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Trendy vs Chic: How To Be Stylish

Anyone can be a slave to new trends, it doesn’t take creativity or style to dress in a runway look head to toe. So what is style? What does it mean to be chic and stylish rather than a fashion victim?

Trendy vs Chic: How To Be Stylish

How To Be Stylish Retro Fashion Starts San Francisco Fashion Blogger Street Style Style is a very personal concept, it can be different for everyone. It’s about knowing your body type, knowing what looks good on you and knowing what you’ll be comfortable wearing. You can ignore every trend that ever graces a magazine cover and still be a fashion icon.

After all, good style is eternal.

Regardless of whether you consider Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland, or Lauren Hutton to be your ultimate style icon, there is something  that each of these women possess. She is true to herself and has created a style that is inherently “her.”

What are the basic guidelines that a lady must follow in order to be stylish?

[1.] Know thy self – Take a good, hard look in the mirror and understand your assets & limitations. What are your best characteristics – Great shoulders? Long, lean legs? Christina Hendricks curves? Find a style that plays up your assets. Yes, you can mix up your style each season and incorporate great new looks to keep things fresh, but you need to first have a good understanding of what you can, can’t, and shouldn’t bother trying to pull off. Do you have short legs? Consider that skinny jeans and mid-calf boots have the potential to make your legs look truncated. On the curvier side? Ruffles and busy tops can give you a top-heavy silhouette. You don’t need to be built like Gisele to look polished and put together, you just need to know how to work with what you have!

How To be Stylish Trendy vs chic Retro Fashion Icon Kate Moss

[2.] Find your sweet spot – Once you know what works best for you, the next step is to create a style that is totally your own, a home base of sorts that you can always start with or go back to. Whether you love Twiggy-style shift dresses, menswear with a feminine twist, a darker pallet, or retro, ladylike silhouettes, make the look yours by adding personal touches. If you’re comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll have every eye on you as soon as you step into a room. Wear your clothes, don’t let them wear you! My personal look is very classic and a little formal, I love dresses and skirts, but with a bit of an edge. My favorite looks are traditional with a modern twist, like a chic LBD with funky pearls and patent leather booties.

How To be Stylish Trendy vs chic Retro Fashion Icon Alexa Chung

[3.] Invest! It’s always fun to try new trends – If you’re careful with them – But a large portion of your clothing and accessories budget should be devoted to more classic, long-term pieces. High quality basics that you will be able to use season after season, which can easily be spiced up with the newest handbag or sunglasses. A trench coat, great jeans, a button down shirt, a Little Black Dress, these are the building blocks to a great wardrobe, regardless of your style. When you see pictures of Jane Birkin’s bangs and little tunic dresses, Audrey’s trenches, Coco’s pearls, or Bianca Jagger’s suits they still all look chic and modern. Why? Because they were stylish women, not slaves to trends.

Some words of wisdom to think about when you’re considering you personal look:

  • “Style isn’t about change; that’s fashion’s job. Style is about knowing yourself, knowing the image you want to project, and finding the look that suits you the best for your goals.” TLo from Tom & Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated
  • “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel
  • “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Yves Saint Laurent
  • “Attitude is everything.” Diane von Furstenberg

Have you seen the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face?

There’s this phenomenal dance number with Kay Thompson, who is one of the highlights of the film, called How To Be Lovely. Whenever I think of being stylish and chic, I think of this scene and it makes me laugh. This is a great reminder that fashion is supposed to be fun!

How To be Lovely

Enjoy!

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New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion

This is the final – finally – post on the Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week collections. During the first three posts we reviewed the NYFW institutions, the affordable “real women” lines, and the newbies to Fashion Week. Today’s post is all about the editors, actresses, bloggers, models, and fashion industry insiders during New York Fashion Week – What they wore to view the collections, running between the shows, and to the parties, store openings & celebration dinners.

{I absolutely adore this look. It’s chic and utterly put together, but still fun and youthful rather than being stiff and boring. Well done Miss Belle!}

{Low-key and casual, perfect for a muggy NYC day and comfortable enough to make it through the day without foot pain, fashion emergencies, or faux pas.}

{Quite the well put together outfit – I love the blouse, it suits her really well, and I’m a sucker for a great day clutch so this studded beauty really caught my eye.}

{So. Cute. I can’t imagine a more adorable or flatteringly age-appropriate little outfit for this young lady.}

{I kind of love Kelly’s look here. I’m not a huge fan of her recent hair color choices, but the bright colorblocking of this frock is lovely and that black & white checkered clutch was a brilliant choice.}

{I love the fresh, colorful prints she picked here, as well as the unique midi length hem. There’s something to be said for mixing & matching, no one else will ever show up in the same outfit!}

{LOVE! It’s fun and one-of-a-kind, totally Brad!}

{Great colors. Fabulous length. Utterly flattering silhouettes. Well done ladies, well done.}

Bloggers:

Bloggers do it better! 🙂 The ladies who represented the blogger contingent in New York City did a fabulous job in brights, florals, prints, and eye-catching accessories.

{Such a gorgeous dress! Dark florals are one of my favorite ways to bridge the Summer-to-Fall gap and this is a great example of how to transition them. And Zara booties never hurt an outfit!}

{One way to make sure that you stand out in a crowd of bloggers, celebrities, and editors is to: (1) Look stunning (2) Wear stand-out hues that suit you to perfection & (3) Pile on the gorgeous statement jewelry}

{Great print & colors – And those double ankle strap heels are killer}

{Liz from Late Afternoon (left) and Laura from OnTheRacks (right) make quite the pretty picture in a fun, colorful array of separates paired with perfectly chosen, eye-catching accessories.}

JVP_3000
{Do blondes have more fun? Ask Shea {Cheyenne Meets Chanel}, Chiara {The Blonde Salad}, and Kristina {Kayture}. These lovely ladies all added some Summer white to their chic ensembles – from blazers & cropped leather jackets to pants & handbags.}
Models:
Can’t forget to include the great looks that are put together but the stunning ladies who strut their stuff on catwalks all over the world during Fashion Month!

{Sylish and chic! I love this look but I have NO IDEA how she was wearing a black blazer during NYFW, maybe she took it off after the pictures were taken?}

{This is a great laid back look. I adore the printed pants paired with the leopard print pieces, and the plain white tee paired with the dramatic statement necklace is another great choice.}

{LOVE THIS. It’s wild & crazy & fun – Just what fashion week is supposed to be all about!}

{I always look forward to shots of Karlie – I adore her street style, her runway walk, and how her personality always manages to shine through in a picture. Here’s yet another great example of her personal style from Mr. Newton!}

{How fabulous is this shot? I love her bike, her handbag, her helmet, and her low-key but chic style – Skinnies & a tank – perfect for a humid Summer day in New York.}

Constance Jablonski, Ginta Lapina and Karlina Caune Off Duty 

{This is a great shot showing models doing something that they do best – Mixing & matching! These ladies are doing a great job of combining interesting and fun pieces to put together unique, fashionable looks.}

And last but hardly least, my favorite look from New York Fashion Week…

{I mean seriously? Can you imagine a more chic and stylish looking woman? She probably made half the women at this show cry and give up on fashion. Head-to-toe this is an amazing look – The red is striking and the gloves & pearls are such chic touches. J’adore!}

{Click on the images above to be taken to the original source}

Previous NYFW Collections: New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part I, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part II, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 – Part IIINew York Fashion Week Fall 2012, Pre-Fall 2012 Part I, Part II, Part III, and NYFW Spring 2012 Round-Up.

Addition reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: WhoWhatWear’s What They Wore – NY Fashion Week, Style.com’s Get the Look: Tilda Lindstam, New York Fashion Week Spring 2013: Parties & Front Row from Harper’s BAZAAR & Modelinia’s Top Twitpics from Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week.

Photo by andie_arthur

Now we’re off to London – See you there! <3

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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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