overall, everyone played it a little too toned down and safe. I can't think of any instances where, five years from now we'll be saying, "Oh, THAT dress!" I'm sort of inspiration-less for a recap post.
Still, there were some gorgeous moments...
Oscars 2011_edited-1
I thought Mandy Moore had the overall, prettiest look of the night. The netted neckline blended seamlessly with her complexion, and her hair and makeup (bright lips!) were absolute perfection. Mila Kunis' lavender Elie Saab number, with its teasing, low and lacy bodice left everyone, including gay men gasping in awe. Also, thought her hair was insane gorgeous. Anne Hathaway chose VERY wisely - vintage Valentino in the trademark, red hue. Stellar. And the Body that Won't Quit - Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein. I actually love that she went sans bling - clearly, she doesn't need anything to distract from that physique.

People I was on the fence about:
Best Actress Winner, Natalie Portman - Her Rodarte dress photographed better than it looked on live camera. When I initially saw it, I thought, "Why maroon?" (aka worst color ever), but in the still shots, it reads more plum, which is only slightly better. The drape and neckline are perfect for a preggo body, though.
Scarlett Johannson's D&G proves my point about the color maroon.
Another dress that didn't read as well live on tv as it does in photos - Halle Berry's Marchesa. Gorgeous, but a bit too predictable for me.
I'm sure I'll get a few boos from the gallery, as Gwynnie's custom Calvin Klein liquid platinum sheath was an overall crowd pleaser (at least according to last-night's tweets), but it just left me a little cold. Right now, I think GP is into anything that shows off her coathanger of a figure. As there's a lot of work, and not much eating involved in this endeavor, I can't say I blame her. Afterall, she's marketing a product (i.e. her investment in Tracy Anderson, her trainer)
Cate Blanchett doin' her own thing, Fashion as Art style. No, I don't like the dress, but she can do no wrong in my book, so I'll forgive her the yellow-boils-on-her-back look of her Givenchy.
If Amy Adams' L'Wren Scott had had a different neckline and sleeves (notoriously unforgivable to the arms), I think it would have worked better. What a waste of that incredible emerald necklace, too.
This woman just had twins. Girdle of steel? No matter. Get her outta my face.
And, last, her Royal Divaness herself, Sharon Stone - working the carpet with unrivaled fierceness. You go on with your nip-tucked self, I happen to LUV ya!

Did everyone fire their stylist?

I didn't watch the Globes last night (too late down here), but that doesn't stop me from departing from design and projects to dish on the dresses. Overall, I thought, "Wow, the stinky economy has hit Hollywood - everyone has fired their stylist." There were, however, a few stellar moments. Let's see...

The Mo-Mo Parade
I'm not sure if these women were trying to look older, but to me, between the dress and/or the hairstyle, these women weren't drinking from the Fountain of Youth last night...

Leighton Meester - isn't she, like 20-something? You wouldn't know it here...

Angelina Jolie - AMAZING color on her, but the hair is so half-assed, I miss something. Oh wait, she's sooooo over these parades...

Ann Hathaway also went with a fully-beaded, Dynasty-sleeved number. The rose gold color becomes her, but all that beading adds visual weight - ugh.

Michelle Williams - daisies on a nude background do NOT a flattering palette make.

Scarlett Johanson = Mother of the Bride
This also goes to show that nude can be VERY difficult to pull off - probably even more so on camera.
Wait! There was one more...who???
Justify FullFreakin' A - that's Sandra Bullock! She's either:
a) Pulling the "I was the winning princess last year - this year, I'm goin' Goth" a la Gwyneth or
b) She's trying to hide from ScarJo (pfft, pfft, MeOW!)

Battle of the Bumps
Both women look radiant, but the rose applique on Natalie's dress is distracting - in a bad way. Jane Krakowski's fabulous earrings offer a much more clever device at drawing the eye up.

What were they thinking?
Just because you have a rockin' bod doesn't mean you have to show up in public with nearly all of it on display. Halle - we've seen you naked in films, we get it.

Helena Bonham Carter - well, what did we expect, right? I just wish for once, she'd pull a 180 and do something pretty/elegant/flattering for gawd's sake!

Gals who Got it Right
Justify FullHelen Mirren. My husband believes she's "one of the sexiest women alive." Not sure how I feel about that...
Catherine Zeta Jones went full-throttle with the of-the-moment emerald, and she had her cancer-survivor husband on her arm. Kudos to them both.

My hands-down favorite(s)
Emma Stone in this body-skimming Uh-MA-Zing dress. The peachy-nude complements her skin to perfection, and shows just enough to be non-boring.
In a similar vein - Claire Danes. Although a tad more predictable, it is very well executed.

...and because I can adore the look of non-skinny women of color, too - Gabourey Sidibe's lilac, beaded maxi dress is the perfect amount of boho-chic for this less formal awards show. I'd actually loved to own that dress.

...and last, but certainly not least...
Tilda Swinton's channeling of Sharon Stone's "my husband's shirt" moment. This woman is such a rock star of an actress, she can tell all us hecklers to stuff it (and I would.)

Agree or Agree to Disagree?

The House that Issa built

I can't imagine a fashion designer having a better day than Daniella Helayel did when Kate Middleton wore one of her dresses for the engagement announcement to Prince William. Daniella is the Brazilian designer behind the Issa of London label.
I know I was one of thousands of gals who scoped out the Issa sight to admire the classic and flattering styles now made famous by the future Princess.
I was equally interested to get a glimpse into the designer's loft - in the Chelsea district of London. Brazilians are so accustomed to sunshine and saturated color, that I imagine one might become depressed by the infamous dreariness of England.
It looks like Daniella has worked her way around that - by letting her love of Morocco, Thailand, and Africa dictate an other-wordly style for her home.

Daniella Helayel chelsea loft living

It seems Daniella has done a rather nice job of recreating (if not Ipanema beach), then at least her own Shangri-La.

Daniella Helayel chelsea loft 2

The billowy, canopied bedroom reminds me of the flattering draping Issa dresses are known for.

Daniella Helayel loft bedroom

The large collection of butterfly botanicals makes for a whimsical bathroom display.
Daniella Helayel loft bathroom
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...and, I'd still love one of those dresses!