Cover Craze: Olivia Palermo Channels Victorian Style as Holt Renfrew’s Debut Muse!


Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 01The world’s style crush / obsession on Olivia Palermo is stronger than ever, & what better way to celebrate the modern-day style icon than continue to feature her impeccable fashion sense in the debut feature for Holt Renfrew, not a print magazine like I usually feature in Cover Craze, but an online magazine premiering with Olivia. The photoshoot was inspired by fall’s best Victorian-inspired pieces, from designers & labels like Altuzarra, Manolo Blahnik, Lanvin, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, Chloe, Self-Portrait, Valentino, & Michael Kors, as well as beauty brands that furnished Olivia’s look including Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Nars, & more.

Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 02The article features Olivia’s own words about her where her flawless style comes from, her goals for the ever-changing world of fashion & technology, as well as her personal work ethics in building her brand.

Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 03 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 04 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 05 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 06 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 07 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 08 Olivia Palermo for Holt Renfrew 09What do you think of Olivia’s elegant photo shoot? Do you follow her fashion lifestyle on social media? For more posts featuring Olivia Palermo, check out her recent jewelry collaboration with BaubleBar, as well as red carpet looks in chic leather overalls, a Tibi tuxedo dress, & a stunning Valentino gown. Also, get inspired by a 300+ image gallery of Olivia’s street style & special occasion outfits. Happy Styling!

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#RedCarpet Review: Every Look From The 2015 #MetGala, Featuring Beyoncé, Jennifer Lawrence, Sarah Jessica Parker, & More!


Rihanna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kerry Washington, & Anne Hathaway at the 2015 Met Gala.

Last night’s #MetGala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art honored Asian-inspired fashion with Anna Wintours latest exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass. In attendance were top A-listers from the realms of fashion, music, Hollywood, & more, wowing on the red carpet & showing support for the art of fashion. Some of the greatest risk takers of the night included Rihanna in a stunning  over-the-top gold design by Guo Pei, Beyoncé‘s barely there shimmering gown by Givenchy, Jennifer Lopez who showed off her best assets in a Versace design, Sarah Jessica Parker‘s collaboration with H&M & a masterfully crafted Philip Treacy headpiece, the always elegant Kerry Washington in a pink Prada confection, & Anne Hathaway‘s futuristic & sleek hooded gold gown by Ralph Lauren.

Of course, there are plenty of glamour & daring fashion feats in the slideshow below to feed your celebrity red carpet style obsession. Who wore your favorite look? Will you be headed to NYC to check out the exhibit? Who missed the mark on the red carpet? Happy Styling!

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Basics for a Bargain: Pretty & Patterned Separates To Amp Up Your Solids (Dedicated to Lisa)!


When it comes to new style resolutions for 2015, an easy way to spruce up a boring wardrobe or upgrade to a more mature style is to step outside of your comfort zone & that starts with prints. An attention to detail immediately shows off your personality & gives off a very positive first impression. I’ve learned (from shows like What Not to Wear) that when you put a thoughtful effort into what you’re wearing, you’ll have more confidence & the people around you will notice. I’d like to dedicate this post to my favorite cousin, Lisa, who has turned to me with advice & questions on how to dress more appropriate to her age, while shopping on a budget & discovering who she is through her own personal style.

When it comes to prints, there are a lot of opportunities to discover your personal style, which is why I turned to recent Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear runway collections for a little inspiration of what’s trending this coming spring.

Altuzarra, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, & Valentino Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear.

Of course, not all of these outfits are meant to be taken literally as inspiration, but it’s apparent that the range of prints, from classic to crazy, will instantly amp up any look, including those from Altuzarra, Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, & Valentino.

Also, when it comes to prints, mixing separates with basics is the perfect way to build a variety of outfits for day, work, night, & weekend looks, as seen with these tops & sweaters on actress Jessica Alba, model Miranda Kerr, Glee star Lea Michele, fashion darling Alexa Chung, singer Gwen Stefani, & it-girl Kendall Jenner.  

Jessica Alba, Miranda Kerr, & Lea Michele in printed tops.

Alexa Chung, Gwen Stefani, & Kendall Jenner in printed sweaters.

Also, A-listers know how to play with prints when it comes to bottoms, which is why I sought out chic printed shorts, skirts, & pants. Examples include The Americans star Keri Russell, Victoria’s Secret supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio, Oscar nominee Reese Witherspoon, TV personality Kelly Ripa, style icon Olivia Palermo, & actress / fashion blogger Jamie Chung.

Keri Russell & Alessandra Ambrosio in printed shorts.

Reese Witherspoon & Kelly Ripa in printed skirts.

Olivia Palermo & Jamie Chung in printed pants.And so… with a budget shopper in mind, I’ve searched high & low to find great deals on stylish printed separates. First, these printed tops are great building blocks to a more sophisticated look, when layered with staples like a military or moto jacket, flyaway cardigan or cropped bolero, or with leather leggings, tuxedo pants, dark denim jeans, or bootcut trousers.

Printed tops.

SHOP: printed tank ($22.50) @Neiman Marcus, lace tee ($14.97) @Old Navy, print top ($22.80) @Nordstrom, & black top ($22.90) @Forever 21.

Also, printed blouses are must-haves when you’d like to sport a clean, professional look. Not only do smaller patterns work on flowy toppers, but they’re great for when you really want to go all out with your prints & mix them with other bolder prints, like animal spots, polka dots, colorblocked stripes, & many more.

Printed blouses.

SHOP: heart blouse ($24.99) @Kohl’s & shirt ($29.94) @Old Navy.

In these colder months, printed sweaters are a fun way to play with patterns, while also staying warm. Also, sweaters in different textures will surely show off a variety of colors to play with when it comes to accessories too! 

Printed sweaters.

SHOP: lace sweater ($27.80) @Forever 21 & animal sweater ($32.99) @LOFT.

When headed to the office in a dress or skirt outfit, try on a printed cardigan to wear open or closed over basics like a button down shirt, scoop neck tee, tie-neck blouse, or ruffled camisole.

Printed cardigans.

SHOP: houndstooth cardigan ($22.99) @Target & snake cardigan ($11.93) @LOFT.

When it comes to bottoms, we’re often so quick to pick out a pair of jeans or leggings, but wearing prints on your lower half is unexpected & certainly a way to get the most out of your solid tops, like a black turtleneck, three-quarter sleeve sweater, or pocket tee. However, printed skirts are fun since you can not only layer with neutrals, but also enhance your look with a pop of color.

Printed skirts.

SHOP: plaid pencil skirt ($24.99) @Target & zebra skirt ($29.95) @H&M.

Maxi skirts are everywhere & great when headed on vacation, to a day  by the water, or lunch with the girls, which is why playing with printed maxi skirts has so many possibilities, especially with metallic gladiator sandals, riding boots with button details, & textured wedges.

Printed maxi skirts.SHOP: snake maxi skirt ($30.00) in blue @Dress Barn & print maxi skirt ($30.00) in coral @Dress Barn.

For those who dare to wear shorts, think outside of the box with printed shorts in delicate fabrics. not only can these be perfect for day, but they’re easy to dress up with decadent pieces in lace, leather, & brocade.

Printed shorts.

SHOP: chevron shorts ($23.30) @Saks Off Fifth & shorts ($24.99) @Kohl’s.

Printed pants aren’t new, but not everyone gives them a chance, especially when concerned about emphasizing your assets in an unflattering way. However, loose-fitting pants in subtle prints are perfect for neutral tops & jackets when on the go. These are also great for pairing with ballet flats or pointy toe stilettos.

Printed pants.SHOP: pants ($12.00) @H&M & stripe pants ($19.99) @JC Penney.

Lastly, I’m certainly not saying that anyone should abandon jeans in any way, but perhaps instead of wearing regular washes, try a printed jean, which will not only perk up a casual look, but will surprise those around you, especially when paired with a blouson top, graphic tee, or tunic sweater.

Printed jeans.

SHOP: camo jeans ($26.55) @Lord & Taylor & floral jeans ($24.99) @6PM.

Must-have prints to have in your wardrobe, yet worn with caution, include polka dots, animal prints, graphics, modern florals, lace, stripes & chevron, tribal, plaid, & houndstooth. I even made a quick guide to learning prints, which will perhaps also serve as a chart on how to successfully mix prints too.

The guide to prints & patterns

Which prints are you naturally drawn to wear? How do you like to wear prints? Do you mix prints with solids regularly? For more stylish posts, check out all of the runway looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2015 Ready-To-Wear collection, tips on how to dress your body type, the complete red carpet gallery of this year’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, & spring dress predictions inspired by designers Erin Fetherston & Nanette Lepore! Happy Styling!

Basics For A Bargain: Leather Has Never Looked Better, Inspired By Mandy Moore, Sandra Bullock, Heidi Klum, & More!


Leather really had never looked better! Each summer I’m surprised to see many looks worn by celebrities with leather, as well as dresses that have recently hit the runway. Of course, most of these runway looks are for the upcoming fall / resort seasons, but playing the game of fashion always means that you’re looking ahead with your wardrobe. For example, here we have leather dresses that offer texture, femininity, elegance, & modernism from Barbara Bui Pre-Fall 2013, Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Tibi Pre-Fall 2013, & 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2013.

Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Barbara Bui, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam.This also makes me think of recent red carpet appearances by some of my favorite celebrities who’ve worn leather dresses, including Naomi Watts in a leather dress by Alexander McQueen with jewelry by Jennifer Meyer at the Los Angeles premiere of Ray Donovan. Also, my girl crush, Mandy Moore, attended a Helmut Newton event in a leather LBD with gold jewelry & sexy ankle-strap heels. Byzantium actress Gemma Arterton showed off her shape in a curve-hugging letaher dress with 3/4 sleeves, black pointy toe pumps, & a metallic clutch at the film’s screening in London. Scandal star Kerry Washington walks the red carpet at an ABC event in a red Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sheath dress with black & gold accessories, including House of Lavande studs.

Naomi Watts, Mandy Moore, Gemma Arterton, & Kerry Washington.Shopping for leather, or faux leather in this case, dresses is tricky sometimes b/c you always want to make sure that it fits you properly & doesn’t require an abundance of care or cleaning. I found these chic options that are both timeless & edgy to mix & match with accessories like pointy toe pumps, platform sandals, a metallic clutch, or drop earrings. First, I selected the BB Dakota Kira perforated dress ($68.00) from ShopBop, which definitely plays up the lasercut trend with playful peek-a-boo holes. Also, I found the Sanctuary Clothing faux leather shift dress ($55.65) from Dillard’s. It’s especailly flattering with strategic colorblocked panels.

leather dressesMy third pick is from Forever 21, the studded faux leather dress ($27.80) is the most affordable, & also offers plenty of styling possibilities with a boyfriend blazer, cropped bolero, metallic belt, or suede knee boots. For a change of color, the Anne Klein faux leather dress ($42.99) from 6PM brings a gritty edge to any office look, especially if paired with strappy sandals or printed pumps.

When it comes to leather, we’ve also seen a great deal of separates, especially in the form of skirts & leggings, which always cause a stir on the runway. The mixture of the tough material in sophisticated silhouettes makes for a memorable show, especially with skirts of varying lengths for a date night, the office, or an instant update to other basics. I found trendy leather separates in collections from SUNO Resort 2014, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Altuzarra Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, & Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2013.

Suno, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Altuzarra, & Michael Kors.Celebrities continue to once again mirror the runways when on the street or red carpet with leather pieces to accent this look. Sandra Bullock heated up the premiere of The Heat in an affordable leather pencil skirt from ASOS with a button-down blouse & strappy leather sandals. Rashida Jones was all smiles in a striped top with a cobalt blue leather mini skirt, which she accessorized with a statement pendant, colorful clutch, & towering platform sandals. Project Runway judge / supermodel Heidi Klum looks every bit the style icon in a head-to-toe midnight blue look, including a zippered pencil skirt, blouse, pumps, & snakeskin bag. Lastly, the always effortless Zoe Saldana attends a Chime for Change event in a Gucci floral blouse with leather leggings, jewlery by Repossi, & strappy sandals.

Sandra Bullock, Rashida Jones, Heidi Klum, & Zoe Saldana.As for wearing leather bottoms, you have a chic choice of skirts or leggings. Of course, there are shorts out there, as well as cropped trousers, but here I’m focusing on recreating skirts & leggings as seen by the celebrities above. This starts with the Rhyme Los Angeles perforated vegan leather skirt ($46.99) from Piperlime, which not only serves the environment, but also offers an upgrade to your professional office look. Also, for a pop of color, I love the Glamorous PU patent faux leather mini skirt ($42.43) in wine from ASOS, which adds a futuristic vibe to any button-down shirt, studded tank, or scoop neck pullover.

leather separatesFor a flirtier look, BonTon‘s Blu Pepper lasercut faux leather skirt ($47.20) will instantly make a silk blouse & fishnets look like you’ve just stepped off the runways of Paris. Lastly, these faux leather zip leggings ($13.80) from Forever 21 are perfect for pairing with a printed tunic top, knit oversized sweater, & sequin mini dress.

Would you wear leather this summer? Which is your favorite leather look? Do you experiment with leather in different colors? This isn’t the first time I’ve featured leather looks on Style Darling, so if you’d like to read more to catch all the trends, check out previous posts including inspiration from Jessica Chastain & Lucy Hale, red carpet looks from Julianne Hough & Zoe Kravitz, & leather pant looks on Gwyneth Paltrow & Fergie! For more posts from Basics for a Bargain, check out little white dresses as seen on Jennifer Lopez & Angelina Jolie, luxury leopard & metallic flip flops, floral favorites on Dianna Agron & Selena Gomez, striped maxi skirts from Vince Camuto & BCBG Max Azria, & peplum looks inspired by Amy Adams & Cate Blanchett! Happy Styling!