Archive for the ‘Interview/Personal Appearance’ Category

Sydney Interviews Carole Radziwill

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM

carole-radziwillJournalist, author, and Real Housewives of New York City star, Carole Radziwill started her fairytale right in the newsroom. From her career path to her personal style and beyond, this New York City fashionista tells Style Solutions her story.

S: Unlike the other RHONY, you had a well established career coming into it. Was this good or bad for you with the other women?

C: Yes, I had already established myself in my journalism and writing career, but I never saw it as my accomplishments are better than yours. I celebrate women and the choices they make for their lives, even if they differ from mine.

S: You used to write the “Lunch Dates” column for Glamour. Where did you get this idea? Also, if you were writing this column now, who’d be your dream lunch date?

C: A friend of mine in London wrote a column for Tatler magazine called Blonde Date, which was the same idea, different title (she’s a hot blonde!). My dream lunch date is my perennial, President Clinton. I had dinner with him once and he was the most engaging man I’d ever met.

S: I heard your most recent book is being turned into a TV show. Details!

CWidows Guide to Sex & Dating caught the attention of several Hollywood producers. The novel really lends itself to make a great series–sort of Sex and the City meets Six Feet Under.

S: Everyone tries to act cool, but you just exude coolness. Where did this attitude originate?

C: That’s funny, I don’t know! I think I exude realness. Perhaps realness is the new coolness. There is nothing less cool than pretending to be someone you are not.

S: What does “Style” mean to you?

C: Style is a feeling, a mood, it’s a state of mind. If you can describe it, you don’t have it. It’s feeling fantastic in whatever I’m wearing.

S: What brands/designers are you loving right now?

C: I love Balmain anything, Helmut Lang leggings, and my vintage levi’s and Paige jeans–always. I’m also into Costume National jackets this season. Amazing.

S: What’s a Style Solutions tip you can give to my readers?

C: Don’t wear the same designer head to toe. Mix it up. Wear long skirts in the day with flats, wear sequined tops with jeans. And always buy the best shoes that you can afford.

S: On your site, your story begins with, “It’s a classic Cinderella story, except that my ballroom was a newsroom.” What’s your story like now?

C: Good question. I guess ultimately, Cinderella is a metaphor for hard work and goodness prevailing over bad. I believe as a life lesson it’s important to work hard, be a good person, and more than anything else, believe in yourself. Don’t focus on what someone else has and great things will happen for you. In that way, I still live my life as Cinderella…except with much better clothes!

Sydney Interviews Stephanie Pratt

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 15, 2013 at 12:02 AM

stephanie pratt

TV personality and born and bred Cali fashionista, Stephanie Pratt, first captured our attention on MTV’s The Hills. From what she’s been up to since then, her accessory suggestion for Michelle Obama (almost time for the Inauguration!), her three must-have items and more, Stephanie tells her story to Style Solutions. 

S: What have you been up to since The Hills?

SP: I host The Hit List on

S: What song is the soundtrack to your life right now?

SP: Definitely a Taylor Swift song from her new album! I’m newly single, so I relate to her songs!

S: What’s your ideal date night (listen up gents!)?

SP: Dinner and a movie–always has ben, even since I was fifteen years old!

S: Tell me about your personal style.

SP: I cannot define it in one word. It’s so different everyday! My style is definitely dependent on my mood. One day I’ll feel like a tomboy and wear a flannel and beanie, and the next day I could be super girly!  I don’t really follow fashion rules, but being comfortable is important.

S: I think you pull off sequins really well. What’s your tip to mastering the look?

SP: Why, thank you! I love sequins. When I wear a sequin dress, I try not to wear too much jewelry…that way, I can still wear fun shoes and not look like a halloween costume.

S: What are three items that you must have with you at all times?

SP: My cell phone, Kiehl’s chap-stick, and a mini Kai perfume.

S: With the Inauguration on Monday, politics are hot and heavy. What type of outfit would you love to see Michelle Obama wear that she hasn’t already?

SP: Maybe some fun hats a la Kate Middleton!

S: What are your favorite nail polishes?

SP: I was an Essie and OPI girl, but I recently got a gel manicure for the first time (I know, I’m super late!), and now I’m obsessed with them! I cannot believe that you have perfect nails for so long–they never chip!

S: What do you think of the iPhone 5?

SP: Ah, I don’t have one! I have an old blackberry that I just can’t part with, and an iPhone 4. I’ve never been into tech stuff, so I’ve never felt the need to upgrade. They both work just fine!

SFifty Shades of Grey is my favorite book–have you read it?

SP: I’m in the middle of the 2nd book.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

SP: I hope to continue hosting! I would also love to co-host a morning radio show!


Sydney Interviews Rachel Truehart

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM


Known and loved by millions of viewers  for being on The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad, Rachel Truehart has become a fan favorite. Tonight is the premiere of Season 17 of The Bachelor, so what better timing for this New Yorker to chat about her experience on the show, what she’s been up to since then, and more. 

S: Were your experiences on Bachelor Pad and The Bachelor different or similar to each other?

R: They were definitely very different! The Bachelor had a lot more downtime, whereas Bachelor Pad was a whirlwind. I don’t think we ever slept more than 4 hours at a time; the filming was very intense. But it also felt more like a party. Every night, we were drinking, hanging out in the hot tub, playing games, getting to know each other. You were also living with the person you were dating and not having to compete for their time, so it felt more real than having to interrupt your ‘boyfriend’ from his 15 other ‘girlfriends’. I think Bachelor Pad was just more fun overall.

S: What have you been up to since Bachelor Pad?

R: I returned to the job I had when I left for Bachelor Pad, which was working for Ralph Lauren in the digital agency. I was thrilled they were happy to welcome me back, as I’d only been with them about a month before leaving to film. They even made me promise if I won the money I wouldn’t quit–luckily for them that was not a problem.

S: So much talk about roses…what’s your favorite flower?

R: Lilies, although I admit I have always loved roses. My parents wedding flower is a rose, as is their wedding song, and naturally they gave my sister and I both the middle name of Rose, so I feel like I’m destined to just be surrounded by roses!

S: What’s a fun fact about you?

R: I’ve been obsessed with Eminem since day 1 of his career. In college, I had dolls of him, had pretty much wallpapered my dorm with posters of him, went to his concerts whenever I could, memorized every song on his album the day it came out, you get the idea. It’s more under control now, but I still listen to him all the time.

S: Who’s your dream date?

R: Either Marshall Mathers or Ryan Gosling…he’s my heartthrob of the moment (me and every other girl in the world!); charming confident, and sexy as hell.

S: What was packing for the shows like, not knowing if you’d still be on each week?

R: Stressful! Packing for Bachelor Pad was a little easier because we at least knew what climate we would be in (LA). For The Bachelor, you had no idea what you needed so you had to pack for every possible climate and scenario as you never knew what the dates would be like. The whole time I was there I kept thinking ‘Oh I wish I packed that’ or ‘I wished I shopped more and brought more dresses’ because you always felt like you were running out of the clothes that you had already worn.

S: Are you going to watch The Bachelor tonight?

R: Of course! I actually never watched the show much before going on it, but now that I’ve been on it I’ve definitely become a fan. It’s so different to watch the show after you’ve been on it because you know the ins and outs of the behind the scenes stuff. You also relate to the girls and when someone appears ‘crazy’ you know not to judge because that was probably you at some point!

S: Do you still keep in touch with your cast mates?

R: Most of them actually. I always heard about the ‘Bachelor family’ and at first it sounded a little weird, but I actually love it. I’ve grown some amazing friendships and I even keep in touch with some of the producers too. Jaclyn and I have become best friends since our season, and it’s hard to imagine my life without her; I still can’t believe it’s only been a years since I was first on the show!

S: What’s up and coming for you?

R: I’m continuing to work at RL and see where that takes me. I’m definitely open to doing more TV though. I know I definitely went through my fair share of heartache and tough lessons I had to learn, especially on Bachelor Pad, but you have to take the bad times with the good and I don’t regret it for a second. Overall, I just have really enjoyed my involvement with the shows and would love to continue other things, so we shall see what life brings next!

Sydney Interviews Jackie Warner

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Jackie Warner

It’s day 3 of the new year, so there’s still mega talk about New Year’s Resolutions. The #1 resolution, according to CNN, and with no surprise, is to lose weight. To keep us motivated, fitness trainer and author Jackie Warner chats healthy snacks, portable workout equipment, her new book and more. Read and work out!

S: How did you get into the fitness and nutrition industries?

J: I started training about 14 years ago, and I got into the industry while I was training some friends. It was something that I loved doing and it changed my life, so obviously like many fitness experts, we get into the business because we changed our own lives through fitness and wellness. I quickly learned that I could make a huge impact, and not only change peoples’ bodies, but really change the trajectory of what they were doing and where they were going with their life and energy. Within a year of getting certified, I started my own gym, and I just loved it and had a passion for it ever since.

S: What was the writing process like for your new book, “10 Pounds in 10 days: The Secret Celebrity Program for Losing Weight Fast.”

J: I only had 3 months to write this book, where I had 1 year to write my first book. I had to dedicate 6-7 hours a day to write it. I don’t use a ghost writer, and I’m the only fitness expert who doesn’t. Writing is my favorite thing in the world, to be creative, so I just buckled down and I wrote it. I have a full-time researcher who works for me, so anything that I thought of that I wanted to research, or any kind of cutting-edge data especially coming from Europe where most of our science comes from in terms of nutrition, I was able to heavily research that and prove it in my book.

S: Some people design clothes, others jewelry, etc. You’ve designed a jump rope!

J: People were looking for a portable way to exercise, and I’m really into cardio acceleration, which is sort of the hot new way to do cardio. Studies show that instead of doing long-term cardio, short spurts of 1-2 minute cardio is much better, and the perfect way to do that is to use a jump rope.

S: What are your go-to healthy snacks?

J: Number one is my bar–I eat my Craving Control bar all of the time, which has 8 grams of sugar and is only 150 calories. It’s full of nutrients and greens, but it tastes good, so I use that in between work outs. I also love to eat celery and hummus, peanut butter and carrots, and things like that. I combine vegetable and protein sources to give me energy throughout the day.

S: What’s your standard workout outfit?

J: For me, comfort is everything. I wear very soft cottons, so I’ll wear Alternative Apparel t-shirts, which is a really good line, and just anything that is really breathable that I can move around and be comfortable in.

S: Favorite workout songs, please!

J: I like harder edge songs, like Sail by Awolnation, which is on my playlist right now. I like anything by Rihanna, and Kendrick for rap–anything that’s really upbeat.

S: Let’s chat about your [two] successful shows on Bravo. 

J: The two were very different. On the show that aired last year, Thintervention, I was very much just a fitness expert. With Workout, cameras were everywhere following me around. It was a very different experience, but I always say that the camera never lies. You learn more about yourself when you get to view yourself and play it back on TV.

S: What’s up and coming for you? 

J: I just signed a deal with a large retailer called Hi-Health, which is distributing my product line, so we’re focusing on expanding the product line and that’s what I’ll be doing throughout the year. I’m also writing a third book right now, and I’m shopping a television show around. And, I just signed a deal with Wisk as a sweat ambassador.

Sydney Interviews Gabby Sabharwal

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 27, 2012 at 9:33 AM


Born out of frustration for the lack of fashion-forward prints and inspired cuts, designer and founder of Giejo, Gabby Sabharwal, took it upon herself to design and produce her own set of swimsuits. From balancing her two careers & collaboration with Barneys to her dream vacation spot & more, Gabby tells Style Solutions her story. 

S: PR maven meets fashion designer. How do you balance both jobs? 

G: I’m not going to lie, it isn’t very easy (I basically work 24 hours a day), but they really go hand-in-hand! Designing has always been my dream; it’s my creative outlet. I started my career in PR and think it may have been the best thing I could have ever done. It prepared me for this role, to start my own company. I’ve been able to gain perspective from the inside outside. I know both sides of the industry because not only do I work closely with the designers during their process, but I also watch the sales and strategize how to market the product and see how the press receives it, which is really interesting. There’s still a lot to learn, but PR really gave me a great foundation, and the relations I’ve made have been priceless.

S: What does Giejo mean?

G: When I was younger, my mom called me Giejo. It all started because my brother had a hard time pronouncing my name and call me something to this effect. It just kind of stuck. I really attribute my sense of style to my mom and in a way named the collection in honor of her.

S: Who’s the Giejo girl?

G: The Giejo girl is me, but she is all of my girlfriends too. She’s fashion forward and wants to stand out. She is aware of the trends but is also price conscious, and she is a bit sick of hitting the sales. She is a smart packer and smart shopper who is always on the go and trying to think of ways to simplify her wardrobe without sacrificing style.

S: What are we seeing for resort this year?

G: The Resort 2013 collection is a study in contrasts: retro-inspired silhouettes combined with bold geometric patterns and animal prints on multi-functional tie tops and ruched bottoms. Vintage polka dots and classic check prints are playfully reinterpreted when mixed with boldly saturated florals, batiks and aztec prints infused with neon hues. Signature black and white stripes on butterfly bandeaus and mixed boys briefs serve as the foundation for the collection. It also sees the introduction of one-pieces to the line. Body-con and deep v-neck styles are balanced with multi-layered stripes and modular graphics, evoking a carefree, bohemian vibe.

S: What’s your dream resort vacation spot?

G: I am dying to go to South America! Hope to make it down south next year for the holidays!

S: Tell me about your exclusive collaboration with Barneys. 

G: Working with Barneys has been a dream come true! Each season, I create a collection exclusively for them. Giejo is all about exclusivity and individuality – each piece is made from dead-stock fabric, so once that fabric runs out, no more suits can be made. The Barneys collections are made from fabrics with even more limited yardage because it is on a much smaller scale. I usually start with one print that really catches my eye and base the rest of the collection around it.

S: Where do you gather inspiration for your designs?
G: Everyone in New York City. I could spend hours people watching.  I always dreamed of moving to this city and I am grateful everyday to wake up everyday and experience what surrounds me. The collection is also very reflective of my own personal style. I love to layer and mix and match patterns and textures when I dress and I really kept that in mind when choosing the fabrics and prints for my suits.

S: What are some of your favorite accessories to pair along with your bikinis?

G: A high-waisted denim skirt from Tucker by Gaby Basora, Clarins skin care, my Celine sunglasses, iPod, and magazines.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

G: I have a couple collaborations in the works (which you will be hearing about shortly) and am hoping to get into menswear–thinking “giejo for BF.”


Sydney Meets Petra Nemcova

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM


Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting model, television host, author, and philanthropist, Petra Nemcova. The beautiful femme, both inside and out, fashioned a vibrant tangerine frock while making a personal appearance at Bloomingdales’ 59th Street location to celebrate the Happy Hearts and Clinique partnership.

Happy Hearts Fund is a non-profit foundation dedicated to rebuilding schools and restoring hope in the lives of children after natural disasters. To date, Happy Heart Fund has worked in 14 countries, including the US after Hurricane Katrina, and is currently active in Thailand, Indonesia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, and Haiti. They have rebuilt over 70 schools and benefited more than 40,000 children and 337,000 community members.


Nemcova is the founder and chair of the global charity, which she started after surviving the horrific Tsunami which devastated Thailand in 2004. In addition to giving the press and Bloomingdales customers a glimpse into the Happy Heart Fund story, she also introduced Clinique’s new Happy Heart Fragrance. She kindly signed my bottle, which now rests on my vanity topped with my collection of perfume. With each purchase, money will be donated to Petra’s charity. There’s also a Happy Heart T-shirt, available at for $16, and $5 from each sale will also benefit Happy Heart Fund.


So join Petra and Clinique to help bring happiness to children around the world, and treat yourself to a heart-filled treat along the way!

with style,



Sydney Interviews Lauren Conrad

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 17, 2012 at 12:00 AM


‘Tis the season for chic, glee, festivity, and LC. Television personality, fashion designer, and author Lauren Conrad has captured the world’s attention since her reality days on Laguna Beach and The Hills. From her holiday wish list and resort wear recommendations to her New York Time’s best-selling novels and more, Lauren graces Style Solutions with her story. 

S: It’s the holiday season–ideal holiday party outfit, please!

L: I always think you can never go wrong with a cute party dress.

S: Tell me about your line with Kohls and some key pieces in your collections. 

L: I love working with Kohls, and I think there are some amazing staples for any wardrobe. We have a few blouses and boyfriend blazers that we’ve done a few seasons in a row, but in different colors and patterns as they are just must-have items.

S: What’s it like to be writing fiction after years on TV?

L: I just released a new series to follow up LA Candy. This one is from the point of view of the bad girl, so I must say it was a little more fun to write.

S: What about your Lauren Conrad Beauty and Style books?

L: Writing those books was really eye opening, as you realize just how much goes into beauty and fashion, and also how much I’ve learned over the years. I think both books are essential, as they don’t really teach you one particular look that will go out of style next season, but rather tools and tricks you can use over the years.

S: What’s on your Holiday Wish List this year?

L: I always love candles, cook books, coffee table books, and scarfs. They always fit and are so useful and fun.

S: Definitely. I also think nail polish makes for great stocking stuffers. What are your current go-to’s?

L: I am loving metallics lately. They’re fun and festive and go with everything.

S: If you could create your dream Christmas tree ornament, what would it be?

L: I love the holidays, that is a great question. I would say something very sparkly.

S: What’s your favorite holiday song and movie?

L: I love Sleepless In Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. Also, anything Christmas like It’s A Wonderful Life.

S: Holidays are all about traditions. What’s yours?

L: Spending time with my family–we make it a point to get together.

S: This is also resort season. What are three items you must take with you on a vacation somewhere warm?

L: There are key must-have items for a resort trip. They include a maxi dress that can be worn as a cover up or to a nice dinner out, a great skirt that can be paired with different tops to create a few looks, and a cardigan for cool evenings.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

L: I continue writing, designing for LC Lauren Conrad for Kohls and Paper Crown, and also running my website I am also really proud of my sustainable bag line called XO(eco). It’s a combo of really cute beauty and lunch bags that are also good for the planet!

Sydney Interviews Jennifer Fisher

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Screen Shot 2012-12-10 at 3.07.38 PM

A story beginning with a simple dog tag, Jennifer Fisher has taken fashionistas by the storm with her jewelry line that has graced the likes of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. From her career as a stylist and Soho neighborhood retail haunts to her capsule collection for Barneys, Jennifer breaks down her 411 to Style Solutions.

S: How did your career as a jewelry designer begin?

J: Completely by accident actually! I was unable to find something to represent my son after he was born that really reflected my personal style. I sourced my own dog tag and hung it on a very long, thick chain, and people started stopping me asking where I got mine and I started making them for friends and family. Then I decided to start the business.

S: I heard you were previously a stylist?

J: I was really more of a commercial stylist and worked in television. Back in the day, Aaron Spelling was my boss.

S: Your jewelry has been featured in some of my favorite TV shows, like Sex and the City, The Hills, and Gossip Girl. What show would you love your jewelry to be featured on next?

J: We are all huge fans of Girls here in the showroom. Lena Dunham in particular for my own personal want…

4S: Tell me about your use of charms in your jewelry.

J: I use charms to express my mood and reflect my wants and dreams, always including those who I love and admire.

S: Your studio is in Soho. What are some of your favorite retail therapy escapes in the neighborhood?

J: We are regulars at Barneys CO-Op on Wooster. Philip Lim, Kirna Zabete, and of course Kisan.

S: Your latest capsule collection for Barneys is great!

J: It’s all about battle and modern warrior. I designed the collection while I was going through the Vogue CFDA Fashion Fund.

S: Rihanna’s a fan of your jewelry. What are your favorite Rihanna songs?

J: Diamonds (in the sky) is my favorite. Laurie Cole plays it in her Soul Cycle class, and I sing it as loud as I can because no one is looking, or can hear me!

S: Tell me about your personal style.

J: I am a sucker for most Isabel Marant pieces, mixed in with Alexander Polokov and Rick Owens pieces. Sort of a City Nomand with a very casual edge. It needs to be easy with my kids and my 5 min allotted to dressing in the morning before school drop off.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

J: It has been such a whirlwind after this last year. We have big plans for the fine line and are continuing to grow the brass diffusion line to more colors and metals. Keep your eyes peeled in the next year for the new website and blog!

Sydney Interviews Kathy Hilton

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.38.35 PMLifestyle entrepreneur and television personality, Kathy Hilton has piloted her way towards the world of fashion. Her Kathy Hilton Collection is synonymous with elegance and sophistication, a line of exquisite evening wear for women of all ages. Inspired by her frequent travels around the globe, Kathy finds beauty in design and fabrics unique to each culture. The intimate exposure combined with her deep appreciation for beauty and fashion has influenced the creation of this collection. From her personal style, evolvement of her brand, and more, Kathy shares a few words with Style Solutions.

S: How do you describe your personal style?

K: Classic, not trendy. Daytime is classic and comfortable, and evening, if I’m out with my husband, is ladylike sexy with an edge.

S: How does a mother still look contemporary but not dress like her daughter(s)?

K: One’s style can be relevant and age-appropriate at the same time, and the latter is key.

paris hilton grove 3 030512S: On a recent episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” you helped your niece select a dress for her prom from your collection. Tell me about your line.

K: I always said that I wanted to have a collection that represented women of all ages so that my daughters, sisters, nieces, and I could wear them. They are classic, feminine, timeless pieces that can be worn season after season. I like color, so you’ll see a lot of it as well as neutrals, such as black, white, and nude. A flattering and wonderful fit is important as well.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 8.50.38 PMS: I noticed that your collection is in both boutiques and major department stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue. How did this evolve?

K: The line is in Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Harvey Nichols, and 400 specialty boutiques. This is a result of delivering a quality product with a great price point that is unique and appeals to women of all ages, as well as a lot of hard work on the part of the team at Kathy Hilton.

S: It’s holiday party season. How does one determine whether to wear short or long to an event?

K: I always call my friends who are attending the event. If it’s a gala, I’ll wear a gown. If it’s a black tie, then usually a short dressy cocktail dress, or a long dress.

S: What’s next for Kathy Hilton?

K: I’ll continue with the special occasion dress line, and I have plans to launch separates and accessories as well. I’m also working on tabletop and linens. These are lines that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time. Stay tuned!


Sydney Interviews Dita Von Teese (Part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM

Indulge in part II of my interview with Dita Von Teese, who gives Style Solutions the scoop on her latest design ventures, fascinating collections, a Style Solutions tip Twitter-style, and more. 

S: Tell me about your dress capsule collection, available at Decades in LA!

D: It’s comprised of five pieces and are all based on pieces in my vintage collection that I believe are timeless. I have also made them more wearable by changing little things like necklines and making them out of the best quality fabrics. We’re doing these in plus sizes too. It’s really about classic glamour that doesn’t fade with time.

S: How was the process of creating your own perfume?

D: Like a dream come true! Fragrance is one of the most powerful tools of seduction; it strikes directly to the source of emotion in the brain, so one’s choice of perfume is important. I wear different perfumes for different moods, and even for my different facets of style. I really wanted to create a scent that I can wear all the time, conveys womanly elegance and sensuality, and is about the essence of who I am. The perfume is available in Liberty in London, Boots London this fall, and the US soon too.

S: What’s the scoop on your lingerie collection? 

D: For my Von Follies Lingerie collection, I was inspired by vintage pieces in my collection and photos of lingerie from my archives of vintage books and magazines. I’ve had a longtime obsession with these 50s era “over-wire” bras, something that’s been quite a task to create and modernize, but the end result is so chic and unique. I’m also very happy with the beautiful panties we’ve made, I can’t wait to have them in my lingerie drawer! Size range was one of the first things I asked when I was approached by Lime Door Brands to create this collection, and I was thrilled that they agreed.

S: You have an iconic Twitter page. A Style Solutions tip that you’d Tweet, please! 

D: I like to encourage women to find their own personal style and stick to it rather than trying to keep up with trends or coveting someone else’s look. The truly stylish woman can appreciate the style of others, but she knows her body and herself well enough to invest in key pieces that suit her rather than trying to buy the latest thing. I think that’s too long for a tweet though, isn’t it?!

S: Over 140 characters, but worth every word! Do you collect anything?

D: I collect lots of things. Taxidermy (I have a full size ostrich in my living room), a few vintage cars, and pinup art from the 40’s.

S: What do you want to be for Halloween this year?

D: I usually go as a “normal girl” and wear beige lipgloss, a blonde wig, a tan, and jeans. But this year, I’m performing my full length revue Strip Strip Hooray! in NYC at The Gramercy Theater, so I doubt I’ll feel like dressing up after all those costume changes!

S: What’s next in the world of Dita?

D: I’m putting the finishing touches on my beauty book which comes out early next year, but my Strip Strip Hooray! show is really my main focus for the next year, along with my brands, of course!

Sydney Interviews Dita Von Teese (Part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM

Burlesque dancer, model, designer, and actress, Dita Von Teese is a driven and successful femme of many talents. From the beginning of her career as a burlesque dancer and her tips for finding the perfect corset to her friendship with Christian Louboutin and more, indulge in part I of Dita’s story . 

S: Your born name is Heather Renée Sweet. Where did you come up with your current name, and what made you want to change?

D: Well, I was working in a strip club in the early 90’s and naturally, I used a stage name. At that time when I started, I was really into the silent film era, and I had just seen a film with an actress called Dita Parlo, so I used that name on a whim. Then a few years later, around 1994, I was still dancing, but I was becoming quite known for my pinup photos, and I posed for Playboy the first time. The editor told me I had to have a full name, so I found this name “Von Treese” in the phone book and they misprinted it “Von Teese.”  The creation of a name was all part of the big Hollywood makeover, which I love, you know. But I had no idea it would be a name I would go on to use all these years later, globally trademarked and all. I might have done things differently if I had ever thought it was going to stick. I was just a 20 year old girl working in a strip joint with a peach flavored wine-cooler in one hand and a telephone book in the other.

S: How did your career as a burlesque dancer begin?

D: I was obsessed with films from the 30’s and 40’s from a young age, and when I was a teenager, I was working in a lingerie store, so I became very interested in the history of lingerie and began collecting vintage lingerie and clothes. When I was 18, I wanted to be photographed in pinup style for my boyfriend. I started recreating vintage style pinup photos, which became a hobby for me, and then little by little a career. I always wanted to know the complete history of everything I loved. It wasn’t until I really started learning more about the history of striptease that I learned of this word “burlesque” and even then it wasn’t important to me to call myself a “burlesque dancer.” That was just even more confusing to people! Now, I usually still cut to the chase and say I’m a stripper so I don’t have to explain what burlesque is, mainly because I feel a bit silly explaining it all.

S: What are some tips for finding the perfect corset?

D: The ideal is to have it custom-made in order to get the perfect fit. I have mine tailor-made so that I can specify everything from style to fabric and even where I like it tighter and where I like it looser. All of my corsets come from either Dark Garden Corsetry in San Francisco or Mr. Pearl in Paris. Mr. Pearl is responsible for all the haute couture corsets. No one can do what he does; all the great designers call on him to create the most complicated corsetry.

S: What is it about Louboutins that you love, and what are some of your favorite pairs?

D: Christian is one of my very closest friends, and not only is he a genius, but he’s one of the most lovable, funny and charismatic people I’ve ever known. My favorite pair are the ones he has custom-designed for my stage shows, because no one in the world has the same ones. He usually makes two to three pairs for each act, each pair has different heel heights, or small differences in the way they can be removed. I’m very, very lucky and spoiled to have him as a friend, both for keeping me well-heeled and also because he’s so lovely to be around.

Sydney Interviews Gossip Girl’s Zuzanna Szadkowski

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM

Does the line “You know you love me, XOXO Gossip Girl” ring a bell for this week’s interview? Gossip Girl’s Zuzanna Szadkowski (aka Dorota) breaks down her story to Style Solutions. From working alongside Leighton Meester to her personal style and more, Zuzanna has lots to share. This is the final season of Gossip Girl, one of my favorite shows of all-time, so do catch the final season premiere on October 8 on the CW. 

S: You play the most consistently lovable character on Gossip Girl among the mercurial girls. How do you keep your sanity?

Z:  The scheming and romantic ups and downs in the life of Blair Waldorf make every day for Dorota very exciting. I love acting Dorota when the stakes are really high.

S: Do you consider Gossip Girl your major break?

Z: It has been the best job ever. I hope my career continues to build and that many TV, film, and stage opportunities are ahead of me.

S: How did you get the role of Dorota on Gossip Girl?

Z: I auditioned for the role. Even though I am an American girl without an accent in real life, I have a Polish background and was ultimately able to win the role. I knew right away that this would be something fabulous in my life.

S: Barnard and Harvard–you’re probably the most well-educated of the group and you play a domestic. Did that bother you at first?

Z: My acting training taught me about script and character analysis. The writers have created a deep, layered character in Dorota, and it is my job to flesh out the detail. Dorota is smart, funny, enthusiastic and very loving; I very much admire her. A “domestic” is categorically act-able.

S: Frankly, Blair can’t function without Dorota. Are you close with Leighton in real life?

Z: The experience of being a part of Gossip Girl has been made so much more wonderful because I have gotten to work alongside Leighton. She is superbly talented and a fabulous person.

S: How do you feel being dressed in black and white uniforms when the rest of the cast are daily fashionistas?

Z: I have learned a lot about fashion from being on this show and from the incredible work of Eric Daman. Dorota sometimes has a chance to step out in something snazzy! Truthfully, the uniform is very comfortable during long shoot days. I don’t envy the super high heels after a marathon day on set.

S: When not in costume, what’s your personal style?

Z: I am pretty casual. I love scarves and accessories, especially layering necklaces. Ash&Dans makes a super soft reversible scarf that I absolutely live in. I am crazy about jackets- my favorite is from Elie Tahari… therefore, fall is my preferred fashion season.

S: This is [sadly] the last season of Gossip Girl. What’s next for you?

Z: I don’t know yet. I just shot a fun role in the upcoming film “Growing Up and Other Lies”. We’ll see where I end up next!

S: I knew I liked you–you have the same birthday as my grandmother!

Z: I hope that’s true.For some reason several Internet resources site an incorrect birthday for me. It is so curious how misinformation crops up. My real birthday is October 22nd. Is that your grandmother’s? Libra… on the cusp.

(By the way, that is my grandmother’s birthday)


Sydney Interviews Rachel Uchitel

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM

You might know this fashionista from being a hot topic in the news, but Rachel Uchitel has an interesting story far beyond what I had known about her. From being a news producer at Bloomberg TV and her personal style to her take on the power of media and more, Rachel gives her story to Style Solutions.

S: Unlike most, the restaurant and nightclub industries run in your family.

R: My Grandfather, Maurice Uchitel, owned the infamous El Morroco in New York City in its hay day. Their customers, who became close friends, included people such as Johnny Carson, Carey Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. Even former President Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy both graced the dance floor as well. Many people don’t know this, but the use of the velvet rope outside of a night club started outside El Morroco. I would have loved to re – open El Morroco, the way it was, but frankly time has changed and this type of establishment would be hard to sustain. However, I learned that you can sell an experience to a customer rather than simply be serving food and beverages.

S: Tell me about your job as a news producer for Bloomberg TV following college. 

R: I absolutely loved my job at Bloomberg TV. I got the name of their Executive Producer at the time and called her three times a week, which ended up being for six months, reminding her that I wanted to work for her. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Finally an opening came up on the assignment desk. I got the call that their was a spot for me on the 5 a.m. shift. My first day of work happened to be the announcement of the AOL, Time Warner merger–I got Bill Gates home phone number and called him directly to get his thoughts on the news of the day. These exclusive comments I had secured left all the producers at the network believing I was going to be a star within this business.

S: Why’d you leave?

R: I moved up to positions such as feature’s editor, field producer and finally segment producer of a daily one hour program. I loved what I did and I was very good at it. But on September 11, 2001 my fiancé was killed in the World Trade Center as we were covering the story, all my colleagues watched me watch my fiancé die. After taking a month long leave of absence I wanted to get back to my job at Bloomberg because it kept me distracted and busy, but as the one year anniversary rolled around, I realized most people I worked with had forgotten and I was still stuck in my own nightmare. The memories of 9/11 were just too strong for me in that building and directly following the one year anniversary I had to quit my job there.

S: I’m sure it was strange when you became the story instead of reporting on them. Did you ever realize the extreme power of the media?

R: Until I became the story I wasn’t aware of the power of the media, but in my mind there are two types of media. I have been trained in journalism for business news. The power in that type of journalism is reporting first and most efficient, reporting all the facts as neutrally as possible so the viewer can make an educated decision based on all sides that you are reporting. The second type of journalism I have come to understand is that of entertainment and pop culture. The power this group holds is enough to make somebody loved or hated, a style icon or a hot mess, and has the ability to pull someone from obscurity and into celebrity.

S: Tell me about your personal style!

R: I feel most comfortable in skinny jeans, a great pair of heels, a casual tank top or tee shirt with some sort of fabulous jacket as the statement piece. I also love to accessorize with a great scarf and sunglasses. I must own 25 different scarfs. I also love chunky rings! I just bought a brand a new YSL pink stone that I wear with everything.

S: What are you falling for right now?

R: My husband is a former Football, so I’m looking forward to watching all the games Sunday afternoon with him. I also love the fall weather where I can wear chunky sweaters, skinny jeans and boots. It’s such a good mixture of coziness and feeling sexy at the same time.

Sydney Interviews Nicole Miller

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM

Like all good things that comes to an end, summer is coming to a close, yet we have other things to look forward to like Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. In honor of one of my favorite weeks of the year, indulge in my interview with fashion designer Nicole Miller who chats fall trends,  favorite artists, transitioning tips and more. 

S: Tell me about how your career started.

N: I studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and at Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale da Haute Couture Parisian in Paris–that’s where I got my strong foundation. From there, I interned for a few designers and finally ended up with my current CEO Bud Konheim. This is the only place I have worked!

S: What are some trends highlighted in your fall 2012 and resort 2013 collections?

N: I referenced iconic personalities from the early 70s while designing my Fall collection, updating vintage silhouettes for the modern woman. For resort, I kept with my vintage theme while adding tie-dye to the collection.

S: You design a home furnishing collection for Bed Bath & Beyond. What are some ways that you like to change up your bedroom decor each season?

N: I love home products and mixing elements from my clothing label into the design of home products. I think the easiest way to change up a bedroom is with your bedding–just add a few new colored or textured pillows, and you can have an instant change!

S: I hear you’re quite the cook! What was one of your favorite dishes that you made this summer?

N: I love to cook! I’ll swing by the Farmer’s Market in Sag Harbor on the weekends to pick up fresh clams–my baked clams with chorizo are a big favorite during the summer among family and friends.

S: What’s a tip for transitioning from summer to fall?

N: Layer, layer, layer!

S: I learned that you collect art. Who are some of your favorite artists?

N: I prefer contemporary artists such as Ross Bleckner and Ellen Gallagner.

S: You were one of the first to start a less expensive line through a partnership with JCPenney. How is the design process different from your upscale line?

N: It’s a little different, mostly because we use different fabrics. I design both lines with the same intention, which is to make women feel confident and beautiful.

S: How do you describe your personal style?

N: I really like to be unexpected, but I also love to play around with contrasting prints and fabric; it really depends on my mood.

S: Your dresses are red carpet staples. Your favorite dress on a celeb, please!

N: The Angelina Jolie dress!

S: What’s up and coming for you?

N: We’re getting ready for the Spring 2013 show!


Sydney Interviews Jaclyn Smith

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 27, 2012 at 2:11 AM

Actress and businesswoman Jaclyn Smith has put a major stamp on more than one industry. She is best known as Kelly Garrett in Charlie’s Angels, and was the only female lead to remain with the series for the 5 year run. The ’80s marked Jaclyn’s start into developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and beauty products, and to this day, she is unstoppable. 

 S: What was it like to play a detective on Charlie’s Angels during a time when only men held that job?

J: There were three women as leads in a series which was a first at that time. A time that was really male dominated. It empowered  women and showed them in a very positive light. We were emotionally and financially independent. The best thing was the bond between the girls.

S: What do you think of Charlie’s Angels, the movie?

J: I saw the first one and did a cameo in the second. I thought they were just great! The film took another dimension in terms of being female super heroes with action and stunts. I think that the girls were terrific. I love Drew!

S: Tell me about being a Breck Girl.

J: Breck was early on in my commercial career. It landed me my first starring roll in the television series McCloud starring opposite Dennis Weaver. From a young girl I loved the Breck pastel ads in the magazines and was so excited to actually become one of them.

S: Weren’t you the first celebrity to develop a brand?

J: Yes I was. I was under contract to Max Factor at the time when Kmart approached me. Max Factor did not believe that was my customer, however, after I took my first meeting with Kmart, I was sold. It was  one of the best career decisions I have made. My philosophy is to give my customers fashionable but affordable apparel and home furnishings. Value has been the hallmark of my line. Kmart generously donates a percentage of profits to breast cancer research, a cause near and dear to me as I am a breast cancer survivor myself. They are a morally conscience company which I am proud to be associated with.

S: Let’s chat about your personal style!

J: I tend to be very classic in my choices. I think with classics your wardrobe becomes timeless. I love interchangeable separates that allow you to build a wardrobe. With separates you can put together many different looks so your money and wardrobe go further. That is my philosophy for my line at Kmart.

S: You would fit in perfectly in New York!

J: You see all styles of fashion in New York. There is something for everyone. On every corner there is an individual. I have always thought that fashion is temporary and inate style is forever. I see it in New York; there is such life in the city and I love it there.

S: What are you enjoying on TV circa now?

J: I love SMASH-the songs, the dance, New York City, everything. I’m a fan of CSI and have had the opportunity to work on that show. Love Grey’s Anatomy, will always be loyal to that show.

S: What are you working on now?

J: My brand is on going day in and day out. My husband created a skincare line for me and it’s his baby. I also have a wig line with Paula Young which I am quite proud of for it’s quality and style, as well as a fabric line with Trend at Fabricut and of course my apparel and home collection at Kmart that can been found through

Sydney Interviews Amanda Averill

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a nanny is like in the exclusive area of 90210, aka Beverly Hills? Meet Amanda Averill, who currently stars as herself (a high-profile nanny) on ABC Family’s new hit reality series Beverly Hills Nannies. Goodnight Moon, baby wipes, extravagant parties and more…tune in! 

S: How was moving from small town West Bend, Wisconsin to a big city like Beverly Hills?

A: Exhilarating! Watching movies like “Pretty Woman”, “Annie Hall”, and “Coming to America” (hysterical) increased my desire to move to a big city after high school and college. “Pretty Woman,” however, did not make me want to become a hooker, but it did make me want to walk around Rodeo Drive with huge shopping bags and ridiculous hats! It was a tough move, but I haven’t looked back since!

S: Typical day in the life of a Beverly Hills nanny, please!

A: A typical day doesn’t exist in Beverly Hills. One moment you’re making kids mac and cheese and the next minute you’re flying to Mexico for a quick vacation. The schedule is always changing with families in Beverly Hills. I have an overnight bag tucked away in my trunk with all the essentials so I can be ready at the drop of a hat to take a plane to Palm Beach or fly to Colorado for a ski trip. But on those “normal” days, kids are all the same. I help them get ready for school, prepare meals, go over homework, playtime, bath time, dinnertime and bedtime.

S: What are some of your essentials?

A: Baby wipes, more baby wipes, and a huge insulated coffee mug with bottomless coffee.

S: What’s your bedtime story?

A: Hands down, Goodnight Moon. I remember reading it when I was a child, and children I nanny for are still enamored by it today. I’m not sure what it is about that book, but it works like a baby sleeping pill if you ask me!

S: What do you wear to work?

A: I have two different wardrobes. On one side of my closet, I have “Nanny Amanda” clothes, and the other side of my closet are “27-year-old Amanda” clothes. Kids are messy, and nannying is an exercise all on its own. My favorite nanny uniform would be yoga pants, a tank top, and a hooded sweatshirt. I get why moms and dads wear their gym clothes all day. Alexander McQueen doesn’t go so well with a baby’s lunch!

S: What’s the most outrageous children’s birthday party you’ve attended?

A: I was at a huge birthday party for a 3 year old in a space off the ocean. There were over 150 guests, and because it’s LA and it was a huge outside party, the paparazzi started flocking to the scene. In fact, the party was getting so much chatter, huge porn star Ron Jeremy showed up with three of his ladies thinking he had missed an invite to the biggest party of the year. So all the moms, dads, kids, and Ron Jeremy partied till the wee hours of the morning celebrating a 3 year old’s birthday.

S: What’s something we don’t know about you?

A: I’m a trained singer (I went to college for music and theater), I can speak some Italian, and I can balance almost anything on my head. I do it for the kids!

S: What are you looking to accomplish in the future?

A: Every new experience I am introduced to here in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills are paving the way for my own future and career. I would love to dive further into acting, singing, and hosting. I have recently gotten into the beauty product branding world, and as a girly-girl myself, I have really enjoyed getting to know that industry. Maybe I’ll be a singing, perfume testing, power nanny in my near future!

(photo credit: ABC Family)

Sydney Interviews Lubov Azria

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Bon Chic, Bon Genre. Good style, good attitude. That is what BCBG stands for and portrays in all of its brands. Chief Creative Officer at BCBGMAXAZRIA, Lubov Azria is the leading femme of the company, and breaks down her story to Style Solutions. From creating the first BCBGMAXAZRIA fragrance and sharing her closet 411 to her NY obsession and more, indulge!

S: Tell me about your role at BCBGMAXAZRIA.

L: There isn’t a standard day at our office because everything is constantly changing and each day is a different challenge! I work with designers for BCBGMAXAZRIA Runway and ready-to-wear and Hervé Leger, fit 52 styles, work with merchandisers, meet with marketing, approve the window concepts, finalize handbags for market, and sign fabric specs. I have my hands on every aspect of the brand–I live and breathe it!

S: How has Hervé Leger changed since being acquired by BCBGMAXAZRIA?

L: Herve Leger is about glamour and sensuality. We maintained the couturier heritage while evolving through our distinctive Azria spirit. It is exclusive, intimate and unforgettable while paying tribute to modern femininity.

S: What was the process like for creating Within?

L: Fragrance has just as much impact in expressing one’s self as fashion does, and it can sometimes be the most alluring accessory. When a woman puts on a fragrance it smells different on her than anyone else. The development of the fragrance was a bit of a journey–I thought of the BCBG woman, incredibly polished and stylish, owning her femininity with a gentle confidence as she has the world at her fingertips. I used the most luxurious ingredients in the perfumer’s palette for she is just as exquisite as these elements. The packaging is designed to resemble hourglass curves with sophisticated elegance and a touch of tempting mystery.

S: Let’s chat about your closet!

L: Luckily, I started with a great space that already took care of my fundamental needs: large size, good lighting, and full-length mirrors. With the basics covered, everything else was icing. I definitely took into consideration functionality: hanging versus shelving, cabinets versus roll-out trays, even boots versus flats. In the end, it wasn’t a science. With so many daughters, my closet becomes a haven for women between the ages of 15 and 30, therefore I incorporated plush carpet and seating to create an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. I believe if you incorporate your own style, you can bring a trend back and make it your own. I’m a big fan of the designs coming out of Japan: Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe are true innovators in the industry. I admire designers who can truly look outside the box and create art that’s ahead of our time.

S: What are some of your favorite décor elements in your LA home?

L: The décor is inspired by our different travels and favorite hotels and restaurants. There is a touch of Hollywood Regency in addition to a worldly influence, with Max’s French background and my Ukrainian heritage, bringing an international spirit to our home. We named it “House of the Sun” because of the many antique French soleil mirrors covering the walls. My purpose of remodeling this home was to create the ultimate playground for my family and friends.

S: New York obsession, please!

L: Every time I’m in NY, I’m drawn to ABC Carpet. My secret obsession is lighting fixtures–is it odd that I love chandeliers?

S: The feeling is mutual. Tell me about the grand finale of your fashion shows where you join your husband on the runway.

L: It is the best part of every runway – it is the moment that showcases our shared passion, our love and the strength of our brand.

S: What’s a piece of advice that you’d like Style Solutions readers to know? 

L: Having great style in not about following the trends. It’s about feeling good, showing that confidence to the world, and wearing something that highlights your best asset.


Sydney Interviews Nicky Zimmermann

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM

Aussie, designer, and lover of colors and prints, Nicky Zimmermann is the femme behind the mega successful swimwear and ready-to-wear line Zimmermann. From her tips to finding the perfect bathing suit and fab shopping areas in Australia to her upcoming collections and more, Nicky breaks down her story to Style Solutions. 

S: Backstory, please!

N: Zimmermann actually started as a ready-to-wear label in Sydney and the swim came later on. When we started doing swim, it wasn’t something that designers really did so much–fashion swim as a complete collection. There were the traditional swim brands and then there was this gap. Being from Sydney, it was a very natural thing for me do.

S: I love your use of fabrics and colors. Where do you gather inspiration?

N: Inspiration comes from everywhere. Because I work with so much color and print, I’m always looking for new artwork that has a point of difference and that I love. I also get a lot of inspiration from where I’m from. I design for the girl that’s right outside my front door in Sydney, around the beaches in Tamarama or in Bondi.

S: Where are some of your favorite places to shop in Australia?

N: Glenmore Road in Paddington has a nice mix of Australian designers. It’s also a bit of a spiritual home for Zimmermann-it’s near where I studied fashion at college and where we first started selling at the Paddington Markets.

S: Are you into any water activities?

N: Not really! I’m a relaxer…I like a good pool and a good book!

S: What’s a Style Solutions tip for someone hunting for the “perfect” bathing suit?

N: For me, swimsuits shouldn’t be looked at any differently to how you put together the other parts of your wardrobe. You should just buy something that you love, that makes you feel good and fits in with your personal style. You want to work out styles that work for you in terms of fit and it’s always a good idea to take a lot of styles to the changing room because it can be surprising what works best.

S: Speaking of personal style…what’s yours? 

N: I’m more classic, but I like to find my own quirks.

S: What will we see in your upcoming swim collections?

N: For resort swim, the collection is more athletic and a bit sporty. The styles are clean and sophisticated. I love the simple scoop bikini in our geo print and the one shoulder style we’ve done in the textural snake print.

S: 3 words that describe your fall ready-to-wear collection are:

N: Fresh, textural and contradictory.

S: What’s up and coming for Zimmermann?

N: We’ve been spending a lot more time in New York and LA since we opened our stores in both cities over the last 12 months. We’ve just launched our US online store in the last month, and I’m coming back to New York to present Spring/Summer in September. And, we have lots of fun things happening at home in Australia that lead up to our summer. Very busy!

Sydney Meets Kelly Ripa & Kyle Richards

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 7, 2012 at 7:24 AM

Two Saturdays ago, and a few hours before en route to Paris, I attended Super Saturday where I wore this ASOS dress. What I didn’t tell you in my post about my ensemble was what I was doing there.

I wrote “Sydney’s Shopping Diary” for The Daily Dan (The Daily Front Row’s summer publication), a glimpse into my Super Saturday experience. It was so much fun to work with the photographer in shooting me shopping around different booths, and most importantly attending one of my favorite events of the entire summer.

I also held red carpet interviews with Brad Goreski, Mark Feuerstein, Kyle Richards, and Kelly Ripa. I even got to have my own red carpet photo-op with Kyle Richards and Kelly Ripa, who looked adorable in lieu of the rainy and muddy afternoon.

Above is a snapshot of my article, and you can read it in the online version (pages 22-23) here. Below are some of my favorite items by designers who had booths, and I visited, at Super Saturday.

kate spade $148

DKNY $235

bettye muller, $109

with style,


Sydney Interviews Holly Madison

In Interview/Personal Appearance on July 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM

This blonde beauty is more than just The Girl Next Door! From her burlesque show, Peepshow, and Disney-themed Vegas home to her personal style and more, Holly Madison has lots to share with Style Solutions. Dive in! 

S: How’s Peepshow going?

H: I absolutely love working with the cast, crew and creative team; it’s been a wonderful learning experience. I recently learned to sing, so I sing in the show now!

S: What was the transformation like from being on The Girls Next Door to going off on your own?

H: It was kind of a rocky road, but I knew immediately when it had to happen. When you make a drastic change in your life like that, you learn really quickly who your true friends are. I wasn’t guaranteed anything when I left, I just had a bunch of dreams I knew I needed to follow. I believed so strongly that I accomplished all the goals I had for myself when I left Girls Next Door almost 4 years ago. Now it’s time to make new goals!

S: How was working as Playboy’s Photo Editor?

H: Oh my gosh, I learned so much technically from the photographers! But most importantly, it taught me to lose all the immature jealousy women carry towards one another. I was always on the lookout for a variety of beautiful women; it was my job to make them look their best with the help of the hair and makeup artists, stylists and photographers. When that’s your job and motivation, you learn to appreciate people quickly and value what is unique about yourself.

S: Your name was the most searched on several times. Impressive! 

H: In a way it’s flattering, but in another way it’s scary! God knows what comes up when someone does an internet search on my name; probably a lot of untrue crap along with old embarrassing things I would love to have swept under the rug!

S: What are 3 of the coolest features in your home? 

H: I have stained-glass windows in my living room that were modeled after the opening stained-glass style images in Beauty and The Beast. I tracked down the company that makes the wallpaper used in the Haunted Mansion’s entryway and put it in my dining room, and I had a bed made for one of my guest rooms that looks like the one in the Captain’s Quarter’s scene in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

S: How do you dress for everyday?

H: How I dress everyday, or how I would like to dress everyday? [laughs]. When I’m in Vegas during the day before my shows (if I don’t have anything special going on), I must admit, I look like a scrub. I throw on the most comfortable thing I can find; something black if it’s Spray Tan Day, so I can get out of bed and get as many things done as quickly as possible. If I’m going to meet friends or have an event during the day, I usually wear a medium length, feminine, bright colored dress and Christian Louboutin heels or Repetto ballet flats. I usually have a small, 50’s style cardigan sweater with me because I get cold easily.

S: What are some of your favorite Vegas hangouts? 

H:  I love exploring downtown Las Vegas-it’s gritty and kitsch at the same time. The Golden Nugget has the best pool; you can ride a water slide that goes through a shark tank!

S: Where’s one place around the world that you’d love to visit?

H: I’d love to go to Disneyland in Hong Kong because it’s the only Disney park in the world that I have not visited.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

H: First, I have a signature pet line coming out–durable and fashionable toys and leashes, cute dog outfits, beds and even dog treats. I’m also developing a new TV show about a clothing company I’m working with and hopefully can debut a clothing and shoe line with them!

S: Have you ever had one of those ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ moments?

H: If I did, I couldn’t tell you, now could I?

Sydney Interviews Stephanie Hirsch

In Interview/Personal Appearance on July 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Designer, author and artist Stephanie Hirsch has an exciting and busy career. From creating the Inca lifestyle brand and being the designer behind Soul Cycle’s apparel line to her chic canvas masterpieces and more, Stephanie has lots to share with Style Solutions. on!

S: How did you get into the art world?

SH: Prior to being an artist, I was a fashion designer. I’d sold my business and I was going through a rough time in my life, and I’ve always used little mantras and sayings to get me through life. I needed to get out of this funk that I was in, and the only way for me to set myself free was to creatively pour these mantras onto a canvas and be able to see them on a daily basis.

S: How do you describe your art?

SH: I think they’re like pop art since they interpret iconic images and sayings. I believe my work speaks about a time and place in history.

S: Your work was featured in the Mercedes-Benz VIP Star Lounge during NYFW!

SH: Mercedes-Benz is always looking to do something original in their VIP Star Lounge. A friend of mine is their publicist and introduced my work to them, and they loved it and wanted to feature a “Keep Calm and Carry On” piece of art, and then do something exclusive. So, I came up with the idea of putting the phrases and images onto pillows, which is another form of artwork.

S: I love your use of beads–why this material?

SH: When I designed swim and resort-wear, I always loved beading and embroidery. It was my medium in terms of clothing. I feel like it has a lot of depth and soul, and it’s really the technique that I know and have used for expressing my creativity in my adult life.

S: Speaking of Soul, you’re the designer behind the Soul Cycle apparel line!

SH: Yes! Soul Cycle came to me right after I sold Inca and asked me if I’d consider helping them launch a fitness line. Doing swimwear, I understood the fabrics and techniques, so it was great. I tried to basically take ready-to-wear and make it fitness-wear. It doesn’t have to just be super athletic looking–it can still be fun and stylish.

S: Tell me about your book, Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from the Mothers of America’s Best and Brightest.

SH: It came out in 2008, 2 years after I had my first son. There’s this very type A, driven side to me, and when I had my son I had this idea that I had to be the best mother. At the time, I had my company and was stressed out. I was freaking out and wanted to know how mothers like Steven Spielberg’s [Leah Adler] raised such an incredible son. So I came up with the idea to interview the mothers of highly successful people from different fields to see what types of values and ideas they instilled in their children. It was a selfish endeavor because I wanted to learn how to give my son the best, but then it turned into this gift that I gave to so many other mothers who had the same questions.

S: What do you enjoy doing with your kids during the summer in the Hamptons?

SH: During the day, I try to utilize outdoor activities. I love taking them to the beach in the bay near my home, which is calm and they can run around. My older son and I love surfing together, and I also like to waterski and go paddle boarding. It’s all about the kids until after 7pm–I love going to house parties at night. It’s super fun!


Party Time! Dani Stahl & The Daily Dan

In Hamptons, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Sydney on July 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Shirt and skirt: Urban Outfitters, Sunglasses: Velvet Eyewear, Shoes: Sam Edelman, Handbag: Balenciaga

This week was quite the busy one, so I’m definitely craving the weekend.

One highlight was meeting fashion stylist, TV personality, and NYLON Editor-at-Large Dani Stahl at a private DIY denim event at the Gap on 85th and 3rd in NYC. Guests brought in a pair of old jeans to get Dani-fied, transforming them into a custom cut-off creation by Dani–who doesn’t need an extra pair of shorts in the summer?

That’s not all. Guests also enjoyed a candy bar of sour candies and licorice from Sweet City Candy, and music by DJ Techture. If you missed the fun, no worries, because Dani will be hosting a second cut-off event on Thursday, July 19th from 6-8pm at Gap at Lincoln Center. Do stop by!

Here’s some more party hopping for you! And this time, out in the Hamptons. The Daily Dan (joint venture between The Daily Front Row and Dan’s Papers) has teamed up with Calypso for a “Chic of the Week” party. Come join me and The Daily Dan team for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres provided by ultra delish beau marchais from 5-7 (more details above).

The best part? The Daily‘s editors will select the best dressed attendee and feature her in an upcoming issue of the magazine! RSVP and come!

Keep an eye out for some of my favorite Calypso pieces while nibbling and mingling!

with style,


Sydney Interviews Heather Thomson

In Interview/Personal Appearance on July 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM

This new Real Housewife of New York is one knowledgable femme in the fashion biz. From working with Beyonce and Diddy to starting her own shapewear line, Yummie Tummie, Heather Thomson has lots to share with Style Solutions. New launches, mixing and matching…read on!

S: How’d you get to be one of the new housewives on RHONY?

H: I got a call from a casting director saying they were kicking my name around and asked if I would be interested in joining the cast. My first instinct was wow, thanks so much for thinking of me, but I felt it might not be the right choice for me or my family. When I really thought about it, being given this incredible opportunity would allow me to bring real issues that working mothers face on a daily basis to the forefront. Raising my two children and being a wife, starting and running my own fashion business, creating awareness for charities and doing it all while trying my best to be glamorous and balanced is all I could ever hope to achieve.

S: What did you learn from working with Beyoncé?

H: Beyoncé taught me humility. She is so gracious and respectful of people, no matter how big of a star she was. Beyoncé worked and still works today very hard for what she has.

S: What about Diddy? 

H: Working with Diddy on his fashion shows was a real thrill. He was so incredibly hands-on and we literally worked around the clock as the show day neared. It was the hardest  but most rewarding experience of my time at Sean John. Diddy is first and foremost an entertainer, and he taught me how to add the showbiz to fashion.

S: Let’s chat Yummie Tummie!

H: I created Yummie Tummie out of a selfish initiative after giving birth to my first child. I went to the shapewear department as a consumer looking to boost my confidence; but when I arrived, it was as if the shapewear department had been frozen in time! My options left me with nothing more than my grandmother’s girdles. After first having to kick my husband out of the room to get dressed, these traditional shaping garments would roll, ride, bite and frankly hurt. I was left feeling downright self-conscious. I had a moment of clarity and sewed the first, and what would become The Original Yummie Tummie patented 3-panel shaping tank. Yummie is my descriptor for all things good. When my first child was in my belly, I called it my yummie tummie. People would touch my stomach and I would say, ‘I know, isn’t it yummie?’

S: How do you describe your personal style?

H: I like to mix it all up. I’ll wear something from J.Crew with a pair of Sergio Rossi shoes. I approach the process with a stylist’s eye to create a full look, but never head to toe in one designer. And, I always use my Yummie Tummie as a foundation.

S: Whenever guests go on WWHL, they get to sip their favorite cocktail. What’s yours?

H: Anything with tequila!

S: What’s up and coming for you?

H: We’re working with Lycra on a new technical fabric for a collection to launch next spring. I promise it will be the most beautiful and comfortable shapewear to hit the market. We’ll also be adding colors and washes to our line of Yummie Denim. And if that wasn’t enough, we continue to expand internationally, spreading Yummie around the world!

Sydney Interviews Joyce Azria

In Interview/Personal Appearance on July 2, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Growing up in the world of fashion design, Joyce Azria became a success story at an early age. As Creative Director of BCBGeneration and Manoukian, the design darling has lots to share. From a glimpse into the fall collection and her guilty pleasure to her take on Fourth of July chic-wear, Joyce tells her story to Style Solutions.

S: Tell me about BCBGeneration and your role as Creative Director.

J: BCBGeneration is an innovative lifestyle brand inspired by the youthful spirit and creative sensibility of today’s woman. Combining timeless aesthetics with playful details and experimental edge, the collection combines diverse contemporary references to form a cohesive vision. As Creative Director, I oversee all customer touch points, including design, creative and marketing for apparel and accessories.

S: Who is the BCBGeneration girl?

J: The BCBGeneration girl is typically between the ages of 18 and 30, intelligent, individual and inspired.

S: What are we going to see this fall? 

J: This Fall is all about contrast for our Generation girl. She’s into lace and leather juxtaposed against pebbled stretch crepes, sparkle jerseys and washed satin. Clean lines and structured shapes are counterbalanced by soft, playful silhouettes. Rocking wardrobe classics mixed with pattern, color and textural updates, our girl’s look is classically cool for Fall 2013!

S: When did you realize that fashion design was your calling?

J: In my early teens, I worked at the BCBG Max Azria boutique near home so I could start learning about the customer and the retail environment. Sketching became a standard pastime. When I was a senior in high school, I begged to be home schooled so I could apprentice at the corporate offices close by in LA, allowing me to learn all facets of the company. After receiving my high school degree, I dived right into the family business and the rest is history!

S: Tell me about your personal style. 

J: My style is defined by the three C’s: chic, clean and collected. I take risks with my accessories, but I usually stick to a neutral palette.

S: What’s your guilty pleasure?

J: Playing hooky to play with my kiddies- although, I get too much joy out of that to even feel guilty!

S: What’s up and coming for you?

J: My family will always be my answer to that question- but at the office we are working on our BCBGeneration denim expansion of colorful, printed and textured denim which now also includes amazing casual pieces from plaid button downs to faux-leather tees. I’ve also taken on the role of Creative Director to Manoukian, which will enter the US market, hitting Lord & Taylor stores exclusively come fall!

S: What’s your take on a chic Fourth of July outfit?

J: Patriotic, but not over the top. A solid red, white or blue sundress with gold accessories.

S: What’s a tip for staying stylish without breaking the bank?

J:  It’s very helpful and important to hold onto key, staple pieces that are seasonless. It’s totally possible to reinvent your basics by pairing them with new, trendy pieces that are less expensive.


Sydney Interviews Billy Baldwin

In Interview/Personal Appearance on June 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a cocktail party celebrating actor, producer and writer Billy Baldwin. Baldwin is the Global Alpina Brand Ambassador and the face of its 2012 advertising campaign–the brand hosted the trendy outdoor shindig. Located at The North Cabana in the Maritime Hotel in NYC, Billy chatted fashion, his role on Gossip Girl (xoxo), Alpina watches, and more to Style Solutions.

S: How did your relationship with Alpina watches begin?

W: My agents called me to tell me that Alpina was interested in having me be an ambassador for the company. I was very honored and flattered to be considered. The more we talked , I learned about the brand. It’s a brand in the midst of making a comeback. It was a very prominent brand in Europe in the ’50s and ’60s, and they’re rebranding it. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be in the glass case side-by-side with Cartier, Rolex, etc. It will come soon.

S: What qualities do you look for when shopping for watches?

B: I know a little bit about branding, history and craftsmanship, but what appeals to me most is the aesthetic of a watch. I like to purchase with reason. I have about 20-25 watches, some of the brands above, but I’ve only purchased probably 5-6 of them as I’ve received them as gifts from managers, agents, lawyers, my brothers, friends; watches that I’ve accumulated along the way.

S: Tell me about some of your previous celebrity endorsements.

B: I’ve done some things for Calvin Klein, some companies in the medical device industry, and I’m about to do another campaign for a clothing designer.

S: I love watching you on Gossip Girl. Did being William van der Woodsen on-screen come naturally to you?

B: Well, you’ve got to remember that early in my career I did a lot of research as preparation for a part that I played in The Preppie Murder and I played Robert Chambers who was very big in that circuit. It’s something I’ve been well versed in when I did that film in the late ’80s.

S: Any tips for my male readers who want to stay in touch with what’s going on in fashion?

B: You can’t really avoid fashion when you’re reading the newspaper, watching TV and surfing the internet. You’re picking up on what’s trending. I also have friends in very high places in the fashion industry.

S: Like who?

B: Jane Buckingham is one of my best friends. Whenever I need to know what’s happening, I call her!

Sydney Interviews David Meister

In Interview/Personal Appearance on June 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM

CFDA member and red-carpet staple designer, David Meister, knows anything and everything about finding the perfect wedding dress. From his backstory and hints about his Resort 2012 collection to a total breakdown of staying bridal chic, Meister tells his story to Style Solutions.

S: Let’s chat about life before starting your own line. 

D: I went to The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning. It was a 5 year program, and after my 1st year I got to do a 3 month internship in New York. By the time I graduated, I interned at brands like Ellen Tracy and Danskin, where my block in jersey clothing started.

S: What are some of your favorite childhood shows that inspire your designs?

D: I was always into clothing, but I didn’t realize someone did that for a living. When I was a kid, I turned on Sonny and Cher–I was like, she is so cool. I watched the credits once and realized someone actually did do that. I also liked “That Girl” with Marlo Thomas, and Mary Tyler Moore had a very cool look in her day.

S: Where are women going when wearing your day dresses?

D: We dress women from 20-70, but our core customer is 34-50. She’s wearing my day dresses to the office, luncheons, dinner, and sometimes to a casual cocktail party. You can also wear them to a day wedding. They’re usually simple shapes with great color and fit. Depending on how you accessorize them, you can really do a lot!

S: What are some tips for finding the perfect wedding dress?

D: A lot of brides have this image in their mind of what they want their dress to look like, but try on a lot of different looks and take in account your body. Most women want a strapless ball gown when they get married, but I think you should try something that’s a little different because it looks fresher and younger. While you want to stand out and look unique and special, you also don’t want to go crazy trendy because you’ll have those pictures for the rest of your life. The dress should be beautiful and have a sense of timelessness. I also think it’s beautiful if a bride wears a slight blush color like a sash at the waist–try a touch of color!

S: Flowers are an important element in weddings. What are some of your favorite flowers?

D: I’m a big white flower person, particularly tulips and orchids, and I also love peonies. I always believe that less is more, so keep it simple and pick just 1 or 2 favorites.

S: What are you currently working on?

D: Resort 2012! We’re going to see a lot of nude and natural colors. There will be shine, but not as glitzy. I also love navy and white. Women who wear our dresses love color, so there’s going to be a mix.

S: What’s different about the fashion biz right now?

D: People are now wearing gowns as cocktail dresses which is cool–we haven’t seen that in a while!

Sydney Interviews Alice & Olivia’s Stacey Bendet

In Interview/Personal Appearance on June 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Native New Yorker, lover of pants, and color enthusiast, powerhouse designer Stacey Bendet has taken fashionistas by the storm with her ever-evolving brand Alice & Olivia. Consistently leading the trends with her clothes and shoes, Stacey has lots to share with Style Solutions. Read on, as Stacey’s story includes her first Wall Street interview outfit, her summer plans and her growing success.

S: What’s the significance in the name Alice & Olivia?

SB: Olivia is my mom and was always super chic!

S: How did your affiliation with industry powerhouse Andrew Rosen happen?

SB: I met him through a friend when I was building websites. He said he wasn’t so into this internet thing, but he liked me and said I should stay in touch. When I started making pants, I invited him to our first show.

S: What types of pants were in your first line, a”just pants” collection?

SB: Crazy, fun, printed, embroidered, painted…only pants!

S: I hear you’re quite the yogi! 

SB: It’s my sanity. It’s personal, not professional. I practice ashtanga.

S: After studying at UPenn, you went for your first Wall Street interview in a creative outfit. Details!

SB: I hadn’t graduated. I was a senior and I went to one of those “banker meet and greets.” Only I was late and wearing a long floral print dress with a shearling coat. I put on my roller blades and skated there. Needless to say, I felt a little out of place amongst the suits. It was this weird lesson because as I looked around the room and saw grey and conservative everywhere, I just realized this is so not my world!

S: Now you have a daughter. I loved Eloise as a child myself, and it is adorable that you named your daughter after her. Is she your little Eloise?

SB: Yes! She told the flight attendant on our flight from LA to NYC that “I cannot have orange juice or champagne. I threw up in the car and when you throw up you really need to drink water, not orange juice or champagne!” I was like “OMG, you are right, Weez! Champagne would not be a good idea right now!” Yep, she is my Eloise!

S: You are now in hundreds of stores and have your own boutiques. What’s next?

SB: We are in over 900 stores. Right now, our focus is really on our own retail store expansion in different cities around the world.

S: When did you decide to add shoes to the Alice & Olivia brand?

SB: I just felt like our clothes needed some friends…foot friends.

S: For the last two years, you have been on the Vanity Fair Best Dressed list. Please give Style Solutions readers a tip!

SB: Never be afraid of a little color!

S: What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

SB: Playing in Malibu with [husband] Eric and the girls!

Sydney Interviews Melissa Rivers

In Interview/Personal Appearance on June 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Television host, producer, and fashion expert, Melissa Rivers knows how to work it both behind and in front of the camera. From her career on the red carpet and her daily uniform to the upcoming launch of her clothing line with Zappos (and more), Melissa has lots to share–she even gives her own Style Solution for us to follow. 

S: How did your career on the red carpet begin?

M: I started out as an intern at Entertainment Tonight while I was in college. From there, I got a job at MTV where I was on air. Then I went to CBS news, became a research assistant at Rescue 911, and then ended up at E! I basically did all of the jobs and worked my way up. The first time E! did the red carpet, it was with my mom. Then they asked me if I would be interested, and I was like well, I’d never been to the Academy Awards, so sure this sounds like fun!

S: Was there anyone who you hadn’t met before the red carpet who made you feel star struck?

M: Oh, tons of people. I spent a long time being very tongued-tied. It was usually the athletes that got to me, I mean I thought I was going to faint the first time I covered the Espys awards.

S: Who’s your favorite athlete?

M: That changes all the time, but I have to say I have an undying love for Peyton Manning.

S: What’s different and similar about you and your mom’s [Joan Rivers] personal style?

M: We both have a uniform, but my mom’s is black pants, a black top and a jacket, where mine is jeans and a white t-shirt.

S: What catches your eye on the red carpet?

M: It comes down to 2 things for me: proper fit, and that the person is wearing the dress, not that the dress is wearing the person.

S: If you could choose any designer to be affiliated with, who would it be?

M: I would have to fall somewhere between Victoria Beckham, whose style I absolutely covet, and Michael Kors–his style is so classic and all-American.

S: What’s your view on following trends?

M: I think you have to know what trends work for you. I always believe in hitting trends every year of some sort, but with a light touch. I’m really enjoying these super bright neon colors, but I’ve done it very carefully with some jewelry, shoes, and a bag.

S: What are you looking forward to while shooting Season 3 of Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

M: Well, they always provide a very delicious lunch– unfortunately for me it’s usually salad. But what I most look forward to is that I don’t just get to work with my mom, but with my son and my friends as well.

S: What’s a Style Solution that you can give to my readers?

M: I don’t care if you’re in a $10 dress, have it altered to fit you. The proper fit makes a $10 dress look like a $10,000 dress.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

M: On June 8, I’m launching the first celebrity capsule collection for The Cool People on It’s called Melissa Rivers for The Cool People. I’m really excited about it; it’s all wearable clothes that can transition from day to night to weekend. I’ve been wearing everything since I got my shipment. I think if you’re going to do something, and that’s where Victoria Beckham is genius, you wear it. If you don’t love it enough to wear it yourself, why would anyone else want it?

S: Lastly, does Joan really know best?

M: In her mind.

Sydney Interviews Elizabeth Hurley (Part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 30, 2012 at 7:41 AM

Elizabeth Hurley is a special beauty who I’ve realized shows up in the most unexpected places; and most recently in a major role on my favorite show, Gossip Girl. Elizabeth breaks down her favorite designers, her summer plans, and her travel tips (just to name a few) in part II of our interview. Indulge! 

S: What are some of your fondest memories from staring in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery?

E: I loved playing Vanessa Kensington in Austin Powers. My son adores the movie and knows all my lines. Mike Myers, who starred in and created the movies, was an amazing man, whom I adored. He made me cry with laughter every day and making the movies was a pleasure.

S: I can’t contain myself from asking about your Gossip Girl gig. As an Upper East sider myself, I am obsessed with Diana. How did this happen?

E: I dipped my toe back into show business last February, when Warner Brothers asked me to shoot the pilot for Wonder Woman. A few months later they offered me Gossip Girl. I’m playing Diana Payne, a self-made media mogul with questionable morals.  I’ve played a few villains in my time and love it – less acting required. Just kidding.

S: Too funny! I know that you travel a lot–do you have some tips for always looking great?

E: Flying is dehydrating so I drink as much water as I can, even though I dislike it, and use heaps of moisturiser. I also take a big shawl to snuggle in and my Ugg boots, if I can cram them in my hand luggage.  I usually clean up my Inbox on flights, read or stare out of the window and think.  I never watch movies and try to sleep as much as possible.

S: Let’s chat fashion! Who are your favorite designers, and how do you describe your personal style? 

E: Such a difficult question: -I love Versace, Lanvin, John Galliano, Cavalli, Prada, Fendi, Giambattista Valli…the list could go on.  I like a sleek, feminine look. I like women’s bodies and am not that keen on baggy clothes which hide everything. On vacation I like women to look relaxed and easy-nothing should be tight or uncomfortable. At parties in town I frequently wear stuff that’s tight and uncomfortable but that’s different! I tend to have a bit of a man’s eye and like what men like women to wear more than fashion victim stuff beloved by some editors!

S: What are some activities that you’re looking forward to this summer? 

E: I’m launching a collection of bed linen in late May, which will initially be sold at the House of Fraser stores in the UK. We spend a third of our lives in our beds, so I think they should be beautiful.  I’m also opening an Elizabeth Hurley Beach boutique in Marbella later this month. The collection is very glamorous so it’s perfect for the ladies of Marbella.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a vacation too!

S: It’s been a pleasure to learn about you. What’s one last thing that you’d like my readers to know?

E: Always put your family first. I took nearly eight years off from filming in order to raise my son and I don’t regret a day of it.

Sydney Interviews Elizabeth Hurley (Part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 29, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Model, actress and designer Elizabeth Hurley dominates more than one industry. From working with Estee Lauder and how she stays in shape to her line Elizabeth Hurley Beach (and more), Elizabeth gives Style Solutions her story.

Stay tuned for part II tomorrow, where Elizabeth gives us the scoop on staring in Gossip Girl, her favorite designers, and more.

S: Estee Lauder was your first modeling job and it’s lasted for over a decade. How do you explain your longevity with Lauder?

E: When Estee Lauder approached me out of the blue and asked me to work for them I was staggered as I’d never modelled before. Now I’m in my eighteenth year and I still love working for them.  They’ve been very loyal and supportive to me and stuck with me through thick and thin. Estee Lauder taught me to make an effort with my appearance every day and now it’s a habit. I don’t always look glamorous as I work and have my son to look after, but I watch my weight, don’t drink much alcohol and try not to bite my nails.

S: As a trained ballet dancer, do you ever incorporate dance into your current exercise routine?

E: I studied dance during my youth, but sadly don’t train at all now, although I put myself under pressure to remain slim because I still model my own bikinis. I walk every day with my dogs and force myself to run a bit-but I hate it. I love pilates and yoga but don’t do them regularly. I am extremely active though and don’t sit still much. I do stomach and bottom exercises whilst waiting for the tub to fill.

Pink Snake Kaftan: $ 443.00

S: Speaking of bikinis, tell me about the genesis of your line, Elizabeth Hurley Beach

E: I decided to venture into Beachwear not only because I’ve always been obsessed with holiday clothes, but also because it’s an area where women, regardless of shape or size, can either look amazing or really get it wrong. I wanted to come up with some styles that make people look great and develop a resort collection which would make a woman feel fabulously sexy at any age.

S: What’s the direction of this summer’s collection?

E:  I wanted to make this collection really glamorous: I used beautiful pinks, golds, aquas and reds and some of the bikinis and sarongs are embroidered with tiny mirrors. The Jaguar print Venus kaftan looks particularly rich adorned with Swarovski crystals around the neckline and we also have some great new cut out one pieces which are really flattering.  I’ve also introduced a really beautiful snake print and I lived in the Pink Snake Kaftan on my last vacation.

S: I love those color combinations. What can be found inside your beach bag?

E: I take a towel, sun cream, a book, water in a glass bottle, spare bikini, cotton kaftan and sarong. I put all this in one of my big, towelling beach bags, which are machine washable, with a zipped compartment for money and camera. I make sure the bikinis go with the kaftan and sarong and frequently take everything in white, thus making it easy!

Sydney Interviews Lauren Bush Lauren

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 21, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Model and activist, Lauren Bush Lauren, is doing the ultimate community service. From her admirable and inspiring FEED Projects to her experience in the fashion biz and so much more, Lauren gives Style Solutions her story. 

S: What was the genesis of FEED Projects?

L: I was inspired to start FEED after traveling around the world with the UN World Food Programme. On these trips to over a dozen countries, I was able to witness the school feeding program firsthand. I wanted to allow others to engage in the fight against world hunger. The idea for the initial FEED bag was to build the donation cost to feed a child in school for 1 year into the cost of a consumer product- a bag. The design was inspired by the bags of food rations I saw being distributed around the world.

S: Describe a day in the life of Lauren Bush Lauren.

L: Depends on the day. Most weekdays, I wake up, go to the gym, shower, get a latte at my favorite coffee shop, walk to work (or bike ride) and then work at the FEED HQ until dinner time, when I generally meet my husband, David, at home or at a restaurant. If i’m lucky, I’ll get in a good TV show or have time to read before dinner…then I do it all over again.

S: How did interning for Zac Posen influence you? 

L: It was a really great experience for me as I was able to see firsthand how a small business operates and how inspiration becomes designs. Zac was a really great mentor for me.

S: Tell me about the FEED TOMS collaboration.

L: Blake Mycoskie (who founded TOMS) and I have been long time friends and have talked about collaborating for years. He also runs a business that has a wonderful social impact, so a collaboration only makes sense. For each FEED TOMS shoes we sell, we are able to donate 12 school meals and a pair of shoes.

S: How would you describe your personal style? 

L: I prefer to wear things that are feminine, elegant and easy to wear.

S: I was wondering if the fact that your husband’s last name is the same as your first was a sign that you were meant to be?

L: Perhaps it was fate!

S: What’s up and coming for you?

L: I’ve been working on our first large-scale fundraiser, the Clarins Million Meals Concert for FEED, which will take place at Lincoln Center on May 30th. Artists such as John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield and others will be performing, and President Bill Clinton will be addressing us that night. The goal is to raise enough money to give 1 million school meals in 1 night.

S: You have it all: beauty, smarts, a handsome and successful husband, and your admirable “do good” activities. Is there anything missing?

L: Ha! I do admit I am a very blessed lady. I don’t feel that anything is lacking at the moment; I have my health, I am doing something I love, and I’m surrounded by people I love.

Sydney Interviews Taylor Dayne

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter, and actress, Taylor Dayne knows how to get a crowd on their feet. From her billboard status and personal style to competing on Rachael Ray vs. Guy Fieri’s Celebrity Cookoff, Taylor has always been one to watch: Taylor gives her story to Style Solutions below. 

S: 18 of your songs reached the top 10 billboard status?

T: Yes it’s true! It’s a proud moment; I’m amazed and I still don’t own an NFL team.

S: How do your relationships influence your songs?

T: I can’t think of many songs that don’t deal with a love relationship of some kind…well maybe disco and drinking songs. Gin and juice might not be my next hit, but singing about love is certainly something I know firsthand.

S: Not only were your hits in the 80s and 90s, but you had a recent 2011 top ten. How does a singer maintain this longevity?

T: Maintaining anything means you have a strong will and desire to continue changing, expanding and being successful. One’s career takes some luck, a lot of good direction, and gifts. Listen to yourself and those you need.

S: Tell me about staring on the Food Network’s Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.

T: The celebrity cook off was a crazy fun experience for me. I truly was quite the underdog as a non-cooking person; but, never dismiss those that do eat out at many restaurants and travel. Given some technique and being a fast learner, I got where you saw me, winning challenges and getting to the end and winning team.

S: Tell me about your public vs. private fashion style.

T: Fashion to me is confidence, trusting your own instincts, and looking at the styles you admire and what works on you. At home I kick back–comfort first. When I go out for dinner, I will usually opt for a dress. I just feel sexier that way, and in heels. Red carpet is about my hair, makeup, and outfit.

S: You were recently at The Kentucky Derby. How was it?

T: The Derby to me is so much more than the hats! I’ve made incredible friendships over the years. I just love the races, the mint juleps, and the dressing up. Not to mention, I go from noon to 5am the entire weekend!

S: One New Year’s Eve in Palm Beach, I had the pleasure of attending your concert at Mar-A-Lago. Any more live performances?

T: I tour often; dates are up on my site. I actually do remember that New Year’s Eve! It was for Donald Trump and his family; it was a lot of fun.

S: Memorial Day Weekend is approaching. What are your plans?

T: I’m usually performing that weekend, but this year I’m in the Hamptons, and then I’m off to the Philippines!

Sydney Interviews Rachel Heller

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Native New Yorker, actress, writer, and graduate of Columbia University, Rachel Heller is a femme of many talents. Most recently, she starred on mega-stylist June Ambrose’s new reality TV show, Styled by June, adoring fans as June’s newbie assistant. From working alongside Aubrey O’Day and Mischa Barton to her summer plans, Rachel tells her story to Style Solutions.

S: You’re listed on Styled by June as June’s new assistant. How was being the newbie?

R: It posed a lot of challenges for me. There was never a dull day; we were constantly given new tasks and given high expectations to style the celebrities on the show. We would style celebrities that were out of the spotlight for a few years and were coming back. We wanted to make them feel confident, have a sense of self and exude a new page in their career.

S: My favorite celebrities that you worked with are Aubrey O’Day and Mischa Barton. Tell me about your time with them.

R: Mischa was very professional. It was impressive to watch how she handled press interviews at her launch party for her handbag line; I really liked working with her. Aubrey was bubbly fun, and up for anything. She has this playboy persona, but she’s smart and knows where she’s going with her career. We transformed her hair color to red and she ended up keeping it!

S: A lot of people feel misrepresented on reality TV. Did you ever feel that way?

R: It’s kind of scary because it’s not like acting where you’re given lines, but you’re somewhat fed the situation. It’s all about getting the story across.

S: How has your personal style transformed since working with June?

R: I’ve always loved styling and learned even more about it while working with June. I now take styling more as an art than just getting a Herve Leger dress that I know looks good on my body. I want to stand out more now and have my own identity as opposed to following what looks good. I also like to combine bold jewelry into my wardrobe.

S: What did you learn about June?

R: She’s very good at working with clients who are running away from fashion and their identity. Being a celebrity, you’re always in the spotlight, so it’s scary for them to make that change on the red carpet with a new look and this idea of a “new me”.

S: What are you looking forward to this summer?

R: I’m looking forward to hosting a party out in the Hamptons and changing from the girl that was a newbie to the girl who has embraced fashion and is being the young woman who’s a lifestyle guru, which is an open door for lots of opportunities.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

R: More TV and film is in the future, and way down the line, writing books!

(p.c zimbio)

Sydney Interviews Jill Zarin

In Interview/Personal Appearance on May 1, 2012 at 12:00 AM

TV personality, author, designer, mom and wife, Jill Zarin knows how to juggle it all. From her new ventures and evolving style to how she spends Mother’s Day, I’m pleased to kick off  May with an interview with Jill. 

S: As busy as you were filming RHONYC, you seem to be crazy busy now!

J: I still wonder how I was able to take care of Allyson in high school, film a reality show and work at Zarin Fabrics. After leaving RHONYC, I thought I could kick back and soak up all the positive energy around me. That lasted for a few weeks and then I went back to work full speed ahead because that is what I truly enjoy!

S: Have you found your style to change through the years?

J: My look has certainly evolved over the last few years, but I still always love a little glitz and glamour! I remember going onto (which I do everyday!) and seeing a box on the homepage, “Jill Zarin’s Fashion Style Through The Years”, as if I was Coco Chanel and they were doing a retrospective. I took a screen cap and almost passed out.

S: Tell me about Skweez Couture, your shape-wear and hosiery line.

J: Skweez Couture was designed to fill a need that I saw in the marketplace. 18 months ago, I said I wanted to design fashionable and feminine shape wear for women of all ages, shapes and sizes. The collection was inspired by old Hollywood glamour for the modern woman. It’s been very well received, but most importantly, it is when your husband tells you how sexy you look!

S: Speaking of your husband, how’s Bobby? 

J: Bobby has never been happier. He wanted me to leave housewives last year and his dream finally came true. It doesn’t mean we’ll be off TV forever, but he didn’t like the way I was presented. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook where I post photos with my family this summer!

S: Tell me about your newly launched Jill Zarin Jewelry.

J: I’ve always been a fan of jewelry, specifically Elizabeth Taylor’s collection. As a present before my launch, Bobby bought me a ring from her collection that was auctioned off at Christie’s. My collection looks very expensive but is very affordable with statement pieces that can be worn everyday or to a gala. As part of my research, I read all the European Fashion Magazines, Daily trade papers, subscribed to trend reports and traveled around the world, sitting in outdoor cafes “people watching”.

S: Mother’s Day is coming up. How do you celebrate?

J: I love when we go away with both sides of the family, the more the merrier. I am blessed to have both my parents, my sister and her family, my incredible husband and most precious daughter and step children, 2 grandchildren and of course the love of  my life, Ginger. so I will celebrate with them in person or in my heart!

Sydney Interviews Dancing With The Stars’ Kym Johnson

In Interview/Personal Appearance on April 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Multitalented and 3 time Dancing With The Stars mirrorball trophy winner, Kym Johnson knows how to take over the dance floor, and of course fashionably. From her costumes on DWTS and her dream partners to her motivating workout DVDs, Kym gives Style Solutions her story. 

S: When did you realize that you wanted to be a ballroom dancer?

K: I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old, so it’s something that I’ve always known; I love to dance! I also trained in all aspects of performing arts, including singing, ballet, tap, jazz and acrobatics. I decided to focus on competitive ballroom dance at 13 years old, and the rest is history!

S: You hold 3 mirrorball trophies on DWTS. How have you come to this point?

K: I was fortunate to win 2 times in America (with Donny Osmond and Hines Ward) and I also won in Australia before I moved here. Winning the mirrorball trophy is the icing on the cake for all of the efforts you and your partner put into for a whole season; it’s an amazing feeling!

S: The costumes you wear on DWTS are out of this world! Do you have any say in what you wear?

K: We each work with the costume department on DWTS every week. I have a lot of input as to what we wear and we work collaboratively together to create each look. Playing dress up is one of my favorite things, and creating each look every week is just like that.

S: What was it like dancing at Elton John’s 50th birthday party?

K: Amazing! It was a dream come true. I love Sir Elton John, he is one of the nicest people, and helping him celebrate his 50th birthday (in my own little way) was definitely a moment to remember! How cool would it be if he signed on to be a contestant on DWTS!

S: So cool! Any other “dream” dance partners?

K: I think Bill Clinton would be an amazing dance partner, as would Richard Gere!

S: Tell me about your role in the Broadway show, Burn The Floor.

K: Wow, I love Broadway. Living and working in NYC for one of my DWTS hiatuses was a life-long dream of mine. I was so honored to dance in Burn The Floor, a production that I started dancing with in Australia. My mom came to be with me in NYC during Christmas and I had my first white Christmas. I would love to return to Broadway one day; it was so much fun!

S: Tell me about your [3] fitness DVDs. 

K: Dance is honestly a great workout. It works your whole body and you can do it with friends, colleagues, or by yourself at home. It’s so fun to make the DVDs, I love being a part of them.

S: You’re still dancing the night away on this season’s DWTS!

K: I’m partnered with Jaleel White, and so far we are doing well! I hope everyone likes the dances we work so hard to do each week. Please vote for us!

Sydney Chats Spring/Summer 2012 With Sam Edelman

In Interview/Personal Appearance on April 20, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous in NYC, so I was happy to celebrate my spring fever with Sam Edelman at his personal appearance at Bloomingdales. Full of fashionistas and shoe-lovers alike, shoppers had the opportunity to nibble and mingle with Sam over cupcakes and cookie pops topped with pictures of his Yelena and Felicia shoes. Giving Style Solutions readers a taste of his spring/summer collection, his handbag line and more, I present my interview with Sam.

S: What’s the direction of your Spring/Summer collection?

SE: It’s important to know that there is always some aspect of rock and roll in my collections. This season, I’ve been very influenced by second generation rock and roll. I love the mixtures of material and saw the tribal trend happening in a very big way.

S: Speaking of trends, tell me about your favorites.

SE: Tribal is really the statement of the season and I think it’s going to get bigger and bigger. I also love color this season, especially orange. In metallic, I love rose-gold and think it is extremely important. Color-blocking is a big deal, and of course the natural satins and leathers, which go well with tribals and everything else out there.

S: What do you think about neons?

SE: I like the neon trend for this summer, but I don’t think it’s here to stay.

S: What’s the key shoe in this season’s collection?

SE: The Gigi done in the tricolor (which means 3 colors) with python in the front, pony on the sides, and coral in the back.

S: Tell me about your handbags!

SE: I love the black handbags with studs on them and the mixtures of leather. At certain places they’re sold out; they’re going like crazy!

S: Any thoughts on designing men’s shoes?

SE: I’ll do men’s shoes next year. The shoes I’m wearing today are designed by me–I also picked the leather.

S: What do you think about when you’re designing?

SE: A muse, someone who I see wearing my shoes. I work from what I think she’s going to be wearing; that’s how I work. I usually find that girl in Europe, and I know exactly what she looks like.

Sydney Interviews Candela Founder Gabriela Perezutti

In Interview/Personal Appearance on April 19, 2012 at 7:14 AM

Candela founder and designer Gabriela Perezutti knows how to make women feel beautiful in her stylish clothes and ultra-chic shoes. Her style incorporates equestrian and traditional gaucho influences and combines them with edgy elements inspired by NYC. Blending all of these diverse elements into a truly unique creative direction applied to all of her collections, I present my interview with Gabriela. 

S: How did Candela get started? 

G: Having a media degree, being the director of sales at a fashion showroom, drawing, and modeling in the past all led me to understand visions. I wanted to give designing a try and it worked out. Candela is a classic name that means measurement of light and represents South American culture. It has different significances, but the main point is that it’s a colorful word.

S: Not only do you design clothes, but you also design shoes. When did Candela footwear launch?

G: It launched in 2006. It’s funny because people started to know us more for footwear and thought we started it before clothing when it was the other way around. Designing shoes is easier than designing clothes because it’s basically one silhouette where you’re finding different and attractive ways to cover just the foot. For clothing, you’re designing for the entire body and you need many measurements, so it’s more complicated from a design and fit point of view.

S: Where do you gather inspiration for your shoes?

G: Movies, music, the past, places I went when I was growing up, and living in New York.

S: Tell me about your favorite pieces from your Spring 2012 collection.

G: I like the military jacket with the beaded elephant on the back. The elephant came about in a dream that my father had of him in a fight with an elephant in India. He was sick at the time and passed away soon after, so I started designing elephants.

S: Not only am I a huge fan of Candela, but celebrities are too. 

G: Celebrities who wear our products have always bought them, such as Fergie and Oprah. We usually find out our celebrity customers when they’re shot in photos!

S: What are we going to see from Candela in the fall?

G: You’re going to knits, a lot of dresses, and the mix of our contrast between feminine and masculine like we always do. There will also be velvet loafers, which have been extremely successful.

S: What does the future hold for Candela?

G: I want Candela to grow into a lifestyle brand. Candela’s been around since 2004 and we work very hard to put products out there that are really specially and mean things to people so that they want to keep them for a long time.

Sydney Interviews Jagger Edge Co-Owner, Alex Walker

In Interview/Personal Appearance on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Mega accessory brand, Jagger Edge, has taken us fashionistas and tech junkies by the storm. From the ever-popular Montana iPhone and iPad case and a huge celebrity following to the brand’s first store located in LA, Jagger Edge’s cofounder and co-creative director, along with (Gina Klein-Yao), Alex Walker, gives Style Solutions the scoop. 

S: Tell me about how Jagger Edge got started. 

A: I was working as an Art Director, Editorial Photographer and Stylist when Gina called me in to consult on an idea she had on a prototype; we soon realized we had to be partners and do something really great. Together, we’ve been able to build a trendsetting, unique company with limitless potential and growth.

S: You coined the term “Techcessory.” How do you define it?

A: Techcessories are accessories to kick your mobile devices up a notch and add some swagger. For us as designers, these accessories should be as fashion-forward as any wardrobe staple and must-have accessory. They should be a reflection of who the person wearing them is, just as their iPhones, iPads etc. are an extension of themselves.

S: Your most popular iPhone case seems to be The Montana, and I absolutely love it!

A: The Montana has become our “Birkin.”  We wanted something that had a classic appeal, but with the “edge” that is notoriously what we are all about, and structure that still left room for evolution.

S: You also came out with keychains. How did this idea come about?

A: Our key chains are actually a “public demand” influenced design, as well as with the POUCH. We get so many requests from people who want that Jagger Edge element but don’t have an iPhone or iPad, so the keychains and pouches allow people to get the look in other ways.

S: If there were to be a Jagger Edge girl, what would be her favorite apps on her iPhone/ iPad?

A: Zombie Highway,, MADE, Newsstand, Pose and iTunes.

S: What’s up and coming for Jagger Edge?

A: We just opened our first official store and concept space, so we are launching a proper line of accessories and clothing. We also have upcoming collaborations including new killer styles from NATIVE EDGEWe are also working on some wicked things with The Collective. We encourage everyone to follow us on FacebookTwitter, or to sign-up for our Newsletter to keep up on all the excitement; our fans are always the first to know!

Sydney Interviews Velvet Eyewear Founder Cindy Hussey

In Interview/Personal Appearance on April 5, 2012 at 7:49 AM

Sunglasses are one of my favorite accessories. No matter where in the world I am, or what season it is, I never leave my home without a pair in my handbag. I discovered Velvet Eyewear at Henri Bendel’s in September and have fallen head-over-heels obsessed with the brand. From finding the right shade to fun color options and upcoming sunglass summer trends, I present my interview with Velvet Eyewear Founder, Cindy Hussey

S: Why do you think it’s difficult for people to find sunglasses that fit best?

C: I think it may seem difficult because most people look good in more than one style, so it’s hard to make a decision. Think about buying 2 different styles, like a metal and a plastic, or a round shape and a rectangular shape. Also color can be a factor. Buy a basic color like Black or Tortoise and also some other color for the season like Yellow or Red.

S: Sunglasses not only protect from the strong sun rays, but they are also an extremely popular fashion accessory; when did this happen?

C: Wow! A long time ago in the late 1930s. When I think of sunglass history, I think of Bridget Bardot; what a beauty!

S: You also design optical glasses. How would you describe them?

C: They have simplicity and class.

S: What colors, shapes and materials do you forecast for this summer?

CLots of color! Oversized round shapes and plastics will be huge, and metals will be important too.

S: Although you suggest purchasing 2 pairs of shades, is there a particular style that suits all seasons if one wants to invest in just one pair?

C: Pick a pair that fits well, and go with a color that you feel compliments your wardrobe.

S: Where do you look for inspiration when designing?

C: I almost never look at other eyewear for inspiration; I look at overall trends in fashion and lifestyle and incorporate those trends into Velvet Eyewear.

S: My favorite style in your collection is the Janis (in photo above). What’s yours?

C: I wear a lot of different Velvet Eyewear styles, but I seem to wear the Velvet JOIE in black the most. Stay tuned for many new styles and lots of great color!


Sydney Interviews Red Carter

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Swimwear designer, Red Carter, knows how to make women feel their best, especially during swimsuit season. He can be found scouring scarf bins near 24th and 6th Ave in NYC and is constantly influenced by his discoveries. From his design process and working alongside Oscar de la Renta to picking the “right” swimsuit, Red gives Style Solutions his story.

S: What’s the backstory behind Red Carter swimwear?

R:  I started the Red Carter label 9 years ago out of my apartment in Miami Beach; it was me, a credit card and a dream. The first season I designed the collection, I researched vintage photographs of people’s vacations in Miami Beach from years gone by. It hit me that my goal was to try to be a part of the pictures I was seeing, so I started creating these souvenir swim suits of their trip. I first made the collection so tiny that only models on the beach (who helped promote the brand) could wear them. Today, I accommodate more people and reach a broader audience.

S: Tell me about your Red Carter and Red Carter GLAM collections.

R: The colors, fabrics and silhouettes are all chosen specifically for the brand, but I do like to separate the themes to address the specific customer. Right now, moving to NYC, I’ve found myself influenced by the city streets and the architecture of the buildings. This season, we have a new direction for the label; we are separating Red Carter into the red label and the black label as 2 separate customer profiles. The Black Label will be the usual sexy fit with bikinis and one pieces and the red label has been built to address the contemporary American body. This collection will feature some of the signature hits I’ve done in the past.

S: What was it like working alongside Oscar de la Renta?

R: I worked as a swimwear designer for Authentic Fitness interpreting the Oscar de la Rena look into swimwear and cover-ups. I remember one day I sat in the De la Renta offices waiting to work with him, and in the course of 7 minutes he draped a dress, cut on the bias skirt flowing and neckline ravishing. I was humbled to be in the presence of such greatness.

S: What are some tips for picking the “right” bathing suit?

R: Go to a store that has great customer service with a staff that understands figure flaws. Once you find a favorite fit, stick with it. Prepare yourself for the worst, but personal maintenance can change the mood of the buyer. Don’t be afraid of newness in shapes, and know your colors. Always have a favorite black back up swimsuit, and if you’re of drinking age, have a martini before you try on anything!

S: Who are some of your celebrity devotees?

R: I am very lucky to have found my wares on many celebrities: Rihanna, Katy Perry, Giselle Bundchen, Heidi Klum, and Nicki Minaj are all wearing the product.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

R: I’m currently working on my 2013 collection, which I’ll show in Miami on the runway. I cannot wait to have a fresh start this season; all of the bright colors are perfect for swimwear.

(photo credit: Zimbo)

Sydney Meets David Guetta

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 26, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting David Guetta at the Beats by Dr. Dre party at Soho House Miami. This weekend marked the annual Winter Music Conference where people from all around the world gather to attend Ultra Music Festival. I love house music and David is by far my favorite producer and DJ. His songs are the most played on my iPod, including “Titanium”, “I Can Only Imagine” and “I’m A Machine.” He was in Miami to perform at Ultra and other events, and to mingle with fellow DJs at this intimate get-together. It was fun to get a glimpse of the new Beats products, meet Daivd, and better yet, to get a taste of his personal style. What I admired most about his quirky yet cool and edgy outfit was his Christian Louboutin shoes; he without a doubt makes flats chic. The stud embellishment is incredible, and yes they have red soles.

In honor of Ultra Music Festival, I put together some must-have pieces that create a practical yet stylish ensemble. Ultra is all about bright neon colors, light fabrics, and simply just looking cool. With the help of some funky accessories, bikinis with sheer coverups, cutting-edge shoes and more, you can become the Ultra fashionista.

1. Italia Independent, 2. Adia Kibur, 3. Melissa Odabash, 4. Maison Michel, 5. Jeffrey Campbell, 6. Delias, 7. Austique, 8. Missoni, 9. ASOS, 10. American Apparel, 11. BaubleBar, 12. La Garconne, 13. Modcloth, 14. Topshop, 15. Rebecca Minkoff, 16. Splendid

Off to Palm Beach this morning, and more exciting posts to come!

with style,


Sydney Interviews Taylor Armstrong

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM

A sweet mom with a wholesome background from Oklahoma, I love watching Taylor Armstrong on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. From being on the advisory board of My Stylist Club (a stylist to consult with via Skype or phone) to sharing her story in her new book, Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within, Taylor gives Style Solutions a taste of her life. 

S: As a devoted mom, you seem to thoroughly enjoy Kennedy. What do the two of you like to do together? Any “Mommy and Me” outfits?

T: Kennedy and I have a lot of fun going to the beach, reading books, dancing around the room, making dinner together, etc. We spend a lot of time together; she’s my world. We have more similar items than matching, but we do have matching leather bracelets that we made in Hawaii. They have special inscriptions that mean something to us about our relationship as mother and daughter; I cherish those.

S: Why do you think everyone is so fascinated by what you do or don’t do in terms of facial treatments?

T: Beverly Hills and Hollywood are often associated with plastic surgery and the desire to stay young-looking. There are so many great non-invasive treatments. I love Vi Peel; it gives me glowing, soft skin in a week. I get Botox twice a year to keep the wrinkles under control, and filler has helped to fill out my hallow cheeks a bit. I should’ve used more sunscreen as a young person and maybe I wouldn’t need the help. I use it everyday now…better late than never!

S: How do you differentiate your style from the rest of Beverly Hills?

T: I would describe my style as classic with an edge. I really like accessories, especially bold cuffs and rings. I wear a lot of vintage American Indian pieces because it is a part of my heritage and makes me think of my grandmother and family in Oklahoma.

S: I admire how you’re using your fame to bring attention to what in many cases is still the dark secret in families. How do you explain this?

T: Sadly, there is a stigma that comes with domestic abuse. It’s so difficult for anyone who hasn’t been in an unhealthy relationship to understand why someone stays. I hope by sharing my story, more people will recognize the red flags and get help long before I did.

S: What was it like getting that story down on paper?

T: A good deal of it came from journaling, which I found to be quite helpful in examining the patterns in my life starting as a teen. When I began to realize how my lack of self-esteem played a role in the types of relationships I chose, I decided to share. My hope is that young people will see the warning signs of unhealthy relationships early on and will have enough self-love to make better decisions than I did.

S: What’s up next for you?

T: My primary focus is enjoying time with Kennedy. When she is busy in school, I will be sharing my experiences by speaking at women’s centers and universities. I recently started the Taylor Armstrong Foundation, whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to local shelters across the US and to educate the community on domestic violence.

Sydney Attends Isaac Mizrahi For PROPER ATTIRE®

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 22, 2012 at 12:00 AM

On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Isaac Mizrahi for PROPER ATTIRE® condoms at a cocktail party at the Soho Grand Hotel. With best-dressed guests, finger-food and drinks, an inspirational speech made by Isaac, and the way in which he interjected his signature joie de vivre into his designs, Isaac raised awareness and proved that being safe is always in style.

Utilizing his signature pretty prints to wrap his limited edition packaging for PROPER ATTIRE®, Isaac’s designs include oversized polka dots, pink and white gingham, and a floral print. Sales benefit charitable organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and you can purchase the condoms at ProperAttire, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and I especially love the floral print as it is a major trend this spring. Other top-notch designers who have collaborated on collections for this brand include  Mara Hoffman, Rebecca Minkoff, Vena Cava, Charlotte Ronson, Alexander Wang, Brian Reyes, Jeremy Scott, and Yigal Azrouël.

Above is a snapshot of what I wore. Stay stylish and safe fashionistas!

with style,


(party images

Sydney Interviews Jewelry Designer Melinda Maria

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Having an obsession with all things sparkly and designing since the age of 10, Melinda Maria has worked her way up in the jewelry industry. From the casts of Gossip Girl and Sex and the City 2 wearing her jewels to my favorite pieces and what’s up and coming for the brand, I present my interview with Maria. 

S: Your jewelry has appeared in Gossip Girl and Sex and the City 2. Who do you think is the most stylish character?

M: I love Sarah Jessica Parker; she was styled by the ever-famous Patricia Fields, who did an incredible job at making women fall in love with her fashion-obsessive character. I just love how she would wear a baseball tee with a short silk balloon skirt and high heel booties–it always worked on her.

S: What is the Melinda Maria philosophy?

M: To design the most well-crafted pieces of fashion forward jewelry that looks and feels real.

S: I’m obsessed with your pod and emma cluster earrings. How did you come up with these concepts?

M: Just with my trusty pencil and sketchbook…and as always, many generations of samples!

S: If there is one other talent that you could have, what would it be?

M: I would love to be a singer/songwriter.

S: Who is one of your favorite fellow jewelry designers?

M: I love Tom Binns; his pieces work with anything from a gown to a tee and look as if he just grabbed a fistful of broken pieces from a vintage closet and threw it around a neck, yet somehow placed it perfectly to look cool and messy.

S: What’s up and coming for Melinda Maria jewelry?

M: More lovely pieces to stack and stack and stack…and clutches!

Sydney Interviews ash&dans

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Ashley Cook and Danielle Dankner are owners and designers of the private label, ash&dans, an affordable line of signature embellished jersey pieces. Ever since I was introduced to the brand, I’ve been absolutely obsessed, wanting to get the inside scoop behind the brand from the owners themselves. From their most popular styles to what’s new for fall and their celebrity devotees, here’s my interview with Ashley and Danielle. 

S: What sets your line of scarves apart from others?

a&d: Our scarves are different from everything else out there. Our jersey-based collection combines classic silhouettes with updated embellishments à la mode. Our scarves can easily take you from day to night and add the perfect pop or color or style to any outfit. We like to be on trend without being overkill, so whether it’s neon, lace, tribal, pastels- you name it- we have a scarf that incorporates the latest style in an overlay or trim to help you keep up with the curve without taking you over the top.

S: When did you both decide that making jersey scarves was the way to go?

a&d: We have always loved scarves. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize is our motto. In college, we had an insane collection of scarves between the two of us- now, of course, we only wear our own brand. We decided to make a line of scarves in 2009 when the recession was really hitting and people were stopping to shop. We knew that if a woman was going to spend money on something, it had to be an item that was versatile and different- hence the scarf. It is an easy-to-wear accessory that updates an outfit without breaking the bank.

S: What are some of your most popular styles?

a&d: Our basics always do well- like the NIK oversized wrap or the NATALIA basic infinity, the one worn by Jessica Alba in this month’s InStyle Magazine. Our jersey is so soft and comfy that some of our customers have even admitted to sleeping in them! Our ALEXANDRA ruched chiffon wrap scarf is the newest hot item. People stop us on the street when we’re wearing ours to ask where we got our scarf!

S: Tell me about your celebrity [Zoe Saldana, Vanessa Hudgens, Jessica Alba, Leighton Meester, etc] following.

a&d: We love our celebrity a&d fans. These ladies are all young, chic and fashionable. We’re hoping for more ash&dans celebrity sighting in 2012.

S: What are we going to see for fall?

a&d: Lots of black, reds, golds and a retro mix of florals and lace. Oversized accessories are in, so you’ll definitely see our oversized wraps reinvented, possibly even a shawl. We will of course have our basic silhouettes and bestselling styles, but in the season’s freshest colors!

Sydney Interviews Ali Landry

In Interview/Personal Appearance on March 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM

Model and actress Ali Landry has made it big in the entertainment biz. From being the first spokeswoman for Doritos and her unique closet set up to her new show on TV Guide, Hollywood Girls Night, with The Biggest Loser’s Alison Sweeny, Ali gives her story to Style Solutions

S: Let’s go back in time to when you were crowned Miss USA. 

A: At the time, I was in college in Louisiana. I competed because I was thinking about the opportunities like jobs, meeting people, and traveling. The best part of winning was my hometown’s pride and support– there were pictures of me on billboards on the freeway! 

S: You were the first spokeswoman for Doritos during the 1998 Super Bowl commercials. Did anything surprise you?

A: I was never told it would be for the Super Bowl–I found out while watching TV. I don’t think I understood the importance of a Super Bowl commercial back then, but the next day everything changed; people called asking me if I could sing to give me a record deal. It was really insane! 

S: Tell me about your new show, Hollywood Girls Night! 

A: Alison and I started having dinner parties 1 year ago with some of our celebrity mom friends. We’re all in the business so we see each other, but we’re always rushing and say we’ll get together, but we never do. So, we came up with the idea of having dinner parties to get the girls together; it was incredible to connect with these women. We would Tweet and Facebook asking for recipes for our parties and we would get lots of responses. Some of our dinner party guests include Niecy Nash, Kyle Richards, Sheryl Underwood, and Kendra Wilkinson. 

S: What inspired your children’s line, Belle’s Parrish?

A: My daughter. When I had her, I was having a hard time finding clothes for her in LA that resonated with me; I found that everything was very trendy, which is super cute, but I really wanted to find pieces that actually showed she was a baby! I couldn’t’ find anything, so I came up with the idea of designing age appropriate clothing for children, pieces that you could pass on to generations. 

S: You’ve been on Fear Factor and have run marathons. Tell me about your athletic side! 

A: I’ve always been extremely athletic since I was 2! I did dance and was a cheerleader. I later took on the challenge of running the Boston Marathon for the Boys & Girls Club of America. It was an incredible experience. 

S: Let’s chat about your closet!

A: Fortunately, I have a really big closet. I follow the concept of the bigger your bag, the more stuff you put in it. I try to keep things as organized as possible, but my husband has a section of the closet and the way our house is configured, I have the baby’s clothes in it too, so it takes up even more space!

S: What do you like to splurge on?

A: I love home decor, so anything for my house. I also don’t mind investing in a really great bag–I try to switch it up every season. I also have a passion for cool jewelry pieces that I find throughout my travels! 

Sydney Interviews Designer Lyndsay Caleo

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM

From her fascination with Scandinavian architecture and primitive art to her training as a goldsmith, jewelry designer Lyndsay Caleo knows the key to creating fine jewelry.

She also works in the architectural design and interior planning industries, both of which have influenced her jewelry. Read on darlings, this is my interview with Lyndsay. 

S: Tell me about your training as a goldsmith.

L: My mother managed a jewelry store for 10 years when I was young. I would go there after school and sit in the back with the watchmakers and goldsmiths who taught me how to use their tools. Making jewelry at such a young age really made an impact on me. I went to undergrad for sculptures and my work kept getting smaller and smaller until I was attaching chains to it. Organically, my work turned into jewelry. After spending a few years in the studio making one of a kind pieces, I went to RISD to get my masters in jewelry and goldsmithing.

S: What influenced your spring collection?

L: I’ve spent a lot of time in the new Islamic wing at the Met; the amazing use of color has certainly been an inspiration.

S: Let’s chat colored stones!

L: I tend to let the stones take center stage and keep things simple. Color is so powerful; I often think that a single pop of color is all you need, so I tend to gravitate towards bright colored stones.

S: Tell me about your work with The Brooklyn Home Company.

L: Architectural design and interior planning has always been a major theme in my life. When Fitzhugh Karol [my design partner] and I graduated from RISD, my brother had bought an old dilapidated brownstone in Brooklyn and asked us to design it and help build it out.  That was the beginning of The Brooklyn Home Company. We design interiors with a goal of creating departures from the city, using timeless, reclaimed materials and strive to create spaces that have an air of playful beauty.

S: What’s the best way for women to organize their jewelry?

L: I tend to display my jewelry around my house– a series of rings neatly laid out on a shelf, a few necklaces across my coffee table or hung in simple patterns on the wall. I’m not a big believer in hiding jewelry away; if you love something, look at it, live with it, and enjoy it!

S: What’s up and coming for Caleo jewelry? 

L: My first pieces all start in soft wax and I’ve just started returning to that–just following what my hands want to make!

Sydney Interviews Gemma Kahng

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 23, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Bursting into the fashion scene in the early 90’s, fashion designer Gemma Kahng was an instant success. Known for her power-suits and sold out collections at the hautest department stores, stars like Sharon Stone are fans. Gemma, now coming back to the industry about ten years later, is ready to show her masterpieces to 21st century fashionistas. 

S: When did you realize that designing clothes was your calling?

G: The first day of fashion history class at The Art Institute of Chicago where I learned about Paul Poiret, Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Lauren. Until then, I didn’t realize fashion is art.

S: You were beyond huge in the 90’s. How does designing in this day of age compare to designing then?

G: I was known for whimsical power suits in the 90’s. Now, I am more interested in applying history and techniques in my design. I still make suits, but they are more bohemian.

S: Where do you look for inspiration?

G: I get inspired from many different things that I see and admire; it could be artwork, costumes from different cultures or a certain period from history.

S: Words that come to you when describing your brand are…

G: Glamour, free spirt, and cool.

S: Tell me about your relationship with Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle.

G: I knew Joe when he was the fashion director at W magazine. He was always very supportive and fun!

S: What are we going to see from you this fall?

G: Fall 2012 is inspired by Renaissance portraits and medieval amour–jackets and coats with gold motif, textures and dresses with lace ruffles.

S: Tell me about your celebrity following!

G: The first person that comes to my mind is Julia Roberts; she wore my dress and jacket to the David Letterman show to promote her new movie.

S: What would you like people to know about you?

G: I want to make you look beautiful, and I hope that my business will grow so that I can dress more women.

Sydney Interviews Kara Janx (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 15, 2012 at 7:21 AM

This is part II of my interview with Project Runway fashion designer, Kara Janx. She gives Style Solutions her lowdown on her signature saying on Project Runway Allstars, her Spring 2012 ready to wear collection, her bridal collection, and more. Get ready Style Solutions readers; Kara has lots to share.

S: I love your Spring 2012 collection. Where did you gather inspiration?

K: Color and silhouette are always highlighted in my collections. I love the vibe of the 70’s mixed in with very contemporary fashion trends. I used a lot of cutouts in this collection, which are subtle yet sexy. It’s a very wearable collection, yet it has a super chic and simple sophistication to it.

S: Tell me about your bridal collection.

K: Brides would constantly call saying they wanted their bridesmaids to wear some of the ready to wear dresses. It made total sense to translate the ready to wear and make it accessible to the bridal market. The dresses are truly simple and chic and are not a one time wear. The bridal collection really lets them express themselves

S: It seems like everyone on Project Runway has their signature line, like Tim Gunn with “make it work.” What’s yours?

K: This season, it is apparently “papoom!”

S: Tell me about your huge celebrity  following, including Julia Roberts, Michelle Trachtenberg, Rihanna, Olivia Palermo, Selena Gomez, Anna Kendrick and Bethenny Frankel!

K: Things really took off when the Kimono got attention. A lot of celebrities really wanted one, so this was the start. Other times, it has been through retail stores, press outlets, and stylists. I have been very fortune and I am so grateful!

A big thanks to Kara! Make sure to check out her collections on

Sydney Interviews Kara Janx (part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Having been a finalist on Project Runway’s Season 2, Kara Janx‘s career has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. Staring in the new season of Project Runway All Stars, viewers get to witness her incredible body of work. Armed with a degree in architecture and an innate sense of color, Kara’s women’s collections are hip, youthful and extremely wearable. This is part I of my interview with Kara. 

S: When did you realize that you wanted to be a fashion designer?

K: Ever since I can remember! I was doing art classes from a very young age and then studied architecture; fashion was a natural progression.

S: You were born in South Africa and now live in New York City. How does the way people dress differentiate between the two?

K: South Africans like to really show the labels they are wearing, almost as an ode to the fact that they can now get international brands; it’s more Euro there. There is also a vast mix of cultural styles. Some people are very traditional in their dressing and are very honorable to the country. South Africa is much more of a melting pot these days and I think lots of people would meld nicely into the New York fashion set.

S: What was it like starring on a major TV show?

K: It has been an incredible launching pad for my business; the name recognition is just incredible. I’ve also learned a lot from being in that environment and have grown immensely as a designer each time. It really pushes the best out of you.

S: It definitely seems like it! I adore the dress you designed for Miss Piggy on one of the Allstar challenges. Is there another fictional character that you’d like to design an outfit for?

K: Thank you! Well, my daughter loves princesses and Tangled is very current, so I would really like to take on the challenge of updating a few of those ladies.

Stay tuned for part II of my interview with Kara tomorrow!

with style,


Sydney Enters Christian Louboutin’s Paradise

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 9, 2012 at 12:00 AM

The King of Shoes, he is. The iconic red sole that women vie to wear was his brilliant idea. Celebrating 20 years of sensational shoes, I got to see Mr. Christian Louboutin himself at Neiman Marcus for a special personal appearance while I was in Beverly Hills.

Sweet and cute with a charming smile, hundreds of women waited in line with a newly purchased pair of shoes, waiting for him to sign their Loubs. His anniversary collection is more over-the-top than ever, colors and styles that push the limit ever so fashionably.

This was definitely the highlight of my trip to LA; being only about 3 steps away from him was such a treat.

with style,


Sydney Interviews Gretchen Rossi (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 8, 2012 at 12:00 AM

This is part II of my interview with The Real Housewives Of Orange County’s, Gretchen Rossi. She continues to give Style Solutions the scoop, and this time about her handbag line, OC style, upcoming goals, and more! Did you catch Gretchen on last night’s RHOOC season premiere? If not, do so now! 

S: What’s the design process like for designing handbags?

G: I’ll give you the quickest version I can! A. First it starts with an idea or inspiration. I tend to get a lot of those right before I fall asleep! B. You take that concept or idea and put it to paper. I’m not the best drawer, so lots of times I have Slade draw out my ideas. I also have a great new head designer with my partners in NY; we discuss concepts, silhouettes, styles and overall direction. You always want to try and be on top of the trends; however, I don’t always go just by what is trending because sometimes they aren’t always the direction I feel the line should go. C. Start to source your materials and embellishments. There are many choices, but I stay focused on the theme and concept behind the line. D. Next is producing samples for review and making any necessary changes or additions. E. Production! (now remember, that is the very quick version of what takes place!)

S: Wow! How does your style differentiate from the other Housewives? 

G: My personal style is very girly girl with lots of bling and fun accessories; however, I think what sets me apart from the others style is that I love to have different looks and to be in-theme! One day my outfit is the typical 50’s and 60’s housewife look (conservative yet with a little sex appeal) and then the next day I can be a biker chick jumping on my Harley!

S: What are some of your favorite bathing suit lines?

G: Oh Gosh, I really only have one “go to” swim suit line that I just adore and that is Beach Bunny! It is my favorite and I wear their suits all the time! They make you look and feel so sexy! It’s funny I am constantly getting asked to add swimwear to my collection, so who knows maybe that is what will be next for me!

S: Do you have a 2012 new year resolution? 

G: I have many! I love empowering women, so I hope to continue to do so in 2012 by being an inspiration to all women to go after their dreams! I’ve always wanted to do something within the fashion and beauty spaces and now I am doing just that! Obviously my resolution is to continue to expand and grow my companies and build a long lasting lifestyle brand that is affordable for the everyday woman!

S: What do you want to accomplish in the next year?

G: Of course I have so many goals for my Gretchen Christine Brand, but if I had to choose one thing, I would say to perform live again! It was exhilarating and I felt like I was where I was meant to be when I was on that stage in Vegas!

A big thanks to Gretchen! Style Solutions can’t wait to continue following her success!

Sydney Interviews Gretchen Rossi (part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 7, 2012 at 12:12 AM

This is part I of my interview with The Real Housewives Of Orange County’s, Gretchen Rossi. From her clothing and beauty lines and contributions to The Breast Cancer Charities of America to her wardrobe must-haves, Gretchen Rossi has a fun-filled and interesting story to tell Style Solutions. The new season of RHOOC starts tonight, so be sure to check it out!  Stay tuned for more of Gretchen’s scoop tomorrow.

S: Real housewife, designer, entrepreneur; how do you do it?

G: Tell me about it! Some days it can be overwhelming, but I’m getting to do what I love within the fashion and beauty spaces. I have a lot of support from my family and partner Slade. Also, The the Gretchen Christine Brand has merged with a large partner out of NY to bring the line to the next level! We plan to expand the line to all things that one could find in their closet. The next collection launching is the “Pink Croc Collection”. I was honored to do an ad campaign for The Breast Cancer Charities of America and created a Pink  Handbag for that Campaign; it was so well receive that I decided to create a whole Pink Collection. I love pink, and what better way to give back than to create pieces that every girl will love to have in her closet as well as donate a percentage of proceeds back to a great cause like BCCA.

S: Speaking of the Gretchen Christine Brand, tell me about your cosmetic line!

G: I had received many emails, Facebook messages and tweets about my beauty routines and makeup I wore. I knew that the market was missing high quality makeup at an affordable price, so I decided to create a line for the everyday woman; not to mention that I just love makeup and to be able to create new colors and ideas every season is exhilarating! I’ve always said find something you love to do and never work another day in your life!

S: What are some of your favorite pieces in your closet?

G: Gosh I have so many, it’s hard to choose! I love dresses; from sundresses, to long comfy dresses, to cocktail, to long formal ones. I also love my Valentino blinged bow shoes as they are a classic and can go with almost anything! I also love all of my Christian Louboutin shoes! I have a favorite Roberto Cavalli coat that I can dress up or dress down and I wear all the time. I absolutely love hats, so my closet is full of hats as well! Oh crud, I just can’t decide on a few favorite pieces!  I love fashion, so I love it all!!

S: The Real Housewives of OC’s new season starts tonight. What are you excited about? 

G: I’m most excited for the viewers to see me entertaining. Slade and I produce and host a night at the improve where we both do have some stage time in the comedy space, which I love as well. Slade and I really are just big dorks and make fun of ourselves all the time. I also get the opportunity to show the viewers some of my music career and cameras followed me writing and singing in the studio for my new song “Unbreakable” as well as followed my huge and exciting opportunity to perform with the Pussycat Dolls Live on my first Vegas Stage this year. I think it will be fun for the fans to see me exploring the tough world of entertainment and the trials and tribulations I encountered along the way.

Sydney Interviews Sydney Evan Jewelry Designer, Rosanne Karmes (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 4, 2012 at 3:26 AM

This is part II of my interview with Rosanne Karmes. The perfect jewelry destination for Valentines Day, Rosanne’s jewelry will bring you to a sweet escape. From gift recommendations, her love for black stones, and upcoming projects, Rosanne continues to tell Style Solutions her story. 

S: Valentine’s Day isn’t too far away. Any gift recommendations?

R: There is nothing sweeter then my love collection.  It says it all and would make a truly personal and meaningful gift.

S: Black stones are huge right now. What’s your take on them?

R: I like them a lot if they are done in a handsome way. I personally like black stones mixed with black gold or rose gold.

S: Any plans for a less expensive line?

R: I have been working on a new all gold collection called SHY by Sydney Evan, which we will be launching soon! It takes the classic Sydney Evan words to a whole new level and will retail from about $100-$400.  I really wanted to make gold affordable for everyone and I think that this collection does just that.

S: One of your collections is “Sweet Things”. What are some of your favorite sweets?

R: I love sweet indulgences. My favorites are See’s Candies Dark Chocolate Bordeaux, Almond Rocha, plain M&M’s and peanut butter or vanilla frozen yogurt with chocolate sprinkles.  Delicious!

S: Where can my readers purchase your jewelry?

R: The Sydney Evan Collection is available internationally at department stores and specialty boutiques globally including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Fred Segal, Intermix, Holt Renfrew, Colette in Paris, Harrods and online at To find a store in your area, you can visit

S: What does the future hold for Sydney Evans this year?

R: This year, I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of Sydney Evan! I am so proud of everything that I have accomplished over the last decade and am very excited about my new collections and designs on the horizon. With the launch of SHY by Sydney Evan,  you’ll be seeing my exploration into new colors, characters, shapes, and of course the expansion of the “love” collection.

A big thanks to Rosanne!

We can’t wait to see her new collection and other future endeavors. 

Sydney Interviews Sydney Evan Jewelry Designer, Rosanne Karmes

In Interview/Personal Appearance on February 2, 2012 at 6:45 AM

What better way to celebrate Valentines Day than with a piece of jewelry? Whether purchasing as a gift, or just for yourself, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. This is my interview with Sydney Evan jewelry designer, Rosanne Karmes. With gorgeous and playful designs, lots of colors, and many celebrity devotees, Rosanne tells her story to Style Solutions; this is part I.

S: Where did the name, Sydney Evan, come about?

R: Sydney is my 13 year old daughter, named after my late father Sy, and Evan is my son, which means stone in Aramaic. Both names have a very special meaning to me. I was having a conversation with a friend and asked him what I should name my line. He blurted out my children’s names and that was it!

S: I love every one of your collections. Where do you get inspiration?

R: Everywhere! But if I had to pinpoint 3 things it would be my French born mother; she was the perfect example of class and elegance, mixed with my slight rebelliousness and silly sense of humor. I love to travel and find interesting things that inspire me –architecture, art, everything from the 70’s, furniture, etc. My family is one of my biggest inspirations; they are always pitching in to help me think of ideas for new designs and they really understand my work.

S: Your “love” pieces (perfect for V-Day!) are super popular. How did you come up with making words into jewelry?

R: In 2008, I was sitting at my design table and just started thinking about universal designs that would make people happy. The most important word in the world is love. It is the most wonderful feeling and people will do anything for love, so why not give it to them? I started with a necklace, then a smaller necklace, then came a ring and a bracelet, a charm and finally stud earrings. Since love never goes out of style, the “love” collection will never be finished. It really is one of my favorite collections ever.

S: Who are some Sydney Evan celebrity devotees?

R: Celebrities of all ages and styles love Sydney Evan!  Our celebrity fans include  Sarah Jessica Parker, Rihanna, Gwenyth Paltrow, Gwen Stefani, Emma Stone, Sofia Vergara, Zoe Saldana, Minka Kelly, Lea Michele, Brooklyn Decker, Bar Rafeli, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl, Kelly Ripa, Diane Kruger and many more.

Stayed tuned for part II tomorrow!

Sydney Interviews Carmen Electra (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM

This is part II of my interview with Hollywood personality, Carmen Electra. From her favorite fashion designers and touring with The Pussy Cat Dolls to upcoming projects and more, Carmen is full of fun, excitement and style. Read on darlings; this is part II of my interview with Carmen. 

S: How do you view yourself below the gorgeous surface and what do you want people to know about you?

C: I was very shy in the beginning, so I had to really push myself to get past it. I’m very compassionate and I get bored easily. I’m pretty down to Earth, but I still love all the glitz and glamour!

S: What are you currently working on?

C: I just finished shooting a sci-fi thriller called, “Two-Headed Shark Attack.” I have also been touring with The Pussycat Dolls Burlesque Review and I am now getting ready to head to Indianapolis to host the Leather and Laces Super Bowl Party with Jenny McCarthy.

S: Tell me about your favorite fashion designers.

C: For casual looks, I love Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and IRO. For red carpet looks, I love a variety, but right now I’m really into Ted Baker (photo above).

S: So am I! What’s your everyday handbag? 

C: For now, it’s a Chanel!

S: How would you define your personal style?

C: Feminine with an edge.

S: Do you have any goals for 2012?

C: Happiness, strength and success.

Sydney Interviews Carmen Electra (part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 30, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Model, actress, and dancer, Carmen Electra is one of Hollywood’s most versatile personalities. From how she got started in the industry and her days on Bay Watch to appearing in video games (and much more), Carmen has lots to share with Style Solutions.  Read on darlings; this is part I. 

S: You have an amazing relationship with the camera. Is this natural, or were you professionally trained?

C: I was trained in musical theater and dance. My dream was to go to New York City and perform on Broadway, but I ended up moving to LA and I thought I would give acting a try. My relationship with the camera was trial and error and I learned hands-on what to do and what not to do. Being photographed came more naturally to me. The bottom line is that I love being in front of the camera, and I get to do what I love, so I am happy.

S: Your real name is Tara Leigh Patrick. Where did you get Carmen Electra and what made you want to change it?

C: I had an album with Paisley Park Records, which Prince produced. At the time, there was already an artist by the name of Tara who had a number one dance hit, so we thought that it would be better to change my name to Carmen Electra. I love having two names –it’s fun!

S: People may not realize but you’re not just a model; you act, sing, and dance. Which are you the most passionate?

C: I have always been more passionate about dance, because that is what I studied. I still love modeling, acting and singing though – I love it all! Variety is the spice of life!

S: So true! Your parents, Patricia and Harry, were musically inclined. Did they influence your career? 

C: Yes, my parents influenced my career. My dad plays the guitar and my mom was a singer in his band, so they support me in the arts and inspired me to audition for SPCA in Cincinnati.

S: As a cast member of Baywatch, it was all about great looking people and particularly women. Did the superficiality of it bother you?

C: No, the superficiality didn’t bother me at all. I wanted to be on Baywatch and I knew what I was getting into!

S: One of the most interesting things I learned about you is that you have appeared as characters in video games. Tell me more!

C: What was most fun was being part of “Def Jam: Fight for NY,” with some of my favorite rap artists – I even won an award for it!

Stayed tuned for part II tomorrow where Carmen gives Style Solutions the scoop on her favorite designers, her upcoming projects and more. 

Sydney Interviews Nigel Barker (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 25, 2012 at 12:00 AM

This is part II of my interview with photographer, Nigel Barker. He gives Style Solutions the scoop on his role during Fashion Week, model-turned bloggers, shooting America’s Next Top Model, upcoming projects and more!  

S: Fashion Week is only two weeks away! Do photographers have a different perspective when watching a fashion show?

N: Some of our clients at Studio NB include fashion designers. I’ve worked with Pamella Roland for about 7 years and we handle everything from coming up with concepts to helping select models for her show. We also watch for looks to pull from the catwalk for editorials and celebrities, so it’s very much a work and fun kind of time.

S: How’s being a judge on America’s Next Top Model?

N: It feels amazing! I take it very seriously, but it’s also fun and I’ve made great friends along the way. The young girls who are there feel like their life is dependent on winning ANTM; it’s an enormous stepping stone for the young contestants. Judging is known to go on for hours, sometimes 8-9. We have to have a majority agreement on who stays and who goes. It’s a decision made just by the judges.

S: How does an ANTM photo shoot differ from an editorial?

N: They’re very different. We’re shooting for TV, so we (Tyra, myself, and others) pick shoots that we’ve had real life experience with and are particularly exciting and daring. We can’t play music during an ANTM shoot because of the audio, where on real shoots we blast music. Also, magazines tend to not have a big budget. ANTM is a huge production; over 100 of us travel internationally!

S: How has blogging helped models build their brand?

N: I think a lot of models have felt they had a job where they were only seen and not heard, so to have the ability to have a voice to get out real issues and problems, or even just to talk about their brand, is great. Look at Coco Racha-she has many humanitarian interests; going trips to Haiti, jewelry lines to help women and survivors from human trafficking and has taken blogging to heart. She uses her fame to highlight these issues through social networking. It’s brilliant.

S: What’s up and coming for you?

N: I’m working on several new books: a cook book with my mom, who people would know because she appeared on ANTM, a celebrity driven photography book called Raw about emotions and capturing the essence of people, and then one called Blossoming Beauty, which is a nude book featuring pregnant women. I’d love to make a fiction feature film and am talking to people and working with scripts for a major movie. I’m always excited about what’s next. I feel very lucky that I do what I love, but there’s still an enormous amount of opportunities out there.

Sydney Interviews Nigel Barker (part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM

From working both sides of the camera to being a judge on America’s Next Top Model, Nigel Barker has experience with many ends of the spectrum. With an incredibly interesting story to tell, both from his past and current ventures, Nigel gives Style Solutions his lowdown. 

S: How did you get into photography?

N: I’ve been a photographer for about 20 years and it started off as a hobby when I was in high school. I was entered in a modeling competition in the late 80s by my mother and girlfriend at the time. It was a TV show called The Clothes Show; I didn’t win but I got to the top 3 and got a modeling contract as a result of it. So I thought in between highschool and med school, where I was meant to go, I’d take a year off trying to make money and travel to Europe modeling and then eventually go back.

S: Tell me about your switch from in front of the camera to behind the camera.

N: During my years modeling, I saw photographers working and realized this is a profession that had longevity, creativity and was obviously a passion of mine that I enjoyed but didn’t think was an option. After a couple of years modeling, I didn’t go back to med school since I knew it would still be there. So two years led to three years and financial independence; then came the 90s heroine chic, the grunge movement, androgyny and I was this big model (in size, I’m 6’4) and the whole business changed. Men would look like boys, girls would look like boys and I would look at myself and thought this isn’t going to work as a model. But I loved the business, having worked and met incredible people and photographers, so I thought to try out the other side of the camera and built up a portfolio. Come 96’ I became a full time photographer, got my big first job, and moved to the US in 98’ and opened studio NB. The rest is history.

S: What goes on at Studio NB?

N: I work as a photographer, but one of the things we decided to do (and we base this off of the Andy Warhol idea of having a creative place doing all things creative) is having a client like Nine West, who works with me and my team, to not only shoot their [Runway Relief] advertising campaign and TV commercial, but to develop creative concepts around them. We just signed a contract for 3 additional years to work with them. A portion of the money raised  for buying the Runway Relief Nine West boots will be donated to Fashion Targets Breast Cancer.

S: You were also the spokesperson for the campaign, which was incredibly successful. What was most exciting for you?

N: With 30 models, we did multiple interviews during the shoot itself and filmed it for a behind the scenes video and invited the press to the shoot with a red carpet for a step and repeat. The campaign got 350 million views in 2 weeks and we raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity.

Stay tuned for part II tomorrow!

Sydney Interviews Ippolita

In Interview/Personal Appearance on January 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Over the past decade, Ippolita has become a force to be reckoned with. From her ever-popular bangles and huge celebrity following to her travel adventures for finding the best stones the world has to offer, Ippolita’s jewelry makes every woman feel her very best. Read on as Ippolita tells Style Solutions her story.

S: What’s the back story behind Ippolita jewelry?

I: I’ve been an artist all of my life, but was inspired to create the brand when I wasn’t able to find the kind of jewelry I wanted to wear: beautiful, handcrafted pieces meant to be worn everyday for every occasion.

S: You’ve made it big in the jewelry business. When was your “aha!” moment?

I: I started designing jewelry when I moved to New York from Italy after the birth of my daughter. I felt like I had made it when I naively approached Bergdorf Goodman with my first collection and they bought it!

S: It seems like everyone (including me!) is obsessed with your bangles!

I: Bangles look great on everyone and I purposefully design my bangles to be worn together. The more you wear the better they look, which makes it impossible to just buy one. While bangles are still the most popular category, earrings are becoming a close second.

S: The stones you use in your jewelry are gorgeous. Where do you source?

I: Traveling the world to find beautiful and unique materials is one of my favorite aspects of my job. This season, I sourced lapis in Thailand, diamonds in India and some amazing turquoise here in the USA.

S: Tell me about your less pricey non-metal bangles.

I: For the past few seasons I have been using resin, which comes in fantastic colors and looks incredible with sterling silver and gemstones. I love that these pieces make a bold statement and are affordable, but for me it’s about the design, so next season it may be something completely different.

S: I’m obsessed with your rose-gold pieces. How did you anticipate this trend? 

I: I wanted to create a feminine yet modern metal that flattered every skin tone, so I began experimenting and came up with Ippolita Rosé. Women responded to it and the collection has been developing ever since.

S: Tell me about your celebrity following; the list is endless! 

I: All of the women who wear my jewelry are inspiring, but what’s most rewarding is the seemingly universal appeal- from Susan Sarandon to Zoe Saldana to Dakota Fanning. I love that they all wear Ippolita in their own unique way.

S: Agreed. What’s next for Ippolita jewelry?

I: We have some exciting projects in the works for 2012,  but I can’t talk about them just yet… stay tuned!

Sydney Interviews Bond No. 9 Founder, Laurice Rahme (part II)

In Beauty, Interview/Personal Appearance on January 5, 2012 at 7:03 AM

This is part II of my interview with Bond No. 9 founder and creator, Laurice Rahme. She reveals what inspired her fragrances to be named after New York neighborhoods (truly touching) and some new projects in 2012, just to name a few. A big thanks to Laurice, and Style Solutions will continue to follow her success!

S: What’s the 411 on that extremely cool Bond No. 9 car?

L: The Bond car is a London taxi and is a humorous and ironic spin on the name of the company Bond No. 9. When we first started, and still to this day, people assumed our name was inspired by the famed Bond Street in London. We thought why not, what a great street to be associated with! Thus came about the idea of the Bond taxi. It is a celebration of the name Bond Street: an amused nod across the Atlantic, an amazing icon for us and, of course, extremely cool!

S: What’s the genesis of your fragrances being named locations?

L: Our offices and flagship boutique are located at 9 Bond Street in Noho. Being quite far downtown, you can imagine how after 9/11 we all who live and/or work downtown were devastated and deeply saddened. We were so close to site that we could smell the rubber and debris smoldering for weeks. One day I knew I had to make New York smell good again! So the concept of Bond No. 9 and celebrating each and every neighborhood with all its beauty and special character in the most amazingly smelling way was born.

S: I love your Sag Harbor store that you opened last summer. How did it go?

L: We love our Sag Harbor store! What a great way to celebrate New York life and pay homage to one of the most charming sea side towns in the state. There will be very exciting news around Sag Harbor at the beginning of summer 2012!

S: What’s next?

L: Like New York City, Bond No. 9 never rests. We are thrilled to be working on amazing fragrances for 2012 – for the Bond No. 9 Collection as well as for our latest brand, I LOVE NEW YORK by Bond No. 9. The new fragrances will yet again celebrate neighborhoods (for Bond No. 9 Collection) and the sentiment of the Empire State (ILNY by Bond No. 9) in a whole new way.

Sydney Interviews Bond No. 9 Founder, Laurice Rahme

In Beauty, Interview/Personal Appearance on January 4, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Founder and creator of Bond No. 9, Laurice Rahme knows scents that appeal to every woman. From her inspiring career and notable scents and packaging to the backstory of the Bond No. 9 car, which can be spotted around NYC, Laurice graces Style Solutions with her story. Read on darlings, this is part I. 

S: Let’s start from the beginning. Why fragrances? 

L: Originally I studied art history in Paris and worked for a well-known antique dealer. After a few years, my passion for beauty and art took me into the heart of the beauty industry: to L’Oreal and from there into the world of perfumes, working with some of the greatest names in the fragrance universe. I came to the US almost 30 years ago with the famous perfume creator, Annick Goutal, to introduce her brand and creations to the US market. The time with Annick and what I have learned from her remain one of my strongest sources of inspiration.

S: Speaking of inspiration, how do you develop scents that always seem to be fresh and new?

L: I get inspired every day by life in NYC and its incredible energy; it is always fresh and new. All of us who live here feel that constant renewing fast-paced forward-motion that sparks creativity everywhere.

S: I can’t decide what I love more, your scent or your packaging. 

L: As with everything we do at Bond No. 9, our packaging is truly inspired by the neighborhoods of NY. Each neighborhood has its own character, beauty, and idiosyncrasies; our packaging as well as our fragrances celebrate this uniqueness.

S: Tell me about your amazing sample program!

L: We have an extensive sample program with our award-winning “bon bons”: sample vials that are reminiscent of French candies, hand-wrapped in chic, metallic wrappers in the signature color of each fragrance. To us, sampling is an intimate gesture and our customers absolutely love it.

S: I know I do! Which perfume does the best?

L: It really varies by the season. Our most recent launch, New York Amber, a perfume based on the precious and ancient ingredients of Amber and Musk, is very coveted by our customer, as is our Bond No. 9 Signature Perfume. Other sought after scents include Scent of Peace and Madison Square Park.

S: And your favorite?

L: I love them all, but right now my favorite is the one I am currently working on!

Stay tuned for part II tomorrow!

Sydney Interviews Jewelry Designer, Jamie Wolf

In Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance on December 19, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Ballet dancer turned jewelry designer, Jamie Wolf knows how to be successful in more than just one field.  From a dancer in Black Swan to designing Natalie Portman’s engagement ring, Jamie has made it big in the biz–it’s her brand’s 10th year anniversary!  She has suggested some stunning pieces for the holidays, and cannot wait to continue her partnership with New York City Ballet.  Read on, as below is my interview with Jamie. 

S: How did you go from being a dancer to a jewelry designer?

J: It was a really fluid transition for me. When I was a dancing for New York City Ballet, designing jewelry was my hobby. My influences change each season, but I always begin with clean shapes.

S: How does your jewelry reflect your personal style?

J: My personal style is reflected in the details of each piece. I create pieces I would wear. I also always think of my customer — it’s important to me for clients to be able to wear my designs in their own way and make them part of their individual style.

S: You designed Natalie Portman’s wedding ring. Details!!! 

J: Benjamin Millepied, Natalie’s fiance, is a friend and former colleague of mine (we danced together at New York City Ballet). I worked with Benjamin on the ring design — he wanted to surprise Natalie.

S: How have you developed such a great celebrity following?

J: A mix of an incredibly supportive group of editors, stylists, and celebrities.

S: What are some pieces in your collection that you recommend as holiday gifts?

J: In celebration of my brand’s tenth anniversary, I partnered with New York City Ballet and created a Signature Collection with fifty percent of the proceeds benefitting NYCB’s fundraising campaign, Turn Out.  The collection is sold in our online boutique.

S: What are two gifts that you would love to receive for the holidays this year?

J: A Bottega Veneta iPad case and a vacation somewhere warm!

Sydney Interviews Boy Meets Girl® Founder, Stacy Igel (part II)

In Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance on December 13, 2011 at 12:21 AM

stacy igel & the veronicas

This is part II of my interview with Boy Meets Girl® Founder,  Stacy Igel.  Read on for her love of the holidays, a funky holiday party look, her new reality show, and more!

S: Let’s chat stocking stuffers!

My ideal stocking would be filled with all Boy Meets Girl®,  obviously!  One great item is the Boy Meets Girl® pin to dazzle your holiday sweaters! 
Check out our holiday gift guide for more ideas.

S: What’s the ideal Boy Meets Girl® holiday outfit?

SI: For the holidays, warmth is key.  I love layering this season and think this look is great for any holiday party: Layer one of my favorites, 
the Missing Pieces Romper, with the Sanctuary Top over or under Boy Meets Girl® tights, and 2 pairs of socks from the Three’s a Charm Anklet. This outfit will look great with one of my favorite boots of the season from Seychelles featured here. If it’s super chilly, you can layer a vintage [faux] fur jacket or vest for some holiday texture.

tights $18

S: What do you love most about the holidays? 

SI: Spending time with my friends and family, the city becoming a winter wonderland, and lots of hot drinks!

S: Your new reality show launched yesterday! Details!!

Yes I am the  host & co-producer of a web series on called “Behind The Seams” with Stacy Igel! 
The first episode of the eight-episode series premiered exclusively on Lockerz yesterday! New episodes will air through January 17, 2012. 
I am very exited for you all to check it out!

S: What’s next for Boys Meets Girl®?

SI: I’d like our website’s e-commerce platform to become one of the most sophisticated yet user-friendly direct sales platforms in fashion.  Of course, retail is crucial to our success and we want to continue to have a strong presence in key boutiques and department stores. I’d also like to have a larger international presence– I think we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface there.  The brand is iconic enough now to begin doing that slowly and smartly.

Sydney Interviews Boy Meets Girl® Founder, Stacy Igel

In Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance on December 12, 2011 at 12:14 AM

stacy igel

Fashion designer, Stacy Igel, is one of today’s leading trendsetters.  She is the Founder/Creative Director and Chief Brand Ambassador of  Boy Meets Girl®, which is loved by Eva Mendes, Rachel Bilson, Anne Hathaway, & more.  Read on darlings; my interview with Stacy is not one to miss–she gives us the lowdown on holiday presents, her new reality show and more.  Stay tuned for part II tomorrow!

S: How did you get into the fashion biz?

SI: I told my Mom at age 4 that I would only wear dresses to nursery school; I dressed my pre–K classmates and staged fashion shows from my school cafeteria. My mom was an entrepreneur and I definitely inherited that from her. I had no family in the fashion biz, so I learned everything from the ground up, and I would never change that experience because it is how I am where I am today.

S: How did the name Boys Meets Girl® come about?

SI: The first time I met my husband’s parents was for dinner at their apartment-they were giving me a tour and I noticed a picture frame containing silhouettes of their three children from when they were younger.  My parents had a similar picture of my sister and I. I thought about us and how we still both had these young, playful, carefree versions of ourselves inside of us. I knew right then and there my brand would be called Boy Meets Girl® and that I’d use our silhouettes for the logo.  The logo driven product came first and we have been growing the collection organically from there.

S: What are some holiday gifts from your line that you recommend for a shopper who is on a budget?


My new intimates are great gifts for a shopper on a budget as they retail for $9 a piece.


The Three’s A Charm Anklet Sock are great because you get 3 socks in the pack and can play all week creating different looks. 
I am also obssesed with my new slipper collection recently featured in Lucky; they are Ashley Herbet’s favorites!

Sydney Interviews VAHZEE Founder, Arlene Patt

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 9, 2011 at 12:00 AM

vahzee rain suit

New York City was hit with some heavy rain this week, where Hunter Boots and rain attire was most certainly needed.  A great designer and my cousin, VAHZEE  founder, Arlene Patt, knows how to make a rainy day turn fashion forward with her innovative designs.  

S: What’s the backstory behind VAHZEE?

A: The concept of the rain suit came to me on a rainy day while walking from the train station to the office.  VAHZEE is a made-up name that sounds like the French expression “vas-y” which means “go ahead”.  Vanessa Paradis’s jazzy song Joe Le Taxi came to mind when I was thinking of a company name.  Joe, a taxi driver, drives around town dreaming of places to visit. I pictured my rain ensemble as a vehicle for staying dry while projecting a certain fun, flirty spirit, which is reminiscent of the song.  VAHZEE’s couture is about the enjoyment of arriving in style.

S: Tell me about the rain suit!

A: We offer a fabulous alternative to the trench raincoat. Our rain jacket and skirt are both functional and versatile.  The brown faux leather vinyl jacket makes for a dramatic contrast with the diamondesque clear vinyl skirt. The jacket’s transparent cuffs and pocket marries well with the skirt, which is eye catching in any weather as it looks sporty over a pair of jeans or chic over any length skirt or dress.

S: What’s the design process like?

A: The design aspect is fun and comes naturally to me–it’s all about the fabric and a vivid imagination.  As we are growing, I am learning the business of manufacturing, marketing, and sales.

S:  What’s next for VAHZEE?

A: We are forecasting more rainwear and accessories for the spring.

S: What about umbrellas?

A: How did you guess?

Check out the VAHZEE collection on

Sydney Interviews SINGER22 Founder, Jon Singer (part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on December 6, 2011 at 12:00 AM

alicia singer, lindsay lohan & jon singer

This is part II of my interview with SINGER22 founder, Jon Singer.  From fab holiday gift suggestions to upcoming expansions, and the opening of the Singer’s new store on Thursday, this fashion powerhouse knows how to make it big.  Read, shop, and enjoy!

S: The holidays are coming up!  Gift suggestions?

J: Some of our top sellers for the holidays include Jagger Edge Iphone cases, the Krisa coated drape jacket (as seen on Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian), the Rebecca Minkoff Becky Jacket, Current/Elliott Leopard Stiletto jeans,  Work Custom Jeans Mamba Faux Leather Leggera (as seen on Alessandra Ambrosio), Jeffrey Campbell boots and more!

kim kardashian in krisa coated drape jacket

S: Which categories do best for you and why?

J: We do amazing with jeans, dresses, shoes and tops. I believe every category we buy is extremely strong because of the amazing assortment of products we have. I think we have the best product mix in the retail space.

S: What’s hot in the denim department?

J: We are doing amazing with leather jeans from Current/Elliott, J Brand, and Work Custom Faux Leather.   Skinny jeans are still extremely strong!

S: How do you determine when to host an online sale?

J: We honestly do not believe in too many online sales. We offer such a unique mix of clothing and feel there is no need to sell clothing discounted because we typically sell out of items way too quickly when it hits the site and sales floor.  We will usually run a promotion for a major holiday like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Weekend and the week before Christmas (perfect for holiday shopping!).

S: I hear you’re interested in expanding shoes and accessories.  Any updates?

J: It’s an area of the business that is growing tremendously for us and we feel we can do it best out of all the online retailers out there. Keep your eyes out for our new expanded selection real soon!

S: Creating a successful brick and mortar is challenging, but an online store has even more risk.  What is the key to your success?

J: I can just reiterate that I think we have the best selection and merchandise mix out of anyone out there. We are really great marketers of our brand (8 years online), and have created an extremely loyal following of SINGER22 shoppers. We will never put anything on our site that we feel is not fabulous. Our site is the best place when in need of a fashion pick me up. We are always bringing our shoppers the newest of the new, the next hot item before it’s hot, and a place they feel is like their fashion bible they must read and shop at daily!

Sydney Interviews SINGER22 Founder, Jon Singer

In Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance on December 5, 2011 at 12:05 AM

alicia & jon singer

With a huge celebrity following, a list of personal appearances that you’ll beat yourself over if you missed, and a knack for selling the best mix of brands we love while introducing us to those that are up-and-coming, SINGER22 is one of the internet’s most popular fashion destinations.  Jon and Alicia Singer are the powerhouses behind the biz and have talent that cannot be missed.  From the man who knows best, this is part I of my interview with SINGER22 founder, Jon Singer.

S: Husband and wife business teams can bring special challenges.  How do you divide the power?

J: Alicia is the buyer of the women’s side of the business and oversees all of the creative aspects. I handle the operations side of the business and help with the buying of the men’s merchandise with my brother, Adam.  Alicia and I both work on the marketing of

S: Do you and Alicia follow trends, or do you create your own?

J: Alicia and I definitely create our own trends. Whenever either of us are on the sales floor of our retail stores or out and about, the customers always want what we are wearing.

S: What is the significance of 22 in SINGER22?

J: The significance of the 22 is pretty simple, it is my lucky number! I was born on the 22nd at 2:22pm.

jon singer, nicole richie, and alicia singer

S: Clearly you have amazing power to be able to create brand recognition.  What’s the process? 

J: The process really is just a ton of hard work on all fronts. Alicia has created such a huge following.  I truly believe she is the best buyer and stylist in the business. We also have a huge celebrity clientele [i.e Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Stephanie Pratt, and The Kardashians] who are on our site daily, checking out what’s new. They also like to check out and see what their fellow celebs are wearing!

S: New York, Los Angeles, and Paris are known as fashion leaders, but East Hills, NY-how do you do it?!

J: We are in such an amazing area. We also live 2 minutes from our offices, warehouses and both of our stores– most of our brands come to our offices to show us their latest collections, since we’re 30 minutes from the city.

Stayed tuned for part II of my interview with Jon tomorrow, where he reveals top holiday gifts, hot denims, the future of shoes and accessories on, and more! 

Sydney Interviews Kelly Cutrone (Part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on November 29, 2011 at 7:37 AM

Kelly Cutrone replaces Andre Leon Talley on ANTM

This is part II of my interview with fashion PR expert, Kelly Cutrone.  She dishes on her new role as a judge on America’s Next Top Model, her personal style, and her new book.

S: You’re joining the panel of ANTM. What’s it been like shooting so far?

K: It’s a lot easier to be a panel judge then to have your own show and be followed 24/7.  It’s great; I’ve become really good friends with Nigel [Barker]. He’s really funny and we make each other laugh all day.  Tyra’s been awesome.

Every week, we have a new celebrity judge, so I’m meeting really cool celebrities.  It’s been a win-win because a lot of my clients are involved in the show.  I’ve been able to keep an eye on People’s Revolution (there is a LA location) and then go out to the studio and shoot for a little bit.

S: How would you describe your personal style?

K: I love black and everybody knows that—I’ve always gone black because I wake up in the morning and usually go straight through the night in the same outfit.  It always works wherever you are, with the exception of like… the Fourth of July.

The big joke is that I actually tried to wear some color on ANTM.  I was wearing black pants and a black jacket but I tried this really dark navy shirt because I was going to try to make an effort to clean up a little bit and I wore it and everybody on the show was like what are you doing?

S: So funny!  So tell me about your new book, Normal Gets You Nowhere.

K: It’s really about what are you going to do about yourself and living a life that means something, how to take your idiosyncrasies and unique gifts and use them for good. Shake things up, turn the tables, tell the truth, and, most importantly, be you.

A big thanks to Kelly!  

More great interviews coming up! 

with style,


Sydney Interviews Kelly Cutrone (Part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on November 28, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Kelly Cutrone

Founder of People’s Revolution, a new judge on America’s Next Top Model, an author, and always dressed in black (with a minor exception), Kelly Cutrone is a PR mastermind.  From how she got started in the biz to her new venture with Chris Burch (Tory’s ex), Kelly has lots to tell us.  Read on darlings, because this is part I of my interview with Kelly.

S: Let’s start from the beginning.  Why PR?

K:   I moved to New York when I was 21 and quickly met someone named Anthony Haden-Guest who at the time was the art critic for Vanity Fair.  He also coincidentally dated Anna Wintour when she was very young, which I think is funny. He told me I should be a publicist.  I said, “What is that?” and he said “It’s what you do already; you just talk and put people together.”

I went on a job interview at a renowned music publicist’s office and she gave me a quiz and I got every question wrong accept one about a type of lace.  She said, “Out of all the questions you got wrong, this is the first time anyone has gotten this question right.”  I became the owner’s assistant and within a year, I worked in public relations at Spin Magazine and then I started my first PR company called Cutrone & Weinberg with Jason Weinberg around 1988.

S: How did People’s Revolution come about?

K: It  came out in around 96’ and I wanted to call it PR because it’s straight and to the point.  Then people started to ask me what it stands for and I said People’s Revolution.  At the time, I already had a PR company with my name in it and I really didn’t like that my name was going out all over the place—it was a familiarity that I didn’t want. People’s Revolution is a cool name, but it’s not for everyone.  It has good energy.

photo credit: chance tv

K: It’s kind of like a three-part process. One is intuition, two is a leap of faith (not baby steps), and three is to be practical.  Before turning 32 is an amazing time to do radical things.  You figure out who you are while you figure out who you are not.  Any jobs or internships to support yourself is what you need to do, but it’s not easy to have both.

S: Tell me about your new venture with Chris Burch.

K:  It’s a brand called Electric Love Army and there will be stores.  We went to Canton for some inspiration.  There’s going to be lots of denim, cool graphics, and tees. It’s really like an Agent Provocateur experience at a Topshop price, so it’s going to be a cool and fun environment. The designer of Anthropologie is designing the store with Chris and I.

Stay tuned for part II of my interview with Kelly tomorrow. 

with style,


Sydney Catches Lady Gaga On Camera At The Launch Of Gaga’s Workshop

In Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance on November 22, 2011 at 12:01 AM

It’s Thanksgiving week, so the holidays have officially begun!  I am absolutely obsessed with this time of year–the beautiful decorations, food, festivity, music, fashion, and all.  It felt so great to turn on the radio this morning (yes, I still go back to old technology every now and then–actually, just at this time of year) to 106.7 lite FM and hear Christmas music: it puts me in a great mood, especially Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

All of the stores around the city have gone top-notch this year with their window displays (posts to follow this and next week).  Especially Barneys.  Barneys New York converted to Lady Gaga and her Fashion Director’s (Nicola Formichetti) interpretation of the iconic Santa’s Workshop for the holidays; a true phenomenon in the entertainment and fashion industries.

The talented duo collaborated to design the Barneys New York window displays, a line of gifts, and an entire floor in the department store for the initiative.  You can check out to learn all about the initiative, and to even create your own little monster Gaga Workshopper (guilty pleasure).

As I was sitting comfortably on my couch this evening with a warm cup of tea, my blackberry, and The New York Post, I came across a Tweet that Lady Gaga would be cutting a ribbon to the workshop outside of the store at 9:15 pm.  When I read this, it was 8:55 pm.  I mad dashed for an easy outfit, quickly put my hair up, grabbed my camera, and ran out the door.  This city never sleeps, and I absolutely love it.

Gaga wore a bride-like gown with big black sunglasses (of course).  Fans were cheering her on, her music was blasting, and it was worth every minute of being squished  and freezing to get a glimpse of her.  Prior to the cutting of the ribbon, there was a private party inside–I saw Project Runway winner and designer Christian Siriano walk in.

I have never seen Barneys like this in my entire life.  It was amazing to watch, and I’m excited that I got to take part in such a cool holiday event.  Gaga is truly a unique icon, and there is no one like her–and it doesn’t stop at the way she dresses.

Are you ready for your Gaga holiday moment?

with style,


Sydney Interviews Riller & Fount Designer Marlena Ruiz

In Interview/Personal Appearance on November 8, 2011 at 7:28 AM

leighton meester in riller & fount

Super-soft fabrics and a rich, understated color palette combined with chic lines to embody the ease and sophistication of the philosophy, Riller & Fount is the perfect go-to line for those who fashion “effortlessly chic”.  From how she got started to what’s coming up for Spring, I’m excited to present my interview with Riller & Fount designer Marlena Ruiz.  

designer marlena ruiz

S: What’s the backstory behind Riller & Fount? 

M: Riller & Fount evolved from another jersey line I had several years ago which was more of a basic T-shirt line. Since our launch in 2007, we’ve focused more on day-to-evening dresses and separates and in turn have become a stylist and celebrity favorite.

S: How did you get into the fashion biz?

M: Perseverance! It was a childhood dream of mine to be a designer.

S: What is Riller & Fount most known for?

kristen cavallari in riller & fount

M: Our easy jersey tunics and sexy minis are go-to staples.

S: Which celebrities are found fashioning your line? 

M: Halle Berry, Kristin Cavallari, Rachel Bilson, Leighton Meester, Heidi Klum, and Olivia Wilde are all fans. It’s always fun to see these stylish women rocking Riller & Fount!

S: What’s one item from your line every girl should own?

M: One of our draped jersey tunics. They flatter any body type and should definitely be a staple in every girl’s closet.

S: What are we seeing for Spring?

M: Everything from color blocking in classic ladylike silhouettes to an ethereal bohemian laid-back vibe, both sharing the common ground of bold color.

S: What inspires your designs?

olivia wilde in riller & fount

M: My daily surroundings, people and experiences. It’s really rewarding when those inspirations translate successfully into the Riller & Fount aesthetic.

S: What’s next for Riller & Fount? 

M: I think anything we do is a natural response to our customer’s attitude and environment. We’ve had such an amazing response to our Spring collection with our new bright color palette, ultra-feminine silhouettes, and our new woven category has been a huge hit. It just makes sense to expand on what works.

Sydney Meets Tom Ford

In Interview/Personal Appearance on November 2, 2011 at 12:04 AM

Sydney & Tom Ford

Yesterday afternoon, I met one of my favorite designers, Tom Ford.  Ford had a personal appearance at Bergdorf Goodman for the launch of his new makeup line.  His high-end makeup is full of his luxe aesthetic that we already know and love from his clothes and accessories.  Perfume, eyeshadow, lipstick, and nailpolish are some of the fabulous items available in Ford’s line.

Tall, dark, and handsome, waiting in a long line with excited women (and men) was worth the wait.  He was honestly one of the most gorgeous men I have ever met–check out his Tom Ford Beauty advertisements to get a glimpse.  Those who purchased a Ford makeup item got to cut the line of people who didn’t make a purchase to meet the designer while signing your purchase.  I decided to buy his most popular nail polish, Wicked Bitch.  The color reminds me of Essie’s wicked but with a violet tint.

Wicked Bitch

When approaching Ford, he shook my hand and was sweet as could be.  He got extremely excited when seeing that I purchased Wicked Bitch because it’s his favorite polish in the collection, and he had not signed one yet! Ford signed my polish with a gold sharpie, although it got rather smudged when I decided to run to my nail salon and get a quick polish change.

If you haven’t seen Ford’s line yet, check it out at Sephora, Bergdorfs, and other stores who carry the line as well.  More to come?  Obviously!  Who wouldn’t expect more from the to-die-for designer?

Get ready ladies, because Tom Ford skincare is launching this month.

Sydney Interviews NAVEN Designers, Kym & Alexis McClay (Part II)

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on October 20, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Kym McClay, Khloe Kardashian, and Alexis McClay

This is Part II of my interview with NAVEN designers, Kym and Alexis.  Read on to see which celebs fashion NAVEN duds, what we’ll see from NAVEN this season, and more!

S: Does the way you both dress influence the vibe of your designs?

K&A: One of the advantages of being a girl and owning a hot clothing line is being able to wear the duds at all time.  To be honest NAVEN is basically all we wear.  Our designs influence the way we dress and not vice-versa.  We love color, color blocking, cut outs, studs, faux leathers and faux furs.  We love the contrast that’s created from an edgy take on classic silhouettes.

S: Why are celebrities so geared towards your line and who was the first to wear your designs?

K&A: Whether in Hollywood or strolling through city streets, every girl likes to be noticed and likes to feel sexy when they step out of the house; looking like they belong on the best dressed list is the appeal for young Hollywood.  NAVEN is made for the red carpet through its fits and use of color.  Some of the first celebs to rock NAVEN duds were The Kardashians, Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari.  Over the years, we have dressed celebs like Kendra Wilkenson, Paula AbdulParis Hilton, LaLa Anthony, and Amber Lancaster.

celebs in NAVEN

S: What are we going to see from NAVEN this fall and winter?

K&A: Expect to freak out over faux furs, and sparkle in sequins.

S: What’s next for NAVEN?  Shoes? Handbags?

K&A: NAVEN is currently expanding our womens line, and adding gowns.  Look out for long flowing gowns on the red carpet this awards season.

S: Where can my readers buy your line?

K&A: is the best place to get the best prices and promos for NAVEN clothes.

Sydney Interviews NAVEN Designers, Kym & Alexis McClay (Part I)

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on October 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Kym & Alexis McClay

Twin sisters Kym and Alexis McClay know how to work it in the fashion biz.  They are keen designers and faces of their fashion line, NAVEN, which I’ve been obsessed with since shopping the line about 4 years ago.  Blonde, gorgeous, smart (Pepperdine University and FIDM graduates), and talented, these girls are the dynamic duo.  This is Part I of my interview with the designers.  Enjoy!

S: How did you both get into fashion?

K&A: Every career starts somewhere; ours started sitting at our desks at 14 years old in West Van High in Vancouver, Canada, sketching designs for the school fashion show.  At that point, we never dreamt that would lead to owning NAVEN.  Our path was carved out as followed.  Step one: huge success from the school fashion show ignited the desire to pursue fashion.  Step two: Kym completed her degree in Fashion Design at FIDM and Alexis’s Business/Marketing degree at Pepperdine University.  Step three: Invaluable experience working for large companies.  Step four: The birth of NAVEN.  Step Five: Taking over the world.

S: What is NAVEN, and what’s the story behind the name?

K&A: We are Irish Canadian and have dual citizenships.  We have a huge Irish family on my father’s side who comes from Navan, Ireland.  We wanted to stay true to our roots, which have influenced our lives.  Therefore, we were inspired to use the city Navan in our business name NAVEN.

S: Who are you designing for?

K&A: Being California girls, we always try to incorporate off the runway looks into a wearable outfit.  The fashionista we design for is fashion forward, confident, and sexy.  She loves to be daring with sexy fits, and play with bold colors in her wardrobe.  Our inspirations for our designs come from everyday life, and we take those tangible inspirations and create our “Dream Closet” each season to the next.

new NAVEN arrivals

S: What’s it like working together as twins?  Any rivalries?

K&A: We’re best friends, so being able to brainstorm on the same wavelength and come up with creative concepts each season for our designs together is a blast.  Though we are twins, parts of our personalities are polar opposites.  Kym is the creative genius, and Alexis is the business side.  Being a twin can be challenging since we spend every walking second together, but at the end of the day, we always work as a team.

S: Have the Olsen twins influenced you in any way?

K&A: We have such great respect for the Olsen twins and the empire they have created at such a young age.  We definitely use their success as motivation, but at the end of the day, our visions are quite different.  Their line, The Row, caters to an elite part of society in an extremely high end market comparable to couture pricing.  Though we use fine fabrics, we keep our price points at the lower end of our market because when it comes down to it, we want all girls to be able to rock our designs; not just those with pockets of money honey.

Stay tuned for Part II of my interview with Kym and Alexis tomorrow.  

Sydney Attends A Vogue & Target Party At Conde Nast

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on October 13, 2011 at 5:04 PM

On gloomy and damp afternoons, like today, there’s nothing better than a great pick-me-up at Conde Nast.  I just got back from the preview of Albertus Swanepoel, Dana Kellin, and Josie Natori‘s collaborations with Target, and let me tell you, (without any ounce of surprise) Vogue knows how to throw a fab fashion event.  Along with being able to view the collections, attendees could sip on afternoon tea, nibble on Target themed mini desserts, and chat with the designers.

Each of the designers are known for their upscale lines, so it was great to see that their Target lines looked just as chic and expensive.

Sydney In Albertus Swanepoel For Target

Swanepoel’s hats are so creative yet practical (I’m loving the fur hat I received in my goodie bag), Kellin’s jewelry is without a doubt glamorous and sophisticated (the perfect addition to any outfit), and Natori’s lingerie (loving the pink, black, grey, and floral combo) is comfortable, flirty, sexy, and fashionable, as always.

Model in Josie Natori For Target

The goodie bag was filled with a Swanepoel hat, Kellin earrings, a Natori bathrobe, a Target cookie, (which I munched on in the cab ride home–delicious!) and the October issue of Vogue.

Dana Kellin For Target

Start making room in your closets ladies, because these three new Target collaborations are full of must-haves.  J’adore!

Sydney Interviews Jill Martin and Dana Ravich (Part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 11, 2011 at 1:14 AM

Jill Martin & Dana Ravich (photo credit:

This is Part II of my interview with Jill Martin and Dana Ravich.  Read on for 3 basics that look fab-u-lous during any time of year, Dana’s word on the key to looking fashionable while on a budget, and what’s coming up for Jill!

S: What are 3 basics that can carry you through any season?

J&D: 1. Dark denim jeans that fit and flatter you perfectly (that can mean anything from wide legged to skinny).  If you look good and feel good in a wide leg, they are super hot and trendy for fall

2. Metallic strappy heels– yes, you can wear these all winter long no matter where you live!  Having a pair in your repertoire will always have you saying “yes” to that fabulous party.  A metallic is a great neutral –cooler and less predicable than black- and will have you looking sexy and fabulous.  Just make sure you buy a pair that fits and is comfortable!  We want to see you dancing all night, not sitting on the sidelines.

3. Wrap– This is the most versatile piece you can own.  Going into fall, it is the perfect layering piece over any top, sweater, light jacket, or coat.  Going into winter, just wrap it around your neck as a scarf and follow it right into spring/summer or a pretty dress.  Take it on holiday too- no matter what the climate is, you will always be prepared.  And it will keep you warm and comfy on the plane!

S: Dana, what’s the most important styling tip you can give to girls who are on a budget?

DR: If you’re on a budget, the best thing you can do is keep it simple in the clothing department.  This means solids and mostly neutrals, and change it up with accessories.  Don’t underestimate how a piece of jewelry or a great bag can make an already worn outfit look brand new.  No one remembers the basics.  You could wear the same thing -jeans and a t-shirt- everyday and still look different with new accessories.  You can find trendy accessories, if they express your style, that aren’t expensive and change them up every season!

S:  Jill, I can’t wait for your upcoming clothing line to launch!

JM: It’s in the works!  Stay tuned…

A big thanks to Jill and Dana!  Buy their book I Have Nothing To Wear!” on Amazon now!

Sydney Interviews Jill Martin and Dana Ravich (Part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 10, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Jill Martin & Dana Ravich

From talking fashion on TV, styling the best-of-the-best, to looking absolutely fabulous themselves, you know that Jill Martin (Fashion Contributor on TODAY and a reporter for the NY KNICKS) and Dana Ravich (fashion stylist and author) are the perfect fashionistas to go to for fashion guidance.  Their first book, Fashion For Dummies, and their new book, I Have Nothing To Wear!, are the perfect sources when in a fashion crisis–think fashion 911!  This is Part I of my interview with Jill and Dana-read and learn darlings, because their guidance is priceless

S: What’s the back-story behind the Jill Martin & Dana Ravich collaboration?

J&D: We met in Miami and started doing closet cleanses, or “rounds” as we like to call them, before we ever started working together.  After we both moved to NY and were working in fashion, we were approached to write Fashion For Dummies.  We got great responses from that book, and we love the idea of helping women to look and feel their best—like a “10”!

S: Your new book, I Don’t Know What To Wear, is a 12-step program.  Do you need to complete all of the steps in order to be successful?

J&D: Definitely.  While the book is largely about cleaning out your closet and decluttering, it’s also about finding your style, knowing what basics you need, shopping smartly, and always knowing what to wear on any occasion; so the process will enable and empower you.  Although part of it is about letting go of what you don’t wear, we hope that the rest of the book is fun and helpful!

S: How did the writing process differ between Fashion For Dummies and I Have Nothing To Wear!

J&DFashion For Dummies was filled with tons of information, so it required more research and was denser with information.  I Have Nothing To Wear! just flowed naturally as it’s a process that we both practice in our lives and have been doing for friends and clients for years.

S: Does being fashion personalities create a common bond between you?

J&D: We both love fashion, but we don’t have the same style, which makes it most fun.  We each express our personality through our clothing and appreciate each other’s style.  We definitely agree about what works and what doesn’t!

S: What’s a great day-to-night outfit? 

J&D: The perfect day-to-night outfit is comprised of the basics you should always have in your closet.  For day, start with a little black dress (one that flatters your figure and expresses your style), layer it with a fitted black blazer, add pumps, a chic work tote or everyday bag, and simple jewelry.  Dress it up by taking off the blazer, switch the pumps to metallic strappy heels, pare down to a clutch, and add a little pop with a piece of statement jewelry: you’ll be ready for anything your date has planned for a night on the town!

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow, where Jill and Dana reveal year-round must-haves, and what’s next in their futures! 

Sydney Meets Julianne Hough

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 5, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Julianne Hough and Sydney Sadick

I can’t believe it’s already October- time really does fly by!  It feels like it was just yesterday when I was sitting at the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge during Fashion Week; nibbling on new Baked By Melissa cupcake flavors, getting my picture taken, running into fashion colleagues, transcribing interviews, and meeting some exciting people.  One person who I was extremely excited to meet was Julianne Hough.

I’ve been a huge Julianne fan ever since I started watching her on Dancing With The Stars.  First off, she’s an amazing dancer (I’m still sad that she’s no longer on the show, even though she left many seasons ago), and two, she’s absolutely stunning, always looking gorgeous in everything she wears.

When I met Julianne a few weeks ago, she fashioned a red Monique Lhuillier frock as she was heading to the show (as was I).  We chatted fashion, and also discussed what she’s been up to.  She’s the star of the remake of Footloose, the movie, which is coming out later this month: October 14th, to be exact.  She was very passionate and excited when discussing the film, and she loved the combination of bringing something old, which was so popular, back into the new.

Walking the Red Carpet for Footloose won’t be Julianne’s first time.  She’s hit the carpet many times, and in total style. Below are two of my favorite Julianne Hough Red Carpet looks.  J’adore!

P.S. the cutoff man to the left is Eddie Cibrian (actor and hubby of LeAnn Rimes)

Sydney Interviews Katie Lee (Part II)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 27, 2011 at 7:25 AM

This is part-deux of my interview with Katie Lee–she chats fashion, her love for writing, Groundswell, and more! Bon appétit, cheris!

S: Now you’re an author of your debut fiction novel, Groundswell.  What made you want to take on this project?

K: I used to go to creative writing camp when I was a kid, and I always dreamed of writing a novel someday.  I have tried a few times in the past, and could never get a story to stick.  One day, after I’d been surfing, I came up with the idea for “Groundswell,” went in the house and started writing and didn’t stop.

S: What does the title mean?

K: A groundswell is perfectly even, balanced waves, caused by a distant storm, also known as ideal surfing conditions.  In “Groundswell,” the heroine, Emma, finds that losing everything she thought she wanted was the best thing that could have ever happened to her.  After she splits from her husband, Garrett, the hottest movie star in the world, she heads to Mexico for peace and solitude.  There she finds her balance, and a hot surf instructor along the way.

S: That’s definitely going on my reading list!  Now let’s chat fashion.  Describe both a casual and a dressy Katie Lee look.

K: I’m mostly casual when I’m in the Hamptons.  I wear a lot of James Perse because it is so comfortable but doesn’t look sloppy, and Gap jeans.  When it’s time to get dressed up, I keep it simple and accessorize with great jewelry and shoes.  If I want to feel special, I wear Chanel.

S: What’s next for you?

K: All of the above! I’m working on another idea for a book and I am now working with Clos Du Bois wines and creating recipes that are perfect for entertaining and pair well with the wines.

How fantastic!  A big thanks to Katie Lee, and Style Solutions will definitely be keeping up with her new ventures.  

Sydney Interviews Katie Lee (Part I)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 26, 2011 at 12:24 AM

A great cook, a fabulous writer, and a year-round Hamptonite, Katie Lee is an all-American sweetheart.  From hosting season 1 of Top Chef to writing cookbooks and a novel, Katie shines through everything she does.  Not to mention, she looks fabulous in just about everything she wears!  After meeting Katie at Authors Night in East Hampton this summer, and with so much to discuss, I’ve decided to make this a two-part interview.  You’ll be sure to have a hearty appetite!  

S: To me, you’re a combo of sporty, homey, and chic.  How do you describe yourself?

K: You summed it up pretty well!  I love entertaining at home with friends, and creating a relaxed environment.  I’m a pretty laid back person.

S: How do you stay true to yourself with all of your business ventures?

K: My mom always taught me to stay true to myself and what I believe in.  Whenever something doesn’t feel right, I trust my instincts and veer in a different direction.  I feel the same way in both my professional and personal lives.

S: Lets talk food!

K: I pretty much grew up in my grandma’s kitchen, so my love of food started at an early age.  I never imagined I could make it a career.  I was a journalism major in college, and I wanted to combine my love of writing and my love of food.  All I ever wanted was a column in a magazine about food, and I got that column; I write for Cosmopolitan every month.

S: Your cook book, The Comfort Table, has simple and delicious recipes.  What inspired them?

K: If you put the words “comfort” and “table” together, it spells “comfortable”.  My grandma always said it’s not just about the food you’re serving, but how you make people feel in your home; my goal is to always make them feel comfortable.  Many of the recipes in my cookbooks are inspired by my grandma.  She’s the best cook ever!

S: What are three of your favorite hidden treasures of the East End?

K: I’m a full-time Hamptons resident, so when all the crowds go home on Labor Day, I stay put and the East End becomes a quiet paradise, a perfect spot for writing.  There are so many places here that I love, it’s hard to narrow it down to three.  I shop almost daily at The Green Thumb for fresh produce, I go to Round Swamp Farm for some of their prepared foods (especially the vegetarian lentil and rice salad), and Dave’s Grill in Montauk for cioppino.

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow where Katie reveals her personal style, her future plans, and her new page-turning novel, Groundswell.  

Sydney Interviews Rory Beca

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Designing for the woman who likes to travel, have fun, and express herself through her clothing, Rory Beca knows what a woman wants.  You might know her best for her adorable blouses and dresses, or for designing knit scarves for the girls on Friends.  Cool, and of course chic, I present you my interview with Rory Beca.

S: How do you determine which colors and prints to use in your designs that always look fresh and current?

R: I always start with an inspiration board.  I meet with different artists, including my brother, to check out prints.  A lot of the colors come from those prints and inspiration.

S: What kinds of art and music inspire your designs?

R: I love the Galerie Maeght in Paris and my brother’s artwork always inspires me.  Right now, I am listening to a lot of reggae which sort of goes along with my upcoming resort collection.  Some other music consists of The XX-Islands, Slightly stupid- 2 am, and Angus and Julia Stone-paper airplane.

S: How did you transition from making knit scarves worn on the famous girls on Friends to soft collections?

R: The scarves were a hobby that I was doing because I loved knitting.  I then wanted to expand into having my own collection, so I started doing one-of-a-kind pieces.

S: Your website is one of the most creative I’ve seen.  How did you come up with the design?

R: At the time when I was creating the website, I was very into the look of realism.  I gathered a bunch of my favorite images and looks and worked with an amazing web designer, Matthew Daniel Siskin at Designedmemory.

S: How does a designer break into the big league stores like you did?

R: I think if you really feel passionate about something, you should do one thing everyday to forward the business, which is what I did.

S: What brands do you buy for yourself other than your own?

R: I live by the beach, so yes I tend to be casual, but I do love to dress up.  My favorite brands are J Brand, Loeffler Randall, Kite and Butterfly, Secai, Miu Miu, and Stella McCartney.

S: Your collaboration with Forever 21 has gained lots of publicity.

R: Yeah, they approached me and I love the store, so I did it.

S: Lets talk Fall 2011.

R: Mixing prints, easy to wear maxi dresses, long skirts, and a lot of sheer sexy fabrics are what’s on trend.

S: Which key pieces should a woman have in her fall wardrobe from your collection?

R: I love the Dora tunic.  It fits well and looks great on everyone.

Straight From The Runway: Sydney Attends Milly By Michelle Smith SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance, Video on September 20, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Milly by Michelle Smith‘s SS12 collection is all about color, and geometry.  Attending Milly’s show was extremely exciting because I’ve been a fan of the line for years as the clothes are always colorful regardless of the season.  I don’t know if this is good or bad, but the clothes kind of reminded me of Tetris, a game I find myself absolutely addicted to as it is relaxing, colorful, and sometimes complex.  Certain patterned clothes reminded me of this game more than others, especially the dress below.

I would not use the word “sexy” to describe this collection.  Milly’s clothes always come off as a bit preppy, which is not a term I’d use to describe my style, but there are those days when getting all colorful, bright, and girly feels good.  Milly’s clothes, overall, have continued to evolve each season.

And what else has improved?  Milly’s accessories, which include platform shoes, new handbag designs (rectangular clutches and satchels in bright colors that will have you addicted in the spring- pink, bright citron, and aqua), and some patterned hats.

I especially loved how the models were styled: cute side ponytails, bold sunglasses, fun totes, and bright pink lipstick.  So spring!  Sitting front-row at Milly’s show was Tinsley Mortimer (who looked city chic, as always), and singer Corinne Bailey Rae, who is just super cool (from head-to-toe).

On another note, my Missoni for Target packages just arrived, and I am thrilled by the way the clothes look, and fit.  Everything looks so stylish and chic, and I can’t wait to fashion my new pieces; some for fall/winter, and others for cruise.  Can you say le ciel?  I can, darlings.

photo credit- NY Times

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Tibi SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance, Video on September 19, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Each season, I always look forward to Tibi‘s collection because color is consistent throughout.  After months of black jackets and boots, spring is the time to bring out those pops of color with fun and feminine pieces.  I was happy to see some in Tibi’s SS12 runway show.

Tibi is known for being feminine with its play on cuts and style, perfect for the working woman who still likes to be a little sexy and flirty at night.  I love Tibi’s SS12 collection because each runway look was effortlessly chic, which is something I think every woman looks for when going shopping.

A-line pleated dresses, silk wide legged trousers, fitted button downs, crisp blazers, and bright mini shorts were some of my favorite pieces in the collection.  A big color on Tibi’s runway?  Mustard yellow.  Not everyone can pull of this couleur moutarde, but with the right accessories and the touch of the right lipstick, a perfectly girly and spring look can be achieved.  Overall, this collection consists of a minimalistic vibe, and Tibi did so fashionably, and perfectly.

Not only were the clothes great, but the front row was too.  Young celebs Olivia Palermo (in a fabulously chic pair of cheetah pumps), Sophia Bush (looking stunning in a tight red leather dress), and Emma Roberts (always elegant and classic) enjoyed each other’s company.  I haven’t seen Bush in a while (I kind of forgot about her after her One Tree Hill days), but it was nice to see her front row; it was almost like seeing a fresh face.

After watching the video, do you see yourself fashioning this collection in the spring?  I’m definitely feeling some of those tailored numbers.

photo credit: NY Times

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Diane Von Furstenberg SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance, Video on September 17, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Attending DVF’s SS12 runway show was the most surreal experience for me at Fashion Week.  I’ve never had such a rush of excitement, and I took in every ounce of amazingness during my time at tent Studio.

First off, lets talk attendees.  Out of all the shows I’ve been to, DVF had the most exclusive front row with names that literally made my palms sweat, yet I made sure to hold off until after the show.  First was Oscar de la Renta, next came Valentino, then Anna Wintour, Elle’s Joe Zee and Robbie Myers, Fern Mallis, and so many other notables.  I think I nearly fainted (mentally) when I talked to Oscar, had eye contact with Anna, and shook hands with Valentino.  I’ve looked up to these people for so long, and it felt amazing to be in one room with them.

Now let’s talk fashion.  The clothes were in one word, fabulous.  The colors, the patterns, the sequins, the fit, the accessories, the glasses, the everything.  Each piece on its own is delightedly beautiful, but the way all of the pieces were styled into making chic outfits was also fantastic.  I also loved the sleek and elegant hairdos and sophisticated lips.

The most magical moment of the show was when DVF walked down the runway at the end of the show.  Most designers just stick their heads out for a second or two, but DVF always makes a grand entrance.  DVF handed out American Flags to recognize the 10th anniversary of 9/11 (as her shown was held on that day).  It was extremely sentimental, and she handed them out to those sitting in the front row like Joe Zee. What was even more amazing, and extremely heartwarming, was when DVF and Valentino hugged on the runway (which I got on video); it was adorable.

The show was absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to fashion pieces of her SS12 collection after a long and cold winter.  Diane is one of my idols, and is truly an inspiration.  It was such an honor to be at her show.

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Tracy Reese SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance on September 14, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Vibrant colors, floral prints, and interesting fabrics are some of what comes to my mind when thinking of Tracy Reese‘s SS12 collection.  Reese’s show was held on the 10th anniversary of September 11th, which was nonetheless a solemn day.  Tracy showed her support by kindly marking the anniversary at her show by joining forces with Sally Hansen and TRESemme to make donations to charity organizations benefiting 9/11.

Reese’s show was one of my favorites.  Her lovely use of pastel blues, corals and blush colors combined with oh-so-bright neons, elegant sequin embellishment, and floral print sensation made for a wonderful feminine spring/summer collection.

No runway show is complete without a celebrity-filled front row.  Tika Sumpter, Katie Cassidy, Angela Bassett, Solange Knowels, Selita Ebanks, and JamieLynn Sigler were the stylish celebs who came out to support the designer.  I met Katie and Jamie backstage; both were so sweet and looked adorable in their Tracy Reese Frocks.

I attended more than one show on this day, so I didn’t wear one particular designer.  I fashioned black and brown plaid shorts from Nordstrom, a black sweater with lace sleeves from a yoga store in Southampton, and I accessorized with an oversized gold necklace (a total paparazzi attraction), my black Balenciaga purse, and my new, and favorite, B by Brian Atwood cheetah pumps.

I had a great time at Reese’s show…check out the video for some in the moment clips!

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Monique Lhuillier SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance on September 13, 2011 at 4:24 PM

Monique Lhuillier‘s Spring/Summer 2012 collection got lots of oohs and ahhs at her runway show.  This was my first time attending a Lhuillier show, and I was pleasantly surprised.  Lhullier’s clothes are elegant and chic, but this season she took a successful dab at sex appeal by using materials like leather and lace.

There was one look that I especially loved: a blue skirt with black sequins down the middle and a leather waist trim, and a black tank top.  Sophisticated enough for the office yet sexy enough for a date out on the town afterwards.

I had great seats (second row) looking out to the front row on the other side of the runway, which consisted of Julianne Hough (I met her, and will write a post on her later), Mandy Moore, LeAnn Rimes con hubby Eddie Cibian (so hot), Rose McGowan, and Jamie Lynn Sigler.  The celebs were whispering about the pieces they adored to one another: girl talk!  What was even more of a buzz was when one of the models (highlighted in the video clip- first model wearing yellow) fell two times.  I felt so bad but I give her props for continuing to walk, and then walking the finale–successfully.

Going to multiple fashion shows requires an eclectic and chic mix of outfits.  Each day I’ve been there, photographers have come up to me asking to take my picture.  The outfit I wore to Lhuillier’s show was extremely popular with the photographers; they were obsessed with my necklace and suede jacket with maxi dress combo.  I’ve worn this dress so many times, but each time I wear it I style it a different way.  I bought it at Kitson in LA over the summer, and the necklace as well.  It’s just as great for fall as it was for summer due to the dark color pallet.  The necklace gave it a pop of color, my Tory Burch wedges complemented the color scheme of my dress, and my suede BCBG jacket made the look more fall and less summery.

My outfit was perfect for the show, and I can’t wait to fashion this combo again (just not at FW!).  Overall, I enjoyed my time at Lhuillier’s show, and I have no doubt that her SS12 collection will be a go-to for Hollywood’s sexiest, most feminine, and of course beloved.

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Charlotte Ronson SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance on September 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Charlotte Ronson’s fashion shows are always something to look forward to.  First off, Charlotte was born and raised in New York City, and has a list of friends that you might just be jealous of.  Her front rows are always full of the moment’s “it girls”.  This year’s front row consisted of Kelly Osbourne, Nicky Hilton, Joy Bryant, Margherita Missoni, Angela Simmons, Ellie Goulding, and Whitney Port.  All of the women sat next to each other, and were most certainly the buzz of the runway.  Louise Roe, Simon Huck, and Jonathan Cheban also sat front row…just at the other end.

Ronson’s sister DJ Samantha Ronson spun at her show, and picked an eclectic mix of music which kept the viewers on their toes.  I’ve seen Samantha DJ a couple of times this summer, and I think she is one of the best.

The show began with denim dresses, pants, mini shorts, and jackets, all accessorized with either collar necklaces, platform shoes with tights, or thin belts. There were also silk pieces such as a skirt and a matching shirt, which were both trimmed with denim and provided some much loved edge.  Next came darling floral mini dresses, shorts, (although they looked a tad bit like lingerie) and overalls, which had denim pockets.

My love for this collection started once the Missoni-looking knits came down the runway (wonder what Margherita thought!): sweaters, skirts, mini shorts- just to die for.  Then came suede frocks and mini shorts with a matching jacket, which I kind of see as more fall rather than spring.  Next came tie-dye galore in shades of orange, which are perfect for a Spring day and will transition well for night.

The final look that came down the runway was what got all of the paparazzi going (snap after snap after snap!); a stunning deep orange, yet somewhat red, halter jumpsuit embellished with silver sequins in circular shapes.

photo credit- NY Times

Straight From The Runway (VIDEO): Sydney Attends Cynthia Rowley SS12

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance, Video on September 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I’m very excited to unfold a new feature on my blog: videos.  I’m all about living in the moment, and videos capture them. I thought Fashion Week would be the perfect time to debut this feature because there is a huge difference between reading about a show and actually watching a show.  From the hundreds of fashionistas, editors, celebrities, bloggers, and stylists sitting closely on benches to one another (upscale benches, not like Central Park ones) to the upbeat music and stunning runway looks, there is nothing like being at Fashion Week.

The first show I attended this season was Cynthia Rowley.  I’ve always had a love for Rowley’s line, but I grew even more so to love it ever since I met her at a design conference last year.  I wanted to wear an outfit that was fall-looking, but was light since it was so hot outside.  I wore a Zara forest green and white poke-a-dot blouse with black tuxedo shorts, Calvin Klein black platform pumps, a vintage red, orange, and green stone necklace, a green cocktail ring with brown stones, and a black Balenciaga purse.

Cynthia’s front-row consisted of Ms. Jay Alexander and Nigel Barker from America’s Next Top Model, Alexa Chung, Chris Bosh, and of course the “scene” of the hour, Lindsay Lohan (who everyone initially thought was Gaga, which was quite funny).

Cynthia’s collection had lots of adorable floral dresses and jackets, leggings with multicolored stitching, black and gold frocks (red carpet anyone?), swim-looking shirts with matching mini shorts, and stunning accessories like metallic gold sandals and multicolored/metallic purses (and so much more).

As I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been watching the 9/11 memorial at the same time.  It is so heartbreaking to watch, but it is most important to remember.  My heart goes out to everyone who has lost on this tragic day.

Sydney’s Fashion’s Night Out: Donna Karan, Hayden Panettiere, Bieber Screams, and More!

In Fashion Week, Interview/Personal Appearance on September 10, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Fashion Week has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to update you all on my adventures.  But before I do so, I want to first give a recap of Fashion’s Night Out.  Let me just say, the city never look so fabulous.  It was great to see New Yorkers (and even tourists) dress up in head-to-toe chic attire.  The city felt so alive that evening, everyone celebrating fashion.  Not to mention, I ran into atleast 50 people I know…it was a bit crazy!

With hundreds of stores to party and shop at in one night, you simply cannot go to them all.  It was also extremely humid out, and when running everywhere due to the limit of taxis and street crowds, it was important to wear something light but of course something that would stand out.  I received  complements on my outfit throughout the evening, so I think I pulled it off.  I wore a plum Nasty Gal fringe dress, my new Tory Burch suede booties, a Roberta Freymann stone-embellished bib necklace, and a classic Chanel bag.  Easy, breezy, beautiful…but not Cover Girl!

I made my rounds on the UES, and had some favorites, but then there were those where I was completely turned off.  I went to Donna Karan’s store and met Donna (who is stylish and super smart) and supermodel Marisa Berenson.

Next came Stuart Weitzman for the debut of Hayden Panettiere and Michelle Trachtenberg’s shoes for Weitzman’s Young Hollywood Collection.  I especially loved Hayden.  She rocked a forest green Fendi jumpsuit with sparkly green eyeliner highlighting her bold eyes and gorgeous blonde locks.

Then I went to Bergdorfs.  Turn off. (although I did purchase my FNO blue and purple t-shirt there).  They wouldn’t let people go past the 2nd floor due to capacity.  I get there are rules, but honestly, is attitude really necessary?  Non.  I then popped my head into a few other stores like Judith Ripka, Ann Taylor, Gisueppe Zanotti, Chanel, and Ralph Lauren.  Not so much going on, but if there was air-conditioning and a cold refreshment, I was there!

As I was approaching home, I passed Dolce & Gabbana (as usual), but there were hundreds of girls screaming, crying, laughing, hyperventilating; every emotion imaginable.  The biggest one?  Bieber Fever.  Yep Justin Bieber, tons of cops, and even some secret service looking men.  I’m not the biggest fan but I did find it amusing.  What was better, though, was seeing Ellie Goulding (for the second time) getting out of her Escalade to go in to D&G…oh what a night!

To give you a taste of what it was like downtown during FNO, Haley Sherif, a blogger for, is guest blogging to give us the scoop!

Sydney Interviews Judith Ripka

In Interview/Personal Appearance on September 5, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Some children played with dolls, others played sports, but Judith Ripka accessorized.  From her impeccable Couture Collection to her just as fabulous lower priced line for QVC, Ripka is a jewelry mastermind.  After reading this interview, don’t be surprised if you’re in the mood for a bold cocktail ring.  Read on chéris! 

S: How did you end up in the jewelry business? 

J: My earliest memories are of playing in my mother’s jewelry box and accessorizing my clothing such as hanging a pin off a chain draped around my neck.  Designing jewelry is an innate part of who I am.  I have always known that I would be a jewelry designer and have always had an organic eye for design and color. 

S: How do you come up with so many different models of jewelry?

J: My mother taught me to see the beauty in the details of the world around me: everything from an icicle dangling on a tree in Central Park to an architectural detail on a building on Fifth Avenue. The women who wear my jewelry also serve as great inspiration to me.  I still get a thrill when I walk down the street and see a woman wearing a piece I designed.  Usually, I immediately start designing a piece to complement the one(s) she was wearing!

S: How many stores do you have?

J: I have 10 Judith Ripka retail stores across the United States, I sell to over 150 key department stores and independent fine jewelers both domestically and internationally, and I have a significant QVC business.

S: Speaking of your QVC line, how do you maintain brand integrity?

J: My distinctive design elements are consistent throughout all of my collections so that many of my customers who purchase my Couture Collection from my retail stores also enjoy my QVC collections.  The feedback that I have received is that they appreciate my signature style, and the uncompromised quality regardless of the price point.

S: Why is it that women seem to have an obsession with upscale costume jewelry?

J: Costume jewelry has long-since provided women with a sense of fun while accessorizing.  One bold piece can give a T-shirt and jeans instant style, giving women the power to express their personality through the way they dress and accessorize themselves.

S: There is a current trend of women buying jewelry for themselves instead of men purchasing.

J: Yes, self-purchase is a huge trend.  Women know what they want and feel confident about making purchases for themselves.   Of course it’s always nice to receive jewelry as a gift, too!

S: What are you seeing for fall?

J: The fall runway will be filled with grays and muted hues, so bold gemstone hues will be a great way to add a pop of color.

S: If one can only afford one of your pieces, what do you recommend?

J: Every woman should own a bold cocktail ring.  A ring is one of the first pieces of jewelry that people notice with every handshake, gesture and wave, and it is a great way for a woman to express her personal style.

Sydney Interviews Thursday Friday’s Creative Director, Roni Brunn (Part 2)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 31, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Ready for more scoop from Thursday Friday’s Creative Director, Roni?  Then continue reading for part 2 of my interview.

S: How did going to Harvard influence your career choices?

R: Harvard was such an incredible experience, I feel really fortunate that I got to go there.  I’m an immigrant — I moved to the States when I was 10, and administrators/teachers in the US really didn’t see anything remotely close to Harvard in my future and actually blocked some important opportunities from me.  But I did it, and Harvard showed me that I could make my way in this country, and this lesson inspires me to push myself every day.  I also wrote for the Lampoon while I was there, and I guess that might explain the comedy in Thursday Friday.

S: When did you have that gut feeling that your line became a hit?

R: It just made sense, in terms of the price, the worldwide economic turbulence, the eco movement.  At the same time, Olena and I had no idea that it would break out the way it did.  When we first ordered the Together bags from the factory, we joked we’d have birthday and holiday presents for years to come.  The day The New York Times blogged about the Together bag, we were still saying, “this is as good as it gets, don’t get used to it.”  Then the following Sunday we were in print in the Sunday Styles, and within a month people were saying it’s the bag of the season.  I don’t know, we still don’t take anything for granted and look toward what’s next for Thursday Friday.  We definitely want this label to generate lots of hits and resonate beyond commercial success, and we hugely appreciate this amazing response to our first launch.

S: Any thoughts about seasonal collections?

R: We’re now shifting our development cycle to the fashion calendar; we still want to have our launches come out independently.

S: What are the essentials you recommend every girl to carry in her bag to keep her life “together”?

R: Sunscreen, lip balm (in a tube, not a messy jar), pens/pencils, tissue, headache pills, and a phone.  I also love having a smaller bag inside my Together bag so that all the little things don’t get lost.  I’m partial to the Here bag for that purpose.  The small accessories bag also makes it easier to switch bags — you just move your phone, keys, sunglasses, and Here to another Together bag…

S: What’s next?

R: We’re getting ready for a big launch around September 1, and we have other surprises coming out in the fall.  I’m also developing bags from other materials and finding ways to keep the Together bag fresh.  I’d like to have more t/f in our blog, so we’re figuring out how to post more personal content from our team.  In the longer term, we’d like to break into more categories and get the label to be a well rounded resource for approachable, beautiful, fun stuff.  I’d love to collab on nail polish, but I guess that’s more of a wish than a plan.

Keep an eye out Thursday Friday lovers, because Roni and her partner Olena are launching a new series of  its It-tote: DIAMONDS (main photo).  Perfect for work and/or back to school, I can’t wait to get my hands on this new edition!  

Sydney Interviews Thursday Friday’s Creative Director, Roni Brunn (Part 1)

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 30, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Creative director of Thursday Friday, Israeli-born and Harvard-educated, Roni Brunn has brains, and style.  She and her business strategist partner Olena Sholomytska are behind the emerging it-label, which is best known for their iconic Together bag.  With such a fascinating story to tell, I decided to break my interview with Roni into two parts.  Get ready darlings, as below is part 1. 

S: What’s the story behind the names of your company and bags?

R: We wanted names that reuse familiar terms in new ways.  We think Thursday and Friday are the best weekdays, and our label focuses on elevating the everyday.  The word “together” evokes warmth in general, and a sense of calm confidence when you talk about practicalities. It’s also funny that the Together bag is not really together: the images on it are disjointed.

S: I feel like the Together Bag is one of the bags of the year; what’s the back-story behind it?

R: Thank you! Olena (my business partner) and I were using those canvas supermarket totes to carry extra things around, and we joked that these bags were like accessories for our main bags.  We thought about making that joke clearer, and the idea for a bag on a bag came out.

S: What is the genesis of the tongue-in-cheek idea of painting well known bags on canvas?

R: Before launching the Together bag, I designed T-shirts for my band that took existing concert Ts of other artists and printed my band’s stuff on top.  I also used other artists’ CD packages for my own album.  And I made downloadable paper airplanes illustrated with other planes.  So I kind of evolved the idea of reusing familiar icons in a surreal, funny way.

S: Tell me about the BRAIDS Together Bag.

R: We wanted to extend the concept for the Together bag to other styles.  The ideas of branding, iconography, functionality, and luxury all develop more dimensions when you’ve got more than one style to discuss.  It’s nice to do something more contemporary to get people thinking about why certain items seem timeless, and what it really means in terms of marketing.

S: What was the inspiration behind the keyrings?

R: I just really wanted a fur keyring in two colors and have never seen one.   When I told my dad about them, he asked if they bite back.  He was kidding, but then the idea came out to do just the heads of animals that very hypothetically could bite back.  So then we had the Shelter keyrings, which are plush toy heads of a black cat, a panda bear, and a honey bear.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m uneasy about being an omnivore; I support the idea of Meatless Monday. We started Thursday Friday with an ambivalent product.  The Together bag represents both the highest of luxury and the simplest in accessibility at the same time.  Tackling fur on both ends represents us better than the old way of picking a side. I am really excited not only about the keyrings but also about what they represent.

Stay tuned for part 2, tomorrow. 

Sydney Interviews Diane Von Furstenberg

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on August 22, 2011 at 9:35 AM

As the creator of the iconic wrap dress, the president of the CFDA, living through the philosophy “love is life”, empowering women, and much more, Diane Von Furstenberg is a fashion legend.  Entering the fashion world in 1972, DVF’s brand just keeps getting better, and better.  I present you my interview with Diane Von Furstenberg.

S: How have you managed to stay relevant as a brand for decades?

D: When you create something truly classic it is timeless; that’s what happened with the wrap dress. But all of my designs—the clothes, the shoes, the accessories—are easy to wear. They are comfortable, and they make a woman feel confident and beautiful. So of course that never goes out of style. I think it is easy to stay relevant if you understand women.

S: Your clothes are reasonably priced for using beautiful fabrics, wonderful designs, and excellent fit.  How do you accomplish this?

D: For me, it has always been about value. It’s about real quality and real design. I still see my dresses from the 70’s in vintage stores and they are more expensive. But you know what? They lasted.

S: What do you recommend the young aspiring professionals to wear to “dress for success” today?

D: Women should wear clothes that make them feel strong and confident. At work especially, I think a woman should be comfortable. So a dress is the perfect work attire. And the accessories are important. They set the tone for any look. You can keep it professional with a nice handbag like our Harper Connect, which I love because it has a place for my iPad. Add a nice high heel and go for it!

S: When on a budget, what are the best accessories to invest in to wear with your clothes?

D: Accessories are always a solid investment. They are the punctuation! The comma and the exclamation point! Like I said, I love the Harper Connect, but I think any of our sophisticated bags that will make you look like a grown up. That is the best investment.

S: What is your opinion of the reality shows in your industry like Project Runway?

D: I think anything that highlights what we do in fashion is a good thing for the industry. It is a very fun business. It is glamorous and exciting but it is also a lot of work. I suppose that makes for good television.

S: What is the best way for a young designer to get started?

D: Find someone who will help you. For me it was Diana Vreeland. I took her my designs and she liked what she saw, so she helped me. Now there are many resources that actually exist, like the CFDA Vogue Fund. Young designers should learn what they are and go after them. Enter all of the awards, because even just the process of applying will tell you so much about what you are doing. It will force you to write on a piece of paper who you are and where you are going. And that will bring clarity. Clarity is the most important thing.

S: You seem to have done everything possible in your field. Is there anything that you either wished you had or still want to accomplish?

D: I want to keep growing my business. We just launched a home collection and we are launching a beautiful fragrance in September that is all about seduction. I want to focus on the business and I want to keep empowering women. I have a lot of clarity about where I am going and what I want to do. There is always more to accomplish!

Sydney Gets Styled By Rachel Zoe

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 19, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Hold the phone; this is major!  Just two weeks after Super Saturday, where I met my favorite stylist Rachel Zoe, I got to see Rachel again, and this time, I got styled by her.  How did this all happen?  I got a text from Joseph, my salesperson at Saks, who told me that Rachel was coming in the next day for a special appearance with InStyle to style six women in her new line, The Rachel Zoe Collection, for its launch, and asked if I’d like to be one of them.

Obviously!  This was not something to turn down, and it ended up being an experience of a lifetime.  When walking into The Saks Fifth Avenue Club (a V.I.P area), I was escorted to a large dressing room full of The Rachel Zoe Collection, all in my size, including her shoes and handbags as well.  Along with Rachel’s collection were bright colored J Brand jeans to give my look a younger vibe.  A few minutes later, I was told Rachel would be in my dressing room in five minutes (saying that I was excited is an understatement).

So there, a few minutes later, Rachel walks in my dressing room with a herd of people behind her; her team, and the InStyle team.  She fashioned a stunning blue halter and matching maxi skirt from her upcoming resort collection with a fab black leather jacket and chunky cocktail ring.  When Rachel came in, she was so nice and fun, and we first started talking about Super Saturday.

I realized that day why Rachel is so successful; she is incredibly knowledgeable and knows every trick to always looking chic.  She was great at mixing and matching, and giving the background story of each of her pieces, and how I could incorporate them into my wardrobe.  Rachel and I spent quite some time talking, about 15-20 minutes, and her team kept telling her she needed to move along, but we kept talking anyway.  I asked her some questions such as if you’re traveling to certain places like LA, which is much more casual than NYC, how do you achieve the right look?  Rachel said to dress for yourself. It’s really all just about the weather; some people just always wear black wherever they go, so it’s just a matter of the right fabrics.

I ended up purchasing the white sequin jacket with black sequin trimming that she loved on me.  It helped that when I arrived, I got a large goodie bag full of a $100 off gift card for her line, her book Style A To Zoe (which was signed), InStyle‘s September issue, her signature black velvet cosmetic case, and more.

What I learned most is that you get clothes with good design, silhouette, style, and color, but it’s Rachel’s magical way of mixing them together that gives you an amazing look.  I had the best time, and I hope to run into Rachel at Fashion Week!

Sydney Interviews Josh Flagg

In Interview/Personal Appearance on August 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

At the annual Love Heals event in the Hamptons, I spotted Josh Flagg, real estate agent, author, and star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing.  Stylish, funny, smart and nice (both inside and outside of the screen), Josh is the perfect interviewee for Style Solutions

S: How did you get into the real estate biz?

J: When I was in high school I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  After some time, I realized I wanted to work with houses and really liked architecture, but I didn’t want to be an architect.  In the state of CA, you can be a real estate agent without a high school diploma. As a senior in high school I was one of the older kids in my class, so when I turned 18 I got my real estate license and started selling houses immediately.  I would be making deals during a math class or history exam on my cell phone.

S: What is the most over the top open house you’ve held?

J: I’ve had horses, swans, and other farm animals along with white tents, white Range Rovers and so much more.  I’ve even had a Bar Mitzvah at an open house.

S: Does dressing fashionably gives you a connection with your clients?

J: I dress the way I want to dress; I don’t really take into consideration what others feel about it. If they don’t like it, they can go buy a house from someone else.

S: You have two books that are out right now: Million Dollar Agent and Stories My Grandmother Told Me.

J: They were stories of my life and stories of my grandmother’s life.  We are close and I just felt like I had an opportunity to share some interesting stories that I have.

S: Your grandmother, Edith, is a pleasure to watch on TV.  I recently learned that she is a fashion designer.  Can you be found shopping together?

J: Well, when I go shopping I always use her credit card, so I guess we’re always shopping together, we’re never apart.   Haha!

S: What differences do you see with the way “Hamptonites” dress vs. Californians?

J: I’ve noticed that New Yorkers dress really well and people from LA don’t know how to dress at all!

S: Describe your personal style.

J: It’s indescribable really.  It’s just me.  Josh Flagg.

S: Who are three of your favorite designers?

J: Tom FordGucci, and BrioniThey’re very classic and professional.

S: What’s next from you?

J: More houses, more TV shows, more books, more of everything; more ideas and more Josh!

S: Season 5 of Million Dollar Listing?

J: Yes, the new season has been picked up and announced!  There is no date of when it will air; we are just beginning the show, but stay tuned on Bravo to find out when it premiers!

Sydney Meets Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb

In Celebrities, Hamptons, Interview/Personal Appearance on August 2, 2011 at 6:09 PM

This past weekend was definitely one of the busiest of this summer in the Hamptons.  There was Super Saturday, Polo, Russell Simmons’ Art For Life Benefit, and a special personal appearance(s); just to name a few.  Who made the personal appearance?  Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

On Saturday, from 3-4pm, Kathie and Hoda had a book signing outside Jennifer Miller‘s  Southampton store (my favorite place to shop for the best selection of jewelry, and now hostess gifts).  It was 3:30pm, and I was just pulling out of Nova’s Ark Project where Super Saturday was held.  Luckily route 27 wasn’t as much of a traffic jam going back towards Southampton, so I made it last minute, but still had time to meet the duo.

Kathie and Hoda both have books out. Kathie’s is The Legend of Messy M’Cheany, and Hoda’s is Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee. 

At the time, I was with my mom, family friend, and brother, so I thought it would be cute to get my brother Kathie’s book.  Kathie was so sweet, and not only signed my brother’s book, but took a picture with us, and Hoda, for Style Solutions.

I’ve never been a huge talk show watcher, mainly because I’m usually not home in the mornings.  But when I do get a chance to watch one, it’s either Kathie and Hoda’s segment on the fourth hour of Today, or LIVE! with Regis & Kelly.

I’ve always adored Kathie and Hoda on TV because they always come off as so fun, real, and noticeably enjoy each others company.  This was even more noticeable when meeting them in person.

Sydney Attends Super Saturday 14 (and meets Rachel Zoe)

In Hamptons, Interview/Personal Appearance on July 30, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Taking a break from LA posts for the weekend, today is all about Super Saturday in the Hamptons.  Super Saturday is my favorite charity event of the season because it is all about shopping.  The event is run by The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, which holds this event annually (this is the 14th year).  Known as the Hamptons’ biggest garage sale, Super Saturday is the event to go to for killer deals on the brands that you love: Jimmy Choo, Lisa Perry, Haute Hippie, Helmut Lang, Yumi Kim, Zimmerman, Nicole Miller, and many more (there are over 200).

This year’s event was hosted by Donna Karan, Emma Roberts, Ariel Foxman, Kelly Ripa, and InStyle.  Noteworthy attendees included Rachel Zoe, Abigail Breslin, Isaac Mizrahi, Star Jones, Katie Lee, La La Anthony, Beth Stern, Shoshanna Gruss, Kelly Rutherford, Gina Glickman, and Lisa Rinna.  In addition to the amazing shopping booths, there are lots of interactive activities, spa treatments, games, rides, fortune tellers, and more.  The event has something for everyone.

As I was browsing through the racks of Helmut Lang, I turned to my right and noticed who was browsing the same pieces as me: Rachel Zoe.  Some get excited to meet celebs, others get excited to meet political leaders; I get excited to meet Rachel Zoe.  Sweet, stunning, and fashionable, Rachel had her own booth of pieces that she handpicked.  Zoe fashioned a to-die-for white floral maxi dress with a red, white, and grey beaded long necklace, and oversized burgundy shades.  Bananas. (in photo: stylist and star of the Rachel Zoe Project, Rachel Zoe & Sydney Sadick)

Here’s what I wore.  Head-to-know (well, basically) in pieces from Kitson, I fashioned a white maxi skirt, a hot pink cropped sleeveless blouse with light pink flowers going through it, a link chain necklace in different beads (love), and a rose-gold tote, Chanel sunglasses, and gold cork Jack Rogers (which were not from Kitson).

I got my carnival spirit on when sticking my head into a card board hole to dress as a clown; not so fashionable, but my friends and family definitely got a big laugh over it.

Super Saturday was so much fun, and I can’t wait to show you my great purchases, each one on a budget.  Enjoy this gorgeous evening!

Sephora’s Newest Addition: Sadick Dermatology Group

In Beauty, Interview/Personal Appearance on July 16, 2011 at 5:36 PM

To some he’s the botox guru, to others he’s Dr. Dior, but to me, he’s dad.  His new skincare line with Sephora, Park Avenue Prescription, launched in 150 stores just two days ago.  Below is my interview with Dr. Sadick.

S: It’s said that people travel from all over the world to get your “Park Avenue Prescription.”  What is it?

D.S: It’s the world’s leading advanced skincare program that is changing the way people take care of their skin.  The first product is the AM Protection Cream that has one of the highest levels of antioxidants available in conjuction with a cosmetically elegant physical sunscreen.  Then there’s the evening program which is very simple: PM Reversal Serum and PM Rejuvenation Cream. This easy serum has new generation peptides and other vitamin A and retinol which combine to keep your collagen stimulated.  We also made this very affordable because we have our own manufacturing facilities and is based upon 25 years of research in our group.

S: Why is it called Park Avenue Prescription?

D.S: Our flagship office is located on Park Avenue, and most people associate Park Ave with something important, prestigeous, and effective.

S: What was the process like of developing this line?

D.S: Sephora came to us a year ago when I was the Global Medical Advisor for Dior (I helped develop their products for the past 6 years), and asked us to develop a word class scientifically clinically proven skincare line that they could utilize throughout the US, Canada, and potentially around the world.  I helped choose each ingredient for the products and oversaw the clinical testing that showed the amazing 80% improvement of wrinkles, pigmentation and redness on the skin, just after 6 weeks of using the products.

S: Who is your customer?

D.S: Men & women who want to slow down the aging process and prevent the acceleration of photo aging because it’s a lot easier to stop the aging process than to reverse it.

S: How does your line differentiate from other doctor lines?

D.S: I’ve worked with Dior, Avon, Loreal, Procter and Gamble, La Prairie, etc.  I know what’s in those products, I know the way that they’re formulated, and in order for me to have come out with this line, I had recognize a gap.  I felt there was nothing simple and comprehensive in anti-aging.  With us, it’s about how the products work.

S: You’re coming out with a new book sold at all of the B&N and Borders stores around the world.  Tell us about it.

D.S: The New Natural is about what men and women want.  They want to look natural (not necessarily younger), not artificial, but fresher.  It talks about how to say young without the knife, how to slow down the aging process, protecting your skin, and stimulating your natural collagen.

S: What’s next for Sadick Dermatology Group?

D.S: The next group of products: corrector pens then eye line, and then whole body rejuvenation (stretch mark products, cellulite products, and an advanced haircare line).


Sydney Interviews Shoshanna Gruss

In Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on June 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM

If you want to fashion the hottest bathing suits this summer, shopping Shoshanna Swimwear is a must.  Talented designer, wife, mother, and fan to the Hollywood stars, I present you my interview with Shoshanna Gruss.

SS: What are your suggestions to finding the “right” bathing suit?

SG: When you go shopping for your summer suit, make sure to go into the dressing room bikini ready.  Between the horrible lighting, tiny dressing rooms and terrible mirrors, many women put off trying suits on because they’re not up for it, but I always say go shopping the way you would go to the beach!  You want to feel confident, so put some makeup on and a little self-tanner to get you in the mood!

SS: Your Baby Girl swimwear “mommy and me” collection is so on target.  Did this concept originate from being a mom yourself?

SG: Initially, the idea started in a conversation with Saks asking for the prints to be put onto little girl swimsuits.  However, the entire concept didn’t come into fruition until after my daughter Sienna was born.  Once I had her, it just seemed like a natural step for the line to take and has been such a huge success that we continue it each season!

SS: Tell me about your collaboration with BFF Charlotte Ronson.

SG: Charlotte and I have always been big supporters of each other.  We decided it would be a lot of fun to work together on a swim collaboration and fortunately it has been so successful that we continue it each season!  Even though our own collections look so different, when we hang out, shop and design we actually start with a lot of the same inspirations and just interpret them in really different ways.  I know what she likes, she knows what I like, and a lot of the time we like the same thing.  We knew there would be a cross over between her customers and mine, so we thought it would be fun to find prints and add our own individual touches to the same collection.

SS: How hands on are you with the concepts, designs, and marketing of your collections?

SG: 100% involved-I have a great team in place in my studio, but am still in full control of everything that we do.  I love it so much; I would never want it to be any other way! (In photo: High Tide Halter & Ring Bottom)

A big thanks to Shoshanna!  Check out her collections at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, and hundreds of speciality stores around the US.  To find a store near you, check out the Shop Now section on

Sydney Interviews Jennifer Miller

In Accessories, Hamptons, Interview/Personal Appearance on May 28, 2011 at 8:27 AM

From The Hamptons, to NYC, to Palm Beach, Jennifer Miller’s jewelry stores are the best to shop in.  A sweet, fun, and trendy woman herself, I had the opportunity to interview Jennifer Miller for Style Solutions. (In photo: Jennifer Miller & husband/business partner, Mark Ehret)

S: How did you get into the jewelry business?

J: I grew up in a family where everyone was in the fashion industry.  Jewelry has always been in my blood, but I resisted the business while I had another career.  I was first in the cosmetic business, but I was a jewelry collector and lover my entire life.  I had always spent my paycheck on jewels, but then decided to make my business jewelry. I started with a store within a store at Zoom in Southampton in 1991.  I then opened my own stores in Southampton, NYC, Easthampton, and Palm Beach.

S: You have an amazing way of merchandising real with costume jewelry (even in the same case!)  What’s your strategy?

J: It’s unfamiliar to clients because they can’t tell what’s real or not.  We merchandise together to show that whether you want to spend $95 or $1000, it all looks great.  My husband and I do all of the buying.

S: It appears that not just customers are shopping, but many stylists come to select jewelry for their clients.

J: Before the reality stars became these stars, they were either friends, customers, or acquaintances.  Once they started their career, they found Jennifer Miller to be an easy one-stop shop.  They all wear everything beautifully, and represent the Jennifer Miller brand: the perfect place to shop for everyone, and always yourself.

S: What’s your most popular piece right now?

J: The Hampton Earring.  It’s $95 (great for those on a budget readers!), not too big, not too small, right amount of sparkle, and is great for the girl who wants one earring that will go with everything no matter where you go.

S: What are the trends for summer?

J: Right now, there are lots of leathers with sparkle: a combination of leather with flair.

S: You recently added great hostess gifts in your SH store.  What inspired you?

J: I have a passion for beautiful things.  Everything I like to give as hostess gifts I want in my store because my store is like my home.  Clients come into my Hamptons stores looking for gifts to bring to parties, so instead of buying jewelry all of the time, they can now buy trays, candles, salad tossers, and more.

A big thanks to Jennifer, and be sure to check out her stores and website!

Sydney Interviews The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Newest Housewife, Melissa Gorga

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance on May 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

If you are a fan of The Real Housewives reality series, then you are most certainly excited for this evening’s season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.  Two housewives are out -we lost Dina Manzo last season, and now we (unsurprisingly) lost Danielle Staub this season- but don’t worry, because there are two new cast members -Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile- that are joining this crazy, fun, dramatic, and addicting Season 3 that won’t make us miss the NJ “alumnus”.

Read on Real Housewives of New Jersey fans and Style Solutions readers, because I had the pleasure of interviewing the show’s newest, youngest, and most fashionable housewife, Melissa Gorga, for Style Solutions.  Gorga is a sassy and fun mom, wife, and recording artist.  Check out my interview with Melissa below.

S: As a new real housewife, what are three things everyone should know about you?

M: The first thing that comes to mind is that my family always comes first.  I always tell it like it is, and I have nothing to hide.  I absolutely love music, it has always been my first love.

S: How would you describe your personal style?

M: I am very confident in what I wear and when dressing myself.  I am not that girl who takes forever to make a decision in the closet.  I know what I like and I know what looks good on me.

S: How do you accomplish being a fashionable recording artist, mom, and wife at the same time?

M: It’s not easy.  It’s my biggest challenge right now, and I am trying to make it all work.  I am extremely passionate about all three (my biggest obstacle is juggling all of them), but I am a strong person and know I can make it work.

S: What is your favorite item in your closet?

M: Right now it’s my Max Azria romper.

S: Where can you be found shopping most and why?

M: New Jersey is the land of boutiques.  It would be so difficult to just pick one as they all offer something different, so it depends on my mood and what I am looking for.

A big thanks to Melissa, and I look forward to kicking off my week with the 90 minute season premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey this evening.  Check out the season premiere tonight on Bravo at 9/8c.

Sydney Meets Rosie Pope

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on May 8, 2011 at 10:51 AM

After a fun and busy Saturday downtown, I made a stop at my local Bloomingdales: not for a refreshing frozen yogurt at Forty Carrots, not for my MAC lipstick refill, but for something else.  I went to Bloomingdales to meet Rosie Pope, TV personality, designer, and pregnancy-guru, at her diaper bag trunk show.

Rosie is best known for her maternity line and show on Bravo, Pregnant In Heels, which follows Rosie helping moms-to-be preparing to have a baby.  Rosie is most certainly the best and most fashionable pregnancy-guru, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to interview her for Style Solutions.

S: What inspired you to create a maternity line?

R: I started my line in 2007 and it came out in 2008.  I was really inspired by living in New York City and was astonished by how much women were needy for fashionable maternity clothes.

S: What’s one piece of clothing that every pregnant woman should own?

R: It’s important to have great fitting pants because you can’t avoid them.  They are great for those on a budget, they highlight your lines, and they are sophisticated.

S: How do you feel about dresses?  Are you into patterns or solids?

R: Dresses are great because they’re feminine. I prefer prints over solids because they’re fun.  I love florals and Diane Von Furstenberg looking prints.

S: What should a mom look for when buying a diaper bag?

R: On the outside, it should look like a bag that you would normally wear, but inside it should be waterproof, have pockets, a changing pad, the ability to hang off a stroller, and it needs to be big enough.

S: What do you suggest to women who try to fit in their regular clothes when pregnant?

R: Let it go and accept the fact that you need maternity clothes.  Most women need to wear them after they have a baby, so love what you buy.

It was such a pleasure to meet and interview Rosie.  For those of you who are in NYC, you can check out Rosie Pope Maternity at 1265 Madison Avenue, (212) 608-2036.  Also, catch Pregnant In Heels on Bravo every Tuesday at 10/9 c.

Sydney Goes To Molly Jong-Fast’s -The Social Climber’s Handbook- Book Signing

In Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on April 27, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Most don’t know this about me, but reading is one of my favorite hobbies.  Of course the books that I read are limited to chick-flick types, but I say reading something is better than reading nothing at all.  It’s hard for me to make time to read, but when I do -like during the Summer when I’m not in school, relaxing at Coopers Beach in Southampton on a Saturday afternoon, or hopping on a Jitney bus, train, or plane- I find myself in a content state of mind.  Here’s a new book that I’ll be reading this Summer, and you all should too: The Social Climber’s Handbook, by Molly Jong-Fast.

This evening, I attended Molly’s book signing at Barnes and Noble for her new novel.  I wore J.Crew cargo pants and a black v-neck, black wedges, a vintage Hermes belt, a gold chain necklace, and my black Balenciaga purse.  Molly read parts of her book, had a Q & A, and signed books.  I met bold, fun, sweet and great writer, Molly, a few years ago when her son and my brother went to pre-school together.  Molly is the daughter of author Erica Jong, and has written two other books: Normal Girl, and Girl Maladjusted.

Here’s the synopsis of The Social Climber’s Handbook: Upper East Side socialite Daisy Greenbaum is accustomed to the finer things—designer clothes, summers in the Hamptons, elite private school educations for her daughters, and a staggeringly expensive Park Avenue apartment. But Daisy finds her well-heeled lifestyle on precarious footing after her husband, master of the universe Dick Greenbaum, learns about some shady dealings that threaten his position at The Bank.  Daisy refuses to allow her family to slip down the social ladder, so she devises a madcap plan: Anyone who jeopardizes her place at the top will simply have to be dispatched—six feet under. From Dick’s arrogant boss to his scheming former mistress to a pair of nosy bloggers, Daisy’s hit list is a who’s who of big names with even bigger secrets. But with the body count rising as the Dow Jones falls, can Daisy really get away with murder?

Murder, high society, fashion, and truth, this book is a must-read.  As the novel says, high society can be a killer.  Check out The Social Climber’s Handbook on for $10.

Sydney Attends Fendi’s Children’s Spring/Summer 2011 Collection Fashion Show

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on April 14, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Mom’s and tots, get ready for this season’s most fashionable children’s clothing line.  This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending Fendi’s Children’s Spring/Summer 2011 Collection fashion show, hosted by Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford in partnership with Lyss Stern’s Divalysscious Moms.

Walking into the Fendi flagship store on Fifth Avenue were gorgeous male models welcoming guests with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and mini cupcakes.  While walking around the main floor and saying hello to some familiar faces (where there were stunning handbags and shoes, may I add) a DJ was spinning music which made the vibe of the evening fun and energetic.  A few minutes after I arrived came Kelly Rutherford, who looked stunning in a Fendi orange dress with gold jewels, and her two sons.

After everyone munched and mingled, guests made their way upstairs where the fashion show was held.  Before the show began, Stern and Fendi’s President of North America, Stacy Van Praagh, gave a thank you speech to open up the show.

4-6 year old boys and girls were the models of the show, looking adorably stylish in tapered pants, playful dresses, t-shirts, leggings, plaids, bomber pants, and more.  Each child looked cute and chic, and walked the runway with undeniable confidence.

The collection was adorable, and I particularly loved the boy’s tailored suits and the girl’s playful dresses.  The clothing is certainly not for the mother who’s on a budget, (prices range from $100-$1000) but for the mother who wants to splurge.  Check out the collection on

Sydney Meets Mark Badgley and James Mischka

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location, Shoes on April 7, 2011 at 7:19 PM

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to meet Mark Badgley and James Mischka at the launch of their new footwear line, Mark & James, at Bloomingdales in NYC.  Badgley and Mischka are some of the most talented and respected designers in the fashion industry, and are best known for their couture line, Badgley Mischka.  Badgley Mischka defines Hollywood glamour with its sophisticated, modern, girly, and glamorous style: it’s all about bringing back the glamour of the 40s.

The Badgley Mischka line not only contains clothing, but jewelry, handbags, footwear, eyewear, swimwear, and watches too.  Plus, the designers also have a fragrance, and bridal and bridesmaid line.  I’ve loved Badgley Mischka ever since I was young, and do so even more now that I am older, which made meeting the designers extremely exciting.  The designers’ new Mark & James footwear collection is perfect for the girl who loves Badgley Mischka shoes but wants a more affordable price and modern look.

When meeting the fashionable duo on the contemporary shoe level at Bloomingdales, I asked them what inspired them to create Mark & James.  The designers said that they always get young celebrities wanting to wear their shoes for red carpet events and award shows, and wanted to make a younger and affordable line that is inspired by the young Hollywood stars that wear their shoes.

I then asked the designers what their favorite shoe is from the collection (I loved them all, so I can imagine how difficult it was to pick just one!).  The designers adored their ‘Malko Wedge Sandals‘, which are tall wood wedges with a leather flower and in a flattering t-strap style.  The wedges are perfect for Spring with their chunky and girly look.  I also loved these nude and black large gold stud embellished gladiator sandals with a little heel and ankle strap.  There are many more to-die-for shoes in the collection, and prices of the shoes range from $200-$300.

Meeting the designers was great, and not only did I have fun chatting about the fabulous collection of shoes, but the designers also noticed that I was wearing Badgley Mischka blue multicolored hanging crystal earrings that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I bought them in Palm Beach last year.

Be sure to check out the Mark & James collection to get the perfect stylish shoe for you this Spring.

Sydney Interviews Tinsley Mortimer

In Celebrities, Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance on March 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

High Society “It Girl” Tinsley Mortimer is stylish, smart (Columbia University graduate), fashion designer (Samantha Thavasa and Riccimie), and such a sweet person.  Tinsley graciously gave me the opportunity to interview her for Style Solutions.

S: How did you become the social “It Girl”?

T: I love supporting my friends in fashion and there are so many amazing causes and charities to be a part of in the city.  Also, working at Vogue magazine and Harrison & Shriftman PR firm enabled me to meet a lot of people in New York.

S: Who are your favorite designers? (besides yourself of course!)

T: I love Dior, Valentino, Jay Ahr, Marchesa, Alice and Olivia, Brian Atwood, and Louboutin!

S: You not only have great taste in the selection of clothes you wear, but everything looks great on you.  Any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

T: I always wear what I like and what makes me feel like me regardless if it is considered “of the moment” or trendy. I know what works and what doesn’t on me. I love to feel like a girly girl and look super feminine whenever I am out. It makes me feel the most comfortable and confident.

S: Tell me about your design work.

T: I design handbags for a Japanese company called Samantha Thavasa and clothing only sold in Japan for a company called Riccimie. I design bags and clothes that I want to wear, that I want in my closet. Everything is very girly with a slight edge.

S: What wardrobe suggestions do you have for the girl who is on a budget but wants to look fashion forward?

T: You can find so many amazing clothes, bags (mine range from 200-500), and shoes at inexpensive prices. It is all about the fit and really knowing what you are looking for. If you shop with specific looks in mind or for a specific occasion you are better focused and it doesn’t become overwhelming. Having a great tailor too is super important and can make anything work. Pay attention to proportions on your body. Clothes, jewelry and shoes need to be the right proportion for your size.

S: Anything else in the works for you that we should know about?

T: I was just named a National Ambassador for the Humane Association and it is such an honor. I want to encourage everyone to go to their local shelters and adopt a pet!!

A big thanks to Tinsley, and Style Solutions will continue to follow her exciting career!

Sydney Hangs Out With Natasha Bedingfield & Other Celebs at Boy Meets Girl

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on February 16, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the Boy Meets Girl fashion show. Since this was an evening show, I wanted to look a little more bold than when I go to daytime shows. For my birthday, my girlfriends got me a gift card to the John Barrett Salon at Bergdorf Goodman. This was the perfect time to use it, so I got a blowout, sipped on a foamy cappuccino, and took advantage of being able to relax. After my hair, I ran home to change. I fashioned leather-looking leggings, a crochet BCBG tunic, my BCBG wedges that I blogged about a few days ago, gold hanging earrings, my Balenciaga purse, plus some more jewelry.

After a quick change, I ran to the Trish McEvoy counter at Bloomingdales where my favorite makeup artist, Billy Mercer, gave me the ultimate smokey eye (he’s the best!)  As I was walking into the building where the show took place, I bumped into Andy Cohen from Watch What Happens Live! , who accidentally came into the wrong show: right before he walked by I went up to him, introduced myself, and gave him my card (so sweet: maybe not so much of an accident?).

Thanks to my amazing friend Ellen, I was able to meet and hang out with Natasha Bedingfield. After Natasha’s fabulous performance and the runway show, I got to go backstage and meet Natasha in her dressing room. We chatted for quite some time, and she loved my fur coat. She is super sweet and we talked about my blog, fashion, her music, etc. After talking, Natasha had to change for the Boy Meets Girl after party at Avenue, so Ellen and I decided to meet her and her team there.  As I was leaving the backstage area, I came across singer Kat Deluna and chatted with her as well: Twitter friends!

As I was literally walking out the door, I came across the The Veronicas, who were so adorable and sweet: I’m also a big fan of their music!  When Ellen and I finally arrived at Avenue, we were seated at Natasha’s VIP table where I got to spend the evening with Natasha and her team which was so much fun: she’s so down to earth and sweet.  The music was amazing, everyone was dancing, and all eyes were on us.  I had an amazing night -from the fashion, to the people, to the music- and I am so excited that I’ve been able to attend such cool shows and network with such great people.

Sydney Goes To The Jimmy Choo Perfume Launch

In Beauty, Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on February 9, 2011 at 4:03 PM

What do I do when I have a free during school?  I go to blog-worthy launches and events for products, designers, and celebrities that I am obsessed with.  A few weeks ago, I blogged about the then soon-to-be out Jimmy by Jimmy Choo Perfume.  Guess what?  Today was the launch of the perfume, and I was able to cover it.

The launch of the Jimmy by Jimmy Choo perfume took place on the beauty level -first floor- of Saks Fifth Avenue.  I had 45 minutes to get to Saks from the Upper East Side, get info on the product, take pictures, and make it back to class in one piece.  Mission accomplished.  When I arrived at Saks Fifth Avenue, there was a long camel carpet (the red-carpet aesthetic) for founder Tamara Mellon to walk down with her new fragrance.  All shoppers and staff gathered to see Tamara walk the carpet, and you could tell how thrilled and excited she was.

The beauty level was packed with hundreds of girls waiting to meet Tamara, so I knew I wouldn’t have time to wait and get my perfume signed.  However, I was able to get into the press-only area in which I was able to snap pictures of Tamara, who fashioned a cheetah dress –so on trend- and a bright orange clutch for a pop of color.

As I was taking pictures of Tamara, I was pleasantly surprised to see Gossip Girl star, Jessica Szhor, who I was also able to get shots of.  Jessica looked stunning in a classic white button down and black pants, with a shiny pink lip.  She was cute and playful while spritzing the perfume on her, and it was nice to watch.  I was noticeably the only non-papparazi taking pics of her, and I saw her smiling at me and then looking towards the bottom half of my outfit.  Well,  I finally realized what Jessica was looking at: my uniform skirt which was used in Gossip Girl when they were still in high school.  I have to say, it was pretty funny.

Also present at the launch of the perfume were models who were dressed up in adorable black dresses embellished with crystals and pink and black scarves, spraying the fragrance on customers who wanted a sniff of the scent.  The perfume was clearly a hit based on the amount of people that were there, and I am definitely a fan.  The perfume is available at Saks Fifth Avenue for $95.

I’ve had a great day today, and it just got even better.  It is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC, one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I am pleased to announce that I will be covering some shows!  Get ready for a full coverage on the Jill Stuart show this weekend, and the Pamella Roland show next week, plus more: I can’t wait!

Sydney Meets Sam Edelman

In Fashion Designer, Interview/Personal Appearance, Resort, Shoes on January 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM

A typical day in Palm Beach is as simple as this: shop on Worth Avenue, and then hit the beach and the pool.  As I walked through one of my favorite esplanade’s on Worth Avenue, I spotted a store that I have never seen, and I was so pleasantly surprised: it was a Sam Edelman store.

Sam Edelman -the shoe brand that we all love from department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales in addition to private stores- has come to the streets of Palm Beach.  Edelman’s designs and colors are great, and the prices are very affordable for those of you who are on a budget: $69-$250.  This is the first store that Edelman has opened, and it is most definitely impressive.  As you walk in the door, you feel as if you’re in a shoe wonderland.  The store is cool and modern, yet still has a chic and glamorous Palm Beach look.  Every resort shoe that your heart desires from the Sam Edelman collection is displayed on shelves and tables for easy shopping like his wife’s collection called Libby which defines the Palm Beach look.  As Edelman says, Libby is more mature: I think the Libby shoes are sophisticated, elegant, chic, glamorous, and colorful.

As I was in the store, I had the opportunity to interview Sam Edelman for Style Solutions which was very exciting since he is one of my  favorite shoe designers.  When asking Edelman why he opened a store in Palm Beach, he said, “The idea came to us: we believe in the concept of a luxury brand at an affordable price.  Palm Beach is a great approach to different, whimsical, and unique shopping.”  I then asked Edelman what inspires his designs: “Fashion is a big inspiration.  I study furniture, food, trends, and lifestyle: everything.

Edelman’s shoes can go from a classic flat sandal to a spiked peep-toe pump called Lorissa.  When asking which shoe in Edelman’s collection is for the “Sam Edelman girl” and who the Sam Edelman girl is, he said, “The Lorrisa shoe is for the Sam girl.  She is the real Sam customer who is usually 19-28.  She’s tired of wearing the same thing, is influenced by fashion, and knows fashion more than politics.”  I guess you could call me a Sam girl then.

I asked Edelman what the near future holds for him.  Edelman said, “brand extensions and accessories.”  After talking to Edelman -which was such a pleasure- I purchased a sandal that Edelman recommended for me: the Gigi sandal in gold/bronze and orange.  Edelman recommended this shoe because it’s in the Hermes colors (I love Hermes): he is signing the bottom of my shoes before I head back to NYC tomorrow.

So the next time you’re in Palm Beach, check out the Sam Edelman store, and you will have a great shopping experience.  If you purchase a pair of his shoes, he’ll sign your pair too.

Sydney Meets Patricia Field

In Fashion Designer, Holiday, Interview/Personal Appearance, On Location on December 14, 2010 at 6:26 PM

It might have been absolutely freezing outside, but that didn’t stop me from attending the launch party of Patricia Field‘s – the stylist for Sex & The City 2 – new limited edition handbag line for MCM this afternoon.  The launch party took place at the MCM Boutique at The Shops At The Plaza Hotel.  I’m not a huge fan of the shopping center at the Plaza for two reasons.  One: I don’t think it’s necessary to have a mini mall when NYC is the biggest “mall” in the country.  Two: it takes the classic charm away from this New York City landmark.  However, meeting Patricia was worth it.

If you’re a Sex & The City 2 fashion-fan like me, you know how excited I was to meet this fashion legend.  Patricia’s line for MCM gave the company’s handbags the edgy twist that it most certainly needed: whether it be the color, design, or studs on some of the handles.

I talked to Patricia for fifteen minutes -who looked very cool with her adorable Pucci winter coat- and she asked what my opinion was of the bags: if I thought they would appeal to my readers, if I liked the look, etc.  I feel that the line has a cool, artsy, and chic look.  It’s for the girl that wants an everyday bag that is stylish, wearable, and big enough – yet not too big – for her daily necessities.  I also think that it’s classic (although fun and colorful) and is not too out there and looks simple yet elegant.

Beyonce was just seen wearing my favorite bag of the collection which is called the ‘Reversible Shopper Tote‘ – love the color, design: everything.  Although the collection is expensive – handbags start at $550 – it is a luxury brand and the bags are less expensive than (for example) Goyard totes which have the similar aesthetic.

This line is limited edition, so it’s a great gift to purchase for the holidays if you want to splurge on something that is more unique.  Meeting Patricia was a pleasure: she’s fashion forward, a fashion icon, and an inspiration to fashion-lovers like me.  Check out her collection at the MCM Boutique at the Shops At The Plaza or on

Millionaire Matchmaker Star In Reality

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance on December 1, 2010 at 4:00 PM

While waiting impatiently to meet the Kardashians, I noticed a familiar face, and I pin-pointed who it was instantly.  If you’re a Millionaire Matchmaker fan, you know exactly who I’m talking about: the outgoing, effortlessly chic, and Botox-loving millionaire, David Yontef.

David informed me that his episode is the highest rated (so far) in all of the Millionaire Matchmaker shows-such a funny episode! Pretty great, right?  Maybe it’s because Patti Stanger brought in a make-up specialist from Saturday Night Live to transform David into a physically gross person.  Patti did this because she was concerned that David judges potential men based on physical appearance first.  Patti wanted David to start accepting people for their inner qualities.

Although Millionaire Matchmaker is one of my favorite shows, (I’m obsessed with Patti’s appalling yet totally entertaining behavior) Patti definitely makes these millionaires seem different then they are in real life.  In person, David was a cool, nice, funny, fashionable guy, yet those great qualities weren’t portrayed as much on the show.

At the Kardashian book apperance,  David fashioned an effortlessly chic outfit: a baby pink cashmere sweater, dark gray jeans, his signature eye-glasses, a Louis Vuitton key pouch (I had a Louis Vuitton bag on, so we kind of matched), and to top it off, (which I loved) a mixture of pink and gray Silly Bandz which gave the outfit some playful fun.

It was great meeting David, and his personality definitely comes out not only through conversation, but from his outfits as well.  Check out the Millionaire Matchmaker on Tuesdays at 9:00 pm Eastern on Bravo.

Sydney Meets Rihanna

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance on October 27, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I needed my “Umbrella” today when meeting singer of ‘Only Girl (In The World)‘, Rihanna, at her book signing.  Hundreds of fans, including me, stood in line for at least two hours at Barnes and Nobles on 46th and 5th to meet, take pictures, and get a signature from Rihanna: she was fashioning an adorable floral dress. The long line was worth the wait.

The book, called Rihanna, features 144 “steamy” pictures of her in concert, hanging around, designing, taking photos for her album covers, being chased by paparazzi, eating, and my favorite, a peek of her shoe closet full of Louboutin’s and her collection of cuff bracelets.  The photography and concept, created by Simon Henwood, is truly amazing and is a perfect coffee table book for those interested in fashion, photography, and are a Rihanna fan.

When I met Rihanna, I got to ask her what her favorite fashion trend is this season.  She said, and wrote on my signed book, “hair accessories.”  Although not fashioning any today, she is constantly seen wearing a variety of headbands, hats and more.

It was so fun meeting Rihanna today.  She’s cool, nice, beautiful, fashionable, and a definite trendsetter.

Rihanna is available at bookstores but can also be found on  Hardcovers are $50 and soft covers are $30.

Get your “Umbrella” out when going to purchase this great book  today, because “It’s Rainin’

2010 Teen Design Fair With Tim Gunn

In Celebrities, Interview/Personal Appearance on October 12, 2010 at 11:59 PM

In photo: Observing Tim talking to students

If you’re a teen who is interested in any type of design – whether it be product, fashion, or architecture (just to name a few) – being at the 2010 Teen Design Fair run by the Cooper-Hewitt Museum at the Altman Building this afternoon is a must.  This event is the kickoff for National Design Week and is hosted by Project Runway co-host Tim Gunn.

The  Teen Design Fair is like a scavenger hunt for those interested in design.  It’s your chance to walk around a room full of over 30 professionals in the fields of fashion, industrial design, architecture, multimedia, graphic design, and more to communicate with the people that are the best in their industry and get advice that is priceless.

Professionals that were at the event included Tim Gunn (Chief Officer at Liz Claiborne Inc., co-host of my favorite TV show Project Runway, author of Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons For Making It Work, and more), Cynthia Rowley (fashion designer), Jacki Easlick (previous fashion director for Kenneth Cole and designer for Vera Bradley and now currently independent handbag designer), and Jeff Silva (senior designer for Johnson&Johnson).  I had the opportunity to speak with each of these professionals and got tips/advice that I think is worth everyone knowing.

Talking to Tim was great; he listed the ‘must haves’ for every girl’s closet and store alternatives to finding pieces that look expensive but are sold for less.  Tim suggests stores such as H&M and Forever21 but also said “you can find things that are less expensive at stores like J.Crew and find sales.”  Tim suggests (as wardrobe essentials) the following: blazer, black dress, day dress, pant, class shirt, trenchcoat, jeans, cashmere sweater, and a sweatsuit.

I’ve given you advice directly from Tim Gunn.  Make it work.

A Sweet Appearance

In Interview/Personal Appearance on October 9, 2010 at 4:25 AM

Who knew that going to Bloomingdales would have a sweet surprise: Dylan Lauren, the founder of Dylan’s Candy Bar.  Daughter of legendary fashion designer Ralph Lauren, Dylan has made it on her own.  Her candy emporium started out as one small location and has now created a popular brand.  You can find her candy at not only her store on Third Avenue, but her other locations in Easthampton, NY, Garden City, NY, Houston, Texas, and Orlando, Florida.

Candy’s not all that you find. Dylan has expanded her brand to clothing, beauty products, gifts and gift baskets, parties and events, and now launching her newest endeavor, her book, “Unwrap Your Sweet Life“.  As said on the Dylan’s Candy Bar website, Dylan’s photo-driven book shows how to celebrate with candy every day and on holidays, featuring innovative decorating and gift-giving ideas, Dylan’s personal candy memories, and over 20 inventive candy craft ideas and so much more.

The style of Dylan’s brand is fun, colorful, bright, and energetic.  She has taken the simple candy store aesthetic to the next level.  My first memory at Dylan’s Candy Bar was when I had my 2nd grade birthday party at her store, decorating chocolate figures with my friends.  Now all grown up, her brand has grown with me.  People of all ages, styles, and interests have one thing in common; they all love candy.

Whether you love gummy bears, sweets and sours, or like my mom who is nostalgic about mallo cups, Dylan caters to everyone.  Meeting Dylan at Bloomingdales today while promoting her book was a pleasure. She is just as sweet as her candy.