Spring wish list — OC lines I (we) need NOW

I love living and working here in Orange County. In the course of doing my job I get to visit the county’s best boutiques, meet all of local style mavens and I get a front row seat at the preview of the county’s newest lines. Of course, as a freelancer I don’t make enough money to purchase every amazingly cool thing I see on a daily basis but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream, right? What I’m dreaming about right now are two brand new break out lines by Orange County designers you should know.

The Finch by Beek, $260, at beekshop.com
The Finch by Beek, $260, at beekshop.com
The Lark from Beek, $320 at shopbeek.com
The Lark from Beek, $320 at shopbeek.com
The Sparrow by Beek, $300
The Sparrow by Beek, $300
The Sandpiper from Beek, $240, at shopbeek.com
The Sandpiper from Beek, $240, at shopbeek.com
The Wren from Beek, $280 at shopbeek.com
The Wren from Beek, $280 at shopbeek.com
The Starling from Beek, $260 at shopbeek.com.
The Starling from Beek, $260 at shopbeek.com.

First up, is Beek a line of mostly hand-made leather sandals out of Newport Beach. The line was co-founded by the former head shoe designer, Birgitt Klett, and Kenna Florie, former marketing veep, for Roxy. Beek features six sandal styles ($240-$320) named after birds — Finch, Starling, Lark, Sandpiper, Wren and Sparrow — rendered in burnished leather and sporting a molded arch in the footbed that makes the flats more comfortable to wear. They are stunning, simple and timeless, recalling long lazy days wherever a sunny shore can be found: Greece, Italy, Hawaii, St. Tropez, Ibiza, Laguna Beach. Their elegant and classic style could be worn with anything (short of a business suit that is, but, hey these are vacation shoes, weekend brunch on the terrace shoes not cubicle shoes!): the season’s wide-legged pants or culottes (that’s right! Culottes!), 70’s front button skirt, maxis or cut off shorts or ….   They would look excellent with the next line on our wish list: Aïe a small collection of dresses and tops by Laguna Beach dress designer Jessica Barkley and partner Isaura Gardner. With a simple silhouette that is also universally flattering the line, in modal with mesh overlay, is sexy without being aggressive, easy without being sloppy. I particularly lust after the racer front top, $94 and the long-sleeved dress in black, $156. I’d wear the dress with Beek’s Wren for just about any occasion. Ciao for now!

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Fall 2015: All the shoes; so much shoes … shoes … shoes

Best Fall 2015 shoes

It’s no secret that of all the fashion things a girl can own, shoes are my favorite. Shoes are my Zanax. Shoes are my style saviors.

Shoes never let you down. Gain a few pounds and your jeans mock you, your dresses threaten to suffocate you and your shirts refuse to button. But your shoes, your shoes will love you no matter what.

That’s why each new season (Fashion Week season that is) I can’t wait to see the shoes and the runways for Fall 2015 did not disappoint.

All the Best shoes from Fall 2015 Runways

From Rebecca Minkoff’s rocking fringed boots and booties to Monique Lhuillier’s sexy ankle straps, Suno’s chunky heels and Altuzarra’s witchy lace-up booties all the shoes were amazing. The toes were round, pointed and open; heels were chunky at Coach, Christian Siriano and Miu Miu, spindly on Prabal Gurung’s impossibly femme-fatale pumps, curved at Donna Karan and architectural at Jason Wu. At Saint Laurent, Giambattista Valli, Chloe and March Jacobs laces wound up the ankle and the leg.

Styles were, happily, all over the place — sporty thick platforms, ankle straps, loafers, even knee-high lace boots and up-to-the thigh moto boots. The choice is more eclectic than classic for fall with lots of call backs to the seventies,  the Art Deco 20s (Ferragamo’s arty sandals), 80’s; even the 2000’s with pony manes at Christian Siriano and 3-D embellished heels at Rochas.

Will it mean you’ll have to spend a little to freshen your shoe wardrobe? Maybe, but isn’t it worth it?

Ciao for now!

 

The Holy Grail of style: The Perfect Black Pump and Everything by Emerson Fry

Emerson Fry
Emerson Fry

Fashion fiends are like knights on a quest. We’re always searching for our version of the Holy Grail — that one artifact that holds all the mystery, secrets and wonder in our fashion universe.

For me that search for perfection is always summed up in The. Perfect. Black. Pump.

Never mind that I have scores (maybe hundreds; I don’t know, I haven’t counted lately) of pairs of shoes — some of which were dubbed to be “perfect” by me in the not too distant past. But, styles and tastes change and, lately, all I have been dreaming about is a modern-day perfect black pump; one that I can wear with anything, one with a dreamy silhouette but with enough edge that I still maintain my rock&roll style, but also one that looks a little more grown up to match my, ahem, age and one that I can  fit (well, lets say “cram”) into my supposed-to-be tight budget.

See, I while I have always loved a pointed toe pump– and in an inky black said pump is the equivalent of a wardrobe’s core: it holds everything together and looks great — my cache of black pumps could use an update. Some, like my beloved Jimmy Choos, look too much like the year I got them in; others, like my suede d’Orsay Manolos are still wearable style-wise but they have seen better days and others, like my peep-toe Diors are not pointy-toed enough to be basic (in the best sense of the word).

So, for the last year I have been searching for THE ONE.

And I believe I have found it — the D’Orsay heel from Emerson Fry (cue heavenly choir).

 

D'orsa heel in stealth black, $345
D’orsay heel in stealth black, $345

 

It is everything I want in a wear-everywhere pump. Updated from stiletto to chunky heel; a lovely toe that’s not too pointy but not round and with a profile to die for.

Figures though, because I want virtually every item on the Emerson Fry website from the awesome coats …

Tailored Coat in Fawn, $475
Tailored Coat in Fawn, $475
See how nicely the pumps go with this drop shoulder wool coat?
See how nicely the pumps go with this drop shoulder wool coat?

to their sweaters and tops …

The Perfect Tee... $78 .. Really I got one and it is perfect.
The Perfect Tee… $78 .. Really I got one and it is perfect.

Drop sleeved shirt, $198

Big Cable Knit sweater, $378.
Big Cable Knit sweater, $378.

 

to their studded belts ….

Studded belts in chrome and jet, $118
Studded belts in chrome and jet, $118

to their bags …

Overcoat in  variegated tweed,  $548; Luxe Emerson Crewneck   $98, Pencil pant in double-faced Jet, $228, Emerson bag in waxed tactical, $625
Overcoat in variegated tweed, $548; Luxe Emerson Crewneck
$98, Pencil pant in double-faced Jet, $228, Emerson bag in waxed tactical, $625
Emerson-Fry carrier bag, $375; Intrepid Parka, $970; Onitsuka Tigrt By Asics Ultimate 81 trainer,  $75.
Emerson-Fry carrier bag, $375; Intrepid Parka, $970; Onitsuka Tigrt By Asics Ultimate 81 trainer,
$75.

to their boots …

Trooper boot, $595

Midi boot, $425

Wrap boot $425
Wrap boot $425

Since I discovered Emerson Fry I cannot stop thinking about it because it is the fashion equivalent of heaven — filled with Holy Grails; it is perfection.

… at least until I start the search for the perfect pair of sandals.

Ciao for now …

Paris Fashion Week Street Style recreated

 It has always been my opinion that the ONLY REAL “Street Style” happens outside the runways of Paris, London, New York and Milan. I can spend hours looking at and dreaming about recreating looks that capture my attention.The set below was inspired by this look: Red, White and Blue in Paris.

 I try to find items in a reasonable price range that approximate the outfit I am lusting after, in this case a lady-like ensemble in one of my favorite color mixes: Crayon!
Paris Fashion Week Street Style recreated
Whenever I see cobalt or bright red (or even green and yellow) I want to pair them with other primaries to create a cheery outfit. But the key to avoiding looking like a pre-schooler is to keep the shape of the individual items clean and simple and sophisticated.
Thus the boxy top, slim skirt, rounded jacket and sharp-edged shoes in color-wheel bright hues still look grown up.
In this outfit I love how the crisp white skirt grounds bright blue and red accessories and how the black accents make the colors pop.  Plus, the balance of shapes and styles in this particular look add a layer of sophistication: the sporty bomber jacket plays nicely against the very classic-sexy silhouette of the pencil skirt; the chunky watch offsets the ladylike vibe and tasseled necklace adds a bit of exotica.
And lets be real, I love nothing better than a pointed-toe pump and a great big clutch; as far as I’m concerned adding a clutch and pump to any outfit immediately ups the style quotient.
Ciao for now!

Etro goes West and so should you

 

 

 

During the Fall shows I identified — as did others — a strong western trend (some called it folk-  or global-chic  as both the trends overlap on details such as yoke blouses, fuller longer skirts, lots of fringe and layering to name a few).

Apparently, the trend is still in play if Etro’s Spring 2015 show at Milan Fashion Week (see video above) is anything to go by.

And, recently, items reflecting the Western trend — either literally or in oblique references through profile or silhouette — have been finding their way into the stores.

I’ve found ponchos and blanket wraps at Nordstrom and boutiques such as No Rest for Bridget in Huntington Beach.

 

Spotted a while ago at Nordstrom; click to find similar
Spotted a while ago at Nordstrom; click to find similar
Blanket wrap from No Rest for Bridget, $69,  in Huntington Beach will go with everything as soon as the weather cools down.
Blanket wrap from No Rest for Bridget, $69, in Huntington Beach, will go with everything as soon as the weather cools down.

IMG_3554

Cowboy inspired boots are everywhere and even pumps are getting the western treatment like these from Gianvito Rossi ...

Gianvito Rossi Western pump, $995 at Neiman Marcus
Gianvito Rossi Western pump, $995 at Neiman Marcus

 

Etro’s Spring 2015 reflects the West from a more Native American point of view than lines such as Tibi, Michael Kors, and Philipp Plein did in February but it’s still channeling the romance of the Old West albeit in a modern way.

It’s no surprise that Western sensibilities and aesthetics (also referred to as Cowboy Chic, Southwestern and Americana in current fashion literature) has come back. The details of cowboy gear are classic and timeless: slim silhouettes, lots of leather and stitching and awesomely cool last-forever boots.

Hand made boots and other cowboy gear at Burns 1876 at Fashion Island, Newport Beach.
Hand made boots and other cowboy gear at Burns 1876 at Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

 

Style reads, planning my fall gets and more …

Leopard sneaks

 

Today I got a chance to put my feet up and catch up on my fashion reading — you know, blogs, trolling Tumbler and Instagram and this lovely pile of fall mags …

My pile of fashion magazines for Fall 2014
My pile of fashion magazines for Fall 2014

 

I usually go through the magazines and tag articles and shoots for there trends I want and then make a list of the items in my closet that are still on trend. For instance, the year-round bootie; I think I got that covered …

My Booties fall 2014

 

I’m pretty set on most of this season’s necessaries now that I nabbed a cute easy to walk in pair animal print, bare sandal …

 

Jeffrey Campbell pony ankle straps, $30 on sale at Anthropologie, Irvine Spectrum
Jeffrey Campbell pony ankle straps, $30 on sale at Anthropologie, Irvine Spectrum

and a bright California weather appropriate 60’s-vibin’ statement coat with 3/4 length sleeves …

Zara funnel coat with three-quarter length sleeves, $30 on sale.
Zara funnel coat with three-quarter length sleeves, $30 on sale.

Now I just need some knits, pieces in gray and green and a backpack!

Continue reading Style reads, planning my fall gets and more …

Sometimes life calls for a flat shoe

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Among my friends I am known for my love of high high heels. I could write sonnets about the profile of a pointed toe pump – the graceful curve of its arch juxtaposed against the spike of its heel is as magical to me as any work of art.

But, let’s face it, now that I am exploring a life outside of corporate journalism the opportunities to bust out the Manolos for an average work day are few and far between. (That does not mean I might not occasionally blog from home in sweats and heels — I might. I have a pair of B. Brian Atwood red pointed toe pumps that have not been properly broken in after all).

Also, a lot of my “work” these days requires me to run around from place to place while still looking stylish — hard to do in 80 degree heat and stilettos.

But, as I have mentioned before, I am pretty lucky and right now one of my other favorite shoe trends (besides ladylike, ultra-femme heels) is having a major moment: ugly, mannish looking shoes.

Birkenstocks, Nike shower slides, slip-on sneakers, masculine loafers … I cannot get enough …

Metallic loafers Gold BirksLeopard sneaks

What I love the most about the array of funky flat shoe offerings is that you can wear them with so many things:  my metallic Birkenstocks (get em here and other places, but act quick because they are selling out) go with dresses; circle, skater, or pleated skirts; shorts, jeans and maxis – pretty much my summer staples. The metallic Kenneth Cole  loafers (on sale here) class up a pair of rolled boyfriend jeans and ground a floaty summer dress. But the leopard print slip-on sneaks (Sam Edelman “Becker” slip ons) go with everything and make it so easy to look stylish and cool (even fashion-y) no matter what I put on.

And there is something especially stylish about working a clunky shoe against a girly or classic outfit.

For instance a body skimming dress, with a clutch and feminine jewelry worn with metallic Birkenstocks looks especially fresh. And what about an all-white suit (trend alert!) with a cartoon Tee and hot pink Nike slides? How’s that for comfy awesome style?

summerflat

 

Want more? Shop it here:

Ciao for now

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New Shoes

There is nothing more exciting than a pair of new shoes — especially if those shoes might take you in a new direction.

The first step is always the scariest (except for the step you take right off a cliff when you leave a beloved career with an uncertain future) because you don’t know if you will be able to follow the path all the way to the end but you have hope. Hope that your new shoes carry you to where you wanna be, hope that you will not stumble and fall along the way (spoiler: YOU WILL), hope that you won’t get lost (Yeah, that’ll probably happen too).

In my case the first step is this website and blog which I will dedicate to my love of fashion, beauty and, well, style.

Check back here for daily fashion fodder, shopping tips and the occasional rant about how much I loathe “Festival Wear”.

Right now I am walking toward an unknown future in a pair of sky-high stilettos that could break my ankle if I fell. Lucky for me I have always been good at walking in heels and I like the view I am walking toward.

The Road Ahead