Tag Archives: Shopping

Fall Accessory Must-Have – the Nude Pump, Popularized by Kate Middleton

18 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

Oh Trends, Oh Trends, Oh Wherefort Art Thou?

That’s the refrain that keeps going through my head in terms of  how I’ll  be dressing for NYFW and for fall in general.

OK, I’ve been reading too much Shakespeare lately, but after a chat with friend, Meredith Garcia of The Fashion List, I realized that the answer is, There are precious few trends out there that as Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown said, ‘make my blood boil’ .

This prompted me to revisit W Magazine and some websites for inspiration. As it turns out, I found inspiration at the supermarket. Yes, Stop & Shop’s “People Special Fashion Issue” headline, “Kate’s Style Secrets!” got me back in the swing.

At the top of the list here were the nude pumps she’s been photographed wearing – a lot.  Although Kate is a style inspiration [I like her unpretentious style], I’m going to credit my friend, actor Pamme Jones for putting this nude shoe trend in front of me.  She came over for cocktails sometime in February, proudly sporting a pair of sky high nude pumps she’d gotten from DSW. The rest of her outfit was skinny jeans and a sweater. Not one of the women who were over could drag their eyes away from these pumps – we all wanted them.

Shortly afterwards, I spotted a similar pair at Kohl’s. Vera Wang had made a pair for her “Simply Vera” shoe line. The nude pump was just not a one-off though.

Earlier this month, I received an email from Melissa Edwards, of Clout Public Relations about a hot new shoe from one of my favorite shoe lines, Aruna Seth.

The Aruna Seth Nude ‘Samantha’ Pump” is the ultimate example of the nude pump that’s become a trend across a variety of price points. Melissa’s email below, says WHY.

 “It’s a wardrobe classic that not only elongates the leg, but serves as the perfect complement to the bold ready-to-wear trends of splashy patterns, prints and neon hues.”

Sure, you COULD wear a black shoe but it would look too heavy and draw too much attention, so it’s really not an option.

Kate Middleton and her “Sledge” patent  L.K. Bennetts have gotten the most play, but lots of other celebrities have snapped-up this wardrobe problem solver: Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Anniston, and Camilla Parker Bowles aka Duchess of Cornwall, wore them to Zara Phillips’ recent wedding to Mike Tindall.

What’s impressive is how varied this group of women is, and that’s what a good trend should be – something that works for a varied demographic.

There are a wide variety of options available.

Below, my picks for high, medium, and just playing [minimal $ investment].

HIGH END: Aruna Seth’s “Samantha” peep toe version at $705 is the ultimate in luxury.

MEDIUM: The ones Kate wears. “Sledge: pump by L.K. Bennett

[They aren’t available yet, but will be this fall].

JUST PLAYING: Arturo Chiang “Orina” platform pump, $69.99 at Dillard’s Department Stores. Two other options are the “Noemy” if you like a closed toe and the “Apple” if you have to have a peep toe.

As I don’t wear heels, I’m going to take it down a level and spent time this afternoon conferring with Felipe at Shoe Service discussing how best to dye my pristine white Bruno Maglis the perfect color of nude. The model- a pair of Chanel spectator flats in nude with black toe caps.

Daniel – my blood isn’t boiling, but the nude shoe trend has got it going at a nice slow simmer.

RAMBO’S PICKS: AUGUST 14 – Sleeping on Frette Sheets= BEAUTY

15 Aug

Frette” The Trademark of absolute prestige in the field of home couture throughout the world.”

My Editor, Vivian Kelly
This week, I want to talk about the importance of SLEEP as part of your beauty regimen. Look at ME and my big step-sis, AVON, if you need any proof that it works. Who wants to read boring studies in magazines like MORE, anyhow. ZZZZZZzzzz.
Below, is my dream crash pad. These are Frette sheets.
Sleep might not sound like a beauty problem I would take on, but after seeing a bunch of flight attendants over breakfast in Warwick, Rhode Island, I decided that not enough sleep is a beauty vampire – blue circles, bags, saggy lids and lips. Scary!!
I don’t have this problem. As a cat, it’s part of my religion to sleep at least 12 hours a night. There’s sleep and there’s sleep.
Okay, I like Ralph Lauren, but his sheets are only 250 thread count and are rough compared to the Frette Sheets I’m obsessed with.
WHY am I obsessed?
Easy, 5 reasons:
1. Frette sheets are white or cream and “go” with everything and you don’t get tired of them like the ones with prints on them.
2. They’re insanely soft and get softer and softer instead of falling apart with more washes like some other big brands but I don’t want to be “catty” and name names
3. We love Woodbury Commons and our Frette obsession gives us a reason to drop into Woodbury. I like it so much I might actually get into that ugly blue nylon carrying case and come along. 
HINT: if I had that snazzy Burberry one we saw at the Baby Burberry store at the Westchester Mall, I’d be a lot more agreeable about going to get my shots at the evil vet.
4. My people are always redecorating, which is fine as long as there is something neutral around to balance it out. No, I didn’t come up with this on my own exactly, but I figured it out after looking at the pictures of that Assouline book, Gypset Style that’s on the bedside table and Aunt Demi said so too. She’s my Interior Decorator Auntie and knows everything about that.
5. Frette is luxury and I love luxury. This is a great investment when you think about it – yawn -[ all of this thinking is making me sleepy….]
You can buy a set of these sheets at Woodbury for under $100 and I can lay on them 12 hours a day. I can’t do that with a Vuitton bag – it’s just not comfy.
What are you waiting for? The only way to really know it to try sleeping on them with your cat companion or ik with a dog if you’re not lucky enough to have a kitty at home.
I’m soooo  sleeepy talking about Frette.
Next time, I’m going to tell you which creams you should use for anti-aging and which you need to toss.
Avon and I tried a bunch and we talked to our facialist, Adrianna, of Ricci Salon to find-out which ones are dog doo and which ones are the cat’s meow.
Ciaow Meow!

Tootsie’s – Miami Beach’s Go-To Accessories and Beauty Secret

4 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

Okay, so the title to this post is a bit misleading. I’m hoping that after reading this and watching the video, Tootsie’s won’t be a secret any more.

I first went there 2 or 3 years ago, while attending Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim. Prior to leaving, I’d been on deadline and desperately needed a pedicure as MBFW Swim is all about wearing Havaiana flip flops; the Oasis tent at the Raleigh has a sand floor. The idea – you’re at the beach and relaxing while watching the show, not working.

Tootsie’s carried quite a few Havaianas, including hard to find ones like “Wonder Woman” with the gold straps. [I bought them this time, finally – last pair!].

This MBFW Swim, I’d set aside Monday morning as my “shopping/HUNT” day, and went about hitting some of my favorites, but ran out of time and didn’t make it into the Oribe Salon on Euclid or to Base and Jonathan Adler on Lincoln Road, or to see Gabriella at The Jewelry Connection on 16th between Washington and Collins for yet another knuckle-busting costume cocktail ring.

FORTUNATELY, I DID make it to Tootsie’s on Washington, just around the corner from Lincoln Road sucking down the last of my 31 oz. Arnold Palmer “Trenta” ice tea from Starbucks. There were CLOTHES there and a framed rave editorial in Allure Magazine. I mentally crossed-off a few other stops on my list and decided to really look around.

I was rewarded by scoring some quality time with Robert Radice, the owner who explained the amazing selection of caftans, and accessories you can now pick up there. If you love accessories, or even just like them, you must go here. A fun ethnic print caftan in shocking purple or parrot green can make you feel as glamorous as Liz Taylor when she vacationed with Richard [Burton] at their Mexican Villa in Puerto Vallarta between takes of  “Cleopatra”.

If you’re not someone who would ever wear a caftan, there are beaded bags and clutches that are hard to pass-by, especially as they’re under $60.

If the bags don’t get you, the Havaianas will, because Tootsie’s is a   I walked out with 4 pair, 1 for each member of the family. Since you’ll doubtlessly leave wearing a pair of Havaianas, you may as well get a mani-pedi when you’re at it. Best to make a reservation, as the day I arrived, the crew of Tom Cruise’s new musical “Rock of Ages” had just called to book it solid for mani-pedis. I wonder if Tom himself every strolled in?

Watch the video of my conversation with Robert as he explains his retail strategy and what’s on tap at Tootsie’s.

Shopping Info:

Tootsie’s nail Salon & boutique

open 7 days a week – Open @ 11a.m.

Tel: 305.674.0068

Facebook: tootsie’s nail salon

Hippie Dippy Prints and Floral Dressing, Marrakech Style – Mara Hoffman

14 May

Text and Video, Vivian Kelly

Since receiving an email from Assouline’s Press Office about a book on- La Mamounia – the legendary hotel, located in where else – Marrakech.

“Embark on a sensuous journey celebrating the refined Moroccan lifestyle—from lush gardens to luxurious hammams—at Marrakech’s famed hotel, whose complete renovation in 2009 has re-affirmed its world-class status.”

Since reading that blurb, I’ve been obsessed with Marrakech inspired designs. I call my new focus “Rock the Kasbah”.  Hopefully, this won’t be perceived as “a hideously politically incorrect statement”.  The saleslady at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store laughed when I described the black and white Waverly print as such. I custom ordered  two yards with the notion that I’d have curtains made up for The Fashion Examiner’s office.

You’ll be seeing the matching wallpaper in The Fashion E’s weekly “Cutting Edge” video [black and white background].

Fashion and Home Decor are soul sisters. I came to this conclusion after a few trips with my s.s. “D” , a talented interior designer. On a trip to Nantucket, we discovered that we liked all of the same things. Fashion, like Home Decor, is about having the courage to “be yourself” and to allow how you dress/decorate your home to reflect who you really ARE. I’m slowly building up my Tracy Reese Home collection of Marrakech inspired towels, named “Spice Market” and Oggi”. My go-to sites for her luscious towels are Overstock and Smart Bargains.

Clothing-wise, I’m on the hunt for mummus in these same paisly/oriental prints and patterns. Thus far, the only one I’ve purchased is the vintage cobalt floor length one from Another Man’s Treasure. Clearly, It’s time to go back to Jersey City and pay them another visit!

One high end designer who is making just such items that are much more accessible is Mara Hoffman. She has  been a favorite of mine since I started attending her shows three or so years ago. This shows the power of Fashion PR companies. I went because Mara’s show was a Kelly Cutrone/Peoples’ Revolution production. I don’t love everything I see, but I DID love Mara Hoffman’s psychedelic designs. SO Seventies. So groovy.

In our FE video, Mara talks about what inspired her when she created her latest collection. I was impressed by Mara. She has been doing “rich hippie chic” all along, whether or not it happened to be trendy. She was just being herself.

The prints reminded me of the Parador Hotels [former Castles and Monastaries] I stayed at back then while vacationing with my parents in the South of Spain as a young teen. At one of the Paradores, I could glimpse the coast of Marrakech. We did not make it but I was hooked, and resolved to get there – some day.

I didn’t know it back then, but the most well-known example of “hippie chic” is Patrick Lichfield’s 1969 photo of Talitha Getty, shot on the rooftop of the couple’s 19th-century Le Palais du Zahir, also known as “the Pleasure Palace”.  

This image has inspired countless fashion designers long after her death and maybe even the great fashion write-up by Erica M. Blumenthal, “Pajamas Make a Break for It”, which ran in the May 12th edition of The New York Times. The easy slouchy pants in by Rachel Comey and Suo are Marrakech ready.

This is a bold trend to embrace but think about the pay-off when you prepare to take a step on the wild side. Marrakech Chic will add  color and texture into your wardrobe and or home. Ease into it- get a pillow and a mummu. Maybe, you’ll find yourself head over heels as stylist Rachel Zoe is about this fashion era and aesthetic.

Figuring-Out Transitional Dressing with some help from Iman, Loulou, Gwen, and Other Star Designers

30 Mar

Text, Vivian Kelly

At times, I hate April.

To me, April Fools’ Day means to me is that I’m going to have to figure out how to transition from winter bear-mode dressing to something lighter but not overdo it and end up being cold because I’ve underdressed.

The obvious solution is “layer dressing” and you’ve read and heard this “fashion tip” a bazillion times.

What changes is THE PIECES you need to accomplish this and the trick in looking current is to decide just what these pieces are.

Before I had time to think about it too hard, an email from Lily Salembier of Paul Wilmot Communications hit my mailbox and took care of my problem.

It was chock full with of the moment items  from some of my favorite ladies in the fashion biz: Iman, Gwen Stefani, Loulou de la Falaise, Donna Karan.

Updating your Transitional Wardrobe with the items we feature here does not involve a major financial investment if you’ve already got some key pieces such as  the perfect trench in your closet and ballet flats or the of the moment loafers, or wedges you can actually walk in. What’s the point of being blessed with good weather if your feet hurt so much that you can’t possibly handle taking a walk in the Park to enjoy it?

The updated items I’m loving are as follows:

A jacket from IMAN Global Chic

Patterned hosiery from DKNY

Edgy sweaters from L.A.M.B.

Fun scarves from Improvd

Wedges from Loulou de la Falaise for HSN

Bright colors on your nails from butter London

THE PIECES, broken-down

IMAN’s Global Chic Spring Safari Jacket is ideal for April’s typically rainy weather. Drawstring details, its  light weight and  neutral color make it a spring wardrobe staple.

Here’s a color tip – choose a neutral that enhances your complexion. Before purchasing one of these jackets, printout the swatch of the colors you’re thinking about and hold them up to your face. You’ll know which one to buy, right away. The wrong neutral can actually make you look sallow, with ugly yellow or green undertones. The right one makes you look polished and sophisticated and who doesn’t want some of THAT?

IMAN Global Chic Spring Safari Jacket, $89.95, HSN.com

Next, trade in bulky winter sweaters for funky lightweight knits. I like mine handmade – my Mother is a genius knitter, but there are other cool options. If you don’t have time for knitting, Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. oversized pointelle top is comfortable and fashion-forward, layered over a casual top. I’m loath to part with my cherished Michael Kors 3-ply cashmere oversize turtlenecks, but when it’s time, it’s time. The L.A.M.B. sweater has a cute shape and you’ll feel as if you lost weight after losing all those bulky layers and scarves.

Last but not least, get a new scarf, but something lighter-weight, maybe viscose instead of cashmere. I’ve always found that having a scarf around my neck keeps me warm after the sun goes down, and the temperature takes a dive.

At the fall 2011 Libertine show, the CFDA’s Associate Executive Director, Lisa Smilor, told me about a new line she loves called Improvd. After some searching, I found quite a few on Tobi.com. They’re well priced at well under $50 and add that Gypset edge to your transitional dressing.

**SO, what transition pieces are you wearing to get you through the weeks until Memorial Day? I’d like to know. Leave a comment and share your resources!

Carolee Contest: WIN Perfect Prom Jewelry and A Few Prom Looks to Consider

25 Mar

Text, Vivian Kelly

The Carolee earrings below are called “Make My Day or Night“, and they would make my day AND night.

Carolee is a terrific resource for jewelry. I was amazed at how good the prom options look and had trouble deciding which ones we are GIVING AWAY HERE in TheFE’s first-annual PROM GIVE-AWAY Contest.

Keep reading, the details on how to enter and win these beauties, below.

Last year, I realized just how big a deal prom is. I was sitting in my local Aveda [Shine] Salon and happy to have scored a color appointment. The colorist, hair stylists, aestheticians, and nail techs were booked solid with Prom Appointments.

At first, I thought they were kidding.Not at all. Prom is big business. The average high school girl, my stylist told me will get a facial, waxing, mani/pedi, highlights, makeup application, and an appointment for an updo. It’s kind of become like the rehearsal for one’s wedding day preparation.

And that’s just the beauty part. By the time you’ve sat in the salon, you’ve nailed your perfect outfit, which is completely possible without totally blowing what you’ve budgeted for  the the dress,  shoes, bag, and the jewelry.

No, you cannot skimp on the accessories because it is the details that make or break an outfit, as we see year after year at the Academy Awards.

Most teens can’t afford Van Cleef & Arpels, or serious Tiffany Jewelry, but there ARE some really great well-priced options out there that you won’t chuck or try to return the morning after.

**Here, as promised, are the details –

Style Name: Make My Day or Night Button Clip Earrings

Retail Price: $38

**TO WIN, all you have to do is to send us a comment, at TheFE telling us which dress YOU would wear with these earrings.

You don’t even have to be a prom goer to enter. I see myself wearing these from desk to dinner, and my prom was many many years ago.

We are only giving 5 pairs away so enter right away before you forget.

Contest Starts: March 26th

ENDS: April 2nd.

Winners will be announced in a full-on post HERE on Monday, April 4th.

Getting back to the rest of your outfit, don’t turn your nose up at lower-end retailers as go-to places to shop.

For shoes, I suggest Payless [particularly Lela Rose designs].

For the dress, J. Crew makes some classically beautiful gowns in their bridal collection.

For some really stylish options, whip out your Teen Vogue Prom Supplement.

We’re head over heels with their “Prom Queen” page. The White by Vera Wang Dress really DOES “channel your inner Cinderella”.

Those Carolee earrings would look amazing with it.

Good Luck ladies!

Shopping Info

Make my Day or Night earrings, available at Macy’s