Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fannying the Flames of Desire

I would consider myself a bit of a design junkie, so why then may you ask am I such a supporter of fanny packs, now becoming known by the alternative name "hip belts". My co-workers wondered if I was a bit off my rocker when I kept excitingly demonstrating how I could make the MZ Wallace sequined "Eve" bag into a fanny pack by wrapping the long cross-body strap around my waist twice. Perfect!

The Fanny Pack faced a hard reputation, becoming nearly blacklisted after it made history in the 80's because the only stylish one I ever came across in the last couple years was a metallic silver one by Marc Jacobs, bless his heart, but at the $495 price point I never quite got around to purchasing one. He and many other designers have expanded a bit more into the fanny pack market.
I love this new version by Marc Jacobs in cotton brocade I found featured on Elle.

I like this inspired slim and better yet, removable, drop pouch style found on Alice by Temperly.

For the sporty uni-sexy look try the American Apparel Nylon Cordura at a much easier $22 and available in fun candy colors you can buy one for every day of the week.

One reason I'm such a fan is, I dislike the idea of having to shove a wallet in my butt pocket, a la dude style, just to be hands free. I also started biking to work and everywhere else this summer and being a fan of fashion and functionality, have been exploring alternatives to my shoulder bags for stylish, comfortable and secure methods of carrying things.

Find 10 more reasons to love the fanny pack and more places to find them through I will definitely be rocking them this fall and probably many years to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

E-Pop Shop

I logged on to MZ Wallace's retail website the other day (not an uncommon activity for me) to sneak a peek at their upcoming fall collection. Instead of fantasizing about future trends, I wound up quite literally blindsided by their perfectly current "Summer E-Pop" collection, chock full of everything I am obsessed with at the moment.  Punchy neon accessories, tribal touches, and even a few great beauty buys make this selection a must-see. See my top picks below! 

From top to bottom: Made With Love bracelets ($28), large neon Metro Tote ($125), electric blue Beresford wallet ($125), and natural canvas Hamish for Japan ($25). 

Unfortunately the collection is only available online, so we sadly won't be carrying these beauties in the shop. Stay tuned for fall, though! ;) 

See the rest of the collection here!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

OPEN to buy

I recently came across a new clothing line that caught my eye and is a gem that needs to be discovered!

Closed Clothing has only been around for a short while, but their line of garments are all original pieces created by owner and designer herself, Liz Larson. Having previously worked in Chicago and Los Angeles as a costume designer for box-office hit films, she wanted to merge here love for fashion and costume design into one signature line.

What makes Closed Clothing unique is that each piece is individually hand painted, so no two pieces are exactly alike. The material used to paint is non-toxic, non-fading and lightfast, so you don't have to worry about losing your custom design to the washing machine, however Closed Clothing does recommend hand washing if you can.

I first spotted the line at the Farmers Market downtown, where I sweet talked my pops into buying me one of their tanks. Not to mention, their prices are affordable so you don't have break the bank to own an original piece!

New pieces are added often, including women's, men's and soon to be children's apparel.

Check them out on facebook for new updates on styles or hit their website at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Teenie KKINI Bikini

Bikinis are apart of almost every girl's summer wardrobe. Girls secretly compete with one another to see who has the cutest swim suit. Your swim suit is a fashion statement. KKINI bikinis by Michaela Cawley definitely make a statement.

Michaela Cawley is an Omaha native and graduated from Westside High in 2002. She then ventured off to college in California and decided to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town marked the spot where her love for bikinis and beachwear started. She collected many bikinis while she was there, and then decided that she wanted to start designing them.

After she finished her schooling in California, Cawley traveled back to Cape Town where she studied beachwear. So to make a long story short, she started her own line, KKINI, found a manufacturer, and her luxury swim line was born. KKINI is now sold online, in NYC, and in Cape Town.

Cawley will be featured in the Fall 2011 Omaha Fashion week. The Troc is also lucky enough to team up with her to exclusively carry her glamorous swimsuits in the store for a limited time only. Trocadéro is featuring the blush pink and silver glitter bikinis along with the ultra bright neon yellow and grey strip cover-up. KKINI swim suits are chic and affordable. They range in price from $110-$180. Stop by the Troc and try one on!

Pictures from KKINI Facebook page

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Two Hours with Alexander...

... McQueen, that is.

I posted a To-Do list a few weeks back for my recent trip to New York. The first item on the list was to see the Alexander McQueen "Savage Beauty" exhibition at the Met. Well... I came, I saw, and I absolutely loved it.

As I climbed my way up the Met steps, camera in hand, I couldn't wait to get inside and see all of his brilliant pieces from over the years. Once inside, I paid for admission (students are recommended to pay half-price, but may choose to pay whatever they please) and made my way to the gallery on the second floor. I could tell it was more popular than I expected because every tour guide didn't even need to hear your question; they knew you wanted to see McQueen.

After being carefully guided into a line of around 200 people, I silently waited my turn to enter the exhibit. Twenty-five minutes and two phone calls later later, I was allowed in. Sadly, my camera was not.

The first room was slightly daunting with it's pitch black walls, faint music playing eerily in the background and noticeable difference in temperature. Not to mention, the first dress was crafted from microscope slides dyed blood red. As I made my way through the crowds of people attempting to get up-close-and-personal with the garments, I was (dare I say it) a little creeped out. I overcame that feeling once I read a quote from McQueen that had been painted on the back wall. It read, "You've got to know the rules to break them... That's what I'm here for - to demolish the rules but keep the tradition." This made me smile.

The following room was much less dark and featured a variety of structured jackets and tailored pants he designed for his collections. I really appreciated how close I could get to the clothing in this room. I was stunned by how perfectly made everything was. It all seemed to be draped at the perfect angle, darted in the perfect spots. With this, I slowly began to realize that the thing things I was looking at weren't just clothes; they were art.

The next rooms featured many of McQueen's extravagant dresses that were the true show-stoppers in each of his shows. A dress and dramatic neckpiece covered in gold feathers caught my eye. I'd put it in a fall Look Book I made for the Troc sometime back and had gazed at it through my computer screen for upwards of ten minutes. And there it was, in all its beauty right in front of me. Needless to say, it was stunning.

My favorite was the fifth room, dedicated entirely to the accessories featured in runway shows. Being around them every day at the shop, I was in my element. Masked mannequins were adorned with headpieces, earrings, backplates and shoes that I couldn't even dream existed. It's amazing how each one was so carefully constructed down to the very last inch. And they were only accessories...
After that came many smaller rooms and hallways each styled in compliance with the pieces on display. One room for a collection titled Nihilism, full of dresses adorned with mud and locusts designed around primitivism became a hallway for McQueen's Highland Rape collection, inspired by his Scottish heritage. Here, I realized the breadth of inspiration McQueen used for his collections. His main mantra was romanticism, but the influences expanded much further. It was truly something to be admired. His ability to design incredible pieces of work that could be created from such differing muses was, and still is, truly unmatched.

The last few hallways were pieces of work themselves as I walked along broken floorboards and psychedelic video images played on stark white walls. Said videos were the backdrop for the last room featuring McQueen's final collection, Plato's Atlantis, before his untimely passing in 2010. The alien-like mannequins stood atop Armadillo heels made famous by Lady Gaga and were styled in short structured dresses with aquatic patterns. The collection resulted from McQueen's perception of a future in which our ice caps eventually melt and humans then become aquatic creatures. Ideas like this are what I found most interesting. His mind clearly had no limits and his clothing shows it.

I digress, the Savage Beauty exhibition at the Met was an experience for the books. After having seen it, I can barely put my opinions into words. This is my best shot.

All photos from

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shopping in SoHo

I have recently realized that my closet is full of clothes I barely wear and lacking clothes I am dying to wear. Therefore, I have set out to solve this problem and slowly rejuvenate my clothing collection. To do so, whenever I buy a new piece clothing I promise myself I have to donate at least one piece I already have. I just packed three entire boxes of clothes to be given away. So now that I am in New York City with my days free to shop and stroll about, I took today to reward myself with a few items I've been wanting for the summer. Here's what I came back with.
Wedge booties in taupe - These were on my birthday list because I do not own a pair of booties (the horror!). They were also 40% off. Bingo!

Middle: L to R
Tie-bottom cotton tank in black - I read somewhere that tie-bottom shirts fit best on pear shaped women. Having a tiny waist and wider hips, I see myself wearing this with almost anything.

High-waisted denim skirt in grey - I knew this was a wardrobe staple from the second I saw it. The light grey shade is the perfect neutral to balance out any bright color.

Daisy crop top - Too cute not to buy. These shirts are great for hot weather when paired with a longer skirt.

Bottom: L to R
Tie-bottom linen tank in white - I liked the first one so much, I got a second.

Floral print high-waisted shorts - I don't have enough prints in my closet, so these were a great find. Tuck a tank into these and you've got a super cute summer outfit.

Striped cotton tank - I have the same shirt in grey and have worn it to shreds. Another one of my wardrobe staples.

Well, I think that's about it for my shopping excursions in NYC. I'm coming home with a few great items I can't wait to put to use and finally getting rid of some things in my closet. Success.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Make Your Summer Wardrobe Work for You

Living in Nebraska, one of the most common questions people ask me is "How do you stay fashionable and cool in the ridiculously hot weather while still remaining work appropriate?" (or at least something to that effect). Since this summer we've experienced some BLAZING temps, I thought I would finally share some tips for staying stylish and cool while keeping it professional at the same time.

Fabric choice is key in hot and humid situations. Look to lightweight fabrics like silk, bamboo, linen and other light knits and sheer fabrics to keep it breezy.
While fabrics like silk and linen require a little extra care and handling, the few extra steps are well worth the beautiful outcome and heat relief.

Lightweight tops and shirt dresses are perfect for this weather, offering ease and breath-ability. Blousy shirts look smashing tucked into a skirt or belted with a summer cardigan.

A winning office look from the blog Alterations Needed.

This silk "Blythe" shirt from J. Crew is easy to wear and super chic.

Ann Taylor's tank dress may seem casual at first glance, but when paired with a summer blazer and a smart pair of pumps or flats (or sandals where appropriate) this number will get you through the work day, cool and collected.
Roll up your sleeves in a cotton blazer, flash a bit of color and texture detail with a bracelet like this snakeskin link option from Kara Ross, and add a simple belt to tie it all together.

Banana Republic's ruffled blouse is a feminine twist on a classic white dress shirt and still holds up the sophistication factor when paired with a slacks or a pencil skirt.
Sea foam green and red come together to make a simple work outfit pop. A feather-light cardigan like this linen version from Banana Republic is perfect to keep you cool outside and cozy in the office.

Tory Burch's linen skirt is both work and weather appropriate and stunning in this bold coral shade. I love the idea of it paired with a lacy top like it's shown, with a crisp pale blue dress shirt or even a silk sleeveless blouse.

Pant options like these from J. Crew are perfect for the office and the cropped fit adds a more fun take on traditional, boring khaki.

Photo sources: