Wednesday, December 22nd 2010

First Fashion: Wardrobe Workhorses

(1) (2) (3)

Fashion with a few bells and whistles is always nice, but every now and then, a gal’s got to return to her style roots. Today, three wardrobe basic essentials:

(1) A great casual wardrobe must, above all, have a solid denim collection with at least one pair of boot-cut jeans. This pair by James Jeans matches a great fit with a timeless wash. James Jeans - Reboot Slim Boot Cut Jeans

(2) I spent many years without a throw-on-and-go leather jacket, and the day I found my go-to, I realized what I’d been missing. This Vince jacket would see a lot of play in any wardrobe. Vince - Motocross Leather Jacket

(3) Simply put: the most essential of layering essentials. I plan on picking up one of each color. T by Alexander Wang - Tencel Variegated Rib Dress


Tuesday, December 21st 2010

Swimwear Lines New to Shopbop: Meet Despi, Cali Dreaming & Mikoh

Though it feels strange to be looking for the perfect bikini in the depths of December, the coming holidays mean vacations are just around the corner, and the sooner I start my search the better. These three brands new to Shopbop are making my task a whole lot easier:

If anyone knows how to make (and wear) a sexy bikini, it’s the Brazilians, and Despi is one of the top swimwear brands on its sun-filled shores. Based in Rio de Janeiro and designed by Despina Filios, Despi swimwear is known for come-hither cuts and luxurious touches like 18k gold-plated hardware. It’s no wonder the brand’s bikinis have appeared in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue for three years running, modeled by Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Marissa Miller.

Cali Dreaming
More of a minimalist than a bombshell? Look to Cali Dreaming swimwear. Founded by Lisa Priolo, a former trend forecaster, and Carrie Jardine, an artist and former model, Cali Dreaming bikinis are inspired by natural pigments and sun-kissed skin. The line’s signature shades of nude and blush pink are perfectly in line with the season’s trends, and let each bikini blend in with the wearer’s own skin tone, taking emphasis away from the suit and putting it on her own natural curves.

Founded by sisters and Orange County natives Oleema and Kalani Miller, Mikoh swimwear has been getting lots of blogger love for its effortless California sensibility and seamless, hardware-free construction. The duo grew up in a household that fostered creativity, and their line encourages you to tap into your own: mix-and-match separates in bright colors and statement prints allow for customized bikinis, ensuring no one else in the surf is wearing the same suit.


Tuesday, December 21st 2010

Kate Middleton Wears Temperley London

The princess-to-be stepped out for a charity event this week wearing a black and white Temperley London dress.

Check out her look here.

Tuesday, December 21st 2010

First Fashion: Pretty in Python

(1) (2) (3)

While I’ve never been that keen on snakes in the wild, I freely admit I love them in my wardrobe. Today I searched What’s New for a little python to add some texture to my look.

(1) With a porcelain hue and a super-simple silhouette, these Vera Wang flats show snakeskin’s delicate side. Vera Wang – Lillian Ballet Flats

(2) When plain old skinny just isn’t enough, these Rebecca Minkoff python-print jeans should do the trick. Rebecca Minkoff – Python Skinny Jeans

(3) Leave it to Camilla Skovgaard to design a shoe so structurally interesting that the metallic snakeskin isn’t the first thing you notice. Camilla Skovgaard – 2 Band Metallic Platform Sandals


Monday, December 20th 2010

Wear It Now: Hard Meets Soft

Louche meets ladylike, leather meets lace. It’s an unexpected combination, but they come together in a striking balance of urban cool and feminine sophistication. Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch is loving lace dresses with leather jackets right now, and the hard/soft theme promises to stick around come spring. I talked to her about what makes the look special, where to wear it, and what lesson in dressing we can glean from this unlikely duo.

Amie: What is it about this look that makes it so special?
Kate: It’s a bit unexpected. A lace dress is sophisticated and girly, while the shearling jacket is rugged and casual, yet they look fashion-forward, sexy, and cool together.

A: What is the energy behind this look?
K: It has a London feel to it. This is a city girl who is ahead of the curve. Putting a gorgeous outfit together makes her clock tick and gives her confidence.

A: Where to wear it?
K: This is a great outfit to wear to a chic holiday party because it’s stylish and warm!

A: Who should wear it?
K: This is the perfect ensemble for someone who typically prefers a casual/low-key look. A lace dress is such a timeless frock—a good investment—so give it a try and pair it with an aviator jacket to feel more low profile, less overtly sexy.

A: How can this combination’s sensibility be applied to a spring wardrobe?
K: When done in the right proportion, playing on soft and hard can result in a very pulled-together aesthetic. It lends a sense of stylish proportion to a look.


Monday, December 20th 2010

First Fashion: In With the New

Redva (1) Frien (2) Cuttt (3)

The best way to break out of a fashion rut is to give your go-to brands a break and try something different. Today I’m finding inspiration in these three lines new to Shopbop.

(1) Valentino’s elegant sensibility and attention to detail are seen in RED Valentino, a contemporary offshoot of the venerable maison. The flattering silhouette and lace accents of this little black dress are sure to make the wearer feel like a true bella donna. RED Valentino – Sleeveless Dress with Lace Detail

(2) With a name borrowed from a Bob Dylan song, Friend of Mine clothing has become a favorite in its native Australia for its unique blend of femininity and rockabilly. I’ll take my cues from the brand’s aesthetic and pair this soft silk button-down with tough leather shorts. Friend of Mine – Brenda Bodysuit

(3) Yigal Azrouël launched Cut 25 this fall, promising a younger, edgier version of his main collection. And with an avant-garde print and unexpected shoulder cutouts, it looks like he delivered. Cut 25 – Decay Print Dress


Friday, December 17th 2010

Emerging Mini Trend: Cutout Shoulders

From left: MINKPINK Crossroads Long Dress, Alexander Wang Open Shoulder Cocktail Dress, See by Chloé Mesh Shoulder Dress.

Shoulders have been on the fashion industry’s mind for a while now: from the pointed and padded of the fall 2009 runways to a softer, more puffed take in spring 2010 to the clavicle-baring, slouchy looks sported by many an editor during this last round of fashion weeks (see Tommy Ton’s coverage for And, if the styles trickling through What’s New are any indication, the shoulder trend is shifting to cutouts.

Dresses and tops both casual and fancy are slitting their sleeves and letting the shoulders breathe. See by Chloé did it in metallic offset by matte jersey, and Alexander Wang took a slinky, sexy approach. In tops, MINKPINK is striped, Son of John is sequined, and Pencey is totally unique, laying sheer floral lace over the shoulders of a basic button-down. It’s a look that’s easy to wear, adding a subtle sultriness to a basic ensemble.

Will you try it?


Friday, December 17th 2010

#FollowFriday Twitter Crush: @sydnesummer

Twitter Name: @sydnesummer

Your Real Name: Sydne Summer

Occupation: Fashion Expert, Blogger (ThinkThruFashion), Fashion Editor (, Stylist

Favorite Designer(s): To wear: Rebecca Taylor, Nanette Lepore, D&G. To drool over: Giambattista Valli and Jenny Packham.

Last Purchase: A vintage lavender velvet and chiffon dress Shareen Mitchell picked out for me from her vintage shop in Los Angeles. (She’s the best at showing you things you never knew you absolutely had to have.) I just wore the dress with a faux fur vest to a holiday party.

Next Purchase: A new black bag to wear at night. In my dreams it’s one of the WGACA Vintage Chanels. Then I wake up and go back and forth between MATT & NAT’s Sasha and Botkier’s Bruce.

Song/Album on Repeat Right Now: Mariah Carey’s “ All I Want for Christmas Is You.” It’s my fave for the holidays.

TV/Movie Guilty Pleasure: America’s Next Top Model. I can watch marathons for days on end.

Style Crush: Carla Bruni, Rachel Bilson, Georgina Chapman.

Your Style in 3 Words or Less: Feminine. Polished. Chic. I’m always up for trying out the latest trends but whether I’m wearing a ’60s-style sheath or harem pants, I always like to look put-together.

When you’re not tweeting you’re: Trying on clothes in my closet to come up with new outfits. Dreaming about all the new shoes I want to buy. Cuddling with my chic rescue dog, Bunny Bell. Eating sushi. And blogging, blogging, and more blogging.

Alc (1) Toryb (2) Juliet (3)

About Sydne's picks:

(1) My go-to silhouette for dresses is usually high-neck and skintight. Over the holidays I’ve been into more forgiving ruched styles. I love how versatile this dress is. You can wear it casual with a faux fur vest and boots for day. Then slip on a sparkly necklace at night and wear your hair in a messy ponytail to show off the unexpected pop of lace in back. A.L.C. – Lace Back Twisty Dress

(2) At 5’3”, the platform is my best friend. I wore these Tory Burch booties six times in October as part of my ttF Fashion Staples Series. You’d be surprised by how many outfits you can top off with a pair of hiking booties. Tory Burch – Halima Suede Platform Booties

(3) Statement necklaces are ideal for travel. You can bring just a few dresses and tops and make them look completely different with the jewelry you pack in your carry-on. Layers of two-tone pearls are an updated take on the classic. Juliet & Company – Black & White Graduated Pearl Necklace

Thursday, December 16th 2010

A Glamorous Winter

Winter can be a glamorous time of year, if you have a little fun with it. This season, I’m embracing a practical but ladylike look based on fur, Eskimo-inspired footwear, and Fair Isle knits.

For the most part, I’ve been punctuating my classic (not to say unadventurous) wardrobe with colorful knits and bold pops of fur. Eye-catching accessories like a fur collar by Adrienne Landau, rabbit booties by Opening Ceremony, and Fair Isle legwarmers by Marc Jacobs add instant interest to a traditional winter ensemble.

That said, I was carried away by this season’s everything-old-is-new-again philosophy, and indulged in Club Monaco’s leopard coat. A strong statement piece like this makes an instant outfit paired with skinny jeans and simple booties. With options like these, I’m starting to warm to the idea of the long winter ahead.


Thursday, December 16th 2010

Fashion Insider Favorites: Alexandra Spencer of 4th and Bleeker

Today we wrap our Fashion Insider Wish List feature. For the last two weeks, we’ve been featuring a few favorites from some of our best-loved online fashion folks. See what they’re wishing for this holiday season.

Model, designer, stylist, fashion consultant, and founder of 4th and Bleeker, Alexandra Spencer has appeared in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar (among others). When she isn’t traveling, Spencer divides her time between London and Australia.

Alexandra’s Favorites:

Favorite Movie: Almost Famous
“It’s all happening!”

Favorite Band:
“It’s so hard to choose! I love everything from Devendra Banhart to Dr. Dre. Word.”

Favorite City: Paris
“But I fall in love with wherever I am in the world.”

Favorite Restaurant: Delicatessen in NY, The Ivy in London, Mexicano in Sydney, Cafe Habana in Malibu, Market in Paris.

* Illustration by Dallas Shaw.

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