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Looks of the Week

Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!

Welcome back to Fashion Monday, we’ve got quite a bit to get through this afternoon, believe me. 2012 Oscar after parties, red carpets, movie premieres and good old fashion street style snaps.

Perfect Spring look! I love the mixture of stripes and black & white florals, simple but chic combination that we've been seeing lately.

A brightly striped dress with a pink blazer & combat boots? A surprisingly great combination. Combat boots with a slight feminine twist are all the rage right now.

 

Another great look from Lookbook.nu - I like the rolled black pants with all of the layers on top, it's a silhouette that can be spiced up in many different ways and is flattering for most people.

 
Check out Modelinia’s Style File for a glimpse at all the gorgeous, oversized bags that the top models are carrying these days. Rosie & Miranda just can’t seem to stay off these best dressed lists! 🙂
 
 
Costume Designers Guild Red Carpet:
 

Long-time model turned actress Amber Valletta wore a gorgeous, bright coral sheath that accentuated her slim figure. Could have used some standout costume jewelry though...

 

Its sleek and flattering, and suits her red carpet personality to a T. What more could you ask for from Roons?

Kate knows what suits her and frequently sticks to a mermaid silhouette for her gowns, and while this isn't a huge departure for her, the pale icy blue hue is really stunning.

 
 
Independent Spirit Awards Red Carpet:
 

I really liked Anne Heche's Zac Posen dress - the sleeves, neckline and slightly flared were all great touches. Would have been even better in a vibrant color I bet.

 

I adore the idea of a suit on the red carpet and this Giorgio Armani version is an inspired choice. I especially like the white piping, it keeps the look from being boring or too business-y.

 

I love the unexpected when it comes to red carpet fashion. It's always fun when someone has the courage to mix things up, which is just what Kate Beckinsale did with this draping fuchsia Diane Von Furstenberg jumpsuit. Brava!

 

Zoe proved she's as ready for Spring as I am in this sweet floral frock. Balmain is frequently a little bit punk or rock n' roll so I was surprised that this light & airy dress was one of their creations.

 
 
And now for the tuxedos that we wish our significant others would wear… If we had someplace fancy to take them, that is! 🙂
 
 

I'm not normally an advocate for bow ties, but I couldn't help but love the satin piping & vest here. Well done.

 

Sleek and sexy isn't just for the ladies! You've got to love a man in a perfectly tailored suit.

 

Barney (aka Neal Patrick Harris) and his adorable husband looked elegant and well styled for the Elton John after party.

 
Oscar after party time! During the night of a thousand dresses everyone runs to their hotel or stylist’s house for a quick costume change. And luckily for us, some of the fashionable stars who passed on the Oscars came out for the parties… Kate, Diane, Zoe – I’m talk to you!
 
Vanity Fair Oscars Party:
 

The most talked about look from the Vanity Fair part was definitely Kate Bosworth's Prabal Gurung Fall 2012 cocktail dress. Absolutely amazing.

 
How many ladies can look as good or maybe even better in a dress than the model did on the runway? Check out Nimue Smit and judge for yourself, did Kate make this look work best?
 

As much as I hate peekaboo hemlines I gasped when this photo popped up. Striking & unusual - Zoe's never one to fade into the background. The jeweled neckline & delicate sleeves make the dress appear almost demure despite the sheer layering.

Miss Victoria vamped it up Posh Spice-style in one of her own designs. Tres chic!

I'm a sucker for polka dots and was really struck by Elizabeth Banks's peacock inspired Chadwick Bell gown. All about the drama!

The number of people who can pull off an exposed bra on the red carpet can be counted on one hand. Diane, luckily, is one of them. Wow!

Gorgeous! Can you ever go wrong with a sleek black Gucci gown? I especially like her gold collar and the dramatic belt.

 

Sleek and stunning. Rosie can really kill in complex, fashion-forward gowns but she's a breath of fresh air in a simple look like this one.

 
 
Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party:
 
Models, actors, actresses, musicians, and reality TV “stars” were out en masse for Elton John’s Annual AIDS Foundation Oscar Afterparty.
 

Anna Paquin's Emilio Pucci dress was dramatic and head-turning, I think she chose right by going with a cocktail-length rather than floor-length gown.

 

There weren't a lot of black gowns on the red carpet last night, lots of jewel tones, pastels and whites, but not much black. Nina Dobrev made a splash in this simple J.Mendel gown, I especially like the cut-outs at the shoulders.

 

While Karolina Kurkova doesn't need much to stand out, in a sea of gowns her sequin encrusted silver Armani jumpsuit was quite a sight. The red velvet shoes were a brilliant choice.

 
Hope you got your fill of pretty dresses and well-dressed men for today!
 
 
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Looks of the Week

Ready for some non-Fashion Week fashion? Yes, they’re still rich, famous, beautiful and hanging out places we’re not invited, but I can promise that they’re not sitting front row at a fashion show though!

The 2012 Elle Style Awards:

Tali Lennox wore a dramatic, sheer Julien Macdonald gown with a flashy metallic belt. I'm sure that the grey, white & yellow confection was eye-catching in person, but I was most impressed by the intricacy of the frock.

 

Clearly I'm just as ready for Spring as Poppy, I sat up a little straighter and smiled a little more when I caught sight of her adorable Mary Katrantzou for TopShop dress. Too. Cute.

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There were peplum dresses galore at NYFW so it was nice to see a fun, basic way to wear one from Evan. The black patent bow belt paired with the t-strap heels were perfect!

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Writers Guild Awards:

So. Cute. No idea who she is, but this is adorable and age appropriate. If I could get away with wearing this, I'd be alllll over it!

I like this dress because its different. Head-turning without being scandalous or revealing, you would definitely take a second look when she walks by.

 

Personally, I can't wear rompers, they just do not work for me. That being said, when I looked at this picture all I could think was "Spring's coming!!!" Super cute and fun.

 
Marni for H&M Collection Launch:
 

This look is exactly what I pictured when I heard that Marni was designing a collection for H&M. Interesting combinations of prints and fabrics with a fun vintage twist. Imogen Poots looks absolutely great in this silk dress!

In case you didn’t get a chance to check out the video yet, Imogen Poots was actually the star of Sofia Copola’s commercial for the Marni for H&M collection.
 

Adorable! I probably would have worn tights instead of pants with the great embellished tunic, but Jaime looks pretty great here. Love the headband.

 

Sofia Copola has great, low-key personal style and this look is perfectly her. Its fun, funky and has a great retro feel with the pattern and shimmery fabric.

I love polka dots and this look (or parts of it) probably would have been what I picked. I really like the bright blue and white combo - very crisp. Go Hanneli!

 

These are really beautiful colors on Jayma - she looks phenomenal in jewel tones but you have to admit she looks pretty great in these iridescent pastels as well.

 

LOVE. The styling is perfect for this simple, chic shift.

 
The 2012 Goya Cinema Awards:
 

Veronica Echegui's Gucci gown was head-turning and dramatic, that belt was the perfect accessory!

Mar Saura looked stunning in Ralph & Russo. I really love these shimmery, shiny pale gowns but they can be really hard to pull off - she makes it look effortless here.

 
Vanity Fair and Juicy Couture “Vanities” 20th Anniversary:
 

Shailene Woodley looked stylish and all grown up in her Bird by Juicy Couture jumpsuit. Very chic!

 

Kate Mara clearly wanted to prove that her sister wasn't the only one who could make a splash on the red carpet. Her zip-up Bird by Juicy frock is a little bit cheeky, but still very cute. Too bad she didn't throw on some brightly colored pumps!

 
2012 Brit Awards:
 
There was clearly no set dress code as the looks on this British red carpet ranged from wildly entertaining to newscaster demure – some almost reminiscent of a 90’s boy band era Grammy or VMA red carpet. Where are Justin & Britney in their all-demin outfits when you need them?
 

(L to R) Rihanna, Jessie J & Adele

 

(L to R) Caroline Flack, Cher Lloyd & Abbey Clancy

Does this give anyone else Spice Girls flashbacks?
 
Little Muffins: X Factor winners Little Mix, from left, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock
 
 

Interested in upping your own game when it comes to your daily and weekend looks? Modelinia has a quick & dirty guide to the perfect look using the beautiful and stylish Lara Stone, Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn as examples – 3 Steps to an Effortless Model Off Duty Look.

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2012

As much as I would love to review each & every show from the Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week – a girl’s gotta sleep. So in the next few posts I’ll share some of my favorite shows, looks, and moments, and at the bottom you can find more information & links about the shows that I couldn’t review.

I always look forward to Alice+Olivia because I can see myself in all of their clothes and their presentations are always bright, pretty and fun. This season the outstanding looks were showcased on a dramatic black & white rug in a chic Baroque-style sitting room – a busy, but interesting background for the pieces.

From separates to cocktail frocks to full length gowns, there’s a little something for everyone. I love the black, white & grey tweed and wool outerwear almost as much as the glitzy dresses – always the highlight with everything from brocade florals to sleek n’ sexy black to glamorous sequins, feathers and faux fur. Tres chic!

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been hooked since Rachel Zoe’s very first show because not only are her looks right on trend, they’re flattering and wearable – I even bought this coat after eyeing it for over a year. This season was no exception and her first runway show was all about the swinging 60’s in London with a splash of rock n’ roll – a common theme this week.

The looks were fun, sexy & playful with faux fur & leather, pantsuits, velvet, pleating, double-breasted buttons, sequins & over-the-knee suede boots. I’ll take one of each please!

{Tom & Lorenzo and Black Studded Fashion agreed, you can also read her post-fashion week interview with Harper’s Bazaar here}

Milly is another show that I look forward to because I know that some of the pieces will end up in my closet  (at this point I should say thank you to my gorgeous & stylish cousin Heather for turning me onto Milly – definitely a defining moment!). And Michelle Smith did not disappoint this season, the show was full of fun colors, interesting patterns and quirky silhouettes.

Adorable double-breasted coats, gloves in black, leopard and blue, sheer tights, turtlenecks, A-line minis, sheer blouses with contrasting collars, petal skirts, flashes of neon, retro-style cocktail dresses, wide belts and pointy-toed pumps.

The grey petal dress with the pockets worn over a black turtleneck and gloves {above right} was definitely my favorite look – Can’t you just see that walking down the street?

Diane Von Furstenberg’s show was sexy and powerful, the DVF woman she celebrated this season was glamorous and sophisticated in bold colored body-worshipping dresses.

I loved the short sleeves paired with opera-length gloves, the belted coats with slim pants, the colorblocking separates, the ankle-strap heels and the sweet prints. The minimal makeup and side-parted hair were the perfect finishing touch.

{Check out this video from FabSugar to see these gorgeous clothes in action!}

If you live for elegant ladylike looks, you’re probably a fan of Victoria Beckham’s classic designs. This season was all about preppy curve-hugging jersey and sporty form-fitting outerwear, paired – interestingly enough – with cute combat boots & thick socks.

This season also marked the first show for Victoria’s lower priced collection called Victoria by Victoria Beckham – Which according to Net-a-Porter was entirely sold out before even getting online. These dresses are simple and pretty, not overly complex or intricate, just basic shift and drop-waisted frocks that you can dress up or down.

{See the video from the Victoria Beckham show here and check out a video of the designer hanging out with Anna Wintour here}

Rachel Roy took the elements as her muse and showed a collection in deep, earthy colors and fun, modern silhouettes. I especially liked the shades of purple used for the last portion of the show, the brightly colored cropped gloves, Oxford booties and wide belts on the coats and separates.

Carolina Herrera’s show was everything we’ve come to expect over the years – glamour and sophistication, with a splash of decadence. She showed everything from wool A-line skirts to cropped boleros to belted strapless dresses to silk screened ball gowns to swoon-worthy gloves, shoes & accessories.

The colors and fabrics were beautiful and interesting while the silhouettes maintained their usual classic and ladylike flair. I especially loved the black & white striped print with the bright florals splashed across. Gorgeous.

{You can find more pictures from this show here}

If you’re in the mood for a little prep J.Crew was the show for you this season. This collection was all about separates and layering, each look had a handful of interesting components that could be worn separately or together. And while there were more bright colors and fun prints than in years past, the basic J.Crew asthetic was present throughout.

{You can also check out a video of the show here.}

Patterned sweaters, jewel toned & printed pants, traditional outerwear, plaid and stripes, dresses for work and play and cute cropped sweater coats. How adorable is that blue tweedy look on the right with the orangy red turtleneck?

The 3.1 Phillip Lim show was primarily black, white & grey with splashes of camel, burnt orange and aqua here and there. But above all else, these clothes were oh-so-wearable. Not only could I picture these looks walked down the New York sidewalk outside, I’ve seen versions & variations in the closets of all the chic women I know. Bulky sweaters, chic suits, cigarette pants, tunics, turtlenecks & sweater dresses galore.

Was it innovative and ground breaking? No, but in an economy like this one women prefer to buy classic, well-made pieces that can be worn season after season, rather than something that will be out of style in a few months, and that’s where this collection steps in.

Favorite part? Definitely the t-strap platforms. Come to mama!

Details details details! Marc Jacobs is always a bit eccentric in his presentations and this year was no different. Bundled layers, dramatically exaggerated silhouettes & unconventional mix and matching were the order of the day. And hats that Dr. Seuss would have been proud of. Can’t forget those.

But looking beyond the showmanship and styling you found some really fabulous pieces perfect for Fall – I especially liked the pairing of slim, cropped cigarette pants with bigger proportions on top, the large buttons on the coats and the elaborate pilgrim shoes.

The looks that Tory Burch showed were effortlessly chic and wearable, I could see myself in virtually everything. And as much as I adore seeing the artistry and showmanship of designers like the late Alexander McQueen, there’s something comforting about seeing a collection that can translate easily to real life, and that’s something that Tory Burch excels at.

While the separates, skirts, dresses and perfectly tailored outerwear were to die for, I couldn’t help but drool a little over the extras. Opera-length gloves, structured handbags, lace & patterned tights, floral appliqué collars and low-heeled T-straps.

{You can read Modelinia’s review of the show here}

Zac Posen’s Japanese themed collection was filled to the brim with hip-hugging dresses, jewel toned separates and sumptuous outerwear. His clothes are dramatic and glamorous, you choose this brand when you want to make a statement the moment you walk into a room.

{You can see a video of the runway show here.}

While Posen’s clothes can seem more like art at times than something you’d actually wear – the flared skirts and cut-out bodices were incredibly flattering, as were the gorgeous metallic ankle-strap heels.

Oh Oscar! The Oscar de la Renta show was a fun and youthful twist on his usual prim and proper fare. Shorter hemlines, cheeky color combinations ,and mix n’ match patterns gave the show an interesting twist. The looks were Winterized by adding bulky knit wraps, cropped tweed coats, lace and brocade jackets and even floor-length dusters paired with evening gowns.

The booties and twisted ribbon pumps paired with subtle fish net stockings were divine, as were the jeweled headpieces, brooches and crystal adorned outerwear. I thought that the exaggerated boatneck collars were exceptionally flattering and loved the pale blue – almost reminiscent of Karl’s Spring 2012 Couture collection.

{Need more Oscar? FabSugar & The Fashionista have you covered – both featuring Arizona Muse’s amazing silver Cinderella ball gown}

A post on New York Fashion Week would hardly be complete without a mention of DKNY. The show was all about downtown cool and as usual black was the main hue – this season with touches of dove grey, cranberry and navy. The cropped outerwear paired with an  A-line mini skirt was an especially fun and flirty silhouette, that still managed to be a little bit business.

The highlights were the thick leather belts, high collars, opaque black tights, booties & ankle-strap heels, gorgeous handbags, sweet floral prints with harder pieces, brights paired with black and tough biker girl leather edges added to outerwear. I would wear virtually any of these pieces, can’t wait for them to hit stores!

The details and extras were really well-chosen for this show, I loved everything from the shoes to the accessories to the cuffs and collars added to the jackets & coats.

{You can also see Tom & Lorenzo’s photographs & review here.}

What can you say about Michael Kors? The man himself is a legend (Studio 54 ring a bell anyone?) and the brand that he’s created is know for its clean lines, flattering styles, and all-American appeal. And while last year’s big 30th anniversary show was quite the success, this year’s show was hardly a let down. The chic country girl in the big city styles were fun but practical – MK’s MO.

The red & black checks, grey wool, black & white flannels, thick knits and dramatic leathers and furs created a backdrop for the story that MK told and the looks were finished off with gloves, skinny belts, thick socks, t-strap heels, clogs, lace up boots and chunky Mary Janes.

{FabSugar has additional photos of the Michael Kors show here or you can see full runway show on GQ Fashion.}

And last but hardly least is Prabal Gurung, one of  the most anticipated shows of the season – the Twittersphere (oh how I hate that word) BLEW UP after the new ad campaign with a dark-haired Candice Swanepoel was released and the hype for his Fall 2012 show increased steadily until the big day. From blacks to brilliant cobalt to white to shimmery gold, the looks ranged from severe with dramatic cutouts to youthful with crazy prints.

I thought that the satiny finished trousers were extremely chic and I can’t wait for the multi-strap heels to hit the stores. I’m also predicting that many of these frocks will appear on the red carpets this season. I wouldn’t be able to resist if I had access to them!

{Purple DIARY has some more great photos here and the runway video can be viewed here}

{Source, Source, Source & Source}

If you’d like to see more shows there are full New York Fashion Week summaries here and here, or you can see photos or videos of the individual shows here: Tibi, Tracy Reese, Christian Siriano, Jenny Packham, Karen Walker, Chris Benz, Naeem Khan, Betsey Johnson, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti and Elie Tahari.

All the designers really out did themselves this year. The creativity and artistry of the collections and the presentations really blew me away. Stay tuned for the street style and front row looks, then it’s off to London Fashion Week. Also – Be sure to keep an eye out for Moi Contre La Vie’s post-Fashion Week Giveaway!

*** Please note that I do not advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear/carry fur, exotic skins or leather. I believe that in this day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty & animal-free and should be utilized in their place.

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Gym Goddess – Part V

Welcome to How to be a Gym Goddess Part V, if you’re new to this series feel free to check out Part I, II, III & IV at your leisure.

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The goal of Week V was to increase Liz’s endurance further with longer cardio bursts, more HIIT and additional rounds & repetitions to lengthen the workouts.

 

*Note: Discuss changes to your fitness regime with a doctor in advance to avoid injuries.

 

Day 1: All HIIT, all the time.

10 minute cardio warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

Change machines and do an additional 15 minutes of intervals (if possible you should use three different machines for the warm up, first 15 minutes and second 15 minutes, or you can jog in place or outdoors).

This ended up being the perfect start to the week, we were both suffering from a severe case of the Mondays and battling through headaches and knew that as awful as the gym sounded we’d be more well-adjusted individuals if we went. And we were!

Day 2: Play time! This workout was inspired by two articles that I read in Men’s Health (15 Minute Ski & Snowboard Workout and The Immortal Workout). What? My boyfriend just left it lying around… Couldn’t let it go to waste!

10 minute cardio warm-up

3 Rounds:

  • Bosu medicine-ball twists – 10 (one twist left + one twist right = 1 rep)
  • Bosu 180 jump – 10
  • Lateral medicine-ball hop – 10 (one left + one right = 1 rep)
  • Bosu Medicine-ball goblet squat – 10
  • Bosu medicine-ball swings – 10

10 minute cardio warm-down

This workout was really fun once Liz got the hang of the individual moves — I suggest that you take some time to play around with them after you check out the Men’s Health descriptions, it’s a perfect little warm up.

Day 3: Mini workout – The goal with these smaller workouts is to get your heart rate up, so head down to the gym even if you only have 20 extra minutes. You’ll thank me afterwards. Promise. (And if you have more holiday traveling to do, why not try airplane yoga?)

10 minute cardio warm up

5 Rounds:

  • 250M row
  • 15 squat jumps
  • 30 mountain climbers

10 minute cardio warm down

Stretching

 

Day 4: Shorter HIIT workout

5 minute warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals, change machines and do an additional 15 minutes of intervals

5 minute cool down (i.e. walking on a treadmill etc)

 

Weekend Goal: Before the weather gets too cold, get outside for some exercise. Go for a jog, take a long walk after dinner, walk to run your errands instead of driving, go for a hike. Do something outside and aim for at least an hour’s worth of exercise.

fave workouts

Looking for some new ways to spice up your workouts? Why not take a look at The Fitnessista’s Favorite Workouts of 2011 – From Bodyrock to fitness DVDs to dance classes, there’s something for everyone!

Need a little inspiration and entertainment before hitting the treadmill? Check out Modelinia’s Cardio Boot Camp with model Julie Henderson and trainer David Kirsch.

Happy almost Friday!

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Links You’ll Love

Health/Fitness:

Are you getting back into the kitchen after a busy Fall? Want to make more home cooked meals and stay out of pricey restaurants? Want to eat healthier food? Here are some tips & tricks of the trade to get you back into the kitchen and up to speed.

Spicy Chipotle Shells & Cheez from Happy Healthy Life – I’m making this as soon as humanly possible, I love recipes that use chipotle and I love mac n’ cheese!

Are you intimidated by Kettlebells? It might be time to face your fears – 7 Reasons to Try Kettlebells Now & The Super Slimmer You Haven’t Tried from Prevention.com. You can also read about my experience and check out some beginners exercises with them here.

In the mood for some winter comfort food? How about red enchiladas? How about healthy red enchiladas? Thought so. 🙂 Hungry Hungry Hippie has you covered!

Fashion:

Ready for a gorgeous Winter Wonderland? Check out Tatler’s Russian-themed spread over at TLo. I LOVE the way they styled the Armani (pictured above) – you can’t even tell that it’s the same dress!

Kate Bosworth’s Mulberry look at a recent Chateau Marmont event was picture perfect, low-key elegance with a hippie twist. Army green dress, studded pumps and an adorable boho twisted hairstyle. FabSugar covered the look here and WhoWhatWear covered it here.

You may not think of Heidi Klum when you think of budget shopping, but the Project Runway host has some tips to share.

Jessica Hart Debuts Her Capsule Collection with Pencey – Seriously cute dresses and easy separates that can be thrown together for breezy, summery looks. Soft fabrics, floral prints, fun cuts – See the collection here.

Do you love headbands, graceful updoes, chic pony tails? WhoWhatWear has some great Holiday Hair Accessoriesto help you create the best looks this holiday season, or you can check out Fashionology’s 7 Holiday Hair Ideas Straight from the Runways.

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