Women of Style Archives

Headbands-New York Style

As young girls we grow up wearing headbands, why should we stop? Headbands are not just for elementry school girls anymore, but for "grown ups" too. A headband can potentially put the exclamation point on your outfit, creating a playful and girlish air.  For a city that loves to be extravagant, many New York women are spiffing up their outfits with a complementary headband.

Headbands are in style! Anywhere from the classic headband like Leighton Meester in Gossip Girl to the hippy headband Micsha Barton wears. Classic headbands are plain, patterned or colorful and can be accented with a jewel or bow. The hippy headbands are those worn around the middle of the forehead. However, the most popular headband I've seen in NYC is the sparkly braided band like Natiale Portman wears. Whatever you headband style is, you are not too old to wear it!

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The Skinny On Belts

Girls love to accessories their daily outfits with belts. While walking around New York City; I've come to notice more women are completing their outfit with a high wasted skinny belt, rather than a wide waisted. Have skinny belts won the popularity contest against wide belts? It looks like they have in NYC. A skinny belt can be worn with casual or sophisticated clothes, bringing your ensemble a chic and sharp look. These belts look great over cardigans, rompers, dresses and tops. Mix it up! No matter your belt size, show off those curves!  

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Will Kate wear her Hair up or Down: Royal Wedding Day Coiffure

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As we are closely approaching the big day rumors of last minute decisions still circulate amongst the country, as to if Kate Middleton will wear her hair up or down, a crown or flowers, or where the honey moon will take place.  I think it is safe to say that I believe we can expect to see Middleton with her hair down.  It is very seldom that we have ever seen Middleton with her hair pulled back, as her beautiful locks stretch to her back.  Although both Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II wore their hair short it did not stop them from wearing their hair down. 

Kate Middleton has definitely become what we know as a trend setter.  Her extreme beautiful hats are becoming more and more popular as she wears them beautifully.  It is no surprise that both her and Princess Diana were both fashionista's with similar hats worn.  Her long hair only adds to the look and enhances the style.  Clearly Prince Williams loves the long hair as men tend to have a long hair preference over short.  Whether Kate Middleton wears her hair up or down I am sure she will set a trend and wear it well.

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Jennifer Hudson: New Body & A New Boyfriend



One of our favorite singers, Jennifer Hudson, has never looked better. Besides her amazing weight loss, thanks to Weight Watchers, Jennifer Hudson also has a happy glow due to her new fiance, David Otunga. David, a Chicago native, is a professional wrestler and a Harvard graduate who popped the question to Hudson with a Neil Lane diamond ring on her 27th birthday. Both Hudson and Otunga hail from Chicago, making them even more lovable for us Chicagoans.We love Jennifer Hudson and can't wait to hear and see more from her. Like her ad for Weight Watchers states(seen below), "It's a new dawn, a new day, a new life.. and I'm feeling good." And she looks good too!

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Kate Middleton Fashion Watch: Issa A Favorite Designer



Daniella Helayel is a name that most of you may not be familiar with. This great designer is celebrating her 10 year anniversary of her Issa line (her middle name) with a fantastic fall/winter 2011 collection at London Fashion Week. Issa is known for making beautiful jersey pieces while adding many colorful prints and is one of Kate Middletons favorite designers. Kate Middleton famously wore a perfect royal blue Issa dress to announce her engagement to Prince William, it soon sold out at Net-a-Porter, which brought tons of international recognition to the label.

This season,the designer is proud of her bohemian chic prints in stand out bold colors. The draped jersey dresses, deep-v neck lines, and silky full circle skirts paired with tights are some looks that can't go wrong. The collection is very intriguing, which is why Kate Middleton probably likes it due to her great, sophisticated, elegant but conservative taste. What do you think of Issa?

(Posted by Marycke Gramillano)

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Victoria Beckham : Handbag Collection- A Replacement for the Birkin?

"24 Hours in the life of Victoria," doesn't that sound lovely? That allurting theme is the central focus around Victoria Beckham's handbag collection. Victoria Beckham, former Spice girl and wife of David Beckham, has started designing handbags in addition to her clothing designs! Victoria Beckam's first collection will offer 6 styles, prices ranging from $1,800- $13,950 in many different finishes.

Possessing hundreds of "IT" handbags already, including almost 100 Birkin Bags, Victoria Beckham is attempting to ultimately replace the costly Birkin bags with her own unique designs, inspired by Ms. Beckham's sophisticated, polished look. Her lovely handbags will be available at Neiman Marcus Los Angeles, Bergdorf Goodman, and Her structured, classic designs will soon take the world by storm as every celebrity and consumer who can afford her handbags, will feel themselves urging for a Posh experience.

With original Hermes Birkin Bags costing anywhere from $5,300 to $50,000 and up, consumers will be sure to ditch the Birkin and get with the Beckham. People will re-evalute just how much they are willing to spend on a designer handbag. According to, Victoria was heard saying, "A Beckham can replace your Birkin." So what do you think? Can a Beckham replace YOUR Birkin?


Published by Marycke Gramillano


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People's Choice Awards 2011


The People's Choice Awards were held last night and the dress was far more casual than other award shows, such as the Academy Awards. There was still a fair share of glitz and glamour on celebrities such as Kristen Stewart of the Twilight saga, Lisa Edelstein of House, Taylor Swift and of course Jen Aniston. Katy Perry rocked the stage winning two awards, all in a 50's inspired tulle strapless short full dress. I loved the way Johnny Depp looked with his movie star looks, longer hair and jacket with no tie. Ashton Kutcher was also a man of understated style, looking very cool without the obvious fuss. Queen Latifah, who hosted the event and newly red-headed Khloe Kardashian seemed to be the only formal floor length dresses at the show. So tell me what was your favorite look from the 2011 People's Choice Awards? 

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Celebrity Body Types : In or Out?


Skinny, curvy, shapely, or athletic? Each individual body type brings something intriguing to the naked eye. Over time, we've seen celebs go from stick thin to more and more healthy and curvy shaped. In 2010 and 2011, the trend will stay in the health zone... accepting all body types and seeing more and more striking figures. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Kim Kardashian, celebrities have a variety of different body types.

The trend is toward curvier, vuluptious bodies, but health is still the most important thing. Whether they are skinny or curvy, celebrities make their bodies work for them and they all look beautiful. Even T.V. shows like Mad Men emphasized beauty in different ways, showcasing Christina Hendricks (Joan), with an extremely vuluptuous body, making girls and women all over the world look at Joan and other curvy women with a healthy body image in mind, instead of aspiring to be stick thin.

Nike did an ad for women, bringing awareness to the female body, emphasizing everything beautiful about it, especially butts. Nike is praising curves and telling women that if someone has a problem with your shape they can, well, kiss your ass. Big butts are in, and will stay in for awhile. So, what do YOU think?

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January Jones: Naked In Versace's Ads

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"I am always on the lookout for the next Versace blonde...and in January I feel I have found a perfect Versace woman for the 21st century," said Donatella Versace. "She s chic and elegant but deeply sensual too." The pic above, photographed by famed photographer Mario Testino, features the 32-year-old star wearing nothing except for a Versace bag and a pair of heels. Yes, January Jones is a beautiful woman, and I especially love watching her play housewife on Mad Men. What do you think of January's Versace S/S 2011 ad campaign?

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Mama Knowles Knows What Women Want at Walmart

Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles, who has been known for designing and styling looks for her the pop star, has actually always had a knack for fashion. This month, she is debuting a line at Walmart, called Miss Tina! The sportswear line has 30 distinct pieces, ranging from denim to leggings, graphics tees to classic blouses, embellished tops to wear-to-work dresses. There's something for every kind of woman - the clothes come in sizes 2 to 20 - and the best part: the prices! Most garments are expected to retail for about $20. Tina explains that she understands how hard it is to find clothes that are comfortable yet well-fitting and, of course, fashionable. We know that a woman who has helped push her daughter to such heights of success can do great things for other women, such as make them look great on an affordable price tag. Check out Tina talking about her line on the Today Show, and of course check out her line at Walmart!


Prince William and Kate Middleton, Wedding Bells?

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Recently in the Nov. 8, 2010 issue of People Magazine it was speculated that wedding bells for Prince Willaim, son of late Princess Diana, and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton were soon to be ringing. The two were seen at a friends wedding walking in together, which is abnormal for the couple who is rarely seen arriving or leaving events together. I love the classic, yet age appropriate styles of this pair. Kate Middleton has always been a woman of style, dressing mature enough for formal events in tweeds and suits while knowing how to dress for her age and body type in minis and sequins. At the wedding on Oct. 23, 2010 the Prince sported a three piece suit paired with a tailed coat and royal purple tie. Kate was in a cerulean knee length dress with a black blazer and a classic oversized flat brimmed black hat. This pair has everything style, looks, and  of course great families. I just can't wait to see the wedding outfits!

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Michelle Obama: Arts, Music... Fashion!


Photo: Harper's Bazaar

Check out our leading lady, Michelle, in the White House's Red Room with a snazzy young group of creative kids. And of course, do not fail to notice her fabulously form-fitting yet sophisticated L'Wren Scott dress and gorgeous blue kitten-hell pumps - talk about a daring woman who is not afraid to be bold with color. In a recent interview with Harper's Bazaar, Michelle talks about the prevalence of the arts in her upbringing and how this taught her the importance of such an outlet for today's youth - specifically, she was raised in a home pulsing with the beat of soulful jazz, the passion of her grandfather, and her own father was a sculptor and painter when not working to feed his family. With that history, it would be impossible to not share a love for such pursuits. Michelle herself can name her first album, Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, but, even more poignantly, she recalls performing in her school's production of Hansel & Gretel. The best thing about this piece of her past? She was drawn to the role of the fairy because of the tutu costume it allowed her wear!

Michelle happily supports fashion as a unique and inspirational art form, using her position to prove that style is personal and political. Check out some of her best looks and favorite designers below!

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Vera Lehndorff: aka VERUSCHKA

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The first supermodel, 71 year-old Veruschka walked the runway at the Giles Deacon Spring/Summer 2011 show at London Fashion Week. Proving beauty is ageless! The 1960s icon graced the runway wearing a feather boa headdress and long, bow-print gown. At six-foot-one, she was the picture of power leading the pack of models that included Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova and Kelly Brook. Yes, Veruschka's return to the runway was all rage at London Fashion Week reminding us that everyone can look fabulous at every age. What do you think of her triumphant return? Do you like seeing models of all ages and sizes on the catwalk? Take a look at the photos of Veruschka over the years.

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QLIX Magazine: Introduction Party at Jbar

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Qlix Magazine is the hot new magazine ( founded by Tenisha Anderson who was formerly my intern for three years and styling assistant at NBC5. She was extremely talented and determined to create something new and exciting, which she has. Her education included going to school in London where she connected with European creative stars that now work on her magazine. In only a year she has had the honor selling her magazine at R.D. Franks, the largest and oldest book store in London. She has been invited to Oxford, Miss. to be the personal guest of Dr. Samir Husni (Mister Magazine) for the magazine Innovation Center with only 100 guests invited from around the world. Check out her website for others honors. All of Chicago should help support Tenisha's talents if you want to be one of the cool ones in the know!

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Chicago Fashion Foundation Member's Event

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It is always fun for me to speak to those in the fashion industry, as I did last week at the Chicago Fashion Foundation's Annual Member's Event at The Drake Hotel. A soiree dedicated to networking and honoring the wonderful people involved in the Chicago Fashion Industry. As the guest speaker I was able to share some stories of my own about my experiences in the business, and I loved hearing other attendees questions, and learning of their passion. While I was a guest speaker at their very first program, I was indeed impressed with their growth and their continuing dedication to helping students. The mission of the Chicago Fashion Foundation, is to provide academic scholarships to Chicago-area college students majoring in fashion related studies and coordinate educational programs for the Chicago Fashion community. For more information about the Chicago Fashion Foundation go to and be sure to check out their upcoming events. 

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Mrs. Beckham: Designer or Diva?



This weekend, the New York Times dedicated the cover of the Sunday Styles section to the always glamorous and poised but controversial-as-designer Victoria Beckham. Detailing her meticulous eye for construction and her passion for the feel of beautifully made fabrics such as gazar and metallic jacquard, the piece touches on Beckham's past but focuses on her current endeavors as a designer exploding onto the fashion scene. While many dismiss Beckham as a cheesy has-been from the Posh Spice era or a "WAG," a derogatory acronym in Britain for the wives of soccer players, many are endorsing her ability to take classic, conventional styles and add a bit of Beckham flair to make them worthy of the runway. And this last part she has certainly accomplished - her spring 2011 collection will be presented at New York Fashion Week and she secured her position amongst the ranks of other big name Fashion Week designers four seasons ago. Some of those behind her include Anna Wintor and Holli Rogers, the buying director for Net-a-Porter, an exclusive high-end online boutique. And as for celebs who have donned her designs, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Lopez, and Gwenyth Paltrow are just a few. What do you think - is Mrs. Beckham a fleeting fashion sensation or a committed entrepreneur with true design talent?

Donna Karan: Fall 2010 Collection Marks Its 25th Anniversary

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It's still a thrill for me after 20 years or more to be part of the fashion scene along with sitting in the first row, like I did in Milan & Paris, in the days when I went to buy the European collections for my Oak Street boutique. Interviewing the Queen Of Fashion, as she has been labeled, is indeed one of the perks of being part of the press.

Interviewing Donna, is like talking to your BFF. Every answer is filled with the passion that she has for both fashion and giving back to help others. She believes that dressing the inside is as important as dressing the outside.

She admits that everything she designs could be perfect in her own closet and, often the dress you are looking at in Neiman's on Michigan Ave, could have been one she designed to wear to an event like the Met Museum in NY.

So what did my new best friend share with me on her views:

BG: When you designed the sensual "cold shoulder dress" many celebrities wore it along with the first lady, Hillary Clinton to the White House inauguration. Is the shoulder your favorite part of the body?
DK: WWD just couldn't get it. They hated it until Liza MInnelli was shown wearing the dress. I say the best part on your body that doesn't age or gain weight is the shoulder.

BG: When you designed the 7 essentials in 1992, including the bodysuit and the wrap skirt, you, like Coco Chanel helped to change the way working women dressed regardless of their age or size. How do you see the direction for you in the future?
DK: I was always aware of the woman's body especially today because they are busier than they ever have been before. I want to make traveling very easy for them. The clothing is versatile, it goes from day to evening and envelops every woman's personal style. Every woman big and small thinks that I cut exactly for them because of the flexibility of my fabrics and how we wrap the garments.
BG: Obviously women everywhere agree.

BG: Charity is priority for you as you recently donated $850,000 to the New York Beth Israel Medical Center for a grant to test the results of yoga, meditation and aromatherapy for cancer patients. Tell me more:
DK: I created the Urban Zen Foundation ( to raise awareness and inspire change. It is located in New York in my husband's former studio. It's about dressing on the inside as well as the outside. Soon I hope to open restaurants in hospitals serving good soups and juices for the body.
(For sponsorship please call 212.414.8520 or email

BG: What do you see as the best and worst trends?
DK: The worst is the amount of change people expect from the fashion industry and no one actually absorbs the trends before they are phased out.

BG: What's the one thing you wouldn't leave home without?
DK: A scarf. You can use it in so many different ways.
BG: Of course Ms. Karan loves the scarf because her scarf in the new fall collection in one of the most exciting accessories that make everything in your wardrobe look new from a dress to a coat.

Check out the DKNY Cozy: a chic and sophisticated wardrobe solution.
Twist it. Tie it. Wrap it. Or Download it. And get wrapped up in an App.

Below, check out pics from the event and items from the runway showing of her Fall 2010 collection. Happy anniversary Donna Karan! 

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"Perfect is Perfectly Boring" Going Gray: Yea? Or Nay?

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Going Gray has never looked so glamorous. This once-shunned shade has become the latest head turning hue, and it can be both chic and flattering, and it won't age you a day! Models Kate Moss and Daphne Guinness, pop icons like Pink, American Idol contestant Lilly Scott, and 13-year old blogger Tavi Gevinson are all caught up in the silver rush. And, that's just to name a few - the domino effect is "in effect!" Gray strands ran rampant down the runway at Thakoon's spring showcase, and Channel Couture embraced the trend, sending models down the runway in shiny silver-streaked wigs. Proving that gray hair can be sophisticated and beautiful at any age so go ahead, ladies, are you ready to get your gray on?

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"Perfect is Perfectly Boring"


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When I went away to college, I was surprised to see the pain young women, like myself, would subject themselves to all in the name of beauty! An 18 year old blond would iron her curly locks on an ironing board so she could have hair like model, Cheryl Tiegs (who, by the way, is in this past weekend's Time Magazine; 63 and fabulous). One person I admired for her self esteem (perhaps I didn't understand her politics) was Angela Davis. She had the most amazing Afro! I only remember other black women celebrities like Diana Ross and Tina Turner, with wigs. I did love a young Chelsea Clinton with curls but I also loved her hair when it was swept up at her recent wedding. Amy Irving was one of the first celebs to make layers of natural curls popular. Recently you may have seen my post from Glamorama...I interviewed the talented Macy Gray who had the coolest looking natural hair! By the way, back in the 80's I tried to perm my straight locks at a very chic salon in NYC so i could have curls. Yes I admit that my hair was straight and shiny but don't we always want what someone else has until we discover our own signature? Remember..."Perfect is Perfectly Boring".


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Perfect is Perfectly Boring: Women Growing Older and Embracing It!

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Finally, we may be over the obsession with youth. Yes, I respect youth but we will age and, hopefully now we can do it gracefully as magazine covers for September are embracing this trend with Jennifer Aniston at 41 on the cover of Bazaar, Halle Berry at 43 on the cover of Vogue, and Julia Roberts at 43 on the cover of Elle. Sandra Bullock, at 46, graced the cover of Glamour in June, and she is the top female Hollywood star earning 63 million this year.
All of my readers know I believe that "Perfect is Perfectly Boring" which I shared recently with the millinery designer Philip Treacy and the designers from Rag & Bone, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville who agree. Treacy added, in our interview at: (, that what hat lovers Camellia Parker Bowles, Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker all have in common is that they are not perfect. So, love every wrinkle as a sign of wisdom. If you don't have smile lines you are definitely not loving life and need to smile more. Check out photos from the cover shoots of Bazaar, Vogue, Elle and Glamour in the slideshow below and remember "Embrace, Don't Erase, Your Age!"

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Women Helping Women: Barbra Streisand


There is nothing more fashionable than a woman who is committed to a charitable cause. Last week, Barbra Streisand hosted a benefit for the Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Institute in order to raise money and awareness for heart disease. She's seen loved ones suffer through heart disease and hopes women realize what a threat it is. Her philanthropic endeavor, in spite of all of her many accomplishments and talents, is truly what makes Barbra's character and style shine through! And the event drew quite a glamorous crowd - Rock & Republic co-founder Michael Ball, Diane Keaton, and Bloomingdale's chairman Michael Gould were in attendance, along with a slew of other big names.

To learn more and to donate, visit Cedars-Sinai Women's Heart Institute. Also, check out Jennifer Aniston's tribute to Barbra in the September Harper's Bazaar!

Madonna & Lourdes Debut Clothing Line Today at Macy's

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Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, have collaborated on a clothing line and the collection, Material Girl, debuts at Macy's stores today. The collection includes hip-hop, ballet and European influences with items such as floral dresses, jewelry, handbags and... of course... bustiers. Other classic pieces for the school year, such as shoes and blue jeans were inspired by Madonna's pal designer Stella McCartney. This line is sure to have everyone running to the mall, and even better, it retails at an affordable $12 to $40. Tell us: Are you excited to shop the Material Girl collection?

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Add instant retro eighties style to your look with this ruffled rosette skirt.

Who's that girl??? It's Gossip Girl, Taylor Momson, the face of Material Girl because she embodies style, innovation, and self confidence. Check out more pics of Taylor from the Material Girl Lookbook in the slideshow.

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The Big Day: "Chelsea Clinton's Wedding"

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It's official - the former first daughter, Chelsea Clinton tied the knot with longtime boyfriend, Marc Mezvinsky, in Rhinebeck, New York on Saturday. The parents of the bride, former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, were there, of course, and could not have asked for a more perfect day surrounded by family and their close friends. What about the wedding dress??? Chelsea double-dipped with Vera Wang, wearing an ivory strapless gown by the designer with a raw-edged laser-cut silk organza skirt for the interfaith and a silk tulle cross-back Grecian gown with a narrow grosgrain black belt for the reception. The bridesmaids' dresses, strapless bias-cut lavender chiffon gowns were also designed by Vera Wang. Hilary Clinton opted for Oscar de la Renta and the groom, groomsmen and father of the bride Bill Clinton wore suits designed by Christopher Bailey of Burberry. Yes, the most anticipated wedding of the year was fashionable, elegant, and nothing short of understated good taste! Be sure to take a look at the slideshow of photos below.

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Sweet Dreams: Norma Kamali's first Sleepwear Line for Walmart

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Norma Kamali will be adding sleepwear to her collection of clothing & swimwear at Walmart in October. Yes, for those fashion history buffs, Norma Kamali was one of the first designers to use sweat shirt fabric for daytime clothing back in the late 70's / 80's with her collection called OMO. I think it was around the time of her divorce and OMO stood for on my own. She continues to inspire to this day at very affordable prices at Walmart for a whole new audience and for those that still follow her from the past. I would definitely wear some of the pieces of outerwear! Check below also for the original story:

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Rag & Bone Party at Intermix

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Me, with the designers of Rag & Bone

It's always interesting to see so many of the most fabulously dressed Chicagoans in one place! That's definitely what the scene was at last night's gathering at the Delaware Place Intermix for the designers of clothing line Rag & Bone. The champagne was flowing, but admist the fun, the most noticeable element of the night was of course the fashion! The designers themselves received much due attention, but the guests at the party were also worth checking out, as they were all so stylish in their understated glamour - a look that perfectly reflected the image of the Rag & Bone brand that was being celebrated. I loved everyone's shoes most of all, from Chanel and Fendi to Christian Louboutin and Brian Atwood! Check out the pics from the party below and make sure to come back next week for the interview with David & Marcus, the brains behind the beauty!

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Karl Lagerfeld: 'No One Wants to See Curvy Women On The Catwalk'

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Less than a year ago fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was quoted as saying, "Curvy women have no place on the catwalk." But has Lagerfeld had a change of heart? Could the inclusion of a size 10 model in a Chanel show be an indication of real change in the industry? Plus size model Crystal Renn made an appearance on the runway of the Chanel Resort 2011 show in St. Tropez taking one giant leap for model-kind. There's a constant debate over how thin models should or shouldn't be, and it looks like we're finally making progress seeing model sizes on the runway that reflect real women today. I am a major supporter of women of all sizes and my hopes are that we continue to see more body types gracing the runways and in magazines. It's all about real women today!
What do you think made Lagerfeld reconsider his stance? Was he making up for his past comment or is Crystal Renn getting so popular that big name designers can't afford to ignore her? Discuss!

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Princess Diana's Long-Lost Dress: Sells For $276,000

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The dress that launched a royal fairy tale has been sold for $276,000. Princess Diana wore the black taffeta gown on her first official appearance after her engagement to Prince Charles, and it caught photographers by surprise. The paparazzi knew Lady Diana at the time as "Shy Di" but it was this dress that changed the shy 19-year-old into a global fashion icon. In her book "A Dress for Diana," Elizabeth Emanuel wrote, "The transformation was incredible. She arrived looking like the nursery school teacher she was, but now she looked like a movie star." And I must agree she looked fabulous! The dress, which had expected to sell for around $73,000, was bought by Chilean fashion museum Fundacion Museo De La Moda. If one of the co-designers, David Emanuel, had not decided recently to open up an old garbage can liner that had sat for 20 years in his garage, the dress that he discovered might never have come up for sale at all. Check out more photos of the dress below. Do you like it? Do you think it sold for the right price?

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Best Kept Secrets: Wolfbait & B-girls

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Me & Shirley

Living in Chicago, we are surrounded by many neighborhoods rich in architecture and history. Meryl & I took our weekly hunt to uncover some hidden places that some of you may know and others, like me, may not be aware of. Our first stop this week was to Logan Square. When I saw the name of a boutique, Wolfbait & B-girls I was somewhat surprised to see the gems inside including clothing, accessories, baby stuff, stationary, and more.

You may have guessed that "B-girls" stands for "Bad Girls" - who could refuse that invitation? One of the owners, Shirley Kienitz, gave us a tour and explained that the store has been at its current location, 3131 W.Logan Blvd., for over four years. She and her business partner, Jenny Stadler, met when there were selling their designs to other boutiques. They opened their store as as a place to showcase local talent and to act as a resource to help support emerging designers from the area. The store is a collection of 160 local artists along with two fair-traded companies that are Chicago-based but a percentage of their proceeds goes to charities such as Stop Human Traffic. One brand of handbags, Malia Designs, states its mission is "To Carry A Cause."

It was indeed exciting to discover all this amazing talent from Chicago's pool of designers & artists. Be sure to continue to drop by because every week we have new treasures to share with you!

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Model Sizes Reflect Real Women: Crystal Renn, Alessandra Ambrosio and Brooklyn Decker

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All of my readers know that I am a major supporter of women of all sizes. No, I have never been overweight but I do think women of a variety of sizes should be respected for their individuality. It's all about real women today. The May issue of Glamour magazine celebrates three models, Crystal Renn, Brooklyn Decker and Alessandra Ambrosio that are not the typical size 0 or size 2. Even Hollywood is changing their attitude in searching for women without breast implants and too many fillers to cast real looking women in film. My hope is that women respect their bodies and gain a strong sense of confidence. Remember that the average women is 5'3 weighing 164.7 pounds with a 37 inch waist.

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Fashion Designer Barbara Bates Donates 1,000 Prom Garments

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I had the privilege of sitting down this week with Chicago fashion designer and philanthropist Barbara Bates, a woman who translates her passion not only into a living, but also into a way to brighten the lives of some of the city's less-than-fortunate youth. Barbara grew up in Chicago, loved fashion at a young age, and her adorable boutique and studio now live in the South Loop - you can find her at 2031 S. Indiana Ave. But before her current success, she faced hardships as a teen mother, experiences which now motivate her to give back and channel her creativity and fabulous style sense to a greater good. Watch the interview to hear Barbara talk about fashion and her incredible foundation!


Women of Style: An Interview with Victoria's Secret Model Alessandra Ambrosio

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Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio was in Chicago this to week to celebrate the winners of the "What's Sexy Chicago Now Campaign," as well as hosting the viewing party for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  I had so much fun uncovering some of the style secrets from the absolutely beautiful Brazilian supermodel.  

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Women of Style: An Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winning Fashion Editor Robin Givhan


Robin Givhan, the Fashion Editor of the Washington Post, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2006, recently paid a visit to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  The world of fashion is familiar with her impressive writing as she covers the news, trends, and business in the international fashion industry.  I sat down with her on her recent visit to unravel some of her thoughts on fashion.
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