H&M Conscious Exclusive collection: Easy on the eyes and the planet!

631x842xhm-conscious-spring-2014-lookbook5.jpg.pagespeed.ic.zLXZiafK-WH&M is proud of its sustainability work,” says H&M’s head of design, new development, Ann-Sofie Johannson. And I am proud of H&M. Scheduled to launch on April 10, H&M’s Spring 2014 Conscious Exclusive collection, made in collaboration with the sustainable fashion and design think tank and publication, Ever Manifesto, uses environmentally sustainable fabrics such as vegetable tanned leather and organic silk. Continue reading

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Is the pressure to conform hurting the way American men dress? This Brit thinks so ..

 

Steve Nicoll

Steve Nicoll

I am often in search of the male perspective and point of view. That changes today, with my interview with Steve Nicoll. This fashion-forward Brit has made his life with his family in The United States. In this eye-opening exchange we talk about his background, his relationship with fashion and why American men are aging themselves before their time. Here is Steve

MKG: Can you share a little about you, where you grew up and how long you have lived in The United States?

Steve: I was born in Chiswick, a borough of West London, England, but I am 3/4 English and 1/4 French. My paternal grandmother was originally from Paris. We stayed in and around the London area until I followed in my father’s footsteps and moved to Grasse, France, at age 19, to apprentice as a Perfumer. After my training I returned to England and spent five years working in Manchester where I met my wife Deborah, before returning to work in London. We spent two years on assignment in South Africa shortly after that. We then transferred permanently to the US in 1993 and started our family. Life is hectic but good; I stay fit by exercising and playing competitive soccer regularly. Once a year I take a few days of personal time in the outdoors to decompress with the guys.

Today I work as a Perfumer for functional products with International Flavors and Fragrances, which means that I create the fragrances that are sold to customers who Continue reading

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Fashion’s IT girl: Alexa Chung

Alexa Chung's new book, IT

Reading Alexa Chung’s new book, IT

Reading Alexa Chung's new book, IT

Reading Alexa Chung’s new book, IT

Alexa Chung is IT. This Brit is a model, television personality, contributing editor at British Vogue and fashion muse to designers Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld. She is young – just turned 30 yesterday – and modern, with a refreshing boy-meets-girl original style. Her  musings are infectious in her new book/scrapbook, IT. How fun to hear about what inspires her, in her own charming, cheeky words. It’s a reminder that we are connected, no matter our age or where we live or our life circumstance. Here is a taste of IT, by Alexa Chung:

If left to their own devices, children dress very similarly to elderly crazy cat women – and I love it. Our affinity for fashion often starts at a young age. Most of the things I wear today are a throwback to items I owned as a child, minus the multi-coloured harem trousers. You know what you like, so follow your gut.” Continue reading

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Hanging out with Rachel Zoe and friends

Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe

A leather-and-glamour version of coffee talk, yesterday marked the final installation of Shop the Hangout in partnership with Google + and the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), with special guest, Rachel Zoe. It was 40+ minutes of pure live fun and RZ love, with Joe Zee, Brian Atwood, Shopbop Fashion Director’s Elle Strauss, Molly Sims, and The Glamourai’s Kelly Framel. Several weeks ago, Diane von Furstenberg kicked off the Google + Hangouts, opportunities to meet the designers and shop their collections online. Today, and for at least another 24 hours, you can shop Rachel Zoe’s entire collection on Shopbop and save 15% on all items by using the code: RZHangout.

The conversation was a little bit of everything; sharing fashion trends and hearing about Rachel’s collection, but mostly, it was a chance to sit in on a fun chat among friends. No doubt Rachel Zoe is admired and well-loved as is her design collection. As Elle Strauss said, “our Shopbop customers are obsessed with Rachel Zoe … it’s wearable glamour essentially and they just love your signature styles … literally, they just fly off our shelves!

This is what happens when coffee talk meets glam!

 

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Rent the Runway

Co-founders of Rent the Runway: Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman

Co-founders of Rent the Runway: Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman                                              Photo Source: Guest of a Guest

Rent the Runway is a company with a mission – to democratize fashion and empower women to feel beautiful every day. We work directly with over 170 designers to provide access to rent dresses, accessories, and more for just a fraction of the price.”  ~ RTR

Kelsey opened the door to Rent the Runway: now, let’s walk in …

If you want to feel great and wear a high-end dress for a special occasion but can’t afford to buy it, consider Rent the Runway. If you want to experiment with the latest couture looks but can’t commit to the prices, consider Rent the Runway. If you want to work with someone personally who can match your style and help with fit, consider Rent the Runway. RTR is a membership-based company that provides top designer dresses and accessories – to rent, for a fraction of the purchase price. You can work with a stylist or on your own to find the perfect dress.

We all want to feel glamorous and see ourselves in the best light. Often times, however, it comes at too-high a price and our self esteem and self expression is compromised. I wish I knew about Rent the Runway when I was attending the wedding circuit in my 20s and 30s. I could have saved so much money without sacrificing style.

It’s a solid option …

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Kelsey rents the runway

Kelsey, wearing her Rent the Runway blue lace dress

Kelsey, wearing her Rent the Runway Nicole Miller blue lace dress

When Kelsey got married her sister tried a new approach when shopping for her yellow bridesmaid’s dress. Rather than spend money to buy a dress, her sister opted to rent the dress instead – from Rent the Runway, a membership-based company where you can rent high-end designer clothing and accessories for a fraction of their purchase price. Her sister had such a positive experience that when Kelsey needed a dress for a wedding she knew where to go. I spoke with Kelsey about the experience with RTR and of course, the beautiful blue dress …

MKG: This was your first time using Rent the Runway?

Kelsey: Yes. I had seen my sister’s experience go so well that I decided to try it for myself. I think she had heard about Rent the Runway originally from her friend. Continue reading

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Elizabeth’s Sequins and Stripes

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

You just want to know Elizabeth! She is a stylist and fashion blogger and creator of the blog, Sequins and Stripes. As a 26 soon-to-be 27 year-old Chicago resident, Elizabeth has become a successful fashion influencer and created a community of followers. Her style is warm and informative and at all times personal, with a lot of Midwest charm. Not to mention, Elizabeth knows how to rock a red lipstick! How did Elizabeth get started? …

I studied textiles at Ohio State University and began my career as a clothing buyer at a small, Midwest boutique. I began writing my blog, Sequins and Stripes, as a creative outlet from the corporate world and it has slowly grown in to what it is today …

Chicago is no fashion hub, but the city definitely houses all sorts of personal style. You can venture into any neighborhood and find a different trend: eclectic, Boho, preppy, high-fashion – the list goes on and on. I am inspired by the lakefront, the architecture, afternoons at my favorite coffee shop, walking around the loop – really all over this beautiful city! … Continue reading

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Consignment treasures

My consignment treasures: a Hazel sundress and Tory Burch gladiator-style sandals with gold detail

My consignment treasures: a Hazel sundress and Tory Burch gladiator-style sandals with gold detail

Change is here – welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! New name, new weekly podcast (launching soon). I made the name change because … fashion is not always for those on the inside. Many of us feel left out of the fashion industry if we don’t look a certain way or purchase certain clothes or travel in the fashion circles … what’s inside is expressed by our fashion choices on the outside … and because some feedback from participants have noted that “your blog is really helpful to understand that fashion and confidence go together and always involve change.” What will never change, however, are my guiding principles and who I am. On to consignment treasures …

For my birthday, my mom treated me to some treasures from a new consignment shop in her town. I was reminded once again of the value of consignment shopping. In today’s world of ‘cookie-cutter’ department store fashions where so many stores carry the same look, adding a consignment shop to your shopping repertoire is a must. You can find one-of-a-kind things that simply aren’t available anywhere else and if you happen to love labels this is the most cost-effective way to buy a specific brand. You can get luxury goods at a fraction of their original cost. In the past I have purchased beautiful handbags that I could never have afforded otherwise, including a classic black Prada, shoes, and several high-end designer brand named items, including Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino (seen here), Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, and Theory. Continue reading

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My DVF wrap dress

My DVF wrap dress

My DVF wrap dress

Last week’s New York Times Magazine featured a story that caught my eye: Next year Diane von Furstenberg’s classic wrap dress celebrates its 40th birthday. And with this milestone is the acknowledgment of a fashion icon. I like the message behind her comment: “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” Now when I wear my special DVF wrap dress I will not only think about its creator but also about the woman I want to be. Thank you, Diane von Furstenberg.

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“Comfortable with my curls”

Monica with her three girls

Monica with her three girls

Monica has blue eyes and full curly hair which she has had all her life. Not so unusual to me, but for Monica who has grown up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it is. Unusual and a big deal. Because most women in Puerto Rico choose to straighten their hair and spend much of their day (a good portion of their beauty regime) making sure they remove their natural curl. But Monica is different and not afraid to be original. She is also the mother of three young girls, ages 10, 9, and 6, and Monica is teaching them to embrace their luxurious curly hair and their differences too. She is fashion-forward and courageous.

Here is Monica

There are many factors why the women of Puerto Rico follow certain beauty rituals. One is that it’s warm here all year-round. Body hair has to be impeccable: that means shaved legs and underarms and bikini waxes. Everyone wears sandals all-year so getting pedicures is a regular ritual as well. I don’t bother with manicures but I keep my nails short and clean – and I almost always have a pedicure …

Another factor is that in Puerto Rico fashion is a status symbol. It tells others that you can afford certain things. People follow fashion but they are not individuals.They are followers. Continue reading

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