Dîner en Blanc Detroit

It began in Paris, where most great ideas begin. It was started by one man, as a way to reconnect with lost friends, and has since spread to thousands of people all over the world. This past Sunday, Dîner en Blanc - the secret, flash mob style dinner party - descended on Detroit for it’s sixth consecutive year.

The evening is all about community, al fresco dining, and of course, a little bit of secrecy.

Dressed in white formal attire, hundreds of guests met up in the revealed location of Palmer Park, bringing with them tables, chairs, linens, centerpieces (everything from small candles to elaborate 3 feet floral arrangements), and of course all the food and libations to consume throughout the night. It's a lot of work (carrying all those tables and chairs isn't easy), but definitely worth the effort. And as in years past, it was a whimsical evening full of laughter and good company.

A special thank you to Andy Didorosi for snapping photos all night and I hope to see you all at next year's Dîner en Blanc!

dress: nha khanh
shoes: m. gemi
necklace: clyde's rebirth


Designer Spotlight: Filson

As we (too) quickly approach fall, I have been daydreaming about weekend trips up north. Daytime hikes near the lake, nighttime sing-a-longs around the campfire - the smell of burning logs lingering in the crisp air. It’s my ideal all-American getaway.

And because there’s nothing better than a weekend vacation, I teamed up with the American made company, Filson to show you guys some of my essentials I pack when I head out of town, starting with this incredible leather weekender bag from their new Weatherproof Collection.

I’m a huge fan of Filson and the products they create. They are made in the USA and they believe so much in the quality of their craftsmanship, that they offer a lifetime guarantee. So while the price point can be a little steep, you are investing in a product for life. And as you all know, I’m a huge believer in quality over quantity.

For the Weatherproof Collection (that also includes a backpack, briefcase, and rolling carry-on bag), Filson worked with a century-old tannery in Pennsylvania to develop a new vegetable-tanned proprietary leather that's both highly durable and lightweight. The leather is made for boots so it can repel rain, snow, and saltwater, meaning it’s built to last even in the worst conditions.

In addition to a great weekender bag, I have a couple key pieces that always come with me, regardless of where I am going. These include reading materials (typically whatever book I’m reading plus a stack of magazines), a notebook (I’m loving my monogrammed Shinola version), a striped long sleeve tee, some beat up jeans, and a couple pieces of jewelry to dress up my look (right now I’ve been living in a statement necklace, large gold cuff, and a menswear-inspired watch). Lastly I throw in a hat to both protect me from the sun and cover up untamed hair.

If you guys are in Detroit, check out the new Filson store that opened this summer (rumor has it, the women’s line is coming this fall), otherwise you can order from their collection online. And I’d love to hear from you - what are the qualities you look for in a weekender bag? And what are some of your packing essentials?

And thanks again to Filson for allowing me to test out the new leather collection!

photography by mar manzaneres

bag: c/o filson
jeans: old
hat: similar
sunglasses: the peacock room
notebook and watch: shinola
necklace: clyde's rebirth


Fash Bash 2016 Recap

Last week was one of the best fashion events of the year - Fash Bash at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The annual fundraiser, hosted by the DIA’s FJC (Founders Junior Council) in partnership with Neiman Marcus, raises money for the museum’s endowment campaign and merges a love of fashion, art, and philanthropy.

This year, because of the high temps, high humidity, and high chance of storms, the party was moved from the steps of the DIA to inside the museum. Which was lucky for me because I wore this amazing dress from Rent the Runway - and even though the dress looked hot, it also felt hot. Hot and heavy dress and hot and heavy temps don’t really mesh.

And even though the weather still screamed summer, the fashion show had us all wishing for cooler months. Showcasing the best of fall fashion, the runway show featured lots of layering and texture - or so I was told. This year I skipped the fashion show and celebrated a friend’s birthday with an intimate dinner party instead. We sipped our cocktails, ate fancy tacos, and showed up fashionably late - just in time for the after party to be in full swing.

Like past years, this year's event did not disappoint. It was filled with amazing food, drinks, and music. This year, I made sure to wear my dancing shoes, leaving my heels behind in favor of a less expected shoe choice, which both added an element of surprise and also kept me comfortable for a long evening on my feet.  

Thanks to the DIA for putting on another spectacular event - I can't wait until next year!

shoes: m.gemi
earrings: stella and dot


What to Wear: Gold Rush Gala

I know I just wrote a What to Wear post, but not only is there another amazing event coming up, but it supports an incredible cause that is near to my heart.

On September 9th, Camp Casey, a nonprofit horseback riding program for children with cancer and rare blood disorders, will be throwing a fundraiser gala at the Roostertail in Detroit. All proceeds from ticket sales, and the activities at the event, will go directly to the 2017 programming season. That programming includes Horsey house Calls, their signature program that takes a horse to a child’s home and surprises them for the day.

As a woman who was diagnosed with cancer at 28, I can attest how difficult that journey can be. I can’t imagine how much worse that is for a child, as well as his or her parents and loved ones. What Camp Casey does is bring a little (or a lot of) joy to a kid and their family during a physically and emotionally tough time.  This is definitely a cause worth supporting.

The gale is black tie optional and everyone is encouraged to wear gold in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. There will be dancing, live music, a silent auction, dessert auction and more. Time to break out your best fancy attire and support a great organization.

If you need help with options on what to wear, I’ve picked several of my favorite dresses from Rent the Runway that will have you feeling glamorous all night long.

To learn more about Camp Casey and read about all their different programs, check out their website. To attend the Gold Rush Gala event, buy your ticket here. I hope to see you all on the dance floor!

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What to Wear: Fash Bash 2016

It’s no surprise I like getting dressed up and attending fashion events around Detroit. If it’s in Detroit and related to fashion, I’m there. And luckily for me - and all you other Detroiters - there is a steady stream of style events happening in the motor city.

But none compete with the DIA’s Fash Bash.

Where Detroit and Fashion (with a capital “F”) collide, Fash Bash highlights the best of fall fashion while raising funds for the Detroit Institute of Arts - all while showcasing the best personal style Metro Detroit has to offer.

Not sure what to wear to such an event? Take your cues from the art world. Go bold. Get creative. Think outside the box. I’ve given several examples of dresses below (some to buy, others to rent for the occasion), but be sure to take your outfit one step further. Pair your LBD with a vintage statement necklace. Wear the crazy shoes. Proudly showcase your personal style. This is no event to play it safe.

If you are interested in attending the Neiman Marcus Art of Fashion runway show on August 11th, you better purchase your tickets fast as they are almost completely sold out. More interested in just mingling and sipping cocktails with the city’s best dressed, purchase tickets for the Lincoln Black Label After Party, which includes a night of dancing under the stars.

Grab your tickets. Grab your dancing shoes. And I’ll see you on the steps of the DIA.

Little Black Dress (or Jumpsuit):
You can never go wrong in an LBD. Or the modern twist, the little black jumpsuit. Use it as the backdrop to showcase your best accessories. 
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Midnight Blues:
The hue looks good on everybody. Look for unique shapes and cut outs to maximize interest.
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Blush Tones:
If you lean towards the feminine, think pale pinks and whites to highlight your style (and your summer tan).
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Graphic Prints: 
Don't shy away from bold prints. Use them to stand out!
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Designer Spotlight: M. Gemi

Shoes have the power to transform. Whether you are in jeans and a tee or your best LBD, the right shoe can truly elevate your outfit.

When I made the decision to quit fast fashion, I wasn’t worried about where I would shop for clothes - turns out there are a lot of responsibly made options. What I was worried about? Where I would buy my shoes. And not just any shoes - there are a ton of brands making ethically-made pairs - but modern, sexy, “look at me” statement shoes. The kind of shoe that can transform your basic jeans and t-shirt combination. The kind of shoe I seek out to wear (like these gladiator stunners).

And then I discovered M. Gemi.

Handcrafted by small family run factories in Italy, these ethically made shoes are luxury at a (more) affordable price. By shipping directly from the factory to your front door, you get the same quality as other high end, Italian crafted brands, but at a fraction of the cost. New styles are released in limited quantities each week, keeping the inventory fresh, but because of the small batch approach, once a style sells out, it’s gone for good.

In terms of quality, aesthetic, and company values, the brand really is unparalleled.

And because it’s a brand I believe in, I’ve teamed up with M.Gemi to offer you guys $40 off your first pair as well as free overnight shipping. Check out my favorite pairs from their current inventory and shop for yourself here. Happy shopping!

dress: old bcbg
sandals: m. gemi
clutch: clare v. 


Romp Around

I’ve seen a lot of closets and observed a lot of women’s habits around getting dressed. And one thing I consistently see is women not utilizing everything in their closet (myself included). Which means one of two things. First, she has too many clothes. Clothes that don’t fit. Clothes she doesn’t like. Clothes that are outdated. Or second, she’s grabbing the same outfit combinations day after day. Either because she’s too busy to plan or she's stuck in a style rut.

The women who don’t seem to have this issue are women who have created a capsule wardrobe. They reduce their closet to about 30-40 pieces total and that’s what they have to work with. That means they are keeping only pieces that fit, they love, and can be mixed and matched with other closet pieces. Usually they have a cohesive color scheme and they are confident in their personal style. The women who do this - and do it well - amaze me.

One day I hope to be one of these women.

I definitely gravitate towards the same outfit combinations - they usually involve neutral colors and stripes. But since I’ve stopped shopping for fast fashion (and also drastically limited all other shopping), I’ve really started to appreciate the under appreciated items in my closet. Most of those items involve prints and colors, two things I tend to buy a lot but not actually wear a lot (note to self for when I master my capsule wardrobe).

But without being able to stop in at H&M for a quick impulse outfit, I’ve started to actually wear the bright and bold pieces already hanging in my closet. I bought this printed romper last summer and didn’t wear it once. Not a single time. It sat hanging in my closet with the price tags on long after the return period had ended. It was 15 bucks at TJ Maxx and like most impulse buys, I didn’t need it, but made the purchase anyway. And because it sat for an entire season without seeing the light of day, I challenged myself to wear it this summer or let it go. So I wore it. And loved it. And wore it again. And now this crazy little printed romper is a go-to summer piece. even if it doesn’t make it through another season (you can’t expect much from a $15 polyester romper).

What are the reasons you aren't maximizing your closet? Could you ever see yourself attempting a capsule wardrobe? I'd love to hear your thoughts. And if you ever need help getting your closet in shape, I'm here to help.

romper: old tj maxx
clutch: stella and dot (similar)
sandals: old