February 27, 2011

Oscars Best Dressed List

Photo Credit: via Just Jared
Oscars Best-Dressed List:

1. Cate Blanchett in Givenchy
2. Reese Witherspoon in Oscar de la Renta
3. Halle Berry in Marchesa
4. Gwyneth Paltrow in Calvin Klein Collection
5. Michelle Williams in Chanel

All of these actresses looked beautiful at the Oscar's - but Cate Blanchett completely blew me away with this avant-garde, embellished Givenchy gown. Cate Blanchett is my pick for best dressed at the 2011 Oscars. She looks modern, cool and very sophisticated. And, I am always a fan of Marchesa - Halle Berry looks stunning in this gown! There were many other actresses that looked gorgeous - this is just my top 5.

The biggest color trend of the night was RED with Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lawrence all wearing red. Anne Hathaway is wearing a strapless Valentino red dress, and she posed with the legendary designer on the red carpet.

What do you think? Who are your picks for best dressed?

February 24, 2011

Spring's Hottest Color: Orange

If there could only be one "it color" for spring, it would definitely be orange.

Celebrities including Beyonce, Drew Barrymore, and Gwyneth Paltrow (pictured on left, wearing a Calvin Klein Collection orange dress) have all been spotted wearing this bright color. Gwyneth's dress is minimalist perfection!

While you may think that orange is a difficult color to wear, there are so many different shades of orange that can look flattering and fabulous.

Or, if you are insistent that orange doesn't work for you, add orange sandals, like Tory Burch sandals, to your spring wardrobe.

If solid orange doesn't work for you, try a color-blocked dress that includes orange - like this modern and versatile Urban Outfitters dress.

There is a chic orange dress from ASOS; it's minimalistic and gives out that "it girl" from the 60's vibe.

For all you girly-girls, this Milly orange sheath dress is refined elegance with a youthful attitude. And lastly, the Parker Dress in blood orange right now is fun and feminine with a pretty ruffle detail.

Photo Credit: via cb

Will you be wearing orange this spring?

February 23, 2011

On the Runway: Lela Rose Spring 2011

Photo Credit: Courtesy of IMAXtree.com and Matteo Volta, via elle

The Spring 2011 Lela Rose Collection is unbelievably chic and glamorous.

Sometimes, a dress in white, cream, or beige can be just the thing you need to stand out with subtle sophistication.

February 22, 2011

Spring Break Style Guide

Dear Young Sophisticates,

I am about to go on a Spring break trip to a Mexican beach town with some friends and I need some style suggestions on what to wear. What should I wear?

First of all, you are so lucky to be going to Mexico for a spring break! How fun! I would recommend first laying out all of your beach clothing and accessories (on your bed); once you have all of your options in front you, figure out what items you need to buy.

You should have the following essentials with you: sandals, signature beach cover up, bikini, maxi dress for evening, and a beach tote.

You will definitely need some sandals and both sandal picks are less than $25. For the beach, you can't go wrong with Havaiana's - there are so many colors to pick from! These mint and silver jeweled sandals from Lulu's are unique, fun and perfect when you're off the beach.

For your bikini, pick something that looks best on you. It doesn't need to be the trendiest cut or color, just something that you look great in & feel confident in. My favorite bathing suit designers right now are Shoshanna and Diane von Furstenberg.

For cover-ups, don't limit yourself to something that's sold as a cover up - remember, a cotton dress can work just as well! I saw an adorable white Xhilaration dress at Target that would work so well as a cover-up. There is a great swimsuit cover-up from Victoria Secret that is bright and comes in several beautiful colors and is less than $50. (pictured on right)

If you feel like wearing a pretty dress, wear a maxi dress while you drink margaritas and relax. If you want to splurge on a gorgeous maxi dress, this Milly halterneck dress is perfection!

For girls who treat beach bags as disposable, I have found the bag for you - this Forever21 C'est La Vie tote.

If you like to multi-task and use your beach bag as a magazine tote at the airport, purse by night, and beach bag by day, then go for a classic straw tote - like this one from J. Crew.

Photo Credit: via ladydianaz; via Victoria's Secret.

Do you have a style question for Young Sophisticates? Email youngsophisticates@gmail.com and your question may be the subject of a post.*

Which Spring Break guide item do you like the best?

February 21, 2011

Mrs. Press Giveaway - Have you entered yet?

There's still time to enter the Mrs. Press giveaway!

3 winners will receive shower gel, body lotion, hand cream & soap (worth AUD $105). This giveaway is limited to Australia residents only.

Complete info on how to enter here.

Accessories Report: Cat Eye Sunglasses

Photo Credit: via Ladycentre

Flipping through the pages of a March 2011 issue of a certain fashion magazine led me to a picture of Anne Hathaway wearing these incredibly cool Elizabeth & James sunglasses. I have loved wearing aviators in the past, wayfarers in the more recent past, and many classic shapes along the way - but I have never worn cat eye sunglasses until now!

SPLURGE: these Gucci cateye sunglasses are over $200 but totally luxurious!
SAVE: I love these from Forever 21 for less than $10!

February 18, 2011

Look for Less: Blush Colored Dress

Emily Blunt looks so pretty in this Elie Saab
dress in a beautiful blush color (pictured at left). She wore this dress from the Elie Saab Spring 2011 Collection to her premiere for her film "The Adjustment Bureau."

While Elie Saab's intricate detailing and feminine embellishments are unparalleled, the blush color of the gown is fresh and perfect for Spring.

You can get this look for less by finding a dress in a blush color and pairing it with nude heels. Emily Blunt wore nude peep-toe heels by Brian Atwood (who is the biggest name in high-end designer shoes right now) - but you can get a great pair of patent leather peep-toe heels for less than $100 at Piperlime right now - Vince Camuto Renees peep-toe in nude (which are incidentally a Rachel Zoe pick).

On to the blush dress now, Lulus has a fabulous draped dress (which makes me think back to the guy on Project Runway who made draped dresses basically every single episode- remember that?). Lulus Daughter of Zeus Blush Pink Dress is budget-friendly at $56 and is simultaneously pretty and modern! (pictured below)

Also, I normally don't include maternity items in LOOK FOR LESS articles, but I came across a maternity dress that was so lovely that I had to include it. And, I figured this would be helpful for some YS readers. So, if you are pregnant, check out the ASOS Maternity one-shouldered dress in blush.

And last but not least, if you are looking for something different, Topshop's Tab Bandeau Dress by Rare Opulence contrasts the girly blush color with a unique draped tabbed panel detailing.

Photo Credits: Getty/Elie Saab via poshglam.com; Lulus.com

Do any of these blush dresses suit your style?

February 17, 2011

Katie Emilio Fall 2011 - Inaugural Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Presentation

Today's runway report focuses on the inaugural presentation of designer Katie Ermilio. I love all of her designs and I think you will, too!

I was lucky enough to interview Katie Ermilio back in September: part 1 of the interview & part 2 of the interview. In the interview, Katie shares some of her sketches, and tells YS all about her style philosophy, design process and much more. Katie also opens up about the "distinct Ermilio style" that influences her work as a fourth generation designer; Katie's grandfather was the personal clothier to Grace Kelly.

Katie held her inaugural presentation at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week on Thursday, February 10 to a crowd of over 250 attendees. Katie's Fall 2011 collection was interestingly built around an initial pink blazer. Katie remained true to her classic design style and signature aesthetic in the collection.

The twelve looks included two elegant gowns, including a cherry red draped silk chiffon gown (pictured at left) and a short sleeve full-skirted bright pink silk faille. The collection also included versatile cocktail dresses, smoking jackets, and separates of shorts, pant, and sheer blouses.

Andrew Mukamal styled the presentation. The line featured color blocking of hot pink, cobalt blue, brilliant red, cream, and navy.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Katie Ermilio

As a side note, I have two guest posts out today: my monthly column for CheapChica's entitled "Look for Less: Pleat-detailed Dresses" and then I also did a guest post for a very cool fitness blog called A Foodie Stays Fit - that post is called "Shopping Guide: 5 Key Pieces for Spring" - hope you have a wonderful day!

Which look in the photo above is your favorite & why?

February 16, 2011

Fresh Faces: The Best Dressed at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Nicola Peltz at Erin Fetherston Fall 2011

Shantel VanStanten at Jenny Packham Fall 2011

Katrina Bowden at BCBG Max Azria Fall 2011

Photo Credit: images via Vogue Diaries

There are only two days left of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Today's shows will include Michael Kors, Milly and Nanette Lepore. Tomorrow design legends Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein show their Fall 2011 collections along with other notable designers - and then it's all over.

All three of these young actresses are fresh faces who managed to stand out in a crowd of very fashion-conscious people - no easy task! For Katrina Bowden's look, the skirt would also go well with black opaque tights and an ankle bootie that was cut right at the ankle to make it a little more wearable right now (for most climates right now).

Which one is the best dressed?

February 14, 2011

Jason Wu Fall 2011 - New York Fashion Week

Photo Credit: via fgr

New York Fashion Week is going on right now... get all the updates at style.com. Jason Wu's collection is totally gorgeous! Love it!

February 13, 2011

Look for Less: Bubblegum Stripes

How refreshing is it to see a young girl dress appropriately and stylishly?

Hailee Steinfeld is only 14 years old, and if you have seen True Grit, you don't need me to tell you how incredibly talented Hailee is. Her dress from the Screen Actor's Guild awards hit all the right style notes - bright, fun, and colorful. There was another style standout at the SAG awards - here.

The dress is from the Prada Spring/Summer 2011 collection. The dress went down the runway in a shorter version, but it was just as exuberant and chic!

Stripes in general are majorly in style for spring, but if you are wanting more of a simple stripe (navy and white; black and white), see this previous post on nautical stripes.

While a simple nautical stripe is classic and lovely, bright multi-colored stripes are fun and unexpectedly chic.

Bubblegum stripes are a big trend for spring - and now you can get the Prada look for less. This Anthropologie shirt (pictured below) is $68 and completely nails this look. Pair it with light wash '70s flare jeans and flip flop for a casual summer look.

If you are wanting a dress, you can get the look with a beautiful Shoshanna Midnight Tie Dye Striped Tullip dress. It might not be the same color scheme exactly, but I love the bright navy/charcoal colors - perfectly complementary!

Photo Credit: via Purple Stripe Style

Don't forget to enter the Mrs. Press giveaway going on now for all of our Australian readers; it's easy to enter - and you have until March 1 to enter.

Oh, and a very happy Valentines Day to you! xoxo!

Do you like bubblegum stripes?

February 11, 2011

Things to Treasure

We all have our favorite things... Here are some of mine. They are constantly evolving and changing, yet right now these things stand out. My watch that I have worn every day for the past six or so years - I love it more than ever today. The beautifully packaged soap that I received as a Christmas gift, yet have not opened it, because it's just too pretty! And, the perfume that I love. We all have things to treasure...

Perfume Featured:

What are things that you treasure, in the whimsical world of fashion & beauty?

February 10, 2011

A Different Kind of Red Dress

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I am suddenly seeing red & thinking subconsciously about all the chic ways to wear red. Maybe it's because I can't get over how incredibly fabulous Mila Kunis looked at the SAG Awards in that red Alexander McQueen abstract print gown with the skinny belt cinching her waist...

I have written before about the importance of a bright coat, and just this week saw one of my friends wearing a beautiful bright red coat that I admired! Absolutely lovely! But with spring clothing in stores now, you are probably thinking about how to make your spring wardrobe work... and I think you should add a red dress.

The red dress is tricky to pull off, if you are interested in looking
equal parts chic and sexy. Sometimes, the red dress is thought of a smoldering, sultry over-the-top look and you don't really want that.

Pepe Jeans Floral Batwing Dress (pictured below) is my pick for a easy, beautiful red dress for spring 2011 and it is definitely affordable - and with Valentines Day coming up, it may be the perfect gift for your Valentine to buy for you (hint-hint) or if you are single, treat yourself right and snatch up something fabulous!

Whether you go for the abstract print or a floral print, the important thing is that these red dresses are fresh and completely stunning in a more subtle way. The look is completely effortless.

Photo Credit: via ASOS; via Celebrifi

What do you think?

February 8, 2011

Trend Alert: '70s Style Flared Jeans

70's style flared jeans are back in style this season! Now you may be thinking, no way am I trying this - but think about how often you wear jeans, and then think about how much a new pair of jeans could freshen up your wardrobe and reinvent your look in a fresh, new way.

I would suggest pairing a dark wash pair of '70s style flared jeans, like the GAP jeans pictured on the left, with a simpler top so you don't go overboard and turn up looking like you're wearing a flower child Halloween costume. Pair the jeans with a solid colored top and heels and you have a sleek & sophisticated look.

Since these jeans are admittedly trendy, I would recommend opting for a reasonably priced pair of '70s style jeans - although J Brand, Hudson and Vince all sell really cool jeans in this style right now (if you're willing to pay more).

Any of these jeans will have you looking totally "of the moment" and fabulous for less than $100: GAP Wide Leg Trouser jean in dark wash, Monkee Genes Denim Flared Jeans, and MOTO Indigo Denim Flared Jeans.

Photo Credit: Anja Rubik for GAP Spring 2011 Ad Campaign, via stylefrizz

Will you be trying this trend?

Parisian Beauty

Photo Credit: via Pinterest

A simple question for today:

What is your favorite thing about Paris?

February 7, 2011

Exclusive Interview with Dallas Shaw

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Dallas Shaw

Dallas Shaw is well-known in the fashion industry for her work as a fashion illustrator (with clients like DKNY, Dace and Shopbop), but she also works as an artist, buyer (for a boutique in Delaware), and blogger.

You can purchase one of her gorgeous prints through her website or through her Etsy page. Also, be sure to check out her popular and delightful blog, Dilly Dallas - if you haven't read it before, you're missing out. Dallas has recently collaborated with Kate Spade for a project called B*Mine - where you can send out Valentine e-cards for *free* from now until Valentine's Day. Her card is the sixth from the left - see a close up of the art featured on the card here.

Read YS' exclusive interview with this stylish artist and be sure to check out her work!

Q&A with Dallas Shaw

You’re a fashion illustrator, artist, fashionista, buyer for a Delaware boutique and style blogger. How do you divide your time between all these different types of work?

The blog is very true to what I am doing that week, or who I am working with that day so it runs itself. I just document what I see and like. As far as the career in art, I schedule each project. I am obviously very well organized but working in fashion means you are always working.

What is it like to work in the fashion industry?

Fast paced. Which is great for me - I like [things] done yesterday.

"...I always come home saying, 'I have never seen anything so beautiful,' and then napping for about a week."
~ Dallas Shaw, on fashion week

As a fashion industry insider, what is it like to attend fashion week?

Very hectic, and beautiful all at the same time. I always come home saying, "I have never seen anything so beautiful," and then napping for about a week.

Which do you love more: shoes or bags?

Shoes. I'm a shoe girl.

What is the best part of your job?

That I do exactly what I love. I created this position and now I am fortunate enough to take on the projects that I love most. Every day I look at clothes, shoes, and I work with the very sweetest people. I am so so thankful.

What is the most stressful part of your job?

There isn't a part that isn't terribly stressful. I work on a number of deadlines, and my weeks are filled with schedules and travel. Just getting everything done and making everyone happy is a handful. A clone would be helpful.

Do you have any advice for young women aspiring to break into the fashion

Yes: be prepared to work.

Describe your style philosophy.

I like to mix casual with glam, and trend with prep. I just wear what I like.

"I like to mix casual with glam, and trend with prep. I just wear what I like." ~ Dallas Shaw, on her style philosophy

Where can readers buy your artwork?

You can buy anything on the [Dallas Shaw] site by sending an email. There are also some items [available at my] Etsy [shop] that are a bit less expensive.

What designers have you most recently worked with?

This week: Kate Spade, Nine West, and Jennifer Delonge. Every week, it's a new group.

What’s up next for you?

So much. Redoing the canvases, keeping up with the illustrations and working on a large project that will incorporate fashion even more in the future. You'll have to stay tuned!

What spring trends are looking forward to wearing this year?

Espadrilles and maxi dresses - I cannot wait.

February 4, 2011


Photo Credit: Behati Prinsloo by Mariano Vivanco for Vogue Turkey via fgr

With spring rapidly approaching, it's time to search for pieces that will brighten up your wardrobe. Be bold - wear colors that make you stand out and feel fantastic. Read the guide to wearing brights here.

The biggest piece of fashion advice you can give to a young girl is, try not to be self-conscious; don't let others hold you back. Express your style in whatever way you want!

Once you own your style with confidence, you will be amazed at the result.

So what are you waiting for? BE BOLD & start rocking your own signature style.

Australian readers, don't forget to enter the Mrs. Press giveaway hosted by YS - enter here. It's so easy to enter & there will be 3 winners for this giveaway!

Also, check back here Monday to read an exclusive interview with a fashion industry insider. Any guesses? You'll have to wait and see...

Do you think fashion combats or encourages self-consciousness?

February 2, 2011

GET THE LOOK: Simply Scalloped

There's just something so feminine and pretty about a scalloped trim on a piece of clothing.

Liya Kebede looks so lovely in these scalloped shorts.

The look is elegant, classic and unabashedly romantic.

Invest in a gorgeous dress with a slightly scalloped hem - like this Stella McCartney floral cut out cotton dress in cream.

As an alternative to the dress, Stella McCartney has also designed an equally beautiful skirt with a scalloped hem.

If you are searching for a more casual look, pair these Urban Outfitters scallop shorts with a simple top.

Invest in a pair of functional ballet flats, like these Chloe ballet flats, in a pearlescent nude color with a scalloped edge.

For all of you anticipating a beach vacation in your near future, this Vix tunic with scalloped trim would work as a stylish and chic cover up for a day at the beach. If decorating your living space is taking top priority right now, there's also a stylish pick for you to incorporate scallop details into your decor.

If you are more interested in adding to your home than closet at the moment, these scalloped bone picture frames from West Elm will be the perfect for you. West Elm also has an earthy colored and very comfortable throw with a scalloped edge.

Photo Credit: Liya Kebede by Matt Jones for Elle Italia via glsp

Michelle McCallum by Zoltan Tombor for Grazia Italy

Photo Credit: Michelle McCallum by Zoltan Tombor for Grazia Italy via fgr

These photos convey a sense of relaxed elegance.