An ongoing love affaire with all things fashionable, tasty and fun

Posts tagged “audrey hepburn

Shenanigans

As I’m sure you’ve already picked up, I’m a big fan of Fall in general and Halloween in particular {Fall Fabulousness, All Hallow’s Eve & October Round-Up}. This year I was lucky enough to attend two fabulous Halloween parties in Sacramento as well as act as American River CrossFit’s team photograph for CrossFit West Sac’s charity Breast Cancer competition.

This year I was excited to dress up twice, the first time as Wendy from Peter Pan in a vintage yellow nightgown and the second time as The Black Dahlia in a fabulous little black dress that my friend made.

But don’t worry, I’m not the only one who dressed up for Halloween this year. Bones dressed up as a CHICKEN! Again. Clearly it’s his favorite costume, doesn’t he look enthusiastic?

{Mammograms In Action – Barbells For Boobs}

And the day before Halloween I watched the exciting Barbells For Boobs charity CrossFit competition which included every shade of pink known to man and even Jessica Rabbit in a stunning red gown.

How was your Halloween? What did you dress up as? What was the best costume that you saw?


All Hallow’s Eve

As October progresses the  reminders that it’s  holiday season are everywhere – Store decorations, TV commercials, sale annoucements, magazine advertisements… Luckily for me the holiday season begins with my favorite holiday, because as much as I adore candy canes and the scent of evergreen, I’m a Halloween girl.

You get to be a kid for a day – Candy, costumes, pranks, parties, and a general feeling of nostalgia and excitement – What’s not to love?

When it comes to costumes I’ll always choose innovative & novel over skin-baring. In recent years I’ve been Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Cleopatra, a Venetian Carnival reveller, and Twiggy. I’ve seen so many creative costumes over the years that I’m at a loss for why you’d want to pick a cookie-cutter one when you could put a little effort in and end up with something one-of-a-kind that you absolutely love.

So with that in mind here are some fun links to get your creative juices flowing for this year’s costume!

The Man Repeller’s For Halloween – Her fun suggestions include: Steve Jobs, Rupaul, Frida Kahlo, Margot Tenenbaum, Larry David & Richard Harrow.

If you’re in the mood for a fashion-forward costume check out Fashionologie’s Fashion in Costume: A Look Back at Halloweens Past for great inspiration from models, fashion designers, and couture collections.

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Are you a movie lover? Check out Refinery 29’s 5 Big-Screen Halloween Costumes That Are Total Oscar Winners! I love these kinds of costumes since they’re always a little open to interpretation and this post includes gems like Liv Tyler’s character in Empire Records, Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra, Daisy from The Great Gatsby – The original or the upcoming remake – The Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland, and Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s The Birds.

If you’re not interested in spending a fortune on your costume, want to find something wholly unique, or even if want a costume made up of pieces that you can wear again, heading to a vintage shop is a great option. Fun ideas from Refinery 29’s How To Thirft 6 Super-Easy Halloween Costumes include Martha Stewart, fisherman from The Deadliest Catch, and The Rockettes.

Doing your makeup for Halloween can be one of the most fun parts of getting ready. Whether you’re recreating Cleopatra’s famous exotic kohl-lined eyes, adding oozing sores & blood for a Walking Dead-inspired get up, or whiting your face out so you can be a Vampire or mime. The Glamourai put together fabulous tutorials to help you perfect the makeup for your costumes – Everything from the wide-eyed look of the 60’s to the glamorous white-faced Geishas to Bogie-inspired detectives – { DIY } Halloween Beauty Ideas, { Behind The Scenes } Spooktacular Beauty & { Ghoul’s Night Out }.

As for my costume this year I wanted to be the Mad Hatter… But the costume I ordered didn’t fit. Either of them. 😦

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But with a last-minute party scheduled for this evening in Sacramento and no costume planned yet I’ll be giving you hints and sneak peeks of my shopping & planning all day today… So be sure to keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram for updates!

Have you picked your Halloween costume yet? What’s the most creative costume that you’ve ever worn?


Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013

J’adore Paris!

There is no city quite like Paris and no fashion is quite like Parisian fashion. I adore many cultures and cities and designers, but there’s just something about Paris that you can’t forget.

Valentino:

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have consistently created lovely collections since taking over from Mr. Valentino himself – Lots of dresses, fabulous splashes of classic Valentino red, and red carpet ready gowns.

Leather, velvet, silk, chiffon, lace, satin, and eyelet all made their way down the runway – Along with the occasion statement coat and jumpsuit. My favorite look was the gold brocade coat-dress that Hanne Gaby Odiele wore down the catwalk – Tres chic!

Chanel:

The Chanel show is always a dramatic, eclectic spectacle and this season was no different with solar panels, turbines, and wind farm-like backdrops.

This collection included everything from hula hoop handbags, stark black & white, youthful polka dots, bright jewel tones, traditional florals, 80’s style fingerless gloves, denim, rompers, suits, wide-brimmed hats, and strappy wedges. I especially liked the chunky pearl bracelets & necklaces, the polka-dotted strapless dress, and the cute Dorothy-inspired blue & white gingham.

Alexander McQueen:

The McQueen show is always something to look forward to with eye-catching, one-of-a-kind makeup, backgrounds, clothing, and accessories. No other designer can come close to the types of shows that Lee McQueen – And now Sarah Burton – Put on.

This season’s collection had an S&M beekeeper type of vibe with safari-style netting covered hats, bustiers, thigh-high stockings, harnesses & corsets, bustles, wide belts, and bee, wasp, and honeycomb prints. Excessive, rich, over-the-top, and utterly stunning.

Miu Miu:

Denim, interesting fabrics & textures, moody prints, and a mixture of silhouettes and lengths all gave the Miu Miu collection a fun but grown-up feel.

I love classic workwear style pieces so this collection was right up my alley. I adored the pencil skirts and sleek sheath dresses, and the retro vibe was to die for with killer furs, boat neck tops, visible pin-up inspired bustiers, leather gloves, slim pocketbooks, and long, demure jackets. J’adore!

Lanvin:

“Deconstructed classicism” was the theme and it came to life in sleek separates and dresses done up in black & white, bold, vibrant jewel tones, and silky neutrals.

The collection was sleek and sexy, the pieces modern and wearable. The embellished prints were quite eye-catching but the sleek pieces in navy, black & white stole the show in my opinion. All of the looks above are amazing – I would wear them anytime, anywhere!

Yves Saint Laurent:

New name – Saint Laurent – retro vibe. The 70’s were back at YSL with leather, suede, fringe, wide-brimmed hats, and maxi lengths all evoking classic Yves.

The details of this collection were what caught my attention – The slim, cropped pants, the white piping on blazers, the patent t-trap heels, oversized bows at the neck, and opera-length gloves. I especially liked the pants looks and shimmering, two-toned caplet was the piece at the top of my Must Have list!

Givenchy:

While the theme may have been the same, Riccardo Tisci’s sedated and minimal interpretation of Catholicism was a far cry from the extravagant opulence of the Fall 2012 Dolce & Gabbana show at Milan Fashion Week.

The pieces may have been stark – Done up in mostly black & white with severe cuts – But they were still dramatic and eye-catching. I adored the black & white frocks, the flattering tunic-vests, the subtle ruffles, and the thick metallic chokers.

Stella McCartney:

The Stella show was bold in both color and silhouette – Her usual oversized, boy-meets-girl style got spiced up with wrap dresses, jumpsuits, and racerback tops.

The suits and the minimalistic pieces are always my favorite – Though the patchwork prints and cheerleader skirts last season proved that she’s got more up her sleeve. The safari-style tops were cute and versatile and the green she showed was right up my alley!

Louis Vuitton:

The LV collection was awash in checkered patterns, bright hues, and in a fun change of pace Mr. Jacobs had all of his models strut their stuff down the runway in pairs.

The mod feeling to the show was modernized by the eye-catching prints. The accessories were cute but minimally applied – Bow adorned headbands, checkered flats, and small patterned daybags. Fun, flirty, and oh-so-wearable. Just what Marc Jacobs does best!

Chloe:

The Chloe collection was primarily black and white with some splashes of burnt orange and fleshy pink throw in for good measure. Very French. Very feminine. Very Sweet.

The silhouettes ranged from oversized and exaggerated to romantic and womanly. While the colors, fabrics, and prints ran the gamut from black & white velvet to salmon stripes to sheer purple ruffles.

Balmain:

The Balmain collection brought to mind the 90’s with power suits, big shoulders, loud prints, thick belts, and plunging necklines. All with a Parisian, Balmain spin on them.

Stripes & checkers, bold yellow, oversized hoop earrings, metallic accessories, midriff baring tops, denim, and oversized blazers all had me checking the models faces to see if Cindy, Linda, Naomi, or Christy were there.

Christian Dior:

Raf’s debut collection for Dior was full of dichotomies – Stark but romantic, minimal but dramatic. He played with colors, prints, lengths, and silhouettes while still presenting a very Dior collection.

The suits and coat-dresses were my favorite, they came in different cuts and lengths, but were utterly chic and utterly timeless. The kinds of pieces that you invest in and wear for the rest of your life.

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Paris Fashion Week Collections: Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012, Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 Part I, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II, and Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and the Tectonic Shifts of the Paris Fashion Establishment from Business Of Fashion, FabSugar’s Paris Fashion Week Diary, Precious Details from The Man Repeller, and Derek Blasberg’s A Photo Diary From Paris Fashion Week.

Which Paris Fashion Week show was your favorite? Do you like the classic, Paris Fashion Week institutions like Chanel and Valentino best or newer, more modern houses like Chloe and Alexander McQueen?


Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013

I adore the designers who show at Milan Fashion Week – The clothes are inevitably dramatic, womanly, and sexy sexy sexy. This season was no exception, the collections shown were color, extravagant, and downright spectacular.

Versace:

The Versace woman is never afraid to show some skin and this Spring she’ll really be putting her fabulous figure on display in an assortment of mini skirts, dresses, and shorts in mesh, nude lace, and sheer fabrics.

Low slung belts, studded cross-body bags, midriff baring tops, and knee-high gladiator sandal-boot hybrids were the accessories de jour, all in blacks, nudes, and vibrant Spring colors. I especially liked the sleeveless shift dresses and the studded belts which added a dash of rock n’ roll to the looks.

Salvatore Ferragamo:

Leather and skins were highly featured at the Ferragamo show, and while other designers showed flowy silhouettes, bright colors, and prints & florals, Ferragamo was structured and tailored.

The black, white & nude collection included fabulous outerwear, slim pants, lacing, metallics, lace, mesh fabrics, snake-skin, boots, and studs, buckles & grommets.

Alberta Ferretti:

Delicate. Ladylike. Romantic. Those are all words that I usually associate with Alberta Ferretti and this Spring collection is no different. I might even add dreamy this season.

Between the beading, shimmering, feathers, lace, and wet-looking slinky fabrics this collection was a treat for the senses, you wanted to reach out and touch all the aquatic-inspired designs!

Prada:

‘Dramatic’ and ‘florals’ may not seem like they are two concepts that go together, but at Prada the dark, moody hues made the Japanese-inspired florals really pop.

From red poppies to black & white dandelion silhouettes, these florals were modern and dramatic rather than your usual hippie-inspired, Spring-appropriate florals.

Fendi:

Printed and colorblocked separates, dresses, and outerwear marched down the Fendi runway in colors from black & white to yellow, brown, and blue.

While there were a few solid-colored frocks among the looks sent down the catwalk, it was the dramatic and eye-catching futuristic prints that really caught my eye. The exaggerated silhouettes and interesting draping, folding, and tailoring were also outstanding.

Moschino:

The Moschino collection was absolutely killer! I’m a huge fan of mod-inspired looks and this collection was all about the 60’s – From amazingly flattering black & white pieces to swoon-worthy brightly colored prints & stripes.

The dramatic, embellished silver sandals, the retro hats, oversized sunnies, shift dresses, and chic, colorful jumpsuits & rompers with contrasting colored piping were all totally wearable. The separates and dresses had a great retro vibe but were still totally wearable for a modern girl if styled right!

Dolce & Gabbana:

Bright, fun & kitschy – Just the way we like it!

The old school Italian themed show was full of fun colors, extravagant prints, stripes, oversized earrings, scarves, and the classic, retro silhouettes that the pair do so well. It was interesting, eye-catching, and wearable.

Roberto Cavalli:

This primarily black & white collection included hints of pink, green, and orange among the dreamy crystal, gem, and jewel-encrusted dresses, gowns, and slim suits.

From delicate lace, mesh, and sheer fabrics in crisp white to abstract florals in palest pastels to dramatic beaded pieces in black. Slinky, sexy, and dramatic – These designs were simultaneously powerful and delicate, a feat few designers can manage.

Marni:

Though there were bold patterns featured in the Marni collection, there were also great white, and solid colored separates and dresses, all in the preferred, exaggerated silhouette of Consuelo Castiglioni.

Wooden brooches and ankle-strap platform sandals were also featured, both adding a down-to-earth feel to the collection. What I liked best were the cocoon -haped coats in bright prints and the peplum adorned dresses.

Gucci:

Think PINK! The Gucci show opened with a handful of bright pink looks, followed by blue, green, and yellow before the final black & white evening looks.

Brilliant colors, retro 70’s styles, and flattering, womanly silhouettes. The collection was dramatic and eye-catching while still being fun and wearable. The whole affaire was bold and sexy, one of my favorite collections!

MaxMara:

The relaxed, Out of Africa style collection from MaxMara showcased slouchy knits, shirt dresses, safari inspired outerwear, and a host of somber colored prints, plaids, and stripes.

They delivered a collection of easy, low-key separates that could easily be paired together or mixed n’ matched with other pieces that you already have in your wardrobe.

Giorgio Armani:

This collection was all about shimmering, shiny, science fiction-inspired fabrics, textures, and colors. Silvery blue-grays, tie-dye inspired aquas, and sparkling navy were all heavily featured.

The flowy, somewhat exaggerated silhouettes were universally flattering and the chic, simple sandals were pure Armani. I always love Giorgio’s habit of sending two girls at a time down the runway, such a fun way to space things!

Versus:

This was a fun, bright, playful extravaganza – From candy-like prints & patterns to vibrant pinks, yellows & blues to cheeky silhouettes & fabrics.

I especially liked the interesting fabrics and textures that Christopher Kane showcased, as well as the use of exposed zippers and the fun prints. It was a really youthful and energetic collection of pieces.

Missoni:

The knits that marched down the runway for Missoni spanned the color spectrum – From crisp whites to playful corals to Springy greens & blues. Taste the rainbow!

The breezy dresses and structured separates were wearable and chic – Perfect for a Spring full of exotic locations, days spent reading by the pool, or picking your way through foreign flea markets. They had a rich feel to them, like a luxurious vacation to far away lands come to life!

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Milan Collections: Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I & Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Fashionologie’s Bags! The Best From Milan’s Spring 2013 Runways, Harper’s Bazaar’s Milan Fashion Week Spring 2013 Looks & Derek Blasberg’s Insta-Diary From The Fashion Week(s).

What’s your favorite designer from the Milan Fashion Week lineup? Do you look forward to any shows season after season?


MET Madness

It’s that time again…

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Time for my favorite fashion event of the year. It’s my version of prom! Last year’s event was held in honor the (then) recently deceased Alexander McQueen and the red carpet was amazing.

5:36 p.m:  Dolce & Gabbana dress and Christian Louboutin shoes, all set for the gala.

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This year there were so many gorgeous women on the red carpet – fashion insiders, celebrities, models, actresses – that it was hard to narrow down my favorites.

Hollywood Dolls:

{Rooney stuck with what’s worked for her over the last few months of red carpet appearances. Dramatic. Bold. Givenchy! There was lots of white on the red carpet this year so her lacy black gown stood out all the more.}

{Bombshell alert! Amber Heard’s Zac Posen gown was striking and oozed with old school glamour. Love!}

{Elegant but eye-catching at the same time, that’s what Giambattista Valli does best!}

{Sleek & sexy. Gwyneth Paltrow put women half her age to shame in this fierce little Prada cocktail number. I love the embellishments here – the pocket on the dress, the low-cut back, and the jewel-encrusted stilettos.}

DiannaAgron

{This was a great choice for her. A beautifully cut dress in the perfect color, soft, sweet makeup, and loose curls framing her face. Just stunning.}

{Kirsten Dunst has long been a fan of Rodarte and they served her well again last night with this one-of-a-kind retro inspired dress. The look was definitely unique, but I think she looked phenomenal!}

{I’m always excited to see what Miss Cate will show up on the red carpet in, and she didn’t disappoint last night. Alexander McQueen with black feathers and a fishtail train? Only a few women in the world could pull this off.}

{Nina has been stepping up her game on the red carpet the last year or so, really making an impact, and this Donna Karen gown is another great choice.}

{Wow. Renée Zellweger usually wears Carolina Herrera but this Pucci gown is stunning! The low back and dramatic train are gorgeous.}

{Wow. Just. Wow. Love it all. Color, fit, fabric, accessories. Fierce!}

{Claire Danes’s sexy white wrap dress was perfectly complemented by her teal envelope clutch and sleek updo. Well done.}

 

{Bombshell! Camilla Belle was a vision in a sexy silver Ralph Lauren gown. Simple and elegant. I like that she went minimal on the accessorizing.}

Model Muses:

{When I think about the MET Gala this is what I picture. Daring fashion. Avant garde styles. Fashion with a capital F. Well done ladies, well done!}

ChanelImanTomFord

{Drama Drama Drama. Chanel Iman and her sexy plus one were all about black & white drama.}

{Coco’s brightly colored vintage Givenchy and matching pink curls were definitely eye-catching. Are you a fan?}

AmberValletta

{Veteran model Amber Valletta’s Prada gown was perfect, with both color blocking and pleats, it was right on trend for Spring!}

{I think Constance may have stolen Tilda’s dress, but that’s ok because she killed in it! Love the color and fabric combinations, the silky teal with the royal blue pleats are perfection!}

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART'S Spring 2012 COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Gala

{Lace, asymmetrical silhouette, and brilliant pink – Jason Wu definitely wanted Miss Karlie Kloss to stand out this evening!}

{The face of Burberry Body rocked her long-sleeved, retro Burberry gown. Only Rosie could make sequined stripes look this good!}

candice-swanepoel-met-ball-2012-rag-bone-dress

{Victoria’s Secret stunner Candice Swanepoel positively glowed in her custom cobalt & black lace Rag & Bone gown. J’adore!}

And my favorite – Diane Kruger. I know she’s an actress but I always think of her a model. She’s got phenomenal taste and a flawless sense of style, something I usually associate with models who spend their time surrounded by fashion editors, photographers, and designers.

{DRAMA. Purple feathers, a train, and killer jewels? Miss Diane clearly wanted to make an entrance last night. I hate hate hate to find fault with her, but I think an updo would have been the perfect final touch to this.}

{Source, Source & Source}

And what would I have worn?

I narrowed it down to these choices over the weekend. And these choices clearly show my multiple personalities. Part of me wants to go for old-school, golden age glamour, and the other part of me thinks that an event like this one calls for no holds barred, serious drama.

{This gown in Valentino red would be a fabulous choice – Bold but classic and flattering.}

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Or something a little more dramatic and high-impact.

{I love the drama of Zac Posen gowns and this is a phenomenal color. If it had a keyhole or open back to offset the high neck and cap sleeves I’d be all over this!!!}

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What was your favorite dress this year? What would you have picked for yourself?


Looks of the Week

 

I’ve got some great shots for you guys this week – From fashion bloggers like yours truly to red carpet premieres to model street style. So without further ado, let’s see what the fabulous ladies are wearing out and about these days!

I very literally stopped everything I was doing when I stumbled on these photos. This is one of the best shots I've seen in ages. Chic, well put together, a little bit retro, and styled to perfection. I wouldn't change a single thing and I'd take it all! 🙂

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This is such a clean, chic look. Black and white always comes across as crisp, and I love the addition of the gorgeous Mulberry bag. Those patent-tipped pumps are pretty killer too!

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I'm not a short-wearer, I like them, but I don't wear them. When I see pictures like this I have to rethink. This is such an adorable outfit. These shorts are incredibly cute and flattering, love the chain detail in front, and the star blouse is a great choice to pair with them. I especially love the dramatic gold cuff.

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It's not quite a red carpet but newbie Taylor Schilling stunned in Calvin Klein. This is a great example of how to not wear a boring black dress! The detailing is gorgeous and her accessories are right on. J'ADORE that cuff!

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Gorgeous! Just, gorgeous! I love the dress, I'm a huge fan of pleats right now. The color is striking and that belt is the greatest. And who would have thought to add smoking flats? Tres chic!

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If all of the unusual Stella McCartney dresses appearing on the red carpet lately haven't been to your taste, this might just change your mind. Its fun and funky, but really cute and chic. KILLER Alexander Wang Resort 2012 bag!

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Mix Master! This is such a great combination of colors, from the pale floral pants to the brilliant canary yellow pea coat to the mostly neutral heels.

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This color combination is phenomenal, the cropped pants are the perfect shade to set off her top and that hat is too cute. Keeping the accessories more neutral - black & metallic - was a good choice as well, they finish the look without upstaging the central three pieces.

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I love the distinctly different styles of these girls side-by-side. They're both wearing outstanding coats, but they're totally different. Alana is a bit preppy with her exposed collar, clean lines, and bright blue jeans. While Kate is funky and adorable in her fur-trimmed parka. J'adore!

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I love a good monochromatic look and this one is especially nice because the pale yellow/grey combination is so unusual. I love those pants too, they're really cute, though you probably have to be 6 feet tall to wear them...

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Both Jess Weixler (L) & Riley Keough (R) look great here - These looks are chic, youthful, and well put together. Well done ladies!

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I love Peter Pan collars and day clutches so I was immediately drawn to this look. But upon closer inspection I realized that I also loved her velveteen platforms and adorable white lace skirt. So cute!

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The Little Black Dress

“You can never be over – or underdressed in a Little Black Dress.” – Karl Lagerfeld

As far as I’m concerned, truer words have never been spoken. When Coco Chanel invented the Little Black Dress (aka LBD) in the 1920’s she had no idea what she was opening the fashion world up to. And with that brilliant idea the color of mourning was transformed into the chicest color of them all and the cocktail dress became the epitome of style and elegance.

In the years since its origination the LBD has come in many guises – formal, informal, short, midi, strapless, long sleeves, cotton, velvet, silk, lace, satin…

Evening-Appropriate:

The original LBD was intended for an evening out on the town and that tradition definitely lives on in this day in age.

Short, sassy, chic.

Perfection! It's fun and sexy and one-of-a-kind. What more could you ask for in a cocktail dress?

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Kristin's look is everything you want from a LBD - Fun and eye-catching. The fabric makes it unusual and catches your attention when she walks by and her accessories perfectly add that needed zing to the look. Also, the tights make it warm enough to wear year-around.

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This is the perfect example of showing some skin in a LBD but keeping the look chic rather than tacky. She looks sexy as hell, but classy and tasteful.

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And of course, we’ve got to discuss the 2012 red carpet It Girl who wore LBDs almost exclusively for her Girl With The Dragon Tattoo appearances and premieres…

If you want to up the drama for evening try cut outs, lace, or panels of sheer fabric. They give the illusion of showing more skin than you really are and give a dress a unique and one-of-a-kind feel. I love that despite the modernity of this Prabal Gurung dress, she still looks like Audrey Hepburn!

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The quickest & easiest way to make a dress evening-ready is to add jewelry and killer heels! Just keep them in your day bag and pull then out when cocktail hour arrives.

Work-Appropriate:

Wearing a LBD for work is all about length and appropriateness. You’ll want to stick with a drama-free dress, something sleek and approaching knee-length would be ideal.

A slinky sheath dress is the ultimate LBD for the office. The clean lines and chic silhouette are perfect for work and depending on the neckline and sleeves all you may need is a blazer to be meeting-ready.

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Obviously Cara's boots aren't the perfect office shoes, but this is a really cute dress that could easily fit into a business-casual office with the addition of tights and a pair of basic pumps in either black or a fun color.

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A wrap or criss-cross front dress is a great option for the office. Depending on the formality of your dress code you may need to add a blazer, cardigan, or closed-toe shoes to this beautiful Bottega Veneta dress.

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A LBD with sleeves is an easy choice if you're heading into work, virtually any hemline below mini skirt level will balance out with sleeves. And a dramatic shoulder like this gorgeous velvet Nina Ricci dress will make it stand out all the more!

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And the best part of wearing a LBD to work? Take off your blazer or tights and switch up your shoes and you’re ready for a night out on the town!

Day-Appropriate:

Wearing a LBD during the day is a breeze, it’s all about picking one that suits your plans since they come in all shapes, sizes, and styles these days. Brunch, sight-seeing in a new city, traveling – You can easily add a little class to these activities with the perfect frock, dressed up or down.

You'll stand out in a crowd in a dress like this one! This type of dress could easily go from day to-night and she did a great job of keeping things casual by adding low-key accessories. Great platform t-straps and I like her decision to add the faux fur and leather jacket to stay warm. And that purse! 🙂

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You can easily add a boho feel to your LBD with a cardigan or duster and layers and layers of funky jewelry. These boots are a great, unexpected way to finish this look off.

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Adding brightly colored or patterned tights to a LBD is a great way to spice it up and make your look wholly original. I love love love the little white Peter Pan Collar on this Asos dress, it's definitely something I would wear with ballet flats!

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Such a cute dress! The oversized pockets show you how little details can set a LBD apart from other dresses. And those shoes! Too cute - A fun, interesting alternative to ballet flats.

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In my Real Girls Need Real Closets post I discussed the basics that a well-rounded wardrobe should contain – including the LBD. Similarly you can check out My Ten Essential Closet Pieces from Wendy’s Lookbook.

So what do you think? Are you ready to try adding a Little Black Dress to another part of your life?

Have a great weekend, I’ll be back from sunny Sea Ranch on Sunday with some great vacation clothes shots! If you’re interested in real-time updates, photos, and reading links that I’m loving, follow me on Twitter or Facebook.


Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012

While I am dying to attend New York Fashion Week and seeing the Paris shows (and attending the Vogue costume party!) would be a dream come true, there is a special place in my heart for Milan Fashion Week. Not only do I love Italy and Italian fashion, a large part of my personal style was developed when I was 21 and living in Rome so I personal relate.

Shall we start the Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 coverage off on a funky note? Here we go…

According to designer Christopher Kane and his benefactor Donatella Versace, the Versus show look the original center of punk and grunge as its muse – the area known as Camden in London. The collection composed primarily of dresses came out in deep cranberry, cobalt blue, fuchsia, blue and yellow, all with a little bit of a rock n’ roll. flair to them.

The leather details & mini skirts, lace-up pants, cut outs, sheer panels and over-the-knee boots embraced the edgier side of the collection while there was still something soft in the prints, cocoon coats and babydoll dresses. The Versus girl clearly knows how to have a good time, but also has a sweet side.

Drama Drama Drama. The Versace show was a little bit Marilyn Manson and a little bit Girt With The Dragon Tattoo. Donatella showed everything from a studded black leather dress to a corset covered in a giant blue crystal crucifix to neon yellow halters to vinyl trimmed fish net tights to chain mail and buckle-covered combat boots. All worn with Rooney Mara’s über short, blunt bangs.

Dramatic and eye-catching, that’s for sure. The devil, so to speak, was in the details though. The studded leather bags were gorgeous, up close the embroidered crucifixes almost looked like flowers, the giant belt buckles had a superhero-style V in the center and the chain mail details were extraordinarily intricate and beautifully made.

You can see more pictures here and watch the runway show here.

Moschino was fun, youthful and cute. Bandleader jackets paired with cheerleader skirts and beehives? In bright yellow, red and blue? Only Moschino could pull that off in Milan, that’s for sure. But pull it off Rossella Jardini did.

Her irreverent collection also included black velvet Stetsons, military-style double-breasted thick wool pea coats, adorably retro shift dresses in black & white, fun checks, houndstooth & plaid, and some good old-fashioned gold Italian embroidery.

For more pictures check out Fashionologie.

Per usual the Roberto Cavalli show was all about glitz and glamour. Vibrant animal prints, shimmering sequins, iridescent scales, fur and feathers, embroidery and brocades… All the over-the-top lux that Mr. Cavalli loves. The details of this collection were really breathtaking. The tailoring and hand-stitching and attention to every tiny facet of the clothing and accessories. Truly impressive.

My favorite pieces were the leopard print lace-up booties, purple elbow-length leather gloves, the brushed velvet-looking cropped jackets and the gold sequined peplum cocktail dress.

The unquestionable highlight of this show? Miss Naomi Campbell closed the show!

Leather & lace. The Salvatore Ferragamo collection can be summed up in two words – leather & lace. Massimiliano Giornetti showed gorgeous looks in contrasting fabrics, cuts and moods. Tough, military-inspired belted jackets paired with soft, flowy skirts in chiffon and lace. Gorgeous knee-length coats with brass buttons worn over lacy and sheer tops. Chunky knits with leather skirts and pants.

The jackets and coats were by far my favorite pieces of the collection. The buttons and details on the collars and pockets were divine. You can get a feel from looking at them that the  designer does menswear as well.

The Giorgio Armani collection titled “Easy Chic” ran the gamut from sexy grey suits to brightly patterned separates to sherbet colored dresses, all worn with wide-brimmed hats set at a jaunty angle and fingerless gloves in plaid and leopard print. It was a surprisingly youthful and lackadaisical show compared to what we’ve come to expect from Giorgio Armani, but still appealing to his usual sophisticated clientele.

You can see more pictures over at Fashionology.

The dark and ominous collection that Frida Giannini showed for Gucci was sexy and decadent. She used sumptuous fabrics and vibrant colors to highlight the black, olive-green and navy that made up the background pieces. She showed a wide range of pieces – wide leg, flowy pants with a pajama-like feel, dark floral maxi dresses, body-skimming long-sleeved dresses in velvet and brocade, sheer blouses paired with leather pants, embroidered Jodhpurs tucked into knee-high riding boots and dramatic gowns with velvet belts and plunging necklines. 

What caught my eye most were the extras. The soft wool capes, glossy patent leather bags, and sexy strappy heels.

You can see a video of the Gucci runway show here and more pictures here, or read The Cut’s thoughts about the dark-hued collection here.

Marni was all about color this season rather than the fun, cheeky prints that Consuelo Castiglioni usually sends down the runways of Milan. But don’t worry, there was still plenty of the lovable quirk Marni is known for. Outerwear, separates and dresses marched out in reds, blues, yellows and black & white, all with a slight retro feel.

 

I liked the white tights paired with gold-tipped Mary Jane’s, the drop waisted belted coats,  I also loved the blunt Vidal Sassoon bangs, too cute. 

The Sartorialist has more pictures here and you can see the runway video on Style.com.

Angela Missoni’s Fall 2012 collection for Missoni was all about Mother Nature and the great outdoors. She evoked this theme by pairing the traditional Missoni knits with other fabrics, leathers and furs to create layered looks that appeared to be made from bark and leaves and stone.

The marbling on the knits and the tightly wrapped layers were quite beautiful, at once both traditional Missoni and innovative.

You can see these earthy knits in action here.

The Dolce & Gabbana collection was intricate and sumptuous, filled with dramatic gold detailing, lace accents, sheer panels, tiaras-like lavishly beaded headbands, exaggerated earrings, dark hued Baroque inspired florals, cacoon shaped capes and lace knee-high socks.

Overall the show was dramatic and surprising. The ornate gilding of the clothes created almost a Papal feel while the sheer lace and tiered white dresses were a combination of innocence and understated sexuality with a old-world influence.

You can see all the drama in motion here or see more photos at Fashionology.

Gone was the vintage feel from her Pre-Fall 2012 collection, gone were the whimsical prints and floaty silhouettes from her Spring 2012 ready-To-Wear show. Alberta Ferretti’s Fall 2012 show was more masculine than we traditionally expect from her and more overtly sexy – with sheer blouses, leather body-con dresses and strategically placed translucent panels on gowns.

Alberta Ferretti always delivers beautiful, wearable dresses – my favorites here had layers of paper-thin, textured chiffon – but this season she also gave us gorgeous outerwear. Some in masculine pinstripes, some belted, some with leather collars, some with shearling trim, some hip length and some floor length.

FabSugar has more pictures here or you can see the photos on Black Studded Fashion.

Giorgio Armani called his Fall 2012 Ready-To-Wear collection for Emporio Armani “Little Winter Follies” but I didn’t see many follies. The show was awash in color for fall, in addition to black & white, there were splashes of brilliant coral, bright cobalt blue and luminous purple. Yes, each look was composed of many pieces and the styling was perhaps borderline excessive, but when you took apart the individual pieces there was a lot of sharp, wearable clothing.

I absolutely LOVED the stylish young French lady vibe from the collection, especially the first section full of blacks, whites and greys. The cute little hats, smart but fun blazers with lacy hems or black on black polka dots, chic bags, gloves & tights and comfortable flat shoes were mouth-watering!

Need more Armani in your life? FabSugar and Fashionology have you covered.

The Bottega Veneta show was all about dark elegance. From beautifully tailored coats and skirt suits in black, navy and a somber dark purple to sexy, body skimming dresses in black, cream, lavender and brilliant prints – some had demure capsleeves & boatneck collars while others had dramatic, plunging necklines.

There were plenty of details worth getting a better look at as well – bright crystal embellishments, large retro brooches, stiff looking knee-high riding boots, feathery chiffon boleros, abstract florals and bright plaids, sleek elbow-length leather gloves and ankle boots and strappy pumps over visible socks. Oh, and a collection of handbags that I would KILL for.

You can see more pictures from the Bottega Veneta show here and check out the runway video here.

Fendi was all about mixing the unexpected in interesting and new ways. Black leather with brown wool, navy tights with a midnight black dress, grey snake-skin leggings with a black patent crocodile skirt, contrasting colored spats on ankle boots, skirts composed of pleats and silk or leather, and giant prize-fighter style belts over sleek fabrics. 

Want to see these looks in motion? Check out the runway show here or see more pictures at FabSugar or from Garance Dore.

Prada’s Fall 32012 collection was heavy on the outerwear, even the dresses and long, draping tops had a coat-like quality about them. The tailoring and fabrics of this show were divine, the intricacies beautiful and timeless. The sequins, stones, embroidery and embellishments on the clothes gave them almost a vintage-feel while the hair and makeup evoked a futuristic reference.

I really enjoyed the bright retro patterned fabrics and the cropped pantsuits. Very chic. If you’re dying for more, you can watch the runway video or scan more pictures.

The scene at MaxMara was sleek, monochromatic and masculine, and as always the suiting and outerwear was to die for. The show started with olive-green then seamlessly transitioned through black, camel, white and grey. The feel of the collection was a little bit military and a little bit sailor, with stripes, aviator jackets and caps, peacoats and greave-like sock &  buckle accoutrement on the legs.

I loved the incredibly soft looking coats, worn open with popped collars, but I was absolutely smitten with the silky, loosely draping pants – in both cropped and full length. They were absolutely stunning!

Fashionology has more pictures or you can watch the show in action and see why I’m dying for a pair – or ten – of those pants.

The last show for Raf Simons at Jil Sander received a standing ovation on Saturday, much deserved adulation for the designer after seven years at the label. The collection was filled to the brim with beautiful coats and dresses, from the palest ballerina whites & pinks to black, navy, bold crimson and shimmery tinfoil silver.

The dresses were classic and body conscious while the coats had a much larger and more dramatic silhouette, mostly without buttons or ties, loosely draping or even held closed by the models. I loved the clean lines and that way color was used to make a statement rather than prints or layering. My absolute favorite part? The two strap heels that look like they were inspired by point shoes.

The whole collection looked like it could have been tailor-made for Audrey Hepburn’s turn as a runway model in Funny Face.

You can see this beautiful runway show here or more photos from FabSugar over here.

In the mood for more from the Italian runways? Check out the top looks from Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s Bazaar UK, or you can see photos or videos from other shows that I didn’t have time to review: Etro, Emilio Pucci, Just Cavalli & Moschino Cheap & Chic.

Or you can check out just how far all of these Italian designers have come since their last collections: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part I, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II and Milan Fashion Week Fall 2011.

 

Be sure to keep an eye out for Moi Contre La Vie’s Giveaway after Paris Fashion Week!

 

*** Please note that I do not advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear or carry fur, exotic skins or leather. I believe that in this day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty-free and should be utilized instead.


10 Day Style Challenge – Part II

Welcome to Part II of Freckles in April‘s 10 Day Challenge: Winter Edition. In an attempt to keep my personal style interesting and steer clear of fashion ruts I’m participating in this fashion challenge. Each day Kayla provides us with a theme for our outfit and we dress accordingly, then share the pictures.

If you’d like to catch up on Day 1 & Day 2 you can see them here.

Freckles in April

Day 3: Embrace A Trend

Sometimes it’s easiest to just stay in our own little comfort zone of classics and basics and ignore passing trends. But for tomorrow I want you to pick a trend that intrigues you and go for it. Neon nails? Sure! Faux fur? Heck yes. Red pants? You know I love ’em.

This is such a great prompt, it really makes you face your fears and try something new and unusual. I stood in my closet and spent some time on Style.com weighing the pros and cons of various trends. Would this one be flattering? Am I brave enough to try this? And you know what I decided to go with?

STAR STRUCK!

Source

As much as I’ve adored the Dolce & Gabbana star-studded gowns that have made it to the red carpets lately, the key to making this trend work for me was going to be translating it into a day-to-day, wearable format. Sadly that meant the hotpants were out too. Tragic really.

Tunic - Zara, Cigarette Pants - Juicy, Bag - Express, Jewelry - Vintage, JewelMint & Tiffany's, Scarf - Zara, Flats - Lucky & Blazer - Aqua

Slim pants and a tunic is one of my favorite silhouettes, so taking a style that I’m comfortable with and than amping up the trendiness with prints, accessories and jewelry kept me from feeling completely out of my element. I was amazing by how many star-studded pieces I’d accumulated and it was fun to pair them all together in one look.
 

Day 4: Channel Someone

For tomorrow I want you to channel someone. Alive or dead, fictional or real, famous or regular Joe – doesn’t matter. The trick here is to keep your outfit from looking costumey. You don’t have to copy them exactly…just try and capture the flavor. Pick something they might wear. Give their hairstyle a go.

When I saw this prompt my brain went into overdrive! Audrey Hepburn. No – Grace Kelly. No – Jackie O. No – Twiggy. No – Someone original, someone no one else will pick. To save my pride I’ll lie about how long that little conversation in my head went on for and just say that it went on for a while.

So where did I end up?

Source & Source

I really wanted to channel a 60’s-era Mod girl but since Twiggy is a bit out of my range size-wise, I went with Jean Shrimpton who not only had some curves, she also had long hair with straight, dramatic bangs.

E Voila!

Dress - Burberry, Boots - Zara, Coat - H&M & Purse - Vintage

Pretty simple, I wanted the focus to be on the key pieces so I didn’t add a ton of accessories. The perfect little black shift dress, my Sergent Pepper coat and some go-go style boots to finish the look off.
 
This challenge is turning into one of the most fun and creative outlets that I’ve found in a long time, I am really, really enjoying myself. So stay tuned for the next two looks and I promise to keep posing like a mad woman! 🙂

Miss Mara

As I was adding a Rooney Mara photograph to Monday’s Looks of the Week when I decided I should probably dedicate an entire post to this little ingenue. She’s been making the rounds for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and has everyone talking. From gowns to two piece cocktail dresses to architectural separates, she always gives us something to discuss.

With her haircut growing out, severe black bangs and pale complexion, she made the wise decision to go for dramatic, high impact looks. And while you may not love everything that she’s photographed in, you have to admit that she’s making some very interesting, no-holds-barred choices.

Nothing safe and boring for this young lady.

Follow me for some of her most conversational looks from the last few weeks…

This Valentino gown is one of the most traditional looks that she’s put together. That being said, with her dramatic coloring, the striking hue of the dress and her blunt bangs, she still cuts a very striking figure.

 

I just adore this frock, it’s sweet but the silhouette, neckline, and color and unique and striking. It’s a great choice for a sit down TV interview. 

Black leather & bondage in Rome. Just kidding. Sort of. This Dion Lee dress is actually surprisingly stylish on her. The starkness of the color & cut outs emphasize her beautiful skin and slim figure.

She wore Louis Vuitton for the Parisian leg of her Dragon Tattoo tour and the bell-shaped silhouette and intricate beading of this dress are perfect for her, flattering her petite figure.

 

Simple almost to the point of austerity, this Miu Miu LBD is saved by the phenomenal silver glitter pumps.

This Miu Miu look just screams Audrey to me. The bangs, the headband, the high-waisted A-line skirt, the simple grey tank. Nothing I would think to pick out but somehow it comes together and works really well for her. Love the shoes.

I love this Givenchy jacket, which could be paired with pants in real life, but looks great here with a skirt, tights and platforms. A perfect dressy winter daytime look.

 
One of my favorite Rodarte gowns to date – polka dots! It’s amazing that someone who looks so at home in leather and cut-outs can look equally perfect in a sweet, pale halter gown. She’s incredibly versatile. 

Looking at the outfits above, this Prabal Gurung dress is as close to a “type” as Miss Mara seems to have. Its striking, head turning and unique. Can you imagine anyone else wearing it? 

 
One of the most consistent factors throughout these looks is the styling. Or lack there of. She doesn’t carry a purse or clutch and wears virtually no jewelry. She picks standout pieces and lets them do all of the talking.   

 As you probably guessed, I’m not the only one keeping an eye on Rooney Mara. BellaSugar has a breakdown on the various ways she wears her bangs here and Harper’s Bazaar talks about her sleek chignon here. She’s also covered Vogue and Allure recently. WhoWhatWear even named her Girl of the Month way back in May of 2010.

 So what do you think of Miss Mara’s personal style? Which of the one-of-a-kind looks above is your favorite one of hers to date?