Seen at Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Jil Sander, and Céline, back-to-basics black and white looked right after seasons of brights, prints, and over-the-top embellishment

Inspiration Of Style: Now That Women Rule Fashion, What to Expect: 5 Predictions

Wila Shalit

Artist, theatrical and television producer, author/editor, socially-conscious entrepreneur and philanthropist

Gone are the days when women were tortured by all-male creations: corsets that caused headaches, weakness and (true) even death. Chinese feet-binding that made walking impossible. Male-designed clothing of the Elizabethan era that made it difficult for fashionable women to stand, much less run or play sports.

Today, women designers lead the trends: Donna Karan, Tracy Reese, Kate Spade, Anna Sui, Elsie de Wolfe, Alberta Ferretti, Sonia Rykiel, Vivienne Westwood, Carolina Herrera and many others inspire and generate billions of dollars in sales. Female fashion editors — from Anna Wintour to Suzy Menkes — guide women in what to wear. And Glamour magazine’s debut all-woman issue with female photographers, writers and stylists, is just hitting the stands — including a story on, the first e-tailer totally populated by women designers, which launches this week.

What can we expect now that women rule?

1. Beauty will reign. We still love pink, and we have no plan to burn our bras. Women adore beauty, and it radiates from every woman’s design. (Speaking of bras: We may give up the painful underwire version invented in the 1940s by Howard Hughes who wanted it on Jane Russell to emphasize her breasts in The Outlaw. Russell said the “ridiculous” contraption was painful and she wore her own bra while making the movie; she just didn’t tell Hughes.)

2. The private will be public. Whereas in the past, women put their artistry into the only place they had freedom — loose-fitting clothes worn in the home and, in the 19th century, beautifully embroidered undergarments expressing artistry women weren’t allowed to show on the surface — we now see these designs flowing down public streets.

3. Giving will be part of the story. Women’s generosity and community caring is in the DNA of women’s lines: Kate Spade’s work in Rwanda, Chan Luu’s Haitian creations, Donna Karan’s work with global artisans. As Tory Burch commented, “From the beginning, I knew giving back would be a part of the fabric of our company. I wanted to help women and their families. I spent a lot of time thinking about and researching the best way to get involved… It’s not charity; it’s empowerment. It’s an investment in our collective futures.”

4. Comfort will be more common. We want to move freely, peacefully and with power, so we can dance and create and express… if we wear uncomfortable, but fabulous, stilettos, it’s because we want to. Our muse is Katniss Everdeen, not Eliza Doolittle.

5. All bodies will be okay. We won’t have to resemble Twiggy, the 1960s icon created by men who wanted women to look like young boys. We’ll ignore the 19th century gents who created the bustle so we’d look like their beloved horses (no matter that we couldn’t sit down while wearing one). Now we can be our shape and have a fashion-icon first lady who looks glorious with her God-given generous hips and buff arms.

Welcome to the future, where visionary women rule! It’s a maiden nation in a vibrant world.

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Inspiration Of Style: Raffaella Fico Models Bikini At Fashion Week While Six Months Pregnant

We assume that modeling in a bikini is anxiety-inducing even to those that are in perfect shape, but the idea of strutting your stuff in a swimsuit while six months pregnant seems utterly horrifying to us. So we have to give major props to Raffaella Fico for doing just that during Milan Fashion Week.

The 24-year-old walked the runway for Pin Up Stars today wearing skimpy bikinis and sky-high heels — not exactly your typical maternity wear. We’re kind of amazed at how she’s able to balance in those shoes, look fabulous and do the sexy swimwear justice while so far along. (We suspect she’s been taking pregnancy style advice from fellow pregnant model Camila Alves.)

Even though Raffaella looked flawless, the Italian showgirl hasn’t had the easiest time since her baby news broke. Her rocky relationship with footballer Mario Balotelli, the father of the baby, culminated in dueling public statements from both parties and Mario’s demand of a paternity test. Well, at least the future mom can look forward to a baby and increased attention for her modeling skills. You go, girl!

Check out the photos of Raffaella Fico modeling in a bikini pregnant. Doesn’t she look amazing?


raffaella fico

raffaella fico

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Inspiration Of Style: Robyn Lawley Becomes First Plus Size Ralph Lauren Model

Plus-size shapes have been inching further and further into the mainstream, frommagazine covers like Vogue Italia andGlamour to high-end designer lines like Burberry. But Robyn Lawley, one of the most successful plus-size models in the biz, is going where no plus-size stunner has gone before: Ralph Lauren.

Lawley announced her new gig as the first plus-size model for Ralph Lauren on “Good Morning America” today. The size 12 model, who stands at a statuesque 6 feet 2 inches tall, spoke to “GMA” about her journey to get here — how she initially worked as a “straight” model at age 16, felt the pressure to diet and change her body, and eventually hit her stride as a plus-size mode at 19.

Now she’s starring in a new Ralph Lauren campaign, not to mention landingmagazine covers and lingerie ads. (This after her splashy start on the cover of Vogue Italia‘s famous plus-size issue.)

The majority of the industry may still select skinnier-than-thou models, but at age 23, Lawley is representative of the potential success a plus-size model can have. “There are so many plus-size models in New York doing so well at the moment,” she tells “GMA,” “and it’s only going to get better.”

We hope so — if Ralph Lauren could come all this way, we bet other brands can too.

See the gorgeous Aussie in the video above and in her new ads below.


robyn lawley

robyn lawley

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Inspiration Of Style: Miley Cyrus VMA 2012 Dress Features Plunging Cleavage Along With Her Shaved Head

Miley Cyrus’ short blonde pixie cut
 was the hair chop heard ’round the world. We laughed. We cried. We squinted awkwardly at Miley’s Twitpics, and it was real — Miley had gone pixie.

Although she’d already proved she wasn’t exactly shy, the 19-year-old singer amped up the bold look when she strolled onto the 2012 MTV VMAs red carpet, taking two major paths to “WOW!”: her striking dress laced with sheer black panels and her sleek blond bouffant that showed off her partially-shaved head. And lest we fail to state the obvious, her cleavage in that plunging necklace should get a nod for best supporting role.

But Cyrus didn’t stop there, opting for bold dagger-shaped earrings and a glittering Edie Parker clutch to complete the rock-and-roll package. Bye bye, short shorts and visible bras: Miley’s gone glam.

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Inspiration Of Style: Princess Eugenie’s Paralympics Dress Is Impressively On-Trend (PHOTOS)


While all eyes were glued to the London Olympics in early August, the subsequent Paralympics have been slightly overshadowed by two political conventions and a handful of celebrity (and royalscandals. But the royals have still come out to show their support, with Princess Eugenie making an appearance at the eighth day of the games.

Her cousin-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, was not in attendance (we presume she’s at home, packing for her upcoming royal tour). But surprisingly Eugenie gave us our fashion fix and more, looking stunning in a trendy, body-con dress. The front zipper and bright scuba-like print were a refreshing change from all those solid sheaths we see Kate wear (not that we don’t love them!)

Between this and her sexy LBD earlier this week, could Princess Eugenie be the royal style star to watch?

Totally. But not, like, instead of Kate. We’re still a little obsessed.

Check out the queen’s granddaughter looking stylish and confident at last night’s Paralympic medal ceremony. Do you like her busy dress?

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Inspiration Of Style: Christian Louboutin vs. YSL ‘Red Soles’ Court Case Takes A New Twist

As one fashion court case heats up, another (almost) draws to a close.

Christian Louboutin SA has emerged victorious in its battle against Yves Saint Laurent: a New York federal court of appeals has granted Louboutin trademark protection over its signature red sole, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

The case has been ongoing since April 2011 when Christian Louboutin sued YSL for using red soles on the bottom of its pumps. The lawsuit, which demanded $1 million in damages, stated, “Defendants’ use of red footwear outsoles that are virtually identical to plaintiffs’ Red Sole Mark is likely to cause and is causing confusion, mistake and deception among the relevant purchasing public.”

The 2011 suit was based on a trademark granted to Louboutin in 2008. Filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the trademark states that Louboutin has the exclusive right to make red-soled shoes for “women’s high fashion designer footwear.”

Yet when Louboutin’s suit against Yves Saint Laurent came before U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August 2011, Judge Marrero questioned the legitimacy of such a trademark in the first place, calling it “overly broad.” The entire YSL team agreed: David Bernstein, a lawyer representing YSL, told the Wall Street Journal, “No designer should be able to monopolize a color in fashion.”

Louboutin’s team appealed the district court decision almost immediately and Judge Marrero postponed a decision on whether to cancel the 2008 trademark until the appeals court made its ruling. Now, according to Women’s Wear Daily, the federal appeals court has decided to reject the earlier ruling, stating that Louboutin is entitled to its trademark on red soles, except when the entire shoe is red.

Except that the YSL shoes were entirely red, i.e. the battle isn’t over. With the new ruling to consider, the case will return to the lower court for review by a trial judge.

And that’s been your biannual update on the Louboutin vs. YSL “red sole” battle.Read more at

UPDATE: Yves Saint Laurent released a statement following the decision, emphasizing their victory when it comes to the all-red shoes. “The Court has conclusively ruled that YSL’s monochromatic red shoes do not infringe any trademark rights of Louboutin, which guarantees that YSL can continue to make monochromitic shoes in a wide variety of colors, including red,” said David H. Bernstein of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, YSL’s rep on the case. He added, “YSL will continue to produce monochromatic shoes with red outsoles, as it has done since the 1970s.”

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Inspiration Of Style: Michelle Obama Wears Peculiar Outfit On ‘Late Show With David Letterman’


While the Republicans took in some quality Paul Ryan and Condoleezza Rice time at the Republican National Convention, Michelle Obama decided to play hooky and ham it up with David Letterman. (Ed. note: when we grow up, we want to be the first lady.)

Making her third appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” (she chatted with Dave about that infamous Target shopping trip in March and did Letterman’s “Top Ten List” in June), the first lady looked totally at ease and in her element. She and Dave, who seems to have taken a strong liking to Mrs. O, talked about Sasha and Malia going to summer camp, Todd Akin (whom Michelle described, essentially, as kinda stupid) and kale chips (Michelle: “They were good, Dave! They were good!” Dave: “It looks like something you’d fish out of the bottom of your lawnmower…”).

It was yet another flawless TV appearance for Michelle, except for one thing: her outfit, which we’re struggling to understand. When she first took the stage, she appeared to be wearing a black A-line dress with a flared-out hem… then she turned sideways and we saw the top half split down the side, like a long tank top pulled over a longer skirt. What’s going on here?

In any case, her charisma and that cute bow belt were enough to distract us once she sat down. Watch a clip and see some photos below — are you a fan of this FLOTUS look?

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Inspiration Of Style: SLiNK Demonstrates Challenges For Plus-Size Magazines

The Huffington Post  |  By 

The concept of plus-size has made inroads in the fashion industry, from the increasing presence of plus-size models in magazines spreads and ads to the addition of plus-size clothing at mainstream retailers like Forever 21.

But one area still failing female plus-size consumers is the magazine industry itself: there are no specifically plus-size magazines in the top tier of publications, no size 14 girls sitting at VogueGlamourand Elle‘s cool girl table.

So what will it take for a plus-size magazine to rise (or, to follow our metaphor, for the curvy girl to join the Plastics)? SLiNK Magazine, which launched online last year and released its first print issue this past April, is a good test case. Editor Rivkie Baum, who founded the U.K.-based magazine at age 26, wanted a publication that featured curvy models exclusively and catered to curvy readers fashion wants and needs. As she told Daily Mail, “We will not run a cover line that says: ‘How to get that bikini body.’ Over my big, beautiful body.”

But there are distinct challenges to sticking to the plus-size creed. Baum told Liz Jones of the Daily Mail that her mag’s ban on “straight size” models prevents her from publishing runway shots — most high-fashion runways are populated with models sizes 0-2. More recently Baum spoke with the Guardian, explaining the challenge of working with fashion brands, both elite and mainstream:

At the magazine we illustrate catwalk trends on slightly fuller figures and samples aren’t available out of season. We can’t work three to six months ahead like most magazines and even plus-size brands for shopping pages aren’t shot until the last minute which makes the fashion pages hard. Some brands have been reluctant to loan out items including high street brands that go up to a size 22.

By the time SLiNK waits for designer collections to go into production, making the clothes in a full range of sizes, it’s too late: the magazine must go to print without the latest trends or wait and show them out of season.

In addition, Baum says, getting advertisers on board has been harder than imagined. “I’m deeply frustrated by the short-sighted views from mainstream brands in terms of advertising,” she told the Guardian. “This includes beauty brands. You’re never too curvy for makeup, hair products or accessories.”

Agreed. If we learned anything from “In Her Shoes,” it’s that women of any size can appreciate a good accessory.

Read more of Baum’s interview with the Guardian here and check out SLiNK Magazine at

Inspiration Of Style

In many arenas these days, it’s—to borrow a phrase from Beyoncé—girls who run the world (and where they don’t, perhaps they should). So what more appropriate message to see on fall’s runways than that of empowerment, with the best designers in New York, London, Milan, and Paris offering strong, chic, individual women new ways of dressing. The mood is adult and polished, with major embellishment, geometric prints, rich color, and lots of wonderful statement coats (that sometimes aren’t coats at all, but dresses or the like). In fact the shows effectively captured the extremism, wit, color, and imaginative spirit that will be celebrated this spring and summer when the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art displays the work of Miuccia Pradaand Elsa Schiaparelli—two of fashion’s strongest women if ever there were.

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