Mad Crushin’ On Hansel From Basel and Giveaway!

You’ve probably seen their kneepad stockings if you don’t have them in your tights drawer already (you do have a tights drawer, don’t you?) But if for some reason you haven’t heard about Hansel From Basel, don’t fret, because today we are Mad Crushin’ On Hannah Byun, the lovely lady holding the reins at this Los Angeles-based hosiery company that got its start in 2007. Hannah, who studied art history and studio art at UCLA, is both Hansel From Basel’s founder as well as the talent behind their whimsical designs. Not only will we get to learn about her inspirations and obsessions, but we are also giving away one of Hansel From Basel’s adorable accessories! Make sure you read about that at the end of the post!

What inspired you to start Hansel From Basel?

I always wanted to design, and knew how to make socks because I came from a family of sock makers and was the most immediate thing I could create and design. I came up with the name Hansel from Basel as a nickname for myself, kind of like my alter ego.  It was Hansel, and I was obsessed with all things Swiss when I was little and Basel, being in Switzerland, was a perfect fit.

What other artists, clothing designers or otherwise, do you admire?

Artists: Cy Twombly, Egon Schiele, Carravaggio.
Clothing designers: Miuccia Prada, Dries van Noten, Rachel Comey.

The amazing Hannah Byun!

If you could describe your personal style as the love child of two people, who would they be?

If Annie Hall was a man and married Jane Birkin, that’s the love child of personal style I would be.

What are your wardrobe staples for the summer?

Rachel Comey dresses. I just got their lovely carrot pants that are perfect for the summer!  And my linen overalls.

If you could jump into a time-traveling DeLorean a la Back to the Future, what era would you go back to and why?

I would go back to 1920′s in Paris! A super inspiring and timeless city.  I think one of the most artistic periods of the 20th century.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I always loved Amélie, Orlando, L’Avventura.

Have any of them inspired the Hansel From Basel aesthetic?

All the movies are so tasteful and we try to make the line just as tasteful and artistically a bit odd to standout.

Can you give us your five current obsessions?

The smell of geraniums, my Saveur bread magazine that I read very slowly, home decor, Penny (the HFB office dog), Klaus (friend’s red lion-haired bunny.)

Penny and Klaus the bunny!

Do you collect anything?

When I can find them, Danish wooden shoe polishers (not an easy random find) and lipstick. Shu Uemura is my favorite.

What’s next for Hansel From Basel?

We are launching our first kids line!  Hansel From Basel Kids.  We are so excited!  There will be cute little socks and tights for the little ones and it’s coming out for Fall/Winter 2012!

And now for the giveaway! One lucky PAL OF AL will win this cute polka dot envelope clutch!

Just leave a comment and if you’d like, mention your favorite Hansel From Basel item! Comments will be closed on Thursday at midnight and I will choose a winner randomly on Friday! Good luck!

EDIT: THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN! LUCKY NUMBA SEVEN: CRISSY!!! Congratulations on your Hansel From Basel polkadot clutch! Email me at marie [at]!

May 14, 2012   18 Comments

It’s In The Trees

WEYL HALLOW. I just got back from an extremely relaxing vacation in beautiful Big Sur. It was RULL NICE to be far, far away from traffic, my inbox, and the doldrums and demands of everyday life. I recommend you do this sort of vacation too. ‘Twas a nice reboot. Anyway, in between all the cooking, eating, drinking of wine (almost 20 bottles), hiking, and moonbathing I was able to squeeze in a couple of quick photo sessions in the woods. As we all know I loves to dress in theme, so I figured Loulou’s daisy crown and this vintage sundress I got from Shabon would be perfect for my ethereal earth princess look. Please listen to Kate Bush while you look at these pics…

♥ daisy crown: Loulou Loves You
♥ dress: vintage, Shabon
♥ sandals: JCPenney

May 11, 2012   9 Comments

Stripes and Seashells

Hello Dreamlovers. Let me introduce you to my new favorite outfit. I feel like a waitress from Earth Girls Are Easy! The dress is Betsey Johnson, and I have to say, ever since I heard about her company’s bankruptcy last week, when I type out her name I get an ache in my guts. She’s always been my #1 favorite designer and such an inspiring woman in general so I can’t help but feel sad! I will admit, when Steve Madden bought her out a couple of years ago, I was scared it was a foreshadowing of things to come. It’s unfortunate that most of  her stores are closing because I loved visiting them in whatever city I was in and meeting her employees, many of whom shared that same sassy energy Betsey gives out to the world. I even have a great memory of randomly having drinks with one of the New York stores’ managers after bonding over a pair of Pollys I was wearing. Betsey is such a badass woman, I don’t think this is the end all be all of her brand.  I’m very excited about the reality show she’s doing with her daughter!

I have been lurking and loving this gold seashell purse forever so I almost fainted when my boo Samantha gave it to me. And then I fainted again and floated out of my body when I found out it was a Zandra Rhodes design! I also think I have found the perfect shade of red nail polish. OF COURSE IT WOULD BE KARDASHIAN KOLORS….

I found this vintage wire name brooch on eBay a while ago and thought it would look PERF on this dress.

♥ Dress: Betsey Johnson
♥ Bow: Cutie Dynamite
♥ Purse: Zandra Rhodes
♥ Vintage Name Brooch: eBay
♥ Ring: my Grandma’s
♥  Zodiac cuff bracelet: Nasty Gal

May 1, 2012   8 Comments

Cutie Dynamite Giveaway!

If you have the Monday blues, c’mon ova here because I have something that will cheer you up….a Cutie Dynamite giveaway! I have been a big fan of the Cutie Dynamite jewelry and accessory line forever so it was only natural to pair up with Andrea to give my lovely LOVELIES (you guys) a chance to win this Double Ruffled Heart Hair Clip!

All you have to do is leave a comment below! You can mention what outfit you would wear with the hair clip or let me know what other Cutie Dynamite accessories you love! Deadline is Thursday at midnight and the winner will be chosen (via on Friday! Don’t forget to like Cutie Dynamite on Facebook to stay up to date with all of their fabulous accessories!

EDIT: THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN! # 19 Stephanie Leibowitz YOU ARE THEE ONE! ~woo hoo~ POP CHAMPAGNE~~~~~ Email me at with your addy to get your Cutie Dynamite hair clip!

April 30, 2012   36 Comments

Sun In Libra

When I saw that Loulou was making daisy crowns I HAD to get one! She also made me a cute collar as a belated birthday present. MY BOO SHE SO SCHWEET. It says LIBRA on it. (!!!!!) Obviously I wanted to wear everything all at once so I put together this outfit during some recent girl-time with Emi and Sam. The skirt is from I Heart Ronson and it’s one of those that tricks me. It looks OK at first…then a couple jaunts down the street and my cheeks are hanging out. The skirt can’t help it. I have a badunk that makes everything I wear business in the front, bomba party in the back. I ended up having to change into a vintage dress I bought at Shabon in order to survive the rest of the day.

I love this purse. It belonged to my grandmother, Marie Sr. With all due respect to my gramz, this bag is actually kinda shitty! It’s poorly made, but I love it so much! So if I have to keep getting it fixed at the cobbler I WILL!

Here I am trying on Sam’s Miu Miu’s! I LOVE the glitter but I wish they also came in a HUGE cat eye!  I also got some acorn earrings from Pygmy Hippo. I am basically wearing all of my friends’ everythangs in this picture. kisses~~~

April 27, 2012   6 Comments

90′s Style Icons: Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead

ALRIGHT. Watch yourself. I don’t want anyone to fart from the excitement that I am FINALLY offering my magical commentary and thoughtful analysis on one of the best movies from my youth…Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead starring Kelly Bundy aka the Christina Applegate of our eye!!!

We first meet Sue Ellen and her familia. Yes, “Sue Ellen” is a very Little House On The Prairie-sounding name but she is a COOL TEEN who likes to hang out with her friends, go shopping and dabble in a bit of the ol’ fashion design.

Ok, why didn’t any of my friends have convertibles when I was in high school? They’ve always looked so glamorous and fun, and so ~California~. I always seem to get cars with sunroofs. Perhaps that was my subconscious giving me a low-budget alternative. I’m sure the reality of a convertible probably isn’t as exciting. Bugs in your teeth, hair forever tangled, jacked up sunburns. Sigh.

Sue Ell’s mom is going to Australia for two months, leaving her five children behind. Excuse me, but WHAT? Do people do this IRL? I obviously ain’t nobody’s momma yet, but I am still about to call child protection services on dis B! She leavin’ her kids for that long so she can what, get some Cockadong Dundee in the wetlands of Australia??? What’s going on here. Okay, let me calm down. Back to the story at hand. So, mom hires a STRANGER to watch her house and chillunz while she is away. This old lady:

Sorry, but if I saw this chupacabra at my door, I would jump right into my velcro Pro-wings and RUN LIKE HELL. Haven’t you seen Poltergeist?


As we all expected, the babysitter turns out to be a demon woman! Then she dies….(from a heart attack, nobody killed her FYI)

After covering her with my old raver pants, aka a California Raisins bedsheet, the kids take the cryptkeeper’s body to the morgue. Problem? These muthas forgot to check the old hag for the CASH MONEYS their mom had left for them before (anonymously) dropping off the body..


Sidenote: my #1 favorite character in the film is their pet corgi, Elvis. In this scene he says “huh?” in dog talk. I rewinded it three times.

They were watching the vintage version of Draw Something. I know you are all wondering if a girl like me has ever engaged in some Draw Something and I did, for two whole days. For me, that was impressive. Of course not as impressive as the unnamed friend of mine whose highest amount of active games was with 42 people.

I also love Keith Coogan as the metalhead-turned-gourmet chef brother.

Meanwhile..Sue Ellen has to make some cash to put food on the table! So after a failed stint at a chili dog joint (where she meets a HUNKY HUNK) she focuses her efforts on something of more interest to her personally…..FASHION.

I had to screencap the résumé Sue Ellen cooked up. Fake it ’til ya make it, girl!

She isn’t greeted very warmly by the Devil Wears Prada-esque receptionist.

Especially since Sue Ellen gets the job as Executive Assistant! I love her boss…I’m right on top of that, Rose!


I still have major bang pangs for Agent Mulder. He plays a chismoso here.

Eventually the world’s greatest fashion show happened:

And NOW let us discuss how stylish Sue Ellen is throughout the film. Look at them silver stax!

I am really into this red floral jumpsuit (?) and green Docs situation. A couple years after this movie came out I really wanted a pair of Docs but my shoes were always ‘Payless special.’ How stoked was I to find imitation maroon docs at Kmart!? (I also got imitation Birkenstocks that I wore with socks FYI.) In high school I finally got legit Doc Martens. But fuck they made my feet look huge. I swear they look ok on everyone else but they look like dude Lugz on my feet. WHY? Is it ME? Is it my EYES? Anyway.

Man, I still have to finish watching Friday Night Lights! Someday I’ll come back to it. Also, Jules datchu?

Why am I really obsessed with this GIANT WITCH’S SHOE BELT BUCKLE? I think it would have went great with my Flygirl/Selenas costume, don’t you?

I pretty much want to screencap all of her brother’s bedroom.


You are correct. This shot of her Docs and a Mama Celeste pizza is the most inspiring photo of my 2012 so far.

April 26, 2012   22 Comments

Supa Supa Fly

A couple of weeks ago I asked the boo boos on Twitter if I should dress up as an In Living Color Fly Girl or one of our beloved Spice Girls for my friends’ 90′s-themed party. The vote was UNANIMOUS…just about EVERYONE in the world wanted to see me parade around in some booty shorts and a Cross Colours crop top rather than squeeze into a pair of J-Camps Hollywood Blvd stripper shoe knockoffs. As much as I wanted to wear Union Jack pasties under a Union Jack Bra with a Union Jack skirt, how could I fight it? After all, ’twas a Young Rie’s dream to be a Fly Girl….

I KNOW Selenas popped into your head right now. I mean it could really go either way, but I studied the above video and some other In Living Color footage to get the exact copy of one of their many diverse looks down pat. I think it was pretty good for pulling it all together on the same day. Queen of themes, datchu?

Luckily I had most of these items already. The bra is from pre-Forever 21 ban and I got some of these SHAWTS from Target. I was bummed because I couldn’t find any decent knee pads anywhere. I wish I still had the ones that I actually had used for my own Fly Girl- esque dance performance over a decade ago. I think we danced for  some Mya soundtrack song. Either Bulworth or Rugrats. WHO KNOWS.  The final touch was obviously this hat.

Are you guys excited about the new In Living Color reboot? You know I hate remakes but I am curious. Howevz, THIS video of the Fly Girl auditions gets me rullllll pumped!

April 23, 2012   28 Comments

Marie Matryoshka

A few months ago,  I got a sweet email from a gal named Irene, asking if I’d like a set of Russian nesting dolls made in my likeness.  SAY WHAAAAT!?  I lurked her blog immediately and freaked out over these matryoshkas of Bjork, Santa Sangre, Small Wonder, The Addams Family and even Ab Fab! Bo Bo Babushka is the brainchild of Irene, an incredibly talented artist living in Australia. She makes these wooden nesting dolls in every theme/movie/TV show you can imagine so make sure you spend some time lurking it all too. She can do custom ones as well so if you want dolls of you, your family or even one of…Full House! OMG STAYMOIST HAVE MERRRRCY!!!!! Shoot Irene a note!

NOW…Let’s take a closer look at the dolls she made of ME!!!!

This was my Halloween costume from last year when I went as PIZZA! I love how she made PIZZA the main doll and included every detail, from my mini Totino’s necklace to the little DiGiorno clutch purse I carried around.

This doll was based on one of my favorite ~casual outfits~: Emi’s childhood NKOTB concert tee that she handed down to me, my trusty Levi’s jacket and this miniskirt from Target I likes to throw on. I’m telling you, Irene’s attention to detail is so MUTHA FUCKIN’ SLICK. She even painted the Wu-Tang badge I wear on my jacket, along with the Kate Bush-themed tote from Fieldguided that my friend Melissa got for me.

I wore this outfit to see John Waters do his standup for his amazing book Role Models last year. You might remember Emi made this hat for me a couple of Christmases ago. I can’t believe how great of a job Irene did replicating it as a miniature version!

I love how she had the dolls mimicking some of my facial expressions like this picture! This was the outfit I wore when I went to the American Horror Story house for the first time (I’ve been twice since..)

Had to do one of my classics- a red and blue schoolgirl look with a thrifted dress, Rococo Nouveau collarette and a Cutie Dynamite hair clip!

This outfit is OLD SCHOOL. I still love that vintage dress but those Rodarte for Target tights are all busted by now! Ha!

Irene saved the best for last. DAS RIGHT IT’S CORN!!!!!!!! When I opened the last doll and saw CORN looking at me I couldn’t stop giggling. Love you Irene! Thank you SO MUCH!

April 20, 2012   26 Comments

Brunch Bunch

I had brunch at BLD with a bunch of LOVELY LADIES last weekend. It was followed by The Hunger Games which I loved even though I wanted more Gale, more Cinna, more blood n’ gore, more EVERYTHING. But I had a huge headache and was nauseous from sniffing some strong perfume beforehand and probs because of my purriod so I spent the entire duration of the film in complete hell. Sucks balls! I NEED A REWATCH! Anyway, the brunch gang included Vanessa, Emi, Samantha and Gabby! Everyone is so cute!

I wore: a top by Charlotte Ronson for JCPenney, Urban Outfitter shoes, We Love Colors tights, Rococonouveau collarette, and a vintage purse.

Where my Hunger Games fans at? Like they say…the movie is almost never as good as the book, but I thought the did a pretty good job for tweaking it to PG-13. So many people got beef with Peeta but I think he’s cute! And hunky Lenny Kravs with his gold eyeliner. DELIMSHIS. Thoughts?

March 29, 2012   12 Comments

Mad Crushin’ On Francesca Lia Block


When I first discovered Francesca Lia Block’s work, I was fourteen- the age where I really started to discover my own personal style and interests…and began to worry a little bit less about being ‘weird.’ I remember I was in the school library when I randomly came across Weetzie Bat,  the first installment of FLB’s popular Dangerous Angels series, about a girl named Weetzie, her two gay best friends Duck and Dirk, and her Secret Agent Lover Man living in a dreamlike Shangri-LA. Its pages were filled with magical, glittering imagery, vivid characters and beautiful sentences that could be sung like songs: “He kissed me. A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven’t eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs.” This is what a daydreamin’, teenage girl wanted to read you know? Sitting in that library, I never could have imagined that years later this book would still have such an effect on me, to the point where the name of my blog was inspired by one of her characters. Without further ado, I present to you my interview with the wonderful Francesca Lia Block!

You recently collaborated with clothing company Wildfox Couture. Can you tell us more about that and how it came about?

I have always wanted to do a clothing line. When I was a little girl I salivated over European Vogue magazines and drew sketches for designs. I always play dress up with my characters in my books as well. Kim and Emily of Wildfox told me I had inspired them when they started their line and we became friends. They also sponsored our screenplay reading of Weetzie Bat at Book Soup in August 2010. We decided to do a mini collection, based on a short story I wrote for them online, about Ella, a pink-haired fairy girl, Cherie, a free-spirited French gypsy and a blond witch named Dahlia. I am so in love with these clothes. This is really a dream come true. I love Wildfox.

A friend of mine recently discovered old ‘zines from a Jayne Mansfield fan club that would meet in Hollywood in the 80′s. It reminded me of my favorite part of Weetzie Bat, with Vixanne’s coven of Jayne groupies. Being a fan of Jayne myself, I’ve always been curious- what inspired that particular scene in the book?

It was that fan club! My friend and I went to a meeting. It was strange, very cult-like. It inspired that part of Weetzie. I’m glad your friend found the zines because sometimes I think I hallucinated the whole thing!

Why do you think Weetzie has become an influential icon for girls over the years?

To be honest, I am surprised at how enduring she is. I guess because she is loving and sweet and vulnerable but also not afraid to be herself. Plus she has mad style sense. :) Weetzie <3s Wildfox.

If Weetzie was a teen girl in today’s social media-powered world, what would she be doing? Would she be a Tumblr punk? A fashion blogger?

She’d do it all but then she’d get mad and shut down the computer and make cookies and collages. Then she’d take pictures of them and post them and the cycle would begin again…

How do you stay positive when facing obstacles that are out of your control like what is going on with Bank of America and your home?

Taking care of my children really grounds me and keeps me sane. Also, the support of my friends, running, yoga, meditation and always writing!

You are such an inspirational role model to so many women, who are some ladies you admire?

Thank you! Many of them had tragic lives–Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Frida Kahlo. I admire that they produced so much beauty in spite of (or maybe because of?) the pain they suffered.

What are some of your current obsessions?

As of today? Cinna played by Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games, my Wildfox hoodie that says “Sleep Under the Stars” worn under a leather jacket, my pale pink Wildfox sweatshirt that says PUNK in black, white jeans, my silver Nike Air Force Ones, Iggy Pop’s high school yearbook photo, Butter non-toxic nail polish in gold glitter, changelings.
 Every day: my kids, my dog, my friends, my house, poetry, fiction, film, music, faeries.

Do you collect anything?

Does dust count? No, seriously, I guess cute shoes that don’t hurt, although I don’t mean to, Wildfox T-shirts, little goddess statues.

Have you ever had a supernatural experience?

Yes. The white horse I mention in ECHO. That really happened to me after my dad died. There was another incident with a note from my dad that literally blew into my hands in the desert years after his death. I slept in a haunted house once.

Do you think you will ever write an autobiography about your magical life?

I would like to ,yes, if there is ever interest?

Since you are an LA native I’d love to know – What are some of your favorite lesser-known places in LA?

I have an app on here that tells you everything!

Can you tell us a bit about what you are working on right now?

Well, Pink Smog the Weetzie prequel and Love Magick, an e-book anthology I edited just came out. I am awaiting the arrival of my adult psychological faerie thriller The Elementals from St. Martin’s Press in October and working on Love In The Time of Global Warming, an apocalyptic Odyssey with a female lead.

♥ ♥ ♥

Keep up with Francesca Lia Block on her website, her blog and help support the efforts to save her home at Save Francesca’s Faerie Cottage.

March 26, 2012   11 Comments