Weekly Photo Challenge | Family

It’s been some time since I’ve participated in one of The Daily Post‘s weekly photo challenges, so I figured I’d get back in the swing of things. The above diptych is of two sisters helping each other clean their riding boots at horse show. They were so adorable I had to snap some shots!

{Source: Photograph by me. Please do not use without prior permission.}

Designer Spotlight: Katie Ermilio

Katie Ermilio is my new favorite up-and-coming designer. Her clothes are incredibly simple, but beautifully made and insanely chic. I love the feminine but still conservative cuts and little details, like unexpected pleating and cut-out backs. The bright bursts of colors don’t hurt much, either, and she works almost exclusively with black, whites, navy, hot pink, red, and bright blue. Indeed a very bold but chic color palette.

Katie Ermilio

My favorite thing about Katie’s designs is that you can see the care and craftsmanship that went into every single piece. They are as simple and bare as can be, yet they still manage to be totally original and fashion-forward. Her clothing is like modern art. It also really speaks to my style — I love sequins and pretty add-ons as much as the next girl, but my favorite pieces are all super simple and versatile. But they still stand out.

I think there’s a quote floating around somewhere about how clothes don’t wear the woman, the woman must wear the clothes. (I might be making this up, but it still works nonetheless…I think.) I feel like this rings especially true for Katie Ermilio’s clothing. The styles are minimal and the attitude of the wearer really shines through. Confidence makes these clothes (or rather, the wearer) beautiful.

Some looks from her fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection:

I have heard some fantastic things and some not-so-fantastic things about Katie’s work, but I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, am very attracted to her clothing and find it very chic and beautiful. As I briefly mentioned in this post, I rarely wear prints or patterns — much of my wardrobe is full of solid basics that I layer and combine in different ways. So I find her take on ready-to-wear very appealing: a simple color palette (with some fun colors to add a playful touch…can you imagine how boring these clothes would be if they were all black, white, and gray?) and plenty of chic but flirty silhouettes.

Katie Ermilio, only 25 years old and already on the fast track to becoming the next big designer, was originally hoping for a position editing a fashion magazine, with internships at both Teen Vogue and Vogue under her belt. But she began sewing dresses to wear to work and soon was accepting custom orders from colleagues who wanted chic frocks of their own. She also sold many of her dresses in her father’s storefront for extra money. Before she knew it, she had become a self-professed “accidental designer.” You can read the rest of her interview with fashionista.com here!

Who are some of your favorite fashion up-and-comers?

{Sources: Images via katieermilio.com, fashionista.com, and style.com}

The New Rachel Zoe Collection

I suppose I owe you a fashion post. Piperlime is one of my favorite places to buy shoes online (good selection, good sales, always free shipping!) and so, naturally, they feel inclined to flood my inbox with random fashion news and updates. (Piperlime, which is an online-only retailer owned by Gap, sells a selection of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories. They also send your order in really cool boxes.)

Today’s email focused on the new Rachel Zoe Collection, which can be purchased/pre-ordered at Piperlime.com. The collection by the renowned stylist features chic denim, great fall coats, basic blouses, dresses, shoes, and handbags. However, in the interest of full disclosure: it was not my favorite collection. While the clothes and accessories were all cute and stylish, I didn’t find them all particularly interesting, even if they would serve as good wardrobe basics. Also, it’s a little overpriced, with some dresses running around $400.

There were some pieces I enjoyed. The denim is cute and stylish, and comes in classic skinny and bootcut styles. Some of the shoes are gorgeous (with killer 6″ heels). The “Melissa” bag is a fantastic piece, and a couple of the dresses are beautiful as well as original.

In all, it’s a solid collection of basics with a few surprises thrown in. I suppose I just didn’t think the pieces all went together well — it’s not that they had to match, but there is definitely a mix of styles present in such a small collection. Just my opinion — take a look for yourself, and let me know what you think! Do you love it, or is it all hype?

{Sources: all images via piperlime.com; collages by me!}

A Few Thoughts On Style

I regularly find myself needing to “clean up my desktop” — meaning, the home screen of my computer, which gets cluttered with random photos and word documents from time to time. It generally becomes quite a time-consuming process (just as long as it would take to clean off a real desk), and I inevitably find myself reading old writings, flipping through pictures, and playing around on Photoshop.

It’s a tiring process, but one that is usually inspiring. I love finding old things that I saved years ago —  it’s like finding a lost letter in piles of papers on your desk. I also found tons of quotes — and one in particular that I would like to share:

I am not a fashion snob, nor do I consider myself a particularly “fashionable” or “stylish” person. I do have personal qualms with the last phrase, “everybody thinks fashion is attainable.” I believe that fashion is attainable to everyone, if they really want it to be. (Buying a few “trendy” pieces every season doesn’t count.)

I would re-word this quote, however. I would say that it is style that is not always attainable (and which I believe Louise Wilson was referring to), and, furthermore, having style need not be based on personal wealth or connections to the fashion industry. You have to have a knack for it. You know those girls that just have that “it” factor? That dress simply but well, know that less is more, always seem comfortable, happy, and radiant? That, in my opinion, is style. The predisposition to choose simple pieces, wear them with confidence, and make them look stunning. The ability to take black jeans and white t-shirt and make it look like the chicest thing in the world.

I have a confession: I actually hate the word “fashion.” Maybe it’s stupid, but it makes me think of pure trend-following (of which I am guilty, I’ll admit it), and dressing just to fit the times. I think it’s fine to bring trends into your everyday wardrobe, as long as they are still a part of you — and your personal style. Wear what you love, and pull it off with confidence.

That is style.

P.S. I know my blogging schedule has been a little erratic lately. I will do my best to keep blogging regularly, I promise! Your support and feedback means the world.

{Sources (from top to bottom): Holly Garber on Jak & Jil Blog; photographed by Scott Schuman for The Sartorialist; photographed by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil Blog; photographed by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil Blog. All images are property of their respective owners; I do not claim to own these images.}

Trendspotting | Sheer Genius

On the Shoulder | Caroline’s Mode

Slightly see-through tops, skirts, and the like are not the most original of trends, but stylish nonetheless and trending big time for Spring 2011. Sheer, floaty layers were seen at the likes of Prada, Miu Miu, and Chanel, and have been appearing on the street for quite some time. I love looking at the street style photos — they give you real-life interpretations of the looks seen on the runway, and they are, in my opinion, far more creative and wearable than anything seen in a fashion show. Here are a few variations on the sheer trend, showcased by some seriously stylish girls.

The Skirt. A sheer skirt can add interest to your look and add pretty, swirling layers. Just be sure to wear something underneath and make sure your skirt is longer, because, well, we all know a see-through miniskirt is bound for trouble. I really like these variations shown above. Although more geared towards winter than the upcoming spring season, they still look fabulous – come spring, just swap in a tucked-in blouse (and/or change the black for a lighter color), and you’re golden.

  1. I love the soft pleats on this skirt, seen over at Caroline’s Mode.
  2. The always-fabulous Ashley from Two Eyes in the Mirror – be sure to check out her blog for more fabulous outfits.
  3. A quick street style shot from Fashion Toast. Not a see-through skirt, but the layers of sheer tulle do the trick and I love the volume, à la Black Swan.
  4. Another sheer black skirt — a bit longer than the others, with a long coat to mask some of the sheerness, photographed by the talented Scott Schuman over at The Satorialist.

The Dress. Sheer dresses can be used perfectly for event dressing (obviously you wouldn’t want to wear one grocery shopping) — the key is to keep the look classic and a little glamorous. If baring your lingerie (like Elena Perminova, left) isn’t really your style, don’t worry! You can always go for a minidress with lots of sequin detailing (like Diana, right) or a solid dress with a few sheer insets.

  1. Definitely the boldest of the ensembles here, and not exactly practical for everyday wear. However, I think Elena — snapped for Caroline’s Mode — does an incredible job of pulling off this tough-to-master look in a very classy and elegant fashion.
  2. I like Rumi’s look from Fashion Toast because it’s very simple and the details on the dress are beautiful. Still a little see-through for everyday wear, but it could pair fabulously with some black tights and ankle boots.
  3. The gorgeous Diana from Dressed Up Alligators — in my opinion, the most wearable way to get away with a sheer dress. It has sheer details up at the top, but towards the bottom of the dress, the gold sequins cover the skirt section completely, giving you full coverage while still rocking the sheer trend.

The Blouse. In my opinion, the easiest way to wear the trend. A sheer blouse (not necessarily a completely see-through one, either) can add a level of sophistication to an outfit when tucked into, say, a simple black skirt. It’s chic and gorgeous, and the slightly sheer blouse will always be in style (making it a great closet investment piece)!

  1. Try wearing a nude tank top under a very sheer blouse, like this woman, photographed for Street Peeper.
  2. I love the length of this blouse, worn by the fabulous Tracy of The Closet Shopper. It’s not super-sheer, just the tiniest bit see-through. The tunic length is also perfect for pairing with leggings. You can also check out her working a sheer, black blouse at this post on her blog.
  3. Another semi-sheer blouse from Karla of Karla’s Closet. Bows are a great detail for sheer blouses because they help cover you up a bit (and look super-cute!).
  4. A sheer blouse worn by Kirsi Pyrhönen on Caroline’s Mode. I like the solid sleeves, shrunken fit, and beaded details on the fabric that makes this blouse perfect to wear open or buttoned up, with a black tank top underneath.

Hope this post gave you some ideas for working the sheer trend into your look this Spring! Remember, style is all about taking fashions and trends and making them your own — wearing them so you feel comfortable in them. Also be sure to check out the stylish bloggers featured (Ashley, Diana, and Tracy) in this post for more inspiration!

{Source: All images in this post via carolinesmode.com, streetpeeper.com, karlascloset.com, fashiontoast.com, 2eyesinthemirror.blogspot.com, thesartorialist.com, dressedupallligators.blogspot.com, and theclosetshopper.blogspot.com}

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