Scarves: Essential survival tools of a Seattleite

Scarves that keep the neck warmWritten by: Marina Ignatyeva

As another rainy autumn hits Seattle, with the promise of a cold winter after it, most fashion-conscious Seattleites are frantically trying to balance insulation with beauty. How does one manage such a colossal task, especially since the neck area loses the most heat? Most people prefer not to sacrifice their pretty and comfortable clothes and wear turtlenecks. Thankfully, retailers in every major mall have stepped up and delivered only the greatest and most essential invention of any cold season: scarves.

Now, my own recollections of scarves from my childhood had not been positive. They were ugly, bulky, had to always be retied, and worst of all were scratchy. Yes, they kept me warm during the very cold winters in Moscow, Russia, and in the Midwest. That does not mean I appreciated them.

So why do I now approve of these formerly-disliked articles of clothing? Simple: redesign. The scarves sold in my favorite retail stores, such as Nordstrom, are gorgeous, warm and made of the softest materials imaginable. There are wool scarves, cashmere scarves and simple cloth ones. They come in a myriad of colors, from cream and white to bright colors such as turquoise to dark ones like black. The scarves come in solid colors, designs, and multicolor bundles of joy.

The designs of the scarves are made to fit every taste. There are intricately knit scarves that look like a beautiful mesh; there are scarves that are knit so tightly that there are no gaps. Some scarves are sewn together from different patches; some are sewn from one cloth.

Best of all, there are different types of scarves. I, for the life of me, cannot wrap a scarf around my neck and keep it from either falling off or strangling me. That is why the discovery of a scarf that does not need to be tied was so essential to me. This season, I have a beautiful scarf that is sewn together at the ends, forming a giant scarf-y hoop. The scarf can be then wrapped around the neck again, similarly to a giant strand of pearls, forming two fluffy halos around one’s chest and neck. Asphyxiation and heat loss are no longer a concern!

Recap: Scarves are an essential part of any ensemble. They look good with hoodies, trench coats, sweaters and windbreakers, or whatever else people decide to throw on themselves before braving the rain and cold. Scarves can be worn by both genders, making them versatile. Most importantly, they are fluffy, gorgeous pieces of heaven that keep people warm. Use them.

P.S. – Scarves are not just for Seattleites.

Pantone’s Predictions for Spring 2013 Color Trends

Written by: Stephanie Hsieh

As the year draws to a close predictions for the color trends of Spring 2013 are in from the Pantone Color Institute, and it looks like fashionistas everywhere can look forward to new neutrals, bright shades, and lots of green when the new year begins.

The Pantone Color Institute is a research and information center devoted to the study of colors. Leatrice Eiseman is its executive direction and she states that balance will be the theme for Spring and Summer 2013. Eiseman believes that the forecasted palette for the coming year is one that balances a variety of colors through the use of what she calls “novel neutrals” and balancing between “light and bright” shades.

The Institute’s predictions consist of a ten-color palette that contains colors named: Dusk Blue, Grayed Jade, Linen, Emerald, African Violent, Nectarine, Poppy Red, Lemon Zest, Tender Shoots, and Monaco Blue. Together they cover all colors of the rainbow as well as a range of shades, from the very pale to the fairly dark.

The ten colors of the Pantone Color Institute's Spring 2013 color predictions.

Novel neutrals, light to bright, next year it’s all about balance.

The first three colors listed are what the Institute’s “novel neutrals”. Dusk Blue is a a slightly-greyish shade of blue that’s on the pale side and recalls calm, serenity, and twilight. More practically it recalls lighter denim tones, which bodes well for fans of that closet staple. Grayed Jade is a jade green with a strong undertone of grey, a soft and elegant color that also recalls serenity. Linen is a pale nude-like color that according to Eiseman gives a “light, airy, diaphanous” feeling to its viewer. All of these shades are capable of functioning like more traditional neutrals such as black or white, especially when paired with colors from the rest of the palette.

The rest of the colors are the light and bright shades noted by Eiseman to be part of the palette’s balancing act. Emerald is what starts moving the entire palette into brighter, more vivid tones. As a color it is evocative of spring and Eiseman suggests it will also serve to ground other colors in the palette. African Violet is a shade of purple that adds some floral tones to the palette, a color that like Emerald may serve to ground the palette but will also combine with other colors in what may seem like unexpected ways. Nectarine is a light shade of orange tinged with coral, strongly evoking the colors of its namesake fruit. Eiseman believes that its coming prominence will answer the question of where orange has been for the past few years, bringing the color back into the spotlight.

Poppy Red is a bright, exuberant shade, one that Eiseman believes is a must-have for any spring. Lemon Zest is a bright yellow that recalls “sunshine and good cheer”, one that balances well with the novel neutral colors. Tender Shoots is a third green in the palette, one that brings to mind new plants and fresh growth. Its presence in the palette points to the importance of green to 2013 as a whole. This is another exuberant color and one that’s sure to grab attention. Monaco Blue is a dark blue, similar to navy but brighter. This is a calming color that, appropriately enough, will serve to anchor all the other shades in the palette.

So there you have it, the Pantone Color Institute’s Spring/Summer 2013 color trend predictions. Only the coming year will tell us how on-target they are.

Three Summer Hairstyles

Wavy Hairstyle

Summer Waves

Written by:Brittany Bluford

Summer is right around the corner, so bring on the chilled drinks, maxi dresses, and a new summer hairdo. Although I embrace change, the search for a new hairstyle has proved to be as hard as finding the perfect outfit. Once upon a time, when I wanted a new look, I turned to color to add some spunk to my style. These days my hair isn’t so forgiving, so I’ve had to find alternate ways to switch up my look. If you want to break away from your comfort zone this summer, I have three new hairstyles for your tresses.

1. Accessories aren’t just for your neck, wrist and arm, so give your hair some glam by adding a scarf. This simple addition is great if you want to mix it up without completely changing your style. I have a variety of scarves from Target; they have patterns, lace and solids. Whether your hair is up or down, just add a scarf. With the summer heat, this is a fashionable way to keep hair out of your face. Also, it can cover up a bad hair day and make it appear as if you spent a lot of time on your hair. Naptural 85 has a great video on 10 ways to tie a silk headscarf.

2. While you’re enjoying the waves at the beach, try putting some waves or curls in your hair. The braid out has been around for a while, but I’m a slow adopter to new trends. I’ve never worn my hair curly, but I’m in love with the braid out results. After washing and moisturizing your hair, let the cornrows do the rest of the work. The next morning unravel your hair and it will be full of defined curls. To add a cherry to the sundae, the braid out lasts for days and can easily transition into a wavy up-do. There are many different ways you can achieve a wavy hairstyle. Check out the hair gallery at Essence

3. This next style gave me a complete step out of the box. The braided bun has grown to be one of my favorite low maintenance styles. There’s no dryer, flat iron or list of products required. It was inspired by MsVcharles’ You Tube video. Make sure you check out her easy, detailed step-by-step video ( All you need is a pack of braid hair and a few braid ties. If your hair length permits, you may not need any braiding hair. After twisting and securing your faux hair, attach it to your head with the option of a top, middle or low bun. What I love about this style is it’s protective, and it really makes a statement. Feel free to add a scarf to this look!

Summer is the perfect season to try something daring, bold and different. Why not start with your hair? A braided bun, curls, and a scarf are great ways to make a change to your look.

Fashion as Art: The Gaultier Exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art

Written By: Allison Hibbs


He was responsible for Madonna’s cone bras.
He created the wild outfits used in the wacky future-fiction movie, “The Fifth Element.”
He made bondage chic and brought the British punk rock look of the early eighties to the world’s most exclusive runways.
Even if you don’t know the name Jean Paul Gaultier, you almost certainly know the man.

“The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk,” enthusiastically acclaimed exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art, is scheduled to close next weekend on Feb.12, so you’ve got one last chance to get to know him a little better. From the shockingly sexy Boudoir collection to his fascinating use of industrial materials in the Metropolitan room, this is an exhibit not to miss.

“I’m not such a good speaker,” says the voice of Gaultier himself upon entering the exhibit, his talking face projected onto a mannequin dressed in a sailor ensemble (that he designed for himself to wear in an interview with pop superstar Lady Gaga). He communicates best through his clothing, he tells his visitors. And it’s true. One can only stand there and listen for a short while before being drawn away into the changing landscapes and attitudes of his apparel. The exhibit is set up in six distinct sections, yet certain ideas – like his fascination with S&M – carry through his work like a refrain.

“I respect individualities and I like particularities,” reads a quote attributed to the designer on the wall in the Urban Jungle room. “I mix and match, collect, twist and crossbreed codes. Past, present, here, elsewhere, masculine, feminine, remarkable, humdrum – it all coexists.” A delicate Spanish dress cut through with bondage leather; a pink floating ball gown with the crotch cut out; a full tulle skirt in camouflage coloring next to a glittering plaid mens’ kilt; Gaultier has a knack for making the scandalous seem sumptuous, for turning the gutter into glamour and for creating couture from the least likely corners of human experience.

Alongside the fabulous fabrics and intriguing ensembles worn by talking mannequins are actual sketches by Gaultier, rare prints on loan from renowned photographers and glowing quotes from contemporaries such as Pierre Cardin and Pedro Almodóvar. Scenes from movies for which he designed costumes play on variously sized screens throughout the rooms. Even the designer’s well-worn childhood teddy bear is on display, wearing – you guessed it – a cone bra. He designed it when he was only seven years old.

Everyone who makes it to see this truly extraordinary exhibit is sure to find at least a few favorites. From the Madonna to the mermaid (and that’s just the first room!), Gaultier manages to pay homage to kink, heritage, culture, counterculture, flora, fauna and fantasy all with a sense of openness, possibility and joy.

After Feb. 12, the collection will travel to San Francisco and then on to Europe.

Gaultier at DMA

Several ensembles and images shown in the exhibit. Photograph by Paolo Roversi.

Fashion Forward: Why Retro Look is Never Out of Style

“Written by Kathleen Mulvihill”

Mom was right. Never throw anything out; eventually your clothes come back in style. That’s why retro fashion is always hot. When designers run short of innovative ideas they can always reach back into the closets of yesteryear and come up with a look with a new twist. Voila – fashion that is both nostalgic and hip. Some examples:

The pencil skirt is the new hobble skirt of the 1920s; bootcut is the new bell-bottom; spandex is the new girdle; ballerina shoes are the new flats; the chunky high-heeled oxford is grandmother’s shoes from the fabulous 40s; capris are the new pedal pushers; and black is, well, the new black. Call it indie, vintage or retro, it all adds up to apparel that is timeless.

Labels by designers such as Marc Jacobs, the master of mash-up fashion, define the retro rack. In a New York Magazine article, Jacobs was quoted on his passion for the past: “I like romantic allusions to the past: what the babysitter wore, what the art teacher wore, what I wore during my experimental days in fashion when I was going to the Mudd Club and wanted to be a new wave kid or a punk kid but was really a poseur. It’s the awkwardness of posing and feeling like I was in but I was never in. Awkwardness gives me great comfort.”

Retro fashion is the brainchild of the “retro chic” concept of the Parisian avante garde. Today it refers to apparel that imitates a previous era associated with a post-modern stylistic trend. While vintage spans the 1920s to 1050s, retro or indie represents the pre- and post-1960s fashion. Look around – it’s everywhere. If not in consignment shops (the new thrift stores), then look for a vintage store in your metropolitan area, even in suburbia. There’s a plethora of sites online, including which offers the top 20 retro fashion sites with popularity ratings.

The fashion truth is: The way we wore is the way we are. Retro is here to stay.  So if you’re feeling the pinch in these troubled economic times, there’s no need to fret when it comes to your closet. Take a close look, visualize that 80s ribbed knit sweater with a long wrap-around scarf, and you just got a new leash on an old look. Dress it up with a piece of glam jewelry from your grandmother, slip into those skinny jeans and any kind of boots and you’re ready to step out on the town. Looking good has never been so easy.



Valentine’s Day Giveaway Makes This Holiday Extra Sweet

Watches by Design, Fashion Watches and More...


If you really want to impress your sweetie this Valentine’s Day, be a smart and savvy shopper.  Bring home something extra special and a little something extra at the same time.  Watches by Design offers the largest selection of fashion watches at the best prices and this year they are throwing in an added bonus.  If you purchase a fashion watch from January 21st – February 7th 2011 you will receive their Valentine bonus package.  

In addition to being able to choose from thousands of designer name brand timepieces, your gift will include free Valentine’s gift card, free gift wrapping, and a very special surprise!  

Why choose Watches by Design for your top of the line timepieces?  They simply offer the biggest selection and the best prices.  If you’re not convinced yet, shop their watches sales.  Watches by Design can help you take Valentine’s Day to a whole new level.  Your Valentine will appreciate your thoughtfulness, as well as the fantastic new watch!  Shop from famous maker like Movado, Michele, and Omega.  These watchmakers, and many more call Watches by Design home.  Shop with confidence this year.  Come home with a gift she will truly enjoy and treasure for years to come.  Let Watches by Design show you the way. 

Hot Fashion Watches by Fruitz

Fruitz- Hot Fashion Watches!
Fruitz – Hot Fashion Watches!

Fruitz Watches, the brand that represent a wonderful, charming array of Fruits Watches, are the hottest craze right now.  Even Twilight star, Dakota Fanning was seen sporting her Fruitz!

There are three types of Fruitz: Fruitz Classic, Sorbet and Happy Hour.  The Fruitz Classic collection features 36 mm adorable sunburst dials, colorful silicon straps which are really comfortable.  Each watch in the collection represents a different fruit, so there’s a Blueberry Fruitz Classic Watch, an Orange Fruitz Classic Watch and so on.

The Sorbet collection conjures up an image of delicious, tasty and sweet.  From the Fruitz Lemon Sorbet Watch to the Fruitz Licorice Sorbet Watch, these watches do look delectable, with their stainless steel expandable bracelet straps, and bright, lively colors!  Dakota Fanning loves her Lemon Sorbet Fruitz watch.  According to Fanning, “”I cannot wait to wear it – what an adorable idea… I am so happy to have one!”

The Happy Hour collection makes you think of good times, and indeed, each watch in this collection represents another fruity cocktail, from Black Russian to Cosmopolitan.  These watches have 43 mm dials, which include day and date functions.

By the way, these fashion watches come with a perk: each watch is embedded with a natural frequency technology disk, which may lead to better sleeping, increased concentration and focus, and an overall sense of wellbeing.

Every Woman’s Seasonal “Must Have”: Confidence

Our bodies: Like them, love them or carry a fevered resentment toward them, they are what we have to work with. If you are a woman that judges yourself against women on the runway or in shiny magazines, you need to stop. Few, if any, women look like the models we see everyday in the media. Not even the models look like the models. They are digitally airbrushed, stretched, enhanced, smoothed out and otherwise sugar-coated for consumption. If a model is being real, they will be the first one to tell you that.

Two short stints working in retail positions at women’s clothing boutiques, as well as a few years spent modeling professionally, taught me two important things about women and fashion: The first one is that no two women’s bodies are the same. I’m not just talking about differences in weight or natural shape. I’m talking about differences in height, weight distribution, posture, muscle tone, skin texture, bilateral symmetry (or lack thereof) and even physical disability.

The problem is that many style guides illustrate how to “dress right for your body type” according to shapes defined as Inverted Triangle, Pear, Hourglass or Rectangle. These guides might be helpful, but, if the truth is to be told, women should know that most women are a blend between two types and even that changes as they age and/or bear children. These guides also don’t consider the natural variations that come from height differences or even the proportional differences caused by waist or inseam length.

The second, and possibly most important, thing that I learned from retail sales and modeling is not to judge a woman by her appearance. The women that look like they would be the most confident and happy, are often neither confident or happy. Appearances truly can be deceiving. On the other hand, many women that don’t match up to societal standards (for varying reasons) often are confident and happy. Don’t get me wrong, fashion is fun and compelling—I love it—but it will never beat out confidence as every woman’s seasonal “must have”—no matter what body type(s) she represents.