Dust It Off

h-6There’s something about a longline camel coat that’s perennially stylish, lending a well-polished flair to coveted snaps on Instagram from street style mavens to runway muses. And no matter what styles you favor – the glossy Wall street look with crisp collars and nifty pant suits, or the androgynous vibe that blurs gender divides with distressed denims and oversized jumpers, there’s a look for everyone.h-2V-21And when it comes to the oversized drapey version (a.k.a The Duster Coat) gracing major headlines from Refinery29 to WhoWhatWear (this one is a major steal!), I knew right off the bat that it’s a fashionable force to be reckoned with. And can you blame the legion of devoted followers from Karlie Kloss to Chiara Ferragni? The perks are endless – perch atop the shoulder for that cool, nonchalant look, or seamlessly execute a work-appropriate ensemble by wearing it over a jersey panelled dress with ruched asymmetrical panels like this Derek Lam number.

Choose longer styles with sneakers if you are tall, or aim for knee length with high-heeled ankle boots if you are petite. Wardrobe staple to augment seasonal pieces? Definitely so. Evolved for the sole purpose of polish and practice? You bet!V-1V-40V-47In my outfit today I channeled the downtown cool girl look by donning this L.A.M.B duster coat with a speck of feline fun (anything gave that away?) Paying homage to Kate Moss, Queen of the minimalistic trend, I turned retro on its ear by choosing an outfit replete with collared shirt, Rag and Bone denims with leather patching (now on sale for 40% off), cat-eyes and red lips. Lastly to add some jazz to this streamlined and clean ensemble I took out these sequined slip-ons for a wanderlust-inducing spin!

V-22V-26It’s no secret that the camel duster coat has taken the fashion world by storm. What’s your favorite way of wearing this highly coveted, loose-fitting number?

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Jacket: L.A.M.B// Top: Banana Republic// Sweater: H&M// Pants: Rag & Bone// Shoes: Sperry// Bag: Steve Madden

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Borrowed From The Boys

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London Fashion Week has long been considered the “kooky aunt” of fashion weeks, as The New York Times deftly stated in its recap. After a 7-day iteration of fashion-forward catwalk shows and street style panoplies at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, the style-setters quickly jetted over to the Swinging City for the British fashion extravaganza.

Unlike the brazen, digitally-consumed summation of its predecessor (think Rebecca Minkoff’s high-tech glasses and Ralph Lauren’s Godzilla-like holograms of models on his runway), London Fashion Week’s normcore styles were, well quite frankly, normal. Modest and understated, to say the least (with the lack of a 10-feet tall inflatable pink elephant).

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A Burberry blanket coat perhaps (hefty on the market at $1300) or a copious dose of feminine pleats. My favorite style? Haute-androgyny. Menswear designs. Think bomber jacket dress from Christopher Raeburn, rucksack from Preen, and denim jacket from Burberry.

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I loved how models worked the dandy look, from Cara Delevingne’s satin 2-piece navy suit (no bra intended) to Kate Moss’s fitted suede trench coat that worked seamlessly into her all-black ensemble. This feminine spin on a typically male trend is no stranger to the fashion world. Flash back to the early ’20s, Chanel introduced sailor pants as a trend-setting alternative to trousers worn by women in traditionally male jobs. Soon a slew of designers emulated her fashion-forward concoctions with collarless boxy wool jackets and jersey pants. Want to work this trend into your office wardrobe?

Try these 3 trends: 1.) Sleek cropped pants with a nifty button-down shirt 2.) Patterned oversize blazer like houndstooth or tweed over satin shorts, or 3,) Chambray shirt, leather skinnies and chelsea boots.

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As to my take on androgynous haute couture, I worked in a boxy beaded sweatshirt over a crisp white button down shirt. I really like the round neckline, stand-up collar, and colorful embroidery as this played up my usual run of the mill shirt.

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Staging in a pop of color with the blood orange clutch was tricky but the color well illuminated the beaded embroidery when framed together in a shot so I thought why not? The brighter the outfit, the happier this OL (office lady). To finish this look, I kept my pants and accessories to a minimum with these Paige denim jeans and black ankle boots.

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Of course if you’re opting for that seventies swagger of Mick Jagger, turn to Miu Miu’s clashing striped collar and Valentino’s shiny slip-ons. After all, every good tomboy has a throwback rock ‘n roll feminine side 🙂

Xo~ Lena

Follow Me on   FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN

 

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Sweater: H&M// Shirt: Banana Republic// Jeans: Paige Denim// Boots: BP Shoes// Clutch: Tory Burch// Shades: Prada

Photos: Jason J

 

Hit Rock Bottom. Bounce Back Up

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together” – Marilyn Monroe

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Life can be a tumultuous ride; oftentimes we get caught up in the whirlwind where we are at our highest highs at one moment only to be dropped down next to our lowest lows. At that moment we experience an instant adrenaline rush that puts us in the fight or flight mode where we ask ourselves “should I pursue this or should I just let it go?”

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The feeling of perseverance resonated with me as I came by River North, which is a scintillating and upbeat neighborhood north of Chicago’s Loop. Despite its livelihood and crowd, this is one of the places where I encountered many fond memories and where down the road had to turn a “blind eye” to a few. This is the foreground to where friendships were born and nourished, and where the last goodbyes were bid adieu.

Yes despite all these perpetual changes in sentiment, I know one thing stays constant, and that is my character. I became Better. I moved Faster. I endured Stronger. And hopefully became more fun 🙂

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In my outfit today I paired tribal-print cropped pants with a fitted black blazer because I wanted to resonate with the idea of BALANCE. The colors are multi-toned and if looked closely can have a dizzying effect–this is like the dilemmas in life that catch us off guard.

In order to maintain equilibrium, we have to counter it with stable matters (much like the neutrality of this classic blazer) — a hobby that hones our creativity, a mentor that gives us sound advice, a blog to muse about frivolous yet enlightening thoughts without pause. These are the little trinkets of life that help us endure difficult times and build our character to counter new ones in a more resilient manner than before.

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So when you hit bottom next time, bounce back up. You know it’s in you to be a fighter and a survivor. And if you’re in River North, make sure to stop by Rock Bottom Brewery on Grand Avenue. A beer or two might help too 🙂

Xoxo ~ Lena

FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN

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Phots: Jason J 

Tank Top: Banana Republic// Blazer: H&M// Pants: H&M// Pouch: Zara// Shoes: 14th Union// Watch: Marc Jacobs// Necklace: Forever 21

Coralating Effects

“I see the turning of a leaf, dancing in an autumn sun, and brilliant shades of crimson, glowing when a day is done…” – Hazelmarie Elliott, “A Breath of Heaven”

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Autumn. The season of pumpkin harvest and fallen leaves. When days gradually become shorter, whilst the hours of evening stretch a lengthy course.

Much like Mother Nature’s telltale signs of Fall, fashion trends and styles nevertheless gravitate towards a darker palette. What used to be a wardrobe amassed with neon prints and floral sheaths quickly transition to bordeaux-colored sweaters and moto jackets. Of course given how versatile add-on pieces are for Fall, choose wisely and you’ll be thinking twice before putting those dainty dresses in the trunk (like HERE).

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Then there’s Fashion Week Spring ’15, where designers present their Spring/Summer collections in a weeklong fest of glamour and style. For fashion aficionados, that would be hightailing our mindset to the days of emerging buds and blossoming flowers. Side note – some killer street styles motioned more paparazzi clamor than the catwalks themselves! Ultra-glam in menswear? Have yourself a satin lapel tuxedo blazer over a layered dress. Or take a cue from a ’70s trend when flamboyant dressing was de rigueur and wear a petal-plastered jumpsuit.

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Nonetheless vibrant hues took the front row seat at many runway shows, gladly reminding us that summer’s prismatic colors are not bygone remnants of the past. I love the selection of coral sheaths modeled down the catwalk à la Tracy Reese and Donna Karan, where the textured floral patterns and wavy folds add a youthful touch to ultra-feminine ensembles.

540e3010107e7.image    Donna Karan show, Spring Summer 2015, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, New York, America - 08 Sep 2014

In my outfit today I played up this light-hearted palette with a pink spaghetti strap top with lace detailing. Though the color is reminiscent of a vibrant season before us, the black flared skirt, with its subdued hue and classic cut, grounds the outfit to an Autumn halt. Paired with a waist-length sweater and red pumps, you’ll have yourself an office-friendly attire to curb those weekday blues!

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Who said those frilly tops and cropped pants have to go? Take a cue from the fashion connoisseurs parading down the streets of NYC, where fashion is forward-looking, imagination is key, and personal style is a costume party for one, you’ll be using simple styling tricks to take your favorite warm-weather basics into Fall 🙂

Xo~ Lena

FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM // BLOGLOVIN

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Top: Banana Republic// Dress: J Crew// Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo// Pouch: Zara// Accessories: Forever 21

Plant. Grow. Prosper.

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

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What is perspective? Is it an idea…an illusion…a philosophy product of our inherent nature or adopted via multiple facets of our day to day lives? Sometimes I wonder why it’s so easy for us to wallow in an idea so grandiose or so miniscule that we eventually lose track of time and forget the noise around us, only to bask in proliferating its existence. I can without a doubt say that I resonate with the notion of nurturing an idea the size of a mustard seed to see its evolvement in full bloom. As a child I’ve always enjoyed reading high-content articles distributed via print media, from the wall street savvy Economist giving props to a bullish market to perusing spellbinding editorial shoots of powerhouse models in Vogue.

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Fast-forward a decade or two later, I realize that my interest still holds true, that I enjoy opening up a magazine (yes I’m a traditional breed; iPad just won’t cut it for me) and flipping through the pages to decipher the inspiring, thought-provoking, thriving, and entertaining (Hollywood in all its glitz and glamour) thoughts and perspective relayed by the writer. It’s the voice, the murmur, the whisper that captivates me, inevitably adding itself on to my own perception of the topic at hand. What effect does the stagnation of the Euro currency have on export-driven China? How has the monetary policy been aiding the US economy post Janet Yellen? Are those tribal harem prints worn by Jessica Alba really suitable for all body types (which in my opinion is flattering IF and ONLY IF worn with heels)–these are some thoughts that rummage through my mind when I delve into the ink and paper in front of me. The thought then came into full bloom — what if I were to gather ideas and point-of-views construed from various media outlets and relay my stance on them in hopes of impacting my readers in a positive way?

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Thus was the goal in mind when I created Feline Creatures, which was to relay my take on fashion trends, beauty upkeeps, and health provisions with the genuine intention of contributing positively to my readers’ wellbeing. From a little seed lingering in the back of my head to the day I planted and nourished its growth, this desire to ultimately see it blossom into full bloom has never slipped my mind. In my outfit today, I wanted to carry forth the idea of a journey — from the day a mustard seed was planted to the moments taken to nurture its growth and proliferation.

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From the whittling leaves of Fall to a fresh new breath of Spring, it is never too late to pursue an interest or goal that would ultimately make your life more wholesome and fulfilled. Very much like my attire, the monotonous colors of black, beige and navy are reminiscent of our daily lives that we strive to make ends meet. With an avant-garde idea to pursue (similar to putting on a fresh new pair of fuchsia pumps), it would motivate us to walk down paths that we’ve only envisioned but never had the time, energy, or courage to tread through before.

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So take a shovel and lay down that seed. Water its growth and satiate it with fertilizers. When the moment comes that the bud blossoms into a full-fledged flower, look into the product of your persistence and hard work and tell yourself…this is the beginning of the land where your flowers bloom. Take the moment to smell the roses, then set your feet firmly on the ground and move forward. My friend, your journey has just begun! 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena 

                                                                     FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM  

   

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Top: Forever 21// Knit Sweater: Zara// Jeans: J Brand// Shoes: Ivanka Trump// Bag: Louis Vuitton