Jennifer Lopez’s Balmain custom dress and/or Alex Rodriguez’s custom Balmain tux can be yours…if your price is right. Photo and Sketch: Balmain

Celebrity’s gently used dresses, purses, shoes and more have become a major presence in the philanthropic world, and demand for access to them seems to be growing. Before Jenny from the Block had even hung up her gown from this year’s Met Gala, Balmain announced it would be auctioning it off at IfOnly.com  with 100% of the proceeds going toward the RED organization, with the goal of eliminating mother to infant HIV transmission. This was specifically the brainchild of Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing – one of a growing number of young designers determined to make a difference for those who come from adversity. (Rousteing himself was orphaned at birth,and has been outspoken about the HIV Aids crisis and its impact on orphans around the world).

Meanwhile over at Xupes.com fashion super stars like Poppy Delevigne, Millie Bobby Brown and Kate Moss are donating some of their own luxury handbags, shoes and wallets to help raise money for The Wild at Heart Foundation, to help reduce the world’s 600 million stray dog population.

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Shades of pink as the new neutral as seen at SS18 New York Fashion Week (from left): Matthew Adams Dolan, Brandon Maxwell, Tom Ford & Oscar de la Renta.

When legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, declared “pink is the navy blue of India”, she meant people in India wear bright colors. Just as navy is considered a staple neutral wardrobe color, so is pink…as of right now. The big news this season is that pink was an “of the season” color LAST SPRING/SUMMER. This year, the color of ballet slippers and watermelon has officially taken it’s place alongside nude and navy as the new neutral.

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Simon Miller’s Campaign was shot with a David Hockney/Slim Aarons feel. The Cyrene pants and Capol tunic here (with an aqua Lunch Bag) capture the 70s vibe. (Available at Barneys.com)

“It” bags have long been known for their super powers of launching a label in to the limelight. Rebecca Minkoff was sewing clothes long before her “Morning After Bag” brought her media attention. Think back to the Fendi Baguette of the 90s, and how a bag named for French bread breathed new life in to the Italian label’s ready-to-wear sector.  It’s about to happen again. Two of this season’s coveted  bags reside at the same design house: Simon Miller. So if history repeats itself, it’s a name that’s about to be a really big deal.

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Mary Kate Olsen (left) is going to need a new bag. Rita Ora (right) is right on point. Photo: Vogue US

Thanks to Ashley and Mary Kate (aka Olsen Twins)  oversized bags have been the go to for the past 10 years or so. It’s rumored the pint sized twins loved to carry jumbo handbags because they dwarfed their already tiny frames. But maybe because we never could actually find anything in the hallowed dark spaces of the jumbo purse or maybe because some chiropractor somewhere spoke up about the spinal perils of carrying 8 pounds on one side of your body all day every day, whatever the cause…micro bags have arrived in a  big way.

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Athleisure streetstyle from Spring/Summer NYFW 2018. Photo credit: Stylecaster

Not because Merriam-Webster added it to their pages in 2016… (“Casual clothing designed to be worn both for exercising and for general use”)

Not because a stroll down Fifth Avenue in NYC will reveal sneaker styles as the main display in just about every store window…

Luxe brand Louis Vuitton was so committed to their S/S2018 Arch Light sneakers, they created a SOHO pop up to sell them for a limited time. Photo: Louis Vuitton
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Melania Trump wins Foreign Tour Fashion saying Hi Haters…Bye Haters. Angelo Carconi / European Pressphoto Agency

Mike Trout may be leading the American League with 15 homeruns, but look over your shoulder Mike, Melania Trump is hot on your heels. The FLOTUS just wrapped up her first foreign tour visiting Italy, Brussels, Israel and Saudi Arabia and she literally hit homer after homer with her wardrobe choices. Her fashion was First Lady fabulous. Whereas Michelle Obama did a brilliant job of the high-low, making the fussiest fashionista pine for a J.Crew cardigan, Melania embraced her model background and delivered the kind of aspirational looks usually reserved for the catwalks or the pages of W. Magazine.

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Even the shopping bags are irreverently chic at Peri. A.

“I opened this store because I was so bored with everything I’ve seen in fashion.” are the first words out of the mouth of Peri Arenas as I stroll into her hip Robertson Boulevard boutique in Los Angeles. She had me at “bored”.

Nothing boring here…the eye candy abounds from custom graffiti vintage bags (Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel) to one of a kind jewellery (anti-fashion earrings by Bijoux de Famille, Nervous strawberries necklace by N2 Paris, and a killer design by Antwerp’s E.K. Thongprasert). There’s an irreverently chic vibe that has the freshness of a piece of bazooka joe gum.

“Anti-fashion” earrings & necklace by Bijoux de Famille (left) and and E.K.Thongprasert statement piece (right)
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Chit Chat: (Left to right) Alexa Chung lets us know she Give(s) A Damn, Etre Cecile’s The Future is Female and Paco Rabanne’s runway look featuring Future Sex

Expression through clothing is not a new concept. The ever-changing fashion scene has long served as a mirror image of the mood and political pulse of an era. The minis of the swinging ’60s gave way to the flower power aesthetic that was representative of the peace movement in the ’70s. The 80s embraced corporate supremacy with shoulder pads and structure, the antithesis of the grunge-themed 90s where heroin chic was the look of the decade.

This season, designers are encouraging us to have our say quite literally with wordy tees. When Dior sent the white tee declaring “WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS” down the runway, it was a clear sign that chatty shirts were back in style. Not since the 90’s when George Michael encouraged us to “Choose Life” in his Wake Me Up video and British designer Katharine Hamnet declared “Frankie Say Relax” have we seen such a resurgence of words on clothing.

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They first came on my radar in early January. A dress they’d designed caught my eye one day whilst filling my virtual shopping cart on Net-a-Porter. The design reminded me of something I’d find in the closet of my great aunt. The sort of thing she’d have referred to as a “housedress”. She’d wear it while baking or maybe when she busied herself picking flowers from the garden to arrange on multiple vases in her home. The “they” I refer to is the design duo working under the collective label ATTICO.

Attico’s Natalia dress gets street cred when paired with cropped jeans and mules.
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LaLa Land’s Mia sashays atop the Hollywood Hills in lemon meringue chiffon, while Belle is anything but a “kept woman” in a tart gown.

Blame it on this year’s successful films. Wasn’t LaLa Land’s Mia just de-lovely sashaying atop the Hollywood Hills in the sunshine shade? And in Disney’s remake, when she had to tame her beast, what colour did Belle choose? Yes, yellow, the shade once reserved for detergent commercials, cautionary lights and fire hydrants, is having a moment in fashion this Spring/Summer.

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