Bal – MAH’n pour tous ?

Last night during the Billboard Music Awards Oliver Rousteing announced Balmain’s collaboration with H&M. H&M has previously collaborated with the number of designers some of which I’ve listed below:



Matthew Williamson






Alexander Wang




And Versace

….. Among others like Karl, Stella McCartney, and Jimmy Choo, photographed by infamous Terry Richardson.

Rousteing used his usual squad of the Jenner’s and Jordan Dunn to unveil the collaboration. But Balmain was seen throughout the event, worn by stars Taylor Swift and Chrissy Teigan. A long time fan of Balmain, I only hope that the intricate beading and textiles continue to the H&M platform… not to mention the beautiful pantsuits that have been seen and published in fashion publications during the Spring/Summer 2015 season. I am very glad that Oliver will be sharing the confidence exuding  and royal-like textures of Balmain with the rest of fashion consumers. Here’s to hoping that the intricate quality isn’t jeopardized!







The Pardon



Water’s Getting Warmer (5 Swim Brands to Watch)

Please handle the goods with care…

Swim season is right around the corner and thanks to modern design, there is (really, actually) a swim suit for every-body. Because of my immense obsession with everything summer, I have since followed up and coming swim designers despite crazy looks from friends on the boat… “Is that a swim suit?” Yes, it is, and mark my words everyone will have one in two years. In this post I’d like to share 5 up and coming swim designers to follow. Many of them are from the hot-body hub (or so it seems these days on IG, am I right?) Australia. My advice is to keep an eye out for sales or free shipping to the U.S… These brands typically do this a couple times a season. If not many California boutiques carry the brands and you can have it shipped via continental… However, expect the prices to be a tad more expensive.
 So before you place an order for that Triangl bikini, take a look around!
(note: no disrespect I wore my Triangl bikini all of 2013)


Tigerlily is an Australian brand established in 2000 that takes great pride in the unique textiles, bold prints, and exotic theme the brand suggests, Just a glance at the swimwear line’s exquisite fabric choice coupled with design and you’ll likely find yourself in a dreamy Moroccan villa. Many of their recent collections seem to be inspired from the Eastern world as well as the chic French golden era. Either way, this is hand’s down the swimwear collection that evokes the most inspiration and adventure-some spirit I’ve seen to date.



Kiini Swimwear

Kiini swim states its swimwear production as “a combination of handmade crochet, elastic, and high-tech fabrics…” If that isn’t drawing your attention Who What Wear, the successful fashion editorial, published an article in March regarding ‘The New It-Girl Swimsuit to Wear’ and guess which brand they suggested? You’ve got it- Kiini. Please note that the swimsuits are hand-sewn and the orders are placed months ahead of time for one of these beauties… Prices range around $150- 185.

4th & Bleeker;
4th & Bleeker;



MandaLynn Swim

I finally purchased a top from Mandalynn after conducting an intense search and bidwar on ebay over a sunflower bikini top that was the previous season’s and since out of stock. Their swimwear is very sensual and it is no surprise that it is featured swim in the Sport’s Illustrated swimsuit edition. The pieces are brilliantly constructed with conscientiousness to the woman’s body and are worn to celebrate.

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Stone Cold Swim / Stone Cold Fox * Beach Riot

I am, as could probably be imagined, an avid follower of the Stone Cold Fox brand, I make as many purchases as my bank will allow and was consequently elated at  the introduction of their swim collection. Stone Cold Fox Swim embodies Wild West meets Pacific Rim, and comes out on top.

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We are Handsome

We Are Handsome is another Australian brand with the perfect collection of fun one-piece suits and monokinis. Their fabric is selectively chosen, reflecting their active-wear production, with dare-I-say “Miami Vibe” prints. The large parrots, cats, and tropical birds will hand’s down have every eye on the beach. And, if the thought of eating chips and salsa on a boardwalk in a one-piece doesn’t win you over, maybe a pic of thee Queen Bey in We Are Handsome will…FullSizeRender (28)

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Beyonce We Are Handsome

On that note; Happy swimming Mer-people XxX

The Pardon

I Scream, You Spring, We All Want Pretty Little Things

I often envision myself flitting a light and carefree quickstep through Parisian cobblestone streets, feeling the hem of my skirt just barely gracing my mid calf while I am bopping my feet….

Spring is on it’s way, and also are the images of midi skirts and chic flats we lust over. After scouring the internet for the midi bubble skirt extrapolating in my mind (and I mean scouring, I spent five hours last night obsessing in frustration over the ‘perfect’ skirt) I have taken the liberty of linking my finds to this page so that you are able to enjoy without the Friday night legwork….. ‘aimer la vie’ !!

White A-Line Full Midi Skirt♥♥

Image 1 of ASOS Full Midi Skirt In Scuba With Pockets
I scream, you scream, we Spring! This is absolutely lovely and would look darling paired with a simple button up cardigan, hitting just about the navel.

Romantic Pink Tulle Skirt
Of course, has a phenomenal flirty tulle skirt available for purchase. I’m a massive partaker in the leotard trend, and it is commonplace for me to wear a leotard under jeans or skirts as a top, this would be no different as it creates a streamlined and pulled together look at the surface without letting the skirt overpower you.

Spring Pleated A line Midi Skirt

Tibi Simona jacquard midi skirt
Pair this innovative and gorgeous piece with a white lace or breezy top, and breeze through a cafe. Dare you.

Jill Sander Flared Midi Skirt

Jill Sander’s Midi skirt embodies the absolute Parisian Chic. This may be on my wishlist for ever more… Pair it with a streamlined white bodysuit, or off-the-shoulder fitted top. (please remember to tuck in)

However, after many hours of researching I have decided to create my own… I will post progress and finished skirt before my deadline, the dreaded V-Day!


Julianne Phillips
Julianne Phillips

The Pardon

If you are interested in a mood board inspiring this trend I’ve attached a gallery below:

The Glitter Rubs Off

They Say the Neon Lights are Bright on Broadway…

George Benson may have been trying to make it in New York, but let me tell you a little something about the Music City.

It’s not that I haven’t been entirely neglecting my blog, it’s that I had been neglecting other duties which required me to devote an insurmountable amount of time to less enjoyable responsibilities… But I’m back from the holidays with a better fuel set. On that note, I rang in New Year’s Eve with quite the emphasis on ring. After spending Christmas with the family in Boca Grande, I booked a last minute trip to the Music City.

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If you want an unforgettable New Year’s experience, I highly suggest Nashville, TN. It is among only two other cities largely featured during the Times Square Celebration in New York City (ie. Las Vegas, NV & Los Angeles, CA). After playing and partying and sparkling all night on Broadway St, the crowd files out into the street at Midnight. At that time Lady Antebellum performed for the 100,000 people gathered in the street, completing the magic with fireworks, confetti, and the signature guitar drop. Come to find out, Bassnectar performs annually in the city during New Year’s as well.

100,000 people file into the streets for the Midnight show.
100,000 people file into the streets for the Midnight show.
Lady Antebellum performed and fireworks were lit and confetti was thrown...
Lady Antebellum performed & fireworks were lit & confetti was thrown…

Below I’ve listed some of our favorite spots for the duration of our stay… Enjoy!

  • IMG_5023Honky Tonk Central
  • Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge
  • Robert’s Western World
  • Tin Roof (Food is delicious)
  • Tequila Cowboy

Additional Note: I am not what i’d consider ‘Country’ but the city life speaks for itself, truly a thrilling time.


The PardonFullSizeRender (24)

Disheveled Hair is Severely Underrated.

When it comes to the intoxicating demeanor of the exquisitely “unkempt” Parisian, we demand the secret to the chic…FullSizeRender (11)

Another book review… In my defense, though, as the weather gets chillier, so does my desire to curl up in a cozy turtleneck and read about how to be chic… If I ever venture outside that is. How To Be Parisian is written by four highly reputable Parisian women,  Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas.

If there was one absolute underlying them of the book, it may be the cool and sensuous ‘femme’ figuration. This imagery alludes to an aura of sultry ease and confidence… something that Parisian women seem to be the innovators of. It is a book of absorption, as though the narrator is pouring class and sass into the reader, and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Certain elements of the book really seemed to point out the secrets of the Parisian women that we adore…

“Trust firmly in your luck, cling to your happiness and dare to take risks. They will see you and learn to accept you.”

-Rene Char, The Dawn-Breakers

This reminded me of a piece of wisdom once shared with me, 'always act more experienced than you are.' Isn't that the divine truth though? Countless opportunities have risen for me by simply acting and behaving in a way that I belonged there, persuasion in the vainest insistence of my competency, but with the grace of never saying so. Once my sister had applied for a part-time job as wait staff, and during the interview they had asked if she could cook. Rather than declining, she insisted out of nerves that although she couldn't cook she was an excellent baker, She left the interview with a job, but also a request for pies by next week for sale to customers. I've never seen the girl pickup a cookbook so fast...

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A large theme of the book is aging, which articulated interestingly to me as the authors wrote with a ‘forever young’ voice. The beginning of the chapter “The Best Version of Yourself” rings in with a quote from Coco Chanel, Once you reach a certain stage in life, “you have the face you deserve.” Although Coco’s words weren’t spoken in this exact context, the book points out that her ‘Parisian Psyche rings true’ which is incredibly insightful and life does come full circle sometimes. Point being, you become a visual representation of your perception of the universe, so make it good. The book makes a blunt point that if you can tell that you’re had cosmetic surgery, it was done badly. Your beauty is a direct reflection on your ego’s perception. Make it beautiful, make it confident, and make it unforgettable.

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There’s hope!!!
“If her wardrobe is made up only of black, it’s not because she’s in mourning. Quite the contrary. Black is the color of celebration, the color of nights that never end, of women who pull the blinds to shut out the dawn. A long, dark silhouette, slender and elegant. That is the definition of a party here. And it seems that a tacit agreement on this code is shared by all those on the streets past midnight. Even white can appear as a stain on this darkened tableau. But don’t think this image is monotonous: Paris has found a name for this particular style. Words that come from the mouth of the man who, alone, seems to have invented black, Yves Saint Laurent. He used to say, “There’s not one black but many blacks.” He managed to convince people that this achromatic style is subtle art. If God made light, it seems that Saint Laurent turned it off just as successfully.”
If I could rip a page out of any book and stuff if in my wallet in case someone need to learn my identity it may be this one... The monochromatic art of dark and it's affected, aka me.

‘Intellectual Wealth’ was another major theme throughout the book, and I’ve never heard of the phrase prior but it seems to encompass my highest point of respect for male or female. Stating that the Parisian women finds it imperative to not only appear effortlessly chic but to also stay up-to-date on today’s politics and going-ons about the world. After all the most attractive look on someone is the passionate look when reading a book or journal that truly enriches them.

The illustrations in the book really brought the content to life. With beautiful pictures of Romy Schneider and Coco Chanel, the breezy and sensual French woman is shown with carefully chosen photographs. The images capture the femme mood of the book, giving the reader a seemingly obtainable goal. I believe the femme image is of importance as that theme attracts both men and women. It provides a sultry and intriguing image of ‘woman’ with ease. Clearly, the French have this song and dance mastered.

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Post reading this, with plans in both Chicago, IL and Louisville, KY before Saturday, I will be stopping to grab a white silk shirt to wear with a lovely black brassiere, as well as a news journal, and a new pair of flats.


I highly recommend reading this book in hardcover, because of the illustrations, click the link here.

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Pass the wine, hold off on the cheese.

Last weekend my sister turned the big twenty-one. Being the classy little lady she is, she asked that we explore the wine country up in Michigan. We stopped along the way and enjoyed homemade extravagant truffles at The Chocolate Garden in Coloma, MI. My recommendation is the Lago Wine Truffle, sinfully delicious and the cool temperature was interesting in your mouth.

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We discovered plenty of wineries within only a few miles distance of each other, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how busy each winery was and the impressive amount of people who traveled a longer distance than us to visit the area… After plenty tastings/glasses/bottles, we unanimously agreed our favorites were Gravity and Round Barn Winery. Both offered live music and an amazing assortment of dry reds (being raised by a Sicilian mother will do that to a girl).

More wine please?
Make sure to bring a warm coat!

The French Macaron Paradox

The paradox of the French macaron and the uber thin, uber chic, French woman, a book review.

French Women Don't Get Fat

I suppose I could attribute my three short years as a French student in high school to a partial obsession with the culture and timeless beauty. I just finished the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano… which elaborates on the American bewilderment with ‘why don’t French women get fat?’

I will highlight three pertinent ideals to the French ‘skinny-girl’ philosophy I’ve gathered from the book:

1) ‘De tout in peu et de peu pas beaucoup’ meaning you can have a little bit of everything. But make sure it’s only a little, enough to relieve your hunger, do not indulge in your momentary lapse making deals to ‘compensate’ for it later.

“No pizza three days in a row, but also no three hours in the gym on Saturday.”

Create a routine, “Il faut des rites,” (meaning we need rituals), and don’t double duty… The American culture reflects the paradox of immediate gratification, and our body chemistry is much more reliable (aka stop volunteering your body to outwork your bad judgement, be routine). You shouldn’t need to buy an insanely expensive gym membership to offset the over-indulgence in beer last weekend. You’re doing too much, a defining characteristic of our Western culture.

2) The book depicts eating as a sensual act, take pleasure, chew slowly, sit down for supper. And for pete’s sake don’t just go shoving food down your throat while watching Netflix. She advises that French women think about whether they are eating for pointless excess or for true pleasure, while they are eating. Meaning, eat slow and without distraction. I guess if you want to look French you should first start thinking French… what an intriguing concept.

3) Stop stocking up on groceries only once a week, instead buy often at fresh food markets. Now I’m assuming this is much easier in rural Paris or other European cities, especially while in walking distance. Try to shop daily or many times a week, you’ll be much more likely to absolve your momentary hunger with a thirty cent banana than with that entire box of processed crackers in your pantry.

Furthermore, I agree with Guiliano’s stance on the scale for progress monitering. Having modeled in the past I am well aware that your measured dimensions are incredulously accurate… She suggests le syndrome de la fermeture eclair, or the zipper syndrome used by French women.

The Paradox
The Paradox
End Note: I highly recommend this book, I did not read it for weight loss but instead for cultural enrichment. The narrator's tone is so non-apologetically honest and blunt, it's a refreshing broadcast of bad habits that have become a socially acceptable routine.

Bisous, bisous, bisous! XX

The Pardon

Tower capture of Paris, big thanks to Allison Koontz IG: akoontz10
Tower capture of Paris, big thanks to Allison Koontz
IG: akoontz10

I’ll take all black with a splash of metal, please.

There’s something about the rain that lights a spark of inspiration inside of me. Whilst laying in bed, post workout, I saw a clump of metal stashed under my dresser. Ladies, you know the metal I’m talking about… the large, tangled, mess of necklaces/belts that you swear you’ll untangle one day but let’s be honest they weren’t expensive enough to be worth your sweet time. In a sudden act of post-exercise enthusiasm I grabbed the metal ball, pliers, and wire cutter. Feeling inspired by the forever cool Jim Morrison leather garb and belts, I created a belt much like the ones I’ve been eyeing by Luv Aj via Stove Cold Fox. It may have taken three hours and two glasses of wine but it was well worth the effort. I have an amazingly slinky black slip dress (a little too large on my figure) and a pair of BCBG leather pants to wrap my metal chains around.

Via Insta The_Pardon
Via Insta The_Pardon

Ice Cold like Michigan
Ice Cold like Michigan

Now that you’ve seen my amateur creations, lay your eyes on the spectacular real thing, via Luv Aj.

On that note, I’ll take all black with a splash of metal, to go… Please.

All Pressed Up in Black and White.

It may have been Queen B ushering Jay-Z and Blue Ivy off the stage during MTV’s VMA’s this fall, leaving us all jaw-dropped and whispering “she definitely wears the pants.”

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But it is a safe presumption that suits will be popping up in stylish women’s closets very shortly. Reformation, one of my all-time favorite brands just launched it’s suiting collection and it is absolutely thrilling. Nothing quite announces a women dressed to be taken seriously than a sultry pantsuit. Not only are you able to wear these items to work, but also out to play in the evening. Try combining a silk camisole or a lace onsie with flared suit pants; even a jacket with bare skin would put a spin on the suit. Judging from the looks of the recent NYFW we are going to be seeing a lot of bare skin and midriffs this spring. So if you haven’t shaped up yet or gotten familiar with the barely-there style, this is a good way to ease your way in this winter.

Supermodel and personal muse Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looks absolutely flawless in this Antonio Berardi suit. This is such a remarkable design, the way the trousers arch elongate her legs in such a way that it would be utterly impossible not to do a double-take.
Supermodel and personal muse Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looks absolutely flawless in this Antonio Berardi suit. This is such a remarkable design, the way the trousers arch elongate her legs in such a way that it would be utterly impossible not to do a double-take.
Zara had a pair of trousers in their Spring 2013 lookbook much like these.
Zara had a pair of trousers in their Spring 2013 lookbook much like these.
Jessica Hart shows off her figure in an alluring Dion Lee pantsuit
Jessica Hart shows off her figure in an alluring Dion Lee pantsuit
The sheer top adds a sultry edge to the metallic suit.
The sheer top adds a sultry edge to the metallic suit.
Stunner Angelina Jolie... No further comment.
Stunner Angelina Jolie… No further comment.

Please check out the new collection by Reformation, it is deliciously simple and sharp. Right on point for the chilly season approaching.

Reformation Suiting

I be on my Suit and Tie,

leave it on the floor tonight

The Pardon

Progression Pt 1

It took a heartbreak and a tool bag to finally muster the guts to post my first blog entry. I’ve modeled some for the past two years, studied textiles and sketched designs for less than that. However I like to think that style is a genetic predisposition; a blessing from the fashion goddesses and a curse for my bank account. Assimilating the wisdom of Ernest Hemingway I put “write hard and clear about what hurts” to practice. Fortunately, for you, enough friends and strangers witnessed the awful scene the sick f*** made public, so I’ll spare you the tears. To be frank, I am much more productive and creative when I am wronged anyways… Let’s call that resilience, with any hope. Instead, I will share my moody mood boards and inspiration for my style and design via The Pardon.

Please be friendly.

We're just getting warmed up.