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!

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Color Me Style: Winter White Dresses Inspired By Rooney Mara, Nicole Richie, & Runway Looks Of Michael Kors, Rachel Zoe, & More!


Winter white is a big trend right now, especially when it comes to LWD (little white dresses). I’m a big fan of dresses- no surprise there- but I’ve yet to find a winter white dress that works for me. Whatever I have is definitely too summer-friendly in eyelet, cotton, or linen, however I’ve been very inspired by what’s happening on the latest runways when it comes to feminine white looks, featuring dresses of skirt outfits.

For example, take a look at the chic cocktail & casual white dresses, which were shown for seasons other than winter, but are certainly inspiring fashionistas everywhere. These looks include Rachel Zoe Spring 2013 Collection‘s shimmering shift dress, J. Mendel Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s old Hollywood sweetheart dress, Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2013 Collection‘s button-down shirt-dress, a slitted peplum dress by Marios Schwab Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, the strapless bow-bedecked dress from Christopher Kane‘s Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Erin Fetherston Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s sheer lace mini dress, & Hervé Léger by Max Azria Pre-Fall 2013 Collection‘s belted body-conscious frock.

Rachel Zoe Spring 2013 Collection, J. Mendel Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, Michael Kors Spring-Summer 2013 Collection, Marios Schwab Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Christopher Kane Spring Ready-To-Wear 2013 Collection, Erin Fetherston Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, & Hervé Léger by Max Azria Pre-Fall 2013 Collection.

In addition, some of the most photographed stars have been hitting the red carpet in the last month while wear white dresses. Side Effects actress Rooney Mara hit the premiere of her latest film in this flower-embellished dress by Alexander McQueen, which she paired with neutral patent leather Nicholas Kirkwood peep toe pumps. This month’s Self magazine cover girlEmmy Rossum, took a break from promoting her new album, Sentimental Journey, in Santa Monica in this pleated Andrew Gn dress with sparkling pumps. Everywhere it-girl Kerry Washington attended an after-party for Django Unchained in a white lace Dolce & Gabbana shift dress with pointy toe Christian Louboutin stilettos.

Rooney Mara, Emmy Rossum, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, & Nicole Richie.

Award-winning singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift, hit the blue carpet for the  40 Principales Awards in this plunging Kaufmanfranco three-quarter sleeve design with mixed-fabric sandals by Christian Louboutin & geometric drop earrings. Everyone’s favorite girl-next-door & Gangster Squad star, Emma Stone, helped announce this year’s Oscar nominees in a belted 50s-inspired dress by Andrew Gn with black patent leather pumps. Lastly, the always polished Nicole Richie stepped out for a party in Los Angeles in this white zip-up m ini dress with embellished leather accessories by Salvatore Ferragamo.

For the budget-conscious Style Darling, I wanted to find pieces that are perfect for wear now in the winter, given some mixing & matching of accessories, as well as dresses that’ll work for the upcoming spring season, although that seems to be getting further away from us on this Groundhog’s Day.  The first is the sheer sleeve lace dress ($24.80) from Forever 21, which would be perfect with black opaque tights or neon pops of color in a belt or pointy toe heels. Next, for a curve-hugging dress, I found the long & lean dress ($19.00) from Venus, which will also pair nicely over leather leggings & under a plaid button-down. While white is sometime bridal-looking, it can also be worn to work, like with this sleeveless ecru ponte sheath dress ($39.99) from White House Black Market.  I’d recommend wearing it with a red blazer & loafer-detailed pumps.

white dresses & accessories

I found this simply sweet & feminine shirt dress ($29.95) from H&M, & it’s the perfect foundation for a metallic braided belt, patent leather accessories, or classic lace & pearl details.  Lastly, for my plus-size readers, I was so happy to find this modern Alyx belted twist neckline dress ($40.00) from JC Penney, which is available in sizes 14W-24W.

White is such a stunning & pure color for a dress, but I was successful in searching for white accessories that will make any all-white, monochromatic, or trendy printed look stand out for every occasion. There’s never any reason why you shouldn’t have a pair of white shoes on hand, which is why I’m suggesting the pointed silver toe pumps ($32.50) from Charlotte RusseC Label Divine flats ($19.99) from 6PM, & the Wentzell pumps ($44.98) from ALDO shoes. Also, I’ve selected the patent skinny belt ($29.50) from Banana Republic, bejeweled bib necklace ($12.80) from Forever 21, & the Jennifer Lopez gold tone disc drop earrings ($12.00) form Kohl’s.

Which white pieces are your favorites? Would you wear a winter white dress now? How do you like to wear white? Which celebrity look do you like the best? For more Color Me Style posts, check out monochromatic looks in coral, neon, berry, & teal inspired by Penelope Cruz, Victoria Beckham, & more, as well as all-black outfits featuring Jennifer Lawrence & Kate Moss, & the best of yellow as seen on Kate Mara, Lauren Conrad, & Olivia Palermo! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Rachel Roy’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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Mixing & matching printed separates isn’t necessarily an innovative idea, especially when you look in the pages of today’s hottest fashion magazines, but when designer Rachel Roy does it, there’s something refreshing, cool, young, & modern. This is evident in her Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, which features plenty of matching separates, gorgeous outerwear, menswear inspiration, as well as some chic quirkiness, which isn’t always easy to find when considering high-end luxury fashion. There is an abundance of possiblity within the line, which thrives on a variety of trends, including leather, colorblocking, head-to-toe graphic prints, wide-leg pants, & sophisticated knitwear. These details are sure to attract fans of the brand including Freida Pinto, Viola Davis, Zoe Saldana, Cameron Diaz, Olivia Palermo, & Gwyneth Paltrow.

Click through the gallery to see the collection & share your thoughts on the elegant & hip mixture. Do you think Rachel Roy is heading in the right direction? Would you wear any of these looks? For more from Runway Rundown, check out galleries including Monique Lhuillier, Calvin Klein Collection, Donna Karan, Chanel, Alice + Olivia, & Zac Posen. To shop Rachel Roy designs, check out stores like Macy’s, ShopBop, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, & Zappos. Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Calvin Klein’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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You’d think that after a while that all of the Pre-Fall 2013 Collections look the same, but this is false, especially when you consider the latest designs by Calvin Klein Collection. In light of the recent Presidential Inauguration, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to American designers & Calvin Klein is a name that stands the test of time. So many celebrities continue to wear his designs, including Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain, The Lucky One actress Taylor Schilling, Gwyneth Paltrow, former Grey’s Anatomy star Nora Zehetner, Emily Blunt, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Jennifer Lawrence!

My favorite part of this line is the mixture of outerwear in different textures, as well as the menswear-inspired belts over a majority of the looks. Using leather, wool, faux fur, & jersey has made this a versatile collection that will surely draw more celebrity fans. For more from Runway Rundown, check out the latest galleries from Diane von Furstenberg, Lanvin, Donna Karan, Alice + Olivia, Narciso Rodriguez, & Alexander McQueen! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Diane von Furstenberg’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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One of the most famous & well-known designers is Diane von Furstenberg. Everytime I hear about her, or see her on TV, I’m more & more interested in her designs, especially since her timeless love of prints keeps getting better. Her designs speak to women of every age & even after her recent appearance as a guest judge on the recently ended season 2 of Project Runway All Stars, I think she’s one of the most intelligent & diplomatic voices in fashion. With her latest Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, there’s plenty of color, print, femininity, & sophistication in the dresses, separates, outerwear, & accessories.

Which looks are your favorites? Would you wear any of these? Have you been following the Pre-Fall 2013 collections? For more from Runway Rundown, check out galleries including J. MendelNarciso Rodriguez, Lanvin, Gucci, Rachel Zoe Collection, Nanette Lepore, & Bottega Veneta. Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review / Runway Rundown: Style Darling’s Top 20 Best Oscar-Worthy Gown Predictions!


We’re less than a month away from the 2013 Academy Awards & the SAG Awards are this weekend! The speculation behind the results inside those envelopes & what the nominees are going to wear have been bouncing around all over the web & for the first time, I’m going to share my fashion predictions, based off the Pre-Fall 2013, Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Spring 2013 Haute Couture, & Resort 2013 collection runways. Of course, Oscar-nominated celebrities like Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams & Naomi Watts are subject to one-of-a-kind custom-made haute couture gowns, but it’s been a lot of fun to click around & find the most gorgeous gowns that wowed on the runway. In addition to the nominees who are celebrating their achievements in film, possible presenters like Rachel Weisz, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner & more will be turning heads on the red carpet.

Surely there will be lots of glitz & glamour, but predictions of trends are hard to tell. There was so much going on at this year’s Golden Globes, including black, black & gold, white, pink, long sleeves, cut-outs, high slits, & nude illusions. Starting off is a gold lamé & embellished gown from Michael Kors Resort 2013 Collection, which was recently featured in a Runway Rundown post. From Carlos Miele‘s Resort 2013 Collection comes this beautiful embellished sweetheart gown with an animal print under-lining. Some might call the white & black-leather accented Emilio Pucci dress from the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection is too safe for the Oscars, but I think it’s a modern & refreshing take on a white gown.

Michael Kors, Carlos Miele, Emilio Pucci, Monique Lhuillier, & Jenny Packham.

For the risk-taking Style Darling, I can see the metallic long-sleeved gown from Monique Lhuillier‘s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection making an entrance on the red carpet. I picked this tangerine Jenny Packham Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection gown b/c of its unexpected color, but on the right skin-tone, it will certainly set some trends on the red carpet for the rest of the year.

Next, we have a floral-embroidered belted gown by Temperley London, which was featured in the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection. This has a very classic, Zooey Deschanel look to it, which is why I loved including it! Badgley Mischka is a name synonymous with red carpets & perhaps we’ll see this all-over embellished metallic gown from their Pre-Fall 2013 Collection on one of the front-running Oscar nominees. One of my favorite designers forever & always is Marchesa & I wasn’t surprised to see so many red carpet candidates in their Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection, including this sari-inspired sheer-overlay blue & gold confection.

Temperley London, Badgley Mischka, Marchesa, Collette Dinnigan, & Roberto Cavalli.

I love the feminine softness from the short-sleeved Collette Dinnigan gown from the Resort 2013 Collection. The coral / fuchsia hue is perfect for an ingénue like the ever-changing Dakota Fanning or the retro Krysten Ritter. Roberto Cavalli‘s black sequined & lace overlay corset-structured gown is a stunning choice for a more dramatic look on the red carpet & it’s from the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection.

Designs by Alexandre Vauthier made a style statement at the Golden Globes since both supermodel Heidi Klum & Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery both donned looks, but I picked this leg-baring halter gown from the Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection. J. Mendel‘s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection was a dreamy mixture of texture, detail, flowy fabrics, & strong silhouettes, including this lace-accented spaghetti strap gown with off-the-shoulder tiers. Also, Giambattista Valli‘s white & gold ball gown took my breath away from its Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection & would certainly wow fashion critics if worn on Isla Fisher, Julianne Hough, or Kerry Washington.

Alexandre Vauthier, J. Mendel, & Giambattista Valli.

Valentino, Christian Dior, & Elie Saab.

There ought to be room on any red carpet for a Valentino red gown, like this strapless & effortless gown from the Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection. Also, Christian Dior‘s Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection featured the pink puffy mermaid ball gown. In addition, someone like Diane Kruger or Zoe Saldana can wear an floral-embellished, dramatic gown like this from Elie Saab‘s Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection.

After Lucy Liu‘s splash at the Globes in Carolina Herrera, I knew I had to look further into her Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, which included this gorgeous black & white graphic print gown, perfect for fans of the label including Renee Zellweger, Emmy Rossum, or Olivia Wilde.  Next, from Oscar de la Renta‘s Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear, this aqua tiered dream of a gown is borderline bridesmaid, but the color is just so pretty & it reminds me of the Romona Keveza ball gown that Kaley Cuoco wore at last year’s SAG Awards.

Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, & Jason Wu.

You can’t have a look at the best from the runway without talking about American designer, Zac Posen, & his Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, which is a dramatic statement that will change the way black gowns appear on the red carpet. Lastly, a daring look for the Oscars comes from Jason Wu‘s Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection & perhaps a young starlet like Emma Watson would wear this will some extra lining to fill the skirt since the ceremony is so formal.

Which designers are you hoping to see on the red carpet? Which gown is your favorite? Which nominees are you rooting for during this year’s Oscars? For more runway goodness, check out galleries including Rachel Roy, Calvin Klein Collection, Diane von Furstenberg, & Narciso Rodriguez! Also, to read more from Red Carpet Review, check out looks from the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, leather & black oufits featuring Elisabeth Moss & Scarlett Johansson, the 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards with looks from Eva Longoria & Jaime King, & this year’s red carpet from the People’s Choice Awards with Jennifer Aniston & Chloe Grace Moretz! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Narciso Rodriguez’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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For a number of years, as I’ve been studying fashion, trying to become fluent in designers’ signatures, I was always able to recognize the structure behind a Narciso Rodriguez design. After a successful capsule collection for Kohl’s, the designer has revealed his Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, featuring a modern mix of minimalist structure, luxe leather, contemporary colorblocking, & plenty of menswear-inspiration. Fans of the brand include Jessica Alba, Claire Danes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emma Roberts, & Reese Witherspoon.

For more from Runway Rundown, check out Lanvin, Donna Karan, Alice + Olivia, Badgley Mischka, & Burberry Prorsum! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Lanvin’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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When a celebrity says that they’re wearing a design by Lanvin, then you automatically known that it’s going to be glamorous. We’ve already seen some of the latest Pre-Fall 2013 Collection pieces at work on the red carpet, including Emma Stone‘s ravishing sweetheart look from the Gangster Squad premiere in Los Angeles, a featured in a Top 10 Celeb Sightings post! However, this collection includes stunning separates, ranging in a variety of styles- if you’re into that Katharine Hepburn menswear look, or love what Rooney Mara’s character, Lisbeth Salander, rocked in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not to mention there’s so much luxe style here with animal prints, fur trims, leather accents, belts, & edgy boots. The collection marks a progression since its Spring-Summer 2013 Collection, which featured a mix of light & dark tones, along with mod silhouettes. Other stars who love Lanvin include Claire Danes, Jennifer Garner, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Zoe Saldana, & more!

Which looks are your favorites? Would you wear any of these pieces? Which Pre-Fall 2013 runways have you been following? For more galleries featured in Runway Rundown, check out Donna Karan, Alice + Olivia, J. Mendel, & Rachel Zoe Collection! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Donna Karan’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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Donna Karan is certainly one of the great American designers, & the latest Pre-Fall 2013 Collection proves just that! The line includes plenty of classic black & white combinations, mixed with jackets, tops, trousers, & skirts, with oxblood, navy, & charcoal accents. What’s so refreshing about this collection are the modern shapes for the pieces, including the dresses, which are sure to impress on the red carpet if worn by celebrity fans like Ashley Greene, Katharine McPhee, Lucy Lui, Demi Moore, & Taylor Swift. I’m hoping to see some of the more formal gowns show up during the awards season since we still have a few more ceremonies to see!

Which looks are your favorites? Do you like the basic color palette? Would you wear any of these pieces? For more from Runway Rundown, check out galleries including Alice + Olivia, J. Mendel, Rachel Zoe Collection, & Hervé Léger by Max Azria! Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Alice + Olivia’s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection!


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As a budget shopper, I know I can’t have a closet full of designers like Zac Posen, Michael Kors, Erin Fetherston, & Bottega Veneta… but a Style Darling can dream, right? Adding to my galleries in Runway Rundown is the latest Pre-Fall 2013 Collection from Alice + Olivia. The line features a mix of city-smart separates with lots of street style appeal- perfect for coordinating with current wardrobe essentials, as well as feminine dresses that range in details with lace, abstract prints, & chiffon. I love the youthful feel of this collection & how the leather, striped, & textured pieces add to a rich & exciting upcoming season. Celebrity fans of Alice + Olivia include Emmy Rossum, Lauren Conrad, Emily Blunt, & Jessica Alba, who are all sure to make appearances in these duds.

Which looks are your favorite? Do you appreciate the subway-themed background? Where would you wear some of these pieces? Which designers have you been following? Happy Styling!