Meet Karen Blanchard

All about Where Did U Get That? blogger Karen Blanchard, Saks’ official street style photographer for NYFW!

If Karen Blanchard has her way, the acronym WDUGT will one day be as commonplace as YOLO. It stands for “Where Did U Get That” and is the name of her blog and its spinoff, WDUGT Street. “I have always stopped people on the street to ask where did they get something they were wearing,” says the North London native, now based in New York. “So it made sense to document that with photography and street style. I get such a buzz from the brief conversations with strangers about their clothing finds.” So who better to document street-style trends for us this New York Fashion Week? Lucky for us (and her readers), the photographer ditched her 9-to-5 day job to become her own full-time blogging…

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If Karen Blanchard has her way, the acronym WDUGT will one day be as commonplace as YOLO. It stands for “Where Did U Get That” and is the name of her blog and its spinoff, WDUGT Street. “I have always stopped people on the street to ask where did they get something they were wearing,” says the North London native, now based in New York. “So it made sense to document that with photography and street style. I get such a buzz from the brief conversations with strangers about their clothing finds.”

So who better to document street-style trends for us this New York Fashion Week? Lucky for us (and her readers), the photographer ditched her 9-to-5 day job to become her own full-time blogging boss. We caught up with Blanchard — who also helms the Two Kools site on chic couples — and dished all things…style, of course.

SaksPOV: When did the fashion bug first bite?
Karen Blanchard: I blame my mum for the fashion bug. I remember growing up with her walking around Roman Road Market in East London every Saturday. We would check out our favorite stall sellers to snag bargains of high-street looks for a fraction of the price. It’s like the ultimate diluted food chain: from runway to high street to the local street market. I remember when we came home I’d do a little fashion show, twirling around in our latest bargains. We were both like squealing piglets at the scores that she found for us both. I still feel like that to this day when shopping.

SaksPOV: How would you describe your style?
K.B.: I ping pong from ladylike to rock chick to masculine to British rockabilly to Mod Sixties to boho hippie. It literally depends on what mood I am in. Hats are the common thread though throughout — plus dark, smoky eyes or winged liner.

SaksPOV: What brought you to New York?
K.B.: Since childhood I knew that I would end up living in New York even though I didn’t know why. Several years ago I met my then-American boyfriend via accident on email. Our emails literally crossed by mistake and we started speaking to each other. Strange right? It snowballed into me crossing the big pond and starting life in New York.

SaksPOV: Your style takeaways (and tips!) from living in London?
K.B.: Having lived in both cities, I can say that London is overall more fashion forward. People don’t take themselves as seriously so anything goes when it comes to assembling looks, which breeds tons of inspiration for me. My tip therefore is to definitely try and see the fun side of fashion — play with it and don’t be afraid to experiment.

SaksPOV: What are your favorite trends for spring?
K.B.: I loved the Mod Sixties black and whites of Louis Vuitton. Talk about a throwback to Mary Quant. I think a great structured mini or square-toed, low-heeled flats are a brilliant way to update your silhouette for spring.

SaksPOV: When getting dressed in the morning, you start with…
K.B.: If I’m in a shoe mood, then I’ll pick the shoe first that I want to wear that day and find the clothes for it. If not, it’s usually the skirt or trouser. Tops are easy, so are always last.

Karen Blanchard, Where Did U Get That Blogger Karen Blanchard, Where Did U Get That Blogger

SaksPOV: If you could trade closets with someone else…
K.B.: Probably Agyness Deyn. I love her boyish style. It’s effortless and very British. There’s a fantastic military coat she’s got — I stopped her once while wearing it and asked her where did she get it. Of course, she said vintage, which means the only place I can get it is to literally have her closet.

SaksPOV: What are your can’t-live-without-’em fashion must-haves?
K.B.: My creepers. They remind me of my British roots, plus they make anything edgy and less formal. I have about 20 hats and, to me, they literally complete a look. Plus they are brilliant for bad hair days.

SaksPOV: Your advice to would-be street-style photographers?
K.B.: Never leave the house without your camera. I always see someone dressed brilliantly on the day that I leave mine behind. Shoot based on gut instinct, not on what is necessarily “in”.

SaksPOV: If money were no object, your next purchase would be…
K.B.: A classic Chanel in black with gold hardware or a Valentino Rockstud shoulder bag. Either one still gets me going.

SaksPOV: Love the DIY section on your blog — have you always been this crafty?
K.B.: Thank you! I have no idea where the DIY part of me comes from. I think it’s an extension of me wanting to bring new life to certain things. Plus I see trends that sometimes look so easy to replicate that it screams to be tried. Plus it’s 10x more satisfying to know that you did it yourself.

 

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Visit Karen Blanchard’s blog Where Did U Get That?


Absolutely Aerin

I grew up reading magazines.  From when I was a little girl I just loved fashion and inhaled the pages of Vogue as if they had every nutrient that was essential for my tiny being. One thing that always fascinated me was the social pages. The parties. The glamour. The gorgeous socialites — Aerin Lauder, Marina Rust, Renee Rockefeller. Aerin Lauder, specifically, has long been my personal style icon — with her tawny glow, gold flecked hair and exquisite collection of Oscar de la Renta gowns. So it was with great excitement that my first assignment many years ago as a Women’s Wear Daily reporter was to interview her.  She was as lovely, gracious and smart as I imagined she would be, talking about her…

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I grew up reading magazines.  From when I was a little girl I just loved fashion and inhaled the pages of Vogue as if they had every nutrient that was essential for my tiny being. One thing that always fascinated me was the social pages. The parties. The glamour. The gorgeous socialites — Aerin Lauder, Marina Rust, Renee Rockefeller.

Aerin Lauder, specifically, has long been my personal style icon — with her tawny glow, gold flecked hair and exquisite collection of Oscar de la Renta gowns. So it was with great excitement that my first assignment many years ago as a Women’s Wear Daily reporter was to interview her.  She was as lovely, gracious and smart as I imagined she would be, talking about her grandmother Estee’s namesake company opening its first boutique in Manhasset on Long Island. Of course, I asked her lots of business questions, but what I really wanted to know was personal — what are her beauty secrets?

Well, it took some years later, but I did get to interview Aerin again recently on behalf of Saks Fifth Avenue, where she launch her own eponymous beauty collection, dubbed Aerin.  The collection is simple and really beautiful. Centered on two palettes with eyes, cheek color and lip color, the collection is divided into “weekday” and “weekend” looks. As a mom of two boys, Aerin (outfitted in a chic black Lanvin skirt suit and Christian Louboutin pumps) talks about looking glamorous and effortless beauty tips, her favorite fashion designers and yes (!) even her favorite form of social media.

SaksPOV: You practically grew up in the beauty industry. What are some thing your learned from your iconic grandmother Estee Lauder?

Aerin Lauder: Estee always had a unique sense of beauty. She was known for wearing color. She always [had] coral or red lips. She taught me the importance of mistake-proof makeup.

SaksPOV: As a busy mom and beauty mogul, what advice can you offer our generation of multi-tasking women?

A.L.: Take time for you beauty and skincare. Buy products that work and are beautiful. This collection is about effortless beauty.

SaksPOV: It’s the day and age of social media. What is your favorite platform?

A.L.: I love Pinterest. It’s so visual and you can create boards for inspirations. It’s so fun to add and explore. I love Lauren Santo Domingo’s Pinterest. She does a fantastic job.

SaksPOV: We’re coming off of the New York collections. What shows did you go see?

A.L.:  [I saw] Michael Kors, Derek Lam, Thakoon, Oscar, Tory Burch. It’s the start of the fashion season!

SaksPOV: What’s on your shopping list for fall?

A.L.:  I Just bought yellow pointed toe Lanvin flats. [Otherwise looking for] some black leather pieces and a great piece of statement jewelry.

SaksPOV: Spill. What do you carry around in your cosmetic case every day?

A.L.: Foundation, the Aerin palette, lip gloss and lipstick. Lip gloss is so versatile!

 

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What Aerin items would you like to try? Tweet @Saks!

Check out our “Face It” beauty board on Pinterest!

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Bejeweled!

Elle’s Accessories Director Kate Davidson Hudson Gets Jeweled in Ippolita’s New Collection

Kate Davidson Hudson has a pretty plum gig. She’s Accessories Director at Elle magazine, which means it’s her job to (a) surround herself with spectacular bags, jewelry and shoes and, (b) be on the constant hunt for the next gorgeous thing. We’re officially jealous. “One of the most exiting parts about my job is never knowing what the day has in store,” says Davidson Hudson. “I could be in the studio shooting, working on location, sitting with a designer at a presentation…. No two days are ever the same!” While the George Washington University graduate has a long roster of favorite designers — Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Dior’s Raf Simons, among them — and previously worked in the fashion department at Harper’s Bazaar, accessories are…

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Kate Davidson Hudson has a pretty plum gig. She’s Accessories Director at Elle magazine, which means it’s her job to (a) surround herself with spectacular bags, jewelry and shoes and, (b) be on the constant hunt for the next gorgeous thing. We’re officially jealous. “One of the most exiting parts about my job is never knowing what the day has in store,” says Davidson Hudson. “I could be in the studio shooting, working on location, sitting with a designer at a presentation…. No two days are ever the same!”

While the George Washington University graduate has a long roster of favorite designers — Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière and Dior’s Raf Simons, among them — and previously worked in the fashion department at Harper’s Bazaar, accessories are her big crush. “The personalization in what you wear and how you style yourself is found in the details — and those details are always the accessories,” she explains. “Accessories help articulate those subtle nuances that make up your personal style.” Plus, she smartly points out, there’s no such thing as tricky sizing when it comes to your accouterments. “For better or worse,” the Elle director adds, “you’re going to stay the same shoe or ring size. You can’t always say the same thing about that pair of skinny jeans.”

Here, Davidson Hudson takes us through the life-size jewelry box that is the showroom at Ippolita, and gives us her expert tips on how to transform your look (e.g. her simple LBD) for work, weekend and evening. “Ippolita,” she says of her SaksPOV pick, “is a genius at capturing that sense of perfect polish. And by updating these accessories, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of the staple clothing pieces in your wardrobe.”

Her last word of advice? It’s a classic: “I truly believe you need to wear the piece — it cannot wear you.”

WORK: “On an average day in the office, I like easy pieces with heels. I tend to wear a lot of black and rely on accessories to change the tone or mood of my look.” A malachite onyx and gold pendant looks just right!

WEEKEND: A stack of gold and gemstone bangles represent the quintessential Ippolita look!

EVENING: Stacked of glittering bangles, a great pair of chandelier earrings and a cocktail ring give a festive and chic look!

 

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Check out the latest from Ippolita here on Saks.com and in Saks stores.

What are your favorite Ippolita pieces? Pin them from Saks.com and Tweet @Saks!

Follow Saks on Pinterest

 

 


Go Behind the Scenes with W Magazine and Saks

Saks’ own Terron Schaeffer and Colleen Sherin take you behind the inspiration, magic and fabulous fashions of the Saks fall catalogue

 

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See the story from W Magazine here.

Follow the Saks Insiders on SaksPOV.

 

 

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See the story from W Magazine here.

Follow the Saks Insiders on SaksPOV.

 


It’s Fashion’s Night Out

We at Saks are ready for the most exciting Fashion’s Night Out Ever!

It’s fashion’s biggest night. Designers abound! Late night shopping! Performances by your favorite artists! And Saks is all over it. Stop by Saks flagship in New York on September 6. Check out a list of highlights below and stay tuned as we make more announcements about fashion’s big night at Saks! (1) Obsessed with Nail Art — So are we! Join us as Rebecca Minkoff and Valley Nails do manicures inspired by prints in her collection. (2) Not enough Nail Art for You? Saks has partnered with the hot fashion label Suno to create Minx nails in cool prints. Exclusive to Saks on FNO! (3) The inimitable, style savvy — and quite tall — New York Knick Amar’e Stoudemire will be making an appearance at Saks. (4)…

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It’s fashion’s biggest night. Designers abound! Late night shopping! Performances by your favorite artists! And Saks is all over it.

Stop by Saks flagship in New York on September 6. Check out a list of highlights below and stay tuned as we make more announcements about fashion’s big night at Saks!

(1) Obsessed with Nail Art — So are we! Join us as Rebecca Minkoff and Valley Nails do manicures inspired by prints in her collection.

(2) Not enough Nail Art for You? Saks has partnered with the hot fashion label Suno to create Minx nails in cool prints. Exclusive to Saks on FNO!

(3) The inimitable, style savvy — and quite tall — New York Knick Amar’e Stoudemire will be making an appearance at Saks.

(4) Meet Oscar de la Renta, who will be making an appearance at Saks as we launch his latest fragrance Essential Luxuries his latest exclusive to Saks!

(5) Makeup artist to the world’s most famous and Estee Lauder creative makeup director Tom Pechaux, will be taking customers through the new beauty collection that he designed for Estee Lauder inspired by the colors and contrasts of Paris.

(6) Meet designer Erin Fetherston and get your bangs trimmed from hairstylist, Edward Tricomi

(7) Last and hardly least, Darren Criss of “Glee” and a Special Guest will be signing the September Issue of Vogue

 

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Follow @FNOnyc on Twitter

Download the entire Saks Fifth Avenue FNO schedule.

 


Shoe Short-List

September begins a new round of Fashion Week jaunts for stylist-supreme Giovanna Battaglia


September begins a new round of Fashion Week jaunts for stylist-supreme Giovanna Battaglia. Find out which shoes are making the trip here.


September begins a new round of Fashion Week jaunts for stylist-supreme Giovanna Battaglia. Find out which shoes are making the trip here.


Saks Reports from Paris

Saks' President of Ready-to-Wear Fashion Linda DeFrances shares her favorites from Paris Fashion Week

Mais oui! Vice President of Ready-to-Wear Fashion, Linda DeFrances reports back to SaksPOV readers on her favorite looks from the front lines of Paris Fashion Week.  Be sure to check out Linda’s pick from the Milan collections on SaksPOV. — Edited by Sophia Chabbott “An extraordinary collection! There were outstanding jackets with sculpted peplums paired with long lean skirts. I particularly loved the idea of leather cut away from the body layered with silk blouses and soft knit cowls. As always, there was lots of layering and with rich hues of berry, loden, purple, rust and orange. Haider is truly a master of color.” “Stella combined textures, novel knitwear with her signature sporty sensibility that translated into clothes for a modern day women. Graphic embroideries…

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Mais oui! Vice President of Ready-to-Wear Fashion, Linda DeFrances reports back to SaksPOV readers on her favorite looks from the front lines of Paris Fashion Week.  Be sure to check out Linda’s pick from the Milan collections on SaksPOV. — Edited by Sophia Chabbott

Haider Ackermann Runway
“An extraordinary collection! There were outstanding jackets with sculpted peplums paired with long lean skirts. I particularly loved the idea of leather cut away from the body layered with silk blouses and soft knit cowls. As always, there was lots of layering and with rich hues of berry, loden, purple, rust and orange. Haider is truly a master of color.”

Stella McCartney Runway
“Stella combined textures, novel knitwear with her signature sporty sensibility that translated into clothes for a modern day women. Graphic embroideries and mixed menswear fabrics in feminine shapes were the favorites.”

Alexander McQueen Runway
“Looking forward, Sarah Burton delivered a collection of pure wonder!
Layers upon layers of laser-cut organza petals in vivid red, fuchsia, and pink. Laser-cut leather in black and white pattern, and floral brocades enveloped and trimmed with Ostrich feathers just wowed.”


Men’s Style Preview: Fall 2012

SaksPOV scours the runways for the latest in men’s wear for Fall 2012

When most people think of Fashion Week, they picture leggy models wearing dresses from designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Naeem Khan and Narcisco Rodriguez. While that is true, the other half of the population certainly wasn’t lacking in representation. The fall collections had over 40 fashion shows and presentations that featured clothing for the guys. Even Milk Studios dubbed Sunday as their menswear day during New York Fashion Week. New this season was Bernardo Rojo, creative director of Joseph Abboud  who ushered in the brand’s return to NYFW and Levi’s who showed their first ever global collection. To make things a little easier for you, SaksPOV culled a multitude of shows and sifted through hundreds of runway shots to present you with…

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When most people think of Fashion Week, they picture leggy models wearing dresses from designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Naeem Khan and Narcisco Rodriguez. While that is true, the other half of the population certainly wasn’t lacking in representation. The fall collections had over 40 fashion shows and presentations that featured clothing for the guys. Even Milk Studios dubbed Sunday as their menswear day during New York Fashion Week. New this season was Bernardo Rojo, creative director of Joseph Abboud  who ushered in the brand’s return to NYFW and Levi’s who showed their first ever global collection.

To make things a little easier for you, SaksPOV culled a multitude of shows and sifted through hundreds of runway shots to present you with a well edited selection of the top trends for the upcoming fall season—it’s like peek into the future.

BOLD SUITING:
Joseph Abboud, Simon Spurr

PEA COAT:
Band of Outsiders, Patrik Ervell

SHEARLING DETAIL: 
Hyden Yoo, Rag & Bone

VELVET UNDERGROUND:
Diesel Black Gold, Michael Bastian

Share your favorites with us in the comments section!


Saks Reports from Milan

The inside scoop from Linda DeFrances on Prada, Jil Sander and Aquilano.Rimondi at Milan Fashion Week

With a passion for languid lines, just the right amount of embellishment and good form, Saks Vice President of Ready-to-Wear Fashion, Linda DeFrances is  reporting back to SaksPOV readers on her favorite looks from the front lines of Milan Fashion Week.  Stay tuned next week for Linda’s pick from the Paris collections. —Edited by Sophia Chabbott “I adored Jil Sander! Raf Simons was inspired from the Fifties with couture like shapes with double face coats over lingerie inspired dresses combining color and various textures of knit. I particularly loved the opening of the show with the double face clutch coats in pale pink, dove grey, lilac and red. It’s every reason to buy something new for fall and own a piece from Raf’s final Collection…

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With a passion for languid lines, just the right amount of embellishment and good form, Saks Vice President of Ready-to-Wear Fashion, Linda DeFrances is  reporting back to SaksPOV readers on her favorite looks from the front lines of Milan Fashion Week.  Stay tuned next week for Linda’s pick from the Paris collections. —Edited by Sophia Chabbott

Jil Sander

“I adored Jil Sander! Raf Simons was inspired from the Fifties with couture like shapes with double face coats over lingerie inspired dresses combining color and various textures of knit. I particularly loved the opening of the show with the double face clutch coats in pale pink, dove grey, lilac and red. It’s every reason to buy something new for fall and own a piece from Raf’s final Collection at Jil Sander.”

Prada

“A dazzling collection!  It was very 1960’s inspired, starting with long black coats, coat dresses and long vests with opulent beading. I loved the use of color and pattern, mixed geometrics, jacquards and embroideries. Shapes were linear, long and lean very refined with an emphasis on tailoring.”

Acquilano.Rimondi

“Baroque inspired, fully embracing the decorative trend of the season and elements of Italian style in corseted short cocktail dresses and jackets. Mixing panels of velvet with leather and extravagant beading – it was opulence at its very best!”


10 Moments in Time

SaksPOV shutterbug Kristen Somody Whalen captures the most amazing moments from New York Fashion Week

I started doing Fashion Week for V Magazine in 2003. It was like boot camp… I had to bully my way into the shows. I did everything from backstage to the front row. The assignment was get in anywhere you can. As a photographer you have to have a thick skin. There are a lot of restrictions for photographers. It’s been nice as the years go on becoming a veteran of fashion week, knowing who people are, what’s important, what’s not. For me one of my most fun aspect of fashion week is that it’s like a reunion of people you haven’t seen in 6 months. You get to watching people grow in the industry: the intern that used to work in the accessories department…

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I started doing Fashion Week for V Magazine in 2003. It was like boot camp… I had to bully my way into the shows. I did everything from backstage to the front row. The assignment was get in anywhere you can.

As a photographer you have to have a thick skin. There are a lot of restrictions for photographers. It’s been nice as the years go on becoming a veteran of fashion week, knowing who people are, what’s important, what’s not. For me one of my most fun aspect of fashion week is that it’s like a reunion of people you haven’t seen in 6 months. You get to watching people grow in the industry: the intern that used to work in the accessories department is now running the magazine. It’s one big happy family.

The most exciting thing for me right now is the fashion on the street. The Manrepeller is one of the most inspiring things of fashion week. She uses her own artistic vision to piece things together that no one would think of. She takes a different spin on it. I find street fashion so inspiring and so creative. For so many years, I was so focused on the runway, but today the runway is on the street. — As told to Sophia Chabbott

Main Image: Pictures of the Day from New York Fashion Week.

All photographs by KSW.