Monday, October 24, 2016

The Dark Horse

DarkHorse11 DarkHorse2a DarkHorse3 DarkHorse6 DarkHorse4 DarkHorse5 DarkHorse9 DarkHorse7 Today's post is a special one. Back in August I visited my sister in Chicago and she suggested I take advantage of the many art installations the city has to offer for a photoshoot. Her favorite is a mural of two black horses by artist Ricky Lee Gordon. Part of the Wasbash Arts Corridor, this "living urban canvas" entitled I Am You / You Are Me immediately spoke to me too.

When I first started In Spades I agonized over the name. I'm not kidding when I say I did focus groups, sent surveys to family and friends and sat with my ideas for months. What came forth was something a little unorthodox, but felt inherently me - The Dark Horse. It spoke to my interest in non-conformist dressing - getting dressed for you and you alone, not your significant other, the girls you're trying to compete with or the trends you think you should embody. It embodies my love of the underdog, the one that chooses to march to the beat of her own drum. I like different. I cherish weird. The Dark Horse doesn't just understand that, she personifies it.

While The Dark Horse didn't land as my blog name, it still speaks to me as a state of mind.

Gordon's main message in this mural is one of interconnectedness (I encourage you to read more about it here). While fashion allows for one of the highest forms of self expression, it also finds a way to bond us all together. To make us feel as though we have a tribe. I chose to wear all black for this shoot for obvious reasons. During this little slice of creative expression, we were a tribe. It was important to highlight the overall story, not to stand out as its star.

Personal style is so fascinating. There are times when we want to overly embellish and there are times when we want to wipe the canvas clean and return to basics. I think the common thread is exactly what Gordon set out to do with his mural - no matter what our mood chooses to depict on the outside, it is the connection we feel to ourselves and each other on the inside that matters.

Ellery top (silk version here) // Brochu Walker culottes (similar here) // Thatch necklace // 

Mural by Ricky Lee Gordon commissioned by the Wabash Arts Corridor

Special thanks to photographer John Khuu for capturing these images

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Accessorize a Fall Wardrobe

Yesterday I talked about my favorite color palette for fall - grey + white. Today I'm sharing a little behind the scenes look into what goes into an OOTD photoshoot (unglamorous city sidewalks and all!), while also walking you through simple ways to accessorize this look with items already in your closet.

If you like this video let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear what topics you'd like covered in future videos!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Grey + white for Fall

WhiteSweater6 WhiteSweater8 WhiteSweater1 WhiteSweater5 WhiteSweater7 WhiteSweater2 WhiteSweater4 When it comes to everyday dressing, I tend to stick to a neutral color palette and save my 'pop' colors for statement pieces. For me, fall weather usually tends towards one of two combinations: black + tan or grey + white.

Both combos make me think of hot cocoa and pumpkin patches, so when I saw this bell sleeved sweater over the weekend while roaming through Anthropologie I had to get it. I'm typically more of an Anthro window shopper, but they have some amazing pieces right now (check out this gorgeous lace top)!

I love the sophisticated Audrey vibe the sweater gives off. I'm pretty picky when it comes to sweaters - most are too itchy for me - but this is the softest fabric ever. Paired with wool culottes, it would be great for the office or an evening out with friends.

Stay tuned for an added bonus on how to accessorize this look on the blog tomorrow!

J. Crew Collection pants (last season, similar here) // Acne Studios emoji pumps 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Shopbop Sale

From now until Friday, Shopbop is having their Event of the Season sale! This is a great time to get items on your wishlist that normally never go on sale (shoes, sunglasses, handbags and "It" items).

I've linked my favorite pieces below. I definitely won't be able to resist these sunglasses, this gorgeous wool hat, and this bucket bag. Happy shopping!

The Details
Use Code MAINEVENT16 at checkout
25% off purchases up to $500
30% off purchases over $500
Sale ends October 14


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New York Fashion Week SS17 Recap Part V

LouisVerdad4"I'm doing great.  This is what I live for.  This moment."  Louis Verdad

We begin the day feeling refreshed and energized from yesterday’s shows and time with friends. The weather in New York is perfect so I select a vivid pink dress that’s equally chic and polished for the incredibly full day that lies ahead (6 shows plus backstage coverage).

LouisVerdad3 LouisVerdad5 Our first appointment is a presentation by Louis Verdad. A longtime designer (he dressed Madonna for her infamous Britney kiss at the MTV Music Awards), Verdad debuted an advanced contemporary denim line accented by leather jackets and silk separates.

Right away I am drawn to the elevated details and masterful use of mixed media. Several pieces are part denim, part silk giving them a beautiful, feminine ease while still maintaining structure. I am especially drawn to his leather jacket with statement shoulders and nipped waistline, and his gorgeous white trench dress with gold accents.
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I love attending presentations because they are a wonderful opportunity to speak with the designer and get an added insight into the collection. After walking me through his thought process on working with denim, I asked Verdad how he was holding up. His response was everything that embodies the creativity and spirit of NYFW: “I’m doing great. This is what I live for. This moment.”

We arrive at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea for a backstage look into Ji Oh’s S/S17 collection. The energy is high and I get a walkthrough of today’s vision from Bumble & Bumble master stylist Tina Outen. After covering the backstage environment, we take a walk on the High Line and shoot OOTD photos.

Photo shoot in the bag, we head back to the venue and grab some avocado toast on the patio. While waiting for the show to start, a dance troupe performs in point shoes and couture right in front of the hotel. This is reason #4,783 why I love NYFW – the random, spontaneous moments of creativity around every corner.

Queued up for Ji Oh, I am standing right next to Ken Downing. PR lets him in early (rightly so) and I have a little “oh-my-gosh-did-that-just-happen” moment while my husband looks on amused.

Ji Oh S/S17 is a glorious display of volume and texture. Deconstructed shirting, yellow accents and fringe are the main components.

Click here for video of Ji Oh S/S17!

After Ji Oh we hop in a cab to Clarkson Square for Leanne Marshall. We first saw Leanne a year and a half earlier for her F/W15 collection. An avid Project Runway watcher during the Heidi/Tim days, I love that I’m able to support a designer whose career I followed from almost the very beginning.

LM1 LM3a LM4 I love the water stain detailing of this dress!

In classic Leanne fashion, we are treated to flowing silk chiffon, organza and crepe de chine in a color palette that seamlessly transitioned from citrine to sunstone to amethyst. It’s gorgeous, feminine and moves like a deity walking on water. Eight pieces from the runway are immediately available for purchase, making Leanne yet another designer to dip a toe into the see-now, buy-now model.
Click here for a video of Leanne Marshall S/S17!

After Leanne I am mobbed by street style photographers thanks to my vivid pink dress. I give three interviews and meet a celebrity photographer before heading back to the hotel for a little break.

We are confirmed for two different shows at 7pm and make the tough decision to skip one rather than split up. We head to Moynihan Station for Vivienne Tam (one of my favorites) and I luck out and get seated next to my blogger friend Cathy.
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One of the reasons why I love Vivienne Tam so much is her masterful eye for combining quirky, whimsical designs into high fashion pieces. Where some designers would take this influence to kitschy levels, Tam’s pieces are elevated and can be found on everyone from Miroslava Duma to Anna Wintour.
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Inspired by Houston, TX, Tam opened the show with a video message from NASA astronaut Tracy Dysons. The collection featured a tremendous amount of influences: NASA, space cowboys, fringe, tie-dye, metallics, embroidery, floral applique and Tam’s signature butterflies. Under her keen eye the collection was not only cohesive, it was imaginative and fun. The applause from the VIP section – many of which were wearing 10-gallon hats – proved Tam’s eye for design appeals to all. She closed the show to Rob Zombie's Dragula, which only made me love her even more.
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Our 8pm show was the only time logistics would work in our favor during NYFW – we simply had to walk across the hall for Anniesa Hasibuan.

A very young brand, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect from Anniesa Hasibuan, but the moment her pieces hit the runway, her design prowess became clear. Featuring traditional garments from her native Indonesia, she was the first designer to present a collection entirely comprised of hijabs during NYFW. I was absolutely floored by the level of craftsmanship that went into each piece – metallic lace, hand beading, flowing silk, ornate jewelry and eyewear accented every look.
When the lights dimmed on the nearly 50-piece collection I thought the show was over. Hasibuan had just displayed a monumental burst of elegance and artistry. But the lights came back up and she sent an incredible metallic lace gown with floor length train down the runway. There was a collective gasp from the audience and everyone stood up in uproarious applause. It was such an incredible moment, one I’ll never forgot.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Balenciaga in the City

Balenciaga2 Balenciaga6 Balenciaga1 Balenciaga4 Balenciaga7 Balenciaga3 Balenciaga5 Bidding New York adieu is always tough. When you've spent the last 6 days in a flurry of creativity, whimsy and eclectic energy, it's hard to pull away and go back to reality. One of the main reasons why I love fashion is its transformational ability. When you find something that speaks to you, you don't simply put it on and go about your day. You float, you soar, you have a special aura. You are elevated.

Walking through the streets in this black Balenciaga number was the perfect cap on an amazing week. It's a little bit Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's and a little bit badass - I don't think you can get more New York.  It made for the perfect goodbye photo.

We opted for the latest flight out on our last day to take advantage of the daytime shows and squeeze in one more Italian meal. Two of my all-time favorites, Georgine and Monique Lhuillier were on tap, as well as pizza at Rubirosa (don't worry, I managed not to spill).

Stay tuned for the final installments of my NYFW experience on the blog later this week!

Balenciaga dress (similar style on sale here) // Silvano Apparel sunglasses // 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ji Oh S/S17

Ji-Oh2 On our last full day of NYFW we were invited backstage to Ji Oh. The show took place at the High Line Hotel in Chelsea, and we arrived early to get a glimpse of the hair styling by Bumble & Bumble. Under the direction of mater stylist Tina Outen, the hair featured a play on fringe, an element Oh used in her collection.

First, let me just say that Tina is one of the most delightful people you will ever meet. A lover of pink, we bonded over our matching hair/dress situation before she walked us through her vision for the day. The goal was to create light and airy style through an intricate process of twisting the models hair through large bobby pins and sealing it with a flat iron. After setting, the pins were removed, brushed out and manipulated into a style with feather-like texture. Paired with fresh faces and yellow eyebrows from the makeup artists, it was a perfect compliment to Ji Oh’s spring collection.

Tina Outen went on to style the runway shows of Jonathan Saunders, Paul Smith and Antonio Berardi to name a few. As you can imagine, she’s kind of a big deal.
With Lan, who also styled the show and was responsible for my haircut

The Collection
Ji-Oh3 Ji-Oh1 Ji Oh launched her namesake line two years ago and immediately caught the attention of industry veterans. She was inducted into the CFDA Incubator 4.0 – a business development program geared toward developing emerging designers in New York – and is a finalist of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

With an eye for clean, versatile pieces that bend androgynous, her S/S17 collection was inspired by shirting. Playing off the idea of being in uniform, she reinterpreted the Oxford shirt by showing crisp pieces accented with grommets, rope belts and ruched details. A lover of voluminous, clean silhouettes, Oh’s collection really spoke to me. Her multi-layered looks featuring pinstripes and yellow (huge color trend for spring!) were exactly the type of silhouette that feels easy yet utterly sophisticated.
Ji-Oh8 Ji-Oh6 Fringe also played a part at Ji Oh, but unlike the abundance we’ve seen on the runway in seasons past, Oh used a light touch. My favorite interpretation was her flare-leg pants. By cutting slits up to the knees, she added fringe to the inside creating a lovely peek-a-boo effect that felt both playful and chic. She paired each look with brogues from Repetto and Wolford fishnet stockings that were worn over the shoes. It was an unorthodox styling choice that I absolutely loved. Ji-Oh4 Ji-Oh5 Ji-Oh7 Special thanks to Bumble & Bumble