Thursday, December 30th 2010

Best Foot Forward: Snakeskin Shoes

Equally at home on a starlet’s stiletto as it is on a cowboy’s dusty boot, snakeskin adds texture, interest, and a femme-fatale swagger to everything it touches.

Startlingly adaptable, python lends a tone of timeless luxury to classic silhouettes (like Elizabeth and James heels or Vera Wang ballet flats), while in the hands of fearlessly fashion-forward designers like Maison Martin Margiela and Camilla Skovgaard, it infuses abstract designs with life and energy. Even traditional closet staples, like Hunter boots or Tory Burch flip flops, become eye-catching statements when incarnated in a textured serpent print.

If you’re still not convinced, consider that no two snakeskins (or snake prints) are alike. With finishes, textures, and colors ranging from super-subtle to rough-and-tumble, they’re as diverse as the ladies who love them.


Thursday, December 30th 2010

First Fashion: Draped & Layered

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With the oversized trend that’s been sweeping the fashion world the last few seasons, I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to soft draping. Today, three draped and layered pieces caught my eye.

(1) I’m a big fan of Thakoon dresses for their innovative shapes and pretty prints, and this skirt has me turning my eye toward the designer’s separates too. I’d wear it now with a sweater and Sam Edelman boots and later with a tank and K. Jacques sandals. Thakoon - Draped Front Long Skirt

(2) Clean tailored lines meet silky draping in this Alexander Wang dress. It’d make a fine go-to for next year’s wedding circuit. Alexander Wang - Draped Tailored Dress

(3) Girlish frills with a sensual side (the sheer back panel). I’d finish this Derek Lam dress with nude Jean-Michel Cazabat heels and a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag. Derek Lam - Ruffle Dress


Wednesday, December 29th 2010

Look I Love: The Peplum Trend

Trends are cyclical, and though I’m happy to leave some firmly in the past, there’s one I’m falling for right now: the peplum. Popular in the ’40s (on tailored dresses with collars and buttons) and in the ’80s (exaggerated versions that balanced the era’s padded shoulders and bold prints), the flounce has long been loved for the way it emphasizes the waist and instantly creates an hourglass figure. It’s made a comeback in recent seasons, not least due to the multiple iterations of Preen’s signature peplum dress.

Today’s designers leave behind the busy patterns and bulky details of bygone eras, passing them up in favor of solid colors, streamlined silhouettes, and a modern sensibility. Simple, strapless dresses in winter white by Alice + Olivia and DSQUARED2 are adorned with architectural peplums, and Club Monaco makes a bustier top on-trend with an asymmetrical peplum and a shade of blush pink. For something more relaxed but no less refined, Derek Lam’s cotton version is perfect for a resort getaway now or a garden party come spring.


Wednesday, December 29th 2010

First Fashion: Accessories of a Different Color

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Now that the holiday lights are down and the tinsel’s packed away, winter’s looking awfully bleak and white. These three bright accessories caught my color-starved eye this morning:

(1) Whimsical and modern, these Marc Jacobs bracelets are a chic update of a childhood favorite. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Marc Jelly Bracelet Set

(2) Tory Burch bags are always the perfect fusion of classic and on-trend, and this candy-hued tote is no exception. Tory Burch - Bev Bag

(3) Cynthia Vincent proves “comfortable statement shoes” doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent - Sage Ballet Flats


Tuesday, December 28th 2010

Winter Into Spring Trend: Soft Neutrals

Looks from the 3.1 Phillip Lim resort 2011 lookbook.

The fall 2010 collections saw a movement away from black toward a less severe set of neutrals. Shades of brown and tan, winter white, and navy blue took center stage on silhouettes that marked a return to classic sophistication. For the resort/holiday season, there has been plenty of glitter and shine, party dresses galore, but the emerging color trend is a softer take on the neutrals that dominated the preceding season. Think cream, ashy grey, peach, moss green, and a lighter shade of camel.

But how to wear these colors that, until recently, were altogether foreign to a fashion world in love with black? Try mixing and matching from head to toe (pick any pieces from the 3.1 Phillip Lim resort collection): cream sweater with moss ankle pants, blush suit with airy white blouse. Or, punctuate the pastels with navy or black (the beloved non-color is never totally out of mind) à la the Club Monaco holiday collection. For the more playful among us, take a whiteout ensemble and bring it to life with a bold pop of color, like a bright DVF scarf or an armful of Marc by Marc Jacobs bangles.


Tuesday, December 28th 2010

First Fashion: Snow and Sun

Ragbo (1) Softj (2) Toryb (3)

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to shop for myself again. With January’s frigid weather, lazy indoor weekends, and an upcoming getaway in mind, these three pieces caught my eye.

(1) We’re in the thick of sweater weather, and my knits collection is feeling stale. This Rag & Bone sweater will lend it a little fresh air. Rag & Bone – Joan Sweater

(2) Soft Joie clothing is endlessly versatile. This top is simple enough for lounging but detailed enough to pair with skinny J Brand jeans for a lunch out. Soft Joie – Eleanor Top

(3) I’ll be traveling to the sunny shores of Central America next month, and this geometric Tory Burch bag will make my vacation wardrobe complete. Tory Burch – Crescent Tote


Monday, December 27th 2010

Spring Trends to Wear Now

For spring 2011, relaxed luxury is the name of the game. High-waisted trousers, floor-grazing maxi skirts, and sharply tailored separates will still be strong, but for the warmer weather, they’ll be done in dreamy fabrics and sunny hues that recast them with a summer-on-the-Riviera vibe. If you’re itching to get started on next season’s trends, here’s a cheat sheet of trends you can incorporate now:

1) The perfect pair of high-waist wide-leg pants. 3.1 Phillip Lim and Jenni Kayne have timeless, tasteful options to get you started.

2) Bold separates. A print Cut 25 by Yigal Azrouel skirt or a classic Equipment blouse in a right-now hue add interest to a palette dominated by black, white, and camel.

3) Eye-catching accessories in a fearless shade, like bright red or fuchsia. Next season’s colorful clutches, belts, watches, and wedges will have you feeling like Dorothy stepping into a Technicolor Oz.


Monday, December 27th 2010

First Fashion: Beach to Street

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Though I have no plans to jet off on a tropical getaway, the current state of the weather has me thinking a beachy trip should be in my future. Three pieces I’d pack in my holiday suitcase:

(1) Matthew Williamson is known for his bold use of bright color, which gives my neutral-loving heart a little anxiety. This comparably muted jumpsuit is a perfect compromise. Matthew Williamson Escape - Strapless Cover Up Jumpsuit

(2) Beach blanket to drinks at the bar is as easy as throwing on this billowy Young Fabulous & Broke cover-up and a pair of flat Tory Burch sandals. Young Fabulous & Broke - Cabana Tunic

(3) As a cover-up or a day frock, this Milly dress would see a lot of play on a warm-weather getaway. Milly - Valetta Cover Up


Thursday, December 23rd 2010

Luxe Loungewear: 3 Essential Pieces

With the upcoming holidays (and months of sub-zero temperatures), ’tis the season to stay inside. But that doesn’t mean you have to hole up in the sweats you’ve had since high school. This quick home-for-the-holidays checklist will ensure you’re comfy enough for lounging yet stylish enough for that midmorning coffee run.

1) T by Alexander Wang Hoodie–Layer this over a T by Alexander Wang tee for a look with a little more style than your cat-print PJs.

2) Elevated Sweatpants–A pair of flattering So Low pants or slouchy, vintage-inspired Monrow pants are perfect whether you’re ambitious enough for yoga or only up for eating leftovers on the couch.

3) Accessories–Get bundled up with a cashmere wrap by Qi New York and cozy slippers from UGG Australia, and be reminded that winter doesn’t have to be all that bad.


Wednesday, December 22nd 2010

Ask a Stylist: How to Wear Flare Jeans

When it comes to jeans, my comfort zone ranges from J Brand skinnies to, well, J Brand skinnies. Needless to say, I was surprised to find myself attracted to the flare jeans that dominated the fall runways. Inspired to expand my denim horizons, I turned to Shopbop stylist Pa for some tips on how to sport bells without compromising the sleek look I’ve come to love.

Rebecca: I tend to think of flares as more casual than skinny jeans. How can I dress them up?
Pa: Simple! Choose a clean dark wash and keep the rest of your look minimal by tucking in a blouse and adding a skinny leather belt. Bonus: flares are super flattering to most body types, and they’re leg-lengthening when paired with heels.

R: It’s officially winter, and I go nowhere without a heavy coat. How can I pair parkas and flares without looking too bulky?
P: Again, keep things minimal and linear. Try a longer jacket with clean lines, hitting at the mid-thigh or knee. A wool trench coat is great, especially belted!

R: What’s your favorite way to wear the flare?
P: I have two favorites! I love them with a classic blazer, an easy layering tank or cashmere tee, and my tallest pointy-toed pumps, but they’re also great with a cropped sweater and oxfords or ’70s-inspired wedges.

R: I feel a shopping itch coming on. Which is your favorite pair from our collection, to get me started in my quest?
P: The High Rise Bell Jeans by Current/Elliott, in Patriot Blue. Amazing wash and perfect rise!


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