The Little Black List: Best of 2013

Since 2014 is upon us, it’s time for theSkinnyStiletto‘s “Best of 2013″ list, where we name our ten favorite looks of the past year.  2013 included two lovely pregnant ladies, lots of white, and even Taylor Swift (she can’t take a joke, but she can certainly wear a dress.)

1. Diane Kruger is Graphically Glamorousdiane-kruger-9

2. Taylor Swift’s Clothes Grow Up (Now it’s her Turn)taylor-swift-1

3. The Pregnant Princess & the Polka DotsKate-Middleton-424. Georgina Chapman Redefines Ethereal in her Own LabelGeorgina-Chapman-15. Marion Cotillard is Beautiful in French Bluemarion-cotillard-66. Michelle Dockery is a Real Life Ladymichelle-dockery-47. Our First Lady Michelle Obama in Real Life

8. Shenae Grimes is a Bridal “Black Beauty”Shenae-grimes-29. Tina Fey & Amy Poehler are Fashion-Forward and Funnytina-fey-4-amy-poehler-2 10. Blake Lively Could Double as a “Black Swan”blake-lively-11

Look-of-the-Day

kate-middleton-45We think it’s safe to assume Kate Middleton had a pretty good year.  She gave birth to her first child, the beautiful baby George, who also happens to be a direct royal heir to the British crown.  And she was back to her beautiful shape in mere weeks.  Today is her 32nd birthday, so to celebrate the pretty princess, we’re featuring the lovely outfit she wore to Prince George’s christening this past year.  Middleton sported a cream-colored, ruffled two-piece suit by her favorite designer, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (who outfitted her during another historic moment you may remember in 2011…)  Kate’s sister, Pippa, and her mother-in-law, Camilla, also donned ivory to match the baby’s baptism gown.  Kate’s accessories revealed she’s loyal to other labels, too: her shoes were her trusty L.K. Bennett nude Sledge pumps, and her pale silk fascinator is by another favorite of the Duchess, Jane Taylor, who revealed the gorgeous hat is available for sale (for a whopping £755!)  The beret’s name?  “Georgie,” of course.  Happy Birthday Kate!kate-middleton-46

Look-of-the-Day

It’s a boy!  Princess Kate Middleton and her husband, Prince William, have welcomed their first child today.  We were really hoping for a girl here at theSkinnyStiletto, because she would have been the firstborn princess to inherit the throne, since the British government changed their sexist succession laws in 2011.  (Also, she probably would have been the best-dressed baby on Earth, if her mother’s style was passed down – much to Suri’s dismay…)  Nevertheless, we’re celebrating the new prince by choosing a baby blue dress his mother wore earlier this year.  This is supposedly the first maternity frock that Kate wore publicly, while making an appearance at the National Portrait Gallery, and, shocker, it’s adorable.  The iridescent, powder blue dress was custom-made by a Middleton favorite, Emilia Wickstead.  Congrats to the Royal Couple & their baby son! <3

Look-of-the-Day

Today’s is Mother’s Day, so we’re celebrating our favorite maternal look of this year.  No surprise, it’s Kate Middleton in her black and white polka-dotted dress from Topshop she wore last month while visiting Universal Studios with her husband and brother-in-law, Princes William and Harry.  Paired with a black Ralph Lauren blazer and Episode “Angel” pumps, she looked incredibly sweet and chic!  The dress wasn’t even maternity wear, and sold out in mere hours in-stores and online, after she was photographed wearing it.  Supposedly, she was spotted wearing it again this weekend, while attending the wedding of her and William’s friends in South Oxfordshire.  God, we hope she has a girl, so she can dress her as well as she does herself!  (Although, Suri won’t be too happy about it…)  Happy Mother’s Day!  <3

Look-of-the-Day

Yesterday, the world lost Britain’s “Iron Lady,” and today we’re featuring the next generation of United Kingdom icons for our “Tuesday Twosome.”  The first day of spring falls in March, but it usually doesn’t feel like it until April.  Today, it definitely felt like spring had definitely sprung – since it was 80 degrees here in New York!  What better outfit to feature for rebirth than Kate Middleton in this stunning floral number by Jenny Packham?  Here the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are attending a charity polo match in the summer of 2011 outside of Los Angeles.  Kate is sporting a silverish lavender De Gournay hand-painted chinoiserie silk dress with taupe L.K. Bennett heels.  Prince William looks like a sophisticated prep in a navy blazer, crisp button-down and white trousers.

Orla Kiely: Mod Mother of Nature

Orla Kiely’s name might sound familiar to you, but her prints are so recognizable, it’s a wonder her name isn’t as popular as her famous patterns!  In honor of “Irish Week,” we’re celebrating the creative Dublin-born designer and her beautiful achievements in the fashion world.  Kiely is famous for her mod prints of items found in nature, and her most popular pattern is her “Stem” design (pictured, top right), which appears on clothing, furniture, accessories, dinnerware, and cars!  Kiely was born in the capital of Ireland in 1964, and it is a decade that has influenced her ever since.  Her throwback patterns look straight out of that era, and the designer admits her childhood heavily influenced her style.  In 2010, she spoke of growing up in the 1960s to The Independent, “It was lovely… The greens, the yellows … the clouds, the skies and the sea.  In a sense, it’s not colorful, but you do see accents in the wild flowers by the road, or the yellow gorse on the mountains.  I love all those dirty colors – and mixed in with sharp brights they look more sophisticated.”  Kiely originally worked for a wallpaper designer in New York, after studying at Dublin’s National College of Art and Design.  After moving to London to work for Esprit, she earned her Master’s in knitwear at the Royal College of Art.  At her graduation show at the RCA, Kiely displayed her own line of hats, which a buyer from Harrod’s purchased.  Later, she did design work for Marks & Spencer, and Habitat.  According to the New York Times, during Kiely’s first appearance at London Fashion Week, her father noticed all the girls were carrying handbags, and no one was wearing a hat.  This led Kiely to a whole new realm – pocketbooks!  They took off, and by the late 1990s, Kiely came up with the idea of laminating cloth for handbags, and in 1997, she formed The Orla Kiely Partnership with her husband, Dermott Rowan, with who she has two sons, Robert and Hamish.  In February 2009, Target introduced a line of home decor featuring the nature patterns of Miss Orla’s mind.  More recently, Kiely’s work became even more popular when Kate Middleton sported two frocks of hers last year.  The first, a walnut brown bird-patterned dress coat Kate wore while visiting schools in Oxford that sold out within minutes (pictured, above right).  The second was the gray accordion dress the princess wore last March (pictured, above left), while visiting the Dulwich Picture Gallery (which made it into our Top 10 Outfits of 2012!)  But the Duchess of Cambridge isn’t the only celebrity in love with Orla’s designs – her clothing has been spotted on Kirsten Dunst, Alexa Chung, and Keira Knightley.  Kiely is also a visiting professor of textiles at her Alma mater, the Royal College of Art, and published her own book of patterns in 2010 called, what else, Pattern.  Kiely’s designs may be retro, but they’re certainly not going out of style any time soon!

The Little Black List: Best of 2012

Well, we guess the assumptions about that pesky Mayan calendar were off, because it’s 2013 and we’re all still here!  Our editors counted down their favorite looks of 2012, and noticed several themes: This year our list included our three beloved K girls (NO, not the Kardashians) but Kate Middleton, Kate Beckinsale & Keira Knightley in some sophisticated frocks!  Those Brits are always beautiful and classy.  Coincidentally, we chose the three Oscar-nominated actresses of The Help, and if there’s one thing we learned about that group, it’s that they don’t need any “help” getting dressed!  And, finally, we noticed we really like neutrals.  Here are our Top Ten favorite looks that caught our eye this past year:

1. Viola Davis is #1 in Our Hearts

2. Stacy Keibler is Sexy at the SAG Awards

3. Gwyneth Paltrow of 1998 Returns

4. Princess Kate and the Luck of the Irish

5. Camilla Belle Epitomizes her Surname6. Jessica Chastain is the New Golden Girl

7. The Duchess of Cambridge in Lady Grey8. Keira Knightley is Dangerously Sexy9. Octavia Spencer is Always Sophisticated

10. Kate Beckinsale Brings Sexy Back

 

Look-of-the-Day

For the first “Look-of-the-Day” for 2013, we’ve chosen one of our favorite fashion icons, the Duchess of Cambridge, in her first appearance since leaving the hospital in December.  Kate Middleton attended the unveiling of her portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in London this month, and wore a maroon Whistles dress for the occasion.  She paired it with simple black pumps, a clutch and matching belt.  The media was quite abuzz about her outfit, because she pulled one of her famous moves and re-wore an outfit she’s previously donned to a different event.  We’ve heard many fashion critics judge her for wearing items more than once, but we love her for it!  Clothes aren’t made to be worn once and thrown away!  We like that the princess reuses, reduces & recycles! <3

Uniting a Kingdom of Isles

The Irish and the English have been fighting for centuries, which has led to violence, oppression, terrorism and death.  In the short year that Kate Middleton and Prince William have been married, it seems the royal couple have been attempting to take small steps to uniting the two countries through… fashion?  It might sound shallow at first, but it seems the prince and princess have been honoring the Emerald Isle all year!  Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and in honor of March 17th, Kate Middleton handed out bouquets of shamrocks (the national flower of Ireland) to the Irish Guard (pictured, above).  The princess sported a gorgeous belted green Emilia Wickstead coat with chocolate suede pumps and a matching “Betty Boop” hat by Lock and Co.  She topped off her look with a gold shamrock brooch, previously used by the Queen Mother and Princess Anne, a bouquet of shamrocks in her lapel, and amethyst and diamond earrings by Kiki McDonough (hmm, a jeweler with an Irish surname).  For their enormous wedding last April, Prince William donned the traditional red dress uniform of the Irish Guard.  Considering one out of every three people on Earth watched the royal wedding, we have a feeling the prince was trying to make a statement about his respect for Ireland.  Last year, William was appointed to the honorary rank of of Colonel of the Irish Guard, and last June the couple handed out operational service medals to the Guards who fought in Afghanistan (pictured, below).  Princess Kate has also been sporting Irish designer Orla Kiely quite a bit, lately.  Earlier this week, she wore a lovely gray accordion dress while visiting the Dulwich Picture Gallery (pictured, above left).  In February, while visiting schools in Oxford, she wore a 1970s walnut-brown bird patterned dress coat by Kiely that sold out within minutes (pictured, above right).  While the British-Irish conflict isn’t exactly a problem that will be fixed with clothing, it’s nice to see the young royals making an effort to unite the two cultures with shared traditions and Irish fashion.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The Little Black List: Best of 2011

We here at theSkinnyStiletto realized we really like compiling lists, so we’ve created a new category we’re calling “The Little Black List.”  To start off 2012, we’re saying good-bye to 2011 by listing the 10 Best Fashion Moments of the past year.  (And no, there will never be a Kardashian on this list…)

1. Kate Middleton Makes Bridal History

2. Reese Witherspoon is Black & White All Over3. Angelina Jolie Causes Envy at Golden Globes4. Philip Treacy Brings Hats Back5. The Princess & the Purple 6. Salma Hayek Shows Off Shades of Gray

7. Blake Lively is Lovely at the Met8. Mila Kunis is Red Hot9. The Obamas: 1st Family of Fashion10. Camilla Belle Bares All