Archive | September, 2012

2012 Emmy Fashions. The Good, The Bad and The January

24 Sep

So, I came late to the Emmy party this year and did not get my standard hour long E! Live from the Red Carpet preview of the fashions of the evening. I was en route home from visiting my older daughter at the University of South Carolina and even though our flight went off without delay (thank you American Airlines!); the baggage took 45 minutes to make it 4 gates over (gotta love DFW). Nevertheless, I caught the broadcast during the award presented by Lucy Liu and was so taken dumb by her gown that I didn’t even know what award she was even handing out. I have since done my obligatory research on what I missed and have purposefully tried to avoid reading other Best and Worst Dressed lists so I am not influenced by people who think they know better.

It appears that the color of the evening was citron/chartreuse/lemon/antifreeze/you get the idea. NOT an easy color to wear and attempted by women with varying skin tone and hair color.

Leslie Mann in Naeem Khan probably was the most successful of all the golden girls, but I also liked Julie Bowen’s boldness in her Monique Lhuillier mermaid cut gown.

Now for my favorites:
Lucy Liu in Versace. I know, I’ve already mentioned her, but the entire look was so amazingly fierce and powerful. It fit her perfectly and did not overwhelm her tiny frame.

Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhuillier. Normally I’m not a fan of the “mullet” dress, but this one was subtle enough that it worked. I love the crewel-like embroidery that gives it a vintage feel and the color works so well on her. I DO wish she would not have been so matchy-matchy with her Louboutins though.

Michelle Dockery in Louis Vuitton. NO, I don’t like her just because she’s on Downton Abbey. I thought the navy color was so unexpected and different for the Red Carpet and seriously, who doesn’t love an evening gown with pockets AND a giant bow in the back!

Nicole Kidman in Antonio Berardi. I know what you are thinking and you are right. It’s been a while since Nicole has impressed me on the Red Carpet, let alone succeeded in vacating her permanent spot on the Worst Dressed List. And I DO find it painful to look at her frozen Botox face for too long. BUT, she apparently found a new stylist because this dress has amazing detail, fits her perfectly, and definitely gets her back on the “Best” list.

Brooke Burke in Tony Ward. OK, yes, I know she has a killer body and can pretty much wear a burlap sack and look great. With white being such a hot color this year, she found a way to make it appropriate and not wedding-y. Stunning.

AAAAND for the not so fabulous. In the words of my nephew, “she tried.”

Edie Falco in Stella McCartney. Hate the Wonder Woman belt, hate the cut-in bodice, and it looks like they just ran out of navy fabric. Honestly, the whole look is too youthful for her. You can tell she has a great body, just not shown off in the right way.

Elisabeth Moss in Dolce & Gabbana. First of all, what in the world did she do to her hair?! I would have loved to have seen this dress on her with her auburn hair and see if that made it any better. Again, I’m not a fan of the mullet hemline, and the print with the ruffles and the peplum is just too overwhelming for her. Looks a bit like a can-can dancer.

Julianne Moore in Dior. *Sigh*, you noticed I didn’t include her up there with the other Golden Girls. There’s a reason. I think the number one rule for red-heads is to know what colors you can wear. I’m not sure it’s entirely the color that is so bad, it’s just that there is too much of it. The high neck and long sleeves don’t allow her beautiful skin tone to be seen. For the record, no, I don’t like her but yet see how I can come up with a compliment?

Jena Malone in J. Mendel. I do love the Grecian goddess look as much as anyone, but this cut in this color doesn’t seem to do anything for her. And she obviously has Angelina Jolie Leg Syndrome with this pose. It was a bit pandemic last night; Heidi Klum and Lara Spencer also suffered.

The last commentary is reserved for January Jones in Zac Posen. I am still on the fence on this dress. I love the avant-garde-ness of it. I can see it being the winner for the Avante Garde Challenge on Project Runway. It fits her well and looks great against her fair skin, but I do wish the makeup was not so severe. The dress has enough going for it, no need to compete for attention with the severe bun (again!) and dark eyes. A pop of color in her shoes would not have been bad, either.

What did you think? Questions? Comments? Challenges? Who did I miss? OK, off to watch Fashion Police. Until next week!

All photos courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. Individual photo credits available in file details.

Five Must-Haves for Fall 2012

18 Sep

Hurray for Fall! We have been busy transitioning the store to fall with great sweaters and jackets and coats coming out on to the floor. There are so many great pieces to choose from! I’ve also spent some time perusing the monstrous September fashion magazines and wanted to give y’all a list of Fall 2012 must-have items for your closet. Vintage or not, these are great staple pieces that can add a punch to your current wardrobe without investing a lot of money.

Leather for fall is way in and can be seen in everything from jackets to sheath dresses to shorts. Personally, we love these leather trenches and pairing them with sweater dresses, skinny pants and boots, or jeans and a chunky sweater.

Probably one of our most favorite items for fall because they can transform any simple top and bottom to a put-together, polished outfit. Some of our favorites this season are cotton velvet blazers, military inspired cropped jackets and nubby tweeds. Pair with a simple sheath dress, jeans, wide leg trousers, the possibilities are endless!

If you read our post on Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking, you’ll know that sequins are not just for evening. Sequin beaded sweaters are perfect for the office when you need something cozy and warm. A sequin shell can go under a great blazer for day and then take you straight to Happy Hour in the evening. Opulence and extravagance are front and center this fall so don’t be shy about adding some sparkle to your everyday look.










Embroidered/patterned bag:
Another big trend for fall is a patterned and embroidered bags. If you tend to dress simply or in solid colors, this is a great way to add some interest to your wardrobe. Embroidery is hot, even if you DO think it looks like it came out of Grandma’s closet. In our case, it probably did!


Yes, brooches are back. Worn in the hair, stuck on a handbag, or in the classic position on the chest of your favorite blazer, they are giving us another option to the ginormous statement necklaces that have dominated accessories over the last few seasons. Old school designers like Chanel as well as up and coming designers like DSQUARED2 both showed brooches in runway shows and we think that with so many fabulous pieces cluttering up jewelry boxes everywhere it’s time to pull them out and show them off!

Happy Shopping!

Princess Diana and her Fashion Legacy

10 Sep

Last week marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. I still to this day recall where I was when I heard the news. I guess this event was one of many of our generations “Kennedy assassination moments”. I was pregnant with my younger daughter, and we were at a family reunion in Dwight, KS over Labor Day Weekend. We stayed in my great-grandparent’s Victorian house and the bedroom we slept in was the master bedroom. It was Kansas, in the summer, there were only window units downstairs, and I’m 5 months pregnant. Sleeping was not a pleasant experience. I remember the smell of the house, the faded 50 year old wallpaper, and staring up at the countless number of flies that hung out on the 12 foot ceilings. I think there was maybe a floor fan to help move the air around, but when ceilings are 12 feet high, a 4 foot floor fan really doesn’t do much good.

Anyway, I remember hearing the news that Princess Diana had been killed and it seemed that all the events of the weekend stopped to watch the story unfold on TV. I had remembered watching the royal wedding (just to see the dress, of course) and wondered really what this beautiful 20 year old wanted to do with an ugly English Prince? I was only 8 years younger than she was, so to watch her style grow and evolve as she became more comfortable in her role as Princess was like watching an older cousin getting ready for prom and being anxious for the day when it would be my turn. Looking back, I’m a bit dismayed that she was in the prime of her fashion life in the 80s. Really, could there have been a more bizarre, extreme, loud, garish decade? But, she was able to take the best it had to offer, and give an entire generation of girls an example of class and dignity and style.

A look back at some of my favorite Princess Diana looks:

The wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel required more than 43 yards of silk and 10,000 pearl and mother of pearl sequins. It has a small 18K gold and diamond horseshoe sewn in to the dress for good luck.

1985 Silver lame Bruce Oldfield gown worn to a benefit fashion show. Bruce Oldfield was one of the rumored designers for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.

1985, at a London movie premier, Diana wore this Catherine Walker strapless pleated floral dress. Walker was one of Diana’s favorite designers, designing over 1000 garments for the Princess. Diana is buried in a black dress designed by Walker. Most recently, Walker designed Kate Middleton’s dresses for her North American tour and also designed the dress her mother wore to the wedding.

Diana became ever more bold in her fashion choices. Here, in 1990, she wore a houndstooth suit in contrasting black, white and red with matching red and black spectator pumps for the christening of her niece. Notice also the lack of hosiery. In the royal family, this was surely a fashion faux pas!

Diana was always very deliberate in her fashion choices when visiting foreign countries. She made a point to look tailored and classy, but always gave some kind of nod to the culture or history of the country she was visiting. Here, in a 1992 visit to Egypt, she chose an ivory safari inspired linen suit.

In June of 1997, just months before her tragic death, she attended an auction at Christie’s of some of her dresses. She wore a simple white linen dress with Chanel accessories. Always classy, always the personification of grace and elegance. Makes you wonder what wonderful things she would have been doing today.

Images courtesy of vogue UK

7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking

3 Sep

Labor Day. The end of summer, the last pool party of the season, and the official day to transition to a Fall wardrobe. That is, if you live in the Northeast in 1964. These days, especially down South, we still have plenty of summer to survive through before we break out the sweaters and boots. And we’re not partial to fashion rules to begin with, so before you get busy packing up your linen and white shoes for storage, read on for the 7 Fashion Rules You Should be Breaking.

#1. No White After Labor Day
I must admit, I was a stickler for this rule in my younger days. White shoes and bags were meant to be worn between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with the lone exception being Easter Sunday. My girls used to roll their eyes (imagine that) at me when Labor Day came and I would not allow them to wear their white sandals anymore.  I have to say, I’m still not a huge fan of white shoes, probably because there’s still that small part of me that really wants to follow that rule! White pants, jackets, skirts, etc however are a different story. A big trend that we saw this summer continues in to fall and that is head-to-toe white. It’s even more interesting when white is paired with ivory, beige, eggshell, or cream. It’s a sleek, contemporary, cool and effortless look that can transition you in to fall when paired with ankle booties or darker colored tights. And really, what’s classier than ivory cashmere?

#2. Shoes, Bag and Belt Must Match
The iconic 50’s woman with her black alligator shoes and matching bag is the epitome of classiness in my opinion. Fashion at that time was simple and elegant and there were rules that were NEVER broken, and if they were, you were clearly a hooker and should never be seen in public. Well, turn on that red light, because we are clearly shattering this rule to pieces. I’m not even sure there are any guidelines to this question of accessories other than they should just “go”. A contrast bag, shoe or belt can give an otherwise simple outfit a pop of interest. I would avoid going totally 80s however with a different bright colored bag, shoe and belt in the same outfit. That might get you a fashion citation. We are not saying never match bags/belt/shoes, but don’t be afraid not to!

#3. Don’t Mix Black with Brown or Navy
OK, yes, they are all neutrals and in Fashion 101, you were taught to combine a neutral with a color to form the basis of an outfit. Now it’s time to go to Fashion Graduate School and experiment with combining neutrals. We have no problem pairing any of the above colors with white or ivory, but because they are all dark, it scares us a little to pair them together. Your favorite LBD can be made a bit more casual by pairing with brown boots. Or, dress up a navy suit with fierce black satin stilettos. One of the most favorite dresses we ever had at the store was a brown lace dress accented with a black belt. Probably very fashion forward at the time, but elegant and timeless nonetheless. And, because they ARE all neutrals, you can live on the fashion edge by throwing another color in to the mix. A black pencil skirt paired with a brown silk blouse and chartreuse pumps will definitely make people take a second glance. Ooh, I might have to try that!

#4. Don’t Mix Metals
As in your jewelry. This rule has probably been one of the easier ones for people to break over the last few years. Jewelry is such a personal thing for people to wear, they just tend to wear what they love regardless of metal tones. And honestly, that’s the way it should be.  Jewelry is usually the first sign of a person’s personality, and because of that, is rarely is ever judged by “Fashion Police”. Yes, it is possible to go overboard at formal occasions; we’ve all seen the Red Carpet Divas so overloaded in their loaner Harry Winston jewels that they can barely get the arm up to wave. But in every day wear, wear what you love, mix and match, make a statement and be bold about it!

#5. Canadian Tuxedos are a No No
I was not familiar with the reference to Canadian Tuxedo until I started researching for the blog. Apparently, the term was made popular in the movie Super Troopers when a Sergeant wears jeans and a denim jacket. Still not sure what denim has to do with Canada, but denim, like black, navy, brown and white are neutrals, and therefore can follow the same rules as you would when wearing any other outfit of the same color. Mix hues, mix textures, add a visual interest in a scarf or belt or killer boots.  A dark denim shirt with super faded jeans is chic and unexpected. Pair with flat sandals for a casual look or fierce black spiked booties for a night out. Likewise, a denim skirt and tailored jacket is a great suit alternative for the workplace and could even be closer to the same color value.

#6. No Tights or Socks with Open Toe Shoes
Now, hold your horses. I know what y’all are thinking. But before you get your knickers in a knot, notice I said tights or socks; NOT pantyhose. Pantyhose with open toe shoes will now and forever be a fashion faux pas. Just don’t do it. Notice also I said open toe shoes; NOT sandals. Every so often, we do see socks or tights on the runway with sandals and in my opinion it takes a very brave person to pull that look off. If you are so bold, then by all means, go for it. For the rest of us, however, socks or tights worn with peeptoe booties , pumps or wedges are a great way to wear extend the life of those shoes that you might only wear in spring and fall. There are so many fun colors and patterns emerging in hosiery that deserve to be shown off. Plus, an extra bonus is that you don’t have to have your pedicure in tip top shape!

#7. Sequins are Only for Evening or Holiday
We saw this trend emerge several years ago, and it just continues to build steam. So, if you are late to the party (haha!) never fear, it’s not too late to catch up. I see this trend as a protest almost to how casual our dress has become over the last few decades. Workplaces have become more casual, people don’t dress up to go to concerts or other events as much, jeans at least in Texas, have become appropriate to wear just about anywhere. In addition, our busy lives have made it so that we are often running from work to evening events with no time to change clothes in between. Outfits that can take us from day to evening with very simple modifications are must haves in today’s world. As with every trend though, moderation is everything. That green sequin Ariel disco dress we posted a few weeks ago would probably not go over too well in your office. But don’t be afraid to show a little shine underneath a blazer or cardigan.

Happy Fall Everyone!
Some images courtesy of Pinterest: Nina Garcia and Harper’s Bazaar