This year’s Grammys was a bit of a whirlwind when it came to style. There were more misses than hits, but the best dressed attendees really wowed for the occasion. On music’s biggest night, these stars took the cake.
Designer Maki Osakwe knows how to mix it up and her collection Maki Oh is a testament to women’s fearlessness and complexities. The Nigerian designer grew up in the bustling city of Lagos and witnessed power dressing to the max. After dabbling in design as a child (inspired by her mother) Maki went on to formulate her own line, driven by modernity and cultural influences.
The liveliness of Lagos is seen in Maki Oh’s eclectic collection. For her latest offering- Spring 2014- there’s a healthy dose of sheer, paint splatter, athleticism and ladylike appeal. And it’s wonderfully cohesive to boot. Maki says there’s a hidden meaning behind each piece, which draws inspiration from decades ago when Nigerian women used their clothing to pass messages to others. This line also cares about the environment. Maki uses fabric that is organically dyed on silks and cottons as opposed to industrial paint dying. There’s a passion for sustainability and every part of the design process is done on Nigerian soil.
The shining stars of this collection are as diverse as the line itself. An off the shoulder knee length dress boasts puffed sleeves and a sheer skirt. It’s equal parts artistic and whimsical. Another look features an athletic-inspired top with peplum sleeves in a graphic print, reminiscent of chipped paint. The rest of the look is comprised of a high waisted silk trouser with a tad bit of colorblocking under the knee. The details are both evident and discreet, loud yet bashful, mysterious but sweet: much like the duality of a woman. At the core, Maki Oh embodies the freedom of defining your own beauty. Women want to express all sides of themselves and with this line there’s no need to choose. I’d like to see these pieces at the Fall ready-to-wear shows next month, opening night at an exhibit or pretty much any NYC event. They’ll do quite nicely in my closet.
Interior designer Kara Mann does for spaces what Maki Oh does for the body. Her work is multifaceted: daring, strong, sexy, worldly and edgy. And sweet. The New York City and Chicago based designer creates distinctive interiors by mixing modern and traditional. Here are some standouts from a few spaces she’s worked on.
The first time I visited The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit in San Francisco, I was so amazed by the beautiful visuals that I had to go again the very next day. This Fall, the masterpiece has made it’s way to New York’s Brooklyn Museum. A friend invited me to the opening night, where Gaultier himself gave a talk on fashion. The multimedia exhibit is made up of 140 haute couture and pret-a-porter ensembles organized around seven themes tracing influences of Gaultier’s over 40 year history – “from the streets of Paris to the cinema.” Custom mannequins greet you as you enter and from then on, it’s a feast for the eyes. Everything from intricate gowns to fantastical photographs by one of the most innovative fashion designers of our time. Even Gaultier’s old stuffed teddy bear (on which he designed his first-ever cone bra) makes an appearance. Amongst the standout fashion, you’ll find behind the scenes images of Gaultier fitting Madonna for her 1990 Blond Ambition tour. There’s literally too many amazing instances in this exhibit to count. I left once again inspired by the unique way Gaultier creates art through fashion.
Fellow style blogger, Aimee Song of Songofstyle is known as much for her apartment decor as her stellar style. The interior designer’s LA home is filled to the brim with color, texture and inspiration. Starting with the living room, Aimee uses a custom cobalt blue couch as a bold statement piece and continues the theme with a chic animal print rug, ink painting and tiled mirror. Bronze and gold pillows add ample color to the space. In the hallway there’s a gold table of art books and beautiful candle holders. A painting hangs above featuring a woman in colorful African attire amidst a black and white background. It’s a simple yet striking set up. Aimee’s “midnight blue” bedroom is serene sprinkled with fresh flowers and pretty plum accents. Off to the right peaks a textured beige rug. In the closet, Aimee color codes her clothing, which is a more artsy than neurotic habit as the grouped hues add dimension to the wardrobe. It’s a home that’s exciting and insanely unique. The space is artsy without being stuffy which makes for one perfectly lived-in home.
For those who enjoy a sophisticated, minimal style, you will surely fall in love with Valentina Kova. Valentina started off as a jewelry designer in 2011 and for the Fall 2013/2014 season, she expanded her brand to include a womenswear collection, made entirely of Italian leather and silk. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valentina studied classical art before moving to the states to attend Parsons. She then went on to study at La Cambre in Brussels before moving to Paris, where she worked closely with jewelry designer Natalia Brilli. After a three year stint teaching at Parsons in New York, Valentina decided to put her innovative ideas to work and start her own line. Her designs are for the woman who is confident and classy, with a bit of spunk. Valentina’s clean aesthetic is a breath of fresh air: classic silhouettes mixed with new-age flair. I had the chance to both view and try on the new Spring 2014 collection, housed at premier pr agency, The Collective (founded by Alex Dickerson and Erin Kelly). I was immediately struck by the line’s craftsmanship and luxurious feel. Pieces on my must-have list include a long silk trench in cobalt blue, a sleek black leather skirt with sheer cutouts and the Spring/Summer staple: an fiery cutout silk maxi dress. The collection is pure luxury and the world has taken notice. Valentina’s work has been featured in Nylon, Harper’s Bazar Russia and Glamour Mexico, among others. Lady Gaga was spotted in a silk lipstick red jumpsuit, looking more sophisticated than I’ve ever seen her.
Sometimes we just need a bag that will make our outfits soar. The sartorial icing on the cake. Enter Khirma Eliazov and Lili Radu, handbag designers who are changing the game with every clutch. These two women have totally different styles: Lili is sleek and minimal, while Khirma is known for her standout details. But both share a passion for creating gorgeous bags that are instant conversation starters. I consider myself a lucky gal since I’ve had the pleasure of meeting both women and subsequently falling in love with their bags. Here’s my takeaway.
The Statement Maker: Khirma Eliazov
I first met Khirma (a former freelance accessories editor for Vogue) in 2010 at Henri Bendel, about a year after her launch. We spoke that day and I was immediately intrigued with her unique aesthetic and clever detailing, many of which were inspired by her family. Plus, I loved that she named her bags after close friends! Khirma’s trademark lies in her head-turning statement clutches and bags, each made of exotic skins and beautiful stingray. It wasn’t long before I became hooked, steadily featuring her clutches and bags on my blog, JoyLovesFashion. Here are my favorites:
Tulu means long haired in Turkish. These rugs were made in the past for the purpose of getting warmth and for sleeping. They are soft, usually have vibrant colors and are very shiny. Antique Tulu rugs are some of the most beautiful textile creations in the entire world. They can be identified by their artistic details and luscious texture. These rugs were made by hand knotting with the Ghiordes knotting style. Tulu rug patterns are unique but they are mostly based on flowery or vinery designs with something solid or plain for a centerpiece. Tulu rugs are usually woven with a combination of vibrant and earthy tones for balance.
Our collection of Tulu rugs is specially selected from Anatolia, the home of the Tulu rugs as well as other parts around it with a rich heritage of Tulu rug weaving. We guarantee great quality antique Tulu rugs no matter your choice. Every Tulu rug has a history, a story that it carries in its threads. Tulu rugs are woven in the city of Karapinar, which lies east of Konya. It is home to a lot of mountains and plains. At least 100 years ago, the people of the village could not grow plants or tend livestock because of the conditions at the time. As a result, they started doing Tulu weaving (long–haired) and producing Tulu – rugs. Most of these rugs are 70–100 years old. They begin weaving these Tulus to keep themselves warm in the blistering cold up in the mountains. Commercial Tulu rug weaving only started recently to help them make a living for themselves.
Some Tulu rugs show regional geography and terrain, hence, the flowery and vinery centerpieces and designs. Some Tulu rugs exist with oatmeal fields (centers) and more solid edges. This depicts the plains of the Karapinar and the mountains depict the solid edges that give some balance to the city of Karapinar.
Owning one of these Antiques mean owning a beautiful, soft and luscious piece of history. It’s worth it.
There’s a new fashion darling in town and her name’s Lupita Nyong’o. The Kenyan actress got her big break three weeks before graduating from the Yale School of Drama when she was cast to play Patsey in “12 Years A Slave”. Since then, Lupita’s generated a buzz off the screen for her knockout style. With the help of stylist Micaela Erlanger, she’s topped best dressed lists in everything from Roland Mouret to J. Mendel, all while rubbing shoulders with industry heavyweights, like Anna Wintour. Bold color is one secret to Lupita’s winning looks. Take some cues from these and borrow them for your home.
1. Burnt Orange (Click for rugs in this color)
Leopard pumps are the perfect compliment to this gorgeous Antonio Berardi sheath. To let the strong detail of the dress shine, all you need are simple hoop earrings and a pretty nude lip.
As the weather chills, we are hit with the harsh reality (literally) that it’s time to change our wardrobe. Don’t fret! Layering and adding heavier pieces doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. Fall and winter bring new opportunities to mix warm weather favorites with cold weather staples. But it doesn’t end with your clothes. Layering also works wonders for your home by adding warmth and texture. Here are some fashion styling tips I share with my clients plus ways to get a similar look and feel for your home!
1. Play With Proportion And Texture
Avoid looking frumpy by paying close attention to your proportions. This holds true for the entire year but is extra important in cold weather. Just remember: if you go full on top, taper down below – and vice versa. You’ll create a flattering silhouette while keeping warm. Start with a tank top and Paige dark wash skinny jeans. Add a printed piece like this McQ Alexander McQueen sweater which lends fun pop and texture to the look. Then, throw on a classic Mango cape and a pair of Alexander Wang chelsea boots. How awesome is the architectural detail on these? Finish off the look with a statement Bally bag, gold hoop earrings, layered rings and a matching iPhone case. For beauty, try Butter London Lippy lipgloss and Essie nail polish. Trés chic!
For home, balance proportions by incorporating furniture of various sizes, like the short coffee table and larger couch. A printed wall and textured rug add a pleasant warmth to the entire space.
Here’s a recap of the hottest Spring 2014 looks straight from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, of course, paired with our always trendy collection of rugs.
A great quote to start off the show:
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – Rene Margritte (Harper’s Bazaar, August 2013)
Balenciaga Dress Contemporary Custom Rug, 10′ × 14′
Lela Rose dress Art Deco Rug, circa: 1930, 9′ × 8’1″
Emerson dress An Irish Rug designed by CFA Voysey, circa: 1920, 20’7″ × 13”
Honor dress A Persian Tabriz Rug, circa: 1900, 15′ × 10’6″
Rebecca Minkoff dress A Samarkand Rug, circa: 1880, 13’4″ × 5’2″
Altuzarra outfit Metal Blue Ombre Rug, 15’2″ × 12′
This Spring in both fashion and interiors floral patterns are making a strong comeback. Bold, bright blooms, dramatic floral prints, and romantic foliage can be seen in the windows of fashion brands like J. Crew, Liberty and Ann Taylor. And in a nod to the 70s, blooms are showing up again as hair accessories for ladies looking to set a romantic mood. Today’s florals are much more modern than those that were all the rage in the 70s. Since the decade of the flower child, 21st Century floral patterns have grown to embrace neon shades, watercolor illustrations, and oversized designs, creating accessories with a fresher, more contemporary look. There are some beautiful ways to bring this runway-ready style home, especially when it comes to classic rugs. Whether looking at Chinese Deco Rugs, or Ukrainian carpets, florals can have a powerful impact in your interior this Spring.
J. Crew collaborated with British Store Liberty to bring their iconic blooms to the U.S. With a unique painterly quality, these floral patterns are soft and elegant. In bright hues of yellow, hot pink and turquoise, the vibrant color palette takes florals from dainty and dated to modern and striking.
Florals have also take on a rock and roll edge this season. Pair them with unexpected shades like jet black for contrast. Fashion designer Araks Yeramyan was featured on the J. Crew blog wearing this sheer black top with a bright yellow and hot pink floral design. The combination is truly daring.
To bring that same elegance to your interior, pieces like this Chinese Art Deco rug will do the trick. The floral scene is very modern and radiant in striking shades of tangerine, emerald and pink.
For something more romantic this rug from the Ukraine looks as if dozens of roses have been spread across the floor. In pink and red it is the perfect accent piece for lasting romance.
When looking for ways to bring flowers to your space, be on the lookout for bright floral patterns in unique colorways. This Chinese carpet looks like a magical garden in shades of lilac and mint. Below is another fantastic Chinese Deco carpet that would brighten any room.
Dare to go floral, and check out these flowery rugs at Doris Leslie Blau just in time for Spring > (http://www.dorisleslieblau.com/index.php?params%5Bsearch_text%5D=floral&go=%A0§ion=search_results)
By Jeanine Hays (www.aphrochicshop.com)