Style: California Cool

Inside a stylish box featuring California-founded brands.

It’s always special to receive a seasonal box filled with a carefully curated selection of luxury fashion and beauty products by Rachel Zoe, the fashion force behind the box of style. This California edition was delivered to me recently and I love it all.  It’s what’s inside that counts.  

RACHEL ZOE COLLECTION PALM PRINT DUSTER EXCLUSIVE

According to Rachel nothing epitomizes California glamour like an effortless duster in a playful print. It’s the ultimate ode to West Coast cool.  As I’ve discovered, it can be worn a multitude of ways; to the beach, belted over a slipdress or as shown in above photo.

BONNIE CLYDE THE HILL SUNGLASSES EXCLUSIVE shown with KOPARI
COCONUT ROSE TONER which by the way smells heavenly.

These playful sunnies are a little bit Audrey Hepburn and a little bit Twiggy.  They suit a variety of face shapes.  I have lots of sunglasses but these round out (ha,ha) my collection.

Kopari Lip Lovers coconut oil and shea butter lip balm (not shown).  Love this super hydrating balm which goes on silky but not sticky. Truly one of the best I’ve tried to date.

LILI CLASPE ROPE THE MOON LARIAT EXCLUSIVE
This simple-yet-stunning lariat was designed exclusively as the ideal finishing touch which can compliment anyone’s style.  Came in gold but they have silver too.

JEN ATKIN X CHLOE + ISABEL
HEADWRAP & CHOKER.    

A little glitter goes a long way especially to dress up your tresses.  This one is designed by Rachel’s friend and hair genius Jen Atkin. It also works well around the neck as a choker or on the wrist.
Images: The Zoe Report
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Home Style: the Moroccan way

I’ve always been attracted to the appealing Moroccan aesthetic.  It’s warm, it’s inviting and it’s glamorous.  Here are some ideas to incorporate for your home.  Even a few pillows, a lantern or candle strewn here and there might be enough to get a little welcome to my casbah vibe going.

Moroccan STYLE Bedroom 

Moroccan style in the design of a bedroom is a real favorite.  This bedroom is truly luxurious. This decor combines the ideas and traditions of Far East, South Spain and North Africa!

Moroccan STYLE Patio 

 

Moroccan STYLE Terrace

Moroccan STYLE Bathroom

It all started because I walked into this store called Pure Atlas with Modern Moroccan Accessories the other day:

How about I just start with a book?

INDULGE your SENSES

 

 

 

 

Style: Hubert de Givenchy

His are the only clothes in which I am myself,” Hepburn once said of Givenchy,

Givenchy designed outfits for many of Hepburn’s films, like this strapless, floral gown in 1954’s “Sabrina.”

according to Vogue. “He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality.”

Audrey Hepburn, as the designer’s muse, accompanied him in inventing a style that would redefine standards of beauty.

The House of Givenchy is sad to report the passing of its founder Hubert de Givenchy  at the age of 91 (February 21, 1927 – March 10, 2018), a major personality of the world of French Haute Couture and a gentleman who symbolized Parisian chic and elegance for more than half a century.  He will be greatly missed.

MAISON

THE HISTORY OF THE HOUSE

Hubert de Givenchy founded his namesake fashion house in 1952. No sooner did it open than it earned a reputation for breaking with fashion codes of its time. After an incredibly successful 40 years career he would be succeeded by some of fashion’s great talents that contributed to the house of Givenchy ongoing story.

Hepburn’s Givenchy gown at the 1954 Academy Awards is still one of the most memorable Oscars dresses of all time. NBC/Getty Images

Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy founded his namesake House in 1952. That same year, he presented a collection that would leave an indelible mark on fashion history: his “separates” – elegant blouses and light skirts blending architectural lines and simplicity – met with enormous success in light of the more constricted looks of the day.

He also dressed the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and many other famous and non-famous women.  The most memorable fashion moment maybe:  Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress, in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.

The NY Times referred to him as the Fashion Pillar of Romantic Elegance.

Enough Said!

 

Style: Cowboy Hats

Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys —Willie Nelson  

Jane Fonda pulls off the cowgirl look as only she can – with natural style & grace.

How about cowgirls?

If you don’t reside in places like Tennessee or Texas, you seldom see cowboy hats worn except as a fashion statement.  But they’re back!  As a fashion statement or otherwise.

Cowboy boots are among the top spring/summer 2018 shoe trends, but to fully embrace your cowgirl spirit, you definitely also need a cowboy hat. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this Western style to reappear on the scene.  That’s why I didn’t let go of a few pairs of cowboy boots that sat dormant at the back of my closet.  And maybe that’s why I recently bought another pair of cute cowboy inspired ankle books.

Madonna has worn many hats — both literally and figuratively.

Back then: Montgomery Clift, Marilyn Monroe, and Clark Gable – The Misfits, 1960 Photo: Getty Images

They’re strong & sexy and have major attitude.

Photos: Getty Images

 

 

Design – seeing everything in black + white

I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to perusing open houses.

Mostly because I end up loving a lot of them and hate the fact that I can’t move right in or more likely, cannot afford to. But it’s fun to look.  I realize how many different styles of homes I’ve come to appreciate. From Mid-Century Modern easily influenced by where I’m at, to old world Spanish hacienda and country cottage chic but in a Cape Cod sort of way.  I like furnishings that are modern, vintage, collectible and contemporary but comfortable.  Mixed with vibrant colour or plain neutral.  I don’t like too stark.  I prefer warmth. But then I saw this:

I literally stumbled upon this unassuming ranch style home for sale in my neighborhood when out walking the dogs.  It’s not quite finished being updated (at least on the outside) but I was curious so I wandered inside.

It was not showy; actually kind of simple in a bold statement kind of way. What I like is how clean and elegant black and white looks.  Very parisienne.  Very timeless.  Very me. at the very moment  Could it be I’m suffering from  homestyle schitzophrenia? 

Jia Jia on our walk.

Seeing something opposite to what you already have gives fresh perspective to how you can decorate.  It doesn’t make it better, it just gives it a different personality.  It’s always fun to see what others are doing when it comes to home decor or anything else for that matter.

Do you agree?

Photos: d. king

Style: the Oscar for best dress goes to…

The Oscars are this Sunday

In my opinion, these are all academy award winning dresses.

Let’s just be clear that as much as we admire many of these stars, love the films they’re nominated for and even the ones who are there only for the sake of presenting an award, we really love seeing what they’re wearing and who wore it best.  After all this is the time to pull out all the stops.  The fantasy is being able to dress like a storybook princess one special day of the year.

There are so many past and present stars who wore it best.  It was difficult to choose, but looking through the archives and in no particular order, I narrowed it down to some of my all-time favourites. So beginning with someone named DEBBIE:

Nominated for her role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Debbie Reynolds brought the princess look to the red carpet and the stage for a performance during the ceremony – 1958.

Jennifer Lawrence and Dior have been a match made in sartorial heaven since the two began working together in 2012. This lace and tulle confection which she wore for her Joy nomination was another one for the books.

In the span of a year actress Lupita Nyong’o became a style icon. Following her baby-blue Prada dress that she won an Oscar in, she followed it up with this intricate pearl-covered Calvin Klein Collection gown – 2015.

How many can pull off this color?  I say do it if you can and you will be noticed!
Michelle Williams‘s saffron Vera Wang dress has become one of the most memorable fashion moments. The actress attended with her then-boyfriend, the late Heath Ledger, who was nominated for his role in Brokeback Mountain, where they both met – 2006.

Gwyneth Paltrow pioneered the caped trend at the 2012 Academy Awards in this Tom Ford, which became one of the biggest fashion trends from outerwear to cocktail dresses.  It solidified her status as style icon – with good reason.


If only for my love of Vintage.  Penelope Cruz channeled a fairytale princess in a vintage Pierre Balmain gown when she won Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona  in 2009.


Becoming the first African American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress is certainly a moment in time to remember, as was Halle Berry’s Elie Saab partially sheer floral gown – 2002.  And really; how many can get away wearing a dress like this.  She did!


As if Mira Sorvino knew she would be the winner of the night, the actress aptly dressed as a princess for her big Academy win for The Mighty Aphrodite – 1996.  I loved her in that movie, and this dress also reminds me of a vintage one hanging in my closet, only in black and a tad less formal. Still waiting for my perfect role.


No bubble head,  Joan Collins clearly turned heads in this bubble hem gown—and in the 50’s no formal look was complete without elbow-length gloves.  You don’t see dresses like this anymore – 1950.

On Monday we’ll have a look at some of the dresses from this year’s Academy Awards.

How about you?  Have an all-time favourite gown?

most images: harper’s bazaar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style: Spanning the Decades

I am somewhat obsessed with vintage designer fashion.

As someone once said it can be easily overlooked that what is now called vintage was once brand new.  Of course that’s true but what I appreciate is the workmanship, attention to detail and luxurious fabrics the designers of that era used, which is almost impossible to find in the fast fashion market of today.  And many talented designers have ended up making their designs more accessible (or selling out) to appeal to the masses.  Although the prices are reasonable, the quality is not the same.

Photo by Richard Avedon.  Pierre Cardin’s coat of rose brocade.

This happened to famous high fashion designer Pierre Cardin.  The Italian-born French designer was best known for his geometric avant-garde designs. In the 1960s his use of stark tunics, goggles and helmets launched the Space Age look. Cardin expanded into the automobile market in the early ’70s and designed haute couture muscle car interiors. He now owns a chain of Maxim hotels and restaurants.  He’s 96 years old.

Irridescent silk evening gowns by Pierre Cardin, 1959

Mia Farrow in a Pierre Cardin beaded and sequined mini, May 1967.

Fashion returns to Modernism Week with the new Modernism Fashion Show – “Spanning the Decades.” Attendees will step back in time as they “Span the Decades” through fashion. They will be transported through the eyes of Coco Chanel, Emilio Pucci, Christian Dior, and Pierre Cardin as Mitchells Palm Springs collaborates with M Vintage to display “Haute Couture” at its best. Guests will be escorted to the Grand Warsaw Ballroom at Temple Isaiah to enjoy a glass of bubbly and nibblies and view the amazing fashion retrospective. February 18, 2 PM; $45

EMILIO PUCCI

Emilio Pucci was an Airforce 1 pilot under World War 2, who surprisingly started out making skiwear for a college team. Then he was approached by Harpers Bazaar in the late 40’s, to design for a European skiwear story. When raging reviews from the U.S. and tons of offers to manufacture still didn’t sway him – he set up his own house. Key pieces were swimwear, silk scarves, silk dresses and shirts – with amazing colorful prints. He later created the Braniff Airlines uniform (the bubble helmet).  Vintage Pucci in prisine condition is very sought after and expensive.

Pierre Cardin

See what I mean?  We don’t dress like this anymore. Not that I ever did only in my mind and while it’s somewhat of a relief it’s also kind of sad we don’t have the capacity to try so hard.  Because fashion is meant to be  fun.  But you can see that these designers were fabulously multi-faceted.  They tell their stories through their designs.

 

Style: SLIPing

The Slip Dress – a Style Staple

I’ve come to the realization that a simple slip dress is anything but basic. It should be a wardrobe staple in every womans closet.  Preferably in black.

  If you’re ever in doubt of what to wear for an evening out it’s an easy, effortless piece to dress up or down.  Wear it long or just below the knee.  It pairs with so many things.  You can wear it with heels or flats, with a tuxedo jacket, throw or regular jean jacket.  Get the picture?And yes; Liz wore it better than anyone.

This might even be a real slip – so beautiful!

 

Style: Bodysuit Revival

Bodysuits are Back in a Big way.

Actress Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched) – taken in London, England 1964

Some of them even have no back.  But no matter how they come, there’s a lot to be said about a perfect bodysuit.  I used to wear them a lot.  And then I didn’t.  Mostly because they fell out of fashion with the lowrise pant phase and it was hard to find a good one except for Wolford, who always carried them.

They’re the ideal layering piece.  And as you can see, they’ve been around for a long while.

Wolford Berlin Stretch Jersey Bodysuit -$240

 This bodysuit by Wolford means investing in the best. While a bit of a splurge, it’s the ultimate foundation piece when going for a seamless look.

Privacy Please Bara Bodysuit ($88) – you’ll get so much wear out of this simple bodysuit all year long.

Not only do they stay in place when tucked into high-waisted pants and skirts, but they’re also thin enough that they don’t add any unnecessary bulk. Under pretty blouses, the extra layer will keep you warm.  You can also leave a few extra buttons undone.

And you want one with No VPL.  That’s important.

BCBG – Floral Lace Bodysuit

BCBG’s Cato Floral Lace Bodysuit is a sleek lingerie-inspired bodysuit with intricate vintage details, and it shows the perfect flash of skin. The slimming striped mesh and plunging floral-lace neckline accented with scalloped trim accentuates your waist, while its chic long sleeves keep you cozy. Best of all, the bodysuit’s thong design is perfect for smooth layering (read: no unflattering VPL).

Madewell Lennon Striped Jersey Bodysuit -$45

Madewell: This bodysuit version stays sleek under high-waisted jeans and you don’t have to worry about your T-shirt looking sloppy. Bonus: It also won’t ever ride up!

Good thing I never got rid of a few of mine – what goes around comes around!

How about you?  Are you a fan or not?

 

 

Stylish Food – Gucci’s Haute New Restaurant

 When I think dream of Gucci, what usually comes to mind is:

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of THIS:

But when in Rome Florence you can now dine out Gucci-style.  It appears that the latest trend is mixing famous high-end fashion houses with cuisine.

The Italian fashion house has opened a 50-seat restaurant, Gucci Osteria, in Florence where three-Michelin-star chef Massimo Bottura will serve up high-end dishes.

The Gucci restaurant is sited behind the walls of the 14th century Palazzo della Mercanzia building, overlooking the city’s most famous square, Piazza della Signoria. Visitors can treat themselves to the likes of Parmigiano Reggiano tortellini, Peruvian-inspired tostadas, pork belly buns and mushroom risotto for €20 to €30 euros per dish.

Few strategies come without an element of risk, however.

*Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli said that if luxury companies did not provide a gastronomic experience that matched their other goods, it could dilute their brands. “The experience has to be luxurious and recognizable,” he said.  At least fashionably plated right?

“Food is luxury as much as fashion,” said Stefano Cantino, strategic marketing director at Prada, which owns exclusive Milan patisserie Marchesi.

“Barriers have been broken.”

The Gucci Osteria restaurant is part of “Gucci Garden,” which includes an exhibition area, a bazaar-like boutique and a cinema room. “Haute couture and haute cuisine are a recipe made in heaven,” chef Bottura told reporters.

So if you can’t have that special Gucci bag or pair of loafers you can always get a loaf of Gucci bread.   But to do so, you still have to get to Florence.

btw, just because you asked….this is my new favorite neutral:

Source: businessoffashion.com

*Bernstein is widely recognized as Wall Street’s premier sell-side research and brokerage firm, with a global equity trading platform that spans the U.S., Europe, and Asia.