My Picks in Marsala: Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year

It’s official: Pantone has named Marsala as the color of 2015. Think deep, juicy pomegranate fruit, warm Tuscan brick villas and the red wine that you can drink in a few months’ time. Here are a few of my favorite pieces that reflect this sartorial trend.

Pantone Colors

Maternity Clothes2

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Amy Tara Koch in “Style Influencer” Interview for Keungzai

In our final installment of Style Influencers for 2014, we interview style expert, journalist and author Amy Tara Koch. She is a style expert for People Magazine, USA Today, She Knows, The Bump, Vogue and Parents Magazine and has appeared on CNN, TODAY, Steve Harvey, Access Hollywood, Fox and the CBS EARLY SHOW. A contributor to Marie Claire,Huffington Post, People Moms & Babies, The New York Times and more, Amy Tara Koch is also the author behind “BUMP IT UP: Transform Your Pregnancy Into The Ultimate Style Statement“, touted as a must-read pregnancy style bible.

Read the rest of the interview here!

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How to Layer for the Holidays

layering guide pics Amy Tara Koch with Darlene Hill

layering pic 2Perfectly layered bangles

 

The Holidays are all about drama, yes. But does that mean women need to run out and invest in a new wardrobe? Good Day Chicago’s style expert Amy Tara Koch says NO WAY! You can create a big style statement by mixing and matching what you already own (or filling in your accessory blanks with some new holiday baubles). Translation? Toss the matchy-matchy mindset and pair your accessories in unconventional ways to create texture, add contrast and introduce color.

 

LAYERING TIPS

    1. Mix vintage + new
    2. Pair opposites for high drama
    3. High/low is a recipe for high style. Think: H&M and Hermes!

 

    Watch video here!

    FOX 32 News Chicago

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    COOL MATERNITY JEAN ALERT!

    ITEM:  DL 1961 Angel Maternity Ankle Jean, $168

    Denim Brand DL 1961 is known for its ability to magically shape and lift a woman’s most stubborn body parts. How? The jeans are infused with “4 way stretch” denim featuring a blend of supremely high quality pro modal fibers, lycra and American cotton. These “high performance” jeans are comfortable and easy to dress up or down. Yes, they are expensive. But, flattering jean are a maternity must-have.

    And, since you very well may wear them 5 days out of 7, they are a solid investment.

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    On Trend, Not Trendy

    How Real Women Should Use Runway Trends

    I love fashion shows. And celeb gawking.  But, these directional, dramatic  looks can be sported by the rarefied few that do not dabble in real life scenarios often.

    runway to realway 4

    Runways shows are designed to inspire. They are barometers, not checklists. Stylists look at seasonal trends and dissect them. Then they incorporate thesee lements of style-midi skirts, animal print, pops of orange, graphic prints, pastels- into an existing wardrobe. An elegant minimalist wardrobe + trendy accents = polish.

    runway to realway blog post 3

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    Discover Your Signature Style

    Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, Brigitte Bardot, Joan Crawford and that mom at school pick up that ALWAYS looks cute all have a common bond: a signature style. Through their fashion choices, their personalities loom like a halo over their heads.
    .

    But, many women don’t necessarily have a “signature look.” If you have lived for years mystified by what happens on runways, red carpets and hyped paparazzi shots in gossip magazines, call upon your dormant SAT studying skills and study fashion divas of the twentieth century. Pregnancy is, in fact,  a golden opportunity to exit your comfort zone and bring your inner glamazon to life. Give a nod to the fashion icons of the twentieth century and use your belly as a VIP pass to the order of eternal divahood.  Go to Barnes & Noble and purchase Fashion Icons: Fashion Trends Throughout the Century, Star Style, Thje Marchesa Casati Portraits of a Museand Mistress of Modernism: The Life of Peggy Guggenheim, and start thumbing through. Eccentric? Yes. But, absolutely scintillating. Learn about silhouettes. Discover accessories. Investigate why muses perenniale- marvelous Marchesa de Casati, dynamic Diana Ross, chic socialite Babe Paley, 60s siren Edie Sedgewick, boho babe Talitha Getty and art deco diva Nancy Cunard-became style revolutionaries. These histrionic women dissed convention and used fashion to express themselves. Such bravado is evident in their outré fashion choices: gowns as daywear, turbans, shoulder sweeping earrings, extreme eye makeup, stacked-to-the-elbows bangle bracelets, cloaks fashioned of peacock feathers. Don’t feel pressured to swap your skinny jeans for an electric blue jumpsuit. Just get inspired. Then, take it down a notch to reality. In your free time, let your fingers do the walking right over to Netflix.  “Fashion moment” TV shows and films are a great way to research style and learn about silhouettes. Once the kid(s) are asleep, rent Mad MenThe Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Women, Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Katherine Deneuve in Belle Du Jour, Mia Farrow in Great Gatsby, Marlene Dietrich inShanghai Express, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and Joan Collins in Dynasty.
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    I am not suggesting that you go radical. Your task is to find a scintillating look which suits your personality and flatters your body type.  Upper East Side Lady Who Lunches? Downtown “it” Girl? Haute Hippie? Groovy Gal About Town? Be the girl with the Bakelite cuff bracelets and fabulous YSL scarves adorning every outfit. Wear Grandma’s lurex sweater sets to go to the supermarket. Layer vintage Betsey Johnson baby doll dresses with Byzantine beads and rhinestone crosses just because. The larger you feel, the more accessories required. Your Cinderella moment awaits!

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    HOW TO MORPH CATERPILLAR BROWS INTO THE (FACIAL) ACCESSORY DU JOUR

    Bushy, bad brows are on par with mom jeans: a facial frumpifier .

    I know firsthand the challenges of full, frontal facial hair. Born with brows that are Frieda Kahlo with a side of Eddie Munster, “full” was an understatement.  Some people always have breath mints stashed everywhere. I have tweezers. In the car, I peek in the vanity mirror to remove a gaggle of strays that have reared their wiry heads since breakfast. At work, while stroking my forehead in thought, I discover scary  pube-like patches that have bloomed between my brows. And, then there is the Martini Tweeze; a post cocktail depilation that never ends well. Such evenings I am tempted to call Dr. Drew to implore the addition of a tweezer category to his rehab show.

    The upside? Women gaze longingly at my full, well arched brows murmuring something about blessed DNA.   Thick brows are a massive pain in the ass. But, At long last–through hard core plucking and primping – i have transformed my God given caterpillar brows into something resembling professionally groomed models in VOGUE. My wayward thicket of facial hair had been tamed.

    Though the glossies have pronounced the thick Charlotte Gainsbourg-esque look au courant, we of the looming Unibrow, spend inordinate amounts of time plucking, trimming and praying that we don’t morph into Dr. Zaius of Planet of the Apes stature while we sleep at night.

    So, how to morph Dr. Zaius-esque caterpillar brows into coiffure du jour? I employ the three ‘P’s: patience, product and professional help as needed.

    To shellac wayward brows into well arched submission, slather on clear ULTA Brow gel

    To keep create two definitive brows from one, invest in REVLON True Precision Tweezer

    To maintain a groomed to-the-nines arch, use ANASTASIA brow stencils

    To repair bald spots after a Martini Tweeze, keep ANASTASIA Brow Enhancing Serum on hand

    Here’s what you need in your eyebrow arsenal:

    1. ULTA Brow Gel $6

    2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Stencils $20

    3. Alessandra Brow Pencil $15

    4. Revlon True Precision Tweezer $12.99

    5. Sally Hansen Beauty Tools, Perfect Arch Brow Set $7.99

    6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Enhancing Serum $36

    7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes $39.50

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    pluck you! The Inside Scoop on How to Morph Your Unibrow into the (Facial) Accessory Du Jour

    (as seen on the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-tara-koch/pluck-u-the-inside-scoop-_b_792481.html)

    Women always tell me how lucky I am. They gaze longingly at my full, well arched brows, waxing poetic about blessed DNA and the painful woes of the anorexic browed crowd. And I bask in their praise. At long last, my wayward thicket of facial hair had been tamed. I smile and nod my thanks whilst inwardly chortling that I, a mere beauty obsessed mortal, had — through hard core plucking and primping — transformed my God given caterpillar brows into something resembling the effortless chic projected from professionally groomed models in Vogue.

    The truth? Thick brows are a massive pain in the ass. Though the glossies have pronounced the thick Charlotte Gainsbourg-esque look au courant, we of the looming Unibrow, spend inordinate amounts of time plucking, trimming and praying that we don’t morph into Dr. Zaius of Planet of the Apes stature while we sleep at night.

    I am not a hairy gal. But, somehow, my eyebrows never received the genetic newsflash to cease growing at the 1/8 inch mark. Mine ascend upwards to mid forehead and have a wingspan that almost reaches my temples. Instead of the soft downy fuzz of most women, my brows seem to be infused with testosterone and fishing line; wiry descendants of my grandfather. Without vigilance, I become a scary hybrid of Brooke Shields, Eddie Munster and Frieda Kahlo.

    Some people always have breath mints stashed everywhere. I have tweezers. In the car, I peek in the vanity mirror to remove a gaggle of strays that have reared their wiry heads since breakfast. At work, while stroking my forehead in thought, I discover scary pube-like patches that have bloomed between my brows. And, then there is the Martini Tweeze; a post cocktail depilation that never ends well. Such evenings I am tempted to call Dr. Drew to implore the addition of a tweezer category to his rehab show.

    So, how to avoid a hirsute destiny? Similar to thick, kinky hair, we women of the dense brow require the three ‘P’s: patience, product and professional help as needed. Inspired by the spate of editorial touting the full brow, I will spill the beans on how to morph caterpillar brows into coiffure du jour.

    Here are the tools for your eyebrow arsenal:

    To shellac wayward brows into well arched submission, slather on clear Alessandra Brow gel, $15

    2010-12-06-brow_gelBBG1.jpg

    To keep create two definitive brows from one, invest in the Tweezerman Kit featuring brow Scissors and tweezer , $19.99

    2010-12-06-P173000_hero1.jpg

    To maintain a groomed to- the nines arch, use Colorscience brow stencils, $10

    To repair bald spots after a Martini Tweeze, keep Anastasia Brow Enhancing Serum on hand, $36
    2010-12-06-SBS2081321.jpg

    For more fashion and beauty tips, visit www.bumpitupstyle.com and follow “amy tara koch style expert” on facebook.

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    J’ADORE CHRISTOPHER BAILEY & HIS BURBERRY PRORSUM ACCESSORIES!

    Add some fierce fabulosity to your look with BURBERRY studded bracelets.

    I am hosting a holiday soiree for Vogue at Burbery Dec 7 in Chicago and had the pleasure of shopping for MOI (versus everyone else on my list) for two hours. An accessories lover, I fell hard for the fantabulous studded bracelets and PLISSE leather bags. This, ladies, is what I call INVESTMENT PIECE

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    AN ODE TO THANKSGIVING: GRACIAS ACQUALINA, FOR GIVING ME THE GIFT OF PEACE

    Thankfulness comes in many forms: Good health, Prosperity, Great family life. Love. But, on a recent trip to Miami, my gratitude quotient skyrocketed to a dazzling new dimension. For years, I took the term “family vacation” to be a cruel play on words. In my pre-mom life, Vacation→relaxation. Being with my children is hard core work. Therefore, going to a resort with my family was like a juicy carrot dangled before my frazzled face. My fantasy? A hybrid scenario where I—a working mama with maximum responsibilities and minimal downtime- could log in family time with a few hours to read, work out and nap. This meant that I had to unearth a property proffering the crème de la crème of kids programs.

    So, with an event in S. Florida looming on the horizon, I tried something new. Instead of parking myself in hedonistic South Beach where children are treated as an unfortunate fashion “don’ts” and the expectation of “service” yields haughty glares, I booked a room at Acqualina in Sunny Isles, FL just north of Bal Harbor. This resort -the only 5 star on Miami Beach-boasted generous rooms, an Espa spa and Il Mulino restaurant. But, it was the Marine Biology based program that held the most cache. Would my daughter willingly oblige me with three hours of free time each day?

    The answer was a resounding yes. After swimming for 2 hours and collecting shells, we approached Acquamarine. Every mom knows the rules of engagement. The first five minutes are crucial. Obviously trained in the high art of sharpie’s, glitter and paper plate self expressionism, Brette was immediately sucked into the world of whales .Art projects. Shell hunting. Swimming .Lunch. I scooted out and ran-literally-to the spa. After a massage, I took a nap. I read. And, at 1pm, refreshed, I picked her (and mountains of artwork) up so we could spend the rest of the day together. I was on cloud nine. This divine schedule persisted for the entire four day trip. By 8:30 each night, we retired to our cozy room, juices in hand. She of the Macintosh apple variety. Me, some heady “mommy juice”, a Pinot Noir. Needless to say, I will be returning soon.!

    AAA Five Diamond Award 2010; Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award 2009, Allure Magazine ‘Best Day Spa in Miami’ 2009, Conde Nast Traveller Top Spas in The Americas and Caribbean 2008, Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2008, Sun Post Best Resort in Miami 2008, Robb Report’s Top 100 Exclusive Luxury Resorts 2007

    http://www.acqualinaresort.com/

    17875 collins avenue, sunny isles beach, fl 33160

    305 918 8100 Reservations

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