This Is The Actual Inspiration Behind Those Crazy Outfits At The Met Gala

Monday night’s Met Gala left onlookers speechless with the elaborate gowns and overall commitment to the theme, “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.”

This year the annual exhibit, which opens up to the public at the Metropolitan Museum of Art shortly after the eve of the gala, examines the relationship between hand-made and machine made garments over time. The result? An even bigger display of mind-blowing gowns than those usually seen on the red carpet. 

The museum’s website explains that the exhibit, which features over 150 ensembles, will “address the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production.”

There are feathers! There is intricate design! And if you thought the train on Zoe Saldana’s dress was long, well:

 

Enough said.  

Feast your eyes on the gorgeous gowns below, and if you’re in New York, be sure to visit the exhibit, which runs May 5 to August 14.

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10 Times We Stole Hair Inspiration From the Boys

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Bringing Your Wedding Inspiration to Life

Being a wedding planner to the stars, I’ve seen it all — from the fun and quirky to the romantic and classic. Most brides and grooms have a million ideas going through their heads as they peruse magazines, blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. But how do you bring all your inspiration to life? Whether you’re turning to a wedding planner, event designer or dabbling in DIY these are some of my favorite tips on how to make sure your personal style is represented at your event:

  • Inspiration Boards — First up: manage all that inspiration! Once you’ve decided on a theme, create a visual “mood board” that represents the look you want. Create a collage of magazine clippings or even a Pinterest board (just remember to set this to private if you’re keeping things under wraps) to share with vendors that demonstrates your general motif. Are there any particular colors, shapes or textures that grab your attention? Add it in!
  • Stationery — Your save the dates and wedding invitations set the tone for your affair so make sure the design aligns with your style. Choose colors, fonts and an overall concept that coordinates with your theme.

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This invitation from my collection for Wedding Paper Divas is perfect for a more formal celebration! (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography)

  • Florals — Flowers can make a huge impact on your aesthetic. From centerpieces to flower crowns and accent pieces, you can choose flowers in certain colors and forms to emulate your vision.

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Going for a springy pastel or watercolor theme? Try a long floral piece at your head table arranging colors from lightest to darkest. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography)

  • Tablescapes — Guests spend a lot of time at the table, so it’s the perfect place to represent your concept with linens, place cards, menu cards, glassware and more. If budget allows, rental companies can provide table settings that match your taste perfectly — your caterer can help you decide exactly what you need.

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Layered fabrics with vintage dinnerware are excellent for achieving a classically romantic look. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography)

  • Furniture — Furniture is especially key for venues where you need to bring it all in (a park or vacant loft, for example). For a rustic look, choose farmhouse style or wooden tables. If you’re going modern, try furniture with some metallic accents.

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Metal bar tables like these would work great for a chic cocktail hour. Dim lighting and bold florals add a striking effect. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography)

  • Props — Bringing in extra props is a fun way to amp up your event theme. Think statement pieces fountains or antiques. If your space allows, bring in lighting fixtures that match your style. For example, candles give a romantic ambience while large crystal chandeliers add a hint luxury.

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This statement chair covered in succulents and greenery by Mark’s Garden is my absolute favorite! (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography)

  • Food and Drink — Don’t stop at décor! Bring your inspiration to life with food and drink. A nautical beach wedding, for example, can serve mini lobster rolls and a maritime martini. Or warm your guests up with some spiced Irish coffee at a winter wonderland soiree.

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Grilled cheese, anyone? Serve ’em up at a country chic wedding for a mellower atmosphere. Guests would savor them an appetizer, late night snack, or even as part of the main event! (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Rose/Getty Images)

Just remember, while it’s valuable to pay attention to the small details of your wedding, the goal is to celebrate your love with those closest to you! So be sure to soak it all in.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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The Hotwives of Las Vegas Star Angela Kinsey Shares the Real Housewives Inspiration Behind Her Character

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We Have Mindy Project Season 4 Scoop (Prince George Is Serving as Inspiration!)

Mindy Kaling and her alter-ego, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, are right at home. Seated in Neiman Marcus' luxe restaurant Mariposa, Mindy (Kaling, that is) is dressed head to toe in variations of pink, her newly cut…




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“Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands:” The Inspiration Behind the Novel

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It’s one of those classic, absolutely reasonable questions–that is, alas, as impossible to answer briefly as the meaning of life. But I am asked it often. All novelists are.

Where do your ideas come from?

The glib answer–always offered with a smile–is this: “Macy’s.”

The reality is that each of my 17 novels sprang from a very different seed and grew in a very different fashion. My most recent novel, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands,” is a case in point.

Emily Shepard, the 17-year-old Vermonter who narrates the book, was born in Beirut–or, at the very least, she was conceived there. It was December 2012, and I had arrived in the city while on a seven-day speaking tour in Lebanon. My plane landed around 3:30 in the afternoon, which my body clock adamantly told me was really 10:30 at night. I went out to dinner with my hosts from one of the universities, and returned to my hotel around 11 p.m.–at about the time I would be rising if I were back home in Vermont. I had slept on the plane, but not very much. I was exhausted and knew I should go right to bed, since the next day was going to begin with a breakfast meeting.

But I didn’t go to sleep, because I had started reading a novel on the flight and had to finish it. It was riveting. The book? Emma Donoghue’s “Room.” It wasn’t simply the plot that held me fast, as taut as it is; it was the narrator. As a novelist, I was dazzled by the authenticity of the voice Donoghue had created for her five-year-old male storyteller. That’s right, a little boy named Jack shares with us the wrenching, adult story of his and his mother’s imprisonment in a shed, and his mother’s desperate attempt to save them both.

I finished the novel around two in the morning in Beirut, and knew I wanted my next novel to be a first-person tale with a voice that genuine and unexpected. I had no idea, however, who that storyteller would be. An important detail, I know.

Ten days later I was back in my beloved 802. (We have just one area code here in Vermont: 802.) I went to lunch with a friend of mine, Annie Ramniceanu, a therapist who at the time was working with teens in trouble. She told me how a couple of homeless kids–teens who were falling through the system–had built igloos against the Lake Champlain cold out of trash bags filled with wet, frozen leaves, and I knew instantly the novel I wanted to write.

The very idea of a teen girl living alone in one of those igloos broke my heart. That image haunted me–and spurred me on.

And I knew my narrator. I knew Emily Shepard was a cutter and Oxycontin addict, and an aspiring poet with a girl crush on Emily Dickinson. She was a homeless kid and an orphan trying desperately to keep it together after a Fukushima-scale meltdown of Vermont’s lone nuclear plant.

Most of my novels begin very much like this: an inspiration. An anecdote. An unexpected synaptic connection.

Now, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” is not the first time I’ve had a female narrator share with my readers a story. “Midwives,” “Trans-Sister Radio,” “Secrets of Eden,” and “The Sandcastle Girls” had female narrators, too.

But, as I will reveal in my post here next week, this was the first time I found myself texting my teenage daughter for hipster-speak synonyms for “hookup” and “stoned.”

Stay tuned.

(The paperback of “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” arrives this Tuesday, on May 26.)

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Writer’s Little Instruction Book – Inspiration & Motivation

Writer’s Little Instruction Book – Inspiration & Motivation


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Esteban Inspiration Cologne Scented Potpourri Decorative Set

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The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey . . . on and Off the Road

The Runner’s Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Life’s Journey . . . on and Off the Road


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The Runners Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Lifes Journey . . . On and Off the Road

The Runners Devotional: Inspiration and Motivation for Lifes Journey . . . On and Off the Road


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The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men

The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer of Mad Men


From Joanie’s Marilyn Monroe-esque pencil skirts to Betty’s classic Grace Kelly cupcake dresses, the clothes worn by the characters of the phenomenal “Mad Men” have captivated fans everywhere. Now, women are trading in their khakis for couture and their pumas for pumps. Finally, it’s hip to dress well again. Emmy-Award winning costume designer Janie Bryant offers readers a peek into the dressing room of “Mad Men,” revealing the design process behind the various characters’ looks and showing every woman how to find her own leading lady style-whether it’s vintage, modern, or bohemian. Bryant’s book will peek into the dressing room of Mad Men and reveal the design process behind the various characters’ looks. But it will also help women learn how fashion can help convey their personality. She will help them cultivate their style, including all the details that make a big difference. Bryant offers advice to ensure that a woman’s clothes convey her personality. She covers everything from where to find incredible vintage clothing and accessories to how to pair those authentic pieces with modern shoes and jeans. Readers will learn how to find their perfect bra size, use color to convey a mood, and invest in the ten essentials every woman should own. And just so the ladies don’t leave their men behind, there’s even a section on making them look a little more Don Draper-dashing.

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Cycling for inspiration with Dylan Buffington

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Biblical Baby Names for Today: The Inspiration you need to make the perfect choice for you baby!

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Having a girl? Consider Abigail. This Hebrew names means “My father is joy or cause of joy” and is first found in 1 Samuel 25:2-3, 39. After her husband Nabal died, the widow Abigail became King David’s wife. Having a boy? What about Benjamin? Meaning “Son of my right hand and fortunate,” this is another Hebrew name. Benjamin is also the name of the child that Rachel bore Jacob before dying; he later became leader of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. You can find a mention of Benjamin in Genesis 35:18. Not sure yet? Think about a name that works for boys or girls, such as Jordan. This Hebrew name means “to flow or to descend”-as in the eponymous river-and is found throughout the Bible. In Biblical Baby Names for Today, you’ll find hundreds of biblical boys’ and girls’ names just like these, as well as their origins, true meanings, and citations within the New and Old Testaments. Complete with Bible stories that illustrate the most popular characters and their namesakes, this comprehensive guide makes finding the perfect name for your baby fun and easy.

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Elderly hands playing the piano with inspiration quote Greeting Card

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Artist Adrien Broom Reveals the Inspiration Behind Her Fanciful Photos

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(Photos Courtesy of Adrien Broom)

By Mila Pantovich

There are many different types of artists out there, from photographers and painters to sculptors and filmmakers, and some artists are talented enough that they excel at more than one medium. It’s pretty darn amazing though when someone has so much creativity spilling from their minds that they do all of it, and that’s exactly what Adrien Broom does.

Whether she’s working on her acclaimed Color Project in her Andy Warhol-esque studio space in New Haven, Connecticut (which includes simultaneously shooting a film and creating a book), going on the road with friends Grace Potter and the Nocturnals as their official photographer, or building ornate sets out in the woods, Adrien is always bursting with a creative energy that can only be described as beautifully organic.

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With much of Adrien’s work exuding a childlike innocence, sometimes in direct opposition with darker themes, it’s no surprise at all that her love for artistic expression grew at a very young age. Plus, her parents are both creative types; her mother manages an art gallery, and her father owns a company called H.P. Broom Housewright and refurbishes antique houses (oh yeah, and he’s also a landscape and figure painter). Noticing that she was the type of child who arranged food at a restaurant into still-life, Adrien’s mother set up a artistic after-school activity for her daughter with an art teacher named Xena. They went through a few different things (“At first we did piano and I…hated that”), before Broom started finding things that she enjoyed.

“She was the zaniest, coolest old woman,” recalls Adrien fondly. “She was kind of a jack-of-all-trades artist. She did lots of arts and crafts stuff, she was very hands-on. We would…do some drawing and this and that, and I remember just loving it…and loathing all the other after-school things [laughs].”

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Her work, which she describes as a built set that she stages narratives within, straddles the hazy line between childhood and adulthood. Many of her favorite books as a child still resonate with her today, especially in her work, and she cites Maurice Sendak and Jill Barklem (Brambling Hedge in particular) as influences. She describes her art as pulling on the childlike place within her while being very much grounded in her adult perspective. “… I really want the work to be accessible, to children and adults… there’ll be different interpretations of the work, no matter who you are, how old you are, and that’s kind of the point…”

Much of her work is deeply rooted in fairy tales and mythology, reinterpreting figures like Aphrodite and stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You’ll notice while looking through her portfolio that she often uses animals, both living and taxidermied, in jarring ways. Sometimes the animals are juxtaposed with people in a way that seems to imply mankind’s invasive way of living, and other times she shows a harmonious balance. “I’m actually thinking about taking people out of my photos, and mostly having animals. I love what they symbolize, I love peoples’ connection with different kinds of animals, I love that they are social creatures, even though we don’t really understand. I love kind of combining our social ways with them. I just like the contrast, the beauty. They’re just gorgeous.”

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One of her favorite places to shoot is Ray of Light, a rescue farm in Connecticut. “They have the most gorgeous animals that they’ve rescued from different walks of life. Like that picture with the zebra? It’s actually a half-zebra-half-donkey… called a ‘zonkey,’ which is the best name I’ve ever heard in my life. I think they rescued him from a circus situation. He was kind of a prima-donna, I got like, one shot before he almost destroyed my whole set,” she laughs. Though some animals are certainly easier to handle, like the turtles she used in Day Dreams, Adrien definitely doesn’t shy away from a challenge — she actually wants to start using a lot of birds in a future project she’s been brainstorming.

With so many ideas, Adrien keeps a notebook in which she jots down whatever comes to mind. “I think the best advice I’ve ever gotten in my whole life was from a photographer, and he was like, ‘Adrien, you’ve got all this stuff…you need to calm down. The best thing you can do for projects is do one project at a time.’ And I think if I didn’t do that with the Color Project, I would never get it done. I’ve put my heart and soul and all my brainwaves into this one project, and I try really hard to not think about other things till I’m done.”

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She’s been working on the Color Project for over a year now and it was partly funded through a Kickstarter campaign (the little girl starring in the project even donated five dollars). An eight-part exploration of color, the imaginative series shows a world of white as seen through the eyes of a child. The little girl first passes through a door into a red world, then orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and lastly rainbow. In looking at these images, it’s hard to picture someone physically creating the world without relying on photo editing techniques, but that’s exactly what Adrien does in her studio.

Each color takes over a month to create and shoot, starting with planning and material sourcing from her home in Brooklyn and ending with spending a couple weeks in her studio to make it a reality. Once shooting is finished, she goes back home and starts the editing process. “We build for about two weeks, but I plan the rest of the time. So it’s a lot of sketching and drawing what the set is going to look like, then finding all the materials,” Adrien explains. “A lot of people have been amazing with donating materials and time. So, it’s a lot of calling people and saying ‘This is the project I’m doing, are you interested in being involved?’ There’s a lot of planning.”

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The images are creative and striking, telling the tale of a little girl becoming a young woman through her experiencing of new worlds. Since it’s taken so long to shoot, you can actually chart the model’s growth throughout the series, which has been one of Adrien’s favorite parts. “From the first picture until now, I swear the girl’s grown like a foot,” she laughs. “And her face is changing, you know, she’s turning into a young lady, and actually, I love that, because the whole story is about growing up and discovering yourself and the world. I’m glad that it took this long to put together, so you cannot just emotionally but physically see her change. She was nine when we first started, and I think she’s about to turn eleven.”

Now that Adrien has finished the green world, she only has purple and rainbow left before this lengthy process is over and done with — something which will definitely be a little bittersweet. “I love working on them so much, but I’m so excited to see it as a full, finished project, and flip through and see the story unravel, and see [the girl] traveling through it. It’s going to be amazing to see the whole thing, but I’m gonna be sad, because I love the project.”

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Once the photography project is finished, she plans on hunkering down with her film collaborator Joe Manassi (who records video footage on shoot days while she takes photos) to figure out how exactly they want the film and children’s book to look and sound. “I’m actually debating, it might be a little backwards in a way,” she says. “I’m debating on having absolutely no words in the book, and have some words in the film. But I’m not really sure, it might just be music, but there might be words. I think I need to see the finished product [first].”

Though the Color Project may be ending soon, Adrien definitely doesn’t have a lack of things to keep her busy. She recently finished her first commercial gig for Disney and Phillips, an advertisement for night-lights based on Disney characters. “They wanted the advertisement for these night-lights to be a half-child’s bedroom, half-dream world. So I built these huge extravagant sets that were exactly that, so it was just like a perfect project for me because it’s kind of what I do anyway. It was awesome, it went really well, it was really fun.”

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She’s also been the official photographer for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals since the very beginning — Matt Burr, the drummer, is one of Adrien’s closest friends and has been since they were kids. The moment the music group is brought into conversation, Adrien makes her deep admiration and respect for them immediately obvious. She not only adores their music, but she also gives them credit for helping her gain the confidence needed to break out into the photography world.

Around the same time the band decided to make a go of it, Adrien had resolved to make a career out of photography. She started by helping the band with their press photo needs, oftentimes taking shots of them hanging out in coffee shops, while she was simultaneously working on her own projects. “With them it’s kind of fun, because there’s no set, it’s all kind of documentary. I’m in it and I’m not in control of anything. With my stuff, I’m 100 percent in control of everything, so it’s really nice to have that contrast.”

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“But then it’s crazy; they’re so insanely talented and so dedicated, they’re the hardest workers, they really motivate me a lot. Whenever I’m feeling lazy, I’m like, ‘No no no, Matt and Grace have been on the road for four years straight, get your ass out of bed.’ There’s no excuse,” Adrien laughs. “They’ve blown up, and they’re still working really, really hard, but they deserve it. It’s awesome. We just put out a book together, which is super cool. They’re kicking so much ass.”

The book, Inside Looking Out: A Decade On The Road With Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, is something the group of friends had been talking about for years and chronicles 10 years of their lives together. “They’re the ones that kind of convinced me to just say ‘f**k it’ and be a full-time photographer. I was going through a really hard time, personal life stuff, and Matt was like, ‘Get off your ass, come on the road with us, get out of the house.’ So I did that, that was the first time I really went on tour. It was the first time I was really happy in a long time,” Adrien remembers. “It just made me really happy, taking photos. I was like, ‘Oh, maybe this should be my life.'”

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From then on, Adrien never looked back and it’s a good thing too, because the artist has a lot coming up. Most recently she was invited by the Hudson River Museum in New York to contribute to a cool new project that will be taking place in seven museums around the country in 2015. Called the Seven Deadly Sins, each museum will be showcasing a different sin, each rooted in fairytales, and Adrien was invited to do “Envy” for the Hudson River Museum. Though information on the event is sparse, it’s one exhibit all of us at JustLuxe are pretty excited to check out.

“It’s gonna be half installation. I think I’m doing three rooms with full installation, and then a ton of photographs,” she says. “I’m really looking forward to that. [It’s] going to be a weird head-place to be in for like a year. It’s just like, thinking about envy all day long. [Fairy tales are] very dark, but very fascinating. I’m going to be just living in those old, old texts for a while. I think the show will be really cool.”

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We’ve chatted with a lot of artists over the years, from musicians to photographers, but Adrien personifies genuine friendliness. She may be incredibly talented, but she talks about her art in a way that invites you into her life and her process, inspiring us all to pursue what we love.

Keep an eye on the Color Project by following Adrien on her official site and Facebook page where she constantly posts updates and behind-the-scenes photos and videos!

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Wedding Inspiration Fit For ‘Game Of Thrones’ Super Fans

By Stefania Sainato for Bridal Guide

At long last, the wait is over: Game of Thrones Season 4 premiered on Sunday, April 6! Based on the bestselling series by George R.R. Martin, this fantasy epic follows the leaders of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros in their quest for realm domination. 

In anticipation of Joffrey and Margaery’s impending Purple Wedding — we still haven’t recovered from the Red Wedding — we’ve pulled together some of our favorite details inspired by the spellbinding visuals on the show.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Esteban Inspiration Cologne Perfumed Good Luck Charm Air Freshener

Esteban Inspiration Cologne Perfumed Good Luck Charm Air Freshener


Buy Esteban Home Fragrance Diffusers – A musky citrus perfume.Key notes: bergamot, piece of cedrat peel, orange blossom, petitgrain, jasmine, cedar, cypress, musky harmony.To hang inside the closet or in the car. Scented ceramic piece. Height: 13 cm / 5.1 in.Details provided by Esteban.

Price: $
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Living in Style: Inspiration and Advice for Effortless Chic

Living in Style: Inspiration and Advice for Effortless Chic


The designer, stylist, executive producer and star of Bravo’s “The Rachel Zoe Project,” and New York Times “bestselling author is back with a new book for her fans. An unparalleled fixture in the fashion world, Rachel Zoe is distinguished and renowned for her effortless take on glamour. Her illustrious career has flourished as she has continually proven herself to be an integral part in shaping the image of Hollywood’s A-list. Rachel’s ever-growing audience loves to watch her every move so they can incorporate just a little bit of her unique sophistication into their own lives. Now, Rachel tells readers exactly how to do just that. From beauty and home design to traditions, entertaining, travel, and, of course, fashion, Rachel gives readers insight on every aspect of life”style. As she looks to her own past and where she has drawn inspiration over the course of her career-and her life-readers will learn how to feel amazing, too. Filled with never-before-seen photos from Rachel’s personal collection and tips from colleagues, celebrities, family members, and more, this book is like none other.

Price: $
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Your Vintage Wedding: Unique Ideas and Inspiration for Today’s Bride

Your Vintage Wedding: Unique Ideas and Inspiration for Today’s Bride


Your Vintage Wedding is a lavishly illustrated guide to the most popular types of twentieth-century weddings with advice on how to incorporate creative vintage details into your special day to add romance, fun, acrd unforgettable style. From the Art Nouveau elegance of the 1910s to the Art Deco Hollywood glamour of the 1920s; from the night-club and cafe society of the 1930s and 1940s to the Audrey Hepburn-era elegance of the 1950s, "Your Vintage Weddingreveals what weddings were like during these periods and how to add vintage elements to invitations, flowers, photography, music, menus, and more — including finding the perfect retro gown. Playful, sophisticated, and filled with useful resources, this full-color book includes dozens of photographs to enchant and inspire. It features accounts and photos of actual vintage weddings, including a 1940s extravaganza on San Francisco’s Treasure Island. Whether you dream of a 1910-style bash complete with potted palms, ropes of pearls, top bats, and dancing the tango or simply small touches that add beauty to the day, such as reviving the custom of wearing orange blossoms or tying lovers’ knots in your bouquet ribbons, "Your Vintage Wedding will help make it a day to remember.
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Holiday Gift Inspiration: Diamond Holiday Collection

Tejmohan Sawhney, Jewelry Buyer, talks about the Diamond Holiday Collection. Subscribe for more great videos: http://www.youtube.com/walmart.
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