what's in the bag: rachel zoe nico messenger bag

Rachel Zoe Nico Messenger Bag, $525 at Neiman Marcus - Somerset Collection.

On Monday I'm styling a fashion editorial for one of our local magazines, which means I'm spending this week sending out sample requests and pulling product from local stores and designers. It's like fantasy shopping - I get to take whatever I want, without spending a dime. But just like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight, the dream ends after the shoot, when everything has to be returned - le sigh.

Yesterday while I was pulling at Neiman Marcus, I fell in love. A bright red, structured bag caught my eye - I literally gasped. As I ooh-ed and ah-ed in the middle of the store, I learned the beauty in my hands was the Rachel Zoe Nico Messenger Bag. I added it to the pile of goodies I was borrowing for the shoot, and when I got everything back to the home office, I decided to take Nico for a little test drive. Just how much of my stuff could this baby handle?


a quick update

I am a busy little bee right now! I have lots of amazing things in the works - an editorial shoot with one of my fave photographers, a charity fashion show, a new freelance partnership that I can't wait to get started, and an upcoming trip to Stockholm (more on this one later!!!). What I'm trying to say is I'm a little strapped for time, so how about a quick visual update of what I've been up to lately?

Libertine for Aldo Rise wedges 


altuzarra for j.crew

Joseph Altuzarra and a model wearing the
Altuzarra for J.Crew Sabrina Dress, $228

In celebration of his CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win, Joseph Altuzarra has created an absolutely fantastic capsule collection for J.Crew. Available online now and at J.Crew's Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan on April 23, the seven-piece collection is a very French interpretation of some of J.Crew signature preppy pieces. Inspired by Brigette Bardot and his Parisian upbringing, Altuzarra used lots of gingham plaid and sailor stripes to create a collection that begs to be worn with a tousled beehive and winged liquid liner.

See the complete collection below, then head over to jcrew.com to shop the collection, read a q&a with the designer, and learn more about his inspiration. Oh, and you can also preview the seriously amazing collections created by CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runners-up Pamela Love and Creatures of the Wind.


watch this: inside mad men fashion, ep. 505

This week's behind-the-scenes look at the fashion on Mad Men with costume designer Janie Bryant is my favorite so far. Not only does it open with Megan in that absolutely fantastic colorblock dress, it also explores how Bryant uses clothing to illustrate the dynamics of the Draper marriage. And honestly, wasn't it fun to see Don in such a loud print?

the hunt: wedge sneakers

All spring long, the fashion world has been losing its collective mind over wedge sneakers. It all started with Isabel Marant, and now everyone from Marc Jacobs to Ash is getting in on the action. At first, all I could think was, "Really? Does no one else remember how tacky high-heel sneakers turned out to be? Does no one else remember those '90s disasters with the gum rubber stilettos?" (shudders violenty)

Well, I remember the ghosts of high-heeled sneakers past, so when it became clear that wedge sneakers were indeed having a major moment for spring, I started researching them with some definite trepidation. I was a sceptic - and then I saw these:

Nike x Liberty wedge sneaker


wish list: toms x the row

Yes, this collaboration has been available for awhile, but I am still completely obsessed with The Row's luxe take on the classic TOMS silhouette. Made of an Italian wool and cashmere blend with a lambskin lining, the collaboration perfectly captures The Row's clean, minimal aesthetic and TOMS's casual, comfortable approach to footwear. Best of all, snapping up a pair of these babies is one small way to make a difference in the world, thanks to TOMS's One for One philosophy: for every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need.
$140-$150, TOMS


carine the magazine

A cover mock-up for CR Fashion Book

When legendary editor and fashion icon Carine Roitfeld left French Vogue in January 2011, the fashion world couldn't help but speculate - and fantasize - about what she would do next. One of those fantasies was a new fashion magazine that would give the editor complete creative freedom.

Some dreams do come true.


watch this: inside mad men fashion, ep. 504

In this week's inside look at the fashion from episode 504 of Mad Men, costume designer Janie Bryant tells us about Joan's fabulous dinner dress, which she made from a deep raspberry vintage brocade. Bryant seems to really enjoy dressing Christina Hendricks as Joan, doesn't she? I can't wait to see what SCDP's resident bombshell is wearing next week!


drinking and dining in denver

Downtown Denver.

Who knew that Denver has such an incredibly vibrant and varied culinary scene? Definitely not me. When I visited the Mile High City to see the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Denver Art Museum, I had no idea how well I would eat while there. Or how much beer I would drink. Seriously, beer is a very big deal in Denver, and I drank more beer in one week than I have in the past year. But back to the food. From brunch and bloody mary's to Buenos Aires-style pizza, the food and drink in Denver was just as incredible as the couture in the exhibit.

yves saint laurent: the winner

Congratulations to the winner of our Yves Saint Laurent giveaway, Autumn Cayleigh! The ultimate YSL beauty package, courtesy of Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection, is on its way to your doorstep - enjoy!!!

And thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway. You all shared some incredible beauty tips that I can't wait to put to good use! Thank you all for reading paper + cloth!

newsflash: raf simons is dior's new designer

Raf Simons takes his final bow at the Jil Sander fall 2012 show in Milan

Ending months of speculation, Christian Dior has finally named a new designer: Raf Simons. Simons, who showed his final collection for Jil Sander earlier this year, will show his first collection for Dior in July during Paris Couture Week. His official title is artistic director of haute couture, women's ready-to-wear and accessories collections. Simons takes the Dior reins from John Galliano, who was infamously sacked after a racist and anti-Semitic outburst at a Paris cafe. Since Galliano's firing, designers as divergent as Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and everyone in between have been rumored to take his place. Simons' appointment feels right, though. His work at Jil Sander was marked with a couture sensibility, and it will be fascinating see what he does with the Dior atelier at his disposal. As WWD reports:
Dior's choice of Simons suggests the house is ready to nudge its fashions in a more modern direction - given his predilection for minimalism and futurism - and turn a page on the retro-tinged glamour Galliano plied over a stellar 15-year tenure.


happy easter!

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! To put you in the mood, Love magazine made this sassy video of Victoria's Secret bombshell Doutzen Kroes dancing seductively in her skivvies and a pair of fluffy white bunny ears. Eat your heart out, Easter Bunny! Watch Doutzen's sexy dance here. Happy Easter, everyone!


beauty buzz: marc jacobs dot

The latest "girl" in the Marc Jacobs fragrance empire has arrived, and she sounds pretty fabulous.

As Jacobs explained to WWD, he thinks of his blockbluster fragrances as "sisters. Lola is Daisy's sister, and now Dot is their sister." So what's the youngest sister's personality? Packaged in a whimsical bottle that looks like a cross between a ladybug, a butterfly and a flower, Dot has top notes of red berries, dragon fruit and honeysuckle, followed by a heart of jasmine, coconut water and orange blossom, and finished with a drydown of vanilla, driftwood and musk. "There’s a juicy, lush quality to it because it felt like the right spirit for this bottle," Jacobs told WWD. Dot, priced between $48 for a 1 oz. eau de parfum and $89 for a 3.4 oz. bottle, will be available in the U.S. and U.K. in July and in other international markets in August.

In other MJ news, Jacobs is in the early stages of launching a color cosmetics line with Sephora. In an interview with WWD, the designer said, "I see makeup, fragrance - everything, really - as an opportunity. The idea of choosing a color for your lip, or an eyeliner - it's just such a delight. The ritual of waking up and making those choices is something people really enjoy. We currently are working on defining what Marc Jacobs cosmetics will be, what they'll say, what makes them distinctive. I think that will take some time, but the first meeting was good." There's no projected launch date for the cosmetics line yet, but whenever it debuts, expect a rush of stylish girls clamoring to get their hands on whatever Jacobs dreams up.



watch this: inside mad men fashion, ep. 501-503

Jessica Pare as Megan Draper in the season five premiere of Mad Men

I am so excited that Mad Men is back! I was in Denver for the season premiere but I'm all caught up now, and I can already tell there is going to be a lot to love in season five. The various characters' storylines are as compelling as ever - and of course there's the fab '60s wardrobe. AMC has posted some behind-the-scenes videos of costume designer Janie Bryant talking about the clothes in each episode, and they're worth watching not only to get a second look at the fantastic clothes but also to get some insight into her process and how she interprets the characters. Check out the videos for the first three episodes (501 and 502 were combined for the two-hour premiere) below.


yves saint laurent: the shoes

One of the most exciting parts of a vacation - for me, anyways - is putting together the outfits that I'm bringing with me. I usually get a little carried away and pack way too many shoes, more than I could ever wear in the brief amount of time I'll be away, but my trip to Denver was different.

For Denver, I only needed to pack one pair of heels.

Generously gifted to me by Neiman Marcus (have you entered the amazing beauty giveaway they're sponsoring?), these nude leather Tribtoo pumps were the only heels I needed in Denver. The weather was warm, the sun shining, spring was in the air, and these shoes went with everything. I was so excited to honor the house of Saint Laurent throughout my stay in Denver - here's how I wore these gorgeous shoes throughout my trip:


watch this: art beat tour of 'yves saint laurent: the retrospective'

Can't get enough of Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective? Yeah, me neither. Check out this PBS segment on the exhibit - Denver Art Museum director Christophe Heinrich and exhibit curator Florence Muller give us a tour and some incredible insight into the importance of Saint Laurent's work.

yves saint laurent: the exhibit

The iconic Mondrian dress (1965)
© Foundation Pierre BergĂ©-Yves Saint Laurent, Paris
Photo A. Guirkinger

If you do one thing this summer, book a flight to Denver and see Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibit, which is having its exclusive U.S. showing in the Mile High City, documents 40 years of haute couture by one of the most influential designers of all time. For anyone who loves fashion, it's an inspiring, fascinating journey through sartorial history and an absolute must-see.