Monthly Archives: May 2013

Maxin’ Out (Part II)

Maxi dresses are my absolute favorite!  I live in them in the spring and summer and just can’t get enough.  They are so wonderful because they are easy and always look chic.  Easy and comfortable clothes are crucial to surviving the horribly humid DC summers.  On the days when I just can’t decide what to wear, because it is too hot for words I throw on a maxi and instantly feel ready to beat the heat and confront the day in style.

maxi dress

I am in love with one shoulders, which are more unusual in maxis making this dress extra fab.

Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

maxi dress

Slits for days! This allows for the drama of a maxi yet coolness of a short dress.

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

maxi dress

Love this color and statement necklace.

Photo courtesy of Never Fully Dressed

maxi dress

Festival ready and so fabulous! I need this dress for Hawaii!

Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

maxi dress

Feminine and flirty in this white eyelet maxi

Photo courtesy of Style tracker

maxi dress

Dressed up or down? This dress is a success!

Photo courtesy of Atlantic Pacific

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Maxin’ Out

Maxi dresses are my absolute favorite for spring/summer, well really life.  Maxis have made a big resurgence in the past couple of years and I am so grateful!  They are the perfect seasonal transition piece and are flattering on everyone!  I have found that a surprising amount people are intimidated by maxis and question whether they will ever wear them and where they will wear a maxi to.  In reality once you discover the amazingness of a maxi you will find that it is all you want to wear.  Maxis are uber comfortable and beyond chic, perfect for casual and formal occasions!  They are the definition of a closet staple and elegance.

Maxi Dress

Dress: the Loft (similar here), Shoes: Nine West (old, similar here), Sunglasses: Marc Jacobs (found here)

Maxi dress

One of my fav things about maxi dresses is that they add about 10 inches of height.

maxi dress

Rings: Margaret Elizabeth (found here) & She’s Unique (found here), Watch: Michael Kors (similar here), Bracelets: DIY & Roberto Coin (found here)

Maxi Dress

Another amazing thing about maxis is that they can be worn with flats or heels.

Maxi Dress

The final reason I love maxis is that I can sit like this on top of a couch in a dress and not worry about having a Britney moment.

Very special thank you to my amazing photographer, Maggie!

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The 90s Revisited

As I’m sure you have noticed, the 90s are back in a big way!  Fashion recycles and borrows from previous decades paying homage to the past while looking forward by changing accents, modernizing silhouettes, altering hemlines, and updating fabrics.  All of which is done in an attempt to keep things fresh and fashion moving forward, however in a bizarre way fashion is just as much about its regression as it is about progression.  Everywhere I turn now all I see is 90s!  Cropped tops, acid wash, flannel, and ripped jeans dominate street style, which are all staples of the 90s fashion.  I must admit the 90s had its fair share of fashion disasters, but I am excited for the 90s do-ver.  What about you, do you think these trends deserve revisiting?

90s fashion

flannel and layers, so 90s and so fab!

Photo courtesy of the boo and the boy

Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne rocking her signature 90s style

Photo courtesy of The Front Row View

90s style

a shirt tied around the waist? could you get any more practical than that?

Photo courtesy of They All Hate Us

Ashley Madekwe

Ashley Madekwe updates her high waisted acid wash shorts with a stylish top knot and to die for booties

Photo courtesy of Ashley Ring My Bell

cropped top

I love me a cropped top and they are the perfect way to stay cool in the oppressive summer heat!

Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar

blazer

I am in love with this camel blazer!

Photo courtesy of They All Hate Us

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Can’t Get Over Overalls

I have to admit the last time I wore overalls was when I was in grade school, but boy do I miss them!  As I get older (it’s almost my birthday) it is refreshing to remember that fashion and trends are not ageist and do not discriminate.  What matters when it comes to fashion and personal style is that it reflects you, your mood, the person you want to be that day and is, of course, flattering.  With all of this in mind, I can’t wait to embrace overalls and pay homage to the days when things were less complicated and comfort was all that mattered.  For years I have been in the market for the perfect pair of short overalls and while my search is (sadly) still ongoing I think this is truly the season I will rekindle my love with this classic wardrobe staple of the 90s.

These overalls are my dream! Love the casual look & textured tee.

These overalls are my dream! Love the casual look & textured tee.

Photo courtesy of Sincerely Jules

Man Repeller

The Man Repeller herself rocking leather overalls! These are absolutely flawless!

Photo courtesy of Man Repeller

Perfect way to dress up overalls is pairing them with heels, blouse & blazer.  Unexpected and fabulous!

The perfect way to dress up overalls is pairing them with heels, a blouse & blazer. Unexpected and fabulous!

Photo courtesy of Refinery 29

A great way to make overalls your own is by adding a statement necklace and an unexpected pop of color

A great way to make overalls your own is by adding a statement necklace and an unexpected pop of color

Photo courtesy of The Boo and the Boy

Black and white for spring! We all know how I feel about this.

Black and white for spring! We all know how I feel about this. #love

Photo courtesy of Teen Vogue

leandra medine

Leandra Medine loves overalls and I love her for that!

Photo courtesy of Man Repeller

Rihanna is stunning in this denim jumper!

Rihanna is stunning in this denim jumper!

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Loving Leather

For my interview with the iconic Tadashi Shoji I turned to one of my style staples and the timeless black and white “trend.”  I must admit I was very nervous leading up to the interview so wanted to be in something that I not only felt great in, but something I also felt comfortable in.  Now that I think about it this is quite in line with Shoji’s philosophy.  So I turned to leather.  Leather is huge this spring and is so luxurious!  If real leather isn’t your thing go for the vegan alternative, which is equally as fabulous!  I am all about mixing textures and wearing leather is the perfect way to dabble with this.  Try integrating leather into your wardrobe with an unexpected top, with a classic jacket or accessory, or just go bold and pair leather with leather.

 

leather

Top: Mason (found here, similar here), Skirt: H&M (similar here & here), Shoes: Zara (found here), Bag: Alexander Wang (found here)

black and white

This top is so wonderful because it has many different textures (hello leather) and silhouettes. Peplum is also one of my favs for spring!

black and white

A black pump is a wardrobe staple, especially when black and white color blocking is so big this spring.

black and white leather

As always, it is in the details

All photos courtesy of Sara from High Fashion 4 Less

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Interview of a Lifetime

Last week I had the incredible honor of interviewing Tadashi Shoji on the 30-year anniversary of the iconic brand and on the eve of Tadashi Shoji’s acceptance of Marymount University‘s prestigious Designer of the Year award. Past recipients of the award have been Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, just to name a few. When I asked Shoji what this award meant to him he said he felt humbled to be in such incredible company.  Humble is definitely one word I would use to describe him, hard working, thoughtful and creative genius are the others.  All attributes that have led to his monumental success.

Let me set the scene for you.  I was over excited (of course) to meet such a visionary and established designer, not even meet, but interview!  I entered a small conference room where Shoji and his PR genius, Zeba, were patiently waiting.  I was full of nervous and excited energy, but was instantly calmed by Shoji’s centered presence.  He is larger than life, but relatable at the same time.  Upon entering the room, I showered him with copious amounts of compliments, partly because I was nervous and couldn’t stop, but mostly because I meant it all and felt it had to be said.  Instead of brushing it off as if he had heard it all before he was grateful and appreciative of my overzealous kind words.  This genuine sentiment carried throughout the interview.  Shoji did not get where he is today, because he accepted his success and rested on his impressive laurels, he got where he is today and continues to climb, because he is hard working and continues to “work harder than before.”  He describes his career as “still in the process,” always unfinished and always reaching for more and I found this to be incredibly inspiring.  This attitude also comes from the industry he exists in, because with success comes insurmountable amounts of pressure, which he cooly describes as “very high.”  When I asked him what advice he had for people just starting out their careers he said work hard and work towards longevity. A career is not built overnight and Shoji’s career was certainly not built overnight.

Shoji, born in Japan, studied high art, as he calls it, until the early 70s when he moved to the U.S.  He was in need of a visa and a student visa was the easiest to obtain so he attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College and because of this he says he became a designer “accidentally.”  Shoji first realized that clothing design was an art form in itself (low art as he calls it) when he had to drape his first dress on a dress form, he likened this to sculpting.  He also attributes this moment to his respect for the female form, which he describes as a “canvas.”  Shoji is one of the most thoughtful contemporary designers, making clothing for real women with real bodies.  Shoji’s gowns always pepper the red carpets during award season and are more often than not worn by women that aren’t a size 2 or 4 or 6.  Shoji’s main goal with evening wear is “to make women’s figures more beautiful” and the women wearing his gowns “more comfortable.”  Shoji explained his gowns as being as comfortable as a tee shirt while being red carpet ready.  I mean really, how thoughtful is that!  He spends a great deal of time making sure his dresses make sense.  For example the arm holes must be flattering, while also having enough stretch that you can easily drive a car in.  Something that real women are likely to do in his dresses.  I had the honor of wearing a Tadashi Shoji gown for an Inauguration special and I can tell you first hand that the dress was an absolute delight!

This thoughtfulness helps propel him forward, but his determination, meticulous attention to detail and intuition is what keeps his brand on top.  Shoji is in the weeds of the business, designing of course, but making sure shipments go out on time, opening new stores, and jet setting around the globe to promote his brand and gain inspiration and insight.  When asked what influences his collections the answer is everything.  The female body, history, art and shockingly the economy.  Shoji was aware of the recession and designed his line accordingly, which allowed them to emerge unscathed.  Shoji perceptively described fashion as a combination of “commerce” and “art,” but he is careful to “never sacrifice art for commerce.”   He also thoughtfully explained that pricing is part of art and design.  When speaking about the economy he shows his true worldliness by explaining one must always continue learn.  Shoji explained that fashion is a component of life, but is not everything, there is so much more that must be explored and appreciated, economics, politics, literature, history, and art being such things.  His awareness and thirst for knowledge is genuine, inspiring and give his designs the “unexpected” edge he strives for.

I left the interview inspired and as cheesy as it sounds ready to take on the world.  For such a surreal experience I found it to be grounding, leaving with the understanding that hard work is the only thing that will get you where you want to go and that is something everyone is capable of.

Tadashi Shoji and I after the interview

Tadashi Shoji and I after the interview

Tadashi Shoji

Tadashi Shoji at an intimate press conference

Shoji with the Marymount University students before the fashion show.

Shoji with the Marymount University students before the fashion show.

The child models working it backstage

The child models working it backstage

Marymount University

Scenes from the runway

Tadashi Shoji

Right after we finished the 30 minute interview. I don’t think my smile could be any bigger!

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