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March 2010 Archives

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I snapped this photo during my last day at the tents. Two days before the iconic white tents would be taken down, never to stand in Bryant Park again.

I miss being there and am still experiencing phantom-like pain sensations, as if one stiletto'ed foot is no longer physically part of my body. Yes, I feel like one of my stylish limbs is missing and won't grow back until September when the Spring 2011 Collections are ready to show... but it will be different.

Sadly, this was both my first and last season documenting NY Fashion Week in Bryant Park as an officially credited member of the press. From February 11-18th, 2010, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week celebrated its last hurrah before packing it all up and heading to their new home at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park in September. I feel so very fortunate to have had the chance to finally experience the magic of Bryant Park during this very special, final season.

This year Fashion Week served as a walk down memory lane, with the tents adorned with quotes from our favorite fashion industry insiders who shared their fondest memories of how Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has impacted the world of fashion and changed the lives of both designers and industry professionals alike.

Over 3 million total visitors have come through the tents since 1993, and I am proud to have been one of them. I might not have been there from the beginning but I was there at the end, to leave my tiny footprints and soak it all in before it disappeared. And in September, when all the fashionable folks inside the Lincoln Center tents reminisce about the good old days at Bryant Park, I will nod, smile, understand and have a few stories of my own.

17 years.
31 seasons.
2,500 shows.

So long Bryant Park, and thank you for the memories.

This weekend as I rifled through my closet in a desperate attempt to find casual date night outfits, I sadly came to the conclusion that my overall clothing color palette was blah. The hangers and hangers of grays, blacks, browns and oatmeals hung lifeless, looking pitiful, depressed and in need of at least 40 milligrams of Paxil. In my effort to collect classic pieces and basics that I could mix and match with everything, I had painted myself into a corner. A boring, beige corner.

After trotting to the mailbox in my sad gray tank top, jeans and brown Old Navy flipflops (2 for $5), I perked up to find a mailbox filled with possibilities. One flip through the new Chico's Catalog injected me with hope, page 9 blooming with a palette of pretty pastels just in time for Spring. Just a few key pieces could save me from my utter muted color demise, and could save my blanched basics from slitting their wrists in my closet.

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The first thing added to my shopping cart was this pretty Pintuck V 3/4 Tee in Chico's color-of-the-moment, Delicacy. Great both by itself with its sweet detailing at the neckline or layered, adding a soft and lovely touch of color underneath a neutral cardigan or jacket. As for bottoms, you gotta love these Almost Famous Denim Crop Jeans, part of Chico's perfect-fitting Platinum Denim collection. Available in an assortment of colors and washes for $65 each, these cropped cuties slim, flatter and lengthen without having to do 3 reps of squats. My favorite hues for Spring? Reed Yellow, White Wash and you guessed it, Delicacy Pink.

Not crazy about pink? You can still add a little pop that will do wonders, like this Rebecca Pin, on sale for only $21. Just pin it onto your listless gray sweater or denim jacket and you'll feel like a Spring flower, just about to bloom. Beware of bees please. Another winning accessory is this Addyson Necklace, a true statement piece that can work for work, a date or a Spring wedding with its stunning combination of dyed jade, shell, glass, acrylic beads and metal chains that will draw the eyes up to your gorgeous face for $120.75.

Once my order was placed I felt better, with a warm blush finally returning to my cheeks. Then I made the mistake of opening up my underwear drawer. Jeez. How many nude thongs can a girl have? Good thing my Soma Intimates catalog arrived alongside Chico's. I can wear this Soma Lace Convertible Bra four different ways - as a strapless bra, crisscrossed, halter or traditional bra, and the Pink Punch color and stretch lace overlay.... perfect date night material.

I want this Sammy Shirt from dELiA*s...and not just because it's named after me.

It's a light and airy Spring/Summer top that is just aching to be taken out on a picnic, plus it'll look great twirling a sparkler on the 4th of July.

Wear me.

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Last night Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards Ceremony and brought a Martin & Lewis-like lightness to the show that hadn't been there in years.

There were a few surprises that ruined my chances of winning some Oscar ballot booty, but they were good surprises with The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow beating out her ex, Avatar's James Cameron, in the Best Director category (making history as the 1st woman to take home the statue for directing). Kathryn also won the biggest award of the night for Best Picture. Ahh, sweet revenge. You might have been the King of the World over a decade ago Jimbo, but your ex-wife is now the Queen. Bow down before her and enjoy your Visual Effects win.

Fashionably speaking, the fanciest frocks of the night ran the gamut from Posh to Ginger and Baby Spice with black beaded encrusted and metallic gowns, to scarlet fever hued haute couture creations and pink and purple prom ready confections.

No one looked Scary Spice though, which is a good thing.

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My award for Best Dressed goes to the angel who wore Prada. Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan for An Education channeled both Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow last night, with her Rosemary's Babyish blond cropped do and her black Prada gown that was age appropriate, graceful, daring and a bit on the rebellious rock star side without being over the top...the stuff that every memorable Oscar gown is made of.

My second favorite dress was worn by the ever so romantic, always simple, always elegant Rachel McAdams who flowed down the red carpet and the stage as a presenter in a soft, ethereal print Elie Saab gown that was truly a work of art.

There was a definite Old Hollywood vibe in the air with the glamour gal duo from The Holiday - Cameron Diaz who glowed in a beaded Oscar de la Renta gown with Veronica Lake side swept hair and the regal Kate Winslet, ending her reign as Best Actress in a structured metallic YSL creation that had a hint of the days of old, but will not be forgotten.

Best dressed boys? Tie between Twilight's Taylor Lautner and the Prince of Persia Jake Gyllenhaal. Yum.

Most improved: You were at the bottom of my lists last year and look at you now. Meryl Streep - In an exquisitely flattering crisp white gown designed by surprise surprise, Project Runway's usually campy contestant, Chris March.

With the good comes the bad. Here were my worst dressed:

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Sarah Jessica Parker in Chanel. I adore you Carrie Bradshaw, but this mellow yellow shade cast a similar yellow glow to your teeth and you looked older than your years with your Maude'ish dress and Big Mac of a bun... and hello, flyaways.

Best Supporting Actress Nominee Anna Kendrick - Your pale Elie Saab gown was lovely, but the muted color washed you out, so you came off looking more like a vampire like than any of your Twilight saga Cullen co-stars.

Zoe Saldana - You've been doing so well this award season, taking risks and standing out, but although your lilac Givency gown was decent on top, it appeared as if a gang of Muppets were fighting under your skirts, not to mention the fact that the slit down the center almost brought a Basic Instinct element to the evening.

Charlize Theron - In my opinion you are one of the most gorgeous creatures that has ever graced the red carpet. Why are you covering up your spectacular boobs with a pair of strategically placed Cinnabons?

It's finally starting to warm up and I'm aching to swap my skinny jeans and turtleneck winter combos for cute spring dresses and sandals that will make me feel youthful, sweet and reborn.

Next week is St. Paddy's Day and then Easter is just a bunny hop, skip and a jump away, so I'm starting my dress shopping early. Where am I finding the cutest Spring dresses ever? All in the pages of the Tilly's catalog.

Whether your Spring fling dress style leans towards halter necks or strapless, floral, striped, solid colored, ruffled or tiered, Tilly's has your back with dresses that will show off your back...both of 'em. Here are a handful of my favorites from Roxy:

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Get up and go anywhere in this Roxy Get Up Dress that will quickly become your go-to staple for Spring. Tilly's has it in Magenta, featuring a black bodice and colorful geometric patterns on the skirt, with halter straps that tie behind the neck. For $38.99, I say get up and buy it.

I'm a sucker for a flowery print. Explore your girlie side this season in the Roxy Newland Dress that has two very feminine ruffle tiers at top and an easy fit elastic waist. Adjustable and removable spaghetti straps give it even more flower power and versatility for $37.99.

For beach or bistro, this Roxy Sand Knit Dress is a sandy steal at $31.99. It's a casual no-fuss frock that can be dressed up or dressed down with a few key accessories. You can't get any comfier with the elastic empire waist and a sexy plunge v-neck. And the strappy knotty back...very naughty indeed.

You likey? Get 20% off your favorite dress or any single item at Tilly's and wait, there's more. Score Free Shipping on orders of $99 or more. Just use the promo code CATALOGS20 at checkout.

Somebody get me the self-tanner.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for Fall 2010 ended last month but I realized that there was a missing piece from my Fashion Week files...

I was only present for three of the eight fun-filled fashion days and nights and am still clinging to the brief and magical moments while I was there... I'm also still pouting over all the shows that I missed.

There is one show in particular that I would have teleported myself to if I could have, Naomi Campbell's Fashion For Relief™ - Haiti.

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Hosted by the other Fergie, (Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson) this runway show-slash-auction featured internationally recognized designers, celebrities and VIPs in order to raise crucial funds towards rebuilding Haiti’s healthcare system for mothers and children. The Bryant Park tent held 950 guests at prices ranging from $100 to $150 a ticket, which adds up to a nice amount of charitable fash cash.

Fashion For Relief™ began five years ago during MB Fashion Week in New York City, raising $1 million dollars for Hurricane Katrina relief. Proceeds raised this year will go directly to saving the lives of women, children and newborns across the recently earthquake stricken Haiti.

Supermodel Naomi Campbell brought together all of her famous friends in the fashion houses to put on a star-studded show with over 50 looks coming down the runway worn by celebrity models including Kelly Osborne, Estelle, Malin Ackerman and Alan Cummings, and designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg and Donna Karan who switched roles, walking the catwalk for the cause.

The looks were fun, bright and bold for the most part. I won't fail to mention that Supermodel Agyness Deyn wiped out twice on the runway until she finally took off her heels, walking barefoot like a pro. As I've said before, we all fall down.

The fashions were provided by a slew of esteemed designers including Carolina Herrera, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana and Christian Dior, and will be auctioned online at Net-a-Porter starting today, March 15.

Whether you splurge on a runway look or if you'd like to make your own fashionable donation, visit Care.org to help.

Happy St. Patty's Day to all me fine and stylish friends.

How I love St. Patrick's Day. Everyone always seems to have a little extra Irish spring in their step, an Irish lilt in their voice and some Bailey's Irish Cream in their marnin' coffee. That was me sad attempt at an Irish accent, but I feel like I'm coming off more like Popeye.

Your favorite blogging lassie is all decked out in a mismatched ensemble of green gear. I've got jeans on because it's chilly, a green minidress and a white track jacket with green piping that looked kind of Irish, so I grabbed it on the way out with a mini cereal box of Frosted Lucky Charms.

I really should put a little more thought into dressing the part on St. Patrick's Day. Green really is a universally flattering color (I'm thinking Kelly green, not the Split Pea green regularly associated with poopy diapers).

Regardless if your greens are stylish enough for a runway or haphazardly thrown together, whether you're wearing green or not, I hope Irish eyes are smiling down on you all day long.

A little man leading you to a pot of gold wouldn't be hurtin' so bad either now.

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Model at Arms

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Last Thursday evening I stepped outside of the fashion box, passing up the latest episode of Project Runway for the Edward Steichen In High Fashion exhibition at the Museum of Art in Ft Lauderdale. I didn't feel like making it work, I didn't want to be in or out... I was feeling kinda arty.

The name may not ring a bell at first, but the images certainly will. Edward Steichen (1879-1973) was one of the most celebrated American photographers of the 20th century, a true leader and innovator in the history of fine art photography. A man after my own heart, Steichen shot for the Condé Nast magazines Vogue and Vanity Fair from the years 1923-1938, which is the high time period I had the chance to explore.

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Regarded as the best known and highest paid photographer in the world during the Condé Nast years, Steichen revolutionized the way people viewed fashion. If there is one thing the man knew how to do it was how to show off clothes, at times going to extraordinary lengths to do so - as shown in a captivating film installation that captured Steichen smoking a stogie while creating an angelic floating dress effect.

Known as the master of portraiture, he photographed a fine list of A-list actresses along the likes of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Fay Wray and Joan Crawford, while also working with a long list of couture designers from Coco Chanel to Lanvin, Worth, Poiret, Lelong, Augustabernard and Elsa Schiaparelli (aka Chanel's biggest rival).

vogue cover.jpg I loved taking a walk down fashion memory lane, taking in everything from the twenties style cloche hats to the swimdress swimsuits that covered it all.

Magazine whore that I am, it was no surprise that my favorite part of the exhibition was seeing the old vintage Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines displayed under glass. For thirty-five cents an issue, these fashion rags of yesteryear contained both style and substance, without the excess of adverts, perfume samples and advice for the lovelorn. I wish I could have turned the pages, to see what Vogue had to say to the women who obsessed over style, decades before I was even born... but the security guards had their eyes on me, and their walkie talkies on.

If you want a dose of high fashion, you still have time to be Steichenized, the exhibit runs through April 11th.

Congratulations Jesse James, you are the latest all-star hubby to join the long list of A-list Cheater McCheatersons who are outed for committing acts of unfaithfulness on their beautiful wives with skanky chiclets that are out for their 15 tawdry minutes of Access Hollywood fame.

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How many times do I have to tell you guys? It isn't stylish to cheat on your wife, especially when she's America's Oscar winning sweetheart, Sandra Bullock. And with the likes of Michelle Bombshell McGee? What up with that? By the way Michelle, here are some tips for you tats, stop getting them. p.s. I can't wait to see you in all your tatted glory when you're eighty.

I watched Sandra in her Academy Award winning role in The Blind Side last night, and couldn't help considering how art imitates life. Metaphorically speaking, poor Sandy was hit, tackled and left stunned after these nasty allegations hit her in her blind side, a mere 8 days after what I am assuming was the best day of her life. If only Sandra had a three-hundred pound offensive lineman watching her back 24-7. Where's Michael Oher when you need him?

One thing is for sure. I'm betting that Tiger Woods is ecstatic to have the heat taken off of him and his a-hole-in-one ways. My only disappointment is that Elin wasn't tighter with Sandy...she could've let her borrow her golf clubs.

Models TGIF

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This weekend I decided that it was my patriotic duty to visit the White House. The White House Black Market that is. In honor of the new Health Care Bill being passed, I decided to treat myself to a new outfit. Normally I will find any excuse to treat myself to a new outfit (i.e. it's Wednesday) and truthfully, I probably would have treated myself to the same new outfit if the bill had not been passed in an effort to console myself. Either way, I scored some fab new fashions for spring.

It was a healthy decision.

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What's black, white and stylish all over? Anything from White House Black Market.

I have always associated the White House Black Market as a source for upscale black and white fashions. The perfect classic LBD (little black dress), gorgeous and crisp white gowns and a market filled with endless options for black tie affairs. Little did I know that they featured a stunning variety of sexy spring ensembles for any occasion, whether it be a junior prom, a first or second wedding or a picnic date in the park.

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Oddly enough, I didn't end up purchasing one black or white piece (although I had my eye on several).

What did I score?

A flattering, Easter appropriate Pink Tiered Top, the Noir Sparkle Girlfriend Capris (on sale for almost half off, woo hoo!) and an adorable Flower Pin for a perfect pop of pearl dust anytime, anywhere.

To our health.

All About Jeggings

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Normally, I dig hybrids.

Hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius ones that actually stop when you step on the brakes.
Monstrous Mozzarella Stick Goldfish Crackers.
Napoleon Dynamite's beloved liger.

But in my book, some hybrids simply do not work.
Milk and Pepsi (sorry Laverne).
The Snuggie.

There is something magical that happens when you combine two relatively awesome things to create something that is even awesomer. Case in point - the jegging.


The jean + legging hybrid - [aka jeggings] take skinny jeans a slimming step further. Comfy as leggings, but with a bit more substance and stretch. They look like skinny jeans, but give you an even slicker silhouette, without the pinching and the pain.

Although I am not a fan of the cutesy name and the effort of fashion marketers to create a new one-word frenzy, I still like the look, the style and the ease that they provide. I prefer the term denim leggings like these BDG Denim Leggings pictured above from Urban Outfitters for $39.

I also prefer wearing them when I have a bit more volume on top, i.e. a flowy dress, tunic or boyfriend blazer.

Some will think this trend works, while others will classify them as a hotter mess than Spidey.

One warning for those who dig it...

Beware of the dreaded jeggamel toe.

Samara Sanchez

About Sammy

Sammy Sanchez is a Miami based freelance writer, greeting card designer, and self-professed USWeeklyholic. Sammy loves tall coffee light frappuccinos, vino not from a box, and Mark Ruffalo...not necessarily in that order.
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