Yours Truly backstage getting all the looks ready with my lovely friend and St. Jude Leadership Council Member Terri Phelps-Carr
6 weeks after giving birth to baby Sophia, I couldn't think of a better way to dive back in to my fashion events than with Summer Hope - an evening of food and fashion benefiting the kids of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Situated inside the lobby of The Latham Hotel, the event was completely sold out - standing room only - with over 100 guests in attendance who enjoyed savory bites & specialty cocktails from Michel Richard's Citronelle as I presented a carefully curated runway showing of my favorite trends for summer 2012 from Saks Fifth Avenue of Tysons Galleria. In addition, Saks Fifth Avenue employees were equipped with mobile registers allowing guests to shop all the looks they saw on the runway immediately following the show!
I was honored to have Mrs. Chedid, wife of the Ambassador to Lebanon in attendance and the amazing chef himself - Monsieur Michel Richard - along with his lovely wife Laurence. Both Chedid and the Richards are longtime supporters of St. Jude and I was so grateful to have them attend. Merci! (Michel Richard below Mrs. Chedid to his left and Mrs. Richard on far right side of the following pic)
Alrighty then...as promised, here's a recap of the show!
A most adventurous trend indeed, yielding fabulous results - colorblocking is one of my favorite trends!
In the first look, I mixed the Colorblocking trend with the Color of the Season - Tangerine. The mustard yellow Theory blazer is a great piece for your summer wardrobe since it's so versatile. Seen below paired with a pair of tangerine-colored JBrand skinny jeans and a white tank by Vince, it's a perfect dressy-casual look. If you want to wear it in to the office, throw it on over a LBD (little black dress) or wear it buttoned up with a pencil skirt. As for the jeans - they're a must-have for the summer! They're fun, bright and look fabulous whether you dress them up or down.
The next look was one of my favorites. I paired a royal blue Rebecca Taylor blouse with a pair of bright turquoise Joe's Jeans - one of my all time fav color combinations that reminds me of the colors of the water in Greece. :o)
This season, White Out is applicable to more than just paper - consider applying it to your closet. It's truly a forever trend, a classic look that works every summer and whether you do white jeans with a white cable knit sweater or a white skirt and blouse, you will look oh so summer-chic.
If you don't have a fitted white dress for summer, get yours now! I chose the Alice + Olivia dress below because I love the fit of it and although you can't see it from the photo, it's stretchy and has ruching - a great way to flatter your curves! You could wear the dress by itself for a summer soiree or pair it with a white blazer and a statement necklace for the office.
Ahhh, the white pant suit - a staple piece to every woman's wardrobe. I typically turn to Theory for suiting because they create suits that flatter a woman's figure. I opted to show the sultry look you can create with this white suit by showing it sans a top or bra and kept it neutral by pairing it with a pair of nude-colored strappy heels. You could switch up the look and add a pop of color with a pair of dark pink or bright blue heels, fun!, or throw on a colorful or neutral cami underneath for an office chic look. Best part about this suit is that you'll make great use out of the pants and blazer separately as well.
One way to make use out of your white blazer is to throw it on over a dress - like the silk rose-colored faux wrap dress by Theory below.
Turn heads with this gorgeous sequin slipdress by Parker - not for the faint of heart. It's the perfect summer party dress and you should keep your accessories neutral as the dress speaks for itself - simple earrings, clutch and strappy, delicate heels.
Yes, this season length is in - the longer the better! So long to the daisy dukes and mini skirts, maxi dresses and skirts are on trend this summer.
This ombre tangerine-pink Parker silk maxi dress is a beautiful piece to pack for a trip to your favorite beach resort or for any special occasion this summer.
This next look mixed the Maxis trend with the Prints trend of the season. The printed Joie maxi skirt is made of a soft and lightweight cotton making it one of my go-to pieces for travel when I want to look chic but feel comfy. Paired with a button down tied up, this is a a great outfit to throw on over your bikini and head out to a pool party with friends.
I love this maxi skirt by Theory and the accordion pleating is another trend in skirts this summer and for fall/winter 2012. To avoid looking like a potato sack, be sure to keep your top fitted when you're wearing a maxi skirt, which I've done by tying up a yellow linen button down by Theory. Paired with a classic straw tan hat, it's a fabulous summer look to wear to a pool party or vacationing in St. Barths.
Longer hemlines, lace, eyelet, and structured dresses - ladylike looks are here to stay. We saw them all over the runways last season and they'll be sticking around in to fall/winter 2012 too!
This eyelet dress by Trina Turk is a classic dress that works if you're headed to brunch w/ friends or to a baby shower - it's sweet and simple. Don't be afraid to add some color to this dress! Wear it with a coral or turquoise necklace perhaps or a bold colored clutch.
Recently, Kate Middleton exuded ladylike-ness during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee when she wore a gorgeous lace dress by Alexander McQueen. Get your lace on - for a fraction of the price - with another one of my favorites looks of the evening, this ivory lace dress by Diane von Furstenberg. Another forever trend, you'll be able to pull this dress out of your closet every year whether you're headed to a Sunday brunch or or a date night out with your hubby.
Milly is known for creating dainty, feminine, classy dresses and this bright blue structured dress below just oozes ladylike. It's great for the office, weddings, summer baptisms and more and it doesn't hurt that you can't go wrong with the color.
Nothing says ladylike like a flowy, romantic top and this one rose-colored Joie blouse is just that. Paired tucked in to white skinny jeans - another staple piece for summer (by 7 For All Mankind) - with a nude-colored skinny belt, the look becomes feminine and soft and is perfect for a casual dinner out or brunch.
Don't keep turning to your neutrals this season, instead opt for color!
This rose pink dress by Vince is a great piece and easily transitions from day to night. Headed in to work? Wear it with a blazer. Headed out to dinner with friends? Ditch the blazers and rock it solo with a sexy pair of nude-colored heels and chandelier earrings or a statement necklace.
Don't restrict this trend to just clothing - work it in to your swimwear! I love this green one-piece by La Blanca. The gold hardware and ruched detailing makes this a very figure-flattering, sexy one-piece for all. In fact, one-pieces are IN this summer and it's great because it offers a refreshing and classy break from the go-to bikini.
If you want to stop traffic, this bright yellow dress by Torn will do just that. It's an amazing dress and fits like a glove. The ruched, angled detailing in the dress creates a slimming silhouette and the off-center slit will make your legs look long and lean.
Mix the dress w/ another trend of the season - Colorblocking - by adding this blue clutch by Marc by Marc Jacobs.
This gorgeous green DVF dress is perfect for summer - it's flowy and lightweight and looks great worn with or without accessories. Plus, the inverted V shape in the hemline will totally elongate your legs if you wear it with a pair of stunning heels. This is another great color to colorblock with - wear it with a pair of bright blue or pink heels perhaps!? The possibilities are almost endless, just remember to have fun!
This Marc by Marc Jacobs silk dress is absolutely divine. I actually saw it worn by one of the cast members on CBS's "Young & The Restless" last week!
Whether tribal- or floral-print, this season prints are in!
This floral-print dress by Milly is a great staple for your wardrobe that you can turn to every summer if you're going for a classy, sophisticated look. It's not meant to wear to every occasion, it's very event specific - for brunch or church or a garden party - but trust me you'll make plenty of use out of it.
Another piece I turn to when I want to look chic and feel comfy are these print pants by Vince. I like to pair them with a bold color, but always keep the top simple in pattern and texture since the pants are so busy on their own. (Tank top by Vince)
Trina Turk always churns out fun print dresses and the one below pays homage to the '60s while incorporating different shades of the season's IT color, tangerine.
Don't forget about your accessories when it comes to the Prints trend. I love this black & gray leopard print scarf - a total must-have. Since it's comprised of neutral colors, it will work thrown on to most any summer look and will provide that element of chic you're looking for on a simple outfit, like I did below by pairing it with a maxi dress. Plus, it's a great to have handy while traveling since it can serve as a light blanket on those frigid plane rides!
Think of the Easter egg dye kits you used to use as a child and then you'll have a vision of the colors that work in the Pastels trend. Mint greens, sherbet oranges, light lavenders and more, pastels are IN this season and look amazing against a sun-kissed skin.
Alice + Olivia had a ton of fun creating plenty of pastel pieces for the season and this aqua-colored sleeveless dress is perfect for your summer wardrobe. Wear it on the weekend when you're headed down to the waterfront for dinner and drinks or off to a party with friends.
I loved this beautiful DVF dress so much I had to get one of my own! Done in a soft lavender this dress will get lots of wear and is a great dress to pack for warm vacation getaways because it's flowy and light so you can just slip it on and go - no fuss. It was also a favorite look of the show according to the guests. :o)
Another pastel from Alice + Olivia is this gorgeous mint green blazer! Dress it up for fun with a pair of animal print silk shorts (also by Alice + Olivia) or wear it from 9-5 over a neutral-colored sheath dress.
Stripes are another forever trend and apply to clothing and swim this season. The green striped bikini below is by Vix and is a sexy, classic bikini to add to your summer swim collection.
Don't forget about your nautical stripes! If you're headed out boating with friends you could rock this cotton-T by Vince with a pair of white skinny jeans and flats and then dress it up when you're headed off the boat to dinner with a pair of strappy heels.
Mix and match your savvy stripes! This Ralph Lauren bikini is a great example of mixing and matching a solid top with a print bottom and the cherry red color looks amazing on pretty much everyone.
COLOR OF THE SEASON: TANGERINE
As I mentioned before, THE color of the season is tangerine. Whether you opt for a dark or light version of the color, it's a universally flattering color and has summertime written all over it.
A kaftan is another staple for your summer wardrobe, and this one by Josie Natori is a stunning piece to pack in your luggage whether headed to Miami or Capri! The gold sequin and beading details around the v-neck add a touch of glam and the ruched empire waist bring the kaftan in around your tiniest area to flatter your figure so you're not looking like you're wearing a sack.
Another huge hit of the night was this tangerine-colored dress by Parker. It's flirty and fun and will serves as a go-to summer party dress in your wardrobe. The shorter hemline works well the more covered top and 3/4 sleeves, making it the perfect combo for a classy-sexy look. Change up the look sometimes by adding a skinny gold or turquoise belt or bold blue heels!
Maxi dresses are one of my favorite summer pieces - you just throw them on and go! This tangerine-colored maxi dress by Splendid is well-made for a woman's curvy figure because of the gathered empire waist line and it doesn't have too much fabric so you won't feel like you've widened your figure with layers upon layers of material.
Adding a Pop of Color (POC)
Remember, that with most any of the trends this season, you can always add a POC with your handbag. I chose this magnificent orange Prada tote to show how it adds a POC to any look, dressy or casual.
As for a staple pair of shoes for your summer wardrobe - these nude-colored strappy patent Yves St. Laurent heels are my pick! Shown in above photos during the runway show, you probably noticed they go with everything right? That's why they're a must-have - versatility is key, right?
As for handbags - here were some of my favorites I brought to display and were scooped up by many guests following the show!
Now, as promised, on to my look of the evening!
As you saw above, I opted to mix two trends - Bold Colors and Savvy Stripes. I did a blue-striped dress paired with a blue blazer and accessorized it with a turquoise statement necklace and classic nude patent heels. This is a great look if you want something a bit dressy but not too formal. Both the jacket and dress are great summer staples as they look good worn together or separately. In the below pic of my outfit set-up before the event, you'll see the cream-colored chain mini purse I used as well as the option to wear the look sans the necklace and instead wear a nude-colored skinny belt - another option if you didn't want to do the turqouise necklace.
- Striped dress, Dree Dress from JCrew
- Jacket, Bop Basics from ShopBop
- Belt, JCrew
- Handbag by Big Buddha
- Necklace - "Bubble Necklace" JCrew
- Nude heels by Jimmy Choo
- Flats from Target - a must-have if you're walking in the city
Special thanks to -
- Models - Helen Hua, Nichole Devolites and Olivia Demsko
- DJ Panama
- The Latham Hotel
- Saks Fifth Avenue of Tysons Galleria
- Salon Daniel
- Jamie D'Agostino make-up artistry
- Kirsten Eike for hair
- Skinny Tan by Cindy Kemper
- Chanel cosmetics of Saks Tysons Galleria
- Cellcosmet skincare of Saks Tysons Galleria
Finally, a HUGE thank you to everyone who attended to not only enjoy all the summer fashions, delicious food, drinks and amazing door prizes, but most importantly you provided support to an organization near and dear to my heart, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
If you missed out on this event, don't worry - there are more to come, so stay tuned!
If you're interested in any of the looks you've seen, stop by Saks Fifth Avenue of Tysons Galleria and let them know MyDCStyle (April) sent you! :o)