Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Line I Love: SUNO

One of the coolest things about finding under-the-radar, emerging designers is getting in on the ground floor, so to speak. You get to experience the designs before they become mainstream and if you buy them early on, sometimes they can even become collector's items. That's why I love discovering new designers in small boutiques, young designer marts (they have the best in NYC on Mulberry street), and just reading as many blogs as I can. Refinery 29 has a great new piece about 6 emerging designers to have on your radar, but I've come across one on my own that I'm obsessed with: Suno. Their metallic knit vest was a shiny dream and their signature tribal prints look great in swing skirts and dresses for fall. The line has just gotten some coverage from Vogue and I'm willing to bet it becomes one of the next big things. Take a moment to find a brand that you love and uncover something special. It can be all yours...at least for the time being. 

(photo: courtesy of Style.com)

Brian Atwood Goes Low

I'll admit it, I am obsessed with watching The Rachel Zoe Project on Bravo. But, that said, it's not like I get my fashion ideas from the show. It's just fun to watch and see the fantasy of celebrity fashion. Sure, it's easy to lust after the pieces you see on the show, but it's always WAY out of any young woman's price range. But, get this: Brian Atwood, RZ's fave shoe designer, just announced that he'll be doing a lower-priced line for fall thanks to Jones Apparel Group. What does it mean for us? The same glitz and glamour that we thought was out of reach may just be coming closer than ever. Expect leg-elongating nude patent pumps, towering platforms, and some seductive knee-high boots. It's not exactly the red carpet, but it's bringing fashion a few steps closer to the rest of us, and making a great designer more accessible than ever. My take? It's about time. 

(photo: courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue)

What to Wear: Scarves + Necklaces

I think it's always interesting the see the way designers actually dress. Sure, they can put together designs on models or in photos, but can they actually dress themselves? I may not always love Tory Burch's clothes (though I will admit that I was one of the original devotees to her Reva flats), but I do happen to think she pulls herself together quite nicely. She always mixes the greatest textures together in ways you would have never expected and the result is always flawless style. On the cover of Town & Country's September issue, Tory wears a great fall look, pairing a thick ikat print scarf (one of my staples) with a long, chunky turquoise necklace. Usually, I would think that you should choose one, the necklace or the scarf. But seeing Tory in the look makes me realize you can--and should--do both. She totally nails the look and makes me want to pile on the accessories, knowing just how chic it can be. The more the merrier!

(photo: courtesy of Town & Country)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

This picture makes me happy if only because I take any chance I can get to lounge around in my favorite heather grey sweatshirt. I always try and make it work for going out, and wear it endlessly in the privacy of my own pad. This street style subject seems to have gotten it just right. Paired with silky pants in a shiny metallic, the top actually looks perfect for day, and dare I say, may look even better at night. It doesn't hurt that she wears it well, but it may just inspire me to try the look once again. Platform wedges complete her effortless cool style and give new meaning to day-to-night dressing. Thank you to Vanessa Jackman for once again capturing how it's done.

 (photo: courtesy of Vanessa Jackman)

Virtual Inspiration

Ages ago, I remember reading through an issue of InStyle Home with Molly Sims on the cover. She was showing the magazine her newly renovated apartment in Manhattan and next to her desk, she found a fashionable alternative to a cluttered bulletin board. She had found an old dress form at a flea market and used it to affix all her misc. pictures, notes, etc. It became another piece of furniture in the room and over time, turned into her own inspiration board. Designers use inspiration boards too for each new collection, putting together everything from photos to fabric swatches that inspire them. Since I spend a majority of my time in front of the computer, I decided I needed a quick fix since I wanted my very own. I call it a virtual inspiration board. When I come across something I like online, anything from a street style photo to an image from a lookbook to something on Shopbop I have to have (surprise, surprise), I copy and paste it into my trusty folder. I can go back at any time and remember exactly why I saved that particular image, always feeling instantly inspired. Someday I'll find a place for that dress form, but in the meantime, this desktop folder may just have to do.

Joe Zee at the Emmy Awards

If you've watched The City (and I'm not saying that I have), you know who Joe Zee is. As the Creative Director at Elle, he pretty much runs the show and is responsible for most of their incredible fashion spreads. Extra tapped Mr. Zee to be their special fashion correspondent this past weekend at the Emmy Awards, making him an even more recognizable on-air personality (and a refreshing alternative to Joan Rivers' babbling). This comes just a few days after Nina Garcia was quoted as telling The New York Times that the role of the fashion editor has changed. "Now you have to wear many hats, and whoever tells you differently is wrong. Now you’re on TV, whether you want it or not," she said. So what are we to make of these ever-changing rolls? Do we want them to be this close? This accessible? Is it making it easier for us to experience fashion and learn about style so that we can develop our own? Or are these blurred lines just a sign that everyone wants to be a celebrity and magazines really are dying? 

(photo: courtesy of Extra TV)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Opening Ceremony + Agnes b.

Back when I was 16 I was lucky enough to go to Paris for the summer. It was the beginning of my mad love affair with the city and I can relay the details of that trip quite comprehensively. One that I can't forget is the proximity of my dorm room to the cute, French chain Agnes b. Just down the street, me and mes amis Americains would traipse over after class, try on everything in site, and usually walk out with just a canvas backpack, if that. The label was just too cool for us, but as I've gotten older it's become more and more accessible. Now comes word that Opening Ceremony, arguably one of the coolest stores in LA and NYC, is collaborating with the French store on a reissue of some of Agnes b.'s more iconic pieces. The result will undoubtedly be something simply chic and downright downtown cool. It might just be time to restock those snap button cardigans and drawstring backpacks! Counting the minutes...

(photo: courtesy of Opening Ceremony)

Great Read of the Day

When you browse a store online, sometimes it can be hard to navigate. What would look good on me? What should I buy? What is my best bet for fall? The New York Times just interviewed some of the top buyers from the most popular online sites (Shopbop, Net-a-Porter, La Garconne, etc.) to see what they think is big for fall. It also goes into detail on why we're shopping online more and more. It's a great read, really intuitive, and can help you understand some of your own shopping behaviors, and most importantly--the best ways to browse for what you want. The paper's head fashion critic, Cathy Horyn, actually wrote the piece and she's really insightful when it comes to style and fashion. (Make a note to read her runway reviews during Fashion Week in September. You'll learn a ton.) 

(photo: courtesy of The New York Times)

Cool Kicks

I'm willing to bet that either you or someone you know owns a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors. I am probably on my tenth pair and always manage to find an excuse to wear them. I used to do black, but now I'm pretty comfortable with the crisp, clean-ness of my off-white low-tops. I just laid eyes on these Missoni sneaks and I am thinking about trying them out. I'm not quite sure if I can pull them off, but I think every girl/woman of a certain age dreams of owning some piece of Missoni. These Converse, specially designed by Missoni, are a bit more affordable than the luxe Italian knits, but they have that fun pizzazz factor (can't believe I actually just used that word). I actually think they'd look cool with some thick tights and would even wear them with other patterns or graphics just for effect. They're a bit 3-D but that's what makes them so cool. Just a thought, they could make for an original look.

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29.com)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sweet as Candy

Last night I swung by my friend's candy store (yes, candy store, A.sweeT. Definitely worth a visit), and perused a collection of souped-up friendship bracelets. I've already blogged about how much I love this current trend, and have been working steadily on building my very own collection, as my cluttered wrist will attest. The line Frieda & Nellie has an awesome collection of colorful friendship bracelets that are woven into vintage gems that blend some fun, bright colors and striking, shiny gems. They're the perfect antidote to my increasingly black wardrobe and will let me indulge the camp-going kid in me. The best part? They look even better when stacked. I'm just thankful that this fun accessory lets me bring my carefree summer spirit all the way into fall.

(photo: courtesy of Vogue.com)

Hey Jealousy

If you ask me, fashion editors have it good. Not only do they get to see designs first when they walk down the runway, but because of their special relationships with designers, they often get to actually have the designs first too. That means they're the ones who are going to be deciding which trends to wear full seasons ahead of when we actually get to buy them. Refinery29 is on my daily blogroll and they have a great, kind of hipster vibe to them which is cool, but not too cool for school. They've rounded up a group of uber-stylish editors and asked them what's on their wish list for fall. I usually have copycat fever when it comes to these types of articles. I not only love reading what they're wearing, but I am quick to get ideas on which pieces I have to have myself. Take a read and shop the styles and get some great ideas for fall. Even if you don't replicate the exact designs, it's a great jumping off point and will give you plenty of ideas for your fall look.

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29)

Thigh High

Like I've said before, I love getting style ideas from browsing sites online, Shopbop being my absolute fave. I'm always thinking of different pieces I can add to my look to shake things up or designs that I'd love to try out. Last year I saw a fashionable streetstyle photo of a girl on the street wearing thigh-high socks with a skirt. At first I imagined Britney Spears singing 'Hit Me Baby One More Time' in her knee highs. But then I took another look. I LOVED the way it looked. Now, perusing Shopbop, I see some styling incorporating these thigh-highs. In the thicker knits they're far less trashy looking and they could add some nice depth to the sweater dresses that I am sure I'll be wearing through winter. I'll be on the hunt for a charcoal, thick knit pair and frankly, I can't wait to try out the look. Who would've thought that I'd get such a great idea from a simple image, but that's why it pays to pay attention!

(photo: courtesy of Shopbop.com)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Breaking the Rules

I'm all for the idea of rethinking conventional style trends. When you're younger you hear rules and you think you have to follow them. Never wear black and brown together. Never wear white past Labor Day. Never wear socks with sandals. Never double up on denim. I'm here to tell you that these rules can and should be broken. Case in point, look at this pic of Vena Cava designer Lisa Mayock. She's rocking not one, but two denim pieces, and it looks--gasp!--totally cute. They don't match and I think that is what makes it so cool. It's a good thing too because I'm still obsessed with my Levi's denim jacket, and seem to wear my chambray button-down at least once a week. Now I know that no matter the season, I can ignore what I've been told and start wearing my favorite pieces together. I think the more contrast the better. 

(photo: courtesy of Mr. Newton)

Seeing Cerulean

I am fairly certain that anyone reading this blog has seen The Devil Wears Prada. It's one of my all time faves and every time I come across it on FX, I always have to stop and watch. The other day when I stumbled upon it, I was so impressed with one of Miranda Priestly's famous speeches. Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, walks in while Miranda is adjusting the belt on a model and asks Andy for her input. Andy, hopeless and naive, says that "this stuff all looks the same." That's when Miranda launches in. 

stuff? Oh... okay. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out — oh, I don't know — that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. You're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St. Laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? (I think we need a jacket here). And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

I think the reason this speech is so impressive is because of how true it really is. We come across so much and consume so much on a daily basis and the way that this information gets to us is really quite interesting. We get to experience such fun fashion and see so many beautiful clothes, but stop and think what it takes for it to get in front of us. It's a really interesting process from idea to design to production and just thinking about it a little more can help open up your world in ways you never thought possible. Plus, author Lauren Weisberger has a new book coming out. If only it's half as good as The Devil Wears Prada. 

(photo: courtesy of The Devil Wears Prada)

Investment Pieces

Back when I lived in New York, I worked with someone who taught me some of style's most valuable lessons. I was used to buying heaps of crap from Urban Outfitters and H&M. But each new season would roll around and she'd strategically buy a few more expensive investment pieces that would last for years. They were always more classic, could withstand trends, and she wore them to death because they were just that great. I learned a thing or two about what I really should be buying and ever since, I try and figure out what my investment buys will be each year and season. For fall, these fur-lined boots have my attention. They're a great alternative to Uggs, have a fashionably sleek heel, and the best part is they'll look cute with skirts and dresses. I have a feeling if I buy them that they'll get their fair share of wear, and will look just as cute next fall, and the next. It's a different way of thinking but it certainly makes sense. Now if I could just streamline my list.

(photo: courtesy of Net-a-porter.com)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going Green

This summer has been all about army green for me. I've picked up a pair of cute, rolled, slouchy trousers, a great army jacket with a fitted, drawstring waist, and I may be about to add yet another army piece to the collection. I was once told that if you find something that fits, you should buy it in every color. I used to think it was insane but as I've gotten older I realize how true it actually is. I literally live in my skinny J Brands. I wear them constantly. So why not get another pair to mix things up for fall? (The best news is they're readily available at the J Brand outlet. Yes, you heard me right. Outlet. Look it up!). A nice, rich army green goes with all the black I already own, pairs well with my butterscotch colored bag, and will look pretty damn good with heels, too. It's a quick fix, and though I might just be reaching my army breaking point, I think it's something that may just fit the bill.

(photo: courtesy of Shopbop.com)

People Watching

When I walk to Starbucks every day for my 3pm Grande Black Iced Tea unsweetened, I'm always reminded of how colorful Downtown L.A. really is. I walk out of my way to this Starbucks though because it's right next to the FIDM campus and that means that the clientele is a fashionable bunch. Now that the back to school season is in full swing, I'm looking forward to some major people watching during my afternoon stroll. These students are so inspired with what they wear, what they pair, and their style sense in general.  Who would have thought that Starbucks would be such a great place to get ideas, get inspired, and get an eyeful all at the same time? Something as simple as how a student tied a Pucci-esque graphic scarf around her everyday canvas tote made me want to race and get my own silk version (hint: American Apparel actually has a great selection). Try and find a similar place for people watching near you. It's a great and easy way to get inspired.

(photo: courtesy of FIDM)

Isn't it Romantic?

I'll admit it, I'm the last person to promote celebrity fashion. It may be fun as eye candy, but it's impractical, and just so damn inaccessible. I love flipping through the pages of InStyle just as much as the next girl, but when it comes to things I can actually wear, I usually have to look elsewhere. So maybe I was drawn to this pic because Katie Holmes is actually wearing J. Crew and not some expensive designer dress (photographed for her upcoming role in The Romantics). But aside from the fact that Katie herself looks great, I most noticed the way she was wearing a button down work shirt (in army, one of the colors I can't seem to get enough of), under a cap-sleeved copper dress. When summer ends I usually can't wait to get rid of all my summer dresses, excited for thick knits, and frankly, a bit more coverage. But now that I know how good this textured pairing really looks, I may have to rethink that swap. I can repurpose my chambray button down and use it as a layering piece with even an unexpected summer dress or cocktail number for fall. Quelle surprise!  

(photo: courtesy of J. Crew)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Line I Love: Marais USA

Sure, I was inclined to be obsessed by the name alone (one of the chicest arrondisements in Paris), but the shoe line Marais USA really is that great. Their super affordable shoes have some of the season's hottest styles without Steve Madden's cheese factor. Case in point: they're sold in Urban Outfitters but they're also sold at chic boutiques all over the country. Their canvas fabrics are perfect for the dog days of summer and I'm still eyeing their oxfords for a fall addition to all of my summer skirts and dresses. Tres cute and tres affordable, two things I can definitely get behind.

(photo: courtesy of MaraisUSA.com)

Um, Ew!

Here's to learning that just because it's designer doesn't make it good--or even wearable. Uggs (which I retired a few years back) have teamed up with Jimmy Choo to launch a designer series of studded and bedazzled furry boots. The result? Downright atrocious. Take a look for yourself. Don't focus on designer labels and name brands. It's not always worth the hype and buying something just because of the label doesn't let you really get to find your own style in a natural, organic way. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the pic. 

(photo: courtesy of DailyMail.co.uk)


Two of my favorite movies of last year were The Last Emporer (the Valentino documentary) and The September Issue, where cameras follow the staff at Vogue as they prepare for the year's biggest September issue. The surprising heroine of the movie is Grace Coddington, the magazine's Creative Director, whose creative vision is just unbelievable. I may have little to nothing in common with Grace, but her icon status alone is an inspiration to anyone who is looking to create real walking and talking style. Just flip through the pages of any Vogue magazine to see how she incorporates movement and art to bring clothes and fashion to life. News broke today that Coddington is penning her very own memoir, I am sure detailing her younger years as a model and her time at the mag. I for one cannot wait to read it. I know it's going to be a page turner and going to teach me a few life lessons along the way. 

(photo: courtesy of wwd.com)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Item of the Weekend

When I first went back east to school, my mom and I went coat shopping in New York to prepare this delicate California flower for the harsh winters ahead. One of my best purchases was this awesome shearling jacket that got its fair share of wear. A rich butterscotch suede on the outside and a warm sheepskin on the inside, it was a bit boxy and large, but definitely did its job and kept me warm. Over the weekend I wandered into Intermix and found a more modern reincarnation of my beloved shearling. This one was a bit more Amelia Earhart than Penny Lane, but the motorcycle cut was a nice twist. The price seemed a little steep but it got my wheels turning. I am dusting off that old number and taking it to my favorite tailor for a little reworking. In no time--and for a fraction of the cost--I just may be able to come close to that beautiful Helmut Lang jacket. 

(photo: courtesy of Style.com)

Gap Gets Good

If you've been paying attention lately, Gap has been doing some pretty cool things. I even bought a pair of their 1969 skinny jeans that have been giving my J Brands a run for their money. Their latest campaign is the black pant campaign with reissues of their bestselling cuts in, well, black. But when the ads came out, I wasn't paying attention to the pants the model was wearing, my eyes were focused on the shoes. The black wedges had a peep toe and an awesome leather detail that was just right for fall. I've done some sleuthing and found out that these Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes come out October 19th and I've already set the date in my calendar. I contemplated sharing this intel with everyone because I want these all to myself, but I figured I had to be fair. I feel like these shoes just may make me a door buster. See you at the starting line!

(photo: courtesy of Stylist.com)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cool Khakis

For Fashion Night Out, most retailers are offering some cool exclusives to get shoppers in stores and maxing their plastic. Case in point, Chanel is offering some special nail polishes, just for the big night. This range of khakis, greens, and muted colors are a cool alternative to the Bermuda Shorts and A Good Mandarin is Hard to Find that I've been wearing all summer. And considering their color of summer was a delicious mint green, I'm guessing I'll like these just as much. Not quite sure how the shades will look against my fair skin but they're certainly something fun to look forward to for fall. I'm guessing that OPI and Essie will be following suit soon enough.

(photo: courtesy of Stylist.com)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Color Wheel

If you read any fashion magazine for fall, it will tell you that camel is the color of the season. But no matter what I read, I'm still imagining my look for fall focusing on black. I can add in shades of grey, but when I stick with black, it's just so much easier to put a look together. When I saw this image, I was intrigued by the mustard color of her skirt. Mixed with my very black wardrobe it could look pretty cool, and hey, even Alexander Wang made some of his bucket bags in the color this season. I'm not quite sure how it will look on me though, so I'll start out small, maybe with a deep mustard blouse or accessory. Let's see how it goes, but I could just be onto something here.

(photo: courtesy of vanessajackman.blogspot.com)

Fast Fashion of the Day: APC at Urban Outfitters

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a weakness for Paris. And anything that takes me just a few steps closer to my beloved city automatically holds a place in my heart. Enter APC, the awesome French label that has slowly gained a cult following in the U.S. Their pieces are pretty basic, but they have a demure quality to them that translates to French ingenue. You can find the line in New York, or in their little boutique off Melrose, but now Urban Outfitters has begun to carry their lower-priced diffusion collection, Madras. For a fraction of the cost (their prices tend to get high), you can get the same je ne sais quoi from this collectible label. Their smock dresses are popular year round in a range of fabrics, beautiful bows adorn their best pieces, and sweet prints lend a childlike appeal. Looking effortlessly Parisian has never been easier.

(photo: courtesy of APC)


As part of my morning ritual when I sit down at my computer, I like to peruse Shopbop.com. But Mondays and Wednesdays are extra special, because those are the days when new inventory gets added to Net-a-Porter. Though I rarely buy from them, I like to virtual window shop. My favorite part, (aside from swooning at the high-priced designer finds), is seeing how the site's stylists have put together each look. Not only do they show each item of clothing on a model, but they style it with other clothes and accessories available on the site, through a "looks good with" type of feature. I'm always impressed by how they'll put a sleeveless blouse over a long-sleeved button down, pair different patterns or textures together in unexpected ways, or even add a bright pop of color in a place I never would have imagined. The basis for this outfit is a leather mini skirt from L'Agence. It's paired with a matte long-sleeved blouse, which you know I love, but the long, draped, flannel looking top is what caught my eye. I never would have worn it over the other grey blouse, but leaving it open, it hangs like a vest, and adds another dimension to the look. I'm not buying the outfit, but I've certainly walked away with some ideas. Now if only I didn't have to wait until next Monday for more...

(photo: courtesy of net-a-porter.com)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In the Nude

Ever since I read that Equipment, the brand of button-downs made famous in the '80s, was relaunching, I've been on the hunt for the perfect version for myself. Their matte silk design is dreamy, and has an easy fit that looks great with all of the skinny jeans I've managed to amass. Ever since I started admiring the line, I've noticed just how great--and grown-up--a tailored-yet-relaxed blouse like that can be. This street style photo shows a young woman who gets it just right. The shirt may be buttoned up but the sheer, nearly nude fabric makes sure it's still quite feminine. Paired with classic trousers, it makes for a great work look, and with billowy sleeves or a deep neckline, you can make even the most masculine silhouette look subtly sexy. 

(photo: courtesy of alltheprettybirds.blogspot.com)

Girls Gone Prep

Going to school back east, I would say I became fairly well versed in all things preppy. Burberry scarves? Check. Lilly Pulitzer prints? Check. Vera Bradley quilted bags? I even own one. So when I first read The Official Preppy Handbook, I knew exactly what the author was talking about. With a follow-up, True Prep, set to be released in a few short weeks, I realized I was ready to revisit my college years--maybe even bring some of that East Coast sensibility to my left coast look. Popped collars aren't exactly my thing, but Steven Alan did have a great button-down this season with an anchor print that had just the right amount of prep. There's really no place for me to wear madras, but J. Crew happens to have a metallic Sperry Topsider that has my name on it. I can't go head-to-toe, but I can incorporate these little hints to remind myself of that special time back in college. To find your own inspiration, make sure to check out this new book, and while you're at it, revisit the old classic, too.

(photo: courtesy of Amazon.com)

Denim Delight

Anyone who has seen me this summer can attest to the fact that I have become one with my jean jacket. A far cry from the Earl Jean Jacket I wore through high school, this shrunken Levi's version has a lighter wash and more of a vintage feel. After spotting it on a few editor friends in different colors and washes throughout Spring, I realized I had come across the exact item I was hoping to complete my summer look. Paired with the best floral dresses, it brings me a little street cred, and worn with my black J Brands and an infinity scarf, I have a feeling it'll get its fair share of wear through fall. The best part? This Levi's version was unbelievably affordable. It's become my go-to, and something I can't seem to take off. What's yours?

(photo: courtesy of Macys.com)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

There are times when I walk through a department store or a boutique and feel like I know everything. I can eye a print from a mile away, tell you who designed it, and why it's being paired with a certain brand of denim. And then there are times when I'm reminded that I don't know a damn thing. This street style photo is definitely the latter. You always look for jackets that hang perfectly so, draped ever so delicately atop your favorite dress or pants so that they're peaking out from underneath. Never would I even try to play with proportions the way this street style subject has. By leaving the jacket open, she's almost tricking the eye, showing just how much can be done by reinventing the conventional way we pair different layers and lengths. Time to reconsider the ankle-length jacket?
(photo: courtesy of vanessajackman.blogspot.com)

Fashion's Night Out!

Experiencing the very first Fashion's Night Out last year in New York was an incredible experience. The city was just about to launch into Fashion Week and shoppers were poised with their credit cards ready to take the city's retail scene by storm. The best news for us Angelenos is that the night is back, and whether you're in L.A., New York, or somewhere else altogether, September 10th is set to be big. L.A. shoppers can expect a WeHo block party, Justin Timberlake at the new Santa Monica Place, and a ferris wheel set up on Rodeo. In NYC? Opening Ceremony is hosting a pop-up French flea market at the Ace Hotel, Teen Vogue is throwing a block party on Bleeker, and you can play ping pong with the Olsen twins at Barneys. Check the official website for details and keep checking back here for more fun news and highlights. 

(photo: courtesy www.fashionsnightout.com)

An Alternative Investment

I am constantly rethinking what an investment piece means to me. Pencil skirts and classic white button downs aren't really my thing and they aren't exactly practical for my day-to-day sched. I need functional pieces that will still look good next season and won't end up forgotten in the back of my closet. Case in point is this amazingly insane Simone leather jacket. Of course you've heard that every girl needs an LBD, but what we really need is a little leather jacket like this. These studs make it anything but ordinary, and I'm willing to bet this will still be a conversation piece a few years down the road. The best part? With a jacket like this, you hardly have to worry about what you wear underneath...

(photo: courtesy of Simone Collection)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

I'm fairly certain I don't have her legs, or her careless elegance. But I am pretty sure that I want to be this model, posed so perfectly in my favorite city on Earth. The ease with which she wears a basic white tee with killer, towering heels, and a PVC purse in the season's structured lady-like silhouette, it's simply perfect. This off-duty model pretty much nails it with every single piece she's wearing. Even her mini has some unexpected detailing on the sides that balance out the simplicity of the scoop neck t-shirt. Simply put, brilliant. It's hard not to covet this look.

 (photo: courtesy of altamiranyc.blogspot.com)

The Magic of Makeup

I was reading Teen Vogue the other day (no, I'm not embarrassed to admit it), and came across a piece where their Style Blogger took a trip to the Chanel Resort show in Saint Tropez. He was hanging out with a Chanel Ambassador and It Girl Poppy Delevingne, who was explaining how her childhood was spent lusting after her grandmother's treasure trove of Chanel. Not exactly relatable. But she did give a great piece of advice to Teen Vogue readers who weren't quite ready to begin acquiring Chanel's timeless styles. She said to start by collecting pieces of their makeup line, even their nail polishes, which are packaged beautifully with their iconic interlocking C logo. She had a point. Even just putting these few small pieces atop your dresser or placing them in a beautiful tray as decoration is an easy way to start experiencing the legendary style that is Chanel. It may not be the fashion you're looking for, but this little tip made big sense, and pinpointed an easy and affordable way to access your own small dose of high fashion glamour. 

(photo: courtesy of BlogdorfGoodman.com)

Work Wear Done Right

When I first moved to NYC, I kind of freaked. I had to put away my amazing selection of sneakers and make way for sensible heels and black Theory trousers. My office attire was beyond boring, devoid of color, and pretty much the exact same thing every day. So when I saw that Alice & Olivia was doing a line of updated work basics, it kind of made me miss the good ole days of walking to Times Square in my working girl uniform. If only I had had these kind of options--or known more about what was out there. For today's 9-to-5er, or anyone else trying to look good, these amazingly classic pieces have that perfect twist that designer Stacey Bendet lends all her designs. They're work-appropriate but still delightfully feminine. Aka, the classic pencil skirt below with the retro peplum detailing. A must-have for any urban fashionista.
(photo: courtesy of Alice & Olivia)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Buy: PS I Made This

When it comes to finding fashion, most often the designer items you read about are way beyond your budget. So what's a stylish girl to do? Improvise...and a crafty young woman is here to show you how.  Erica Domesek has broken down some great looks and detailed in her new must-have book how you can recreate the look yourself, whether you're on a budget or repurposing something you already own. Totally inventive and really inspiring. You can either use the examples she outlines in her book or use her book as a great jumping off point for tackling new trends and fashions you see with the same creative mindset. Either way, the book's a must for girls like us.

(photo: courtesy of Abrams Image)

DIY Fallon Choker

I'll admit it, I'm not really a jewelry person. On a daily basis I rarely wear anything, but that said, if I see something I like, I have to have it. When I was browsing the amazing J. Crew boutique in Malibu and caught sight of the statement necklaces that Fenton + Fallon designer Dana Lorenz created for the retailer, I knew I was in love. Me and the tangled choker have been inseparable ever since. It dresses up even my most basic James Perse tees and looks fierce with a striped sailor shirt and blazer. So when I heard that Lorenz hosted a DIY jewelry-making class for editors at her Soho design studio, I had to know how she conceives of her designs. Follow the pictures to see the steps, and take some cues on how you can fashion your own piece of jewelry. 

(photo: courtesy of Refinery29.com)

Topshop in L.A.

Well, kind of. Stepping into legendary L.A. boutique Ron Herman, I saw racks for Topshop that were screaming my name. After spending months jealous that New Yorkers get to enjoy their own Topshop at any hour of the day, I realized this is the perfect antidote for me. Of course Ron Herman doesn't have as much as the actual Topshop store does, but baby steps, people. Amazing fashions and prices that made me do a double take. Thank you, Ron Herman.

(photo: courtesy of RonHerman.com)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

SPOTTED: Vena Cava goes Fast Fashion

If you've ever watched Gossip Girl (don't be embarassed, they're stockpiled on my DVR, too), you've seen Vena Cava. The line by two L.A.-bred designers makes Upper East Sider Serena van der Woodsen look every bit downtown chic. Their addictive prints get better and better each season and I'm still regretting not getting one of their tiered cocktail dresses nearly 5 years later. They've listened to the cries for more and have done a small collection for Bloomingdale's in-house label Aqua. We've spotted some of the very prints they've used in past collections and the same cool details, including lace insets, super flattering ruching, and clothes you'll want to wear just about everywhere. 

(photo: courtesy of Fashionista.com)

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

Looking at yet another ubiquitous street style photo and realized that despite looking nothing like the girl in the photo (I dig the whole gamine thing she has going), I could picture myself in the exact outfit she's wearing. Easy dress in a dark color? Check. Detailed cardigan that doubles as a knit blazer? Double check! But what caught my eye was the penny loafers she's wearing. Anything but masculine that add a nice edge to her otherwise super feminine look. They're the perfect pairing to an otherwise flawless look--and a great daytime option.

(photo: courtesy of All the Pretty Birds)

Loving Leopard?

Leopard. No matter where you look right now, everything is about leopard. I definitely love the look but not quite sure I can pull it off. Been staring at this See by Chloe leopard print dress in a muted color that is just perfect for me. And the blousy fit? It's lets me show some leg while still being comfortable with an easy fit. It seems like the perfect solution for me, but with a higher price tag, I may want to try out the trend with something a bit less expensive to see how I like wearing leopard. A small purse, perhaps. Maybe even heels. Good thing that this season my options are endless.

(photos: courtesy of Net-a-porter.com and LoefflerRandall.com)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

One of my investment pieces for summer was a pair of Current Elliot cuffed, slouchy pants in a really versatile army green color. I've already worn them to death (maybe a little too much), but I'm dreading giving them up for fall. When I saw this street style photo, I realized I didn't have to. This girl could have looked just as cute with a shrunken jean jacket, a fitted school boy blazer, and a pair of ankle boots. Topped with an infinity scarf? Forget it. Outfit made, and I get to keep wearing my pants!

 (photo: courtesy Copenhagen Street Style)

Gone Camp(ing)

Since we're still braving the summer heat, it only makes sense to take a little sartorial inspiration from that place that brings back many a fond memory (and a few cringe-worthy moments, too): CAMP! One of Lucky's fashion editors has brought back one of my favorite arts and crafts projects, and made it cool for grown ups. Her metal and string friendship bracelets are fresh, cool, packed full of color, and I bet would look pretty amazing stacked up high. Brainstorming on how to turn a lanyard into a must-have accessory. Thoughts?

(photo: courtesy of Fashionista)

Putting It All Together

In the past few years, J. Crew has done an amazing job getting our attention. Their creative director, Jenna Lyons, has cornered the market on preppy glam. But when I'm not trying to figure out what I want from their catalog, I am busy looking at how they've styled the models in it. The two things that I've noticed most are the way they layer and the way they mix. It's not unusual to see a model wearing not one but two shirts, a coat over a denim jacket, or a chunky knit over a cardigan. They make you think about texture, too. Look at the way this model wears two of fall's best trends, plaids and metallics, and marries them into one look. It's unusual but it works. Take a look at your closet and have another look...

(photo: courtesy of J. Crew)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SPOTTED: Tucker goes Fast Fashion

If you're still waiting with baited breath until Mulberry hits Target's store shelves, here's a little something to tide you over. Tucker, maker of billowy blouses that any sophisticate would love, has just unveiled a sneak peek at their new capsule collection for Target. Same blousy fits? Check. Same great prints? Check. Accessible price point? YES! Counting the minutes....

(photo: courtesy of Target)

Street Style Inspiration of the Day

There is something so pleasantly inspiring about seeing people on the street, and taking your fashion cues from their incredible style. Catching a glimpse at this Italian beauty, her neon printed shift dress screams summer, from the crisp white Chuck Taylors to the neon ikat print. But before you ignore this shot in favor of fall fashion, consider how you can turn this into one of your favorite transitional pieces. Sure it looks great with bare tan legs, but consider pairing an equally sharp schoolboy blazer and flats for fall and wool tights and thick infinity scarves for winter. The idea is that you can make each simple piece your own and wear it for season on end. Just think of these street style photographs as a jumping off point.

(photo: courtesy of The Sartorialist)