Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 Collection

During the unveiling of the Fall 2014 collections, I’ve made a conscious effort to cut down on my runway coverage.  This is partially due to the fact that I was on vacation in Bali, but also because the constant show coverage can sometimes cause the collections to bleed together.   Instead, I’ve opted to focus on collections that have really captured my attention for one reason or another.

Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 (1)One of the shows that I’ve been most excited to see and now bring to you is the Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 Collection.  Over the past few years I have found myself drawing more and more inspiration from this line and trying to find ways to mimic some of the styling in my own wardrobe.  This season I am once again awed and excited to share some of my favorite looks.

Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 (2)The collection is rife with daring prints and playful styling that somehow still manages to retain a level of sophistication.  I think the sophistication can be attributed to the masculinity of the structured outwear (something followers have come to expect from Van Noten) and the thoughtfulness of the styling.  While wild print and palettes are presented, they don’t feel cheap or trashy.

Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 (3)

I am a Van Noten fan for his ability to fuse different ideas in a way that is both fresh and seamless.  With some designers their risks can fall flat, miss completely or even feel contrived.  This is not the case with Van Noten, who constantly challenges expectations, never fitting in a box, yet still staying true to himself.  If the Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 Collection proves anything, is that his portfolio of ideas is still filled to the brim, and I am happy for a peek.

 

What do you think of the Dries Van Noten Fall 2014 Collection?

 

What’s In My Suitcase : Bali Edition

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Packing for a trip is partially filled with excitement and partially filled with dread.  I am constant trying to strike the perfect balance between packing too much and packing too little.  For this trip to Bali I really have made a goal of packing just the right items.  We’ll be there for 6 days, 5 nights and have plans for both casual and slightly dressier activities (date nights!), and some complete relaxation as well…

I really focused on packing multifunctional pieces in a simple color palette.  Items that made the cut are black, grey or white.  I also included a couple of patterned pieces and one orange midi skirt in case a craving for color strikes.  The simple pieces are supplemented by interesting jewelry (including a major statement necklace) and three pairs of black shoes.

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With that I give you: What’s in my Suitcase: Bali Edition

Tops:
1 Black Oversized Short Sleeved T-Shirt
1 White Oversized Short Sleeved T-Shirt (airplane)
1 Black Long Sleeved T-Shirt
1 White Long Sleeved Casual Blouse
1 Black Shell
1 White Trapeze Tank
1 Plain White Short Sleeved Blouse
1 Sequined Shouldered White Short Sleeve Blouse
1 Grey sweatshirt (airplane)
Total: 9 Tops

Bottoms:
1 Denim Shorts
1 Tribal Print cotton shorts
1 Grey Cropped Sweat Pants
1 Black Jersey Mini Skirt
1 Orange Jersey Midi Tube Skirt
1 Charcoal Jersey Midi Tube Skirt
1 Black Leggings (airplane)
Total: 7 Bottoms

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Other:
1 Black Sleeveless Sheath
1 Large Tribal Print Scarf/Sarong/etc (airplane)
1 Black Bikini

Shoes:
1 Black Flat Sandals
1 Black peep toe flats
1 Black Heeled Sandals
1 Sneakers (airplane)

Jewelry:
1 Silver Earrings
1 Gold Earrings
1 Black & Gold Link Bracelet
1 Gold Wishbone Necklace
1 Silver and Black Long Pendant Necklace (airplane)
1 Gold Bibbed Statement Necklace

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As you can probably tell from my list, I tend to freeze on airplanes, so figuring out what to wear there is always top priority.  Beyond that all the items are really really basic, but I have some ideas of how to style them to insert a bit of personality.

You may also notice that I have more tops and more bottoms than days in Bali.  This has a lot to with the weather, which like Singapore, is rather humid and can go from Sunny to pouring in a split second.  Plus, as abovementioned, some of our days will have us going from the pool to a temple to dinner- I don’t think I own a look that can go unaltered between all those activities!

What isn’t included in the list is workout clothing.  I try to work out at least 5 days a week and plan to try to keep that schedule on vacation, so in addition to the above items I will have some appropriate exercise attire.

So what do you think of my packing- on point, or way off?  I promise to report back on what actually gets worn and how after the trip!

P.S. See my other packing tips HERE

P.P.S Giving All the traveling I do I thought this may be a fun new series– “What’s In My Suitcase” — let me know your thoughts!

Jill Stuart Fall 2014 Collection

Jill Stuart Fall 2014 1For those of you who’ve been fighting the winter apocalypse, I am sure it can be a little challenging to get into the Fall 2014 Ready-To-Wear Collections that are coming out of New York right now.  However, since I haven’t worn a jacket since last March, I welcome the boots and coats excitedly wondering if next winter will be the winter that I’ll get to wear them…

There are certain collections I look forward to checking out each season, because I know I am going to find certain “favorite” pieces in them.  Jill Stuart is one such label, because she always fulfills my girlie needs without leaving me feeling like I’ve regressed back to second grade.

Jill Stuart Fall 2014 2The Jill Stuart Fall 2014 Collection has party dresses that are flirty and fun and undeniably cool and for me really were the star of this show.  Seriously, the one thing going through my mind while scanning the wares was “I want to go out with Jill Stuart – I know she know how to have a good time!”

Yes, there were ruffles and polka dots – two looks you will almost never see me in, but they were paired with leather and peek-a-boo detailing that made them feel much cooler than my toddler’s wardrobe.  This empowered femininity is a balance that I am always trying to strike in my own wardrobe, but seems to be achieved effortlessly by the Jill Stuart woman.

Jill Stuart Fall 2014 3And as a side note: Let’s all give Jill Stuart a round of applause for the amazing footwear.  Year after year the design house puts out shoes I am dying-to-wear… why they haven’t yet graced my closet is beyond me…

 

What do you think of the Jill Stuart Fall 2014 Collection?  What do you look for in a party dress?

 

Images via Style.com / Marcus Tondo / InDigitalImages.com

 

Healthy Models: Why Normal Shouldn’t Be The Goal

Recently American Eagle’s aerie brand (a lingerie and loungewear line) launched a campaign called #aerieReal in which their models are depicted without retouching leaving “imperfections” on display.  (Read More about it HERE)

Great idea right?

Well almost as soon as the applause started, so did the backlash.  Throughout social media, well-meaning individuals argued that while the models remained untouched they weren’t representative of normal women.

aerie 1This made me think and I came to a conclusion that some people may find offensive:

We shouldn’t want our fashion and beauty ads to depict normal women.  Because, normal does not equal healthy.

We are all aware of media’s emphasis on the thin body and what has been deemed fat shaming.  I don’t debate these issues for a second.  But what worries me is the reactionary pendulum swing that I have been observing over the past few years.

There has been a public outcry to embrace and promote the “normal” body, especially in fashion and beauty ads.  And by “normal” I mean the average-sized body.  Unfortunately that is not necessarily a good thing.  According to 2009/2010 number released by the CDC, 69.2% of US adults 20 or older are overweight (including obesity).

Consequently, the idea of replacing anorexic images in the media with the average aka “normal” person is frightening.  Aren’t we then simply running the risk of creating a culture of unhealthiness at the other extreme?

aerie 2Both sides come with a slew of potential health problems.  So why are we insisting we promote either side in order to make people feel comfortable?

I know we all look different.  I understand that we come in different sizes and that we face different challenges –especially surrounding our weight (be it eating disorders, thyroid issues, PCOS, or a slew of other legitimate medical complications).  But that doesn’t mean we should give up on the aspirational; that we should simply embrace the status quo.

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Wouldn’t the logical step be to promote healthy models and in turn healthy bodies?  As in, the body with a healthy percentage of fat (not BMI, as it can be misleading)?  Advertisements are aspirational at their core, promoting products that will in some way make our lives better.  I believe the people in these ads should represent that same goal.  Especially when the product being promoted is intrinsically tied to our bodies.

Being healthy doesn’t automatically mean being a size 0-2, but it doesn’t mean the average clothing size, 14-16 (in the US) is healthy either.  Depending on several factors (height, muscluator, etc), anywhere within that range (and perhaps even outside it!) can be deemed healthy for a particular individual.  Additional factors should also be considered, for instance even if your numbers all fall in the healthy range, but you carry your weight at your waistline the CDC tells us that you are at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

I want to be clear:  in no way am I suggesting that people who fall in the unhealthy categories (on either side of the pendulum) should be shamed, or that companies shouldn’t create products for people in all categories.  Also, this post is not about the #aerieREAL campaign (that was just the inspiration).  What I am saying is, individuals that we see in ads should fall in the healthy aspirational category.  Not simply the “normal” or “real” categories that I keep hearing public outcry for.

What do you want to see when looking at models in campaigns?  Are you for or against retouching?  And in the case of aerie, do you feel like they’ve gone far enough?  Do you agree that normal does not equal healthy?

Mary Jo Matsumoto FLASH SALE

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I am so excited to share Mary Jo Matsumoto (who’s Mini-Crossbody Bag I featured yesterday) will be having a Flash Sale starting this Friday!

You have to understand these sales are few and far between, so definitely worth checking out- whether you are looking for a great handbag, a wallet or even some nail polish, all sale items will be 50% OFF!  Also, if you live in the US, shipping is free.

To get you excited I thought I would give you a sneak peek at my picks:

rsz_1valentineA special Valentine’s Day 4FREE trio.  I am a big fan of Mary Jo’s polish and these colors are perfect as we move into the month of Romance!

CloudyWallet

Cloudy With A Chance of Surfing Wallet.  I am crazy for this wallet!  The pattern is fun and the neutral color scheme will pair with anything—especially spring’s pastels.

Another thing that makes this sale so great is it won’t only feature items from the past season, but a few new samples as well!  So make sure to check it out on Friday—just click HERE!