Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Oscars Report


A Fashion Lovers Dream


Oh my, was this years Academy Awards refreshing.  Of all the dresses that walked across our screens, I can’t say there was one disaster.  Not that I would, I tend to focus on my favorites, but sincerely I don’t have any  disappointments. 

Winning top honors for me was Black Swan star, Mila Kunis, in a gorgeous lavender chiffon gown with tiered lace detailing and grosgrain ribbon waist by Elie Saab.  The color was superb and unexpected.  The dress was both delicate and feminine and unbelievably sexy.  Some weren't sure how to take the exposed cleavage, but with her youth and body, I thought it worked flawlessly.  Well done, Mila, you’re the breakout fashion star for me this award season.  

1298851099_mandy-lgNumber two, Mandy Moore wowed us with this classic, ladylike gown from Monique Lhullier.  I can only imagine how breathtaking the gown was in person.  While I think the nude gown trend is being a little overplayed, you can’t deny how amazing they can look on the right person.  Mandy’s light skin tone blends in perfectly with this gown and you almost don’t even notice the sheer fabric at the neck.  She looks like such a lady.  Finishing off this look is her hair and makeup done to perfection.  The chestnut color and soft, romantic bun complete the package and give her top honors for me.  



Halle Berry has taken a few misses of late, but not last night.  This ethereal Marchesa gown must have been created with her in mind.  The dress was made for a woman with a thin frame and delicate curves and Halle definitely fits the bill.  I adore the beaded floral structure and whimsical arrangement of tulle.  It’s truly one of those gowns that makes you want to gaze and discover every inch of constructed beauty. 

In my opinion, Marchesa is the best thing to happen to award show fashion since Badgley Mischka.   


Kaufman FrancoA lot of folks may have missed this jaw-dropping gown worn by Camilla Alves.  On the arm of her beau, Matthew McConaughey, she escaped most of the paparazzi.  I typically prefer color at award shows because I don’t think the beauty of black comes across well on the Red Carpet.  This one, however, is a showstopper.  The simplicity and dramatic sexiness of the plunging neckline on this gown make Kaufman Franco a “one-to-watch” moving forward.  




Did anyone not gasp when they saw knockout Jennifer Hudson get out of her limo?  Wow, this woman has transformed herself into such a confident beauty and its written all over her face. 

I LOVE the tangerine color of this Atelier Versace gown against her soft brown skin tone and beautifully swept back hair.  She is styled to perfection with well suited accessories and classic, understated makeup that allows the dress to shine. 


With no disappointments on the Red Carpet this year, choosing a top 5 was tough.  Therefore, I couldn’t resist giving an honorable mention to two other stunners that caught my eye.  First, Helen Mirren, in Vivienne Westwood.  This woman has a knockout body and makes the mature years look like the place to be.  Her gown is classic, yet modern and looks amazing with her silver locks.  Gwyneth Paltrow also gets an honorable nod with her sleek, sophisticated Calvin Klein dress.  I love its body conscious retro feel combined with her straight blonde hair.  Gwyneth knows her body and knows her style and she gets it right every time.  Her humble, sometimes bashful demeanor make her all the more lovable. 

Hollywood stylists get an “A” this year for an amazing showing of fashion! 

Vivienne Westwood117105_1298860122

Saturday, February 26, 2011

BHLDN ~ Part Deux


Behold my heart…

As if the dresses weren’t pretty enough, Anthropologie’s BHLDN collection brings us stunning shoes and accessories to complete the look.


To cover-up a girls bare shoulders on the big day, could these Bolero’s be any cuter?  I fancy the Primrose Bolero, by Quillaree, above because of its ultra feminine raw-edged floral design and delicate blush color.  It would flatter any skin tone.    

The Bow-Topped Bolero, by Hitherto, to the left has a sweet Victorian flare with a modern twist.     






May sound strange, but this photo makes me want to paint.  It’s been a while since I’ve brought out the easel and acrylics (okay, years), but this colorful array of fashion delights may just give me the inspiration I need.  It’s like candy for the soul.  Purple and green and pink, oh my.








I digress.  I’ve always been drawn to this shade of green – the Emerald Fields Kisslock Clutch is charming and vintage inspired.  The tuck away strap transforms it into a shoulder bag. 

20642955_004_aThe Gilded Trillium Kisslock Clutch is my favorite bag in the collection.  Made with the softest grey lambskin and topped with a corsage of brass and pearl flowers, it has just enough room for phone and lipstick.









The BHLDN collection features amazing head pieces as well.  The Languid Bow Headband, by Ban.Do, to the left has a fantastic 50’s style and would be perfect for a cocktail length dress. 


20614442_069_aI’m really smitten with the lovely Feathered Petals Headband by James Coviellio, which would be a beautiful finishing touch for  bridesmaids.  The rose shade shown here is exquisite and a perfect complement to neutral shades and browns.  I think it also would provide a nice pop to a rich green or purple.  Heck, I think I may buy this one to wear w/my spring & summer dresses.






This playful photo perfectly illustrates the whimsical feel of the Pompom Rose Headband by Pomp & Ceremony

A colossal collection of raw-edged cotton voile petals perch atop a Liberty of London wrapped band.  And it looks yummy with the gold dress.




Last, but not least, can we talk shoes?

What I would describe as the “perfect Cinderella shoe,” the Threshhold Slingback by Something Bleu, is delicate and supremely romantic with the addition of Festooned shoe clips from Twigs & Honey.  The 4-inch pleated silk-satin peep-toes hide a half-inch platform inside, adding a little height and comfort. 

And about Twigs & Honey…I highly recommend checking out their site for more incredible finds.  


I love the classic style of the Beaded Brocade Slingback by Rada.  Tied with a grosgrain bow and topped with subtle embroidery, this pointy-toe pair is  sleek and softly feminine.









Oppositely, the Moonlit Peep-Toes are a sexy classic by Something Bleu.  I loved the sweet touch that the pompom clips add to this look.  Also really shows the versatility of this shoe.



19665116_065_aAnd now for the perfect bridesmaid shoe, the lush, nearly glowing silk satin Bow-Topped Slingback from Something Bleu.


Charming and classic, the shoe also comes in ivory and saffron, which are exclusive colors for BHLDN.       



I could not resist the vintage style and fitting name of the “Elopement Pumps.”  The robin's-egg-blue leather slip-ons by Hey Lady have no shortage of detail.

I just love the scalloped edges around the back and tip of the shoe and the pretty pattern that lines the inside.  These are charmers and would be perfect for a bride-to-be to wear to one of her special parties leading up to the big day.



So, can you believe I’m still not done covering BHLDN?  How can I stop here when there is still jaw-dropping jewelry to talk about and we certainly can’t leave out the delicate underpinnings.  Stay tuned for more.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Anthropologie – Will You Marry Me?


Take my breath away…


Anthropologie has officially launched BHLDN (pronounced “Beholden”), a collection of breathtaking bridal dresses and accessories.  The line features heirloom inspired wedding gowns, bridesmaid and occasion dresses, vintage-inspired jewelry, shoes, unique headpieces,  accessories and even lingerie.

There is so much beauty to behold in this collection that I can’t possibly do it justice with one post.  Here I’ll share my favorite dresses and will report back soon on the amazing accessories. 


20908117_011_aTo say I’m an Anthropologie devotee is a bit of an understatement, so it’s almost cruel that they are launching BHLDN in 2011 – I was married in 2002 for goodness sake!

Hmmm…I wonder if Jay would agree to marry me again??…..??  ;o)

Anthropologie has created a loyal customer base that is unique, feminine and whimsical - and they honored that customer by designing a wedding brand that would follow her through the most important life transition she will likely ever make – as a wife.  




The brand will create some of their own signature gowns and also will feature established and up-and-coming guest designers like Fleur Wood, Tracy Reese, and Catherine Deane, who will create exclusive designs from tailored and voluminous to embroidered and embellished. 

Retail prices for the brand range from $1,000 to $4,000 for gowns, and $200 to $600 for event dresses. 



19593912_011_aBHLDN was designed to celebrate a woman's personal style and to provide a confident, guiding voice to help create an extraordinary experience for brides. 

What kind of bride are you?

One of my favorite sections on the site – this page helps guide you to the best gowns and accessories to match your personal style.  By asking a few cute questions – like where your dream wedding location would be and what your friends will remember most about your special day years down the road – they  help identify the kind of bride you are. 


Naturally, I took the “quiz” and the results were pretty spot on.  I was identified as a “Nostalgic Romantic” bride – someone that embodies tradition and timeless beauty.  As a girl that carries vintage hankies in my handbag (yes, they belonged to my Nana), I think that’s probably a true assessment. 

Further than describing my style though, the site then led me to an assortment of dresses and accessories that fit my described style and that coordinated with one another.  




Also located on the site is a personalized area where brides can create “mood boards” to share with friends and family.

MyBHLDN continues to develop and soon will feature things like advice sharing and other inspiration, including coveted images, color palettes and style icons.






Anthropologie’s goal with BHLDN was to help a woman create an event that reflects her own unique perspective and to give a bride that edit she’s been searching for—with heirloom-quality wedding gowns, artisanal hair adornments, footwear and lingerie.   They also wanted happy bridesmaids in mix-and-match frocks with rich hues and unexpected details.

Beyond the dress, they wanted to start a conversation with their customer—building a resource where she can come to find inspiration and to share with those closest to her. 

Well done, Anthropologie, I think you’re well on your way to making many girls dreams come true.