Friday, April 29, 2011

Magazine Covergirl: VOGUE -- Reese Witherspoon (May 2011)

top by Roland Mouret

     Reese Witherspoon has definitely gone a long way since starring in her breakout role in Legally Blonde. Since she was Elle Woods she has been divorced from actor Ryan Phillippe, won an Oscar for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, starred in several other box office hits (Sweet Home Alabama, Just Like Heaven, Four Christmases), and now just recently married to CAA agent Jim Toth (in a beautiful pink Monique Lhuillier wedding gown!)  So a lot has definitely changed since her last Vogue interview when she was only 26 years old. Now 35 and playing the lead female star in the new movie Water for Elephants (out in theaters on April 22) opposite of Robert Pattinson, Witherspoon says that she is finally in a really good place in her career, family, and personal life. So it was more fitting that her co-star Tai the elephant accompanied her in this May 2011 Vogue shoot that was styled by Toone Goodman and photographed by Peter Linderbergh. In the cover story, Reese talked about how fabulous it was to be able to wear 1930s cut-on-the-bias evening gowns for her role as Marlena, a star performer in a circus who falls for Pattinson's character, Jacob, and how she even committed to dying her hair platinum blonde just for it. And I must say that this Vogue cover spread is very reminiscent of that very role and look for her character Marlena. The long and ethereal gowns Reese wore on this cover spread, especially the sequined Dior and red Sophia Theallet gowns, are exactly the kind of dresses that are fit for someone who is to be the center of the show. So come check out the rest of the May 2011 Vogue May cover shoot! 

top and shorts by Dolce & Gabbana 

dress by Dior
earrings by Lorraine Schwartz

dress by Sophie Theallet
earrings by Lorraine Schwartz

dress by Narciso Rodriguez 
shoes by Valentino 
bracelets by Fred Leighton
custom-made pink Monique Lhuillier gown

Love, KB

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fashion Blog's 7 Most Memorable Wedding Dresses in Movies

     With the Kate Middleton and Price William Royal Wedding fast approaching, my mind has been pre-nuptually occupied with everything wedding related. So I thought it was only fitting to write a Fashion Blog dedicated to my most favorite wedding dresses of all time. And what leaves a more lasting impression than a wedding dress we've all seen and have obsessed over in movies! So for this special edition of Fashion Blog's 7 Most Memorable Wedding Dresses in Movies, I'd like to share the wedding dresses that tops my list. 

#1 Kate Hudson in Bride Wars 
as Liv Lerner 

     When I first saw Kate Hudson's character Liv Lerner lay eyes on her wedding dress in the movie Bride Wars, I knew that that's exactly how I want my wedding gown to look like when I get married. The dress has all the features that I would want from a wedding dress: strapless, sweetheart neckline, a big and fluffy tulle skirt, and a waist cinching bow. It's exactly how I would want my (future) wedding gown to be, except for maybe a different color bow. But then again, it wouldn't be Vera Wang wedding dress without a hint of purple or lavender! 

#2 Sasha Barrese in The Hangover
as Tracy Garner 

     Even though Sasha Barrese's character, Tracy, had a very small (but significant!) and short-lived role in the comedy The Hangover, the moment they showed her dress, I literally gasped. I lovelovelove how her entire wedding party had a black and white color scheme. It's very modern and chic. Her dress, which was designed by Amsale, was breathtaking. The dress also had a sweetheart neckline (I'm a sucker for strapless dresses with sweetheart necklines!) and a natural and flowy waist (love!) The simplicity of the dress is what made it so beautiful. 

#3 Sarah Jessica Parker in 
Sex and the City the Movie 
as Carrie Bradshaw 

     Of course I had to include Carrie Bradshaw's Vivienne Westwood wedding dress from the Sex and the City The Movie! It was the perfect dress to be featured in this movie: it had drama, it was high fashion, and it had pizzaz, which was everything that the Sex and the City franchise was all about. I even loved the fact that her accessories centered around the feathered hair piece. Any more jewelry other than her earrings would've looked too costume-y. Pat Field, you've done it again! I'm also crazy about the fact that all of her bridesmaids -- Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda -- had different Zac Posen bridesmaid dresses! (different in color and in style.) 

#4 Mandy Moore in License to Wed 
as Sadie Jones 

     Even though this was not the dress that Mandy Moore's character, Sadie Jones, wore on her wedding day in the movie License to Wed, I still thought that it was stunning despite her sister's (played by Christine Taylor) "down comforter" comment about it. I'm not too crazy about the back criss cross detail of the dress, but I thought that the explosion of tulle in the skirt was just gorgeous. 

#5 Bridgette Wilson in 
The Wedding Planner 
as Fran Donolly 

     I would choose a strapless wedding dress any day, but this dress that Bridgette Wilson wore on The Wedding Planner was an exception. I remember when the camera was up close and scanning the dress, as she was looking at herself in the mirror moments before she was to walk down the aisle, it showed the most beautiful details. First of all, the bodice of the dress was beautifully made: lots of intricate lace details, buttons (as closures instead of zippers!), and an exaggerated scooped back which made the thin straps completely necessary. Oh, and I love how she had little sparkles in her hair! 

#6 Reese Witherspoon in 
Sweet Home Alabama
as Melanie Smooter

     If there was a wedding-movie-category for the best wedding veil, Reese Witherspoon as Melanie Smooter in Sweet Home Alabama would win that category by a landslide. I love how she opted for a fishnet veil as opposed to the traditional long and flowy one. The modern take on her veil is balanced out by the simple and romantic design of her gown, which was the perfect choice for a southern belle wedding. 

#7 Rachel McAdams in 
The Notebook 
as Allie Calhoun 

     I have to admit, as soon as the curtains were pulled to the side to reveal Rachel McAdams as Allie in The Notebook, and she asked "Is it a bit much?" My instinctual reactions was "OMG, yes!". And once I thought about the time frame to which the movie took place, it was actually very pretty and consistent with that era. The entire look overall was definitely a lot altogether, but all the details on their own were very beautiful. The dress by itself was beautiful. The long sleeves, which were also made entirely of lace, were a very common feature to wedding dresses at the time. And I thought that the flower head piece that was connected to her veil was pretty. 

Love, KB

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fashion Heads Up: H&M launches eco-friendly Conscious Collection

“The possibilities for creating a complete fashion statement with eco-smarter materials are huge now. By designing recurring Conscious Collections we have the opportunity to show what’s possible using more sustainable fabrics.” 
- Ann Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of Design

     I first heard about H&M launching an eco-friendly clothing line when the company tweeted about it on Twitter. It wasn't until I was in a store a couple of weeks ago that I got to see and touch the clothes first hand. And I must admit, the pieces are absolutely fabulous! The clothing line which launched in the U.S. on April 14, 2011, is appropriately called, Conscious Collection. It features pieces for men, women, and children. The line itself echos the same idea behind the sustainable clothing collection of Emma Watson's endorsement and collaborations with companies such as People Tree and Pure Threads for Alberta Ferretti. The pieces in the Conscious Collection is made from environmentally adapted and greener materials such as Tencel, recycled polyester, organic cotton, and organic linen. All of the pieces also feature a very natural white/off white hues, which actually suit the idea of the environmentally friendly clothing line very well -- very clean and natural. What's more is that all of the pieces are fairly priced, keeping with the budget friendly H&M way. I got the white racerback dress, eyelet shorts, and two tops from the collection, each under $30! I think it's remarkable that fashion is also going green. Being eco-friendly doesn't mean you can only recycle and plant a tree anymore. Thanks to companies, like H&M that produce sustainable clothes, fashion enthusiasts everywhere can also contribute to this growing movement. 

Natalie Portman wearing a dress from the H&M Conscious Collection

Love, KB

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Should I Wear for a Summer Wedding?

     Now that wedding season is fast approaching, not only do we have to think about picking up a wedding present from the bride and groom's gift registry, but we also have to worry about what to wear! The Kate and William's royal wedding is only days away and I'm attending a good friend's wedding at the end of May, so I thought it's only fitting to feature a Fashion Blog on What you should Wear for a Summer Wedding

     First thing's first, decipher that wedding invite! What does that mean?! Deciphering the wedding invite simply means decoding the dress code of the wedding, especially if the invite doesn't clearly state it [some wedding invites clearly instruct the attendants on what they should wear.] What determines the dress code of a wedding? Ask yourself these few simple questions based on the information that's on the wedding invite: 

(1) Date -- When will the wedding take place? Which means month and day. This will give you a good idea of the weather that day so that you can plan accordingly. 
(2) Time -- What time is the wedding? Morning? Afternoon? Night? 
(3) Wedding Ceremony -- Where will the actual ceremony take place? Indoors? Outdoors?
(4) Reception -- Where will the reception be? Indoors? Outdoors? 

Answering these few questions will help you determine what to wear on the day of the wedding. After you've answered these four questions, it's now time to categorize the wedding into one of three types of weddings: 

(A) Black Tie Wedding 
(B) Daytime Wedding 
(C) Nighttime Wedding 

And thanks to the founders of WHO WHAT WEAR Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr's new book, What to Wear, Where, it has simplified this entire process by giving its readers GOALS for each specific type of wedding. But one thing's for sure, weddings call for dresses -- NO EXCEPTIONS!  Except for maybe skirt-suits, but we're all young and trendy so why not opt for something as easy and effortless as a dress? And since these are summer weddings, that usually means warmer weather, so you don't have to worry about layering with jackets, coats, sleeves, and hosiery. In other words, bare those shoulders and wear the highest of heels! A wedding is something to celebrate after all.  

Black Tie Wedding
"The goal is to create a memorable outfit that addresses the formality of the event." 

     Black Tie events simply mean that it's a step up from cocktail party attire.  This is most likely the dress code that will be required of the guests to the royal wedding in England, but this dress code is also common in the U.S. and usually specified on the wedding invitation. In addition, black tie weddings usually take place during late afternoons to nightfall, so that should give you some clues of its formality. Therefore, when you think of black tie the words floor length gown, elegance, and even drama should come to mind. I'm only 5 feet tall so I don't really own any floor length formal gowns. So in that case, opt for shorter dresses with a modest hemline. The safest bet for a black tie wedding, believe it or not, is by choosing a dress that has the color black integrated in there somewhere. However, with that said, this doesn't necessarily mean that your color palette is very limited to that one color. You can also wear dresses in jewel-tones, metallics, and any solid colors. And if you do end up choosing a solid colored dress, that will give you the freedom to play around with your accessories like some fabulous jewelry and evening clutches. As for your shoe options, black or metallic heels in either gold or silver are your best bet. 

Daytime Wedding 
"The goal is to create an outfit that's cheerful and celebratory, ideally something similar to what you'd wear to a Daytime Religious Occasion -- but DRESSIER." 

     Daytime weddings are my absolute favorite kind of wedding, because it usually means that everyone has a lot more time to P-A-R-T-Y. The last two weddings that I've been to while I was in college were daytime weddings that transitioned late into the night and they were a lot of fun. But since the actual wedding ceremony will take place during the day, regardless of whether it will be indoors or outdoors, you should go for dresses in lighter, but dressy fabrics like chiffon or silk in fun silhouettes and necklines. And since the atmosphere of a daytime wedding is more playful than all of the other wedding types, especially if it's held outdoors, you should opt for dresses in very colorful and fun summer prints like florals or paisleys. Your shoe options should resonate with that colorful palette as well! But if you must go with something more neutral, opt for brown/nude/beige, because they're much more daytime appropriate as opposed to black. 

Nighttime Wedding 
"The goal is to create an outfit that is similar to what you'd wear to a fancy cocktail party." 

     Compared to black tie weddings, nighttime weddings are generally a step down, which can only mean one thing -- cocktail attire! Nighttime weddings are also very fun because they usually begin later in the afternoon and go well into the night, which can also be very romantic. And I usually associate the words cocktail attire with asymmetrical and one shoulder dresses or strapless dresses with a sweetheart necklines. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with your nighttime wedding ensemble, because these type of weddings are not as strict and particular as black tie weddings. So go for shorter dresses [but you can also wear maxi dresses] in solid festive/neutral colors or patterns and have fun with your accessories from earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and evening bags. But I do recommend going without a necklace with a one-shoulder dress, because unless done correctly, it tends to look too busy and over the top. As for your shoe option, any style will do -- platform, gladiator, peep-toe -- just as long as you coordinate it with the rest of your accessories. Just remember the THIS or THAT Rule of Thumb: If you are wearing a cocktail dress that has a busy print, your accessories and shoe option should be very modest and toned down. On the other hand, if your cocktail dress is plain, have fun with your jewelry and shoe options. Trying to do both can be tricky, but doable with the correct combinations. 


     So have fun and have a glass of champagne or two. Weddings are a celebration of the greatest thing of all, which is love. So choose your dress, shoes, and accessories wisely so that you can have fun and not worry about your outfit or worse, your outfit mishap. 

Love, KB

Black Tie Wedding 
dress #1 dress by Miss Minuet 
necklace by Erica Lyons 
gold metallic heels by Nine West 
silver metallic heels by Gianni Bini 

dress #2 dress by Miss Minuet 
necklace by Natasha 
classic black pumps by Steve Madden 
black peep toe pumps by Gianni Bini 

Daytime Wedding
dress #1 dress by Forever 21 
vintage pearls 
blue suede pumps by Steve Madden 
vintage espadrilles

dress #2 dress by H&M 
brown platform sandals by Gianni Bini 
vintage espadrilles 

Nighttime Wedding
dress #1 dress by Miss Minuet 
classic black pumps by Steve Madden 
black peep toe pumps by Gianni Bini 

dress #2 dress by Chelsea & Violet 
black gladiator heels by Steve Madden