Shop With Sheila

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am rarely seen without Sheila Fajl’s Everybody’s Favorite Hoops in Brushed Gold dangling from my ears. Thick yet lightweight and , these hoops are so versatile, look fabulous with every ensemble and can easily translate from day to night.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017. 

Sheila Fajl, a Brazilian-born and Californian-raised woman, stands for beauty in all of her jewelry products. “Beauty, to her, is in the soul. It is in how you wear your body, and has nothing to do with standards or size,” according to the designer’s website. With a focus on Sheila’s roots, all of the products are handmade by artisans in Brazil, and are, in fact, some of the most “eco-friendly” products in the jewelry market.

As an avid Sheila Fajl wearer, I have been given the unique opportunity to serve as a Sheila Fajl Brand Ambassador. Along with that privilege, I can now offer friends, family and Talk Trendy To Me followers, 10% off of any Sheila Fajl purchase. To shop with my discount, please visit Sheila Fajl’s website via my page. Happy shopping!

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The Shoe That Saved Us

For years, women have been sacrificing either function or fashion when dressing. It seemed impossible for designers to create pieces that married both of these aspects. However, in recent years, fashion and function now happily co-exist in multiple garment types. With the rise of athleisure, the marriage of fashion and function is even more prevalent. According to J. Holland (2017), athleisure is “sporty clothes and shoes that people don’t necessarily wear to play sport – grew by a staggering 42% between 2008 and 2015, according to Morgan Stanley research.” Additionally, this clothing type is not just reserved for the gym, to the contrary, “it’s a conscious style choice. It’s not just what you throw on to play with your dog in the garden” (Holland, 2017). Specifically in athleisure footwear, one shoe type certainly saved us all—the slip-on sneaker.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

From busy Millennial moms and comfort-focused Baby Boomers to trendy college students and fashion-forward children, the slip-on sneaker knows no age limits and has infiltrated the fashion industry. “Whether you want a leather-bound slip on or an embroidered floral lace-up pair, your everyday shoe game just got stepped up,” says T. Stephan (2017). In addition to the variety of choices, the slip-on sneaker can often just complete an outfit. When throwing on jeans and a loose v-neck, I always reach for one of my three pairs of slip-ons. However, a few years ago, my choices would have consisted of booties (the more dressy option), sandals (the more summery option) or boots (the cold-weather option). Therefore, slip-on sneakers certainly make life easier and also transcend seasons, upholding the advent of “seasonless dressing.” According to E. Stalder, seasonless dressing functions by this philosophy: “instead of limiting yourself to pastels in spring, brights in summer, and vampy shades in winter, wear any palette you want, no matter the season. Ditto for fabrics.”

A pair of Steve Madden gray suede slip-ons in July? Why not! Pairing Circus by Sam Edelman’s motif slip-ons with black jeans in December? Heck yeah! No matter the weather, the season, the occasion or your mood, it is always safe to reach for a pair of slip-on sneakers. Have yet to treat yourself to a pair? Check out some of my favorite styles!

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References

Holland, J. (2017, October 6). Are tracksuits and trainers the future of office attire? BBC. Retrieved from bbc.com.

Stalder, E. (2016, December 15). What Is ‘Seasonless’ Dressing, and How Could it Improve Your Style? StyleCaster. Retrieved from stylecaster.com.

Stephan, T. (2017, July 25). 19 Next-Level Platform Sneakers That Don’t Feel Basic. E! News. Retrieved from eonline.com.

Performing a Fashion Count

According to E. Brannon and L. Divita (2015, 91), a fashion count is “a method for researching fashion change that consists of finding a suitable source for fashion images, sampling the images in a systematic way, applying a standardized set of measurements or observations to each image, and analyzing the data to reveal patterns of fashion change.”

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

As a part of the curriculum for my “Trend Forecasting and Analysis” course, I was tasked with completing a fashion count. In performing the assignment using the October 2017 issue of Vogue, I chose to analyze fur color. In setting standards for the fur color, I agreed that the fur could comprise any part of the garment—an entire jacket, the hemline trim, a hat—but I would only consider fur worn by women. Additionally, I set the color standards, including the primary colors (red, blue, yellow), the secondary colors (orange, violent, green), the tertiary colors (red violent or pink, blue violent or purple, yellow orange or tan), as well as black, white, grey and brown—considering animal fur is often this natural shade. In terms of types of photographs, I determined that I would only count colored photographs; considering black and white photographs would have skewed my data.

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Data from the fashion count on fur color.

Because I utilized a the most current issue of Vogue, I figured that several of the photographs would feature the Fall 2017 and/or Winter 2018 designer collections, meaning fur would potentially be a common textile. Overall, fur appeared twenty-seven times throughout the issue. Although more neutral fur shades, such as black and tan, seemed to be the most prevalent, various colored fur was often accounted for. Most notably, I discovered multicolored fur in three different photographs; one garment featuring a blue and white fur shawl, another garment featuring a purple, black, red, yellow and blue fur purse handle, and also a black and yellow fur hat. In addition to designs with multicolored fur, other garments featured various colors—from pink trim around the neck of a coat to a yellow fur vest. Therefore, in terms of fur trends, designers may be moving away from the more traditional look of genuine fur or faux fur, manufactured to imitate living creatures.  Instead, these designers are embracing bold and vibrant-hued faux fur to add a fun element to various garments.

A potential explanation behind this shift in fur trend could be the rise of awareness surrounding animal rights. According to G. Cook (2017), “Yvonne Taylor, director of corporate projects for PETA, acknowledges that ‘most designers don’t work with fur, and certainly the majority of consumers don’t wear it,’ but insists that the protests are still necessary.” Therefore, a movement toward brightly-colored, faux fur would align with both designers’ intentions and consumers’ requests. However, because Vogue features editorial advertisements from the few couture designers (Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, among others) that still do work with authentic fur, more natural fur colors—such as, tan, brown and white—are still prevalent in the fashion count.


References

Brannon and L. Divita (Eds.). (2015). Fashion Forecasting. New York, NY: Bloomsburg.

G. Cook. (2017, September 19). Making Sense of the Anti-Fur Protests at London Fashion Week. Business of Fashion. Retrieved from https://www.businessoffashion.com.

Must-Have: Mules

Everything old is new again! Whether you are excited for this must-have shoe trend or still experiencing deja vu from 2007, mules have officially made a comeback. Interestingly enough, the resurgence of trends about every ten years is often a topic of discussion in my “Trend Forecasting and Analysis” course; therefore, it is no surprise to me that designers have drawn inspiration from the mid-to-late 2000s to re-create the mule.

However, prevalence of the mule extends far beyond the 2000s. According to S. Marshall (2016), “The origins of the word mule lie in Ancient Rome, where it was mulleus calceus (a red or purple shoe worn by the three highest magistrates), but the contemporary appropriation refers to a shoe that is backless and usually closed-toed.” Additionally, Marshall (2016) adds that “when Comtesse d’Olonne, the risqué society beauty, wore a soft red pair of mules to church in 1694—daringly peeping from beneath her richly-embellished skirt—it paved the way for the style.” Continuing into the eighteenth century, mules “went on to become popular within the French Court, both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette donning variations” (Marshall, 2016).

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Although fashion often incorporates innovations from past styles, why it is that mules are popular again right now? According to K. Abel (2017), Manolo Blahnik may have profound insight in assigning the state of our world as a contributor for the mass-consumption of mules. “It’s extraordinary that the times are so terrible and people buy these stupid shoes. Maybe they want joy for five seconds,” Blahnik claims in his new movie, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. Perhaps the mules’ unique shape, opportunity for creative designs and wide acceptance by the fashion cycle draw various consumers to the product.

“With the changing seasons, it’s time to pack away our sandals and flip-flops in favor of some sturdier choices. And while chunky boots are fall must-haves, sometimes we just need the cozy-cool feel of slip-on shoes on our feet” (Sirera, 2017). Although many believe that mules cannot fully translate into the cooler temperatures of fall, I beg to differ. While a pair of opened-toed chambray mules (see my pair pictured above) may edge more on the summery side, other pairs of mules are designed for the latter-part of the fall season, or potentially even into the winter. Also, with the rise of “seasonless” dressing, mules can certainly be incorporated into various ensembles, regardless of the month. Seasonless dressing provides an opportunity to pull “together pieces from across your wardrobe, regardless of whether they were designed for now or later,” to generate “more creative looks,” E. Stalder (2016) claims.

Looking for the perfect pair of fur-lined mules to carry you into the fall and winter? On the hunt for a a unique pair of heeled mules to pair with tights? Well, you’re in luck! Take a look at a few of my favorite pairs; all under $100!

Steve Madden Hugh Embellished Mule

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Sam Edelman Yumi Bow Mule

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Sole Society Caribou Mule Bootie

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Free People Butterfly Faux Fur Lined Mule

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TOPSHOP Villain Beaded Platform Mule

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H&M Powder Pink Satin Mules

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Seychelles Commute Heels

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NANETTE nanette lepore Madeline Ruffle Slingback Mule

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Betsy Johnson Embroidered Mule With Striped Heel

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Target Soho Cobbler Dhyana Woven Suede Block Heel Mules

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Enzo Angiolini Gillian Mule

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References

Abel, K. (2017, September 8). Why Manolo Blahnik Will Be Closing His Eyes During the Premiere of His New Movie. Footwear News. Retrieved from http://footwearnews.com.

Marshall, S. (2016, May 10). A Brief History of the Mule. AnOther Mag. Retrieved from http://www.anothermag.com.

Sirera. L. (2017, September 27). 13 mules that will take your fall footwear game to the next level. Hello Giggles. Retrieved from https://hellogiggles.com.

Stalder, E. (2016, December 15). What Is ‘Seasonless’ Dressing, and How Could it Improve Your Style? StyleCaster. Retrieved from http://stylecaster.com.