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On My Radar

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Now that the heavy winds have blown over, I am clearly ready for Spring. Today I am sharing with you a few of my spring wardrobe wants and desires in the fashion department. Baby blue and a hint of yellow are a welcome addition to a softer pallete as the cold winter finally draw to a close.  I can’t wait for the forsythia to start blooming — one of the first true signs of Spring.

Spring wardrobe

Starting with the T by Alexander Wang shirt, paired with these Karen Millen patchwork denim dip-dye jeans and this polished silver bold All Saints  necklace. As for those accessories, these Stella McCartney cat-eye sunglasses are on my hit list and the NARS baby blue pencil from Selfridge’s and NARS nail polish are in my cart as I type this. This Edie Parker acrylic box clutch is a must-have for the season and if you really need a reason to smile, Del Toro can help you out by just looking down. :) And why not smell nice while you’re at it? Versace, Versace. BOOM.

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Spring Fling

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Spring weather may not be officially here yet, cue today’s 40 miles per hour winds. But springtime events occurring in April, May, and June are creeping slowly into our collective radars. If you’ve been to a mall recently, you know that prom season is upon us. Ah, prom. Graduation. they are rites of passage. How about Spring Fling? “What is Spring Fling?” I ask my daughter as she furiously searches the black hole that is the world-wide web for a dress. Just another reason to get dressed up, MOM.

Picking out that perfect dress though. that’s another story entirely. How about renting the dress of your dreams for the one night of fairy-tale promises? I bet Cinderella would have been psyched. The want: An all-white sheath with a little bit of edge.

Enter Rent the Runway, a one-stop shop for that one special night that turns into a pumpkin at midnight.

Rent the Runway

I hit upon Rent the Runway many times before but this time my daughter was on the hunt so she came on board. She initially set on this Hervé Leger white dress featured down below. The deep V was too low-cut for her liking and so was the price. But she like other girls entering adulthood might not otherwise get to wear high-end designer dresses for another 10-20 years. A positive experience in an otherwise unaffordable designer’s dress can – and usually does – lead to future purchases. It also creates buzz around the hot, new designer’s creations. With “fast fashion” retailers like Zara  and H&M selling designer knock-offs for less, Rent the Runway has found a way to reverse the trend toward commoditization of designer labels while simultaneously helping the environment. And an added benefit, designers who rent their gowns through Rent the Runway get exposure to a core group of new customers, mostly in their mid-twenties.

Herve Leger

After trying on several dresses, this Opening Ceremony was a top contender.

Peter Soronen

Rent the Runway

dannijo necklace and bracelet // manolo blahnik shoes

And the winner was…this Peter Soronen white-hot sequined dress.

Peter Soronen

Rent the Runway is just starting to tap the teen and college market, but this is only the start – their new bricks-and-mortar store in Manhattan brings Internet retail to the streets. With 50,000 unique inventory items, Rent the Runway aims to be your closet full of clothes. There is no doubt you’ll surely find something to wear like my hard to please teenager.

 

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Cool Culottes

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We are “technically” into spring now and although New York is predicting another darn snowstorm tomorrow!, it’s not stopping me from doing some major spring cleaning. Although I haven’t quite hit that warm-weather stride just yet, as what was 60 degrees on Saturday, is a freezing a high of 30 today. So,that leaves us wondering what will be the key power players in our wardrobes when it does warm up?

I am officially sick of my skinny jeans by now but I also can’t seem to warrant wearing sweatpants either. I will do a pencil skirt for going out, but as for pant options.. remember those split skirts back in the day? I had a few pair in light denim; they were awesome then and are even better now. Culottes are officially the new must-have pants for spring. They were originally developed to provide women more freedom to do activities such as gardening, gardening, cleaning, bike riding, etc. and still look like one is wearing a skirt.

I especially love these cropped flare pants from Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler

I faced this dilemma over the weekend when I wanted to wear a crop top but wasn’t loving the current bottom pairings in my closet. Truthfully, I’m on the fence about whether or not a vertically challenged girl like me, can rock this look but only time will tell.

Check out my picks starting with the Alexander Wang crop top, and let me know whether you can challenge your style and your wardrobe by adding one of these babies down below.

culottes

 

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Pastel Hues

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Shoes are my biggest weakness. Yesterday, when getting dressed in my 10 minutes or less rule, I scurried to find a soft pastel hued shoe in my closet. I weeded through the cobwebs, but no luck. I once bought a pair of pink oxfords, wore them only once on Easter Sunday which I don’t celebrate, I gave them away. Herein lies the problem. I have not quite embraced the concept of Spring yet and the possibility that my toes will once shine and flex once again, in pedicure fashion, relived and able to breathe yet again.

And in the same vein, nothing gets my fingers a’flexing like a “New Arrivals” shoe section popping up in my inbox. This season is all about incorporating soft, pastel hues into your ensemble whenever possible. An easy (and chic) way to do so is to step into a blush, mint or lavender-hued sandal during your next outing.

I started my journey at Net-A-Porter where I found these Miu Miu pink babes, and put these Robert Clergerie colorblocked sandals in my shopping cart. Full  price, you bet, but they will last ALL season long.

Next up was The Outnet where I found all my favorite designers all under one roof at major discounts (see: Charlotte Olympia, Alaïa, Alexander Wang where sandals and ballet flats, and these embellished woven sandals are the queen bees of your closet at such low prices that it will shock you. At press time, these were available in a variety of sizes so I would suggest running there while you can.

After that, it was Barneys Warehouse whose sale section never disappoints. Case in point: these pink snakeskin sandals are reduced from $465 to $99! These round-toe oxfords are what I will live in all spring long, and if you happen to be a size 6.5, run don’t walk to these Prada T-strap sandals.

On my last stop, I checked out Matches Fashion candy crushes where I fell in love with everything especially these pink Gianvito Rossi mules. I know I have said before that I refuse to wear mules, but these just might change my tune.

With a few things currently in my cart, I won’t feel as bad leaving them be for a while until I decide hard and true what I am going to buy, and what I can leave behind. I have culled some of my candy crushes for your shopping pleasure. Which one is your fav?

pastel shoes

From top, left to right, here we go:

Saint Laurent blue patent pumps // Tabitha Simmons loafers// mint green Aperlai sandals// Ardene yellow flats, get a similar pair here // Miu Miu  Mary Jane platform sandals //Balenciaga studded wedge sandals// Chuck Taylor High Tops // pink Gianvito Rossi mules // River Island light blue peep toes.

Happy Spring!

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Spring is Springing

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My closet and my mood have been stuck literally in winter’s wrath. The temperature in the Northeast hasn’t soared any higher than a high of 35 degrees since last December, and not only does the weather control what I wear, but my mood depends on it. We did see the glimpse of the shining sun for a day or two last week, but that was very short-lived. According to Wikipedia, I am clearly suffering from SAD.

When it’s cold, I hide behind fifteen layers of cosmic stuff and leave my hat on for days at a time. And those coats? Those have been my armor that got me through the Polar Vortex. I’m just sorry I didn’t catch that Canadian Goose down while I had my chance.

But with the promise of Spring this week, now that’s it’s not winter winter, but still mildly freezing, what should we wear?

With the promise of a high of 44 degrees and a startling 50′s by mid-week, coffee bars will start selling iced versions of their cappuccino’s, the wool hats will disappear, and layers of winter coats will start peeling off like onion skin. The sun does such powerful things to our psyche. But not so fast. When the Ides of March stomp in, the wind still whips us around and we will need some protective gear.

In the case of today, with the temps in the 40′s, I chose a white turtleneck courtesy of Vince (which has lasted me all season long), and added a cropped faux shearling vest, a black beanie, and these Rag & Bone boots for winter’s best.

When I put on this white wedding cake of a maxi skirt, courtesy of a Marolli, I feel so ethereal. Sheer fabrics are all the rage right now (See: Calvin Klein, Preen, etc.) and I can’t imagine squeezing into another pair of skinny jeans until next Fall. This easy to wear trend can be worn with a sweatshirt on cooler days or a boxy crop top for summer. Go figure.

lace maxi skirt

maxi skirt

maxi skirt

To transition into Spring which starts tomorrow, yeah!, I took the black out and just had an all-white and cream moment. With this ivory Acne sweater, and white brogues from Zara, it’s a simple transition when the sun finally shines. Is there a promise for a brighter future? Let’s hear it for Spring!

how to wear an all-white outfit

Cream sweater

white sheer skirt

photos: Lydia Hudgens

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Testing the Green Waters

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For me, St. Patrick’s Day is just a blip on the calendar that says wear green especially and only if you’re Irish. But if you are celebrating, prepare to be greeted by a sea of green Guinness-wielding revelers claiming their shamrocks. St Patrick’s Day is here and you probably don’t have a single green item in your wardrobe. The only thing green that I own is the copious amount of kale that resides in my refrigerator.

I do though have an affinity for the hefty combination of green and blue, namely denim with any flavor green especially mint. So get your wardrobe spring-ready with this look as it’s sure to go way beyond the celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day

 

Topshop jacket // Alexander Wang T-Shirt // NSF boyfriend jeans // Givenchy Pandora bag // Pierre Hardy shoes // Saint Laurent aviators // Bumble & Bumble semisumo // Fossil phone case or this one here.

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Spiked Vanilla

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how to wear jeans

This morning, it took me about 10 minutes from start to finish to get dressed knowing full well that my creative prowess is at it’s lowest on a Friday morning at 7am. I put on a white turtleneck, black jeans, black booties, and a black leather jacket, my standard uniformready to face the thrills and chills of another winter’s day.

For the record, I tried other options while sipping my morning juice. I put on fringe boots, but there was too much dancing going on south of my ankles. I put on a crop top. Nope, too freaking cold for that. I took off the heeled booties, and switched to those white standard sneakers I have been obsessed with, creating a boring blank look, devoid of all expressions.

This so-called blank look was mimicking the anti-style movement, or the “divorced dad” look (decked in REI and Crocs). Is this the vanguard of fashion darlings right now? To say that I was dressing intentionally to look like Larry David or Seinfeld, the sitcom about nothing, might be falling short. I just want to be comfortable, and exude an air of je ne sais quoi about what I put on. But instead, I was falling into a generic (for those in the know, I pray to the Céline tribe) trap.

It is not Times Square tourist’s fault. It is normcore’s fault. For the record, I don’t have an affinity for 90’s dressing, I lived in the Mall loud and clear and don’t want to relive it.

tweed coat

Normcore is a fashion trend, pure and simple, and like most fashion trends it’s a riposte to the styles that came before it. While the spirit of “normcore” is intended to evoke understated expressionism, these rather deliberate choices in aesthetic ‘normalcy’ lead me to feel as though these outfits choices spilling all over the internet often fall flat; dull, contrived and au contraire, full of effort.

In my closet, I have far more inspiring pieces than plebeian sweatpants and sneakers and nondescript hoodies or mom jeans and unassuming flat boots. Sure, those items are currently de rigeur but after the novelty wears off — and it wears off quickly — they’re also decidedly boring. But isn’t any trend or non-trend an indication that no matter the garment, we all have something to express through our fashion choices?

Even by adopting the normcore style, one is in fact making a statement regarding their choices, likes, levels of comfort.  And while many are quick to blame the commercialization of fashion and streetstyle for the new war on the antithesis of normcore, I’m sure we can all agree that dressing up is not only more fun and exciting, but also much more pleasing to the eye. I changed and paired this simple white shirt and jeans with a plaid top, a grey blazer, and a tweed coat just to make a statement about making a non-hipster statement. What? Consider this a plea to opt-out of any named trend as I’m not boring vanilla ice cream.

plaid top

plaid top

tweed coat

tweed coat

Photos: Lydia Hudgens

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Hitting the Sale Rack

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Trendy Tevas

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I remember back in the 1990’s when I attended overnight camp, Teva Sandals were more popular than Céline Birkenstocks are now. I went to the local store and purchased them, and where the legions of ugly shoes are small but notorious—Teva’s are the predecessor to the Crocs, Vibram Five Fingers, and Uggs, these rubber-soled ones were just a good-intentioned velcro sandal. I wore them for several months even into the school year, and although they were ugly as sin, there was nothing besides bare feet, that were more insanely comfortable. It wasn’t until all of that pond scum caused their porous rubber and flimsy Velcro to decompose—an annual end-of-summer occurrence that any Nineties child could recall with grotesque distinction — that I had to throw them out.

But that was then, and now fast forward to Spring 2014, Prada, Rag & Bone, and Tibi are throwing in the towel and chiming in.  Fancied by recreational hikers and dads on holiday, Teva has been relegated to the very end of the “practical versus pretty” spectrum. Until now, that is. Lower, flatter shoes make a comeback in recent years, with outdoors-y details and utilitarian styles looking nearly—dare we say—cute in recent seasons. Heck, even Chloë Sevigny has taken to Birkenstocks. For quite some time now, the fashion industry has been on a trickle down theory. Think last season’s Birkenstock craze. Fast fashion is grabbing what they can from top designers and “interpreting” it for the mass market. Of course, one walk through Zara and H&M and it is still happening. Think #Normcore.

But what’s new in this landscape is this role reversal that top-tier designers are playing on the copycats. More and more, they are borrowing silhouettes and concepts from the streets and reinterpreting them for the luxury market. Let’s call it a trickle up theory. BirkenstocksVans, Tom’s, Chinatown bags a la Céline, garbage bags from Lanvin, and plastic pearl headphones around your neck are all chanting “Started from the bottom now we’re here.” Here being at Celine, Givenchy, Prada, Marc Jacobs, Marni and Chanel.  Here is Prada’s version of the Tevas. Whoh..whoa…whoa…

Prada spring 2014

Prada spring 2014

Rag & Bone elevated rope-strap sandals onto a thick, black platform. Hilfiger took his Tevas to the beach, fabricating Velcro-strap shoes in an array of sherbet colors. And Marc Jacobs, true to form, took a distinctively downtown approach to Teva’s reinvention: pairing black-satin strap sandals with a 1890′s take on dark fashion. Here is Marc Jacobs’s vision.

Marc Jacobs

There is no doubt that Tevas still have entered into the proverbial limelight. The ultimate purveyor of vomiting quick-trends, Urban Outfitters is selling these for $40, and they are flying out like hot cakes. 

And for my oh-so-amazing styling challenge series, I fashioned six pair that put the Teva to the test.

Teva Sandals

From left down the column 1. 2. 3: Marc Jacobs // Teva // Prada // Marni // Balenciaga // Rachel Zoe sandals

You tell me, would you try these on for size? Happy hiking!

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Those Giant Pearls

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Since fashion month has recently departed, what is left is the layers and layers of designs/ trends that are left to dissect. What is sent down the runway each season though may not always be the most practical for IRL situations. Here’s the thing. Where matters of Céline is concerned, I turn to Zara for the look for less since spending upwards of $1500 on a top isn’t in my budget. I stick to the basics for my daily uniform including striped shirts and jackets, wide-leg pants, and sheer tops.

But sometimes all that can be a tad boring or shall we say vanilla ice cream? And I am a bit more chocolate chip mint, ya know what I mean? As far as what makes a bold statement, and what constitutes editorial gold, the subject of Chanel and bold accessories (logos, chains, et. al) always arises with a bang. When Chanel came out with these oversized speakers that are actually pearls? The Kaiser never fails to impress.

For me personally, it’s the combination of mixing high and low that pulls me out of my comfort zone, and leads me to experiment with existing pieces in my closet with the new looks that I crave.

Chanel bag

Zara coat

tibi cotton shirt // rag & bone black jeans // ZARA coat get a similar one at whistles // topshop lace-trim ankle socks //miu miu metallic-top slip-ons sneakers // chanel bag // kate spade ribbon belt

Chanel bag

And what about my true admiration and trying to approximate this look featuring Lindsey Wixon in the spring 2014 Chanel ads.

Lindsey Wixon

oversized pearls

Yes?

No? I needed red lipstick!

Maybe?

oversized pearls

zara necklace

It seems safe to say this trend of giant pearls is just getting started. We can only hope the fashion world has an ample supply of humongous oysters from which to harvest them.

Miu Miu sneakers

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photos: Lydia Hudgens 

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