— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

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7 Signs You Know it’s Winter in Miami:

1) Christmas lights on palm trees

2) Uggs for days

3) Traffic

5) More traffic

6) When you seriously consider putting a hat and gloves on your little princesses before school until your hubby gently reminds you (code for telling you you’re fu%^ing crazy) that it’s not THAT cold 

7) While the tourists are sporting their latest in cruise-wear you’ll be in some serious chunky sweater, leather pants, and boots

 Check out my #ootd – perfect for a Miami winter day.  Next stop hot-chocolate poolside!

 xoxo Dara Michelle

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What I Wore:

Top: Ted Baker

Leather pants: j brand

Booties: Jessie Boutique

Hand Bag: Chanel

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      Isn’t it amazing how one minute you could be standing in front of the United Nations speaking on behalf of your environmental causes and the next minute at a table with bottles and models… funny how life works!? Although at first it was difficult to spot Leonardo DiCaprio amongst the sea of 20-something model types we finally had our moment. Ask him and he’ll probably remember our encounter just a tad differently but, for me, it felt like it was just Leo and I alone in da club.  Although I typically don’t go for guys with long hair tied in a bun, full beards and cargo shorts for some reason (I think you could figure it out) I seemed to totally over-look it all an envisioned us on the bow of the Titanic gazing at the sea with open arms!!! (Gets me every time!) Dear Leo, It’s been real!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle

The Deets:

Time: 3 am (when most fun things happen duh)

The place: Rec Room

What I wore: A gold knit two-piece by Cecilia Prado

Shoes: Gold embossed YSL tributes

Bag: Gold YSL clutch

 

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     Isn’t it amazing how some of life’s best moments happen when you least expect it!? Like Serendipity’s “frozen” hot-chocolate, pizza at 2 am, rocking your favorite distressed denim (complete with strategically placed holes) with Piaglle Louboutins in nude, and pairing Dior pearls with Target plaid. The latter- is going down as we speak and, if I do say so myself, it’s seriously perfection! (That is- in my humble opinion.)   Check out my #ootd featuring “Mise en Dior” pearl earrings and ring from the “Tribales” collection and plaid button-down from Target!  I think even the people at Dior would agree that this combo is quite chic!  Like I always say don’t ever underestimate a store that sells nail polish, organic chocolate milk, cheerios, Disney princess dresses and fashion pieces that could complement couture perfectly- all at the same time!  Target- it’s like a dream come true!!! Omg did I really just write that?! #mommyhood

xoxo
Dara Michelle

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What I Wore:

Top: Target

Jeans: Rag & Bone

Jewels: Dior

Hand Bag: Chanel

Shoes: Jessie Boutique

 

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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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     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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     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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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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     So this one time I altered a Kate Moss for Topshop frock.  Yes, no need to adjust your screen you read it correctly- I, Dara Michelle, altered a Kate Moss design.  Yes Kate Moss- the fashion icon- to which I would give away my first born just for 5 minutes alone in her closet (just kidding)- the effortless chic- who makes anything cool- Kate- you know, that one!?

      Don’t get me wrong- when I first stumbled across the Kate Moss for Topshop number it immediately caught my eye.  (I die over anything with feathers #justsayin).  However, as I held the dress up I did notice the asymmetrical detail along the hemline, and was totally thrown.  I mean- I get it- it’s very “Kate” like to take something basic (in this scenario a hemline) and make it completely unique.  However, in some cases, less is more and this just happened to be such a case.  The hemline was totally over designed and actually took away from the gorgeous feathers at the bust, which in my humble opinion, was the prettiest part of the dress.  With exactly 30 minutes before carpool I had to act fast- and fast I did!!!  I immediately had the sales team call the seamstress into my dressing room.  She arrived in a record-breaking 6 minutes!  We cut the dress making it shorter and made the hem straight across.   With all the pins in place- the feathers became the focal point – and it instantly went from “this is interesting” to a major “WOW”!!!  The dress was ready for pick-up in less than 24 hours and I was even able to wear it to a friends wedding the following evening- styling it with Valentinos, Chanel and emeralds (obviously)!!! 

 Dear Kate,

     Not to worry- I’m still your biggest fan!!!

 xoxo Dara Michelle

 

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     With Kimye's nuptials coming and going I think it's safe to say that wedding season has officially begun!!! So naturally what happens next- you find yourself shopping (isn't that always the case though) for the perfect "wedding guest" attire.  My "hunt" for the perfect black-tie ensemble didn't seem to go so well and appeared to be more of a challenge than anticipated- with a happily ever after of course!!!

     After shopping for days- and I mean you name it and I tried it on- I could not find one thing. Not one dress made me want to say the words- I love it! With the wedding date coming closer months turned into weeks and, then, I was finally left with 3 days to find a dress. At this point I was on the verge of a fashion emergency, which meant there was only one person to turn too- my mom -the eternal optimist (like when both girls are having temper tantrums at the same time she's there to remind me how truly blessed I am to have 2 healthy, beautiful girls who one day- quicker than I could imagine- will be so big that I'll be missing these moments yes -she insists- even moments like this). So anyway where were we- oh yes (how could I forget) we were shopping!!! For some reason I always have good luck when shopping with my mom. And this time I got luckier beyond my wildest imagination.

     So this is how it went down- the place BCBG. Just a little background story: In a haste, I typically begin my “black-tie” hunts here because a) I usually love their dresses and b) the fit is always perfection (with less then 72 hours before the big day that was a must with no time for alterations).  So, there I was in the midst of the spring/summer gowns and I was totally and utterly disappointed. Literally- nothing appealed to me. Everything I saw felt like I had seen seasons prior but now in different colors. I was about to walk out of the door when there it was- the sickest black tuxedo jumper I'd ever seen. I immediately thought, “Could this work!?” At the same time (apparently a mind-reader also) my mom said, “This could totally work!” Once on I took one look in the full length and immediately felt like Bianca Jagger circa 1975!!! My mom- born of that era-loved it too! So there I was leaving the mall with a tuxedo in hand and less then 72 hours until the event- mission accomplished!!!

The only thing left now were in the details. And those details were pretty awesome (if I do say so myself). They were (in no particular order of adoration):

Bag: Silver Chanel

Shoes: YSL tributes in silver croc

Necklace: Major statement crystal choker (which totally accentuated the plunging neckline) by BCBG

Eyes: Smokey with false lashes by Mac

Lip: Nude by Mac

Hair: Big ultra feminine curls (to counter the masculinity of the tux) by Mor from iSalon

     And the best part about this whole look (yes even better than the Chanel- well fine, maybe equally as good) was that it totally had life after this lonely black-tie event!  This was far from the "one night stand" I'd usually experience with the gowns I'd typically wear.  I actually saw myself possibly wearing this for NYE, a sexy night out with my hubby, a chic dinner party, a fundraiser... And  the list goes on!  Check out my tuxedo look below and remember girls- don't ever give up hope!  Sometimes, when you least expect it, you find exactly what you're looking for!!!

xoxo Dara Michelle

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