designers, fashion, inspiration, shoppables, style, what to wear

what to wear: loungerie

How to wear loungerie as outerwear.
.   .   .

I have a specific outfit-of-the-night uniform: body-con dress or crop top with a high-waisted bottom (skirt of wide-leg pants). Save for a few subtle variations in color and necklines, that’s it, and it’s that’s simple. Lazy or chic-ly formulaic? You tell me.

Ever since I’ve begun dipping my (sore) toes in the salsa world, adjusting hemlines and worrying about exposing bits have become the bane of my existence. It’s not just a nuisance, it’s a distraction; I’d rather not have to worry about accidentally flashing innocent bystanders mid-turn or dip. Thus for practicality’s (and propriety’s) sake, once beloved LBDs and minis have fallen to the wayside in favor of jumpsuits and leggings. Sure, that may have been the ideal solution to my woes, but come 90-degree weather made hotter only by sweaty, dancing masses, pants became the enemy. Shorts were cute, but I’ve always been self-conscious of how my legs looked in them.

Enter the lingerie- and loungewear-inspired short. Instead of the usual fitted denim or tailored version that leaves little to the imagination, the loungerie short has an ease and comfort about them that isn’t offered by the former. I’d even go as far to say that there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the silhouette that, when worth either inside or outside the house, exudes effortless femininity. I wore a more affordable variation of this outfit last Friday for salsa dancing and loved it; it was the right amount of comfy and sexy. Which, in my humble opinion, is the best combination clothing can and should be.

xx

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current affairs, designers, fashion, shoppables, shopping!, smart shopping, style tips

gift guide 2012: a first look at the target + neiman marcus holiday collection

There are two types of shoppers in this grand world of ours.

The Target Shoppers and The Others.

I feel bad for the latter, I do; they’re oblivious to the wonders a Target brings. You can get lost in a space and continuum once you’ve stepped afoot into that place with everything at your fingertips, all at incredible deals. Can’t reach me? I may have stayed a little too long browsing the clothing racks or health food aisles. Maybe I’m slinking around their home goods aisle for a chaise I don’t need (yet), or sniffing about the beauty aisle for masks and lipsticks and fun makeup bits. You’ll just have to come see for yourselves…

Did I mention I was of the former camp? I’ve been hounding over their collections with designers for a while now, so when whispers about a Target & Neiman Marcus collaboration reached my eavesdropping ears, I was the teensiest bit excited.

(Teensiest. Ladies don’t scream with excitement, they simply set their iCals to remind them of release dates so they wake up bright and early and caffeinated for a proper shopping spree. Right?)

I’ll be so forward as to call it a revolutionary partnership. I love the idea; the concept is brilliant. By now you all know of my appreciation for the democratization of fashion – this Target x Neiman Marcus collaboration is doing exactly that. Twenty-four of America’s most talented designers, all members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), are brought together for a limited-edition holiday collection to be released December 1.

Thus, I was floored when Target x Neiman Marcus sent over their look book for an exclusive first look at their upcoming collection. I’ll have you know I was itching to write about the collaboration the past two days the moment I laid eyes on the first look. School comes first, unfortunately, so a few days fashionably late comes my edited guide to the favorites and best-of’s in the collection. These are the things to look for and snatch up (quickly!) for you and each special someone in your life.

Without further ado, ABC’s Holiday Gift Guide. Feast your eyes.

.   .   .

For the girl you know who wakes up fabulous and lounges about the house in a silk robe and satin slippers, who is never not perfectly coiffed and finished with a beautiful lipstick. Pumps and skirts are the glamour goddess’ go-to; perfectly paired accessories are her weapon of choice. Cocktail rings, statement necklaces, metallic details are her signature, and a fresh copy of Vogue never leaves her bedside table.

Perhaps a Marc Jacobs pouch for a little holiday-themed sparkle as a thank-you to the hostess or as a glam girl’s stocking stuffer? A girl can never have too many bags to store her essentials and knick-knacks. A pair of studded leather gloves from Brian Atwood to slip into come the snowy months? Blistery winter cold never kept a girl from looking good. But the ultimate gift of decadence is the Altuzarra. A gorgeous lacquer tray with a croc-embossed surface simply oozes luxury, and when holding a set of old-fashioned shot glasses and a shaker, her mini-bar will have rivaled that of the Ritz.

She’s your modern-day Wonder Woman sans the garish red-white-blue get-up. No, no bodysuits for her (those are saved for Halloween or the bedroom, kittens!) – though she is a believer in a great pair of Sri Lankan or Celine cuffs – but a great power suit or sheath dress is her uniform of choice. Here is a woman who does it all: attorney-at-law, editor, or public relations director by day, and miss do-it-all whenever she’s not on the job. Before you’ve had your first cup of coffee she will have been rolling up her Diane von Furstenberg yoga mat from a 5 a.m. Bikram session. Seven a.m. and the city-chic sophisticate is at her office armed with a Eddie Borgo letter opener, e-mail open, and green juice – ready to start the day. 

Tell me she doesn’t deserve an Oscar de la Renta in the crook of her arm.

The sci-fi queen is the IT girl and freelance web designer who, as a girl, watched Star Wars with her best guy friends. She was a blogging maven before it was the chic thing to do, fiddling with cascading stylesheets and up-to-date posts on SETI as a tween. By night she’s taking astrology classes just because, but those beloved ironic graphic tees aren’t cutting it anymore. They might work for empty lecture halls, but for those conferences followed by soirees on the weekends? She needs a Skaist-Taylor faux-fur vest to throw atop tees and skinny jeans (which goes even more beautifully over a black floor-length gown).

Her webpage might be top-notch and updated for the holiday season, but that tree up front? A bit lacking in pizazz. A few Rodarte ornaments and rolls of wrapping paper are sure to make her smile – she’ll be nostalgic for those pre-Wordpress days when she tip-tapped eagerly away on any report of extraterrestrial happenings.

Dark locks, thick lashes, leather jackets and a killer ankle boot, always. She’s dangerous enough on her own, but those red lips are painted on, she’s a femme fatale. Sideways smiles don’t necessarily make her some social butterfly – though it does win her a spot in a more than a few poor blokes’ hearts – she’s more of an introvert. She’s a mystery, this girl, with her perfect posture and moody tendencies, the intellectual type who quotes Voltaire, and the one you go to when you need advice straight and true. We all have that best friend: the one the girls would love to hate be simply can’t, and the one every boy can’t seem to keep their eyes off of.

A tube of luxe red lipstick as a stocking stuffer means you understand her well. NARS Red Lizard or Shanghai Red, Chanel Gabrielle, MUFE Moulin Rouge, or Guerlain Gigolo are infallible options she’s sure to love. She’s not the squealing type, but surprise her with a Prabal Gurung cape and she’ll embrace her inner superheroine; gift her a ruffled Robert Rodriguez blouse and you’ll know without doubt that’ll be her favorite top for years to come.

(It most certainly is mine… hint hint.)

For the eclectic artist or the girlfriend you watched season reruns of Gossip Girl with. She was Blair Waldorf before Leighton Meester ever was, the one who clipped Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren and Kate Spade campaigns for her dorm room walls. But from the steps of whatever high school or university she ate her yogurt, she’s graduated to her own office. Colored tights and Marc Jacobs mouse ballerinas are to be donated; she needs a grown-up version of the prep queen she used to be.

It’s like Target & Neiman’s read her mind (and yours). ‘Tis the season to be jolly and fanatical with prints! Perhaps a Thom Browne blazer for an update? (Get her boyfriend or brother a matching men’s version and you’ll have scored brownie points). A Carolina Herrera stationary and Tory Burch lunch box set will amp up her back-to school work game, and a pair of Derek Lam slippers for the office will make her chic and comfy.

Did you hear? Proper princesses wear Jason Wu these days; stuffy ball gowns were for Cinderella’s days. It’s an ode to Michelle Obama, their idol and First Lady. A classic red dress for Christmas Day, or a printed dotty number for all those holiday parties in between. Paired with little patent shoes, white tights, well-brushed curls and a genuine excitement over Santa’s mystery visit Christmas Eve will have you doubled over and overwhelmed with sweetness. Happy smiles, hands sticky from being Mom’s kitchen elf, hanging last minute Jason Wu ornaments for the tree in the foyer. Death by cuteness? A possibility. Just be sure to snap photos to remember those moments forever.

It’ll take all my willpower to not pick up a dress or two for some future daughter or niece years later.

Don’t think I forgot about the boys in your life (how could I, with a title of ABC?). Dapper Daniels are the mature men deserving of a little indulgence or two. Shower them with a men’s skincare set or grooming kit. A Don Draper-worthy Rag & Bone flask and set of shot glasses, so he can wind down by the fireplace with a cozy Rag & Bone sweater. Sunday night football, accompanied with man’s best friend.

There’s nothing like a guy who knows what’s chic and what isn’t, and while this one might not have a clue, thank god he has you to help him along the way…

. . .

Available Dec. 1 at all Target and Neiman Marcus stores, on Target.com and NeimanMarcus.com.

x

{product images c/o Target & Neiman Marcus}

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current affairs, designers

best dressed: the 2012 met gala

No other red carpet event elicits as much excitement in me than the annual Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which I am a proud member). It is this one night alone that leaves an indelible impression on the fashion world — an incredible feat, given the fleeting nature of the industry. One year was superhero themed; last year commemorated Alexander McQueen’s legacy. This year’s soiree celebrated the opening of the new spring exhibit, “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations,” to be on view May 10 through August 19.

In a dream world I would have attended the gala  in something magnificent; in an ideal world I would have been perched at the edge of my seat (in my favorite sweatpants) watching its live broadcast whilst gratuitously tweeting my opinions on what-worn-by-who. In reality, however, I sat pouring over my three textbooks simultaneously. I can only multi-task proficiently under the influence. Starbucks Doubleshot Espressos are my drugs of choice. It’s currently exam period, if you haven’t realized; three exams within a 24 hour time frame are (academically) illegal. Pound on through it, I tell myself.

And so the 2012 Met Gala viewing was sacrificed in the name of academia. Thank goodness for the Interwebz; these are my favorites of the evening, in no particular order (I lie – who are we kidding? – they’re organized by color progression…):

.   .   .

Claire Danes, J. Mendel.

Camilla Belle, Ralph Lauren.

Lily Aldridge, Ralph Lauren.

Katharine McPhee, Elie Saab.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Prada.

Caroline Sieber, Christopher Kane.

Candice Swanepoel, Rag + Bone.

Elisa Sednaoui, Diane von Furstenberg. 

Kate Bosworth, Prada.

Marion Cotillard, Christian Dior.

Poppy Delevigne in Chanel.

Doutzen Kroes, Roland Mouret.

Chanel Iman, Tom Ford.

Renee Zellweger, Emilio Pucci.

Gisele Bündchen in Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

.   .   .

x

{images via, via google images}

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current affairs, designers, fashion

penfield for rag & bone

I hate coats.

Winter jackets, specifically. I love a fitted leather jacket and a classic, camel trench (in the ideal world I’d own one; in real life, they’re really not that necessary) – but that’s about as far as any positive emotion I’ll ever harbor towards coats.  Yes, they keep me warm, but when clothing becomes a hassle, I’d rather not bother at all. They’re annoying. Bulky. Unflattering. I rather despise anything that makes me look shapeless or just… poof-y.

And then things like the latest Holiday 2010 jacket collaboration, between Penfield and Rag & Bone, come along and change my mind altogether. They’re a brilliant team: the classic, outdoor heritage of Penfield combined with Rag & Bone’s edgy, fashion-forward aesthetic make for the perfect balance of, well, the perfect coat. It’s practical: puffy, quilted, and chock full of down feathers to keep you cozy. But it makes puffy chic. The silhouette is based on Penfield’s classic Stapleton jacket: it’s tailored, the waist nipped in to mimic an hourglass shaped body thus flattering and quite possibly slimming. Le sigh.

The sleeves zip off to become a classic puffer vest – another check for versatility and practicality. Aesthetically it’s a bit more utilitarian for my usual liking, but for this I’ll make an exception. Penfield’s heritage look is seen in the charcoal Schoeller wool exterior, snap front pockets, olive corduroy shoulders, and plaid interior. Rag & Bone’s finesse for clean tailoring modernize the coat, producing a final product that is indeed lust worthy for reasons beyond pure want. It’s a need.

Here’s the catch. The jacket will retail at $895. It’s steep, the price tag. I suppose if you think of it as buying two in one – a coat and a vest – it’s slightly more justified, but it’s still quite the splurge, and no where within my budget. But if you’re willing to take the plunge (because this jacket truly combines style and practicality with effortlessness!), it’ll hit stores in late November, and will be available at all Rag & Bone boutiques in New York City, the flagship in Tokyo, and “finer boutiques and department stores” like Bergdorf Goodman, BarneysSaks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Intermix in the U.S., Tsum (Moscow), Hanstyle (Seoul). And for all you online fiends, our ever-favorite Shopbop.com will have it too.

. . .

bises! x

{images via}

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