Showing posts with label Luxury. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Luxury. Show all posts


Luxury Style: Mixing Dressy with Casual

How to mix authentic, timeless luxury with casual looks. 

In every outfit I style, I'm inspired to include texture, juxtaposition, bling, pop of color, and a fab bag. 

1. Texture

I used a lot of layers and texture in styling these pieces together. 

The raised texture of the vintage Etro chocolate velvet vest, set against a flat white cotton blouse, and a draped vintage Hermes silk scarf gives a multidimensional effect. 

Then, instead of stopping there, I opened the gold buttons at the vest to show the gold hardware of vintage Hermes H leather belt

See a couple more examples of how iconic women of fashion, Sophia Loren & Victoria Beckham, have used the same style.

The famous Italian actress, style icon, and beauty queen, Sophia Loren chose to accessorize with an Hermes Scarf for a more vintage look. 

For a modern look, Victoria BeckhamEnglish businesswoman, fashion designer, model and singer, also known as Posh Spice, added BOTH a scarf and Hermes Red 35cm Birkin to tie together her fabulous hip luxury style. 

2. Juxtaposition

When choosing to wear velvet and silk, most people consider the fabrics more appropriate for dressier or holiday occasions. 

I liked the juxtaposition of pairing the dressy, velvet vest, with silk Hermes Scarf and casual jeans. 

Taking a nod from the men, using the vest and men's size Rolex, while pairing it with dainty diamond bangles like these white or yellow gold Love Bracelets from Cartier, or these two, a diamond and sapphire yellow gold, & the Etoil bangle bracelet, 18K Gold Diamond from Tiffany.  

3. Bling

A little bling is always a good thing in my book. 

The flash of the men's Vintage Daytona Yellow Gold Rolex mixed with Cartier and Diamond bangles (see above) are the perfect bling for to pair with jeans, making this a laid back, juxtaposed mix of luxurious and casual look, perfect for either men or women. 

Elle Macpherson is an Australian model, businesswoman, television host and actress. 

She is probably best known for her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

I liked her best in her appearances on my cult-favorite show, Friends

She epitomizes femininity yet chose to wear a men's size, yellow gold Daytona.
The most famous star to wear the Rolex Daytona is cool guy Paul Newman, the one who made it famous.
 In 2008, upon Paul Newman's passing, California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger said:

"Paul Newman was the ultimate cool guy who men wanted to be like and women adored. He was an American icon, a brilliant actor, a Renaissance man and a generous but modest philanthropist. He entertained millions in some of Hollywood's most memorable roles ever, and he brightened the lives of many more, especially seriously ill children, through his charitable works. Paul was one of a kind. The beloved film star will be missed by a world of fans and admirers."

4 & 5. Pop of Color / Fab Bag

I chose Red as my pop of color. You can see it here in the bag, as well as the bit of red showing in the scarf. 

I'm not alone, either. 

Stylish American actress, film producer and former fashion model, Katherine Heigl,  chose a 35cm Hermes Red Birkin as her pop of color and fab bag, all in one. 

She show's here you can keep it simple, and still incorporate multiple rules into the same piece. 


Chloe Dao at Fashion Houston

Chloe Dao, Houston fashion designer and Project Runway Season 2 Winner, showcased her new line of luxurious styles at this year's Fashion Houston.
Her well-executed, high-end collection allowed attendees to see a different side of the her personality. With luxe fabrics and mature designs, Chloe raised the bar when it comes to Texas designers.

The playfulness that she exudes in real-life was also evident in her pieces that not only gave off a mature vibe, but a fun one, as well. Maturity doesn't have to mean boring, right?

This red dress was by far my favorite piece in the collection. It's flirty, but stunning. 

I was truly honored to have been chosen by Chloe to help accessorize her pieces for the night. The vintage jewelry married perfectly with her modern outlook adding value to each one that made it's way down the catwalk. It was a fabulous experience that will never be forgotten in my mind. 

Thank you Chloe for making Fashion Houston such a wonderful experience for The Vintage Contessa.


A Vivid Journey with Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" personifies the masterful “Empress of Fashion,” whose influence changed the way we saw beauty, art, publishing, and culture forever. Launching Twiggy and advising Jackie Onassis were only a few of her accomplishments as the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue. Her final fashion stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gave a historical look at fashion translated to a common language for those in the fashion world.
Although she wasn't a feminist, she revolutionized the role of women in the 20th century bringing culture, art, and fashion revolutions, including the bikini and blue jeans, to the pages of magazines.

The her magazine transformed fashion photography into an art form.  The interviews in her living room she called a garden in hell, revealed so many details of her years at Harpers Bazaar and Vogue that I felt connected to her as a person, editor and fashion lover.

She was not schooled in fashion, however her education was provided by "the world ".  She boldly stated, in order to be in fashion, the first thing you should arrange is to be born in Paris, everything else follows.

She was a dancer of the roaring 20's in NYC and spent many nights dancing in clubs. She proudly proclaimed, " on those evenings I saw a lot of fun." Watching Josephine Baker she commented on her love of that "pizzazz" thing Baker had.

When Jane Pauley asked what personified her style, she replied," a race horse- because they have a little extra pizzazz."  She said she knew if she was going to make it, she had to stand out.

Vreeland lived in and traveled to amazing places, but my favorite quote about a city was her comment, "The best thing about London was Paris."  When she lived in London, she was always sneaking away to Paris.  Diana was very close to CoCo Chanel, wearing many of her pieces, and although she was exposed to the most influential designers of her time, she said that no one had a better feel about luxury than CoCo.

Carmel Snow noticed Vreeland at an event and admired what she had on which, naturally,  was Chanel.  Although she had no experience in fashion, Snow asked her to come on board with Harpers Bazaar stating, "Why don't you try it?" 

Thus, she titled her column, "Why don't you?"  The world was in midst of a recession and Vreeland dreamed up "mad" ideas of excess and luxury.  She had an original point of view that varied from the norm.  It truly separated her from the rest.
My favorite quote of her reads: "Style is everything. It's what gets you up in the morning. And I'm not talking about clothes."  How profound?  I love the quote and couldn’t agree more. Fashion isn’t about the clothes, it is about the way a woman or man carries the clothes. Vreeland nailed it.

In college, the director of the film, LisaImmordino Vreeland, was mesmerized by Diana Vreeland’s presence. She later fell in love with Vreeland’s grandson, becoming an official member of the Vreeland family. Although her background was art history, she had energy towards fashion.

Following the screening, Ms. Lisa Vreeland will engaged in a candid conversation with a friend and Houston Cinema Arts Festival, Lynn Wyatt. 

Diana Vreeland's mystical ways and beliefs continue to resonate throughout the fashion and art world.  Although, the director had concerns about Diana Vreeland being misunderstood, I feel that I understand her quite well and applaud her style, vim and vigor of life, fashion, art and travel.
You are truly an Empress Ms. Vreeland.


How to Spot a Fake Handbag: Texas Living- KTXD TV Dallas

I had the most amazing day visiting the set of KTXD TV, Texas Living! The co-host team of Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Hilary Kennedy were even more stylish and multifaceted in person than on the screen.
Kimberly's accolades include TV Host, Author, Radio Personality, Lifestyle Expert, Speaker, Blogger, RSVP calendar Publisher, Party Planner and Social Media Aficionado.  Hilary is a native Texan and graduate of Texas Christian University who enjoys all things lifestyle and entertainment.

The ladies and I spent the morning discussing key factors in buying authentic bags and learning the key points to look for in spotting a fake.

First and foremost, I strongly suggest you only buy from a trusted seller that guarantees authenticity or your money back. For example on eBay, look for sellers with a history and good feedback. When buying on the web, only consider those companies who guarantee authenticity or your money back.

  1. Each luxury handbag brand has different markings to consider, however, the fact remains that each bag have a serial number or stamp should be prevalent. On a Hermes Birkin it is on the flap, on a Louis Vuitton it is on the interior of the bag, on Chanel it is on a sticker inside the bag.
  2. The stitching should be consistent. It might be pulled in an area, but it won't be uneven.
  3. The patena on a Louis Vuitton bag will be prevalent on the handles. The patena is created from oils on your hands. If the bag shows wear on the bottom but doesn't show a patena, the bag is a fake.
  4. There are certainly limited edition bags, however, if the style, color and proportion of the handles aren't constant, the bag is a fake.
Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but these guidelines can get you started. Just remember if the price of a bag is "too good to be true", it probably is.

At The Vintage Contessa we guarantee the authenticity of every bag or we'll give you your money back. We buy every bag in our stock. We are not a consignment store. So, we in essence put our money where our mouth is.

My husband and partner, Rob Chramosta, is an estate jeweler, numismatist, vintage watch dealer and diamond dealer.  He has been in the industry for over 30 years. Our reputation means everything in our business. It would be counterproductive to sell anything fake. Therefore, we go through a multistep processes authenticating everything we buy and, in turn, sell.

On a side note, look who I ran into at the Texas Living Shoot, Interior Designer Janet Rice. 

And my best friend from college, Kathleen Plagens Evans.


Luxury Shopping In Paris

Shopping is just shopping until you go to Paris and do it. Whether you buy a baguette or a handbag, everything seems classier, yummier, more luxurious.
We came across several jewelry stores with an assortment of vintage statement pieces. I love the purple stones!

These Chanel necklaces are perfect for layering or wearing by themselves. 

World famous Ladurée macaroons and pastries.  

Paris really does hold the key to this fashionista's heart!


Louis Vuitton: The Yayoi Kusama

I have never seen this many red and white polka dots in my entire life! Polka dots lined the walls of the Louis Vuitton store in Paris for the Yayoi Kusama collection which recently launched. It was like walking into an alternate universe that instantly made you smile!

At the age of 83, Yayoi Kusama's career as an avant-garde artist has spanned more than 50 years. Born to a Japanese family who owned a wholesale plants nursery, her love of polka dots started at an early age when she began having hallucinations of people with dots all over their bodies.

Polka dots have since become her signature design which has given her global recognition.

She teamed up with Louis Vuitton to create handbags, clothing and shoes incorporating her wacky style and keen eye for creativity.


Chasing Hermès Around St. Germaine

Did you know that Hermès was the first brand to introduce zippers on ladies handbags? Let's all take a minute to thank Hermès for developing a way to keep our valuables secure and safe within our fashionable accessories.

Now that we have established one of the many cool fun facts that surround this luxury brand, let's delve in to the important stuff, a.k.a the handbags themselves.
The famous Birkin bag debuted in 1984 on the arm of Actress Jane Birkin. It became all the rage then and now! This handbag holds the record for the longest waiting list of any luxury accessory. Talk about crazy!

For a handbag with that long of a waiting list I was surprised that I saw so many on my trip to Paris Fashion Week. Take a look at some of the varieties I saw. 

Of course, Hermès doesn't just make luxury handbags. They've perfected the art of luxury accessories, also.