Viva Italia! Valentino

Valentino-top-10-fashion-designerThe next Italian fashion designer in the Viva Italia series is Valentino! Born in Lombardy, Italy in 1932, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani loved fashion from a young age. He got his start in the fashion industry very young under the apprenticeship of his aunt Rosa and other local designers.

His love of fashion continued into adulthood. He studied in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne for his formal training. But, his heart was in Italy, where he returned in 1959 to open his fashion house in Rome. His Parisian training was a big influence in his early work . He modeled his fashion house on the grand houses he admired in Paris.

Vintage Valentino Black Linen Asymmetrical Dress

Vintage Valentino Black Linen Asymmetrical Dress

In his early work, Valentino was recognized for his love of a particular shade of red, quickly nicknamed “Valentino Red”. In 1962, Valentino emerged on the international fashion scene with the help of his partner Giancarlo Giammetti. The debut was at the Pitti Palace in Florence. The show was instrumental in cementing Valentino’s reputation and international appeal. He quickly became an icon of Italian couture. He began to dress clients like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Valentino created many lines over the course of his career, including Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma and R.E.D. Valentino. Valentino is still a favorite in the fashion world today. He is just one of many examples of Italy’s finest fashion designers. Check back soon for the next Viva Italia designer spotlight!

For more Valentino, check out Back In Style’s Valentino page here!

Magazine Monday: Fashion & Optical Illusions

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Who says fall fashion has to be dull? Hypnotizing prints are trending and can be worn in many different ways. Have fun with prints that double as an optical illusion. Check out the different prints from this Magazine Monday above!

goldworm-black-gray-dress-6The Pierre Hardy printed suede ankle booties would make a fun and fashionable addition to a fall ensemble. The Miu Miu printed dress can be paired with tights and a warm coat to take this bright style into fall. The key with adding a kaleidoscopic element to your everyday outfit is finding the patterns in sophisticated silhouettes. The prints themselves are so hypnotizing, there is no need to go overboard with funky style too.

If you’re loving these oh so chic optical illusions, the Vintage Fashionistas have some great picks for you! First, check out this Vintage 1970s Goldworm Black and Gray Mod Shirt Dress. Its definitely a retro pick, but has an undeniably modern edge to it. The graphic print is perfect for fall and the shirt style dress can easily be layered for fashionistas in a colder climate.2013-09-14 17.17.49

Another Vintage Fashionista pick is this Hermes Pierres d’Orient et d’Occident Scarf.  This 1980s vintage scarf has a fun kaleidoscopic flair about it. The vintage Hermes scarf is made to look like marble, along with a simulated design of foliage and birds. It is a timeless and chic piece essential to every fashionistas wardrobe!

Fall is such a fun time to experiment with different prints. Explore so many chic optical illusions in sophisticated styles. From shoes, to scarves, to dresses, there are so many different ways to hypnotize with your wardrobe.


Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Leg warmers

80s-Leg-WarmersWhile we now know how to dress for the decade, why were fashionistas of the 1980s so obsessed with leg warmers? These comfortable accessories weren’t the most practical fashion statement, but they definitely made a unique fashion-toward impression.

Did you know that leg warmers concept wasn’t actually created in the 1980s? 80’s fashion loved the dance and fitness craze of the time, as seen in movies like Flashdance. Leg warmers traditionally were used by professional dancers to keep their legs warm in cold temperatures. These leg warmers were originally made only from wool, but once 80s fashionistas took notice, they started appearing in cotton and synthetic fiber blends.

Women of the 1980s wore leg warmers with everything, from miniskirts to jeans. They didn’t care if they actually knew how to dance or not, just sporting a cool pair of leg warmers was the hip thing to do. By the mid 80s, the leg warmer fad began to fade away, but it seems to be making a comeback among today’s teens.

For more 1980s fashion inspiration, check out Back In Style’s totally 80s fashion here!

Dressing for the Decade: Totally 1980s Fashion

Princess Diana rocking the 1980's shoulder pad look

Princess Diana rocking the 1980’s shoulder pad look

The Dressing for the Decade series continues with 1980s fashion, the epitome of big, over-the-top style. In this decade of excess and materialism, fashionistas without a doubt had fun with the playful style of the 1980s. Major style influences of the era were shows like Dallas and Miami Vice, and celebrities like Madonna and Princess Diana.

The style of the 1980s took on the changes in the workplace too. As more women emerged in the workplace, they needed to look fashionable while doing so. The “power suit” emerged reflecting their changing status. Shoulder pads were a popular addition to the women’s power suit.

But after a long week at work, how did the 80’s fashionista have fun? With over-the-top glamour of course! Bedazzled evening wear, big hair, and bold makeup were the go-to look of the decade.

Youth culture of the 1980s was also changing. Music strongly influenced fashion, particularly MTV. Madonna, the poster child of the 1980s, popularized underwear as outerwear, infusing this look into street fashion. Breaking away from the conservative mindset of past years, musicians like Boy George and David Bowie brought androgyny into the fashion scene.

11176469_800The fitness craze took over the 1980s and made its way into fashion. Dance and exercise wear translated from the gym to the runway with ease. Jane Fonda, a style icon of the era, was famous for her neon leotards and leg warmers in her popular exercise videos. Designers like Donna Karan incorporated body conscious fabrics into their clothing to reflect this trend. The movie Flashdance popularized the tight leggings paired with oversized sweatshirts with the necklines cut look.

For more 1980s fashion inspiration, check out Back In Style’s 80’s clothing and accessories here!

Viva Italia! Italy’s Top 5 Fashion Designers: Prada

prada-logoThe Italian fashion tour de force continues this week with a look at fashion favorite, Prada. This Italian luxury fashion house was founded in 1913 by Mario Prada. The brand has had a long history and is known today for specializing in chic ready-to-wear leather and fashion accessories, shoes, luggage, perfumes, and watches. Originally a small leather goods store called Fratelli Prada in Milan, Prada has come a long way and has established itself as permanent fixture on every runway.

The fashion house was revolutionized in 1978, when Miuccia Prada took over the company. She incorporated her backpack designs that incorporated tough military spec black nylon that would become her first commercial hit. The house of Prada began to expand itself internationally, seeking wholesale accounts for its line of handbags. Miuccia released the classic Prada handbag in 1985 that would put the Italian fashion house on the map. The handbag was an overnight sensation, embodying the practical sturdiness of the high quality leather of the brand mixed with its aura of offhand luxury.

Prada Red Pointy Toe Peace Sign Heels

Prada Red Pointy Toe Peace Sign Heels

In 1989, Prada launched a ready-to-wear collection for women. The designs featured dropped waistlines and narrow belts and exemplified the brand’s aesthetic of clean lines, rich fabrics, and subtle colors. The brand became the status symbol it is today in the 1990s, becoming one of the most influential fashion houses. It was known for producing sophisticated, high quality garments and accessories, that exuded luxury and simplicity.

Prada has opened boutiques all over the world. Fashionistas and celebrities adore the brand. Their shoes and its classic handbag are what sets it apart from competitors. The high caliber of quality and sophistication of the brand have kept it in the fashion spotlight.

Can’t get enough of this Italian Fashion House? Check out Back in Style’s selection of Prada shoes here!

Fun Fashion Fact Friday: Haute Hats

Kate Middleton sporting one of her many hats

Kate Middleton sporting one of her many hats

Our British friends can teach us a thing or two about style. For instance, hats are a chic way to make a fashion statement. But where did this tradition come from?

Queen Elizabeth I started this trend that has continued in England ever since. In 1571, she sparked the British tradition of wearing hats to most formal occasions. She created a rule that anyone over the age of 7 must wear a hat on Sundays during her reign. Those who didn’t follow the law were fined harshly. This law is long gone, but the British still do love their hats. Many events have an unofficial hat dress code, like horse races, outdoor parties, and weddings.

Want to step up your hat game? Check out BackInStyle’s haute hats!

Pretty In Plaid: How to Rock Vintage Plaid Prints

In the Scottish Highlands, plaid was used to distinguish between different clans. In the world of fashion, plaid has a whole new meaning. Vintage plaid prints have earned a place in the hearts of every fashionista in the same way as animal prints. Plaid can be found in many different forms, from shirts and dresses to shoes and accessories. Plaid is the ultimate go-to print for anyone wanting to stay warm and chic this season.

Why is plaid so popular? There’s a print and style for everyone! From punk plaid of the 1980’s to grunge plaid popular in the 1990’s to the hipster style taking over today, plaid is definitely here to stay. Shopping for vintage plaid gives your look a unique spin. Because so many people wear this print today, opt for vintage prints to set your style apart. Here’s how you should wear this print:

Classic 1980's Plaid Wool Skirt

Classic 1980’s Plaid Wool Skirt

Focus your Outfit!

Pick either a plaid top or bottom to balance out a stylish outfit. Avoid too much plaid as it can be overwhelming. Try a plaid skirt with a neutral top for your next holiday gathering. It’s a festive classic perfect for the season. Wear your plaid with equestrian boots or other simple shoes to keep the focal point of your look on this fabulous print.

This 1980s Classic Plaid Wool Skirt is a perfect starting point for having fun with plaid! The classic silhouette is sure to impress and the material is perfect for the cooler months. The traditional plaid would go well with a cream top, like the one seen here. Other good pairings would be the navy blue, hunter green, red and yellow found in the print itself. There are many ways to style this skirt, and others, to fit your own preferences. All you need to do is find your print and get started!

Burberry Window Pane Plaid Circle Handbag

Burberry Window Pane Plaid Circle Handbag


If vintage plaid apparel isn’t appealing to you, try out this pattern on a smaller scale. Accessories, like purses, shoes, etc. are just the way to wear plaid without overwhelming your outfit. A plaid accessory is a fun way to add a little vintage prep vibe into your outfit.

An easy way to wear plaid is with this Vintage Burberry Window Pane Plaid Circle Handbag. When you think of plaid, you can’t help but think of Burberry, with its ever popular signature cream plaid print. This particular bag is a classic Burberry piece. A vintage 1980’s treasure, this Burberry purse is extremely versatile and can be worn as either a cross body bag or shoulder bag, depending on your preference.

Vintage Pendleton Multi Colored Plaid Coat

Vintage Pendleton Multi Colored Plaid Coat

Bundle up!

Lastly, try adding a plaid coat to your wardrobe for a unique seasonal option. There’s no reason why any fashionista should be confined to a boring black or grey coat this winter. Stay warm in vintage plaid with a great coat.

A vintage favorite is this Vintage Pendleton Multi-Colored Plaid Coat! This 1970’s find is sure to ward off those winter blues. The light brown plaid allows for a variety of different outfit options to choose from. Its a fun way to look good and stay warm!

So take your pick of vintage plaid as the weather gets cooler! With so many different options to choose from, you’re sure to be the warmest and chicest fashionista out there!

Viva Italia! Italy’s Top 5 Fashion Designers: Dolce & Gabbana

Italy has produced so many legendary fashion designers and icons. Let’s take a look at Italy’s top five fashion designers! This week’s pick is Dolce & Gabbana!

The design duo behind Dolce & Gabbana

The design duo behind Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana is a luxurious Italian fashion house, founded by Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985. They first debuted their designs in Milan’s 1985 fashion week. As struggling designers, they used their friends as models and debuted mostly homemade items. Their later designs would become more sophisticated, with gangster pinstripes, sharp black suits, and corset dresses, celebrating the female form. The design duo is known for wanting to make women look “fantastically sexy”, which it does through adaptations of designs from the feminist-era.

Dolce & Gabbana has an impressive clientele. They dress stars like Madonna and the

Dolce & Gabbana Tan Leather Baguette Saddle Bag

Dolce & Gabbana Tan Leather Baguette Saddle Bag

Beckham’s. Today, the fashion house has multiple lines, like D&G which targets a younger, more flamboyant crowd. Dolce&Gabbana specializes in timeless, luxury items. In 2009, Dolce & Gabbana released their cosmetics line, with Scarlett Johansson as the face of the brand.

To add a little Dolce & Gabbana flair to your closet, go to!

Dressing for the Decade: Glam 1970s Fashion

1970s fashion was as groovy as everything else about the decade. The hippie look from the 1960s carried over and new styles were introduced throughout the era. The style icons of the 1970s ranged from supermodel Jerry Hall to singer/songwriter Stevie Knicks. This decade that covered both the hippie look and disco fever has undoubtedly the most unique fashion in American history.

Thierry Mugler Vintage Striped Flannel Peasant Dress

Thierry Mugler Vintage Striped Flannel Peasant Dress

Haute Hippies

The easy going hippie look continued from the 1960s into 1970s fashion. This era introduced a distinct ethnic element into the style. Women favored Mexican beast blouses, Indian and Native American patterns. The prairie look, with its maxi skirts and peasant blouses, was still going strong. Women wore bell-bottoms, gauchos, and frayed jeans to complete their hippie look. Handcrafted accessories and accessories made from natural elements (like wood, shells, feathers and leather) replaced the usual jewelry. Flowing scarves, head bands, and Birkenstocks were popular too.

Blue jeans evolved into everyday wear during the 1970s. Fashionistas favored designer labels for the status symbol. Denim quickly became the ultimate American fashion symbol. Denim wasn’t just restricted to pants. 1970s fashion experimented with denim in many forms, like skirts, suits, vests, jackets and accessories. Bell bottoms were one of the most popular styles of blue jean as well as hip huggers for women.

1970s Glam

Diane Von Furstenberg in her popular wrap dress

Diane Von Furstenberg in her popular wrap dress

The changing music scene brought about evolving fashion. New style icons were in the spotlight, inspiring 1970s fashionistas. Glam rock became popular, along with it the outrageous fashion. Glam fashion used sequins everywhere and was distinct in its flamboyant bold clothing. The fabrics of this style diverged from the earthy nature of the hippie look. Clothing was made from fabrics like silk and velvet.

Along with glam rock, the 1970s had serious Disco fever. The dance and music craze brought decadence into this decade. Fashion was inspired by dance wear. At this time, Diane von Furstenberg made the jersey wrap dress fashionable. Today it is a staple of any fashionista’s closet.

1970s fashion was an inclusive decade, with many different styles for people to choose from. Its influence on fashion is still prevalent today.

For more 1970s, check out!

Designer Spotlight: The “Mother of American Sportswear” Bonnie Cashin

Bonnie Cashin, The Mother Of American Sportswear

Bonnie Cashin, The Mother Of American Sportswear

The American fashion designer Bonnie Cashin famously said “Chic is where you find it.” This designer icon paved the way for fashion and functionality in American fashion.

Her career in fashion truly took off in the 1950s but her designs reached the height of their popularity in the ’60s and ’70s. Cashin is known for introducing innovations into the world of fashion, like metal turn-lock closures and piping, which she developed on her search for practical solutions to clothing design.

Cashin emerged on the fashion scene in the 1950s when she opened her studio called “Bonnie Cashin Designs”. She wanted to embrace the new, independent woman in her designs and rejected the emphasis on extreme femininity prevalent during the decade. Cashin designed with comfort, functionality and practicality in mind.

Bonnie Cashin Multi-Colored Plaid Cape-Like Coat

Bonnie Cashin Multi-Colored Plaid Cape-Like Coat

Her designs, such as the roomy zipper less turtleneck and the popular leather tote, would become staples for the fashion industry. She embraced ideas like layering clothing for warmth and using heavier materials, like leather. Her unique designs and mindset helped popularize women’s sportswear.

Cashin incorporated her love of hardware when she collaborated with Coach, adding brass toggles to the brand’s handbags in the 1960s. Her influence is still present in American fashion. Her use of hardware in her designs and love of plaid is still incorporated into many contemporary styles, especially during fall. Cashin was famous for her love of simple, functional silhouettes, like ponchos.

For more on Bonnie Cashin, check out her vintage pieces on!








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