Author Archives: vsantalesa

A Look Ahead To Summer 2018

vine vera banner presents A Look Ahead To Summer 2018It is often said that women have to work twice as hard to earn the respect that men get. Women are constantly having to prove themselves in male dominated industries in order to achieve a modicum of what comes instantly to a man. However, there may be one industry in which women have the home field advantage, and that is the fashion industry. If there’s anything fashion is geared toward, it’s the feminine form, and if boys want to play, they need to know who’s boss. Paris Fashion Week gave the boys a chance to strut their stuff. Let’s see how they stacked up. Here is a look at what was on offer at Paris Fashion Week 2018.

Shorts
What do you think of shorts for men? Tom Ford said no man should ever wear shorts in the city, but it seems there are some designers who disagree. This year tartan print tailored shorts were all the rage, with Dior Homme showing a version off, and Dries Van Noten, offering a two piece shorts and blazer set in a similar print, while Louis Vuitton stuck too long bike shorts with a preppy sweater.

Long Hems
Another big look for Paris Fashion Week was the long hem look. Trousers are getting looser and hems are less structured. Dior Homme showed off jeans that came well past the ankle and Ann Demeulemeester showed off fitted velvet trousers hanging quite a bit over stylish patent leather dress shoes.

Black
Black is never out of fashion in Paris, and, apparently, well suited for any style. Balmain offered a preppy take with a collegiate shirt topped by a nautically themed cardigan, while Ann Demeulemeester went for a gothic drama, with her shirtless model sporting a super side belt, weathered trousers and matching knee length coat. Alexander McQueen took his black in an entirely different direction with a hip length blazer and tailored pants.

vine vera banner presents A Look Ahead To Summer 2018

Mixed Patterns
From black to mixed patterns, the designers had some pretty bold ideas about improbable pairings. Kenzo paired a super modern technicolored racing top with red, white, gray​ and blue striped trousers. Haider Ackerman topped plastic black and white polka dot pants with a casual athletic gold striped tank, and perhaps most daring of all was Commes des Garcons who matched his gold iridescent shorts with a bright floral print top and white blazer trimmed in red fur.

Oversized Blazers
Here’s an eighties throwback. Thom Browne did his own take on leaving the house without putting pants on by coordinating his ELE-gray work oversized blazer with striped athletic socks, dress shoes, and not much else. Kenzo also chose to go maximum on top and minimum on the bottom, with a two piece purple oversized blazer and short set. Balenciaga kept it a little more practical by teaming his drapey blazer with classic blue jeans.

Dresses and Tunics
Cutting edge or cutting room floor? Alexander McQueen topped his wool gray​ suit with a doily skirt and finished the look with open sandals, while Thom Brown put a blue pleated skirt under a short silk jacket and tie combination. Balmain made paired his skin tight punk rock striped jeans and with a long blue tunic to make his ambiguous fashion statement.

So how do you think the boys weighed in this year? Did they get it right? Let us know what you think!

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Look Better With Age, Not Older

woman in green with curly hair

“Is this too young for me?” It’s the age (old) question. You’re standing alone in the dressing room. You love what you have on. It fits you perfectly, you love the style, color, and print, you would have grabbed it fifteen years ago. Nobody wants to leave a great piece on the showroom floor, but nobody over 40 wants to look like a twenty-five-year-old who can’t come to grips with reality. So back to the question, ” Is it too young for me?” Well, we can’t really be there in the dressing room with you, but we can give you a few helpful guidelines for determining the answer.

General Guidelines

Shoes
Just because you are a bit more mature doesn’t mean you have to consign yourself to a life of navy mid heel pumps and comfy trainers. As long as you’re not back to your days of combat boots or Mary Janes there are plenty of fun, colorful and sophisticated shoe options. Try something with a little pop of color to brighten up an outfit, like a funky espadrille.

Hair
You may not be too old for blond, but you are definitely too old for damage. Make sure to keep hair well conditioned, but stay away from the bob, which may be a little too matronly at this stage. You may also want to ditch the highlights. Neutral blond and monotone are probably a little more suitable.

mature woman with sunglasses

Sunglasses
Sunglasses always rock, but stay away from the new wave styles. It’s all about glamor and less about edge. Go for a sophisticated look, and stay away from anything too masculine and boxy.

No Foundation
Nothing gives age away quicker that an overly textured complexion. Keep the makeup, but be sure to go light on the foundation.

Black
While there is a certain truth to the adage about black being draining on older skin, there are exceptions. While matte black can cause the skin to look rather dull, a lush black can be quite complimentary, so long as you accessorize properly. Think red lipstick and lots of bling.

Youngish Styles You Can Still Rock

Denim
You’re never too old for denim, but keep it classy and classic. Ripped and worn pairs will wear quickly, and you’ll probably want to avoid the ‘whisker lines’ across the thighs meant to contour. Stick to dark wash for your skinny jeans and aim for a mid or high rise, rather than low.

Clogs
Clogs are ageless. Wear these with jeans, skirts and even pantsuits.

woman in white against white background

 

Short Puffed Sleeves
Short puffed sleeves may seem too girlish an option, but they can be quite flattering for the older arm and give a stylish flair to the right outfit.

Wearing Bikini Tops Under Clothes
Nothing indecent about this. Bikinis under tops will give off a vibe of freedom and carelessness if paired with classic pieces.

Espadrilles and Flip-Flops
See above, but may want to keep your pedicure appointment.

Are you over 40? What styles are you still rocking? What styles have you passed off to the millennials? Let us know!

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History’s Iconic Trend Setters

Have our iconic historical trendsetters gone from royalty to reality? The original trendsetters were members of the ruling class. Queen Elizabeth I adorned herself in a regal image earning her unmistakable recognition as Britain’s Monarch. Film stars followed, with the likes of Clara Bow, Greta Garbo and Marlene Deitrich topping the list of silver screen fashionistas, and eventually pop stars joined the list, with Lady Gaga and Madonna arguably among the most trendsetting women of the millennium.

fashionable woman in sepia

A trendsetter is a woman to put on a pedestal, an icon that women want to follow. Will our next fashion icon be found trying to find love in all the wrong places, pulling tablecloths from under opulent dish settings, or snapping selfies? Here is a look at some of the historic iconic trendsetters of the past. Where do you think the next generation will come from?

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel
Coco Chanel not only revolutionized fashion, she liberated women. Not only do we have her to thank for such fashion staples as costume jewelry, the little black dress, and espadrilles, but for the freedom of women’s bodies. The corset free bust, the streamlined silhouette sans the hyper waistline, and women’s trousers were all Coco’s inventions, aimed at simplifying and accommodating the lifestyle of modern women.

Clara Bow
Clara Bow was the original IT girl and perhaps the ultimate flapper. Her look incorporates the slimming chevrons with the drop waist and additions of sequins for a more glam version.

Colleen Moore
If you’re wearing a bob today, you have silent film actress Colleen Moore to thank. The actress basically invented the block cut, and wore it until the day she died in 1988.

Josephine Baker
Without Josephine Baker, Beyonce may not have been shaking her booty today. This original showgirl turned spy was best known for her “banana dance’ and pet cheetah which she could frequently be seen taking walks with on the streets of Paris. She was also known for her flare for accessories, and could sometimes be found on stage wearing little else.

woman in 20s fashion sitting on sofa

Greta Garbo
One would be remiss in leaving Greta Garbo off a list of trendsetters. This alluring film star fascinated women and men alike. Heavily depending on designer Valentina Schlee for her clothing collection, Garbo is often considered the epitome of Hollywood glamor.

Pola Negri
As the first European actress to be invited to Hollywood, you can bet Pola Negri was quite the trendsetter in her day. she could often be seen wearing turbans and fur boots, and even popularized the wearing of red painted toenails in the Western World.

Zelda Fitzgerald
One would expect the wife of the author of the Great Gatsby to be something of a muse. Husband F. Scott Fitzgerald declared his wife to be “the first American Flapper,” alluding to her creativity, attitude and independence as the encapsulation of the movement.

Jean Arthur
The literal first lady of screwball comedy, publicity shy Jean Arthur of the “I’d rather slit my throat than do and interview’ fame was known to rock and androgynous look, with man- style work shirts and relaxed fit trousers.

What do you think? Have our trendsetters gone from royalty to reality? Let us know!

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Frills and Flash For Denim

woman in denim skirt

Ah, the 1980’s. Trashy was the look. Over the top lace and crinolines, ladylike beads, slinky jewelry; big hair and bigger hair bows paired with motorcycle belts, dangerous boots, and the proper amount of exposed flesh, and over it all, a denim jacket. Denim; the material of the worker, the perfect foil for the extremely feminine. It has been bedazzled, acid washed, ripped, and patched, beaded, and trimmed in lace, but it always carries that boyish message that contrasts with the super girly, and we never seem to run out of ways to wear it. If you’re looking for some new ways to be creative with denim, here are some ways of bringing your jeans into the millennium.

Reinvent Old Jeans As A Miniskirt

  1. Mark the length you want your skirt to be and cut off the excess.
  2. Cut the inseam along the legs and crotch so that the legs are open.
  3. Cut a patch out of the excess fabric.
  4. Sew the patch to the skirt to cover the gap left by the inseam.

woman sewing denim

Alternative Method

  1. Mark the length you want your length to be on the inseam. Using a ruler and chalk, create a line you’ll cut across.
  2. Cut the excess length off the pants and cut along inseam to open each leg.
  3. Cut two squares of fabric from excess leg pieces. These will serve to fill in the triangular gaps between the legs.
  4. Sew or glue squares onto the underside go the skirt, to fill the gaps.

Uneven Hem (Tiered Hem)
This is that really cool look in which the hem on the front panel of your jeans is slightly higher than the back. Great for showing off a really cool pair of sandals.

  1. Cut off original hem of pants.
  2. Mark off two inches.
  3. Cut across the front panel of jeans, leaving back panel 2 inches longer.
  4. Fray newly cut hems, pulling strings out for style.

Fringed hem

Fringed Hem
For that hippy beachy look. Think Tom Hanks in “Castaway.”

  1. Cut off original hem of pants.
  2. Make a straight line 3 inches from the bottom.
  3. Marked finger width spaces, as if you were in elementary school, trying to space your letters, using vertical lines.
  4. Cut along vertical lines and shake to a make fringe.

Racer Stripes
This will give you a sporty racing stripe down each leg

  1. Mark one inch to the left to the outer seam and one inch to the right.
  2. Apply painters tape from the top to the bottom of the pants along the marks you have just made, leaving the seam exposed.
  3. Pour bleach into a bowl.
  4. Apply bleach between pieces of tape, wait for color to remove.

denim skirt and yellow purse

Let us know how your dressing up your denim this year and let us know if you tried any of our suggestions!

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Fall for Autumn Fashion

vine vera banner presents Fall for Autumn Fashion

“Women must be colorful inside and out.” This is what designer Gudrun Sjoden replied when asked why she chose to use such a brilliant array of colors in her latest fashion line.

It was all about comfort, style, and anything go at this fashion show. Dresses and skirts were worn layered over color coordinated pants. Knee high stocking and socks offered alternatives to the constraints of pantyhose, and there were no such things as unmatching colors or bad print combinations. No season was out of season. Loose fitting clothes freed the body and graphic designs freed the mind. It was a utopia of fashion and an ideal vision of the future. Here’s a look at the Gudrun Sjoden fashion show from the inside.

The Setting
The stage is set at the Swedish Residence on Park Avenue at 64th Street. The temperature, a scorching 92 degrees, and its still morning. The occasion, the unveiling of designer Gudrun Sjoden’s summer ’17 collection. The runway, a multicolored striped rug in the hotel lobby. The clothes, eclectic cutting edge, bohemian. The message: freedom.

The Designer
Gudrun Sjoden has been creating a clothing line for women for over 40 years. But not just any woman. No supermodels grace this runway. Sjoden chooses women who represent the message of her clothing line. Water activist and former Miss Africa Georgie Biel and model turned actress Angel Pai model the brightly colored hand painted designs and eco-friendly fabrics that are the hallmarks of Sjoden’s collection.

vine vera banner presents Fall for Autumn Fashion

The Look
Patterns were in abundance in this display. Sjoden employs a technique called Ikat weave and indigo dying, in addition to her geometrical zigzags, and circles.There was no shortage of rich fabrics and embroidery and the designer’s preference for roses and stripes was clear. However, despite the profusion of show-stopping fashion, most stunning, perhaps, is the fact that 93% of Gudrun’s garments are made from sustainable materials. Says she, “This year, we are celebrating 25 years of organic cotton production in Greece.”

The Influence
Where does Sjoden’s inspiration come from? “While designing this collection, we visited India to explore the traditional crafts techniques for dying, using indigo and rose madder red. This craft combined with an earlier trip to Lisbon with its tiled walls, went on to inspire the autumn collection.” the designer revealed.

The Lowdown
S Joden’s first store opened in Stockholm, Sweden in 1976. Her concept of designing colorful comfortable clothes with Nordic influences in natural materials continue to dominate her collection. Her clothes are available through her catalog and website in markets including Germany, the US, and the UK.

What do you think of the message behind Sjoden’s collection? Let us know! We love to hear from you.

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Living Well From Your Suitcase

vine vera presents Living Well From Your Suitcase

James Bond; international spy. Always jet-setting across the country, tending to mysterious assignations and covert operations, complete with a full supply of weapons, infrared binoculars, microchip voice recorders, and knives that can be concealed in his cufflinks. You may wonder, where does he pack his three-piece suits? Living out of a suitcase can definitely be limiting. Luggage weight limits, different activities, and changeable weather are only part of the things that make packing for a trip challenging. However, if Bond can do it so can you. Here are some ways you can use your Bondlike powers to maximize your luggage capacity.

Mix and Match
One of the greatest challenges to suitcase living is finding a matching outfit. You may find the perfect sweater mercifully at the top of your bag, but the matching pants nowhere to be seen. Pack versatile pieces that you can easily mix and match. That way, not only will a coordinated outfit be easier to find, you will also have a variety of outfits to chose from using the same five or so pieces. A good rule of thumb is: if it can’t be a part of at least two different outfits, leave it out.

Color Scheme
A good way to make sure your clothes match is by sticking to the same general colors. Dark and neutrals tend to be the easiest to work with. Bring a lot of white, black. and gray and add in pops of color, like red or teal, to keep it interesting.

Dress Up or Down
Usually, trips require both dressy and casual outfits, some of which will require some on the spot wardrobe adjustment. Accessories are the answer. Bring outfits that can go either fancy or sporty with the addition or omission of different shoes and pieces of jewelry. Shoes are great outfit transformers. Skinny jeans can instantly go from day to night be swapping your tennis for some super spiked heels.

vine vera presents Living Well From Your Suitcase

Layers
Layers are both practical and fashionable, especially when you’re traveling. Weather is hard to anticipate and even seasonal averages are no guarantee. Layers are a crucial component to keeping comfortable while traveling. Make sure to throw in a few scarves, tanks to go under shirts, hoodies, hats and extra socks, that can be easily removed or added.

Packing
Packing is often something learned from mistakes. Begin with shoes and toiletries and be sure to multitask socks and underwear by using them to protect nice shoes and fragile jewelry. Shove the rest of the undies into crevices. Roll up your jeans, camisole, sweaters, and t-shirts for maximum space and minimal wrinkles, and put them in the suitcase next. Blouses and dress shirts should be folded minimally and placed on top. You may want also want to put the pajamas on the top for easy access after a tiring trip. Ironing spray is your best friend; it will eliminate wrinkles without the burden of a space-hogging, heavy iron.

Do you have any traveling tips for us? Be sure to take some time from your jet setting to make a few notes. We would love to hear from the experts.

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Living A Junk Food-Free Life

vine vera banner presents Living A Junk Food-Free Life

You walk into a movie theater. There it is, in shining lights, bright as day, the concession stand. The lure of the brightly popping corn, the larger than life boxes of Milk Duds, the smell of hot buttery kernels, the super-sized fountain drinks. You walk past. Halfway through the movie, you find yourself unable to concentrate; the smell, the sounds of happily munching neighbors reaching into the giant buckets for another buttery handful. You burst out of the theater, money in hand, “Give me the extra large.” You demand. If this is you, you may be having a hard time kicking junk food. After all, it’s so convenient, so cheap, so addictive, so delicious, so childlike, so seductive, so fattening. You need help. Here are some tips for living a junk free life.

Kicking Junk Food
We all know it’s hard to kick junk food. It’s set up that way. Junk food is big business and manufacturers are prepared to take full advantage. Manufacturers aim for the “bliss point’ in the product. This may think of as sort of a junk food orgasm, with the later experiencing the height of pleasure, the ultimate balance between the sweet, the salty, and the fatty. At this point, your brain reacts in a similar way to the way it would with cocaine addiction. This is the point at which temptation becomes hardest to resist, but there are ways:

Plan Ahead
A good way of handling cravings is to make sure you always have a healthy alternative prepared. This will reduce what researchers refer to as your “food cue activity”, or the time in which you are most susceptible to the influence of food advertisements, smells, and conversations pertaining to food. Aim to plan your weekly meals at the beginning of your work week. Go grocery shopping, stocking up on easy to prepare foods, like brown rice, beans, roasted and stir-fried vegetables, and cold salads. Store them in containers or foil to make them easy to grab before work in the morning. Fruit also travels well and can be an easy afternoon snack option.

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Shop Around
….and by this, we mean around the edge of the store. The dairy, fish, produce, heart healthy and meat sections are typically located on the perimeter of a grocery store, while processed foods are kept in the aisle. By purchasing from these sections, you will begin to get used to eating whole grains, proteins, fruit, and vegetables, gradually weaning yourself off junk foods.

Healthy Fats
Not all fat makes you fat. Your body needs a little fat, as long as its heart healthy. While you should avoid the trans fats and saturated fats lurking in pro chart -healthy fats, like the kinds found in nuts and avocados will reduce cravings and help you to feel full.

Change Your Thinking
Ah, the power of negative thinking! A 2013 study demonstrated that when participants were trained to look at junk food in a negative way, their desire for it decreased. Junk food junkies were asked to view the objects of their cravings as if they: We’re already full; Just saw someone sneeze on the item Could save the food for later; We’re told that the food would have a negative impact on them (weight gain, stomachache)

Eat the Rainbow
Try bringing some new foods in your diet to keep it interesting. Eating diverse foods across the color spectrum keep you from boredom and reverting back to junk food. Plus, eating the rainbow can improve health and prevent disease. Try some purple grapes, red beets, orange mangoes, green spinach, and blueberries for some healthy psychedelia.

Let us know how your battle with junk food is going. What are your best tips for resisting the “bliss point?”

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