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New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I

Every season I’m at a loss as to how I should approach the fashion show reviews. There are so many that I don’t know where to start, how many I should try to review, or how to justify which shows I choose over others. It’s oddly stressful considering I’m sitting in front of my laptop in San Francisco and NOT running around the cobblestone streets of New York City in stilettos with a 50 lbs handbag.

So this season I have come up with a plan of attack. I’m going to publish four separate pieces for New York Fashion Week:

  1. The NYFW Institutions – i.e. Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg & Carolina Herrera
  2. The more reasonably priced or secondary designer lines – i.e. J.Crew, MARC by Marc Jacobs & Alice+Olivia
  3. New up & coming brands that I’m just discovering or which are new to the tents – i.e. Z Spole by Zac Posen, Thakoon Addition & Victoria by Victoria Beckham
  4. And finally the street style & front row fashion of the NYFW attendees

So without further ado – Welcome to the fabulous runway fashion of the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows:

BCBG Max Azria:

This collection was an interesting juxtaposition of hard against soft. The dresses all had a harness-like construction on the bodice, evoking a tough, bad-girl vibe that contrasted with the softer colors and flowing silhouettes.

Black, white, grey, and coral were the colors de jour and all the looks were paired with a wide ankle strap adorned heel in black or white. The fitted, midi and maxi-length skirts were equipped with high slits in the thin, wispy floral, lace, and paisley prints, making them utterly perfect for hot summer nights.

Peter Som:

This sweet collection was filled with great prints, bright colors and pastels, florals, flowy silhouettes and just a touch of lace. It was structured and well put together, but relaxed and fun – New York City girl meets boho chic.

The prints were chic and I loved the cropped pants – of course – and the hippie vibe throughout. I don’t think that I can say it any better than The Man Repeller: “Peter Som is punk rock tea party infused with tigers and ponies.”

Derek Lam:

I heard the phrase “sporty luxury” to describe Derek Lam and couldn’t get it out of my head – That’s the perfect description for this master of chic sportswear and exquisite tailoring. These clothes were modern and chic, I can easily picture them on streets all over the world.

Interesting fabrics and textures, bold prints, and slouchy silhouettes were the hallmarks here. Knee-length skirts and sheath dresses in brightly colored leather, all-over geometric prints, separates, and the retro-inspired midriff baring tops that were all over the runways in New York all made an appearance.

Calvin Klein:

The collection that Francisco Costa presented may have been primarily black and white but it was a far cry from boring. And a far cry from the slinky pastel numbers favored by Hollywood starlets on the red carpet last season.

These looks were sleek, body conscious, and strikingly sexy with dramatic cuts and a variety of reach-out-and-touch-them fabrics and textures including lace, satin, mesh, and leather. No florals or pastels for the Calvin Klein girl this coming Spring, she’ll be breaking out killer heels and wowing everyone with her confidence and daring.

Ralph Lauren:

The Ralph Lauren show was a combination of make-believe and reality. There were costume-like pieces inspired by Spain and Latin America – fringe, matador jackets, and ponchos – and there were chic, wearable pieces that I’m sure we’ll be seeing soon on the red carpets and sidewalks of Hollywood.

I absolutely loved the flowing, ruffle-adorned maxi dresses and skirts in stripes and bright florals, as well as the vaguely Parisian looking prim A-line skirts paired with fitted jackets, and the double-breasted, oversized suits with dramatic shoulders.

Ole!

Thakoon:

If I had to pick a single word to describe the Spring 2013 collection presented by Thakoon it would be beautiful. The cuts & silhouettes were flattering, the fabric & textures were interesting, and the prints & details were nothing short of divine.

From pretty, colorful, whimsical prints for daytime outings to daring but still utterly chic lace, eyelet, and sheer fabrics for nighttime.

A collection like this one really illustrates the difference between a designer like Thakoon and one like Lee McQueen – While I’d call them both artists the wearability of a collection like this one is unparalleled. I wait with bated breathe for the McQueen shows and gasp at the artistry and showmanship, but I can picture every single piece of this collection in my wardrobe, not something most of us mere mortals can say about McQueen.

Diane Von Furstenberg:

Who knew being a techie could be so darn stylish? DVF went geek chic this season and sent her girls down the runway in brilliant colors, prints, and flowing caftans paired with the brand new Google Glasses.

Glasses aside this collection had a classic DVF feel – Great 70’s styles & prints, flowing silhouettes that would be right at home in Saint Tropez or Marrakech, and eye-catching accessories like oversized earrings, brightly colored sunglasses, and matchy-matchy handbags. The whole collection had a delicious retro vibe that made me nostalgic for the heyday of Miss Diane herself.

Victoria Beckham:

I always look forward to the Victoria Beckham show, I adore her personal style and that chic, timeless style always shows up in her collections. And while I love – and would die to own – all of her sexy, second skin sheath dresses, I was thrilled by the amount of separates and slightly less body conscious pieces that she sent down the runway for Spring.

Everything was still sleek and sexy, with little color or prints per her usual aesthetic, but somewhat more relatable for the non-Hollywood set. I especially liked the A-line skirts and high-necklines, and the black, white, and the brilliant orange color scheme suited the austerity of the designs.

Well done!

Tommy Hilfiger:

Stripes! Stripes! Stripes! But we’re not talking about your basic, boring stripes for Spring, these are chic, retro stripes adorning flowing suits, maxi dresses, and separates in red, white, and navy.

The devil was in the details of this collection – The drama of a double-breasted, oversized suit jacket, delicate chevron prints, bright piping on a two-toned blazer, contrasting denim on denim pockets, thick weave cable knit sweaters, gold rope detailing, and flowy silk shirt-dresses. You’ve got to admit, nothing says All-American quite like Tommy Hilfiger.

Jason Wu:

Jason Wu may be best know for dressing Michelle Obama, but when a runway show starts with Carolyn Murphy strutting her stuff in a black leather mini dress you know the collection is heading in a different direction than usual.

While the primarily black & white collection was filled with leather & lace, his red lipped models also wore some killer separates and pieces with exquisite tailoring. But even the prim looks amped up the sexiness with mesh, sheer panels, studs and animal prints.

Donna Karan:

City girl Donna Karan presented an unusually soft and sweet collection pulling inspiration from the ballet which gave the pieces ethereal undertones that were further emphasized by the pale color palette.

The soft, gauzy looking fabrics, flattering drapping, sweater-sets, and pastel satins were sugary sweet and picture perfect for good-girl actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Greene, or Nicole Kidman. Among the draping and flowing fabrics were two numbers that caught my eye though – A sharp white sheath dress with a matching cropped jacket and a sexy sheer panelled navy gown perfect for a siren like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley during her next red carpet appearance.

Zac Posen:

Calling all supermodels!

The Zac Posen show was the place to be when the audience was surprised by Naomi Campbell, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, and Coco Rocha all hitting the catwalk in his gorgeous, retro-inspired designs.

The dresses were phenomenal – From floral fifties inspired day dresses with sweetheart necklines to second-skin suits with his trademark dramatic bodice cuts, to sleek gowns in satins, florals, and chiffons. I could picture the likes of Eva Mendes and Emma Stone wearing the chic, but prim daydresses, and I guarantee that the rest of these gowns will be all over the red carpets come awards season.

Marc Jacobs:

There’s a reason that no one could stop talking about the Marc Jacobs show – It was amazing. Fabulously retro and evocative of the stylish Warhol girls of the 60’s, without appearing costumy or over the top, the kind of clothes you can really picture yourself wearing.

Loads of stripes – from thick to thin & horizontal to vertical – interesting lengths, cute separates, matching handbags, low-heeled shoes, and chic outerwear. I loved the long jackets with the high collars, the tiny shifts that us non-supermodels would need to wear slim trousers under, and the adorable pointy toed kitten heels.

Michael Kors:

Another show that emphasized stripes and had a Mod feeling to it was Michael Kors, which was brightly colored, bold, and very sporty. While it may not have been innovative, this collection showed piece after piece of very wearable clothing – For both men and women.

Stripes, colorblocking, contrasting collars, flats, wide low-slung belts, matching suits, tank & shift dresses, and separates all made lovely appearances. I may not be able to live without the green tunic & matching shorts set, it’s one of my favorite looks so far from the NYFW collections.

The menswear was fabulous – Full of color, great silhouettes, and classics styles. The men also got the stripes treatment and he showed great suits, white boat shoes, separates in the form of slacks, shorts & sweaters, and killer outerwear.

Carolina Herrera:

This light airy collection was filled with pale hues – from peach and aqua to olive-green and daffodil yellow – All perfectly ready for Spring. There were shorts, midi length skirts, trench coats, maxi dresses, gowns, and some sweet separates.

As gorgeous as CH’s gowns always are, the separates and short coats were what really caught my eye. They were chic and well-tailored, but more approachable than her collections have been in the past. The wide strap heeled sandals worn by all came in every color imaginable and thin belts cinched all of the waists. And interestingly enough, not a piece of jewelry could be seen!

Oscar de la Renta:

What I love about ODLR is his consistency – Each show will inevitably cater to a handful of crowds, from high-powered businesswomen & ladies who lunch to the fashionable young things & “It” girls that compose the celebutant set.

The splashes of colors in this collection were shocking yellow, pink, and teal – An interesting choice that worked surprisingly well. The collection was vibrant and fun with lots of beautiful textures and fabrics, and a great separates that I can imagine a few fashionistas in. Personally I’d be first in line for the thin striped dress paired with the black & white plaid coat and the sequin encrusted retro tunic & slim cropped pants – Tres chic!

Jill Stuart:

I’m always excited for a collection that pulls from Kim Basinger’s Veronica Lake look-a-like character in LA Confidential as it’s inspiration – The old school, golden age of Hollywood was such an extravagant and glamorous period fashion-wise.

You could really see that in the boudoir-feeling of the silks and slinky satins, and in the sequins, lame, and metallic brocades. While this wasn’t a “real woman” collection, there were beautiful dresses, gowns, and a few separates that will cater perfectly to a certain set.

Alexander Wang:

Wow.

Cut outs, netting, mesh, beading, lucite, sheer fabrics, leather, and garments that glowed in the dark when the lights went down. Cool club kids of the world unite! The pieces were minimalist and simultaneously dramatic and eye-catching, a feat few designers can manage.

Architectural and structured, but still fun and irreverent, all of the looks were paired seamlessly with strappy sandal-boot hybrids in black, white, or clear lucite. Definitely not looks for the average woman to wear walking down the street, but something that the cool girls that love Wang dearly can wear for a night out on the town.

{Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Sartorialist, & Tom & Lorenzo}

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: The Man Repeller – NYFW Day I, The Sartorialist – Boy by Band of Outsiders, Tom & Lorenzo’s Tadashi Shoji Spring 2013 Collection, Late Afternoon’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Diary, or check out IFB’s Spring 2013 Pinterest Board.

What’s your favorite collection that I’ve reviewed so far? If you could go to New York City for Fashion Week what would the number one show on your list to see in person be?

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Looks of the Week

Welcome back to another Looks of the Week Monday! I hope that everyone had a great weekend and is wringing every drop of Summer fun out of these August days as they can. Let’s start our week out right with some fabulous fashionistas showing off everything from statement jewelry to mixing prints to bright colors.

Enjoy!

Nothing says Summer as effortlessly or stylishly as a white dress. And while this drapping, asymmetrical white dress is stunning it’s Kristina’s accessories that make this look stand out so well. The studded red Zara shoulder bag and killer gold spiked collar from H&M are both incredibly striking & eye-catching, they really bring this look to a whole other level.

This is a low-key but striking and sassy combination that should really motivate you to spice things up before walking out the door. Colorblocking is a great way to make a look really POP.

A sweater can be tough for men to make work for them, but this is a great example of how to put together a clean-cut, stylish look using one. Navy pants + white button down + a sweater with a flattering pattern and cut. Bonus for the killer accessories – Retro shades, white watch strap, and fabulous bag.

Love love love! This is a fabulous look from head to toe. The Versace for H&M studded top pairs beautifully with this nude, pleated leather skirt. And to top it all off, I couldn’t have picked a better clutch or more fabulous booties to add to this outfit.

This is an interesting and really eye-catching look despite the fact that there’s not a lot of color. The sequined stripes are great and I love that she chose a looser, more relaxed top to mix with the dramatic midi-length skirt. Well done!

The art of wearing lady pants is something every woman really should master. Finding the right cut and silhouette to suit your figure can take years of trial and error. If you’ve ever felt like giving up, you’ll enjoy this shot of the perfect pink pants. And those are definitely three words I never thought I’d write. 🙂

High-Low hemlines aren’t always my favorite style but I couldn’t take my eyes off of this look. The colors, the prints, and the textures are so eye-catching and deliciously Summery that I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen. Nothing short of fabulous!

Neutrals don’t have to be boring as this look proves. Stunning Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel shows us how to put together a relaxed, but fashionable Summertime look with this nude pleated mini, a basic white t-shirt, and cute braided sandals. 

Why not make your shopping trip or errand run a bit more fun with some bold color or printed separates? This basic shorts & tank look is fun and stylish with the addition of a killer handbag, flattering green shorts, and animal print flats.

This makes me miss Fall SO MUCH. I love a great coat and this corset belted olive-green military coat is killer. Her accessorizing – bowler hat & high boots – make it even more eye-catching and cold weather-appropriate.

Chic! I love a great Summer dress and this is a phenomenal color on her. And after finding a great color & style, she personalized it and made it more “her” with the tooled leather Rebecca Minkoff bag and fabulous 3.1 Phillip Lim gladiator sandals.

And just in case you missed the fabulousness that was the Team Supermodel walk during last night’s Closing Ceremonies in London, here are some pictures and great commentary to console you – Team Supermodel Strikes Gold In London!

{Click on images above to visit the original source}

Which picture is your favorite of the shots above? Does seeing fun new looks put together by stylish people motivate and inspire you to mix things up when you’re planning your own outfits?

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Vacationing With Oscar

Did you enjoy the Chanel 2013 Resort Collection? Luckily for us there are other design houses that are offering up Resort collections for us this year, including Oscar de la Renta.

During my review of the Fall 2012 Oscar de la Renta Collection during New York Fashion Week last season I mentioned how in addition to his tried and true ladies who lunch attire, he was also offering some younger clothes with a youthful air to them.

This season’s Resort collection was a continuation of that and we saw not only the chic separates and dresses that we’ve come to know and love, but some great black, white, and multi-colored pieces in gingham, checks, animal prints, plaid, florals, lace, crochet, ruffles, tweed, and even tie dye.

I really liked this collection, it was light and fun, with an air of decadence and just a hint of naughtiness in the peek-a-boo lace booties and plunging necklines. I especially liked the looks in bright Spring greens made up of florals and giant checkered patterns. All tied chicly at the waist with green belts with gorgeous vintage-inspired gold buckles.

I predict that the first four looks in the green section will become wildly popular when they hit the stores. The silk blouses with floral details are flattering and beautifully made, while the pencil skirts give the looks a great retro feel. And the two dresses on the left have that great pin-up feel to them, I can picture a bombshell like Eva Mendes hitting the red carpet in either dress.

The other look that I adored was the opening number worn by Lindsey Wixson.

This pants & shirt outfit is to die for. I love the contrasting black and white circular patterns and the slim cut of the pants. The accessories are pretty divine as well, I love the matchy matchy clutch, belt, and bracelet. All over chic!

Source, Source & Source

Check out FabSugar’s summary of the show here and if you’re curious about previous Oscar de la Renta shows you can see them here: New York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012, and Resort 2012.

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Looks of the Week

Happy Monday!

What better way to start a week off than some great sartorial inspiration? It always gives me a little lift when I see well-put together outfits, it also motivates me to put in some added effort when it comes to my personal style choices.

What about you? If you see some great looks does it motivate you to be more creative when you’re putting together and styling your daily outfits?

 

This is a great example of on of my favorite ways of putting together an outfit – Camille Over The Rainbow is a master of high-low dressing. Zara, Asos, and H&M pieces paired seamlessly with a gorgeous Celine handbag.

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This is just stunning. I love the unique combination of dramatic animal prints, reptilian leggings, and the sheer fabric of the blouse. It is certainly eye-catching!

She’s also carrying the Celine bag that seems to be the It Bag for Spring/Summer 2012 and which I’ve been drooling over for months. It’s a great choice because it’s large enough to tote around your must have’s but not so big that you’re carrying around all of your belongings. I’ve also been seeing it mostly in versatile neutral colors – white, tan, brown, and deep wine red – and this is such a classic style and shape that you know a neutral in this bag will be useable every season until the end of time!

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I love everything about this look – From the cute black & white patterned day dress to the fringed cross-body bag to the adorable black framed glasses. The perfect outfit for a low-key day when you still want to look cute.

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I’ve always admired Eva’s street style, she’s got a look that’s very much her own – ladylike with a unique twist, like her blue sunglasses here. This is a really cute sundress in a flattering pattern and length, a great look for warm Summer days.

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If you’re going to go for an all-black outfit take a cue from model Daiane and keep your look interesting with a statement necklace and a great bag. Accessories can do wonders!

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A standout jacket is a great way to finish off a look. Even in summer you can throw on a lightweight coat, like this gorgeous Kenzo version, and you’re ready for anything!

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Could this look scream Summer more? It’s bright, fun, and a little bit sassy. I’m a sucker for shirtdresses and I really love her choice of accessories, that large envelope clutch is divine.

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If hippie’s not your style but you’re planning to head to music festivals this is a great look to aspire to – ladylike chic. A trench will still be classic whether you choose pale pink or powder blue, so you can choose whatever color suits you best. P.S. LOVE those cat flats.

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Sexy Summer whites! Whites are a great way to stay cool in the Summer, night or day. Throw on some great separates and grab a sleek clutch like this gorgeous patent leather version and you’re good to go.

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I really like both of these dresses. Some actresses promoting a movie with a younger co-star would feel pressure to wear clothing that’s too “young” for them, but like Elizabeth Banks did at all of the Hunger Games premieres, Charlize Theron kept it classy and age-appropriate. And I love Kristen’s belted BCBG dress!

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So tell me, what has been your favorite trend this Spring? What have you not been able to stop wearing or daydreaming about lately?

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Looks of the Week

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you have a good Mother’s Day? While I didn’t get to see my mother yesterday, I did get a chance to spend some time with my boyfriend’s mother and his sister who just gave birth to her third daughter two weeks ago. Quite the family day!

But today we’re here to discuss street style. Here in San Francisco it regularly goes from bright, sunny, and stunningly warm to foggy and rainy in 12 hours, so there’s no way to dress consistently during the Spring and Summer, it’s all about layering and keeping a sweater or umbrella in your bag. Here are some looks that run the gamut in terms of skin coverage so hopefully no matter where you are in the world there’s a look that you can emulate, enjoy!

I’m MAD about this look. A fabulous retro-inspired dress in a fun, eye-catching print is a great way to go. And those floral sunglasses are the icing on the fabulous cake!

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I love love love how she paired a flowy, hippie-style maxi dress with a cropped leather jacket, it gives it an edge. Biker Chick Chic!

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Olivia’s low key floral frock is perfect for Summer weddings this season. It’s flattering and pretty, and can easily go from day to night with the right jewelry and heels. She wears it perfectly here with ankle strap Boutique 9 heels.

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Just wow. Gorgeous color against her skin, unique dress with beautiful embellishments, and great, great accessories.

Gorgeous – Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Satin Knot Clutch

SEXY – She spices up her look with hot pumps – Brian Atwood ‘Claudia Bis’ Platform Pumps

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And if you’re as big a fan of Miss Zoe as I am, check out The Frugal Fashionista’s breakdown of some of her best outfits over the years. Tres chic!

zoe saldana whole foods, zoe saldana style, zoe saldana the conversation

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Interested in trying out the printed jeans trend? This is a great, subtle way to work the trend without getting too overwhelmed. Love that she paired the high-impact pants with a simple T.

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Too cuter! I love the retro patterned shorts paired with the chic gold polka-dotted blouse. That adorable mint green Prada bag is the perfect finishing touch!

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I LOVE this look. The mixing of the retro prints is just too cute. She looks like a chic Amy Winehouse!

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Want to try a new spin on an old class? Spice up your Little Black Dress this Spring and take Brooklyn Decker, Be Frassy’s Audrey Rogers, or model Anne V as your inspiration.

You can keep it classy in a knee-length dress, but it doesn’t have to be boring, you can easily find one with fun embellishments and details that will make you stand out in a crowd.

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Sexy sheer lace can be taken to the next level with a fun flared skirt. Some kick @$$ bright pumps are the perfect finishing touch.

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A jersey dress is a great way to stay cool as the temperature rises, and Anne V shows us here that you don’t have to sacrifice an ounce of glamour if you go with a demure hemline. Wow!

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And if you’re still dying for more street style, check out these best dressed round ups – Vogue UK and Mr. Blasberg’s Best-Dressed List for Harper’s Bazaar.

Have a great night!

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