Thursday, December 24th 2009

First Fashion: Blue-Chip Fashion Investments

The phrase “investment pieces” has been getting its fair share of lip service from the fashion blogosphere, conjuring up visions of tailored blazers and perfectly proportioned pumps. True, these are the wardrobe basics that transcend seasons, but it’s the personal, highly emotional pieces—whether edgy, quirky, or just plain ravishing—that I cherish as the best investments I’ve ever made.

An iconic design in a succulent hue. Hervé Léger knows knock ’em dead never goes out of vogue. Hervé Léger – Signature Essentials Cocktail Bandage Dress


I’ve had a crush on Marc Jacobs since the days when he transformed dirty grunge into high fashion. This practical yet whimsical messenger reminds me why I’m still his girl. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Petal to the Metal Sasha Messenger


Hard-to-find vinyl, rare band posters, and vintage concert T-shirts are priceless additions to the rock chick’s investment portfolio. And this vintage tee has that epic front-row energy. WGACA Vintage – Vintage Pretenders '81 Concert Tee

Find long-lasting fashion love in What’s New.


Wednesday, December 23rd 2009

Shop Your Style: Accessories to Refresh Your Wardrobe

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Wardrobes may need a re-thinking at the start of each season, but they also long for the occasional refresher in between. The quickest shortcut is an accessory that allows you to play with trends and represent your personality: witness how skinny jeans can look, by turns, cutting-edge with over-the-knee boots, girly with bow-trimmed heels, or casual-chic with slouchy booties. And the little extras also have the power to play a piece against type: that NSFW miniskirt gets the green light when paired with opaque tights, and a solid dress is transformed by a patterned belt.

Shop Your Style (just stocked with new pieces) is an effortless place to start. If your sensibility skews bohemian, try adding an on-trend beaded headband or a chain-fringe scarf (pictured) by Deepa Gurnani. Girly girls would fall for delicate, blush pink sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti–perfect now for NYE and in the spring with swingy dresses–and a bold watch or supple satchel are ideal for a classic personality with an eye for investments. As for me? Though I envy those who can wear studded four-inch heels on a daily basis, embellished flats by Pour La Victoire (pictured) are more my speed and allow me to work a little edge into my everyday look.


Wednesday, December 23rd 2009

First Fashion: Last Minute Gifts

Every last name on my Christmas list is checked off, so the last-minute gifts my headline is referring to are all for me. Just in case my friends and family are still undecided about what to tuck under the tree for me, I offer a few not-so-subtle suggestions.

The ultimate all-purpose cincher, this studded belt from Shopbop newcomer B-Low The Belt would get a lot of wear in my wardrobe. B-Low The Belt - Sami Belt

I’m in love with the signature Rebecca Minkoff clutch. I’d own one in every shade if I had the closet space. This shot of pink would add a little life to any one of my go-to neutral looks. Rebecca Minkoff - The Clutch

Army jacket styling with Spendid’s soft hand—I imagine myself living in this fleece jacket when the weather gets warmer. Splendid - Vintage Fleece Pocket Jacket

Finish up your Christmas shopping (for your most loved or for yourself) in What’s New.


Tuesday, December 22nd 2009

Here’s to a Fashionable 2010! How to Ring it In, In Style

This New Year’s Eve marks not only the end of a year, but the end of a decade. Sartorially speaking, this big night is like a free pass to go all out. On one hand, having unbridled fashion freedom is thoroughly exhilarating, but on the other hand, it’s a bit befuddling in terms of where to begin. Luckily, our Shopbop stylists have broken it down into a handy how-to featuring all the top trends: the definitive New Year’s Eve lookbook.


Sequins are a natural choice for a ball-dropping fête, but how to make them fashion forward? Senior Stylist Morgan Wendelborn says, “Sequins needs to be really playful and not too dainty! Leave the delicate straps at home and go with super chunky booties, some studs, and a leather jacket.” In lieu of the more expected dress, DVF sequined harem pants look hot-off-the-runway when paired with buckled Loeffler Randall booties, a simple Geren Ford top, and an exotic Lauren Merkin clutch.


Slink on into the soiree wearing this draped copper number and find the crowd toasting you come midnight. This Black Halo dress could be played ultra-refined, but our stylists have pumped up the drama with bombshell over-the-knee boots, a Rebecca Minkoff Python Passion Clutch, and a funky cocktail ring.

Want more cork-popping couture? Find inspiration in our lookbook, or try Morgan’s personal party pick: “My number-one fave holiday party look this year is an oversized Rag & Bone sweater over a body-con T by Alexander Wang dress, See by Chloé lace tights, and suede OTKs! It’s sexy (but not overtly so), chic, sophisticated, and best of all, comfy!”


Tuesday, December 22nd 2009

First Fashion: All That Glitters

New Year’s Eve may be the time to lay on the glitz, but I don’t want to give up all that sparkles and shines come the confetti-strewn morning after. Even everyday looks can steal some special-occasion glamour with the help of these three pieces.

Fiona Paxton is the reigning queen of statement necklaces, and this bib necklace is an edgy rendering of the trend. I love how the Shopbop stylists paired it with a polished yet offbeat top by Sachin + Babi. Fiona Paxton – Avon Oxidized Necklace


Shopbop newcomer Maggie Ward clothing specializes in casual pieces rendered in evening-appropriate fabric. Slinky, drapey jersey is de rigeur after dark, but it lends this everyday top a sensual flair. Maggie Ward – Drapey Tank


Vixenish pumps may be a go-to for a glam evening, but these bejeweled Jeffrey Campbell flats hit that note with casual grace. Jeffrey Campbell – Jewel G Ballet Flats

Play with daytime metallics, sequins, and bold baubles in What’s New.


Monday, December 21st 2009

From Basic to Brilliant with Bib Necklaces

Pictured: Rachel Leigh Jewelry Crystal Fringe Necklace, Sachin + Babi Monaco Necklace, Juicy Couture Sequin Drama Bib Necklace, Kenneth Jay Lane Large Fancy Bib Necklace, Fiona Paxton Avon Oxidized Necklace.

The fashion world is about to experience a short lull. It happens at the beginning of each New Year, when the holiday/resort collections have arrived and the spring pieces aren’t quite ready to hit the shelves. It’s expected, yet year after year this lessening of newcomers to What’s New makes it all too easy to lazily slip into a sartorial rut. (I invariably resort to the same tee + jeans and jersey dress + boots equations.)

Weary wardrobes will find a ray of hope in bib necklaces, a bold emerging jewelry trend. The detailed neckwear elevates even the most basic ensemble to a clever work of sartorial art. A spangled collier makes a black Rachel Pally dress feel NYE fancy, while an extreme fringed piece (check out the on-model pic of the Fiona Paxton necklace pictured—incredible!) lends a little funk to a Haute Hippie top and J Brand skinnies. It’s a simple, one-step way to lend a fresh angle to your winter look.


Monday, December 21st 2009

First Fashion: Resort Neutrals

At the mention of resort collections, I used to instantly picture crayon-box brights, exotic prints, and stemware trimmed with punchy paper parasols. But our new Resort Classics lookbook shows how barely-there eyeshadow pastels and warm neutrals can feel equally rejuvenating.

There’s nothing more romantic than a twirl-inducing full skirt. In typical Twenty8Twelve fashion, this blush style is loaded with streetwise femininity. Twenty8Twelve – Monomark Skirt


Our stylists have given the skirt a hard edge by pairing it with Frye engineer boots, but I like the artistry and leggy look of these sculptural DVF sandals. Diane von Furstenberg – Opal Crisscross Wedge Sandals


A light-as-air leather bracelet in sunkissed metallic bronze. Gorjana is the master of exquisite simplicity. Gorjana – Chelsea Leather & Chain Bracelet

Make your closet a resort destination with fresh finds from What’s New.


Friday, December 18th 2009

How to Wear Oxfords: Senior Stylist Morgan Shares Her Tips

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Sky-high cutout booties and over-the-knee boots may define this season, but there’s one footwear trend that’s a little more down-to-earth: menswear oxfords. With all the boyfriend jeans, shirts, and blazers adorning fashionable females lately, it’s become common knowledge that a little masculine inspiration translates into feminine sexy. But how to ensure they look more fashionable than frumpy? I asked Shopbop Senior Stylist Morgan to share her tips.

Tonya: Why do you think oxfords are so irresistible right now?
Morgan: I think because they’re an easy way to incorporate a broader androgynous look into your wardrobe without having to overhaul your style. They’re classic and sophisticated, but still look modern when styled with a street sensibility. Whether you choose a pair in daring metallic or in more traditional leather, they look sharp!

Tonya: Which oxfords are at the front of your closet? How do you wear them?
Morgan: I have silver oxfords by Pour La Victoire, and I love wearing them with girly mini dresses or cropped jeans. I also love them with a striped tank (like this one by Nili Lotan) and a pair of slouchy pants.

Tonya: This is one trend that seems to require a little more thought to pull off. What are your tips?
Morgan: My advice is to go classic: I love this cardigan by Vince with J Brand cropped jeans, finished off with unique platform oxfords by Rachel Comey. Or try something a little more feminine, like this crocheted lace Ports 1961 dress paired with timeless Ports 1961 oxfords–the patent leather and nude hue give them a softer look.


Friday, December 18th 2009

First Fashion: Seeing Stripes

I would never claim to be a prints girl; solids are more my thing. But every now and then a pattern captures my fancy (last summer, it was florals), and I find myself drawn to it time and time again. Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch reported spotting many a striped top at Spring 2010 New York Fashion Week, and chalk it up to her sartorial influence, but I haven’t been able to get the lines out of my mind since. I just picked up a striped Velvet tank, and today, three more pieces have made their way onto my wish list.

I find one-pieces to be so very refreshing in a world of bikinis (though I love a two-piece, too). This one gives my stripe inclination a little twist. Red Carter - Capri Maillot

Fashion that plays multiple roles? I’ll always sign on to that. This casual-cool beach cover-up will do double duty as a breezy warm-weather frock. Splendid - Mini Stripe Jada Cover Up

I’m convinced there isn’t a casual basic that A.L.C. by Andrea Lieberman can’t make fashion-forward. A split strap and draped sides lend this everyday silhouette a little something special. A.L.C. - Slit Strap Tank

Prints and patterns or new shades of solids, there are plenty of obsession-worthy pieces in What’s New.


Thursday, December 17th 2009

Desperately Seeking Torn

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How can a one-shoulder crystal dress, a Pearl Jam-era plaid tunic, a liquid lamé miniskirt, and a wolf T-shirt reminiscent of something you’d wear while pushing pedal to the metal in your boyfriend’s 1978 T-Top Trans Am all harmoniously cohabitate in one girl’s closet? It was one of fashion’s greatest mysteries (well, at least to me) until Torn Designer Ronny Kobo shed some light on the muses behind her eclectic collection.

“Not to sound cliché, but I was really thinking ’80s glam rock combined with ’90s grunge,” says the designer. Kobo, whose design aesthetic mimics her own personal style, found herself wearing crystal cuffs with comfy parkas, laid-back plaids with killer heels, and night-out dresses with flat biker boots. If this sounds very Madonna circa Desperately Seeking Susan, that’s because Kobo considers the movie “a staple piece for me in design, as Madonna plays this carefree, spirited woman with eternal style and a sense of coolness.”

And suddenly it all makes sense: Torn clothing is like the artistic medium for that achingly cool, spontaneous chick who may not be a rock star by profession but lives the lifestyle. Mixing quirky with clever, sexy with don’t-mess-with-me, Paris with Los Angeles, a striped miniskirt with an eagle muscle tank—Torn has become the dream line of adventurous sartorialists.


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