Pops of color!

IMGP9545IMGP9553-1This season is all about adding pops of color! Find them in nature, find them in fashion; there is a bright world of accents waiting for you. My new favorite color is yellow and celadon (somewhere between a yellow and a green). Another favorite are Prabal Gurung for Target dresses; the one I wore to Sardi’s seen here and this celadon-colored dress, now on clearance for $14!! Paired with a neutral color shoe, my tried-and-true Sigerson Morrison gold wedges, the color pops even more.

By the way, I love mixing old and new; I have owned these shoes for 12 years and am inspired to pull them out of my closet and wear them as often as I can since hearing the news about the talented designers Kari Sigerson and Miranda Morrison. I added red lipstick and the roses of course – and I’m on my way!

**Photos and roses by Alexandra**

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The amazing blazer!

My go-to blazers - love them!

My amazing blazers!

You say blazer, I say jacket…tomato … tomAto! A jacket is the gorgeous gift wrap for your outfit … Nothing provides the illusion of an hourglass as quickly as a jacket … Also, you are conveying professionalism without sacrificing the edginess … A jacket enhances the integrity of any outfit … It’s the quickest way to clean up your act, sister!” ~ Kim, professional stylist

Spring is here and it’s the season of the blazer. Actually, every season is the season of the blazer. I’ve mentioned the importance of having a solid go-to blazer before, but somehow this spring, thanks to help from my new friend Kim I am changing the way I utilize my blazers. In other words I am wearing them with everything! They do so much more than help with a morning/evening chill; blazers provide opportunities to add color and give definition and structure that says professional and pulled together. Pair a blazer with your jeans or a soft dress for a relaxed and casual look, or with a slim black or neutral pant for work. Any and all combinations are divine!

The amazing blazer = the amazing you!

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Spring dream

My white lace Valentino blazer

My white Valentino blazer

In the midst of more dreary winter weather ready to drag me down I found a moment to Spring dream! My new favorite stylist, Stacy London (co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, now in its 10th season!), revealed the spring style trends. Illuminating! So let’s talk! …

white and lace. Flirty and feminine, the combination of white and lace will be big. I have this one covered with my Valentino blazer (it’s white eyelet, actually) that I snatched at my local high-end consignment shop. Find a consignment shop for yourself, if you haven’t already! Go!

gladiator sandals and ankle-strap sandals. Watch for gladiator sandals, especially, with the designs reaching every length, even up to the knee! Continue reading

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Ceylone’s Fashion Week Adventure

Ceylone and friends with one of the Mataano designers

Ceylone and friends with one of the Mataano designers

“I love being in New York! I love the energy and the diversity. On Monday, I was invited to attend the Mataano Show* at the famous landmark Dakota for New York Fashion Week. It had been a busy day and I was so rushed to get to the city that I had no time to put my outfit together. When I did, I realized that the entire outfit cost less than $100; I began to feel nervous as I approached the venue, realizing that everyone would be dressed impeccably. In that moment, I changed my mindset: I gave myself a boost of confidence before stepping in, and I imagined myself having a good time. That is just what I did! And by the way, people loved my outfit from Forever 21! It was a reminder that I am not my clothes. I am not my jewelry. I am simply myself.” ~ Ceylone Boothe-Grooms

*Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim are twin sisters from Somalia. They launched their brand Mataano, which translates to ‘twins’ in Somali, in 2008 and premiered their collection for Spring 2009 in New York City. They live in Brooklyn, and manufacture their brand entirely in New York City.

Mataano Runway Fall 2013 - courtesy of Getty Images

Mataano Runway Fall 2013 Collection – courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

Mataano Runway Fall 2013 Collection – Courtesy of Getty Images

Mataano Fashion Show Fall 2013 - courtesy of Getty Images

Mataano Runway Fall 2013 Collection – courtesy of Getty Images

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Farnoosh’s sister

Farnoosh’s sister Fara

Do you remember Farnoosh? She moved to The United States from Iran ten years ago with her parents and two older sisters. We spoke about how difficult the move and transition was for her at the tender pre-teen age of twelve, about how Farnoosh views fashion, and about the need for us to express ourselves, no matter what our circumstance; even when restrictions are placed upon us and our expression comes in the form of colorful fashion accessories, as in the case of Farnoosh’s female cousin, who lives in a modern-day Iran.

I spent the last morning of 2012 having a cup of coffee with Farnoosh and her oldest sister, Fara (her middle sister, Farnaz, lives in San Diego). Fara is 29 and is living in Chicago as she pursues her Master’s Degree in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like her sister, Fara is lovely and creative and full of energy. She has her own story and relationship with fashion. Here is Fara …

“When we left Iran I was nineteen. It took me a while to get comfortable, but I was open to the move. I had already graduated from high school in Iran and had an idea that I wanted to be an artist. I stayed local when I first arrived, and for the first year and a half learned English as a second language at Seton Hall University. Immediately I knew that the school was too small for me and that I needed more. I was drawn to New York City and left Seton Hall for New York, where I attended NYIT, the New York Institute of Technology, and graduated with a degree in architecture …

I’m a city person and from the minute I came to New York I was happy. I loved the energy and the diversity and how people in NY are original, especially in the way they think and dress. My favorite thing to do became walking: I would walk everywhere! I was inspired by the streets and the windows. That might be why I dislike shopping in malls where everything is so generic and everyone looks the same. I can’t be linked to only one brand and one designer, head-to-toe. I like variety and dressing high and low. That is why I am a fan of H&M …

I would describe my look as chic enough but not too fancy. I enjoy mixing pieces and remaining eclectic. My passions remain shoes and handbags!” ~ Fara

Fara and Farnoosh have adopted their American life but also embrace their Iranian culture. We had an interesting conversation about what that means. I shared with them that I have Colombian blood and at one time I wasn’t comfortable embracing it, but as I get older, I understand that it is a major part of who I am and I treasure it. I guess that explains why I love Latin music and always want to start salsa dancing … even though I don’t know how!!

I hope I meet Farnoosh and Fara again soon – and meet their middle sister next – Farnaz!

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Fara with Farnoosh

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Fara with me

 

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Hit the Target!

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My Skaist Taylor faux fur vest from Target/Neiman Marcus
Photo taken at Neiman Marcus – Photo Credit: Myriam Alvarez

The Target/Neiman Marcus partnership story continues ..

There is one thing I’ve noticed about these designer/Target partnerships; like a good cookie, it’s difficult to stop at just one visit, and the Target/Neiman Marcus pairing was too enticing. I returned to Target and now in addition to my Judith Leiber compact and Carolina Herrera journals, I own a Skaist Taylor black faux fur vest. I didn’t know who Skaist Taylor was; I wasn’t even sure about the vest until I tried it on. But it had a certain whimsy, a luxurious quality, and the price was right. Three is the charm.

California designers Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor were the co-founders of Juicy Couture. Together they created Skaist Taylor, a collection of California-chic designs and a mix of glamour, simplicity and cool.

Go hit the Target. There is something there for you. I know it!

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Marvelous Maggie!

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Marvelous Maggie

“The scarf – a pinky-champagne – I bought on sale. It’s so long and has pale sequins that match so well that you can barely see them. Also, when in need, you can throw it down for a table runner! LOL!” ~ Maggie

I love it, marvelous Maggie! Happy Holidays!

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Mom, I joined a harem!

My kind of harem!

Well, there are harems and then there are harems. Not-exactly-but-almost harem pants, mine are a gift to myself. Helmut Lang jersey black knit slacks are an homage to today’s relaxed whimsy and at the same time a treat to me, giving me extra leg room to breathe. Full, yet slim and lean and fitted with soft pockets, it pairs well with my Jason Wu for Target tee. It is an outfit that says, I look like I am not trying too hard.

In 1916 Coco Chanel rocked the fashion world by introducing jersey to her collection. Before that time, jersey had been used primarily for women’s undergarments. Chanel was really on to something. Jersey is soft and entirely comfortable on the skin; it is the perfect material for cooler days. I plan to wear these as often as possible.

Consider wearing jersey. Your mom will be happy it is not the other kind of harem!

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Masculine and feminine dressing

Masculine Dressing (photo taken at Saks Fifth Avenue)

Feminine Dressing (photo taken at Saks Fifth Avenue)

Street Peeper, contributing photographer at Vogue.com, recently captured two distinct street-style trends at Paris Fashion Week: ultra-masculine and super-feminine dressing. To incorporate these looks, it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. For a more masculine look simply add a statement blazer with or without a collared shirt (tuxedo-style blazers are tres chic) and for a more feminine look pick one stand-out piece like a full dress or skirt with a simple, kitten heel. And you’ve got it!

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Just add leather and mix!

My $50 leather-trimmed sweater jacket

“Six thousand dollars? It’s not even leather!” ~ Cyn, from the movie Working Girl circa 1988

Leather is luxurious. This fall’s fashion trend is to show glimpses of leather mixed with other fabrics and I’m in love with this look. Leather, however, is expensive and something many of us have not considered in the past. The good news is that leather detailing has becoming so popular that it is possible to find these looks at better prices.

This fall you can see leather details in dresses, pencil skirts, trousers, cap-sleeved tees, shoes, and blazers and jackets. I couldn’t afford this J. Mendel tweed and leather dress but it did inspire me to find something in my price range: this sweater jacket for $50 at a local boutique. Consider adding leather to your wardrobe and mix it into your life because this look is too chic to do without. In fashion, anything is possible …

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