Thursday, April 30th 2009

to hobo or not to hobo

I have a confession to make: I’ve been carrying the same bag since the beginning of last fall. I know, the disgrace! But I simply haven’t found a contender that’s as perfect in size and shape as my trusty (and often complimented) Gustto. I’ve got a soft spot for oversized clutches, but they’re not really everyday practical. And on the other end of the spectrum, shoulder bags are practical, but the plain silhouettes just aren’t doing it for me anymore.

So, with summer approaching, I think it’s time to make a switch. I have a few minor demands of my everyday handbag: 1) It must be big enough to carry at least one book and one magazine. 2) It’s got to be versatile. 3) It’s got to have style (obviously).

After browsing handbags, I’ve narrowed it down to three contenders:

Exhibit A: Alexander Wang Trudy Tote
Perfect size? Check. Color? Timeless. Leather? Sublime. Style? Up the wazoo (technical fashion term). I tote my laptop everywhere, but sadly, laptop bags are never very chic. When this one’s expanded, however, it’s roomy enough for my computer, as well as all the other miscellaneous things I have with me at any given moment. Even better, forget six-months-and-I’m-done, I may just get away with wearing this one for years.

Exhibit B: Foley + Corinna Dyed Mid City Tote
I’ve been mulling over the print handbags trend, and for the longest time, I just couldn’t take the plunge. I like to carry my handbags for a season, put them away for a year, and pull them back out again. It’s like getting a brand-new bag. And when I asked myself if the print bags I was browsing could do this, all too often, the answer was no. Not the case here. This one will feel spring/summer chic year after year.

Exhibit C: See by Chloé Ring Around Hobo
Now, this bag is big, really big, but I have a bit of an unnatural love for oversized handbags (and lately, See by Chloé—oh, those jelly shoes!). And, hobo bags have that slouchy, laid-back feel that’s so perfect for summer. This is a signature in the making, and if I play my cards right, I think I can carry it into the early parts of fall as well.

So ladies, help me decide. Which gets your vote: A, B, or C?


Thursday, April 30th 2009

killer music, steamy temps, and cool fashion at coachella

The Latest by Kate, Fashion Director

Kate in her Nightcap vest, Tyler Rose bikini, Wayfarers, and Ksubi shorts.

Coachella was a glimpse of what summer will bring: outdoor music, hotter temps, and innovative fashion from cool girls. I had the opportunity to enjoy Paul McCartney's set (it lasted three hours, and he played all my fave Beatles tracks—the night was emotional, being the anniversary of his wife Linda's death). The Killers and Yeah Yeah Yeahs rocked hard, and a backdrop of the sun setting behind the mountains was ridiculously perfect while soaking in Fleet Foxes’ impressively harmonized ballads.

In the world of fashion highlights, I saw an abundance of maxi dresses, including styles from T-Bags and Mara Hoffman. Denim cutoffs were everywhere, as were crochet tops and dresses in cream, blue, and black. And there was no shortage of brightly colored shades, headbands, and headscarves. Western-inspired fringe bags and boots were huge hits, and tons of girls were rockin’ mini florals, proving they have an edge this season. My favorite look was on USC student, Stephanie (pic below), who effortlessly pulled off the bra trend that's so hot right now! And, I spotted looks from Thayer, Free People, and Rebecca Taylor, all done up with a music-festival-chic twist.

A few of my favorite looks:

Two concert-goers stay cool in mini-dresses.

Denim shorts were abundant, and florals got a little edge.

Check back Monday for trend-spotter Anne Ziegler’s take on another Coachella must-have: the romper.

Wednesday, April 29th 2009

bewitching woman


Fringe shawls, twirling tambourines, the enigmatic aura of some mystical sorceress in silk chiffon. Not just a “girl with the band,” but a girl leading the band with one of the most recognizable rasps in rock ‘n’ roll. Of course I’m talking about the golden goddess of rock herself, Stevie Nicks. Her beautiful bohemian fairy persona has been influencing both the street (check out this Pipeline retrospective) and the catwalks of late. Here’s a breakdown of the designers who want to swathe us in stand-back style.

Were the Jill Stuart and Diane von Furstenberg spring runways taking cues from the “Gypsy” video perhaps? Both collections are pure fairytale magic. Stuart’s take on the modern ballerina (another Nicks fascination) couldn’t be more on pointe, and who doesn’t want to wear one of those romantic DVF floral headdresses 24/7?

Jill Stuart’s fall ’09 collection, inspired by “iconic women of music,” channels Ms. Nicks through eternally cool leather and lace duets. And when it comes to that ’70s bella donna vibe, Anna Sui is our go-to gal. Her fall ’09 line is dripping with old-school decadence in the form of buttoned-up velvet and lace evocations coupled with poetic feather accents.


Wednesday, April 29th 2009

elsewhere & otherwise

* We’re feeling a little fluffy today, so let’s begin with a guilty pleasure, shall we? The company that brought New York the Sex and the City and The Sopranos tours will launch a Gossip Girl tour this Friday. We’re in if Chuck Bass is the guide. [ Elle News ]

* The Met Costume Gala pairings are out. Kate and Marc, Lily and Narciso, Coco and Isaac... Oh, to be on that list! [ FabSugar ]

* The New York Times will host live discussions with some of fashion's finest (Thakoon, Marc Jacobs, Tyra). New Yorkers, get thee to a ticket counter! (Or, you know, just buy your tix online.) [ The Moment ]

* Nicole Richie’s a busy lady these days, and yet she still finds time to blog about House of Harlow. [ People Style Watch ]

* The model-turned-singer-turned-first-lady Carla Bruni turned a few heads in Spain. But, wait, what’s this? Spain’s Princess Letizia looked every bit the fashion-forward politico, too? Ooh la la. [ Huffington Post ]

* Jelly shoes: yea or nay? Kate Bosworth was spotted in a pair of adorable yellow ones by See by Chloé. [ Style File ]

* staffer (and Stylista champion) Johanna Cox sings the skirt's praises. We're ready to join in on the chorus. [ Elle News ]

* Shoshanna’s star is on the rise, and her swimwear is on many a beach bod. [ StyleCaster ]

* Kate Hudson was spotted looking summer breezy in a Lauren Moffatt maxi dress. Get the mini version here. [ FabSugar ]

* Mary-Kate’s latest style muse is…Ozzy Osbourne?!? Oh, honey, no. [ People Style Watch ]

* Swine flu got you worried? Fashion's got you covered. [ Pipeline ]

* The Fug Girls bid adieu to Bea Arthur—the Golden Girl passed away this week. Thank you for being a friend, Ms. Arthur. [ Go Fug Yourself ]

Tuesday, April 28th 2009

Brands We Keep Coming Back For


To quote the venerable Heidi Klum: “In fashion, one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” Still, despite fashion’s flavor-of-the-month mentality, certain lines manage to maintain their devoted following season after season. A few of my faves:

Prepare for rioting in the streets if denim juggernaut Joe’s Jeans ever ceases production. To many women (including myself), that favorite pair of Joe’s is like the little black dress of their denim wardrobe: the faithful friend that always fits, flatters, and makes them feel great. I owe a debt of gratitude to this brand (and to Hudson jeans with their ingenious wider waistband) for making me understand I didn’t have to spring for lipo to look good in jeans, I just needed a style designed with curves in mind. (PS: Looking for a deal on your favorite denim? Check out our designer jeans sale.)

With jeans squared away, let’s turn our attention to the lines with the top tops. Though their boots and cashmere are to die for, in my opinion, spring/summer is the ideal time to shop Joie clothing. Bohemian but not sloppy or overly sweet, Joie brings some much-needed SoCal attitude to hippie-chic, offering little blouses and camis that manage that elusive balance of cute and cool. (Think faded florals and roughed-up ruffles.) And in terms of tees, I probably don’t need to tell you that Splendid tops are at the top of every A-listers list. This season they’re doing their version of the de rigueur slouchy styles, plus the classics we all know and love. An added bonus? Splendid’s affordable prices make stocking up for summer virtually pain-free.


Monday, April 27th 2009

bring may flowers


Though floral prints might conjure up bad childhood memories of being forced to wear one too many floral frocks to family functions (yes, I’m looking at you, mom), in the right hands it can be modern, unique, and anything but saccharine. And since investment pieces with a twist seem to be just what fashionistas crave right now, what better asset to enhance your spring style portfolio than updated florals?

Pretty prints by Elizabeth and James and Myne are made fashion-forward with a bandage bodice and one-shoulder silhouette, respectively. Faded, old-fashioned florals reimagined for the modern boho (like this frock by A Common Thread and this one by Pencey) are perfection with a pair of suede booties or fringed Candela shoes. And blossoms can be an unexpectedly feminine counterpoint to edgy accessories: a Victorian Hippie chain necklace or some Made Her Think jewelry lends attitude to a simple tank and a floral skirt by Myne.


Friday, April 24th 2009

bookmark this: stylecaster

Access to some of the fashion industry’s top players, fashion news you actually care about brought right to you, a whole network of chic friends whose inspiring looks are always at your fingertips? This is the stuff of fashion fantasy, and StyleCaster is making it reality. This latest must-bookmark site has fashion tips and news from people in the know (shopbop’s fashion director Kate is a contributor), as well as a community where the style obsessed can share inspiration, looks, and trade tips. Oh, and the site’s smart technology will figure out what you like and filter the content just for you. We know, it’s pretty darn close to perfect.

They're currently in private beta testing, but we got our hands on a VIP link that will let you (and us) give it a go now. Check it out.


Friday, April 24th 2009

Get to Know Thakoon: First Lady and Fashion Favorite

Designer Thakoon Panichgul backstage at his fall 2009 runway show.’s Laird Borrelli said of designer Thakoon Panichgul’s first collection in September 2004: “In just ten pieces, Thakoon Panichgul put himself on the map with an aesthetic that’s forward-looking, respectful of the past, and not at all vintage.” And in those three points captured the tone of every collection to follow. The designer has built his name on pieces that are deceptively simple and fluidly contradictory: looking to the future yet inspired by the past.

Born in Thailand, raised in Omaha, and educated (in business) in Boston, Thakoon moved to New York where he was a fashion writer and design student at Parsons before becoming a favorite of the fashion set. Falling into favor with First Lady Michelle Obama, whose sartorial choices have included the designer’s pieces on more than one occasion, has made Thakoon a household name. And the brand continues to grow. He designed a resort collection for Target last winter and will soon launch Thakoon Addition, a complement to his runway collection.

But the most important thing to note about this designer? His creations.

Three looks from the spring 2009 Thakoon runway.

For the spring season, Thakoon offers signature prints laden with playful wit, yet also chicly serious (think pieces that work for an evening out, a summer wedding, or even a day at the office). Ethereal, billowy silhouettes are tempered with bandage details, and pieces move from delicate to avant-garde and back again. This runway proved more provocative than seasons past, yet it was also demure—a paradox that plays well in Thakoon’s subtle conflicts.

A black and white sheath and a ruffled dress in a trompe l’oeil print, both from the fall 2009 runway.

Looking ahead to Thakoon’s fall collection, the prints evolve into a feminine-yet-cool ruffle trompe l’oeil, and though the runway was dominated by fall’s favorite hues (black, grey, beige, cream), the designer worked in rich jewel tones that added depth and interest.

But perhaps the best lesson is that every last piece is accessible and wearable, arguably the most valuable characteristics in fashion at this moment.

Shopbop Shoptalk

Friday, April 24th 2009

first fashion

Our Favorites from What's New
Looking at Coachella pics on style blogs this week, I admired how some women managed to turn the hippie look into something more modern, less stranded-in-1969. So this morning in What’s New I honed in on refined versions of boho classics.
Freep2029517616_94x185 Nothing says spring like white dresses, and the unique details on this easy version ensures it will be my go-to piece until September. Free People – Prickly Poppy Cotton Caftan Dress
Jacqu2000011611_94x185 Shopbop newcomer Jacquie Aiche’s earthy jewelry is divine, and this one will elevate the simplest tank-and-cutoffs combo. Jacquie Aiche – Agate Slice Braided Leather Necklace
Brett2005423360_94x185 Where better to sport laid-back tie-dye than the beach? Brett Sandler Swimwear – Alexis Ruched Tunic
Make old styles new again, in What’s New.


Thursday, April 23rd 2009

what you want. where you want it. shopbop’s on facebook and twitter


We get it. You’re the type who checks What’s New right away in the AM, who stalks the web during NY Fashion Week to get first glimpse at the collections, and who can tell at a glance what designer a passerby is wearing. So are we. So we’ve jumped on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagons to give our devoted shopbop fans the chance to connect with each other, keep up with our latest sales and updates, and get first dibs on their favorite frocks from fall’s runways when they finally come in. Want to be our BFF? Become a fan of shopbop on Facebook and follow shopbop on Twitter.


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