Real Girls, Real Style

Thursday, March 6th 2014

Exclusive Interview: Margaret Zhang

Known for her innovative approach to fashion and ability to mix pieces in a truly unique way, Margaret Zhang of Shine by Three is one stylish—and busy—girl. Since the spontaneous creation of her blog, the student, photographer, and Harper’s Bazaar Australia contributor has quickly made a name for herself in the fashion industry with her fresh and fearless interpretations of the latest trends. We spoke with Zhang about how she stays organized amidst the chaos and the inspiration behind her blog.

Margaret in a Veronica Beard blazer, DKNY x Opening Ceremony tee, GOLDSIGN jeans, 3.1 Phillip Lim sandals, and carrying a Jerome Dreyfuss bag.

Shopbop: What inspired you to start a blog?
Margaret Zhang: Growing up, I was all about the performing arts (dance, music, drama) and visual arts (painting, film, photography), so when chemistry and economics hit high school, I was pretty uninspired to say the least. Shine By Three was a late-night decision to share my artistic inspirations online. For about 6 months I thought I was the only one, but then I found all these other “fashion bloggers,” and realized I’d been living under a rock.

SB: Shine by Three is very well-rounded—the fashion is fresh, the photography is compelling, and the writing is hilarious (besides being informed). What do you love most about the process?
MZ: I love creating an experience and conversation for my readers. Over time, they’ve evolved to have strong opinions about everyday issues, fashion or otherwise. They’re not afraid to write essay-style comments to defend or oppose something I’ve photographed or written about, which I think is fantastic. I make a point of shooting almost all of my own photos, too, which makes the process very much my own. If I mess up, then I reshoot until I have exactly what I’d envisioned for the piece or editorial. Over the past year, I feel like social media has changed the blogging landscape a lot, so this year is about building different tiers and categories of content to keep myself inspired.

SB: Between blogging, writing for Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and school, we’re guessing you stay pretty busy. What is a typical day like for you?
MZ: My creative life revolves around my university schedule. Fashion is flexible at the best of times, and thankfully, hardcore collections times when I need to be overseas don’t tend to clash with exam seasons. My day starts with exercise and missing my train to uni, and then it’s on to classes with meetings in between, an evening dedicated to books, writing, photo-editing and social media, and explaining to my dad for the millionth time that I do not, in fact, run an online store.

Margaret in an O'2nd Coat, A.L.C. shorts, Rochas booties, and carrying a Loeffler Randall bag.

SB: From layering skirts over pants to wearing tucked-in blazers as shirts, you are fearless when it comes to fashion. Which rules, if any, are you careful to follow, and which do you love to break?
MZ: Rule to follow: dress for your personality, comfort, and body—in that order. Rule to break: wear pieces as the designer intended—hold on one second while I wear a jacket as a skirt and a sweater as a hat.

SB: What is unique about the fashion scene in Sydney, and how is your blog influenced by Australian culture?
MZ: I think our perfect contrasts of beach culture, city life, and the beautiful, natural landscapes that surround Sydney have worked well with our geographic isolation to breed our own inspirations and ways of approaching style. For me, spending a lot of time by the ocean definitely changes the way I look at my daily wardrobe, and not just because of our higher temperatures—it’s inspired a relaxed, even masculine way of mixing and matching across seasons.

SB: What advice do you have to offer aspiring fashion bloggers?
MZ: Do not aspire to be a fashion blogger. Aspire to something bigger, and use your website as a means of getting there.

Margaret in a Parker sweater, Clover Canyon skirt, Rag & Bone jacket, and Rachel Zoe sneakers.

Check out Margaret's blog, Shine by Three.
Shop What's New.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Thursday, March 6th 2014

Diaries of a Home Renovation: Dining Room Decorating

Loni, the voice behind Ask Shopbop, just moved into a new house last year and started renovating. Since then, she’s been tackling her to-do list one project at a time.

Post-renovation, what used to feel like a breezeway is now a welcoming dining room.

The cold-weather months have given us ample time to get some great projects done at the house. The first order of winter business was the dining room. Something about the space felt bland—almost like it was more a breezeway or pass-through than a room you’d want to park in for a while and enjoy a meal.  My fellow stylist, Elise, was over one day, and she suggested putting bold wallpaper above the chair rail to really define the space. I loved the idea! We found a vintage wallpaper source and spotted a cool floral-meets-chinoiserie print in the perfect color palette. With the balance of our large hutch now painted in the same white as our trim, the paper doesn't make the room feel too dark. We added a geometric Turkish rug, a grandmother clock we painted black, some warm mid-century chairs, and a lighting scheme that stays true to the age of the house while still injecting some bright personality. Now the room feels cozy and demands just the right amount of attention when you walk through the front door. Coming soon, we're headed upstairs for our next bathroom remodel….


A center piece display of fruit and fresh flowers livens up the entire space.

Dark wallpaper and white accents achieve the perfect balance of brightness and warmth.

Loni’s catahoula leopard dog, Klaus.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, March 4th 2014

My Style Philosophy: Rachel

Rachel in an EACH x OTHER gingham blazer.

Our staffers are a chic bunch, each with their own unique spin on fashion. This month we chatted with stylist Rachel about her personal style philosophy.

Name: Rachel
Position: Apparel Stylist               

Go-to brand: Do I have to pick one? That’s really quite hard! Two that consistently keep my attention are Wes Gordon and Acne Studios.

How did you become interested in fashion? The first time I remember really appreciating fashion was when I was waiting in line for the ladies’ room at an MC Hammer concert when I was 8 years old. It was the first concert I ever attended, and I was in awe of the outfits all the older, “cooler” girls were wearing. I was adorned with pigtails, pink shorts, a graphic T-shirt of ants walking with a watermelon, and white Keds. I couldn’t stop staring at two women in particular. They had dressed to the nines for the show—little black dresses, black tights, and killer heels—hoping to meet MC Hammer himself, I’m sure! I realized at that moment that you can express yourself freely through what you wear—that clothing speaks loudly and can evoke emotion. I wanted to be like those girls and feel what they were feeling as they reapplied their make-up and teased their hair while admiring their sassy outfits. It didn’t occur to me at that moment that I wanted to be a stylist, but it was the defining moment of when my creative and emotional view of fashion changed.

What’s your style philosophy? I like to combine not-too-fussy feminine touches with a bit of tomboyish flair. I usually reach for a pretty, creamy blouse, a high-waisted midi skirt, a great leather belt, and a trusty denim jacket. I try to put together outfits that can take me from a long day on set in the studio to happy hour cocktails or a live show at the local juke-joint without a major costume change.

What one item in your closet could you not live without? I recently upgraded my go-to denim jacket that I’ve had for over ten years to the Acne Studios denim jacket, and I haven’t taken it off.  It’s been terribly cold this winter, so I’ve been wearing it under all of my outerwear coats as an extra layering piece.  It’s very versatile and suits my style philosophy quite nicely.

Shop Rachel’s go-to brands, Wes Gordon and Acne Studios.

Monday, March 3rd 2014

Red Carpet Fashion: Best Dressed

Lupita Nyong'o in Prada. Photo: Getty.

The Academy Awards are a glamorous celebration of film—and fashion. From the shoes and jewels to the bags and, of course, the dress, the red carpet is the world’s most star-studded runway show. Last night, some of the biggest trends were peplums (look to Jennifer Lawrence in a stunning red Dior Couture gown) and bold crystal embellishments (like Angelina Jolie’s sparkling, long-sleeved Elie Saab). The biggest winner of the night, however, was Lupita Nyong'o in an airy, pale blue Prada dress. With a plunging neckline and a playful headband, the Academy Awards newcomer balanced sweet and sexy like a seasoned pro. Check out more of our favorite looks below.

Cate Blanchett in Giorgio Armani. Photo: Getty.

Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. Photo: Getty.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture. Photo: Getty.

Emma Watson in Vera Wang. Photo: Getty.

Friday, February 28th 2014

Stripes & Sequins x Matt Bernson

Shoe designer Matt Bernson and fashion blogger Grace Atwood of Stripes & Sequins have teamed up for a sparkle-filled collection of ballet flats. In each pair, Atwood’s love of glam is infused into Bernson’s classic silhouettes, resulting in practical, comfortable, and eye-catching designs. We talked to the two shoe lovers about their experiences working together and the inspiration behind the collection.

Grace in an A.L.C. dress. Photo credit: Lydia Hudgen.

SHOPBOP: Describe the collection in 6 words or less.
GRACE ATWOOD: Girly, sparkly, fun!
MATT BERNSON: Fun, Grace-ful, wearable, energetic, collaborative.

SB: What was your inspiration for the collection?
GA: I wanted to make sure the flats were wearable. Even though I could have easily gotten carried away with the glitter, I didn’t want them to be too over-the-top. Matt’s shoes are insanely comfortable, and I wanted to design a shoe that would be equally practical, so we went with more subtle touches—a glittery polka dot or toe cap. The Izabel mini-wedges are the glitziest in the collection, but I think the stripes temper their extravagance.
MB: Grace and I met through Twitter. She tweeted that she loved the Waverly ballet flat, and then we started emailing about working together. I felt the clear vision of her blog could be applied to our silhouettes. The Matt Bernson team worked hard to present Grace with materials and options that would spark her creativity, and she in turn came up with the ideas. The inspiration was an appreciation of each other’s aesthetic.

SB: What did you love most about working with each other, and what was the most valuable thing you learned from the process? 
GA: Matt and his team are such lovely and gracious people, making them very easy to work with. I learned that not every great idea translates to a shoe. It took a lot of tries to arrive at each final design.
MB: Grace is a sweet and easy person to talk to. We were able to keep things positive and moving forward from start to finish. She loves fashion and a fun DIY project, so we made sure to capture that in the shoes.

The Stripes & Sequins x Matt Bernson Mulberry flats come in pink, silver, and turquoise glitter.

SB: Grace, you admit to a sparkle obsession and we love how a little bit of glam is incorporated into each pair of shoes. In what other ways did your personal style influence the designs?
GA: I am a sparkle addict, but a subdued one. If I wear a statement necklace or a sequined skirt, I keep the rest of my look simple and classic. This kind of practicality is reflected in the collection. The flats have plenty of sparkle but maintain classic appeal.

SB: Which pair of shoes from the collection will you wear most often? How will you style them?
GA: I will probably wear the grey polka-dot flats the most, simply because they are the most neutral pair in the collection, but I have a soft spot for the pink pair. I’m excited for the temperature to warm up so I can wear them with my skinny white ankle jeans and a floaty camisole.

Shop Stripes & Sequins x Matt Bernson.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Monday, February 24th 2014

The Blonde Salad x Steve Madden

Shoe mogul Steve Madden and Italy’s top fashion blogger, Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, have partnered up for an edgy collection of booties, sandals, and slip-ons—all hitting the pages of Shopbop this week, just in time for spring. The nine-style series features sky-high heels, exotic prints, luxe metallics, and attention-grabbing buckles. Inspired by the frenetic NYC lifestyle and Chiara’s own eclectic taste, the shoes come in a wide range of designs, spanning rocker chic to ultra-glam.

Shop these NYC Slip On Sneakers.

Shop these Milan Lace Up Booties.
Shop The Blonde Salad x Steve Madden.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, February 18th 2014

An Illustration of Style

Last week we featured several hand-drawn sketches in a Swimsuits by Body Type post. We’re huge fans of line drawings in general, and so excited to be able to showcase them on Shoptalk. They were all created by our very own off-figure stylist, Kate Cullen. We wanted give you a little info on the woman behind the pen, so we sat down with her to talk work, history, and her interesting source of recent inspiration.

SHOPBOP: How long have you been working at Shopbop?
KATE CULLEN: My one year anniversary is this month!

SB: Happy anniversary! Can you explain what do you do here?
KC: I’m an off-figure stylist. I style the items on Shopbop and East Dane that are not photographed on the models. It rules. I get to give movement and life to the apparel, and I get to work with my hands. I had a foundry professor who always said, “If you work with your hands, you won’t go crazy.”

SB: That’s good advice. Foundry class? It sounds like you have a background in art.
KC: Yes! Metalwork was one of my favorites. I was a sculpture major and then moved into fashion design, so I’ve always been making, drawing, or sketching something.

SB: Nowadays, what is your favorite thing to draw?
KC: It depends on my mood. I tend to like weird, dark art, but I like drawing women and feminine features too. Lately I’ve been drawing flowers and fun things to get through this long winter! Also, a lot of houses and fairies for my little girls.

SB: What’s inspired you recently?
KC: It’s a little strange, but right now I’m obsessed with drawing the in-flight escape pictures from airplanes. I love how they make the woman incredibly calm and poised as she climbs out of the window. My goal is to make my art funny and to make people laugh.

SB: That’s amazing and awesome. Survivalist instructions aside, what do you have planned for your next drawing?
KC: Next up is my daughter’s Wonder Woman snow globe. It’s going to end up being life size, and she’s going to freak out!

Stay tuned for Kate’s next feature!

Shop What’s New.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Thursday, February 13th 2014

Seen @ Shopbop: NYFW Edition

New York Fashion Week Fall 2014 is as much about staying warm as it is about fashion, but Shopbop Fashion Director Elle Strauss isn’t letting the sub-zero temperatures cramp her style. “It’s really about the coat in this weather,” she says (and might I add, she has an enviable collection), “and ankle boots—all the snow!” A pop of color doesn’t hurt either, she uses a bright red lip to break up the black.

Shop designer coats.
See more NYFW coverage on Instagram.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Tuesday, February 4th 2014

Seen @ Shopbop: Trendy Tech

Kate Spade New York Samsung case, Triple C iPhone case.

Here at Shopbop, staffers take head-to-toe style seriously, and that includes dressing up tech. Designers are quickly getting on board with phone accessories, allowing us to change the appearance of our trusty sidekick as often as we change our own. With cases to match your personal style—and even manicure—why not give your main source of updates an update of its own?


Shop phone accessories.

Thursday, January 30th 2014

We Play Favorites: Molly and Alice + Olivia Clothing

Clockwise, from top right: Willa Top, Anders Trousers, Hilary d’Orsay Flats, Rolled Sleeve Boxy Crop Top.

With as much time as our staffers spend living and breathing fashion, it shouldn’t be surprising that favorite brands start to rise to the top of our individual must-have lists. In this feature, we’re talking about those favorite designers and how they fit into our personal style. This month: Molly, who loves Alice + Olivia.

Name: Molly
Position: Graphic Designer
Brand: Alice + Olivia

Why you love the brand in 6 words or less.
Distinctive personality with a vintage feel.

What’s your favorite piece from the brand right now?
The Dixie Cutout Back Bustier Dress has me counting the days until spring!

How would you describe your personal style?
Casual meets chic. I love to accent dark neutrals with a bright scarf, and I look to my black combat boots to add edge to any outfit.

Do you have a style icon?
Rachel Bilson. Whether she’s in a gown on the red carpet or in casual pieces on the street, she always looks stylish and put together.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what pieces would it consist of?
Black skinny jeans, a slouchy black and white striped top, a red plaid scarf, and black boots.

What is your earliest fashion-related memory?
I used to marvel at my mom’s walk-in closet, hoping that one day I would have enough clothes to fill one myself.

FOLLOW: Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

© 1999-2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy Conditions of Use