How to Spot…Valentino Accessories

Valentino is known for a ladylike-luxe aesthetic — and the house’s accessories are no exception. Studs, bows, lace and rosettes define pumps (particularity this fashion week favorite), bags, clutches, gloves, and just about every other finishing touch you can imagine.

Products Available at Net-a-Porter
Street Style Image Source: Jak & Jil, Chictopia

Designer Evolution: Alber Elbaz’s Path to Lanvin

We love Alber Elbaz and Lanvin (as evidenced here and here). So naturally, our talk about the designer’s work got us thinking — what twists and turn in his career took him to Lanvin?

YSL Spring 2000, Lanvin Fall 2009, and Lanvin Fall 2012

1979: Elbaz serves in the Israeli Army for 3 years. The term is mandatory. And because he has asthma, Elbaz is put in charge of entertainment.

1982: Studies Fashion Design at the Shenkar College of Textile Technology and Fashion.

1985: Moves to New York where he takes a job designing what he later calls “horrible mother-of-the-bride dresses.” He also drops the “t” off the end of his name at this time. He says this is because Judaism associates changing your name with changing your destiny.

1987: Begins working for Geoffrey Beene. Credits Beene with teaching him many things, including artful draping and rejection of trends.

1996: Hired as Creative Director of French Couture house Guy Laroche. Elbaz is praised for adding a contemporary touch to the collections without alienating the house’s older clients.

1998: Begins designing ready-to-wear for Yves Saint Laurent. “For me,” says Elbaz, “this isn’t a career move, but the realization of my life’s dream.”

2000: Dismissed from YSL and replaced by Tom Ford when the Gucci Group takes over YSL. This happens despite the fact that Saint Laurent was reportedly grooming Elbaz to inherit the house.

2001: Takes a sabbatical to travel through India and the Far East after a short-lived design stint at Krizia in Italy.

2001: Named Creative Director of Lanvin. Of his first collection, Vogue’s Andre Leon writes: “The debut of Alber Elbaz at that house was an elegant reality check — we could practically hear a crack of thunder over the Petit Palais.”

Did anything about Alber Elbaz’s career path surprise you?

Info Source: Voguepedia
Image Source: Style.com

It Bags: The Marc Jacobs Stam

Marc Jacobs named his must-have Stam bag after his friend, supermodel Jessica Stam. The satchel’s mix of ladylike and relaxed details — quilted leather, oversize kisslock closure, shoulder-slung chain strap— have made it a quiet but consistent favorite. Each season Jacobs offers the Stam in statement and basic colors (even sequins!), and each season the designer’s devotees happily snatch it up.

Image Source: Nordstrom

Shopping Tip: Ankle Boots Splurge or Steal

Nothing delivers more shopping satisfaction than finding the perfect transition piece —that special something you can wear now, later and all the times between. Ankle boots are one of these most perfect pieces. Wear them with denim cutoffs while it’s warm, and then switch to tights and dresses when Fall hits. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites. You can splurge or steal, depending on your budget. 

1. Belle by Sigerson Morrison Lamor $325 2. Rachel Comey Penpal $403 3. Rag & Bone Classic Newbury $495 4. Sam Edelman Petty $159 5.  Ecote Alexandra $69 6. Steven Friisky $150

It Bags: The Proenza Schouler PS1

For our It Bags installment this week, we take a modern turn with the PS1 by Proenza Schouler. The design duo’s first handbag, the PS1 has been a fixture on the arms of celebrities and fashion leaders since its 2008 release. Luxurious yet wearable, the PS1 is available in a dizzying array of colors, materials and designs. In a perfect world, we’d collect them all.

Purchase your own PS1 here. It comes in 9 different silhouettes to suit your toting needs.

Image Source: Chi City Fashion

Fashion History: The Origin of the Stiletto Heel

Named after an Italian dagger, stiletto heels are one of the most well-known (and well-loved) silhouettes in fashion — but did you know they’ve only been around since the 1950s? Previously, heels had to be thick and sturdy because they were made out of materials such as wood. However the brilliant idea to use a thin, supportive steel rod to reinforce the heel changed everything.

Sketches from Manolo Blahnik, a master of the stiletto silhouette

This steel rod makes a stiletto a stiletto and allowed designers to make heels taller, thinner and sexier than ever. A bit of controversy surrounds the stiletto: Both Salvatore Ferragamo and Roger Vivier (who was designing for Christian Dior at the time) take credit for the stiletto and introduced the style in 1953. Regardless of who conceived the ingenious construction, we thank them for allowing us to walk a little taller, feel a little more confident, and (let’s be honest) look a little thinner.

Info Source: Worsley, Harriet. 100 Ideas That Changed FashionLondon: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011. Print.
Image Source: Manolo Blahnik 

Shopping Tip: Summer Sale Finds

Summer and its ever-climbing temperatures are far from over, but stores are already clearing out warm-weather merchandise. Translation: Now’s the time to get your hands on that trend piece you’ve been stalking since Spring! Check out these stellar sale items we found while clicking through our favorite sites.

Current/Elliot Print Cutoff ShortsJ. Crew Safari Cat ShortsNine West Hey Now SandalStella McCartney Colorblock SandalTriadic ToteCynthia Vincent Ikat Tote

Have you found any great online steals lately?

It Bags: The Fendi Baguette

Next up in our It Bag series: The Fendi Baguette. Fendi is currently celebrating their coveted design with limited-edition reissues and an illustrated book, so we thought we’d celebrate along with them. The single-strap bag (which doubles as a clutch) is named for the way it’s carried under the arm like a French baguette.

Since its debut in 1997 the bag has been produced in over 1,000 iterations, ranging from basic to all-out bold. In the first 3 years alone, 600,000 Baguettes were sold. The bag made many Sex and the City cameos, most notably one in which a mugger makes off with Carrie’s purple metallic baguette — truly tragic.

Does the Fendi Baguette make your lust list?

Image & Info Source: Fendi

Keeping Current: Top Couture Fall 2012 Looks

The Couture Fall 2012 shows wrapped up last week in Paris. Have you flipped through all of the slideshows yet? For a quick view of the highlights, check out our collection of top looks below.

Did you have a favorite show?

Image Source: Style.com

It Bags: The Hermes Kelly Bag

Welcome to the first installment of our It Bags series.  For a little Friday fun, we decided to kick things off with the legendary Kelly Bag by Hermès.

Originally dubbed the Sac à Dépêches, the Kelly Bag is named for actress Grace Kelly. The Hollywood star was pictured with the bag on a 1956 Life magazine cover and voila! the bag instantly became a coveted classic — though the name wasn’t changed until years later. Hermès still sells the bag (each is handcrafted and takes roughly 18 hours to complete) and continually reinvents the design with different colors and materials.

Print out and decorate your own Kelly bag here.

Info Source: Worsley, Harriet. 100 Ideas That Changed Fashion. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, 2011. Print. and Hermès