If you’re anything like me, finding an outfit for the beach can be a pain. I want to look cute but I also need to be comfortable and wearing something I can get a little sandy. I don’t want to be too dressed up and not be beach appropriate. We have all seen the girls on the sand in stilettos… a major NO. So I keep these essentials in my closet. They are perfect for the sun, the sand and looking chic.
A Breezy Tunic Cover-up
Tunics are my favorite cover-up for the beach because they transition perfectly from a “cute beach bar outfit” to the perfect “walking on the beach outfit.” Also they can be so light that even the long sleeves feel cool. This Michael Kors Tunic is lovely and bright in blue.
A Chiffon Maxi Skirt
As much as I love heading to the water in a cute pair of cut off shorts sometimes I want to feel girly and feminine. A chiffon maxi is ideal for the beach because it’s sheer, light enough to blow in the wind and makes a huge style impact without feeling like you are dressing up. American Apparel has the perfect style in multiple colors. I love the lighter shades.
Wearing expensive jewelry to the beach is a huge mistake. There are so many places for it to get lost and you don’t want to spend your entire day worried about your diamond studs falling out. That’s why I love woven bracelets. You can get cute ones for very cheap and they look so stylish piled on your arm. Also if you lose one in the ocean its no big deal!
A Large Floppy Hat
One of my favorite things to do at the beach is relax with a good book. Sometimes that can be difficult to do with the sun beaming down onto your face. Big floppy hats are a great way to shade yourself and look amazing. Channel your inner diva and try this J Crew hat on your next trip to the beach!
When out in the sun I like to wear sunglasses that cover a large portion of my face. That way I get more protection from the sun and I can see better without squinting (preventing wrinkles!) These Banana Republic glasses are a personal favorite.
A Straw Bag
The best way to carry all of your beach essentials and still look stylish is to have a big straw tote. They hold a lot and will go with any beach appropriate outfit. I fell in love with this Nautical bag by Straw Studios.
With these pieces you will have no problem finding a quick and stylish outfit for a trip to the beach! For advice on what to pack inside your cute tote check out Beach Basket Essentials. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
With neon as the hottest trend for the Spring/Summer 2012 season, fashion these days has become blindingly bright. This look from the 80’s has been revitalized in 2012. While everyone has taken on this look--on television, at fashion week, celebrities and maybe even on the office fashionista—it’s not always the easiest to rock. What goes with neon purple?? No need to worry, here are a few ideas to have you looking fabulous in neon...without looking like a box of crayons.
The easiest way to wear neon is to add a bright accent piece to your outfit. Try adding a neon belt, bag, shoes or jewelry to spruce up your look. When adding neon accents, your outfit should stay pretty neutral in color to allow the eye-catching color to take center stage. Adding a pop of neon to a simple silhouette can take you from average to over the top, effortlessly.
Mix and Match
If you’re not a fashion risk-taker and don’t feel comfortable wearing an outfit of head-to-toe neon, pick top or bottom. You can wear a pair of neon jeans with a neutral top or rock a classic blazer in bold neon to add some pizazz to your look. With only one key piece in your outfit being bold, it will stand out in a good way.
Going All In!
If you’re a fashionista that likes to take risks, try wearing a neon top and bottom. You can wear neon in a solid color as a dress or jumper, or you can try color blocking. Keep your silhouette and pieces simple because you are wearing all neon--you don’t want to overdo it with over thetop pieces. The important thing to remember when wearing a full neon outfit is that you need to add neutral pieces to tone down your bright look. Try adding neutral, classic pieces for your jewelry and bag with natural makeup and nails to finish your look.
Color Overload: Oh, No!
Bold neon colors were hot in the 80’s but you don’t want to look you stepped back in time. Remember: don’t overdo it with clashing neon from head to toe. Avoid looking like a fashion disaster by add a few more muted pieces to your look to balance out the vibrant neon colors. Here are some examples of when neon goes wrong:
When wearing neon, don’t be afraid to play with different looks and styles. For example, you can be masculine, casual or ultra-feminine. Remember when wearing neon is it very easy to look shall we say...cray, so moderation and balance are key elements when trying out this trend.
Spring and summer are always my favorite seasons when it comes to accessories. I think it’s the warm weather and the lack of clothing that make the choice of a hat or a cool pair of sunglasses so much more noticeable and appealing. I also think the rise in temperature is a perfect time to be a bit more daring in your style choices and pick pieces that really show off your personality.
Accessories for 2012 are all about bright colors, comfortable classics and bold statements….some maybe even mixed together into one ensemble. Here are a few must-haves. BONUS: they are all super affordable!
A colorful scarf/wrap- J-Crew $49.50
Who says scarves are just for the winter?? By choosing one in a bright color and a breezy fabric, they are a perfect way to add a bit of pop to an outfit. Try pairing one with all white look for something classy enough for work but playful enough for lunch with friends. Click here.
A Classic Fedora- Urban Outfitters $24.00
If you only have one hat in your closet make it this one! It’s perfect for a day at the beach or for those days where you don’t want to fuss with your hair. Not only is it classic and chic it also shades your face from the sun! Get it here.
A Bold clutch- ASOS $32.72
A simple clutch in a bold neon or sherbet color is perfect for a night out! Not only does it catch people’s attention but it also helps with transitioning those cool weather fabrics and colors into outfits you can wear all year long. No more waiting until next year to wear your long sleeve black mini! Here it is.
Aviators- Ray Ban $195.00
If there ever was an accessory that can pair with anything, it’s the aviator. Neutral enough to wear with classic pieces, edgy enough to pair with a leather jacket and simple enough for a day of site seeing or while laying on the beach. Wear with jean shorts, a flowy tank and some sandals for effortless chic! Click here!
Tribal Necklace - Nordstrom $88.00
Tribal designs are really hot in 2012 and I must say that it’s a trend I hope sticks around. They make great statement pieces and can take a solid plain tee into high fashion territory. I would be careful though, one piece is usually enough to look great, while too much can look like you’re early for Halloween! Get it here.
A Colorful Watch- Anne Klein $55.00
Watches are one of my favorite ways to add color to an outfit. They are slightly unexpected and are almost always appropriate. The one shown here combines a great nautical look with a bright orange. Pair with boyfriend jeans, flats and a white tee for a weekend outfit people will covet. Snag this one here.
Outfits with bright pops of color are all the rage right now, and animal prints are a tried and true classic. So, it makes perfect fashion sense to pair both of these looks together. Solange Knowles did just that and looks oh so hot! Don’t just sit there coveting this look, here’s how to rock it:
Coat: We have to start with the most important piece - the coat. I think every woman should have one animal print coat in her closet. This Dennis Basso version is faux fur and for $150 on clearance, is a steal! You will be wearing this coat forever.
FYI I noticed a very similar coat at Forever 21 a few months ago for even cheaper. Be sure to check your local F21 first!
Yellow Shift Dress: The color yellow looks great on brunettes and really pops with the animal print. The shade Solange picked is lemony and so on trend. If you’re petite, ASOS has a great option for $54:
If you can rock any size and want to be a tad daring (Solange would approve, I’m sure) check out this sweet shift dress with cutout sides for only $20! I repeat, $20!
Clutch: ASOS does it again with this cute, pink clutch for only $32:
Shoes: For $49.90 I’m wondering why I don’t have these Zara shoes, which remind me so much of Solange’s Derek Lam wedges (that retail for $850).
Making this look all the more easy to pull off is the fact that it requires minimal jewelry. Even Solange’s makeup is perfectly simple. Add some pink to your pout, sport a few rings, and let your fierce colors and prints do the talking.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing I think about when a man asks me out is, “what in the world am I going to wear?” Made Women are always fly, but the first date outfit should involve a bit more thought and effort than your everyday look-- you want to make a lasting impression!
What you wear on a first date depends on where you are going. Location, location, location. You don’t want to be in an evening gown and end up at Pink’s eating their world famous hotdogs. To avoid having you end up overdressed and quite possibly embarrassed, I have come up with a few date scenarios and outfit choices to keep you dressed appropriately for however you spend your night.
Although I think it’s a terrible idea to go to a movie on a first date, it happens all too often. If you fall victim to a date who can’t think of anything else to do on a first date besides catch the latest flick on the big screen, suggest grabbing coffee after so you can have an actual conversation. You know, to see if you even like the person you’re out with.
For this type of occasion, you can mix a casual pair of jeans with a blazer and a fabulous pair of heels for a polished look. Dark denim is very versatile and can be worn in the day or at night. Boyfriend jeans are also very comfortable and stylish.
Ask your date what type of restaurant you’re going to so you can ensure you’ll be dressed appropriately. (Pink’s, anyone?) Every woman should already have a little black dress in her closet. You can dress it up with a pop of color in your shoes, lip color and bag. On the flipside, a red dress is a sure way to grab your date’s attention and a high slit will give you just the right amount of sex appeal while still keeping it classy. A colorful dress mixed with stocking is a fun, flirty, sophisticated look anyone will love.
I know it may be a bit unconventional to go out to a club or bar on a first date, but you should be prepared for anything these days. Getting dressed to go to the club on a first date may be a bit difficult because you don’t want to look like you’re giving the milk away for free, but you also don’t want to look like Mother Theresa. Show off your curves in a tight mini but pair it with an oversized top to create balance. If you opt for a dress, be sure to either show off your legs or top--but not both.
Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression. You don’t want to come across as something you’re not, and trying too hard is never cute. The most important thing is to just be yourself! We all want to be comfortable, stylish, classy, fun and--of course—sexy, but please don’t overdo it. You want a man to pay attention to what you have to say….and not stare at your boobs all night.
We all have seen Project Runway; it’s clear that being a fashion designer is not easy. That’s why a creative powerhouse like Nikki Lund is so unique. Not only is she a recognizable star in the fashion world (most recently she was seen on Access Hollywood Live) but she also is a talented singer. This creative maven does not slow down. She is one half of “Nikki Rich” (a clothing line she owns along with Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora) and she’s got a solo clothing line and record deal! I caught up with this fashion forward force and discovered a woman who makes her own rules.
Made Woman Magazine: I have to ask, what’s it like to work with Richie Sambora?
Nikki Lund: It’s great. We have a really good partnership. He’s a lot of fun. He’s definitely a gregarious, creative force. I love him!
MWM: “Nikki Rich” is a sister line to WTB (White Trash Beautiful). Tell me about the decision to make a sister line and what distinction is between the two.
NL: The distinction is that White Trash Beautiful is custom and for celebrities; it’s tailored to fit perfectly. These are custom stage pieces for weddings or the red carpet. Nikki Rich is for boutiques and department stores. It’s a very affordable price point for well made clothing.
MWM: Who is your favorite fashion icon?
NL: Diane Von Furstenberg. She is classic and makes an amazing silhouette. Her dresses are so beautiful and feminine. Every season is so beautiful!
MWM: How would you describe your personal style?
NL: My personal style is funky and feminine. I like a little bit of edge while being unique.
MWM: Do you have a favorite color, print or material you like to work with?
NL: As far as prints go, I love plaids. I don’t work with it all the time, but when I can cut it on a bias and lay it in a different way, I love it. It’s got a lot of different faces, it can be elegant, classy, or punk rock. I also love modal, it’s so comfy there’s nothing like it. A maxi modal dress can be dressed up or down. I like to be comfy. I also really love silks.
MWM: How did you get started in the fashion industry? How did you keep your motivation going?
NL: My mother and my grandmother were making patterns since I was little. They were always busy. We made so many dresses, including everything for proms. I grew up around it. Later on, I started working and managing clothing stores. For Christmas I would get fabric. I had a prior clothing line called Eccentric Symphony, and it was then that I was introduced to Richie by an old agent. He reached out to me about collaborating on a clothing line.
I keep myself motivated by staying busy. I have a lot of energy, so I am always on to the next project. I am never bored. You have to stay busy to stay innovative.
MWM: What do you think is the most confident look a woman can create for herself?
NL: I think it depends on the woman and what she is most comfortable in. You have to consider her lifestyle. I personally love a woman in a really nice tailored suit. I love to see that. It exudes power and confidence. It’s classy. But a woman looks best when her outer self reflects her inner self. You have to be comfortable and you have to have good character.
MWM: Do you have a favorite piece you’ve designed?
NL: I have a few favorite pieces for different reasons. One of them is my zipper vest. It’s edgy and it can be sexy. I’ve seen celebrities wear it in different settings. Carrie Underwood wore it --she is such an elegant and feminine girl and to see her in that bolero was awesome.
MWM: Tell us about the current Nikki Rich collection.
NL: It’s very beautiful, very elegant, very sexy, there’s a lot of flowers with different prints. It’s pretty. There’s a little boldness with the color. For the most part it is feminine; it’s affordable. Most everybody can wear it. The Spring inspirations were Indian Summer, a transformation between hot and cold, and the palette really shows that. I love seasons, and the changing of them between the clothes and the colors.
MWM: What trends are you embracing for the current fashion season?
NL: I love the tribal, native look as well as the bohemian look; it’s easy, breezy, with linens and feathers. These are things that are easy to throw on in the summer. I love the softness of dresses with lots of chiffons and tribal prints.
MWM: What is your advice to women looking to break into the fashion industry as a designer?
NL: I would say make sure you are very dedicated and committed to a career. It is a full time job; it’s a lot of work. There’s a lot of adversity. You have to follow your heart, don’t let anybody deter you. Believe in what’s right for you, your palette, your home, your mind, your look. Everything has to be s specific. It is tailored to you as a designer and visionary. It’s hard, the hours are long. It’s a difficult job. It’s not a 9 to 5. It is a lifestyle. You have to live, eat, and breathe fashion. It’s fantastic.
MWM: What are your future plans for your fashion lines? What can we expect from the coming seasons?
NL: Chunky knit sweaters, metallics, and ’70s inspired stuff. The lifestyle of blending art and music are going to be present in the shows that you will see from us. We are working on building a wall at MOCA right now, pairing with street artists and graffiti artists. It looks like it’s going to happen. It’s a very L.A. story. Richie and I support artists in all facets. It will be important for artists to have a wall where they have a place as being historic fine artists.
MWM: What do your clothes say about you?
NL: I think strength. Confidence, strength, the embodiment of self. Wear your clothes, don’t let your clothes wear you. It comes from the inside out. You can’t wear my clothes if you’re going to be slouching your shoulders.
MWM: You also design men’s clothes. What makes a man well-dressed in your opinion? Any advice on how women can help their men look more fashionable?
NL: That’s all personal. In my opinion it’s the accessorizing. It’s all about his final touches and how he puts it all together. That to me is what makes a man well-dressed, that and how it’s tailored and how he carries himself. Swag and attitude have to be on. I love all the bells and whistles on a man: his jewelry, his scent. Finding out what it is that he really likes, not necessarily what he would want to wear for you. You have to find out how to make his clothes work for you. Ask him who he wants to look like. Ask him how he wants to look. From there, help him put it together At to Z.
MWM: Any other words for the other Made Women other there?
NL: Dare to be different. Dare to be yourself. Rock what you got. Women -- it doesn’t matter what size you are. Feel confident, feel sexy. Just dare to go the extra mile to make yourself feel hot.
We might all love designer clothes and accessories, but very few of us can afford to just take a trip down Rodeo Drive and buy whatever catches our eye. Being just a few years out of college, I don’t quite have a “throw it in the bag” budget. But my starving college student days are over and I want to look like it. That’s why online sample sales are like a godsend to me, and have been since I discovered them three years ago.
Here’s how they work: websites partner with designers to sell their products for a large discount – whether it’s to create exposure, help get rid of overstock at the end of the season, etc. – and then these websites feature select styles from specific designers each day (usually for a brief period of 24-48 hours in length). Sample sale websites require you to become a member; this is free, but ensures designers that the site is “private” and that they are not cheapening their brand by publicly advertising low prices. Sample sale sites will also sometimes require you to have an invite from a current member, so as a bonus for our Made Woman Mag readers I have provided links with already-included invites for my favorite sites below.
There are dozens upon dozens of sample sale sites that have popped up in the last couple of years – covering anything from clothing, to shoes and accessories, to home décor items, to travel. For a full list, I recommend checking out SHEfinds, but here are my 4 personal fashion-focused favorites:
Ideeli is great for clothes, shoes, accessories, home décor items, and everything in-between. What sets it apart from the other sites is that it has a “1st row” membership for $6.99/month (billed annually), which grants you access to the sales an hour early – 8am PST instead of 9am PST. The cool thing is, even if you have a free “2nd row” membership, you can still see all the items going on sale starting at 8am; and you’ll realize how useful this is. Once 9am strikes, you have already had the chance to browse through the items, decide what you want, and are just waiting to click that “add to cart” button. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Hautelook is one of the most popular online sample sale sites because it consistently partners with great popular brands for up to 75% off. They also have one of my favorite interfaces. Sales on Hautelook begin at 8am PST every day. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Founded in 2007, Gilt was one of the original online sample sale sites. Gilt sales start at 9am PST and feature a whopping 10-20 designers a day, with an average of 40% off. One of the additional perks of Gilt is a flat shipping rate of only $5.95 for all items. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Rue La La
Rue La La was also one of the originals, along with Gilt. Lately, it has added a lot more high-end designers – which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your spending range. They also have one of the best phone apps, and really handy notification options on their online calendar. Sales start at 8am PST. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Having spent an inordinate amount of time and money on sample sale sites, I’d like to leave you with some helpful tips:
Now there’s no excuse to not look good in 2012. Just remember, shopping can be an unhealthy addiction, so everything in moderation.
Bold, brazen, or chic; call them what you will, but there are certain female style icons that we will never forget. Throughout history, these fashionable females have shaped the way women dress, shop and accessorize. That being said, we thought celebrating those that set the trends that forever shaped our wardrobes and stylistic culture would be the perfect way to honor women’s history month.
Audrey tops the list of unforgettable style icons. Exuding elegance and grace, Audrey popularized many of fashion’s most timeless looks, such as the pixie haircut, the little black dress, and ballet flats. Audrey’s style is demure, always classy and we <3 it.
The face of ’66 is still very much a face of reference today. This British super model turned actress/singer is an eternal symbol of everything mod. Twiggy’s boyish haircut and skinny frame epitomized the freedom and power of the ’60s youth. When rocking a groovy look today, people are taking a page from Twiggy’s book.
Who would have thought this lady from 300 plus years ago would still be influencing us today? Marie’s influence on style doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, especially with Sofia Coppola’s rendition of her life garnering such a huge following. Opulence and over the top luxury are synonymous with Marie’s monarch feel. Even Austin Scarlett created a Marie-inspired look on Project Runway All Stars a few weeks ago.
Bright color and zany accessories are Patricia Field’s signature style. Without realizing it, you have already undoubtedly been affected by her -- she is the visionary stylist behind Sex and the City. As the woman behind Carrie Bradshaw & Company’s dramatic flair on the most fashionable TV show in history, she gets major credit. Full of attitude and love for New York, Patricia Field encourages women to have fun with fashion.
We all know The Supremes for their glamorous, high-fashion gowns, hair and makeup--but what you may not know is that in the group's early days, Diana Ross served as costume designer, seamstress, hair stylist and makeup artist for the trio. The Supremes went on to influence the fashion and style of groups like Destiny's Child for years to come. But Miss Ross didn't stop in the 60's; she went on to define the over-the-top fashion of the 70's Disco era, and brought her signature style to classic films like Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany.
We die for RZ! One of the most famous stylists of all-time, this Chanel-loving, boho embracing, couture fanatic has worked with some of the most famous celebrities and put them on the fashion map (Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, and Anne Hathaway, to name a few). Complete with her trademark phrases and addictive behind the scenes reality show, Rachel Zoe has definitely branded herself as a fashion force to be reckoned with. This stylist recently branched out into designing her own line that is sure to be an iconic collection for years to come.
Liz proved that diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend. Known for leading the most glamorous of lifestyles both on screen (Cleopatra) and off (her $150 million jewelry collection), the lady with the violet eyes will forever symbolize the curvaceous sensuality of Hollywood’s golden age. Taylor leaves behind her perfume empire and an aspiration to add a little sparkle to our lives.
So many girls grow up wanting to be a princess or a movie star. In a life that resembled a fantasy, Grace Kelly got to be both. Epitomizing the notion of 1950s ladyship, it made sense that Grace moved from the big screen into the royal court of Monaco. The fascination with an American girl marrying European royalty has remained strong to this day, with Princess Kate Middleton taking a cue from Grace for her famed wedding dress.
This 90 year old fashion darling is unmistakable. A fashion maximalist, always clad in huge glasses, we should all be so lucky to be this stylish when we grow up. Starting out as a decorator and then moving on to collecting art and eventually rare couture, Iris is most famous for her break the rules fashion sensibility. A believer in not dressing to hide her physique nor her age, Iris doesn’t wear girly, chiffon dresses. And that set of beliefs has led to the Costume Institute asking to display her accessories. This “rare bird of fashion” proves that you’re never too old to play dress up.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jackie O is credited with setting the bar for all First Ladies following her. A symbol of strength through crisis and the power of women in the 1960s, Jackie’s pink Chanel suit, sunglasses, gloves, pearls, and pillbox hat articulated the politics of personal style. The woman behind President Kennedy is the reason why this First Family was compared to royalty. Her taste was so excellent that she redecorated the White House. Her charm impressed even the toughest of leaders, with Nikita Khrushchev even asking to shake her hand before JFK’s. Who says fashion can’t improve diplomacy?
Before Lady Gaga there was Queen Madonna. Pop music changed under this singer’s prowess, and with it so did fashion. Young women of the ’80s strove to emulate her look, and thanks to Madonna’s ever-evolving style, we will never get tired of her influence. The bravery of constantly reinventing oneself and the confidence to start trends instead of following them is why Madonna has been a star in music, film, business, and fashion for so long.
The mother of modern fashion, Chanel started by breaking away from Victorian propriety and creating expensive simplicity. The usage of black, jersey, perfume, and the importance of a tweed jacket are all owed to Mademoiselle. Not only did she design and make clothing impeccably, she also ran her own business in a time when no other women dared do so. This self-Made Woman changed fashion forever, creating the ultimate couture house. The only fashion designer to make Time’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the Century, Chanel is just as iconic of a name today as it was 80 years ago.
The pin-up look has been popular for 60 years and it’s all because of Ms. Page. Bangs and a fascination with the burlesque are what make this sexy style so desirable. Going against the conservative culture of the ’50s, Bettie Page’s look brought attention to the daring and dark. Her influence regained a huge resurgence in the ’80s and holds strong today with Bettie Page clothing stores specializing in retro and vintage inspired wares.
Diane von Furstenberg
Famous for making a wrap dress that’s affordable and prints that are luxurious, DVF was founded in the 1970s and is alive and chic as ever today. This former royal turned designer and businesswoman is currently the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, mentoring women and aspiring designers alike. With a face as famous as her dress, Ms. Furstenberg’s flair for fashion is easily recognized.
Our current First Lady represents more than hope and change; she is a lady who knows how to lead in style. Named on Vanity Fair and People’s Best Dressed Lists, she also made Harvard’s list of distinguished alumni, proving she can be style savvy and smart. Michelle made Jason Wu a household name when she wore his gown on inauguration night and her Isabel Toledo inauguration outfit is still referenced today. Her super toned arms promote health and fitness, and her choice to wear pearls caused many to compare her with Jackie Kennedy. With Mrs. Obama comes a return to classic American style. Her intelligence, poise, and style decisions are shaping the future of America as we speak. We are so lucky to have this style icon as our current First Lady.
These women went against the trends of their day and made a lasting mark. Hopefully they will inspire you to set a fashionable and enduring example next time you get glammed up. Of course, these are just some of the women we admire for their impact on fashion. In the comments below let us know if your favorite style icon didn’t make the list.
I grew up with an MTV that played music videos and little else, an E! before the Kardashians, a Nick at Nite that showed shows in black and white, and the Style Channel when it actually broadcasted live fashion shows. Oh, how the times have changed!
For those of you like me who miss the glory days of fashion television (and television in general), it’s finally time to get excited. It seems there is a resurgence of runway reality on the telly. 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for fashion fanatics as January saw the debut of It’s a Brad Brad World, 24 Hour Catwalk, and Project Runway All Stars.
If you loved Brad Goreski on The Rachel Zoe Project (he was the one who cried…and then cried some more) you’ll love him here. Of course there’s some drama (and crying of course), but the life of a stylist is, well, stressful. I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I am liking Brad’s spin off. It gives viewers a look into the world of an up and coming stylist and discusses a lot of men’s fashion — things RZ’s show doesn’t offer us. You can see what it’s like for Brad as he looks for an office space, hires an assistant, travels to New York, and hob knobs with celebrities. Ashton Kutcher is set to make an appearance on the show, Ariel Foxman has already had a cameo, and Brad shares his styling of Jessica Alba for the Met Ball. The fashionable Mr. Goreski does all this while balancing his 10 year relationship with TV writer Gary Janetti. Brad is so lovable because he is so relatable. You might assume that because he apprenticed with RZ he had it made, but this show proves that making it in fashion is tough work, and you come to really respect and admire Brad’s determination. He is a real person with real struggles; he works out of a garage (until he can find an office), is dedicated to staying in shape through exercise, and even cleans up after his dogs. It’s nice to see a fashion celebrity in a real light. And best of all, Brad is as funny as he is charming and stylish. Monday nights are not usually equated with fun, but for a good time and some feel good fashion, check out It’s a Brad Brad World Mondays at 10/9 PM Central on Bravo.
I had such high hopes for 24 Hour Catwalk. This show poses the almost impossible idea of pitting designers against each other in order to create a runway show in a span of only 24 hours. Since major runway productions take months to come to life, this show seems like it would be jam packed with action, drama, and nail biting anticipation. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t really have any of that. In fact, the best part of the show is seeing what Alexa Chung is wearing and listening to her talk. But despite my love for Alexa, this show is not nearly as interesting nor intense as Project Runway, which they are seemingly trying to knock off. The judges are not as entertaining or recognizable (with the exception of Cynthia Rowley) as Heidi and the gang. And the contestants are rather boring, especially since you don’t get to know them and see them in their living quarters as you do on Runway. You can tune into 24 Hour Catwalk on Lifetime Tuesday nights at 9, but if you’re like me, you’ll be tuning into What Not to Wear instead.
Speaking of Project Runway, I don’t remember the last time I looked forward to a television debut as much as I have looked forward to the premiere of Project Runway: All Stars. Lifetime made a genius move in choosing fan favorite designers to come together in a “greatest hits” collection of a competition. Cast members from every season are represented, and since everyone has been on the show before, there is an insane amount of talent in one workroom. The fashions these all stars are creating are unbelievable. And to make the competition more fierce, the challenges are even more impossible and the prizes are even better, including being a guest editor at Marie Claire and selling a line at Neiman Marcus. None of the contestants want the ultimate shame of being kicked off the show a second time, so the tension is high. I have to hand it to Lifetime too for choosing some really cool regulars; Isaac Mizrahi is energetic, Georgina Chapman is oh so glamorous (I love seeing what she’s wearing every week), and Joanna Coles brings great perspective to selling a design. Making the show all the more lovable is the fact that the audience already knows the designers. We knew our favorites before the show even began, making every win something to cheer about and every loss is genuinely heartbreaking. As if you needed another reason to watch, I have two words for you: Austin Scarlett. It just doesn’t get more entertaining than that. I am thoroughly enjoying every second of Project Runway All Stars and you can too. Tune in Thursday nights at 9 on Lifetime to see who makes the cut.
I can only hope the momentum and demand for fashion television keeps up. Now, if Fashion Hunters, The Rachel Zoe Project, and Project Accessory would return this year, my 2012 would be complete!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially if you love shopping. Yes, Thanksgiving is great, but Black Friday has become a holiday all its own. Known as the biggest shopping day of the year, the last Friday in November marks the official beginning of the holiday season and the hunt for the perfect holiday gifts.
As a faithful Black Friday shopper I can tell you from experience that this event has become more of a circus every year. Probably due to the lackluster economy, it seems that more people are in need of a bargain than ever before. Likewise, retailers are in need of making money and increasing sales. Stores used to open at 5 a.m. (a good five hours before normal mall business hours). But now you are seeing retailers like Target, Off Saks Fifth Avenue, and Kohl’s open at midnight. For those of you looking for a steal, here are some stores worth camping out in front of (tip: bring some Turkey Day leftovers to pass the time).
● According to Shawn DuBravac, chief economist with the Consumer Electronics Association, customers will be able to save $500 to $1,000 on TVs at stores such as Walmart, Best Buy, Target, H.H. Gregg, and Amazon.com. Best Buy will also offer a 24-inch LCD TV from one if its house brands for $79, their spokesman says.
● H&M stores are opening at 5 a.m. and the first 100 customers in line (in other words, people who ditch Thanksgiving dinner) will receive scratchers for up to $300. Additional Black Friday offers include dresses and sweaters for $5, pants from $10, and outerwear from $20.
● Apple iPod Touch 8GB for $195 at Target plus a $40 Target gift card.
● After a night of camping out/a sleepless morning, Macys deals on mattresses will look even more appealing. For $249 you can get a 2-piece Serta mattress set. Since these babies usually cost $859, this is a deal you won’t lose sleep over.
● You know that traveling you will be doing next year? (Hint: New Year's resolution). You will need a great 5 piece luggage set from Macy’s, and for $49.99, you will have money leftover for souvenirs.
● Everyone loves music! With 50% off Skull Candy headphones at Radio Shack, you can groove on the go.
● For those who need direction in life, there is a Garmin Navigation System for $89.99 at Staples.
● Amazon.com will be offering gold box deals at various times throughout the day from now through Cyber Monday with extreme discounts that tend to sell out.
● The Home Shopping Network won’t have any lines for you to wait in, and will have free shipping on select goods like a Panasonic camcorder and great financing options on others.
● Even some stores band together in outlet-wide sales events. The Desert Hills Premium Outlets will have some stores opening at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Remember, these outlets have high-end stores like Dior and Prada. Deals on top of deals! Now, that is worth getting up early for.
Another thing to note: While I am old-fashioned and love perusing an ad (or five) in the mail, most information about Black Friday deals were found on stores' Facebook and Twitter pages as opposed to their websites. You may also want to check out theblackfriday.com for an overview of ads and coupons. For mall store information it’s best to search specific stores by location for hours and deals.
Know of any other excellent steals? ‘Tis the season of giving, so share any good bargains you may have heard about in the comments below. Good luck and happy shopping!