Basics For A Bargain: Leather Has Never Looked Better, Inspired By Mandy Moore, Sandra Bullock, Heidi Klum, & More!


Leather really had never looked better! Each summer I’m surprised to see many looks worn by celebrities with leather, as well as dresses that have recently hit the runway. Of course, most of these runway looks are for the upcoming fall / resort seasons, but playing the game of fashion always means that you’re looking ahead with your wardrobe. For example, here we have leather dresses that offer texture, femininity, elegance, & modernism from Barbara Bui Pre-Fall 2013, Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Tibi Pre-Fall 2013, & 10 Crosby by Derek Lam Pre-Fall 2013.

Alice + Olivia, Tibi, Barbara Bui, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam.This also makes me think of recent red carpet appearances by some of my favorite celebrities who’ve worn leather dresses, including Naomi Watts in a leather dress by Alexander McQueen with jewelry by Jennifer Meyer at the Los Angeles premiere of Ray Donovan. Also, my girl crush, Mandy Moore, attended a Helmut Newton event in a leather LBD with gold jewelry & sexy ankle-strap heels. Byzantium actress Gemma Arterton showed off her shape in a curve-hugging letaher dress with 3/4 sleeves, black pointy toe pumps, & a metallic clutch at the film’s screening in London. Scandal star Kerry Washington walks the red carpet at an ABC event in a red Marc by Marc Jacobs leather sheath dress with black & gold accessories, including House of Lavande studs.

Naomi Watts, Mandy Moore, Gemma Arterton, & Kerry Washington.Shopping for leather, or faux leather in this case, dresses is tricky sometimes b/c you always want to make sure that it fits you properly & doesn’t require an abundance of care or cleaning. I found these chic options that are both timeless & edgy to mix & match with accessories like pointy toe pumps, platform sandals, a metallic clutch, or drop earrings. First, I selected the BB Dakota Kira perforated dress ($68.00) from ShopBop, which definitely plays up the lasercut trend with playful peek-a-boo holes. Also, I found the Sanctuary Clothing faux leather shift dress ($55.65) from Dillard’s. It’s especailly flattering with strategic colorblocked panels.

leather dressesMy third pick is from Forever 21, the studded faux leather dress ($27.80) is the most affordable, & also offers plenty of styling possibilities with a boyfriend blazer, cropped bolero, metallic belt, or suede knee boots. For a change of color, the Anne Klein faux leather dress ($42.99) from 6PM brings a gritty edge to any office look, especially if paired with strappy sandals or printed pumps.

When it comes to leather, we’ve also seen a great deal of separates, especially in the form of skirts & leggings, which always cause a stir on the runway. The mixture of the tough material in sophisticated silhouettes makes for a memorable show, especially with skirts of varying lengths for a date night, the office, or an instant update to other basics. I found trendy leather separates in collections from SUNO Resort 2014, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Altuzarra Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear, & Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2013.

Suno, L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani, Altuzarra, & Michael Kors.Celebrities continue to once again mirror the runways when on the street or red carpet with leather pieces to accent this look. Sandra Bullock heated up the premiere of The Heat in an affordable leather pencil skirt from ASOS with a button-down blouse & strappy leather sandals. Rashida Jones was all smiles in a striped top with a cobalt blue leather mini skirt, which she accessorized with a statement pendant, colorful clutch, & towering platform sandals. Project Runway judge / supermodel Heidi Klum looks every bit the style icon in a head-to-toe midnight blue look, including a zippered pencil skirt, blouse, pumps, & snakeskin bag. Lastly, the always effortless Zoe Saldana attends a Chime for Change event in a Gucci floral blouse with leather leggings, jewlery by Repossi, & strappy sandals.

Sandra Bullock, Rashida Jones, Heidi Klum, & Zoe Saldana.As for wearing leather bottoms, you have a chic choice of skirts or leggings. Of course, there are shorts out there, as well as cropped trousers, but here I’m focusing on recreating skirts & leggings as seen by the celebrities above. This starts with the Rhyme Los Angeles perforated vegan leather skirt ($46.99) from Piperlime, which not only serves the environment, but also offers an upgrade to your professional office look. Also, for a pop of color, I love the Glamorous PU patent faux leather mini skirt ($42.43) in wine from ASOS, which adds a futuristic vibe to any button-down shirt, studded tank, or scoop neck pullover.

leather separatesFor a flirtier look, BonTon‘s Blu Pepper lasercut faux leather skirt ($47.20) will instantly make a silk blouse & fishnets look like you’ve just stepped off the runways of Paris. Lastly, these faux leather zip leggings ($13.80) from Forever 21 are perfect for pairing with a printed tunic top, knit oversized sweater, & sequin mini dress.

Would you wear leather this summer? Which is your favorite leather look? Do you experiment with leather in different colors? This isn’t the first time I’ve featured leather looks on Style Darling, so if you’d like to read more to catch all the trends, check out previous posts including inspiration from Jessica Chastain & Lucy Hale, red carpet looks from Julianne Hough & Zoe Kravitz, & leather pant looks on Gwyneth Paltrow & Fergie! For more posts from Basics for a Bargain, check out little white dresses as seen on Jennifer Lopez & Angelina Jolie, luxury leopard & metallic flip flops, floral favorites on Dianna Agron & Selena Gomez, striped maxi skirts from Vince Camuto & BCBG Max Azria, & peplum looks inspired by Amy Adams & Cate Blanchett! Happy Styling!

Watch This Style: A Juicy Preview To Tonight’s ‘Project Runway Season 11: Teams’ Premiere!


Project Runway Season 11

I remember the day when you’d have to wait months for the next season of Project Runway, but it was only last week when the 2nd season of Project Runway All Stars crowned Anthony Ryan Auld as its winner & now the real competition with newcomers begins tonight with Season 11. The twist is that the designers will be working in teams for every challenge, which has drama & disaster written all over it! Judge Michael Kors is out & Zac Posen is filling in Kors’ black-blazer-wearing seat! You can count on more LOL moments from judges Heidi Klum & Nina Garcia‘s critiques, & also worry right alongside mentor, Tim Gunn.

After so many posts today, I almost wasn’t going to feature this video promo of the new season & tonight’s premiere episode, but then I watched it! We’ll be seeing Season 4 winner, Christian Siriano, as tonight’s guest judge & throughout the season, we’ll get to hear from Kristin Davis, Susan Sarandon, Miranda Lambert, & Emmy Rossum, to name a few.

For more about this new season, check out my last Haute Headlines post to get to know the designers better. Also, if you’re a die-hard Project Runway fan, then click on over to posts including the Season 2 finale looks, the runway from the graffiti challenge, the Season 10′s finale collections, & Season 10 winner, Dmitry Sholokov’s winning collection! Lastly, to watch more stylish videos, check out a behind-the-scenes look at Carrie Underwood during her Allure cover shoot, Rachel Zoe’s collaboration with ShoeDazzle, & the trailer for Beyoncé’s HBO documentary, Life Is But A Dream! Happy Styling!

Cover Craze / Watch This Style: Heidi Klum For Marie Claire’s February 2013 Issue!


Heidi Klum for Marie Claire February 2013

Along with the latest for that I’ve posted for Allure, InStyle, Self, Vogue, & Elle, Marie Claire is sharing the latest & greatest in fashion with former supermodel Heidi Klum on its February 2013 cover. The 37-year-old has proven time & time again that she’s an unstoppable force who always puts her kids first & discusses with the magazine how she never backs down from a challenge, craves Big Macs with fries, & even spills some of the latest secrets from the upcoming season of Project Runway.

Heidi Klum for Marie Claire February 2013 Heidi Klum for Marie Claire February 2013

The shoot includes some sleek all-black looks including pieces by Tom Ford, Lanvin, Dior, Louis Vuitton, H. Stern, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Giuseppe Zanotti Designs, Maison Martin Margiela, & Chloé. Check out the video below of Heidi behind-the-scenes of the shoot & the interview. Also, get ready for the season 11 of Project Runway which premieres on Lifetime tonight! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review / Rundway Rundown: Style Darling’s Top 20 Best Oscar-Worthy Gown Predictions!


We’re less than a month away from the 2013 Academy Awards & the SAG Awards are this weekend! The speculation behind the results inside those envelopes & what the nominees are going to wear have been bouncing around all over the web & for the first time, I’m going to share my fashion predictions, based off the Pre-Fall 2013, Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear, Spring 2013 Haute Couture, & Resort 2013 collection runways. Of course, Oscar-nominated celebrities like Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams & Naomi Watts are subject to one-of-a-kind custom-made haute couture gowns, but it’s been a lot of fun to click around & find the most gorgeous gowns that wowed on the runway. In addition to the nominees who are celebrating their achievements in film, possible presenters like Rachel Weisz, Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Garner & more will be turning heads on the red carpet.

Surely there will be lots of glitz & glamour, but predictions of trends are hard to tell. There was so much going on at this year’s Golden Globes, including black, black & gold, white, pink, long sleeves, cut-outs, high slits, & nude illusions. Starting off is a gold lamé & embellished gown from Michael Kors Resort 2013 Collection, which was recently featured in a Runway Rundown post. From Carlos Miele‘s Resort 2013 Collection comes this beautiful embellished sweetheart gown with an animal print under-lining. Some might call the white & black-leather accented Emilio Pucci dress from the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection is too safe for the Oscars, but I think it’s a modern & refreshing take on a white gown.

Michael Kors, Carlos Miele, Emilio Pucci, Monique Lhuillier, & Jenny Packham.

For the risk-taking Style Darling, I can see the metallic long-sleeved gown from Monique Lhuillier‘s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection making an entrance on the red carpet. I picked this tangerine Jenny Packham Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection gown b/c of its unexpected color, but on the right skin-tone, it will certainly set some trends on the red carpet for the rest of the year.

Next, we have a floral-embroidered belted gown by Temperley London, which was featured in the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection. This has a very classic, Zooey Deschanel look to it, which is why I loved including it! Badgley Mischka is a name synonymous with red carpets & perhaps we’ll see this all-over embellished metallic gown from their Pre-Fall 2013 Collection on one of the front-running Oscar nominees. One of my favorite designers forever & always is Marchesa & I wasn’t surprised to see so many red carpet candidates in their Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection, including this sari-inspired sheer-overlay blue & gold confection.

Temperley London, Badgley Mischka, Marchesa, Collette Dinnigan, & Roberto Cavalli.

I love the feminine softness from the short-sleeved Collette Dinnigan gown from the Resort 2013 Collection. The coral / fuchsia hue is perfect for an ingénue like the ever-changing Dakota Fanning or the retro Krysten Ritter. Roberto Cavalli‘s black sequined & lace overlay corset-structured gown is a stunning choice for a more dramatic look on the red carpet & it’s from the Pre-Fall 2013 Collection.

Designs by Alexandre Vauthier made a style statement at the Golden Globes since both supermodel Heidi Klum & Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery both donned looks, but I picked this leg-baring halter gown from the Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection. J. Mendel‘s Pre-Fall 2013 Collection was a dreamy mixture of texture, detail, flowy fabrics, & strong silhouettes, including this lace-accented spaghetti strap gown with off-the-shoulder tiers. Also, Giambattista Valli‘s white & gold ball gown took my breath away from its Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection & would certainly wow fashion critics if worn on Isla Fisher, Julianne Hough, or Kerry Washington.

Alexandre Vauthier, J. Mendel, & Giambattista Valli.

Valentino, Christian Dior, & Elie Saab.

There ought to be room on any red carpet for a Valentino red gown, like this strapless & effortless gown from the Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection. Also, Christian Dior‘s Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection featured the pink puffy mermaid ball gown. In addition, someone like Diane Kruger or Zoe Saldana can wear an floral-embellished, dramatic gown like this from Elie Saab‘s Spring 2013 Haute Couture Collection.

After Lucy Liu‘s splash at the Globes in Carolina Herrera, I knew I had to look further into her Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, which included this gorgeous black & white graphic print gown, perfect for fans of the label including Renee Zellweger, Emmy Rossum, or Olivia Wilde.  Next, from Oscar de la Renta‘s Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear, this aqua tiered dream of a gown is borderline bridesmaid, but the color is just so pretty & it reminds me of the Romona Keveza ball gown that Kaley Cuoco wore at last year’s SAG Awards.

Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, & Jason Wu.

You can’t have a look at the best from the runway without talking about American designer, Zac Posen, & his Pre-Fall 2013 Collection, which is a dramatic statement that will change the way black gowns appear on the red carpet. Lastly, a daring look for the Oscars comes from Jason Wu‘s Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear Collection & perhaps a young starlet like Emma Watson would wear this will some extra lining to fill the skirt since the ceremony is so formal.

Which designers are you hoping to see on the red carpet? Which gown is your favorite? Which nominees are you rooting for during this year’s Oscars? For more runway goodness, check out galleries including Rachel Roy, Calvin Klein Collection, Diane von Furstenberg, & Narciso Rodriguez! Also, to read more from Red Carpet Review, check out looks from the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, leather & black oufits featuring Elisabeth Moss & Scarlett Johansson, the 2013 Critics’ Choice Awards with looks from Eva Longoria & Jaime King, & this year’s red carpet from the People’s Choice Awards with Jennifer Aniston & Chloe Grace Moretz! Happy Styling!

Red Carpet Review: The 2013 Golden Globes, Featuring Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Katharine McPhee & more!


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The 2013 Golden Globe Awards are still airing, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to post this very thorough gallery. Some of my favorite looks include Tina Fey (in L’Wren Scott), Jennifer Lopez (in Zuhair Murad), Katharine McPhee (in Theyskens’ Theory), Kerry Washington (in Miu Miu), Emily Blunt (in Michael Kors), Lucy Liu (in Carolina Herrera), Rachel Weisz (in Louis Vuitton), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (in Saint Laurent Paris)… just to name a few!

Top trends included lots of black & gold, as seen on Kate Hudson (in Alexander McQueen), Helen Mirren (in Badgley Mischka), & Nicole Kidman (in Alexander McQueen), as well as reds & oranges like Jennifer Lawrence (in Christian Dior Haute Couture), Jessica Alba (in Oscar de la Renta), Marion Cotillard (in Dior), Claire Danes (in Versace), & Zooey Deschanel (in Oscar de la Renta).

Also, you can’t forget about the black looks, some of which I’ve named in my favorites, but I also loved Julianne Moore (in Tom Ford), Adele (in Burberry), Allison Williams (in J. Mendel), Debra Messing (in Donna Karan Atelier), Sofia Vergara (in a floor-length sequin gown), Eva Longoria (in Pucci), & Salma Hayek (in Gucci).

Lastly, softer nearly colorless colors had their place with Anne Hathaway (in Chanel), Lea Michele (in Elie Saab), Amy Adams (in Marchesa), Amanda Seyfried (in Givenchy), Megan Fox (in Dolce & Gabbana), & Hayden Panettiere (in Roberto Cavalli)!

Which looks are your favorite? For more posts from Red Carpet Review, check out galleries from the Critics’ Choice Awards & red carpet from the recent People’s Choice Awards! Happy Styling!