Tropical Fashion with Suzanne Valentino

I’m very thrilled that Cathleen invited me to be a guest blogger on Cathleen Writes. My name is Suzanne Valentino and I’m a total fashionista. I also have a blog: italianfashionistablog.wordpress.com, which is all about fabulous fashion. Today I will be sharing with you my favorite looks for summer and the trend I love most right now, tropical prints, which is all the rage for summer 2014. They were once relegated to cheesy Hawaiian shirts that screamed, “I’m a tourist!” However, brands like Charlotte Russe and Express have brought effervescence to these classic floral prints. They are a mix of bold, colorful, and eye-catching designs. By pairing this look with simple accessories, you’ll surely get noticed while looking Caribbean chic. Take a peek at some of these stylish and trendy summer looks that are perfect for a lunch date by the beach and a fun night out on the town.

DAYTIME LOOK

HAWAIIAN PRINT STRETCH COTTON SKATER ROMPER BY EXPRESS $49.90

HAWAIIAN PRINT STRETCH COTTON SKATER ROMPER BY EXPRESS $49.90

PATENT THONG SANDALS BY CHARLOTTE RUSSE $7.50

PATENT THONG SANDALS BY CHARLOTTE RUSSE $7.50

ADELAIDE BARREL BAG BY ALDO $60.00

ADELAIDE BARREL BAG BY ALDO $60.00

GWIRIEN BRACELETS BY ALDO $18.00

GWIRIEN BRACELETS BY ALDO $18.00

OMBRE SQUARE SUNGLASSES BY FOREVER 21 $5.80

OMBRE SQUARE SUNGLASSES BY FOREVER 21 $5.80

NIGHT TIME LOOK

TROPICAL PRINT PLUNGING SWEETHEART SKATER DRESS BY CHARLOTTE RUSSE $28.99

TROPICAL PRINT PLUNGING SWEETHEART SKATER DRESS BY CHARLOTTE RUSSE $28.99

"PERFECT TEN" PATENT PUMPS BY CHINESE LAUNDRY $39.98

“PERFECT TEN” PATENT PUMPS BY CHINESE LAUNDRY $39.98

MASQUERADE ENVELOPE CLUTCH BY COLE HAAN $74.99 AVAILABLE AT 6PM.COM

MASQUERADE ENVELOPE CLUTCH BY COLE HAAN $74.99
AVAILABLE AT 6PM.COM

CUTOUT FALLING LEAVES EARRINGS BY ARDEN BY $9.80

CUTOUT FALLING LEAVES EARRINGS BY ARDEN BY $9.80

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Fun Fact Friday

I have to admit that when it comes to makeup and beauty products, I’m pretty much clueless. I breeze through the drugstore straight to the products that I use, that I’ve been using for years, and I never really stop to look at anything else (which is why I have no idea what the heck BB cream is..). The only beauty product type thing that I’ve always collected is nail polish and I now have shelves and boxes full of it!

Giveaway Box

Giveaway Box

When I sat down to sort through my massive collection I realized that I have quite a few overlapping colors: 3 kinds of bright pink, 2 navy blues, 5 reds, etc. When I move to England next month, I won’t be able to bring along this collected that I’ve created , so I’ve been very gradually attempting to sift through and throw out the bad, give away the good, and keep just a small assortment of basic colors to bring with me overseas.

For Keeps

For Keeps

I’m sad to see the majority go, but I think I’ve kept a few good, basic colors to get me through this difficult time!

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Bart Simpson, Fashion Muse??

“My brain thinks in icons and working with things that universally bring people into it. I’m never going to be inspired by some obscure film, which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy that sort of thing. I just want to share my work with everyone.”

jeremy

The first time I came across a Jeremy Scott design was when I saw a photo of Cara Delevigne wearing a Bart Simpson sweater crop top with matching mini skirt and thought, “Why does she always look so cool??”  The next time was browsing highlight pictures from Milan Fall Fashion Week and seeing a Moschino model wearing a head-to-toe Spongebob Square Pants ensemble complete with yellow, spotted puffy jacket. My interest in the person behind these outfits was immediately peaked; who was the crazy man dressing models in cartoon characters and calling it fashion?!

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I soon realized that cartoon characters are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the outrageous and playful fashion sense of the new man behind Moschino; McDonalds logos, candy wrappers, and nutrition labels are also legitimate sources of inspiration. To hear about the clothing without seeing it sounds like a horrible mess of product placement and cheap attempts to capture “the youth market,” by Jeremy’s designs are somehow elegant, genius, and strangley compelling to people of all ages. I would never have thought that may favorite garment to come out of Milan Fashion Week would be a Fruit Loop cocktail dress, but there you go! Jeremy Scott, you have my attention!

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Street Style: San Francisco

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Danielle S.

Fashion student, spotted in Golden Gate Park.

“I think my style is very influenced by the past. I love period films and books by Jane Austen. I was definitely born in the wrong era. I like my clothes to feel like a costume for whatever character I want to be that day.”

“Fashion is knowing what you want to wear and wearing it. Don’t think about other people.”

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Katie S.

Tax consultant, spotted in Berkeley.

“I like to wear casual clothes mostly. Floral skirts and dresses are my usual when I visit warm places like California. Simple with a feminine touch.”

“Fashion is looking good and feeling comfortable.”

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Graeme and Daniel R.

Band mates & twin brothers, spotted in the Mission Bart station.

On their personal style:

Graeme “Modern, indie, grunge.”

Daniel “Alternative-hipstery.”

On their definition of fashion:

Graeme “The clothes that I wear are fashion.”

Paris Street Style with Bill Cunningham

Ahhhh Paris. Paris has to be one of my favorite cities in the world. I have only been there twice, but each time there is something noticeably different about the people, the culture, and the vibe of the city. Everyone in Paris has an air of sophistication about them, even the children seem to have their life more together than I do at 23. A lot of it has to do with their lifestyle, and fashion plays an important role in that. I love this street style video from Bill Cunningham of The New York Times because he sees the Parisians how they really are: sophisticated, conservative, and polished. They know where they’ve been and they know where they’re going. I nay hope I can one day look as stylish and elegant as a French woman; as an American I fear this may take me a long time…

If you’re not familiar with the video blogs of Bill Cunningham, they are certainly worth watching. You can watch them from The New York Times Style Page or on Youtube. He has an excellent eye for style and I love his signature, New York voice doing the commentary. The is an excellent documentary about his life and work on Netflix called Bill Cunningham New York that tells his extraordinary story of living in a small, rundown New York City apartment and rides his bike around the streets of the city taking pictures of people on the street. He has a unique eye for style and is a rare gem of a man in the fashion world.

ARTS CONNECTION 2012 Benefit Celebration Honoring MARK WAHLBERG and RICHARD KIRSHENBAUM

OMG shoes..

I love shoes, especially in spring when you can get away with bright neon leather with lots of straps and high or low heel doesn’t seem to matter. However, as a college student about to graduate and enter the real world I have to be realistic… I can’t afford designer shoes. As I browsed longingly through Popsugar’s new list of top designer shoes for Spring 2014, I had the bright idea to comb the internet for affordable alternatives! Here are the beautiful shoes that Popsugar has deemed most obsession worthy from top designer brands like Givenchy, Prada, Tom Ford, and Valentino.

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And below is what I found. Similar right? I guess a girl CAN have it all!

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And for all the lovely people who read this and want inexpensive, cute spring shoes of their own, here are links to all the shoes:

Target Tammy Plank Wedge

Target Vivien Strappy Wedge

Target Sanna Block Heel

Forever 21 Chunky Flatform Sandal

Forever 21 Darling Daisy Crocheted Platform

Lulu’s Orange Red Print Heels

Mod Cloth Cape Hatteras Flats

Mod Cloth Anchors Sashay Wedge

Coastal Class

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Annie Abbey is a senior at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and one of my best friends in the world. As a fashion design student, she has a keen eye when it comes to fashion and has developed a personal style that is effortlessly chic and always cool. I’m very grateful she took some time to let me interview her on her future plans, music, and of course, FASHION!

How would you define your personal style?

I sometimes joke that I categorize myself as a grungy twelve year old from the 90’s….Really I guess that means a lot of floral dresses, overalls, denim on denim and crop tops. I just like to wear what I feel comfortable in and what I think still says a little about me before I talk.

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As a clothing designer, where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in some weird places….I did one collection inspired by how I think stacks of ice cream scoops look like vertebrae. Really I gather inspiration from anything that I find visually stimulating or that makes me curious.

If you could design an outfit for anyone in the world who would it be and what would it look like?

It would probably be for Alexa Chung, she is my fashion idol! I would put her in something boyish obviously but try something with a little more tailoring to it, maybe a great tuxedo short set.

Can you tell us a little about your plans after graduation?

I actually just signed my offer letter to work at Abercrombie in Ohio! Very excited about that!

How does the fashion in Ohio compare to that of California?

It is very cold there…like year round, even worse than SF. I think the main difference is that they wear a lot of outdoor activewear on a daily basis and it is more camping-chic than California clothing which tends to lean towards beachy vibes.

What is your favorite season?

For designing, fall. For actually wearing the clothes, summer.

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What is one thing you can’t leave home without?

LIPSTICK in at least two shades in case my mood changes.

Who is your favorite clothing designer or brand?

I love 3.1 Phillip Lim. He has such great cuts and odd fabric compositions.

Do you like to have music playing while you work or work in silence?

I am a music freak! I always listen to a playlist while I work (I am doing it right now!). I pretty much just stick to the same band on repeat for months at a time, boring as that sounds. Since June it has been Cold War Kids, before that it was Cage the Elephant.

What is your ultimate dream job?

I would love to open my own line someday. (What designer wouldn’t!?) I want it to be a more eco-conscious line with a focus on handloomed fabrics and organic dyes and materials.

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