— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

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      I realize I’m not getting any sympathy from anyone north of Palm Beach but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s officially “cold” in Miami.  I usually welcome this change because it means I get to “shop” in the chunky sweater and boots section of my closet! Typically this section has got me covered on days as such, but this morning I woke up to a not only cold day but a rainy one as well.  And that’s when it happened…. a moment of truth that all fashionistas have at some point when they’re alone in their closet.  The dreaded: I have nothing to wear!!!  Obviously I’m good with umbrellas (this is Miami) so I finally caught my breathe after realizing my fav leather motorcycle jacket (the only thing that would keep me warm) wasn’t going to get ruined.  Finally, I came to terms with the fact that there was a huge gap in my closet in regards to a necessary wardrobe staple.  What I was missing was a seriously major, fabulous trench coat!!!  Arriving at Burberry (the quintessential trench coat haven) I realized this moment was truly a fashion blessing in disguise!  Don’t you just love happy endings!?  Check out my favorite trench coat looks below.

xoxo,

Dara Michelle 

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 This week we said goodbye to one of the world’s most legendary fashion designers, Oscar de la Renta.  He spent half a century putting high society in haute couture. Among them – every first lady since Jacqueline Kennedy and Hollywood starlets Amy Adams, Sara Jessica Parker and Jessica Alba (to name a few) and, most recently, George Clooney’s bride Amal Alamuddin.

“The fashion business says goodbye to a mentor, a legend & an icon,” designer Kenneth Cole tweeted Monday night. “He defined a standard we can only aspire to.”

Today we remember how he lived- by making women feel beautiful in wearable art. Take a look at my favorite Oscar de la Renta pieces as we pay tribute to Oscar.
xoxo Dara Michelle

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     So when a fashion stylist has her styled images published in a magazine, including the sought after COVER, let’s just say it’s pretty f&*$ing awesome! (Don’t you just love cursing when the kids are at school)!? Well that’s just what happened when photographer Anais Benoudiz, make-up artist Charlie Dorsett, and the gorgeous model Alicia Barnett and I got together.  As far as the creative direction of the shoot- I was given one word to work with: Ethereal!  Hope you enjoy the images as much as we had creating them!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle 

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     Although it’s officially fall (in most parts of the country) and Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes are in full affect for us Miami people, however, our “fall” would be more apropos labeled (for lack of a better term) Summer Part II.  So, what does this mean as far as fashion is concerned?  Well first off- you’ll still have to shave your legs daily because one never knows when life may call for a bikini!!! #miamigirlproblems (I know I’m not alone by admitting that once upon a time in NYC come fall my razor and legs would see each other a lot less- there I said it! I feel so much better now!!!)

     Truth- I actually keep a bikini in my car at all times because you never know when you’ll have a “window” for a mini-vacation (defined as-  sun, not hearing the word MOM for a consecutive 30 minutes or more, and an Us Weekly pool/beach side before it’s time for carpool).  Don’t tell anyone but, sometimes, I even close my eyes and pretend I’m in St. Barts in Mara Hoffman swim sipping the yummiest champagne garnished with strawberries!!! But then, my iPhone alarm rings promptly at 2:30 and I “wake up”  with just enough time to throw on my clothes and retrieve the princesses from school.  Then, we are off to gymnastics or tennis or soccer or dance and then homework, dinner, bath, and then, finally, story and cuddles. Can you say EX-HAUSTED?! These days I have to take what I can get (even it means going on a 45 minute vacation in my mind)!  What else do these not so fall days in Miami mean for us fashionistas!?  That we still get to rock our favorite pieces from spring/summer, obviously! Hence the title of today’s post: Flowers for fall!! Check out how I wore my favorite floral top in the middle of October! #onlyinmiami

xoxo,
Dara Michelle

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What I Wore:

Top: Ibella V

Jeans: Genetic Denim

Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Hand Bag: Louis Vuitton

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     Although my knees have rarely seen a hemline you may be surprised – but I do happen to completely love Kate Middleton’s posh, sophisticated style.   She has lived up to our every expectation of how a “royal” should dress catapulting the Duchess of Cambridge into style icon status.  My favorite thing about Kate Middleton’s look- her chic hats, obviously!  And, last week for the annual Haute Tea luncheon at the St. Regis, Bal Harbour (in honor of the Love and Hope Society – a charity that raises money for diabetes research) I got to channel my inner Kate Middleton and rock a fancy hat for this amazing cause!!!  Next stop, Buckingham Palace for tea with the queen, followed by a play date with baby George, and finally a “quickie” drive-by Harrods!!!

 xoxo Dara Michelle

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What I Wore:
Skirt and Top: For Love and Lemons
Shoes: Valentino
Clutch: Saint Laurent
Hat:
Bubby’s Boutique on 41st in Miami Beach

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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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     White lace is probably the most romantic fabric there is- I mean- in my family alone the past 3 generations of women have said their wedding vows in white lace, haute couture gowns reminiscent of a fairytale- prince included (that is until he forgot to leave the toilet seat down).   So basically I’m obsessed with white lace, and if it were up to me, I’d wear it all day-everyday!!!   For some reason, however, I’ve always placed white lace in the “fancy” category.   Considering, in just a moment’s notice, I could easily find myself at the playground up to my knees in sidewalk chalk, you can imagine that the opportunities to wear my favorite “fancy” white lace pieces are few and far between- sigh.  Well this season, I wasn’t going to let a little playtime at the park come in between my beloved fabric and me. Yup, that’s right, I was finally putting my (Louboutin clad) foot down!!!  Since I could bet that my time at the park wasn’t going to be any less any time soon there was only one thing I could do- and that was- get over my notion of equating white lace with being strictly “fancy”!!!  The best way to do that!? …. Rocking it with some serious distressed, patchwork denim- obviously!!!  The result, ah-mazing!!! Check out my complete “not-so-fancy” white lace look below!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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