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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wandering Road

Ah Finally!

This past weekend Camilla and I were able to get together again and shoot another post.
Inspired by a chiffon skirt from Free People and the most awesome pair of Jeffery Campbell wedges (the Be-Well in Ivory) we just received from Loris Shoes, we went to our favorite spot in the woods to shoot. The forecast said rain; it held off and left a wonderful cloudy morning for just the vibe we were hoping to achieve.

Right now we are loving the mixing-up of soft neutral colors, textures and layering, layering and layering! Long maxi skirts made of chiffon or light, airy fabrics are the must-haves for us this spring ... wearing them with wedges or a platform is even better. Topping it off with a pop of vibrant color like Camilla's red leather jacket makes the look complete.

Our turquoise jewelry, a Navajo-inspired backpack and a vintage denim shirt worked perfectly into the story, though I think we were both wishing we were actually roaming down real roads to some place else.

—Valerie & Camilla of A Butterfly by Day

The Jeffrey Campbell Be-Well helped inspire this maxi, layered look.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maxi-mizing a Trip to the Beach

This shoot was so much fun! This look was styled with a vintage beach feel. (We shot at our local beach.) Camilla wears a maxi dress, Jeffrey Campbell San Diego platforms and the scarf as a turban. We added a crochet top over the dress and belted it along with lots of beads, rings and bracelets. We brought along some vintage surf boards as props. I really love this shoot. I hope you do too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arcade on Fire: Spring Along the Boardwalk

Looking Pretty Zeppy: Camilla poses on the boardwalk.
We styled this look with a young, fun vibe. We wanted to capture a flirty, girlie look with a twist. Camilla and I mixed a vintage boy's blazer and Marc Jacobs top over a striped skirt and pink pumps by Chinese Laundry. We shot the look at the boardwalk—it just captured that same feeling as the outfit. 

We love the mix of colors. The fun hot pink patent pumps made us want to style the shoot with a colorful, playful vibe and the cute striped skirt with a little gold quilted bag, just felt very Cher from the movie Clueless but with a bit of Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl as well.

It was a spring lookbook, so we decided the feeling needed even more color and a bit of real West Coast charm, and because of that, heading down to the Pier and Arcade seemed fittingly appropriate.

Pink patent pumps Chinese Laundry / Striped skirt BB Dakota / Gold bag High Fashion / Floral anklets French Curve / School boy Blazer Vintage Ruffle top Marc Jacobs / Green patent leather belt J Crew / Headband Anthropologie

—Valerie and Camilla of A Butterfly by Day


Friday, March 18, 2011

All Dressed Up In Blue: Michael Antonio’s Gezana

Bright, eye-popping, attention-grabbing hues are all the rage—there have been sightings from Paris to London to New York Fashion Weeks.

There’s nothing I love more than a vibrant shade of blue-violet (ultramarine, to be exact). My closet has been begging for a sister shoe in this exact shade in the form of a wedge platform pump for ages ... okay, for at least a season.

Cue Michael Antonio’s Gezana in Navy. It is the flame to which my moth is drawn. Divine fashion intervention, I tell you!

This wedge also has your name written all over it, ladies! Take a look below for inspiration on how to integrate the Gezana into your wardobe!

'80s Crazies
As we all know, today’s fashion "dos" are really re-dos of fashion trends past with a new kick. Can you say "Heathcliff Huxtable"? The doctor never looked made color blocking look this good. This is a classic example of how to pair a bold print with an even bolder shoe. Feel free to replace motorcycle jean legging with a dark skinny to keep it truly simple.
7 CHI Mally clutch available at Lori’s.

Things That Go Va-Va-Voom
Sexin’ it up with this look. Balancing out the sexy with feminine frills is key. I love a risquĂ© top paired with a blazer or snug jacket. You can also switch out the motorcycle jean for a dark jean and still get the same effect, just taken down a notch.

The Rachel Zoe
Ba. Na. Nas. We nod to the queen of all things excessive.  The black faux fur, the classic feminine bow on the top paired with the basic jean screams daytime lunch date.  Find the most classic pieces you own, add the Gezana = instant. 

Glitzy Geometrics
Words cannot express how much I love this look!  Tribal, ethnic prints are dominating fashion.  This high waist harem pant just does it for me! The addition of the simple white v-neck is to balance out the business of the pant and the wedges. This neutral knotted necklace is the cherry on top.

Casual Chic
This look is carefree and relaxed. Form fitting cargos are a must! The jacket and the pants will create shape, juxtaposed against the looseness of the striped top.  The key here to select pieces that are typically not “dressy” enough to be worn with heels and then MAKE IT WORK.

Material Girl
Go hard or go home.  Iconic artist graphic tee (✔); Pyramid stud earrings (✔); Olive motorcycle jacket (✔); Skinny cargo pant (✔);  Armor ring (✔) 
[Pyramid stud earrings available at Lori’s]

—Ashley Lacey, Armitage staff and creator of Stiletto Chic

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pleat Shows Love for Lori's Shoes

We’re sure by now you’re well acquainted with the fact that The Pleat has a little bit of Imelda Marcos Syndrome – we love shoes. So our er, enthusiasm led us to discover this haven for shoes, Lorisshoes.com. We’re also a little embarassed to admit that this IS a recent discovery – this site has been up and running since 2000! (Remember Y2K?)

The online outpost of the brick and mortar Lori’s Designer Shoes, the site stocks well priced, trendy footwear with a couple of exclusive items thrown in for good measure. Lori’s Shoes was founded by Lori Andre, who established the shop in 1983 after college graduation. What started out as a 650-square-foot space has become three locations and an e-commerce website that serve as temples of footwear, brimming with thousands of shoes, accessories and most recently, apparel.

We love that this site is super-easy to navigate, and they certainly don’t think small either. Wherever you are in the developed world, lorisshoes.com will ship. Goes to show that you can always take the shoes out of Chicago, but you can’t take the Chicago out of the shoes!
1. Jack by BB Dakota tank, $42.00 2. BC Shoes “Limousine” $40.00 3. Flower teardrop earring, $16.00 4. Franco Sarto “April” $82.00 5. Santi beaded bag, $230.00 6. Kerisma knit top, $48.00 7. Italca sweater, $88.00 8. BB Dakota shorts, $68.00 9. Jeffery Campbell “Chives” $125.00
All available at www.lorisshoes.com

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Three's Company

This week’s update from the West Coast comes on the heels of some very exciting news for my husband and me. Without giving too much away, let’s say I am taking every opportunity to celebrate California style while I still can. And the only thing better than laid-back hippie chick style is laid-back hippie chick style on a budget! I am happy to report that, thanks to Lori’s, I can deliver both.

Let’s begin, shall we? Ahem:

Today I am feelin’ a Three’s Company vibe. Let's be honest: Janet had the mad style back then. (Sorry, Chrissie; the boob tees ain't my thang.)

The splashes of color on this amazing '70s-inspired classic make this dress a must for, well, as soon as you can wear it! If you aren’t ready to bear some arm (or the weather won’t allow), a jean jacket never, I repeat, never goes out of style. At a hundred and four bucks, you will get every ounce of wear out of this lovely throwback.

When it comes to bracelets, more is much, much more. I have never seen a heavily adorned wrist I didn’t like. As we slide into spring and start showing our wrists again, dress them up for the big reveal.

Do not be afraid of stacking silver and gold together (or similar off colors). This is one of my favorite trends of late!

This tassel necklace is a perfect compliment ... and $18? Come on! When you are a hippie chick, you are not afraid to over-accessorize. It's all about more!

Last year was heavy on the flats and maxi dresses. This year, pull out your platform sandals like these gorgeous weaved beauties by Vince Camuto for a sexy kick.

And last—but certainly not least—where would we be without the requisite shoulder bag? As much as you want to strap this 7CHI bag across your chest, I urge you to resist. You are way more hip with it slung casually off your shoulder.



Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Roman Holiday: Lori Packs for Italy

OK. It's really more like "Milano Holiday," but that just didn't have quite the same ring to it. Lori left for Milan for the fall buying shows. We helped pack her bags with some of our favorite spring shoes and accessories. Below are the outfits we put together after raiding Ms. Andre's capacious closet. We wanted day and night looks, and shoes that could maneuver between the two to save on space. We built some crisp, structured looks and more casual-chic soft and flowing outfits. The result, we hope, is a suitcase of versatile pieces that can mix and match to meet the occasion.

Shoes: Pour La Victoire Irinawristlet clutch by Deux Lux • Rebel Designs cuff

Shoes: Boutique 9 Ildra • bag: Christopher Kon 645 in Blue

Shoes: Pour La Victoire Irina • bag: High Fashion 4106 in black • Chain Cuff

Boots: Boutique 9 Jarn • bag: Christopher Kon 645 in blue • spring scarf

Booties: Boutique 9 Bacchus • bag: Latico • assorted bangles

Shoes: Pour La Victoire Irina • clutch: Whiting & Davis 4078

Shoes:Jeffrey Campbell Ripple • bag: Latico • assorted metal cuffs

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A Few of Ashley's Favorite Things: Wardrobe Must-Haves

I get a lot of questions from customers and friends about what key pieces that they need in their closet. How do you make sure that your wardrobe is fresh and nothing yells “Yo! Circa Fall 2010”?

Most of us do not have large amounts of disposable income. We cannot go out and buy every “it” item of the season. Rather, make a plan: when shopping decide on a few trends, capitalize and get creative. That fur scarf that you bought in the Fall can now be clipped to your favorite blazer or sweater for chilly, early spring days. The nude pump is still your everything, every season, go-to shoe.

Here is a list to round out your wardrobe staples ... affordably. These pieces are in-demand this season but have a life beyond any one season.
  • Motorcycle jacket 
  • Tailored/semi-structured blazer 
  • (Faux) fur item in the form of a snood (love these!), scarf or fur vest
  • Leopard (one piece will do ... for more, space out: a scarf and a pump)
  • Brightly colored, neon and nude pumps
  • Feminine embellishments (lace, beadwork, ruffles, overlay, embroidery)
  • Sheer tops
  • Skinny cargos/legging jeans
  • Tribal/boho print items and accessorizes
  • Nautical/stripes
  • Polka dots
  • Wedges, wedges, wedges
I've styled my favorites below. Take a look at a few of my fashion staples!

Tailored/Semi-Tailored Blazer
This item is an incredibly important transition piece from fall/winter to spring. In other words, it is a year-round staple. Wear it with a jean and oversized top in the colder months then transition it over a dress or pair it with a skinny jeans or cutoffs for the warmer months.

Motorcycle Jacket
Another core item that every girl should own. This is not your mother’s bulky-shouldered, fringe-adorned jacket, so go simple and chic. Olive or taupe are great color options! Moto jackets are awesome for spring and will add a pop of color during cooler seasons. (I personally love crinkled leather.) BB Dakota jacket available at Lori’s.

Well, I see you got your brand new leopard-skin pill-box hat. Whether or not you love Dylan, heed his observation: this print has made a grand comeback! No longer synonymous with older, fusty looks, leopard is young and daring. No need to go overboard though—invest in a leopard scarf, a pump, accessories. I love dyed leopard in pinks or purples—a nice deviation from the standard black and brown print. In the words of Rachel Zoe, “have the courage to wear leopard.”

This cutesy trend is huge for Spring/Summer 2011. These darling strappy sandals would look great with a white, slim-fitting dress or dark skinny jean and white top. The bright colors against the sheer black top? Love.

Pumps: Brightly Colored and Nude
I’m a huge fan of the brightly colored pump! My favorite shade is the deep ultramarine blue shown above ... adds instant sass to any outfit.

Faux Fur
Faux or real, it’s all right by me. This is one trend that you cannot overlook!

Prints: Geometric and Floral
Prints galore! Think "Three’s Company": these are the prints that you need to look for. Very retro. Floral. Go crazy—well, tastefully crazy. One Mrs. Ferley is enough.

I cannot explain to you how much I love stripes! Keep in mind your body type and height. If you are smaller in stature like me not only are you obviously awesome, but you need to exercise caution. Go for horizontal stripes when possible. Otherwise, make sure to keep the stripes up high in the form of a top with a snug upper portion so as not to dress an unwanted bulky look.

I live for accessories. Geometric shapes, classic pieces, tribal and bohemian influences are all the rage in jewelry. Keep a look out when browsing!

—Ashley Lacey, Lori’s Armitage Staff and creator of Stiletto Chic


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