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Victoria Beckham Teams with Nails, Inc.

Victoria Victoria Beckham for Nails, Inc.

With a new shop open in London, a full line of shoes set to launch in 2015 and the honor of receiving the British Fashion Award’s Brand of the Year award, Victoria Beckham shows no signs of slowing down just yet. The former pop star and always-chic fashion designer is adding a new entry to her resum© — ahem, CV — with a new collab with fellow Brit brand Nails, Inc.

The collab is with Beckham’s contemporary label, Victoria Victoria Beckham an features a limited-edition pair of polishes. And instead of the usual bottles, Beckham took the collab to the next level and even designed new packaging for her dynamic duo with the help of Fabien Baron. Housed in clean, sleek matte bottles with transparent sides, Beckham is offering up a classic nude-white, Bamboo White — which she’s used before at her fashion presentations in New York — as well as a bright red she’s dubbed Judo Red.

And Nails, Inc. isn’t one to rest on its laurels, either, because they’ve updated their formula just for this collaboration, which was inspired by the Japanese-tinged Victoria Victoria Beckham Spring 2015 collection. The new Stretch-to-Fit formula, which takes its name from Beckham’s signature body-con silhouettes, includes the addition of bamboo extract to strengthen nails. The collaboration marks Beckham’s very first foray into the world of color cosmetics (she’s got a slew of fragrances under her belt already), though with that signature smoky eye and year-round tan, we’re sure it won’t be her last.

The collection is available now for pre-order at www.nailsinc.com before it hits stores in February.

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Monday Muse: Artist Giosetta Fioroni Inspires Valentino

Giosetta Fioroni

For five years now, designers Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have held the torch at Valentino. Time flies when you’re trying to move forward and still pay respect to the house codes, right? But the designing duo, who started their tenure at the brand working under Valentino Garavani at the maison’s accessories department, have decided to give their somber-but-beautiful, technically astonishing collections a little more room to breathe. So instead of referencing Delft pottery and Dutch paintings as they’ve done in the past, the pair have decided to take inspiration a little closer to home. Valentino is a Roman fashion house, after all, started to celebrate all of the different ways to express La Dolce Vita. So Piccioli and Chiuri looked to pop art and the work of Italian artist Giosetta Fioroni to create an energetic and vivid collection that’s sure to have the brand’s fans running to the stores in their Rockstuds.

Giosetta Fioroni

Giosetta Fioroni, a member of the radical School of the Piazza del Popolo was a main reference, but the collection was also a celebration of the art and energy of Rome. Fioroni is known for her monochromatic portraits (perhaps they were a precursor to the vector art craze of the early ’00s?) and creating colorful and irreverent multi-media sculpture/paintings. New York’s Drawing Center recently showcased the artist’s very first solo exhibition last year, bringing together her work in film, painting and more.

It’s a far cry from the highbrow references that the house of Valentino usually draws from, but being that it was a celebration of culture, the designers also decided to throw in touches of the Commedia dell€™arte, Renaissance fairy tale tapestries — the kids in Italy grow up on these instead of Disney’s saccharine-infused takes on classic fables — and harlequins. But it was the spirit of Giosetta’s blending of high art and lowbrow subjects that really illustrated the new Valentino.

Valentino Fall 2014

Valentino Fall 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of Fioroni’s trademark touches is to leave the pencil sketches and renderings in her works in tact, instead of erasing them or painting over them.

That airiness and delicate detail could be seen on Valentino’s signature diaphanous long-sleeved gowns, giving them a more feminine feel than they’ve had in the past (they’ve long veered into the monastic, Sister-wives territory that’s chic on the runway and too conservative in real life). The harlequin prints and diamond patterns that came from the commedias were something to appeal to a younger customer for sure, but they were the perfect combination of sweet and sophisticated that made them perfect for the brand’s loyal clientele, too.

Valentino Fall 2014

In fact, the usually evening-heavy collections of the past were freshened up with the addition of plenty of daywear. Capes were truncated and there were blouses and pants in addition to the floor-sweeping gowns that’ll make the red carpet circuit later this year. Mod optic prints, Peter Pan collars and more will be film fest favorites for Hollywood’s It girls and butterfly prints will be there for those who don’t want to look like a European visitor to the Silver Factory. Every piece had the hand and craftsmanship that Valentino is known for — it was just a lighter touch. The finale gown, with a Fioroni heart on the bodice and a constellation below, illustrated that perfectly.

Shop these iconic Valentino pieces:

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Our Favorite Fall-Ready Chelsea Boots

If summer was about sheer fabrics and sky-high sandals, fall a little bit closer to earth with the shoe of the season: the Chelsea boot. Borrowed from the boys (who might be taking a little bit of fashion inspo from the Beatles, who wore elasticized Chelsea boot while they were mop-topped and before they went all Hare Krishna), these flat, comfortable boots are the perfect pairing to your leggings, jeggings and more when the temps start to dip. Easy to pull on, these casual boots are available now in leathers, suedes and more, giving you the option of going pretty and polished with equestrian-style buck suede or 100% badass with a black leather that begs to be broken in and worn to death.

Clockwise from top left: Rag & Bone Dartford Chelsea Boot ($595), Frye Jillian Chelsea ($228), Seychelles Melancholy Bootie ($140), Dr.

Martens Flora Chelsea Boot ($139.95), Topshop Blighty Chelsea Boot ($79), DV by Dolce Vita Vancie Bootie ($139.95), L.K. Bennett Brenda Flat Chelsea Boot ($395)

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McQueen Opens Its First Menswear Store on Saville Row

Alexander McQueen Saville Row

The Alexander McQueen empire keeps growing. With the opening of the London McQ flagship this past autumn, the brand extended its footprint on its home turf, but with the opening of the brand’s very first menswear-only boutique, McQueen is firmly cemented in London’s shopping foundation and has completed the shopping landscape with something on offer for everyone looking to get a piece of McQueen.

Alexander McQueen Saville Row

London has been home to a McQueen store for over a decade now, but its main focus was on womenswear. And though the new McQ store has menswear on offer, it leans more casual than the crisp, British tailoring that the McQueen brand is known for showing on the runway during Pitti Uomo in Milan. With the new Saville Row shop, that has all changed. The store is fully stocked with tailored pieces that reflect the sartorial traditions of the storied street.

€œThis new menswear store is like a homecoming for Alexander McQueen, since Lee himself was an apprentice on Savile Row, and tailoring has always been the backbone of the label,” said Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen. “I€™m excited to be able to offer Alexander McQueen menswear in our new environment that is steeped in the codes of the house.€

Alexander McQueen Saville Row

Designed by Burton in collaboration with David Collins Studio (who also designed the McQueen women’s boutique), the men’s store offers the largest selection of McQueen mens’ ready-to-wear and accessories in the world.

Shoppers enter through a stoic facade, but once inside, they’re greeted by all the McQueen house signatures.

The floor is made from crushed and re-formed marble in the first room, which houses featured items and a few accessories in custom-made display cases. The next room is meant to resemble a military parade, with each jacket lined up above a red carpet. Look closer though, the rack that they’re hanging from is carved to look like a human spine — McQueen himself was fascinated by anatomy and the macabre. The walls might look like prim plaster from the Victorian era, but when you look closer, you’ll see that motifs such as birds’ wings, skulls and more are hiding within the design. The same goes for the cabinets and display cases: what look like ordinary fixtures are actually finished with claw-shaped feet and twisted horn-inspired handles. The store hopes to expand its offerings from ready-to-wear to include made to measure and bespoke services as well, which will be run out of the store’s lower level.

Alexander McQueen Saville Row

Another highlight of the store is a huge glass box, which will be curated by Sadie Coles and be home to  rotating art pieces. The first sculpture is ICON by Sarah Lucas, a 2006 work from Lucas’ Bunny series. The sculpture portrays Michael Clark, a British dancer.

In addition to opening the menswear flagship, the McQueen menswear label will also begin showing during the London Collections: Men beginning in January 2013, giving the brand even more hometown glory.

Alexander McQueen is located at 9 Saville Row, in London.

Photos courtesy Alexander McQueen

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Attention! The Best Olive Shirtdresses for Under $90

Fall in line! The season isn’t just about cozy knits and outerwear €” though we’re suckers for a good jacket. We’re also all about a one-piece throw-and-go piece that’s easy and looks like you’ve really thought about your outfit. The easy, effortless answer? A shirtdress. But leave your summer poplins in storage, because we’ve got lush olive green picks with a bit of military edge and plenty of ease, comfort and most of all, style.

Slip it on with booties now and add leggings and taller boots when the chill really sets in. And all for under $90 each, it’s an easy way to add an entire outfit to your fall rotation without breaking into your holiday shopping funds €” you are thinking about Christmas already, right?

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Save Steal Splurge: the Faux Leather Dress

You’ve got your calendar full of parties €” work and family €” and you’ve also got to figure out what’s happening with New Year’s Eve. Well, one dress can take you from party to party, and no, it doesn’t involve gold sequins. While blingy frocks have their place, we think that these edgy, chic faux leather dresses are the perfect way to take your outfit from work to play (no matter how hard you play) without a wardrobe change. Throw on your highest heels and your biggest necklace to make a real statement or opt for something a little simpler, like a choker, to tone it down.

However you choose to style it, pat yourself on the back for picking something you can wear all year long.

Save: Leith High Neck Faux Leather Shift Dress ($40.80)

Steal: BB Dakota Iggy Faux Leather Shift Dress ($88)

Splurge: Tart Elyse Faux Leather & Ponte Sheath Dress ($164)

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Monday Muse: BCBG Max Azria Heads to Spain

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2015

No matter what the season’s prevailing trends are, no matter what decade designers are infatuated with and what sort of minimal or maximal swing the pendulum is taking, BCBG Max Azria’s roots run deep — deep into the hearts of L.A. girls. After all, BCBG is one of L.A.’s biggest fashion stalwarts, holding down the West Coast and all of the things that go along with it every time the looks hit the runway during New York Fashion Week. So when Max and Lubov Azria sent down a collection inspired by an imaginary trip to Spain, and more specifically, Barcelona, there was more than just a little bit of Los Angeles style mixed in among the looks.

Peasant-style looks took inspiration from the traditional garb of Latvia and Spain, but the L.A. twist came in with layering. And yes, the sunny weather might be an L.A. staple, but so are gauzy scarves, filmy layers and an undercurrent of bohemian chic. The Azrias took their cue from the traditional arts that are still being practiced in Spain and the Slavic countries, including embroidery, mosaic work and more, which appeared on dresses and took the shape of prints and textures on what seemed like simple, straightforward pieces.

Beading and handwork made an appearance on tunics and ponchos, which are sure to appeal to the Coachella crowd when the festival season starts to pick up. The patchwork pieces will appeal to the same crowd, but even city folk will look twice thanks to their clean shapes and monochromatic mix of denim, suede and more.

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2015

Color-blocking has always been a BCBG house code, but the brand took it to a new place by mixing in mosaic tile motifs and applying them to big, boxy coats and shearling coats that’ll keep away the chill on breezy California nights. Corsetry and flamenco influences were clear on the evening pieces, which boasted the frills and ruffles associated with Spanish tradition, only the fabrics were light as air and the colors dark and inky. Braiding and lacing was seen throughout, literally tying together the bohemian, Spanish and sexy looks that the band showed. And while the clothes weren’t a direct trip to the Spanish capital, it was a mashup of cool L.A. style and continental influence. In short, it’s what BCBG is all about.