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Happy Birthday, Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin–singer, actress, and fashion icon–turned 68 yesterday. The British beauty unexpectedly became an iconic figure in the 60's and 70's, and continues to inspire generations of fashion aficionados. Her style is minimalist, effortless, and timelessly cool. She chicly propels an uncanny sense of put-together confidence.  A complete Birkin ensemble includes a perfect fusion of bohemian and classic Parisian pieces, a pair of (probably red) ballet flats, a fresh, sans makeup face, and, of course, her namesake Hermés Birkin bag

 Jane Birkin's true iconicity lies in her ability to look tailored and put together in relaxed garments. Her denim is always flared, blouses loose, jackets oversized and jewelry kept at a bare minimum. I think her authenticity of clothing stands as one of the reasons behind public fascination. Many street style darlings  of today try to gain respect and attention in the industry by dressing as trendy or outrageous as possible. Jane Birkin shows us that great fashion isn't trendy or fleeting. By staying true to her classic, personal aesthetic, Jane Birkin created a signature style that is as wearable now as it was in 1970. 

She revolutionized 70s fashion, wore crop tops before crop tops were crop tops, and started the cut-out trend decades before those peekaboos of skin made it on runways. Oh, and she has an Hérmes bag named after her.  Can you say legendary?

Here are some of her magical looks throughout the years: 

with daughter Lou Doillon in 2011

Advanced Style

Every fashion enthusiast knows that cliché Yves Saint Laurent quote, "Fashions fade, style is eternal." As I watched the colorful, lively trailer for the Advanced Style documentary on a gloomy Saturday morning, Laurent's wisdom rang in the back of my mind. The film features a plethora of fashion inspiration via New York City's chicest senior citizens. These women, many of whom are in their late 80's and 90's, are not defined by any single decade of trends or styles. In fact, all of their personal styles are a sum of multiple decades of elegance, infused with whimsical details and lots of personality. I found the women in the video to be incredibly refreshing amidst the all-too-similar faux fur, flannel, and boyfriend jean clad fashion bloggers of this season. 
These elderly icons are not slaves to trends but dress for themselves; their outfits driven by an overwhelming sense of self and happiness. I think we can learn more than fashion wisdom from women like Iris Apfel and Ilona Royce Smithkin, two stars of the film. While their styles inspire many, it's their self-confidence and loving devotion to elegance that enlighten us all to the true creative spirit of fashion. 
Watch the beautiful trailer here

Mermaids Exist at Rodarte SS15

In preparation for New York Fashion Week, designers find inspiration from a wide array of sources. In recent years, popular collections have incorporated the revival of trends from decades past. The 70's seem to be a constant wealth of influence, as well as 80's neon and 90's grunge. I was beginning to worry that the fashions of my youth–the early 2000s–were next on the agenda. Nothing was worse than cropped polo tees, Juicy velour tracksuits, or Von Dutch trucker hats. Nothing. 
Luckily, the Mulleavy sisters saved us from yet another fashion resurrection. 

During the preparatory phases of their SS15 line, sisters (and Berkeley graduates) Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the renowned fashion house Rodarte, set their sights on a timeless, natural piece of inspiration: tide pools. As young girls growing up in Northern California, the Mulleavy sisters frequented the mesmerizing underwater tide pools of Monterey. Kate told Vogue.com, "We wanted to re-create the texture of those underwater tide pools... to explore this idea of underwater worlds, with all the movement and fluidity." By channeling a personal memory from their youth, Kate and Laura Mulleavy were able to achieve wizardry at NYFW. 

Tuesday's runway show was magical from the start. Spectators arrived to find the set a seaside reverie; the floor bejeweled with broken beach glass and Swarovski crystals. Once the show began, the venue finished it's transformation into an underwater realm. The models stunned in delicate dresses made of netting and tattered chiffon, like sirens on the shore. You could practically feel the ocean breeze as the ever-flowing ruffles on dresses, skirts, and scarfs danced down the catwalk. Opalescent sequins and scales added to the shipwreck vibe. 

The most remarkable facet of Rodarte's collection existed in it's ability to offset fluidity with rigid structure. Instead of allowing cascading fabrics overrun the runway, the Mulleavy sisters skillfully balanced things out with elements of sheer strength: thigh-high gladiator boots, skin-tight jeans, anorak jackets, and, of course, those incredible rows of sliver eyebrow piercings. 

Feast your eyes on the entire collection here

Amazing. All I can say is... Go Bears. 

Mastering the Boyfriend Jean

Boyfriend jeans continue to take the fashion world by storm, promising a comfy yet bad-ass look of sheer feared respect. But, the real question is, how do you wear them? 

Based on their basic silhouette and color, jeans are typically easy to style as an integral component to any outfit. For the past decade or so, skinny, cigarette, and straight-leg jeans have pretty much dominated the denim market, making the outfit balancing act rather simple: flowy tops matched with heels for nights out, and structured, Oxford button-downs paired with ballet flats for the office. 
Boyfriend jeans, on the other hand, are everything their skin-tight family members aren't; low-rise, baggy, and carpeted with tears and shaggy holes galore.  Furthermore, their strange, masculine proportions present a curve ball for every woman. 

After hours of pouring over my favorite street style blogs, I have attempted to understand the art of 
rocking boyfriend jeans. My tips are as follows:

  • For everyday wear, crop tops function as an ideal match. Equal to the boyfriend jean in nonchalance, cropped tees easily create feminine silhouettes while showing just a peek of skin. 
  • For a comfy outfit fit for colder weather, a pair of boyfriend jeans make a perfect base for a bundled look. Pick jackets or outerwear with a solid structure to offset the slouch of the jeans, and feel free to layer as necessary. 
  • Spice up your Casual Friday look with something a bit more edgy. A blazer, tee, and flats keep the look sharp while fabulously taking the back seat behind your statement-makin' jeans. 

In other news, September is here! Aka Fashion Week Recaps on the horizon. 

Daria X Céline Round V

Do you frequently read fashion magazines, spend time on blogs, or shop in fancy schmancy department stores? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, or just pretended to for the sake of the exercise, then the chances of you seeing Daria Werbowy’s magnificence are extremely high.

At 30 years old, this Polish-born model is basically a living legend. Her fiercely alluring charm has made her one of the most successful models of all time, and the record holder for most show openings and closings in a single season. The Annie Leibovitz spread from last year’s September Issue alone inspired me to chop off my hair and attempt to rock a similar gold nose ring as effortlessly as Werbowy (Side note: Not quite there yet). And don’t even get me started on Daria’s cheekbones. Let’s just say they are equivalent to Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows and Cindy Crawford’s beauty mark in ability to slay.
Daria has recently teamed up with French fashion house Céline and the incredible Pheobe Philo for a fifth campaign. Even though it’s (sadly) missing the outrageously non-normcore Céline Furkenstocks of 2013, the Fall 2014 campaign does not disappoint. With Daria’s supreme bone structure and Philo’s expertise in trench coats, how could it?

Check it out:

Style Icon: Emma Watson

Emma Watson is currently going through a style phase that may be as influential as Pablo Picasso's Blue Period and Christina Aguilera's "Dirrty" stage–combined.

Over the past six months, the recent Brown graduate has been absolutely killing it in enchanting, dark ensembles that scream sophistication.
Watson has been the darling of fashion weeks world-wide for quite some time now, which has translated into a personal style that I want to accio into my own closet.
Recently, basic silhouettes with subtle and unique details, topped off with some trusty matte red lipstick seem to be her go-to. She wears black magically; whether it be lace appliqués, sumptuous satin, or embossed velvet.  Mismatched earrings and natural makeup are quickly becoming her signature style components.

Thirteen years of life in the spotlight usually calls for sufficient time off. Yet, Watson's exquisite fashion choices forces all of us to look beyond her adorable days as Hermione Granger. She is no longer a child star, but a star in a new, grown-up capacity: high fashion.

An Ode to Lavender Hair

When all of the fashion head honchos sat down for their yearly meeting at a Swarovski crystal-encrusted round table, milling over emerging fashion trends and faux pas, they decided on one buzz word for the fashions of Spring and Summer 2014: pastel. At least, that's the only explanation for the word describing "a soft and delicate shade of color" to be plastered and repeated in just about every fashion editorial regarding this season. The 80s neon resurgence is officially dead and gone, brutally murdered by the Easter Bunny hued, Spring collections from the likes of  Prabal Gurung and Peter Pilotto.

The pastel trend is leaving a mark everywhere as people try different ways to rock it. Kelly Osbourne recognized the beauty and wearability of a sherbet shade way before the rest of us, and officially started the pastel hair trend four years ago. Since then multiple celebrities and socialites–Nicole Richie, Ireland Baldwin, Demi Lovato–have followed suit, dying their locks a lovely lavender-gray.

Pretty, surprisingly wearable and uber cool: lavender hair is definitely having a moment. Will it's popularity fade away as fast as the chunky highlights and frosted tips of the early 2000's? Probably. But for now, just embrace it. 

Let's all pause for a moment of silence to check out these ah-ma-zing, unicorn-quality manes.



Growing up, the idea of having a twin captivated every twin-less child. Besides, the ability to switch identities with another person who resembled you in every way, was overly romanticized and dramatized as many times as Disney could get away with. From Zack and Cody to the eternal confusion that was Lindsay Lohan's faux twin in The Parent Trap, the "twin fantasy" ravaged the minds of those who arrived in this world s-o-l-o. 

No dynamic duo, however, ruled my childhood as much as the Olsen Twins. I spent countless hours vigilantly watching their movies: jam-packed with international jet-setting and–you guessed it–as much twin-identity swapping as possible. 

Nowadays, Mary Kate and Ashley are focusing on projects off screen, allowing for public attention in another capacity: fashion. 
If one thing is for sure, the Olsen Twins can dress. As a unit, their respective styles effortlessly play off each other; the same palpable synchronicity apparent in their joint acting roles. They dress with an unmistakable ease: always casual and always fluid.  Boyfriend jeans, large sumer trench coats, and cape dresses are not easy to pull off–especially on a 5'2" frame. Yet, they continue to sport oversized frocks exquisitely. They understand proportion and shape, tools learned from time spent as active members of the fashion community. Their style cannot be classified under one title: it is just as much boho as it is edgy, androgynous, and sophisticated.

Of course, as separate entities, the Olsens have their own individuality in fashion. Together, however, as street style icons and budding designers, they really don't miss a beat. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley's Resort 2015 collection for The Row is chock-full of all things minimalist, tailored, and oversized. Check it out aquí

Running Shoes Rule

As a child, I naturally developed an interest in fashion. This vague "interest" soon turned into a life-encompassing, competitive passion; I wanted to be the first to know about all trends and emerging icons. I picked up on serious fashion faux pas early, compiling them in a large mental list. At the top of that list? A collection of trends that are never acceptable: exposed bra straps, panty lines, and running shoes worn with a non-sportswear outfit. 

As I sat on the edge of my bed this morning, tying my thrifted, neon Nike Air Max sneakers, I recalled this list of rules I made as a smart ass pre-teen. Not only was I pairing my bright athletic shoes with a non-sportswear outfit, but I was wearing them with their ultimate fashion nemesis: blue jeans. It was in this moment where I thought to myself the age old question, "Aren't all rules meant to be broken?" (in a rhetorical, Carrie Bradshaw-esque way, no less). 

The answer is not black and white. In fact, nothing is black and white in the fashion world, except for maybe Jason Wu's Resort 2015 collection which is pretty flippin' fabulous if you ask me.
Fashion moves rapidly: collections showcased, products made, and a few months later, the same pieces find themselves destined for a life on the clearance rack.

Constant adaptation and an innate ability to fully live in the present is essential in staying afloat in fashion. Take Birkenstocks, for example. Those comfortable sandals have spent their life on a tumultuous fashion rollercoaster; finding themselves mocked by fashion elitists, loved by hippies, and, now, the most coveted shoe of the summer. Yet, I can't really recall a time when jeans and running shoes were ever acceptable, except for in our current, normcore crazed society.

I will without a doubt cringe while reminiscing on the fashion trends of 2014. For the time being, however, I am enjoying experimenting with my fashion choices. I can now see why so many middle aged adults rock the running shoe-denim look outside of the normcore realm–it's ridiculously comfortable.

If one thing is for sure, panty lines are still not ok. 

Style Icon: Carrie Bradshaw

There are very few things in the world I love more than Sex and the City. Carrie and Big's passionate, roller coaster ride of a relationship, Samantha's quotable one-liners, Charlotte's naiveté, the evolution of Miranda's hair, and, on top of it all, their undying love for each other, never fails to keep me entertained. I feel as though I am a part of their world, a dream that I surely do not share alone.

I am sure all Sex and the City die-hards have their favorite character, but I think we can all learn a lot from Carrie. Sure she cheated on Aidan and repeatedly returned to Big when her friends (and viewers) warned her otherwise. She was real, she made mistakes, obsessed over petty details, and always tried to do what was best for her. Her vulnerability is something anyone can relate to; despite the fact that she  is (sadly) a fictional character.

 Carrie's rapid emotions are reflected in her equally dynamic style. Her acute fashion sense was undeniable. Who else could rock a cropped button-down shirt, printed midi skirt, flower adorned top knot, and a completely inoperative belt? Carrie could. She was the ultimate fashionista, with an unparalleled and charismatic sense of style. Her clothes never failed to exude the inner confidence that her character sometimes lacked. Although some of her fashion choices may now be outdated, her conviction and one-of-a-kind creativity are timeless components of any successful style.

The fact that Sex and the City can maintain relevancy a decade after going off the air is quite a feat. Some may attribute its long-standing popularity to the endless re-runs, or even the engrossing character development. Personally, I am drawn to its portrayal of confident, passionate women. Through the ups and downs, all four characters–Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte–worked hard to chase their dreams, and continue to inspire new generations of young women to do the same.

Hardcore Normcore

You think baseball hats, oversized hoodies, and sandals with socks are simply just standard components of your father's wardrobe? Think again. Fashion's biggest (anti-)trend has hit the streets, decking hip, young people out in "dad jeans" and white New Balance sneakers. Normcore has infiltrated the elite hipster world, while simultaneously perplexing the rest of humanity. 

According to the ultra reliable resource of Urban Dictionary, normcore is defined as "an exercise in irony. It's being cool through not being cool". It's an anti-trend by nature; the act of standing out in a crowd by dressing absurdly normal. This ultra-conformist fashion movement follows an equally routine progression of trends. In fact, many decade-defining trends are nothing more than counter-culture's active rejection of the ordinary. All trends follow the same fate: a reaction, later commodified, followed by imminent rejection and replacement. The 70's are characterized by the hippie movement, whose fashion and lifestyle functioned as a direct response to 50's and 60's consumer culture. In more recent years, grunge ironically emerged among the youth of the 90's during one of the most profitable eras in American history. Teens rejected the "greed is good" mantra that drove the decade, and dressed accordingly. 

Personally, I secretly love normcore. It's easy, comfortable, and refreshing among trends that were beginning to feel stale. Will normcore come to define our current decade? Only time will tell  However, if one thing's for sure, the perpetual battle against normalcy will never cease in driving future trend-setters.  

Candice Swanepoel for Vogue Russia

I sincerely apologize for neglecting my blogging duties these past few days. Now, with finals and classes completed, I will try and get back on my game. Hopefully. 

I recently came across this stunning editorial from Vogue Russia featuring Candice Swanepoel. We all know Candice as a beloved Victoria's Secret Angel. From runway shows, to television advertisements and in-store features, the girl's face is everywhere. In spite of her risqué ensembles, the South African beauty has exuded a pretty cookie-cutter, "girl next door" persona in both interviews and past commercial photo shoots. However, this shoot in particular–shot by David Mushegain–sheds a new light on Candice. She inhibits a new found edginess within her fierce gaze. She recognizes that her killer bod is fully covered in exquisite garments, and acts accordingly.  Her poses are strong and powerful as she transitions from the flirtatious world of Victoria's Secret. 
I really love this side of Candice, and am eager to see her step outside the "Angels" bubble in the future. 

Met Ball Recap: Power Couples Galore

The Met Gala is the yearly fashion pinnacle of all things glamorous. Last year's theme–Punk: Chaos to Couture–presented some of the most memorable looks to date. I think I shed a tear of joy upon seeing Sarah Jessica Parker's gold-gilded faux hawk
This year showcased ensembles nothing short of incredible. "Charles James: Beyond Fashion" brought out the opulent, old-style glamour attributed to the famed designer. James' influence was unmistakable on the red carpet; the wide array of attendees arrived in incredible garments to pay tribute to"America's First Courtier". 

Hollywood's power couples ruled the red carpet in complimenting style. The always fashionable Johnny Depp looked dashing in Ralph Lauren, with beau Amber Heard completing the picture in a sumptuous Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown. The pair were styled superbly. Depp's pocket watch, glasses, and cane evoked old-glamour next to Heard's dark lip-stick, nail polish, and classic up-do. 
It doesn't take much to make the Beckham's look good, yet the couple–in matching snow white–managed to exceed expectations. David donned Ralph Lauren and Victoria was radiant in a vintage-inspired dress from her own Pre-Fall 2014 collection, naturally. 

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds were my personal favorite dynamic duo of the night. Both looked dashing, even reminiscent of Old Hollywood couples like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Baccall. The Gossip Girl star dazzled in a clinquant Gucci dress with luscious curls. Reynolds looked equally dapper in a–you guessed it–Gucci velvet tuxedo and burgundy bow tie. 

It is impossible to discuss Hollywood's power couples without mentioning the Carters. Beyoncé and Jay Z looked striking on the red carpet, both evoking 20s extravagance. Beyoncé's plunging, black-beaded Givenchy gown, with matching head piece, transformed her into a modern-day flapper girl. 

Other notable mentions include: Karlie Kloss' magnificent Oscar De La Renta gown and Rachel McAdam's Jackie Kennedy-esque champagne pink Ralph Lauren dress

Coachella 2014 Recap: Best Looks

 As the Easter sun sets on the vast, desert landscape of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, so to does the exuberant Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival come to a close. Although I caught a few performances on the Coachella live stream, I found myself more captivated by the always incredible festival ensembles. Coachella is inherently a place to see and be seen; even mediocre lineups would attract gigantic crowds. Despite the big names and surprise performances, the spectacle of Coachella lies in the fashion scene. Here are some of my favorite looks. 
The daisy appliques are subtly adorable. 

Lizzy Plapinger of Ms Mr
Evil eyes are a popular print on the festival scene. 

Simple and chic. Love the Blair Waldorf-esque lipstick. 

White shoes at Coachella? Daring. 

Hopefully, Kendall Jenner's nose ring chain  doesn't make a reappearance next year––or ever. 

Fashion Icon: Stevie Nicks

After Ticketmaster forced me to endure the most stressful fifteen minutes of my life, I made it through the madness and purchased a ticket to the much anticipated Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (Thanks Mom!). The festival will be held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and is set to feature some of the biggest acts in music, including: Kanye West, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and, my personal favorite, The Killers. Needless to say, I am ridiculously excited.

Now that I have my ticket, I have to figure out what to wear. 
Although Outside Lands is five months from now, it never hurts to be prepared. If college has taught me anything thus far, it is that over preparation in the form of online shopping can be a (somewhat) productive means of procrastination. 

I have recently been drawn to the fashion of the 70s; patterned wide-leg pants, lacy bralettes, and embroidered kimonos. While many 70s women come to mind as fashion icons, none did it quite like Fleetwood Mac front-woman, Stevie Nicks. Both edgy and bohemian, Nicks' style was truly one of a kind. I can't think of anyone able to rock a black top hat and cascading halter dress while looking remarkably cool. A champion of both music and fashion, Stevie Nicks continues to inspire women to defy the ordinary. 

Power In Clothes: Claire Underwood

I pride myself on my loyalty. This quality extends to just about every corner of my life, from friendships to intense, life-consuming television series. Homeland was my first love. But, after an unimpressive third season, I decided it was time to move on.

 Then I found House of Cards

House of Cards, a dramatic series created exclusively for Netflix, is twisted, corrupt, and extremely thought provoking. Among the show's stars stands Robin Wright, as Claire Underwood, the incredibly influential, conniving wife of Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey). Wright convincingly plays Claire as a diabolical ice queen; who's smiles are as rare as her fashion missteps. Her morals are questionable and manipulation techniques undeniably effective, yet she is easily my favorite character on the show. If, in some fictional world, Miranda Priestly and Lily van der Woodsen were to create a more ruthless version of themselves, their result would be Claire Underwood. 

 Claire's wardrobe is as equally powerful as her demeanor. As Season 2 costume designer Johanna Argan puts it, "Her clothes are her armor... She is the modern-day Lady Macbeth" (NYDailyNews). The simple lines, classic silhouettes, and strict color palette of black, grey, and navy all add to her stature of sheer superiority. On paper, her style––made up of mainly shift dresses, pencil skirts, and oxford shirts––should seem like a bore. However, there is something about Wright's angular frame, paired with crisply tailored garments that gives her an entrancing sophistication. It also helps that she strictly wears designer pieces, from Louboutin stilettos to L'Wren Scott pencil skirts and Dior shift dresses.

As I begin Season 2 of the show, I look forward to all the shocking moments to come. However, if one thing's for sure, Claire's wardrobe, in all its powerful splendor, will relentlessly live up to all expectations. 

Teva's: A Comeback Story

In these past few months, amidst the tumultuous transition from high school to college, I find myself frequently reminiscing. This newfound nostalgia has greatly inspired my wardrobe, evident in my recent purchase of clear, sparkly jelly sandals. My love for them at five has been renewed at age eighteen. 

While making my daily rounds on other blogs, I shocked myself by adding yet another item from my childhood to my shopping list: Teva's. Those sporty, velcro-wrapped sandals were ideal for every, and I mean every, outdoor activity. Waterproof, lightweight, and protective, Teva's embodied "kid tested, mother approved". At some point in my middle school quest to be cool, Teva sandals didn't quite make the cut, and were, sadly, thrown in a bag destined for Goodwill. After watching the brand's S14 VideoLookBook, I regret my actions as a prepubescent. 

I am now on the hunt for a new pair, which I plan on rocking throughout my Summer adventures. This future purchase will give me an excuse for multiple pedicures, because socks and sandals will never be acceptable. 

#worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple: Kim, Kanye, & Vogue

The always outspoken Kanye West and beau Kim Kardashian never fail to make headlines. After months of advocating for a cover on Vogue, West finally won his battle just in time for the April 2014 issue. Cue the eruption of the entire fashion world. 

Before even making their relationship official, everyone had an opinion on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. They are highly controversial figures in their own right: Kim, a reality star who gained public attention early on through rather questionable means, and Kanye, a talented rapper famous for his frequent outbursts and arrogance. Fast forward a few years to the couple's engagement, birth of their child, and a risqué music video to watch those public opinions grow to either extremes. Yes, they are trending icons of all things celebrity. We have seen their faces plastered on the magazines in grocery store aisles. But, Vogue is the Holy Grail of them all. Do they really deserve to be on this cover, too? 

I am torn. 

Immediately, I echoed the cries of thousands of other Vogue die-hards, unhappy at the validation of these two into such a prestigious realm. However, I am not ready to cancel my subscription just yet. In recent months I have been incredibly impressed with Kim's fashion choices and her progression into a street-style icon. Furthermore, Kanye has always been a major force in the fashion industry, even dabbling in design for both men and women. They are edgy and unsettling, two characteristics Anna Wintour has historically been drawn to in her twenty-six years with the magazine. In a recent interview defending her decision, Wintour eloquently addresses the haters: “Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it... I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?)” (GulfNews). 

I find it difficult to question any of Wintour's decisions, but this cover still does not sit well with me. 
Congratulations to Kimye for finding yet another aspect of modern media to conquer.