Friday, October 29, 2010

Properly Outfitted

The Entry to Bloke at last night's grand opening fete.

Last night, my good friend (and total trendsetter!) Michael Vinson unveiled his stylish and welcoming men's store in Wilmington. Bloke, nickname for a proper English gent, carries casual menswear for the Southeast's coolest male set. No stuffy suits- or attitudes for that matter- in this boutique! Ever-so-gracious Michael has filled Bloke with relaxed yet crisp, everyday wear for a guy's real life.

Cable knit cardigans and fun message tees greeted us at the door, peaking my interest immediately! My beau was definitely digging the plaid Projek Raw button down on the table below.

Customers peruse jackets, sweaters and shirts during the Grand Opening party.

Stripes, solids and plaids by French Connection, Alternative Apparel and Project E.

Of course, he also spent some time over by the Lacoste polo display and not just because the food and drinks were situated next to it...

Bloke also offers a variety of jeans, including Big Star Jeans and LTB, a brand I recognize from shopping at Michael's sister's store Sonny B! Shoes by Bensimon and hats mingled amongst the clothes, allowing guys a chance to try on funky finishing touches, a rarity around these parts! Hardly any customers walked away empty handed and everyone had a smile on their face, a testament to Michael's fun-loving character.

Store-owner Michael Vinson rings up a customer alongside his supportive mom!

While taking in all of the men's fashion, I also had to take in the atmosphere. I just love the way Michael has decorated this store! He painted the walls a cool grey, installed industrial-style lighting fixtures, added warmth with TWO cowhide rugs (my favorite) and presented a touch of the rustic life with wooden antique shutters, a shabby-chic fireplace mantle and vintage Pepsi crates! Bloke seems like a cool cabin in the city, if one ever existed. It's a place where leather and lucite mix.

Everyone was talking about the cardboard deer head mount over the fireplace. I just had to show you this clever piece of decor! My kind of "taxidermy!"

A good time was definitely had by all and we are all so excited for Michael's newest endeavour!

For more information on Bloke, check them out at their website-

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Cerise Amore

This week, Holiday collections started hitting stores like snowballs against a widowshield- did you feel that SMACK?! Can you believe HOLIDAY items are coming out in stores everywhere already??

One of my all-time favorite designers, 3.1 Phillip Lim, sent an e-blast on Monday showcasing their new Holiday fashions. And while I certainly loved his edgy, but dare I say, predictable sequin cocktail dresses and black leather goodies (sorry, Phil!), there was one serious element of surprise...


3.1 Phillip Lim Look 19

3.1 Phillip Lim Holiday Look 20

3.1 Phillip Lim Holiday Look 18

3.1 Phillip Lim Look 17

What a fun surprise! And just in time for Christmas (lists)! I have to say, I love the unexpected pop of color- it energizes dramatic black but is playfully sophisticated against peach and blush tones. The team at Phillip Lim doesn't even call this color's "Cerise," making me love it even more!

Lim must be having a serious pink moment, as he used the same color, though a bit lighter, for his Fall/Winter collection this year.

3.1 Phillip Lim Hand-Embroidered Silk-Crepe Blouse from Net-A-Porter

Lim hasn't been the only one cheering up closets around the U.S. with the shockingly bright hue. Lela Rose, Thakoon and Theory, among others, have recently churned out dresses bright enough for a spring fling. That is probably the greatest thing about this fun, energetic color- while it's lively and bright for winter, it's perfectly appropriate and approachable for spring. Three cheers for four-season dressing!!

Lela Rose Wool-Blend Brushstroke-Print Dress from Net-A-Porter

Day Birger et Mikkelson Foxy Pleated Crepe Dress

(I must say, I love these caged platforms paired with the dress above. The mix looks very sassy/sweet.)

Thakoon Draped Cocoon Dress from Shopbop

Theory Taliana Silk-Crepe Dress from Net-A-Porter

Of course, on cold days, a great coat can literally brighten your day!

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Cotton and Cashmere Blend Twill Trench from Net-A-Porter

Oscar de la Renta Cropped Tweed Jacket from Net-A-Porter

We must also not forget that pink is the color of breast cancer awareness and October is breast cancer awareness month. This fall and winter, dare to wear PINK!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nautical by Nature

Even though the fall leaves are changing and cooler weather is descending upon the South, I can't help but notice (and love!) all of the summery coral home accents I've been seeing in stylish rooms!

It seems that this accent works with a wide variety of styles and color palettes, perhaps due coral's irregular shape or the nod to a nautical theme. Maybe it helps tell a story- my family loves the beach or someone went scuba diving on their trip to Australia and brought me a souvenir. Wait, that scuba reference might be illegal...

In the photos below, you'll see the natural wonder adds drama and texture to slick, gilded antiques and neutral color palettes. But it pairs just as easily with bright turquoise or pale blue, a palette drawn from the seaside itself.

Southern Accents


Room by Tobi Fairley

Coastal Living

Artwork adds punch and ties in the antique-inspired chair against light blue

In every shot, the coral piece(s) pop up in a different way. It might be in a piece of artwork, an element of lighting, embroidered on pillows, placed thoughtfully as a home accessory, etc. But even coral accents void of that vivid color add just as much glamour, if not more.

Chandelier in a room decorated by Hernan Arriaga

A coral cluster adds texture to a room in Decorpad

If you're interested in adding some of these interesting accents to your home, check out these great finds!

Seaside Inspired Coral Cluster

The Well Appointed House

The Well Appointed House

The Well Appointed House

Personally, I wouldn't mind this set of lithographs for my living room. I've also contemplated placing a white coral cluster on top of a stack of firewood in my fireplace. (That thing has never been up to code anyway! Might as well decorate it!)

There are so many options out there, even during these cooler seasons. A little year-round reminder of a seaside retreat never hurt anyone...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Style Crush: Shop It Like Shala

Yesterday I professed my genuine style admiration for New York-based Shala Monroque. As I wrote yesterday's post, I started wondering what would Shala wear now and where would she shop...if she was on a bit of a budget.

Harper's Bazaar

Today I present you with Shala-worthy sartorial finds. I was especially enthralled with her love of patterns, mainly on skirts and dresses, as I myself once owned many a patterned skirt. I tried to create outfits that followed her fashion formula- bold colors, ethnic or interesting patterns and bright baubles. On top of that, I tried to keep the combinations ladylike and elegant with a dose of humor and a lot of joie de vivre. Let me just say that finding bright clothes (on a real girl's budget) that convey such optimism was no easy task during not only this cooler, bleaker season but also these cooler, bleaker times. But if Shala can do it, so can we!

So here's to brightening things up! Who says you can't be colorful all year long?!

Look #1:

Beaded Swag Necklace from Anthropologie

Bailaora Blouse from Anthropologie

Scenes of Arles Skirt from Anthropologie

Ann Taylor Embellished Flat

Look #2:

Scintilla Triple Strand Necklace from Anthropologie

Beaded Eglantine Cardigan from Anthropologie

Matriarch Skirt

Ann Taylor Leopard Print Perfect Platform

Blossoming Trees Cuff

Look #3:

Shiftin Pebbles Necklace from Anthropologie

Andalusian Horse Dress from Anthropologie

Ribbon Swell Pumps from Anthropologie

Look #4:

House of Harlow Leather Tribal Earrings
Echoing Folds Tee from Anthropologie

Lightspeed Faille Skirt

And the perfect feminine coat:

Curtsey Coat from Anthropologie

Plus a hint of edge:

Ash Studded Engineer Boot from Shopbop

With clothes like these, you'd certainly be able to buy less pieces and get more bang for your buck. Imagine if you didn't stow away all your bright summer colors automatically result to black when the temperature dropped! Monroque-ian style has encouraged me to try to work in more of my favorite warm weather favorites and, today, I truly am in a better mood!

If you're interested in more Shala-esque finds, let me know! I had a great time imagining what she might select. But as I mentioned, it was a bit challenging keeping within a certain price range during the beginning of fall and winter.

Happy Shala Shopping!