La V en Style

For all those searching a life of style…

Month: March, 2012

Italian Fashion Trends

This week blogger, Caroline Kaszycki has Italy, fashion, and summer on her mind! Check out her question below and my ‘dolce’ advice!

Question:  Experiencing a semester in Rome has taught me a lot about the top-notch fashion culture in Italy.  What are some of the new trends in Italian fashion that Americans can start wearing this summer.

Like Caroline, I spent a wonderful four months in Rome studying not only the art of good pizza, the taste of sweet wine, and the perfect paths for gelato strolling, but also Italian fashion and design. Today, I will relate my Italian fashion knowledge to the latest Italian fashion trends straight from the Milan Spring/Summer Fashion Shows.

1. Lace

Prada RTC S/S12 Look 7

Lace was covering the runways this season, not only in Milan but also in Paris, New York, and London. From shirts, to dresses, to skirts, it was everywhere and personally I love lace! It’s such a feminine material that can be dressed up with pastels for a flirty look or it can be paired with dark leathers for an edgier appeal.

2. Floral prints

Dolce & Gabbana S/S12 Look 36

Floral prints are my favorite trend this season and these Dolce and Gabbana prints are great! Taking a twist on florals Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana used fruit prints, of typical fruits from an Italian outdoor market. The design duo took influence from the idea of a small Southern Italian town in the 1950s. While my mouth was watering for one of these delectable Italian dresses, it was the wicker basket purses that caught my eye. The promenet “Made in Italy” stamp made its name in the 1940s and 50s when fashion houses such as Ferragamo used Italian resources, hence the famous Ferragamo cork wedge. The use of wicker purse baskets is reminiscent of the beginning of Italian fashion.

3. Short suits

Pucci RTW S/S12 Look 6

Short suits were all over the runways this season–in every fashion city! However, it is Pucci’s sultry edition that is reminiscent of the days of the famous Sophia Loren.

4. Metallics

Max Mara RTW S/S12 Look 41

Shiny is in! Metallics are making way on the runway in everything from clothes to shoes! I love this sleek, shiny look from Italian house Max Mara, known for its high quality and clean lines.

5. Cars?

Prada S/S12 RTW Look 17

Yes car inspiration seemed to make a debut on the Prada runways, among other fashion houses. Vintage car themes seemed to meander their way through the collection with 50s style graphic themes, pastel colors, even bumper inpired heels! While Miuccia Prada took inspiration from vintage cars, the pastel colors, particularly the blue, reminds me of the Vespa, one of the most famous Italian designs.

Akris RTW S/S12 Look 6

Style Guide: Are you ready for all the “MadMen-ess”?

It’s just one day before all the “Mad Men-ess” begins! Heading to a Mad Men viewing party? Have nothing to wear? Don’t fret! Check out my ManMen style guide below to channel all your favorite female characters and be inspired to create your very own look and step out in Mad Men style! Joan Holloway: Joan is known for her voluptuous figure, but a master at pulling off sexy without too much skin. Try out this TopshopTwist cutout bodycon dress for an modern-day Joan look! Pair it with this Oscar de a Renta Marelia clutch to update the ensemble. Just add a pair of chunky black heels and you’re ready to go in Joan-style!

Topshop Cutout Bodycon Dress

Photo courtesy of

Betty Draper:

Photo courtesy of Puppy Love Preschool

Betty’s style just happens to be my favorite. I love her refined, chic looks. While her night attire is often elegant and stunning, I think it’s fun to incorporate her flirty daywear with my own staple pieces. I was inspired to play with her daywear looks after finding this amazing green lace tulip dress from Zara. The rich green pairs nicely with one of my favorite red bags, also from Zara, and my Sam Edelman T-strap wedges. I like keeping within the rich tones for the look and adding a pop of light cream with my go-to spring coat.

That's me! Photo filtered through diptic and instagram

While I didn’t get a chance to see this one in stores, I found this lovely floral frock with searching the Zara USA website. It’s another classic ‘Betty Draper’ that would pair nicely with flats or heels, a cardigan and vintage-inspired white glasses.

Zara dress

Peggy Olsen: In the most recent seasons, Peggy has really stepped up her style. Mimic Peggy’s new chic-ness with this Ann Taylor crepe shoulder ruffle sheath dress.

Ann Taylor Ruffle Sheath Dress

Pair the dress with this floral print cardigan from none other than the Banana Republic Mad Men collection.

Banana Republic Mad Men Collection cardigan rose print

Sally Draper:

Photo courtesy of

Not only are the adult clothes fabulous on this Emmy Award winning show, but who doesn’t love the adorable kids outfits. If only I dressed this cute as a kid. One of the best parts of the show has been watching Sally grow up and her personal style evolve. If you are brining your little one to a party, these Oscar de la Renta dresses are perfect for any “Sally wanna-be.” See for more beautiful floral patterns!

Oscar de la Renta Girl's Sleeveless Party Dress. Photo courtesy of

If your child is a bit younger, channel Sally’s younger years with this pretty, pink Oscar de la Renta Tavora dress.

Oscar de la Renta's Girl's Tavora Dress

Share all your post party looks here and show us your unique Mad Men attire!

Q&A: Behind-the-Scenes at Fashion Week with an Event Producer

With last week’s end of L.A Fashion Week and Japan Fashion Week kicking off to a great start this week, I thought it would be interesting to get an inside perspective of what producing a fashion show is really like. This week I had the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes peek at fashion week from an industry insider, event producer, Brittney Escovedo. Get the inside scoop below!

What company(s) do you or have you worked for?
 I work for Seventh House, which is a fashion PR and event production firm.

What is your formal job title?
Production – Events and Lifestyle Assistant

How many years have you worked in the industry?
3 years

How many Fashion Weeks have you worked?
5 seasons

What exactly does an event producer do for Fashion Week?
We are responsible for everything from the conception of the fashion show to design and everything in between. We provide casting director options, stylist options, musical direction (whether that may be a dj or live performance), décor, lighting, sourcing a hair and make-up team, supplies for the show, seating cards, etc.

How far in advance do you start working on events before the actual event date?
It depends on the client and the scale of the event. Anywhere from a year in advance to 30 days in advance.

What does a Fashion Week ‘day’ look like?
A day during fashion week is a whirlwind… there are castings taking place, which is when models are fit in the clothing, full body  photographs are taken and then placed on a model board. Later when model options are sent out then the exact look for each model will be decided upon. Simultaneously, the stylist is working on the looks and determining the appropriate accessories, while the hair and make-up team is working on the test look. All the elements are inspired by the season’s inspiration/theme.

What is your favorite part about planning and facilitating shows and events?
For a fashion show, it is when everyone is seated, the lights go down and the show is getting ready to start. That is when is it all worth the blood, sweat, and tears. For an event, it would be when it’s over and the client is happy with the overall outcome and again that is when you know that it was all worth it.

What is one of your favorite shows you’ve worked on and why?
Odd Molly SS12 – it was very unique and we were able to really think outside of the box and create something beautiful in a limited space. We transformed what was a simple 50 x 50 black box and brought it to life, creating a garden feel with lush red roses, greenery and bright red apples.

My second favorite show would be the Erickson Beamon FW12 show. I love music and we had The Citizens Band perform and brought in a full stage, set, and truly created a 1920’s Parisian supper club. It was incredible and you felt that you were back in that time period, again in another limited space.

What is one of the most challenging fashion week events you worked and why?
My first fashion week season because I didn’t have any experience; it was the most shows and events I have ever done in a week. We had 17 shows and events in maybe five days.

What are five tips you can give about working Fashion Week?
1. Have integrity in your work
2. Give all that you have to offer, 100% of the time
3. Cultivate relationships and be fair to other people
4. Respect your client, despite how you feel about his or her ideas/position
5. Always be willing to do anything that you would ask someone else to carry out

What is your favorite part about Fashion Week?
The chaos of it all.

Least favorite?
Not sure, I love what I do… maybe dealing with the money because of the recession, budgets are quite small and limiting for designers. However, despite the limited budgets, we still work hard to satisfy the client and execute a beautiful show and/or event.

*This interview has been condensed and edited.

Fashion 4×4: How a fashionista makes use of a small place

As a city dweller, I have spent the last four years grappling with pint size closets and storage-size rooms. Having changed my apartment every four to six months between four different cities (including three different countries), I can truly say I have become an expert mover, packer, organizer, and most of all, I’ve truly gained that “make it work” skill.

From New York City to Chicago to Rome to Madrid, it’s not easy to be a fashionista in a city size place. But with a little creativity I have acquired a few great ideas on how to make a small space work and still look great!

Follow a few of my tips below to make your space work!

1. Hat boxes

These adorable boxes make the perfect storage space! Coming in all shapes, colors and sizes, you can pick just the right ones to match your style and space! I prefer the vintage ones that complement my style and add character to any place. I use mine to store hats (obviously), scarves, gloves, socks, and stockings. A variety of hat boxes can typically be found at antique or vintage stores. I inherited some beautiful ones from my grandmother.

I also like the modern vintage cardboard versions, often found at craft stores. I use these to hold papers, pens, stationary, mementos, and knick-knacks.

My vintage hat boxes! Photo filtered through Instagram and Photo Collage.

2. Shelves

This seems like an obvious one, but here’s the twist! Use shelves for everything other than your typical photo frame and book items. I use my shelves as storage for my favorite high heels. It’s the perfect way to show off your gorgeous heels. Rather than bury them at the bottom of your closet, use them as fabulous decorations!

Photo taken by me. Filtered through Photo Collage and instagram.

3. Empty shelf liner boxes

Shelf liners are an essential apartment piece for me. I love the inexpensive wallpaper style kinds found at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx. They add a nice touch to any drawer, as well as a lovely scent. They also just happen to come in beautiful divided boxes. Once I line my drawers, I use these boxes for jewelry, accessories, and intimates. They keep everything organized in the most stylish way.

Photo taken by me. Filtered through Photo Collage and instagram.

4. Creativity, just make it work!

Whatever room you are in you can always make use of the space you are given. Whether it be a built in furniture piece or simply high ceilings, use what you have. My current apartment has what I like to call great “window nooks.” The small wall spaces serve as a perfect place to store what else but more shoes, of course! While it’s a convenient creation, it does make it more difficult to get a pair out, therefore I prefer to store my “off season” shoes in the little nook.

Photo taken by me. Filtered through Diptic and instagram.

Are you a fashionista confined to a small, city place? Share your ‘how to make it work’ tips here!

Banana Republic and Estee Lauder: “Mad” for Fashion

Janie Bryant, Amy Smart, Kiernan Shipka. Photo from Associated Press.

There are only 11 days left before Mad Men’s Season Five debut on AMC next Sunday. The show has always been a hit, and many fans’ attraction stems from Mad Men’s fashion. Janie Bryant, Mad Men’s Emmy-award winning costume designer, draws viewers’ attention by keeping the show’s style timely but not dated.  Bryant has unveiled her third collaboration with Banana Republic’s creative director Simon Kneen in light of Mad Men’s new season, and Estee Lauder  followed the duo’s trend by teaming up with Mad Men for two of its most recent collections. Many shoppers are expanding their wardrobes and updating their cosmetic collections to get involved with the hype.

Mad Men’s 1960s vintage style has been influencing designers since the series began. In 2008, Michael Kors, who claims to be a Mad Men fan, imitated the show’s jewel-toned costumes, elegant furs and feminine silhouettes on the runway. In fall 2012, the trend continued as Prada incorporated Mad Men’s silhouette, high waists, A-line skirts and tweed fabric designed to flatter an hourglass figure. Prada models even mimicked the beehive hairdo viewers often see on the show.

Banana Republic’s most recent Mad Men collection first debuted on a Virgin America flight from JFK to LAX. But, the limited edition collection launched March 1 in stores and online, and it’s selling fast. Bryant and Kneen take the vintage 1960s looks and add a touch of modern flair. They’ve accommodated current fashions while still savoring and reincarnating the beauty of the 1960s’ past style.

Banana Republic fully represents the ‘60s woman with pieces ranging from full skirted, high waisted dresses made of floral sheath to pink or white cropped cigarette pants paired with triple toned pumps. To top it off, the handbags and jewelry perfectly accentuate the collection’s timeless appeal. Banana Republic has previously released Mad Men collections, but their latest collection lends itself to spring and summer’s country club scene of style and refinement.

Along with a 1960s-inspired wardrobe, fans and shoppers can also indulge in Estee Lauder’s limited edition Mad Men collections. Estee Lauder’s collection features a smooth, matte, coral tinted lipstick called “Cherry” for $25. Its orange- red hue is one of the spring fashion season’s hottest colors, so the period fashion piece fits in nicely with modern trends.

The brand also came out with a $40 pink crème rouge to complement those cherry lips. The rouge, named “Evening Rose,” is a drier blush, so it glides on smoothly and stays in place.

Both the lipstick and the rouge are sold on Estee Lauder’s website and at Bloomingdale’s for a limited time. The cosmetics are sold in a stylish Mad Men inspired white, gold and light blue floral print box with glamorous gold fabric cases holding the make up inside.

With timeless collections from both Banana Republic and Estee Lauder, Mad Men aficionados will be able to celebrate the show’s fifth season premiere in style.

Article by guestblogger Hannah Lutz.

Timeline: Changes at The House of Yves Saint Laurent

After seven years as the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, Stefano Pilati is confirmed to be exiting the famed fashion house.

Speculations of the change began in late February 2012 and were confirmed upon the day of the YSL Women’s RTW Fall/Winter 2012 fashion show.

Pilati began with the house about seven years ago, succeeding the creative director of the time, Tom Ford. According to WWD, “Pilati had worked under the rumor of possible dismissal almost from the day he assumed the role of creative director seven years ago.”

His final show took place March 5, 2012 and received great reviews. Using dark undertones, the collection was very strong using “black silhouettes, cinched waists” and “leather feeding” Pilati created a “woman-in-control” aura. Items embodied strong shoulders and “ultrsleek and lean” skirts, dresses, and shirts, WWD reports.

According to WWD, Pilati showed “no signs of bitterness” with the departure stating,  “I accomplished what I’ve been asked to. I accomplished what I wanted,” he said. “I didn’t really see myself in 25 years at Yves Saint Laurent. It was an experiment, but I’m happy either way. “I’ve been here seven years, and my contract expires, and I’m fine to move on,”

Only days after his final show YSL justified specualtions confirming Hedi Slimane to be the new creative director.

WWD reports that Slimane will, “assume “total creative responsibility for the brand image and all its collections,” while continuing to pursue his career in photography.” Slimane wil start a the house after exiting YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme a dozen years ago.

See the timeline for details.

The Best Flea Markets: New York City

Photo from

New York is the best of many things. After living in the big apple the last two summers, I can say without a doubt it has the best pizza (sorry fellow Chicagoans), the best cupcakes, and most importantly the best flea markets! From $5 jewelry finds at an East Village neighborhood market to $500 armours at the Brooklyn Flea, I’ve been to them all! Read all about my favorite three and find their exact location using my personalized googlemap!

Mary Help of Christian’s School Flea Market – There wasn’t a Saturday or Sunday that you wouldn’t find me at this East Village market, dangerously located directly across from my apartment. While vendors changed occasionally, there were some flea market staples at this place, located in an elementary school parking lot. My favorite being, “the five dollar skirt stop.” This vendor came every weekend loaded with two racks full of skirts. I found three amazing floor length, floral pieces that have become mainstays in my wardrobe, for every season! While the jewelry section is somewhat lacking. This place is loaded with vintage looking tees, dresses, and skirts. Let me warn you while it may be small, this market is packed with great finds! This is a place for what I like to call a “real digger,” or one who can spend hours rummaging through racks with excitement. If you find Salvation armies your treasure island, then this is the market for you!

Vintage Floral skirt - $5 find! Photo by me edited with Instagram

Another $5 skirt find! Photo by me, filtered through instagram

The Brooklyn Flea– This flea market is the most famous—and for good reason! It is huge! With more than 100 vendors and multiple locations this one covers it all! O yes, and did I mention they sell local gourmet food? This year-round market takes place in several locations including, Fort Greene in Williamsburg and the Skylight One Hanson building. I would consider the market upscale with a variety of vendors carrying everything from handcrafted jewelry to antique furniture, home decor, clothing, and collectibles.

My beautiful flea market earring find from a local designer. Photo taken by me, filtered through instagram.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market – My first New York flea market experience took place at this street in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. With a range of prices and a variety of items, including clothing, books, and jewelry, this became my weekend stop for fabulous rings and summer sun dresses.

This bold blue ring is my favorite Hell's Kitchen find. Photo taken by me, filtered through instagram.

Grab the map and start shopping! Share your favorite flea market finds here!