September 30, 2010

Rent the Runway is Fabulous! (with a promo code just for you)

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway's motto is "LOVE. WEAR. RETURN" and it is just that easy & we now have our very own PROMO CODE for a 10% discount!!! Type in SOPHISTICATES as the promo code from now until midnight on Friday, Oct. 29, and receive 10% off.

Rent the Runway (RTR) is the most exciting new secret in the fashion world. You might have seen the new girl Juliet with her RTR bag on Gossip Girl or maybe entered RTR & Rachel Zoe's Missoni giveaway. RTR is just so amazing!!! Here are the top 3 reasons to join:

1. Membership in Rent the Runway is free - all you have to do is sign up here. Rent the Runway allows you to rent top designers (including Catherine Malandrino, Lela Rose, Herve Leger, Rebecca Taylor, Kenneth Jay Lane) for only 10% of the retail price.

2. Select your items & schedule a delivery date. You get to select a FREE backup size to achieve perfect fit. The dresses and accessories are yours for 4 or 8 days!

3. Show up at your next big event (think sorority formal, friend's wedding, work event, your [27th] bday party...) with the most fabulous outfit and then return it in one of their prepaid packages - and as a plus they take care of dry cleaning.

Info on the 3 looks that were deemed perfect for Young Sophisticates,
by Young Sophisticates and RTR:

1. Robert Rodriguez Black Label Sequin Trim Empire Gown [Rental $100, Retail $695]
2. Milly Bow Belt Combo Lace Dress [Rental $50, $380]
3. Nina Ricci Rose Empire Sheath [Rental $300, Retail $2,490]

A big thank you to RTR for giving us the promo code.

Happy renting!!!

Please leave a comment and tell us all what you got with the code.

September 29, 2010

In the Garden

Photo Credits: Chris Meech, James Doyle (landscape designer) & Neil A. Landino Jr. featured in Veranda

These photos are from a beautiful estate in Greenwich. Old Mill Farm is a historic estate - a 1926 landmark. The flowers and grounds are spectacular.

Also, we are now on Facebook - as "Young Sophisticates."

September 28, 2010

Discover Twigs & Honey

Photo Credit: Twigs & Honey

Twigs & Honey by Myra Callan creates the most feminine and glamorous headbands. Myra's designs are so unique and beyond beautiful. The company makes headbands for every day life as well as bridal head pieces and more. Some of my favorite designs - sparkly, satin rosettes, and golden flowers. Twigs & Honey also has an Etsy shop featuring the new 2010 collection. And to complete your look, check out their fragrance line. Which design catches your eye?

Twigs & Honey Vintage inspired feather and rhinestone headband, $210

September 27, 2010

Fashion Flashback

Photo Credits: Louis Vuitton;; featuring Vogue vintage prints.

Fashion magazines and style sites alike are declaring Fifties inspired fashion is back. Now this is a trend I think we can all get behind. Maybe it was this show's amazing costumes, maybe it was Marc Jacobs, maybe it was a desire to return to a fuller silhouette... who knows? But this is a trend that I think that all of you, Young Sophisticates, will embrace. Classic style is timeless. The Louis Vuitton Beauty Pumps from the above ad campaign are ridiculously gorgeous. Mimic the real thing by learning how to make your own bow shoes.

These blue matlesse boxes are adorable. And, Vogue has recently released The Vogue Archive Collection - including style icons Grace Kelly and Jackie O - available for purchase here.

September 25, 2010

Weekend Bargains

Photo Credit: J. Crew Factory

J. Crew has recently announced their new online FACTORY shop - essentially a weekends-only outlet store carrying all the J. Crew designs you love at drastically reduced prices. The Factory store is open from Friday @ midnight to Sunday @ midnight (EST). So, hurry and snatch these finds up - the store closes tomorrow night.

Your wallet & closet will thank you.

Have a happy weekend!

1. J. Crew Factory Cluster Earrings, $17.50
2. J. Crew Factory Blakely Bling Bracelet, $14.00
3. J. Crew Factory Shawl Cardigan, $59.50

September 23, 2010

Heather Knight Ceramics

Photo Credit: Element Clay Studio,

Artist Heather Knight finds inspiration in the natural world. Her beautiful ceramic pieces are now available for sale online in her very own Etsy shop, Element Clay Studio - very cool considering that her work is featured in art galleries and museums across the country. Knight is based in Asheville, North Carolina where she continues to create modern and unique pieces.

1. Element Clay Studio Baby Scallop Bowl, $25
2. Element Clay Studio Set of 3 Nesting Scallop Bowls, $150
3. Element Clay Studio Micro Tile Hydrangea, $85

Fresh Face

Photo Credit: Peter Lindbergh, Vogue

If you saw Carey Mulligan in An Education, then you understand what all the buzz is about. She is incredibly talented! She stars in the upcoming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and alongside Kiera Knightley in the indie film Never Let Me Go. When I saw the October cover of Vogue, I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of the look -- and the embellishment on that Chanel dress is fantastic. And, it is also refreshing that Carey readily admits that the sample size for the cover dress didn't fit --- yet instead of succumbing to Hollywood pressure, she states matter-of-factly, "my brain doesn't work when I'm that thin [referring to a 7 lbs. post-appendectomy weight loss], so I can't do my job." After that realization, she says she "never had that whole Hollywood pressure thing."

Refreshing indeed!

September 22, 2010

An Interview with Designer Katie Ermilio: Part 2

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

Back today with part 2 of the interview with designer Katie Ermilio. Katie talks about the menswear influence on her designs, her personal style and design process. Add one of her chic pieces to your closet & you are sure to be the envy of all your friends! What do you think of these looks?

1. Are there certain colors or details or fabrics or patterns that you find yourself drawn to over and over again?

As far as palettes go I love neutrals, and more specifically different shades, textures and variations of ivories, creams and whites. I also gravitate towards luxe fabrics as I use them to re-interpret staple pieces (such as blazers, straight leg trousers and shorts).

My family legacy in menswear certainly has the most prominent influence on my work. I’m constantly blending and juxtaposing traditionally masculine pieces with feminine silhouettes. I find the unwavering tradition in classic menswear so beautiful and I reference it time and again in my clothes.

2. What’s your own personal style? What do you wear on a day-to-day basis?

My sense of dress definitely has a timeless feel. I’m a bit of a tomboy - always mixing clean classics with feminine accents. Growing up in the world of tailoring taught me everything I know about proper proportion and fit, so that’s something that’s become ingrained in my personal style.

On a daily basis, I wear blazers, slouchy tees and Chanel ballet flats. And my shorts from the Fall 2010 Collection are a staple in many of my outfits. I wear them constantly.

3. How do you think your family’s history has influenced your career? Has it been a burden or a blessing?

My family history nurtured my aesthetic and gave me an outlet to create, and without that I can’t really say whether or not I would have ever discovered my love for design.

4. Are there any particularly magical memories you have of watching your family members during the design process, or even showing their designs?

My dad is an expert on equestrian apparel, fit and proper dress and he consulted and created jodhpurs for Maggie Norris’s 2001 Collection. There was a presentation at Bergdorf Goodman and I was given a seat at the show. It was my first fashion show of any kind, and my very first taste of runway. I have seen my dad in action for countless fittings, but this was really special and it left a lasting impression on me.

September 21, 2010

An Interview with Designer Katie Ermilio: Part 1

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

You are going to absolutely love rising design star Katie Ermilio. Her designs are simultaneously timeless and modern. As the fourth-generation designer in the Ermilio family (her grandfather was Grace Kelly's personal clothier), Katie Ermilio is poised to make her own mark on the fashion world. See more of her beautiful designs here. I'll be back tomorrow with Part 2 of the interview. Enjoy!

1. What was the first article of clothing that you ever designed?

The first piece I ever designed? I can’t remember exactly because I’ve been designing since I was little. My favorite thing as a child was making my own paper dolls and all of their clothes, so I suppose I was designing before I ever really knew it? But the first piece of clothing that I designed and had made was a mint green baby doll dress that I wore to my eighth grade dinner dance. I sketched it out, selected the fabric, and worked with my father’s seamstress to have it made.

2. Fashion design is literally in your genes. You are the fourth-generation fashion designer in your family. Did you always know you would grow up to follow in the family footsteps?

Surprisingly no. In fact I didn’t even consider design as a part of my future, though I always knew fashion would be. For as long as I can remember I wanted to work in magazines – I love art, writing, typography, graphic design and of course clothes – so I saw fashion magazines as medium that married my interests and went forth to pursue a career in publishing.

3. What is it like to be the first woman in your family to carry the design torch?

It’s so exciting. I can’t imagine anyone happier than me that the Ermilio name and legacy will live on in my work. I’m also so thrilled to be giving the company new life here in New York – while I am a native Philadelphian – my maternal grandmother grew up on Washington Square downtown. Her father (my Great Grandfather, Leopold Porrino) established an insurance agency here in the city that is still in operation. He was good friends with LaGuardia, so there is a huge part of New York in the Ermilio story.

4. Do you consciously try to incorporate elements from your family’s designs, or are they just inherently there? In other words, is there one Ermilio style, or is it different from generation to generation?

There’s certainly a distinct Ermilio style which naturally finds it’s way into my work. This notion of chic gentrified apparel with a relaxed sensibility is a mainstay of my aesthetic (as well as my father’s and grandfather’s.)

5. Was style something you learned, like a trade or an art, or was it something that was more or less absorbed by osmosis by being around your grandfather and father?

My style is complete osmosis, as is my design sensibility. Everything I know about clothes I learned from my father’s shop and spending much of my young life around tailors, fittings, and him. He and my grandfather are both the best-dressed men I have ever known. Of course, as a young girl to me it this was all second nature because the clothing world was my life, and now as a young adult I reflect back on my childhood and can appreciate where my knowledge comes from.

6. Other than designing clothing, what are your most artistic or creative hobbies?

Some people are surprised to learn that I paint, and I’ve always loved art – so going to museums and galleries is a favorite pastime of mine.

7. What habits have you cultivated as you design? Do you listen to music? Do you like a certain environment? Have you developed any quirks to start the process?

My design process can originate from anywhere and I really never know when an idea is going to strike me. I find that my best work (or at least my favorite pieces) are organically inspired. I don’t really sit down and set aside time to design. Rather, I let the mood strike me and go from there. It’s funny – some days I can’t fall in love with any of my drawings and on others I won’t be able to turn the ideas off.

8. What kind of a woman do you design for? If you were asked to design a one-of-a-kind dress (or other piece of clothing) for anybody, who would you like her to be?

I would like to think that design aesthetic marries a sense of timelessness and modernity. My clients span generations in their age range, so I consciously try to create garments that defy limitations when it comes to a woman’s age.

September 20, 2010

Ribboned Treats

Sure you're sophisticated, but you like to have a little fun! These decorated Rice Krispie treats with chocolate are fun and easy to make. I came across the idea here and then here. I thought it sounded fun and not too hard so I gave it a try.

Before you try this, make sure you have some cute ribbon and lollipop sticks.

Once you have the ribbon and lollipop sticks purchased, go ahead and make the Rice Krispie treats following this recipe. Then cut approx. 1 inch wide segments resulting in rectangle shaped treats. Place the lollipop stick in the middle and push down. Once you have the lollipop stick on it, dip the treat into a bowl of melted chocolate. Finally, tie the ribbon on top. And, voila you have a pretty & easy dessert that is sure to impress.

September 18, 2010

Weekend Workout

Photo Credits:;

Consider doing a little yoga or pilates this weekend. Need something cute to get you motivated? No problem! These workout clothes will keep you looking stylish while you sweat. And if you need a yoga mat, start by looking here. Here's to a relaxing weekend!

1. Zobha Essential Zip Jacket, $100
2. Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Performance Pack Away Tank, $60
3. Zobha Essential Capri, $68

September 17, 2010

Added Edge - Fallon Bracelet

Photo Credit:

This bracelet truly rocks. It's edgy and a statement piece, to be sure, but at the same time is delicate and feminine with the turquoise and crystal chains. Fallon creates young & vibrant pieces of jewelry. What do you think?

Fallon Crystal Stone Chain Link Bracelet, $139

September 16, 2010

View from the Top

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest

How amazing are these views? Imagine looking out the window, seeing one of these spectacular views! See more pretty pictures here.

September 15, 2010

Recipe Cards

Photo Credit: Rifle Paper Co.

If you are the type of girl who loves to cook, you will adore these recipe cards. There are also some really cute cards in a floral print. Enjoy!

Rifle Paper Co. Spoon Recipe Cards, $10

September 14, 2010

Fashion Week

Photo Credit: featuring Carolina Herrera

See all of the videos and photos of the designers shown thus far at Mercedes Benz FASHION WEEK Spring/Summer 2011. All of these gorgeous dresses are designed by the amazing Carolina Herrera. What do you think?

September 13, 2010

Smart Travel

Photo Credit:

For those of you who travel quite a bit, I don't have to tell you how annoying the restrictions on liquids and gels are for the beauty addict. What a hassle! Well, no longer do you have to complain about putting your bath and beauty products into smaller containers or hold your breath as you go through the security line hoping they don't throw away your expensive products because it's more than the approved amount. Check out, with TSA approved bottles of your favorite beauty products. This website is amazing! Featured brands include Molton Brown, Tocca, Malin & Goetz and green beauty line Weleda.

September 11, 2010

Not Practical, Magical

Ya, so these shoes might not be practical. At 5 1/2 inches tall (with a 1 inch platform), they are sure to give you some serious height. These nude and camel heels add the perfect feminine touch to any ensemble. Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!

Mui Mui Patent Leather Peep-toe Pumps, $670

September 10, 2010

Simply Stunning

Photo Credit: Jak & Jill Blog

Sometimes, less is more. Dressed in black with red lipstick, results in minimalist beauty. Simple and so chic!

September 9, 2010

French Decor with a Modern Twist

Photo Credits: photos by Roger Davies; featured on

French interior design images... beautiful, modern traditionalist vibe. See more images from this gorgeous house in the Hamptons here.