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What Sets You Apart?

Anna Piaggi


"It is a moment, an expression. My philosophy of fashion is humour, jokes and games. I make my own rules. I never pick up something and just throw it on my back like that. There's a little bit of study, and it's always better if I think about what I'm going to wear the night before the next day. And what is to be avoided at all costs is the twinset look, the total look."

Anna Piaggi

I had seen her in photos at fashion shows sitting front row but never questioned her relevance. She obviously dressed on the wild side but in the fashion world that is the norm. Not until her death did I realize what an icon she was. All the big designers were putting out statements of grief and sadness which led me to ask "Why would she be so missed?". So I did a little googling.

Anna Piaggi passed away in Milan at the age of 81. She was a fashion writer most known for her unpredictable two page spread in Italian Vogue. She also wrote for many other magazines and published a book called Fashion Algebra. She was a muse to Karl Lagerfeld which gave me an aha moment due to their obsession with hats. She was a collector of clothing and shoes, so much so, her wardrobe will be on permanent display in Milan at the Fabbrica Del Vapore. My favorite tidbit I read was about this night she was to attend a ball. She had purchased a dead white dove to hang on a chain around her neck. Around midnight someone she had been speaking to notified her that the dove had begun to bleed on her gown. She did not act surprised or embarrassed. She simply said "It's time for Cinderella to leave the ball." and calmly exited. 

Showing her deep love for all things British.

Showing her deep love for all things British.

Now, I'm not writing about Anna to simply educate the world on who this woman was. I chose to write about this particular woman because she made me think. She was not just a woman who wore outlandish frocks, had blue hair and wore tiny hats. Often times as people age they grow out of their phases of being goth, punk, hipster or whatever it may be but for Anna it was not a phase. For her it was fun. She absolutely loved having fun with fashion and she was not afraid. I don't believe she dressed that way for attention. She did it for herself. This lead me to ask myself if I dress how I REALLY want to dress or do I dress for others?  Am I authentically me? If everyone is unique how shall I set my self apart from the masses?

Double the fun.

Double the fun.

These are not questions that can be answered over night so I will leave you with these thoughts and come back to this topic again. Until then I leave you with this question: What sets you apart?





"It's the theory of queenship that I dream of. I love the atmosphere, the clothes... I never think of money, just style and power. My nature has always been to be superficial."

Anna Piaggi






Welcome to Spring 2013 where every ensemble needs a pair of first-class shoe mates to complete the look. When picking out my look for the day I usually start at the toes and work my way up. Shoes can often be the focal point of your outfit. Especially when you live in Los Angeles and the style is extremely laid back. It's easy to wear jeans and a t-shirt then dress up the look with a fabulous pair of shoes. This is where we Angelinos really shine. Shoes, bags and accessories (in that order) allow for self expression where patrons of cold weather cities (i.e. NYC and Chicago) communicate their style through multiple layers and more tailored looks. I'm not saying shoes aren't important in frosty weather but warm toes may be higher on the level of priorities for these folk.

 Spring shoe styles make a major shift from winter to spring. They go from full coverage high leather boots to perhaps Oxfords, flats or even sandals. Below you will find my round-up of favorite trends and the styles within.


Let us first start with sandals. I know, it's hard to imagine when it's still snowing in some parts of the country but this season there are some prime choices to help free your piglets.

Sergio Rossi sandals
Dolce Vita sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti shoes
Sergio Rossi sandals
Dolce & Gabbana sandals
Tory Burch sandals



And next we have the low boot. Spring is the perfect season for this silhouette because your tootsies (cause who likes the word 'feet'?) will be kept warm while showing off a little leg while you pair them with below the knee skirts, denim shorts or dresses. They also look amazing with tights if your weather permits. 


Opening Ceremony ankle booties
Ash ankle booties
Rag & bone ankle booties
RED Valentino ankle booties
Opening Ceremony ankle booties
3.1 Phillip Lim ankle booties

Balenciaga ankle booties
Ankle booties




It's time to break out some spice because heels are now permitted on a daily basis. Weather it be work, cocktail hour, date night or even brunch it's time to flaunt your stuff.


Coach sandals

Gucci sandals
Giuseppe Zanotti sandals

Sergio Rossi pumps
Alejandro Ingelmo pumps
SW1 sandals
McQ by Alexander McQueen pumps
Nicholas Kirkwood pumps


Next up: Oxfords. This is a trend that is not dying. I was unsure of this trend at first because although I'm not a girly girl I am definitely not a tom boy and this trend pushes those limits. Yes we know wearing your boyfriend/husbands jeans is hot right now but is wearing his shoes pushing this trend over the edge? Well, according to almost every shoe company in the world the answer is simply no. Truth being these shoes are comfortable while making a statement that says to the world "I know what's hot right now." And the longer this trend lives the more innovation we find to our Grampa's shoes. Which pair would you wear?

Flat (see more flat heels)
Frye shoes

Chloé oxford
Dolce Gabbana oxford
Paul Smith oxford
Paul Smith oxford


Aaaah yes. The ever so classic trend of the ballet flat. One that seems to have become a staple. From bold colors and prints to over the top embellished beauties these flats find themselves in the running yet again. And who can blame you? Everyone deserves comfort and fashion all wrapped up into one sweet pair of feminine flats. I do adore the studded flats that mix a little bit of the naughty with the nice. Or how about the ones from Chloe that look like actual toe ballet slippers? Every girls dream, really.

Vera Wang Lavender Label flat

Matt Bernson flat

Chloé flat

Valentino flat

Marc Jacobs flat

McQ by Alexander McQueen flat
                              McQ by Alexander McQueen flat (see more flat heels)
Chloé flat

Chloé flat (see more flat shoes)


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Spring is an exciting time in fashion because it mirrors what's happening in mother nature. Out with the old dreary weather and in with the budding blooms of fresh flowers and striking green foliage. In fashion, we say "Goodbye" to our dark and heavy wool overcoats and "Hello" to our colorful dresses and light weight cardi's. Fashion is all about change so we welcome this and bring forth the items of our closet that have been forgotten. "I have nothing to wear" is also a common complaint heard throughout the world when a change in season occurs which gives us the perfect excuse to shop for the latest must haves prancing down the runways:

Unvailed - We saw hints of this trend last year but this year it's full blown with anything from hints of skin to nothing but a pair of a britches to cover your most sacred woman parts.

All Ruffled Up - From ruffled peplums to ruffled collars designers fulfilled the the saying "Put a ruffle on it" for Spring.  For all you girly girls this trend works but for the other lot who may be slightly intimidated by a ruffle (i.e. me) this trend is a little harder to swallow. And if this is the case there are three other trends that can be easily addressed.

Asian Express - This trend has been trying to make its way back into our closets for years now and it looks like it is finally going to have a chance. The Asian trend is a tough one to reinvent because a kimono is a kimono but subtle hints of style lines and bright magnificent prints cut into new silhouettes help make this theme relevant once again.

High Contrast - From evening wear to street style the colors black and white seem to be M.F.E.O (made for each other) this Spring. If it was big in the early 90's it seems to have been innovated, spit out of the fashion time machine and into stores everywhere come Spring. I'm just thankful we haven't seen any biker shorts peeking out of the bottom of flippy skirts. That trend is better left as a relic of the T.V. show Blossom. (Test BelVG)