little fashion week

After an exhilarating time putting together Little Fashion Week‘s medley of content I’m so excited to look back at all the inspiration and conversations that grew from my initial ideas. Thank you tremendously to everyone who left comments, shared posts and engaged through social media. As the lady at the helm of this blog I’ve felt like the area of content that focuses on fashion has been kept at bay lately while I attempt to balance all the many facets of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower, so this week presented a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in the sort of fashion-related content I’m interested in churning out. And I’m so glad to know you all enjoyed it, too! In case you missed a bit, here’s a full recap of the week’s events:

Sunday: {a little giveaway} Kathy van Zeeland Handbag (you can still enter until 2/28!)
Monday: {a little project} DIY: Turn a Scarf Into a Shoulder Bag
Tuesday: {a little history} Fashion History: The Chanel 2.55
Wednesday: {a little motivation} 5 Lessons in Style I Learned from Adele Adkins
Thursday: {a little inspiration} Tips for Building an Inspiration Board
Friday: {a little style} On Cultivating a Signature Style
Saturday: {a little look} Lookbook: An Affair to Remember

If you kept up with the articles last week – thank you! And feel free to head back and check out the comments; there were some truly wonderful words of wisdom.

Upon seeing my inspiration board tips my dear friend Lyndi was motivated to undertake a similar project with her adorable daughters, Amy and Becca; I’m thrilled that she kindly let me share the photos of their finished inspiration boards with you all! Aren’t they the sweetest? Amy’s inspiration collage decorates the front of her school binder – a brilliant idea – and Becca’s serves as ornamentation for their bedroom door, while Lyndi herself focused her inspiration board on her favorite lyrics and quotes. I love!

Lastly, many thanks to Independent Fashion Bloggers for featuring one of my Little Fashion Week articles in their weekly Links a la Mode series. Check out the full list of the week’s great reads below.


Thank you all again for your support with my little project!


Jason Wu for Target. We all loved it, most of us shopped it; it was the perfect marriage of designer and retailer, right? I shopped the collection online at midnight with Nnenna and Courtney, the three of us chatting on Twitter and sharing the pieces as we came across them in true scavenger hunt fashion. But this was, really, my first time shopping a capsule collection with hype of this magnitude. Aside from a Rodarte for Target piece, I haven’t bought into any of the others; Lanvin for H&M, Karl Lagerfeld for Impulse, Missoni for Target. Considering how enamored I was with Jason Wu’s line, it had me wondering why I hadn’t be interested in past collaborations between designers and retailers. But I think what it comes down to, for me, is that it’s not about snatching up just any designer name; it’s about the work and style of designers we admire being translated to practical, wearable pieces for our lives. And Jason Wu, besides being a favorite of mine prior to the capsule collection, managed to take the entire concept of a capsule collection and completely reinvent it. I loved that he made himself part of the collection’s marketing, appearing in the very cute television spot and sharing insights about his designs before the release. He took the idea of designing for a mainstream-budgeted audience very seriously, and the result was lovely. I chatted with Jenmarie while she shopped a local Target store on the day of the launch and we agreed that these collections can become very personal; it’s not about a label, it’s about how we’re affected by these designers on a personal level, and the chance to engage with them as consumers when our budgets otherwise wouldn’t allow us to. And I think Jason Wu really took the opportunity to engage with us as a merchandiser.

This particular dress – one of the few still available to buy online – wasn’t on my Wu Wishlist and I didn’t purchase it in my wee hour shopping spree: it was one of the few remaining bits hanging on at a local store, and I simply couldn’t resist. I hadn’t expected that it, as a shirt dress with little endeavored shape, would flatter me at all (I thought if it wasn’t one of the belted A-lines I wouldn’t go for it), but I quite like the result. Heaven forbid I waited until its intended season to wear it, either, so on with the leggings and cardigan!

So tell me: what are your thoughts on capsule collections and collaborations?

Thank you all for your support with Little Fashion Week these past days; I’ve had a wonderful time putting it all together. A full recap and thank-you will be happening on Monday, and don’t forget that there’s still time to enter the giveaway!

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

Most people call me a fashion blogger, which was how I began when The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower first came into fruition. And it always surprises me that, as a fashion blogger, I’m sometimes mystified, sometimes completely out-of-touch with my own personal style. It’s easy to get swept up into the idea of new trends and popular styles, but more recently when I’ve turned to my wardrobe I find myself perplexed at how the style in my head fails to coincide with what’s in my closet, or even on my bookshelf, or in my collection of movies. Am I a romantic? An edgy glamazon? An ardent collector of bold statement jewelry? To each, yes, and to each, no. A New Year’s resolution of mine was to finally break down the elements of my uniqueness and cultivate my signature style. I’ve read several articles on the topic of creating a signature style, something we often leave to icons – yet we deserve to be icons in our own lives, don’t we?

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

Your personal style is your identity. As you create it, as you discover the things that enhance your view of the world and figure out how to bring them into your life, your personal style transforms into a moniker, something distinguishable as belonging to no one else but fabulous you. It’s your personal style amplified, flourished and complete.

Part of my journey to pinning down my signature style was creating, on the fly and almost mindlessly, my inspiration board. It showed me that I admire carefully cultivated opulence and natural elegance. I like classic pieces reinvented by the woman wearing them. I like comfort and excess at the same time. I like statement jewelry, loose hair, the boldest red lipstick on the planet. Add to that some of the elements I’m already in touch with – my love of books, jazz music and everything French – and I’m starting to get a pretty good idea of myself.

Taking personal style into the signature territory is about a lot of things. Analyzing your life and understanding the many elements of it – from how you behave to what you wear, read, watch and eat – can give you more insight into who you are and what best describes your style. Do you have a signature scent? A signature lipstick? A signature film? Things that not only your friends recognize as being very “you”, but things that you instantly recognize as being favorites; deeply-important-to-you favorites.

Photo credit: Gordon Parks

As I’m challenging myself to cultivate my signature style, I’ll invite anyone else to take on the same initiative in two possible ways:

Create a visual interpretation of the things that serve as signatures in your style – it can be an offline inspiration board, a special board on Pinterest (I’ve just started mine here) or even a Polyvore set. Tap into your truest self, trends and influences aside, and be honest. See what happens, and what resonates with you the most.

Secondly, take it out of the visual and put it into words: literal, singular words; any words that come into your head that instantly remind you of your style, your life and your favorite things. I listed a few of mine earlier, but I’ll throw them out here again for inspiration: red lipstick, books, Audrey Hepburn, jazz music, elegance, black-and-white, Impressionism, wine, scarves, glamour, and intellect.

Have you ever thought about the signature in your style? I’d love to know about it. For some ladies whose styles scream of their signature, check out The Citizen Rosebud, By Anika, Barbro Andersen, Crimson Rosella, All This Happiness, Her Waise Choice, Little Girl Big World, and the many fabulous women captured by Ari Seth Cohen on Advanced Style (perhaps the definition of icons in my world).

My inspiration board encompasses all the elements that come into my own personal style, from fashion and accessories to make-up and women who inspire me. From Eva Green to Deborah Mitford, it’s a pretty eclectic group, but when I look at the pictures it seems like the thing that radiates to me from each one is confidence. I used it as something of an experiment, going through the big box of magazine clippings I occasionally add to and picking out the pictures that catch my attention without thinking about the reasons. Then when it was all put together I stepped back, examined, and pondered what the selection said about me.

This image – and shamefully I can’t remember the photographer, but I know it was from an issue of Elle last year – caught my eye for the contrast of the military-style jacket and the pleated, ultra-feminine skirt. I just loved how they looked together, and the fact that they had nothing in common yet worked together to create a striking effect. On reflection I think I was also drawn to it because it represents a component of my personality: feminine and romantic, strong and substantial.

Tips for building your own inspiration board

- For pages you’d like to save as wholes (if it’s an editorial you’re extra fond of, has another image on the opposing page you want to keep, etc.) put them in a separate pile and pin them on the board first. Then work your cut-outs around them.

- Don’t skip over the adverts! Cover Girl to Chanel No. 5, they’re on my inspiration board – whatever resonates with you, go with it.

- Go beyond the fashion magazines. If you happen upon a roughed-up copy of a favorite book at a bookstore use it to cut out your favorite passages and quotes. Yes, I’m telling you to deface a book. But only if it’s really, really important to you!

- Work in personal things that inspire you. The girl and Eiffel Tower on my board is a post card Karen of A Simple Cup of Tea sent me from Paris; it made me so happy that I wanted to make sure I kept it in a place where I’d see every day.

- Be true to yourself. It just won’t work and it’ll be completely beside the purpose if you cut out pictures that remind you of a style not your own.

If you endeavor to create your own inspiration board – or if you already have one – share a photo of it on Facebook or tweet me!

Today in Little Fashion Week, a bit of inspiration and a reminder that personal style comes from within…

Between her unanimous success at the recent Grammy Awards and her bravura appearance on the cover of next month’s Vogue, the internet (and the world) has been abuzz about Brit songstress Adele Adkins. It was four years ago when I first came to know Adele through her debut album, and over that time she’s remained a source of style inspiration for me. I count her among Drew Barrymore, Christina Hendricks, Sophie Dahl and Kate Winslet as an outward representation of fashion and beauty that I can deeply relate to while also motivating me to remember that confidence propels us into the most beautiful version of our selves. With that in mind, here are a few of the things Adele has inadvertently taught me in her adventures through music. (Did I mention she wears TOM FORD Spring/Summer ’12 in her Vogue editorial [see above]? Girl after my own heart!)

01. Style is what you make it into, not what it makes you into.

One thing Adele will never be swayed into is the belief that she must change in order to be accepted in the world of fashion and personal style. While easily on the rise to becoming a style icon to many, she never lets trends or industry…standards, for lack of a better word, dictate what she wears. She remains proud and confident, and her style reflects that.

02. Discover your own personal marque of glamour and flaunt it.

Adele has, of course, completely amazing hair and a gorgeous face; these are two of the elements of her personal beauty that I’ve always been inspired by, the way she wears gloriously detailed make-up and everything from a ‘60s bouffant to a riotous waterfall of waves. She knows the most electric parts of her look and she illuminates them completely.

03. Be an interpretation of all your inspirations.

After recently facing censure for her size Adele responded, “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that.” She indicated that she has her own insecurities (as we all do) but what I love about Adele is that she knows how much of herself to put out into the world. She faces her insecurities when she needs to, however she needs to, but she keeps it in perspective and she represents confidence for everywoman who can relate to her, in any way.

04. Nothing is as powerful as a woman confident in her own skin.

Adele has always had a commanding look, and while she more recently rocks powerhouse hair she has never been afraid to wear a bun or ponytail, displaying her face in all its striking beauty. Simple as it is, that choice of hers has inspired me in times when I’ve felt like I should “hide” my full face behind even fuller hair. The fact that she takes on whatever look she wants and ignores the beauty confines often set by the media is encouraging on so many levels.

05. In fashion, beauty, dreams and life: be bold, honest and dynamic.

She knows her own self, the self she reflects to the world, and she embraces it. It may not always be easy, but she knows her own strength, her own ability. Words we all use to describe Adele and her music are soulful, empowering, determined. She lives veraciously, and with passion. It’s that which elevates her style and outward appearance into the vibrant model of confidence that’s the core of her inspiration to me.

Photo credit: Vogue | Adele for Vogue US March 2012, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.