11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011Bostonista: 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Celebrity Moment: Elle Fanning in Teen Vogue!

Is it weird that even though I'm 26 my current fashion inspiration is 13-year-old Elle Fanning?
Probably, but I'm not alone in my Elle-fandom as she's been whole heartedly embraced by the fashion industry this past year.

(A hilarious conversation between my older brother and I ensued when I was reading Vogue's 2011 best dressed special issue a few weeks back. He flipped through it and was completely confused by the Fanning sister's being included. When I protested that Elle was "amazing"and "everyone in fashion is obsessed with her", he kept saying, "But she's a kid! She's 13! This isn't OK!" He and I will have to agree to disagree on that one!)

Elle has the Mulleavy stamp of approval and that's good enough for me!
This month, she's gracing the cover of age-appropriate Teen Vogue (which of course I just finally cancelled) and looking more beautiful and charming than even I thought possible.

So what do you think- Is Elle a style icon in the making or is the fashion world inappropriate for idolizing a child?

(Thanks to Teen Vogue for the pictures!)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide...

(The scene at Bloomingdales Blogger's Night Out Boston)

Well, it's Sunday which means there are only 8 days left until Christmas.
Panicking yet?

On Thursday, Bloomingdales invited their favorite Boston bloggers to a mixer and to show off all of the amazing gifts still available. There were so many great items that I decided to share them all with you! 

Consider this a list minute, luxe, gift guide for the most fashionable people in your life! Not near a Bloomingdales? That's okay! You can still shop online and get guaranteed Christmas delivery through Wednesday at 11:59 PM (for standard delivery) and Thursday by 5 PM (for express delivery). So, go ahead and look around- you still have plenty of time!

As always Rebecca Minkoff accessories top my shopping list. Her bags are classic shapes in beautiful materials and refreshingly logo free.
When I spotted this sumptuous Rebecca Minkoff ($395) I knew I had to add it to my own wish list! The shape and chain strap is incredibly ladylike while the pop of red and studs add personality making it a perfect gift for your little sister OR your favorite aunt!

Have a beauty addict friend? There is really only one thing that she wants this year-
...the Clarisonic Mia 2 ($142)! The Mia 2 takes everything that's great about the original Mia and adds on two cleansing speeds, a sensitive brush head, and timer! 

You might have noticed that, even though we don't have any snow, it is FREEZING here in Boston. I can't help but be drawn to fur- I feel like I'm being defensive but I thought this vest might be a controversial choice. Does it help that I grabbed it off the clearance rack? Well, if you don't have any qualms about fur and there is a glamorous lady in your life who deserves a luxe Christmas present then this Theory vest is it! Check out this similar style from Dolce Vita ($520) or go the faux route with this great vest from Aqua ($148)!

The Chestnut Hill Bloomingdales has a great All Saints Spitalfield's boutique up on the third floor that completely evokes the mood of the British label.
For your bad ass friends (or just the girl who likes to pair tough accessories with florals) I loved their Damisi motorcycle boots ($295)! I was also immediately drawn to this glamorous coat.
I know- fur again! But can't you imagine your jet setting friend bashing around London in it?
The weird thing is that while they have the in store boutique Bloomingdales.Com apparently doesn't carry All Saints. But you can still shop All Saints.Com

I always think sexy boyfriends deserve decadent but practical gifts so for the man in your life I'd go with this amazing Burberry watch ($295)
I love the leather strap and classic watch face. Its simple but masculine and can work as a present for your boyfriend or father. That doesn't happen often...unless you're creepy. 

If you want your boyfriend to smell better may I suggest my favorite cologne?
YSL's La Nuit Del'Homme ($75) makes me go weak at the knees every time I smell it and I usually hate all cologne on men!

At some point I must have stopped shopping for others and started looking for myself. But its hard to be in such a beautiful store and only shopping for other people! The Diane von Furstenberg section was right in the middle of our party so I can't really be held responsible!
First on my list is this darling tweed jacket with lemon lining ($585). I noticed that it isn't really heavy enough for a New England winter but layered over chunky knits with an infinity scarf or two it would be great on a mild day. I suppose its meant to be more of a menswear inspired, over sized blazer but I can't really do boxy shoulders. 
The other piece I was drooling over? This DVF embellished mini skirt ($285)! 
As far as I'm concerned you can never go wrong with neon and sparkles! Obviously, this is a great party piece but I'd also pair it with a neutral top and wedged boots or oxfords for day. 

I have no idea what I'll be doing for New Years Eve yet but whatever it is I want to be doing it in this stunning Parker dress ($308)! I literally stopped dead in my tracks when I came across the mannequin. Sure, it's a little cheesy but its also gorgeous and really fun just like NYE! 
I didn't want to leave it behind!

I hope my Bloomingdales gift guide has provided a lot of ideas and inspiration for you last minute shoppers! Don't get discouraged- the perfect gift is still out there you just need to know where to look! And don't forget yourself! That way you're guaranteed to like at least one present under the tree!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Model Moment: Chanel Iman in Valentino!

Best. Holiday. Outfit. Ever.


(Photo Courtesy of Refinery 29 and People's Revolution)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Interview with designer Chris Benz!

Chris Benz discussing pieces with a client at Gretta Luxe

Today, I was honored to have the opportunity of interviewing one of my favorite, emerging designers, Chris Benz at his trunk show at the beautiful Gretta Luxe Wellselley
There are some people in fashion who have huge egos or are just plain mean- Chris is not one of them. He couldn't have been sweeter when I admitted how nervous I was ("Want a glass of wine? We have people walking around with wine and champagne!") or when I started fashion geek-ing out ("I totally understand! I was the same way!").
Plus, it's really hard not to love a man who pulls off pink hair so well!

Gretta Luxe models wearing Chris Benz

Bostonista: Thank you so much for taking time out to talk with me today! I'm such a big fan!
Chris Benz: Of course! Thanks for coming!

Bostonista: You’ve said that the S/S 2012 collection was about an escape from the summer heat of the city. Like a wild trip to Coney Island. That inspiration is evident in the prints and colors but the silhouettes are very ladylike! What inspired the shapes? 
Chris Benz: Well, I mean, it was definitely about escaping. A lot of our collections are about escape! Our customer is often times very ladylike and free spirited at the same time. So, we were looking a lot at Andy Warhol and his contemporaries at the time like Candy Darling and how they were all very inspired by the idea of old hollywood glamour kind of in a tongue and cheek way and using that proportion to dress up for day so thats where a lot of the shapes came from.

Bostonista: You’re known for your use of color. How do you decide on a color palette every season? Does it come before or after the story for the collection?
  Chris Benz: It depends. It depends on the season sometimes, like the fall 2012 collection that we’re working on right now, we actually came up with the color palette before and then kind of backed up into the inspiration. So it depends. It always changes throughout the process. You know, at the very beginning we might want it to be all black and white and then like color is an accessory to it and then it will ultimately become a really colorful collection. Philosophically I like to design in a way where we’re open to as much inspiration through out the process as possible rather than coming up with an idea and having to...(Bostonista: Stick to it?) Yeah, exactly I like to be a little more fluid.
(Chris Benz with a blazer from his Spring 2012)

Bostonista: Do you have a favorite piece here today?
 Chris Benz: Well...I do love this dress. (Picks up a pink color blocked silk dress)Which actually at a store level- I spend so much time going around to stores and meeting with customers this is one that looks so great on everyone! Its a little bit of color blocking without feeling too crazy. Its really fun to have people try on this dress because its such a kind of like a crowd pleaser. And philosophically it goes back to every thing should be as comfortable as a t-shirt!
(Chris's favorite piece via the Spring 2012 look book)

Bostonista: You’ve been collaborating on shoes with Alejandro Ingelmo for a few seasons now- how did that come about? Can you elaborate on that process?
 Chris Benz: We’re very much contemporaries. Our business are at the same point. I know him just from living in New York and from being CFDA members together. I think we were both inducted in the same year. And it just came about as a natural progression. Obviously, we always need shoes! And, you know, he has a very specific aesthetic and so do I and in many ways (are) kind of opposite of each other so when we collaborate together it makes for such an interesting result in the end. The way that we do it is we have three meetings before, you know, while we’re developing the collection and we kind of pick what our silhouette is and Alejandro will create the shoe and then I’ll do whatever the color or application of print or whatever it is. The print and the colors always come from our end and then the structure is Alejandro. 

Bostonista: Any more collaborations planned for the future?
 Chris Benz: Well, we do jewelry also! This is all jewelry from Spring 2012 which we do with friends of mine whose collection is called The Woods and they are out of Colorado actually! They do a lot of high/low really well. Like, this (pointing to a necklace) is sandal wood and diamonds! Then there is all these Tibetan prayer pockets with these really gorgeous metal seed beads. We work with them much in the same way as we do with the other collaborations I give them inspiration and then let them go and they go and do their own spin on it. It always ends up being really great. They have really great taste and it always ends up being really beautiful.

 Bostonista: Would you consider doing a “Fast fashion” collaboration?
 Chris Benz: Maybe. I mean, at this point, we’re so busy with our main collection and whats exciting to me is developing that in a bunch of different ways. I’d love to do our own fast fashion moment! I feel like so many people have done it it doesn’t seem as exciting to me. But, you know, I think there is always a place for a little take-a-way.

 Bostonista: You started with an internship at Marc Jacobs and then designed for J. Crew. They are such different companies were there specific things you wanted to apply or avoid when you started your own business?
 Chris Benz: I don’t know that specifically there were things to replicate or not. I always say, when people ask me, "what should I be looking for? Whats the formula for doing things?" I feel like every experience is a learning process and theres always successes and failures throughout your life. For me, working for Marc was really great because it was the most beautiful fabrics, the most expensive buttons and hand sewing and all of those techniques that are kind of very old world designer which I loved. On the flip side a great takeaway from J. Crew was selling clothes! And really getting into the mind of the customer and merchandising and so the combination of those two experiences was what was really valuable.

 Bostonista: February is almost here which means the fall collections! How far along in the design process are you? What can we expect to see?
 Chris Benz: Well, its definitely dressy. We’re really feeling dressy and migrating away from the very casual and um kind of like sophisticated casual and going in a little bit dressier way.
Bostonista: To me, you’re the best at doing a neat, slouchy look- so is that still there?!
Chris Benz: Oh its definitely that! Absolutely!
(The scene during Chris's trunk show at Gretta Luxe!)

Thank you so much to Chris Benz, Eugene Migliaro, Gretta Monahan & her team at Gretta Luxe Wellesley, and Blair Smith and everyone at Krupp Group!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chris Benz Boston Trunk Show!

Meet designer Chris Benz at Gretta Luxe Wellesley tomorrow and shop his Spring 2012 collection!
I'll be there to interview him for Bostonista!
Do you have any questions for Chris?
I'll be picking 1 reader submitted question at midnight to ask tomorrow!

Sponsored Post: Makeup.Com

Thanks to L'Oreal for sponsoring my post about my favorite beauty looks, tips and tricks! Check out Makeup.com for beauty advice from the experts. 

 My makeup routine has become a little bit uniform. Sheer foundation, a little blush, liquid eyeliner, black mascara, and a nude-pink lip. I look really young and rather than fight it I tend to play it up with a bit of a baby doll look. But it can get a bit boring. When L'Oreal and Makeup.Com asked bloggers to dare to try something new I thought it was the perfect opportunity to break out of my makeup rut!
My inspiration?
The looks created in Rachel Zoe's Holiday 2011 collection look book:
I totally died over the dramatic plum lips!

I have to admit that I'm terrified of a bold lip. It seems so simple but I always feel so self conscious about it (is it too bright? has it smudged? what if it gets on my teeth?) that I almost never do it.
It doesn't help that the one time I did a bright red lip a friend made a not so nice comment and I retreated from lip color forever!

But the great thing about makeup is that it wipes right off! You can try anything one day and go back to comfortable the next. You can paint a Gaga lightning bolt on your cheek and pile on glitter or you can go natural and look like your most glamorous self. It isn't permanent or serious so have fun with it!
And what better time to add a little drama to your look than the holidays? With lots of parties and events you'll have plenty of opportunities to try out new things and if it doesn't work you can wash it off and start again! So I'm daring to try out a bright lip this Holiday season!

Of course, a new makeup routine always looks best when your skin looks its best so I always start with clean skin. Lately, I've been using Smashbox's Photo Finish Hydrating primer (I've also been using this without makeup as my daily moisturizer) followed by Estee Lauder's Idealist Illuminator and Neova's Eye Therapy. I used to believe that three skincare products was too much; that my skin would break out, flake, or turn foundation into a cakey mess! But its actually created smoother, glowing skin that needs less makeup to look amazing. Yes, I still breakout (that's just my skin type) but its easier to cover and the rest of my skin looks lovely.

I'm a girl plagued with chronically dry lips even in the summer.
But I found the perfect antidote at A Matter of Face in the North End!
 The lovely ladies there introduced me to Sara Happ's lip scrub and "lip slip". I've been using it every night and putting a light layer of the balm on in the morning and my pout has never looked (or felt) better!

And now on to the good stuff- lip color!

I love deep purples and plums right now- I know some people might automatically think of Hot Topic at the mention of purple lipstick but I swear it suits almost every skin tone. I'm quite pale and I've always loved the way it makes my skin glow.
One of my favorite deep purples that I'm finally daring to try comes from YSL's 2009 Holiday collection: Sweet Dark Purple #151.
This true berry goes on beautifully but it is a long wear color so if you're like me and need something with more moisture the texture may not be for you but it will last even after glass after glass of wine!
For a budget friendly, creamier feel I really loved Maybelline's Color Sensational High Shine in Dazzling Plum. I had shied away from trying Color Sensational because I was concerned that it would come across less like a color rich gloss and more frosty. I couldn't have been more wrong! I did have to pile on the layers with this one to get the strong color because it is much more sheer than the YSL but it feels amazing. Maybe there really is something behind the honey nectar ingredient!
(Maybelline Color Sensation High Shine)

I think I've mentioned my summer long search for the perfect bright pink lipstick that all began with a shot of Kate Bosworth supposedly wearing a Clarins that ended up looking nothing like how I wanted it to.
So the search has continued into the winter months!
I've been slow to jump on the Armani cosmetics bandwagon but when they announced a limited edition line of pink lip colors (Rouge d'Armani Hot collection) it pushed me over the edge! Could my obsessive search finally be over?
The color I'd been trying to find for months is Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Hot #522.
But it isn't necessarily a bold, daring color. So I turned to #520 that shocking, rich hot pink look. I still can't believe that such a creamy formula lasts this long! I get about six hours of wear even with my water bottle addiction!

(Giorgio Armani d'Armani Hot)

Of course the boldest of the bold lip color (in my opinion anyway) will always be the classic red lip. The trick for it to look sexy and beautiful is to find the perfect shade for your skin tone.
And that has been my ultimate downfall. There are so many reds to choose from on the market today that it can be really overwhelming! I tend to forgo the drugstore when looking for red since you (usually) can't test them out before you buy them. I decided to hit the MAC store the last time I was at the mall and was surprised to find that MAC's bestseller MAC Red really worked well on me. The trick was to finding the right lip pencil and rather than just lining my lips I filled them in with the pencil (I used MAC's Kiss Me Quick) and then layered lipstick on top. It helped my lipstick to last longer and I needed less of it. 

So did my return to color work out? I was definitely self conscious at first but after I glimpse in the my car mirror I realized how much I liked not having a smokey eye. Since most women who grew up around the time I did were raised on gloss and lots of eye makeup my vibrant lips made me stand out from the crowd. Plus, there is something so glamorous about carefully applying lipstick with a mirror instead of just slathering on gloss. It felt grown up but also sort of liberating. Those mean comments that persuaded me away from red before? I didn't care- I was having way too much fun!

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Click here to learn more about Makeup.com or become a Facebook fan by clicking here.

(Photos courtesy of MAC, L'Oreal, and Rachel Zoe)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Events In Boston: Newbury St. Holiday Stroll

Looking for something to do on Saturday?
How about some holiday shopping?

The unseasonably warm weather might put a damper on the whole white Christmas idea but it does make Christmas shopping on Newbury a whole lot more appealing!
And you might just run into Santa (and me) doing some shopping!

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