Friday, September 5, 2014

Fashion Trending...My Favorite Trends for Fall '14!

Pantone Fashion Color Report - Fall '14 Runway
Obviously there are numerous lists covering fashion trends for Fall each year so let's just say I've selected my very favorite.

Fall is my favorite time of year as it relates to wardrobe.  For those of us that live in the Midwest, it seems like a short window, but we get the cooler weather days, falling leaves and some warmer days as we'd refer to as Indian summer.  I'll take them all! I only wish that we could swap that extra month of Winter and stick it into Fall!  I really love classic trends so swapping out warm weather months to Fall clothing is one of those things I get excited to do.  Endless sweaters, pea coats, tweeds in either pants or jackets are just a few of those classics I love year after year.  But this Fall/Winter season brings some unexpected surprises with so many nods to classic and wearable clothing.

Color Solutions International - Fall '14 FASHION
Color planning and inspirations range from brights to soft neutrals.  The Pantone Colors lean bright.  I also check the Color Solutions International "SNOOPS"which categories color themes from the runway as following for both men and women Fall/Winter '14:
with radiant orchid being my favorite.
  • Brights
  • Highlighter Brights
  • Jewels
  • Industrials
  • Neutrals
  • Romantics
  • Soft
So with a little planning of your older classics and some in with the new, it will be Fall fashion time before you know it. The neutrals are beautiful and I think pulling in a combination of both bright and neutrals will be a refreshing change from my typical Fall colors in my wardrobe.

My Favorite Trends for Fall/Winter 2014:

1. Gray is the New Black
photo through Harper's Bazaar
On the street with Bill Cunningham (NY), "Gray is the new black."
For those that don't know, Bill Cunningham is a revered fashion photographer who captures trends from runway shows to the streets of New York City. I love this particular street video on gray because it is everywhere! I don't think I'll ever tire of having black as a go to color in my wardrobe, but it is great to see gray so prevalent particularly in NYC where so many people also turn to black this time of year!  Here are some of his great fashion videos through the New York Times online.

2.  Classic Coats
Elle's Top 75 Best Coats from NY Fashion Week - Fall'14
A beautiful coat is an asset to any Fall wardrobe and frankly, I'd rather invest in one that is classic both in style in color so you may get many years out of it.  Camel coats are always a good choice and neutral tan/camel color will move from season to season.  Elle has a great list of the top 75 coats from NY fashion week with everything from long camel coats to a beautiful wrap coat with brighter colors woven in.  I'd definitely recommend a more neutral color is you don't want to invest in more than one coat.  The key trend for style this season is all about the wrap coat.

2.  More Than Just Sweaters - Wearable, Soft Knits
Another trend from Elle's short list previewed knits being more than just a sweater.  Consider knit 
Derek Lam/Photo through Harper's Bazaar
coats, pants and multiple layers of knits on for one outfit.  I personally love this one not only for the comfort, but it takes knits to a whole new level of style; which is not uncomfortable or stodgy.  I love Derek Lam's cool, minimalist vibe, sometimes the trend actually represents the designer in so many ways.  I love the layering of these pieces, the softness and the easiness of the cut.  This is a trend that just about everyone can take on with minimal investment.  

3.  Sneakers
Don Ashby/FirstView (photo credit)
Huffington Post
Vans Slip On for J. Crew
Sneakers are a popular staple this Fall; from the runway to retail.  Chanel has shown them and also DKNY.  I love this and J. Crew's "borrowed from the boys" look has come full circle.  I hope this trend sticks around so our high-heeled feet can take a rest! Vans for J. Crew offers this sleek slip ons, but they are currently backordered so you can go online and click your size to see the estimate time for availability.  I personally like the minimalist look for sneakers unless I'm heading to the gym!

4.  Mod - the 60s Return
Without showing my age ;), mod is back and I love it from cropped dresses and skirts to wildly graphic colors!  Mod not only popped up on the NY runway, but European as well. featured this now hip look for Fall and not just with the mid/mini skirt, but the over the knee boots as well.  I can see mixing and matching with this trend, but personally wouldn't go with a full-on 60's look. I do love the bright colors that are showing up this season.

5.  Boots, boots and more boots!
I love that this Fall/Winter brings on boots in every shape, heel height, color; my personal favs for this season are over the knee.  I'd love a shiny black patent tall boot to dress up any outfit.

And boots look great on all women so you really can't go wrong.  My only recommendation if you are planning to make an investment for designer boots, go to a to where they have been popping up at a discounted price.

6. It's All in the Details
This season brings beautiful dresses, skirts and
Image from
even coats with very ornate beading, sequins, threading - and married with amazing jewel-tones.  These are definitely investment pieces and very trendy, but like all trends, it will come 'round again so keep these luxuries for the long-haul.  This gorgeous 
Mary Katrantzou Fall/Winter 2014 piece is just stunning.

And to the left is another Katrantzou number in an evening gown length.  This one is almost too beautiful to take out of the house! It has a slightly bohemian vibe and her work is just so beautiful and intricate.

image from
7. The Suit
Dior image by Dan/Corinna Lecca
This is a great season to update a suit.  And with gray being the new black, I would consider this as well.  High-end, Giorgio Armani presented what I would describe as a more modern suit, but still has the wear of a classic.  The fuller pant with single button jackets are beautiful.  I always love a beautiful suit and this one by Armani has a femininity to it, less structured, softer fabrics.

The Dior suit is beautiful, almost has a sheen to it.  The great thing with each of these suits is being able to wear a wilder accessory be it a handbag or shoes.

8.  Rich Tapestry
Image by Dan/Corinna Lecca
We are seeing a lot of tapestry whether it is in a skirt, blouse, jacket or all three together.  I purchased a gorgeous tapestry coat several years ago through Nordstrom.  At that time I received so many compliments so I will be pulling that beauty again!  It is another one of those trends with so much detail.  I love this Etro ensemble and the rich burgundy is amazing.  I love that this is head to toe, but each piece could be paired into different outfits.

9.  Anything Goes
I am a Michael Kors fan and he followed the Fall trends and orchestrated them beautifully without being too ornate.  This knit sweater, unstructured and loose pant along with it all being monochromatic gray! It's a triple play and I think Kor's aesthetic is easy, but sophisticated. This collection has to be pretty appealing to a variety of women.

10. Expecting the Unexpected
The color wheel takes some of the most dramatic offerings I've seen in awhile, such as pink.  I personally love pink with a very soft hue.  This Valentino dress is so feminine and girly to which I'd never expect for Fall! And pairing it with a boot no less!  This is totally monochromatic without feeling "matchy, matchy!"

So many choices, so many different color palettes, so many cuts from clean lines to wild shearling coats!  I really like that so many of these design houses are adding a practicality to fashion so it is more wearable to the average woman.  Like any season, decide which trends you are missing or where you can add without blowing the bank.  If you're going for the wild, shearling coat then cheers to you, but I think my closet might only have one - forever!

Cheers to all and please share your favorite hits and misses!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana in Capri - Spectacular Imagery Emerges Through Social Media

Nothing says summer like Dolce & Gabbana and if you were part of the lucky group of editors, high rollers or buyers, then you were whisked away to a "secret Cove off the Italian island" of Capri where you got a private viewing of what the luxury fashion house calls "Alta Moda" as part of the "haute couture collection", from I often dream of Capri or others that may look similarly, though they don't compare to this beautiful refuge of rocks, crashing waves and jet-setting celebrities.  So, I'm not surprised D&G picked this magical island to preview such luxury in their haute couture show.  

Huff Post online also said that their Capri Fashion Show "was even stunning on Twitter." @voguemagazine That @dolcegabbana show was absolutely enchanted:  @hamishbowles.  And enchanted it was with bold celebratory colors fit for a queen where the models dramatic entrance was topped with a crown as shown left.

This coastal wonderland would seem fitting with each detail carefully arrayed on floral fabrics only bold enough to take note against Capri's beauty.

I also love the floral accessories from head to toe with draping earrings and stunning white peonies against a model's cheek (right).

Other social feeds such as Instagram boasted the all Italy-themed looks. Harper's Bazaar UK shared this gorgeous backdrop with "Alta Moda" extending into the boat. This kind of show really transports the viewer into something special. Maybe it is the feel of old Italy and definitely grand with color and design; something only Dolce & Gabbana can do so dramatically.

French Vogue captured @Nadja Bender in @dolcegabbana #AltaModa show. The photos on Twitter almost reflect the graininess one would expect to see with such a scene and Italian-esque models. The detail across the sleeves of this red striped dress are stunning; each applied with vision and clarity to catch the beauty of some of the world's most beautiful flowers.

One thing is for sure, most of us would never be near such a fashion event, but the social media coverage spawned remarkable photos of this Capri Runway show and they are nothing short of spectacular. I felt, if even for a moment that I was there in Italy and in all its glory.


Friday, June 27, 2014

CFDA/Vogue "Fashion Fund" Award Recipients -

Vogue's Mark Holgate and Jenna Lyons (um, hum - J. Crew) hosting
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award Recipients
"Perfect Pairings" by Edward Barsamian and
photographed by Hannah Thomson
The 2013  CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was iso great to watch on the Ovation network.  Somewhere along the way I missed the crucial finish line covered in last couple episodes so not sure what happened on that end, but thank God for social media! 

2013 Winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell
Osborne, Public School
I love how these designers mixed in representing fashion clothing and/or across accessories are assigned to meet with some of the industries best and brightest obviously including Anna Wintour, DVF and this year Jenna Lyons was selected as one of the judges.  You can go to to see the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Video Series/episodes.
Women's Wear by Public School
2013 Winners Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne of Public School are "too cool for school!" and I mean that in the best way possible.  The clean, almost architectural lines are impeccable - see their first Women's Wear Collections. I love the edginess which almost makes traditional corporate wear a thing of the past.  I would at least say, "let's not go back" as there is a new, inventive, edgy and fresh approach to Women's Wear in town! There is a major twist to say the least.  I would have thoroughly loved to wear some of these outfits during my ad agency days. Check out their site at

The Fashion Fund has really become the launch pad for major designers - Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Rag & Bone and so many more talents have come up through the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund ranks. Every major designer within the past 10 years has likely gone through this program.  Anna Wintour has provided the kind of support a designer could only previously dream about.  To make it to this prestigious contest - hundreds of designers apply and only 10 are selected to compete in the Fashion Fund.  This year (2013) Jenna Lyons was one of the prestigious judges that not only mentored these designers, but gave them real life interpretations of how their pieces may or may not be relevant to consumers.

This particular season was fun to watch because for the most part they were all pretty green, meaning that they were not yet forged ahead as brands.  I love to see the process evolving from each of the designers whether they are a pair designing men's clothing or a designer representing jewelry which can be very difficult to break through from an accessories standpoint.

2013 Runner Up Marc Alary
Photo: Courtesy of J. Crew
Marc Alary for J. Crew Kissing Birds
On June 13th in NYC,  there was a cocktail reception for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Award Recipients.  As I noted above, Jenna Lyons was a host so it was neat seeing her not only judging throughout the process, but also again in the final stages of announcing the winners.  J. Crew collaborates with award recipients and then their product is featured in their StyleGuide, in store and of course online.
For example, 2013 runner-up Marc Alary's enchanting little jewelry pieces were favorites of mine and I purchased the 'Kissing Birds' bracelet through J. Crew.  I find his pieces to represent a little whimsy, but not so much - a little romantic too.

This competition prepares them for how they will present for Fashion Week.  They get that first rush in the spotlight and present to the judges and the people that make the fashion industry tick.  These talented designers are fortunate to get the exposure to the most important people in this industry and they get raw feedback through the FashionFund.  It is amazing to see them transform throughout the process.  They are all brilliant.
2013 Runner Up
Juan Carlos Obando

See the "10 Things You Will Want To Buy From the New CVFF x J. Crew Collaborations: Public School, Marc Alary, and Juan Carlos Obando" by Alessandra Codinha

I adore the fluidity of Juan Carlos Obando's work who was also a 2013 runner up.  The movement and draping of his work seem romantic, but also contemporary. His work is sensual and let's face it, all women want to feel beautiful in there clothing. Obando's work is the pinnacle of femininity.

Whether you are an artist, a fashion enthusiast, will love the competition and coverage of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.  Over the last ten years, this competition has set the course for designers to take flight in one of the hardest industries to break through, period.

And to this I say, "Cheers to you all!"

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

J. Crew 2014 Fall/Winter - New York Fashion Week...

J. Crew 2014 Fall/Winter Fashion Week in New York.

Join Jenna & co. backstage for the inspiration driving the 2014 Fall/Winter collection.  I love J. Crew's continued use of tweed intertwined with little sparkle.  Loving neoprene under skirts and such giving them unique shape.  J. Crew's collaboration with Sophie Webster brings heels that look like beautiful floral paintings.  I like how J. Crew reinvigorates denim in jeans, jackets and shirts.  I'm excited about the collection overall.  J. Crew seems to be weaving their classic fabrics giving them a modern spin.

What are your favorite looks or themes?


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jenna Lyons on HBO's Girls - Love Lena Dunham!

Jenna Lyons has a cameo appearance in three episodes on HBO's 3rd season of Girls as GQ's sharp-tongued creative director. She takes Hannah down a few notches and the whole dynamic is brilliant! Love Lena Dunham & Jenna Lyons. This is a win win for sure!

Jenna was interviewed by and says "I'm probably Lena Dunham's biggest fan, from the moment I saw Tiny Furniture, and I followed her. She is probably one of the most groundbreaking women of today. What's so interesting and incredible is that the girl is 27 years old. She's in her third season of an award-winning show. I'm feeling really not so great about myself!"

I couldn't agree more myself. Funny stuff!!  The only change I'd make to the above is that "I am probably Lena Dunhams biggest fan!"


Sunday, January 19, 2014

"Butterfly" Lashes!

For my fellow beauty product mavens, I wanted to post a quick review on a new mascara I purchased which is absolutely phenomenal.  I'll start by saying that I've been a faithful Maybelline Great Lash user for as long as I can remember.  I also love L'oreal's original Voluminous mascara.  These mascaras continually rank at the top of best beauty products.

I'll admit that the color of the packaging grabbed my attention to start with.  So, I bought a new mascara by L'oreal with no expectation or belief that my lashes would be as beautiful as butterfly wings!  It is called Voluminous Butterfly and the color is Black/Brown 869.

This mascara gives amazing length with absolutely no clumping, flaking and/or smudging and you can literally grab each lash with this brush which is so different than the average straight brushes.  The brush is described as "wing tip" and that is what makes it so great.

L'oreal has developed an asymmetrical wing tip brush with
flexible arches which helps to reach the outer edges of your
lashes.  The effect are butterfly effect lashes with "fringe that flutters."  They create the effect of perfectly placed lashes from top to bottom and as the packaging states, "False Lash Wings" and it works better than your best falsies.

It is about $6-$8 and worth every penny.  It performs better than some of my $30 mascaras.  Try it! I promise that you will love this one.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

SJP, The New Collection is Coming to Selected Nordstrom Stores and Online February 28th! Will There Be "Must-Haves?"

Photo taken from
Let me start by saying that in my mind, there is no closer imitation to art than Sarah Jessica Parker is to her role in Carrie Bradshaw.  Many of us fashionistas still watch to see what SJP will pick to wear from one event to the next.  So it goes without saying that her New Collection "SJP" by Sarah Jessica Parker is highly anticipated and will debut at selected Nordstrom stores and on February 28th!  I often confuse the character with what her real life style really is.  Are there similarities? Does SJP take both into consideration for The Collection?

Photo taken from Nordstrom's Blog, The Thread.
I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement until I heard these shoes will range somewhere starting around $200 up to $600; your reaction may or may not have been similar, but I had to scratch my head in deciphering whether or not I would pay this much for a SJP shoe by the real Sarah Jessica Parker verses a Manolo or Choo.  SJP has a fashion perspective and sense of style that could circle me times 1000; but, when I think of many of the great shoemakers who started in their little cobbler shops and worked their way up until they earned the price tag and respect as great shoe designers, I am not envisioning her name (at least not yet).  So let's clarify - SJP is designing her new collection of shoes, handbags, etc. with the support of George Malkemus, president of Manolo Blahnik USA and launching them in selected Nordstroms.  So with that being said, I am getting a better picture of success, particularly with Malkemus and MB USA supporting her vision.  Will SJP be able to compete with top shoes and accessories designers just because she played a fashionista and lives a real life filled with much style?  I am not yet convinced although she seems to be off to the races.

I am interested in hearing your point of views on this topic.  Part of me expects they will be of great quality because it is SJP, but there is also a part of me that says, really? Would I? They will be Italian-made just like J. Crew swears to a certain quality that only Italian shoemakers can provide. I say this with a smidgen of tongue and cheek.  I was a little disappointed to see that once again we are producing products from other countries because of their reputation for excellence.  How about designing and producing them in New York or Colorado, just sayin'.

The SJP Collection also seeks to provide other wardrobe must-haves such as trench coats?  I am very interested about this, probably more so than the shoes.  Sarah Jessica Parker says, "At long last I am able to share the news of my coming shoe collection and my partnership with Nordstrom in a more official way.  When I initially met with George Malkemus to discuss the idea of a shoe line, one of  the first things I said to him was that Nordstrom was my dream retailer.  And it seems some dreams do come true," says the actress and designer. Well, I agree with her in that Nordstrom would be my dream retailer as well.   This quote was taken from Nordstrom's Blog, The Thread.
From Nordstrom's Blog, The Thread: A Polished PairMalkemus tapped Parker for a shoe collaboration with Manolo Blahnik in 2011 on a reinvention of the coveted ‘Carolyne’ style.

As I sit and ponder about what and who this SJP Collection will be most like, I wonder whether it will incorporate some of the things we loved most about her character Carrie Bradshaw; she often had an eclectic style, sometimes classic and she always seemed to find several hundred dollars hiding around or just charging for a pair of Manolo's when the emotional need came upon her!  Her off-screen style sense at least in my eyes ranges from mommy, jeans and tee to highly fashionable at the Met.  I would say that my style leans toward the character Carrie so it will be interesting to see the female target audience they are most hoping to reach.  Selling at Nordstrom at least initially would lead me to believe this Collection is targeted a bit more upscale possibly alienating many women from purchasing the line.

I am fascinated that Sarah Jessica Parker is taking such a brave leap, again.  Do you all remember the low cost line she initially launched called "Bitten" for discount sportswear retailer Steve and Barry's?
I remember seeing SJP on a morning show wearing these clothes making us all feel like we could look great with pieces all under $19.95.  Something tells me that this SJP venture is a whole new ballgame.  This "Bitten" line was back in 2007 so thankfully we have had time to forget this.  However, the fashion industry was curious during this time whether or not the pieces were from SJP's style or Patricia Fields, who adoring fans of Sex and The City came to know as SATC's successful and unique stylist (still is!).

So again, will this Collection be true SJP, Carrie or too Manolo? Frankly, if I were to purchase upscale Italian pumps, I would go straight to the Manolo source.  I might suggest that landing Nordstroms with price points somewhere in the middle range of Manolo (or slightly less), puts this line smack dab in the MIDDLE.  Hopefully this will not hinder the overall quality.

As Nordstrom heads their post about the SJP Collection, "I need, I want, I will slip on a pair of SJPs."?  I am fairly sure there will be major buzz at least initially, but how Sarah Jessica Parker takes SJP with consideration to her true style both on and off screen into a real life collection remains to be seen.  But hey, Carrie would have given it a major go, wouldn't she have?!

Check out Refinery29 who also covers the SJP's shoe collection featuring a full-length video from The Coveteur as well.  You might get a better sense of why and what is inspiring Sarah Jessica Parker, the real person! :)