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Fit to Print: Graphic Frocks For Fashion Budgets of All Sizes

Leighton Meester, Jessica Szhor and Amanda Seyfried

Eye-catching prints are the calling card of some of the fashion world’s most notable design houses. Think Pucci, DvF, Missoni and many others. But now more than ever, somber winter wardrobes are calling for a more lively makeover. We’ve spotted celebs wearing head-to-toe prints, and the Spring 2013 runways showcased an almost dizzying amount of in-your-face print. Make sure you’ve got your wallet handy, because we’ve got a handful of must-have dresses that aren’t just fit to print, they’re guaranteed to be the center of attention. And we’ve got them in two varieties: Wallet-busting and budget friendly. Read on!

Christopher Kane Printed silk crepe de chine dress

Mellow Yellow

If you want to dip your toe into the trend or just try it on for size, the tea-length Christopher Kane Printed silk crepe de chine dress ($1,742) might just be the perfect fit. The loud print is sliced, diced and pieced back together for an origami-meets-decoupage effect that’s at once office appropriate and fashion forward. Throw on a tailored jacket and you can walk right into the boardroom. Shrug off your blazer and you’ll be bouncing from galleries to hotspots without a hitch.

Emma Cook Chiffon tunic dress in yellow majorette

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: The Emma Cook Chiffon tunic dress in yellow majorette, available at ASOS, mixes stripes, baroque flourishes and the same florescent colors as Kane’s creation. We’d recommend adding a belt.

Preen Wyatt printed silk crepe de chine maxi dress

Flower Power

Designers such as Preen and Mary Katrantzou have been putting prints on their wares since their brands’ beginnings, but in a season where everyone is cashing in on their niche, they’ve got to stand out in a crowd, even if it’s a kaleidoscopic one. Preen’s Wyatt dress ($1,300) is printed with a combo of bright blue hydrangea and bold stripes on the front and a features a surprising back that’s solid black. Coming or going, the floor-length gown makes a statement by combining a formal length with a not-so-formal T-shirt silhouette.

ASOS Midi Dress In Floral Print With Buttoned Waist

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: ASOS is known for off-the-runway looks at lower prices, so leave it to their in-house ASOS label to get in on the bold floral trend, too. Snag the ASOS Collection Midi dress ($71.91) and you’ll be big, bold and blooming with the best of them.

McQ Alexander McQueen Butterfly Camouflage printed cotton-blend twill dress

Camo Couture

The butterfly motif isn’t exclusive to certain American Idol judging divas, it’s also a house signature for Alexander McQueen. Few can forget the late designer’s amazing monarch butterfly headpieces, but the butterfly lives on in the McQ Alexander McQueen Butterfly camouflage print cotton-blend twill dress ($1,475).

The more subdued hues of traditional camouflage get a make love, not war makeover with the McQ dress, which features a ruffled bustle, full skirt and allover butterfly print. A year-round wonder, this dress will take you from spring garden parties to fall’s fashion presentations while still garnering the attention of flashbulbs and fashion onlookers.

Ruby Rocks Tiger Print Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Bargain buy: While it might not be the exact print, the Ruby Rocks Tiger Print Dress ($27.13) features a similar bustle detail and earth tone hues as the McQ dress. Whether you see a faux bois motif or a tiger print, as ASOS suggests, it’s all up to you.

Peter Pilotto Che V printed stretch-silk twill dress

Color Chameleon

Go for broke with the Peter Pilotto Che V printed stretch-silk twill dress ($1,742), which throws together just about every color of the rainbow in a Native American sarape-meets-Missoni mashup that will take center stage no matter where you wear it. The dress might be small on size but it’s big on style from every single angle with its wraparound pattern and bright, brash colors. The print is anything but ethnic — look a little closer and you’ll see that while it looks Old World, it’s a completely perfect pixelated print that’s been drawn with computer precision. We say go simple with accessories when you wear this out, but with a dress this eye-catching, just about everything else is simple in comparison.

River Island Aztec Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Bargain buy: River Island is the UK’s go-to for fast fashion for rock-bottom prices, so get the look of Pilotto’s new native with the label’s Aztec Dress ($42.39), which combines the same banded patterns in a more toned-down blend of burgundies, browns and greys. It’s even got the same easy sleeved silhouette.

Herv© L©ger Cutout stretch-knit dress

Deco Diva

It’s rare to find an Herv© Leg©r dress that’s not form-fitting, but to make up for the lack of overt curve-hugging sex appeal in the Cutout stretch-knit dress ($2,490), Max Azria added a one-two punch of bright color and figure-flattering print. We feel a little Art Deco influence, though it came from a collection that was all about futurism. (In the future, Azria hopes women are all bombshells that wear bandage dresses to Whole Foods.) But, we presume this party dress will see more dance floors than deli counters.

French Connection Wild Fire Print Dress

Available at Net-a-porter.

Budget buy: For the same black, white and pink effect without the splurge (and the Spanx), grab for the French Connection Wild Fire Print Dress ($111.90), which bares your arms and your style skills. The loud, allover print is more animal than Art Deco, but the fit-and-flare silhouette and flirty colors that the two frocks share are one in the same.

Photos courtesy ASOS and Net-a-Porter.

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Light Up the Holidays With Smoking Flats Under $100

Miu Miu slipper

Guys have it good. No matter what the occasion — work, play, black tie, etc. — they’re walking around without a problem in their flat shoes and never end up with their shoes in hand when the morning after comes around or when the dance floor gets a little too raucous. Take a cue from their wardrobe and slide into the a smoking slipper. Once reserved for mens’ after-dark activities (like actual smoking and drinking with their buddies), the shoes have come out to play in the daylight now that gals have adopted them thanks to their combination of comfort and style. But while you can blow your entire budget on a single pair from a big name such as Miu Miu, Del Toro or Jimmy Choo, you might want to keep your holiday shopping budget on gifts for others and not yourself. We’ve collected our favorite flats together so you can save a few dollars without sacrificing your style quotient — every single pair rings in at under $100.

Adam Tucker Me Too Studded Slip-On

Punk Rock Princess

Just because you’re playing with a menswear staple doesn’t mean you have to play by their rules. Guys generally keep their smoking slippers in the realm of black, blue and burgundy for the most adventurous, but girls get a little more room for fun. The Adam Tucker Me Too Studded Slip-On ($99.95) takes the familiar silhouette and throws in a dash of glam rock thanks to an allover studded treatment. Wear them with your favorite skinny jeans and a blouse or pair it with any of your party frocks for an unexpected take on black tie dressing.

Circus by Sam Edelman Nell

Dark and Dangerous

If you’re looking for something a little more sinister, then opt for the Circus by Sam Edelman Nell ($67.99). At first glance, it looks just like a basic black smoking slipper, but look a little closer and you’ll notice that it’s got a faux caviar leather finish and a pair of dagger-like spikes in lieu of traditional tassels.

Something wicked this way comes, indeed.

Available at Zappos.

Ivanka Trump Kenni Smoking Flat

As Good as Gold

The traditional men’s smoking slipper is made in velvet and it’s made a comeback on the red carpet thanks to a few adventurous celebs (RDJ, for one). If you’re not often snapped at premieres and openings, you can add a dash formality with the ornate brocade pattern on the Ivanka Trump Kenni Smoking Flat ($89.90). If you think the only thing to pair with a cocktail dress is a pair of strappy high-heeled sandals, then think again. This pair of ¼ber-luxe looking smoking flats might just make you change your tune.

Annie Black Velvet Sherry

Black and Gold

We won’t say what designer inspired this pair of flats, but those in the know will definitely see the resemblance to a certain pair of quadruple-digit designer kicks. The Annie Black Velvet Sherry ($59.95) adds a bit more glam with a gold-accented heel and throws on an extra large golden web embroidery. While these flats are certainly terrific and radiant (wink, wink) we wouldn’t wear them to any state fairs. Any other occasion, however, is fair game.

Available at Zappos.

Nine West Lavalu

Camo Chameleon

The smoking slipper isn’t the only menswear trend that we’re loving. Camo is also a trend that’s here to stay for the guys and the Nine West Lavalu ($89) takes two current trends and blends them into one of the season’s most covetable pieces. Luxe ponyhair makes this shoe look much more expensive than it is, but if you’re not into grooming your shoes, it’s also available in smooth patent leather, embroidered brocade and even leopard. Collect ’em all? We won’t stop you.

Available at Nine West.

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Monday Muse: Rebecca Minkoff Salutes Military Style

Rebecca Minkoff Pre-Fall 2015

Rebecca Minkoff has taken a few flights of fantasy, but for Pre-Fall 2015, the designer is firmly planted. Maybe it’s because the Cali-born designer has been knee-high-gladiator-boot-deep in expanding her retail presence and including a hefty dose of tech in those new stores, but she’s traded in her Mexican sojourns for a olive green-hued collection that played on the staples of the military and a few tomboy basics that’ll have her legion of loyal fans happily returning to her new stores.

As a brand that’s most well-known for bags — wildly popular ones, at that — Minkoff’s ready-to-wear has always had to share the spotlight with leather goods. But as she’s expanded her line, Minkoff’s been giving more and more attention to the entire breadth of her offerings, and the cool tailoring and very now Downtown vibe that pervades the new collection is something even uptown preps will want to take note of. And while there might not be anything revolutionary, pushing the fashion lexicon forward was never Minkoff’s MO — instead, she’s offering up an almost entirely olive collection that’s anything but drab.

Rebecca Minkoff Pre-Fall 2015

Instead of tried-and-true silhouettes, Minkoff’s play with proportion paired wide, cropped sailor pants with a crop top and fringed pieces with mini skirts.

Things that seemed ordinary, such as trench, had the addition of zippers that made them convertible or, in the case of a YSL-inspired Saharienne dress and a leather skirt, lacing so you can show as much skin as you please. Bomber jackets and a few simple tops got the studded treatment, with embellished collars and seams, so that even the most mundane military staples got a dose of feminine fun.

And the bags? Minkoff will always have her MABs, Mini Macs and 3-zip swingy crossbodies on store shelves, but for Pre-Fall, she introduced new shapes, including a sleek bucket bag that has “street style blogge” and “sold out” written all over it in addition to a few lean and clean pieces with a touch of trompe l’oeil to keep things from getting too serious. So while the spotlight might always shine a little bit brighter on the accessories, it looks like Minkoff’s downtown girl has a closet full of great pieces she’ll trot out when the weather warms up.

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Anthropologie Teams Up with BaubleBar for Monthly Collections

BaubleBar x Anthropologie

Three years ago, BaubleBar changed the bling game when it decided to offer women a new way (and place) to snag the perfect accessories. Online-only, it became the go-to place for girls to get dolled up, offering statement necklaces when the trend was at its apex and then continuing to ride the wave of swingy chandelier earrings, wrist-to-elbow arm parties and handfuls of midi-rings today. They’ve even collaborated with big names such as DKNY and Texas-based blogger Courtney Kerr and YouTube celeb MissGlamorazzi (these lucky girls are known as guest bartenders — cheeky, right?). BaubleBar even opened up an appointment-only brick-and-mortar shop in New York where you can preview — and try on — the brand’s entire line in person. But it’s about to get a lot easier to get your hands on BaubleBar’s bling, because the brand has partnered with Anthropologie for a special collaboration.

Available now, the BaubleBar x Anthropologie collection ups BaubleBar’s brick-and-mortar retail presence to about 170 Anthropologie locations nationwide.

BaubleBar’s in-house design team will be offering up a new collection for the store every month, but don’t think that it’s just standard BaubleBar fare that’ll be in stores. Instead, BaubleBar co-founder Amy Jain insists that BaubleBar x Anthropologie is a true collaboration, with both brands working together (BaubleBar’s jewelry designers and Anthro’s apparel design team) to create a cohesive collection that is perfectly in line with Anthro’s signature blend of polished bohemian quirk. The first collection includes colorful necklaces and crystal-embellished earrings along with a few bracelets in perfectly preppy pearls and tortoiseshell. Prices range from $28 to $86, and as the collection develops, we’re sure to see plenty more. Each collection is produced in limited numbers, and taking into consideration that there are 170 stores that will be carrying the collab, if something catches your eye, you better act quickly.

Shop the collection now at Anthropologie.