Happy Black Friday! I hope you’re recovering well from all the turkey yesterday.
I always find myself scrambling to find stocking stuffers at the last minute, so this year I decided to get ahead of it and start looking for great items early. Here is a list of some of the fashion and beauty gifts I have come across that are the perfect stocking stuffer size!
I have been looking for the perfect pair of gray skinnies for a long time. For some reason I just haven’t been able to find a pair that I love. Until a couple weeks ago that is, when I found this awesome pair of gray destroyed skinnies by Joe’s Jeans. I usually don’t like high-rise denim, but it doesn’t really bother me on this pair, and it allows me to wear cropped tops like this Chelsea Flower EXCLUSIVE Cameron Cross Over Crop Top without feeling too exposed. Similar to my FRAME denim, these Joe’s Jeans are just stretchy enough to be comfortable without actually stretching out and getting baggy. Bonus: they’re on sale!
This gorgeous Large Boy Chanel Flap Bag is one of my biggest obsessions right now, and unfortunately, not mine 🙁 My VERY generous sister let me borrow it for the day. That’s what sisters are for, right?! I love the gray on gray look and if I were to do this outfit over again I might add even more gray by pairing it with my new Jean-Michel Cazabat Elle Grey Suede Pumps instead of the black Louboutins.
Do you have a favorite pair of gray denim? Tell me in the comments!
There’s a new (and very stylish) dictionary that just hit shelves yesterday. Chic-tionary: The Little Book Of Fashion Faux-cabularyis a hilarious dictionary of style and beauty terms you never knew existed. It takes its inspiration from the peculiar and amusing language of fashion people like Tyra Banks (smize), Man Repeller (arm party), and André Leon Tally (dreckitude), and contains more than two hundred made-up acronyms, abbreviations, and afflictions that are certain to leave an indelible glitter stain on the English language.
I received a copy of Chic-tionary just in time for my trip to Palm Beach this past weekend and could not put it down or stop laughing the whole time. Here is a shortlist of some of my favorite faux-cabulary words from Chic-tionary:
I also had the pleasure of chatting with Stephanie Simons yesterday and she could not be more delightful and entertaining!
What inspired you to write Chic-tionary?
Ever since I was a little girl, my parents used to make up unusual words to describe things, or come up with silly little nicknames for me, so I blame them for my wildly creative brain, which probably belongs somewhere in a fashion asylum. I was halfway through the manuscript for my first book All’s Fair In Love And Wardrobe, which features faux-cabulary like “glamnesia” (noun: when you glamorize the memory of your ex and conveniently forget all the reasons you broke up with him in the first place) when I thought ‘I should just go for it and make up an entire language for people who speak chic.’ This is a very thorough collection of fashion faux-cabulary. How long did it take you to write this book? Can you tell us about the process you went through to put it together? It took less than a year, which is pretty fast, and during that time my brain never shut off. I had to keep a notepad by the bed so I could write down any ideas that came to me in my sleep. It could have been a never-ending process. I might still be thinking up words if my editor hadn’t set deadlines and kept me under control. I swear there was at least one word on almost every page where I said, “that’s totally me!” or “I do that all the time!” What one word in Chic-tionary would you say best describes you? All of the “blond” entries are based on my harrowing experience being a blond last year. I’m a natural brunette with a lot of red undertones in my hair and when I decided to go light, I could never get it the California-cool shade I wanted (I wanted it like yours, Catherine!). Instead, it was stuck somewhere between orange and blond, or only halfway there and nobody warned me about the consequences, namely that I would spend my rent on root upkeep and have to deep condition it every day if I didn’t want it to all fall out, haha. Hence the words “blondstipation” and “blondsequences” were born.
Can you tell us about a time when you used “bitch face” to avoid a situation? Haha! Chronic Resting Bitch Face is a syndrome that’s common among most fashion editors and models. And lucky me, I was born with it, where my lips turn down at the corners ála Alicia Silverstone. I constantly have to reassure people I’m not mad at them even though I’m happy as a clam and beaming like a little ray of sunshine on the inside. Although it’s kind of a curse, it does help me keep the wrong kinds of men away on the subway.
Complete this sentence: The Alexander Wang x H&M partnership is trés, trés dope. Did you see the models’ hats that just say WANG on them? I need one of those for frolicking around town. What I really, really need, though, is a Jennifer Lawrence for H&M collection with clothes bearing graphic reminders not to trip and fall on my ass. You’ve had an exciting year with the release of two books in less than six months! What can we expect to see from you next? A third book will happen, and I dream of a screenplay, but I’m pretty sure I need a 6-month-long nap first. My brain hasn’t been this fried since I dabbled in the peroxide.
I highly recommend you swing by Barnes & Noble or visit Amazon.com to get your copy of Chic-tionary today. It also makes for a great prezzie for your “curlfriends” (and even your “gay husband”) this holiday season!
Do you speak chic? Tell us which faux-cabulary word best describes you in the comments.
It may feel like winter in Chicago, but it’s technically still fall and I’m not about to let mother nature shorten my favorite fashion season. From plaid to leather to tan booties, this outfit includes some of my favorite fall pieces!
P.S. If your family is casual like mine, this could be a great Thanksgiving dinner outfit!
I’m very happy to be in Florida this weekend and escaping the cold Chicago weather, but it’s fall items like this cream vest I wore earlier in the week that make living in Chicago this time of year worth it!
I spent a lot of time looking for the right camel/nude tote this fall and could not have been happier when I discovered this this Milly ‘Large Logan’ Tote in caramel. It is the perfect neutral accessory and the goldtone zipper trim on the handles add a fun, edgy element to the style.
Followers of the fashion scene were first introduced to Peach Carr on Season 8, and then Season 2 All Stars, of Project Runway. The cheeky, self-taught designer has since shown her collections all over the country and dressed some of our favorite Real Housewives and well-known Chicago celebrities.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know Peach over the past couple months as she’s designing custom bridesmaid gowns for my sister-in-law’s wedding. For those of you who have read over and over about how “delightful” and “welcoming” Peach is, I am here to attest that it could not be truer. From the moment we all arrived at her house to discuss the design for the bridesmaid dress, she has been nothing but pure pleasure…and entertainment. Not only is she hilariously funny, but she has the most exciting experiences and the best storytelling abilities to make you feel like you’ve lived through them with her.
I could not be more honored and excited to have Peach Carr as my very first interview for Chicago CatWalk!
I saw your Fall 2014 collection on StyleChicago.com’s The Art of Fashion runway earlier this year and loved it all, especially the gowns! How would you describe the collection and what inspired you to create it?
My finale gown, which is a result of 80 hours of hand sewing (the tulle was all ruffled and stitched by hand) was inspired by watching a chick hatch out of its shell at the Museum of Science and industry. Actually, the chick inspired the entire line. It may be a long time before I can eat chicken again.
What famous designers have you been inspired by and what was it about them that inspired you?
I am a huge Chanel (aren’t we all?) fan, as well as Balenciaga and McQueen. All of these designers have their own distinct style and construction techniques which exemplify precision and elegance; something to which I aspire in my own work. I also had the honor of going to Paris with the final four Allstars in Season 2…we went to the Valentino Atelier and met Lead Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. We had a hands-on look at the Couture Collection for Spring ’13 and attended the fashion show, which was an opportunity of a lifetime. This was the greatest inspiration a designer could ever have. I am still reeling.
You were such a fan favorite on Project Runway. What was your favorite piece you designed for the show?
Thank you…..My favorite piece would have to be the team challenge Military/Lace dress. I loved it, and almost got the win. Nina Garcia, who is rarely pleased, praised it!
You made a lot of great friends on Project Runway. What do you do to keep in touch with them? Do you guys do fashion shows together? Travel?
I remain best friends with April Johnston and Mondo. In fact, there are only 3 designers from my season I have no relationship with; and that’s just fine with me. The rest of us respect and care for each other. It was a good group. I attended April’s wedding, and speak to her regularly. My best friends from AllStars are Kayne and Joshua McKinley…I see and text with them frequently. I am just back from Tucson Fashion Week, where I shared the runway with Korto, Daniel Esquivel, Bert and Mila. We are all friends. I have collected so many friends (too many to name) through my experiences on Project Runway, and I consider them all blessings.
What celebrity were you most excited to see wearing your designs? How did you feel when you first saw them in it?
Linda Yu, RHNY Alex McCord, RHNJ Dina Manzo and SNL’s Nora Dunn are all clients. Nora wore a custom Peach Carr for her one-woman- show in Chicago which was a GIANT thrill, but when Dina Manzo wore my one-arm dress in blue to a charity benefit and tweeted a pic, I sold a pile of them. Then the dress was shown on Oprah’s “Where Are They Now?” show, my website lit up. When I saw my dress on Dina I got a little teary…same thing with Nora. I cannot believe that all of this came to me from Project Runway.
You just designed a collection for the St. Jude Annual Luncheon and Fashion Show in Chicago earlier this month. Can you describe your designs and what your inspiration was for them?
Daniel Esquivel is an AMAZING designer and technician and he has inspired me to make more detailed pieces. We had a discussion in Tucson about what was missing from my collection, and I added the most amazing black and white jacket, inspired by Daniel. I could not leave out my “Hatched” finale gown from Chicago, so I ended with it. Swarovski also commissioned me to create a gown using 60 gross black rhinestones for a special finale. It was beautiful. I am hoping my eyesight returns soon.
Winters are brutal here in Chicago. What tips do you have for staying warm and comfortable while still being stylish?
OOOOHHHHH layering, scarves and fabulous boots! A leather or suede jacket is a must, and a scarf can take an ensemble from “yawn” to chic in seconds. Boots also elevate an outfit immediately. I am obsessed with boots; in fact I wear them 12 months a year. I have a pair of Gucci Horsebit boots that I wear as often as my cowboy boots with a hole in the toe.
What inspires your personal style? How is it different from, or similar to, what inspires your designs?
My personal style? I have never let trends dictate how I dress. I pay attention and will draw from trends mind you, but I will always be myself and wear my combat boots and skirts. I wear my own designs (Joanna Coles gave me that order) so I do design pieces that are chic and versatile. I am always on the run…kind of a bumble bee on Red Bull…so my look has to stay sharp yet polished. All of my designs (even the gowns) go in the wash and are wrinkle resistant, so I can travel without worry. Which I do quite a bit.
What is the one thing in your handbag you can’t live without?
Bert’s Bees lip balm. Especially in the winter.
It’s so great that you have manufactured all your designs right here in Chicago. Is this something you foresee yourself being able to continue doing in the future?
I hope to never get away from my Chicago network. Not only is everything done locally, it is all done by women. From my pattern grader to my manufacturer, it is all local women supporting their families. Having been born in Chicago and raised in the suburbs, I feel a responsibility to continue this.
What can we expect to see from your designs in the near future?
My design esthetic is constantly evolving, but stays true to who I am as a designer. I have found great joy in this growing process. Peach Carr Designs will be including more detailed and tailored pieces, such as that black/white jacket, and my gowns. I will continue to create very polished yet relaxed looks for busy fashionable women. I am excited about this new direction in which I am heading. I am also featuring a line of handbags featuring The New Yorker Cartoons. I did a test run in Tucson and sold out within an hour. They went down the runway in Tucson and for St. Jude. Seriously cute.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about?
I truly am grateful for being chosen as a designer on Project Runway. Season 8 and Allstars Season 2. I pinch myself regularly, and thank my daughter Molly, who filled out the application. Never in a million years could I imagine that this would be my life, and that I would be given the opportunity to live out my dream. Forget all of those bumper stickers that tell you “Life Begins” at 40, or 50 or 60. Life begins when you say, “Go.”
I chose this look for my first style post because I am obsessed with fall fashion solely for the leather jackets and fabulous boots…And because I love wearing all black 🙂
I usually like to add something to my all black outfits, like this Alexander McQueen scarf, to break it up a bit, while still keeping the look simple.
The leather jacket was a purchase I made while visiting my sister in Italy years ago and cannot get myself to part from it. But there are so many great black leather jackets out there right now, like these ones from Belstaff, NICHOLAS, and Topshop.
These Rag & Bone Harrow Leather Ankle Boots are something I wish I had when I was trekking around Italy because they could not be more perfect for being on your feet all day. I love wearing heels, but I also love walking everywhere I go, and these boots allow me to get around comfortably without sacrificing style.
Hello and thank you for visiting my new site, Chicago CatWalk! My mission is to share my passion for fashion and beauty, bring you new trends and provide inside information from influencers in the industries.
I’ve been talking about getting this up and running for quite some time now and could not be happier to see it all come together. I truly appreciate everyone who supported and encouraged me to start on this new journey!
If there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog, please let me know in the comments!