Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The St-EYE-lista:
Take 2
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Welcome back to the "St-EYE-lista" column. The second individual we will feature this month is none other than the lovely Olivia Palermo. Olivia Palermo is an American socialite, model, and was an actress on the reality show calledThe City.
           If you have ever watched The City, then you probably think that Olivia is little more than a highly aloof, infantile witch who enjoys tearing her enemies apart (yes, that does sound harsh). Yet, truthfully, the only wicked thing about Olivia is her personal style. (Please be aware that the “reality”show was scripted and that Olivia was directed to act in a supercilious manner. TV likes to keep such minor details a secret).

           I remember when I first came across Olivia (prior to watching The City). I was flipping through a magazine, unimpressed by the trends of the season, despondent at the incomprehensible prices of designer garb, and simply uninspired. Then Olivia’s photograph appeared: Doe eyed, smirking, and cleverly dressed in a plaid shirt, sweater-like jacket, patterned shorts, and patent heels. This photo was the first photo that motivated me to experiment with styles and textures, and recreate the offbeat elegance that Olivia so deftly masters. Oh, and the shorts? Just substitute it with a skirt that has a subtle pattern and a similar color palette to your plaid top. Easy peasy.
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          In my opinion, Olivia's style is the embodiment of modern refinement. I admire --no, scratch that--love her ability to combine the playful with the classic, and the youthful with the sophisticated. Best of all her style is often quite modest and there was even an article in The Cut dubbed “Orthodox Jews take Fashion Inspiration from Olivia Palermo, Apparently.” Hear that Ms. Palermo? Orthodox ladies consider you their Modest Muse, so please keep those outfits coming.

          Want another reason for why Olivia is a much applauded fashion icon? In spite of her Upper East Side lifestyle and prominent socialite status, Olivia tends to shop for “everyday attire” in Mango, Zara, Top-Shop, and other semi-affordable stores. She is known for meshing the high-end (Chanel purse, Yves Saint Laurent heels) with the lower-end (H &M shirt, Top-Shop skirt). This makes her style more relatable for the thrifty college graduate (a.k.a. ME).
Check out Olivia's style trademarks below!
Film Noir
Olivia once stated that many of her outfits are "inspired by Old Hollywood films." With her ladylike dresses, tailored silhouettes, and Audrey Hepburn-like features, she could indeed pass as a Film Noir debutante. Channel your inner Audrey, Marilyn, Grace, or Katherine and don a retro inspired dress to an upcoming event. Consider pairing it with flirty yet delicate accessories to give your ensemble a modern twist.  
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 Now that we're channeling our inner Audrey and Grace, where are our dapper Carey Grants and Clark Gables? They are the best accessory to any outfit.

The Sophisticate
If you want to be Olivia’s style doppelganger, then make sure you have a couple of well-fitting, quality blazers in your closet. Olivia loves her blazers. One of her favorite ways to wear a blazer is to throw it over a feminine skirt or dress. This pairing is known for its chic classicism and versatility. You can easily wear various versions of this to the office, special events, or on Shabbat/Holidays.
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A satin blazer paired with metallic brocade oozes sophistication while a loose, boyfriend blazer provides contrast to a high-low lace dress. Also, notice how Olivia gravitates towards either strapped, edgy sandals or elegant pumps when dressing up.
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 Outfits like this prove Olivia is a virtuoso in matters of personal style. A black and white tuxedo blazer + a maxi skirt + a bright cobalt clutch have some serious flair.
Olivia's aptitude for coordinating outfits with different textures and patterns causes--in the words of a Refinery29 article--many fashionistas' "hearts to go aflutter." Case in point: Pairing a feathered vest with two different materials and patterns as shown below. Daring but definitely worth it!
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A sequined topper + a leather pencil skirt creates an intriguing blend of glamour and edginess. A subtle leopard printed satchel adds further interest to the ensemble without being "over-the-top."
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Oh, do I adore this photograph of Olivia! As many of you know, "pattern play" has been in vogue for quite a while. When mixing patterns, ensure that your patterns are on two different size scales but share a similar color palette. Notice how Olivia's belt ties the outfit together by sharing a resembling color to the bottom of her skirt. But, that's just an added bonus. A belt isn't actually required to complete this look. What IS required though is an antique bicycle.
She Never Leaves the House Without Making a Statement

Olivia Palermo and statement necklaces seem to be synonomous. The socialite is well-known for tossing eye-catching, spectacular statement necklaces over almost anything. She'll wear them over evening dresses and even casual striped tees. Either way, they truly add a terrific oomph! to her clothes. I myself am on the hunt for unique statement necklaces. Care to join me?
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In terms of style, Olivia is willing to ditch confining cautiousness and experiment with different trends and fashions. Yet, in spite of her adventurous approach to PS (personal style) she hardly ever teeters off the edge into “zany” territory. Her looks are consistently grounded and timelessly chic. Keep it up Olivia—your Orthodox lady fans are counting on you.

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