Thursday, January 18, 2018

Changing Shape: A Dress for All Seasons





Last spring I attended an event sponsored by the Seattle Chapter of Fashion Group International featuring local designers in a Pop-Up Shop at University Village. It was really great to see so many amazing creatives in one spot and I did not go home empty handed! It was at this fashionably fun evening that I had the pleasure of meeting Rebekah Adams, the local designer behind the label Poppyseed. I was so smitten with her Zipper Dress that I bought it on the spot.

The following September at Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection, Poppyseed won the Independent Designer Runway Show for 2017. I attended the show, and in my article for Vanguard Seattle I wrote:
"Poppyseed’s innovative designs and modern aesthetic make her pieces both wearable and completely original in their approach to dressing. While the brand is geared towards modern maternity wear, the designs has a wider focus that has created bold pieces that are can be worn by women in any stage of life. The “Zipper Dress” was her first foray into this versatile dressing and kicked off the creativity of Poppyseed that won the show this fall."



The Zipper Dress from the Poppyseed capsule collection was originally designed with a woman's pregnancy and changing body in mind. The double zipper front is sewn onto inverted pleats, which allows the dress to change its shape. Zip it open for a bell silhouette, close the zippers for a fitted look, or a bit of half and half. It has multiple and charming personalities and I love the details of the high/low hem, plus the viscose, nylon, and spandex fabric combination make it keep its shape beautifully.




That being said, I am not expecting anything other than some packages from the UPS man so I wasn't in the market for maternity wear. ;)  However, this beautifully unique dress is not only for ladies with a baby on the way, it is a fabulous and uber flattering dress no matter what your size and shape. It comes in black or navy and is equally able to look casual chic or dressed up for cocktails.




I love the dress so much that I didn't want to have it be just for warmer months, but wanted to style so I could wear it in cooler temps without freezing to death. (I am often cold!) The solution? Layers. Athleisure wear continues to be strong for Spring 2018, with cool and unique sweatshirts giving us a fun alternative to knits. I hit the sales this month here and there and found this cool Jonathan Simkhai Lace Appliqué Cropped Sweatshirt in black and blue, a favorite color combination of mine. I love this cropped sweatshirt over this dress, which doesn't hide all of its great details and creates a whole new look. It is unexpected and I like that.




I added black heeled Via Spiga booties with sparkling Emilio Cavallini Metallic Double Net Socks peeking out to them...I am obsessed with socks! Socks with booties, socks with high heels. Get yourself some super fun socks! Finally, a cool bag: this black Valentino Rockstud Garavani Bag I received from Santa gives the whole thing a bit of sass.

I have been cleaning out my closet and slowly adding things to my closet on Postmark and consigning other things to local shops. Getting things organized helps me shop in my own closet too and mix things unexpected together. Adding a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt can change up a dress you already have in your closet and give it a new perspective, all while keeping you warm in the winter months ahead. Try it with any of your favorite dresses, from florals to prints to solids, and add a layer, socks or tights and a pair of booties to get creative with both your old and new loves in your closet.
Thank you for reading! xx


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don't Be Like The Rest of Them, Darling

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

This past year in fashion has been a significant one. At the beginning of 2017 we saw the now iconic pink pussy hat kick off a year of originality and unique voices in fashion and beyond. The Pussyhat Project was initiated by Los-Angeles based co-founders Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman for the Women's March on January 21, 2017. The pink hat that was knitted by Zweiman, which became the icon for a call on people to turn the Women’s March into a ‘sea of pink’, is now on display in the the Rapid Response Collecting Gallery of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The gallery shows how current global events, politics and pop cultural can impact, or are influenced by, design, art, architecture and technology. In addition, The Design Museum has nominated the Pussyhat Project as a Fashion Design of the Year. The cheerful pink hat with ears kicked off the year with not a purr, but a roar.

Jana Zweiman's Pink Pussy Hat 

Other major impactful events include The Costume Institute’s “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons” show and most notably to me, Rihanna's spectacular attire at the Gala. I didn't get an invite to that fabulous event, but my daughter and I did attend the opening day of the Dior 70th Anniversary Exhibit in Paris at the Musee des Arts Decoratifis. We not only were at the front of the line on the first day it was open to the public, inside we rubbed elbows with Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, who was touring the Exhibit with a guide among we mere mortals. My 16 year old daughter actually talked to Ms. Wintour, and got a compliment on her outfit. Talk about being over the moon! The exhibit was one of the most magnificent things I have ever seen.




Over the year I have loved seeing the development of creativity from both major labels and independent designers. Mixed patterns, and interesting and unexpected combinations served as inspiration to show major style in an original way. While there is an "anything goes" feel to it, there is also a method to the madness. While things like wearing sequins in the daytime is hardly groundbreaking these days, the loosening of "rules" ( I am talking to you, "no white after Labor Day" rule followers) to non-existence is the best thing that has happened in fashion in a long time. Denim on denim? Yes, please. J.Crew Green Velvet Avery Pumps that "match" nothing else in my look, even better.





I have especially been a fan of the way denim has evolved. While the classic Levi has re-emerged as a coveted brand, almost everywhere you look you can find denim labels that are thinking and designing with a contemporary feel. Back at the beginning of December I was shopping at the Nordstrom Holiday Shopping Night when I spotted a pair of denim that stopped me in my tracks. The Rachel Comey Revel Pant consist of a frayed, cascading ruffle on one leg and a cropped, wide-leg made in dark-rinse denim. They are as fabulous with heels as they are with booties or a pair of sneakers. Best. Denim. Ever.




These epic pants have such an incredible high waist that they are the perfect pairing with a cropped sweater. The rag & bone Jubilee Crew Sweater in navy wool is a fantastic cropped knit that shows off with killer details. From the modern silhouette to the rose gold lurex thread and Waterbury hand-stamped signature dagger rose gold buttons, this little piece has serious style.




And speaking of style, I found this Zara Checked Coat with Faux Fur Cuffs in New York this past fall and loved the slouchy oversized look and the elegance of it. I have worn it again and again. It's the warmer version of the oversized plaid blazer that is one of the big looks this season.




And last but not least, these beautiful earrings are locally designed and made by Allison Becker of Elliot Hunter. They are black lace onyx and sterling silver and I adore the chic simplicity and shoulder sweeping design. The black onyx protects against negative energy of others and aids in the development of stamina, which, in addition to being beautiful, are just more good reasons to wear these constantly. You can see more Elliot Hunter pieces on Instagram. There is nothing I love more than sharing the best of the local design talent in this city, and Elliot Hunter is a prime example of this excellence.

As always, wearing what you love and being yourself is always the most authentic way to show true style. And remember...

"Don't be like the rest of them, darling." ~ Coco Chanel






Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Holiday Cheer: The Not So Ugly Holiday Sweater



Back when I was in my 20s, I used to rock the holiday sweaters during the Christmas season without a hint of irony. There was so such thing as an ugly holiday sweater craze back then, it was just being festive. I even a tiny pair of candy cane post earrings that I loved...I mean, my holiday game was strong, if not a bit off the fashion mark. Eventually I came to the conclusion that these were not exactly me any longer and shipped my holiday sweaters off to my Mom, who was more than happy to have them. The apple definitely didn't fall far there. I did keep the earrings and I still love them! ;)



This fall I have been a bit obsessed with the Fair Isle sweater and have been on the look out for something that is a little different. The "ugly" holiday sweater craze has reached epic proportions at this point, with everyone from retail giants to vintage shops getting in on this little tongue in cheek trend. While surfing the web for fair isle sweaters I happened upon the most enchanting sweater ever, and I bought it. And yes, it is a holiday theme sweater! Let me defend myself here...




The Boden Fair Isle Sweater was full of British charm, with its guardsman around the neck embellished with the tiniest bit of silver thread. I wore it with a pair of rag and bone leather pants to make it more interesting and edgy. Then I added two pieces from local shops from my Queen Anne neighborhood. First, I wore a star print denim shirt that I purchased last summer from Foundation Seattle. Stars are everywhere this year, and the contrast of the print and the leather felt modern to me. This awesome black faux fur leather jacket from Peridot Boutique also gives the look some edgy fun.  Stuart Weitzman Notazzie black suede booties keep the line of the black pants going for a slimming affect. And while ugly sweaters have their place and are fun, don't be afraid to be festive with a holiday sweater that is actually cute. The key is to mix it with non holiday pieces to keep the look fresh, not kitschy.




Thank you to Leslie from Intermezzo Salon here on Queen Anne in Seattle for the hairstyling for this shoot and as always, to Krissi for making photoshoots so fun. This one in particular was at Swanson's Nursery in their Christmas tree area. I went back a couple of days later with my family and bought a tree from them and it couldn't have been a better experience. The trees were fragrant (and inside on a very rainy Saturday) and the staff was super nice and even loaded the tree up for us. We have been going to Swanson's since our children were small to see the real reindeer and pick out beautiful plants and holiday decor. It is definitely a year round Seattle treasure.

Cheers to a festive December! xx

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Little Green Dress and Fabulous Faux Fur


Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

I often talk about shopping local both on this blog and on my Instagram, and I really practice what I preach. Sure, I am often enticed by surfing the web or perusing the fast fashion chain world, but when it comes down to it, knowing the shop owners by name in my neighborhood and being a regular customer feels great. After all, it is a win/win situation. You can support small businesses and local companies while finding beautiful clothes, great gifts, lovely home furnishings. I love it. Plus, no matter where you live you can participate in Shop Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 25th, right after the dreaded Black Friday, a much better option.





I am going to take one holiday at a time here, and right now I am gearing up for Thanksgiving. The green dress featured in this blog is the Tart Collection Sian Dress and it is a GOOD one. I love the green ruffle bottom and of course the pockets. Plus it is the perfect length to show off a great pair of over the knee boots. I think a neutral or black suede would be gorgeous, but my Sam Edelman snake print boots add a bit of chic personality to the whole look. I love this dress and even better, it is 30% off at Queen Anne Dispatch on Friday, November 17th, when the store holds a day long party for its 30th Anniversary. Now that's something to celebrate.




Faux fur is everywhere this season and with good reason. It is the kind way to show style with fur, and faux fur comes in as many colors and kinds as you can imagine. I am a big fan of the the Pia Rossini Snood that QA Dispatch carries--every season I give them as gifts and several have made their way home to my own closet. Add it to a dress or wear it out with a coat--no matter what you have on, a little fur makes a big impact. The knit Pia Rossini Wrap Sweater I am wearing above (also from QA Dispatch) is a super cozy way to stay warm and look cool. I like wearing this chic Pia Rossini Wrap with denim too. The faux fur is so soft and "real" looking you may get people wanting to pet you.....you've been warned.

Dries Van Noten Rimbaud Faux Fur Coat

In other faux fur news, my fantasy pick has got to be the Dries Van Noten Rimbald Faux-Fur Coat from Barneys New York. I saw it on a woman yesterday with a causal pair of jeans and it is a stunner.That may be on a Christmas list....

Free People Dolce Faux Fur Bag

On the budget friendlier side, my Free People Dolce Faux Fur Bag in Wine gets more compliments than any other bag I carry. It is so fun and super soft and comes in a rainbow of furry fun colors.  It would make a great gift too but you may be too enchanted with it to give it away. ;)




From my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and cheers to a festive holiday season ahead. xx






Friday, November 10, 2017

Overall Fabulous: The Velvet Overall

Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Fashion this season has taken on a creativity that has blurred the lines of fashion rules by the pairing of unlikely patterns as well as adding nighttime luxury to day dressing. From stripes and florals and sequins in the daytime to wearing velvet all year round, there is an amazing freedom to dressing well right now. Without the constrictions of certain elements of style being for certain times of the day, the sky is the limit on showing your own unique style.




Velvet is truly one of my favorite fabrics to wear because it is the epitome of luxury. That being said, its beautiful texture can lend a chicness to something as casual as say, overalls.  I was on a hunt for the perfect pair of velvet overalls this fall and these Pilcro and The Letterpress pair at Anthropologie were that and more. They have a flattering figure hugging fit that is as comfortable as a pair of high waist denim, and yet they still have a sexy edge to them. The leg is cut in at the thigh and then flairs out on the bottom. The whole design is one of edgy femininity. They also come in a cool dark turquoise that I would have bought in a heartbeat if they had had it in stores, but the black pair are equally rock star.

Because the overalls are fitted up high, I chose to wear a fitted body suit which would guarantee I wouldn't have to constantly tuck in a more billowy top. This alice + olivia Joan Bodysuit is sold out, but I love both their Britney Bodysuit and the Becker Scallop Bodysuit. Intermix has a fabulous assortment of cool bodysuits too and I am particular to this Cinq À Sept Elara Bodysuit. 




Velvet shoes, boots and accessories are also a great way to up your style game. I collect vintage handbags and and always enchanted by the embellishments, details, and tiny mirrors that accompany vintage bags. I found this beautiful little Fuji velvet clutch embroidered with gold thread and tiny beads at one of my favorite haunts for such things, Lucky Vintage. It is a treasure trove of vintage finds of all kinds for both men and women. I bought it over the summer when it was 90+ degrees out so you know I must have been wowed by it's pristine black velvet loveliness. I look at vintage as things that have had a fabulous past life and are ready for a new chapter with me. Check out Lucky Vintage in Ballard.




I love a shoe with big personality and these stand boots stand out against the all black. I spotted these in the window at Clementines in Pioneer Square and it was love at first sight. The Kat Maconie Ursula black ankle boot is made of kid suede leather with subtly-printed pony hair and gold accents that make your exit quite dramatic.

Overalls aren't just for kids. I have a leather pair as well that I wore with a high neck lace blouse and heels to an auction. This Madewell pair has a similar vibe to my pair, but with a skinnier leg. And this A.L.C. Harlow Crepe Overall from Neiman Marcus would be gorgeous at a holiday event.

As always, thanks for reading and happy shopping! xx











Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Shop Local: Happy 30th Anniversary Queen Anne Dispatch!

Photography by Theresa Wingert

We all have things that we love about our neighborhoods that make us glad we live where we do. My family has been on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle for more than a dozen years now and we love it. It is like living in a small town inside a big city. Growing up in Billings, Montana, I lived in a 1920s house on a tree lined street, and it is a happy coincidence that my family and I ended up in the same type of neighborhood.

Up on “The Ave”, better known as Queen Anne Avenue, small businesses reign. From small clothing shops and salons to Seattle chef-owned restaurants, the street is center of the community hub. Although some things do change, (RIP Nancy’s Sewing Basket and Communique Gifts) there are a few institutions that we love around here, and one of them is Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch.

Queen Anne Mail and Dispatch, or to many of us, “The Dispatch”, was founded in 1987 by Jan Paolini. The business originated from her experience in the moving industry and her perception of what the local residents of Queen Anne needed in their neighborhood. Today Queen Anne Dispatch is not only a personal mailbox/shipping/office, it is also a boutique filled with gifts, beautiful clothing and more. The location, which was once an independent grocer where Jan's daughters bought penny candy as children, is now a center of the community here on the hill. Jan's daughter's, Tara and Sabrina, have taken her legacy and continued to make this small business an integral part of Queen Anne living.




So, now it is time to celebrate! And who doesn’t love a party? On November 17, 2017, The Dispatch will celebrate 30 years in business. This is no small feat in this ever-changing world, and you are invited! Owners Tara and Sabrina will be celebrating with the community all day long, with 30% discounts throughout the entire store, bubbles and bites, giveaways and more. Mark your calendar and come celebrate what is great about the small businesses in our neighborhood. While I was there taking advantage of their business services, several lovely pieces caught my eye, including the Gypsy Havana Midi Dress and more....






Dark florals are where it is at this season, and this gorgeous Gypsy Havana Midi Dress is completely on trend. I actually wore it backwards so that the v-front was in the back and the little buttons showed in front. The fitted Tart Collection Natasha Jacket gives it a chic vibe with its faux fur and zipper details. My red velvet Zara Sock Booties play off the colors in the floral pattern. Also, every year I buy the Pia Rossini faux fur infinity scarves, also known as a snood, for gifts (and for myself too) because they are the perfect accessory to look chic and stay warm. I love this champagne colored one because it goes with everything.







Small businesses thrive and make our community better when we all support them. Cheers to 30 more years, Queen Anne Dispatch!

Queen Anne Dispatch 30th Anniversary Party
Friday, November 17, 201,  9 am to 9 pm
2212 Queen Anne Avenue North
Seattle, Washington 98109

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blue Velvet





Photography by Kirsten Beeksma Morse

Since this is a personal blog, I am going to be personal for a moment. For the past month I have had a family member in crisis and it has taken all of me to help my loved one. Without my family, I don't know what I would have done. We seem to pull together even tighter than the tight knit clan we are in times like this, and I know that we will see this through together. Family really is everything.

In times like these it has seemed odd to me to be talking about trends and style, and all of it really seems terribly unimportant. I have been reminded that even in the darkest of times it is important to continue to move forward, to do what you love and to focus on the things that make you happy. It is important that I show my loved one that I am strong and I am present and that nothing is more important than being healthy and happy.  But it is also ok to laugh, and to write about things you love and see the light in the world again. As simple as it may sound, this beautiful fall has been a gift of sorts for me. The beautiful colors that surround me have made me feel appreciative and grounded.

And so, fashion. My photographer Kirsten Beeksma Morse, Krissi to me, is also a friend. She met me recently to do a shoot even though I mixed up the days and was totally off my game and disorganized...which is not the usual way I operate. The end result was some laughter and some friendship and some fabulous photos of a beautiful dress on a lovely fall morning. The parents at the soccer game next door to our shoot might have thought me a tad overdressed for a Saturday morning in a park, but that was part of the fun. And so, let's talk velvet......





Truly, velvet is one of my favorite materials this time to year. It is luxurious and decadent and has a celebratory feel to it. That being said, don't reserve wearing velvet for party time, it is also gorgeous in the daytime. Velvet overalls are one way to show some velvet love during the daylight hours, and you can easily toss on heels and a silk blouse to dress them up for evening. I am particular to this Pilcrow and The Letterpress pair from anthropologie because of the slim silhouette.


Pilcrow and The Letterpress Velvet Overalls


You can find velvet accessories, boots and shoes everywhere right now, which makes it easy to incorporate a bit of luxury into your existing wardrobe. I have been wearing the Madewell Gemma flats in gorgeous burgundy all fall and they will even more fab with a pair of sparkly socks, my current obsession. Jump on that socks with heels, socks with boots, socks with slides bandwagon. It is a subtle yet cool trend that is a stylish transition to take your fall shoes into the cooler months ahead.

Madewell Gemma Pointy Toe Mule

Zara Kaftan with Back Embroidery

The Kaftan has made a glamour reappearance and done right it can be uber chic. Watch out for the dusters that are too billowy or have a bathrobe vibe, unless that is what you are going for. I prefer a luxurious fabric and a longer lean silhouette. The Zara Velvet Kaftan with Back Embroidery checks all the boxes for me in this regard. And can we have a moment for those green boots? Killer.

Marcus Adler New York Velvet Baseball Cap

I love a great baseball cap and velvet gives this little lid the perfect chic update. Saks Off 5th just opened up in downtown Seattle and I found this little Marcus Adler gem for under $25. The deep merlot colored velvet is stunning, and it comes in a dark blue as well as black.






When I was in New York City last month we stayed in the meatpacking district and the dining, shopping and hotels were off the charts. It was over 80 degrees at 9 pm the day we arrived, but that didn't stop me from coveting the amazing fall fashion.
I like mixing different kinds of materials with velvet, including fur, brocade and leather. This Theory Transformer Pouche is a cross body and a clutch and its furry exterior is fantastic. This baby will be going everywhere with me this season and I especially like the way the neutral color plays off the major pop of color dress.





And finally, the dress. I love Karen from Where Did U Get That? and KarenBritChick on Instagram and am very always inspired by her personal style. When she wore this incredible blue velvet ASOS Velvet Plunge Kimono Midi Dress recently, I immediately hopped online and ordered it. It has a V-neck front, and Karen wore it backwards, which was genius. I can't begin to describe the color.. .it is aquamarine on steroids. I paired it with fun snakeskin heeled booties but it would be gorgeous with a variety of cool boots or even a heeled loafer.

Want to add some lux to your wardrobe this fall? Whether it is a pair of boots or a stunning dress, velvet is where it is at this fall. November is around the corner and this year I couldn't be more thankful and grateful for all that I hold dear. Keep your loves close and cheers to a new month ahead. xx
L.