The Ethics of Fashion

Making philanthropy cool is exactly what celebrities like Lauren Conrad, Olivia Palermo and Blake Lively are doing these days, with their online ventures focusing on giving back to small communities around the world and helping artisans help themselves. With such stylish women behind these sites and the huge variety of gorgeous well priced items, it’s hard to know what to buy first!

After a Vogue cover to get everyone’s attention, you couldn’t miss the news that Blake Lively has a new lifestyle website called Preserve; part digital magazine, part e-commerce site it tells America’s stories and sells US handmade goods. She’s decided to help in her own backyard partnering with charity Covenant House which serves homeless youth with shelters all across the Americas. The dark rustic look of the site is not what we expected from the former Gossip Girl and she’s definitely had her fair share of haters thus far, but I like the interactive experience where you can preserve items and posts you want to read. The products are also mostly affordable although sometimes unnecessary, unless you’re in the market for a $95 wooden crate?!

Lauren Conrad has taken it a step further with her site The Little Market, she’s collaborated with friend Hannah Skvarla and they’ve  scoured the globe for crafts-makers in small villages enabling them to showcase their skills to the American audience and in turn these artisans are able to contribute to their own countries. This site has a more light and girly feel to it and features an array of adorable items, there’s also a Map tab where you’re able to shop the products by the countries they are made in and are given a back story as to what you’re buying.

Lending her name and time to the Maasai Project by Pikolinos, Olivia Palermo has helped women of Maasai earn themselves a stable salary which is usually the role of men in their community. They are building income while keeping to their cultural roots, decorating pieces of leather in their own tribes colors and styles. The embroideries are exquisite and are ultimately put on shoes and bags which perfectly reflect the Maasai identity while fitting in the Western world.

Perhaps my favorite to come out of this artisan trend is Rose & Fitzgerald: an already adorable story of a married couple who seek adventure and end up moving to Uganda. Here they started working with the local community designing beautiful hand crafted jewelry and products for the home. Although there’s no celebrity name backing this project, the clean and minimal aesthetic of the site and über stylish goods have already got them lot’s of media attention including an article on style.com.

Given these are all handmade goods they understandably sell out fast (sadly the Rose & Fitzgerald hammered brass snake ring I had my eye on is already sold out). So buy first think later, it is going to a good cause after all!

Giselle

Olivia Palermo wears the personalized Burberry blanket

As if the hot husband wasn’t enough Olivia Palermo had to go and one up us all again by being among the first to debut the Burberry monogrammed blanket on the streets of NYC earlier this week. First seen on the Burberry models in their Fall’14 runway show, the color block check blanket is a great layering piece as OP has kindly shown us below. For $1395 you can get your hands on one too: shop here.

Olivia Palermo

Olivia Palermo (image-www.harpersbazaar.com)

Sung Hee

Burberry model Sung Hee (image-miuccia.freshnet.com)

Suki Waterhouse

Burberry model Suki Waterhouse (image-fashionstargate.blogpost.com)

Cara Delevingne

Burberry model Cara Delevingne (image-fashionstargate.blogspot.com)

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Splurge or Steal: Jewelry Edition

One of my latest obsessions in the fashion world is a jewelry site called Bauble Bar. Whether it’s a layered chain necklace, the latest earring trends or statement rings, I’ve managed to find everything I was looking for at a ridiculously affordable price. With guest bartenders such as supermodel Coco Rocha involved it’s a no wonder that the brand’s taken off so quickly. Below are a few of my favorite pieces that I went for the steal on, leaving me guilt free!

From Left: Splurge-Dior approx.$500, Steal-Baublebar $28

Pearl Earrings-From Left: Splurge: Dior approx.$500, Steal: BaubleBar $28

Love Earcuff-From left: Splurge: Jacquie Aiche $200, Steal-BaubleBar $22

Love Earcuff-From left: Splurge: Jacquie Aiche $200, Steal: BaubleBar $22

Statement Necklace: From left: Splurge: Dylanlex $550, BaubleBar $36

Bib Necklace: From left: Splurge: Dylanlex $550, Steal: BaubleBar $36

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Net-a-Sporter

Following the success of previous ventures from Net-a-Porter (The Outnet and Mr Porter), comes the brilliantly titled Net-a-Sporter.  As suggested by the name the division will be selling over 30 brands of activewear covering a broad spectrum of sports including Surfing, Tennis and Yoga. However the apparel won’t just be performance based, with more and more women opting to wear their cool down outfits to brunch after hitting the gym the site will also feature a category they’ve name “apres sport”. This will be useful for those of you who like me do the “pretend I’ve just come from the gym look” when I actually have no intention of going.

Brands such as Ballet Beautiful, Monreal London, L’etoile Sport, Laain and Zimmerman will be featured on the site, some creating exclusive capsule collections just for Net-a-Sporter. With the excitement of the World Cup and Wimbledon going on right now it couldn’t be a better time to launch.  The site will be going live July 9th and you can sign up now on www.netaporter.com now to get all the latest updates.

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Sophie Hulme’s Arm Candy: Mini Envelope Bag

There’s nothing like a bright bag to get me in the Summer mood and I need look no further than Sophie Hulme to give me a great choice of colors in her mini envelope bag. Any of these bags will give your outfits a pop this season and starting at just $311, it won’t be breaking the bank either. Happy Shopping….

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Make it rain…….

Ever since Rita Ora rocked a pink opaque rain coat in her latest video ” I will never let you down” it was clear we were all about to embark on a trip back to our childhoods, when the plastic rain mac was a staple in any young ladies closet. With Summer festival season getting underway I’m starting to think a rain mac is actually a necessity and thanks to Rita, instead of feeling like an adult raiding Barbie’s closet we can feel ridiculously cool and stylish in our practical cover ups. Check out my picks below:

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Splurge vs Steal: Rag & Bone Talia Sweater

The Rag & Bone ‘Talia’ sweater has fast become a must have item of the season, thanks in part to Olivia Wilde wearing it on the May cover of Lucky Mag. With a $395 price tag some of you may be interested to know Forever 21 has come out with a version for just a mere $29.95. Of course at a close glance you can see the ribbed-knit detail is vastly different but they’ve done a pretty good job at playing copy cat with the deep v and stripes in all the right places. Will you go for the splurge or steal? Shop both looks below:

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Cannes Film Festival: Best Dressed

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(Images:www.style.com)