A red, red carpet

The best dressed of the 2014 Emmys.
The best dressed of the 2014 Emmys.

Last night’s 66th Emmy Awards had all the earmarks of Hollywood’s new age of glamour.  The red carpet delivered elegance, shine, & an understated spirit of fabulous. My picks for best dressed are: Kerry Washington in Prada, Gwen Stefani in Atelier Verace, & Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Carolina Herrera. Kerry made the strapless silhouette look modern with the sequin piping & peekaboo sequin panel, while Gwen made a look inspired by the Golden Age look futuristic in her sleek, almost liquid looking top & skirt. Julia was polished & sophisticated, & her hair style gave her the perfect balance, making the look seem effortless & unfussy.  The color or the night was indisputably red, in all of its glorious shades. In addition to Julia, Uzo Aduba, in Christian Siriano & Claire Danes, in Givenchy Haute Couture, with Lorraine Schwartz jewels did the vibrant color justice. Let the award season begin!

50 shades of red at the 2014 Emmys.
50 shades of red at the 2014 Emmys.
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Saturday’s with Kate

Shift dress & initial necklace by Kate Spade Saturday.
Shift dress & initial necklace by Kate Spade Saturday.

One of my favorite things in life is when designers give us their fabulous works of art at slightly lower prices, often referred to as diffusion lines.  So naturally, I am a fan of Kate Spade Saturday, which offers everything from clothing, shoes, accessories, & jewelry to home & travel, all at prices that are about 50% less than the main line, Kate Spade New York.  Yes, there is a slightly more casual vibe to the collection, which you might have anticipated from the weekend name in the title. However, if you work someplace with a business casual dress code, you will definitely find pieces that can take you from Monday to Friday as well.  The color block shift dress in peacock/white is perfectly polished for Wednesday’s production meeting & Sunday’s brunch with the girls, Suggested Retail: $150.  For the perfect understated necklace, which also makes a great gift, go with the gold plated initial necklace, Suggested Retail: $40. If you hurry, there are also some great pieces on sale now too! The split print color burst scarf will add pizazz to a solid top, Suggested Retail: $32.50 (was $65). And if you’re looking for a top with a little something extra, the reversible trapeze top is the one, Suggested Retail: $22.50 (was $45).  Enjoy your Saturday’s with Kate!

Colorburst scarf & Reversible trapeze by Kate Spade Saturday.
Colorburst scarf & Reversible trapeze by Kate Spade Saturday.
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From your soles to your toes

Christian Louboutin's Rouge polish.
Christian Louboutin’s Rouge polish.

The designer, whose attention to detail makes sure that even the soles of your shoes don’t go unnoticed, has developed a nail polish that will make you just as excited as the stilettos with his name on it.  Christian Louboutin has perfected a timeless shade of red with his Rouge polish that somehow looks radiant on every skin tone.  This highly pigmented, chip-proof polish (of course) has an extra glossy finish, making your nails looks like they have been painted with a luxurious patent leather.  True to form, Louboutin has designed every element of the polish. The cap is inspired by the heel of the Ballerina Ultima, the highest heel in Louboutin’s collection, & it’s weighted to maximize the user’s comfort & control while painting.  The triangle-bristle construction of the brush prevents air bubbles & provides a smooth, flawless application of color.  Last but not least, especially with perfectionist Louboutin, is the architectural bottle that possess a clever hint of whimsy. It’s molded from cut glass & reflects classical balustrades of European buildings. Louboutin would certainly create nothing less than a product that can be displayed with pride on your shelf & on yourself. Stay tuned, as a total of 30 shades are expected, but order Rouge ASAP. Nordstrom, Suggested Retail: $50.

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Your frugal friend

The site & app that will be your new shopping buddy.
The site & app that will be your new shopping buddy.

You have the best of intentions, in fact, you even put “saving money, or spending less of  it” at the top of your list of resolutions back in January.  However, you don’t want to feel like you’re depriving yourself, so you come up with what appears to be the perfect compromise, you’ll get the dress (or shoes, or handbag, or perhaps all three) once it’s on sale. Unfortunately, you discover a flaw with this plan. You’re a busy gal, & quite frankly there isn’t time for you to be a sale stalker. As a result, you end up missing the sale, or finding out about it too late, which means your size is sold out. This is disappointing & frustrating. If only you had a friend who would alert you the minute the very items you’re eyeing go on sale….Well, your friend has arrived in the form of a site & app for your smart phone; meet  Hukkster.  All you have to do is select (or hukk–Hukkster’s lingo for choose) the item you like, your size, color, & at what discount you would like to be notified (25% off or 50% off). You can either browse thru photos of products that appear on the screen, or you can select specific stores, from Barneys to Target, where you’d like to “pre-shop.” Hukkster even includes homegoods & menswear. It couldn’t be easier & Hukkster completely alleviates the frustration from waiting for future members of your closet to go on sale. Happy hukking!

Hukkster will quickly become your favorite app, with Candy Crush in a distant second.
Hukkster will quickly become your favorite app, with Candy Crush in a distant second.
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July shopping

Nina Ricci, Erdem, & Vince.
Nina Ricci, Erdem, & Vince.

It might be a little hotter & more humid than you’d prefer, & you’re probably itching to get out of town, but there is quite a lot to appreciate in July, & you’ll find most of it at Barneys. This is the month to take advantage of the designer sales, while getting first dibbs on the most fabulous pre-fall/fall styles that are just starting to arrive. Nina Ricci’s sleeveless charmeuse & tweed dress is perfect for a cocktail party, or you can pair it with a black blazer & wear it to the office, Barneys, Suggested Retail: $2,250, now on sale for $559. Erdem’s lace & sequin embellished dress with black pointed collar is a chic choice that gets extra credit because it actually looks best with flats (YES!—my feet are celebrating!), Barneys, Suggested Retail: $3,950, now on sale for $989. Who doesn’t love soft leather jackets that you can throw over just about any casual look?  That’s why you need Vince’s ultra soft leather funnel neck jacket in olive, Barneys, Suggested Retail: $995 now on sale for $399. You have been so savvy & saved a fortune with these amazing sales, so now you deserve a treat—Isabel Marant’s Idoa blanket vest (below) Barneys, Suggested Retail: $660. This open front, shawl collar vest will be one of the most coveted pieces for this fall, so get it now; it will be sold out before August.

Isabel Marant's Idoa blanket vest.
Isabel Marant’s Idoa blanket vest.
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White denim

White denim styles from the Gap.
White denim styles from the Gap.

This summer white is the new blue, as far as denim is concerned. Embrace the light, relaxed spirit of the season & choose one (or all) of the styles above to suit all of your summer plans.  The legging skimmer jean (first style above, far left) is the perfect fit for those of you who love the skinny jean. This style is very comfortable, with stretch so that it retains it’s shape, & is the ideal length for showing off your summer sandals, Gap, Suggested Retail: $69.95, on sale for $27.99.  If you’re looking for a carefree casual weekend jean, the deconstructed sexy boyfriend is your soul mate (above, center). Roll-up the bottoms & you’re ready to go, looking effortlessly stylish, Gap, Suggested Retail: $69.95. The long & lean jean (far right) is a slightly more traditional, but still modern. If you are one of those who finds the term “white bottoms” synonymous with “totally unflattering,” give these a try. They truly have a slimming effect & will show off your curves delicately instead of in a blatant, “in-your-face” kind of way; they are running a touch on the larger size, so grab one size smaller than you normally wear to try on too, Gap, Suggested Retail: $69.95, on sale for $38.99.  Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one style, especially with these prices. Happy shopping!

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The trend towards comfort

Slip into comfortable shoes this summer.
Slip into comfortable shoes this summer.

This season designers took a step in the direction of comfort, at least as far as footwear is concerned.  The sandals this summer are genuinely comfortable from ever angle, so you can say good-bye to the overall pain, blisters, & cuts that have been the battle wounds from many a fabulous pair of shoes. Isabel Marant’s Holden sandal (above, left) features lambskin leather criss-cross straps & a leather footbed for maximum comfort & style, Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $510.  Loeffler Randall’s Paz mixed media gold/zebra print sandal has a molded footbed so you’ll actually enjoy walking around while looking very fashionable (above, middle) Neiman Marcus, Suggested Retail: $150. Yes, yes, it’s true Birkenstocks  have made a come-back. However, not just any Birkenstock will do; you must choose one that has a softer more modern look, like the floral printed Arizona sandal, which still has the sculpted Nappa leather footbed that our feet have always loved (above, far right), Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $245. Thankfully, the trend towards comfort will continue for fall (see below for a sneak peak), with Balenciaga’s panel Chelsea boot Barney’s, Suggested Retail: $1,025, & Chloe’s double-buckle leather ankle bootNeiman Marcus, Suggested Retail: $1,220.

A sneak preview of Fall's comfortable boots.
A sneak preview of Fall’s comfortable boots.
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Swim season: don’t be nervous

Two piece options from H&M and Splendid.
Two piece options from H&M and Splendid.

It’s that time of year again, yes, swimsuit season has arrived.  While choosing a swimsuit can often be a rather daunting task, it doesn’t have to be, just embrace the season & your body—both are beautiful. Keep that in mind & see the beauty when you try-on swimsuits; do not focus on flaws, we all have them; they are what make us individuals. Barbie may be “perfect,” but she is made of plastic, which takes up space in landfills; your body is far better for the environment & loving it will make the entire swimsuit process much easier. In the world of two-pieces suits, I love having the option to be creative & have fun mixing colors & prints. My favorites are H&M’s floral bikini top with ruffles, back to their drawstring bottoms in dark green  H&M, Suggested Retail: $14.95 & $12.95 (respectively); Splendid’s pop geo print reversible triangle top Piperlime, Suggested Retail: $40.99 paired with either their pop geo print pant Piperlime, Suggested Retail: $33.99, or with Splendid’s Miami stripe tie pant, which also works with their Miami stripe reversible top for a more classic swimsuit look Piperlime, Suggested Retail: $37.99 & $45.99 (respectively). There are many great one-piece wonders to choose from as well. I suggest Nanette Lepore’s sportif seductress one piece, which brilliantly uses chevron stripes to slim the torso, while the blue & white give a nod to the always classic nautical theme of summer, Piperlime, Suggested Retail: $144.00. Old Navy’s dot-print twist front one-piece is the perfect sophisticated retro look, providing a balance of coverage & sex appeal, Old Navy, Suggested Retail: $32.94. Now, if you still need more convincing that you will look amazing in a swimsuit, you don’t have to take my word for it, but listen to one of the wisest & most fabulous of women of all time: Maya Angelou. The world is lucky to have the legacy of her words. You are a Phenomenal Woman.

One-piece wonders by Nanette Lepore & Old Navy.
One-piece wonders by Nanette Lepore & Old Navy.
Excerpt from "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou.
Excerpt from “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.
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Day-dreaming of the Cannes Film Festival

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the Cannes Film Festival & gowns inspired by her look.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the Cannes Film Festival & gowns inspired by her look.

I completely understand, my invitation was lost in the mail too!  However, even though you’re not attending this year’s Cannes Film Festival, you can still be inspired by it.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looked glamourous in Gucci Première; you can evoke the spirit of her look in Adrianna Papell’s beaded blouson gown or Aidan Mattox’s sleeveless cinched waist beaded gown, Bloomingdale’s, Suggested Retail $245.00 & $575.00 respectively (above).  Blake Lively, also in Gucci Première, turned heads in her fabulous black & white strapless gown. Channel Blake’s moment in ML Monique Lhuillier’s strapless contrast hem dress, or David Meister’s colorblock one shoulder gown Saks Fifth Avenue, Suggested Retail $698.00 & $246.60 respectively (immediately below). Lastly, Jessica Chastain epitomized elegance in Atelier Versace. Use her look as inspiration by wearing fabulous chandelier earrings with either Matthew Williamson’s embellished one shoulder gown or Alice + Olivia’s “Waldorf” silk chiffon gown Neta-a-Porter, Suggested Retail $2,425.00 & $595.00 respectively (below). So, just think of the next black tie optional wedding or gala you attend this summer as your Cannes!

Blake Lively at Cannes & styles inspired by her look.
Blake Lively at Cannes & styles inspired by her look.
Jessica Chastain at Cannes & gowns inspired by her elegant style.
Jessica Chastain at Cannes & gowns inspired by her elegant style.
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You look simply radiant, darling!

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow.

A healthy glow is one of those universal things that we all want to achieve, & for good reason; it looks good on all of us. If you don’t have time to sit outside in the sun, or you live in a city where sunshine is a bit elusive (ahem, Chicago), Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Multi-Colour Broad Spectrum is your new best friend.  This lightweight multi-strip powder highlighter, sculpts & bronzes while providing the radiant glow of a blush.  It has a sheer, natural finish so you don’t feel or look like you’re wearing too much make-up, you’re simply enhancing your natural beauty.  More proof that Chanel thinks of everything, this fabulous product even contains SPF 15  sunscreen; your dermatologist would approve, Nordstrom’s, Suggested Retail: $65.00. This is a limited edition, so don’t delay this purchase!

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