2013 Kentucky Derby Rundown

The Kentucky Derby always reminds us that spring is here, and summer isn’t far behind… Yesterday, this editor was perfecting her mint julep while working a Derby Day party, in honor of the historical horse race.  Like all things southern, the mint julep is both traditional and designed to combat the sweltering heat of Kentucky.  (And there is nothing this editor loves more than bourbon straight from the good ole’ south.)  While we crowned Luke and Caroline Bryan the Best Dressed couple of the May 4th race, here were are a few of our other favored looks.  Krysten Ritter (pictured, top left) was sporting our favorite frock designed by Dolce & Gabbana: soft yellow silk, trimmed with white lace and adorned with pastel blossoms in bloom.  Although we didn’t like her shoes, the dress paired with a wide-brim cream and sky blue Christine A. Moore hat, and Ritter’s serious but sultry stare, brought to mind Maggie of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  The official colors of Kentucky Derby 139 were blue and yellow, so Ritter especially did a good job incorporating the hues into a classic southern look.  Our other favorite head-to-toe look was Miss America winner Mallory Hagan (pictured, bottom left), who looks like she stepped straight out of Dynasty in her sophisticated dress complemented by her black and yellow topper.  Supermodel Coco Rocha was nearly perfect in a Zac Posen lavender suit, and a stunning orchid chapeau by Philip Treacy, if it weren’t for that horrible purple lipstick!  But our favorite hats of the day were two unnamed guests: the black, white and magenta beauty (pictured, top right), and a white and Tiffany blue topper decorated with peacock feathers (pictured, above right).  Who cares about the the horses when you have all these stylish beauties prancing the grounds?

Look-of-the-Day

Having gone to college in the south, this editor likes to romanticize southern traditions and style from every now and again, and the Kentucky Derby is one of those times… Every year images of wraparound porches, Spanish moss, southern belles, and sweeping plantations fill my head with fond memories of living below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Here is our choice for the best-dressed pair at this year’s May 4th Kentucky Derby races.  Country singer Luke Bryan sported a j. Lindberg suit of clean white and baby blue, a plaid pocket square, sharp tan shoes, and a white Stetson fedora.  Wife Caroline Boyer Bryan was his classic complement in a floral Roland Mouret dress and a beautiful chapeau by HeadCandi with a teal ribbon, purple flowers and magenta feathers that brought out the colors in her shift.  They were sophisticated and southern, without making a mockery of themselves, like so many other stars did by trying to stand out…

Look-of-the-Day

Today, one of our favorite actresses and fashion icons, Miss Keira Knightley, became a Mrs. when she married Klaxons keyboardist James Righton, in a quiet ceremony in the south of France.  (Which is kind of funny, because the last few times we featured Keira was on the Best & Worst Dressed lists of onscreen brides!)  So, who better to write about on her wedding day than the beautiful bride herself?!  The modest Brit supposedly only had eleven guests in attendance for the ceremony, and donned an adorable blush tulle dress by Chanel (for which she is the face of the brand’s perfume, Coco Mademoiselle).  She complemented the outfit with a custom jacket and ballet flats by Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, black wayfarer sunglasses, daisies in her hair, and a literal skip in her step!  It brought to mind another favorite fashion icon of ours on her own wedding day: Audrey Hepburn, who would have turned 84-years-old today.  The ultimate style icon, wed first husband Mel Ferrer in the countryside, wearing a knee-length dress and of wreath of flowers in her hair, too!  (Fun Fact: Audrey married Ferrer, on September 25th, 1954 – our mother’s 2nd birthday, while Keira was married today, May 4th, which is not only Audrey’s birthday, but my sister and co-editor’s, as well! <3)  Keira’s pink wedding dress is getting all sorts of buzz, because bloggers have noticed it looks strikingly similar to the frock she wore at a pre-BAFTA party in 2009.  A multimillionaire and megastar who recycles her own dresses, even on her wedding day?  Her stunning old Hollywood looks aren’t the only thing that reminds us of yesteryear – her modesty is astounding, and endears her to us.  Now you know why we have remained devoted and loyal fans of the ever humble and elegant Keira Knightley.  Congratulations to the happy couple! <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.

Lilly Pulitzer: Queen of Prep Dies

Lilly Pulitzer automatically brings to mind vivid images of hot pink, bright yellow, and apple green, dancing across summer dresses patterned with fruit and flowers.  The heiress-turned-fashion-designer built a business around a simple concept and execution that has remained popular for over 50 years.  Lilly Pulitzer was born Lillian Lee McKim on November 10, 1931 to socialite parents in Roslyn, Long Island.  She was the middle daughter of three girls, between Mary “Mimsy” Maude and Florence “Flossie” Fitch.  Her mother was an heiress to Standard Oil, and Lilly and her sisters attended the Chapin School in Manhattan, alongside a soon-to-be notable classmate, Jacqueline Bouvier.  She attended Finch College, before leaving after one semester to work as a midwife’s assistant and as a volunteer at a Veterans Hospital in the Bronx.  Shortly after, Lilly married Herbert “Peter” Pulitzer, Jr., after meeting him on vacation in Palm Beach.  The grandson of publishing magnate, Joseph Pulitzer, the two enjoyed living on the family’s Florida estate, among groves of citrus trees.  After having three kids in five years, and growing bored at home, Lilly started selling juice of the fruit from her husband’s groves.  Squeezing the juice out of the fruit stained her clothing, so she made sleeveless shift dresses of brightly-colored cotton.  Pulitzer’s customers loved the shifts so much, she started selling them at $22.00 a piece.  The dresses soon outsold the juice, quickly moving from Palm Beach to around the world (especially after former classmate Jackie Kennedy started wearing them).  The frocks were soon dubbed “Lillys.”  In 1959, Pulitzer became the president of her own company, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc., and she designed until the early 1980s.  Her brand became popular with some of the wealthiest women in America, including the Kennedys, the Rockerfellers, and the Whitneys.  (Fun Fact: This editor was prepping, pun not intended, for a friend’s yuppie-themed party in East Hampton this weekend by whipping out my copy of The Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa  Birnbach.  She mentions the Lilly Beach Dress as the quintessential item to wear for “lunch on the terrace at the club,” or something “to put on over the bathing suit.”)  The company faced bankruptcy in 1984, but was revived by Sugartown Worldwide in the 1990s.  Pulitzer retained the role of creative consultant, but was no longer involved in the administration of the company.  Eric Wilson of the New York Times reported, “Part of her reluctance to promote herself, she often said, came from her upbringing. She meticulously avoided personal publicity, as was once common to people of bottomless wealth, though she remained interested in the company.”  Ha, if only the so-called “elites” of now retained the same kind of old-world modesty – the dreadful “Real Housewives” or the Kardashians would never exist…  Lilly Pulitzer was as bright, sophisticated and classic as the brand and era she represented.  The “Queen of Prep” will be sorely missed.

Look-of-the-Day

Jennifer Garner turned 40 this year, but in this 2004 flick she was only 13 Going on 30!  In the film, Garner plays a preteen who turns into a grown woman overnight, and many of her wardrobe pieces reflect that – very girly and full of frills, flowers and fun!  Here, she’s sporting the perfect outfit for spring – a strapless floral corset, a soft yellow pleated skirt with a matching tote bag, and an adorable rose pendant necklace created by Tarina Tarantino.  It’s hard to believe Mrs. Affleck is nearly middle-aged!  With those dimples and sweet smile, she’ll always look like a girl to us!

Look-of-the-Day

Leave it to Sarah Jessica to still look sexy while pregnant!  With the spring season upon us, it makes sense to feature an elegant woman demonstrating rebirth.  (Although, we didn’t even realize this was a maternity dress, until further inspection!)  Here is Miss Parker at the world premiere of Season Five of Sex and the City in 2002.  She is sporting a soft baby pink empire-waist Narcisco Rodriguez dress accented by a simple black band.  Complemented by her strappy heels, sparkly clutch and flower-pin bracelet, SJP looks like a girl ready for a night out on the town (even if she’ll only be sipping virgin drinks!)

Look-of-the-Day

This “Pink Wednesday” is also the first day of February, and in honor of Valentine’s Day (which is this editor’s birthday), we’ll be featuring our favorite romantic outfits in TV and film.  Here is Sarah Jessica Parker as her alter-ego, Carrie Bradshaw, in one of her best outfits during the final season of Sex and the City with Mikhail Baryshnikov playing her boyfriend, Aleksandr Petrovsky.  Carrie yearns for this bright pink Oscar de la Renta cocktail dress (from his Spring 2004 Collection) earlier in the episode, and Petrovsky surprises her with the frock and a night at the ballet.  She accessorizes it with a beautiful pair of T-strap silver stilettos and a cropped tuxedo jacket.  It should be a night to remember, but the old-fashioned romance is just too much for the modern city girl, and Carrie faints right outside Lincoln Center!  They decide to get McDonald’s instead, mixing old-world Russia with new-world America by slow-dancing in the fast food joint.

Look-of-the-Day

Even though the summer is getting nearer, in reality it is still Spring, and this is certainly an outfit made for the season.  Here, our girl Keira is wearing a soft lavender-gray, floral silk blouse tucked into a high-waisted pastel skirt while collecting flowers in Atonement.  Costume designer Jacqueline Durran received an Oscar nomination for the film, and considering how beautiful each outfit Knightley wore as Cecilia, it comes as no surprise that we’ve featured the film more than once already.  (Fun Fact: theSkinnyStiletto‘s first ever Look-of-the-Day was from Atonement!)  Durran stated, “The whole idea of Cecilia’s costume was that I wanted to give her the aura of a butterfly – something really light and transparent.”  Her character may look light and airy, but underneath she is a fiercely loyal and bullheaded Brit.  Oddly enough, her removal of this very outfit actually leads to her and her lover’s tragic future.  Guess not exactly as “light and airy” as we intended!

Look-of-the-Day

We were going to save this look until the final day before the royal wedding, because it’s our favorite outfit of Kate Middleton’s, but it just looked too perfect for an Easter Sunday!  This powder blue brocade, princess-style (how appropriate) Issa coat is just stunning.  Paired with a simple white dress and navy stilettos, this English girl looks quite ready to step into the role of a royal.  The fantastic matching blue and white hat is by the fabulous Philip Treacy.  Miss Middleton wasn’t at Easter here, but actually at the 2009 wedding of Prince William’s friend, Captain Nicholas van Cutsem.  Only a few more days, and we’ll be seeing what Kate will have on for own big day…  Do we think it’ll be designed by Issa?