Category Archives: Derek Lam

An Emmy-Inspired Fashion Forecast

Who doesn’t enjoy gaping at the fashion on the red carpet?  After watching every award show, I look forward to the next day when I click through all the pictures I can find from the event.  But unfortunately, while I try to keep a little glam in my life, there is no red carpet in my near future.  So why do I so spend too much time researching the evening gowns, glittering jewels, teeny clutches and high heels?  To dream!  To be prepared just in case my next red carpet moment arrives!  And to find hints of trends to come that I can adapt to my lifestyle.  Celebrities and their stylists are ahead of the trend curve, like psychic fashion tellers.  So I take cues from them to see what exciting direction fashion is headed and, if I like it, how I can incorporate it into my wardrobe.  So what’s the prediction from the 2012 Emmy Awards?

Winter White

The “greige” dress Brook Burke Charvet wore from Tony Ward Couture hints at the variations of white to wear after Labor Day.  Yes, it’s OK to wear white after the end of summer.  In fact, wear it from top to bottom and don’t be afraid to pair it with black shoes.

Brooke’s mermaid-cut, tulle evening gown is embroidered with Swarovski crystals.  The curved lines of Macramé enhance her hourglass shape, similar to the body-conscious dresses made revered by Stella McCartney.
Photo courtesy of Getty

Take inspiration from:

Derek Lam, Cushnie et Ochs, Reed Krakoff

Dennis Basso, J. Mendel, Valentino

Black & White

The combination of black & white is always chic and classic and here, Jessica Pare is too.  I adore this entire look, from her white Jason Wu dress and black accessories to her short, dark hair and red lips.  Lately, B&W has graced several runways.  Lucky for you, your wardrobe probably already includes pieces to create this combo.  Instead of the basic white top and black bottom pairing, try all white with black accessories like Jessica or black & white stripes, which appeared in many spring collections.
Photo courtesy of Jason Merritt/Wire Image

Take inspiration from:

Marc Jacobs, Christian Siriano, St. John


Orange, from burnt orange to bright orange to red-orange, is one of The Colors of the season!  Padma Lakshmi and Ginnifer Goodwin both glow in Monique Lhuillier numbers.  The normally neglected color that’s hot for fall is easy to wear because it looks great with jeans and brown leather, plus it warms most skintones.
Photos courtesy of Getty and Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Take inspiration from:

Preen, Stella McCartney, Rebecca MinkoffCarolina Herrera, Zac Posen, 10 Crosby Derek Lam


Julie Bowen and Julianne Moore, who were absolutely radiant at the Emmy Awards, introduces the other color of the season – chartreuse.  Julie is wearing Monique Lhuillier and Julianne is in Christian Dior.  This color is a little trickier then the all-flattering orange.  If it makes you look off, try a hue that’s more yellow or green, brighter or duller.  With the right chartreuse for your coloring, as you can see above, it can look brilliant.  I’d also like to note Julianne’s full circle skirt, which, long or short, is still the dress silhouette of the latest trends.
Photos courtesy of Jason Merritt/Wire Image and  Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Take inspiration from:

Lanvin, Vera Wang, Nanette Lepore


Now that we have fall’s “It” colors, what about spring?  Say “Hello” to yellow!  Hannah Simone in Emilio Pucci and Kelli Garner in Rafael Cennamo both chose yellow dresses for the Emmy Awards, as did many designers for their spring 2013 collections.  Like orange, yellow can be fabulous, but the trick is finding the right shade for your coloring.  When in doubt, ask a friend or trusted salesperson.  You can also try patterns with yellow or yellow accessories, like patent leather pumps or a satchel bag.
Photos courtesy of Getty and Frazer Harrison/Getty

Take inspiration from:

Erin Fetherston, Fendi, Gucci, Michael Kors


Boho is a type of style, and even lifestyle, that effortlessly outlasts the ever-changing trends.  It may wax and wane, but there will always be girls with natural, wavy hair; long, flowy skirts, macramé and turquoise jewelry.  At the Emmy Awards, that girl was Leslie Mann in Naeem Khan.  This fall, look for distressed skinny jeans to tuck into tall brown suede boots, a (faux) fur vest and exotic patterns.
Photo courtesy of Jon Kopaloff/Film Magic

Take inspiration from:

Versace, Band of Outsiders, Burbery Prorsum, Emilio Pucci

Turquoise/Aqua/Sea Foam

Photos courtesy of Getty and Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Turquoise, aqua, seafoam, whatever you call it – I LOVE this color.  My mantle is still decorated in shades of teal.  I know, time for fall colors, but it’s just so pretty.  This widely beloved color is perfect for spring and will finally be available in a variety of options as the weather warms.  Wear it with neutrals or other pastels.  At the Emmys, Heidi Klum wore an aqua Alexandre Vauthier dress and Julianne Hough was in Georges Hobeika Couture.

Take inspiration from:

Christian Siriano, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Kate Spade


Tina Fey, Emilia Clarke and Shannon Woodward brought the high drama of Baroque to the Emmys in Vivienne Westwood, Chanel and Gabriela Cadena, respectively.  According to, one of my favorite fashion resources, Baroque garments mirror the “lavishness of artworks, architecture and plush interior decorations” and are characterized by gilded filagree, embroidery, plush appliques, velvet, leather, heavy brocades and gold. The website’s editors suggest wearing Baroque fashion in one of two ways, like a royal or a rock star, and be cautious of the quality of cheaper versions.  Look for more information about this lavish trend in a future post.
Photos courtesy of Kevork Djansezian/Getty, Getty and Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Take inspiration from:

Marchesa, Dolce & Gabbana, Aquilano Rimondi, Balmain


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Filed under Celebrity Style, Derek Lam, Fashion, Gucci, I'd like to thank... Award Show Fashion, Lanvin, Versace

My Present Passion: Peplum

pep·lum/ˈpepləm/ : A short flared, gathered, or pleated strip of fabric attached at the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress, or blouse.

Also, currently the most adorable detail that gives an emsemble instant class, while accentuating curves.  It’s been popping up on the catwalk and red carpet for the past couple of years and now it’s easier to find online and in stores.  Scroll down for how you can add some peplum to your wardrobe.


Where it has been seen

Alexander McQueen, Spring 2012, Photos courtey of Marcus Tondo/

alice + olivia, Pre-fall 2012

alice + olivia, Fall 2012

Bottega Veneta, Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012, Christian Dior Spring 2012 and Badgley Mischka Spring 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos and Marcus Tondo of

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012, Sachika Fall 2011, Elizabeth and James Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/, Sachika, Elizabeth and James

Lanvin Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/

Rebecca Taylor Fall 2012, Milly Fall 2012, 10 Crosby Derek Lam Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/, 10 Crosby Derek Lam

Tory Burch Fall 2012, Zac Posen Fall 2012, Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos and Alessandro Viero of


Who is wearing it

Blake Lively, Ashley Greene, Michelle Williams, Dianna Agron

Emma Watson, Leelee Sobieski, Liv Tyler, Beyoncé

Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Hudson, Emma Stone


How you can get it

Peplum is adorable on dresses and tops worn with pencil skirts or slim pants.  I just ordered a peplum dress from and I’m impatiently waiting for it to arrive just in time for spring.  Below are a few more options that I found online.  You can also try belting longer, flowy shirts to create a similar flared effect.  When doing so, select a wider belt and tops with a round or sweetheart neckline to convey a vintage vibe.  Update it with a top that is printed, sleeveless or has a deep V-neck and try an embellished belt.

My new dress: Zipper Peplum Dress $34 from Go Jane

Floral Tube Peplum Top $25.30 from Go Jane

Stripe Peplum Dress $26.50 from Go Jane

L.A. or Bustier $44.99 from Mod Cloth

Irresistable Enchantress Peplum Dress $169.99 from Mod Cloth

Eternal Flame of Love Peplum Skirt $42.99 from Mod Cloth

Bronze and Brains Peplum Skirt $72.99 from Mod Cloth

Broken Levels Skirt $138 from Anthropologie

Awear Floral Peplum Top $44.76 from Asos

Rare Peplum Dress $44.76 from Asos

Peplum Tee $16.90 from Alloy

Francesca Dress $1,495 from J. Crew

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Filed under Alexander McQueen, alice + olivia, Badgley Mischka, Celebrity Style, Derek Lam, Emma Stone, Emma Watson, Fashion, I'd like to thank... Award Show Fashion, Jennifer Aniston, Lanvin, Milly, Vintage

My first big show at New York Fashion Week: Derek Lam’s fall 2012 collection

As part of the Camera-Ready Style Contest presented by Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair, I won two tickets to a New York fashion week show.  This is my experience attending the Derek Lam fall 2012 show.  If you’re just interested in the clothes, then la ti da, skip the witty details and run along to “The collection.”

The preparation

I found out in mid-January that I would be attending the Derek Lam show.  For more information about his style visit this previous post here.  I had no idea what to wear to this extraordinary and extraordinarily fashionable event.  I scavenged my closet, combed street style and personal style blogs, went shopping, searched on Pinterest, shopped some more, Googled, shopped again…  I was freaking out about what to wear.  One of the tips I stumbled upon when preparing for fashion week is to step it up several notches.  Ask yourself, “Would Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist take your picture?”  Ugh too much pressure!  Eventually I got my nerves under control and remembered how casual the people appeared outside of the shows in so many street style blogs.  I packed multiple options because I usually dress depending on how I feel and who knows how I would feel that day.  (I’ve noticed that I’ll often wear the same color for days in row because that’s the hue that matches my current mood.  Hey, I’m a Cancer, ruled by the moon, my moods are always changing!)  Anywho, the day of the show I was feeling the contrast of pretty white lace paired with harder black.  Lately, I’m drawn to girly pieces paired with edgier ones.

I chose a lace dress that I just got at… dare I tell you?  I was shocked to find such an adorable dress at Wet Seal for $15.  I paired it with a black blazer I acquired at a consignment shop in Chicago.  Then I added a black skinny belt, my favorite black booties and my new gold earrings from TopShop.  It wasn’t perfect.  It wasn’t overly dramatic.  But it was flattering, chic and me, at the moment.

The scene

Of course my mother came with me to the fashion show as she was my partner in fashion for the entire trip.  The black sedan was waiting for us when I rushed down the escalator at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 12.  Thank you to Ben from Vanity Fair for arranging the car and coordinating the whole fabulous trip.  He was such a pleasure.  Later I heard he was a valuable asset to Condé Nast and wise beyond his years.  Someone I’ve recorded to pick his brain if I ever decide to move to the city.

We arrived at St. John’s Center on this particularly bitter and blustery day.  The event and studio space seemed to be off the beaten path as it faces the Hudson River.  But later we discovered we were in the West Village, just north of Soho, where we had wandered the day before.  The space was a large open room with benches on both sides and rectangular structures, some with mirrors, flanking a long straight path I assumed was the runway.  It was not elevated but on the same level as the first row of benches.  Our seats were at the very beginning of the runway, which began with a ramp.  I debated on sharing this because I didn’t want to further embarrass Mr. Lam, but I’m sure you’ll see the humor in it… The first model to grace the runway was actually a rat.  He scampered down the ramp and under the benches to my left, soliciting squeals and raised feet from the guests.  Mom and I thought it was hilarious.  Welcome to New York!


The people

We sat next to a lady from Denmark who is in the fur business.  She travels to every major fashion week in the world each season.  She was sweet and I imagine just overflowing with interesting information only available to insiders.  As we were waiting for the show to begin, she pointed out John Wilder, a very important decision maker in the world of fashion buying, sitting two rows ahead of us.  We also spotted Anna Wintour walking up the runway, probably to greet Derek Lam backstage.  It’s hard to miss the trademark bob and large sunglasses of the iconic editor in chief of Vogue.

Also in attendance were Rachel Zoe, Miroslava Duma, Sofia Sanchez and Garance Doré.  Zoe is a celebrity stylist who has her own reality TV show called The Rachel Zoe Project, published a style book called style A to Zoe: The art of Fashion, Beauty and Everything Glamour and recently debuted her own line of apparel, shoes and handbags.  She is credited for creating the boho chic look with friend, Nicole Richie.  Duma is a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Russia and currently a freelance writer.  She’s internationally renowned for her fashion sense and a fixture at fashion weeks all over the world.  Sanchez is a model turned art director turned entrepreneur known for her unique style influenced by her homeland of Argentina.  Doré publishes a blog of photos of street style fashion and other musings.  She is also the girlfriend of The Sartorialist’s Scott Schuman.  I can only imagine how beautiful their family photo album will be…

The show was delayed reportedly because Susy Menkes, the respected International Herald Tribune fashion writer, was running late.  After she arrived the show began with violin music, followed by a thumping bass line and an unfamiliar melody.

Anna Wintour walking backstage

Anna Wintour - Photo courtesy of Getty

Rachel Zoe - Photo courtesy of Getty

Miroslava Duma - Photo courtesy of Getty

Sofia Sanchez - Photo courtesy of Getty


The collection

Placed at every seat was a bookmark that read “The Library,” suggesting the theme for Derek Lam’s fall 2012 collection.  The first look was a grey doubleface wool pullover, black lambskin skirt with Persian floral embroidery and grey leather ankle boots with a black tip and gold stripe.  Later I learned that the pretty floral print was inspired by the frontispiece of an old book Lam discovered.  But as puts it “you’d hardly call his Fall girl bookish.”

This hip collegian channeled the sixties with a bouffant hairstyle and smoky cat eye makeup.  Tom Pecheux of Estée Lauder created the look to emphasize heavy lashes with Sumptuous Two Tone Eye-Opening Mascara in Bold Black/Rich Brown.  Read more about backstage here.  The mod decade appeared in full skirts, oxford shoes and blouses, my favorite being the silk georgette necktie blouse.  The pretty yet sporty style also included floral silk outerwear, paisley jacquard layered over floral embroidered collared shirts, trousers and cozy sweaters.

To give a little modern edge, Lam kicked it up a notch with gold, leather and sequins, in particular gold shoes, a black lambskin pencil skirt, wine lambskin pants and sequined tweed that glittered shyly under the lights.  Here, I’d like to note that the leather turtlenecks peeking from tops and dresses were laser cut with delicate patterns and scalloped edges.  This beautiful detail was easily missed from my seat and I didn’t want you to miss it as well.  As for the accessories I fancied the silver ID necklaces, the “Alfie” platform pumps with an ankle strap and the white nubuck “Emmett” oxford.  I actually just picked up a clunky silver ID bracelet from an antique shop in Florida and I’ve been wearing it faithfully since I saw this show.

My new ID bracelet, in need of engraving

It has to be improper to not mention the outerwear when reviewing a Derek Lam show as it’s one of the things he does so well and he offers so many choices.  There were ladylike ivory satin floral coats.  I can imagine wearing the shorter jacket with skinny jeans and great pumps on a Saturday night.  There were also a white wool drill peacoat, black and white tweed jacquard coat and fur stoles that stood out in luxury.

Toward the end of the show were three long skirts of silk georgette that were light, flowy and oh so feminine.  The last two were unexpectedly paired with chunky handknit nylon tulle sweaters.  They created a lovely and cozy end to a comforting collection.

Noteworthy trends from Lam’s collection that are sure to be rampant this fall are leather: wine or black pants, pencil skirts, dresses and trim; fur; T-strap heels from the twenties; chunky sweaters; flowing long skirts; shades of white and ivory and menswear in coats and trousers.

As I analyzed the pieces of Lam’s collection, noticed the details and textures, I liked it more and more.  Most everyone is drawn to red carpet gowns and out on the town ensembles.  But now I have a deeper appreciation for Lam’s ability to interpret his current inspiration (a book and a coed from the sixties) into covetable pieces of luxurious fabrics and spectacular tailoring.

Photos courtesy of myself, Monica Feudi/ and Gianni Pucci/

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Filed under Derek Lam, Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, Fashion, New York City, New York Fashion Week

The Tourists: NYC

For the past couple of days, my mom and I have been playing tourist in New York City.  Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Friday we walked a few blocks from our hotel to Lincoln Center, home of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, to see the fashionable arrive and depart the ongoing shows.  We talked to an Australian girl with awesome tights but there wasn’t much else going on at the time.  Then we ventured to Century 21.  If you’re not familiar with this haven, please add it to your To Shop list next time you’re in New York.  It has designer clothes and shoes at up to 80% off.  It’s where I got my first pairs of Manolo Blahnik and Valentino shoes in September.  (Expect to see a post about these glorious acquisitions in the future.)  I didn’t get anything THAT spectacular this time but I did get a beautiful taupe dress from MICHAEL by Michael Kors and a taupe tank with a black Peter Pan collar and buttons.  At the moment, I have a thing for taupe/tan and black.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – Photo courtesy of Business Insider

Then we ate at P.J. Clarke’s across from Lincoln Center, a casual, but upscale pub with a good selection and great service.  Their French onion soup is one of the best I’ve had.  And I love me some FOS.  Afterward we REALLY turned up the tourist notch by taking a cab to meet my mom’s cousin, George, at TKTS at Times Square to get tickets to a Broadway production.  After hesitantly agreeing to see “Other Desert Cities” with Stockard Channing we walked to Macy’s.

My parents watched a special about Macy’s and were fascinated to discover that some of the original wood escalators are still in use today.  Riding these historical escalators was the highlight of the trip thus far, according to my mother.

Times Square

Mom on Macy’s escalators

After I regained composure from all the excitement from Macy’s escalators, we walked to the Shake Shack for a light dinner before the show.  Mom and I shared a ‘Shroom Burger.  Delicious.  “Was there a Portobello mushroom in it?” mom asked.  There was too much Muenster and Cheddar cheese to tell.

On our way to the show I dashed inside Forever 21 for what I thought was a quick look at the store I know and love.  But this location has four floors!  FOUR floors of trendy, cheap clothing and I hadn’t even seen some of the items before.  I grabbed a frilly blue & white polka-dotted wrap dress, two sheer fishtail skirts in pink and black and a shiny black pleated tower maxi-dress.  Expect to see these in posts this summer.

We ended our night in one of the best ways possible in the Big Apple… at a Broadway production.  “Other Desert Cities” was the first non-musical that I had seen in New York.  It was exceptional.  I was looking forward to seeing Stockard Channing.  Yes, the actress who portrayed Rizzo, the bad ass Pink Lady in Grease.  But more importantly to me, she was Aunt Frances Owens in Practical Magic, my favorite movie.  But I wasn’t sure about the play.

The Booth Theatre is small, intimate and there can’t be a bad seat in the house.  Much to my delight, Rachel Griffiths, from Brothers and Sisters, appeared on stage along with Channing.  I laughed.  I cried.  I felt what they felt.  Exceptional.  Following the standing ovation, we waited by the stage door for the actors to exit.  Mom and I were ecstatic to meet and get the autographs of Stockard Channing, Rachel Griffiths, Judith Light and Justin Kirk.

Stockard Channing & I

Rachel Griffiths

The autographed playbill

Saturday we traveled to Rockefeller Center to see the famous Christie’s auction house, which was unfortunately closed.  Guess we’ll have to plan another trip to NYC, mom.  We watched the ice skaters and stopped in the stores of NBC, Lego, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Girl.  Check out my new shirt from NBC.

Rockefeller Center

The Lego Store

Call me Kelly

Then we went to Soho, known for its trendy shops and art galleries.  We ate at the Broome Street Bar at the recommendation of a man on the street, where we tried their famous hamburger in a pita.  It was very tasty.  On our walk through the hip neighborhood I spotted Topshop,the super trendy and fantastic British store, which also had four stories.  (FOUR!)  I’ve visited but it was my first time in an actual store, as there are only two in the states.  It reminded me of a more upscale Forever 21 (forgive me for loving that damn store even though I am clearly not forever 21) but several pieces were more unique and better designed.  They are known for recreating designer pieces.  I ended up with a pair of very dangly gold Grecian earrings, perfect for my shoot on Monday.  TopShop is my new love.  We also visited Amarcord Vintage Fashion, which was on my To Shop list for its collection of European vintage clothing and accessories from the 1940s to the 1980s.  It had several beautiful and interesting pieces from Christian Dior, Versace and Gucci, to name a few.  I only lusted.

Broome Street Bar’s chalkboard walls

Broome Street Bar

Mom’s burger

In the subway

Exhausted from our two days of being tourists, we made the long trek back to the Hudson Hotel to rest up for Sunday, the day of the Derek Lam show.  The show was amazing.  Details to come…  Thank you for following along on my adventures.

My new earrings from Topshop and a sneak peak of what I wore to the Derek Lam show


Filed under Derek Lam, Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, Fashion, Gucci, Manolo Blahnik, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Shopping, Versace, Vintage

Big news from New York

I recently received word from the Vanity Fair and Estée Lauder contest team of which New York fashion week show I will be attending as part of the Camera-Ready Style Contest prize package!  Drumroll, please…  Are you ready?

Derek Lam!

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to witness Derek Lam’s Fall 2012 fashion show on Sunday, February 12!  Below is a little information about the renowned designer.  I also put together a “Wish List” of a few other New York shows I would be overjoyed to see, although any would be amaaazing.

Show: Derek Lam

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Background: Graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1990 then worked as an assistant for Michael Kors for four years. After working for a large retail brand in Hong Kong, Lam returned to New York and became President of Design of Michael Kors’ Kors label.  He debuted his first collection at New York fashion week in the fall of 2003.  Since 2005, Lam has also been the creative director for ready-to-wear and accessories at Italian luxury house Tod’s.

Style: American sportswear characterized by pretty fabrics, clean silhouettes and signature pieces like sheath dresses, trousers and trench coats.  According to the trusty, “Lam excels at updating looks from other eras, be it a seventies-style silk romper or drop-waist shirtdresses inspired by hippie California beach towns of the late sixties.”

Inspirations: Derek Lam said he learned “American classics 101” by working as a designer at Michael Kors for 12 years, which is made evident in his elegant approach to well-tailored, contemporary pieces.   His pre-fall 2012 collection was inspired by Scott Schuman’s street-style photos of Japanese guys from Pitti Uomo, the seasonal menswear shows in Florence, Italy.  Lam’s spring 2012 line was representative of “mid-century louche and luxury” set in Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House of the 1960s in Palm Springs, California.  Imagine “Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack crooning by the piano and Angie Dickinson lounging by a crystal-blue pool,” said Lam.

Famous fans: Kate Bosworth, Leighton Meester, Kate Beckinsale, Rachel Bilson, Rihanna, Eva Mendes, Nicole Richie, Olivia Palermo, Kirsten Dunst, Emmy Rossum

My take: I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the Derek Lam show!  I can’t wait to see what his inspiration will be behind his latest collection.  I’m also looking forward to see who will be in attendance.

Pre-fall 2012 - Photo courtesy of Steven Pan/Derek Lam

Spring 2012 - Photos courtesy of Yannis Vlamos/

Kate Beckinsale, Eva Mendes, Kirsten Dunst

Kate Beckinsale photo courtesy of John Shearer/WireImage, Eva Mendes photo courtesy of Galactic/Star Max, Kirsten Dunst photo courtesy of David X Prutting/BFAnyc/Sipa Press


Show: alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet

Hometown: New York, New York

Background: Bendet graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and launched alice + olivia in 2002.  A children’s line was added in 2008 and a shoe collection in 2010.  She has collaborated with MAC Cosmetics, Keds and Payless.

Style: Eclectic, playful and feminine full lifestyle collection

Inspirations: Culture, music, art, vintage fashion and the women around her.  Bendet’s pre-fall 2012 collection was inspired by Parisian allure and retro looks from the sixties and seventies.  Her spring 2012 collection included floral prints, bright pastels, the combination of black and white and more sixties flair.

Famous Fans: Anne Hathaway, Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, Dakota Fanning, Mena Suvari, Sophia Bush

My take: I adore the polished, yet fun and youthful style of Stacey Bendet.  While she’s not heralded for being fashion forward or inventive, I would definitely wear many of her pieces.  As a big fan of designs from decades past, I really like her updated interpretations of vintage fashion.

Pre-fall 2012 - Photos courtesy of alice + olivia

Spring 2012 - Photos courtesy of alice + olivia


Show: Porter Grey, by sisters Alexandra and Kristen O’Neill

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Background: Alexandra and Kristen were both Art History majors at NYU and Harvard, respectively.  They launched Porter Grey, named after their great-grandmother, in the fall of 2006.

Style:  Fresh, crisp, and classic sportswear for the modern American woman

Inspirations: Simple and classic American style peppered with nostalgia for vintage fashion.  The inspiration for their spring 2012 collection was garden parties at their grandparents’ house in Long Island in the fifties and sixties.  Their fall 2011 line was influenced by the seventies’ Ali MacGraw and Shelley Duvall.

Famous fans: Rachel Bilson, Jessica Biel, Blake Lively, Malin Ackerman, Elizabeth Olsen, Whitney Port

My take: While I’m drawn to slightly more flamboyant designs, Porter Grey’s well-crafted, simple pieces are timeless additions to any woman’s wardrobe.  I hope to invest in more quality and classic staples like these when my budget allows it.

Porter Grey Spring 2012 - Photos courtesy of Getty

Porter Grey Fall 2011 - Photos courtesy of Porter Grey


Show: Michael Kors

Hometown: Long Island, New York

Background:  Kors dropped out of the Fashion Institute of Technology after two semesters and launched his first women’s collection in May 1981.  His labels include Michael Kors, Kors Michael Kors and MICHAEL Michael Kors. He is a recurring judge on Bravo’s Emmy-nominated Project Runway.

Style: Simple, elegantly tailored American sportswear

Inspirations: American themes like Hollywood, the military and vintage fashion; American sportswear pioneers like Norman Norell and Bill Blass and American thoroughbreds such as Lauren Bacall, Ali MacGraw and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis influence Michael Kors’ style.  Kors’ latest muse is, Ann Bonfoey Taylor, who was voted one of Harper’s Bazaar’s 100 Great Beauties of the World in 1967.  Taylor, a very interesting character herself, was a Colorado aristocrat who enjoyed skiing, hunting and flying planes.  She also loved clothes, collected couture and designed a line of skiwear.  However, for the Spring 2012 “Afriluxe” collection, Kors took inspiration overseas by using khaki, cargo pockets, animal prints and hand-dyeing techniques.

Celebrity fans: Who doesn’t wear Michael Kors?  Fans include Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Barbara Walters, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and many more.

My take: It’s Michael Kors, an American fashion legend.  Enough said.

Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2012 - Photos courtesy of Michael Kors

Heidi Klum, Angelina Jolie, Rosie Huntington-Whitely

Heidi Klum photo courtesy of George Pimentel/WireImage, Angelina Jolie photo courtesy of Jason Laveris/FilmMagic, Rosie Huntington-Whitely photo courtesy of Alexander Aleshkin/Epsilon/Getty


Show: Marchesa by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig

Hometown: Chapman was born in London, England and Craig was born in Lucerne, Switzerland

Background: Chapman and Craig met while attending Chelsea College of Art and Design.  Later Craig graduated from University of Brighton and worked in print and embroidery design, while Chapman graduated from Wimbledon College of Art and became a costume designer.  In 2004, the pair created Marchesa in Chapman’s London apartment.  Now based in New York, the label was backed early by several A-list celebrities and the late English stylemaker, Isabella Blow.

Style: Intricately crafted, feminine and ethereal eveningwear perfect for the red carpet.  Voguepedia describes the dresses as, “Dipped in fairy dust and edged in embroidery, they could be the handiwork of those nimble-fingered mice of a certain Gloucester tailor’s shop.”

Inspirations: The label is named after and inspired by Marchesa Luisa Casati, the legendary European socialite and fashion icon of the early twentieth century, known for her eccentricity, lack of inhibitions, menagerie of exotic animals and striking eyes.  She is reportedly the most artistically represented woman throughout history, after the Virgin Mary and Cleopatra, due to her quest for immortality through art.  Marchesa’s spring 2012 collection was influenced by an 1876 painting, Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom by Ilya Repin.  The gorgeous gowns of pale blue, lilac and platinum were embellished with flapper-style fringe, crystal beading, embroidery and tulle.  The “toned down” resort 2012 line was inspired by celebrity photographer Slim Aaron’s book A Place in the Sun.

Famous fans: Again, who doesn’t wear Marchesa… on the red carpet?  Renée Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, Olivia Wilde, Sandra Bullock, Kate Hudson, Rihanna and many more have strutted in Marchesa.

My take: To see a Marchesa show would be to witness the prettiest gowns before they hit the red carpet.  I would be delighted to see such beautiful creations in person.

Marchesa Spring 2012 - Photos courtesy of Alessandro Garofalo/

Marchesa Resort 2012 - Photos courtesy of Marchesa

Lea Michele, Sofia Vergara, Madonna

Lea Michele photo courtesy of Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Sofia Vergara photo courtesy of Kevin Mazure/WireImage, Madonna photo courtesy of  Janet Mayer/Splash News


Show: Badgley Mischka by Mark Badgley and James Mischka

Hometown: Mischka was born in Burlington, Wisconsin and Badgley was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, but grew up in Oregon

Background: Mischka studied biochemical engineering and then majored in art history and managerial studies at Rice University.  Badgley studied art at the University of Oregon and business at the University of Southern California.  The pair met while studying at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.  Mischka went on to work with WilliWear WilliSmith’s men’s collection, while Badgley joined Donna Karan.  In 1988, they created Badgley Mischka and started collecting awards.  In 1996, they added bridalwear and in 2009, they established a more affordable collection that’s fresh, modern and sexy for the young yet sophisticated woman.

Style: “Simple, streamlined and thoroughly elegant,” said Mischka.  The sexy eveningwear line is perfect for brides (Jada Pinkett Smith, Trista Rehn of The Bachelorette, Charlotte York on Sex and the City), A-listers on the red carpet or magazine covers (see “Famous fans”) and even twins (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Barbara and Jenna Bush.)

Inspirations: Mischka said “Our style harks back to the glamorous Hollywood of the forties.”  However, the spring 2012 bridal collection takes it back even further to the 1920s of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  The opulent line, influenced by Art Deco, features embellished belts and sleeves and slinky silhouettes.  The focus was on structure for the spring 2012 ready-to-wear line, which manifested in peplum skirts, oversized bows and even a leather jacket.  The duo went a little more demure for their pre-fall 2012 ready-to-wear collection.  Fluid long gowns, midi length skirts, minimal glittering embellishments and more high necklines kept it simple, yet classy.

Famous fans: Winona Ryder, Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, Madonna, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Jennifer Garner, Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Taylor Swift, Sarah Jessica Parker, Carrie Underwood, Helen Mirren, Queen Latifah, Jayma Mays

My take: Badgley Mischka can be sophisticated and understated or lavish and sexy, but almost every piece is undeniably classy.  This is another show that would be a special preview of the dresses during awards season.

Badgley Mischka Spring 2012 - Photos courtesy of Marcus Tondo/

Badgley Mischka Pre-Fall 2012 - Photos courtesy of Badgley Mischka

Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Kelly Osbourne

Katy Perry photo courtesy of INFevents, Taylor Swift photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage, Kelly Osbourne photo courtesy of John Shearer/WireImage

Just a few last mentions… I’d also love to see Monique Lhuillier (she designed Sarah Michelle Gellar’s blue and white watercolor ballgown, which her daughter selected for the 2012 Golden Globes, that was anything but boring in a parade of mostly typical eveningwear); Honor by Giovanna Randall (the up-and-coming label is feminine, hip and definitely something I would wear) and Betsey Johnson (she’s had me enthralled with her over-the-top, flirty and fun style for ages!)

10 more days until I’m at the Derek Lam show!

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Filed under alice + olivia, Badgley Mischka, Celebrity Style, Derek Lam, Estée Lauder and Vanity Fair's Camera Ready Style Contest, Fashion, I'd like to thank... Award Show Fashion, Marchesa, New York City, New York Fashion Week, Wedding