Spring 2012 Preview: H.H. Brown Shoe Co.

As written for I Heart Heels
I recently popped by the H.H. Brown Shoe Co. FFANY Festival held at their newly unveiled 21,000-square-foot showroom, featuring row upon row of fabulous shoes. The Fashion Footwear Association of New York definitely knows how to throw a party, and the gorgeous evening included NYC-inspired cuisine and a sweet performance by the original cast of Jersey Boys. But more importantly… the shoes!

Though it’s nearly a year away, Spring 2012 is shaping up to be a hot season with fresh colors like tangerine, lemon, salmon and baby blue. Chic silhouettes included perforated flats, peep-toe wedges and chunky wooden heels all embellished with sweet touches of blossoms, bows and studs. Oxford shoes came as a surprise for spring, but these are certainly season-appropriate in a variety of soft colors, unlike the blacks, browns and grays the lace-up style is typically known for. Can’t wait for these styles to hit shelves! A few of my favorites from Born, Born Crown and Kork-Ease, above.

The Nail Files Mobile Spa with Katie Cazorla

As written for I Heart Heels
The TV Guide Network’s Nail Files Mobile Spa recently rolled into New York, so naturally, I just had to treat myself to a free manicure. The nail salon-on-wheels is a miniature replica of The Painted Nail, a chic nail boutique located in Los Angeles, CA. Owned by the adorably quirky Katie Cazorla, The Painted Nail is the setting for a fun new reality series, Nail Files, airing Tuesdays at 10pm EST on the TV Guide Network. From the creators of Jersey Shore, the reality series follows Katie and her unique team of nail technicians and high-profile Hollywood clientele such as Hilary Duff, Paula Abdul and Deborah Gibson.

I felt absolutely fabulous after getting a coat of Stiletto (black) with a sparkling top coat of Pink Quin (pink glitter), so after showing Katie my new polish (she loved the black/pink combo), we chatted for a few minutes about all things beauty. I have a few friends who are afraid they’re too old to try bright, bold nail colors, aside from the safety of reds and pinks, so I  asked Katie her thoughts. “No! Bright colors are hot, especially for summer,” she says. “You’re never too hold to have fun with your nail color. But the best thing is, if you don’t like it, you can take it right off. It’s not permanent.” As a chronic nail-biter, I also had to see if she had any tips for me. “Get a manicure. If you’re nails look nice, you’re less inclined to bite.” Well, then. Done and done. Thanks, Katie! (Oh, and Katie assured me that despite working on her feet 24/7 at the salon, she always wears a hot pair of heels.)

HSN Hollywood Glam: Summer Preview

As written for I Heart Heels
Brimming with some of the hottest jewelry and handbag designers from Badgley Mischka to Lulu Guinness, the HSN Hollywood Glam Accessories Event held last month in New York City brought in a swarm of accessories-obsessed fashion editors and bloggers all ready to take in the latest the leading interactive shopping network has to offer.

Beautiful, vintage-inspired pieces often stop me in my tracks, and the one-of-a-kind, ultra-romantic cameos designed by Amedeo did not disappoint. Badgley Mischka’s HSN-exclusive line, “American Glamour,” was equally gorgeous, showcasing luxurious, yet affordable scarves, watches and hats, all perfectly aligned with the collection’s motto, “Live everyday glamorously.” Continue reading

Katherine Kwei — Fall 2011 Preview

As written for I Heart Heels
Much like her Spring 2011 Preview, Katherine Kwei debuted her Autumn/Winter 2011 line of handbags and clutches while paying homage to her Chinese roots. Hosted in the Thompson LES Hotel, the private event featured hot tea, dim dum and do-it-yourself Chinese knot bracelets, a fun activity that I couldn’t quite grasp. The complex Chinese knot serves as inspiration for many of Kwei’s accessories, so I’ll leave that to the pro herself! Her signature knotted fringe (a technique I love) adorned many of the items, as did the raised knotted trim on embossed leather pieces such as the Jessica Shoulder Bag and Vivian Tote. Earth tones such as sage, slate and sand were a staple among the classic cross-body bags and totes, and party-perfect metallics, pinks and purples were prevalent among the gorgeous evening clutches and wallet-sized accessories. Photos courtesy of Small Girls PR.

Amanda Pearl — Fall 2011 Preview

As written for I Heart Heels
Strolling into Amanda Pearl‘s Empire Hotel suite for her Fall/Winter 2011 presentation was akin to setting foot inside a brightly colored candy store for accessory-obsessed adults. Pearl’s gorgeous necklaces, earrings, handbags and mini clutches sparkled and shined as evening descended upon the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week merely two blocks away.

The intricate detailing was truly astonishing, with glittering gemstones, pearls and beads applied by hand, framing the couture clutches. Invitingly rich fabrics like satin, brocade and raffia begged to be touched, while Amanda’s popular Alessia gold-plated cage clutch remained a front runner in new hues, along with the stunning micro-sparkle “Octo” clutch. And just like on the runways, leopard prints and bold color combos paired with luxe chain links are sure to be a mainstay for Fall 2011, which can be found on everything from handbags to oversize beaded necklaces and drop earrings. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week: Nanette Lepore

As written for I Heart Heels
Nanette Lepore‘s show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week felt more like spring topped off with a cozy cardigan than Fall/Winter 2011. Breezy maxi dresses in soft, silky chiffon-esque fabrics dominated, many of which were paired with a chic chunky cardigan in a similar hue akin to Tracy Reese or cinched with a lush black ribbon a la Monique Lhuillier. Rest assured that Lepore put her own romantic spin on the ethereal styles by incorporating  light shades of turquoise, mustard and ivory, as well as a hint of silver metallic and a sprinkle of floral prints. Surprisingly, tweed jackets and a few dark vented styles also made an appearance, with each look anchored by a pair of platform wedges.

Front-row attendees included Gossip Girl‘s Kelly Rutherford, TV personality Natalie Morales and the HuffPo‘s Arianna Huffington. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week 2011: Yigal Azrouël

As written for I Heart Heels
Despite the 9am time slot at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Yigal Azrouël‘s Fall/Winter 2011 collection provided a much-needed jolt of energy to those in attendance. The energetic, menswear-inspired styles housed bright pops of color in electric pink, bold blue, kelly green and sunny mustard hues. The girl-meets-boy aesthetic was apparent in cropped pants, shearling-trimmed coats, tailored blazers and conservative-but-chic dresses and pencil skirts. And everything, I repeat (almost) everything, was cinched with a skinny black belt, including high-waist trousers, long-sleeve dresses and tuxedo jackets.

I envisioned wearing any of Azrouël’s outfits to a potential job interview — not too buttoned-up with just the right amount of chic. Front-row attendees like actress Vanessa Hudgens and model Alexandra Richards likely had the same idea. Continue reading