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If there is one prevailing trend in fashion right now, it's inconspicuous luxury, and the mixing of rough and tumble style with high-end accents.  Think current fashion-favorite, Erin Wasson's coveted "edgy chic" look of or girl-of-the-moment, Alexa Chung's blend of fashion-forward style and hedonistic embellishments.  These days it's all about a slouchy t-shirt, ratty pair of jeans and luxe accessories.  And nobody does luxe accessories quite like Australian born jewelry line, St. Kilda.

What makes St. Kilda so unique is their ability to seamlessly combine edgy looks with elegant execution, so that even a scorpion ring has a feminine feel when done in 18k gold and white diamonds.  But even the most conservative fashionphiles will find a little something to love in St. Kilda's extensive collection: There are the daintiest gold, silver and jeweled rings perfectly delicate on their own or stacked, floral shaped pink diamond studs for your ears, and tiny heart pendants that rest sweetly on your collarbone.

At St. Kilda it's all in the details; an apparently simple rose gold band offers a secret message with "loved" engraved on the side, and a snake bracelet winks mischievously from your wrist with one emerald eye.  Through sensational designs created in precious and semi-precious materials, St. Kilda jewelry is both on-trend, and classic.

To understand more about St. Kilda's inspiration, I met with the line's designer and creator, Nora Kogan.  See what she had to say about her lustworthy collection:

NATTY STYLE: When did you begin designing, and what were you doing before?

NORA KOGAN: Unofficialy, I started designing jewelry in my teens. My mother's passion was jewelry, she collected antique jewelry and had many pieces custom made. She appreciated my sensibility and taste and always asked my opinion.  Helping my mum segued into making jewelry for friends and girlfriends and led to custom work and eventualy to starting St. Kilda! 

Before I decided to go to school and study goldsmithing, I traveled and lived all over the world. In Japan, I worked in nightclubs and did Russian translations and radio voice-overs, in Israel I studied in a Yeshiva. In London, I worked as a nanny...I bummed around and avoided responsibility.

NS: What is the inspiration behind your designs?

NK: Anything that captures my imagination. Something I half see out of the corner of my eye and want to interpret as a piece of jewelry. Very often, it's the stones themselves.

NS: Do you have any muses?

NK: My girlfriend, Karen, is most definitely my muse, and often the recipient of my best new pieces! I love her style - laid back, she looks effortless but is kinda chic. She's a tomboy who's definitely a girl. And she is always true to herself. 

NS: Is there a dream person you'd like to see wearing St. Kilda, or a place you'd love to see it sold?

NK: Charlotte Gainsbourg. She's like the feminine version of Karen.

NS: Do you have a favorite piece from the collection?

NK: Right now I'm in love with my new wedding rings, especially the Rapture ring in 18k black gold!

NS: Anything else you would like to share?

NK: I just opened my first store a year ago and what I love now is being able to make one-of-a-kind pieces. Because people are coming to me now primarily for wedding and engagement rings, I'm doing what I love to do best, designing with a person in mind. I feel like I've come a full circle. Plus, doing the interior of the store has brought out the decorator in me. I'm feeling a second career in the future!

So are we, Nora - and if it's anything like your first career, it's sure to be filled with sparkles and success!

Visit St. Kilda's new Brooklyn boutique for the best selection, or shop online where Natty Style readers will receive an EXCLUSIVE 25% DISCOUNT now through Tuesday, February 2nd.  Enter the code "NATTY25" in the comments section upon checkout to receive your discount.  Happy Shopping!



LITTLE LUXURIES: A Little Hanky Panky...

Need a little pick me up, but don't want to break the bank?  There are plenty of Little Luxuries that can make you feel like a million bucks without actually spending anywhere near that much.  In this case, candy colored panties fit the bill at around $20 a pop.  

I'm not sure when I adopted my love of pretty underthings, but it was long before there was anyone to see them, that's for sure.  My motto has always been that lingerie is for you, and even if it stays buried under jeans or sweats all day long - you will feel more confident knowing that you have a sexy little secret.  

The conflict comes when your sweet looking undies don't feel so sweet, bunching up under clothing or rubbing in all the wrong places.  Hanky Panky understands a girl's need for pretty yet practical panties like no other.  That's why their line of comfy, lacy-little-things has become a drawer staple for ladies everywhere.  Available in a rainbow of colors - Hanky Panky's most popular style, the low-rise thong, sits where you want it to and not where you don't - avoiding the dreaded VPL (Visible Panty Lines).  Because the only time your panties should be seen, is when your clothing is not.

And now, these longtime fan favorites are newly available in PETITE SIZING - because everyone could use a little Hanky Panky in their lives...

Psst:  For the month of January, Hanky Panky will be donating 10% of all proceeds from website sales to the relief efforts in Haiti!  Hooray for panties with a purpose!



NATTY NEWS: Golden Globes 2010

Last night was the 67th annual Golden Globe Awards in LA; a night where the biggest and best from both film and television get to pat each other on the back and promote their latest projects.  While we all know these awards are more about Hollywood politics than merit - we fashionphiles have still got to watch for what's really worthwhile: the clothes!  Here are my fashion favorites from the red carpet:

Toni Colette - Elie Saab
If Moet & Chandon made a dress...

Heather Graham - Elie Saab
Just the right amount of razzle dazzle - the sleek ponytail was the perfect finish

Jennifer Anniston - Valentino Couture
What Jennifer does best - simple yet sexy

Julia Roberts - Vintage YSL, necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels
Hot Mama - the epitome of effortlessly chic

Kate Bosworth - Calvin Klein
Fresh faced and pretty - the little braid makes the outfit

Olivia Wilde - Gucci
Drop. Dead.  Dazzling!

Kate Hudson - Marchesa
White done right

While I like to keep Natty Style focused on the positive, I've gotta give one shout-out for the worst dressed of the evening, Chloe Sevigny.   If you saw the show - you'll remember the little snafu involving an usher stepping on her dress while she accepted her award.  From her pursed lips and entitled eye-roll during the announcement of her nomination, to her overt anger on stage - Chloe was not looking good.  Besides the fact that her Valentino gown was overworked and unflattering, Chloe was missing the one most important style essential: grace.

Chloe Sevigny - Valentino
Petty in petals


NATTY NEWS: A Single Man Who Does It All

When Tom Ford announced that he would be expanding his resume from designer to director, both the film and fashion industries stood waiting with baited breath. Such a bold move has seldom been done, never mind successfully. But lucky for Ford - everything he touches turns to gold...or tortoise shell, or fine italian cashmere...and his foray into film making already echos the success of his cult favorite collections for Gucci, and super successful solo career.

A Single Man is a triumph in cinematic storytelling. From a fashion perspective - its a thrill to watch. Thanks to Ford's fashions and costume design by Arriane Philips, the entire cast is outfitted head to toe in pitch-perfect period pieces. Even the most minute background character looks like they were ripped straight from an issue of Vogue circa 1962. The props and set direction transport the viewer to another world - one where your office accessories exhibit feng shui-like organization, phone booths act as a frame for handsome and willing men, and students chain smoke seductively in class. The impeccable composition of each frame exhibit Fords trademark eye for visual design. 

But all of that is no surprise for a film done by one of fashion's most immortal dieties. What's less expected a is the delivery of this heartbreaking story, originally written as a novel by Christopher Isherwood. Colin Firth's portrayal of George Falconer, a man trying to rediscover his place in the world following the unexpected death of his lover, is heartbreaking. From the moment Firth enters the screen, the viewer becomes invested in his character; feeling his pain as though it was your own. Your stomach lurches at his lamenting words, your chest tightening at his empty stare. In turn, Julianne Moore wreaks of desperation as George's fragile best friend and ex-lover. And even british born Nicholas Hoult offers a surprisingly haunting portrayal as Firth's Californian "student-and-then-some".

My only criticism is actually of Matthew Goode - whose performance is, appropriately, only "good", but not great. While I wanted to believe him as the perfectly infallible memory of Firths lost love - I found him slightly ingenuine. This could be from a lack of chemistry between the two heterosexual actors, however this is Goode's 3rd recent gay role - implying that he should be used to conjuring intimacy with unlikely partners. What's more likely is that when contrasted directly with Firth's stirring character study, almost anyone would pale by comparison.

From the impeccable curated set and costume design to the well tailored script and award worthy performances - A Single Man may just be the single best film of the year. If you haven't seen it yet, go now - this may be your only chance to snag a little piece of Tom Ford for under $15.



TREND TRACKING: Top 10 Trends for 2010

It's a New Year and a New You...welcome 2010 with the best of the season:

Not just for virgins anymore

Shades of pale pink that will leave you breathless

Sweats pants meet streetwear

It must be in our jeans...

Calling all Tomboys!

Fashion hasn't lost it's edge

Utilitarian trends work the runway

Don't be shy...

Platforms take the stage

Enslave yourself...