Fall Reds & Trompe L'Oeil

Quirky Trompe L'oeil & Reds for Fall via www.stylemachineblog.com

Quirky Trompe L'oeil & Rich Reds for Fall via www.stylemachineblog.com

Quirky Trompe L'oeil & Rich Reds for Fall via www.stylemachineblog.com
If I'm going to wear (or exhibit) the color red, it has to be something extra special, super minimal, or downright kooky.  It's a color that has big impact in carefully edited doses (awesome), and can easily end up looking ....well, gaudy as hell.  But I say, if you (or your living space) are going to end up looking gaudy as hell, at least do it purposefully.  And have a shit ton of fun with it.

While specimens No. 1 & No. 2 pique my curiosity, I'm completely smitten by this wonderfully weird steak n' roses rug by illustrator Nathalie Lété (and check out her other items available at Anthropolige) via The Jealous Curator.  Shades of red for fall & winter 2013 via the Pantone Color Report.

Most Wanted | Porcelain Jewels

Porcelain Jewelry by Andres Gallardo | www.stylemachineblog.com

Necklace with porcelain horses by Andres Gallardo | www.stylemachineblog.com

Necklace with porcelain rabbits by Andres Gallardo | www.stylemachineblog.com

Necklace with porcelain horse and elephant by Andres Gallardo | www.stylemachineblog.com

Porcelain Lion Necklace by Andres Gallardo | www.stylemachineblog.com

Are you speechless yet?

So generally speaking, I'm not a big jewelry person (hang on don't slap me yet).  I find that the vast majority of jewelry available, even by high end designer brands, is pretty boring.  Apart from a few classic, simple pieces for every day - thin gold bangles, a slender pendant necklace, etc - jewelry should be carefully edited, and pack a significant, relevant punch.   

Enter the new tzar of statement jewelry: Andres Gallardo.  Whatever this guy is drinking, I'll have what he's having.   

Not only is his aesthetic right up my alley (porcelain, flora, fauna, feminine, and cleverly absurd), his pieces are hand crafted in small batches using found porcelain objects. Prices start at an extraordinarily affordable $100 and run up to around $650.   

Plunder more Andres Gallardo whimsies here:  Website  /  Shop  /  Blog  /  my personal fave, "Broken Horse" necklace

Fresh Color : Neo Prep!

Neo-preppy style with pretty prints and shades

Just a petite roundup of pretty things in fresh shades and simple shapes; Perfectly Neo-Preppy accessories for the last month of summer.  (I'm kinda sad already, but also looking forward to a season sans bugs)

Favorite picks for this week...  

/  1  /  Samudra's Canvas Tulum Wave Pouch, $65 because, girl,  the beach looks so good on you.  /  2  /  Tatty Devine's Butterfly Necklace, $56 is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen - never been a fan of plastic jewelry... until right now.   /  3  /  Always on the lookout for a unique, feminine (and affordable!) watch.  Cold Picnic's Leather Icona-Pop Watch in Yellow, $50 totally fits the bill.  /  4  /  I'll admit, I haven't tried  Byredo's Palermo Eau de Parfum, about $126 (€95) but the packaging is so divine, and I love a perfume with notes of citrus.  /  5  /  What's better than a sweet fruit or floral print?  Dolce & Gabbana's Fruits & Florals Scarf, $495 of course!  /  6  /  Last, but never least, the ultimate steal: Zara's Pointed Ballet Flats with Ankle Strap, $40 are a simple, chic twist on the everyday ballet flat, and guaranteed to go with everything. layout created with polyvore 

Mandatory Break Time & News

A much needed break & Design News via StyleMachineBlog.com

Whoa!  I can't believe it's almost August.  Forgive me for the sporadic posts this month?  I've been working on several design projects, including this portfolio website for a client, a complete re-design of my Rive Gauche Craft blog, massive tweaking of my  illustration & design studio website (design tweaks and making room for recent projects), and plenty more.

I've been pretty stressed lately (entrepreneurship is basically a massive can of worms), so today I took a much needed break from all work.  It was really hard to do, believe it or not.  But it was great to spend the whole day with  my man... embroidering. (!)  I taught him how to do a couple of basic stitches, and we each made a little something to frame for the walls- his is a favorite math equation (so nerdy!)  and mine reads "Go Away" in fancy curly pink lettering.  Photos?  Perhaps; I hate to make this story glum again, but its actually been raining for the past few weeks around here, and I haven't had enough light coming through the windows for photography.  Poo.  Yes, I said poo.  

On a much lighter note, I'm psyched to announce that StyleMachine was featured on the very fab Pugly Pixel's "Launched" Series this weekend!  Also, check out Rive Gauche Craft on the Pugly Pixel blog/web designer directory.  (Awesome!)

P.S.  If you're a blogger or web design lover and you haven't had the glorious aesthetic experience and wealth of resources that is the Pugly Pixel blog, let's change that.    

Decor Guide | Eclectic Interiors

A Decorating Guide to Bohemian Modern Interiors
Prettiest Bohemian Interiors | Get the Look

Is it just me, or do bohemian style interiors seem so much harder to replicate in your own space at home?

One of my personal on-going projects is the arrangement of my apartment.  While it's generally the sort of project I devour with gusto, I've often found it frustratingly tricky to create this kind of eclectic look and still maintain a sense of order.

Maybe it's just a personal peeve of mine (doubtful), but even though I crave a space filled with wonder and curiosity, I seriously need a space that's organized and free of clutter-y distractions.

That's what makes this whole bohemian-modern thing so perplexing (and alluring).  It offers a richly lived-in and well-loved vibe, and for the masterful few, a calming sense of unobtrusive order.

For the rest of us, I've pulled together a few common denominators, derived from careful observations of the best of the best (see sources below).  Look out Kelly Wearstler, I've made us mortals a cheat sheet!

A Cheat Sheet for Bohemian Modern Decorating via StyleMachineBlog.com

Instead of talking specifics (i.e. "this lamp" or "that rug"), I've divided everything into key elements... color, texture, and pattern, and given quick explanations for why and how certain details can be used together.  Understanding the basics is half the battle, no?

Hopefully, you can use this guide to take a look at what you already have in your decor arsenal at home to see what fits the bill.  The next step is mixing old (playful vintage charm) and new (sleek, modern, and effortless).

Be sure to make use of these:

•  thrift stores - Oh the endless retro tchotchkes!  And be on the lookout for things that can be transformed with a simple coat of paint

•  patterned fabrics - perfect for "customizing" the look - pillow covers, and even curtains are a cinch to sew

•  Grandma's vintage hand-me-downs

•  DIY's - but only the ones that end up looking like something that would fit right in at Anthropologie.  No "loving hands at home", in the words of my fashion illustration professor.  You know what I mean.

•  Anthropologie - my favorite shop for beautiful/retro home goods.

•  Target - inexpensive and full of sleek/modern options for the home (*ahem* Nate Berkus )   But be wary of anything too campy or dormitory-esque.

•  Ikea - The Swedes have quite a handle on modern and minimal

Finally, gorge your eyes on inspiration from a few of the very best...

/  1. Furniture Workshop Co-Op founders Poppy Lane & Scott Gibson's Melbourne home via The Design Files, photo by Sean Fennessy, styled by Lucy Feagins  /  2.  blogger guru & designer Bri Emery's home via Design Love Fest  / 3. artist Mary Nelson Sinclair's New York City apartment via Lonny  /  4.  Swedish designer Lisa Marie Andersson's home via Mackapar (visit Lisa's adorable dress shop, Up the Wooden Hills)

Summer Sweets | DIY Ice Cream

4 Ice Creams You Can Make at Home (Without an Ice Cream Maker!)

Ah, helloooo... It's summer!  Apart from being one of the prettiest sweets (yes dah-ling, that triple-scoop mint chocolate chip looks fa-bulous with that dress) ice cream is also one of the most sensible things left to eat.  I mean, I can't even manage a hot dog in this 110 degree heat.  Are you with me?

So here we go, 4 ice cream recipes you can make at home without an ice cream maker!  One of which is an admittedly non-edible, but very fabulous DIY.  Without further ado, please enjoy these tasty treats gathered from a few of the craftiest ladies (and ice cream magicians) of the blog-o-sphere.  Get the recipes below, and be sure to plunder through the rest of these bloggers' culinary gems...    

1.  fruity summer sorbet via Lunchbox  2.  blackberry ice cream with amaretto via eCurry  3.  Rhubarb ice cream with meringue via Zucker Zimt & Liebe  4.  DIY ice cream cone pinatas via Oh Happy Day  

Emerald + Lemon {So Happy Together}

Summer Style: Tropical Emerald Green paired with Bright Neon Lemon Yellow

It seems I'm on a (huge) color kick lately.  What happened to my elegant cloak of ever-versatile black!? Well, whatever.  Color can be quite the vacation.  A vacation from winter, and a soothing opioid holiday from reality (i.e. 100 degree temps, mosquitos... and other icky hot weather invertebrates).  

Clearly, my current fixation with color has arrived at the crossroads of citrus yellow and emerald green. What a happy pair they make! 

P.S. Watch out for a post next week on how to wear that deliciously tropical bustier (um, hellooo, it's $20!)

Runway Favorites | Resort 2014

Color & Silhouette Trends from the Resort 2014 runways
Color & Trend  on the Resort 2014 Runways

Resort often takes a back seat when it comes to the opulence of the fashion world.  Though there may be little earth shattering innovation in the designs, this is one of my favorite seasons (right after Spring).  It's refreshing to see easy, wearable things on the runway for a change.  Plus there's always a delightfully invigorating injection of color.

This season I spy a menagerie of pretty surface detail - from eyelet and burn-outs to sheers with embroidery - balanced by relaxed shapes and solid hues.  And I'm really into this color palette of bright white and blush with pops of sky blue.

left to right  /  Christopher Kane  /  Chloe  /  Phillip Lim  /  10 Crosby Derek Lam  /  Louis Vuitton  /  Chloe  /  photos via style.com               

Office Zest

Colorful and whimsical accessories to brighten up your office this summer

It's lovely how everything gets bright and peppy in the summer, but I don't want to work unless I can have a flamingo on my desk!  And a mug that clearly states how much I want to see everyone in the morning, too. Hah!

The illustrated notepad and anti-social mug are both items from my design shop, the Rive Gauche Craft boutique.  Speaking of which, I recently plunged in with a whole bunch of CSS and gave it a little re-do.  Have a look and tell me what you think?  Furthermore, stay tuned for some exciting new announcements coming soon from Rive Gauche Craft to you....     

Jazzy Goods for Dear Ol' Dad

A Jazzy Card for Father's Day - "Dear Ol' Dad" / "The Coolest Cat of Them All"

Ahoy there!  Father's Day is June 16th!  Here's to all the coolest, suave-est, badass-est dads out there... a brand new illustrated card and coordinating gifts from Rive Gauche Craft.

For this year's card, I took a bit of inspiration from that era of the most handsome dudes of all...the Jazz Age.  This classy daddy-o cat sports a mustache, pipe, and a modern take on the pinstripe suit (more of a Basque horizontal stripe - equally fab, if you ask me) topped off with a bright summer flower in his breast pocket.  

The inside reads: "The coolest cat of them all".  

shop   ///   the card, $3.80   ///   the collection   ///  order by June 6 to ensure delivery by Father's Day!

Thoughts for Style | Miuccia Prada

Fashion Quote  |  Miuccia Prada on Aging in Style

A favorite sentiment from a favorite icon, and a gal with killer style (captured on the street by none other than Tommy Ton).  Editor Julia Sarr-Jamois is a massive risk taker - I mean, those shoes!  And one of my most seriously inspiring girl crushes.

Ensemble: Florals & Stripes

How to wear florals, stripes, and spring-y color

Does the floral & stripes combo ever get old?  I'm starting to think this look has some real classic potential.   
Add splashes of punchy color with a mint bag and vermilion shoes (the understated shapes keep this ensemble chic, instead of discombobulated), and top it off with a tiny pastel charm necklace for a dash of playfulness.  This little Ted Baker ice cream cone is juuust grown up enough to get away with, by virtue of the thin gold chain, innocuous size, and limited pastel surface area.    
layout made with polyvore 

Most Wanted | Spring-y Rings Under $100 !

the prettiest rings for spring, under $100

A few favorite (affordable!) spring-y baubles from across the web, complete with flowers, nautical stripes, scallops, and woodland critters.  It'll soon be getting too hot out to wear much else, so I say accessorize with substance. 
1. lotus flower ring by ara, $49    2. nach porcelain blue bird ring, $103  (oops!  got a little carried away here)    3. kate spade enamel and gold scallop ring, $38    4. kate spade white and navy stripe ring, $78    5. merry go-round porcelain deer ring, $98
layout made with polyvore 

Style 101 | Bohemian Mix

How to wear summery bohemian prints, patterns, textures, embroidery, and tassels
Is there a formula to Bohemian dressing?  One might think not, as this style seems rather intuitive and impulsive (or slapdash - as my sister might say). 

For those of us with a hankering for eclectic pattern and print, but without the know-how, I say there is indeed a formula!  The real key to making this look work is balance.  You know, give-and-take.  With this look, pattern takes, so everything else must give.   

Style Guide  |  Bohemian Dressing

1.  Go wild with pattern  /  print  /  texture / vintage elements.  This includes embroidery, beading, eyelet, raffia, leather, flora & fauna motifs, you name it.

2.  Simple silhouettes only!  Patterns are high-energy elements, so keep everything else about this ensemble low-energy. The top in my ensemble is a basic tee shape, and the shorts are crisply tailored.  This keeps the patterned elements just wacky enough to be cool and eclectic instead of wacky-bizarre.   The fastest way to send this look down the toilet would be with too many frills or too much volume.  

3.  Keep color saturation low.  Balance clashing patterns by keeping colors mostly muted.  

4.  Restrict your color palette.  Choose just a couple of main colors for your look, so that they don't compete with the mix of patterns.  My main colors are blue and orange/red - they range between navy, royal blue, aqua, tangerine, vermilion, and light peach.    

5.  Invigorate the look by adding just one or two pops of bright color.  A bit of bright tangerine at the ears, balanced by a petite dash of vermilion red across the feet keeps this ensemble from getting too muddy.  The look ends up both playful and modern.

6.  Finishing Touches?  All you need is a fresh face and a sheer lip balm.    

layout made with polyvore

Style Notes | The Bright Lip

How the most fashionable women wear bright red lips.  Take Notes!

product roundup - the best bright red lipsticks NOW

A lesson on bright red lips from the coolest girls around;  A darling, daring statement that seamlessly works with any style, and every skin tone.  Plus, the little tubes are pretty enough to brighten your day just a tad on their own.  More ideas on how to wear bright lips here.   
Here's an honest confession, gals: if you are wearing bright red/orange lips and I pass by you, I will have a girl-crush on you immediately.  This is, after all, how I met one of my favorite friends in New York.  She's witty as hell, and a massive sartorial inspiration.   

photos via  /  rainbow wildfox  /  we the people  /  wit & delight tumblr  /  refinery29  

Wear It | The Boyfriend Jean

Slouchy distressed denim chic street style

This is one of those tricky styles that seems like it was invented for only the coolest gals.   
How do you wear the "boyfriend" jean without looking mom-ish?  The biggest secret to pulling this off is confidence.  And no, you can't buy that.  The good news is that confidence is one of those "fake it till you make it" type things.   
Here's my favorite way to wear the look:

how to style a pair of slouchy boyfriend jeans with leather, printed blouse, heels

 -    My Guidelines    -   How to Style Slouchy BF Jeans

1.  Keep it simple.  
2.  The top should be slightly loose- not overly fitted, and not voluminous. 
3.  Maximize on clean lines and minimalism to keep the slouchiness balanced.   
4.  When in doubt, pair with black. 
5.  Leather makes these jeans more badass, and erases all notions of hippies and moms. 
6.  No horizontal stripes.  Period. 
7.  Keep the cuffs rolled up just past the ankle.  (Keeps you from looking swallowed up in a giant denim tarp / places emphasis on the fact that you do have legs) 
8.  Have fun with the shoes!  Almost anything goes.

marni printed button down, $740  /  allsaints biker jacket, $668  /  sass & bide boyfriend jean, $270  / alexander wang bag, $860  /  zara heels, $90  /  photo (top) via the sartorialist   /  layout made with polyvore 

Side Note... While we're (back) on the subject of denim, I posted about one of my fave looks - the infamous Canadian Tuxedo - the other week, and this is verbatim what my hilarious sister (isn't she a peach?) had to say: 

"OH GAWD no Hunney that just looks AWFUL like the poor thing got LOST in the CLEARANCE section of GOODWILL."  

Y o u r   T u r n .
 Have you given these a whirl?  What's your favorite way to wear them?      

Thoughts For Style | People Will Stare

make it worth their while, fashion quote by harry winston, individuality, be unique

Here's to the gals with the chutzpah to throw caution to the wind.   
So take that, Monday. 

photo by tommy ton, fashion editor joanna hillman via harper's bazaar

Most Wanted | A Sleep-In Weekend

stylish fashion luxuries for the best weekend ever

Huzzah!  It's Friday!

Is anyone else craving a decadent sleep-in weekend?

Kate Moss's royal baditude sets the mood for my kind of lazy Saturday, photographed by Juergen Teller, via the face of london. I've been lusting after this sorbet colored Araks camisole and shorts lounge set since forever.  And Alexander McQueen's glittery skull emblazoned slippers are so outrageously over the top in orange - and (bewilderingly) completely desirable.   
Finally, there's no better way to start a weekend than with a handsome mug of coffee and a gorgeous book filled with curiously decorated wonderland-esque homes.  The Karen Elson mug is of my personal favorite items from my boutique - she is, after all, a king of stylish badass-ery.  I bought "Flea Market Style" a couple of years ago, and it will forever be a (highly recommended) favorite.  

P.S. Have you seen StyleMachine's new facebook page?  (I've done a bit of brand re-arranging.) Give it a like to get the latest posts and fabulosity in your feed.   You know you want to fling shoes with me.


Color Lust | Ultramarine

spring color fashion trend, inspired by the Greek isles and mediterranean blue

deep cobalt blue fashion finds for spring

I won't pretend that I love the beach, but i could sure go for a trip to the Greek isles.  There's just something wonderous about that intense ultramarine and those shades of cobalt blue dotted all over an urban-ish landscape.  And how dreamy is that one-piece swim suit? 
Oh, you know.  Just another color craving.    

inspiration images (top)  bodhisattva print illustration via paint my world rainbow  /  photos available as prints via  /  parrish house photos  /  gray tabby cat  /  whitney anderson photography

Announcement | Blog (Re) Opening!

fashion illustration, new design and art blog opening

After much thought and deliberation, I've decided to implement a few branding changes to both StyleMachine and my illustration and design label, Rive Gauche Craft.  My goal is to present each brand in a more focused way, by giving them individually tailored online environments.   
Basically, I felt like things were getting just a tad jumbled.  I'd like to keep StyleMachine centered more closely around fashion, design, and personal style, while giving Rive Gauche Craft more of a voice from it's own platform.   
Going forward, I'll be posting my latest illustrations, designs, and RGC news at the new blog over here.  You can also follow the posts with bloglovin'.   
Don't Forget Facebook:  Previously, I used just one facebook fan page for both StyleMachine and RGC - which always sort of disgruntled me (organization monster right here).  After some tinkering with photoshop and with the help of Breanna Rose's app tutorial, I present to you a freshly revamped facebook page for Rive Gauche Craft and a brand new page for StyleMachine.   
Be sure to "like" them both, as they will feature completely different material. (Pssst...the RGC page will occasionally feature sale alerts and exclusive promo codes!)

A petite wrap-up: 


Yes We Can | Denim On Denim

street style how to wear denim head to toe effortless style

Denim on denim is one of my favorite looks for any season.  Yes, I said it: any season.  Maybe I like it so much because it seems like such a faux pas, and I enjoy challenging the perceptions of passersby.  It's especially fun to play this game in non-fashion towns, like the one where I live. 
My favorite ways to style this look: with leather and neutrals for a bohemian sort of nonchalance, or with a bright shoe and a red lip.

how to style denim on denim with color or neutrals

Keep it Easy  ///  maison martin margiela snake effect shoulder bag, $1,995  /  ottoman hands labradorite ring, $75  /  topshop gladiator platforms, $140   

photos  /  1 vanessa jackman  /  2 the sartorialist  /  3 fashion limousine   /  layout made with polyvore

Style Swipe No. 04 | Margiela vs. Asos

get the look for less: double gold cuffs, luxury and affordable versions

get the look for less: luxury jewelry versus thrifty style

What's better than a gold cuff on on your wrist?  How about a gold cuff on each wrist?  Work your urban Amazon mojo with this pair by Asos.  (They come in packs of two for a non-horrifying $25.)    More ideas on how to double up, you know - xena warrior princess style :  one  /  two  /  three 
Here's to a petite dose of realism in a world of aspiration.  Let the real people have cake too!

the cuffs  /  maison martin margiela  /  asos 

photo via styledigger  /  layout made with polyvore

Thoughts for Style | Amy Poehler

style quote power in looking silly and not caring

A simple thought for a Monday.   Stay inspired, and don't let the bastards grind you down. !
In other news, please pop over to Emphatically Elle today to see a handsome blog and an effervescent gal.  Fellow fashionista and cat lover Elizabeth has featured a bit of my work.  I'm pleased as punch!  Especially since her blog is one of my latest discoveries and newest daily reads.
photo via honestly...wtf 

Rive Gauche Craft | New Spring Cats

botanical and tropical cat stationery collection for spring and summer

Whoa, this week has been hectic, hasn't it?  Or maybe every week is hectic, and I just have the memory of a goldfish.  (I hear they forget everything every five minutes - how exciting!) 
This is one of the projects I've been working on for the boutique- a new collection of Spring fancies for the home and office, featuring a sweet and mischievous new little cat who plunders all sorts of neighborhood botanical wonderlands.  See the full "Orange Tree Cat" and "Chrysanthemum Garden Cat" collections.  
As I move forward and continue to find my footing in the Rive Gauche Craft boutique, I'll be focusing more on stationery and paper products, and less on home products.  BUT!  I'm keeping a few items such as - mugs, tote bags, iphone cases, etc because they're just too pretty, and they make such lovely gifts.  A few things currently on the drawing board: organizational products (like labels, binders, notepads) mother's day & father's day cards, birthday cards, invitations, announcements, and wedding suites! 
1 /  party invites, $18 for set of 10  / 2 /  stationery, $10.50 for set of 10  / 3 /  xl notepad, $12.95  / 4 /  chrysanthemums note card, $3.15  / 5 /  orange tree note card, $3.15

See the full collections:

Style Swipe No. 03 | Phillip Lim vs. Zara

black leather strappy sandal from phillip lim runway spring 2013, get the look for less

The moment I saw these villain-esque sandals from the 3.1 Phillip Lim runway, I knew I was a goner.  I mean, did anyone see these shoes and not lick their computer screen?  But yeesh, the price of luxury! 
Once again, Zara swoops in to calm our little palpitating hearts, and drain our little pockets.  The stylish pauper's hero.

runway photo via style.com

Color Lust | Faded Jade

beach polaroid style photography color inspiration

stylish fashion favorites featuring florals, mint, green, grey, and fog for spring

While I do love brights, a more subdued palette is my constant favorite.  These picks incorporate etherial shades of foggy greens and blues with both florals and minimal lines for an understated femininity.  Pantone calls this shade "grayed jade", and names it one of the top 10 colors for spring 2013.  I call it the essence of an overcast day at the beach, immortalized by a polaroid snapshot.   
1 /  quattro lined journal, $3  /  2  /  joie daydreaming print flat, $175  /  3  /  madewell hepcat shades, $55  /  4  /  3.1 phillip lim floral silk racerback tank, $350  /  5  /  coach legacy leather shoulder bag, $175  /  6  /  "happiness" oil painting mini-print post card by yours truly, $2 each   

photos via  madame sommersprosse  /  trendland
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