Tag Archives | Fall 2012/2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn’t just about spending time with you family & friends – or food – It’s also a time to be grateful and to give thanks for all of the amazing things in your life.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t say a great big THANK YOU to all of my readers for your continued support – I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without each and every one of you.

And as a token of my appreciation here’s a collection of sales and shopping destinations to check out if you’re interested in celebrating Black Friday or Cyber Monday:

What sales am I most looking forward to? I’ve already placed my ASOS order {as I tweeted Wednesday – 20% off w/ the code ASOSxBLAIR} and I’m hoping for some quality time on the Bloomingdale’s & Piperlime sites – Below are some of my picks!
What sites and/or stores are you planning to check out this year for Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Any pieces you’ve been dying to get and are waiting to see if they’ll go on sale?
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Website Review – FootCandy Shoes

Due to long hours, lots of time spent in front of a computer on a daily basis, and a general dislike of crowded stores – I’ve become quite the connoisseur of the “art” of online shopping. Recently I was thinking about what I like, what I don’t like, which sites I frequent, and what qualities I look for when I’m shopping online and wanted to share some of the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years.

What makes a good online retailer?

  1. Great selection of pieces so I’ll always find something that I like
  2. Carries brands that I know & love (and which I already know my size in…)
  3. Acceptable pricing & great and/or frequent sales
  4. Shipments arrive in good time
  5. Quick, easy & hassle-free returns

My favorite places to shop online?

  1. ASOS
  2. Bloomingdale’s
  3. Piperlime
  4. BCBG
  5. Nordstrom

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Shopstyle.com – Even though you don’t order directly from the website itself, this is the best place to find something that you’re looking for since they’ll search ALL online retailers for you. Ridiculously helpful.

Now that we’ve talked about online shopping in general, let’s discuss shoe shopping. As I’m sure you’ve picked up, I like shoes {Real Girls Need Real Closets & Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition} so today I want to share a new website that I recently discovered called FootCandy Shoes – An independent, high-end retailer that has put together a great website that carries a pretty spectacular selection of shoes.

Pros:

  • Free shipping on orders over $100
  • Great sale section & “Bargain Basement” tabs with shoes under $50, $100, $150…
  • Carries designer shoes as well as the more common, less expensive brands
  • They also carry handbags and other small accessories

Cons:

  • There are some PRICEY pieces on this site so be prepared

And the most fun part of reviewing a shoe site, here are my loves, must haves, and recommendations for Fall!

{Left to Right: Kate Spade Bison Booties – $120, Moschino White & Black Pumps – $150, Pollini Striped Oxfords – $190 & Tory Burch Buckled Ankle Boots – $215}

And as an added bonus FootCandy Shoes would like to share a couple great shoe-related articles with us – Since they know how much we all love our shoes!

{The following was written by Foot Candy Shoes for MCLV}

Top 4 Ways to spot a fake Christian Louboutin Shoe

Today, it seems as though there are many individuals that are trying to mimic the iconic designer shoes of Christian Louboutin. With his eye for incredible design, texture, fabric, and of course his infamous red sole, who wouldn’t want to be the next Christian Louboutin? Well… there is a difference between inspiration and plagiarism. He is a mogul that he himself created. Since day one he has put everything he had into his shoes. From dreams to scribbles, Louboutin is a trendsetter that no other person other than the glorious man himself can replicate. He truly is a one of a kind designer and this is clearly why every fashionista across the globe is obsessed with his label. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that want a piece of his opulence and they themselves have started to counterfeit his designs.

Here are four tips that will help every fashionista out there distinguish between Authentic Christian Louboutin’s and Imitations:

1. The Box: Some may find this tip silly but its close attention to detail that will differentiate genuine Louboutin’s from the fake ones. When looking closely at the box it is important to note the word “Paris.” It should be located near the edge of right side of the box. It should not be underneath the Christian Louboutin logo. In addition, the item description sticker should be on the box. It should clearly state the European size, name of the shoe, and have a sku bar and number all located on this one sticker. Lastly, the Christian Louboutin logo should be written in white lettering.

2. The Dust Bags: An authentic dust bag should be a bright red color made of a cotton fabric with the Christian Louboutin logo noticeably written straight across the bag. Fake dust bags tend to look almost sun faded or pink in tone. In addition, the fake dust bags have the Christian Louboutin logo that is written diagonally. Lastly, the fake dust bags usually are made of a fake silky material.

3. The Red Sole: A genuine Christian Louboutin red sole is always a bright red hue with a high gloss finish. Fake red soles are a deeper red hue and tend to have a matte looking finish rather than glossy one. Pay close attention to the lettering inscribed on the red sole. An authentic Christian Louboutin will clearly have “Christian Louboutin,” “Made in Italy,” and the European size located on it. Many times the fake shoes will have the word “MadeInItaly” as one word with no spaces. Lastly, the loop on the “L” located on an authentic Christian Louboutin shoe will appear almost touching the rest of the “L.” In the replica the “L” will not touch and there is a notable space in-between.

 4. The Authenticity Card: An enormous clue that will distinguish if the shoe you are purchasing is genuine or not has to do with the authenticity card. Fake shoes will come with a red PLASTIC authenticity card. However, genuine Christian Louboutin shoes do not send out any booklets or authenticity cards!

We hope these tips help! Happy Christian Louboutin Hunting!!

This article was written by Foot Candy Shoes, online retailers for Christian Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik and more.

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Outerwear is always one of my favorite parts about dressing for Fall, and with all of the fun patterned and colorful blazers in stores this season I’m even more excited than usual. Not sure where to start? Time to check in with the experts! The Glitter Guide’s Fall Shopping Guide: Blazers.

One of my new favorites to keep an eye on during Fashion Month is Russian designer and photographer Ulyana Sergeenko. Her style is dramatic, eye-catching, and perfectly over-the-top. And luckily for us fashion lovers she’s just one of many chic up and coming Russian fashionistas making the scene these days! You’ll thank me after you check out all of these lovely ladies in Bougeotte’s Modern Russian Czarinas Are Being Born.

Beauty lovers have been buzzing about the new Courtin-Clarins beauty blog that launched last month. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see what these French beauties have to say now’s the time! WhoWhatWear – The Scoop: Claire & Virginie Courtin-Clarins.

Patterned pants and all-over-prints on suits and shorts suits are all things that I’m excited to wear this Fall and next Spring, so why not check out some fabulous versions worn lately to get you in the mood? The Next Evolution of Fashion’s Print Obsession: The Printed Suit.

I recently discovered a fun new fashion blog that I’d love to share – Advanced Style was created by Ari Seth Cohen and celebrates the fabulous fashion of the older generations. As someone who grew up on Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant movies, couldn’t wait to start working after college so I could have a formal wardrobe, and dresses up to travel – this is right up my alley. I love the formality and classic approach to fashion celebrated  by previous generations and this website is a great place to find stunning photographs of just that. Enjoy!

Health & Fitness:

I remember thinking at 18 that 30 was so old but now as I’m swiftly approaching the big three-oh my thinking has changed – I’m looking forward to the things that I’m going to accomplish in my thirties, the goals I’m going to set, the places I’m going to visit. Needless to say I was thrilled when I saw this article – Does life really begin at 30?

Sweet potatoes are a great favorite of mine – I love that there are an endless number of recipes that you can make with them, from snacks to savory dinner to sweet desserts. Versatile and delicious, what more could a girl want? More recipes to try of course! 10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes: Easy and tasty sweet potato recipes, each with about 300 calories or less.

Finding new recipes, reading about food, health & nutrition, and finding great food blogs written by creative, passionate people are some of my favorite pastimes so I was thrilled when Green Thickies posted a list of the their favorite blogs – Some I already knew and others I eagerly looked up. I had dozens of recipes printed in minutes! 🙂 Check out 8 Best Vegan Blogs for links and recipes to try!

Sometimes when I look at a recipe I’ll immediately think “no” in my mind when I look at the amount of oil, butter, or sugar being recommended. Rather than count certain recipes out, we can substitute healthier, nutritious ingredients for the more calorically dense, fattening ones. Apple sauce is one of my go-to ingredients to lighten up a recipe, but for Fall why not try pumpkin? How to Substitute Pumpkin Puree For Butter and Oil.

Speaking of pumpkin, this was one of the first pumpkin recipes I made this season when Trader Joe’s started stocking the shelves with canned pumpkin – How To Make A Quick Healthy Pumpkin Pie Fudge. So. Good.

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Couture Couture Couture

Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.

Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.

Yes. Game of Thrones.

The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.

The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.

Divine!

I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.

New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection  – “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”

Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.

Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.

The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.

While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.

The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.

In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.

These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.

The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun – Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.

Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.

The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!

I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.

And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.

Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.

Sources: Fashionologie, Style.com, Tom & Lorenzo, TopCoat & FabSugar

If you’re curious to see what these designers have shown on the couture catwalk in seasons past here are a few links to try – Spring 2012 Couture and Fall 2011 Couture.

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