— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

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     Born a New York girl, I guess it’s no surprise that at some point in my life 80% of my wardrobe was black.  The other 20%- well, white and grey obviously!  In fact, I distinctly remember weeks in high school where that’s all I’d wear- black from head to toe.  No this wasn’t my form of rebellion- this was just what New York girls did.  It wasn’t until my move to Miami, almost 8 years ago, that color began to rock my world!!!  Don’t get me wrong when in doubt my “go-to” is still a sexy LBD (little black dress) but now instead of paring it with the obvious black stilettos I may opt for my hot pink Sergio Rossi’s- don’t knock it till you try it!

     Currently speaking, my wardrobe is still probably 50% black.  You know what they say: You can take the girl out of New York but you can’t take the New York out of the girl!  But now, pairing my black and other neutral ensembles with colorful accessories has become my new “norm.” The result:  Over-the-top sexy with a side of color!!!  Check out my favorite “pop-of-color” looks below!!!

 xoxo,

Dara Michelle

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     So, since Sunday we’ve had two major red carpets one- MTV Video Music Awards and second- the Emmy’s, which means lots of fashion both good, bad, and even- ugly (I’m still traumatized by Taylor Swift’s onsie)!!!  Unfortunately, my bad and ugly list is a lot longer than my good one but since I’m my mother’s daughter, the eternal optimist who’s taught me how to turn lemons into lemonade in crisis just like this, I will focus only on the positive.  So here it goes:

 My picks for best dressed at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards are:

Kim Kardashian is gorgeous in Balmain.

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Kendal Jenner is chic in an Alon Livne top and pants and a La Perla bra.

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Iggy Azelea is stunning in Versace.

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No offense Nick Jonas but, all eyes were on your gorgeous girlfriend Olivia Culpo.

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Beyonce looking equal parts elegant and risqué in Nicolas Jebran.  Obviously my fav moment of the night was when Jay and baby Blu presented Mrs. Carter with the Vanguard award.  In case you missed it click here.

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 My picks for best dressed at the Emmy’s are:

Lauren Parsekian- understated chic in Lorena Sarbu.

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Julianne Hough is exquisite in DSquared.

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Keke Palmer is perfection in a royal blue Rubin Singer.

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Michelle Monaghan- classic in Giambattista Valli Couture.

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Giuliana Rancic is red-hot in Gustavo Cadile.

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Haden Panettiere’s curve hugging sparkler, and it’s a girl!!!

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Until the next red carpet- 

 

xoxo Dara Michelle

 

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Its official swim week 2014 has come to an end.  With too many moments to talk about here’s a look back at just my favorites!!!!

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      My favorite part  about the Wildfox show were the gorgeous head pieces made with real orchids.

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     We Are Handsome swimsuits were reminiscent of a 60s silhouette with a current twist. And you know it’s not a party till someone puts a snake around their neck (cue Brittney’s “I’m a slave for you” MTV music video performance circa 2001)!

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     Beach Bunny Featuring the Blondes did not disappoint with their quintessential bombshell models in swimwear sexy enough to be lingerie. This season the line had futuristic elements with an array of metallic fabrics. 

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The bunny girls rocked the runway with big hair, metallic lids and soft pedal pink lips.

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     My favorite thing about the Mikoh show (besides the opening of hula dancers in their gorgeous black grass skirts) were a series of black leather style swimsuits that were equal parts glam and sexy.

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     The Mara Hoffman show was (and always is) by far my most favorite. The designer never ceases to wow me with her bohemian aesthetic and her colorful graphic prints.  This year’s show was no exception!  Mara’s “graphic, Guatemalan jungle warrior” inspiration, complete with palm leaves as hair accessories was  ah-mazing. 

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Beside the gorgeous swimwear I also loved the white dress and black jumpsuit with rainbow fringe detail.   

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     And guess what!?  This year I actually got to meet Mara backstage!  This chick has such a positive, free spirited energy that she actually makes you want to roll out your yoga mat and get into “Tree” pose right there in the madness that is  backstage at fashion week.  She was so adorable, sweet and I got to pose for a cute photo op, meet her delicious little boy and witness the cutest kissy moment with her and her hubby!!!  Needless to say that night I just died and went to fashion heaven.
 

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     We took a break from the Raleigh and headed a few blocks north to Soho House.  (Yes I still took a taxi- those Louboutins will do it to you every time!) This Lolli swim show at Soho was off the hook with a busy single (sorry I couldn’t help myself).  The designer put such playful spin on her swimwear line and fashion show that the audience was literally dancing in their seats! These girls rocked the runway twirling their hair, holding hands and using produce in place of bikini tops!!! The show ended with two models jumping into the pool!!! (Obviously)

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     For the last day of shows I brought my two favorite girls in the word with me!  Since both typically have more outfit changes before 7am then most people do in an entire week I thought they would totally enjoy it -and enjoy it they did!!! In fact the 4 year old kept asking when it would be her “turn” to walk the runway!!! From faux tattoos, posing on the runway and mingling with Miami’s fashion industry lets just say these girls had a blast, and I had the best time-sharing this moment with them!!!


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Till next year peace out swim 2014!!!
xoxo Dara Michelle

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If you’re 35 + and your boobs (at some point) contained breast milk than this is the swim week guide for you!!!

How to survive Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2014:

#1  Get your hair done.

#2   Wear hot designer shoes (that your hubby bought you).

#3   Rock a push-up (extra) padded bra (I never leave home without it).

#4   Apply two coats of mascara. (Let the first coat dry and, then, apply a second.)

#5   Bring your hubby to the Ocean Drive Magazine swim week “kick-off” party so he can whisper in your ear how much he loves you and share stories about your little girls amongst the barely 20 something bikini clad models!

 Swim Week 2014 Bring. It. On.

      
     Check out a few pics from Thursday night’s Ocean Drive magazine party at the Delano featuring model Erin Heatherton!

 xoxo Dara Michelle

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With cover model Erin Heatherton

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      I know, I know your in the middle of carpools, food shopping and play-dates but seriously you need to put that stuff aside because there is something major we need to discuss, and I mean MAJOR!!!  Ready!? Are you sitting down? We need to talk about how Blake Lively seriously killed it at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Her style summed up in one word: Flawless!!!

Perfection is an understatement when talking about Blake’s red carpet looks. And no, people, this wasn’t a one-time thing either (like that one time I “lost” my car in the Costco parking lot and had to have security drive me around for 30 minutes until I found it, thankfully). I apologize for the tangent but, clearly, I’m still not over it.  Anyway, so back to Blake- every time this girl stepped foot on the red carpet in one of her Louboutin’s she nailed it!!!  From hair to shoes and everything in between- every detail- gorgeous!  A true gift from the fashion g-ds! 

What I love about her style the most?… Was how it always seemed like 5 minutes before she arrived on the red carpet, in couture, she was making out with Ryan, in her bikini, on the beach!  What I’m trying to say is that the potential for these haute couture ensembles to look unnatural, stiff, and over-done is very likely but, somehow,  Blake managed to make them all look so easy and effortless- like she just threw them on.  That combined with her tousled beach waves, sun-kissed skin and some lip-gloss and you’ve got “Paris runway” on bottom and “California beach girl” on top- a tough combo to achieve, yet Blake does so beautifully.

To the Kate’s in my life (Hudson and Moss) sorry but Blake has officially become my new fashion favorite and, on a side note, Ryan Reynolds is a total hottie #justsayin !!!
xoxo,
Dara Michelle

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In Gucci

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In Chanel

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In Gucci

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In Giambattista Valli

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     If there is one night a year when you can be sure that the fashion won’t disappoint it is the Met Gala, and last night was no different!  The Met Gala, also know as the single most important fashion event of the season, formally kicks off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s yearly Costume Institute exhibit. This year’s theme:  A tribute to Charles James, America’s First Couturier.  The biggest designers, editors and celebrities came together to deliver some truly spectacular ensembles.  From Blake Lively’s curve hugging Gucci, to Victoria Beckham (the queen of minimalism) looking chic and classic in her own design, and Rhiana’s white hot Stella McCartney I just couldn’t get enough!  Check out my complete list of favorites below!!!
xoxo,

Dara Michelle 

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Blake Lively in Gucciimage

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Queen Bey wears Givenchy.

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Anna Kendrick in J. Mendel.

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Amy Adams in Zac Posen.

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Suki Waterhouse in Burberry.

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Gabrielle Union in Prada.

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Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung.

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Rhianna in Stella McCartney.

 

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     Pre- Miami, I always remember this time of year (fashionably speaking) with a little frustration.  I mean here I would be in the midst of “spring,” everywhere I turned were the hottest must-haves and, unfortunately, I couldn’t touch any of it (cue the tears)!!!  Why? Because early spring in NY doesn’t quite equate too sun dresses and sandals.  In fact, it usually means quite the contrary.  Well, lucky for the girls who are totally relating, this season you can just ignore the weather man (even if he is a total hottie) and rock the latest in spring fashion right now!!! How?? Well, with tights of course! Tights are a great way to transition any look from winter to spring! And no I’m not talking about the plane ones your high school English teacher use to wear. This season tights are as hot as the celebrities who’ve worn them. From Bey’s nude fishnets to Rihanna’s faux guarder belts… tights have become this season’s must-have accessory.  Extra bonus: After the kiddies are sleeping you can totally leave these guys on for a little meeting (or whatever you people like to call it) with your hubby!!  Trust me he’ll love it!!! Check out my favorite tight looks below and remember next time you fall head over heals with a spring look know that you can rock it regardless of what your weather app says!

xoxo,
Dara Michelle

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     Two things close to my heart- incredibly chic eyewear and giving back to those in need. Now what if we could do both simultaneously!? What if we could rock the hottest vintage-inspired eyewear while helping those in need!?  Well us little fashionistas with big mushy hearts can finally make this notion a reality, and that is by shopping the latest in fab eyewear by Warby Parker!!!  Shopping for a cause… don’t you just love it!?  

     Warby Parker was founded by 4 eyewear obsessed homies whose mission was to “bring unique, vintage-inspired designs to you at a reasonable price.”  (Glasses start at around $95.)  With some of my favs being the Mabel, Greenwich, and Griffin these Warby Parker frames are just what a girl needs if they’re interested in looking totally stylish! More importantly (as if that wasn’t enough) with every pair of sunglasses sold Warby Parker provides a pair of glasses to someone in need.  “With almost one billion people worldwide lacking access to glasses, meaning that 15% of the global population cannot effectively learn or work, Warby Parker was determined to address the problem head on.”  Believing everyone has the basic human right to see they created eyewear with a purpose, and lucky for us this eyewear happens to be totally chic and stylish!!!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle

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Miranda Kerr in Kaufman Franco

     I’ve always preferred the “after party” to “THE” party.  In college my girlfriends and I would take so long to get ready (4 of us shared a house together meaning 4 closets with 4 opinions), that the after-party was usually the only party we’d ever get to which was always fine with us because this typically was the best part of the night (that is, in my humble opinion)!   So now you’re probably thinking, “So what goes on at an “after-party” anyway?”  Well a few things, but since this is a fashion blog let’s try to stay on topic!  So for some reason at these “after-party’s” (unbeknownst to me) the clothing always got a little sexier, shoes a little higher, and jewelry a little more major!!!  The Vanity Fair party 2014 (the Oscar’s version of an “after-party”) was no different!  The fashion at this little soirée was so ridiculous that it’s taken me 72 hours and 6 soy lattes just to digest it all!   Check out my favorite looks below and you’ll totally see why the “after-party” is still my favorite kind of PARTY!!!
xoxo,
 Dara Michelle

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Diane Kruger in Valentino

Chanel Iman in Zuhair Murad

Chanel Iman in Zuhair Murad

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Kate Hudson in Zuhair Murad

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Amy Adams in Carolina Herrera

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Karlie Kloss in Chopard jewels

Kate Beckinsale in Eli Saab

Kate Beckinsale in Eli Saab

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I know it’s been few days but I’m still not over the Grammy Awards 2014.  From the “Queen’s” (Beyonce’s) opening act of Drunk In Love complete with a thong-esque body suit and cameo from her cutie hubby Jay-Z to having Jay thank the “beautiful light of a young lady” (referring to Beyonce) in his acceptance speech and telling his delish baby Blu that “daddy got you a gold sippy cup” (modeling how if you held the gold Grammy award to the side it looked like a sippy cup) to Pink showing some serious acrobatic moves that could rival any from Cirque du Soleil and Katy Perry’s performance of Dark Horse (to name a few) by the time I got to thinking about the fashion, it was like adding sprinkles to some already amazing ice-cream!!!  Check out my picks for best dressed at the Grammy’s below!

xoxo Dara Michelle

Pink

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Pink looked radiant as she stepped on the red carpet in her stunning red Johanna Johnson frock that highlighted her ridiculous (in a good way) post baby body!!! I loved how she kept her makeup and accessories simple to not take away from this gorgeous gown!!!

Ciara

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Ciara looked beautiful in her Emillio Pucci metallic gold gown.  The dress hugged her curves in all the right places making her preggers belly so sexy that I was kinda thinking (for a split second) should I go for round 3… but then I remembered, “Oh yah, that’s right, when I was pregnant I looked more like a swollen house and not quite like the hottie that is Ciara!!!”  Don’t get me wrong it was totally and completely worth it.  All I’m saying is at this moment (I never say never) the kitchen is fuc&*ing CLOSED!!!

Beyonce

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Beyonce looked exquisite in this white lace number by Michael Costello.  Her best accessory by far- her doting hubby Jay Z. 

Paris

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I know everyone has their opinion about Paris Hilton but I have to say I’ve never seen her look better! Hilton glowed from head to toe in a white, beaded Haus of Milani gown. I loved how the gown was  “business” from the front with the high neckline and “party” in the back with all the sheer detailing!!! Her make-up summed up in one word- FLAWLESS. 

Chrissy Teigen

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John Legends model wife Chrissy Teigen looked stunning in a metallic gold number by Johanna Johnson.  I loved how the gown dramatically trailed behind her and how she paired it with only a few well-placed gold accessories, including Neil Lane earrings, Casadei sandals and a Kotur clutch.   I can only think that her wavy locks and side braid were meant to add a bit of rock-star edge to all of that metallic glamour.

Madonna

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Seven-time Grammy winner Madonna (and the only person that could make a Ralph Lauren tux look so chic and glamorous) arrived on the Grammy red carpet looking hotter than ever.  I loved how she accessorized this look with major glam red lips, a black hat and cane, a silver beaded Michael Jackson-esque glove, and her adorable son in a matching tux!!! 

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