Tucked into the Gramercy Park Hotel lobby, amid Richard Prince, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst artworks, furniture designed by artist Julian Schnabel and luscious silk velvet derived from an oenologist’s palette, is the Rose Bar. On a recent evening this summer, the bar’s sensual atmosphere was further amplified by a fashion show and cocktail hour hosted by the label Cinq à Sept. As models meandered among champagne-sipping partiers, Cinq à Sept founder Jane Siskin spoke about her fall collection and dispensed some truly great style advice.
As seen on a swath of celebrities like Margot Robbie, Candice Huffine, Niecy Nash and Caroline Vreeland, Italian fashion designer Chiara Boni’s dresses flatter women of many shapes. Her vibrant and feminine cuts are at once festive and elegant, sexy and appropriate for a variety of occasions and functions. On top of all that, Boni is the originator of a stretch fabric that clings comfortably to curves and angles. Glancing over her website, you’ll see that her professional, wearable and attractive dresses seem to appeal to any number of international female newscasters and reporters. The Boni label is definitely on the rise.
All this is to say that Chiara Boni La Petite Robe may be your sartorial savior this summer as you bustle off to weddings, gala events and parties. During such a busy season, deciding what to wear and how to pack it can take up considerable brain space. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax and breathe easy in a wrinkle-free dress that allows you to inhale and eat without worry?
We spoke with the elegant Florentine Chiara Boni about her clothes and country, and the numerous celebrities who wear her dresses on red carpets around the world.
Why should models have all the fun? Each month we’re finding a “real woman”—i.e., of any shape and size—and giving her the model treatment in The Realest. We bring the wardrobe, stylist, photographer and blog editor—she brings her anything-but-one-size-fits-all personality and style—and we all head out on location for an IRL photo shoot to showcase our monthly Dress Spotlight.
Meet Leah Watkins, a talented fashion designer and self-described jack of all trades with personality to spare. Not to mention just a lovely human being. We brought her to the quirky Palladian Hotel and spent the day playing around the boutique accommodations. Because, why not? Our only regret was having to leave the one-of-a-kind pillows behind.
SHINE ON – 2D SEQUINS
On dressing for a party: “If I’m going to a cocktail party, I’m going to want to feel beautiful and sexy without showing everything off. I like to show a little hint of skin and let the imagination do the rest. I love hemlines short, but sometimes I just want to evoke the spirit of Stevie Nicks and dance around in a floor-length maxi dress. I tend to gravitate towards black, and I don’t mind a little sparkle here and there.”
On her style: “My personal style is really influenced by motorcycle culture, rock & roll and the ’60s and ’70s. I definitely dress according to my mood, so some days I might wear lots of flowing florals, and some days I’m head to toe in black. I love vintage and try to incorporate at least one special and unique piece with every outfit. Nothing spices up an otherwise simple outfit like a great hat, a printed scarf or a very unique bag. One thing I can’t live without is my leather moto-jacket. It goes with everything!!”
Okay, so depending what part of the world you’re in, spring either feels like a next-door neighbor or a very, very distant relation. Regardless of whether the weather is on the sunny side, our new arrivals certainly are.
Let’s take a look at the five dress shapes that are popping off as we speak, and figure out which one is right for you.
Get ready for some exciting news: In addition to Saint Laurent shoes and handbags, we now carry the brand’s coveted ready-to-wear collection online. This includes the edgy leather jackets, polished cocktail dresses and perfectly tailored suiting that have made Saint Laurent a staple among tastemakers worldwide. Take a look at a few of our favorite pieces from Resort 2014.
A calendar full of holiday parties and social engagements means two things: a relaxing spa day is required the first week of the new year, and now is the perfect time for at least one new dress. Showcase your stunning self in a dress that fits your style as well as your personality, and you’ll feel like the life of the party.
Urban Goddess: People are attracted to your strength and confidence. You aren’t afraid to make a bold statement—in conversation or style. Your favorite accessory du jour? A beautiful bare shoulder. Show off your divine softer side in drapey fabrics and a one-shoulder silhouette.
Wallflower: You’re always surprising acquaintances and friends with how deep your still waters run. If you aren’t one to initiate a conversation with a stranger, let your dress do it for you. Watch yourself blossom at holiday parties in a bright primary color or jewel tone—you never know where an inevitable compliment like “that’s such a beautiful color” might lead.
Gossip Girl: Okay, so maybe you’re not a gossip, but there’s nothing happening in your social circle that you don’t know about. That’s probably because in something like an allover sequined dress that sparkles as much as your personality, you’re always the center of attention.
Fetching Femme: Your intriguing, euro-cool style is always turning heads. And who wouldn’t be drawn to you—like a Parisian to a great wine—in that slip-lined lace dress? It’s that party-style combo you love of chicly on-trend paired with notes of bewitching.
Classic Connoisseur: People are enamored as much with your style as with your poise and charm. With icons like Jackie O. and Betty Draper, you’re all about being grounded in the classics with a knack for bringing it all up to date with aplomb—e.g., a simple sheath dress with a modern, graphic print.
Aidan by Aidan Mattox Batwing Sleeve Satin Dress
Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique V-Neck Chiffon Dress
Aidan Mattox Sequin Cold Shoulder Dolman Sleeve Shift Dress
Laundry by Shelli Segal Placed Lace Shift Dress
Tadashi Shoji Ribbon Overlay Knit Sheath Dress