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On Thursday evening, I was honored to host a night of style with heart for Diane Von Furstenberg to fête her Spring 2015 collection. Attendees of the exclusive in-store  event were asked to bring in a dress for Dress for Success Boston, a charity that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools for women to thrive in work and in life. Guests enjoyed champagne, hors d’oeuvres from Met Back Bay, and mini makeovers from beauty guru Tavi De La Rosa as I presented DVF’s latest collection.

A celebration of this stature is fitting to those that own a DVF dress. After all, it’s easy to get wrapped up in a frock that allows a woman to exude feminine sultriness and womanly strength all while being versatile enough to be a witness in the evolution of the woman’s life who wears it.

While the dreamy notion of tiptoeing through the tulips may not be on the agenda for a few more weeks, to get inspired for the possibility of warm weather, I styled guests in this seasons hottest trends to assure they’d be stepping into spring on a sartorial high note.

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With that in mind, whether you’re looking for outfits for work, or play, I rounded up the most coveted DVF looks of the evening to make sure you too will be a stylish step ahead of the competition this Spring.

FLOWER POWER

DVF Kaden Dress

 

With patio parties and bridal showers to attend, its the perfect time to work Spring’s vivid romantic florals into your wardrobe. Bold in scale and color, the floral trend took over runways during fashion month. Whether you decide to go big and beautiful or minute and abstract, one things for sure, flower power is here to stay. Whether paired with denim for off-duty dressing, or heels for a cocktail party, florals are firmly back on the fashion map and will prove a worthy investment for your wardrobe in seasons to come. For an indispensable tunic style, look no further than the DVF Kaden to keep you bloomed to perfection this Spring. Featuring a clean v-neck, 3/4 sleeves and an A-line skirt in the season’s boldest prints, this style is sure to be your go-to all summer long.

THE SHIRT DRESS

Silk Prita Dress

 

As the climate varies from freezing to the very slight possibility of warmth, it becomes harder to tailor a working wardrobe. Enter the DVF Prita silk shirt dress. Light and airy, it can be gathered in or billowed out, and buttoned up or down. Best of all? The smart tailoring is versatile enough to effortlessly take you from power player to cocktail hour and anywhere in between.

GINGHAM

Gingham

 

Fall may have brought us proper plaids, but for spring it’s all about gingham. No longer just for picnics, gingham was spotted all over the runways. Diane von Furstenberg’s seized upon gingham for Spring 2015 and twisted it into something akin to daring and sexy — no small feat for a fabric often described as prim, and traditional. Inspired by glamour goddess Brigitte Bardot, DVF has managed to make gingham playful and yet sophisticated. Despite its many iterations, the fabric is a sartorial chameleon, so forget everything you know about gingham and try the freshly revamped fabric on for size.

CROP TO IT

DVF Jayme Dress

A crop top and ladylike skirt with waist-whittling proportions and only the subtlest flash of flesh can turn an evening look into something decidedly modern. Take the DVF Jayme for example. The corset top with flattering ruching detail is punctuated by a full floral skirt, with a little pop of midriff in between, making it the perfect subtle yet sexy twist on a classic dress.

THE LITTLE WHITE DRESS

The Little White Dress

The white slip dress—that iconic piece of nineties fashion—is finally having a renaissance. While this might be a matrimony favorite, Diane Von Furtsenberg’s white lace Olivette dress is for so much more than a walk down the aisle; from hot summer nights to easter brunch, theres no better time than the present to say yes to the little white dress.

So whether you’re looking to completely refresh your wardrobe with the latest trends, or simply seeking a few standout pieces to put a new spin on an old look, DVF Boston will have you stepping into Spring in style. Trust.

Take a peek at more photos from the evening.

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Hair: Salon Mario Russo

Photography: Lisa Richov

I hate Boston fashion parties: the insipid small talk (which, to me, recalls those rather-famous lines in Prufrock), the roving photographers who seem intent to catch me at my ugliest, the awful music, the ramblings of the social climbers who all seem to have business cards before they have businesses, the horrible, horrible ‘fashion’, and, worst of all, the plague of fauxcialites who spend all night fighting over one of two things: the free cocktails or a photograph with some notable name for their next Facebook update. They are all as transparent as they are perfectly useless. For me parties are a fail-safe recipe for discontent.

That said,when Alex Hall calls me with an invite, I know all of that will be different. Her parties are as dynamic and as wildly fun as she is. That is, as polished and perfect as they are effortlessly enjoyable. And it is a testament to her inexhaustible charm that she attracts the best and the brightest of Boston’s many circles: the artists, photographers, interior designers, PR folk, musicians, writers, models, and, yes, even the fashion folk. Nearly everyone knows her. Perhaps more notable is that I’ve yet to meet a person who doesn’t love her.

This past Wednesday she hosted a celebration of Boston’s top models at Forum, creating a unique and necessary niche during the Boston Fashion Week maelstrom. I went for the reasons aforementioned.

It may be the first time I’ve enjoyed a party in Boston that wasn’t for StyleBoston (our parties are EPIC). The models, a spot-on mix of incredible girls from the city’s top agencies (Click, Dynasty Models & Talent, Maggie Inc, Model Club), looked absolutely stunning, and represented the true range of Boston talent. Joico flew in celeb stylist George Papanikolas (who was quite handsome himself) from L.A. to prepare the models for their fête beforehand with Maxime Salon. Makeup was apparently done by Glow Beauty Boutique and Skincare in Braintree, but it was so flawless I hardly noticed makeup at all. A beautiful show of restraint on the part of the Glow team.

And yes, as is customary at such events, I gulped down more of the specialty Brugal Rum cocktails, particularly the “Cover Shot” (irony?),  than is prudent to admit. But let’s just say I hate rum and I somehow couldn’t get enough of these concoctions. That’s how good they were.

As for the food Forum prepared, well, all I can say at this point is that there may or may not be photographic evidence of me devouring nearly an entire cheese plate, all by my lonesome. Let me also say that were such photographic evidence ever to surface, I know which photographer would be to blame, and there’s little worse than a woman scorned. Or besmirched. Or photographed devouring nearly an entire cheese plate by herself. I’m just saying I’d be angry, is all.

Below is a gallery, courtesy of Randy Gross of Elevin Studios. Cyberstalk the guests at your leisure.

For the premiere of StyleBoston’s third season, I partnered with an all-star team to bring you what I consider to be one of the best Fashion Forward features to date: a behind-the-scenes look at our Fall 2011 editorial shoot.

I’ll admit, as a whole this F/W season was wildly underwhelming for me.  Throughout the shows in February, it seemed as though designers were reacting to continued buyer hesitation by pushing aside designs that could or would have felt new and fresh. Instead, in concert they gave us collections that not only pandered to the last-standing dollar, but also diluted, with their severe safeness, the very essence of the brands which designers were scrambling to save from financial woes. Gone were the idiosyncratic signatures of each designer–the differences that distinguish one brand from another–and in their stead was a mild sea of sameness. The waves advanced but never broke, and if they ever reached the shore, well, I must have missed them from where I was standing.

As a result of this conciliatory consensus among designers, the editorial pages of America’s major fashion tomes–Vogue, Elle, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and the rest of their ilk–were chock full of predictable features hailing the neoclassicist revival as the next best thing since the no-carb diet. “Finally, designers have come back to reality and created sensible collections that every woman, in every city, in every country, of every shape, of every age, can wear!” Never mind that no fewer than twenty designers brought you nearly the same pencil skirt silhouette. Never mind that you most likely already own that very silhouette and have for over a decade. These are clothes you can buy, said the editors. And though seeing that tired phrase over and over again definitely annoyed me,  I could hardly blame them. After all, designers lose money when their more outlandish pieces don’t sell and their retailers scale back their seasonal buys. Designers losing money = designers having smaller advertising budgets = designers spending fewer advertising dollars with America’s paragons of print.  Either way, it was clear: the buzzword of the season was buy buy buy buy buy, and it was repeated ad nauseum.

My word was somewhat different: bored.

Of course, I enjoy a somewhat rare position: we at styleboston maintain a pretty strict separation between our sponsors and our editorial coverage, so I’m not beholden to tell you to buy buy buy buy buy whatever’s sitting on the racks at your nearest boutique or department store. That, frankly, just isn’t my thing. If you already have it, you probably don’t need another, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, you don’t actually need any of this. But fashion, at its best, is an incredible form of escapism, a bit of fantasy that you can put on and take off as you see fit. By my estimation, when a design hits that mark, it’s always a worthy investment.

All that in mind, the team and I selected our favorites from the Fall 2011 season for this feature. That labels like Comme des Garçons and Proenza Schouler made it onto that list is to be expected,  but there were certainly a few surprises, too: a diaphanous cocktail dress from Christian Siriano, for example. The designer himself dubbed the tulle confection the “ChaCha” dress because of the way the skirt floats and sways away from the body as you move, and frankly, who could resist a dress that makes you want to dance until you drop? I mean, damn, even I was tempted to purchase the thing, and I don’t wear dresses (they don’t fit) and I hate dancing (because I can’t dance).

All kidding aside, I hope you’ll take a few moments to peruse the feature, Cosas Oscuras, and maybe, just maybe, remember that while fashion is a serious industry, it is not serious business. Consider some of fashion’s most historic moments… In 1947, Christian Dior rebelled against post-World-War-II fabric restrictions by using over 20 yards in a single silhouette. It was a perfectly pedantic whim, but in the process he débuted the revolutionary New Look. Yves Saint Laurent fantasized about a modern power woman, slick and in control. That fantasy manifested itself as the Le Smoking tuxedo. It was the first clear foray into menswear as womenswear, territory designers are still mining for inspiration to this very day. Or Savage Beauty, the Met’s Alexander McQueen retrospective, which not only drew record crowds, but was then extended, then sold over 20,000 new memberships as people vied to skip the four-hour lines. When it finally closed, the museum could hardly meet demand.  In short, a little fantasy goes a long way.

And for those who wonder at my admittedly pretentious title, Cosas Oscuras, I’ll come clean: the phrase was plucked from one of my favorite lines of Pablo Neruda’s verse, “Te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras…” I won’t bother translating it because, hey, this is the digital age. You, like me, have google.

So take it in, love it, hate it, burn it (difficult through a computer screen, but I admire persistence!). And, as always, please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section.

Much love,
JGC

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