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The Art of Living Beautifully » Live with purpose. Live with faith. Live with beauty.

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the new cocktail dress

When I saw this shell and mini skirt from Topshop at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in July, I was so thankful to find something so atypical for Fall cocktail parties. I LOVE cocktail dresses, and find any excuse to wear one, but honestly, after a bit, they do start to look the same.


Topshop is the British mega-brand that started in 1964 in the basement of a department store. Over the past fifty years, collaborations with names like Christopher Kane and Kate Moss–as well as being the only London High Street store to show at London Fashion Week– have communicated a style mystique respected by fashionistas the world over. Topshop’s notable London style coupled with VERY affordable prices is appealing to everyone. Our desire to see the brand state-side prompted Topshop to open not one, but two flagship stores: one in New York and one in Chicago.


So why do I love this look? Like I said before, I love that the matching skirt and shell are an unexpected choice for evening. I also love that the entire idea is a throwback to the 60s. Thank you Mary Quant for introducing to us the mini skirt. The contrasting colors of jade and fog bring a level of sophistication to the playfulness of the silhouette. And guess what. Both shell and skirt are marked 50% off right now at Nordstrom!

With the help of the insanely talented Patrizia Montanari and her camera–remember she won the cooking class at Patina Green back in May, and was a guest blogger in June–as well as the also insanely talented Peggy Segundo with Zinc Beauty–remember she gave me the recipe for the delicious health bars–I styled this Fall cocktail look with jewelry from Sharla’s by Uno de 50. The Spanish jewelry line is dedicated to maintaining the finest and most unique quality craftsmanship in the industry. The name comes from their original decision to make only fifty pieces of each design. Although production has grown since it’s beginning in the early 1990s, Uno de 50 is still committed to designing quality and exclusive pieces, all made in Spain. Lucky us we can buy it right here in town!DSC_2458


The elongated, multi-faceted crystals reflect sparkling shades of sea-foam green and aqua blue. The geometric shape reminds me of the Art Deco trend that is so identified with Swinging 60’s London. The earrings are simple, but the color effective. The cocktail ring is HUGE and whispers ‘look at me’, so you don’t have to. And the coupling of metal alloy with a leather band on the bracelet is unexpected like the two piece ensemble in general. I paired a second cocktail ring [because why not] which is much less geometric, but just as gorgeous as the first.


I also slipped on three beaded bracelets made by my friend, Pam. I love the richness of the royal blue against the softer palette of the fabric.


For a clutch, I chose this pale yellow one by Carlos Falchi, also available at Sharla’s. In case you don’t know, Carlos Falchi is kind of a big deal. For years, he had one of the largest boutiques dedicated to a single handbag designer in Neiman Marcus stores, and his recognizable designs are the result of luxurious skins coupled with exquisite color combinations. This one is python, and the soft color is excellent to pair with a pattern as busy as this.

***side note, mark your calendars because Mr. Falchi himself is making a personal appearance at Sharla’s on October 20 and 21st!

clutch purse


Nude patent leather platform pumps from Pour La Victoire [several seasons old] are what I chose to stand in. The black ones are currently available on their website, and they are gorgeous, but if you are really wishing for nude pumps, these by Kristen Cavallari would be stunning with this look.

Next time you’re getting dressed for a night on the town–or to the grand opening of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen which is where I went–, stow the LBD for the evening and opt for something MOD-ern and unexpected.

-ciao for now-



  • Beverly White - Hi, Love the look. Very pretty and inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • yes, overalls. - […] have written before about the British mega-brand in ‘the new cocktail dress’ and love you can always count on Topshop for a cool interpretation of the latest trends for a […]ReplyCancel

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