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Friday

Olivia Palermo: A Blog on Fashion and Travel

Olivia Palermo, former bad girl on The City, will be launching a fashion blog featuring her style advice and fashion finds, she reported to Women’s Wear Daily.
The blog, to be named oliviapalermo.com, was originally supposed to launch in August, but after some delay it is due to release at any time.
“It will launch at the end of this month for sure,” Olivia said in an interview with Fashionista.com. “I pushed [the dates] back a little to make sure it was absolutely perfect, and I’m really, really excited.”
Olivia’s stint on The City shot her up to global fashion icon status and her unique style has become adored by fans everywhere. She is a consistently classy dresser, but always adds a personal twist that makes her outfits memorable and exciting. Her uncanny ability to mix couture pieces with chain-store finds and the way she accessorizes have produced gasps of adoration from around the world.
In the blog, she wants to focus mainly on her travels, as well as fashion, up-and-coming designers, accessories and “everything that I love”. She also plans to share pictures of must-buy fashion and beauty items, as well as some personal style opinions.
Costume jewelry adorned by Palermo.
“It’s got a little bit of everything,” she said. “I do have a great love and appreciation for fashion so being able to share some style tips is cool.”
  
Olivia also revealed to Fashionista.com that her “wonderful team” of writers will cover Fashion Week in New York and across the pond. A regular at Fashion Weeks everywhere, she plans to incorporate those experiences and fashion finds into her blog.
  
There’s no doubt Olivia Palermo is a style force to be reckoned with. Fashionistas everywhere are holding their breath and calming their pounding hearts as they wait for the blog’s release.
Kristin Weisell

Be a Force of Beauty: Bare Escentuals Launches New Series of Ads

We’ve all seen hundreds of TV and print make-up ads from multiple companies. They always feature practically perfect looking models and/or actresses smiling for a photographer with the idea that if you buy this product you will look just like the women in the ads.

Bare Escentuals is changing all of that with their new campaign, and it's all in the slogan: Pretty is what you are; beauty is what you do. That is the idea behind the company’s new ‘Be a Force of Beauty’ global campaign.
A look at the new campaign.
Bare Escentuals, a company who rakes in nearly $1 billion a year in revenue, is known for their ideas that make-up should not only make a woman look good, but also feel good.

These new ads concentrate on more than just selling the benefits of wearing make-up. They focus on the idea that beauty is more than just a pretty face; it’s about what you do and how you affect the world around you.

“We can all be pretty but beauty is an action,’’ Leslie Blodgett, Bare Essentials executive chair told the New York Times.

To ensure the campaign stayed true to its message the Bare Escentuals team set out to do a blind casting of women ages 20 to 60 all across the U.S. to find their five spokes models. The Bare Escentuals representatives were not allowed to see any of the women until they were chosen for the campaign, instead the 270 candidates had to fill out extensive questionnaires about who they were.

“Do you know how challenging that is?” Blodgett said to the New York Times. “What if all five of them were blonde, blue-eyed and 30?”

Xanthe Hohalek, a creative director who worked on the campaign, said the company was looking for women who embody qualities like inspiration and humility and who had interesting stories to tell. “We were looking for something that was much more personality-driven,” Hohalek said to the New York Times.

The potential spokes models were narrowed down from the original 270 to 70 and brought in for casting calls. The casting calls were still blind auditions since the casting directors couldn’t see but could only hear the models being interviewed. 

From the interviews, five women were chosen to represent the ‘Be a Force of Beauty’ campaign including an environmental activist, a volunteer firefighter, and a second degree black belt with a degree in mechanical engineering.

The campaign, which just launched this fall, features all five models in natural looks that appear un-retouched with the tag line of “Pretty Attracts Us. Beauty Changes Us.”

 “We’re leaving in everything that they came with on their face. Every line, wrinkle, puffy bloodshot eye,” Blodgett said to the New York Times. “We have a responsibility as a beauty company to start changing the images that women see.”

To find out more about the campaign, get to know the models, or shop the Bare Escentuals collections check out the Bare Escentuals website.

Vanja Veric

Thursday

Campus Representatives: Taking Over Arizona State

It’s common to believe that you are one designer biggest fan, but it’s Arizona State University’s “campus reps” that really wear the foam finger. 

Brands like Vince Camuto, Victoria Secret’s PINK, and J Crew are among many companies that elicit college campus representation through means of the campus’ very own students. We all know there are days where the Sun Devil’s stomping grounds are made vehicle for sweats and big tees; however the days that transform remedial to runway are the days we can thank our campus reps for. 

It is because of them that motivation to model certain wardrobes is made possible. ASU’s Tara Molina, a campus rep for Vince Camuto, explained that the process for becoming a campus rep is lengthy but extremely rewarding.

“The incentives that stem from being a campus rep for a top designer like Vince Camuto are endless, such as the many connections you can make through doing so”, Tara said. The main objective for being a rep is to distribute promotional materials for the company along with visiting many different clubs and organizations. It hones in on the ability to recognize the different demographics of people and what their fashion preferences might entail. 

Taylor Musselman, ASU’s campus rep for J Crew, said, “I think my appreciation for fashion has only grown through this process because I’m constantly exposed to it and want to represent J Crew in a fashionable manner.” 

Being a campus rep ranges from devising marketing plans to simply wearing your product with pride.  Immersing yourself in this credible and unique opportunity requires commitment, high energy, and the obvious flare for fashion.

No matter if you’re currently a campus representative or not, be sure to always stand for something, whether it’s a brand or simply your own brilliance.


Avery Robrock

Entertaining with Cupcakes and Cashmere for Juicy Couture

On Monday Emily Schuman, the writer of the popular blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, released her first video in a three part series that features her collaboration with Juicy Couture.

Cupcakes and Cashmere is a lifestyle blog geared toward young women. It features recipes, style advice, DIY ideas and interior design inspiration. 

The videos will highlight some of Emily’s favorite pieces from Juicy Couture’s Fall/Winter collection. The first video titled Entertaining with Cupcakes and Cashmere is relatively short, only spanning one minute, and goes through Emily’s typical preparation for entertaining guests including music, candles, food presentation and table setting.
A Look at the Video
Emily features two Juicy Couture outfits, one skirt, t-shirt and cardigan combination, and a vintage-inspired black dress at the end. All of the jewelry she wears is Juicy Couture as well.

With 112 Facebook “likes” and 244 comments on the blog entry there seems to be nothing but praise from Cupcakes and Cashmere readers for the collaboration.

On Cupcakes and Cashmere, Miyan commented, “This was insightful. I would have never thought to create a unique playlist for the evening or to use unscented candles so not to clash with other overwhelming scents. Love this, thanks for sharing! And can’t wait to see the next ones…”

Lou also praised the video on Cupcakes and Cashmere and said, “This is a great video, that highlights all of your great tips. I love it.”

Needless to say the video has been a success so far, there is not yet a release date for the next video however; in the mean time Refinery 29 is hosting the video and allowing viewers the opportunity to win a Juicy Couture gift card, a necklace featured in the video, and a virtual styling session with Emily.  

Jamie Killin

Wednesday

Steve Madden Works the 'Work Boot'

Steve Madden’s new fall collection features what else? Boots, boots and more boots! He has incorporated styles varying from full knee length to fun-sized booties. But where did his inspirations come from? His looks resemble styles often seen by outdoorsmen and horseback riders. Yes, I am talking about those manly hiking boots and classy horseback riding boots. I know you are all curious about what makes these styles “Steve Madden worthy”, because let’s face it; he is kind of a shoe God.

Hiking boots originated in 1906 here in the good ‘ole USA strictly for the men and women of the wilderness and have grown into what they are today: sturdy, durable, and dare I say comfortable. They have made their influences on the manliest of jobs: the hands-on workers, construction workers, steel makers and whatever else kind of job would require a steel-toed shoe and a hard hat. 

Credit: Steve Madden
The riding boot had its debut in a more upscale tone. England was one of the first countries to sport a boot for horseback riding. Typically, these were seen worn by the high-class tea sippers who owned show horses. Their first riding boots came in four different heights, depending on the preference of the rider. However, they were made for all of the same reasons as the hiking boot: comfort for the man or woman who wore them. 
Credit: Steve Madden
Steve Madden's new fall collection adds just the perfect amount of twist to these styles and makes them a must have for this fall. And to top it off, according to zappos.com the reviews of the boots are nothing but five stars for comfort and style with customers saying, “These boots are great”. Looks like they are living up to their original boots’ reputation!

Abbi Miles

An Intimate Affair: Lola Haze Renews a Woman's Love for Lingerie

Lingerie has been a staple in women’s wardrobes for centuries. From the Ancient Egyptians’ tunics to the bone-crushing corsets worn during the Elizabethan Era, to the lace and silk undergarments from the Victorian Era to today’s designer lingerie, women throughout the years have understood the importance of that first layer of clothing.

Laura Mehlinger, designer for the couture lingerie line Lola Haze, understands the impact a special piece can have on women. 

According to the website, Mehlinger stated, “I love lingerie because it dances between public and private domains. It can be a woman's own secret that makes her feel special or something beautiful for display. Lola Haze is for a playful, confident woman who loves the transformative power of clothing and dresses for herself."
Lola Haze designer Laura Mehlinger

The Lola Haze Spring/Summer 2012 collection “Spring Shimmy” debuted at CurveNY July 3. For this collection, the designer drew inspiration from the 1920’s aesthetic: vintage prints featured in Vogue and sketches of Jazz Age haute couture. Spring Shimmy features looks with gold foil fabric, mesh cut outs, and colors such as black, ivory, peach, nude and pink to create a look that embodies the “attitude of experimentation” so prominent in the roaring 20’s.

“When the modern Lola Haze woman steps into the Spring Shimmy collection, I hope she’ll also feel unique, glamorous and joyful,” Mehlinger tells McPete Sez.


A look from the Spring Shimmy Collection.
Mehlinger has made her name among the top lingerie designers with the Lola Haze brand because she always keeps the focus on the woman wearing the piece. Her goal is to make women feel comfortable, playful and most importantly, confident. With luxurious materials, effortless shapes and intriguing details, Lola Haze continues to make lingerie a crucial part of any woman’s wardrobe.

Lindsay Viker

Tuesday

Bleach London Transforms Hair Colors on the Runway and on Campus

In honor of New York Fashion Week, U.K. based BLEACH Salons created a pop-up salon adjacent to MILK Studios.

According to V Magazine, the salon owners, Alexandra Brownsell and Samantha Teasdale, are "outspokenly looking to open a permanent salon in the city."

Looks featured on the Salon's website.

If a salon is opened in New York City there is no doubt that even more people will be spotted with whimsical hairstyles. Models with eccentric hair colors strutted down runways throughout Fashion Week thanks to BLEACH.


A variety of looks are offered at the salon, ranging from dip dyes to full head color and even temporary color sprays.


This trend featuring brightly colored locks is not stopping at New York Fashion Week. Celebrities have been seen with manes of radical bleach and color treatments and even students at Arizona State are donning the look.


Emily Macarane, a nursing student, used to think people that dyed their hair were “discontent, would have eclectic tastes, and a rebellion complex.” That was until she dyed her hair. 
Emily Macarane showing her bold hairstyle.
Her views have changed as of late saying, “Honestly, I love it. As long as you maintain it and you know what you want.”

College is a time full of freedom. For some students that means living away from family members; for others it could mean changing their appearance in some way, whether it is a nose piercing, tattoo or changing their hair color.


One of the primary reasons Macarane decided to dye her hair was because she wasn’t allowed to in high school. She and her friends talked about ombre hair dying and how much they love it and seeing a picture of Lauren Conrad with that style just solidified her inspiration.


So now the question is, to bleach or not to bleach?
Kyra Wennersten

Monday

Social Media: The New Statement Piece

The Internet has transformed the fashion world from being able to shop online to blogging about the latest and greatest of the day. The global instant access to the Internet makes it one of the top resources for individuals all around the world to know what’s going on in places where they can’t be. 

In modern day society it’s essential to use your resources wisely and get the latest from the latest. Social media has become one of the best ways to get fashion advice and find out what’s hot today.

In 2007 David Karp founded a micro-blogging site that allows you to post texts, quotes and pictures, known as Tumblr. Tumblr is nothing like any social media site out there. Not only can you use Tumblr to discuss day-to-day events in your life, but the fashion resources available on this site are one of kind. 
Credit: Tumblr
It’s used by freelance designers, corporations and artists that you can only access through this site. Tumblr is a great way to get your foot into the door of the underground world of fashion. 

Salon.com writes “Collect Every Moment Wherever You Go. Browsing through various Tumblr blogs is like sifting through the Lost and Found Department of the entire Internet. It's a beautiful mix of everything and anything, from the shocking to the spectacular.”

Even though Tumblr is a great resource to get your next look, another site known as Lookbook.nu is an international blog that has photos, art, clothes, culture and beauty that are specific to fashion all over the world. This site is one of it’s own, bringing together style guru’s such as Lacoste, American Apparel and Coggles that sponsor this site, giving you a direct link to new designers as well as new fashion inspiration.

Kathleen Etzel

Tom Ford's 10 Beauty Commandments


Tom Ford is known for his dazzling collections of clothes and accessories, but have any of you heard of his makeup line? Tom Ford came out with a successful lipstick collection last June and to follow it up he is coming out with his own makeup collection. The makeup line is expected to come out in the following month. Forget soft nude colors because Tom Ford is all about bold, popping colors! Along with Ford’s new line he has 10 commandments for makeup that go hand-in-hand with his upcoming collection:

You don’t need any sleep to look radiant- if you have Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick and finishing powder on hand: The trick is to use stick foundation and then some powder to finish off the “I got plenty of sleep last night” look.

Get a dressing table now: No more putting on makeup in the car or on the go in order to get your makeup done just right…GET A DRESSING TABLE!

Manners maketh makeup: There are only a few exceptions to putting on makeup in front of people and that is as Tom Ford explains, “If you have a gorgeous hand and gorgeous mannerisms and a gorgeous compact”.

Makeup is the new IT bag: Change it and you don’t need a new frock: One outfit can turn into 10 outfits with the change of makeup.

Thou shalt wear “full on” color for evening: Wear bold and bright colors when you go out. Try something new!

 If you don’t have a long neck, draw it: You can draw in any shape of face you want by basically adding brightening and a darker cream. Ford has made sure that makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury (who helped create the line) will be training the beauty advisors so everyone can know how to create these new looks.

Change your eyebrows-avoid plastic surgery: If you ever feel like trying something new, change your eyebrows and give yourself a bit of a makeover.

Old Hollywood glamour is the best Hollywood glamour: Tom Ford says “women should do the same as I did when starting my brand: What colors do I always like? What was my favorite period of makeup? What am I comfortable in?... And just thinking about those things, you can start to put together who you are. Then stick with it.”

Bitter B** is the new Vamp: Brown nail polish.

It’s chic to wear jeans and a T-shirt and be made-up: Ford said “They grew up in the hip-hop moment of nothing, so they’ve reacted against that and want to be glamorous. They want a lacquered lip.”
Credit: Arizona Foothills Magazine
Tom Ford’s 10 commandments are sure to help bring some exciting new looks for the upcoming seasons. Also, don't forget to check out Tom Ford's complete make-up collection.

Cassie Castaneda

Friday

Most School Spirit Wins Vera Bradley Swag? Challenge Accepted

High school and college girls all over Texas are showing their school spirit to be part of the Vera Bradley Spirit Squad Challenge.

The Vera Bradley Company was created 29 years ago in Fort Wayne, Ind. During a vacation, founders Patricia R. Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard noticed a lack of fashionable and durable luggage for women, and within weeks the company was born.

Vera Bradley designers create stylish handbags, as well as luggage items from duffel bags to laptop cases. The company is known for its creative and unique patterns of shapes and colors, most named after flowers such as “Poppy” and “Lilac”.

Their annual Spirit Squad Challenge happens every summer and gives high school teams and college sororities a chance to get the Vera Bradley designers to create apparel for them.
University of North Texas students showing off their new shirts.
 Photo courtesy of: Vera Bradley Twitter
Interested groups need only apply by showing a school ID and filling out a form at their nearest Vera Bradley store, explaining why their school spirit is tried and true. After signing up, new members help create their own personalized Spirit Squad T-shirt to get started.

Every girl who comes in can pick out her favorite color shirt and patterns for her letters. Almost all of them create shirts to spell the name of a high school, college or sorority.

The company travels all over Texas to cities such as Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio where the girls congregate to sign up, get their free T-shirts, and pose for lots of pictures!


The Spirit Squad Challenge lets girls be fun and colorful and come away with some new Vera Bradley goodies. What’s not to love?

To learn more about Vera Bradley or the Spirit Squad Challenge visit the Inside Stitch.


Kristin Weisell

Thursday

Stylebook: A closet in the palm of your hand

These days an iPhone is basically a girl’s most loved accessory, so why not let it dress you too?

Stylebook is a new iPhone app created just for fashionistas. It has a million different features to help you find new inspiration for outfits, catalog your own wardrobe, take photos of what’s in your closet and keep track of how many times you’ve worn those shoes in the past month. 
Credit: Stylebook
Stylebook is “very useful for when you're staring at your closet full of clothes but have nothing to wear.” 

Stylebook has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar UK, InStyle and The Tyra Banks Show.

“It [is] like paper dolls!” Banks said on her show.

Within the outfit editor, Stylebook features layering tools and unlimited accessories to help you create the most intricate looks.

In Stylebook you can create categories and keep notes of specific pieces you own for easy options when you’re ready to wear them and browse or search whenever you feel like it!

Once you’ve created your perfect outfit, share it on Facebook, email it or add it to your wardrobe calendar to remember when to wear something or figure out how recently you last wore it.

After you’ve archived every last belt, scarf and hat in your closet, find inspiration on how to bring together an outfit by browsing and searching different images from blogs and other sources as well. 

The Stylebook app is easy to navigate with user friendly thumbnails and runs with average iPhone style menu bars.

How was it started?

Jessica Moore, the co-founder of Stylebook, said she got the idea while interning with Vogue and Modern Bride. Both outlets would keep written samples, records and even polaroids to document their products, which was a daunting task.

“I knew that if people were willing to go to such lengths to archive clothes by hand, I could make something for the phone to do it electronically,” Moore said.

When Stylebook was created in 2009, Moore and her other co-founder intended it to be a “fun, side project,” as they were already busy with work at Lucky Magazine and Wall Street. They got to work almost immediately and now work with Stylebook full time.

Originally, Stylebook was to be used for those in the fashion industry, but it became popular among people looking for a wardrobe organizing tool for daily use. Moore said she was shocked at how many people had written to them regarding the app, including a woman who would plan her outfits a year in advance!

And how does Moore use Stylebook? Here’s what she said:

“I recommend that people take their time when taking pictures and visit our blog and YouTube channel to get tips on the zillions of little features the app has. The better your photography, the better your outfits will look. You only have to take them once and then you can make new outfits, reference them while out shopping, or plan what to pack using those images forever! I add my images over time, so I can be really hardcore about my photography. When I have a particularly successful outfit, I'll photograph each piece for my Stylebook closet at the end of the day using a digital camera and throw together the look with the outfit editor. The next time I'm having that ‘Why can't I find anything to wear?!’ moment, I can pull out my phone and see all my favorite looks.”

For more information on the app, visit stylebookapp.com!

Ashley Loose

Wednesday

Banana Republic Opening on the Champs Elysees

On Aug. 29 Gap Inc. announced that they would be opening a new store on the Champs Elysees in France early this December after having success with their stores that have opened in London and Milan.
Credit: Fool and Cool
In a press release, Stephen Sunnucks, president of International Gap Inc., said With loyal customers across Europe, both in our stores and online, we are confident that Banana Republic’s proposition of affordable luxury will resonate well with Parisian customers.”
            
Openings such as these, are part of a trend where affordable American based companies are launching stores in Europe. This summer, Abercrombie &Fitch, another staple in the fashion world, also opened a store on the Champs Elysees.
            
However, the stores are adapting to their new European homes. Carmel Dooling said of her shopping experience at Abercrombie & Fitch, "The Abercrombie store barely even felt like a store. I had to wait in line to even be allowed to enter the store. Once let past the 'bouncer', I walked by gold tipped fences and a path lined with manicured hedged. There were models from around the world greeting you at the door. Once inside, you could pose and take a photo with a model. The store itself was four stories and the walls were covered with murals. It screamed of the decadence that France is so famous for." 
           
Kelsey Herrold, who also visited the store, said, "Going to the newly opened Abercrombie store, the first in France, was like walking into an experience where you can see American and French fashion combined. While we saw many pieces that were very representative of Abercrombie classics, there was also a distinctly French influence in the layout of the store and in the d├ęcor.”
            
This European influence on American stores is yielding exciting results that will hopefully continue into the future. Here’s hoping that both Gap Inc. and Abercrombie expand and bring more stores from their corporations to Europe and that some of the European influence will be brought back to America.

Jamie Killin

Tuesday

A Rise in Tattoo Popularity

Tattoos are permanent fixtures etched into your skin, lasting forever. Yes, there are means of removal but there is no guarantee that the tattoo will be fully removed. Initially, when the trend of tattoos began to rise, people got very meaningful tattoos. Commemorating someone’s death or proclaiming a strong love for someone are examples of what most people would have tattooed. 

Nowadays the trend of getting tattoos is extremely popular. It has become somewhat of a tradition to get one after turning 18, regardless of any personal meaning. The desire to fit in and always be up to date on the new trends is so important to most teens, causing them to overlook the fact that tattoos do not go away. 

Arizona State student Courtney Layman, 19, got a tattoo one month after turning 18. Her tattoo is of a dove holding a flower in its beak. Essentially the dove represents peace and love but Layman got the tattoo simply because she thought it was cute. Layman said, “It has a meaning, just not a special personal meaning.”
Layman showing off her tattoo.
On the other hand Arizona State student Valerie Shively, 18, says her tattoo does have a personal meaning. Hers is of the Britney Spears fairy. Shively said, “The meaning behind my fairy may seem vain, but Britney Spears is more than just a singer to me.” 

The trend of tattoos has stretched beyond real meaning. The longing to be popular has caused an epidemic of teenagers getting meaningless tattoos. Shively said, “Even when I grow older I know I won’t regret it, because even if I’ve outgrown Britney she will always be a part of my childhood.” 

Whether the tattoos will remain meaningful to the teens as they age and outgrow trends or if they get them removed, the trend will continue to take over this millennium’s youth.

Amy Ortega