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