Sunday, January 31st 2010

Story Behind the Dress: Nightcap Clothing


The Nightcap Clothing Victorian Lace Dress, a key piece in our spring lingerie trend story, was inspired by one chic woman spotted during Paris Fashion Week Fall 2009.

Nightcap Designer Carisa Brambles’s Take:
Any stylish female who has sat at the lower bar inside the Hôtel Costes in Paris can tell you about its dark, seductive vibe. There’s an ancient charm to this boutique hotel that’s unlike any place I have ever been. I was there during Paris Fashion Week Fall 2009, sipping my favorite cocktail, a French kiss, with Kate Ciepluch as we waited for an adventurous night to begin, when I saw a woman in an ivory lace gown, fitted just for her. She lit up the room in a dress that could easily have been from the 1800s. It’s only in Paris that you catch fashion at its best. I was instantly inspired to transform the beauty of her antique gown into a Nightcap cocktail dress.

The Victorian Lace Dress (pictured above) embraces both the elegance and the seduction of the boudoir. It can be worn in any city from L.A. to New York to Paris. I added my own refined details as a designer and chose a lace with an old-fashioned look. The lace itself is from Paris and made especially for this dress. It has just the right amount of stretch and hugs every curve of a woman’s body. The dress is by far my favorite piece I have ever designed.
 

Carisa and Kate at the Hôtel Costes bar, drinking French kiss cocktails.

Shopbop Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch’s Take:
When Carisa gets excited about something, she visibly enters into a trance of concentration and deep thought. Her imagination, passion, and ability to make her vision a reality is so inspiring. At Paris Fashion Week Spring 2010, Carisa stepped out of her apartment rental wearing the Victorian Lace sample with black suede over-the-knee boots and looked so incredibly sexy and sophisticated. I knew this piece was going to be the starting point of a story for our spring trend report.

Carisa is my partner in crime when it comes to Paris—she has an intense love for the city that is intoxicating. We spend our days there finding the very best vintage stores, meeting the chicest Parisian women, going to runway shows, and sitting at cafés people watching. It’s always a highlight of my year.

Friday, January 29th 2010

New to Shopbop: Rag & Bone/JEAN, Helmut Lang Denim + More

 

This spring, minimalist denim is so much more than an elementary assemblage of rivets and twill. The emerging story? Threads for a utilitarian, downtown-cool lifestyle, where blue (or black or white) jeans go back to their no-nonsense roots: clean (or ripped off) back pockets, classic cuts, superior fabrications, and an intense focus on construction and fit.

“The Rag & Bone denim line created a lot of excitement in our New York office,” says Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch about new brand Rag & Bone/JEAN (coming soon to Shopbop), which also offers essential knits and menswear-inspired button-down shirts. “This collection is like the backbone of your wardrobe. In true Rag & Bone fashion, the line consists of all those perfect basics every girl needs—classic styles that can go from beach-chic to urban-cool. Highlights for me were the pastel yellow skinny jeans and the denim overall shorts.”

Like Rag & Bone/JEAN, cool-kid label Rogan clothing complements its Svelte Jeans with edgy yet simple necessities: hooded scarves, and sweaters and tank dresses with provocative sheer panels. Vince may be associated with the question of what to wear to work, but this spring the brand exudes attitude with the launch of Vince Denim. “Their High Line Skinny Jeans fit like a glove,” says Kate. “Acid washes, paint splatter, missing back pockets, and interesting side panels are such great touches.”

Helmut Lang Denim (also coming soon) fits seamlessly with this urban aesthetic as well, albeit on a more experimental level. Keeping with the avant-garde spirit of its parent collection, this line pushes the boundaries of what is expected from denim. Look for leather and jersey panels and washes inspired by industrial, distressed textures such as peeling paint, oil on asphalt, and decayed walls. “Their body-con leggings and dresses with black jersey insets are among my favorites,” Kate says. “Skirts, jackets, shorts, shirts—Helmut Lang Denim has it all covered, and done well.”

--Suzanne

Friday, January 29th 2010

First Fashion: Little Indulgences

I’ve been talking about my brother’s upcoming nuptials in Florida a lot lately (here, here, and to any unsuspecting stranger who will listen), and with good reason: his wedding will take me out of the cold and snow at the exact moment every year when winter starts to feel like it will never end. And so today, I’m using my February escape to justify snatching up a few new finds from What’s New.

Perfect for the flight to Florida, I’ll layer this diaphanous blouse with a cardigan, jeans, and flats for takeoff, and then ditch the cardigan and swap out the flats for K. Jacques sandals once I hit ground. Generra - Asymmetrical Button Blouse

A little something to wear the day of the wedding, this will lend a personal touch to my bridesmaid dress. Juliet & Company - Dahlia Bracelet

And a casual frock for the days before the wedding, the just-short-enough hem is family-appropriate and will still manage to showcase some sun-kissed (albeit of the spray-on variety) skin. Vena Cava - Omo Dress

--Amie

Thursday, January 28th 2010

Animal Jewelry: Fashion with Teeth

Though snake bangles have long been a jewelry box staple, animal jewelry is evolving into something even more ferocious this season. A couple recent posts on Sea of Shoes give bold examples: Jane Aldridge’s taste runs toward the (very) big game variety, with a foot-long jeweled squid, fox-head belt buckles, and science-experiment-gone-wrong giant shrimp. But even in smaller doses, these pieces look anything but tame.

Hunting for animal jewelry but don’t know how to wear it? Pay homage to an ancient motif by pairing snake earrings or Fallon Jewelry’s Isis Cuff with a draped maxi dress. Sinister spider studs are everyday-wearable on tee-and-jeans days, and Pade Vavra’s gilded panther cuff, which wouldn’t have looked out of place at Studio 54, is perfect with something sleek and short. As for me, I’ll have to play favorites. I love birds, and a regal peacock ring by House of Harlow and a sparrow ring by Alkemie Jewelry would make any ensemble sing.

--Tonya

Thursday, January 28th 2010

First Fashion: New Shoes, New Spring in My Step

I’ve been slowly accumulating new pieces for spring, trying to keep my focus on things I can start wearing now. Today, I’m adding some footwear to the mix.

We’ve been getting quite a few pairs of low wedges in lately, and I’m smitten with the mini trend. They’re cute, comfy, and, best of all, stable. Coclico Shoes - Mosaic Open Toe Booties

I finally threw out the pair of Chucks I’ve been wearing since undergrad—I just couldn’t take the flapping of the partially detached rubber sole any more. This is a perfectly fashion-forward replacement. What Goes Around Comes Around - Studded Low Top Sneakers

I admit these are a stretch for admittance into the wear-now category, but I’ve got a loophole. My brother’s wedding in Florida is a mere two weeks away, which means I’ll have a week to wear them in the middle of February (and then stow them away until the weather warms). Chie Mihara Shoes - Wagamama Suede Flat Sandals

Spring will be here before we know it. Start building your wardrobe now, in What's New.

--Amie

Wednesday, January 27th 2010

Help. Heal. Haiti. Benefit in NYC this Friday

This Friday, Shopbop will sponsor, along with Estée Lauder and Calvin Klein, the Help Heal Haiti benefit at Tribeca Cinemas, with proceeds going to the Partners in Health organization’s Haiti relief efforts. Expect an impressive list of silent auction and raffle items, including two all-access passes to the Tribeca Film Festival, two tickets to the Late Show with David Letterman, dinner for six at Nobu, and much more. The night starts at 10pm, and small bites will be catered by local Haitian restaurant Krik Krak.

Click here for event tickets and here to donate if you’re unable to join us.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 27th 2010

Out of Hiding: Spring 2010 Camouflage Prints

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If living with a diehard foodie (a fan of Spain’s school of foam cuisine and avant-garde chef extraordinaire Wiley Dufresne) has taught me anything, it’s that it takes trying new things and an adventurous spirit to develop your palette. The same holds true in fashion. And while I don’t believe in blindly following every trend that comes along, I do advocate for taking stock of the season’s new looks and gauging your gut reaction to them, paying particularly close attention to any secret crushes you may be harboring. Got it bad for bandage skirts? Does your heart leap a little when you see leather leggings? Long to violate your draconian no-prints-allowed rule with Helmut Lang’s celestial beauties? Try them. It’s likely they’ll introduce you to a previously unknown frontier of your personal style.

Which brings me to spring’s camouflage prints.  I first felt the sway of their roughneck charm last October when Balmain showed them at Paris Fashion Week, an attraction quickly nixed by the practical Midwesterner in me: “Camouflage? No way.” But now I see they’re not so outré. A close kin to spring’s khaki story, camo prints add a tough-organic contrast to tailored pieces and lace-trimmed camisoles that says chic. You could go the casual-camo route with a Juicy Couture hoodie or feminine with a Tucker blouse, or do like me and take your styling cues from the Balmain spring 2010 runway: pair Bop Basics camo pants (pictured above) with a sharp-shouldered blazer and cutout booties.

--Maureen

Wednesday, January 27th 2010

First Fashion: New Alexander Wang Handbags

I could wax poetic for paragraphs about Alexander Wang’s irresistible creations and the buzz his new designs bring to the Shopbop offices every season. Or I could just get down to what you’re looking for: the cream of his latest crop.
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A cousin of last season’s must-have Coco, the Rocco bag’s smaller size hasn’t made it any less coveted (or easier to find). Let the stampede begin. Alexander Wang – Rocco Mini Duffel Bag

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With rocker studs adorning a futuristic silhouette, I’d be hard-pressed to find a more unique clutch. Alexander Wang – Darla Pyramid Clutch

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An Alexander Wang classic, the Donna Hobo is re-imagined in military fatigue green. It’s the accessories equivalent of this season’s model-off-duty favorite: the army parka. Alexander Wang – Donna Hobo

Get your hands on an Alexander Wang handbag, in What’s New.

--Tonya

Tuesday, January 26th 2010

Marc by Marc Jacobs Handbags: The Color Boost Your Wardrobe Needs

I have a cousin, many cousins actually, but this particular cousin has an incredible eye for color. She’s like the Chris Benz of the quilting/crafty world, and every time I visit her, she shows me a new creative work of art in progress—invariably an amalgamation of shades that shouldn’t work together but, under the direction of her deft hand, always do. And on these visits, she reminds me ever so gently that my wardrobe is seriously lacking in color. She’s right. My black sweaters paired with faded black jeans, black dresses paired with charcoal cardigans, black skirts paired with white button-downs—what can I say? I like my colorless neutrals.

After my last house call to this cousin, I visited our Marc by Marc Jacobs handbags page. I’m not likely to add a rainbow to my clothing wardrobe, but I could stand to add something a little more vibrant to my rotation of brown, black, and grey handbags. Enter Marc Jacobs’s graffiti-scribbled canvas messengers, quilted totes in sweet paisley and bow prints, and kicky croc-print satchels. They’re the dash of whimsy my dark uniform needs, and since the price is nice, I can afford to add a lot more color (and more Marc) to my look. What girl wouldn’t want that?

--Amie
Shopbop

Tuesday, January 26th 2010

First Fashion: The Short Story

Though I adore bundling up in my sweater coat, fleece-lined leggings, and over-the-knee boots, I’m getting antsy to show some skin. Today’s What’s New showcases three thigh-grazing looks that are a sign of things to come.
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Blithe silk shorts: Butterflies to liberty florals, sweet prints on dress shorts are the definition of spring cuteness. Make them even more irresistible by mixing with a contrast print top. ADAM - Emma Side Draped Shorts

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Peek-a-boo cutoffs: Funny how revealing something as simple as a pocket lining can exponentially up the cool factor. Free People - Patchwork Rugged Cutoff Shorts

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Funky microminis: Giving sequins a run for their money, these sassy stripes transform a rumpled tee and beat-up booties into an on-fire outfit. Torn - Astrid Miniskirt


--Suzanne
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