Monday, October 25th 2010

First Fashion: The New Face of Chiffon

(1) (2) (3)

Not just the domain of Southern debutantes, fall’s take on chiffon is luxurious, sophisticated, and a little bit sassy.

(1) Sheer and tiny and fit for a tigress, Kirrily Johnston’s mini dress shows off chiffon’s wild side. Kirrily Johnston - Apocalypto Gathered Dress

(2) Fusing a simple shape with a complicated texture, Markus Lupfer’s vintage-inspired jacket is sophistication incarnate. Markus Lupfer - Fluffy Lauren Jacket

(3) This weightless beauty from Mason by Michelle Mason is equal parts Grecian goddess and disco diva. Mason by Michelle Mason - Sheer Strap Dress


Friday, October 22nd 2010

Pray For Mother Nature: 3 Questions for Designer Chip Foster

Earlier this year, Chip Foster (one half of the duo behind Chip & Pepper) and his wife Nicole launched their new denim line Pray For Mother Nature, which has quickly become known for its sexy silhouettes, innovative washes, and super-soft lightweight denim. We talked to Chip about the origins of the line, its eco-friendly sensibility, and the inspiration it finds in Japanese culture, California landmarks, and nature itself.

Pictured: Pray For Mother Nature founders Chip and Nicole Foster.

Shopbop: What was the inspiration behind Pray For Mother Nature?
Chip Foster: The line originated out of an idea my wife Nicole and I had while in Japan. We so respected the culture and its appreciation for nature, and how at the same time it’s so hip and modern. We thought, “What if we applied a Japanese mindset to denim?” Obviously, being in the business for 23 years, no matter what, everything goes back to denim!

SB: Your line has an eco-friendly slant. What is the story behind its unique name, and what does it do to support environmental charities?
CF: Nicole and I were in a fish market in Japan with tuna hanging everywhere, and my beautiful wife, who is like Mother Earth herself, looked up at the tuna and said, “Ohh…we have to pray for Mother Nature.” I thought it was amazing and it inspired me. Once the line came together, we decided that part of our inspiration was about preserving nature and giving back. Our two little boys love the beach and the ocean, and it is a constant source of calm and inspiration for all of us, so we teamed up with Heal the Bay and now donate a portion of our proceeds to keeping our waters clean.

SB: Your designs have unique names–Jesse Spano’s Flare Jeans, Action Jackson Denim Leggings, and Who’s the Boss Cargo Jeans, to name a few. What inspired you to be creative with your product names?
CF: Nicole’s sister Katie is hilarious and has always helped us come up with amazing, goofy, memorable names (for Chip & Pepper as well), so she was a huge part of the naming process. (Apparently she is very into ’80s TV characters.) Then, as the line evolved, we realized we wanted to name the styles after our natural inspirations. Since the whole collection is designed and made in California, which is now almost unheard of for a denim brand, we decided to name the styles after California landmarks and our washes after California beaches and trees.

Friday, October 22nd 2010

#FollowFriday Twitter Crush: Jennine from @eatsleepdenim (& More!)

In our latest installment of Follow Friday, a style blogger who knows how to keep busy. She founded Independent Fashion Bloggers, an organization that links and supports style bloggers across the globe, and writes two blogs herself: The Coveted and Eat Sleep Denim. Meet Jennine Jacob.

Twitter Names: @eatsleepdenim @thecoveted @_ifb

Real Name: Jennine Jacob

Occupation: Blogger

Favorite Brand(s): It’s hard to pick! I recently got the Joie Elvia Lace Top—I wear it all the time. I’m also a huge fan of denim, and wear it mostly every day. In my current rotation: J Brand, AG Jeans, Charley 5.0, and Hudson Jeans. I’ve also bought a bunch of J. Crew cashmere sweaters.

Last Purchase: Army green 3.1 Phillip Lim pleated trousers.

Next Purchase: Oooh tough. I just moved to New York City, so I’m in desperate need of shoes I can walk three miles a day in.

Song/Album on Repeat Right Now: I’m a sucker for Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. Right now, it’s Cheated Hearts, but I pretty much love everything they do.

TV/Movie Guilty Pleasure: Recently I watched three episodes of Cats 101 back to back. It was like watching Maru videos on YouTube!

Style Crush: Oh my god, there are so many! I’m a style slut, I guess. Let’s see, I love diversity in style, so it’s everything from the whole cast of Mad Men to my friend Wendy Brandes, blogger Love Maegan, photographer Saga Sig, and Stevie Nicks. I also think a lot about my grandmother’s style. She recently passed away, so the way she dressed has been on my mind.

Your Style in 3 Words or Less: Intuitive, urban, eclectic. (Pretty much I wear what I want, but mostly dress for my environment and lifestyle.)

You just moved to New York. What’s your favorite part about living in the Big Apple?
Holy moly! I LOVE it here! New York is a magical city. But my favorite part? I’ve been traveling back and forth on a monthly basis, so living here, I’m really enjoying seeing my friends and family without the jetlag and the packed schedules.

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About Jennine’s Picks:
(1) Ever since I saw the Nanette Lepore Get a Clue Cape, I’ve been really wanting it. It looks slightly militaristic and very sharp, yet the wool is so soft. Swoon. Nanette Lepore - Get a Clue Cape

(2) I have a pair of blue Goldsign trouser jeans that I wear ALL the time. Since winter is coming, I want a dark pair in a similar style. I love wide-leg jeans. Somehow, they feel more feminine. Anlo - Pascale Trouser Jeans

(3) Like I said, I’m in the market for shoes that I can walk three miles in, and these look like they might be the ones. Charles David - Roust Field Boots

Thursday, October 21st 2010

Earrings: Mix ‘Em, Match ‘Em, or Let ‘Em Fly Solo!

Conventional wisdom is so, well, conventional. For example, there is the enduring myth that earrings must be worn in pairs or, worse still, that these pairs have to match. Enough is enough. Whether it's using Jennifer Meyer's whimsical stud earrings to spell out a flirty message or dealing yourself an inside straight with Marc Jacobs's House of Cards earrings, you don't have to buy into the matching pair hegemony anymore.

Take flight into the mismatched yonder with Fleet Jewelry. Their single earrings remix a few basic elements, like oversized links and chain fringe, which can be worn separately or together. As your boldness grows, balance a sweeping dangle earring with a petite stud. Then throw caution to the wind and put on that big, single feather earring (the one by Alkemie Jewelry has tickled our fancy). Defying convention has never looked so graceful.

-- Jason

Thursday, October 21st 2010

First Fashion: Flora and Fauna

Mjilly (1) Report (2) Joiea (3)

Fashion has long taken inspiration from both flora (earthy leaves, floral prints) and fauna (cheetah, tiger, and this season’s must-have leopard). But today in What’s New, three brands are putting their unique stamp on these old standbys.

(1) Milly renders a classic floral in gold lamé, and proves this pattern is meant for more than bohemian dresses and faded prairie skirts. Milly – Avryle Mini Dress

(2) Report Signature Shoes rethinks leopard in crystals and satin. Pumps have never looked so glam. Report Signature Shoes – Parker Crystal Leopard Pumps

(3) With echoes of a watercolor painting, the floral print on this Joie blouse will lend an artful touch to an everyday ensemble. Joie – Beinny Top


Wednesday, October 20th 2010

Flocking to Shearling

I haven’t seen this much sheepskin since I went on a holiday in rural Ireland. This year’s fall runway collections were an ode to shearling, and it’s no surprise. Rugged and cozy, it has a homey, out-west vibe that’s perfectly in tune with the season’s glam cowboy aesthetic.

But this isn’t your mother’s shaggy sherpa. No longer just a lining, today’s shearling jackets have been turned inside out, with the fur taking center stage on oversized collars and cuffs. Updated cuts range from the crisply classic (ADAM by Adam Lippes’s romantic aviator) to the fearlessly fashion-forward (GAR-DE’s avant-garde interpretation). And tomboys rejoice: menswear-inspired, casual takes abound at Madewell and Rag & Bone.


Wednesday, October 20th 2010

First Fashion: Enduring Patterns

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Some patterns come and go (the pastel palms of Southern Florida circa 1985). Some come and go and come back again (Liberty florals). And then there are those that stick around year after year. Today, three such patterns are making this solids-loving gal think print.

(1) A favorite on the fall runways, Fair Isle has long been a go-to sweater pattern for the general fashion populace. Vince clothing updates the look with a cropped silhouette—perfect over a maxi dress or a crisp white button-down. Vince - Crop Intarsia Sweater

(2) From school girls to grunge gods, plaid plays in an array of style arenas. Patterson J. Kincaid took the preppy approach, riffing on the season’s miniskirt trend. Patterson J. Kincaid - Matilda Plaid Skirt

(3) And stripes: the preferred pattern of the nautical set, the baguette-toting French, and Venice’s gondola captains. This slouchy take on the look from basics favorite C&C California is destined to be worn to shreds. C&C California - Striped Poncho Sweater


Tuesday, October 19th 2010

Shine on (You Crazy Diamond): The Way to Lamé


Yes, it is profoundly disheartening to read something hilarious and astutely observed on a topic I’ve wanted to write about. But I’m putting personal insecurities aside if only because The Man Repeller (a site I discovered just last week via our Follow Friday feature) deserves it. True to its title, Leandra Medine’s musings are devoted entirely to fashion that’s confounding and off-putting to the average hetero male, with Medine snapping (inspired and covetable) looks of her own and mining the season’s runways for examples.

An anecdotal overview of straight dude reactions to recent outfits only proves her findings: Rolled skinny jeans with ladylike pumps get the guy thumbs up, as does pretty much anything with fall 2010’s boarding-school chic look. No big surprises there. Not as popular? A baggy sweatshirt over a bias-cut silk maxi skirt. “Looks like you threw something over your nightgown to run to the mailbox.” Even seemingly benign black jeggings proved baffling: “Are you wearing tights?”

Not that dressing to common denominator dude taste is the point (do Anna Dello Russo or Kate Lanphear?), which is Medine’s point, which brings me to lamé. A big fall 2010 runway story and a major presence for spring, the jury is still out for me as to whether this most reflective of fabrications will leave guys freaked or fascinated. (A Vena Cava dress I’ve been stalking and one of my favorite Rag & Bone spring 2011 runway looks by way of example above.) While gold lamé brings visions of Jerry Hall circa 1976 dancing into my head, will my beloved think I look more like a Werther’s Original? The Man Repeller makes me want to risk it. As the French say: Life is too short to dress sadly.


Tuesday, October 19th 2010

First Fashion: High Wattage Glamour

Ambre (1) Joiea (2) Bcbg (3)

Sequins and satin, furs and feathers: eveningwear has taken a turn toward old-school glamour this season. And with holiday party season just around the corner, these three pieces are convincing me to try a little after-dark drama.

(1) One glance at the Ambre Babzoe collection, and I’m transported out of the era of jeans and tees. This ostrich jacket will make even my most basic LBD ready for a close-up. Ambre Babzoe – Ostrich Jacket

(2) Suffering from mini dress burnout? Opt for sequined shorts instead. Joie clothing may be known for its laid-back SoCal sensibility, but this season the boho brand is ready for cocktails and late nights. Joie – Mauro Shorts

(3) Though delicate lace and a swingy skirt lend this BCBG dress a vintage vibe, the color palette and peek-a-boo effects ensure it’s thoroughly modern. BCBGMAXAZRIA – Lace Dress with Draped Skirt


Monday, October 18th 2010

Cat’s Meow: Wearing Leopard for Fall

Pictured, clockwise from left: Catherine Malandrino skirt, Pelle Moda platform sandals, Foley + Corinna handbag, Tory Burch pumps, Citrine by the Stones earrings.

One look at my closet and it’s easy to divine my palette of choice: neutral, preferably in the black, cream, and grey families. I stand by my subdued solids way of dressing, but every now and then a girl’s got to add a little something more to her look. This season, I’ve got my eye on leopard.

Leopard accessories are an easy addition to a neutral-filled wardrobe. A pair of Tory Burch shoes here, a Foley + Corinna handbag there. Apparel is a bit more daring (for me, anyway). The Catherine Malandrino skirt pictured is a cool Parisian take on the print, stylishly understated. For a bolder approach, a leopard-print faux-fur jacket is the piece of the season. Try Rebecca Taylor’s blazer cut or Club Monaco’s outwear option. The key to this look? Let the leopard be the focus, and keep it simple with everything else.


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