Beloveds, I’m so thrilled to announce that I’ve been chosen as a Muse for the amazing curated luxury fashion site Dora Maar. What this means is that there is a new way for you to shop my picks- as in literally my closet (shop here) and that there’s another way for us to tell our stories, both together and apart. Dora Maar was referred to me (or perhaps I should say that she referred me to them!) by my love PhoebePhiloFan (who may be more chic than me!)
A Few things I love about Dora Maar: they’re white glove service. Every item is inspected and researched. It’s a community of fashion lovers. Truly. Every person -muse and non-muse-I’ve met have spanned ages and styles and yet have come together to truly appreciate fashion- and the stories it tells. Dora Maar wants you to be happy. So many sites just want to make a sale, and yet I truly believe in the work being done at Dora Maar. Not only because of all the questions that they asked me:
I love that they care about our stories, I love that Dora Maar is doing the work, and I love that they care about the pieces that they accept and sell:
I can’t say enough about how excited I am to be a part of this community and how I think you might like it too!
Classic and smart, shopping advice will tell you that you shop ahead (aka for the coming season not the one you’re in), shop sales (again, which may mean out of season), and always shop classics. I agree with this kind of advice. And yet, the issue with this kind of shopping (it’s not that only kind I do- insert winky face) is that sometimes you find pieces you LOVE that may be just out of season- it may be just too late to wear.
Take, for example, this stunning leather and mesh pleated dress I recently found (for a steal!) on eBay. It has cut outs, sleeveless and isn’t a true winter dress. Yet. The temps aren’t supposed to be below 100 this week, the event I wore this dress to was hot, even with tents and a breeze, and I’m not 100% sure that this dress is a summer dress. Though that didn’t stop me from wearing it. Too late for the dress? Or too early? Either way, when you find pieces you love that are just a bit off for the season you’re in how do we balance wearing something you love now?
At this day out I ran into some amazing women who complimented the dress, the neckline, etc- and when I mentioned that the leather was perhaps the wrong choice, one of them just shrugged and said: ” Eh. Those are the sacrifices we make for great outfits”. They were clearly my people.
Perhaps that’s the answer to the too late question. We sacrifice, we plan for the perfect times, and when we can’t wait to wear our prized pieces we pray for ac, breezes, and carry fans. While I can’t bear to go wear TOO far out of season- aka you will not catch me in a wool sweater right now- there are times I cannot be patient with great pieces. I have to wear them, even if it is a bit too late. So. we adjust. And plan on how we will re wear when the time is right!
This dress is Simkhai (quickly becoming one of my favorite modern designers, you can shop and read about him here) and I’ve linked similar dresses and some current favorite Simkhai pieces. I’ve also linked these exact (updated) shoes- they are some of my go-tos and beyond perfect. This bag is vintage Coach, and I’ve found you the modern version!
What have you bought lately that might be too late to wear and what are you doing about it?
Note: This post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!
Last year, at Austin Fashion Week, I had the great pleasure of meeting and falling in love with autark, and it’s designer/owner Sophia McMahon. From puff sleeve dresses and tops, to the ethical and slow approach, the pieces in each collection of Autark are just dreamy, and make me feel sophisticated and the little girl in me LOVES twirling in them! Sophia is charming, and we both love our cats and “Law and Order”, and I knew that I wanted to share my love of Sophia’s autark with you!
I got the chance to sit with Sophia and learn a bit about her brand, her story, and where she wants to take us with her fashion:
IP: What drew you to fashion design? How did you get started?
I was always interested in design, but a lot more academically focussed while I was at school. After I finished school and went to university, I worked for a couple of years in a completely different career – I enjoyed it but didn’t feel challenged. After taking some time to consider my career direction, I decided to take a leap and pursue the interest I’d always had, but felt a little to afraid to chase after. I enrolled at TAFE here in South Australia, and started autark straight after graduating in 2016.
How would you describe Autark’s mission? Who do you design for?
My mission is quite lofty – it’s to change the way that consumers think about their clothing. Firstly, I want people to think differently about the clothes they buy – what clothes they purchase and how often, how they care for the clothes that they own, and what they do with them at the end of the life of the clothing. My wish for customers is that they don’t feel the pressure of purchasing more often, that they buy well made, beautiful pieces that they can wear much more frequently, but that last for a long time.
Secondly, I want people to know that slow fashion can be fun, light and fashion forward! The aim for my pieces is that they are versatile and classic, yet with a design perspective or point of interest.
I design for women of all ages, who are interested in fashion and design, ethics, and who know their own mind. I absolutely adore seeing customers in autark pieces – it really gives me a buzz like nothing else.
I know that your line is Eco-friendly. What processes do you use to get your line that way?
I am so proud of our progress in the way that we approach limiting our impact in as many different areas of our process as possible.
All of our pieces are still made here in Adelaide, Australia, which is wonderful – it’s fantastic being able to build relationships with our manufacturers and see their beautiful work in real time. We are also really excited that our next collection will be made entirely from deadstock fabric, which is fabric that was not utilised by its previous owner. And of course, all fabric continues to be 100% natural fibres.
For the future we are focussing on further refining our processes particularly in regards to the sustainability of our practices, and will be exploring different ways of processing our fabric offcuts, as well as the kinds of finishings we use for our pieces. It’s something that we work to improve on a continuous basis.
Take us through the Autark process-design, manufacturing, etc.
We are currently producing one collection per year, so throughout the year I collate inspiration and design ideas. I’ll then start sourcing fabrics and try to match fabric and design ideas together. Next comes the sampling, to see how the fabrics work with the designs, which then flows on to production.
There is a lot of problem solving at every step of the way, but it keeps me on my toes!
If someone was to buy just one piece from your line, what would you recommend? What would you say is your signature piece?
That’s a really tricky one to answer! Can I say an outfit? Probably the Puff Sleeve Bodice and High Waisted Pant. I just adore this outfit – to me it epitomises what I am trying to achieve with the label. Two classic pieces that can be put together as one statement outfit, which can then be broken apart to be dressed up or down. I love this outfit with heels, or sneakers, the pant with a t-shirt, and the bodice with jeans. The possibilities are practically endless!
I know the fashion community in Australia is supportive and welcoming. Is there anything you’d love people to know about it?
I’m so proud of our local industry here in Adelaide, and as a greater whole in Australia. There is so much talent here, and in my opinion a really unique, fresh and easy design perspective. The Adelaide community in particular is creative, proactive and energetic, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.
My favorite pieces from Autark are also the puff sleeve pieces! (You can shop the dress and top) I urge to explore all the collections at autark. The collections are so beautiful, classic, and charming! Sophia, autark, and Australia are things I love, and this month a portion of proceeds from Autark will be donated to the wildfire relief in Australia, so we can all feel great about shopping!
I hope that you love Sophia and autark as much as I do, happy shopping!
I love wearing pieces that are vintage (or vintage inspired), let me stand out, are ethical, and I love supporting women owned businesses. When I get the chance to wear stunning silk that lets me do all of the above? It’s heaven!
And beloveds, that’s what Gia Texas is, heaven. Classic trousers, made in vintage silks, sold by the most amazing woman- Sheryl.
You may be asking yourself: what exactly are Gia-Texas pants?
They are made out of vintage saris (yes, they are made of saris from India, completely ethical in how the silk is repurposed and the workers are paid a living wage!) but remind me of beach pajamas, the chic look of resort going women in the 1930s and a holy grail item for many a vintage lover. (Read more about them here)
Sheryl began her career in interior design, so when she found these pants in London while living there for a brief time with her family, she fell in love with the feel of the silk, and the versality of the pant. When her daughter-in-law also wanted a pair, Sheryl realized she might have a second career on her hands. Sheryl became the only Stateside vendor of these sari or “dream catcher” pants, with @Gia_Texas, the pants are still sold in London under @Gia_London on Instagram.
I love looking at both of these Instagram handles for inspiration! Gia-London tends to style these pants as more boho/festival. Gia-Texas (the only distributer in the states!) styles them in a more “Texas” style, i.e. with denim. Me? I style them every which way!
I (after all these years) don’t know what to say my style is: I’ve never said no to a party look, wear swimsuits with everything, and am open to anything unique.
These are some of the ways I’ve styled these pants:
With a corset top (over the waist band) with heels for a party look
With a blazer for a work look
With a cropped tee and sandals
With my bikini and my feet in the pool
With a tank for lounging.
There’s no wrong way to style these. They do look great with everything from a floral crown to a jean jacket to a beach cover up to a board room. They’re both a nod to vintage style, completely unique, a statement, and a go-to piece (even for grocery runs!) all in one.
Besides looking chic and feeling comfy, there are a ton of reasons to love Gia-Texas:
*All the pants are made from vintage silk! It’s ethical! And no two are alike. You could get pants with silk from the 60s, 70s, someone wore on a special day. I love that we could all get them and they would each be different pants.
*They are washable! Simply use mesh bags in the washer.
*One size fits most. And they’re comfortable at any size!
*This silk is light and perfect for summer heat, but will also work amazing with sweaters in the fall!
*All pants ship free in the States!
You can shop these gems of pants anytime at Gia-Texas and use code INVESTMENTPIECE for a discount!
As a special treat, Sheryl and I will be doing a live Instagam trunk show to show off the pants (including her new shipment with all sorts of new colors and patterns) and share styling tips! I’ll post information both here, on my Instagram, and on the Facebook page–so keep your eyes peeled!
Instagram is such a strange and lovely place. I not only love connecting with all of you there, I’ve made friends, and found unbelievable places to shop. Case in point? Featherstone Vintage. Not only a place for stunning vintage (and yes, I have picks for you), the owner Nicola is a joy (she’s gone to the shop at night to check measurements for me. I love great vintage, but when better people sell it to me, I can’t help but gush!), and the prices will not break your bank (important!).
In Nicola’s words:
I’ve never had the pleasure of going to Montreal (maybe we should plan a trip??), but I’m so grateful I found her on Instagram. From vintage Celine:
(Nicola also just got the most amazing Oscar de la Renta in!), Featherstone Vintage is not only a beautiful addition to your Instagram feed, you also need to keep up to date with their blog, but it’s one of my favorite places to shop vintage–and I think it could be one of yours too!
Some of my finds at Featherstone Vintage:
And these are some of the pieces I’m loving that are currently available to shop on FeatherStone Vintage:
Everytime I go on the site, or scroll through my Instagram feed, I fall in love with something new from Featherstone. Can you blame me? Join me in my love affair with the shop–and tell me what you get!
One of my most favorite things about fashion as a community is meeting new people and supporting them. Nancy, of Dunitz & Company, and I met years ago via Instagram. Our mutual love of fashion and ethical practices drew us together. Her passion for treating fashion as the powerful art that it is meets her amazing glass creations, and I feel lucky to get to be a part of her circle.
Nancy has been kind enough to share about Investment Piece, read her post here. It really touched my heart, and made me realize that as much as I love Nancy and her creations, you might not know about Dunitz & Company. Let’s change that!
Nancy’s creations are absolutely gorgeous, and knowing that supporting her helps support local artisans and ethical fashion practices makes me love them even more. My favorite collections of Dunitz’s are the glass works-all the earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
But I also love the bead work!
I got the chance to ask Nancy a few questions about Dunitz and Company:
What inspires and motivates you about the work you do?
That’s a loaded question. And I think over the years and from season to season that changes. When I first started my business in the early 90’s, I was inspired by the places I traveled and the people I worked with. I knew our collaboration resulted in beautiful designs that were marketable. I was terribly motivated to succeed (selling enough of our goods) so that we could continue producing beautiful things while supporting everyone that was involved, the artisans and me.
I’m still inspired by the artisans I work with in Guatemala. And I’m still very motivated to sustain our fair trade business. The thing is, the way people shop has changed so much in recent times. With so many people only shopping online and so many brick & mortar stores closing, I’m forced to re-think the way I sell our jewelry. For years I only wholesaled to stores. The puzzle I’m working on now is how to successfully build a larger retail business while the wholesale market has slowed. This definitely motivates me because the artisans I’ve been working with for so many years depend on me.
What can we look forward to in the next season of jewelry?
First off, you can always count on Dunitz & Company to offer a host of new colors that are right on trend. In August, we’ll be revealing our new line to stores for the Fall and Winter seasons. We’ll have lots of fabulous jewel tone combinations that will look good with any black or brown outfit.
Another thing we’ve been very focused on is affordability. I’ve noticed in recent times, a lot of customers want to find something gorgeous where they don’t have to spend a lot of money. I’ve made a point of designing many earrings that will retail for under $30.00 and often under $20.00. We sell more when we can offer competitively priced designs. So, ultimately this is better for our artisans too. More sales. More work.
As fair trade becomes more mainstream, what advances do you see happening in how we ethically make and buy fashion?
What I have actually noticed is there is a lot of compassion fatigue going on. Many companies run ethical businesses. Others do not. To drive sales, it seems many businesses, ethical or not, are using buzz words (such as fair trade and sustainability) because they think these will drive sales. Many of my customers have told me they are exhausted and confused by all the cause-marketing. I think to cut through some of the confusion and noise, it is important for consumers to familiarize themselves with reputable groups that actually verify and certify. This is why Dunitz & Company is a verified member of Fair Trade Federation. Membership doesn’t come easily. We were carefully screened. At the end of the day, I think most people want to own clothing or jewelry that is good looking and they love. With education, they can also make choices from companies that are screened for their ethics.
You can shop Nancy’s creations at Here , and make sure to give her a follow on Instagram @shopdunitz
I hope that you love her creations as much as I do!
Today is not the first time that you’ve heard me mention Amberleaf. I’ve been crazy for Blazers, and excited to share about my partnership with this amazing company (read all about that here and here). And while I love sharing pieces that stand out, this company is too special to leave things at that.
Amberleaf is an Austin, TX based company run by mother/daughter team Lisa and Liz. I first met this team of special women at a fashion event, where I couldn’t help but fall in love with not only the beautiful blazers, dresses, and now pants, but the women who made them. And then, as I got to know Liz and Lisa, and play in the clothes, not only did I find pieces I couldn’t wait to pair with EVERYTHING and women I wanted to support, I found a company designed for modern shopping. Amberleaf isn’t sold in stores*, you can get your hands on these exquisite pieces online (here), at a pop-up, or through one of the company’s stylists. (You can also enter the code RACHELADELICIA on your online orders to be added to my list and to get 15% off your order!) Liz and Lisa are incredibly hands on, they love to interact with clients and will help ensure the cut/color/fit of your Amberleaf is perfect.
Amberleaf garments are hand-made by artisans, so you can not only feel great about supporting a woman-owned business, you can feel amazing about the clothes they make!
Some other reasons to love Amberleaf like I do:
Amberleaf prides itself on the quality of the clothing produced, and with good reason. From cashmere coats to impeccably cut pants, dresses, and Blazers, (all lined), the selection here is outstanding. All of us want the classic pieces that we buy to last. Quality is important and something to pay for. However, Amberleaf allows you to get the quality you crave at a price that won’t break the bank.
Amberleaf is changing the conversation regarding fashion sustainability in more than one way. And yes, this is an important convo to have– did you know that the US alone produces 26 BILLION lbs of clothing waste a year?!?! (People who throw away your clothes, what’s going on there?) Amberleaf strives to counteract this problem by producing amazing clothes that last a lifetime. By focusing on classic shapes (and who doesn’t need a great blazer?) with great construction, Amberleaf hopes to eliminate the need for “throw away” clothes in your closet.
Another way that Amberleaf is sustainable? Their business model. Most fashion companies produce a set number of their collection pieces, which are sold to various stores who then sell to the consumer. At Amberleaf? The company buys bolts of fabric, so that any of their patterns can be made in any of the colors available. Essentially, they aren’t forcing a certain color down your throat.
The thing about classics is that we all want them to last. That’s what makes them great investments, right? But even a classic that isn’t made with quality in mind isn’t always an investment piece. You should care about the fabric, cut, and lining of your clothes. Amberleaf does.
Like the mother-daughter team at Amberleaf, I work with my mom. And it’s amazing. And it’s hard. What I love about a line like Amberleaf is that it’s one Mom and I can agree on. The designs are non-generational, meaning that not only will the clothes last, you can style them for every stage of your life. The company makes sizes 00-16, so there is someone for so many of the women in your life!
***** BIG NEWS!
If you’re in Austin and eager to try on some of the Amberleaf pieces, I have great news! Amberleaf has just placed a few pieces in Altatudes (1717 East 12th St), so feel free to head over and try some things on!
And watch for their cashmere coats in the winter! (Don’t forget to put RACHELADELICIA in your shopping notes for 15% off when you shop online!)
I truly hope that you fall in love with Amberleaf the way I have. I’d love to know, what are your favorite pieces?
Loves, we’ve chatted about Blazers. In fact, we’ve chatted about these Blazers before. Need a refresher? Read all about them here.
Not a lot has changed. I’m still such a big fan of the blazer. As a top on its own. Over your favorite dress. Worn with pants and a tank. There’s not really a wrong way to do a blazer. And this Duchess blazer from Amberleaf is still one of my go-to’s. Sturdy and lined, yet with just enough sheen to feel special.
I still love Amberleaf. This mother/daughter duo, based in Austin, TX, are creating classic clothing that feels modern. And the way these classic Blazers (and dresses and now pants!) are made warm my heart. Amberleaf creates everything by hand-from pattern to product. The idea is affordable luxury, and the fabrics are picked with both durability and the look in mind. The price point is kept affordable on purpose (luxury isn’t just for the top), and the styles are multi-generational. (That’s just a fancy way to say my mom and I both love them! Do we style the pieces differently? Yes, but isn’t that the fun?) However, my most favorite thing about Amberleaf (besides the clothes) is the way the clothes are made. Not just handmade, Amberleaf sources bolts of fabric, not pieces of an item. What does that mean for you? Most of the pieces are made to order, and there’s as little waste as possible. And you get a stunning piece, in this case a blazer.
About this time, you may be wondering : what’s the update? We get that Amberleaf is a company to support. And that these stunning Blazers are worth adding to your closet (all of the different ways you can wear them!). Really? I just got more pictures in and couldn’t wait to share them with you. Over a fringe skirt. With a slip dress. Paired with flare jeans. And as a traditional suit (even if the pants aren’t traditional). The Duchess blazer has taken me from work to event to drinks with a girlfriend–and isn’t that what a great blazer should do?
I hope you check out Amberleaf and that you love them as much as I do. Use the code RACHELADELICIA when you shop their site, and we will keep you informed of specials and new items!
Note: This post is part of a partnership I have with Amberleaf. This is in no way affects pricing for you (though you may be offered a discount), and I may earn commission from your purchase. Thank you for your support!
You may have heard of MM. LaFluer, the clothing and bento box subscription that focuses on work clothes. (You can read more about the company and process here.) Some things to know right off the bat:
*This isn’t a sponsored post. They didn’t even know I was coming. I got the notification on Facebook (yes, it’s scary that Facebook knows us that well) that MM. LaFleur was holding a pop up event in Texas while I was in town. I took adavantage.
*I’m always curious how another stylist will style me. Yes, just like you I can have hang ups about someone else styling me. I have set ideas about cuts and colors and like it when someone can break me out of my preconceived notions.
*The clothes were amazing. I was so impressed with the quality.
*While I loved my experience, I can’t see myself signing up for a bento box. However, MM. LaFleur will be added to my list of places to shop. For my life and career, I don’t need the amount of “traditional” 9-5 clothes a bento box would provide, but I LOVED what I tried on and the pieces are on my Wishlist.
That’s a lot I learned, and we haven’t even chatted about MM LaFleur styling me. Shall we get to it?
My appointment with MM LaFleur was in person, they had sessions in a local hotel suite where we were invited to go and try on styles and explore the line. Before my appointment, I filled out a questionnaire about my style, brands I wear, and what I was looking for, so that my stylist and I weren’t starting cold.
My stylist was amazing and had pulled a variety of options for me to try.
My understanding is that the online process for MM LaFleur is very similar!
So, what did I think about my choices?
Be Open or Try it On
We all have an idea of our “style” and what will fit and what goes together. All of us. The things about working with a stylist is that you’ve essentially asked them to work with your preconceived ideas, and push you a little on your boundaries. What does all that mean? It means that every style session should present you with some options that are distinctly “you”, and maybe some options that push you a little.
I went into my session with MM LaFleur knowing certain facts about my style. I’m a little edgy, I love classics, but don’t have a 9-5 job. Some of the picks for me were so Rachel that I fell in love automatically. Then, there were a few that didn’t strike me immediately. My stylist was amazing, and pushed me to go ahead and try some of the items I wasn’t sure about. So I did. And, loves? I loved them. Moral of the story? Even pro-shoppers can learn something and find new things, but you have to be open to it.
That thing you’re not sure if it’s “you” or not. Try it on. Test it out. See what happens.
Color and Print are Your Friends
I talk about color and print often. I think you should wear them. Yet, loves there are still some hang ups I have in regards to color and print. Some are justified. There are certain shades of yellow that don’t look great on me. However, some of these issues are just in my head. Case in point?
My stylist pulled green for me, I mentioned that green and I have a tenuous relationship. But, I was open and tried it on, and this green dress was one of my favorite items.
Same with this rust dress. I normally shy away from anything that leans the slightest bit orange, but I loved it.
I tried on tons of black, and loved it. However, the colored pieces are the ones that stand out.
The lesson? Try new colors.
Don’t be Afraid of the Pants
It’s not that I don’t love pants. I do. And I wear them. But can we be honest with each other? Shopping for pants is the worst. Between fit, rise, stretch, and style there is no set sizing, and that is just the tip of the iceberg about the frustrating process. So, I was wary about trying the MM LaFleur pants on. But I did. And I was blown away. The fit was immpeccable, the rise was just high enough for me. I feel like a broken record, but try the things. Maybe all of the things. Maybe some of the things. But try.
I went into my styling session with MM LaFleur with some preconceived notions. About colors, about fits, and about my need for more “traditional” pieces. What I learned? Even I need to be open to more colors, prints, and new things. That traditional pieces still have a place in my closet, and some are right up my alley. Isn’t it amazing when you let yourself be styled and seen in a new light?
I highly recommend MM LaFleur and would love to hear about your experiences with them!
Loves, I consider it one of my most treasured duties to keep you up to date on all the amazing places I think that you should be shopping. I share with you places I love, and shop at, and try to keep my eye out for the hidden gems that we should all be supporting. And loves, it’s no secret that I love vintage- in all its shapes, forms, and sizes. SO, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Timeless Vixen, one of my favorite high end Vintage dealers!
Love Ossie Clark? Valentino? Dior? Stunning 20s dresses? Timeless Vixen has them in spades for you! This is the part where I’m supposed to wax poetic about her collection (completely drool worthy) I’ve been a fan of Lauren, the owner and stylist of Timeless Vixen, for years. I’ve gotten to know her through various shows (A Current Affair) and shopping appointments, and every time we chat I like her more! So, yes, this is where I let you know about how amazing her collection is. This is where I let you know that if you have a special occasion, or just want something amazing, you should see the Timeless Vixen. Examples:
But loves, as much I love the collection at Timeless Vixen (and I do!), the best part about Lauren is her expert knowledge of vintage fashion. Have a question about a designer or period in fashion? Lauren has an answer, and most likely a dress. Have a question about how to tell if an item is authentic? Lauren can educate you on labels, zippers, what to look for in pictures, and can probably lead you to an authentic item. Yes, the collection is exquisite; but when you come stay for the incredible fashion education you can get from the Timeless Vixen!
About now, you may be wondering how you can get your hands on the stunning collection of the Timeless Vixen. This is where good news gets great! You can follow the Timeless Vixen on Instagram (@timelessvixen), and shop her on 1stdibs, and starting this month you can shop Lauren’s new brick and mortar in Beverly Hills (though it’s best to request an appointment!) I got the chance to see the shop, and loves, it’s going to be amazing!
From stunners from the 1920s, to day-dresses, to high end designer gowns, to the infamous Ossie Clark collection, the Timeless Vixen shop is everything you could want in a vintage store, right in Beverly Hills. If you get the chance, please go shop it! It’s an expertly curated treasure trove of vintage goodness that has to be seen to be believed! And you might catch me there! (And don’t worry, if you can’t make it to Beverly Hills, you can get all your fixes on Instagram and 1stdibs