The Party Planner: BCBG Max Azria

At this time of year, Blog Reader, I start to get excited about the party season.  Yep, with my birthday in November* then Christmas it’s time to think (hmm, dream?) of dresses for cocktails with the girls, longer gowns for dinners out and the right styles to comfortably dance the night away in.

I bought this BCBG Max Azria dress in New York City during one of their super sales.  I think BCBG is a great brand to turn to for cocktail dresses and evening gowns; I like the search functions of the website (type, length, colour) and the price bands are often reasonable for special occasion wear.

Some of my favourites from the current collection, clockwise from left: Claudine Straples Evening Gown; Raya Pleated Lace Cocktail Dress; Nagdalina Side Peat Printed Dress;  Carine Asymmetric Draped Evening Gown; Mercedes Cocktail Dress.

Purple is an unusual colour choice for me.  Symbolic of royalty and opulence (the shade here is a royal purple hue) this dress is a grand choice for a night out – I’ve mentioned before I am a sucker for splits but the cut-out back detail is also interesting and unusual.

I’m even accessorizing here, Blog Reader! A little sparkle over the holiday season feels essential.

I’m busy putting together some other dress / gown suggestions for the party season so if you’ve seen any killer styles leave me a comment below, as I might include it in the feature. Have a great weekend!

Wearing: Dress, BCBG Max Azria;  Clutch, Debenhams.  Gold bracelet, IN PINK.  Heels, Zara Basic Sandal.
Photos by Lydia Hudgens.

*Hint, hint.

Summer Dressing: Arden B. Maxi, Freddie & Cinnamon Bracelet and Lancelot Knight Leather Barrel Bag

This outfit post pretty much sums up all my current obsessions; the things I have been wearing to death this summer.  This Arden B maxi dress is such a pretty style… for starters it seems to make me look 5ft 10 tall (ten points below if anyone knows about optical illusions and can tell me why – is it the way the stripes sit?!) and the back detail with little cascading frills is super cute.

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

When it comes to handbags, my favourites are classic, structured forms.  My biscuit coloured barrel bag gave up the ghost recently so I was incredibly happy when the lovely folks at Lancelot Knight contacted me about their collection of barrel shapes in pastel and neon shades.  They gifted me this leather baby pink Avon Barrel bag which is a perfect match for my lighter summer outfits.  It also has a longer shoulder strap, detachable and adjustable (not seen here).

I think one of the reasons I love this bag so much is a question of size as well as shape.  I need to fit my life in a bag and whilst my ‘summer life’ is considerably lighter on ‘stuff’ than my winter life – this fits my diary, iPhone and retro headphones, make-up for touching up, wallet / keys, camera and umbrella (yes I carry one everywhere I am well and truly English in this respect) whilst still looking that little bit on the dainty side….

I’m still working on my accessories too, Blog Reader. I came across the delightful contemporary jewelry brand Freddie & Cinnamon not long ago and their styles appealed to me because they are classic pieces at great value.  I’ll be featuring their collection on the blog very soon along with a Q&A with their founder / designer.  Here I am wearing their Chain Gold Plated Bracelet, a delicate and graceful strand of interconnected circles, on my wrist.  It’s one of those pieces I’ve worn over and over.

A summer outfit for a summer’s day, Blog Reader. Hope you are well, I’m currently taking a break back in England and enjoying being in the countryside for a while.  You can see some of my pictures on instagram: @StyleOnTheCouch. Have a lovely weekend, StyleOnTheCouch xo

Wearing: Maxi dress, Arden B.  Chain gold plated bracelet, Freddie & Cinnamon.  Avon Barrel bag, Lancelot Knight. Sandals (just seen), Nine West.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Mi Asunta

Sara Brancato and Nick Kapros are the team behind the ‘Intertwined’ collections by Mi Asunta - jewelry and body accessories with movement.  The idea behind Intertwined is one of changing shape and fluidity of motion, something that transforms the identity of the wearer in the process.  Mi Asunta was created in 2008, taking its name from Sara’s grandmother Asunta Leone, whose love of costume jewelry and sense of style inspired her grandaughter’s own creativity.  Sara explained to me,  ”She worked too hard to use her creative skill the way she wanted.  She never had regrets, but there was something extremely poignant about her aspirations and the inspiration they engendered within me.”

Design team and romantic partners Nick and Sara have collaborated on two collections so far – Intertwined I and II:  ”Our designs and relationship revolve around a commitment to beauty and love.  It’s like a kaleidoscope.  The pieces change their shapes, they are playful.  We learn to give each other space and not take each ourselves too seriously.” Sara told me.  She continued,  “Take space away and the kaleidoscope gets jammed.  Just when we think we’ve wrapped our heads around each other there is something new to discover.  So what the designs say about our relationship is that it is still growing, still changing.”

I really enjoy the creativity of movement in this jewelry.  The two piece body armour style I am wearing here can be worn several ways – across the body, as a longer necklace, the centre piece joining the chains can be worn up high or down low…. an intriguing design. What seems to distinguish collection I from II to me is the evolution in the complexity of movement (Sara showed me different ways to wear certain pieces I could never have imagined!)

The pair photographed each other for the Mi Asunta lookbooks, an unintentional move but an idea that was born when the pair were let down by models originally booked for the shoot.  In these images the intimacy of the work process is captured on film perfectly.

In my mission to accessorise in new and unique ways this year, Mi Asunta is quite a find.  You can browse and purchase the collection at Endless.com.

Wearing: T-Shirt from Zara; skinny legging jean from Gap (available in black here); Jewelry, Mi Asunta.