style & substance – in Neutral

Mastering MINIMALism:    

The LESS-IS-MORE look requires more work than you realize.

See things black & white
See things in black & white.  FilmMagic (left & center), Getty Images (right).

In theory, the minimalist trend seems fairly easy to pull off.  It’s all about simplicity, so there’s no complicated pattern mixing involved, or piles of jewelry to layer just so. The “is this too much?” stress of glitter, sparkle and embellishment isn’t a factor either, and loud colors are usually kept to a palette of one or two—if that. Most pared-down outfits are centered around neutrals.  Yet, for such a perfect-sounding sartorial scenario, less-is-more dressing requires some serious finesse. Unlike the bigger-is-better ensembles, there’s no room for error: with only a few pieces to work with, the styling job needs to land somewhere between jeans-and-T-shirt basic and beautifully breathtaking.  The basics:

Black and White is the easiest and fastest way to nail down this look.

Making color the Main Event:

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you’re going to add color in a minimalist look, you’ve got to really add color. Display your hue (or hues, but you really shouldn’t do much more than two—it complicates things) of choice in a big splashy way, and keep the rest of your outfit quiet. 

Stick with Statement Accessories:

mmmmmmmmm
Getty Images

Never, ever coordinate matching earrings, bracelets and a necklace—it’s better to go with one bold piece. Pick something striking (like a high-shine metallic or chunky crystal accent piece) to balance your otherwise unadorned look.

Consider Shape and Texture:

mmmmmmmmm
Getty Images (left and right).  Wireimage (center).

Details like pleating, an asymmetrical hemline and multiple layers of the same colored fabric make the best understated statement. 

one of my favourites - neutral on neutral
keeping neutral – a favourite

 Are you more  Minimal or Maximal?

Follow our style board on PINterest: at: http://www.pinterest.com/intrigueimports/style-inspiration/

Style – Perennial Prints

7 ESSENTIAL PRINTS EVERY WARDROBE NEEDS – 4 all ages.

So you’ve stocked up on solid T-shirts, dark wash jeans and other wardrobe basics —now it’s time to talk about prints! prints1

All these prints can be incorporated into your wardrobe all year long depending on the fabric and how you wear them.

1) Flirty FloralsFloralBuds are showing up on everything from dresses to shoes to purses. And you don’t have to be a teenager to wear this playful pattern. Today’s florals come in a wide variety of age-friendly colors, sizes and prints, from artsy brushstroke buds to abstract blooms in black and white. To translate this trend from runway to real-way, start by choosing separates. Hone in on one piece or detail.

2) Houndstooth – HoundstoothFrom masculine styling to minis, from large and bold to small and subtle, houndstooth was the woven pattern of the 2013 season. Designers presented more iterations than previously thought possible — and you can change your mind about what you considered old-school textile.  How do you get in on the good looks? Search for traditional houndstooth patterns in vintage shops which are ideal if you’re not into spending thousands on high fashion (or can’t).

 3)  The Power of Plaid:

PLAIDThis bold, rugged print is a perpetual fall/winter favorite. Some automatically associate it with lumberjacks, Scotsmen, and farmers but these girls don’t look like either. The pattern can be surprisingly versatile once you know how to wear it – the trick is to limit the amount.  Avoid overwhelming your look with too much of it. Either stick with one prominent plaid piece or several small plaid accessories.

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Above: Arielle, Danielle, and Michaela Nachmani, the sisters behind the online shopping destination Shop Grl. You may recognize Arielle from the hit street-style fashion blog Something Navy. Danielle, the site’s creative director, is a celebrity fashion stylist. And Michaela, the youngest sister, is the muse for the site. They’re pros at styling trends to fit their own unique vibes.  I have the shirt on the left.

4) Legendary Leopard –

leopardA  beginner’s guide to wearing Leopard:  When it comes to leopard print, you prefer a purr to a roar – a little of this bold look can go a long way. One way to ease yourself into wearing the print is to simply throw on a lightweight leopard scarf or gloves.

The always chic, Alexa Chung elevates a simple black and gray outfit by carrying an oversized leopard tote -essentially, the easiest way to spice up an otherwise basic look.

5) Pretty in Polka Dots Polka Dots– bold 1950’s-inspired prints like polka dots help to bring a retro vibe to your wardrobe. This is a traditional print so while polka dots may seem like a juvenile trend (Minnie Mouse, anyone?) the truth is that they can be done in a playful, yet grown-up way that’s perfect for work or the weekend.

Not sure? In the same way that animal prints are best kept in small doses, polka dots are a fashion treat that can work best as an accessory to your look.  Pick one signature piece and work your look around that. Or just wear a dotty lingerie set even if you’re the only one who sees it.

6) Stripes stripes– When paired with the right pieces, stripes can really enhance your figure and keep you looking up-to-date. The horizontal stripes always reminds me of St-Tropez or French style in general. On the runways this season, designers were mixing wide and thin stripes or pairing stripes with florals; such matchups generally don’t work for day-to-day looks. The key to wearing stripes in the real world is to always wear just one print matched with a solid. For example, a vertically striped blouse looks great with white trousers or jeans. Vertically striped pants or skirts can make you look taller and styish when worn with a solid-colored tee.

 7) Wildcard

A Bold Wildcard Option – think of it as your weapon

when faced with a wardrobe crisis, this statement piece (you choose) will make an outfit of basics seem more special. Even if you aren’t a “print person,” it’s good to have at least one. I like lips, birds and other animal prints.

Which print do you tend to wear the most?

Style – putting the Passion back into Fashion

fun & flirty
fun & flirty

With ROMANTIC DRESSES

Some of the new selections offer easy volume, nipped-in waists and are covered in things we all love to receive…..flowers + baubles!

haute couture
haute couture
Jenny Packham
Jenny Packham

The dresses may be feminine and fanciful but the footwear is surprisingly utilitarian.   If Mary Janes or Ballet Flats are not your thing, opt for wearing heels or ankle booties.

Kate Spade
Kate Spade

To enhance the glamour, try wearing your hair off the face or pulled back into a chignon.  Hopefully these dresses will sweep you off your feet!dresses5Bella-Thorne-2013-Dance-Awards-Las-Vegas-portrait-cropped-230x338

Gwyneth Paltrow wears Isabel Marant - look at the shoes!
Gwyneth Paltrow wears Isabel Marant – look at the shoes!

Timeless Trends – it’s a PLAID, PLAID World!

Alexander Mcqueen bias cut fit/flare plaid dress. Elle.com
Alexander McQueen bias cut fit/flare plaid dress – elle.com

Call it schoolgirl chic if you want to, but Real Women do wear Plaid.

How can we ever tire of  throwing on a plaid shirt over a pair of leggings or jeans as soon as the weather starts to cool.  It’s such a cozy staple.

Photo - Garance Doré
Photo – Garance Doré

An obvious call for weekend wear or casual engagements, although cute skirts, and a bit of pattern on shoes or bags can offer a new chicness that’s hard to ignore.

Stella McCartney Bag
Stella McCartney Bag
Elle.com  Gryphon Fall-2013
Gryphon  pant – elle.com

But is plaid too prim?  Hardly. Not with the modern take on tartan cropped jackets and separates. There might be something irresistibly naughty about a tartan

Reem Acra from Elle.com
Reem Acra Dress – elle.com

baby-doll dress that skims the body in a quietly seductive way.

There’s nothing old-school about that! 

Even the scotty dogs are looking

pretty good now!

Current-Elliott Jeans
Current-Elliott Jeans.  Elle.com
boucle jacket - elle.com
boucle jacket – elle.com
Phillip Lim Sweater
Phillip Lim Sweater – elle.com
marc by Marc Jacobs.  Elle.com
marc by Marc Jacobs – elle.com
Theory pant
Theory pant – elle.com

Styling for Fall – the new skirt lengths & how to wear them

I love wearing skirts for Fall.  It’s more easy to throw on a pair of pants or jeans when it starts to get chilly outside, but there’s something a little more special about dressing up a skirt with leggings & the right pair of boots for day or a great stocking (or bare leg) for night .  What do you think?

Here are some of the latest  for Fall/Winter 2013:

Floral lace skirt, only $54, asos.com
Floral lace skirt, only $54, asos.com

The Lace Midi

Keep the rest of your outfit slim and simple and let this embellished, bell-shaped style be your statement.

A lace skirt is so pretty no matter what length – straight or flare.  Of course you can’t make the mistake of wearing a lace top with it – it would be overkill & could also look cheap.

The Box-Pleat Mini

 Wool skirt, $398, Blue Label, ralphlauren.com
Wool skirt, $398, Blue Label, ralphlauren.com

Extra-wide panels take this girlish silhouette from prep school to cutting edge. The Fit: A high-waisted look is slimming; a tailored button-down or turtleneck balances the fullness below.

I love how they paired this Ralph Lauren number with a wide belt & booties in same color.  Also the midnight stockings & turtleneck give it added polish.

The Kick Flare

Tulle skirt, $295, Jean Paul Gaultier, bloomingdales.com
Tulle skirt, $295, Jean Paul Gaultier, bloomingdales.com

Give your pencil skirt a rest (but not for long) and wear this equally tailored – but way more fashion-forward style to the office instead. Keep the polished look going with something unfussy, like a boxy crew neck sweater.

This style reminds me a bit of the tulip skirt (also in style).  I’m happy because I hung on to a nice silk DKNY…..just in case.

 Brocade wool skirt, $390, CH Carolina Herrera, 212-744-2076.
Brocade wool skirt, $390, CH Carolina Herrera, 212-744-2076.

The Quilted Full

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Wool skirt, $1450, Michael Kors, saksfifthavenue.com

It’s impossible not to feel put-together wearing this beautifully textured, ‘50’s-inspired cut.  Keep it tighter on top with something like this sweater: a subdued fitted knit that feels appropriately classic.  The Shoes: enhance the ladylike vibe with a sweet Mary Jane or pump in timeless black. Flats will make it look too dowdy.

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ASOS skirt

Take the A-LINE

HOW TO WEAR IT
This classic skirt flaunts an early-’60s attitude, and the polished daytime look is ever-appropriate. But A-line obsession is rooted in the universally flattering, hip-and-thigh disguising shape that lets us have our cake and eat it too. And for that, it will always have a place in our closet.

There’s a prim, clean-scrubbed vibe to these skirts. So add a fitted little jacket or a basic belt, and carry a structured bag. And while it may be tempting to slip on a pair of flats, these skirts, especially those that fall below the knee, beg for the height of a ladylike heel.

(left to right) Michael Kors, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, Victoria BeckhamKate Spade New York Skirt, $328
(left to right) Michael Kors, Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana, Victoria Beckham.

 Pencil Skirts, especially in Leather are always so sleek and sophisticated.

from images
from images

I love, love, love straight pencil skirts. This look works on all ages but especially good for older women because it’s so classic. Some women feel too curvy for this look, but embrace curves if you have them.  They can work really well with a pencil skirt— think Mad Men (I’ve never even watched the show but know the look). This is an investment piece.

How to style it: This is such a versatile style whether you wear a button down shirt or cardigan over top. A crisp white tucked-in shirt is super classic and can be taken from day into night by adding bold jewellery and a red lip. Pair with open-toe or strappy shoes and don’t forget – ADDitude! Pencil me IN!

 

 

 

 

On the RUNway…Trending NOW!

Last week we covered wardrobe staples that are worth splurging on – things that will always be on trend.  Then we have new Trends for this FALL.  Well, not really new (as in nothing ever is) but things you’ll be seeing more and more of this Fall.  This was taken from the Huffington Post.

1. Capes

A model walks the runway at the Valentino Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on March 5, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the Valentino Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week . (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

It’s difficult not to, but don’t fear capes – how can you, they’ve sustained themselves through the Victorian era, the 1940s, 1960s, and now, 2010s? They’re also versatile: as proven by Valentino’s winter white offering (which is beaded and calf-length) and Jill Stuart’s RTW classic black piece (which she paired with trousers and oxfords), a cape can carry you through the season and various events. Merely treat it as you would a coat, and remember that if your grandmother could do it when she was young, so can you — just like *Lily Allen (see lyrics below) and Kate Hudson did in 2010.

A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger Women's Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. (Photo by Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)
A model walks the runway at the Tommy Hilfiger Women’s Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion at Park Avenue Armory in New York City. (Photo by Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week).

2. Academically-Inspired

Back-to-school is synonymous with fall (obviously), but this time around, we grown-ups aren’t being left out. Case in point: collections by the likes of Tory Burch, who saw crisp button-ups layered underneath cardigans and worn with tweed pants. Meanwhile, the king of collegiate, Tommy Hilfiger, showcased a collection chalk-full of argyle suits, knit sweaters, and even a book print dress (though for the record, it’s tragically next-to-impossible to find online).

3. Over-The-Thigh Boots

Beyonce performs on stage during 'The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour' at the Barclays Center in New York. Beyonce wears a blue dress and boots by Pucci and hosiery by Capezio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment).
Beyonce performs on stage during ‘The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour’ at the Barclays Center in New York. Beyonce wears a blue dress and boots by Pucci and hosiery by Capezio. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment).

It’s been more than a few years since thigh-high boots re-introduced themselves, and this season is just another testament to their staying power. (Which makes sense – winter is cold, you guys, it’s okay to cover up.) On the celeb front, Heidi Klum recently donned a suede style in the spirit of Emilio Pucci’s collection, while Miley Cyrus has made headlines in hers. Though breathe easy, flat aficionados: you can wear a smaller heel or even a flat style if you’d rather not risk tumbling to your death like some of us would.

A model walks during the Temperley London’s RTW collection.
A model walks during the Temperley London’s RTW collection.

4. ‘60s Mod

The best kind of fashion lives forever, and adding to 2013’s eclectic nature is the season’s mod influence, which infuses capes, thigh-high boots (good news, us: it all ties in!) with bright colours (like Lisa Perry’s loud dresses) and Twiggy-inspired mini-dresses (as found in Temperley London’s RTW collection). But in addition to flipping through old fashion magazines and scrolling through Tumblr, you can also look to someone like Alexa Chung who’s been embracing the vintage vibe for many moons now.

5. Pleated Skirts

A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week.. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the Calvin Klein Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week.. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

The vintage throwback continues with pleated skirts which borrow from the ‘70s and early ‘80s with their high waists and pleats. Calvin Klein infused this look with the season’s leather trend (which we’ll get to imminently), while Celine did the same. However, earlier this year, Diana Argon showcased Marc Jacobs S/S take on the trend, opting for a floral pattern and ‘50s style which there’s still plenty of room left for as we ease into autumn.

A model walks the runway at the BCBGMAXAZRIA Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 7, 2013 in New York, United States. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images)
A model walks the runway at the BCBG MAXAZRIA Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

6. Hats

Finally, fashion and function merge in the season we need them to the most. Tommy Hilfiger featured beanies in droves in his F/W collection, while BCBG Max Azria did the same, thus finally offering a reprieve from hatless-ness in freezing temperatures. (Yes, we’re concerned about the cold. We’re adults – this is how it works.) Meanwhile, styles like fedoras, bowler hats, and this also found places within the Fall 2013 landscape, thus making “hats” and all that the word embodies a go-to autumn trend.

7. Menswear Fabrics

Model Erin Wasson walks the runway during Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)
Model Erin Wasson walks the runway during Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)

When we say academic, you say tweed (“academic!” – “tweed!” – “academic” – “tweed!”), so with an influx of collegiate-inspired styles, we probably all expected to see menswear fabrics and patterns in droves, as is the true autumn way. Chanel dressed up the fabric in their Haute Couture collection through skirts and suits, while Alice + Olivia ran with argyle and plaid. Not that any of this is new: in 2010, Claudia Schiffer kept on-point with an argyle V-neck, making us wish we’d kept our vests from high school.

8. Emerald Green

Actress Sofia Vergara attends 2013 CFDA FASHION AWARDS underwritten by Swarovski at Lincoln Center on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Swarovski).
Actress Sofia Vergara attends 2013 CFDA FASHION AWARDS underwritten by Swarovski at Lincoln Center on June 3, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images for Swarovski).

Declared the “it” colour of 2013 back in January, emerald green clearly stuck around for its F/W hurrah, appearing in collections by Phillip Lim, Pantone, and Carolina Herrera. This, of course, is after Emily Blunt wore it in 2012, and Sofia Vergara rocked the colour in June – thus ensuring that incorporating an emerald top, accessory, or a dress still gets a green light (eh?) this fall.

9. Oversized Coats

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A model walks the runway at the Michael Kors Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. (Photo by Catwalking/Getty Images).

Where the rest of autumn sees fitted pieces, outwear remains at large. Following in the footsteps of capes are oversized jackets, which pay homage to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. (Think of Kevin McAllister’s mom in the original “Home Alone.”) Designers like Michael Kors used the look to capitalize on the menswear trend, while Mulberry kept their pink jacket relatively fitted – much like Kate Bosworth’s boyfriend jacket from a couple seasons back which she paired with leather pants.

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A model walks the runway during the Mulberry Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2013-2014 show as part of the London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013/14.  (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images).

10. Leather (Not Just Accessories)

We all have leather gloves, leather footwear, and a leather coat (which you can pick up for next-to-nothing at thrift stores if a new model is too pricey), but what about leather … everything else? In the spirit of Ross Geller, designers have clung to the fabric in droves, with everyone from Chanel (see: the aforementioned leather skirt) to Vionnet (loose-fitting leather pants) to Mulberry capitalizing on the leather look. You can do the same: even a leather-embellished t-shirt makes a good wardrobe staple, and again, a thrifted leather car coat from the 1970s will keep you on-budget and autumn-ready.

Also trending NOW:

THE FEAR” from Lily Allen‘s It’s Not Me, It’s You” Album

I want to be rich and I want lots of money

I don’t care about clever, I don’t care about funny

I want loads of clothes and fuckloads of diamonds

I heard people die while they’re trying to find them

And I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless

Cause everyone knows that’s how you get famous.

I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror

I’m on the right track, yeah I’m on to a winner.

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore

And I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore

And when do you think it will all become clear?

Cause I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers

It’s all about fast cars and cussing each other

But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic

And that’s what makes my life so fucking fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption

And it’s not my fault, it’s how I’m programmed to function

Forget about guns and forget ammunition

Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission

Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner

Now everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner

Link to her YouTube: http://vimeo.com/5782708 

 

 

Style – Prints Charming

for clothing, swimwear or any wear!

Sao Paulo fashion week
Sao Paulo fashion week with Movimento label – Plushswimwear.com

 Yes, every woman can be fashionable! This is getting to be the easiest part of my blogging week.  The reason being is that simply put, pretty much anything and everything is in Style.  You can hardly make a wrong move.  There are *updated versions of last years styles but I love the fact that you can incorporate almost any print, hemline, sleeve + pant length, color and fabric into your wardrobe for a varied and interesting mix.

Palm springs to wardrobe

Pity the poor designer that must continuously re-invent a previous look.  Have a peek:

Fergie, Katy Perry, Jessica Alba & Victoria Justice.
Fergie, Katy Perry, Jessica Alba & Victoria Justice.
Water Color Prints
Dive right in to Water Color Prints
Floral jacket & jeans - check!
Floral jacket & jeans – check!

*Brazilian beachwear label Movimento kicked off their very first summer fashion show with romantic florals, tropical camouflage and a unique variety of cuts, prints and silhouettes.

Their Inspiration: the counterpoint between the military aesthetic and tropical flowers, birds and landscapes.  With a collection infused with feminine prints, just enough  masculine elements were introduced (army-like buttons and stars, olive green & grey in the  palette) to keep the line fresh with a touch of edginess.

What appeals to you most?