Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The IT Girl of Gowns NOW: Leanne Marshall

    Leanne Marshall, the notable season 5 Project Runway winner, showed an ethereal F/W 15 collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in February that continued to celebrate the designer's affinity and clear knack for femininity. 

    The collection highlighted Marshall's astonishing intricate skill with delicacy, using fabrics and fluid silhouettes to ensure this. Sheer--many, dangerously so--and gowns and skirts floated down the runway by models, topped by small band-like crowns. A romance a la A Midsummer Night's Dream captivated the audience by the detail of each hand-dyed, hand-painted garment...right down to the embellished undergarments left exposed beneath many.

Now, that's enchantment down to the bone. 

Silk wool, silk organza, and silk chiffon made up the collection with a few appearances by wool crepe pants and structured coats and vests and a very brief appearance by a leather bustier, keeping the looks light. 

    Interestingly, the forty-two looks were divided into four categories, noted in French. The separate categories, seemingly represented the stages of intense love: the voyage toward, the chase (of love), the obsession, and finale of insanity (la demence). Each embodied their respective stage, noticeably transitioning in color, style, and overall attitude. 

    Leanne Marshall's standout F/W 15 collection further proved that her win on Project Runway was no coincidence. Her new line, though was simply magical--We've been wooed. 

This fall and winter, you've been warned. 

You'll either be wearing one of these or stand, spellbound, watching someone else cascade in the dress of all of our dreams. Is it midnight yet? 

***NOTE: Much like Carrie Underwood at 49th Country Music Awards below in Leanne Marshall! 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

49th CMA Awards: The On-point, Agh, and OK

Nashville proved itself--
once again

It is THE Music City. 

Although I only caught mere minutes of the country-tastic, big-haired, and shiny-shiny-shiny rhinestone cowpeople 49th Country Music Awards, most of these crooners didn't miss the a guitar note when it came to their looks. When did this start happening? I'm sorry, y'all. I haven't been giving enough of you credit. I didn't see one tank (I don't like the word "____ beater"). I could have very well missed that display of incredibly handy work attire, although I highly doubt it. Hey, I can say these things. I'm one of you. I'm from Tennessee. But, we all know...you don't have to be southern to be country. Damn right.

Not too many bumpkins were just chillin' it in last night's crowd (See what I did there? See HERE). They may be redneck women and those kinds of girls, but they clearly know their Giuseppe Zanotti's from their Corral boots. No offense, I swear. I actually love a good boot, and Corral nails that in both function and style. Country music and its representation definitely isn't what it once was. I think we can all attest that, even if you aren't a fan, or much more likely, "hate country music." For good or for bad, depending on your take, "country" encompasses many different sounds, looks, and personalities. It's much more fluid now, and it's difficult to decipher the line between all genres in today's music world, considering almost every artist utilizes beats and elements from other pre-defined genres. Eh, I suppose that's a pretty accurate portrayal of today's society in general. Life evolves, and that includes every "stereotype" that we've become accustomed to, and guess what? Let's go with it.

But truly, let's go with the ladies of the CMA's first. Here are my top picks, which feature one of my favorite designers of luxury women's wear, Leanne Marshall. Carrie Underwood wore two dresses by this incredible artist (after the initial red carpet look), which makes a pretty big (haired) statement in terms of brand validation. Go, Leanne. I last saw her presentation in February, and coming soon, you'll my entire review of what out right now from her! Oh, I mean, what you and I should be wearing. But, really. I should be. You can do you. Ha.

Let's get down to these best dressed ladies of country music, and then some...that didn't quite make the cut.

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Jennifer Nettles (obsessed!) // Jewel in Lorena Sarbu (obsessed #2!)

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Carrie Underwood in Gauri+Nainika // Miranda Lambert in Versace

Jenna Kramer border=
Jana Kramer // Kimberly Williams-Paisley in Marchesa

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Allie Allen in Camille La Vie // Kelsea Ballerini in Paolo Sebastian

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The Band Perry looking sharp...Kimberly Perry? Meow. 


The mehhhhhh and the "what?!"

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 Brantley Gilbert & Amber Cochran // Kimberly Schlapman // Kaitlyn Bristowe & Shawn Booth

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RaeLynn // Steve Martin & Edie Brickell // Lindsey Stirlin


These remind me of this gem-of -a -human from "We're the Millers."

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" You have no ragrets? Not even a single letter?" 

Now, tell me. Who were your favorites? What are YOUR thoughts on "country music" today and what it has become? Is it natural evolution and integrative to combine sounds and looks, or should we each stay in our own respective "lanes?" 

Questions of the day, courtesy of yours truly.

You're welcome for the brain fuel.

**All images courtesy of Getty**

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What I Wore: Spikes and Skulls

Can you believe that it is already the very end of October?!
Where has the time gone?
I know, I know. I'm a broken record at this point, always saying that.

I'm confused though (once again!), and I feel like I blinked...BAM. Fall hit me in the face... 
Fall on face. 

I wore this outfit on one of those insane days that THE POPE was in town. People, New Yorkers, absolutely love this leader and respect him immensely. It was a circus. A good circus, and I loved seeing the city alive with excitement and...faith? 

A good hat (I'm obsessed with this style! Especially all of these by Bailey) makes any outfit for me personally, especially when paired with prints and studs. 

City slicker style. 

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Bailey wide-brimmed hat // Express slim boyfriend jeans // BCBG Maxazria studded heels (Similar Here, Here, and Here) // Ark & Co. blouse with back cutout // Alexander McQueen skull silk scarf // Kat Von D fuschia lipstick // 
Ray-Ban black aviators (discounted!) // Jill Stuart metallic handbag (handpainted by me)

So, yes, me and hats. No surprises about that loving relationship. I've started to love the proper look of a feminine blouse topped off by a scarf/bow. Although I'm not incredibly "preppy" by definition--OK, I would not consider my style that at all--I do like to take a few notes here and there from the prepster handbook and mix them with edgier or unexpected details. I chose a classic ivory collared button-up with a draped cutout in the back, which I am eerily obsessed with. Back cleavage? OH, YEAH. Sign me up. The scarf is a classic Alexander McQueen skull and crossbone print, which I wear often, even if just tied onto a handbag. I'll admit, I don't shop at Express often or even enter one (again, it's New York, and I don't often end up at mall-type outlets), but I stumbled into the downtown Brooklyn Express outlet. Who knew?! I fortunately snagged two VERY discounted pairs of jeans. I hardly wear anything but dark or black, slim pants (leather, anyone?). I love this pair of  light-washed"slim fit boyfriend jeans." Both pairs, though, are shockingly comfortable while flattering my super short frame. Pops of color came in the form of a berry-hued lipstick by Kat Von D and an older Jill Stuart bag that I painted on with metallic fabric paint. 

**Shhhhhh, don't tell Jill! It used to be a very pale grey shade and became totally discolored by other clothing and by daily wear itself. This was one of my best ideas yet! Try it!

Lastly, studded pumps played well with the vibe of the skull scarf, while simultaneously offsetting the loose, casual look of the jeans. All in all, this was totally a "mix and match" ensemble. A little of this, a little of that. But, hey, to each their own! I've included more inspiration below:

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September (and February!)  means New York Fashion Week, which is always pretty nutty. The fall weather is just perfect, though, for displaying accessories and most recognizably, shoes. In the winter, we're all in boots or booties...or snow boots...yeah. So, boots galore. Fall fashion week allots a more varied display of footwear. I never quite make it to all of the events, presentations, runway shows and parties that I plan to attend. It's a bummer but a pretty all-too-common occurrence for most of us when we're zipping from one side of the town to the other, then back uptown and down again. Some shows start excruciatingly late; some begin right on time. You never know, so you just do the very best you can and prioritize.

This month, I experienced another joyful "life moment." I met the youngest addition to my family, my second niece, and became a third-time aunt. A proud one, at that. All of these babies around have me itching. This 'ole gal has decided that she's not turning a year older come December. Nope. Not happening. Maybe next year? Or never.

Never works for me.

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[Just click on each item]

Friday, September 4, 2015

Oxford Advanced Studies

    It's no secret that I simply adooooooooooore a good Oxford. In all of its traditional forms and the quirky takes on this footwear staple. They're not just good, but pretty damn top-notch, in my book. As a flat and a take on "menswear" (Can't it be all-wear? Unisex?), or add a heel, a wedge, whatever, and call it a day for me. I'm sold. I, personally, love them in a functional and adorable, classic black, but I'm really into funky textures, colors, and patterns. That juxtaposition between traditional and eclectic or modern makes creates interest for me, making an outfit. Or my day. Or my week, if I've had "one of those."

    I recently purchased two MORE--key word, "MORE"--pairs of Oxfords, and yet again (surprise?!), these are heels. These have a bit of a smaller heel than most of my others, and their shapes are a bit on the square side. So, they're a bit masculine meets feminine, although it is annoying to have to force a label upon them. Made by American Apparel, from which I rarely buy from (sorry? or, not sorry?), but purchased from their factory outlet here in New York City's SoHo neighborhood store, these babies shine bright in periwinkle blue and gaudy gold. But, you can purchase them directly online HERE. Best touch? They each came with separate laces. Which, as a sidenote, is an excellent nudge toward creativity when you own shoes that have any type of potential for lace-ups. I'll be switching up their laces again soon to different colors, ribbons, or whatever sort of vibe I'm grooving to that day...or night.

Brilliant idea, right? 
Who knew it could be so simple! 

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Butttttt....my favorites, despite my apologies to Goldie are these Baby Blues:

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Grab some that fit your needs and personal tastes, though. Oxfords are the perfect fall shoe! Personally, I'm always drawn to hunter green and dark burgundy for the season (imagine that!), but this season, I'm FALLLLLLING all over myself for *uniquely-hued metallics.*

I've found some fabulous fall Oxfords that will have you conjuring thoughts of cool breezes and magical trails of leaves.

Shop away, happy feet!

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[Pssst! Click each for a direct link!]

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