The Textures of Dolce & Gabbana


Yesterday, to savor the last of my free days before school starts, I went for lunch and window-shopping at Neiman Marcus (at the Short Hills Mall). I always enjoy browsing through the racks of high-end clothing that I can't afford, but it was even better this time because I'd reviewed most of these collections before, and seeing them up-close sprouted new ideas from the details. I particularly relished the Dolce & Gabbana collection. I reviewed the runway show and collection back in June, but when viewing it from a blurry laptop screen, you don't quite catch all the details. Actually holding the clothes in my hands, seeing and feeling the details, was really amazing. Being up-close to the clothes I gazed at from my laptop was incredible; like I was already part of a secret by seeing the collection online, but I got the other half of that secret by feeling it between my fingers. It was like being next to a piece of great art; surreal almost.

Photographed, you clearly see that there is a print, but close you notice that there is a print on the fabric (a lovely painted effect with great detail), and that it's a very thick fabric, with floral embellishments. Not even this photo shows how lovely of a texture it is.
You really don't see the detail from the pictures and videos.
I was really amazed at how thick the fabrics were. Thick, but not heavy. 


Italian Mosaic.

Unlike the others, this fabric was light and flowed like liquid.
Engraved and printed.


New Arrivals @ Kate Spade!

The new Kate Spade Collection is here at last, and just in time for Labor Day! This new collection was inspired by the Shanghai art deco era, but with usual Kate Spade character and humor. Some recurring motifs include fans, fortune cookies, bird cages, and, of course, pearls and dots. Here are my favorites:

Song Bird Emanuelle
Evening Belles Mabelle - *Available in 3 colors!*
Deco Dot A Line Dress 
Maxine Pearl Sweater - A sweater with the pearls included - how perfect is this?
Zooey Skirt
Sedgewick Rain Boots - It says 'rain boots', but I wouldn't dare wear these in the rain. 
Tock Flats - *Available in 3 colors!* 

Lissie Heels - Perfect combination of two alredy-perfect things: pearls & bows. 
Songbird Pendant - I think this is a sweet necklace, with lovely, small, details.

Finish Touch Polka Dot Bangle

All of these will be included on the Shop page, and you can find the entire collection here.

DIY Lilly Pulitzer Notebook

During these precious few days before school starts, I've decided to get crafty and creative. It could get expensive buying already decorated school supplies, and they wouldn't have the same personal flair as making your own.


Supplies:
  • Lilly Pulitzer paper shopping bag or any printed out print of your choice (I used Lilly Pulitzer, but you could really do this with any paper or print)
  • Clear Tape
  • Notebook to cover (composition or spiral)
  • Paper in a contrasting color or print
Method One:
Find enough print to fit the front cover of your notebook.
Trace the edges of your notebook with a pencil, leaving about an inch or two extra on all the sides, and cut along the lines.
Tape over for a smooth edge along the sides of your notebook. 
So far, just the front is covered.
If your print couldn't fit both sides of your notebook, cut more out, but tape the contrasting color over the edges.
Add more of the contrasting color as a label on the front cover.
I used a Lilly paper shopping bag, so I made a bow out of the ribbon handles, and put more of the printed paper on the ends so it wouldn't fray and unravel.

Method Two:


Cut out parts of your print, in my case I cut out flowers, and tape them to your notebook cover. This may sound easier, but a lot of Lilly prints are detailed and have edges that are hard to cut, so cut out large details - big flowers. Then, I cut a label out of a contrasting color, and weaved the other ribbon handle around the outside.
Don't forget the back!
You can also do this to already printed folders and notebooks.
There's only so much that can help you do better during the school year, fun school supplies is one of those things, but in the end, it's really down to you to do well.

Practical Back to School Tips That Actually Work

During this time, you find 'Back to School Tricks' and the like everywhere, with generic tips like study more, get more sleep, eat healthier, be prepared, etc. I think we can agree that in the beginning we all try to follow these rules, and they work pretty well for the first couple weeks of school. Then, you start following them less and less until it's the middle of March, or sooner, and all we have left is half a pencil, a crumpled paper, and more stress than we need (sound familiar?). These tips sound pretty good reading them, and you can envision yourself putting them into action, but in reality, it's a bit more complicated. That's why today I bring to you Practical Back to School Tips That Actually Work.

1. Don't Show Up On the First Day with All 50 of Your Pencils. I say pencils, but this is for all of your materials really. Don't bring all of your school supplies in on the first day, just bring some. If you only have 5 pencils with you, then you might be a bit more frugal and careful with them, not lending them out to everybody and leaving them everywhere. Mark a point every two months, or so, where you restock your supplies. Say the first Monday of every month you give yourself 5 more pencils. That way, you don't get to that point in March where all of your supplies are used, lent to people who do not return, or MIA. You can do the same with enthusiasm. Have a point every month, or so, when you step back and look at everything good that you've done, and refresh yourself with a newfound passion to learn and do well. It's much better to gradually use all of your materials, rather than use all of them in your first month.
2. Be Realistic. It's not practical to have spent the summer going to bed at 2 am and waking up at noon, then when the first day of school comes round you go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6:30. About a week or so before your school/work starts, try going to bed half an hour, an hour, or even 15 minutes earlier each night. Also in the realistic category, don't go into the school year thinking that you'll get all A's, and eat healthier, and exercise, and participate in extracurriculars. You can't study all the time and compete on 5 sports teams and be student government president and be social (well, maybe you can, but I don't think that it's healthy to.) Know your limits, but also push yourself to do something different. Take up different activities gradually and it'll be easier to fit them all in your schedule, while still having time for yourself.
3. Make Sacrifices. Not of the fatal variety, but much easier versions by comparison. This really works if you procrastinate and wait until the very last minute for everything. If you get an assignment, tell yourself you're going to do a certain amount that day, and if you don't, then sacrifice something such as dessert or TV. You can't go to that movie with your friends until you finish your paper. With sacrifices also comes rewards, so be sure to reward yourself for doing well, too. If you study and get an A then you get ice cream, or something like that. It's all about manipulating your pains and pleasures to be your best.
4. REST. Rest is one of the most important parts to a successful year, and unfortunately, one of the most forgotten. With so many things to accomplish, you might forget to rest your body and mind. At one point last year, I became very stressed and overwhelmed because I had so much to do and think about, that even when I was sleeping I wasn't really resting. I didn't wake up refreshed and ready to go. I was constantly grumpy and hectic, and it feels like there is always a weight on your back. You really just need to remember to take a step back, breathe, and reorganize. Remember that it's not the end of the world and that it'll all work out. What I like to do when I'm feeling like this is to tell myself that in the future, this probably won't matter at all and I won't even remember it. If I do happen to remember it, I'll probably laugh at about how worked up I was over such a little thing. Picture your ideal, happy future, where you won't remember getting frustrated about studying for tests. I know many of you don't ride horses so this probably won't make sense, but it's like when you are first learning to canter: you might get stuck with a super fast bouncy trot and keep trying to canter, but it won't work unless you reorganize back to the walk and try again. Just step back and look at the situation with unbiased light.
Cheers to a great school year!

Rising Fashion Icon: Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery always manages to catch your attention on, and off, the red carpet. She's always up there in the list for best dressed, and for a valid reason. Her style is classic, but not traditional (much like one of her many characters, Lady Mary Crawley). You normally spot her in a classical silhouette, with bright and fun colors. And although her looks do not look the same at all, they are all distinctly in her style, therefore the same category, but this is not true for many other celebrities. The different looks fit her and her character, but I think if somebody else wore all of them it wouldn't work at all.

I love this for obvious reasons (hint: the title of this blog...)



This has to be my favorite look, I think.

Even casual she's classic.



She wore this to the 66th Emmys only yesterday, I do stay on top of things, and it was a bit out of the typical-Michelle-Dockery-zone, but I think it worked.

Links From the Week (& Weekend)

Okay, here's some of the interesting pictures, articles, bits, pieces, etc. that I've gathered for you from the past week and weekend. What a great way to start off your Monday!
Original Image via Pinterest.
First up, the VMA's were last night, in case you didn't get a chance to catch them, like me, Teen Vogue's got you covered with all of the looks.

Like I said, I didn't get a chance to watch the Video Music Awards (I never do anyway), because I was watching Breathless on PBS. Yet another British drama, with a sprinkling (yes, only a sprinkling) of mystery, set in the early 60's. (1960's that is, not in the future).

I found this video concerning protecting your skin against the sun a nice reminder, I only regret that it had to come at the end of summer.

This 'How to Be a Sloanie Social Butterfly' guide from our friends at the Sloane Ranger Blog. I think it's meant to be humorous, but you may need to take it seriously in certain situations.

This week, here at Plaid Is My Favourite Colour, I added both a Brands page and a Shop page for your, and my, convenience.

The New York Times style magazine just came in the mail, and I found the interview with Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton to be particularly interesting.

And Finally, queen of fashion, Anna Wintour, did the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, after being nominated by her daughter, Bee. That classic bob of hers still managed to stay perfect...

Karlie Kloss' Equestrian Adventures in Peru

The equestrian look is a fall classic. Clean lines, tradition, neutral colors, and most importantly, leather. Being an equestrienne myself, I am proud to say that I don this style year round. Karlie Kloss tried out the equestrian style in this new shoot, photographed by Mario Testino, via vogue.com, but gave it a twist with rich, ornate, Peruvian style. Not your classic, autumnal, English riding attire, but done tastefully with southern flare.

Let's be honest, that horse is the center of attention in this picture. Sorry Karlie.


I love the warm palette used throughout the entire shoot. The rich browns, reds, yellows, and orange-y chestnuts, with the occasional earthy green. 




What to Look Out for This Fall

I've rounded up all the trends to-be for this fall, from various sources, because I like my readers to be on top of things.


Vibrant, Monsters-like Fur Coats. From Vogue.com
This Giambattista Valli coat (on the left) also falls into this category. Read my full review of Giambattsta Valli here

Knits.
Boot-Cut Pants. Note that the first look is also knitted (double-trend!)

Texture Blocking. Like color-blocking, matching different textures for a contrast.
From Tatler.com
From The New Yorker Fashion Issue. Remember this post on how food was becoming a popular fashion inspiration?
Faux-Food Accessories
Shearling Coats. Pictured above is a look from the Burberry Prorsum Collection. Read my full review for that collection, all the way back in March, here. (I warn you, my writing might not be up to par at that early point in my blog...)
Florals. I first noticed florals for fall on my review of the Dolce and Gabbana 2015 f/w show. To make them fall florals, rather than spring, a darker background color is used.
Dark, Classic Coats are always seen in fall, hence the 'classic'. How you style it is what may make it 'trendy'...
Red and Blue Dresses. I'm glad to see color this fall. This will be a nice change from the usual, earthy palettes that you see during fall.
Dramatic Gloves. I am actually quite happy about this because my mother has all these vintage, dressy gloves that I would love to wear, but never seem to have anywhere where it wouldn't look ridiculous. But I suppose part of being original and unique is looking ridiculous at times...
This Black & White trend is not surprising because we saw so much black and white in the spring collections. Black and white has been and will be a yearlong trend.

Remember to stay true to your style this fall, no matter the trends. Trends will come and go every season, but only your style will stick with you forever.