Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Profile of a Vintage Fashionista: Catherine Deneuve

When we think of effortless glamour, we think of Catherine Deneuve, a megastar French film actress who first rocketed to fame in the 1960's.  It was Deneuve who practically created the image of the mysterious, sexy French woman.  

While Deneuve has starred in over a hundred films in her illustrious career, perhaps her most famous film is 1967's Belle de Jour in which she plays Severine.  Severine is a timid, proper housewife at night to her doctor husband, but works as a prostitute during the day to act out her sexual fantasies. It was complex, sexualized roles such as this that lead critic Frances Wyndham in 1968 to call Deneuve "a cool combination of the virginal and the vicious."  

Belle de Jour also began Deneuve's longtime partnership and friendship with Yves Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent created the iconic costumes for the film that are still referenced today. Most notable were military-influenced double-breasted coats in a variety of textures: fur, leather, and vinyl. These costumes added to Severine's glacial, but calculating exterior.  She is a tortured woman, but a woman in charge.

Deneuve's style has always been ultra-chic, ladylike and polished.  Her clothes were often classic and tailored and she managed to be sexy without showing a lot of skin.  Deneuve's style was less buxom than our other French favorite Brigitte Bardot.  While Bardot personified playful va-va-voom femininity, Deneuve had a darker, sleeker style.  Scroll down for a breakdown of our favorite Deneuve looks.

The 1967 film Belle De Jour began the longtime collaboration between Deneuve and Yves Saint Laurent.  Her dark character Severine favored military-inspired, double-breasted coats.
Deneuve often wore her hair pulled half back, with an ultra feminine bow or ribbon. This girlish hairstyle shows how Deneuve embraced the contrast of "virginal and vicious." Other elements of Deneuve's classic style can be seen here: from her leopard coat, to toggled jacket to elegant bow dress.
Above: Deneuve is elegant in a draped pink dress, with big soft curls.  Below: Deneuve sits outside her native Eiffel tower in a classic leopard coat.
Deneuve often wore little black dresses over sleek black tights. Note how she belted the dress at her waist with a thin leather belt.  On the right Deneuve walks with David Bailey, legendary photographer and her husband from 1965 to 1972.  This time she favors a looser black dress with tights.  Note the big glamour-girl sunglasses.

Anatomy of glamour:  Big sunglasses, teased ponytail, statement earrings, vintage fur, tailored black dress, chic updo.

As the face of Chanel No. 5 in the 1970's, Deneuve further personified elegant, elusive beauty. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

We've got sunshine.

There is nothing that makes us more happy than a burst of sunshine in the winter.  We loved Jessica Chastain's Oscar de la Renta dress so much, that we were inspired to look for our own rays of sunshine.  Scroll down for our favorite mellow yellow pieces under $200.

Jessica Chastain in Oscar de la Renta dress and heels at the National Board of Review Awards Gala, New York, January 7, 2014.

1. Bayonet Dress, Urban Outfitters, $135
2. Side Pocket Satchel, Topshop, $56
3. Cardigan, Anthropologie, $39.95
4. Wedge Heel Pump, Victoria's Secret, $98
5. Sunblossom Dress, Anthropologie, $178
6. Mini Skirt, Free People, $49.95
7. Bloom Dress, Free People, $169.95
8. Ankle Cords, Anthropologie, $99.95
9. Yellow Heeled Shoes, ASOS, $129.63
10. Cashmere Tee, J.Crew, $148
11. New Balance Shoes, J.Crew, $80

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Girl has style: Allison Williams

In honor of the Girls season 3 premiere tonight on HBO, here are our favorite looks from fashionista Allison Williams, who plays Marnie on the show.  We love her because she always looks elegant and polished, is not afraid of a pop of color, and embraces trends like winter florals. We also love her use of texture: whether she is wearing lace, leather, or a wool overcoat, she always looks classy and ladylike.  Here's to hoping her character Marnie does another cringeworthy karaoke session this season.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Blossom for me, baby.

Even though it's winter and snow may be falling, flowers can still flourish.  Floral fashions are on all the red carpets as celebrities dream of warmer days by wearing flowers on their sleeves. Scroll down for our favorite floral fashions on a budget. Go ahead and let your winter garden blossom.

From left to right: Rachel Bilson (photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin); Camilla Belle (photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage); Léa Seydoux (photo by Getty); Allison Williams (photo by PA); Naomi Watts (photo by WhoWhatWear.com); Miroslava Duma (photo by Neil Rasmus).

1. Fit & Flare Floral Dress, Urban Outfitters, $44
2. Cross-Stitch Sweater, Anthropologie, $148
3. Crystal Daisy Bracelet, BaubleBar, $36
4. Leaf Floral Jeans, ASOS, $136.12
5. Watercolor Floral Dress, J.Crew, $229.99
6. Velvet Bardot Dress, ASOS, $101.85
7. Coral Flower Necklace, Topshop, $30
8. Lily Pond Tee, Anthropologie, $118
9. Sun Flower Studs, BaubleBar, $26
10. High-Neck Sleeveless Dress, BCBGeneration, $64

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Polka dot panic.

Polka dots are a timeless classic.  They are playful, yet elegant, girlish, yet womanly. There has always been something alluring about their simplicity.  Below are some of our favorite vintage fashionistas partying in polka dots.  Scroll further down for the best polka dot clothes we could find on a budget, ranging from $30 to $160.  Happy shopping!

Clockwise starting with top left: Catherine Deneuve in black & white dress, Brigitte Bardot in red & white dress, France Gall in blue & white shirt, Bardot in black & white shirt, Jane Birkin in red & white dress, Jean Shrimpton on Vogue Cover, Anna Karina in black & white hat, Shrimpton in black & white dress, Elizabeth Taylor in blue & white dress.

1. Polka Dot Bow Dress, Modcloth, $63
2. Polka Dot Calf Hair Pumps, Ann Taylor, $158
3. Pink Polka Dot Dress, Modcloth, $60
4. Split Dots Dress, Anthropologie, $70
5. Blue Smocked Dress, Urban Outfitters, $54
6. White Polka Dot Dress, South Moon Under, $30
7. Dotted Crewneck Sweater, Madewell, $80
8. Toothpick Jean in Polka Dot, J.Crew, $80

Friday, January 3, 2014

Orange you glad to see me.

We used to shy away from orange.  After all, we are pale and blonde, and were always told orange looks best on brunettes and people with warmer skin tones.  But orange is now trending and we find our initial reluctance fading. We tried to resist, but here are 10 things we love about orange. Use our selections below to make orange the centerpiece of your outfit by wearing an orange dress or coat, or use orange as a fun pop of color by wearing an orange ring, shoes or bracelet.  Orange you excited!

1. Faux fur collar, Topshop, $30
2. Orange Stone Ring, Free People, $115
3. Linosa Top, Anthropologie, $118
4. Orange coat, ASOS, $204
5. Seamless Dress, Free People, $88
6. Orange Leather Skimmers, Kate Spade Saturday, $77
7. Circle Bracelet, Kate Spade Saturday, $35
8. High Neck Apron Dress, Urban Outfitters, $69
9. Orange Pocket Tank, J. Crew, $34.50
10. Contrast Wool Jumper, Topshop, $110