NY Fashion Week 2011: Milly

As written for I Heart Heels
It’s official. Milly by Michelle Smith has made it into my top three must-have fashion designers, alongside alice + olivia and Monique Lhuillier. Milly’s playful, vibrant collection was a refreshing change of pace from the more serious styles and dark hues ruling the Lincoln Center runways for Fall 2011. Youthful, luxurious Gossip Girl-esque silhouettes like wool cape jackets, mohair tweed skirts, silk blouses and corduroy blazers reigned in an array of jewel tones like emerald, plum, sapphire, mustard and burgundy. Bold fuschias, mangos and cherry reds ran rampant and were styled beautifully with other brights, but also with neutrals like gray, camel and black, making the vivid colors all the more wearable. Statement prints included chunky plaids, argyle and intricate feather and medallion patterns. Needless to say, there wasn’t a piece I didn’t absolutely love. Oversize handbags and envelope clutches, along with brightly printed scarves, bucket hats and vintage sunglasses, completed the chic collection.

Front-row Milly fans included Elizabeth Hasselbeck and her daughter, Grace, along with Kristin Chenoweth and Tinsley Mortimer. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week 2011: alice + olivia


As written for I Heart Heels
The alice + olivia presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week never fails to be a monumental extravaganza, and this year was no different. Hosted at the luxurious Plaza Hotel, Stacy Bendet’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection took a cue from the 1920s with Gatsby-inspired styles adorned with lace, feathers, embroidery and pops of fur wherever it would fit. Flapper-inspired beaded dresses and high-waist skirts paired beautifully with thigh-high boots and platform pumps — lending a modern twist to the jazz-era pieces. Bold geometric prints stood out without being overly fussy, and Bendet chose a pleasing palette of mostly burgundy, beige, copper, ivory and black hues.

Appropriately, ruby-red lips and vintage pearls elegantly completed the looks on display while a burlesque dancer and A-list party-goers like Brittany Snow, Vanessa Hudgens and Kelly Rutherford mingled about. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week 2011: Monique Lhuillier


As written for I Heart Heels
Always a personal favorite, Monique Lhuillier lived up to the hype yet again during her Fall 2011 presentation at Lincoln Center. The models embraced an Old Hollywood vibe with pin-curled up ‘dos and minimal accessories, keeping our attention on what Lhuillier does best — the dresses.

Predominately dark hues of black and navy stood out in rich fabrics of chiffon, lace, tulle and velvet. The occasional pop of ruby red and nude made an elegant appearance, many of which were adorned with oversized velvet bows, much to my delight! Tame, subtle spots of leopard print also made their Lhuillier debut, along with aptly placed ostrich feathers. The textures and dramatic shapes were candy to my eyes and will most certainly be displayed on a red carpet or two next fall, as front-row attendees this year included actresses Julia Stiles and Brittany Snow, as well as model Alexandra Richards. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week 2011: Tracy Reese

As written for I Heart Heels
Mix one part cozy with two parts elegant and the bohemian-inspired Fall 2011 collection by Tracy Reese is what you get. All eyes were on an unlikely pairing, a look that even the curviest ladies can pull off — chunky knit sweaters and ponchos paired with glittering, jewel-hued gowns and mini-pleated maxi skirts. Love. Pops of fur and beaded embellishments also made an appearance among eye-catching colors like jade, copper, amber and plum.

The hippie-chic models kept it natural with minimal makeup and long, wavy hair of all shades which reflected beautifully off of Reese’s lush RTW pieces. Front-row starlets included actresses Gabrielle Union and Julia Stiles, along with the Today show’s Natalie Morales, model Veronica Webb, Caroline Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and celebrity stylist June Ambrose. Continue reading

NY Fashion Week 2011: Jenny Packham

As written for I Heart Heels
Worn by everyone from Keira Knightly to Katy Perry to Sandra Bullock, Jenny Packham often spans a variety of personalities and styles. But her Fall 2011 collection had a one-track mind; synonymous with neutral hues and whisper-soft fabrics, dripping with intricate embellishments comprised of metallic beading and shimmering sequins. Sleeveless cocktail dresses, one-shoulder gowns and plunging tunics ranged in colors such as ivory, nude, gold, gunmetal, silver and midnight black.

Packham’s models displayed untamed, soft tresses and glowing makeup, both of which complimented her weightless designs beautifully. Perhaps due to the 9am start time at Lincoln Center, front-row attendees were limited to actresses Emma Roberts and Shantel VanSanten. Continue reading

PETA Kicks Off Fashion Week

As written for I Heart Heels
While Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was kicking into high gear at uptown’s Lincoln Center, PETA supporters were rallying downtown at Stella McCartney’s chic boutique for a major Fashion Week Bash hosted by Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn and actress Olivia Munn. Gunn screened his anti-fur video, which showcases not only how animals suffer needlessly in the name of fur, wool, leather and exotic skins, but also how many of those in the fashion industry have adopted animal-friendly policies (including Gunn’s own Liz Claiborne). The video most definitely made an impact on the crowd, as gasps were heard around the room during the heart-wrenching clip.

Shortly after the video aired, actress Taraji P. Henson gave a moving speech about her resolve to say no to fur fashions and revealed her sexy “Fur? I’d Rather Go Naked” ad campaign. Hollywood animal lovers in attendance included Joan Jett, Lo Bosworth, Stephanie Pratt, Russell Simmons and DJ Lady Bunny. In typical I Heart Heels fashion, I couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of Pratt’s gorgeous buckled ankle boots. When asked, she kindly shared that they’re by Sam Edelman — it’s the Zoe Boot, which retails for an affordable $199 on Shoes.com. (Though I must confess, these boots are made of real leather. I’m not judging, as I wore my leather Steve Madden boots last night, but for the record, I did leave with a firm resolve to steer clear of styles that are strictly a result of animal cruelty.) Continue reading

Patricia Nash — Fall 2011 Preview

As written for I Heart Heels
Walking into the Patricia Nash showroom to view her Fall 2011 line was akin to stepping into the handbag version of a Frye boots boutique. Strong leather shoulder bags and satchels with intricate stitching and brass buckles rested upon glass shelves. Beautiful bags colored with chestnut, black, evergreen and a stunning floral-print leather sat in a  floor-to-ceiling display, as I envisioned rocking this bag with a bohemian maxi dress. I soon found that the bag I was eyeing is Patricia’s best seller, called the Barcellona. Read on for my Q&A with designer Patricia Nash after the jump. Continue reading