Monday, February 28, 2011

Menswear Spring Wardrobe

It's fashion week season, but not for the season at hand of course.  I decided to review the Spring 11' runways and see what I could find as far as the color palette, silhouettes, trends. and point out some of my favorites! The average chap should keep in mind that most of these looks are not to be worn quite so literally...rather use this to influence your choice of color, added details to your current wardrobe, or how you style your digs. Enjoy!

A few of my favorite Details..
Color Palette, 3.1 Phillip Lim

Nehru Collar, Lacoste

Leather Jacket, Duckie Brown

Sneakers, Marc Jacobs

The color palette was right along with the rest of fashion at the moment with important colors being shades of grey, white, tinted neutrals, navy, (including lighter tones in the same family), shades of orange and coral, and of course chartreuse.

A few themes I noticed as far as styling and inspiration goes came from the 50's and early 60's.  Inspiration was also definitely drawn from the Brit Dandy's of the late 18th and early 10th centuries, (think ascots, over exaggerated detailing, slim pant styles, etc.).  A sophisticated or style/conscious rocker look was also a common theme on the catwalks.

Cropped and cuffed trousers were probably the most prevalent detail I saw across all labels.  Another look I noticed this season was very literally a buttoned up one.  With the whole 70's by way of 40's trend going on, there were no chest hairs to be seen.  The boys left it to the imagination on the runway this season...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BiShOp ArTs DiStRiCt DaLlAs

I came upon a wonderful "pocket of greatness" in the words of my friend Matt this weekend.  We decided we wanted to try Bolsa in Oak Cliff, (a great region of Dallas full of amazing restaurants).  Unfortunately/fortunately, there was an  11/2 wait.  The hostess said it would be worth it once we had their drinks and dishes and suggested we take a walk around and explore the area while we waited.  As we started our little venture down Davis street, there wasn't too much to see besides a couple of glass and auto shops as well as a random tatoo shop or we thought.  I suggested that we at least walk to the next light and then we could give up.  As we approached the light and glanced to our right, we found the pocket of greatness!  As we turned the corner, the Bishop/Arts district came on full spring.  shops, restaurants, and galleries appeared out of nowhere...kind of reminded me of Brooklyn in that you have to know where to look, but the end result is always unique and way worth the search.  In lieu of the menswear theme going on this week on chit chat, I thought I would talk about the jewel called Epiphany I found in this area.  They have men's, women's, and home decor.  Here are a couple of shots I took in the menswear boutique.  My favorite is this amazing fedora with the snakeskin trim on the brim!   The boutique was small and limited in merchandise as most are, but everything they carried had personality and the merchandising/styling was very refreshing. We ended up stoping in on this little pizza place called Eno's for a glass or mayybe carafe of Vino, but decided to stay for their thin crust pizza as well.  The place was absolutely precious, and I will be back, but maybe not for dinner...their pizza wasn't my favorite...try Fireside Pies or Coal Vines if you visit Dallas, both are divine. Planning on returning to Bolsa this coming weekend, but will definitely get their a bit earlier this time and will now be prepared and happy to kill time :).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Well Balanced Design

I received my guilt group deals the other day and was drawn more to the deals for the men than the women.  These shoes by Helm are just perfect! The shoes are sharp and handsome in the same way that Billy Reid is classic, but updated and on trend. The following styles would pair very well with Billy Reid's collection. That shade of brown in the boot two pics down goes great with almost any color, khakis, camel, navy.  And I love the inspiration as told in the description on the website - "Sharper and sleeker with dark overlays and a classic seamless fit, it’s a classy version of a gangster python boot worn by Al Pacino in “Scarface.” As in this example of bring together a class act look with a gangster influence, opposites attract in design.  Another example is the whole rough-luxe trend which goes across all categories - home, apparel, and definitely in the styling of restaurants and hotels. When you get dressed in the morning for example, you always have to have that balance present whether it be in the silhouette, accessories, or color palette. If I have on a whimsy formal spring dress, I'm probably going to pair it with boots, dark or metallic accessories, or something to give it a bit of an edge. With menswear looks, I'll definitely have on a very feminine top, statement accessory, or go more pretty and lady-like with my hair and makeup styling. Mixing, matching, adding, and achieving the overall equilibrium of your own look is like the grand prize in creating your own eclectic style.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Uprooted Southern Style

 I've had this obsession lately with Billy Reid.  The fact that he is from Louisiana, spent time at LSU, studied in Dallas, and has had JCPenney, (company I design for), as a client in the past just makes him more interesting to me and adds to his list of credentials in my opinion :). His style is southern with kind of a hipster twist if you will. The cut of his clothing is exquisite...handcut patterns add to the unique decor of his boutiques.  He added womenswear to his repertoire in 2000, but I love his looks more so for the chaps. An important aspect of menswear collections is to have pieces that can be easily styled in different ways and could fit into many different "genres" of taste.  Let's face it...guys don't have near as many silhouettes or options as the ladies, and its the little things built into your overall ensemble that create your own personal style. As you will see in the following images, Reid shows that whether you are a southern gentleman with a  pocket square and bow tie or someone who takes more risk with high waters and black rimmed glasses, you can shop with him and stand out. The following collection of looks are all done up and maybe even a little over-styled, but you can see that each individual piece could be pulled off to achieve whatever type of look you feel comfortable in and can pull off.  I recently went to a party at Northpark mall inside his boutique.  He had a live roots/rock band, outstanding hors d'oeuvres, and a bar made out of antique wooden crates with an older gentlemen wearing a perfectly cut 3 piece suit, pocket square, glasses, and bow tie serving shiner bock, heineken, or crown on the rocks...def. made a statement and fit well with the overall image. This brand pairs well with Black Keys, Ponderosa, and the Raconteurs...more later this week for the boys;{

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


RELIEF KIT.....As I said, this week is a tough one at work, but we had a great day today...I was at the office from 8-830, but we made amazing progress so it was worth it.  Besides, there are some things that can melt the stress right out of you and that keep me going in life in general.  Music, red wine, and good food are 3 of "my favorite things" that get the job done after my job is done. Here are a few suggestions of mine in these categories.  

Black Keys: Ten Cent Pistol, (this is a melt you many of their songs are)
Black Keys: Howlin for you
Foster the People: Pumped Up Kicks, (lifts you up and gets you motivated) 
Bon Iver: Skinny Love, (so freaking good)
The National: Fake Empire, (Mollie this reminds me of you every time I hear it...never gets old:)
Sleigh Bells: Rill Rill
The Naked and Famous: Young Blood, (also a "get you going" tune)

Ok I could keep going, but we will save some for other posts....

Red Wine: 

Dona Paula 
Cab 08 Argentina

Malbec 07

Also, there is this box wine at World Market...I kid you good!  It's the same blend/company as  menage e tois, but in a box and its like $16 = 4 bottles! = dangerous

I looove the Barefoot old roommate Sarah and I use to obsess over her...did you know she was White House nuclear policy analyst, wrote and published like 4 cook books, was a columnist for Martha Stewart Magazine, and oh formal training for cooking!  She taught herself, which I love!  I've made this recipe of hers a million times...soo good. It's easy, light, and pairs well with shrimp, chicken, or a variety of fish. I like to add capers sometimes and sliced cherry tomatoes for color. Enjoy! 

  • Vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, meltthe butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taupe Shadows

Hi there,

Today was tough...its design crunch time right now at the office and I'm a little overwhelmed.  On the other hand, I'm relieved because I'm starting to dive deeper and understand more clearly what we are doing for the next season.  It's great how as you spend more and more time with the inspiration and concepts for the season to come, you become more familiar with them...its like your growing in your relationship with them.  Every time you look at the images, fabrics, and colors, you notice something different or see something more relevant and trend right to what's current in the least you hope too...I'm very thankful for confirmation. One of our main call outs for next season is this beautiful taupe story.  The shades of taupe are grayed out and flare or pair with shades of mauve and sometimes shades of lavender or blue as in the images you see here.  Enjoy and use it to influence your week to come...wardrobe, housewares, creative!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Home Vs. Apparel

I'm back!  It's been a while since I've posted and it's been quite an exciting past 8 months. I spent 2 months in NYC playing and falling more in love with New York, and then moved to Plano, TX in August to start my career in design....what a bizarre kind of backwards sentence.  I had no idea what division they would put me in for the 6 month training process.  I ended up in Soft Home clue what this meant, but am thrilled I was taken outside of my apparel comfort zone. A couple of weeks ago, I graduated from the program and now have a full time position as an assistant designer!

It turns out Soft Home design is just designing Home product that is literally soft - bedding, bath, rugs, etc. I am still designing for the Home division in my new position, which is what I was hoping for. I wanted to learn more about this new perspective on design, and the best part is I will eventually have the opportunity to move to Apparel in the future if I want to switch departments.  I just ordered a dress form  and will continue to keep my fashion skillz sharp!

I wanted to start my first post back describing the relation between fashion design and Home design.  I think of designing bedding kind of like styling.  You start with your main piece - the comforter or duvet, and then you accessorize with  dec pillows, window treatments, trims, and sometimes a coverlet or quilt.   Instead of having to focus on designing one element of an outfit like knit tops, I get to create a whole look through mixing prints, patterns, and different fabrications resulting in an overall statement.

I also like to think of each bed as a collection.  In apparel, a collection usually consists of pieces that have a common theme and can even sometimes be mixed, matched, and coordinated to work together. In the same way, each bed has its own story, I get to work on multiple concepts for the same season as each bed is unique in its own way.