oscars red carpet: pretty, but not that exciting

Let me start by saying I had a great time watching the Oscars last night. One of my good friends celebrated her birthday yesterday by hosting a viewing party, and since there ain't no party like a theme party, we all dressed up in our favorite, old school velour track suits and played Oscars bingo. Oh yeah, we keep it classy.

So yes, I had fun last night, but wasn't the red carpet...boring?!? Lots of people looked really pretty, but they also looked really safe. One of my friends and I were left pining for the wild days of Cher on the carpet in Bob Mackie, or even someone - anyone! - willing to take a fashion risk, like Cate Blanchett always does. (Seriously, where was Tilda Swinton when you need her?) Overall, the red carpet was a snoozefest, but there were a few looks that left a lasting impression:

Rooney Mara in Givenchy Couture

I adore Rooney Mara. She dresses for fashion, and this Givenchy Couture gown was a perfect choice for her. There was a lot of buzz about who would dress Mara for her first Oscar nomination - Calvin Klein was deemed a strong contender when she showed up front row at the fall show - but I had a feeling it would be Givenchy. I mean, the French house's spring couture show looked like it was created expressly for Lisbeth Salander, her character in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This dress was a softer, more accessible choice, but it's flawlessly constructed with interesting, challenging design details. Not just anyone could pull this off, but Mara makes wearing it look effortless.


from the archives: open hunt

Much to my delight, there has been a very British equestrian influence on the fall runways of designers as divergent as Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Emilia Wickstead. I grew up with horses, riding pretty regularly until college took over my life, and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for horses - and the clothes worn while riding them. I always preferred riding English, not only because it was more exciting (hello, jumping) but because it was more stylish. Trim hacking jackets, breeches, tall black leather boots - it's a look that's equally chic in the show ring and on the runway.

Flashback to fall 2008, when I styled a shoot at the Grosse Pointe Hunt Club for the September/October issue of Ambassador Magazine. Photographed by Michelle Matiyow and Lians for LM Studios, the concept was to juxtapose formal, aristocratic portraits of the models with sexier, cinematic shots that told a different story. Check out the full shoot, with credits, below.


an ode to the little black dress

Audrey Hepburn, her hair piled on top of her head, draped in Tiffany jewels and wearing that Givenchy black dress, cigarette holder in hand as she smiles coyly. How that image - the image that catapulted Audrey from ingenue to fashion icon when Breakfast at Tiffany's premiered 50 years ago - came to be is the subject of Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., the charming book by Sam Wasson that I read cover to cover over the weekend.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite movies of all time, for so many reasons. Despite its flaws (hello, Mickey Rooney as Yunioshi), the story of Holly Golightly, the little call girl who could, is so absolutely endearing and romantic, Audrey so incredibly chic and fabulous.

And there's that Givenchy dress.


were you able to snag any jason wu for target?

There was a lot going on this weekend. Between a full-day photo shoot on Saturday and waking up Sunday morning to finish cleaning the house in anticipation of the Super Bowl party my husband and I were hosting, I managed to forget that the Jason Wu for Target collection launched in stores and online. In fact, I didn't remember it was J-Day until approximately 3 p.m. A quick check of Target.com proved that I was way too late to get anything online - the early risers and ebay auctioneers had made sure of that - so I hit my local Target to check out what was left. By Sunday afternoon, the selection was pitifully picked over, but I was able to score a few lovely pieces.


the hunt: orange wedding shoes

I love when a bride thinks outside the ivory satin box and goes bold with her wedding accessories, so when an engaged friend asked if I knew where she could find orange shoes for her walk down the aisle, I did a little happy dance. Then the fashion gears started turning. Orange is one of the major color trends for spring 2012, so there are lots of great options hitting stores right now. Here are some orangetastic styles that would certainly add a delicious pop of color to any bride's big day:

1/ Jimmy Choo "Vamp" Platform Sandal
These are perfect for a bold bride who wants a glamorous, va-va-voom walk down the aisle.
$750, Neiman Marcus

runway to davenport: louis vuitton

Guest blogger Amanda Sinistaj, the interior designer who, in her first post, showed you how to translate Alexander McQueen's inimitable style into your home decor, has set her sights on the oh-so-sweet Louis Vuitton spring collection. For her second post on paper + cloth, Amanda takes the girly frocks off the runway and into your boudoir.

Runway to Davenport: Louis Vuitton
by Amanda Sinistaj

The spring 2012 Louis Vuitton collection…ahhh, how sweet it is! Pastel colors and laser-cut lace tops and dresses left me with a feeling of innocence and remind me of when I used to play dress up. (Let’s be honest - my girlfriends and I still do when the occasion calls for it.) I think you can find your inner child whilst still living as an adult. So I’ve built these selections around the grown up princess. Playing with texture and a lack of color proves that you can uniquely express yourself by personalizing your selections.