Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring 2013 Trend Report: A Rush of Ruffles

Whether Mother Nature wants to admit it or not, spring is officially here.It's time to stow away unflattering winter parkas and pursue those sought-after spring looks. However, after looking at dozens of collections, it's difficult to nail down some of most prominent trends. Never to fear, ladies and gent, that's why I'm here. Okay, I didn't mean for that rhyme. Over the next few weeks, I will highlight one major trend each week and show you how to rock it off the runway.

Ruffles are making a comeback, and not in the traditional flamenco dancer way (except if you're looking at Balenciaga's collection). This season is all about placing the girlish frippery in unexpected areas. From ChloĆ©'s rippled collars, to Acne's funky jacket to Gareth Pugh's tousled shirt, this trend offers an edgy twist on feminine fashion. The rebirth of ruffles sends a message: traditional menswear is so out. On the contrary, the markets and public alike are demanding traditional silhouettes with a bit of pizazz.  So you're officially sold on the concept, but how do you master this trend? Just follow my easy rules and check out my favorite ruffled pieces! 

Peter Pilotto

Prabal Gurung
Alice + Olivia

If you're a ruffles novice, start off slow. Since spring is a long season, there's plenty of time to evolve the sartorial phenomenon. Nothing says effortless chic more than a subtly ruffled peplum. If that doesn't scream "springtime cool," what does? Or try your luck with some saucy accessories. In order to let your ruffled accessory stand out, keep the rest of the ensemble clean: no prints and not airy silhouettes. Speaking of silhouettes, pair your ruffles with crisp shapes. Ruffles on a structured jacket or fitted skirt is absolutely to die for and keeps the trend in check. If you're craving a more relaxed silhouette, try a ruffled blouse--the overall form is chill and polished at the same time.

No matter what ruffled piece you decide to wear, you must follow these two rules:

  1. Sport a bright hue. As much as I to don black ensembles, it's spring! If you're afraid of color, simply sport a neutral shade.
  2. Make your ruffled piece the focal point of your ensemble. Otherwise, it will just be too much! 

Trend to Love: Ruffles

Sea, New York pink top, $350 / Prabal Gurung ruffle front blouse / Zara genuine leather jacket / Pringle of Scotland , $295 / Ruffle skirt / Balenciaga leather booties, $815 / LB2 navy handbag / Polka dot scarve

So what do you think of this trend? Sound off below!


Saturday, 23 March 2013

Bonjour, Paris!

Every girl remembers her first time-- in Paris, I mean. Especially fashion-oriented girls. How could any glamazon not fall madly in love with the city of Chanel, Dior, Laduree, Yves Saint Laurent, croissants... because fashion and food are the only things you need to survive. Such a stylish city demands equally stylish tourists. So naturally, I meticulously planned my outfits for my weekend in Paris.
Sunglasses: Prada. Scarf: Alexander McQueen. Boots: Cole Hann. Dress: Topshop. Coat: Calvin Klein. Bracelet: Topshop.

Bag: Ralph Lauren. Hat: Diane von Furstenberg. Sunglasses: Prada. Shirt: Zara. Jeans: Rag & Bone. Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell. 

Through this time-consuming process, I discovered what I think is the secret to Parisian style: mixing neutral pieces with standout details and eye-catching accessories. Since the city of love is still quite chilly, I focused on wintry accessories-- girly and effortless at the same time. And because no good ensemble is complete without a pair of stellar sunnies, I thought my pick fit the sartorial bill.

Want to score a tres chic outfit of your own? Check out my top picks below.

Untitled #47

Kain stripe shirt / Black skinny pants / Short heels, £53 / J.Crew genuine leather handbag, £215 / Square scarve / Norma Kamali square sunglasses, £65 / Clinique , £11

paris 2

Topshop flower prom dress, £86 / Miu Miu platform heels, £480 / Nine West , £33 / Accessorize pearl bangle bracelet, £19 / Giorgio Armani lipstick, £21


Balmain / Golden Goose Deluxe Brand / Manolo Blahnik black pumps, £610 / GUESS by Marciano wide stretch belt, £45 / NARS Cosmetics , £17

A special thank you to my lovely friends for the street style photos!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Check Mate.

It's no surprise that I'm obsessed with all things editorial. And when an interesting fashion spread comes around, I tend to take notice. Recently, I was roaming around a convenience store in London and UK Glamour's April issue caught my eye. Though January Jones looks beautiful (as always) on the cover, all of my attention went to what she was wearing. I know, are we surprised? "Cheers for sporting Louis Vuitton's spring collection," many style groupies might've said as they picked up their copy and headed towards the till. I, on the other hand, couldn't get another editorial moment out of my head: AnnaSophia Robb's Teen Vogue cover shoot. Not to mention Rihanna sported pieces from the collection on the cover of Elle. Though there is no real competition-- each magazine has its own target audience-- I couldn't help but wonder who wore it better.

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After looking at these three variations (they're so similar, but so different), I've come to the conclusion that they represent three different aspects of fashion: AnnaSophia is runway, January is commercial and Rihanna is street style.  The Carrie Diaries did not merely throw on the ensemble and call it a day. Instead, her look is meticulously planned to play up the mod factor. Though Jones's statuesque frame is catwalk-approved, the Mad Men starlet looks as if she's toning the edginess down with red carpet worthy adored hair and a glamazon lip. Rihanna's red pout, on the other hand, offers a sense of street style that is splashed all over fashion blogs.

With that fashion nerd moment over and done with, let's talk business! She may be young, but I have to admit that AnnaSophia Robb has was it takes to be one of Hollywood's up-and-coming fashionistas. Though the top and skirt are supposed to be cropped, it just looks too cropped on Jones and Rihanna. On the contrary, Robb looks utterly classic. While the "Diamonds" songstress is giving the ensemble some personality, Jones looks very...forced in this ensemble. Even though Rihanna's low heel is trendy, I don't love how matchy-matchy this look is.

One of the reasons I love this collection is because Marc perfectly infuses some teenage spirit into the otherwise traditional Louis Vuitton brand. AnnaSophia Robb perfectly embraces this concept. Not to mention her hair and makeup looks divine.

And when push comes to shove, she rocked this look first.

Clean, sophisticated and funky-- Teen Vogue's fashion team nailed this one.

But what do you think? I'm dying to know!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Unitiques: The Ultimate College Marketplace

Girl meets shirt. Girl buys shirt. Girl wears shirt. Girl breaks up with shirt.

We're all guilty of ditching our (formerly) treasured threads. After all, a fashionista's closet is the epitome of "out with the old, in with the new." Though we very well know where to acquire brand new pieces, what about your old clothes and accessories? While post-grads have numerous options to choose from, campus dwellers can now turn to Unitiques

Photo courtesy of Unitiques. 

Started by Alex Shadrow, a junior at Boston University (snaps for being classmates), Unitiques is the hottest way to sell your old pieces and pick up some fashionable finds. Call it "a fashionable (and risk-free) version of Craigslist" or "virtual Buffalo Exchange," but one thing is for sure: it's pretty major.

Before Unitiques was a multi-university phenomenon, it was humbly known as BUtique.

"I decided to start 'BUtique' because I needed money and I had clothes I wanted to get rid of," Shadrow recalls. "I was tired of the physical pain of bringing my clothes to Buffalo Exchange, only to get ripped off. I also didn't want to turn to Craigslist because I was afraid of the safety issues associated with making such a public listing. "

Ergo, the PR major created a Facebook page that acted as a virtual marketplace. For BU's fashion community, it was a dream come true-- it seemed as if everyone was posting their glam goodies or negotiating prices. Perhaps without knowing it, Shadrow publicized the harsh reality of being a style savant: breaking up with your clothes is hard to do, partially because it's difficult to find a safe (and profitable) place to sell them. Of course, breaking up with your clothes is also hard to do because of the memories and the faint hope that the CFDA will want to create an exhibit dedicated to your clothes. I mean, it could happen.

In what seemed like a New York minute (Boston minutes are too slow), the lovable BUtique was just too big for Commonwealth Avenue.

"I decided to expand BUtique because the group was growing dramatically everyday," says Shadrow. "People from other schools even reached out to me and asked if I could bring the service to their campus-- guys too! I realized it was something everyone needed."

If you're not craving a wardrobe makeover (and would rather keep your threads hanging in your closet), you now have the option to sell furniture, appliances and much more on the site. And since Shadrow doesn't take a profit, college students finally have the democratic bazaar they've been praying for.

Now that you're completely smitten with Unitiques, how does it work? Once you sign up with a valid university email and create a profile, it's up to you to post sale items and contact that girl in your math class who is selling that super cute sweater. You know... the one you're borderline obsessed with. Though it's the norm to vend within your own school's network, you can choose to talk business with students from other colleges.

Though it seems as if Unitiques could not get any better, keep a look out for new elements. With an established live chat, Shadrow says that there's more to come!

"They will have to be a surprise," she teases.

So what's the harm in starting an account? We all know that you're dying to get rid of some things!


Sunday, 3 March 2013

The 2013 Academy Awards

Another year, another Oscar...or so it seemed. Though I unfortunately couldn't watch the televised event, this year's ceremony caused quite a stir. A falling Academy Award winner, a controversial tweet from The Onion and oh-so-cute Joseph Gordon Levitt dancing? Good or bad, this year definitely will not be forgotten. Same goes for the red carpet. While some starlets brought their A-game to the prestigious event, many should've thought twice before leaving their stretch limos. Shall we take a look at the best and worst looks from the night?

The Worst
Anne Hathaway (Prada): A far cry from Hathaway's award-worthy gowns, this Prada frock is less-than-impressive. Even if you have enough tolerance to look past the Miuccia- made "nipple exposure" and the unnecessary necklace (really, Rachel Zoe), this dress just doesn't compare to the high octane ensembles she's sported before-- let's not forget her eight epic ensembles from the 2011 Academy Awards. Winning the award for Best Supporting Actress was undeniably the biggest moment of her career thus far, yet she chose something so unremarkable (and quite boring). I personally dreamed a dream she wore something amazing to this red carpet. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed.
Jennifer Lawrence (Dior): I'm going to be honest: the dress is lovely albeit the fact that it's too editorial for the Academy Awards. With that in mind, the Oscar winning actress is on my worst dressed list because this look lacks practicality. In fact, all her outfits this season have resulted in some type of wardrobe malfunction. "This dress is really avant garde, will she have yet another mishap?" asked nobody on Lawrence's glam squad. Unlike Hathaway's minimalist nightmare, this ensemble is Oscar-approved; however, the Silver Linings Playbook star needs to learn how to wear dresses-- not the other way around.
Chris Tucker: The funnyman's tuxedo is looking a little clownish. However, nobody is laughing. Instead, this is just uncomfortable. While the suit's fit is fantastic, Tucker needs to learn that wide lapels and droopy bow ties are never okay.

Fan Bingbing (Marchesa): Though Georgina Chapman's craftsmanship is always inspiring, the styling is horrific.  The Marchesa number, plus the sparkling pink bracelets, plus the shocking lip plus the jeweled clutch equals a major fashion faux pas. A more minimalist approach to this dress would've been much better.
Kristen Stewart (Reem Acra): Considering this probably one of the very few times Kristen Stewart will be asked to attend the Academy Awards, this ensemble is beyond tragic. The starlet has the capacity to wow style elitists with her edgy aesthetic; however, this look is a tad sloppy. Personally, I don't love the tulle fripperies with the slender silhouette--the combination is too forced. And what's up with her hair and makeup? It seems as if the Twilight actress needs a good shower and a better makeup artist.
Halle Berry (Versace): Without a doubt, Berry is one of the most gorgeous ladies to grace this sacred red carpet. But she chose something so tacky, it's a little embarrassing. Though she's never a sartorial wallflower, this Versace number merits some unwanted attention. Actually, it's a little hypnotizing (and that's not a compliment). At 46 years-old, Berry looks fantastic; however, she's not getting any younger. I don't know about you, but I think it's time Berry starts making mature fashion decisions. Also, what is going on with this hair? I'm so over this chop.
Salma Hayek (Alexander McQueen): That hair.
Reese Witherspoon (Louis Vuitton): Once upon a time, Reese Witherspoon was a red carpet gem: she donned vintage Chanel and rocked Nina Ricci. But unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Though I love how this electric blue looks with her sunny blonde hair, this dress is an absolute disaster. Is it just me or is this dress very unflattering? Also, this ensemble lacks a standout accessory. Where's the major cocktail ring or fantastic earrings?  Call me crazy, but it seems as if her style is at a standstill.

Helena Bonham Carter (Vivienne Westwood): Nobody should expect the Les Miserables star to wear a conventional dress--she's quirky! However, I cannot stand this ensemble. She just looks a little too sloppy for comfort. Note to all fashionistas: you just can't rock messy hair with an equally messy dress. Luckily, I have reason to believe that the actress threw on a pair of matching shoes.
Helen Hunt (H&M): No, Helen Hunt actually wore H&M.While I obviously believe that you can dress stylish on a budget, Hunt's defiant choice was just wrong. The color and silhouette are fine; however, can we talk about the wrinkles for a hot second? Seriously, who would go to the most glamorous televised event in a wrinkled dress? Cleanliness is key, Helen, cleanliness is key.

Samantha Barks (Valentino): Yet another sartorial strikeout for the Les Miserables cast. Barks clearly is obsessed with black, cleavage-baring  dresses; however, this is not appropriate for the Academy Awards. Honestly, it's all too basic. Between the simplistic silhouette and the messy hair, it looks as if Barks doesn't even care to be at the Academy Awards. And let's not ignore that necklace. If you're seeking to show off your...goodies, don't add a necklace! It's not sexy--it's just juvenile.
Nicole Kidman (L'Wren Scott): Though the Aussie plays a vixen in The Paperboy , this shimmering number is anything but sexy. On the contrary, Kidman is clearly trying a little too hard to return to her fashion glory days (a.k.a. when she was Mrs. Tom Cruise). While style is eternal, everyone will reach a certain age when wearing a sequined dress is a little sad. However, I am glad she ditched the middle part.

The Best

Adele (Jenny Packham): We all know that Adele could own any karaoke contest that comes her way; however,  the songstress is additionally turning into a style maven. Thankfully, the award winning musician resorted back to her trusty black dresses; however, she hasn't ditched her newfound impulsive for drama. First of all, the jeweled details are to die for. Also, the cropped sleeves reveal just the right amount of skin. And that retro half-up hair? J'adore.

Daniel Day Lewis (Domenico Vacca): Rarely does a male actor decide to have a red carpet moment at the Academy Awards. Usually, men don the traditional penguin suit as their leading ladies take center stage. But awards night was Daniel Day Lewis's night, and nobody puts Daniel Day Lewis in the corner. daring to be different, the Lincoln star opted for a blue suit. Though it sounds weird in theory, the high-voltage color is perfectly juxtaposed with the actor's poise and British charm.

Joseph Gordon Levitt: I may be a bit biased (since Joseph and I are clearly soulmates), but the  Lincoln star looked absolutely adorable at the Oscars. At his very first Academy Awards, the actor wore a standard tux. For a "Joseph Gordon Levitt" twist, he paired this typical suit with a long bow tie and his trusty "Hit Record" pin. I'm smitten.

Amanda Seyfried (Alexander McQueen): No stranger to show-stopping ensembles, the Les Miserables starlet was once again a sight for sore eyes. Sartorially speaking, that is. The embroidered dress is insanely classic, yet the keyhole offers the tiniest dash of sultry vixen. Not to mention Seyfried also nailed this look on the beauty front-- the dainty makeup and polished updo is everything. 
Octavia Spencer (Tadashi Shoji): The Help actress is absolutely radiant. The angelic  hue is perfectly combined with the heavenly asymmetrical shoulder. Perfectly paired with a feminine pink lip and uber glam earrings, Spencer was a sartorial force to be reckoned with.

Zoe Saldana (Alexis Mabille): Seriously, can this style savant do any wrong?  Though the dress lacks  cohesiveness-- the appliqued bodice is unconventionally paired with the multicolored hemline-- Saldana polishes this look with standard dangling earrings, fresh makeup and "fuss-free" locks. What I love about The Words star is that she always tries something new. A new texture, color or silhouette--we're never bored!

Amy Adams (Oscar de la Renta): The magic of Oscar claims yet another starlet-- Oscar de la Renta, that is.  From the innocent color palette to brilliantly executed tulle skirt, this look is nothing short of heavenly.While a darker hue would create a stunning contrast with Adams's light skin, I kind of love how the pale dress looks on the actress. Fabulous.  Thankfully, Adams paired the extravagant ensemble with a sleek updo and minimal jewels.

Eddie Redmayne (Alexander McQueen): Fashion girls everywhere are probably wishing that their future husband is Eddie Redmayne (or some sort of variation of the Les Miserables actor). While his good looks are sure to make anyone with a pulse swoon, it's his keen eye for style that has me imaging our very chic lives together (sorry Joseph Gordon Levitt, it's nothing personal). Not only is his tuxedo perfectly fitted, he is also wearing smoking loafers. Smoking loafers to the Oscars? It's crazy, but it totally works.  Be still my heart.

Charlize Theron (Dior): Though we all tend to roll our eyes at Theron's "J'adore Dior" commercial, I must say that the red carpet fixture and the fashion powerhouse create an unstoppable duo. The angelic hue and the sleek silhouette screams minimalism, but the peplum adds the perfect amount of glamour. Speaking of glamour, how much do you adore those glistening cuffs? Amaze. Though I wish her makeup was more dramatic, I must say that she's rocking the boyish haircut.