Lace ‘n’ Layers

September 23, 2011 § 1 Comment

Fall in the South can be a particularly tricky transitional season for donning the latest runway fashions. Given the dramatic daily dips and climbs of the thermometer, which often result in cool mornings and sweltering afternoons, the art of layering is integral to one’s daily dressing routine.  Layering is a fun and useful tool in maintaining a relevant look that’s also functional.

We were inspired by the prevalent use of lace in the Fall 2011 RTW and Couture collections, and have styled one very simple, but killer way to wear it.  Here, we’ve taken a one-shoulder summer dress and made it seasonally appropriate by layering it over a long-sleeved lace mini, paired with a turquoise belt for a pop of color (a la L’Wren Scott), and suede booties.  This look also works with a strappy wedge, as shown below.

Learning to incorporate some warm weather pieces into your Fall wardrobe is a nice way to slowly transition into Autumn in a part of the country where temperatures aren’t yet conducive to heavy tweeds, wools, or furs.  Though we cannot WAIT for colder temperatures to arrive for that exact reason!  Lace is also not only an easy way to add dimension and texture to an ensemble, but perhaps more importantly, it’s not a solid fabric, so it BREATHES.  And believe you me, we Southerners understand the beauty of ventilation!

We had a lot of fun with this shoot, and want to share some of our favorite images.  We hope you enjoy!

To top it off, both dresses are affordable and can be found at your local American Apparel.

Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2011 RTW

Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2011 RTW

Stella McCartney F/W 2011 RTW

L’Wren Scott F/W 2011 RTW

Stella McCartney F/W 2011 RTW

Chanel F/W 2011 Couture

Alexis Mabille F/W 2011 Couture

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Colorful Neutrals

September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

The other day, as I was getting dressed for a night out, I gazed into my closet and was suddenly struck by the inordinate amount of neutral-colored garments staring back at me.   My closet is practically a complete sea of neutrals.  Literally, almost every piece in my wardrobe is some variation of black, white, creme, grey, beige, camel, etc, with a few prints and pops of color here and there.  “How god awful! How boring!” I thought.  Especially in the wake of the wide array of beautifully loud, and sometimes wonderfully strange color combinations over the past couple of years coming out of fashion houses like Prada, Gucci, Jil Sander, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Celine, Dries Van Noten, Prabal Gurung, and Proenza Schouler to name a few.

                                            Gucci Spring 2011 RTW

                                             Prada Spring 2011 RTW

                                         Jil Sander Spring 2011 RTW

                                     Prabal Gurung Spring 2011 RTW

                                       Marc Jacobs Spring 2011 RTW

                                              Marni Fall 2011 RTW

                                              Celine Fall 2011 RTW

                                       Prabal Gurung Fall 2011 RTW

                                      Dries Van Noten Fall 2011 RTW

                                     Proenza Schouler Fall 2012 RTW

I suddenly felt like, “WHERE have I been?? Have I completely missed the color train??”  Where were the fuschias, teals, oranges, and deep purples??!?  Immediately at work the next day I purchased a lovely chartreuse chiffon blouse to ease my woes, but the truth is that in my heart of hearts, I still love neutrals.  I gravitate to them when I shop and usually opt for black if anything.  I love color on other people, but rarely choose it for myself.  Does this mean that my personal style is just a complete snooze??  Or that I am subconsciously bucking trends?

Whatever the case, I will say that while I’m still trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe, mostly just for the fun of it, I was very pleased indeed to see Gucci’s glorious display of neutrals–mostly shimmering blacks, whites, and golds–in its Spring 2012 RTW collection this week.  Here Frida Giannini gives us neutrals that feel just as modern as the recent color-blocking trend.  She reminds us that neutrals are far from boring.  In fact, they can be rich and fantastic as well.  These are neutrals at their most colorful:

                                             Gucci Spring 2012 RTW

All images courtesy of Style.com

XO,

Belle

Work it Baby

September 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of walking in high-end boutique owner Jeffrey Kalinsky’s annual ‘Fashion Cares’ runway show in Atlanta.  This renowned event, which benefits AIDS and breast cancer charities, is one that I’ve had the fortune of being a part of for several years now.  As much fun as this show is to be in, it’s also always tinged with a bit of nerve-racking anxiety, given that it’s a pretty big event for the social elite and fashion-forward crowd of this Southern city.

Mr. Kalinsky, stylish and talented as he is, can dish out some mildly cutting remarks and/or looks to those of us who are lucky enough to be selected to be fitted for, and thus walk in, his show.  At a fitting two years ago betwixt remarks from Jeffrey and his entourage such as  “No, I really see this piece on a smaller girl,” and “No, this look just doesn’t SING on her,” I found myself seemingly pleasing this hard-to-please crowd when I emerged from the fitting room dawning an absolutely stunning emerald green satin L’Wren Scott dress.  Apparently my “curves” were well suited for said dress.  Mind you, I was, and still am, a size 4; so to say that I had the “voluptuous” body that this particular dress called for is pretty ludicrous.  Lets just say that compared to the 16-year-old pre-pubescent-looking models that I was to share the runway with that upcoming Monday night, I was more like a curvaceous, Botticelli-esque Venus-on-the-half-shell type.

                                          Image courtesy of Style.com

Anyway, back to the story and to the dress, THE DRESS!  That is the first and only time I have ever tried on a L’Wren Scott piece, and let me just say, that woman knows how to dress the female body.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt sexier in an item of clothing than I did in that particular dress.  The look was from Scott’s Fall 2009 RTW collection, and the tailoring was an absolute dream.  Apparently my “voluptuous” 6’1” frame was just what this piece called for to be filled out properly and I couldn’t have been prouder or more excited to slink down the runway sporting it.  Perhaps I don’t have the waif-like frame of a Kate Moss look-a-like, but I looked damn good in this dress, if I do say so myself.  I felt elegant, refined, and powerful—reveling in my sex appeal in this dress the night of the show, I was ready to S-T-R-U-T down that catwalk!  To my complete shock and horror however, the moment that I stepped out onto the runway, music a-blaring, one of my beautiful navy suede Miu Miu pumps slipped off of my opaque hosiery-clad foot!  “This is an utter DISASTER!!!” I thought.  Literally, I wanted to die, or if not that, I wanted to take off running for the nearest exit….or watering hole.  Luckily, a very sweet, and probably, at that point in the evening, very well-lit man immediately came to my aid and slipped the pump back on my then quivering left foot.  Quite the Cinderella story.  So my shoe found its way back on, but what about the dress!?!  This dress was supposed to have SUCH a moment!!  I literally felt that I had failed the dress and Ms. Scott herself!  (Not to mention the then sour-faced Kalinsky glaring at me in the crowd.)  But you know what I did?  I did not in fact slink off the runway, tail between my legs.  No, instead, like Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City episode where she plays the “non-model” and completely face-plants whilst strutting down the runway in her sparkling D&G panties and little else, I picked myself back up, took a deep breath and kept on walking, albeit cautiously, shoulders back, with a smile on my face.  And in the end, although the perfect dress did not get its perfect moment, it was all just fine.  And that, my dears, is the moral of this story.  That, and the fact that if you dare to sport hosiery and a 6-inch pump, you absolutely must keep double-sided tape and foot pads on hand, or on foot as the case may be.

XOXO

Your ever-devoted Belle of belles’n’beaux

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