I was honored to be featured in this editorial piece in the May issue of Modern Luxury DC Magazine walking through my day-of rituals as I prepared to host the 2019 St. Jude Heart of Fashion at CityCenterDC! Thank you so much DC Magazine – shout out to Kristen Schott for doing the piece so beautifully and bringing awareness to a cause so near and dear to my heart, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital! And to Greg Powers – you’re an amazing photographer!
Last week I had the pleasure of going on-air with the ladies of Great Day Washington at CBS Studios talking about the St. Jude Heart of Fashion alongside one of my fellow Co-Chairs, Stef Woods. It was so wonderful to be able to share all things about my journey with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and share the exciting details for the 2019 Heart of Fashion taking place this Friday, May 17th, on the gorgeous, open-air Plaza of CityCenterDC.
Many of you have been asking so I’m telling – my black dress is the Leather Belt Pencil Dress by Karen Millen. It’s completely SOLD OUT but you can request to be notified via email of when it’s back in stock and once it is – buy it! It’s truly one of my all-time favorite black dresses.
Last month, I had the pleasure to style for Washington Life’sBalls & Galas issue and was thrilled to take on Andrea Rinaldi and Ginger Dietrich, Co-Chairs of The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker Tea Party. Two people I adore coupled with one of my FAVORITE events of the season! :o)
Since the Tea Party falls right in the middle of the festive holiday season, I wanted to include jewel-tone colors, so I put Ginger (left) in one of my favorite formal gowns of the season, a stunning emerald green Jason Wu gown from his Fall ’17 collection paired with Jimmy Choo black glitter heels. The gown is simply gorgeous and something I can see her wearing at a holiday gala this winter, but the best part is that it’s even functional – it has pockets! (Nothing I love more than to have a place to stick my iPhone and lipstick.) For her hair I decided to have her do large barrel curls in a side-swept style along with a bold lip and lashes – old Hollywood glam!
For Andrea, we chose to go with a flirty black Tadashi Shoji dress she already owned and I decided to pair it with an amazing pair of ruby red Gianvito Rossi pumps to add a POC (pop of color) to her look, but, the icing on the cake – the satin ribbon that tied up her leg just like that ballerinas do in their point shoes! So fitting for this shoot! Her hair was pulled back in a loose up-do with a couple strands of bangs to frame her face then we added a bold lip to make her eyes really pop!
With Donald Trump’s Inaugural Ball less than 2 weeks away, here are some suggestions from Yours Truly on how to look your best at a most historic DC Presidential event!
First up, this gorgeous winter white, open-back gown by Stella McCartney from Net-a-Porter. You could do it as shown with large earrings in gold or choose a pop of color (POC) like a mint green or jade and a coordinating clutch. The cut of the dress if figure-flattering and donning white head-to-toe, coupled with the subtle sexiness of the open-back, will give you an effortless and appropriate wow-factor!
The next dress is by one of my favorite designers, Roland Mouret, a two-tone, strapless gown from Net-a-Porter. The navy and black together and peplum flare at the waist make for a very classic and flattering look. I would keep it simple with this one and pair with with a black clutch and a navy or black fur cape to keep you warm and toasty.
For a beautiful gown without high-end designer prices, Self-Portrait has been making a splash in the fashion scene from Kate Middleton to Kerry Washington and this next dress is one of my favorites from the fashion house. The Mia dress – it also comes in white – would be perfect for the Inaugural Ball. (This line runs very small so I recommend going up 2 sizes from your normal size.)
Everyone knows I adore most anything Alexander McQueen and this next embellished dusty-pink gown is absolutely divine! It’s unique, elegant, romantic and simply breath-taking. If I were attending the Ball, this would be my pick! 🙂
If you really want to look like the Belle of the Ball, this blue-gray glitter gown by Marchesa will fit the bill.
Miami-based designer Rene Ruiz, who recently opened up a store in Georgetown, created this next stunning off-the-shoulder embellished navy blue gown available at Saks Fifth Avenue. I had the pleasure of meeting Ruiz last month and viewing his gowns in person and I will say they are beautiful! Not only that, he knows how to create a gown that truly flatters a woman’s figure regardless of her size.
I would like to cordially to invite you to join me this Thursday, December 22nd at Intermix Georgetown for a Holiday Shopping Soiree benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Come out and shop for some fabulous frocks for your holidays party and/or pick up something gorgeous for your friends and family and 10% of every purchase will go directly to St. Jude! Fashion and philanthropy going hand-in-hand, what better way to shop!
Oh, and I will be there to provide styling tips to all who attend!
If you can’t make it in to the event, no worries, we’ve got you covered! Simply head in to the store anytime between Dec. 15th and the eve of the event to pick out your pieces and they won’t ring you until the 22nd which means your purchase will go towards the overall grand fundraising total! :o)
St. Jude has a mind-blowing $2.2 million per day operating cost which is why events like this play such an important role in ensuring they can continue to lead the way in the way the world understand, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other pediatric diseases. And since the majority of funding comes from generous public donors, every dollar counts, which means your purchase – no matter how big or small – matters!
“Don’t be afraid of sparkle and shine during the day,” was just one of the tips for tackling fall fashion 2016 given by Neiman Marcus Fashion Director, Ken Downing last week during a private luncheon at DC’s NM inside Mazza Gallerie, hosted by friend and fellow fashionista Jocelyn Greenan. Inside the Chandelier Room, Downing presented a beautifully curated presentation to showcase some of the hottest trends for fall and I must say he did not disappoint. This was my first time meeting the fashion guru whose love for fashion is infectious and his extensive knowledge on all things fashion is mind-blowing. And the icing on the cake is that he has an amazing sense of humor and realness to him, which in this industry is truly hard to find.
As you may have already guessed, sparkle is IN this upcoming season and “shoes for fall are incredibly adorned,” according to Downing, so “pull out your evening shoes now!” Yes, that’s right my friends, those jewel-encrusted satin Manolo Blahniks sitting in your closet that you reserve for an evening out are no longer PM-pumps. Throw them on with a pair of skinny blue jeans and an oversized button-down or try these sparkle Christian Louboutins, shown below which Downing incorporated in to several looks during the presentation to show how unexpectedly versatile they can be.
As for accessories, “jewelry moves up this season,” Downing advised as a model strutted out wearing stacked bracelets and necklace upon necklace. Basically, the more the merrier and make sure to mix both costume jewelry and the real deal stuff, Downing suggested, for the full effect. Oh and Downing said we should dust off those broaches and pins from grandma and incorporate them in to our fall wardrobe. Put a fashion pin in the lapel of your overcoat or a broach on your sweater and you’ll be on-trend.
Oh and don’t forget to “carry your purse like your aunt Eunice,” said Downing, just like the model below. This is THE way to carry your handbags this fall, a ladylike, old-fashioned way of toting your bag…and a great forearm workout. :o)
Downing noted that he’s often asked “can I wear big earrings with a choker?”, to which he replies, “I say ‘God yes!” He also suggested asking oneself, “is there something in my closet that’s off-beat” and “if so, then wear that because that’s what’s in now.” Like the animal print jacket he paired with silk pajama pants (in the first picture of this post), you should mix and match to create the unexpected. And don’t be afraid to mix a sporty bomber jacket – which Downing said is a must-have for fall – over a gown or a chunky sweater with a ball gown skirt.
Velvet is another fall trend that Downing touched on and advised is something every woman should have in her closet this upcoming season. It’s a nod to the Renaissance Woman trend we will see for fall – bell sleeves, choker necklaces and corsets, etc.. Downing showcased a fabulous pair of velvet platform pumps by Prada throughout the show which many attendees were coveting.
Oh and did I mention, the 70’s called and they want their bell bottoms back? Yes, my friends, some of the hottest trends of the 70’s – bell bottoms, tassels, fringe – are IN for fall and “if it’s not about a Gucci bag this season, then it’s a Chloe,” according to Downing. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be 5’8″ to wear these skin-tight symbol of the 70’s because they’re elongating to all who wear them.
An interesting fact Downing pointed out was the relationship between the trends we see for fall and the deaths of music legends Prince and David Bowie. Downing said their deaths were very influential on the fashion world as each passing reverberated through the fashion world turning the tides for the trends we see today for fall ’16 fashion. For instance, the embellished guitar straps on handbags trend for fall was inspired by the late rock stars. So why not really get in to it and replace your cross-body bag’s strap with an old guitar strap, which is just what Downing did in the presentation. Fun!
Another trend you’ll see this coming fall is casual elegance. Silk pajama pants paired with a loose-fitted sweater as shown below by Valentino (I LOVE this look!)…effortless glamour. And who says you need an evening coat or cape for dressy occasions? Instead pair your evening gown with a more tailored day coat – like the gorgeous Michael Kors Suntan colored coat below (I LOVE this) – for a surprisingly beautiful look that’s on-trend. (On a side note, Kors has an insanely gorgeous collection out for fall!)
Statement furs are also back in this coming season.
Downing closed the presentation telling us that he “believes it’s all about the look, not about the label,” which I find to be very true…you don’t have to be Valentino or Chanel head-to-toe, in fact some of the greatest looks are ones that incorporate both high and low. I always tell my clients when building their wardrobe to remember that you want to have more classic, high-quality, higher-priced pieces than low in your wardrobe. A closet full of low-quality, disposable trendy pieces is one of the most expensive in the end because one day you’ll wake up to realize you have all these clothes that are falling apart and/or aren’t classic enough to last you through the years and you’ll wish you had splurged on more high-end, versatile pieces.
All in all it was a fabulously educational and well-curated presentation leaving me wishing for more time to hear all of Downing’s amazing fashion stories and ideas. As a stylist, I love to learn from the masters to help me grow in to being the best I can be.
Oh and don’t forget, just because it’s trending, doesn’t mean it’s for you. If you’re not feeling some of these trends, you can always sit this season out.