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Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

Every time I walk through Barneys designer floor I cannot help but delicately & lovingly caress the juxtaposed fabrics & fibers that are interwoven, draped, embellished & disheveled that compile the always extraordinary Rodarte collection.  The way the dresses act as an entity engulfing it’s owner in such a strangely beautiful way….the way the looped & woven sweaters hang upon its’ owner like a blanket that has been passed down through the generations…all in all the pieces exude love, creativity, art.

It is no wonder that the 2 sisters that comprise Rodarte, Kate & Laura Mulleavy, have become an immediate success.  Originally from Pasadena, CA the sisters studied art history & literature, which makes perfect sense because every piece of their collection tells a story & is a piece of art.  The designer line gave birth to its first collection in 2005 & from there exploded into NY Fashion Week, Vogue, WWD & every high-end store around the world from Bergdorfs to Jeffrey to Colette.  Every on trend celebrity from Kirsten Dunst to Natalie Portman adorns herself in their magnificent dresses, sweaters & legging pants.

Needless to say while I am obsessed with Rodarte the $1000+ price tag is a bit of a hindrance, thus when I read in Vogue that the Mulleavy sisters were designing a capsule collection for Target I literally screamed & danced about my room! Literally. 

December 20th, 2009 Rodarte for Target hit stores.  The collection is to die for!  Let’s just put it this way I was hoarding sizes & styles in the Target dressing room, haha you can only imagine the strange looks I was receiving from my fellow Alabamian Target shoppers that had no idea what I was so freakin’ excited about!  Here are my favorite purchases…now venture to your closest Target store & be in awe for yourself!

Rodarte for Target Leopard Print Lace Dress in Yellow/Black This dress is unbelievable.  A fitted long sleeve minidress with bows decorating the back (picture to the right) it is absolute perfection for a night out!

 

Rodarte for Target crepe slip lace dress in oxford tan/ochre This dress is very reminiscent of their designer collections with the layering of fabrics.  Let me just say this dress is not only fabulous & comes in 3 different colors but also is so comfortable!

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Who would have ever thought a muddy bike ride in Alabama would inspire a phenomenal & innovative sustainable clothing company…oh the wondrous ways the universe works!  Earth Creations is the brainchild of Joy & Martin Ledvina that began over 10 years ago after Joy realized the mud from her bike ride was NOT coming out of her shirt.  From there the wheels started turning & with the combination of Martin’s chemical engineering skills & Joy’s business skills & vision, Earth Creations’ sustainable clothing line was formed!  A humble beginning, the Bessemer, Alabama based company began selling their shirts in malls across the state & the positive feedback from customers was so immense expansion was definitely in order!

Now over 10 years later, the company has completely exploded & produced a full clothing line made from natural fibers such as organic cotton, hemp & bamboo in an array of beautiful clay-dyed colors.  All of their production is completely local, even their sewing facilities are located in Alabama, a rarity now a days with most production going overseas.  I loved the fact that the graphics that adorn their amazingly comfortable shirts are bought straight from artists, supporting creative minds across the United States. 

Meeting with Joy in their Bessemer facilities was such an incredible experience… being able to walk from room to room witnessing the entire production process, as well as seeing the way she & her husband run a sustainable company was completely mind blowing.  Support Earth Creations, a local & sustainable clothing company that not only is progressive environmentally but also fashion forward!

HERE ARE MY TOP HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS FROM EARTH CREATIONS…  Check out their extensive online store, as well as any Whole Foods store to purchase a gift or just something for yourself that will really make a difference!

ONE. JUNEAU JACKET & SYRACUSE SKIRT COME IN AMBER, BLACK, CINNABAR, MUD, PATINA & TOPAZ

 

 

TWO. MOD HOODIE TUNIC/DRESS COMES IN AMBER, BLACK, CINNABAR, MUD, PATINA & TOPAZ & LUCIOUS LEGGINGS COME IN BLACK, MUD & TOPAZ

 

THREE.  COMFORTABLE & FABULOUS YOGA CLOTHES, LIKE THE DEL RIO TOP & THE DHARMA PANT THAT COME IN BLACK, CELADON, CITRINE, MOONSTONE, TOPAZ & WHITE….THESE 2 ITEMS ARE FROM THE UPCOMING SPRING 2010 COLLECTION OUT JANUARY 2010!  CHECK OUT THEIR INCREDIBLE FALL YOGA OPTIONS ON THE EARTH CREATIONS ONLINE SHOP.

 

 

FOUR. CHILDREN’S GRAPHIC TEES

 

AND LASTLY HERE ARE EARTH CREATIONS TOP GREEN TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS:
1. Wrap it up. Think outside the wrapping paper aisle!  Reuse old paper or make your own keepsake pieces with stamps and other art supplies.  Borrow from Japanese culture and create a furoshiki, or traditional Japanese wrapping cloth – a beautiful scarf or embroidered towel can make a stunning and reusable gift-wrap.
2. Season’s greetings.  Send tree-free holiday cards, such as those made from hemp or rag, or e-cards.
3. Hold a zero-waste holiday party.  It’s easy – put the word out via an online invitation site; use washable table linens, cutlery and plates; decorate with found nature items; and dim the lights.
4. Travel green.  No, you don’t have to go over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house in a horse-drawn sleigh.  But do pack lightly; less weight equals less fuel, whether it’s a plane or a car.  If flying, coordinate flight times with other relatives to save trips to the airport.  And remember the train where possible.
5. Buy greener gifts. Shop for gifts that make you feel good about giving and please your loved ones.  From earth creations, check out the cozy Whoppie Cap and the multipurpose, works-on-anyone Shiver Scarf!

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Over a delicious lunch at Urban Standard in downtown Birmingham, my friend Kelly & I decided a collaboration is in order!  What kind of collaboration you ask?? Well Kelly is a phenomenal photographer & I adore styling, especially when I get to display my own clothing & accessories….thus we decided a photo shoot should be next on our to do list!  Here are the results, enjoy!

Photography by Kelly Merrill Cummings of Spindle Photography, click above for a closer look!

While I am in no way a model, I am quite obsessed with showing off my new fall finds…the first one being my new leather dress by Gestuz from one of my favorite boutiques, Swank 35223.  I’ve decided this dress is the perfect ULBD (updated little black dress).  For a more casual day look, I’ve worn my leather dress with oxford shoes & a cozy Pashmina.  Above Kelly photographed me in a more dressy look complete with an H&M lace top, Topshop over the knee boots, a statement pearl ring & an oversize pink clutch-all important trends this season.  This leather dress is the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe as it is extremely versatile.

Photography by Kelly Merrill Cummings of Spindle Photography, click above for a closer look!

My second favorite fall item is my cranberry one-piece jumper by Black Halo from one of my fashion secrets….Gilt Groupe– an online shopping experience complete with discounted designer pieces!  I paired it with my vintage navy Yves Saint Laurent blazer, Topshop gray & pink suede platform heels & statement chandelier earrings-again all important fall trends.  It is perfect for a night out with the girls, a holiday party or a trendy day look!  I even made a new friend in my cranberry jumper…she was quite stylish herself in her pink Coach collar!

Photography by Kelly Merrill Cummings of Spindle Photography, click above for a closer look!

My last fall obsession is my Mackage leather & fur jacket from Swank 35223.  Owner of Swank, Emily Dees Boulden got me hooked on this outerwear label a few years ago & I’ve been a dedicated fan ever since; 3 jackets down many more to come!  Paired above with fuchsia (shades of purple are the most important color palette this season) leggings by Splendid (highly recommend this brand, they are insanely comfortable!), a gray Vince turtleneck, brown ballet flats & vintage onyx & pearl earrings.


LOVE THE PHOTOGRAPHY?? Contact Kelly at tachee@gmail.com

LOVE THE STYLING?? Contact Megan at megan@southernfemme.com

LOOK OUT FOR MORE COLLABORATIONS TO COME!!

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SEVENTH GRADE, a monumental time for many reasons…transition to the Junior High, making new friends, harder classes & most importantly it was time to start dressing like a ‘cool teenager’.  For my generation this included Paris blue jeans, Steve Madden platforms, butterfly clips, skants (skirt + pant), 3 Dot & Michael Stars tees, along with many, many other tragic combinations of “trends”.  All of this being said the ‘it’ place to purchase these trends & more was Laura Kathryn boutique in Crestline Village (a suburb of Birmingham, AL).  I remember begging my parents to take me there before 7th grade dances to get a fashionable new dress…and of course every purchase was made complete with the fact that it was from Laura Kathryn.  Today Laura Kathryn remains a hub of fashion in the south, recently made more fashion forward by new owner, Leslie Pittman.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Leslie to discuss fall trends, fashion designers & her story that brought her to Laura Kathryn.  Walking into the store I was taken aback by how much the store has changed since those 7th grade days…the feel is much more modern yet still ‘homey’.  I especially love the way the store has a gorgeous partition behind the front counter allowing the shopper to admire the clothing in the various nooks & crannies, it’s like an adventure if you will…

Leslie now that fall is here (in the south it is just now becoming cold enough to wear sweaters & such!), what are your favorite trends this season?

Hmmm…I’ll begin with accessories, I would have to say ankle boots, truly everyone needs a pair!  They go with EVERYTHING from skirts to jeans.  I guess I’m on a boot kick because I would also definitely advocate purchasing a pair of over the knee boots & flat boots.  Clothing styles I adore right now include lace, embellishments like sequins or studs & lastly draping, as long as you wear it with a proportional bottom (draped top + skinny jeans).  Then color-wise I think shades of amethyst are very important & work well with every skin & hair color.  Here are my favorite examples of these trends from Laura Kathryn:

From left: Cynthia Vincent; Corso Como; Frye; Winston

From left: Tibi lace blouse; Hype embellished top; Splendid draped top

From left: Owner Leslie Pittman sporting THE color of the season, amethyst; Rebecca Taylor embellished blouse

What’s on your holiday gift guide?

For acquaintance or hostess gifts I would suggest the ever popular Hanky Pankys, which come in a variety of fabulous colors & prints, Star Luna t-shirts & patterned tights from Michael Stars.  For that big present it’s all about the statement this season from a statement jacket, like this one from Hunter Dixon, to statement jewelry.

Although I’m sure you love everything in your store, if you had to pick ,what are your favorite lines at Laura Kathryn?

I personally love wearing Tibi, Alice & Olivia & Rebecca Taylor but Ella Moss, Liquid & Susana Monaco are favorites of our customers. 

Are you vying for any new lines for spring?

We are very excited to be getting quite a few new lines!  Joie, Alexis Bittar jewelry (one of my personal obsessions!), Ella Moss Swimwear & Frock by Tracy Reese to name a few.

What is your ‘go to look’ for a holiday party?

I have 2 favorite looks for this holiday season.  One being opaque tights paired with a fabulous print or solid pop of color dress & a statement heel.  The second being a satin tuxedo pant with a festive top (not to be confused with a holiday sweater/vest/blouse, Southern Femme does not approve of the wearing of anything jingling, singing, fuzzy or adorned with snowmen & candy canes) and of course a statement heel.  All that being said the best way to step up any look is confidence!  Remember that fashion is a state of mind, you can wear anything you put your mind to, have fun it’s just fashion!

Leslie I could not agree more with your last statement, fashion is all about fun & confidence!  On that note let’s switch gears, tell me about your background, what led you to purchasing Laura Kathryn?

After graduating from Southern Methodist University I moved back to Birmingham & started working as a sales associate at Laura Kathryn.  From there I moved to store manager, then buyer, then eventually owner!  It is such a surreal experience but I’m loving taking this landmark boutique & applying my own vision to every facet from the store’s decor, to the clothing lines we carry, to the events we host.

Speaking of events, any holiday promotions or events we should know about?

This year we are doing a wish list for our customers.  What this means is if you come into the store before Wednesday November 25th you can fill out a wish list of items in the store, along with a list of your ‘elves’.  We will then take the initiative to email your wish list to your elves, whether that be your parents, boyfriend, friends, etc.  Throughout the month of December we will be doing special discounts for your elves so you get exactly what you desire for the holidays.

Now for something fun, if you could have any celebrity represent Laura Kathryn based on her style, attitude, clothing line choices, who would you choose?

That is a hard one! (some time passes…) I would have to say Katherine Hiegel!  Love her.

 I ❤ LAURA KATHRYN.  GO VISIT THE STORE LOCATED AT: 61 Church Street, Birmingham, AL.

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Playback clothing

After attending a Green Resource Center of Alabama event last week I was inspired to uncover some new eco-friendly fashions.  My favorite find: PLAYBACK Clothing based out of Brooklyn, NY….think American Apparel but more sustainable & honestly more classic than trendy hipster.  The founder, Adam Siskind is adamant about making products that are at least 70% recycled, if not 100% recycled!  They save literally tons of textile waste from going into landfills & since they are recycling already made goods they do not require extra natural resources like land, water & energy.  Thanks to the amazingly informative PLAYBACK website here is a brief diagram on how their clothing is created:

Playback Clothing process

 

PLAYBACK is more than just recycled clothing; the company also strives to take a humanistic approach to sustainability.  They only work with factories that are WRAP (Worldwide Recognized Apparel Production) certified, monitored, and inspected regularly.  By building long term relationships with both local & international factories they are able to help build better economic situations for communities in need.  Lastly, they conduct Life Cycle Analysis studies on all of their products to help determine ways to reduce PLAYBACK’s environmental effect in more ways than just their phenomenal recycled clothing!  For example, they realized that the amount of transportation & energy they were using was negatively effecting the environment, thus they opted to gather discarded fabric & bottles from sites closer to their factories.

 

Playback Clothing tshirt & dyes

 

The clothing is well-made, well-designed & beautifully colored-I promise no earthy, crunchy clothing allowed.  Now do your part & SHOP!

Playback Clothing shop image

 

                          All images are courtesy of playbackclothing.com

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Papo d'Anjo pink dress

We southerners have an affinity for all things hand crafted, traditional, tasteful & of course beautiful.  That being said if you are a true Southern Femme you are going to be ecstatic to see the Papo d’Anjo Spring 2010 Collection…I know I was mesmerized by this Portuguese based high end children’s clothing line.

American born Catherine Monteiro de Barros married & moved to Portugal in 1991 & a mere four years later began her hand-crafted children’s clothing line, Papo d’Anjo named after a popular Portuguese pastry (click here for the recipe!).  She wanted to treat American mothers to decadently detailed & well made European clothing that can be passed down from generation to generation- Lord knows we southerners love to pass down family heirlooms & anything that represents tradition!

Catherine Monteiro de Barros

Catherine Monteiro de Barro (far left) with Melanie Trump & her son Barron


While Papo d’Anjo can be found in well known department stores like Harrods in London, the clothing line can also be purchased via their website, catalog & trunk shows!  Get excited Southern Femmes: Lisbon, Portugal based Papo d’Anjo has arrived in Birmingham, Alabama!  This week, Monday October 19th through Thursday October 22nd, Kelli Kelly, Sara Luther Schilleci & Melissa Singleton are hosting a Papo d’Anjo trunk show showcasing the precious Summer 2010 Collection.

What you will find when perusing through the new collection is an array of tasteful patterns such as coral, gingham & even Liberty prints!  My favorite prints of the Spring 2010 Collection is their collaboration with the famous 130+ year old Liberty clothing company.  Sweet tunics, dresses, bloomers & tops for girls then button downs & shorts for boys are just the beginning of the wide array of gorgeous pieces that Papo d’Anjo is offering for the warm weather to come.  Catherine Monteiro de Barros knows exactly how to design & create adorable & age appropriate clothing for boy & girls from newborns to 16 year olds…it’s clothing that both you & your children will love with its traditional meets trendy prints & designs.

Spring 2010 Collection Spring 2010 Boys Collection

One last facet of this phenomenal company is their made-to-order clothing called The Bespoke Collection.  It is a personal way to create the perfect Baptism gown, ring bearer suit, flower girl dress or any other ensemble for a special occasion.  Again what Southern Femme does not want her children looking extra special in clothing made from luxurious European fabrics & designs?!

The Bespoke Collection

For an exclusive look at the Papo d’Anjo Spring 2010 Collection all Southern Femmes are invited to attend this biannual trunk show this week, Oct. 19th-22nd, at the home of Kelli Kelly in Birmingham, Alabama.  What a fabulous way to get your holiday shopping behind you while ultimately purchasing pieces that your children will be able to pass down to their own children one day!

PAPO D’ANJO SPRING 2010 COLLECTION TRUNK SHOW:

KELLI KELLY 208 DEXTER AVE BIRMINGHAM, AL 35213

(205) 879-2235 KELLI KELLY (205) 370-9844 SARA LUTHER SCHILLECI (205) 914-7335 MELISSA SINGLETON

MONDAY OCT. 19TH: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

TUESDAY OCT. 20TH: 9 AM TO 4 PM (SALE ITEMS-COME EARLY!)

WEDNESDAY OCT. 21ST: 9 AM TO 4 PM & 7 PM TO 9 PM

THURSDAY OCT. 22ND: 9 AM TO 2 PM

 

Papo d'Anjo logo

      Images courtesy of www.papodanjo.com

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Over the Knee Topshop boot

I remember thinking when I first saw the plethora of over the knee boots at the fall 2009 runway shows, ‘Who would actually wear those?  I mean you would definitely look like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman!’…. Well I was COMPLETELY mistaken! 

The Chloe fall collection, which showed a wide variety of over the knee boots (see below), planted that first seed of desire that stayed with me long enough to finally purchase my very own pair of black suede over the knee heeled boots from Topshop (see above)!  These boots are quite daunting upon first glance, even pulling them out of the crisp white Topshop box I was hesitant, what if I look like ridiculous in these? Again I was sooo very wrong!  I’M OBSESSED.

Wear them like Kate Moss & Stella McCartney (see below) over skinny pants, jeans or leggings OR wear with a mini dress for a hot night look-I recently wore mine with my black lace dress that I recently purchased in Austin, TX & it was a major success if I do say so myself… They could even be made work appropriate if paired with a conservative pencil skirt, ruffle front blouse & cardigan or fitted jacket!

Chloe over the knee boots

                                 Chloe RTW fall 2009

 

over-the-knee-boots

               Designer RTW fall 2009 looks all showcasing over the knee boots!

 

Stella and Kate over the knee boots

Two of my style icons, Kate Moss & Stella McCartney, looking chic & fabulous in over the knee boots!

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