Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Holiday Gift Guide: It's Chic to Contribute

We've all been inundated with Gift Guides promising to solve the holiday conundrum of what to get people: from the coworker you aren't well acquainted with, to your mom who says that she already has everything she needs. For myself and many others I know, it's been hard to look at this as a real 'problem' given the atrocities that are currently going on in the United States and abroad. One of the things that I truly feel can provide a sense of meaning in situations where we otherwise feel helpless is to give back.

This is just a small list of many of the organizations doing amazing work for our world, and the people & animals who inhabit it. Supporting these groups is helping to champion those in need while protecting our future! I strongly suggest that if you're looking for a last minute gift, a unique gift, or any kind of gift at all, check these groups out and give on behalf of the recipient. They will feel great about it, you will too, and the good that you've done will far outreach the excitement of a material object. Win-Win-Win!

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Defending and preserving the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
Dedicated to the support of HIV/AIDS research.

Doctors Without Borders
Providing medical aid where it's needed most. Worldwide.

Enforcing and strengthening laws to keep communities as safe, healthy places to live and work, and to safeguard the irreplaceable natural world.

International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Providing relief, respect and renewal to refugees and victims of armed conflict around the world.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Ensuring the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminating race prejudice.

Planned Parenthood
Education and advocacy to protect and advance women's health and rights.

An independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.

Red Cross
Prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
Advancing the safety and well-being of animals globally.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
Combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation.

The Trevor Project
Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

Please keep in mind that you can set up recurring donations for these organizations. The holidays aren't the only season when time and money is needed - these amazing groups are doing hard work all year round!

Another great way to give back is to offer your time. Many of these same organizations need volunteers or workers with your same skill set to provide even just a couple hours a week of assistance.

If there are any wonderful charity organizations that you love, let me know and we can keep this list growing!

And while there's nothing wrong with loving style (the reason behind this very blog!), it's important to remember: the best things in life aren't things. Stay informed, stay strong, and you'll feel the real holiday spirit that much brighter.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Critics' Choice Awards 2016: Keep It Simple

Last night's Critics' Choice Awards rolled out a blue(!) carpet that welcomed the brightest stars from film and television. While there were many fashion risks taken, my favorite looks were those that were bold in their very simplicity.

Michael Kors created a custom seafoam gown for Viola Davis and the effect was stunning. The unexpected hue was so fresh.

Mandy Moore's Solace London dress had a plunging neckline and small cutouts on either side, yet the navy color and impeccable fit created a look that seemed almost classic in it's beauty.

Evan Rachel Wood's tailored suit was so chic that I think many women will be eschewing the LBD for the LBS (Little Black Suit) this season. 

If anything the blue carpet fashion showed that when a color or cut is so perfect on you, the need for a lot of adornments or patterns is unnecessary and can take away from the look. Between last night's Critics' Choice Awards, and today's Golden Globe nomination announcements (which are chock full of fashion stars), it's undeniable that this Awards Season will be one to watch!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Paris Fashion Week Trend Report: Sheer Transparency

Paris Fashion Week's major trend for Spring/Summer 2017 was clear, even within the first few days. And by clear, I mean not only was it prevalent in so many collections, but it the trend itself was the use of sheer fabric! Street style stars have been playing with the use of this trend for a couple of months now, and the biggest risk takers leave nothing to the imagination. However, it is possible to update your wardrobe with some sheer styles without feeling overexposed. Let's take a look at some more realistic ways to achieve this, with examples from the Paris shows.

Chanel showed several skirts with lace paneling- a simple and chic way to show some skin and add some lightness to an outfit without wearing a miniskirt.

At Dries Van Noten, using a lined see-through fabric at the yoke and the base of this dress added a bit more interest to the composition.  Wearing this style can also provide more coverage to those who don't prefer a low-cut neckline.

Givenchy's super chic layered dress was shown in many colors with sheer mesh sheath of a different shape underneath. If you have one mesh bodycon dress, it can be mixed and matched with various dresses on top of it.

Hermes had a very wearable, belted sheer shirtdress which not only acts as the perfect Spring/Summer layer, but also shows some of your outfit underneath.

The gauzy sleeves on this Lanvin jacket provide a cool (literally cooler than full fabric sleeves!) textural element to a monochromatic piece.

Vionnet proved that you can take the sheer trend to the office with a gossamer lapel.

If you're still shying from the look of transparent fabric, Emporio Armani reminds us that it's so easy to incorporate this style by simply adding a diaphanous printed scarf to your ensemble.

The sheer trend can still be classy and sexy (and even work appropriate!) if you use it in the right way. You may already have some pieces in your closet that employ some of these tactics. Try putting them together in new ways or styling them for a sheerly fabulous look for Spring and Summer 2017.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

StyleWeekOC: Runway Recap

Fashion Island hosted StyleWeekOC, Orange County's fabulous fashion week. I had a great time attending the final fashion show with Kendall from My Styled Life. We enjoyed the amazing show with the Southern California backdrop of palm trees and an ombre sunset. StyleWeekOC's runway featured Fall fashion from Anthropologie, Trina Turk, Elie Tahari, Rebecca Taylor, Halston Heritage, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. 

Some of my favorite trends for Fall from the runway included layered slip dresses, velvet, shimmering luxe special occasion looks, jewel tones, boho chic, and metallic slides. Check out some photos and videos below!

Elie Tahari
StyleWeek Fall 2016 Orange County

Halston Heritage
StyleWeek Fall 2016 Orange County

StyleWeek Fall 2016 Orange County

Rebecca Taylor
StyleWeek Fall 2016 Orange County

Anthropologie, Trina Turk, Elie Tahari, Rebecca Taylor and Halston Heritage's runway shows were presented by incredible bloggers who held meetups at each store within Fashion Island after the runway show. Katie (The Style Riot), Nikki (My Style Diaries), Devon (Devon Rachel), Kathleen (Carrie Bradshaw Lied) and Lyndi (Lyndi in the City) are incredibly sweet and fashionable ladies- you should check them out!

What fashion trends are you most excited about for Fall?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Milan Fashion Week Trend Report: Bohemian Luxe

Full of bold statements and cohesive collections, Milan's Spring/Summer 2017 Fashion Week was one of the best all around in many years. One of my favorite trends from this past week was the bohemian luxe look. Taking a cue from the 70's, this new take combines two of the major trends of that era: hippie-chic and disco glam. While it sounds completely over-the-top, designers proved that these styles can actually counter each other with beautiful results.

Alberta Ferretti paired a festival-ready crop top and Western belt trio with a gorgeous tiered maxi skirt. Choosing a vibrant purple shantung for the fabric gave the look a regal twist.

A plunging neckline and intricate embellishments over mesh were featured on this anything-but-granola gown at Roberto Cavalli. The braided detail in the crisscross neckline and the pattern created by the beading provided the bohemian feel.

This look, at Etro, paired a patchwork dress with a baroque jacket, proving the chic results when playing the balancing act of two different styles.

Fendi's floral printed sheer dress got the luxe treatment in the styling department. The highlight of this was using make up artist Pat McGrath's sought-after glittering Lust lipstick to show how a flash of gold can give any look a glam turn.

Even the eternally understated Armani designed a luxe silvery 2-piece look with a gypset vibe, using the jogger silhouette for the pants paired with flat shoes.

The earth tones in Missoni's maxi dress became something special with the unique glimmer of embroidered gold throughout.

At first glance, this look from Versace could seem like an open-weave dress (a bohemian staple). However shimmering paillettes were used to create the sexy chain-mail style.

The 70's were a time of revolutionary change and insurgent fashion. Sound familiar? We are currently facing a world of unrest and in need of forward-thinkers. Usually influenced by cultural and social attitudes, this may be what the designers had in mind when creating their Spring/Summer 2017 collections. At once whimsical and elegant, bohemian luxe is a fashion trend that can spark creativity and bounce anyone out of a fashion rut. So when thinking about your next fashion foray, channel your inner flower child and take her out to the disco.

Friday, September 23, 2016

London Fashion Week Trend Report: Handkerchief Happy

A trend I noticed on the London Fashion Week runways involved not a pattern or accessory, but instead, a silhouette: the one created by a handkerchief hem. In the early aughts, handkerchief hems were seen on college girls and socialites, and now it's back in a more asymmetrical variation, with a look that's accessible to everyone, regardless of your style.

Antonio Berardi showed a beautiful dress which juxtaposed the glamorous sequinned top with the light and easy bias-cut handkerchief hem skirt.

Mulberry used the handkerchief hem on a menswear-inspired dress. Paired with a coordinating jacket, the look was polished yet relaxed.

The handkerchief hem on Preen's velvet embellished and ruffled dress was the perfect addition to this romantic look.

At Pringle of Scotland, the theme was modern monochrome and the handkerchief hem packed extra punch when paired with a tunic top of similar draping.

A handkerchief hem highlighted the color scheme of Temperley's flowing ombre dress.

When thinking about new additions to your wardrobe for next Spring, consider the new twist on handkerchief hems. The cut of the skirt allows for a little extra flounce and flow to the material when you walk. And besides, who doesn't want an extra spring in their step?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Emmys 2016: Dramatic Details

This year's Emmys red carpet was full of a variety of styles from simple midi dresses to embellished sparkling gowns. My top 3 best dressed proves the wide range of looks that stars chose last night, however they have one thing in common: dramatic details. 

 Kerry Washington's Brandon Maxwell gown was modified from a dress from his Spring 2017 collection. The foldover bustier neckline and side cutouts perfectly highlighted the curve of her best accessory: her baby bump! Adding to the drama was the cape and her voluminous curly hairstyle.

 Designer Zac Posen brought Emily Ratajkowski as his date, and he couldn't have picked a better muse to model one of his latest gowns. At the same time structured and slinky, the gorgeous navy dress featured layers of dramatic draping in the train and origami-like folding at the neckline.

Kristen Bell's Zuhair Murad gown was a showstopper in it's ethereal beauty. With a full, dramatic sweeping skirt and plunging neckline, the dress seemed like a perfect Summer-to-Fall red carpet look. The embellished floral pattern shimmered in the light but wasn't overly sparkly, which gave it even more elegance.

These stars each chose very different red carpet looks, however each had a dramatic detail which drew me to their style. I love to see amped-up looks at major awards shows, and this year, the Emmys did not disappoint. Who were your best dressed picks?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

NYFW Trend Report: On Pins and Needles

New York Fashion week heralds the start of an international Fashion Month, and it got off to an interesting start! A mix of designers chose the traditional route of putting their collections for next season (Spring/Summer 2017) on display, while others offered the "see-now, buy-now" approach with Fall 2016 shows. 

Let's discuss a trend I saw across the Spring/Summer 2017 runways: pinstripes. Traditionally associated with conservative men's business suits and even baseball uniforms (!), let's take a look at how designers interpreted the pattern for next season's womenswear.

Carolina Herrera created a polished dress with embellishments at the shoulders, using sparkling crystals to juxtapose the dark pinstripe pattern.

At Michael Kors, pattern play was the name of the game, with a wide-lapel pinstripe shirt under a checkered jacket. Paired with a floral skirt, it had a flirty-utilitarian feel.

Ralph Lauren used one of his favorite Western motifs on the Spring/Summer '17 runway, but he incorporated pinstripe pants in lieu of denim for this look.

Jenny Packham showed a gorgeous pair of wide-leg pants with an embellished pinstripe to up the glam factor.

Self-Portrait had a variety of pinstripe looks on the runway, including this blouse featuring pearls, lace and cutouts, for a quintessential feminine menswear piece.

Tibi's pinstripe suit was oversized and light, giving an easy, luxe spin on the traditional striped 2-piece.

Tome offered a relaxed, modern silhouette with a peplum top and midi pants in the pattern.

At Alexander Wang, pinstripe was incorporated throughout the collection, and his new take on the wrap dress featured a cool ombre effect.

Whether you're going for a sporty, elegant, modern or cool style, try pinstripes to give your look a twist. How will you incorporate this look into your wardrobe?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Light & Bright: Tony Awards Red Carpet Fashion

In light of the tragic events of this morning, the Tony Awards moved forward with a heavy heart, but in true Broadway fashion: "the show must go on". Perhaps we can all take a cue from this statement and honor the victims by taking a stand and hopefully a step in the direction towards a more compassionate, brighter world.

On the red carpet, two major trends were seen: light blush tones and bright yellow hues. Let's take a closer look:

Bebe Neuwirth wore a romantic lace Dolce and Gabbana gown accessorized with a black clutch to provide a little edge.

 In typical Zac Posen fashion, Jourdan Dunn's dress was gorgeously corseted and featured an elegantly cascading high-low hemline.

Simple, chic and fresh in Stella McCartney was the look for Saoirse Ronan, who is a quickly rising red carpet star.

Heather Headley looked gorgeous in a yellow printed high-neck Badgley Mischka gown. She has a special bond with the designers, who also designed her wedding dress.

Zuhair Murad designed Lucy Liu's floaty lemon chiffon gown. The plunging neckline kept the look from being overly sweet.

Playwright and actress Danai Gurira shone in a goldenrod Rosie Assulin gown, punctuated with a purple clutch and navy heels that peeked out from beneath her high-low hem.

While the light and bright red carpet trends at the Tony Awards were in keeping with the current Spring/Summer season, the most important fashion statement was made with the silver ribbon you'll notice that many wore. These were created by Tony-winning designer William Ivey Long to honor the victims in Orlando and show solidarity in a world where, in the words of host James Corden, "hate will never win".

Monday, May 2, 2016

MET-allic: Best Dressed at the Met Gala 2016

It's the first Monday in May, and celebs plus couture can only equal one thing: the annual Gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. This year, the celebrated exhibit is Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology. As always, my best dressed stars embraced the theme, allowing us a glimpse into their designer's take on this topic. It was fun to see the creative variations in design, though metallics were definitely a common thread.

Zendaya wore a gold one-shoulder Michael Kors gown. Paired with her sleek bowl cut, she channeled a chic 21st-century fashion robot.

Model Jourdan Dunn was part of last night's "Balmain Army", and in her silver-paneled dress and silver-sprayed locks, she looked ready to go to fashion war.

Gigi Hadid looked like the goddess of the androids in her custom Tommy Hilfiger dress which featured soft draping paired with tough details in a cool gunmetal color. Her boyfriend, Zayn, pulled off one of the most successful male Met Gala-themed looks with the addition of cyborg arms to the sleeves of his tux.

Poppy Delevigne stunned on the red carpet in a flawless Marchesa frock. At the same time edgy and elegant, her styling was perfect from her sleek platinum locks to her layered necklaces.

In a red carpet moment that is not going to be forgotten anytime soon, Zac Posen dressed Claire Danes in a fiberoptic-laced gown that lit up to a beautiful effect. The immaculate structured design that he is known for could be seen in the fold-over corseted bodice and full ballgown skirt that was gorgeous even without the light show. But when the marriage of technology and fashion was on display, the real magic happened.

In a time when fashion has become so reliant on technology, from mass production to marketing, it's interesting to see how couture can also be transformed by the very computers that inspired these red carpet looks.