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Tuesday, June 11, 2013


    I adore it! Simple and elegant all at once, the clean lines of black and white always proffer a certain sharpness and precision.  If you're looking for a strong statement this might just be the palette you're looking for. Add a third color via jewelry, accessories or your bouquet and you'll have a great touch of visual harmony going on . . . .
Top Photo /Dress by Alexander McQueen//Striped bow photo by Joanne Dunn via Junebug Weddings//Painted face photo Piccsy via Pinterest //Ruffled white dress with black sash from BHLDN //Valentino gloves and Mannequin photo Tumblr via Pinterest//Butterfly Wings via Pinterest //Woman in fur hat and wrap via Tumblr//Dior photo circa 1950s via Pinterest //White gown with black gloves by Amy-Jo Tatum Bride //Black and white cake via Cakes for Weddings//Short white dress with black sash via Junebug Weddings photo by Alison Conklin Photography ///Black dress with white trim by Zuhair Murad Black lace top Collette Dinnigan Fall/Winter 2011 Backstage via Tumblr///White and black skirt photo by Jamie Beck Ascot Gavot Dress photo by Nadya Lev//Stripped nails and Lollipop via Pinterest //White Lace Bolero by Lily and Louie //Black and white striped pumps from The Party Shoe Show by Christian Louboutin/White blouse by YSL via Tumblr “Black Beauty” Vogue Australia, December 2012  Dress by Alexander McQueen/photographer: Benny Horne White rose and rhinestones photo via Pintrest/Black lace dress via Pinterest

Friday, November 16, 2012


Ruffles are back so jazzed and prettied up on skirts, tops and even accessories layered in them. On trend now is  anything ruched to the intricately gathered skirts rolled into florals. As you've probably figured  ruffles can be worn head to toe on bodice, sleeve, skirt or train. And don't forget those finishing touches like shoes, purses, gloves, hats and veils layered in ruffles. Below are just a few treatments celebrating variations on the ruffle. 
Photo 2&3: Zlata Modeen Photography/Dress and headpiece by Deb Shops
Photo 4: Dress by Aire Barcelona via Pinterest/Photo 5: Dress by Leila Hafzi
Photo 6: Via Pinterest/ Photo7: Dress by Armani Prive
Photo 8: Dress by Zuhair Murad
Photo 9: Skirt by Chanel/Photo 10: Elie Saab Haute Couture

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Have I got a a heap of eye candy for you today! Knowing how much you love gala and all that goes with it, I'll get right down to the swoon-worthy stuff. Last Friday was opening night at the San Francisco Opera. With a time-honored tradition for 'Puttin' on the Ritz', SF's opening is a bit like Cannes Film Festival meeting New Year's Eve in Old Vienna. Premiering with Pucini's Turandot, the parade of chic was especially inspiring this year and if you're as amped on couture as I am this is your visual fix for awhile. Notice all those bridal designers we know and love simply switch to technicolor when they come out on nights like this. . . .


TREND#1.) Prints and Drapery . . . While we've been seeing prints featured more and more on the Red Carpet they had particular significance Friday night following Turandot's eastern theme. Add all the brightly embossed and embroidered fabrics and there was a real show of color. Gowns with draping have been no strangers on the runways and carpet; now designers are moving into asymmetrical and pleat variations in both bodices and skirts for evening wear. Above: Marissa Mayer (of Google fame) looked fabulous in a gold shot print gown created by none other than The Duchess of Cambridge's own wedding gown designer, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen. Below: Former Mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown with Sonya Molodetskaya in a gorg purple and lavender asymmetrically draped and fitted gown by Azadeh Couture . . .

Below: One of my fave style-setters, Deepa Pakianathan wears a Rubin Singer. A rich blue, the cut and lightness of silk organza are all this gown needs to take a walk down the Red Carpet. Check out the asymmetrically pleated bodice and draped skirt--a real must see must see in action on the video as Deepa goes through some serious twirls .

TREND#2.) EMBROIDERY. I haven't seen this kind of handiwork since the 60s when Oscar de la Renta introduced variations of it in the peasant/gypsy look. Well, Oscar is alive and well now reinventing gypsies into Czarinas as you can see in this masterpiece worn by Dede Wilsey. The detail work is exquisite and first glance totally took my breath away. Check out the video to get a close up of the intricate hand work.

In a word, awesome! Lucy Buchanan wears this all over embroidered Naeem Khan so beautifully. The movement in the train is just too stunning and can be seen in the video . . .

TREND#3.) Ruffles Have you noticed they're everywhere in bridal and gala wear with so many variations I could write a whole book about it. Of all the ruffled gowns (and there were stacks) this Christian Siriano worn by Afsaneh Akhatari took the prize and is another video must see.


SF Opera opening night has it's handful of fashion designers local as well as international that show up and look magnificent in their own creations. Above is the ever elegant and beautiful Karen Caldwell in a plum confection I just love with knotted/ruched drapery . . .Her bow at the waist is signature Karen. . . .
Jewelry designer Amber Marie Bentley is always beyond the fashion curve. Her 'Over the Edge' look lies somewhere between underground and the most quintessential couture . . .
Above left is Bay Area designer Rebecca Bruce in a masterpiece of silk and satin patchwork, following the eastern theme of this event. If you love one-of-a-kind couture with an edge keep a watch on this designer .

So . . . which of all these gowns is your favorite? It was hard for me to go through hundreds and pick the few that made it to this post. However, I feel this sampling encapsules just how Red Carpet Fashion is developing, evolving and moving to the next level . . . .

Lastly a note of thanks here. Getting it done professionally with an event of this size and scope is a gargantuan task. Without the top notch coverage Drew Altizer Photography gave to SF's Opening Night, this editorial wouldn't be possible.  Special thanks to SF Gate for use of the video which I'm sure you'll all find enlightening and inspiring.

Monday, September 12, 2011


A floppy hat and stunner red dress perfect for waltzing. Rosie Tupper rocks for Elle Sweden.  Photo by Andreas Sjodin.  Yes, you can see the whole editorial here . . .  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Check out this gorgeous chick perfectly plumed for summer socials.  I found this on Lavendar and Faye, Cypress, California purveyors of some of the most innovative haute couture out there. Once you trip on over to their site you'll find feathers aren't their only specialty.  Tell me, just where would you wear this little number?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Boring Sidney never fails to amp my fashion curiosity for all that's innovative in head chic.  This headpiece as Belle says,  'Is wearable art for your head, this exceedingly unusual, dare I say odd, headpiece is made of an 8" woven ball of grapevines, that has been painted black. It is mounted onto a small round wool base with elastic to hold it on, and in the center is a battery operated candle that glows and flickers.'
Belle is a Seattle based milliner with a background designing costume (Can't you tell?).  I think she's a real fashion pioneer and have been keeping up with new additions to her store regularly since 2008 when I first laid eyes on her magic.  Keep a look out for new goodies on her site listed above.  

Friday, April 29, 2011


The Beckmans and their edgy chic
 Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne
It was like Ascot Gavotte in color as guests poured into Westminster Abbey this morning for the long awaited wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Oh La La! factor really kicked once the crowd swelled; Cecil Beaton's over the top sets and costumes for My Fair Lady come to mind yet this is all real.  When have we seen such a parade of head sculpture all in one place?  Phillip Treacy was the star hatter with others like Jane Taylor and Noel Stewart wowing us, every creation a 180 turn from the next. I have to admit, when it comes to hats the British have to be the most inventive. Do you perchance get the idea some of these dresses and coat ensembles were designed around the head wear? The UK has a rich history of costume and keeping aspects of it traditional. Their hats have evolved to the art form we saw today and I think they will continue to reinvent new trends.

 Miriam Gonzalez Durantez looking every inch as chic as an Irving Penn photo

 Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.  Stunning

 Who are these gorgeous guests?  The Earl of Spencer's daughters and cousins to Prince William . . .
The duke of York's daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie. 
Zara Phillips
 HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla)
 Always chic and my fav fashion royal, Michael of Kent
Monacco's Prince Albert and his fiance Charlene Wittstock