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Ralph, Stella and Giorgio Give the Olympics a Surge of Style

Ralph Lauren Olympics London 2012 Collection

With less than 100 days until the Olympic torch lights up London, there’s a frenzy over the athletes, naturally, but there’s also a major showdown brewing between fashion houses who are designing the clothing for the teams. America’s athletes will be dressed for the opening and closing ceremonies by none other than Ralph Lauren, who’s an old hat at the gig. He’s done it for both the winter and summer games alike. The Brits will be dressed by Stella McCartney. For those questioning her ability to propel performers with her high style, she’s been working with Adidas since ’04. And not to be outdone, the Italian team has hired Giorgio Armani to outfit them on and off the courts. But who’ll come out on top? You’ll have to wait for the games in August for a medal count, but we’ve got a preview of the athlete’s gear kits. You decide who’s bringing the most style to the games this summer.

Ralph Lauren Olympics London 2012 Collection

While his main line has been known to riff on everything from the allure of the Old West to the Jazz Age and most recently, Downton Abbey, Ralph’s collection for the 2012 Olympics goes back to what he’s known for worldwide: clean, American sportswear.

Polos, oxford cloth shirts and more are emblazoned with varsity-style accents in red, white and blue. It’s got a yacht or country club vibe overall, especially with pieces like the women’s closing ceremony shirtdress-style separates and the mens’ repp-tie belt. The collection’s not just for athletes, though. Key pieces from the Olympic series will be available for purchase online and at Ralph’s boutiques nationwide.

Team Great Britain Olympic Collection by Stella McCartney

Team Great Britain Olympic Collection by Stella McCartney

While she’s known for tailoring and cozy knitwear, Stella McCartney’s kits for Team GB take more from her line of yoga gear for Adidas than her Paris runway shows.

Riffing on the Union Jack, McCartney’s deconstructed the iconic flag (leaving little chance of a Ginger Spice moment at the Olympics) and married it to the technology of Adidas’ performance wear.

While the uniforms take cues from the British symbol, McCartney admits to injecting high fashion into the designs. No word yet on what the athletes will wear while they’re parading into the stadium for the opening ceremony, but if her track record of illusion dresses and super-flattering cuts are any indication, we might see her bestie Gwyneth sporting it on the way to celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson’s Olympic-caliber workouts.

Giorgio Armani Presents the official Olympics outfits for Italy

Armani Olympic Sketches

For the Italian team, Giorgio Armani’s diffusion brand Emporio Armani will be outfitting the athletes for the summer competition. In the promotional video, athletes Anzhelika Savrayuk, Antonietta Di Martino, Matteo Aicardi and Andrea Cassara showcase the outfits in their respective sports. Savrayuk glitters in rhinestones for rhythmic gymnastics and the others showcase the EA7 line’s blend of style and performance for fencing and more. Like the Ralph Lauren Olympic collection, the EA7 collection will be available for purchase in-store. And we’re guessing this chic, sexy collection might just be the thing to get you to abandon your Lululemons, love them as we do!

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Joan Smalls Teams with L.A.’s True Religion Jeans

Joan Smalls x True Religion

Model-turned-actress? It seems that this year, catwalk queens are eschewing the silver screen for the design table. Joan Smalls, the Victoria’s Secret angel and regular stomper for brands such as Alexander Wang and Balmain, is the latest model to release a capsule collection for a denim line. Smalls paired up with L.A.’s own True Religion for a 16-piece collection of high-watt looks that are anything but typical. Look elsewhere for that model off duty look, because this collection is more about Smalls’ own urban, athletic personal style.

Joan Smalls x True Religion

Small’s favored silhouette is definitely sexy, because her collection includes second skin styles in bold hues and high rises.

Paired with her skin-baring underpinnings, she’s bringing together a slew of the season’s best trends: athleisure, lingerie dressing and ’70s denim shapes. Think it’s all too much? Think again, because it’s a sleek and sexy collab that’s sure to fly off the shelves. Priced between $58 and $238, expect to see those boyfriends sweatshirts (emblazoned with “Don’t Believe me Just Watch”) on the street style set any day now.

Check out Smalls’ video for the brand below, which showcases the collection as well as Smalls’ high gloss brand of personal style.

Images courtesy True Religion
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Monday Muse: Cynthia Rowley Goes to the Gym for Resort 2015

Cynthia Rowley Resort 2015

You worked hard for your rock-hard, bikini-baring summer bod, right? Well, if you fell a bit behind on toning your behind, Cynthia Rowley is out to make a case for activewear that you can wear in and out of the gym. Her latest resort collection blended the world of fashion and athleticism, all out of fabrics that she developed in-house, and the result is an entire wardrobe that you can wear to SoulCycle to sweat it out and then Joan’s on Third to refuel without changing a single thing.

For a few years now, Rowley has been offering rash guards and wetsuits for stylish surf babes, but with Resort 2015, she’s expanding to include more than just pieces you’d wear to ride the waves. The collection was full of sporty separates, which were made from a special bonded fabric that felt much lighter and much more luxe than run-of-the-mill neoprene (which has been appearing in both men’s and women’s collections with more frequency these past few years). Floral leggings incorporated function with the addition of a hidden back pocket at the waist and her latest rash guards were piped with a metallic silver — who else could have conjured up surf basics that could double as evening wear? Rowley hopes that her fans, old and new, will incorporate these sporty pieces into their daily rotation, which seems perfect when you come up on pieces such as striped skinny pants or digital-print sweatshirts, which are her take on the fashion sweatshirt that has taken the runways by storm.

Cynthia Rowley Resort 2015

Floral sneakers looked perfect for a quick run, but the collection also included chunky-heeled slides (paired with socks for a few looks) that added the perfect amount of fashion to the functional pieces.

Rowley mixed those accessories in with her mashup of activewear and ready-to-wear, including rash guards under cocktail dresses and heels with racing-stripe embellished tunics. The signature Rowley whimsy came via chunky leather bracelets that doubled as one-pound wrist weights — they’re sure to sell out, so get your name on the list pronto — and the floral print on leggings and knits that softened the usually-harsh lines that pervade the activewear world. So for those girls who love wearing their Lulu whether they’re about to sweat it out or not, Rowley’s collection will make the transition seamlessly.

Shop our favorite Cynthia Rowley pieces:

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L.A.’s Sundry Teams with J. Crew for a Surf-Inspired Capsule Collection

Looks from Sundry’s spring 2014 collection

Sundry for J. Crew

In addition to taking inspiration from California’s sunny shores (and our laid-back style) with their new Point Sur denim line, J. Crew’s teamed up with LA.-based Sundry for a surf-ready capsule collection that’s full of summer essentials.

The one-year-old label (which you can currently find at Beckley) has gained cult status here in Los Angeles, gaining a celeb following thanks to soft-as-air tees and throw-over-anything hoodies that are light and beg to be layered, but we’re sure that this partnership will give Sundry the exposure it need to be on the top of everyone’s summer shopping list from coast to coast.

Sundry for J.

Crew

The six-piece collection hits select J. Crew stores on May 19 (and will be available online May 21) and brings together J. Crew’s prep roots with Sundry’s more relaxed vibe in a selection of graphic tees, sweats and shorts. The tee shirts, which range from boxy muscle tees emblazoned with a palm graphic to bold basics printed with sunny destinations. St. Barth’s and Montauk? We told you there was prep in this collection.

Palm trees make another appearance on the collection’s bottoms, which include sweatshorts and sweatpants that are perfect to throw on after a morning surf session. Plus, they’re reminiscent of the whimsical, embroidered critter pants that make an appearance every summer on preppy guys and girls alike. The collection begins at $68 for a graphic tee and $106 for the apr¨s-surf sweatpants.

Shop the Sundry for J. Crew collection at www.jcrew.com.

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Sarah Jessica Parker to Launch SJP Shoe Line at Nordstrom

Sarah Jessica Parker

This isn’t Parker’s first foray into the world of fashion. Previously, SJP was at the helm of Halston Heritage, but that gig, no matter how short-lived, only whet her appetite for a more solid position in the world of fashion. Her namesake label however, was done on her terms. SJP’s shoes are manufactured in Italy and like Parker’s own closet, offers classic shapes — including a style inspired by the holy grail Manolo Blahnik Mary Jane that she spied in the Vogue closet — and more statement-making offerings.

“I’m allergic to the idea that certain shoes are for certain occasions,” adds Parker. “It’s too limiting. And as Pat Field taught me, toss out any rules. I sure did.”

Glamour‘s February issue

The shoes made their debut when Glamour magazine dedicated an entire spread to the line (Lucky and Harpers had previously given a sneak peek of just one style each), showing off a pair of flats, the aforementioned Mary Janes and a fashion-forward mashup of Timberland boot and peep-toe heel reminiscent of Beyonc©’s shoe of choice when she first went solo.

There are classic pumps on offer, too, so we’re sure that everyone will find something that they’ll definitely want to add to their collections. Each shoe’s named after a leading lady, adding some Hollywood cach© to the already glamorous lineup.

In addition to shoes, the SJP line will include accessories, though Parker’s remained tight-lipped on just what the scope of SJP will include. A few of Carrie Bradshaw’s outfits revolved entirely around a specific shoe, so we can only imagine what Parker’s got planned now that she’s built a solid foundation with footwear. An entire lifestyle brand? We wouldn’t dismiss the idea — in fact, we’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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Monday Muse: Vintage Treasures Inspire Pam & Gela Fall 2015

Pam & Gela Fall 2015

Say what you want about Pam & Gela. They don’t push the fashion envelope forward? They’re too commercial? They’ll laugh it all off, leaving a wake of rhinestones and fringe in their wedge-soled footsteps. Why? Because the clothes they make are selling, and girls €” celebs and real shoppers alike €” are all buying into the world of L.A. bohemia that the brand stands for. This season, the contemporary line has tapping into the thrill of the hunt.

Part of living in Los Angeles is scouring the Rose Bowl Flea Market and vintage shops for chubby furs, fringed vests and suede everything, but there’s something to be said about just heading to Saks or Bloomingdale’s and finding it all there on gleaming, pristine racks. P&G have done just that, offering up the pieces that girls are searching for high and low, all in a collection that will have L.A. babes and vintage mavens worldwide swiping their credit cards.

Pam & Gela Fall 2015

Last season, everyone’s attention was set squarely on the terry “jeans” that the designing duo created, and they were back, but this time, they were joined with faux furs, bohemian-tinged tunics and plenty of leather pieces.

It’s the type of thing girls hope for with every trip to the Goodwill or the Salvation Army. But instead of coming up with mothball scented disappointment, Pam & Gela have created those pieces with the perfect modern cuts and easy-to-wear fabrics. Knits were loose and cozy, leather pants were second-skin and there was fringe on just about everything. Festival fashion is being thrown around more often than ever, but in the world of Pam & Gela, every day is chance to live out the desert chic, boho babe fantasies that seem so far away during a trudge through the 9 to 5.

For more information, visit www.pamandgela.com.

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Cheap Thrills: Christopher Luu’s Animal-Friendly Taxidermy

Cardboard Safari Tex Longhorn Bust

Whatever your thoughts on PETA, you can’t argue that most guys love to have a few masculine touches in their environs. Barbie fashion sketches? They’re probably not the best choice for a man cave, but that doesn’t mean that neon beer lights and old Nagel posters are the way to go. For a masculine touch that doesn’t involve getting a live animal in your crosshairs, try the Cardboard Safari Tex Longhorn Bust ($55), an animal friendly take on taxidermy that any guy would be proud to hang in his abode.

“I have a few of these, which might seem crazy, but they look great all grouped together,” says Christopher Luu, Fashion Trends Daily’s Menswear Editor.

“This all-American longhorn is next on my list. Maybe it’s because the fair is in town, but I’m all bout bringing some livestock indoors.”

Cardboard Safari made a name for itself by rendering taxidermy rhinos and big game animals in cardboard, but the line has since expanded to include an entire menagerie of animals and even a few furniture pieces. We love the classic brown cardboard, but if you’re a little more carefree and colorful in your decor, try the printed busts and more.

Available at Modcloth.