Monday, October 31st 2011

Black & Yellow All Over

Photo by Phil Oh.

Sunny yellow showed up in pretty pops throughout the duration of fashion month, but my favorite iterations were when the shade was paired with black (see here and here). The extreme contrast could evoke a certain bumble aesthetic, but when balanced correctly, it creates a bold, geometric feel.

Try the combination on in a subtle way by pairing a yellow-patterned Thakoon skirt with a black T by Alexander Wang sweater and Camilla Skovgaard booties. Or, go full on with a crisply divided Day-Glo-meets-midnight Kimberly Ovitz dress, Ash booties, and no jewelry. It’s an easy way to add a little life to a dreary winter wardrobe.


Friday, October 28th 2011

1 Piece 2 Ways: Plaid

10-28-11_1piece2waysOn left: Haley. On right: Amanda.

Year after year, when the leaves turn and snowflakes dust the ground, plaid emerges. But with stripes, lines, and bold colors, plaid can be an intimidating print to work with. We asked two of our stylists to put their own spin on these McQ plaid trousers.

Feminine with an Edge
“Plaid is a great way to punch up a boring outfit. I lean toward classic, feminine pieces with an edge, and these plaid pants have the perfect amount of attitude. The zippers screamed to be paired with leather, so I layered an A.L.C. blazer over a soft T by Alexander Wang top. Neutral shoes (Schutz heels fit the bill) balance the outfit and keep the plaid from veering into grunge territory.”


Relaxed Classic
“I love to take well-tailored, classic pieces and relax an element to make the look my own. Plaid is actually a relatively safe palette to work with—the classic pattern allows for a lot of creativity when building a look. To keep these pants from looking too traditional, I added an unconventional pop of color with a lilac Acne sweater and brought in contrasting texture with a pair of patent Alexander Wang pumps.”


Thursday, October 27th 2011

Introducing Kelly Bergin

Drawing from an uncomplicated but innovative point of view, Kelly Bergin launched her eponymous collection in spring 2010, and she was quickly called out by WWD as “one to watch.” Bergin blends classic shapes and modern details into inventive wardrobe staples, an aesthetic that is largely influenced by her relaxed California upbringing. We talked with the designer about her start and her collection.

Shopbop: What made you decide to go into design and how did you get your start?
Kelly Bergin: I have been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember. I’ve followed certain designers’ careers over the years and have always appreciated the combination of creativity and business skill that the job entails. I signed up for a fashion design course on a whim, and after my first class, enrolled at FIDM in LA. After I graduated, I designed a small line of dresses, which I took to a few boutiques in New York and LA. When they were well-received, I decided to expand to a full range, which launched in spring 2010.

SB: How would you describe your line? Who are you designing for?
KB: The design of the line skews toward clean lines and classic shapes while incorporating modern details. While there is a lot of attention to detail and fabrication, it’s really important that the clothes aren’t too precious or complicated. The idea is that it simplifies dressing for a woman who wants to look great, but doesn’t want to spend forever putting together the perfect outfit. Ease and function are always the focus.

SB: Tell us about the fall collection. What was the inspiration? Your favorite piece?
KB: I wanted to experiment with rich texture for fall. We incorporated long-hair alpaca, textured leather, and a variety of knits into the mix, which resulted in a really tactile, luxe collection that is still very wearable. It’s hard to pick one favorite piece, but I particularly love the Textured Leather Pencil Skirt and bronze knit Chainmail Pullover. I love to dress in layers, and creating perfect layering pieces is always a consideration when designing a collection. I think we were successful with that this season.

SB: Looking ahead to spring, what can we expect to see?
KB: The spring collection is a modern interpretation of classic American summer style. There are athletic influences combined with more relaxed feminine pieces. It was a nice departure from the more structured pieces we did for fall.

Shop Kelly Bergin fall 2011.

Photo by Glynnis McDaris.

Wednesday, October 26th 2011

Victorian Revival

On left, the Veiltail Long Skirt, by Jen Kao; on right, the Patricia Skirt, by Joanna August.

Somehow it snuck up on us: long skirts, pintucked blouses, lace-up boots, fur-trimmed coats and capes, even the essential big-bodied up-do. Add it all up and it’s a recipe for a Victorian revival. A far cry from the ’70s prairie-based New Romantic look, today’s antique styles are decidedly more citified.

To get the look, begin with a high-waisted maxi skirt (Jen Kao and DSQARED2 both offer mysterious, nearly gothic designs) and an inspired pair of lace-up booties. Balance any potential sharpness with a soft silk or lace blouse and a demure Belle Noel locket. For outerwear, pick your pretty poison: a fur coat or a swingy cape are equally appropriate.


Wednesday, October 26th 2011

In the Press: Elle September Issue


ELLE, September 2011
Lumber Jill

Citizens of Humanity Sherpa Denim Jacket
Current/Elliott Plaid Skinny Pants

Tuesday, October 25th 2011

Wear Forever Winter Essentials

Clockwise from left: Alice + Olivia Fur Collar Coat, Vince Cozy Car Sweater, J Brand Denim Leggings, Ash Diana Platform Booties.

Summer’s swell and all, but when it comes to fashion, fall and winter win the game. In this writer’s mind, there’s nothing sweeter than layering on a few wardrobe favorites and stepping out to face the elements. A few pieces that will ready you for winter’s bitterest days:

The Coat
You don’t have to choose between warmth and style. Plenty of brands (I’m looking at you, Alice + OliviaMackage, and Lindsey Thornburg) marry the two beautifully.

The Cardigan
A wardrobe can never have too many Vince cardigans. A warm caramel shade will pair well with everything in your closet.

The Jeans
Fashion’s in love with the wide-leg, but when it comes to practical winter dressing, nothing beats a great pair of skinnies. Black or grey by J Brand Jeans or Citizens of Humanity feels a little more citified.

The Boots
UGG boots certainly serve their practical purpose, but sometimes a gal needs something a little more sophisticated. The entire Ash boot collection is winter walkable and super chic.


Check out more of our winter Basic Essentials.

Monday, October 24th 2011

Blushing Beauties

Model wears the Cable Sweater and Bias Gown by Jenni Kayne

Poppy, coral, raspberry, wine: lots of red-based shades have had their moment in the limelight this year. Behind the scenes (and ever so slightly beneath the trend radar) was red’s elegant understudy—blush, the perfect midway between pink and nude.

Lending ballerina and lingerie overtones to even the simplest of pieces, I love the shade for footwear and dresses in particular. By rotating a blushing pair of Yosi Samra flats, Alexander Wang heels, and a Jenni Kayne dress, I can cast a little pastel, Degas-inspired charm over every day.


Friday, October 21st 2011

Raoul Designer Odile Benjamin on the F/W 2011 Collection

Fashion loves a throwback, and the classic-made-modern silhouettes in the Raoul fall 2011 collection hearken back to the put-together days of the ’60s and ’70s (think clean lines and bold colorblocking). We talked with the woman behind this feminine-favorite line, Odile Benjamin.

Shopbop: The fall collection found inspiration in the Pan Am and Braniff girls of the late ’60s and early ’70s. How do these styles apply to the modern woman?
Odile Benjamin: Although the inspiration was borrowed from the stunning uniforms of the glamorous airline girls from the ’60s and ’70s, when it came to the actual collection, the execution was modern and updated. There is a certain sense of nostalgia and reminiscence that comes across, but none of the looks or silhouettes are a direct interpretation of that era. There is a certain ease and confidence in the styling that will definitely appeal to the modern woman.

SB: What is your favorite piece from the fall collection? How do you wear it?
OB: It would have to be the Carly dress in Ultra Violet for its understated luxury, worn with black stockings, a block heel, and no other detracting accessories.

SB: The current collection is primarily made up of solids, but looking at a sneak peek of the spring 2012 collection, I saw a pretty floral print. Do you plan to do more with prints in the future?
OB: We love prints! But you are correct in that we kept them to a minimum for fall/winter 2011, primarily because we felt that they did not lend themselves to the spirit of that collection. However, we have developed some great prints, coming up for resort 2012 and spring/summer 2012.

Shop Raoul clothing.

Thursday, October 20th 2011

White Out: Colored Wedding Dresses


Believe it or not, there was a time in relatively recent history when white was not the default color for a bridal gown. Once upon a time, brides sported more practical colors: pinks, greys, yellows, even reds. The tradition at the time was to have the gown altered after the wedding in order to re-wear it for formal occasions, such as balls and operas.

The 1840 nuptials of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert changed all that. The Queen opted for a snowy shade as an act of conspicuous consumption, meant to illustrate that she could afford something as easily ruined as an all-white dress. Even so, the tidy Queen had her gown cleaned and altered, and wore it several more times.

After more than a century of single-use, all-white gowns, modern brides are showing interest in both practicality and color (look to Vera Wang for proof—she recently sent black dresses down her wedding runway). If you’re a bride craving something beyond the pale, check out Temperley London and Ethereal by Leila Hafzi for gorgeous, super-luxe wedding dresses in dreamy shades of grey, rose, and nude.


Wednesday, October 19th 2011

A High Fashion Halloween

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday: encouragement to dress up, no hectic traveling, and candy everywhere. My costume planning usually starts around June, but this year I was a bit delayed. After hours of brainstorming, I finally figured it out. Playing on the allure of androgyny, I’m going to be my favorite blue-eyed Rat Pack crooner.  

The key to this costume is one statement piece and several supporting accessories. The sleek Tibi Tuxedo Jumpsuit stands out with a strong combination of power and sex appeal. Instead of tuxedo shoes, dancing commences in tasseled Alexander Wang heels. Kenneth Jay Lane bracelets act as sleek shirt cuffs and a Rag & Bone fedora tops off the look. Hand me a highball and a microphone, and Halloween here I come!

--Libby S.

P.S. Best part of this costume? I’ll wear it again well after All Hallows’ Eve passes.

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