Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Royal Visit – A Fashion Recap


O Canada

Who could help but be captivated by Princess Catherine’s regal beauty?  During the royal couple’s recent whirlwind tour of North America, the Duchess of Cambridge did not disappoint.  All eyes were on every last detail of her wardrobe and she handled it with incredible grace, fitting of a Princess.  Certainly, she is a stunning beauty made better by her seemingly charming, and sweet personality.  What strikes me most about her style is that she always wears simple, elegant pieces that are modern and age appropriate and the way she carries herself makes it all look effortless.  Following are my top 10 favorites from her visit to Canada and the United States:

#1 – Reiss (above).  Although we’ve seen the Reiss Nanette dress before when Kate wore it for the official engagement portraits, it seemed completely new at this event.  This time, Kate honored the Canadian flag by accenting the delicate white dress with a pretty red maple leaf fascinator, red pumps and a diamond maple-leaf brooch lent to her by the queen.   The hat was designed by Sylvia Fletcher at Lock and Co.


#2 – Diane von Furstenberg

It’s no secret that Diane von Furstenberg is my favorite designer.  I proudly have several of her dresses hanging in my closet, including one from this collection and in this pretty shade of green. 

Kate wore the chic “Maja” silk dress for a reception held at British Consul-General Barbara Hay's L.A. residence.  She paired the dress with a leopard purse also from DVF.







#3 - Issa

One of Kate’s favorites is Issa, a designer she wears often.  I must say this is my favorite of her Issa dresses.  I love the brilliant purple color, the deep v-neck and the subtle, yet charming gathering at the waist.  This dress was worn at a Canada Day concert, held to commemorate the nation's 144th birthday. 

Nice touch adding the Queen’s maple leaf brooch again, Kate.  Note: The Queen wore this brooch on her first trip to Canada in 1951.  Isn’t that wonderful? 



Canada -Erdem Moralioglu

#4 – Erdem Moralioglu

Before this tour, I had not been aware of designer Erdem Moralioglu, but I sure am now.  Kate wore two intricate dresses from the designer and I fell in love with them. 

This striking dress in a navy blue lace features sheer sleeves, scallop detail and a shift scoop-back.  It is from the designers spring 2011 collection.

She paired the dress with her favorite nude L.K. Bennett shoes, that she wore throughout the trip.  Clearly she is a reasonable packer too! 


 Malene Birger

#5 – Malene Birger

For her visit to Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, Kate debuted a new designer – Malene Birger.

The cream linen three-quarter sleeve “Bullet” dress was worn with her favorite L.K. Bennett Sledge2 pumps, a clutch and Kiki McDonough Citrine drop earrings.

Malene Birger is also a new designer for me, but I was impressed so did a little digging.  An award-winning Danish designer (I’m Danish too!), the line is inspired from the classic styles of the 50’s and 60’s and is elegant, feminine and easy to wear.


                                                                                                        Roland Mouret & Smythe 


#6 – Roland Mouret/Smythe

I love that Kate can make a very business-like outfit look so modern and chic.  Proof that office attire doesn’t need to be boring.  Here she’s ready to board the plane headed for Canada, wearing a dark navy Roland Mouret "Manon" dress and a Smythe one button jacket.  She carried a Mulberry Polly Push Lock bag in Midnight.



 Alexander McQueen

#7 – Alexander McQueen

Kate attended her first Hollywood red carpet event with the BAFTA gala and wore a floor length pleated lilac chiffon gown by Alexander McQueen.

Her accessories were equally as charming – she wore earrings lent to her by Queen Elizabeth, and Jimmy Choo clutch and sandals.






#8 – Smythe/J Brand

Kate has perfected casual chic with this outfit.  On a visit to Slave Lake, Alberta, she paired her structured Smythe jacket (remember she wore it above with the Roland Mouret dress) with a romantic ruffled blouse and her J Brand “811” skinny jeans.  Adding the wide brown belt and L.K. Bennett wedges were the final touches that made this outfit perfection.   





Alice Temperley     

#9 – Alice Temperley

I couldn’t help but include this outfit in the mix of favorites because she looks so darn cute in her ten-gallon hat!

To help kick off the Calgary Stampede parade, Kate chose another romantic top to pair with her cowboy hat and boots and a big belt buckle.  The pretty white lace blouse was designed by top Brit designer Alice Temperley.


    Jenny Packham 3  

#10 – Jenny Packham

Finally, I just loved the delicate hand-painted floral design on this Jenny Packham dress. 

The “De Gournay” chinoiserie silk dress was worn to the Foundation Polo Challenge held at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, benefitting the royals' charity.

It was a fun couple of weeks peering in on the daily activities of the Royals during their visit and waiting to see what the Princess would wear next.  I heard often that she didn’t travel with a stylist (although I’m sure she had a little help from a stylist before she left)and that she packed over 40 dresses to choose from.  She clearly has an amazing sense of style and impressive attention to detail.  She also loves a good wardrobe repeat, which I think makes everyone love her.  During this trip she wore her J Brand jeans 3 times, her Smythe jacket twice, the Queens brooch twice and her L.K. Bennett nude pumps at least 5 times.    

What do I think is her best fashion statement – the beautiful smile she ALWAYS has on her face.  Nothing makes a girl more stylish than that.  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Swimsuit Style

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One Piece or Two?

It’s usually around the 4th of July that I start thinking about spending time in the sun and enjoying a swim.  And then, inevitably, I’m disappointed with my swimsuit selection and start the search…you know, when they are all picked over at the stores.  I will say, I was thrilled to find a cute navy & white striped one-piece (I think my bikini days are over) at Target the other day, adorned with an cute red rose in the top center.  Adorable and perfect to show my Independence Day spirit. 

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I found a few other patriotic selections that I had to share.  The triangle bikini from Thayer above can be found exclusively at Shopbop.   

The bandeau top to the left is from Lucky Brand at Everything But Water.  The top ties at the back.






ebwwwwwEverything But Water is a great place to find swimwear.  You can choose from a series of collections each season and mix and match styles/pieces to expand your choices. 

I love this white convertible style bandeau top with halter tie from Carmen Marc Valvo.  Sexy and functional.







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Another cute halter style from Everything But Water, I love this delicate print from Lucky Brand.  The sweet factory collection includes this cute skirted bottom for a little more coverage. 









I also was impressed with the Salt Swimwear collection. 

The Lola style features multi-string detail at the top and sides creating a cool negative space effect.  Another surprising touch – the strings drape down the back!

This suit was featured in Surfing Magazine Swim 2011.






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Diane von Furstenberg has created a number of stunning swimsuits this season, including this reversible print bikini.  The other side is a peach color trimmed with this pattern (inset).  When investing in a swimsuit, its nice to get 2-in-1 to make it an even better investment.  This great suit can be found at Shopbop

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How cute is this bikini from Swim Systems?  I found this at Everything But Water and really fell for the adorable details.  The black & white graphic pattern is interesting, but not over done and the red trim adds a perfect touch.  I love the top trim with a little tuxedo effect.  Such a flattering piece.






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I adore the retro feel of the metro bikini from Pret-a-Surf.  It features a halter top with seam details at underwire cups.  The halter straps tie behind the neck.  Best part – the bottom features ruched overlay at the front and contrast tie at exposed back zip.

Pret-a-Surf is a high-end line of swimwear, rash guards, and board shorts for the fashionable woman who wants to maintain her style while she plays with the boys.



Swimspot is a fantastic site to find unique high-end suits.  I love the Opening-Day peekaboo tankini.  This suit has an uptown feel with charming detail and sexy silhouette.  It’s a wearable piece, well suited for a cocktail party or a dip in the pool.   




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The berry colored boot camp collection by Next at Swimspot was such a fave of mine that I had to feature three of the pieces to show it’s versatility.  The racer back tankini at top is my favorite.  I also love the halter style top and bike shorts.  This style is perfect for the active girl that wants to jog or play volleyball at the beach…or take a swim.  The last suit is a two piece that provides the coverage of a one.  Great looking suit.  




This suit would be flattering on any body type.  From Tommy Bahama, it can be found at Everything But Water.  The ruched design adds style, helps conceal any imperfections and provides great tummy control.  





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This pretty pink suit from Lauren also provides great tummy control, while offering a delicate design with ruffle detail.  Great feminine design.      

From Everything But Water.








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The Heavenly one-piece suit from O’Neill has a great striped design and vibrant blue color.  It ties at the back of the neck and it features tie detail at the hips. 

This piece will be featured in the September issue of Coastal Living Magazine.



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Last but not least is this ultra sexy suit from Luxe by Lisa at Swimspot.  The Socialite Maillot one piece is refined, elegant and sexy.  The posh black suit has intricate floret detailing and underwire for added support and a low v-back.  It’s a classic, timeless style. 

Wishing all a delightful Independence Day…hope you get a chance to enjoy America’s fine bodies of water with a pretty new swimsuit.