Monday, September 15, 2014

Know Your Classics: The Quilted Chanel Bag

I don't know about you guys, but even here in sunny Hawaii the dusky twilight of summer and the golden-orange arrival of fall has my mind on all things quilted. Vests. Boots. Jackets. Wallets. Jewelry. And most of all.... handbags. Specifically, Chanel handbags. The quilted Chanel is an undeniable classic adored by everyone from vintage-loving Jackie O fanatics, to trend-chasing Kate Moss wannabes.



Chanel is a brand with a rich and joyful history that reaches all the way back to 1910, when Gabrielle Chanel opened her first hat shop, Chanel Modes, in Paris. The story of the quilted Chanel bag begins much later, in 1955, but between the opening of Chanel Modes and the launch of the 2.55 bag Gabrielle Chanel found tremendous success in perfumes, jewels, and tweeds. Although the 2.55 is one of the most recognizable Chanel pieces it is not what put Chanel on the map. Chanel was already a sensation by the time GIs lined up at its door to bring French perfume back to their girlfriends and wives.




The 2.55 bag was released in February, 1955. True to her simplistic elegance Gabrielle Chanel named the bag after the date of its conception. The 2.55 bag was revolutionary, but not for the readily recognizable quilting. Rather, it was the chain shoulder strap that put it on the map. In the 1950s shoulder straps on bags were largely regarded as low class, yet Gabrielle Chanel was able to see around the stigma associated with straps to the reality: they offered convenience that women of all social stations would embrace. So, she dreamed up a bag with a sparkling gold chain that screamed bling, rather than bargain bin.

Gabrielle Chanel's assessment of the need for a strapped bag for the upper class was spot on. Before long the bag was on the arm of every golden era trend setter. But, what she could not have anticipated is the bags continued popularity nearly  years after its release. In response to 90s fashionistas feverishly hunting for 2.55s Chanel re-released the bag in 2005, bringing it a new generation of glitter girls and post-preps. 




Since the original 2.55 bag was released the quilted herringbone pattern has been featured on Chanel products ranging from cosmetics, to jewelry, to leather goods. Next to the double C logo, it is the second most recognizable Chanel symbol. Today, quilted herringbone patterns are widely used by many brands hoping to catch a bit of the Chanel luster, but there's nothing quite like the original, is there?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pinstripe Pinafore

I know that everyone talks about the beaches in Hawaii, but the parks are really tremendous too. Over my next few outfit posts I will be taking you guys along with me to a few great ones. Virtual vacation!

Today, I'm wearing my new all time favorite dress-- which I got on super sale. I owe a lot of credit for the score to Jessie, over at Blush and Blond. She's the queen of Lilly Pulitzer, and she gave me all the details on how to make sure I got the most out of the end of summer sale, where Lilly dresses can be found marked down from $300 to $60 or so. I'm not even going to tell you all how much I saved on this dress, but keep reading and I'll be sure to fill you in on all the details about how to clean up at the next sale when it comes around like Jessie did for me!

For the most part Honolulu parks are lush and green, but today we are visiting an exception. I am just completely enamored with this shady grove in Kapioloni Park. Between the winding wood and the tropic birds that swoop low along the ground it's one of the most mystical feeling places I've ever had the pleasure of exploring. I must say doing this post made me feel a bit like Goldilocks brunette sister.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (past season, very similar here) Clutch: Vintage (similar here) Bracelet: Antique (similar here)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Baby #2 for Will and Kate!

Just as I was climbing into bed last night there was a flurry of activity on Twitter. The news, which broke via a tweet from the official Clarence House feed, spread like wild fire. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child!

Now, I'm sure that for many of you this elicits nothing more than a groan as you envision the royal baby media machine booting up, but I am an unashamed royal junkie. I cannot wait to watch everything from Kate's maternity style to baby name betting pools develop. So, in honor of the good news I've put together the top three style lessons I have learned from the lovely Duchess Catherine.

Lesson One: Fit & Flair Dresses are Ladylike and Flattering 


Kate always manages to strike the right balance between attractive and sophisticated. Anyone who's ever tried knows this is no easy feat, but you don't need a royal budget to pull it off.  Much of Kate's success can be attributed to her signature dress shape- a slim fitting, round necked top and a full, flouncy knee length skirt. Similar dresses can be snagged at a variety of price points!




 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Two: Make Your Own Classics 


Before Kate became a fashion icon most of us had never heard of the L.K. Bennett Sledge Pump, but her loyalty to the shoe did for it what Sex and the City did for Manolo Blahniks. And, once the press started criticizing her for wearing the trusty pair of heels too often she kept right on trotting them out. The lesson here is clear: when you find something you love, embrace it. Don't get wrapped up in fashion cycles or trend chasing. I've assembled some of Kate's personal classics below to inspire you to find your own!




 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson Three: Sporty Casual Does Not Mean Masculine


For most of my life I avoided all things "sporty" like a style plague I was terrified to catch. The vast majority of the sporty looks I saw either came off as sloppy, or overly masculine. Then, Kate changed my mind. When Kate dresses "sporty" she doesn't go all the way, like I believed you had to. Rather, she mixes feminine touches into her sporty looks to keep them feeling casual but pretty. Here, Kate is rocking a sporty polo with slim feminine jeans and a pair of heels. Perfection! Channel the look yourself with sporty-but-girl pieces.








Congrats Will and Kate! I wish you a beautiful pregnancy and looks forward to many happy months of style watching to come!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hair Color Trends... + A Big Change for Me!

My fashion sense is classic, possibly to a fault. I rarely pickup on trends, and when I do it's generally a retro look that's cycling back through. It's going to be a long wait if you're holding out for me in pleather space suit or armadillo heels.

But, when it comes to hair and makeup I'm decidedly more adventurous. In both areas I find myself really getting bored if I don't switch it up pretty often. If you follow me on Instagram you know I'm always posting new makeup items and looks I think are awesome, but I talk a lot less about hair. Despite it being, like, my true obsession. Without a pro stylist on board I would have burned my hair off long ago with my color explorations.


So... Me and hair color. I guess you could say it's pretty serious. As you can imagine I was positively itching for a change given I've had the same soft faded Brond shade since the inception of this blog. In trying to pick a shade I headed straight to the spring runways. The key trends I noticed were...

Coffee, Hold the Cream 

Lisa Perry Spring 2015 RTW, BCBG Max Azria Spring 2015 RTW

I think this is a good year to be brunette! The hues coming down the catwalk were deep, dark and dreamy. Plus, lets be honest, it's so much easier (and more affordable, aka easier on your shoe budget) to rock a single tone than to sit at the salon for 4+ hours once a month doing faded ombre with accent highlights and contrasting lowlights. I loved the shiny, monochromatic, neutral shades of brunette strutting the catwalk.

Platinum Blondes Have the Most Fun 

Hellessy Spring 2015 RTW, Nicholas K Spring 2015 RTW
No sun faded streaks here! The blondes that walked the runway this season were positively arctic. These cool, icy shades shimmered against black and white ensembles, but I'm going to go ahead and call it-- brunettes are getting it easy and blondes are getting a tough order Spring 2015. If you do decide to go for this look make sure you have an extra good stylist, and an extra good deep conditioner... Or... Maybe just sit this season out if you aren't naturally gifted with platinum locks.

Copper (CU)

Coach Spring 2015 RTW, Tome Spring 2015 RTW
I absolutely loved seeing the return of the copper based red. These shades have such a pretty, natural vibe. They are a lot easier to pull off the the fire engine, or purple based hues.

So, once I decided I definitely needed a change I weighted all my options. And, in the end, I wound up being the most inspired by... Downton Abbey.



All of my girlfriends are no doubt sick and tired of hearing me talk about how I want to match my hair to Michelle Dockery's, so I decided it's finally time to make the leap.

What do you think of the Spring 2014 hair color trends? Will you be taking any inspiration from them? How do you feel about leaving behind the sun faded, medium shades of the last few years?





Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sophisticated Picks from the French Connection Sale

Sale shopping is great, but lets face it, sometimes it can be stressful. No sale, I don't want to get in line before 5:00am. No, I don't want to obsessively reload my browser as I furiously try to check out before the stock of what I want runs out. And no, I REALLY don't want to use a "surprise" discount that could be 50%... but also could be %10... and I won't know which until I check out. For these reasons I find the French Connection Labor Day sale to be refreshingly simple.

All their sale dresses are just $69.99 from now until Labor Day.

Given that many of the dresses on offer originally retailed for over $300, that's a serious savings. Check out my favorites below.








As if that's not good enough you can use the code W14SHIP to get free shipping on all orders over $150. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Coral Frock on the Honolulu Sea Walk

If you ever make it to Honolulu I strongly recommend you take some time to venture past crowded Waikiki beach to Kapiolani Park. Bring a picnic or a big cup of shaved ice, then camp out under one of the gigantic shade trees and watch the (impossibly fit) locals jogging, walking on tight lines, and just hanging out.

Then, for a real treat follow anyone you see with a surf board. At first glace it will appear that beach access in the area is restricted to the owners of the luxury condos that line the street, but the sea walk its self is open to the public. Follow the surfers through one of the many well-hidden passes and you will find yourself right on the water. The sea walk a gorgeous area for a romantic stroll, a peaceful session of quiet reflection, or take in a sunset.






Dress: Banana Republic (past season, similar here and here) Shoes: Prada (past season, similar here and here) Bracelets: Vintage (similar here)

Friday, August 22, 2014

State of the Kangaroo

Hello!

Long time no write, I know. As you can imagine, moving from the continental United States to a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific is hard, but that's not really the reason I've been away. The unvarnished truth is that I had an amazing photographic partner in LA in Vivian Lin and I am having a devil of a time finding someone to fill her big shoes out here. 

I'm not going to insult you all with mediocre content, so there may be some empty space around here for a little while longer, but I promise I'm coming back. Boy have I got some beautiful places and things that I am looking forward to sharing with you....

Until then!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Five Rescue Beauty Lounge Polishes to Get Now

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you know about my deep, unyielding love of Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes. I don't love RBL for their flawless formula, or their great customer service. They absolutely have both of these things, but if I'm completely honest so do a lot of competitors. What makes me so fanatical about my RBL is the line's creator, Ji Baek.

Ji approaches each collection the way an author might write a book. She finds a source of inspiration (past themes have been the six wives of Henry VIII, Georgia O'keeffe, and a Walt Whitman poem), then dreams up gorgeous colors that tell the story she envisions. As if that's not enough to make you go groupie status, Ji lets fans come along with her on the creative journey by sharing images, videos, and writings on social media. Color me obsessed.

And I'm not the only one. All Rescue Beauty collections are single run, so once they're gone, they're gone. Because of this it's not uncommon for popular colors to sell out during pre-sale, never even becoming available to the general public (but don't worry- you can get on the pre-sale list easily on the RBL web site). Ardent fans like me put the dates of collection unveilings on their calendars, and set alarms to make sure they log in to the pre-sale early enough to score their hearts desires. This is exactly what I will be doing for the Italian Summer collection due to be unveiled tomorrow at noon on the Rescue Beauty facebook page.

I can't tell you what you should pick up from it since I don't even know what's in it yet, but I can tell you which currently available polishes from past collections you should pick up with your Italian Summer order. Without further ado, here are my top five favorite still-available RBL colors, in order.

Oh Slap!

Image via Kellie Gonzo
This gorgeous pink jelly polish from the Anatomy of a Korean Drama collection is just a dream to wear. The color is soft and feminine, but still poppy enough to be fun. Plus, the shine on this shade is unstopable. On me it still gleamed after 10 days, two trips in the ocean, and one dresser refinishing. Seriously, what more can I say? If you get one past collection polish get this one.




Small, Dim, Summer Star

Image via Kellie Gonzo
Small, Dim, Summer Star from the A Poem collection is the polish I will personally be picking up with my Italian Summer order. It really does feel like a summer sky full of stars to me, and I can't wait to rock it on balmy Hawaii evenings.




Réveillon

Image via Pointless Cafe
 As if I already haven't given you enough reasons to love Rescue Beauty, from time to time Ji makes fan polish dreams come true by putting together "fan collections." If you doubt the results that would produce let this beautiful polish stand as proof that the fan collections are always lovely. By the way, did someone say Frozen themed nail polish? Because this is totally Frozen polish! I will be picking this up with my Italian Summer order as well.




A Lonely House

Image via Makeup Withdrawal
Like Small, Dim, Summer Star this beauty also come from the A Poem collection. When I look at this shade I see two things that are nothing like each other at once: first, I see (and oddly, smell) saddle leather. Second, milk chocolate. Whichever this polish reminds you of I'm sure you'll agree it's a sophisticated neutral shade that will look beautiful no matter the season.




Lotus Elise

Image via Scrangie
This gorgeous electric red is the result of another fan collection. I love that it's a classic red that's so very.... not. There's something undeniably loud about it, without the brashness of a full on glitter polish. It's got that sexy it factor that reminds me of a Bond villianess!

Have you tried Rescue Beauty polishes? Let me know what your favorites are in the comments!




Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Seaside Herb Gardening

When I found out we were leaving the home my husband and I shared for the past 6 years I had just one request for our new place: space for an herb garden. I cook dinner nightly (and, no, I don't mean nuking TJs frozen food), so the idea of having fresh herbs on hand at a moments notice seemed like a dream... Especially since our old house had terrible lighting, meaning anything I planted withered and died almost instantly.

I got my wish! Our new place in Hawaii has a gorgeous terrace that overlooks the ocean, and it's got tons of amazing light for growing things. I planted basil, oregano, chillies, and many more goodies the first week I arrived and each has nearly doubled in size since then. The only problem? Stopping my curious doggies from digging them up!






Shirt: Express Shorts: Banana Republic (past season, similar here for under $20!) Necklace: c/o Kluster Shoes: Converse Cute Factor: Macaroni and Peter Parker

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fall 2014 Lilly Pulitzer is Here!



Since moving to Hawaii my light and colorful dresses have been getting a serious workout. For the first time in my life I was actually able to put "Buy More Lilly" on my to-do list as a legitimate must-do task. So, you can't even imagine how excited I was when I saw the Fall 2014 Lilly announcement in my in box this morning! The gorgeous greens, yellows and blues in this collection instantly won my heart.

Below I've assembled my favorite must haves. Which pieces will you be picking up? How do you feel about this release compared to past Lilly fall collections? Let me know in the comments. You guys always have great insights, so I love virtually shopping with you all!



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Know Your Classics: The Longchamp Le Pliage Tote

The Lilly Pulitzer shift dress. The Jack Rogers Navajo sandal. The Prada pump. The Burberry trench coat. The DVF wrap dress.There are some items of clothing that have transcended specific style niches to simply become known as "classics." These are the durable, time-tested pieces that I try to build my wardrobe with, but I recently realized the rich heritage of these items is worth a closer look. I'm kicking off a "better know your classics" series that will deconstruct and explore well known staple items. Today we'll begin with an item that's been on my mind lately: The Longchamp Le Pliage tote. 

http://rstyle.me/~2fOJN


Le Pliage bags have been spotted on the arms of everyone from the perpetually-polished Duchess of Cambridge, to trendy Vanessa Hudgeson and down-to-earth Amy Adams. The bag was created by Longchamp, a French luxury brand that grew out of Jean Cassegrain's small 1940s line of luxury leather goods geared toward smokers. Cassegrain chose to call his brand Longchamp, the name of the local racetrack, because another retailer was already marketed with the name Cassegrain. In the 1950s the brand extended beyond smoking accessories into small leather goods, and the Longchamp bag was born.

The now-famous La Pliage tote was introduced by Longchamp in 1993. It was designed by Phillip Cassegrain, Jean's son. The bag's simple design was inspired by the elegance of Japanese origami. The simple, clean shape is perhaps where this inspiration is most noticeable.

One of the most recognizable features of the La Pliage tote is the textured cowhide handle and closure. The flap is stamped with the Longchamp racehorse logo, an homage to the brand's namesake.

http://rstyle.me/~2fOJN


The tote's body is made out of durable polyamide canvas. It can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth and neutral soap and water, making is a great choice for sporty girls who are somewhat rough on their day-to-day bags, or travelers who need something that can withstand being packed to the gills then shoved under an airplane seat regularly. Since it is more water resistant than leather the bag is also great for those who live in rainy climates.

Black and white are two very popular colors. The Duchess of Cambridge carries a black Le Pliage, while her sister Pippa has been spotted with the white version. In addition to classic shades, the bag is also released in a variety of on-trend colors each season.

Do you own a Le Pliage tote? I don't have one yet, but it's at the very top of my shopping list right now. My leather bags feel heavy and stiff in tropical Honolulu, and it rains every day, making protecting them a full time job. Canvas seems like a great alternative and I adore the Le Pliage's heritage, but I can't seem to pick a color to save my life! There are so many great choices.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Leaving Los Angeles

I had hoped to have this post up some time yesterday, but here's the thing about moving from the continent you've lived on your whole life to an extremely geographically isolated island... It's hard. Like, really hard. Even when your new home is as beautiful as Hawaii.

The last eight days have felt like a marathon of constant activity. There have been some triumphs, like having all our boxes unpacked in 72 hours, and some total fails, like my realization that I sooooo lack the basic DIY skills required to dog-proof a patio.

My favorite times by far have been spent with the water. Shane and I intend to move into a house here within the next year, but since we are not familiar with the neighborhoods yet making long term choices immediately seemed foolish. So, we opted for a vacation rental right on the oceanfront. Laying by the water every day then staring at the ocean each night seemed like the perfect way to make sure we didn't get too home sick for Los Angeles in our first 9 months here.

I don't normally do "insta-lately" style posts, but as I still haven't unpacked enough of my wardrobe to continue with our regularly scheduled program I thought I would share the move with you guys through my cell phone snaps from lat week.

I spent my last weekend in Cali taking in fireworks over Lake Arrowhead.

Don't call the chipped mani police on me, guys. Moving. It's hard.


One of my first stops was Mini of Honolulu, where I picked up our new car. #firstconvertible #MiniForever





This rainbow leads directly to Costco. #SeemsAboutRight


Nothing to say... this speaks for its self.

Fables by the water. #INeverOutgrewComics


Canoes at dusk


I watched 300 on the flight over here and the movie was OK, but Eva Greens eye makeup was Oscar worthy. I had to copy it ASAP.

Smooth waters never made a skilled sailor, but they sure made a happy one.

If you follow my Instagram you already know I practice pedicure democracy, and this.is.why. #PerfectColor



Stay on top of all my Hawaiian adventures by following me on Istagram at AlexAimee.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...