Trends in Fashion Accessories

Fashion accessories are typically the easiest and cheapest way to update an otherwise outdated outfit. For the broke high-schoolers and twenty somethings, accessories are sometimes the only fashion items that are affordable. Tried and true, incorporating seasonal accessories make enough of a different to take on outfit from bad to good. Follow our posts on the latest accessories trends here!

Hip Scarves: I’m Officially Starting This Trend Here and Now

I don’t know about you, but I like a minimum of 2 feet of open space surrounding me at all times when I’m on the dance floor.  I blame dancing at the clubs on my lack of wanting to dance with partners because it always seems that some drunk weenie with no courage winds up dancing on my back without me even knowing he is there until the song has finished and I happen to break into my favorite closing dance move that somehow involves both my elbows and my head thrust backwards (kinda like the Running Man but with a LOT more intensity).  Perhaps that’s why I like belly dancing so much, because you aren’t inviting others to share your dance space.  Not only does belly dancing give your stomach that curve in it that gives you the hourglass shape, it also lets you wear another piece of clothing embellished with sparkles: hip scarves.  My thoughts are that you shouldn’t attempt to wear a hip scarf to an office job, but for going out, you can pair them with leggings, fun jewelry, and simple heels.





Awakening Our Soles & Making the World a Better Place One Step at a Time

That’s right, we’re talking about shoes!
Juil is a new shoe company that is making the world a better place. Who would have thought that footwear could make anything better?
image of Juil Shoes
Juil sandals and footwear really can make the world a better place. They restore our natural balance of energy by connecting us to the Earth’s energy, helping us achieve a greater sense of health and well-being. Our bodies are alive with natural energies. However, our bodies have a hard time sustaining our positive energy levels, in part due to the toxins and free radicals we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Ordinary shoes prevent the Earth’s vital energy from flowing into our bodies. Juil footwear features exclusive Energy Flow Technology™, which uses copper conductors inset into the soles of the shoes to channel the Earth’s innate energy into our bodies. These copper conductors help ground ourselves to the Earth, which allow the Earth’s rejuvenating energy to flow freely into and throughout our bodies as if we were barefoot.

Juliu Horvath inspired us to create a shoe that is the next best thing to being barefoot. Horvath’s shoes look great and feel great while allowing for the free flow of positive energy between the Earth and our bodies, said Stefan Hartung, Juil’s design director.

image of Hera by Juil
image of Bali by Juil
image of Mojanda bj Juil
Juil footwear is available in five styles for women and three styles for men. The supple insoles and uppers are made from the world’s finest leathers and the Energy Flow Technology incorporates quality copper insets. Shoes range in price from $125 – $145 and are available exclusively at

I got a pair of Hera Juil sandals and wore them for them a few times time last week. Not only are they great looking, they are extremely comfortable. I can definitely say I was in positive spirits while wearing my sandals, and I believe the shoes played a big role in my good energies while wearing the sandals.

The New Tribalism: Fall 2011 Looks Westward

For several seasons now, Asian and  African influences have ruled the runways and set many hearts a-flutter with sparkling cheongsam sheaths and joyous explosions of ikat prints.   Now, however, it’s time to expand your horizons and head west for the latest and greatest in Native American tribal style:

Proenza Schoeuler Fall 2011 RTW -Liu Wen- Navajo designs-Laurel Schaffer - Downright RedProenza Schoeuler Fall 2011 RTW modeled by Liu Wen. Photo:

And this isn’t your over-the top, old-school Ralph Lauren rip off either…

Ralph Lauren 1981 fall - Navajo style - Laurel Schaffer - Downright Red Iconic looks from Ralph Lauren’s 1981 Fall RTW collection- “Death by Santa Fe Style”.

 Nope.   Get ready for subtlety, drama, power and creativity with uber chic options from the cool kids in NYC to up and comers in Miami:

Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 RTW- Navajo tribal style- Laurel Schaffer - Downright Red

 Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 RTW, modeled by Hanna Gaby Odile. Photo:

Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 RTW- Navajo tribal style- Laurel Schaffer - Downright Red

Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 RTW, modeled by Jourdan Dunn. Photo:

Jack and Lazaro took a road trip to Santa Fe, loved the Navajo designs they saw on blankets and weavings, and created their own version by digitizing and pixelating  the traditional design into New York cool.

Street Style

image of Urban Outfitters "Baja" Bustier- taking it down south

Urban Outfitters Staring at the Stars Baja Bustier, $54

image of Urban Outfitters Ecote Warior inside out Print tee

Urban Outfitters Ecote Warrior inside out Print tee, $34

image of Urban Outfitters Ecote pop Bead tank

Urban Outfitters Ecote pop Bead tank, $49

Of course, you might have a certain shyness about print overload and feel you haven’t quite yet become a mix master.   No problem.  Start out easy with subtle yet potent jewelry accents:

Citrine, by the Stones Fall 2011 Collection

image of Citrine by the Stones Fall 2011 Collection

More South American than American West, but it still captures the raw/refined feel that Proenza Schouler did so well.   Check out the rest of the fabulous collections by these two Peruvian sisters based in Miami:

And lastly, if you want to be truly authentic, take a road trip to Santa Fe and visit the Native American jewelry sellers in the town square.  If you’re lucky, you might find the perfect squash blossom necklace:

image of Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace

Vintage Navajo Squash Blossom Necklace. Photo: Durango Silver Company.

If  you can’t make it in person, check out one of my favorites, Sorrel Sky Gallery, for a fresh spin on traditional jewelry

image of 18 kt Basketweave bracelet by Ben Nighthorse

 18 kt Basketweave bracelet by Ben Nighthorse. Photo: Sorrel Sky Gallery.

There’s your latest and greatest from the western hemisphere!   As always, if you’re craving a fresh taste of fashion (among other exciting, earth shattering cultural and adventuresome phenomena) come say hello at Downright Red.




Super Fertile Murder

image of Super Fertile Murder Necklace 2012Super Fertile is out with its latest politically charged jewelry collection called Murder. This collection is themed specifically around the murders of innocent civilians in the war in Sri Lanka,  where Super Fertile jewelry designer Kali Arulpragasam (sister of MIA) was born. The murders of innocent civilians in Sri Lanka is what ultimately led the Arulpragasam family to flee to the country for London while Kali was a girl. The collection features bullet wounds, cuts, and knife slashes done in beautiful detail with rubies, sapphires, and garnets. Like her sister, Kali Arulpragasam claims she is not trying to shock people, but instead encourage conversation about the topics she addresses in her art.

image of Super Fertile Murder Ring

image of Super Fertile Murder

image of Super Fertile Murder 2011

image of Super Fertile Murder 2012

image of Super Fertile Murder 2012 Body



Off the Cuff: Rules of the Wrist

Amanda Brooks, Fashion Director at Barney’s New York has created a great piece on Rules Of The Wrist on Barney’s New York fashion blog The Window.

Amanda’s role as trendspotter for womenswear at Barneys allows her access to both established and emerging designers, members of the press, visual teams, and merchandising teams. It’s safe to say she has the down-low on how to pull off all current and up-coming trends.

Here are Ms. Brooks golden rules for cuffs:

When it comes to cuffs, I like to wear one on each wrist. The bold balance of two chunky objects can really anchor the rest of the outfit. By trial and error, I have developed three golden rules for those who dare to wear cuffs:

1. Coco Chanel and Diana Vreeland looked fabulously eccentric mixing cuffs with lots of other jewelry, but I prefer the modern simplicity of cuffs worn on their own.

2. The scale of the cuffs should match the volume of your outfit. If your cuffs are huge, wear a puffy sleeve or a strong shoulder that will stand up to them. If your cuffs are more delicate, go with a streamlined silhouette.

3. Play with price point! While Gaia Repossi makes some of the most exquisitely drool-inducing cuffs you can imagine, Dana Lorenz designs equally chic versions that are great starter pieces for the budget-conscious.

Here are the best cuffs to get you through Summer and into Fall.

image of House of Harlow antiqued arrow cuff image of Kora Grand Petit Cuff image of Obey the horizon cuff image of ASOS Wide Patterned Textured Cuff image of Low Luv Erin Wasson Thunderbird Etched Cuff in Gold image of Clean Break Gold Cuff Anthropologie
House of Harlow Antiqued Arrow Cuff. $175Kora Grand Petit Cuff from Shopbop. $198The Horizon Cuff by Obey. $22Wide Patterned Textured Cuff from ASOS. $25.86Low Luv x Erin Wasson Thunderbird Etched Cuff. $110

Clean Break Cuff from Anthropologie. $158

About Barney’s New York Fashion Director Amanda Brooks:

Amanda is a New York-based fashion writer and owner of the fashion consulting firm Amanda Brooks Inc, Ms. Brooks has earned industry credibility through her work experience at top design houses and her celebrated sense of personal style.  She began her career working for Patrick Demarchelier and Frederic Fekkai, and went on to become Creative Director of Hogan — and then Creative Director of Tuleh.  She currently consults for Diane Von Furstenberg, Tod’s, Thakoon, Roger Vivier, American Express, and Revlon.

Ms. Brooks is a contributing editor and writer for Men’s Vogue, and has also written style-related articles for Vogue and The New York Times.  She has authored a book about finding one’s own personal style entitled I Love Your Style (Harper Collins, 2009).  She has appeared as a fashion expert on programs such as The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and NPR Radio.  Last but not least, Amanda has appeared on Vogue‘s Annual Best Dressed list five times since 1999.



Gypsy Brides and Body Jewelry: Stick With Me Because I WILL Make the Connection

Generally I devote my blog posts to events that are going on in my life and using the emotion (or in some desperate cases the actual calendar date) to inspire my fashion selections for the week.  This week’s inspiration is a little different.  My latest obsession has less to do with my life and more to do with weddings, specifically gypsy weddings.  The fine folks over at TLC secretly knew that the weddings of 16 year-old brides from rural UK would be pure primetime gold, so they created a show (or stole a show from England, I’m not too sure) entitled, “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.”  MBFGW is a slice of life tv series that focuses on girls (and occasionally boys) of Irish/English travellers, men and women who live a gypsy lifestyle and have customs that fall outside the margins of “proper” British society.  Many of these girls are expected to be young brides, the typical marrying age being 16.  But I’m not here to judge their lifestyle or culture, I’m here to talk about their clothes.  Judging from the many comments left on message boards, a lot of people find their wedding and party apparel to be tacky and really really really slutty, but quite honestly I love their clothes.  No matter what the body shape and size, young traveller girls and grown women alike dress to the nines with outfits that appear to have been designed by a bellydancer who go-go dances on the side.  After having watched a handful of episodes, it’s clear that these women choose their wardrobes knowing that their lives are less than stellar (they may be uneducated but they aren’t stupid – the girls know that they can never be more than a housewife), and wearing outrageous outfits is what brings them a little excitement.  What’s so wrong with that?  My answer: absolutely nothing.  These girls know they aren’t sluts so they are comfortable wearing whatever they want.  Thus, I have taken a cue from this show and I’ve decided to start wearing body jewelry.  I’m not talking belly button piercings and such (even if I wanted to I couldn’t get body piercings – stupid sensitive skin).  No, I’m talking about the body jewelry that looks a little S&M-ish because it probably is S&M-ish.  I’ve never had the gall to wear body jewelry because I didn’t want people to think I’m the type of person who has a relationship with a dungeon master on my weekends.  The lesson I’ve learned from the MBFGW critics is that I’m going to be judged for something, no matter what I wear, say, or do, so I might as well wear whatever I want.  I can hear my friends nervously laughing now.





From top to bottom: Navajo Mini by Dolorous,;  Goddess of Victory Body Harness by Peoples Couture, and;  Haute Couture Breast Plate Lace and Chain Harness by thisilk,;  Haute Couture Nefertiti Lace Fringe by thisilk,;  Black Lace Vine Silver Shoulder Necklace by My October Country,;  White French Lace Gold Shoulder Necklace by My October Country,

Cover Your Eyes With Ray-Ban Sunglasses

As a woman in my late 20’s I’m beginning to realize how important it is to cover my eyes from the sun (answer: to protect my eyes from harmful UV rays). Over the years, not only have I learned that proper eye-wear can help reduce the onset of wrinkles (and sun damage), I’ve also learned that everyone looks better with sunglasses on, especially when they wear glasses that are the correct shape for their face. There are SO many great brands in sunglasses available these days – come to think of it, it’s sad how quickly sun glass companies pop up an disappear (however it does seem like an easy accessory to produce).

My favorite brand in sunglasses is Ray-Ban, founded in 1937 by Bausch & Lomb. Quick history lesson on Ray-Bans: members of the United States Army Air Corps have worn Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses since World War II.

I think it’s safe to say ray ban sunglasses will be around for the long haul, not only based on its history, but their ability to set sunglass trends as they did with Wayfarer sunglasses.

Ray-Ban put out a fantastic Spring/Summer 2011 collection called ‘The Icons’.  It’s a collection of iconic sunglasses and eyeglass designs from previous decades that are brought back by popular demand. The collection includes a re-release of the legendary cat eye sunglasses from the 1980s along with a reinterpretation of the Vagabond glasses of the 1960s. My favorite of all is the John Lennon style small rounded style. And of course the Aviator, we all know this style of sunglasses in a must have!

Here are a couple of my favorite glasses:image of Ray-Ban-gold-aviators

image of Ray-Ban-Red-cat-eye-glassesimage of Ray-Ban-small-round-john-lennon-glasses

image of Ray-Ban-Black-square-glasses

Too lazy to go to the store…but not sure what shape of sunglasses works for you? There are many sites, including Mister Spex that allow users to upload photos of themselves to help them decide what they will look best in. I suggest you try this option before you invest in your next pair of glasses.


Women’s Watches and Bracelets Trends

Unless you live under a rock, you’rre probably aware of the accessories trend of layering oversized watches and bracelets (as pictured below). The look has been persistent on street style blogs, runways and fashion magazine alike. Women are stacking their wrists with mismatched materials, finishes, colors, band widths, etc. The look can be overdone VERY quickly, so ladies be cautious about the other accessories (ie. rings, necklaces and earrings) you wear with the stacked wrist look.

At the center of the stacked wrist is, of course the watch. The latest trend in watches for women has a definite masculine vibe. The most popular watches have big watch faces with simple masculine bands in metal, leather, or plastic. There are also large faced watches adorned with stones to create a more feminine feel.  A newer material hitting the watch trend is ceramic. Ladies Swatch watches and Fossil watches now come in ceramic finishes. For a more causal look, opt for a plastic watch. Plastic watches are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors so you can coordinate them with your summer attire.

No matter what style of watch you choose wear your watch with a nice stack of bangles and bracelets for an extra chic look – here are a couple of my favorite looks.

image of large womens watches and bracelets

image of layered bracelets

image of Stacked Bracelet Trend

image of stacked bracelets

image of womens large watch

Images of the wrist candy are courtesy of The Heartbreak, The Purse Forum and Fashion Takes Flight.

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