My June Listing post was such a success that I thought I’d make it a semi-regular offender, so get ready for some information about me and details about what I’ve been doing lately.
What I’ve been eating:
I can’t seem to get out of the kitchen actually, something which I blame this new 11-Cup Cuisinart Food Processor for. I was thrilled to upgrade from the 4-cup to the 11-cup but I haven’t stopped baking since it arrived, and that’s rough on the jeans!
I’m still eating tons of veggies, cooking healthy meals for Arianna at least once a week, and eating my body weight in fruit every day, but everything I eat seems to come with a side of baked goods these days…
The boy has been thrilled by this little development and no one in my office is complaining about the abundance of cookies and zucchini muffins, I can assure you!
What I’ve been reading:
It seems like lately I’ve spent a lot of time on the train or in the car, so reading materials have been a must. The benefit is that I’m all caught up on my favorite magazines now, which is a relief, and I’ve read a handful of books over the last few weeks.
Recently I’ve gotten through the too cute Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Martin Cruz Smith’s Russian crime novel Stalin’s Ghost, and the international espionage novel Moscow Vector by Patrick Larkin. Now it’s on to Robin Maxwell’s Signora da Vinci and Lucrezia Borgia by Sara Bradford, both of which have been gathering dust on my bedside table.
What I’ve been writing:
Um… I take the 5th. I swear I’ll have an answer in my next Listing post. I swear!
What I’ve been wearing:
I’ve been making an effort to trade in my easy-to-wear dresses for fun separates and that’s given me a chance to be more creative with colors and prints and accessories so far this Summer.
Hopefully I can keep this up through the end of Summer and start Fall off right with lots of great skirts and pants paired with fabulous tops and all the cold weather accessories I’ve been missing!
Some Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me:
- I spend most of my waking time thinking about food – I love to cook and eat, and trying a new recipe is one of my favorite parts of the day.
- I compulsively double lock my front door whenever I walk inside my apartment. Even when Sean’s just walked out to drop off the garbage. I can’t help it!
- I love swimming and spending my vacations in the water, but I’m afraid of lake monsters. Don’t ask.
How have you been spending your time lately? Have you eaten anything great? Read anything new? Worn anything fabulous that you’d like to share?
The time has finally come and Spring is upon us and it’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to rearrange your closets so that your warm weather clothes are more easily accessible. Spring and Fall are my favorite, I love the transitioning seasons when it’s slightly warm but still crisp and the skies are bright blue and cloudless. I adore going for walks at night when it’s still light out, going to the Farmer’s Market and making huge, brightly colored salads, and of course, bearing some skin after months of being hiding under layers and layers of fabric.
So what’s on tap for Spring? As usual every magazine and fashion blog has a helpful list of what the New York, London, Milan and Paris collections showed for Spring 2012 - Fashionologie, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar & Elle to name a few. They go to the runway shows and examine them look by look to determine what the upcoming season will be all about. And this season we have: rounded shoulders, lace, 20′s art deco, ladylike silhouettes, florals, tribal prints, peplum tops & dresses, exaggerated & padded hips, wide belts, minimalism, head-to-toe white, mesh, sporty, cropped tops, bra tops…
As adorable as these models look, this isn’t a what I would call a real trend for real people. Truth be told, pretty much only Carrie Bradshaw can wear a bra top in public. So my goal here today is to give you some ideas for great Spring dressing that are more suited to our non-Sex In The City day-to-day lives.
Pastels are usually a Spring staple and this year is no different. However, rather than putting together solid candy colored looks, try mixing various soft, sherbet shades together for a colorful but subtle look.
Lindsey Wixson & Frida Gustavsson’s ad for Mulberry highlights the beautiful pastel trend perfectly. Why not try pairing pastel pieces with neutrals or even black for a tasteful work-appropriate look?
See FabSugar’s ideas on how to integrate pastels into your wardrobe in 5 Ways to Wear Spring’s Pretty Pastels or WhoWhatWear’s How They Wear Pastels featuring Sarah Jessica Parker, Hanneli Mustaparta & Lily Collins.
You may already be sick of the phrase “pop of color” (right Holly?) but this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…
Why settle for one splash of color when you can have two like Judith Bedard does below? I love that she didn’t try to match her tights and oh-so-French scarf. They’re both beautiful, bright colors, and they’re both utterly different.
This is an ideal style for those - like me – who wear mostly black, since adding a bright scarf, pair of shoes, or purse is incredibly easy. Yet those quick touches immediately update your look, make it fresh and take it to a new level. So what did I do to ensure that I could pop pop pop all Spring long?
I bought myself a new best friend!
A scarf, hat, bag or piece of jewelry are all great choices for bringing this trend to life. But you can get even more creative and find other ways to flash some color. How about a bright hairpiece or headband? What about throwing on some brilliantly colored nail polish?
Similar to the splash of color trend is the modern style of adding a colorful blazer to your outfit to give it a bit of flash.
Above model Josephine Skriver shows just how to pair a bright blazer with a warmer look – slim pants, booties & long sleeves will all keep the chill away as we wait impatiently for the weather to heat up. Already warm enough to lose the pants in your neck of the woods, you luck duck? Try pairing a brightly colored blazer with shorts for a more Summery look like Liz Cherkasova from Late Afternoon does below. She even mixed multiple trends by adding metallic shorts & accessories as well as a floral printed blouse to her look. Quite the Mix Master!
For more tips on finding the perfect blazer, see Rachel Bilson‘s Spring blazer recommendations or Frugal Fashionista‘s great celebrity-inspired choices featuring fashion stars like Kirstin Dunst, Beyonce and Olivia Palermo.
While florals are always a Spring staple, this year you should also invest in some other types of prints as well – from tribal prints to chevron zig zags to typical florals to geometric patterns – there’s something to suit everyone’s style. Whether you want to add a printed bag or belt to a monochromatic look or bravely don head-to-toe print, you should definitely give this trend a try.
Hanne Gaby Odiele & Elisa Nalin were both ahead of the curve and showing off gorgeous prints during the Fall 2012 shows this past month. I like that while they’re both wearing florals their looks couldn’t be more different, they’re both quite creative with their personal styling.
Even if you’re still working up the courage to flaunt the all-over 70′s style print you’ve always admired, you can try something a bit more subtle to work your way closer to your goal.
A faint pattern like the two dresses above is a good stepping stone. It gives you a fun pattern to play with but isn’t quite as bold or dramatic as Hanne and Elisa’s looks at the top of this section.
Ashley Madekwe’s crisp Armani Exchange dress is light and summery, she paired it with black sandals and layered jewelry for a fun daytime look. While Natalia Vodianova’s dress shows the other end of the white dress spectrum, something fitted and more formal, with dramatic, nighttime accessories – bold purple heels and a crimson clutch.
Whether you’re planning to attend a garden party or have a hot summer night out on the town in mind a white dress is a great choice to show your tan off to perfection. Try adding colorful accessories to keep it fun during the day, chic black & white in the evening or even try out an all-white look if you’re not prone to spilling things…
In the mood for some more inspiration, check out the Native Fox’s white & red look on Lookbook.nu.
I love shirtdresses! They always look crisp and fresh, and a little more of a formal feel to them than most sundresses so they’re acceptable in a number of social situations. Versatility is key!
A shirtdress can be worn casually during the day with sandals, a floppy hat and a cute tote bag, but it can easily be dressed up at night with heels, a cinched waist and some serious costume jewelry. It’s all about the accessorizing ladies!
If you need a tutorial on this subject head over to The Stylist’s and read their latest series Lessons For A Modern-Day Lady and their most recent piece How To Wear A Shirtdress.
This is one of my favorite looks for Spring, cropped pants are universally flattering and whatever your personal style, there’s the perfect pair for you. From bright colors to basic denim to harem style to classic Jackie O inspired black.
Want to take your crops to a new level? Try them in something textured or an interesting new fabric. Miranda was downtown chic in brown leather Capri pants and a basic denim button down. FabSugar as a great breakdown on the best cropped trousers for Spring - from J.Crew and Zara to Thakoon, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tibi.
Finding yourself inspired for Spring? Don’t forget to enter the Spring Giveaway for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from Bloomingdale’s!
Welcome to London Fashion Week for Fall 2012!
The first runway show for the “lower end” McQ by Alexander McQueen collection was earthy and dramatic. Across the leaf strewn floor marched models in dark khaki and olive-green, floral, brocade, plaid and leather military-inspired dresses and coats with thick belts and over-the-knee lace up boots.
As interesting as the womenswear was, I couldn’t take my eyes off the menswear. To die for coats and well-tailored suits with a retro feel, paired with great boots, belts, gloves and ties. Just exquisite.
Check out the FabSugar photos and commentary here.
Mulberry was all about oversized winter coats and thick knit sweaters in all sorts of furs and fabrics, which complimented the Fall-colored collection perfectly. The neon orange may have been a bit much for most of us, but the dark florals, Missoni-like zigzag patterns and Autumn-inspired yellows, greens and blues were perfect for Fall.
And as always the handbags are absolutely covetable. Want to see these great looks in motion? You can see the runway show here.
Christopher Kane’s collection took the sinister plot of an 80′s movie as its muse and the end results were dramatic with shiny dark fabrics, twisted leather, deeply colored flowers and metallic, oil-slick patterns. The pants and separates were particularly well done while the leather halter dresses definitely had a sensational nighttime flair.
As always the Matthew Williamson show was a free-for-all of prints, colors and textures. Slim trousers appeared in every form from shimmery florals to metallics to pastels, but the highlight was the dresses. The simplicity of the silhouettes – shirt dresses and basic shifts – played against the neon embellishments, brightly colored sequins, metallic blues & greens, sheer panels, peekaboo hemlines and dramatic patterns.
Need more? You can see additional pictures here.
The Erdem show was all about juxtapositions. Florals done in deep, dark colors, black leather tops paired with delicate lace skirts, black rubber mixed with flower prints, sheer lace with conservative cuts… These juxtapositions made a collection that was simultaneously dramatic but fun and girly.
My favorite part? Aside from the prints, which are always divine, I especially enjoyed the tweed pumps and booties – they even came in brightly colored suedes and floral prints.
The House of Holland showed a fun, Mod-inspired, wildly colorful collection full of very wearable pieces. There were the bright stripes, lace-up platform booties, little caps, zigzag prints, gorgeous houndstooth done in demure wools, shimmery satins and even on tights, colorful bell bottoms and my favorite, the adorable suits and shift dresses.
I absolutely adored Christopher Bailey’s Pre-Fall 2012 show so I had high expectations for his Fall 2012 collection, expectations that I must say were met quite well. This Burberry Prorsum show was just as wearable as the Pre-Fall collection, but with a bit of a country twist. Lots of warm, thick fabrics like wool, cashmere, velvet, corduroy and tweed, paired with lighter, colorful extras and accessories.
Some of the highlights: the blouse & pencil skirt combos, great stripes, amazing tailoring, draping & ruffles, gorgeous outerwear, dramatic pockets, colorful, thin belts, oversized handbags & lace-up booties. For the men Christopher showed amazing double-breasted coats, skinny ties, studded leather gloves, polka dot button-downs and newsboy caps. Too cute!
P.S. The bow belts were back!
Alice Temperley described her Fall 2012 show’s theme as “Polished Folk” and the Temperley London collection didn’t disappoint, it was filled with bohemian flares and fun hippie detailing. The ribbon belts, fur hats, suede ankle boots and demure gloves were worn with marbled knits, flowy blouses & brocade A-line skirts, colorful crochet and lace day dresses and velvet & metallic print pantsuits.
The knitwear design house, Pringle of Scotland showed a beautiful and eclectic collection that included bold & colorful separates, suiting, outerwear and delicately draping dresses worn with platform Oxford pumps or buckle-adorned combat boots that somehow still managed to be chic.
I especially liked the separates, they were very down to earth, something you could easily imagine pulling out of your closet and mix with other pieces to put together the perfect look.
Curious to see how what looks the London Fashion Week designers put down the runways during their shows last year? Take a trip down memory lane and check out London Fashion Week Spring 2012.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Moi Contre La Vie’s Giveaway after Paris Fashion Week!
*** Please note that I do not advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear or carry fur, exotic skins or leather. I believe that in this day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty-free and should be utilized instead.
Photos from Style.com unless otherwise cited.
Fashion isn’t just about what you wear, what goes on your body. It’s truly an expression of yourself that extends far beyond your clothes.
“Fashion is everything. Art, music, furniture design, graphic design, hair, makeup, architecture, the way cars look – all those things go together to make a moment in time.” - Tom Ford
And just as fashion isn’t limited to the cloth that we wrap ourselves in, inspiration can also be found in many forms.
I began clipping pictures from magazines as a pre-adolescent, not so much fashion photos, just pictures that caught my eye, things that I found eye-catching or memorable or mesmerizing.
As I became interested in fashion however, my clipping habits became more focused. And while I don’t confine myself to photographs of clothing and accessories, I’ve found that my love of fashion gives this activity more direction and purpose. I’ve found that even without context, pictures can serve a creative function.
They excite. They encourage. They inspire.
The beauty and artistry captured by a photographer can be moving, regardless of the medium. Advertisements, promotional materials, editorials, art, home decor…
I’ve found that by keeping these images available to myself I can stay out of a fashion rut. They provide new ideas and inspiration, get my creative juices flowing, and motivate me to grow and evolved. I highly recommend creating and maintaining a Look Book, a collection of images that make you smile, that invigorate you, that make you push your boundaries.
Whether it’s a physical book filled with clippings like mine are, or Boards on Pinterest, this is a great creative and inspirational outlet. Keeping pictures of looks that you like, styles that call to you, photos that take your breath away, can all be great tools to keep your approach to fashion fresh and interesting.
What’s your favorite way to get inspired?