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

Posts tagged “San Francisco shopping

Holiday Discoveries

I love the holidays – don’t get me wrong – but usually by mid-December I run out of steam & all I can do is day-dream about sleeping in, weekends without holiday parties & social obligations, or just taking a vacation from my non-stop life in general. And this year has been no different – However I found that I did a much better job of staying on top of my responsibilities this year so here are some photos of the fun things that kept me in the holiday spirit throughout November & December!

Lookbook

{I may not have made it out for the Christmas tree lighting – But I’ve made it to Union Square to take pictures in front of the giant tree not once, but twice this year. A+!}

Brands

{Shopping – online & in-stores – has been a major part of my life the last month or so. From Christmas presents to host & hostess gifts to completely unnecessary additions to my wardrobe.}

Collage

{Related to the shopping issues is the “attending events held IN shops” part of the last few months – From swoon worthy vintage jewelry trunk shows to Marrakech-inspired clothing lines that’ll make you yearn for Spring.}

Collage

{I was especially excited to attend the Harputs presents Camille K trunk show because it gave me a great opportunity to check out smaller, local clothing & jewelry shops.}

Collage

{An amazing visit to the Mountain View atelier for the fabulous vintage jewelry shop Camille K – Stay tuned for another solo post on this amazing trip!}

I’m looking forward to seeing what January has to hold for me though and I’m also looking forward to sharing the fun details with all of you as well!


Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn’t just about spending time with you family & friends – or food – It’s also a time to be grateful and to give thanks for all of the amazing things in your life.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t say a great big THANK YOU to all of my readers for your continued support – I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every one of you.

And as a token of my appreciation here’s a collection of sales and shopping destinations to check out if you’re interested in celebrating Black Friday or Cyber Monday:

What sales am I most looking forward to? I’ve already placed my ASOS order {as I tweeted Wednesday – 20% off w/ the code ASOSxBLAIR} and I’m hoping for some quality time on the Bloomingdale’s & Piperlime sites – Below are some of my picks!
What sites and/or stores are you planning to check out this year for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Any pieces you’ve been dying to get and are waiting to see if they’ll go on sale?

Voyage To Marrakech

A big Thank You to The Factory and The Evans Group for the unbelievable trip to Marrakech last week – Who knew that in the streets of SOMA you could escape to the market stalls of exotic Morocco?

Voyage To Marrakech is an evening inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s glamorous 1970’s lifestyle in Moroco to showcase their Spring 2013 Collection. An illuminated nighttime Marrakech marketplace, with cocktails, food, and music, and live photoshoot presentation, featuring live vignettes inspired by iconic YSL iconic photographs.

Stylish San Franciscans flocked to our own personal Marrakech last week to celebrate The Factory’s new collection inspired by the love affaire that YSL had with Marrakech.

{The looks that evening ran the gamut from ultra modern to vintage inspired to came-straight-from-the-office}

{Cocktails, mannequins sporting Yves Saint Laurent-inspired frocks, friends reuniting, fortune tellers…}

{And the models showed off a phenomenal Spring 2013 collection filled with sleek, shimmering fabrics, vintage patterns & prints, luxurious metallics, faux fur, relaxed silhouettes, and fun accessories}

{I wore a long-sleeved, high-neck vintage shift dress, Zara ankle strap heels, and a fabulous gold necklace from Sasha Maks Vintage}

{Check out more photographs from this event here – Just log into Facebook to view}

This was the fifth event that I’ve had the honor of attending at The Factory, check out my posts on the previous events below:


Sasha Maks Vintage – Holiday Trunk Show

Last week I was honored to attend the Sasha Maks Vintage Holiday Trunk Show at the oh-so-stylish Michael Page Style Lab. The night included a gorgeous, tres chic location, stylish men & women, and more amazing vintage jewelry than you could believe.

But since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

{The fabulous all-white interior with mirrored walls & dramatic silver light fixtures – Michael Page Style Lab}

{Stylish women in full shopping mode ALL night long}

{Tables & tables of phenomenal vintage jewelry to browse through and try on}

{I wore a pearl-trimmed vintage shift & carried a chainlink quilted handbag, and spent close to two hours that night trying pieces of killer jewelry on}

{Ultimately narrowed it down to these two pieces – And then ended up with the oversized elephant pendant on the right – J’ADORE!}

{Check out more photographs from this event here – Just log into Facebook to view}

If you live or work near the Bay Area and are interested in checking out some amazing vintage jewelry I highly recommend checking out Sasha Maks Vintage – You can even email her and set up a private shopping session! 🙂


Website Review – FootCandy Shoes

Due to long hours, lots of time spent in front of a computer on a daily basis, and a general dislike of crowded stores – I’ve become quite the connoisseur of the “art” of online shopping. Recently I was thinking about what I like, what I don’t like, which sites I frequent, and what qualities I look for when I’m shopping online and wanted to share some of the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years.

What makes a good online retailer?

  1. Great selection of pieces so I’ll always find something that I like
  2. Carries brands that I know & love (and which I already know my size in…)
  3. Acceptable pricing & great and/or frequent sales
  4. Shipments arrive in good time
  5. Quick, easy & hassle-free returns

My favorite places to shop online?

  1. ASOS
  2. Bloomingdale’s
  3. Piperlime
  4. BCBG
  5. Nordstrom

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Shopstyle.com – Even though you don’t order directly from the website itself, this is the best place to find something that you’re looking for since they’ll search ALL online retailers for you. Ridiculously helpful.

Now that we’ve talked about online shopping in general, let’s discuss shoe shopping. As I’m sure you’ve picked up, I like shoes {Real Girls Need Real Closets & Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition} so today I want to share a new website that I recently discovered called FootCandy Shoes – An independent, high-end retailer that has put together a great website that carries a pretty spectacular selection of shoes.

Pros:

  • Free shipping on orders over $100
  • Great sale section & “Bargain Basement” tabs with shoes under $50, $100, $150…
  • Carries designer shoes as well as the more common, less expensive brands
  • They also carry handbags and other small accessories

Cons:

  • There are some PRICEY pieces on this site so be prepared

And the most fun part of reviewing a shoe site, here are my loves, must haves, and recommendations for Fall!

{Left to Right: Kate Spade Bison Booties – $120, Moschino White & Black Pumps – $150, Pollini Striped Oxfords – $190 & Tory Burch Buckled Ankle Boots – $215}

And as an added bonus FootCandy Shoes would like to share a couple great shoe-related articles with us – Since they know how much we all love our shoes!

{The following was written by Foot Candy Shoes for MCLV}

Top 4 Ways to spot a fake Christian Louboutin Shoe

Today, it seems as though there are many individuals that are trying to mimic the iconic designer shoes of Christian Louboutin. With his eye for incredible design, texture, fabric, and of course his infamous red sole, who wouldn’t want to be the next Christian Louboutin? Well… there is a difference between inspiration and plagiarism. He is a mogul that he himself created. Since day one he has put everything he had into his shoes. From dreams to scribbles, Louboutin is a trendsetter that no other person other than the glorious man himself can replicate. He truly is a one of a kind designer and this is clearly why every fashionista across the globe is obsessed with his label. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that want a piece of his opulence and they themselves have started to counterfeit his designs.

Here are four tips that will help every fashionista out there distinguish between Authentic Christian Louboutin’s and Imitations:

1. The Box: Some may find this tip silly but its close attention to detail that will differentiate genuine Louboutin’s from the fake ones. When looking closely at the box it is important to note the word “Paris.” It should be located near the edge of right side of the box. It should not be underneath the Christian Louboutin logo. In addition, the item description sticker should be on the box. It should clearly state the European size, name of the shoe, and have a sku bar and number all located on this one sticker. Lastly, the Christian Louboutin logo should be written in white lettering.

2. The Dust Bags: An authentic dust bag should be a bright red color made of a cotton fabric with the Christian Louboutin logo noticeably written straight across the bag. Fake dust bags tend to look almost sun faded or pink in tone. In addition, the fake dust bags have the Christian Louboutin logo that is written diagonally. Lastly, the fake dust bags usually are made of a fake silky material.

3. The Red Sole: A genuine Christian Louboutin red sole is always a bright red hue with a high gloss finish. Fake red soles are a deeper red hue and tend to have a matte looking finish rather than glossy one. Pay close attention to the lettering inscribed on the red sole. An authentic Christian Louboutin will clearly have “Christian Louboutin,” “Made in Italy,” and the European size located on it. Many times the fake shoes will have the word “MadeInItaly” as one word with no spaces. Lastly, the loop on the “L” located on an authentic Christian Louboutin shoe will appear almost touching the rest of the “L.” In the replica the “L” will not touch and there is a notable space in-between.

 4. The Authenticity Card: An enormous clue that will distinguish if the shoe you are purchasing is genuine or not has to do with the authenticity card. Fake shoes will come with a red PLASTIC authenticity card. However, genuine Christian Louboutin shoes do not send out any booklets or authenticity cards!

We hope these tips help! Happy Christian Louboutin Hunting!!

This article was written by Foot Candy Shoes, online retailers for Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and more.


Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.


Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Whether you’re watching the US Open or America’s Cup, a stylish spectator outfit is a must – US Open 2012 from Net-A-Porter.

Are you starting to prepare your wardrobe for Fall? A great skirt with tights & killer boots is always a fabulous option so check out WhoWhatWear’s suggestions for Fall 2012 – Market Watch: Fall Skirts.

One thing that I always look forward to when Fashion Month rolls around are the Garance Dore and Net-A-Porter Fashion Week video collaborations Pardon My French. She talks to fashion greats, reviews the collections, meets designers, interviews fashion insiders, and just generally gives you a great behind-the-scenes look at all of the Fashion Month madness.

You know how much I adore a versatile piece in my wardrobe – especially when it comes to packing for a trip. Refinery 29 clearly agrees – Oxford Shirt Styling Tips: 1 Oxford Shirt, 3 Easy Ways To Style It.

One of the fun Fall trends this year will be finding pieces that have your favorite artwork translated onto them – Whether you’re a fan of the Renaissance Masters or Graphic novels, there are pieces out there for everyone! This Time Tomorrow – Wearing Your Art On Your Sleeve.

Health/Fitness:

Don’t have time for a run? Not interested in the membership fees at your local gym? Why not head online to find the perfect workout for yourself – Fit Club: The Country’s Best Virtual Workouts.

Are you looking for some healthy meals to feed your family to ensure that they’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need? Here are some great recipes to try:

No matter how much time you spend in the kitchen familiarizing yourself with new tools – or re-familiarizing yourself with tools you haven’t used in a while – is an important part of staying on top of things so check out The Blissful Chef’s Cooking Tool of the Month Series.

Medicine and bosu balls are two of my favorite gym toys – If you use them right they can keep your workouts both challenging and fun. Don’t believe me? Check out FitSugar’s Don’t Let the Medicine Ball Intimidate You — 5 Easy Moves!


MCLV Style: Symphony Gala

I had the honor of attending the San Francisco Symphony Gala last week – A fun event that includes some GREAT people watching, an amazing Symphony performance, and dinner, drinks & dancing.

 

 

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Tiered Black Gown – BCBG Maz Azria, Beaded Clutch – Vintage, Ankle Strap Heels – Fendi, and Turquoise Necklace & Rhinestone Earrings from Sasha Maks Vintage}

{You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu}

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

It was a truly great night – I met fun & interesting people, danced my little booty off, and enjoyed some tasty vino. But the best part was, without a doubt, watching all the ladies mingling in their lovely gowns. Sequins, feathers, brights, white, retro, fun prints, florals, basic black… My friend and I were so busy looking around that we barely had time to talk!

A special thank you to Sasha of Sasha Maks Vintage for loaning me the gorgeous jewelry that I wore and to Magdalena of the Joseph Cozza Salon for the fantastic hair and makeup. You really need to love your stylist if you’re going to be sitting in the chair chatting for two hours. 🙂

Can’t wait to go again next year!

If you were going to dress up like Cinderella and go to the ball, what type of dress would you look for? Something bold and daring or more elegant and understated?


MCLV Style: IFBCON Day Two

So far I’ve gotten around to sharing with you my adventures at the IFB Conference in New York last week, as well as what I wore on the first day of the festivities, so today I’m here to share my outfit for the second day of the conference.

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Leather Trimmed Skirt – See by Chloe, Leopard Print Collared Blouse – Zara, T-Strap Heels – Zara, Gold Spiked Bracelet – Asos.com & Gold Studded Bracelet – Forever 21}

 

{If you like this look you can HYPE it on Lookbook.nu}

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

I actually flew home in this and was impressed by how comfortable the whole outfit was – That’s not an easy flight and an uncomfortable top or bottom can make it all the more miserable. I’ve definitely regretted more than one outfit over the years!

Do you dress up when you travel? It’s something that I’ve always done, because of my old-school love of formality and because I used to have to dress up to travel for sports. I like to be comfortable, but I definitely put in some effort, what about you?


The Dress Dilemma

Last week my I decided to have photographs taken and since I’ve used the fabulous Rhiannon from Alloria Winter Studios before and was beyond thrilled with the results, I immediately went to her for a session. I also have a go-to stylist whom I’ve been using for years, the amazing Magdalena formerly of 77 Maiden Lane, now of the Joseph Cozza Salon.

As it turned out, picking the photographer and the salon for hair & make up were the easy parts. What ended up taking me forever was choosing what I should wear for the shoot! I really wanted to wear something different from my usual so I immediately nixed the idea of wearing black.

What did that leave me?

Apparently green.

I narrowed it down to the following bright, Summery dress options:

[1.] The Maxi Dress:

Taking the beautiful Rachel Pally maxi dress worn here by Liz from Late Afternoon as my inspiration I toyed with the idea of wearing this Victoria’s Secret maxi that I got for a vacation in Thailand a few years ago.

[2.] The Tiered Dress:

The gorgeous, and now famous, green satin gown donned by Keira Knightley in Atonement was another look that I had in mind as I was digging through the racks at BCBG a few weeks ago.

And I was thrilled when I discovered this dress at the 50% off 4th of July Sale! It’s a beautiful, bright green color and the cut is relaxed and low-key rather than

[3.] The Mini Dress:

And since my BCBG addiction is second only to Zara, I picked another BCBG dress as an option for the shoot. I liked the idea of something cute and Summery, rather than serious and dramatic.

Clearly, I have green on the brain. As a blue-eyed, pale skinned, red-head, vibrant shades of green are usually a pretty good choice for me. When I was starting to plan this outfit I put together the following mood board for inspiration.

{Shop similar pieces over at ASOS Fashion Finder}

And since I didn’t want to have to deal with heels sinking into the grass during the photo shoot I opted to go with sandals rather than tall girl shoes.

Below is a sneak peek from our first photo shoot.

 

What do you think? The green stood out really well and I was thrilled by how well our photographer captured us despite the awful weather.