Sunday, September 23, 2012

How to Wear: Oxblood

One of the most popular colors on the Fall 2012 runways was oxblood.  Oxblood is a deep red hue with hints of black and purple.  It is a great fall color and is popping up in this season's clothing and beauty.  Above, Alexander Wang, Araks, Banana Republic, Bottega Veneta, Christian Siriano, and Dior.  Below, DKNY, Diane von Furstenberg, Gary Graham, Haider Ackermann, Hakaan, and Helmut Lang.

Above, Jason Wu, Jill Stuart, J. Mendel, Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som, and Rodarte.

In the world of beauty, the color is proving to be popular on both lips and nails.  Many stars wore the shade to the Met Gala and most nail polish lines are releasing the color in their fall collection.

To try the look yourself, consider wearing it either subtly or full-blown.  The color pairs well with black, deep brown, bright red, or (for a unique twist) pastel blue.  Try it with other fall trends, like the peplum, leather or cropped trousers.

For a subtle look... (click image to enlarge)
 From left to right: J. Crew Collection Cashmere Tee in Heather Cabernet, Magid Satin Box Clutch in Red, Zara Stretch Leather Trousers, J. Crew Collection Etta Snakeskin Pumps

From left to right: J. Crew Misha Dress in Cotton Cady in Spiced Wine, Anthropologie Dear Companion Pouch in Sky, Anthropologie Polished Planes Earrings in Blue, Jimmy Choo Lance Wavy Strap Sandal

 For makeup, try Clinque's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (a universally flattering shade) and Julep Nail Vernis in Demi.

For a lot of look...
From left to right: Elizabeth and James Sienna Blazer in Merlot, Stubbs & Wootton for J. Crew Classic Velvet Slippers in Cabernet, Zara Leather Front Waistcoat, J. Crew Edie Attaché Bag in Two-Tone Merlot, Elizabeth and James Winston Trouser in Merlot

From left to right: J. Crew Wool-Cashmere Icon Trench in Cabernet, Zara Peplum Lace Top, Zara Plaited Shopper, J. Crew Midrise Toothpick Cords in Cabernet, Anthropologie Glossed D'Orsay Skimmers

 For makeup, try Sephora Color Lip Last in Elegant in Brown and Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer in Purple Revolution.

Coco Birdie

Saturday, September 15, 2012

NYFW Favorites: Spring 2013

New York fashion week just wrapped up and I've selected my favorite collections for Spring 2013.

My favorite was Calvin Klein Collection.
Presented near the end of fashion week, it was just the collection I was looking for.  I looked through all the collections on and I hadn't found one that I really, 100% liked... until Calvin Klein.  It was the perfect mix of minimal, architectural, and feminine.  I loved the neutral color palette, subtle details, and textiles.  The hair, make-up, and accessories were also spot-on.  All in all, this is what I look for in a great collection and Francisco Costa delivered. 

Next, I really enjoyed Cushnie et Ochs.
They showcased their first venture into swimwear (tiny, but well designed), but I particularly enjoyed their signature cut-outs.  The design duo has a great eye for shapes and uses negative space really well.  I also loved the burst of blue in the line, but the last three black dresses were really stunning.  Cushnie et Ochs does sexy in a way that is strong and powerful, but still really classic and feminine.  It is something I really admire in their designs.

I also like Vera Wang's collection.
One of the reasons I think I liked Wang's line is because I don't normally take to her ready-to-wear pieces.  This collection was more refined and structural than what I remember from her in the past, and I really liked the change.  Her inspiration was India and I think she did a nice job translating that into wearable clothing, unlike some other Indian inspired collections, which tend to look a bit costume.  I really loved the green dress with gold embroidery (2nd image, lower row) and the gilded pieces at the end. The tonal embroidery on the first white garments was also quiet beautiful.

My favorite new designer was Sally LaPointe.
I related to her inspiration (rock formations, quarries, and an abandoned submarine base) and like her hard and soft dichotomy.  The draped elements paired with structural pieces produced a nice effect, as did the use of leather to create flouncy peplums.  Her evening pieces were lovely and the racer cut tops were very on trend.  I look forward to seeing more from her in the future.

Other collections that I thought were noteworthy included Christian Siriano, Marchesa, Narciso Rodriguez, Jenny Packham, and Monique Lhuillier.
Christian Siriano's ballet inspired collection was perfect for Spring.  The colors, shapes, and textiles were all a welcome sight amongst many dark, leathery collections.  He didn't go too predictable with the incorporation of this inspiration, but I wasn't quiet as crazy about his eveningwear as I normally am.  The print he used was just OK and the bright teal was a bit harsh given the soft blushes, ivories, and pale blues used in the rest of the collection.  Beautiful hair, makeup, and shoes and, overall, some really lovely pieces.

The Marchesa collection was beautiful, as it always is.  Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, like Wang, were also inspired by India.  While it lent to some stunning embroidered elements, the collection was a bit too literal for my liking.  The draped tulle and chiffon, the colors, and the embellishments were all beautiful, but most pieces will have to be worn with reservation.  The use of gold leaf in the eye make-up was also a well-received effect. called Narciso Rodriguez's Spring 2013 collection "career defining."  I think that's a bit of an overstatement, but it was a strong line.  He showed some pieces that were extremely well done with his signature neckline cut and color play being used, like in the pieces shown above.  My only qualms with the collection are in the middle pieces that are comprised of floral prints that just seem dated and, quiet frankly, ugly.  I love his black and white and red pieces, though, and his simple hair and strappy shoes.

Jenny Packham presented a collection of admirable cocktail and eveningwear, which is something she really does best.  There was a subtle hint of 60s mod to many of the pieces, but done well so that they look modern and fresh, not vintage like at Michael Kors.  I also loved her color story of soft grays, lemon yellows, polka dots, and a vibrant orange.

This season, Monique Lhuillier incorporated some amazing prints into her collection.  She had a very graphic black and white print that I just loved.  Her use of it was also much appreciated, used in strong, tailored pieces.  Lhuillier has been designing more athletic pieces the past few season and this was no exception.  My only gripe with her Spring 2013 line was that the frothy tulle evening gowns, while stunning, didn't seem to go with the rest of the looks.  I also really disliked the partially slicked back hair and blue eyeshadow.  I think sleek, glossy straight locks and a strong cat/smokey eye would have been much better.

I also enjoyed many of the looks in the following collections: Jason Wu, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, Kimberly Ovitz, Rachel Roy, Robert Rodriguez, Mandy Coon, Katie Gallagher, Brandon Sun, Alexander Wang, Belstaff, and Altuzarra.  Those collections can be seen at

Looking forward to seeing that London, Paris, and Milan fashion weeks bring!  I'll be reporting on my favorite collections from those cities, as well as some of the Spring trends (like short suits, racer cuts, and color).

Coco Birdie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

EVERLANE: The Best T-Shirts

There's nothing like the perfect t-shirt...

I love a soft, comfy t-shirt, but they are surprisingly hard to find.  I recently heard about the company Everlane, which offers t-shirts and bags at amazing prices.  They use high-end quality cottons and rayons so their shirts are so soft and smooth.  By cutting out the middle man (retail stores), they are able to offer their shirts for way cheaper.  Think a $50 tee for $15.  You can really feel the quality in the shirts and the materials they use are the same that designers use.

I've purchased the classic tee and the Ryan pocket tee and they are both wonderful.  I'm super partial to the Ryan-- it is ridiculously soft and cut in a way that is comfy and slouchy, but still nice.  It is hard not to wear them every day.  They are cut roomy, so I bought my normal size and it fits nicely.  Loose across the stomach (post-baby LOVE), but hits where it is suppose to in the shoulders and arms.  I'm dying to try the long sleeve and tank in the Ryan collection as well.  The Ryan collection comes in a rayon, which is, like, one of the softest knits ever (second, in my opinion, to modal).  It says they need to be dry cleaned, but I think you could get away with just washing them on delicate.  Go ahead and wash them normally, but they are likely to pill quicker.

The Ryan pocket tee looks great partially tucked into skinny jeans, but I'm also planning on wearing it with bootcut pants, heels, a blazer, and edgier jewelry for a slightly dressed up look.  I'm also picturing it being great with a wool mini, slippers, and a crossbody bag for a daytime look. 

Left Outfit: Everlane Ryan Pocket Tee in Charcoal, Gold Statement Necklace (Mikkat Market),
Party Box Bag with Chains (Zara), Leather High Heeled Court Shoe (Zara), Blazer with Gold Buttons (Zara), Stovepipe Trousers in Wool Flannel in Black (JCrew).
Right Outfit: Classic Mini in Felted Wool Mini in Ivory (JCrew), Day Dreaming Flats, Iron Red/Black (Joie), Plumed Luster Bracelet (Anthropologie)Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse, Carnelian (Coach), Everlane Ryan Pocket Tee in White

The classic tee is just that-- a classic and you can't go wrong.  The classic tee is made in a combed cotton, so it isn't scratchy like a regular 100% cotton tee (like Fruit of the Loom).  These are the t-shirts that ever closet needs.  They are basic, nicely made, and can be worn infinite ways.

Everlane also offers two really stylish bags that I'm coveting.  Their weekender is basic, chic, unisex, and practical.  The snap backpack is on trend and a great alternative to a large tote during the day or weekend outings.  Their men's collection is also nice and would be a good alternative if you wanted an oversized fit.

Check out {} for more information and products.

Coco Birdie