December 31, 2010

Emilie Shapiro: Heavy Metal

For the Brooklyn-based designer, 23-year-old Emilie Shapiro, it all started with a gifted duffle bag flooded with costume jewelry. “I took apart a bunch of different pieces and then put them back together in new ways.” And that pretty much sums up the vintage-inspired, hippie-esque, rough-around-the-edges collection: Found objects assembled in unique ways, creating something entirely original. Pretty cool, huh?

Here we go:

So, let’s see, when did you first start your jewelry line?: I started experimenting when I was 14 by beading and incorporating found objects into my work. I became more immersed once I began studying at Syracuse University's Crouse College for Jewelry and Metalsmithing and with artist Peter Bauhuis at Alchimia, a school for contemporary Jewelry design in Florence, Italy.

How have you seen your style evolve over the years?: My work evolves as I grow as a person and as the world changes around me. It is a really natural evolution. I see the change clearly once I take a step back after I've created something—it’s only then that I realize how the transformation truly reflects the changes in myself.

Overall, how would you describe the collection?: Nature transmuted into metal. I feel like it is my purpose to preserve our generation in my work—that goes for our surroundings, who we are, what we wear, what we do, what we see, etc.—because, as I see it, in a few hundred years, the art that may be preserved will be our story.

What has the response been like?: When you are running any small business it's hard, whether you are an artist trying to represent yourself, opening a bakery, or opening a clothing boutique. The response has been really great, but it has definitely been hard work.

Tell me about your inspirations: My inspirations are my surroundings. My favorite artists are Peter Bauhuis, June Schwarz, Joe Wood, and my Grandmother's fabulous jewelry collection.

Fan favorite: King Henry VIII ring

Personal favorites: Adjustable Two-by-Two ring & Stalk bracelet in Bronze

Find the complete collection here

December 22, 2010

Time For Bows

Don't you just love a pretty, perfectly tied bow?

ME TOO. And though I'm not bow crazy, or anything, I'm loving Thistle & Clover's Anlo Pixie Petal dress, especially because the bow works both in the front and back so you don't have to commit to an overly girly look. Even better—this silky party dress is a solid night-on-the-town option, while also being 100 percent work appropriate.

I think I've found myself a keeper.

Buy it here.

December 13, 2010

The Linger Dress

I know what you're thinking. But no, this is not a robe. Or a nightgown. This is what fashion icon Rachel Comey calls a Linger dress–can you guess what that means? Me neither. Anyway, Brooklyn's perfectly curated boutique, Bird, carries the coveted item. If I could afford it (damn you, hanukkah, christmas, secret santa, office party, etc.), I'd pair this elegant silk dress with navy opaque tights, a black blazer and some chunky oxford heels. Just because the bright colors and floral accent makes us long for the days of boardwalk walkin' and rooftop parties doesn't mean it has to stunt our style. Plus, there's no excuse to not rock peonies.

Buy it here.

December 9, 2010

Mia Lara Jewelry

Mia Lara Nathanson describes her collection as contemporary, yet timeless—“My pieces are fresh, versatile and playful.” And no, you’re not going to find knock-offs on the street in SoHo. When you’re looking for that original gift to give (or to gift yourself) you can rely on 28-year-old Brooklynite Mia Lara—trust me.

Now, read on.

So, how long have you been working on your jewelry line?: Since I was 12, but I started to cultivate a business five years ago. Until last February, I was working full time in the fashion and finance industry, but I decided to devote all of my time to my jewelry collection.

Wow, what keeps you motivated?: It just feels so amazing to reach people through my art.

How has the style evolved since you began?: Since I'm self-taught, my style has grown leaps and bounds in terms of my design capabilities over the past years. I think a common thread from the beginning is my love and attraction to texture, organic/assymetric designs and bright color.

Tell me about your inspirations: I am constantly inspired by the texture and color of New York City. I wouldn't say there are specific artists that inspire me, but I am influenced by many.

Are you up to anything exciting in the coming months?: I'll begin designing my new collection this January in Brooklyn and then plan to travel to India to source stones and develop my line further. I hope to debut a new collection by the spring!

Okay, now let’s talk specifics. What are some favorites broken down by category:

Earrings: Addison (available in Green Onyx, Black Onyx, Smokey Quartz, Lemon Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony, Pink Chalcedony & in both Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil)

Ring: Ava (available in Green Onyx, Black Onyx, Smokey Quartz, Lemon Quartz, Aqua Chalcedony, Pink Chalcedony & in both Sterling Silver and 18K Gold Vermeil)

Necklace: Lucy (available in both Sterling Silver and 14K Gold Fill)

Bracelet: Makalya (available in Lava/Fresh Water Pearl, Lava/Coral or Lava Turquoise with 18K Gold Vermeil)

And now for a personal favorite:

Savannah Ring

Available in NYC at Only Hearts, Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa, Works Gallery, Facets @ Limelight Marketplace, Treasure Chest, Thistle & Clover

December 8, 2010

A Perfect Pajama Top

Okay, bear with me. I’m not trying to promote a flannel PJ set circa seventh grade. I’m only asking you to consider this single item. Just think about it. Instead of throwing on your shabby college tee—you know, the one with rips and a lingering frat house odor—you can lounge in style with Steven Alan’s plaid, flannel and cropped pajama top. You know you want to.

Buy it here.

December 7, 2010

All Things Knit

‘Tis the season to stay warm, but let us not forgo our trendy style. During that awfully frigid day, when you can’t help but justify your super-fab fall coat (with zero lining), throw on Topshop’s cozy knitted tweed cape with a simple front leather buckle underneath. Beats the hell outta plain jane cashmeres and bulky down coats. At least for another week.

Buy it here

November 10, 2010

Wrist Wrappers

Spruce up your wrists with one of Chan Luu’s addicting wrap bracelets. Made with mother-of-pearl and golden beads plastered over an array of leather bands, this chic accessory is the perfect way to add some sparkle to your simple LBD or jeans-and-tee casual getup.

Buy them here

November 5, 2010

Rag & Bone: A Man's Best Bag

You gotta love a good, masculine-(esque) man bag. And this Rag & Bone Everest Overnight duffle does the trick. Its wool and leather top handle (with detachable adjustable leather shoulder strap) makes for a convenient, trendy staple for your overnight outing. Plus, the chestnut and olive color blend is SO seasonally appropriate and basically just perfect.

Buy it here

October 25, 2010

More Marais, Please

Tell me these aren’t the cutest flats you’ve ever seen? Aside from the adorable flattened bow and sleek rounded toe, these sweetheart Maryjane Bow shoes offer a cushioned footbed and silk satin upper and leather outsole. Marais USA—the genius company behind such coveted footwear—offers an array of stylin’ day-to-day and ultra-chic designs at seriously reasonable prices.

Buy them here

October 20, 2010

Sarah Leora Apparel

Seventeen-year-old fashionista, Sarah Silverman, (goes by: Sarah Leora. Yep, only seventeen), has her own fashion line. And, surprisingly, it’s clear why. From velvet to lace, each piece in her debut collection (launched Sept. 19, 2010) has its own unique flare with frills and all. Here, I talk to the designer about her can't-live-without closet items, personal inspirations and which dress she’s planning to wear to her own prom.

So, when did you first start the line?
I've had this collection in mind ever since freshman year of high school, but officially I started last November.

Are there any pieces in your closet you absolutely cannot live without?
I bought these black sandals in Paris. They're so perfect, so simple, and so French – I love them.

Who or what would you say are your inspirations?
I love Chloe Sevigny, Alexa Chung and the Olsen Twins’ style. While putting the collection together, I was inspired by old-fashion French celebrities, including Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve.

Do you stick to a certain color palette or will colors change seasonally?
I'll probably use some different tones for each collection, but it's important that I keep everything elegant and delicate. I don't think I'll use too many eye-popping colors.

How would you describe the collection as a whole?
This line is all about being feminine and girly at the same time. Even though the tomboy style is infiltrating the fashion world right now, I miss seeing women dressing in a more feminine way.

What kind of woman do you picture wearing Sarah Leora Apparel?
Catherine Deneuve in the French film, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.

Has the response been positive so far?
Well, mostly positive! Some people aren't really into such girly clothing, and that's totally cool - I don't want anyone changing their style just to wear my line. But, I do believe there are women who want that excuse to wear something a bit more feminine – and I hope they do so by wearing my collection!

Which designs are getting the most attention?
The Knightcat navy blue velvet dress has definitely been popular. People also love the Precious Vanilla lace dress – that's what I'm going to wear to my prom.

What can we look forward to in the future, say, post high school graduation?
A larger collection, that’s for sure. I’ve been putting together some really cute sketches that are hopefully going to turn out awesome. Who knows, maybe a fragrance, shoes, handbags and more. I have a lot to look forward to!

Buy Sarah Leora Apparel here.

*Sarah thanks all of her friends who have helped during this process: Aiyana, Claire, Kathryn, Emma, Aluna, Mary, Kristina, and Nicole

October 13, 2010

Your New Bling: The Nixon Motif Watch

Add a little sparkle to your wrist with Nixon's vibrant gold, big-faced Motif watch. Not only is the band waterproof and the buckle made of durable stainless steel, but this long-standing accessory, available now at 80sPurple, is totally and utterly HOT. Turn your once lackluster, plain-jane outfits into stylish statements by rocking this bold piece. And, at only $150, can't you afford the security of automatic fashion praise?

I think so.

Buy it here.

October 7, 2010

A Tweed Bag to Love

A big slouchy-leather satchel is all you need, right? Wrong. So very wrong. OF COURSE you also need a convenient fall bag that’ll go with all your chic and new brisk-weather clothes! After browsing ASOS, the London-based site that has recently extended its fashionable arms to the States, I came across this Ally Capellino gorg tweed and leather deep brown Agnes shoulder bag. The envelope opening makes all items easily accessible and the adjustable strap means there’s crossbody potential. Is this not the perfect cozy tights, fall-floral and chunky-sweater-day kinda bag?

Buy it here.

October 6, 2010

Just Jamie Scarves: Just Right

Scrap those knitting needles you know you'll never use (it's almost time for a brand new New Year's resolution, anyway) and pull up the go-to site for all your scarf-related needs: JustJamieScarves. Not only will you find the necessary comfy basics, but exotic and creative designs are also presented, such as infinity, celeb-inspired, unisex, animal prints and more.

Here, designer Jamie Futterman, who describes herself as "strong, intense, sexy, and rocker chic," discusses her journey to scarves, fan favorites and why she's been deemed the "scarf lady."

Age: 22

Residence: Upper East Side, New York City

When did you first start working on your scarf line?
When I first entered Syracuse University, I was looking for a way to make an extra buck. (I mean, what girl in college doesn't need to make a little extra money?) I soon got involved with Greek Life and set up several philanthropies where I would create tons of scarves, sell them and donate a percentage of my earnings to a selected charity. It wasn't long after that I developed the nickname "scarf lady."

Tell us, why scarves?
Scarves are my favorite accessory by far. They allow me to be original in my outfits and can transform a boring look into something stylish at a small price.

You have different design categories, but how would you describe
the collection as a whole?
Just Jamie Scarves is fashion at an affordable price. Our customer is stylish, vibrant and embodies New York City spirit.

What has the response been like so far?
I launched my site recently and have been doing so well. The orders are starting to come in from all over the country! It's so exciting seeing people wearing my designs.

Which design has been a fan favorite?
Since the launch of my site (only one week ago), best selling scarves have been the designer-inspired zig-zag-patterned "Damaris" and the “Alyssa Web Knit Pucker" scarves.

What can we look forward to in coming months?
I hope to expand to incorporate additional accessories, including costume jewelry and bangles, but for now I'm taking it one step at a time. For winter, stay tuned for some awesome chunky knit eternity scarves.

Keep up with Jamie's line on Twitter @_JustJamie_

Rain & Snow Rain Boots

Rainy weather has never been a friend of the fashion-conscious woman. Frizzy hair, dripping eye makeup, and the overwhelming shoe dilemma. Who really wants to lug an extra pair of shoes to work on soggy mornings? I certainly do not. So, I've researched a rain boot (no, it's not made by Hunter, thank you) chic enough that swapping footwear is unnecessary and with enough lining to keep my toes warm even during winter months. Voilà! I bring you Banana Republic's newest addition: Roman equestrian rain boots. These keepers look JUST LIKE leather riding boots, I swear, and sell for under $100. I'd advise you get these into your shopping cart ASAP.

Buy them here.

August 18, 2010

Lip & Cheek Stain

Though you're boasting a summer glow and rosy cheeks right now, beach weather is trickling off and days of pale faces are impending. To survive the horror, Benefit introduces yet another keeper in your beauty bag with their berry-tinted, kiss-proof and waterproof lip and cheek stain. The light product won't clog your pores or oil up your skin – instead, it provides a long-lasting shine that'll last all day long.

Buy it

August 11, 2010

Fall Is For (Faux) Fur

I'm a believer in fur accents. I don't find oversized fur coats, bulky sweaters, or bags to be attractive on, well, anyone. What I am into are faux fur pieces that compliment an outfit without being overbearing. This Juicy Couture vest, with its black ribbed back and long draping bow, is the perfect way to wear a fur item. What do you think? Are you into the faux fur look?

Buy it

To DYE For

Tie-dye designs don't always have to be a reminder of summer camp in the nineties – this fall trend has much to offer and Tory Burch is ahead of the blended-color curve. We've seen her Resort 2011 line down the runway, fully amped with tie-dye galore, but what's even more exciting are her accessories, specifically this Continental wallet. The moody blue hues and detailed stitching make for the perfect free-spirited, hippie-style wallet sparked with a fashion-forward edge and equipped with interior zipper, currency pockets, and eight card slots. Are you feeling the tie-dye trend or are you sticking to solid colors?

Buy it

August 10, 2010

The Perfect Pastel Polish

Before the first leaf plummets onto the sidewalk and you dive head first into berry, navy, and, dare I say, black polishes, embrace the heat of summertime and get yourself a pastel-colored mani. My favorite from the spring/summer line has been Essie's Lilacism – it's subtle, elegant, and lacks that pretty-pretty-princess look you get from a non-matted color. No doubt I'll be using up the bottle before the temp drops to sweater-wearing weather. What colors are you sad to leave behind for fall?

Buy it on sale HERE

A New Kind of Statement (Necklace)

Statement necklaces are not my thing. I like a stack of bright bangles, bold rings, and even big, chunky watches, but forget overbearing, heavy-weighted, strangling neckwear. (I normally stick to my simple "A" charm necklace, which I RARELY stray from). But, alas, Anthroplogie has me questioning the trend with their "Tour De Jewels" piece. Maybe it's the fact that the intricate whirling wheels design isn't going to swallow my whole neck. Or, maybe it's just because this delicate number is only $38. Either way, it needs to be mine. What do you think? Do statement necklaces overdo it sometimes?

Buy it HERE

August 9, 2010

Fabulously Fashionable (and Wearable) Flats

What's the trick to scoring solid, walkable flats that won't blister up your poor heels? If Italian leather and a man-made lining and sole doesn't do the trick, I'm not sure anything will. These lovely, earth-toned J.Crew slip-ons, adorned with the perfect amount of bows and bling, are just as wearable with your cute daytime frock as those burgundy tights and tweed skirt you're itching to break out for fall. Which other flat styles keep your feet intact?

Buy them

August 3, 2010

Façonnable Travel Accessories

Every man needs a good carry-on bag. Preferably one that does not feature rips and tears and a faded, muted black color. No, you need to rock something a bit more snazzy, a bit more façonnable. And so, for your traveling pleasure, I bring you this navy shoulder bag with camel leather trim and a handy little handle and on fashion-point polka-dot slender umbrella. Though it does push the prepster level a tad further than I'd normally like, the blend of colors is stunning, wouldn't ya say?

Buy both HERE

August 2, 2010

Need-to-Have Nautical

Anyone who knows me is aware of my overwhelming obsession with horizontal-striped ANYTHING. That goes for dresses, tops, scarves, headbands, etc. (Okay, maybe not pants.) In any case, I was inevitably bound to throw in a nautical-inspired piece on BRANDED, but this one happens to be for men. Lightweight Tees can be perfect for lounging–though, when adorned with a pattern, like navy stripes, it is totally suitable for bar-outings. I'm digging this All Saints heavy vintage-washed cotton number marked with a slanted utility chest pocket. Aren't you?

Buy it HERE

August 1, 2010

Fresh for Fall

While I do love my T-Strap sandals and summer floral dresses, fall is fast approaching and days of patterned tights, knee-high boots and chunky sweaters are getting me giddy. But who says we have to say goodbye to knits and cut-out sandals? Here, Anthropologie presents their latest Leaftop booties, the perfect blend of seasonal Earthy tones and a playful construction. I think I'm in love.

Buy them HERE

July 29, 2010

PlastiChic Watches at Dylan's Candy Bar

Forgo the candy isle for just a minute (I know, it's hard to stray from the chocolate fountain and signature clodhoppers), but it'll be worth it. What you'll stumble upon are Dylan's newest waterproof PlastiChic watches, available in an array of 19 neon colors perfect for beach-side vacations. My favs include Stabilo green, dark purple and Superman blue. No, it's not edible, but it does go pretty well with your pick-and-pay bulk candy.

All watches are $35 - buy HERE or at Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 Third Ave at 59th St (646-735-0078)

July 26, 2010

Dying for Dolce Vita (For Target)

I've tried on about ten different pairs of Dolce Vita sandals, heels and boots and have always passed due to the hefty price tag. Alas, Target brings us below-par-paycheck folk a happier alternative: Dolce Vita for Target footwear under 40 bucks. My top pick from the collaboration are these buckle ankle boots in black, only $35. What's even better, these babies go for sale on the Target website, so you can forget the mess in the overwhelming superstore. Now, if only they sold these Lola sandal pumps I've been dying over.

July 23, 2010

Hot for Haupt, Jewelry

At age 26, jewelry designer, and New Yorker, Lauren Haupt has much to brag about. Her business, which launched in 2007, has gotten an enormously positive response. "There’s no greater compliment than a return customer," Haupt gushes. "I’m so thrilled to see that happening over the past few years." Her goal: to create well-constructed jewelry that can be worn with ease and style every day, and this certainly parallels the delicate collections showcased on HER SITE.

Here, I talk with Lauren on her line, inspirations, and what's in store for the future.

Can you pinpoint the moment you knew jewelry was your passion?
In college, I took some metals and jewelry classes on a whim and finally felt like I had found a creative outlet for myself. I have always loved working with my hands and that's what designing and creating jewelry is all about.

Where do you find inspiration?
Books, magazines, blogs, and New York City itself. In terms of design, I pay close attention to lines, shapes, colors in packaging, fonts, furniture, and architecture.

What's your design philosophy?
I often think about light, shine, and the play of positive and negative space. I blend elements in terms of how I think they will ultimately make the wearer feel fantastic.

Can we look forward to new designs in the future?

I hope to have some great new cast sterling pieces available before the holiday season. Pieces that are similar in aesthetics to
Wings, Forever.
I love the weight and feel of solid pieces and I believe wearing them bestows an empowering feeling.

Top Picks:
Ascending Wing, Forever ($120)
Coalescence ($42)

July 19, 2010

Go Commando

It's hard to avoid witnessing the resurrection of this season's military trendwhether it's the carefree blend of rugged combat boots with a classic trench or a camo-patterned top draping over brown vintage belts. And though parts of it appears a tad dramatic and slightly less than battle-friendly, there are some elements to this trend that work at all times and for all women. My top pick for all military-inspired gear are these J Brand Houlihan cargo pants. I'm drawn to the olive pant color, which is less severe than the ARMY staple green. Plus, the cropped length is perfect for sandals, a cute stacked wedge, or even ballet flats to soften the edgy look.

Buy them HERE at Piperlime

July 14, 2010

Fabulous Fanny's Frames

Hundreds of vintage frames flood this East Village shop in just about any color and shape you can imagine (and at manageable prices). What I like about these 1960's Challenger vintage men's glasses is not only the soft maple color, but also that they don't resemble a mass-produced hipster-style doctor frame. Rather, Fabulous Fanny's presents quirky pronounced glasses with a touch of uniqueness and a true charming flare.

Buy them

July 12, 2010

Super High Swedish Hasbeens

Still skeptical about the return-of-the-clog? (It's okay, I was too.) Here, I bring you the perfect blend of throwback disco-day footwear and fashion-forward chunky heels with Swedish Hasbeens' popular heeled clog. Though this flirty pair goes with just about any daytime getup, I recommend coupling them with your distressed boyfriend jeans or floral romper. Go ahead—bag that purple pair you haven’t worn since Junior High and throw on these natural grained stretchable leather and lime-tree wooden Hasbeens—(Did ya read that? ECO-FRIENDLY = GOOD). What's more, this handmade shoe looks (and feels) better with a little wear and tear. Are you re-thinking the clog trend now?

July 11, 2010

Vilebrequin Swimwear

Men's swimwear is unpredictable at the very least. From boardshorts to bikini bottoms, it seems many men are lost among a sea of obnoxious, oversized graphic prints, baggy sizes, and undeniably unattractive hip-huggers. Swim brand Vilebrequin offers something unique: an appropriate length, fit, and vast collection of bright and bold trend-inspired designs. Though the $200 price tag is a bit hefty, it'll be worth the inevitable poolside attention.

July 9, 2010

Love Me Some Loafer-heels

Forget chunky masculine watches and boyfriend jeans, this season's menswear trend stretches a bit further with Camper loafer-heels–perfect for interviews and an all-around fun outfit addition ($149). The style, originated from the Barcelona Design Center, has a totally authentic European look, from the cracked genuine leather to the detailed structure. I'm especially digging this green hue, which flawlessly adds a bright burst of color to a basic dress or black-on-black ensemble. What do you think of this chic heeled loafer?

NoteFlix on ETSY

Scrap your Moleskins and start jotting down plans, doodles, and just about anything in these spankin' new flick-inspired notebooks, rapidly selling on Etsy. Creators Lisa Freedman and Mike Olson developed the idea based off of their mutual love for notebooks and thrift stores and while the current 23 themes might seem limited, (though there's no arguing the importance of The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, and The Big Lebowski) expansion is on the looming horizon. "We have more than one hundred more just waiting to be cut and bound," seller Lisa Freedman gushes. The duo's top picks are Jaws, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Usual Suspects. I'm personally loving Titanic which one of these vintage-inspired books catches your eye?

Check in for the latest additions on Twitter @noteflix.

July 8, 2010

Bringing Back the Bow Tie

Besides your necessary cozy cable knit sweater and occasional popped collar, I'm generally not a lover of preppy attireand yet, I can't help but fall for a patterned bow tie. Now, let us cover the basic alternatives: You've got your standard length tie, which is an undeniably boring option, unless, of course, you're en route to a corporate interview, or a Bar-Mitzvah. Then, an "Ascot" tie. Enough said. (Quotation marks stand.) That brings us to the perplexing skinny tie. Can someone please tell me where and why that trend surfaced? (My bet is that it stemmed from the same fool who deemed fedoras a closet staple.) So, ladies and gents, what are your thoughts on bow ties? Are you a fan? Or are you sticking with an "Ascot?" Here's my pick for summer's hottest bow tie, available at J.Press ($50), and 100%

Need help? Watch here for steps on how to tie a bow tie.

Prime Time Eye Primer

Smearing eye makeup mid-day is a nightmare—and who wants to carry around a touch-up bag? Not me. So, fellow beauty buffs, or those simply in need of a sweat-proof lifesaver, as we enter another grueling day in NYC, try dabbing on Laura Mercier's eye primer before applying makeup. This summer's saving grace, a mere $24, not only boosts the shade of your liner and shadow, but also keeps the color on your lids for the entire day. LM eye primer, you are definitely BRANDED.

July 7, 2010

Jelly Shoes

Remember those jelly sandals from middle school? You were most likely rocking the transparent ones with the sparkles - some of you, the lucky ones, even boasted a style with a slight heel. This summer's fashionable footwear has got to be revamped jellies - and I'm not just talking your basic T-strap. I'm a big fan of this padded insole jelly "big-girl" heel made for Melissa by Vivienne Westwood.