I was just having a conversation with a friend yesterday about Etsy. We chatted how when it first came out, it seemed more underground with just DIY-type items and then it suddenly grew into this juggernaut where you could basically find anything and everything! And what’s more, a lot of the stores are QUALITY.
Case in point…this “bigger is better” leather tote from Patkas. This is the perfect weekender bag and a must have for me.
(Thanks to bleachblack for the heads up on this!)
So I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. Truth be told, I just hadn’t felt inspired and was starting to look at this blog as more work than pleasure. And that should never be the case. I was thinking I needed to post things just for the sake of posting, and I hate that feeling. I want to share things with you guys that actually excites me and gets my blood level rising, which is why our momentary breakup was necessary. Think of it like a relationship—you spend some time apart to see if you ever really connected in the first place. If you miss them, then when you reunite it’s on fire. If you didn’t even realize they were gone, well…lesson learned.
For me, I missed you like crazy! And my time away has been spent doing tons of shit that I’m proud of and excited about! I feel like the end of the year is a good time for reexamining my choices—both in my professional and personal life. The cliché “out with the old, in with the new” seems fitting here. I’m too old to still be dwelling on past mistakes and what ifs. And I’m way too old to not have a solid direction of where I want to go. I think the picture is getting clearer and hopefully in the new year, things will just…click.
But for now, I’m at a happy place. And it’s time to get to tumblin’.
Emma Swan arms appreciation post
We waited..and we waited..and finally it’s here. Slimane’s debut for Saint Laurent. He recreated their logo, launched a new website, and last night revealed the new look.
And it was everything I hoped for, and more! Dark romanticism, edge, with hints of 70’s flare, all done in a wearable way.
Highly coveting the floor-sweeping/full-sleeve dresses with the plunging neckline. Although what girl couldn’t use a pair of black slender pants and Saint Laurent pumps, with a wide-brimmed hat thrown in for good measure?
Images via style.com
You never disappoint.
Images via fabsugar.com
My top looks from last night’s Emmys.
Julianne Moore in Dior. Yellow gown with red hair? Perfection!
Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Lhillier. With her pixie cut, this was just stunning.
Leslie Mann in Naeem Khan. With the accessories, beaded/almost-sheer bodice and top knot, this totally works.
Kristen Wiig in Balenciaga. This girl loves her nude colors but she nails it. Love it!
Portia de Rossi in Valentino. I think I’m in the minority on this one. Most would call this a bust and yes, the sheer and nude could be a deadly combination but I think she pulls it off brilliantly.
Cause in this life, you must find something to live for
Cause when the darkness comes crawling
You go back to where you were before
Cause this life is as fragile as a dream
And nothing is ever really as it seems
It’s very rare when you stumble upon a designer that literally embodies you. Someone that captures everything that you’re about and can morph that essence into timeless and beautifully crafted garments.
Bela Shehu, the face behind NINO brand, is that person. Not only is she incredibly warm and welcoming (with an adorable and covetable accent!)—she is incredibly talented.
I had the amazing opportunity to meet her and experience the clothes first-hand, and I can honestly say that from the first piece I was hooked. Ask any friend of mine and they will tell you that I fall on the opposite side of the spectrum when it comes to girly attire. I have never been one for bold colors or dramatic floral prints. I say this while wearing my signature denim with a black leather jacket and heels (the heels being the only spot of color on an otherwise muted canvas!)
Now don’t get me wrong— I fully embrace my girly side and welcome any chance to put on an outfit that reflects a sense of femininity; but I do so in a way that is still somewhat raw and edgy. I enjoy clothes that are not only sleek and tailored but that have life and can be redefined in a myriad of ways. Sadly, I don’t have the bank account of a celebrity so the concept of only wearing an outfit once is something I cannot quite grasp. And to be honest, it’s not something that appeals to me anyway. Why buy something beautiful only to discard it after one use?
Here is where Bela gets it right. NINO is a brand I can relate to because it defies conformity and creates garments that are not only meticulously and expertly crafted, but done so in a way that is meant to push the boundaries of design. Take for instance a poncho that I tried on—a deep navy blue in the softest of materials with only a thin leather detail in the middle. With the ties at the side, you can convert it to a dress or leave it loose (it looked amazing when paired over jeans!) It’s this idea of reinventing the piece that I was drawn to. Each time you wear it, you can choose to reinterpret it how you wish.
From the billowy jackets with incredible architectural details to the gorgeous coats in lush fabrics, everything in this collection fit perfectly with my aesthetic. (It’s been a week since I was at their studio and I am STILL dreaming of this “cocoon” coat in the most perfect gray hue!) Done in colors that are muted and minimal, all the pieces can perfectly complement any outfit. I happened to have worn a white linen dress that day—fitting considering that each piece I got to try on was the perfect marriage!
What’s also amazing about NINO is not only it’s functionality but it’s ability to border that fine line between men and women apparel. Many of the shirts and tunics I saw would not only look great on women but also men. Bela’s partner, Drew, was such a great sport and tried on multiple pieces to show us how they fit on the male form.
I left the studio with an overwhelming sense of delight. I had finally come across a label that I believe was bringing something new to the table. I can’t wait to see NINO continue to evolve.
Definitely one to watch! Learn more at ninobrand.com, and if you’re ever in Philly I highly recommend scoping it out in person.
above: Katherine shirt in pinstripe chambray, Lux robe in silk (also available in wool for Fall/Winter), and the two toned Zoe blouse. Images courtesy the lovely Bela.
Known for the usual top-secret “no photos allowed” nature of his shows, Tom Ford’s camp has released some teaser images of his recent show in London. Pretty killer, right?
The theme being “perversity and chastity.”
In my book Tom can do no wrong. He gets the female body and I’m itching to see the rest of the collection.
Speaking of Tom—Gwyneth in that Tom Ford white dress at the Obama fundraiser? Amazing!
Images via fashionista.
As someone who can barely sew a button (no, really. My skills extend to sewing one on half-heartedly using the wrong color thread!) I am always blown away when I meet designers who seem to create art with their garments.
I think a common misconception is that quality designs and innovative/forward-thinking designers can only be located in “fashion capitals” like New York, London, Milan and Paris. Now don’t get me wrong. I work in the fashion industry and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how influential these locations are in bringing fashion trends to the forefront. I would also be lying if I said I wasn’t religiously reading WWD or style.com to see what the latest “it” item is for the Spring/Summer 2013 season.
However, I think it’s crucial to recognize that fashion exists locally too—even as close as a 1.5 hour train ride. Which is why I was thrilled to go to Philly and experience the Philadelphia Collection. As my friend put it, “it’s basically Fashion’s Night Out on steroids.” And that’s putting it mildly! For the brief time I was there (editor’s note: must stay longer next time), I was introduced to emerging designers, boutique owners, textile manufacturers, fashion illustrators, and fashion entrepreneurs.
The goal of the Philadelphia Collection is to unite all facets of fashion: from the retailers to the design schools and of course, the shoppers. And they are succeeding! Forbes listed Philadelphia as one of the best places to shop in the U.S and I’m not surprised. With stores like Joan Shepp and Boyd’s and beautifully curated boutiques like Knit Wit, Hylo (more on their collaboration with NINObrand tomorrow), SA VA, Town Home, Kimberly and Adresse, I challenge you to walk away empty-handed. Each one delivers a finely edited collection of designer pieces that can work for any and all style preferences; many items being manufactured locally.
Whether you’re in the mood for strolling down 3rd street or feel like scoring some vintage gems (Decades Vintage resulted in a Badgley Mischka gown for a mere $30!) Philly really does deliver the goods.
What the Philadelphia Collection also delivers is support to emerging designers. I had the pleasure of going behind the scenes of the Philadelphia Collection’s Fashion Incubator which is housed in Macy’s at Center City. I have to say, when I first heard about it, I thought it was the coolest idea but actually seeing it up and running was amazing. The concept is simple—take 4 designers that have already graduated and have had their own business for three years or less, and offer guidance in the way of mentors and a studio space to create their designs. Ok, maybe the concept is simple but the execution requires a lot of support from the community. Lawyers, marketing managers, and business experts have all given their time to guide the emerging designers to a fruitful career. I cannot stress how important this is. So often these days, designers fall short of their dreams because they don’t have the business knowledge needed to succeed. They have the skills for impeccable designs but without someone to help market that and assist with the business aspects, it can pose quite a challenge. Which is why the Fashion Incubator is such a genius idea. I got to meet with the designers who will be doing a one-year residency at the Incubator. All are so talented and it was inspiring to hear their journey into the fashion world. I walked away feeling excited (and with a profound desire to perfect my button-sewing skills!)
Combine Philly’s fashion forwardness with their culinary delights (take Parc and Barclay Prime for example) and you have a winning combination. So if you’re itching to discover new designers, a myriad of shopping experiences, and some killer cuisine, then forego the trip to Milan and try sampling what Philly has to offer.
Learn more at http://thephiladelphiacollection.org/
I, for one, am sold!
Pics from top to bottom: Philly’s beautiful City Hall; Me (left) with famed and incredibly sweet Fashion Illustrator Bil Donovan at the launch party for his book, Birds of a Feather, and my colleague Amber; Boyd’s men’s department which houses their own tailor; my outfit on day 2; the talented faces behind this years Fashion Incubator; snippets from each of the collections; behind the scenes of the incubator.
Metallics. Color. Sheen. Structured Jackets. Hot Pants. Luxe Leathers. Clear Handbags.
I’ve never been one to fully embrace color, but the latest collection by Burberry has me reconsidering my palette.
I think that pink ombre trench might just be the thing to make me change my mind.
Images via style.com