Friday, September 27, 2013

Winter Garden

Prints - All available via Evolution Vintage 

Everyone loves a Fab floral in spring/summer but what about for fall/winter? I LOVE dark, earthy prints in all forms but none more than a winter garden.
Nicole Richie is one of my style inspirations. I love her bold style and enjoy watching how she evolves.  I adore this 'Winter Garden' turtle neck Jean Paul Gauliter maxi dress 
Nicole wore recently it to a Nordstrom Gala event. I am not in love with her shoe choice but I ADORE the design of the House of Harlow 1960 clutch. I wish it was made with Vegan materials however. I wouldn't carry the cow bag but I can hope to find an animal friendly alternative with the snake head clasp and the chains.

Do you love Nicole's trip into the Winter Garden?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SockStar Status

There is a time and a place for every look. Two mornings ago it was time: To be a SockStar. I forgot how much I loved my Holly Madison 'skater socks'. In a mad dash to get my daughter off to school I felt compelled to Rock the Sock. I styled it with my JustFab Alvinette Moto Boot, denim shorts (decent length, don't get me started on jean shorts with exposed inner pockets) and a TORD (Toronto Roller Derby) top, kindly gifted to me by my 'Wheely Nasty' Sister.

Remember the days of 'The Girls Next Door' and how Holly was a SockStar? She is still Rockin the Sock. It is her signature accessory.

 Kendra Wilkinson & Holly (Buy the Green Socks HERE)

You can also get them at American Apparel for $10 in a RAINBOW of colors! (They have thigh highs too)

This style of sock originated with the Roller Skaters and 'derby' girls of the 1970's a-la-Raquel Welch in the film Kansas City Bomber. Known as the Skater Sock or Tube Sock.

Flash forward to Milan Fashion Week S/S 2014 runway at PRADA was full of the semi-sock aka leg warmer. Boasting the same stripe as the 'skater sock' this "new" chic leg band may be all the rage in the spring.  I may have to give it a try, in a lower priced, likely DIY version.

Are you a Sassy SockStar? Share links to your images and tell me why you would or would not Rock the Sock! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Napier Co: A Complete History

Tonight at the Prime Time Emmy awards Hollywood's finest take the walk down the red carpet in gorgeous gowns and fabulous jewels. I always think of the stunning looks when award season rolls around, especially the jewelry. It made me think of the history of jewelry and compelled me to share the ULTIMATE resource guide to the history of the Napier Company.  Seriously this is THE MOST comprehensive and extensive reference book on jewelry that I have ever seen. PS- I'm obsessed with jewelry, own a Vintage clothing and accessory company and have been a student of fashion my entire life, so I have seen my fair share of books on the subject. This book by Melinda L. Lewis with Henry Swen is a serious feast for the eyes, a gift for fashion historians and women who have a passion for jewelry.
Napier Cuff c. 1954

There are 1011 pages backed with over 4,000 high quality photos and information. The book walks the reader through the historical emergence of jewelry in fashion and it's place in the era's preceding Napier's conception. It guides you through the  initial history of the Napier Co., starting in 1875 and decade by decade discusses the significance of this company's impact on the costume jewelry market and in fashion. 
Excerpt from the book

A pictorial history accompanies all of the facts with amazing images of jewelry pieces, sets, original sketches of designs and Napier advertisements. She also provides a detailed look at clasps, findings and stamps which is a great resource when trying to date your Napier pieces.
1970-Ad: Francis Fujio, Napier Co. Archives.

Melinda spent the better part of 11 years researching and gathering data, images and facts from many resources, including individuals who were employed by the Napier Co. 

I had the chance to chat with this Author and Jewelry Maven recently,

LG: Why Napier? 

ML: I had the opportunity to purchase some Napier jewelry in 2001. I was fairly new to collecting and eager to learn everything I could about costume jewelry. I had taken the pieces of Napier and spread them out on the family room floor while trying to organize the jewelry by decade. There were some pieces I could identify as being 1950s, but I realized too there were many pieces which I could not accurately identify, and I could not find any resources that had the information I needed to circa date the jewelry. Having only a single paragraph or so about the company’s history available on the Internet, it occurred to me that if this company had been in business since “1875,” there had to more substance to the company than the brief summary I found available. With search engines not being as advanced as they are today, it took me a while to locate the name of the former president of the company, but once I did, that first contact led to 11 years of research.
LG:  What was your favorite part of this journey? any items/info particularly harder to find? 

ML: One of the favorite parts of this experience was to share with former employees how much collectors loved the product. How they (the Napier employees) related to the jewelry was very different. Yes, they were proud of their work, but they had no idea people wanted to know everything they could about a piece; from how it was made to the designer who created it. For many, Napier had been part of their family for generations. It was a job … a good job, and folks always said it had a family-like atmosphere, but they had no idea about the world of costume jewelry collectors. It was great fun for them to see how excited I would get over a piece or when I learned an inside story. These folks were responsible for bringing so much enjoyment and pleasure to the world through their art and skill in making jewelry.
I remember once being down in Florida, interviewing former president and CEO, Howard Schaefer. We were in the middle of a nice conversation talking about the history of the company and about Mr. Napier. I was recording the conversation and of course I was in heaven, then he abruptly turned to me and said, “Why in the hell do you want to write about Napier? Turn that damn thing off!”  I think many employees were a little dumbfounded that I found the company interesting. Nevertheless, Mr. Schaefer was incredibly charming, and we had a fabulous time with both him and his wife. I learn some amazing things about Mr. Napier, most of which I kept out of the book and private.
LG: Who was this book created/written for?

ML: The book was written first for both the collector and the fashion historian. I felt there was a void in the documented history of the Napier Co and the history that was available was either incomplete or inaccurate. However, as the research got more involved, and I had interviewed with more Napier employees, it became a project written for the legacy of the company and its employees. It was a way to recognize Napier and its significant influence in fashion adornment over decades.
One of her all time FAV pieces: "Horse Nail."

LG: Do you have a large Napier jewelry collection? 

ML: I do have a number of Napier pieces and perhaps more than the average collector of vintage costume jewelry. However, my collection pales in comparison to some Napier collectors who have been collecting for decades, or who live near Meriden where the old plant use to be.  Napier use to sell jewelry very inexpensively at a factory outlet store; it was the first company in Meriden’s business district to open a factory store and it proved to be a very profitable move for them. Ultimately, the company opened 10 factory stores around the country.

This past year, I have tried to acquire more pieces as my goal will be, to someday, share this collection in some sort of exhibit. But, as Napier becomes more sought-after, it is getting harder for me to purchase it than ever before.  

This reference book is a steal at $139 and  I feel so fortunate to have it as part of my showroom library.
(Final Prince $129)

Connect with Melinda

Will you buy the book? or do you have it? 
share your comments below!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Shop Saturday: GoodNPlentyVinty

I am an equal opportunity offender when it comes to fashion. I shop EVERYWHERE. Yes, I sell Vintage clothing via my eBoutique Evolution Vintage but I also procure pieces for myself from several other sources. One of which is GoodNPlentyVinty shop on ETSY. Prices currently range from $8-$65 for the coolest wool cape (see image and link below). 

I recently acquired the most amazing piece that I felt compelled to share. I am a sucker for a printed dress and especially if it is a novelty print. The print is a textile version of Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" from Henry Lee.

Georges Seurat
French, 1859-1891
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte -- 1884, 1884–86

Ummm.. and I also got this 70's pleated and printed dress.

I also wanted to introduce you, dear reader to the owner of the shop Heather and her wares. She loves every era in fashion but like me she loves a funky print too ! Here are her picks from her shop.

LisaG Style Tip: When you see something that is Vintage, imagine how you can style it current.  Many of the pieces in Heather shop have great potential to blend right into a contemporary closet. See my examples below. As a stylist I could use the pieces below in many ways for day and evening looks.

My Picks from GoodNPlentyVinty:

What's your FAV Piece?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fab Kids

My Daughter Kaleigh - JustFab Top, Skirt and Hair Band

Do you have a Fab Kid? Of course you do, so their clothes should be a reflection of their fabulousness. As busy mom's we are always on the go. Our kids grow so fast and I can say I feel like I'm constantly shopping.  Take the work out of shopping by using FabKids, The baby sister of JustFab.

Here is how it works: $39.95 gets you 3 pieces, all ready styled for your girl or boy! Thats $13.31 a piece.

Similar to JustFab, you take an online quiz about your child's personality and style. You will receive pre-selected options. You can choose it, pass or look around for something else.

*No obligation to buy.

*FREE Shipping for members (orders of $39.95 and above) and FREE returns.

*All pieces can be styled a million ways and incorporated into your child's existing wardrobes. My daughter Kaleigh (below image) loves her FabKids stripe leggings but she chose to style it with a cute top she all ready had.
Kaleigh and Blake Strike a Pose

FabKids T-shirt styled with Kaleigh's metallic jacket for school!

Kaleigh in a pre-styled look from FabKids

SHOP NOW and get 50% off your first outfit = 3 pieces for $19.95

Still have questions? Visit their FAQ page HERE

Will you try it?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Alysia Reiner: Screen & Style Maven

Image: Josh Merwin

You have to be living on another planet not to have seen or heard about the new Netflix show, Orange is the new Black (or OITNB).  The talented Alysia Reiner is part of the ensemble cast of true characters. She portrays Natalie Figueroa (AKA Fig) The prison administrator and resident ball buster. She spends her days working Prison PR and giving all the male staff beneath her the hard time they deserve. I envision her spending her nights shopping for animal print blouses and pencil skirts whilst sipping a glass of wine or two. I love the show and was intrigued by the woman behind the ferocious Fig. The show is based on the memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman who had to leave her fabulous New York life behind for a year to serve her sentence in a female prison. OITNB will be back on Netflix in 2014 with their second season which is currently in production in New York.
Alysia is a multifaceted and multi talented woman who from all accounts has a heart as big as her talents.  She is not only an actress, she is also a mother, producer, humanitarian, environmentalist and lover of fashion. She has a seriously long resume of amazing film, television and stage roles. Check out her website for full professional credits. 
One of the most important pieces of work was a film she created, produced and stared in called "Speed Grieving". She created the piece after the death of her father as she wanted to start a social dialogue about loss and grieving. All proceeds from the film go to Cancer Support Community where they use her film as a grief counseling tool. She contributes her time and resources to over 10 charities from Actors for Autism to The Young Women's Leadership Network. 
Her favourite role: Mom

She and I have connected on the level of fashion and being eco-chic. We are also both style products of two fashionable grandmothers who we adore. She loves Vintage and sees the merit of re-styling fashions past as well as the environmental impact. She is an advocate for our planet starting from her home base where her and her husband (Actor David Alan Basche) eco-renovated their brownstone. They live a green lifestyle and  she is outspoken about her opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking" Check out this great PSA
 Don't Frack with Alysia!

The fun couple attend the GUTS book release event

I had the pleasure of chatting with Alysia recently about her latest role and of course STYLE!
LG: What do you personally identify with the most from your character 'Fig'?

AR: Love of fashion!
LG: Will the audience get to hear Fig's back story (As they do each inmate) in season 2

AR: Not allowed to say much, but yes we do see more about FIG's life in season 2 and its JUICY!
LG: Do you relate to your character from a style standpoint? do you share any style similarities with fig? Do you have input on the characters looks? 

AR: I am much more bohemian than Fig, and love to switch it up. I am a mood dresser. I have a huge range of style depending on my feel for a day.  Fig has her personal uniform that is all about tailor, fit & her own version of her power suit. I so adore Jenn Rogien who is our costumer. I bow to her. She is a MASTER. I do have input, but most of the time Jenn is so good, I am just saying "YES, THAT'S EXACTLY MY THOUGHT!" Although we did have a funny conversation about whether Fig is a democrat or republican and how that influences her fashion choices... Nope, can't tell you what we decided!
Wearing one of her grandmothers Vintage frocks - NYFW2013

LG: Do you wear Vintage Clothing/Accessories? If so what is your FAV piece (s).

AR: YES, I have a ton!! My Grandmother collected clothes and I grew up shopping with her, learning that clothing is a form of ART and expression. I still have a TON of her clothes, as well as some from my Great Grandmother and my also my Great Aunt, etc. A fav Winter item is a fur trimmed leather trench of my Grandfather's. For Summer it's a silk chiffon, sheer, light-as-a-feather dress that I have in 2 colors that was my Great Grandmother's.
Another FAB piece from her Grandmothers Vintage Collection

LG: What is your staple or must have's for Fall/Winter?

AR: I love my Ushanka. Its white and Russian like me, and it rocks no matter how cold it gets. A fashion classic.  I have a pair of boots from TOP SHOP  that I got in London like 10 years ago and still live in.  I am also a cashmere girl and Uniqlo under layers are key.

Backless Beauty

LG:  If you had one piece of style advice, what would it be?

AR: I think it's all about originality, finding your own style that makes you feel GORGEOUS. Diana Vreeland speaks on style like no one else - did you see her Doc? Mad for her. 

 She says: “Style - all who have it share one thing: originality.”

I adore Alysia's on screen chops, off screen style and attitude about dressing. I look forward to seeing her star rise and her collection of Vintage treasures grow! I'm also excited to seeing her style evolve and her pushing her fashion boundaries on and off the red carpet. She is beautiful and has an amazing figure, the style sky is the limit!

My Style Picks for Alysia

70's semi sheer dress, Vintage metallic belt, cuff and REWIND ring set (price and details upon request)