How to spice up your partywear

by Svetlana Legetic (DC)

Here in DC, once spring hits, we’re in full-blown art-party mode: every museum, every gallery and every empty space seems to be throwing an event, which, of course, challenges you to show off your cocktailwear best. So over at my blog, BrightestYoungThings, we did a fun partywear shoot on location at the gorgeous Corcoran Gallery of Art to showcase our take on dressing up.

This light, bright, near-preppy angle features a white Charade Blazer (left) and a Metallic Meshwork Sweater-Top (right) over a very buttoned-up but sheer Dandelion Dot Top. Lucky guy, huh?

This tomboyish yet ladylike look, featuring the Scallop Lace Top, was a hands-down favorite. (Between you and me, the pearls didn’t come from the ocean—so it is possible to look chic without the price tag.)

Happy art partying!

Photography: Jeff Martin

Styling: Katherine Greene

Style sightseeing: Not-to-miss fashion exhibitions

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

I know 2012 has only just begun, but fantasy vacation planning is one of my favorite pastimes (this year’s resolution: actually take vacations). And as last year’s exquisite Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art taught us, there’s nothing like a little fashion sightseeing to make a girl feel inspired, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. So this year, I’m penciling in these exhibitions.

THE TOTAL LOOK: THE CREATIVE COLLABORATION BETWEEN RUDI GERNREICH, PEGGY MOFFIT AND WILLIAM CLAXTON

What you’ll see: Rudi Gernreich, creator of the monokini, pushed the boundaries of American fashion like no one before him. Discover Gernreich’s relationship with his muse, model Peggy Moffitt, and with Moffitt’s husband, photographer William Claxton, who often photographed her wearing Gernreich’s fashion-forward creations.

Where: MOCA Pacific Design Center (Los Angeles, CA)

When: February 26–May 20, 2012

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

What you’ll see: 20 years of stilettos, boots and sneakers from the French designer responsible for that telltale red sole. Follow his entire design process, from concept to execution.

Where: Design Museum (London)

When: May 1–July 9, 2012

ELSA SCHIAPARELLI AND MIUCCIA PRADA: ON FASHION

What you’ll see: The Costume Institute follows up its spectacular McQueen show with an exhibit that compares and contrasts designs by these two legendary Italian fashion designers. Get lost in a sea of trompe l’oeil details, whimsical fastenings and unconventional fabrics that bridge two distinctly different eras.

Where: The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)

When: May 10–August 19, 2012

The Friday Five: Best First Dates on the Big Screen

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we figured it was as good a time as any to share some of our favorite first dates in movies. It may give you some fun ideas for what to do with your (soon-to-be) loved one and/or remind you of just how grand romance can be (in case you needed reminding). Without further ado, here’s a selection that’ll surely strum your heartstrings.

1. MOONSTRUCK (1987)
So this is pretty much my favorite romantic comedy of all time and I force it upon people on a fairly regular basis. Why? The fabulous Cher plays Loretta, a middle-aged but still smokin’-hot woman who is about to marry adequate but boring Danny Aiello—until she meets her future brother-in-law, the sweaty, tortured Ronny (Nicolas Cage), a guy with the kind of swagger and despair that makes you almost forgive Nic Cage for Ghost Rider.


2. HOUSESITTER (1992)
A man recently dumped by the love of his life (Steve Martin) meets a zany catering waitress (Goldie Hawn) who may or may not be Hungarian (she’s not). He asks to use her phone in the rain and, next thing you know, she’s moving into his dream house (without his knowledge). Though it does have some Fatal Attraction potential, Hawn and Martin’s charming missteps and repartee ensure an inevitable happy ending.


3. HEATHERS (1988)
I don’t even want to spoil this scene for those of you who haven’t seen it, so all I’ll say is watch this movie immediately. (For those of you who have seen it, well, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)


4. OUT OF SIGHT (1998)
Talk about a game of cat and mouse. A cop (Jennifer Lopez) and a con (George Clooney) meet over drinks, and the tension is so thick—forget butter—you’d need a steak knife to cut it. If there were ever proof that chemistry is necessary, this is it.


5. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)
The best date in this movie is the one that isn’t even really a date, when they hang out for the first time for real. But they don’t just hang out: They go to a museum, use funny voices and he tells her she’s the worst kind of girl. That non-date date is the moment you know everything is going to be A-OK with these two. Eventually.

Bedroom Tunes: Music to get ready to, part II

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

One of the best things about winter is the fact that you actually need to dress up. While a pretty top and a pair of shorts will do in the summer, freezing weather forces you to seriously up your layering game. So while you’re making all those crucial decisions about tights and scarves and necklaces peeking out from under your sweater, here are some toasty tunes to listen to—by stylish girls for stylish girls. (P.S. Check out our fall playlist too—it’s still pretty awesome.)


“Foreign Language” by Flight Facilities

This anonymous and mysterious DJ duo has been killing it for a little while now with their sexy disco beats paired with perfect vocals (in this case, Jess Higgs’s). And for the “Foreign Language” single, like a cherry on top, they made a roller-skating video featuring footage from the seminal disco classic Roller Boogie (1979). Yeah, don’t even try to resist.

Style mood: Frankly, anything you can dance in
I recommend: Colorband twirl skirt


“Nuclear Sessions” by Charli XCX

It’s quite possible that Charli XCX is the coolest girl of late 2011/early 2012. She’s definitely too cool for a proper last name, at least. She makes fuzzy electro-goth-pop that somehow manages to be both grimy and sing-alongable, creaky and polished. A star is born.

Style mood: Forever in black, but never boring
I recommend: Pinstriper Silk Pants, UZI™ Tank


“Patchwork” by Appaloosa

I know next to nothing about this Paris/London duo, but I stumbled upon an insanely apt description for what they sound like: “a romantic Human League fronted by Nico covering Stereolab.” Needless to say, I instantly needed to listen to it all. Also, their record is called Discotexas. I mean, come on. Now pass that jar of glitter.

Style mood: Scruffy glamorous
I recommend: The Metallic High Road Sandal (and something distressed on top)


“You Know You Like It” by AlunaGeorge

AlunaGeorge is Aluna Francis (vocals) and George Reid (music). And, well, they may just be your favorite band to (not so) secretly develop amazing choreographed dances to (you know how it goes). This song is kind of like an unholy matrimony between Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me” and some Posh Spice single that never made a blip.

Style mood: Urbane sophisticate
I recommend: Something Else by Natalie Wood Black Coral Shirtdress, Stephan & Co. Metal Bangle Seven-Pack

Wear This Movie: Pina (2012) by Wim Wenders

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

As a good friend of mine always says, if a person doesn’t like director Wim Wenders, they’ve gotta be dead on the inside. (See Wings of Desire; Paris, Texas; Tokyo-Ga and Buena Vista Social Club for undeniable proof.) And with his latest feature, Pina (out now), Wenders has created probably the only movie I’ve ever been excited to see in 3-D.

An examination of acclaimed choreographer Pina Bausch (who, sadly, passed away during filming), the movie is a boisterous yet intimate look at the elegance of dance. Oh, and it totally makes you seriously crave the fluid looks the dancers sway around in.

HOW TO GET THE LOOK:

First, focus on materials: lightweight jersey, silk—anything that breathes and lets your skin breathe.

Next, the shapes: long, flowy skirts and dresses; pleats meant to be twirled in; arms either exposed or covered in the most tissue-thin shrugs.

Body focus points: clavicle, feet (in the slightest of flats), a faint flash of leg.

Where to start: Silk Singalong Top, The Suede Sidewalk Skimmer and Dawnlight Silk Dress.

Wear This Movie: Best-Dressed Films of 2011

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

Sure, everyone is all about end-of-year lists these days. But since we’re big on style with substance around these Tumblr parts, we figured a list of the best outfits we saw on the big screen in 2011 was in order. And just like the movies they spring from, there’s something for every mood.

The Rum Diary (dir. Bruce Robinson): Honestly, this movie is totally into style over substance, but Amber Heard is the perfect Mad Men-esque, leisurely lady on a midwinter getaway (you know, the one you’ve had your heart set on ever since the weather turned grey). Key components: snow white form-fitting dress with a bold lip and a cats-eye. Not for the shrinking violets out there, that’s for sure.

My Week With Marilyn (dir. Simon Curtis): A lot of ink has been spilled about Michelle Williams’s performance, but really, I’m going to go ahead and say the costume department is the real star here. Key components: blacks, greys and camels, snug sheath dresses, cinched waists and as many little cashmere cardigans as you can come up with. Add a smile, a spot of pastel and a well-(mis)placed curl and you’re set for life.

Beginners (dir. Mike Mills): This movie about a son whose father comes out of the closet at 75 is also very much about clothes as a visual cue: the purple sweater his dad wears when he first tells him, the colorful handkerchiefs that begin to pop up and, as the son himself falls in love, the disheveled, almost childlike looks we see his love interest wearing. Key components: chambray shirts, snug zip-up jackets, perfect jeans, a cute hat, oxford lace-ups and a burst of bird-of-paradise color here and there.

Like Crazy (dir. Drake Doremus): Ah, to be young, in love and so effortlessly stylish. Felicity Jones’s Anna pulls it all off immaculately with a look that is easily achievable yet unattainably innate (since, you know, real style comes from within). Key components: little floral ’90s grunge-inspired dresses, sailor shirts, high-waisted shorts and pants with tiny belts and just a dab of clear gloss to go with your pinched, rosy cheeks.

The Skin I Live In (dir. Pedro Almodóvar): She may not be wearing much, but we couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to do it than Elena Anaya’s rendition in this film about revenge. She spends most of the movie covered head to toe in a skin-colored bodysuit (and when she does emerge from it, she reveals a floral Dolce & Gabanna–inspired number that makes it all worth the wait). Key components: perfect tailoring, nimble fabrics and colors a determined woman wears (think bright reds and deep purples).

Restless (dir. Gus Van Sant): My year-end list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this movie. Read about it here.

So You Think You Can’t Bake?

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

Sprinkle Pretzel recipe courtesy of my buddy Emma Kelly; photos by Kimberly Cadena.

Here is that well-known scenario: you have exactly 1,000 holiday parties to attend and walking in with a bottle of wine is becoming a little predictable. If only you knew how to bake something festive and awesome.

Worry not: Here is the ultimate foolproof, super-adorable holiday dessert that takes no time, will wow friends and, yes, is totally OK to make even if you do know how to bake. Behold, the genius simplicity and all-around cuteness of Holiday Sprinkle Pretzels.

Ingredients (all of which I found at the corner store, so you have no excuse):

● 1 medium bag of pretzels
● 3 chocolate bars
● water
● sprinkles

1) Add water to the bottom of your double boiler and wait for it to boil. (If you don’t have a double boiler or have no clue what that is, put a small metal pot inside a bigger metal pot and add water between them.)
2) Place chocolate in smaller bowl and let melt.
3) Dip pretzels in chocolate and place on parchment or wax paper.
4) Apply sprinkles and let sit until chocolate is firm.
5) Place finished treats in a cute bag and impress all your party friends. (Or throw into a bowl and carry to your couch—we won’t judge.)

Bedroom Tunes: Music to Get Ready To

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

I bet I don’t have to explain to anyone reading this blog the importance of a good song to get ready to. The right musical accompaniment makes applying lipstick, picking the right dress or deciding whether the hair is up, down or somewhere in between a total treat. On that note, here are four songs (and four related styles) that have been on repeat in my boudoir this fall.

“Cameo Lover” by Kimbra

If there’s any justice in this world of ours, this girl from Australia will be bigger than Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga put together. Big voice, big ambition, big personality, Kimbra is basically the Kate Bush for the new millenium. And her clever single, “Cameo Lover,” is nothing short of club hit–catchy. Listen for yourself!

Style mood: A little retro, a lot of color, no messing around
I recommend: The
 East End Shift Dress

“To Carry Small Things” by Mina Tindle

Mina Tindle (née Pauline DeLassus) is a quintessential Frenchwoman: beautiful, graceful, elegant even when casual—you know the type. On top of all that, the fact that she sings like a cross between Kate Nash and OH LAND and has an insanely cool Caetano Veloso cover song leaves you with no choice but to fall desperately in love with her.

Style mood: Classic and classy with some sparkle on top
I recommend: The Metallic Tap Oxford

“I Call the Shots” by Margo

I’m pretty obsessed with Margo. I know very little about her, but at the same time, I feel like I know enough: She’s from L.A. and appears to be the love child of Sheila E. and Prince (with a dash of Cyndi Lauper). Yes, Margo, you definitely do call the shots.

Style mood: Kick ass and bold
I recommend: The Sparkle Moonlight Bib Necklace

“Video Games” by Lana del Rey

Lana del Rey looks like a Disney princess, dresses like a Nabokov heroine, sounds like a cross between Tennis and Feist and sings about eternal topics of summertime boredom, boys and flattering denim. In short, nothing not to like here.

Style mood: Subtle but frisky
I recommend: The Leather Belltoll Skirt

Wear This Movie: “Restless” by Gus Van Sant

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

Restless (out now) is Gus Van Sant’s latest tearjerker, starring Mia Wasikowska as Annabel Cotton, the most stylish yet tragic character since Jennifer Cavalleri/Ali McGraw in Love Story. Forever young and with just three months to make the most of it, she runs around Portland (the perfect city for permanent autumnal style) in vintage furs, little white shifts, stacked–heel Mary Janes and a perfect Jean Seberg–inspired pixie cut.

The colors (creams, greys, blacks) and patterns (leopard, sporty stripes) are undeniably timeless, and the fabrics (vintage tweed, mink, herringbone) are so warm and rich. Not without pops of color, of course, Mia’s wardrobe also involves the most amazing oranges, burnt yellows and fire-bright reds. (Oh, and having Henry Hopper as your accessory always helps too.)

How to get the look on your own: Raid your grandmother’s closet, for one. If it’s not within reasonable distance for raiding, tailor some of your own classic basics, pay attention to textures and pick up some great pop-colored knitwear to brighten it all up. And the haircut—well, we’ll leave that to the brave and exquisitely cheek-boned.

Internet Destination: Pantonism.com

by Svetlana Legetic (D.C.)

Orange you glad you’ve discovered the wonderful, colorful world of Pantonism?

A perfect inspirational website does not just go and feed you some pre-chewed trends: It allows you to see what you need to see in it. Pantonism, a cure-all for the common, drab life, does just that. Whether you’re feeling sort of blue, a curious yellow or a fiery red, poring through their immaculate galleries of objects, outfits and scenes makes you appreciate (and crave) color in your life more than you ever have before.

Even if you’re a little-black-dress kind of girl, I believe this online destination will result in you throwing on a kelly green belt with it or a bright purple necklace or a sapphire blue scarf or—OK, you get it. But enter at your own risk: You will get sucked in.