Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Middleton Sisters: From White Hot to Red

via unknown

After drooling over Princess Kate's Wimbledon look on Tuesday, I received an email with yet another Middleton fashion hit from one of my dearest friends. She wrote, "Why are the Middleton sisters so darn cute!" Seriously, this much style and beauty in one family almost seems cruel.

So here's everybody's favorite little sister (besides their own, of course- love you, sis!), Pippa Middleton, just out and about for a relaxing day of shoe shopping in one stunner of a dress. The linen Wyldes Dress by N.W.3 fits Pips like a glove. Unlike some of the other, high-end pieces we've seen the Middletons wear, this dress checks in at $142. Not too shabby for a Royal-in-law. I wish I could say that I look this polished when I'm just out running errands, but that would be a bold-faced lie...
via Radar Online

via Flynet

After doing a little research, I found Pippa's dress on sale at John Lewis. Of course, it has recently sold out. Leave it to those Middleton ladies to drum up some serious business these days.


via John Lewis

Even if you can't get your hands on this exact dress now, it is nice to see a sassy red frock look perfectly appropriate for day. Keep yours fitted, not tight, and tailored if you're to and from work or in the city. Pair it with skin-toned flats or closed toe heels, minimal make-up and jewelry and easy hair.

Check out these options below...

Patterson J. Kincaid dress via Shopbop

Diane von Furstenberg dress via Shopbop

Michael Michael Kors dress via Net-A-Porter

And, just to really blow your minds, we're seeing a LOT of merlot tones for fall and winter, so think about which red works for you and if you can transition your dress into the cooler temps...a long way off now, I know. Just couldn't resist the temptation to mention year-round dressing...

Let me know if you paint your town (closet) red!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Heat is ON

via Balenciaga

Friends, it's taken me a long time to figure out how to deal with the Southeast's stifling summers. With curly, red hair and fair skin, I've never been a summer girl. But, now, all of that has changed- well, not the curly, red hair or pale part. BUT I've found the absolute best way to deal with 90-degree-plus temps.

Meet my new favorite pair of shoes. Yes, the Balenciaga Espadrille sandals. But don't freak out on me yet. They were on serious sale and they've given me a whole new appreciation for summertime....

via My Prestigium

Now, when the weatherman (aka the Fish), calls for miserable temps and high humidity, I jump for joy because I get to rock my new kicks. Our clothes might be sticking to us, we might just stink and our foreheads might be greasy. But, by God, we'll have cute shoes on our feet that will put a pep in our step and smiles on our faces.

Interestingly enough, I learned today that this same style shoe comes in a wedge as well.

via Your Next Shoes

The striped patterned heel is cute and the high ankle strap is bad ass. Turns out, chic momma Katie Holmes is also a fan!

via Your Next Shoes

If it's good enough for Katie, it's good enough for me! Actually, these are just good enough. Period.

Princess Kate Holds Court

via Telegraph

This morning, I shrieked with excitement as I learned that three of my great loves had recently combined: tennis, fashion and the Royals.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat in Wimbledon's center court on Monday, cheering on Englishman Andy Murray. While I have no clue as to whether Murray won or lost (he probably won), I can tell you that Princess Kate wowed the crowd with her stunning Temperley London Moriah dress. The three tiered, knife-pleated skirt and scalloped straps were pure perfection on Kate's tan, slender frame, not to mention a happy ode to the great sport of tennis and summertime.

via Telegraph

Princess Kate's dress hails from Temperley London's Spring 2011 collection. The dress was originally priced at $1270 but went on sale for $625. The Today Show reported this morning that Kate's dress sold out within 30 minutes of her televised appearance at Wimbledon! It's no wonder- we'd all like to look as easy and breezy as our favorite new Royal.


I also couldn't help but notice that her sapphire and diamond earrings look like smaller replicas of her engagement ring. The media has yet to report on those fab sparklers but I'll keep doing some digging...


Pure white appears so effortless and fresh for summer. Plus, I love how Kate has paired her frock with nude heels and minimal jewelry.

Have you spotted any white dresses that you just had to have this year?

Here are a few just easy, chic options for you to peruse...

ALC dress via Net-A-Porter

Rag & Bone Dress via Net-A-Porter

Day Birger Et Mikkelsen Dress via Net-A-Porter

Summer's shaping up to be white hot now!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Celine On the Sunny Side

via Purse Blog

Recently, I met Celine over at my favorite swoon-worthy shop of all time, Vermillion. Let me tell you, to know Celine is to love her. "Her" bags and pre-fall apparel had been sprinkled throughout the store- luscious leathers and fluttering silks decorated the shelves and racks. So much goodness had filtered in, courtesy of this on Parisian chic design house.

But what really caught my eye were the Celine sunglasses- no pun intended.

Black cat eye sunnies, like the ones above, quickly became my love. Put these babies on and the glam/cool factor instantly increases at an exponential rate. You could just as easily be walking up the stairs of Montmartre as you could be driving in your 4Runner on I-40 E. Le sigh...

via Purse Blog

The tortoiseshell versions (above) are just as gorgeous, in my humble opinion, but, personally, I prefer the black as they're a little more francais. I like that they're almost RayBan aviators but just angular and repositioned enough to make them way sassier and completely unlike anything my guy friends would wear. Sorry my shades are cooler than yours, fellas.

Celine Oversized Aviators via Purse Blog

Vermillion also hosted the ultimate masculine accessory for women, oversized aviators: pure-t badassness. For my round face, they're not so fab, but on someone with chiseled cheeks and a structured chin, they equal hotness.

Luckily, for the budget-conscience, sunglasses come in a wide variety of price ranges. You don't have to drop hundreds of bucks on one pair if you don't want to...

But a pair of Celine sunnies just might be worth it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

S.O.S. (Send Our Sofa)

This past Saturday, while my friends were frolicking in the ocean waves and sunning themselves on the warm sand, I went couch shopping. You would think that shopping in any form would create fun and excitement. I even gave up a boat ride with a bestie and everything for this task!

Instead, it turned out to be stressful, overwhelming and anxiety-packed!


Holy beegeezus moly, do I need someone's help!

I started at one store here in Wilmington known for well-made, timeless pieces. Their space went on and on forever, so much so that I didn't even know how to get back to the entrance/exit. There were no windows, huge furniture everywhere, no way in and no way out- a panic attack nearly ended the trip with one giant scream...

But I got a hold of myself and found a way to take some pictures. Now I need your input!

These are the contenders- a compilation of pieces I saw in two different venues. Just so you know, I'm looking for an extremely comfortable couch with durable fabric that my dogs and I won't destroy. I'd like to be able to wash individual sections as needed but don't want the couch to LOOK slipcovered. I'm trying to stay somewhat traditional in the shape but am not opposed to some modern twists.

Tribeca Sofa

Tribeca Sectional

Studio Rowe Sofa

Blue Hand Home Sofa

Studio Rowe Sofa

GORGEOUS Thomasville Sofa

Let me know what you think of these pieces. Keep in mind that anything I get will have to be customized in a grey or brown fabric- something dark enough to cover a smudge of dirt if I should be unlucky, which I'm sure I will be. Maybe one day a gorgeous, ivory linen blend will be a possibility but, for now, it's just a dream...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hoffman Hotness

Top and Shorts via Shopbop

Can I just say that I'm loving the hotness from Mara Hoffman?! Talk about summer lovin'! These threads are smokin and just perfect for a little fun in the sun.

Hoffman definitely has the bustier thing down pat, not to mention tribal patterns and colors de rigeur.

via Net-A-Porter

via Shopbop

via Shopbop

via Net-A-Porter

via Net-A-Porter

Maybe one of these days one of us will have a need for these items. We'll soak up the sun under palm trees sprawled out next to aqua seas and white sands.

Send me a postcard!

Peek Inside My Brain

If you could see inside my brain this week, these are the images that have been floating around...

(Clockwise from right)
1- Rockstud Strappy Pump by Valentino
3- Vintage Velvet Camelback Sofa from Furbish Studio
4- Metallic Gold Zebra Jar from Furbish Studio
8- Anemone Ceiling Light by Jonathan Adler

Le sigh...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eurekazak!

via Eddie Ross

It's been quite a while since I did a decorating post. Hopefully you'll find that this story was worth the wait!

I've officially reached obsession-ville with a fabric and the deed must finally be done.

In case you haven't met before, I'd like to introduce you to Quadrille's Kazak fabric, specifically in the Orange and Pink colorway...This stunningly bold yet traditional print is most certainly a favorite among all the top-notch designers- Mary McDonald, Hannah Childs and Eddie Ross have all featured this fabric in their designs, just to mention a few.

Hannah Childs design via Quadrille Fabrics

via Eddie Ross

Officially, this fabric first came into my life when I bought my house and Domino: The Book of Decorating three years ago. I was wholeheartedly obsessed with ikats and silks and adored the Quadrille web site. Due to budgetary constraints, Fabricadabra's pink ikat pillows had to tie me over and I made do for the time being...

Fast forward to last summer when Eddie Ross featured the tablescape above on his blog. I LOVE the way the pattern mixes with other delicate designs and the bright turquoise. That is exactly the mix that my house has been moving toward recently. Then, Mary McDonald featured the fabric, along with others that make my heart skip a beat, in House Beautiful and the blogosphere went wild.

A year has passed since those fateful days and, yet, today I find myself in the familiar place of blissful lust again. Yesterday I began envisioning my own living room with this pattern on my sofa or on a chair. Maybe a throw pillow would do? But could this gorgeous textile survive my casual, feet-on-the-furniture living room. Would I constantly stress about stains and paws and dirt and the like?

Today, the fabric magically reappeared on one of my favorite blogs, The Southern Eclectic, and I went wild- CURTAINS! Curtains are the answer! With two huge dogs and a tiny house, Kazak on my sofa would surely be destroyed. But beautiful, bold curtains would pack a punch with less fabric and less worry.

via Sheridan French

With the addition of this fabric, I think I'll FINALLY be able to marry my orange chair, pink ottoman and turquoise desk/tv stand with just the hang of a drape. I'm awaiting my quote as we speak so stay tuned...hopefully I'll have my own living room photos to post in the future...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?


Resort collections have finally begun to peek out from behind the April showers and May flowers. And while these collections won't be available in stores until November, the pieces certainly inspire us for new looks to beat the summer heat.

Last week, Tory Burch debuted her Santa Fe-inspired Resort 2012 collection. The pieces are a a new nod to the old West, with a mix of red clay, rose and golden yellow coloring, relaxed silhouettes and bold patterns. Personally, I can't get enough of the first look I've featured. The khaki-trimmed ivory tunic will always be a TB classic but it's funked up a bit when layered with a bright floral pattern. The red bag adds just the right amount of pop to this easy, chic outfit. I could definitely see adding a big pair of rustic turquoise earrings or an architectural metal cuff to make it my own.

But maxi skirts and dresses are still all the rage. I can imagine SEVERAL of my boho-chic friends- not to mention my sister!- in the eye-catching skirt above. We short ladies may face difficulty when trying to wear such a long, elaborate pattern but on the right body, this piece would be beautiful all year long.







Tory's earth tones and pops of pattern offer an interesting alternative to the neons and sorbets offered by other designers. Not that I don't appreciate a bright hue, it's just that I'm excited to see a nod to the wild, wild West. The entire collection reminds me of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting...feminine, bright, bold and sophisticated.

via Whitney Museum of American Art

all other images via Style.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Young Woman Who Lives in Her Shoes (That She Doesn't Own Yet)

via Butter Hot Fashion

Today I bring you the story of the young woman who lived in her shoes. It's not the time-honored fairy tale that you heard as a child.

It's the truth.

The young woman gets dressed for work every day. She tends to wear the same daily "uniform"- dark pants/jeans, effortless and casual (yet interesting!) top, same old shoes. One day the girl realized that her whole closet might just transform with the click of just one (to four) pair(s) of magical shoes.

First, she chose the Valentino Rock Star Stud pumps. These shoes would ramp up her black skinnies plus any old top with the fasten of two buckles. And the hotness of them paired with a denim skirt or tailored dress could never be denied.
Valentino heel via Shoe Daydream

Next, a pair of Rag & Bone oxfords for when she's feeling more relaxed would do the trick. They're comfortable and chic when worn with short, floral dresses and/or cut-off denim shorts. Of course, paired with boyfriend jeans, their tomboyish appeal would fabulously counteract a feminine top.

via Hampden Clothing

Of course, her wide leg trousers and jeans can't be left on the shelf, so a pair of Loeffler Randall Deena Peep-Toe Wedges keep her closet and her steps in balance. Anchoring a girlie dress would also come easy to such a perfect pair. And, come cold weather, a pair of opaque tights with a bandage skirt and silk top would make for an easy girls-night-out look.
via Loeffler Randall

But this girl's no diva, and she knows how to get down to earth. I present to you the Heffner-esque Blaise Flat Mocassins. With a pair of leather shorts and a white oxford top, her co-workers won't see her style power coming. And they're a great alternative to her Valentino studs when paired with dark skinnies for a Parisian chic look. She'll be tiptoeing so effortlessly, her powerful outlook on life will change the world.

via Loeffler Randall

The moral of this story, dear readers, is that a girl truly does live in her shoes. Our boots were made for walkin and those boots carry us through our lives. These four pairs, I've determined, will carry me effortlessly all year long. The ebb and flow of tribulations and relaxations will come steadily but having a fab pair of shoes on sure does make it easier to wade those waters.

(BTW- I would never suggest wearing ANY of these shoes in any type of water- that's what rain boots are for. ;0)