Ball Gown, Meet Biker Jacket…

There’s something so intriguing about the unexpected combination of lady-like refinement and rough-and-tumble naughtiness!  I love pairing a soft, feminine gown or dress with something dark and tough like a leather biker jacket.  It says, “Would you care for some tea… or perhaps a knuckle sandwich?”

Biker Chic ModelsOn a recent visit to Neiman Marcus at International Plaza, I had the pleasure of styling my own ‘Biker Chic’ vignette with the help of models Sue and Erika.  I had a blast scoping the floor and pulling looks… landing on my two favorite ‘ladies with attitude’ ensembles.  I totally want to go wherever these gals are going…

Biker Chic Models Cluster

The shoppable ‘Biker Chic’ look below is a great way to experiment with the juxtaposition of a black leather jacket and a soft, flowy chiffon gown.  Let’s say you have a bride’s maid dress and you’re not sure why you’ve kept it… NOW is why!  Add a girly statement necklace and drape the biker jacket over your shoulders for a more delicate look…

Biker Jacket Ball Gown Ensemble

1. Erickson Beamon necklace, $625, farfetch.com
2. Alexander McQueen gown, $3440, alexandermcqueen.com
3. Z Spoke Zac Posen clutch, $395, couture.zappos.com
4. Red Valentino biker jacket, $1065, farfetch.com
5. Saint Laurent sandals, $1195, luisaviaroma.com

Independence Day

Vogue, point of view, July 2013 Issue:

The average American closet is a creative cauldron.  Who would we like to be this morning- a preppy in shrunken blazer and driving loafers?  An haute hippie, trailing handkerchief hems along with the sound of bangles?  An eighties rock-‘n’-roller in black lace?

Standing out as an individual is what we all want and need.  The key is to home in on your own distinct look- and then write your own rules around it.  Forget what anyone else says or wears- this is the true soul of chic.

Independence Dayphotos: Pinterest

The word independent means ‘not subject to control by others: self-governing.’  Independence Day fashion is not about how many variations of red, white and blue we can combine to create a patriotic ensemble.  It’s not about wearing an American flag or the strategic drape of its stars and stripes.  To this fashion-obsessed lover of the U.S. of A., fashion on Independence Day represents the nature of who we are as a nation; self-governing.  I am inspired by the independent thinkers of fashion, the mavericks who break the mold and push the envelope like those pictured above.  I love the motorcycle jacket with flat sandals and a girly skirt… and  how about the floor length skirt with a flannel shirt?  Brilliant!  I was so inspired by the middle look that I styled a shoppable evening version…

Independence Day Ensemble

1.  Plaid Chiffon Shirt, $15, delias.com
2.  Silvia Silk Maxi Skirt, $210, reiss.com
3.  Saint Laurent Leather Cuff, $595, ysl.com
4.  Bottega Veneta Clutch, $1393, farfetch.com
5.  Stuart Weitzman Silver Pump, $335, zappos.com

Runway Translation: The Bare Midriff

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Bare Midriff
runway photos: style.com

Here’s a spring trend that dominated the runways and simply will not go away on the streets… the bare midriff!  You may think this trend only works on the young, thin, modelesque types, and you’d be totally correct.  I do not recommend you try this one unless you are completely comfortable with showing some skin.  Here’s why I can’t hate on this look- because if done correctly it looks fabulous!  My two rules for pulling off the peek-a-boo belly style are #1 make sure the skirt is high-waisted enough to cover your belly button and #2 the bottom of the crop top should almost touch the waistline of the skirt so you just show a sliver of skin.  Here’s my dressy version…

Spring 2013 Translation- Bare Midriff2
1. Tribal Stud Crop Top, $26, newlook.com
2. Nine West Caged Sandal, $89, ninewest.com
3. Coral Pleated Maxi Skirt, $46, riverisland.com
4. Bar III Bracelet Set, $32, macys.com
5. Sklerijenn Bracelet, $15, aldoshoes.com
6. Jessica Simpson Smash Hit Clutch, $26.95, dsw.com

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

Oh, To Walk In Those Shoes…

Lanvin Blue High Heels
Here she is ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the hottest high-heel sandal on the fashion market, the one, the only… one of the most expensive five inch platforms to come off the runways this spring… the shoes that make my toes tingle with envy and my legs long for their touch… give a round of applause for our guest on RunwayTranslator today, Lanvin’s crystal embellished blue suede sandals everybody!!! (the crowd goes wild)

But seriously folks… she’s a steal at $2,800!!!  Good-night everyone. I’ll be here all week!

While sourcing on net-a-porter.com I was curious to see what the most expensive high heel sandals they have looked like.  I searched sandals and put them in price order viewing the highest first. For the sake of my collage, I removed the knee-high gladiator sandals (at $2,700 and $1,800).  Starting with our special guest in blue, follow the dollar sign below to see who else comes in at the ‘Oh-my-god-how-much-did-you-say-those-were?’ mark…

Most Expensive High Heel Sandals
Shoes: Net-a-porter.com

Crystal-embellished suede sandals $2,800 Lanvin
Platform leather gladiator sandals $2,375 Haider Ackermann
Birds of Paradise suede and metal sandals $2,255 Charlotte Olympia
Studded cutout leather sandals $2,180 Alaïa
Maia suede and stingray T-bar sandals $1,995 Brian Atwood
Metallic python sandals $1,895 Givenchy
Cutout suede and metallic leather platform sandals $1,869 Alaïa
Botanica orchid patent-leather sandals $1,795 Charlotte Olympia

Runway Translation: The Water Effect

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Water Effect
runway photos: style.com

How refreshing!  With splashes of blues, greens & whites on flowy fabrics this runway trend makes me thirsty for more.  A sea of designers like Proenza Schouler, Charlotte Ronson, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Tracy Reese, and many more seemed to draw upon the ocean for their inspiration this Spring.  Having several upcoming evening events on my horizon, I took this as my cue to dive right in and find my own mermaid-worthy ensemble.  I can’t wait to feel like a tall drink of water in this look (too much?)…

Spring 2013 Translation- Water Effect

1. Phase Eight Dip-dye Maxi Dress, $140, houseoffraser.com
2. Janna Conner Rock Crystal Fringe Necklace, $85, saksfifthavenue.com
3. Steve Madden Too Sweet Clutch, $48, zappos.com
4. Jeffrey Campbell Holiday Sandal, $128.95, lorisshoes.com

The Power Suit

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Monochromatic Pant Suits
runway photos: style.com

Hail to the almighty power suit!  Nothing says “Bring me coffee, minion!” like a sleek, monochromatic pant suit.  Command attention this Spring in a navy blue ensemble like…

Spring 2013 Translation- Monochromatic Pant Suits

1. Navy Suit Jacket, $58, wallis.com
2. Navy Slim Suit Trousers, $50, shop.mango.com
3. Navy Camisole, $9, dorothyperkins.com
4. Navy Leather Purse, $40, topshop.com
5. Navy Ellen Tracy Pumps, $69, lordandtaylor.com

Runway Translation: The Printed Pant Suit

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Printed Pant Suits
runway photos- style.com

The Spring 2013 runway shows provided plenty of androgyny in the form of power suits and pant suits.  Designers like Mary Katrantzou, Yves Saint Laurent & Balmain (among others) kept it feminine with form-fitted craftsmanship and soft fabrics in matching prints.  The skinny pant was a key component for achieving a powerful, yet lady-like look.  For a casual daytime suit, I like the look of seersucker.  Here’s my take on a classic Spring ensemble…

Spring 2013 Translation- Printed Pant Suits

1. Striped Seersucker Blazer, $79.99, shop.mango.com
2. Striped Seersucker Trousers, $54.99, shop.mango.com
3. Midnight Floral Tee, $45, jcrew.com
4. Lime Curve Tote Bag, $74, riverisland.com
5. Charles by Charles David Espadrilles, $82.49, heels.com

 

One Thrifty Find, Four Stylish Looks

Catherine Malandrino Citron Silk Dress
I recently scored four designer dresses at a local thrift store for $4.95 each!!!  This Catherine Malandrino citron silk dress ($200-$400 retail value) is one of them.  I was so excited to photograph it that I haven’t yet dry cleaned the dress… which is my #1 THRIFTING RULE: ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR FINDS! Anyway, I love the look of a girly dress layered with a blazer or jacket and paired with great shoes and accessories.  Here are four ways to wear this very versatile dress, one for each possible phase of my day…

PHASE ONE: Kid drop, coffee shop and dry cleaner…

CM Citron Silk Dress Day Look

PHASE TWO: Meeting with a potential retail partner…

CM Citron Silk Dress Work Look

PHASE THREE: Date Night with the Hubs (2 options)…

CM Citron Silk Dress Evening Looks
*all items pulled from my existing wardrobe

The Empire Stripes Back!

Spring Fashion Trend: STRIPES

The origin of this trend stems way back to the 1800’s in the French Province of Brittany.  What we commonly refer to as “nautical stripes” (navy and white) are actually called Breton stripes.  The 1858 Act of France made the Breton shirt part of the official uniform for French Navy seamen.  There were 21 stripes- one for each of Napoleon’s victories.  The stripes were also thought to help locate men who fell overboard.

Sailor Stripes

In the 1930’s CoCo Chanel launched Breton stripes into the fashion mainstream after becoming inspired by a visit to the French Coast.  She designed and wore a simple striped tee with palazzo pants and, well… the rest is history!

CocoChanel Breton Stripes

I pulled a few striped pieces from my closet and decided to take some pics of my favorite ensembles.  I have several Breton pieces, but wanted to play with the other striped goodies for this shoot.  Forgive the poor quality of these shots, as I am on the hunt for a better camera.

MS-REDWhiteStripeDress
This red and white striped mini dress is by Soprano from Nordstrom.  I love the simplicity of this cut and the cotton blend is super comfy!  What drew me in (besides the $38 price tag) is the ruching detail on the sleeves.  There’s a small pocket on the top left side that I could do without, but it’s barely noticeable.  I accessorized with a long, silver necklace (which is actually a vintage purse strap), a turquoise cocktail ring, and a sexy pair of nude Gianni Bini heels.  This look is perfect for date night!

MS-Stripes and Flowers
This look combines stripes and a floral print to create an unexpected twist… which I like to do on occasion.  The floral blouse is DmBm from Nordstrom … very inexpensive!  The striped crop jacket is Ett Taia and the white jeans are Joe’s, both from local designer consigner Fresh Threads.  The jacket is a bit boxy, so it calls for a flowy and feminine blouse underneath to balance the look.  Paired with a nude peep toe pump, this look is great for lunching with friends.

MS-Stripe Vest Maxi
Here’s my bohemian side begging to be set free!  The maxi dress is Color Me Red and the striped vest is Project E Vintage, both from Keys Country.  I like this ensemble because it’s super comfy and makes me feel like Mother Earth.  I’ve paired it with a fabulous necklace made by local jewelry designer Marianne Homsy and grecian Bandolino sandals.  I could lounge around town all day in this one!