Category Archives: JEAN CANDIDO

IT’S A WRAP: OUR 2011 HOLIDAY WISH LIST RUNDOWN

Call it love, call it lust, call it what you will, but this year’s holiday wishlist, at least on our part, can only be described as no holds barred because… well, this is a wish list, isn’t it? The following are all items that would, in a ‘utopian’ society, be born from the fruits of our loins and exist (in our closets and homes) in perfect harmony: a melding of sweet and sour, leather and lace and practical and impractical.

So, take a peek into the musings of our collective mind, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the perfect gift for that special somebody in your life–yourself included!


NATALIE:
1. D.L. & CoSkull Cased Candle $115
2. AllSaints Laurels Crew Tee, $65
3. Diptyque BAISE Candle,$60
4. Miss Patina Evening Sleigh Ride Dress, $119
5. Ruche Marquess Polka Dot Lace Top, $40
6. Urban OG Oxford Canvas Boots, $29
7. AllSaints Python Curse Scarf, $95
8. Up by Jawbone Wristband, $99
9. Low Luv by Erin Wasson Armour Knuckle Ring in Gold, $56
10. Free People Leather Mini Skirt, $99
11. Angelique Houtkamp Linedrawing Book, $60
12. Topshop Petite Faux Fur Nylon Parka, $196
13. Balmain Stars and Stripes Leather Jacket, $12,933 (again, this IS a wish list)


JEAN:
1. Umbrella Heaven ‘Pagoda’ Umbrella, $70
2. IMPROVD Chelsea Funnel Neck Sweatshirt, $139
3. Prada Candy Shower Gel, $42
4. Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup by Gabriela Hernandez, $37
5. nOir Jewelry Phillipe the Parrot Ring, $175
6. Deborah Lippmann Trendsetter Set, $35
7. Fifi Lapin Hop Like an Egyptian Print, $20
8. Nubian Heritage Black Soap, $4


STEPHANIE:
1. KBS Longship Black and White Soap, $6
2. Less and More Wooden Cosmetic Organizer, $140
3. Tomorrow is Forever Vintage 1950s Evening Dress, $160
4. Clam Lab Raw Chocolate Teapot, $150
5. LW Vintage Lavender and Gold Murano Glass Table Lighter, $58
6. Take Off Your Clothes Tarpaulin Cocoon, $149
7. Monserat de Lucca Brass Lighter Ring, $63
8. The Conversation by Jean Michel and Milton Glaser, $95

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A TREAT FOR THE SENSES: HYLO BOUTIQUES’ HOLIDAY EVENT


Come take a peek, a whiff, a listen and a taste of the best of what Philadelphia artisans have to offer at HyLo Boutiques’ fabulous high-end Holiday event on Thursday, December 15th. Entitled Treat Your Senses, this is one fashionable fête that should not be missed, proudly featuring items from ‘hyperlocal’ (lovin’ that term) Philly hotspots like Duke & Winston and Etsy all-star Peg and Awl (among many others, see above). Take our word for it–you will find yourself falling for uber-unique finds faster than you can say gift card.

Might we mention, too, that treating far-off friends and relatives to a scrumptious snippet of what the City of Brotherly Love has to offer (outside of the realms of cheesesteak and Eagles gear), is a no-fail, non-boring, guaranteed-Holiday-smile-maker. Pretty sure that’s the technical term. For those interested in attending the event, please RSVP to info@hyloboutiques.com. Happy hunting, we’ll see y’all there!

Hylo Boutiques is a Philly-based fashion and design collective showcasing the best of what the city has to offer. Read more.

–JEAN CANDIDO
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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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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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A SWEET ‘N SOUR ECO-SCENT: LAVANILA’S VANILLA GRAPEFRUIT FRAGRANCE


I will be the first to admit that I love the smell and taste of vanilla. It’s pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t. It’s so warm and sweet and… pleasant. However, I do take issue with people who walk around smelling like drawer of stale sugar cookies and think it’s normal. For fear of this dismal fate, I prefer to mix my vanilla-scented products with something floral to offset the whole ‘good enough to eat’ thing. Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal. It’s just that, sometimes, the smell can be a little overwhelming, and I like to add a bit more depth by mixing in additional scents with edible aromas (same goes for coconut).

But with Lavanilla’s Vanilla Grapefruit Fragrance ($58/1.7oz), I don’t have to do that. The tart little kick of the fruit offsets the warm yumminess of the vanilla so perfectly that the fragrance is as fresh as it is appealing. With this scent, you don’t end up smelling like your grandmother’s kitchen (however wonderful that may smell), you end up smelling like a woman who is equal parts sweet and sour. Now, who doesn’t fall for that kind of delicious metaphorical harmony? Let’s just say, I slather this stuff on like it’s goin’ out of style–the travel-friendly roller-ball is a permanent staple in my purse.

Added bonus: This product is all-natural and infused with pure essential oils and vitamin-rich Goji Berry and Kakadu Plum.

Product images provided courtesy of beautybar.com
–JEAN CANDIDO
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STEAL HER STYLE: NICOLETTE GRANT

Yes, that’s right, VG is going where many have not dared go before: to the pseudo-liberated polygamist compound. How’s that for a style niche? For those of you who are fans of the show Big Love, you know that Chloë Sevigny’s character on the show, Nicolette Grant, is by far the most interesting fashion-wise, as she embodies this mystifying combination of a woman who is at the same time self-assured yet prudishly restrained, all wrapped up in what I like to call modern commune couture. And, for once, ‘couture’ may even be the appropriate term here (!), as I’m pretty sure the majority of those ruffled button-down ‘western’ tops of Nicki’s are not from Anthropologie, but actually made by hand and especially for her. At least I like to think so…


Is it so wrong that I sometimes envy Nicolette Grant’s style? Or that I admire it at all? Sure, the fact that Chloë Sevigny portrays Nicki doesn’t hurt–the woman could throw on a chicken feed sack and probably still look good. But part of me can’t help but think that Sevigny wouldn’t be in this role to being with if she didn’t take some sort of pleasure in wearing the character. She knows. There is a grey area where the beliefs of the hedonist and those of the devout moralist meet, and it’s at the idea of how things that are so ‘wrong’ subsequently feel (and, in this case, look) so good. I suppose I feel the same way about Nicki’s style. It’s so out-there, prim-prairie-girl-princess, it’s… perfect. It looks… good? Would I wear a head-to-toe Nicki-inspired look? Um, probably not. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t happily take a style hint or two from her. With that in mind, we have corralled a batch of items here which evokes everything there is to love about the infamous Ms. Grant without forcing the style gods to consider bringing on the end of days. Remember, this is more about inspiration than imitation.


If there’s one thing we can give props to Nicolette for, it’s getting fit down pat, and this is partially why her look works. But if you want to emulate her, you must modernize at least one facet of the ensemble. For example, take a pair of brown or denim shorts and pair with a tucked-in, buttoned-up blouse + leggings + a pair of cowboy boots. Remember, too, that remaining covered up is key, but playing with this season’s peek-a-boo trend is a fun way to keep it sexy and relevant, so throw in a pair of sheer tights or a top with cutouts while you’re at it. You could also go for a floral maxi + boots + a simple white top + fitted blazer, topped off with urban-inspired accessories. The possibilities are endless.

The integral parts of Nicki’s style are a soft, earth-toned color palette, subtle floral motifs and demure denim. Other key items to remember: cowboy boots (browns only), maxi skirts of any kind and, of course, the button-up. What would Nicki’s style be without the button-up? In fact, I may have to deem it her signature. This season, I love how savvy gals are going for a fully buttoned-up oxford and topping it off with a choker or southwestern-vibed neck candy. Super chic.

Finally, we simply cannot overlook the piece-de-résistance of the whole shebang: the French braid. Nicki can rock the hell out of a French braid, and that protruding frontal poof is kind of amazing, no? Not really into returning to the joys of your early 90s childhood gymnastics class? Go for a subtle side braid instead. Again, literal translation is what you want to shy away from, it’s all about putting your own spin on the guiding principle here–pun intended.


1. A Wear Suedette Blazer, $90
2. Mikael Aghal Belted Printed Shirt Dress, $82* (on sale)
3. Pepe Jeans Winter Floral Maxi Skirt, $126
4. American Apparel Pinpoint Long Sleeve Button-Up, $58*
5. Frye Billy Tall Boot, $298*
6. Vanessa Bruno Nude Buttons-Front Top, $142 (on sale)
7. Beth Graham Silk Blouse, $210*
8. Marc by Marc Jacobs Titan Gold Double Breasted Silk Top, $250*
9. Tony Lama Kaitlyn Crystal Belt, $76* (on sale)
10. Polo Ralph Lauren Brown Tooled Leather Belt, $300*
11. Aldo Pompa Boot, $150

*Items pictured above

Photos of Chloë provided courtesy of hbo.com
–JEAN CANDIDO
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