Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Orange County Fashion Week

I was lucky enough to have been sent to Orange County Fashion Week by Uber.  I am honored to report back on what a fabulous experience it was.  What I loved about Orange County Fashion Week was that designers presented looks that could be worn very soon - in the coming weeks or months - as opposed to most major fashion week shows where we get a glimpse of what will be trending for the next year or season. Perhaps that's one of the many perks of OC life - fresh fashion is readily accessible.  I saw intricate crochet crop tops, breezy tie-dye caftans, versatile shape-shifting swimwear and easy gowns that looked suitable from beach brunch to belle of the ball.

Day 1 - Sugar Rush
OC Fashion Week kicked off with resortwear and men's intimates at the Seven Degrees venue in Laguna Beach.  With a beautiful red carpet, brand-new Vespas on display and pop-up shops ranging from jewelry to hats to beauty, the atmosphere was welcoming and fun.

The night started with an expert fashion panel including Neel Grover, CEO of; Rose Olson Januzzi, COO of Chinese Laundry; Lash Fary, CEO of Distinctive Assets; Kelli Ellis, Celebrity Interior Designer and Sarah De Anna, supermodel and author of the book Supermodel You.

Noia showed some of the coolest coverups I've seen with ultra chic body jewelry as the perfect accent to take your day from poolside to pre-dinner drinks.

Charmosa Swimwear came from Brazil to show her designs.  She did feature bikinis and one pieces, however for me, the standouts in her collection were the maxi dresses that seemed to float down the runway.

Indie Soul's collection was decidedly tribal in influence with ethnic beaded elements and tie-dye patterns.  This fringed crochet top is one I could definitely see paired with jeans and heels or on the way to the beach this Spring and Summer.

Day 2 - HauTECH
The second night was held at the incredible Lyon Air Museum at the Orange County Airport. Set amongst vintage airplanes and the newest luxury car models, this night of menswear designs was definitely swanky.

Celebrity stylist Daniel Musto was a stylish and delightful emcee for the evening.

One of the featured pop-up shops was David August, Inc., which creates custom menswear ranging from polo shirts to tuxedos.  Their clients consult with them and each item is measured to fit the man perfectly.  They also have gorgeous accessories such as ties and cufflinks and they can monogram any piece of clothing as well.

Another of the pop-up shops on night two was The Left Shoe Company, which uses innovative 3-D scanning to create stylish made-to-measure men's shoes.

Valor Collective's laid-back looks were perfect for the guy who wants to look put-together and stylish even in his casual wear.  The high-end streetwear featured many interchangeable separates.

Popular surfwear company Rip Curl featured their boardshorts, tees and California-cool activewear.

The Orange County Ballet Theatre preformed in between each fashion show, with exceptional pieces geared to express the theme of each preceding designer.

Pal Zileri's stunning collection of elegant menswear featured suits and separates in fine Italian fabrics and super chic color combinations.  The impeccably tailored styles were the epitome of the modern gentleman.

Day 4 - Avant Garde
The splashy and sophisticated restaurant, Anqi, was the host venue of the avant garde night of OC Fashion Week.  Highlighting local and international designers who push the limits of fashion, the night was full of fascinating creations.

Coral Castillo's designs were a standout of the night.  Using embellishments and an all-black palette, the pieces seemed at the same time light and structural.

Final Night - Fashionably Responsible
The final night of Orange County Fashion Week was held at Dawson Cole Fine Art Galley in Laguna Beach. In the outdoor courtyard, dotted with graceful sculptures and waterfalls, the night celebrated Orange County's local designers who give back to the community.  It also highlighted OC Fashion Week's 2014 charitable cause: HomeAid Orange County, the founding chapter of a national non-profit organization with the vision and purpose to end homelessness. 

Ansari Haute Couture is the design house of Nasrin Ansari, who uses unique fabrics and fine detailing on her creations.  The styles were decidedly European and sensational.

Dan Richters Couture designs are artful and otherworldly.  How appropriate that his collection was entitled "Vessel".  The gold and black pieces in rich textures featured embellishments fit for a warrior queen.  Beyond the elegant structure applied to each design, what was so striking on the runway was that every other model was en pointe, pacing the catwalk on the tips of her toes.  The idea was inspired, adding to the transcendent value of the finale collection of Orange County Fashion Week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Go Buy Now: Pink Coats

The whirlwind season of New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks has come to a close and there were so many unique looks shown for Fall/Winter 2014. However, it was impossible to ignore the "it" item still prevalent in numerous collections: the pink coat.  This item has actually been popular for a few seasons, and the most recent runways prove that this new classic is not going anywhere.  While pastels are always in the Spring fashion forecast, a huge plus is that you can wear this now and through the end of the year as an unexpected neutral to balance out Fall and Winter's darker hues. These designers show that the pink coat is far more versatile than it sounds.

Burberry Prorsum showed a wool version with a thick scarf thrown over one shoulder- a cool new way to accessorize outerwear.

Carven's salmon coat featured a half-zip closure and showed how you can introduce prints to your ensemble with a wide leopard lapel.

At Christopher Kane, an angled and embellished hem adds modern edge to the pink coat.

A sportier version stood out in Fendi's collection, paired nicely with army green to show how earthy tones can work well with a pink coat.

Giambattista Valli's pink coat had swinging peplum wings lined in pink's chic counterpart: red.

Givenchy featured a glamorous take with a blush-colored coat upgraded by a fur lapel and fur sleeves.

The pink coat at Gucci had a sixties-mod, double-breasted silhouette.  Paired with a pink turtleneck, this proves that this monochromatic style can look very polished.

A cape, like the pink suede version at Ralph Lauren, is a cool spin on the trend.  When styled with varying textures, such as cableknit and cotton, the aesthetic is effortlessly chic.

Rochas featured a loose wool version in the popular oversized cocoon silhouette.

You can work one of the many variations of the pink coat into your wardrobe with some of the more affordable versions below:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Oscars Fashion Review Part Two: Best { Dressed } of the Rest

While many ladies were ravishing in black, with Charlize Theron and Olivia Wilde as standouts, these stars ruled the Oscars red carpet with their fabulous style:

Naomi Watts had a modern chic look in an exquisitely embellished white Calvin Klein column.  Her soft yet slicked-back hair, Bulgari statement necklace and graphic clutch were the perfect accessories.

Lupita Nyongo looked every bit the princess of the party in her pale blue Prada dress.  Clearly, she loved the shimmering pleated skirt that seemed to float as she walked the red carpet.

As soon as Kate Hudson hit the red carpet, I knew her look was my favorite of the night.  Her silver Atelier Versace gown featured a swinging cape, poised perfectly on her shoulders, along with a flattering gathering at the waist and a super sleek train.  Paired with her retro waves and glowing makeup, she brought complete glamour Hollywood's biggest night.

Who was your best dressed at the Academy Awards?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscars Fashion Review Part One: Black Out

The stars brought their fashion A-game to last night's Academy Awards, and luckily the actual show was as fun to watch as the red carpet.  One major trend that I saw was a bit of a surprise: black gowns. Usually stylists will recommend that celebrities stay away from black on the red carpet as it may not "pop" as much as more colorful looks, but these stars showed that black is back.

Julia Roberts wore a lace Givenchy dress which featured a peplum waist.  Choosing a lace dress in a darker hue like black keeps it from looking too sweet.

Olivia Wilde's perfect pregnancy style continues with this beautiful black Valentino gown.  She was smart to pick a dress with a unique back element- a cool white streak.  This is a great style note for maternity dressing.  Her art deco accessories worked wonderfully with the overall look.

Emma Watson pulled off a difficult feat- looking cutting edge yet timeless at the same time.  Her shimmering charcoal Vera Wang gown almost looked like separates with it's sheer back and sweeping skirt.  Paired with minimal jewelry and a tousled ponytail, the look was beautiful.

Anne Hathaway's black Gucci dress was bold and powerful, with it's back slit and high neckline, however the sparkling embellishments that continued around the waistline created a cool and confident vibe.

Charlize Theron's Dior gown was a show-stopper.  With an architectural train attached with sheer organza, and unique illusion sleeves holding up the deep v neck, it was an entrance you could not ignore.  Taking advantage of the lovely black backdrop, she wore a dazzling diamond drop necklace by Harry Winston.

Margot Robbie (now a brunette!) chose an overall fashion-forward look with a Saint Laurent gown.  The beaded bodice featured a back cut-out and large bow.  She was the only star who chose to pair dark lipstick with her black dress which creates a vampy look when coupled with her dark hair.

Okay, so this dress wasn't seen on the actual red carpet to the awards show, however I did choose it as one of my gown front-runners for the Oscars!  Kate Hudson wore this amazing Zuhair Murad dress to the after parties and she looked stunning.  Again, it shows that black dresses, when paired with design elements such as sheer panels, lace, beading or surprising silhouettes can be anything but boring.

Did you like the black dress trend on last night's red carpet? Does it make you think twice about choosing this color for special occasions?  Stay tuned... my Oscar's best dressed (which may include one of the ladies above!) will be coming soon.