challenge: Weddington Way

On December 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bridal site Weddington Way invited me to participate in their December style challenge; creating a New Year’s Eve bridesmaid look with one of their signature dresses and accents from anywhere I like. This is a particularly appropriate challenge for me, as I’ll be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding on January 2nd! My first time…

[I’ll show you my dress situation later.]

The dress I chose was this one-shoulder number in navy lace (though they have many other styles):

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One can’t often wear lace from head to toe without batting an eye but weddings take place on a strange fashion plane of their own, with their own rules and standards. This means certain limitations, those imposed by formality, but, turning to the vast and wondrous field of formal attire, it means a special freedom as well. Generally I want my formal looks to fit into a ‘understated chic’ category. Not too pushy about it, not too elaborate, because I want there to be that elusive effect of effortlessness.

I partly chose the navy because I so rarely style cool toned looks. I always go for gold and brown, so here is a chance to do blue and silver.

Where next? Shoes, let’s say. I like the shoes they’ve used here, actually, silver (silver?) open toe d’orsay pumps. I’d also like to see grey or taupe suede pumps here. Suede and lace, so good together. I like suede anytime, really.

Or a little glitz, as in full glitter pumps (or flats, glitter flats so adorable). This is something I like about weddings, and something they have in common with the holidays: going full on with the glitter is more than OK.

Something like…

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or

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I want to see a pearl nestled in the hollow of the throat here, not really hanging down, as there is too much danger of interrupting the clean line of the dress across the chest.  I want to keep the necklace (or there could be no necklace, and some generous shimmer splashed on the clavicle, let’s go ahead and add that clavicle highlight either way) snug around the neck. A blue toned Tahitian pearl floating on a silver chain would answer well. I love this simple design from PearlsOfJoy.

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Earrings I also want clean and simple, either diamond (or CZ, or sapphire, or whatever) studs or non-hinged dangles or Tahitian pearl studs.

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9567fbf866abc7ce235157e1505d66feOne accessory I like to see in a formal outfit is a watch, sleek or bulky depending on the look, though probably sleek and slim. Really I like to see a watch in any look, I just love watches, but I especially like to see them where one would expect them to be overlooked for a bracelet or something more traditionally decorative. Here I would want something elegant and narrow that would read from a distance [almost] like a bracelet. Really into the Danish brand Skagen, known for their wonderfully thin movements.

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I like the asymmetry of wearing the watch on one arm and leaving the other bare. Or wearing the watch and some assortment of bracelets on one arm and leaving the other bare. UNLESS you have an old school corsage. I could be talked into that.

Poking around on Weddington Way I liked some of their clutches as well. Maybe this one for the look we’re building here. White or ivory to contrast with the navy and some pearlicious studding. If you’re wondering about mixing freshwater and Tahitian pearls, light and dark pearls, big and small pearls – not to worry. All pearls love all other pearls.

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Add favorite rings (oh, or this pearl solitaire, which I love). Hair up, hair down…you do you. Mine would be up and not too neat, though that’s easy for me as natural curls are inherently informal in our culture no matter how they are styled. A bit of that J Crew-esque undoneness can go a long way toward looking like you didn’t try too hard. You tried, but not TV news anchor tried. Not prom queen tried. Not BRIDE tried. Or pick one other thing to give a casual air, doesn’t have to be the hair, but hair is a good one as it’s so powerful and can control so much of the tone of the look. Going with that idea that if your hair is looking fabulous you can wear anything, by the same token your hair can provide the balancing stone to harmonize the look by being more or less formal.

A blingy nail polish could be in order, something like Essie’s On a Silver Platter, maybe. This would be an awesome New Year’s Eve polish no matter what look you’re doing.

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I’d like to see a soft taupe eye with this, strong brows, big lashes, a sheer or soft neutral pink lip. Maybe the ultra-gorgeous Dior Cuir Cannage eyeshadow palette and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme lipstick in Fig. I haven’t had a chance to properly praise these lipsticks yet but I love this line.

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I think there is a danger when playing with glitter (not unlike playing with fire) of trying to apply the glitter principle to too many aspects of the look. Sequin dress? Then maybe, maybe a touch of glittery shadow to the center of the lid, not a full on glitter eye (unless you are doing a different kind of look, in which case power to you). A neutral brown eye works with anything, and smoking it out with a violet-taupe shade adds drama without being overtly matchy. All about finding that harmony, however you manage it.

Hm. I wouldn’t mind seeing a really narrow glittery belt here, either. Or a belt that is basically a chain of tiny CZ gems? Or a belt of tiny pearls? Or a belt of both? Or not. I think I’d have to see it and decide. A white faux fur or maribou stole (or capelet!) would be bitchin’ and keep you warm on that winter’s eve.

I think that does it. What do you think? Are you seeing it? I’m liking it. I actually want to do this makeup look, now, and pull out my Tahitian solitaire again. And get another Skagen watch. I really do want one…I have my eye on a few.

Don’t need to go to a wedding? Weddington Way’s selection of little black dresses is worth a peek.

vendor images, images link to sources

into: Haider Ackermann

On November 5, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Haider Ackermann is a Colombian designer with a strong and distinctive style, much inspired by Yves Saint Laurent. I have been consistently drawn to his pieces for years now (see the style.com photo archives for the full collections). I think it must be obvious why: stunning juxtapositions of color and texture, bold draping, seductive fabrics, strong shoulders and necklines, asymmetrical silhouettes.

Here are some favorites from the last few years, in no particular order:

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Inspiring, no?

images via pinterest

on the street: duochrome

On September 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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There’s nothing remarkable about the individual elements here but I really like how they are put together. Just two colors, effectively, but two excellent colors, two of my favorite colors (and a favorite combination, black and ivory) asymmetrically spread out between the outfit and the accessories (and kind of the skin and the hair, too).

I like to see a sweater with shorts, as well. And the heel coming out of the shoe to prop up the bag is the kind of moment I find instantly endearing.

white on white on white

On June 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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So…I got more than one wig. I knew I wanted an asymmetrical bob like this, and, though it looks dyed (that is, the color doesn’t look natural), it is actually not far off my hair color and is as such not too bizarre looking on me. At least, not if you don’t already know what I’m meant to look like. This was my second attempt at finding an asymmetrical bob style, the first being much darker and simply awful. [Not easy trying to select the style or the color of a wig online, and I can’t recommend it. The return policies are as unforgiving as you would imagine.]

What do you think? I really like it.

The difference is so transforming. I doubt I would even be recognized, or not right away. I love this about fashion and makeup and all the subcategories of style. You can achieve a look that nature wouldn’t allow, liberating you from yourself while (potentially) at once expanding your idea of self, multiplying the variations of self.

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White, white, white. I can’t have too much white. And yes, we know how I like bikini tops (you’ll recognize this one from this bikini of the day), and white buttoned shirts.

This is my idea (rather, one of my ideas) of a great summer uniform. I have this theory that as long as my navel is obscured, it isn’t able to create that unforgiving halo around my stomach that it really does seem to.

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Victoria’s Secret triangle top, Banana Republic button-up, Ray-Ban aviators, Paris Blues shorts, HairDo Angled Cut wig, vintage Timex watch.

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