Stockholm Fashion Week SS17

The Scandi style vibes continue with the wrap up of Stockholm Fashion Week spring/summer '17 last week after three fashion-filled days. There were runway shows, presentations, and events from Scandinavian designers like ATP Atelier and Rodebjer

Just as we saw in Copenhagen, the street style in Stockholm did not disappoint. The aesthetic was simple, feminine, and modern with a focus on unique details like a portrait collar or textured leather. Here is a round up of my favorite street style from the week.

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style study: The Good Wife

Though the TV series, The Good Wife, is now over, its impact on women's workwear will endure. The show's characters - Alicia, Diane, and Kalinda - exemplified how to dress professionally (in a traditionally conservative field, no less) through the lens of different yet all appropriate styles.

“The impact of [this] show is that they’ve taught women ... that clothes are a powerful part of their identity—not to be so shy about clothes, to put themselves out there further and try new things." - Betsy Fisher
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Key vibes that costume designer Daniel Lawson homed in on were strong, feminine, elegant, and powerful. He also relied on how the women felt in the clothing as the characters, notably Kalinda's signature boots. He, along with the leading women, showed us that workwear can be all of those things simultaneously. 

Copenhagen Fashion Week SS17

Copenhagen Fashion Week for spring/summer '17 wrapped on Friday after three days that featured 29 women's and men's fashion labels, including Danish talents like Ganni and Saks Potts.

The fresh, effortless, clean vibe of Copenhagen street style is reflective of Danish fashion, which is a fast-growing market to watch. There is a clear focus on simple cuts, a spare yet impactful use of color, and outerwear.

Copenhagen street style also has drawn increasing attention from fashion mavens worldwide, who flocked to the Danish capital to check out presentations and trade shows for the upcoming season. Here is a round up of my favorite street style from the week.

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summer nail edit

Finding a beauty ritual that you enjoy is a way to pamper yourself and practice self care. One beauty ritual that I enjoy is giving myself a manicure. Sure, I will occasionally splurge and get one professionally done but there is something really satisfying about sitting down, taking some time out of my busy day, and doing it myself.

Here are 4 colors that I am using for my manicures this summer.

1. vivid tomato red

As seen here on the inimitable Marc Jacobs, Nars Dovima is one of my all-time favorite iterations of this hue. Other options include Zoya America and Chanel Gitane.

Meet RGB Camp. This color is a new discovery for me. In fact, I am wearing it right now, at work, and not scandalizing the office. Other options include Zoya Charli and Essie Power Clutch.

It wouldn't be a summer nail edit without a lovely coral like Lauren B. Coral Canyon. Other options include Deborah Lippmann Happy Days and Jin Soon Coral Peony.

This soft, milky, coffee color is TenOverTen Murray. It is a unique neutral that would be flattering on nearly every skin tone. Other options include Tom Ford Sugar Dune and Smith & Cult The Graduate.


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splurge versus save: ankle-wrap city sandals

Happy Friday! When I first saw this simple chic sandal, I was smitten. It would be such a nice complement to my workweek wardrobe, as well as a sleek yet walkable option for evening. All in all - an ideal neutral sandal.

However, the price and my hit or miss experience with the brand gave me pause. Enter this strikingly similar pair at a much lower price point. The time to strike is now!

Which would you choose, the splurge or the save?


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wardrobe hero: the little white dress

The little white dress is a staple in my closet. It always feels fresh. It is a perfect backdrop for statement accessories and a perfect way to highlight simple sophistication.

The little white dress can easily transition from day to night. It looks equally polished with flats and a shoulder bag, as it does with heels and a clutch, as seen on Tamu (left) and Alexa (right).

It is the exact thing I want to reach for on a hot summer day. With temperatures in the high 90s this week, I know my LWD will keep me cool, collected, and confident.

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The ever inspiring Bill Cunningham

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**UPDATED**

The New York Times has reported the passing of the endearing, inimitable Bill Cunningham.

He suffered a stroke and was hospitalized earlier in the week (as reported by Page Six). Last week's issue of the New York Times was the first in decades that did not feature Mr. Cunningham's great eye for New York fashion.

I adored the 2010 documentary that gave us a glimpse into his world. It was such a treat to watch. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it - especially if you are interested in fashion.

He was a legendary fashion anthropologist and seemed to find such joy in documenting it. He has captured fashion's evolution through his street style photographs and was an award-winning contributor to the fashion industry. I will always feel inspired by his joyful spirit with which he pursued his work.

RIP Mr. Cunningham. 

summer style inspiration

Hey there, happy summer! Last week, I spent an enjoyable holiday filled with art, beaches, food, and fun in Miami Beach. I am grateful for the time I had to rest and rejuvenate my spirit!

Today, I am back and sharing some styling ideas that are inspiring my summer style.

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Simplicity

Jenny Walton has an elegant, considered look. As shown here, she wears a simple, trusted combination of a white shirt with black trousers. She adds warmth to the look with her funky wooden bag and tortoiseshell statement earrings. Signature jewelry and sunnies finish off her work-ready outfit.

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LA-based designer, Jenni Kayne demonstrates how to channel that West Coast cool vibe. As shown here, she goes monochrome in all black everything. This perfect weekend outfit is complete with a sliver of jute platforms, a solid, tubular necklace, ochre shades, and a black-dipped bucket bag.

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Feminine

Jeanne Damas is a modern French woman who has a knack for je ne sais quoi style that Francophiles adore. Here she models a pretty floral dress from her newish line, Rouje. Get date night ready, like Jeanne, with a swipe of red on the lips. I would also add some flat leather sandals and a handheld bag as a finishing touch.

Check out my style board on Pinterest for more!

splurge versus save: white v-necks

These shoes caught my eye the other day when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed. They were paired with white, wide-leg pants, a burnt sienna, slim-ribbed t-shirt, and a little lilac bag. It was a super chic look. I was smitten and set out to create a similar look suitable to my style. 

The shoes from my feed are from Celine. It makes perfect sense. Phoebe Philo is the queen of redefining minimal chic and these shoes are exactly that. They are sleek, cool, and a high-end purchase - ringing in at $680. 

I also stumbled across these similar, yet different, Zara mules. They have the same vibe as the Celine pair, with a little lift from a low heel. They are also much more budget friendly at $119. 

Which would you choose, the splurge or the save?

wardrobe hero: the Trina sandal

The Sam Edelman Trina sandal is nothing new but it is a perennial summer sandal favorite of mine.

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It has a low block heel, gilded in a metallic finish, and a comfortable cork insole. The Trina is an all day wearable, walkable sandal. The top of the sandal is simple with a strap across the toes and a buckled strap, to hold the sandal in place, around the ankle. The finishing touches give the sandal an elevated casual feel that pairs well with dresses, pants, and shorts.

It is also budget friendly, ringing in under $150. I've owned a couple pairs of the Trina sandal. Right now, I have it in white and I love its fresh, optic quality. The Trina sandal is also available in black, whiskey (brown), and a putty (taupe)/snake combination.


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brow goals

What can I say, I am pretty much obsessed with eyebrows. I like them full, natural, and youthful. Even on days when I don't wear makeup, I still like to make sure that my eyebrows are groomed. For me, that means using a little brow product to ensure that they stay in place.

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Not too long ago the fun-loving, young beauty brand Glossier released a brow product called Boy Brow that I have been using. It is a soft wax with a tint that comes in three colors - blond, brown, and black. The wand has a small, short brush for more controlled application. I like that it puts the hairs in place but does not have a crunchy, stiff look once it dries. 

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The lead up to the Boy Brow product release got me thinking about my brow shape, well that along with all the images of women with fantastic eyebrows. Honestly, I like the overall size and shape but I felt that they could use a little tweak. I decided to start the slow process of growing them in a bit, specifically the inner part. So far, I have some growth but it is not full yet. I am hoping that after another month or so they will fill in and blend with the rest of my brows. Upwards and outwards!

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my 5 step method to caring for a mansur gavriel bag

My search for the perfect tote coincided with the last relaunch of the Mansur Gavriel website. These coveted handbags are difficult to get - as I understand the restocking event over the summer, which was also called a relaunch sold out in a matter of minutes.

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I had sent a listing of potential tote purchases with images to the Mister for input. Wouldn't you know that he thought that the Mansur Gavriel option was the best looking. So I decided I was going to go for it and hope for the best. I guess it was meant to be mine because I had no problem purchasing one on the day of the fall relaunch. 

When it arrived the initial excitement wore off pretty quickly when I noticed a few small but noticeable oil marks. I was freaking out! I emailed the customer service team to inquire about these marks, with images, and they informed me that this was a natural part of vegetable tanned leather. They further suggested that I could condition the bag and that the marks would definitely blend right in with the rest of the bag. I was really skeptical of their advice but realized that it was either try it or give up on the bag, so I did a little additional research and decided to try it. 

Mise En Place:

  • large work area
  • paper towels/towel
  • soft cloth 
  • hangers
  • baby wipes
  • hydrating mist
  • leather conditioner
  • water repellant
  • sponges

Prep:

Cover your work area with paper towels or a clean cloth. Set out the remaining items for ease of use. 

Steps:

  1. Wipe down bag with baby wipes.

    • The idea is to use something that is gentle yet effective to remove dirt, dust, and general yuckiness from the surface of the bag. I chose a baby wipe with essential oils for an extra nourishing clean. Once the bag is clean, move directly to step 2. 

  2. Spray bag with hydrating mist.

    • This step was the scariest of all for me. The key is to find a mist that sprays fine, to cover the bag with a sheer veil, and to move quickly. I like grape or rose water best. When the bag is moisturized, proceed to step 3. 

  3. Apply a coat of leather conditioner.

    • Use an applicator sponge and smooth a thin even coat of conditioner over the entire bag. It is important to note that there may be dye transfer onto the sponge -- do not worry, it is excess dye and will not damage the bag. The conditioner will leave a slight sheen that was a useful visual for me to know that I did not miss any spots. I chose a milky, all natural liquid conditioner. Use a hanger and let the bag dry overnight before moving to step 4. 

  4. Apply a coat of water repellant.

    • Use an applicator sponge and smooth a thin even layer of water repellant over the entire bag. Again, do not worry about dye transfer onto the sponge -- the bag is going to be just fine. The water repellant will dull the sheen left by the conditioner that was another helpful visual in the process. I picked a thicker, waxy liquid water repellant. Hang the bag and dry it overnight. Then on to the final step. 

  5. Buff bag.

    • Take the soft cloth and gently rub it over the surface of the bag in circular motions. Polishing the bag will reveal the luster of the clean, moisturized, and protected leather achieved through my 5 step method.   

Following the five steps listed, my tote turned out lovely. All of the mentioned oil marks disappeared, and the leather has a luxurious sheen to it. I plan to use this method for routine care and look forward to enjoying my tote for years to come. 

The nail polish you need this winter

I am pleased to share that my collaboration nail polish with Rescue Beauty Lounge is now available to the public! Woohoo!!

Introducing Sanguine. Here is the product description:

The color I crave is a juicy jelly a la Starfish Patrick with a bright, burgundy base. It is luminous, like Poco a Poco, illuminated by the soft, peached pink glow and subtle flashes of orange. The color is vibrant, bold, and spirited. At once bright and sparkling, mysterious and dark”. –Lygie’s craving.

It isn’t technically possible for a jelly to hold shimmers and flashes, so we’ve altered the base to a smooth, gliding, non-streaky mica base, which we punched with sparkles. If peachypolish.com is raspberry, this is its brighter, sparkly cranberry cousin.

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The process began about a year ago when I learned that I was selected as a finalist for the Fan Collection 3.0. It was such a surprise! I submitted my inspiration board on a whim and was thrilled that it grabbed the attention of Ji and the RBL team. 

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An online voting process selects colors that make it into the Rescue Beauty fan collections. The voting process was intense, but I persevered in the end as one of the seven chosen to collaborate on a polish for the 3.0 collection. I am still humbled by how many people supported me and voted for my nail polish dream to be created with a company I admire. 

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Then the fun began. Ji and the RBL team sent over some test samples. It turned out that the formula that I asked for was not technically possible, who knew! However, the test samples sent were so beautiful I was happy to get the chance to experiment with them. You could see how each color drew from my inspiration board - the depth, the luminosity. Eventually, I fell for one - the bright, sparkling beauty seen here. 

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I am probably biased, but this color is pretty perfect for the winter months. The depth of shimmer in this vibrant shade will continue to surprise and delight you. Also, the formula is so smooth and easy to apply - it is (almost) opaque in one coat!

Sanguine is available for purchase at Rescue Beauty Lounge [dot] com. note: Ji recently announced that RBL would be closing by the end of the year, so stock up on Sanguine and other RBL pretties soon!

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splurge versus save: silver platform brogues

I started thinking about platform brogues while I was planning spring/summer shoe purchases. I had noticed them around on the web and the feet of street style stars attending fashion month events. I thought that they looked pretty cool and hunted around to see where and if they were available. I found a few beautiful iterations from Prada, including a flashy silver, but they came with a hefty Prada price tag - ringing in at around $990. 

Not one to be easily deterred, I kept hunting around and came across a pretty similar dupe for the flashy silver brogues, from Zara. When I first found them, they were nearly sold out in all sizes. I signed up for restock notification, and it came in the other day. The Zara shoe, while still not a basement bargain, costs about $120. It is just over 12% of the cost of the Prada shoe. 

Silver platform brogues are quite a statement shoe. For some, it may make sense to splurge on a luxe pair from Prada. For others, it may make more sense to save a little cash and still play with the trend with the pair from Zara. 

Which would you choose, the splurge or the save?

wardrobe hero: the striped shirt

Hey there! Happy Spring!! I am so glad to be moving on from winter and thought I would mark the vernal equinox with a post dedicated to one of my favorite clothing items -- the striped shirt. The striped shirt is an essential item in my wardrobe and on my basics list. I have yet to meet a stripe I didn't like. Generally, I keep a few of them in my closet and try to mix up the color combinations, stripe thickness, sleeve length, and material weight. The striped shirt seen here has a nice, even thickness of the stripe. It also has a linear break on the torso that creates visual interest, elevating the shirt's style. 

Here are a few of my current favorite striped shirt options. As we progress from spring to summer, I will add a couple more light weight, short sleeved or sleeveless versions to my wardrobe. I will share my picks on the shop page when I find worthy ones! For now though, enjoy the fresh, crispness of spring and Bon week-end!

gamine style: the ballet flat, pt. 2

Ballet flats are a year round staple in many wardrobes. I love the ease of this look and the casual elegance that ballet flat brings to it. It would be perfect for a weekend day outing with friends, perhaps to brunch or shopping. As the weather chills, you could change it up a bit with dark tights and ankle boots, like the model. You could also add a navy pea coat for extra warmth. 

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dress | lipstick | earrings | nail polish | clutch | ballet flats

What I love about the particular ballet flats shown above is that they remind me of my first pair of ballet flats that I got with my mother during a visit to see family in France. I remember being fascinated by the little heel, comforted by the smooth, supple leather, and delighted by the resemblance to my ballet slippers. I wore them with everything! It goes to show that a classic never goes out of style. 

on gratitude

As I contemplated the chances of my dream color not coming true, I reflected on what I could take from this exercise, if not a win. The voting process was intense, so it was a real possibility. The thing that I arrived at was gratitude. It all clicked. Even if I did not win, the voting process showed me that I had the support of many people. I was floored by how many people showed up for me. I was genuinely touched by the outpour of positivity, well wishes, and desire to assist me to reach my goal. It was and is inspiring. 

I am thrilled to say that we did it! My dream color will be made in collaboration with Rescue Beauty Lounge for The Fan Collection 3.0 along with six other sure to be beautiful colors. There is no way that it all could have happened without all the people who rallied for me. I am filled with gratitude, and I will cherish this feeling. Many thanks to everyone for their support!

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Revisit my color inspiration here

my dream nail polish

This morning I was thrilled to discover that my submission for the Rescue Beauty Lounge Fan Collection 3 was selected as a finalist! I recall my reaction as jumping up, yelling out YAY! So proceeding to jump around my kitchen. I have been a fan of Rescue Beauty Lounge, Ji Baek, and her beautiful polish creations for years - dating back to my trips to the lounge and falling hard for Grunge

Ji now focuses her time strictly on color mixing and has a loyal fan base, called ReBeLs. Isn't that a fun name! In her color mixing, she has taken on helping to make some lucky ReBeLs' polish vision come true via a series of fan collections. In each collection, Ji and her team accept submissions and sort through them to select finalists. Once finalists are selected, they are announced via her blog and social media platforms. Then voting begins. After the vote, the submissions with the most votes are made for distribution on the Rescue Beauty Lounge site. 

The Fan Collection 3 has 14 finalists; I am finalist #3. Per Ji's blog post "the 48-hour voting event on Monday 9/15th and it will end Wednesday 9/17th noon ESTEach ip address is eligible for one vote ... the top six winning colors will be produced." 

Here is my inspiration board for my color submission. Its working name is Tarocco. The description is as follows: 

The color I crave is a juicy jelly a la Starfish Patrick with a bright burgundy base. It is luminous like Poco a Poco, illuminated by a soft, peached pink glow and subtle flashes of orange. The color is vibrant, bold, and spirited. At once bright and sparkling and mysterious and dark. 


I cannot express how honored I am to be selected as a finalist to have my dream nail polish created by Ji and, if I am lucky, it just may happen! Read more about the other finalists here

gamine style: the ballet flat

Recently, T magazine published this article about the return of the flat. It is an enjoyable read, arguing that the modern woman now finds confidence via a flat shoe instead of only through a high heel. In a cute illustration, it shows about ten women in fashion seated presumably at a fashion show, in their signature looks which include flats. 

Flats, specifically ballet flats, are a mainstay of the gamine wardrobe and shoe game. They maintain a simple, feminine, youthful allure that is necessary for the overall gamine look. They provide a girly, grounded aspect to the overall look. Ballet flats can be worn with a variety of items ranging from cropped pants to minidresses. A person pursuing gamine style would choose the ballet flat even for a formal look opposed to a stiletto heel (think Sophia Coppola at an awards show).  

I have been fond of flats for years. In fact, there was a time a few years back when I swore off heels altogether, strictly wearing flats for work, play, and in between. Now, I still have love for the flat and keep a pair in my wardrobe. I integrate my flats with other styles, like a conservative heel (like 2") to a high heel (for me at ~4"). However, if I am honest with myself I will admit that I am a flats girl too.  

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