THROW ON AND GO DRESSES

Firstly I have to acknowledge how long it has been since I last posted! I have a good reason though-I am nearly 8 months pregnant! Juggling my styling work with pregnancy has been a challenge and my journal has suffered somewhat but bear with me!!! SO, it is HOT here in LA with no sign of letting up for at least several months and for me that means time to grab a throw on and go dress! (I'm also 8 months pregnant! but none of my dresses are maternity!!) I love a good dress, preferably loosely cut and 100% cotton or linen. Its such a joy to not have to match separates, all you need is the dress, an interesting flat or block heel, a good bag and sunglasses! Here are my current favorites; I'm loving this frill sleeve loose cut moment from Zara, I can't wait to get my hands on this pre order Madewell embroidered denim dress (which I think looks far more $$ than it is!), I also love the one shoulder silhouette, its a great way to show a bit of skin but not feel too exposed, take a look at this other Madewell offering but hurry up its selling out soon! Last but definitely not least I am OBSESSED with Ilana Kohns S'S16 pieces (see pic above) they are on sale and going fast but check out this maxi dress in white or persimmon, I WANT. Have fun and enjoy! xo

 

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MUST HAVE: THE BLOCK HEELED SHOE

We all love the elongating lift that a heel can give us, but if you are anything like me, if a shoe isn't sneaker or a flat, I can only wear a heeled shoe for a couple of hours. That is, unless they are a block heel! They give me height AND stability which really is a must have for running around this city. For a springy sandal check out the Jardin Heel by Marais USA, and I'm obsessed with these Zara blue velvet block heel pumps, they are such a steal. If you want to really splash out consider sporting these TO DIE FOR gold Gucci Marmont loafers, swooning! XO CM

 

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Hair Envy: Candela Novembre

Italian fashion maven Candela Novembre's hair truly is something to write home about! Yes its a 'LOB' (long bob) and its perfectly undone wave is spot on. For me there is nothing chicer than a pulled together outfit with artfully messed hair, (I'm not one for a perfect blowout) and I think Candela is stealing Alexa Chung's crown in this department! The center part and the longer length at the front gives a fresh current take on a traditional bob but it still feels effortlessly classic and timeless! Give her a google and she will soon become your latest hair muse! XO, CM

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MUST HAVE: EVERLANE CASHMERE

Its that time of year when come morning, I gleefully reach for my sweater collection, and my first go to is one of my cashmere crew neck sweaters from one of my much loved styling clients, Everlane. Once upon a time, good quality cashmere was seen by many people as an extravagant and unaffordable luxury, but now thanks to to Everlane (and I promise that even though I style for them, I say this without bias!!!!) we can all get our hands on the most gorgeous high quality Grade A Mongolian (the best ever basically!) cashmere sweaters. They come in a plethora of classic and flattering cuts, styles and colors, think a black turtleneck, a cropped camel crew neck or an incredibly wearable v-neck sweater dress, (oh and for those wanting to get extra cozy like Alex, who I styled in the above photo, Everlane also has a line of gorgeous cashmere scarves) all for under $200. Trust me when I say they are a dream to style AND wear- I do both :) Could it get any better?! I don't think so! Find the whole collection here, ENJOY! CM XO

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FASHION OR FAD? The Gucci Princetown SLIPPER

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I am a proud owner of the Gucci horsebit tasseled loafer (see my IG for proof!) and I keep a keen eye out for their new releases, but even I, lover of all things Gucci and loafers can't quite wrap my head around the Gucci fur lined Princetown slipper. Yes I believe in the idea that some things are so ugly that they are beautiful, and I love to provoke a reaction with what I wear (Stan Smiths with long silk dresses for example!) but the furry, slippery-ness of these shoes just don;t do it for me! They are rather unflattering and at $995 I would rather spend my $ on something that isn't quite so high risk! What are your thoughts?! CM XO

 

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Style Icon: Jeanne Damas

 

As an avid admirer of Parisian street style, I really felt like I had won the lottery when I first saw Jeanne Damas on Garance Dore's blog. Damas is the archetypal French Cool Girl, her style is an artfully mussed up laissez faire affair! Think leather jackets, espadrilles, over sized blazers, worn in vintage tees and army jackets. Regardless of the tomboy mix of pieces she always adds a feminine element to her look, be it a bare leg, a heeled sandal or her go to blood red lip. Her gorgeous face, hair and figure don't hurt either! To get a little Parisian Cool Girl look in your life check out this great army jacket from TOPSHOP, you can find Jeanne's exact Bella Freud 1970 sweater here at SHOPBOP and get your hands on my favorite French striped tee's at A.P.C. C'est tout chic! CM XO

 
 

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The Bathing Suit: Marysia Swim

 
 

I can't believe its already mid August! I have to grab a hold of summer whilst it's still here and get to Malibu pronto! Which takes me to what to wear...I have been recently swooning over the LA based brand Marysia Swim. Launched in 2009 by ballet and wetsuit wearing enthusiast Maria Dobrzanska Reeves, Marysia Swim offers haters of the dreaded triangle bikinis/cut outs/monokini's a simpler and MUCH chicer alternative. Maria's love of ballet shines through in her collections; her elegant simple cuts, love of scalloped edges and the focus on leotard-esque one pieces give Marysia Swim a truly fresh and effortless appeal. My personal favorite is the Mott one piece in white and the Bowery one piece in black. You will see me sporting the Mott this very weekend in the 'Bu! See you there! CM XO

 

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Must Have Shoes: Marais USA

 
 

As an adorer of anything and everything associated with France, I was naturally drawn to the Parisian inspired LA based (and made) shoe brand Marais USA. The North Marais is a divine part of Paris (beautiful shopping, great style, chic cafes) and Marais USA's shoes are just as pleasing. Year after year, founder and creative director Haley Boyd creates impeccably wearable collections of classic must have shoes with a chic 'Marais USA' twist. Priced under $250 and available in a beautiful array of colors, shapes and styles in both leather and vegan options, these shoes are a must have for any style conscious girl's shoe wardrobe. My personal favorite is the Jardin Heel, a gorgeous block heel sandal; the heel is high enough to give me that much needed polish and leg lengthening lift but comfortable enough to wear all day long, its the perfect shoe! J'adore! CM xo

 

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FIRST DATE FASHION

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Thankfully as a married woman I no longer have to gussy myself up for first dates but as a stylist and fashion aide to my single friends I am often curating different looks for their Tinder profile pics and more importantly their first dates! Here are some of my key points when dressing for dating;

-'Less is more' When it comes to showing skin, you want to play it cool and keep things a little mysterious and leave your date intrigued. I always suggest a loose silk shirt, unbuttoned accidentally a 'little too low' OR worn semi sheer as seen above on Miranda Kerr. It is essential that you wear a beautiful and color appropriate brassiere to give your potential Amour a hint on whats to come in the future! Equipment blouses are my personal favorite and Stella McCartney lingerie is truly exquisite.

-'Proportion is a priority'. If you are going for the looser fit blouse you have to balance your proportions and go for a form fitting skinny black pant or dark denim jean. Keep the pants rise hip hugging and for an added dash of 'I didn't try too hard' indulge in the 'half tuck'. Avoid the fashion forward high rise pant, it's tricky to pull off and  men just simply don't get it!

-'Forgo the flat'. Ladies this is not the time for you new Repetto loafer or Loeffler Randall flat boot, if you are going for the silk blouse/skinny jean combo then it is imperative that you sport a heel. Vertiginous Louboutin platforms do not get my vote, I suggest you go for a simple strappy sandal or a chic suede pump, (which can be found here).

-'Approach finishing touches with caution'.  A first date is not a testing ground for cutting edge make up trends and over sized statement jewelry, instead think 'no make up make up' (Nars 'Orgasm' blush never fails), delicate stacked rings and a small pendant necklace (my favorite subtle jewelry of all time is by Williamsburg based Catbird.).

With these tips I think you will be all set but if anyone needs additional guidance feel free to ask me any dating fashion ?'s in the ''Get Clareified' section on this site. Bon chance!

 

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THE MUST HAVE: TURTLENECK

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After years of belonging in the fashion wilderness, the turtleneck is officially back in style. There are countless benefits to sporting the turtle! As a stylist I have worked with several older actresses who always gravitate to them for their ability to conceal and distract from a not so smooth jawline. Not only do they cover up a loose neck but they elongate it too! The comfort factor can also not be denied, there is nothing better on a cool fall evening than throwing on a gorgeous chunky knit turtleneck and reveling in its blanket like soothing! Also don't just trust on your turtle for casual eves, combine with a sleek leather or silk pencil, add a high pump and a great bag and you will reach the heights of fall fashion!

 

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PROUD TO BE A TOMBOY

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If you read this blog its safe to say that you know I am a true tomboy when it comes to my personal style. Since that fateful day when I turned seven years old and my mother handed over the responsibility of dressing myself, my closet has predominantly comprised of striped tee's, button downs and crew neck sweaters. So imagine my joy when I discovered the truly inspiring fashion book 'Tomboy Style'  by Lizzie Garret Mettler at the Clare Vivier store in Silver Lake. I devoured the pages filled with both photographic and written tributes to various tomboy style tribes be it 'The Adventurer' tomboy or 'The Girl Next Door'. All of my style favorites made it into the book; Diane Keaton, Lauren Hutton and Ali MacGraw to name but a few. What I truly loved about this book was not only is it an homage of some of the most fabulous style icons throughout history but it is also a celebration of women's spirit and aesthetic identity in society over the years. How much I admire those brazen young women who strutted into Brooks Brothers in the 1940's to buy their blue button down men's oxford shirts. I take my tomboy hat off to them for their rejection of  girdles and high waist skirts and their embracing of the far more practical loafer and pant; all trademarks of tomboy style. Not only did it give these women aesthetic experimentation but enabled them to live freer and with increased practicality. If anyone tells you that fashion trends don't have substance and depth send them this book, this proud tomboy says its a must read.

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STYLE ICON: GRACE CODDINGTON

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I have just completed Grace Coddington's autobiography titled 'Grace' and wow what a wonderfully satisfying read. Her life and work in fashion is so beautifully documented in the book and I couldn't recommend it more. For lovers of fashion and those who want an inside look into the world of Vogue magazine and its photographers/editors, an understanding of Anna Wintour's icy demeanor and of course an insight into Grace's personal life and creative process (which are fascinatingly tightly interwoven)  you must read this book ASAP!

STORE SPOTLIGHT: CLARE VIVIER

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As a proud Eastsider in my adopted hometown of Los Angeles, I couldn't have been more delighted with the opening of the Silver Lake flagship store of the fantastic bag designer Clare Vivier. Clutches, totes and cross body bags at affordable prices and in rainbow colors galore decorate and illuminate the simple space. My particular favorites are her monogrammed clutches, I am a sucker for anything monogrammed! Check out her collection here http://www.clarevivier.com/

KEEP IT SIMPLE

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When I saw this pic of Aussie super Miranda Kerr in NYC I couldn't help but feel compelled to write a post. I want to highlight that real style is so much more obtainable if you KEEP IT SIMPLE. In your everyday life your wardrobe can be pared down to a few essential items that you will wear for years to come, trust me if you do this you will have no problem getting dressed in the morning! I used to give myself such a headache every day when I opened my closet; I would be confronted by dozens of multicolored blouses, leopard and polka dot print dresses and a multitude of striped shirts and I didn't know what to do with it all, and I'M A STYLIST! HA! I am simply too busy and don't have the time or the yearning to wear super on trend pieces, its too much effort! Here Miranda shows how fabulous a white shirt and a pair of jeans can look, she adds a fashion forward touch to the look by adding the incredibly on trend Isabel Marant Dicker boot and a tan felt hat. Put your best foot forward and start to build a simple clean wardrobe full of well made classics and you will thank me for it!

PARISIAN CHIC

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When thinking about what to pack for my upcoming London/Paris trip it lead me to dream about Parisian chic. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I regularly obsess over French fashion and my excitement regarding my trip is reaching fever pitch! I suppose to break down Parisian chic there are just a few items that you need, all of which are classic and will never go out of style; a trench (go for Burberry or APC), a Saint James striped tee (can now be found at JCrew) a pair of ankle length black capri pants (H&M have some great ones at them moment) and top the look off with a Chanel ballet flats in black or camel (or if on a budget try JCrew again). See? so easy, so simple and TRES CHIC! X

MY SPRING UNIFORM

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Imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered that my spring uniform (which has existed for at least a couple of years) is near identical to that of my most favored style icon Vogue France's editor Emmanuelle Alt's most recent look. OK, I'll break it down for you. firstly lets identify the essential skinny white jean which is such a great alternative to blue denim (which honestly I am finding rather BORING) and goes with EVERYTHING. Don't be afraid to wear in cooler months either, pair with a light grey woolly sweater and a little tan ankle boot for instant chic! Alt wears her white skinny's with a low rise, I opt for medium-high, when on styling jobs as the last thing I need is to flash my undies when cuffing a models jeans! Next up, we have the chambray shirt; if you read this blog regularly you know that I ADORE the chambray shirt, it adds a laid back quality to any look and is so flattering and practical. Start building a collection of different shades of chambray and wear with sequins, floral prints and of course, white denim! Now with this chambray shirt and white skinny jean uniform I find I can take it from day to night very easily. In the daytime (unlike Alt in her vertiginous black pumps) I wear my spring uniform with white high top converse, my green army surplus jacket and my tortoiseshell cat eyes, and at night I switch out the cons for my nude and black cap toe Prada's, undo one more button on my chambray, keep the army jacket on and add my black Chanel 2.55. If you want to try out this spring uniform you can find a fantastic selection of chambray shirts at www.madewell.com and white jeans in varying rises at www.jcrew.com HAVE FUN! X

CRAZY FOR CAT EYES

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In LA there is rarely a day that goes by that sunglasses are not required and for the last four or so years I have worn nothing but Ray Bans. I own the classic gold rimmed aviator, a vintage tortoiseshell Wayfarer (thanks Mum) and a black modern mid size Wayfarer. But I must confess, as much as I love these old faithfuls I am getting a little tired of them. Only the other day I was chatting to a fashion photographer friend of mine who has irritatingly exquisite taste, and he brazenly declared 'Ray Bans are over, we need to find something new'. And he was right. After years of wearing unisex Ray Bans I am craving a more feminine silhouette, and one in particular is the cat eye (see above on New York fashion maven Olivia Palermo). Prada kick started the rejuvenation of the cat eye trend and I for one am embracing them wholeheartedly. There is something very flattering about the upturned angle of the cat eye shape, its uplifting, rather like an immediate mini facelift via sunglasses wearing! Who wouldn't want that!? Find at www.netaporter.com

LOOK OF THE DAY: Ashley Olsen

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To wear an over-sized red pant suit when you are 5ft tall is a risky move but I think if anyone can pull this off its the diminutive Miss Olsen. I would never dream of wearing this myself but I think she looks effortless and reminiscent of one of my most treasured fashion icons, Lauren Hutton. I love how she breaks up the powerful red suit with the graphic simplicity of the black and white stripes. The flat sandals and bulky sunglasses complete the look making it fashion perfection!

STYLE ICON: LAUREN HUTTON

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Noted as a muse by designers of all generations (from Mr Armani to the Olsen's), at 67  Lauren Hutton is showing no signs of slowing down. Not only is she the face of J Crew's latest collection and The Row, you can also regularly find her toting her wares on HSN (laurenhutton.com). For me Lauren is an inspiration as her main preoccupation when getting dressed is comfort; you will never see her tottering around on a pair of vertiginous heels or being rushed to the ER a la Joan Collins because 'her corset is too tight'. You are much more likely to find Ms Hutton in a beautifully cut pantsuit, a white tee and a pair of pristine plimsolls or flats.  Ms Hutton, you are my kind of gal. x