Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts 2015

It seems absurd to be writing about Christmas in October while it’s a bit of an Indian summer in New York, but the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog is out, and that warrants some holiday cheer.

The famous catalog of extravagances is one of the things we look forward to perusing every season (notice I say perusing, not shopping from) as gifts range from luxe to downright extravagant and wacky.

This year’s does not disappoint. The so-called fantasy gifts are as over the top as ever. Here’s a sampling:

A $150,000 tour of Italy with Ippolita and Artemest craftsman that includes stops in Florence and Venice.
Limited Edition Neiman Marcus Mustang convertibles for the men in your life, at $95,000.
A $400,000 “Dream Trip” to India which includes a guide for 12 days throughout the country.
An edge of space adventure on a World View test flight, for $90,000.

Paris Fashion Week: Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld did not disappoint at the French fashion house’s Spring 16 show. The show was set in a Chanel-themed airport with kiosks saying “CC airlines” that the models walked around inside the Grand Palais in Paris. Longtime Lagerfeld muse Cara Delevingne sat front row to watch model friends Kendall Jenner strut the runway.
The look of the collection was very pulled together and sophisticated. Think tweed suits, but with bold prints. There were also lots of matching skirt and blazer sets.
Another standout was the eyewear and eyeshadow. Models wore large aviators and had blue eyshadow across their eyes.

All in all, the looks were extremely cohesive with workwear or events.

Fall Fashion: Cashmere Under $270

With the weather getting cooler, it’s the best excuse to go cashmere shopping. I firmly believe that every woman needs a few gorgeous, soft cashmere sweaters. But, with cashmere, the price points can rise pretty quickly. Here are our favorite picks at $270 or less.
This cashmere cable sweater from J. Crew is $238 and comes in a ton of different colors.
I find that high-end department stores have some of the best cashmere sweaters. This ribbed sweater from Neiman Marcus is $115.
This Equipment Sloane cashmere sweater is super plush. It’s $270.
This long sleeve cashmere t-shirt from J. Crew also comes in a range of colors and is $198.
I love the shape of this cashmere sweater from Neiman Marcus. Would be great with a full skirt or pair of skinny jeans. It’s $185.
This cashmere sweater from Neiman Marcus is a total steal. It’s $58, marked down from $255.

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Paris Fashion Week Recap

Paris Fashion Week is arguably the most chic of all of Fashion Month. You have the French fashion houses, like Balmain, and the most gorgeous backdrops for fashion shows. Here’s everything you need to know about Paris Fashion Week.

Best Location: Dior at the Louvre
Christian Dior’s show had a mountain of delphiniums at its fashion show and held the show at the Louvre. It doesn’t get much more grand than that. Carven held its show at the Tuileries Garden. With such gorgeous architecture and history, it creates a beautiful backdrop.

Most Talked About Show: Balmain
Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner both walked in the French fashion house’s show, which has become a magnet for celebrities and socialites. The looks were super feminine and Olivier Rousting stuck to a nude palette with lots of earth tones.

Weirdest Show: Rick Owens
The models wore gorgeous clothes, and each other at the Rick Owens show. Models literally wore each other as backpacks and yin and yangs while walking down the runway.

New York’s Best Boutique Fitness Classes

Manhattan has become home to the latest and greatest fitness classes that attract cult followings. For those with gym burnout, there are no shortage of options to kickstart your routine and try something new. Luckily, we’ve spent the last month trying them out and coming up with our favorites. Here’s the skinny on our favorite classes. With most of them, the more classes you buy upfront, the cheaper they are on a per class basis. Added bonus: In the summer, many of the classes are offered in the Hamptons.

Barry’s Bootcamp
The Skinny: This class is a mix of treadmill exercises and floor exercises that are high intensity and will leave you drenched in your own sweat (in a good way). You alternate between the treadmill where you will jog, sprint and take your incline to crazy heights while your instructor gives you directions on how fast to run or at what incline. I’m not a big fan of running, but it is amazing how quickly the running parts fly by.
Cost: $34/class
Refine Method
The Skinny: Step into the West Village’s Refine Method into a beautiful boutique studio with room for just twelve students. (For those uptown, there are also studios on the Upper West and Upper East sides). Refine Method is a wonderful blend of cardio and strength exercises that are done non-stop for 45 minutes, meaning that you are burning calories the entire class. I’ve been to two classes and here’s a mix of some of the exercises you can find yourself doing: jumping rope, kettle bell swings, squats, kettle bell rows, box steps, etc. Because the class sizes are so small, the instructors spend a ton of personal time working on perfecting your form and even make a concerted effort to know everyone’s names.
Cost: $34 a class, but for new members, you get a class free after paying for your first one.

Bar Method
The Skinny: Tucked on Soho’s Sprint Street is Bar Method, a kick-ass workout that targets your thighs, butt, arms and core inside of one hour. I attended on a recent Saturday afternoon and took a mixed class with Chelsea. I loved how Chelsea coached the class through each motion, and spent time with us individually on our form, ensuring we got the most out of the workout. I noticed that Bar Method differs a bit from other classes in that you hold poses longer, which means that toward the end of an exercise, your legs are literally shaking as you try to keep your form. We did a mix of weights, pushups, barre work and stretching that leaves you feeling limber and strong. There is also a midtown location in Manhattan.
Cost: $37/class

Swerve Fitness
The Skinny: I’m a huge fan of spin classes and think they are a great way to pack a lot of calorie burning into a session, so I wasn’t sure how Swerve Fitness could improve upon a standard spin class or Soul Cycle. But, since trying my first class, I’m now a believer. In a Swerve class, you’ll do all of the standard drills you do in a typical class, from hills to sprints to arm weights. The difference is that the class is split into three teams — red, blue and green, and your intensity during the class and during timed sprints is scored, awarding your team points. The effect is that you find yourself working extra hard not to let your team down, digging in and sprinting where you otherwise might have given up. I left the class drenched in sweat. After, you get an email with your calorie burn, rank in the class and rank on your team.
Cost: Classes are $30 each, but for new riders, you get an extra one for free.
The Skinny: If you’re looking for an intense, but zen, spin class, then Soul is it. Some liken the enthusiasm its participants have to a cult, but the class is equal parts a good workout and a fun girls club where instructors are super motivational and play great music. They were also one of the first spin classes to incorporate hand weights, and don’t be fooled, even the three pounders provide a tough workout.
Cost: $34/class

The Skinny: This interval class combines kettle bells, planks, dance, cardio, strength and other activities into a high-energy workout. I went on a Saturday, and beware, it’s very crowded on the weekends, and had Tim Anderson as my instructor. Tim has worked with Madonna in the past and has a dance background, which was evident in his class, which combined lengthening and toning moves with cardio and some dance-inspired bits. You are moving non-stop – I actually don’t even remember having water – but I say that in a good way because you really push yourself. We did squats, planks, sit ups, core exercises etc. The music was amazing and Tim was super fun. This isn’t a class for people looking for personal attention on form, but is definitely fun and a hard workout.
Cost: $35/class. New users get two for price of one.

Physique 57
The Skinny: I never understood the hype around barre workouts, until I tried Physique 57. This workout combines hand weights and a ballet bar to seriously give your legs, abs and arms a major workout. I had a difficult time just making it through the warm up, which was a series of exercises using five-pound weights. The class is extremely challenging, but you can feel your muscles working the entire time as you squat and pulse and lift. Great for those looking to tone up.
Cost: $36/class, but newbies get two for the price of one. Also is on Classpass

Balmain Collab With H&M Teasers

Next month on November 5th, fast fashion powerhouse H&M is releasing one of its most-anticipated collaborations yet, with French fashion house Balmain.
Fashion prodigy Olivier Rousteing who heads up Balmain has taken Hollywood by storm, dressing the likes of all the Kardashians, model sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Cindy Crawford and more. See the ads to see what is in store once the line launches.

Fall Fashion: Wraps, Ponchos & Capes

One of the fall’s biggest trends is the wrap. It’s a great accessory, doubles as a blanket and is the perfect piece after a big dinner, as it hides lots of sins. Here are some of our favorites across price points:
We love this Rag & Bone Ines wool wrap, $375.
This tribal print is perfect for outdoor fall activities like apple picking. It’s $108.
The tartan print on this Theory poncho really caught our eye. It’s $325.
This poncho from Asos is just $28.
This MIH Jeans poncho is $485.
I love the way this Vince Camuto poncho lays, and the fun trim. It’s on sale for $35.

Best Beauty from Fashion Month

From New York to Milan, we’ve had major makeup inspiration from the runways of our favorite designers. From the gold lips at Prada to deeply contoured cheeks at Moschino, here are our favorite beauty looks.
Prada sent models down the runway with a mouth full of metal. These gold lips are not for the wallflower. Makeup artist Pat McGrath used a tin of gold powder to achieve the look.
At Moschino, the focus was all about the face. The designer chose a look of flawless foundation and a chiseled cheekbone using heavy contouring and a nude lip. This was our favorite fresh faced look. Rodarte also focused on fresh faces and light lips.
While bold and bushy eyebrows seem to be all the rage, a la Cara Delevingne, Givenchy chose to mute its models eyebrows, creating the illusion that the models didn’t have any. Instead, the makeup focused on dewy foundation and nude lips.
Jason Wu gave us a bold lip, from fire engine red to oxblood. The models wore little makeup elsewhere to balance out the bold look.

Fall Fashion: The Perfect Ripped Jean

I’ve been on a months-long mission to find the perfect skinny, ripped jean. This mission sounds easier than it is. After trying on literally over 100 pairs of jeans, I’ve narrowed down my top list, at every price point. Here are the findings:
Our favorite splurge ripped jean is a tie between Frame Denim’s Le Color Rip Skinny, which you should treat as an investment piece of sorts, and Paige Denim’s Verdugo. I stumbled upon Frame’s Le Color Rip in the bathroom of Ruschmeyer’s in Montauk over the summer and could not get them out of my head. They come in a variety of colors (white, black, blue) and have just the right amount of distress to wear on a night out or lounging on the weekend. We also love where they hit the ankle. They are $199.
These Paige Denim Verdugo Ankle distressed jeans are hanging in my closet after one hell of a search. These jeans are super stretchy and flattering — I literally get compliments on them non stop — and pair perfectly with a plain white t-shirt or dressed up in sky-high stilettos. They are also really slimming. They are $207.

For something a bit more budget friendly, we’re obsessed with Zara’s range of skinny ripped jeans this season. We were just in their Fifth Avenue location, and there were seriously no fewer than 30 different styles to choose from, starting at $39 a pair. (I may have left with 5 pairs, sorry not sorry). Here’s just some of the selection:
These ripped skinnies are just $39.90!
I love the wash on these medium-rise skinnies, $69.90.
At $39.90, it seemed silly not to buy this pair.
I bought this black pair, too. They are $39.90.

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Emmy’s Best Dressed

It’s award season. Here are the leading women of the Emmy red carpet.
Kerry Washington rocked a Marc Jacobs look right from his runway show this fashion week.
Lady Gaga in an understated look that she totally nails.
Emma Roberts in Jenny Packham.
Julia Louis Dreyfus seemingly never ages. Here she is in Safiyaa.
The chains around the armband stole the show on Claire Danes’s Prada dress.
Love this Julianne Hough dress.
Sofia Vergara has a always looks great. Here she is in St. John.
Naeem Khan has a big night on the red carpet. Here’s Christina Hendricks rocking the designer.

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