Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tough, chic nail polish

Kate Winslet wore Lippman Collection Baby Love on her fingers when she won her Oscar on Sunday. The polish is available online and SouthPark Nordstrom.

I've all but given up on getting my nails done for a variety of reasons. It's hard to justify getting a manicure when I am so rough on my hands -- dish water, bath water, cooking -- the list goes on.

So after tons of hand washing dishes and cleaning recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well my Lippman Collection Pump Up the Jam polish held up. Hardly any chips!

I've been wearing the perfect shade of red -- Stop and Stare -- on my toes for some time now.

I'm not alone in my love of Lippman polish. Kate Winslet wore Baby Love, a Lippman color when she won her Academy Award on Sunday. Fashion manicurist Deborah Lippman fancies herself somewhat of a Oscars good luck charm.

She has polished the fingers of the following winners pre-ceremony: Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank and Marion Cotillard.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscars fashion highs and lows

Sarah Jessica Parker's Dior Haute Couture dress was pretty, but rather boring by SJP standards. She does favor big gowns, so the full skirt isn't too surprising. However, her cleavage is.


Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe celebs didn't want to seem too ostentatious, but after the Oscars on Sunday night, I was left feeling kinda meh about the fashion.

You can read my take on the best/worst dressed here.

There were quite a few good looks: Freida Pinto was fab in John Galliano; the always chic Diane Lane looked classically beautiful in Dolce & Gabbana.

There were also quite a few looks that landed in the so-so pile: Sarah Jessica Parker's "barely mint" Dior Haute Couture; Viola Davis in Reem Acra, Reese Witherspoon in Rodarte.

Though New York Fashion Week just wrapped up on Friday, some of the trends I saw in the fall 2009 collections there have already made their way to the celeb set.

Architectural pleating and folding, asymmetry, metallics and modernism were all in play, from Kate Winslet’s sleek, shaped coif to Marisa Tomei’s stunning gray origami-inspired Versace gown.

What was your favorite fashion moment? Least favorite look?

Friday, February 20, 2009

What to expect from Oscar fashion

I bumped into stylist Robert Verdi at the Luxe Lounge earlier this week at New York Fashion Week. He was at the product-filled suite on West 30th Street with Eva Longoria and Lake Bell (who were getting manicures).

Since the Academy Awards are on Sunday, he shared his predictions for what we'll see on the red carpet.

"I think we'll see a lot of streamlined looks," he says. "It'll be closer to the body. All the crazy, big gowns will be gone. All the hoopla is over."

On Sunday, I'll be blogging, Twittering and writing about red carpet fashion for Monday's paper.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DVF's Nomad collection

Diane Von Furstenburg's cozy Fall 2009 collection is full of prints, excellent layered pieces and a number of separates.

But first let's discuss the pom-pom hats worn by each of the women on the runway. I loved them, in all their silly ski-fun glory. They managed to be chic and fun at the same time, like the rest of DVF's show.

An intentioned mix of belted jackets, long sweaters, ethnic prints and flowy shirts and dresses were on trend without being obvious. Animal prints, strong shoulders and jewel tones are things to keep an eye on for fall.

DVF had them all, and mixed them expertly for a chic, relaxed style that appeals to a wide range of ages. She also had a star-packed audience in Bryant Park's biggest tent including Diana Ross, Heidi Klum, Zoe Saldana and Molly Simms, among others.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laura Vinroot Poole in Vogue, T magazine

Laura Vinroot Poole, owner of Capitol boutique.

The fashion world was buzzing this week when it was announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will be featured on the March cover of Vogue.

Laura Vinroot Poole, owner of Capitol boutique in Charlotte, will also be featured in the March issue. She and her boutique will be included in an article about specialty boutiques across the country. Among the other shops mentioned is the first lady's favorite, Ikram in Chicago.

Poole, who was spotted at the Erin Fetherston show Sunday at Fashion Week, will also be featured in an upcoming issue of T, the New York Times Style magazine, scheduled for publication later this month. In the article Vinroot gives shoutouts to the Penguin, jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth and French botanist Patrick Blanc, among others.

NY Fashion Week begins

Designer Brian Reyes will show his fall collection on Thursday in Bryant Park. He found inspiration in the natural colors found in marble. "I was looking at different ways of transforming hard materials," he said.

Fashion Week is underway in New York City this week, and the Fall 2009 fashion preview in Bryant Park has a decidedly different feel.

It's a very serious time, especially for this industry," designer Brian Reyes said recently. "I see (the economic depression) as one of possibility in a way, a very tense way. It helps you be a little more creative.

"When things are easier, you take things for granted sometimes. An economy like this forces you to buckle down and be very smart about what you do," he said.

That sentiment is playing out all over fashion week. Many designers, including Betsey Johnson and Reem Acra, have switched from runway to showroom presentations.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lilly Pulitzer celebrates colorfully

Among the festive decor for the Lilly Jubilee at Belk was this preppy printed Jeep -- parked just inside one of the mall entrances. Lilly Pulitzer President James Bradbeer said other Lilly-decorated Jeeps will be shuttling fashionistas around New York City during Fashion Week.

Belk rolled out the pink (and green) carpet to fete the Lilly Pulitzer line recently at the SouthPark store.

As part of the line's celebration of 50 years of colorful, preppy fashion, a "Lilly Jubilee" was held at the store, where visitors were transported to Palm Beach (where the line was born) via retrospective displays, special-label and vintage apparel, and of course, music and food.

"Lilly is an escape," said James Bradbeer, president of Lilly Pulitzer, who was on hand Thursday for the festivities, which also included the unveiling of the first Lilly Men's Shop at Belk. "It lifts the spirits, makes people smile."

McKay Belk, president of Belk, Inc., couldn't resist straightening the tie on a Lilly-bedecked mannequin in the new Lilly Men's Shop while talking about the line and the brightness it brings, given the trying times.

"It brings a sense of levity," he said. "There's fun and excitement in the colors. That's what we need right now."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Go red and win!

Enter to a drawing to win this Go Red Love Your Heart gift set by sending an e-mail with HEART in the subject line to by 4 p.m. Friday. Only the winner will be notified.

February is red for more reasons than just Valentine's Day.

It's the month in which the American Heart Association encourages everyone to Go Red For Women, spreading the word of empowerment and health education. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and men. According to the American Heart Association, diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system claim nearly one million lives per year—one life every 36 seconds. That’s more people annually than the next four most common causes of death combined.

More than 70 retailers in Charlotte are participating in the month-long awareness campaign by offering special events and deals.

Stores in Ballantyne Village, The Shops at Blakeney, Piper Glen, Promenade on Providence and Stonecrest spread the word last week. This week, shops in Phillips Place, Morrison and Speciality Shops on the Park are offering special promotions and deals.

Next week, the neighborhood focus shifts to retailers along Selwyn Avenue, Providence Road and inside Providence Plaza.

During the week of Feb. 23, stores along East Boulevard will participate.

For more information about the campaign, visit or call 704-208-5513.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fashion wisdom from Uncle Karl and others

Is that a smile on designer Karl Lagerfeld's face?

Sundance Channel will show off its fashionable side with a block of Fashion Week programming. The series begins with Rodolphe Marconi’s compelling documentary “Lagerfeld Confidential,” 7 p.m. Feb. 9 (tonight).

Designer Karl Lagerfeld is enigmatic and endearing in his rock n roll priest apparel, accented with heavy jewelry and fingerless gloves. The doc is a behind the scenes look at the iconic man. Here are just two of my favorite observations from Uncle Karl.

"People with turbulent lives who spend their time on the phone are sexual freelancers."

"If you want social justice, be a civil servant. Fashion is ephemeral, dangerous and unfair."

A fashion-themed film will air 7 p.m. nightly through Feb. 15. The line-up includes: David Boatman’s “Ralph Rucci: A Designer and His House;” William Klein’s 1966 satire “Who Are You Polly Maggoo?" Cecile Leroy Beaulieu’s “Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills;” Douglas Keeve’s “Seamless;” Loic Prignent’s “Marc Jacobs & Louie Vuitton;” and David Teboul’s “Yves St. Laurent: 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009

10 min cure for dry skin

The cold temps in Charlotte are seriously drying out my skin. No matter how much water I drink or how much thick creme I slather on, my face is peeling, ashy and tight.

I'm normally an oily-to-combo skin girl, but the flaky state of my face drove me to try something I had never used before: a moisturizing mask.

For the sake of my face, I went all "Friday the 13th" in the Shu Uemura Depsea Moisture Replenishing Mask.

The mask is a cloth saturated with seaweed extracts that has cutouts for your eyes, nose and mouth. I was hoping neither of my children would wake up during the 10 minute application lest I freak them out.

It's worth the initial creepiness -- my face was evenly moisturized, smoother and looked healthier. They come six to a box for $55. The masks are on back order online and at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus.

Neiman Marcus at SouthPark is out, too, and unsure when they'll get more of the full mask. But they do have the Depsea Moisture Eye Mask.

How do you fight the dry flakies?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to buy Valentine's lingerie

Women don’t need a holiday to enjoy lingerie, or even a special occasion – there’s something indulgent but still practical about slipping into a little pretty thing instead of boxers and an old T-shirt before you climb into bed.

“People are spending less, but a girl still needs a boost,” says Shelly Domenech, owner of I.C. London boutiques that sell fine sleepwear, loungewear and lingerie. “And there’s nothing they wear more than their pajamas.”

As Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) approaches, you have our permission to treat yourself.
Or, if you’re a husband, boyfriend or partner, here are a few tips to help you surprise the lady in your life.

Leave your fantasies at home. Unless she’s told you she’s interested, skip the French maid and Princess Leia get-ups.
Do your homework. Find out her dress size, and be able to articulate her body shape to the retail staff.
Have your lady create a wish list at her favorite store. Then, when you’re ready to shop, you’re guaranteed a win.
Ask for help. The sales staff is there to assist you. Be open-minded.

Read more in Thursday's Style section.

What are your tips for buying lingerie?