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!

Runway Rundown: Project Runway Winner Dmitry Sholokhov’s Debut Collection for Lord & Taylor!


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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Project Runway & was very happy with last season’s win for Dmitry Sholokhov, so when I found out that his debut collection hit the New York flagship store of Lord & Taylor, I was super excited to see the final product of all of his hard work. The line is full of the designer’s signature lines of structure, as well as feminine details like an above-the-knee hemline, waist-cinching silhouettes, delicate bows, modern cut-outs, & flirty lace.

Sholokhov recently shared with InStyle, “I received such an amazing response from my fans while on ‘Project Runway,’ and a million questions from different people about when and where they would be able to buy one of my designs… I tried to focus on every woman & every type of style… It’s my belief that each of my dresses offers something for everyone. My woman can be so different—she can be classy & chic, frivolous & young, sophisticated & elegant. She is happy with herself, ageless, always busy & full of energy.

While the collection ranges in price from $259.00 – $329.00, we can hope that the expected success of such a well-received Project Runway winner can translate into a future collection for mainstream shoppers at Target or Kohl’s. Do you like the collection? Do you like Sholokhov deserved to win? Which is your favorite Project Runway season? Happy Styling!

Runway Rundown: Michelle Franklin’s Winning Look From Last Night’s Project Runway!


To be completely honest, I haven’t loved this season of Project Runway like previous past seasons- perhaps its the constant struggle within the team dynamic. However, last night’s episode really got my attention as the designers were challenged to create a spring ready-to-wear look, inspired by the Lord & Taylor iconic American Beauty rose.

Project Runway. Lord & Taylor - JS Collections chartreuse shift dress $259.00. Michelle Franklin.

The winning look went to Michelle Franklin, which has been mass produced for sale in stores & online. What I love about the JS Collections chartreuse shift dress ($259.00) is the combination of neon silk with soft, yet unexpected details in the slate leather trim. This dress is so appropriate for this Spring 2013 season & it’s already selling out online! Only available in sizes 8-14, this is perfect to wear with strappy sandals on a day date, under a chic boyfriend blazer with pumps when headed for a fashionable meeting, or with ballet flats & stacked bangles for a sweet, mod look.

To check out the entire runway from the episode, head over to My Lifetime to see the other contenders. Who is your favorite designer this season? Do you agree with the judges’ choice on the winning look? For more Project Runway-related posts, check out a promotional sneak peek at Season 11, the final runway looks from Season 2 of Project Runway: All Stars, Season 10 winner Dmitry Sholokhov’s complete final collection, & the looks from last year’s Lord & Taylor challenge! 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!