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SXSW: the Valentino Rockstud Challenge

3 11 2012

Valentino Spring Rockstud Collection, 212 872 2577

In honor of SxSW, Valentino outfitted our social girl with four accessories from their Spring Rockstud Collection.  The challenge? incorporate one Rockstud piece into her look each day.  See it unfold below:

Valentino Rockstud

Day 8: Rockstuds kind of do go with jean shorts. When you’re desperate.

Know when you get to the very bottom of your suitcase?  Dregs of the rejects, last thing you want to wear, can’t even believe you packed it kind of stuff. Well…that’s where I am today.  The most casual of the casual, least BG of the least BG: my Wrangler cut-off jean shorts.

Yes: I live in Brooklyn.  Yes: I am aware what a SXSW stereotype cut-off jean shorts will make me… but, when it’s super hot and the rest of your clothes are sporting the film of long days and nights, your options become obsolete.  And so there I was, realizing that I was going to have to figure out the best way to pair Valentino Rockstud Kitten Heels with a pair of twenty year-old cut-off Wrangler jean shorts that first were worn during my barn days.  The secret? Keep everything else very low-key.

Valentino Rockstud Kitten Heel, 212 872 2577

But, allow me to let you in on a little secret: Rockstuds are very adaptable.  Perhaps it’s the studs (in fact I know that it’s the studs) but I’ve found that, no matter what, Rockstuds will go with the flow (even if it is a pair of cut-off jean shorts, Theyskens’ Theory tuxedo-tail tee, Rag & Bone/Half United necklace jumble and Tumblr canvas tote).  Not at all what you would expect from the Valentino team, right?  Nevertheless, the foot sitch still is in a state.  And, as much as I love my Ash high-tops, my feet needed to breathe.  Enter the kitten heels again.  And let me just tell you: I wore them from this morning until… well, this is awkward because I’m still wearing them.  Nevertheless, Valentino’s kitten heels are extraordinarily comfortable.  So much so that I’m going to switch into my own personal pair later tonight so that I won’t mess these pretty samples during my Sixth Street stomp and last hurrah.

And so I suppose that means that this is my last post for the Valentino Rockstud Challenge.  Oh goodness, I’m going to miss these moments of blatant honesty.  Additionally, I’m going to miss toting around seriously cool bags and wearing shoes that consistently were stopped by everyone from fashion followers to geeks who simply thought that Rockstuds were the coolest things they’d seen since floppy disks.  And I really do want to thank the Valentino team for being so open to this idea… seriously.  The good news is that our full slam-dunk Rockstud event takes place next week (apparently my office is stuffed to the gills with all things Rockstud to photograph for 5th/58th) and word on the street is that we’ll have all sorts of incredible limited-edition pieces that are  exclusive to us.  So, while I loathe to bid farewell to these kickin’ kicks & bags, I am so looking forward to discovering the rest of Valentino’s Rockstud Spring Collection.  Do wonder what other springtime colors they’ll have…

View the Rockstud Collection
Thursday, March 22 – Friday, March 23
Main Floor
212 872 2577

Can’t make it to the City?
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Rockstud Kitten Heels 212 872 8947

Day 7: Downtown Bound

Good gracious. Cannot believe that it’s Thursday!

Actually relocated downtown today which has entirely adjusted the clothing sitch.  Silly thing to say – but also quite true.  The morning was ominous, cool, so dressed for it with white skinny jeans, a trusty gray tee, Isabel Marant blazer and… you guessed it: the green kitten heels (212 872 8947)!  I’ve been so wanting to wear them and am thrilled to finally have the opportunity.  It’s odd when wearing shoes that actually aren’t yours: you become quite concerned with not putting them in the path of scuffed-heel danger and the like.  And so my pretty springtime Rockstuds joined me on the balcony whilst I worked on a blog post, then they travelled a few blocks to lunch with Tuesday’s fellow panelist @Lyst and finally to see emerging Texas artist Hudson Moore play at Whole Foods (don’t you love how even the grocery stores are showcasing live music during SxSW?).

I must say this about the kitten heels: they are the most comfortable pair of heels that you will wear.  In fact, my own pair inspired this series when I told the Valentino team that I was taking them to Austin and wanted to write about how ridiculously comfortable they were.  The kitties traveled all over Fashion Week and even saved 3rd floor buyer Jamie from uncomfortable shoe-dom.  Even co-workers throughout the office are counting down the days until next week’s Rockstud Event when we’ll have an exclusive assortment of their super comfortable kitten heels in springtime colors.  I hear that they just arrived today and cannot wait to see how the rest of them look!

Photo: Lisa Wade

Photo: Lisa Wade (sadly, Small Clutch was in the car!)

Day 6: 

When you live in a city full of tourists, it’s rare to actually switch places and be one.  Well, that’s what we were today as we explored Austin with the absolute best Austin city guide, legendary Texas artist Bob Wade (more on that adventure tomorrow).

For our zoom around the city, dressed casually in leather shorts, a long sheer shirt with black lace cardi & black tank beneath and chunky, clunky necklace Ken Downing once compared to cacti…seemed appropriate for Austin.  As my feet are close to full recovery, will definitely consider your recommendation for the green kitten heels tomorrow.  Am ready for an accessories shift.  Let’s be honest: I’m failing the Rockstud Challenge right now!  Today accessorized my black and white look with the Small Clutch again… but tomorrow?  Baby steps…

Small Clutch, 212 872 2577

Getting geeky with my iPad: checking out our new Bergdorf Goodman channel on Zite! 

Day 5: Tastegraph Time

A confession: I’m absolutely cuckoo for colorblocks.  Particularly when neon fits into the mix. So you can imagine how difficult it was to ignore James’ Mix-Mastered pulls last week… particularly when he chose Nanette Lepore’s striped shorts.  True, I had been pining for a piece of Nanette’s neon-infused Spring Collection since seeing it march down the runway last September, but the need reached a fever-pitch last Thursday night when I made a 5F dash and scooped them up.  It only was appropriate to wear them on the day our Tastegraph Panel presented to those intrigued by fashion interactive at SxSW.

Unfortunately didn’t have a red dotty top to pair with Nanette’s shorts (as James so expertly styled them); so, in thinking of the neon-soled shoes from Nanette’s Spring collection, I paired the electric stripes with a chartreuse tee, my new favorite Ash high-tops (212 872 8941) and Theory skinny belt worn as a bracelet.  Opted for the Small Clutch (212 872 2577) again today because I liked how it toned down the whole neon feel while meshing with the crazy-shouldered Isabel Marant blazer (you can see its full shape if you scroll below).

Actually had an opportunity to change clothes tonight and paired the Single Strap bag with white skinny jeans, a printed top, Marant blazer and… you guessed it: my Ash sneaks.

Things calm down tomorrow and get a bit more hip as SxSW shifts from Interactive (ie: dork-tastic tech talks about augmented reality, open APIs and the like) to Music.  5th/58th will be a bit more exciting in the coming days as our guy scribe, David Coggins, will be joining me to cover music, discover Austin City Secrets and far more.   Tomorrow my boss & I have high hopes of playing tourist, and we’re determined to see all that makes Austin wonderfully weird.


Photo: Neiman Marcus

Photo: @NeimanMarcus

Day 4: Breaking Them In: 

Perhaps my enthusiasm for a sunny day preempted the fact that my feet were not quite prepared for a tights-less, sock-less experience.  Because, really, you must ready your feet for their first springtime adventure… particularly when it comes to new shoes.

Today was graced with the cheerful, bubble-gum pink Rockstud skimmer, a delightful combination of don’t mess with me and sweet.  I couldn’t wait to wear them.  Sadly, my feet were not ready — particularly when it comes to trotting around downtown Austin.  The art of comfortably breaking in a new pair of shoes takes time and…toughness.  One would think that a New York City gal already would be primed for a big break in, and I naively assumed that I would be up for the challenge.  But, no matter the shoe, a certain level of adaptation is involved (even the chartreuse Ash high-tops rubbed me the wrong way in spots).

That said, I still adore the bubble-gum pink Rockstud flats and, in considering wearing them, I would advise not charging from meetings to fashion meet ups to impromptu Jay Z concerts (yes: a friend may have sent me on a bit of a scavenger hunt that ended with a ticket hiding on a tree) and such… particularly when your day is 14-hours long.  So, in some sense, this post is the purest reason for this series: to give you an honest assessment of each piece and show how it was used during a busy day during SxSW.

And, as I said, I absolutely adore the way that these skimmers look… and, if asked if I would purchase them knowing what I now know, I’d still get them.  Breaking in a new pair of shoes is a process and it was my fault to think that they didn’t require baby-steps.  I hope that my feet toughen up so that I can wear them again!

Today paired the pink simmers with a pair of teal Rag & Bone shorts, floral-print blouse and striped knit blazer.  Due to circumstances of considerable bad luck, the strap of my personal handbag broke during my journey to Austin… so I completed the look with the Small Clutch in one arm and canvas Tumblr tote in the other.

Am speaking tomorrow, so must sort out what I’m wearing tonight… hope that my feet recover!

photo by Carrie Hammer

Photo by @carriehammer

Day 3: 

The sun finally shines on Austin!

A few discoveries today:
1) what you put on at 8am is what you’ll wear until 1am
2) Ash’s high-tops were the best decision ever
3) you really can wear a belt as a bracelet
4) SxSW tech boys don’t know what to think of fashion girls… and it’s endearingly hilarious

Valentino Small Clutch, 212 872 2577

photo: Matt Bean

Since it still was raining this morning, opted for Valentino’s Small Clutch.  Don’t let the name confuse you: it’s huge.  Like big enough to hold my laptop huge.  The air still was quite chill and damp this morning, so paired the Small Clutch with Current/Elliott’s boa-print jeans (note: Current/Elliott is a short girl’s dream.  If you’re 5’1″ or shorter, you must try them. 212 872 2843), Theyskens’ Theory tuxedo-tail tee and an Isabel Marant blazer.  Accented the look with Ippolita Hoops (212 872 2518), Theory’s colorblock scarf (check in to BG this week when you shop Theory and we’ll give the same scarf to you when you shop!), a neon Theory skinny belt worn as a bracelet and my chartreuse Ash high-tops (212 872 8941).

Valentino Small Clutch, Current/Elliot jeans, Ash hightops

.photo: Matt Bean

Small Clutch discoveries:
It doesn’t organize as efficiently as yesterday’s Single-Strap… but it can hold a laptop, which means it’s huge.  Also, like the Single-Strap, the double-interior pockets perfectly fit an iPhone.  While I didn’t carry my laptop, today’s contents included iPad, iPhone, wallet, umbrella, scarf, charger, camera, fix-the-face kit, granola bars, SxSW books and sunglasses.

What’s good about the small clutch is that it can hang from the crook of your elbow via the wrist strap… or you can hold it as a clutch (which is a look I’m quite keen for but never can quite master).  Another thing to note is that, like the Single-Strap, the Small Clutch doesn’t read too Uptown… so it doesn’t feel odd pairing it with high-tops and printed jeans.  Also, it’s a great conversation starter.

It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so can’t wait to see if I can finally give the skimmers a run… just don’t feel right risking them in the rain!

Eva Chen Tumblr

Photo: Eva Chen’s Tumblr

Day 2, Saturday: The Challenge Begins! 

My bag finally arrived this afternoon which means that the Challenge can officially begin.  Met up with twitter friends @evachen212, @neimanmarcus, @teenvogue and @NARSissist for a geek-chic gig at the W.  It’s cold and rainy and everyone’s damp and dressed down… So I opted for the single-strap bag that resembles denim and paired it with white skinny jeans, a printed/lace combo up top, neon chartreuse Ash high-tops  and trench cinched closed with a vintage Hermes scarf (if you ever lose the belt to your trench, scarves are a grand way to close them).

As for the bag, made a few discoveries:

1) While relatively small, the single-strap bag shockingly fits a wallet, camera, iPhone, charger, SxSW badge, gloss/mascara/TF Foundation Stick and umbrella (yes, all of that is hiding in that tiny bag you see above)

2) the dual interior pockets hold an iPhone perfectly

Valentino Single-Strap Bag, 212 872 2577

Day 1, Friday: Traveling

My Valentino Rockstud Challenge begins at thirty-thousand feet.  (We’ll call it Stage One, and I assume that it will be far, far more taxing than Stage Two… however, let’s not jump to conclusions or assumptions — yet.)  This challenge is perhaps the prelude to the true challenge (wear one Rockstud piece each day during SxSW): photoshopping out the background of each item seen above.  The reason I mention this somewhat innocuous moment is two-fold: 1) I currently am not wearing any Rockstud items because I didn’t want to risk damaging any of the loaned pieces during my cross-country journey to Texas.  2) Whilst silo-ing out the background of the lovely, lime-green kitten-heels you see above, the flight-attendant stopped — mid-cart-push — to ask me all about these wildly coquettish shoes.  After sharing a TSA-related giggle about those sultry rockstuds, she queried about comfort (incredibly comfortable) and then expressed her delighted puzzlement over the Uptown/Downtown dichotomy (kitten heel with spikes?  oh my…).

So here’s the gist: when it comes to style, SxSW is notoriously low-key.  So the idea is to see how well a name as uptown as Valentino can mesh with the tech-crowd… while not looking too forced or overdone.  And don’t worry: this is not going to be some overwrought Rockstud show.  Think of it like our Facebook Today I’m Wearing series… with a Where’s Waldo element.  Like Today I’m Wearing, you’ll see what I wear each day, learn why I’m wearing it… but you’ll also see how Rockstud fits into the mix.

View an exclusive Rockstud Collection
Thursday, March 22 — Friday, March 23
Main Floor
212 872 2577