Travel Inspired Style from J Crew


If you're dreaming about your summer wardrobe why not give J Crew's travel inspired guide a try? Check out my favourite items below!

Jack Rogers Custom Shop


Jack Rogers

If you're thinking of getting a new pair of summer sandals make sure you pay a visit to the Custom Shop at Jack Rogers! Now the's perfect time to customise your very own pair of Jacks in the colors that you want!

I'm quite partial to a purple and gold pair....

Fantastic Fortique


If you are in the DC area make sure you check out Fortique. Started by Stephanie Olvey earlier this year, Fortique launched the online marketplace for local creatives to sell services including personal styling and interior design all in one place.

After graduating from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, Stephanie spent two years as an analyst in management consulting, focusing on telecommunications sourcing and optimization.  Following her time in consulting, Stephanie decided to dive into the start-up scene and joined the team at LivingSocial.  Here she gained the valuable experience of launching two new businesses and ultimately decided to pursue her dream of launching her own business.

The original Fortique idea started when Stephanie planned her sister’s 30th birthday party and realized there was no efficient way to hire a small-scale event planner.  At the same time, she knew many colleagues, friends, and family that were actively trying to build side creative businesses or had talents that could be monetized with the proper support.  It seemed like an obvious solution for both parties, and Fortique was born!

Stephanie wants Fortique to become a thriving community for creative services.  For consumers, she wants it to become the destination to hire the most talented local creatives.  For entrepreneurs, Stephanie wants it to be a powerful tool that jumpstarts or expands their business.

Stephanie is looking for DC creatives that want to monetize skills in interior design, event planning, photography, personal styling, etc. or existing entrepreneurs that want help reaching a new customer base. To submit an application or to find out more about Fortique click here.

Stephanie from Fortique
Stay tuned for a Discovering DC contribution from Stephanie in the coming weeks!

Discovering DC: Silver Spring


This week's Discovering DC finds itself in Silver Spring with Kirstin of This Is My So Called Life. 

What's your history with Silver Spring and DC?
I've been in the DC area for almost two years now and I officially moved to Silver Spring in November 2011 when I landed my first job! But honestly, I've loved the District ever since I interned here one summer so naturally, after graduation, I knew DC is where I needed to be and I haven't left yet. And I love how close Downtown Silver Spring is to the city! For me, as a Southern gal from North Carolina, I love that I can hop in my car and drive around Silver Spring but that I'm close enough to the metro and the city that I can explore Washington with no trouble!

Discovering Silver Spring and DC- what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
For shopping, I love thrift stores because you can always find something unique or really retro for a great price and Maryland has some great ones to choose from. My favorite is the Value Village in Silver Spring where I've found some great designer labels for a good deal but there's also a massive one in Hyattsville too! When it comes to eating and hanging out, I bounce between downtown Silver Spring and DC. Silver Spring has a quaint little downtown area with some good restaurants like Austin Grill which has a good happy deal and then Masa Hibachi Steakhouse & Sushi and Nando's are pretty good for dinner! And in the District, I love hanging out with my friends in DuPont Circle, U Street and Chinatown -- they all have a really good variety of cultural restaurants so you can always true something new! Plus Silver Spring is home to The Filmore which has had a bunch of cool concerts lately!

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Silver Spring and DC?
The epitome of the perfect Saturday would be going thrifting at Value Village and/or at the Flee Market to find some cool, then grabbing some food at Matchbox in Chinatown (they have the best pizza) and depending on the weather, roam the streets of DC while enjoying some fro-yo or a cupcake!

Kirstin of This Is My So Called Life

For more posts in the Discovering DC archive click here. You can follow Kirstin on Twitter here. 

Jill Biden pays tribute to Boston Marathon victims


The White House

Dr Jill Biden paid tribute to the victims and injured individuals of the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday when she visited the Marathon Memorial Site in Copley Square. Dr Biden was in Boston to attend the Memorial Service for slain MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

Dr Biden left flowers and a pair of signed running shoes at the Memorial to honor the victims.

I love: Pineapple iPhone 5 Case


J Crew

I absolutely love this navy and gold pineapple iPhone 5 case from J Crew. Pineapple's are a sign to welcome visitors to your home, so let's hope they welcome lots of new friends and social media followers! 

Kate Spade: 135 Fifth Avenue, New York City


Regular readers will know that I have just returned from a great trip to New York City! Whilst this was not my first visit to the Big Apple, it was to Kate Spade's store located at 135 Fifth Avenue.

I'm a big fan of Kate Spade, owning a lovely spotted iPhone case, the amazing New York sidewalks scarf and a great small black leather bag that is simply perfect for night's out, or shopping trips where both hands are needed!

I was keen to visit this store whilst in town, and I was certainly not disappointed. The brand's slogan is 'Live Colorfully,' and the store certainly lived up to its motto! Racks of gorgeous dresses in jewelled tone hues, bright colored jeans and an amazing selection of bags and shoes caught my eye immediately.

I was after a pair of the navy gingham Keds for Kate Spade sneakers, and was happy to pick them up. Whilst browsing I noticed this fabulous Seaport Grand stainless steel watch, complete with a neon pink spade and seconds hand.  The sales assistant Carlos, (who was so lovely and helpful!) adjusted the links for me in store, saving me a job for when I returned home.

I was so impressed with this particular branch of Kate Spade that I will certainly be visiting again next time I am in the city. If you're in the Flatiron District to pop in and pay a visit!

Photos from my Instagram- follow here! 

Tory Burch Wear to Work Essentials


If you're looking to update your work wardrobe with classic, no fuss items look no further than Tory Burch, and her selection of wear to work essentials. 

To shop the items click here.

Discovering DC: Woodley Park/Cleveland Park


This week's Discovering DC takes a trip to the Woodley Park/Cleveland Park area with Monica from Hemingway and Handbags! 

What's your history with Woodley Park/Cleveland Park and DC?
I actually moved to DC in January of 2013 to work for a freshman member of Congress from my home state (California). Having done the requisite summer internship in DC almost four years ago, I am pretty familiar with the city, as well as northern Virginia where my brother lives.

I ultimately ended up in the Woodley Park/Cleveland Park area more by chance since I found an apartment and roommates I loved there. The first time I went to see the place I was walking down Connecticut on a Tuesday evening and completely fell in love with the area. There were tons of young people out to happy hour and dinner and it seemed so social and fun.

Discovering Woodley Park/Cleveland Park- what are your favourite places to shop/eat/go with friends/people watch?
I have been a 2Amys addict long before I even moved to DC. I tried to go every time I visited and now, living so close, I go a lot! Of course you can't talk about the area without mentioning the Zoo too. It's such a fun place to spend the day when the whether is nice.

Perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Woodley Park/Cleveland Park?
A perfect afternoon would definitely start with brunch at Open City. Everything on the menu is delicious and I am such a sucker for their smoothies. After I would probably go for a run to work off my meal through the Zoo if it's a nice day. If it's raining (or snowing in late March like it has been of late), I would head to the Uptown Theater for a cozy movie in a beautiful, old Art Deco theater.

Monica from Hemingway and Handbags
For more posts in the Discovering DC archive click here. You can follow Hemingway and Handbags on Twitter here. 

Exclusive Interview: Susanna Puisto, Costume Designer for Body of Proof


Jonny Kahleyn-Dieb

Regular readers and tweeters will be aware that Body of Proof is one of my favorite shows, and I'm super delighted to share with you my interview with Susanna Puisto, Costume Designer for the show!

Susanna has a long established history within the industry, and her journey is a really inspiring one.

How did you begin your career as a costume designer?

By a happy accident: as a model about to expire I looked for a new career and having met stylists at work I begun assisting one of them. I fit in like a fish in water and enjoyed it; to make a long story short!

Was costume design something you always wanted to do?
No, I wanted to be a Bond Girl! Fashion and movies were always something I wanted to be a part of.

Do you think that your training as an actress prepared you for your current role?
Absolutely. I tend to really understand actors and characters from the inside out.

What advice can you offer to women who want to follow a similar path? Is it easy to switch from a radically different career (e.g. politics) to something as creative as your role?
My job is very political; so yes. But it's a long path to success from the start. One must be very passionate and driven. People skills are a must. Good taste is a bonus. Managerial skills feature prominently in this job. One must also be able to collaborate and be flexible while never losing sight of the goal; making a great looking show. We are only as good as our last job.

How did you land your current role as Costume Designer on Body of Proof?
Dana requested me. I had worked with her on a movie called 'The Right Temptation' in 1999 and she had really liked me and remembered my work, and when she was in the right position she asked for me. You never know when your paths will cross in this business, it's a small world.

As a regular viewer of Body of Proof, I can see how Dr Megan Hunt’s style has evolved from Series One. What changes did you want to bring to the character’s sense of fashion and where did you seek inspiration?
For one I wanted to separate the styles of Megan and Kate. I made a very clear division as far as shape and colour. On Megan I gave her a younger, sexier look. The inspiration was European women, like myself, who mix and match; not so done up. Effortless and daring. She takes chances. Her colours a deeply saturated and enhanced with fun prints.

On Kate, I found inspiration from Hitchcock blondes. She is a timeless, classy beauty. Her colours are more subdued. Lots of white, black, pastels, grey. She is very lady like.

Many viewers/fans of the show comment on the shoes that Dana Delany wears in character. How important are they to understanding the personality of Megan Hunt?
Megan's character is based on a real person who wore high heels to crime scenes. All women love shoes and I just took it to the next level, buying her shoes I'd love to wear. Shoes that women would appreciate and be inspired by.

Where do you source the clothes that Dana Delany wears as Megan Hunt?
Beverly Hills: Rodeo Drive, Barneys, Saks, Neimans. But also J.Crew, Forever 21 and even some Target. We are not snobs, we are fashionistas. I also use rentals from ABC to enhance Megan's look. For example, the photo print skirt in the episode Eye for an Eye was a Michael Kors rental from a past season. We also recycle items of clothing on Dana and the other actors. It creates a real closet, and inspires the viewers to restyle their own clothing. There's no need to waste good pieces!

Do the actors bring an idea/opinion of how they would like to be dressed? If so, do you give into them?
Some times they do and I listen. But I also show them a different view of the character as they may not have imagined in reading the script. They mostly like it and use it to become the character.

Do you have a favourite Body of Proof character that you dress?
I love them all. All different challenges, which I enjoy as a costume designer. It's all about the character.

What challenges have you faced whilst working on the show and how have you learned from them?
Body of Proof is in it's recent reincarnation, a huge show. We have little time and many stunts, which means multiple costumes. Casting is always last minute, sometimes we fit guest stars in the morning they work. Because of this I have learned to design in a split second. I call it 'drive-through couture.' It's like doing a Bond movie every 8 days!

How does your work affect your personal style?
Geranimals: no time to think about what to wear when waking up at 4 am and working 16 hours. I try to look cute but feel comfortable. No high heels for me! Luckily my closet is very mix and match and I can style myself in the dark.

Which other costume designers in the industry inspire you?
Arianne Phillips. She is a goddess! And I had the pleasure of assisting her in my early career. There are many more I admire and get inspired by: the ones who do period dramas, sci-fi, etc.

What challenges does working on a medical drama bring in terms of costume design?
We have a lot of scrubs and lab coats: ours are couture. Real doctors should take style tips from Body of Proof!

To find out more about Body of Proof click here. You can follow Susanna on Twitter here. Body of Proof airs Tuesday nights on ABC, 10/9c.

Sheryl Sandberg in Video



Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In' book has to be one of the most inspiring I have read to date. (Check out my earlier thoughts on her 'manifesto' here.)

Sandberg is also an excellent and highly motivating public speaker. She has participated in several talks/Q&A sessions lately, all of which inspire women to make a difference. Check out Office Hours below to hear Sandberg in action.

Watch live streaming video from levoleague at
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