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Fashion

always pack a party dress . . .

i was so excited to learn that amanda brooks has a new book coming out, always pack a party dress: and other lessons i learned from a (half) life in fashion.  (pre-order here).  in it she shares her personal stories, and sartorial highs and lows, from a life in fashion, with beautiful, eclectic, and inspired photographs throughout.

i have had a major girl crush on amanda cutter brooks since she was merely a socialite with a closet of major proportions.  then she wrote her best-selling hand book of style, i love your style: how to define and refine your personal style.  (buy here).  my well-worn copy of i love your style stays in my closet and helps me get myself centered and focused on what pieces will serve me best over time and helps inspire me when pulling a look together.

then she became creative director at tuleh, and then she was fashion director at barney’s and then, she bagged the whole scene, packed her family up, and left the country for a year sabbatical in oxfordshire, england, where her husband, christopher brooks, has a farm. (all to much cluck-clucking in the industry, according to the new york times.  read the article here).

then i started following her blog, iloveyourstyle.com, and got to know the intricacies of her life on a working farm in england as well as her distant review of the fashion scene.

and then . . . nothing.  she went totally radio silent.  until now. . .

yay!  she’s back!  the book is only pre-order right now.  i cannot wait for mine to arrive!!! below, i have hooked you up with just a few of amanda’s best sartorial looks. enjoy!

xo,
cg

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Design

design friday | new orleans cottage perfection

from the super slo-mo mimes of the french quarter to the streets dotted with james beard award winning restaurants, from the fantastic libations and amazing live music scene to the horribly bumpy roads, new orleans holds a certain, captivating magic.

and one of the most captivating elements is surely the architecture of uptown and the garden district.  while the mansions of st. charles are amazing, it’s creole cottages, shotguns, townhouses, and classic centerhall houses that hold the allure for me.

i took my camera along on a recent trip to visit my oldest sister, a resident of new orleans, and i think i drove her half-way insane getting her to drive around and then pull over and stop on the side of the road while i grabbed another photo of yet another jaw-droppingly gorgeous cottage.

while the facades of these cottages are frequently endowed with amazingly elaborate classical architectural elements, the cottages i love best are those that have treated their wildly decorative ornamentation with understatement and modesty – a modesty that equally belies the often expansive and insanely decadent interiors.  i suppose it is all about the balance.

below, i have hooked you up with just a few of the best i came across. . . but the job is long from done.  next time you are in new orleans, take a moment to get lost in the grid of streets between magazine, st. charles, and tchoupitoulas.  there are million amazing little gems. . .

xo,
cg

let’s get the new orleans mood right before we scroll . . .

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by martha, Fashion

i love a camel

but i also love other colors as well. caroline told us yesterday about the camel handbag and particularly the camel clutch.  caroline and i usually go over what we are going to talk about in our blog during our morning exercise but we haven’t seen each other this week due to the snow/no snow event here in alabama.

i’ve been thinking about the clutch as well. i have to admit that i’ve been carrying my camel clutch everywhere but after being stranded out of town because we thought it was going to snow i needed a little color and a little va va voom. look at this purse from rebecca minkoff. i love everything about it; the color, the fringe, the studs. it simply just rocks. ok but i have to say the price is a little prohibitive and while i would love to justify a snow/no snow event purchase i’m going to have to meditate on it. so in the meantime i found a few other alternatives at a lower price point.

xo

martha

 

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by caroline, handbags

the basics: the camel handbag

there can be no argument that a camel leather handbag is a basic in any well developed closet.  so, you have one?  me either.  i know, i know.  what are we thinking?  the perfect daytime companion for anything you are wearing.  seasonless.  makes you looks 10 times chicer just in carrying it.  again, why don’t we have one?

here’s my reason and it is not a good one:  i’ve been waiting until i can buy a really good one.  and, that kind of makes me sad.  so, i have decided to invest in the best camel bag i can afford right now. in doing so, i am foregoing all the trendy other bags of the moment and all the other bags that will catch my eye when i walk into any store between now and august.  this will take strength and determination.  i will not fall prey.  i will be strong.

so, what are we talking about exactly??  how do you buy a classic bag (or one that’s sure to be a classic in your closet)?  for starters, take a chill pill.  just get comfortable with the fact that handbags, like shoes, are the most vulnerable to trends.  it is impossible to evade the possibility that a bag will eventually roll out of style.  but if you are judicious, you can have a long ride on the first wave and also catch the second wave when it comes back around.

to do this, my second tip is to avoid conspicuous branding.  to be sure, branding from the oldest and the best houses (hermes, ysl, chanel, etc.) will not quickly render the bag out of style, but descretion is still advised.  branding can really cheapen and date a bag.

my third tip is to buy a camel bag with the shape/size/handles that are most comfortable for you.  what do you carry when you shop??  strap length and size are so personal they cannot be generalized.  so, you are going to have to trust your gut on that.  don’t try something new when investing.  go with what you know in size, shape, handles, straps and you are more likely to end up with a bag you reach for day after day.  (i.e., don’t buy a tote if you abhor the arm-hang while shopping).

fourth, watch out for weight — reject out of hand any bag that is so heavy you feel like all you can put in it is a credit card and a feather because otherwise it breaks your arm off.  you will avoid carrying this bag forever.  so don’t waste your money.

finally, buy the best bag you can.  if you want to rely on it day after day, year after year, you are going to have pony-up and get out of your comfort zone a bit.  because you get what you pay for in this sitch.

great.  so now what??

here are some great looking options to get your shopping started in a variety of price ranges.

1.  zara braided leather bag, $159

2.  tory burch robinson textured-leather shoulder bag, $445

3.  mansur gavriel cammello bucket bag, $495 (available in march)

4.  mulberry tessie textured leather shoulder bag, $990

5.  mulberry bayswater textured-leather bag, $1500

6.  saint laurent hobo medium monogram bag, $1990

7.  valentino to be cool leather tote, $2275

8.  saint laurent sac du jour small leather tote, $3790

and, below are just a few picts to help you feel it in the streets. enjoy!

xo,
cg

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by martha

i’m a proud alumnus

dannijo necklaces

dannijo necklaces

ya’ll know that i love a statement necklace and i found another reason today. i’m proud alumnus of vanderbilt university in nashville, tennessee. i received a wonderful education and developed lasting friendships and while we may not be a football powerhouse we have danielle snyder, class of 2007. who you say? she and her sister, jodie, are the creators of the jewelry line dannijo. i had no idea. both women had been making jewelry since the 1980s growing up in florida. after college, they moved to nyc. after they were laid off in 2008 they decided to just go for it and a company was born.

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jodie and katie snyder

i’ve been a fan for a while. and i’ve got to tell you when seventy-five percent of the country is in a deep freeze including us here in alabama i needed something to cheer me up. just look at the colors. the hardest part is choosing which one to purchase but know whichever you choose your day (and your neck) will be better for it.

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Fashion

the vanity fair scene . . .

oscar night would not be complete without the vanity fair after-party.  mark seliger set up an instagram portrait studio and the images he captured are amazing.  see the entire set here.  also, i hooked you up with some of the best looks of the party.  see all the picts here or follow vanity fair on instagram at @vanityfair or @vfhollywood.

xo,

cg

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Fashion

red carpet report | the oscars: diamonds and pearls, chignons and pony tails . . .

who brought it last night?  hollywood, that’s who.  er’body came to represent.  all the ladies pulled their hair up or back into a chic pony or chignon.  and embellishments were everything.  so, without further ado, here are my nominees in the category of

best dressed . . .

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rosamund pike in givenchy and lorraine schwartz jewels.  hands down best dressed.  whew!  a complete save from her golden globes disaster (which we will chalk up to post partum hormone haze that we have all fallen prey to, am i right?).  this is perfection.  love the styling.  the tiny diamond drop earrings. the coral lip.  the hair.  the slim red sandal.  it all works together flawlessly.  well done.

Margot-Robbie-OScars-2015-stylebriefsthis. . .  you got me lookin’ so crazy right now, . . . so crazy in love with this.  she is gorgeous.  love the modern hair.  the red lip.  the saint laurent dress is perfection.  the hip seventies vibe is killing me in such good way.  and the necklace?  shut the front door.  made by van clef & arpels for the duchess of windsor in the ’30s????  i. am. dying.  wow.

lupita-nyong'o-2015-oscars-stylebriefsshe’s back!!!  super chic lupita has re-surfaced once again!!!  i love this so much i could eat her up.  or drink her up.  it’s coffee and cream perfection!  the creamy-pearl color just makes her skin glow. she has the perfect body for this dress.  i am not sure anyone else in the world could wear this dress to any other place in the world.  but, this custom calvin klein collection confection was the perfect dress for lupita last night.

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sienna miller in oscar de la renta. . .  love.  now, giulianna ransic called her out for wearing black on the red carpet, but let’s remember she was a presenter not a nominee.  and, more importantly, she looks absolutely amazing.  her make-up and hair are spot on.  i love the velvet banding and even the small bows (i am not a huge bow person but somehow they work here).  i just felt like this dress was modern and gorgeous and ladylike and elegant.  and, that sienna looked beautiful and perfect.

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dakota johnson in saint laurent.  loved it.  didn’t exactly love her in her interview with ryan seacrest, but then again, maybe she has a reason that she secretly hates him.  who knows?  but she was def. not feeling the interview.  i digress.  her look, from the pony to the clutch to the red lip were perfection.

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kerry washington in miu miu.  just like baby bear’s bowl of porridge, this dress was just right.  everything about it works for kerry’s slamming bod.  only issue is that it looked like she was having serious trouble walking when she presented.  perhaps the heavy embellishment on the skirt was difficult to maneuver.  it did look great on the carpet.  love.

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jenna dewayne tatum in zuhair murad.   killed. it.  girl’s got MAJOR game.  loved the dress.  loved her pony.  loved her coral lip.  did brad goreski style her?  wow.

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haters gonna hate.  i know y’all all hate gwynnie.  and the big pink flower on her ralph & russo dress might not have helped with that sentiment.  but i LOVE this.  i love her hair.  i love the dress.  i love this color on her.  i love her smokey eye and her smokin’ body.  if you didn’t hate her, you might just find yourself lovin’ this.  ’cause it is actually pretty awesome.

oscars-2015-stylebriefs-jennifer-hudsonj-hud in ramona keveza (???).  she totally rocked this yellow frock.  the micro belt is perfection.  and then, emerald earrings???  OMG, i am dying.

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there are but a few areas of fashion life where i literally cannot tolerate any change (not my normal mindset).  this is one of them.  i HAVE to have jennifer anniston on the red carpet with great hair, a great bod, and a simple dress.  loved this for being jen’s own brand of perfection.  don’t go changin’ to try and please me jen.  this will do just fine.

and now, my nominees for

not feeling it . . . 

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pretty sure someone wore anna kendrick’s thakoon dress to the nenon leadout in 1987.  not feelin’ it.

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loved marion cotillard’s hair.  wasn’t feeling her christian dior couture dress.

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emma stone’s been the darling of the red carpet this season but i just can’t get on board with this elie saab dress.  i love the long sleeves but . . . that is about it.

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okay.  what can i say about nicole kidman in louis vuitton?   i don’t hate this.  but, srsly, i am trying to find an element of it that i actually like.  i’ll let you know when i come up with something . . .

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julianne moore in chanel couture.  the dress is a work of art, to be sure.  but, does julianne look the best she has ever looked???  i think not.  it just kind of does not work well for her skin tone.  or something.

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reese witherspoon in tom ford.  let me just say that i am crazy about her hair and makeup.  i think her hair looks better than it has looked on the red carpet in a long time.  but, i liked this dressed better when she wore it in 2011 and armani privé made it.

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j lo in elie saab.  this was just a little bit too much for me.  i did not love it.  and, maybe i liked it better on luciana pedraza (robert duvall’s wife).

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behati prinsloo in armani privé couture.   i am just going to be honest here.  i love everything about this except her ears.  and she is such a gorgeous girl.  but really, a good friend should have stepped up to the plate on this.  you cannot depend on a husband or boyfriend for the type of honesty this sitch called for.  she needed her best friend there.  a word to the wise.

okay, i am getting the whirling “wrap it up” finger/hand signal because i think we are running long.  so here are the nominees in the category of

hated it . . .

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scar-jo in versace.  stop it!  everything north of her nipples is ridiculous.

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felicity jones in sarah burton for alexander mcqueen.  hated it.

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kiera knightly in valentino.  hated it.

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gaga in aläia.  let’s just go ahead and concede first that she f’ing KILLED IT with the sound of music medley.  the girl can sing.  amazing.  and maybe this dress is amazing.  but i can’t get past the red gloves.

now, let me hear your thoughts!

xo,

cg

photos courtesy of just jared, huffington post, and e! online.

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