the new look: stripe/stripe.

you all know i love a good sequin, so when i popped into j. crew last week and these pants were 30% off, i couldn't resist. they are the perfect masculine/feminine mix with a slouchier fit and the sequin tuxedo stripe. lucky for you they are still 30% off (along with all other full-priced styles), and winter sale is an extra 40% off. so if you're looking for last minute gifts or want to do a little shopping for yourself, definitely check it out.

ellen tracy shirt (old, similar at 30% off), j. crew pants (30% off, wearing a size 2), kate spade pumps (old, similar here and here), marc jacobs bag, linda farrow x alexander wang sunglasses, hermés and miansai bracelets, lulu frost ring, dior earrings (similar), stella and dot and jest jewels (similar at 20% off with code extrasale) necklaces


pre-fall 2015 favorites: lighten up.

the pre-fall collections have started rolling in smack in the middle of the holiday/end of year madness...hard to believe fashion week is two months away! as i was scrolling through the slideshows, i noticed lots of cream or white looks, some in silk, some in brocade, some with sequins, but all big on subtle details that make these monochromatic looks anything but boring. i can't get enough of looks #3 and #4, but they're all pretty fab.

i'm pinning more of my pre-fall favorites on my runway to realway board...happy monday!

from top: josh goot / prabal gurung / lela rose / co / adam lippes / dior
photos via style.com; design by kim mitchell stokes


go/see/buy: tabitha simmons.

as a lover of magazines, tabitha simmons was someone that i long admired. a former model turned stylist, she has worked for some of the top names in fashion—dolce & gabbana, carolina herrera, chloe, estee lauder, marchesa—plus a host of photographers (including her husband, craig mcdean) and magazines (think vogue, vogue italia, love, interview). you get the point. check out her work and you'll be sure to see an ad, fashion show, or editorial that make it onto your inspiration (or pinterest) board.

and then back in 2009, she launched her first line of footwear and i remember thinking how feminine they were. the prevailing trend(s) of the time were sky-high, unreal platforms (think balenciaga under ghesquiere)—pretty but generally unwearable if you live any type of a normal life. simmons' collection had single sole pointy-toe pumps (something i think never goes out of style), kitten heels, flat booties, and cool loafers. the first style of simmons' that i fell in love with was the bailey, that she makes in different colors and in closed and open toe styles (the neon floral pair that krystal has will always be a favorite). she's been honored by the british fashion council, won a swarovski/cfda award for accessories design, and done collaborations with j. crew and toms.

on tuesday, simmons was at neiman marcus in san francisco to show off the resort and spring/summer collections, and i had the chance to chat with her about getting into shoe design, managing her multiple roles, and what's next for the brand.

how did you get involved in shoe design?
i've always have a massive passion for shoes, and one of my first jobs when i was 14 was a saturday girl (sales associate) in a shoe shop. my passion to design shoes started when i used to consult with (alexander) mcqueen and calvin klein and i got to see the process from beginning to end. so then i decided to do a line of shoes myself.

how challenging is it juggling your designer duties with being a consultant and a stylist?
and be a mother! a lot of organization is really, really important. with shoes, you work so far in advance and then you have to let it go. you design the shoes and put it all on paper and then you have to wait a few weeks until you see the outcome. so that's when the styling takes over, then you see a round, and then you don't see it again for a few more weeks. you go back and forth and there's a lot of waiting with shoes to be made, leathers to be ordered so while that's happening, i'll do consulting with dolce & gabbana or one of my other clients. so it's a lot of hurry up

did you background in fashion help you when it came time to find buyers and retailers?
no, because i didn't really understand that side of the business, which sounds very naive. i had a huge passion for shoes and i loved shoes and i designed the shoes, and then when they came out, i thought, 'oh someone's got to buy them.' thank goodness i had someone that understood that process, someone that said, 'give me the stores you want to be in and we'll approach them.' luckily i had guidance because quite honestly, i didn't understand that part of the business. now i understand it very well—i learned it very quickly—but in the beginning i didn't. corso como and carla sozzani came in and wanted to buy them and i was so excited, and then bergdorf wanted to buy them and i couldn't believe it. i was very lucky.

if you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to change careers into a brand-new field, what would it be?
make sure you have all your back office in place and make sure you have a good understanding of the process of the other career. for example, designing shoes is great, but you need good production, you need good delivery—all that side that i learned the hard way.

what was the inspiration for your most recent collections?
it started with the movie picnic on hanging rock, which had these very young girls in broderie anglaise dresses, very sweet, very feminine. i mixed that with 70s fabrics like denim and cork and added laser cutting and stitching. some of the detail on the other shoes was based on old victorian gates (like the sandal in the second pic above).

where do you see the brand tabitha simmons in the future? standalone stores, expansion into other things like handbags or a full-fledged lifestyle brand with clothing, etc.
clothing is something that i'd never really would like to touch. i would love to be a great luxury accessories brand. i always make sure we have the best quality, the best leathers and i really want to make sure that that continues, even though you grow. i don't want to loose that; i want to keep making timeless, quality, comfortable shoes.

tabitha simmons (twitter / instagram), available at neiman marcus san francisco, susan in burlingame, plus online at moda operandi, barneys, and bergdorf goodman


the new look: knit wit.

the fact that there is not an intermix in san francisco is a blessing and a curse (there are ones at the marin country mart and palo alto). i can't seem to step foot into one without coming out with something, and my trip back east was no exception. i already had about six things waiting for me in the dressing room when d strolled over with this dress and said 'i love this.' for the most part, i trust his taste, but my first thought was 'a long black turtleneck dress would be perfect if we lived in...philadelphia'. but then i tried it on and i loved it...and so did he. bonus points for him that it was on sale. intermix does it again.

acne studios jacket (similar), helmut lang sweaterdress, stuart weitzman boots, proenza schouler tote, linda farrow x alexander wang sunglasses, vintage earrings (similar), eddie borgo, céline, miansai bracelets, nars satin lip pencil in hyde park


the new look: gilded.

three things about this look. first, this sweater from everlane is soooo soft. love the funnel neck and side slits. second, back when piperlime relaunched, i was excited to see their namesake collection, and the pieces are pretty gorgeous, with many under $100. this skirt made a night-out appearance back east with booties, but here it's perfect for bare legs and a chunky knit (see point #1). finally, i've had this jacket (from the gap!) for-ever. it's the kind of thing that never goes out of style and proves it doesn't have to be expensive to be timeless.

vintage jacket (similar), everlane sweater (cream sold out, get on the waitlist for black or grey), piperlime collection skirt, kenneth cole pumps (similar here and here), goyard clutch, club monaco earrings, oliver peoples sunglasses, earthy chic and giles and brother rings, michael kors watch, vintage bracelet via elle-meme and miansai bracelet


currently coveting: kitted out.

oh gift guides. how i love thee...and loathe thee. there are so many out there that i didn't want to add to the clutter. that being said i love the ones from to and from (who i raved about in the past), sarah's guide by personality, and apartment 34's take with curated items in limited editions.

and speaking of limited editions, one of my favorite things about holiday shopping is the beauty and fragrance limited editions out there. products that you'd never get any other time of the year are bundled together in cute packaging and with—you guessed it—exclusive offerings. here are a few that i'm coveting for myself that would also make great gifts.

if you're looking for more gift ideas (christmas is 3 weeks away...eek!), check out my giftables pinterest board filled with items perfect to give or get, with most under $200 (and a few splurges).

have a great weekend!

1. charlotte tilbury k.i.s.s.i.n.g. mini lipstick charm duo / 2. bobbi brown limited edition deluxe lip and eye palette / 3. glamglow instant camera ready skin kit / 4. nudestix #giltylove holiday kit / 5. tom ford lip and nail set / 6. nars tech fashion lip gloss set / 7. lipstick queen 'red carpet edit' lipstick trio / 8. diptyque mini glass candle set in résine, épice, and hiver / 9. marc jacobs beauty blacquer and bleu essential eye kit / 10. b balenciaga gift set


the new look: rittenhouse square.

rittenhouse square has held a special place in my heart for years. as a young girl, i'd walk around there with my dad, getting a soft pretzel from one of the street vendors, then in high school and college, i'm not ashamed to admit i did more than my share of shopping at the urban outfitters at 18th and walnut (it's now an anthropologie). more recently, it's my go-to for upscale shopping, like blue mercury, club monaco, barneys, and intermix and good food (more on that to come). the rittenhouse hotel is also where d and i got married, so it's always fun to head back there, get some truffle fries and ahi tuna from rouge (just like we did a few nights before the wedding), and people watch, especially on a lovely fall day.

j. crew blazer (new version for 30% off / sequin collar version 40% off), gap tee, zara pants (similar here at 30% off and these under $25), valentino flats, vintage balenciaga bag (new version), dior earrings (similar), linda farrow x alexander wang sunglasses, lulu frost and henri bendel rings, lulu frost necklace