— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

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      So the other day I was going through my Instagram feed and I came across this:

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      Don’t you just love how a single IG post has a way of describing an entire emotional experience in a simple worded sentence plus a few #hastags and an emoji or two!? I mean this exact notion was my college roommates and my mantra for years! When the 4 of us lived together in one house with 4 different closets and 4 different shoe collections – one could only imagine the fun we use to have getting ready which, besides for the very rare occasion, was always a better party than being out #justsayin!!!

      Now almost 14 years later (don’t tell anyone I’ve been out of college for that long) the same holds true today. Taking on the role as wife and mother- let’s just say the moments I have to myself are few and far between.  Sometimes, I can’t even change my tampon without someone barging in!!!  So when Saturday night comes along and our beloved babysitter takes over and relieves me from mommy duties and my husband takes that time to put his head down for some R&R, I make my own little party (for one) in my closet!!!  That one hour of “me” time is something I look forward to all week.  As I light my favorite Jo Malone candles, get my Beyoncé on, sip some bubbly, and decide between the Valentino Rock-Stud or the classic Manolo, I get taken back to those college days when getting ready was just as much fun as being out!!!

      So for those of you who take the “getting ready” part as a chore, this post is dedicated to you.  Instead, take this time and make it a party!   Trust me, it will soon become your favorite part of the night!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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     I wouldn’t exactly describe my style as conservative.  In fact, my rule of thumb has typically been: When in doubt, go shorter!  I’ve also rocked a plunging neckline like no one’s business!  Never at the same time of course (oh- except that one time in college), but then life happens and GASP- it’s parent-teacher conferences!!!  Putting an outfit together has always been so effortless for me so you can imagine how I felt for my very first parent-teacher conference, and I’m completely stumped with what this means in terms of wardrobe.  I mean, literally standing hours in my closet dumbfounded, baffled, and bemused.  That is until I had a major “lightbulb” moment and two words came to mind: Pearl Necklace!

     Lucky for me my parents had gifted me a 16 inch Elsa Peretti strand from Tiffany’s as a graduation present from college.  All I had to do was find that signature blue, velvety pouch and it was on like Donkey Kong!  The power of pearls is in one word: Profound!  Maybe the always elegant and iconic Jackie Kennedy Onassis had a major point went she stated, “Pearls are always appropriate!” At my children’s school they begin each new school year with a parent-teacher conference, which I love.  So this week when it was time to meet my daughter’s teachers for the first time all it took was a classic pearl necklace to turn my jeans and ivory top into the quintessential “meet the teacher” ensemble! So do yourself a favor and get yourself a strand (or three) STAT!!! You’ll be so happy you did!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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     At this point in my life I’ll take my jeans any way I can get them- Distressed, skinny, boyfriend, straight, cropped, etc.!  Don’t get me wrong- I like a pretty party dress as much as the next girl, but that also means actually having time to shave in the shower, and I’ll just get very real for a moment- sometimes my “shower” consists of deodorant and teeth brushing. Gone are the days (pre kids in NYC) of long, luxurious showers with not only plenty of time to shave but time to indulge in all the latest bath products too (a one time favorite activity)!  Currently I’m grateful when I get use soap!  Now a shower is for one purpose and one purpose only: To get clean (ish), and sometimes shave, in 10 minutes flat and  That. Is. It.  Hence why jeans have become a key staple in “mommy wardrobes” all across the globe.

     And while we’re on this subject, white jeans have become my latest obsession!  I always feel chic and sexy in them, even if 5 minutes before I was breaking up a sisterly spat over Shopkins or trying to get gum out of 5 year-old’s hair with peanut butter (I swear it works)!  How I love to wear them?  With all white of course! (I’m a huge monochromatic fan.) That being said, the secret to making an all white look anything but mundane- making sure each piece has various textures! This white lace top (pictured) with flower overlays is EVERYTHING and more, and just what you need if you want to make your all white look pop! And guess what?! You can shop for it now (just click the link) shop.daramichllestyle.com! You will be so happy you did, PROMISE!!!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle

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What I Wore:

Top: shop.daramichellestyle.com

Jeans: Rag & Bone

Shoes: Valentino

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image     Not sure what’s been going down at day camp lately, but my daughters have been coming home with the sickest bohemian influenced braids that you ever did see! I mean it’s as if they have their very own “glam-squads” set up in between canoeing and arts and crafts. Don’t get me wrong- I’m as excited as they are about their gorgeous “dos”!  It just seems a little preposterous that while I’m rocking the aisles of target in my 10th attempt of a chic “messy bun” they get home after a full day of camp (I promise I don’t even send them with a hairbrush) looking like they’re ready for a Vogue photo shoot!  So this weekend when it’s time to get ready for “date-night” I’m giving my typical blowout a rest, and opting for some serious boho glam inspired by the two little people I love the most in the whole world- my girls!!! Check out some more of my favorite looks below!

xoxo Dara Michelle  

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     When Miami IT girl Erin Newberg shows up at your casa to play “dress-up” let’s just say it’s a PARTY!!! The best way to describe it is what her mother said the first time I met her (in Neiman’s naturally), “With Erin you get dinner and a show!” And show I did!!! From talking about her hottie Mexican boyfriend to yachting (or canoeing as she calls it), to bonding over all things fashion from her vintage Kelly, her love of Chanel (who doesn’t), her good luck Van Cleef earrings, and the likes, and discussing our newest business ventures!!!

     What happened next- getting down to our undies and trying on our favorite pieces from the Dara Michelle Style collection. On a side note- this girl has the best boobs ever!!! #justsayin You know the kind that doesn’t even need a bra. In fact, that reminds me of the first time I met Erin and her nipples! We were about to go on live TV when the cameraman, in a panic, announced that her nipples would not fly according to network standards. (As only Erin could- she showed up to do a live television segment in a white borderline, sheer button down and no bra.) Next, the people at NBC had to race against the clock and get this nipple problem under control- stat. The solution: Band Aids.  Needless to say problem solved, but not before giving the folks at NBC the best day of their lives!!!

 I digress….

     So where were we…. oh yes, playing dress-up!!!  Erin looked so chic in the collection that our “girl time” ended with an impromptu photo shoot- obviously!!! Check out all the fun below!!!

 xoxo Dara Michelle

Click here to shop Dara Michelle Style

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 Follow Erin Newberg

@mserinsita

www.mserinsita.com

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   Last night while the whole house was sleeping I stayed up with my favorite award show: The Grammy’s!!! What makes this one of my favorite shows- the fashion obviously!!!  This is the red carpet where everyone gets a little more playful, taking a little more risks leaving us fashion obsessed peeps busting at the seems in anticipation!  This was the show after all where just over a year ago Beyoncé killed it with a leotard and wet hair in her performance of “Drunk In Love” and Britney Spears infamously stripped down to a nude, crystal embellished two-piece in her 2000 performance only to outdo herself a year later draped in a live snake when she sang “I’m a Slave 4 U”!  Needless to say this year’s fashion did not disappoint! Check out my picks for best dressed at Grammy’s 2015 below!

xoxo Dara Michelle

Chrissy Telgan in Gucci.
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Gwen Stefani in Ateiler Versace.
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Beyonce is flawless in white.
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Gwyneth Paltrow in red sequins.
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Taylor Swift in Elie Saab.
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     No white after Labor Day is totally passé!  Kinda like sleeping in till noon and not needing to use expensive eye cream.  This winter, white, has been one of my favorite go-to’s!  In a haste, which typically happens when you have two little princesses who’s antics will sometimes leave you with top 30 minutes to get your shi%t together, I wind up wearing white from head to toe.   For some reason in moments like this (moments that happen all too often) all white and sick shoes makes it look like I’ve spent hours in my closet, when in reality 20 minutes before I was on the floor getting my Hello Kitty coloring on with my favorite little girls.  Not sure what it is about wearing white in winter, but I’m obsessed!!!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle   

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     When Blake Lively aka Serena van der Woodsen rocked this handbag on Gossip Girl back in 2012 (pre Ryan Renolds and baby) it was love at first sight!!! From then on I’ve been lusting over this Emily Cho New York “cult” favorite clutch.  Everyone from the Kardashians to Vanessa Hudgens and model Wang Xiao (to name a few) as well as every New York “it girl” in between has been after this bag.  Hence why it’s already sold out on Gilt.com. Lucky for me I got an opportunity to chat with Emily Gellis, one half of the talented designer duo behind the Emily Cho handbag line.  Lucky for you click here to shop Emily Cho and type in promotional code style for an additional 20% off at check out!  Check out the full interview below and happy shopping!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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How did you start your label?

     When SJ and myself met we were both working for contemporary clothing label: Ronny Kobo. We saw a void in the handbag market, more specifically the contemporary handbag market. With myself have buying experience from intermix, and SJ clothing design, we had to study hard. We cut open a few Chanel bags, studied MIU MIU and Margiela construction, and a year later we had an amazing proto.

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

       I am what you call a creative designer. I see what is trending, and what is saleable. I handle all color and we work together on what texture and material work best for each bag. SJ is a true talent (I am not in the field of design). For example, SJ designed our best selling folded clutch from scratch. I am responsible for the oversized lady t idea. SJ really executes my vision because I couldn’t sketch for my life!

What kind of person wears your handbags?

     Everybody! We sell from teens, to their grandmas! From NYC to Qatar, London to Australia, California to Hong Kong. We have an international clientele that loves Emily Cho. That amazes me.

What was your inspiration behind your most recent collection?

      SS15 is light and happy. Repeat colors and bodies because clients want more! Our famous floral Matisse is coming back too. We go live with GILT around May 1-15. We love working with them because they expose our brand to millions of girls and they get a great deal. Everyone wins. FW15 is top secret and almost done! Hopefully you can see it in the paper after we show on February 11th!

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

       Amazing. I spotted a stranger at the U.S. Open This summer wearing the mini lady t in poppy! I shrieked dad OMG!!!!! It’s cooler than a celebrity wearing it. These are real girls who take their disposable income and buy our bags; it’s really an honor.

How do you approach a new collection? 

      Lol we are always late, rushing, and what we least expect to be the winner is normally the best seller. We have no strategy, that’s fashion for you!

Do you have a favorite handbag designer that you admire?

       I think a few houses have my heart. Louis Vuitton is a classic favorite, currently CELINE, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, I see them doing their thing. 

What’s next for Emily Cho?

     A complete collection of maybe clothing/ shoes in 2016. A pop up Hamptons store in 2015!

What’s in your bag?

     Haha everything! Money, gum, lip-gloss and sunglasses.

 

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As we say good-bye to 2014 and hello to 2015 I take a look back at my favorite posts!

But, not before I take a moment to say thank you for all of the blessings in my life. To my girlfriends (also known as the best cheerleaders ever) thank you for always being there, to my husband for your unconditional love (even in my old sorority t-shirt, embellished with cheerios and syrup from the morning’s breakfast, this man can still make me feel beautiful) and to my two precious little girls, who inspire me everyday, I am so thankful that I get to be your mommy.  To my readers thank you for your continued love and support, I’m truly grateful! 2014 it’s been amazing here’s to an even better 2015!!!  Now, let’s party!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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     Sometimes all a girl needs to do for a little inspiration is turn inward!  Check out my #ootd (outfit of the day) inspired by the following post written a few months ago!

     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!!! 

   xoxo Dara Michelle 

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What I Wore:
Leather Pants: j brand
Top: Lush
Shoes: Sergio Rossi
Lipstick: Candy Yum Yum by MAC

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