‘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.


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.

Mondrian Dress

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.

Rose Gold Watch – Michael Kors

This versatile watch easily takes me from a day at work to an evening dinner. It was exactly what I needed to complement my weekday wardrobe. The square face makes a contemporary fashion statement and the rose gold tone lends a sleek style to the watch.

MICHAEL by Michael Kors Chronograph Rose Gold Dial Women’s Watch MK5331
• Three-eye functionality and a date window
• 50 Meters/165 Feet/5 ATM Water Resistant
• 36mm Case Diameter
• Quartz Movement
• Mineral Crystal

Spring Jacket – Patagonia Pipe Down

Patagonia Women's Pipe Down Jacket

 A great jacket for skiing/snowboarding or to wear around town on cold days.  The diagonal chevron quilting minimizes bulk and the cut is very complimentary to my figure.  Patagonia’s Deluge water repellant treatment keeps me dry and warm all day.  The premium goose down (600- and 800-fill-power) and the insulated hood with the fleece-lined collar is an effective shield from the wind.  I was surprised to find extra perks like a stretchy, removable powder skirt to keep out the snow and a pocket on the chest for easy access to my iPod with a cutout for earphones.  This jacket keeps me at the perfect temperature regardless of the weather conditions.

Spring Dress – Patagonia

Patagonia Women's Iliana Halter Dress


Patagonia Women's Margot Dress