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Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day Style

july 4th fashion
Happy Friday! Who is going to party in style for the 4th of July? Independence Day is a wonderful holiday to celebrate everything you love about the US of A. Frankly, the capitalistic pastime of shopping is as good as any.

The start of July is perfect for piling up cute sandals for the beach and rooftop soirees at night. Machi Footwear, a company I love to work with, has a huge selection of fashion-forward styles that are super-affordable! I choose the white Hayden Sweet T Strap Flats Sandals for the daytime BBQ, the sexy red Jovena Stilettos for partying at night. The blue Jovera peep toe sandals I am reserving for my night at the theater on Sunday. Bonus: all the shoes are on sale under $30 right now.

For a dose of Americana, how pretty is the dress with stars from Karl Lagerfeld? The long halter  Aida Maxi dress is the perfect summer outfit to raise a sparkler to. The Hot Leathers Eagle Purse is very cool. It features tooled, studded leather eagle motif and trim.

Accessories? Tie your hair back with sweet red, white and blue hair ties from Mia Beauty. The George & Laurel star earrings look right at home on the 4th (or on Wonder Woman).

Being me, I will probably attempt to implement some sort of patriotic nail art before watching fireworks. If you need inspiration, this July 4th nail art round-up has options for all skills (and patience levels).

I will be contributing cocktails and sweet treats to the party I will be attending. Strawberries with cream and blueberries are healthy AND pretty. My drink of choice will be revealed later (when I decide).

Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy your Independence Day Shopping and Partying!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reem Acra Fall 2015

reem acra nyfw
reem acra fall 2015

Another entry into fall's 1970's luxe glam trend. Reem Acra's fall 2015 collection at NY Fashion Week was inspired by the bohemian and Gothic queens of the decade. There were coats and dresses of crushed velvet or lace. The palette ranged from textured blacks to cool rose and metallic silver and gold.

For the most part, hemlines were relatively short. There were a lot of above-the-knee skirts throughout the entire runway. I was rather surprised by this. This collection was made for red carpets. I thought I would see more sweeping gowns. This totally reminded me of being in portfolio class at Parsons My illustration teacher would always come down on you for showing a fall/winter collection with too many bare legs and short skirts.

reem acra embroidered
Photos by David TW Leung
You know my obsession with embroidery. Reem Acra displayed the most gorgeous embellishments of New York catwalks this season. Metallic bullion was mixed with jewels and medallions, then more jewels. It had a very regal effect, like a hippie princess who had run away to Woodstock.

Leather pieces and slick waved hair reminded me of Bianca Jagger as an urban counterpart to the dark flower child looks that Stevie Nicks inspired. The luxurious fabrics of silk faille, velvet, pleated organza, lace and swiss dots lets you know this collection is intended for the jetsetting Bohemian, not the grungy, casual kind.

I found the Reem Acra fall 2015 collection absolutely gorgeous. It had all of my favorite fabrics and so many looks were encrusted with delicious embroidery. This designer was after my own heart...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Underwear and Bra-blem Solving

Is there a garment category more hated and loved than intimate apparel? We love bras for how they look but hate how they feel. Shapewear might smooth us out but strangles us in the process. I toured the latest offerings in underwear and bras for you.  

Iconic intimate apparel brand Warner's knows this. They took a poll of women's biggest beefs with the bra and addressed them with a range of new products. They called it a "Bra-blem" to be solved. Do you ever suffer that extra roll of fat under the arm that spills over the sides of your bra? If you're like me, you hide from sleeveless clothing because it just looks obscene in that area. They launched their " No Side Effects " collection. As you can see on the grey bra up top, they have extra seamless 
support above the cup and a fuller band that keeps that spillage contained. 

Those of you who hate underwires but find them necessary are getting some relief. Warner's is adding cushioning and smoothing bands over their wires on some of their bras. I went for a bra fitting with these new styles, and I can honestly say it was the most comfortable underwire bra I have ever put on.

No Nonsense. I remember this brand's ads when I was a child. They have updated their hosiery options for this generation. Their super sheer, seamless stockings have gentle support where you can skip the Spanx. They have light shapewear shorts and a range of really comfortable denim finish cuffed leggings that can spare you the dangerous jeggings syndrome but still give you the look. I guess it took a stockings company to figure out how to do this right.

rago mad men bra

As a short woman with a big rack, it's tough to find a great bra that supports your curves without looking matronly. I always loved how amazing Christina Hendricks looked in all her curves on Mad Men. Naturally, I asked Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant on where she shops for all the structured underpinnings. She led me straight to RAGO. They have supremely constructed bras, cinchers, girdles, body briefers to create that vintage hourglass figure. I absolutely fell in love with the Long Line Bra (right). The elastic waistband is secure but not uncomfortable. It is actually more comfortable than Spanx, because it relies on soft boning that I don't even feel, and surprisingly, no underwire. It gives me the best shape I have ever tried (and look what it does for Ms. Hendricks!) The support in the bra cups actually comes from a double layer of lace where the cup is supported on a bound frame of the underlayer.

When it comes to looking good in high fashion, what is  underneath is as important as what is on the outside. As Tim Gunn once said "Shaky foundation, shaky house". And like pop artist Pink sang, "I'm an instigator of underwear". 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Blogger Love: Reading Summer Style

From the collections of emerging and well known designers, to the showing and caring for personal collections.  This week, IFB bloggers have shared personal collections, inspiring collections, and of course how to grow your wardrobe… the fashion purveyor’s ultimate collection.
And as the summer heat continues across the country, you’re showing us great ways to stay fashionable from day to night, and from air-conditioned offices to afternoon lunch-breaks (and one tip if you live south of the equator for winter weather!). We’ve also got vacation on the brain with summer reading, eating our way through Barcelona and days spent poolside in our bikinis. Thanks for keeping your summer style cool, IFB friends! Without any further ado – here’s our links for the week. - Kim Toomey


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Deniss Basso's Glam, Fur & Jewels Fall 2015

Have you been missing the runway reports? I was editing my closet this week and wishing I had a proper occasion (and weather) to wear my furs and jewels. Why? Dennis Basso displayed a gorgeous parade of 1970's inspired glam upgraded with luxurious furs, metallic fabrics and opulent jeweled embroideries.

A collection of big furs and glitzy gowns would normally feel stuffy or skew older. However, the swagger of the big collars and attitude of the models read more like luxe disco queen than dowager countess.

The jewel embroidery was a mix of smokey colors and pewter. It had a vintage look to it. the irregular shapes of the stones had an edgy look in contrast to the luxe furs. There were over-sized handbags of fur on fur as well.

Dennis Basso's last runway show is heavily featured in the upcoming film "Stealing Chanel". It serves as a backdrop in the high fashion education of a budding thief. If the movie doesn't school you on glamour, this show certainly did.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ms. Fabulous' Green Garden Brunch

mariana leung blogger

Leaving spring, starting summer. I wanted to host another Ms. Fabulous boozy brunch and invite my favorite people to it.While Meryl Streep's line "Florals for spring, groundbreaking " echoed in my head from The Devil Wears Prada, for a June brunch,  I couldn't think of anything more appropriate. I also wanted to be as green and eco-friendly as I could.

First, brunch decor consisted of upcycled tissue flowers made from papers retrieved from fashion events from the last month. Tissue flower DIY here.  I bought a few bunches of flowers and remixed them into vases I had in the cupboard. When you have a total mishmash of vases, I tied them together with washi paper I had lying around and raffia for a more cohesive look.

diy flowers

Keeping with the floral and green theme, my outfit of the day was a green print with butterflies blouse by Byron Lars and skirt by AllSaints UK. My shoes were cut-out butterfly heels by 9W. 

I'm kind of lazy with nail art, so I took a toothpick and just dotted a combination of my favorite colors this week. I left some negative space towards the bottom for a bit of an ombre effect (also helps with the manicure grows out).

For serving, I was introduced to Repurpose party supplies. These were cups and plates upcycled from corn sugar non-toxic.  It has an earthy look (you can totally decorate for your theme. My girlfriend joked that they were even edible (not quite ).

I was particularly proud of my tulip appetizers which were actually goat cheese stuffed tomatoes. 

Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomato Tulips:

1 box grape tomatoes
1 4 oz log of fresh chevre goat cheese
2 oz. Cream cheese
Half of a shallot bulb (very finely minced)
A few sprigs of Thyme
Freshly cracked pepper
Fresh Chives
bamboo skewers

Mix the herbs, shallot, and cheeses together in a bowl and then fill a piping bag (or zip lock bag) and chill.

Take your bamboo and push them through the chives. If the chives are too narrow, I split them lengthwise and wrapped them around the skewers like a spiral. The moist side of the chives actually help them stick to the skewer.

Cut the tomatoes cross-wise about 3/4 of the way down and spear the tomato with the bamboo skewer.

 Pipe the goat cheese mixture inside the cut tomatoes and then place in a vase to serve. Voila!

Now for the "boozy" part of the boozy brunch. My girlfriends never disappoint. Nyree brought a liquor soaked chocolate bundt and June brought a white wine pasta salad. The cocktail of the day was a green garden-themed Gardener's punch as a variation of an iced tea.

Gardener’s Punch

1.5oz Jägermeister
.5oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.5oz Earl Grey Tea
1 teaspoon Maple Syrup or Agave Syrup
1 teaspoon Citrus Marmalade
Orange Slice to garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and give it a few good shakes. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice. Of course, this is just for one serving. I made a big pitcher for the gals to sip all afternoon until everyone was feeling very nice. 

Happy Summering!
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