happy holidays!

I'm off for a family-filled weekend of holiday fun at the farm (wow, try saying that five times fast), so before I abandon the internet until I get back in the office on Tuesday - Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, everyone! Whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a joyful holiday. I leave you with these seriously f-ing amazing, totally swoon worthy dream shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. It would be a total dream to find these bad boys under the tree, wouldn't it?

Giuseppe Zanotti Metallic Leather Wedge Sandals, $895 | www.net-a-porter.com


hutchinson-scofield made my grandma swoon

Hutchinson-Scofield shirt/Armani jacket/Tom Ford tie

Hutchinson-Scofield is a premium dress shirt company that recently launched here in the States. The shirts are beautiful - they're made from 100 percent Peruvian pima cotton and are custom made to order. 

But that's not what made my grandma swoon.

No, that honor goes to Danny, the gorgeous model who rocked the shirts in the brands campaign images, which I styled. My grandma had never been on a shoot before, and since this one was set at my mom's farm, she took the opportunity to do a set visit. Let's just say it was love at first sight.

Learn more about Hutchinson-Scofield here and check out more images from the fall campaign, shot by Lians of LM Studios, below.

social butterfly

Alexander McQueen s/s 2008
photo: style.com

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wish list: red valentino check knit dress

How cute is this sweater dress!? From the RED Valentino collection, it features a geometric print and an adorable bow at the neck. The pleated skirt and contrast ribbing at the waist are super flattering, and it's a great transitional piece. Wear it now with cozy tights, and when the weather starts to warm up this spring, ditch them in favor of bare legs, nude heels, and an ivory leather jacket.

$635, Shopbop

back in action! or "bitch stole my look!"

I'm back! The trip was absolutely amazing. We actually disembarked last Monday, but it has taken me this long to catch up on work. I also hadn't done ANY holiday shopping before we left, so last week was a flurry of shopping. But now all the gifts have been bought, wrapped and tucked under the tree, and I'm ready to get back in the swing of blogging!

I also admit that before I even started thinking about what my first post back should be, I caught up on some TV. Imagine my gleeful (sorry) response when I watched the sectionals episode of Glee and caught an entire show choir dancing around in the BCBG dress I wore on the ship. Peep me and my girls above (that's designer Kelly Lynne on the far left in one of her own designs) and video from the show below.


bon voyage!

Thanks to the holiday last week and the hectic pace of my day job over the past few weeks, posting has been light, and I apologize in advance because next week will be even worse because I'm going on vacation - WOOOHOOOO!!! 

In case you couldn't tell, I'm very, very excited.

Six of my amazing friends, my husband and I are embarking on a Western Caribbean cruise. I'm excited to lounge around by the pool and explore the islands we're visiting, but I'm most excited for the sartorial vacation - I get to put away the winter clothes and slip back into summery dresses, not to mention the excitement of dressing for dinner every night. So excited!!!

I promise to be a good little blogger when I get back.


links a la mode

As a member of the Independent Fashion Bloggers network, I am super lucky to be part of a community of incredibly talented style bloggers. Last week, my post on 10 Crosby by Derek Lam was selected for the weekly IFB Links a la Mode blog roundup - a huge honor!!! Check out my original post here and the other posts from the November 24 roundup below.

Getting Into The Spirit


Edited by Taylor Davies


Thanksgiving is now officially behind us, so it's time to start looking ahead to the coming holidays and all the fan-fair that comes along with them. From Black Friday shopping to holiday parties to festive DIY projects, there's a lot of inspiration in this week's Links a la Mode selections.

Along with all this inspiration, a few of our bloggers tackled some tough issues, from finding the balance between sexy and frumpy dressing in the workplace, vanity sizing, recession dressing and improving your blog posts. I thought these were important and critical to include for this week's round up, because even as the holiday season gets into full swing, and we're overcome with twinkling lights, festive parties and sequins galore - the same problems and difficulties we face the rest of the year will be here.






Holiday Sale at Shopbop: Rachel Roy, Anya Hindmarch, Rachel Zoe Bags, Coated Denim, Vix, Paige Jeans, Boots, Alexander Wang Purses, Sonia Rykiel, Tory Burch Bags, Vince Tops, Marc Jacobs Bags & Shoes.



If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine


10 crosby is here!!!

10 Crosby, Derek Lam's new diffusion line, debuted on Shopbop today, and it doesn't disappoint. Lam launched the line, named after the address of his NYC headquarters and inspired by the cool downtown girls who populate the neighborhood, back in June with a Resort lookbook starring model-of-the-moment Hanne Gaby Odiele. The collection is finally available for sale, and Shopbop celebrated the launch with their own lookbook of some of 10 Crosby's must-have pieces. Check out my favorites below - along with some more ideas on how to style the pieces.


watch this: behind the scenes at alexander mcqueen s/s 2012

Too gorgeous for words. This amazing behind the scenes look at the Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2012 show is breathtaking - the detail on the clothes, the hair, the makeup. And it really captures how much work goes into creating such a transcendent fashion moment.

christmas: dreams of far away by karl lagerfeld for printemps

I think I have died and gone to holiday merchandising heaven. Printemps, the famous Parisian department store, enlisted Karl Lagerfeld and his team at Chanel to create 11 window displays with the theme "Christmas: Dreams of Far Away." The results are absolutely amazing. For the Paris window, mini Karl's climb on the Eiffel Tower amid perfect little Chanel camellias. For Moscow, mini ballerinas dance on the stage of Chanel Theatre. For Venice, everything glitters, from the chandelier to the gorgeous gown. I just have one question: Karl, want to come help me decorate my place for the holidays?


ferragamo's creations

Last week I had the pleasure of co-hosting an event at the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique at Somerset. The event celebrated the Ferragamo's Creations collection, a limited-edition series of historical styles created by Salvatore Ferragamo, many of them for Hollywood screen sirens like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland, Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo, Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, and Carmen Miranda. The re-released styles are made on the original lasts, and each shoe is produced in a limited number of 150, 250 or 500 - and once they're sold, that's it. The style is no longer available.

The event was not just an opportunity to ogle some seriously beautiful shoes, though - I also learned a lot about the Salvatore Ferragamo heritage. For example, did you know that Ferragamo invented both the wedge heel and the stiletto? Ferragamo created the stiletto in the '50s for Marilyn Monroe. Who knew?

Check out all the gorgeous Creations styles at the Salvatore Ferragamo boutique at Somerset Collection through Sunday, November 20, and see pics from the event after the jump.


i heart daphne guiness

Pieces from Daphne Guinness' wardrobe, currently exhibited at the museum at FIT

It's no secret I have a major girl/fashion crush on Daphne Guinness. She is ridiculously inspirational to me. Check out an incredible profile on Daphne by NPR here.

(P.S.: Thank you to my good friend Kelly Lynne for sharing this interview with me!)

watch this: giffords circus by ellen von unwerth

This video makes me very, very happy. Lula is one of my absolute favorite magazines ever. The Lula girl lives in a hazy, dreamy world where the clothes are gorgeous. Ellen von Unwerth shot a circus-themed editorial for the latest issue, and of course it's amazing. Check out behind-the-scenes video from the shoot below. A clydesdale, a knife thrower doing changement, a bear, lots of fluffy pink cotton candy - what's not to love? Now I just have to stalk every bookstore in Detroit until I find a copy of the new issue...

Giffords Circus By Ellen Von Unwerth from nathan guillaumey on Vimeo.


kelly lynne black friday sample sale!!!

Looks from the 2011 Kelly Lynne collection

My favorite Detroit designer, Kelly Lynne, is having a one-day-only online sample sale on Black Friday (November 25). Via her Etsy store, you can score gorgeous, handmade pieces from past and present collections at incredible prices. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone special on your holiday shopping list, you don't want to miss this! Check out the Kelly Lynne collection on her website, and be sure to log on to her Etsy page on the 25th!

UPDATE: Psst...I have a secret! Kelly Lynne launched her sample sale a little early for friends and family - since I love all my little blog readers, I wanted to make sure you were in the know. ;)


seeing red

I celebrated a milestone birthday last week, and because my husband is the best, he spoiled me with a shopping spree and an amazing birthday party (more on the party later). While we were shopping, I noticed a distinct pattern: I couldn't resist red. Red shoes, red bags, red dresses, red gloves - you name it, if it was in crimson, I wanted it.

One of fall 2011's key colors, I fell for red back in August when I styled a shoot with local rock band See Jane Rock. Fronted by twin sisters Mia and Sydney, the band was going for a rock chic look. I pulled a pair of super skinny, bright red jeans by Rich & Skinny and paired them with a sparkly Alice + Olivia top, my own leather jacket, and Mia's own Converse.

Mia from See Jane Rock

Mia looked pretty badass, and I was instantly obsessed. After the shoot I even bought my very own pair of red skinny jeans.

So back to my birthday shopping spree - my love affair with red, sparked by those red skinny jeans, was in full effect. Check out my new wardrobe staples:


watch this: carine's world

Carine Roitfeld, former editor of French Vogue, is a super hero. Since leaving the magazine, she has started working with Barneys, styling their windows and catalogues, and is even a face for the store. In this fabulous video shot by Mario Sorrenti, Roitfeld goes about her fabulous day being her fabulous self in fabulous Paris. Yes, she's that fabulous.


visionaire #61: larger than life

Ever been flipping through the latest issue of Vogue and thought to yourself, "You know, this magazine would be WAY better if it was bigger"? Well, then the latest issue of Visionaire, the super expensive collectors fashion magazine, is definitely for you.

The Standard Edition of the "Larger Than Life" issue, which features Lady Gaga as a mermaid on the cover, measures up to over 3' x 4' - yes, FEET. If that's still not big enough, there is a 5' x 7' Deluxe Edition available in a limited edition of 250.

So what does the extra, Guinness World Record-breaking real estate offer? As Visionaire says on its website, the issue "gives iconic artists and image-makers the forum to take their visions to a massive scale." To see just how massive, and to find out who contributed to the largest magazine ever, watch the video here.

Visionaire #61 "Larger Than Life" Standard Edition, $375, and Deluxe Edition, $1,500 | http://www.visionaireworld.com/shop/


watch this: barneys celebrates 20 years of christian louboutin

Christian Louboutin: Celebrating 20 Years and the Launch of the Book from BARNEY'S NY/ Michelle Chu on Vimeo.

As if you weren't already convinced that the Barneys visual department is genius, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the New York store's current windows, celebrating 20 years of Christian Louboutin and the launch of the designer's new book, were created. Absolutely brilliant.

newsflash: v's next cover star isn't a celebrity

Sui He and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem

For the first time in two years, V Magazine has replaced its usual celeb cover stars with models, WWD reports. There are four different covers to drool over, featuring the beautiful faces of Candice Swanepoel and Joan Smalls, Daphne Groeneveld and Saskia de Brauw, Sui He and Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, and Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Lindsey Wixson.

Carine Roitfeld, who styled the shoot, had this to say about the covers:
"It's a big moment of change in fashion. In some cases, you feel like it’s the end of an era. I have been feeling this with cover subjects, and especially models. These eight girls are unique, not one is like the other. Candice is the only blonde and blue-eyed of this new generation of supermodels. Joan is black, Sui He is Asian, Hanaa is North African. It’s their diversity that makes each of them, to me, truly modern. They bring a new energy to fashion."
Seeing as it's for The Model Issue, which hits stands November 8, it only makes sense for V to feature actual models on the cover, but let's hope it's not just a one-off. Models are models for a reason - they know how to create a narrative on a camera, showing off the clothes to their best advantage. Every person involved with a shoot - the photographer, model, stylist, hair stylist, makeup artist - are integral in the success of a shoot. Without all working together at the top of their game, a shoot will fall flat. 

I'm not saying that a celebrity can't capture that same magic on film, but it's not their first and foremost craft. Plus, does anyone else feel weird tearing out pages from a celebrity shoot and hanging them on your wall? Yeesh, Tiger Beat flashbacks…

See all of V's model-rific covers after the break.

i heart heather huey

Many seasons ago, before she was adorning the likes of Mia Wasikowska, Lara Stone, and Kristen McMenamy for publications like Interview, W and Vogue Italia, I met couture milliner Heather Huey at a party she was throwing during fashion week. An absolute sweetheart and total doll, Huey is also brilliantly creative. Known for exquisite headpieces and incredible cages (seriously, how does she make those beautiful things?), Huey has taken the fashion world by storm, and it's been fun to watch her star rise. Earlier this week, The Cut ran a slideshow of some of her best work to date, which you can see here. Also be sure to check out her site, www.heatherhuey.com, to see more creations so beautiful they'll make you cry.


watch this: diving for mcqueen

Diving for McQueen on Nowness.com.

I am obsessed with this video of New York Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn talking with Alexander McQueen designer Sarah Burton about the house's breathtaking, marine-inspired Spring/Summer 2012 collection. The detail the camera catches is exquisite - when shot in extreme close up, the clothes look like living, breathing creatures. You really see the level of craftsmanship that goes into creating each and every piece. And how amazing is the Alexander McQueen atelier? So pristine, the perfect incubator for otherworldly fashion.

It's also fascinating to listen to Horyn and Burton talk about the next generation entering the fashion profession. They are from two ends of the fashion world spectrum, but they both seem to be saying the same thing: Everyone wants the glory - to sit front row, to be the designer - but no one wants to put in the actual work to get there.

Thank the fashion gods there are people like Burton and the genius she succeeded who took the time to learn the craft and become true artists - without them, fashion would be just a sad, commercial mess.

scent of a woman: lubov azria on bcbg's haute new fragrance

From cutting-edge runway looks to feminine party dresses, BCBGMAXAZRIA creates gorgeous clothes and accessories for women from all walks of life. Earlier this fall, the fashion house made its first foray into fragrance with a chic signature scent. To find out more about the fragrance, paper + cloth turned to BCBGMAXAZRIA chief creative office Lubov Azria. In the blog's first guest post, Lubov breaks down the scent's intoxicating elements and curates some truly chic looks that embody its essence:

When developing the BCBGMAXAZRIA fragrance, the goal was to create something that would truly embody the spirit of the BCBGMAXAZRIA woman. Our woman is both trendsetting and timeless. She does it all, and the BCBGMAXAZRIA fragrance embodies that appeal, making it perfect for every woman. We worked with rare ingredients, such as the orris flower and lily of the valley from the south of France, to achieve a sophisticated yet flirty fragrance jewel. 


the hunt: perfect parkas

UPDATE: Hey, it's 2012! Want a parka to wear this fall? Check out 

When you live in Michigan (or anywhere else with schizophrenic fall/winter weather), your outwear wardrobe deserves just as much attention as your regular wardrobe. With the temperature dropping, I find myself craving the comfort of a warm, cozy jacket that will help me transition from the golden days of autumn to the gray days of winter. Fortunately, lots of labels have been updating a utilitarian classic: the parka. The best come with (faux or real) fur trim and extra special details. Here are some of my faves:


1/ Madewell Fairbanks Parka
With a removable sherpa lining, this hooded parka with removable faux fur trim is warm and versatile.

$298, Madewell

wish list: alexander mcqueen zipper tweed knuckle-box clutch

I am a huge fan of Alexander McQueen's Knuckle-Box Clutch, and I am DYING for it in black and white tweed. The zipper details make this version truly special, and who can resist the Swarovski crystal skull ring clasp?


around the world-wide-web: tom ford, alexander wang, carine roitfeld and more

Set your DVRs - a documentary on designer/film director/fashion god Tom Ford is airing October 23 on OWN. (Marie Claire)

The LA Times jumps on the Alexander Wang train. (LA Times)

How does Carine Roitfeld stay in such svelte shape? Ballet! (Huffington Post)

Preview Madewell's spring collection. (The Cut)

Tavi interviews Lula editor-in-chief Leith Clark (NOWNESS)

Anyone looking for super fancy, $19,000 shoelaces? Yeah, I didn't think so. (Fashionista)

newsflash: doo-ri chung for macy's

Yep, it's official - Doo-Ri Chung is the next guest designer in Macy's series of collaborations for its Impulse line. Slated to hit stores on February 15, 2012, the Doo.Ri for Impulse, Only at Macy's collection will preserve the artisanal draping, knits and prints that have made her signature line a success.

Chung, who recently dressed First Lady Michelle Obama in a purple jersey gown for a state dinner in honor of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, told WWD that she didn't water down her design aesthetic for the mass market:
"The customer is very different from whom we've catered to before, but I really didn't have to adapt. Macy's wanted to keep the design level high. I didn't feel the challenge was very different," Chung said in an exclusive interview.
 "We wanted her to keep to her DNA," added Nicole Fischelis, Macy's Inc. group vice president and fashion director. "It’s about her soft sinuous draping, how she works with jersey, her colorblocking. She has a very sensuous approach to clothing. It's modern couture for the new millennium customers."
The fifth designer to collaborate with Macy's, Chung is in good company. Karl Lagerfeld's line for the retailer bowed earlier this fall, and Giambattista Valli's collection debuts next week.


the hunt: borrowed-from-the-boys shoes

Menswear-inspired shoes are a sure-fire way to add some interest to an outfit. Replace your standard ballet flats with a pair of mens-y loafers or oxfords, throw on a feminine dress, and you've got the perfect take on the perennial girl-meets-boy trend. Or go all out androgynous and wear them with a sharply tailored suit or tuxedo for an unexpected - but still very sexy - evening look.

1/ Alexander McQueen Skull-Embellished Velvet Loafers
The new loafer is sleek and modern, and when rendered in black velvet, they're super luxe too. This fab pair from Alexander McQueen is also a little dark and irreverent thanks to the silver skull embroidery.


beauty buzz: alexander wang + sally hansen

Thanks to fashion wunderkind Alexander Wang, our nails will be plenty chic this spring. That's when the collection of nail polish he created in collaboration with Sally Hansen for his S/S 2012 show will hit stores. Including three shades - Oxblood, a deep aubergine, Parchment, a milky neutral, and Petrol, a blue black - the collection is dark, moody and will go with everything in your wardrobe.

Into the Gloss got the details from Sally Hansen's Jin Soon Choi backstage at Wang's show:
"Sally Hansen and Alex worked together on a nail collaboration—they come out in April. There’s three shades: Parchment, Petrol, and Oxblood, and they were completely inspired by him. He gave them his fabric swatches from the collection. Today we used Parchment, and only one coat, no base or top coat, because he doesn’t want to have a really high gloss. I think it’s going to be cool to mix dark colors with bright colors for spring: hands bright, toes dark…I think it will be very very cool."
Also, check out a behind-the-scenes video of the collection and interview with Wang after the jump.


shop talk: monika chiang opens in la

The Monika Chiang store in Los Angeles, photographed by Stefanie Keenan for WWD

Designer Monika Chiang now has a home for her tough-yet-polished collection of womenswear. The clothing and accessories - marked by leather, studs, spikes and lots of black - are displayed in an uber-femme boutique on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles.

“I want people to feel like they are walking into their dressing room,” Chiang told WWD of the boutique, which was designed with Space Architects using a dreamy palette of blue, gray and white and chic brass chandeliers.

The LA store is Chiang's retail debut, with a New York store slated to open early next year.


wish list: reed krakoff boxer bag

Boxer in haircalf and leather, $1,390

My favorite bag to obsess over at the moment is Reed Krakoff's Boxer bag. The structured, polished satchel with a signature looped strap comes in a rainbow of colors and materials, ranging from uber luxe exotic skins to rich saddle leather to utilitarian duffle. Check them all out at www.reedkrakoff.com.


newsflash: jason wu for target

Jason Wu s/s 2012
As reported by WWD, Jason Wu has been tapped for Target's next designer collaboration. Wu, who is known for creating feminine, classic looks and rose to stardom when Michelle Obama wore one of his gowns for her husband's inauguration, had this to say about his collection for the mega-retailer:
“This partnership offers an exciting opportunity for me to interpret my aesthetic into a collection made for a broader market,” he said. “It was very interesting for me to translate my signature touches into a more affordable collection without compromising quality, design and sophistication. My collection for Target features clothes and accessories that are easily convertible from day to evening — sophisticated, feminine dresses, mix-and-match separates and playful accessories all with a bit of charm and dressed-up attitude.”
The collection will be available February 5 through March 6, 2012 at most Target stores and Target.com. Prices will range from $19.99 to $59.99 for apparel and $19.99 to $49.99 for handbags and scarves.

UPDATE: Watch a video of Jason Wu talking about the collection after the jump.


watch this: rodarte s/s 2012

Fashion art brand Rodarte has launched an official YouTube channel, where you can watch past runway shows, behind-the-scenes footage, and fashion shorts like the exquisite The Curve of Forgotten Things, starring Elle Fanning. The video from the spring/summer 2012 collection is of course on view, and there's definitely more to this collection than what came across on first view. The clothes are youthful and pretty, but the Van Gogh references are also a bit melancholy. Plus the soundtrack, hair and makeup are killer. Tune in here for more Rodarte.

wish list: sam edelman zoe platform wedge booties

Sometimes you just need a shoe that makes you feel like a badass - these Sam Edelman "Zoe" platform wedge booties deliver. The quilted, buckled harness detail gives off a serious don't-mess-with-me vibe, and the 5" wedge heel is the perfect height for power stomping down the runway of life.

$214, Shopbop


the hunt: leopard print shoes

This fall, one of my absolute accessories must-haves is a fantastic pair of leopard pumps (or booties or flats - or maybe one of each). Unfortunately, finding the perfect pair is a challenge. Leopard is one of those things that can go from chic to, well, cheap in the blink of an eye. The print and details need to be perfect. Here are some of my faves:

1/ Pour La Victoire "Ivette" Leopard Calf Hair Pumps
This shoe is a pretty much perfect leopard pump. The print isn't too big, the covered platform style is versatile enough to wear with jeans or a cocktail dress, and the 4 3/4" heel height is ideal for elongating the legs.

prada s/s 2012

Maybe it's because I'm from Detroit, but I totally "get" Prada's spring collection. This season, the genius who is Miuccia was inspired by the two great loves of Italian men - women and cars. Not being Italian, I can't say what exactly cars mean to their culture, but if Prada's collection is any indication, it's nostalgia for days gone by when boys polished their cars to a sparkle and went cruising up and down the main drag, looking for girls and whatever other trouble came their way. Yep, the glory days of the 1950s. The essence and giddy excitement of that era is perfectly captured in Prada's latest offering. Pleated skirts and boxy jackets, bandeau tube tops and leather pencil skirts, perfect little dresses, curvy swimsuits - everyone from the innocent bobby soxer to the rebel bad girl to the pin-up glamour puss is represented in this collection. In anyone else's hands, the car and flame prints would have seemed silly, but in Miuccia's world, comparing a woman to a car is a compliment. Because let's be honest - it's one pretty hot car.


gucci s/s 2012

The Roaring '20s trend is by far my favorite of the spring 2012 season, and so far Gucci is by far my favorite collection. Everything about it - from the hair and makeup to the clothes themselves to the shoes and handbags - was flawless. Frida Giannini worked wonders with beading and fringe, creating architectural dropped-waist flapper dresses that looked at once retro and futuristic. And the tailoring - the high-waist trousers and trim tuxedo jackets were beautiful, and the watch chain clasp detail found on many of them was irresistible. All in all, not a bad way for Gucci to celebrate 90 years in business. Felice anniversario, Gucci!


wish list: j.crew edie purse

Photo credit: J.Crew.com

Undeniably chic, J.Crew's ladylike-with-a-masculine-edge Edie purse is the perfect structured bag for fall. The matte leather - in one of the season's key colors, flame - is offset by antique hardware, and this little beauty is versatile: it can be carried briefcase style by the top handle or worn crossbody thanks to the detachable strap.

$238 at www.jcrew.com


burberry prorsum s/s 2012

The Burberry Prorsum show walked in London yesterday, and it was yet another phenomenal outing from designer Christopher Bailey. You can always expect three things from a Burberry collection, and this one does not disappoint: amazing outerwear, gorgeous dresses and sweaters, and killer accessories. Some of the patchwork mosaic prints were a little odd, but there was enough working in this collection to let it slide. The opening purple trench coat with a full, pleated skirt was a beautiful way to start the show, and frocks don't get prettier than the yellow and green pleated numbers. The closing coat, a trench with chunky knit sleeves, was yet another innovative take on the classic garment - seriously, who knew there were so many different ways to interpret the trench coat? And the accessories - every pair of shoes on the runway was drool worthy, and shoppers will be swooning over the bags. But the real star were the great parkas - cropped, cinched at the waist, beaded or embellished with raffia, each one is a must have.

Watch video of the show and shop selected looks from the spring collection here.


s/s 2012 fashion week recap: nyc

The September shows are such a tease. Just as the weather is starting to go downhill, slowly descending into the icy depths of winter, designers trot out their spring collections, showing clothes made for weather that won't be seen for at least six months. Sigh.

The New York shows wrapped last week, and at least we have lots of gorgeous clothes to look forward to wearing when spring finally returns. The New York shows were dominated by a dizzying array of prints (floral! geometric! tribal!), an optimistic rainbow of bright colors (yellow! pink! cobalt!), a continued obsession with color blocking, and plenty of pristine white.

As always, there were some particularly standout collections. My top five New York shows for Spring 2012 are (click the links for full reviews and images):

Ok, ok, I know that's more than five - there were just a few too many excellent collections for me to limit myself to five. I also have some honorable mentions:

prabal gurung s/s 2012

Inspired by the erotic photography of Nobuyoshi Araki, in particular his Sensual Flower series, Prabal Gurung's spring collection is as dangerously sexy as it is delicately beautiful. The contrast of the femme fatale cutout gowns and the exquisitely detailed ruffled cocktail dresses was interesting, the withered floral print was pretty and macabre at the same time, and the vivid purple used throughout the collection is one of the best color stories of the season.

narciso rodriguez s/s 2012

With the color blocking trend making yet another appearance this season, there didn't seem to be much innovation within it - until the Narciso Rodriguez show. The way his origami waistband pants and skirts played off the bold color blocking of the tops was fantastic, and the intricate splicing of colors and fabrics that made up the second part of the show was truly inspired. And his prints - muted, subtle, lovely - stood out in the crowded field of technicolor patterns on the runway this season.

marc jacobs s/s 2012

Marc Jacobs is undeniably one of fashion's great showman. For spring, the set he created to showcase his collection resembled a vintage dancehall, with the models draped over the backs of chairs as they waited to take the runway. The clothes had some familiar elements - work shirts, flapper dresses, amazing coats - but everything looked like it had received a generous helping of pixie dust, particularly a shimmery oversize gingham in a rainbow of colors. It's exciting to think about the kinds of shows Jacobs could put on if he takes the reins at Dior...

oscar de la renta s/s 2012

The collection Oscar de la Renta sent down the runway for spring has such a fresh, young attitude - it's hard to resist falling in love. The show opened with a trio of crayola bright ball gowns topped with couture lace t-shirts. What followed was one of the most youthful collections from the designer in years. The lovely white dresses are some of the best of the season, and the silver midriff baring open knit sweater paired with a ball skirt shows the incredible craftsmanship that has kept de la Renta at the top of the game for more than 40 years.

marchesa s/s 2012

As I said earlier, Marchesa's spring collection is magical. Inspired by Russian painter Ilya Repin's Sadko in the Underwater Kingdom, designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman created a collection that would be as at home in a czar's palace as the halls of Atlantis. The craftsmanship and detail are stunning, but nothing appears overworked or heavy handed. They really do create miracles out of tulle and lace, making fairy princess - or maybe we should say mermaid - dreams come true.

ralph lauren s/s 2012

With a remake of The Great Gatsby on the horizon, it's only natural that Ralph Lauren return to the 1920s for spring. After all, he designed the costumes for the original 1974 film, which helped launch his career into the stratosphere. I have a serious soft spot for '20s fashion, so I was swooning over this entire collection. The wide leg draped trousers, watercolor flowers, and all-out glamour gowns are absolutely delicious, not to mention the perfect little cloche hats, satin neckties and ostrich feather shrugs. It's all so romantic and lovely while still being modern. In a word, perfect.

the row s/s 2012

In a season filled with a cacophony of prints and bright colors, The Row's quiet, pristine collection stood out in the best possible way. The austere palette of white and barely there pastels let the silhouettes and craftsmanship speak for themselves. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have built their high fashion empire on obsessing over every detail, and this collection is no exception. The clothes are simply exquisite.