art · style

Deneuve and YSL: Christie’s Auction Preview

Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. my single biggest regret of that exhibition was not allowing myself more time to  view the items; I also regret the fact that I didn’t go to the exhibition more than once.

However, as if my regrets have been heard by some benevolent force, I found out that Catherine Deneuve would be selling her YSL collection through Christie’s. Christie’s has graciously created a virtual tour so that potential shoppers and all appreciators of YSL design can view the items for sale.

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I’ve gone through this virtual tour several times, and it never gets old. I love Saint Laurent’s creative vision, and I love the relationship that he had with Deneuve. Their friendship is reminiscent of the one shared by the late Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy.

I’m sharing the link to the virtual tour here, so that you all may enjoy the items for sale. Please note that some of the items offered through Christie’s will be available via online auction, so you can own a piece of designer and Hollywood histories, too. The in-person auction occurred earlier today, but you still have a chance to own one of these beloved pieces if you choose to participate in the online auction. That online segment will accept bids until January 30, so don’t miss your chance to get one of these treasures for yourself.

I thought it would be hard to select just one item that I like the best. Fortunately for me, Deneuve’s sartorial choices differ from mine so I was able to narrow down my favorites to a few items. Firstly, I loved the black cloqué and black oyster feather jacket and black wool pant suit (Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Spring Summer 1996). This ensemble is so elegant and luxurious looking: the feather jacket is so unlike anything else on the market. I’d love it even more if it was in navy blue as opposed to black, but it’s still a fabulous outfit that I’d love to own.

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Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Spring Summer 1996, A black cloqué and black oyster feather jacket and black wool pant suit

Next, I really like the red wool coat and a burgundy jersey dress with leather belt (Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Fall Winter 1990-1991). I adore the large black buttons on the coat, and, while I wouldn’t pair the coat with this particular dress, I love both pieces and would enjoy wearing them separately.

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Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture Fall Winter 1990-1991, A red wool coat and a burgundy jersey dress with leather belt

I encourage you all to check out the virtual tour as well as the online auction. These pieces are truly one-of-a-kind, as they were owned by the legendary Catherine Deneuve, and an opportunity like this may not come again for a very long time.

That’s all for today: I’ll chat with you all tomorrow!

luxury · style

My Top Three Tips for Finding Luxury Fashion Bargains

Hi friends! The roads are being cleared in the Mid-Atlantic region, only for more snow to fall in the next few days! I’m still staying warm and dry, and I hope the same for you all.

A few weeks ago, I went to one of my favorite thrift stores and just decided to check out what new finds they had. I walked out with two large bags of clothing and spent only $40. The bags contained several designer suits and some beautiful vintage blouses. I had gone to the same thrift store several weeks prior and gotten two lovely winter coats.

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Now, as you all may recall, I like to shop selectively. I don’t enjoy spending my money on items that won’t last very long. I like high quality pieces for great prices. This is part of the reason why I’ve distanced myself from some of the bargain retailers that I used to enjoy . . . I need clothes that will give me the best bang for my buck.

I also don’t like to clutter my wardrobe with a bunch of items that won’t last beyond the season. When I shop, I prefer to purchase investment pieces. This applies even when I’m at thrift stores. Just because the item has been pre-owned does it mean that I don’t hold it to a high standard! My family and friends are always amazed at some of the incredible buys that I can find, especially since these items are usually designer pieces. Their questions led me to creating this post just for you all to describe how I can find amazing luxury item for great prices. Enjoy!

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  • Do your research

What good is saving your money, picking an item, and purchasing it if you find out later that you invested poorly? It’s important to do research before investing in any luxury item. Remember that cost does not equal high quality: there are many items that label themselves “luxurious” but are in actuality overpriced, low quality goods. So do your research before purchasing any luxury item. Learn about the items best features and why it’s superior to its competitors. Compare it with similar items. If you find an item that’s being presented as a bargain, it helps to know the average selling price so that you can determine for yourself whether the price that it’s being offered for is a true bargain or if it’s too good to be true. There are a lot of high-quality knock-offs on the market, that are being sold for a pittance. If you are interested in buying true luxury goods, knowing the regular retail prices can help you avoid purchasing a good-looking fake.

  • Never be in a rush

When buying a luxury item, it’s crucial to take your time. Some of the best items can be purchased for  a steal if you time it right. Timing is not only about waiting for Black Friday sales; Actually, when it comes to most luxury goods, Black Friday is not the day that you can expect to find your best prices. Some retailers have seasons, or certain times of the year, when they clear out their overstocked  items. Patiently waiting for discounts can save a savvy consumer quite a bit of money when purchasing luxury goods.

  • There’s no shame in buying used luxury items

The beauty of pre-owned luxury items is that many of the previous owners have taken excellent care of their possessions.  if you don’t disclose when and how you bought an item, no one will know that you purchased it used. Also, depending on the luxury item, having previous owners may be unavoidable. Think of fashions from the 1920s and 1930s: surely you wouldn’t be the first person to own those items! So when purchasing used luxury items, just make sure that the items are in excellent condition or, at very minimum, in a condition that is suitable to you. Some items, such as furniture or home other home goods, may not need to be in pristine condition for what you’re intending. In fact, depending on the item, a slightly used, worn-in look maybe preferred.

Since this conversation is about luxury fashion, you would want to make sure that the clothing is in great condition before purchasing. Even vintage items should be scrutinized for signs of wear that can detract from the attractiveness of the garment.

Those are my top three tips for finding luxury fashion bargains! Do you all have any other tips? If so, please let me know in the comments below!

style

Social Wardrobe for Soft Classics

During the holiday season, you all may find that you have more invitations that you expected . . . At least, that’s been my experience. With all of the parties, galas, and gatherings this season, I realize I needed to assess my wardrobe and see if I had the clothing I needed to stylishly sail through it.

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I figured that it’s important to have a basic “social wardrobe” that flatters my Soft Classic Kibbe type (more about my Kibbe type here and here; click here for general information about body typing). My social wardrobe takes into account my Kibbe type so if you have a different type, you may want to ignore some of the highly personal suggestions and just think about the concepts overall. Even if you have a different Kibbe type, you still will likely benefit from assessing your social calendar and what few items you’ll need to look your best.

  • A fitted sheath

The silhouette should be fitted but not tight: the goal is a structured look that emphasizes the waist without looking overly exaggerated. I really like this very affordable option by Muxxn: it comes in a variety of colors, and it’s easy to dress this up with glamorous jewelry and ornate shoes. However, there’s always the possibility of wearing this with a blazer and nude pumps and then you have a great ready-for-work ensemble.

  • A sleek turtleneck

This is a versatile piece that goes from work to social settings with ease. I love turtlenecks with little extra details that make it look festive. I recently got a turtleneck from White House Black Market that is positively divine. It has small buttons on the sleeves that add a feminine touch. This looks great paired with ankle-length pants or tucked into a voluminous skirt in a dressy-looking fabric (like faille or satin). Sadly, my turtleneck has since sold out, but perhaps they will eventually make it available again. . . Until then, this lovely turtleneck with inset sleeves by PattyBoutik is a pretty, unique interpretation of the traditional turtleneck.

  • 1950s style dress

Fitted bodice, A-line (or fuller) skirt – think swing dresses – and perfectly coiffed hair are all timelessly chic elements of some of my favorite looks from previous social events. I really love how Amazon has a lot of 1950s-inspired styles for reasonable prices. I wore a lacy blush dress by Dressystar when I was a bridesmaid this summer, and I fell in love with the design. However, if you’d like something a little more luxurious, there are many vintage-inspired retailers that have incredible offerings. Unique Vintage has a great swing style coat dress that would look elegant at a variety of events. If coat dresses aren’t your thing, then check out Scarlet Rage, Modcloth and Bitter Root Vintage (full disclosure – many of the dresses on Bitter Root are identical to designs being sold for much less on Amazon. So if the designs start looking similar . . . That may be why).

Dressystar Floral Lace Dress

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Retro Style Black Double Breasted Swing Coat Dress by Unique Vintage

Full skirt (any length)

The trick with full skirts is to make sure that the top you pair them with is fitted. The contrast of a fitted top with a full skirt can give you the look of a 1950s-style dress (discussed above) but it allows you to customize it more. The full skirt can have any color or print that you like, and you can easily pair it with tops that have different colors, sleeve lengths, necklines, etc.,. The options are endless! I really like this pleated skirt by Girstunm, which comes in over 40 designs.

Those are some of the basics that I think would be a good starting point for creating a solid social wardrobe. There are probably a few more pieces you’d recommend – if so, let me know in the comments below.

Take care, and enjoy your Tuesday!

style

Black Friday Deals and Musings

Happy Black Friday, friends! If you were able to spend time with your family and friends yesterday (on Thanksgiving), consider yourself very fortunate. I was able to visit one of my good friends, and I think it did us both a lot of good to share some time with one another.

Today, however, is Black Friday, the only day of the year where people are expected to act insane while trying to save a little money. I used to work in retail many years ago, and I worked several Black Fridays in a row (5 years straight, to be exact) and I haven’t physically gone out on Black Friday since then. I really lost my taste for shopping on this day, after I saw how wretched some people acted over “stuff”.

Don’t get me wrong: I like “stuff” as much as the next person. But I always found the Black Friday riots to be degrading and, to be frank, truly asinine. I never wanted my face to be caught up in that foolishness when the media covers the brawls and stampedes happening at big box retailers.

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Instead, I’ll peruse the sales at home and if I see something that I truly want, I’ll purchase it online. As an introvert, buying from home saves me the hassle of forced human interaction but also reduces some of the visual stimuli that can overwhelm me when I’m in disorganized, overcrowded stores. Today, I saw that some of my favorite retailers – White House Black Market, Black Halo, and Macys – are all running some pretty great sales this Black Friday. Even if you (like me) aren’t keen to interact with the crowds, this is a good time to purchase something that has been on your list for a while.

If you find some awesome deals, let me know in the comments below. Or, if you find that you just can’t hang with the Black Friday crowd, I’d love to hear all about it. Enjoy your day, and happy shopping!

art · hollywood glamour

Disney Princesses as Film Noir Heroines

Happy Tuesday, friends! Before I left for my cruise, I had a few cool things that I wanted to share over here, and now that I’m back, I can finally write some posts!

I recently came across these amazing portraits of Disney’s princesses envisioned as 1930s/1940s film noir heroines. For those that don’t know, I love movies from this period of time, especially film noir. I’m also a huge fan of Disney movies. So seeing some of my childhood favorites portrayed as boss film heroines excited me far more than it probably should have, but oh well.

I’m sharing a couple of my favorite drawings with you all here. If you want to see more, be sure to check out the artist, Astor Alexander.

Pocahontas looks like the hero we all need but don’t deserve. I’d wear this outfit right now: it’s simultaneously vintage and current. Why is this photo everything I need in life?

Cunning, dangerous, gorgeous. Jasmine draws you in like a moth to a flame. That over-the-shoulder glance is EVERYTHING. And her signature teal ensemble hasn’t lost any of its allure in Alexander’s re-envisioning. Perfection!

My personal fave, not just because she’s a Black woman like myself, but because this drawing looks so much like the impossibly gorgeous Sanaa Lathan AND this dress is something I need in my wardrobe like, today. Tiana is the edgy seductress that I want to be when I grow up. Total goals.

Make sure to check out the rest of the princesses that Alexander has reimagined. You won’t be disappointed!

style

Fall Fashion Post Run-Down

Hi guys! Now that the cool weather seems to be here to stay, I want to share some fun fall fashion posts that I’ve seen over the past few weeks. This will be a brief post, since I’m currently working on a few other things and have to keep it brief so that I have time to work on the pressing stuff. In any case, enjoy, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

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The best part about fall: leaves changing color

If you’re curious about your fall color palette, check out this post over on Best Life Facts. These colors are sure to work perfectly as you transition from summer’s warmth to autumn’s coolness.

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Geek Refined is serving up five different fall looks for your enjoyment. The cool thing about this post is that these are all great transition looks: not quite warm enough for the coldest days, but perfect for the weather right now.

If you’re looking for individual fall pieces to add to your wardrobe, check out Haley’s Beauty Room. This list has a bunch of ideas for filling the gaps with your ensembles. I especially love the trench coat recommendation.

Have fun checking out the links!

 

style · travel

Cruise Ready – How I Pack for a Seven-Day Trip

As I look ahead to my Caribbean cruise, my mind comes down to the one question that matters most of all:

What will I wear?

Now, I’ve packed for many (MANY!) trips over the years so I’m a bit of a packing pro. However, I don’t think I’ve ever written down my luggage logic. Until today.

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I’m going to break down exactly what I pack for 8 days. Warning: there are some pieces that will be worn more than once. Fortunately, the ship has a laundry room, as does the hotel that I’m staying in when I return from the cruise. Also, the ship has laundry and dry cleaning service, so you can leave the washing to someone else, if you’d like.

The outfits I’m packing are as follows:

  • 2 “anytime” dresses
  • 1 formal/semi-formal dress
  • 3 tops
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 skirt or 1 pair of capris (haven’t decided which one will make the cut yet)
  • 1 set of pajamas
  • 1 swimsuit
  • 2 sarongs/pareos
  • 10 sets of undergarments (bras and panties); 4 pairs of socks
  • 1 workout ensemble
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of heels

It’s important to remember that I’m wearing an outfit onto the ship, so I’m not counting that ensemble in the items above. For my 1st day/boarding the ship ensemble, I’ll be wearing:

  • long pants
  • blouse
  • ballet flats
  • small scarf

I want to keep it simple, but the truth is, it’s easy to run out of things to wear when you are doing a capsule wardrobe. Just because I’m keeping it simple doesn’t mean I want to be bored when I get dressed. I also don’t want to have to wear the same exact outfit 4+ times before I get home . . .

I’ve usually consulted The Vivienne Files for help with planning my travel wardrobe. I found a cruise-specific capsule wardrobe that may be of interest to someone. While I wouldn’t wear the colors and pieces specifically included, it still provides a good visual of what kind of items would give you the most versatility when packing for a cruise.

That’s my list for now. I’m actively trying to see if I can pare it down even more. If I can, I’ll let you all know! How do you all pack for travel? Let me know in the comments below!