These days, music festivals have turned into some of the best street fashion shows. Lollapalooza Music Festival in Chicago is one of our favorite events of the summer to steal new fashion and outfit inspiration. This past weekend Coco Rocha was spotted wearing a pair of HABITUAL Ultra High Rise Thalia Shorts in Abyss at the festival. She paired the shorts with one of her husband’s T-shirts, vintage boots and aviators to make the perfect laid-back music festival look. She topped the outfit off with one fancy mustache! Scroll through Coco’s Lolla weekend fun in her photo diary on Elle.com.
Fashion expert, stylist, host and blogger, Sydne Summer is always helping people look and feel their best. When she isn’t trend spotting, commentating on red carpet events, or appearing on the Style Network and E!, you can find her blogging the top fashion trends on Sydne Style.
Her fashion sense is as classy as she is, having evolved from her upbringing in Miami and L.A. to studying in Boston, London and Paris. Even though she is one popular and busy woman, we were lucky enough to catch up with Sydne Summer and learn about some of her personal fashion habits.
New York or Los Angeles, and why?
LA. I love the energy in New York and how incredibly chic everyone is. But I can’t give up my relaxed Cali lifestyle. Nothing beats the gorgeous weather, palm trees, beach and ocean. Plus, driving everywhere just means I get to wear even higher heels.
Give us a sense of your personal style?
I’ve always been a girlie-girl. I lean toward feminine fabrics and classic silhouettes. Even when I wear my denim, you’ll usually find it paired with a silk top or tweed blazer. Since I’m originally from Miami I’m also obsessed with color, especially neon. I always find that when I wear a bright top or dress people tend to smile at me more–or maybe it’s just because color puts me in a better mood.
You’re best known for being a fashion expert, but what do you consider your greatest talent?
I think it would have to be my eye for color. Whether it’s putting together outfits or incorporating unique color combos in my oil paintings, which I love doing in my spare time.
What’s your daily habit?
Dog time. I rescued my Pomeranian mix Bunny four years ago and she always puts a smile on my face. Even when I’m stressed prepping for a TV segment or finding the perfect mint necklace for a shoot I’ll look down at the adorable ball of black fur at my feet and realize everything is going to be just fine.
What’s one thing in your closet you could never give up? And what’s your go-to piece in the closet right now?
My turquoise Manolo Blahnik sandals. I bought them with my first paycheck and love them just as much now as I did then. My go-to is a pencil skirt. Black is safe but I have them in all different colors and patterns. I usually wear them with a tee and statement necklace to meetings or a bustier at night.
BONUS: What’s your ideal summer outfit?
A bikini! Clearly I’m on vacay-mode. Denim cut-offs and a loose printed top are perfect for throwing on top when I leave the beach.
Sydne is wearing HABITUAL Almas Skinny jeans in Snowfall in her photo. You can find your own pair on Nordstrom.com!
The big winner at last night’s Academy Awards was The Artist, but our eyes were on the red carpet (and Angelina Jolie’s leg). Here’s our pick of top Oscar gowns:
Jessica Chastain. This bold black and gold strapless gown by Alexander McQueen was a perfect choice for her striking skin tone and red hair. Her castmate Octavia Spencer may have taken home the trophy, but Jessica took home best dressed.
Milla Jovovich. For her first ever Oscars appearance, the model-turned-actress was sleek and sexy in a white one shoulder look by Elie Saab. She was one of the first on the carpet and she set the bar high for a very fashionable evening.
Gwyneth Paltrow. Always the minimalist, we loved the clean white look she chose from Tom Ford, and the built in cape says “I’m here to have fun.” She was all business later, dropping the cape and baring her shoulders to present with Robert Downey Jr.
Michel Pastoureau begins his book Black: The History of a Color with a Biblical quote:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep… God said, ‘Let there be light”.
The color black has been a part of our collective pysche since the beginning of time. With a thorough text and a beautifully curated set of images, Pastoureau, a Historian at the Sarbonne, examines how over the centuries, the meaning and influence of the color has fluctuated in relation to culture, art and dress.
Prior to the year 1000, black was easily accepted as clothing. But in the early Christian period, black became less a color for everyday life and took on an association with the devilish and infernal. In medieval times, black was symbolic of wealth, royalty and luxury, before swinging back to the gloom and depression of the Romantic Period (think Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven). In the 20th century, black and white film, photography and print elevated black once again.
As acceptability and perception have shifted over time, today we see black as a dual personality: the proper, businesslike, modern, sleek color of the little black dress and the business suit is the same as the dark, rebellious, dangerous color of the gothic and the undergound. Black reflects the duality of human values in our modern society. Much like Pastoureau looks at broad historical periods to identify how perceptions of black have changed over time, designers are also required to look at trends in society each season and determine how to use the color black in a collection. Keep your eye on the runway during fashion week and you’ll start to see exactly how this translates into fashion.
It appears we’re trending from the 70’s back to the 50’s and 60’s. Prada showed their Spring 2012 Collection yesterday at Milan Fashion Week, and one of the big influences was 1950’s and 60’s Southern California, an iconic era of customized muscle cars and surfer babes, made forever famous in songs from The Beach Boys, films like Grease, and books by Tom Wolfe.
Some of our favorites from the collection included dresses with hot rod flame details burning up the hem, and the throwback one piece swimsuits that still manage to flatter the figure. Ms. Prada also presented some very literal hot rod prints that could easily double as young boys pajamas, if the silhouette wasn’t so perfectly feminine. She even took the car motif into several pairs of strappy heels with flames shooting out of the proverbial tailpipe.
By the way, we are really loving how accessible the fashion business has become. Once a closed up industry reserved only for the VIPS invited to attend each show, practically every brand is making investments in digital media, streaming the runway walks live from the tents, and exciting a whole new generation of fashionistas. It’s also a fuller picture, as the public gains exposure to the creativity that goes beyond the clothes and into the styling, music and overall show presentation. For example, you can watch the entire Prada Spring 2012 Show right on YouTube:
There’s a fun video making the rounds this morning called “100 Years of East London Fashion, Dance and Music In 100 Seconds”. For all you English majors, that’s one look per year since 1911. The short was directed by Jake Lunt and created by The Viral Factory to celebrate the launch of a new Westfield shopping mall in Stratford City, London. We were excited to see so much denim in the film, especially the final shot, which shows that there’s nothing more current right now than a great pair of dark denim.
As everyone prepares to jet or drive or jitney off to their favorite summer destination for the long weekend, here are HABITUAL’s tips for pulling off the patriot look without going overboard. For July 4th beach barbecues or pool parties, we like a clean and classic look with a splash of red, white and blue.
Start with a pair of white denim shorts – a classic denim wash will work in a pinch, too. Then layer a soft chambray shirt over a solid tank – or even a bathing suit top – and don’t be afraid to roll up the sleeves. You can dump the shirt when things get too hot, or throw it back on once the sun goes down (and the mosquitos come out). You’ll probably be in bare feet, but if you’re going to wear shoes, give yourself a respite from the heels with some comfortable clogs or plain flip flops. Top the look off with red, white and blue accessories like rope bracelets, a striped watch strap, or a plain clutch to hold your sunscreen, credit card, sunglasses, and chapstick.
Tops (Left to Right): Epaulet Red Chambray Utility Shirt, Equipment Major cotton-chambray shirt , Hanes Classic fit wide strap tank in white and red.
Belt: Mango Vintage style slim leather belt
Shorts: HABITUAL Teri shorts in Whiteout
Bracelets (L to R): J. Crew Miansai Rope bracelet in red and white, J. Crew Striped watch strap
Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s Wood original in white and navy
Clutches: Calre Vivier Foldover clutches in red pebble, royal blue pebble and white