Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dillard’s Exclusive Interview with DMSX Designer Neal Salisbury

Q: Who is the typical DMSX woman?
A: She has a rocker-chic attitude, yet is uncontrived.

Q: Where do you draw most of your inspiration for your designs?
A: Art is a huge influence on my life. I consider myself an artist not a designer. Music is also a huge influence on my life as well.

Q: Who are your major influences?
A: My mother and my girlfriend and two English Springer Spaniels, Posh and Beckham give me great inspirations. I am a huge Prince fan and the influence of him and his music have been a huge inspiration behind DMSX — the purple as a visual ID.

Q: What do you feel you bring to the industry?
A: The collection is aimed at a younger audience, who naturally has a smaller budget but also understands quality. This customer is not really getting what they want in the market right now. She’s looking for a product that has a little more status but doesn’t want to spend $500 or $600 on a pair of boots. The contemporary market is underserved, lacking distinct and fashion-forward styles for the customer who aspires for luxe, so this was our answer.

Q: What’s the ultimate message you want to get across through your shoes?
A: DMSX is sexy without trying too hard.  It’s bold but pulled back at the same time.

Q: Did you attend school for design or are you self-taught?
A: My mother enrolled me in an oil painting class at the age of 7, so art had been around me all my life. However, I actually went to Fairfield University for biology in an attempt to be a veterinarian. After getting my master’s in animal science at URI, I found that I enjoyed reading Vogue more than science journals. I made the switch to become a shoe designer taking classes at RISD then finally getting a degree in accessories from FIT.

Q: What are some of your favorite shoes in the line?
A: The Tammy and the Tneal and the Siena are everything that represents DMSX in one boot, one pump and one flat.  The bold zipper is my autograph.

Q: What are some key trends we will see from your line next season?
A: For the DMSX Spring 2012 collection , sobriety is the key word, with discrete design details. There will be uppers with new woven and laser-cut leather details, as well as liquid metals. The use of black and specchio, as well as the contrast of black and white with accents of grey, ice, plume, violet and forest. The details that are used maintain my design philosophy of simple, minimal and sexy without trying too hard.

Q: Tell us about a shoe you will never forget.
A: It actually was a shoe that never made the DMSX line but is my favorite piece I have designed to date — it was a triple platform over-the-knee boot.

Q: Which shoe should no woman be without?
A: She needs them all!

Shop our picks: DMSX TNeal Pointed-Toe PumpsDMSX Siena Metallic Flats & DMSX Tammy Platform Boots

Shop all DMSX.

Do you have a favorite DMSX style? Share in the comments!

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Trend to Watch: Coated Denim

The newest member of your denim wardrobe? Coated jeans that combine the classic look of your favorite 5-pocket pair with a glossy, often metallic sheen. Wear them for day or evening — even at the office.

Casual Friday: Give your casual Friday look a golden touch with the Legacy jean from Rich & Skinny. Disclaimer: The onslaught of “where did you get those?” inquiries may affect your productivity. Style with a sharp jacket, feminine satchel and smart shoe to keep the rest of your look professional and polished.
Shop the Look: Patterson J. Kincaid Ricci Geometric-Print BlazerRich & Skinny Legacy Metallic Coated Jeans, Donald J Pliner Denda Smoking Slippers, Givenchy Blush Pearl Drop Earrings, Brahmin Lady Melbourne Collection Elisa Satchel

Date Night: Coated denim isn’t all about edgy. Romance this NYDJ skinny jean with a flowy blouse and shoulder-dusting earrings. When finished with an oversize clutch, the look is perfectly poised between dressed up and laid back.
Shop the Look: Antonio Melani Silk Tie-Neck Blouse, BCBGeneration Ollie Clutch, Sam Edelman Danielle Pointed-Toe Pumps, Anna & Ava Enamel Kite Chandelier EarringsNYDJ Coated 5-Pocket Skinny Jeans

Sunday Brunch: This leather-look style from James Jeans is a cutting-edge counterbalance to cozy sweaters and classic boots. A cherry red lip — the season’s must-have beauty trend — stands out in the brunch crowd.
Shop the Look: UGG Australia Cydnee Riding Boots, Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipcolor SPF 12, Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic SunglassesJames Jeans Slicked Super Skinny Coated Jeans, MICHAEL Michael Kors Cape Cardigan

Shop coated denim here.

Have you tried coated denim yet?

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Kerry Magnusson, Director of Bridal Merchandising for Nina Jewelry

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: The Nina Jewelry line was created by listening to the customer and inspiration is drawn by her experiences.  As creator of the collection, I noticed a lack of well-made, trend-right, bridal accessories at a palatable retail price. This became the foundation of the Nina Bridal accessories collection.  I set out to create a collection of made in the USA, hand-crafted sashes and veils.  After an overwhelmingly positive reaction, it became clear that we needed to expand the line to include headpieces and jewelry. Today, the collection is a full-circle accessories line where we offer everything but the dress.

Inspiration comes from everywhere. As a designer, you need to have your eyes and ears wide open. You can be inspired by travel, a beautiful chandelier, a floral arrangement, or a page from a magazine.  Just one image can spark a flurry of ideas and become the focal point of a collection.

Q: Who and what are your major influences?
A: First and foremost, the customer is my main influence. At Nina we democratize glamour.  The customer is central to everything that we do.

Secondly, on a personal note, I think back to my grandmother Mary.  She was a product of the Depression, raised 4 children on a shoe-string budget and always found a way to look fabulous.  In tough times, accessories were her way to stay relevant and reignite her wardrobe.   She would replace buttons on a jacket or put together a fabulous mélange of necklaces.   It made the same dress look new.   I think back to how glamorous she always looked and try to channel her creativity.  The Nina line is designed to be heirloom quality whether it is worn for everyday sparkle or the most special of occasions.

Q: What are some of the trends you are looking forward to?
A: The most prevalent trend right now is the return to statement pieces. What was fashionable 2 years ago is now deemed a “basic.”  The customer wants to own her look and command attention.   This is a very exciting time in jewelry because it really gives designers artistic freedom.

There are 2 main stories happening within the statement jewelry trend that I am most excited about:

  1. The return to the 1920s and emphasis on Art Deco.   Pieces like the Acacia necklace and the Mohalo earring are fabulous examples.   They are showered with crystal and have phenomenal shape and movement.
  2. The second story is organic and nature driven.   Flowers are always relevant in special occasion.  I try to find ways to incorporate a floral suggestion or a mélange look, instead of using the traditional, symmetrical flower.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of designing bridal jewelry?
A: My favorite aspect is the relationship with the bride. This is a monumental day in her life and it is a privilege to style her.

Q: What sets Nina accessories apart from other brands?
A: Nina provides a couture aesthetic at an understandable retail price.  Most department store special occasion lines are “safe” in their designs.   At Nina we try to break the glass ceiling and offer her elevated fashion.

Q: Who is the Nina bride?
A: We cater to all brides: the modern bride, the avant-garde bride, the romantic bride, the destination bride — the list goes on.   As in our footwear line, we have something for everyone.

Q: What tips would you give a bride trying to style her big day?
A: Be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.   Your spouse is marrying you for the person you are inside and out.   So it is important to be true to yourself on that day.

Q: What are your favorite pieces from your line right now?
A: You are asking me to play favorites — that is very hard to do! My favorite is the Melaney necklace because I wear it once a week and it finishes any outfit.   The blush coloration especially is so versatile! A few ways to wear it:

For a night out: Melaney with a black dress and gold Nina Medina sandals.
To work: Melaney with an ivory blouse, black blazer, jeans and the Nina Deanna.
To run errands: Melaney with a T-shirt, jeans and the Nina Norway ballet flat.

I travel quite a bit and I find the Melaney is the perfect accessory.  It can be worn with every item in your suitcase!

Shop Nina Accessories, Nina Evening Bags and Nina shoes

Which Nina pieces are your favorite? Tell us in the comments! 

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview with Sleepwear Designer Carole Hochman

Q: How did you get your start designing intimate apparel and sleepwear?
A: I studied fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and my first internship in my sophomore year was selling lingerie at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC…the rest is history

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: Inspiration is everywear in NYC. Today I can also do lots of interesting research on the internet.

Q: Who/what are your major influences?
A: I love everything vintage.

Q: What sets the Midnight by Carole Hochman line apart from other sleepwear lines?
A: The midnight line is intended for women who love comfort but want to feel very feminine and sexy.

Q: What are your favorite aspects of designing sleepwear?
A: I wear sleepwear, and I know how it needs to feel and look for myself. I love the discovery of a new fabric and a new lace.

Q: What are some upcoming trends in sleepwear we should watch for?
A: Sleepwear is getting lacey again and still very casual and comforatble. It is fun to get all the facets in one fabulous garment.

Q: What is your favorite material to work with?
A: I love modal because it is silky and drapey but very easy care.

Q: What is the most exciting place your designs have been featured?
A: I love seeing my designs on the web.

Q: What are your favorite pieces from the Midnight by Carole Hochman collection?
A: The Forever &  Always gown and pajama are fabulous pieces for this fall. They are an easy fit with a very flattering satin twisted neckline that is so very feminine and flattering to everyone. We have a pajama called Modern Comfort that I slept in last night and no one would believe they are pajamas — very sporty, soft and something you never want to take off.

Shop all Midnight by Carole Hochman.

What are your favorite pieces from the collection? 

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Word of the Week: Twill

A few weeks ago, we shared the definition of oxford, the soft fabric weave used for several of the shirts you’ll find on Today, we’re covering the more versatile twill.

Twill   [n.] \ˈtwil\ A textile weave where one thread passes over another then under two or more others making the fabric look like it has diagonal lines.

A sturdy and stylish fabric, twill is used to craft everything from pants and shirts to vests, coats and hats.

These Perry Ellis stretch twill pants are great for a casual day at the office or can be dressed down with a T-shirt, while these Perry Ellis refined twill pants are dressier.

This checked dress shirt from Roundtree & Yorke Gold Label is perfect with a tie for professional polish or keep your look sleek and casually stylish with this silky finish striped sportshirt, also from Roundtree & Yorke.

Step up your style with this striped twill jacket or vest from Perry Ellis.

You can accessorize your looks with this Polo Ralph Lauren waxed twill messenger bag or this Kangol twill army cap.  In cold weather, you can add rugged style with this Polo Ralph Lauren military combat jacket.

Shop all men’s twill clothing and accessories here.

What twill items will you be wearing? Tell us in the comments.

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Dillard’s Exclusive Interview: Tableware Designer Julia Knight

Q. Where do you get your inspiration from?
A. From my time living in Paris and the global tapestry of my travels: the flash of color from a Sari, the sea off the coast of St. Tropez, the flesh from a ripe mango, an oyster’s shimmering shell, the delicateness of wild sage, a cranberry’s translucent depth.

Q. How do you decide your design style?
A. I love a design style that mixes natural textures like warm woods and dramatic animal prints, with more womanly elements like shimmer and shine. My goal is to add a bit of glamour and sparkle to the table while keeping it comfortable and functional. My collection is all about color and creating your own personal palettes of color that reflect your personality and mood.

Q. What are your tips for entertaining?
A.  It isn’t necessarily about what one serves, it isn’t about slaving for hours to create the perfect evening. That’s old school. New school is making the perfect evening perfectly effortless. My serveware and glassware can help transform even the most ordinary food and refreshment into something unique without having to break a sweat. It is what I call “entertaining redefined.”

Q. What makes the Julia Knight collection different?
A. Color is definitely a strength and the mix of materials to create something that is at the same time glamorous but comfortable. My look is female, not feminine; dramatic and comfortable — it makes you feel really good about yourself.

Q. Which is your favourite piece? What is an ideal piece to gift to a friend?
A. It changes with each season. Right now, I am favoring the new Peony 12” round deep bowl.  It is the perfect piece to serve in. And if you add a small bowl in the center, it becomes an ideal chip and dip.

Q. What colors do you like to use the most?
A. One of my favorite colors is amethyst, which can be paired with kiwi and hydrangea for a gorgeous mix or with platinum, toffee and snow for a sophisticated look. I am also fond of the Pretty in Pink color-story for spring — caviar, champagne, raspberry, snow and platinum.

Q. Of all things, why did you choose to design décor and tableware?
A.  One of my greatest joys is entertaining others.  I love the chance to make people feel special, and I want to be present at a party and not worn out from the preparation. This drove my desire to design entertaining table and serveware that would make anything I served, from shrimp and cocktail sauce to smoked salmon and caviar, absolutely stunning. I want my guests to leave with a memorable experience.

Q. Any future plans to make additions to your collections?
A. This spring I’m thrilled to introduce “Wood Jewels,” a collection I’ve been working on for more than a year that combines sumptuous hand-carved wood with our signature enamel — it’s jewelry for your table. Also new, a royal “Queen Bee” design that has folks buzzing already and a fabulous collection of fish I call “Pescador.”

Shop the Julia Knight Collection.

What’s your favorite Julia Knight piece? Tell us about it in the collection.  

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Fresh Fall Print! Sakroots Artist Circle Purple Bambu

Bold, colorful prints are a big trend in handbags this fall. We love the bright, quirky designs from the Sakroots Artist Circle collection. From the rich blue and orange of the Lagoon True Love print to the pale background with bursts of yellow and red of Natural Peace, they evoke “the artist, musician and nature lover in all of us.”

San Francisco muralist Jetro Martinez based the Fall 2012 bambu print on the inspiring story of bamboo growth. A mother plant grows underground, has a surprising growth spurt in its fourth year and creates offshoots that multiply. It’s also flexible and agile enough to thrive even after storms.

The fall palette combines deep purple with contrasting pops of citrine and tangerine. Crochet trim and contrast stitching add a unique, hand-crafted feel to each piece. Show your artistic sensibility and stand out in a sea of dark fall bags with this playful print!

Shop all Sakroots Artist Circle here.

What colors would you pair with the purple bambu print for a fresh fall ensemble?

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