Button-down blouses hit the runway in a big way for resort 2014. From menswear-inspired cuts to bold prints, the classic oxford is taking an unexpected turn for spring. We turned to our styling team to get a few tips on how to work the tried-and-true staple into your look in some new ways.
Rachel suggests trying a tailored top under a chic strapless dress. Weary of bunching? “Tuck your shirt into your tights to keep everything smooth and in place,” she says. Elise is keen on oversized styles in sheer or semi-sheer fabrics. “I like to button them up all the way to the top,” she says. “When in doubt, go sassy schoolmarm all the way.” Dokia is also veering to oversized silhouettes, saying, “I’m an un-tucker when it comes to button-downs.” She suggests throwing an oxford over a leather crop top—or bikini in the right locales—unbuttoned down to the hip with cutoff shorts and animal-print pumps.
Jewelry designer Melinda Maria has a profound passion for jewelry. It’s evident in the incredible detail and quality of each one of her pieces. The Goddess Collection specifically uses semi-precious stones and 14k gold plating as a tribute to the inner beauty and power of women. They also happen to make a fantastic gift! We spoke to Melinda about her creative start, perfect presents, and her inspirations.
SHOPBOP: Your start in design came at the expense of your mother’s jewelry box. What drew you to re-crafting her pieces?
MELINDA MARIA: I have always suffered from what I like to call "Shiny Objects Syndrome." As long as I can remember, jewelry has been my passion and my obsession. I found that I was drawn to the warmth of gold, the sparkle of diamonds, and the rich color of gemstones in my mother's jewelry box. I often took it upon myself to modernize some of her pieces by pulling them apart and recreating them. The process always brought me such joy!
SB: The Goddess Collection is truly a celebration of women. Where did the inspiration for this line come from?
MM: My aim was to create a beautiful keepsake charm collection that was centered around the strength of women. I wanted each necklace to tell a story and to remind us all of some of the special qualities that women inherently possess. I have always surrounded myself with amazing women who I consider to be true goddesses.
SB: The detail and craftsmanship of designs are incredible. How do you achieve such a high quality?
MM: As a jewelry designer, ultimate craftsmanship and design is something that I strive for with each new collection. Our quality control after the collections are completed is rigorous, with the utmost attention to detail. Since the start of my line, one of my main goals has been to have customers who become collectors of Melinda Maria. In my experience, I've found that this is only possible if each and every piece is well-made and wears well.
SB: The Goddess necklaces make a perfect gift. Who would you give each one to?
MM: The Goddess of Sisterhood pendant is for every woman in your life. To me, sisterhood means developing meaningful relationships with one another. I believe that all women are connected, and we need to be supportive of each other. It's truly amazing what a room full of women working together can achieve! Nothing can replace the relationship between two women who want the best for each other. The Goddess of Love pendant is the perfect gift for that special someone you just want to wrap your arms around. It's for mothers, daughters, sisters, and best friends who have been there for you through thick and thin. The Goddess of Power pendant is a great way to remind someone of the strength they have within themselves. This necklace is the ideal piece to give to someone who needs support, providing a reminder for her to be fearless in her journey.
SB: If you could give one of the necklaces to any woman in history, who would it be and why?
MM: Oprah has had an enormous impact on my life. I would give her the Goddess of Power pendant. The tagline for this goddess is, "No one can diminish your personal power." Coming from a small town in Washington state, I always had big dreams. Whenever I would set goals for myself, I aimed higher and higher, thinking, "Why not me?" Oprah is the perfect example of that. She had all the odds against her, but never gave up. She built a global brand and network from nothing! Her story is beyond inspiring to me. Because of her, I realized that everyone has a past, but it's the future that you can write for yourself.
What it is: Garbe Luxe Chloe Cardigan
Why we love it: Dressier than the classic sweatshirt, but just as comfortable.
Wear it with: Rag & Bone skinny jeans and a Monrow tee for a perfect casual weekend look.
What it is: Morning Warrior LA to NY Cropped Tee
Why we love it: Cuffed sleeves and unfinished hems add a casual vibe to the rock-inspired silhouette.
Wear it with: High-waisted Alice + Olivia pants and suede Pedro Garcia sandals.
This weekend will mark the seventh installment of Pop Up Flea, a unique menswear event founded by Michael Williams and Randy Goldberg. The event will take place at 82 Mercer St. in NYC, as well as online at Eastdane.com. We took a minute of the guys’ time to ask them about PUF.
EAST DANE: For the uninitiated, tell us a little about the Pop Up Flea.
RANDY GOLDBERG: It’s a one-weekend-at-a-time menswear store full of interesting items and staffed by good people. It's like a pop-up shop in the sense that it only lasts for three days. It's like a flea market in the sense that vendors rent a space and man their own mini-storefront.
EAST DANE: Where did the idea come from?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: The Pop Up Flea was born, like many good things, over cocktails in Manhattan. We wanted to have a store, but we also wanted people to have a chance to meet and talk to the designers that make the stuff they love and wear.
EAST DANE: This weekend (December 6-8) marks the seventh installment of PUF, and it’s your biggest yet. Who can people expect to find there?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: We have a lineup of over sixty different brands and vendors. Everyone from accessories designer Alexander Olch to Billykirk, plus bigger brands like Filson and Levi's Vintage Clothing.
EAST DANE: Any vendors you’re extra excited about this time around?
RANDY GOLDBERG: We're excited about everyone that is coming. We only invite great brands to participate. The litmus test is: Would we want to wear these clothes? All killer, no filler.
EAST DANE: We signed on as your online partner for the event, a first. How do you think East Dane fits with the PUF feel?
RANDY GOLDBERG: There's a lot of common ground between us and East Dane in terms of what we care about—well-made things, a great shopping experience, unique finds—so it's a natural partnership. Plus, we never thought in a million years PUF product would get the Amazon Prime treatment. That’s next level.
EAST DANE: How'd you choose the product that you selected for East Dane? Was there a guiding principle?
MICHAEL WILLIAMS: We have a supercomputer that computes a unique Pop Up Flea handsomeness algorithm that we had developed for this special East Dane shop. It chooses the most mathematically handsome selection of garments. Just kidding. We choose the stuff that we want to personally have in our closets. No computers, no robots, just good old-fashioned menswear.
After a successful Thanksgiving, I’ve got my sights set on the next big holiday. And when I think holiday, I think family, gift-giving, and of course, wine. As I searched for the best selection to serve, I stumbled across a few interesting vino-related stories. Cheers!
Not that one really needs a reason to drink a glass of fine fermented grape juice, but just in case, here are 23 justifications for having a second round.
My dream kitchen includes a cavernous room full of bottles ranging from rare vintages to my go-to $10 special. And apparently, according to the recent unearthing of the world’s oldest wine cellar, this dream was also common over 3,700 years ago.
Winemaking is staunchly rooted in tradition but technology is finally edging in. The Economist breaks down the latest developments in cultivation and aging, and how the industry is beginning to adapt.
Shop What’s New.
Don’t be mistaken, we’re willing to pay for our fashion, but when a find comes along that’s cool, forward, and under $200, it makes our style- loving hearts skip a beat. In this weekly feature, we’ll highlight some of the best style steals on the pages of Shopbop.com.
The Steal: A sheer Charlie Jade top.
The Price: $128 (USD)
Why it’s worth it: Graphic snake print adds depth to the sexy silhouette.
Shop this Charlie Jade Jaya Top.
Working for Shopbop these last eight years, I’ve developed a healthy appreciation for fashion and all its parts, but my true addiction rests elsewhere: kitchenware. More specifically: cake plates. Do I have many occasions to display my baked goods on fancy fare? Not really. Does that stop me from collecting the pretty stands just in case I need them for an as-yet-planned party? Nope.
So when a crop of cake stands started to make their way into our Holiday Gift Boutique, I knew I needed a reason to take one home. A pretty recipe that deserves a pretty plate was born, and I share it with you: Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Tart, perfect for a Lunares ceramic cake stand.
Peppermint Crunch Chocolate Tart
1 1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. baking powder
7 Tbsp. butter, chilled
1 egg beaten w/ 1 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut chilled butter into cubes and add to flour mixture. Use your fingers to blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is broken down into small, flour-coated flakes. (You can also do this step with a food processor.) Add the egg, water, and vanilla to the mixture and blend quickly with your fingers. Dump the contents of the bowl onto a clean counter, and work the butter and liquid further into the dough by smearing the dough away from you in a quick motion with the heel of your hand. Gather it back together in a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least one hour.
After one hour, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the dough on a floured surface and roll to fit a 10-inch tart pan. Gently place in the pan, trim the edges, and poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Line the top of the crust with foil, and layer on pie weights or dried beans to keep the foil in place.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown. (Check at 20 minutes to be sure it’s not cooking too quickly.)
While the crust is cooling, make the ganache.
8 oz. heavy cream
16 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 tsp. peppermint extract
Place a metal bowl over a pot of water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Add heavy cream and heat for a few minutes until the cream is hot, but not boiling. Add chocolate and stir constantly with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in peppermint extract. Set aside until crust is cooled.
3/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes
Remove the crust from the tart pan and place on a cake stand or platter. Pour ganache into the crust and sprinkle the top with crushed peppermint candy canes. Place in refrigerator for approximately one hour to let the ganache set.
Check out Gifts for the Home in the Holiday Gift Boutique.