A black pencil skirt is arguably one of the most versatile items in any lady's closet, and accordingly, should be a mandatory part of any style arsenal. It may have started as an office essential, but that doesn't mean this knee-length style is strictly business. Don't believe us? Watch as we put this basic to the test and style it out seven different ways — from work presentations to date-night and Sunday strolling, you'll be covered every day of the week.
With only six weeks til Christmas (say whaaa?), you can't blame us for dreaming of daytime siestas and cocktails by the sea, so we thought this week's Editors' Picks gallery should be devoted to all things frock-tastic. After a couple of seasons of focusing solely on separates (The Pant!, The Jacket! The Skirt!) it's nice to see this useful wardrobe staple making a much-needed seasonal return. Whether you're getting in early for New Year's Eve or stocking up on throw-on dresses for lazy Summer days, we've got you covered with our day-to-night picks. Visas at the ready?
It's not just the many Olympic sporting events that have got our attention in London. The star-studded spectators, including Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Nicole Kidman, and Joan Smalls, are bringing their styling A-game to the Games, too. With a bevy of sporty daytime looks to pore through — Kate's most recent navy Smythe blazer and Adidas polo combo was so summery and crisp! — and more formal evening ensembles, like Nicole's sexy Azzedine Alaia LBD at the Omega party to kick it up a notch. Plus, we have to hand it to the America's first lady. She really knows how to dress with a respectful nod to her country's colours without veering into cheesy territory. To see Michelle's outfits in action, as well as the rest of the Olympics' best fashion moments yet, keep reading.
The desk-to-bar dash can be hard to navigate; you want to look office appropriate nine-to-five but not too corporate when it's time to clock off. Nothing screams I-just-escaped-from-the-office like a jumbo-sized carryall, so we've rounded up ten streamlined alternatives. An envelope clutch looks profesh enough for the boardroom, and if you pick a slightly oversized style you won't have to sacrifice any of your essentials. From two-tone classics to woven portfolios to statement-making prints, our accessory of the week work will overtime for you in the style stakes.
Combine two of this season's strongest skirt shapes — the wrap skirt and the thigh high split — and what do get? A statement piece that tempers clever construction with subtle sex appeal, that's what! This asymmetrical style feels particularly fresh thanks the sharp lines and architectural vibe. Styling notes; echo the streamlined silhouette with a simple racer-style tank or long sleeved, body-con tee to keep the focus south of the border. Add pair of minimal two-strap stilettos and you've got one fool-proof ensemble. Your Saturday night 'fit just got sorted!
Since we're seeking an accessories revamp now our Summer threads are looking a little, well, tired, Rachel Zoe's latest "accessZoeries"-focused guide couldn't be more perfectly timed. Rachel and her editors — aptly named Team Zoe — are breaking down their favourite black and white add-ons, and we've got the sneak peek right here. From the perfect floppy sunhat to a pair of monochromatic colour-blocked wedges, click on to see and shop these Rachel Zoe-approved finds — then be sure to sign up for The Zoe Report to get the full guide delivered to your inbox tomorrow.
An architectural aesthetic, specifically Bauhaus style, rules for BCBG's Fall 2012 collection. Structure manifested itself via colour-blocking, but it was done on fluid silk chiffon shift dresses (proving a flow-on from Pre-Fall), so the effect was a pretty blend of strong forms on flowy silhouettes. The geometric shapes created by bold colour combos — black and orange, merlot and blush — were intensified with textural plays like sheer insets and clever pleating that made dresses look magically fluid and sharp at the same time. To counter the collection's emphasis on lightweight materials like silk and chiffon, it also sent cozy outerwear down the runway — we have mixed emotions on the return of gorilla-armed coats, but the multicolour fur vests and canvas and leather trenches were artful choices for next season. The minimalist approach to geometric forms and bold colour combinations, together with the flowy silhouettes, make for clothes that are ideal to wear to a gallery opening.
- Trends: Colour-blocking, fur, architectural detail, Bauhaus.
- Colours: Merlot, blush, camel, cream, navy, coral, teal.
- Key Piece: The canvas and leather trench coat; the super-cool pleated dresses with tulle inserts.
- Accessories: Open-toe ankle-strap sandals, bags with contrasting textures like snake and suede.
- Who Would Wear It: Erin Wasson was in the front row, but the structured, urbane collection seems more suited to Naomi Watts or Thandie Newton.
Those runway trends we spotted way back in September may have inspired our Spring/Summer 2011-12 wardrobes, but the designer threads are starting to come into reality via lust-inducing ad campaigns in time for their (northern hemisphere) in-store drop dates. To refresh your memories, we've culled the top 10 trends as spotted on the Spring '12 runways of New York, Paris, Milan, and London. From the colours to invest in, to the key prints, to the embellishments to covet, we've got your fashionable backs. Whether you are busting to buy, or just want to know what's on the way, take a tour and get up to speed with the biggest trends that are heading our way.
For BCBG Max Azria's 2012 Pre-Fall collection, designers Max and Lubov Azria continued to show off their penchant for asymmetrical hemlines and fluid gowns. Described as, "Slavic soul meets bohemian spirit," the designers created silk chiffon dresses with sheer, pleated, and lace details, encompassing a simultaneously modern, yet feminine spirit. Like last season, handkerchief hemlines and bright neon pops were present and paired with leather fringe belts adding a tough touch to the diaphanous textiles. The maxi dresses are not for the shy; pay special attention to the skin-baring sheer lace insets. More highlights from the collection below.
- Trends: Asymmetric hemlines, bright colours, lace insets.
- Colours: Blue, yellow, orange, purple, and black.
- Key Look: The maxi dresses with the sheer lace insets are gorgeous.
- Accessories: Leather fringe belts and platform sandals.
- Who Would Wear It: Girls who like to inject a bohemian chic touch to their look like Kate Hudson, Kate Bosworth, and Freida Pinto.
BCBG cited Spring’s fresh energy and an urban, global spirit as inspiration for the Spring 2012 collection, which was dedicated almost entirely to soft, breezy dresses. Silk crepe and sheer chiffon fabrics were cut to flow away from the body via asymmetric hems, thigh-high slits, drop-waist, knife pleats, and peekaboo shoulders. There was a sporty element too, thanks to exposed bands in contrasting colours that looked like bra straps and sheer chiffon track jackets, complete with a hoodie and zipper. Then came the prints, first geometric juxtapositions of colours that channeled the art-deco designs of the 1920s before morphing into tribal-inspired embroidery and beading. If it sounds like a mishmash, it was, but the result worked in a collection that was softly edgy and self-assured.