The Street Fashionista

Category:  Fashion
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 1:39 PM
The Street Fashionista  by Leslie McAllister


Printing 101

Many of us can attest to the recent Missoni craze at Target this past fall (for those not in the know, Missoni is a high-end Italian knitwear designer known for the use of colorful patterns in all sorts of stripy configurations).  I was up at 4 a.m. buying online and in the Erie store at 8:01 a.m. I am not ashamed; it was a monumentally historic moment in fashion.  What was more important was the shift to wearing bright, bold patterns.  Wearing prints takes cojones.  

What most of us don’t understand is that when you wear said print, it creates great drama and makes the wearer that much more interesting.  It’s so easy to just throw on a basic white button down, which has its place in fashion too, but a print makes a person instantly stand out.  A woman becomes more daring, mysterious, edgy, bold, memorable.  Sadly, we don’t see it that often because we shy away from this strong look.  

Here are a couple ways to wear a print with confidence.  First, balance; pair your pattern with something neutral, like a white or black pair of trousers or a skirt.  If it’s a dress with an all-over print, wear understated accessories with bare legs or opaque tights.  The goal is to make one area stand out; focus on the print.  Second, the runways are showing mixed prints, stripes and florals, polka dots and stripes, patchwork and stripes…stripes, stripes.  If this is your moment, make sure your stripes are black and white.  One pattern has to be neutral in tone or hue while the other pattern can have the colorful spotlight.  Take a floral dress and pair it with a black and white blazer—channel Carrie Bradshaw in Paris; she has the recipe for mixing media.  

Finally, remember, head to toe prints are not a good look – though we love her dearly, Edina Monsoon from “Absolutely Fabulous” kills a print every time she wears it.  There is a level of kitsch with dressing this way.  Bottom line, know yourself and what makes you feel good; prints are a FUN way to dress, remember that!

Who?  Sarah Purvis

Where? Her birthday party at Pie in the Sky, Erie, PA 

Why Sarah?  Sarah chooses a Missoni-inspired blouse with cool colors in a zigzag pattern.  Being an Aquarius, Sarah is clearly imitating water with this print.  She pairs her bold top with a pair of black trousers, 5-inch heels, and simple silver accessories.  

Describe your personal style. “I like to think of myself as some form of superhero – yoga pants and T-shirt by day, glamorous evening wear by night!”  As a dance instructor, Sarah’s attire needs to be practical and comfortable, but after wearing the same thing day in and out, she likes to high-kick it up a notch.  “I love to put on a great skirt with a fabulous top; it makes me feel better, and I LOVE a great pair of stilettos.”  

Style Inspiration: “I take inspiration from many places.  Knowing my body is first – the older I get the more I have learned to love my body and my curves.”  Sarah also takes a nod from her strong female friends, who also have great style.  “I love confident women who are daring with fashion without the overkill.  I think it’s important to appreciate everyone’s sense of fashion, otherwise we would be a pretty boring society.”  Sarah also attributes the 1920s and ‘60s and Ms. Sophia Loren as other fashion motivators.

Name your three favorite Erie restaurants. “I love great food, great atmosphere, and great company – so I love to dine! I’m a sucker for BYOB.  I am currently frequenting Avanti’s, La Bella, and Pie in the Sky.”  PS: Sarah loves to eat her dessert first—a great way to be! 

List your three favorite Red Carpet moments.  In preparation for the big Oscar night Sarah listed her top three favs:  “Kate Beckinsale at the 2012 Golden Globes wearing Roberto Cavalli was amazing, breathtaking!  Anne Hathaway as presenter for the 2011 Oscar’s- changing every 24 minutes- wearing Lanvin, Tom Ford, Armani Prive, Versace, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Vivienne Westwood, and Givenchy.  Wow!  Lastly, I have to say Bjork’s swan dress by Marjan Pejoski at the 2001 Oscar’s.”  Well put, Sarah!!  

Sarah is owner of the Erie Dance Conservatory, where she is the Artistic Director as well as board member for the non-profit company, Dance Instructor at Villa Maria Academy, and treasurer for the Regional Dance America/Northeast. She is the past president of the Erie Dance Consortium, has been the co-chair of the 2009 and chair of the 2011 Erie Festival of Dance.  Phew!  Busy girl!

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