July 22, 2014 Such a Beautiful Sole

by style contributor, Julie

It’s time for us to address an issue that we run into every time we début a new season’s collection.  Before the skinny spin gets cracked and the hot-off-the-press catalog ink has dried, the phones in our customer care center begin to ring off the hook…what’s the voice on the other end uttering most? “Where can we get those SHOES?!?!”

We’re ready to spill our stylist’s secret and let you in to the wonderful world of what we put on our models’ feet.  The outfit may be the main course, but every ensemble needs a little BAM of seasoning à la Emeril Lagasse to “kick it up a notch” and feed the fashion sole…

This season we had the pleasure of pulling from brands like Marc Jacobs, Freebird, and L’Autre Chose just to name-drop a few. Here are 3 of our favorites – AND for the cherry on top, we’ve even provided you the perfect alternative shoe just in case you are curious about some not-so-funky footwear styling.

The Jeffrey Campbell:

This season we’ve channeled our inner super chic rock star. What better way to set off a pair of leather-like black jeans than with a pair of chunky heeled rocker boots with metal buckles! (Shopbop.com) http://goo.gl/oRcXzGpage1SoleBut if these bad girl boots are a little to 1980’s Hair Band for you, then don’t be afraid to trade in the chuck heel for a stiletto and knock off a buckle or two.  Jeffrey Campbell Belair Boot (Neiman Marcus) http://goo.gl/rPokwaScreen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.15.09 AM

The L’Autre Chose

We’ll never leave our rustic roots, which is why we picked this buttery brown ankle- hitting bootie. They’re the perfect wear-with-all pair, but the low riding ankle cut keeps them up-to-date. (yoox.com) http://goo.gl/IiVdMapage2Sole

If you’re digging something that’s more of a tall drink of water, there’s no way you can go wrong with a just-to-the-knee almost edible chocolate classic boot. Not only will they be the only pair of boots you need for the season, they’ll make your legs look a country mile long! L’Autre Chose Tall Boot (stylebop.com) http://goo.gl/pDs1i8Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 10.16.50 AM

The Freebird

Borrowing from the boys is never a bad idea.  And the juxtaposition of a big bulky boot and a lovely lady says “Yeah, I raided your closet, and guess what, sir…I wear it better than you.” (Nordstrom) http://goo.gl/bHOQZYFotor0721105454Or if you’re more of a buttoned-up beauty that prefers just a hint of him in your wardrobe, you might want to sub the super boot for something a little less biker boy. Freebird Saddle Boot (Steve Madden) http://goo.gl/fFP1HEshotlastsole

Now go forth my lovers of shoes and don’t forget to ALWAYS let your soles shine!

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July 11, 2014 Popular Peruvians: Benjamin Bratt

There are few steamier co-stars than Mr. Benjamin Bratt. Very well known for his role in the crime solving Law & Order show and for dating the most darling of Hollywood darlings, Bratt has more than a little culture in his DNA. His mother, a Peruvian from Lima, moved to the United States at the age of 14 and has had close ties to her country ever since. Benjamin was raised with his 4 siblings in San Francisco, and attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he earned a B.F.A. in Theater and was an active member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

Despite being busy with his career and charity work, B.B. remains a family man, spending time with his wife, Talisa Soto, raising their two children Sophia Rosalinda Bratt and Mateo Bravery Bratt.

Benjamin Bratt, as Grand Master in the San Francisco Mission district parade. Photo by Frank Kovalchek

Benjamin Bratt, as Grand Master in the San Francisco Mission district parade. Photo by Frank Kovalchek

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June 27, 2014 Smooth Transition: Curating your Closet for the Cold

by fashion contributor, Julie

Some fear change, others embrace it, but we can all agree that the shifts in the seasons can leave our closets a little more than confused. There’s nothing more heart sinking than staring hopelessly at hangers draped with all “wrong” garments.

This irrational fear of what the temperamental transitional weather will bring is real and affects even the strongest and most stylish of us. There is a cure, ladies: there is a way to perfectly curate your closet and make the not so stellar “in between” time much more bearably beautiful!

DO Play HIDE and seek
Investing in a creamy smooth, supple, light leather jacket is not only a timelessly chic way to update your wardrobe, it’s the perfect all year piece that can never be over worn.

suede_leather_jackets

Mirador Suede Jacket on sale at $349, Toscana Peplum Jacket on sale at $299

DO Get deep
There’s no need to completely press the mute button on all your colors when the weather starts to wither. Pick rich plums and navies, or any jeweltone that pleases your eye.

jeweltones

Due East Cardigan $229, Wenona Tunic on sale at $72

DO Mix your maxies
Toss the sandals and flip-flops sister! Bougie-up your summer maxi dresses with a pair of boots. AND if you want to make those maxies last all year long, learn to layer them!

maxidresses

Fade Away Maxidress on sale at $199, Puno Tank Dress on sale at $149

DO the 50/50
Don’t be afraid to split the difference and wear a summer weather piece with a fall favorite. Think layering a simple tank dress with a bold and cozy cardi.

fallsweaters

Kiri Cardigan $159, Tribal Vest $169

DO DO DO Scarf-up all the accessories you can
And by accessories we mean scarves! Swaddle your neck in silks, luxe pimas, and any other fabric you deem necessary of a face nuzzle. Not only will you be perfectly hip and flawlessly finished, you’ll also feel cool, calm, and collected wrapped in non-stop comfy.

scarves

Illyria Scarf $99,  Blue Horizon Scarf $99

Fearing the time where summer meets fall is no longer needed. Sure, all transitions can be awkward, but wearing what tickles your fancy is the best ‘Do’ of all, and it will ensure that you’ll look fabulous through the change!

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June 17, 2014 “My pictures are my eyes”: a Look at Peru’s Own Mario Testino

by fashion contributor, Julie
An Andean woman in traditional dress. Photo from Mario Testino's  Alta Moda exhibit

An Andean woman in traditional dress. Photo from Mario Testino’s Alta Moda exhibit

VISION. The only word needed when speaking of the world’s most famous fashion photographer of our time. Peruvian-born Mario Testino’s knack for finding the lustrous and almost unattainable beauty in the beautiful, but more impressively the not-so-beautiful, has made him the most invaluable creative staple in the world of fashion. Shooting for the likes of Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, and Chanel. Posing such posh people as Anna Wintour, the entire bloodline of the British Royal family, and a gaggle of glamorous super models and celebrities.

Although Testino has uncovered, devoured, and savored immense success via international globetrotting, all the while keeping such esteemed and cultured company, the little boy from Lima has never taken his eye off his home. In between publishing a plethora of books and being awarded the Order of British Empire for his service in photography and charity, he’s managed to unearth and bring the beauty of his homeland to the surface for us all to set our eyes upon.

One of his newest bodies of work entitled Alta Moda (High Fashion) is a rich, almost VOGUE-like collection of traditional costumes worn by the Andes people in the Cusco Region of South Peru. The subjects are oozing with ultra decadent color so indescribable and unimaginably vivid, while capturing the textures of the fabrics and traditional adornments in such a tactile manner that one’s hand can’t help but slowly drift up in disbelief to touch for itself. Capturing a culture in just a few shutters of the camera is no easy feat. Making that culture reach out of the frame, grab you by your sweet face and force you to soak in every detail, takes a talent that’s almost haunting.

Alta Moda can be viewed in the Barranco area of Lima, Peru at the Mario Testino Museum, a part of Testino’s MATE foundation that he founded in 2012.

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June 6, 2014 It’s Up To Hem…

by style contributor, Julie

There’s no skirting the issue, a woman’s hemline has always said a lot about her. And oddly enough it has also said a lot about the state of our union. When things are good our gams come out, and historically when we’re facing some national drama, our dress hems take a drastic drop. Thank goodness ladies have been liberated and can now go to any length they deem necessary to conquer the world. Here’s a short recap of the lengthy history of how hemlines have evolved from floor grazing get-ups to eye-popping thigh height and back again. The No-Nonsense 1900’s: The turn of the century was a pretty posh era. Elegance was opulence and a lady was expected to conduct herself in the most honorable of ways. For the upper class, anything that accentuated more than the ankle would have ended up in what we know now as “Page 6” SCANDAL! 1900s

Anaïs Dress $239, Julius LeBlanc Stewart: Portrait of Mrs. Francis Stanton Blake

Nearly To the Knees 1910’s: Prim and Proper started to become slightly unpopular as we faced the First World War. A little air of independence was starting to tickle the senses of women who once wore modest fashion as a sign of womanhood.  And those hems flirted with almost hitting just below the knees. 1910

Bennet Dress $179, Sabine Shift $118

The WOWing 1920’s: One word…Flappers! This decade was all about glitz, glamour, and social independence. Anything over the top that pushed the boundaries of boring was in vogue. Those knees were out and proud for the first time and it was utterly fabulous! Flapper

Zelda Dress $320, Mademoiselle Rhea stashing a flask in her garter

Much More Modest ‘30’s: The crash of the market also meant the crash of the hemline. As the nation became more conservative with their dollars so came caution with their morals. So it was Sayōnara knees, here we come calves!Fotor0606104239

Agra Pima Cotton Dress $189,  Borneo Dress $139

The Fabulous ‘40’s and ‘50’s: Post war meant women went feminine once again. Sophisticated didn’t mean short, it meant flare! The Mid-calve A-line was everything and became an iconic style “throw-backers” mimic today. Flare

Ikat Skirt $89 , Arabesque T-Shirt Dress $118

So Short 60’s: The sixties were ripe with newfound freedom, newfound wealth and a newfound interest in flamboyant fashion. Enter Madam Mary Quant, the mother of the Mini Skirt and thus the movement of MOD. With fashion on her side and a youthful hunger to rebel, hemlines were brought to a new almost nosebleed height.Fotor0529140244

Tendrils Skirt $129, Talia Sheath $129, Petra Skirt $139

The Sultry 70’s: As quickly as they ran up, the seventies saw the hemline hustle right back down. This time however, it wasn’t the same kind of long that our sisters before us donned. Nope, these were body-hugging hemlines that were all about swank and sex appeal. The maxi was born and we “couldn’t get enough of their love”.

maxi

Cozumel Skirt $379, Anjali Skirt $169

The past ups and downs of these not-so-long-ago decades were instrumental in deciding the lengths of our dress – from the 1980’s until now, women have enjoyed a “wear what makes you feel good” attitude. The bridge of independence was built and we sashay across it in any skirt length we choose. The only requirement, accessorizing with confidence!

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