August: Peridot!

Happy Birthday to all of you Leos & Virgos born in the month of August!  August’s birthstone is the Peridot gemstone.  It has been said that the Peridot is the host to magical and healing powers that protects the wearer against nightmares while at the same time is influential to being a good luck charm and conduit to having a great year.

As a Pasifika woman it’s significant to the  Pasifika communities because the Peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes.  This is due to  formation of the Peridot gemstone deep inside of the earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes.  So this in turn makes you royalty based on about six degrees of separation right?

So start the year long celebration of your birth now and check out the following envy inducing pieces I’ve picked out to help you do it in style!

Peridot Birthstone BoardTop L to R: Drop Earrings/ Clover Pendant Necklace/ Wrap Bracelet/ Pandora Blooms/ Peridot Necklace/ Bracelet/ Cuff Bracelet

 

#CSMStyleTips: Fall’s Best Combo? Dress + Sneakers

Dress with Sneakers

  • Who’s the Designer:  Givenchy, Iceberg, and Paco Rabanne designs paired with athletic sneakers (pictured above)
  • What’s the inspiration:  Drawing inspiration from the Fall runways of Richard Chai and Creatures of the Wind, the most magical combination for fall is an audacious dress paired with the season’s hottest accessory: a fabulous pair of athletic sneakers.
  • Why it’s relevant:  The fashion world is currently experiencing a re-defining moment right now where less is truly more and is this transformation is best described the by the wise words of Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal”.  Fashion is constantly changing and being manufactured but a true sense of style, well that’s an innate quality and can’t be faked or counterfeited.  This metamorphosis to a simple and straightforward approach is returning the organic creativity that many would argue has been missing from the fashion industry.  Essentially, no basic bitches allowed.   
  • Where to wear it:  Put away the birks and tevas and pick up a pair of Nike Air Force Ones or Puma Disc Collection sneakers.  Starting now until that first snowfall take advantage of the endless creative possibilities of pairing a comfy pair of footwear with your most fabulous frock.  But most importantly, have fun because life is too short to take fashion so serious!

 

 

#CSMStyleTips: Summer’s Flawless Coat is Fall’s Perfect Match!

Summer Coat 1

A key micro trend that has emerged this summer is the idea of a summer coat.  This outerwear silhouette has definitely sparked out of necessity what with summer temps staying around high 60 to mid 70 degrees in certain regions.  What’s been really interesting is seeing this silhouette in hot regions such as Dallas, TX and Ibiza.  In taking a nod from the streets and recognizing the versatility of this silhouette it’s important to recognize that this outwear piece is not only perfect for layering over your festival go-to’s but is your answer to transitioning from summer to fall.

Check out my Top 3 picks below from my absolute favorite shopping destination for snagging the perfect trendy pieces:

Transitional Summer CoatsL to R: Drapey Longline Kimono Jacket/ Printed Kimono Jacket/ Silk Kimono Jacket

Summer Coat 2

P.S. I’m scouring the net looking for that fabulous all white wrap jacket! Once I find it I will definitely be sharing the deets so stay tuned 😉 xo

*Street style photo credit: Elle.com/ Vogue.com/ Tresawesome

 

 

Chicago Playground: Athletic Nostalgia Celebrating the Chicago Streetwear Scene

CPG1963 Board

  • Who’s the Designer:  Creative Director, Rodnell Harris founded streetwear fashion label Chicago Playground in 2008. 
  • What’s the inspiration:  The inspiration behind Chicago Playground is grounded in the belief of filling the void of capturing the “je ne sais qua” of the streets of Chicago.  The clothing’s central focus on collegiate athletics are in tribute to the core values of the brand that center around a homage to Chicago by resonating the principles of success, honor and the throwback traditional values of yesteryear.
  • Why it’s relevant:  Aside from the obvious of the cool kid vibe that Harris channels through his mens and womenswear collections, this brand is all about giving back to the community.  A key pillar of the brand’s principle is to help in spreading positivity, pride and excellence in Chicago’s youth.  Talk about resonating “Chicago je ne sais qua”!
  • Where to wear it:  Everywhere!  Sport, athletics and collegiate are the some of the key trend buzzwords right now and will definitely live into next Spring/Summer 2015.  Snag a piece now online at: www.cpg1963.com

 

 

Taco Diner: Tex Mex 101

Taco Diner 2

Upon our arrival to Dallas the hubs and I made the ever important decision that the only way to explore and discover Dallas was through it’s food.  If you have ever had the pleasure of visiting the great state of Texas you may have noticed that Tex Mex is a cornerstone of Texan cuisine.  With a number of repeated suggestions telling us that Taco Diner was an absolute Dallas must we decided to give this Tex Mex gem a try and boy are my taste buds happy that we did.

Taco Diner prides itself on emphasizing the bold flavors found in traditional Mexico City Taquerias by presenting a lighter approach to authentic Mexican cooking in a bustling, high energy atmosphere.  The vibrant colors and cozy setting are the perfect balance to the off the chart flavors of their signature cocktails (ahem, Mambo Taxi is every bit of delicious nectar as it looks) and tasty tacos.  While tacos aren’t the only item on their menu they had me at “Felipe Cheesesteak” tacos and unfortunately were all that I seen on my second and third visit as well.  Seriously, CHEESESTEAK in a homemade flour tortilla-heaven.

photo (6) Taco Diner

So, if you haven’t yet added this foodie destination to your Dallas food list take 2 seconds and do it now.  Done?  Okay, now the next question you may have is what to wear.  No worries, I have you covered.  Now go and have a Mambo Taxi and another one for me too okay!

Fashionable Dining Board-Taco Diner

 

Top L to R: Colorblock Crossbody/ Mix Print Crew Top/ Leather Shorts/ Slip-On Sneakers

 

#WWAW: Because Rock-Star=Edgy, Comfy, Chic!

Rock Star Style Board

No designer has championed the rocker look more than Hedi Slimane, who successfully revitalized Saint Laurent by mining youth-culture codes for creative inspiration.  Rock stars embody a sense of freedom and glamour that fashion will forever be chasing after.  A true rock fan, Slimane regularly casts tall slender musicians to walk his runway shows and also fills his front rows with a tribe of real-life musicians.  Recent rock gods who have graced Slimane’s front row were Alex Turner, Miles Kane, and The Kills’ Alison Mosshart.  Saint Laurent isn’t the only brand getting with the band lately. Haider Ackerman, Lanvin,  Alexander McQueen, and Diesel Black Gold to name a few have opted for an edgier creative direction.  Put away the soft pick pastels and lace because leather’s back to take it’s rightful place as the front woman of your style band.

 

 

#CSMTravels: Living out of a suitcase…

photo 5So as of today I’ve been living in Dallas, TX for about two weeks but most importantly I’ve been living out of a suitcase for two weeks.  Yes, I said “suːt.keɪs” (suitcase).  For the big move from Chicago, IL to Dallas, TX the hubs and I opted for movers to do all of the dirty work for us and while that included the phenomenal perk of a team of gladiators coming into my home and tidily pack up/wrap/move all of our worldly belongings.  The major downside was that upon arrival to our new home none of our stuff would be there waiting for us.  Now I know what your thinking because I thought the same thing but the small detail that doesn’t get accounted for when you try to make decisions based on logic is the absence of emotion.  It would have majorly helped in easing the transition to getting acclimated to living here in Dallas, coupled with the luxury of getting settled in almost immediately.  The second unaccountable factor when decisions are based on logic?  Minimizing the risk factor and in our case, the risk of a possible delay.  While we were going through the entire move process every step seemed seamless.  The entire time I kept having the eerie feeling that it was just going too perfect and fought myself to move past those thoughts but apparently I didn’t do that thorough of a job because the delivery of our stuff is now officially a whole week late.  Que the major regret of not properly factoring in the huge impact of risk.  Once I was able to accept this news as my new reality, I was finally able to process that I had to continue to struggle with the inability to access my closet for an additional week.  Mind you, I’m not worried about having my own bed to sleep in or couches to lounge and watch TV-I’m more concerned about having ensemble options so major priority revamping may need to occur later but that will be a different post.

To my credit though I did prep for the possibility of going a whole other week without access to my closet.   I stuck to my travel style go-to: mix and match separates.  Totally goes without saying that the news of having to go through a whole other 7 days without my closet seemed like the fashion gods were punishing me for a fashion faux pax I must have committed in my past life.  While the simple answer would have been to just buy a whole week’s worth of clothes to carry me through the second week (seriously what girl needs an excuse to shop and spend money right?).  Instead of the easy way out I decided to challenge myself and work within my current selection and a styling miracle happened!  Having the impromptu curveball of making 7 additional ensembles gave me not only a much needed styling refresher but it forced me to look at my pieces in a different way and see the endless versatile possibilities that my pieces hold.

Moral of the story?  Take some time to revisit your closet and re-style your pieces with with the rest of your closet because you will definitely be surprised by the hidden gems that you have yet to discover in there!  Happy re-shopping xoxo

photo 3

 

 

 

Best of the 2014 Fall Couture

Out of all of the fashion weeks that occur every season the key week that I eagerly await and legit get giddy about are the Haute Couture fashion shows that happen during Couture Fashion Week.  If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen this photo or even this one.  Both of these mottoes speak to how fashion is not what defines your style, rather it’s the perfect accent or accessory that helps to tell your style story.  The couture shows are in my opinion the most unfiltered resource of creative fashion energy that allows ones true style to have a megaphone of a mouthpiece in declaring to the world, “I’ve arrived!”.

While there were an umpteen amount of jaw dropping, drool worthy looks from the couture shows there were picturesque moments where the fashions told the unsaid story of the designer and were just plain brilliant.  Check out my top key moments from Couture Fashion Week!

ValentinoValentino’s stunning juxtaposition of insanely intricate detailed beadwork with a sharp contrast in simple gladiator sandals speaks volumes.

Marie Antoinette in outer space-DiorDior’s captivating , ‘Marie Antoinette in outer space’

Marco Zanini 'Central Park' at SchiaparelliMarco Zanini’s ‘Central Park’ at Schiaparelli and featuring none other than squirrels and rats (yup, those are rats)

Maison Martin MargielaBecause with Maison Martin Marigela Artisanal Collection one should always expect a meaningful takeaway and why not a history lesson?

Giambattista ValliTwo words: Giambattista Valli.  Enough said. No seriously, the finale skirts are EVERYTHING.

Chanel Concrete DressConcrete. Yup, you read that correctly.  Chanel isn’t opposed to being inspired by any fabrication and that includes what is used to make sidewalks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Blank New Canvas…

Dallas HomeFirst and foremost, I owe you all a big apology for the lack of posts this past week.  With the whole move from Chicago, IL to Dallas, TX it’s been one giant $%&! but on a better note we made it! We haven’t traveled longer than 2 hours in the car with our big bundle of joy Hercules, but I’m happy to report that a 15 hour car ride later we made it safely to the great state of Texas.  I’m still shocked with how well our little guy did and more importantly kudos to the hubs who flexed his big bad self and insisted on driving the entire 15 hour road trip straight (yup, you read that correctly he drove the entire 15 hours straight-and of course with plenty of caffeine!)

For these first few days here in Dallas we had to make due and await the arrival of our furniture and at first I wouldn’t have agreed with this statement but NOW I’m calling it a blessing in disguise (seriously, it totally pained me to type that but hey it’s true).  Being in our new home for the first few days without any furniture got my creative wheels turning and thanks to Pinterest I’m now chock full of Edgy, Comfy, Chic home decor ideas to instantly turn this new adventure into a welcomed new beginning.

I’m absolutely in love with the idea of mixing fabrics and textures because of the great depth that you are able to achieve with this simple design trick.  Aside from creating depth I’m going nutso over the idea of floor to ceiling bookshelves and with the great high ceilings and tons of wall space in our new home I’m going to be able to do so many things I was limited too in our previous home.  Here’s a sneak peek of some of the pins I’ve been adding to my board and I can’t wait to show you all how I was able to personalize these elements and make them  my own in our new home!

Edgy Inspo Edgy Inspo 2 Comfy Inspo Comfy Inspo 2 Chic Inspo MB 131240 Bolig på beøsg Jul Tina Buch

 

 

#WWAW: Chicago Love Letter…

About a month ago I received some pretty incredible news, and in a nutshell it consisted of : We’re moving to Dallas, TX!! For some of you this may not come as a total surprise what with my recent tweets and instagrams.  Since the realization of this one phrase it’s come to represent one giant ball of emotions that have had me reeling with every single facial emoji in my phone (and maybe even a few from Harper’s Bazaar).

After the initial shock of realizing I was  leaving the place I have called home for the last 9 years I decided that the only proper and respectful way to break-up with Chicago was in a way that would ensure that he understood how much I loved an appreciated everything he’s given to me and do so in a way that would preserve the amazing friendship that we sparked those few short years ago.

Seeing that I only had a mere 4 weeks to spend with my great love Chicago 2 tasks became an immediate priority: one, making a dent in my Chicago foodie list and second, crossing off the places I wanted to visit on my Chicago tourist list.  Naturally each item I crossed off both lists were done in the only way CSM knows how with an Edgy, Comfy, Chic fashion.

Chicago 1 Food 1

Dear Chicago,

When I stepped out of the taxi cab 9 years ago, I just knew that you and I were destined for each other.  The jaw dropping skyline that seemed to go on for miles coupled with that amazing endless blue water were what sealed my immediate infatuation for you.  While at first it was definitely all about looks for me, what with the bright lights and endless rows of beautiful boutiques stunningly framed by the majestic blue of Lake Michigan in the Gold Coast.  I found myself venturing over to the homey, yet vibrantly full of life neighborhood of East Lakeview.  While I will always be a Chicago Cubs fan by default because of the many day drinking expeditions spent on Clark & Addison cheering in camraderie for a Cubs ‘W’.   The hellacious commute out to the far northwest suburbs for work proved to be too much, but in the end brought me to my absolute favorite neighborhood in Chicago: Logan Square.  This beautifully eclectic and diverse foodie’s paradise is my soulmate.  This unassuming vibrant and unpretentious neighborhood so full of creative talent that just bursting at the seams that it’s such a common place to walk down Milwaukee and feel like I’m walking through an art exhibit.  Words can’t even begin to express how much I’m going to miss you Chicago.  Even while I was in Dallas, TX looking for a new temporary residence the only criteria I had while working with our realtor was this one statement: “What area in Dallas, TX resembles exactly or at least is a nod to the beautifully diverse artist & foodie paradise of Logan Square in Chicago?”  I don’t know what I was expecting to hear back or whether some small part of me was secretly holding on to some small hope that maybe there would be a Logan Square doppleganger in Texas but I knew.  I knew that there wouldn’t be, but I just couldn’t at that moment take in the notion that I would be leaving you Chicago.  

What I have discovered over the course of the last 4 weeks is that it is just not physically, mentally or emotionally possible for me to break-up with you Chicago.  Our love affair runs way too deep and let’s just be honest my heart couldn’t take it.  So for right now I’m going to be on a really, really long vacation so this is not goodbye, it’s see you later!

Love Always and Forever,

Ana xoxo

Chicago 2 Food 2

P.S.  While I was eating and sightseeing my way through my lists I wore some pretty fabulous ensembles because when you go on dates with Chicago the only right thing to do is step it up and no better way but in my Edgy, Comfy, Chic style!

photo 1P.P.S Even more of a bonus?  Here’s a funny outtake because you know I had way more outtakes than actual blog ready photos lol

photo 3What I’m Wearing: ASOS Run DMC Tank/ ASOS Midi Camo Skirt/ Melissa X Gareth Pugh Sandals/ Givenchy Pandora Bag/ House of Harlow Sunnies (Similar)