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Our Favorite Patterned Pieces for Under $90

One of the most surefire ways to look like a fashion insider is to master the fine art of print mixing. Sure, there’s something to be said about how clean and simple a monochrome or black-and-white outfit can look, but when you see someone pairing prints and it just works, something just clicks. Summer is the perfect time to get on your game, since we’ll be seeing plenty of florals, graphic prints and geometric patterns in stores (and in street style photos), so we’ve gathered together our favorite items that you can add to your rotation and give your spring and summer pieces a seasonal refresh.

If you want to look like a maestro of mixing, just remember to take scale into consideration: go for a big pattern in one piece and small in anything you pair with it. And if you just want to take baby steps, keep everything in the same color family (black and white, for example) for a clean take on this high-impact trend.

Images courtesy Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Piperlime

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Save Steal Splurge: the Workhorse Tote

For every fuzzy toy festooned Fendi bag, oversized C©line tote and gold chained Chanel bag, there’s an occasion where all you need is a tote that can go the distance and carry all you need — laptop included. So forget those embellishments that weigh you down and toss everything into an understated tote that can be tossed around, trampled on and smashed to pieces without worry. We’ve got great choices that are simple, clean and will pair perfectly with everything from your favorite jeans and tank to your work staples alike.

Save: Dailylook Nim Reversible Tote ($65.99)

Steal: Madewell Textured Transport Tote ($168)

Splurge: Gigi New York Tori Tote ($350)

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Our Favorite Flatform Sandals Under $80

As cute as strappy gladiators are, sometimes, they’re a pain in the foot. And if you can’t walk in them, even from the car to the caf©, what’s the point? That’s why we’re in love with fashion’s latest obsession: comfort. Maybe it’s because of athleisure, maybe it’s because spindly stilettos have seen their day.

Either way, we’re pairing these comfortable, chic flatforms with everything. And we mean it: Shorts. Dresses. Jeans. Culottes. Everything looks great when you’ve literally hit your stride. And any of these pairs, which range from classic Tevas with a twist to fancier retro sandals, will serve you well no matter how many steps you rack up on your Fitbit.

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Sue Wong Readies Biggest Loser Winner Rachel Frederickson’s Red Carpet Debut

Designer Sue Wong and Rachel Frederickson

There€™s been no shortage of media coverage for The Biggest Loser€™s season 15 winner, Rachel Frederickson. But instead of the usual cheers and effusive coverage for the winner’s new look, Frederickson has been at the center of a media firestorm for her controversial and dramatic 155-pound weight loss (whittling down from 260 pounds to 105 pounds) €” which even had Biggest Loser trainers reacting with shock at her new, surprisingly slight frame.

Designer Sue Wong

We hope that the same iron will that pushed her to win keeps her tough as she battles the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” weight critics. And to give a little push, L.A.-based evening wear designer Sue Wong is helping the 24-year-old Frederickson show off her new figure on the red carpet at an Oscar party tomorrow night.

Wong is dressing Frederickson for the Helman and Walter Salute to the Stars event at the W Hotel Hollywood and will be at the event with her as well. She recently spent time with Frederickson to prepare her for her first red carpet event, and she spoke with Fashion Trends Daily on the eve of the Oscars to give us her candid thoughts on Frederickson€™s transformation, along with some hints we squeezed out of her on what Frederickson might be wearing.

Rachel Frederickson

Fashion Trends Daily: Can you give us any hints on what Rachel will be wearing?

Sue Wong: My clothes really honor and flatter the feminine physique. She€™s choosing a dress that, in particular, is very form fitting and it really flatters and brings out her new figure.

FTD: What might we be seeing in terms of color and shape?

Wong: She tried on a bunch of gowns and narrowed it down to three: One is black with a feel of old Hollywood glamour; one is a champagne color princess style that is strapless; and one is a column in sapphire blue with a Mandarin collar.

FTD: Obviously, there€™s been a lot of controversy surrounding her weight loss.

After working with her in your atelier, were you worried that it was too dramatic?

Wong: She is someone who obviously has a very powerful will and it takes a lot of discipline [to do what she did]. It€™s a big achievement. She€™s about a size 2 now. She fit into my size 4 sample, but I cut my samples smaller. I think she would be more robust if she was a size 4 to 6.

FTD: How do you think she felt when trying on the gowns?

Wong: I think she feels great about herself now. She doesn€™t look gaunt at all. I just think she could gain regain about 10 pounds. [Note: Fredericks told Access Hollywood Live on Friday that she has gained back 15 pounds.] She€™s model thin right now. In choosing my models, I always like ones with a little bit of curvaceousness. I like women like Cindy Crawford was in her days [as a supermodel]. And Rachel started out being very athletic [like Cindy].

FTD: How was the experience of working together for this big event?

Wong: When a woman puts on a Sue Wong gown, I like to think she€™s magically transformed into a goddess. I just really connected her with and [helped her] connect to her own feminine power and to complete the total transformation.

Shop our favorite red carpet looks from Sue Wong and more:

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Fall’s Best Denim Vests Under $90

Layering isn’t about piling on long sleeves. For a little insider tip, consider a vest. As a middle layer, it adds some major interest to your outfit without creating added bulk between your sweater and your coat. Plus, keeping your core warm is what you really need when the temps start to drop (and trust us, in SoCal, it happens once in a while).

We’ve got traditional truckers, DIY looks (without the actual DIY), bleached-out denim and even a drape-front option for those looking to soften the look. Whatever your style, be it preppy or punk, something as classic as the denim vest transcends trends and deserves a spot in your arsenal. Trust us, you won’t want to take it off.

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Thakoon Teams with Clarks Botanicals for a High Fashion Gift With Purchase

Thakoon for Clark€™s Botanicals Travel Kit

We say blame it on Jason Wu, because brands are stepping up their gift with purchase offerings. After Wu’s collab with Lancome and its soft, dove-grey clutch threw down the gauntlet, we saw Thakoon took the challenge and dare we say…won? The designer’s colalb with cult-fave brand Clark’s Botanicals includes some of the brand’s most beloved products as well as a zippered pouch that can only be described as the lovechild of Astroturf and holiday tinsel. A makeup bag that we’d actually use as a clutch? Let’s just say the next designer to give us a gift has to step up.

The flimsy plastic pouches that normally come with a beauty buy are generally cheap, throwaway things that take up room in your closet and are a general missed opportunity for bonafide branding, but we’d be proud to carry this glam, shaggy pouch.

Thakoon chose his favorite Clark’s Botanicals products to include in the pouch, so for $65, you’ll be getting some of the brand’s most beloved items as well as a limited-edition gold-fleck lip balm that’s perfect for holiday soir©es. The travel-friendly items include a refreshing facial mist amped up with Swiss apple stem cells, as well as deluxe-sized samples of Smoothing Marine Cream and Clark’s Deep Moisture Mask, giving you the perfect pint-sized arsenal of skincare goods to get you looking your best.

Available at Clark’s Botanicals.

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Monday Muse: Axl Rose Inspires Versace Spring 2014

Axl Rose

Axl Rose

The heyday of rock and roll seems to influence Donatella Versace season after season. It’s not a hard sell, seeing as how models and rock stars are often seen canoodling and Donatella herself often sites musicians as inspirations for her collections. Her latest outing spotlighted one of rock and roll’s most recognizable icons — and a paramour to a model or two — Axl Rose. But Versace’s glamazons were more than just rock star arm candy, they were dressed to kill, ready to snatch that mic right out of any singer’s hand and steal the spotlight for themselves.

As the lead singer of Guns N’ Roses, Axl had a distinct look. Old t-shirts, his signature bandana and plenty of leather. That rock star mystique was something he pioneered, taking bits of grunge, a taste of glam rock and infusing it all with his own personal style. As Guns N’ Roses gained a wider audience, racking up Billboard hits and touring worldwide, Rose caught the eye of models such as Erin Everly and later, Stephanie Seymour, who would appear in the music videos for “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry.” And if that wasn’t enough to earn Rose major fashion cred, he signed off on a GNR collab with Converse and inspired Japanese designer Takahiro Miyashita to create a whole collection of Axl Rose inspired clothes for his label Number (N)ine.

Today, Rose is as well known for being a recluse as he was for being the face of one of music’s biggest acts, but even in hiding, his signature style inspired Donatella Versace to create a collection that’ll have a whole new generation of groupies clamoring to knock down his door.

Versace Spring 2014

Versace Spring 2014

Donatella’s girls aren’t known for being subtle — it’s all or nothing on the Versace runway.

So when she sent her army of rock ‘n roll sirens out, it was fill tilt and turned up to 10. Models wore rock staples, such as denim jackets, leather pants and beat-up tour tees, but each piece was re-imagined with classic Versace details. The jean jackets were slashed and studded and denim pants were inset with peekaboo lace panels. What appeared to be vintage Guns N’ Roses tees were actually bejeweled Versace reinterpretations, replacing rock iconography with Medusa heads and Greek keys.

Was it over the top? Of course, especially with the addition of belt buckles fit for rodeo riders and body chains that carved out sexy swathes of skin punctuated by Medusa emblems, but like all good performers know, you have to leave it all out on the stage. And with the rock-fueled exuberance that she filled the runway, consider this Donatella’s version of dropping the mic. You’re welcome to try and one-up this show, but we wouldn’t want to challenge a master.