The Beauty Buzz for Holiday Style
By: Sharon Mosley
Whether you’ve got a new little black dress or not, just putting on a new face and hairstyle is a great way to add some glamour to your holiday soirees. Let’s face it — a new red lipstick can do wonders for a great party pout!
Here are some tips from the pros at beautypress.com to get the party started with makeup and hair advice:
—Start by going bold. Bring out your favorite shade of red lipstick. There are plenty of shades that can compliment any skin tone; if you’re more fair skinned, look for a blue-based red (which will make your teeth look super white), and if your skin is more yellow in tone, look for warmer shades of red to bring out your exotic complexion.
—If you do choose to rock a red lip, be sure to keep the rest of your makeup minimal so your mouth will be the focal point. Too much bold color is not a good thing when it comes to makeup … even at holiday time. Save it for next Halloween.
—Fire up a smokey eye. Every eye color can be complemented with brown shadows. Just think lid, crease and V. Add a light “skin tone” shade to your lid and brow bone, take a medium shade brown, and add it to your crease. At the end, take a black or dark brown (depending on your preference) and add it to your outer V (the outer corner of the eye), and blend out all the harsh lines. Add some eyeliner, mascara and false lashes if needed.
—Glitter and go. For even more glamour, you may want to try a smudge of sparkly shadow smoothed across your eye lid. Peruse the cosmetic counters for the latest gold, silver and purple palettes this holiday season.
—Nail it with shine. The holidays are also the perfect time to add some glimmer to your nails. There are lots of variations on the glitter theme with nail polishes this year. Check them out at your favorite salon or do-it-yourself at home.
—Wing it. The cat-eye look is another way to achieve party “purr-fect” makeup. Just use a creamy liquid liner to make sure you get the smoothest look. Experiment with using a cobalt liquid liner on lower lids to get what makeup artists are calling the new “peacock” effect.
—Pinch your cheeks. Rosy cheeks are another way to brighten up your holiday makeup. Look for a cream blush in a natural pink rosy color and add it to the apples of your cheeks. Apply foundation and powder lightly over the cream blush to give the illusion of an inner glow. Add a highlight to your cheekbones to make them pop.
—Curl up with style. Curls are hot this year. The ’40s retro look is making a big statement. Get the look by blowdrying your hair with a large round brush and set your hair in pin curls all over your head. Spray all over with a strong hairspray and then brush to create this glamour style.
—Step to the side. Another major glamour ‘do is the elegant side ponytail or bun. This is a quick fix for party hair. Then you’ll definitely be ready to dance “Gangnam Style.”
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
Telling the Truth About Fashion: Stacy London’s Latest Tips on Style
By: Sharon Mosley
When style savant Stacy London started writing her latest book, “The Truth About Style,” she decided to take a new approach and throw out all the fashion cliches, such as the “must-have trench for spring” or the “three ways to rock a poncho.”
“Let’s be honest,” says the co-host of TLC’s long-running “What Not To Wear” series: “If ‘how to’ advice was that useful, you’d all be dressing well, and I’d be out of a job. The ‘how to’ approach is about changing your look. From years of working with women, I’ve discovered that that is only part of what they’re really after.”
Instead, London concentrates on why we often “don’t” dress well. “We all put obstacles in our own path toward personal style, myself included. If we understood why we constructed these practical and emotional obstacles, we might move beyond them to healthier, happier perceptions of ourselves and, ideally, a better sense of self-esteem,” admits London. “Style can change your look, certainly, but it can also change your life.”
London picked nine “real” women — each of whom faces a particular issue when shopping and getting dressed, and then she leads them through “start-overs.” London inspires them to celebrate their unique body types and personalities. From a 19-year-old pre-med major in Texas to a petite New Yorker who recently moved from Arkansas and a working mom who has a decade of oversized black clothing in her closet, London takes us on a fashion trip that is chock full of useful advice that all women can use to transform themselves and their wardrobes.
In a holiday season full of one style crisis after another, take a few cues from London’s “start-overs” in “The Truth About Style” (You might want to put this one on your holiday wish list!).
—The process of creating an outfit allows you to see your present body more clearly. Give thought to the detail, and take time with it. It’s the same process as painting a picture. Assemble your pieces and your color palette. Ask yourself whether you have filled the canvas properly.
—Be strategic when it comes to wearing shiny fabrics, says London. The eye gravitates to shine because it reflects light. If you want to highlight something, put shine there. If you want to camouflage it, go with matte.
—How to do fur, according to London: Fake it. You can buy synthetic fur that looks and feels a lot like the real thing. Use it as a go-to piece to wear with trousers, or to make a pair of jeans look more sophisticated.
—Accessories must be proportional with your frame. For plus-size women, that means a thicker belt, bigger bag, scarf and jewelry. The same rule holds true for prints. The print needs to match the stature of the woman who’s wearing it.
—To have presence, small-framed women should wear form-fitting clothes, such as skinny jeans and pencil skirts. Wider-cut clothes look like you’re drowning in them.
—Shoes are a game changer for any basic outfit. Look for shoes that have some visual interest, whether it is embellishments, color or shape. These days, there are so many reasonably priced, well-made brands, you don’t need to bust the piggy bank, says London.
—Get yourself a jersey dress you can roll up in a ball and leave on the floor for six months, pick it up and it’ll still look great. It’s the least time-consuming wardrobe item for a mom I can think of.
—Denim is a great wardrobe chameleon, according to London. You can wear it to work or dress it up for evenings or dress down with it on weekends. Think of it as a blank canvas to test out trends that might be too risky head to toe. Anyone in the world — of any size or age — can rock a good trouser jean.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
By: Sharon Mosley
Forget the plain black dress, the simple sheath and the bare, bare leg. This holiday season, it’s time to take our cues from the elegant decades of the earlier part of the 20th century, just like the aristocratic Crawley ladies of the hit TV series, Downton Abbey.
The Emmy-nominated period drama has revived the Edwardian age of opulence. Watch for the third season which airs in January to be even more fashion forward as the costumes become more “art-deco” inspired. Baz Luhrmann’s December debut of “The Great Gatsby” will also inspire apparel trends.
Fashion designers from Marc Jacobs to Ralph Lauren to Theia are flocking to those “good ol’ days” of yore to come up with a fresh twist on modern fashion. And it’s about time, says Don O’Neill, creative director of Theia.
“The elegance of that period and the opulent formal gowns worn at dinner are a wonderful fantasy from a sophisticated time that we wanted to bring into fall and carry through to spring 2013,” says O’Neill. “Opulence is a fantasy and an escape from everyday reality. Life is a celebration, and we are dressing for happy occasions. Even in our darkest days, we still need light, levity and sparkles in our lives. We feel like we offer affordable opulence so you can live the dream and not break the bank.”
Here are some ways to go for baroque when celebrating the holidays this year.
—The beaded gown. There’s nothing quite like the sparkle of beads to brighten up a holiday soiree. Whether the gown makes a grand entrance in a floor-sweeping length or is more on the shorter “midi” side, this is the piece de resistance of party style.
—The lace dress. Another winner for the cocktail circuit — in a streamlined silhouette with an empire waist, this look is a sophisticated take on the turn-of-the-century styles, especially when given more of a “Gatsby” twist draped with long strands of pearls.
—The velvet jacket. Let’s face it, velvet just screams holiday celebrations, and it’s been a favorite of elegant ladies forever. The longer, buttoned up “princess” style jackets are one way to get the Downton luxe life. Add a faux fur scarf and you’ve really got it wrapped up.
—The long skirt. The perfect “go-with” for the buttoned-up jackets. Of course, the modern take on this trend is a high slit. Just wear tights and boots and you’ll be striding down the city streets in anything but a hobbled gait!
—The harem pants. Well, Lady Sybil did her best to inject a little exotic Bohemian style into the prim and proper manor house crowd, but so did her contemporaries in this era when fashion and interior decorating both shared a love of all things from the Far East.
—The accessories. Now, here’s where it really gets fun to dress up again. Who doesn’t like an elbow-length pair of opera gloves? Or an exquisite beaded headpiece? Or a huge, oversized hat? Or a pair of embroidered laced-up evening boots? How about an ornate needlepoint clutch?
—Pastel florals. Well, the dress up fun doesn’t end this holiday season. Watch for soft, pastel floral dresses to float your way next spring. By then, we will all be ready to play again.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
Fashion Checklist for November
By: Sharon Mosley
It’s never too early to start checking off those holiday to-do lists. In fact, the sooner you get into the festive spirit, the more you can avoid those last-minute panic attacks when you feel like you’ve been possessed by the Grinch. Here’s a checklist of some things to get done in November, so you’ll have plenty of time to party in December.
First, take an inventory of the dressier side of your wardrobe. Whether you have a dozen invitations to black-tie events or you’re just hosting a brunch for family and friends, November and December are usually the time when you’ll want to up the fashion quotient a little. Think beyond the Santa sweaters with all the bells and whistles. And let’s face it — smooching Santa under the mistletoe is much more fun than wearing him on a shirt! There are plenty of ways to add some holiday flair to your basics. See below!
Even casual clothes can make the party circuit. This is a great time to rock a pair of colored jeans. Shop for a pair of red or burgundy jeans — slim cut or boot cut — and team them with a sparkling tunic sweater or a sequin tank and sweater coat. I also love the look of a black and white houndstooth check jacket with colored jeans. Instant holiday glam with a twist.
Dress up that little black dress. Yes, you still have time to find that perfect cocktail dress for a special occasion, but why not give your favorite LBD a fresh look with new accessories? Instead of one strand of pearls, layer on necklaces mixed with pearls and metallic beads; stack not only one bangle on your arm, but several. Wear a new pair of embroidered evening boots with metallic tights. Or give it a new attitude with a leather jacket layered on top.
Don’t forget to wrap it up. One of the best ways to check off your holiday to-do list is to scope out the accessory departments at your favorite stores and online retailers. The stash of scarves, wraps and stoles is amazing. In a wide range of colors and styles, these versatile accessories will add a whole different look to your holiday outfits, and they make great gifts, too! This year, watch for faux fur scarves to be big hits.
Think plush. There’s feathers and fur, of course, but you can also get the lush look with velvet, a holiday favorite. A velvet jacket in a rich jewel-tone color can do wonders even for a pair of denim jeans.
Check out vintage stores. Want to find unique accessories to give and to wear? Then get into the habit of visiting out-of-the-way boutiques that specialize in antique jewelry. You’ll find lots of inspiration at affordable prices and a great conversation piece. Oversized vintage brooches are my favorite — pinned on a jacket or even a velvet hat.
Book your hair and beauty appointments early. If there’s only one thing you do in November, it should be making sure you’ve got all your appointments scheduled. Hair? Nails? Facials? You can even check out your favorite makeup counter for holiday specials. Then, remember to pick up some special treats for friends, or even book them for their own facial or massage as a gift.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
UPDATE: El Paso TX Dentist Sponsors 2 Free Dental Days
UPDATE: via Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj’s Office
“The announcement published in recent days, says that the Free services day at Socorro location (10760 North Loop Dr), is Today November the 5th, this is a mistake, the services were provided last Friday November the 2nd, attended by almost 90 people. We do apologize for the inconvenience, we will be having another free dental services day next year.”
El Paso, TX – 10/03/12– El Paso TX dentist Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj is helping his community during these difficult economic times by holding two free Emergency Dental Treatment Days.
The first free dental treatment day will be on Oct. 26th 2012 from 9am to 4pm at 211 Texas Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
The second free dental day will be on
Nov 5th (see update above) 2012 from 9am to 4pm at 10760 North Loop Drive, Socorro, TX 79927
The Emergency Dental Treatment Days will provide free dentals treatment such as needed extractions or cleanings for anyone (adult or child) who cannot afford dentistry.
“Anyone with a dental emergency or in need of pain relief, who could not afford it, will be treated at NO COST on a first-come first-served basis” explains Dr. Darj, adding “I would like to do my part as a dentist to help and hope others would join me in this effort by spreading the word.”
Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj asks the Media to invite local residents who are in need of emergency dental treatment but cannot afford immediate dental care to be aware of this free offer.
Details of Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj’ other community events can be found at
www.DentistryElPasoTX.com and www.DentistSocorroTX.com
People helping people have been one of the prominent strengths of our country. During these hard economic times, the spirit of giving and helping is needed more than ever.
By: Sharon Mosley
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time get down to some serious shopping — for cocktail attire, that is. Most of us know the sinking feeling of having an important party to attend and feeling like we have nothing to wear. But before the ice cubes start tinkling, you can head off the panic attacks and take some advice from a fashion pro — Nina Garcia. As the fashion director of Marie Claire magazine, a judge on the Project Runway series and author of Nina Garcia’s Look Book: “What to Wear for Every Occasion,” Garcia is an authority on what to wear on the party circuit.
“It’s a good thing I love a cocktail party,” she says. “In my business, I sometimes attend a cocktail party or two every night of the week. So believe me when I tell you that I have this down to a science. Cocktail parties are about elegant, show-stopping outfits that turn heads. Period, the end.”
Luxury fabrics and embellishments are key to getting glamorous, according to Garcia. “Ruffles, feathers, beading, or sequins are all welcome at a cocktail party — though, generally, not all on one dress,” says Garcia.
Here are Garcia’s tips from her Look Book on what to wear to your next soiree:
—A Cocktail Dress: Nothing beats the LBD (little black dress), admits Garcia. “It’s easy to accessorize, always slimming, total perfection. Black does not have to be boring; mixing textures or matte and shiny materials adds an interesting edge to your basic black.” Garcia suggests adding a patent leather belt or shoes, or a satin jacket over a crepe dress. “For a posh event, I wear something simple and elegant. A tailored silhouette with a skirt that hits just below the knee is becoming to almost every figure. Anything that falls more than an inch or two below the knee to just above the ankle is a tough length to pull off, unless the skirt is very, very fitted or you are Grace Jones. Believe me.”
When Garcia has a semiformal fashion industry event, she says she goes for “an edgier look: asymmetry, strong color and sophistication. Break out of your chromatic rut and try a gorgeous jewel tone or a rich, deep red or burnt orange.”
—Separates: These are the pieces I personally rely on for holiday festivities. Garcia suggests silky pants and a sequined tunic as an excellent alternative to the cocktail dress. “You can also wear sequined baggy peg leg trousers (very YSL), a silk jumpsuit, or sharp tuxedo pants.” If you’re in a tropical climate, even shorts can be dressed up with opaque tights and stilettos, she says. “Add a silk blouse, throw on a tuxedo jacket, and you’re ready for action.”
—Accessories: “A little black dress is the perfect backdrop for a statement piece,” she says. “Stunning drop earrings with an updo, an ornate cuff, or bangles to show off a toned arm.” However she urges caution: “Always make sure your jewelry isn’t taking over you or your ensemble and keep everything in proportion to your frame. Balance is key in dressing and in life.”
—The Wrap: Garcia suggests wearing a sequin-encrusted number that will “encase you in a cloud of sparkle.” For colder weather, she likes sumptuous velvet wraps or a faux fur chubby, stole, bolero or vest.
—Party shoes: Go for strappy heels. “Metallics add glam to a simple dress,” she says. Booties are another modern and chic way to accessorize cocktail attire, “especially with pretty lace or pattern stockings to add a little texture and whimsy.”
—Handbag: A clutch or small bag is another accessory that can make a party outfit come alive. “A vintage bag is always a lovely accent piece,” says Garcia. “Other alternatives are a clutch bag of soft material like leather, satin, or mesh; a box clutch, which is harder and usually geometric; or a jeweled minaudiere.” And no, your bag does not have to match your shoes. “Choose a bag that complements your ensemble,” she says. “For instance, if you’re wearing black with a patterned or brightly colored shoe, go for something like a black beaded clutch with a detail or trim that picks up a color from the shoe.”
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
Making Fashion History in Your Own Closet
By: Sharon Mosley
When Tim Gunn wants to make it work, he writes another book about fashion — this time he is sharing his expertise on “the fascinating history of everything in your closet.” With co-author Ada Calhoun, the newest “Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible” (Simon and Schuster, $28) reads like a walking tour of a fashion museum depicting everything from the history of Cleopatra’s crown to Helen of Troy’s sandals to Madonna’s cone bra, from Dynasty’s power suits to Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits. This is definitely a book to give your favorite fashionista this holiday season.
With the charm that has made him a household name from his “Make it work” directives on Project Runway , Gunn offers candid insights on how the 1960s ruined American underwear, how Beau Brummell created the look men have worn for more than a century and why cargo Capri pants are a plague on our nation.
“While many historians concern themselves with the dress of indigenous civilizations, the work of certain designers, or with very specific periods in fashion, I am most interested in the clothes we wear right here and now and how various looks came into vogue,” says Gunn. “My focus in this book is on Western fashion, with a particular emphasis on American. I will look, piece by piece, at the items most Americans have in their closets and ask, “Do you know where this garment comes from — before Old Navy?”
Although all the historical fashion tidbits in Gunn’s “Fashion Bible” are intriguing, the last chapter focusing on “Your Closet Worksheet” is probably one of the most helpful checklists I’ve ever seen put together providing very specific tips on a wardrobe makeover. Since fall has arrived, it’s the perfect time to heed Gunn’s advice and start making your own fashion history. Here are his suggestions for checking out your own closet:
—First, throw out all the ratty, stretched out, riding-up underwear. Ditto for old socks and hosiery. Do you have some really nice underwear for special occasions? Do you have shapewear? Do all your bras actually fit? What size are you really? If you’re not sure, go get measured — it’s free — in the lingerie department of a boutique or department store.
—Throw away all the T-shirts that are falling apart or stained. Get some simple cotton T-shirts of whatever style looks best on you and consider wearing them as undershirts (under jackets or button-down shirts) more often than on their own.
—Get rid of all the jeans that don’t fit you. Consider investing in some flattering dark wash jeans if you don’t already have some.
—Is your favorite dress a Helen or a Cleopatra? (Gunn writes about the draped dress silhouettes worn by Helen of Troy and the more structured gowns worn by Cleopatra in his book). Which of these two dress types do you have more of? Do you have shoes and purses to match every dress? Do you have anything on a hanger that is getting stretched out? Jersey dresses need to be folded.
—When it comes to Capri pants and shorts, Gunn wastes no words: Throw them away. Just kidding. No, really: if we’re talking about cargo capris, take a good hard look at them and see if they are doing anything for you. Look at all the shorts you have and determine if they’re the right length for you. If not, what length might be better? Also, check skirt lengths.
—Do you have any vests? Consider getting a vest this fall to liven up a pair of jeans and a shirt.
—Gunn is not a fan of fur, so he believes when it comes to coats and jackets, a trench with a removable lining is really all you need, unless you live in a colder climate and need a warmer coat.
—Are you a handbag cultist? Gunn reminds us that we don’t need to spend tons of money on a purse. Ask yourself if you have a large bag for day that meets all your needs and a small bag for night.
COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM
Fall Fashions — Dos and Don’ts
By: Sharon Mosley
Let’s face it: we all have our “don’t” days — some of us more than others. But at the beginning of a new fashion season, it’s not a bad idea to review some of the best ways not to be a “Don’t” and be more of a “Do” when it comes to getting dressed everyday. Here are a few of my favorite reminders for fall:
Don’t put away your white jeans. It’s an old rule that is constantly broken in today’s fashion world. And yes, your mother probably always preached that one should never wear white after Labor Day. Well, the times they are a-changin’, and the fall runways were awash in the white stuff. Now, perhaps you can relieve your white linen shorts of further duty, but those white jeans are definitely players for cool weather wardrobes. I like them teamed with a cashmere black turtleneck — very Audrey Hepburn and very cool.
Do mix up your colors and prints. This is another rule that’s been broken time and again this year. Yes, there is a trick to all those color-clashing pieces, but it can be fun to give your wardrobe a new lease on life with unexpected color combinations. I like pairing purple with red and turquoise with emerald. If you stick to an “analogous” mix (colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel), it’s easier to get a new look without trying too hard. Colorful accessories can also be a big boost to an all-neutral wardrobe.
Don’t let your budget get you down. Most of us don’t have carte blanche to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe every season, so we need to take what we have and give it a fresh twist. (See above). But it’s a true fashion maxim that money doesn’t buy style, and there are plenty of ways to find fresh trends at budget-friendly prices. Think Target, H&M, Lands’ End, Forever 21 and more.
Do think comfort. Life is hard enough without worrying about tripping over five-inch stilettos or squeezing into too-tight spandex shape wear. Figure out what your comfort level is and stick to it. That can mean having a “go-to” outfit that acts as a uniform you wear whenever you want to feel and look great, even if it’s something like a shapely jersey dress with kitten heels.
Don’t be a bag lady. You do want to be comfortable, but you don’t have to wear shapeless, baggy clothes. They can actually make you look bigger. If you have a problem area with one part of your body, then find a great tailor to help you get a great fit. Edith Head once said you should wear clothes that are loose enough to prove you’re a lady, but tight enough to show you are a woman. ‘Nuff said.
Do show off your own personality. This may be the best “Do” on the list. While many of us do want to keep up with the latest fashion trends, it’s not a “Do” to be a fashion victim. Find your own style “signature” and stick to it. This is easy to do with accessories like costume jewelry. I love vintage Victorian jewelry. It’s almost as fun to shop for these interesting baubles as it is to wear them!
Men’s Fall Fashion Trends: Top 10 Fall Picks
By: Sharon Mosley
Hey, guys, this fall you don’t have to be afraid of the dark. From black leather to inky blue denim and velvety merlot corduroy jackets, the bright lights of men’s fashion trends have been turned down low and a more mysterious side of sartorial news has emerged. So what will turn up in the best-dressed guys’ closet this season? Tom Julian, a fashion consultant with the New York-based Tom Julian Group and a men’s style author, shares his must-haves for fall.
—Double the style. Julian advises adding a double-breasted suit, sport coat, sweater or outerwear jacket to your wardrobe.
“Most men have moved away from the three-button look to the two-button look, so why not add a double-breasted style?” asks Julian. “Think of this look as more casual and easy, not quite as buttoned up as the double-breasted suits worn by Prince Charles.”
—Accent on leather. Skin is in this fall, says Julian, especially when worn as accents on coats or sweaters — perhaps on the sleeves or set into chest panels of coats. Leather is an important detail, especially when mixed with other fabrics for even more texture interest.
—Tweed please. Again, texture plays a big role in men’s fashion trends this fall, adds Julian. So snap up a pair of tweed or corduroy pants. “Tweed can be the trouser for a business look paired with a navy blazer, while cords can be cut like a jean and ideal for weekend dressing,” says Julian. One of the best new colors to show off those textured pants? Look for tasty Bordeaux to spice up that fall wardrobe.
—Round it out. Don’t be square. Instead, check out a rounded collar on shirts or polo shirts to add a new look to jackets or pull-over sweater vests. “The basic shirt or polo looks a bit British with this different rounded collar,” says Julian. But he cautions: “Please wear this collar open without a necktie.”
—Go green. “The green color palette is an easy way to update a man’s wardrobe,” says Julian. This year the olive greens are darkening the closet doorways. “These greens have a real military vibe to them,” says Julian.
—The Big T. Turtleneck, that is. This classic piece is back this fall in a major way. Julian suggests taking the soft approach and choosing a little luxurious touch with cashmere mixed with silk or cotton. “The turtleneck still seems a bit Beatles,” he admits, “but today it can be dressy and worn with a suit or sporty and worn with denim.”
—Dark denim. Denim is always a wardrobe staple, but this fall, whether it’s a shirt or jacket or a jean, the best denim pieces are in darker colors, such as black or blue or burgundy.
—Get vested. It’s the best layering piece you can buy, says Julian. “Use the vest as an accessory item,” he says. “Young men like to wear a vest with T-shirts or knit Henleys. Other guys like that like to dress up a bit can pair it with a shirt and tie.”
—Boot it. Kick off cooler weather with the “must-have” footwear of the season. Julian suggests buying at least one new pair of boots. “Think either urban and biker or rugged and Red Wing.”
Top it all off. And the accessory of the season that’s making the fashion headlines? “The newsboy cap in fabrics like tweed or flannel is a great way to put some flair into anything you wear,” says Julian.
Love Can be More Elegant the Second Time Around
By: Rose Bennett Gilbert
Q: I’m a newly wed at age 63! My new husband will move into my home, and I want to make it feel fresh and different. (I lived here with my late husband for 42 years.) I’d appreciate a few ideas on how to spruce things up without a major makeover, especially in the master bedroom. I plan to keep my antique furniture, and I want to make the room feel just a little more masculine.
A: Think paint. It’s always the quickest and easiest way to rehab any room.
Other fast and effective change-agents — especially in a bedroom — are linens and accessories. A new, tailored comforter or bedspread — or canopy, if you’re blessed with a four-poster — will give any old bedroom a fresh attitude. New sheets, especially with your new monogram, of course, will provide a subtle welcome to your new husband.
And while you’re at it, rearrange your furniture, too. A new spouse merits a new perspective.
Otherwise, changes can be as major as new carpeting or as subtle as a new arrangement of pictures on the wall. Here’s inspiration from designer Phoebe Howard, aka the “Mrs. Howard,” who owns a line of interior design stores in the South with her husband Jim. We borrowed this quiet, elegant photo from her first book, “The Joy of Decorating” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) to show how effective sotto voce colors and a classic, symmetrical furniture arrangement can be.
Phoebe has hung framed prints around the room in what she calls “orderly grids” to give structure to the walls. Chalk one up for masculinity. Then she balances the grid with feminine, soft bed hangings, scalloped linens and the graceful S-curves of the l9th-century English mahogany stool.
With its gentle tone-on-tone color scheme and timeless antiques, this is a serene scene well set for grown-up happiness the second time around.
Q: Where do color trends come from?
A: From everywhere in the world, according to two color experts, Doty Horn of ColorVoyant and Lisa White, creative director of WGSN, the trend analysis and research firm.
They predicted color trends of the future — well, as far as 2013 and 2014 — for members and guests of IFDA (the International Furnishings & Design Assn.) last week during the huge and hugely influential New York International Gift Fair. Among their prognostications:
— Pattern-on-pattern is back, with color as the common denominator.
— Fragility, which Doty defines as “feminine strength” — will be an earmark of coming colors. Look for crumpled-, shattered- and worn-color effects. For lace, look for stitched and frayed finishes, and for “smoggy” and feathery colors, as well.
— Neon brights will offer balance to such fragile effects, says Doty. Think citron, orange glow and yellow, yellow, yellow!
— Local color will take on new meaning, according to Lisa White. Expect renewed interest in classic crafts such as patchworks and ikats, batiks, tie-dyes and African tribal decorations.
— She also foresees “Missoni” effects in color mixes, spatter motifs and yellow, yellow, yellow! as we move into 2014.
Fall Fashion Wish List
By: Sharon Mosley
Move over skinny jeans; there are some new style moves in town this fall, and these clothes are more fun than ever. Yes, fashion is fun again with bright colors, bold shapes and glamorous graphic prints. It’s enough to put you in a shopping mood again. Here’s a quick list of some of the biggest hits this season:
—Tough black leather. You’ve gotta have at least one piece of leather in your wardrobe. It’s the new “go-with-everything” fashion trend that gives you the freedom to mix and match anything and everything as well as add a little new slickness. From sleek zippered jackets to cropped pants or quilted skirts, take your pick and put some modern spin into your life.
—The lace dress. Kate Middleton may have inspired lots of fans with her chic slip dresses covered in lace, but now you, too, can dress like a princess. There are lots of interpretations of this favorite available this fall, and chances are you’ll love wearing one of these to not only any cocktail event but also holiday parties as well.
—Printed pants. These can be tricky but oh, so fun, too. Choose a pair of trousers in a graphic print. (I think the smaller patterns are best.) Then you can pair them with a solid-colored sweater or jacket. If you’re really adventurous, pair printed pants with another coordinating print.
—A colorful coat or jacket. What one piece can really make a statement in your wardrobe this fall? One bold coat or jacket in an intense color. Whether it’s a traditional trench style or a menswear overcoat or a patent parka, any outerwear piece this year makes a real style statement in color from pastels to brights.
—A heavyweight sweater. Cooler weather always means a return to sweater staples. So take advantage of the new textured knits and warm up your wardrobe by mixing them in with your printed pants and skirts.
—The gold piece. Metallics this fall are making a golden statement. Yes, silver always shines, too, but there are plenty of reasons to be a golden girl this season — from shimmering gold jeans to leather shift dresses and embroidered jackets. Accessory tip: Animal print shoes and boots are tres chic with the golden girl glamour.
—The pantsuit. It’s been a few years that working women really had options when it came to getting dressed for the office. If you didn’t work in a creative industry, then it was tough to wake up and throw together separates that had a stylish flair. Now designers have once again embraced matching trousers, pencil skirts and jackets that make getting dressed for work easy again. The suits this fall are made contemporary with architectural silhouettes that are menswear inspired but still feminine. Don’t hesitate to combine these “matched” pieces with other things in your wardrobe … like a leather jacket … or colorful blouses to give them even more versatility.
Next week, the wish list for fall accessories!
How to Get a Cheap Fashion Thrill: the Chiconomy Wardrobe
by: Sharon Mosley
Fashion expert and author Anna Johnson has coined a new word to explain how to get glamour-girl style at bargain prices: “chiconomy.” In Johnson’s latest book, “Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less,” she shares lots of tips on how to skip the lure of “fast fashion” and impulse shopping and still put together an impressive wardrobe.
“When I shop I have watertight ground rules that stop impulse buys in their tracks,” says Johnson. “Clothes need to be well made, have staying power through the seasons, and interlock with other existing mainstays in my wardrobe.”
Here are a few of Johnson’s ground rules for building a “chiconomy” wardrobe:
—Keep it classic. “Because I may want to wear one piece of clothing for several years, I will choose slightly more conservative, classic styles (easy when buying vintage) and then put them hard to work. Every top I own has to go with my favorite rip-off Balenciaga-style tuxedo pants or an A-line skirt. Each dress has to fit at least three occasions. And the jackets need to be day-to-night or trans-seasonal. One pair of shoes and one bag “matches” but the rest don’t have to.”
—Color it neutral. “The palette of my wardrobe is brown, cream, and electric blue for winter and fall. Then white, black, honey beige, and bright yellow for summer. That’s this summer. The splashes of bright color can change season to season but the bedrock of my everyday clothes is monochrome. And monochrome does not literally mean black and white. Black and white can make you look like a waitress. A wardrobe based on black doesn’t really stretch into summer and all white is high maintenance. My vote instead rests with a trio of neutrals that best suit your skin tone. With a uniform set of base tones, there is never any anxiety about what matches because it all blends. It’s total chiconomy.”
—Lay a foundation. “If you can only spend one hundred dollars and want to change your wardrobe, buy a dress or some brilliant pants (not jeans) or a vintage coat, then, as money trickles in, build the wardrobe up from one (or all three) of these items. Personally, I am a coat-and-dress girl. The coat covers all (including much cheaper clothes) and the dress banishes the need for an outfit, spanning the seasons with bare legs and sandals in the summer, and tights and boots in the cooler months.
—Invest and splurge. “The truth about modern fashion is that practically anything you see at the top of the style food chain proffers a knockoff discount version further down the line in almost no time at all. My wardrobe is about ninety-percent vintage and select (ethical trade) el cheapo glamour, and a precious handful of items that are the real thing. Basically I fake everything except the handbag, the coat, and the shades.”
—Wake up your wardrobe with surprises. “A functional, reliable wardrobe is comfortable, but a little low on surprises,” admits Johnson. “For this reason I am forever stocking up on scarves, vintage costume bangles, berets, hosiery in rainbow colors, and classy (but easily faked) details such as oversized sunglasses or a large men’s watch. Wearing uncluttered, slightly plain clothing with very clean lines gives you the head-space and the confidence to go bold with accessories. I call it good fun and even better fiscal fashion sense.”
The East Draws Zest From Layered Patterns
By: Rose Bennett Gilbert
Q: I was intrigued by your recent column on decorating with Moroccan style. I’ve always loved it when there were a lot of different patterns used together (Matisse is my favorite artist). But I’m afraid to try it in my own home. Are there guidelines that would make it easier to put a lot of designs together?
A: There are only three rules you need master to create a successful mix of patterns, Western-style. 1. All the patterns must have a common color denominator. 2. There should be a discernible difference in the scale of the patterns: large, medium, small. 3. A successful mix includes both geometrics and florals.
But that’s talking pattern mixes, Western-style. When it comes to the Moroccan way of layering patterns, the rules are slightly different because you’re mostly dealing with geometrics. You also have more surfaces to decorate. As author/designer Maryam Montague points out in her colorful, new book (“Marrakesh by Design”), Moroccan floors often wear wall-to-wall patterns.
Often, the pattern is on the ceramic tiles, for which the region is famous. However, in the bedroom we show here, borrowed from her book, the cement floor has been stencil-painted (by the author herself). The interlocking design underscores the other patterns in the room, including the red carpet that speaks to the red in the overall floral pattern on the bed throw.
Here, the walls and ceiling are plainly painted. Other rooms in Maryam’s vibrant book have lively tiled walls — especially wainscot-high — and dramatic ceilings, often stencil-painted in exotic colors.
Q: My sister-in-law has a theory that you shouldn’t paint your rooms certain colors because they make people look ugly. I am about to do my bath over in chartreuse (with navy accents). What about it?
A: Chartreuse and navy — so smart together — anywhere but in a bathroom.
Your sister-in-law has a point worth discussing. It’s all about physics. Color bounces. Surround yourself with chartreuse walls and you’ll end up looking greenish yourself. Not what you want to see first thing in the morning.
The good news is, once you understand this phenomenon, you can harness its power and use it to good advantage. So go paint your dining room red, your bedroom a warm rose and enjoy basking in these warm colors’ reflected glory.