Tuesday, September 28, 2010



Louboutins are some of the sexiest shoes around.  Whether you own a pair or not, consider these two Louboutin inspired trends...

The Louboutin Manicure:
Inspired by the famous red sole, the nail is painted black on top and red underneath.  I love Essie nail polish because it stays on and doesn't chip for quiet a while.  Consider Essie colors Licorice and One-Of-A-Kind (which might look too orange, but I own it and have held it up to my Louboutins- a perfect match!

Red Lips:

While red lips may have been around for a long time, all the recent spring shows had well-saturated, brightly colored lips.  Get a head-start on the trend by using MAC's "Ruby Woo" lipstick shade, the same that was used in Johnathan Saunder's Spring RTW Show, pictured above.

XOXO, Coco Birdie

Monday, September 20, 2010

Favorite Past Fall Collections

With the end of New York Fashion Week and the start of the fall season, I thought I would share my 10 favorite collections from falls past.  Each collection shows my 10 favorite looks, with my favorite look indicated by a blue star.  Listed chronologically...

Click the image to see full size and zoom.  All images from Style.com.

Coco Birdie

Friday, September 17, 2010

NYFW Favorites: Spring 2011

I haven't had a chance to view the shows from yesterday, but here are my top 10 collections from the Spring 2011 Ready-to-Wear shows at NYC Fashion Week:

10. Reem Acra: I loved Reem Acra's use of embellishments, leather belts, and draping.  The sequin encrusted dresses where my favorites, and I liked the utilitarian belts over evening gowns.  I wasn't crazy about the print dresses though.

9. Luca Luca: Luca Luca had gorgeous chiffon prints, which I adored.  I also like the loose flowing day dresses and re-done classics, like their white suit.

8. Erin Fetherston: I was glad to see Erin Fetherston didn't have her models looking like clones of her.  I love the shimmering charmeuse, garden print, and draping found in both soft and stiff fabrics.

7. Carolina Herrera: I enjoyed Carolina Herrera's collection, but found the straw stovepipe hats to be distracting.  I love her color story, and garden inspiration.

6. Badgley Mischka: Badgley Mischka had beautiful draping and I particularly like the cool color story and embellishments.  They continue to do what they do best: cocktail and evening wear.

5. Jason Wu: I love Jason Wu's collection, but would have like more continuity.  He did sheers and volume beautifully.  I especially enjoyed the last few pieces of the collection and the violet blue print.

4. Chado Ralph Rucci: Ralph Rucci's technical skills never cease to amaze me.  He continued his sheer theme from the past few season, added in some amazing knotting and draping.  I loved his neutral color story with pops of red-orange.

3. Marchesa: After a few seasons of toying with other techniques, I'm glad to see Marchesa has returned to the mind-blowing volume and sculpture that I think she does best.  My favorite piece is on the end here, the sheer ivory dress with black detailing on the bust, peplum, and hem.  I can't wait to see these dresses on the red carpet.

2.  Christian Siriano: Christian Siriano is my favorite Project Runway alum and his after-reality work continues to impress.  This season, he featured brilliant whites both draped and tailored, pretty pink-red prints, and stunning volume.  His collection is both sale-able, wear-able, and still maintains an element of fantasy and couture-level work.
1.  Monique Lhuillier: Monique Lhuillier is currently my favorite collection.  I saved every look in my inspiration folder and loved each piece.  Her collection, unlike most, hung together well, had nice transitioning, and offers a bit for everyone.  I loved her high-waist trousers, floral print, cocktail dresses, and gallery worth evening gowns. 

What have been your favorites so far?  I'm hearing a lot of love for Marc Jacobs' collection, but I really hated it.  I was also disappointed by Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, and Vera Wang's collection was too fall.  
I've seen bits and pieces that I like from Ralph Lauren, Jenny Packham, Oscar de la Renta, L'Wren Scott, J. Mendel, Rebecca Taylor, Tory Burch and Isaac Mizrahi but haven't had a chance to view their whole collections.  
I also liked Ports 1961, Milly, Douglas Hannant, Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Halston, Rachel Roy, Bibhu Mohaparta, Victoria Beckahm, Mulberry, DVF, Adam, and Ruffian.  I usually wait until the end and go through them all, so I'm sure my top 10 will be changing somewhat.

Coco Birdie

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Must Haves for Men

 The key to a successful casual men's look is to still look put together.  A great fitting pair of jeans should be slim, but not too snug, and in a dark wash.  A black t-shirt is a great basic, but if you wear a v-neck be mindful of the chest hair.  For your feet, anything from an old pair of Converse to driving mocs or low boots.  A simple bag, messenger or back-pack, and aviators complete the look.  Consider a cable knit sweater, rolled-sleeved button down, or twill jacket to top.
Products: J. Crew Broken-In Slim No-Pocket V-Neck Tee in Faded Black, Ray-Ban Aviators, J. Crew Millbrook Leather Driving Mocs, Converse Distressed Jack Purcell sneakers, J. Crew Ruggled Twill Messanger Bag.

 A black wool suit should be in every man's closet.  It should fit well (please see a tailor), be well-crafted, and will last you a lifetime.  The wonderful thing about a black suit is its ability to be dressed around.  Wear the jacket with a sweater and jeans, or the pants with a nice button down for a more casual occasion.  Easy compliments to the black suit are a crisp white button down, black oxfords, and a silk tie.  A note on ties: when in doubt, chose a solid black tie.  Please please please get rid of all of the novelty ties in your closet.  Pinstripes, pindots, stripes, subtle paisley, and small critters are OK.  A Thomas Kinkade painting is not.  Feel free to have fun with color, as seen in the beautiful blue silk tie.  For shoes, a simple pair of oxfords is your best bet.  A nice sheen, simple styling, and leather soles are the way to go.  Don't ruin your great looking suit with an awful pair of shoes.
Products: Ralph Lauren Suit, Thomas Mason Fabric Point-Collar Dress Shirt in White, Cole Haan Alex Plain Ox, J. Crew Solid Repp-Silk Cambridge Tie in Black, J. Crew Pindot Tie, J. CrewWide-Stripe Old-School Tie in Olive Moss, J. Crew Solid Satin Tie in Matisse Blue.

For fall, nothing is better than a great sweater.  Cardigans are the most versatile because, as seen above, they can be dressed up with a button down and tie, or down with a t-shirt and jeans.  Henley and half-zips are great too.  Look for cable-knits, merino wool, cashmere, or marbled knits in basic neutral colors.  I prefer a shawl color, but a v-neck is the next best.
Products: Louis Vuitton, J. Crew Wool-Cashmere Cable Shawl-Collar Cardigan in Heather Flannel, J. Crew Mason Shawl-Collar Henley in Warm Cedar, J. Crew Alpaca Shawl-Collar Cardigan, J. Crew Merino Caridgan in Dark Navy.

I feel like many men overlook outwear.  They continue to wear the same coat their mother bought for them in high-school.  Outerwear is simple and can make a great impact.  The three most loved styles are the pea coat, the trench, and a leather bomber.  Pea coats are great on any man, no matter what his style.  It should be a slim fit, not boxy.  When you try it on, have a sweater on so that you can test the ease of movement when you are layered up for winter.  A trench coat is wonderful and comes in many styles.  A basic, tan twill trench will transition you from season to season for years.  If you can afford a leather bomber jacket, please get one!  They are masculine, stylish, and sexy.  Look for one that doesn't have too many bells and whistles in a dark brown or black.
Products: Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Vintage Leather Bomber.

The right accessories are key and should be thought about.  While the man in the suit looks great, the hat, bag, and pocket squares really give the look more personality.  When looking for a bag, consider your needs as well as style.  A rugged twill or leather bag is going to be tough and also look great.  The cross-body strap of a messenger helps distribute the weight of a laptop and looks good cutting across your put together outfit.  Many see handkerchiefs as old-school, but as the wife of someone who carries one- they are the must-have your didn't realize you needed.  They offer a gentlemanly way to blow your nose, dab your brow, or wipe off a mess.  Your lady will appreciate a clean one when she tears up or needs to clean up her lipstick.  A nice leather wallet is subtle message about style.  Nothing is tackier than a duct-tape wallet and nothing less sexy than a rubber-banded wad.  Speaking of un-sexy, that tumor on your butt isn't.  Keep your wallet clean and slim.  Every man should also own a good black AND brown leather belt.  Be mindful of what shoes you are wearing and match accordingly.  The next accessory is optional, but a nice touch- a hat.  Let's take a look at Mad Men's Don Drapper.  There is an unspoken, easy suave about him, isn't there?  Hint: its the hat.  A fedora, trilby, or drivers cap is a nice touch.
Products: Ralph Lauren, J. Crew Rugged Twill Travel Bag, J. Crew Artisan Leather Messenger Bag, J. Crew White Linen Pocket Square, J. Crew Classic Leather Wallet, J. Crew Leather Roller Buckle Belt in Black and Dark Wood.

 If you really want to be dapper, consider velvet.  A lush velvet blazer in black or a dark jewel tone is instant wealth and class.  Be a bit more daring and consider velvet trousers, either boldly (see far left) or more subtly (see far right).  Its a decedent touch that is perfect for winter and holiday.
Products: Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Salvatore Ferragamo

For more inspiring men's looks, see the following Fall 2010 runways: Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Herm├ęs, and Tommy Hilfiger.

For great men's products, visit: J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and Cole Haan.

Coco Birdie