We Want Marant

H&M designer collaborations always have low-budget style fiends in fits when the collections are inevitably out of stock in mere minutes; we saw it with Lanvin in 2010 and again with Versace in 2011. The pieces are highly covetable and marvelously on trend. It only makes sense then that the designer whose influence permeates High Street fashion – hello! she invented the sneaker-wedge – teams up with the fast-fashion megastore next. I’m talking Isabel Marant, French designer extraordinaire. Celebrities and off-duty models love her urban-bohemian style that’s laden with embellishment and fit to flatter. It’s not even really summer yet, but I’m already raring for November when the collection will hit H&M. In the meantime one can only speculate what Marant might have in store. Assuming she delivers in her typical French-cool manner, I’ll be first in line.

IMSS2013

Festival Fashion: Frock & Roll

Regrettably, I don’t have tickets to Pitchfork, Bonnaroo, or Lollapalooza. But there’s no excuse not to dress like a festival junkie all summer long. Easy, breezy dresses are a staple at summer music festivals and this year is no exception. Patterns are prime and grungy tie-dye and Asian-inspired bohemian prints are just about everywhere. These effortlessly cool dresses are perfect to throw on on any given summer day. Accessorize with an arm cuff or head wrap; coveted Lolla wristband optional.

frocks

1. BESS X UO Bleached Out Tee Dress, $59 // 2. Blu Moon Tie-Dye Surplice Tulip Dress, $154

3. Ecote Double Layer Chiffon Festival Dress, $59 // 4. Nena Tie Dye Gauze Dress, $148 

5. Ecote Printed Tie-Back Maxi Dress, $79 // 6. FP ONE Imperial Palm Pintuck Dress, $118

Shop for the Season: Color Block in Brights

Take a cue from Kool-Aid guy and dress in punchy hues this summer. Bright prints are fun for the season, but the trend is all the more impactful when you color block. Pick classic pieces in solid fluorescent shades for a modern look perfect for partying all summer long.
brights

1 | Silk Bow-Back Tank, Madewell

2 | Pippa Shorts, Sheridan French

3 | Everly Suede Pumps, J. Crew

4 | Blouse, H&M

5 | Mossimo Women’s Ankle Pant, Target

6 | Wool Mini Skirt, Stella McCartney

Chrystal Day London

A couple weeks back I had the absolute pleasure of talking with Chrystal Day, a young jewelry designer and entrepreneur in London. I have an affinity for dainty little necklaces and bracelets so I was immediately drawn to her stall in Camden Market the first time I wandered past it. Read all about her and her company in the article I wrote for my journalism class and be sure to check out her website!

Chrystal Day, Charmed

Between a cider vendor and a stall selling hokey handmade sweaters and feather earrings in Camden Market’s East Yard, a display of delicate gold and silver bracelets and necklaces are laid out next to wood trays covered in sparkling stones and vintage charms. This is Chrystal Day London.

Jeweler Chrystal Day, 32, stands behind the inviting display. On this particularly chilly afternoon she’s wrapped up in a caramel colored fur coat. A knit hat covers her head and two bright blonde braids hang out to frame her smiling face. She sports striped gloves with the fingers cut off so she can work on jewelry.

“I’ve got a hot water bottle under here,” she confesses with a grin, pointing to the bulge in the front of her coat as she bounces around to keep warm.

Continue reading

Valentino: Master of Couture

I had the pleasure of visiting Somerset House’s amazing Valentino exhibit a couple weeks back. Here are my thoughts. If you’re in London by chance, you’ve got two days left to catch it!

Few names conjure images like Valentino: ethereal beaded gowns floating down the runway, striking black and white ensembles on the red carpet, and the signature shade of red fashion enthusiasts associate with luxury.

Valentino Garavani’s glamorous world has long been accessible only to A-listers, but Somerset House’s exhibition Valentino: Master of Couture invites the public to walk through his exclusive empire.

Visitors first lay eyes not on a gown, but on a gargantuan 3-d white flower that hangs over the displays. A projector gives the illusion of it blooming into a “Valentino Red” flower before small crimson buds and vines, à la S/S 1998, sprawl across its petals.

The impressive sight makes the perfect prologue to the exhibition curated by Alistair O’Neil and designed by the Kinmonth Monfreda team; a trip through the show celebrates the blossoming of fashion’s last emperor.

First displayed are some of Valentino’s personal artifacts. He shares notes from the likes of Anna Wintour (whose handwriting is big, loopy and playful), Donatella Versace and Meryl Streep. Photographs of Valentino with Jacqueline Kennedy charmingly contrast polaroids of the man and his beloved pugs.

A collection of sketches demonstrates Valentino’s visionary talent. A drawing on Copa Cabana Palace headed paper indicates inspiration struck all over. One can imagine Valentino rifling through his hotel room in search of paper on which he could record his idea.

The most anticipated part of the show is the catwalk. Set up like a fashion show, guests make their way down a runway lined with chairs reserved for everyone from Lady Gaga to Princess Margaret and mannequins modeling 130 of Valentino’s most iconic looks.

Designs from Valentino’s five-decade long career are represented and the curator’s decision to show them not chronologically, but by style is intelligent. Visitors see the breadth and variation of Valentino’s work as well as how his house is built on signature styles that recur decade after decade.

The featured black and white gowns, including the velvet and tulle dress Julia Roberts wore to the 2001 Academy Awards, are some of Valentino’s most iconic pieces and dramatic up lighting do the ensembles justice.

In an eye-catching group of orange and pink pieces catch, an A/W 1966/67 beaded peach silk crepe dress is striking.

It wouldn’t be a Valentino show without red. Several crimson beauties made the curator’s cut including the taffeta gown Anne Hathaway donned at the 2011 Oscars and a 1996 chiffon and tulle gown with point d’esprit paneling.

Down a staircase at the end of the catwalk the wedding dress of Marie Chantal Miller, Crown Princess of Greece, stands on a platform like the finale of an haute couture show.

The exhibition might have culminated here, but finally an atelier table displays the painstaking techniques Valentino’s seamstresses have mastered.

The team behind his creations undoubtedly deserves tribute, however the finale should have been a pièce de résistance that celebrates the career of visionary Valentino.

Nonetheless, Somerset House’s exhibition leaves fashion lovers dreaming of Valentino. If the show makes one thing certain, it’s that Valentino’s work is truly timeless and his talent unmatched; he is the master of couture.

Holiday Party Perfect

It’s the home stretch! After weeks of egg nog and Christmas cookies there’s just one last round of holiday parties before NYE. Then we all can resume lazy weekends on the couch in front the warm glow of the television. But before you resolve to wearing your stretchy post-holiday sweatpants (we all have them), close out 2012 with a stylish bang in this season’s biggest trends. Have fun over the holidays in velvet, metallics, peplums, and the season’s staple, sequins.

Holiday Party Perfect

[Clockwise from top left]

1. Pair a peplum top with a pencil skirt or chic skinny trousers for an unexpected alternative to the tried and true party dress. Topshop, $36

2. Make a statement in short-shorts at your next shindig. These burgundy velvet shorts are perfect for the holiday party scene with your favorite tights and heels. Topshop, $64

3. Shine in a dress with a bold metallic pattern like this velvet skater dress with gold glitter stars. Topshop, $92

4. Ditch last year’s statement necklace and try a bold collar instead. ASOS, $26

5. Throw on a chic black 3/4 sleeve peplum, Oasis, $46

6. Go for the gold in this sequin mini with a scalloped hem line. Rachel Gilbert, $478

7. Black sequin shorts won’t fly in June so wear them now while you can. Karl, $75

8. Polish off your outfit with this gold sequin doily-like lace collar. Cara Accessories,$34

9. If you’re not already wearing enough gold, slip on gold heeled pumps. Kate Spade, $208