Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What Lies Ahead

I think it's funny that we as human beings are so fascinated with the future. We want to know everything that will happen as soon as possible. Fashion is one of the few outlets that is happy to tell you about the future well in advance and give you ample time to prepare. Imagine if all things in life were forecasted on a runway two seasons in advance.

Fall/Winter clothing and accessories are now out in full-force and since the holidays are a time to really sparkle, it's time to pick up those special pieces for gifting or for keeps. While it still feels summery here in So Cal., the Tweet Up at the Outlets of Orange recently reminded me to think ahead.  

My recommendations for Fall/Winter are as follows:

1. Shine. Whether it's beading, sequins, or chunky rhinestones, add some shimmer to your wardrobe to stand out. I picked up this sequined black tank with large discs from Neiman Marcus Last Call. The movement of the discs adds some shine to my wardrobe, especially when worn underneath a coat.

2. The Statement Shoe. It's no secret that I love shoes, and while they serve the practical purpose of getting me from point A to point B, they can also do double duty as your jewelry of choice. Choose a glitzy shoe (or a really tall one) and have that be your statement-making accessory. Your confidence will skyrocket. I picked up these beaded and silk Charlotte Olympias from Neiman Marcus Last Call for an incredible deal. They are the perfect shoe for me, with some glitter in every step. 

3. Consider a Clutch. If you're like me and you love a big bag, you know it can be challenging to squeeze everything into a tiny clutch. However, these pocket-sized purses are perfect for holiday parties. Take a load off and don't compromise the look of your formal wear by choosing a clutch that has detailing on it. I spotted this smart set at Saks Off 5th

4. Feathers. I love feathers! I hope this trend never goes away. As evidenced by the many feathered finds from dresses to shoes at Neiman Marcus Last Call, I don't think it will. Be advised, feather items tend to be a bit more expensive because it's such a delicate detail. I think it's extremely worth it though to buy pieces that have such exquisite movement.

5. Be a Square. If you are going to stick with a bigger bag in place of a clutch, opt for a structured, square shape, the most popular bag of the moment. You can get a bag similar to this anywhere (even Target), but Neiman Marcus Last Call had all of these designer-looking duds in stock.

I for one love the idea of an open-ended future, where tomorrow's a mystery. While you can't always shape the months ahead of you, you can prepare for (hopefully) colder temps and festive events. When shopping ahead of time and at outlet stores you can find a large selection of on-trend necessities for the season at the fraction of a cost. And budgeting for the future is always in style.

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 7, 2014

One Sweet Tweet Up

Although my day job fully revolves around social media, I had never actually been to a Tweet up for my own personal enjoyment/social accounts. But last week I was in for a pre-Halloween treat when I was invited to a Tweet Up at the Outlets at Orange discussing all things fall fashion.

Having grown up hanging out at The Block (the name formerly given to this shopping mecca) on select weekends, I knew this outdoor space as a place to catch a movie and spend time with friends over food and drinks. I recently discovered its major shopping potential since adding in big name stores like Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call. The polish they've added to this place has paid off nicely. Now Orange County bargain hunters can score a designer deal and take in delicious dining and drinks to boot.

We began Tweeting at Neiman Marcus Last Call about current fall trends. Major takeaways for me were fringe, embellishments, and feathers, which could be found on clothing or handbags. We then reunited in the center court by AMC for an outstanding fashion presentation. We got to see models up close styled in perfect fall form. Eyeing the looks up close was like watching a Pinterest board come to life. I was inspired by so many of the bargain pieces used to make very editorial ensembles. There was even a game to guess where certain outfits came from. I am proud to say I put my years of shopping to good use and was able to win a prize for guessing correctly!

Since social media can suck up your cell battery and energy, snacks were on hand to keep us going. I finally got my Ghostbusters Krispy Kreme doughnut that I had been craving since I heard they were coming out.

Another great part of the evening was seeing dresses fashioned from shopping bags. If you thought reusable bags were becoming stylish, you wouldn't believe these works of art submitted by fashion students. Attendees got to vote for their favorite dress on Twitter. It was no easy task to pick a favorite. I would have worn any of these pieces of altered couture.

The truth is, I can sometimes be old-fashioned. I like to unplug after work and on the weekends, and do as little social media feed watching as possible. However, this event made me see the benefits and fun of carving out some personal social media time. I thought I knew how social networking and shopping worked together, but I needed an update. This event helped me refashion my take on something familiar, much like a dress re-imagined.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NYFW Spring/Summer 2015

When I was younger I would stay up late and watch the Style Channel. At about 1 a.m. they would show runway shows from Fashion Week around the world and highlight trends. Watching these shows made me determined to go to Fashion Week someday. Every season I head to Style.com and watch the latest slideshows, enjoying ready to wear, couture, bridal, and resort from the comfort of my desk. When I was hired to work at NAILS, I was told I had the opportunity to actually attend NYFW. While I didn't believe it at first, I found myself inching closer and closer to my first trip to New York and the fashion olympics.

It has taken me a long time to post about this experience because I have been digesting it for a month. While at Fashion Week I was live blogging for NAILS and when I returned I had to complete my NYFW story for the November issue of the magazine. Getting caught up at work and financially has taken a while, and writing my story down was like letting out a good cry. I ended up with nine packed pages, detailing every sequin on a dress and how it felt to be nudged by makeup artists and cameramen. The only problem was, as my boss pointed out to me, nine pages of pure prose is a bit long for a story in a magazine (and of course a blog post). Instead of telling you everything that happened and what it was like, I decided to share some of my favorite images that aren't in the links above. The rest are on my Instagram feed

I count myself extraordinarily blessed to be able to say I made this trip and saw five fashion shows (Raul Penaranda, Opening Ceremony, Alice + Olivia, Libertine, and the Blonds). Fashion Week is a lot of work. Being in New York was almost too overwhelming. The pressure to put out a magazine is one thing, but the pressure of setting trends for the next six months is entirely another. It takes a complete mess and utter chaos to create something so ethereal to walk the runway. While I didn't get to meet any of my fashion icons, I did get to meet a lot of amazing people who make the magic of Fashion Week come alive. While it's not all champagne and parties, it is a milestone experience to feel the thrill of so many industries converging and being at the center of it all. Fashion Week is about possibility. It's a dangerous thing to try and predict the future, but the fashion world does so season after season with great flair. We don't have to follow suit, but more often than not, we do. NYFW made me excited about the coming seasons, and just as it had when I was younger, hopeful for the years ahead and all that's possible for your future self.