The manbag: once a most unfairly maligned accessory that was reserved for the more, let’s say, sartorially serious gent. ‘Real men’, of the kind of butch masculinity heralded by Yorkie chocolate bars and McCoy crisps, would never be seen with anything so fey and useful , instead preferring to stock their pockets or maybe condescend to use a natty skate backpack, at a push.
But that would be me showing my age, for in recent years, the manbag has undergone a reputation overhaul and now is the accepted accessory of nary a man, regardless of personal style or degrees of butch, with everything from satchels to duffle bags thrown over shoulders.
Personally, I’m all for a good man bag: why should men be so heartlessly deprived of life’s greatest pastime (namely, bag shopping) while simultaneously forced to ruin the line of their trousers with overstuffed pockets? Tsk, this is an age of equality we live in and it is only right and proper that men should be able to enjoy the finer aspects of life just as we women do. But just as the most unyielding have come round to this way of thinking and begrudgingly accept that it’s possible for something other than the briefcase to be carried, Burberry have challenged us anew with the latest update to the manbag: the man clutch. I see those questioning looks on your faces; this isn’t a return of the murse, but rather streamlined bags to be carried much in the way you might your iPad, which can no doubt be handily stored inside. Burberry’s offerings included those in brightly coloured metallics (which could work with this season’s skater boy trend, in theory) but the early adopters of the trend on the street often tend to favour oversized, slouchy leather versions in simple black or brown leather, which are more ideal for those wishing to ease themselves in. There are even some to be found that come with a slim chain, so, when you tire of carrying it, you may causally adorn your shoulder. But I see I’m losing you again.
Now, this isn’t going to be for everyone, I grant you, and it may take a few more seasons for the majority to come round, but if you can pull this one off with aplomb, why you’ll look the height of sartorial elegance.
And if anyone questions your choice of accessory, simply throw them a withering look of pity, deprived as they are of the wonder of the manbag. Or failing that, pretend like it’s your girlfriend’s…
Amy Lavelle is a journalist from UK fashion comparison site Style in View. She’s contributed to a number of publications including Spindle magazine.
Today, April 22nd, marks Earth Day. Last week, I told you how you can get great skin while supporting a green initiative, and today, I’m featuring a way you can complement your great skin and eco-friendly lifestyle with ICU Eyewear. Specs from ICU are a fashionable way you can protect your eyes, while protecting the environment. Since the launch of its first “Eco Reader” in 2006, ICU has used the most sustainable materials including bamboo, recycled metals, and other plant based materials, to manufacture many of its reading glasses, sun readers and sunglass styles.
Product Recycling Program
ICU encourages consumers to recycle their readers so materials can be repurposed. Through the company’s product return and recycling program, customers can return used eyewear to the company’s warehouse to be recycled. Glasses that are in good condition are donated to organizations that distribute eyewear to those in need. To date, ICU has donated over a 100,000 pairs of glasses through various programs worldwide. Learn more here»
One trend seen on the runway for spring 2013 was bold stripes. Whether you are looking for a striped dress, top or skirt – it can be certain that every store will be carrying spring’s newest trend. Worried that stripes won’t work for your body type? Throw those fears out the window. Stripes work for most body types. Dare to be bold!
In an interesting twist, leather debuted on the runways for spring 2013. Spice up your traditionally light and springy wardrobe with a faux leather jacket or black pants with a leather trim. It’s the perfect way to take a daytime outfit to the night. Not sure if the leather look is for you? Try adding leather to your outfit with a clutch or over-the-shoulder bag.
Out of all the predicted trends for spring 2013 fashion, oversized ruffles add the perfect feminine touch. Adding a ruffle top to your wardrobe is the perfect way to take a daytime outfit from casual to chic. Wanting to dress up a little more? A bold-colored peplum dress adds a subtle ruffle while accentuating your feminine figure.
If someone was wearing the wrong foundation shade, would you tell them? This is a question I contemplated as a I trekked across the street on a cold November afternoon from my office to a beauty department store for foundation samples. In the winter months, my skin gets very pale and is un-matchable by any foundation out on the market, so while I went to the store on a noble quest to actually find something that would closely match my skin, I also went there to search for something that would look completely wrong. My goal: to see if I left my office looking pale and returned with dark orange skin in under 30 minutes, would anyone say something to me? I wanted to know. Why? Because, would you want someone to say something to you? I’m very curious about social etiquette as it applies to a woman’s beauty blunders. Maybe it’s because I’m a fashion/beauty blogger, and I want to see every woman look their best, but if I see someone wearing the wrong shade of anything, I let them know. Granted, I won’t go as far as to walk up to a random woman in the street to school her on why the shade of pink lipstick she’s wearing makes her look washed out because of her undertones; but, if I interact with someone, I feel that it’s my duty to make them aware of their beauty faux pas. If I don’t say something, then they will continue to wear a strange hue on their face, and everyone will talk about it internally, but never say one word.
I returned with a very orange tinted face and it was apparent that everyone noticed. I figured this out, because when people stopped to talk to me, their eyes circled around my face, but never met my eyes. However, when I walked around outside with my new “face,” I was hit on by more men than usual. So, my conclusion is people won’t say anything if you have the wrong foundation shade on, because they may be afraid of overstepping boundaries or hurting your feelings. Or, maybe sometimes when you do wear a few shades to deep, it actually looks good, and maybe eyes circle your face in amazement at how gorgeous your skin looks.
Last week I attended the Summer/Fall 2013 jewelry preview event of Kensie, held at the company’s beautiful showroom in New York City. I believe a woman’s outfit is never complete with at least one accessory, so I was excited to see the new pieces, which will be available at Macy’s later this year. Whether your style is boho chic, low-key or elegant, there is something for everyone in this collection. The Summer/Fall line is an eclectic mix of colorful statement pieces and metallic jewelry, some of which feature fun geometric shapes.
I am in love with the bangle sets in the “Shine Like Stars” collection, which are engraved with inspirational words (seen below) and will make great gifts for upcoming graduations, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Click on photos to enlarge.
My favorite accessories in the whole room were from the Rooftop Party Gasoline collection. The see-through, lace-like architectural design of the necklaces, earrings and braceltes creates a unique effect and is absoutely stunning.
Which pieces from the Summer/Fall 2013 collection are you coveting?
Laura Smalls has been on the fashion scene since for some time; bit now she has become a household name since Michelle Obama wore one of her designs for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A graduate of Parson’s school of Design in 1976, Laura started small selling a handful of designs at Blookingdales and Henri Bendel. Soon after, she was approached by Vogue to show at New York Fashion Week showing her one of a kind pieces and then subsequently showing a collection of evening dresses and cocktail gowns at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in South Africa.
Small’s designs are that of classic elegance, beauty and grace. She chooses fabrics that complement the design and the figure. Her pieces are truly one of a kind and designed with the individual woman in mind.
“Even though designing starts with a dream… it has to work for [a] woman.” – Laura Smalls
Delialicious Picks attended her Fall/Winter 2013 presentation a few weeks ago. Click here to read that article.
Monif C. is unique in her own right. Not only in her style but who she dresses. This designer works specifically for the curvaceous individual allowing them to look beautiful and be themselves without worry of any fashion faux paus. Monif started her career in fashion after working in the non-profit sector and finding a lack of style and design set for the plus size woman. So, she started out on her own, traveling to London to start her own fashion house. She is now a sought after designer for plus size individuals and has been featured on Fox Business, ABC and Seventeen Magazine.
“Who Says Plus Size Can’t Be Sexy, Luxurious, and Feminine?” – Monif Clarke
B. Michael was born a designer. He grew up in a house of style; many of his style secrets coming from his mother. After designing for Oscar DE La Renta, B. Michale decided to launch his own couture fashion line; he is now sought after for the classic woman. He has dressed Halle Berry, Angela Basset and the famous Lena Horne. He also dressed Whitney Houston in her role in”Sparkle”.
“It is a modern approach to glamour. It is also about achieving a very sophisticated, yet simplistic look. A woman who wears b Michael knows how to wear a basic dress and make it look glamorous.”
Post written by Jolevette
On February 13th, I attended the F/W 2013 Presentation of Laura Smalls, held at Essex House as part of New York Fashion Week. The designer, who was catapulted onto the national scene after Michelle Obama wore two of her dresses, showcased her newest collection, ”Symmetry.” The designs were an amazing display of classic femininity meets sexy sophistication.
Body-flattering silhouettes hugged the contours of the models bodies as they emerged wearing dresses inspired from the graphic works of artist Sonia Delaunay. Teal, jade green, and pewter were amongst the colors characteristic of the beautiful evening gowns, some of which, incorporated silk fabric and shimmer detailing for a dramatic high-shine effect. A few of the garments offered peek-a-book cutouts, expertly tailored for the reserved woman who wants to show some skin without looking too risqué. The other pieces in the collection were designed with eye-catching geometrical shapes and striking color contrasts. Click on each picture below to see some of my favorites from the presentation.
On February 10th, I went backstage at Emerson’s Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Studio at Lincoln Center. The team of Red Door Spa, led by National Creative Director and Master Stylist Zahir Ziani, was responsible for the teased up-do seen on the runway. The hair, as described by Ziani, was created to look effortless and natural, “as if the model put her hair up in the pony-tail herself.” Tousled curls were created first to add volume, and hair was wrapped around the base of the pony-tail and secured with bobby pins. Only one product was used, a dry spray by Kérastase, which allowed Ziani to apply the spray repeatedly while avoiding a greasy-weighed down look.
All of the make-up used for the show was by Bobbi Brown. Dark, rocker-chic cat eyes were created using Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in black. And, the top of brows here highlighted using Bobbi’s limited edition Sparkle Eye Shadow, a combination of shimmering pearls and fine glitter. Similar to the hair, the makeup was done to look as if the model did it herself.
The nails were just as edgy as the makeup. Inspired by the black lace used in Emerson’s collection, ORLY Nail Lacquer in Pure Porcelain and ORLY Nail Lacquer in After Party was used to create the fabulous nail detail seen below.
In the past I’ve written about Maya Brenner Designs, a high-end jewelry collection favorited by some of the most hottest celebrities. This week the jewelry company is kicking off 2013 by having a celestial sale – 40% off all zodiac necklaces and birthstone rings through Jan. 14. Since the year has just begun, you can buy a special zodiac accessory for someone you know and hold onto it until their birthday. Or, just grab one for yourself – at 40% off why not?
1. Druzy Necklaces, $40.00
2. Jay King Blue Lace Drusy Sterling Silver Drop Earrings, $89.90
3. Peter Ciesla Necklace, $690.00
4. Liz Larios Black Garnet Nugget Ring, $170.00
5. Raw peridot stud earrings, $14.00
6. Crystal Cave Rock Ring, $20.00
In just a few short days, the clock will strike midnight on January 1st, 2013. What will you be wearing when it does? I’ve pulled together some of the hottest dresses I could find on the web, that will make you stand out in a crowd of glitter and overdone hair.
Add a little color: If you want to stand out in a crowd, sometimes the only thing you need to do is wear a unique color.
Accentuate your figure: Body-hugging bandage dresses show off your silhouette.
Jazz it up: If you must wear sequins, opt for a style that doesn’t make you compete with the New Year’s crystal ball. Subtle hints of shimmer in unexpected areas of your dress will make heads turn.
Have fun: You don’t always need to bring out the bling at a New Years Eve party. Dresses with fun patters and embellishments show off your personality.
A quick and easy way to add flare to your outfit is to add a hint of animal print. However, even easier is going from stylish to tacky when wearing animal print. To avoid overdoing any print, try it out on one piece of your outfit. If you are feeling bold, try a printed dress. Make sure that the print is not too busy, and keep your accessories simple.
On Saturday, October 13th, I attended a bridal couture runway show presented by The Knot and the Wedding Channel at the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan. The show took place as part of Couture Bridal Fashion week, New York’s premier bridal-industry trade show. This was the first time the event featured a grand runway presentation, which showcased more than 100 dresses from top designers. Gorgeous gowns of each designer billowed down the runway with intricate detailing in an amazing display of the latest fashion trends in the couture bridal world.
The designers featured included: Cymbeline, Emmaline Bridal, Ian Stuart, Jesus Peiro, Jorge Manuel, Katerina Bocci, La Femme, Maggie Sottero, Max Chaoul Couture, Melanie Harris, Mikaella Bridal, Nilah and Company, Paloma Blanca, Ruben Perlotti, Simone Carvalli, Siri, and Victoria Nicole.
In addition to fashion shows, Couture Bridal Fashion week offers retailers and designers the opportunity to showcase their latest collections throughout the week. Here are a few that caught my eye on my way to the runway presentation:
On Thursday, October 11th, I attended launch of Cat Footwear’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection at their showroom in New York City. The collection features footwear that is just as fashionable as they are comfortable. Bloggers in attendance were given the amazing opportunity to take home a complimentary pair of shoes or boots. Featured styles for women included: the Corinne ($230), the Marin ($210), and the Rita ($170), and featured styles for men included: the Isaac ($150), the Dougald ($140), and the Haverhill ($140).
I chose the Corrine boot, made from full grain leather and canvas material. It reaches a few inches below the knee and will look great over skinny jeans or with a short casual dress. It easily slipped on over my work pants, and was unbelievable comfortable. The boots run a little big; I had to select a pair that were about 1/2 smaller than what I would normally wear, so keep this in mind when ordering. But, once you find your perfect size, you are well on your way to a fashionable rugged style that will amplify any winter outfit.
A few weeks ago I was approached by a representative of Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories asking me to take part in a fun contest to style one of the company’s floral pins in friendly competition with other bloggers. After hearing the story behind the company, I couldn’t say no. Alli’s Everlasting Arrangements & Accessories, is a floral arrangements and accessories line designed by Renee Heyden, in memory of her daughter Allison (Alli) Emilie Heyden, who passed away at the age of 24 last summer. Alli was an up-and-coming fashion designer, had her own clothing line, and won numerous awards. Renee makes everything in the collection from fabrics she found in Alli’s room, and a portion of the proceeds from sales go towards the Alli Heyden Passion for Fashion Scholarship Fund at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), Alli’s alma mater.
I received a pink suede floral pin embellished with sparkling rhinestones. It’s the perfect accessory to that can be used to jazz up any outfit. In the pictures below, you can see just how versatile the pins can be. I used it as a hair accessory, two different ways; attached it to a crystal belt; and, adored a solid shirt with the pin for a pop of color. Which one do you like best? The contest is bein hosted on Alli’s Everlasting’s Facebook Page.
Here is the direct link to vote: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.433878246649964.87455.327042910666832&type=1
Special thanks to Ramola Poonai nd Erin Angarola for thier help with this project. xoxo
On September 30th I attended the Spring/Summer 2013 ready-to-wear, avant-garde and couture collection presentation of Philippine designer, John Guarnes as part of the 14th season of Brooklyn Fashion Week[end} in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Set against the pulsating rhythms of African beats, freely flowing fabrics in dark earth tones danced across the stage, before bright colors of chiffon and tulle exploded onto the runway. A majority of the designs were classic, and every inch of the clothing, from the embellishments to the cut of the fabrics, was meticulously constructed to fit the contours of a woman’s body perfectly. The presentation ended with a show-stopping white ensemble that would be a perfect choice for a unique, summer bride.
Fashion shows are known for their display of the most fabulous, new trends in clothing; but, in addition to forecasting our stylish wardrobe, the runway also influences the upcoming season’s hottest hair trends. Below are two of my favorite looks from New York Fashion week, and how you can recreate the looks from the runway.
What: Sleek part with textured lengths
Where: Victoria Beckham Spring 2013
Inspiration: “The center part and shine on top creates a strong, even dramatic look on the Victoria Beckham girl today, but the overall style is still very youthful and American,” said Redken Creative Consultant Guido
Create the Look:
1. Create a clean center part on damp hair.
2. Blow dry just the top section of hair to just behind the ear, then spray water on the back to re-dampen & let dry naturally.
3. Spray the hairline with forceful 23 hairspray to smooth & hold.
4. Apply shine flash 02 glistening mist on the top of head.
5. Use lots of powder refresh 01 dry shampoo on the bottom third of hair to get a light fluffy effect.
What: The glossy bun
Where: Ralph Lauren Spring 2013 show
Inspiration:“…picture a very elegant Argentine woman” says Guido.
Create the Look:
1. Apply satinwear 02 prepping blow-dry lotion (currently unavailable on Redken’s website)to damp hair and blow-dry straight.
2. Create a clean center part.
3. Gather hair tightly into a ponytail at the nape and secure with an elastic.
4. Spray style with shine flash 02 glistening mist and twist up into a knot, securing with open fasteners.
5. Spray final style with fashion work 12 versatile working spray to tame frizz and flyaway’s for a sleek finish.
Photos Courtesy of Charles Sykes for Redken
When the first model of a show emerges wearing a Catwoman mask, you immediately know you are about to witness something amazing. Bold, edgy and chic are words I would use to describe the fashions of Middle-Eastern duo Mesho and Nouf Abothnain, who presented their latest collection at Nolcha Fashion Week on Wednesday, September 12th at Pier 59 Studios in New York City.
Daring, sexy creations surfaced onto the runway with surprises of unconventional combinations of colors and materials. I literally sat in my chair eagerly awaiting the appearance of each model, and was never left feeling disappointed. Black, lace overlays transformed cheerful fabrics into sultry statement pieces, and the gold detailing on some of the clothing were absolutely regal. A special highlight of the show was a plain black short suit flanked by a cape, which revealed an unexpected vivid floral pattern on its underside as the model walked. Click here to learn more about the designer’s label, M.N ALOUSH.
For more photos from the show visit Nolcha’s website»
On Wednesday, September 12th, I attended the fashion show of Thailand-based designer Angelys Balek, as part of Nolcha Fashion Week at Pier 59 in New York City. The show opened with playful patterns, and slowly transitioned to a more subdued style. The incorporation of cut-out leather in bold colors amplified what would otherwise be monotone, black clothing. Though a little rebellious, the leather somehow managed to be sweetly feminine, elegant, and absolutely chic.
On September 11th I attended the S/S 2013 Presentation of William Okpo, a women’s wear collection designed by two sisters, Darlene and Lizzy Okpo. The line, named after the sister’s father, takes its inspiration from their parents, Nigerian immigrants, who would often intertwine their culture’s clothing with American styles.
NYC skyscrapers peeked through the glass windows of the The Ailey Studios, as guests marveled at the clothing that seemed to evoke work wear of historic plantation workers mixed with modern-day sophistication. Earthy tones, playful polka dots, color-blocking, and some abstract silhouettes were noticeable trends in the collection.
Click on each photo to enlarge.
On Friday, September 7th, I attended the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion presentation of By Misha. I love the whimsical themes of By Misha’s collections. The Autumn/Winter 2012 line, Crown Jewels, was fairytale-inspired (read my review of that collection here). The theme of this year’s collection is Wishing Well, and features charmeuse and chiffon fabrics in shades of honeysuckle, mint, forest, marmalade and crème brulee. Beautiful organza pearl flowers stood out as a strong characteristic of this collection, as they adorned romantic dresses, skirts and tops. Modest sequin detailing is also prominent in some of the clothing in Wishing Well. Hey, a girl’s got to have a little sparkle.
The most wonderful thing about nature is its ability to be beautiful without human interference. So, it only makes sense that some of the most beautiful jewelry can be made from one of Mother Nature’s precious resources. Today, I’m focusing on the gorgeous wood we get from trees. It’s amazing how scraps of wood can be transformed into something absolutely magnificent and fashionable.
1.. FULL TILT 5 Wood Bangle Set, UPDATE: currently unavailable
2. Kenneth Jay Lane Polka-Dot Bangles, $79.99
3. Classic Rock – Lola James, $55.00
4. Wood Bead Stretch Bracelet, $5.50
1. Spiral Wood Earrings, $26.00
2. Natasha Couture Wood Earrings, $28.00
3. Unable to locate link
4. Gara Danielle Victorian Wood and Emerald Ring, $125.00
5. Karen London “Woodland” Ebony Wood Studded Polygon Ring, $80.00
6. Sku Wood Band Ring, $115.00
7. Lucky Brand Peace Wood Ring, $31.99