Category Archives: Fashtastic

Legends of the Fall: Part Deux

2 – The Booty Calls…
Confession: I am a shoe feine. I crave the perfect boot like a junkie and go searching the city streets (hello West 4th!) until I find it. Why do you ask? Because the right boot can take your old, warm-weather looks through fall without missing a beat. 
Let me explain: no one notices that you’re still wearing your gray t-shirt dress from two summers ago when it’s paired with a killer pair of fringed, embroidered boots (trust me, this happened Wednesday). Whether knee-high or ankle, leather or suede, boot or bootie, this season’s shoes are a step in the right direction.
-Knee-length boots
Believe it or not the more tarnished and beaten down your boots look from trekking through city streets, the better. Wear them flat or with heels (from three-inch to kitten). I personally can’t get enough of the contrast of knee-length boots with pretty dresses, but they’re just as glam over skinny jeans, tights and leggings.
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You better work, Ang!!! And Vanessa’s slouchy boots are so laidback glam.

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How amazing are these boots! Get the slouchy, sexy look for $180 at aldoshoes.com.
-Peeptoe booties
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“It’s Fall, why on earth are you showing your toes?” Because it’s fierce, that’s why. 
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The dominitrax style peeptoe will murder any outfit (in a good way)! These killer booties are $119 at ninewest.com.
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Okay, I’m drooling. Jimmy Choo gives you a more subdued, sultry version in suede for $550, jimmychoo.com. I know, the price is outrageous, but aren’t they just beautiful?
-Fringed suede boot
Fringe adds the perfect Western, bohemian flair to any outfit. Keep the rest of your outfit artsy (i.e. no structured menswear pieces or lacy, frilly looks) and you’ve got a look that’s retro, carefree and fun. 
TIPS AND TRICKS
Just limit it to one fringed piece per outfit or you’ll end up looking like Pocahontas…def NOT glam.
These cute, girly Betsey Johnson booties are $320 at zappos.com, and come in black and pink for the adventurous types. (And very cute pink bottoms, Betsey, a la Christian Louboutin…love it!)

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Or you can go for a classic, Western look with these suede boots by Minnetoka that boast removable bead and feather details. $75.95 at dsw.com.
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3 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits
Okay, there’s nothing wrong with the Hillary-esque tailored, monochromatic pantsuit…umm, right? 
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But Fall’s pants are just as smart, sassy and confident—and more stylish by a landslide.
-Loose wideleg pants
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They’re flattering on everybody, I promise. If you’re hippy or boy-shaped, get in good with your tailor.  If you’re short like me, invest in some comfy heels. 
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And the wideleg jeans are pure genius. Throw on a blouse and blazer and you’ve got the most comfortable work pants ever.
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And for $34.50 at oldnavy.com, they’re a no-brainer.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Be mindful of the hem. It should break right at the top of your shoe and slant on an angle toward the back. Highwaters are a natural disaster.
-Skinny jeans

…are back with an edgy, rock and roll vibe. Look for an ubercool color like washed-out grey or fresh details like ankle zips and cropped lengths. Dress them up with red shoes, dress them down with black patent flats. Gap has an amazing pair for $55 on gap.com.
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Work, Rih Rih!

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-Leggings/Tights/Knee-Highs
Please somebody tell me where I can find those amazing liquid leggings Miss Rih-Rih was wearing. (Update: I spotted them at Urban Outfitters for $88 by Members Only but I’ll be getting the H&M version…thanks).
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I’d shy away from the brights since in the words of my gay crush, it’s allllll about monochromatic color this season. So lengthen your legs in gray and black hues with matching footwear. And pair your leggings/tights with a long tunic or cardigan to keep the sex appeal at bay (remember proportions are key!).
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The best selection of tights, leggings and knee-highs I’ve seen so far is at H&M. They have everything from leopard to metallic to striped for reasonable prices. 
Oh and ladies, by the way, you can never look like you tried. You literally woke up and threw your clothes on and voila, you’re a bonafide glamazon. 
Let me know which trend you’ll be rocking, and which you wouldn’t wear to your funeral if you were paid in advance. As for me, I’ll be rocker chic in a cropped leather jacket and peeptoe booties (already bought mine from Aldo!). But I’m won’t be wearing harem pants unless it’s Halloween and I’m Princess Jasmine…
Talk soon.
Kisses,
Coutura
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Legends of the Fall


Are you one of those people that are in denial when summer leaves in an instant (seriously, wasn’t it just warm out)? I am. I swear I’m going to wake up one day and it’s going to be ferociously hot and I can’t walk down my block in my havianas because it’s sectioned off for cook-outs that last to 1 in the morning with ribs sizzling away on the grill and loud club music blasting and iceys for days. But alas, the only people out that late anymore are the crackheads, the only ribs you get on the grill are made the George-Foreman way (which you gotta love, but sigh, it just doesn’t taste the same). And club music blaring while I’m snuggled under the comforter watching Project Runway? I wish somebody would.

For people like Rihanna saying good-bye to August means packing up their summer clothes and getting in a Fall-to-Winter shipment. Lovely for them, but I’m a little too entry-level for a complete wardrobe change. And I wouldn’t blow the money if I had it. All I do is pick three double-duty pieces from their wardrobes and my closet becomes cold-weather-ready faster than you can say “65 degrees.” Here’s how.

1 – Under the Cover-ups
God bless the Bohemians! I shamelessly wore my little Ikat boho dress to work with a long cardigan and cowboy boots and it felt brand new! And thank the Lord because I just moved into an apartment and do NOT have the $ to buy anything really new without sacrificing lesser important expenses…like food and electricity. My cardi singlehandedly saved what would have been a drab Fall wardrobe. 
I know what you’re thinking: rocking your pretty tank tops and sleeveless dresses under a cardigan is an old trick, but the Fall season gives you plenty of ways to update your cover-ups. The number 1 difference? These cover-ups should become a part of your outfit, instead of feeling like an add-on.  
-Knee-length cardigans
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Glamazons, it doesn’t get any chic-er than this. Buy a neutral color like gray, brown, navy or black, even deep purple. Pair it with a dress of a similar length and a complimentary hue…or a blouse and a pair of knee-length shorts…or a fitted top and short skirt. And you’re done.
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And the cost of your new go-to piece? A mere $19.80 at http://www.forever21.com. (They have a million cardis that I just love, including the open front cardigan for $22.80…so glam!)
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You can belt it for a shapely silhouette (skinny belts work) or just let it flow. The look is stylish, comfortable and somehow, supersexy.
TIPS AND TRICKS
But ladies, beware. A few missteps and this lax, luxe look can go irreversibly sloppy. Keep these tips in mind:
-It’s worth it to invest in a cardigan that’s constructed well. Read: an unfinished hem, loose threads and moth balls will make you look like you went shopping in your grandma’s attic. 
-Balance it out. Wear loose cardigans/sweaters over fitted dresses, skirts and tops. Or long cardigans over skinny jeans. Too loose begs the question of if you bothered washing at all. Too tight completely misses the mark.
-Have fun with it. Bohemian is synonomous with understated, uninhibited cool. Play with texture, experiment with color. Just don’t go overboard (i.e. bulky layers, accessories galore). When you’ve got it right, it will feel pulled-together and effortless.
-Cropped jacket
Two words: contrast proportions. Keep the top long/fitted and the bottom full (or vice versa) and you’re good to go. Exhibit A: this glam Jil Sander look.
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Mariah, Mariah, Mariah. Here’s how NOT to do the cropped jacket. The pop of color is glam, but the proportions are all wrong. The look is too tight and the length of the top and short hem of the leggings is a jarring combo.
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With a flowy top and fitted skinny jeans, Rachel Bilson gets it right.

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-The Blazer
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I am just in love with how a blazer can make a look instantly sharp and sophisticated. Don’t believe me? I remember going to my internship at Marie Claire wearing a great blazer, my old Express jeans (atleast three years in) and a flimsy white tank top…and looking like a million bucks (for about $50 altogether, I swear!) 
This season brings new styles like the smart contrast piping (below on Vanessa) and the All-American color scheme, worn by the fabulous Blake Lively (Gossip Girls).
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You can just as easily throw your blazer over a corset and be ready for a night out with the girls.
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The right blazer is worth every dime. In terms of fit and construction, a little quality goes a long way. Ralph Lauren works their signature look for about $300 at http://www.macys.com (love the crested emblem, it gives a preppy, Gossip Girl, private-school-snob feel). 
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But I’d get the Nine West blazer for $129 (also, http://www.macys.com) with the edgy zipper pocket detail.
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-A leather jacket
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A la Rihanna. Rocker chic is one of the few winter looks that’s just as irrestibly sexy as an Herve Leger bandage dress. It’s tough and glam with just a touch of goth. 
Just avoid over-styling like the plague. The jacket should take the lead, think Beyonce, and everything else is Kelly and Michelle. 
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Everywhere from Bebe to Member’s Only has incredible styles. Check out leather stores too, like Wilson’s, for amazing variety.
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Crisp and classic. $595 at http://www.membersonly.com.
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This jacket is calling my name! The tough luxe leather meets the soft ruffle trim for an unbelievably sexy look. $249 at bebe.com.
-Colored scarfs
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For $5 on a New York street, the wrapped scarf looks unjustly expensive. It’s the perfect way to cover your chest lest you get a cold (like your mama told you) with style. And a color that pops—orange, green, fuschia—looks so fashionable against a casually cool ensemble. 
If it’s super cold, take it off and wrap it over your shoulders. If you just got a touch-up and there’s a surprise rain storm, Erykah-Badu it until you get under cover. Worn over a blazer, blouse or dress, this scarf is your new best friend.
Avoid getting a too-long scarf like Lindsey (below) as it tends to overwhelm the look. 
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Beyonce’s scarf falls at the perfect length. 

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And if it’s too long, tie it like Kylie..

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Btw, love the YSL mail bag…very glam!


More Fall styles to come…talk soon!
Kisses,
Coutura
Photos: JillSander, WireImage, Getty Images. 

Erin Fether-stoned

Okay, maybe the title is harsh but…

Ethereal? I get. Midnight-summer dreamy? I love. But the tiered layers of…flounciness? Not so much. I need to know what far-away planet filled with cotton candy, hallucination and hugs she was visiting while dreaming up these designs. Seriously, by the end, I felt like I was trapped in an episode of the Care Bears (We caare! We caare!).
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But I’m happy to say my favorite pretend cousin, Chanel Iman, looked very glam goddess floating down the runway.

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Let me know if you agree glamazons…and if you’re a vintage-80’s-prom-dress lover who wears her puffed sleeves proudly, I want your opinion too. 🙂

Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Mercedes Benz. NYMag.com.

Fashion Rocks…sort of

What do you get when high fashion meets rock and roll? Apparently, a room full of ANTM winners and D-list celebs. (Yup, no Chrihanna in sight…total devastation.) But since we strutted all the way to the Mansion nightclub in Carrie-esque ruffled dresses and painful 10-minute booties (read: 10-minutes before you want to saw your foot off at the ankle), we were determined to make the most of the night! 

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The Glamazons hit the red carpet.
To the delight of teeny-boppers and dirty old men everywhere, the corset-clad Pussycat Dolls performed and before we knew it, we were all shaking and gyrating under their spell. Even Miss J was twerking like an extra in a Luke video (get it boo!) to the tune of “When I Grow Up!” 
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Miss J meets Coutura and Beautylicious (from suitesuede.blogspot.com – Check her out!).
I’m always partial to the reality TV star (they’re relatable because you remember when they were un-famous, it’s like VH1’s Driven on steroids) so I have to show love to Little Miss Melody Thornton! She got her moment of shine with a call-and-response to the audience that went terribly wrong (I’m talking silence) but looked adorable. And as always, Nicole Scherzinger was on fire…
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Models, dressed as the Supremes and a rock band (I’m so killing the posh grunge look this season but I digress…), acted out the great love affair of music and style.
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Highlight of the night? We ran into the soul singer of the year, Chrisette Michelle, who is such a sweetie in person! Love the cascading curls, how glamazon of you!
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All in all, superfun times! Now, if we could only get some sleep before BCBG tomorrow at 10…
Sweet dreams!
Kisses,
Coutura

Angel Sanchez and the Real Housewives of New York

NEXT STOP: ANGEL SANCHEZ.

Ever the ladies man, Angel is a designer who knows his (mostly female) audience. Buyers, socialites and editrixes live for chic cocktail parties, and what’s better on a Thursday afternoon then sipping champagne and viewing a breathtaking collection? Exactly. Owning one of his intricately-detailed gowns (like the red stunner below), but since that’s not going to happen… (unless you’re reading this Angel and are feeling Oprah-generous…call me!)
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A couple of the editrixes and I enjoying the beautiful designs and hors d’oeurves!
As always, his gowns were dreamy, luxurious and flawlessly executed. I fell hopelessly in love with every piece, including this vibrant yellow beauty, inspired by a romantic getaway amidst the colors of the tropics…I love it!
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And lost in the swarm of socialites in vintage Chanel blazers, we spotted one of my favorite glamazons Jill Zarin from Real Housewives of New York looking zexy in a Herve Leger dress and putting it on for the cameras! We tried to walk in back of the housewives to get a cameo (I know, we’re ridiculous) so write in if you see brown shoulder-length hair in the back of the screen…
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Next up…Fashion Rocks pre-party!
Talk soon.
Kisses,
Coutura

My New BFF, Rachel Roy

Okay, I was so delirious last night that I left the remote in the fridge! Wow…a new low. We (Ferocia and I) have been pulling all-nighters (including a labor day session) to get our regular duties out of the way before Fashion Week and it’s slowly catching up to us. 

Luckily, I’m energized by that kid-on-Christmas-eve/boyfriend-on-prom-night kind of anticipation as it’s officially the first day of shows and I hustled harder than you can imagine to get tickets to the best designers in the biz.

FIRST STOP: RACHEL ROY.

There are very few designstars I’m crazy about because in most cases, their celebrity outshines their collection (hello, Lauren Conrad! Wait, but is she even a celebrity?). Rachel is not one of those designerstars. She could easily pull together a star-studded event with groupies clamoring to get in and paparazzi hovering over her every move but instead, she had a quaint, respectable gathering on the West Side—complete with nachos and this delicious lemonade cocktail (does anyone know who did the catering? Sorry, my other love is food.) 

And besides her hubbie, Dame, and his boy, Jim Jones, who both look bored and out of place in wife-beaters and white tees, it was a buyer/editrix-only kind of event. And just as well. Her stunningly modern and elegant collection was more than enough to hold our attention. 
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The collection was France meets Africa, a mosaic of culture that perhaps signals to Roy’s own multiethnic background (she’s Indian and Dutch btw…since everyone’s asking). The beautiful dresses, skirts and pantsuits boast her signature womanly silhouette with fresh accents like tribal prints and edgy studded embroidery.

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Every look from the easy silk jumpsuit to the purple jersey gown showed amazing growth. They were as classy and effortless as her past collections, but this time she designed for the unapologetically bold woman who commands the spotlight.
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And the shoes! She designed them for Manolo Blahnik and they were as glam as you’d expect from the dynamic duo: fun, sexy and sophisticated to the smallest detail.

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Rach looks even more beautiful in person, which I can’t say for most celebs! (Yeah, I’m calling her Rach now because she’s so my friend in my head a la Wendy like I picture us going to the museum, sipping wine and exchanging boyfriend advice). 

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Oh and although most designers are scared to innovate because of the recession (more on that later) she experimented with prints and bold color and it paid off big time. You better work, Rach!
Angel Sanchez is next…stay tuned!
Kisses,
Coutura

Ready, Set, Fashion Week!

Growing up, I used to sit Indian-style on our living room floor, transfixed by images of striking models in exquisite clothes on the TV screen. I would scribble designs in crayons on my pink construction paper and imagine I was a part of that world, gorgeous, glitzy and aloof. 

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My brother and I around the time I was crafting my crayola designs…check out the bunny details on those tights? You love it!

I didn’t know that my first introduction would be a pile of 300 invites that I was to RSVP for, divide into envelopes by date, accept no less than second row (if they gave my boss the third row, I was to call and demand a change or she wouldn’t show up) and call people who she didn’t receive invites from to find out what they were smoking that they forgot to send one, all in a half hour before she leaves for an appointment and so I don’t miss the production deadline for the copy I have due that day or delay clothing returns to high-end designers that have to go out that afternoon.

Nor did I imagine that when I finally went to my first high-profile show, the initial showing of Sean John last February, that after RSVP-ing for my whole team, I would have to hound their press rep relentlessly for a week to get two invites (one for our Creative Director that got lost in the mail, one for myself that never existed) only to show up and see everyone I RSVP’d for on the list but me. And that after giving the most pleadingly pathetic look to the press rep who lets me in out of sheer pity (a rarity in the world of fashion press), I’d end up standing in front of the light fixtures in what would be the nosebleed section of a baseball game with no feeling in my right pinkie toe (blame my purple pumps) but feeling more grateful and exhilarated than ever before.

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Diddy and Tyson hitting the runway while Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar” blares in the background at the show’s end…it was def worth the week of harassment and numb toe!

The energy of the impeccably-dressed throngs of people rushing in and out of the tents, the magical moment where an innovative and flawlessly-designed garment hits the runway and a hush falls over the room and your heart stops, it’s what I live for—it’s what I spend my overtime hours working for…and I’m proud to finally be able to share it with you!

First step: navigate through the chaos that ensues once you make it inside the tents.

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Pandemonium 101 also known as the line where the magazine editrixes shove their way to the front with invites in hand and the hangers-on (affectionately deemed the “fakes” by a certain PR girl) drop every name imaginable to get through the doors.

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The standing line, which I’ve become very well-acquainted with over the years. (Sidenote: How chic is the glamazon to the right? The black/white print, the belted silhouette, the disinterested stare, lovelovelove it!)

So read on for my uncut fashion week journal, get a first glimpse of breathtaking designs from your favorite designers and a daily play-by-play of the world inside the tents…

Kisses,

Coutura