Monday, July 13, 2015

My New Find: Amina Marie Millinery

Lede shot

There’s no ques­tion that the head­wear trend is in full swing, and fash­ion is lov­ing this very cou­ture moment in his­tory. Tal­ented design­ers are pop­ping up every­where, mak­ing millinery slightly more mainstream.

I will be fea­tur­ing sev­eral tal­ented milliners here on Beauty Shall Save the World, and for all my hat enthu­si­asts I have a very spe­cial treat: it is my arti­cle on a millinery leg­end, the great Philip Treacy, who has granted an exclu­sive inter­view to Beauty Shall Save the World. You will love what this tal­ented man has to say about cre­ativ­ity and genius, as well as his late dear friends, fash­ion designer Alexan­der McQueen and style icon, Isabella Blow. I can­not wait to share it with you.

By now you all know that I love unearthing a new find, or reveal­ing a tal­ented but unrec­og­nized designer or artist. Well today I am very excited to share with you my new dis­cov­ery, a little-known milliner who has been prac­tic­ing the craft of hat-making for only one year. She took just three classes in millinery, yet she cre­ates some of the most beau­ti­ful, fem­i­nine cou­ture hats. Her name is Amina Marie Hood, and her hats are trea­sures. Many of them are decep­tive; they don’t look like much until you place them on the head, where they trans­form both the wearer and them­selves. In short, each one is a lit­tle work of art. Just look at some of Amina’s fab­u­lous cre­ations, shown here in an exclu­sive pho­to­shoot for Beauty Shall Save the World, styled by yours truly, Shan­non McGovern.

White rabbit

First up we have “Rock­e­feller,” this fuzzy, pure white freeform sculpted hat that makes our model, Chris­tine, look like the pearl in the cen­ter of an oys­ter shell. I had to have this hat, it is such a stun­ner. Love the tex­ture, the pure white was a big sell­ing point for me, and the scal­loped edges, which really are so unique and mem­o­rable. This hat is made from white long-haired rab­bit fur felt, and I thought the price point, $350, was rea­son­able for a cou­ture hat such as this. Luck­ily, I didn’t have to pay it, how­ever; Amina gifted me this hat as thanks after we wrapped the shoot. Thanks, Home­girl. You rock. 😉

Camel cloche wiht hardware

Next up is “Espresso,” $300, this lit­tle camel sliver of fur felt with chain detailing.

The thing about Amina’s hats is that they look styl­ish with all kinds of attire, whether it be fancy or casual. They can be dressed up or down, while remain­ing per­pet­u­ally chic.

Here, I part­nered Amina’s hat with a cop­per dis­tressed leather jacket, but make no mis­take, this diminu­tive lit­tle punc­tu­a­tion mark for your head could go haute in, lit­er­ally, the drop of a hat! I absolutely adore the seem­ingly small touches that make her works look infi­nitely sophis­ti­cated, like the bronze hard­ware trim pip­ing here along the edge.

Olive military hat

I love “Let­ters from The Gen­eral,” above, an army green fur felt hat, $300, con­structed sim­i­larly to “Espresso,” with a freeform sculpted sil­hou­ette. This hat is ideal for the mil­i­tary trend. So cur­rent. Looks great with the Chris­t­ian Lacroix olive blazer shown and tor­toise cat-eye shades.

Ivory mod hat

The cream para­sisal straw saucer hat with black rib­bon edge, “Out of This World,” $425, looks right in a nod to mod. Chris­tine is wear­ing a vin­tage mod shift dress by Dominique, circa 1960s. But, this ver­sa­tile hat would look very appro­pri­ate with a fem­i­nine Easter dress or even dra­matic couture.

Red and black

I love the idea of this hat. It’s Amina’s “Con­vert­ible Derby” in cherry red fur felt, $400, with black “Pop.” This is the hat that caught my eye when I dis­cov­ered Amina. She had earned her place amongst eight other final­ists in Lock Hat­ters first annual Millinery Com­pe­ti­tion. Lock & Co., by the way, have designed hats for Kate Mid­dle­ton and other royals.

This con­vert­ible hat can be worn as shown, or the black top can “pop” off, allow­ing the hat to be worn in solid red.…..or, you can wear it with other pops, which Amina sells for $50 each. This hat offers up so much ver­sa­til­ity at a very friendly price-point. I would love to have this hat with sev­eral pops, includ­ing a funky fur felt leop­ard print! Meow!

Rose portrait shot

Smells Like a Rose” is a nat­ural ivory, extra-fine sina­may straw, freeform draped fas­ci­na­tor, $400, which knots beau­ti­fully into a rose-like shape. The diaphanous fab­ri­ca­tion is so stun­ning in per­son, yield­ing a gauze-y kind of fil­ter over the face. The tex­ture is fine and mal­leable, with a volu­mi­nous body to it, like starched linen. But make no mis­take, this is actu­ally that beau­ti­ful, high-end sina­may straw that is one of Amina’s trade­mark materials.

Black sheer hat

Amina uses the same extra-fine sina­may straw in black to cre­ate “Jackie’s Funeral,” a freeform draped hat, $600, which looks gor­geous on Chris­tine in a fit­ted vin­tage dress above. This hat trav­els effort­lessly to the beach as well, with swimwear and a sheer sarong, for exam­ple. The ver­sa­til­ity of Amina’s hats truly amazes.

Kimono hat

There is some­thing very organic about “In Carolyne’s Gar­dens,” Amina’s trib­ute to Car­olyne Roehm. It’s a nat­ural sina­may straw freeform sculpted hat with hand-dyed sina­may edg­ing, $400. A gen­tle drap­ing is so flat­ter­ing around the face, and this hat’s ease of wear is syn­ony­mous with sim­ple ele­gance, just like Car­olyne Roehm herself.

Blue fox

Foxxxy” is the slate, hand-dyed para­sisal straw hat with seafoam blue fox fur trim and crin peek­a­boo, $400. This is quite the head-turning hat! I love the nuance of col­ors that Amina works with. Her palette is always sophis­ti­cated, never garish.

Each hat is pure couture–both fem­i­nine and stylish–without any trendy gim­micks, and the ver­sa­til­ity of each piece, remark­able. These are the hats that I could see as eas­ily on the run­way at Vivi­enne West­wood as I could with Issey Miyake. That really says some­thing about the time­less ver­sa­til­ity that Amina cap­tures in her work. They would be equally at home with Balen­ci­aga, Bal­main and Donna Karan, and her price point is awe­some for this type of cou­ture, hand-finished hat. In addi­tion, Amina uses only the finest mate­ri­als, includ­ing fur felt, sina­may, para­sisal straw, fish leather, leather and silk.

So what’s next for this bur­geon­ing milliner?

I still have a lot to learn,” Amina said. “I would love to study under some of the greats. I think Philip Treacy is amaz­ing and I really respect and love the works of Noel Stew­art, Jane Tay­lor, Anya Caliendo. I hope to col­lab­o­rate with some tal­ented pho­tog­ra­phers and styl­ists, and for my designs to be on the run­ways and in the magazines…but most impor­tantly, on the streets, on the heads of fash­ion­able women, because I want my work to be acces­si­ble, wear­able and rel­e­vant to many women, for many years.”

Crew at photoshoot for amina

A quick shout-out and a hearty thank you to the rest of the team that made this gor­geous shoot pos­si­ble: from left, that’s Sui, who was respon­si­ble for coiffing our model’s hair to per­fec­tion; the breath­tak­ing Chris­tine Alward was said model; pho­tog­ra­phy by Topher Adam, edi­tor of Dark Beauty Mag­a­zine; fab­u­lous makeup by Jas­mine Car­de­nas; that’s me, Shan, in the I “HEART” Paris t-shirt; and last but def­i­nitely not least, stand­ing by my side, is Amina, of Amina Marie Millinery. The very tal­ented Tim Engle was in charge of light­ing in this project. We could not have done it with­out him, yet here he is invis­i­ble because, like most good pho­togs, he’s busy tak­ing the pic­ture of the rest of us! Jaja­jaja. Thanks, Tim, and thanks every­body. This shoot was a true triumph.

For infor­ma­tion visit Amina Marie Millinery. You can fol­low Amina on both Face­book and Insta­gram. Cus­tom orders call 816.830.9793.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Beauty Binge: A Sweet Surrender to Sisley

Many peo­ple know me as a fash­ion ana­lyst, but are not aware that I also have my aesthetician’s license, after com­plet­ing intense study here in Cal­i­for­nia. This knowl­edge broad­ens my capa­bil­i­ties as a writer–on many levels–and the expe­ri­ence, knowl­edge and train­ing that I have accu­mu­lated enables me to very accu­rately and poignantly dis­close to you my best in beauty prod­ucts and cosmetics.

It goes with­out say­ing that I have a com­pli­cated, and some­times dan­ger­ous affair with makeup. Nowa­days, I get so much free prod­uct that I nearly never have to buy a sin­gle stitch of it myself.….until I pass the Sis­ley Paris cos­met­ics counter. Few things can make my heart race as fast as when approach­ing that counter, which for me is nes­tled inside the bright Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco’s Union Square. And my lovely long-term liai­son with Sis­ley artist Richard Winser is a rela­tion­ship that I have trea­sured for around 20 years now.

Me and richard at sisley

Above, Richard applies a new Sis­ley pen­cil to my eyes. I will tell you all about this great prod­uct, but first I just want to say that every change of sea­son I pop in to say hi to Richard and see what Sis­ley is up to. I have Richard assess my face and we dis­cuss any con­cerns that I may have with regard to skin con­di­tion or any­thing like that. But most impor­tantly, I love it when Richard quickly applies a lit­tle makeup on top of what I’m already wear­ing, to give me a few ideas about the newest emerg­ing trends and how my face has changed, or, remark­ably, not. Time is a lux­ury for me, and Richard under­stand this. He is so deft with the pow­der brush that he can do his thing stat-quick, while mak­ing me feel spe­cial and pretty, and also giv­ing me some ideas about appli­ca­tion and fresh col­ors. Richard makes stay­ing cur­rent a snap. I don’t know what I’d do with­out him. I think that every­one should have a Richard. So, the moral of the story is: Try to develop your own local rela­tion­ship with a ‘Richard’ because it really is so invalu­able! It’s great to have a skilled set of objec­tive eyes that you can trust when eval­u­at­ing your appearance.

And now I’m really happy to report to you on a few of my new Sis­ley finds dur­ing last weekend’s beauty binge. You will love them.

First up is this great chunky pen­cil for eyes. It’s the Phyto-Eye Twist, $50, a giant water­proof crayon that glides on silky smooth and deposits a nice opaque line, thick or thin, you choose. Buff it, smudge it, or leave the line crisp. I love this pen­cil, espe­cially in col­ors Havana, a sparkling bur­gundy great for dark eyes, below.…

Phyto pencil

.…or Lagoon, below, a tan­ta­liz­ing turquoise, which is great used as your spring 2015 state­ment eyeliner.

Turquoise

Richard shaded my upper lash line and the crease of my eye, cre­at­ing a V-shape on the lid, with this jumbo stick, in the photo. It adds depth for a sul­try yet sim­ple sum­mer eye. I loved the result. These pen­cils are great—I want to col­lect them all—and the per­for­mance is stel­lar, truly impres­sive and water­proof. It’s almost all you need in a sin­gle pen­cil! The cov­er­age is build­able, so you can eas­ily give more depth to a tone, more opac­ity, with every swipe. The color twists up, so you need not sharpen. Just throw it in your beach bag or purse, and you’re set for a week­end away, no messy eye­shadow required. And did I men­tion that the bril­liant peo­ple over at Sis­ley have incor­po­rated yummy skin-care ingre­di­ents into this über stick?!?! They think of every­thing! I love their ‘treat­ment cos­met­ics,’ which nur­ture your skin while act­ing as a smart cos­metic! This pow­er­house of a pen­cil is packed with Green Tea, White Lily and Camel­lia, all of which are potent anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants that are going to treat your skin–actually pro­tect­ing and repairing–while you’re mak­ing up. Brilliant.

White eyeliner

Next up, for the white eye­liner trend that’s got me and count­less other beauty afi­ciona­dos all crazy this sum­mer, you must, must, MUST try Sisley’s Phyto-Khol Per­fect liner in Snow, $57. Wow. And it is so per­fect! Per­fectly firm, yet soft, so it buffs a pearly white pig­ment onto the lid, or the water­line, with an effort­less­ness that is both com­fort­able and wel­come. No tug­ging, no tear­ing. And the lumi­nous white is very flat­ter­ing. I adore this pen­cil, and I love the way Richard applied it. Use the liner on the top lid only, and cre­ate a sub­tle cat eye with the white kohl. This will lift the cor­ners and cre­ate an inno­cent yet sexy, provoca­tive doe-eyed look! This is the ideal pearly white crayon liner for the white eye­liner trend. (Remem­ber to fur­ther invest in a white liq­uid for a dif­fer­ent and more haute look. See my story all about white eye­liner, fea­tur­ing our favorite reader, the gor­geous model Cara Delev­ingne, here!)

Mascara

Last up, you are going to need mas­cara, and Sisley’s is the best.….Specifically, their So Intense Mas­cara, $67, and this time you have to get it in black. I love Deep Blue, which is a rich, com­plex indigo that flat­ters all eye shades, from brown to cool-toned and kalei­do­scope eyes. But with a white lid or line, you want to wear black mas­cara. It makes the con­trast pop.

Brush

The brush in this mas­cara is bomb–perfect for alter­nately build­ing and separating.….But the for­mula is also pretty dope, because it’s enriched with pep­tides and rice phyto-ceramides that are going to give you more beau­ti­ful lashes as a result of using it! Gotta love that! Thanks, Sisley.…I adore you! xxx

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The 2015 Met Gala.….One Word.….RIHANNA

Rihanna 10

The stars shone so beau­ti­fully bright last evening at the 2015 annual Met Gala. This year’s theme cel­e­brated the museum’s Cos­tume Insti­tute exhi­bi­tion, “China: Through the Look­ing Glass.” And the stars did indeed twin­kle, all with glis­ten­ing lips and even shinier hair, sparkling jew­els and bril­liantly beaded gowns…but the North star of the night was indis­putable. One word.….RIHANNA.

Actu­ally, make that three words: Rihanna & Guo Pei.

Guo Pei is the bril­liant Bejing-based female fash­ion designer, age 45, behind the opu­lent sun­flower yel­low con­fec­tion worn by Rihanna, which eas­ily ren­ders one speech­less when behold­ing its hon­eyed grandeur.

Rihanna 14

Yards upon yards of heavy golden silk satin, deca­dently embroi­dered and edged in match­ing fur, the gown is, quite eas­ily, one of the most stun­ning visions we have seen on the Red Car­pet in years, and I stand behind that state­ment. But such a breath­tak­ing cre­ation is really nei­ther rare nor remark­able in the world of Guo Pei, whose art via cou­ture rou­tinely astonishes.

Rihanna 7

With this gown, worn with a gilded stiletto man­i­cure and a lamé head­piece, Rihanna has rede­fined ele­gance and set a new stan­dard for drama in the enter­tain­ment industry.

Rihanna 15

Now, for more fab­u­lous designs by Chi­nese cou­ture sen­sa­tion, Guo Pei.….

Cerise gown with train

Guo Pei’s dis­tinc­tive, char­ac­ter­is­tic opu­lence almost always includes heavy embroi­dery, gems and bead­ing, and of course the most luxe fab­rics in bril­liant jewel tones. Elab­o­rate head­dresses, haute cou­ture hair and dra­matic makeup are a fore­gone conclusion.

Asian marie antoinette

This beau­ti­ful gilded dis­play is Guo Pei’s inter­pre­ta­tion of a modern-day Marie Antoinette, mar­ried with the pre­co­cious designer’s Asian sen­si­bil­i­ties, yield­ing an ensem­ble reserved for royalty.

Face jewelry

Facial jew­elry is one of my favorite emerg­ing trends.….but Guo Pei has been embell­ish­ing the vis­age with jew­elry for many years, as seen in this strik­ing exam­ple from Hong Kong Fash­ion Week in 2010.

Facial jewelry

Here, the jew­elry encom­passes a large ter­ri­tory, and extends up into an exotic head­dress which intrigues.

Funnel dressing

These designs, from the Hong Kong Fash­ion Week Fall/Winter 2010 Show, remind us of the vision­ary that is Guo Pei.

Greeen and purple cone gown

Rich, play­ful color com­bi­na­tions, breath­tak­ingly unique sil­hou­ettes and lav­ish details are three Guo Pei trade­marks. I adore the rose gold fil­i­gree hair fix­ture and del­i­cate hand jew­elry. This strik­ing dis­play is fur­ther enhanced with deca­dent bead­ing, and painstak­ingly embroi­dered for a most regal yet avant garde end product.

Mint and gold cone gown

Just look at the ornate, gold-encrusted pis­ta­chio pantsuit above, with cone-shaped pleating.

Mint and gold side view

I’ve never seen any­thing remotely like this. Absolutely riveting.

Mint and gold back shot

The back is a study in tex­ture, shape and color.

Red fringed gown

Weighted with long, thick fringed tas­sels, the bil­low­ing arms of this red-hot Chi­nese gown are fur­ther embell­ished with heavy golden embroi­dery. A geisha-esque head­dress with red and gold bead­ing height­ens the drama.

Silver and white empress

This empress gown and match­ing cape must weigh a ton! Just look at the beau­ti­ful heavy work­man­ship, all of which is painstak­ingly hand-applied on a Guo Pei cou­ture gown.

Tangerine gilded dress

An abbre­vi­ated tan­ger­ine hem­line is awash in gold jewelry.

Tangerine gilded gown

The model is drenched in ornate gems and facial jew­elry is, once again, of pri­mary focus.

Wheat gown

This wheat-colored gown defies description.

White gown

I sim­ply love Guo Pei’s use of mixed mate­ri­als in this pure white won­der, com­plete with fur-lined, floor-length kimono sleeves and bead­ing galore. Stunning!

Black cherry gown

Drama runs high in a black cherry gown with a huge, elab­o­rate head­dress that is absolutely undefinable.

Turquoise and white gown

Guo Pei plays with pro­por­tions in this epic gown, which is crimped at the waistline.…

Princess gown

.….for an unusual aes­thetic result.

Very long train

A mas­sive train leaves spec­ta­tors in awe of its regal splendor.

Pink and gold gown

I adore the con­cept of this ensem­ble, and its exe­cu­tion is flaw­less. Satin rosettes in cerise, hot pink and red com­pose the shell of this arrest­ing gown. A coor­di­nat­ing robe is worn on top. The gilded head­dress is the final, exalted cou­ture ele­ment. Ravishing!

And now we have seen China, through the eyes of Miss Guo Pei.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Hippest of Hands: All About the White Manicure

Gold tipped white mani

Back­stage at New York Fash­ion Week for Spring 2015, an inter­est­ing trend emerged: The White Man­i­cure. Clean and neat and decid­edly dif­fer­ent than darks, white nail pol­ish is mak­ing a come­back and looks great on any skin tone, nail length, and nail shape.

Screen Shot 2015 04 13 at 10 19 17 AM

I per­son­ally love the look of opaque white nail pol­ish tidily swept, sim­ply, onto long, almond-shaped nails, above, as well as on the more dra­matic stiletto man­i­cure, sans any addi­tional embell­ish­ment. Know that you can wear this look and remain per­fectly on-trend. It’s clean and mod­ern and luxe. How­ever, here are some adap­ta­tions of the Great White, straight from the run­ways of New York Fash­ion Week.…..

Screen Shot 2015 04 13 at 10 02 07 AM

Above, the model com­pli­ments her white eye­liner with a match­ing mani, although the slight deriva­tion here on the nail here is merely a darker tip. You are going to be see­ing this look a lot–the white eye­liner and match­ing mani will infil­trate fash­ion with pow­er­ful and endur­ing force.

White lines manicure

If you have the patience for nail art–and I don’t–then here are some addi­tional adap­ta­tions to play with. This sparse white mani is a fresh take on the nat­ural nail and on white pol­ish. Beautiful.

Silver french mani

A sil­ver French mani takes white to new height! Holly Fal­cone cre­ated it for the Alon Livne show.

White linen mani

With a look that is rem­i­nis­cent of linen, this tex­tured white mani was cre­ated by Rita Remark for Essie at Wes Gordon’s collection.

White mani with vertical lines

A sin­gle nat­ural stripe down the cen­ter of the nail is left unpainted at Nonoo.

White stripes mani

Pra­bal Gurung imple­mented a sim­i­lar tactic.

Single stripe mani

At Kate Spade New York, mod­els wore a blunt white mani with a sin­gle black strip.

Blue and white stripes

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on fashion’s new blue trend, this blue and white mani was designed by Ann Yee and cre­ated by Inni for Ann Yee.

Graphic black and white mani

I love the unique­ness of this mani for Kye’s spring 2015 col­lec­tion. Bold, graphic, avant garde.

Great White Sightings.….

Aubrey plaza

Aubrey Plaza wears a sim­i­larly graphic black and white mani on the cover of Nylon magazine.….a pub­li­ca­tion which clearly is a fan of the white mani!

Alexa chung

Here, Alexa Chung mod­els it with black graph lines.….

Leighton meester

And Leighton Meester does the white mani straight up.….

Rihanna for elle in white mani

.….as does Rihanna, look­ing haute for Elle.….

Tyra banks

.….and Tyra, seem­ing as equally as urban.

J lo

J. Lo wears her stiletto nails white as snow, no doubt to match her pure white Cav­alli couture.

Kylie jenner

Kylie Jen­ner likes them long, long, long.….

Short white mani on cara

.….but Cara Delev­ingne keeps it short and sweet.….

Kim k

.….just like Kim.

Hands and feet

White nails look appro­pri­ate on exec­u­tive women, above, and are spot-on for all-white fash­ions. They also work with cou­ture, below.….

Couture white nail polish

.….avant garde styling.….

White mani with iridescent eyeshadow

.….as well as Boho chic! Could one nail var­nish be any more versatile?

White polish and crochet dress

Oh, and don’t for­get your toes. Wear a white pedi on the beach with foot jewelry.

With foot jewelry

Nonoo made matchy with fin­gers and toes at their spring 2015 show, below. See how great white pol­ish looks with a tan??? Fresh and current.

White pedi at nonoo spring 2015

Screen Shot 2015 04 13 at 7 19 02 AM

And finally, as a quick aside, if you’re like me, and the thought of nail art is either just a lit­tle too cheesy, or sim­ply mind-numbingly tiresome–or both!–check out the fin­ger­nail armor by my friend and jew­eler, Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian, as shown here on a white mani on Scan­di­na­vian star Laleh in her video “Col­ors,” styled and directed by Bea Åker­lund. Hot! Just a tad more sophis­ti­cated than nail art, don’t you think?

For the hippest of hands (and feet!), buy a bot­tle of white and let your imag­i­na­tion run wild.….It looks great on every­one, and in any which way you choose. Worn with the new white eye­liner trend, the look is quite strik­ing indeed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Alessandra Ambrosio Delivers Gorgeous New Bohemian Jewelry for the Coachella Crowd

Alessandra

I love the unique jew­elry and Boho style that the Coachella music fes­ti­val birthed, but it can be hard to find all those awe­some pieces, and def­i­nitely pricey! I am so happy that Brazilian-born super­model and mother of two, Alessan­dra Ambro­sio, has taken over Bauble­bar to pro­vide some cool orna­men­tal offer­ings for the mod­ern woman.

And Alessan­dra pos­i­tively nails it, with cre­ative body jew­elry and head­dresses that are hip and gor­geous, as well as rea­son­ably priced. I love what this girl has done! She’s mak­ing that Coachella rich hip­pie new bohemian look acces­si­ble to every girl.

Here are some of my favorites from her com­pre­hen­sive collection.…

Princess

Every princess needs her crown, and my cur­rent obses­sion is the Princess Gem Head­piece, $48, that turns an ordi­nary look into an extra­or­di­nary one. Isn’t it just gor­geous??? I love the way all the stones are dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes. A lot of thought went into the exe­cu­tion of this piece, and the price is right!

Phallic symbol

I adore snake imagery, and after all, doesn’t every girl deserve at least one phal­lic sym­bol? Alessan­dra cap­tures that with her Crys­tal Con­stric­tor Ring, $48, and it comes in both rose gold or smokey hematite.….Love this ring for Coachella or club­bing. It can look Boho chic, or go to a darker cou­ture spot in a heart­beat. The per­fect ring for almost any wardrobe change. Gotta have it!

There’s no deny­ing that body chains are a hot ticket in fash­ion right now, and this one is irre­sistibly priced! It’s the Crys­tal Raja Body Chain, $22, with a criss-cross in the front for visual inter­est, and a haunt­ing spine full of crys­tals in the back!

Alessandra in body chain

Or for a fancier ver­sion, check out the Celes­tial Body Chain, $28. Hot! Wear it with your bikini, or let it peek out from a one-shoulder top with denim shorts. Super sexy!

Alessandra in hand chain

Every girl needs a hand chain, I think, and the Pavé Fish­tail Hand Chain, $36, is glam with pretty pavé detail. And at this price, why not buy two, and reserve one for gifting.…Seriously, this is a great deal and it’s right on trend. Pair it with the Fish­tail Chain Ring, $48, if you feel the urge to make a match.…

For an exotic influ­ence, I am lov­ing the Turquoise Capri Amulet, $65. The new Boho look is all about mix­ing eth­nic influ­ences with mod­ern con­cepts, so a squash blos­som turquoise neck­lace is manda­tory! This one looks so authen­tic to Native Amer­i­can tribal jew­elry, and at a frac­tion of the cost.

The Quartz Spoke Col­lar, $44, com­bines the heal­ing quartz crys­tal with mod­ern design sen­si­bil­i­ties to cre­ate a state­ment neck­lace like no other! This is a rich hip­pie acces­sory if ever there was one, but its price makes it acces­si­ble to every girl. Check it out as worn by Alessan­dra her­self, pic­tured top, at Coachella this year!

Now that Alessan­dra Ambro­sio has dis­tilled the essence of Boho chic jew­elry into a sin­gle chic shop­ping des­ti­na­tion with ále by Alessan­dra, she has sim­pli­fied both my sum­mer acces­sories shop­ping as well as my gift list. Kudos, Alessandra!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Test Driving My Marvelous Mojitos.…The Carbon Fiber Heel, One Year Later

Well it’s been exactly one year since the shop­ping spree with my dear friend Holly Bridge and her gor­geous brood of chil­dren in San Fran­cisco last sum­mer where I test drove my first pair of car­bon fiber heels designed by Lon­don archi­tect, Julian Hakes.  Because these unique metal­lic heels are crafted from car­bon fiber—the same mate­r­ial used for con­struct­ing the bod­ies of lux­ury sports cars–I coined this shoe A Fer­rari For Your Feet, and if you’ll recall, I opted to buy them in metal­lic Lam­borgh­ini blue, below, but I had no idea what I was going to wear with them, if they’d be com­fort­able after my foot surgery, prac­ti­cal in gen­eral, and how I really felt about incor­po­rat­ing this visual odd­ity into my wardrobe with so many unan­swered ques­tions! So what’s my final ver­dict, now a year later?!?! WELL, I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THEM!!!!!

 

Mojito metallic blue

I must admit, I rarely rack up a fash­ion faux pas these days…..credit it if you will to log­ging years of shop­ping expe­ri­ence, or per­haps it’s just in the fate of the fash­ion gods, but The Mojito, above, was a gam­ble on sev­eral dif­fer­ent lev­els for me. I guess I got lucky.

Dark chrome

And we all know my the­ory about luck, right? What’s that say­ing? I’d rather be lucky than good. In this case, I was so very lucky that I went back and bought another pair of Moji­tos in dark chrome, above. I hap­pily scored them at 50% off and wear them con­stantly with black leather leggings….they also look great with a short skirt and fish­nets, too! Now to answer your ques­tions about this enig­matic masterpiece—The Mar­velous Mojito!

First, let’s address the com­fort. Wow. Because the Mojito is fash­ioned from durable, stronger-than-steel-yet-malleable car­bon fiber, the shoes ‘flex’ when you walk, and yield to pres­sure, so blis­ters are not an issue and nei­ther are swollen feet! I can walk for days in these things! In addi­tion, the car­bon fiber mate­r­ial is waterproof…..and, as an added bonus—and get this—if you chip, scrape or scratch the bril­liantly shiny fin­ish, all you do is take your Moji­tos into the auto body shop and have a tech­ni­cian match the paint of your shoes! How bril­liant is that?!?! A quick, thin strip of touch-up paint will restore your Moji­tos to like-new con­di­tion, and no one will be the wiser!  Can you believe it??? They’re like a dream come true shoe!

The final issue was: What do I wear these crazy things with??? Well, for the dark chrome above, it’s a no-brainer—black, black, and more black! But they were my sec­ond acqui­si­tion. How’d I rec­on­cile the first pair, in that cap­ti­vat­ing cobalt? Easy, dar­lings! Blue, in case you haven’t heard, is so au courant! And it’s hard to beat the charisma of that metal­lic Lambo blue! So here’s what I wore: a vin­tage cobalt blue fox coat circa 1950s that matches per­fectly, and this fab­u­lous, fas­ci­nat­ing fas­ci­na­tor, below, by New York milliner, Anya Caliendo. It’s her trib­ute to the Blue Mor­pho But­ter­fly! The metal­lic sheen of the but­ter­fly wings is so per­fectly matched by my car­bon fiber shoes.…and the melange of vin­tage, with the coat, mixed with the mod­ern shoes, and the oth­er­world­li­ness of a flurry of but­ter­flies round my cabeza made a most mem­o­rable impres­sion at the soirée I attended.

Blue morpho butterfly

 

So as you can see, another shop­ping tri­umph in the life of a fash­ion­ista. And all is right in the world, if only for just a brief moment.

Peace. Love. Beauty.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Where It’s At: White Lines

Cara it s shan talking to you through the computer

 

There were many gor­geous themes going on regard­ing back­stage beauty at Fash­ion Week, but the one that pre­vailed for me was bold state­ment eye­liner. I love the look, and I’ll be show­ing you my favorite picks from the shows later this week. Mod­ern makeup artists are chal­leng­ing black eye­liner and pro­duc­ing atyp­i­cal and stun­ning results. At Saint Lau­rent, it was as bold as it gets….ditto for Cus­nie et Ochs, and at Prada, too. But my favorite favorite *favorite* most fash­ion­able makeup trend is one you won’t see on the pages of any magazine…..yet. And that’s because no one is doing it…..yet.

It is: White Eye­liner. I’m exper­i­ment­ing with all kinds of white eye makeup, in fact: white lin­ers, pow­ders, even white mas­cara. And I just love what white eye­liner does to the eyes and to the face, and come spring, it’s all you’ll see me sport­ing with a bright lip and a face full of freck­les! There’s some­thing about it that is so fresh, and it makes your eyes look huge and wide awake, even if you’re at the end of a four-day ben­der. With a white man­i­cure? Are you kid­ding me? You’re stylin’!

 

Cara can u see the secret message

 

I love white eye­liner on model Cara Delev­ingne, pic­tured above and top. It gives her an unchar­ac­ter­is­tic inno­cence and an ethe­real other-worldliness, while mak­ing her lashes look pos­i­tively epic! ((Cara, inci­den­tally, is a fan of Beauty Shall Save the World and she tells me she thinks this blog is “cool.” Ditto, Cara. We think you’re pretty cool, too.  😉 ))

 

But back to the white lin­ers. Pres­tige or NYX or Rim­mel Lon­don make great white eye­liner pen­cils which can be found at the drug store on-the-cheap, and since they don’t break the bank, you can also afford to pick up Stila’s won­der­ful white in a liq­uid, which is truly opaque and smudge-free. (Don’t you just love the way I can ratio­nal­ize a pur­chase, btw?!?) Seri­ously though, it’s a good idea to have at least one of each, a pen­cil and a liq­uid, in your kit for the white eye­liner trend that hasn’t hap­pened yet….but is sure to come. You might want to also buy a sparkly white pow­der if you don’t already have one. I love the cus­tom blended pow­ders by Giella. They’re blended by makeup artist extra­or­di­naire, Mario Dedi­vanovic! Armed with an arse­nal of sum­mer whites, you will be able to cop any one of the many white-eyed looks shown here. I’m obsessed!  

What are you doing right now cara

 

Makeup artist Pat McGrath used white eye­liner in the March 2015 issue of Teen Vogue to cre­ate a cus­tom design on the eye that is per­fect for easy sum­mer days. What a dra­matic, bold and whim­si­cal state­ment to reveal as you remove your shades! This look is great for the beach, the pool­side, or even a fancier affair, in my opin­ion, for those who have the moxie. I love the wit and the irrev­er­ence of it. If you’ve got the time and the tal­ent, go for it! It’s a young and hip way to wear white lines!

 

Or should i say WHO are you doing right now

 

Megan Fox knows what’s up. The tan­ta­liz­ing screen siren uses white lines her­self. It may not be as out­wardly overt as Pat McGrath’s Teen Vogue exam­ple, but if you exam­ine her makeup very very closely…..you will see……

 

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

 

…..white lines in her water­line! Yes, to open the eye and really make her blue peep­ers pop, Megan knows that white eye­liner is the cor­rect choice.

 

Bet you didn t see that one coming cara

 

I love the look of the top lid lined in thick white, worn with bare skin and a nude lip. As seen above, it works with a tan, left, and also on paler skins.

 

But seriously shouldn t you be doing something productive

 

White lines also read well with a dark-complected gal, and I love the way it rims her entire eye, includ­ing the water­line. White lines, when teamed with false lashes and a glossy coral lip equal unde­ni­able glamour!

 

Ha ha ha look who s talking right

 

You can make the cov­eted cat-eye even more dra­matic when you sur­round the black lines with the oppo­site counterpart—white lines.

 

Guess we re both just wasting time

 

Make it mod, as seen above……I adore that 1960s sensation……

 

I seeeeee you cara

 

……Or pen­cil in the inner cor­ners only–follow the ‘V’-shape near the nose–to broaden the gap between your eyes and make them look wider-set and instantly, infi­nitely more alert! You can dot a bit of white sparkly pow­der over the V shape to add a bit of glam­our and shine, if you choose. Just play with it, and see what happens.

 

 

Are you still in Hong Kong cara

 

I love white lines any which way. Even on a bare lid with just a hint of bright blush and a poppy-red lip……looks so out­ra­geously French! Ooh la la.

 

Seriously i ve gotta get back to work luv u cara

 

White lines can look play­ful, trendy, or drop-dead sexy. Go thick or thin, it doesn’t mat­ter. Smudge it or streak it, it’s up to you. Winged-out or water­lined, it’s all good. Just remem­ber that white lines look great on all com­plex­ions and with any lip color. Now slick back that hair, shimmy into a Zeu­gari kaf­tan, and set­tle down for a relax­ing day by the pool……Oh, who am I kid­ding??? Get back to work, Slackers!!!!