Monthly Archives: May 2011

GONE FISHING!

To all of you, my sweet readers, as you know I am moving out of my apartment today, and since Italy’s services suck, the internet company is taking their time to plug in my wireless, while I wait, and wait. Since my blogging activities are a bit more complex and my posting process requires research, scanning, drawing, then more research and so on, going to an internet cafe is not a good option. But I will try to prepare some simple posts for you to enjoy and upload them from an asian call center I’ve just spotted near my new crib. I’ll be back soon!

Sweet kisses to you all!

PS: WE ARE REACHING A 1000! NOT BAD FOR A ROOKIE…. THANKS FOR READING

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The Designer Diaries: Sweet Decadence S/S 2011

I know, I know I have to make it up to you! I have not posted for a few days now. I’m in the middle of moving out of my new apartment and in to my new one! I barely have time shower these days (at least I manage to do that everyday, haha). Just a quick post before I head out with my first load of boxes and suitcases!

From the beginning of this blogging journey (which I love more and more everyday) I have shown you my love for drawing and illustrating, my writing style, my opinions about fashion, my styling skills and even some do’s and dont’s. But you haven’t seen that other part of me, the creative one. That part where I let my brain run wild, taking me to places that exist only in that complex and fantastic world, commonly known as my mind.  The designer part.

This are three ensembles from one of the three collections I presented for my final project at school. The name, Sweet Decadence. A collection filled with contrasts, where the Sweet and the Raw blend together in a mix of soft and sheer fabrics and my favorite, leather. I hope you like it! I will be showing you other garments, even from my men’s collection!

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From Oaxaca, with love….

About a month ago, I had the chance to express travel to my country. The reason: my best friend’s wedding. The ceremony took place in her hometown, the always fascinating and magical city of Oaxaca. This colonial gem is well known for its history, architecture, folklore, food and Mezcal, a traditional mexican liquor (my head wasn’t thanking me the next day).  But to my delight, it is also very well-known for the handcrafted products made by talented local artisans. Small shops and markets can be found all over the city. I was only there for two nights, so I only had a few hours during the day (hangovers are not to be exposed under the blazing Oaxacan sun) to search for the perfect souvenir.

And then she caught my eye. In a small boutique, hidden under a stack of woven purses, all bursting with color, I fell in love. A bright orange netted bag, with a coin purse finish. With a leather strap that can be shortened or elongated, depending on how I want to wear it. In the middle, a giant yellow flower with big green leaves, all embroidered by hand. Inside, a funky lining that makes it even more particular.

Lining, embroidery detail, purse with protective bag, weave detail. Click to enlarge

A perfect purchase for a season where vibrant colors, florals and woven materials are definitely in. I personally think this could’ve belonged to a Prada runway. And the best part of it, I payed no more than 20 euros. Where in the world could someone buy a handmade product, with great quality and beautiful design for such a low price (they even give you a fabric bag to keep it from damaging when storing it in your closet)? WELCOME TO MY LOVELY MEXICO!

I will soon be posting an outfit based on my pretty purse, so check back soon!

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IN YOUR CLOSET: Heels, part 2

If you have been checking in, you have probably realized I haven’t posted anything in the past days. I was in a far away land, with no internet connection. But I am back, this time bringing you the second part of what to me are other must-have styles for the current season. After dissecting (more than once) L’Officiel, Elle Collections and Vogue Collections, magazines that cost 25 euros, very well spent (my boyfriend is still shocked that I am willing to spend this amount on paper), I came to the conclusion these were the most showcased styles on the Milan, Paris, NY and London runways.

FLOWERS IN THE WINDOW

As seen in: D&G

Obession, that’s how I feel now and how I will feel about flowers in fashion, ALWAYS. Also, and it suits me just fine, flowers are all over the season. Now that the cold winter is over, now that the sun is burning our legs while trying to wear a pair of jeans, begging for shorts, like the dessert misses the rain (ha!), flowers are showcasing themselves. Just look around, even the tiniest plant is in fashion, with flowers all around. Obviously, if they look good by themselves, they are going to look even better parading on our feet.

  • Karmenaf flower pumps, Steve Madden, $129.95
  • Floral t-straps, ASOS, $73
  • Flower embellished platforms, ASOS, $97
  • Floral print wedges, River Island. $113

I SEE COLORS IN THE AIR

As seen in: Pierre Hardy

You are probably tired of me speaking about color blocking and bright hues. But I have to, it’s the strongest trend of the season. Jil Sander, Gucci, Dior, you should be familiar with this by now. Indulge in it, enjoy it, play with it like you did when you were little with a box of crayons. This is the time to exploit it. A coulpe of months from now, when the season is over, you shall not have any regrets from when you bought that pair of canary platforms, or those hot pink wedges. Fashion it’s all about getting spotted, and noticed. So this trend is the perfect excuse to go mad and wild with color!

  • Tricolor suede wedges, Carvela, $242.50
  • Purple platform pumps, River Island, $113
  • Green with envy sandals, Carvela, $242.50
  • Yellow ankle straps, Zara, $98
CUT HERE
As seen in: Louboutin
No, this is not a conventional strappy sandal. Think of it as a piece of leather with holes cut in it. Made in a particular way so the pieces of skin are shown in a hide-and-seek kind of way. It’s like a puzzle, where the remaining pieces are parts of your feet. Sexy peek-a-boo, that’s what I like to call it. Satin, leather, even laser cut, find the pair that goes the most with your ways.
  • Idore cut out sandals, Novushoes.com, $145
  • Python platform sandals, Carvela, $161
  • Satin cut out sandals, ASOS, $72
  • Camel slingback sandals, ASOS, $75
LACE & LEATHER
As seen in: Dolce & Gabbana 
Va va boom! Nothing says sexy like a piece of lace. Lace can often be defined as a banner for women, for femeninity. You wear a lace dress, you will definitely get heads turning. It’s the fabric, with a little bit of see-thorugh, that gets that effect. So, like a recipe, sheer lace, with some leather and a sky-high heel that elongates the leg, you have got a winner. Wether you choose a bootie, or a peeptoe, even a pump, you can never go wrong. Ladylike but always sexy, Lace is a timeless classic, that when transformed into heels, Ladies and Gentleman, we’ve got a winner.
  • See-trough lace pump, Zara, $70
  • Peep tpe platform pump, Zara, $70
  • Satin & Lace bootie, ASOS, $72
  • Lace black bootie, BEBE, $160
WITHOUT THE PRETTY PINK RIBBON
As seen in: Moschino
Oh the ribbon! Oh the bow! And on shoes? Oh my lord! Creating the illusion your feet have been wrapped in a perfectly chic gift confection, this type of shoe not only embellishes your feet, but your ankles seem to be lost in the bow paradise. The ankle bracelet doesn’t seem enough. The lace ups go feeble. The ribbon front tie is the way to go. Found mostly in a platform or wedge, this style is must-have for the season. So wrap it up!
  • Navy scarf heel, Diane Von Furstenberg, $280
  • Gingham & floral wedges, ASOS, $161
  • Tan and floral wedges, New Look, $40.50
  • Floral espadrilles, River Island, $81
I hope you liked my S/S choices for shoes and I sure hope you are making some space in your budgets to get one of these styles. And for those ladies that are more into flats, stay tunes for my post, IN YOUR CLOSET: flats. I personally like to wear both, heels and flats, so if you are like me, check back to read on the best flat styles for the season.

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IN YOUR CLOSET: Heels, part 1

As we speak, we are fluctuating into Summer, which means half of the season is almost over. It also means those thick coats and heavy boots are now under storage (they have been there for a while now, I expect). I dare to assume (always hopeful and thankful if you have taken any of my advice), that your closet is now bursting with colors, blooming with floral prints and filled with lightweight fabrics. But in order to have it S/S ready, you can’t forget that instead of those wintery shoes, you have to fill your wardrobe with sexy, bare it all, calf enhancing heels. So take a good look at what you already have from past seasons that can work and invest on each of this styles (or the ones you like the most). You will be amazed by how most of these will be able to make the S/S to F/W transition. As I always say, apply some investment thinking!

THE CHUNKY WOODEN HEEL

As seen in: Prada

Very popular this days and very resourceful, this style can be found on most of the shoe shops around the globe. Its wide, wooden heel is so high it can reach 6 inches. But the platform is a big support and relief for our feet, they are really comfortable shoes. I just got mine a few days ago, and believe me when I say comfortable. I had to stand through 2 hours of a rugby match and walk really long distances without any kind of physical pain. For some people they may seem a bit heavy, agressive and not very ladylike. My father would probably say, “Why are there bricks on your feet”. But don’t be afraid of their chunkiness, au contraire, this shoe can be really flattering and leg lengthening. I would advice on buying a camel or tan pair, they go with almost everything. If you want a twist, there are also more daring styles. Jeffrey Campbell is the king of the chunk.

  • Tan with metallic platform, French Connection, $218
  • Leopard t-strap platforms, Jeffrey Campbell, $135
  • Black Bitten t-strap sandals, ASOS, $121
  • Qupid Saydie black platforms, Lulus.com, $35

PIMP YOUR PUMP

As seen in: Giuseppe Zanotti

For several seasons we forgot about this kind of shoe, our attention was fully concentrated on our beloved platforms. But hey, this is fashion. There is room for everyone! And so, the pump is back. Louboutin wowed us last season with those goregous studded ones (hello girlie punk!). I know the day I get to put those perfectly pedicured feet of mine inside those flawlessly made works of art, I may be at risk of having a small stroke. So this season, go bold. Mix the trend with another one. For example, bright colored pumps, or leopard, or the metallic stiletto heel (very Lanvin, thanks for that Alber).

  • Hot pink pump, ASOS, $121
  • Glitter silver pump, Zara, $99
  • Myley leopard pump with spiked heel, Steve Madden, $129.99
  • Black cut pump, Zara, $99

SHAKE YOUR BOOTIE

As seen in: Alexander Wang

There’s nothing I love more than a pair of boyfriend shorts or cutouts paired with this style. Even though a few years ago, a bootie could only be worn in winter. Nowadays it is absoultely possible and very fashionable to sport them on spring. With a wide range of designs and materials available, the possibilities are endless. Canvas, leather, leopard, woven, crochet, even lace. You can find them with a wooden heel or wedge, with a slingback, with a zipper, and we could go on like this all day long! Pick a garment you would never pair them with, and you’ll see it somehow works. Sundresses, harem pants, cropped jeans, mini skirts, leather skirts, mid-length skirts. Booties are a girl’s best friend.

  • Clog tan bootie, Idore, $135
  • Annie-L leopard wedge bootie, Steve Madden, $169.95
  • Lace up, slingback, bootie, ASOS, $72
  • Jeffrey Campbell brown cut out bootie, Lulus.com, $135

MERRY MARY JANES

As seen in: Christian Louboutin

Oh we all have little girl complex, that Lolita inside us. This kind of shoe can’t help but make us feel flirty, innocent but with a touch of sexy. It makes us wanna wear a polka dot dress and a bright red lipstick with soft retro waves in our hair. This style is particularly flattering to the leg. For example, for fuller legs you should try to stay away from ankle straps, since they cut the length of your leg. But since the strap on a Mary Jane is located in a lower position, it doesn’t give away the illusion of having a chunkier leg. Double straps, triple straps, t-straps, platforms, suede, the Mary Jane has been altered throughout the years, but always maintaining that girlie air we like so much and the gents appreciate even more.

  • Mary Jane wedge, ASOS, $72
  • Cheetah powder pump, Jessica Simpson, $98
  • Suede orange MJ, ASOS, $105
  • Purple suede courts, Carvela, $226

TIE ME UP

As seen in: Emilio Pucci

Heavenly bodies are not the only thing that comes to mind when hearing the word Gladiator. Knots, straps, and leather, lots of leather come together in this style with one purpose, embellish our paws. Although this type of shoe oozes sensualtiy, you have to pay attention when buying your pair. Sometimes the straps are too tight for some feet, even if they are “adjustable”. This will result in pain, discomfort and you will be “suffocating” your feet, not letting blood flow normally. Another problem is that with this shoes, the toes tend to stick out if the fit is not proper. This is a big, big fashion DON’T! And please, don’t wear those gladiator sandal-boots, unless they are those Pucci thigh highs, then it’s ok!

  • Magenta rope sandals, Topshop, $129
  • Knotted sandals, ASOS, $153
  • Hide Away sandals, Chinese Laundry, $89.95
  • Black caged sandals, Mea Shadow, $220
Always have your feet pefectly groomed, for some tips go to my previous post. Remeber we have feet, not claws!
Check back for the second part of this post! More spring, more summer, more shoes!

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Chanel Cruise 2012

 Chanel Cruise 2012 Invitation (Chanel.com)

May and Antibes were witnesses of Chanel’s Cruise collection for 2012. The first of some of the fashion shows we will be seeing these days. Mastermind and talented multitasker (also overachiever), Karl Lagerfeld released to our delight a preview of his short movie “The Tale of a Fairy” days before the show to make our expectations and curiosity grow even more. Starring The Kaiser’s muse, Anna Mougalis, supermodel wonder Freja Beha Erichsen, Lagerfeld’s protegè, Baptiste Giabiconi, Kirsten McMenamy and Bianca Balti among others.

With the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the beautiful coast of Antibes as a background, Chanel showcased the collection in a catwalk surrounded by garden tables with white, outdoor umbrellas. Australian sensation (and a personal favorite) Abbey Lee Kershaw, now with platinum blonde locks, opened the show in canary yellow. And like this Mr. Lagerfeld color blocked the different styles. First came the yellow outfits, then lilac ones, followed by beige, and so on. Lots of tailored, monochromatic suits were shown in the long runway. Shimmery one piece swimsuits were successfully paired with classic Chanel tweed short jackets. Classic chanel black and beige in swimwear, skirts, dresses, trousers, kaftans. Embellished pieces, printed ones. A collection where the choices are endless.  Everything accesorized with pearls, brooches, all real, all diamond. This is Karl telling the world, more is more, and it’s never enough (and I agree, that’s my motto in life). The show ended with The Kaiser strutting his fabulous self in his trademark black ensemble.

FAVORITE LOOKS:

Skirts below the knee and the boot thongs (Emily Baker). Flirty beige in Sara Blomqvist. Air of first class preppiness (Alina Kozelkova). Swimwear with tweed jackets (Danisa Dvorakova). Double breasted with tweed for Julia Saner. Photos Style.com

Black and white perfection (Kristen McMenamy). Long lengths in white (Merethe Hopland. Goregous gown, goregous model, Saskia de Brauw. See thorugh in Abbey Lee. Formal (Iselin Steiro). All photos style.com

THE FRONT ROW, BEST-DRESSED

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She’s all that

She is Queen of a castle she built with her hands.

She is so beautiful she never had to leave her coccoon, she was already born butterfly…

With a touch of her wand, she can bring the sun and make the rain go away…

She never stops watching, she never stops caring. Continue reading

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SEVEN DEADLY SINS: Feet

The beautiful thing about Spring and Summer is that we can finally show off our feet in beautiful summery, strappy and bare-it-all sandals. What inspired me to do this post was the atrocious big no-no’s I have seen on the streets so far. A barely there shoe must be worn to enhance our features, but it also must stick to the standard rules of aesthetics and hygiene. The fact that the sun is out there gives us the chance to display some skin but always when it has been properly taken care of. Shoes are made to embellish our paws, not claws. So here are the 7 sins every woman must avoid when showcasing feet for the world to see.

Sin no.1: CHIPPED POLISH

One of the things that speak most about someone’s personal care are the nails. Even if you have a pair of shoes that go perfect with your dream outfit, if your feet are not well groomed and your polish looks like it has survived a week’s battle, go with closed pumps or flats. No one wants to see the remnants of what once was a glorious pedicure. If you are in a rush and you have to absolutely wear those sandals, take 5 minutes (even if you are late, 15 minutes are always catalogued as fashionably late) to paint over those chipped toes with the same color you are wearing and throw on some top coat.

Sin no.2: EMBELLISHED NAILS

Unless your name is Shaniqua or you are the wife of some Russian mob king or a Mexican drug lord, you must avoid this kind of pedicure. Not that it’s right for them, but usually that kind of woman’s fashion is so tacky we can’t even bother to scrutinize it. Let’s be honest here, “diamond” encrusted nails with swirls of white and blush are never going to give you the “million dollar babe” status. Au contraire, they are just gonna make you look cheaper than mexican singer Laura Leon (make sure you Goolge her just to have a good laugh).

Sin no.3: GAVILAN POLLERO NAILS

In case you are wondering about the title in spanish, ( if you haven’t already gotten the message with the illustation) Gavilan means Hawk. Hawk toe nails are just hideous. Common sense tells us our hands are beautiful when our nails have a long length. This rule must never apply to our toes. Bigger toenails do not mean prettier feet. Longer toenails do not enhance your pedicure!

Sin no.4: BITTEN YELLOW NAILS

I get it, we sometimes have behaviors we are not proud of. Some people are into boogers, some into manually clipppingthe nails. If you wanna indulge into your little guily pleasure, just don’t put it out there for the world to see. Your nails look like they have just survived Chernobyl, don’t show them off. And please, I beg you, never ever wear fake nail on your toes, because it shows. It looks like you just glued on some m&m’s on them. Beautiful feet are hard to find, but if God didn’t bless you with them, at least keep your pair perfectly clipped. If you can’t, closed shoes are always an option.

Sin no.5: DREADFUL TOE RING

Even if you have the most beautiful wriggles on earth, a toe ring won’t make them prettier. I don’t care if you are wearing an 18 karat Chopard number (I don’t think Chopard even makes this type of accessories), toe rings are just wrong. You wanna wear rings, you have 10 fingers on your hands to play with. Shoes were made to embellish your feet. Stick to that! Even if you are barefoot and the nakedness of your feet bothers you, never get a piece of metal down there, it looks wrong and even a tad uncomfortable.

Sin no.6: MELTING TOES

Ever get the uncomfortable feeling your toes are sliding up the front of your shoes? If you have, then Houston, we have a problem. It doesn’t matter if your sporting a pair of $1000 wedges. The fit is wrong. Shoemakers sell styles that can be right for some feet and wrong for others. It depends of the width, the form, the length (Louboutin has that issue even if they make the world’s most beautiful feet accessories, not all types fit right on everyone). So before buying a new pair of high heels, always pay attention to the inclination. Make sure it doesn’t make your toes stick out! If the shoe doesn’t fit…..

Sin no.7: CALLOUSED HEELS

Oh boy, probably the worst of all sins. To anyone sporting it, may I just say: “Girl, have you abandoned yourself?” I know that walking long distances in heels or even flats may cause this kind of malfunction. Just a tip: keep a heel file or a pumice stone in the shower so everytime you do that (I want to assume you do it often) you can scrub your heels and smooth the hell out of them. You don’t need a professional pedicurist to do it for you, you can do it yourself and put some lotion afterwards! Avoid hobo heels!

LAST BUT NOT LEAST……

You don’t need to spend a half month salary in pedicures. You can pay for one once or twice a month and then do it yourself. Think of it as maintenance. No need to spend a fortune on tools, you’ll find them at the supermarket. I give you my must-have pedicure kit:

You’ll need cuticle scissors and clippers (Tweezerman and Revlon are the way to go), a nail file, a buffer (Obey your Body), cotton balls and nail polish remover (choose one with Aloe or Keratin), nail file and body scrub (granulated sugar) for softening, a cuticle pencil (Sally Hansen), a peppermint cream to refresh your feet, oil to soften your cuticle when pushing it (I preferr to push cuticle than to cut), body lotion to hydrate before coloring nails, base coat before applying polish, nail enamel of choice and top coat to get the glossy look an to make it last even more.

A tip, for killer legs, avoid ingrown hairs by applying a Glycolic Acid solution once a day after showering, then lotion with glycerine. Don’t sunbathe when using Glycolic Acid. If you are set to go on a beach vacation, stop using it and apply Sunblock (Anthelios by LaRoche Posay is great).

Now you know it, wear your sandals with pride! AND FLAUNT THEM!

ALL ILLUSTRATIONS By Ana Sofia Alanis

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Spring Trends Know-how: Color Blocking

In my previous post Spring Obsessions: Color Blocking Essentials I gave you some tips about what to buy in order to pull off this kind of look, very IN this season. For today’s post I have put together three different looks, each featuring the different items I listed before. This so you can see how I do color blocking. There are no rules for doing it yourself, just go with whatever you think looks good. This are just mere Sw&Rw suggestions.

LOOK 1:

This is can work for day or night. I chose a hot pink blazer with cuffed sleeves (you can also find it in Orange). The fit is great and it is very flattering. I paired it with skin-tight ankle trousers, you can find these in every retail store and in lots of colors. These are cotton and also stretch. For the top, I went for a loose silk button down. Any blouse will work as long as it falls naturally when you tuck it in. You don’t want a structured shirt. You can see her bra, I know, I can see it too. I you have small bust, any bra will do. If you have large breasts (like me) go for a bra with more coverage and without the push up, you don’t wanna look like your twins are about to choke the life out of you. For the shoes, colored platform pumps are the way to go. Accessories, I love the way gold blends in with the color clash.  A long pendant, two solid rings and a cuff or bracelet (this ASOS claw one is to die for!) will do the trick. For beauty, highlight your look with a soft, peachy shade. And for the bag, Furla’s see through Candy is perfect and also affordable (I love this bag).

-Blazer, Zara, $60 -Trousers, Zara, $30 -Blouse, ASOS, $75 -Suede pumps, Steve Madden, $89.95 -Safety pin ring, ASOS, $10 – Solid ring, Topshop, $11 -Teadrop pendant, Miss Selfridge, $23.50 -Claw clamp, ASOS, $25.50 -Lipstick, Rouge Dior in Andaluse, $38 – Candy bag, Furla.

LOOK 2:

Makes you think “Tutti Frutti”, doesn’t it? Color blocking green, yellow and pink is absolutely a personal favorite. For this outfit I chose a green solid, volume skirt. It’s very flattering, even useful on those day where bloating is present. You should pair it whith a solid top. I like those sleeveless with a silky finish. I think they manage to look natural and flawless when tucked in. Since we  have a lot going on, for the shoes I chose nude peep toes. These ones are great because they are not the typical style. The wooden chunky heel gives them a twist. For accessories, I chose my favorite belt for the season, the colored braided one. As I have told you before, Zara has them in green, pink, blue and camel. For jewelry I chose a chain necklace with the word Love in it. I would love to have one with my name, so if any of you know where I can get one, I would appreciate it. Chain, gold and nude bracelet and a golden bangle. We don’t want to overwhelm nor channel a Jackson Pollock gone bad painting, we want to look perfectly chic. For the bag, again Jil Sander. Mind blowing Jil Sander. So if you can’t own that fabulous orange ruffle skirt or the goregous flower print maxi dress, make a mental note to own at least a piece of this show-stopper! Even the makeup bag would do!

-Skirt, Zara, $38 -Silky tank, Zara, $28 -Braided belt, Zara, $10 -Nude peep toes, Steve Madden $99.95 -Love neckalce, Forever21, $3.80 -Gold bangle, Forever21. $4.80

LOOK 3:

Skin-tight jersey dresses are very resourceful. They can look totally different depending on how you combine them and what accessories you add to the mix. I chose this cropped, off-shoulder, knitted jumper with sheer (also knitted) panels. I paired the look with caged, coral, platform sandals but if you are going casual, ditch the heels and wear some flirty colorful sandals. For accessories, I went for an ethnic style mixed with golden bangles and rings, simple gold one and colorful statement ones. Color your lips with a bright fuchsia shade. Always go for creamy lipsticks, they give a better effect. YSL and Dolce & Gabbana have great quality ones. For the bag, go big and colorful. And slouchy. Like this Jil Sander Market leather purse (Raf Simmons seems to have done everything to perfection this season).

-Jersey dress, ASOS, $33.50 -Cropped jumper, RiverIsland, $50 – Caged heels, Bakers, $59.99 -Bracelets, Forever21, $5.80 -Love ring, ASOS, $13.35 – Enamel purple ring, ASOS, $13.35 – Pink cut out ring, Topshop, $14 – Provocative Pink Lipstick, YSL, $34 -Market bag, Jil Sander

So there you have it, my three alternatives to successful Color Blocking (at least from my point of view). With this trend, possibilities are endless. So start mixing!

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