Monochrome À La Mode

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From flare to body-con, from ’30s midis to boxy wool sweaters, monochromatic black ensembles were omnipresent in fashion week shows across the Western Hemisphere.  A lineup of trend-setting antics that elicit a subtle sense of chic, avant-garde elation was sprung from the classics: sculptural tops, waxen jackets, perforated pullovers, and (a fashion staple) leather skinnies.

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An applauding mishmash of classic vibes isn’t new to the fashion world. Down the Lincoln Center catwalks to the stone-cobbled streets of Paris, celebrities and socialites alike gear towards this classic streamlined look for its underscored à la mode impression. Simply put – versatile and never out of style.

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We can take a page out of Poppy Delevingne’s style playbook and put together an all-black ensemble that lends itself nicely to an evening soirée. Or a 9-5 gig. Or a retail therapy session. So to master this veritably chic style in your everyday life, take note of the following:

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1.) Fabrics – Vary in texture! Macramé tops, wool pants, leather moto jackets, you get my drift. Make sure dense and sheer fabrics offset one another. You don’t want to pair a mesh top with a lace body-con dress. Leave some to the imagination.

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2.) Accessories Tribal beads, stackable rings, printed scarfs, fedoras. Accenting your outfit with colorful baubles and season-appropriate toppers would galvanize you to anywhere but ho hum.

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3.) Lips Pucker up! Give the dark ensemble a shot of adrenaline with fiery red lips! Cherry or fuchsia, coral or pink. Choose one that bodes well with your skin tone (say young maiden, bold red for fair, orange for medium, berry for dark).

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My head-to-toe black ensemble today resonates with the idea of simplicity with an edge. Highly enamored by this Alexander Wang number the moment I walked in the store, the subtle folds across the front adds a tendril of flair to a classic silhouette. To hold steady my visual interest, I mix and mingled various fabrics like a patterned leather jacket and dark denim skinnies. Gold-toned accessories are my go-to source of color as well as this orange Pashli and cherry red lips from YSL Rouge Volupté. Favorite item du jour? These velvety cut-out heels from Elie Tahari 🙂

What’s your favorite neutral ensemble for Fall? Please comment and let me know! Happy pairing!

Xo~ Lena

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Top: Alexander Wang// Jeans: Paige// Jacket: Hinge// Shoes: Elie Tahari// Bag: Phillip Lim// Bracelets: Urban Outfitters// Shades: Prada

Photos: Jason J

Five Feet High and Rising

“The remarkable thing is that it’s the crowded life that’s most easily remembered. A life full of turns, achievements, disappointments, surprises, and crises is a life full of landmarks. The empty life has even its few details blurred, and cannot be remembered with certainty.” – Eric Hoffer

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As summer gradually comes to a sedate halt, I can only reminisce on my most memorable outings in Chicago and the insights attained at their presence. Ones marked by a deep relish for Georgian Revival buildings and ecological habitats in Lincoln Park, as well as futuristic exhibits and Beaux-Arts monuments at the Museum of Science and Industry. Though gone are the sweltering days lounging at the pool, there’s still traces of summer’s cordiality tucked away in vast open spaces by the waters, where Lake Michigan casts a glimpse of crisp coolness upon the lands. Refreshing. Purifying. Livening. A trip to the lakefront was very gratifying this weekend as I not only took in a few gulps of fresh air but also came across a remarkable landmark  – the Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.

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Quite an architectural and pneumatic feat, the 18th century Rococo-style fountain is an allegorical representation of Lake Michigan. The green ivory sea horses nestled in the fountain are akin to the four bordering states that graze Lake Michigan: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. Synonymous to the Latona fountain at Versailles, the Buckingham fountain has a tiered design that houses a major water display as the center jet shoots water into the air every 20 minutes. Not 5 feet. Not 50 feet. But 150 feet into the air! Now isn’t that a sight for sore eyes? What I love about this landmark is not only its hydraulic capability but also its close proximity to the concrete jungle behind. Briton-inspired Essex Inn with its bold block letters. Red CNA Center that begets lighted window message in the dusking sky. Nothing short of amazing that’s for sure.

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To play up this chill, laissez-faire vibe at the park, I paired a few fall essentials together to brace the cool weather. Tri-colored sweater with black peep-through details. Grey leather skinnies with a hint of shimmer. And a pair of black suede boots to give an elevated stance. Though each piece was monotonous in color (white, black, grey…need I say more), the seamless woven pattern, the black contour on the back, the glistening sheen of the jeans, and the tiered leather strappings on the boots all gave the outfit a standout flair.

Thus the key to dressing neutral colors without looking like a boring mannequin? Pay attention to granular details and accent your outfit with bold accessories. There you go – a chic Fall-proof ensemble! 🙂

 Xoxo~ Lena 

                                                                     FACEBOOK // INSTAGRAM     

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Top: Una Mae’s // Pants: Elie Tahari // Bag: Louis Vuitton // Shoes: Vince Camuto // Shades: Prada // Accessories: H&M

Credits: Jason J Photography http://jasonjphotography.zenfolio.com