Lumber-Chic

 

 

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I think the moment I really decided ‘Lumber-Chic’ was a trend worth mentioning in The Hip Report was when I saw Gywneth Paltrow sporting this cool look recently:

 

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Not my favorite celebrity by any means but still one who does have some notable fashion sense, Gywneth at forty is always trying to find a way to stay ahead of the trends and  remain relevant in her middle age.  She usually does an admirable job and I have to give her credit for not being a tragic fashion victim which is easy to do in Hollywood when you get older and will do just about anything to get noticed/attention.  Nor does she pull out the ‘way too sexy’ card too late in life which is desperate and painful for the rest of us to witness.

No, Ms Paltrow generally always looks inspirational and for the most part, modern and lovely. And her in this demure but very chic A-Line black skirt paired with a casual plaid blouse and booties is pretty fabulous.

Why? Because there’s tension in this outfit…that black skirt would normally be paired with a dressier silk blouse and pumps. But Gwyneth gives us fashion food for thought when she mixes up the casual plaid shirt that feels very work shirt-ish, with that more elegant swingy skirt–the kind of mix a lot of women out there are pretty afraid to do but I keep begging you all to give a whirl at.

So the Lumber-Chic look is gaining momentum and if you don’t believe me, go to the mall. The other day I was at J Crew and Madewell where plaid flannel shirts reminiscent of lumberjacks and the grunge movement in the ’90′s and Curt Cobain– were featured everywhere I turned.

How do you make the flannel look more modern, and more, well, attractive than the schlubby way we typically envision? What’s typical is wearing your plaid flannel with faded jeans and some Frye boots. What isn’t, is pairing it here as Gywneth did with a chic skirt and booties. That’s precisely how you do it. Mix chic with that lumberjack and you’re winter perfection.

 

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Of course Jenna Lyons, J Crew’s Creative Director has us all busting down the flannel stereotype in our minds. This season she has us pairing flannels with beautiful sequins embellished skirts, (above).  Go to J Crew’s website for this very look, at 30% off. I love how Lyons takes polar opposites and brings them together with such modern effect.

The other day I wore the J Crew red flannel, above, with a short, inky A-line skirt above my knees, black tights and Tory Burch riding boots. To finish the look, I added a necklace with gum ball sized pearls. I was epically comfortable and still felt lady-like.

Madewell has a beautiful buffalo check shirt made in the most luscious flannel I probably have ever felt. It is available online and in store for about $55. I plan on pairing mine with a leather patch Rag and Bone A-line skirt and glam it up a bit–unexpected but really compelling.

Buffalo check was done so hip at Rag and Bone  this year. If you’re willing to spend $260 for one of their shirts, you can rock the look on the higher end:

 

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But for my money,  Madewell’s Buffalo Check shirt (below) is just fine. Feels incredible and they nailed the buffalo check perfectly:

 

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The trend has been on the radar of Ryan Gosling to J Lo to Lady Gaga. (Not that any of us want to follow her style.)

 

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Lumber-Sexy done not-so polished a la Katie Holmes, above.

 

 

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Gaga does her version.

 

 

 

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Lumber-Sexy as a sumptuous coat on J Lo.

 

 

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Pippa Middleton wearing her buffalo plaid. As always, she needs some help.

 

 

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Ryan Gossling looking exceptionally natty as an urban lumberjack.

 

 

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Anne Hathaway doing buffalo plaid very enviable justice.

There was a day when I refused to let one flannel shirt enter my closet. Now I can’t get enough. Time for Santa deliver some more for this girl.

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Perfectly Wiggy Solange

 

Image by Rog Walker

 

 

Solange Knowles, Beyonce’s sister has always been much more interesting to me than her mega-star sibling.

Beyonce is mainstream, Solange is the wild card sister you can never pin down on anything. She’s the one who doesn’t give va va voom like her Tom Ford-fishnet-wearing-oft bondage-inspired sister. Instead, she’s usually got the girls on lock-down and she’s jamming some amazing wild print or doing incredible justice to some odd-ball paper bag looking thing that on her, looks like divinity. Sometimes her hair is in an electrically-charged looking afro and sometimes it’s ironed flat and modern.

That’s just it–you never know what Solange is going to give you. She may even clock you in an elevator. You just never know.  Again it’s that wild card element to her all the way around that makes you wonder what the yell is up next with this girl.

And I for one love it all.

 

 

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Solange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Solange got married last month in New Orleans and it looked like a raucously fun celebration.  Everyone was asked to wear white and the formal picture from it, top photo makes it feel like it was some chic Vogue layout styled by Grace Coddington, all tone on tone beiges and whites.

Solange’s look was by Kenzo and her shoes, Stuart Weitzman. Beyonce wore a Torn dress, about $350, believe it or not.

 

 

Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy Head to Solange's Wedding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image by Rog Walker

 

 

 

 

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Tina their mother (above)  went for some serious old school Hollywood in a white column long sleeve gown. She looked perfectly beautiful. Seriously? Mother of the Bride. Wow.

But for your Hip Reporter, the Best Dressed at Solange’s wedding goes to J Crew’s Jenna Lyons who showed up in a fur jacket, crisp white blouse and ostrich feather evening skirt. It was brilliant, demonstrated thought and respect for the bride’s wishes and just plain looked chic, just more of that mish-mashed glamour we’re used to with Lyons because of her past similar red carpet appearances at the Met Gala.  While everyone took “Dress in All White” literally, Jenna did beautiful parchment shades of  taupes and beiges which looked pretty freaking cool paired with the crumbly patina and shabby chic of the New Orleans backdrop.

Solange just has this insane ability to morph into something bigger than her sister, more interesting —and she proved it once again at her wedding.  Her looks just stay rattling around in your brain because they’re always so creative and so far from Beyonce’s predictable sexy commercialism.  Beyonce is mainstream, Solange, nope.

I’ll always take the girl who walks in to a room dressed a little wiggy. Because wiggy trumps sexy to me any day.

 

 

 

 

 

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Who knew she was this beautiful?

 

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My daughter and I were goofing around in the kitchen talking after Thanksgiving. She was putting on makeup and decided to be silly and emphasize her eyebrows. She has beautiful auburn hair yet her eyebrows are almost a translucent blonde.

She turned around to me after she had made strides to draw on a perfect brow that on her, looked bigger than life considering her natural look and I instantly giggled at her playfulness. I told her she had Joan Crawford eyebrows. But of course being 24, she had no idea who she was. Having the computer handy, I pulled up images of Joan to show her and ended up almost falling off my chair.

I was only vaguely familiar with the Joan Crawford of Bette Davis days in their contentious acting and real life roles in the movie they co-starred in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Their infamously poisonous relationship on set was the stuff of legends to this day and it all centered around competition and jealousy over years and years within their profession as actresses and with the handsome co-stars they fought over for affections.

What I didn’t realize was that Joan was utterly stunning when she was younger that she was not the hairy, eyebrow-ed, beady eyed  and pinch-lipped woman who struggled with mental illness and alcohol and who rumor has it, slept her way to the top, only to tumble down off her perch as age advanced and opportunities diminished. Even back then, the lens of the camera preferred the fresh blush of youth. Joan’s days were numbered and like many Hollywood starlets of her day, she suffered deeply when she aged and was no longer the swan of her youth.

Here follow some breathtaking (some of them surprisingly modern to this day) photographs of Joan Crawford in her youth and heyday. I think they will leave you too, without words as they did me. Who knew she was this beautiful?

Manticore Imaging

 

 

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Five Cold Weather Superstars

 

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Winter is soon upon us.

My pool, a few months ago, a welcoming reflection of summer’s haze now looks a bit sinister. Leaves clutter its bottom and wolf spiders lie in wait in the basket filters to torment and attack me when I go to empty them.

Summer’s last sweet note has been sung–even in South Carolina where I live and now it is time to add layers and layers upon us, draping ourselves in structured blazers, riding boots as vertical as chimneys and sweaters that bulk us up like inflated inner tubes.

Can you tell I am a bit fraught with the onslaught of shorter, nippier days that bring with it the onslaught of winter woolens?

But we can only fight it for so long. My closet looks like a bomb went off in it. I refuse to switch out my summer wardrobe for winter and with cooler temps here in the South lately, I have had to import my cool weather clothes and mix them in with the summer. It’s a mess. I can barely stand to open my closet door. Sigh.

Still, inasmuch as I dread winter rolling in with it’s pervasive gray-ness, I have been working on making my current fall and winter pieces even more ‘au currant’ with the addition of a few well-chosen items that I know will be great investments– and accessories that make those classics completely hip and fresh for a new season ahead.

Here follow five quick must haves for Fall 2014. At least in my opinion.

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1. The Irish Sweater. 

Question:  What is life without one classic Irish sweater hanging in your closet?

Answer:  Like an unending, unforgiving damp rain in Limerick–not nice.

Lest you think the Irish sweater is passe, fuddy-duddy, too preppy, too whatever, listen up–you will never own a better, more flattering, more versatile, more cool sweater in your life except for maybe a black cashmere turtleneck.

The Irish sweater goes with everything hanging in your closet and everything you’ve yet to buy that will hang in your closet.

Pair it with a kilt and moto boots. Subversively sublime. Top it over a striped button down and make sure the tail of your shirt hangs out at the bottom, add booties, boyfriend jeans rolled up so a bit of your leg shows and you’re fashion gold. Pair it with a long peasant skirt and beat up Fryes underneath and channel the crunchy. Top a leather moto jacket in black over it, grab a thick, studded leather bracelet (a la Hermes Collier de Chien, left) aclk  and you have a look you can wear until you’re 99.

 

 

If it was good enough for Steve McQueen about what, fifty years ago, it’s just fine by me.

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You’ll find the best Irish-inspired sweaters at Vince and J Crew.

 

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2. The Mary Jane

 

Every year a designer or two or three or more churns out their version of the Mary Jane. (Above, Yves St Laurent for Fall 2014, about $800)  And just so you know– there are bad, bad Mary Janes out there every year. Really bad.

Here’s the thing:  you are going to have to drop some dinero on a pair of Mary Janes, if you choose to buy.  For whatever reason, they are just that shoe (like a pair of riding boots) that you just can’t skimp on or they look tragic. I have no idea why. I have tried to figure this out. I do not have the answer.

I will say this–Mary Janes that are not well made always, always end up looking dumpy and nerdy and sad. They do. You can argue with me all you want but they do. You have to spend some money on Mary Janes. You can get cheap sandals, you can get cheap pumps but you just cannot get cheap Mary Janes or you look cheap. 

So now that we’ve  got that little spiel out of the way. On to the good stuff.

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This year Ralph Lauren sent his new Polo line (gorgeous!) models down the runway in Mary Janes to chic effect, above and below.

 

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Hedi Slimane, chief designer at Yves St Laurent Mary Jane-d his models on the catwalk.  It was school girl done so not nerdy.

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Chloe made a terrific pair of T-strap Mary Janes for fall, about $400:

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Tory Burch churns out her version of preppy meets urban Mary Janes that are greedily swooped up by women from coast to coast most every season. For Fall 2014, she was inspired by ‘the Mary Jane of Ireland’, the Ghillie, below.

 

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All this to say, Mary Janes get a bad rap. They’re thought of as a nerdy shoe, a frumpy, unnecessary and un-fashion-y addition to one’s image– and that’s just not fair. I have a pair of patent Marc Jacobs Mary Janes from years back that I pull out in the fall. And when I do,  I get stopped.

I find a zillion different ways to wear them; they look modern and fresh every single time. In fact I wore them today to church and while the choir was belting out a hymn, I stole a glance at my Mary Janes and smiled.

J Crew always makes some great Mary Janes that are more affordable.  But stay far, far away from no-name Mary Janes  and the crunchy, hippie kind you see in art communities. No, no and no.

Alexa Chung always inspires me when it comes to Mary Janes. She’s often pictured pairing them with a sexy LBD when a tall, sexy sandal would be chosen by anyone else. She rocks her MJ’s to impressive effect and doesn’t look a bit nerdy:

 

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Love her in Mary Janes and leather skirt, above.

Now this is how you wear a feminine shoe–you take it and wig it out a bit with the edgy–here a pencil leather skirt– and you’ve got a look with the perfect amount of tension–a little lady-like with the subversive. It’s how a modern woman dresses at any age.

 

 

 

 

Cara Delevingne Sighting In London - April 9, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Beanie

The humble beanie has been gaining momentum and for good cause. Everyone can look so cool in them, no matter your hair color, weight, face shape or your age.  A beanie is just universal.

Cara Delivigne, above seems to wear them so well.  And take note: they always look good with two things–chunky sweaters and leather jackets.

There’s a formula to the best look in a beanie:  No pom pom at the top. A bit of a slouch to the back. A thin knit works best. Ribbing makes it extra special and cashmere–well, it’s the ultimate.

The best beanies are by Vince and they’re thin and cashmere and have the perfect slouch, below.

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Ralph Lauren also does a sexy beanie. Go to each respective website and you’ll find them there. Expect to pay somewhere between $75 and $100-plus for a cashmere beanie that will never go out of style, always make you look so louche and will keep your warm for many, many winter moons to come.

And if you’re in Asheville, North Carolina, stop by the imitable store, ‘Street Fair’ on Battery Park Avenue where you’ll find some fabulous beanies (amidst all the other incredible finds) in a basket in the back of the store. It’s a thrill to visit and the thrill of the chase really gets your adrenaline up!

 

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4. The Footless Tight

This was a trend I was perplexed about initially. I have seen footless tights before and have found them unappealing. I’ve thought they are odd and dopey-looking and completely useless and irrelevant.

Now I own a pair.

My opinion did a 180 when I saw the Fall 2014 Ralph Lauren Polo runway images (above). Model after model was working the catwalk in these like it was nobody’s biz. I found myself staring at their legs more than the clothes.

What were these odd things? At first I thought they were leggings. I did a little research and found out no, indeed they were not. These were literally footless tights, paired with those aforementioned Mary Janes, mixed with dresses and skirts! I wanted a pair immediately. It’s no secret my legs aren’t my best feature and yet, with a well-made pair of opaque black tights, they come alive and are less menacing!

I ordered a pair from Ralph Lauren online, curious to try this totally new and for me, unexpected look. I actually wore them today and paired them with my Marc Jacobs Mary Janes, a short tartan plaid skirt and an Irish sweater. I got the once over often because it was such an unusual look and I would like it to think it was not only flattering but confusing…What is she wearing? Are those tights? Are they leggings? Why do they have the foot cut out?

This look is so completely cool, I struggle for words. What could have been really, really bad on me and not age appropriate, ended up being modern, flattering, comfortable and so hip I was sold.

Take a chance this fall and try this runway trend. You can get footless tights at Nordstroms too. The ‘Commando’ brand footless tight Nordies carries online gets high marks and comes in light control. I plan on trying that brand too.

This look is best with Mary Janes. I’ve seen footless tights paired with pumps and to me, it comes of looking a little ‘Flashdance’/clubbin’ to me. Ralph gets it right on the runway with the Mary Janes. I’d stick with those.

 

 

5. The Camp Sock

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If God is in the details, then camp socks or fall 2014 are directly from His hands to our feet. Once again, the Ralph Lauren Fall runway provided inspiration for this look.  Models wore them scrunched with hick-soled clogs and sandals of all things. And did they ever look fantastic.

 

 

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Add a diaphanous, romantic silk dress with it and it’s just inspired dressing.  I bought a pair and wore them with a platform bootie and a Polo RL maxi black henley dress I got for winter, paired with Western concho belt the other day. Yes, I got stopped and yes, I was comfortable to the nth degree.

It’s amazing what a small detail like that will do for a look.

You’ll find the best camp socks in black, navy, and even brown at Ralph Lauren online and J Crew online. And not only are they are cheap pop of cool for your fall looks, they are really comfortable and cozy to wear. You’ll hate to take them off at the end of the day…

 

The cold weather doesn’t seem so menacing with a few well-edited additions to your closet, right?

 

 

 

 

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Interactive Befores and Afters

 

 

Bobbi Brown makeover

Bobbi Brown makeover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behold, the power of the make over.

Perhaps my favorite makeover ‘magician’ is Bobbi Brown. Her vision for a beautiful, appropriate look is spot on. Never too vampy, her touch is midas. I have a few Bobbi Brown books and I love going back to them and taking inspiration from the subtle, often nude way she contours eyes and always adds her signature pop of color ( shocking pink!) on the apples of the cheeks. She’d be the first make up artist I’d love to have an appointment with.

 

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Bobbi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And how could I forget Pat McGrath, British make up artist whose faces have graced Vogue and many a catwalk. Her touch can be more theatrical, less real world. But she’s no less talented. Her faces are often part fantasy, part high fashion.

 

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Pat McGrath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So it was, I was sniffing around on the New York Times web page and found a neat article on make overs for the Spring 2015 runway shows.

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/category/model-morphosis/

 

It is interactive and allows the reader to slide over the models faces to get a feeling of before the make up team does their magic and then after, generally to shocking effect. If you ever wonder how some (not all mind you) of the catwalk models can be so impossibly beautiful, this neat page will let you see them without make up. They look like any fresh faced young woman we’d see anywhere. It’s just that the make up team gets ahold of them, hair and wardrobe descend…voila…the catwalk model is born.

Pat McGrath's work.

Pat McGrath’s work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun glancing at this–and continue to scroll down as it is a full page of befores and afters.  I couldn’t stop moving the pictures back and forth, marveling at the changes.  My two favorite transformations? Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford.  The worst, where they took a perfectly beautiful, exotic girl and created an unfortunate mess? Marc Jacobs.

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That Cape. That Darn Cape.

 

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Ahhhh that we would always remember the ‘art’ that fashion is and always has been. In an era of mass-produced fashion, throw-away looks in chain after chain stocked with often questionable quality (all too soon seams begin to unravel, fabrics dull and  become shapeless), true investment pieces serve to make the basics we all wear look spectacular.

The Hip Report celebrates a closet that embraces the necessity of big box retailers like Gap, J Crew, Banana Republic, etc., for what is a closet without an impeccable Gap Boyfriend white oxford, a J Crew School Boy blazer or a Banana Republic merino sweater?

But with the addition of a pair of Manolo Blahnik BB’s in say, a nude, those basics are elevated to a most terrific level. A cashmere Vince sweater turns a pair of basic jeans into chic and modern, ready for date night and something ‘big.’  A Ralph Lauren vachetta belt in tooled leather adds a real punch to an H&M oversized cardigan.

What counts is knowing where to make the investment and where to go for the affordable. And so it is, I have been sifting through the Fall 2014 runway looks and have been deciding where I could potentially take a hit with an investment piece and where I could just give my bank account a rest and keep it as inexpensive as possible.

I have decided to pursue the acquisition of the Burberry monogrammed blanket cape (above) that Cara Delevigne wore down the runway for Fall 2014.  The moment I saw it I knew it would be sold out quicker than you could say ‘Comfy cozy’ and I was right. I swooned when I pulled it up online. I imagined myself swaddled in it’s warmth and security on a nippy winter Carolina day.

I decided to pop in to my Charlotte Burberry store and inquire about the probability of  a mere mortal like me in the rather deep South calling that little number mine. After an aggravating runaround with a sales associate there who told me she was sorry but ‘The capes are completely unavailable now and oh by the way, would you be interested in anything from the Spring 2015 Prosorum line?’ –was she serious– I left kerfluffled to say the very least.

Christopher Bailey, designer for Burberry has a major home run on his hands with his Burberry poncho.

Christopher Bailey, designer for Burberry has a major home run on his hands with his Burberry cape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have, since this encounter found out a second run of the illusive capes will theoretically be available in November. They are not cheap. And they are really not cheap when you have some ass**** from Florida run off with boatloads of your cash in a greasy business deal he orchestrated, as has happened to my husband and myself. But if karma is a boomerang, that poncho, if I ever get my hands on one will signify more than just some silly luxury.  It will signify that I can take a hit by a man as rotten as a biblical Ahab and still once in awhile, once in a very blue moon, buy something so beautiful, it makes my heart sing and say ‘screw you’ to him.  My modern day ‘Ahab’ didn’t take away my chance to fall in love with a little piece of art to wear if I have anything to say about any of this. No damn way, if I have my way.

As it stands, I am on a ‘cape waiting list’–who knew there was such a thing? If I do get one, I will have the option of having my initials woven in the fabric of the piece. This is no monogram on a machine. It is loomed in to my cape. (I die.)

I imagine myself wearing this for all the days of my life ahead…from 51 to 81. And I will, you can bet that. And it will remind me that my husband and I–we are the ‘comeback kids,’ that we dug and groveled and clawed and dragged ourselves out of being financially victimized by someone as shitty as Bernie Madoff.  We did it.

That’s when clothing becomes more than just something to look pretty in and yes, more even than just an investment:  it becomes an important, emotional milestone.

No J Crew or Gap can do that, folks.

Stay tuned to see if the gods of fate part the heavens and deliver me that cape…to be continued…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Virtual Closet–Do Join Me!

 

 

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Let’s pretend I have a bank account like Melinda Gates. And let’s pretend I get to shop wherever, for whatever my little heart desires from the Fall runway looks.

Below, I’ve picked out my favorite which all add up to one freakishly amazing dream closet for your Hip Reporter. Here goes…

 

Let’s start at Altazurra, one of my favorite lesser-known designers. But he’s really not that lesser known in the fashion circles that be. And you know what? He’s doing a line for Target to be released in September. But he’s been on my Cool-o-Meter for a long time. Him heading to Target? It’s about time. 

Altazurra, Look #14:

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I’m loving this dress (featured in a previous post of The Hip Report) for it’s art gallery vibe. It’s like wearable art in fact inspired by the ’70′s textiles of artist Shelia Hicks…google her…gorgeous, enormous woven wall hangings that almost look like worms wiggling, spilling off walls and on to floors.  These dresses were hand-woven by artisans in  New York, slubs and all.  I’m nuts for the color–I’d stand out at a cocktail party in this and I’d switch out those ugly black shoes for some Jimmy Choo stunners.

 

 

Famous for their luxe basket weave leather handbags, Bottega Veneta also offers clothing I find myself occasionally coveting. 

Bottega Veneta, Look #11

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I’m a sucker for anything paired with a turtleneck and when it’s gray (or black), it’ll surely be a wardrobe favorite.  Mix it with a lime-y green (in the winter–fantastic!) swishy skirt and it’s everything I feel my confident best in.  At Bottega Venetta, fall meant graphic, energy and comfort. Yeah, that’s how I’d sum up this look.  Sold.

 

 

Modern. The height of chic simple. Celine isn’t always on everyone’s radar. But it’s on mine and has been since Michael Kors was designing for it years back. (Yes, that Michael Kors!)

Celine, Look #1

 

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Can you ever have enough coats? Can you ever have enough military inspired coats? No. And no. I’ve forever loved the simple lines of Celine, the easy luxury of supremely beautiful fabrics and cuts. When I enter a Celine boutique, I get rather quiet. I look at seams and shapes and feel the fabrics.  And I walk out, trippy from the perfection of it all.  This coat is sublime. I love the double breasted front, love that its nipped in the waist and am mad for it’s flair from the hips down. It’s classic. But wait–with that one earring trend going on and those fabulous shoes–it’s classic done very, very modern.

 

 

A little man, Alber Elbaz has some of the biggest talent out there. Always the epitome of Parisian chic. 

Lanvin, Looks #4, 13, 14, 34

 

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That skirt is killah. I am not sure a girl like me with the hips I have, could pull all those ruffly ruffles off and not feel a bit like a bootylicious Can-Can dancer but I’d sure as heck give it a whirl. I guess I picked this because I am nuts about the ying and yang of this look: the modern, minimalist turtleneck paired with such a fussy skirt. But it’s what I’m always preaching on my blog: the tension in an outfit–low and high end, prim but something completely off and deconstructed– and in this case: feminine and masculine mashed up.  Only Alber Elbaz could make me love such a frou frou skirt and make me willing to risk it all to wear it.

 

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This outfit is just the pinnacle of perfection. Another home run by Elbaz who dubbed this Fall ’14 collection ‘Triple X’: X-travagant, X-treme and X-periement.’  How to-die-for is that?

I am jonesing for this look for several reasons–I love the monochrome shades of cream with the top and skirt and the soft, subtle gray in that beefy fur coat. (By the way,  those beefy fur coats are pretty hot for Fall ’14.)  I daresay by the way that Elbaz has done tweed far prettier than Karl Lagerfeld at CHANEL this season. Lagerfeld’s tweeds looked cheap. Elbaz, his tweeds are all chicness and timelessness. Everything a tweed is meant to be.

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Heck yeah this would be in my closet. And I would go and look at it and touch it once a day. I can’t imagine where I’d wear this but if there were double coupon days at my local grocer, this is the dress I would pull out to celebrate in. I love the texture.  It’s a LBD done a bit subversive and wicked with the frayed hem and slubby texture.

 

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Minus that awning-like hat, this is how I adore dressing for evening. The conundrum remains–where do I wear something like this with the life I have? But if I had some big life with parties that thrust me in to a social setting with the beautiful and interesting, this is the look I would wear. It’s not for men–meaning it sure as heck isn’t sexy. But it’s languid and fluid and intelligent but quietly beautiful. I don’t need to be a sex bomb at night. It’s never been me. Nope, I’d be the girl in the corner with her bits tucked away and having a party in my head knowing my label said, “Lanvin.”
Dior’s really had a lot of exposure lately. Made more and more famous thanks to Jennifer Lawrence wearing Dior couture on the red carpet,  her impish personality has rendered it unexpectedly youthful and modern. 

Christian Dior, Look #26

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I’m generally not the Christian Dior girl. Dior’s look is a bit too origami-looking for me–like abstract art but this jacket made me do a double-take. I can imagine the seams in it are like steel girders in a skyscraper–they support this jacket and make it like architecture, a work of art. I know it lays perfectly on the human body, enhancing the curves and yet supporting as it should to perfect effect and I bet those button holes are like works of art too.  This is a jacket you would never let part from your closet. It’s that perfect.

 

 

Not the biggest fan of LV handbags but perennially dy-ing over the clothes. With new deisgner Nicolas Ghesquiere at the helm now, I can sleep peaceful knowing the iconic house is in good hands indeed, now that Marc Jacobs has resigned.  

Louis Vuitton, Look # 1

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Reminding me of Ali Mc Graw with a mish mash of preppy and 60′s mod, this first look at Louis Vuitton, Fall ’14 mesmerized me. Worn perfectly by model Freda Beha Erichsen, everything about it is right–from the cream turtleneck to the cream jumper, to the black boots and black leather coat with orange lapels. Here’s the thing: you have to have a certain look to pull this off and fortunately this is one era (the 60′s) your Hip Reporter can rock. Give me anything 50′s and I look tragic. But there’s something about preppy and something about the 60′s that I can work.  And of course I am taking note of the one earring trend on Freda too. All of this is just everything I want to be when I walk out of my house and take on the world.

 

 

Is there any design house that can make black look even more cool year after year… I go to our boutique, Capitol here in Charlotte, North Carolina to just stare at and touch the St Laurent. (I really do.)

Yves St. Laurent, Looks #3, 4, 10, 15

 

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Maybe in some other life I wanted to wear a school uniform. Or maybe in another life I wanted to live in the Highlands of Scotland. Who knows but when you combine both those themes, you get this Yves St. Laurent look above, that is as classic as it gets and it makes my eyes watery with pure joy. THIS is how you can dress from 5 to 100. The older you get, the funkier the accessories need to be and the longer the skirt –and boots for sure by the time you’re 50.  This is a look that will be recycled when my children’s children have children. You get the point. This is forever cool and made only freakishly cooler than cool because it’s Yves St Laurent. My heart is palpitating. Excuse me while I collect myself for a moment…and forgive me for using ‘cool’ so much but there’s no other word I am feeling right now.

 

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Now we add a gray flannel skirt and a double-breasted coat and it’s more of the same: freakishly cool and forever flattering. Hair needs to be messy. Remember, something has to be ‘off.’ No perfect prim school girl. Keep it a touch whacked out.

 

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And speaking of whacked out, I will take this revolver dress for the days I am tired of being a bit Catholic school girl-y. Only Yves St Laurent can make wearing firearms desirable. Paired with tights and a leather jacket, it’s urban genius. Imagine this at the PTA meeting: so socially wrong but so stylistically right.

 

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A houndstooth coat. A houndstooth coat. I need say no more. Except remember, this is a Yves St Laurent houndstooth coat. Can you imagine the pixie dust on this coat that would rub off on you while you wore it? Magical. 

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of the Italian designers but I always make concessions for Gucci which I more than adore. 

Gucci, Look #31

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You can never have too many LBDs and this one may just be one of the biggest home runs I have seen for fall. The iconic bridle bit belt is pure old school Gucci and the high neckline and the flare from the waist down is demure and yet so sexy. I love the pink snakeskin boots with it, proving that it’s all in the accessorizing when it comes to the LBD. Imagine if those were black pumps. A whole different vibe. I’ll take this entire look, top to bottom. This is how I dream of looking after dark–a little prim, a little wiggy with those nutty boots.

 

 

No longer khaki trenches and plaid handbags, Burberry has in the past several years, become ‘hip central’ because of its innovative designs that take the classic and turn it wildly but perfectly upside down. It’s like an English auntie who’s all prim but has a dirty secret…

Burberry Prorsum, Look #51

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The last look down the Fall ’14 Burberry runway was our girl of the moment, Cara Delevigne in a monogrammed Prorsum blanket cape. I continue to still try and figure out how I can snag this cape. I envision myself wearing it on an airplane, hiding from some wack-a-doodle next to me, or wrapping myself up Eskimo-style in a movie theater where temps are consistently sub arctic or cocooning in it for privacy, warmth and comfort any time I want to step away from the world and hide. I would never find such happiness again in my life, being wrapped in this magnificent swath of wool. And of course I’d get it monogrammed. I love the font.

 

 

My homeboy. He taught me it’s ok to not be perfect. 

Marc Jacobs, Look #22

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This outfit would be for those days that I just want to be comfortable and warm on a nippy Carolina day.  I’d probably bag those shoes; they’re a bit too Jetsons looking.  That coat looks scrumptious and I love the soft color palette. I think looks like this –where there’s little color– can be so beyond the pale chic, we often forget about its high intensity impact.  I picture myself wearing this on a trip to Chicago too. I’d walk down the Miracle Mile and those winds off Lake Michigan, they’d just make me giggle.

 

 

My favorite designer probably of all time. Mr. All-American.

Polo Ralph Lauren, Look #9

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I have a serape sweater on my ‘To Buy’ list this fall and of course it has to be a Ralph Lauren because only he gets how to do it right from the colors, to pattern, to details like the buttons. I’d wear this constantly, with such great pride and pair it with just about anything.  Nothing to me is more iconic and more noble than the West and its motifs. And no one does it better than RL.

 

 

 I am still trying to find out a way to marry Tom Ford. So is the rest of America. Male and female. 

Tom Ford, Look #20

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It might be a stretch for this curvy girl to again, fit in to a dress this straight up and down but as the heavens are my witness, I would try. I’d wear this dress clubbin’, though I am no ‘clubber’–but  I would probably take up nightly clubbin’ if I had this little frock to wear out. What’s it all mean? Well, enter Jay-Z where he not only dedicated an entire track to Ford on the album, he repeatedly raps his name in the chorus. The stand out line of the song is, of course, the quip “I don’t pop Molly / I rock Tom Ford”, referring to the fact Jay-Z doesn’t dabble in ecstasy; he gets his kicks from wearing Ford.  So Tom made this in honor of the rapper. I couldn’t agree more: I don’t pop Molly but listen,  I could, I swear if I had the chance, rock Tom Ford.

 

I love walking in our Charlotte Hermes store and taking a long, deep inhale. All that leather gives me a nice, stoner high. And don’t get me going on the clothes.

Hermes Look #36

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Channeling Bianca Jagger in the ’70′s wearing her Halston at CBGB, this cream pantsuit from Hermes screams louche.  It also rather reminds me of Lauren Hutton–both of these women oozing femininity in two completely different ways. The older I get the more I think about the one, two punch of a cream blazer and smoking pants and I suspect before I hit the next decade, I’ll have one hanging in my closet to wear till I’m 97. I could only hope it’d be Hermes. Can you imagine?

 

The epitome of youthful cool, Alexander Wang can dress me any day. I own a pair of his heels and they are the most spectacularly engineered footwear I own. They’re art for the foot. His designs always seem appropriate surrounded by concrete–read: urban. 

Alexander Wang, Look #15

 

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I picked this look because it’s a silhouette I wear often in the winter: shorter skirt, turtleneck and boots. It suits my lifestyle and figure. I’m mad for the over the knee boots here ( a huge trend this year) and I love how cozy that sweater looks.  The blue in it makes me happy but I like too, there’s some gray and black. What’s winter without gray and black–a must for me. The blue just gives it a good pop. I could see myself wearing this on casual Friday and just feeling right in it. Not too much, not too little. But completely edgy and utterly fabulous for a trip to Target, right?

 

 

Prada is often an enigma to me. I love it but am often confounded how to wear it with confidence. All those clashing colors and fabrics, textures and patterns send me in to some other dimensional sensory overload. Still, drawn like a moth to the flame, I find myself always checking in each season to see what fantasmagoric magic Miuccia Prada has spun from her savant mind. 

Prada, Look #14 

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I’m a product of the ’70′s and ’80′s–you know–the shoes match the dress, matches the bag and the nail polish. It has taken years of deprogramming to come to the conclusion that not everything we wear at one time has to make complete sense. It’s ok to inject something ever so slightly dissonant so as not to be utterly predictable and perfect–the ‘keep ‘em guessing’ mentality.   Miuccia Prada has spent her design career cajoling us in to glorious confusion with wildly clashing prints and patterns, almost grandma-like bejeweled dresses and coats and the craziest shoes. I’m finally ok with all this schizophrenic activity, in fact I’m starting to empathize with it, recently wearing a Collection J Crew striped midi pencil skirt with a  Marc Jacobs Spring ’14 red jungle print top. It was a bold move for me but I’ve never felt more chic or pleased with the clashing outcome.  I love this dress above,  and would select it for several reasons: one, I’m looking for a shirtdress for Fall to define my wardrobe,  two, I love the colors in this (they are stunning with glossy black boots) and three, the art deco pattern reminds me of Sonia Delaunay, an artist whose round, colorful circles and half circles were shockingly modern for her time. (She was born in 1885 and died in 1979, google her art–so completely hip for a woman born in the Ukraine!) I would wear this dress constantly, once the weather started to turn chilly, even so much as pairing it with a cashmere turtleneck and a Tory Burch black shearling vest I own that goes to my knees. I might feel a little Dr Zhivago in it, with the shearling vest and boots, Da? Vodka anyone?

 

 

There you go. There’s my dream closet for Fall ’14. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that, of course. 

 

 

 

 

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A Changing of the Guard at LV Ushers a Replacement for Marc Jacobs

 

 

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Regarding the inaugural Fall 2014 runway show for Louis Vuitton:

“There was a tender typewritten note from Nicolas Ghesquière on every seat at his first show for Louis Vuitton this morning. “Today is a new day. A big day…Words cannot express exactly how I am feeling at this moment…Above all, immense joy.” Emotions were high in the crowd, too. Few designers are as beloved, respected, or copied as Ghesquière is, and he’s been off the scene and badly missed since his departure from Balenciaga a year and a half ago.”

-Style.com

 

Marc Jacobs has left the house. Literally.

This is in no way news.  Marc’s last collection for the big, no, ginormously gigantic fashion megopolis was Spring ’14 (below)  where he sent us to a dark carnival, complete with references to his early glory days when he enlisted Stephen Sprouse to graffiti-up those stuffy LV monogram bags, as much as telling us that luxury and street could and should co-exist nicely, thank you very much.

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Jacobs decided that he wanted to focus on his own label exclusively and so he left us all wondering how any one could possibly follow his billion dollar (yes, billion) success at Vuitton, taking a design house that was making $20 million sixteen years ago, to a billion where it is today.

As Jacobs exited, Nicolas Ghesquiere (photo, top) was ushered in. The fashion world and the women all over who had been Jacobs’ groupies (like myself) held their collective breath, thinking Ghesquiuere had a thankless job. After all, how do you follow those Stephen Sprouse graffiti bags and clothes, Murikami cherries, Yayoi Kusama’s schizophrenic dots and everything else Vuitton became under Jacobs’ creative tenure? It’s a monumental undertaking.

Ghesquiere has risen to the challenge with grace and eloquence. Thrilling!

Giving nod to a mod ’60′s vibe but with the classicism and elegance of Vuitton, Ghesquiere tapped in to tweed and equestrian themes to boot, all of it understated, considering it is Vuitton and considering too,  what Jacobs had sent down the runway a season prior for his final collection in the spring.

All in all it was a collection that I suspect will be flying out of the stores because it is so eminently wearable. And good news- it’s a season brimming with looks that we mere mortals emulate easily and beautifully without juicy bank accounts.  Bits of it are J Crew ramped up to a certain level of luxury that’s hard to duplicate– but focus on details…a great belt, immaculate boots and a beautiful cream cashmere turtleneck with a tweed jacket. We can all do that, right?

And don’t forget to note the one earring trend in the shoot: modern to be sure but it takes someone with nerve and no OCD. –Otherwise you’re surely going to feel incomplete with two different earrings of different sizes. Your Hip Reporter’s advice–why not give it a whirl being asymmetrical…

(Photos of Fall ’14 Louis Vuitton below,  courtesy of Interview Magazine)

 

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The Hip Report Is Now on Instagram

 

 

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(In a 2013 Fall/Winter Marc Jacobs Optic Dress, taken at Capitol in Charlotte, NC)

 

 

I was recently urged by my son who manages the logistics of my blog, that I need to get The Hip Report on Instagram and document life as I see it, with my aesthetic.

I think social media is both a blessing and a curse; there’s nothing else to say. It’s all been said on that hot topic.

So know that I open my account to the world with trepidation. However, I just started following Tory Burch on Instagram with her posts being by far my favorite of all my Instagram contacts.  She gives me peek in to her world which is incredible:  lighthearted, busy, creative and colorful.  Tory is great inspiration for my own Instagram postings so I decided to run with it and give it a whirl.

 

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(A recent Instagram posting from Tory Burch)

 

The Hip Report Instagram can be found at PANUB2 if you’re interested in following all that I see, of course with my own spin of humor and curiosity. I’m based in Charlotte, North Carolina, a pretty magnificent place to live with the mountains only an hour and a half west and the ocean to our east, about three hours.  So if you don’t live in the South, you’ll get a glimpse in to life here which is in my mind, pretty perfect.

And of course you know I’ll document fashion and beautiful things.  Come on, that goes without saying.

 

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Are You Game for the One Earring Trend?

 

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I was visiting Atlanta recently, a fun weekend trip to Buckhead to relax and shop.  My visit turned a bit sour to say the least when I returned home to discover as I was unpacking, that I had lost a cherished CHANEL CC earring–my favorite–at the hotel.

If I even think about it now, I get a pit in my stomach.  I don’t have a splendid jewelry collection, instead my husband and I made the decision to purchase a business with any extra monies we had saved through the decades of our marriage.  But along the way, I had managed to collect a few pieces of CHANEL that I adore.

My sad loss turned hopeful when I started noticing the one earring trend. (above, Louis Vuitton)  Now I could still get use out of that one beautiful earring that remained and be au courant.  For Fall, I will be rocking my one CC earring with a single Diamonds by the Yard Elsa Peretti stud in the other ear. I expect to be stopped by those not privy to the latest one earring trend and my intentions and have them say something like this: “You know you have two different earrings in?”

At that point, I’ll know they just don’t read The Hip Report.

Louis Vuitton, Celine, Isabel Marant and Cushnie et Ochs have sent models down the runway for Fall ’14 wearing one large statement earring.  It might be something for the rest of us to get used to but I love the art school, youthful look of it.

 

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Louis Vuitton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celine

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Cushnie et Ochs

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Even Dior sent those double sided pearls down in Spring 2014–those infamous double-sided pearls I noted Tory Burch wearing on her visit to Charlotte.  She was wearing two but wearing one is encouraged if you’re to take a runway trend literally.

The best way to wear one earring is your choice:  a large statement or luxury earring– or a smaller designer earring complimented by a stud in the other ear. You might feel off-kilter the first time you do it but in your circle of influence, you could start your own trademark and inspire those around you to embrace this runway trend.

Here follow some red carpet photos of the perennially stylish Emma Watson working her one earring look.  Inspiration indeed.

(Photos courtesy of style.com and Teen Vogue) 

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