Resort Round-Up

See more resort favorites here and here.

Alexander McQueen {red carpet ready}

Celebrities love McQueen. It's simply a fact at this point. And Sarah Burton keeps giving celebrities more reasons to don McQueen gowns for all their red carpet needs. These four dresses from the Resort 2013 presentation all have such red carpet appeal. I bet the last dress (on the far right) will show up on a celeb within the next week.

Rochas {vintage vacation}

Rochas is usually one of my favorite collections because like myself, designer Marco Zanini seems to be completely in love with the fifties and sixties. The ankle-length pants, the ladylike accessories, the ruffled full skirts in delicate pastels- it all reminds me of bygone American summers.

Moschino {mod squad}

 My love affair with all things retro continues with Moschino, which focused on psychedelic florals, oversized sunglasses, and exaggerated boxy shapes. On the top of my wishlist: that bell-sleeve jacket in dizzying lime.

Carven {the prep school girl}

Carven is another favorite of mine, somewhat because I can actually afford some of their clothes, but this resort presentation made me so happy. Carven is always good for a quirky take on the prep school girl, and this resort season was no exception. Tweed skirt suits, lunchbox-like purses, and intellectual brocade prints all had me smiling. And let's not even get me started on that bright blue beauty of a dress.

Nicole Miller {tropical getaway}

Nicole Miller went for the literal denotation of the word "resort" with her collection. Crop tops, tie dye/ombre, and tropical prints were in full swing. My personal favorite: the navy-to-gold one-shoulder dress. The bodice is fantastically draped, the skirt wonderfully mystical.

 Matthew Williamson {rainbow connection}
 
Matthew Williamson is not for the faint of heart. Williamson has always made a point of focusing on the girl who likes to stand out. He's a huge fan of beads, feathers, and other embellishments, not to mention dazzling brights. For resort, Williamson has enough color to satisfy a rainbow- bold corals, fresh mints, soft lavenders, and cool blues. I'm a big fan of the lace button-downs, perfect go-tos to throw over your swimsuit when resorting in Bora Bora. 

 Marc Jacobs {the bold and the beautiful}
 
 Another designer who isn't afraid of bold creations- Marc Jacobs. To quote Nicole Phelps' review on style.com, "Not for team MJ is Resort a season for play-it-safe clothes." In perhaps the most whimsical show of the season, Jacobs looked to the clown for inspiration and went from there. Part of Jacobs' genius is that some outfits are so editorial-ready, while others are perfect red carpet looks (Hilary Swank has already sported a black-and-white version of the pink-and-red dress on the far right), and others still are wonderful retail pieces (see the brown short suit that I absolutely love). There's something in here for everyone. As usual, Jacobs mixes vintage looks (the mix-and-match prints and ankle-length skirts) with refreshingly modern outfits (see here). 

P.S. Elle Fanning better wear this dress soon or else. It was practically made for her!

 (images from style.com)

surfing safari


Though not a surfer myself, I've grown up around the surf culture due to friends and family and have always been fascinated by the oceanic sport. There's something so beautiful and zen-like about surfing, even just watching it from the shore. Tory Burch's blog recently featured these photographs by Thomas and Tiffany Campbell, surf film creators. They are so nostalgic and yet so current at once. The warm corals of Thomas Campbell's studio contrasted against the azures of the sea. So lovely.

let me be your national anthem


One of my favorite holidays, the 4th of July, is just around the corner. I love finding the perfect red white and blue ensemble to rock while biking to the parade, hopping from barbeque to barbeque, and watching fireworks. Here are some fabulous patriotic picks for those of you still looking for perfect Americana pieces. 

all images from net-a-porter.com

cool as mint

from style.com
Chanel; Diane von Furstenberg; Matthew Williamson; Valentino; Oscar de la Renta

It looks like the deep emeralds of fall are going to transition into soft pastel mints come resort season. Every designer from Matthew Williamson to Oscar de la Renta is showcasing this cool color in their Resort 2013 presentations.

I personally enjoy how DVF did it best. To avoid looking like a prissy mother of the bride, go for baggy sweaters, tailored shorts, or sleek sandals when picking out minty-fresh items.

Will you be sporting mint this winter?

(images from style.com)

Style Crush: Elizabeth Banks

When The Hunger Games premiered in March, everyone was eagerly anticipating Jennifer Lawrence's rise to fashion fame- and rise she did. The star has stunned in Prabal Gurung, Marchesa, and Nina Ricci. But while the Lawrence certainly has lived up to her character's "girl on fire" reputation, the true star of the Hunger Games promotional tour turned out to be none other than Elizabeth Banks. Though not the star of the film by any means, Banks stole the spotlight from many of her younger counterparts both on and off screen. In the movie Banks portrays Effie Trinket, the District Twelve tribute escort and my personal favorite. It only seems fitting that Banks would mirror Trinket's whimsical, daring fashions on the red carpet while promoting the film.


But The Hunger Games has come and gone and still I'm noticing Banks everywhere. Always, she is dressed impeccably, a rare feat for actresses these days. Somehow Banks knows how to make a statement without going over the top. She knows what styles work for her and she always plays up her assets. Banks also knows how to pose with poise, always looking like she's having a blast, which is refreshing to see when so many starlets - *cough* Kristen Stewart *cough* - act like the red carpet is such a burden. 

So here's to Banks, who never fails to impress, whether it be in a bright mini, metallic frock, or feathered gown. A lesson to us all in impeccable styling and taste.


(images from zimbio.com)

monsters inc.

image taken by Tommy Ton for Style.com

Can we all stop to admire how fabulous this ensemble is, captured by Tommy Ton outside the London Spring 2013 Menswear shows? I spy: an 80s glam rock jacket a la Miu Miu, a neon floral Christopher Kane top (or dress??), an adorably zany Meadham Kirchhoff monster purse, and of course, a fluorescent yellow hairdo reminiscent of Lady Gaga in her "Telephone" days. A photo-worthy outfit indeed.

the sweet escape

original shirt by me
frenchi skirt
steve madden sandals

essentials only

Bags seem to be going in two directions these days, depending on the user. For the practical woman, there seems to be no end of hyper-functional totes, complete with phone compartments, fabulous hardware, and perfect extras like compact mirrors and key chains. These bags are perfect for airplane rides and lugging work materials. But as you all have probably experienced, a full tote is a bit of a burden on the shoulders and arms, and while they are practical in many occasions, schlepping your massive tote around town all day and night isn't the best solution. And so, in order to solve our problem, designers have hatched up the mini shoulder bag.

Mulberry $435 at net-a-porter.com
The mini shoulder bag: what happens when a cross-body satchel takes the shrinking potion Alice drinks in Alice in Wonderland. Unlike the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-carrying tote bags, use of the mini shoulder bag requires extreme editing expertise. Only the essentials are allowed. At best, you can squeeze in an iPhone, a few credit cards, and a vile of lip gloss. Maybe you can get some keys in there. But not a whole lot. 

While the mini shoulder bag doesn't leave a lot of room for extras, the concept is brilliant. When you hit the town or even just walk around a bit, you don't want to be burdened by a whole bunch of crap jammed into your big bag. While walking my dog this week up to a coffee cart for a tasty drink, I found myself realizing the beauty of the mini shoulder bag, which I have begun using whenever I walk my dog, go on a hike, see a concert, etc. In these situations, you really just need your phone, some money, an ID, etc. The mini shoulder bag makes it so convenient because it is so light on your shoulders -trust me, you will never want to go back to a normal purse- and you don't have to do the painstaking digging around a cluttered bag to find car keys, phone, whatever. 


I wouldn't toss out the old Celine Shopper just yet, because in many cases the mini shoulder bag just isn't big enough. But when you need the essentials only, there's nothing better than the mini shoulder bag.

Deena & Ozzy $29 at urbanoutfitters.com
Kate Spade $178 at katespade.com


Will you be using a mini shoulder bag any time soon?

working overtime


Summer equals endless amounts of free time, and I plan to use each and every minute of the approximately 68 days I have left until move-in day wisely. As nice as vegging out is for a day or two, I get upset if I go too long without productivity. And my, what a productive first full week of summer it has been! 

Above, the unfinished bodice to my newest project, the Sally dress. I found this fabric a while back in LA and I love the nautical stripes with flamingo pink. The original plan for this dress was to have a double-breasted design -you might notice in the above picture that one side of the bodice actually overlaps the other- but the row of buttons down the middle looked so perfect that I decided to go in that direction. Funny how things change from illustration to pattern to sewn piece.

Below, the finished result. Gathered skirt with a one-inch band at the bottom to give the skirt some more weight. I went with three buttons -even numbers are always nice! Now all I need to do is sew on the zipper and I'll have a brand new summer frock!

What productive -or not productive- things have you done this summer?

(images taken on my iPhone 4S and edited with instagram)

Tourist Attraction

Nina Ricci Resort 2013 via style.com

It is rather entertaining to see a brand so serious and poised take a stab at some tourist staples at the Nina Ricci Resort 2013 presentation. For the voyager who likes to explore but also knows how to dress, Peter Copping turned three well-known tourist ensembles into pret-a-porter gold: the tireless traveler with her sweatshirt tied around the waist (a cashmere sweatshirt over red-hot lace, no less); the hotel bath robe spa visitor, her robe haphazardly knotted to reveal her matching tunic; the easygoing beach cover-up, perfect for going straight to dinner from tanning all day.

Nice to see designers getting into the actual resort groove, even though I like it when resort collections branch beyond literal resort wear. Will you be donning Nina Ricci hotel robes any time soon?

Let's go down to the Seaside

Summertime and the livin' is sooo easy. Biking around, European football tournaments, finishing dresses in record timing. Ah, the life is good! Even if you aren't traipsing around, celebrating the beginning of a wonderful summer, look at these images to get you in the oceanic state of mind.

the Kennedy Clan
Tory Burch and Son
Brigitte Bardot at Cannes

cruisin'

What I hate about Resort collections is that the clothing for once actually fits the weather outside -warm, sunny, tropical prints and fabulous swimsuits- so it is tres difficult to realize that the clothes won't hit the shelves for another six months. Regardless, I found myself in love with several collections. What I enjoy is that many designers are going away from a strictly vacation-centered resort presentation and focusing on the overall time of resort wear -November/December is a busy time, and many women are bouncing between end-of-the-year business meetings, family gatherings, and festive parties.

Designers like Derek Lam and Reed Krakoff, known for their downtown-easy looks, stayed within their niches for resort by focusing on urban staples. 10 Crosby Derek Lam, a diffusion line, featured patchwork plaid and cool, Brooklyn-ready Saturday night ensembles, while Lam's signature line dealt with a sort of "urban explorer" style. Krakoff adorned his boxy dresses with neon oranges and blues and glitzy embellishments, making each look worthy of a gallery opening. 

10 Crosby Derek Lam

Derek Lam
Reed Krakoff

Others, like Thankoon and Gucci, took softer approaches to their resort presentations this year, opting for pastel hues and feminine touches. Both used pinks and baby blues, but Thankoon's bold silhouettes and Gucci's straight lines all help to give these looks some teeth.

Thankoon
Gucci

Another favorite was House of Holland, whose quirky prints and fun takes on fashion I have grown to admire. Pinks and blues reigned supreme here too, but Holland went for a more playful look. Even a simple white shirt dress is livened up with bright pom-pom trim.


House of Holland

Elsewhere, The Row made editors swoon once again with now-signature straight-leg pants, boxy coats and jackets, and elegant drapery. The modest footwear and fabulous, streamlined bags will sure to be knockouts. A few personal favorites: the embroidered black evening jacket, the fuchsia velvet-covered box bag, and the plastic navy and black skirt. The Olsen Twins sure do know their clothing.  

The Row

 (images from style.com)


Pomp and Circumstance

dress by me
j. crew sandals
betsey johnson bracelet

The dress I made and wore to my graduation party last Saturday. Ignore the iffy cell-phone quality and my dog, Toby, checkin' out my footwear in the background. 

Stay Classy, San Diego

It seems almost serendipitous that two days before my high school graduation, Rebecca Minkoff, a local designer, states that her Resort 2013 collection is a return to her "San Diegan roots". When I am most nostalgic for the hometown I will soon be leaving (79 days until I move into my dorm, according to my college) it is wonderful to see a homegrown designer use America's Finest City as her inspiration.

The 18-piece mid-season collection focused on the surf and skate cultures of Southern California. Two-tone baseball sweatshirts, sleeveless leather vests, and effortless shift dresses dominated the presentation, all in oceanic-worthy hues.

It was a little more downtown than I go for, but I really did enjoy it and I felt that Minkoff totally captured the San Diego Spirit.

Rebecca Minkoff Resort 2013, images from style.com