Monthly Archives: October 2011

BLISTERS BE GONE: THE RETURN OF THE SLIP-ON

Did any of you ever own a pair of leather slip-ons that you were required to wear to school at the demand of a dreadful dress code? Well, I did and let me tell you… I hated them. But times have changed (in a matter of speaking): The 90s are back and those slip-ons for which I harbored so much disdain have morphed into something magnificent, proving themselves to be one of the must-have items for fall. I suppose it’s time to dig deep into those boxes in the basement, because slippers are coming back strong.


I’m sure you’ve noticed that cool, crisp weather is officially upon us. I was pretty bummed to say goodbye to my summer sandals and Toms but recently, I’ve been spotting lovely ladies like Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo sporting slipper-inspired loafers which appear to be just as comfortable as my trusty Toms. Comfort aside, these are also quite elegant and can undoubtedly dress up any evening outfit; and, unlike those 5” heels (respect, respect), these will not leave you with bulging blisters by night’s end. I have actually seen several celebs wearing these to red carpet events in place of plats or heels and they look absolutely adorable.

There is also a wide variety of slip-ons from which to choose. You’ve got your fur variety compliments of Aldo, shiny, patent ones by Steve Madden, classic velvet choices at Del Toro—the choice is yours! Whichever pair you ultimately buy, feel good knowing that you will be looking mighty fine and remaining mighty comfortable at the same time. Trust me… I’ve come to terms with my schoolgirl days and already taken pleasure in snapping up two pairs!


1. Stubbs & Wootton ‘Yes/No’ Slippers, $400
2. Stubbs & Wootton ‘Cane’ Slippers, $400
3. Aldo ‘Pratillo’ Loafers, $90
4. Steve Madden ‘Madee’ Tapestry Loafers, $80 (on sale)
5. Steven by Steve Madden ‘Madee-R’ Slip-on Loafers, $150
6. J.Crew ‘Darby’ Silk Faille Loafers, $288
7. Jeffrey Campbell Elegant Slipper with Studs, $163
8. Bass ‘Pierre’ Slip-ons, $70
9. Dolce Vita ‘Sicily’ Slip-ons, $84
10. Del Toro Customizable Embroidered Slip-ons, $365

Photo of Olivia provided courtesy of www.style.mtv.com
–DUYGU DURMUS
Share

Advertisements

STEAL HIS STYLE: THE FATHER OF WEIRD, TOM WAITS


It’s been five years since the ‘Father of Weird,’ Tom Waits, released the epic collection of music that is Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards. While there was enough music material on there to last us for quite a while, I know that I speak for all of his fans when I say that his newest release, Bad As Me, really couldn’t have dropped in on us at a better time. After taking advantage of the free, week-long album preview that Waits offered on his website, I am proud to report that his sound is as raucous and wonderful as ever. You see, what has always impressed me about Waits is the fact that he can have a rowdy title track like Bad As Me and a softer ballad like Back in the Crowd all rolled up together in one album. And, of course, the entirety of the album is sung in his signature, irresistable, whiskey-soaked voice.

With Halloween quickly approaching and Bad As Me released just in time to offer the upcoming holiday an eerily awesome soundtrack, why not celebrate to the fullest and sport your best Tom Waits-inspired look for a day? You may not be able to sing like him, but channeling the rock ‘n roll hobo won’t be terribly difficult. ‘Sides, we’ve done the footwork for you with a few key pieces to get you started out:


1. Frye Veronica Boot, $268
2. Quiksilver Open Road Plaid Shirt, $50
3. ASOS Rich Vintage Boyfriend Jeans, $63
4. Mark Totally Suitable Blazer, $52
5. A.OK Black Wool Felt Fedora, $58
6. Fable & Fury Tom Waits Tribute Portrait Necklace, $26

Photo of Tom provided courtesy of antilabelblog.com
–AMBER DANESE GRANDFIELD
Share

PUMP UP THE PLAID… PANTS


Holy crap, plaid pants are in. Grunge be gone, if you took even a faint whiff of what the fall 2011 runways had cookin’ (Sonia RykielDerek LamTory Burch), you quickly came to realize that there really is no time like the present to pump up the plaid. And when we say pump it up, we damn well mean it: we’re talking trousers here.

On the positive side, if there were ever a rustic, fall-friendly motif that’s easily attained (that’s not sea isle), this is it. The negative? If you don’t execute plaid properly, you will unquestionably end up looking like a lumberjack (or Ted Baxter). Might I suggest we all take a hint from the lovely Malene Birger and combine the bottom with a very simple top and hairstyle + minimal accessories (the long drop pendant is perfect), most of which should be in either a classic (black, white) or calm, muted tone since you’ve got so much goin’ on down below. Top it all off by adding in that essential touch of sophistication by way of a sharp pair of heels.

What’s great about plaid is that it can be pleasing in the preppy, ‘fresh and classic’ sense but in the punky, playful Vivienne Westood sense as well; the key to both is assuring you keep the look elevated. Lee McQueen would be mighty proud.


1. Malene Birger Nagia Pants, $69* (on sale!)
2. Rachel Comey Boyfriend Pant, $322*
3. McQ Tartan Wool-Twill Cropped Pants, $465*
4. Tory Burch Andres Pants, $395
5. Current/Elliott Stiletto Plaid Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans, $190
6. Vivienne Westwood Kung Fu Trousers, $498*
7. Motel Gene Tartan Pant, $91
8. Tripp NYC Plaid Skinny Pants, $132

*Items pictured above

All runway photos provided courtesy of style.com except M.Birger photo, which is provided courtesy of bymalenebirger.com
–JEAN CANDIDO
Share

MAKE THE SWITCHEROO TO SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOOS


I recently read an article in Harper’s Bazaar that listed the ten best habits for ‘great looking hair,’ some of which included things you might expect like eating healthy and using a natural bristle brush. However, when I saw using sulfate-free shampoo listed as a trick that may help to increase shine and volume, I had to see what made this type of product so great…

For years, many household and beauty products have included an ingredient called sodium laurel sulphate (SLS), which is a foaming and lathering compound. Companies also use SLS because it is a cheaper and more effective alternative to natural ingredients. In one rather alarming study from the Journal of the American College of Toxicology, SLS was actually proven as a skin irritant. As a person who has sensitive skin and who has not had the best of luck with salon-grade shampoo, I was pretty curious to see what results the alternative would bring. But, just to be sure, and since the aforementioned study’s findings were released the year of my birth, I decided to spend a few weeks testing four sulfate-free shampoos currently on the market, three of which were formulated for color-treated or highlighted hair.

Drum roll please: I can honestly say that my scalp feels completely different. In fact, it doesn’t feel like anything at all. My scalp doesn’t get oily at the end of the day (the roots used to end up looking wet), and, unlike before, my locks aren’t frizzed out from end to end after washing, or throughout the course of the day. I’ve been told that you’re not supposed to wash your hair every day, but I work in an environment where I simply don’t have the energy to constantly be spraying fixative in order to keep my oily strands at bay. So, for all you Daily Washers out there, this one’s for you:

1. L’Oréal EverStrong Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $6
You just can’t beat this price. I’m used to buying products at my salon and can’t seem to pay less than $20 for a bottle of shampoo these days. I actually used this particular shampoo before I knew it was free of sulfates and I couldn’t tell a difference. I stopped using it because it over-hydrated my fine hair (but this could work well for all you thick-haired gals out there) but I am eager to try L’Oréal’s other products in its EverStrong, EverPure and EverSleek lines.

2. Agadir Argan Oil Daily Moisturizing Shampoo, $20 at CVS or under $10 at Amazon
Certified argan oil-infused, sulfate-free, paraben-free and not tested on animals, this product has a natural foaming agent in it called sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, not to be confused with SLS. Initially, this shampoo weighed my hair down but after several days, my scalp’s natural oils adjusted. The smell is definitely more invigorating than I might want out of a shampoo, but that’s just the argan oil doing its thing.

3. Shikai Henna Gold Highlighting Shampoo, $8
Shikai has been around for 40 years and, unlike some of its competitors, the brand has always offered up outstanding products to its consumers and those that know. Moreover, all of the shampoos sold through The Vitamin Shoppe, like this one, contain no sulfates–period (even anti-lice shampoos).  I have been using this product for the past five days and I really think it’s a contender. I actually might end up purchasing the conditioner as well, as I think it will help protect my blonde tresses from the elements.

4. Dermorganic Conditioning Shampoo Sulfate Free & Color Safe w/Argan Oil, $16
I really thought I was saving myself five bucks in purchasing this product but instead, I ended up giving my hair a headache. This in no way compares to the Agadir, and I have thus come to fully understand the meaning of certified now. While this shampoo smells far better than Agadir’s, it lacks the staying power that its competitor delivers. In my opinion, if you are looking to achieve really straight hair, this would be the best choice for you.

In short, each of these sulfate-free shampoos is going to treat your strands differently than mine–everyone is different. But the bottom line is that, no matter the brand you choose, you are not running the risk of stripping away all of your hair’s natural oils, nor are you using a product commonly used to clean carpets and your bathroom sink. If your skin or scalp feels better once you make the sulfate-free switch, you may also want to look into changing your lotions and toothpaste, many of which also contain SLS. There are more conscientious companies out there than you think that do not cheat their customers by using harsh chemicals for profit. Good luck in your search!

–LIZ HOFFMANN
Share

MAKE.LOVE.NOT.WAR DEBUTS IN PHILLY


Remember how excited we were about VG’s very own Sarah Muhl showcasing the first collection for her line Make.Love.Not.War? Well, we’re back to report on the results. I was fortunate enough to attend the event in Philadelphia and believe me, I was smitten by what I saw.


The show itself was hosted by the Philadelphia Design Initiative and took place at 32 Degrees Luxe Lounge in Old City. It goes without saying that putting on a runway show is not easy, and when it takes place in such tight space it takes some real talent to pull off. However, the whole show went off without a hitch. The girls entered the room from behind a curtain and walked the entire length of the elongated bar, literally brushing by spectators as they made their way down; it was really a rare pleasure to be able to see the garments from such a close perspective.


Simply put, Sarah’s girls are clean and chic. The dresses were flirty, with a touch of 50s snuck in, and the tops were elegant, stand-alone pieces that would even pair perfectly with jeans. My personal favorites were the cream colored sheer shirt with built-in neck bow and the amazing, luxurious pair of rust pajama-style pants. But as a whole, the entire M.L.N.W. line was no-nonsense, well-made, classy clothing.

Congrats, Sarah! We can’t wait to see what you do next.
–JEN CARDILLO
Share

TRENDING: LONG AND LUXURIOUS EVENING GLOVES


Few accessories, or articles of clothing for that matter, are able to ooze both class and sex appeal like a pair of long, luscious gloves. Also known as opera length gloves, these glamorous gauntlets have been a favorite of old Hollywood icons like Marilyn MonroeElizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, all of whom fit the highly regarded sassy standard (classy + sexy).


That said, after revisiting the fall 2011 RTW collections of LanvinMaison Martin Margiela and NYC Fashion Week darling Prabal Gurung, one can easily discern that these design houses have gathered a heavy dose of inspiration from such lovely ladies–and polished Parisian stylingin general. Maison Martin even took the trend one step further by creating a shirt with BUILT-IN gloves. While not necessarily for everyone, it looks pretty darn bad-ass and is currently on my pipe dream of a fashion wish list.

This fall, long and lovely glove options abound for both the lux lady and the frugal fashionista. However, for those looking for a true classic, going the vintage route is definitely your best bet. Here are our favorite picks for keeping those pinkies toasty and tasteful–along with a few amazing arm candy investment pieces as well:


1. Kenneth Cole Leather Patch Long Kint Gloves, $68*
2. Lanvin Crystal Embellished Leather Gloves, $1,965*
3. MMM Sweater with Leather Glove, $1,348
4. AllSaints Kinsley Long Leather Gloves, $85*
5. Leg Avenue Extra Long Satin Gloves, $3
6. Tiffany Opera Flair Gloves, $325* (sigh… )
7. Vintage 60s Pink Long Evening Gloves, $25 (from Paris!)
8. Vintage White Opera Gloves, $30

*Items pictured

Runway images provided courtesy of style.com; images of Audrey, Elizabeth and Marilyn are provided courtesy of viliflik.wordpress.com, acertaincinema.com and glamamor.com
–NATALIE OPSITNICK
Share

TREND-SPOTTING IN THE RETRO WORLD OF NORMA KAMALI


The spring 2012 Norma Kamali lookbook is as gloriously retro as it gets. Seeing as though I am head-over-heels in love with the oftentimes overlooked 1930s, I simply couldn’t have been happier browsing through this new collection. And I don’t think I’m alone. Retro lovers like myself can’t seem to peel themselves away from their laptops as they treat themselves to a peek at Kamali’s 3-D video, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before all of these gorgeous goodies sell out…


So, let’s take a little walk-through and see what spring 2012 has in store for us in the red-lipped, cat-eyed world of Kamali. First of all, generally speaking, spring is full of fringed layers. But, unlike back in the 30s, Kamali’s take on fringe isn’t just tossed over tank dresses; it makes its way onto pants, blouses, bathing suits and miniskirts too. Continuing on, stripes are also back again (not sure they ever really left, actually). Here, Norma favors chicly thin, black and white stripes that are so beautiful it almost hurts. I really did dare to think that this was a motif on its way out for the coming year; first came the wave of medium-sized navy and white stripes, then the stripes got colorful, but I really have yet to spot stripes as thin and as refined as these.


Of course, we’ve all heard about how big polka dots are for this season and for next. Here, Norma shows us just how big (literally) polka dots should be. Ever toiled with the idea of mixing dots with stripes? Norma sure thinks it’s a fine idea, and we certainly agree. These pairs of bell-bottom capris are paired perfectly–and unexpectedly so–with these adorable cropped polka dot tops. Love it!

And now, finally, sequins. Sequins have been on many a trend list for quite some time now, and believe me… I had my doubts. That is, until now. My favorite Kamali Spring 2012 looks have to be the ones bearing the polka dot sequined patterns—that’s two trends in one, ladies! Impressive.

Photos provided courtesy of wwd.com
–DIANA MAMLIEVA
Share