— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

April, 2013 Monthly archive

Crop tops are a big trend for spring and these days it seems that no outfit is complete without a bit of bared midriff.  The key to making a crop top look classy is pairing it with high waisted bottoms or by covering up with a jacket if a little to much tummy is showing.  If styled properly and with the right length, crop tops can emphasize the narrowest part of your body and make you look chic and stylish.  Think crop tops are only limited for the daytime sunshine, well think again!!!  The elegant Gwyneth Paltrow and über stylish Jessica Alba, along with many other celebrities, have even incorporated them into their red carpet looks!!!  Ready to take the plunge? Here are some crop top looks for inspiration.  And boys, go ahead and start drooling!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle


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An Interview With The

Celebrity Stylist and Fashion Guru


What made you become a stylist?  
When I entered the fashion industry by working a retail job somehow, along the lines, I organically fell in love with the effects of styling. I found it unbelievable that by helping someone look and feel there best, I had the ability to give them more confidence and comfort with who they were.

How did you get your start?
I started by working in retail at Scoop in East Hampton when I was 17. After breaking sales records during my first month of working, what was then a summer job, I realized “hey, I’m actually good at this” and that this could be more than just fun!

How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is inconsistent as it is based on my mood and the weather, which are ever changing. However, I do have some signature styles I am known for such as: Vintage rock tees, archival Chanel, pearls, mixed hardwares, hats/ hair accessories, and local collectibles from my international travels.

Who or what inspires you on a daily basis?
I am inspired mostly from my surroundings and the past.

What is your favorite look from the spring 2013 runways?
I was happy to see a lot of lace on the runways for S/S 2013. I love lace!

What always catches your eye when you’re shopping?
The word: Vintage!

What is the most meaningful thing in your closet and why?

My gold “Lauren” necklace with little pearls on each side of my name… My Daddy gave me it for Hanukah when I was a little girl and I rarely take it off. For the record- I had mine many years before the character Carrie Bradshaw existed. I hate when people say I have the “Carrie” necklace, cause I think of mine as my “Daddy’s Girl Forever” necklace.

What is your favorite store and why?
What Goes Around Comes Around is hands down my favorite store! Aside from the Soho location being my home away from home and the WGACA team being a second family by now (I’ve been a customer since they opened in ‘93), I love that visiting WGACA is always an adventure and an experience… Everything from my favorite vintage concert tees to archival Chanel comes from there. It is my favorite playground in NYC!!! The one in LA is becoming a favorite as well since I’ve been visiting the west coast so often lately.

What has been your favorite client styling moment?

Styling my first show for Mercedes Benz Fashion week and realizing “Wow, this is a big deal!!!” I truly am really blessed and grateful to do something that I love everyday. Getting paid to do it is a major bonus.

Which celeb would you love to style?
Someone I would love to style is Zoë Deschanel! She is one of my favorite women in Hollywood and I’d love to be the one to give her a “moment” on the red carpet. She kinda kicks ass.

What are the top five items every woman needs in her closet?
1. Go-to little black dress that no matter what your mood you always feel confident (also it’s easy to dress it up or down)
2. Strand of pearls
3. Oversized sunglasses for the days you just aren’t feeling it
4. Black leather jacket
5. Black/neutral pumps that are high and sexy, but also comfortable enough to dance in as you never know where a fun night may lead

Any fashion trend that you are just not feeling?
Hard to answer this one… I don’t follow trends, I like to make my own. That being said, I do strongly dislike polka dots. Pin dots are fine, but polka dots make me uncomfortable. Weird, I know, but true.

If you could choose any celebrity to “make-over” who would it be and why?
Christina Aguilera. She is my favorite female vocalist and I really believe her voice is truly G-d sent. I think if her style was as fly as her vocal pipes she could be an even bigger star than she already is.

Which celebrity in your opinion has flawless style?
Gwen Stefani.

In haste what are your go-to items?

Audemars Piguet Millenary watch, vintage Chanel belt and bag, Rag & Bone dark skinny jeans, Chanel ballet flats, a vintage concert tee, “Lauren” necklace, ring from the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and tons of wrist candy including M. Cohen, Electric Picks, Ariel Gordon, and my favorite bracelets I bought from some children on the streets in Punta Del Este Uruguay. And if I’m really rushing I’ll definitely wear a hat to save time; the hat will probably be a vintage
bowler/fedora or if new, by Christy’s or Sherels.

Name 3 fashion rules you never break?
1.Your best accessory is your confidence. If you can’t wear that, you may as well stay home.
2.If you want to wear gold AND silver, wear at least one visible piece that combines both hardwares
3.No tights with peep toe shoes


Hope you enjoyed the interview with Lauren Rae Levy as much as I have and maybe became a little inspired to discover the fashion stylist within!!!

Lessons of the day:
*Every girl needs:
1.A little black dress
2.A strand of pearls
3.High stilettos that you can dance in (who would of thought)
4.Oversized sunglasses
5.A leather jacket
*Go on an adventure to your local vintage store for some unique fashion finds that you can make new again!
*Your best accessory is your confidence. So, rock it girls!!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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Sliding into Spring

photo of the wordy girl

wordy girl writing

How did you first get interested in fashion blogging?
Honestly, I was sick and tired of hearing from my editors from other major cities that “Miami girls are cheesy,” or “Miami has zero fashion sense.” This blog is a testament to the notion we Miami girls have crazy, cool style, too. Buzz off, haters!

How do you describe the fashion scene in Miami compared to other major cities/fashion capitals?
Miami boasts a warmer climate and has a huge Latin American influence as opposed to other major cities. With that said, these two factors shape our sartorial choices in a major way.

Describe your personal style?
My personal style is classic with an edge. At 36 years old and as a mom of two, I don’t succumb to trends the way I used to. I invest my money in classic pieces and private schools — ha!

Who are your favorite designers and places to shop?
I adore Phillip Lim, ALC, Kimberly Ovitz, Helmut Lang, 7 Jeans, Chanel, Balenciaga, Prada and Jimmy Choo and wear them quite often. I shop at Saks Fifth Avenue Bal Harbor, Shopbop.com and Sawgrass Mills for deals quite regularly.

The first thing you look at in another person’s outfit is:
Hair! Good hair can make or break a look. It’s my creed.

A fashion rule you never break:
I never want to look like I’m wearing a costume. Costumes are for trick-or-treating, silly kids.

What do you think is the most recent notable trend to appear/reappear, and what are your thoughts on it?
Neutrals are back as is the color black — which I love. I also adore minimalist silhouettes like Kimberly Ovitz’s designs. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of masculine-inspired looks, too.

What is your next “must have” purchase?
A Chanel Boy Bag. Sigh. It’s the label’s biggest initiative and I. Need. It.

When in a haste what is your go-to fashion item?
Skinny jeans, a monochromatic blouse, sick heels, an IT bag and a professional blowout from Blo Midtown. It always does the trick!

Are there any fashion icons or famous people whose style you admire?
Diane Kruger and Gwyneth Paltrow shut it down every single time — they are amazing, really.

What fashion item can’t you live without?
I can’t live without my Balenciaga bags — they are the one fashion item that gets better with age, which is a feat!

What would you say to someone wanting to start his or her own fashion blog?
Just do it. You have nothing to lose and good things will come. Promise!

When choosing what to wear, what do you start with, what do you end with?
My mood dictates everything. So it starts with my mood and ends with a killer pair of stilettos, OBVIOUSLY!!!!

Hope you enjoyed reading the interview with MARIA TETTAMANTI of The Wordy Girl as much as I have and embraced a thing or two!!!

Lessons of the day:
1.Great Hair = Great Outfit
2. A sexy stiletto is essential
3. Invest in classic key pieces
4. We Miami girls have crazy, cool style, too!!!
5. Diane Kruger & Gwyneth Paltrow will never disappoint whenever a little “style pick me up” is needed!!!

XOXO Dara Michelle

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A fringe bag is THE must have accessory everyone needs this season! Styles range from a chic clutch to a bohemian inspired fringe tote or hobo! Check out my style board below for some of my favorites including bags from Chanel, Prada, Stella McCartney and Bottega Veneta to name a few. Add a fringe bag to your season’s wardrobe now and with one look in your full length mirror, you will see what all the fuss is about!! Promise!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle


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Designers had a field day with fringe this season!!! From casual ready-to-wear to formal eveningwear fringe was found all over the spring 2013 runways. If you’re a little apprehensive about trying out the fringe trend don’t fret! There’s a little fringe for everyone this spring. Free-spirited? Try a fringe poncho or vest. Edgy? Slip into leather pants lined with fringe. Retro? Go flapper chic in a fringe skirt. The possibilities are endless! Whatever style you decide adding fringe to your look will make it more dramatic and sexy and who doesn’t want more of that!!!
xoxo Dara Michelle

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Fringe Tote

Fringe Tote


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All About Accessories 

An interview with Romi Alhalel & Allyson Papunen of

Lola James Jewelry


How did you start your label?

We started designing and creating pieces for ourselves.  Before we knew it everyone was asking how they could get them.  We met after establishing our own lines and decided that teaming up would be more fun so we combined forces.

How does it work having 2 designers working on one label? Do you each design separate pieces or do you work together?

More often than not, one of us comes up with a design idea and the other one immediately has a way to improve upon it. Our designs are a true collaboration. It’s a very organic process.

What kind of person wears your jewelry? 

We are our target customers. Our jewelry is both luxurious and affordable. Our target customer loves fashion and loves to layer and incorporate jewelry into their everyday wardrobe.

As designers, where do you draw your inspiration from? 

We are inspired by fashion trends and incorporating them into our everyday life. We are always looking for inspiration: A color, a shape, a material that catches our eye.  We have an appreciation for all types of jewelry but create pieces that we would wear.

What’s it like to see someone on the street wearing one of your creations? 

It is amazing!  It is a huge sense of accomplishment to know that people love our pieces!

What are upcoming trends in the jewelry design industry?

What’s hot in jewelry mirrors fashion trends we are currently seeing on the runways.  Layering is always popular and emerald green is all the rage right now!

What is your favorite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?

We have so many pieces that are special to us.  It is impossible to choose!  Some of our favorites include: Want, Love, Need bracelets, Luck Necklace, Smokin’ Hot bracelet, Simply Chic necklace, and our Light My Sapphire necklace.

What accessory red carpet moment do you find most memorable?

Who can forget those emerald green earrings Angelina Jolie wore to the 2009 Academy Awards.  Amazing!

Do you have a favorite jewelry designer that you admire? 

We have always loved Chanel jewelry.  It is classy, elegant and timeless.

Name a Lola James piece that everyone should have. 

Our Want, Love, Need bangles are a must just like their name!

What is next for Lola James? 

We are currently working on our Fall 2013 collection.  It is going to be our best yet! Definitely stay tuned to check it out!

How do you choose your jewelry for day/night?

For day we are jeans and tee shirt kind of girls. Our signature look is a stack of bracelets and layered necklaces meant to compliment any basic look. For nighttime, we usually add a little more sparkle from our line. Our jewelry reflects us, and the style of its wearer, and how they chose to incorporate our jewelry into their look.

Layered necklaces!!!

Layered necklaces!!!

Stack your bangles high for a totally fun "arm party! "

Stack your bangles high for a totally fun “arm party! “

Lola James jewelry is designed by jeans and t-shirt girls who stack their bangles for an “arm party” and layer multiple necklaces giving Big style to their basic look!!! 

Dying to shop the Lola James look??? Check out www.lolajamesjewelry.com and type in daramichcellestyle as the promotional code for a 15% discount!!! Can’t wait to see you in head to toe Lola James!! Happy Shopping!!!!

Remember to “like” my Dara Michelle Style page on facebook and follow me on instagram for more style inspiration!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle


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Nothing says romance like white lace!!!  Lace is big this season and is being used as never before!!! It is popping up not only in eveningwear and lingerie, but ready to wear too!  Throw on a white lace cover up over a bathing suit and you may be doing more making out than swimming!!!  Lace is extremely feminine and elegant, and is sure to add instant romance the moment you rock it!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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If you are looking to take a fashionable step into spring, let your shoes lead the way. It looks like white stilettos will be this season’s must-have accessory.  Manolo Blahnik, Kurt Geiger and Jimmy Choo are just a few of the designers at the head – or rather, foot – of this white-hot fashion trend.  Some of the most revered fashion icons (and coincidently some of my girl crushes too) have been spotted rocking white stilettos in recent months; among them are Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Blake Lively.  Still not feeling 100% about trying out this new trend?  Here are some guidelines to help you take your next step (hopefully in a chic white stiletto). First and foremost, it should go without saying that any pair of white shoes should be kept spotlessly clean. Next, they’re not the kind of shoes that look good with an ensemble that shows too much skin – pair them with knee-length skirts and dresses, or a pair of stylish trousers. Nervous about investing in a white shoe for one season; don’t fret!!! White stilettos also look beautiful with a pair of black opaques in colder weather  – as spotted recently during 2013 Fashion Week.  So us fashionistas will be able to rock our white stilettos during fall and winter too!!! So put on your (white) dancing shoes and come join the party!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

white shoes

white shoe collage


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We are having a major white moment this season and I am loving it!!! From 60’s mod to abstract shapes, romantic lace, and classic silhouettes shown in new and fresh ways; head to toe white was seen all over the 2013 spring /summer runway! We are even seeing this all white trend pop up in accessories as well, making a white stiletto the # 1 must have shoe for this season. And don’t believe the hype about white making you look heavier: going with white all over will actually have a slimming effect! So try this all white trend out and you will instantly feel chic, slim and ready for spring!!! Promise!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

geometric bracelets

geometric bracelets









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Love how Gwyneth Paltrow took this Michael Kors dress from the runway and made it her own!!! Though she shortened it, she made sure the length was still below the knee.  Remember the key to making this trend über sexy is showing just enough skin leaving the rest of the world begging to see more!  Remember it’s just a peek!!!


Throw on some Jimmy Choo’s and a black cuff to complete the look!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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