Dries Van Noten Fall 2014

Dries Van Noten

Image via W Magazine

Dries, Dries, electric Dries. Audacious, powerful, with an injection of Op-Art graphics, Van Noten never fails to twist the lid on rendering a first-rate collection that was fun, bold, and colorful yet executed oh-so-carefully.

It was a winsome combination of optic stripes, metallics, and flowers with integrated athletic references intensely layered onto hyper-focused clothes with an unmistakable menswear dash. And I am officially obsessed.

See the full collection here from  Style.com.

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Hair Do’s

Anja Rubik

Do you ever wake up looking like this bed head beauty? For most people here on Earth, the answer is an absolute no. There are times that my hair looks extra straight, fine and smooth, but after all, this is Anja Rubik. On a daily basis, my hair needs a cocktail of all sorts of hair products that work but my wish has always been to have my hair-do down to a science. Yes, I wash my hair every other day, and own every hair care product known to man, until I realized– earth to Stephanie–there needs to be a simpler way using less to achieve those beautiful locks.

Dilemma? My hair always has that messy look especially waking up in this bed. Messy, yet unfinished. I wanted messy in a good way.

Hotel Belleclaire

What to do?

1. Go Short.

It’s transitional time and whether due to seasonal changes, some astrological moon signs intersecting with Mercury whilst it’s in retrograde, thank you AstrologyZone, or the resurgence of no-nonsense ‘90s dressing, we are either growing out those summer bobs or lobbing off their super long hair. Which is to say there’s a lot of mid-lengths going on out there. Trés chic.

short hair

2. Get to Styling

The question remains, what products could I use to make my hair do stuff? I consulted with the team at Sam Villa who educates stylists on how to do hair better and quicker with a line of tools that deliver maximum results with minimum effort. The tools? For starters, the proper blow dryer, and the right brush for your hair texture for desirable results. And the products? They’re easy, quick, and offer a real run for the alcohol content of any mixed drink. Or, get yourself to a blow-dry bar. Here is a step-by-step on how I should be taming my locks.

Hair do

hair do

Hair do

3. Learn the tricks.

I test drove this blow dry for a few days during fashion week and here’s what I surmised. For the most part, the less styled, the better. The less you wash it, the better it will look. It gets the best shape on the second or third day filthy dirty. And it looks great with scarves on, because the hair bunches really well.

photo

Here’s how to extend the life of a professional blowout:

Day 1 and 2: Professional blow dry on day 1, enjoy as is on day 2.

Day 3 and 4: Use Redken Powder Refresh 01 aerosol hair powder/dry shampoo to absorb oil on dry unwashed hair. Shake well, mist on roots and brush through to distribute evenly to refresh and extend the life of the blowout. If needed, touch-up sections with a blow dryer or flat-iron.

Day 5 and 6: Rub a small amount of Argan oil into the tips of the boar bristles of a small round brush and rotate the brush along the surface (section coarser hair types) to spread oil, smooth flyaways and impart softness, condition and shine. Secure into a ponytail and/or twist the ponytail until it rolls on itself to create a sleek chignon and secure.

Now the question remains, can I train my hair to do all this? Can’t I just be that girl with that effortless beauty?

Stay tuned tomorrow for more on Age Defying Hair Care for tips on what to eat to grow healthier hair.

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Because It’s Monday

Most of you should have seen the “History of Rap” act by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake by now. Friday night the pair performed the rap for the fifth time on The Tonight Show and once again presented an impressive medley of some of the most iconic tracks in rap history. In case you missed it, take a minute out of your Monday to see a superbly talented duo.  A minute ago, I didn’t know white guys could rap. Hashtag #Vanillaice.

Wait for the beat….wild things. And stay for the Salt N’ Pepa.

Who gets the credit for such comedic genius that is Jimmy Fallon’s new late night talk show?

The History of Rap Part 5 Tonight Show You Yube 

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A One-Piece Wonder

 

Three things.

The first: They say that style is personal and fashion is a state of mind, stay true to your own beliefs and not to follow the trends of the season. Although I wholeheartedly agree, it largely depends on the fact that different cities develop and fine tune cues that become indigenous to their regions. These cues are ultimately influenced by circumstantial details — a city that snows 200 days a year, i.e.: New York or Carbondale, vs. a place where social culture depends on the amount of sunshine, or nightlife, i.e.: Miami and Los Angeles. These circumstantial truths ultimately becomes what separates your city’s style from another’s. Case in point. This was taken during the madness of fashion week and as much as I wanted to bare my legs or drape that jacket over my shoulders, who was I kidding? It was really really cold, making looking stylish in any way shape of from, quite difficult to master.

The second: I wore a lot of  easy pieces that I could throw out without much thought. My raison d’être is to stand in front of my closet and while gazing at all my clothes, there are days that I am running late, am tired, and just want to feel cozy. Enter the one piece wonder - the denim jumpsuit. From the runway to real life, jumpsuits are still going strong. Plus, they make getting dressed a cinch. But since they’re not all cut from the same cloth, there are a few things to keep in mind. Read on.

denim jumpsuit

Keep the rest of your look simple. Throw on some single-sole pumps in green suede, and add a pop of color in the look for spring. I love the slouchy look, so I went for ultimate comfort being that I was running from show to show even with a few broken ribs. Consider which pant shape is most flattering on you—cropped, skinny, or wide—and try a similar one when jumpsuit shopping.

denim jumpsuit

The third: A big thank you goes to Hotel Belleclaire for hosting me during fashion week! This small, upscale boutique hotel just steps away from Lincoln Center’s backyard made getting to those 9am shows so much easier. Not to mention the sophisticated amenities, C.O. Bigelow products, luxurious Frette linens, amazing blowouts by Sam Villa, and the best knowledgeable concierge service that will do a midnight run to the Apple store just in case you forgot your charger.

Check out the new feature on my blog, the Money Spot. You can now click on and shop the post, (check out the top photo), and shop the post directly from there. It will be truly a game changer!

denim jumpsuit

denim jumpsuit

Photos: Lydia Hudgens

Shop it here:

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Indelible Ink from NYFW

New York Fashion Week has come and gone and the fashion circus is currently cavorting in London. As February drags on and we continue to get more snow days, really??, editors begin to leave for Milan, and then Paris. And I’ll have the FOMO disease like everyone else scrolling through their Instagram feed. But I digress.

As I reflect back on the week (more like 10 days) that were New York Fashion Week, I realize that there is a lot that happens. And it’s not just fashun with a capital F. It’s when the craziness of fashion week ends, with back-to-back shows and appointments with barely time to inhale some nourishment, I am wistful that it’s over, feel an emptiness for that constant high, and have the chance to reflect back.

“But aren’t you fried, exhausted, and ready for this nonsense  to end?” my peers ask, as I hit the shows enthusiastic as ever even with a few broken ribs. Yes, I’m still tired and certainly recovering, but I also feel deflated, like it came too fast and ended too soon.

Fashion week brings a jolt of caffeinated energy to Manhattan’s already electric streets, and it was filled with sequins, glitter, , and lots of bright colors. The memories are all we have left. I went for the clothes, but left with so much more than just wisps of fabric. Here’s my  top 10 moments from fashion week.

1. This banging tune at Lacoste

Was awesome but not secondary to the clothes. The looks were reminiscent of a golf pro, yet this season, Felipe Oliveira Baptista spun those archaic uniforms into something that could realistically be seen on his acolytes in their twenties and thirties. Knits spun from virgin wool, monogrammed beanies, oversize coats, and loose, menswear-inspired pants were a hit on the runway. It was a nod to Lacoste’s eternally playful joie de vivre.

Lacoste

But this song by Barry White, “It’s Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next to Me” is the real deal. Listen.

2. Cocoon Coats at Rebecca Taylor

“Slouchy modern, and cool”, Taylor’s fall lineup was filled with strong, feminine staples that will remain in wardrobes for seasons to come. Outerwear, was a standout in a sea of fuzzy sweaters, and what really shined. Vests with buckled shearling turtlenecks, leather trim, and zip details were super-slick, but the wool cocoon coats were Taylor’s pride and joy. This one in storm gray—paired with a baby blue chain-embellished sweater and crackled leather skinnies won my heart.

Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca Taylor

3. The streaker at Prabal Gurung show

The clothes were, duh, awesome, but although you’ve probably heard it a zillion times, this streaker dressed in a crown, trench coat and what appeared to be a jockstrap – made fashion waves. Sorry Prabal.

Prabal Gurung streaker

4. The patterned prints at Proenza

One of the highlights of my week was watching the Proenza boys just plain working it. The spongy jacquards naturally led to sculptural shapes, and their generously cut jackets with hourglass waists, and flaring hips on “trippy” prints were a fantastic, fast and furious burst of energy from the rest of the shows. For them, it’s all pump up the volume, and push it to the limits, in an almost tiger-like but resembling wood, that make it, well, you know, fashion.

Proenza Schouler

5. Weryoo App

Tag line: Because if you weren’t there, it didn’t happen. During fashion week you will most often find me posting photos on instagram of the looks that strike me garnering a crowd that likes the same things I do. But as I furiously check my phone, it’s hard to know whether these grammars are sitting right next to me or on the other side of the Atlantic. I like talking and listening to others right after a show ends, but most of us race to the exit to get to the next event. Enter Weryoo, or–where you there?– to resemble a delicate combination of Four Square, Facebook, Twitter, and instagram all in one.  At first I had trouble as you have to take photos using the camera on the app itself. After that, it was smooth sailing. You take a pic, upload it, use numerous hashtags like #NYFW and #NYStyle, the app locates you, and people who are near can comment right away or even come up to you to ask you for a smoke. Just kidding. Check it out on the app store.All you need is an eye for capturing the essential moment and sharing it. Get it here.

6. Tweed at Timo

Who wants to be one of the cool kids? The coolest of the cool downtown chicks walked the runway at Timo Weiland’s show. Recent graduates of the CFDA Incubator Program, designers Timo Weiland, Alan Eckstein, and Donna Kang are a triple threat in terms of creating casual luxury with a fashion-forward twist. That was accomplished with this striped tweed tuxedo coat that is on my list for must haves for Fall . The collection was part school girl-gone-bad, part rock n’ roll. Sign me up.

Timo Weiland

7. Robing at Altuzarra

If robe coats are New York City winter’s answer to wrapping up like a cozy blanket, I’ll take it times ten. Take the double-face navy cashmere wrap coat with generous cobalt blue shawl collar that opened the Altuzarra show. It was a model of timeless refinement, built for just we are asking for. Finding beauty in comfort.

Altuzarra

8. Feathers at Jenny Packham

If models had wings, many of them would have been able to fly home from the runway shows this season. Peckham injected a whole lot of  Bianca Jagger-tinged eccentricity into her pretty gowns and glittery separates. There were sequins, crystals, and loads of satin looks, but the feathers, the feathers!

Jenny Packham

9. Ponytails at Noon by Noor

Sure the berry lips lend a big pop, but just wait until the model turns around. Bam! The most voluminous ponytail ever.

Noon By Noor

10.  Menswear-inspired loafers at Tracy Reece

There were classic loafer silhouettes and feminized versions of dressy lace-ups you’re likely to find in any man’s closet, popping all over the fall runways and I couldn’t be happier. Petite I shall be, but my feet will thank me for it. Designers on the New York runways illustrated an obsession with loafers and brogues and these are, by far, the winners.

Tracy Reese

And a final shout out goes to Verizon Wireless for loaning me the Samsung Galaxy Note, for the awesome photos during fashion week the many people who help me navigate those icy streets, and the wonderful PR people who accommodated my need to garner a seat during the shows.

Stay tuned for more updates at the end of the week!

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Trend Report Part One: The Glamourous World in Fur, Sequins, And Fringe

Miranda Priestley explained it best. The trends that appear on the runway are the same ones that we will be seeing the next season, particularly at fast-fashion retailers like Zara and H&M. Though each designer has a different interpretation, there were some notable similarities between looks on the runways this season. I’ve started to compile a list of the most prominent trends for Fall 2014. Here are the first three.

1. Fur

You didn’t even have to look at the shows to notice that huge fur coats are huge right now. Whether you blame the Polar Vortex or Macklemore, the majority of street style stars have been sporting furs. The runway has been no exception. And especially in white. More on that topic for sure.

Georgine
Source: WWD

Lee Jean Youn
Source: Meniscuszine

2. Sequins

Every single show I’ve been to has had some sort of sparkly look. Seriously. Sequins + fur = some serious old Hollywood vibes. And I’m not complaining. 

Georgine
Source: WWD
Emerson by Jackie-Fraser Swan Source: stylebistro

Emerson by Jackie-Fraser Swan
Source: stylebistro

 

Emerson by Jackie-Fraser Swan Source: stylebistro

Emerson by Jackie-Fraser Swan
Source: stylebistro

Jay Godfrey Presentation Source: WWD

3. Fringe

The sequined pantsuit from Jay Godrey (above) was a perfect nod to the 70s. Luckily, another 70s trend is back to complement it. Fringe. I’m normally not so gung-ho for fringe, but these looks from Mara Hoffman and Jay Godrey are beginning to change my mind.

Mara Hoffman Source: Style.com

Jay Godfrey Source: WWD

Notable Look: The denim dress and jacket combo at Lee Jean Youn giving me total Britney/Justin VMA vibes. Maybe we should leave the denim on denim look in 2001.

Lee Jean Youn Source: Meniscus

Lee Jean Youn
Source: Meniscus

 

 

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A Peek Behind the Scenes

At New York Fashion Week, the models parade down the runway without a hitch. Besides the casual trip, its uniformity like no other, marching to the beat of the designer’s drum.

But preparing for their 2 second walk onstage, a bevy of make-up artists hair stylists and seamstresses hustle to get the models ready, bustling around them and tugging at their hair and clothes

From the chaos of hair and make-up to the frenzy of getting fitted, here is a look at the behind-the-scenes process of preparing a fashion week show. You’ll see some tricks of the trade in this short 1 minute clip that was taken at the K. Nicole show on one crazy night last week.

Song: Bacon Love by Beach Party
And for the final product? The title of the show was The Elegance in Texture Collection by K.Nicole. It’s magical. Happy Friday!

K. Nicole Fashion show FW14

Video By Sarah Murray

Edited by Stephanie Unter

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The Heart’s Desire

Where would we be without love? Seriously.

Hallmark cards don’t really cut it, nor do those conversation hearts containing the message “Be Mine” that taste like chalk. Wy not celebrate for the love of love, Valentine’s Day by telling your loved one, whether that be your boyfriend, girlfriend, brother or sister that you really do care. A small thank you, a warm touch, a nice smile, even a new cavity. Those are the things that count.

A Valentine’s Day celebration can be as simple as those heart-shaped chocolates or as dramatic as a proposal for marriage. It is the day to celebrate love. For whatever date-night festivities you have planned, what you wear on Valentine’s Day should make you feel your very best. Flirty and girly? Masculine urban edgy? A little cleavage doesn’t hurt and neither does a red lip, for that matter. What do I want for Valentine’s Day? I’ll give you a little hint, its not lingerie.

Valentines Day gift guide

Stella McCartney embellished sweatshirt and a pair of MiH boyfriend jeans that make my heart flutter. Miu Miu glitter coated pumps are so awesome because although I hate pink, glitter shoes are everything. Rings that tell the story? Love finger ring by Lanvinand the Jennifer Fisher signature pieces pull my heartstrings. A bag that says it all that is really for keep. Nail polish and lingerie in black and a box of chocolates? Mas oui!

It seems that mother nature is commanding that we stay home and crack open a bottle of champagne and enjoy the full-fledged snowstorm in style. A little salt to the wound? Nah. But even in that snowstorm, don’t forget about that bottle of wine or that teddy bear. I recall that SNL spoof when they buy that dumb little thing from CVS? You don’t want to be that person.

 

Happy Valentines Day ! xoxo

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Fur is the Accessory of the Hour

I should’ve been a furrier. So far this winter has logged in 56473848 snow storms and in 2014 I would’ve made some good money. In recent years past, we had mellow and temperate winters, so I might not have struck gold, but I digress. Based on the recent Polar Vortex, this winter and fashion week has been numbing to the senses. I can handle the abundant snow storms because that’s mother nature doing its thing. It’s the repercussions and the aftermath: the frigid toes and hands, constant red nose, slush and dirty snow strewn all over your outfit. The only sense that is worth its weight in Olympic gold is the eyes. Street style right now in New York is blasting on repeat all around town, the energy is maddening, and everybody is wearing fur. Frankly, I’m into vintage furs, because the animal has already warmed up other bodies, and the concept is, better on me than accumulating cobwebs.

As day 6 of Fashion Week rears its ugly head, and my body is still sore from last weekend, the question still remains. For the next few days what the hell am I going to wear? And what does one do in the event of body-immobility? Protest, of course. Remain stationery? Doctors orders. I refuse to sit home and look through Style.com so, I’ll bite the damn bullet, put on something rubber and flat, and electively release myself into the jungle.

vintage fur coat

wearing fur during fashion week

fur coat

rag & bone fedora // vintage fur coat get a similar one here // j crew wool sweater borrowed from the mens dept // mango jacket // helmut lang stovepipe grey pants // miu miu patent leather ankle booties // devi kroell bag

photos: Lydia Hudgens

fur coat

Get the look here:

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The Most Fashionable Friday during NYFW

It is currently Sunday evening in the middle of Fashion Week and I have a few broken ribs. It all went down after the Timo Weiland show when I slipped on black ice on the sidewalk. For an athletic girl to fall during the first night of Fashion Week is just such an outrageous concept, but here I am the unstoppable warrior doing my thing, platform boots and all.

I thought it would be a fun idea to share the details of my weekend, and what exactly goes on during a day in the life of a show-going diva like me. Why? Doing what a Real Housewives character does. “Life isn’t all diamonds and roses, but it should be!” Right on.

Friday: September 7, 2014.

7 AM Wake up. Dear driver, thank G-d you’re here. I tell him that I will need extra time and help to get in and out of car as I am an invalid. He doesn’t believe me. Head over to first presentation of the day at the Hub at the Hudson Hotel, Rebecca Vallance where the my favorite look from the Australian-based designer was a cool white and gold Jacquard sweatshirt and pencil skirt and an ivory funnel-neck sweater and flounce skirt. Ill take it all, please.

Rebecca Vallance Fall 2014

11:30AM I head over to the Degen, by Brooklyn-base knitwear designer Lindsay Degen at Industria Superstudio where I mingle with friends and colleagues that I don’t see very often. Catching up with friends is a really good thing. “Hi! How are you?” My reply?  ”Doing great, how about you?” All whilst thinking, let’s keep it to air kisses this season because if you hug me I will probably collapse.

Degen was cool and fun. The designer was on stage posing with her weavers actually weaving. The presentation was a sort of performance-art-cum-knitting rave with made-to-order Matcha tea in place of…well, other uppers gave us neon green-hued, loosely woven crop-top sweaters; thin, nineties-club-styled party tanks; as well as looks made from that same fishing line of VS suit fame. The idea was to visually replicate the trippy experience of working with unconventional knitting materials, such as the aforementioned fishing line and reflective yarn. This collection is for a very creative type—male, female, however you may identify—with a decidedly DIY bent. With a hashtag like #DEGENRAINBOW that glows when you take a picture, what do you expect?

Lindsay Degen

Lunch break: 12:30pm. I grab a quick bite at KAVA Cafe, and then dash over to my all-time favorite shops, Owen to see what’s in store for Spring. Excuse me, but my fall 2014 head is currently wrapped around furs, blanket coats, and beanies.

I head over to Tanya Taylor where there was another DIY streak going on. The designer took Sharpie markers to luxe lambskin leather, and experimented with Manic Panic on shaggy Mongolian fur. It was quirky, yet playful and polished. Flattering fit-and-flare dresses were cut from either graphic floral jacquards or fluttery silks, for example, and thigh-grazing miniskirts came paired with pointy flats that felt fresh. She is one of my favorite designers based on everything including this dress.

Tanya Taylor

2pm: Sally LaPointe nailed it. This was by far one of the most special shows during the weekend. Turtlenecks galore, furs, and from day-to-night to fur sleeves. The Sally LaPointe woman this season is strong and less harsh than in seasons past. Her magic touch is making clothes with precise tailoring, whether it was a pair of black tuxedo trousers in silk-wool georgette, a pencil skirt in cognac-colored lambskin, or an elegant black cocktail dress overlaid with a cropped top that was pleated at the bust. These are the kinds of clothes that make a confident woman look even surer of her appearance. And can we talk about the chunky cashmere-wool turtlenecks?!! Some were plain, others with panels of fox fur, for a hip, slouchy, deliciously cozy look.

Sally LaPointe

Sally LaPointe

Sally LaPointe

3pm Cushnie et Ochs. I like the vibe at Milk Studios and I love to go on a Friday or Saturday night when it feels like the fashion crowd migrates together to see Indie designers with a little edge. Saturday night at Milk Studios is a fantastic opportunity to see newer designers like Calla, Costello TagliapietraJonathan Simkhai and Harbison in an intimate setting. Each room hosts a different presentation, and you go from one to the other and wave at a lot of people in between. And this was no exception at Cushnie et Ochs. With an emphasis on cleavage, cowboy hat and jet black curves, that, in a nutshell, was the vibe at Cushnie et Ochs. How about Karolina Kurkova, as a hereto cowboy surely, opening the show in a ultra-tight bustier dress winking skin through black lace? Oh my!

Cushnie et Ochs

At this point on a weekend night, most people are drinking but I’m just leaning on a friend glad to have made it this far. And when I dragged myself home after a long day, I watched the shows vicariously through my non-stop Instagram feed. And couldn’t resist laughing out loud at the Sochi opening outfits. What did you think?

Stay tuned later for more coverage!

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