PATRICIA

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Style

  • Your Quiet Style Statement: VINCE

    “It’s kind of a noisy moment that we’re in.  Whenever there’s a lot of loudness on one side of the industry, there’s a space that opens up on the opposite side.” 

    Caroline Belhumer, SVP, creative director, VINCE

    That’s truer than ever. The intersection of streetwear and high fashion has created an ecosystem in which the most over-the-top designs demand attention. What Belhumer and her team at Vince want to do is change the way we approach things.

    “Vince is not really a company that’s about trend or loudness; it’s really about the quality of the product,” says Caroline Belhumer, Vince creative director.

    Season after season, we see chic silk slip dresses and midi skirts in dreamy colors, cashmere sweaters with the perfect oversized cuts, languid trousers with Issey Miyake-esque pleats, plenty of the toe-emphasizing sandals (all the cool girls wear these days), and an overarching theme of minimalism meets preppy. 
    Vince is always classically cool. And quiet. 
    "How do you make people understand what you're trying to say and make it more engaging, not just another clothing brand? You have to be able to have some kind of vision of the storytelling, the uniqueness of the brand," Belhumer explains. "I looked at Vince and I was like, well, it's created in L.A. It's a luxurious California brand. And when I looked at the other contemporary brands in our landscape, nobody else had that story to tell. They were very urban-centric, very New York-centric. But the roots of this brand being in California actually really kind of reflect the way of dressing and the way the clothes looked. It was a natural fit, but it wasn't really being talked about." (fashionista.com)

    Quiet luxury is a concept that has been simmering away for a few years. Low-key and understated, it is the kind of luxury that is whispered by those in the know, by those who understand that indulgence doesn't necessarily lie in a high price tag and a flashy logo. (inlondonmagazine.com)

    Above: A-Line Overshirt

    "While jazzy, razzle-dazzle designs may steal the show, there is respite, too, as some of the quietest, most considered designs are also the most covetable. Even the most ardent of sun-lovers understands the cool bliss of a shaded room on a scorching day, and sartorially speaking, that sense of blessed relief comes from minimal and modern clothing. 

    Above: Oyun Studio Special Order Trunk Show August 4

    Stylish and timeless...describe the aesthetic. "Integrity” is another word that comes to mind. It’s unsurprising that this way of dressing has infiltrated the modern woman’s wardrobe. Prioritizing comfort and ease without sacrificing style exudes a sense of confidence, control and calm authority that can’t be achieved when trussed up in a skirt suit." (independent.co.uk)

    "Minimalism in fashion is much more than a use of single color or a trend of simplicity. It is aesthetic that is thightly connected to broader spectrum of social development and continuosly reinvented and adapted to fit different eras. "(theutopiast.com)

     I couldn't have said it better myself!

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  • Women We Love | Katrina Denza

    Katrina Denza | Author. Glamour Girl. Kind Soul.

    It's hard to describe what it is about Katrina...her kind quiet way, the ability to look oh-so glamorous at all times, the fact that she knows what she loves and doesn't hold back? There are so many things we love about her and so happy to call her part of our #tribe.
    I am inspired and love all the women we feature on our journal. As always, we ask these women a few of our favorite questions.
    Read on for some fun insight into this Women We Love.

     

    Wine or Beer? Wine.

    Who do you admire most? The women who’ve suffered unimaginable adversity, tragedy or injustice and face each day with hope and faith and determination to make their lives and the world better.

    Favorite quote? “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ~Ernest Hemingway

    What is your favorite piece of clothing at the moment? A bright green dress because I’ve always been told I can’t wear green and doing so feels like a rebellion. Plus, it has ruffles. Of all time? A yellow sundress I wore when I was five. It had butterflies appliqued all over it.  

    What do you want to be when you grow up? I think I’m nearly there: a woman who doesn’t care what other people think of her.

    3 items always in your bag? Phone, pen, lipstick.

    Your biggest phobia: heights

    What would you never wear? That eighties polka-dot jumpsuit that made me look like I was part of a circus act. Never again. 

    Horoscopes: Yes, but only with tongue-in-cheek. (Leo)

    Guilty pleasure? I don’t feel guilty about pleasure. 

    If you had a superpower what would it be? To facilitate meeting the basic needs of every person on the planet. 

    Best compliment you’ve ever received? “I fell in love with you because of the kind of mother you are.”

    What is your spirit animal? Bear

    Want to know more?

    Katrina Denza is an Associate Editor for Narrative Magazine and chairs the Writers-in-Residence program for the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities where she also serves on the Board of Directors. Her short stories can be found in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, New Delta Review; The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, wigleaf,and Gargoyle #57, among others. In 2011, she was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

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  • Women We Love | Amelia Kirkland

    Amelia Kirkland | Friend, Health Enthusiast & Foodie 

    I can't remember how I met Amelia or how long ago...but let just say it's been a very long time. I love her enthusiasm for everything she takes on. From doing Ironman's, to searching out the best healthy food in every place she visits or finding the best craft beer a place has to offer. In Amelia's professional life, she is the assistant director of the laboratory at First Health of the Carolinas. In her off time she can be found at our favorite pilates studio, Mind Your Body,  or cooking up some wicked healthy foods from local farmers markets. Amelia's style is classic with a twist. She loves and wears our designers so well. We caught up with her and asked a few of our favorite questions...read on to find out a little more about one of our favorite women...

     

    Wine or Beer? Either, depending on food

    Who do you admire most? Probably my husband. He’s true blue.

    Favorite quote? The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise man grows it under his feet.

    What is your favorite piece of clothing at the moment? Of all time? Currently,  Laura Siegel top from Patricia! Of all time, Emerson Fry black column dress also from Patricia.

    Coffee order? Black…hot

    What do you want to be when you grow up? A Pilates and yoga instructor with a ‘clean eating’ restaurant….or a UPS driver

    3 items always in your bag? Random receipts, lipstick, a pen

    Your biggest phobiaNot measuring up

    What would you never wear? Can’t think of anything

    Favorite cocktail? Bloody Mary

    Guilty pleasure? Jimmy Choos

    If you had a superpower what would it be? To think nice things about everyone I encounter

    Best compliment you’ve ever received? I admire you

    What is your spirit animal? I don’t have a spirit animal; I have a spirit car; it’s a Honda Civic. It’s cute but not flashy, reliable, sporty and efficient.

    Check out Amelia on Instagram @kirkaw0829 be warned...you will be inspired, hungry and want to snuggle with her sweet dog!

    top photo: @rachelgarrisonphotography

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  • Minimalist Style post header

    Approaching minimalist style for the first time can feel daunting.

    And that's understandable.

    Here's an easy cheat sheet about what minimalist style is, its history, and some quick tips to get you started on your journey.

    We live in a world that values rampant consumerism. Every time we turn around we're supposed to buy something else. Something new. Something different. The problem is that we have so many choices that the choice itself becomes stressful.

    How many times have you stood in front of an overstuffed closet bristling with clothes, overwhelmed, and you say, I have nothing to wear?

    That's the paradox of our modern lives. We have so many choices that it's only in reduction, the lack of choices, that we can find a moment's solace. 

    Imagine opening that same closet, only this time, instead of exploding outward in hangers and clothes you never wear, you find a handful of carefully selected garments hanging with room to spare. The space between the pieces gives them room to breathe, drape, flow the way the designers intended. And you love each and every piece. You selected each one with care. No matter which piece you choose, you know it fits you perfectly, the construction is the best you can afford, and the quality will make it last for years to come. 

    Did you breathe a little sigh of relief? This is minimalism.

    Evocateur, things we loveChoose to fill your space with pieces that you love (we love these bangles by Evocateur), that bring value and joy to your life. The scarf that feels so silky around your neck you imagine you're Katharine Hepburn in an old Hollywood movie. Or the sleek-lined shift dress that fits your body so precisely, that no matter what kind of mood you might be in, just putting it on will lift your spirits. Of course, things can't bring value to your life. Only you can do that. 

    But by learning to value your space, you're valuing yourself, your time, your body, your own self-awareness. You're giving yourself permission to say no.

    And you're making room in your life so when you do find those things that bring you joy- few and far between as they might be - you can say yes.

    Let's look at the origins of minimalist style.

    Mies van der Rohe Barcelona pavilion example of minimalist style in architecture

    Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Pavilion

    Miminimalism began in industry.

    German architect Mies Van der Rohe his modern, minimal style aesthetic around the principal assertion "less is more." His buildings, with their back-to-basics functionality, revolutionized post-World War I architecture, and Mies' famous quote is now seen as a cornerstone of the minimalist movement.

    An innovative creator, Buckminster Fuller's goal was “doing more with less." Fuller designed and produced multiple lines of technology including modular apartments, a three-wheeled car, and prefabricated bathrooms, all with the purpose of making life simpler and easier for the world around him.

    Des Stijl art movement as an example of minimalist style influenceArtistically, minimalism derives from the De Stijl movement with its emphasis on absolute reductionism down to the essentials of style and color. Combined with Mies Van der Rohe's architectural style to include modern materials like plate glass and industrial steel, the result was open space and minimal framework. 

    Minimalist style is a part of our daily life.

    Take a moment to look at the devices around you. Chances are good that your phone is a sleek little device and you're using the internet from another clean lined user interface. There's an excellent chance that the architectural details of your home are minimal as well, not the rococo and gilded flourishes that once characterized affluence.

    By the early 1960's, minimalism had spilled over into fashion.

    The defining characteristics of minimalist style in fashion:

    Non-emotive design 

    Raf Simons for DiorFirst let's define emotional design, meaning that a piece is created with the purpose of eliciting an emotional response. A designer can't create an organic emotional response, but she can set the stage for an emotional response to occur. In minimalist designs, simple lines and geometric prints are combined with extreme simplicity. The choice of material is often used to demonstrate minimalism's differences from couture design. Opting for traditionally inexpensive materials like boiled wool or PVC instead of hand sewn feathers, a different statement is made as each piece walks the runway. (Left, Raf Simons for Dior)

     

    Reductivism

    Balenciaga wedding dress 1968 minimalist style exampleNot only are minimalist pieces designed as a blank canvas, but their very construction is deceptively simple. They should appear effortless and often contain invisible seams to maintain the illusion. Balenciaga's 1967 wedding dress is a prime example of the invisible seaming, simple shape, and the way the shape hides the traditional female silhouette.

    Rejection of the traditional female body

    Day dress by ShoshLike this day dress by Shosh, the shapes in minimalist designs don't conform to the body. Using the principals of space while rejecting "form over function," minimalist style rejects traditional gender roles. The female form is re-created through gender-neutral sculptural details that exist independent of the female body and its traditional silhouette. As such, minimalist style rejects the sexuality inherent in other design styles, allowing the wearer to form their own identity.

    Accessibility

    Just as minimalist style shuns couture's outrageously expensive, hand sewn details, it also allows for the democratization of style. Rich or poor, young or old, regardless of gender identity or body shape, minimalism is available to all of us. 

    How to transition your wardrobe into a more minimalist style:

    • If you don't love a piece, don't keep it.
    • The same idea applies when you're getting dressed. Avoid needless add-ons. Less is more. 
    • But make the details count.
    • Look for pieces that are functional, comfortable, and easy to use. Meaning: it shouldn't take you half an hour to navigate a series of tiny straps.
    • Find neutral pieces that allow your personal style to shine through. 
    • When you do use color, consider the mood created by that color. Is it one that you enjoy? Does it work well with other colors in your wardrobe, outfit, or home? Remeber, details.
    • Look for quality construction and materials that are long lasting.
    • The less design, the better (at least externally ... remember those invisible seams?).
    • Watch for innovative, original pieces.
    • White space is vital. It gives you room to breathe whether it's in a room, a closet, or an outfit.

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  • THIS SUMMER:  OUR WAY WITH PEARLS

    Linked by a heavy chain, clasped by crystal-studded claws, or surrounded by roundels, we’re crazy for the new pearl collection by Nathan & Moe.

    Pearls have taken 2017 by storm.

    The new look of pearls lends itself to heavy layering with our own collection of leather-strung white, peacock, and gray freshwater pearls. 

    Always a classic.

    Though pearls will always be a perennial classic, their popularity has waxed and waned over the decades. 

    It's part of my personal aesthetic to not chase trends, and maybe this is why I love pearls so much. They're always the go-to accessory that's sure to be on point no matter what the "It" piece of the season is. A gorgeous pair of pearl earrings instantly elevates any outfit.

    And a pearl ring? There's a reason we carefully hand down our pearl rings from generation to generation - the pearl is an iconic representation of the timeless, classically well-dressed woman.

    Types of pearls:

    Pearls are classified by their origin and shape.

    Natural pearls

    Natural pearls are quite rare today and can only be authenticated via X-ray. These are the pearls you probably learned about in school - the ones formed when a grain of sand is trapped in a mollusk and a nacreous coating builds up around it.

    Natural pearls are the most expensive and are sold by carat weight.

    Cultured pearls

    Though they form by the same mechanism as natural pearls, cultured pearls begin by human intervention. An object is deliberately inserted to cause pearl formation. The shape of that object determines the final pearl shape.

    Cultured pearls are sold by their size. The thicker that outer coating is, the more expensive the pearl.

    Saltwater pearls

    Either natural or cultured, this one is pretty easy to figure out - saltwater pearls are formed in mollusks that live in saltwater.

    Freshwater pearls

    Almost always cultured, freshwater pearls are grown in a lake or river.

    Fake pearls

    Made of coated plastic or glass, fake pearls are, well, not real pearls. They're lighter, not as smooth, and chip easily. That being said, glass pearls can be difficult to tell from the real thing.

    Pearl shapes:

    • Spherical: Round pearls. The rounder it is, the more expensive.
    • Symmetrical: Pearls that have symmetry but aren't round. (ie. pear shaped or oblong)
    • Baroque: Asymmetrical pearls of any shape. They might be the least expensive but are often the most beautiful and unique. Baroque pearls are often found in vintage pieces. 

    How to layer pearls:

    It's easier than you might think. To get the layered effect, vary the lengths and sizes of your pieces. And don't forget to play with colors. Pearls come in a range of shades from black to seashell pink and everything in-between. I'm in love with this baroque pearl with sapphire, diamond, and ruby roundels. 

    Who says you have to stick with your grandmother's single strand of matched whites?

    Try matching dark pearls with lighter pastels for emphasis. Mix your materials.

    Mix your materials. Incorporate a different style of necklace, maybe a gold medallion or a turquoise pendant, into a layered set of pearls. Shells, semi-precious stones, and leather cording can all be used to change the look and feel of an outfit.

    And don't forget that pearls can be worn almost anywhere. From shoulder-sweeping earrings to cuff bracelets, studded onto clothing or embellishing an evening bag, pearls really are everywhere this season. Find ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe that work with your existing pieces ... and your personality.

    Experimentation is key. Play with your favorite pieces until you achieve an effect that you love. 

    How to take care of pearls:

    Because pearls are organic, meaning they're formed from a living organism, they require special care and consideration. If you notice your pearls have lost their luster (or sheen), they've been cleaned too often or too vigorously, and the external coating has been destroyed.

    If you notice your pearls have lost their luster (or sheen), they've been cleaned too often or too vigorously, and the external coating has been destroyed.

    • Dirty pearls can be cleaned with a small amount of mild soap and water. 
    • Always take off your pearls before applying lotion or moisturizer.
    • Apply your makeup and perfume before you put on your pearls. They'll stay cleaner this way and require less maintenance.
    • Never submerge pearls in liquid.
    • Wipe pearls clean with a damp lint-free cloth and a mild cleaning solution. Be careful to rinse off the soap and pat dry. 
    • Never use a harsh cleanser like ammonia. 
    • Never put pearls in an ultrasonic or vibrating cleaner.
    • Never use an abrasive cleaner. 
    • Store pearls separately, not with other gemstones. Pearls scratch easily and the outer covering can chip.
    • Don't clean your pearls too often. Once their outer coating is gone, they'll lose their luster forever.
    • Periodically have high-quality pearl necklaces restrung to avoid cord breakage.
    • If in doubt about cleaning your pearls, do nothing. 

    If you love pearls the way I do, this is your season. Embrace it. If you're new to pearls, don't be afraid of their price tag. Pearls are an investment in both your wardrobe and yourself. 

    Either way, let me know how you wear your pearls and if you have a favorite piece!

    Get the look at PATRICIA right now!

    xxo, trish

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