Category Archives: Csm Style Tips

Key Fall Trend: Matchy-Matchy

Roland Mouret SP 2010

The matching skirt and blouse or slightly mis-matching is one of the big trends for next season. I’m fairly sure Roland Mouret was one of the first designers to pioneer this idea a couple of years ago. But practically everyone included versions in their spring collections. It’s already on the high street, if you look carefully.

Will you be one of the first to pioneer this trend? I know I will be! All you need to do is add cable knight tights and a jacket or cardigan, or as separates. It’s strangely thrilling when fashion goes genuinely functional.

Everyone is wearing Mary Katrantzou, are you?

As if we needed any more confirmation that black is dead (it’s all print and color crazy on the SP/SU 2012 catwalks thus far) here’s the lovely Alexa Chung in New York rocking a beautifully ornate Ming vase!

Alexa Chung

Well, it’s obviously not an actual vase, but a dress by one of London Fashion Week’s brightest talents, Mary Katrantzou.

Greek-born Mary Katrantzou, a Central Saint Martins graduate, has got a unique way with prints, and after showing her seventh collection at LFW last week, the early adopters on planet fashion are now taking note.

Chung isn’t the only one to champion the 28-year-old’s marvelous work: Actress Leelee Sobieski-who out of nowhere it seems, has asserted herself as quite the thoughtful dresser-made an impact when she showed up to the Metropolitan Opera opening wearing a peplum, fish bowl-print minidress, a style very similar to the one Vogue Japan fashion director Anna Dello Russo was pictured in during New York Fashion Week.

Leelee Sobieski & Keira Kightley

Even Keira Knightley-who has a penchant for frothy Chanel and Erdem frocks-opted for a directional, midi-hem gown that is from Katrantzou’s AU/WI 2011 collection.

If anyone needed further proof that Mary is ‘Going Global’, just consider all-round hipster Solange Knowles (yes, Beyoncé’s little sis) who got into the Katrantzou groove with a slouchy, printed shirt dress to attend the London shows.

Anna Dello Russo & Solange Knowles

Miss Katrantzou, my predictions are that your future looks colorfully bright.

Need Some Styling Inspiration for Glamorama?

What to Wear to Glamorama Chicago

Alice Olivia flared dress
$495 –

Vince short sequin cocktail dress
$425 –

TopShop panel dress
$98 –

Erdem satin ball gown
$1,920 –

Christian Louboutin peep toe shoes
$995 –

Gucci heels
$1,995 –

Jimmy Choo suede heels
$795 –

Steve Madden patent leather pumps
$100 –

Pierre Hardy platform shoes
$1,285 –

See by Chloe clutch bag
$395 –

Philippe Audibert cuff bangle
$505 –

Erickson Beamon leaf jewelry
$510 –

Antik Batik cuff jewelry
$90 –

Isabel Marant beading jewelry
$210 –

$9.80 –

To midriff or not to midriff? That is the question…

Once in a while, a trend comes around that makes you wonder: “Should I go there, or shouldn’t I?” This question rears its head with news that it’s currently acceptable-dare I say, stylish-to show off “The Midriff”, words which spark fear in some and a knowing spark in others.
Pioneered in the Fifties by the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, who championed snug cropped jumpers with pencil skirts, and who could forget the Nineties, when a waify Kate Moss rocked grungy slashed-to-the-navel tees.  
Well, it’s back and the good news is that the new midriff is all about a subtle show, rather than an expanse of bare skin – waist-high flashes of flesh were spotted at Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. 
Tips for wearing this trend: The key to “flashing” correctly isn’t to think about the skin on the show, but the length of the top, and the height of the trouser, skirt or shorts you’re wearing below it. The two pieces should almost meet in the middle, but not quite. Still too much flesh on show? Try pairing a top and bottom that meet exactly in the middle, so the peep of skin only appears when you stretch your body. Failing that, you can cheat your way to the look without showing any flesh at all.
Yves Saint Laurent-SP/SU 2011

Under the Radar Trend: Stars

Models backstage at the Dolce & Gabbana autumn/winter 2011 show at Milan Fashion week. Photo:

Six months ago, during Milan Fashion Week, Italian fashion duo, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana sent 64 ‘rockabilly’-style models down the runway, in ‘teddy boy’ suits accessorized with piano key ties, and star-printed dresses in a 50s-style collection. Fast forward half a year, A/W is (in fashion terms) upon us and a Dolce-style trend is finding it’s way into our hearts and wardrobes.
No, it’s not the piano key tie, but star-printed everything you can get your hands on. As per usual, it’s celebrities and fashionistas leading the way with the cute and quirky, but still sexy, Dolce & Gabbana dresses which have been cropping everywhere.
Smiling out of September’s Marie Claire, actress Anne Hathaway is wearing hers, while Kim Kardashian has been spotted out in two different styles. British actress Hayley Atwell has taken the starry trend on the premiere trail for her current release Captain America: The First Avenger, and both mothers-to-be Lily Allen and Jessica Alba, have turned to the trend to deck their bumps.

The thing with a trend that is under the radar is that–you have to catch them quick, because if you wait around they’ll have flown off the shelves. 

Helpful Summer Trend Alert: Fans are Uber Chic & Functional!

The past few days in Chicago have been so hot, I’ve finally stopped complaining about working in an office with its AC set to “Siberia.” Every time I do venture outside, visions of last week’s couture shows and the resurgence of old-fashioned folding hand fans come to mind: Hilary Alexander churning up a breeze front-row at Chanel… Elena Perminova wielding hers in the sizzling hot Third Arrondisement (sub-division) outside Jean Paul Gaultier…

Speaking of, JPG sent models Frida Gustavsson and Andrej Pejic flapping fans of their own down his runway, and at Armani Privé, Philip Treacy combined several of them to create an ornate headpiece that channeled the Far East.

I’ll be scouring the city the next few days, looking to scoop up a fan or two of my own (I might have to wait until The Randolph Street Market at the end of the month on July 30th -31st to find a true vintage beauty).

Will you be joining me in embracing this uber chic & functional summer trend?

Andrej Pejic tickled his fancy with a feathered number, at Jean Paul Gaultier.

Frida Gustavsson created her own breeze after Jean Paul Gaultier.

Street Style Tip: Adding a feminine touch to a cute, tomboyish outfit.

Demonstrating they aren’t just for girls, in Florence.

Sitting front-row at Chanel, Hilary Alexander channeled Madame Butterfly.

Louis Vuitton’s decadent monogrammed lace fan, from the Spring collection.

A dramatic Philip Treacy-designed headpiece, at Armani Privé.

Elena Perminova’s accessory of choice at the couture shows was an old-school folding fan.

A Spring Trend Done Right and Oh So Uber Chic!!

I could not help but document this awesome Street Style Spring Ensemble!  In my past blog post, Lace Isn’t Just Meant for Grandma’s Dollies, I featured the revival of Lace.  This retro fabric was all over the Spring/Summer 2011 Runways from Erdem to Chanel.  Ari’s vintage lace peach colored bolero with pearl accents is reminiscent of Ederm’s SP/SU ’11 collection, paying homage to the classic lace styles of the 1900’s with a modern twist in shape and pairing. Ari not only hit a home run with the warm pastel color palette for Spring, but she makes it a grand slam in dressing down this traditional fabric with a pair of dark boot cut denim, a white t-shirt and accessorized with pearl accessories (earrings and bracelet).

Are You Ready For Chokers?

Put away dangling pendants, long dainty necklaces and your multi-chains as well. For Fall 2011, Designers are hot under their collars for fierce, face-framing choker necklaces. Whether they came with door knocker-sized ornaments like Lanvin’s, Wilma Flintstone-esque pebbled jewels à la Bottega Veneta, or in fetish-y leather as they did at Emanuel Ungaro, it was all about achieving a snug fit that sits atop the collarbone. And chokers aren’t just for the runways. Street-style fixture Taylor Tomasi Hill repped a Masai-inspired number during fashion week.  I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for Fall, look for me on Damen rockin’ my Rocker Edgy Chic Emanuel Ungaro Fall Choker!

Lanvin: It’s a bling thing & door knocker-sized ornaments!
Chanel: Karl Lagerfeld plays it close to the nape.
Salvatore Ferragamo: Beautiful bejeweled and broken circle. Heart this one!
Emanuel Ungaro: Giles Deacon has a fetish for chokers. Who wouldn’t? Especially since they are the best uber-chic accessory!
Bottega Veneta: A String of bulbous baubles.
I’m joining Taylor Tomasi Hill and sporting this awesome accessory now!  Fall is just too far away to wait…
Taylor Tomasi Hill: Moving along to a Tribal Beat

Lace isn’t just meant for Grandma’s Doilies…

Who said that Lace was only mean for Grandma’s Doilies?  Lace is popping up as a key fabric in many Spring/Summer 2011 Collections.  D&G to Christopher Kane are using this fabric in fun and innovative ways.  D&G didn’t let the fact that this fabric is typically used in skirts and dresses stop them.  D&G’s lace tops and palazzo trousers are a refreshing alternative way to take part in the trend.

D&G SS 11

Erderm’s Spring/Summer 2011 English Country Garden theme at London’s Fashion Week is a great homage to an updated and modern take of the fashions of the 1900’s-and anyone who isn’t ready to step away from this fabric’s typical association with frills and florals.

Erdem SS 11
Christopher Kane’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection is the perfect antidote to all the white lace seen in the rest of the Spring/Summer 2011 collections on the catwalks.  His Neon pleated lace shifts and skirt suits are definitely channeling granny chic with a modern and refreshing twist. 
Christopher Kane SS 11
Need an alternative the the classic LBD? Valentino gives us an uber chic play on the LBD with Long-Sleeves and Leather Trimmings for a Gothic Chic look.  This is definitely a look I will adopting this Spring!
Proenza Schouler gives us another alternative to play up the trend: Lace printed Pumps.  At New York Fashion Week, the label paired their neon tweed-lace dresses with orange lace-printed pumps. 
Proenza Schouler
I will definitely be channeling my inner edgy chic voice in incorporating this trend this Spring/Summer.  Don’t be afraid to pair this great trend in a pop of neon color or pair it with Edgy accessories such as spiked heels, leather clutch or leather trousers.  Gwen Stefani does a great job in toughening up her girly lace with her signature red lips and skinny leather trousers.
Gwen Stefani

The Royal Mad Hatter!

Like the rest of the world I was up bright and early eagerly awaiting the showing of Kate’s choice of gown.  While waiting in anticipation of whether Kate’s dress would be big and flamboyant (similar to Princess Diana’s) or undertated and demure (similar to Grace Kelly’s), the attendees to the Royal Wedding kept us very much in awe showcasing their dapper and trendsetting styles and fashion.  The key accessory of the day was a Hat or Fascinator. Why can’t Americans adopt and embrace wearing a fabulous Hat or Fascinator?  Yves Saint Laurent said it best, “Fashion is a kind of communication.  It’s a language without words.  A great hat speaks for itself”.  I don’t care what anyone else says, but these fabulous beauties hit a great note with these jaw-dropping headpieces!  I heart you Princess Beatrice and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson for your daring and fabulous sense of style.  Now, let’s all take a lesson from this and embrace these fabulous accessory pieces.  I’m going to wear a fab Hat out with the girls tonight, look for me struttin’ in Wicker Park!