Marilyn Scarf

Over Christmas my Aunt and Uncle bought me a beautiful black and white Marilyn Monroe printed scarf. I absolutely love it; the style, size, and of course the very modern almost pop like print of a classic beauty. They are such generous and thoughtful people, always finding unique gifts.

When choosing the right outfit for the scarf, I focused on creating a simple look to place the emphasis on Marilyn. Today, I am wearing a peplum Karl Lagerfeld for Lord & Taylor (similar here) blazer with silver zipper detail, a plain pair of  black joggers, and my Sam Edelman flats (earlier post). There are numerous ways to wear a scarf, but I kept it draped simply over one shoulder to allow the print to shine!

Ashley

Ashley

 

How to Style a Little White Dress

I am embarrassed to say that until very recently I never shopped at Charming Charlie. I kept passing the store on my way to Wegmans and never went inside. When my grandmother visited Philadelphia last month we decided to do a little shopping. I was completely impressed with the store. If you have not been to Charming Charlie’s, the store is color coordinated. All pink accessories, clothes, jewelry are together, all blue, all orange etc. This makes it convenient if you have a particular outfit that you are trying to match. I am an accessories girl, to say I was in my element is an understatement. At the time of shopping, I had several upcoming events for Sugarpeel and needed to get styled.

This past weekend, I covered the Loews Hotel Philadelphia and wore a little white dress from Charming Charlie. Do not be intimidated by wearing white. It is just as sleek and flattering as a little black dress. Fit is key. In the summertime, try accessorizing a little white dress with a vibrant scarf, especially if you are used to wearing bright colors. Since a scarf is worn so close to your face, be sure that the color complements your skin tone. You may want to avoid earrings and wear a bracelet instead to avoid competing with the scarf.

Tomorrow my article featuring the Loews Hotel Philadelphia will be live.

Ashley Little white dress

Wearing dress, scarf, and purse from Charming Charlie, sandals found at Lulu’s.

Ashley Little white dress

Ashley Little white dress

Styling in Mamma-Alla-Moda

As promised, my post featuring the very chic and contemporary brand, Mamme-Alla-Moda. This fashion line offers full skirts with fun prints, retro sunglasses, and sky high heels along with the original graphic t-shirts!

I decided to wear my Style is Ageless grey cap sleeve t-shirt with a pair of Lysse leggings, a blue faux suede jacket with silver detail from Who What Wear , Alex and Ani bangles and slip-on mules. This particular look is casual and effortless, but the shirt could absolutely be worn with faux leather pants or a printed full skirt and worn with heels.

Ashley

Ashley

 

Mamme Alla Moda

MammeAllaModa

By Wendy Buiter, International Illustrator

I recently spoke with Mamme Alla Moda Founder, Emanuela Tamburini on her fabulous, fun, and stylish t-shirt brand. I quickly realized that what began as a t-shirt company expanded into much more; a complete fashion brand offering a full range of products and accessories.

Tell me about your brand ‘Mamme Alla Moda’ and how it all began?

The brand MAMME-ALLA-MODA holds a lot of my own personal story and life and this is the reason I love it so much! I’m an Italian woman, fashion minded with style in my blood. I have been in tuned with fashion since childhood and dreamt I would one day become an iconic fashion stylist.
After high school, unfortunately, I went for a different career path in life; I went to University, got a degree in Architecture and kept my dream alive, but locked in a drawer.

All of a sudden, at the age of 35, I fulfilled the dream of a family complete with an amazing husband and 3 kids. I realized it was about time to take that dream out of the drawer again and make it a reality.

I completed lessons and seminars focused on personal shopping and image consultancy that allowed me to step into the business.

One day, I designed a logo for a t-shirt, just for the fun of it. From a t-shirt, I continued with a ‘capsule collection’.

And after the capsule collection, I started to advertise and sell my ideas, and… here we go… clients came to my door!

This is what I have been doing for the past 3 years; designing, creating, and drawing on T-shirts, because everybody loves t-shirts and every concept can be printed on a t-shirt.

Where do you find the inspiration for the mottos on your shirts?    

To be honest the whole world is an inspiration. Any writing, picture or sentence, everything I experience in my everyday life is inspirational. My kids, my husband as well as a girls night out or a weekend in the countryside. And why not? A glass of wine or a dish of pasta…

Which celebrity would you love to see wearing your shirts?

Only one answer… Sarah J Parker. I love the person, the actress, her style. EVERYTHING.
I’d be honored to see one of our t-shirts on her, maybe walking in the street or attending an informal event. A few weeks back, I received a LIKE on one of our instagram post that showed a special outfit combined with SJP creation shoes; just made my day.

Is the clothing just for stylish moms?

At the very beginning, we were selling graphics and mottos for mums and fashion mums especially. Nowadays, we also publish general designs, targeting all women; always with a bit of sparkle, glamour, and attitude.

Do you see yourself expanding ‘Mamme Alla Moda’ to an entire clothing line?

Mamme alla Moda is ALSO a precise stylish concept, which we propose and deliver on a daily basis on our instagram posts INSTAGRAM: @mammeallamoda.
Many women are getting in touch with us asking to sell different accessories and clothing.

At first, we had to refuse. After a few months of ‘resistance’, we decided to expand our collections to new clothing, such as skirts and shoes (coming soon!) My vision is to create an entire collection, which is slowly becoming a reality.

Thank you to Emanuela for chatting with me and for Wendy Buiter for creating such a beautiful illustration. Next, I will be styling my very own Mamme Alla Moda t-shirt…stay tuned!

How to get the perfect Bubble Pony

Kendall Jenner

The warmer season will be here with a vengeance. To avoid dripping with sweat while your long hair is stuck to your face try this chic alternative. I decided to chop my hair before the summer season, but for those of you with long gorgeous locks, here’s how to achieve the perfect bubble ponytail using the Conair Bubble Ponytailer.

  1. Place hair in a pony at the nape of the neck and secure with a scunci elastic
  2. Insert the Conair Bubble Ponytailer and wrap your hair around each bubble and secure with another scunci elastic. Repeat until you get to the bottom.

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Mink Shoes

Mink Shoes

Illustration by Wendy Buiter

Today, I want to introduce a very special brand that is dedicated to creating the most stylish shoes, Italian made from eco friendly and vegan materials. Mink shoes offers a stunning collection with the highest quality from flats to heels made in the same factories that create Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, and Dolce & Gabbana. Rebecca Mink is credited with designing the first luxury vegan shoe on the market and has been creating for 16 years! Her shoes are stunning, fun, and sexy.

I discovered Mink Shoes after searching for vegan shoes on google actually. I was struck by the craftsmanship, attention to detail, and beauty of each Mink shoe. The entire selection is drool worthy. I am overjoyed to share with you Rebecca’s lovely brand story of Mink Shoes.

What inspired you to develop Mink Shoes?

I was inspired to develop Mink because I love animals so much. I was a celebrity stylist and could not find any options that were non leather for the red carpet in the year 2000. You cannot now! I started Mink because I did not want to harm animals or compromise on the style, fit or quality in my shoes. I created what did not exist. My goal is to shift the paradigm of the way people see non leather shoes. Typically non leather shoes are not made in Italy, cheaper quality, fit bad, and are not stylish. I wanted to make fabulous vegan shoes available. Mink is focused on luxury vegan shoes handmade in Italy.

Please explain your custom and made to order Mink vegan shoe options.

Custom Couture is my favorite! No one in the world does what we do at MINK! We offer a service where we hand make your dream shoes! We can make any shoe you want in Italy. We started offering this to vegan celebrity clients with performance or unique needs. We now find that most clients want customization and we are headed more in that direction.

Where can Mink shoes be purchased?

Mink shoes sell out very fast! It is exciting … we are growing and expanding because the demand for vegan shoes is getting higher. We sell in vegan boutiques across many continents. If you email us at [email protected] we can see total inventory available. We are expanding our online site to offer direct to consumer worldwide.

There are misconceptions about vegan products- in terms of quality and style. Please explain how Mink shoes are created and made and what you think will surprise a non vegan?

Mink shoes are the opposite to what you think of a vegan shoe. Mink shoes are made in Italy, stylish, comfortable, sexy and vegan. Most people think that vegan products are not attractive because many in the past have not been. The market is growing and so are the options. Over the 16 years I built MINK I have seen a massive growth in conscious consumers. Everything is going in this direction. Clients are becoming more aware and this is exciting!

Rebecca’s Favorites.

What is your favorite pair of Mink shoes?

I do not have one favorite Mink shoe. Because I am so close to design, development and production they are like my kids. I love them all equally. Each Mink shoe has a different mood.

What is your favorite beauty product?

My favorite beauty product is any vegan lipgloss with a wand applicator. I love my lipgloss!

What is your favorite clothing brand/label?

My favorite brand is Pucci. I am sad to say they are not vegan, but they do use many fabrics that are. I love color, shapes and the style of the 60’s. They do this the best!

Where is your favorite place to travel?

My favorite place to travel is on a boat to any Island that has warm water! I love to be in the sea. Islands and boating life is my happy place. 🙂

Rebecca Mink, Founder and Owner of Mink Shoes

red heel Mink shoes

Photograph by Arielle Baron

Ballerina flats

Photograph by Catherine Mullins

Mink Custom copy

Photograph by Catherine Mullins

nautical shoe

Photograph by Arielle Baron

Bathing suit

Now that toiletries are done, time to move on to swimwear. I anticipate that beachwear will be most popular during my Miami vacation. If you are traveling on a beach vacation you are probably more concerned with which bathing suit to pack than anything else.

Here is a tip- pack multiple suits! You can always bring one set of accessories that can be worn with every suit, which is where you can save money. Depending on the trip, you may be on the beach and swimming in a pool. It is so much more convenient to alternate between swimsuits to avoid wearing out or stretching the same suit over and over again. Plus, who doesn’t want to look fabulous on vacation?

I decided this year I would throw caution to the wind and try a white swimsuit. I’m banking on a reasonable tan so my pale skin doesn’t give the white suit a run for its money. If you too are opting for a white suit, think of it as a blank canvas. Your accessories including your coverup can add a pop of color.

Other accessories to pack are a hat to avoid a sunburn, which can also be worn with a cute sundress. Sunglasses both for the beach that are more durable and a pair for your outfits. Make sure to pack a small clutch or wristlet, just large enough for the essentials on the beach. I always consider flip flops a must have for hanging around the pool and walking to the beach. I was lucky this year and found all of my swimwear and beach accessories at Nordstrom, which really made it a simple process.

swimwear

Pink and Black

Really the winner of this ensemble is my lipstick. I hate to be biased because I absolutely love this Calvin Klein dress, but I felt confident and lovely wearing this Limited Edition Classic Lip Collection by Laini Cosmetics. This fabulous lip collection includes a lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss in bold magenta. I wore this trio to the Einstein Healthcare Network 150th Anniversary and I did not even need to reapply! The combination of the three created a richly pigmented color that is incredibly long lasting. The matte lipstick is creamy and moisturizing. Adding the gloss on top gives the lipstick extra shine. Also, check out the packaging! How gorgeous is this gift box?

Classic Lip Collection Laini Cosmetics

Classic Lip Collection Laini Cosmetics coming soon!

I love the combination of a chic and simple black attire with a bright pop of color. The contrast is quite the show stopper. This Calvin Klein sweater dress with faux belt was on the sales rack at Lord & Taylor. One of my favorite places to shop and home of some of the best deals. Black heels and opaque tights finished my look, but I still needed a hair accessory.

Ashley

Ashley

My hair was down and even though I love wearing my hair straight, I wanted to add a little bling. I created a deep side part and fastened my hair with a Tasha black and gold hair clip.  Usually, this type of hair accessory slips and I end up fixing multiple times. I was impressed however, with the grip. I went the entire night without fixing.

Ashley

Jimani Collections

In a recent post, called, “Supporting Ethical Brands” I introduced Jimani Collections, a company that offers employment and education within product design to some of the poorest in the world. Jimani aims to develop a sustainable solution to poverty. Women are trained and provided with the necessary skills to create well-crafted products within the jewelry and home goods areas. Women in Kenya handcraft every piece sold at Jimani. The “Meet the Women” page on the website features the touching stories of each woman working at Jimani. You can read firsthand how they are now able to make a decent living for themselves and their families through this company.

I am wearing a stunning beaded tassel necklace. The three strands includes two blue colored glass beads and one brass chain with a brass horn adornment at the bottom. I recommend wearing this necklace with a simple top so the beading work really stands out. The intricacies and details of this jewelry piece can then be appreciated. Thank you, Eunice for this gorgeous necklace. I am proud and happy to wear such a special work of art!

Ashley

AshleyB

Ashley

Tips for a Beach Vacation

Miami illustration by Wendy Buiter

Original image by International Illustrator, Wendy Buiter

In April for my birthday, I am going on vacation to Miami. I have been counting down the days, trying desperately to live in the here and now, but my mind is elsewhere, daydreaming about the beach. Little by little I have been adding to my pile of items to pack, which I find more enjoyable than waiting until the last minute. Packing can be stressful, hopefully by creating this list I can alleviate some of the stress and offer helpful tips for those of you planning a trip. Obviously, the main essentials include sunscreen and a bathing suit, but much more needs to be considered. What does your itinerary include? This will help to determine what outfits and coordinating beauty looks you will need.

Let’s start with toiletries. My favorite sun tan lotion is the Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion spf 38 from Shiseido. This product is incredibly gentle and great for those with sensitive skin. Spending a day in the sun whether on a beach or in the pool can wreak havoc on your skin. After sun care is just as important as sun protection. A cooling, moisturizing product should be applied at night on clean skin to rehydrate. Kiehl’s Rose Arctica Cream leaves skin feeling soft and looking plump and youthful. Sweating in the sun can cause residue build-up on the scalp making hair limp and unmanageable. Pack C.O. Bigelow Mentha Invigorating Shampoo for healthy, shiny tresses. Plus the peppermint oil cools the possibly burnt scalp- we’ve all been there! Pack a hat too by the way. These are some of my must-have toiletries. Of course, a razor to keep legs looking soft and smooth, a great body scrub, body lotion, travel sized perfume, and an effective lip balm should also make the final cut.

To ensure that I do not lug all of my makeup on the plane, I put aside a cosmetic bag. All of my products will need to fit inside. This will force me to choose wisely. Multi functioning products are the most economical. If your brushes do not fit in the allotted bag then opt for a blending sponge to apply all of your makeup. Laini Cosmetics offers a wide range of stunning products. Bronze Baby Glo Lotion, BB Cream, Warm Breeze Quattro, Rio lipstick and Venetian Gloss are my summer recommendations.

If you are going to a resort or beach style vacation like myself, then building your wardrobe around bathing suits and sandals is completely understandable. I purchased my bathing suits first and everything else as far as I am concerned is secondary. Shopping for a bathing suit can be daunting. The three way mirrors and fluorescent lighting are stuff of nightmares. Guess what? On the beach there are no three way mirrors or fluorescent lighting. Just natural rays of the sun, clear water, and a breathtaking view. The best advice that I give myself is to get out of my head. Find a swimsuit that you like, that’s flattering, and buy it! For more details on picking a swimsuit check out my previous post  packing-light-for-a-weekend-getaway. Your exact outfit will depend on your plans, but a couple of safe bets are light sun dresses or maxi dresses and a night out look. Either a sexy jumpsuit of LBD. Loose cotton pajamas are essential especially if you sunburn and need to sleep with an excessive amount of aloe vera on your skin. A statement piece of jewelry, heeled sandals, and a cover up should also end up in your suitcase.

A vacation is just that, a chance to relax, unwind, and regroup for the rest of the year. The entire process should be stress free. I hope this helps for those of you that may be struggling. Happy packing and start early!