You may remember how our family spent some time in San Francisco a weekend or two ago. We had the glorious weather and went to the farmers market and did other, San-Francisco-y things? Yes, remember? good. So here is what Jack wore while doing all of that, some of it begrudgingly, but he's a good sport. And the Almond Toffee we got at the Farmer's Market made up for that.
So, no big deal or anything, but here is my second article about fashion at Parsons in USA Today! I feel so published and important.
At Parsons The New School for Design, fashion runs deep. It is on our minds, in our hearts (and homework) and, most importantly, on our bodies. We live, breath and die for fashion, because it is what we love.
You get an array of fashionable students, everyone from hardcore glamazons to laid-back thrift store-ers. In the span of just one day I’ll see crocodile Celine bags (yes, the ones that cost more than a small car), vintage Chanel of any kind, heels that make you nervous just looking at them and enough hair product to last a lifetime. But I also see jeans, T-shirts, sneakers and sometimes — though very rarely — a sweatshirt, albeit a designer one. There is no shortage of fashion, whether high or low, at Parsons.
This dude's outfit is a great example of something I see every day at Parsons. Though there are guys at both ends of the high-low spectrum, there are also the students who fit right in the middle, me being one myself. Not too crazy, but still fashionable and on trend.
This look is fairly basic, but still stylish. The choice of black jeans is a great one; they look polished and clean but are still comfortable enough for everyday wear. Black jeans are also extremely versatile and can go from day to night easily. I, and some of my male peers might personally prefer the pink jeans, but that might not fly in a city other than NYC.
He paired his black jeans with black leather sneakers, which is also very fashionable yet practical. When running around in a city like New York, heels, though we love them, are sometimes not the easiest. And, yes, there are male students at Parsons who wear heels.
The choice of a button down in a fun plaid and a cardigan is another chic choice. Cardigans are not only for women anymore; the male cardigan is coming back and it is a fabulous look, especially when paired with a button-down. I personally like the crazier plaids, but that might just be me. Also, a word about fit (I do go to fashion school, after all) J.Crew and Bonobos are better for slimmer guys, while Vineyard Vines is better for those a little bigger. The overall effect is refined yet laid-back. The whole look reads casual, comfortable and a little bit edgy. A winning combination.
Spring and Summer and definitely prime Wedding season, and why not? The weather is (usually) amazing (depending on where you are), and everyone is tanner and more beautiful, therefore happier to go and celebrate. I only have one wedding to go to this summer, so I guess that makes me either unpopular, or without enough friends of the marrying age. I'm excited for the impending wedding, though, as it will feature cowboy boots (the groom is from Texas). And, we have known the bride and groom for a long time, so it's extra super exciting. I have my monogramed hanky all ready to go.
I still don't know what I'm wearing, and the wedding is like, today, so here are three little outfits I, or you, could potentially wear. While each would work for a specific theme, they also could work for any theme, though you might want to switch out the white denim jacket, unless it is a southern, cowboy-boot-like-affair. Most ensembles feature either pastels, brights, or floral. How on trend you and I'll be! Though if you really want to make a statement I suggest the Dolce and Gabanna Tomato Dress and Prada Flame or Lipstick Heels. Or sneakers, to cause an even bigger uproar.
For a refined event in a church, country club, or whatnot
For a casual, country wedding
White Denim Jacket
Dolce Vita Sandals
Vera Wang Flats
Elizabeth and James Earrings
Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses
Clare Vivier Clutch
A delicte Necklace
For a fun or beachy wedding
Rebecca Minkoff Jacket
Thakoon Addition Dress
Butter London Nail Polish in Slapper
Charlotte Olympia Heels
Elie Tahari Wedges
My family and I recently stayed at a friend's house in San Francsico (don't you love summer?) and fro some amazing reason, the weather was incredible. Summer's in SF aren't usually warm and sunny, in fact, they are notoriously foggy. But this weekend was bee-oo-teeful, and I wrangled my sister into taking my photos on the rooftop of our house. Pretty no?
9. Topshop Anchor Print Playsuit
I have made the decision that Rompers are actually the best item of clothing in the world. Not only are they adorable, but they are super versatile. You get the freedom of shorts with the look of a dress. What could be better?! You can go from playground to dinner to dancing, etc., etc. (Provided you meet the age requirements for both playground and bar).
Oh, the Deb Ball. A time for girls to parade around in white dresses and gloves on a day that isn't their wedding. They have to curtsy and waltz, and their escorts do most of the same, except they have to wear a super formal tux. We're talking coat, tails, gloves, the whole shebang. The only part missing is the top hat. I'm actually surprised they don't have to wear that. I guess it's just a little old-fashioned, just like the Deb Ball. Not that I'm against presenting you daughter to the world as eligible to marry, but this isn't the 1900's, girls don't really need to be presented in order to find a husband. Though, at my 18th birthday, my lovely sister announced that I was eligible to marry, and where there any takers? So I guess, in a way, I was presented. Any takers?
Tomorrow night I have The JDRF Hope Gala in San Francisco, and I am still trying to find a dress. Instead of actually going to find one, I thought I'd internet shop around a bit and pretend like I had unlimited funds. A $7,000 dress for one night that isn't my wedding? Perfect! Now we just have to decide what I should wear. Should I go elegant hippie in the Roberto Cavalli Printed Silk Chiffon and Lace Gown? Bridal in the Monique Lhuillier Blue and White Ink Blot gown? Fun in the Jason Wu Belted dress? Should I argue that Oscar not only does the best greens, but the best yellow's too? Or Maybe I should go totally unconventional in the Valentino Jumpsuit or the Marchesa Bubble Skirt gown?
A few weeks ago I was invited to the SF Ballet's Annual Fashion Show at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. This year, the fashion show was Donna Karan's Fall 2012 collection. And it was beautiful. I mean, knockout gorgeous. I was so in love with just about every piece. A lot of Donna Karan is a little too old for me, but I figured I could always buy now and wear in my 30's. Right?
I didn't bring my camera, because I thought it might have been indelicate to pair a dainty Miu Miu clutch with a giant camera 3x it's size. You'll have to pardon the photos, they are a little blurry and not as great as I like my photos to be, but I couldn't resist sharing the event and the clothes with you all.
Oh, and also, I ha the pleasure of talking to Donna herself. She is the absolute nicest, most gracious person I have ever met. We chatted for a bit, and I got a big old hug from her. It. Was. Amazing.
We're best friends, can't you tell?
Also, here is the video of the final!
In case ya'll didn't know, Net-A-Porter is having it's semiannual sale. So basically, it is my semiannual favorite time of year. Net-A-Porter's sales are just the best, just like the Barney's Warehouse Sale usually is. Miu Miu is having a particular good sale time, and as it is of my absolute favorite brands of all time, I figured what better time to do a nice little collage of everything I wanted! I only picked my top ten, elsewise you would be seeing the entire collection splashed across this post. I am disappointed, however, that the gold-flecked feather coat is sold out. I first saw that coat in Capri almost a year ago, and I am still obsessed. Oh well, I can still obsess over the Little-House-on-the-Prarie-meets-Picnic-table-cloth-meets-high-fashion dress.
Paul Smith Suit
Graduation is arguably one of the most important times of a young persons (read; teenagers) life. That, along with Prom, getting a driver's license, the 18th birthday that turns a child into an adult, albeit an immature one, getting into College, or not, and, well, that's pretty much all I can think of. Well, first boyfriend, first drink, and first bad drink experience also make their ways into memories, though some of those experiences are not ones I care to relive.
But back to Graduation and the amazing-ness of it all. The feeling of graduating high school is so liberating. While you feel accomplished and excited and all that, the most important thing everyone in those caps is thinking is "Yes! The days of my parent's rules are over! I get to do whatever I want! College, here I come!" Though about six months into College, you realize you would trade your college-drinking-and-no-curfew-freedom for your mom to do your laundry and cook your food. Cereal and dirty underwear isn't cutting it anymore. But graduation is, nevertheless, an important and exciting day. I was so glad to be able to watch my brother as he got his diploma, along with every other blue-robed kid in his class. Though he is giving me a run-for-my-fashion-money, especially in his pink Paul Smith suit and whale cufflinks.
One with the proverbial blue robe, of course.
Photo Courtesy of WWD
If you don’t know who Leandra Medine, aka The Man Repeller, is, you must be living under a rock. This girl is a fashion phenom, women adore her, and contrary to the name, so do men, as her upcoming nuptials would imply. The Man Repeller was born only two years ago, and though still in its infancy, is one of the most popular blogs on the planet, garnering an astonishing 2 million views a month. One of Leandra's good friends, Rachel S., told her, in her response to Leandra’s question of why, out of the three guys she was dating, not one would commit (Wait. Dating three guys at once? How’s that man-repelling?) Rachel simply said, “Leandra, you’re a man repeller”. And thus, the blog was born.
Photo Courtesy MR
She received press very quickly due to her unique approach and point of view, but Leandra didn’t realize she was sitting on a real business until she was ranked the number 1, out of 25, top voice in fashion by Ad Magazine. So she got serious, set up a calendar, and started treating her blog “like a real editorial publication.” She has since collaborated with such brands like Dannijo (they are all best friends though), Del Toro, Rebecca Minkoff (another friend), Saks, Barneys, and has contributed to numerous magazines. Pretty impressive for someone who is just one year out of college.
Photo Courtesy MR
She credits social media for letting her market herself and build up her brand, to the point where people wanted, and still want, a part of it - she has a book coming out in September and wants to create a lifestyle brand to “celebrate women and female intellect, because that’s really what the blog is about.” She gets to learn about her readers, and how most sales she receives commission on happen between 1-5am, because of it. She also credits social media for getting her her engagement-party shoes, a pair of orange, lace up Alaia’s from 2008. She posted about it, a reader found them in a Barney’s Outlet in Honolulu, and they just happened to have her size. Seriously? It's like she lives in a fairytale. Oh, she also got the shoes, originally $1500, or $176. “And that, is the power of social media”.
But what about her wedding shoes? “I’m wearing a pair of Superga sneakers….what, you all asked!”
Photo Courtesy of WWD
Leah Robert, Senior VP of Liscensing and Marketing for the Camuto group, which represents such brands as Vince Camuto and Jessica Simpson, also talked about social media advertising during the FN Summit. The Camuto Group did one of their most recent campaigns through facebook, with a college program that featured ten colleges throughout the country, including UCLA, BU, and George Washington. Each college has a brand ambassador and two fashionistas to represent Vince Camuto. The brand wanted to reach the 20-29 age group, and this college campaign seemed perfect. The girls not only did charity projects like a closet cleanse, which raised almost 5,000 pairs of shoes across all ten campuses to donate, they also had trunk shows, contests like inviting girls to show off their closets and win a whole new wardrobe, and events like campus hunts, in which various Vince Camuto items were hidden around each campus, and hints given on the respective campuses facebook pages. One of their most successful activities was Interview Style 101, in which they taught girls how to dress for an interview or first job, and then had an accompanying contest that lasted 14 days and had an end total of 525,000 votes. Because of this campaign there is not only more brand awareness, but also a 3.5% increase in facebook likes.
Photo via WWD
Rebecca and Uri Minkoff are a fashion power couple, but not in the traditional way. The brother-sister duo seems to have it down. Rebecca Minkoff, which launched in 2005 as a lifestyle brand with a focus on accessories, has not only grown rapidly, but is also expanding rapidly. Clothing was introduced in 2011, Shoe sales are up 100% this year, and they have a successful marketing strategy using an unusual platform: Instagram. Well, unusual in terms of marketing. Brands normally run ads in magazines, make commercials, or have billboards with the models faces splashed across Times Square. But with the rise of Social Media, brands are finding all kinds of new ways to reach their customer. And the Minkoffs' pride themselves in being “pioneers of the digital space” according to Uri, so it makes sense that they are the first brand to leverage Instagram in such a new way.
Rebecca's Shoe of the Day- via Rebecca Minkoff Twitter
The Minkoff’s Instagram ‘campaign’ started with Rebecca simply posting her shoe of the day or her outfits, and people responded, and copied. She often gets several hundred likes and comments within the first hour of the photo. This is not only a way to reach the consumer in an unstressful social media environment, but it is also a great way to get feedback about their designs. Customers can comment on what they like and don’t like and the Minkoffs’ take all that into consideration, because after all, the more engagement with the customer, the better.
Photo via Rebeca Minkoff Twitter
Of course, this advertising leads to a lot of traffic on their site or partner sites, because an instagrammer will often ask where the product is from, who it is by, etc. The Minkoffs once posted a picture of one of their bracelets that wasn’t selling very well, and the sales instantly went up. Though the Minkoffs have found that solely sales work hasn’t worked, people like to have a human connection, and they like seeing a personal side of Rebecca. The Designer, Mother, and Entrepreneur enjoys showing her followers everyday life, because there is “something nice about seeing something you might do shown by your favorite designer,” she says, “even if it is just a normal thing, people relate to it.”
Photo by John Aquino, WWD
Tabitha Simmons, Alessandra Lavin, and Laurence Dacade are three of the most prominent women in footwear today (if only Charlotte Olympia has been there…) and all three of them love luxury.
Photo by John Aquino, WWD
Tabitha Simmons, a former model and a fashion stylist for magazines such as American and Italian Vogue, is making a serious impression on the fashion industry, especially since she just won the CFDA Swarovski award for Emerging Talent in Accessory Design. Since launching in 2009, the brand has grown into quite an impressive luxury business that makes genuinely beautiful yet cool shoes, which are sold at over 6o locations. She is careful to grow her business slowly and “organically...one step at a time.” Her biggest challenges, though, in the business are “production, and getting it into stores on time.” She ultimately would love to have a store, because “then you really connect to your customer.” She loves collaborating with designers, like Creatures of the Wind, for runway shows, as it’s “fun, and a great way to grow with them. You support each other, it’s nice.” Nice indeed, almost nicer than that CFDA award.
Photos Courtesy of Aperlai
Alessandra Lanvin believes that female shoe designers have an advantage over their male counterparts, since men tend to fantasize more about heels, and not take into account a woman’s comfort, while women do. Alessandra founded Aperlai (named for the ancient Lycian city), a luxury accessory line, almost three years ago, though she holds degrees in Political Science and Art History. It is fitting, then, that most of her inspiration comes from Artists; favorites include Picasso, Pollack, and Mondrian. The modern styles of these artists are clearly represented in Ms. Lanvin’s shoe designs- her shoes often include such elements as graphic lines, asymmetries, and contrasts. She often uses exotic skins such as python and pony, and all her shoes are made in Italy. Her main focus will always be on footwear, though she is open to expanding, but just a little bit. “Aperlai is a small brand, and we want to remain as such,” she stated, and added that with all the big luxury shoe companies out there, it is hardly wise to try and compete.
Photos Courtesy of Laurence Dacade
Laurence Dacade is certainly the envy of most everyone, for she has collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. That’s pretty much the ultimate. She likes Karl a lot, and likes that he “knows exactly what he wants, he’s quick, he’s talented, and professional…” she shares in a thick French accent that she actually apologized for, which made her Parisian charm that much charmier, “everyday it’s a great moment (with him).” So though she loves him, and who wouldn’t love working for Chanel? She doesn’t just want to be known for her (amazing) collaborations. She wants to be known for her own line as well, she wants the client to be happy, and she wants to “fight for the idea that you don’t have to fight to wear heels,” that is, they should be comfortable. I’m liking her more and more. She loves designing, loves to work on the heel, the proportion, the fabric, and loves shoes in general. She went into footwear because, plain and simple, she loves shoes, and she gives them everything she’s got.
These three women were so inspiring, they are successful, beautiful, talented, and all around pretty amazing.