Thursday, September 24th 2009

First Fashion: Diane von Furstenberg

I seem to snag something new from Diane von Furstenberg every season. Last spring it was one of her iconic wrap dresses, and last fall it was a blouse with a Chinoiserie print. And because both ended up as wardrobe favorites, I can’t wait to take my pick from her fall line.

Summer may be wedding season, but we’ll soon be getting invites for holiday parties. A body-con silhouette tempered by a demure hemline and embellished with a smattering of studs hits the spot between occasion-appropriate and fashion-forward. Diane von Furstenberg – Thane Dress


My usual black handbag needs a break. This one will go just as well with everything, and help me achieve fall’s mixed-texture look to boot. Diane von Furstenberg – Stephanie Medium Hobo


Occasionally I come across a top that makes me forget about my night-out dresses. This could be the piece to convince me to give leather pants a try. Diane von Furstenberg – Caboney Top

Summer’s officially over. Welcome fall, in What’s New.


Wednesday, September 23rd 2009

Fall Florals with a Side of Attitude


I blame my irrational fear of prints on the fact that I had my fashion coming of age during the relentlessly minimalist late ’90s: a time when chic meant Carolyn Bessette in a Calvin Klein sheath dress and pointy-toe sling-back pumps, or Kate Moss at Cannes (this was the Johnny Depp era) in a formfitting grey shift with nude sandals, nary a polka-dot or paisley in sight. I was at an impressionable age: I vowed to cut prints out of my sartorial diet entirely.

Fast-forward to the summer of 2009 when, seemingly out of nowhere, florals took up with bad-girl gladiators, bags dripping with fringe, and little leather jackets. Flower prints were suddenly cool and quirky, not frivolous and twee. (Whee!) I snapped up splashy maxi dresses and mini-floral tops with abandon, liberated from the only-solid-colors-are-truly-chic dictum of my youth.

Packing my fashion garden away yesterday, I felt a twinge of melancholy: did the chill in the air necessitate returning to my former no-prints-allowed existence? Not for this changed woman. I’m taking  summer’s “petal to the metal” look into a new season, starting with three of my favorite fall frocks from Rebecca Taylor, Catherine Malandrino, and Tibi, then switching out sandals for suede platform booties (mine are Stuart Weitzman), and adding a BE & D studded belt.

(And check out this great piece Kate Lanphear wrote on about how she overcame minimalism of the mind and embraced her acid-washed fashion soul.)

Shopbop Shoptalk

Wednesday, September 23rd 2009

First Fashion: Closet Edit

Last weekend, I did a Joyann-style cleaning of my closet. The result? Two bags full of dry cleaner hangers (which thankfully my cleaner recycles), three bags o’ clothes for Goodwill, and one coat circa the Pearl Jam era that was so burly and bulky I couldn’t even stuff it into a bag. (What was the ’90s me thinking?) My wardrobe looks so much better after eliminating the unwanted fat, but I’ve also noticed there are some staples I need to replace.

Among my purged pieces were lots of hoodies and tight T-shirts with crystal logos. (Sorry, Bebe, but it’s time we see other people.) My style has matured and I’m now in need of a tee that’s more slouchy-chic, less corporately bedazzled. Blue Life – U Neck Tee


I’m obsessed with rocker clothes, but that cheap vinyl miniskirt I donated wasn’t cutting it. I want my look to scream high-end, not Hot Topic, and that’s where this Alice + Olivia dress comes in: equal parts vixen and sophisticate. Alice + Olivia - Embellished Dress


My closet editing made me realize I’ve got lots of cardis and cashmere wraps but not a single blazer—for shame! Like designer Kate Wendelborn told us, the simple addition of a jacket really polishes an outfit. Just look at how chic a fitted leather blazer makes this tee-and-jeans combo. Elizabeth and James - Shrunken Elizabeth Blazer

So edit your closet, then rejuvenate it with essentials from What’s New.


Tuesday, September 22nd 2009

New at Shopbop: Rag & Bone Shoes


Just as Alexander Wang’s new shoe collection caused widespread hyperventilation in the fashion blogosphere, Rag & Bone is getting lots of love for distilling the timeless, built-to-last sensibility of its much-loved clothing into a line of shoes. And just as Wang’s heavily buckled, lace-up boots and booties perfectly complement his aggressive dresses, Rag & Bone shoes are tailor-made for the brand’s die-hard fans: picture rugged moto boots or preppy-gone-bad felt-and-leather boots with a polished blazer, or riding boots with an equestrian-inspired jacket.

Still not enough Rag & Bone? They’ll be introducing sunglasses in spring ’10 (if you can’t wait until they land at Shopbop, get a sneak peek here), inspired by Italian frames of the ’60s and ’70s and named after defunct motorcycle companies. Best of all, they’re made with Rag & Bone’s signature construction, so you’re far less likely to find them in pieces at the bottom of your handbag.


Tuesday, September 22nd 2009

First Fashion: Like the Boys Wear

Today my big brother turns 31, and in a nod to his day (and since we don’t have fellas’ clothes for me to pick out for him), I’ll explore fall’s menswear-inflected feminine fashion in his honor. Bogus b-day gift or stylish homage? I, naturally, pick the latter, though I suspect he’ll fall in the former’s camp. Don’t worry, Josh, your real card’s in the mail. Happy birthday!

Shopbop newbie Tony Cohen got the leather moto jacket just right with this tempting concoction. It’s rugged enough for the boys, but tailored for the girls. Tony Cohen - Motorcycle Jacket

Men’s shirting reinvented in Tucker’s signature silk, this dress is a little lumberjack and all lady. Tucker - 3 Stripe Plaid Mini Dress

Frye boots are my go-to fall footwear, but these oxfords by the American classic may just replace my Veronica Slouch Boots as autumn favorite. Frye - Erin Oxford Flats

Give a little shout-out to the great guys in your life with menswear-inspired styles from What’s New.


Monday, September 21st 2009

Rock Candy

Rocker style

Of all the fall trends, rocker clothes are hands-down my favorite. Top designers have harnessed the hard-riffing sex appeal of rocker style and beautifully sharpened it with their couture craftsmanship. But you don’t have to be fronting a band or be the It-girl offspring of a Rolling Stone to turn up the headliner charisma. Here are three songs every cool girl can work into her set list:

Short Skirt, Fur Jacket
I’ll never forget the time I was out at a bar in my winter white faux fur coat only to look over at another redheaded patron who was dressed nearly identically to me: rock goddess Shirley Manson! We had a giggle about her “copying” my standout outerwear, a super-cool moment that never would’ve happened had I showed up in a sporty puffer.

Fade to Black
Black has always been the rock chick’s anthem color, but this fall the hue really shows its range. Think sheer mesh insets giving depth to leather leggings or bandage skirts, ripped LNA tees paired with grey or faded black moto jeans, and tangled chain necklaces and bracelets dabbling in black magic by way of oxidized silvers and painted crystals.

Get on Your (Balmain) Boots 
Giuseppe Zanotti and Alexander Wang need to start a rock ‘n’ roll boot camp. The bad boys of footwear have reinvented have-to-have-you boots via styles either dripping with decadence (feathers, crystals, snakeskin, velvet) or industrial fetishes (hardcore hardware, zippers, lug soles). While their commanding stilettos suit the rock vixen well, a pair of rough-hewn Frye boots can be equally sexy—like something Janis might have worn while melting our faces.


Monday, September 21st 2009

First Fashion: Finishing Touches

I’ve finished a good chunk of my fall shopping (and I’m pretty proud about planning ahead). Now all I need are the finishing touches.

Bop Basics is my go-to when it comes to bundling up. Not only will this hat head off autumn’s chill, it’s chic enough to wear indoors, too. Bop Basics – Thick Knit Cuff Hat


I love the Rebecca Minkoff Nikki Bag in all its iterations, but this croc-embossed version in deep charcoal would be particularly striking with my black jackets and coats. Rebecca Minkoff – Mini Nikki Bag with Resin Handle


Deepa Gurnani’s hand-embellished headbands and scarves run the gamut from the intricately beautiful to the casual bohemian. I’d wear this tie-dye scarf in honor of the laid-back SoCal styles I won’t be donning again until next spring. Deepa Gurnani – Fringe Scarf

Accessorize to your heart’s content, in What’s New.


Friday, September 18th 2009

Fashion Week Wrap-Up: Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch Shares Her Favorite Moments

Another NYFW has come and gone, leaving a trail of broken heels and Starbucks to-go cups in its wake. We asked Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch to share her insights on the week that was.

1. There’s been a lot of talk about fashion having a major reassessment moment. Did you notice anything different about NYFW this year? What was the overall vibe like?
The vibe was very friendly! I think people made a conscious effort to take any severe attitude out of the week by smiling, being helpful, introducing themselves, etc.

2. Was there a show or runway look you loved that isn’t your usual style?
Milly! I'm not usually a girly-girl when it comes to my style but I loved this show. It was punky prep, and she debuted a jewelry collection that consisted of huge chunky gold and silver statement necklaces.

3. Accessory you wanted to grab off the model and start wearing immediately:
Alexander Wang shoes—incredible! The leopard wedges, the knee-high sandals!

09_18_09_Awang_rnbLeopard booties at Alexander Wang and a key look from the Rag & Bone runway.

Friday, September 18th 2009

NYFW from a Designer’s Perspective: Victorialand’s Kate Wendelborn

Kate Wendelborn is the founder and designer behind Victorialand. Here, she reflects on her Fashion Week.

Designer Kate Wendelborn models two looks from the Victorialand Spring 2010 collection.

With the close of New York Fashion Week, I finally have 20 minutes to sit down and think. Designing and realizing my collection over the past few months, everything came together this week in the finishing, styling, and showing. I can breathe now.
I’m a bit of a details freak, so reworking multiple pieces a few too many times to get them just right is pretty normal. As you can imagine, that takes a lot of work and time, so I am not even going to tell you how much I have (or haven’t) slept in the past two weeks. But seeing my vision in physical form makes it all worth it. For me, it's all in the subtleties: the curve of a seam, the length of a sleeve, the curve of the seat of a pant (even an eighth of an inch makes a huge difference to me), the number of buttons on the front of a shirt. I’m a design and fashion masochist and love every minute.

For the Spring 2010 season I wanted to expand Victorialand's menswear-inspired shirting beginnings into other tailored/menswear-inspired pieces like jackets and trousers. I have always loved the powerful woman and like to see women dress like strong people and not like little girls. Looking at the way men dress inspires me. I like playing with the idea of making that look relevant every season. It’s about making small changes in style and not giant leaps that stray from who you really are. Clothing has a lot to do with perception, whether we like to believe it or not, but I don't believe it's in a superficial way. It is a first impression and a jumping-off point for showing who you are and what you are made of. For me, wearing a well-tailored jacket or a well-cut shirt with a great shoe gives a woman something a t-shirt and sneakers won't (and, I mean, I wear t-shirts under my jackets every day, but I always bring the jacket). There is an aura and a sense of seriousness to a woman who can pull this off. I relish the attempt and love to experiment with this as I grow older. This is what Victorialand is all about.

Friday, September 18th 2009

The Elizabeth and James Breast Cancer Awareness Necklace will be donating $15,000 to Breast Cancer Network of Strength®, an organization whose mission is to ensure, through education and advocacy, that no one faces breast cancer alone. As a symbol of our support, we’ve partnered with Elizabeth and James on an exclusive necklace we’re offering in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

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