Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jenna Lyons: J Crew Creative Director

Photo: Fashion and Style Magazine; J Crewaholics Blog.

Keep an eye on Jenna Lyons. She is going somewhere. Actually; she has arrived. As J. Crew's Creative Director and an employee for 20 years, Jenna has seen the evolution of the brand from a beachy, coastal, preppy style to the modern and sophisticated fashion forward brand that it is today.

Jenna has an instinctive knack for mixing and matching different textures and styles that simply "go" together. As with anything style, I have found that it's in the nuances of the "highs" and "lows" that make the brand and Jenna hits this dead on.

80's Style: The Return of Neon and Iconic Doc Martens

I have been seeing a lot of things that are classically 80's showing up on runways and in magazines and on internet sites. Just today I spotted thin hip layering neon belts complete with silver studded dots and squares. Yes, you heard me right; NEON.

Madonna is a trendsetter and always managed to pull of an effortlessly cool look that is so iconic 80's. I have memories of running out to the mall and stocking up on the coveted black rubber bracelets that she made famous in the 1985 movie, Desperately Seeking Susan.

Personally, I could of lived my whole life happy and content without ever looking at any neon colored clothing again. Which reminds of the next 80's iconic item that I have been seeing knocking around in the press: Doc Martens Combat Boots

This boot evokes memories of punk and rock bands of the 80's and 90's and as a slightly edgy boot that the cool kids in punk bands used to sport with their ripped up t-shirts and jeans. Of course in my preppy town; this was EXTREMELY cool. Doc Marten turns 50 this year, and with the revival in 80's style, I imagine that we will be seeing more of the classic iconic boot in many different fashion capacities.

Aniston in Lacroix

Jennifer Aniston is under rapid fire for showing up to her premiere of "The Bounty Hunter" in a salmon colored Lacroix dress.

The designer's name always conjures up images of "sweety darling" Edina "Eddy" Monsoon from the BBC hit "Absolutly Fabulous"; who among other things, coveted anything Lacroix (darhling).

We are used to seeing our Jen in simple gowns, little black dresses, and classic straight styles. That's how we love to see her. She has cultivated an iconic style dressing in a classic way. This flirtation with Paris style does not suit her and it shows. She looks awkward in this pinkish colored drape that gathers (ackk of all places!) around her midsection! If perfect figured Jen looks somewhat stodgy in this frock what would it do for the rest of us?! This is an epic fail by the Aniston style team and hopefully, Jen will stick to her LBD's from now on.

McQueen's Armadillo Shoe

What is it about McQueen's Armadillo shoe that is so disturbing? They are hideous and yet intriguing. How does one WEAR such as shoe? The size and scope is unbelievable. Who would wear such as shoe???? None other than Lady Ga Ga of course!

Hunter Boots for Jimmy Choo

Hunter Boots made for Jimmy Choo. Now I think I have seen it all in footwear. The classic UK Wellington Boot has been remade in classic crocodile print for Jimmy Choo. The usual moderately priced Welly has jumped four times to $455.00 for a pair.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Book Review: Kelly Cutrone "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside"

Photo: courtesy of the LA Times.

"If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You" (HarperCollins, 197 pages, $22.99.), by Kelly Cutrone, with Meredith Bryan:

Kelly Cutrone is honest and as real as it gets. She opens herself up and provides an intriguing read into her life story in her first book "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You." As I got further into the book, I realized that Ms. Cutrone is doing MUCH more than simply telling her story. She is a teacher, mentor and spiritual guide. The interesting thing about Kelly Cutrone is that no matter how much she is portrayed as a hardcore brutal boss; you come to understand that she is truly a very caring person. She is brutally honest and if that comes to telling someone on her staff or her interns that they suck, then she is doing them a favor. She states that to find out WHO you ARE, you must learn WHO YOU ARE NOT. She is extremely spiritual, which you learn is one of the things that guides her business and life decisions and keeps her sane in the superficial world of fashion, runway models and dramatic designers.

Kelly seeped into public consciousness by appearing on MTV reality shows such as "The Hills" and "The City" where she was portrayed as an uber-b***h boss, ordering pretty interns to work harder,faster, longer and fire fellow colleagues who weren't going to cut the mustard in the world of PR. She also has her own show now on the Bravo network; "Kell on Earth". It was through this show that I was introduced to the world of Kelly Cutrone and the Public Relations company that she founded; "People's Revolution".

I found Kelly's no nonsense management style to be breath of fresh air. Her no frills office space is clean, modern and edgy. She works daily with world's top designers in the fashion industry and is the real deal. She IS her own brand and markets herself well. She tells her readers that there is a reason she dresses in all black. Its her uniform. She likens her staff and her extended family an army; one that is fighting the good fight; that of honesty, integrity and damn good straight-up business sense.

Kelly's story is a compelling one, and extremely relatable. She encourages ALL women, no matter what industry they may be in or are pursing, to find their true voice, to listen to their instincts no matter how wacky they may seem, and make career choices for the right reasons; not by guided by voices from your parents, your friends, Hollywood or society in general. Kelly's book is an inspiration and should be read by all women who are interested in bettering themselves in their career and life in general.