Tag Archives: Womens Fashion

Splurge vs. Save: Fashion’s New “It” Shoe!

So many have tried to ignore that flat, comfy shoes are having a major moment right now in the fashion world but to be honest I don’t know why.  After so many years of torturing our feet for the sake of the beautiful heels we all long to wear but can only keep our feet in for 10 minutes, we all should be embracing the opportunity to become full fledged members of the ‘Flat Pack’ crew.

With that being said, let’s take a look at mandals with character that are giving us options with a little dazzle and bling.  Afterall, why wear just plain old Birkenstocks when we have so many sparkly options right?  Now the more important question is: Do you Splurge vs. Save?

SPLURGE VS. SAVE

L to R: collection PRIVEE Embellished Triple Buckle Flat Sandals ($650.00) vs.  ZARA Leather Bio with Jewels ($99.90)

 

 

RKFJ: Salusalu Collection 2014

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Robert Kennedy 
  • What’s the inspiration:   Kennedy drew inspiration for his Salusalu 2014 collection from his recent visit to Samoa where he visited Louis Stevenson’s home and fell in love with the the home’s design style in marrying the idea of British sensibilities with Pacific culture and art.  This idea of giving a modern and fresh approach to traditional Pacific artifacts is the strong underlying theme to his work.  His work is truly a culmination of blending and blurring the line between disparate cultures and giving us a refreshingly new approach that allows these cultures to have a new point of view in which to tell their beautiful stories.
  • Why it’s relevant:  This collection is not only Fijian designed but is uniquely Fijian made.  The fashion industry is currently experiencing a shift where the idea of indigenous prints and designs are in extremely high demand.  This collection being designed and made in Fiji aides to giving more credibility to Pasifika Fashion and putting this great movement on the map.
  • Where to wear it:  This brimming full of stunning prints that give you a wide variety to fashion’s continued backing of the print trend.  Kennedy’s print color blocking allows you not only to be right on trend with the industry but his masterful print mixing allows  you to power print clash with the best of them.  The versatility in the collection allow you wear this while vacationing on the shores of Natadola Beach on Nadi in Fiji or lunching at Nomi in Chicago.

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Thomas Tait: Fall/Winter 2014

Thomas Tait

  • Who’s the Designer:  Thomas Tait
  • What’s the inspiration:   Tait’s focus for this collection was to stay far away from designing anything that seemed familiar to what he’s showcased before.  Unlike many other young designers who tend to stay within the realm of what is familiar, Tait was intent on on exploring and challenging the current ideas of structure and femininity.  
  • Why it’s relevant:  Thomas Tait is clearly a design genius with impeccable workmanship that is reminiscent of the great American Courtier, Charles James.  This refreshing new talent is one to watch not only because of the amazing accolades he is his raking in (i.e. winning the LVMH Young Designer Prize, etc. ) but simply for his clean and understated aesthetic.
  • Where to wear it:  Thomas Tait’s 2014 Fall/Winter offers a variety of shapes that are very relevant to our current spring/summer season.  His bright use of color and juxtaposing streamlined structure don’t hesitate to buy now, wear now & more importantly wear later as well.

 

 

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes”

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  • What’s the inspiration:   Dominique was inspired by producing an archeological timeline of her own wardrobe and how each piece of clothing displayed directly correlates to her own personal history and evolution.  This is such a monumental exhibit because I completely agree with Dominique’s assertion that we all experience a personal evolution in our lifetime and the most concrete and sentimental remnant of those experiences are our clothing and style.  This exhibit 100% embodies CSM’s mantra of, Using Fashion as Armour to walk Life’s Runway.

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  • Why it’s relevant:  The premise of style evolution is such a real and true account that to have someone present in such a thoughtful and conceptual format for all of us to visualize the notion that one, experiences are the guiding arrows to not only our personal growth but has direct link to moulding our fashion and style choices and second that the idea of ‘Fashion is Art & Art is Fashion’ is very much a factual truth.

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  • Where to see it:  Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes” will be showing at  303 Gallery (507 West 24th Street, New York, NY) until May 31st, so don’t miss out if you have the opportunity to check it out!

 

 

PRIN Spring/Summer 2015

PRIN

  • Who’s the Designer:  PRIN is designed by Prina Bagia
  • What’s the inspiration:  Downtown electic meets high fashion glamour was the inspiration for Bagia’s third collection she has debuted this year.  
  • Why it’s relevant:  Bagia’s color palette of choice in utilizing soft beige and cream to juxtapose the rich and luxe colors of deep reds and vibrant pinks aide in cementing the transition of pinks and reds as being a key color for spring next year.  While many viewed the emergence of pink on the street style scene as a micro trend Bagia along with the rest of the fashion industry are seeing a very permanent seat at the table for soft pink and pastel pink.
  • Where to wear it:  This collection showcased 30 different looks ranging from stunning evening wear gowns to great ready-to-wear pieces.  Bagia’s vision of marrying downtown electic chic with high fashion glamour allows you to have so much versatility in being day time ready at work and easily transition into a fabulous night out on the town.   So gear up and shop local and get ready to be ushering in Spring wearing PRIN Sp/Su 2015!

 

 

#CSMStyleTips: Wild, Wild West-ern

Western Trend

  • Who’s the Designer:  Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Junya Watanabe for Juyna Watanabe, and Ralph Lauren for Polo Ralph Lauren. 
  • What’s the inspiration:  Americana everything!  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m in the Wild Wild West for the week for work but it’s hard not to jump on the Americana bandwagon and join in the celebration of our most defining style movement: Western Wear.
  • Why it’s relevant:  Once Karl Lagerfeld showed this distinct Western wear influence on his Pre-Fall ’14 runways everyone else followed suit.  Everyone from Alexander Wang to Dontaella Versace sent Western wear inspired pieces down their runways.  The look I most appreciated was Junya Watanabe’s stunningly breathtaking collection featuring fringe in a refreshing and new way.
  • Where to wear it:  Whether you want to have a literal interpretation or a nod to the Western wear trend you will not go wrong wearing these pieces any and everywhere.  Play around with the influence but definitely, definitely wear this trend this summer to fit all of your festival needs because if any place is approps for this trend it deserves to worn at Lollapalooza or Milwaukee Art Festival.

 

 

#WWAW: Pampering is The Cure For Anything!

Being always on the go traveling for work coupled with a hectic work schedule that demands a lot out of me during the week it’s such an amazing treat for when the weekend hits to spoil myself with a little pampering.  This past Sunday not only did I indulge myself in a blow out but I topped my day off with champs, lots of laughs and all while feeding my nail crack fix with stunning nail art.

meFirst Stop: I’ve been a fan of the Drybar ever since they tamed my tresses for New York Fashion Week last year.  Long story short, I committed a major hair faux pas and forgot my hair product.  I literally did a small prayer to the beauty gods that I would be able to get in on a last minute appointment and with a lot of amazing customer service from the Drybar team they secured me an appointment with plenty of time for me to get my tresses treated before I hit my long day at the tents.  When I heard they were opening a location in Chicago I squealed with joy because with that one accommodating appointment they had secured a customer for life (I mean seriously, the pricing is unbelievable and coupled with customer service that is out of this world what more can a girl ask for right?)  So on this trip I decided to change up from my ‘Cosmo-Tai’ and opted for some glam & volume and chose the ‘Southern Comfort.’

me 2Second Stop:  Set with my Hollywood glam hair I made my way over to the #AuthenticBliss being hosted by Authentic Noise PR media event.  What better way to continue my day of pampering than attending an event all about mini massages, make-up consultations and nail art manicures by Astrowifey & Notable Nails featuring beautiful nail lacquer by LVX.

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photoAll in all Sunday was such an amazing day filled with glam hair, some new nail crack and all with bottomless mimosas and bellinis with amazing company.  Never underestimate the power of little pampering treatments and I would highly recommend treating yourself to some glam hair & nail crack!

 

Resort 2015

Resort 2015

  • Who’s the Designer:  Tomas Maier for Bottega Veneta; Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel; Yigal Azrouël for Cut25; Christian Dior for Dior.
  • What’s the inspiration:  Resort wear is one of the most misunderstood clothing references.  The term is actually a reference to clothing that you may wear on vacation.  The item really can be worn anytime but often the styles are brightly colored, light weight, have relaxed styling, and are easy to travel with.  The name refers to almost anything that may fit into that category.  Shirts, pants, shoes, hats, bags, swimsuits, swim cover ups are just a few of the items that can be considered resort wear.  It is a catch phrase for casual relaxed style and can be found both ladies and men’s apparel.  It can also be known as cruise wear but is essentially the same category of clothing.  Resort wear is also a term used to a fashion season by luxury designers.  Often times stores will start to carry this type of sportswear in November.  The thought process is that many will travel to warm climates over the holidays and need more lightweight clothing options.  You certainly won’t need gloves while vacationing in Belize!
  • Why it’s relevant:  Resort is a sneak peek into what we can expect to see on the Spring/Summer for the upcoming season’s runways.  While we will still see glimpses of a Fall/Winter influence we get a preview to what trends we should plan to carry into the new year.  For example, Chanel served up in a major way the push for the relevance of wearing a dress with pants.  Cut25 reminds us that the sneaker is still relevant and is not the short lived micro-trend that everyone anticipated it would be- and on the same note don’t put away crop tops just yet as well!  For Dior the idea of a structured and clean lines coupled with a refreshing palette of white gives new meaning to “Winter Whites” that will transition nicely to Spring’s sunny disposition.
  • Where to wear it:  Naturally wear these pieces on vacation but don’t hesitate to stock up on these trends now and into Fall/Winter because they will prove to be a smart investment when Spring/Summer 2015 rolls around!

 

 

 

 

CSM Style Influencer: My mom, Sela Lumepa Fonua

So many different experiences and impressions have molded and defined my fashion & style over the years.  Over the course of CSM‘s history I’ve toyed with the idea of further developing my ‘Pasifika Fashion Series‘ by adding the platform of style influencers.  I’ve received such an overwhelmingly positive feedback for this series from you the CSM community that I wanted to give you all the opportunity to tell me and the rest of the world about that special person that has played an integral role in “Using fashion as armour to walk life’s runway…” and honor them as a CSM style influencer.

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To help kick off this new layer to CSM’s ongoing ‘Pasifika Fashion Series‘ I want to introduce you to my style influencer, Mrs. Sela Lumepa (Lauhingoa) Fonua.  Growing up in a traditional conservative Tongan home in a very western world had it’s fair share of challenges and obstacles.  My mother growing up represented elegance, class and most importantly the idea of self empowerment.  As a working mother of four who constantly said phrases like “always be your own person because you is the best there is out there” and “it doesn’t matter that you are a woman, you are a Tongan woman which means you can do anything you set your mind too” it was no wonder that I never lacked in the areas of self confidence and perseverance.  These notions that my mother instilled in me were a strong juxtaposition to what my western school friends were being taught.  While I was empowered to aim for the stars but do so in a style of dress that I can best describe as ultra conservative (seriously I’m not joking, my mom had me wear tights with my shorts growing up) my friends who dressed and flaunted their western garb of freely wearing shorts without tights and sleeveless tops (I can not begin to describe how much I yearned to wear a sleeveless top) but in contrast to me a lot of my school friends aspired to be stay at home moms.  Many didn’t see a life outside of the home for themselves in the future.  Having children and staying home to raise them was all they foresaw in their futures.  While motherhood is definitely one layer of my aspirations, seeing my mother work and raise four children all while ensuring that everyday of our childhood lives we experienced the luxury of eating home cooked meals and living in an amazingly well kept home, she showed me that I can want it all AND have it all (and all while keeping true to one of her infamous pieces of style advice: Always remember that first impressions are everything so being well groomed even if it’s just to walk outside to grab the mail is important).

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While I grew up very conservative in the realm of fashion and style, the modern ideals that my mother instilled in me created the foundation for my ‘Edgy, Comfy, Chic’ aesthetic.  This traditional Tongan mom gave me the groundings to understand that while my culture is very conservative in dress we are a matriarchal society who pride ourselves in being one of the rare few who recognize the importance of giving a voice to a woman.  I’ve been able to translate that voice into defining who I am therefore has allowed for my style evolution to be such an organic process.  Empowered by this and amazing advice on old school tips for skin care with the bonus of having a daily reminder of what defines ‘timeless style’  is ultimately what lead to CSM: A Style Maven’s Diary.

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The Best of the Met Ball in prep for tonight!

THE fashion event of the here is finally upon us and now that you are fully downloaded on the fashion icon and legend, Charles James, let’s discuss my 3 most memorable looks that have graced Costume Institute Ball’s red carpet.

In chronological order let’s start with this look from 2009.  This freshly dubbed style icon showcased to a tee how your own personal style should always resonate in anything you wear.  Rihanna pulled together one of my most memorable looks from the Met Ball red carpet by stepping away from the traditional floor length ball gown and giving us a new modern option: a Dolce & Cabbana tuxedo suit.  And can we just have moment for how everyone (myself included) was obsessed with this haircut?

Rihanna in Dolce & Gabbana-2009

Sheer, bare, lace, beading and feathers.  This coupled with an awe inspiring train is the perfect formula for why Beyonce is and will always be a red carpet “Best Dressed” mainstay.  In 2012, the Queen is probably the only star to carry such a noteworthy Givenchy gown on this super bowl of red carpets because while I can not take my eyes off of this jaw dropping gown it’s just as equally breathtaking because she is the one wearing it.  We find too often on this red carpet a gown that is just too much for the wearer and therefore leaves us feeling really underwhelmed and naming a list of others who we wish were wearing that gown.  She pairs this gown perfecting with a a simple pulled back ponytail and complementing the luxe of this gown with a fresh nude face.

Beyonce in Givenchy-2012

And last but certainly not least was the only star who fully embraced and let her style creativity reign at last year’s 2013 red carpet where the them was “Punk: Chaos to Couture”.  Many attendees were total red carpet let downs because with such a broad and robust theme there was definitely a chance to go extremely wrong or hit a red carpet style home run.  SJP (better known as Sarah Jessica Parker) was on my shortlist of style mavens to watch sashay down the red carpet runway and with majority of my list letting me down in the creativity department it was such a breath of fresh air to see her show everyone how to style to this theme with perfection!  She wore a Giles ensemble with the most talked about Philip Treacy headpiece of the year.  Seriously, SJP was utter perfection!

SJP in Giles-2013

Set your clocks for tonight at 5pm CST (6pm EST) for live updates from the red carpet!  Make sure you are following Vogue, The Metroplitan Museum and myself on social media for up to the minute updates of who is wearing what.