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Grace Ciao Flower Illustrations


I recently stumbled on the fashion illustrations from Grace Ciao, a business student in Singapore who does freelance illustrations in her free time. I love fashion illustrations. I have an entire folder on Pinterest dedicated to the fashion illustrations I want to frame and put on the wall in my fabulous dressing room someday. These ones are special though – Grace uses real flowers to create the most magnificent dresses made of real petals. It is so artistic and so incredibly creative. I am in awe of the pieces she creates with these flowers. They would make truly stunning dresses in real life.


Lillies, irises, carnations—it’s the perfect kind of artwork and imaginative design that every woman who wanted to be a fairy princess as a little girl would delight in. I hope she goes on to be a designer once she finishes business school. The girl clearly has talent.



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Posted: 30th May 2014 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Pretty Things | Leave a comment

See Eyewear


Last week I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening party for the new See Eyewear in downtown Seattle — the first boutique in the Northwest. Now, I’m not a glasses-wearer, but truthfully, it doesn’t really matter —the glasses and sunglasses here are trendy and stylish, so I’d gladly wear any pair without the prescription lenses — and I’m not the only one! Their tag line is “hip without the rip” because they source directly from the world’s most forward thinking designers — meaning, the price tag for shoppers is much more affordable then other eyeglass spots.

I spent the party trying on frames of all shapes, sizes, and colors and have marked a few for purchase on my next visit. I also had the chance to meet the founder, Richard Golden — who naturally, had very fashionable glasses and was entirely charming. I am planning to head back for a pair of sunglasses in the next week before spring hits.

And now, a little something for you. See Eyewear is helping me give away a free pair of their prescription or non-prescription eyewear for one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on the post, below, and a winner will be chosen at random next Wednesday, February 26. What are you waiting for? Go comment!


xoxo, lovelies! And good luck.

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Posted: 19th February 2014 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, My Life, Shopping in Seattle | 20 Comments

Kate Spade Fall/Winter 2014


New York Fashion Week wrapped up a week ago, did you follow along with any of the collections? I kept pretty close tabs through Instagram, but my favorite by far was — of course — Kate Spade. I love pretty much EVERYTHING about this collection for next fall and winter. It keeps to the Kate Spade basics – classic, throwback lines, bright colors, a little leopard print, ladylike silhouettes, beautiful coats, and bows. My top pick is the dress on the bottom — I adore the bright pattern and the origami style bow on the top, as well as the bell shape of the skirt. It makes me want to throw a party. The polka dot slip dress is pretty magical too — and I am a sucker for anything that combines black and tan together. In fact, can’t remember the last time Kate did something I didn’t like!


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Posted: 18th February 2014 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight | Leave a comment

Calypso St. Barth in Seattle


All images via M. Magee Photography

Calypso St. Barth came to Seattle this past month and I for one, could not have been more excited. I’ve loved the ultra-luxe brand for awhile now, so this was big news for me. I was so honored to be asked by them to host a special event at the new store for their Calypso Cares project benefitting Covenant House last weekend. All my friends and family and plenty of fashionable ladies stopped by to shop for super soft cashmere, cozy winter ensembles, glittering sequins, and deals on sweaters if they brought in a gently used one of their own for the teens of Covenant House. And you guys — if you haven’t been to the store yet, get thee to University Village stat. This store is gorgeous. Oh, and we had cookies and hot cocoa.


Everything is so beautifully merchandised at Calypso — makes shopping even easier (like it’s ever difficult). They even have a little home section with agate coasters I am seriously coveting, pillows with amazing textures, and little gifts.


I was all about the rabbit fur vest and went home with the cozy knit beanie with the pom on the top. Friends of mine went home with sweaters and even an incredible fur neck warmer that we decided could also be used as a turban – a furban if you will. Everyone had a blast trying on something – including the glam gold sequined evening gown. That was on the top of every wish list. As was a place to wear it to.


Thanks for having me Calypso St. Barth! It was so fun helping so many lovely ladies pick out winter fashions and lending a helping hand to Covenant House.


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Posted: 25th November 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, My Life, Retail Therapy, Shopping in Seattle | Leave a comment

Calypso Cares


Sweater: c/o Calypso St. Barth, Vest: J.Crew, Jeans: Paige Premium Denim, Boots: DV Dolce Vita, Necklace: Kate Spade, Bag: Louis Vuitton

Surprise! I did a personal style post — I know, they don’t happen enough here on The Style Umbrella — and even Luna got in on the action. But this sweater called for something special. From Calypso St. Barth‘s cashmere collection, The Callee Turtleneck is everything a sweater should be: cozy, comfy, a little roomy, insanely soft, beautifully made, and warm. And I adore the caramel color – so perfectly fall! Plus, the cropped sleeves allow me to show off my bracelets and watch and add some polish to the look.

On a related note, I’m really excited to tell you guys about my latest collaboration here on the blog. This month, I am partnering with Calypso St. Barth on their Calypso Cares campaign.

Next Saturday, November 16th, if you are in Seattle, you can come visit me at their brand new University Village boutique and donate a gently used sweater for the Covenant House, a charity that provides care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited youth, and receive 20% of the purchase of one of Calypso’s sweaters…and let me just tell you guys, their cashmere is like heaven. I wish I could wear it all day every day for every occasion, it is so insanely soft and cozy.

If you don’t live in Seattle or can’t make it on Saturday, you can still donate at any Calypso location between the 15th and 17th, you will still receive 20% off the purchase of a sweater. Sounds like you’ve got plans for next Saturday!


Nothing better than cute boots, a cozy sweater, a puffy vest and a warm, stylish hat to scream fall. Today, I just couldn’t decide which hat looked better with my ensemble. And let’s be honest — I am obsessed with beanies this season. Which do you prefer?


Hope to see you next Saturday, November 16 at the new (stunningly gorgeous) Calypso St Barth boutique in the University Village – please stop by and say hello!



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Posted: 8th November 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Fashion Inspiration, My Life, Shopping in Seattle | 1 Comment

Introducing: Umba


When I attended Alt Summit last winter, I was introduced to this fun, creative line called Umba Box that did a monthly subscription service for handmade goods. Recently though, they’ve rebranded their company a little and are now going by the name Umba, with a focus on empowering artists through social selling. Their fall look book and collection are gorgeous. When I saw the the photos above, it got me in the mood for crunchy leaves, hot cider, cozy blankets, rain boots and fires in the fireplace. And then I went to check out the new products on their site and fell in love.

Each product is so thoughtfully and well designed. These are just a few of my favorite finds—wouldn’t the the ampersand bracelet make a cute bridesmaid gift? And the confetti poppers? We used them at our engagement shoot and now I am all about it. They would be so fun for parties.


Anyhow, their community of artists is exceptional and there is tons of cute stuff. Go check it out!



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Posted: 3rd October 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Pretty Things | Leave a comment

Emerson Fry


All images via Emerson Fry

I remember when Emerson Fry first started back in 2009 with just a few pieces, and the name was emersonmade. Now it’s a full blown gorgeous, pulled together, chic collection. So elegant and so ladylike. The coats, more than anything, have always been on my highly coveted list of items for my closet. Every season she comes out with different styles and this fall they are so clean with such simple lines. The pale pink knee length version and the leather jackets are my favorite. And that little black dress?? Is it too early to plan a New Year’s Eve outfit?


I could wear everything in this collection. Truly.


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Posted: 1st October 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight | Leave a comment

Lulu Frost Spring Summer 2014


All images via Lulu Frost

One day I plan on going to New York Fashion Week, but in the meantime, I follow along closely via Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, websites—whatever means necessary to see the collections as they are happening from across the country. One of  my favorites this year was the Lulu Frost Neon Baroque collection. The photos from the presentation are stunning—mixing the old and the new, kind of like Marie Antoinette and Sophia Coppola. There was tulle, stacks of bracelets, beautiful bouquets of flowers, and models with exquisite hair – it was like princess fairytale with a punky twist.


Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at this showing! I mean, the jewels alone give me heart palpitations. I’ve always been a huge fan of Lulu Frost‘s pieces, but I am particularly drawn to these glamorous, vintage-y looking pieces with such bright, playful, youthful, pops of neon color. Now, if only we didn’t have to wait for February for the collection to hit stores!

Which piece is your favorite?


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Posted: 27th September 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Pretty Things | 1 Comment

Cuyana Accessories


Last week I went to an event hosted by the adorable Cassandra LaValle from Coco + Kelley, and the hilarious Uncle Beefy from The Bedlam of Beefy, for the accessories company, Cuyana. It was new to me, but they’ve been around awhile. Which begs the question, where have I been? Because their products? ARE. AMAZING.

The ladies behind the brand, Karla and Shilpa, created an online site that allows the rest of the world to discover the hidden treasures from other countries.They travel the world looking for the highest-quality materials in each country, and then, working with local craftsmen, they transform the textiles and metals into gorgeous, limited-edition accessories. For example: they went to Argentina and came back with incredibly soft and supple leather tote bags (they were so dreamy I bought one for myself at the event) and travel cases. Peru meant lush Alpaca wool scarves, and Ecuador meant woven Panama hats. Their latest trip to Turkey issued in amazing Turkish robes of cotton and bamboo that I simply must have. Basically, I love what they do and the awesome products that come at such affordable prices. Is that coming across?


Check them out, it’s a great find. Special thanks to Cassandra and Uncle Beefy for the invite! You hosted such a lovely and fun event!



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Posted: 14th May 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Pretty Things | Leave a comment

Kate Spade Saturday


The Kate Spade Saturday collection came out recently, and it’s all bright colors, bold patterns, graphic prints, and full of fun, carefree spirit—much like Kate Spade, but with a more casual, laid-back, weekend vibe. Unless you live in Japan, it’s only available online, but knowing the quality of Kate Spade, that doesn’t bother me. Plus, there are so many cute options—these are just a few of my favorites. Especially: the calendar that focuses on weekends. It’s a beautiful thing!

I love you, Kate. You’ve done it again!


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Posted: 25th March 2013 | by: ashley | in: Designer Spotlight, Retail Therapy | Leave a comment
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