Tag Archives: J.Crew

Just In: Jessica Biales Jewelry Collection Inspired by Matisse Cut-Outs

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Jessica Biales and it won’t be the last. (Check out Jessica Biales’ signet rings and slice rings, which have been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and the Wall Street Journal and were for a time sold at J.Crew). Jessica is a close friend of mine from college, where she was the most refined, urban girl I had ever met. So many years later and her style hasn’t waned.

Jessica’s latest collection is called “Scissors” and was inspired by the Matisse cut-outs in the exhibit at MoMA that ended earlier this month,  Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs. You can see examples of Matisse’s cut-outs that influenced her new jewelry collection below. As for Matisse, here is a description paraphrased from the MoMA site about the advent of the cut-outs:

Starting in the late 1940s, Henri Matisse turned to paper cut with scissors as his primary medium, which resulted in a new form of art that came to be called a cut-out. Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes—from the vegetal to the abstract—which he then arranged into lively compositions. 

The Jessica Biales Scissors Collection, inspired by Matisse cut-outs, includes bracelets, rings, earrings, and necklaces in sterling silver and 18-karat gold.

New York Jewelry Designer Jessica Biales Debuts Matisse Inspired Scissor Collection

Matisse Cut-Outs

Matisse Cut Outs at MoMA Matisse Cut Outs at MoMA

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Get the Look: The Perfect Black Skinny Pants

We’re on our second snow day in a row here today, making this a four-day weekend. Two and a half more days until Florida. In the meantime though, I’m here. Since I don’t work in an office (unless my sofa counts), I don’t actually have to dress particularly professionally that often. When I do, it’s really just about stepping up my casual look, which often consists of the perfect black skinny pants or in more casual situations, a pull-on legging. (Not the workout variety, mind you.)

This fall and winter I’ve been wearing a larger variety of non-perfect and perfect black skinny pants than usual, as a few companies  sent me pieces to try out. Here are my perfect black skinny pants findings.

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1 Pull-On Moto Pant, $99 at A Ruby.
2 The Skinny Black-on-Black Denim, $165 at AYR.
3 Elettra Leggings, $250 at Rag & Bone.

A Ruby is a local Boston area startup led by Avra Myers who believes that less is more and that a wardrobe revolves around five essential basics: a knit pant that works anywhere, a white shirt that can be casual or dressy, a tank that can be layered or worn solo, a fun and flattering graphic tee, and a comfortable, feminine V-neck sweater. Sizing goes from 1-5 and fits sizes 0-18. No muss no fuss. Myers sent me a pair of A Ruby Pull-On Moto Pants, which I’ve been wearing a lot. They’re made from a mid-weight synthetic (but soft) fabric that doesn’t stretch out, sag at the crotch, or bump out at the knee. The waist band is wide, which I like, and twists a little bit, as they tend to do, but not too much. The proportions and fit are excellent. I really like them.

The folks behind the men’s brand Bonobos has recently launched AYR, a line of sleek essentials for women. The company invited me to the Bonobos Guide Shop in Boston for an AYR pop-up shop and a fitting for the perfect pair of skinny jeans. The publicists were so lovely and the clothing is amazing. Very well cut from gorgeous fabrics. In addition to my complimentary skinny jeans, which are made from a great stretchy fabric (denim is their specialty; the founder worked in denim at Madewell), I ordered an amazing jacket I wore all fall. I will be shopping here again.

Several years ago I purchased a pair of Rag & Bone cargo leggings that I loved so much I ordered another pair. I wear them incessantly. They’re lined wool so they’re quite warm and not itchy (an issue for me). Rag & Bone don’t make this style anymore, of course, but their Elettra leggings are probably worth trying out (and they’re on sale). I love Rag & Bone, and there’s a boutique in Boston that I assiduously avoid for just this reason.

•          •         •

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4 Minnie Stretch Twill Pant, $89.50 at J.Crew.
5 Ponte Leggings, $49.50 at Lou & Grey.
6 Essential Modern Skinny Pant, $69 at SlimSation.

J.Crew is of course a standby, though I don’t normally do well with their tailored pants or jeans, I think it’s the rise that is never quite right for me. I do sometimes have luck with tighter fitting legging-like styles. (As for the Dreamy Cotton Pant,  I live in them. Like seriously all day every day.). The Minnie Stretch Twill Pant look to be similar to a style I purchased last year that work well with blazers and booties.

If you read StyleCarrot regularly you might remember when I partnered with Lou & Grey to profile the new Lou & Grey store in the Natick Mall this past October. Owned by the same parent company as Ann Taylor, Lou & Grey is a cross between Madewell and Eileen Fisher — loungey with a touch of edginess. The stores are gorgeous , the looks well styled and comfortable, and the prices excellent. On my visit, I purchased a pair of leggings that I’ve worn quite a bit, made from a tech-like fabric and accented with slanted zippers. They’re no longer available but the current Ponte Leggings are surely worth a try.

As I said, autumn brought a windfall of offers to try what each company touted as the perfect black skinny pants. When a publicist for SlimSation, a womenswear brand launched in 2012 offered to send me a pair of perfect black skinny pants to try, I sent her my address. The line, which focuses on basics pant styles that is supposed to be a kind of relaxed fit shapewear, almost, and includes extended sizing. The contoured waistband is meant to help present a slimmer silhouette, smoothing the lower tummy and shaping the hips. I’ve worn the SlimSation skinny pant a few times, and while I like the stretchy fabric, I feel like the cut is more of a casual, almost activewear piece. It may be because I ordered a size too large. I enjoy them on my brisk exercise walks around the Charles River.

•          •         •

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7 High Riser Skinny Skinny Sateen Jean, $128 at Madewell.
8 Women’s Scuba Pant, $27.99 at Target.
9 Satin Side Strapping Ponte Legging, $275 at Vince.

I live for Madewell denim. When I purchase jeans, I always buy Madewell, and have for several years. The fabric, the cut, the color, the style are all perfect. My current rotation includes lightweight dark rinse jeans, thicker hi-rise gray denim, and new this fall, black denim with holes and an unfinished hem. I have not tried the sateen style I recommend here, but I’m confident they’re excellent, as I am a devotee of Madewell High Riser Skinny Skinny styles.

At the risk of losing my fashion cred, I am going to admit I own very many pairs of perfect black skinny pants from Target. Yes, it’s true, under the Mossimo label there are stretchy nylon/spandex leggings cut in a five-pocket jean style that come in black and heathered charcoal, and I unabashedly adore them. They shrink like nobody’s business, and the consistently comes loose and pops off, unable to be repaired, but I keep buying them and wearing them. They’re inexpensive, fit perfectly, and look good (until you wash and dry them one too many times).

Finally, Vince. I think of Vince as the big name brand that does a stellar job with the whole wardrobe essentials concept. Admittedly, I have not yet tried a legging by Vince, but I love the look of the Vince Satin Side Strapping Ponte Legging and imagine that it could indeed be a pair of perfect black skinny pants, with its high waist and sexy satin tuxedo stripe panel.

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Gift Guide: 25 Last Minute Gifts You Can Get At the Mall

It’s two days before Christmas. Are you panicking over last minute holiday gifts? We celebrate Chanukah in our home, so not only am I finished buying, we’re just about through with our eight nights of giving. If you do the whole Christmas celebration thing, you’re probably required to come up with a whole slew of presents for friends and family. It’s now officially too late to order online unless you’re willing to pay exorbitant overnight shipping costs, and even then, it’s risky. So, off to the mall it is. Here are 25 last minute holiday gifts you can pick up at the mall and/or the free-standing chain stores in town.

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S H O P P I N G
1 Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker, $129.99 at Target.
2 Brass Love Object Paperweight, $29 at West Elm.
3 Back-Zip Pullover Sweater, $69.50 at Madewell.
4 Pagoda Salt & Pepper Shakers, $34.99 at Jonathan Adler.
5 Downing Embossed Leather Clutch, $88 at J.Crew.
6 Nate Berkus Faux Fur Stripe Pillow, $29.99 at Target.
7 Magical Thinking T-Bar Jewelry Stand, $34 at Urban Outfitters.
8 Gilded-Edge Agate Coasters,$98/set at Anthropologie.
9 Buttery Leather Satchel Crossbody Bag, $100. at Gap.
10 Oh Joy! Acacia Serving Board, $19.99 at Target.
11 Pascale Monvoisin Georgia Ring, $125 at Club Monaco.
12 Pop Art Dry Erase Calendar, $19.99 each at The Container Store.
13 Tom Dixon Eclectic Mini Candle Gift Set, $120 at Anthropologie.
14 Ribbed Cashmere Hat, $78 at J.Crew.
15 Fuse Sweatshirt, $71.99 at Athleta.
16 Space Age Floral Crystal Studs, $58 at Kate Spade. 
17 Printed Tablet Case, $33.99 at Gap.
18 Glass Bud Vases, $14 each at West Elm.
19 Marc Jacobs Beauty Lust For Lacquer Lip Vinyl , $28 at Sephora.
20 Fujifilm INSTAX Instant Smartphone Printer, $199 at Urban Outfitters.
21 Ray-Ban Sunglasses, $104.95 at Sunglass Hut.
22 Selvedge Japanese Chambray Utility Shirt, $98 at J.Crew.
23 Chemex Classic Drip Coffee Maker, $34.95 at Sur La Table.
24 Dipped Leather Bill Holder, $128 at Jack Spade.
25 Mauviel Copper Butter Warmer, $90 at Williams-Sonoma

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One Look: Perfect Casual Autumn Outfit

I haven’t done a lot of shopping this fall, but did get a few pieces, including a textured grey leather tote from Madewell. And this Tory Burch grey flannel satchel is on its way, as well as these black moto pants from A.Ruby. I’m thinking I need a chunky knit and a new pair of booties, preferably the Rag & Bone Newbury hair on leather bootie (though doubtful I’ll buy them). I also must go try on leather slip-ons, a total must have. I love these Irini slip-ons with shearling details by Loeffler Randall.

Yesterday I was at Club Monaco to meet their head of men’s design Aaron Levine, who has overhauled the men’s offerings (now amazing, or as he says, “tasty”) and was admiring the Oriel plaid overcoat. I also just discovered Illesteva sunglasses. The website has a build your own sunglasses tool that is inspiring me to order up a new pair for Art Basel Miami. (Yes, I made my reservations.)

We’re going to the Cape this weekend to close up the house for winter. It can be nice to go out there in the off-season, but mostly it’s just freezing and desolate. It should be perfectly crisp and gorgeous now though (I hope). I’ve pulled together the perfect casual fall outfit today, inspired by October in New England. There’s tortoiseshell, cable-knit, plaid, wood, gold, textured leather, and colorblock suede.

Shopping Fall Outifts For Columbus Day Weekend
S H O P P I N G
1  Corsica Havana sunglasses by Illesteva, $300 at Net-A-Porter.
2  Aran cable-knit sweater by McQ Alexander McQueen, $441 at Matches.
3  Gold mirrored bone bangle by Maison Martin Margiela, $695 at Ssense.
4  Wood arc cuff, $65 at J.Crew.
5  Plaid fringe cape by Dianora Salviati, $388 at Intermix.
6  Stretch-ponte leggings by DKNY t, $160 at Net-A-Porter.
7  Mayle tote, $595 at Club Monaco.
8  Chelsea booties, $89.95 at Gap.

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Style Right Now: 20 Street Style Looks from New York Fashion Week Spring 2015

The last time I went to New York Fashion Week, as I may have mentioned, it was the mid ’90s, all Marc Jacobs grunge and the advent of the Internet. It’s of course a whole different circus now, with street style ranking nearly as high in importance (if not more for certain bloggers and hanger-oners), than the designers’ carefully orchestrated fashion shows themselves.

I’ve garnered a handful of decent show invites for New York Fashion Week over the last couple of years, and am thinking that maybe (maybe) next fall I might make the fashion pilgrimage. In the meantime, I rely on the plethora of fashion week street style imagery online, from which I’ve pulled 20 looks. These are not over-the-top extravaganzas, but tasteful, on-trend ensembles.

I’ve included lots of identification notes and some commentary on these New York Fashion Week street style shots, along with a lot of great links, from Instagram accounts to shopping resources, so definitely click through when the look or the personality appeals. Happy fall, or Spring 2015, I should say.

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Former ELLE Accessories Director Kate Davidson Hudson, who founded The Editorialist last year, reveals her flat tummy with a peekaboo mock turtleneck crop top. Are flares back in? Navy blazer with gold buttons draped over the shoulders brings a touch of classic prep to Fashion Week.
Tim Regas / Instagram user wheresmydriver  •  via FabSugar

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Alexa Chung in Marc Jacobs pink vinyl pencil skirt , Tabitha Simmons perforated lace-up ankle boots,  Mark Cross Grace box bag, and a polka dot blouse.  But what’s with the belt around her neck?
CollageVintage.com

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Belgian model Hanne Gaby Odiele pairs a Sacai  blue plaid skirt with a white perforated sweater, and finishes with white Dr. Martens T-Bar shoes.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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Megan Hayes (don’t actually know who she is) goes for the elastic waist pants trend. A ladylike top and platform sandals keep her from channeling the frumpy Midwesterner.
Photo by Diego Zuko  •  Harper’s Bazaar

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Lucky Editor-in-Chief Eva Chen in a loose-fitting (she’s pregnant) printed, off-the-shoulder (a style she favored all week—ick) dress by Rebecca Minkoff.
Photo by Phil Oh  •  Vogue

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Blogger Camille Charriere of Camille Over the Rainbow wearing a boxy sweater, midi skirt, pointy flats, and fringe-y clultch.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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Jane Keltner de Valle, Fashion News Director at Glamour, goes for a full-on sweatshirt over longish skirt with oversize polka dots.
Photo: Getty / Melodie Jeng  •  PopSugar

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J.J. Martin, Editor-at-Large of Wallpaper Magazinein flatform sandals and geometric print Prada dress that she apparently wore from morning through evening, a noteworthy feat not often practiced during Fashion Week.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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Lina Toll (not sure who she is) sporting the checked trend in a Dondup dress, paired with Prada combat boots and a splatter print (or is that a floral?) clutch.
Photo by YoungJunKoo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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Blogger Camille Charrière of Camille Over the Rainbow in Adidas tee and Stella McCartney flatforms. Love the sporty, edgy leather gym shorts and again, that fringe-trimmed clutch. I wonder if it’s the Valentino Zodiac fringe clutch?
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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J.Crew creative visionary Jenna Lyons in distressed white khakis (a fashion week trend), white tee, her signature jacket over the shoulders, and pastel iridescent Nike sneakers. Want? You can find a (pricey) pair on eBay here.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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The plaid schoolgirl midi skirt, this time with a tucked in, fitted top instead of a baggy sweater.
CollageVintage.com

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Zanna Roberts Rassi, senior fashion editor of Marie Claire, is wearing this season’s butterfly Valentino dress.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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It’s normcore all right. Basic blah, but still stylish. Could those medium wash jeans be any more nondescript? Back in February, The Cut described the look like this: “Clad in stonewash jeans, fleece, and comfortable sneakers, [art kids and middle-aged, middle-American tourists]  looked like they might’ve just stepped off an R-train after shopping in Times Square.” Of course, this is a ridiculous trend unless you’re an edgy European and/or a model. YOU will look like the frumpy tourist.
Photo by YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO  •  The Cut/New York Magazine

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Fashion editor/stylist Giovanna Battaglia wears a splatter print mini with gilded accents, including metallic gold stripe tee, metallic gold sneakers, and metallic gold fringe clutch. (Fringe = trend.)
Photo: IMAXtree •  The Fashion Spot

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Boston native and former Vogue editor Meredith Melling Burke shows a glimpse of tummy in her crop top. Are wide leg trousers really back in? Some looked like they were wearing gauchos. Oucho.
Photo:  Getty / Daniel Zuchnik  •  FabSugar

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Around In Style fashion blogger Martha Graeff plays with proportions in a long sleeve crop top and ball skirt. I’m not a fan of the crop top, but these ladies are (mostly) pulling it off. You probably shouldn’t try it though. I love a ball skirt; try that instead.
Photo: Getty / Timur Emek  •  PopSugar

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The Blonde Salad blogger and fashion designer Chiara Ferragini in vermillion trousers, crop top, black velvet slip-on sneakers, and YSL Monogram Tassel handbag.
Photo: IMAXTREE / vincenzo grillo  •  PopSugar

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Told you distressed white khakis were a trend. She somehow manages to look elegantly Audrey though, despite the holes.
Phot by Tim Regas / Instagram user wheresmydriver  •  PopSugar

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Another voluminous off-the-shoulder concoction, this one worn by the Man Repeller herself, Leandra Medine. Black and white stripedoff-the-shoulder blouse by Rosie Assoulin, casual shorts, white trainers. (I’m English now.)
Photo: Getty / Daniel Zuchnik  •  PopSugar

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