What to Wear: Your Flawless Holiday Party Look...

Whether you're a private jet to Ibiza kind of girl or a night in with friends, getting dolled up for the holidays is just part of our genetic makeup. We love it. We live for it. We embrace it. If you're looking for the PERFECT outfit to take you from dusk 'til dawn, this is surely it. A feminine frock, dazzling heels, a timeless clutch and gold & crystal J. Crew earrings. 

The dress will be an investment, yes. But I am sure you'll seek out more opps to wear this amazing LBD. The accessories will all be just as chic at your lazy next day brunch with jeans and a simple white tee. Classic investments and unbelievable pieces to usher out the old and ring in the new. 

SHOP THE LOOK

Lanvin Metallic fil coupe mini dress // Saint Laurent Monogram Clutch // Jimmy Choo glitter pumps // J. Crew Earrings

Beauty: Give Your Skin that Coveted Supermodel Glow...

{image via  Pinterest }

{image via Pinterest}

When it comes to how I feel about makeup, it begins with great skin, focus on eyes & eyebrows and a somewhat glossy nude-pink lip. While great genetics will take you far, few of us are rocking supermodel genes (or jeans, for that matter). But with a little know how, some experimentation and honed skills, you too can have a face that radiates that ethereal glow we've all come to associate with modern beauty. 

First: water. Sorry girls. There's no getting around this foundational aspect of great skin. DRINK UP. If you don't have a water filter, get one to eliminate some of the toxins and microbial particles in your tap water. Better yet, add some lemon. Trust: it does a body (and a face) good. 

But let's talk products. There are definitely some tips and tricks I can share from my ample experimentation and my quest to find the very best. Let's begin with a fresh face, shall we? Bliss  Youth as We Know It Anti-Aging Cleanser was my go-to for years and CeraVe is an excellent (and super inexpensive) option. These days, however, it's hard to resist the siren call of Kate Somerville's Cleansing Milk. "WOW" is my response to this amazing cleanser. It is packed with active ingredients and leaves my skin soft & prepped for a day of looking gorgeous. That pump dispenser keeps things bacteria free, too. I was told by my Kate Somerville guru that it was developed for more mature ladies, but I don't care. My skin loves this stuff and it smells dreamy. It's worth every sulfate-free penny. 

Next, grab a serum. Ole Henricksen Truth Serum wins those magazine beauty awards every year for good reason. It isn't sticky, doesn't leave you "wet" and somehow magically makes you better looking. Loaded with Vitamin C, used daily it will indeed generate a glowing complexion and a more firm face. I especially love the "super sized" option as it's a great value. 

Finally, hydrate. I'm a huge Prevage by Elizabeth Arden fan. I actually use the body moisturizer on my face and décolletage (it just works for me) and love, love, love the way it sinks right into my skin and leaves that beautifully hydrated finish. I actually mix it with my Clarins UV Plus before applying to face, neck and shoulder area. Prevention truly is the best cure, after all. 

Wait half a beat for the moisturizer to sink in most of the way (but not quite completely dried) then apply Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. My go-to color is Nude, which is pretty spot on for my skin tone. They offer a wide range of shades for girls of every color of the rainbow. (Tip: Stick to the original, as I do not care for the illuminating or oil-free versions.) Apply a thin layer beginning in the center of your face and work outwards. Dot extra on any troublesome areas (like around the nose or apples of cheeks) and stand back to appreciate your dewy glow. Done right, this will result in that perfect "no makeup" look you crave but don't have the nerve to actually try. I prefer a light-to-medium coverage and appreciate that this product is NEVER caked or thick. My skin can breathe and it looks and feels healthy.

My super secret weapon? Step a little closer to the screen... wait for it... wait for it...  Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Loose Powder. This is one beauty product that changed my look from so-so to boom-boom-pow. Used sparingly with one of these brushes in areas of the face you would normally apply bronzer to it will produce an "I just jetted back from Ibiza" glow that doesn't look overdone. In summer I use more to achieve that golden glow, but this is one product I'm happy to incorporate all year long. Brush just below cheekbones, up to temples and lightly dust on forehead, nose and chin. It comes in two shades: starlight and candlelight. I prefer the latter, as it is warmer and less yellow. My makeup artist friend and Nordstrom also emphasizes that it is the more universally flattering of the two. Next, use NARS Orgasm (aka the only blush you'll ever need) on apples of your cheeks and call it a day. Voilà! You, are Gisele Bundchen. 

If I can offer one final tip it would be to use a gentle exfoliator. I love to use Clarins Gentle Exfoliating One Step Cleanser at night for keeping skin fresh and smooth. This amazing product offers the perfect doze of skin buffing goodness to keep your skin ready to be radiant again tomorrow. Can't imagine living without this great find! 

1. Kate Somerville Cleansing Milk // 2. Ole Henricksen Truth Serum // 3. Prevage by Elizabeth Arden // 4. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer // 5. Laura Mercier Mineral Illuminating Loose Powder

This step by step guide is only for skin. I'll touch upon eyes in a subsequent post but this will get you started. The result of the products and application methods above will not only give your skin a temporary glow, it will actually protect and repair your beautiful face. The cleansing milk is packed with active skin-perfecting active ingredients, the moisturizer is loaded with antioxidants, the SPF is one of the best on the market, the serum will stimulate collagen production and the tinted moisturizer contains a bit of sun protection as well. These are top notch products at reasonable prices. My goal is to go beyond a temporary healthy glow resulting from clever makeup tricks. I'm striving to actually look radiant with my makeup off and treat my skin with the care it deserves. I suspect you are too.

Word to the wise: It's the only face you'll ever have, so treat yours lovingly and with respect.  And by all means keep drinking that filtered water, girls! It might just be the fountain of youth you've been looking for all these years. 

Ciao! 

Shopping: Fall Footwear at Its Finest...

Wowza! Is anyone else really loving the escapism of fall footwear? Between the natural disasters & the man-made calamities, I desperately needed a trip to the Neiman Marcus shoe department. This always on point resource of luxe goodness did not disappoint in the flights of fancy department. Fur trimmed heels? Check. Jacquard & ribbon adorned sandals? Double check. Dusty rose velvet slides with a gorgeously huge knot on the front? Sign me up. Gucci Marmont suede mules with a stacked block heel... in rosy pink? I am so feeling you, queen. A 4-inch stiletto with a massive embroidered butterfly on the back? Yes, please. Fanciful shoes... you are giving me life right now. Thank you.

If you also need a break from the news and a bit of fashion brilliance to remind you that life is indeed great, miraculous and amazing, I've got six pretty pairs for you to ogle at below. xoxo!

SHOP THE SEASON'S FANCIFUL FOOTWEAR

Current Obsessions: A Roundup of My Latest Fashion Cravings...

Current Obsessions: My Latest Fashion Cravings

Ahhhhhh... can you feel it? Change is in the air. The sun may be scorching by I assure you there's a new season, a new mood and a new vibe sweeping in soon. And, I am READY for it. But first, I need to retool my wardrobe and lock in a few key pieces to transition me through the last days of summer & sweep me gracefully into the next month or so.

Here's what I'm eager to add to the fashion mix: a killer cross-body bag I'm long overdue in adding to my wardrobe, a multi-functional black dress that's just as ideal for a laid back day out shopping as it is for dinner (with the right shoes, of course!), a super feminine stackable ring set I am OBSESSED with a hint of new balm for the lips because they need post-summer repair and a fresh pair of Jackie O-worthy sunglasses because the Texas sun is unforgiving regardless of the season.

SHOP THE POST

Shopping: Brilliant Hacks for Practically Effortless Last-Minute Needs...

Whether you're pulling together an outfit for a fete with no time to spare or wrapping up gifts for a special someone, we all have moments when heading out to shop simply isn't in the cards. My solution? Year-round I use Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus for solving my "need it now" woes. Here's how it works.


NORDSTROM INDULGES US WITH CURB-SIDE PICKUP

Did you know at Nordstrom you can shop online and pick up in the store closest to you? While browsing the site you can even search for items only in "your" store (with the ability to toggle between locations if you're near several Nordstrom locations. The kicker? Pay online and they'll even WALK IT OUTSIDE to your car. No need to even walk in the doors of this esteemed shop. And lest you think you'll pay more, Nordstrom does an amazing job of offering price matching (done for you automatically) on categories across the board from shampoo to luxury handbags. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this. Shop from your jammies in bed and swing by for free same-day curbside pickup. All of your problems solved. Another option for gifting? E-Gift Cards, letting the recipient have the fun of shopping when and where they want for exactly the items they covet. And did I mention curbside pickup? Shop in your slippers, drive in your slippers, live life in your slippers. It doesn't get much easier.


QUICK & EASY SHOPPING AT NEIMAN MARCUS

Oh, Neimans. You make my shopping life so easy. Whether you're shopping for yourself or searching for special gifts, this legendary retailer offers a few cool "no-fail" options. First, buy online & pick up in store. Much like Nordstrom, your item will be ready shortly with an email sent to you alerting you it's ready for pickup. While you do have to pop into the store, they will typically offer you bottled water & their signature lemon cookies for your inconvenience. Stepping up from that, you can send someone an item via GiftNow, meaning you can select a Stuart Weitzman boot or AG Jean but let the recipient select the exact size and style or color giving them the gift of choice (always appreciated). You look like a total boss giving them exactly what they want, and they enjoy the freedom of choosing the version of the gift that best suits them. Virtual Gift Cards are also a great idea because everyone loves them. The best part? Those gift cards are good at Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman too. Now that's luxe.

SHOP ONLINE & PICKUP THESE AT NEIMAN MARCUS


ENJOY PAMPERING VIA NET-A-PORTER

My love for net-a-porter is no secret. Free shipping and no tax equal one happy girl. From my favorite nail polish to my beloved Super Elixir, this online luxury destination offers more than meets the eye. My favorite candles can be tossed in the cart alongside a book and my dream wallet and I know that three days from now an elegant black box with grosgrain ribbon will appear at my door, giving me to the posh department store experience without ever leaving my door. Best gift idea ever? Their virtual gift card, giving yourself or a loved one access to whatever their pretty little heart desires. No wrapping necessary whatsoever.

GOODIES NET-A-PORTER SERVES UP WITH PANACHE

Saint Laurent Oversized Acetate Sunglasses // Gucci GG Marmont Top Handle Bag // Tom Ford Fling It Lip Duo // Light Wonder Skin Perfecting Foundation // Tom Ford Love Lust Cheek Color // The Super Elixir Green Superfood

 

TARGET & AMAZON MUSTN'T BE IGNORED

While you won't find Prada at these spots, you' can make sure you get a gift to your bestie (or tights for your daughter's ballet class) the very day you purchase them. As crazy as it seems, Amazon Prime delivers almost everything same-day or (if you're shopping to late in the day) next-day service. Don't overlook the convenience of having paper towels and household essentials delivered to your doorstep so you never need set foot in a big-box store again. Speaking of which, Target makes it super easy to shop online and enjoy free shipping - or pick up that day for a major time saving opportunity. If you're prone to walking out with unexpected "finds" at your local Target, shopping online then picking up at customer service will curb your bad habits and get you in and out in less than five minutes. Win-win.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Gift Guide: Put a Little Tory Under the Tree (+ Free Shipping)...

Somehow Tory Burch is offering free shipping (on time if you order by 3pm ET today) for a few more cool hours. Here are a few great selections from her marvelous sale. I'm also linking that new fab fragrance I happened upon a few weeks ago. If you're shopping for you or someone else. get going, the free shipping deals are closing in. Happy hunting!


Boutiquing: Kendra Scott Steps Outside the Jewelry Box...

You may have missed that Kendra Scott quietly launched a collection of elegant products for the home this season. From elegant stone trays to sleek acrylic & brass jewelry stands, the home accents allow the Texas jewelry designer's modern feminine style to find spaces in your home far outside the jewelry box. 

At first glance the collection reminded me of Aerin Lauder's collection, due to the strong use of brass and clean lines. Upon closer examination though I fully appreciate Kendra's collection as featuring artisan pieces in keeping with her established brand styling. Semiprecious stone, stunning filagree metalwork and the "choose your stone" options are hallmarks of the Kendra Scott brand aesthetic. These lovely new pieces have all the hallmarks of Kendra's detailed jewelry designs while still firmly placing her (high heeled) feet into the interior design space. Kudos to her for this stunning premier group of accessories. I can hardly wait to see what she dreams up next. 

We stopped by the Plano location on Sunday afternoon to have a spin around the boutique and see the glistening goodies in person. Here are a few standout pieces I love for dressing up your ears, wrists, vanity, tables or bookshelves. Thanks to Kendra, the choice is now yours. 

KENDRA FAVES INSIDE + OUTSIDE THE JEWELRY BOX

  1. ACRYLIC + BRASS JEWELRY T-STANDS
    Seriously up-level your close organization with these two remarkable pieces. Can you imagine a dreamier way to display your own jewelry? Note that I'm getting both sizes for myself and encouraging all of my clients to add them to their vanities as well. Available in small & large.
     
  2. GEMSTONE INSPIRED NAIL LACQUER
    Brilliant idea on Kendra's part. The gemstone inspired nail colors (think: shimmery druzy & iridescent shimmer) take at-home mani's to glamorous new heights. Choose from dozens of colors.
     
  3. ISADORA ROSE GOLD EARRINGS
    Dazzling in person, these statement earrings are just as fierce with denim and leather as they are with a lace top & tulle skirt. You'll reach for them all the time. Your ears deserve these. .  
     
  4. STONE + BRASS TRAY
    Such an elegant way to organize your perfumes and whatnots. I love a glamorous tray and this amethyst one is anything but ordinary. Choose from a variety of stones.
     
  5. FILAGREE LIDDED BOX
    Perfect for storing anything you choose, I LOVE a good lidded box. This one has ornate geometric filagree sides giving it exotic texture. The quartz point handle at the top is absolute perfection. Choose the stone type of your choice on top and select from a few various metals. I love gold, of course! Available in square & rectangular.
     
  6. MODERN GOLD CUFF
    Hello, lover! I love the slightly edgy vibe of this sculptural cuff. Notice the pave crystal embellishment here & there giving it a rawness that keeps your look fresh and modern. Shop it here.

SHOP THE POST

Shopping: This the Season of Savings...

I love a good discount, don't you? See what sales I'm continuing to monitor this season for the best best brands at gr very best price. Starting at the top, here are the sites boasting great savings...

NEIMAN MARCUS: Up to 70% off + free shipping 

SAKS: Up to 40% off designer sale

BERGDORF GOODMAN: 40% off men's & women's fashion + save up to $200 during their BEAUTY EVENT 

HORCHOW: 25% off

WILLIAMS-SONOMA: Buy more, save more - up to 25% off ALL WSHOME orders

BARNEYS: 40% off select designer items

ANN TAYLOR: 50% off EVERYTHING

JCREW: 30% off many festive items + 30% off sale

KENDRA SCOTT: 20% off every single thing

JIMMY CHOO: DESIGNER SALE HAPPENING HERE

TRINA TURK: 30% OFF SITEWIDE

LULU & GEORGIA: 15%-25% off ORDER (buy more, save more)

SERENA & LILY: 25% off absolutely everything

Overwhelmed? Read my tips on shopping like a boss. Not sure what to look for? I've developed a gift guide for everyone on your list.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Shopping: Deep Designer Discounts at Neiman Marcus...

As you likely know, I sale stalk. When Neiman Marcus marks down their designer duds, bags & shoes, it makes sense to pay attention. Right now the luxe finds you want are included, so jump on that while you can.

A GREAT FEW GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR YOU, HIM & THEM




Di you know, you can also shop my Instagram feed? Tap the pix below for details and be sure to follow me on Instagram and be sure to say hello. I'd love to follow you as well! 

What to Wear: Modern Luxe Cocktail Party Dressing...

Fashion rules may change, but good taste transcends all trends. For those of you with important holiday events to attend, the type where your sartorial know-how and table-etiquette will be judged, consider the no-fail combination of black and gold. Start with a statement dress and let it be the true star of the show. Black lace with burnished gold sequins in a flattering sleeveless silhouette make this a frock that dazzles. Pair with classic gold heels and a matching clutch. Just to make things a bit less predictable, I love the idea of adding a bold leather cuff and cut black glass earrings. Walk in wearing this (and a mani-pedi in the most pure shade of ballerina pink polish) and all questions about your impeccable taste will be answered instantly.

SHOP THE POST

Shopping: Reach for the Gold at Tory Burch (and save 30% or more doing so)...

Tory does a great job with her 30% off deals. The holiday sale is kicking off right now, so shop while you enjoy Love Actually & hot cocoa! Don't miss my Black Friday deals page for regular updates.

A FEW PRETTY TORY SELECTIONS

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Shopping: Pro Tips for Navigating Black Friday + Cyber Week Like a Boss...

{image  credit }

{image credit}

Oh, Black Friday. We have turned this day off work into a massive shopping beast, haven't we? Gratefully, retailers have completely caught up with technology and are shifting their efforts into meeting us where we are: on our phones and in our jammies in bed. Still, navigating the onslaught of promotions like a boss takes a bit of skill. Here are my pro tips for keeping your wits abut you while crossing those must-have items off your list in style.

  1. FIRST RULE: RELAX
    In my experience the best sales truly are online and you can enjoy comparison shopping while sipping coffee in your pajamas from your bed. It truly doesn't get much better than that!
  2. PREPARE YOUR LIST
    Ideally, you have a list of things you've been keeping an eye on for yourself, as well as a list of those you need to buy presents for this year. In my case I need a black tote, loafer pumps and winter boots for myself. Girly gifts for my mini-me's and a gift for my husband. Stumped for ideas? I've made the ultimate gift guide for everyone on your list.
  3. PLAN AHEAD
    Know your goals (tackling the above list, staying under XYZ dollars) and stick to them. If you've established a holiday budget, commit to it and make it work. This won't be the last sale in the world, but be prepared to snap up what may very well be an item that sells out for good. By creating a list (see Step 2) your establishing your budget you'll be ready to pounce when you do discover a Saint Laurent bag on sale.
  4. STICK TO WHAT WORKS
    Now is not the time to branch out. I stick to my favorite brands and retailers for quality items and reasonable return policies. Also, this gives me an informed baseline for pricing and allows me to spy a good deal when I see it because I'm familiar with the items and typical (non-sale) pricing. See my one-stop black Friday roundup of retailers & offers to get your started.
  5. CONSIDER STOCKING UP
    Beauty lovers & cashmere sweater devotees should use this as an opportunity to stock up on our favorites. I love using sale seasons to fill in voids in my closet and grab an extra jar of my favorite nighttime moisturizer. Exercise your right to be a savvy shopper and stock up on those luxury basics you adore. Try not to me distracted by the discount racks full of potential wardrobe mishaps.
  6. KNOCK IT OUT ONLINE
    This is a big one for me. I love to buy everything important online (see my go-to list sources). Retailers like Net-a-Porter deliver in luxurious black boxes tied up with a bow (all year long, not just on the holidays) - and free shipping. Need it now? You can buy online and pick up at Nordstrom or Neimans later the same day - OR let them ship it for free. I use this service constantly and it saves me time, money and stress. Nordstrom will even walk your items out to you curbside.

This is how I personally navigate the holidays like a boss. I absolutely love the power of shopping online and can't imagine showing up at 5 am for an early morning "deal" when I can merely fli open my MacBook and click "order" while sipping my morning coffee. I like to peruse the outdoor shopping centers in person for fun once it gets chilly. It's more fun with family and friends while sipping cocoa and enjoying the bustle of the crowds without any personal expectations of having to find that "perfect" gift while battling long lines.

SHOP THE GIFT GUIDES

CURRENT OBSESSIONS

Feeling Bookish: Two Extremely Stylish Must-Reads for Fashion Lovers...

{image credits, clockwise from top left: Franki Durbin // Coveteur // Coveteur // Coveteur}

This week has brought with it many gifts. Not the least of which are the two very exciting book purchases. Aimee Song's much anticipated "Capture Your Style" and the Coveteur's very intimate look into the closets (and by extension lives) of the famous & fabulous.

One book will school you in the ways of making your Instagram presentation stellar, the other will inspire you to up your fashion game at home and to feel free to expand your views on fashion as decor. Trust me, you will truly enjoy both of these new releases. Fair warning: you'll also be genuinely inspired to live life more stylishly and see the artistry in the possessions of your closet. Love these two new FABULOUS additions to the nightstand!

SHOP THE POST

Foundations: Fashion Investments You'll (Actually) Love Forever...

{image credits 1 // 2 // 3 // 4}

By now you might have read dozens of curated closet tales similar to mine. It begins with a desire to put your wardrobe through the rigors of a CrossFit style program. Using a simple yet direct approach, you whip your oversized collection of fashion goods into such fine shape you can't help but stand back and admire your hard work. Sleek, fine-tuned and beautiful, a strong wardrobe is the result of a disciplined approach to shopping and investing. Gone is the excess of items that go unworn. Gone are the weak links in the chain in the form of space-takers bought with great optimism that you never actually wear. Gone are the "what was I thinking?" regrettable items that needed to be discarded. The resulting wardrobe is high-functioning, joy-inducing and packed with beauties that are as pleasurable to wear as they are to admire on the hanger or shelf.

ONCE YOU'VE KON MARI'D YOUR LIFE... WHAT'S NEXT?

Now the fun begins... a lifelong process of carefully adding in new investment pieces you'll (actually) cherish forever. This is a very different approach to fashion. There is no space in your life for "not quite right" items or missteps. There are only a carefully chosen group of "wow" pieces that (at least for me) will be adored for a lifetime and worn over and over again. Why does this matter? These accessories and statement making items are definitely in the line of investment pieces. Think: buy once, cry once - never need to replace because the style is so timeless and the craftsmanship is fantastic. Thus, their "cost per wear" within reason even if their investment price gives you pause.

My belief is that each new acquisition should make your heart sing and your stomach flip. There are no so-so selections. Each and every addition to your newly toned closet (more on that here) is a stunner and worth appreciating for its sheer beauty. Here's what I'm loving right now...

Rather than the staid khaki trench, I love the idea of this Burberry rose-hued lace version with traditional styling details and impeccable tailoring. This offers absolutely timeless sophistication with a fresh spin on tradition. Now, the bag. Saint Laurent is my current love with the Kate bags being the best of the bunch. Easily switching from double-strap shoulder bag to cross body form, these black leather bags go from tourist the city to elegant dinner without missing a step. In black and gold you'll be favoring this bag forever.

In the same vein, diamond stud earrings are never, ever going out of style. Find a pair you adore and cherish them. No accessory is as versatile as a scarf. Worn around the neck, over the shoulders, around the waist - you name it. The right scarf is a colorful pop that "makes" your look. I'm loving this floral silk scarf for the endless options it affords. Finally, shoes. While nude pumps have their moment, a pair of classic black pumps is an absolute must in your life. Manolo makes them perfectly. Worn with a dress, a skirt, jeans, pants, a jumpsuit - there are no limits. Invest in a very high quality pair and take great care of them. 

MY "LOVE FOREVER" FASHION INVESTMENTS

6. Chunky Gold Link Bracelet (similar here & here) // 7. Black Cashmere Sweater (similar here & here).  // 8. Black Bootcut Jeans (similar here & here) // 9. White Bow Blouse (similar here & here) // 10. Prada Saffiano Tote in Blush (similar here & here)


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Feeling Bookish: A Fresh Roundup of Amazing Style & Design Books...

Oh, books. How you delight me so. Instagram friends will have seen my many snaps of these beauties as I dive into them over coffee (guilty as charged). But you amazing blog readers might be missing out on the current hardcovers I'm enjoying these days.

Below, a roundup of some of my favorite recent book finds including a deep dive into the family history of the Gucci brand, a sublime visit into a Modern home basking in the California desert and a handful of other truly important interior design guaranteed to inspire you to focus on higher thoughts, aim for a more beautiful existence and expand your view on this magical life we all live. With that, here we go...


A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY

What happens when a classically-inclined architect and vivacious (and certainly not color-averse) interior designer marry and merge their business interests as well? This book explores their thinking process and reveals how two seemingly diametrically opposed approaches to design (and therefore living) can create absolutely beautiful work. Peter Pennoyer & Katie Ridder will wow you with their house in the country .GET THE BOOK

IN THE NAME OF GUCCI

A glossy look at the brand's fashion through the years, this is not. In the Name of Gucci is an insightful story revealing the wild ups and downs of the family through the eyes of Aldo Gucci's daughter Patricia.

I found the story fascinating and at times shocking to read. A story of love, drama, betrayal, legal issues and - yes, fashion -  in a thoughtfully crafted memoir. GET THE BOOK


FRANCOIS CATROUX

Now here's a book dripping in sexy spaces I can't get enough of. What is it with these French designers? There's clearly something in the Perrier infuses them with an unmatched talent for designing glamorous spaces worthy of his high-end clientele. I'll be featuring Catroux's work at length in an upcoming post, but for now know that this book is the first to celebrate the international designer's work. A must for the luxe-loving design enthusiast. GET THE BOOK

SUNNYLANDS

Craving that bright Palm Springs sunshine and the innovative architectural style native to the area? Me too. That's why Sunnylands was such a treat to read. Dubbed: Versailles for the Space Age, this estate does not disappoint if you're craving golf carts, and sun-drenched modern pools and an ecclectic mix of furnishings. This A. Quincy Jones property hosted politicians, movie stars & moguls making this retrospective a cool look back at famous faces all having a blast in under the California desert sun. GET THE BOOK


WANDERLUST

In this marvelously excessive book, Michelle Nussbaumer brings life to homes and hearts through her worldly & sophisticated creative viewpoint. Never one to create a "just shopped for" space, Michelle's projects celebrate the variety of art, design and cultural elements important to her clients.

Mixing eras, blurring continental divides and serving up her signature style, the designer inspires us to bring a taste of the world into our own homes as well. BUY THE BOOK

INTERIOR DESIGN MASTER CLASS

I've been to design school, and in all honestly this book offers more wisdom and practical insights than I learned in my years in a competitive interiors program. 100 top designers provide the benefit of their combined years of experience (and stunning project photos) to create what truly does read like a master class for designers at every level. This is one book jacket that will never get dusty as you'll be keeping it on the desk and referring to it time and time again. A must-have. BUY THE BOOK

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

What to Wear: Dinner in the City of Light...

Whether you're chasing your dream of living in that perfect Paris flat or you're simply in France for the week, appearances matter. Dressing affects how you feel and how you feel impacts your experience. Simply put: plan those outfits ahead of time and invest in classics that you'll wear again and again. 

For this imaginary date night (or night with the girls) in Paris I envision no less than a stunning black embroidered dress, some vintage Chanel (you expected otherwise?) and a few key accessories. 

The dress: hand embroidered in India with layers of tulle. Needle & Thread makes attainably priced pieces you'll love for many years to come. This dress is no exception. 

Shoes: who can resist the siren call of Saint Laurent? Alas, the price tag means they are not in the cards for everyone. Why not explore Ivanka's stunning collection or SJP's that make dressing in style affordable and downright chic. 

Chanel! Yes, yes, yes... there will be some black leather in your life. Why not peruse some vintage options for pieces with a bit of an interesting backstory? They make for great conversations starters, but are also often very special and meaningful investments. 

Scent: Whether you're creating romance or simply out for creating memories of a lovely night on the town, a signature scent will always transport you back to this magical night. Why not pay homage to one of the city's most iconic brands by spritzing on this modernized version of a Chanel fragrance. 

Finishing details matter most. Consider the chic chignon your go-to hairstyle for this memorable night. With so much sparkle elsewhere, keep it simply by dressing up your lobes with Swarovski crystal Ben Amun earrings. Fabulousness that's not overdone (but still stand-out fabulous). 

Your best wardrobe weapon? A attitude of insouciance. You belong at the most marvelous table. Act the part. Dress the part. Feel the part. Soak in the wonder of Paris. Make the night magical and don't even think of going to bed early. The night is young. 

{images via // via // via}

Foundations: Flared Pants & the Curated Closet...

{images via  Diego Zuko }

{images via Diego Zuko}

By now it's long overstated that we (the collective we) adore the insouciance of our French counterparts, gifted with making the simplest outfit radiate confidence and genuinely effortless style. Drawing upon Paris Fashion Week for inspiration, I've rounded up a handful of items every wardrobe should possess: feminine blouses, incredible shoes, beautiful bags and terrific top layers. These five pieces all but guarantee your everyday fall/winter look exudes European sophistication and model-off-duty cool.

Today's topic of discussion? Pants. The specific challenge we must ask of ourselves? Do these flared hemlines make the cut in the completely curated closet? I've thought long and hard about this. I've enjoyed the parade of fabulous looks during Fashion Month. And I admit I adore the look

While skinny jeans and jeggings still hold their coveted place in your closet, the idea of pants with a bit of movement is wildly appealing right now. The carefree "oh, this old thing?" look is more believable when your pants have a sensual flow to them. A bit of movement. A fluidity. Smart investment. Eternal style. Of the moment energy. A little bit of ankle showing makes these fun to pair with pretty shoes too.

A WORD ABOUT SHOES

The cropped silhouette allows for almost ANY shoe to look brilliant when worn with these kicky pants. Stilettos, boots, chunky heels, loafers, ballet slippers - they all play well together. Ultimately it's about the statement you're trying to make and the vibe you strive to exude.



STYLIST TIPS

Stick to denim or black pants to give these fun pieces more timeless appeal. I've noticed that my black items and my jeans almost ALL make the cut even during a super deep closet edit. Bonus points for black denim - the best of both worlds! Raw edge looks are having a glorious "moment" but veer towards the trendy side. Still, I adore them and you can cleverly have a tailor hem them up once the "moment" passes.

SHOP MY FAVORITES




Closet Crush: Step Inside Aerin Lauder's Enviable Dressing Room...

Who doesn't love a stroll around someone's private dressing area? A glimpse into their personal space, a taste of the way they live, a glimmer of the person behind the persona. Are they orderly and neat or wild and free? Does their wardrobe brim with frilly frocks or is it an exercise in practical dressing? These are the things I seek to discover when given an opportunity to tour the area where a celebrity does their morning dress up routine.

As expected, the heir to Estee Lauder's beauty empire and bonafide star businesswoman herself has a closet that is everything a girl could hope for.  Outfitted with beautiful bags, shoes and baubles while bathed in sunlight, Aerin Lauder's dressing room (as seen on the Coveteur) is as enviable as her perfectly undone mane. Festive heels, blushy suede bags and enough leopard to make a even the most jaded fashionista rawr, this space gives us all more reasons to aspire to be at the helm of our own lifestyle brand. 

The requisite black Birkin and a classic well-loved Chanel offset an accessories closet brimming with Aerin's own posh designs. What keeps the photos from looking like a brand editorial are the sentimental items complete with their own stories to tell and cherished family photos. That, and Aerin herself who while radiating well-heeled sophistication is convincingly approachable in every interview. I love seeing her in her space (and yes, I've obsessed about her closet and others before). Still, the images are fresh and as always, the divine Mrs. Lauder inspires me to up my style game at home and in my closet.

SHOP THE LOOK




YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

Current Obsession: Blanco...

Sometimes in order to create a new inner life, we must rethink our exterior. A fresh lease on life can sometimes be ushered in my a new haircut, a wardrobe refresh or a redesigned living space. It's a trick I've played on my mind over and over again when I need an adjustment in my thinking. And so it begins with my (annual) obsession with wearing all white. 

Billowy linen pants, eyelet dresses, embellished tunics... all of these are fashion hallmarks of summer. I'm seeing this season as a time to reinvent, re-imagine and refocus on myself, my goals and my outlook. A monochromatic look simplifies the dressing process and is the physical manifestation of my internal fresh start. 

Think of it as a sartorial clean slate. No complexity, no vagueness, no mystery. Just a pure, clean, straightforward outlook on life. Care to join me? 

ROCK YOUR BEST BLANCO