Friday, March 25th 2011

Shopbop & IFB Best Dressed Blogger: Francesca from LoveLaceLuxe

We snapped shots of the chic bloggers who attended the IFB Conference at Milk Studios last NYFW, looking for the best dressed, and after much deliberation, Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch and Style Director Morgan Wendelborn picked their winner: New York-based Francesca Alfano of LoveLaceLuxe.com. A collection of inspirational photos and cool style finds, LoveLaceLuxe is a must-add to any fashionable blog roll.

Check out our Facebook album to see Francesca’s winning outfit and the five runners-up.

Shopbop: What made you decide to start a blog?
Francesca Alfano: I’ve always admired fashion and found myself constantly browsing through a ton of fashion websites daily. My friends were always coming to me for fashion advice, whether it was trying to help them decide on what to wear for a certain occasion or asking that I take them shopping for clothes. I realized that I wanted to pursue my love for fashion by sharing clothing I enjoyed and photography that inspired me. I started lovelaceluxe.com in March 2010 as an outlet to express my personal style and inspirations.

SB: There are so many fashion blogs out there. What do you think the key is to making your blog stand out from the pack?
FA: I have my own voice. LoveLaceLuxe is a place where readers can check out the latest trends, advertising campaigns, street style, industry news, and what’s hot in NYC at the moment, all on one site. I update it frequently and keep the material consistent for my followers.

SB: You post fashion editorials and inspirational images. What tends to catch your eye?
FA: Something that I can’t stop looking at: a beautiful model, an amazing shoe, interesting lighting, or unique styling. These all tend to catch my eye.

SB: How would you describe your personal style? And how is your blog an extension of that style?
FA: I would describe my style as polished chic. I try to stick with classic clothing and neutral colors (the majority of my closet is black, navy, and cream), but this doesn’t mean I’m afraid to take risks! A lot of my clothes are vintage or basics from a store that everyone can afford. I love accessorizing a $20 H&M dress with chunky vintage jewelry or an interesting belt to make my outfit more unique! On my blog, I like to post interesting accessories, handmade jewelry, or trinkets that are key to making a good outfit! Everything on my blog, from the editorial content to clothing, is something I am totally in love with or would wear. This allows me to really stay true to my personality within the blog.

SB: Who is your style icon?
FA: For a while now, I have been really inspired by street fashion as opposed to having one style icon. I love seeing how average women create these awesome and accessible looks without having a stylist or a ton of money—to me, this is true style. Fashion is expensive but style is not, and many stylish girls are not rich. My mother also will always be one of my style icons. She has excellent taste and has always given me the best style advice. Whether investing in a classic piece of jewelry or a handbag that I will have for a lifetime.

SB: Who are some of your favorite bloggers?
FA: I have a list of 50 or so blogs I try and read daily! It’s difficult keeping up with all of them, but a few of my favorites include Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere, Geri from Because I’m Addicted, Rumi from Fashion Toast, and more recently, I have been getting into Sabrina’s blog AfterDRK. I also have various street style blogs on my reader, including Jak & Jil, Stockholm Street Style, and Vanessa Jackman.

SB: What’s next for Love Lace Luxe?
FA: You are definitely going to start seeing more of my personality and personal style! I am going to start sharing more about my “bargain finds” because I am very thrifty, and want to share this side of me with my readers. I’m always looking for new fashion adventures, so my readers will be able to explore these with me through my blog.

--Shopbop

Thursday, March 24th 2011

Step Into Spring with the Season’s Best Shoe Trends

Now that the equinox is behind us and spring has officially sprung, it’s time to decide what will take the place of our boots once the weather starts cooperating. These three shoe trends will have us building our spring ensembles from the bottom up:

Flatforms
Love height but hate the pain? Try flatforms for spring. This easy-on-the-ankles version of the wedge sandal is right in step with the ’70s trend, and wood-bottom styles by Ash shoes and Joie pair perfectly with short shorts and flare jeans.

T-Strap Sandals
Act like a lady with a T-strap sandal. Whether elegant (like this pair by Sergio Rossi) or easy (the above wedges by Tibi), they’re a classic complement to a feminine full skirt or wrap dress.

Ankle Tie Sandals
The flirtiest trend of the bunch, ankle-tie high-heel sandals are meant to be flaunted with a mini dress or cropped jeans. And with satin, print, and striped leather versions, Diane von Furstenberg shoes offers a host of irresistible iterations.

Tonya

Thursday, March 24th 2011

First Fashion: Deco Inspirations

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Designers are looking further and further into the past for inspiration. Today’s What’s New is a goldmine of ’30s-inspired glamour, with its sharp silhouettes and high-contrast patterns.

(1) The stripes, the accented heel, the delicate ankle tie—the sea may be full of beautiful fish, but these Diane von Furstenberg sandals are the one. Diane von Furstenberg – Vanity Ankle Tie Sandals

(2) With its front slit and exposed shoulders, this Young Fabulous & Broke dress is straight-up slinky glamour of the Jessica Rabbit variety. Young Fabulous & Broke – St. Tropez Long Dress

(3) An unexpected open toe grounds these charming vintage-inspired Boutique 9 pumps firmly in the present. Boutiqe 9 - Bailar Open Toe Oxfords

--Rebecca

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011

LNA Designers Lauren Alexander & April Leight Talk T-Shirts


LNA founders and designers Lauren Alexander and April Leight.

In 2007, LNA designers Lauren Alexander and April Leight single-handedly revolutionized the tee, introducing the slouchy men’s-inspired silhouette to the women’s market. Flash-forward to today, LNA tees continue to be the industry standard, and the label has a few new tricks up its sleeve. We talked with Lauren and April about LNA’s origins, keeping in touch with their fans, and the spring 2011 collection.

Shopbop: You launched LNA as a collection of men’s-inspired tees in 2007, before the slouchy look was ubiquitous. What inspired you to create the line?
Lauren Alexander & April Leight: At the time, we were borrowing all of our guy friends’ T-shirts because we loved the way they fit, and we couldn’t find a shirt like that in a store. It was really just about trying to fill a gap we saw in the market at that time.

SB: LNA has branched out to include other basic pieces in luxurious jersey. How important is fabric selection in your design process?
LA & AL: Before we get started on designing a new collection, we always look to the fabric first. The concept of LNA started with finding the perfect cotton for our tees.

SB: How would you describe the LNA girl? The brand’s aesthetic?
LA & AL: The LNA girl is edgy, laid-back, and effortlessly cool. Our goal is always about offering a range of basics and wardrobe staples that suit a variety of different lifestyles. LNA is about taking something basic and making it your own.

SB: You have a blog and an active Twitter account. How important is it to you to communicate with the men and women wearing your label?
LA & AL: Social media has become one of the most important ways to communicate with our LNA fans! Our Twitter account is how we directly communicate with everyone and get instant feedback about LNA. It’s a place where they can see what we are doing every day at the office and find out about the latest LNA news. Our blog is an inspirational platform for us to post what is currently influencing us. You can really get a sense of the type of music we like and what trends we are following.


A designer favorite from the spring 2011: the April Dress.

SB: Let’s talk about your spring 2011 collection. What was the inspiration behind it?
LA & AL: Spring 2011 is really about bringing back the must-have basics! We reintroduced popular styles in new fabrics and updated the fits. There’s a relaxed fit and drape to everything that makes the pieces super lounge-y and luxe at the same time.

SB: If you had to write a soundtrack for the collection, which bands would be on it?
LA & AL: Oh, that’s an easy one! We have a soundtrack for every season!
The Raveonettes – Red Tan
The Drums – Me and the Moon
Surfer Blood – Harmonix
LCD Soundsystem – Home
Wild Nothing – Chinatown
Small Black – Photojournalist
The Black Angels – Yellow Elevator
Phantogram – Mouth Full of Diamonds

SB: Dream celeb you’d like to dress in spring ’11?
LA & AL: Kate Bosworth for sure.

SB: What are your favorite pieces from the current collection?
LA & AL: The April Dress and the Roper Dress. One is a floor-length tank dress and the other is a relaxed-fit dolman sleeve dress. They literally look good on EVERYONE! We wear them with heels, boots, sandals, leather jackets, sweatshirts—the list goes on!

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011

First Fashion: Fierce but Friendly

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When it comes to accessories, I’m a bit of a Goldilocks: I don’t want anything too sweet or too rocker. These three picks are the perfect blend of girly and edgy.

(1) Iconically simple, this Pamela Love bracelet is a fascinating fusion of gothic and glamorous. Pamela Love – Talon Cuff

(2) This Jagger Edge iPhone cover gives studded leather a whimsical update with a freshly squeezed hue. Jagger Edge – The Montana Studded iPhone Cover

(3) Feminine and playful, this Diane von Furstenberg headband is a light-hearted interpetation of animal print. Diane von Furstenberg – Steffie Headband

--Rebecca

Tuesday, March 22nd 2011

Get to Know Our Newest Jewelry Brands: Mania Mania, Unearthen & Cornelia Webb

Looking for a signature piece for spring? These three wholly unique jewelry lines, all new to Shopbop, are the perfect place to start.

Mania Mania
Described by the W magazine blog as “one of the most talked-about accessories labels right now–for good reason,” Mania Mania jewelry is designed by Australian duo Melanie Kamsler and Tamila Purvis, who find influence in mysticism and magic. The current collection is inspired by Vali Myers, a flamboyant, globetrotting artist whose life took her from Australia to postwar Paris to New York City and back again. The result is a collection of pieces that range from the organic (like the Immortals Ring, pictured) to the delicate and geometric (like the Initiation Necklace).

Unearthen
Unearthen jewelry, founded by NYC-based stylist and designer Gia Bahm, is known for handcrafted, one-of-a-kind pendants created from stones and empty bullet casings. The designer selects each stone for its sacred qualities–black tourmaline is said to protect against negativity, while citrine strengthens self-confidence. But there’s more to this line than just necklaces: the Prism Ring was called out as a must-have by Refinery29.

Cornelia Webb
Though she began designing jewelry in her spare time while in medical school, Cornelia Webb’s creations have since earned her the title of Accessory Designer of the Year by Elle Sweden. With the philosophy that jewelry is meant to be integral to an ensemble rather than simply accessorize it, the Stockholm-based designer creates vests, boleros, and even dresses made from chains, creations that truly define the term “statement piece.”

--Tonya

Tuesday, March 22nd 2011

First Fashion: Tropical Thoughts

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A friend of mine just sent me a picture from her trip to Bora Bora, and it gave me instant vacation envy. What I’d pack if I were in her lucky position:

(1) The ’70s inflection I love about Halston Heritage dresses with a luxe, tropical feel. Halston Heritage - Sarong Print Cocktail Dress

(2) This Joie top is perfectly casual, yet festive. I’d pair it with white Alice + Olivia shorts and flat K. Jacques sandals. Joie - Gloria Peasant Top

(3) City-chic with a beachy angle, knots give these Alexander Wang shoes a hint of a nautical feel. Alexander Wang - Tilda Low Knotted Sandals

--Amie

Monday, March 21st 2011

Designer Inspiration: Doo.Ri Spring 2011


Sketch and finished product: the Doo.Ri Long Sleeve Draped Dress.

Doo-Ri Chung’s spring 2011 collection is a study in complex minimalism. A neutral, monochromatic color palette mixes with interesting textures and the label’s signature draping for an understated aesthetic that defies simplicity. This theme of conflicting ideas has informed Chung’s sensibility since she launched Doo.Ri in 2003. “In my creative process, I am constantly thinking of juxtapositions of fixed versus fluid, tailored versus unconstructed,” she says. “New ways of approaching how women dress is a constant source of inspiration for me.”

We asked the designer to explain her approach to a single piece from the current collection. Here’s how she described designing the Long Sleeve Draped Dress:

“This dress was supposed to be something completely different. I had a specific design in mind when I started draping it on the mannequin, and it just evolved to this. You cannot always sketch exactly how things will turn out when draping, and you’ll discover great lines and elements of the silhouette as you’re playing with the jersey on the form.”

--Amie
Shopbop


For her spring 2011 collection, Doo-Ri Chung channeled an icy, monochromatic aesthetic.

Monday, March 21st 2011

First Fashion: Natural Beauty

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When I was little I had a thing for rocks. I loved going to the lapidary shop, where my patient parents would let me sift through boxes full of pebbles, and the intervening decades have done nothing to quell my inner geologist. I still love the earthy, unique variations of real stones.

(1) This Jody Candrian ring plays up the dazzling qualities of pyrite, a stone often called fool’s gold for its ability to confuse Gold Rush panhandlers. Jody Candrian Jewelry – Black Quartz and Pyrite Ring

(2) This Maven necklace is studded with lapis lazuli, a deep blue stone that was a favorite with artists like Michelangelo, who ground it into a powder for painting those glowing Renaissance skies. Maven – Lapis Petal Necklace

(3) Named for its resemblance to the shifting blues of the Amazon river, a simple amazonite shines in this ginette_ny ring. ginette_ny – Round Amazonite Ring

--Rebecca

Friday, March 18th 2011

The Long Necklace: A Signature Piece for Spring

Never underestimate the power of a signature jewelry piece. Whether it be the understated studs you wear every day or a vintage bracelet you picked up after hours of searching, it’s part of what makes your look unique. And this spring, one of the freshest ways to convey a little personality is with a long statement necklace, on its own or layered.

Have a streamlined style? Stick to a single long chain with an eye-catching pendant–like a ’70s-inspired piece from House of Harlow–and let it speak for itself. Want to go bold? Layer a long necklace–like this beaded version by Kenneth Jay Lane or a rosary by Pamela Love–with necklaces that are significant to you, such as a gift or something you found on your travels. Top it off with a piece with a little extra meaning: Falling Whistles necklaces, which help war-affected children in the Congo, and bluma project necklaces, which provide sustainable incomes to artisans in Rwanda and Ghana, lend a personal, one-of-a-kind touch to your look.

--Tonya

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