Monday, July 18th 2011

Zac Posen: The Pre-Fall Collection

Zac Posen dresses are immediately recognizable for the way they accent the wearer’s curves, and it’s no wonder: the native New Yorker’s first internship was at the Met’s Costume Institute, where he spent hours studying the construction of body-skimming dresses by Madame Vionnet, tracing seams and focusing on fit.

This attention to fit may have been sparked by Vionnet, but Zac Posen’s signature sense of the dramatic (nipped waists, eye-catching details, and glamorous ’40s-inspired silhouettes) is all his own. For his pre-fall collection, with its clean lines and black-heavy palette, the drama comes from leather and unexpected cutouts–but with a lookbook modeled by three sultry brunettes, including Crystal Renn, the effect is more sexy siren than edgy downtown girl.


Friday, July 15th 2011

The Red Dress

Runway looks from Calvin Klein (left) and BCBG (right).

I spotted a shot of Diane Kruger wearing an easy, draped red dress at the amfAR gala last month, and something must have gotten into my brain because since then, I’ve been drawn to crimson frocks. (Hey, they worked for Vivian and Annie.) I love Ms. Kruger’s goddess-meets-Xanadu take, and I’m drawn to this Nanette Lepore dress, a nod to ’50s femininity. And then there’s the mod approach taken by BCBGMAXAZRIA and Calvin Klein Collection (pictured above). Both simple shifts, the designers gave them a little something special by conjuring them in bold cardinal and bright poppy. Perfection.


Shopping tip: To see all of our red dresses, use the color dropdown in the Quick Find bar.

Thursday, July 14th 2011

Shopbop Wedding Series: The Bride Wore BCBG

A few months ago, Stephanie Gardella posted a little note on the Shopbop Facebook wall, saying she wore a BCBGMAXAZRIA dress for her recent nuptials, purchased a mere two days before the event. Naturally, we immediately got in touch and asked for photos. A gorgeous bride with a pretty dashing husband, we recently chatted with Stephanie about her dress and the big day.

Photo at left: Stephanie Gardella with her husband Peter on their wedding day.

Shopbop: How did you go about selecting your dress?
Stephanie Gardella: Pete and I have been together for almost seven years. He proposed in late December, and we didn’t really want to wait to get married. (I had already waited long enough!) So at the end of March of this year, we set a date. I planned our wedding in about seven weeks. We didn’t want the big, traditional wedding. We were looking to do something small and intimate, and most importantly, we wanted our guests to have a great time.

I was realistic enough to know that I was crunched for time as far as finding a dress. We live in a super cute little town, but it’s not exactly a shopping Mecca. I knew that my dress was probably going to be purchased online. I bought six dresses. One was even black. When I mentioned to my future husband that I may not be wearing white, I could see the look of disappointment on his face, so I went back to the internet in hopes of finding something that I liked in white. Two days before my wedding, I went to the Shopbop Wedding Boutique, and there it was: a BCBG dress that I could tell was PERFECT. I don’t know if I overlooked it before or if it was just added to the site, but I HAD to have it! I had it overnighted and it arrived at 2pm THE DAY BEFORE our wedding. I had been pretty relaxed about the whole wedding until waiting for that particular dress because I wanted it to fit perfectly. No time for alterations, it had to work. And when it arrived, it fit like a dream. Pete had no idea that I was in the process of waiting for yet another dress. He just assumed I was coming down the aisle in black, and when it was time to walk down the aisle, he was shocked (in a good way).

Pete is a man of very few words but for the two weeks following our nuptials, he complimented that dress almost every day! And everyone else said that I looked like a Greek goddess!

SB: Describe your wedding day. If you had to pinpoint one moment, what would you say was the best part of the day?
SG: The whole day was fabulous, but the best part about it (besides marrying my best friend) was the guest list. We had about 45 people. We got to spend time with each and every one of them that night. The district magistrate that married us was a very close family friend of my husband, which made it even more emotional for everyone. Just a very sweet night.

SB: Let’s talk about the planning process. How did you select the venue? The menu?
SG: Hahaha! The “planning process” was fast! Since we only had a few weeks to plan, we picked several venues and just prayed that one of them was available. Low and behold, our number one choice was. And as for the menu, I did not want a sit down dinner. I wanted the guests to be greeted with a drink as they walked into the venue (the wedding ceremony was there too), and right after the ceremony we had heavy appetizers.

SB: Did you have a color palette or theme?
SG: We had a heck of a theme! We had set up a hookah lounge on the back patio of the venue, and it was a hit! The guests loved it, and it was a great ice breaker for people to quickly get to know one another. The highlight of the evening was the belly dancer. Even our fathers got out there and belly danced! Quite the sight! My sister and my mother helped me out big time with keeping true to our theme. My aunt brought hookahs and fabrics from the Middle East to decorate the tables, and my father made limoncello to hand out as favors. Definitely a family affair.

SB: What is the best advice you can offer a bride planning her wedding?
SG: The same advice I was given: It’s YOUR day. Incorporate your groom’s opinions, but don’t let everyone else get under your skin with comments and opinions. Have a good time! Everyone who saw our pictures after the wedding assumed that it was a destination wedding because everyone in the photos looked so relaxed (including me) and like they were having a ball!

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Wednesday, July 13th 2011

Bold Lines: Double-Knuckle Rings

Pictured (clockwise from top left): Rings by Marc by Marc Jacobs, Soixante Neuf, Adia Kibur, Elizabeth and James, Soixante Neuf, and Bop Bijoux.

When it comes to jewelry, I’ll always pass over the subtle in favor of the statement-making. Tiny stud earrings and delicate chain bracelets have no place in my jewelry box–I’d rather stack a half-dozen different bangles on a single wrist or don an oversized necklace that extends to my navel.

This is why I’ve been captivated by double-knuckle rings this season. Even in their simplest iterations (like this one by Elizabeth and James), they’ve got personality to spare. Edgier versions (like Pamela Love’s obsidian arrowhead or Adia Kibur’s distressed studs, pictured) will make a slouchy white tee and black skinny jeans feel fresh, while the above version by Soixante Neuf, with its turquoise stones, will be perfectly suited to the jet-set bohemian (so long as she remembers to take it off before boarding said jet).



Tuesday, July 12th 2011

Timeless Equation: Button-Down + Denim

At left: Style Director Morgan Wendelborn (right) with Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch. At right: A look from our Current/Elliott + Equipment lookbook.

The button-down blouse and denim: it’s a combination that, at this moment, manages to be both timeless and forward, classic and cool. Shopbop Style Director Morgan Wendelborn was snapped by The Sartorialist Scott Schuman (among other street style photogs) last September while donning this very combo. Her look felt effortless, and though it was little more than a white blouse, light-wash jeans, and some brilliant accessories, it stood out in a sea of chic ensembles. We explored the combination in our Current/Elliott and Equipment lookbook, and I talked more with Morgan about why this look is so important to fashion.

Amie: What do you think it is about this look that’s so appealing to women?
Morgan: The iconic button-down blouse is a practical and chic piece that is not only flattering and easy to wear, but also instantly makes any look more polished and sophisticated. Fashion loves juxtaposition, so denim is a natural partner. The pairing of these two pieces truly defines casual chic
A: Why are Current/Elliott and Equipment such a natural fit?
M: Current/Elliott is a go-to denim brand for its fit and styles, and Equipment does the button-down better than anyone. They both do classics and fresh trend items in a way that is easy and effortless.

A: What did you and your stylists do to give the look a modern feel?
M: What really works is to mix and match! A solid blouse with a leopard-print jean; a sheer, printed blouse with a cropped boyfriend; or stick to the classics. It all works here. The key is in the accessories: a statement necklace, ring, shoe, or bag really keeps it fresh. 
A: From a personal perspective, what do you like about the combo? Why are you drawn to it?
M: What’s so great about the jean/blouse combo is its simplicity and timelessness. It is the perfect palette for trying out new trends each season. Last fall, I was all about the light-wash, high-waisted jean with a cream blouse. I wore it with a floppy hat, oversized clutch, round sunglasses, and wooden platforms. This fall, it’s all about the ankle-cropped colored jean and a colorblock blouse (solid with contrasting collar or cuffs). I’ll wear them with a cool strappy sandal (not a platform) and a bright belt! Pussy bow blouses are another great style to try for fall!

Monday, July 11th 2011

Summer Music Festivals: Best Bags

I attended an outdoor concert last week, and through the sea of straw fedoras, crocheted tops, and denim cutoffs, I focused in on my fellow concert-goers’ choice of carryalls. Ranging from tiny (enough room for some cash and a phone) to oversized, they found some inspired ways to tote their festival necessities. I spotted Elliot Mann-style fabric sacks and a Rebecca Minkoff Rocker Bag or two. There was, naturally, more than one Alexander Wang Brenda Bag slung across a shoulder, and some very chic, very practical knapsacks, à la this one by TENOVERSIX.

What’s your go-to bag style for music festivals? And, while you’re commenting, what concerts are on your summer agenda?


Friday, July 8th 2011

Blue Crush: Chambray & Denim

It goes back to that questionable denim dress I loved in middle school—the one that now makes me cringe when I peruse family photos. Because of that dress, my denim wardrobe starts and ends with jeans. But lately I’ve been spotting street style and runway looks that have me reconsidering chambray and denim dresses and tops as legitimate wardrobe choices for those above voting age.

How to make denim clothing look polished? It’s all in the styling. I’ll start with a denim dress from Rebecca Taylor—the quilted bodice makes it special, and pairing it with a leopard-print mini messenger and classic heels gives it a feminine feel I wouldn’t expect from the functional fabric. For something more casual but no less refined, I’ll don a chambray maxi dress from Pray For Mother Nature–cinched with a brown belt and paired with wooden platforms, it’s a way to make denim look bohemian without resorting to patchwork flares. Or, I’ll take cues from the DSQUARED2 spring runway and pair a chambray button-down from Madewell with khaki pants, a thin leather belt, and a fedora: a crisp look that borrows from menswear while adding a feminine slant.


Thursday, July 7th 2011

Ask a Stylist: Wearing Pink

I’ve never been one for wearing pink. Even as a child, I veered toward reds and blues rather than pinks and purples. But this fall, shades of rose and fuchsia are the color story, and I asked Shopbop Stylist Amanda for advice on how to wear it.

Amie: Pink’s a big story for fall 2011, but could easily come across as being too girly. How would recommend styling it to make sure it’s cool and forward?
Amanda: Make sure you stick with a silhouette that leans toward sophistication: clean lines, sharp angles, tailoring. It’s all in the details. You’ll look elevated instead of trendy, or worse yet, back in your middle school garb.
Amie: What’s your favorite color pairing with pink?
Amanda: Normally, I love to pair pink back to solid black, but lately, I’ve been into the shock and energy of wearing head-to-toe pink or pairing pink back with other bright solids. People will definitely see you coming!

Amie: Is there a pink item you have your eye on this season?
Amanda: Not necessarily from this season, but Celine’s resort 2012 collection was amazing! I loved everything about it. The standout pieces were the pleated, drop-waist fuchsia dress and the floral romper with lots of pops of pink. A girl’s gotta dream.
Amie: How will you incorporate the color into your look?
Amanda: I’ve already bought a pink blazer, a fuchsia suit, and Rag & Bone’s Skinny Jeans in Rose! I wear them all with my shock-white wedges, but then keep the rest of my look super minimal. I’ve also got my eye on the Equipment Signature Sleeveless Blouse and the Daddy Tie Front Blouse. I’ll wear both with my favorite denim cutoffs.


Wednesday, July 6th 2011

What to Wear to a Summer Barbeque

After attending three barbeques over the long weekend, I arrived at July 5 with one certainty: I was completely unprepared, sartorially speaking. For one fête that lasted well into the evening, I found myself shivering from lack of light layers. For another, the short skirt I’d chosen proved tricky when chasing after a friend’s adorable toddler (flashing your fellow revelers is a definite faux pas).

For my next casual outdoor affair, I’ll not make the same mistakes. Starting with a pair of khaki Current/Elliott shorts, I’ll throw on an airy Joie top and some flat Rebecca Minkoff sandals. If the event’s a little less casual (and kid-free), a strapless dress in a fun print or a See by Chloé skirt paired with a striped tee and a Eugenia Kim fedora will fit the bill. And for both, I’ll be sure to toss a light Alexander Wang sweater into my bag.


Wednesday, July 6th 2011

First Fashion: The Bright Side

(1) (2) (3)

Though the knits and furs of pre-fall are already trickling into Shopbop, I’m still not over my obsession with summer brights. These pieces are so cheerful, they’re making me forget the cold will ever come.

(1) This Derek Lam dress has a high neck and a long hem, but poppy pink makes it anything but matronly. Give the minimalist lines their due with sleek, pulled-back hair and no jewelry. Derek Lam – Peplum Back Gown

(2) With a brightly printed bodice and a fuchsia skirt, this Preen dress hits the perfect balance between polished and fun. Preen – Leaf Dress

(3) As though the shade of stoplight-red wasn’t eye-catching enough, our stylists paired this Alice + Olivia dress with predatory leopard-print booties. Alice + Olivia – Draped One Shoulder Dress


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