Wednesday, September 30th 2009

Studio Style: Nina

The Shopbop studio stylists seem to wave a chic little wand and voila!—a limp tee and a rumpled pair of jeans transforms into something high voltage. What’s the secret behind their stellar personal style? That’s what we’re here to find out. Meet Accessories Stylist Nina:


Suzanne: Your picture makes me want to go out and buy an infinity scarf! Are scarves your signature accessory? What are some cool, unexpected ways you’ve styled a scarf?

Nina: I have always been crazy about scarves. I actually have an entire drawer dedicated to them. I collect them everywhere I go, so yes, they are definitely my signature. I especially love dots and stripes; they pull my outfits together all the time. I often use scarves in my hair—knots on top, long scarf down my back. I also use vintage pins to keep a scarf hanging perfectly around my neck.

S: If you had to pick a designer that most closely aligns with your personal aesthetic, which would it be and why?

N: Boots are also a big part of my style: Frye, Golden Goose, and Jeffrey Campbell tie for my favorites. These brands tend to have some tougher-looking styles, but they are classic and durable enough to wear year after year.
S: Distressed combat boots are a huge fall trend, but their toughness can be tricky to pull off. Any advice for ensuring they look fashion-forward and still a little feminine?

N: The key is to not let the boots wear you. That basically means you have to let the boots be a part of you. If you don’t want all the attention at your feet, accessorize! Statement jewelry is always a great way to bring feminine right back. When wearing tough footwear, pull one other bold item from your closet to balance it out—a great top or pair of leggings, a cocktail ring, etc.

S: I’m obsessed with the accessories pics in our Fall Obsessions! Tell me about the story and any other juicy tidbits from the shoot.

N: The story for Fall Obsessions was sort of an homage to the end-of-summer road trip, a weekend trip with friends to a small town where you won’t find a five-star hotel, but you will find a great old kitschy motel. I was a big fan of the old neon motel sign shot with the Stuart Weitzman leopard pumps and the Lanvin sunglasses by the pool. I wish I had some dirt to share, but with twenty shots in an afternoon you yearn to jump in the pool, but alas you cannot.
S: It seems most women have one special accessory that’s their prized possession. Do you have one beloved piece?

N: I have had many over the years, but I swear after I call something my favorite, I lose it. Terrible, right? I am a sucker for large silver rings old and new. My favorites right now are one I found in the bottom of a box at a flea market fifteen years ago and my newest find: the Elizabeth and James Pollen Ring.

Nina Wears:
* Scarf: Brochu Walker
* Tee: Velvet
* Jeans: Calvin Klein
* Ring: Elizabeth and James
* Cuff: JADEtribe
* Boots: Jeffrey Campbell


Wednesday, September 30th 2009

First Fashion: Dressing Rationally

Taking my cue from the latest addition to Shopbop’s roster of fashion designers, Society for Rational Dress, I’m homing in on the comfortable side of fall fashion. The brand found its inspiration in Victorian London’s Rational Dress Society, a group of reformers who rejected the era’s constricting fashions in favor of more rational ways of dressing. At the root of this movement (and this post)? Comfort.

Plush style with an artisanal feel (check out those buttons!), this cardigan will bring comfort to jersey dresses or go-to jeans and tees. Society for Rational Dress - Cardigan

A forever-loved basic, this turtleneck has just the right amount of casual slouch to suit the season, but not so much it’ll be old news next year. Riller & Fount - Albany Long Sleeve Turtleneck

A voluminous silhouette cinched at the waist, this dress proves comfort doesn’t have to be casual. Rory Beca - Drape Dress with Rope Belt

Adopt your own version of rational fashion with styles from What’s New.


Tuesday, September 29th 2009

A Classic Combo, With a Modern Twist


Milan Fashion Week may be drawing to a close and Paris getting ready to begin, but I’m still digesting the trends of NYC’s catwalks. Though the more avant-garde looks garnered the lion’s share of attention, it’s the more down-to-earth ensembles that tend to end up in most of our wardrobes. My favorite example? The many shift dress/pumps combos spotted on the runways (check out this collection of pics from, each showing that this timeless duo has come a long way since Jackie O. Modern details–cutouts, draping, leather accents–make this a look as fashion-forward as it is classic.

How to get a jump on the trend and make it fresh for fall? Pair an architectural shift dress (like the Hanii Y dress above) with an equally modern heel (like the pictured Robert Clergerie pumps). Then, to make doubly sure you don’t look like you copied a costume from Mad Men, accessorize with a fall trend: a rocker chain belt from Alice + Olivia or ’80s-inspired asymmetrical earrings from ACB by Annie Costello Brown loosen up this ladylike look.


Tuesday, September 29th 2009

First Fashion: The Cocktail Dress

I’ve been making some very practical purchases for my fall wardrobe (Vince cashmere, Frye boots, Seven jeans), but today I’ve got my eye on something a little less prudent: cocktail dresses. Sure, I don’t have anywhere to wear them right now, and sure, I’ve got plenty of other party frocks that have only been worn once, but there’s just something special about adding a new evening dress to my wardrobe.

I am officially aboard the Hervé Léger bandwagon. I want one of everything in the collection, but if I have to choose, I’ll go with this intricately beaded creation. Hervé Léger - Runway Beaded Bandage Dress

I’m usually not a crusader for the one-shoulder look, but this Diane von Furstenberg number has me taking up the cause. The shock of magenta will brighten my cool-weather wardrobe for years to come. Diane von Furstenberg - Adisa Dress

The little black dress gets a little swing and some glitz to match—the beaded collar is a work of genius. T-Bags - Collar Dress

Indulge your less practical fashion senses with party dresses, pretty skirts, and stylish excesses, in What’s New.


Monday, September 28th 2009

Art of the Dress

09_28_09_Ports61 (2) 

Last Saturday night I was out at a club wearing a draped grey tunic, black skinnies, and zippered Sergio Rossi boots when in walked my friend Jeffrey whose chic ensemble blew mine out of the water: houndstooth vintage Dior jacket, Ben Sherman cardigan, custom pinstriped button-down with French cuffs, vintage Vivienne Westwood paisley tie, tailored Ted Baker jeans, and Balenciaga wingtip shoes. Although a tee and jeans was more than enough for the dress code, it’s so exhilarating to see someone making a serious effort to get dressed. Which for people like Jeffrey is no effort at all; it’s merely an extension of their personality, a reflection of their love affair with fashion.

This was all very fitting, as I had just finished watching The September Issue, a movie devoted to professional tastemaking, which attempts to give us a peek behind, as one reporter called it, “the iron curtain of Anna Wintour’s bangs.” While this doc’s central drama focused on the tension between the enchanting Grace Coddington and the exacting Anna (punctuated with lighter moments such as a scene where André Leon Talley practices his backhand with a diamond-encrusted tennis watch on his wrist and a Louis Vuitton towel draped around his neck), I most enjoyed the sumptuous couture photo shoots Ms. Coddington styles to perfection in locations like the Palace of Versailles and the Vatican courtyard. It reminded me of the continued importance of couture decadence and fantasy in our industry—how viewing one otherworldly Meisel photo, one breathtaking Ports 1961 dress, one magical Coddington story has the power to transform you. It’s something I hope never becomes a lost art.


Monday, September 28th 2009

First Fashion: New Looks from L.A. Favorite Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent

Not some flavor of the week fashion designer, Cynthia Vincent’s Twelfth St. line is a consistently one of Shopbop’s most popular season after season. Fun to wear without being silly or frivolous, Vincent’s collections display a distinctly L.A. sensibility and a uniquely feminine point of view. Three of my current faves:

The moody floral and smart pleating make for the perfect work-to-after-work dress. Just add Falke tights and platform booties and you’re ready for whatever the day (or night) brings. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Gypsy Dress

Vincent’s palette is always spot-on, and this little purple number is the perfect example of her impeccable eye for color. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Back Tie Waist Dress

I saw a street style shot of this incredibly chic woman in grey sweats, a white tee, and a black blazer on Garance Doré awhile back, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. This pair satisfies the slouchy-sweats craving, but feels a little more sophisticated. Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Slouch Ankle Pants

Find fresh looks from fashion favorites like Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent in What’s New.


Friday, September 25th 2009

On the Edge: Loeffler Randall Fall 2009

Drawing inspiration from French sculptor Louise Bourgeois, the Loeffler Randall fall 2009 collection has a decidedly edgier feel than seasons past. Designer Jessie Randall writes about her inspiration in her blog: “There is a subtle aggression and anger in Bourgeois’ art, and this also inspired harder edge styles.” That edge comes out in draped grey bands on a slim pencil skirt—a direct homage to Bourgeois’ spider sculptures—and silver buckles that transform the Matilde silhouette into the equally streamlined, yet markedly tougher Marti Boot.

But the feminine polish is not lost. You see it in the smooth curves on each pair of comfortable-as-they-are-chic shoes and in the dresses that accentuate the female form’s best features. The Shoulder Trim Dress offers a clean silhouette with a nod to the strong shoulder trend, and the Corded Hexagon Blouse plays to the season’s hard-edge inspiration in a sweetly timeless way.

Loeffler Randall, launched in 2005 as an answer to the designer’s shoe cravings, has veered in a subtle new direction, all the while ensuring each piece remains an investment in your fashion future.


Friday, September 25th 2009

Shop Kate & Morgan’s Fashion Week Closets

Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch at NYFW.
Photos by Anne Ziegler.

Checked out our Shopbop at New York Fashion Week feature yet? It’s chockablock with on-and-off-the-runway highlights including spring trend previews, street style favorites, and best of accessories, plus candid snaps of Shopbop Senior Stylist Morgan Wendelborn and Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch at the shows and on the go sporting their NYFW best.

And, for all you detail-obsessed types who want to see more of what Kate and Morgan wore, we put together a mini-boutique comprised of pieces from their Fashion Week closets for your shopping enjoyment. Because, as we all know, the shows are but a small part of the style story at NYFW. The rest is waiting at the corner of 10th Avenue and 14th Street or texting outside the tents.


Friday, September 25th 2009

First Fashion: Everyday Sequins

Never is proper styling more imperative than with sequins. One misstep and you risk getting asked who your prom date is or if you can deftly twirl a baton, so let’s turn to our friends at Velvet for a fashion-forward take on the sequin.

To avoid even a miniscule notion of pageant-y, color is critical. Dark, smoky sequins like the ones on this slate top say “moody,” not “perky, ” and still bring a little glam to your faded black denim. Velvet - Edeline Sequin Tee


The tank version makes for a fun girls’ night out top. Pair with dirty-wash Current/Elliott jeans and distressed flat boots for brilliant high/low contrast. Velvet - Kylea Sequin Tank


Think casual sequined frock is an oxymoron? Not so. This simple T-shirt dress has just the right amount of flash in front. Velvet - Josie Sequin Dress

Find runway-ready incarnations of the season’s best embellishments in What’s New.


Thursday, September 24th 2009

Base Camp: Fall is Built on Black and White

I sang the praise of grey accessories, am in the middle of a love affair with navy, and have yet to meet a pair of red shoes I didn’t like. Still, year after year my fall wardrobe always comes back to black and white. This isn’t a stretch, I know that, but it does speak volumes (or perhaps merely squeaks out an observation) about the timelessness of the contrasting duo.

Take as example two simple studies in men’s shirting from Victorialand (queen of shirts) and Haute Hippie. The former black with white accents, the latter white with black buttons, they’re each the kind of fall goodness that says “I’m sophisticated, serious, chic.” And, they each let the accessories have a little fun without feeling over the top. We toss around the blank canvas moniker pretty freely, but there’s really no other color combo that embodies it so well.

With the black button-down (worn with black skinny jeans, of course), I’d don jewels with a natural inflection, like a turquoise Alex and Ani ring and a beaded Julie Rofman cuff, and with the tuxedo-inspired shirtdress, a luxe painted eel Gryson handbag and a clever Deepa Gurnani headband that might have otherwise stood outside my comfort zone.

But I want to know what your autumn uniform is. Do you fall into two-toned style like me, or do you take a more vibrant approach, like Maureen’s fall florals?


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