Retail Therapy at Rehab…

With my impending high school reunion on the horizon, I knew I needed to seek professional help for my fashion fix.  But where could I go?  Who could I trust?  I mean, I was in deep!  I needed everything… head to toe, the full treatment!  The choice was obvious… Rehab!

Black One Shoulder Jumper

I chose a Karina Grimaldi single-shoulder black silk jumpsuit.  Simple and sophisticated.  I kept the accessories to a minimum, adding a vintage gold chain belt, statement ring and drop earrings to keep the look polished and classic.  The Guess patent leather strappy sandals with gold rings were a perfect compliment to the ensemble, and are from my closet.  My favorite bag lately, the black reptile embossed leather clutch, was a gift from the FWTB Blogger Brilliance Conference last month.

Rehab Accessories

Rehab Exchange is a designer resale boutique with 2 locations, South Tampa and downtown St. Pete.  Go there.  Get help for your fashion addiction.  Tell them Runway Translator sent you!

Haute Accessories Runway Event

This September my fashion festivities began with a designer accessories runway show for a good cause.  HAUTE Accessories Week is an annual series of events in Tampa produced by Lacey Smith and his team at The Fashion Movement.  It’s an exclusive platform for accessories designers that has gained a lot of traction over the last several years.  In keeping with Smith’s ‘give-back’ philosophy, proceeds from the HAUTE events benefit Joshua House, a safe haven for abused and neglected children.  With local celeb Holley Sinn as the night’s MC, the runway presentation at Hunter’s Green Country Club was the place to be last Friday night…

Haute Runway Cluster1

Eleven designers showcased their eclectic collections for this show.  Everything from jewelry to handbags to bowties found it’s place on the catwalk.  If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say the provocative works of Maria Soranaka of Twist’D Artisan Jewelry Designs captured my attention and held it like a trance.  Her design aesthetic is intricate, detail-oriented, and totally twisted with a tribal princess meets badass warrior vibe! (see middle pic below)

Haute Designer Necklace Cluster

What I wore…

Since berry is all the rage for fall, I chose this Max & Cleo number from my cocktail dress arsenal (circa 2011, from Marshall’s).  The handmade flower feather clip is from Deborah Kent’s, as are the Marianne Homsy earrings.  The nude pumps are Gianni Bini.

What I Wore To Haute

What I scored…

After a couple of complimentary Peroni beers I dove right into the shopping portion of the evening.  Check out my fabulous new necklace from Total Betty Society and my crazy cool Vogue Magazine clutch from Aphrodite’s Jewelry Box

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Next on the docket: Fashion Week Tampa Bay… Stay tuned!

Learning Style at the Library…

Did you know that your local library may be offering free courses about how to do stuff?  I’ve seen classes advertised on how to do everything from building a resume to building a tree house.  When I learned about stylist Kara Beck‘s three-part series at the Safety Harbor Public Library on how to build a wardrobe, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

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Class#1: Dressing For Your Body Type
Kara explained the four main classifications and included a breakdown by percentage of American female consumers:

Hourglass (8.4%) – Bust and hips are same width, defined waist… Kim Kardashian
Pear (20.92%) – Hips are wider than bust, defined waist… Beyonce
Straight (46.12%) – Bust and hips are same width, undefined waist… Cameron Diaz
Apple (13.83%) – Bust is wider than hips, undefined waist… Jessica Simpson

As a stylist, I found this presentation to be helpful for determining which cuts work best on certain body types.  She gave specific examples in her presentation and I noticed several members of the audience taking notes.  After discussing body shapes she went on to explain how to dress appropriately for one’s age… 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  Never mind that most of the audience were probably Safety Harbor residents and had to be in their 50’s and up.  I think they still found her class to be very educational.  As did I.  I look forward to attending her next installment about shopping on a budget.

I took the liberty of putting some of Kara’s tips to use and have created a shoppable ensemble for all of you ‘Pear’ body types out there.  Since you represent nearly a quarter of female consumers, and since ‘Straight’ body types can wear almost anything, I figured I’d give it a go…

Pear Shape Ensemble

Tips for dressing the Pear shape:
On top – Bring attention up and away from the waist and hips by adding ruffles or other details near the neckline.  Add an eye-catching earring or statement necklace.  Wear prints.
On bottom – Wear darker colors.  Stay away from leggings and skinny jeans.  Wear wide-leg trousers, boot-cut jeans, or A-line skirts.  This will balance your frame so as not to draw attention to your hips.

1.  Floral Bow Neck Top, $45, dorothyperkins.com
2.  Brown Wide Leg Linen Pant, $30, riverisland.com
3.  Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Earrings, $30.55, asos.com
4.  Fossil Leather Tote, $125.99, macys.com
5.  BC Shoes Leather Sandal, $49.99, modcloth.com

Spring 2013 Runway Translation: Leather

Derek Lam, Monique Lhuiller, Belstaff- Spring 2013 leather- from style.com
Leather in spring?  Absolutely!  Designers Derek Lam, Monique Lhuiller, Belstaff and others (Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Holmes & Yang) certainly thought so when they sent their models down the runways in lightweight, ladylike leather dresses, skirts & ensembles.  Nothing says luxury like a lady in a leather dress, especially if she’s rockin’ it with a pair of stilettos and a chignon!  Whether your personal style is classic or modern, this trend is sure to stand the test of time so do consider investing in a great leather dress or top & skirt combo… your wardrobe will thank you!

Spring 2013 Trend- Leather dresses, skirt, top

1. French Connection Leather Wrap Dress, $428, frenchconnection.com
2. Ben Amun Spike Earrings, $80, couturecandy.com
3. French Connection Leather Dress, $498, frenchconnection.com
4. Miss Selfridge Leather Peplum Top, $210, missselfridge.com
5. Vintage Red Leather Skirt, $128, nastygal.com
6. MIA Black Leather Sandal, $149, jildorshoes.com
7. BCBG Envelope Clutch, $78, bcbg.com

Surprising Spring Trend: Velvet

It’s okay to be a burnout… if you’re velvet!
Spring Trend- Burnout Velvet

Did you know that it’s perfectly acceptable in fashion to wear velvet during the spring and summer months?  Just the word “velvet” makes me feel warm… why would I want to wear velvet when it’s hot outside?  Because burnout velvet can be paper thin and super soft… it breathes, drapes and wears well, whereas velvets of yore tended to be thick, heavy and stiff.  I just bought this lovely gold and grey striped burnout velvet dress for a steal at The Poppy Boutique.  I added a gold wide leather tie belt and bohemian statement necklace and wore this ensemble to my Junior League’s annual dinner… otherwise known as a cocktail dress competition where we all win!!!

Spring Translation- Burnout Velvet

Shopping local head-to-toe:
Earrings- Marianne Homsy Jewelry
Necklace- JC’s Boutique
Dress- The Poppy Boutique
Belt- The Poppy Boutique
Shoes- Deborah Kent’s

*View photos from The Junior League of Tampa‘s stylish dinner event on
Runway Translator’s Facebook page.

Runway Translation: Fluorescent Frocks

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Bright Yellow Dress
runway photos: style.com

Simone Rocha, Nanette Lepore & Versace were just a few of the designers who showed bold pops of neon and fluorescent hues on the runways this spring.  This trend is a bit tricky because it’s easy to go overboard and find yourself looking like a fashion victim of the 1980’s.  If you’re brave enough to go for a bright yellow dress like the looks above be sure to soften the glow with a complimentary shade of turquoise or pink… even black tends to dial down the bright factor a bit.

Spring 2013 Translation- Bright Yellow Dress

1. Prabal Gurung for Target Ruffle Dress, $19.98, target.com
2. Lionette Designs by Noa Samba Earrings, $137, shopambience.com
3. Camilla Large Zip Clutch, $190, shopbop.com
4. Lolly Metal Heel Sandals, $170, topshop.com