Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dare to Bare with Risqué Lace

Rodarte | Zimmermann | Marc Jacobs | Altuzarra | Rodarte
There was once a time when sweet white lace was reserved for a prim and proper sort of girl (or for wedding dresses). When I hear white lace I think of an afternoon tea with my grandmother or Queen Victoria. There is something incredibly Victoriana and rather old-fashioned about a fabric that resembles a doily...or so I thought. 

Then fashion week came around.

First it was Altuzarra, with several seventies-style lace blouses and dresses; sure, they were long-sleeved and high-necked, but there's no use in trying to be modest when one's top is as see-through as a newly polished window. Then Rodarte shocked and awed with white lace blouses and leggings that left little to the imagination. Doily-looking or not, there was no denying that Joseph Altuzarra, the Mulleavy sisters, and even Marc Jacobs were making the statement that white lace can be unabashedly sexy. 

Still, I don't know if I would walk around in such a top out in public, sans-bra or lining. On the other hand, it would be a great opportunity to show off a pretty bra. 

What say you? Will you be trying out sexy white lace, or should it be reserved for tea time?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lindsey's March Wishlist

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Ah, March. The true beginning of spring and more importantly, the month of Spring Break. This year I will be heading south of the border on a Mexican Riviera cruise with some of my friends, and naturally that means a few shopping preparations must be made! 

The main thing I'm in search of: a new swimsuit. Living in Southern California you learn there's no such thing as having too many swimsuits, and the chic modern tribal prints of Mara Hoffman are a personal favorite of mine, lately. Perfect for tanning on the lido deck or when we dock in Cabo. 

Sunglasses are always a must, but especially when one is tanning from sun-up to sun-down.

Rompers are another warm-weather vacation necessity, since they can work as one-stop pool cover-ups, easy outfits for excursions and activities, or you can dress them up and wear them to a lovely dinner on the beach. Same can be said for a flouncy cami top.

Jean shorts are perfect for the pool and beyond, and since I have a few in the usual blue, perhaps a black pair would add some sophistication to the off-duty staple. Likewise, a pair of criss-cross slide sandals are just as easy to slip on and off as a pair of Rainbows, but perhaps a little more stylish. A backpack is an easy way to keep belongings together safely.

And a cute charm bracelet because why not?

Check out the sidebar for these and other items on my monthly wishlist.
What items are on your March wishlist? 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Is Middle School Fashion Cool Again?

Is the polo back? Marissa Cooper on The OC | Tanya Taylor | J. Crew | Tommy Hilfiger | Mean Girls
Since the sixth grade I've known that I've wanted to work in fashion, but judging from how I dressed back then you might not have guessed it. It isn't that I wasn't fashionable back in the day; in fact, I unfortunately was quite stylish and on-par with my middle school peers. I wore polo shirts and denim mini skirts and Juicy Couture religiously. I wore designer jeans with obvious branding on my behind, and I wore ballet flats almost everyday, despite the fact that I hadn't gone to a ballet class in several years. Among my peers I would say that I was rather fashionable, but when I look back on those awkward years I cringe with embarrassment. Why in the world did I ever think three layered camisoles paired with bootcut jeans looked good?

Then I remember that there was a time when that was what was fashionable. Ten years from now I might look back on our fascination with normcore and cringe. Fashion changes and transforms, and what is fashionable one day might be hideous the next.

What is interesting, however, is the way that distance changes how we look at clothes of the past. Take, for example, the continuing reign of the seventies at Fashion Week: we are nostalgic for a time and a culture that has long passed, one that many of us never even had the chance to experience, but I wonder what people of the eighties thought of the previous decade. They likely scoffed at flare jeans and shearling coats, rolling their blue-eyeshadowed eyes at the trends of the decade past, just as I looked upon my middle school years with disdain and embarrassment.

But a strange thing is happening once again, now with the the early 2000s: as we move further and further away from the start of the millenium, our nostalgia for the early aughts has slowly increased. The immediate removal from those years (2004 vs. 2008, for example) might cast a bad shadow on the recent past, but as the time between now and then increases our fondness for that time grows too.

The epitome of 2004 fashion—a decade later, is fetch finally a thing?
2004 is a prime year for bad early-2000s fashion and increasing nostalgia. Ten years have passed since the release of Mean Girls and yet I feel it becomes more and more popular each year. I remember it being a phenomenon when it came out all those years ago, but I hear at least one reference to it per day (though perhaps living in a sorority house has increased my likelihood of hearing Regina George-isms). 

Buzzfeed and other such websites constantly dig up the nostalgia of the past. A while ago it was the 90s, and everyone dreamt of being a true 90s kid, but now the obsession is with the 2000s. They even have a whole section dedicated to nostalgia; right now, most posts are about Friends and Mean Girls.

So what do nostalgia and the early 2000s have to do with fashion week, you may be asking?

It started with J. Crew. While I was browsing the fall collection I came across something that truly shocked me. In fact, I went back to look at this one look in particular because I wasn't quite sure what to believe. After several looks, my suspicions were confirmed: a polo shirt had been featured. Jenna Lyons, goddess of all things effortlessly chic and modern preppy, had chosen to resurrect the polo shirt from the depths of my middle school wardrobe. They're already selling Lacoste polos in J. Crew-curated colors online

This was not an isolated incident, however. At several shows I saw the ubiquitous look of the knit polo appear, sometimes tucked under sweaters and coats but still so clearly there. And other trends that I had so dearly loved a decade ago have slowly been making their way back into the fashion mainstream. Dresses over pants, for one, and camisoles (usually over long-sleeve shirts, like when I wanted to show off my new Hollister cami but it was too cold to properly do so). Everywhere I turn it seems like the trends of what I consider my most unfortunate years, style-wise, are reemerging. So what does this mean? Will I slowly start to look back on my daring middle school ensembles with fondness and nostalgia? Should I start trying to emulate Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen again? And not The Row Olsen twins, but rather the twins of New York Minute? I don't know if I can ever look at a time when Ugg boots and Von Dutch hats were considered the epitome of chic with fond nostalgia, but there's no doubt that the looks of today are starting to emulate the looks that were popular a decade ago. I suppose the best thing to do is to stop looking at the past with a cringe and start embracing the looks of today.

What do you think about early-2000s fashions coming back in style? 

Clover Canyon | Rag & Bone | Peter Som | Rosie Assoulin | Elizabeth & James

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Spring Update—The New Skirt Silhouette To Try

Alexa Chung for AG Campaign
You'd have to be living under a rock to not know that the seventies are alive and well—at least, when it comes to fashion trends. From shearling and clogs to turtlenecks and flare jeans, it's impossible to get away from the influence of the turbulent and trendy decade.

Recently, it's the button-down A-line skirt that's got me hooked on the trends of the seventies. With eternal It Girl Alexa Chung's recent collaboration with AG, I've been searching more and more for the perfect skirt. The denim button-down skirt from the collection is great (though quickly selling out!) and the shape is a perfect way to show some leg and be on-trend for spring.

Be warned: this isn't your middle school Abercrombie & Fitch denim mini. No, the A-line style has some class (and added length) so you can show off your long legs in a style that is both harkening back to the past while remaining current.


Will you be trying the button-down A-line skirt soon?

Monday, February 23, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards Red Carpet Review


That's how I felt about the Oscars ceremony of last night. The ceremony, the red carpet, the films...nothing was horrendously horrible, but it wasn't the most memorable of nights either. I suppose it reflects the films that were nominated—yes, they were good films, but none of them were flat-out stunning cinematic experiences like Oscar-nominated films have been in years past. The ceremony felt a little flat, too, to be honest. I love me some NPH but the jokes felt forced. I don't know, it was just...meh.

But never mind the drabness of the ceremony; let's talk about the dresses!

The Trends
Margot Robbie in Van Cleef & Arpels Jewels | Cate Blanchett in Tiffany & Co. Jewels 
Statement necklaces and earrings were everywhere on the red carpet. With most actresses opting for simple but gorgeous gowns, they let the bling do the work of creating a memorable red carpet look. Two of the most talked about jewels? Margot Robbie's zipper Van Cleef & Arpels necklace, and Cate Blanchett's gorgeous turquoise Tiffany necklace.

Miles Teller in Prada| Common in Prada | Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen | Ansel Elgort in Prada
For the men, navy suits and tuxedos seemed more abundant than the usual black and white tux. Winner Eddie Redmayne was my pick for best-dressed male, but I also loved David Oyelowo's maroon suit.

Cream and pale pink dresses were also a huge trend amongst the women, which I was pleasantly surprised with, seeing as how it was downright pouring all afternoon here in Los Angeles. Usually actresses will opt for darker hues when rain is a possibility, but I guess when you've had your dress chosen for weeks nothing is going to keep you from wearing it.

The Stunning Looks
Sienna Miller in Oscar de la Renta | Marion Cotillard in Christian Dior Haute Couture | Jennifer Hudson in Romona Keveza | Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford | Rosamund Pike in Givenchy Haute Couture
These were some of my favorite looks from the evening. Sienna Miller rocked an extremely fresh Oscar de la Renta gown from Peter Copping's first collection, unveiled just this week (see the runway version here), and the lace and bow detailings kept this darker dress from losing interest. Marion Cotillard wore Christian Dior Haute Couture as expected, looking glamorous in a simple dress with a fascinating back. For me, the hair, makeup, and lovely earrings make this look what it is.

Jennifer Hudson dazzled in a beautiful yellow column dress with sculptural details. I love the green earrings she added to give the look an interesting touch, but that color is all you need to make a breathtaking statement on the red carpet.

In a shocking turn of events Reese Witherspoon was the one to don Tom Ford for the evening, rather than the usual Julianne Moore (who wore custom Chanel instead). Reese was easily one of my favorite looks of the evening, looking absolutely regal in her off-the-shoulder dress.

Rosamund Pike channeled American Beauty with her rose petal Givenchy gown (I guessed the red correctly! Meanwhile, Nina Dobrev wore my pick for Rosamund to the Vanity Fair After-Party). I think this is her best look from awards season, as it is a beautiful and interesting dress that really captures her personality. Some people had issues with her matching red shoes, but they didn't really bother me.

Behati Prinsloo in Armani Privé | Emma Stone in Elie Saab | Jamie Chung in Yanina Couture | Naomi Watts in Armani Privé | Lupita Nyong'o in Calvin Klein Collection
Elsewhere on the red carpet, starlets dazzled in glittering details. From sequins and embellishments to six thousand individual pearls, these ladies know how to pack a red carpet punch.

Behati Prinsloo looked absolutely marvelous in a red and black Armani Privé gown, proving you don't have to tone your look down if you're only the plus-one. Emma Stone kept up her trend of wearing unexpected but gorgeous dresses on the red carpet with a yellow-green Elie Saab dress. She was another one of my favorite looks of the night. (BTW, Anna Faris stole the dress I had picked for Emma Stone for the red carpet)

Jamie Chung must have been inspired by Katy Perry's recent Super Bowl performance with her firework princess gown. She looks lovely and the dress is a lot of fun. While some people thought Naomi Watts' dress looked like a brick wall, I happened to love it. The halter neckline, the glittery bandeau, and the hair and makeup—it all works so wonderfully well.

And of course, the pearl princess, Lupita Nyong'o: my favorite starlet of the last year, Lupita hasn't been impressing me as much on the red carpet this awards season, but I'm happy to say that she's back on top of her game with a glorious Calvin Klein dress that featured over six thousand pearls. The dress was so ornate that she let it do all the talking, and I absolutely loved this look.

The Questionable Choices
Gwyneth Paltrow in Ralph & Russo | Lady Gaga in Alaïa | Scarlett Johansson in Versace Atelier | Keira Knightley in Valentino Haute Couture | Nicole Kidman in Louis Vuitton
These looks weren't awful, per say, they just weren't my favorite picks of the evening.

I actually think Gwyneth Paltrow looked pretty good, but the weird ruffle on the shoulder was silly and unnecessary for this dress. Either cut the long sleeve or cut the ruffle, and you have a perfect look. Lady Gaga's dress was also near perfect, and I'm so glad to see how far she's come from the days of wearing meat dresses and 12-inch heels, but I just wish the gloves would have stayed in the car. The beautiful Alaïa dress was gorgeous as it was without the distraction that the gloves provided. Like my roommate said, if Amal can't pull it off, no one can.

Scarlett Johansson is another case of just-missed-the-mark with a lovely Versace dress in emerald green and the most horrible hairdo ever. She looks like Miley Cyrus, and Scarlett is so much more beautiful than this look.

I know not a lot of people have been fans of Keira Knightley's pregnancy styles, and her Valentino dress is no exception. It's a lovely dress but it washes her out, and I really wish she had worn her hair up. As is, the look feels too casual, more suited for a woodland jaunt than the Academy Awards.

Nicole Kidman wore my least favorite dress of the evening. Nothing about it works, from the color to the shape to the stupid contrasting red belt. It doesn't flatter her skintone or do anything, really, and it's just unfortunate because Nicole Kidman is gorgeous. This dress just isn't helping.

Lindsey's Favorites

In a year where I felt no zealous passion for a particular Oscar-nominated film to take the cake, I suffered the same general indifference when it came to selecting my favorite looks of the evening. No one really stood out to me and made me gasp or go, "THAT is a red carpet dress!" No one looked horrible, either. But there were some that dazzled just a little above and beyond, and those would be my favorite looks!

Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford | Emma Stone in Elie Saab | Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent
Who were your picks for best-dressed at the 87th Academy Awards?