Thursday, March 31, 2011

Not for the Faint of heart

Here's that pretty silk chiffon dress again, as promised. This time I gave it a more relaxed look by leaving the ties loosely hanging rather than tying them up in a bow. Since the dress is sheer and needs something underneath, I chose my burgundy suede shorts; they brought in a little color and were an unexpected twist.

My initial thought was to grab one of my pairs of tall, chunky boots, such as my Jeffrey Campbell Clinics or X-Rays. But in the end I decided that they would've been a rather obvious choice to pair with shorts, so I opted for these well-worn cowboy boots instead. The giant wedge boots are so ubiquitous these days that I feel the need to deploy them sparingly, and then only when it's least expected.

This outfit also features the new bag that I brought home from Century 21 in New York; the store is home to some amazing deals on designer goods but is not for the faint of heart. Getting trampled in the mad frenzy, or at the very least jostled and shoved,  is a very real possibility. I narrowly escaped with my life! -- and this infinitely versatile bag. I've decided that soft gray is the perfect shade for a bag; it can go with browns, it can go with black, it can go with color. And I might have been exaggerating just a little when I implied that I risked my life to buy it.

Dress: Fremont
Shrug: All Saints
Necklace: Wendy Brandes
Bag: L.A.M.B.
Shorts: thrifted and shortened (from pants)
Boots: vintage Morgan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pièce de Résistance

The image that sparked the creation of this outfit is this one from the Prabal Gurung collection, which was part of my Fashion Week roundup post last week. And yes, I realize the two outfits really look nothing alike, but the kernel of the idea was simply to wear my furry vest over my long cream cardigan, not necessarily to recreate the whole outfit (though I still want to try that too). After that I just got carried away, grabbing as many white, cream, and beige items as I could find and throwing them all together.

The pièce de résistance was this cream harness that I snagged out of Mark's workshop; I thought it integrated really well with the other pieces and gave some geometry and structure to the outfit. I showed it here without the vest just so you could get a better look at it, but I did wear the vest all day at work so that the harness just barely peeked out.

Vest: Adrienne Landau
Harness: Audra Jean
Shirt: Michael Stars
Dress: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Max Studio
Skirt: Noa Noa
Boots: Apepazza

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This fun, patterned dress is from my adventure at Desigual with Sal. We both tried on a lot of the same items that day, but if I remember correctly this is the only one we both bought. All that bright color and the fact that it's sleeveless really makes this more of a summer dress, but I got impatient to wear it and layered it up for a cool weather outfit. Not wanting to completely obliterate the summery vibe, I added a pink tank top to fill in the neckline and add some brighter color near my face.

Dress: Desigual
Cardigan: American Eagle Outfitters
Boots: Miz Mooz
Bracelet: Betsey Johnson

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mixing Grays

Lately I find myself drawn to mixed-neutral color schemes, especially when the weather turns rainy and cold as it has been here for the past couple of weeks. So this crochet-trimmed cardigan and black knit dress were quite timely presents from my family; the cardigan is from my mom, and the dress is from my aunt. They always seem to do a great job picking out clothes for me.

Throwing in some gray is always a great way to blend brown and black together, so I added several items in varying shades of silver-gray. Grays can be tricky to mix, so it's important to pay close attention to whether items are a warm or cool gray; the easiest combinations will always be like with like. In past outfits I've mixed different bluish-grays (here's one example, and here's another), and in others I've gone with warmer grays with brown undertones (such as this outfit). Warm and cool grays can be mixed, as long as there's an intervening color that bridges the gap; in this outfit I mixed a soft taupe-gray with a deep charcoal, using plenty of brown to ease the transition.   

For more on mixing neutrals, click here to read what Sal has to say about it.

Cardigan: Solemio
Scarf: Eileen Fisher
Dress: Max Studio
Skirt: S
Belt: Urban Outfitters
Boots: Bos and Co.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Los Angeles Edwardian Ball

If you enjoyed the Edwardian Ball video I posted last month, check out this clip of the attendees in line for the LA event, also shot by Mark Day. I guess San Francisco isn't the only town that knows how to dress up for an event...

Friday, March 25, 2011


It's been cold here lately, so I layered up this sundress so that I could get away with wearing it now instead of having to wait for summer. I've also worn it a few times now over jeans and boots, which is another great way to make the dress more wearable when it's cold out.

The dress is an ombre print that blends from yellow to gray as it goes from top to bottom, so putting a cardigan over it gives it the appearance of being two separate pieces (although this particular cardigan is somewhat sheer, so you can see the continuous print through it of you look carefully). I pulled the dress's self belt off and put it over the cardigan to better integrate the two pieces.

Dress: Aryeh
Cardigan: All Saints
Tights: Noa Noa
Boots: All Black

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fashion Week Roundup

I've never done any Fashion Week posts before, but I figured it was about time to try one out. I've been looking at all the new collections with much greater scrutiny this year than I have in the past, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite looks and the inspiration they've given me. This post is assembled from several different Fashion Weeks (New York, Paris, etc.), but all are the fall 2011 collections.

Prabal Gurung showed several bold black and red looks, and I definitely want to work up some of my own. I loved the use of the gorgeous Wolford Hero tights, so much so that I just purchased a pair for myself. The bondage-inspired tights combined with flowing chiffon fabrics and soft colors is a great blend of edgy and feminine, and that white and cream outfit is one I want to steal from top to bottom.

I was blown away by the sumptuous colors and textures at Gucci; these outfits epitomize classic Hollywood glamour while adding a new twist with the striking color combinations. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few looks to show here; the whole collection is a feast for the eyes. These are some color mixes that I'm definitely going to be trying out myself.

DSquared2 made me realize that I desperately need a floor length leather coat. I loved the tall, wide-brimmed hats as well.

 Sweet, flapper-inspired looks by Chris Benz. I loved the soft plaids and muted yellows.

 Diesel Black Gold shows us that leather pants are sticking around for next fall and winter, and I for one am glad. Although now I wish I had a pair in olive green.

 Christian Dior has been a favorite of mine for several seasons now. How the company will ever succeed without John Galliano is beyond me. For all his faults, the man is a genius. I loved the different combinations of skirts or shorts with tall boots, the rich color combinations, and the structured elements combined with slouchy hats, soft fur, and relaxed layers. All of these looks are chic without being fussy. OTK, lace-up boots are definitely on my shopping list for fall.

 Sharply-defined waists, mixtures of masculine and feminine elements, and beautiful silk prints were the standouts at Giles. Some of the outfits really overdid it with the monkey fur (which I believe is actually made from goat hair nowadays), but I liked it as a trim on the full skirt.

Haider Ackerman's entire collection was simply stunning; I loved seeing elegant gowns combined with pants and blazers, and those big wide belts add an interesting edge to the dressy silks.

 I normally don't pay too much attention to Ralph Lauren as I usually find their collections to be too conservative for my taste, but these 20's and 30's-inspired outfits definitely hit a nerve. I've also never considered the cloche as an evening-worthy hat, but now I'm changing my mind.

 Sarah Burton did an admirable job with the new collection at Alexander McQueen, although to me it doesn't have the magic of the late genius's work. That fur-trimmed coat-dress is really something though, and there's yet another pair of tall lace-up boots to tempt me.

 Ethnic prints, fur trim, and more of that gorgeous emerald green color were some of my favorite elements at Oscar de la Renta. And that multi-print plaid gown is wonderful; I normally don't go for one-shoulder dresses, but the balance provided by the offset ruffles really makes the dress work for me.

 Elie Tahari's collection had quite a few standouts; the smoky gray and head-to-toe cream outfits are ones I would love to try a variation on.

Someday I would love to own a Temperley London dress; the styling is always impeccable. Here's another one-shoulder dress that somehow works; I think it's the way the sleeve and the flower detail balance each other. And look, more black and red!

 I loved the cool shaping on the leather jackets at Junya Watanabe.

 Yohji Yamamoto gave me some more ideas for black and red, and I loved some of the playful elements such as the cage skirts.

Finally, I couldn't leave out the sleek minimalism of Helmut Lang, who as we know designs garments specifically for me. I'm not loving the model's haircut, but the outfits are cool and totally wearable.

Did you follow any of the Fashion Week events? Is there anything outstanding that I'm missing here? What were your favorite collections, and did you get any great new ideas from them?