Formally Informal






Velvet is a fabric that I do not wear enough. I wore a ton of velvet when I was a kid, in the form of frilly, itchy flower girl dresses and headbands but haven’t worn it much since. In the last few months, velvet has recently seen a resurgence in popularity and this luxe fabric has transcended from being strictly used for formal attire to something that can be worn casually as well. Think velvet smoking slippers, cropped tops, and shorts. The line between high-end and low-end is blurring and I love the idea of adding a bit of opulence to an otherwise humdrum ‘jeans and tee’ ensemble. Velvet is a surprisingly versatile fabric and can be edgy or prim and proper depending on the way it is styled. If you’re not quite ready to fully adopt this trend but want to give it a try, accessories are a great place to start. I bought a pair of black velvet loafers recently and they make every outfit feel a little more special and luxe. With that in mind, here are a few of my favourite velvet pieces that I can’t wait to add to my own wardrobe. 


VELVET BUYS

1 // Pretty Little Thing – Tasmine Blue Velvet Choker Bralet 

2 // Mango – Velvet Top

3 // Jon Josef – Gentry Black Velvet Smoking Loafer

4 // Rose Gal – V Neck Velvet Tunic Dress

5 // Emilio Pucci – Velvet Shorts

6 // Kc Jager – Jenner Velvet Shoulder Bag

7 // River Island – Green Velvet Deep Frill Bardot Crop Top

8 // Steve Madden – Carrsonv Pink Velvet Ankle Strap Heels 

Xoxo,

Alicia

6 Trends & 6 Bags for Spring 2017

6-bags-6-trends

Fashion trends change faster than the weather and it’s not always worth it to splash out on a whole new wardrobe filled with the season’s latest ‘must-haves’ and fads. I rarely buy a piece simply because it’s trendy. Style is such a personal thing and just because magazine editors are telling you that you need something, it doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you (I learned that the hard way with culottes). If you’re unsure if a bold new style is for you, accessories are an easy way to test the waters. As we are now officially in spring (the first day of spring was Monday), it’s time to revamp our wardrobes. With this in mind, I have rounded up six designer handbags that encapsulate six of the season’s hottest trends. Scroll down and take a gander at some serious arm-candy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 //  TREND: Reptile Patterns & Patchwork

I am not someone who wears a lot of animal prints. If done wrong they can look cheap and trashy. When done right i.e. with a bit of discretion, they add just the right amount of primal sexiness to what might otherwise be a humdrum outfit. Reptile prints have been making an appearance in clothing, shoes, and accessories the past few seasons, and while I don’t have enough Rhianna-like swagger to pull off a python print dress, I would be more than happy to tote around this slinky leather hobo bag. It’s subtle enough to carry everyday, even to the office, but packs a sultry punch that makes me want to channel my inner jungle girl.

Badgley Mischka – Taryn Snake Print Panel Leather Shoulder Hobo Bag

2 // TREND: Colour Blocking

When I look at street style photography, what always grabs my attention is the way colours are mixed in a way that is totally unexpected. Colour blocking is a ‘trend’ that is definitely prevalent this season, but never really seems to go away. It’s also a quick and easy way to reinvent your wardrobe without having to buy anything else. Instead of pairing your coloured pieces with safe neutrals, mix your brights for a look that is fresh and striking. You’d be surprised at how often bright colours complement rather than compete with each other – yellow and cobalt blue is one of my favorite combos. If you’re not quite ready to break out all of your brights, a colour blocked bag will help you dip your toe into this bold trend.

Lana Marks – Frozen Chain Top Handle Ostrich Bag

3 //  TREND: Backpacks & Applique

It’s always a magical thing when function and fashion go hand in hand. Backpacks have been huge lately, with every major designer, from Chanel to Gucci, creating their own luxurious versions of this practical piece. Applique has also been prevalent in the collections of a string of heavyweight designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Giambattista Valli. Put these two bold trends together and you get this masterpiece from Carrie Bradshaw’s beloved Fendi (‘It’s a baguette!’). I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a canvas number from Herschels unless I found myself hiking, but this bad boy? Take. My. Money.

Fendi – Embellished Floral Applique Mini Leather Backpack

4 // TREND: Fanny Packs & Nautical Stripes

For eons fanny packs have been terminally uncool and associated with judgement impaired tourists, hipsters, and socks and sandals wearing dads. Like everything else in fashion though, what goes in style must go out of style and vice versa. It’s the basic law of fashion physics. While the only one who can truly look good wearing a fanny pack is Leonardo Dicaprio, designers have been doing their best trying to make the dorky style less geek and more chic. This bag from Clare V. is the best version I’ve seen so far and earns extra style points for its nautical navy and white stripes – a timeless print and another huge trend this spring.

Clare V. – Supreme Striped Fanny Pack

5 // TREND: Top Handle

Quintessentially lady like styles have been given a major reboot this season, with movies and TV shows like Carol and Downton Abbey inspiring the collections of couturiers such as Lanvin and Jil Sander. Designers have been breathing new life into prim and proper styles – think asymmetrical cuts, luxe fabrics and edgy embellishments – and I am loving it. Top handle bags are THE it bag this season and they instantly lend a polished, demure feel to any and every outfit.

Givenchy – Real Trapeze Crocodile-effect Leather Tote

6 // TREND: Embroidery 

Did you know that February was National Embroidery Month? Embroidery is HUGE this season, with designers like Naeem Khan and Tanya Taylor splashing stitched patterns all over their couture collections. Let me tell you, this ain’t your granny’s needle point. From sweet florals to punky candy skulls, unexpected motifs are being stitched onto denim, clothing, outerwear, shoes, and handbags. This gorgeous piece from Gucci combines two of this season’s biggest trends and has a feminine, Old Hollywood-esque glamour that evokes images of Marlene Deitrich and Katharine Hepburn. Swoon.

Gucci – Sylvie Embroidered Leather Top Handle Satchel

What do you think of these trends? Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

made-of-plastic

Made of Plastic

plastic-accessories

Although so many of the products we buy are made of plastic, it’s not very often that we see that as being a plus, especially when it comes to fashion. When I think of plastic, it conjures images of landfills and trash heaps. I don’t associate synthetic materials with luxury or style – instead the words that come to mind are ‘cheap’ and ‘tacky’. And yet some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world (think Givenchy, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs) love to use it in their collections, crafting clutches out of translucent plastic, heels out of Lucite, and jewelry out of candy-like beads that are so far from the elegant strings of pearls and diamonds that we normally associate with couture, that it’s like the designers are playing a joke on us all. There’s something that is kind of perverse about a plastic bangle costing more than most people’s rent but there is still a certain charm about it. It’s almost so vulgar and tacky that it becomes luxurious and desirable. Although a lot of us turn our nose up at man-made materials, plastic has its merits as well. Because it’s synthetic it can take on textures and finishes that natural materials simply cannot. A lot of the time plastic can be recycled as well, so it’s not the total enemy of the environment that we often think of it as. I have to admit, I am kind of seduced by this season’s love affair with plastic. It pays homage to the bold mod looks of the 60s while also looking ahead with a futuristic, spacey feel – all in all a combination that is refreshing and relevant. This trend is all about contradictions, much like fashion itself. Plastic as a material can be thought of as both old and new, it’s cheap and luxurious, its tacky yet elegant, it’s disposable but is also sustainable. While my heart will always prioritize leather, silk, and real gems over their synthetic substitutes (the real thing is always better in my opinion), plastic definitely has its place in fashion and in my closet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 // Go Jane – Beyond Clear Chunky Lucite Heels

2 // Valley City X – Zero UV Mod Oversize Sunglasses

3 // Alex Bittar – Lucite Faceted Cocktail Ring

4 // JAPONESQUE – Alligator Hair Comb

5 // Moschino – Metal and Lucite Floral Necklace

6 // Go Jane – Call Me Maybe Square Lucite Clutch

7 // Kate Spade New York – Rumsey Plastic Strap Watch

8 // Armani Jeans – Plastic Mesh Shopping Bag

9 // LaVieHippie (Etsy) – Vintage Marbled Lucite Earrings

xoxo,

Alicia

 

Floral Fare

floral-handbags

I’m a shameless girly-girl in every possible way, so I have always loved florals. Whether it’s a bouquet of fresh blooms, an ultra-feminine flowery perfume, or a floral printed fabric, I am more than happy to incorporate flowers into every aspect of my life, from fashion to home decor. And while flowers for spring might seem like a cliche, classics are classics for a reason. Even if you’re not willing to wear a sugary sweet floral dress, anyone can channel their inner flower child by toting around one of these gorgeous handbags. Florals have been given an edgy update this season with stylized pop art-inspired motifs and tough-as-nails studs and metallic hardware. These styles are fresh, fun, and anything but frou-frou. Before you dismiss spring flowers as being saccharine and boring, take a gander at these 9 pieces of arm-candy. In the words of Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, ‘Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.’. Minus the sarcasm.

1 // Dana Buchman – Lucille Tote

2 // Orla Kiely – Giant Flower Leather Fairfield Bag

3 // Go Jane – Flower Walk Quilted Chain Bag (only $32!)

4 // Lavani – White Flower Emblem Crossbody Bag (only $25!)

5 // Calvin Klein – Saffiano Leather Tote

6 // Orla Kiely – Summer Flower Canvas Zip Around Purse

7 // Go Jane – Vintage Vibes Floral Faux Leather Clutch (only $35!)

8 // Yasbukey – Embroidered Flower Patch Flap Bag

9 // Coach – Embroidered Flower Crossbody Bag

xoxo,

Alicia

Bare Minimum

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to reach for simple and dainty pieces without a lot of fuss or hoopla. There are a few items I never take off ( the Elsa Peretti heart necklace my boyfriend gave me for our two year anniversary and my great grandmother’s engagement ring) but I like the pieces I invest in to be timeless. I want to be able to put on jewelry without thinking about whether or not it goes with my outfit. Luckily for me, minimalist jewelry is really popular right now and designers seem to be eschewing the obnoxious, in your face statement styles of seasons past in favour for streamlined styles that are perfect for everyday. Whether or not this is your style, every girl needs a few of these sleek staples in her jewelry arsenal. Here are 8 of my favorite pieces from cool girl designers such as Catbird and Fallon. 

1 // Catbird – Opal Teardrop 14 Carat Gold Ring

I have always loved opals so I was immediately sold on this ring. I also love how thin the band is. This dainty ring would look great on its own or stacked with a knuckle ring or bands in contrasting metals. 

2 // Romwe – Silver Open Cuff

This minimalist cuff will add some instant architectural flair to your outfit in seconds. I love the open style and it’s understated yet eye catching. Plus the silver hue will go with everything. 

3 // Madewell – Circle Hair Clip

I have a serious thing for hair clips. I have quite a few vintage clips in my jewelry box and wear them on constant rotation. This sweet circle style instantly caught my attention. Keep your hair out of your face in style with this sleek and simple clip!

4 // Dutch Basics – Ruit Gold Plated Silver Hexagonal Creol Loop Earrings 

Geometric shapes are huge in fashion right now, much to my delight! It’s artsy yet timeless and the rose gold hue is feminine without be overly girl. These earrings are just enough of everything pretty without being saccharinely sweet.

5 // South Mood Under – Minimalist Bar Stud Earrings 

You know the old adage ‘less is more’? These straightforward bar studs prove just how true that sentiment is. This minimalist style manages to be both trendy and timeless which is as rare in fashion as finding a unicorn (it never happens). These babies are sure-fire compliment getters and are perfect for everyday wear.

6 // Kozminka – Minimalist Ear Cuff

The ear cuff is one of my favorite jewelry trends. It’s edgy and never looks like it’s trying too hard. This ear cuff reminds me of a girl who rolled out of bed, threw on a wrinkled t-shirt dress, finger combed her hair, pulled on her doc martens and couldn’t be bothered to put both of her earrings on because she was too tired from the crazy night she had before. This is the perfect lazy-girl accessory and adds an effortless sense of cool to any outfit.

7 // Fallon – Rotation Double Wire Choker 

Pearls – check. Choker – check. Think gold wire – check. This regal choker has a million trends covered but is undeniably elegant. Chokers are having a huge moment right now because of fashion’s obsession with all things 90s. I’m not complaining and have loved this accessory since I was in the 4th grade singing “Say You’ll Be There” by the Spice Girls. I’d pair this badboy with a cozy turtleneck and plaid skirt, or I would juxtapose it against a loose, off-the-shoulder tee and pair of joggers. Why? Because rules are for rookies. 

8 // Vogue – Gold Cuff Bracelet

While normally I am not crazy about gold, this architectural piece is anything but gaudy. It’s statement making but it isn’t loud or obnoxious. It’s not slapping you in the face and demanding your attention. This cuff’s sleek shape and minimalist aesthetic negates any of the cheesiness that yellow gold usually brings to the table. It’s just the thing to toss on as you run out the door and it will take your look from okay to OMG in mere seconds. Love. It.

xoxo,

Alicia