Style A to Z

What’s in your Bag?


What’s in your bag?

Pocketbook. Pair of glasses. Pack of gum.

A not-so-hidden message?

Absolutely.

For today’s woman, the bag is the new business card.

Just as an embossed logo on rich, thick cardstock suggests that you are a businessperson who pays attention to quality and details, a business card printed on a sheet of looseleaf paper at home conveys the opposite.

The handbag is a lady’s new way of letting other people know who they are dealing with whenever she walks into a room. It says a lot about you. And whether you are a label-conscious person or not, it’s the style of your bag, the cut of your bag, the quality of your bag — and even the color — that describes who you are.

Obviously, the quintessential bag for the quintessential lady is the Kelly bag by Hermes — so-called because of its affiliation with actress Grace Kelly, who epitomized elegance as the princess of Monaco. Keeping it in the Hermes family, the coveted Birkin bag (pictured above) was designed for English actress Jane Birkin. While this bag is designed to hold more, it remains structured, and if there is such a thing, this bag would be it. Despite its price — upward of $60,000 in some cases — the Birkin bag is infamously in high-demand, with a subculture devoted to tracking down the seemingly mythical status symbols. A recent study even found that Birkin bags have increased in value 14.2 percent a year — making them a better investment than gold.

Hermes Birkin

About those labels, ladies. Whether you chose to show them off also speaks volumes about you. Discerning women don’t need to read the label to spot a designer handbag, making the more subtle approach an understated assertion of power.

But labels aren’t the only message your handbag is sending. Carrying a Stella McCartney as you walk down a New York City sidewalk? Chances are you are vegan, or at least sensitive to not wearing animal skin, because the designer only manufactures items with vegan leather.

How bold are you? Do you venture away from the blacks and beiges, opting for a power red or pop of green? Walk into a meeting with a green Birkin, and what does that say? Fashion-forward minds are no doubt sent racing. How many Birkins does she have? If she’s got the green, she must have the earthtones covered. I wonder if she has a red one?

Style, shape and how you carry your bag also conveys personality. Is your handbag structured? Does it slouch? Do you sling it over your shoulder or carry it on your wrist?

So shoppers, remember: Every time you purchase a new handbag, you’re adding a line to your appearance resumé. You are setting your stage for who you are and where you’re going. You’re telling others who they are dealing with, and if that’s important to you, then you need to pay attention.

Just like you wouldn’t hand someone a flimsy business card, don’t send someone the wrong message with the handbag you’re carrying.

xoxo Amy

Holy Chic

The latest styles to hit the streets are “HOLY”, you know the kind with holes that show just enough skin that makes you yell #Hallelujah. From prints to lace to sheer…the newest trend that’s changing the game in fashion is holes, grommet and dots creating an incredible illusion. Tattered boyfriends jeans lined with holes are becoming the most needed piece of clothing to perfect that effortless street style. Diane Von Furstenberg is creating adorable dresses with grommeted detail and the polka dot illusions with a stain finishes. Other designers such as Mulger, Alexander Wang, and Proenza Schouler are also digging the new trend, and it’s only a matter of time until the “Holy” effect takes the fashion scene by storm. My favorite right now is Self-Portrait. Goggle them and you will find out why!
Thanks for dropping in…until next blog…ARZ

 

Style A to Z Shares: The Chic W

If you’ve ever wondered who that gorgeous woman behind all the Couture Closets ads is, you’re in luck! She doesn’t just model for us, though we wish she would. Clarka Wickliffe is a personal friend and a social-media maven! Seriously, we could all learn a thing or two from her, especially in the blogging arena. That’s why Style A to Z would like to share her blog with you! Head on over to http://www.thechicw.com and read about Clarka’s jet setting lifestyle, her fashion advice and product reviews for items we all love. Every post is filled with tips that are SOOOO useful for the modern woman. Check her out! We know that you’ll love her… and her blog just as much as we do 🙂

Amy’s Back in Action

Hello again!

Did you miss me? Because I sure missed sharing my life with you! It’s been a whirlwind year already, but now I have some time to focus on one of my favorite things again, Blogging. I wanted to apologize for my little hiatus, we’ve been busy moving the store to a new location. But I am happy to report that we have a bright and brand new showroom right on Main Street. If you’re in the Spartanburg area, stop in and check out our new store front and tell us what you think!

Many of you know that my family spends the summer in Austria, so for now, these posts will be coming to you from my home in Klagenfurt. I hope to share some exciting news and fun times with you all, so get ready for #AmysAustrianAdventures! As always, follow me on my other social media sites and make sure to like Couture Closets on Facebook and Instagram. Please share this blog with your friends, especially those who enjoy travel photos, lifestyle tips and luxury living.

A Kiss of Couture,
Amy

Amy’s Top Holiday Decorating Tips

The Holiday season is upon us, whether we are ready for it or not!

Here are some of my tips for last-minute decorating on a budget, to ensure that your life and home are ready for every family gathering and elegant dinner party!

1. Don’t overlook IKEA- IKEA is a fabulous one-stop-shop destination for all of your holiday decor needs. Introduce some seasonal inspired furnishings to your dining and living spaces, pick up some cozy faux-fur throws, or browse the wide selection of textured and fabulous area rugs to add warmth and holiday charm to your home. With unbeatable prices and wide selections, you are bound to find some pieces you will love!

2. Pull out the Sterling- Nothing says winter like sterling silver! Shimmering and sleek, sterling instantly adds seasonal flare to any space. Be it sconces, candle holders, flatware or otherwise, you shouldn’t underestimate the decorative value of a sturdy sterling piece!

3. Browse the local Dollar Store- It may seem counter intuitive, but you will be pleasantly surprised at the level of quality and selection of decorative items available at the dollar store! You can find awesome glass jars that when filled with decorative Christmas balls, become instant center pieces!

4. Deck the Halls!- Garnish your stair case and mantle with traditional pine boughs for a festive and inexpensive look! Save your own tree-trimmings and check the Pinterest boards for inspiration and techniques for getting the most out of the tinsel!

5. Get Creative!- The Holiday season is just as much about family and friends as it is about expressing yourself! Let your home be an extension of yourself. Deck the halls with all of pieces that make you happy. Consignment shops, antique stores and craft stores can give you inspiration to let your creative side show and can offer some really unique and affordable ways to spice up your winter decor!

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Colibri Collections

Creamy agate, spiky raw amethyst, quartz, onyx, moon stones, turquoise… these are just a few of the dazzling elements you will find in our premiere Colibri Collections fashion jewelry line…

What started as a dream between me and longtime friend, Angie Comer, has since become a blossoming reality. Our collection, named for the light and illusive hummingbird, captures the space where nature and beauty meet. The iridescent earth minerals, set in an array of shimmering designs, add elegance to any ensemble and are guaranteed to capture attention.

Each piece in our collection tells a unique story, inspired by the adventures that have taken us across oceans and continents in search of all the love, joy and beauty that this world has to offer. Make a statement with our bold and daring designs that exude excitement and travel, and make your own memories with them in time.

Our signature alligator cuffs are perfect for day-to-evening wear, and pair gorgeously with our varied selection of earrings, necklaces and rings. We offer premier, hand-crafted pieces that compliment every season, all styles, and any event.

You can browse our collection at the Couture Closets storefront on Main, or attend one of our trunk shows, events that will be featured on our Facebook page.

Be sure to check out Angie’s new website, angiecomer.com, for the latest news in style, nutrition and all things Colibri, and continue to follow us here for all that we have to offer, style A to Z.

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

“Its not about what you wear, but how you live your life”

Remembering Oscar de la Renta

The fashion world suffered a tragic loss Monday, when news that renowned clothing designer, Oscar de la Renta, 82, had passed away at his home in Kent, Connecticut.

The celebrated artist left behind a legacy that spanned nearly 6 decades, with memorable designs donned by the world’s elite. His prolific career produced some of the most iconic designer pieces in the industry, as his gowns and garments were truly a vision of fairy tale.

La Renta came to fame in the sixties as one of the premier couturiers to beauty and power icon, Jaqueline Kennedy. This monumental period in his career led to a high-profile and lasting relationship with the ladies of the White House. Rumors spurned that Oscar de la Renta was the personal designer of the Presidential party, and every first lady, including very recently, Michelle Obama, have been photographed in La Renta designs. Even royalty donned the designers dresses, among them the vision of beauty herself, Princess Diana.

This classic era of his career spawned some of the most memorable pieces of the time, and left a lasting imprint on the industry.

He went on to become arguably the most decorated and philanthropic fashion designer in the world, winning countless awards and accolades throughout his career. In 1973 he was inducted into both the Coty Hall of Fame and the American Fashion Critic’s Hall of Fame respectively.

In 1990, Oscar de la Renta received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Later that decade, a La Renta dress was featured famously in the prized television series, Sex and the City. The image of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), carefully undoing the black silk bow, opening the lid of the big white box, and unveiling the pink full-skirted dress with patent leather bow belt which she had been pining for in an earlier scene, became an instant classic. Every girl watching that episode immediately set out to find herself an Alexander Petrovksy- Oscar de la Renta- dress gifting beau.

It has been speculated that Parker, who is a symbol of beauty and fashion in her own right, is the muse that inspired much of La Renta’s later works.

In his later years, the world-renowned designer continued to produce an impressive catalog of works, featuring modern and elegant designs at the New York and Paris Fashion Weeks annually. He recently lent his expertise to the high-profile nuptials of George and Amal Clooney, as we covered in our latest blog. Alamuddin lived out every girls dream when she was fitted for her jaw-dropping wedding gown, designed and tailored by La Renta himself, on site in Venice, Italy.

Oscar de la Renta was an incredible force of nature and will be celebrated as one of the world’s greatest artists for years to come.

“The great thing about fashion, is that it always looks forward.” –Oscar de la Renta

Kiss of Couture
-Amy xoxo

Keeping up with the Clooneys: A Wedding in Couture

Iconic actor, George Clooney tied the knot with the beautiful human-rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin in a private ceremony in Venice, Italy this month. If the long anticipated nuptials of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor wasn’t enough to keep the tabloids busy, then leave it to Alamuddin, whose impeccable style and grace dominated the Italian city, and turned the fashion world upside down.

Alamuddin arrived with her famous fiance on Friday, looking glamorous in a retro, Dolce and Gabana black-and-white striped dress, paired with round glasses and a custom hat-box. It was later that very evening however, when she really stole the show.

The future Mrs. Clooney stepped out in a daringly red waterfall gown by Alexander McQueen, with a high-low hemming that showcased her beautifully long legs and tiny waist. Her dark hair and golden skin paired perfectly with the bold red hue, resulting in a look that is just breathtaking.

The following day, the beautiful bride turned heads and teared eyes as she walked down the aisle in a custom Oscar de la Renta gown. The ivory tone and delicate lace was a perfect combination of classic elegance and modern style, much like Alamuddin herself. In an interview with Vogue magazine the bride-to-be stated of the world-class designer, “I can’t imagine anyone more able than Oscar to capture this mood in a dress… Meeting him made the design process all the more magical, as he is so warm and such a gentleman.”

Alamuddin stepped out with newlywed Clooney the following day in a floral printed, Giambattista Valli dress, hot off the Spring 2015 runway. Nude wedges and a pair of Italian shades polished off the look, and she stunned on the arm of the always handsome Clooney, who wore a tailored suit and tie.

On Monday, the couple made their way to a Venetian courthouse  to sign the official marriage documents, and Alamuddin wore traditional white, but in the form of a clean cut, sophisticated, and absolutely marvelous pant suit designed by Stella McCartney. A cream clutch, matching heels and classic brimmed hat with matching trim

The power couple has been dominating fashion media outlets since relationship rumors started swirling last year. The celebrity influence and political power of the famous duo has us wondering, are the Clooney’s the next Camelot?

Alamuddin’s chique style and flawless beauty is reminiscent of a young Jackie-O, and we can’t help but notice Clooney’s similarities to actor-turned-president John F. Kennedy. This is certainly a couple to keep on the radar. Who knows, maybe one day we will see their glowing faces in the White House? #Alamuddin16

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Not Your Mother’s Pearls

“We believe Valentino would agree, a vintage-less closet is a boring closet”

You are wandering through the aisles of Cartier, caressing the soft leather of a carefully crafted handbag, tousling diamond-studded jewelry and catching the light in their clear and brilliant faces, feeling the weight of an 18k gold necklace around your neck, and marveling at their beauty and masterpiece: It’s enough to make any woman feel like a movie star circa 1930. But you sense that something is missing.

Amy’s vintage accessories of choice, a classic red Hermes Birkin, a gucci belt. Totally chic & current topped off with a panama straw hat from JCrew.

This memory is tangible, and yet now as you hold a new pair of Tiffany’s in your hands, the quality does not seem to match that of your grandmother’s vintage set. This is a case that many women are finding to be true nowadays, and it begs the question, has jewelry lost some of its grandeur?

Evidence exists everywhere that new fashion accessories does not hold up to its early-era predecessors. Nightmares of tarnishing metals, loose stones and stiff leathers dominate fashion blogs. But even so, there is a desire and a necessity for the new, and a quality that can still be found from today’s leading jewelers.

The decision to go vintage or buy new is not one to be taken lightly. It takes a special person to wear a vintage piece; someone with confidence, style, and that timeless grace that vintage accessories just seem to emanate. You can’t be the person that let’s the jewelry wear you.

You must also consider your investment. Is this a piece, new or old, that will only grow more valuable and significant with time? Or are you in the market for something a little less time sensitive? When considering these things, it is important to remember that no matter what, you should always pick what makes you feel most beautiful. Diamonds are, after all, a girls best friend.

Mixing modern pieces with antiques creates interest and layers of warmth to interior design.

 

 

The vintage vs. new debate doesn’t just apply to accessories and jewelry. Your home too, is a great space to experiment with vintage styles, because even though buying new pieces off of the showroom floor can be exhilarating, a simple addition of vintage furniture pieces can really add character to a space and make for a great conversation starter.

Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo

Weather the Winter Whites

A sampling of our accessories to pair with this look

Labor Day has come and gone, but the question still stands:

Is it safe to wear white?

The answer is an overwhelming YES! Winter white is all the rage this holiday season, and we are here to tell you how to break all the rules with this timeless look.

First things first; don’t be afraid of those elusive white jeans! Whether you opt for the skinny leg, the boot cut, or the trendy trouser fit, you really can’t go wrong with the white jean this season.

To give it a classy, anytime-wear update, we suggest layering this look with a cozy and fashionable cable-knit vest. This fabric is as timeless as the little black dress, and will keep you warm and Oxford chic all season long.

Want to bump it up a notch? Go for the sleek and flattering fit of the shearling fur vest, with a soft lining and bold collar.

Brave the elements all winter and add some flare to this ensemble with some stylish  lug-sole savvy boots, always a great choice for jazzing up those wicked cool winter-whites. Be daring with the stiletto heel in your favorite shade of tanned leather to offset the dramatic hue and you will be sure to receive compliments at your next outing.

Finally, don’t forget to accessorize! Make a statement with a thick scarf and over-sized rings, shop Colibri Collections for beautiful and trendy alligator cuffs, python clutches with dazzling mineral stones. They can be found online at http://www.couture-closets.com

 Give the people something to talk about, and let them know where you scored this fashionable look: Couture Closets, for all your style needs, A to Z.

~Kiss of Couture,
Amy xoxo