Simple Style

MUST HAVE: THE TURTLENECK SWEATER

Finally the temperature in LA has dropped (thanks to impending El Nino!) and I can finally sport a sweater! My preferred sweater silhouette is no doubt the turtleneck. There is something so classically stylish about a turtleneck and not only do I love their neck elongating, double chin hiding, flattering cut, they also give us the ability to do the insanely chic turtleneck hair tuck (see above photo, thanks Phoebe Philo!). Throw on your turtleneck with literally everything you own, be it your grey trouser and white sneaker (a la Phoebe) or dressed up with a cropped jean and a block heel. Go oversized and chunky knit or tight and 1960's inspired. Either way you will look tres turtleneck chic! To sport your very own turtleneck take a look at this JCrew camel sweater and this two tone Acne dream!

 

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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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Brand Focus: Apiece Apart

 
 
 

New York based line Apiece Apart is one of those ever reliable, go to brands featuring classic and wearable pieces that you will hang onto for years. Clean modern cuts, crisp cotton and gorgeous knits are heavily featured, and their price point is highly accessible considering the quality of the clothing. I am a big lover of anything and everything WHITE and have got my eye on their high waist white denim jean and their dreamy white silk Luna slip dress. Enjoy! Clare xo

 

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THE REVISIT: FLARES

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Now I am a proud wearer of all things pants; Audrey H cropped, Katherine H wide, and the Diane K pleated chino. However sometimes one needs to revisit that mildly controversial pant silhouette, the one that divides all pants wearers to the end, THE FLARE. I have written about flares before on this very blog, but I recently became aware of a trend setting flare wearer that has compelled me to refresh my approach. Fashion Director of Porter Magazine, Gabriele Hackworthy, has long been a devoted wearer of the subversive flare. The key to her successful relationship with them is that she keeps it simple. The pants are black, the layering light. Think a navy double breasted blazer and white tee, or a clean white shirt and solid black fringed cape (beautifully bringing in a little more bohemian influence to her look-see above). Hackworthy ALWAYS wears her black bell's with vertiginous heels and these are a must. Unless you are Karlie Kloss and 7ft tall NEVER sport a flat with a flare! I have found the perfect Gabriele-esque leg lengthening pair for only $50 here www.hm.com. They are such a bargain grab them PRONTO! x

Photo from Twitter @GabHackworthy

 

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STYLE ICON: GIA COPPOLA

When your mother is famed stylist and socialite Jacqui Getty and your aunt is Marc Jacobs' number one muse Sofia Coppola, its no surprise that Gia Coppola has evolved into a noted style icon. Her LA roots mixed with her well traveled upbringing have had huge influence on her style; an interesting combo of SoCal's relaxed aesthetic and Europe's expensive simplicity. Think cotton button downs and paper thin tee's paired with Parisian chic simple black leather mini skirts and sharply tailored pants. Her look is classic yet fashion forward and always a surprise, I for one will be keeping a close fashion eye on Ms Coppola, I suggest you do the same.

 

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STYLE ICON: CAROLYN BESSETTE KENNEDY

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Before the current queens of minimalism and classic American style Sofia Coppola and Gwyneth Paltrow reigned there was a member of 'American's Royal Family' Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, that held the throne. When she began to date JFK Jr her white blond mane contrasted with a scarlet red lip and lithe figure gave her such a striking presence that the fashion world sat up and took notice. A fan of simple and classic dressing, Carolyn's love of slim cut ankle grazing pants and white buttons down's paid homage to Audrey Hepburn with but with her own contemporary New York twist. A lover of Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez, on the streets of Manhattan you would likely find her wearing a camel cashmere winter coat over a black roll neck, dark cropped jeans and a black leather loafer. At night she would be seen in either head to toe white or black, no prints or colors in sight. Carolyn was not a fan of accessorizing, her only adornments were her wedding ring and a classic Cartier watch but with that hair, figure and scarlet red lip who needs jewelry? I find Carolyn's pictures to be a never ending source of style inspiration and a reminder to not be a slave to trends, her style looks just as current now as it did back in the 1990's. It goes to show that it is worth investing in classic well made pieces that stand the test of time. To see more photos of CBK take a look here.

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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!

MUST HAVE: THE PEA COAT

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It is currently sub zero temperatures in New York and even in my adopted city LA, there is a distinct chill in the air (we even had a hint of frost the other eve! don't hate me too much east coasters). Now more than ever there is a desperate need for a good, warm coat, and year after year I turn to my ever reliable classically chic friend, The Peacoat. Acquire a good quality wool peacoat in a neutral shade (think gray, navy, camel or black) and you will have a coat that will take you from day to night. It works fabulously well over a casual day look such as a cashmere sweater, black skinny jeans and chelsea boots and will be just as chic over a slick pantsuit and pumps at night. Make like one of my favorite style icons Kirsten Dunst and grab this peacoat by Club Monaco here www.shopbop.com.

FASHION CLASSICS: THE PANT SUIT

In regards to style, it simply doesn't get cooler than a woman in a pant suit. Now I am not referring to an everyday Banana Republic navy work suit, I am talking about Lauren Hutton in her cream suit, Diane Keaton in her slick yet oversize tailoring and of course the divine Bianca Jagger in her famed white suit (see above, swoon). To sport this tomboy chic look make sure to keep your suit tailored (if buying from a high street store take it to your local tailor to get the fit as sharp as possible) and sport with a heel, kitten or higher. I particularly love Zara's tailoring which is ridiculously affordable, or if you are wanting to splash out a little take a look at what Theory has to offer here: www.shopbop.com

TREND REPORT: The Pajama Game

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Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton kick started this trend late last year and I instantly sat up and took notice. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I love comfortable, easy clothing and what could be more comfortable than wearing your PJ's during the day! I can't get over how gloriously chic Sofia Coppola looks in her head to toe Louis look; the classic navy pajama set with white piping is given a seriously sharp fashion edge with its leopard print and slim cropped cut. Add louche chic into your look and purchase the rather more affordable Rag and Bone silk PJ blouse www.barneys.com, wear with a skinny pant or a city short and a flat loafer and you will as look fashion fabulous as the glorious Ms Coppola.

STREET STYLE: MICHELLE WILLIAMS

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Whether its on the red carpet or the street Michelle Williams' choice of clothing never fails to disappoint. Strolling the streets of the hipster capital Portland, Williams' choice of silk print pants, chambray shirt, black loafers and cropped black jacket is so bang on trend yet so in keeping with her overall aesthetic. William's always manages to look like she hasn't tried too hard and interprets trends in her own preppy Brooklyn hipster way, and I love her for it!

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

ONE TO WATCH: Chloe Moretz

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Can you believe that Chloe Moretz, seen above at the Veuve Clicquot polo event in Sussex this weekend, is only 14 years old. Yes you read it correctly, 14. I can not deny that her monochrome look is spot on trend and wowed the polo crowd, but I can't help feeling uncomfortable with the fact that Miss Moretzs' grown up and stylish appearance belies her age to such an extreme. Her choice of  Giambattista Valli pleated cropped pants, tight cream tank, straw boater and nude heels may have been better suited to a women in her 20's and early 30's than a girl of 14. That being said, Chloe clearly is a clothes horse in training and I look forward to seeing her sartorial choices in the future!

FOR THE BOYS: The white jean

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Chaps, if you are interested in fashion and like to mix things up a little for spring then I highly suggest you consider sporting a white jean. Keep it slim cut and avoid wearing with black. I particularly love how A.P.C. have styled their white jean with other pale pieces like their plaid shirt and beige plimsoll, or you can wear them with your eternally reliable chambray shirt and Clark's desert boots.