Friday, October 29th 2010

Blouses and Trousers, Sitting in a Tree…

This season, more than any other in recent years, marked a return to the sophisticated silhouette of the well-cut trouser. Plenty of skirts and dresses marched down the fall runways last February, but there was no arguing the pant took center stage. And what piece pairs best with sleek slacks? The blouse, naturally.
It’s a time-tested, simple style formula, but the blouse-meets-trouser combo was forgotten for many a season, passed by in favor of mini dresses and skinny jeans. The return, now, comes in a fashion world that feels a little more grown up. The resurrection of Equipment blouses (they are sublime with Alice + Olivia pants), the songs sung in praise of the basic white button-down (untucked over Theory pants—effortless chic), fall 2010 can be defined by fine craftsmanship and practicality of design—two things that will feel as of-the-moment in ten years as they do now.

Have you embraced this sense of chic simplicity? And, when shopping for dress pants, what’s your go-to cut?


Friday, October 29th 2010

#FollowFriday Twitter Crush: @ElizandJames

In this week’s Follow Friday, the voice behind one of our favorite label’s Twitter account, Elizabeth and James.
Twitter Name: @ElizandJames

Real Name: Elizabeth and James (wink)

Occupation: PR/Marketing Coordinator

Favorite Designer(s):
* Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen (obviously). They are creative geniuses!
* Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. The PS1 bag, enough said.
* Karl Lagerfeld. Everything the Kaiser touches turns to gold. He has his own namesake brand of Coca-Cola and is creating a “fashion island” off Dubai. I mean, come on…

Last Purchase: A vintage Fendi portfolio to use as a giant daytime clutch.

Next Purchase: Most likely an impulsively purchased pair of shoes. I’m feeling animal prints right now. We have a chiffon cheetah-print bootie from Elizabeth and James that’s hitting soon. They are really, really good.

Song/Album on Repeat Right Now: The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac

TV/Movie Guilty Pleasure: Clueless. Fifteen years later and it’s still so quotable. “Say Ambular, was that you going through my laundry?” I see Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) around NYC all the time—always a highlight.

Style Crush: Marie Claire Style and Accessories Director Taylor Tomasi-Hill manages the perfect balance of polish and intrigue, not to mention her accessories are always to die for.

Your Style in 3 Words or Less: Black. Major footwear.

When you’re not tweeting you’re: Yoga-ing, searching for the next great vintage find, trying new brunch spots, #nowplaying, online shopping, thinking about tweeting—and generating lots of Elizabeth and James press.

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About Elizabeth and James’s Picks:
(1) Bell-bottoms are so now, plus they make your legs look long and lean. This dark wash is super-flattering. TEXTILE Elizabeth and James - Jimi Bell Bottom Jeans

(2) These are the perfect non-boring knee-high socks for my Dazed and Confused senior Halloween costume. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Za Za Chevron Knee Socks

(3) I wear the sample around the office so I should probably just cave and get it. Mixing silver and gold jewelry is effortlessly cool, plus the shape is so unique on the hand. Elizabeth and James - Scallop Ring

Thursday, October 28th 2010

Theory + Isabel Dupré!

By now you’ve likely heard that Theory has named Olivier Theyskens as its new Artistic Director. Fans of Theory clothing’s accessible prices and Theyskens’ Paris-by-way-of-Brussels (bank-breaking) designs danced in the streets (okay, it may have only been me) at the news that Theyskens’ spring capsule collection was no mere dalliance: T and OT were ready for the commitment ceremony.

Smart move Theory, and not entirely surprising. This contemporary stalwart has been steadily upping its fashion game for the past year, while not straying too far from the tweaked classics they do so well. And what better ambassador for newly hip (but not embarrassingly so) Theory, than former model, Elle magazine alum, and stylist extraordinaire Isabel Dupré. She’s starring in our new Theory video, styling six exclusive Theory pant styles with her signature Parisian je ne sais quoi. In her words: “Mixing is what gives you style. When you shake things up a little you add personality to your clothes, to the whole look, and yourself.” So true. And yet so elusive. Let Dupré, with her lilting accent, walk you through the secrets of insouciant Parisian chic, Theory style.


Thursday, October 28th 2010

A Peek Inside the Shopbop Studio: Our Stylists’ Inspiration Board

Inspiration boards are a great way to pinpoint one’s own personal style. They’re also an important part in creating the look of Shopbop. So I asked Style Director Morgan for some insight into what’s sparking the creativity of Shopbop’s team of stylists this season, and how these bits and pieces of inspiration trickle in to our lookbooks, trend reports, and thousands of individual product shots.

The studio has always used magazine tears, photographs, and found objects as styling inspiration throughout the season. This is a really fun process where we can all dig around to discover what works for our sensibilities and share them with each other. To help us get ideas for product shots, we print out looks from runway shows and our favorite editorial campaigns, and take pictures of each other’s outfits. We also post styling details that look fresh and catch our eye–for this fall, some of our favorites were cape layering, knee socks with booties, and layering neutrals.

For our features projects, Sullie (our Stylist Project Coordinator) and I have a corner devoted to our upcoming features, ideas in the works, and anything that fascinates us. Our current board is made up of several upcoming shoots we are working on, plus ideas that are still being fleshed out. Sometimes the idea comes before the inspiration, and other times it comes from just one image, movie, or thought that sets us off in a specific direction.

We never stop shooting over here so we always need new inspiration–next week it'll look different!


Thursday, October 28th 2010

First Fashion: Asymmetry

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Yesterday, Refinery29 posted a link to Things Organized Neatly, a blog that posts pictures of, well, things organized neatly. It’s right up my OCD alley, but every now and then a girl needs a little asymmetry in her life. I’ll take mine in the form of fashion.

(1) If I had to pick one brand—aside from Rag & Bone—that was having an exceptional season, it’d be Ports 1961. The way the drape of the skirt is mirrored in the asymmetrical neckline is so sublimely subtle. Ports 1961 - Sculpted Sleeveless Dress

(2) Playful ruffles and stripes? I’m sold. I steer clear of the one-shoulder look as a rule, but I’m willing to break it for this Geren Ford top. Geren Ford - One Shoulder Striped Ruffle Tee

(3) Simple lines made interesting with a slight wave. This Jules Smith bangle will pair perfectly with a gold men’s watch. Jules Smith - Americana Classic Bangle


Wednesday, October 27th 2010

Footwear’s Wild Side: Extreme Shoes

There's no denying that fancy footwear has always captured our imagination. From Dorothy to Cinderella, cowboys to spat-sporting gangsters, history and literature are filled with symbolic shoes. Happily, you don’t need to be an outlaw or a storybook heroine to put your best and boldest foot forward with these edgy styles:

Extreme Wedges
A sky-high wedge is an intriguing mix of contrasts: fanciful yet practical, chunky yet graceful. The boldest of the bold are Guiseppe Zanotti's decadant leopard booties, while Elizabeth and James and Sam Edelman make more modest, office-going options that still have plenty of sass.

Knee Boots
With thigh-high boots becoming surprisingly mainstream, intrepid strutters will have to up the bar. Stuart Weitzman and Sigerson Morrison offer haircalf and red suede options that will stop even the most discriminating of shoe collectors in her tracks.

Fur & Fringe
Shearling is stepping it up this season, with everyone from UGG Boots to Maison Martin Margiela offering quirky takes on the tried-and-true trend. If you’re an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar type, Opening Ceremony's curly lamb-covered options and Alexander Wang's fringed sandals will put a spring in your step.


Wednesday, October 27th 2010

First Fashion: Back on the Chain Gang

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A popular symbol used by everyone from Marx to the Pretenders, the chain has earned its place in history. Today, designers are using chains to make a strong statement, like in these finds from What’s New.

(1) The silver chain accent adds a touch of danger to a La Mer wrap watch. La Mer - Silver Motor Chain Wrap Watch

(2) Metal and marble: building materials or eye-catching accents? Marc Jacobs is redefining industrial. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Industrial Facets Jessica Necklace

(3) Vintage Chanel fever is making for an influx of small handbags with chain straps. This Pour La Victoire bag is a modern descendent of the French aesthetic. Pour La Victoire - Circle Bag with Tassels


Tuesday, October 26th 2010

Black Handbags: The Wardrobe Workhorse

Three styles from the new Pour La Victoire handbag collection.

Brightly colored bags: playful and fun. Handbags in bold, autumnal hues: so rich (see Alexander Wang bags in shades of mustard, whiskey, and oxblood). Yet, there remains nothing quite as time-tested and wardrobe-essential as a classic black handbag. Styled downtown edgy, like Pour La Victoire’s first foray into carryalls, or sweetly ladylike (Temperley London and Tory Burch bags come to mind), the black bag slides seamlessly into nearly any ensemble.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m currently carrying a slouchy cognac Kooba bag, but I know it won’t be long before I transition back to my trusty black Botkier.


Tuesday, October 26th 2010

First Fashion: It’s (Finally) Sweater Season

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It’s been an unseasonably warm fall, but the weather’s set to get cold fast this week. And since I was still wearing sandals as of yesterday, I’ve been putting off my sweater shopping. These three cozy knits will help bulk up my collection.

(1) A jersey turtleneck by Splendid clothing has been a go-to top this fall, but I’ll want to swap it for something warmer come winter. This cashmere version from Diane von Furstenberg is the perfect replacement. Diane von Furstenberg – Cashmere Hadis Turtleneck Sweater

(2) A camel cardigan is at the top of my shopping list, and I’ll take my styling cues from the Elie Tahari runway and pair this one with varied shades of grey. Elie Tahari – Virginia Sweater

(3) With a sweater and a wool skirt that can be worn separately or together, this functional Marc by Marc Jacobs dress offers three looks in one. How could I resist? Marc by Marc Jacobs – Ida Sweater Dress with Detachable Skirt


Monday, October 25th 2010

Cropped Sweaters, We Heart You

After a long, hot summer, breaking out comfy, oversized sweaters is like a lovers reunion, but as winter winds on, that romance wanes. By January it seems the entire closet is cable-knit. How to keep this sartorial relationship varied and exciting?

The answer is a cropped sweater. Though appropriate for work (try this Rag & Bone sweater over a sharp button-down) and tantalizing after dark (especially when worn with a pair of high-rise skinny pants), a cropped sweater transitions between more than just day and night. It also bridges the seasons: a Dolce Vita sweater (pictured) warms up a short summer frock, and Preen cashmere recharges the jersey maxi dresses that are ubiquitous during the year’s warmer months.


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