Tag Archives: Review

Historic Getaway

zara dress (similar here), bcbg belt, gold bracelets, h&m bracelet, cloisonne bracelet bought in china, variation of twisted updomac viva glam nicki lipstick


Back in the US. I haven’t had much time to enjoy “home” as I was surprised by Elliott and almost immediately taken away to spend a few days at the West Baden Springs Resort. It being my first time there I didn’t know what to expect.  I was amazed with the history this place carries. It was built in 1902 and it had been closed to the public since 1989 in complete decay before a big restoration in ’07. Between walks through the English garden, celebratory meals, and chilling by the library fireplace I found myself lost in time for a sec. Definitely worth the visit.



jorge alex grey sandals and pink flats, christian louboutin flat sandals, vivienne westwood for melissa shoes




asos hat, t by alexander wang tank, gold bracelets, michael kors watch



Fashion Rio Part II

Today I wrap up my stay in Rio. It’s great to be back and know it still feels like home. This place deserves the tittle of wonderful city because it is indeed. If you ever get a chance to visit, please don’t pass! Just like saying bye to Rio, it was difficult saying bye to the fashion scene. Hard to think of two other words that go so well together: Fashion Rio. Take a peek at what the last day at the lounges was like.








Next destination? Curitiba. Remember to follow on twitter (@flaviarobinson) and instagram (@luluabroad) for frequent travel updates.


Urban Outfitters Outlet

Not very long ago I heard about the Urban Outfitters Outlet in Lincoln Park aka  U.O Surplus. It sounded like an urban legend, something people fantasize about but doesn’t really exist in the material world. But no, it’s true!

True and huge. With an assortment for both men and women, it’s probably the only outlet I know that actually only sells merchandise first seen at the actual retail stores. And I lived in Orlando, I know my outlets.

See the tank tops hanging from the wall? $4.99 a pop. How about some BDG jeans for $9.99? Give it to me, baby!

I’d say about 70% of all clothing are priced under the ten dollar mark. Sweet. There’s only one small problem: there aren’t enough sizes available. Although if you’re a petite, you’ll be well served (0-2’s sizes by the bulk).

It could have been a mirage, but I swear some of those booties were at Michigan Avenue just two weeks prior (where they were already on sale).  Compound discount spotted!

Now, I don’t recall these shoe prices, but that usually means they weren’t impressive enough to stick ( the prices, the shoes were cute).

The verdict: Absolutely great outlet to find cool basics with Forever 21 prices. If you like to shop at the end of season you must stop by (I wish I had waited an extra week to get the same cardigan for half the money). A few statement pieces will make their way in here looking the same and weighing much less (on your pocket). Not ideal to spree at, but perfect for guilt-free impulse buys.  Pretend it just happened to be on your way to the drugstore.

Where? 2352 N Clark St (between Belden Ave and Fullerton Ave) Chicago, IL 60614


Art Effect

The best things in life come when you don’t expect them, and I was definitely not expecting Art Effect in my life. I had walked by it several times before but never walked in. That is, till my friend Megan suggested it as one of her favorites shops in the city

And boy was she right! This place is overloaded with, and only with, the cutest things for your desk, kitchen, ears, closet, you name it!

I usually describe in detail what a store look like and what they offer, but this time I’ll let the images do the talking (it’s too amazing for words)

Notice the frame wall. I can’t!
Although it’s not exactly a vintage boutique, the whole place has an antique/modern feel to it.

I felt at home saying hello to Brazilian flip-flops Havaianas (which means Hawaiians in portuguese, fyi)

Tangerine taking the lead. Aside from all the amazing home goods, they have an incredible selection of accessories and clothing that are out of this world adorable, for boutique prices, I may point out.

The verdict: This is not just a place to go shopping, it’s somewhere to get inspired and take some inspiration home, if you wish. It’s tough to select the strengths because there are so many, but here you’ll find a large variety of eye-wear, cute stationary, charming bookends, the coolest wrapping paper designs, earrings and necklaces (by the bunch), clever kitchen wear, and a perfectly chosen clothing assortment. In other words, heaven at Armitage.

Where? 934 W Armitage Ave (at Bissell St) Chicago, IL 60614 (in Lincoln Park)



If you live in Chicago, you know this name and that you may find more of these than any other fashion retailer in the city of Chicago.  Naturally, it was only a matter of weeks till I’d have to cut my credit card in half before setting foot in one of their many stores. I should have, but I didn’t. Closer to home, the Water Tower place store at Michigan avenue was my first pick.

Although this is a local store, it definitely doesn’t feel like one. First of all, it takes up just as much space as a big retailer would (large). Second, I was impressed by the amount of merchandise; racks and racks of potentially-mine garments.  But let’s be more specific.

You would not believe how many cocktail dresses of all colors and sorts. I’m talking about that dress you realize you don’t have just hours before that cool event. Well, they have it! And by peaking at the tags, I saw lots of $50, $70, $100. Not bad at all in case of an emergency.

The staff was friendly and offered to tour me around when I said it was my first time, which was nice because they had a huge sale going on and without the tour, it’d have been overwhelming. Although organized by color for the most part, the racks were a little too cramped. It reminded me of shopping at outlets in Florida (a memory I’d like to forget), and I don’t know about you, but for me, if it’s not Forever 21, a mess will turn me off real quick. But somehow, I got past that.

Some really cute and comfy cardigans were priced as low as 25 doletas. I had to stay away. One more of those and you could call me granny, all rights reserved.

They also have a large denim section to shop through, which I haven’t yet seen at another local shop. Another reminder Akira is something else.

Thumbs up for the accessories selection. My favorites were the belts, rings, and bracelets, but if you’re an oversized earring maniac, you’ll be well served.

Lastly, the picture wall is the strongest reminder this is a Chicagoan store.

The verdict: This is the place to find a cocktail dress that is cute, different and on a budget, especially if you’re running out of time. And if that’s the case, their large selection of accessories will help you complete the look. Their rings and bracelets are the cutest and the prices are good. If you’re visiting, it’s a nice change from the national shops you’ll be seeing at Michigan Avenue

IFB Conference Guide

To my fellow fashionistas out there:

Last week I attended the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference in NYC, and what a great experience that was. Roughly a week prior to the event, I came across Jessie’s post on Style and Pepper and became intrigued weather or not this would be a good opportunity to learn more about this new phenomenon known as professional blogging. Now I gladly know it was well worth the expense (oh boy) of flying out to NY last minute.

Bloggers from all over the map showed up for the event. Someone flew all the way from from down under (aka Australia). Crazy but so cool. In case you didn’t show your pretty-blogger face at Milk Studios, but perhaps are planning on attending the next event, here are the things I found useful knowing:

Grab some business cards before going out the door. Only one out of many bloggers I met that day didn’t have a business card handy. And when nearly everyone is prepared, that somehow doesn’t look so great. In a room packed with hundreds of people trying to strive in the fashion blogging industry, this is one of the ways you can stand out and show your personality. Don’t have one yet? Three words (minus the slash): Microsoft Word/Kinko’s. Oh and keep it on you at all times. You never know who you’ll meet when when.

Bring a jacket. The doors opened around 30 minutes after scheduled time while a generous line of fashion-savy girls formed under the cold New York weather. There is no coat check (or at least there wasn’t this time) but you should be fine hanging your outwear over your seat.

Arrive early. Consequently, sit just a short row away from Bryan-Boy (or other massively-known it bloggers). And if you plan on reporting the event on your own blog, this is crucial for good photo ops.

Explore your surroundings. Forget sniffing around the gift bag for a sec and say hello to whoever just sat next to you. Before the first panel starts, take the time to walk around and get familiar with the boots. J Brand, for example had a styling area where you could play around with their collection and all. Get your pictures taken then (it’ll get crazier later).

Give and receive business cards. It’s so easy to obsess 0ver showing and passing along your stylish, I-love-it-so-much business card and forget to collect your peers’. Remember that if you have their information, you can follow-up and control the situation yourself rather then anxiously wait for an email that might never come. One of the most important things about attending this conference to me was the networking opportunity and exchanging cards makes the process easy from the beginning.

Take notes. As many as you can, seriously. My iPad turned into a real life-saver when I was able to record the panels I found the most informative (practically all of it). You’ll be presented with loads of information. I don’t care how great of a memory you’ve got, you’ll walk out of there remembering about half of what you’ve heard. Wait to go to the bathroom during breaks (you don’t wanna miss crucial information in exchange for bathroom relief, no no).

Missed breakfast? Not to worry. They provided us with a generous complimentary lunch that included three different sorts of sandwiches, cookies (so yummy too), chips, energy drinks, vitamin waters, hot cocoa and so on. If you’re on a special diet, I’d bring food and use the long lunch break to do some more networking instead of running out to get something.

Talk to the pros. Even though a lot of these folks are pretty accessible on twitter, when was the last time you had the chance to have a face-to-face chat with a DKNY PR Girl girl and get a flattening complement from Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere? (She liked the Valentine’s Day inspired nails). No, they’re not celebrities, but panelists are there to share their success story with you. Perhaps by approaching them directly you can get  more specific feedback on your ideas and your blog. Don’t chase them down (that would be weird, right?) but if you happened to bump into someone you know, can give you valuable feedback, don’t hesitate to start up a conversation before they speak that day. This way you’ll beat the line of enthusiasts that will form along the stage after the panel is over.

Come to the party afterwards. Alright, I have to admit this wasn’t the most comfortable situation for me. I walked in totally solo. The room was already filled with plenty of beautifully dressed people who had also attended the conference that day, none of which I had met (dang it!). I guess my folks weren’t the party type. It was super intimidating to walk up to people when everyone seemed to be happy in their little circles. But still, I’m glad I went. I think the biggest benefit of being there was strengthening connections I made earlier that day and most importantly, getting to know those people a little more and realizing that it could be the start of a potential friendship.



When I left home to stroll around Wicker Park, I didn’t expect to make any major discoveries. True, vintage shops, hippie bookstores, cozy restaurants all line Milwaukee Ave, but of all the places I’ve visited, Eskell was the most flirtatious.

I have no idea what the word Eskell means but wonder if it has anything to do with the hanging bicycle in the window display (and the reason why I walked in there at the first place). Very Alice in the rabbit hole, I know. But I’m glad I did. The second thing to catch my eye was the frame wall where various photos of bicycles and their owners hung. Super cool. The whole place has this whimsical feel and I could tell so much thought was put in every little decorative object.

The girls at the store were extremely nice and helpful. I mean, really nice. Ready to help if I had a question but also respectful to let me browse independently. It felt like the whole store was my giant dressing room.

Everything was put together and neatly organized. Yes, the candles smell even better than they look.

Look at the vintage sun-glasses collection, my favorite corner (shocker) and if I can remember right, they run under $20 a pair.

No questions I’m coming back sometime soon to snatch a couple of vintage belts and a few other things.

The verdict: This is a place I’d like to shop at again, especially if I was looking for something different.  Vintage sunglasses, belts, maybe a few clothing items (their own collection is actually very cute) and the best deal of all: a relaxed atmosphere paired with attentive customer service.

Where? 1509 N Millwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622. In Wicker Park