Resort 2013: 3.1 Phillip Lim, Altuzarra, Antonio Marras, BCBG Max Azria, Carven

As usual, I love what's come out of the most recent "in-between season". Maybe it's the slightly more relaxed setting of these showings or the spirit of experimentation, but I often find myself more interested in clothing from Resort or Pre-Fall collections.

Phillip Lim, how I wish I could fit in your clothes! A few years ago, I went to the store and everything was teeny-tiny... I have a big butt and a big chest... that so wasn't going to work out. But wait, now you have accessories and bags -- that I can't afford. Back to the drawing board, I guess. Griping aside, I'm pleased by this collection. The color palette is soothing without being a snooze-fest, and the pieces' silhouettes are on point, as usual. My favorites are the leather blazer (top row, 4th picture), the orange shopping bag, the cream baggy pants, and the black and floral dress.

Of note: Neutrals, unstructured blazers, ankle straps, unfussy layering.

Another favorite designer of mine, Altuzarra! To me, these clothes make me think of a female adventurer. Maybe like a Jane Goodall, but not a practical one, because who goes into the forest with a skirt and heels on? Anyway, there are a lot of ikat/kilim-like prints here, and I wasn't feeling those... something about the colors used in the prints just doesn't sit right with me. However, that Eastern European looking blouse (bottom row, 3rd picture) is amazing, and I wish I could find a close-up of it.

Of note: Extreme ruching, trench capes, waist-cinching belts, strappy heels.

Of note: Pattern mix (and you know I love that), non-body con silhouettes.

Fifteen points to BCBG Max Azria for using copious amounts of neons. I. LOVE. THIS! The accessories are awesome, the prints are amazing... I don't even know what else to say.

 That first maxi dress on the bottom row is beautiful! The print reminds me of dashikis, but without looking like it just emerged from a time capsule buried in the 70's.

Of note: Neons and brights, maxi dresses (with or without slits), tunic styles, "ethnic"-inspired prints.

Carven, oh, Carven. Slightly less interesting to me as I have grown out of my 60's schoolgirl phase (for now), but still beautiful and interesting. As usual, the tailoring looks impeccable, color palette is interesting, to say the least, and the shoes are cool as hell (a phrase which makes no sense).

Of note: Suede, platforms, ankle straps, mustard, puce and tomato red.

Overall, I'm definitely seeing some commonalities. Platform shoes aren't going anywhere, while ankle straps and embellishments of all sorts are creeping in. Satchels and oversize clutches are still cool, and prints are everywhere!

My friend, the model

I was chatting with a friend and former classmate of mine, mostly about the job market and things, when the conversation switched to fashion. She told me she had recently started modeling for a clothing line.

Of course, I wasn't too surprised -- my friend is just about drop-dead gorgeous. I asked her if she could share photos from a shoot with me, and thanks to Mehfil Events, I've got a few for you! Enjoy.

 (Click on this photo to see more from Mehfil Events Photography.)

 The clothing is provided by Urban Design Concepts (website and Facebook), a brand that focuses on "Eastern Classical Style". They also have a semiprecious jewelry collection that I'd love to see.

 I love heavily embellished clothing like this... I wish could wear such beautiful clothing!

Again, thanks to Aneeqa and Mehfil Events for sharing the photos with me and allowing me to share them with you all.

Cynthia Rowley Resort 2013

I recently got some photos from Cynthia Rowley's Resort collection and wanted to share them with you all.

Photos courtesy of Cynthia Rowley.

Motel Rocks - 50% off sale preview

Hey readers, if you've been looking to update your summer wardrobe, Motel is about to have a sale!

But even better than that, you get to shop the sale early. Follow this link to see the secret selection of items that will go on sale next Wednesday, and with the code SECRETSALE50 (type it in at checkout!), you'll get 50% off these items!

Enjoy, and let me know if you get anything!

Fashion Icons Part 2: Diana Rikasari

At long last, it's time for the second installment of my fashion icons series! Like I said in my first post, my fashion icons are definitely not the typical ones we always hear about in magazines. Not that I think I'm a special snowflake or anything, but I've never felt inspired by Audrey Hepburn or Ali Macgraw or... whoever. So last year, I set about figuring out who does inspire me. My first fashion icon was Harold Lloyd, a silent film actor.

My second icon is Diana Rikasari, an Indonesian blogger and shoe designer.

I've been following her blog for a number of years (I think she started blogging before I did!), and I've always enjoyed it. She started out as a blogger, but now she has her own shoe company, Up! In addition to being an imaginative, fun dresser, she is also probably one of the most inspirational bloggers I've ever come across. Diana always has a positive outlook on life, despite whatever setbacks come her way, and her infectious optimism spreads to her loyal readers.

Without further ado, let's get into what makes her so unique.

1. With flying colors (and patterns, too!)

In my last icon post, I talked about creating a signature look. I also mentioned that a signature look does not have to mean that you wear a certain piece or makeup all the time, but that it could be that you evoke a certain feeling with your clothes on a consistent basis. I think that's exactly what Diana does in expertly mixing patterns.

This outfit reminds me very much of Custo Barcelona's spring 2012 looks, but Diana's been mixing prints since before it was really on our minds. Now, it's a little more common, but I still think she's got everyone beat in achieving an eclectic, yet overall pleasing look.

So how do you mix patterns this bold without looking like you've just rolled around in a big pile of clothes and wore whatever stuck? First, let me give you advice -- if you dress like this, people will look at you. Be prepared for that. Some people won't like it, some will, but as long as you feel comfortable, you'll be okay.

My second piece of advice is pick a palette (see below). By limiting your patterns to a certain set of colors, you avoid clashing. Instead, the different pieces work together harmoniously. In the picture above, Diana's wearing three different patterns, but several colors are repeated: a burnt orange-brown, cream, black, and blue.

2. Bring a jacket! Layering.

An easy way to mix patterns is to layer. Layering in the summertime can be a little difficult, as you've got to worry about overheating and such. However, open oxford shirts, short kimono jackets and bed jackets offer lightweight options for layering. Don't forget about layering tanks and t-shirts too!

I love Diana's nautical-inspired outfit here, especially the cute sailor's hat she's wearing. She's probably the only person I can think of who could pull that off!

She layers a striped t-shirt, an open polka-dotted blouse and a silky looking jacket.

Here, Diana layers two differently striped tees for a USA-centric look.

3. Black is beautiful.

Like I said, even when she wears black, it's still exciting.

Diana often uses dark pieces with interesting texture, like this sequined shirt or the leather t-shirt below.

Going to the opposite side of the color spectrum, (nearly) all white looks great too!

Finally, here are some pieces and tips to inspire you:

Pattern mix: Pick a palette

Let's go to bed.

I want to thank Diana for being so gracious and allowing me to use her pictures for this post. Please check out her blog, hot chocolate and mint, and her shoe company, Up!

New dogs, old tricks: Upcoming artists in yesterday's fashions

I was perusing Tumblr, as you do, and came across this beautiful picture:

I put my internet detective hat on (i.e., clicked the source link) and found it it's from W's feature on new artists in old fashions, "All Shook Up". The lady above is Lianne La Havas, a neo-soul artist hailing from England (is it just me or does England have the folk/soul thing on lock these days? Rebecca Ferguson, James Morrison, Adele, Duffy...)

Here, we see artist Selah Sue in two floral dresses, sporting an awesome frizzy bouffant. I especially love the gilded sunglasses she's holding in the picture at left.

Please check out W magazine's feature for more photos and more new artists to check out!

(Photos: W Magazine)