Category Archives: NATALIE OPSITNICK

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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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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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
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THREE FALL TRENDS TO TRY NOW: SAPPHIRE, SNAKESKIN AND… CREEPERS?

Sapphire and snakeskin and creepers, oh my! This fall is stocked full of fun trends; and, if you play your cards right, you can even rock ‘em all at once. The key, as always, is to not overdo it–let one piece do most of the talking. Read on for a taste of our top picks, from savvy and sassy to pricey and punchy.


SAPPHIRE
Maybe we’re all still in state of blue bliss from the royal wedding; or, maybe designers have simply come to the realization that sapphire looks pretty damn gorgeous on just about everyone (us reds and blonds in particular). Whatever the reason, this hue stands out just as well on its own, in apparel form, as it does slapped on a standout accessory. If you’re more daring, pair it with fellow primary colors yellow and/or red for a sweet mod look.

Mulberry Bayswater Electric Blue Bag, $1,150*
Forever 21 Bold Leatherette Handbag, $17*
Nasty Gal Tank, $38*
Alexis Bittar Tapered Bangle, $145
Debenhams Blue Maxi, $55
Paige Denim Roxbury Crop Jeans, $99
Ruche Top, $29
Alexander McQueen Suede Platform Pump (we can all dream), $1,195*
Steve Madden Trasie Platform, $90*


PYTHON
This trend first landed at my feet (literally) in the form of the ever-irresistible Jeffrey Campbell Lita Boot freshly slicked in snakeskin, of course. While the Lita is an investment piece by my standards, I can safely say that these babies go with EVERYTHING, which goes for the whole lot of python pieces in general, actually. Usually, I prefer to pair this print with classic black or cream, but, as far as I’m concerned, the sky’s the limit in terms of color ‘matching’ here. If you decide to throw another print in the mix, be sure to stick to a single one only, while keeping the rest of your outfit neutral.

H&M Wrap Dress, $15*
Kelsi Dagger Greenwich Hobo Bag, $95*
Jeffrey Campbell Python Lita, $170
Topshop Natural Skinny Faux Snakeskin Belt, $28*
AllSaints Python Curse Scarf, $90*
AllSaints Bleach Python Vest, $90*
Chloé Python Print Coat (for the heavy hitter), $1,595*
Wheels and Dollbaby Chinoiserie Bohemian Python Dress, $196 (on sale!)


CREEPERS
Yes, you read correctly: Creepers, as in the low-top Docs you sported back in high school, are back. However, there’s no longer need to sport all black and a sour puss to pull them off, as the fashion gods have immaculately reincarnated our once sullen mate into sleeker and more wearable versions (flatforms, anyone?). The classics are still out there, though, and look anything but dour with the right duds. Heck, I saw a 70+ year-old woman sport a sweet white-on-black pair at the IFB Evolving Influence Conference a couple weeks ago. Now how’s that for versatility? Again, so long as you opt out of piling on ALL of your body chains and harnesses with these shoes, they’ll be good to go with just about anything in your wardrobe.

Jeffrey Campbell Busted Platform, $192*
TUK Creepers in Black, $65*
ASOS Monroe Platform Creeper, $174
TUK BW Creeper, $60*
ASOS Mystery Monk Creeper, $64*
Jeffrey Campbell Oxford Creeper (not for the accident-prone), $169
ModCloth Go for Brogue Platform, $152*

*Items pictured
–NATALIE OPSITNICK
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NEW YORK FASHION WEEK’S BEST IN SHOW

Narrowing down excellence certainly wasn’t easy, but someone’s gotta do it. Check out who rocked our worlds the hardest on the runways of New York Fashion Week. Which designers grabbed your attention the most?

All Spring/Summer 2012 Collection photos provided courtesy of style.com unless otherwise indicated.

NATALIE: OSCAR DE LA RENTA, BETSEY JOHNSON, CUSHNIE ET OCHS


NATALIE & STEPHANIE: JEREMY SCOTT

STEPHANIE: MARCHESA photos courtesy of vogue.com, SUNO photos courtesy of vogue.com

JEAN & STEPHANIE: ZAC POSEN

JEAN: HONOR photos courtesy of nymag.com, J.MENDEL

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FIND YOUR FASHION: THE PHILADELPHIA COLLECTION 2011


All you fellow ‘Phashionistas’ out there have probably caught wind of the major buzz surrounding the second installment of The Philadelphia Collection. Coinciding with Center City Restaurant Week from September 12-24th, The Philadelphia Collection will comprise of a series of independently produced events–from fashion shows and expert discussion panels to boutique specials and trunk shows. Recently, VG had the chance to pick the brains of Melanie Johnson and Michelle Shannon, the visionaries behind TPC, to get a more personal view of what it all means–not only to them, but to our City of Sisterly Affection as well.

When someone utters the words Philadelphia fashion scene, what are the first thoughts that come to your mind?
MJ: Vibrant, eclectic, bountiful, and fun.
MS: Diverse, ever-changing, ever-expanding, authentic, independent, and energetic.

In your opinion, do you see the scene in Philly evolving within the next five or ten years? How far has it come? Where do you personally shop in Philadelphia?
MJ: The scene has evolved so quickly over the past ten years that I can only see it growing and getting bigger and better within the next five to ten. I think we as a city are very good at attracting unique talents to our retail market, and when upscale retailers get to know our shoppers, they follow. Where I choose to shop in Philadelphia depends both on my mood and what I desire at the time. Some days, I may feel like going to eclectic and funky boutiques, while on other days I’ll tend to stay more mainstream and classic. Whatever my heart fancies, Philly has it all.
MS: I think, within the next five to ten years, our fashion scene will only continue to blossom. Over the past twenty years, Philadelphia’s Center City and its adjacent neighborhoods have exploded with residential, cultural, and culinary establishments. Philadelphia has also become a more affordable artistic outpost when compared to the illustrious New York City. All of these factors have made it a very desirable location for young, creative people–fashion designers and retailers, alike. In addition, we are presently investigating various programs that will encourage designers to remain in Philadelphia.

What was your creative vision when you first conceived of the Philadelphia Collection? Has the end result done justice to that initial vision?
MJ: The vision was to take what was already happening in Philadelphia in terms of fashion and retail initiatives and create a marketing umbrella to help promote these events in order to strengthen Philadelphia’s place on the fashion map. This is all part of a larger goal to showcase the City of Philadelphia as a fashion and style destination, where we can attract visitors and retailers into the city to see just how much is happening here.
MS: While there is always an opportunity to change and expand the event, I believe that it does exactly what we intended, which is to shine the spotlight on Philadelphia’s fashion industry and bring additional foot traffic and sales to our boutiques.

What advice would you give those of us who are looking to jump-start a fashion-related project in Philadelphia?
MJ: Remain true to your passions and identity, but also be aware of your target market. I would also suggest attending as many Philadelphia Collection events as possible to see what works (and how), and to gather creative ideas for your future event. Take advantage of the panel discussions for expert advice in various fields of the fashion industry. It’s also great for networking and finding possible partners for collaborations.
MS: Call us! We’re a wonderful resource and we can help connect you with the right people. There is room for everyone here! We have so much happening that every new project, boutique, or designer just fuels our fire!

And finally, who are your favorite fashion designers and how do they inspire you?
MS: Globally, I love Chanel and Valentino. I believe that their pieces, particularly their accessories, are true works of art. Locally, I recently purchased two gorgeous pieces from Carmelita Couture that are amazingly feminine yet edgy. I also love Paula Hian, Sarah van Aken, and Irina Sigal, all of whom are equally fabulous!

For a full listing of the 75+ Philadelphia Collection events happening around the city, please visit the TPC website.  And, of course, if you happen to see us out and about, don’t hesitate to come give a fashionable hello.

Image provided courtesy of thephiladelphiacollection.org
–NATALIE OPSITNICK
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TREND POLICE: WHY WE’RE READY TO MOVE AWAY FROM…

An integral part of the fashion industry, trends will come and go. Some we love, some we hate, and some… while fabulous for a period of time, start to wear on us after a bit. We’re only human. So here we have for you a selection of five tired trends to close out the summer season. Fall is almost here, it’s time to move on…


Designer Friendship Bracelets
Three words:  MAKE YOUR OWN. Wasn’t that always the point of these things anyway? Now, go spend that $250 on a pair of multi-colored flatforms that you won’t wear in three months, if at all…
Chan Luu Braided Wrap Bracelet, $168


Over-The-Top Statement Necklaces
A hard one to swallow—even for us. Ladies, why must some of you find it necessary to detract from your beautiful faces by donning giant jewels that look as if they just escaped from Flava-Flav‘s pimp valut? Ok, I admit, some of them are indeed pretty damn cool looking, and maybe this is just another case of me growing weary of hearing the word ‘statement’ uttered before every fashion-related noun out there. On the flip side, I’m really loving all of the accessory layering going on lately. It’s a fresh way to truly personalize your look, as you can pretty much pull all pieces from your own collection, and it works really well with the Native American and 70s-inspired pieces hitting stores this season.
Photo credit.


Ombré Hair
We all went though our punk phase. That time when we wanted to be different, and, henceforth, decided to home-bleach/kill and Manic Panic our hair. Now, you’re telling me this is in Vogue (literally)? Sure, it was cute when it first hit the glossies, but, at this point, I don’t really see the difference between this trend and letting your color fade out about six to nine months longer than recommended. Actually, if you really want to, just do that–it’s cheaper.
Photo credit.


“Color Blocking”
Hey, how about I pair this pink skirt with a green top and maybe some goldenrod platform loafers? BAM: color blocking. OR… the latest window display at Limited Too? Your choice. Either way, I’m gosh darn tired of hearing a term that has come simply to mean you decided to dress in something other than grey-scale. Good for you!
Photo credit.


Daily Outfit Blogs… and That’s It
Ok, this last one is a delicate subject, and yes, this is not technically your run-of-the-mill sartorial trend, but a trend nonetheless. Now, of course we don’t want to diss fellow bloggers and all you fabulous fashionistas out there whose inexplicably diverse wardrobe makes us want to claw our own eyes out. But here’s the thing: In the ever-evolving world of fashion, one would think it to be a woman’s (or man’s, for that matter) principle aim to be, well, an individual? It’s part of the allure of life and of the breaking away from years of hideous high school uniforms. So, to put it quite bluntly, why do we care what the chick down the block wore to Whole Foods yesterday? Not sure? Neither am I, which is why I’ve grown a bit weary of blogs that rely solely on posts of this sort. There are indeed a handful of winners out there, but outside those select few… I don’t think we really care that much anymore.

Agree? Disagree? Something missing? You tell us who or what needs to throw in the towel already. Hey, someone has to be the bad guy in all this, right?

–NATALIE OPSITNICK
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