The Lovely 20's

Piazza Sempione Brings Italy to Manhattan

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on November 5, 2010

Piazza Sempione has brought from Italy to New York a gorgeous S/S 2011 collection that could not be more perfect for the modern fashion lover. Piazza Sempione held an intimate preview where bloggers were able to play stylist with pieces from the line. While the bloggers were having some creative fun, Piazza Sempione used this as an opportunity to learn about the New York aesthetic and perspective. It was a brilliant time for both parties.

Now my look. I went for something that is timeless but also with a cool, modern vibe. I also have a big love for long skirts right now because they are so refreshing after the too-long reign of the micro-mini. Hope you like:

Now, the collection had mostly menswear-inspired looks that offered immense sex appeal thanks to its carefully studied cuts and impeccable tailoring.  The pieces are made with delicious textures, beautiful fabrics and designs with an easy-going cool. What struck me in particular about the clothing was how effortless it all was – perfect for New York.

The collection had a muted richness with cool shades of caramel, milk, blush, greige, navy and chocolate. There were pops of color as well, like lime and mango, which worked seamlessly with the rest of the collection – no obnoxious deviations.

If Piazza Sempione wanted a collection that would appeal to both Europeans and New Yorkers, they got it.

To learn more about Piazza Sempione, visit the site here. Follow them on Twitter @PiazzaSempione.

Ralph Lauren Hosts Party & Book Signing in Honor of Gloria Vanderbilt

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on November 5, 2010

Ralph Lauren hosted a party and book signing yesterday evening in honor of Gloria Vanderbilt at his 888 Madison Avenue Women’s store. The occasion celebrated the publication The World of Gloria Vanderbilt by Wendy Goodman with a Foreword by Anderson Cooper.

The book chronicles Gloria Vanderbilt’s life as an heiress, a painter, a muse, a designer, a model, a writer, an entrepreneur, an actor, a socialite, a survivor, an icon. The illustrations include portraits of Vanderbilt and her extraordinary homes, filled with photographs from legends, such as Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Inge Morath, Horst P. Horst, Francesco Scavullo, and Annie Leibovitz.

Special guests from the evening include Sarah Jessica Parker, Uma Thurman, Camilla Belle, Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Kelly Ripa, Marisa Berenson and Kathy Griffin.

Ralph Lauren with Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt with son, Anderson Cooper

Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker

Uma Thurman and Camilla Belle in Ralph Lauren

Brian Williams and Jane Stoddard Williams

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos

Wendy Goodman, Author of The World of Gloria Vanderbilt, in Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren, Ricky Lauren, Gloria Vanderbilt in Ralph Lauren, Anderson Cooper

A limited edition volume of The World of Gloria Vanderbilt is exclusively available at Ralph Lauren stores and on RalphLauren.com. This numbered edition is presented in a purple linen slip case and features a Toni Frissell print which Vogue published in 1966.

Ralph Lauren Women’s Store located on 888 Madison Avenue.

Image credits: Billy Farrell Agency

Fashion for Charity: Nicole Miller for Indego Africa

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on November 2, 2010

I have an admiration for Nicole Miller that now goes beyond fashion. She has partnered with nonprofit, Indego Africa, to create a line of fair trade bangles and woven bracelets that have been co-designed with and hand-crafted by Rwandan artisans. She held an event at her SoHo boutique last week to celebrate the launch and invited guests to shop the exclusive line. I felt good about purchasing the bracelets, not because they’re cute but because this is shopping for a cause I believe in.

Indego Africa partners with artisan co-ops of Rwandan women and sells the co-op’s products online and at 40+ retailers in the U.S. They return 100% of the profits to the co-ops to train Rwandan female entrepreneurs in  business, literacy, and computer technology. I believe in this process because it is sustainable development. In other words, it teaches people how to fish versus just handing them food.

Nicole Miller wearing her Indego Africa bracelets (Image credit: Nicole Miller Facebook)

The vibrant, multi-colored bangles come in sets of three and are wrapped in African fabric. These look great alone, but I can also see them with wooden bangles and gold cuffs.

Nicole Miller actually only heard of Indego Africa in late August 2010, but she was immediately impressed by Indego Africa’s artisan partners and innovative model. In fact, Indego Africa has been recognized and honored by Harvard Business School and Goldman Sachs.

Learn more and get the bracelets at indegoafrica.org/nicole miller.

Fashion for Charity: EDUN

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on October 26, 2010

“At EDUN we strive to be more than a fashion brand, we are a movement dedicated to creating positive change in the world” – edun.com

I am so excited to share this week’s Fashion for Charity featured brand: EDUN. When I learned about EDUN, I immediately fell in love because they are truly fashion for charity because the core of this fashion brand is helping people. EDUN was created by Bono and his wife, Ali, with the goal of creating sustainable trade and promoting local economic opportunities in Africa.

I have been focusing much of my FC posts on Africa because it has a special place in my heart. I went to Tanzania in June and I plan to go to Ghana this coming February. Tanzania is a stunning place with warm people, many of whom suffer needlessly. I love EDUN even more because they benefit specifically Tanzania – they work with a factory there that is trying to bridge the economic gap between developing and developed countries. It is a lofty goal, but they are acting with EDUN supporting them every step of the way. Some looks below – they are stylish and edgy. Even though they’re made in Africa, they have a NYC feel.

EDUN also offers jewelry produced 100% by local artisans from Nairobi, Kenya. These pieces have been created in partnership with Made, a brand that unites designer fashion with the ethics of Fair and Ethical Trading, which is an alternative to conventional trading. Made provides living wages and safe working conditions as well as business planning to help local workers develop their businesses.

Shop and view the rest of the collection on edun.com. There is a men’s line as well.

Special thanks to the modman for introducing me to EDUN.

Image credits: edun.com

Fragments welcomes 22 year-old fine jeweler Katie Decker

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on October 25, 2010

Fragments, one of my favorite jewelry destinations, has welcomed 22 year-old Katie Decker to its roster of amazing fine jewelers. Having no formal training or creative background (she studied finance in college), Katie’s success is due to simple raw talent.

Katie got her start from doodling pictures of jewelry – yes, doodling. These casual drawings caught the eye of Judith Bufkin, owner of Judith Ann Jewels, a fine jewelry boutique in Houston where Katie was working during college. Judith said to Katie, “We need to make some of this. Make it come to life.” Katie’s mother, a passionate jewelry collector, offered Katie one of her black Tahitian pearls for which Katie created an ivy-like cap. That became the first piece of jewelry brought to life from Katie’s doodles.

From that  humble beginning just two years ago, Katie’s work has blossomed into a collection of over 70 amazing pieces. She offers jewelry primarily made of gold that are encrusted in micro pave diamonds and adorned with pearls. Much of her pieces are detachable and stackable, allowing for multiple looks. Learn more about this talented young designer in the Q&A below.

Learn more from my Q&A with this talented and down-to-earth designer below.

Describe how you got your start as a jewelry designer.

I was working at a jewelry store, Judith Ann Jewels, in Houston…I had been doodling different jewelry designs so they said that I should actually make something. My mom said “I have this pearl and I really need a cap for it.” I had the connections with the store to get something made in Houston. That was the first that came out. I thought ivy would give a cool, organic feel to the pearl. I just loved the ivy and branched out to the hoops and necklace.

Has your interest always been due to your mother?

Yes, definitely. She has always been into collecting jewelry and I spent lots of time with her.

Are any of your pieces inspired by her or dedicated to her?

Definitely the fact that I make fine jewelry is influenced by her. She always said that she would rather buy fine jewelry than than buy an expensive handbag or shoes. She has always been wanting jewelry for every occasion and nothing else. That is where I got my love for fine jewelry from.

Describe your aesthetic as a designer.

I just naturally like to draw lacy, intricate designs that have a lot of interest from every angle…It is classic jewelry with a more modern take on it – not necessarily your traditional jewelry. And I try to keep it feminine, light and airy.

Where do you see the evolution of your  jewelry design going?

Right now, it’s a lot of micro-pave gold so I’m trying to go towards more color, more stones. I have more pieces coming that are black onyx with the ivy wrapped around it so it’s not just capped. I’m going towards more overlay.

Why did you choose finance as your major in college?

I went to Texas A&M in Houston. I wanted to have a business degree and picked finance as my route. It helps with the business. I do my own accounting and run all the numbers. I’ve learned way more in the little time I’ve had this business than any I have ever did with any teaching [from school].

Are you surprised by the success you’ve gained so far?

Yes. Everything has come pretty fast…I know I’m so young so I’m really excited that it’s been going so well. I hope it continues!

Is there a celebrity who embodies your jewelry?

I love Amanda Seyfried. She’s an ultra feminine girl so she would be perfect.

So you would describe your jewelry as very feminine?

Yes, but even someone edgy can wear this jewelry. You can wear it in two different ways. I wear it with a cocktail dress or I wear it with my leather jacket.

That was my next question! How do you style your jewelry?

I like to go very elegant or very modern. I like to take all the chains, pendants and charms and layer everything.

What is one piece of jewelry every woman should have?

I always say everyone should have a pair of the ivy hoops because everyone needs a hoop…The ivy hoop is a spin on a classic.

Now  some “getting to know Katie” quick fires:

Dress or jeans? Jeans

Wide legged or skinny? Both

Heels or flats? Heels

Wedges or stilettos? Wedges

How do you wind down? Eating and watching TV

Favorite TV shows? Desperate Housewives & Gossip Girl.

Go-to sites/blogs/magazines? Shopbop.com. Net-a-porter.com. Marie Claire. Town & Country.

Favorite brands/designers? Helmut Lang

To shop Katie Decker and see more from her collection, visit Fragments.com.

Tiffany Leather Collection

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on October 21, 2010

This Fall, Tiffany launched a beautiful Leather Collection featuring bags and accessories that are elegant in design, rich in color and heavenly to the touch. Michael Kowalski, chairman of Tiffany & Co, held a cocktail party last month to celebrate the successful launch. In attendance were design directors, Richard Lambertson and John Truex, a duo known for their craftsmanship and timeless style – true to the Tiffany’s brand.

When designing, Truex says, “We might start with a particular color or silhouette and then draw from Tiffany’s world of beauty and sophistication to make a new design. The result is something unique, yet unmistakably Tiffany.”

The Manhattan Satchel in glazed crocodile is luxe, classic and generously sized – ideal for the on-the-go New Yorker. There are also pieces inspired by Tiffany jewelry. The Bracelet Bag is a frame satin pouch hanging from a beaded wrist chain that looks very  much like, well, a bracelet. The Sofia minaudière has a crystal chain that takes after diamond necklaces in the Tiffany archives. The Collection also features highly covet-able wallets, organizers, card cases and Nappa leather gloves. In short, all are exquisite. My favorites? Anything in the Tiffany Blue® leather.

Tiffany Manhattan satchel in glazed crocodile


Tiffany Hadley shoulder bag in Tiffany Blue snakeskin

Tiffany Harper shoulder bag in onyx giraffe-printed haircalf

Tiffany Sofia minaudière in metallic leather

Tiffany Bracelet Bags


Tiffany accessories

Image credit: Courtesy of Tiffany

To shop and view the rest of the Tiffany Leather Collection, visit Tiffany.com. And be sure to follow them on Twitter @TiffanyandCo.

Fashion for Charity: TOMS and charity: water

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on October 19, 2010

TOMS and charity: water has partnered once again to create a limited edition shoe to fund three water projects in Ethiopia. The shoe features a simple map of Africa on a midnight blue canvas (image below).

Image credit: TOMS.com

The two organizations first partnered this past Spring and released two limited-edition water shoes, which sold out within just weeks! Funds from sales served 540 people in Sekura Village, Ethopia with just one well. The latest water shoe will serve many more with three wells this time. Perhaps the coolest part is people who buy the TOMS and charity: water shoe will get coordinates on a Google map that show exactly where in Ethiopia these wells are being built.

How many people in Ethiopia (and many other countries, in fact) obtain water:

Image credit: charitywater.org

In the U.S. we very  much take clean water for granted. I visited Tanzania this past June and for the two weeks I was there, my entire team and I were perpetually dehydrated and thirsty because water was scarce and we had to ration – and we were near a well! I also witnessed firsthand locals walking and biking miles to fetch water – and, sometimes, the water isn’t not even clean. Purchasing these shoes will help mitigate that problem for three communities in Ethiopia by building wells like this:

Image credit: charitywater.org

And don’t forget TOMS’ One for One philosophy! With every purchase, Toms will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. Now, that is a fashionable way of doing onto your neighbor as you would yourself.  As charity: water founder, Scott Harrison, aptly put it,  “You’ll be bringing clean water to people who don’t have it, and you’ll be bringing shoes to kids in need.”

Image credit: TOMS.com/blog

Purchase the limited-edition water shoe on TOMS.com. Learn more about the partnership on charitywater.org/TOMS.

Fashion for Charity: Tory Burch Foundation

Posted in Uncategorized by Virginia on October 18, 2010

Fashion for Charity is coming a little early this week! It is the first day of National Business Women’s Week and the Tory Burch Foundation is celebrating the occasion, which highlights the progress female business owners have made in the U.S.

National Business Women’s Week is significant to the Tory Burch Foundation whose mission is to economically empower women. The Foundation has partnered with ACCION USA to provide mentoring and microfinance to women who do not typically have access to traditional financial services. Microfinance is effective because small businesses account for more than half the jobs in the U.S., but 82 still percent experience difficulty in obtaining the capital they need. Microfinance fills that gap.

Tory Burch has launched a special collection  to benefit the Tory Burch Foundation, which includes a gorgeous Pop Art silk scarf, leather wrap bracelets, tees, umbrellas, beach towels, flip flops and even CDs. All these gifts are adorned with a special sunflower, the Foundation logo, which was inspired by a sunflower pendant Tory’s father, Buddy, had made for his mother. These gifts are all available now on toryburch.com.

Pop art silk scarf as a top – so gorgeous

Leather bracelets with sunflower-adorned studs

I encourage you all to learn more about the Tory Burch Foundation and the women they are helping on toryburchfoundation.org. This is truly fashion with substance.

Image credits: Courtesy of  Tory Burch, Toryburch.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.