Spring into a Midi Skirt

What is a midi? A skirt that hits anywhere from just below the knee to mid-calf. The flattering length first became popular in the 40’s, was revived in the 60’s and is coming back in a big way. For a modern look, pair the midi with ankle boots, cropped sweater and a fun accessory like a bold purse or pointed-toe pumps.

Take a look at how these celebrities rock their midi skirts…

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This is how everyday fashionistas wear their midis…

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Here’s what I will be looking for on my next shopping trip…

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Happy midi shopping!

KEEN on Summer Hiking Shoes

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This summer, I’ve been trekking around in KEEN hiking shoes and I absolutely love them!  These lightweight shoes propel me up the trail and I’m instantly transformed in to an expert hiker. The rugged women’s shoes provide the needed stability and flexibility for all types of terrain.  The innovative, breathable KEEN.DRY technology allows my feet to breathe and stay dry all day.  When I get home, I simply spray down the shoes and they are ready for the next adventure.

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Trina Turk for Banana Republic: Rescue Dogs Perfect the Look

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My answer to fun, colorful summer clothes is here!  Banana Republic has collaborated with designer Trina Turk to launch a line of bright prints at reasonable prices ($34 – $150).

Trina Turk’s swirly patterns and bold colors are popular among celebrities from Taylor Swift to Eva Longoria. By partnering with Banana Republic, the designer is bringing her Palm Springs inspired looks to the masses. In addition, she is expanding the Mr. Turk menswear collection and she recently rolled out jewelry, sunglasses, stationery and bedding. The Trina Turk lifestyle has endless possibilities!

This ingenious video adds a playful element to Trina Turk’s prints and brings awareness to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). After watching the clip, I’m not only motivated to browse Banana Republic’s newest collection, I’m tempted to adopt a greyhound from the local animal shelter.

People StyleWatch | June 2012

‘Magic City’ Revives Retro

In the new STARZ original series, Magic City, Miami Beach, 1959 was the place to be and be seen. It was a time when the mob ruled and political turmoil impacted daily life. Miami was an exotic oasis, a place for the privileged to break away from their wholesome image. With the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop, the Magic City style adds a sense of mystery to classic looks and risqué appeal to retro trends.

The show’s costume designer, Carol Ramsey created sleek, fashion forward styles that were unique to each character. On the set, it was the norm to spend hours squeezing into girdles, polishing shoes, ironing dresses and finding time period accessories to match each outfit. The endless hours spent on perfecting the details brought the characters to life. “Costume design is more than just making great outfits. It’s about the psychology and drama of the characters and the world,” says Ramsey.

The stunning dresses capture the true essence of ’50s glamour. To add authenticity to the Magic City designs, Ramsey created nine original gowns. One of her creations was a white beaded evening gown that weighed six pounds and took 160 hours of hand sewing to create (shown below).

I can’t help but find inspiration for my own wardrobe in each new episode. The leading ladies of Magic City make their polished looks and classic trends appear effortless. I look forward to the day a designer is daring enough to create a Magic City line similar to the Mad Men Collection for Banana Republic. Until that day, I will escape to Magic City, a place where style is paramount.

New episodes of Magic City premiere Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT (from now to 5/1/12) on STARZ.

The Official Style of the Kentucky Derby

Last year, my friend and I fulfilled our dream of attending the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY.  We spent the weekend watching the races and admiring the epitome of southern sophistication.  While taking in the sights, we noticed an uncanny trend sweeping Churchill Downs; people replacing their stylish derby hats with large pink foam whales.  After asking around, we were informed the Vineyard Vines booth was responsible for the whale phenomenon.  The grassroots marketing stunt was so impressive, I immediately wanted to know more about the brand. 

Vineyard Vines has an inspirational story behind the company’s humble beginnings.  The American apparel and accessory retailer was founded in 1998 by brothers Shep and Ian Murray. The two gave up the security of their high-paying corporate jobs to take a leap of faith and start their own business.  In pursuit of the “living the good life,” the brothers moved from Manhattan to Martha’s Vineyard and began selling their unique, colorful ties out of a Jeep.  It wasn’t long before the distinctive designs and the signature pink whales became an emblem of “the good life.”   In addition to creating fun ties, Vineyard Vines supports charities and organizations by creating symbolic patters that are “Tied to a Cause.” 

Vineyard Vines has been named the “Official Style of the Kentucky Derby” and offers a collection of prints named: “Run for the Roses,” “Churchill Polka Dot,”  “Lucky Julep” “Off to the Races” and “Down the Stretch.” This is the first clothing label that Churchill Downs has partnered with to create an official fashion collection associated with the Kentucky Derby.

The  brand offers a wide range of sportswear, polo shirts, tops, tunics, dresses, skirts, outerwear, hats, belts, bags, swimwear and sandals.  Everything you can think of for a day at the races or a day with friends. 

 Quotes by Shep and Ian Murray, CEOs and Co-Founders of Vineyard Vines:

  • “You might have to work at doing what you love, but it’s the best kind of work there is.”
  • “There is nothing like fining your spot in the sun.”
  • “Whenever we can, we try to bring something new to the table.”

Show Your Spring Colors with Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer’s classic prints are inspired by nature’s ability to rejuvenate and renew. For over 50 years, the iconic clothing brand has been known for bringing playful patterns and citrus-inspired shades to life with unique, effervescent designs.

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It all began when the 21-year-old Lilly eloped with Herbert (Peter) Pulitzer Jr., the grandson of publisher Joseph Pulitzer. In the 1950’s, the couple settled in Palm Beach, Florida and Lilly opened a juice stand with the produce from her husband’s citrus groves. While working at the juice stand, Lilly found that the juice ruined her clothes. To camouflage the juice stains, she used colorful floral kitchen curtains to design sleeveless shift dresses. It didn’t take long until Lilly found her homemade dresses were more popular than her juice.

Lilly went out of the juice business and started Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. in 1959. As president, she focused on what she loved; designing and selling her dresses. The clothing label gained national exposure when Lilly’s childhood friend, Jacqueline Kennedy was photographed on the cover of LIFE magazine wearing a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress. It wasn’t long before the brand became synonymous with celebrities and socialites. Lilly has rightfully earned the title, “Queen of Prep.”

Today, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. is going green and it’s not a citrus-green floral print. The cotton collection is eco-friendly and officially endorsed by Cotton Inc. The dye process for garments is 100% green and the printing method is certified for using low-impact dye, eliminating any harmful byproducts. In addition, the hang tags and labels are made from 100% recycled materials. Lilly Pulitzer creates quality clothing that lasts for decades. Many women recycle their well-tailored dresses by passing them down to future generations.

If you are like me, you will be saving to invest in a timeless Lilly Pulitzer dress. Feel free to rationalize the purchase by telling yourself the piece will eventually become a family heirloom. Whether you get the real thing or find a close substitute, bold colors and vibrant prints will always define prep at its best!

A Fashion Visionary: YSL

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is known for being one of the greatest names in fashion. At the age of 17, YSL left home to work for Christian Dior. He launched a spring collection for Dior at age 21 and gained critical acclaim for his dress designs. In 1962, he was released from Dior and started his own label, YSL. He would go on to become one of the most celebrated designers in history.

YSL was best known for the Mondrian dress and his “Le Smoking” tuxedo suite for women that he introduced to the world in the mid 1960s. Not only did he adapt the male tuxedo to a women’s curves, but also safari jackets, pea jackets and flying suits. By tailoring the basic shapes of the male wardrobe, YSL set new standards for lady’s fashion. YSL created clothes to allow women to dress with influence and power while simultaneously showing off their feminine silhouette in style. In addition, he went on to become the first designer to use ethnic minorities as models on the runway.

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Modern “Le Smoking” Tuxedos

Denver Art Museum hosts the only U.S. showing of “Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective.” The exhibit showcases 200 outfits from over 40 years of creativity from the late influential French designer.

“This exhibition demonstrates the impact of YSL’s work on the history of fashion and the present-day relevance of his style,” said exhibition curator Florence Müller. “His creations achieved an ingenious symbiotic relationship between setting style and recognizing popular trends that made them not only wardrobe necessities, but also reflected women’s changing role in society.”

If you love fashion, art and history, you don’t want to miss the internationally acclaimed YSL exhibition with over 200 outfits showcased at the Denver Art Museum from March 25 – July 8, 2012.