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

Posts tagged “classic

Looks of the Week – Menswear Edition

Most of the fashion that I feature on this site is geared towards women, but I have to confess that I do in fact love mens fashion and follow a number of male fashion bloggers. So today I thought we could celebrate some of the oh-so-stylish gentlemen out there. We all have men in our lives – whether it’s a significant other, brother, father, son – who we can use this as inspiration to shop for!

I’m not going to lie, I have a bit of a fashion crush on this blogger {he was featured in this Looks of the Week post & Let’s Hear It For The Boys}. Not only does he have a great sense of style, he’s pretty darn funny in the comments section of his Tumblr account – which is, by the way, named after his hair – Edward’s Hair.

What caught my eye here were all of the great neutral colored layers – Not only is that a killer shearling coat, he’s also wearing a button-down shirt and a sweater vest paired with a great printed scarf. If you’re interested in learning how to stylishly apply layers, My Mirror is a site that you should definitely check out.

This Italian blogger is a PhD-level accessorizer – This is such a fabulous combination of pieces, it almost looks like an advertisement for a luxury brand! Retro sunglasses, an orange cashmere tie, Belfiore shoes, Louis Vuitton briefcase, and a killer vintage coat – Utter perfection.

What I love about this is the combination of colors, textures, and prints. The blue & white Gingham button-down shirt paired with the army green suit jacket is great, but I love how he took it a step further and paired those pieces with the brown slacks.

Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean that your personal style needs to go out the window while you pile on layer after layer. Here’s a chic example of how to casually layer and add cold weather pieces to a look without sacrificing fashion.

Suits don’t have to be boring or traditional to get the job done. Try a flattering color or an interesting cut or fun patterns & prints. Or try all three!

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my favorite male fashion blogger in this post, even though he doesn’t regularly post photographs of his own personal style, UK-based Stu Bradley of Not So Lonely Londoners {you may know him from his sensational How To Pose Like A Fashion Blogger post that swept the internet last Spring}.

Which of these menswear looks above is your favorite? And what is it about that particular look that caught your attention?


Looks of the Week: Pants Edition

This Looks of the Week post is going to be all about PANTS. As you’re stocking up your wardrobe for Fall you’re going to be seeing lots of pants in stores – Every variety you can imagine, from faux leather and brilliantly colored brocades to plaids, stripes, and collegiate tweeds. So before you find yourself standing in front of racks and racks of pants feeling overwhelmed, why not spend some quality time getting inspired by how other fashionable ladies are wearing theirs this season?

Embellished or studded pants are a fun style for weekends. You can go full-on rock n’ roll or you can keep things polished with a trench and classic white button down like in this shot. The look is chic and timeless, but still has an edge.

Holiday sweaters don’t have to be tacky – They can just as easily be the kind of cute pieces that you look forward to wearing all year! This oversized reindeer sweater paired with black leggings and cute flat booties is the perfect look for the holiday season. Festive but oh-so-cute.

If you’re brave enough for a bold animal print than this is the look for you. Take a tip from Lysana, she keeps the look from being over-the-top with minimal chunky gold accessories, a basic black sweater, and cute flat boots.

If you’re thinking about what styles of pants are work-appropriate this shot is a great example of how to make a slim pair of pants fit that bill. Her killer styling keeps the look fun, but still formal enough for a business casual office. The over-the-shoulder bag and similarly colored knee-high boots are the perfect accessories while the chic tweed blazer from H&M tops the look off perfectly.

Plaid shirts aren’t just for trips to the cabin anymore, with seriously cute versions available now you can pair one with virtually any bottoms for a chic, stylish weekend look. This look is spiced up all the more with lacy Dolce & Gabbana ankle boots and a killer Proenza Schouler handbag.

They may say “No White After Labor Day” but this amazing white-pants look will change your mind in a heartbeat. The mixture of prints, colors, and textures makes this look fun and interesting – Chambray polka dot blouse, leopard print heels, a red knit sweater, and white denim all come together to make the perfect look.

{Click on the images above to be taken to the original source}

Are you inspired to try a new pair of pants now that you’ve gotten a chance to check out these fun looks? What is the first style, fabric, or silhouette pant that you’d like to try for Fall 2012?


MCLV Style: Pardon My French

I fell madly in love with this sweater when I saw it online and knew that it had to be mine – Totally fun and perfect for Fall! First I tried pairing it with flirty, pleated black skirt but I ended up deciding on my favorite cropped black pants.

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Pardon My French Sweater – Forever 21, Cropped Black PantsJuicy Couture @ Bloomingdale‘s, Patent Leather Chainlink BagExpress, Vintage Inspired Gold Bracelets – JewelMint, Spiked BraceletAsos.com}

{You can also view this outfit on both Lookbook.nu and Pose}

{Check out more outtakes from this shoot here – just log into Facebook to view}

I wore this for my company’s End Of Summer party two weeks ago. It was a great night filled with games – skee ball, bouncy houses, golf, mechanical bull, even a zip line – an open bar, lives music, tons of food, and a great view.

I have to admit that it’s been a while since I wore a top that had writing across the front and I’d forgotten how nerve-wracking it is when you feel like everyone’s staring at you trying to read your shirt!

How do you feel about wearing a shirt or a sweater that has writing on it?


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?


Styling 101: Day-to-Night

Welcome to the third installation of the Styling 101 series. If you’re interested in background on this series check out the initial post on America’s Cup inspired fashion {Styling 101 – American Girl} or the follow-up post with tips on nighttime glamour {Styling 101 – Rock n’ Roll Chic}.

Today is all about how to spice up a traditional, classic look – Like a printed pencil skirt and a simple black top – Which can easily go from the office to drinks at your favorite watering hole with the addition of some chic pieces and maybe a change of shoes.

 

{Jewelry: Florenza Lotus Pendant Necklace 1960s, Monet Rope Bracelet 1970s, Triple Strand Chunky Chain Necklace 1980s & Joel Powell Faux Pearl Oval Link Bracelet 1970s}

 

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Peplum Top – Zara, Safari Pencil Skirt – Forever 21, Vintage Inspired Belt – BCBG, Ankle Strap Heels – Fendi via Barneys New York & Sunglasses – Christian Dior}

{You can also see this outfit on Lookbook.nu & Pose}

Check out more outtakes from this shoot here – just log into Facebook to view

This is the sort of styling that I do all week-long, whether you’re meeting friends for dinner after working, heading straight from the office to drinks, or attending an impromptu event and don’t have time to run home first. By adding some killer statement pieces – dramatic, eye-catching earrings, necklaces, cocktail rings, or bracelets – you can take your look from day-to-night. Stash some great vintage or costume jewelry in your purse, throw on some chic red lipstick, and keep a pair of kick ass stilettos in your desk – In case of an emergency! 🙂

While these gorgeous 60′s, 70′s & 80′s pieces are available you can shop for them on the Sasha Maks Vintage website.

Have you ever had to go straight from work to an event and wished that you had a way to spice up your suit or business casual attire? Follow these tips and you’ll be set next time! 🙂

Be sure to stay tuned for more exciting looks from the Styling 101 series in the coming weeks – From retro outfits with great hats & faux fur to traditional, classic outfits that’ll flatter anyone’s personal style.


New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I

Every season I’m at a loss as to how I should approach the fashion show reviews. There are so many that I don’t know where to start, how many I should try to review, or how to justify which shows I choose over others. It’s oddly stressful considering I’m sitting in front of my laptop in San Francisco and NOT running around the cobblestone streets of New York City in stilettos with a 50 lbs handbag.

So this season I have come up with a plan of attack. I’m going to publish four separate pieces for New York Fashion Week:

  1. The NYFW Institutions – i.e. Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg & Carolina Herrera
  2. The more reasonably priced or secondary designer lines – i.e. J.Crew, MARC by Marc Jacobs & Alice+Olivia
  3. New up & coming brands that I’m just discovering or which are new to the tents – i.e. Z Spole by Zac Posen, Thakoon Addition & Victoria by Victoria Beckham
  4. And finally the street style & front row fashion of the NYFW attendees

So without further ado – Welcome to the fabulous runway fashion of the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows:

BCBG Max Azria:

This collection was an interesting juxtaposition of hard against soft. The dresses all had a harness-like construction on the bodice, evoking a tough, bad-girl vibe that contrasted with the softer colors and flowing silhouettes.

Black, white, grey, and coral were the colors de jour and all the looks were paired with a wide ankle strap adorned heel in black or white. The fitted, midi and maxi-length skirts were equipped with high slits in the thin, wispy floral, lace, and paisley prints, making them utterly perfect for hot summer nights.

Peter Som:

This sweet collection was filled with great prints, bright colors and pastels, florals, flowy silhouettes and just a touch of lace. It was structured and well put together, but relaxed and fun – New York City girl meets boho chic.

The prints were chic and I loved the cropped pants – of course – and the hippie vibe throughout. I don’t think that I can say it any better than The Man Repeller: “Peter Som is punk rock tea party infused with tigers and ponies.”

Derek Lam:

I heard the phrase “sporty luxury” to describe Derek Lam and couldn’t get it out of my head – That’s the perfect description for this master of chic sportswear and exquisite tailoring. These clothes were modern and chic, I can easily picture them on streets all over the world.

Interesting fabrics and textures, bold prints, and slouchy silhouettes were the hallmarks here. Knee-length skirts and sheath dresses in brightly colored leather, all-over geometric prints, separates, and the retro-inspired midriff baring tops that were all over the runways in New York all made an appearance.

Calvin Klein:

The collection that Francisco Costa presented may have been primarily black and white but it was a far cry from boring. And a far cry from the slinky pastel numbers favored by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet last season.

These looks were sleek, body conscious, and strikingly sexy with dramatic cuts and a variety of reach-out-and-touch-them fabrics and textures including lace, satin, mesh, and leather. No florals or pastels for the Calvin Klein girl this coming Spring, she’ll be breaking out killer heels and wowing everyone with her confidence and daring.

Ralph Lauren:

The Ralph Lauren show was a combination of make-believe and reality. There were costume-like pieces inspired by Spain and Latin America – fringe, matador jackets, and ponchos – and there were chic, wearable pieces that I’m sure we’ll be seeing soon on the red carpets and sidewalks of Hollywood.

I absolutely loved the flowing, ruffle-adorned maxi dresses and skirts in stripes and bright florals, as well as the vaguely Parisian looking prim A-line skirts paired with fitted jackets, and the double-breasted, oversized suits with dramatic shoulders.

Ole!

Thakoon:

If I had to pick a single word to describe the Spring 2013 collection presented by Thakoon it would be beautiful. The cuts & silhouettes were flattering, the fabric & textures were interesting, and the prints & details were nothing short of divine.

From pretty, colorful, whimsical prints for daytime outings to daring but still utterly chic lace, eyelet, and sheer fabrics for nighttime.

A collection like this one really illustrates the difference between a designer like Thakoon and one like Lee McQueen – While I’d call them both artists the wearability of a collection like this one is unparalleled. I wait with bated breathe for the McQueen shows and gasp at the artistry and showmanship, but I can picture every single piece of this collection in my wardrobe, not something most of us mere mortals can say about McQueen.

Diane Von Furstenberg:

Who knew being a techie could be so darn stylish? DVF went geek chic this season and sent her girls down the runway in brilliant colors, prints, and flowing caftans paired with the brand new Google Glasses.

Glasses aside this collection had a classic DVF feel – Great 70’s styles & prints, flowing silhouettes that would be right at home in Saint Tropez or Marrakech, and eye-catching accessories like oversized earrings, brightly colored sunglasses, and matchy-matchy handbags. The whole collection had a delicious retro vibe that made me nostalgic for the heyday of Miss Diane herself.

Victoria Beckham:

I always look forward to the Victoria Beckham show, I adore her personal style and that chic, timeless style always shows up in her collections. And while I love – and would die to own – all of her sexy, second skin sheath dresses, I was thrilled by the amount of separates and slightly less body conscious pieces that she sent down the runway for Spring.

Everything was still sleek and sexy, with little color or prints per her usual aesthetic, but somewhat more relatable for the non-Hollywood set. I especially liked the A-line skirts and high-necklines, and the black, white, and the brilliant orange color scheme suited the austerity of the designs.

Well done!

Tommy Hilfiger:

Stripes! Stripes! Stripes! But we’re not talking about your basic, boring stripes for Spring, these are chic, retro stripes adorning flowing suits, maxi dresses, and separates in red, white, and navy.

The devil was in the details of this collection – The drama of a double-breasted, oversized suit jacket, delicate chevron prints, bright piping on a two-toned blazer, contrasting denim on denim pockets, thick weave cable knit sweaters, gold rope detailing, and flowy silk shirt-dresses. You’ve got to admit, nothing says All-American quite like Tommy Hilfiger.

Jason Wu:

Jason Wu may be best know for dressing Michelle Obama, but when a runway show starts with Carolyn Murphy strutting her stuff in a black leather mini dress you know the collection is heading in a different direction than usual.

While the primarily black & white collection was filled with leather & lace, his red lipped models also wore some killer separates and pieces with exquisite tailoring. But even the prim looks amped up the sexiness with mesh, sheer panels, studs and animal prints.

Donna Karan:

City girl Donna Karan presented an unusually soft and sweet collection pulling inspiration from the ballet which gave the pieces ethereal undertones that were further emphasized by the pale color palette.

The soft, gauzy looking fabrics, flattering drapping, sweater-sets, and pastel satins were sugary sweet and picture perfect for good-girl actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Greene, or Nicole Kidman. Among the draping and flowing fabrics were two numbers that caught my eye though – A sharp white sheath dress with a matching cropped jacket and a sexy sheer panelled navy gown perfect for a siren like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley during her next red carpet appearance.

Zac Posen:

Calling all supermodels!

The Zac Posen show was the place to be when the audience was surprised by Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, and Coco Rocha all hitting the catwalk in his gorgeous, retro-inspired designs.

The dresses were phenomenal – From floral fifties inspired day dresses with sweetheart necklines to second-skin suits with his trademark dramatic bodice cuts, to sleek gowns in satins, florals, and chiffons. I could picture the likes of Eva Mendes and Emma Stone wearing the chic, but prim daydresses, and I guarantee that the rest of these gowns will be all over the red carpets come awards season.

Marc Jacobs:

There’s a reason that no one could stop talking about the Marc Jacobs show – It was amazing. Fabulously retro and evocative of the stylish Warhol girls of the 60’s, without appearing costumy or over the top, the kind of clothes you can really picture yourself wearing.

Loads of stripes – from thick to thin & horizontal to vertical – interesting lengths, cute separates, matching handbags, low-heeled shoes, and chic outerwear. I loved the long jackets with the high collars, the tiny shifts that us non-supermodels would need to wear slim trousers under, and the adorable pointy toed kitten heels.

Michael Kors:

Another show that emphasized stripes and had a Mod feeling to it was Michael Kors, which was brightly colored, bold, and very sporty. While it may not have been innovative, this collection showed piece after piece of very wearable clothing – For both men and women.

Stripes, colorblocking, contrasting collars, flats, wide low-slung belts, matching suits, tank & shift dresses, and separates all made lovely appearances. I may not be able to live without the green tunic & matching shorts set, it’s one of my favorite looks so far from the NYFW collections.

The menswear was fabulous – Full of color, great silhouettes, and classics styles. The men also got the stripes treatment and he showed great suits, white boat shoes, separates in the form of slacks, shorts & sweaters, and killer outerwear.

Carolina Herrera:

This light airy collection was filled with pale hues – from peach and aqua to olive-green and daffodil yellow – All perfectly ready for Spring. There were shorts, midi length skirts, trench coats, maxi dresses, gowns, and some sweet separates.

As gorgeous as CH’s gowns always are, the separates and short coats were what really caught my eye. They were chic and well-tailored, but more approachable than her collections have been in the past. The wide strap heeled sandals worn by all came in every color imaginable and thin belts cinched all of the waists. And interestingly enough, not a piece of jewelry could be seen!

Oscar de la Renta:

What I love about ODLR is his consistency – Each show will inevitably cater to a handful of crowds, from high-powered businesswomen & ladies who lunch to the fashionable young things & “It” girls that compose the celebutant set.

The splashes of colors in this collection were shocking yellow, pink, and teal – An interesting choice that worked surprisingly well. The collection was vibrant and fun with lots of beautiful textures and fabrics, and a great separates that I can imagine a few fashionistas in. Personally I’d be first in line for the thin striped dress paired with the black & white plaid coat and the sequin encrusted retro tunic & slim cropped pants – Tres chic!

Jill Stuart:

I’m always excited for a collection that pulls from Kim Basinger’s Veronica Lake look-a-like character in LA Confidential as it’s inspiration – The old school, golden age of Hollywood was such an extravagant and glamorous period fashion-wise.

You could really see that in the boudoir-feeling of the silks and slinky satins, and in the sequins, lame, and metallic brocades. While this wasn’t a “real woman” collection, there were beautiful dresses, gowns, and a few separates that will cater perfectly to a certain set.

Alexander Wang:

Wow.

Cut outs, netting, mesh, beading, lucite, sheer fabrics, leather, and garments that glowed in the dark when the lights went down. Cool club kids of the world unite! The pieces were minimalist and simultaneously dramatic and eye-catching, a feat few designers can manage.

Architectural and structured, but still fun and irreverent, all of the looks were paired seamlessly with strappy sandal-boot hybrids in black, white, or clear lucite. Definitely not looks for the average woman to wear walking down the street, but something that the cool girls that love Wang dearly can wear for a night out on the town.

{Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Sartorialist, & Tom & Lorenzo}

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Man Repeller – NYFW Day I, The Sartorialist – Boy by Band of Outsiders, Tom & Lorenzo’s Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Collection, Late Afternoon’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Diary, or check out IFB’s Spring 2013 Pinterest Board.

What’s your favorite collection that I’ve reviewed so far? If you could go to New York City for Fashion Week what would the number one show on your list to see in person be?


Styling 101: American Girl

I’ve been hinting at a fun new collaboration and now it’s finally time to share! Welcome to Styling 101 – A new series that I’ll be publishing in collaboration with Sasha Maks Vintage where we’ll be sharing fun ways to style basic pieces & outfits using fabulous vintage jewelry that’s available online to you all.

This first post is inspired by San Francisco’s hosting of The America’s Cup – An all American, nautical look paired with statement pieces that make it really stand out.

{Jewelry: Enamel X’s and O’s Necklace, Kenneth Lane Chunky Lucite and Gold Link Necklace, Trifari Lucite Starfish Earrings & Ciner Domed Ring}

{Clothes: Ruffled White Button DownFree People, Dark-Wash Cropped Jeans – Piperlime & Nude Pumps – BCBGeneration}

{You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu, shop similar pieces on ASOS Fashion Finder, or click the hyperlinks above to shop comparable pieces and visit store websites}

Check out more outtakes from this shoot here (just log into Facebook to view).

By adding a large oversized necklace in gold, white, and blue to this basic white button down & jeans we’ve created something more unique and interesting, not to mention something fun and all-American perfect for a weekend occasion like The America’s Cup races.

Stay tuned for more exciting looks in this Styling 101 series – From retro outfits with great hats & faux fur to traditional and classic looks that’ll flatter anyone’s personal style.


Couture Couture Couture

Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.

Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.

Yes. Game of Thrones.

The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.

The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.

Divine!

I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.

New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection  – “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”

Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.

Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.

The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.

While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.

The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.

In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.

These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.

The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun – Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.

Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.

The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!

I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.

And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.

Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.

Sources: Fashionologie, Style.com, Tom & Lorenzo, TopCoat & FabSugar

If you’re curious to see what these designers have shown on the couture catwalk in seasons past here are a few links to try – Spring 2012 Couture and Fall 2011 Couture.


Love. Want. Need.

I wanted some things I’ve been loving lately.

Enjoy!

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Sugar Skull Ponytail holder in Oxidized Silver Tone White Bronze
 
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Pictures from here.


10 Day Style Challenge – Part IV

This is the 4th of the five posts that I’m going to publish relating to the Freckles in April Winter Style Challenge. By way of background, the purpose of this little exercise is to challenge myself to try new styles, put together interesting clothing combinations that I haven’t tried before and learn to look outside the box when it comes to my personal approach to fashion.

If you’d like to catch up on what you missed so far, here are the previous installments: Part I, Part IIPart III.

Freckles in April

 

Day 7: Bright Colors

Winter tends to be a time of blacks, grays and browns. My trips into public places have been awash in people clad in dark neutrals. It fits the weather and, sometimes, our moods, but bright colors have their place in winter too! For tomorrow I want you to add bright color to your winter wardrobe. It can be all over color or a small splash- whatever works for you.

Rather than do an all-over color or even a single neon piece, I wanted to simply do a splash of color to brighten up an otherwise traditional look. Luckily I found some great inspiration on three fashion blogs that I like to frequent on occasion.


Source, Source & Source

What I liked about each of these looks – and what I hoped to achieve with the outfit that I was putting together for myself – was to use the color as a way to highlight and emphasize. A way to draw the eye to certain pieces that I wanted to show off. In this case my accessories – gloves, scarf and gorgeous faux leather planner.

Bags - Vintage & Longchamp, Coat - bought in Rome yeeears ago, Scarf - from Manila market, Dress - Max Studio, Ballet Flats - Lucky, Jewelry - Vintage & Gloves - A gift from my mother

I absolutely love this coat and I was thrilled to be able to make it part of my look after rescuing it from the depths of my closet. Which I have to admit was half the reason that I wanted to do this challenge in the first place, rediscovering buried treasure!

Day 8: Dress Up A Coat

Coats in and of themselves tend to be icing. I think just about everyone who lives in a cooler climate has a decent, good-looking coat that adds instant polish or style to their outfit. The idea of dressing up a coat hadn’t really occurred to me (possibly just because I live in AZ which doesn’t have a real winter) until I saw this post from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

Want to know what went through my head when I read this prompt?

THIS IS MINE!!! MIIINE!!! (Insert evil laugh here)

And why, you ask? Because right behind ‘purse addiction’ on the list of reasons why my friends and family will one day send me to rehab is ‘coat fetish.’ I kid. You. Not.

Clearly my issue was going to be narrowing it down. Then I had a moment of blind panic when I realized that I had already worn my two favorite coats. OH. MY. G*D. 

P.S. I refuse to apologize for the fact that clothes, my closets and getting dressed make me so emotional – it’s just who I am. 🙂

The next step was to find some direction and then pick which coat would become the foundation of my look. Similar to the great post that Kayla found on A Beautiful Mess, I found a fab Do It Yourself style post that included one of my favorite things in the world – PEARLS. The Beaded Collar Blouse post that Moda, Moda published was a simple-to-follow How To on spicing up a standard blouse with extras like studs, beads or pearls.

Perfect! And while I’m determined to try this out on one of my blouses in the very near future, I didn’t want to do anything quite this drastic to my chosen coat yet so I used this as inspiration and went a slightly different route…

Rather than glue individual pearls to my coat lapels, I deconstructed a couple of costume jewelry pearl necklaces and sewed the strands on either side, under the adorable Peter Pan collar of my cropped coat. As a finishing touch I pinned some cute vintage heart charms to one of the strands of pearls, to give it a retro-feel.

Stay tuned for the final Challenge post next week!