Tuesday, August 25th 2009

Calling All Leopard, Croc, Python, Cheetah…and Anything Else Wild


Fashion can be intimidating. When I picked up a pair of embellished leopard-print flats from Antik Batik a couple weeks ago, I found myself out of my black footwear comfort zone and unsure of how to style them. Luckily, Shopbop Fashion Director Kate offered tips on how to work au courant animal prints into an everyday look:

“Animal prints will forever be classic, and leopard is particularly big this fall, especially when it comes to accessories,” says Kate. “These wild prints are the perfect addition to the black, black, and more black many are gravitating toward this fall. Incorporate an animal-print shoe, handbag, or jacket into your neutral ensembles. It’s an easy equation for a look that's chic and a little rock ‘n’ roll.”

I’ll take Kate’s advice by pairing a black jersey dress with my new flats for work. For something a little sultrier but still daytime-appropriate, I’ll take my cue from the above DSQUARED2 runway look and pair exotic pumps with a tailored blazer, white button-down shirt, denim skirt, and leggings.


Tuesday, August 25th 2009

First Fashion: Knockout Accessories

Have you ever stared blankly at your chock-full closet and felt you had nothing to wear? We’ve all felt sartorially stagnant at one time or another. The speediest way out of this slump? Buy one knockout accessory that’ll kick-start your creativity—it may just end up becoming your signature piece.

In her trademark razor-sharp fashion, Camilla Skovgaard has redefined hellcat heels. Imagine the powerful jolt these will give to both your mood and a draped LBD. Camilla Skovgaard - Cutout Booties with Lug Sole


Frayed tiers, uneven hems, tangled chains—the big picture for fall is disordered luxury. The melding of imperfect asymmetry and dazzling crystals makes for one covetable bauble. TOM BINNS - Faux Real Multicolor Necklace


Whoever said beige was boring never laid eyes on this dreamy Chanel handbag. Not only an exquisite complement to fall’s neutral trend, it’s a classic to treasure for years to come. WGACA Vintage - Vintage Chanel Quilted Chain Bag

Spicy, exhilarating, deliciously decadent accessories await in What’s New.


Monday, August 24th 2009

Get It Now: Erin Wasson x RVCA

Taking her inspiration from Stevie Ray Vaughan and the girls (ahem, groupies) who hung out with him, Erin Wasson’s second go at her collaboration with surf/skate/lifestyle brand RVCA is a little bit country and a whole lotta rock and roll. The model-turned-muse-turned-stylist-turned-designer offers up the kind of basics that compose the coolest of closets: her own. She’s ripped off her own signature low-key style for any rocker hip chick who cares to adopt it, and judging from the waves the latest collection has made, there are plenty.

Like Kate Moss’s coveted collections for Topshop, Erin Wasson x RVCA makes the elusive model-off-duty look accessible to fashion mortals. Witness a body-con jersey dress with a sweetheart neckline (the same frock the designer wore to the Erin Wasson x RVCA fall 2009 presentation). Paired with lace-up booties, it’s an ’80s fashion-inspired wonder. And leather short shorts give a basic white tee that rocker chic look that’s making the fall season sizzle.

And the collab won’t stop with this autumn season. Wasson will fill a slot in the Bryant Park schedule, showing in the tents for the first time. She told Teen Vogue’s Andrew Bevan the spring 2010 collection will take a step away from her signature edgy look, and incorporate lightweight fabrics in shades of pink, bronze, and ivory (inspired by her pooch, Cream). She described the collection as “less cowboy, a little bit more savage desert beast.” I have no idea what that means, Erin, but I can’t wait to find out.


Monday, August 24th 2009

First Fashion: Embellishment

Some ladies think less is more, while others adopt a more-is-more attitude. I fall somewhere in between, and these embellished yet clean-lined pieces show why.

Antik Batik’s haute hybrid of Parisian chic and Indian embroidery techniques always delivers wearable yet exquisitely embellished pieces. It’s no wonder designer Gabrielle Cortese has earned such a devoted following. Antik Batik – Karina Dress


Sometimes all that stands between a basic jersey dress and a work of sartorial art is the right belt. I’ll pair this one with a draped white frock now and use it to cinch an oversized sweater come fall. Elegantly Waisted – Nyx Belt


Distressed studs update a classic Frye style for fall ’09. These boots are made for ripped skinnies and an insouciantly sexy attitude. Frye – Deborah Studded Boots

Elaborate, enhance, and embellish your wardrobe, in What’s New.


Friday, August 21st 2009

How To Wear Fall’s Predatory Look


Fall is traditionally a season for unleashing aggression. Full-contact football replaces genteel baseball, while fashionably speaking, gauzy gowns give way to hard-hitting leather and suede. Fittingly, this season has a new muse I like to call the urban huntress: she’s intellectual, in charge, and in that Alexander Wang dress, always gets what she’s after. It’s the look of a vixenish predator that feels at once masculine-tough and jaw-droppingly sexy. Empowering? Without a doubt. Here’s how to plan your attack.

Phase 1: Acquire man-eating mini dress.
Zippers, draping, strategic cutouts—dresses are armed and dangerous this fall. Alexander Wang is your go-to designer for this modern bombshell frock: his Cage Dress, Cutout Dress (pictured), and Long Sleeve Goddess Dress are practically made for a sartorial showdown.

Phase 2: Build formidable footwear arsenal.
Killer kicks are required, and Shopbop designers do not disappoint. So deliciously intense, you almost need a license to operate Balmain boots. Giuseppe Zanotti designs for the celebrity favorite this season, elevating zippers and buckles to another stratosphere. Alexander Wang shoes have recently put their foot down at Shopbop, bringing an upscale ménage à trois of erotic, industrial, and sophisticated with them. And with a lug sole that could double as a weapon, Camilla Skovgaard proves that white cutout booties belong on the prowl (yes, even after Labor Day). 

Phase 3: Snag bad-girl bag for toting extra ammo.
In the 1940s, the on-screen femme fatale might have carried a discreet little clutch just large enough to hold a tube of scarlet lipstick and a vial of whatever wouldn’t fit into her poison ring. Today’s real-life siren needs a carryall that can hold her cache of essentials and still look as scorching as the rest of her ensemble. Sling the Alexander Wang Coco Duffel around and you’re certain to top the Most Wanted List, while Rebecca Minkoff’s iguana-embossed Nikki Bag defines drop-dead in fiery red.


Friday, August 21st 2009

First Fashion: Texture

I know there’s a lot of hot left to be had in these final weeks of summer, but I’m officially over voile and barely there jersey and ready to move on to the delicious weight of fall fabrics. Sweater knits and tweed, felt and fleece—these have always been my closest fashion friends.
The equivalent of a girl crush in dress form, I loved this Chris Benz frock on the hanger, and I absolutely covet it on Iskra here. Chris Benz - Cutaway 1 Sleeve Dress
Speaking of crushes, every time a pale peach Loeffler Randall box crosses my desk, I can barely keep myself from tearing right into the tissue. This pair mingles their downtown minimalism with winter coziness. Loeffler Randall - Wendy Knit Cuff Booties
YFB makes some of the softest fleece around, and here they’ve upped the luxe quotient by adding an elegant print silk lining. No mere cover-up, I’ll build outfits around this jacket. Young Fabulous & Broke - 7 Kay Jacket
Get in touch with fall’s best fabrics, in What’s New.


Thursday, August 20th 2009

Style Inspiration from Film

The Latest by Kate, Fashion Director

At left, Marsha in her covetable closet wearing Thayer Wide Leg Pants. At right, me in a VPL top, Ksubi shorts, and K. Jacques sandals.

Each time I watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I fall in love with Penelope Cruz’s character, Maria Elena, a little more. She’s nuts in the most endearing way, which I attribute to her sexy Spanish flair, insane beauty, and my favorite, her sultry style. The silks and lace in a neutral palette are often reminiscent of lingerie, and the mix of bold accessories—a fringe bag, a black fedora—is inspired. It’s a breezy, easy look that exudes confidence.

My favorite outfit is a crochet tie-back top with palazzo pants—these are seriously coming back and I’m so excited about it. Above, Thayer designer Marsha Welcher and I channel Maria Elena’s style…and TRY to never behave like her smile

You can get the sultry look by mixing dressy and casual fabrics in neutral hues and black. Here are a few pieces to get you started:

* Alice + Olivia - Draped Panel Dress
* Aridza Bross - Cheyen Multi Strap Bag
* Erin Fetherston - Sleeveless Blouse
* Eugenia Kim - Max Feather Fedora
* Haute Hippie - Bohemian Paisley Dress
* Jen's Pirate Booty - Sade Tunic Dress
* The Lake & Stars - Trick Date Camisole


Wednesday, August 19th 2009

Let Your Inner Rock Chick Out

Channeling bad-boy rockers of the ’70s with a dash of ’50s greasers, the rocker trend is the epitome of edge. Prominent on runways like Jill Stuart, Alexander Wang, and William Rast (check out our Fashion Week recap for looks), it’s about a rock-star way of life, the glory days of CBGB, the move from ultra-lounges to dive bars, the dirt under chipped manicures. It’s a little dingy, a little greasy, every array of cool, and best of all, it fits the season to a T.

How to get the look? Anything of the leather or faux fur variety is in, and the palette comes in shades of black, black, and more black. The hardware is heavy: think big buckles, bigger studs, and spiked heels to match bristled jewels. And when it comes to the legs, keep ’em skinny—leggings, skinny jeans, tights—this trend shows off sexy stems.

But, warns Shopbop Fashion Director Kate, “if you’re going to include an avant-garde rock ‘n’ roll piece in your outfit, tone down the rest.” Try layering a stretched-out tee over sequined leggings. Or give Haute Hippie’s feather vest center stage, pairing it with denim cutoffs and of-the-moment over-the-knee boots (so modern-day Penny Lane).

And if your inner rock chick is still a little shy, accessorize your way to the edge of stardom with layers of heavy chain necklaces and studded bangles. This is one area where moderation is not key. Kate says, “Don't be conservative with jewelry, especially silver—pile on the rings and bracelets.” And the one must-have in this trend? “Invest in combat boots,” says Kate. “They’ll add instant edge to any look.”


Wednesday, August 19th 2009

Fall Neutrals

The Latest by Kate, Fashion Director

Looking for an easy way to update your look? Neutral colors were big news for fall. Take inspiration from runway looks by Derek Lam, Lela Rose, and Miu Miu. (Check out the complete shows on Style.com.)

A few tips on neutral dressing:

1. Wear a neutral palette from head to toe for a polished, uber-chic look.

2. Layer these hues together—taupe, brown, navy, black, and ivory all look fantastic when layered.

3. Step outside the box and consider non-black leggings.

4. Invest in a camel coat—it’s a style staple you'll wear forever.
5. Don't be afraid to wear off-white all year round!


At left a look from the Derek Lam, fall 2009 collection. My favorite from the fall runways!

Wednesday, August 19th 2009

First Fashion: New Fall Brands

Today’s What’s New is on fire with new fall brands. Witness Kimberly Ovitz, an equestrian-turned-designer who seamlessly weaves a country estate undertone into sexy city staples; Luxury Rebel, a haute new footwear line inspired by the free spirit and music of the ’70s; and Retrosun, a collection of authentic vintage sunglasses from the likes of Gucci and Christian Dior.

Debauched preppy at its finest, this sweater is equal parts comfy and renegade. Kimberly Ovitz - Tinsley Ripped Sweater


Do I hear “Rebel Rebel” playing in the background? This pair is a sleek rendition of that Bowie glam-rock vibe, and they’re super comfortable to boot. Luxury Rebel - Jolie Patent Booties


This exquisite retro detailing is thoroughly relevant to right now. Retrosun and I have just begun a passionate love affair. Retrosun - Vintage Gucci Sunglasses

Meet lust-worthy designers that'll have you wondering how you ever survived without them, in What’s New.

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