Sunday, October 15, 2017

Your Very Own Judgey Robot Stylist? Amazon's Echo Look is Cool but Creepy

"Open the closet doors, Hal..."

File this one under Things That Are Great...Except That They Are Also Probably Terrible.  Amazon is rolling out the Echo Look -- an innocuous looking little robot, surveillance camera, device that promises to be your personal stylist, fashion photographer and brutally savage fashion critic all in one.  From the comfort of your home, and prompted by the sound of your voice, the Echo Look will take hands-free, full-length photos and videos of you to build "your own personal Look Book."

I didn't know I needed a personal Look Book, but the idea makes Instagram #stylechallenge collage photos seem soooooo 2015.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Style Inspiration: The Ultimate Rule Breaker Iris Apfel

"I don't have any rules, because I'd only be breaking them." --Iris Apfel

There needs to be another word besides legend or icon to assign to Iris Apfel.  Of course she is both of those things, but much more.  She's packed at least four lifetimes worth of exuberance, style and panache into her 95 years, and still shows no signs of slowing down.  (You could spend a week pouring over her mid-20th century textile designs, alone.)  Her attitudes about everything from relationships to aging are as fresh and exciting as her unparalleled knack for accessorizing.  And don't get me started on her Park Avenue apartment... I don't have to say anything.  Just look at it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

More of My Picks for Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Fashion Trends

Ease up on fashion rules with everything from space prints to Fall florals.


Designers are pushing all kinds of envelopes this year when it comes to fall and winter fashion trends, and I couldn't be happier.  There are so many different approaches this season, it's as if all the rules were abandoned and somebody declared a style free-for-all.  (I'm in!)  Skinny pants, wide leg pants, short skirts, maxi skirts, fringe, faux fur, metallics, demure checks, wild floral prints, patent leather, oversized sweaters, embroidery, lace... if you can think it up, you will probably find it this year, often worn together in a brazen embrace of pattern mixing.  

Here are some of my favorites for FW18:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sustainable Fashion Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Picks

How to Engage with Ethical Fashion

We are awash in images of new fashion for the FW17 season, and the designs are gorgeous.  But how can we enjoy style fun without contributing to the egregious waste and exploitation of the fashion industry, especially when fast fashion makes it easy to embrace every trend?

Sustainably chic in a Karina dress!
One way I try to limit my fashion footprint is by supporting sustainable, ethical fashion brands.  The documentary The True Cost was instrumental in changing the way I looked at the clothing I buy.  I'll be honest ... the film is shocking.  It reveals the ways fast fashion depletes the earth's resources and utilizes what can only be described as slave labor in horrific and even deadly working conditions.  I had begun to wonder why I could buy a pair of shoes for only $14.  The answer? Because the industry had found a cruel, wasteful way to cut costs.

That just didn't sit well with me.

I realized that while our global economy is praised by politicians and big business as good for American corporations and consumers, it actually means that most of the goods we buy in America are made elsewhere, often in appalling conditions.  It's not just fashion, either.  Almost everything we purchase -- from mobile phones to furniture -- is manufactured in settings with far less worker protections or environmental consideration than laws would allow here.

So how do we even begin to make a difference without buying nothing, moving to a cabin in the woods and eschewing the modern world?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall is Here! My Picks for Fall/Winter 2017-2018 Fashion Trends

Fall/Winter styles run the gamut from classic checks to futuristic metallics...

As a Los Angeles resident, I am always surprised when Fall weather shows up.  Fall often feels more like extended summer -- which is not so great when you are tired of sundresses and looking forward to fall boots and jeans.  This year, however, the thermometer has already begun to inch lower, and the evenings have already begun to feel cooler.  Although another heatwave is probably just around the corner, I'm inspired to look at what designers have come up with for a new season...
Time for fall boots!

Turns out, there are enough varying trends to make this style contrairista's head spin.  Proving once again that fashion is morphing from a single set of hard and fast rules into a broad palette of suggestions, this season's designer goodies have something for everyone.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

That Effortless French Style

Paris street style is always chic.

Pearls and my 20-year old chenille jacket...
"A girl must be two things: classy and fabulous"
--Coco Chanel

Trends come and go, but there is something so enduringly cool about the fashion sense of French women.  Watch French films from the 1940s to present day and take notice of how French style choices are so timelessly nonchalant: a crisp white shirt partially tucked into a pair of faded jeans, black patent heels with a black mini skirt, a classic quilted handbag, tousled hair that makes a woman appear as if she just beautifully tumbled out of bed ... after passionately kissing goodbye someone who looks exactly like Jean Paul Belmondo circa 1966.

How do those French women make it all look so easy?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fashion for Transformation and Healing

The Transformative Power of Clothes

I recently read an article at Glamourtunist about the healing power of fashion.  It really resonated with me.

"Given all of the research and benefits of art therapy in the healing process," Dominique Michelle Davis writes in the piece, "there stands to be a lot of advancement in promoting the therapeutic benefits in the world of fashion.  In a culture shaped upon promoting unrealistic standards of beauty, there lies an opportunity to use creative expression in the healing process, but we are starting to hear more about the conversation of how fashion can be healing."

Wait, what?  Fashion can be healing?  Things as superficial as clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry can help us with our deepest issues?  Actually, yes.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Love Letter to the Little Black Dress

A quick history of the glorious, ever-versatile LBD

Oh Little Black Dress, where would I be without you?  You always know exactly who I need to be.  I've worn you to professional meetings, cocktail parties, corporate functions, and family dinners.  You always make me look like I belong.  You don't even clash with the many accessories I've made you coordinate with over the years -- the leather jacket for all those concerts, pearls for that banquet with my ex-boyfriend's snobby country club parents, faux fur for Vegas, a chenille blazer for a dinner meeting with ad execs -- you, Little Black Dress, are the ultimate team player.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ethical Fashion Part 4: Knit Your Own Style Statement with Girly Knits!

Check out the adorable socks you can make with patterns by the fabulous Lauren Riker of Girly Knits!

It's finally getting cold enough for winter clothes here in Los Angeles, and I can think of nothing better to wear than things that are soft and cozy.  One of the cooler trends of Winter 2016 -- or, maybe I should say one of the warmer trends -- is knitted clothing.  These fashion pieces take knitwear out of Grandma's sewing basket and put it right on the runway.  (Slay, Grandma!)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Metallic Shoes and Other Sparkly Fashions: More than Trendy


The Fall 2016/Winter 2016 metallic trend is awesome...

I love shiny things.  Getting to actually WEAR shiny things?  I don't call it a trend, I call it a wardrobe necessity.  Lucky for people like me, Fall/Winter 2016 has been all about the metallics -- and that means that there are lots of cool, sparkly goodies the choose from.