As fall rolls in, we’re not only getting obsessed with layers, but also textures, especially in footwear! Specifically, velvet is a great fabric for virtually any article of clothing or accessory, but on a shoe, an outfit becomes elevated with a more luxe sophistication & festive fashionability. Last fall, I went crazy buying up all the velvet leggings I could in every rich, jewel tone hue & now I’ve got my eye on velvet flats.
These will be a perfect work staple to contrast a neutral-heavy look in earth tones & dark denim, but also with other luxurious patterns of the season, such as plaid, floral, abstracts, & brocade! my only wishes are for availability in wide width, a pointy toe as opposed to an almond toe, & other colors, such as navy or purple.
Now that fall is here & in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about layering pieces for work & weekend! My go-to layering topper for all season is a cardigan. Of course, I love patterns & jeweled embellishments on cardigans, but a solid in any color sparks joy when paired with a printed top & neutral pants, a basic shirt & printed bottoms, or a bold colorblock dress. Whether you’re shopping for fall must-haves or a staple set of cardigans for all year long, Amazon has just the pick for you:
I love the hunter green, which I’ve ordered & have planned for my wardrobe rotation this week, but I already have my eye on the cobalt, navy, ultra violet, & lime styles too! not to mention, this sweater has over 4,800 ratings with 4.5/5 stars.
The talk of the town is Blonde, starring Ana de Armas & directed by Andrew Dominik. While there’s so much style to write about outside of this film & despite the controversy surrounding the film’s NC-17-rated scenes, I’m a little obsessed with it.
Ana’s performance is immaculate & most critics agreed that she is luminous. Recently, the actress shared her experience preparing for the role, as well as the famed “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” dance number from Marilyn Monroe’s 1953 smash hit Gentleman Prefer Blondes.
View the video below, along with Ana’s version for Blonde & the original performance that’s been copied by so many movies, television shows, music videos, & other performances in recent decades.
For this post, I’m putting on my academician & literati hat…
I read Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates in 2010, out of my urgent love for Oates’ chilling writing & adoration of Marilyn Monroe as a fashion icon & screen legend. Knowing that the book was, in fact, marketed & labeled as a fictional biography, I voluntarily stepped into Oates’ well-researched & mystifying gaze upon Monroe’s troubled & glitzy life. By the time I finished the book, my heart sunk deeply into a place of grief for another version of the life of Hollywood’s most iconic of bombshells, ending in solemn tragedy, the same feeling I recognized from HBO’s Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996) & then later with My Week with Marilyn (2011), as well as Netflix’s documentary The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes (2022), HBO’s documentary Love, Marilyn (2012), & Lifetime’s The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe (2015).
No matter the avenue by which a viewer enters the memory of Monroe, the outcome is always the same; at first, I suspected that Oates’ Blonde offered a revisionist hope, but by the end, that remains unattained because Monroe does die & never gets her glorious victory. That’s a blunt reality that can’t be changed, even if the fictional road to her demise is illustrated with fearless creative license.
However, not long after completing Oates’ novel, I started freelancing for Movie Buzzers, & the one bit of film news to have followed me from that era of my life has finally come to fruition with director Andrew Dominik’s interpretation of Oates’ heralded fiction, which has come under fire with deeply scathing criticism, after its long-awaited premiere.
Having read the book & nearly every major review of the controversial film, I stand firm in stating that Dominik serves Oates well. That’s not to say that the film is perfect, but it’s a loyal depiction of another artist’s depiction, & yes, these are depictions of a real woman—one who is still very much relevant at the forefront of the media 60 years after her death. These days, headlines about Monroe are less about her films & more about her experiences through the lens of the media & paparazzi. No matter the screen size, big or small, Monroe’s legacy is fraught with exploitation. Dominik serves one more example, albeit an explicit & unapologetic vision, that won’t victimize her more than she already was, especially as unauthorized biopics & mini series about other celebrities—who are still alive & vocal about their disapproval for such interpretations—are made by those with enough money to not care, consumed by the public, & awarded by the industry (see: Pam & Tommy).
The NC-17 rating for Blonde is a justified warning the audience chooses to join when streaming the film on Netflix; therefore, they should expect the unexpected. The sex is graphic. The nudity is excessive. The abuse is gutting. The fetuses—yes, plural—are unnecessary, but overall, vehicles that reinforce the myth of who the woman underneath the platinum persona was. Marilyn Monroe is a myth that killed Norma Jean Baker—that is Dominik & Oates’ story.
In addition, Ana de Armas, recognizable accent & all, is mesmerizing, even in tears, on a stage, when victimized, opposite her lovers, when nude, in a drug-induced hysteria, & when joyous. de Armas embodies Oates’ Monroe, spitting out every ugly side of a male-dominated, vicious Hollywood back at the audience. Moreover, de Armas conquers the demands of the role, sure to garner her an Oscar nomination.
The shifts from color to black & white are confusing, but it’s wiser to go with it than question it, in order to immerse the audience in the imagery that made Monroe sparkle & dimmed her at the same time.
The costumes, hair, & makeup are identical & uncanny to Monroe’s most gorgeous, provocative, & vulnerable moments captured on film & through photographs.
Ultimately, if your hope is to enjoy Blonde, do your research first to not only understand the source material, but the context in which Monroe lived. Do I recommend this film? Not to every one. However, there are far more shocking & formulaic forms of entertainment about fantastical lands with their own crude, misogynistic mythologies that the masses flock to. If you appreciate cinematic artistry that pushes boundaries, watch Blonde. If everything you’ve heard about it makes you pause, move on.
Also, read Oates’ short story “Three Girls” to see how the author focuses on Monroe in a shorter, more validating & charming fictional work that I’d love to see find it’s way to the bid screen.
View the trailer & other videos about Blonde below. Happy Styling!
Throughout the pandemic, I’ve not only reevaluated my wardrobe needs, but also embraced the possibilities of loungewear. Now, I appreciate matching separates for not only their colors & textures, but also for the ease of the preassembled outfit for cozy indoor days. Even though my collection of about 6 2-piece matching pjs are more than enough, I still have my eye out for newer styles, especially in the hopes of wearing them on chilly rainy fall days ahead!
I’m loving these cooler days & chillier nights so that I can rediscover my cozier clothes, like reconnecting with old friends. I will miss the stylish ease of my maxi dresses, but fall can’t be denied. When it comes to dressing casually, but fashionably, I love a solid piece that can be coordinated with variety of separates for multiple occasions.
SHOP:bateau-neck banded top in wild berries, black, arctic blue, gentle mauve, & paper white @New York & Company (on sale: $16.00, available in sizes XS-XXL). This is a perfect match with printed leggings & a scarf, dark denim jeans & knee boots with a puffer vest, a sequin pencil skirt & drop earrings, or velvet pants & ballet flats with a statement necklace.
Truth be told, I bought all of the colors (except for the gentle mauve) with a birthday reward from New York & Company & I couldn’t happier with the decision. Though the poly-blend material needs a good steam before wearing right out of the package, this top is not only a staple for a casual Friday, but a mainstay in my weekly rotation with printed pants! My only wish is that there were other colors to choose from, like teal, olive, red, purple, or gray.
Yes, $70 is a lot to spend on a sweater, but if you keep an eye out for the right coupon code from your LOFT email subscription, you may be able to get a great deal on this autumnal must-have. I can see it now, styled with dark denim jeans & knee boots, corduroy pants & ankle booties, or leggings & suede flats for any fun, fall-friendly jaunt.
Australian starlet Naomi Watts is an a-lister, mother of two, & style icon with two Academy Award nominations. She’s a celebrated actress with quite the résumé, including King Kong, Mulholland Drive, The Impossible, Diana, & more!
Her red carpet style is enviable, playing up classic silhouettes & upgrading the wow factor with sparkles & volume for awards shows, film festivals, or the Met Gala. I’m honor of her 56th birthday today, I put together a breathtaking gallery of her history of gowns, designed by some of the most luxurious & in-demand names in fashion:
Gwyneth Paltrow had been an it-girl since the 90s in her breakout roles in Seven & Emma, later earning an Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love. The minimalist style star has dominated the red carpet for decades, embracing neutral hues, sleek silhouettes, & of course, donning shades of pink. More recently, the actress & lifestyle guru has explored more flowy shapes, colors & patterns, as well as cut-outs & versions of the naked dress!
Today marks Gwyneth’s 50th birthday, which seems crazy, but makes sense since the goop founder & mother of two is just getting better with age. Take a look at the gallery below of Gwyneth best gown moments on the red carpet & for other special occasions:
Rihanna is a powerhouse! Not only is the beauty & fashion mogul dominating multiple industries, entertainment included, but the Barbadian beauty recently announced that she will headline the Super Bowl LVII performance on February 12th 2023!
In honor of this amazing comeback news—it has been 6 years since her last smash album Anti—let’s all drift down the rabbit hole of the singer’s most stylish music videos & live performances for her hit songs:
There aren’t many movies these days I want to see in the theater. It must be an epic, cinematic experience to get me to go—otherwise, I’m perfectly content streaming from home in the comfort of my own slippers. However, when the early images of Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial effort emerged for Don’t Worry Darling, I was intrigued, having been enamored with Florence Pugh’s maturity as Amy in Little Women, global pop star Harry Styles as the leading man, & the 1950s time period!
This weekend, my husband & I saw a matinee showing if the film & I was blown away by the costume design from thrice Academy Award-nominated Arianne Phillips, for her work in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Walk the Line, & W. E. Take a look at the gallery below for all the fashionable sneak peeks, but be careful: SPOILERS ahead!
Florence & Olivia aren’t the only stylish stars of the film, as there’s much glamour & vintage elegance on Harry, Chris Pine, & Gemma Chan as well. Watch the trailer below, along with other behind-the-scenes videos & interviews about the making of the stylish film:
Now we have a trailer, with a tongue-and-cheek tough decision that Emily Cooper faces. We think it’s about her love triangle or sudden career crisis, but there’s more to it as Emily’s style is such an integral part of her identity. Watch the trailer below:
Additionally, what audiences thought would be an early 2023 release of this third foray into Netflix’s fashionable fish out of water story is corrected as the season will be available to stream on December 21st! Just in time for awards season & Lily to rock the most gorgeous frocks on a press tour to promote the latest episodes in the series.
Actress & director Olivia Wilde has been in the news for all the catty behind-the-scenes gossip about her highly-anticipated sophomore film, Don’t Worry Darling, which also stars Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, & Chris Pine.
However, during a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Olivia was the epitome of effortless street style in a white tee & black wide leg pants, a look any cool gal tries & all women should!
Topped with black sunglasses, gold layered necklaces, & likely towering platforms, Olivia brought her 70s chic vibe to the streets of New York City & stage during the show to chat about all of the controversy her film has faced, offer her narrative behind casting decisions.
I don’t know about you, but I consume television partially for the fashion, which is why I love Emily in Paris, starring the adorable Lily Collins! The Netflix star recently posted the juiciest & most fashionable first glance images of the long-awaited third season. Obviously, Emily’s style game is on pointe & she’s really leaning into those bangs!
While this latest season won’t drop until likely early 2023, I can’t wait to see how the ex-patriate fish out of water story continues with love triangles, major laughs, bonding friendships, & plenty of social media talk, & more!
There are some styles that just never go out of fashion, can work on a variety of shapes, can be worn for different occasions, & that should just always continue to evolve from season-to-season for shoppers. During a recent trip to Kohl’s, I visited one of my favorite brands, LC Lauren Conrad, & was taken aback by the flowy shirred top in navy eclipse & mauve jewel (on sale: $36.99, available in sizes XS-XXL).
It’s not a particularly stunning or show-stopping top—not a major must-have, trend piece, for sure, but I’ve had this top in 4 other style / color combinations from a few years ago & it’s a regular piece that I wear any time of the year. 2 of the dotted styles are pictured below from past Instagram posts, but also, I have this top in pastel pink & black:
I definitely appreciate the outfit versatility that this top offers, especially because it is flattering, lightweight, & feminine without too much drill. Also, I love that Lauren Conrad’s brand has made this top inclusive for plus shoppers in 0X-4X (on sale: $38.99) & petite sizes in XSP-XXLP (on sale: $36.99).
The light layers & loose fit are perfect for any bottom: a pencil skirt & cardigan for the office with stilettos, wide leg trousers & ankle boots for meetings, skinny jeans & a blazer for luncheons, & leggings & ballet flats for weekends. Most significantly, the mauve appears more of a rust in-person, which gets me outfit planning with other fall hues, like mustard or forest green. While I don’t have the tops yet in the pictured colors above, I’m just waiting for the next great Kohl’s coupon to add-to-cart to highlight with plaid, floral, or textured separates & delicate jewelry.
Just when I was missing the fun, glamour, & friendships on shows like Younger & Emily in Paris (which will be returning for a 3rd season), Partner Track enters my life. The dramedy stars Arden Cho as the fabulous Ingrid Yun, a New York City-based mergers & acquisitions lawyer about the make partner. While the show is easy, carefree viewing with plenty of NYC-snark & melodrama, the show serves up some major style for Ingrid as the lead character.
She’s drawn to pastels & clean lines, opting rarely for dark or bold hues, constantly proving the fashionable balance between feminine & strong as she shuts down her male counterparts with her intelligence & saunters away in an ethereal ball gown.
Take a look at the gallery below for a look at Ingrid’s style throughout the first season, including some random online images when other, better ones could not be found:
Check out the trailer for season 1 to see these looks, along with the chic supporting cast, in action:
A few weeks ago, I was taking a quick walk through my local Macy’s & was stopped & stunned to find these:
The Karl Lagerfeld Paris Carlisle pump in black (on sale: $118.30) floored me! I’m not a major name brand shopper—I’m more of an admirer from a far. However, I couldn’t help myself, gawking mouth agape & all, thinking of the kind of life a woman wearing these shoes must live. Then, my mind went into a tailspin of styling possibilities: a tailored suit with a bow-neck blouse, cocktail dress for New Year’s Eve, a fit & flare dress with a leather jacket for date night, or a tunic sweater & studded jeggings. No matter the style, these are fierce shoes, going on my wishlist! Truth be told, I’ll likely never actually purchase them, fearing my budget-oriented voice of reason would judge & guilt me over all the other ways I could have invested my money… Oh well!
The ceremony for The 74th Annual Emmy Awards takes place tomorrow night & I’m so excited to see what my favorite stars are wearing, especially since there are so many deserving returning favorites to the show, along with first-time nominees whose work has been dominating social media fodder. This includes Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Sydney Sweeney, Zendaya, Elle Fanning, Hannah Waddingham, Rachel Brosnahan, Kaley Cuoco, Selena Gomez, Sandra Oh, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Garner, Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, & more! However, in honor of tomorrow night’s broadcast, I wanted to take a walk down Fashion Memory Lane to celebrate gowns of years’ past in pink!
I choose pink since I am predicting that is the color that will reign over this year’s red carpet, especially after a summer of Barbiecore. In the past, we’ve seen elegance & edge in black, red, white, & metallic tones, but nothing beats a look in a pink champagne, cotton candy, rose gold, dusty rose, salmon, magenta, or dark fuchsia! No matter if an entire gown is in pink, if it’s in a pattern, or a playful accent to a look, pink hues are timeless & ageless, as well as luxe on any red carpet. Take s look at the range of pinks from previous Emmy Awards below:
Aside from the pretty floral pattern, I love the rich color combination in conjunction with the jewel embellishment, both of which enable this flat to go from day to night. Imagine wearing this with a navy romper for a posh weekend brunch spot, with a hunter green suit & champagne blouse for an important meeting, a rust pullover sweater with dark denim skinny jeans for a game night with friends, or a cocktail dress & statement studs for a special occasion.
Even though the weather (here on Long Island) is teetering between summer & fall with summer heat still palpable, it’s sweater season in stores! Now is the best time to get the newest colors & cuts in woven wonders, especially if your fall wardrobe needs a refresh. A classic item to have handy for any rotation of fall outfits is a v-neck sweater in either bright or neutral colors—because, as I always say, the possibilities are endless!
I can definitely envision myself getting the green, magenta, & navy, especially to coordinate with a statement necklace & my favorite A New Day pants, leggings & knee boots, skinny jeans & ankle booties, or a pencil skirt & pointy flats for any given fall day! The neutral tones cry out for a bold or jewel-toned companion piece & the brighter colors would match well with any menswear-inspired trouser or juxtaposed texture in lace or jacquard.
When I learned that Golden Globe-nominated actress Ana de Armas had arrived in Venice, I was so excited to refresh my feeds to see what the Cuban star would wear to the highly-anticipated premiere of her controversial film, Blonde, where she stars as Marilyn Monroe. Naturally, her red carpet look would be elegant & stunning, but also, I wondered if & how the gown would represent the bombshell icon at the center of the film.
In a bright pink pleated gown with a deep-v by Louis Vuitton, Ana graced the red carpet in true Hollywood fashion. Her gentle waves & sophisticated jewelry by Messika hearken to an era of glamour & ease that offers a refreshing twist on Barbiecore.
Additionally, the hue pays homage to Marilyn’s signature pink from her “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” musical sequence in the 1949 film Gentleman Prefer Blondes; likewise, the halter & pleated look of Ana’s dress are reminiscent of the iconic subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch from 1955.
Escorted to the premiere by one of the film’s producers, Brad Pitt, Ana shines, which is no surprise. I hope this marks the beginning of an exciting & stylish press tour for the 2 hour 46-minute film that’s rated NC-17 & is based on the disorienting evocative fictional biography by Joyce Carol Oates that begins streaming on Netflix on September 28th, especially leading up to awards season!
When it comes to fabrics & patterns, I have a set of what I like that suits my style. Not included in that is anything leather or faux leather, besides belts or shoes. A faux leather detail on a pant or top isn’t unheard-of for me, but a whole piece in it makes me fearful of overheating in the office, classroom, or during a special occasion. However, one affordable faux leather dress has me inspired & rethinking my whole point of view on the material.
Scoop’s faux leather pleated strapless midi dress in black, olive, or aubergine @Walmart ($54.00, available in sizes XS-XXL) is a machine washable polyester-spandex must-have piece in a timeless length to wear all year long—for real. The sweetheart neckline, A-line silhouette, & pleated midi skirt scream feminine, but juxtapose with an edgy look from the fabric.
Both Carrie Bradshaw & Blair Waldorf would wear this! This could be styled for day under a tied button-down shirt, blazer, & stilettos; under a slouchy sweater with knee boots & stacked bangles for fall; & with a studded cardigan, drop earrings, & ankle strap heels. For nighttime, try this with a choker & PVC heels, sparkling platforms & a leather jacket, or ankle boots & a neon clutch. Also, I thinking about the color combinations with the olive & aubergine options, mixing denim, brocade, plaid, houndstooth, or lace with it.
Fall fashion doesn’t usually shout out polka dots—at least not like spring & summer style do—but that doesn’t mean it’s not a pattern you can rely on. I love a polka dot piece, especially because it means that I can mix another pattern with it. Particularly, polka dots can work with leopard, stripes, florals, & abstract prints when done right. An easy way to dip your toes into pattern mixing with polka dots—wait for the pun to click—is through an accessory or finishing piece, such as a polka dot shoe.
The Ollio dot pattern ballet comfort pointed toe flat in black @Amazon ($29.99, available in sizes 6-11) is a subtle, stylish, & playful way to incorporate polka dots into your look. I love the pointer toe, which is fashion forward for a street style look, but also elongating for a professional & confident outfit for work.
I’m obsessed with these flats in the black & white combination, especially with the possibility of pairing them with a floral dress, as well as some colorblocking with patterned tights. When experimenting with pattern mixing, try matching up colors that work in both patterns to find success, as seen in my previous black & white outfit post. However, if trying to coordinate black & white polka dot flats like these with another print, then I suggest keeping it solid with classic neutrals, like black pants or dark denim jeans & a bold solid sweater or top in red, magenta, yellow, or royal blue, all of which will really make the polka dots pop.
I definitely love the idea of matching any of these up with floral counterparts when the warmer weather returns, as well as with lighter & more delicate cotton pieces that can be found on sale on the major end-of-season clearance blowout racks.
Zendaya is the ultimate style chameleon, appearing confident, innovative, flawless, strong, & feminine all at the same time always! It’s not an easy feat, especially at 26 years old! The Euphoria actress’ style easily ranks among top A-listers, like Diane Kruger, Blake Lively, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, & Sarah Jessica Parker! However, in lieu of a lengthy gallery of all of Zendaya’s glorious red carpet looks, I picked out some of my favorites, which have a common factor of being green, which is definitely the Emmy winner’s most flattering & boldest hue to wear. From a bright kelly green to olive to mint & everything in between, the Dune star makes a fashionable & memorable statement!
What’s even more special about Zendaya’s green palette is that the pieces in green she wears highlight her natural beauty & create a conversation about wearing what makes you feel good versus what is expected. Whether it’s a print, pant, head-to-toe look, fabulous coat, or gown, green isn’t going away any time soon, nor is it only for holidays!
The picture from 2017 was taken in front of my parents’ house in Lake Grove for my first day of teaching (as Professor LeClair) a college class & I had no idea the path I was about to fashionably forge or how my life would change over the next 5 years! When I recently uncovered the tropical dress from deep storage (that I was unable to unpack or even mentally tackle for a good 2 years), I remembered that I hadn’t worn the dress since that very first, nerve-wracking day of a career I never wanted; however, with the launch of my sixth academic year as an English professor (as Professor Gambino), I thought it was “fitting” to break it out again.
Of course, I accessorized it differently, opting for white accents & skipped the belt, but it’s good to know that 40 or do classes later, I still got it! The top picture on the right was taken this morning, a beautiful summer morning as the buzz of academia awaited me & called so many back to their jobs after a long break. I’d like to look back on both of these moments as bursting with possibility & new starts, reminding myself that they do come back around, even when it seems like fate has stuck you in a never-ending cycle.
Ultimately, recycling old favorites to make them feel new again & doing my very best to live the stylish life (one day at a time) are goals that I hope to uphold now that I’ve reclaimed a part of myself (& my style) in finally having my wardrobe where I want it to be. Stay tuned for more detailed updates on the unveiling of my cloffice (a.k.a. Style Darling Daily headquarters).
As for the outfit: The dress is an oldie from my stylist days @Dressbarn, as is the black bolero. The recent picture includes a @New York & Company cardigan & @Ardene flats, as well as oldie @Dressbarn drop earrings.