Monthly Archives: November 2011

STYLE DIRECTION: PLEIN SUD


Hot mamas, have I got a label for you: Plein Sud, the primary focus of my personal fashion fantasies du jour. Plein Sud is a label that seeks to capture the allure of the Southern French woman (sud = south), that magnetic feline who exudes a special mélange of warmth, elegance, and sensuality. Just get a load of model Olga Sherer for the brand’s fall/winter 2011 ad campaign—I think you’ll get my drift.

Founded by the uber-talented and innovative designer Fayçal Amor (born and raised in Morocco, studied in Paris) in 1986, Plein Sud quickly became known for Amor’s innovative approach to establishing a fully integrated, unique brand and brand image by taking painstaking efforts to incorporate inventive dying processes, partner up with local textile mills, manufacture innovative fabrics and, ultimately, fully integrate the label’s design process, from manufacturing to marketing. Now that’s the most impressive breed of productive control freak-sim this side of Giorgio Armani. Kudos, Fayçal, kudos.


Given the oftentimes prominent North African influence in France, especially in Southern France, and the latter’s close proximity to Morocco, the rich mix of inspiration as a result of Amor’s past and present as a designer becomes clear, and I think I speak for myself and many, many others when I say… it’s smokin’ hot. The vibe is sort of an exotic yet familiar relaxed elegance that is infused with a sexy sense of worldliness.

Plein Sud’s prices, much like my other favorite French brand, Carven, fall into the ‘almost affordable’ category (although you can find a lot on sale): pieces that reach beyond my budget but which are close enough to the target to where I could, theoretically, save my ass off to eventually attain them. Oh yeah… about that. Plein Sud is basically only available for in-store purchase in France and in Soho, but you can definitely score a selection of items online via StylebopYOOX and Shopbop. The label’s diffusion line, Plein Sud Jeanius, is also pretty worthy of your wallet. Here’s a roundup of my personal favorites, all available for purchase right now, for those of you looking to get in on the action. This winter, head south. At least fall deep into the fantasy of transporting yourself in that direction.

1. Deep V Blazer w/Chiffon Overlay, $563 (on sale)
2. Cashmere Sweater, $115 (on sale)
3. Wool Cardigan, $175
4. Short Sleeve T-Shirt, $125 (on sale)
5. Knee-Length Skirt, $95 (on sale)
6. Ink Draped Jersey Dress, $535
7. Basic Silk Top, $525
8. Beige Draped Jersey Dress, $535

Images provided courtesy of howdoshop.com
–JEAN CANDIDO
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NINO BRAND’S FALL 2011 COLLECTION DESIGNED BY BELA SHEHU


Our wildest fashion fantasies have been realized through the everyday wearable, modern day separates presented in designer Bela Shehu‘s fall 2011 collection for NINO Brand, a hauntingly beautiful and well-thought-out selection of elegant floor-length dresses, exaggerated hemline cloaks and simple, smart separates any woman would be ecstatic to call her very own. This collection keeps consistent with those presented in seasons past in that it possesses the superb craftsmanship and finite attention to detail we have now come to expect from Shehu.


This visual interpretation of the fall 2011 NINO Brand collection is presented by Jason Blake with an accompanying fashion film by Eric Ashleigh. Makeup and hair design are by Kat Sterrett and the girl who got to wear it all, is none other than VG’s own Sarah Muhl. It’s a hell of a visual journey—we hope you enjoy it.

–JEAN CANDIDO & STEPHANIE KAO
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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: YUMA BELLA


Emerging talent and accessories designer Yuma Bella’s unique makeup bags straddle the line between function and classic fashion in the best of possible ways, topped with a fun, ‘futuristic’ twist. In fact, the designer’s eye for unconventional texture and brilliant, energetic color has recently landed her third collection right into a coveted spot with exclusive retailer Sephora.

Yuma Bella’s easy to clean carryall doubles as colorful clutch and the unexpected shapes are excellent for snuggly fitting in larger items that you just can’t leave home without. With a parade of holiday parties just around the corner, the small gold clutch is our easy go-to favorite–ideal for stashing all of your beauty essentials in celebratory style.

All images provided courtesy of yumabella.com
–JOEY LYNN ACOSTA
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INSPIRATION FOUND: LANA DEL REY


Lana Del Rey (née Lizzie Grant) has been getting quite a bit of attention lately in the blog-o-sphere, both for her looks and her for music. She’s the newly proposed ‘it’ girl who music critics love to hate and who fashionable females die to emulate. Del Rey’s throaty voice is unmistakable, especially when paired with downright dirty, Lolita-esque lyrics that add all the more to the mystery behind this woman. After just one listen to Lana’s new single, Video Games, I was instantly hooked—and, admittedly, nearly moved to tears. It’s one of those songs that shakes you to the soul, with, in my opinion, nearly perfect lyrics and musical arrangement to boot.


But whether her melodies strike a proverbial chord with you or not, Miss Del Rey’s style is undeniably on-point and H.O.T. The self-proclaimed “gangster Nancy Sinatra” exudes the perfect mix of 50s lounge singer meets 70s flower child, with a pinch of punk thrown in for good measure. That said, most of her wardrobe consists of vintage, or vintage-inspired pieces, providing ample opportunity to experiment and create looks that are one-of-a-kind and all your own.


For true LDR style, just remember to stick with power period pieces as your starting point– simple shifts, cut-off shorts, tour tees and floral accessories galore. Now, let’s get you out of those old clothes, kitten, and see you slipping into something more comfortable…


1. Rebel Yell Hollywood Rocker Tee, $48*
2. Coco de Coeur Bad Girls Don’t Cry Tee, $35
3. Grey Antics High Rise Denim Shorts, $20*
4. Forever 21 Flower Hair Clips, $1.50* (buy every color!)
5. This Vintage Thing Chunky Gold Chain Necklace, $15
6. Nadanuff Mod Chunky Chain Necklace, $10*

*Items pictured above
–NATALIE OPSITNICK
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STEAL HER STYLE: LADY SAGITTARIUS


Mid-November is officially upon us and as the days dominated by sultry Scorpios roll on out, it’s time we start to make way for those dedicated to feisty fire sign Sagittarius. Restless, honest, optimistic and outgoing, everyone’s gotta love a Sag. In fact, we’d like to use our centaur friends as the starting point to kickoff VG’s new series of astrology-inspired outfits. Why, you ask? Because it’s fun, that’s why. Whether you’re a believer or not, who doesn’t get at least a teeny bit of amusement out of astrology? So, go ahead–dare to channel your inner aventurier, because this is one astrological ami that likes to keep things interesting.

The Sagittarius gal is often on the go. She is worldly and loves to travel, so a chic passport holder and a practical yet stylish go-to carry-all bag, like this ‘Voyage’ Satchel from Marc by Marc Jacobs, to house all her travel essentials is a must; our Sag friends are always poised and ready to hit the road unexpectedly, as spontaneity is their middle name. That said, fashionable functionality is also something that will rub your beloved Sag the right way. Look for two-in-ones like this pretty little solid perfume necklace by Clinique that doubles as an accessory and an easily portable scent. Also, pick out garments with plenty of pockets. The Sagittarius is practical in this way. This Sleeveless Pocket Dress by label Joseph is perfect. Lest we forget, too, that comfort is also key. Unlike fellow fires signs Leo and Aries, who tend to be a bit more… flamboyant when it comes to fashion, Sag isn’t necessarily wild about sacrificing comfort for style, so be sure to pick out footwear that is as comfy as it is cute—the latter is certainly important (Sag’s are definitely self-aware), just not the dominant factor. These Knee-High Boots w/Buckle Detail by Gianni Bini achieve an ideal balance between style and function, as do Hunter’s Boot Buckle Mid Calf Rain Boots—possibly the sexiest pair of wellies we’ve laid eyes on in a while.

Ever the world traveler, you can always please a Sag by offering up some ethnic-inspired jewelry (which has all but saturated the market right now—no excuses!), but we are also in love with this Arrow Drop Necklace by House of Harlow 1960, which nods to the centaur, the half-man/half-horse symbol of Sagittarius who is almost always depicted wielding his bow and arrow. If you’re not really digging the solid perfume necklace, you can also opt for an exotic, travel-friendly roll-on scent like Dyptique’s Eau de Tarocco, which appears to be the quintessential glob-trotter’s dream scent, reminiscent of the ‘Mediterranean in winter and the freshness of fruit plucked from trees, combining sweet Italian Tarocco orange, Florida orange and Bulgarian rose.’

When it comes to color, rich blues and purples are those most closely associated with Sagittarius—especially deep purple tones like the eggplant shade in this beautiful Robert Rodriguez Silk-Chiffon Dress. Sag is also ruled by the hips, thighs, and pelvic area (yes, every sign is associated with a region of the body), made all too clear by sexy Sag and mouth-dropping muse for Nicolas Ghesquière, Jennifer Connelly, in an ad campaign for Balenciaga a couple years back. We think these shots of Connelly illustrate the best of what bold Sagittarian hips can buy. Damn.

And, finally, when it comes to beauty accents, go classic–just be sure as all hell not to go boring. The Sagittarius woman loathes boring. A rich red is always a no-fail; go for shades that are practical in that they never go out of style, but also ones that make a statement. Again, versatility is an important quality for the Sag gal, and this ‘Lady is a Tramp’ Signature Red by Deborah Lippmann is about as bold and tasteful as versatility gets.

So, in the end, whether you’re looking to emulate a Sag or you just happen to have one at the top of your Holiday gift list, we hope that you can use this little celestial, centaur-centered story as a guide in your quest for Sagittarius fabulosity, regardless of the place you personally occupy in the zodiac.


1. Clinique Aromatics Elixir Solid Perfume Necklace, $65
2. Deborah Lippmann ‘Lady is a Tramp’ Classic Signature Red, $16
3. Gianni Bini ‘Brooks’ Buckle Details Knee High Boots, $150
4. Joseph Kenya Sleeveless Pocket Dress, $213
5. Hunter Boot Buckle Mid-Calf Rain Boot, $195
6. Diptyque L’Eau de Tarocco Roll-On Cologne, $48
7. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Newbury Passpsort Cover, $48*
8. Marc by Marc Jacobs Voyage Satchel, $498
9. House of Harlow 1960 Arrow Drop Necklace, $80
10. Robert Rodriguez Printed Sik-Chiffon Dress, $141

*Not pictured

Photo of Jennifer provided courtesy of popcrunch.com
–JEAN CANDIDO
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GREENRIDGE ORGANICS: A NEW TRUSTED NAME IN ORGANIC BEAUTY

Most of us think that in order to have beautiful and younger looking skin, we need to spend a fortune on countless brand name moisturizers, tonics and eye treatments. Well, that’s what I used to think… until the day I was introduced to Greenridge Organics by a friend of mine from yoga class.

I had been complaining about my recent discovery of harsh chemicals contained in beauty products, and how some of these chemicals are linked to diseases–cancer being among them. She then proceeded to tell me about a small organic company based in Florida called Greenridge Organics, and the rest was history. I went directly home and placed my first order on the spot. This was two years ago and since then, I haven’t dared to put anything else on my face. Each product is handmade with organic ingredients and comes in a glass jar. The best part is, when reading off the ingredients listed in each product, you’ll easily identify a wide array of oils, herbs and flowers with no unexpected surprises.


As of now, I have tried almost every product from the brand’s online store, and if I had to recommend just one product from Greenridge, it’d have to be the Calendula Primrose Face Cream. It’s a winner. It’s a pink moisturizer that contains glorious ingredients like primrose, red rasberry, calendula, pumpkin seed, helichrysum and high level of Vitamin E. As most of you well know, Vitamin E is known for its skin repairing qualities, so if you have damaged skin, you’ve met your perfect match with this product. I use the Primrose Face Cream the most during dry seasons since it’s very oily; in the summer, this product is a bit too strong for me. That said, when the spring/summer season hits, I usually use the Chamomile Rose Face Cream as my ultimate go-to, which is a bit less oily and beneficial for all skin types. As for eye treatments, I swear by the Carrot Seed Eye Renewal Treatment and highly recommend this stuff to treat wrinkles and dark circles around the eyes.

Another amazing thing about Greenridge Organics is that you can actually create your own face cream. My mother used to tell me that, back in the day, she could go to any drug store and ask the pharmacist to concoct a custom-made moisturizer. Since every skintype is different, the buyer could simply request the ingredients she would like included in her custom face cream. I was amazed with this idea, and recently discovered that Greenridge added this option. You can go to the official website, choose your skintype, booster, plant hydrosol, emulsifier (certified organic beeswax or vegetable emulsifying wax), essential oils, and then you can even choose the name of your creation. I haven’t tried it yet since it’s the fall/winter season and I am in love with my oily Primrose Face Cream at the moment, but if you would like to create your very own face cream, click here. Or, if you’re not sure which one to get, you can try the Face Cream Sampler’s Kit to narrow down the right choice for your skin.


Whichever product you choose, I assure that your skin will thank you for it. These products are organic with zero chemicals, they’re handmade, they smell absolutely irresistible! What else could you possibly ask for?! Oh, and most importantly, compared  to other beauty brands, Greenridge Organics is pretty affordable. You are officially out of excuses when it comes to not placing an order. Do it! This is a no regrets investment your skin will be sure to return.

–DUYGU DURMUS
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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: ZIVILE PUPINYTE DEBUTS ‘SCREWED FOREVER’


This Friday, designer Zivile Pupinyte will present her latest collection of unisex jewelry at Gravers Lane Gallery in Chestnut Hill, PA. The collection recognizes the reality of a world in which we are all connected and influenced by one other, no matter how brief or intricate our relationships may be. Zivile believes that these mutual daily interactions leave an everlasting mark on our individual existence and that whether we are bonded by love, family genetics, or simply the exchange of friendly glances, our coexisting synergies shape who we are regardless of where we come from.

The Screwed Forever collection is for everyone. Each piece is individually assembled to provide a uniqueness that is influenced by none other than the people who have touched Zivile’s own life. These works of wearable art make the perfect statement gift for loved ones on your list for the upcoming holiday season and can be created with any precious metal and/or be embellished with stones and diamonds upon request.

The showcase will also feature an artistic installation piece by Zivile that aims to convey the true meaning of connectivity within our individual beings while also recreating awareness of the human bond. The event is the first presentation of this unparalleled collection and is part of a North American series of events for Zivile which aims not only to display her beautiful creations but to aid us in reconnecting the ties that bind humanity. This must-see event is free and open to the public and will also offer up refreshments and hors d’oeuvres provided by local establishments. Don’t you dare miss the chance to witness the world premier of this very special collection.

Visit ziv-a.com for more information
–SARAH MUHL
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