Fashion · Lifestyle

Ebony Fashion Fair

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Lacroix, dahling
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Alexander McQueen for Givenchy

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I just had to share some of my favorite fashions from the 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The show runs until May 3, so if you love fashion, make sure you check it out!

Fashion

Pregnant Pause

Adidas Originals
Adidas Originals
Baby's first handbag
Baby’s first handbag

I apologize for being inactive for so long, but obviously I’ve had more than a few things on my mind. Plus I haven’t really been shopping. Early on, I decided there was no need to buy tons of maternity clothes that I would only get to wear for a few months. I did make a few strategic purchases at Gap Maternity and Topshop that have proved quite valuable. Here are my top tips for dressing great throughout your pregnancy.

1. There’s no need to say goodbye to skinny jeans! In fact, I’d recommend rocking them more than ever — wearing at least one fitted garment helps keep me from feeling huge. I bought a really cute pair at Topshop in Chicago. You can also wear your pre-pregnancy pants and skirts with the help of a BeBand — it slips over your unbuttoned jeans and holds them up. Just wear a longer top to cover it up.

2. Like I said, long tops are your best friend. Your growing belly makes everything shorter, so you’ll definitely want a few extra inches of fabric for insurance. I’ve been loving oversized silky tops, which I normally would have worn belted over leggings. Now they are just the right size. I bought a few summery maternity tops, but mostly I’ve been able to just creatively re-purpose the items in my closet.

3. Get a professional bra fitting when things start to get uncomfortable. I went to Nordstrom in the second trimester and I’m so glad I did. The women there know their stuff and really helped me out. I was quite surprised how much my size had changed, and Nordstrom carries some of my favorite European brands. I really appreciated the time and attention to ensure I was satisfied with my choices. But don’t buy a ton because your size will likely change again. Soon I’ll need to go shopping for nursing bras.

4. Most maxi dresses are great and oh so comfortable. No need to worry about them being too short (well, on me anyway – at 5’3″ I usually have some extra length to play with.) You do have to watch where the waistband hits. Elastic in the middle across your belly is not a good look. I recently bought this Peter Som dress at Kohl’s, which looks amazing, and I love that I can wear it after I have the baby, too. I’ve also been making good use of my empire waist dresses. I wore a lovely Suzi Chin Maggie Boutique dress (not maternity) for my baby shower, which I bought years ago for a coworker’s wedding.

5. Layer it on. I love wearing cute jackets and cardigans because they frame my body. They still fit me; I just wear them unbuttoned. Plus with the weird Milwaukee weather, you never know if it’s going to be 80 degrees (at my suburban house) or 60 (on the lakefront).

6. Embrace comfortable footwear. Normally I’m the queen of heels, but this summer I’m embracing casual chic. Even Vogue says we should wear sneakers and Birkenstocks right now. Perfect timing! I have been frequently donning my Birks, Pumas and Stan Smiths. Now I’m just praying my feet don’t grow so I can wear my heels again soon!

 

 

Fashion

Fashion on Ice

Fashionable skaters
Fashionable skaters
Timothy skates during the show
Timothy skates during the show
Opening looks
Opening looks
Closing looks
Closing looks

Last Wednesday night I ran out of my doctor’s appointment, threw on a dress and hurried downtown to the Pfister Hotel. I couldn’t miss another one of Timothy Westbrook‘s creative fashion presentations. I still remember the first time I saw his work at the Pfister. It was a small outdoor show with a couple dozen curious onlookers during his time as the hotel’s artist in residence. Now, after appearing on Project Runway and gaining publicity, he easily fills a ballroom with Milwaukee’s most fashionable crowd.

Even if you aren’t into clothes, you would have enjoyed this terrific spectacle. Here’s how Timothy explained the event, called Legacy: “Experience a visual journey that questions how one simultaneously blazes a trail while following the footsteps who inspire us to move forward.”

I learned that before he started sewing, he was an ice skater. And he skated for the audience live, in a choreographed routine along with local students. You’re not going to see that every day! Of course, there is a history of connections between skating and fashion — Vera Wang immediately comes to mind. Timothy literally tied his two interests together in some of the more whimsical looks, with clothing accented by skate blades and boots. Some of my favorites pieces were the painted dresses that appeared to be inspired by abstract art.

Legacy makes you think about the kind of impact that you want to leave behind. Timothy’s career is just beginning, but he’s already making a strong impact on Milwaukee and beyond.

 

 

Fashion

Peter Pilotto for Target picks

I actually considered completely sitting out this collaboration. Not because I don’t like the designer or the collection, but because I’m (big announcement!) nearly four months pregnant. Fortunately I’m still fitting in all of my clothes for now. But I know by the time warm weather arrives (if it ever freaking does – worst winter ever), those cute tops and little dresses won’t even remotely fit. And I don’t want to wait a whole freaking year to wear them.

So I decided on a strategy and stuck to it. I bought the swimsuit coverup – really just a pretty floral printed maxidress, and the colorblock blazer. The dress is billowy and stretchy, which will flatter my growing figure nicely, plus it will be cool and comfy when I’m dying of heat this summer. And the blazer should still work; I’ll just wear it open as my bump grows. I ordered the items online using the mobile site around 2:30 am. For some reason Target loaded the items on there first. Glad I did because my local store (New Berlin) had a really weak selection of items. I went to another store and found the maxidress, but my size was already sold out. I have yet to see the blazer in person, but I’m hoping it will compare in quality to my floral Prabal/Target jacket.

I’d also like to share an exciting Milwaukee retail update. Our first Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth stores are scheduled to open on April 3 at the Mayfair Collection!

Peter Pilotto for Target jacket
Peter Pilotto for Target jacket
Peter Pilotto for Target  maxidress
Peter Pilotto for Target maxidress
Fashion · Lifestyle

NYE Milwaukee 2014

Well, unfortunately, I’m not going to be spending New Year’s Eve in Paris like last year. Le sigh. But I’m trying to make the best of it. We have reservations at Carnevor, a swanky steakhouse (Kobe goes there when he’s in town…) and will likely head over to Distil, an upscale cocktail bar, afterward.

I’m really struggling with what to wear, however. The weather forecast is atrocious, to say the least. Temperature: 5 degrees, with an 80 percent chance of lots of snow. Gee, can’t wait. I guess um, on the bright side, that’s better than today. It’s currently 4 below zero. I can’t even get up the motivation to go out to the gym.

So what to wear on a frigid NYE? I’m considering my wool Alexander McQueen dress or my Celine tuxedo pants. Just for fun, I scoured the Net-a-porter sale and created a fantasy outfit. Happy 2014 everyone!

 3.1 Phillip Lim Leather over-the-knee boots
3.1 Phillip Lim leather over-the-knee boots
 Versace Fox-trimmed ribbed wool cardigan
Versace fox-trimmed ribbed wool cardigan
Belstaff Campden embellished silk-satin dress
Belstaff Campden embellished silk-satin dress
Fashion · Lifestyle

Fall, Fashion and Fun

It has been a very busy fall. I feel like I’ve been traveling non-stop! In October I went to Montana for a week, and in November I flew out to Los Angeles and then spent a weekend in Chicago. I haven’t had time or energy to post anything lately, so I thought I’d just do a quick update and include some fun photos.

I’ve also been busy shopping. I did a lot of damage (the good kind!) in West Hollywood/Beverly Hills. I bought a late 90s Yves Saint Laurent jacket (from the Alber Elbaz era) and a lipstick red L.K. Bennett Davina dress (the same style as Kate Middleton wore!) at Decades — the store featured on Dukes of Melrose on Bravo. I also cleaned up in summer clearance merchandise at Fred Segal, found some great deals at Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack (including Alice & Olivia dress pants, normally $300, for $25) and bought a funny t-shirt at Kitson (Ain’t Laurent without Yves) — now that’s a fashion philosophy I can get behind!

In Chicago, I scored a black Marc Jacobs Georgie bag for a true steal at the Nordstrom Rack in the northern suburbs. I was told the zipper had been repaired, so it could no longer be sold for full price. It’s a brand new fall 2013 bag and I saved like $1,000! I hope you’re all finding some great shopping deals this fall, too! Happy Thanksgiving!

Belstaff jackets are good for riding yaks and motorcycles
Belstaff jackets are good for riding yaks and motorcycles
Wearing Zac Posen and Celine at the Breeders' Cup, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA
Wearing Zac Posen and Celine at the Breeders’ Cup, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA
Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles
Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles