SMU Style

Fashion Insider: Designer Jay Godfrey

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 27, 2011

Designer Jay Godfrey and SMUStyle Blogger Kelsey Charles

On Wednesday night I went to Tootsie’s Dallas and had the chance to meet acclaimed designer Jay Godfrey while viewing pieces from his Fall 2001 and Resort 2012 collections. Godfrey has been in the business for just over three years but has a strong celebrity following and has been recognized by publications such as WWD and Elle and has even appeared as a special guest on America’s Next Top Model. Along with these accomplishments Godfrey was down to earth and a pleasure to talk to.

Godfrey said that the inspiration for his two collections was different because each season is different. His biggest inspiration for the fall collection comes from Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of French Vogue. Her influence is seen through the lace and femininity of the pieces. For his holiday collection there is a lot of color blocking, which Godfrey says, is something he always identifies with.

I asked Godfrey what his best advice for SMU stylistas would be and he said that nude pumps are something every girl should have. Besides the height factor they give you they elongate your legs and can be worn with everything. In addition he said to “know your body.” If you know your body then you know what to wear to look good.

Godfrey is a designer who not only inspired me through his clothes, using bold colors and details such as sequins and cut outs, but also through his charming personality and designing passion.

The leopard print dress is one of Godfrey's favorite pieces from his fall collection


One of my favorite pieces, a unique take on the maxi with great color

Kelsey Reynolds


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Fashion Insider: Karl Marshall

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 26, 2011

SMUStyle Blogger Alex Small and Karl Marshall

I am looking forward to the Karl Marshall’s “Dallas in Wonderland” fashion show this Thursday.  I had a chance to catch up with the Dallas fashion show producer and style icon and he is incredibly busy, but was so kind to take some time out for us SMU Stylistas.

Karl Marshall’s style is a unique blend of Texan with European influences.  He likes to throw an “unexpected jacket over a pretty typical outfit” and loves something different in the details of the outfit. His style in two words is “expressive and unpretentious.”  When you meet him, you will see that this describes him perfectly.  According to Karl, this season “it is all about the footwear!”  New rain boots, rubber lace-ups, and boots with heels are in this season and flip flops are out.

A lot of people do not realize the work that has to be done before the models walk the runway.  Marshall has already begun working on an April 2012 fashion show, as well one for the Junior League of Arlington.  As a famous and successful fashion show producer, Karl Marshall has some valuable advice for those who want to work in the fashion industry.  He says to get far in this business, you need to stay grounded and have “an open mind and an ever-learning spirit. This business will pull you all over the place if you let it.”  He adds, “It sounds so cliché but stay true to yourself.  You hear that a lot, and that is the easy part.  The hard part is first figuring out who you are!”

Alex Small

Fashion Insider: Fashion Week Dallas

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 25, 2011

The wait is finally over!  Move over New York, because Fashion Week Dallas is almost here!  Fashion Week Dallas is a major event for Dallas stylistas to not only celebrate fabulous American and British fashion, but to also inspire young people to get into the fashion industry.  January 16-22, 2012 will be filled with runway shows, the latest fashions, and chances to interact with fashion designers.  The man behind the event is Mahiri Takai, CEO of Mklinks Models, fashion show producer, and Fashion Editor for Dallas Weekly.  Takai says “fashion lovers will be in fashion heaven as they spend a stylish week in Dallas soaking up the latest in fashion design.”  Sounds like a fabulous time to me!  For more information, go to or contact Mahiri Takai at  See you at Fashion Week Dallas!

Alex Small

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Fashion Insider: SMUStyle Talks to Thakoon

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 24, 2011

SMUStyle Blogger Alex Small and Thakoon Panichgul (Photo Credit / Bo Joplin)

Acclaimed fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul visited Dallas on Friday for a trunk show extravaganza.  Dallas stylistas and fans gathered at chic Dallas boutique Forty Five Ten to celebrate Thakoon’s spring 2012 collection.  Ten percent of sales from his collection will go to TwoxTwo for AIDS and Art, which benefits AIDS research and the Dallas Museum of Art.  I love it when fashionistas give back!

You might remember Thakoon from the 2009 documentary The September Issue and from the runways at New York Fashion Week each season.  He was a recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fund in 2006 and worked closely with Anna Wintour to launch his career in fashion.  Since then, his designs have been worn and admired by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Demi Moore.

I asked Thakoon if he could describe his style in two words.  He said, “No…  No and no.”  I always like to know who and what successful fashion designers look to for inspiration.  For Thakoon, a style icon is someone he “looks to for style.” Interestingly, his biggest inspiration is “freedom.”

Alex Small

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Fashion Insider: Versace for H&M Lookbook Revealed

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 24, 2011

From Lanvin to Stella McCartney, H&M is famous for affordable, yet extraordinary collaborations. If you’re a fan of H&M collaborations like me, you’ve probably been waiting rather impatiently for their newest collaboration with Versace. As Donatella Versace revealed at the end of her Milan men’s show in June, she will be the next designer to do a collection with H&M. The official lookbook was revealed on Thursday, with just over a 100 pieces for women, men, and home. The prices start at $19.99 for accessories and go up to $299, an incredible deal for Versace. The capsule collection has patent influences from Gianni Versace’s designs, with Grecian influences, bold studs, daring cutouts, and vibrant prints.

One of my favorite pieces of the collection is the studded black skirt, both versatile and edgy. This trendy skirt can easily be paired with one of the many vibrant tops in the collection.

This studded leather dress is one of the collection’s standout pieces, and was worn by Donatella when she announced the collaboration in June.

The collection’s accessories are just as remarkable as the clothes. The black leather heels and printed bag are my favorites.

The collection will hit stores November 17th, giving you just under a month to pick your favorite pieces. Good luck!


Ashley Wali


Fashion Insider: Introducing Zadig & Voltaire at The Shak

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on October 17, 2011

The popular French brand, Zadig & Voltaire, has finally come to Texas and is now available at The Shak at Stanley Korshak. French designer Thierry Gillier launched the clothing line in 1987 having previously worked at Yves Saint Laurent. Artistic director Cecillia Bonstrom, a formed Swedish model, designs the looks with a cool-girl twist. The line’s rock’n’roll aesthetic is characterized by glittered skulls, lead glass inscriptions, and lots of leather combined with delicate fabrics such as cashmere and washed silk.  The luxury and contemporary design pieces are affordable yet stylish.

1. Leather Paneled Sweater Dress

2. Nosfa Cuir Pull- Plum

3. Nosfa Cuir Pull- Black

4. Daphnee Deluxe Cardigan

5. Azure Deluxe Tee

6. Vencia Deluxe Jacket

7. Cream Knit Jacket

8. Jem Deluxe Skirt

Stop in The Shak to shop the laid back luxe look!

Meg Jones


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Fashion Insider: Collier Strong

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on September 26, 2011

SMUStyle blogger Alex Small and Collier Strong

We all know L’Oréal Paris is the force in bringing Project Runway fashions to life.  L’Oréal Paris Consulting Makeup Artist, Collier Strong, visited Ulta in Arlington Sunday for the unveiling of the L’Oréal Paris and Project Runway exclusive cosmetics collection called “Colors Take Flight.”  You’ve seen Collier behind the scenes on Project Runway, working with the designers to complete their runway looks.  At Ulta on Sunday, he worked his makeup magic on his fans and shared his expert makeup tips.  I got the opportunity to meet Collier and chat with him.  He was extraordinarily kind and engaging.

Mr. Strong was so busy that I only had a few moments to ask him questions, but he took his time and put a lot of thought into his answers.  I love it when someone as successful and famous as Collier takes the time to be gracious to his fans.  I asked him who his style icon is.  He responded, “I have so many.”  He loves his friend Diane Keaton’s quirky style.  And Elizabeth Taylor is another style icon of his because of her fashionable beauty in the 1950’s.  His favorite part about working on Project Runway is that it is so fast-paced.  You have to be creative and “think quickly in very small amounts of time,” just like the designers that are competing.  When I asked him who his favorite Project Runway designer is, he said, “They’re all my children.  I can’t pick!”  Good answer!

The “Colors Take Flight” collection is inspired by colors of exotic birds, which are translated into luxurious eye shadow, lipcolour, blush, and nail polish.  Each eye shadow quad represents a different bird: Charming Cockatoo, Watchful Owl, Audacious Amazon, and Sultry Raven.  So clever!  My favorite look is the Watchful Owl, which includes metallic brown and gold eyes with red lips and pink blush.  Classic and glamorous.  You can purchase the collection at Ulta and at other retailers.  But remember, it is limited-edition, so make sure to buy it now!

"Colors Take Flight" Collection Display

Didn’t make it to meet Collier like I did?  It’s not too late!  Go to L’Oréal’s website and Collier will walk you through finding the best makeup look for you!  And remember what L’Oréal Paris always says… You’re worth it.  I know I am.

Alex Small

Fashion Insider: Red Carpet Styles from the Emmys

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on September 20, 2011

Sure the awards are great, but what do most people tune in to see? All the beautiful gowns worn by the attendees! And Sunday night’s looks were no disappointment. With fashion all over the board, here are some of the top looks of the night!

Julia Styles kept it simple and chic in a strapless Georges Hobeika Fall 2011 Couture gown. But she didn’t’ skip out on the jewelry! She completed her look with 55 carats in Forevermark diamonds.

Breakout star Kristen Wiig took a deep plunge in this Zac Posen gown. The colors on this dress are to die for!

Christina Hendricks showed off her curves in a custom-made Johanna Johnson gown and accessorized with Palladium Simon G Diamond jewelry.

Glee star, Jayma Mays, keeps her look conservative and elegant in a blush pink Zuhair Murad gown.

Lea Michele showed her Emmy excitement in a Marchesa gown and a pair of Roger Vivier pumps.

Nina Dobrev was absolutely stunning in Donna Karan frock and Neil Lane necklace. She went for old Hollywood glam with her mermaid style gown and deep-parted side swept curls.

Presenter, Katie Holmes, looked stunning in this bright blue Calvin Klein frock and she kept it simple with a thin belt, minimal jewelry, and a casual bun. (This was my personal favorite look!)

Minka Kelly looked unique and chic in a midnight blue lace layered Dior. She paired her lace look with diamond drop earrings.

Kerry Washington sparkled in strapless Zuhair Murad gown and paired her look with Jimmy Choo shoes and a Jimmy Choo clutch.

Brielle Kuhn

Images: Photo Credit /

Fashion Insider: Red Dresses on the Emmy Red Carpet

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on September 19, 2011

Giuliana Rancic, Lea Michele, Nina Dobrev and Kate Winslet (Photo Credit /

The look at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards was all about matching the carpet. Red dresses were everywhere Sunday night, and looked amazing on all who wore them. Apparently, there was a total of seven red dresses worn at the event, but my favorites were E! host Giuliana Rancic in a strapless gown, Glee star Lea Michele in Marchesa, Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev in Donna Karan, and nominee Kate Winslet in Elie Saab. All of the ladies kept the accessories simple and let the dresses speak for themselves.  You would think that wearing a dress the same color as the carpet would cause these stars to blend in, but the opposite is true. They are all without a doubt at the top of my best-dressed list this year.

Looking for something similar? Check out this red ASOS dress which is just like Winslet’s.

Laura Shepard

Fashion Insider: SMUStyle Talks with Tyra Banks

Posted in Fashion Insider by SMUstyle on September 18, 2011

What would a runway show be without a Top Model?  Tyra Banks, international model and media personality, was just 40 minutes away from SMU Saturday night!  She held a Q&A and book signing at Barnes & Noble in Southlake for her new teen fiction novel, Modelland.  I have been a fan of America’s Next Top Model and the famous “smize” for as long as I can remember.  It was so exciting to see her in person and get a chance to ask her a few questions.

Tyra started America’s Next Top Model because she wanted to choose the models she feels should be in the fashion industry – the quirky and different models.  She offered some great pieces of advice for those wanting to break into the modeling industry.  She said you have to be “super thick-skinned” to make it as a model.  And, you have to be willing to wear clothes you don’t like 80% of the time.  Luckily, Tyra never gets nervous on her shows or on the runway.  She said she is “really like a drag queen inside.”

I asked Tyra to describe her style in two words.  She said, “Whatever’s close.  Clothes don’t excite me.  What excite me are the people in the clothes.”  I thought it was a very funny answer, but appropriate because she is inspired by girls and has built her career as an icon for aspiring models.  And when I asked her “who is your fashion icon?” she said she would love to “hijack” Blake Lively’s wardrobe from Gossip Girl.

One fan asked her how long she will be doing ANTM, and Tyra said “As long as you want to watch it!”  She has changed over 200 young models’ lives by putting them in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model.  Tyra’s personal favorite cycles are 1 and 17, which is the current “All-Stars” cycle.  The first episode of “All-Stars” was amazing, by the way.  Let me tell you, I know I’ll be watching ANTM for a long time!

Watch America’s Next Top Model on The CW Wednesdays 9/8c.  If you missed the first episode of cycle 17 last week, catch up here.

Alex Small

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