— Dara Michelle – Style, Elegance, Fashion, Passion

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          If you’re like me, then the first thing you think about when seeing anything that ties is that time you tried to teach your precious cuties, with those little hands, how to tie their own shoes for the very first time.  Even my “mommy friends” will attest that I have more patience than most, but after repeating “make two bunny ears and cross them over like an X” for what felt like an eternity even the most patient of us would soon want to lose their sh&t!  All I could say is thank g-d for Velcro!!!  

      So one can imagine how I felt the first time I saw these pieces with lace-up details reminiscent of the traumatic, teach your kids how to tie their own shoes, experience.  However, after a second look, I had magically forgotten all about how stressful this event was (fashion does that to me often) so much so that these tied-up pieces soon became my newest obsession. Imagine that!

xoxo,

Dara Michelle

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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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     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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     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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     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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 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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     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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