Archive for February, 2012

Work the fashion look like a pro with Ted Baker

Paris Fashion Week comes first, then there’s New York, London and the rest of the world. Catwalk madness is well under way, with the world’s hottest designers finally unveiling their creations for the seasons ahead.

However, where the fashion stakes are at their highest is amongst the celebrities, stylists, bloggers and off-duty models that attend these exhibitions. Fantastic for fashion inspiration, the likes of Olivia Palermo, Pixie Geldof and Sarah Jessica Parker are attending parties and brand events, choosing dressy numbers for exclusive soirées, while sticking to casual chic for anything from a daytime fashion party to a star-studded luncheon.

In the fashion game, there are two ways to go when attending one of these shows. There are some, like Vogue editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo, who always go for a dazzling dress, outlandish feathers and colourful appliqués, or perhaps even an impractical statement hat teamed with a pair of uncomfortable yet super stylish shoes.

The other way to go is to channel effortless chic like the so-called It Girls do, employing the girl-next-door-look. Alexa Chung does this masterfully, choosing a pretty yet comfortable look, like a vintage tea dress, and dressing it up to the nines with the most coveted handbag of the moment.

ted baker accessories

To replicate this subtle yet glamorous take, Ted Baker has a range of accessories that are perfect to team with any outfit. The brand’s bracelet watches are bang on trend for women and definitely something Alexa would wear. Team the watch with a masculine shirt, some wide palazzo trousers and a dash of red lipstick so the entire outfit screams effortless glam. Ted Baker bag at Very.co.uk can also add a touch of class to any ensemble. A fun clutch is easy to team with just about anything, whether it’s a cocktail dress or a trouser suit. A red patent tote can be paired with a retro polka dot dress in blue, or with a casual classic ensemble of wide leg jeans and a white tee. Investing in good accessories is the key to a fantastic wardrobe. It really is easy to make a catwalk out of your local high street: the clothes can be minimalist, casual or downright dressy, but the outfit is only compete with the perfect accessory.

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WordPresser Documents Her Mission to Overcome Agoraphobia

For nearly thirty years, ArLynn Presser avoided leaving her neighborhood in Winnetka, Illinois, as she would experience debilitating anxiety and panic attacks when visiting public places and interacting with people outside her home.

But once she turned fifty, the romance writer decided that she was tired of living in isolation, and ready to face her greatest fear. On December 31, 2010 she started a blog at ArLynnPresser.WordPress.com and wrote in her first post, “My New Year’s resolution is to meet every Facebook friend I have.”

And so she spent 2011 visiting friends all over the world (and meeting some for the very first time). Her son Joseph accompanied her on the journey, recording video clips for ArLynn to share on her blog, which she’s been updating regularly since announcing her resolution on New Year’s Eve 2011. By the end of the year she had been to 13 different countries and met with 292 of the 325 friends she had as of January 1, 2011.

“Without WordPress.com, this project wouldn’t have happened,” she says. We set up an interview with ArLynn to learn more about the role that blogging played in her mission to face her agoraphobia. Here’s what she had to say:

Had you ever blogged before New Year’s Eve 2011? Why did you choose WordPress.com to share your resolution?

ArLynn: I had never blogged. I wasn’t sure I had anything to say. And I’m not sure blogging necessarily was about speaking to an audience so much as me creating a record of my experience. I chose WordPress.com because it was easy to use and allowed for customization.

What role did your blog play in the project?

ArLynn: It was absolutely vital. It gave me the discipline to say, “I will blog about every friend and publish posts nearly every day.” So that kept me moving forward. I could have made a diary of the project using Facebook or Twitter, but that would not have allowed for the kind of reflection that comes with blogging. A blog requires me to think about what I’ve done, what I’m going to do, and what I’m going to write.

How did it feel to put yourself “out there” on your blog for the world to see? What was the actual writing process like?

ArLynn: It took me all day today just to figure out how to encapsulate my experience with Facebook friend #298. I like to bring out the best parts in people I meet so I really choose my words carefully. As for putting myself out in the world, I think the only thing we can do is embrace being vulnerable and hopelessly flawed. I’ve learned to say, “Sure, I’m a total screw-up, but I accept it. If you want to read about it, fine by me.” I’m now fifty-one years old so it’s time for me to be liberated from worrying about what others think of me.

What advice do you have for people who are thinking about using a WordPress.com blog as a tool to help them achieve their goals?

ArLynn: I truly believe that if something doesn’t at first appear to be impossible then it’s not worth doing. I advise people to blog every day or nearly every day. It won’t just push you to reach your goal, it will completely overtake you. Last year changed me completely.

Do you still consider yourself agoraphobic?

ArLynn: Yes, but it’s gotten easier for me to leave the house and travel. I used to be terrified of getting on planes, and sometimes just thinking about leaving the house could induce a panic attack.

What are you up to now?

ArLynn: This year, I continue to travel and see friends, but I am focusing more on meeting those who have trouble getting out from behind their computers, whether because of agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other anxiety disorders. You can find out more by checking out my blog at ArLynnPresser.WordPress.com.

Thanks for sharing your story, ArLynn!


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What’s Your Summer Color?

It may still be cold outside and it might feel as though we’ve just begun 2012, but summer is right around the corner – or at least summer fashion is. Between runway shows in New York and Milan and swirling rumors about the latest warm-weather trends, there’s no question that the fashion world has begun to look past the faded tones of winter attire in anticipation of summer.

So what will the summer of 2012 bring? On a men’s fashion front, the experts are predicting a turn towards the festive and casual. In a stark contrast from the conservatism exhibited in men’s business and winter lines, we can expect to see numerous faded T-shirts with faded colors and printed phrases when strolled around this summer. On a slightly dressier front, preppy men’s clothing will largely consist of colorful, lively polos paired with standard white khaki shorts.

The theme of colorful and casual clothing will also be on full display when women’s fashion is concerned. Although the models on the runways in Milan may be sporting a heavy dose of lace and tunics, more mainstream women’s fashion this summer will embrace light and clashing colors on pieces ranging from dresses to swimwear. Summer is traditionally a time for lighter colors, but we can expect to see this added emphasis on bright and vivid tones in 2012 for two main reasons: first, because people want brash yet casual tones to instill a sense of “fun” in the current economic climate, and two, because period piece TV shows and movies (ie Mad Men) have brought floral colors back into more popular use. Meanwhile, the desire to use clashing visuals likely draws its influence from the digital world, where computer printing has encouraged less subtle fabric designs.

So if you’re planning your summer wardrobe you really can’t go wrong with something that is bright and colorful. But even despite all the talk of layers and clashing colors, it is important that a given outfit has a base color – a color against which everything else can be juxtaposed. Your base colors should be just as light as all the others but, at the same time, it should probably be milder in tone. If you have light skin and hair, a soft yellow, orange, or green color can make for a great base. If you have darker features, on the other hand, you might do better with a light blue or a faded red. When it doubt, white is always a good option to consider.

What’s your summer color? Although beach season may still be a few months away, it’s a question worth asking even now.

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Fashion Stylist Mary Alice Stephenson Shares Her Fabulous Closet

Closet Factory is currently featuring the closet of style expert Mary Alice Stephenson, and it is way beyond fabulous!  If I could describe my dream closet, it would look almost exactly like this one.  Mary Alice Stephenson clearly eats, sleeps and breathes fashion.  She is a constantly covering the latest trends in fashion and beauty, so naturally, her closet reflects her chic, glamorous lifestyle.  The extensive collection of shoes and handbags are in a separate walk-in closet!  Did you notice how her jewelry is impeccably organized thanks to the Closet Factory’s customized organizational solution?  Check out the video (I’ve seen it 5x already!) and pics to see just how Mary Alice Stephenson thoughtfully arranged her skirts, blouses, evening gowns and accessories.  Don’t you just love how everything is displayed for easy access?  Click {here} for the highlights on Mary Alice Stephenson’s amazing closet.

Mary Alice Stephenson also shares with Closet Factory tips on what every woman should have in their closet, tricks to keeping a well edited closet, and how she selects the right shoes and handbags to complete an outfit.

Closet Factory: As a fashion insider and style expert, what should every woman own in her closet?

Mary Alice: “I think every woman should have the following staples in her closet: spanks, statement jewelry pieces, a bit of sequins, multiple shoe options, a yummy cashmere twin set, the perfect pencil skirt, dark denim, colorful ruffled blouses, a metallic clutch, bold belts, and a drop dead cocktail dress.”

Closet Factory: What are your tricks for keeping your closet neat and organized?

Mary Alice: “My secret is that I use all the same hangers so everything is hung at the same level and moving things back and forth is easy and clean. I also hang everything by color and category. I lay my jewelry out as a stylist does as it is much easier and time efficient this way.”

Closet Factory: When you have so many fashionable shoes and handbags, what are your tips on how to select just the right ones?

Mary Alice: “Fashion is all about breaking rules so I suggest women give themselves permission to play with shoes and accessories to glam up their classics in new ways. This means mix, don’t match, pile on the jewelry. Shoes and bags add the bling to any outfit. If you don’t mix it up, play, and have fun with your accessories you will look as bland as a vanilla cupcake without all that yummy icing on top.”

If you’re as fascinated as I am with Mary Alice Stephenson, click {here} to read the full interview and follow her on Twitter (@MaryAliceStyle)!

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THERE IS LITTLE WISDOM BUT MORE THAN ENOUGH PLEASURE

10 wows from Spanish Moss Vintage.


Lola Re and Spanish Moss
Lola Re and Spanish Moss
Lola Re and Spanish Moss
Lola Re and Spanish Moss

Lola Re and Spanish Moss


  

Lola Re and Spanish Moss

Lola Re and Spanish Moss
Lola Re and Spanish Moss

Don’t even get me started on their vintage band tees


{Title: From an album review of Lana del Rey’s “Born to Die” in the New Yorker}

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THE WORLD DOESN’T OWE YOU ANYTHING

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{Title: Quote by Mark Twain}

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GON’ HEAD

I haven’t been totally truthful – I actually have been to London Fashion Week this season. I was invited to EcoLuxe by the lovely designer Ilya Fisher, who makes beautiful handmade silk shibori skirts (more on her later methinks). 


I was really curious to go because EcoLuxe is full of designers who have committed to making sustainable clothing – a good cause. Also, lots of them are quite interesting; my favourites by far were the co-founders of Etrala, Emilio Portes Cruz and Maria Rodrigues Liñan. The clothes they make remind me a little of Monki – very playful, with bright whimsical details – like bright lining in the coats, pockets and hoods, as well as contrasting trim on collars. First pics below (all from their fb): 

Lola Re at EcoLuxe with Etrala
{Maria and Emilio}


Lola Re at EcoLuxe with Etrala

{Pieces!}


Lola Re at EcoLuxe with Etrala

{More pieces}

Lola Re at EcoLuxe with Etrala
{Ecoluxe}

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(FEED) RED LOVE 30 Bag

Spread the FEED LOVE with this natural burlap tote made in partnership with (RED).  The purchase of the (FEED)RED LOVE 30 Bag will provide approximately 30 days of Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through the Global Fund and 30 nutritious school meals through the United Nations World Food Programme.  ARV treatment not only helps people live with HIV/AIDS but also helps prevent the transmission of the disease from moms to their babies. (RED)-supported Global Fund grants deliver this much-needed treatment to some of the countries hit hardest by the disease.

The tote features the signature PRODUCT(RED) logo, faux suede bottom, large back pocket and handles made of green webbing. Price: $80.00 at FeedProjects.com

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kate spade new york ‘charm’ iPad 2 folio

I have probably featured more kate spade new york accessories in the last six months than in the five years I’ve been blogging. I’m totally feeling the quirky designs and lighthearted spirit which was lacking back in the day.  I didn’t appreciate the simple (dare I say boring) designs of the original kate spade new york bags.  However, I have grown to really like the direction of the brand, and therefore, am sharing yet another favorite.  kate spade new york ‘charm’ iPad 2 folio is on my list of spring must-haves because I love the bright vintage fashion magazine design.  Ladies, if your iPad doesn’t have a stylish case, then this is for you!  Price: $85.00 at Nordstrom.com.

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FENDI Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Crystal Beaded Watersnake Baguette

Remember when I wrote about the FENDI Pink Irridescent Sequin Baguette two weeks ago {here}?  Jill’s Consignment has a few other baguettes worth checking out.  If you’re looking for a true one-of-a-kind investment piece that will always turn heads, then feast your eyes on the FENDI Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Crystal Beaded Watersnake Baguette. Designed for Neiman Marcus to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the baguette, this bag was number 53 of only 70 produced in the world. The original retail price was $6,670. This bag is in brand new condition with everything including original tags, cards, extra beads and dust cover. It has clear crystal embroidery with black and silver beads, silver watersnake trim, satin golden brown lining with zippered pocket.

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