Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Trend Alert: Customize Your Engagement Ring with James Allen

For most girls, their impending nuptials were planned to a T before they even met their soulmate: the flower arrangements, centerpieces and wedding dress have been stowed away in a (not-so) secret Pinterest board for years now. And the ring? Undeniably, that's the most important part.  Your day will come and go, but that ring is a souvenir of all your wedding  dreams.  While you may have settled on a shiny rock from DeBeers or Harry Winston -- though we don't anticipate many people complaining about that -- it may not be perfect. Perhaps the band will be too thick or the sapphire's pigment may not be as potent as you had hoped. Or maybe securing everything you want in a ring resulted in your fiance taking out a second mortgage on your new home. Enter JamesAllen.com, the premier engagement ring company that lets your customize your ring at a reasonable price.

Courtesy of JamesAllen.com

"JamesAllen.com is the story of some diamond guys who had successfully navigated the most 'old-school' of industries, but knew there must be a modern way to buy diamond jewels," says Oded  Edelman, CEO and co-founder of JamesAllen.co,

Launched in 2006, the accessories brand utilizes their special 360-Degree HD Technology Display, which allows customers to pick out their rings within the comfort of their own home: users can play around with the primary rock, secondary stones, band width and settings.  And unlike other fine jewelry e-tailers,  users can choose a specific gem -- which are primarily sources from the United States, India, Canada, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel -- amongst a wide array of options. Translation? A certain level of transparency throughout the company that promises users will be pleased with the cut, color and clarity of their stones.

Courtesy of JamesAllen.com

With a variety of stones -- pink sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, to name a few -- and settings from a traditional solitaire to a vintage-inspired option, brides-to-be can exercise their creative muscles and conveniently forward their pick to their significant other. And, with a special section of the website dedicated to wedding bands, consider this your one-stop-site for all that shimmers. Need some additional guidance? Browse the e-store's inventory with their Real-Time Diamond Inspection Service, which will connect you with one of JamesAllen.com's in-house diamond specialist for an interactive experience.

All of this must cost your beau a pretty penny, right? Almost. According to Edelman, settings range for $200 to $5,000. And for a ring that is both sentimental and your very own design, that's more of a bargain. It almost sounds too good to be true, but then you remember that every bride deserves a show-stopping engagement ring.
 "We believe that every couple should be able to get the most out of their budget, whatever that may be, and be able to do it in a transparent way where they are in the driver's seat," says Edelman.

Instagram @kmulvs

The Trendologist EIC was fortunate enough to design a ring with JamesAllen.com, and we must say the results are gorgeous. A dreamy sapphire surrounded with a halo of bitty diamonds? J'adore.

How can you not fall in love with this website? Stay up to date with JamesAllen.com by following the brand on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

What type of ring will you make on JamesAllen.com? Sound off below!


Thursday, 22 October 2015

8 Best Dior Looks by Raf Simons

Say it ain't so. This morning, the news broke that Raf Simons would be leaving his post as artistic director at Dior. If you listening closely, you'll be able to hear the sobs of thousands of fashion girls around the world. Though his reign was relatively brief -- Simons was with the famed house for three and a half years after John Galliano's abrupt (and controversal) departure -- it's undeniable that the Belgian designer brought a cool, modern energy to Dior. So in the memory of sartorial greatness, let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? Scroll away for the Trendologist's favorite Dior looks by Raf Simons.

Fall Couture 2012, Look 25: Christian Dior had his treasured "New Look," and Galliano has his exuberant flair. But Simons? His aesthetic is an updated mix of the two: progressive like Dior, but winked at Galliano's drama. From  his debut collection, it was obvious that his interpretation would be coveted by the industry's cool girls, and this look from his premiere collection hits the sartorial nail on the head. The combinaton of a fitted, ankle-length trouser and mullet-esque top is the perfect blend of masculine and feminne. Plus, that rich cobalt hue (which almost perfectly matches Simons's flower-adorned walls) is enchanting.
Autumn Ready-to-Wear 2013, Look 2: Leave it to Simons to consistently server up some innovative silhouettes. Sure, peplums are nothing new to the design world; however, this one-sided peplum helps accentuate a woman's figure without looking cliched . And the high-slit, which accompanies the origami-like pop, gives this frippery a seductive twist. But before you write off this dress as "modern, white and that's about it," the illustrations on the peplum add a fun touch.  Look familiar to you? That's because Jennifer Lawrence rocked this frock to an event for Catching Fire  in Cannes a few years ago.

Fall Couture 2013, Look 15: If you've seen the brand's new documentary, Dior and I, you'll know that crafting a full couture collection is a lot of work. With a fully-stocked atellier, it's no surprise that the French house always delivers. But this look perhaps best highlights the TLC that is reqired: while the semi-sheer garment is delicate, the tough accessories create this admirable push-pull factor. And don't tell us that you're not going ga-ga over this texture. Forget silks, lace, and neoprene: the fine ruffles are pure genius. Don't you just want to stick your hand through your screen and touch this? You can't, sorry. And for those who haven't seen the documentary:go out and do so immediately.
Spring Ready-to-Wear 2014, Look 52: As any fashion fanatic who memorizes runway shows knows, this wasn't the crux of Simons's spring 2014 collection. Instead, most of the collection consisted of embellished dresses, sleek pantsuits, and colorful skirts. But for the finale, a sea of silver jacquard dresses ran rampant on the catwalk. Mixed with the flora of all varities hanging from the ceiling, it was the fashion moment unapologetic girly girls dream of.  This look in particular balances the high-drama of a full metallic skirt with a simple black sleeveless top, not to mention the embellished patch provides a fun, collegiate addition. And the (obivous) moral of the show is this: finales can easily leave more of a mark than the collection itself.

Fall Couture 2014, Look 3: Throughout Simons's reign at Dior, there has been a heavy dose of references from the 18th century: petticoat-like outerwear, scultupural skirts and pretty pastels, for example. This perpetual inspiration undeniably reached its apex at the designer's fall 2014 couture show. From dreamy duster coats to voluminous eveningwear,  it was a collection that Marie Antoinette and today's street style star would both adore. Traditional but not literal, this dress oozes perfection. The slim bodice coupled with an exaggerated drop-waist creates an unusal, yet flattering, silhouette while the pretty palette grounds this girly look.

Autumn Reaty-to-Wear 2014, Look 21: While at Dior, Simons took a liking to sleek black pantsuits and dainty pastel dresses. But when he injected some potent hues in his collections? Wow. Some may think that cherry red and cerulean blue may look too patriotic when paired together; however, this look is cool, offbeat and quite secular. As a whole, this dress is the perfect balance between simple and complex: the primary colors are stimulating instead of snoozy, the overall shape is fuss-free while busy bodice creates some much-need tension and the soft embroidery challenges the smooth textile. Swoon.

Spring Ready-to-Wear 2015, Look 47: Most of Simons's memorable looks at the house were dresses that graced ad campaigns, editorials and red carpet sightings. But let's not forget his fantastic use of coats and pants. Tinged with a Vicotrian flair, Simons continued to blend feminity and masculinity in his later years. And what's even more commendable about this look is the apparent versatility, comfot and ease. While most of us love avant-garde ensembles, incoproating them into our daily lives is a struggle. This get-up, on the other hand, would look just as good at the office or a party as it does on the runway. And don't those pants scream, "Wear me now"?

Spring Ready-to-Wear 2016, Look 10: As anyone with a pulse on the fashion spectrum could tell you, lingire-inspired clothes is a big trend for this coming spring. And while most brands opted for the literal iteration with lace-adorned slips, Simons gave his take on this trend a softer twist. Sure, the sheer skirt is sublty sultry; however, the whole look perfectly blends a Grecian goddess with the likes of a ski bunny. Two very different references, but somehow it works. But that's the beauty of Dior: it's provoking and sultry, but not overtly sexy. Even in 2015, the Dior brand still sticks to its ladylike roots and remains current.

All runway images courtesy of Vogue Runway
Which Raf Simons for Dior looks are you still thinking about? Sound off below!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Fall 2015 Trend: Victor, Victorian

You can just sense it: the nippy cold weather, the crunchy leaves underneath your feet and the lingering aroma of pumpkin spice lattes. Yes, it's fall. And while a new, chillier season may mean strictly whipping out the cozy sweaters for some, the dawn of autumn means something different for fashion's flock. Consider it the sartorial new year: out with the old trends and in with the new. To break down the hottest trends of the season, welcome to The Trendologist's fall guide. Each week, a new trend will be highlighted with shop-able must-haves. 

Back in high school, she who donned all black and dramatic lipstick was known as "that weird emo outcast." In 2015? Thanks to several top designers -- and a sleek, Victorian twist -- your standard gothic girl has gotten a very chic makeover. She was everywhere on the fall runways. At Marc Jacobs, ominous hues were swapped out for warmer colors. But don't think this was a full departure from brooding style: the full skirts, nipped coats and vampy lip provided a sunny way for this trend to shine. Insider favorite Joseph Altuzarra brought this trend to the 21st century by juxtaposing sheer, high-necked lace tops with up-to-there slits, knee-high laced boots and loads of sequins. Looking for something more traditional? Turn to Ricardo Tisci's collection at Givenchy, where models cascaded down the runway in vampy velvets, brocades and faces adorned with gloomy jewels. The result? A juxtaposition between dark, ladylike chic and punk. Equally classic -- but with an undeniably softer, feminine touch -- was Alberta Ferretti's iteration of the trend: some looks were prim with fitted layers and other ethereal with touches of delicate lace and Elizabethan-worthy collars.With romantic ruching and sugar-coated shades, Alexander McQueen's variation of this trend blends salacious Victorian lady in waiting with the likes of an eery doll. Whether modern or traditional, but never too literal, there's an option for everyone on the sartorial spectrum.

Marc Jacobs, Look 43
Altuzarra, Look 4
Givenchy, Look 9
Alberta Ferretti, Look 48
Alexander McQueen, Look 27
1. Alex Monroe 2. Givenchy 3. Dorothy Perkins 4. Gianvito Rossi 5. Marc Jacobs 6. Alexander McQueen
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that with one false (sartorial) move, this trend can veer into costumey territory. But with three factors in mind -- fit, material and color palette -- you can easily keep your outfit's Victorian inspiration forward-thinking. Instead of reaching for your closest body-con dress or baggy garb opt for a happy medium: ideal Victorian-inspired apparel should fit snug at the waist and a tad voluminous elsewhere. If you're looking for some reference, think back to Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette as a loose inspiration -- but preferably without the heightened hair and corset.  Translation: shop for tailored coats and fitted, full-skirted dresses. While it's easy to think that the only way to go Victorian this fall is by investing in tons of black apparel, select a few pieces in other subtle neutral colors. For example, a maroon or navy dress is a great alternative to a creepy long-sleeved noir dress. Lastly, to give your trendy items a sophisticated twist with tactile fabrics. Forget polyester: wools, silks and lace will have your threads looking ultra-feminine and polished. But what about those mid-century-esque accessories? Use them sparingly and with modern pieces. Just like in Altuzarra's collection, a pair of lace-up booties will look super sexy with a high-slit skirt and a dainty cameo necklace can be styled with a cozy sweater for a fall-friendly ensemble.

Will you participate in this trend? Sound off below! 
Runway images courtesy of VogueRunway.com