Thursday, March 28, 2013

Buy It: Giles & Brother for Jewelmint Multi Spear Collar

Philip Crangi's Giles & Brother line is one of my favorites for low-key yet really unique jewelry. My appreciation started with a skull pendant (way back when skulls were subversive and cool) and has grown over the years, through sample sales and random finds and (sadly) the closure of G&B's jewel box of a store in the Meatpacking District. As far as jewelry goes, Giles & Brother is fairly affordable, but thanks to their new collaboration with JewelMint, it's even more so. The first in what will hopefully be many of JewelMint's Studio Series, the 10-piece capsule collection contains one ring (sold out), five bracelets (all but one sold out), one pair of earrings, and three necklaces. Prices range from JewelMint's usual $29.99 for the earrings, ring, and bracelets (which are some of the strongest items in the collection) to $59.98 for two of the necklaces and top out at $89.97 for a long, multistrand necklace. Everything carries Giles & Brother's grungy-glam aesthetic, with oxidized finishes and black-diamond crystals, and had I been more on top of my game, I probably would have snapped up more of the items before they sold out. Thankfully, my favorite piece, the multi-spear collar necklace, is still available. It's a perfect example of what makes Giles & Brother so wearable: the spears are interesting and edgy, but delicate enough that you can wear the necklace with a variety of things, from a pretty dress to a plain T-shirt. And at $59.98, it's a no-brainer, especially when similar styles from Giles & Brother proper run four times that, or more. In fact, that's a fabulous way to justify buying multiple pieces from the collection, if only more were still in stock. I'm praying they get them back soon—c'mon, wait list!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MasstigeWatch in These Shoes: Kirna Zabete for Nine West

Dear readers, it's a first-ever combo post at Cheryl Shops: MasstigeWatch and In These Shoes, together at last! We've seen Nine West here before—past collections with Sophie Theallet and Giles come to mind—but last month they debuted a collaboration with a high-end retailer, Kirna Zabete. This is noteworthy in that Kirna Zabete doesn't have an in-house line—the store is known for its incredibly well-selected stock, and it's the kind of place where, if money were no object, I would totally shop all the time—and that it's a store, not an actual designer (although there are two lovely ladies, Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, behind it). That said, it's one of the strongest collaborations I've seen thus far at Nine West—so much so that I"m featuring all eight pairs, many of which are on their way to being sold out already!


Top row:
The Bandeau was the style that first got my attention because, let's face it, who doesn't want a satin sandal with a puff of marabou feathers at the toe? Then again, with a nearly 5-inch heel, these are perhaps best suited for activities that don't require standing, if you know what I mean.

I'd hesitate to call anything with marabou feathers practical, but compared to the Bandeau, the Otay, with its 2.5-inch heel, is practically utilitarian. At least you can walk in them.

The one style that's completely sold out, the Jois is, interestingly, also the most expensive in the line, at $169. It has stiff (pun intended) competition in this area, but I would argue that it's also by far the sexiest of the collection.

Middle row:
My one quibble with this collection is that there are 4-inch heels and there are flats, but there's nothing in between. And while I'm not a flats girl, I tend to make an exception in the summer, especially for embellished thong sandals like the Seashell.

The Altra is one of those shoes that looks fabulous on the shelf (who can resist ruffles?!), but I worry a bit that it might not look so great on, especially if your legs are of the thicker variety.

Bottom row:
Another style on the verge of selling out, the Sophi is an edgy update of the every-woman's-wardrobe-necessity black peep-toe pump. It looks like something Alexander Wang would create, but better.

The Wexar would make a great summer-wedding shoe, particularly if you're getting married on the beach (I speak from experience). Unlike regular bridal shoes, I'd venture that you'd definitely wear these again.

As I said earlier, I am generally not a flats person, but the Kneata might just make a convert out of me, if only for accomplishing the nearly impossible: making flats look a little bit dangerous.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In These Shoes: Plenty by Tracy Reese Floral Hayden Pumps

Today was the first day of spring. Here in New York, that meant sunny but brisk weather with temperatures in the mid-40s; tomorrow it's supposed to snow. Again. Is it me, or has this been the longest. Winter. Ever?! So whether or not the weather cooperates, I'd like to comemmorate this change of seasons with shoes so pretty, they can't help but improve your outlook: the floral-print Plenty by Tracy Reese Hayden pumps. A slight twist on that old chestnut "business in the front, party in the back," they have a solid suede toe with a fun floral print at the heel. They are, by all means, impractical, but they're the kind of shoes you buy on impulse; you then panic that they won't go with anything in your closet; but then they're so unique, you end up wearing them with everything. I, for one, would wear them for a month straight if it meant temperatures would stay in the 50s. Maybe we can make that happen?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Buy It: Lily Aldridge for Velvet

When I heard Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge designed a collection for Velvet, I admit, I rolled my eyes. While many models could feasibly design clothes, I'd hardly qualify Aldridge—who's best known for parading around in underwear—as one of them. But then I saw the collection, and while it's not reinventing the wheel, it is filled with some pretty great pieces at reasonable prices: All 13 items are under $200.

Like this army jacket. You may already have one in your closet, but if you don't, this one is cool and vintage-inspired, and, at $148, a pretty good buy. Shoppers must agree--it's already sold out most places, particularly in small sizes.


Also virtually sold out everywhere is the Stella top, a cool tee with a dark, sooty leopard-print. This is one of my favorite pieces in the collection in that it's a little edgier and yet totally wearable for a range of styles. (You can also find it on Velvet's website.)



I find it surprisingly hard to find a good striped T-shirt, but this Pearl top seems like a strong contender, especially with its cute little red heart at the hip.


I own a very similar sweater to the Saffron pullover, and not only is an airy knit a great transitional piece, but it's perfect for cool summer nights, particularly if you're at the beach.


I've been looking for a white crocheted dress for what seems like forever; the Lily dress seems just perfect, which is exactly what I'd expect, this being the one piece in the collection that Aldridge named after herself. I'll admit, it's pretty worthy. Agree?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Buy It: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

I am such a fan of Nars cosmetics that my favorite products probably warrant their own posts, but for now, I'm focusing on one, the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. I'd seen it cited repeatedly by fashion and beauty insiders, so I finally schlepped over to Sephora to try it out. I went straight for Dragon Girl, a bright red that tends to be the most frequently mentioned shade. And whoa. This also probably warrants its own post, but try as I might, I am just not a red lipstick girl—I feel like a clown in any lip color too different from my own, and I always worry that I'll put it on and if I kiss someone, I'll end up looking like Heather Graham in the limo scene in Boogie Nights. Anyway, next I tried Dolce Vita (pictured here), which is more of a warm rose color, or like the natural color of my lips, but better. It is perfect. The texture is somewhere between a lipstick and a pencil—it's highly pigmented like a regular lip pencil, but more moisturizing and not at all waxy. It's also a chunkier shape, making it incredibly easy to apply. The color lasts a long time and stays put--I can happily report that it passes the kissing test and usually lasts through lunch. I love the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil so much, I'm almost upset I haven't tried it earlier. As for red lipstick, I'll keep trying...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Under $100: Rose Gold Jewelry

A few years ago, I had a quietly fashion-forward coworker. I say quietly because she was cool and laid-back about fashion, but in a very directional way; her trendiness wasn't in your face. She was engaged, and her ring was rose gold; at the time, I found it a bit uncharacteristic—rose gold seemed so retro, not even in a so-bad-it's-good way—but all of a sudden, it seems like the coolest thing, and I can't get enough of it. So it's good that there are a lot of great options for rose gold jewelry under $100, including pieces from some of my favorite designers. Here's what I want to add to my collection*.


Clockwise from top left:

For my birthday a few weeks ago, I treated myself to this Miss Havisham pendant necklace from one of my favorite designers, Alexis Bittar. It's one of his rare pieces under $100, and it's a great size for layering.

I am late to the Gorjana party, but I recently bought a few bracelets and I am now fully addicted. I love the delicate, timeless pieces, like this infinity charm bracelet, which don't overwhelm my teeny-tiny bony wrists.

I love jewelry with a sense of humor, like these punky-prim asymmetrical London Calling earrings by Joomi Lim.

A key to wearing rose gold is that it can't look too precious; the chunky look of this Lisa Freede stud ring ensures that won't be an issue.

I have a handcuff pendant that I bought on my honeymoon in Greece; people often stop me on the street to ask where I bought it ("On this narrow little street in Fira, Santorini..."). Next time, I'll tell them to check out Jules Smith's Friskey Charm necklace.

Confession: I follow Nicole Richie on Twitter; as far as celebrities go, she's rather amusing. Social media aside, I am also a big fan of her jewelry line, which features pieces that look more expensive than they are, like this House of Harlow 1960 Rif Pebble Cuff.

Bing Bang is one of my all-time favorite jewelry lines, so much that I try to limit my attendance at their periodic sample sales, lest I get into major trouble. But at $35 for these dainty yet rocker-cool wing studs and $68 for the talon ring, I can even afford to pay full price. Yay retail!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

I Want It Now: Liberty of London Collaborations

Last week I had a meeting that let out early, so I found myself in Rockefeller Center with a few hours to kill, and instead of going back to the office, I decided to check out our competitors, or, as you might call it, shop. One of my first stops was J.Crew, and whenever I go into one of their stores, I want to buy pretty much everything—which is why I usually try to stay away from them—and that was definitely the case, primarily due to the newest arrivals from their ongoing collaboration with Liberty of London. I am admittedly a big sucker for Liberty's prints, although I prefer the larger-scale botanicals to the ditsy florals; there's just something about them that makes me happy. And if you're suffering from seasonal affect disorder like I am, there are antidotes galore: scarves, shoes, makeup bags, clutches, plus shirts, skirts, dresses, pajamas, swimwear, and even ties for men in bright colors and fun motifs. But lest J.Crew have all the fun, Liberty is also collaborating with a bunch of other retailers this season, from Nike shoes to A.G. Jeans. Here are some of my favorites.


Clockwise from left:

Printed denim can be a hard sell, but AG Jeans always fit fantastically, and the print on these ankle-length leggings is almost tonal, making it a bit more subtle.

I don't run, but the quiet print on these Nike Free 5.0 Liberty sneakers almost makes me want to. Although, knowing me, I'd probably end up wearing them to run errands on the weekends. (That still counts as "running," right?)

Drinking coffee out of a fun mug is one of the little things you can do to brighten your day. This quirky Hello Kitty x Liberty mug has the added bonus of being so unique, no one will steal it from the office dish rack.

Of the many awesome items in J.Crew's Liberty collection, some of my favorites are the swimsuits. I love the exotic look of the Lord Paisley bandeau and matching bottoms.

But my favorite print is the Tresco floral, shown here in scarf form but also available in a skirt, a shirt, a clutch, and numerous other items. It's so tropical and bright, it's enough to take your mind off of whatever nastiness is going on outside.

Monday, March 04, 2013

In These Shoes: Milly for Sperry Top-Sider

I am really, really, really, really sick of winter. Really. I think I have maybe another week or two left in me, and then I'm going to need to take desperate measures: I'm going to start dressing for spring, actual weather be damned. I mean, how am I supposed to keep wearing tights and boots when there are cute shoes like these Rowan sandals by Milly for Sperry Top-Sider around? Granted, nothing says warm weather to me like a classic pair of Top-Siders, but the preppy mainstay has smartly partnered with Michelle Smith, who put a modern, fashion-forward spin on the line for spring. There are glittery slip-ons and fun printed espadrilles, but the Rowan sandal here is my favorite from the line—it combines signature Sperry elements like lacing and webbing with fashion-forward details like an espadrille platform and a chunky lucite heel. (Seriously, I am drooling over that heel!) The tan color probably would make a better transitional style, but my super-impractical side—you know, the one that wants to wear sandals when it's 40 degrees out—really loves the white. And why not? It will be spring soon enough, right? Right? Please?

TheFind Guest Post: We're Geeking Out Over Spring's Chic Digital Prints


 Pixelation isn't always a good thing – a poor cable connection, a blown-up photo gone terribly wrong, ridiculously out-dated arcade games (and not the fun ones) – but spring's newest digital prints are making us think that high resolution might be overrated! From tribal patterns to spring-friendly florals, these fun pixel patterns are putting a geeky-chic spin on some of our tried-and-true favorite prints, and the effect is bold and graphic with a fun, modern spin. From slouchy printed blazers like this SAM&LAVI Rere Blazer to flowy maxidresses like Matthew Williamson's Digital Blossom-Print Column dress, digi prints can be a statement-making focus of your outfit, or simply accessorize your look and update your spring wardrobe. Try Jeffrey Campbell's very on-trend Solitaire patterned platform pumps on for size, or splurge on Judith Leiber's Pixelated Python Clutch to add a little pizzazz to your go-to LBD! —Alexandra Gambardella

Content provided by TheFind in partnership with Cheryl Shops.