Thursday, August 7, 2008

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What’s New

For me, every day is an accessories day.
The inspiration for my accessories-themed post are these pretty little boots. The day they crossed my desk it was love at first sight. Coclico - Elara Mid Calf Boot
Another new love of mine is the brand behind the hottest eco-friendly jewelry to hit shopbop. I covet every piece Alkemie makes, this one included. Alkemie Jewelry - Snake Bangle
I’m getting a little tired of my basic brown bags. The remedy? This checked creation. Marc by Marc Jacobs - Metal Check Groovee Bag
Get your accessories (or general fashion) fix in What’s New.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Designer I Love: Tom Binns

“There’s a positive side to everything that’s dark,” says jewelry designer Tom Binns. Raised in the politically complex, economically depressed, and relentlessly violent Belfast, Northern Ireland, of the 1960s and ‘70s, Binns “grew up with no money and no toys” and, out of necessity, channeled his creativity into “making things.”

Binns went on to Middlesex Polytechnic Institute where he graduated with a degree in jewelry design. He later collaborated with counterculture luminaries Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren on their critically acclaimed Punk Couture collection, and in 2006 Binns received the CFDA award for Accessory Designer of the Year.

Want more Tom Binns? See his standout fall collection here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

From the Tips of My Toes

I’ve talked about building an outfit from the shoes up before, and when these Sergio Rossi boots crossed my desk, I was instantly inspired by their sleek sophistication. The buckles and elegant heel demand dark, sexy denim, so I’ll start with a slim pair of Genetic jeans. This severe combo needs a softer touch, like this airy blouse from See by Chloe. A shoe lover’s thing-on-the-side has got to be handbags, so I’ll grab (and hold tight to) this covetable clutch from Rag & Bone. Finish it off with layers and layers of necklaces, and this is one look I’ll be sure to repeat on a weekly basis.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What's New

I had my fashion coming of age on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, so anything black with an avant-garde edge is certain to capture my eye. (And my heart.)

The ultimate luxe layering piece. I love this over a tank for day or on its own with a few delicate necklaces for night. Bop Basics Cashmere Button Front Halter Vest

Drapey Italian cashmere in a brilliantly unexpected, hooded, oversized shape. This one’s sure to be in heavy rotation. Bop Basics Cashmere Athletic Hooded Poncho
Provocative? Of course, but also sophisticated, beautifully crafted, and utterly wearable. The boot that brings slouchy cashmere and stretchy leggings to a chic new level. LD Tuttle Serpent Slouch Over The Knee Boot
Your signature fall styles? Find them right here in What’s New.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Midsummer Day’s Floppy Hat

With all the gorgeous fall fashions pouring into the shopbop offices, the new wool sweaters, knit tights, and leather boots make me forget it’s still one of the hottest months of the year. But I was reminded this weekend while watching an outdoor Shakespeare play in unbearable, scorching sunlight where even the sweaty actors were distracted from their ‘thines’ and ‘thou arts.’ The majority of the audience whipped out baseball caps to shield their poor, burnable skin from the 85 degree rays, but I was looking for a solution that was a bit more chic. I was wearing a lightweight silk scarf around my waist as a belt, so I took if off and rearranged it over my hair a la Grace Kelly and paired it with oversized sunglasses. Voila, it was suddenly ten degrees cooler and my face, neck, and shoulders were protected from the sun. But I wished I’d had a big floppy hat like this yellow or print number by Virginia Johnson rolled up in my handbag—it would have been perfect!

Image courtesy of American Players Theatre.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What’s New

Our tuxedo-inspired front page has me thinking about menswear dressing, and I happened to find three perfect pieces in today’s What’s New.
The ideal button-down, this one’s just long enough to wear with leggings. Steven Alan - The Boyfriend Shirt
And when picking out leggings, only Splendid will do. How do they make them so soft? Splendid - Modal Leggings
The perfect shoe for this minimalist ensemble? These statement booties, natch. Report Signature - Clinton Ankle Bootie
Now all I need is a blazer and my dad’s old chunky watch and this ensemble will be set.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Over the past year at shopbop, I’ve been allowed to indulge my shoe fetish, discover a love for orange and yellow, and unabashedly declare my adoration of brands as diverse as Elizabeth and James and L.A.M.B. All of this exposure to sartorial inspiration – not to mention the incredibly clever artistry of shopbop’s own creative team – make it especially difficult to leave! Alas, I’m packing up my Loeffler Randall pumps and heading across the Rockies for grapey-er, more alcoholic pastures – I mean vineyards – but the fashion forward shopbop philosophy will stay with me like those random Simpsons quotes that always find their way into my conversations. So I’ll make sure I’ll toast you with a full glass of Pinot when I get there.


First Fashion: Our Favorites from What’s New

I'm in no mood to wrap up for fall, but that doesn't mean I'm not itching to shop for it. Here, three jackets in contention to win my heart.
Sporty and definitely all-purpose, I know I’d get a lot of wear out of this versatile piece. Seaton - Field Jacket
Leather. Vince. Oversized collar. I needn’t say more, but I’ll add that I coveted this one from the moment it showed up in our warehouse. Vince - Asymmetrical Leather Biker Jacket
This classic little number is reminiscent of the leather beauty above, and there’s something so very appealing about its lightweight feel. Theory - Emilen Jacket
And the winner is? I may just have to get all three. Find your favorites in What’s New.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fade to Ombre

We’re gearing up to launch our fall trends feature here at shopbop, which means I’ve got what’s hot for the season fresh in my brain. And there’s one trend making the transition from spring into fall: ombré. It’s showing up on luxe classics (like this Vince cardi), as well as the usual suspects (think tees and tanks). So consider this your insider tip.

First Fashion: Our Favorites From What's New

Sad but true: at this point in the year, I’ve all but given up on my summer wardrobe, kicked it to the curb, left it for dead. My fickle fashion heart? It only wants fall, Fall, FALL! Some soon-to-be favorite pieces I see making it into heavy rotation? So far I’ve found these:
The perfect little luxe-yet-laid-back style for layering over everything. This plus skinnies plus boots equals my go-to cool-weather look. (VPL Martha Cashmere Wrap)
After one too many moments spent digging to the bottom of my massive everyday bag in a dark bar searching for some essential item, I’ve decided it’s time I acquire a proper (but not precious) evening carry-all. This one’s plenty glam and keeps all those must-haves at my fingertips. (Botkier Metallic Rex Small Shoulder Bag)
Unlike most of the once-beloved pieces I’ve spent the last three months in (maxi dress, long tank, slouchy tee, leggings? I’m talking to you), my red-hot romance with the vest is continuing into fall. The subtle metallic threads and fabric-covered buttons make this one feel really special. (Karen Zambos Vintage Couture Fitted Vest)
Farewell summer style loves! Right now it’s all about fall. Find your new fashion friends in What’s New.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

5 Questions for the Designers Behind Alkemie

With Alkemie Jewelry, husband-and-wife design team Ashley Lowengrub and Dara Gerson have perfected the art of "transforming something common into something precious." Environmentally responsible and stylishly eclectic, Alkemie is forged from 100% reclaimed metals and combines nature-inspired figures with inventive details. One-of-a-kind designs and expert craftsmanship make Alkemie Jewelry more art than accessory.

What is the philosophy behind your line?
The philosophy behind our line encompasses four main principles. First, a socially conscious and ethical foundation; it’s environmentally sound and fashion forward; and finally, it’s at an affordable price point. We feel that you do not have to sacrifice style to be socially and environmentally responsible.

What inspires your designs?
Our designs are inspired by the beauty of nature, timeless vintage pieces, our two daughters, each other, and love.

Does your current collection have a theme? What is the inspiration behind it?
The theme of our current collection is The Maiden Voyage. The collection is inspired by organic themes of the Art Nouveau movement and nature.

What is your best accessorizing advice?
Our best accessorizing advice is to layer and interchange different pieces in different looks, which gives individuality and interest.

Do you follow Coco Chanel’s rule: “take one piece off before you leave the house”?
In all due respect to Coco Chanel, we feel that there are no rules. The key is visual balance where you are comfortable. Hopefully one knows the difference between too much and just enough.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What's New

Feminine but not girly, my picks today include shopbop’s downtown sophisticate Elizabeth and James, and newcomer Black Halo.
Love the print and the belt. Plus, Maureen tried this on this morning (for writing purposes, I swear!) and the shawl collar is incredibly flattering. (Elizabeth and James, Yoko Print Dress)
Normally I try to avoid choosing two pieces from the same brand, but I’m sort of obsessed with the goldenrod color and neck tie on this top from Elizabeth and James. (Kimberly Blouse)
The sexy cutout back and flirty button closure on this dress from Black Halo are completely classed up with colorblocked neutrals. (Cutout Jackie O Dress)
Find your newest style favorites in What’s New.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Little Line I Love: MK2K

There are the boldface, been-around-for-years fashion names that even my dad knows and, on the other end of the spectrum, the little, lesser-known lines from as-yet-unrecognized designers. Lately, I’ve become a big fan of the latter. While these highly edited collections may not have flagship stores that offer everything from sweat-socks to cell phone charms, they are chock full of the kind of artfully designed, trend-proof pieces I love.

MK2K is my current favorite of this small-in-size, big-on-style genre. Quietly building a following since its launch in 2006, MK2K offers the kind of pieces I wish my whole closet was filled with: layering-friendly knits in interesting shapes and feminine-but-not-too-girly tops and dresses, unusual neutrals and coolly unexpected trims and metallic accents. Not in the know about MK2K yet? Check out their fall line here.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What’s New

Today’s a particularly good day in What’s New for me because I just found my new favorite outfit.
I have a bit of a shoe fetish, which means more often than not I start building an outfit from the feet up. This pair certainly merits the honor. Moschino Cheap and Chic - Pull On Flat Granny Boot
Boho-chic boots demand retro-cool jeans in a light wash to match. This pair is just right. Anlo - Brooke Skinny Jean
The peacock trend isn’t going anywhere, and Ronny Kobo’s offbeat take on it is truly inspired. Torn by Ronny Kobo - Ann Peacock Tank
Build your next work of sartorial brilliance in What’s New.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mad for "Mad Men"

With the second season of “Mad Men” premiering this week, all I can think about is that early '60s style: blouses, skirts, and the necessary pump. And with shopbop, I’ve found updated versions of that ultra-feminine silhouette. The smocked blouse from Tucker pairs a smart print with lightweight silk, and Robert Rodriguez’s pintuck blouse dresses up with sheer chiffon. Anna Sui’s checked blouse is a little more avant-garde, but still keeps a uniquely classic shape. Tweed is showing up for fall and Rebecca Taylor’s skirt keeps it cute with a flounce hem. Vince’s Dirndl Skirt is understated and pretty. I’m a sucker for peep toe pumps, so Kate Spade’s Georgia pump and Marc by Marc’s open toe pump are instant favorites. Now all I need to find is a fedora-sporting ad exec.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What's New

Online shopping at work? At some offices it’s a big no-no, but here I get to pass it off as ‘research.’ Brilliant! (I know. I kind of hate myself, too.) My first order of business this morning? Making my fall selections from one of my favorite lines of all time, Mike & Chris.
Every season I have a love-at-first sight moment with a certain Mike & Chris jacket, and every season it sells out within minutes of appearing on the site, and I’m left heartbroken. But it seems I’ve finally learned my lesson: I saw this little lovely and snapped it up, stat. Mike & Chris Chandler Leather Jacket
So much more pulled-together and fashion-forward than your standard-issue hoodie. I’d even wear this for evening. Mike & Chris Anson Zip Up Hoodie
Downtown-cool styling in elegant silk? Yes, please! Mike & Chris Remmington Dress
Shopping at work? It makes Monday markedly easier to manage. Find your fashion bliss, right here, in What’s New.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Modern Bombshell: This Seasons Sophisticated Sexiness Puts the Focus on Fit

After so much blousy this and billowy that, it seems a little structure is in order. The solution? Make like a femme fatale in fashion-forward, formfitting pieces that hearken back to a time when styles showcased the feminine silhouette instead of obscuring it. Start with retro-chic bodysuits, couture-meets-punk pieces from Alexander Wang and LaROK, and skinny jeans so tight they could stand in for leggings. Because as we see it, if we're putting in the time on the Pilates Reformer, we might as well show off the results. Body-conscious styles fit for a modern bombshell? Find 'em right here, at shopbop.

Friday, July 25, 2008

In the Glossies: J Brand & Figure-Loving Frocks

The August issue of People Style Watch has a section dedicated to helping ladies find their curvy side, even if they have a boyish figure. And while I love that J Brand’s hip-enhancing skinnies got a shout out, what really caught my eye were the shapely dresses. It just so happens that a waist-defining silhouette is my dress of choice, and we’ve got a whole category dedicated to the figure-enhancing frocks at shopbop. In fact, our head buyer, Erin, made it her pick earlier this year, calling the look “timeless,” “ladylike,” and “always chic.” I think those are three pretty darn good reasons to love it.

See by Chloe: Avant-Garde, yet Timelss

When it comes to fashion, we say we *need* something nearly every day, but rarely is it really the case. Today, we found the exception because with the latest arrival of avant-garde yet timeless pieces from the See by Chloé fall collection, we reeeeally need more than a thing or two. First up, the artfully inspired print dress that's so on-trend for fall - it's a must. Then, the itty-bitty leather jacket - definitely a closet essential. The carry anywhere, anytime clutch - that's a no-brainer. And how about that teeny-tiny metallic-mouse keychain? Okay, that one we don't need, but boy do we want it. So go on, see why you need See by Chloé this season, right here, at shopbop.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What's New

I’ll be the first to admit I have an unhealthy obsession with J Brand’s 10” Ankle Skinny. (Exactly how unhealthy you ask? At the moment I own them in nearly every color. Plus, I hoard extra pairs of black and indigo in case the ones I have start to look saggy.) But it wasn’t until now, when I became aware of a little voice saying “Ooh—that’ll look great with my skinnies!” that I realized I’ve been subconsciously building my wardrobe around this one piece. Some new friends for my favorite skinnies? I’ve found a few:
I’m generally not big on florals, but this abstract, moody print from Rebecca Taylor immediately captured my eye. (And my heart.) Rebecca Taylor Les Fleurs Long Sleeve Blouse

This is exactly the boot I searched high and low for all last year and never found. The laid-back yet sophisticated styling and just-high-enough heel are super versatile. Frye Lisa Mid Heel Tall Boot
I’ve got a major weakness for deconstructed versions of classic pieces. The asymmetrical hem makes this style feel like some one-of-a-kind fashion-insider find, but it’s not so out there that I have to psych myself up to wear it. MK2K Draped Bottom Long Sleeve Sweater
Is your go-to jean in need some fashionable new friends? Find ‘em right here, in What’s New.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Work It!

When was the last time you got excited about getting dressed for work? If you answered with a wistful 'never' or 'rarely,' we've got good news: a few key pieces promise to break you out of that button-down-plus-straight-skirt-and-black pumps rut. Smart new skirt silhouettes like dirndls, pencils, and pleated styles are fashion-forward yet polished, while a beautifully detailed blouse is a brilliant alternative to the standard-issue button-down. The final statement-making touch? A shoe in glossy patent or an eye-popping hue. Work-perfect pieces that show you've got style? They're right here, at shopbop.

That’s a Wrap!

I've got a bit of a scarf obsession (yes, even in the dead heat of late July), and it all started with my first trip to France. So what better source to turn to for autumn neckwear inspiration than the authority on French chic, Paris Vogue? They have a look book dedicated to the hottest scarves to hit the fall runways, and it’s got me wishing away summer and dreaming of leaves crunching beneath my feet. Check it out, and then find the scarf that’ll have you saying ooh-la-la.

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What's New

Summer trends, fall finds, and personal favorites, What’s New has fine pickins for every fashionista.
The maxi dress is one of my favorite trends this summer, and with T-Bags’ bright, sunshiney print and soft jersey, how could it not be? (T-Bags, Long Halter Dress)
The angled square neck and dramatic shirttail hem make for a fresh shape, and the eye-catching feather trim gives it that one-of-a-kind, signature touch. (Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Feather Camisole)
Western boots are showing up for fall and Frye has put the classic shape on an elegantly tapered wedge heel. (Frye, Caroline Campus Wedge)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Barbershop Quartet

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days in Music City for the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Convention. While the convention demographic skewed a little older and the fashion skewed to sequined vests and matching zoot suits (and penguin costumes!), the style on the streets of Nashville reflected an updated honky-tonk sensibility.

Worn-in western boots were ubiquitous and, in the sticky heat of mid-afternoon CD shopping at Ernest Tubb's and eating too much barbeque at Jack’s, best paired with a light dress like the Magical Mini Dress and the Happy Mini Dress from Daughters of the Revolution, or the Placed Print Easy Dress from Juicy. Best bets for boots? Bronx, N.D.C., Golden Goose, and Frye all offer a western-style riding boot.

When the sun goes down, the shorts come out. Siwy Denim, William Rast, and True Religion showcase the favored distressed, frayed style. Summer tops like Mason’s Racer Detail Tank, LaROK’s Navajo Chain Top, and Rachel Pally’s Double Bow Top show off some skin (and the also-ubiquitous, slightly-faded tattoo) and add a chic sex appeal to dressed-down denim and boots. Add a long necklace or a couple of bangles, and the look is perfect for bar-hopping with a Country and Western twang.

Whether you’re trying to channel Mother Maybelle, Patsy Cline, or Carrie Underwood, shopbop has what you’re looking for.

First Fashion: Our Favorites From What’s New

I’m forever on the lookout for those kinds of pieces that feel fashion-forward but are still everyday-wearable. A few of my recent finds:

Most of my looks start with a tee and skinnies (or alternately, leggings and a tank), over which I layer a piece that (hopefully) pulls the whole thing together--this vest is prime example of just such a piece. The longer length is perfect over leggings, and the basket-weave pattern makes it feel distinctive. YAYA AFLALO Jet Sweater Vest
Luc Kieffer is definitely in the running for the title of Favorite New Fall Jewelry Line. Statement-making but lightweight, subtly sinister yet witty, this is poised to become my new signature piece. Luc Kieffer Barbed Wire Ring
Design newcomer MK2K has been quietly developing a devoted following and this on-trend yet timeless top demonstrates why. MK2K Striped Long Sleeve Top
The pieces you’ll be living in this fall? Find ‘em right here, in What’s New.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Talent Show

Mid-July is kind of an unofficial holiday for us. Why? Because it's the time when we can finally get our hands on those fall runway styles we lost our minds over last February at fashion week. What have we snapped up so far? Well Derek Lam's uptown bohemian Off the Shoulder Dress and pretty plaids from Ports 1961 for starters, plus Lela Rose's ladylike Lantern Sleeve Dress and Thakoon's punk-meets-posh Luiza. The "most wonderful time of the year"? For fashion-obsessed folk it's right now. Celebrate with fresh-off-the-runway fall dresses, from right here, in the Designer Boutique.

We’re Fab! (Or, ‘Even More Great Moments in shopbop Personal Style’)

Dying to see more shopboppers in all their work-wear glory? Well FabSugar (one of our favorite style blogs) has selected some of our staffers for their Look of the Day feature. Check us out! And why not return the favor? Submit your great moments in personal style for inclusion in their Look of the Day. We’d love to see you!

First Fashion: Our Favorites from What’s New

Today, I’ve found myself hit with a case of irrational adoration.
I’m going to share a little secret. If it comes with a sash, tie, or belt of any kind, I want it. Case in point. MK2K - Sleeveless Tunic with Belt
Confession #2: Purple is my Kryptonite, only instead of stripping me of my superhero powers, it makes me want to buy, buy, buy! (And expose my inner Superman-loving nerd, apparently.) Lee Angel - Risa Multi Layer Necklace
It's metallic, shaped like a mouse, and can hold two quarters, Chapstick, and a Tic Tac. And yet, I must have it. See by Chloe - Animalia Mouse Keychain
Rational or not, find your own fashion loves in What’s New.