Marissa Webb Fall 2014.

Up until this year, Marissa Webb always had her show next to us at Ruffian in the fancy pants tent that is NYFW at Lincoln Center.  I always loved when she would arrive because EVERYONE knew it.  Not because of any diva behavior, but because this little munchkin of a thing would sweep in like a tornado made of sunshine and smiles.  She would greet everyone with a sense of familiarity that seemed quite genuine, even though you know she didn't know who half the people were that she was wishing a good morning. 1 2 3

I was never really struck by any of her collections...which I always found a real shame because I wanted to love everything about this bright little lady.  And then, TA DA.  Her Fall 2014 collection has gone and done it.

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It's a bit naughty schoolgirl gone classy as hell.  Leather, fur, silk...straight-up youthful foxiness.  Will it change the world or the face of fashion?  Not by a mile.  But would dressing in this collection make me a happy girl?  Oh hell yes.  It's stylish and cool without going too far.  Attainable and aspirational.

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I want it.  Check out the entire collection here.

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(Images c/o Style.com)

Marc by Marc Jacobs & Marc Jacobs Fall 2013: The King of Everything.

When you ask someone who the living greats of fashion design are, you're sure to get the classic answers: Oscar, Karl, Ralph, Valentino...  But up there with the seasoned legends is a reasonably younger designer who is actually trumping all the others at the moment is Marc Jacobs.  His Marc by Marc Jacobs show for Fall 2013 had 'cool girl' refinement down to perfection.  It felt like a bit of a change for this one of Marc's collections.  It was subdued but it worked.  Hair and make-up direction was obviously 'sex it up' and against 40's style silhouettes, it all worked together seamlessly.

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But in a way, it had to.  Not just to send out a good collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs, but to cover the designer's ass as he was already at the center of one of the most controversial moments of NYFW...  It is UNHEARD of to move a show.  Especially when the show is only a few days away.  As some designers were scrambling to beat the elements (i.e. a complete bastard of a blizzard), the MJ camp was dealing with delayed deliveries of, well, basically all of his signature Marc Jacobs collection.  Pressure was on.  And to be expected, Marc Jacobs did not disappoint.  In fact, the Marc Jacobs shows proved to be one of the most incredible of the entire week.  While many of the looks deemed wearing trousers superfluous, and in one case, no top required, it was a stunning show.  In summary, get your sequins out, bitches.  It's time to shiiine.

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(All images c/o Style.com)

Ulyana Sergeenko Couture Spring 2013.

First reaction to this collection?  Costumes.  But costumes I would be happy to wear.  Silhouettes were stunning.  Beauty details were stunning.  Accessories were stunning.  Fabrications.  Shoes.  Styling.  So forth and so on.  Ulyana Sergeenko sent out a gorgeous collection for her second time around, vying for a place in the elite 'couture club'.

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Ulyana has always fascinated me.  As part of the Russian 'fash pack', Ulyana is not a new face on the fashion scene.  She and her equally hot/adorable Russian gal pals are always the hottest shot all the photographers are vying for outside the shows every season.  If I was to be slightly critical, it would be that this collection really just seems like an extension of the designer's own style.  But to contradict myself...maybe that's what makes it so good.  If you are your own inspiration, you're also your harshest critic.  Regardless, Ulyana's Russian roots and folklorish whimsy (yeah, I used that word, get over it) are obvious inspiration and I'm loving it.  See the entire collection here.

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Have you entered our giveaway yet?! Win a perfect piece of artwork that is sure to bring smiles to anyone...even in the middle of these winter blues.  Enter here!

(All images c/o Style.com)

Giambattista Valli Couture Spring 2013.

I don't have a lot to say on this collection other than it makes me want to find a place to wear a gown.  Someone sort out a reason for me to get all gussied up please. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

For me, it missed the mark here and there.  I'm not a huge fan of the 80s 'high low' skirt style when it comes to couture...or anything other than a cheapo skirt.  And things may have skewed grown-up Cavalli at times.  And sometimes a little Dior (which I am not complaining about.)  But mostly, I spent the majority of the time I was looking at this collection squealing.  See the entire collection here.

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(All images c/o Style.com)

Alexis Mabille Couture Spring 2013.

Couture is a dying art.  This season, for me at least, the collections seems to have started without me even really noticing.  Don't tell the rest of the fashion world I said that, please.  Anyway, the first collection I took a peek at was Alexis Mabille and was ready to be underwhelmed.  But dammit.  This collection makes me want to be a ballerina.  Or at least dress like one.  Or at least dress the way I think ballerinas should dress.

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Ballerina!  I want to be a mother f**king ballerina!  And the silver hair was pretty cool too.  But I may leave that for the runway...  But otherwise, wrap me up in tulle and send me on my way!  See the entire collection here.

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(All images c/o Style.com)

McQueen Spring 2013: The Bee's Knees in Paris.

Sarah Burton made her inspiration crystal clear for the Alexander McQueen Spring 2013 show in Paris this season.  Bees.  Cutesy?  Kitsch?  A bit too sweet?  Not in the McQueen world.  The bright yellows and floral appliques could have been a bit too over the top, even for this label, but the dark reminder of the sting and the regal nature of the colony were what poured through.

The take on the bee keeper hat was in your face but the references to golden honey, floral hints (in some cases, more of a punch than a hit) and honeycomb patterns all held true to the McQueen aesthetic.  Not to mention the silhouettes that the label has made famous.  Volume balanced by restrictive structure.  Is it commercial?  Of course not.  Not like this at least.  But Alexander McQueen always wanted to make a statement first and sell garments later.  Sarah Burton obviously understands and embraces that legacy.

(All images c/o Style.com)

Paris Spring 2013: Balenciaga, Barbara Bui, Cacharel.

Well, 'Fashion Month' is officially over.  Paris is the final week in the series and, arguably, the most important so LOOK OUT!  I've chosen some of my favorite shows this week to recap for you.  I'll try to keep it short and sweet because I know it has been fashion show overload recently.  But guess what?  I'm the boss.  But I'll be gentle. I feel like it is sacrilegious to not like a Balenciaga collection.  The name itself demands respect.  And it was a good show.  Not great.  Not super memorable.  But a good show.  It wasn't until well into the show that some of my favorite looks came out and, dare I say, they were super accessible!  I mean, I could see them walking down the street...maybe in my own closet?  Sweet dresses and especially the classic white sweater with a beautiful skirt!  Balenciaga is no longer for the hoity toity but for...well...us!

Oh Barbara Bui...what a sexy freakin' resurgence you're having!  If we are talking about a youthful update, in Paris terms of course, then this label is the poster child.  Leather on leather.  Black on blue.  Casual on gorgeous.  It was seriously simple.  Tailored, classic and comfortable - French fashion embodied.

Cacharel proved to be one of my favorite shows of the season.  Except the responsibility of this label fell upon only a few looks.  It started ok.  It ended a bit 'meh'.  But something happened in between that was delightful.  Maybe it was the color or the styling or the feminine silhouettes.  Oh I don't know.  And that's ok.  I just love it.  Sometimes that is good enough.

(All images c/o Style.com)

Missoni Spring 2013: White Washed.

Before I get into the beauty that is Missoni, I want to remind you of the beauty that is Astrid Endeavor and the necklace we are lucky enough to giveaway with the artist herself!  You have until Thursday to enter...which you can do HERE. Missoni is trademarked by its bright colors and zig-zag knits so you can imagine the surprise when, for their Spring 2013 show, both were subdued to the point of being completely absent at times.  But it suited the label so well!  One of the greatest and last fashion families still in operation, Missoni is still impossibly cool (mostly thanks to the presence of fun, young family spokesperson Margherita) but their fashions can seem a bit repetitive at times.  So it was incredibly refreshing to see and updated take on the Missoni trademark look.

It was still easy to see exactly what house the looks were coming from, even though the beauty and those bizarre imposing collars seemed to take a fair amount of attention.  When I think about the Missoni girl, she is organic, natural, effortless...slicked down hair with frizzy ends and the brightest possible lip color didn't, to me, seem to fit into the ethos that was already being tested.  But I guess this is Fashion Week(s) and I should shut my mouth.

Oh Missoni, you legend.  Would you like to come live in my closet?  Or better yet...can I come live in yours?

(All images c/o Style.com)

OH MY DIOR: The Spring 2013 Collection.

There is very little to say about this collection other than squeal with delight and make faces at it like you've just fallen in love.  One of the most anticipated shows of the season (the other being the newly renamed 'Saint Laurent'), all eyes were on Raf Simons to see if the magic he brought to his final Jil Sander show and his first Dior Couture show were simply flukes or the work of a real star.  So as guests settled into one of the four different colored block rooms specially constructed at Invalides in Paris (and I settled into my bed watching it live streaming online), there was quite the buzz.

 

 

 

Raf delivered.  Raf exceeded expectation.  I want Raf to be my best friend.  Saying before the show that he wanted to pay as much attention to the legacy that is Mr. Dior as he did to his own aesthetic and vision, it seems these two men make a great spiritual team.  With designers like Sarah Burton at McQueen getting some stick for trying too hard to recreate what her predecessor may have wanted and Hedi Slimane given a hard time for potentially stripping YSL of its heritage, Raf seemed to find a really happy medium.

 

 

 

 

 

Don't alienate but update.  It was Dior to the core but in a new era.  The shoes seemed to be a problem for a few of the models but if that is the biggest hurdle, who cares.  This was a gorgeous show and Raf has obviously found his way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't forget that you have a couple more days to enter our giveaway with the amazing Astrid Endeavor to win a necklace!  Enter here!

(Images c/o Style.com)

Luisa Beccaria Spring 2013: The Cool Girl From Ipanema.

If you're looking for a Spring 2013 show that chose a theme and then stuck to it come hell or high water, look no further than Luisa Beccaria.  Including a model that walked the catwalk holding a massive basket of flowers on her head, this show stood its ground.  It was a beautiful sweet sexiness that you come to love and expect from the Italians.

 

 

 

Parts of it seemed costume-y and there weren't any surprises as the show went on...you understood what the designer wanted to portray and that was that.  But none of this overshadowed the fact that this was a genuinely beautiful show.  Well, except that there also wasn't a huge amount of variation in looks...maxi dress after maxi skirt after maxi dress.  As a major supporter and promoter of the 'maxi' revolution, shapes didn't change much and I just kept thinking that all these massive silhouettes would swallow me alive.  I know it isn't all about me but it kinda is at the same time.  This is fashion after all!  :)

 

 

 

 

The beauty and styling kinda stole the show for me...as much as they could when I really did fall in love with some of the dresses.  The bright head wraps seemed silly at first look but actually ended up being quite perfect.  The simple make-up and straight hair evoked an effortless girlish charm that we all put a lot of effort into trying to recreate.  Bright pink lip, bronzed cheeks...all in all, a good pout and cheekbones.  In a sea of shows dedicated to black and white, as well as the return of the goth for springtime, the steadfast use of nothing but pink, blue and white was not revolutionary but refreshing.  A reminder of what season we were looking at.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(All images c/o Style.com)

Mulberry Spring 2013: Busy & Beautiful. Real Beautiful.

I had high hopes for Mulberry.  Every season seems to be a seemingly impossible improvement on the year before.  The label is a total pro when it comes to holding tight to quirky English tradition and staying updated and, in fact, cooler than any of us can ever hope to be.  Am I setting myself up for disappointment?  I should be.  But dammit!  Emma Hill and her team have done it a-bloody-gain!

I'm not mad.  I'm excited.  Ok, I'm a little bit mad.  But only because I can't afford it.  Right now.  And I want all of it.  Right now.  I know it is part of the whole aesthetic of Mulberry but the collections make me want to get lost in some kind of magical forest dressed like the most adorable girl ever.  My one issue?  The poodles.  I don't like them and not even Mulberry can make me.

What was that?  You want to win a beautiful necklace?  Well, you're in luck...Thrill of the Chaise is giving one away with one of my favorite Etsy shops!  Enter here!

(All images c/o Style.com)

Temperley London Spring 2013: Love At First Fashion Sight.

I've always been in 'like' with Temperley.  It's quite pretty and Kate Middleton seems to like it and I'm supportive of anything that loves London as much as I do.  But I've been getting pretty bored.  Designers are allowed to have their moments of a 'nice' collection.  We can't all be geniuses all the time (that includes you, Karl) but when I look at a label and begin to think 'well, it's not offensive', I shut off. So thank you, lovely Alice Temperley, for pulling me out of my funk with you!  The Spring 2013 collection from Temperley London could easily double as a resort collection...but that's part of the fun.  It's very 1950s luxurious cruise through the Italian isles.  It's still got the cute factor but with enough sheer to remind you that Temperley designs for women.  Or rather, women with a girlish mentality.

 

Though it may be a bit of a darker reference, as the film as all about a cheating spouse and the perils of love, the collection really reminded me of Jean Luc Godard's 'Contempt'.  Brigitte Bardot as a film producer's wife shooting on the Italian coast and on the island of Capri in the 1950s.  Luxury, beauty and a bit of the French balance between sweet and sexy.

 

The mark of a beautiful garment is that it makes getting dressed to impress effortless.  These looks would stand out in any room and you'd genuinely be able to say 'oh this? I just threw it on'.  Also, who else is down with bringing back the lace glove look?  :)

(All images c/o Style.com)

House of Holland Spring 2013: Yes. A Million Times Yes.

In theory, I should love House of Holland.  In reality, I've always found it a bit 'try-too-hard' silly.  I try...I really do...because I want to be part of the Henry Holland clique.  And FINALLY the man has given me the chance!  Mr. Holland has gone a bit moody this season or at least as moody as this guy, who I can only assume is made of cotton candy and Skittles, can get.

Still present are all the bold prints and patterns the designer is known for but, and I know I keep saying this, it's a bit more mature.  I mean...not properly grown-up but not so damn goofy.  The boots are badass.  There are metallic biker jackets.  And these girls can really rock the beanie!  It's a bit like all the best parts of House of Holland and Marni collided.  I've gone from zero to giddy in 8 fashion show minutes.

I'm a little obsessed with the last look below...it's like I can suddenly be a kid of the 90s again but cool...really cool.

(All images c/o Style.com)

NYFW Spring 2013: Calvin Klein Collection, Nanette Lepore & Vera Wang.

In ways, it was classic Calvin Klein.  But then reading somewhere that 'the Clueless dress ain't got nothing on this' made it clear that this was actually Calvin all grown-up.  I can't imagine what kind of challenge it is to continually come up with collections that are so similar but so different...I mean, Calvin Klein is one of the oldest American labels out there for all intents and purposes and one that has one of the strictest brand identities I know.  Black.  White.  Angular.  No embellishment.  Sporty.  Not too sporty.  Mission accomplished.

Awwww, Nanette Lepore...silly amounts of sweet, almost as much cool and impressive use of 'just enough' color and sheer fabric.  It's about being a lady while also being a woman and I love that.  For me, the shoes were questionable but they somehow worked.  Just not on my feet.  I'll take the dresses.

I'm not entirely sure what to say about Vera Wang's Spring 2013 collection.  It could just be that I've been talking about the New York shows for what seems like ages now and I've run out of steam on them but it's also because I'm a bit torn.  It was a beautiful show.  Her shapes, textures and, augh, everything was gorgeous.  Everything I would wear in a heartbeat.  There was some kind of deconstructed glamour about all the looks that really gets me going.  It felt like Vera but it also felt a little like Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen at times too.  I'll still take it though...and I want a pair of those f**king shoes too.

(All images c/o Style.com)

NYFW Spring 2013: Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Emerson & Norisol Ferrari

Whenever I think of Badgley Mischka, I think of extreme formal wear and dresses.  I'm not complaining but that is what I have come to expect from this staple of New York Fashion Week.  And the Badgley Mischka boys gave us exactly what we wanted but a little bit more. The stand out looks from this show were actually the seperates...including sweatpants!  Even the most casual garments had the special flare of the label (i.e. gold, embroidery, bedazzlement) so nothing seemed out-of-place or entirely unusual, just refreshing and ever so romantic.

It is a life goal of mine to go to a Betsey Johnson show.  The Queen of all things kooky did not disappoint this year and though she may have given us some pretty strong insight into the reasons she ended up filing for bankruptcy this year, she also didn't let that get her down.  Bizarre props, including an actual piglet, were gleefully used by models who struck you as the type of cool girl that you were also a little bit scared of.  An insane amount of looks shimmied down the runway, each styled like a little girl who wants to wear all of her favorite things at once.  In truth, I made a point to not show you this show and the Anna Sui show in the same post because I am pretty sure all our heads would explode  :)

I had the pleasure of attending the Emerson at Lincoln Center this year and for someone who was otherwise unfamiliar with the label, I left being pretty excited about it.  I don't know if it was the inspiration or the styling or the label itself but I really did fall a little bit in love.  Focused on the idea of 1970s horror films, the Emerson show did an amazing job at depicting the beautiful bad girl.  From the first look with a very cool letter man jacket to the black dip-dyed messy braids, this show was youthful and girly without letting you think for a minute that the Emerson chick wouldn't kick your ass given half a reason.  It was a collision of the 'Carrie' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (the movie, not the TV show) in all the best ways.  And the final walk complete with red confetti to a Beastie Boys anthem sealed the deal.

Another show I was happy to attend this seasons was Norisol Ferrari.  To sum up the experience, a drum & bass version of 'Hey Big Spender' was met with outfit names such as 'Dinner with the Ex' and 'How I Got My Raise' and models ranged from new unknowns to 81-year-old supermodels who maybe made moments of the show a bit creepy but kept the entertainment up.  It was a beautiful show, as evident below, drawing on the idea of the classic Hollywood starlet.  Not ground breaking but it doesn't always need to be.

(Badgley Mischka and Betsey Johnson images c/o Style.com. Emerson images c/o Zimbio. Norisol Ferrari images c/o fashionising.com)

NYFW Spring 2013: Prabal Gurung, Rebecca Minkoff, Thom Browne & Anna Sui

Did Prabal Gurung set the world on fire with his Spring 2013 collection?  Not really.  Did he give us some looks that we love and made us say 'I really need to be cooler'?  Of course.  Prabal is a designer that everyone is rooting for and one that is also still finding his way in this mad fashion world.  He mixed strict tailoring with ruffled chiffon (never together, just within the same show) and though it may have offered a disconnect as far as a strong aesthetic, it embodied what all females are at the end of the day...all f**king over the place.  There is something for everyone in this show but the hope is that Prabal will start to refine and really show us all what kind of proper powerhouse he is.

Rebecca Minkoff couldn't be flying higher if she tried.  And the thing is, she seems like a real good laugh so you get excited to see what she's up to.  From videos with the Man Repeller walking on a treadmill in heels to prep for fashion week to some of the coolest live music during her shows, the girl knows how to have fun.  She knows who she is and she wants us all to enjoy it with her.  What I love most about Ms. Minkoff is that she dresses her girls as she would dress herself...to an extreme.  And it totally works.  I want to be Rebecca and I bet you do too.  Now give me all these looks because I want to wear them immediately.

Thom Browne is a man I love to watch for.  He's dark and moody and odd but also refined.  His shows always make you feel a bit like you've stepped into a Tim Burton movie and sometimes that's exactly where I want to be.  Thom pushes boundaries of comfort...not in the way that Alexander McQueen did but in a more subdued and permeating way.  It may not take your breath away in the moment but it stays with you.  Sometimes the hint is more effective than the shout.  And anyone that ends a show with a Kate Bush track is more or less a God in my book.

Oh Anna, Anna, Anna!  I adore you.  Last season I had the incredible pleasure of being able to attend the Anna Sui show during New York Fashion Week (read about it here) and though the designer may be a bit too 'costume-y' for me at times, she always offers up a real show.  It is easy to get involved in what Anna is delivering and her passion and excitement is palpable as soon as you walk into the room. What I love most about this collection is that it really felt like Anna was returning to her roots.  She loves to dress the teenager who never grew up.  Nothing is too fussy and her elements of embroidery and child-like design still manage to not just peek through but stand strong.  I had given up on leggings (and rightfully so) but Anna has me questioning everything I stand for.  Thank goodness I have her.

(All images c/o Style.com)

NYFW Spring 2013: Jill Stuart, Karen Walker, Misha Nonoo & Peter Som

Jill Stuart was one of my favorite shows from last New York Fashion Week (read about it here) and this year was no different.  Where there was a lot of cutesy shapes and young coquetishness last season, Jill Stuart grew up for Spring 2013.  As Style.com put it, 'the good girl designer...proved she has somewhat of a naughty streak'.  In summary, pretty much everything I love in life and wish I could be.

Karen Walker has quickly become one of the most coveted fashion show tickets in town.  This season's collection brought as much joy as we all had hoped.  With 1960s shapes, Jetsons styling and a checked chiffon picnic sensibility, this collection has me excited about getting dressed for Spring.  Metallics and chiffons with Peter Pan collars and A-line coats.  It is just the right side of adorable.

Misha Nonoo seems like a really fun name to have.  Thankfully she has a collection for Spring 2013 that can fully distract me from that :)  A bit Frida in styling mixed New England cool girl came across as one of the newest and freshest takes on the season.  The looks seemed effortless and pretty while also being original and fun.  Biker jackets and flamingo prints.  If that doesn't say 'springtime', I don't know what does.

Peter Som described his collection as 'Courtney Astor meets Courtney Love' and though he did deliver some 'misses', he did deliver some hits.  You could easily imagine this collection on the cool kids of Soho, mixing a sense of put-together Uptown sensibility with the cool and unexpected colors and prints of the princesses of downtown.  The beauty was just 'meh'...if you read this blog regularly, you know I am not entirely keen on orange make-up.  But the touch of the soft veils was just enough to lift this collection up towards fantasy just enough, in case you were worried Mr. Som was taking it too seriously.

(All images c/o Style.com)

Oscar de la Renta Spring 2013: So Good It's Stupid.

Oscar de la Renta looks like the type of man who I just want to hug.  He's also the man who, after this recent Spring 2013 collection, I want to dress me every single day for the rest of my life.  French twists with neon highlights worked both with and sometimes against (in the best way possible) the looks knowingly storming the runway like they were the hottest things all week.  For a man who has been on the scene so long, his ability to surprise is uncanny.

The party dresses were everything you would want from Oscar but also had a youthful twist none of us were expecting.  I just kinda wish that I had prom to go to still...there would be Oscar de la Renta on my person and at least one costume change.  Because DAMN.

(All images c/o Style.com)

Ruffian Spring 2013: The Highlight Of My Fashion Week

Getting an email asking if I wanted to be the assistant to the stylist for the Ruffian Spring 2013 show was probably one of the highlights of my summer.  Walking into the Ruffian studios the week before Fashion Week offered a surreal moment of feeling a part of one of the coolest teams in fashion.  Brian Wolk and Claude Morais are designers that understand a strong team mentality and encourage it from all aspects of their business.  I could wax lyrical about how wonderful my experience with the entire Ruffian team was for days so I'll get down to the nitty gritty and just show/tell you how awesome the show itself actually was. After I just say it is super surreal to be backstage at Lincoln Center watching a show you have come to know intimately on a TV screen as the models walk out.  Phew.  Done.

It was a rainy Saturday morning but the Ruffian show was a complete ray of light.  From the candy colored Converse worn by all the models to the Williamsburg toile print that was not just a feature for the looks but also the backdrop for the runway, Ruffian made it all fun.  The show was all about juxtaposition.  It was Marie Antoinette if she was born and raised in Brooklyn.  Sumptious silks and jaquards were displayed as overalls and leggings.  Undone bouffants and the occassional red lip (Ruffian Red, that is) made it feel like you were walking down the street in Brooklyn, envious of the girl you just passed who was obviously on her way home from a night so cool that you will probably never experience it.

I want all the looks in my closet immediately.  The fun part is, you kinda can...  The Ruffian website is letting you not just get in on their Mac collaboration but also gives you the ability to buy one of the Williamsburg toile silk scarves and printed t-shirts that walked down the runway.  I'm obsessed.  You will be too.

(All images c/o Style.com)

Lisa Perry Spring 2013: 60s Meets 90s Kid.

There is very little that brings more joy than the fun of the 1960s with the silliness of 1990s youth.  The Lisa Perry collection for Spring immediately made me feel like I could actually live inside my Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper and still somehow be super classy about it.  No small feat for a true fan of such a specific brand of unicorn-covered school supplies.  It just all seemed like the best way to dress-up as if you were participating in a real life game of Candy Land without having to skew towards Katy Perry.

The collection was simple but ever so happy.  Isn't that really what fashion should be?