Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I Want It Now: Renzo + Kai

I am willing to admit something embarrassing: I watched Gossip Girl until the bitter end. I have no idea why—the plots were ridiculous, clearly everyone gave up on pretending the characters were still in college, and I think by the second-to-last season, I was probably more invested in the show than the actors themselves. But much like Sex and the City—a show which also, sorry to say, really went downhill in its last season—Gossip Girl was great NYC eye candy: good landmark spotting, beautiful sets, fabulous clothes. Costume designer Eric Daman was genius at outfitting all the characters—Blair in her Upper East Side princess garb, Chuck in his cheeky suits—but the way he dressed Serena was my favorite; she was so out of touch with reality that she didn't think twice about wearing, say, a sequined top and a tube skirt to an internship. Was Serena going to a party or coming from one? You never knew.

I didn't realize what a void the finale of Gossip Girl had left in my life until I went to Renzo + Kai's showroom last week. Designed by Mrinalini Kumari, who's been embroidering clothes for designers like Armani, Etro, and Valentino since the '90s, Renzo + Kai is a relatively new contemporary line that showcases her love of embellishment. And the first thing that came to mind while checking out the spring 2013 collection was Serena van der Woodsen. The line features fun, flirty pieces like rompers and party dresses, all finished beautifully with intricate sequins, beading, chain trim, and various luxe details. Much of the work is subtle enough that it can be worn for day, lest, unlike Serena, you actually have a day job. Of course, the standout pieces are the ones better suited to evening, but don't let that stop you. Let's ooh and ahh, shall we?

Zoom in on this top and you'll see it's beaded all over, so it almost looks like chain mail. You could totally get away with wearing it to work under a blazer or sweater. Intermix has a very similar exclusive style here.




Speaking of work-friendly styles, I love the graphic black-and-white look of this top, but upon closer look, the stripes are sequined. Surprise! Here's a similar style at Saks.


I am a sucker for sequined skirts, but I was particularly taken with this aqua number—believe it or not, the sequins were actually soft and kind of matte, making it totally wearable for day. Shopbop has another great sequined skirt, however unless you actually are Serena van der Woodsen, I'd recommend it for after hours only.

Have you ever seen a more glamorous romper? I want to go on vacation somewhere exotic, like Antigua, just so I'd have somewhere fabulous enough to wear it. Shopbop has it in blue.


And since I was raving about the party dresses, check out the beading and chain detailing on this one. Bonus: You don't even need to wear a necklace! Here's a somewhat similar Art Deco-inspired style, also at Shopbop. 

Gossip Girl may be over, but I fully intend on carrying the Serena van der Woodsen flame with sequins and beading for day. She may have been dressed inappropriately, but she looked hot and, more importantly, looked like she was having fun. And I think we can all use a little more of that in our wardrobes. You know you love me, xoxo.

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